COSMO-MEROS, THE Worldly Portion: OR, The best Portion of the Wicked, and their Misery in the Enjoyment of it, OPENED and APPLYED.

Together with some Directions and Helps in order to a Heavenly and better Portion; enforced with many Usefu [...] and Divine Considera­tions.


Imaginaria in seculo & nihil veri, Tertul. de Co­ron. Mil. Cap. 3.

Omnis mihi copia quae Deus meus non est, egestas est; Aug. Con [...] ▪ lib. 13. cap. 8.

LONDON, Printed for Will. Thackeray at the Angel in Duck-Lane, Anno Dom. 1682.

TO THE Honourable and worthy Gentleman, Sir Charles Hoghton of Hoghton, in LANCASHIRE, Ba­ronet; Grace and Peace.


THE Price that Grego­ry Nazianzen, Orat. 1. that fa­mous Divine, did set upon all his Athenian [...]earning (wherein he greatly [...]xcelled) was no other, but only [...]his; That he had something of Worth to esteem as nothing, in [...]omparison of Christ: Herein imi­ [...]ating the Example of St. Paul, [...]ho, though he profited in the [...]ewish Religion above many o­ [...]ers, yet when the Son of God [...]as Revealed in him,Gal. 1.14.16. Phil. 3.8. laid it all [...]de as Loss and dung, for the ex­cellency [Page] of the knowledge of Christ Jesus his Lord. And it was the Devout Profession which St. Au­stin once made of himself,Confess. lib. 3. c. 4. when speaking of the great delight which he took in Cicero's Hor­tensius (as containing a most li­beral Exhortation to the love of Wisdom, without any byass or partiality towards Sects) he af­firmeth, that the heat of this his Delight was by this onely Rea­son abated, because there was not in that Book to be found the Name of Christ; without which Name, nothing (though other­wise never so polite and elabo­rate) could wholly possess those Affections which had been train­ed up to a nobler study. The con­sideration of which Sacred Af­fections in those holy men, and the like in all such, who are prin­cipled with the like precious Faith and Grace, (so as the Loadstone upon their Affections is (as Bucer used to say that) A­liquid Christi) is undoubtedly [Page] the strongest Motive and En­couragement, emboldning ma­ny Persons beyond their proper Inclination, and inviting them to the Publishing of those Pa­pers, which otherwise might have been shut up and smothered in the confused rubbish of a pri­vate Closet. So much of Encou­ragement is contributed unto Christian Labours, from a faith­ful and ready acceptance of them. Who amongst men, but under a due reflection upon themselves, must needs be conscious of their insufficiency, especially in matters of such Import, for which the Apostle implies None to be suffi­ficient? 2 Cor. 2.16 & 2 Cor. 3.5. The sence whereof could not but shut a man up in silence, did not the consideration of that Christian Candor, and Love to the least Glimpse of Truth, wherewith gracious Hearts are endued on the one part; and a desire to help in the building of the spiritual Temple on the other part, bear a man out beyond his [Page] proper temper and inclination, especially in an Age wherein Critical Censure holds an uni­versal judgment.

1 Tim. 3.16. Great is the Mystery of Godli­ness; great also is that Natural Blindness that is upon the hearts of men; and those who are En­lightned, 1 Cor. 13 9 they see but in part, and know but in part: and if but in part, then there is a part they do not know. In which respect, the best may truly take up the Apolo­gy of that good Father, Si nihil aliud profecerim, saltem Socrati­cum illud habeo, scio quod nescio.


The many Experiences of your Abundant Favours, and of your Family, and free Expressions of Love towards me, have not only obliged, but emboldened me to Prefix your Honoured Name be­fore these poor Pieces of my La­bours in God's Church. Other Ar­gument in these Papers there is none to procure either your Ho­nours [Page] View or Patronage, than this One (which that good Father could not find in all the Wri­tings of Plato and Cicero) That they have for the Subject of them, the Discovery of the emptiness and insufficiency of all Creature Com­forts, and Worldly Enjoyments, as to the true, satisfactory, and sa­ving Enrichment of the Soul: and this in order to the advancement of the Kingdom, and good Things of that high and holy Person, the knowledge of whom is not only our Greatest Learning, but our Eter­nal Life.

In this Confidence I have pre­sumed to present these Papers to your Honour, as a Publick Te­stimony of my most Humble Du­ty: And that I might with most Hearty Prayers Commend you and yours to the Good of God's Chosen; Psa. 106.5. [...]d after a Plentiful Enjoyment of the Blessings of Life here, to the full Fruition of the Inheritance of the Saints in Light Col. 1.12. [Page] hereafter. Now that God may be the Strength of your Heart, and your Portion for ever, is the unfeigned desire of

Your Honours Beneficiary In all humble Observance, SETH BƲSHELL.


Courteous Reader,

THe Ensuing Treatise is the Substance of several Ser­mons under some Abridg­ments, though not altered as to their Method. Our Lot is fallen, I must confess, into a for­ward age, wherein men are rash for, and ripe in censure: and usually those who are least able to judge, we find to be most free in passing sentence. I know, from what I dayly see, that some will presently be ready, upon the first view, to spend a puff of breath, in some sud­den and undigested Quaere; as, to what purpose is this? Why this Subject? Why in this Form? To such, and this Preposterous Frame I shall onely say, That we live in an Age that's over Squeamish, whose Nauseous Frame, through sin and faction is so indisposed, that let [Page] Divine and Sound Truths (thoug [...] in what Mould soever cast) be pre­sented, they shall scarcely find accep­tance. Sin has filled our Stomachs with bad Humours, and wholesom [...] food will not be digested. We are loth to stay by Truth, till it take hold of us: only with Pilate, if we have any, they are some sudden flashing Quoeres about it, as, what is Truth? Joh. 18.38 And then we turn aside. Exceptions enough Treatises of this Nature shall meet withal from men of the World, as to matter, man­ner, words, form, method. This say some is too flat, others too sharp: This too high, that too low: This too plain, that too polite: Here is too short, there is too long: Here too concise, there it is tedious. Thus all men almost, as to the Books they meet with, pass a d fferent Censure, according to the severall sense they have of things, and their various fancies.Jam. 4.10. Psal. 25.9. All become Judges of the Law: but the meek humble-hearted learners, to whom the pro­mise is made of being taught, are [Page] but a very few. As it was in our Saviours time, so 'tis now, men are hardly gain'd. Though there is no net comparable to that of the Gospell, as ordered and fitted in all Respects to take; yet the men of this World have their cunning shifts to evade it, and cheat them­selves by misconstructions into ruin. Let John come to them in the way of righteousness, in the most Austere, Abstemious, and Se­verest way of living, and they say, [...]at. 11.18, 19. & 21.32. he hath a Devil. Let the Son of Man come eating and drink­ing, and they say! Behold, a man gluttonous, and a Wine­bibber, a friend of Publicans and Sinners. The Children of this World will neither be Piped into a Dancing Frame,Mat. 11.17. nor Mourned into a Lamenting Temper. Oh, how wayward men are, and hard to be won! What subtil shifts have they found out, and thereby only to Gull their Souls into Eternal ruin? Let the Law be expounded, and the Sins therein forbidden, and Duties [Page] Commanded, urged home upon th [...] Conscience, then you shall have men start aside like broken bows. These (say they) are hard sayings, who can hear them? Oh, say they, here's nothing to be heard but Hell and Damnation, and a heavy Yoke, and grievous Burdens, which to take up, and bear, there's neither delight nor pleasure. You shall find them to be of the same Temper with those the Prophet mentions, for (after you have done all you can) they will hold fast their deceit, refusing to return. Jer. 8.5. Let the Gos­pell in its excellency and beauty be presented to them, and the good things of the Kingdom of Heaven never so freely tendred thereby to win them over, and gain them to Christ, so as the Word seems to stream out Milk and Hony: yet they would rather dye in their Sins, Joh. 8.24. than believe and be saved. So true is that mournfull complaint of our Saviour over a disobedient, and gain-saying people,Joh. 5.40. Luk. 13.34. Ye will not come to me, that ye might [Page] have Life: for though I would have gathered you together, as a Hen doth gather her brood under her wings, yet ye would not.

Hence it may well be said, that there can be but small Hopes of do­ing much good either by speaking or writing. What then? Shall any, who are entrusted with a talent, hide it in a Napkin?Luk. 19.20 Shall Mor­tal Man be more wise than God, or shall he confront the Wisdom of the Almighty? The Lord Com­manded Ezekiel Ezek. 37.4 Mat. 3.9. to Prophesie up­on dry bones: and the same God is able of stones to raise up Chil­dren unto Abraham. How easie is it for him that made the Heart, to new mould it; and to take a­way the stony Heart, and to give an Heart of Flesh? Ezek. 36.26. Act. 17.26. And since he hath determined the times before appointed, which are so ordered by his over-ruling Providence, as may be most Con­ducent to his own Glorious Ends: therefore 'tis an excellent Piece of [Page] Christian Prudence, as well as Du­ty, to employ our selves, and la [...] out the Talents we are betruste [...] with, on a good design, and to ac­quiesce in his Dispensations, lea­ving the Issue to the Lord his bles­sing. This is, according to that of the Prophet to sow beside all Waters, Isa. 32.20. And, as the wiseman directs, to cast our bread upon the Waters. Eccles. 11.1. Let's not dispute, neither curiously en­quire, What this Man shall do? Or what the other? How this will take? Or how the other? What will become of this? Or what the other? But let us labour to ac­quaint our selves with the King­dom of God, and sincerely exercise our selves in the Duties of that Kingdom, and this will be Peace in the end. We have a Word for it. Mark the perfect Man, and Behold the upright: for the end of that Man is Peace, Psal. 37.37.

Briefly, Reader, from the Na­ [...]ure of this discourse, and plainness [...]f its style (which I have endea­ [...]oured) agreeable thereunto, thou [...]ayest percieve, that the design [...]hereof is not, by a neat Couch of Words, either to feed an aiery fan­ [...]y, or to blandish an itching hu­ [...]or: but its intent is to do thy [...]oul good, and really to settle it up­ [...]n that better Portion; the good [...]hings whereof are such, as shall ne­ver be taken away from thee.

Thine in all Christian Duty and Service, Seth Bushell.

THE Worldly Portion.

LUKE 16.25.

Son, remember that thou, in thy life-time, receivedst thy good things.

CHAP. I. Containing the Drift and Scope of the Parable, with the Observa­tions from the Words.

Sect. I.

THe Scope and Drift of our Saviour Christ in this Parable, begun Verse 19, is to be ga­ [...]hered, not from the precise con­ [...]deration of any particular part [...]hereof, but from a survey of [Page 2] the Series of the whole in genera [...] in the which yet we find the be [...] thereof chiefly and principal [...] inclining towards, and so ma [...] be resolved into, these six part [...] culars: which put together [...] summ up the whole.

First, To shew the vanity [...] confidence reposed in world [...] things, or the placing our fel [...] city in the enjoyment of th [...] things of this present life. Wh [...] more of the good things he [...] below could the rich man ha [...] desired, to have rendred h [...] condition happy? what mo [...] could he have wished to feli [...] tate his estate? who had his be [...] ly filled with the best, to an ove [...] flow; his body clothed in t [...] richest array: his Coffers stor [...] with a stock of rich Provisio [...] for the future: and a large R [...] venue to perpetuate the felici [...] of his Posterity: and so mig [...] say to his Soul in the langua [...] of the world, Soul, take thi [...] ease. And yet we see, he w [...] [Page 3] truly miserable in the midst of all: for ere long (if not that night) the fool's Soul was requi­red of him.Luke 12.19, 20.

Secondly, It is sometimes the lot of those that fear God to be miserable, and afflicted in this present World. Though no good thing is wanting to them, the which is not supplied some other way: yet many of those which are accounted the good things of this life, they may seem to stand in need of, and their worldly supplies are but mean and low. Yet under such despicable outsides there lies a treasure of more worth than all the world: And under such their contemptible appearances, there is a jewel and grain, which God will own, as his, in the day when he makes up his Jewels: Mat. 13.30 Mal. 3.17. and ga­thers the wheat into his barn.

Thirdly, That such as are in misery, and afflicted in this world are not to be contemned, but compassionately dealt with­al. [Page 4] They, to whom God ha [...] given of the good things of this life to enjoy,Phil. 4.14. Isa. 58.7. Job 31.17. are to communicate with their afflictions; and not t [...] hide themselves from their own flesh. They are not to eat their morsel alone, but (with Job) to impart it to the needy. For whos [...] hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 1 John 3.17.

Fourthly, That the Torments of hell are unsufferably grievous, extended to the uttermost height and pitch that a creature in Be­ing, and without annihilation, can undergo: They are ade­quately suited to the uttermost of what an immortal soul can bear, or suffer. O! the howl­ing, and orying, and gnashing of teeth there, where mercy is not to be found, in the grant of one drop of water on the fingers tip to cool the tongue. There the day of patience is no more, to [Page 5] wait upon the sinner, as here, with a when shall it once be? Jer. 13.27. And How long? Jer. 31.22. But Ju­stice is then let loose, and at large with the scourge of wrath, to revenge the quarrel of abu­sed mercy, and to vindicate the glory of a despised Covenant.

Fifthly, That out of Hell there is no delivery; no redemption from this grave. The condition, into which man enters, when launching out of this world into the depth of eternity, whether of weal, or woe, it is a fixed state; there is no change thereof. A delivery from torments (the portion of the damned) is not to be expected: neither is a plucking out of Abraham's bo­som, or the Fathers hand, (the inheritance of the faithful) to be feared, John 10.29.

Sixthly, The Voice of God in the Scriptures, and by his Mes­sengers is now to be hearkened, and attended to in this present life, in order to the life to come: [Page 6] the which if it be neglected by us, there is no expecting Appa­ritions from the dead to call us to repentance: which (if yet they were to be had) would ne­vertheless prove ineffectual to that end; if the witness of God in his Word be not embraced by us. The Word of God is of more efficacy to work upon, and convert the heart, than if one should arise from the dead to Preach unto us. It is God's Or­dinance, and hath the vertue of a Divine Institution for such an end going with it. Whereas for the dead to arise, and speak un­to us, there is no such Institu­tion; the which if it were mi­raculously granted upon tryal, yet it would not avail; for ex­presly our Saviour tells us, That, if we hear not Moses, and the Pro­phets, neither would we be persua­ded though one rose from the dead.

There are divers other par­ticulars that lie sententiously couched in, and which the parts [Page 7] of the Parable, under a precise and narrow consideration, may seem to offer:Parabolae non urgenda sunt verba, & circum­stantiae, sed scopus. But as similitudes are not to be stretched, beyond their proper intent: so in all Doctrines to be founded there­on, there is an especial respect to be had to the Analogy of Faith, and the general Rules of Scripture; according to which the true Exposition of all Pa­rables is to be made: and what's otherwise is to be rejected as spurious, forced, or imposed. In things of this nature that Rule of the Schools is no less true, than ancient; In illis quae Meta­phoricè dicuntur, non oportet acci­pere similitudinem secundum om­nia. It is too evident how much the Church of God has been bur­dened, and the truth obscured by errors, through the fancies of men, working upon parables, and similitudes, and thence en­deavouring to draw conclusions, whereon to bottom and found their unsound Opinions, or pa­tronize [Page 8] their corrupted practices. How many (neglecting th [...] main drift of Parables, Allego­ries, and Metaphors, as if they did per omnia quadrare) have da­red to found on them such Para­doxes, and thence such Hetero­dox Notions have proceeded,Theologia symbolica non est ar­gumenta­tiva. as through custom in process of time, have had the reception as of Articles of Faith, and truths Canonical; when as the firm­est bottom whereon they are built, have only been some pa­rabolical Expressions, or from Allusions in some general Meta­phors and Similitudes, which yet are not in the least of their properly intended scope and aim?In illis quae Metapho­rice dicuntur, non o­portet accipere simili­tudinem secundum om­nia. Regula Schola­sticorum. Para­bles have their circum­stantial accessaries in­terlarded in order to the carrying on their main de­sign, and so to render their prin­cipal drift the more perspicuous. Of which sort in this Parable there are not a few to be found: [Page 9] any of which, if strained beyond [...]he principal bent, will make the similitude bleed.

Sect. II.

But to the Words, and the subject Matter principally de­signed in the reading of them; with their genuine scope and purport: ‘Son, remember that thou, in thy life-time, receivedst thy good things.’

The words are part of Abra­ham's return to the desire of the rich man in torments. Who, in his life-time, had of Drinks choice, and sorts of Wines; but now could not get a drop of Water to cool his tongue. Whose days were then spent in plea­sure, but now all's night, and darkness, and utter torment with him. Who then did but ask, and had it; the comforts of the creature were at his beck: but now he may earnestly beg and [Page 10] crave, and yet the least of com­forts is denied. The time of hi [...] good things is over, and so Abra­ham tells him, Son, remember, &c▪

He calls him [Son,] a sweet compellation sometimes, but here of a general import. A Son, but how? not a Son of believing Abraham, who died in impeni­tency and unbelief; nor a Son of God, who had not the seed of God in him, as born of him, or as united to his Son; nor a Son of the Church, which he ne­ver owned as Mother, nor the Members thereof as Brethren; for then he would have been more kind to Lazarus: But a Son in general, or of wickedness, as David has it, Psal. 89.22. or a foolish Son, as Solomon does express it, Prov. 17.25. or an unwise Son, Hos. 13.13. or [...], a Son of perdition, as our Saviour speaks of Judas, John 17.12. But the term may seem rather to note the sweet and heavenly temper of the Speaker, than any [Page 11] way to express the condition of [...]he person, to whom it is ap­plied.

Remember] i. e. call to mind the days of old, and what for­merly thou hast enjoyed, and [...]t not the present sense of just pain and torment take away the [...]emembrance of that delight and pleasure which sometimes thou didst enjoy. Think of the plea­ [...]ant sweet that's by-past, which [...]n a sort was as full and large, as now thy pain and sufferings. Thou hast had thy good things already.

Thy good things.] What were [...]hey? Even what was desirable [...]o satisfie fleshly lusts; so as nei­ther the heart was withheld from any joy, but the reins at large given to it, to run its course with a full career, nor any plea­sant object wanting. Lust ran which way it would without re­straint, and enjoyed at large what it did desire without abate­ment. And this in

Thy life-time.] i. e. whilst thou wast in the other world, which was the time of living. The world wherein thou now art, it is thy time of dying; but so, that it's ever a doing, but never done, sith the death thereof it is eternal. Whilst thou wert alive in the other world, all thy life-time there thou receivedst thy good things, which were confined to the time of that life. But now that life being ended, there's an end so put unto all those good things, and all other good things too, as thou art ne­ver to expect them any more.

The Words under this explica­tion clearly present their proper drift and purport. And also from them may be collected divers par­ticular Observations, which as so many several Heads of Fruit do arise and grow out of the particular Branches of the Text. And they are such as these.— As,

1st. From that Term or Ap­pellation [Son] we may Note, [Page 13]The sweet temper, and blessed frame Obs. I of the Saints in Heaven, in whom there is no bitterness, no reproach­ful or invective Speech or Carri­age, no railing Accusations, but their whole frame and course made up, and carried on in a way of love, Jude 9. 1 John 4.7, 8.

2ly. From the title given to the things of this present life, the blessings and comforts there­of are called [good things.] Hence Note, ‘That the Mercies and Blessings of Obs. II this present life they are [good things.] Though they are often, through the corruption of man's heart, abused; yet in themselves considered, they are good things, Josh. 23.14. Job 22.18.

3ly. In that these good things are said to be [received] hence Note, ‘That all the Blessings and Enjoy­ments Obs. III of this present life are [Page 14] [received] as given to us. They are not meerly gotten by us, as of our own work; but chiefly dispen­sed unto us, as of God's mercy, Deut. 8.17, 18.

4ly. In that it is said [thy good things:] the which he called so, and did appropriate to himself, as his own. Hence we may Note, Obs. IV That the good things of this present life which for a while are but com­mitted to the wicked, they do espouse them, as their own; they hugg themselves in the enjoyment of them, as their own: they can look up­on nothing as theirs, but what they have here in this present world, and this they c [...]ll their own, Hos. 12.8. It's the Tempters language of old, whereby he prevails to captivate and ensnare the wicked, [The world and the glory of it is mine, and if thou wilt worship me, all shall be thine, Luke 4.6, 7.

[Page 15]5ly. In that it is said [in thy [...]ife-time] hence Note, ‘That the good things of this present Obs. V world, in the reception and enjoy­ment of them, are confined to this present life. So as when this life is ended they are to be enjoyed no more, Eccles. 11.7, 8.

6ly. From the word [remem­ber] thence we may observe, ‘That the wicked, though now they Obs. VI overlook, and inconsiderately let slip the Mercies they do enjoy, yet there shall a time come, wherein they shall be brought to their re­membrance. Not a Mercy shall be lost or buried, though out of their remembrance, but shall be re­called, quickened, and brought back to mind: to the justification of God's goodness, the aggravation of their misery, and the increase of endless torment, Rev. 20.12, 13.

7ly. Lastly from the Words under an entire consideration, yet with some reference had to some of the peculiar Notes fore­going, [Page 16] this general Observation may be offered, and which, in a genuine and proper manner also from the whole contexture, does arise, Obs. VII That there are a generation of men to whom God grants the enjoyment of some good things only in this pre­sent life, which ended after that they shall have no more. Here's their all of good that ever they are like to enjoy.’

This Seventh and last Point is laid as the Subject and Founda­tion of this ensuing Treatise: and the main that is intended to be insisted on. But before we enter upon it, there lye some Queries in the way, which seem to start out of this Scripture, and require a word at least in transcourse.

CHAP. II. Containing an Answer to some Queries which are briefly touch­ed, as offering themselves on the by.

Sect. I.

Quer. Quer. 1 WHether there be any So­ciety or Intercourse of [...]ommunion betwixt the Celestial and [...]nfernal Inhabitants, or the Bles­sed and Damned Spirits, which [...]his Parable may seem to hold forth, [...]nd accordingly has been alledged [...]s a choice Pillar for the upholding such a Tenent?

Answ. Thereto it's answered, Answer. [...]hat there is no intercourse of communion at all betwixt the Spirits of Just Men made perfect, and the Damned Reprobates. The great Gulph interposed (verse 26.) quashes the force of [...]uch a fancy.Isa. 63.16. If Abraham be ig­norant of his Seed here upon earth, and Israel do not acknow­ledge [Page 18] them, as the Prophet tel [...] us, then much less do the ble [...] sed Saints and Patriarchs co [...] verse or treat with the Damne [...] Souls, so as to acquaint the [...] either with their conditions i [...] bliss and happiness: or to receive a report from them o [...] their wretched state in woe an [...] torment. Therefore we are t [...] look upon the Parable in i [...] main drift and scope, and i [...] what it aims at, and not to endeavour an establishing of Doctrines thereupon, not only t [...] the perversion of a part thereo [...] from its genuine purport, bu [...] the subversion of the Doctrin [...] and Analogy of the true Chr [...] stian Faith, and the Souls tha [...] are builded thereupon, as b [...] many Arguments might be evi [...] ced in Scriptures and in th [...] Writings of the Fathers at larg [...] laid down.

Sect. II.

Quere, How are the good thing [...] which the wicked in this present li [...] [Page 19] [...] enjoy, said to be their own? [...]here they are called [thy good [...]ngs.]

Answ. We are not to look [...]on the men of the world as [...]er usurpers for what they [...]fully get in the world, as if [...]ey were to answer meerly for [...]eir using what they have, as [...]t having a right to use. True [...]s, they shall answer for their [...]t right using; but they shall [...]t answer for their right to use [...]at which they have lawfully [...]tten in the World. There is [...]right unto things upon divers [...]counts, by which they may be [...]d to be our own.

1. A right from justice, when [...]e can lay claim to things upon [...]e account of justice, and say [...]at's mine own, upon the ac­ [...]unt of justice, it's due unto [...]e by the rules of justice. Thus [...]e good things of this life no [...]an of himself can lay claim [...]to as his own.

2. There's a right from Crea­tion; [Page 20] God gave to man a rig [...] to things at his first Creation▪ He gave him to be Lord over a [...] the Creatures by Sea and Land He set him over the works of h [...] hands, and put them in subjecti [...] under his feet. He made hi [...] Vice-Gerent under him throug [...] out the whole Universe. Th [...] by Creation he had a right to a [...] the good things of this prese [...] life. But this is lost by sin, an [...] with a fiery flaming Sword, Ma [...] (being expelled and driven out is hindred from returning to h [...] Paradice of Pleasure, his fo [...] mer Soveraignty under Go [...] over the Creatures. And th [...] his right by Creation's gone.

Psal. 8.6.3. There is a right by promise. God has now promise to give good things unto h [...] people; and those who are interested in the promises have [...] right to these good things. No [...] this right the wicked canno [...] plead, they have no interest i [...] Christ, in whom All the promise [...] [Page 21] [...] God are Yea and Amen, 2 Cor. [...] 20. and so can have no inter­ [...]t in the promises, and there­ [...]re not a right by vertue of the [...]romise to the good things of [...]is life. This is the peculiar [...]riviledge and plea of true be­ [...]evers.

But 4ly. There is a right from [...]onation. God is pleased to [...]ve to wicked men: his boun­ [...]y is extended towards them in [...]he large distribution and dole [...]f outward things.Cum quis propter nul­lam aliam causam donat, quam ut liber­tatem & munificen­tiam exerceat; haec proprie Donatio ap­pellatur. Julian. D. de Donation. lib. 1. But [...]heir right to hold is but [...] this manner; even as a [...]an that is condemned to [...]ye for some notorious Crime, and there being a [...]ttle reprieving for two [...]r three days before his [...]xecution, the Prince, out of his [...]ndulgence and grace, gives or­ [...]er to have provision made for [...]im according to his quality, [...]hat if he be a Gentleman, he [...]hall have such provision; if a Knight, a Nobleman, a Peer of [Page 22] the Realm, he shall have pr [...] sion according to his qua [...] till his execution. Now no [...] can say, this man usurps, tho [...] he hath forfeited all his righ [...] his land and estate, yet if King will give him this refr [...] ment, he is no usurper. Bu [...] is a poor right he hath, its a ri [...] from donation. And thus [...] gives to the ungodly men in [...] world: they have a right outward comforts, but thi [...] all the right they have. [...] have your good things, but [...] see how you hold them, and [...] on what account they are cal [...] your own.

Or otherwise, but more [...] properly the good things the wi [...] ed do enjoy in this present [...] may be said to be their own, fr [...] the endeared affection and lo [...] they bear unto them; th [...] souls are bound up in them, [...] in the bundle of life, and th [...] know no other, no better goo [...] for in them is lodged their A [...] [Page 23] Moreover they look upon them­ [...]elves as having the first, and [...]rime interest in them, and that [...]n the highest manner of right [...]hey belong unto them, as if [...]here were none above them, [...]or Lord over them, from whom [...]hey hold, Psal. 12.4. And thus [...]hey entitle themselves to the good things of this present life, and hold and account of them as their own.

Sect. III.

Quer. Whether in another world there be any remembrance of the things that have passed in this: or that all whatever was done, had, or suffered in this present life, be then forgotten?

Answ. Though the joys of Heaven be infinitely great and glorious, and the spirits of just men made perfect be swallowed up in the beatifical vision of the Almighty, yet the powers and faculties of the Soul which are essential thereunto, are so far by that glory from being destroyed, [Page 24] that they are thereby heightne [...] and quickned, and made mor [...] spiritually active and vigoro [...] in a blessed way. The unde [...] standing perfectly clear; the w [...] freely and perfectly obedie [...] tial; the memory purged fro [...] that dross and corruption whic [...] rendred it too oblivious and i [...] retentive of good things, fr [...] quently keeping in the dros [...] but letting go the purer metta [...] But now all this good is brough [...] to remembrance, and the contemplation thereof with no littl [...] joy affecting the soul. What ca [...] we say, but that in glory all th [...] powers of the soul are perfecte [...] in an holy way? The work o [...] grace in holiness here begun, i [...] there in glory full compleated wherein all the faculties of th [...] soul are concerned. And as fo [...] the torments of the damned though they be great, even t [...] perfection, and such wherei [...] the smallest mercy (even the lea [...] drop of water to cool the tongue) [Page 25] cannot be granted, yet the Es­ [...]ence and Being of the soul is not destroyed therein, and there­fore neither are the powers and [...]aculties thereof (which are es­ [...]ential thereto) taken away. Well were it for those damned [...]pirits if those torments would [...]tterly consume their substance, [...]nd, through some annihilating [...]ower, reduce them to non enti­ [...]es back again; for so their tor­ [...]ents would come to an end, [...] the making an end of them. [...]ut that cannot be, for their [...]mmortal substance runs parallel [...]ith eternity, and so is capable [...]f eternal torments. And fur­ [...]er, that which adds to the [...]rievousness of their torments, is [...]e remembrance they have of [...]rmer things, and those passed [...] their life-time in this present [...]orld. As whatever may tend [...] make the condition of the [...]essed more happy, is remem­ [...]ed by them; so whatever may [...]gravate the misery of the [Page 26] damned comes up upon the [...] minds in a fresh return. O [...] the sad aggravations they ly [...] under! when they remember th [...] Mercies they have enjoyed; th [...] blessed means they have neglected; the precious time they hav [...] mispent; the opportunities the [...] have lost; the patience the [...] have abused; the motions a [...] waitings of grace they ha [...] slighted; the precious bloo [...] they have trampled under foot the Covenants they have broken; the resolutions they hav [...] altered from; the many Sermo [...] calls to repentance they ha [...] stopped their ears against; th [...] sin they have chosen; the goo [...] Master they deserted; the b [...] Lord they sold themselves unt [...] the happiness they have los [...] which once was offered to them and the torments they have no [...] cast themselves into, to all ete [...] nity, which in time they mig [...] have avoided. Surely the r [...] membrance of these and t [...] [Page 27] like must needs so aggravate the [...]orments of the damned, and cruciate their minds with such exquisitely-vexatious torture, as shall equalize, if not exceed, their other torment. Now this way [...]o glorifie it self upon them, ju­ [...]tice would be deprived of, were their memories in Hell extin­guished. And therefore, Son, [...]saith he) Remember that thou, in [...]hy life-time, receivedst thy good [...]hings.

Thus having done with the Queries that are obvious from [...]he Words, the subject Matter [...]f our Discourse, and Observa­ [...]ion principally aimed at, (unto which what is said, is but pre­mised, as making way,) now [...]ollows, to be more largely (ut [...]x proposito) insisted on.

CHAP. III. The Subject Matter of the ensui [...] Treatise laid down, and offere [...] in several parts, in order to methodical procedure therein.

THe Subject now lying befo [...] us, and which is the pri [...] cipal Scope of the Discourse e [...] suing, we laid down and offere [...] in the Seventh Observation b [...] fore mentioned, in these words viz.

That there are a Generation [...] Men to whom God grants t [...] enjoyment of some good thin [...] only in this present life, whi [...] ended, after that they shall ha [...] no more. Here's their All good that ever they are like enjoy.

In the handling of this Poin [...] that we may more fully sift o [...] the Matter in it, and more o [...] [Page 29] [...]erly step from one part thereof [...]nto another: and in that the [...]nvailing of a Method; and [...]eering the course designed in [...]he entreating on a Subject from [...]l corrupt and self-reserved-pro­ [...]edure, has always been judged [...] more advantageous way; there­ [...]ore, that we may more readily [...]old on our course, not letted [...]y the bar of intricacy in the [...]anner of the discourse, we shall [...]onsider the whole under these [...]articulars:

1. View some Examples recorded in Scripture of such men, who have had all their good in this present life. From whence the truth of the Assertion is in gene­ral evinced to us. Chap. IV.

2. We shall enquire into the Rea­sons, Why God will give good things to the wicked in this pre­sent life? Why there is such a large dole of outward Mercies sometimes given to them? Chap­ter V.

[Page 30] 3. Shew that all the good thing they do enjoy are confined to thi [...] present life; so as when thei [...] life ends, all their good is a [...] an end, if it end not before Chap. VI.

4. We shall examin what the con­dition of such men is, who hav [...] all their good in this present life▪ with respect to the nature of th [...] good things that they do here en­joy, Chap. VII.

5. Endeavour to mark out, so fa [...] as we can, (being guided by th [...] Notes of Holy Scripture) wh [...] that man or woman is, that, i [...] such a condition, is like to hav [...] all their good in this present life Chap. VIII.

6. Conclude the whole in som [...] Ʋses, and Improvements, in or­der to a Spiritual Advantage, from the premised Considera­tions; with divers proper Help [...] to a better Portion, Chap. IX, X, XI, XII.

The Argument that now lies before us, calls for a most serious consideration from us, for there­in is matter of chief concern­ment to examin our selves about. As St. Hierom sometimes spake of that saying, Arise ye dead, and come to judgment, that it was a dreadful Scripture that sound­ed continually in his Ears; he thought he heard a Voice night and day, ever and anon, pro­claiming the same. So may this Scripture (duely considered) strike a trembling into the heart, and amuse the stoutest spirit; Son, in your life-time, you had your good things: Here you have your reward, and after this you are never like to have any more. Let none separate themselves, or put off this Scripture, as if they were out of its reach, or that it did not concern them. For before we have done, you shall find, that (though (true it is) this Scripture may be of nearer concernment to some, [Page 32] than others, yet) it is of ex­ceeding great usefulness in th [...] several Notes therefrom, an [...] practical Improvements thereabout, unto us all.

CHAP. IV. Containing several Examples re­corded in Scripture, of suc [...] men who had all their good thing in this present life.

AS to the first particular pro­posed in the handling o [...] the Point laid down, we are to take a view of some Examples recorded in Scripture of such persons, who had all their good in this present life. They did enjoy their felicity here in this present world.Gen. 27.39. Had not Esau a goodly portion of outward things? what an ample blessing was conferred upon him? His Cup did even overflow; His dwelling was the fatness of the [Page 33] earth, and of the dew of Heaven from above; The Heavens did (as't were) conspire together [...]o distil down a blessing upon Esau, and to make his soil fat and plenteous. Nay Esau had so much, that he said, He had e­nough. When his brother Jacob did present him with a drove of Cattel, to find grace in his sight, [...]ays he, I have enough, my brother, keep that thou hast to thy self. Prov. 30.15. Gen. 33.9. [...]. Arist. Polit. l. 1. c. 9. How far [...]oth Esau outstrip all the Worldlings of our days, who are as the daughters of the Horseleech, crying, [Give, [...]ive,] and never say it is enough. Brother, says he, I have enough: most rich men are complaining; they go not so far as Esau; they have their Portion, and yet com­ [...]lain: Now Esau hath his Por­ [...]ion, and thought he had e­nough.

What a Portion had Nabal of the good things of this life?1 Sam. 25.2. He was very great upon the ac­count [Page 34] of his possessions; and blessed himself in his abundance and yet this man, void of hu­mane courtesie, for he was chu [...] lish;ver. 14, 21. and of Piety, for he wa [...] evil in his doings; and of Pitty for he had no commiseration o [...] David in his distress; and o [...] Moral ingenuity, for he did no [...] know to requite good to them that had done good to him, bu [...] railed on David and his men who had been his benefactors and requited evil for good unt [...] them. And yet we see this ma [...] flourished in all abundance, ha [...] his belly full of worldly treasure but this was all the good tha [...] ever he was to enjoy, for he wa [...] a man of Belial, verse 25. Nabal was hi [...] name, and folly was with him and before death utterly smot [...] him, his heart died as a ston [...] within him, 1 Sam. 25.37, 38.

The Rich man spoken o [...] Luke 12. whose grounds brough [...] forth so plentifully, that he ha [...] no room where to bestow hi [...] [Page 35] fruits, but might ampliate his Granaries, and enlarge his Buil­dings, that so he might house [...]is plentiful Crop; surely he had a large portion of these outward things: and they were good things somewhat adequate [...]o his hearts desire too, other­wise he would never have cheer­ed up his soul in the enjoyment of them, thus saying, Soul, soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years, take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry: (other than which what could he have said, if he had had the soul of a swine?) Yet these were all the good things that ever he was like to enjoy, for the Fool's Soul that night was required of him. And that put an end to all his present hopes of future comfort, Luke 12.20.

You read of a generation of men, Job 22.17, 18. who were so drowned in sensuality, that they did not only utterly depart from God themselves, but bid God [Page 36] himself depart from them too and despighted the Almighty, a [...] if there were nothing of goo [...] that he could do unto them They said unto God, depar [...] from us, and what can the Almighty do for them? And ye [...] (such were the overflowings o [...] God's bounty towards them that) he filled their houses wit [...] good things: They had a ful [...] portion for a time, but presently they were cut down, out of time and their foundation was overflow [...] with a flood: and so all their good came to an end, Job 22.16.

Some of Christ's hearers, in Luke 6.24. they had their good things in this life, Wo unto you for here is your consolation, saith our Lord Christ unto them. Oh▪ dreadful Speech! Wo to thi [...] man, wo to these; here is their consolation. They have, and may take some comfort in sen­sual delights here for a time, but these once ended, they are never to expect any more.

The Psalmist tells us of some [...]en who have their portion in his life, and whose belly God [...]lls with his hid treasure, Psalm [...]7.14. and they leave the rest of their substance to their Babes. They have their bellies filled with outward good things, and [...]he surplus thereof they store up [...]s a substa [...]ce for their Babes. Now all's but a belly-full; it is but as meat for their belly, and the belly for it, both which God will destroy: 1 Cor. 6.13. And the men to whom this falls in portion, they are but men of the world, and so cannot long enjoy these deli­cious dainties: They are mor­tals, and so must yield to the stroke of death, which will put an end both to their life and por­tion, after which they shall ne­ver enjoy good any more.

God's mercy it is his own, and he will extend the line of it as he pleaseth. God so disposeth of his mercy, that there are some that shall have Heaven and [Page 38] Earth to be their portion; an [...] their portion is indeed a blesse [...] portion. There are some tha [...] shall have earth, but not heave [...] and their portion is poor, an [...] mean, and sad. There are others that shall have heaven, bu [...] not earth, and their portion [...] good: And there are other that shall neither have heave [...] nor earth, and their portio [...] (you'll say) is miserable indee [...] God's mercy is his own to dispose of as he will, and to le [...] out as he pleaseth, It is your Fathers pleasure to give you a kingdo [...] Luke 12.32. We read of Jehosaphat, 2 Chron. 21.3. That he gav [...] to his other sons gifts, but th [...] kingdom he gave to Jehoram So Abraham calls for Ismael an [...] Hagar, and he gives them [...] piece of Bread and a bottle o [...] Water, and sends them away There's an end of them, the [...] may go and wander in the wilderness of Beer-sheba, Gen. 21.14 So God hath people to whom h [...] [Page 39] gives pieces of bread, and bottles [...]f water, yea, some to whom he [...]ives great gifts in this world: [...]ut he keeps the inheritance for [...]is Isaac, and the kingdom for [...]ehoram. As for the other who [...]ave their good in this present [...]fe, they are as sent away, and may take their portion with [...]hem, for there's their All.

CHAP. V. Containing some Reasons why there is such a large Dole of outward Mercies given to the Wicked in this present world. And why the Lord is oftentimes so bounti­ful towards them.

ALL the Works of God are rationally carried on, I mean there is a spiritual reason in them; though, because of that darkness that is naturally upon man's understanding, and so has clouded the discursive faculty of [Page 40] the soul through sin, he canno [...] so fully apprehend them, as the [...] are truly in themselves. No [...] whereas it is the good pleasur [...] of the Almighty to give som [...] times unto the wicked a larg [...] Dole of the good things of th [...] present life, so as they flouri [...] in all wealth and store: doub [...] less the work of God therein [...] right, and done in truth, an [...] there is ground of such his bounty towards them. Therefore w [...] will enquire into the Reason that are more obvious: W [...] God will give good things to th [...] Wicked in this present life? Wh [...] there is such a large Dole of outwar [...] Mercies oftentimes shared out [...] those who are Enemies unto Him who is the Author of every goo [...] and perfect Gift? which is th [...] second thing offered to enquir [...] in the handling the Point we a [...] upon.

Sect. I.

And first, they are all God' [...] creatures, though sin have depraved [Page 41] and corrupted their na­ [...]res, and rendred them trai­ [...]urs and rebels to their Crea­ [...]r, yet they are God's crea­ [...]res still, though rebellious, [...]ey are the workmanship of his [...]nds, though Satan bear sway [...] their hearts. And upon that [...]ry account, as being his work­ [...]anship, God has some respect [...]r them,Luk. 6.35. He is kind to the un­ [...]ankful, and to the evil. Though [...]ey have cast him off, yet he [...]es not utterly cast them out [...]om all the good things of this [...]esent life. He owns them as [...]s creatures still, who disown [...]m as their Lord and Sovereign. [...]hough they will not have him [...] rule over them; yet he can­ [...]ot forget the workmanship of [...]s hands. Saith Jehu, concern­ [...]g Jezabel, Go,2 Kings 9.34. take away this [...]rsed woman, though she be [...]nder the execution of the just [...]ntence of God upon her, and [...] liable to the uttermost of re­ [...]roach that can be inflicted, yet [Page 42] shew some respect unto her, her not lye there in the stree [...] but take her away: For she i [...] kings daughter. So saith Go [...] Well, though these be curs [...] and fuel only fit for the ev [...] lasting burnings, yet they [...] my creatures, I cannot utte [...] (here as yet) forsake the wo [...] of mine own hands; some [...] spect they shall have from m [...] some good I'll communicate them: they are men of the wor [...] and therefore they shall hav [...] belly-full of worldly treasur [...] Whose belly thou fillest with th [...] hid treasure, Psal. 17.14. T [...] deep vein of silver, and the h [...] den place of gold, those sec [...] (but rich) recesses shall pow [...] out abundantly into their [...] soms: and I'll give them th [...] portion here, and that beca [...] (though but men of the wor [...] yet) they are my creatures. B [...] it is not an argument strong [...] nough, that because you a [...] God's creatures, therefore y [...] [Page 43] sh [...]ll have eternal mercies: that [...]cause God is your Creator, [...]erefore he will be your Saviour. a peoples title to eternal mer­ [...]es be no more than this, then [...] to them: For he th [...]t made [...]m will have no mercy on them, [...]d he that formed them, will shew [...]em no favor, Isa. 27.11.

Sect. II.

Secondly, The time of this [...]e is the time of God's pa­ [...]ence, and the day of his long- [...]fferance: Now God waits,Isa. 30.18. that [...] may be gracious, and his pa­ [...]ence bears long, suspending [...]dgment.Rom. 2.4. Now the goodness of [...]od is leading men to repentance, [...]m. 2.4. And though the riches [...]his goodness, and forbearance, [...]d long-suffering be despised [...]y the wicked, yet the time of [...]is life is the day of his good­ [...]ess and patience still: And [...]erefore the wicked have their [...]ercies here. In their life-time [...]ey have their good things. God [...]nows (Oh that they would [Page 44] consider it) that there is [...] ternity before them, where to pay them home fully for their sins;Deut. 32.42. when there shall be [...] time of revenges upon the enem [...] whereof there shall be a begi [...] ning, but never end. So as t [...] time of this life being the d [...] of God's patience and lon [...] suffering, therefore he deals o [...] such a bountiful dole unto ma [...] of the wicked. Says God, [...] him take his fill, and measure [...] his sin; let him be filthy sti [...] since it is his wilful choice [...] wallow in his own vomit, a [...] to defile himself in the mire [...] his lusts; I shall not envy hi [...] any the good things of this pr [...] sent life:psal. 37.35. Job 21.11, 12, 13. Let him spread himse [...] as a green bay-tree. Let him se [...] forth his little ones like a flock, a [...] let his children dance; let the [...] take the timbrel and harp, and r [...] joyce at the sound of the organ [...] Let them spend their days in wealt [...] for this is the time of my long-su [...] ferance: but in a moment they sha [...] [Page 45] [...] down to the grave. God's pa­ [...]nce bears with the wicked [...]w, and lets them take this [...]orld, and their portion here, [...] as some grow great by oppres­ [...]n, some rich by rapine, some [...]l by fraud, some bigg by bribes, [...]hers drunk with pleasures, [...]d some swilled with the puffs [...] honor: They wax fat, Jer. 5.28. psal. 50.21. they [...]ne, yea they overpass the deeds [...] the wicked, they judge not the use, the cause of the fatherless, [...]t they prosper. Thus God in [...]tience (as't were) overlooks [...]em; and they think that he is [...]together such a one, as they are [...]emselves: that he never will [...]ll them to account, as they [...]ever call to account themselves. [...]nt when the time of this long- [...]fferance is over, then the va­ [...]ty of these worldly good [...]ings wherein they did so wan­ [...]only bless themselves will [...]ore than sufficiently appear [...]nto them.

Sect. III.

Thirdly, the time of this l [...] is the season of God's provide [...] tial dispensations, which (thoug [...] guided and ordered by an innite wisdom, yet) promiscuo [...] ly fall amongst the children [...] men: so as oftentimes the Go [...] ly here they have their cup fill [...] with wormwood,Jer. 8.14. psal. 73.14. psal. 66.11, 12. and the wa [...] of gall given them to drink, T [...] are plagued all the day long, a [...] chastened every morning. They [...] brought into the nest, and afflicti [...] is laid upon their loins: men r [...] over their heads, they go throu [...] fire and water. All these a [...] many more hardships they e [...] dure, and yet none of the come to pass without God's pr [...] vidence: which so orders th [...] they shall be fully tried in th [...] present life,Luk. 22.31 Amos 9.9. and sifted like as co [...] is sifted in a sieve. They ha [...] their full dose and share of gre [...] and sore afflictions in this pr [...] sent life: for here's the time all the misery, pain, and sorro [...] [Page 47] [...]hat ever they shall endure, and [...]fter this life all their grief shall [...]e at an end. For God shall [...]ipe away all tears from their eyes, Rev. 21.4. [...]d there shall be no more death: [...]either sorrow, nor crying, neither [...]all there be any more pain; for [...]e former things are passed away. [...]nd as povidence measures out [...]ch a share of this life often­ [...]mes unto the godly; so it yields [...] contrary portion unto the [...]icked; the good things of this [...]resent life fall into their bo­ [...]oms, as if the windows of hea­ [...]en were opened to shour down [...] blessing on them; and the slu­ [...]es of hidden (yet but worldly) [...]easure, being opened, did con­ [...]urr by a joynt confluence, to [...]ake them happy. Their eyes [...]and out with fatness: they have [...]ore than heart could wish, Psal. [...]3.7. And why? This is the [...]ime for an infinitely wise and [...]idden providence to exert it [...]elf in various dispensations; [...]o as no man may know either love [Page 48] or hatred by all that is before hi [...] Eccles. 9.1. The wicked ca [...] not hereupon argue that G [...] loves them, because they [...] warm in the Sun of a prosp [...] rous Estate: neither may t [...] faithful say that God ha [...] them, because his dealings see [...] to be so harsh with them. [...] is no arguing from outwa [...] providential Dispensations [...] things that are of an etern [...] nature, as God's love and h [...] tred are. We should look u [...] on the way of providence he [...] to be more occult, and myst [...] cal, than that the sense a [...] meaning thereof should so e [...] sily be discerned; and so kno [...] this, that because now is th [...] time for providence to car [...] on its hidden works, ther [...] fore the wicked have such [...] large Dole of outward goo [...] things given to them.

Sect. IV.

Fourthly, Wicked men may [...]o somewhat for God here, they [...]ay be serviceable in some re­ [...]pect, at least do something that [...]aterially is a service, and God [...]ill not be indebted to them. He [...]nows they are a mercenary and [...]amorous generation, and that [...] he should not give them wa­ [...]es for any service they are em­ [...]oyed in for him, they would [...]esently clamour on him. Now [...]od will not have them exclaim [...]ainst him, but if possible stop [...]eir mouths, and will give to [...]ery one something for what [...]ey do for him, though it be [...]ver so little, here in this world. [...]e have a notable place for this Ezek. 29.18, 19, 20. Nebuchad­ [...]zar King of Babylon caused [...] Army to serve a great service [...]inst Tyrus [every head was [...]de bald, and every shoulder was [...]ed;] this great service God [...] him upon, and it seems he [...] not as yet given him wages; [Page 50] well, God he requires abo [...] this, and seems to complai [...] that when Nebuchadnezzar a [...] his Army had done him such se [...] vice, yet he should not have r [...] ceived his wages, but be, as were, forgotten all this whil [...] Therefore, saith God, Beh [...] I will give the land of Egypt [...] Nebuchadnezzar king of Babyl [...] and he shall take her multitude, Ezek. 29.18. [...] take her spoil, and take her pr [...] and it shall be the wages for [...] army. I have given him the l [...] of Egypt for his labour where [...] he served against it, because [...] wrought for me, saith the l [...] God. The Lord will not be [...] debted in the least to any wic [...] man for the least service tha [...] shall do for him; nay he is [...] a bountiful Master, that he [...] pay those whom he does imp [...] not onely according to the m [...] of their service, the pains [...] have endured, the difficult the work, the success that ensued, nay, take in all the [...] cumstantial [Page 51] attendants, and ac­ [...]sories of their imployment, [...] will not only pay them ac­ [...]rdingly, not abating an Ace, [...]s usually said; but, as a boun­ [...]ul Lord, he will give more, [...] cause his wages to overflow. [...]d therefore well may the [...]cked, who are imployed in [...]d's service, or at least in such [...]rks which materially are a [...]vice, have sometimes a large [...]le of outward Mercies. 'Tis [...]e, the wicked in Scripture, [...] compared to thorns and bri­ [...]: now we know that a thorn [...]y serve to stop a gap, though [...]e but a thorn-bush, and if it [...]e to stop a gap, and be of [...] use, it hath that benefit by [...] that all that while the Sun [...]es upon it, and it is kept [...]m the fire; whereas were it [...] for use, it might presently brought to the fire. An Ar­ [...]ent, by the way, to provoke men to be of as much use to [...] Church of God as possibly [Page 52] they can, to stop those gap whereby there might be an in to their harm, or an occasion their prejudice. It may be t [...] is the very thing, for which, yet, thou art in the sun-shi [...] and which keeps thee from fire; but if thou once comel [...] be unuseful, the fire is the [...] thing thou shalt hear of. M [...] wicked men God doth make of in divers services; and m [...] refreshing and good his Chur [...] shall have from them: The L [...] causes the very earth to help woman, and to swallow up the [...] cast out of the Dragon's m [...] to carry her away: Earthly [...] (not only as to their frame Being, but as to their mind motions too) are someti [...] made use of for the good of Church: and God will no [...] beholding to them for t [...] work.2 King. 10.30. Is Jehu imployed in G [...] service against the house of [...] hab? It was a work which [...] had to do, and he put Jehu o [...] [Page 53] t [...]en his children of the fourth ge­ [...]ation shall sit on the throne of [...]ael. If the Kenites shew kind­ [...]ss unto Israel when they come [...]t of Egypt, this shall not be [...]gotten, but shall be remem­ [...]ed, whilest there is a Kenite. [...]nd though Saul be sent to de­ [...]oy the Amalekites, 1 Sam. 15.6. and the [...]nite live amongst them, yet [...]ey shall be severed from them, [...] Sam. 15.6. And Saul said unto [...]e Kenites, Go, depart, get you [...]wn from among the Amalekites, [...] I destroy you with them: for [...] shewed kindness to all the chil­ [...]en of Israel, when they came [...] out of Egypt. Austin, De Civitat. Dei, lib. 5. cap. 12. speak­ [...]g of the Romans that had such [...] flourishing condition for a [...]hile, gives this for one reason, [...]hey were Men of Heroick Spi­ [...]s, and had excellent Moralities, [...]d were delivered from that base­ [...]ss of spirit, that other People had, [...]d therefore God shewed some kind [...] respect unto them. Many Instan­ [...]s of the like kind might be gi­ [...]n.

Sect. V.

Fifthly, God gives outw [...] things to the wicked in th [...] life; to let the world see w [...] little good there is in all [...] things that are here in [...] world. The things of this [...] have no great worth in the [...] otherwise they would never so promiscuously cast up a down in the world: It is a gr [...] argument against their wort [...] because the wicked have th [...] in such abundance. Certai [...] if there were much good them, they should never ha [...] them. It is an argument t [...] strength of body hath no gr [...] excellency in it; for an O [...] hath it more than man. An [...] gument, there is no great e [...] cellency in agility of body, f [...] a dog hath it more than ma [...] nor in gay clothes, for a Pe [...] cock hath them more than yo [...] nor in gold and silver, for t [...] Indians, that know not God, e [...] joy of that worldly treasu [...] [Page 55] more than you. And the like [...]ay be said of Natural Excel­ [...]encies which are common to [...]an with sensibles, and of all [...]orldly enjoyments; that surely [...]here cannot be any great good [...] them, because creatures of a [...]ower worth have such a fulness [...]f them. This might be enough [...]o convince us of their worth­ [...]esness, had we no other argu­ [...]ents. So likewise on the con­ [...]rary we may argue, that surely [...]here is no great evil in afflicti­ [...]ns in this world, because the [...]earest children of God are of­ [...]entimes very sore afflicted, [...]hich would not be, if there [...]ere any such great evil in affli­ [...]tions, as the world accounts of. The low esteem that the people [...]f God have had of the great [...]hings of this world, argues, [...]hat there is little true good in [...]hem. What said Luther of the Turkish Empire, as great as it is? [...]ven thus, Turcicum imperium [...]uantum quantum est, mica est quam [Page 56] pater-familias canibus projicit: [...] is no more but as a crum whic [...] the householder throws unto [...] dog. The Almighty sees th [...] things of this world as worthle [...] things comparatively to tho [...] of a better life; and therefor [...] he'll venture them amongst th [...] wicked, though he sees they wi [...] abuse them, and not give unt [...] him the glory that's due unt [...] his great Name from them Though the wicked corrup [...] themselves in them, and be sacrilegious in the injoyment o [...] them, robbing God of his glo [...]ry; yet however they are thing [...] of no great worth, and therefore no matter if they hav [...] them for a season. As suppos [...] you see a man gathering o [...] Crabbs under the tree, thoug [...] the Swine come grunting about and take them up, yet he care [...] not much to drive them away▪ they are but Crabbs, let them have them: But if he were ga­thering any choice and preciou [...] [Page 57] fruit, if the Swine should come [...]ithin the compass, then he [...]resently drives them away. [...]o for choice Mercies in Christ [...]hen these are dispensed, Oh [...]hese are precious Fruit! as [...]earls they are not cast amongst [...]wine: Matt. 7.6. Here God makes a di­ [...]inction, he expects to have [...]ory to his great Name issuing [...]om them; and therefore he [...]egards whether men be prepa­ [...]ed to give him the glory of [...]hem, yea or no; and because [...]e will not lose his glory in this [...]espect, therefore their hearts [...]all be prepared. But for the [...]ommon blessings of this world, [...]hich are but as Crabbs, the [...]ord suffers the Swine of this [...]orld to come grunting, and [...]o take them up. A Black­ [...]mith that works upon Iron, [...]ough a great many Cinders, [...]nd little bits of Iron fly up and [...]own, he regards them not: [...]ut a Goldsmith that is work­ [...]ng upon Gold, he preserves [Page 58] every ray, every ramentum, a [...] dust of gold; he'll not lose t [...] very filings. A Carpenter th [...] is only hewing of Timber, [...] regards it not much if Chips [...] up and down; but a Lapida [...] that is working upon precio [...] stones, every little bit there he's careful to preserve. The [...] outward things they are but [...] Chips and Cinders, or such li [...] worthless things, and therefo [...] God lets the wicked of t [...] world sometimes of them to e [...] joy so great a share.

Sect. VI.

Sixthly, The wicked enj [...] such fulness of outward thin [...] in this life, that thereby t [...] Lord may shew what great go [...] things he hath reserved for [...] own children. Surely if t [...] slaves and vassals fare so we [...] it shall go well with the ch [...] dren: if the Master be so go [...] and kind to those that are b [...] in his family of Creation, he w [...] [Page 59] abundantly express his love and [...]odness to those that are in his [...]mily of Adoption. Such shall, [...]th the Psalmist, be rapp'd up [...]to admiration,Psal. 31.18, 19. O how great is [...]y goodness, which thou hast laid [...] for them that fear thee. If [...]ose that fear thee not are so [...]eat and mighty in the world, [...]at they can and do speak grie­ [...]us things, proudly and contemp­ [...]usly against the righteous: If [...]ch are so high, and have their [...]p so full, then surely the good­ [...]ss that's laid up for them that [...]ar thee must needs be to all [...]miration. True believers may [...]ise their hopes about the great [...]od things that are in store for [...]em, from the consideration of [...]at abundant confluence of out­ [...]ard Mercies which meet upon [...]e wicked. And God would [...]ve them to make this, as one [...]e of it: and so we see David [...]d, Psal. 73.24, 25, 26.Psal. 73.24. The [...]rmer part of the Psalm chiefly [...]ns upon this Argument, i. e. [Page 60] an Expostulation with deep re [...] soning about the prosperity [...] the wicked, which was very o [...] vious unto David's eye, and [...] part startling unto his thought [...] but when as he become bett [...] informed, and understood som [...] what of this mysterious cour [...] and hidden way of God's dea [...] ing with them, amongst oth [...] useful Inferences therefrom, th [...] is one,ver. 25, 26. laid down Verse 24. Th [...] shalt guide me with thy counse [...] and afterwards receive me to glor [...] If the wicked have such a lar [...] measure of worldly wisdom surely I shall not want thy cou [...] sel, says David unto God. they be glorious with their go [...] den chains, so as pride compass [...] them about as a chain, ver. 6. surly the glory reserved for t [...] children is exceeding great which after a while they sh [...] be received to.Fugiendum est ad cla­rissimam patriam, ibi pater, ibi omnia. Aug. de Ci­vit. Dei. Thus David i [...] ferrs and applies to himself [...] particular, Thou shalt guide [...] with thy counsel, and afterwar [...] [Page 61] receive me to glory. And mark [...]ow the Psalmist pursues this [...]nference in a glorious acclama­ [...]ion, Whom have I in heaven but [...]hee? and there is none upon earth [...]hat I desire besides thee: My flesh [...]nd my heart faileth; but God is [...]he strength of my heart, and my [...]ortion for ever. The wicked [...]hey have their portion here, and the lines do often fall to them in pleasant places: Surely then it shall go well with them [...]hat fear God, which fear before him, Eccles. 8.12. The Lord himself he will be their portion. [...]f the Dogs fare so well, the father keeps a good house. If the hang-bies may have such Doles, certainly there is good provision for the children with­in. As by the afflictions that lie upon the Godly in this world, God doth declare to wicked men what fearful Judgments do abode them; and would have them from thence to argue to their future dreadful state, and [Page 62] the great evils that are like to befal them; For if judgment be­gin at the house of God, what sha [...] the end be of them th [...]t obey n [...] the Gospel of God? 1 Pet. 4.17. So by the prosperity of the wicked in this world, God dot [...] declare to his children, wha [...] choice things are reserved fo [...] them, and would have them from thence, to argue to their future happy estate, and the great good things they shall en­joy.

Sect. VII.

Seventhly, The Lord knows that he hath time enough to manifest his Justice upon the wicked hereafter;Magna Dei ira est, quando pec­cantibus non irascatur Deus. Hier. Epist. 33. ad Castrat. and therefore he will let them enjoy somewhat here. The Lord has an eternity hereafter for the punishment of the wicked. Their sweet bits shall cost them dear enough, and their pleasant morsels go down with a sufficiently bitter sauce. Saith God, I have an Eternity for the declaration of my [Page 63] [...]ustice in heaven, and therefo [...]e let [...]hem have somewhat for a while. As you know it is natural in all, when they see a man going to Execution, that is not like to [...]ive above an hour or two, every one is ready to pity him, and to be any way officious to him: Oh, Aeternitas [...]on est pe [...] s [...]d ratime paenae, sed decidit propter aeterni­tatem personae punitae, & culpae remanentis. Scot. in quart. Sen­tent. distinct. 46. qu. 4. (saith every one) the Man shall not have comfort long, we can­not do much for him, he shall have pain enough e'er long, and misery enough e'er long; and so every one pities him, and that because his mis [...]ry is near, and before him. Even so the misery of the wicked is not far off, it is before them, even a misery that shall run parallel with Eternity, And therefore, saith God, let them rejoyce a while, and let their hearts cheer them in this their day, they have not long to be merry in, let them walk in the wa [...]s of their heart, and in the sight of their eyes; after a while, I will bring them [Page 64] into judgment. Eccles. 11.9. Dan. 5.5, 6. Surely this Consideration should be like Belshazzar's hand-writing upon th [...] Plaister of the Wall to all wic [...] ed and ungodly ones, in th [...] midst of their worldly fulnes [...] causing their countenances t [...] change, and their thoughts t [...] be troubled in them; and th [...] joynts of their loyns to be loo [...] ed, and their knees to smite on [...] against another, to think (O [...] could they but lay it to heart! [...] that this pleasant life will endure but for a while, these day [...] will quickly be at an end, an [...] then they launch out into th [...] miserable gulph of all Eternity when their torment does begin but shall never end: and tha [...] all the good things of this pre­sent life they do enjoy are bu [...] indulged them for a season; an [...] this, because there is time enoug [...] for their misery in Eternal Con­finement, yet behind, to sei [...] upon them.

Sect. VIII.

Eighthly, God gives a large [...]rtion of outward Mercies unto [...]e wicked in this life, because [...] takes occasion from hence to [...]ch a great deal of glory to his [...]n Name. In this way and [...]urse of dealing with the wick­ [...], he gains great glory to him­ [...]f, in bringing about his own [...]ds. As sometimes he doth it, [...]at they might stumble, and [...]rden their hearts; How many [...]cked men stumble upon the [...]ock of their own enjoyments? [...]heir table becomes a snare before [...]m: Psal. 69.22. and that which should have [...]n for their welfare does become [...]rap. Psal. 9.16. They are snared in the [...]rk of their own hands. And [...]w are their hearts hardened [...]rough their fulness, even to [...]ch a pitch of hardness, that [...]ey are even as a piece of the [...]her milstone? Isa. 8.15. Though at last [...]ey shall be broken by judg­ [...]ent, yet by mercies they can­ [...]t be melted. Thus their mer­cies [Page 66] cause them to stumble and [...] and be b [...]oken, and snared, [...] taken. Their mercies freque [...] ly work to ripen them in th [...] sins; and from the pleasant r [...] of worldly enjoyments, th [...] grows in them the bitter f [...] of [gall and wormwood. Deut. 29.18.] [...] wicked suck, as't were, a ju [...] from their worldly fulness, wh [...] feeds and ripens them in th [...] sin: Like the Spider, turn [...] what she extracts from sweetest flower into deadly p [...] son.Tit. 1.15. Ʋnto them that are des [...] and unbelieving, is nothing pr [...] saith the Apostle, but even th [...] mind and conscience is defil [...] Hence the Lord lets wicked [...] go on a long time, till their be fully ripe, and then to glo [...] fie his great Name in a way [...] justice on them, he puts in [...] sickle. So Isa. 33.1.Isa. 33.1. Wo to t [...] that spoilest, and thou wast not sp [...] ed, and dealest treacherously, [...] they dealt not treacherously w [...] thee; when thou shalt cease to sp [...] [Page 67] t [...]ou shalt be spoiled. Thou maist on a while, and spoil as thou [...]lt, but when thou hast done [...]oiling, thou shalt be spoiled. [...]he King of Assyria may grow, [...]ell, and wax great; he may [...]ise himself upon the ruins of [...]od's people, but his heart is [...]eed up thereby to his destru­ [...]ion: For it shall come to pass, [...]en the Lord hath performed his [...]ole work upon mount Sion, Isa. 10.12, 16. and [...] Jerusalem, that he will punish [...]e fruit of the stout heart of the [...]ng of Assyria, and the glory of [...]s high looks. The Lord of hosts [...]ll send among his fat ones lean­ [...]ss, and under his glory he will [...]ndle a burning, like the burning [...] a fire, Isa. 10.12, 16. As the [...]ssyrian glorified himself in the [...]esolations of Israel, so will the [...]ord bring about his own ends, [...]d glorifie his great Name on [...]oud Assyria: As he got him­ [...]lf glory upon the imperious [...]gyptians before (when ripe for [...]in) at the red Sea. Z [...]char. 11.8. Thus the [Page 68] pride of Assyria is brought don [...] and the scepter of Egypt depar [...] away: and the Lord alone is [...] alted in that day, Isa. 2.17.Isa. 2.17.

Sect. IX.

Ninthly, Sometimes the wic [...] ed prosper in this world, b [...] come great, and are mighty [...] power, that so by them Go [...] may chastise and correct his ow [...] people: And thus the flouris [...] ing rod of the wicked is la [...] upon the lot of the righteous; Psal. 125.3. an [...] wicked men are advanced, th [...] they may be as thorns and br [...] ers unto God's People. By the he scourgeth his own inher [...] tance. He gives a king in his a [...] ger, and after takes him away [...] his wrath, Hos. 13.11.Hos. 13.11. T [...] Canaanites were left in the lan [...] that by them the Lord mig [...] prove Israel, and they were [...] thorns to prick and grieve the [...] Probably many of these wh [...] were thus bitter enemies unt [...] Israel were mighty, and prosperous in the world, not b [...] cause [Page 69] God loves them, but that [...]o they might be the more able, [...]nd fitted, and so imployed for [...]courges unto his People. God [...]ives the wicked such a large Dole of outward Mercies, not [...]ut of his love to them (though [...]hey are ready to gather that Argument) but out of his dis­pleasure towards others. The Lord makes use of them only [...]s a Rod to whip others, where­ [...]n when they have served his design, then the Rod shall be [...]ast into the fire, and so burned. Thus the Prophet speaks of the [...]ofty Assyrian, and calls him the Rod of God's anger: and saith,Isa. 10.5. that when the Lord shall have performed his whole work upon [...]mount Sion, then, under his glory, ver. 12, 16. he will kindle a burning, like the burning of a fire, and so the rod of Assyria shall be consumed. The Lord gives his Israel into the hands of the Egyptians, under sore servitude, for many years, on the side of their oppressors there Eccles. 4.1. [Page 70] is power, but they had no comf [...] ter: they are afflicted, and strangers serve under hard bo [...] dage, they are in a land that not theirs, and hardly entrea [...] ed; all this comes to pass, n [...] because the Lord loved the [...] gyptians, and hated the Israelite▪ No, the Egyptians are onely scourge, and as a pricking brie [...] and grieving thorn unto Isra [...] to preserve them in God's fea [...] and quicken their graces, a [...] spiritually raise their hearts, t [...] the time appointed, and th [...] that nation whom they shall serv [...] will I judge, (saith the Lor [...] Gen. 15.13, 14.) and afterwa [...] shall they come out with great s [...] stance. The like might be sa [...] of the great men of Babylon whereof the Prophet Isaiah, ch [...] 47.6, 7. and many others in [...] whose hands God has give [...] great things, that so they mig [...] thereby be fit instruments to ca [...] ry on his design in the scourg [...] and chastisement of his people.

Sect. X.

Tenthly, The Lord gives a [...]ge Dole of outward mercies to the wicked in this life, to [...]ch us who profess the know­ [...]ge of God, and an interest him (as our God) to be and [...] like unto him. Is God kind to his enemies? so should we also unto our enemies. Is so bountiful in his gifts? then [...]nce we should learn to pra­ [...]ce those Divine Lessons left on record, and exemplified our Saviour Christ,Luk. 6.27, 28, 35, 36. to love our [...]emies, to do good to them that [...]te us; to bless them that curse [...]; to pray for them, which de­ [...]ghtfully use us: and to be merci­ [...]l, as our heavenly Father is also [...]rciful. Thus shall we be the [...]ildren of the highest, for he is [...]nd unto the unthankful, and to [...]e evil, Luke 6.36. What bet­ [...]r pattern can be set before us, [...]an a pattern from our heaven­ [...] Father? Whence can we [...]ke an Exemplar whereon un­erringly [Page 72] to build our pract [...] but from the God of truth, [...] whose ways are judgmen [...] What more effectual mean [...] the impressing and setting ho [...] of practical truths can there [...] than Example upon Precept, [...] both these given by God h [...] self? In that God is thus bo [...] tifully good and liberal to [...] wicked, hence we are to le [...] kindness to our enemies, and do good, not only humanit [...] (as they say) but homini; [...] only to humane nature, but [...] men, though they act contr [...] to us, and be against us. W [...] more against, and enemies un [...] God, than the wicked of t [...] world, who are dead in sins, [...] trespasses? and yet we see ho [...] bountiful the Lord is unto the [...] in dealing them out such lar [...] Doles of outward mercies. O [...] let us learn hence to be like o [...] heavenly Father in doing goo [...] May not we argue our selv [...] from hence into such a fram [...] [Page 73] Surely the design of God herein to teach us to lay aside all ma­ [...]e and envy, and all revenges, 1 Pet. 2.1. Rom. 12.19. [...]d to overpower our passions [...] a spirit of meekness, and to [...] like God himself, (whose [...]age we bear) in heaping coals [...] fire upon the head of our foes, [...] being overcome of evil, but [...]ercomeing evil with good, Rom. [...].20, 21.

Sect. XI.

Again, The Lord gives such [...]arge Dole of outward good [...]ngs to the wicked in this life, [...]cause he would have no argu­ [...]nt for love or hatred drawn [...]m these outward things [...]e nature of man is prone to [...]her an Argument of love or [...]red from the dispensations [...] providence in this world: [...]d herein judgeth after the [...]h, as if what's pleasing to [...] flesh, and sensual appetite [...]uld argue God's love; and [...]at's grievous and burdensome [...] the carnal part should be an [Page 74] argument of his displeasur [...] How frequent are the concl [...] sions of men in Scripture-R [...] cord, according to this hyp [...] thesis? Thus Rabshakeh argu [...] for his Master Sennacherib agai [...] Hezekiah. His Master had be very prosperous and success in his Martial Undertaking (saith he) Hath any of the G [...] of the nations delivered his l [...] out of the hand of the king of [...] syria? Isa. 36.10, 18, 19, 20. Where are the Gods of h [...] math and Arphad? Where are [...] Gods of Sepharvaim? And h [...] they delivered Samaria out of [...] hand? Who are they amongst the Gods of these lands, that h [...] delivered their land out of my ha [...] that the Lord should deliver Je [...] salem out of my hand? Am I [...] come up without the Lord aga [...] this land to destroy it? Isa. 36. [...] Rabshakeh bolsters up himself a confidence that God was w [...] him: and why? forsooth t [...] had all along been so prosper [...] and successful. Am I now [...] [Page 75] [...] (saith he) without the Lord [...]gainst this land to destroy it? [...]he successes we have had are [...]guments sufficient to inform [...]s, that he is with us, and that [...]e will succeed them to us. How [...]any wicked men are there, [...]at upon this bottom stay them­ [...]lves, and yet fall so, as to rise [...]o no more? They are but set [...] slippery places, (as the Psalmist [...]eaks) and then cast down into [...]struction, and brought into de­ [...]lation, as in a moment, they are [...]terly consumed with terrours, [...]sal. 73.18, 19.Psal. 73.18, 19. Thus they flat­ [...]r themselves in their own [...]es, until their iniquity be [...]und to be hateful. They say [...]ey shall die in their nest, and [...]ultiply their days as the sand. [...]his was the ground upon which [...]ob's friends argued so strongly [...]gainst him, That surely God [...]d not love him, because it [...]ent so ill with him: There­ [...]re they did not speak of God [...]e thing that was right, mea­suring [Page 76] his thoughts by outwar [...] providences in this world, a [...] modelling all their Argumen [...] according to this Rule. Now th [...] is too low a way to measure th [...] mind of God, who is infini [...] in knowledge, and of who [...] understanding there is no rea [...] It is as high as heaven, what ca [...] thou do? deeper than hell, wh [...] dost thou know? the measure the [...] of is longer than the earth, a [...] deeper than the sea, Job 11. 8, [...] Job 11.8, 9. The Lord would teach his peop [...] from the plenty of outwa [...] Mercies the wicked do enjo [...] to look for other evidences [...] his love; evidences of anoth [...] nature than these things are, [...] which the love of God may cleared up unto them. T [...] seems to be the carriage of t [...] Almighty in these his works Providence unto his peopl [...] You see how the draff and s [...] of this world is cast bef [...] them; and how they wall therein, and fill their bellies: [Page 77] [...]ot you look upon these things [...]s arguments of my love to [...]hose persons who enjoy them; [...]or you see what kind of crea­ [...]ures they are sometimes cast [...]mong, even amongst my most [...]itter and cruel enemies, such [...]s are, and will be so, and who [...]buse these good things to a fur­ [...]her hardening them in their [...]nmity: but do not you regard [...], envy not their Portion, nei­ [...]her judge their Condition [...]herefore happy; measure not [...]ny Love by outward Mercies; [...]or I thus promiscuously cast [...]hem abroad into the world, to [...]ive check to such thoughts as [...]ould argue either love or ha­ [...]red from them, Eccles. 9.1.

Sect. XII.

Lastly, The Lord gives such [...] large Dole of outward Mer­ [...]ies unto the wicked in this pre­ [...]ent world, because this is all [...]hat ever they are like to have. They are never to expect any [...]ore. The Lord deals with [Page 78] them as Abraham did with t [...] Sons of the Concubines whi [...] he had, he gave them gifts, a [...] sent them away from Isaac his s [...] eastward into the east-countre [...] but he gave all that he had un [...] Isaac, Gen. 25.5, 6. So t [...] Lord gives worldly gifts un [...] the wicked, and, as it wer [...] packs them far away, they m [...] have nothing to do with h [...] habitation, and his holy plac [...] the Heavenly Jerusalem is rese [...] ved for his Isaacs, the childr [...] of the Promise. These Sons [...] the Concubine, they may t [...] vail into the East-countrey and there gather their gold, a [...] silver, and precious stones: [...] mong the smooth stones of the stre [...] (as the Prophet speaks in anoth [...] case) is their Portion: Isa. 57.6. And th [...] is all that ever they are like [...] have; they are to go their wa [...] and expect no more. Thus dea [...] Jehoshaphat likewise with tho [...] Sons that were not to plead [...] Title to his Kingdom, (inten [...] i [...]g [Page 79] the Throne and Crown for [...]ehoram) their father gave them [...]reat gifts of silver, 2 Chron. 21.3. and of gold [...]nd of precious things with fenced [...]ties in Judah; but the kingdom [...]ave he to Jehoram, because he was [...]e first-born. So God deals w [...]t [...] [...]any of the wicked in this [...]orld, as Jehoshaphat did with [...]is other Sons, who gave them [...]heir Dole before hand in great [...]ifts, and so committed their [...]ortion into their hands, and [...]hey were not to expect any [...]ore: the kingdom it was for the [...]rst-born. Thus the wicked have [...]reat gifts in this world, their [...]ortion is put into their hands, [...]nd they are to expect no more. They are not from hence to ar­ [...]ue, That because he hath done [...]o well for them, that therefore [...]e will do better, and intends [...]hem a further good, cujus con­ [...]rarium est verum: Nay you may [...]ather gather an Argument [...]uite the other way; because God intends no further good [Page 80] unto you hereafter, therefore is you have so much now. Th [...] we use to answer men that ha [...] had their Dole already giv [...] them, and they will come agai [...] Why do you come again, y [...] have had your Dole alread [...] So God will answer to ma [...] men, when they shall cry to hi [...] for mercy, at that day, W [...] come you to me for more? y [...] have had your Dole alread [...] Have not you had more than [...] your work comes to? Did n [...] your cup overflow in your lif [...] time?Psal. 73.7. Had not you more th [...] heart could wish? Why do yo [...] come again? Did not I (sa [...] God) shew my self glorious [...] mercy in your day, that you b [...] ing so wicked as you were, ha [...] yet so much of the good thing [...] of the world as you had? I di [...] not only spare you, and eke o [...] my long-sufferance towards yo [...] but I loaded you then with b [...] nefits, and heap'd my blessing on you, if so be you would ther [...] [Page 81] by have been led to repentance: Rom. 2.4. [...]nd therefore though you be [...]enied eternal mercies hereaf­ [...]r, yet you have cause to tell [...]e Devils themselves, and [...]mned creatures that shall be [...]ur companions, That God was [...]ry merciful to you, while you [...]ed in this world. You had a [...]rge Portion here, but here's [...]ur All. Son, remember that [...]ou, in thy life-time, receivedst [...]y good things; thou canst not [...]pect them hereafter too.

CHAP. VI. [...]at the good things the Wicked do enjoy are confined to this pre­sent life; and why?

Sect. I.

THE Third Particular pro­pounded in the handling this Point, is to shew, That [...] the good things the wicked do [Page 82] enjoy are confined to this presen [...] life, so as when their life ends then all their good is at an en [...] When the wicked man dieth he shall carry nothing away His glory shall not descend aft [...] him, Psalm 49.17. Naked [...] came into the world, and nake [...] he shall return. All his go [...] things have their period wi [...] him, he cannot carry them alo [...] into another world; when dea [...] seizeth on him, then he is par [...] ed from them: And then wh [...] shall those things be which he h [...] provided? Luk. 12.20 Though whiles he [...] ved, he blessed his soul; a [...] his flatterers were about hi [...] and his cogging Parasites, a [...] they praised him, yet he s [...] go to the generation of his f [...] thers, Psal. 49.18 and shall never see ligh [...] and then all his good thi [...] are concluded with him. A [...] it is so, that the Portion of t [...] wicked cannot outlive, b [...] is confined to this present lif [...] because,

First, That there are some men whose names are written in [...]he earth, Cum homines beati esse volunt; si vere volunt, profecto esse immorta­les volunt, aliter enim beati esse non possunt. Aug. de Trin. l. 13. c. 8. as the Prophet has it, Jer. 17.13. And [...]f their names be mortal, why should their good [...]hings be immortal? If [...]heir names be written [...]n the earth, why should [...]ot their good things die, when [...]heir names perish? Their por­ [...]ion runs parallel with their names: For he is swift as the wa­ [...]ers, their portion is cursed in the [...]arth, he beholdeth not the way of [...]he vineyards, Job 24.18. It is a [...]readful thing to have the name written in the earth: to have [...]arthly Principles; earthly Mo­ [...]ions; an earthly Portion; the Nature earthly; and the Name [...]oo: all written in the earth, [...]o as you can read nothing but [...]arth in them; nor read them [...]ny where but in the earth. Oh, [...]his is a most sad and dreadful [...]tate! and yet we see that this is [...]he lot and doom of many per­sons, [Page 84] their names are written the earth. [...]. Heb. 12.23. Phil. 4.3. Rev. 13.8. Whereas the God they have their names written [...] heaven, Luke. 10.20. They a [...] enrolled there, as the word m [...] be rendred. Their Names a [...] in the Book of Life of the La [...] slain from the foundation of t [...] world. They shall be called by new name (saith the Prophe [...] which the mouth of the Lord sh [...] name, Isa. 62.2. And their n [...] shall remain, and shall be bet [...] than of sons and daughters, Isa. 56▪ They shall have an everlasting na [...] that shall not be cut off: Isa. 66.22. Now th [...] name being eternal, such is th [...] portion too; it runs parallel w [...] their name to all eternity. B [...] the name of the wicked (be [...] written in the earth) shall r [...] and their good things wi [...] them perish,Prov. 10.7. and give up t [...] Ghost.

Sect. II.

Secondly, The good things the wicked are confined to t [...] present life, for it is their o [...] [Page 85] choice, they choose it them­ [...]ves. They desire the good [...]ings of this life, and they [...]ve them, and in that they [...]ve no wrong. Have they not [...]e portion they make choice [...]? As Moses set before the [...]ople of Israel life and death; [...] do the Ministers of God, [...]en Preaching to you, they [...]t life and death before you, [...]u have your choice; and in [...]using the way of death, and [...]rning from the way of life, when they lie both before you, [...]d you are praeacquainted with [...]em) whom can you blame but [...]ur selves? Have you not your [...]oice? So there are temporal [...]d eternal things set before [...]u, the one vain and fading, [...]d such as cannot outlive this [...]esent life; the other durable [...]d eternal, and to be revealed [...] the life to come, and so to [...]ntinue to all eternity: Now [...]u choose vanity to be your [...]rtion, God doth you no wrong [Page 86] to give you your choice,Job 15.31. van [...] shall be your recompence. Y [...] that will indent with God f [...] your penny, you cannot take ill, if, when the end of the d [...] comes, God puts you off wi [...] your penny. Some of those th [...] were hired in the Vineyard though they agreed to wo [...] therein for a penny a day, [...] they began to murmur, wh [...] they came to receive their w [...] ges: But, saith the Master [...] the Vineyard to them,Matth. 20.11, 12. Did [...] not agree with me so? were y [...] not contented to work for yo [...] penny? and there you have [...] So the wicked hypocrites, th [...] indent with God, and implici [...] ly strike a bargain with him all they intend in God's servic [...] is, that they may have so [...] present comfort in this wor [...] some credit, applause, prefe [...] ments, and estates, and the like these are the good things th [...] choose, and drive a trade abo [...] they dare not trust God for t [...] [Page 87] future: They know not whe­ [...]er the glorious, and blessed [...]ings of the Covenant of Grace, [...]d of Eternity, be realities, [...]a, or no; they doubt they [...]ay prove but imaginations: [...]nd therefore (say they) Let [...]s have somewhat new, some­ [...]hat for the present, some pre­ [...]nt pay, we like not to live [...]xpectants, under (we know [...]ot what) uncertainties, wait­ [...]g for a reward to come, and [...] so great a distance. Well, [...]says God) you would have pre­ [...]ent pay, down in hand, it seems: [...]resent pay you shall have, and [...]o more; and do not you here­ [...]fter murmur, when you shall [...]ee how others are dealt withal, [...]hat would trust me, and wait [...]pon me, (who never shall be [...]shamed of their trust;) do [...]ot you then murmur, for you [...]ave your choice, the good [...]hings you bartered with me for, you have enjoyed. As there are servants that are hired, and [Page 88] work by the day, or for so [...] set time for wages upon agre [...] ment, these serve you so, a [...] they expect their pay at nigh [...] or when their day is out, an [...] you give them their wage [...] twelve pence a day, or so, an [...] there's an end: But there are other servants now, that serve [...] expectation of some reversion [...] and honour, especially whe [...] they serve noble men and Pri [...] ces; and these, though they ha [...] no present pay given them a [...] night, yet they go on cheerfull in their service, they expe [...] some great reversions, as lease [...] and preferments, which afterwards they may have: An [...] these though they have not thei [...] twelve-pence a day, as the other have, yet when the others be falls them, they are then mad [...] rich men, they and their posterities. Now the poor ma [...] that hath had his pay every day if when a lease or prefermen [...] falls, he should come in for hi [...] [Page 89] part; No, he may be answered, [...]u had your pay every day: [...]re was one was content to [...]st and relie upon me, and [...]d no pay, and now he is pre­ [...]red. This is the direct dif­ [...]ence between the men of the [...]orld and God's children: the [...]en of the world will do no­ [...]ing without present pay, and [...]at which is just before them [...]ey must needs have, their [...]arts are upon it, they cannot [...]e without it, they chuse it as [...]eir part: But the Saints they [...]ar what blessings God hath [...]vealed in his Word; what a [...]essed Covenant of Grace there [...] what glorious things there [...]e in reversion to be enjoyed, [...] they will but wait for them, [...]d in the service of the Prince [...] the kings of the earth, Rev. 1.5. cheer­ [...]ly spend their days. They [...]ar what rich promises of glo­ [...]ous things to come, precious [...]omises there are:2 Pet. 1.4. Now they [...]lieve God, and trust in God [Page 90] for these, and they say, Lor [...] let me have my good things the life to come, whatever th [...] doest with me here. As Aus [...] Hic ure, seca; ibi parce: h [...] burn, here cut; but spare h [...] after. I am content, Lord, be burnt, to be cut, to end any hardship in the world, a [...] sufferings that can be laid up [...] me; onely hereafter I look somewhat else, and I'll wait hereafter; my part and port [...] shall be in reversion. You t [...] will not wait for hereafter, [...] you must have it for the prese [...] why, you have your choice, y [...] portion is put into your o [...] hands, and if it last no lon [...] than this present life, it is [...] present pay, you may blame y [...] selves. Oh, it is a very seri [...] thing, and of no less than e [...] nal import we have now in ha [...] How will many a soul lam [...] and howl, and curse it self et [...] nally, that it was not cont [...] to trust God for hereafter, [...] [Page 91] would have present pay?

Sect. III.

Thirdly, The good things the [...]cked enjoy in this present [...]orld are the onely suitable [...]ings to their hearts, and what [...]ould they do with any more [...]reafter? The things of this [...]orld are the adequate objects [...] the frame of their hearts.Caus [...]s cor­ruptelarum, non in ille­cebris, sed in cordibus habemus; & vitiosi­tas nostra mens nostra est. Salvi de Guber. l. 6. [...]hese things do exceedingly [...]ease them, and give them all [...]ntent, they are commensurate [...] their desires: in these things [...]ey hugg and bless themselves. [...]t as for the things that are to [...]me hereafter, the full revela­ [...]on whereof is reserved to a [...]me at after this life shall be [...]pired; these they are utterly [...]angers to, and (as disagre­ [...]le to their genius) they mind [...]em not. They desire no more [...]t what will suit them now at [...]esent, what is carnal, and [...]rthly, so as all their good then [...]ds, when their life comes to [...] end. And what would men [Page 92] that are carnal and wicked n [...] do in heaven? Could they w [...] their corrupt principles, [...] wicked hearts have admo [...] there for a while, (which is [...] possible) there would be noth [...] there agreable to their temp [...] If they be so contrary unto [...] now, much more would the [...] contrary unto him then. If [...] they say unto God,Job 21.14. Depart f [...] us, for we desire not the knowl [...] of thy ways; How griev [...] would the presence and visio [...] the Almighty be then [...] them? If they hate and ma [...] the Saints of God now, cert [...] ly they would hate them m [...] more then. Now the graces [...] the faithful are imperfect, [...] yet they hate them for their [...] ces sake, much more would [...] hate them then, when their [...] ces shall be perfect. Now wicked have some common [...] which do a little restrain keep them in, and yet now [...] hate the godly with a dea [...] [Page 93] hatred: how exceedingly then [...]ll their hatred rise, when as [...] the one hand the godly shall glorious in holiness; and on [...] other all the common gifts the wicked shall be taken a­ [...]y. The portion of the wick­ [...] must needs end with this pre­ [...]t life, the things of a better [...] are so unsuitable to their [...]arts. Their good things, per­ [...]s, may run parallel with their [...]es, holding out as long they live, so as they may [...] in their full strength, Job 21.23. being [...]olly at ease and quiet, but when [...]ath has cut the thread of [...]eir lives all their good comes an end.

Sect. IV.

Fourthly, The wicked abuse [...]e good things which here they [...] enjoy, and therefore they [...]ll have none hereafter. They [...]nd them upon their lusts, [...]d sight against God in the [...]ength of his own blessings: [...]s gentleness makes them [Page 94] great, and in this their gre [...] ness they rebell against him. T [...] benefits they are loaded wi [...] (which should teach them tha [...] fulness towards, and dependa [...] upon the giver) are turned a [...] perverted by them to a qui [...] contrary course, to bless the [...] selves in their evil way, a [...] burn incense unto their dragg. Hab. 1.16. T [...] goodness of God which sho [...] lead them to repentance, Rom. 2.4. they d [...] spise, and after their hardn [...] and impenitent heart, treasure [...] unto themselves wrath against day of wrath, and revelation the righteous judgment of G [...] Now if the wicked be thus u [...] faithful (as how can they otherwise?) in the Mammon unrighteousness, Luk. 16.11. (which, as [...] them thus abused, is rightly [...] who shall commit to their tru [...] true riches? If they be thus a [...] sive and unfaithful in the go [...] things here, surely the go [...] things of hereafter they sh [...] not meddle with. Alass he [...] [Page 95] [...]o we see wicked men abuse [...]eir mercies? their riches to [...]ide, and carnal confidence; [...]eir pleasures to excess; their [...]fts to ostentation, and vain­ [...]ory; their preferments to am­ [...]tion; their power to oppres­ [...]on; their health to wanton­ [...]ess; their prosperity to vani­ [...], and contempt of the Word [...]d Gospel;Psal. 69.22. their very table be­ [...]mes a snare before them, and that [...]hich should have been for their [...]elfare, it becomes a trap. Now [...]e abuse of their portion here, [...]nd their squandring away Gods [...]ercies, consuming them upon [...]eir lusts, Jam. 4.3. so as they serve not [...]od at all in the abundance of [...]l things, shall unavoidably ex­ [...]ose them to a want of all good [...]ings hereafter. Here they have [...]d their fill, hereafter they shall [...]ve no more.

Sect. V.

Fifthly, The men of this [...]orld, they have no interest [...] Jesus Christ; and therefore [Page 96] though they have a large p [...] tion of the good things of t [...] world here given out unto th [...] yet, being wicked, when t [...] life shall end, all their go [...] comes to an end. They ha [...] not an interest in Christ, thro [...] whom the rich treasures of i [...] nite grace are let out to all et [...] nity. There's no way or m [...] for the conveyance of eter [...] mercies, but through the L [...] Christ; nor through him to a [...] but those that are in him. S [...] as have an Interest in Ch [...] here, by a work of grace up [...] their hearts, that interest [...] carry on to the enjoyment [...] eternal mercies; The Cond [...] of God's mercies, through Chr [...] will eternally flow in glory [...] wards them. God hath di [...] Conduit pipes (as I may [...] of his grace, to let out unto creatures: there are some [...] ser Conduit pipes, and th [...] are opened, through God's et [...] nal bounty: oil, butter, a [...] [Page 97] honey, (the good things of this [...]resent World) run generally [...]hrough these Pipes, and so fa [...]l [...]own as well upon the wicked [...]s the godly; The Influences of [...]od's general bounty the wick­ [...]d may partake of, and sit under [...]s distillations: but now the [...]urrent of God's Eternal Mer­ [...]es is stopt by Justice from them, [...] as it cannot be opened to have [...]y drop of that mercy let out [...]pon them, in that they have no [...]terest in Christ, by whom a­ [...]ne Divine Justice is satisfied, [...]d this current opened: In the [...]ean while the other smaller [...]pes, they run the general [...]unty of God towards them. [...]ow the work of Jesus Christ, [...]e Second Person in the blessed [...]rinity, and that wherein the [...]ry mistery of the Gospel lies, [...] that the Second Person in the [...]rinity, seeing the children of [...]en capable of Eternal happi­ [...]ss, and that there are glori­ [...]s treasures with God to be [Page 98] communicated to them, b [...] through their sin this current [...] Divine Justice is stopped, a [...] the fiery Flaming Sword of t [...] Law is turning every way [...] keep the way of the tree of Li [...] so that these treasures cannot enjoyed, neither the current [...] unless the way be cleared, a [...] Justice satisfied; he, out of p [...] to mankind, that mankind [...] not be put off with these gene [...] outward comforts: comes, a [...] satisfies God's Infinite Justi [...] that so he might open the [...] rent, the Sluce of God's Infi [...] and Eternal Mercies. Now h [...] py are those creatures who h [...] an interest in the Lord Chri [...] They are under the Influence God's Eternal Mercies, the go [...] things of the Life to come [...] theirs: He hath satisfied [...] Justice of God the Father [...] them, and so the great Pipe [...] opened, the Conduit of Eter [...] Mercies, and then flowes in [...] Grace; Infinite, Eternal Gr [...] [Page 99] till running out towards them. [...]w the men of the World [...]ey live under the droppings of [...]mmon bounty,Job. 21.12, 13. Psal 65.11, 12. Psal. 73.7. Jerem. 12.1. and so God's [...]ths may drop fatness on them; [...]t the current of Eternal Mer­ [...]s is stopp'd towards them, [...]ey have no Interest in the Son. [...] these men have, is but a little [...]zling of God's general boun­ [...] through some crannies, and [...]s is all the good, that ever [...]ey are like to have, which [...]en it ends, they shall have no [...]ore. The fruits of God's ge­ [...]rall bounty and patience are [...]e sole, and only portion of [...]me men, who are under the [...]urse of Justice, and these shall [...]ve what they earn, and no [...]ore: they are at work upon [...]e ha [...]d terms of the Covenant [...] works: but strangers to, and [...]t within the bounds of the [...]ovenant of grace; and there­ [...]re the Mercies of this Cove­ [...]nt which is full, Ordered in all [...]ings, and sure, they shall not [Page 100] have; the drizlings of comm [...] bounty upon them as creatu [...] shall be the all, 2 Sam. 23 5. Isa. 55.3. Acts. 13.34. they shall enj [...] Now Christ the head of the C [...] venant, undertaking for bel [...] vers, satisfies God's Justice; a [...] opens for them the Flood-gate [...] Eternal Mercies: But as for [...] unbelievers (who by their unb [...] lief exclude themselves) Just [...] blocks up the way of mercy [...] them. And here is the very [...] between the condition of so [...] men, and of others: that so [...] have all their good things he [...] and others have an higher go [...] in the World to come. Th [...] have an Interest in Christ, th [...] have none.

§. VI.

Sixthly, They are no sons, [...] children, and therefore they [...] not to expect the portion t [...] belongs to children. There [...] some gifts that servants s [...] have, and there are portio [...] [Page 101] [...]at are left for children, and [...]ese are vastly different one [...]om the other. As rich men [...]en they are to die, and so [...]ake their Wills, and a dispo­ [...]ion of their estates, they will [...]ave some legacies to their ser­ [...]nts, and retainers who have [...]ed with them, and in some re­ [...]rds been serviceable to them, [...]rhaps to every servant in the [...]use five pounds a piece, or so; [...]t when they come to write in [...]eir Will concerning their chil­ [...]en, what such a son, or such a [...]ughter shall have: that's ano­ [...]er manner of business than [...]ur or five pounds, the porti­ [...]s they leave to them are great [...]rtions, such as are meet for the [...]ildren of such a father: Nay [...]ey divide the all, they have [...]ong them, excepting those [...]w small bequests, which are not [...]orth the naming. Now, the [...]uth is, the whole World may [...] divided between children and [...]rvants; for though the wicked [Page 102] be at defiance with God, [...] God by his over-ruling powe [...] so swaies the Scepter througho [...] the World, that he makes the [...] servants one way or other: so [...] they serve those Superintende [...] designs of his in the Worl [...] which all things move in Subse [...] viency to, though the course [...] hidden. Now these, as servan [...] shall have some little legacy, b [...] they must not expect the chi [...] drens portions. This legacy [...] allotted to them here, and ther [...] fore the portion of hereafte [...] which is the childrens righ [...] they must not look for. [...] Ezek. 46.16. Thus saith t [...] Lord, If the Prince give a gift n [...] any of his sons, the inheritan [...] thereof shall be his sons, it shall [...] their possession by inheritance. B [...] if he give a gift of his inher [...] tance to one of his servants, then [...] shall be his to the year of libert [...] This was God's Law, That if Prince gave a gift to his son, th [...] son should inherit it for ever [...] [Page 103] but if he gave it but to a servant, [...]en it should continue with him [...]ut for a while. So here lies the [...]fference of God's Administra­ [...]on of all his gifts, some to sons, [...]nd some to servants. The [...]ft he gives to servants shall [...]ontinue but for a while, with­ [...] a short time, they shall all be [...]lled for in again: All the good [...]ey have, and comforts they en­ [...]y, all those sweet morsels they [...]ave fed upon, and pleasant de­ [...]cacies they have delighted [...]emselves in, shall be all called [...]or in again. But that which he [...]ives to his sons and children, [...]all be theirs for ever: they [...]all have mercy for ever, though [...]ot to enjoy it in the same way; [...]leasures that shall never fade, [...]heir comforts shall abide, their [...]ortion endure, and their joy, [...]one shall take away from them. [...]oh. 16.22.

§. VII.

Seventhly, The good things th [...] wicked enjoy are limited to th [...] present Life, after which they sha [...] have no more: in that all they have does come from God's patience Now the day of patience shine upon them, and all the good the do enjoy is indulged them upo [...] that account: but the time wi [...] come when patience shall wait n [...] longer, and forbearance shall b [...] no more. God's Spirit shall n [...] alwaies strive with man. Gen. 6.3▪ Impenitent and wicked man▪ And then when the day of pati­ence is over, and their Sun sets in a cloud, and the blackness o [...] darkness covers them, all thei [...] good things are gone. The [...] flowed from patience whilst it was manifested, and during that time, their good things they did enjoy; but that day being past, and the curtain drawn, they bid adieu to all their good for ever. [Page 105] As there are some Graces of the [...]pirit of God in the Saints, that [...]n regard of their excercise shall [...]ave an end here in this World. [...]o there are some Attributes of God, that in regard of, and as to [...]he manifestation of them, in that way that now God doth manifest [...]hem in, shall here in this World [...]ave an end. As the patience [...]f God towards ungodly ones, [...]hen they die: If the long suf­ [...]ering of God wait upon them [...]ll their life long, yet then it [...]hall wait upon them no longer: There's no room for, nor call [...]nto repentance in the grave. Now if the wicked hold all upon [...]atience, when the time of the [...]xercise thereof in this World [...]hall come to an end, then all [...]heir good shall end and deter­mine with it.

§. VIII.

Ei [...]h [...]hly, After this Life, all the [...]ood things of the wicked cease, [Page 106] for they shall have to deal wi [...] God immediately in the world [...] come. This is worth the whi [...] of our observance: The ungod [...] shall have to deal immediate [...] with God in the World to com [...] Now they have to deal with Go [...] through creatures, and in the m [...] diation and intervention [...] creatures is all their convers [...] And while they have to de [...] with God through creatures, [...] unjust Stewards, they may get great deal, and may shift fo [...] much; but when they shall com [...] to deal with God immediatel [...] then it will be otherwise wit [...] them, As at great mens houses there are a great many of Hang-bies and Parasites; these, perhaps when they come to have t [...] deal with the servants, get som [...] bits and scraps, and many thing from the servants, and to tha [...] end, endeavour to ingratiat [...] themselves into the acquaintanc [...] of such servants who are more facile, and whom they can bette [...] [Page 107] [...]ork their designs upon. But [...] they know they can have no­ [...]ing but from the very hand of [...]e Knight, or Lord of the house [...]imself, this presently checks [...]heir attempts, and they will ex­ [...]ect no great matter in such [...]ay; as otherwise from the [...]ands of the servants. So the [...]icked men of this World, they [...]re as Hang-bies, and all that [...]hey have are but as scraps from [...]he servants; they have to deal [...]nly with creatures, they look no [...]urther: but hereafter, things shall [...]e settled another way, and, all [...]hings shall be weighed by God [...]imself in a just balance; & distri­ [...]utions accodingly made by the [...]ands of God himself immediate­ [...]y, and now things will be carried [...]fter another manner: the Lord [...]imself will come to dispose of [...]hings. Here in this World the Lord suffered them to intermed­ [...]e with his creatures, and they [...]craped, and gathered together, and spent upon their Lusts: [Page 108] whatsoever they hooked in they look'd upon as their own and the Lord, (as't were) over­look'd them all the while: B [...] now he will come near to them, t [...] judgment: Malach. 3.5. and all shall be weigh­ed in an even balance, the righ [...] they have to these things shall b [...] examined, and their title tried and having now to deal wit [...] God immediately, the course o [...] things shall be quite altered, an [...] they themselves stript bare an [...] naked, and then whose shall thes [...] things be, which they have provid­ed? Luke. 12.20.

§. IX.

Ninthly, All the good things o [...] the wicked shall end when thi [...] Life is done, they are bounded a [...] the utmost with this prese [...] Life, for they have nothing t [...] put into the scale for the goo [...] things of another, that may bar [...] any proportion with them. No [...] the good th [...]ngs of Eternity a [...] [Page 109] dispensed as well in a way of [...]stice, as of mercy. As God is [...]ercifull, so he is just, in giving [...]t an Eternal Portion to his [...]ildren, so as their happiness [...] all Eternity is founded in a [...]ay of justice, as well as of mer­ [...]y. The children of God, have [...]he righteousness of Christ to [...]ut into the Scale, which no­ [...]hing can counterpoise, but an [...]xceeding and eternal weight of glo­ [...]y. 2 Cor. 3.17. The righteousness and sa­ [...]isfaction of the Lord Christ [...]heir Mediator, will be put into [...]ne Scale, and the portion of [...]he Saints into the other, and [...]heir portion will be weighed by [...]he righteousness of Christ: and [...]he work of his Mediation for [...]hem. But when the wicked [...]ome before God, and are [...]rought to the ballance! alas, what have they to put into the Scale? Interest in Christ they have none, a title to his righte­ousness they cannot plead, they despighted him all their daies, [Page 110] and rejected the counsell of God [...] [...]ainst themselves; Luk. 7.30. & 19.14. Rom. 10.3. they would [...] have him to reign over them, ne [...] ther submitted themselves to [...] righteousness of God. And therefore of this prize (sometimes i [...] the hands of them, Fools) the [...] have utterly deprived themselves. Well, but to the Sca [...] they must come! Now, to p [...] in their sins, they see these weig [...] down to the lowest Hell, an [...] call for their Wages at the hand [...] of a Just,Rom. 6.23. Righteous and Infinitel [...] Holy God; they cry aloud fo [...] wrath and vengeance to all Eternity: And therefore these (i [...] it was possible, they would smo­ther and hide: oh! they shal [...] then wish they had never com­mitted them; and seeing the ugliness and dreadfull evill of sin [...] they could, in that respect, desir [...] the mountains to fall upon them, and the rocks to cover them▪ Shall they put into the Scale their formal services unto God [...] their comming to Church, their [Page 111] attendance upon God's Publick [...]rdinances, some good civil [...]tions, or moral works that [...]ey have done? Saith God to [...]em, That which thou hast had [...]ready, weighs down all these; [...]r all this thou hast had thy re­ [...]ard already, and much more: [...] there be nothing to put into [...]he Scale but this, thou art un­ [...]one, and there's nothing fo [...] [...]hee for Eternity. And this is [...]nother ground of the confine­ [...]ent of the good things of the [...]icked to this present Life; They have nothing upon the ac­ [...]ount whereof they may plead [...]nd lay claim to the good things of another: nothing of worth to put into the Scale; being laid [...]n the ballance, all they have can bare no weight, and is not only vanity, but lighter than vanity it self, and vexation of Spirit too. Their sin is their sorrow; their righteousness and works shall not profit them; when they cry, their companies shall not deliver them, the [Page 112] wind shall carry them all away, [...] nity shall take them: when he t [...] putteth his trust in God shall posse [...] the land, and shall inherit his H [...] Mountain. Isa. 57.12, 13.

§. X.

Lastly, The good things [...] the wicked are confined to th [...] present Life, in that, all the [...] good is temporal: such a goo [...] as suits the sensible part of ma [...] and answers the lower and infe­riour faculties of the soul. No [...] we know that temporal goo [...] things they are not long liv'd they cannot last to Eternity Nay, do we not see how soo [...] they are out of date? They eve [...] perish with the using; and are [...] vanishing,Col. 2.22. 1 Cor. 7.31. whilst we are in the enjoyment of them. Few o [...] them last out man's time, and i [...] there be any that run parelle [...] with the date of his daies; yet when his time is out, they de­ [...]ermine too, and cannot go along [Page 113] with, much less follow their po­ [...]sions into the other World. [...] not all the good of worldly [...]n temporal, to eat and drink, [...] sport and play, to buy, sell, [...]d get gain? Is not their [...]ength, study, parts, time, [...]wer and policy, all laid out [...]d employed, for the getting [...]d gaining of earthly things, [...]d for the encompassing of car­ [...]l ends? Spiritual good which of a lasting nature, they have [...]one, yea are utterly unacquaint­ [...]d with. The Graces of the [...]pirit, Faith, Hope, Charity, they [...]now not what they mean: [...]hose branches of the Kingdom [...]f God, righteousness, Rom. 14.17. peace and [...]y in the Holy Ghost, find no place [...] them. Grace here which is [...]onsummate in Glory hereafter, [...]nd from which a lasting good [...]oth spring (so as where it is, [...]here an Eternal good shall fol­ [...]ow) of this they have no work [...]pon their hearts. How shall [...]hey enjoy an Eternal good, [Page 114] who have not any thing as a pr [...] vious foundation here laid in o [...] der thereunto?1 Tim. 6.19. Or how shall the [...] present good stretch beyond t [...] bounds of this temporary Life which is of the same kind ther [...] with, and in nature only fitt [...] and suited for its service; so [...] when this Life ends, its resp [...] ctive service is concluded wi [...] it? The men of the world e [...] quire after no more, but wh [...] shall we eat, Mat. 6.31. 1 Joh. 2.16. what shall we drin [...] and wherewithall shall we be cl [...] thed? The lust of the flesh, the l [...] of the eyes, and the pride of Li [...] fills up the Scene of their lives That's all they look after, the care for no more. Now the [...] good being all temporal, an [...] wholly so, it must needs be bounded with this present Life: S [...] that when their Life ends, th [...] all their good determines wit [...] it.

CHAP. VII. [...]f the condition of such men, who have all their good in this pre­sent Life, with respect to the nature of the good things they do here enjoy.

§. I.

THe opening of this subject (the Worldy mans good) is so [...]sefull, and the concern thereof [...]o general in order to the disco­ [...]ery of the sin, and folly of the [...]eceitfull, and desperately-wick­ [...]d heart of man, and the awake­ [...]ing of it to enquire, and look [...]ut for a better good; that the [...]ull improvement of a point of [...]his nature cannot be but benefi­cial, if duely considered in the various and distinct respects [...]hereof. Therefore now in the next place, we are to take a view of the condition of such [Page 116] men, all whose good is in thi [...] present world, and this with [...] respect to the nature of the good they do here enjoy: which i [...] poor, low and mean, then accor­dingly must their condition need be. The nature and quality o [...] the good which the person fixes upon, does influence the condi­tion of the person so, as to ren­der it consentaneous to it self. I [...] the good be true, real and last­ing; then the condition of the person (whose good it is) is hap­py, joyfull and blessed: But if the good be deceitfull, perish­ing and a meer apparent; then the condition of the person is wretched. miserable and accur­sed, as having nothing to hold by, and lean unto, but that which is, and makes him so. And first, consider how poor and mean the things are, that the men of the World do here en­joy. What are their comforts for the most part, but imagina­ry? such as tickle, and please [Page 117] fancy or sense, a while, and then [...]hey pass away, and are gone. The things that make such a noise, and for which there is [...]uch a bustle in the World, all the good of them is but such as for a while, pleases the imagination, or tickles the fancy in the per­ [...]uit of them, and when it should come to be enjoyed, and laied [...]old on by the embracing and [...]etentive faculty of the soul, then [...]t turns into a Cloud, Ixion's Ju­no, and vanishes away. The profit about to express Ephraim's vanity upon this account, saies, That Ephraim feedeth on the wind, Hos. 12.1. That was but a sil­ly food that Ephraim fed upon; light and vain, and puffing up, (like a Witches feast) leaving the soul empty and unsatisfied: There was no substantial, real good in the food that Ephraim fed upon; the Objects of his per­suit were vain, and all his plea­sant daintes, deceitfull meat. It was,Isa. 29.8. even as when an hungery man [Page 118] dreameth, and behold he eateth▪ but he awaketh, and his soul is emp­ty: or as when a thirsty man dream­eth, and behold, he drinketh, but [...] awaketh, and behold he is faint, an [...] his soul hath appetite. The ima­ginary good that is in the thing of this Life may puff up the heart and make it swell with pride an [...] vanity; but the soul (alas) th [...] better part cannot relish or fee [...] upon it. Thus a man may hav [...] his hearts desire, but there's lean­ess sent into his soul. Psal. 106.5. And a when a bladder is filled up wi [...] wind it biggens and swells, an [...] seems as though it would prov [...] some great, solid and substantia [...] thing; but one prick with a pi [...] makes the whole abortive, and lets out all the wind: even s [...] the men of the World they fat­ten, swell, grow great, loo [...] big in their own, and other [...] eyes; but when the prick o [...] death comes, it lets out all their comforts, their Sun sets in [...] Cloud: Then all darkness shall b [...] [Page 119] hid in their secret places, and a fire [...]ot blown shall consume them. Job. [...]0.26. And then whose shall those [...]hings be which they have provided. [...]uk. 12.20. Adrian the Emperor when about to die, and the King [...]f terrors drew near unto him; and [...]e was to bid adieu unto all his Worldly Glory, and to launch [...]ut into the depth of Eternity! How dismal was his condition, [...]nd how poor and mean did all Worldly Good appear in his [...]ye?

Animula vagula, blandula,
Hospes comesque corporis,
Quae nunc abibis in loca,
Pallidula, rigida, nudula,
Ne ut soles dabis Jocos?

The wise Solomon in his dis­suasive from the immoderate love and persuit of the things of this Life, and more particularly that piercing lust of the eyes, riches, 1 Tim. 6.10. 1 John. 2.16. useth this argument, and tells us, [...]hey are not; he knows not how to praedicate any thing of sub­stance or reality on them. Wilt [Page 120] thou set thine eyes upon that whi [...] is not? saith he, Prov. 23.5. is not, there is no reality in▪ All the good you fancy to [...] therein, it is but imaginary, it not true, nor real: and therefo [...] oh doe not set your heart upo [...] it;Psal. 62.10 it's not worthy, nor wort [...] the while to adulterate your precious souls therewith. Whe [...] Agrippa and Bernice came in gre [...] Pomp and State to the Assembly as you may read, Acts. 25.23 that which we read Pomp, it i [...] in the Greek, [...]. with a great fanc [...] However they themselves or o­thers might look upon it, yet th [...] Holy Ghost tells us, That it was b [...] a fancy, there was nothing real i [...] it. All the Pomp and Jollity i [...] the World is but a fancy: Thi [...] is the nature of all Worldly good, it is a good, but meerly i [...] imagination; having no more worth therein, than what the fancy puts upon it. Thus as the Earth is hang'd upon nothing. Job. 26.7. So all the Good of the [Page 121] Worldly Man is doubly hang'd on nothing: not only in that it is of the earth, earthy: but hung upon his own conceit, which is vanity and less than nothing.

§. II.

Secondly, All worldly good it is of a very low nature, so far below [...]he soul (that better and immor­ [...]al part of man) that it cannot [...]each it, neither can the soul in [...]ts excellent motions hold any [...]onverse with it: There is no Adequate Proportion between [...]n Immortal Soul, and all, or [...]ny earthly good whatever. The soul is a spiritual substance [...]n eternal Being; But Worldly Good is caduce, and vain. The [...]rophet speaking of the Egypti­ [...]ns Horses, saies,Isa. 31.3. They are flesh [...]nd not spirit: So it may be said [...]f all Worldly Excellency it is as [...]esh, vain and fading, and not [...]f a lasting nature as the immor­ [...]al part of man; The soul is a [Page 122] spiritual Being, high, and of a noble extract: Worldly good is as flesh, low, and of the earth, earthy. The soul requires Ho­mogeneous and similar objects to converse withall; whereas all Wordly Good it is but a belly-full, if so; it but fills the belly, ac­cording to that of the Prophet Psal. 17.14. And hence World­ly minded Men do make their Belly their God, whose God is thee Belly, saith the Apostle. Phil. 3.19. But what is that to the Soul▪ Their Body may be fat, the eye stand out with fatness. Psal. 73.7. when the Soul may be in a poo [...] and wretched condition, leanes [...] sent into the soul. Psal. 186.15. Luk. 12.19. Indeed the ric [...] man in the Gospel did say, So [...] take thine ease, for thou hast go [...] laid up for many years, eat, drin [...] &c. What's all this to the Soul S. Ambrose hath such a speech upon the place, If the Man (sa [...] he) had the Soul of a Swine, w [...] could be said otherwise? If he [...] had the Soul of a Swine this [...] [Page 123] course had been suitable to him; for these things are agreeing to the Soul of a Swine: but greatly below the excellency and dignity of the rational and immortal soul of man. These are things whose bounds are here below up­on the earth, and their course is in the Orbs of this present World: whilst the true rest of the soul, it is above, and its re­gular and proper motion is up­wards (though by sin now ob­structed) to the God of the Spi­rits of all flesh,Num 16.22 the Original and Fountain of its Being. And therefore no full and perfect close can there be between the Soul of Man, and all his World­ [...]y Good; the one in its Nature and Original being so high and excellent; and the other so mean and low.

§. III.

Thirdly, You shall f [...]nd that no man is a whit the better because [Page 124] of outward things; these may ren­der the outward condition of one man in the World better, tha [...] that of another, but they never make the man a jot the better, in reference to that excellency from whence truly Good has its denomination. Do we account the man the better, because of his fine clothes, rich aray, sump­tuous buildings, large possessions, ample provisions, great retinue stately port and garbe, and the like magnificence? True it is this is a resplendent piece o [...] glory in the eye of the World amusing it by its dazling lustre [...] but for all this, the person wher [...] it is, is not a whit the better This may render him the great­er man, and perhaps may pejo­rate, and undoubtedly (wher [...] not satisfied) will, and does cor­rupt his conditions more, bu [...] the better man it can never make him. Solomon tells us, that the heart of the wicked is little worth, Prov. 10.20. His estate [Page 125] may be somewhat worth, and so may his house and lands too: but his heart, it is little worth: There's no true excellency nor worth, at all in that part, out of which the worth of a man cannot lye, and therefore miserably worthless is the man: for all the possessions, glory, and good things of this present World by him enjoyed cannot in the least add unto his worth, whilst his heart is so little worth. The person whose these enjoyments are, may meet with high and suitable entertainment in the World, but if we search into the grounds of such respect, and ex­amine whence it is, we shall find [...]t given, not upon the account of any intrinsick worth, whether natural or acquired of his own▪ but it is for his servants sake, his rich enjoyments, for other­wise in him there is no worth at all. It was the speech of Socrates once to one Achilous, who had a fine house, and many brave [Page 126] things there, (saith he) There are many come to see thy house, t [...] view thy Chambers, to walk thy Galleries, and to delight them­selves in those fine Objects there but no body comes to see thee They know there's a worth i [...] the fine house, and in the fine furniture, in thy fruitfull Orch­ards and pleasant Gardens, bu [...] they see no worth in thee. Th [...] good things of the World mak [...] no man truly better; they nei­ther give grace nor glory, the [...] do not truly enoble and enric [...] the mind: man's spiritual condi­tion is not bettered by them; but in the fulness of such sufficien­cies the condition of the possesso [...] is the same it was, as to sin o [...] grace; though oftentimes in re­spect of sin, a great deal worse.

§. IV.

Fourthly, Suppose the good things of the World were a suit­able Object for the Soul, y [...] [Page 127] what thou hast here is but a very poor pittance, a scanty portion; a l that thou hast is but a very lit­tle piece of the World. If thou hadst the Devills offer at thy com­mand,Mat. 4.9. All these things will I give thee, thou would'st think that to be a matter of some moment; yea but if God should make a thou­sand Worlds more for thee to command, all this were but a poor pittance, to put off an Im­mortal Soul withal. An Immor­tal Soul is more precious than in its worth, to be answered by the fulness of all terrene enjoyments. But the all thou hast, and which thou makest thy boast of is but a little Minnim in the World: it is less than a point to the whole Circumference. The Prophet Isaiah tells us, that All Nations are as a drop of a Bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the bal­lance. Isa. 40.15. What is thy dust then? what is thy Soul and Land, and possessions then? If the Nations be but as the small [Page 128] dust of the balance before God, then surely thy part (how great soever in thine eye) is as nothing before him, and is counted to him less than nothing and vanity. ver. 17. As Socrates wittily rebuked the pride of Alcibiades, who boasted of his Possessions and Mannors, and that he had so much Land lay together; he brought unto him his Map of the World, and saies, Pray shew me where your land lies here; one prick of a pen would have described it all. Search but for your great estates in the Map of the World, and you see what a loss you are presently reduced unto, they cannot be found. You whose thoughts are raised within you upon the account of your Lands and Farmes, and Mannors, view but a Map of the World, and you see what a little spot Great Brittain is unto the World, and wherein then are your Farms and Mannors (which you reckon so much upon) to be accounted off? [Page 129] It was Luthers expression concer­ning the Turkish Empire, so vast and large as it is, saies he, It is but a crum that the Master of the Family casts to dogs. Turcicum imperium quantum quantum est, mica est quam pater­familias ca­nibus proji­cit. Luth. in Genes. The whole Turkish Empire in his esteem was but as a crum. And when the World began a little to smile up­on him, and the Gospel through Gods mercy found some enter­tainment, so as the Opposition and Malignity wherewith he was before infested, did seem to be­gin to cease, and there were great gifts sent in to him by ma­ny of the great men of Saxony; he fearing God would put him off with a present reward, and lest here should be his Portion, and to shew how little he valued the things of this present World, saith he vehementer protestatus si m me nolle sic abeo satiari, I did vehe­mently protest that I would not be put off with these outward good things: He should not put me off so, that's his word, accord­ing to the manner of the man; [Page 130] you know the man and his lan­guage; I did profess, saies he, the Lord should not put me off so. It's true they that are godly, account themselves unworthy of the least mercy they have here in this World: but there is this Practicall Maxim and Mistery of Religion; that a gracious heart, though he thinks himself un­worthy of the least crum of bread, yet all creatures in Heaven and Earth will not serve him to be his Portion, nor give him satis­faction. Though he hath an Heart that looks upon the least mercy as beyond his desert, and upon himself, with Old Jacob, as not worthy of the least of all God's mercies; Genes. 32.10. yet if God should give him Heaven and Earth, his Heart could not be satisfied with a l those enjoyments, except God gives him himself too. There­fore, surely all the good thou doest enjoy, being but a minute part (if we may term it so) of the good of the whole World, is [Page 131] but a poor pittance, and a very scanty Portion.

§. V.

Fifthly, The good things thou hast, they will quickly vanish and come to nothing, they are now ready to take wing and fly away: Though at present thou enjoyest them, yet thou hast no certainty of them, they are things that want a Foundation; and therefore it is said of Abra­ham, [...]. that he looked for a City that had Foundations. Heb. 11.10. As if all worldly excellency here below had nothing certain to stay upon. Job tells us, that the earth is hang'd upon nothing. Job. 26.7. And if the earth it self hang on nothing, than surely all earth­ly good must needs have but a vain Foundation. There is a worm at the root of every crea­ture, and of all creature comfort, that in time will consume it. Jon [...]h's Gourd flourished f [...]r a [Page 132] short time, and he sate under its shadow with great delight: bu [...] how soon did it fail and whither a­way? It came up in a night, and perished in a night. Augustus nocturno vi­su stipem quotannis die certo e­mendicabat a populo, ca­vam manum asses porri­gentibus praebens Sueton in Aug. c. 19. Jonah. 4.10. So it is with all creature-ex­cellency, it is but short liv'd, so soon it passeth away and is quite gone. Therefore riches are cal­led uncertain riches. 1 Tim. 6.17. neither trust [...], in the uncertainty of riches, which soon disappear, or which are manifestly uncertain. The pleasures of sin are but for a season. Heb. 11.25. Nay, the World passeth away, and the lust thereof. 1 Joh. 2.17. Therefore All that is in the World, the lust of the flesh the lust of the eies, and the pride of Life cannot be of any long continuance, but will quickly va­nish. All that is in the World is but as a morning cloud, or as the early dew which passeth a­way: The morning cloud ho­vers about for a while in the air, but by and by, as evanid, [Page 133] by the motion of the air, and [...]nfluenced upon by the beams of [...]he Sun, it is rarified, dispersed, [...]nd gone. The early dew lies [...]or a while upon the tender grass, [...]ill the Sun arise, and by its [...]preading beams not only en­ [...]ightens, but warms the Earth and Heavens, and then they dew is [...]xhaled, dried up and gone. How soon is a Garment worne [...]ut, and so cast by? or upon [...]he account of Fashion (as grown [...]ut) laid aside? [...]. Transversas agit species So the Fashion [...]f this World passeth away, saith [...]he Apostle. 1 Cor. 7.31. And [...]oon do the things thereof wax [...]ld like a Garment and as a Ve­ [...]ture change. Psal. 102.26. We [...]ee that a dream is soon over, [...]nd a Night Vision quickly pas­ [...]ed; the Dream ends in vanity, [...]nd the Vision disappears: such [...]re the good things of the World, they are for a while as [...]n appearance, and anon they disappear again. A Christian is made for an Eternal condition, [Page 134] and so must leave these things behind him; the Soul of Man it is an Immortal Being, but a [...]l Worldly Good and comforts are transitory, and can never attend their owners into their Eternal States. When thou comest to enter upon thy Eternal State, if thou shouldest then enquire, what shall I have now? What is't of all I have that goes along with me now? I have now thus much, and thus much; so much Lands, such Farmes, such Com­mings in, such Revenues, so much of Power, Place, Authority and Earthly greatness; so much of Renown and Honour, wealth in abundance, a Multitude of Riches, as in Psal. 49.6. My Life is full: But what shall I have now I come to enter in upon my Eternal State? Truly, nothing at all, ye shall carry nothing away with you, ver. 17. But naked shall you return to go as you came, and shall take nothing of all your labour, which you may carry away in your hand [Page 135] Eccles. 5.15. How sad will the condition of that man be, when [...]he is to leave all behind him; and has no good of an Eternal Nature to carry with him into his Eternal State? If a man were to take a great voyage, suppose to the Indies, and all the Provision he makes is this, he gets an Old leaking Vessel, that can make shift to carry him a little way out of the Harbour towards the Ocean, and he laies in a little Provision, so much as might suffice for a short cut over some creek, or to coast the Land to some neighbouring Port; this he provides for, and so goes on, and begins his Voyage toward [...] the Indies, and is gotten into the Ocean: Alas, the Vessell is a rotten Vessell, altogether un­fit for service, and his Provision as poor as his Vessel worthless: were not this an unwise man? Truly, this is the condition of thousands in the World, they make no due Provision for their [Page 136] Eternal Estate. Know, you ar [...] made for an Eternal Condition God intends Eternity to ever [...] one of us, and expects that ou [...] lives should be spent in makin [...] Provision for this our Eterna [...] Estate; and we think of no­thing but that we may provid [...] for a few years here, and live i [...] some fashion, and be some bod [...] in the World, and leave our po­sterity accordingly, this is the whole that takes up our hearts▪ and the thoughts of Eternity an [...] laid aside. Oh, when you com [...] to launch out into the vast Ocea [...] of Infinite Eternity, what a strange alteration shall you find▪ How will your mindes be chan­ged in you, when you come to see that you have provided no­thing for Eternal Life, have made no Provision for Eternity? And now all the Worldly Good you have enjoyed must be left behind you! Oh, the great dif­ference there is between the same men within a few daies [Page 137] He that now flourisheth in all a­ [...]undance, when he enters upon [...]is Eternal Estate, sees, how he [...]ust make his return naked, and [...]l his good shall go no further [...]ith him: His thoughts now [...]ow are they changed from what [...]ey were? the difference will be [...] vast and large, that it seems [...] bespeak him another man. [...]o uncertain and deceitfull is all [...]is Worldly Good that it will [...]ot carry him into another World.

§. VI.

Sixthly, All the good thou hast [...] this present World, it is no [...]ther, but what may stand with [...]e Eternal hatred of an Infinite [...]od towards thee. It is consi­ [...]ent with God's Eternal hatred. [...]nd wilt thou rejoyce in this as [...] thing of worth? It may be [...]e Portion of a Reprobate; [...]nd will this serve thy turn? [...]ill that give satisfaction to thy [Page 138] Soul, that a Reprobate may hav [...] at large as his Portion? Ther [...] are many now that are sweltrin [...] under the wrath of the Infinit [...] and Eternal God, that have ha [...] as much, yea much more of th [...] good things of this present Lif [...] than ever you enjoyed: The have had greater Estates tha [...] you, more Honour and Glory i [...] the World than you, lived me [...] rier lives than you, and yet a [...] now under the wrath of God and like so to continue to all Eternity. Will a Reprobates Portion serve thy turn? Wilt tho [...] sit down contented with that notwithstanding which the wrat [...] of God may abide upon thee? Jo [...] 3.36. Oh, those things sure [...] are very low and mean, tha [...] may stand with God's Eterna [...] hatred. Consider the having th [...] Dominion of all the World ma [...] but to have the least dram of sa­ving Grace cannot stand wit [...] God's Eternal hatred. What [...] difference then is there betwee [...] [Page 139] the having the least dram of true [...]aving Grace, and the enjoyment [...]f all the World? What a Goodly Portion is that then, [...]hat the Men of the World do so much rejoyce in, and busie them­ [...]elves about? Surely, the strait­ness of thy heart is the cause why these creature good things seem so large unto thee: They would not appear so big and large, were not thy heart very strait and norrow. As in a little Ves­sel a thing will appear big and great, but in a mighty wide Vessel the same thing appears but small and little: So when the Lord shall widen and enlarge thy heart by Grace, then all the things of the World will be lit­tle to thee. When God shall open and enlarge thine eye to see Spiritual things, then will the things below comparatively appear to be exceeding small. Grace hath the Image of God in it, it bears God's likeness; Now you know what God saies of [Page 140] himself, Isa. 40.15. That [...] the World is but as a drop of a buc­ket, and as the small dust of the bal­lance. And so through th [...] Image of God in a Graciou [...] Heart, the Soul saith thus o [...] the World, as God saith of th [...] World, that all the World i [...] but as the drop of a bucket, and th [...] dust of the ballance to me. Th [...] enlargment of the Heart through Grace, effects a strange chang [...] in the creature; when the min [...] is renewed, there's a kind of trans­formation wrought. So the Apo­stle. [...]. Rom. 12.2. Be ye trans­formed by the renewing of your mind. When the Lord promi­sed to perswade Japhet to dwell is the Tents of Shem. Gen. 9.27. the words that is rendred [per­swade] it signifies also to [...] * [...] dilatet Deus en­large, that he would enlarge the Heart of Japhet. And indeed when God doth convert a Soul, the Lord doth enlarge that Soul, doth enlarge that Heart, and therefore all the things of the [Page 141] World are now but little. Grace raiseth up mans thoughts on high, and so he looks upon that which is below as little. Indeed if a man be below here, and looks up­on that which is next to him, that hath any bigness in it, it [...]hews somewhat great; but if a man were advanced on high up­on the top of a Pinacle, then that, which seemed great, ap­pears but little to him. So the men of the World, that lye gra­veling here below, and the curse of the serpent is upon them, (up­on thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat. Gen. 3.14.) they think the things of the World to be great matters: but Grace [...]ifts up the Heart on high to God and Christ, mounts it up to Eternity, and then they can look upon all these things here below, as mean things; nay, so altogether mean, as they are consistent with the Eternal ha­tred of an Infinite God towards those who do enjoy them.

§. VII.

Seventhly, All that the wicke [...] have in this World they hol [...] but by a weak and feeble tenure they do not hold their good i [...] Capite: Alas, they have no In­terest in the Lord Christ, fro [...] whom mercies are rightly deri­ved unto us, [...], Chrysost. Hom. 2. ad pop. Antioc. and who is the head of whom they do not hold. Col. 2.19. They have no right unto the promises, upon which the claim does lye: They are no [...] within the bounds of the Cove­nant, by vertue whereof they are issued out. Yet neither do [...] think the men of the World to be usurpers for what they law­fully get in the World. I do not think they shall answer meerly for their using what they have meerly for their right to use; but they shall answer for their no [...] right using. They have some right unto the things they hold but their Tenure is such as may [Page 143] make them quake. A right unto [...]ings is diverse, as from Justice; [...]reation, Promise and Donation.

1. There is a right from Ju­ [...]ice, when a claim is laid to a [...]hing by Justice: when it is no [...]ore but what's just and equal [...]hat we enjoy that, which we [...]ay claim unto. This right unto [...]ood all mankind has lost by sin­ [...]ing. All have sinned and come [...]hort of this. Sin has shut up all in [...]ustice under Vengeance; made men the object of Gods wrath [...]nd hatred, and the Subjects up­on whom his Curse in Justice [...]hould be inflicted all to Eternity. For the wages of sin is death. Rom. [...]6.23.

2. There is a right from Crea­tion. That right man had when first created, and in his Inno­cency it was put into his hands. Let them have dominion (saith God) over the Fish of the Sea, and over the Fowl of the Air, and over the Cattel, and over all the Earth, and over every creeping thing that [Page 144] creepeth upon the Earth. Th [...] Dominion gives a right by Creation. This Dominion is derived from God to Man, and [...] his right comes by Creation yet not simply by Creation, b [...] as so created; that is in God Image after his likeness; Let [...] make man in our Image, after o [...] likeness, and so let him have Do­minion. Gen. 1.26, 27. No [...] this blessed Image of God, whic [...] the Apostle tells us was in knowledge. Col. 3.10. and in righte­ousness and true holiness. Ephes 4.24. is by sin defaced and blurred, and a deformed and ugly shape and likeness in the Image of Satan in sin is introdu­ced. So that now the right unto the good things of the World which was by Creation in ma [...] Innocency, is lost and forfeited the Image of God upon which that right was founded, being through sin blurred and deface in him.

3. There is a right from Pro­mise [Page 145] and by Covenant. God hath now entred into a new Co­venant with his People in and through his Son, and therein promised all good things to his people. So that the right they have unto any good thing now, it is by a new Covenant, a better Covenant, (as the Apostle calls it) which was established upon bet­ter promises. Heb. 8.6. The Children of God they now claim by promise through Christ, in whom All the promises of God are Yea and Amen, 2 Cor. 1.20. The promise is an excellent Tenure by which they hold; and having an Interest in the Lord Christ, in him they have a right to all the promises, and so to all that unsearchable good that [...]s wrapped up in the promises of Grace. They may plead a promise, and such Pleas in Christ are alwaies of avail. Now, though it be by Promise, yet it is by Grace, because it is Faith alone by which the Soul [Page 146] goes out unto, and laies hold up­on the Promise; and which looks at and acknowledges Grace to be the Fountain of all the Pro­mises, and hence they are sure to all the seed of God. There­fore it is of Faith (saith the Apo­stle) that it might be by Grace? to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed, Rom. 6.16. Now the wicked they have not an In­terest in the Covenant, they a [...] without God and Christ in th [...] World, they cannot lay clai [...] unto the Promises: Their heart [...] condemn them that they have no confidence towards God, neithe [...] can they eye, nor apply his Pro­mises,1 Jo. 3.21. For that they hate Instructi­on, and have cast God's word be­hind them. And thus the wicked have not a right to claim from Justice, nor a right from their Creation, nor the right of Pro­mise: And yet neither are they in their enjoyment of outward things to be looked upon simpl [...] as usurpers: for they have a kin [...] [Page 147] of right, you'll say, what right [...]s that?

4. There is a right from Do­ [...]ation; God is pleased to give [...]nto them: he is a bountifull [...]nd munificent Lord, opens his [...]and and lets them for a short [...]ime enjoy. But how? They [...]old their Honours, Estates and Comforts, just thus; even as a man that is condemned to dye, [...]nd their being a like Reprieving [...]or two or three daies before [...]is Execution, the Prince out of [...]is Indulgence and Grace, gives Order to have Provision made [...]or him according to his Quali­ [...]y, till his Execution; that if he [...]e a Gentleman he shall have [...]uch Provision, if be a Knight, a Noble-man, or a Peer of the Realm, he shall have Provision according to his Quality. Now no man can say, this man usurps; though he hath forfeited all his right to his Estate and Lands, yet if the King will Indulge him this refreshment during his Re­prieve [Page 148] until his Execution, he [...] no usurper: but it is a poor rig [...] he has, it's a right from me [...] Donation. This he may be sa [...] to use, [...]. Chry. ad pop. Anti­oc Hom. 2. but not properly to e [...] joy: for that Imports a deligh [...] full, sweet, orderly use. Ju [...] thus it is with ungodly men [...] reference to their good in th [...] present World. They have [...] right to their outward comfort [...] they shall not be proceeded [...] gainst in reference to their rig [...] to use, God as a bountifull Lor [...] granting to them: but alas, [...] Tenure they hold all by is e [...] ceeding sad, no otherwise tha [...] as that of a condemned Mal [...] factour to his present Provisio [...] during the time of his Reprie [...] till his Execution. It is such [...] right, the very consideratio [...] whereof with its circumstanti [...] occurrents and respective aggr [...] vations, were sufficient to sta [...] le the stoutest heart, and am [...] the most secure and self-confiden [...] thoughts of man. If the App [...] rition [Page 149] of the singers of a man's [...]and-writing upon the Plaister [...]f the Wall could so damp all [...]elshazzar's joy, and blast the [...]uddings of his sweet delight, [...]hat he could not go on to ca­ [...]ouse in the Golden Vessels [...]rought from the Temple which [...]as in Jerusalem, but his counte­ [...]ance was changed, Dan 5.5, 6. and his thoughts [...]roubled him, and the joynts of his [...]ins were loosed, and his knees [...]note one against another: How [...]all not the consideration of the [...]enure, upon which wicked [...]en hold their comforts, even [...]ake away the sweetness of all [...]heir comforts, and fill them as [...]ith Gall and Wormwood? So [...]hat in the very fulness of their [...]uffiencies they shall be in straits: Job. 20.22. Isa. 38.15. [...]nd all the time of their Re­ [...]rieve go on in the bitterness of [...]heir Soul, and a fire not blown con­ [...]ume them. Job. 20 26. And yet [...]or the most part such is their [...]upid and insensate hardness, [...]roceeding from a reprobate [Page 150] sense, that in the midst of these gifts, and danger too, through wantoncess they corrupt them­selves. Jude. 10.

§. VIII.

Eighthly, There is a manifold mixture in all the good things that wicked men do enjoy: and this mixture does exceedingly impair their excellency, and i [...] taking off from their worth▪ does cause the sweet of them i [...] pass away.

There is a fourfold mixture in the Worldly Good of ungodly men; care, grief, guilt an [...] vengeance.

First, There is a mixture [...] care and cumber? Who can num­ber the troubles, or reckon up the vexatious cares, which d [...] attend, and are intrinsecally im­pregnate in the enjoyments o [...] Worldly men. They have one outward comfort, but it is atten­ded with many troubles. They [Page 151] labour in the very fire, and they weary themselves for very vanity. Haback. 2.13. Their toyl is in­cessantly great, and their cum­ber grievous. And what do they so earnestly lay out them­selves for, and enlarge their desire as Hell? The prophet tells us, it is but for a burden, and a trou­blesome one too, when they have it: it is but to lade themselves with thick clay. Hab. 2.6. And as their toyl and cumber in the pro­curing is so extended, that death by them is rather sometimes de­sired,: So their care to preserve and keep does no less torture and rack their thoughts. Their care is such, that according to the Poet,

—Animum nunc huc, nunc dividit illuc
Et rapit in partes varias.
Virg. Aen.

Their minds are divided, and their hearts as torne assunder [Page 152] with corroding cares, [...]. Luke 12.26. [...], quia [...]. whilst they are in the midst of their bodies. They lye down in care, their rest is in unrest, sleep de­parts from their eyes; they are fraughted with fears, tossed with contrivances, hang in suspence and doubt; fear to loose, care to keep, and contrivances how to encrease and augment their Worldly Good is the whole that is acted on the stage of their lives. And will not all this ex­ceedingly imbitter their enjoy­ments? The truth is, all the good things wicked men do en­joy, will scarce answer the charge, they will not (as we may say) bear charges; There is so much of trouble and cumber they meet withall here in this World with their Portion, that the play is not worth their candle: And if so, where then lies their Treasure? we do not account that as any part of our treasure, which is al­lotted for spending money by the way. As if a man goes a [Page 153] voyage, that which is to bear charges and to be spent by the way, is not reckoned to be part of his Treasure. Now all we have here in this World is but spending money to bear our charges, whilst we are on our way towards our longer home.

Secondly, There's a mixture of grief and anguish in and with the Worldly Good of the wicked. They meet with manifold cros­ses, and invincible disappoint­ments in their way; their de­signs are frustrated, purposes are broken off, and their intend­ments fail: and they being void of those Graces and Spiritual Endowments, which alone ena­ble with content to undergo cross occurrences, hence they are per­plexed, and stumble, and fall; and are broken, and snared, and taken. Isa. 8.15. They cannot bear their crosses patiently, they want the Grace of Patience: nor can they take their afflicti­ons humbly, they know not [Page 154] what humility means: neither can they undergo their disap­pointments contentedly,Phil. 4.11. they [...]ave not learned the way of true contentment. And so they lye o­pen to all that grief and anguish which any way can be occasion­ated from affliction without; or that can seize upon a Soul that's void of a Work of true Grace (for so their's is) within. The felicity of the wicked is not therefore to be the Object of any your envy, neither is their State desireable. Will you en­vy them the enjoyment of that which is interlarded with so much anguish as imbitters all the sweet and pleasure; or desire that State wherewith you must have more gall than gain, more grief than glory? oh, the many Thornes and Briers that are with them, I mean the cares and cum­ber: and they dwell amongst Scorpions, in the midst of grief and anguish. Now there being such a mixture as this in all they [Page 155] have, surely their Portion is very poor in the Earth, and in their greatest fulness they can never be accounted truely happy.

Thirdly, There's a mixture of sin and guilt. The worst of e­vils is intermedled with the best good things the wicked do en­joy. Sin it is the worst of evils, because the cause of all, and sting of all. There's nothing properly that can be denomina­ted evil, but so far as sin is in it, and in its respect to sin. There's sin and guilt in the en­joyments of the wicked: though the gifts of God are good in themselves considered, and as from him; yet so far as their hand, as to acquisition, is found therein, there is a streak that goes along. They get and heap together, but they heed not how; they encrease, but it's that which is not theirs; they enrich themselves,Hab. 2.9. but it's by violence; and the spoil of the poor is in their houses. Isa. 3.14. They [Page 156] covet an evil coveteousness to their house, that they may set their nest on high, that they may be delivered from the power of evil: and they sin against their own Soul. Hab. 2.9, 10. All their work is to make provision for the flesh to fulfill the lust thereof. Rom. 13.14. They proceed from evil to evil, and in their best enjoyments corrupt themselves. Idolatry is all their worship, and their lust it is their Idol; their God is their belly. Phil. 3.19. And as they get by wrong, so they do not use a­right; the end of mercies is not aim'd at, much less answered by them; but all is perverted ano­ther way, so that their course is evil, Jer. 23.10. and their f [...]rce not right. And is not here a stream of guilt going with them all along? So that let the whole of their race and way be remarked from their first entry upon their portion, to the time of their close and parting with it, and you find sin and guilt still to attend, so [Page 157] as every day adds new sin to the old guilt, to the filling up the measure of their sin, till they be­come out of measure sinfull. Surely their condition must needs be very miserable, when their Portion has sin thus for it's soul and ferment.

Fourthly, There's a mixture of curse and vengeance in the good things of the wicked. The curse runs along with all their enjoyments; though the bitter­ness thereof may not be felt at present, yet it is gone out, and shall seize at length. A Portion full of deadly Poyson drunk off may not presently work, so as in the very instant of its reception to put forth its venom, but by and by it does appear. Suppose a man have a Son that Marries richly, he gets an Heir that is a very rich match, and he has a large Portion with her, and you go and fetch away the baggs of Gold and Silver that are her Portion, and he huggs himself in [Page 158] his rich fortune, but if it should prove that every bagg of Gold you have of your Wives Porti­on, should have the plague in it, it were but a poor Portion. Cer­tainly thus it is with all ungod­ly ones in the World, that whatsoever they do enjoy, let their comforts be never so de­lightfull, and their enjoyments never so lovely, all the while they live, and continue wicked, they have the curse of God that goes along, and makes way for their eternal misery. As true believers have a blessing of God in outward things, that lead the way of their eternal good unto them. So the wicked and impenitent have the curse of God mingled with a [...]l their Worldly Good which makes way for their eternal torment.

§. IX.

Ninthly, Consider the loss un­avoidably incurr'd. Thou hast [Page 159] gotten one Portion, but thou losest a great deal more. Thou hast gotten the bagg of Gold, but the Plague therein, which shall cost thy live: So as there is the loss of life with the wedge of Gold. Whilst thou hast been busied about the gain and chaf­fer of the World,Josh. 7.21. thou hast lost a bargain worth ten thousand Worlds. If a man should go to a Fair or Market, and make some bargain about some petty thing, and afterwards when he comes home, knows, that by not buying such a thing, he hath lost a bargain, that would have made him and his posterity, he hath little cause of rejoycing in that bargain he hath made. So though thou hast gotten some­thing that may please and tickle thy vain fancy a little for the present, know thou hast lost a Portion of Infinite worth and value: a Portion the excellency and dignity whereof no tongue of Man or Angel is able to ex­press. [Page 160] The Devil could she [...] Christ all the Glory of th [...] World in the twinckleing of [...] eye. Luk. 4.5. But he that would set fort the Glory of Heaven had ne [...] have Eternity to do it in.Col. 1.12. 1 Pet. 1.4. 2 Tim. 4.8. 2 Cor. 4.17. Th [...] Inheritance of the Saints in light [...] incorruptible, undefiled, and that fa­deth not away. Their Crown i [...] not only of Righteousness, but [...] Glory too: and that an exceeding Eternal weight of Glory. But though the Portion of the Saints be so unutterably great, as i [...] cannot be shewn in the full Di­mensions of it; yet let us take a scantling view thereof in some few glances, so farr as we may be helped to that sight, from the Nebo of Scripture: Deut. 32.49. that so yo [...] may guess at the dreadfulness of your loss, when as you fall short of such a Portion. And

First, As Canaan was the Glo­ry of all Lands flowing with milk and honey. Ezek. 20.6. So the Heavenly Inheritance does transcend in Excellency and Glo­ry [Page 161] all earthly enjoyments Infinit­ [...]y more, than Canaan did the [...]est of the World; yea, so farr, [...]s that they are not meet to bear [...]he stress of a simile to shadow and [...]et it forth. To what will you [...]iken and compare the place of God's glorious presence, the [...]eat of his Throne, and the Ha­bitation of his Honour? What we can pitch upon with the eye, or reach unto by any either out­ward or inner senses falls short of a resemblance for it. Surely then it must needs be glorious beyond what we are able to ima­gine of it. The Apostle tells us, 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. 1 Cor. 2.9.

Secondly, It is such a Portion as is fit and suitable for an Heir of Life and Glory, the Heir of Heaven and Earth to posess; for the Son of God, the Second Per­son in the Blessed Trinity: and [Page 162] therefore ca [...]led by the Apostle the Kingdom of his dear Son. [...]. Col. 1.13. Col. 1.13. or of the Son of his love. Surely the Inheritance must needs be exceeding Glorious, when it is the Inheritance of him, whose Glory is that of the only be­gotten of the Father, full of Grace and Truth. Joh. 1.14.

Thirdly, It is a Portion that is fit for the Spouse of the Lamb, for the Bride the Lambs Wife. Revel. 21.9. See a description there of the Glory of this City, the Brides Habitation, the Holy and Heavenly Jerusalem. ver. 10. having the Glory of God, and her light clear, ver. 11. high walls, strong gates, Angelicall Guards, ver. 12. precious foundations, ver. 14. measure large, ver. 15. beau­tifull proportion, ver. 16. golden-street, ver. 21. a blessed temple, ver. 22. Such a lightsome and Glorious Portion is this Heaven­ly Inheritance, that there is no night there, nor darkness: and the Glory and Honour of Kings and [Page 163] Nations is brought into it, ver. 25, 26, The Prophet Isaiah seems to hint the Glory of this new Jerusalem in a Prophecy of the Churches Glory in Gospel times. Behold, I will lay the stones with fair colours, and lay the foundati­ons with Saphirs: and I will make thy windows of Agates, and thy gates of Carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones, Isa. 54.11, 12.

Fourthly, It is such a Portion as God doth give it unto the Saints to this very end, to declare what the Infinite Power of God is able to do in raising a poor Creature to the height of happiness. Sure­ly that must be transcendently glorious, which is to declare to Angels and all Creatures, what the great God is able to do to raise a poor Creature to bliss and happiness. Who can think what this must be, which has such a glorious design as this intended in it? See the Apostle in the E­pistle to the Ephesians to this pur­pose, [Page 164] That ye may know (sai [...] he) what is the hope of his calling [...] and what the riches of the Glory [...] his Inheritance in the Saints: o [...] what is the exceeding greatness o [...] his power to us-ward who believe Eph. 1.18, 19.

Fifthly, It is such a Portion a [...] in which God attains unto th [...] great design that he had from a [...] Eternity from making Heave [...] and Earth, and in the uphold­ing of them too; it was that h [...] might magnifie the riches of his Grace towards his own people whom he had set apart for glory, and might shew the exceeding ri­ches of his Grace in his kindness to­wards us, through Christ Jesus Ephes. 2.7. Now surely this must needs be a Glorious Porti­on, which in the design thereof, the whole Fabrick of Heaven and Earth is but subservient to. For the Heavens and the Earth which are now, by the Word of God are kept in store, and reserved against the Day of Judgment. 2 Pet. 3.7. [Page 165] When there shall be new Heavens and a new Earth, wherein dwel­ [...]eth righteousness. ver. 13. And [...]hen shall the great design that God had from all Eternity be at­ [...]ained, when he shall make known [...]he riches of his Glory on the Ves­sels of mercy, which he had afore [...]repared unto Glory. Rom. 9.23.

Sixthly, 1 Cor. 15.53, 54. It is a Portion that the Creature of it self though rai­sed up to a Spiritual, Incorrup­tible and Immortal State, yet is never able to undergo; it can­not of it self bear the weight of that Glory that shall be revealed, but the Infinite power of God is required to support a Creature to be able to undergo it. The pow­er of God must be let out to bear up the Creature under that ex­ceeding and Eternal weight of Glo­ry. And this surely must needs be a State beyond expression glo­rious, which would swallow up a Saint in Glory, unless the con­current, infinite power of the Al­mighty did strengthen and ena­ble [Page 166] thereunto. If the power of God be required to strengthen his people in patience and long-suffering under their afflictions▪ strengthned with all might according to his Glorious Power, [...]nto all pa­tience and long-suffering with joy­fulness. Col. 1.11. How much more is that power requisite to bear them up under that Glory which shall be revealed, which is of a far more exceeding and Etern­al weight; than their light afflict­ion, which is but for a moment, ca [...] be. 2 Cor. 4.17. The Apostle speaking of this Glory of God expresses it thus; who onely hat [...] Immortality, dwelling in the ligh [...] which no man can approach unto, whom no man hath seen, nor can see [...] to whom be Honour and Power e­verlasting. 1 Tim. 1.16. No man of himself hath seen, or is able to see; but Power is his, and from him, to enable them to ap­proach his greatness: and Ho­nor is his, and from them, to extoll him for his grace and goodness.

Lastly, And all this must needs [...]e now to all Eternity. This [...]ortion as it's large and rich, [...]nd excellent; so it's lasting. And this is the property that makes precious things to be of [...]rue worth indeed; when they are of a lasting Nature and will endure. The Transiency of the [...]weetest delights, and most plea­ [...]ant enjoyments is that, which [...]o much, in a serious Judgment, derogates from their val [...]e; and renders them less desireable, in that through their fluidness they will not hold. Could the wick­ed man, in the midst of his sinfull, yet most pleasing delights pro­pound this Question to himself, and rationally take, and consi­derately weigh the answer: yea, but will these things hold? will these sports and pastimes last? will this course continue? shall it be alwaies thus with mee? how would this give check to his full Career, and curb the rains let loose before him? how would it [Page 168] blast, and as a Worme at th [...] root cause all the Harvest of hi [...] joy to whither? This would [...] tedate the Prophets threatnin [...] who tells him that his Harve [...] shall be an heap in the day of grie [...] and of desperate sorrow. Isaiah. 5▪ 11. And that his root shall be ro [...] tenness, and his blossom go up as dus [...] Isaiah. 5.24. And the mo [...] when he considers what a Portio [...] he has lost, which would have e [...] dured for ever: the which [...] Moth nor Rust could corrupt, Math. 6.20. 1 Pet. 1.4. no [...] Thieves break through and steal [...] an Inheritance Incorruptible, Ʋnde­filed, and that never fades away We read that when Esau did bu [...] hear Isaac his Father tell what [...] blessing he had given unto Jacob then Esau fell a weeping: oh, Esau he fell a weeping,Genes. 27.37, 38. when he saw what a blessing he was falle [...] short of. Oh that God would now strike upon the Hearts o [...] men, that have so little minded any thing, but the things of this present World, that they may [Page 169] duely consider what a Blessed Portion they hazzard the Etern­ [...]l loss off. Oh. thou hast cause [...]o weep didst thou truely know [...]hy loss and State. That which [...]hou hast heard of the good things [...]hat the Lord hath reserved to [...]ll Eternity for his Saints, is but [...] scantling hint of what might [...]e given, and all Infinitly short [...]f such an Infinitly Blessed [...]ortion. Now compare but that [...]ith what is thy Portion, and [...]hat is like to be thy Portion: [...]nd thou hast cause to weep.

§. X.

Lastly, What is like to be thy [...]nd, thou that hast all thy good [...]hings in this present World? That's a matter of momentous [...]onsideration. If indeed thou [...]ouldest ruffle it out, and swag­ [...]er here, and enjoy thy hearts [...]esire, and there an end; it [...]ere somewhat. And alas the [...]allantoe's of the World never [Page 170] question, but that their day [...] endure for ever, that to mo [...] shall be as this day, and much m [...] abundant. Isa. 56.12. Oh, b [...] there's somewhat else remains [...] afterwards. This their swe [...] must have a sower sauce: the [...] vomit up their sweet morsel [...] and it proves bitterness in th [...] latter end. Take but a view [...] some particulars, and enter wi [...] David into the Sanctuary of Ge [...] and then you shall understand th [...] end. 2 Sam. 4.26. Jerem. 2.19 Psal. 73.17. And

First, Oh, the perplexity o [...] Spirit that Worldly men hav [...] when they come to dye. H [...] that has made Mammon his God when Death Arrests him, and h [...] shall see an end of all his Worldly Comforts,Quantumlibet delectant jactantia divitiarum, & tumor bonorum, & vorago popinarum, & bella Thea­tricorum, &c. Aufert om­nia ista una febricula, & adhuc viventibus totam falsam beatitudinem sub­trahit; remanet manis & saucia conscientia. Aug. de Catechiz. Rud. c. 16. how wi [...] he then be perplexed when he must bid fare­well to all; now fare­well House and Lands and Friends and Ac­quaintance, and al [...] merry Meetings, I shall [Page 171] never have comfort in you any more. Oh, then Death it will be truely the King of terrors to him. Job. 18.14. It was so with Adrian the Emperour when he was to die; Animula, quae nunc abibis in loca? &c. O thou my Soul! my Soul! whether art thou going? thou shalt never have more Jests, nor be jocund any more: O my poor pallid Soul, where art thou going? So a man that has all his Good in this present World may say at his Death, whether is this poor Soul of mine a going? I have lived here thus many years, and I have had many merry Meetings; I have eaten the fat, and drunk the sweet, and gone in the best aray: I have had a day, and oh, that I were as in months past; but now my day is gone, what shall become of me? I am now launching out into the black Ocean of Eternity, where's darkness and dimness of anguish, oh, what shall become of me? what Peace have I now, when [Page 172] all is gone? Oh, the perplexed cogitations, confused reasonings and tumultuating thoughts that the Spirit of a Worldly Man shall be tossed withal, whe [...] Death shall arrest, and dragg him out of his dwelling. Oh then, what would he not give, do, or suffer for a little Peace but Death's answer to him, wil [...] be like that of Jehu, (driving fu­riously) to Joram's Messengers what hast thou to do with Peace? turn thee behind me. Little does he now think of it, but the L [...]rd sees that his day is coming. Psal. 37.13. Though he see not his day a coming: yet the Lord sees that day is coming. Latimer hath a story in one of his Sermons that he Preached before King Edward, of a rich man,2 Kin. 10.18. that when he lay upon his sick bed, there came one to him, and told him, that certainly by all the reasons they can judge, he was like to be a man for another World, a dead man; As soon as ever he hears [Page 173] but these words, (they are La­timer's words: I onely repeat them as his words; and they were before a King, and so in due reverence spoke) they will not be too broad words, nor too rude, I hope, for us to hear, (as soon as ever he did but hear this) what, must I dye saith he? send for a Physitian: wounds, sides, heart, must I dye? and thus he goes on, and there could nothing be got from him, but such horrid expressions, must I dye? must I dye, and go from all these? here was all, here's the end of this man, that has all his Good things in this present World. Another when he lay upon his sick bed, calls for his baggs, and laies a bagg of Gold to his Heart, and then bids them take it away saith he it will not do. Another when he lay upon his sick bed, his Friends came to him, and said, what lack you? what would you have? would you have any Beer? would you [Page 174] be shift to the other side, or to some other part of the bed? want you any thing? oh, no (saith he) I want onely one thing, Peace of Conscience, that I would have: It is not Beer, nor Friends, nor any easie Pillow I want, but Peace of Conscience; my thoughts are troubled, my mind perplexed, Conscience is unquiet, and my Heart fails. Oh consider now, whether there be not like to be perplexity in your Spirits, when you come to dye. Let due forethoughts of your latter end now take up your Hearts.

Secondly, Then you are to give an account for all, though (as I told you before) not to ac­count for the right to use, but for not right using of what you have. Then you are to come up upon account: Here you go on to buy and sell, and get gain, and are jovial and pleasant; you spend your daies in wealth and mirth, Jam. 4.13. Job. 21.13. and in a moment go down to the [Page 175] Grave: but then an account is to be made for all. A sad reckon­ing is at hand, and such as (alas) they little think of. As a many of Prodigall spenthrifts met to­gether do in the Tavern carouse all care away, and amidst their spuming healths never think of the shot, or reckoning that is to pay. Or as some wretchless Ma­lefactors, desperately careless and prodigall of their Lives, though Hue and Cry be at their heels, and the avenger of blood pursue them, and no less lye at stake than their very lives; yet in an Ale-shop met together, there they bench away all their cares, and drown their fears; and never think of the reckon­ing they have to make, nor dread the Officer at hand to take them: The Barr,Impii prae­sumendo spe­rant, & spe­rando pere­unt. where they must hold up the Hand, and be arraigned, is not at all forethought of by them. Even thus it is with the men of the World, amidst their sickly healths they dread no evil, [Page 176] nor ever call their account to mind: but come ye, say they, and I will fetch Wine, and we will fill our selves with strong drink, and to morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant. Isaiah. 56.12. Oh, sad will be the reckoning which such men have to make, and dreadfuull the account when they are called to it. Do but now think with your selves, if you have now so much as you cannot reckon, how then will you be a­ble to reckon for it: If now you have so much as you cannot count, how then will you be able to give an account of what you have; especially when you shall be hurried thereto at unawares, and have had no thoughts there­of before-hand.

Thirdly, Dreadfull is the Por­tion of these men at the Day of Judgment. Oh, the shame and confusion that will then be upon the Faces of the men of the World! How will they then be confounded in themselves, and [Page 177] desire the Mountains to fall on them, and the Rocks to cover them? Rev. 6.16. Jam. 2.3. especially when they shall see their poor neighbours, or such, whom (when in the World) they would have disdained to have set at their Footstool, or with the Dogs of their Flock, taken up with Christ into Glory, and themselves cast out: when these shall stand on the right hand, and they (as Goats) shall be set on the left. Mat. 25.33 Perhaps a poor Boy or Servant in the House shall be ad­vanced to Glory, and you that are their great Masters shall be cast out Eternally: Oh, what an Infinite shame and confusion would this be to you? what will you say? how will you change your minds? Oh, now I see what it is to trust in God; and not to trust in him. Now I see that there is a vast difference between a true believer and an impeni­tent wretch. Now we may dis­cern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that ser­veth [Page 178] God, Mal. 3.18. and him that serves him not. These are happy that would trust for the future, that durst take God's Word and Promise for their Portion and Inheritance: but I miserable to all Eternity, that drust not trust him. And then the conclusion what will it be? the Royal Pro­phet tells you, Psal. 11.6. upon the wicked the Lord shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest, this shall be the Portion of their cup. Here's the Portion of the ungodly at the last; fire and brimstone is upon them, and it's rained down, so as it falls more violently: and the Lord does it, and therefore it is an horrible tempest; and their condition is denoted more wretched, in that they cannot escape, for in snares rained down they are entangled; and more­over to add to this their woe and misery, and make it out of measure miserable; They are not only to have this fire and [Page 179] brimstone on them, but in them too: for all this is put into their cup, and they are to drink it? and so to drink it, as not to leave the dreggs behind, but to wring them out, and drink them. Psal. 75.8. And this shall be the Portion of their cup. They have had a Goodly Portion in the World, which they have abused, their cup did overflow; and now they shall have as dreadfull a Por­tion at the Day of Judgment: for this shall be the Portion of their cup. The servant that eates and drinks with the drunken, and so does abuse the mercies put into his hand, shall have his Portion ap­pointed him with the Hypocrites: Mat. 24.51.46. there shall be weeping and gnashing Teeth. Think but of one Text and I have done with this parti­cular, Job. 27.8. What is tht hope of the Hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his Soul? Note hence, there are many Hypocrites that aim to get in the World, and cannot, God [Page 180] crosseth them, and disappoints them in their devices; and will not let their covered intentions prosper: Well, but suppose they aim at gain, and get it; and so attain what they doe desire: yet what hope hath the Hypocrite, though he hath gain'd, though he hath grown never so rich, and gained what he did desire, when God takes away his soul, [...] Si evellat Deus ani­mam ejus; Job. 27. [...]. Luk 12.20. plucking it (as it were) in anger from him? Thou fool, this night thy Soul shall be required of thee: Then whose shall those things be which thou hast provided? Where's thy gain, and what's thy hope, when thy Soul is pluck'd away? The Portion thou hast gained is gone, and another wofull Portion there is behind, which now thou art to enter upon to all Eternity.

Now know that this time is coming, it will be ere long, and then perhaps this Text of mine may ring in your ears; when you lie upon your sick beds, and daies of weakness come upon you, [Page 181] and your thoughs rationally work about, and are fixed upon your latter end, then this argument may come into your mind, and conscience preach this over again unto you; telling you, I heard such a time there were a Gene­ration of Men, who had all their Good things in this present World, but after this Life was over, were never to have any more. And now I am afraid I am one of them, and so there's an end of my Portion: only I must go to my other Portion, that will be very dreadfull, How can I bear the thoughts? Oh, I die; I perish, I am consumed with dying. Num. 17.12, 13.

CHAP. VIII. Wherein is endeavoured to mark out who, or what manner of persons they are, that are like to have all their Good in this present World.

THe fifth particular proposed in the entrance upon this point, and for carrying on the discourse, was to endeavour to mark out (so far as may be) who that man or woman is, that in such a condition is like to have all their Good things in this present World. For every one is apt to put it off from themselves, and to shift the charge (whilst in general) upon another. Every one is ready to go away and say, I hope it is not I, I hope that God hath a better Portion for me. We are unwilling to look upon our selves as the persons in particu­lar to be concerned, if the thing spoken of be represented as evil, [Page 183] or under the face of danger. Fain would we catch at what is good as belonging to us, though we have no Title to it: and loth are we to apply unto our selves the evil, as having nothing to do therewith, though the thing it self do immediately con­cern us. And therefore as a narrow, impartial search into the state of our hearts and waies, is our undoubted duty: so help for the carrying on this search, and the discovery of our state cannot be but exceeding usefull. Now let us endeavour to enquire and search out, who that man or woman is that is like to have all his, or her Good in this present World: that, living and dying in such a condition, as I am now about to speak of; in the pre­sent condition wherein he is, if there be not a saving change wrought upon him, is certainly the man, to whom the Lord pro­nounceth it this day, that his Portion is in this present World. Now who is he?

§. I.


First, That Man to whom God gives nothing in this Life, but what meerly belongs to this Life, that is the man apparent­ly who is like to have all his Portion here. If God give thee an estate, and load thee with outward mercies, yet if he give thee not somewhat besides thy Estate, a Principle that is a seed of Eternal Life in thee here in this World, certainly he never intends Good to thee in the World to come. If thou hast health and strength of body, vi­gour and ingenuity of the mind, with a rare accomplished ripe­ness of the faculties of the Soul; if thou hast Power and Authori­ty in thy hand, with an honour­able respect from those with whom thou doest converse; If a rich and ample confluence of all outward mercies requisite to [Page 185] felicitate the Life of man meet upon thee, so as nothing's want­ing of all that thy Soul desires: yet if by a work of regeneration there be not here a Principle and seed of Eternal Life laid and implanted in thee,John. 4.14. and a Well of water springing up into everlasting Life; but thou li­vest and dyest in the midst of these enjoyments without the earnest of an Eternal Inheritance upon thy Heart: certainly thou art the man who hast all thy good things here, and never art to expect any good hereafter. For those to whom God intends good hereafter, he gives to such an earnest of that Eternal Good here in this World, by putting a Principle, that is a seed of E­ternall Life, into them. There are many men have a great deal in this World, they are rich, and fat and full, and they say, they hope God will be mercifull to them in the World to come. Now this is a certain truth, that [Page 186] man who is a stranger to Spiri­tual mercies in this World, God will deny Eternal Mercy to him in the World to come. The one has an Infallible dependance upon the other: Where there is not a work of true saving Grace, there shall never be a State of Glory. Grace must go before, or Glory can never fol­low after. It is against that Di­vine Order that God has fixed, in Order to Eternal things, to give Glory to Graceless Souls. He gives Glory but Grace too▪ The Lord will give Grace and Glory. Psal. 84.11. first Grace, and then Glory. This therefore should be thy care, doth God en­crease my Estate in this World? say, oh that the Lord would give me a proportionable mea­sure of Grace too, else it is no­thing. It will be nothing to my advantage to have an Estate, un­less I have Grace also aright to use it. Say, Lord thou givest me here a great Estate, if thou [Page 187] givest me not a proportionable measure of Grace to use it to thy Glory, I had better have been without it. Is this your care? Let me put it to your con­science? Are you as solicitous for Grace to use your Estates aright, as you are industrious for the gaining of them? As your Estates encrease, does your care in like manner grow, and are you earnest at the Throne of Grace, for the like due im­provment of them to the Glory of the Donor? If this be your course,Luk. 10.42. Phil. 1.6. it is a good argument you have chosen the better part for your Portion, and that there is a good work begun in you, which will be performed untill the day of Christ. And that you have laid up in store for your selves a good Founda­tion against the time to come, 1 Tim. 6.19 that you may lay hold on Eternal Life. But now if there be no work upon the Soul in Order to the Life to come, it is not all a man's Worldly comforts and enjoy­ments [Page 188] here, that can assure him, in the least, of an interest in E­ternal Mercies: but undoubted­ly he is the man that has h [...] Good things here.

§. II.

Secondly, You may examine b [...] the workings of your Hearts about your present Portions. Se [...] the frame and temper of yo [...] Hearts about your Worldly Comforts: as whether you [...] Hearts terminate in what yo [...] do enjoy. A Carnal Heart take [...] up with its enjoyments. Th [...] Creature is its resting-place. [...] desires no more, can look no fur­ther than to the things of thi [...] present World. Whereas one that is Godly, and hath his Por­tion beyond these things, though he enjoy the Good things of this Creation, yet he looks beyond it, and God alone is the Adequate Object of his Soul, it is God a­lone that gives his Soul satisfacti­on. [Page 189] When he can taste the Love [...]f God in the Creature, and see [...]he goodness of God therein, it [...]s so far sweet unto him; or else [...]t is dry and barren, and yields [...]o more taste nor relish, than [...]here is (as Job saies) in the white [...]f an egg. Job. 6.6. Thus the rich man [...]akes up in his riches, and speaks [...]o his Soul, take thine ease, Luk. 12.19 thou [...]ast much goods laid up for many [...]ears: He looks no further, [...]here's his all. Though the lan­guage of Esau and Jacob seems [...]o be the same, yet there's a great difference in the ground of their replyes: Saies Esau, con­cerning the present, sent by his Brother Jacob to him, I have e­nough, my Brother, keep that thou hast unto thy self. But Jacob re­plyes, Nay, I pray thee: receive my present at my hand, because God hath dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough. Gen. 33.9, 10, 11. Saies Esau, I have enough, and so saies Jacob too. Yet the difference was great; for Esau [Page 190] looked no further than to the Worldly Blessing; he had Sheep and Goats, and Cows, and Ca­mels enough; this was the enough that he ment, here he termina­ted, and he looked no further▪ But Jacob looks beyond these things, his eye pierceth through the Creature, and therefore saie [...] he, God hath dealt graciously with me, and I have enough, or I hav [...] all. ver. 11. Jacob saw the good­ness and love of God in all his enjoyments, and this gave him satisfaction: because he saw God dealt graciously with him, there­fore he had enough; or as the Hebrew men bear it, he had all; all that was truly desireable, or that he could desire. Esau had the [...] Est mihi multum [...] sunt mi hi omnia. Gen. 33.9.11. multum; but Jacob had the omnia. Esau had the good things of this World and no more, and therefore he had but multum; But Jacob had the good things of this present World, and of the other too in promise, and there­fore he had the omnia. The [Page 191] things of this World were enough for Esau; But the thing [...] of this World without the other could not be enough for Jacob: and therefore saies Jacob I have all: For God hath dealt graciously with me. And as the tempers of their minds were thus vastly different, so was their Blessing in its In­trinsick Nature too. It seems much-what to be the same as to Worldly enjoyments: The Dew of Heaven, and the fatness of the Earth, and plenty of Corn and Wine, was Jacob's Blessing. Gen. 27.28. And it was Esau's too,Gen. 27.28. thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the Earth, and of the Dew of Hea­ven from above. ver. 39. The Blessings you see thus far to be much the same: and yet herein they greatly differ; for Jacob had his with a God give thee, ver. 28. God give thee of the Dew of Heaven: but now Esau's is one­ly that his dwelling shall be the fatness of the Earth; there's no God give thee in it; and there­fore [Page 192] properly it was not a Bles­sing, but a Prediction rather of Esau's future State. If Esau got it, no matter how he came b [...] it, by his Sword. ver. 40. or any way whatever; no matter whe­ther he saw God therein, or no; he cares not; no, not he, so he got it, and had it, it would give him satisfaction: the bare enjoy­ment of the thing would serve his turn, and be enough for him, thus Esau's Heart does terminate in the Creature. But now Ja­cob, though he have never so much of outward Blessings, yet his Heart is still beyond them, and unless he can see God's mercy and loving kindness in them, [a God give thee] they are not enough to yield him the least of satisfaction: he cannot say he has enough, unless he can taste the Love of God therein, and feel his mercy, and then be­cause God gives him, and deals graciously with him, therefore up­on that account, and that onely [Page 193] he can say, he has en [...]ugh. Thus it is with a Wordly Carnall Hea [...]t, as with Esau; it termi­nates in the Creature; and enjoys what it hath for it self, it enjoys the Creature, and runs away, and never looks for God therein at all. But a Godly Heart (as Jacob) looks at the root of all; it may be he has but a little in this World, yet he minds the root [...]nd rise; the Love of God, and [...]he Covenant of Grace, and God [...]herein dealing graciously with him; from this root his mercies [...]pring, which (he seeing it) gives [...]im satisfaction. When a man [...]akes a Potion of Physick, he [...]uts it into Posset-ale, the Posset- [...]le is not the thing that works, [...]hough it is that, that is the [...]reater part, but it is the Phy­ [...]ck in it. So it is the goodness [...]f God that satisfies a Gracious [...]eart, and not the Creature [...]hat is Operative so much upon [...], as to the working out its sa­ [...]isfaction.

§. III.

Thirdly, Observe the going out of your Hearts towards your Worldly Comforts, whether they are carried towards them with full bent and strength of desire, as if you could not subsist nor live without them, but they are as all in all unto you. These are the persons who have their Portion here. If you make your belly to be your God, your end will be destruction. Phil. 3.19. If the Comforts of the Creature be your only good, God will destroy both you and them. Meats for the belly (saith the Apostle) and the belly for meats: but God shall destro [...] both it and them. 1 Cor. 6.13. Look how your hearts follow af­ter the things of this World whether they bear towards the [...] with full bent or no. That [...] that hath his Heart swallowe [...] up in the things of this World shall be like Corah, Dathan [...] [Page 195] Abiram, that were swallowed up in the Earth. Are your morn­ing thoughts contriving, and the vigour of your Spirits spending themselves about your Worldly Comforts? does the strength of your Hearts move and work to­wards them, as the Historian spakes of Otho that Roman Abso­ [...]om? Adorare vulgus jace­re oscula, & omnia ser­viliter pro imperio— Tacit Hist. l. 1. Mat. 6.21. Then if the things of the Earth be a Gulf thus to swallow up your Hearts, there is another Gulf to swallow you up hereafter. The man who has his Portion in [...]his World, his Heart will be with his Portion; where his trea­ [...]ure is, there will his Heart be also. This Generation the Prophet [...]arkes out, and reproves. Isa. 55. [...]. [...]. Aristot. po­lit. l. 7. cap. 7. Wherefore (saies he) do you [...]pend money for that which is not [...]read? and your labour for that [...]hich satisfieth not? And there [...]ere that laboured in the very fire, [...]nd wearied themselves for very [...]anity. Hab. 2.13. Demas for­ [...]ook the Apostle having loved this [...]esent World. 2 Tim. 4.10. [Page 196] And the Apostle saith expresly, that if any man love the World, the love of the Father is not in him. [...] Joh. 2.15. Surely then, those who thus spend their money and labour, and weary themselves in vain; who love this present World, and have not the love [...] God in them; shall have none [...] the good things of his love here­after; they may content them selves with their present Portio [...] here. Therefore if your hear [...] be carried out in full bent an [...] strength after the things of t [...] World, so that they are as you God and your Good, and the d [...] sire of your Souls, it is an arg [...] ment you are the persons [...] have all your good things here.

§. IIII.

Fourthly, Consider how t [...] loss of the things of this Wor [...] doth affect your Hearts. Wh [...] cross Providences do occur, [...] you are thwarted in your world [Page 197] designs and hopes, how do such dispensations take with you? when God takes away from you the desire of your eyes as with a stroke, how does it work upon you? Do not you count your self undone, and are utterly discon­solate? Do not you cry out of your selves as comfortless, utter­ly comfortless when you have lost some Worldly Comforts? Does not your health and strength and the vigour of your minds a­bate? And is not the joy of your Heart gone, and you as an un­done man. Why? what's the matter? I have lost some part of my Estate, I am utterly disap­pointed in that, which I thought [...] had had most sure. Oh, this argues your Heart to be exceed­ing Carnall, and that you are strangers to the true riches. For one that is Gracious, though he may have some crosses, yet no [...]osses at all, because he enjoys all in God; whatever may be look­ed upon as a loss unto him, he [Page 198] finds it fully to be made up in God, he hath God to make up all his losses. There is such a fulness of good in God, and this so overflows towards him, that his Heart, with more than a con­siderable satisfaction, takes up here, though crossed in other things. As a man travailing in his journey meets with rain and wind, and stormes, which beat upon him; but by and by he takes shelter in his Inn, or comes unto his own Mansion House, and there he's at rest and quiet: though the weather be tempestu­ous, and season stormy, yet there he enjoys a sweet repose, and his weather-beaten Spirit is at ease in the comforts of such refreshment. Or as the Marriner upon the Alt and open Seas may be tossed by contrary winds and waves, yet his desired Haven (when safe­ly attain'd) fully answers his weary Soul with the incomes of joy and quiet; then are they glad, because they are quiet: So he bring­eth [Page 199] them unto their desired Haven. Psal. 107.30. Even so a Gra­cious Heart meets with many rubs and crosses in its way, but there is a Divine Hospitium ever at hand, in which there is a rea­dy entertainment, and this gives ease and comfort through Faith at present: and there is an Ha­ven of rest, which in the end will more than fully pay for all; the hopes whereof for the pre­sent are so influential, that (if well grounded) they are able to stay and bear up the Heart. So that Gracious Souls abide under the shadow of the Almighty: Psal. 91.1. and may safely say,Psal. 32.7. thou art my hi­ding place, thou shalt preserve me from trouble, thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. And the truth is, if thou wert truly Godly, whatsoever afflicti­ons thou meetest withal (as we say a man may put all in his eye, so) you might put all your cros­ses in your eyes: you are so far from being undone by them. But [Page 200] now whereas upon thy Worldly Losses thou art ready to cry out, undone, undone, it is a strong ar­gument thou art the man who hast all thy good things here be­low.

§. V.

Fifthly, Examine the suitable­ness of the things of the World to your Hearts. Whether these be not the things between which, and your minds there is a full cor­respondence: whether you bless not your selves in these, as it your happiness. Many say, who will shew us any good? Psal. 4.6, 7. And all the good they enquire after is but corn and wine, and oyl, and the en­crease thereof: and this gives joy and gladness to their Hearts, and is the only adequate and suitable good they look for. The Lord by the Prophet com­plains against Ephraim, that in their assembl [...]es, they sought not him, but his; not the good in [Page 201] him, but good things from him:Hos. 3.5. They did not fear the Lord and his goodness, but their corrupt natures did take occasion from his goodness to rebell against him. They assemble themselves (saith he) for corn and wine, and they rebell against me. Hos. 7.14. Corn and wine and oyl were the only suitable things to their Hearts:Hos. 7.14. Worldly Comforts were the adequate Objects of their Souls. These they loved; after these they sought, these things were the burthen of their solemn services, and lay at the root of all their religious duties. The Ivy (we know) will clasp a­bout a rotten tree, and cannot be taken from it without tearing: So the Heart of a Worldling will clasp about these rotten comforts, as the only agreeable thing to it, and it is hard to divide between them. Sometimes you may hear them tell with joy, when they are a chewing the Cud upon their stollen dainties, oh, we were in [Page 202] such a place, and we were so jo­cund and merry, and had the bravest meeting that could be. Oh, it was a merry meeting. And what was there? why, there was singing, and ranting, and roar­ing, and cheating, and couzening, and swearing, and drinking, and blaspheming the name of God, and yet it was the bravest meet­ing could be: Oh, say they it was a gallant meeting, How do men delight to chew the Cud in contemplative reviews of their unjustly gotten gain? Thus sto­len waters are sweet, and bread eat­en in secret is pleasant to them. Prov, 9.17. Does not these things evidently argue that a Worldly Good and Sensuall Comforts are the only suitable things to your Hearts? When did you ever come from an Or­dinance of God, and say, Oh, it was a brave day to me, the Lord hath spoken to my Heart this day? This day I have tasted that feast of fat things, those wines on [Page 203] the Lees well refined? Isa. 25.6. Did you never come from the Word with as merry a Heart, atd could rejoyce for it with as much joy, and more, as you did from a merry meeting? oh then, you may fear, you are the men that have all your Good things here in this present World.

§. VI.

Sixthly, Examine, wherein thou doest account the chiefest Good of thy Estate and Worldly en­joyments to consist. Thy E­state (may be) is greater than it was before; or it is more than thy brother hath. Now what doest thou account to be the good of thy Estate? Doest thou thus reason, and make these argu­ments upon thy Estate? Now I may live in better fashion than I could before; Now I may have more freedom than I had before: Now I may have my ease, and my own mind, and satisfie my [Page 204] sensual appetite more than I did before? I may say to my Soul, Now Soul thou mayest take thine ease, Luk. 12.19. and be merry? Now I may have more credit in the World than I had before? Are these the reasonings of thy Heart? If it be so, let me tell thee in the language of the Prophet, that thou rejoycest in a thing of nought. Amos. 6.13. And yet, alas, is not this a truth, that some of your Hearts, if they were throughly searched, this would be the language of them? that you rejoyce in your Estates, because by them you have fuell ministred unto your lusts?Auro parie­ [...]es, auro loquearia fulgent ca­ [...]ita colum­narum, & [...]udus atque [...]suriens an­te fores no­stras Chri­stus in pau­pere mori­tur, Hieron. ad Gauden­tium. A poor man has not so much fuell for his uncleanness, as you have: nor so much fuell for his lust of pride, as you have; nor so much fuell for his lust of malice and re­venge, as you have; your World­ly enjoyments give you an ad­vantage to the satisfaction of your lusts, beyond what poor men, destitute of such enjoy­ments, have. Do not many rich [Page 205] men account the blessing, the good, and happiness of their E­states to consist in this very thing, that now they have a more am­ple mean and opportunity for the venting, or answering of their lust, than ever they had before, or than others have? For a poor man cannot lay out so much money on an unclean wretch, as you can do; a poor man cannot go abroad, and drink, as you can doe; and you rejoyce in this. Now if this man have not his Portion here, what man hath? The Lord in mercy strike such a man's Heart in time. But now on the other side, a graci­ous heart, when God blesses him in this World with an in-come of outward mercies, though there be but a little grace, yet it will be working thus: The Lord hath raised my condition above my brother, and therein the Lord gives me a larger oppor­tunity to do him service, than my brother hath, or than I had [Page 206] before: there is such a poor man, he is an honest man, but God knows he can do but little in the place where he is, he hath but little means: but God hath gi­ven me means, and this enlar­ges my opportunity to do God service, and for this my Soul blesseth God: I account the hap­piness and good of my Estate to consist in this, that now I may be of more use, and do God more service, and bring in a greater income unto his glory in doing good to my needy neigh­bour than otherwise I could have done, or my poor brother can. You that are rich men, examine the workings of your hearts as to the good of your Estates, wherein you account it lies. If you find them work in this gra­cious way and manner, it will be a blessed testimony, that God gives you a Portion here, and in­tends another Portion for you hereafter in the World to come.

§. VII.

Seventhly, Observe what that thing is you strive to make most sure, and endeavour to guard a­gainst these dangers whereto you fear it may be obnoxious. What is the thing you labour most to secure your interest in, that you may maintain a clear and indis­putable title to it? That which you strive to make most sure is the thing you count your happi­ness chiefly to consist in: and what you are most industriously bent to secure is your choicest good. Now are not your lands and livings, your goods and cre­dits the matter of your chief care? Do not your thoughts most work about these, how to make them sure to your selves, your heirs and posterity? Are not these the great concerns of your Hearts, how to make good and maintain your title to your Possessions and Estates? Is not [Page 208] this your inward thought, Psal. 49.11. that your houses might continue for e­ver, and dwelling places to all gene­rations, to call your lands after your own names; when in the mean while your precious Souls (more worth than Worlds) lye by ne­glected? How it fares with them you regard not, or at least not so much; there's [...] * [...] misit maci­em in ani­ma eorum. Psal. 106.15. leanness sent into them, and you are not af­fected with it: they prosper not, and yet you lay it not to Heart. Earthly concerns are your great business, but your Im­mortal Souls you overlook, and heed not to make sure their E­ternal interest. You are not so­licitous about the pardon of your sin, and the assurance of God's love in Christ; about renewing and confirming Grace, and the great business of your Salvation; to make your calling and election sure, 2 Pet. 1.10 and to secure your interest in Eternal mercies, these are things the farthest off from your thoughts. All you have to hold [Page 209] by, when these things are spo­ken of, or dinted upon the mind, are some faint, weary, Soul-troubling sighs; or cold, fruit­less wishes; or dead, liveless hopes that God will be merci­full; but how, or when, or upon what account you know not, nor much care; so you can but get these more sad and grievous thoughts wiped off, and your Hearts acquitted of them; the new Moon and Sabbath gone: Amos. 8.5. these solemn thoughts away, that is your desire. But as for the state of your Souls,Luk. 13.24 Mat. 11.12 Luk. 16.16 2 Pet. 1.5. [...] Significat animi inten­tionem. i. e. A serious beating ones thoughts a­bout the bu­siness of E­ternity. Jan­sen. Beza. Gerhard. and their Eternal welfare, you never strive about it, The Kingdom of Heaven suffers no violence by you: you are not of the number of those that [press] into it: and instead of giving all diligence to make sure your Eternal Estate; you make sure to give none at all, whilst all your care, endeavours, and strength of your Spirits is laid out about securing your World­ly contents, and no pains nor [Page 210] diligence is thought too much, or grievous which is employed this way, but the interest of your Souls lies by. Now if these be not the men that have all their good in this present World? what men have?

§. VIII.

Eighthly, Consider what it is thou doest admire most men for, and for which thou lookest upon them as happy. Is it because such a man hath so much com­mings in by the year; such pos­sessions, houses, furniture; such goods, shop, trading; such cre­dit, esteem, and repute in the World, that therefore thou ac­countest him as happy? Or he's a man of great interest, power and authority; he is also to doe; what not? and therefore thou doest admire him? Never weigh­ing him in the ballance of the Sanctuary, nor considering, whe­ther or no there be a work of [Page 211] Grace upon his Heart, which is the only thing truly valuable; but overlooking this accountest him happy for his Worldly in­come and enjoyments. This is an argument that thou art in the dark as to the true spiritual ri­ches to this very time. Perhaps the men thou doest admire upon these accounts are vile persons, being void of Grace, and the true saving knowledge of God in Christ, and yet thou doest ad­mire them. Art thou not car­nall? Is not the World thy God? Doest thou not herein shew thy self like unto them, and one of them? Otherwise, thou would­est not admire them thus, as hap­py? and upon meer Worldly accounts call them blessed? Cer­tainly God speaks exceeding contemptibly of all ungodly ones in the World: though they be never so great in regard of out­wards, and admired in the eyes of men; yet, if they be ungod­ly, they are contemptible in his [Page 212] eyes. In the 11th of Daniel 21 verse, it is said, A vile person shall stand up: who is this vile per­son? Interpreters generally con­sent in this, that it is meant of Antiochus Epiphanes, that was a mighty great Prince, such a Prince as when the Samaritans did write unto him, they writ, Antiocho Magno Deo, So the Per­sian Em­perours u­surped Reli­gious Wor­ship: vid. Brison. de Regno Pers. l. 1. p. 8. 14. The like Insolence we find in the Baby­lonish Mo­narchs. Isa. 14.14. & 47.7, 8. to Antio­chus the great God, and his ve­ry name shews him to be a great one, it is as much as Antiochus the illustrious, or the famous: and yet when the Holy Ghost speaks of him, it is Antiochus a vile person. The wicked are vile in God's eyes, notwithstanding all their greatness in the eyes of the World, and though there is an honourable respect due to be payed unto them according to the power and place wherein providence has set them in this World, which upon that account they may claim; yet if they are not gracious, they want the Principal ground of true honour, [Page 213] the Honour that comes down from Heaven and which will en­dure for ever. But now canst thou look upon even those that are poor and mean in this world, that have the least Portion here, yet as most happy creatures, be­cause the Lord gives them the Grace of his Spirit: And think thus, well, 'tis true, I have a greater Estate than such a poor man, that is my neighbour, or than such a poor man; But God knows he far outstrips me in in­ward excellencies: I have more of outward riches, than he, which only serve the body: but he has more of the [true] inward riches, which only serve the soul.Luk. 16.11 He does God more service than I do; he prayes more, and more heartily in one day, than I doe in a whole year. Oh the Lord hath other manner of prayers, and sighs come from his poor cottage, than ever he had from my brave building: it was never so perfumed with praises, as his [Page 214] poor cottage is. The Churc [...] of God is the better for his pray­ers. Oh I count him happy he lives by Faith; he'll believe in the fire and water: Psal. 66.12. whereas cannot believe on my bed o [...] down. Though he is poor i [...] the World, yet he is rich i [...] Faith; and God hath more Ho­nour from him, than he has from me. In my family (perhaps) there is cursing,James. 2.5 and blasphe­ming the name of God, w [...]ereas in his cottage there's bl [...]ssing. Now consider for what it is thou lookest upon a man as the mos [...] happy in the World.

§. IX.

Ninthly, Consider the services thou performest to God, what they are. From the nature of the services that a man offers up the nature of the Portion that will fall to his share and lot may be guessed: his services point at his Portion. Are your servi­ces [Page 215] slight, and perfunctory, done [...]ith eye-service only as men pleasers, Col. 3.22. Eph. 6.6. 1 Thes. 2.4. Isa. 28.13. and not in singleness of Heart? Is [...]ot the will of God done in your ser­vices from the Heart? Do you [...]raw near to God with your lips, [...]ut your Hearts are removed far [...]rom him? And think to put off God with the slight services? This argues your Portion to be of God's slight mercies. If your services are from a Spirit of Bondage, and not done with good will. Eph. 6. [...], (as the Apost. hath it) wth a good and ready mind, so as the will be engaged in the work: but your services are Ishmaell-like of the bond-woman Hagar, forced and strained as it were from you, having no other rise nor princi­ple but meer compulsion, and the bond of natural conscience for­cing thereunto: so as there is no agreeableness, nor inward suitableness between the frame of your Heart, and holy things; no workings of the Spirit of A­doption, [Page 216] no establishment wh [...] God's free Spirit,Psal. 51.12. but bondag [...] all along. Then its more th [...] probable a servants Portion is [...] you are like to have, and not [...] childs. It will fare with such [...] man and his services as it di [...] with Hagar and her Son; C [...] out the bond-woman and her son, Gal. 4.30. fo [...] the son of the bond-woman shall [...] be Heir with the Son of the free [...] woman. Genes. 21.14. Hager has a loaf of brea [...] given her, and a bottle of water these are put upon her shoulder, [...] may take them for her share, and so she is sent away. Gen. 21.14▪ So if thy services be but as of Hagar, the work of a meer servant thou shalt not abide for ever. Fo [...] the servant abideth not in the hous [...] for ever: Joh. 8.35. but the son abideth ev [...] Joh. 8.35. Thou mayest go an [...] wander in the Wilderness li [...] Hagar, and take thy Portion [...] thy shoulder; all thou art like t [...] have is but what suits back an [...] belly, some clothes for thy bac [...], and bread and a bottel of water [Page 217] for thy belly,Hos. 10.2. Hos. 7.16. and there's thine all. Or if thou art Hypocritical in thy services: or commest be­fore God with a divided heart, an heart, and an heart: an heart that seems to be intended and bent towards God, but aimes a­ [...]other way, like a deceitfull Bow [...]hat shoots the Arrow aside from [...]he mark, it seems to aime at: Hos. 7.16. And so seekest the [...]raise of men more then the praise [...]f God; the honour from men, Joh. 12.43 1 Thes. 2.6. Joh. 5.44. more [...]hen the honour that cometh from God onely: If this be thy case in [...]hy services, that the great Prin­ [...]iple in them is Hypocrisie; it [...] a sign, thou art the man, that [...]ere shalt have all thy reward. We know what our Saviour saies [...]oncerning the Hypocrites, who [...]d all their works to be seen of men, [...]ey gave Almes, but it was be­ [...]e men, to be seen of them. Mat. 23.5. Mat. 6.1. Mat. 6.5. They [...]ayed but it was standing in the [...]nagogues, and in the corners of [...]e Streets: Note by the way, [...]at their posture as standing in [Page 218] prayer (either as arguing the stoutness and unbrokenness of their hearts, or else their desire of vain glory, and so the more to be taken notice of) is expres­ly by our Saviour pointed at, and in them taxed, because the frame of their hearts was not right; for the praysed standing, and it was to be seen of men. So they fasted, but then they disfi­gured their faces, Mat. 6.16. that they migh [...] appear unto men to fast. No [...] what follows hereupon,Ʋti volunt Deo, ut fru­antur mun­do. Aug. de Civit. Dei. lib. 15. c. 7. what' [...] their Portion? what is't tha [...] falls to their share? why, Ou [...] Saviour tells us plainly, Verily [...] say unto you (saies he) they hav [...] their reward. They have it, the [...] have it in this World, they hav [...] it now. What they look for, an [...] what falls to their share, th [...] have it in hand, present pa [...] down right, and without dela [...] They look for reverence, respe [...] and applause amongst men, a [...] they have it: They would b [...] called of men Rabbi, Rabbi, [...] [Page 219] men call them so: They would be fat and shine, according to that of the Prophet Jer. 5.28. and have their cup with the good things of this life to over­flow; and they have their de­sire. This is the reward they look for, and they have it. Ve­rily I say unto you, they have their reward: And here is all that e­ver they are like to have. Thus Hypocritical services sometimes meet with Temporal good things here; but they never reach Eternal.

§. X.

Tenthly, Let me ask the que­stion, hast thou been heretofore forward in the profession of Re­ligion, having had some works of Conviction and Illumination passed over thy conscience, and so hast tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the World to come? hast thou for­merly heard the word preached, [Page 220] and with joy received it? Heb. 6.5. Luk. 8.13. Isa. 58.2. Si quis Christo temporalia praeponat, non est in eo funda­mentum Christus. Aug. de Ci­vit. Dei. lib. 21. cap. 26. hast thou taken delight in approaching unto God, and to know his waies? and now art turned back to the old Vomit, and hast forsaken the waies of God, so as those Ordinances which sometimes were sweet to thee, are (as un­savoury) laid aside, and have lost their wonted relish in thy ac­count? oh, this is a fearfull sign, that the World and Lusts there­of have gotten a strong hold in thy heart, and sway the Scepter there; and that thou art one of those, who shall have all their good things here. There is [...] dreadfull Scripture for this, i [...] Jerem. 17.13. O Lord, the ho [...] of Israel, all that forsake thee sha [...] be ashamed: and they that depar [...] from me shall be written in th [...] Earth, because they have forsake [...] the Lord, the fountain of livi [...] waters. All that depart fro [...] God shall be written in the Earth; An heavy Doom is this for all those that have profe [...] [Page 221] the knowledge of God and his wayes, and yet turn from the Holy Commandment delivered un­to them. Oh, 2 Pet. 2.21. it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, then after they have known it to turn aside. To depart from God after there has been a turning to him is so evil in it's nature,Multi a­missa cha­ritate prop­terea non exeunt fo­ras, quia secularibus emolumen­tis tenen­tur, & sua quaerentes, non quae Je­su Christi, non a Chri­sti unitate, sed a suis commodis nolunt rece­dere. Aug. de Bapt. Contr. Do­nat. lib. 4. cap. 10. that it is a grievous pro­vocation: As in all sin there is a departing from God, so this is attended with an extraordinary aggravation. Hence the Lord expostulates the case with Israel about this sin in an upbraiding manner, Jer. 2.5. Thus saith the Lord, what iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone farr from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain? And threatens them ver. 9. Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith the Lord, and with your Childrens Children will I plead. I will not only plead with you, but with your Childrens Chil­dren: I will remember this your [Page 222] sin to suceeding generations. And here, they that depart from God, and forsake his waies, shall be written in the Earth. The names of true believers are written in Heaven. Luk. 10.20. they are enrolled there in those everlast­ing records ne'er to be razed nor blotted out: They have an ever­lasting name that shall not be cut off. Isa. 56.5. But those that depart from the Lord have their names written in the Earth: they may take their Portion, there, their name and substance is lod­ged in the Earth, and after a while shall rot and perish. Sad is the sentence of having the name written in the Earth which, when it is sought for, is blotted out, and cannot b [...] found: yet thus it will be with all those that depart from God, they shall have their names writ­ten in the Earth. Psal. 109.13. He loved the Earth (saith God of the world­ling) and let him take it; he had rather have had a great [Page 223] name in the Earth, (to call his Lands after his own name, Psal. 49.11.) than to have his name written in the Book of Life, and so he forsook my waies: therefore his name shall be writ­ten in the Earth; and let him take his good things there. But when my People come up in re­membrance before me, and the Book of remembrance shall be open­ed, Mal. 3.16. to give them Eternal Mercies; the memory of this man, whose name is writ­ten in the Earth, shall perish. Therefore if thou hast been for­ward heretofore, and now when thou commest to be more anti­ent, thou art remiss, and dull, and careless in the way and work of the Lord, here's a text for thee; go home, and trem­ble, least thou be the man or woman whose name is written in the Earth, and so art never to enjoy the good things of Hea­ven.

§. XI.

In the Eleventh place, consider whether God at present do not curse thy blessings: so as thou findest that the more thou hast, the worse thou growest. Thou art not bettter, but worse from time to time, by the good things of the WorId that are heaped upon thee. The outward Por­tion thou enjoyest it worketh not for the better, but for the worse unto thee. True it is, thou art better as to thy body, thine eyes may stand out with fat­ness: Psal. 73.7, 8. Job. 20.6. Job. 21.7.12, 13. and collops of fat are upon thy flanks, as Job has it, chap. 15.27. thy head it reacheth unto the Clouds: and thy tongue it walketh through the Earth, Psal. 73.9. thou art mighty in power; and thy House is safe from fear: thou spen­dest thy daies in wealth, rejoycing at the sound of the Organ. Thus thou hast got a belly-full of the good things of this World: [Page 225] but how fares it with thy soul all the while? Alas, it's poor, and lean, and thin, and bare: thy body's in good likeing, but there's leaness sent into thy soul, Psal. 106.15. It's worse with thee now than it was formerly. Since thy brests are fashioned, and thine hair is grown (Ezek. 16.7.) 'tis worse with the, than when thou wast naked and bare. In for­mer daies thou wast more hum­ble, and holy, and self-denying: more pitifull and compassionate to the needy: more upright and conscientious in thy deal­ings.Job. 20.23 But now in the fulness of thy sufficiency, pride compasseth thee about as a chain: and violence co­vereth thee as a garment. Psal. 73.7. The more thou hast the worse thou art grown. This is a sign, that together with thy Portion, thou hast the curse of God along upon thee. And if so, thou art the man, that is likely to have all thy good things here. He for whom [Page 226] there is a reservation of eternal mercies in the life to come, has the blessing of God going along with his enjoyments here, san­ctifying them unto him, and e­nabling him through grace to a right improvement of them: so as his soul is bettered by them, growing more thankfull, more holy, more heavenly, this is the fruit of Gods grace and blessing, as well upon a prosperous, as ad­verse condition. For all condi­tions of themselves are equally insufficient for the production of any spiritual good, without the concurrence of Gods grace and blessing with them. Now this argues something of good reserved in store for us for the time to come, where the blessing of God is upon us in our enjoy­ments here, keeping us low, humble, holy, and self denying. But where the mercies of God abound, and the heart grows worse, and worse; so as the more that Worldly Good comes [Page 227] in, the less of Spiritual Good there's to be found, this aboads the condition evil, as having the curse of God upon it. As if a man should eat meat at ones table, and as soon as he hath eaten it, begin to swell, he will conclude certainly the meat was poysoned: So when thy e­state rises, and thy heart riseth in pride together with it, surely thy corruption poysoneth thy estate unto thee; and instead of a blessing, thou hast the curse of God upon it. And if so, thou mayest take the World here for thy portion, for thou art the man who art likely to have no good thing hereafter.

§. XII.

Twelfthly, Whether hath God convinced thee of that which stops the great current of his mercy, and of the right way to have it opened? What it is that laies (as it were) a re­straint, [Page 228] and why, upon the cur­rent of his choice mercies; and how that restraint is to be re­moved? If the choice mercies in Christ be designed for thy portion; this he has, or will certainly convince thee of. Now that which stops the great current of Gods choice mercies is, Divine Justice: and this by reason of our sin. So that untill Divine Justice be satisfied, and sin removed, and taken away, the great current of Gods choice mercies cannot be open­ed. But now the Lord Christ the Son of God, and Second Person in the Blessed Trinity he is come into the World, and by his Blessed Mediation for us, sa­tisfies Divine Justice, and is that Lamb of God, Isa. 53.11. Joh. 1.29. which takes a­way the sin of the World: and in and through him only the great current of Gods Eternal Grace is opened, even the exceeding ri­ches of his grace, in his kindness towards us through Christ Jesus, [Page 229] Ephes. 2.7. Now hath the Lord convinced thee of this, [...], Matth. 20.28. [...], 1 Tim. 2.5. [...] Eph. 5.2. [...], Heb. 9.12. [...], Gal. 3.13. [...]. 1 Cor. 1.30. [...], 1 Joh. 2.2. and let thee see thy great need of Christ, and that without him, thou art undone for ever; so that thy heart breaths after him, as the great and alone peace-maker between God and thy Soul? Doest thou see that wide breach which thy sins have made between God and thee, and which by no other means can be made up, but only by the Mediation of the Son of God? And art thou convinced that the current of Gods Eternal Mercies can flow out no other way towards thee, but only through the Golden Pipe of the Lord Christ's Mediation? And therefore, thou sayest, Lord it is not from any righteousness of mine, nor from any thing that any Creature in Heaven or Earth can do, that I expect to have my Portion, but through the Mediation of the Son of God. That's the thing I look [Page 230] after, my heart closes with that Mediation, I looked upon that as the mean of all my worth, and of the conveyance of all my mercies. If it be thus with thee, then here's the man indeed, that is not like to have his good things in this World. He looks for other guess mercies from the Mediation of Christ, than any this World can afford; and in due time shall have them. But now the man that has his Porti­on in this World, looks no fur­ther but to Gods general boun­ty: never considers what stops the great current of Gods Grace; is not convinced of the indispensable perfection of Gods Justice, nor of that infinite breach which sin as made be­twixt God and Man; is not sensible of the absolute need there is of Christ, and of his sa­tisfaction unto Divine Justice: and so to pant after Christ for relief and succour, through whom alone he may enjoy the [Page 231] pardon of his sin, and have the Conduit of Gods choice mer­cies opened. No, these are all as Ridles to him, he under­stands not what they mean; all he looks after, is some overflow­ings of Gods General bounty here in this World towards him, in the enjoyment whereof (had he 'em but) he could se­curely acquiesce, and sing a requi­em to his Soul, now Soul, take thine ease: as if his Soul were no other than of a brute. This now is the man that is like to have all his good things here. For those to whom God gives Eternal Mercies, he convinces them of the evil of their sin, of that infinite breach that sin has made between God and their Souls, and how that no Creature in Heaven or in Earth could sa­tisfie Divine Justice, and make up that breach, and open the current of Gods Eternal Grace, but only the Lord Christ must come, through whom alone [Page 232] there is Peace and Reconcilati­on to be enjoyed: and so lets them see their absolute need of Christ for Salvation, and stirs up all the powers of their Souls to breath after him, and Eter­nal mercies in him. Now if it be not thus with thee, that God has not caused this Conviction-work to pass upon thy Soul, and enlarged thy heart after these things, through which he car­ries on his People to a full enjoy­ment of himself in Glory; but thou sittest down under the shade of Gods general bounty, and so makest to thy self a fig­leaf covering and there takest up thy rest; know that the issues of Gods general bounty are like to be thy Portion, and thou hast all thy good things here.

§. XIII.

Moreover, that man is like to have all his good things in this present life, whose days are spent and past away, without some fear upon his heart, lest God should put him off with the things of this present world. He that enjoys a considerable Income of outward mercies, and has not his Spirit sometimes touched with a fear and dread least God should put him off so: this is very likely to be the man, all whose good things are here. There is some danger in this respect; and it is to be fea­ [...]ed, that there are not a few, who fill their Bellies with the good things of this l [...]fe, and never so much as call their state in question within themselves, nor mind the answer of their hearts, how it shall go with them to all Eternity: whether the things they now enjoy be not the All, [Page 234] that ever they are like to have? Job hints such a Generation to us, whose outward condition in this world was prosperously hap­py:Job 21.13. they had what heart could wish: but perhaps this might not long continue with them, they might perchance out-live their felicity. No, says he, They became old, and were mighty in power still, Job 21.7. But surely then in their old age they would begin to consider their latter end; Job 32.7. Days would speak, and mul­titude of Years would teach wis­dom: Hos. 7.9. When gray hairs were here and there upon them; they would then surely bethink themselves▪ and since their condition has been all along so good and hap­py, they would fear lest here should be their Portion? No, they would not: Their houses are safe [or peace] from fear, all's calm and quiet with them: Ay, but before they come to die, they'l surely put the Question to themselves about their Eter­nal [Page 235] state; they'l never go on so [...]ottishly to their very latter end, but they'l examine and en­quire before they drop into the Grave? No, they will not; They spend their days in wealth [ [...] mirth] and in a moment go down to the grave: Job 21.13. A sad going down, eternal de­ [...]truction entred upon in a mo­ment.Consument in bono dies suos. Job 21.13. How miserably are these men deceived, they thought their condition happy, and blessed themselves in their Enjoyments, they never feared nor question­ed lest their portion should be in this World: This never came [...]p upon their thoughts, and so, they spent their days in wealth, and in a moment went down to the grave. The like sensless frame of heart we find set forth by David in the 49th Psalm, Psal. 49.6. speak­ing there of such a Generation of men, who did trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in [...]e multitude of their riches: yea, [...] surely they would not al­ways [Page 236] trust, but somtimes fear lest their wealth and the multitude of their riches should be all their Portion? No, their inward thought is, that their Houses shall continue for ever; and their dwel­ling Places to all Generations; they call their Lands after their own Names, verse 11. But surely be­fore they die they will bethink themselves? No, they go on still in a secure condition, void of fear, and like Sheep they are laid in the Grave, Death shall feed on them, and the Ʋpright shall have dominion over them in the Morning; verse 14. They liv'd like Brutes, seeking satisfaction to their sensual appetites, and like Brutes they come to die▪ like Sheep they are laid in the Grave, and Death feeds upon them. The Apostle tells us of some men, who feed themselves without fear. Jude 12. These are spots when they feast with you, feed­ing themselves without fear. They never question what their latter [Page 237] end shall be, or whether here [...]hall not be the All of good that ever they are like to enjoy. You can go now to a Merry-meeting, and you can feast and feed upon [...]he Cheer, and you eat without fear; you never have such a thought in your heart; What [...]f God should put me off with these things? I hear indeed there are some men put off so, what if it should prove to be my Portion? Oh, what a mise­rable Creature were I then! I fear there are some men never had such a thought in all their lives. The wicked are described to be men that eat without fear, never thinking of a change, nor having the least suspicion or jea­lousie of their present states: And so as the Fishes that are ta­ken in an evil Net, and as the Birds that are in the Snares; so are they snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them: Eccles. 9.12.

§. XIV.

Furthermore, That man [...] like to have all his good things [...] this life, whose thoughts are [...] relieve his Conscience, in [...] guilt of the least sin, with th [...] consideration of the outwar [...] Comforts he does enjoy. Th [...] is the temper of wicked worldly-minded men, who have the [...] Portion in this life; they see [...] to relieve their consciences, thei [...] guilty consciences, with the re­joycing in their Riches, and i [...] their Estates, and in what the have gotten. We have a notable Scripture for this; Isa. 57.10. Thou hast found the life [...] thine hand, therefore thou wast n [...] grieved. It may be if a man goe [...] on in an evil way, and doth no [...] prosper in it, if God crosseth him in it, then he begins to be­think himself; Is not this a sin­ful way? Doth not God op­pose me in it? And then, not [Page 239] finding the life of his hand, —populus me sibilat, at mihi plaudo ipse domi simulac nummos contemplor in arca. he be­ [...]ins to be grieved: But if he [...]an find the life of his hand go on, [...]nd prosper, and have what he [...]esires, than he will not be grie­ [...]ed, but his heart grows hard­ [...]ed. Thus wicked men set their Riches and Estates against all [...]heir sin and guiltiness, and think [...]hey will countervail it. Oh, this [...]s a sure sign of a worldly heart; none more sure, than when a man can set the good things of this world against the guilt of sin; can put any worldly thing into the Balance to weigh down the guilt of sin; here's a worldly heart indeed, a wretched heart, one like to have his Portion here. This was the wicked frame of E­phraim, in charge against him by the Prophet Hosea, Chap. 12.7, 8. There he reproves their fraud and oppression in matters of Trade and dealing, and tells Ephraim, that he is a Merchant, the Balances of Deceit are in his hand, he loveth to oppress: Here [Page 240] Ephraim's sin is plainly detected, and charged home upon him But how does this Reproof tak [...] with Ephraim? Why, see, how he awards the blow: he ha [...] found the l [...]fe of his hand, he grown rich, and fat, and full and his corrupt heart is taugh [...] this Devillish guile, to set hi [...] Gain against his Guilt, and to countervail his Sin by his Sub­stance: For thus he pleads, i [...] not openly, yet in the reserve of his own heart, and it serve his turn for the present; Well (as if he he should say) Choose it, here's a Charge brought a­gainst me, and laid upon my Conscience, but I matter it not; though there be some guilt in it, Yet I am become rich, I have found me out Substance.. You tax me with fraud and oppres­sion in my dealing, I know more of the mystery of Trade than you can tell me: But however (say what you will) I prosper and thrive by th' bargain; I am [Page 241] become rich, I have found me out substance; I have this to set a­gainst the guilt of any sin you can charge upon me. Oh, here's a man of the World indeed, that can thus trust in uncertain riches: 1 Tim. 6.17. And bless himself in his Estate; and en­deavours to daub up the Wall of his guilty Conscience with the untempered Morter of his ill-gotten Substance: and tho' he has contracted much guilt in an evil way, yet he can set the gain of sin against its evil, and countervail sin's guilt, by its ad­vantage. Now if this man have not his Portion in this World, what man shall?

§. XV.

Moreover, That man also is very likely to have all his good things here, whom God suffers to go on and prosper in a wic­ked way; and lets him take his fill of the vanities of this world without controll. The Psalmist speaks of such as have [no bands in their death] Implying that they have no bands in their life neither.Job 21.9. For the Rod of God is not upon them: They are not in trouble as other men, neither are they plagued like other men: Psal. 73.4, 5. Therefore pride compasseth them about as a Chain; violence covereth them as with a garment. These are the ungodly, who prosper in the world, they encrease in riches, verse 12. Now thus to go on and prosper in a way of wick­edness, is a pregnant Evidence that such men have all their good in this present World. For see the end of these men, as in [Page 243] the same Psalm described: Thou didst set them (says he) in slip­pery places: thou castest them down into destruction. How are they brought into desolation as in a moment? they are utterly consu­med with terrors: Psal. 73.18, 19. Surely all the good, and good days of these men must needs be past before, when as now they are cast down into destru­ction, and there not only con­sumed, but [utterly consumed] with terrors: which argues the final and full reward and wages of sin to be issued out upon them. Thus, the Lord, having no fur­ther nor other good in store for a People, than what here they do enjoy, finding them incorri­gible in their way of wicked­ness, has sometimes left them to themselves to go on in sin, and prosper; resolving not to cross them in their evil course, till he caused final destruction to seise upon them. A notable Scri­pture we have for this in Ho­sea [Page 244] 4.14.Hos. 4.8. Israel had given them­selves to spiritual whoredom, and they set their heart on their ini­quity; Percussi sunt animi caecitate, ut nec intelli­gant delicta nec plan­gant. In ig­nantis Dei major est haec ira. Cypria. de laps. they were incorrigibly bent upon their evil way. There­fore (saith God) I will not pu­nish your daughters when they com­mit whoredom, nor your spouses when they commit adultery. He po­sitively resolves to leave them to themselves, and to have no more to do with them in any way or means that may either destroy their Sin, or save their Souls; and therefore (says he) Your daughters shall commit where­dom, and your spouses shall com­mit adultery. Oh, it is a sad doom, to have Sin for a man's Portion here, and not Suffering to take it off: to prosper in a way of wickedness, and no pu­nishment to restrain its course. I will not punish your daughters whe [...] they commit whoredom (says God) nor your spouses when they commit adultery. As if he should say, What more could have been [Page 245] done to reclaim them, than I have done? How have I endea­voured to convince them of their sin, to turn them from it, and bring them home unto me? But all in vain, and to no pur­pose: I have stricken them, Jer. 5.3. but they have not grieved; I have consumed them, but they have re­fused to receive correction. Jer. 7.26. I have sent unto them my Prophets, daily rising up early, and sending them; yet they hearkened not unto me, nor enclined their ear. They are wic­ked, perverse, incorigible: And therefore because I would have purged you, and you were not pur­ged, you shall not be purged from your filthiness any more: Ezek. 24.13. But go on, add sin to sin: I will not punish your daugh­ters, when they commit whoredom, nor your spouses when they com­mit adultery. Let them take their fill, and wallow in the mire of their Lusts. Let them walk in the ways of their heart, Eccl. 11.9. and in the sight of their eyes: but [Page 246] yet the people that doth not under­stand, Hos. 4.14. shall fall: And so fall at length, that all their sensual good shall leave them, and they shall never enjoy good any more. And thus that man whom God lets prosper in a wicked way, is like to be the person, who shall have all his Portion of good things in this present World.

§. XVI.

Lastly, That man's Portion is likely to center in the bare good things of this present life, to whom God has not given an heart to do good with his Sub­stance to Gods Church and Peo­ple. This is an Argument of a man, o'th' World, who would rather pull down, than lend the help of a stone for Bethel. Who thinks the least of charge put upon him about the Repairs or Necessaries of God's House or [Page 247] Worship, to be too much. To lend his help upon any such ac­count, is a burden to him; and did not the Law of the Nation bind, he has no mind at all un­to it: though such places se­perated for Religious Meetings, be God's Houses, Sacred to him, dedicated, assigned, and given to him, and he hath an Inte­rest in them. If an Idol's Tem­ple be an Idol's Temple; that is, such an house as an Idol hath interest in, and is sacred with a false and unholy kind of sa­credness: Sure then a Church to God, is God's Church, and such a Church as he is interessed into, and is Sacred with a true and real Sacredness.Matth. 21.13. Matth. 11.17. Mine house shall be called an house of prayer of all Nations. Lo, an house of prayer; that is, of Publick Wor­ship, (a part for the whole) and this House, God's House, and that, among all Nations. Would you wish a clearer Proof for the Warrant of Churches, [Page 248] and their Sacredness?Multi non a Christi uni­tate, sed a suis commo­dis nolunt recedere. Aug. de Bapti. 1.4. cap. 10. And yet the men of the World care not if one stone were not left upo [...] another, but that all were thrown down: And so closely are their hearts glewed to the things o [...] this present life, that what comes from them towards the maintenance of God's House and Worship, is rather extort­ed from, than given by them▪ is a matter of Covetousness, an [...] not of Bounty; from a grudging Necessity, and not a cheerful Free­dom: 2 Corin. 9.5, 7. Oh, this disposition and frame of heart, is a sure Argument of a man that has all his Good in this present World. Such a word­ly frame of heart as this would part with nothing towards the maintenance of God's Worship, his Gold is his God, and Sil­ver [his pleasant Pictures. Isa. 2.16.] He would lay out nothing for God▪ though true it is, God himself personally can receive nothing▪ but by giving it to his Worship [Page 249] and the Places, and Things, and Persons that belong to his Worship, it is accounted given to him. Now such an heart will twist, and writhe, and ar­gue any way, so as it may hold what it has,Mal. 3.8. and will rob God in Tythes and Offerings. And though such men may press Examples of Scripture upon other ac­counts, yet they forget old Ja­cobs Pattern, of whom we read, [...]hat he vows, that of all that God should give him, he would surely give the Tenth unto him. Gen. 28.22.

If there be any amongst you, [...]hat think Examples of Holy Writ to bind him; as it seems [...]ome do in other things (where [...]he matter is such as will put [...]hem to no great cost:) Let [...]hem ask their Consciences, why should not this Example of [...]ld Jacob bind them, as well as [...]ny other Example? That it [...]ould be a typical, ceremonial, [...]nd temporal Ordinance, to [...]ive God Tythe of all we have. [Page 250] I could never yet hear any Reason of any great force Some do strain their Wits to find out a kind of Shadow in it, and tell what it may sig­nifie: but the Scripture, for ought I know, doth not give any notice of any such thing. It was the use afore the Levi­tical Priesthood (as in Abraham, Gen. 14.20. So in Jacob's Vow, Gen. 28.22.) And therefore is not a thing depending upon the Levitical Priesthood. Nay, the Apostle rather, Heb. 7. makes mention of it, as a thing due to the Eternal Priesthood of Mel­chisedec. It may seem plain, that Abraham and Jacob would never have observed this Por­tion in measuring out these Payments to God, if they had not conceived it a perpetual and a natural Duty. It is un­doubtedly a Moral Precept to Honour God with our Goods, and by bringing Presents to him. Seeing these holy men [Page 251] thought it fit to grant God so liberal a Portion, why should not we think him worthy as much, or that something must be due to God, and that in a liberal quantity? Surely Gospel Priviledges do not destroy, but establish Moral Duties; and God is worthy to be honoured with our Substance as much now as ever. Do we Honour God if we bring him no Pre­sent? No Gift? Will God ac­count this a good Improve­ment of the Mammon of un­righteousness committed to our trust? Are we faithful Stew­ards, when we are so far from employing for, that we detain from the Masters use, what is his own, and which only by a Commitment for a time is in our hands? Yet this is the frame of a worldly heart, that all that it has, it enjoys for its self, and nothing would it re­turn unto God the Giver.

CHAP. IX. Containing some Corollaries by way of Inference from the Point foregoing.

NOW we come to the last Particular promised in the entrance upon this Discourse, and for the handling of the Do­ctrinal Proposition therein laid down; viz. The closing up the Point in some Uses. We have seen, that there is a Genera­tion of men to whom God grants the enjoyment of some good things only in this pre­sent life, which ended, after that they shall never have more. Here's their all of good that ever they are like to enjoy. This hath been evidenced by several Examples from Scrip­ture Record: And further we have enquired into the Rea­sons, why God will give such [Page 253] a large Dole of good things to the wicked in this life. And moreover have seen, that all the good things they do enjoy, are confined to this present life; so as when this life ends, all their good is at an end. We have also look'd into the miserable Condition of such men, who have all their good things here; and have endeavoured to mark out, so far, as we may, who that Man or Woman is, that in such a condition is like to have all their Good Things in this present World. And now we come to the promised U­ses, issuing from, and refer­ring to the present Argument under the foregoing considera­tions: And first some Inferen­ces from the Point. As

§. I.

First, If there be a Generati­on of men who have all their good in this present World, then hence we may gather the reason why the men of the World are so cunning in the things of this World. Why they can make so good shift for themselves rather than other men can. They are subtill, and crafty in and about their World­ly concerns; they seek deep to hide their Counsell, Isa. 29.15. and their works are in the dark. Why, this is the reason; Here's their Portion: their very happiness, and all their good is here. No marvail then though they make such shift in the World as they do. Will not all the powers and faculties of the Soul be active, and diligent to get and preserve that wherein happiness is presented as consisting, and which accordingly is apprehend­ed [Page 255] by them? This puts the men of the World upon their shifts, and makes them so active and cunning about their Portion. The Children of this World are wise in their Generation,Luk. 16.8. yea wiser (saith our Saviour) than the Children of Light. They have a notable Serpentine Wisdom, they know how to gather and heap together, they are instruct­ed in the subtil mystery of over­reaching and circumventing:Hab. 2.6. they know how to encrease that which is not their own, and with an indiscernable cun­ning to carry it on; beguileing silly Souls sometimes by serious Protestations, sometimes by ear­nest and seemingly real Promi­ses; vailing sometimes their unworthy actions under a Vi­zard and Colour of Religion, that they may with less remorse of Conscience, and more justifi­ably (if possible) before the World, devour widows Houses. Mat. 23.14 Much of the Serpents wisdom [Page 256] may be seen put forth in the men of the World, and no­tably they act it as his instru­ments. Now the Apostle saies on the other hand, 1 Cor. 2.12. We have not received the Spirit of the World. We cannot tell how to shift in the World, as the men of the World do: we can­not cheat, deceive, and couzen as they do. We look further then these Earthly things, and so cannot shift as other men can. We have not the Spirit of the World, as they, who have their Portion in this World, and so cannot use their cunning: we are led by another Spirit, and guided up to another Portion, and have our senses exercised about other Objccts, and there­fore cannot act in their way. The men of the World (you know) are compared to Swine in Scripture,Mat. 7.6. Luk. 15.4. and the children of God to sheep: Now a Swine though it goes abroad all day long wandring up and down, it [Page 257] knows the way to the trough at night. But a sheep if it go wan­dring a little out of its place, doth not know how to come home again, but goes astray and wanders up and down, till it be even lost; it knows not its pa­sture to return unto it. But Swine are not so, they know their trough, and their swill, and [...]hough they go abroad all day, yet at night they will come home again. So ungodly men, though they go up and down wandring, they know how to come to their [...]rough at night, they have bet­ter skill in the World, and are more artificial in the things of [...]he World, they have in them better understanding. The Chil­dren of this World are in their Generation wiser, than the Chil­dren of Light. And why? For here's their Portion.

§. II.

Secondly, If there be a Gene­ration that have all their good things in this present World, then hence we may see the rea­son, why, many that have so large a Portion of the good things of this Life, regard so little the good things of the Life to come. Why? 'Tis not their Portion: those things that con­cern another Life are no part of their Portion. Religion▪ Piety, the waies of God, and the Church of God are matters they look upon themselves alto­gether unconcerned in, their in­terest lies not there, and there­fore they care so little for them▪ whether they sink or swim, rise or fall, it's no matter at all to them. They only mind what concerns the present Life, be­cause their Portion's there. No wonder therefore if we see rich Worldly men so carelesly to [Page 259] overlook the great concernment [...]f their Souls; they live as if [...]here were no other Life hereaf­ [...]er; the proper language of [...]eir actions is:Isa. 22.13. Amos. 6.3. Let us eat and [...]ink, for to morrow we shall die. [...]hey put far away the Evil Day: [...]nd the thoughts of Eternity [...]ver come up upon their [...]earts. How careless and ne­ [...]tive are they of the things [...]at concern their peace, and [...] it fares with the Church of [...]od, and things of God, how [...] wayes of God do go on and [...]osper, or decline and fall in [...] World? They never trou­ [...]e their thoughts about these [...]ngs. They matter not what comes of the Kingdom of [...]rist among men, whether [...]re be an Obedience yielded his Laws and Scepter; or [...] rise up in Arms and open [...]stility and Rebellion against [...] Divine Majesty; Gallio-like [...]y care for none of these things. Act 18.17 [...] great Truths of God, and [Page 260] Fundamentall Principles of R [...] ligion are to them no otherwis [...] but as Idle Tales; and the V [...] sions of the Prophets, as Drea [...] and Fancies; The Doctrine [...] the Law of God it is to them, Questions of words and names, A [...] 18.15. without savour or sign [...] fication. And it is no wonde [...] if we see it to be thus with the [...] alas, their Portion lies [...] here, their concernment is n [...] imbarqued in matter of Relig [...] on: If it were, they would e [...] ercise more care about it. Y [...] need not doubt, but ever to fi [...] the Heart working about i [...] Treasure: But alas their Tre [...] sure is not in the Promises; the [...] riches lye not in Religion, the [...] hope is not laid up in Heaven and therefore Heaven, Relig [...] on, and the Promises of t [...] Gospel are so utterly neglect [...] by them. Is it likely that [...] Carnal Heart should care f [...] Spiritual things? Or that a m [...] that has his Portion here, shou [...] [Page 261] have his Heart in Heaven? It's [...]mpossible to divide the Heart [...]rom the Portion, to take off the [...]ind from the Treasure. For [...]here the Treasure is (sayes our [...]aviour) there will the Heart be al­ [...], Luk. 12.34. You may still [...]nd the Heart hanckring about [...]hat Object, wherein it esteems [...]s chiefest good to lye: the stay [...]hereof is upon its Portion. What the men of the World set [...]heir minds upon is sum'd up by [...]he Apostle under three heads, [...]iz. The Lust of the flesh, the Lust of the eyes, and the Pride of Life, 1 John 2.16. Here's their Good, and their God, and their All; about these things (accord­ [...]ngly as they are led) they are [...]xceedingly carefull and solici­ [...]ous. But as for the matters of Religion, they are rather to [...]hem as matter of burden and reproach; and as such are whol­ly layed aside. Oh sad; they are not their Portion.

§. III.

Thirdly, If there be some m [...] that have all their good in th [...] present World, then this r [...] solves the question, why m [...] are so sunk down and swallow [...] up (as it were) in the Gulf [...] grief and sorrow upon the [...] of some Worldly Good a [...] Comforts. Their Hearts a [...] not able to bear up against th [...] stream of a cross occurence, b [...] fall down, despond, and dy [...] What's the reason? Their Go [...] is gone, and do you ask the [...] why? Their language is that [...] Micah unto the Danites, Judg. 4.18 th [...] Gods are gone, and what have the [...] more? We know how it wa [...] with rich, churlish Nabal, wh [...] his Wife told him Davids desig [...] against him, and the danger h [...] had, by his churlishness, run him self, and his, and all that he ha [...] into:1 Sam. 25.37. his Heart died within his▪ and he became as a stone. He coul [...] [Page 263] not stand up under the thoughts [...] the loss that might be near at [...]and: his rich Possessions that [...]ere in Carmel bore up his [...]eart; and the bare thoughts [...] a deprivall of them, set on, [...]d cast it down. If the bare [...]pprehension of an evil to come, [...]nd of a danger run upon be so [...]esented by Carnal Men, as to [...]amp all their joys; How then [...]ust the loss indeed of that, [...]hich they account their Porti­ [...]n, affect them, when it falls? [...]hall not their Hearts then sink, [...]nd dye, and perish?Gen. 27.46 What good [...]ill their lives then do them, when [...]he comforts thereof are taken [...]rom them? 'Tis a sad thing for [...] man to have his good in this [...]resent World: such a one is [...]able to be more afflicted in af­ [...]iction than other men, though [...]is affliction be but a wound in [...]he flesh. How does such a one grieve, and fret, and cruciate [...]is Soul, when he meets with [...]ross disappointments? He can­not [Page 264] bear nor undergo the loss what he does account his Port [...] on. But now a Gracious Hear [...] which is endowed with an He [...] venly Principle, and whose goo [...] is not lodged in things belo [...] though such a one may meet wi [...] many crosses and disappointments in the World, yet is [...] ready to despond, and dye, as all were lost and gone, whil [...] his God is with him. Whil [...] God remains a God in Covenant with him, and so appear [...] he is so far from resenting [...] condition as desperate (thoug [...] never so dolefull) that he nakedly does rejoyce in God alone Habak. 3.17, 18. Although t [...] fig tree shall not blossom, neithe [...] shall fruit be in the Vines; the la­bour of the Olive shall fail, and th [...] Fields shall yield no meat, the Flo [...] shall be cut off from the Fold, an [...] there shall be no Herd in the Stalls▪ Yet I will rejoyce in the Lord: [...] will joy in the God of my Salvation. Such a Soul knows that whe [...] [Page 265] Father and Mother do forsake, Psal. 27.10 Psal. 73.26 Psal. 144.15. then the Lord is at hand to take it up. And though Heart fail and Flesh fail, yet God is the strength of the Heart and the Portion for [...]ver. Happy is that People that is in such a case, whose God is the Lord. They are not liable to the same grievances, or so to be afflicted under their afflictions as others are. They may be trou­bled on every side, yet not distres­sed; perplexed, but not in despair. The reason is they have not their Portion here below:2 Cor. 4.8 but their good things are all above, laid [...]p there, where none can take [...]hem away from them. We see [...]herefore that it is a thing not [...]o be wondred at, why so many [...]re of Baruch's temper, sigh, and [...]aint, and grieve, and sorrow, [...]o is me (say they) for there is [...]rief added to my sorrow, Jer. 45.3, 4, 5. I faint [...]n my sighing, and I find no rest: And when's this? when they [...]re crossed and disappointed in [...]heir Worldly designs and [Page 266] hopes: When the Lord breaks down that which they have built, and plucks up that which they have planted. And why is all this? they seek great things for them­selves, and their Portion is lod­ged in this present World. Jer. 45.4, 5.

CHAP. X. Containing some instructions ex­pressing the more particular du­ties of those to whom God has given some Evidences of their Interest in a better Portion, than in this present World is to be enjoyed.

THe foregoing discourse seems to hint some thing [...] more particularly to those whom the Lord has been plea­sed to endow with a better goo [...] than this World affords, who [...] the Lord has given to see th [...] good of his chosen: and who hav [...] [Page 267] made choice of that good part which shall not be taken away from them. Psal. 106.5 Luk. 10.42 God might have put you off with the swill and draff of this present World, have given you a belly full, and so an end. He might have dealt with you, as it was with Hagar; have gi­ven you a Loaf of Bread, and a Bottel of Water, and so have sent you away; but he has not done so, he has dealt otherwise with you, than as with Slaves, and Vassals; he has adopted you for Sons and Daughters, and gi­ven you Childrens Portions, the lines are fallen to you in pleasant places, you have a goodly Heritage: Psal. 16.56 for the Lord is the Portion of your Inheritance, and of your Cup. Now seeing you have some evi­dences that God hath given you a better Portion, and not put you off with the good things of [...]his World: it concerns you to [...]earn and practise those instru­ [...]tions that your condition calls [...]or. As

§. I.

First, Oh, Bless the Lord for his goodness to you all your daies. Say with the Psalmist, Bless the Lord, Psal. 103.1. O my Soul, and all that is within me Bless his Ho­ly Name. The Lord hath shew­ed you better things than these are; he might have put you off with some outward Worldly Good, and have made it to be your All: But your line is fallen in pleasant places, and you have a goodly Heritage. Oh there­fore let your Souls be enlarged in blessing, and let the assured happiness of your State, and your riches in reversion raise your Hearts. The least mercy is in a sort infinitely beyond our deserts; if we consider either the infinite excellency of the Au­thor, or the Wretched Unwor­thyness of our own Hearts, and so justly engages us unto Bles­sings praise. How much mor [...] [Page 269] when we are made the Subjects of Eternal Mercies, and are to have the Treasures of Eternity opened unto us as our own? Surely our Resolutions should be knit up into that of David: While I live will I Praise the Lord, I will sing Praises unto my God, while I have any Being. Psal. 146.2.

§. II.

Secondly, If the Lord hath gi­ven you some Evidences of a better good stored up for you in Heaven, the good of his cho­sen. Psal. 106.5. then these E­vidences and hopes seem to im­press upon you the Doctrine of contentment: be contented then with your present state. Do not murmure and repine because your condition as to the out­wards of this World is not so good as others; you perhaps want many comforts, which you think others have: you are a­bridged [Page 270] and cut short of many delights which you see others do enjoy; Oh, be not troubled at it, for thou hast that which will make the happy to all Eter­nity. Though thou hast no such a confluence of riches; nei­ther art attended with such Worldly Pomp;Psal. 73.7. doest not suck the blood of the Grape, neither art fed with the fat of the Earth as others; though thou doest not so swill in the Bowl of plea­sures, as those who have more than Heart could wish; yet thou hast all this made up by inward incomes, and thou hast so much in Reversion sure, as ten thou­sand Worlds cannot ballance. Take a true believer at his low­est Ebb, and put it to him, and he would not, he cannot, he dares not exchange conditions with the greatest Monarch in the World, that's barely so, not having a work of Regene­ration passed upon him. At the very mentioning an ex­change [Page 271] his thoughts startle, and his Spirit recoils within him. For all Worldly Created Com­fort cannot give him satisfacti­on, and should he be reversed into the condition of an unbe­liever, how miserably wretched were he to all Eternity? Now should not such be contented with their Lot, as it's cast for them in this present World? Why should such repine and murmure, as dislikeing their [...] they will not change conditions with t [...]o [...]e (were it put to them) from whose felicity their corruption would take the occasion of dis­contentment? Hath God given you Jesus Christ, His beloved Son to redeem you? Hath he gi­ven you the Holy Spirit to San­ctify your Natures? Hath he given you himself to be your Portion? And are you troubled that you have no more of that sensual delight, which a repro­bate, yea a brute in some re­spects [Page 272] may have, as well as you? Oh, be ashamed of any murmu­ring discontentments for want of the comforts of this World.

§. III.

Thirdly, Do not you envy a­ny wicked men for their [...]rti­on;Psal. 37.35 though their Leaf be green; and they spread like a Bay tree, yet envy them not their good. Let not thy Heart envy Sinners: but be thou in [...] lon [...] saith Soloman, Prov. 23.17. [...]mplying that envy at the feli [...]y of the wicked is a great Enemy to the true fear of God, expelling and driving it out of the Heart, or keeping it from entring in, [...] that as [...] comes in, the fear of God go [...] out. Envy puts out fear. Now this is a startling consideration, and strong argument against that bitter root of envy. What shall such a worm be harboured in the bosome as preys upon the [Page 273] Vitalls? Shall such a Thief be entertained into our inmost lod­gings, which will rob us of our choisest Treasure? The fear of [...]he Lord is his Treasure, Isa. 33.6. Now you to whom God gives Eternal Mercies have the [...]east reason in the World to grudge the wicked their enjoy­ments. If they have some litle [...]efreshing before they dye; some lightnings (as they say) before they launch out into the vast Ocean of dark [...]ternity; and so take an Eterna [...] [...]arewell of all their joy and [...]omfort, [...]hall you be displeased at this? When your mercies are crown'd with further mercies,Pro. 20.20. their Lamp it's pu [...] out in obscure [...]arkness: when your account [...]oncludes with joy, theirs is [...]umm'd up with a dismal total: when your grace shall end in Heavenly Glory, their World­ [...]y Glory shall shut up in Eternal woe and misery. Oh then, why [...]hould you envy them their luci­da [Page 274] intervalla a little before they dye? I have read a story of a poor Souldier that was condem­ned to dye, merely for taking a bunch of Grapes; for there was a strict law, that whosoever should take any thing from that place they went through, should die for it: Now this Souldier had taken a bunch of Grapes, and was for that condemned to die; and as he went to executi­on, he went eating the bunch of Grapes; and some came to him, and said, thou shouldest think of somewhat else: he answered, I beseech you, Sirs, do not envy me my Grapes, they will cost me dear. So may I say of all the men of the World, we have no cause to envy them for any thing they have, it will cost them dear.

§. IIII.

Fourthly, Hath God given you some Evidence of a better good reserved for you, than in this world is to be enjoyed? oh then, study to know this good more, and interest your selves therein more. [...]. Ephes. 3.19. [...]. Eph. 3.8. This good is incompre­hensible; the love of Christ passeth knowledge. Ephes. 3.19. And the riches of Christ they are un­searchable, Ephes. 3.8. Never think with your selves that you are sufficiently acquainted with your chief good. The excellen­cy thereof is such that it will yet be the Object of more study, and yet of a further search into it; and when you have done all, and come to the furthest of your attainments, your terme will determine in the admiration of it. For any to sit down sa­tisfied with a set measure of Grace, argues they know not the Nature of Grace, neither [Page 276] have a true work thereof upon their Hearts. So to sit down with a knowledge of your Eter­nal Good, and not press for­ward to know it more, more fully, more clearly, more cer­tainly, argues you know it not at all. Oh, labour to know your Heavenly good things more, use all good means for the advance of knowledge in this respect: Pray that you may know: and not barely to know, but to know it as your own, and your interest therein more and more; to know it practically, so as the knowledge thereof may have a full and thorough Influ­ence upon your Hearts, and Lives: This will sweeten your knowledge to you, when you know the thing as good, and as your own. Knowledge of a good without an interest there­in is but of small Influence, un­less to vex, and torment the mind. The Devils they know, but wanting interest, it does but [Page 277] increase their torment. The damned Spirits at the last day they shall see and know; The rich man ('tis said) sees Lazarus in Abraham's bosome, Luk. 16.23.Mat. 25.41 And they shall see the Son of Man comming in the Clouds of Heaven with power and great Glo­ry: all the Holy Angels with him. They shall see the Sheep on his right hand; They shall hear that a Kingdom is prepared for his sheep, whilst they (miserable wretches) must depart from him Cursed, into everlasting fire, prepa­red for the Devil and his Angels. Mat. 25 41. This knowledge of theirs with­out interest shall gnaw their Souls in Hell,Jam. 5.3. and shall eat their flesh as fire. But now to know good things, and to know them as our own: oh, this is an heal­ing knowledge, this sweetens knowledge to us. Now your interest in the good things of Heaven is not so clearly appre­hended by you, but it may be more clear; they are not so [Page 278] sure to you, but you may come up to a further assurance of them; though they be most sure in regard of promise, yet Faith that laies hold upon the pro­mise is capable of some gradual additions, for the filling you with All joy, and peace in belie­ving, Rom. 15.13. Therefore hath God given some Evidence of Eternal Mercies, labour to clear this Evidence both more fully in respect of its Object; and more particularly in regard of your personal interest and claim unto it.

§. V.

Fifthly, If you have some E­vidences of an Eternal Good as your own; oh, then prize your Portion; set a Value on that, the worth whereof is beyond all value.Heb. 12.16, 17. Esau is branded as a prophane Person, because for One morsel of meat he sold his Birth-right. The Birth-right, Gen. 25.34. which was attended with the Blessing, he set a low price up­on: It was of more worth and value, than so to have been de­spised by him. But you'l say, it was for his life, he was at the point to die: Gen. 25.32. What then? The Blessing was more worth than his Life should have been unto him: he should rather have parted with his life, than the Blessing of the first-born,, which was a Priviledge that led to Christ. Afterward when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected; for [Page 280] he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears. Oh, let this sad Exam­ple of Esau be before your eyes, and learn to prize your Bles­sing; prize it above your lives. And well you may, for this Bles­sing will be Life in Death; it will be unto you eternal life. If Esau be called a prophane person, and said to despise the blessing, for parting with it, when sore straited, and his life in danger: How much more are those just­ly to be accounted prophane, and Despisers of their choicest good, who turn their backs upon it (as too many do) with­out any necessity or force upon them? Never did any Soul lose by sticking to its Portion: Tho' a man lay down his life for his eternal good, he loseth nothing thereby, for he only changes a temporal life, for an eternal; a momentany and an uncertain good, for a good that's sure, and abides for ever. Things [Page 281] that are precious we do set a value on, and rate them ac­cording to their worth. Now what can be of more worth with us, than that good which is of everlasting concernment for our Souls? It is a sad thing to see how slightly the world looks upon eternal mercies; what low thoughts men have of true Peace, and of the things that belong unto it. How are the great things of the Gospel slight­ed and contemned by them? They deal no otherwise with them, than as Swine would do with the choicest Pearls; whilst in the mean time they hugg their God Mammon. Oh, let this their vain and wretched carelesness, stir you up more seriously to consider the Price that's put into your hand; and the less they value, so much the more do you prize your eternal mercies. Let it appear to all the World, that your Trea­sure is in Heaven, by directing [Page 282] your hearts thither: And that you have something better than your lives, in that you value it above your lives. We cannot prize that too much, which we can never prize enough. Now if carnal men do so highly esti­mate their worldly good, which will not long continue: much more should gracious hearts prize their heavenly mercies, which will endure for ever.

§. VI.

Sixthly, You that have some Evidences that God has not put you off with the good things of this World, but reserved in store a further and better good for you in the life to come; let this teach you to trust God for the Provisions of this present life: wait upon God in the use of lawful means for a supply of those things, the Lord sees to be needful for you. He that has promised Never to leave you, Heb. 13.5. [Page 283] nor forsake you, will not fail to supply you. You give check to those Evidences you have of eternal mercies, should your [...]houghts be suspended about outward Necessaries. Hath God made an Eternal Provision for [...]ou through his Son, cleared the way, and opened the Gate un­ [...]o Eternal Life? Hath he shew­ed you those blessed Mansions [...]hat are in Heaven prepared for [...]ou, and given you an heart to lose with and embrace them [...]s your own? Do you pro­ [...]ess to live in expectancy of [...]hose Riches that are in rever­ [...]on? And yet do you fear the [...]ant of outwards? This surely [...]annot be. The Lord that feeds [...]he Ravens will take care that [...]is Sons and Daughters have [...]heir Daily Bread. And he [...]hose Bounty over-flows to the [...]icked, will certainly supply [...]he Necessities of his Saints. [...]erhaps you may want some of [...]hose Superfluities which the [Page 284] men of the World enjoy: bu [...] did the Lord see them good fo [...] you, you should not want them▪ he sees they would turn to sin [...] and therefore you shall no [...] have them. He that gives Grac [...] and Glory, will withhold no goo [...] thing from them that walk up­rightly. Psal. 84.11. If the Lord have give [...] you the upper Springs, he will no [...] deny the nether. Make use o [...] this as the great Argument t [...] strengthen your Faith in Go [...] for the Provisions of this present lif [...]. Say, has the Lor [...] brought me thus far, and no [...] will he cast me off? Hath he given me his Son,, Himself, hi [...] Grace, his Kingdom, and shal [...] I perish with hunger? Hath he opened to me the Treasures of the Everlasting Gospel,Ephes. 3.8. (the unsearchable riches of Christ) and shall I be forgotten in this world, as a dead man out of mind? Psal. 31.12. This cannot be. Argue as Manoah's Wife did, If the Lord were plea­sed to kill us, he would not have [Page 285] shewed us all these things, neither [...]ould he have told us such things [...]s these: Judges 13.23.

§. VII.

Seventhly, You that have some Evidences of the good things of [...]he life to come, as yours, do [...]ou live like such as God hath [...]ot put off with the Portion of [...]his World. Manifest in your Conversations, that you look for higher and better things, [...]han this present World af­fords. How excellent is it when Christians declare their Coun­try by their carriage: as did the Fathers of old: Hebr. 11.14. when by their heavenly-mindedness, their holy. Con­verse, their Self-denial, and re­signation, they manifest them­selves to be Citizens of the New Jerusalem: and shew them­selves to be such as believe the Immortality of the Soul, by an holy neglect of the body; and [Page 286] who have hope of Eternal Life by the contempt of a tempora­ry. Many who profess these things, surely they do not re­ally believe them; for did they believe that their Souls were immortal, and that there were a life to come, could they steer such a course as they do, so un­suitable to an eternal life, and the happiness of an immortal Soul, as if they were born mere­ly to live, and lust, and die, and so an end? But now you that not onely profess to believe a life to come, but have some E­vidences of an Interest in that life, and that you have a Por­tion there laid up for you to all eternity: Oh, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness. 2 Pet. 3.11 How suitably to that Interest you profess your selves to have, should you endeavour to lead your lives?Phil. 3.20. The Apostle's Con­versation was in Heavem; and that which did influence upon [Page 287] his Converse, to render it so divine and heavenly, was, that he had a Depositum in Heaven; his treasure was there: There was his Lord and Saviour; from thence he look'd for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. His Portion was laid up there, the Lord had it in keeping for him. So he tells us, 2 Tim. 2.12. I know (says he) whom I have believed, and I am perswaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. You that have such a bles­sed Portion, it becomes you to live up to your Portion. Be­ware of exposing the Portion you profess an expectancy of, to scandal, by the unsuitable­ness of your lives: neither do you prostitute your hopes to reproach by a disagreeing con­verse. Undoubtedly the glori­ous Name, and Hopes you make a profession of, will suffer a­mongst the men of the World, if you live not suitably, and up [Page 288] unto them: if the frame of your lives be not agreeable to thi [...] nature of your hopes.. Your Portion it is holy, heavenly, no [...] of this World: Oh, let you [...] Conversations be holy, heaven­ly, and not according to th [...] Course of this World: Ephes. 2.2 Do not the Sons of Princes, an [...] Monarchs, and of the grea [...] men of the Earth live suitabl [...] to their Enjoyments and Pos­sessions? Does not their Por [...] and Granduer make it appear that they are the Great One of the World? Shall they live up to their earthly Portion, and shall not the Sons of Sion live up to their heavenly? Shal [...] earthly Enjoyments raise the heart of man to an higher pitch than the common rate; and shall not an Interest in Heaven▪ and a Portion there do it much more? Oh, shame not your Por­tion by the baseness of your ways; neither reproach your Redeemer by the vassalry o [...] [Page 289] your lives in any evil way: As if you were born to sin; or re­deemed, not from, but to serve the motions of your flesh or mind: Ephes. 2.3. Let your Souls en­joy their purchased freedom, and your affections work glo­riously according to the nature of your Portion. You that have the Sun for your clothing, and a Crown of twelve Stars upon your beads, let the Moon be under your feet. How should the holiness and self-denial of your lives evi­dence to all the World, that you are of the number of those, whose good things are not of this World, but have their Trea­sure laid up in Heaven? You read how it was with Abraham (whose Children according to the Spirit you profess your selves to be) though he was in the land of pro­mise, yet he sojourned therein, as in [...] strange Country: Hebr. 11.9. 'Tis strange he should thus o­ver-look the Land of promise; [...]nd when as it was given to him, [Page 290] and to his Seed, that yet he should no more stay upon it, and take up with it: but be as a So­journer where he should have been as a man at home: The reason's given, he did not look upon it as his Portion; for he looked for a City which hath foun­dations, whose Builder and Ma­ker is God; verse 10. And he, and the Fathers of old, both by their words and actions, did declare plainly, that they sough [...] a Country; verse 14. Yea, per­haps some better Soil, more fruitful, and so more advanta­geous for their Cattel, and their own benefit? No, it was not such a Country which the [...] sought, but a better Country, th [...] is an heavenly; ver. 16. They de­clared plainly by their course and converse, that they wer [...] Denizens of the heavenly Jerus [...] ­lem; and that they were but Pilgrims and Sojourners, till the [...] came there at home. Oh, th [...] Lord likes well this frame [...] [Page 291] heart and life; and therefore is not ashamed to be called their God; neither will he let the hopes of such be frustrate: For he hath prepared for them a City: Heb. 11.16. Blessed therefore are they who have such a Por­tion, and who are influenced upon thereby to live up unto it.

CHAP. XI. Containing an Exhortation to en­deavour after an Eternal Good, with some Arguments and mo­tives to enforce it.

THE foregoing Doctrinal Observation seems to speak [...]o you all, that every one [...]ould put on to make more [...]re of another Good, besides [...]he Good in this present world. There's no need to put men on [...]o make sure an Interest in this [...]orld, all are forward enough [...]hat way: But alas, how back­ward [Page 292] and remiss are we to [...] sue an Interest in Matters of Eternal Moment. The spirit of deep sleep is poured out upon this Generation: Isa. 29.10. We are apt to put all to the venture, let it fall as it will; and mind not the things of Everlastin [...] Concernment for our Souls. Y [...] see that there are a generatio [...] of men, whose All of Good they ever shall enjoy, is laid up in some trash of this presen [...] World; and you see furthe [...] that there is a choice Good t [...] be enjoyed, the Good of God' [...] Chosen: Psal. 106.5. Were i [...] not now a very sad thing t [...] think it, that there should [...] such a Good and blessed Portio [...] offered,Heb. 4.1. and you to come sle [...] of it, and only to take up [...]ll the Trash and Lumber of th [...] World? That you should [...] so spiritually mad and in a [...] ted, as to choose Chips inste [...] of Pearls, Lust before Life, [...] Grass in rome of Glory? Th [...] [Page 293] you should put on so eagerly af­ter shadows, and in the mean while let go the substance? Oh, be wise before it be too late, and take the opportunity now offered; put on to make sure your Eternal Portion. There's the greatest reason for it, if you do but consider.

§. I.

First, You are made capable of higher and better things, than the things of this World are: God hath endowed your Nature with such Principles, as do adapt you to converse with Matters of Eternal Moment. You are informed with rational and immortal Souls, which are capacitated for Communion with the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and fitted for Divine Converse with the blessed Dei­ty: and that's another manner of business,Exod. 32.6. than to Eat and drink, and rise up to play; and [Page 294] enjoy a little sensual pleasure here awhile. The very Hea­thens could discern in the Fa­brick of Humane Nature, ano­ther-guess Design couch'd, than only to indulge and please the sensual and carnal Appetite. They looked upon his erected Countenance as pointing him Heaven-wards.

Os homini sublime dedit, coe­lumque tueri
Jussit, & erectos ad sydera tol­lere vultus.

Do but consider how fearfully and wonderfully you are made according to that of the Psal­mist: Psal. 139.14. I am fearful­ly and wonderfully made: fear­fully when you look Godwards, wonderfully when you reflect upon your selves: fearfully, in that the great God should be employed about such a Proto­plasm; and wonderfully, in re­gard of the Curiousness of the [Page 295] Work. When I was curiously wrought; vers. 15. like a Piece of [ [...] * [...] Varie com­pactus sum in imis ter­rae. Psal. 139.15. Embroydery.] Your Souls are precious Jewels, and your Bo­dies are Cabinets in frame and composure excellently fitted for so rich a Treasure. Now are you made capable of the Good Things of Eternity, and will you take up with the Dross of this World? Shall the Glori­ous End of your High Creation, and Wonderful Constitution be thus unworthily disappointed? Hath God made your Natures capable of Eternal Glory, and will you bury them in the Slime and Mud of this evil World? Moses's Complaint is against you, Deut. 32.6. Do you thus re­quite the Lord, O foolish people and unwise? Is not he thy Fa­ther that hath bought thee? Hath he not made thee? Oh, do not debase you selves, and prosti­tute the Excellency of Humane Nature to Brutish Vanity: feed not upon Husks, where is Meat [Page 296] enough in your Father's House Remember this, Luke 15.2. and shew your selves men: bring it again to mind, O ye transgressors: Isa. 46.8.

§. II.

Secondly, Put on to make sure this Eternal Portion, for you have trifled long enough in the way: You have spent too much of the precious time of life (al­lotted as a space and time for repentance) in the pursuit of Vanity: Does it not therefore concern you to bestir your selves now? Look back upon your by-past-time, and consider your former ways: weigh the Fruit they have brought forth unto you;Rom. 6.21. see whether it be such, as in which upon second thoughts you can rejoyce: or such, which you cannot with­out shame reflect upon. Now if you have the misgivings of Conscience in you, as upon an impartial search and judgment [Page 297] it cannot otherwise be (unless sin have seared your hearts) then think with your selves, and say, surely it's now high­time to put on for Eternity, considering the Vanity and mis­pence of my former days. I have trifled long enough in the way; The night is far spent, the day is at hand: Rom. 13.12. It concerns me now (and now or never) to cast off the works of darkness, and to put on the armour of light. Hos. 7.9. Are not gray hairs here and there upon me, and yet I have not laid it to heart. The time past of my life may suffice me to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, 1 Pet. 4.3. when I walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, ban­quettings, and the like enormi­ties. The flower of my days is over, and yet I have not ta­ken one step Heavenwards. I have often had some faint thoughts, and feeble resoluti­ons to put on for an Eternal Portion, and they have never [Page 298] brought forth, but have al­ways withered in the Bud, and proved abortive: and If I should hold on at this trifling rate; I should lose my self for ever, and my precious Soul, which is o [...] more rate than ten thousan [...] Worlds, would never com [...] into the Bundle of Life with th [...] Lord my God: 1 Sam. 25.29. That Blessed Portion which the Lord Chris [...] hath purchased by his Precious Death, and which is now free­ly offered in the Gospel, would be forfeited by me. And there­fore now I'll press towards th [...] Mark; and the more supin [...] and careless I have hitherto been, so much the more through Grace I hope I shall reach o [...] for the future to Those thing [...] which are before: Phillipians 3 13, 14. If you could find you [...] hearts working at this rate, i [...] would be a good Argument no [...] onely that your Judgments ar [...] convinced, but that your Wi [...] are overcome, and that th [...] [Page 299] Day of Gods Power hath light­ned upon you to make you wil­ling.Psalm 110.3. Do not we see that a man in his Journey, when he hath lost some time in his way, does speed his pace the more, and hasten towards the latter end of the Day, to redeem the lost time, before Night come on? And do we not see, that the shorter time a man has to do his work in, having slipt some time already, so much the more does he double his Diligence, and apply himself to his Business, that he may re­gain what's lost, and inne all at latter end? The Case is your own, you have lost much time, and trifled long in the way; therefore now put on to make sure your Eternal Por­tion.

§. III.

Thirdly, There's a possibility that yet you may enjoy an Eter­nal Good hereafter, and there­fore you should put on. You know not of any definitive sen­tence that is out against you, you know not, neither can you say,Heb. 3.18. Deut. 29.29. that God has sworn in his wrath, that you shall never enter in­to his rest. Secret things belong to God, but things which are revealed belong unto us, and to our children. And God never told you, nei­ther hath ever revealed it to a­ny man living, that you shall be excluded his Eternal Mercies; and therefore put on. Argue with your selves the possibility of Eternal Happiness from the great sinners that have been re­ceived to mercy; were not Ma­nasseh, the prodigall, the thie [...] upon the cross, and Paul (th [...] chief of sinners) all received to mercy? 2 Chron. 33.12, 13 [Page 301] Luk. 15.20. & 23.43. 1 Tim. 1.15. Were not the Corinthians as vile as the vilest? such were some of you (saith the Apostle) and yet they were washed, and sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spi­rit of their God. 1 Cor. 6.11. Had not the Ephesians their con­versation in times past, in the Lusts of the Flesh, fulfilling the desires of the Flesh, and of the Mind, and were by Nature the Children of Wrath, even as others? And yet God who is rich in mercy did quick­en them together with Christ, Eph. 2.3, 4. Consider whilst you are on this side the Grave, there's hopes,Isa. 38.11. that yet you may see the Lord in the Land of the Living. Say, surely the Lord would not have lengthned out my dayes hitherto, unless he had meant it to be a space for Repentance, and for a time wherein to turn unto him; he would not have offered mercy to me thus long, and still hold on to offer mercy, [Page 302] were my state hopeless, and helpless, and desperate. Were I got beyond the time of possibi­lity, I should never hear such Gracious Invitations and ten­ders of mercy made, as by Gods Messengers and Ambassadours of Reconciliation, are from time to time held out unto me. Say the Lord would never have put such thoughts into my Heart, as these, about my present and Eternal state, and his wayes and dealings with me in order there­unto, if there were not a possibi­lity for me to be saved. I'll con­clude therefore that it is possi­ble, and so I'll put on for it. Why may not I come to enjoy the sure mercies of David, Isa. 55.3. as well as others? What should lett? If I repent truly of my sins, and by a stedfast Faith, cleave unto the Promises of the Gospel; does not Gods Eternal Faith­fulness back them, and his Ju­stice rest satisfied in the Merit of his Son? And is not he Faith­full [Page 303] and Just to forgive us our sins? 1 Joh. 1.9. Surely the possibility that yet you may enjoy an Eternal good should be a cogent argument to put you on.

§. IIII.

Fourthly, Not only the possi­bility, but the probability may much prevail with you. For on Gods part it seemeth more pro­bable thou mayest enjoy an Eter­nal Good, than Millions in the World. For howsoever many men by abuse of the means, may make their condition far worse than that of Heathens and Pa­gans: yet if we speak strictly in respect of the means themselves, it is far more probable thou that hast the means, shouldest enjoy an Eternal Good, rather than those that enjoy them not. The greatest part of the World sits in horrible darkness without a­ny light: to them the Word hath not come, the light of the [Page 304] Gospell revealing an Eternal Good hath not shined forth; so that on Gods part, and the means, it is far more likely that God wills thy enjoyment of an Eternall Portion of Good, ra­ther than those to whom he sends no Prophets at all. It is true, the Word is sometimes sent to harden men, and it be­comes the Savour of Death; but this is after men have horri­bly abused it: and it is not the proper and genuine effect of the Word, but accidentall through the Indisposition and Obstinacy of the hearers. Then, only it is, that God sayes, Go and make the Heart of this People fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes, Isa. 6.10. Well then, let this consideration encourage you to put on for an Eternal Good: God hath not with­drawn, or denied the means to thee; yet he sends his Prophets, and Ministers to call thee to him: Why doth God Vouchsafe all [Page 305] this to me? Who should awake and bethink themselves if I do not? Who should put on for [...]n interest in the Everlasting Good, if I do not, who am so [...]ften exhorted? Do any in the World stir up themselves to [...]ake hold of the good of Gods chosen; and shall not I who en­ [...]y the powerfull means of Grace? Thus, that probability which yet thou art under (if du­ [...]y considered) may put thee on.

§. V.

Fifthly, You know not how [...]ong the offer of such a mercy, [...]s an Eternal Good, may be [...]ade unto you; and therefore [...]ow put on to make it sure. The time of this offer will not [...]ndure for ever. You have now [...]n opportunity, but [...], the opportunity will not [...]ong continue: [...], the opportunity is cou­ [...]ed within time, and you may [Page 306] lose the opportunity, and ye [...] time be still. Opportunity Head is bald behind, post est occa­sio calva; and so if you let it sl [...] by, you cannot lay hold on't to pull it back again. Meet opportunity as it comes, and take it b [...] the fore-lock, if you intend th [...] advantage of it. Now you hav [...] the offer of mercy, and Go [...] calls upon you; Now he sta [...] at the door, Revel. 3.20. Cant. 5.2. and knocks: and [...] Head is filled with dew, and [...] Locks with the drops of the night You know not how long Merc [...] at this wonderfull rate may wa [...] upon you; and therefore p [...] on. The Scripture speaks of [...] time of Visitation, a time of Salv [...] ­tion, a time whilst God may [...] found; A time when he hold out the Golden Scepter; a tim [...] wherein the Fountain runneth, an [...] the Spirit proclaimeth, Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to th [...] waters, Luk. 19.44. 2 Cor. 6. [...] Psal. 32.6. Est. 5.2. Revel. 22.17. Isa. 55.1. Thus Jerusale [...] [Page 307] had her time; and all the se­verall Churches in Asia had their time, and now we have our time; And if we misimprove this time, and walk unworthy of this Grace, and Gospell of Christ, this time will have an [...]d, and this Sun will go down at noon, and set upon your heads, and so set, as to arise no more. That dreadfull Oath Sworn by the Angel with such Solemn Cir­cumstance will be clapt upon our heads, that there shall be time [...]o longer, Revel. 10.6. A time of Grace, no longer, a time where­in Gods Patience and Longsuf­ferance shall wait upon us, no longer; a time wherein the Mer­cies of the Everlasting Gospell shall be tendred to us, no longer. This day if you will hear my voice, harden not your Hearts, said God to Israel; but they hardned their Hearts, and therefore God sware to them in his Wrath, Psal. 95.8.11. that they should never enter into his rest. If it be so with us, as it was with [Page 308] Israel in the Wilderness, we do not know but this very day th [...] Lord may clap an Oath upon our Heads, that we shall never enter into his rest. Therefore take the time now, and learn of the Ant, Prov. 6.8. Prov. 10.5. that provideth her me [...] in Summer, and gathereth her fo [...] in Harvest. Be as the Wise So [...] (of whom Solomon speaks) tha [...] gathereth in Summer. Consider the time of Mercy hastes away▪ and we cannot, with Joshua, bid this Sun stand still. There is n [...] Market, nor Fair day, that lasteth alwaies; if the country w [...] not come in, the Trades-ma [...] will at last put up his wares: S [...] the Lords standing may be o­pen, and his shop free, for suc [...] and such a time; but if Soul will not come in, and buy without money, and without price, h [...] will at last put up his wares (a [...] his Jewells of Grace) and the [...] be gone. Oh then, do not sle [...] in Harvest to the shame and confusion of your Souls: but say thi [...] [Page 309] is our time, and therefore what we will do for our Souls, we will do it now. Surely better it is now to accept of the best Mer­cies offered, than in pain, and torments to wish for Mercy; when the least of Mercies will not be granted, even one drop of water to cool the Tongue, Luk. 16.24.

§. VI.

Sixthly, Consider the assistance that is now offered you in order to the enjoyment of a Blessed Portion; and this will be a great encouragment for you to put on. You have assistance offered, and such as if you close with will not fail to help you forwards to the obtainment of what's desired. Though the end designed be ne­ver so Glorious, yet if difficulty obstruct in the way, and the helps to carry on the design be slender, or none at all, this will wonderfully check the underta­king, [Page 310] and render the attempter despondent in his hopes. What can he do, with whom there's no power, and who has no helps▪ as to the effecting matters high and arduous? Will not his Spi­rit fail, as the body does suc­cumb, and crouch down under a burthen? But now if assistance and help comes in, and such as may raise the hopes upon ac­count of probability to attain what's aimed at; this revives the man, and stirs up strength: these hopes and helps do rein­force, and give encouragment to put on. Thus it is with mortal men in order to the enjoyment of this Eternal Portion. When they reflect upon their own weakness, and consider the dif­ficulties in the way; when the height and dignity of the prize is objected, and the lowness of their present state considered, their Hearts may well sink down in a despairing despondence, and they desist, as men out of [Page 311] Heart and Hope. But now when [...]ssistance and help is offered, and [...]uch as will undoubtedly (if well [...]ccepted) in the end effectually [...]ring forth; how will this re­ [...]ew the strength, and engage [...]he Heart to more and fresh at­ [...]emps? You need not want help, [...]hough never so weak in your [...]elves, to carry on the most Glo­ [...]ious design for the Eternal Good of your Immortal Souls. God himself offers to come in to [...]elp: The Lord is your helper. Psal. 72.12 Nehem. 9.20. He offers you his Spirit; He [...]ve his good Spirit unto Israel to [...]struct them, and withheld not his Manna from their mouth. The Spirit that proceeds from the Father, and the Son, is offered [...]ou to guide you into all truth, Joh. 16.13 Psal. 19.105. Psal. 119.130. [...]nd to shew you things to come. You have the Word of God to be a Lamp unto your Feet: and a Light unto your Fath [...] though you are ignorant, yet this word is an enlightning help; the en­trance of thy word giveth light, it [Page 312] giveth understanding unto the simple, saith the Psalmist. The ve [...] Angels are Ministring Spirits se [...] forth to Minister for them, Heb. 1.14 who sh [...] be Heirs of Salvation. Psal. 91.12 And th [...] shall bear you up in their hands lest you dash your Foot against stone. The Messengers and M [...] nisters of the Gospell, they a [...] for your help, and you may r [...] ckon of them, as yours: Wheth [...] Paul, 1 Cor. 3.22. 2 Cor. 1.24. 1 Thes. 2.7, 11. Col. 1.28. or Apollo, or Cephas, th [...] are all yours: and are helpers [...] your joy; they Cherish you as Nurse does her Children, they e [...] hort and comfort you, as a Fath [...] doth his Children: Their ende [...] vours are to present every m [...] perfect in Christ Jesus. Eph. 4.12. Eph. 6.11. They a [...] the gifts of Christ unto h [...] Church, for the perfecting of [...] Saints, for the work of the Mi [...] stery, for the edifying of the be [...] of Christ. You have the who [...] Armor of God, which you m [...] put on to fence you against t [...] fiercest Assaults and Encounte [...] of your Spiritual Foes in yo [...] [Page 313] travail towards your Heavenly Canaan: This is offered you, and it is Armour of proof, com­pleat, for the whole man, where­in you may defie the Devil and all his Instruments,Eph. 6.13, 14. and be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. Consult the Apostle a­bout this Spiritual Armour, [...]nd the encouragment given by him thereupon, and see whether [...]his will not put you on. You [...]ave moreover your Viaticum [...]aid in for the way; and still in [...]eadiness upon occasion: the Lord will make you to lye down in [...]een pastures, Psal. 23.2, 3, 5. and will lead you [...]side the still waters: he will pre­ [...]are a table before you, and your [...]p shall overflow. If your Souls [...]e a fainting by the way, he is [...]ill ready to restore you, he re­ [...]oreth my Soul, saith the Psal­ [...]st. You shall not want the [...]st and sweetest of Soul refresh­ [...]g comforts in your journey to­ [...]ards your Heavenly Sion, Isa. 43.2. the [...]rd himself will be with you, and [Page 314] your Companion.Isa. 63.9. Though I walk through the Valley of the shadow of Death, I will fear no Evill: for thou art with me, thy Rod, and thy Staff, they comfort me. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow [...] all the dayes of my Life, and I wi [...] dwell in the House of the Lord fo [...] ever, Psal. 23.5, 6. Oh therefore, since you have so man [...] helps offered in order to you [...] enjoyment of an Eternal Good let these encourage you wit [...] confidence to put on: Why d [...] you thus loyter and loose tim [...] in the way? Oh, suffer not the [...] helps any longer in vain to wa [...] upon you, whilst, you triffle a [...] way your own Salvation.

§. VII.

Seventhly, Consider an interest [...]n this Eternal Portion will a­ [...]undantly make up and answer whatsoever of want and perplex­ [...]ent your Spirits may meet [...]ith or labour under in this pre­ [...]ent World, and therefore put [...]n for the enjoyment of it. [...]here cannot any cross nor af­ [...]ction here befall you, but an [...]nterest in this Eternal Good [...]ill bear up your Hearts. This [...]ill keep your Heads above wa­ [...]er, and still secure you from [...]rowning, amidst the cross Seas, [...]nd contrary surges of the trou­ [...]lesome Ocean of this World. [...]ou shall not sink, whilst you [...]ave the Plank of an everlasting [...]ood to ride upon. And there­ [...]ore put on for it. Though you [...]e troubled on every side, yet you [...]hall not be distressed: though you [...]e perplexed yet you shall not be [...] despair: though you be persecu­ted, [Page 316] yet you shall not be forsaken [...] though you be cast down, yet you shall not be destroyed. Whence is all this? Because you have an interest in this Eternal Treasure▪ 2 Cor. 4, 7. 8. Nay such is th [...] vertue thereof that it will no [...] only supply the want, but it w [...] do more; through Christ yo [...] shall not only Conquer, but b [...] more than Conquerours, sayes th [...] Apostle. Rom. 8.37. Wh [...] would not be Ambitious of suc [...] a Soveraign remedy still at han [...] against all distempers, of such [...] strengthning Cordial against a [...] discouragments, and such a s [...] supply against every want [...] The Philippians were not onl [...] exposed to wants, but probabl [...] exercised under many; No [...] the Apostle opens unto them [...] Fountain of full supply, where [...] they might have free recours [...] and by Faith be interested in▪ My God (saith he) shall supply a [...] your need, according to his rich [...] in glory, by Christ Jesus, Phil. [...] [Page 317] 19. From hence it was that the Apostle had that excellent Lesson of contentment insculpt upon his Heart in every condi­tion, Phil. 4.11. He that hath [...]an interest in this Eternal Por­ [...]ion is the only happy man, how miserable soever he appear in [...]he World: he is the truly rich man, how poor and indigent so­ever as to his outward conditi­on he may seem to be: He has [...]hat Philosophers stone that turns all to Gold. He sleeps as quiet­ [...]y when he has but a stone for [...]his Pillow, as Old Jacob did,Gen. 28.11 when he was on his way to his Uncle Laban. His mind is not only brought down to his con­dition, and equalled with his e­state (wherein the quintessence of contentment lies) but his Heart is raised above these things to converse about his E­ternal Portion by Divine con­templation; and seeing his in­terest there, this gives him satis­faction.Jam. 2.5. Thus the poor of this [Page 318] World are (said to be) rich i [...] Faith; being Heirs of the King­dom, which God hath promised t [...] them that love him. Oh then, pu [...] on for an interest in this Inheri­tance, which will be as a Pan­pharmacon for all your grievances: as wherewith you ma [...] check your Worldly Fears, remove Carnal Doubts, and qui [...] your minds under Earthly di [...] contentments: from hence yo [...] may fetch a supply adequate t [...] all your wants, a Plaister abroad, as any of your sores▪ and this you may effectually op­pose to the All that may seem t [...] be against you in this World The want of an interest here, o [...] of the actual knowledge and ap­plication of it, is that which de­stroys Persons: and so they cry out as miserable undone crea­tures, when they fall under, o [...] are to encounter with any cros [...] Providences in this World.

§. VIII.

Lastly, Consider, if you miss of an Eternal Portion, though you have never so much of Out­wards, you are undone for ever. What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole World, and lose his own Soul? Mar. 8.36. says our Sa­viour. Many think they have well provided for themselves, their Families, and Posterity, having got a large Portion of outward good things, so as their Cup is full; when in the mean while they know not, neither much matter it, how, or what claim they can lay to the things of Eternal Moment: wherein yet if you fail, all your Externals will yield ye no advantage, but you are undone for ever. When you are at the point to die, and then shall perceive that you have vainly trifled away Eternity for some transient Pleasures, or temporary Good Things, which [Page 320] now you must utterly part with­all; you'l then say of all your worly good, as Esau sometimes did of his Birth-right, (though he from a prophane discontent­ed Spirit, and you from deep conviction) Behold I am at the point to die; and what profit shall the good things of this life do to me? Then there is no hope in them, nor help from them, nor stay­ing by them; they all become blasted, withered, dead, and dry. The Bud yeilds no Meal: Hos. 8.7. You shall then find, that you have all your life-long but Sowen the wind; and now must reap the Whirlwind. And ('tis Solomon's question) what profit hath he, that hath laboured for the wind? Eccles. 5.16. Oh therefore lose not the Substance whilst you catch at Shadows; neither ex­change an Eternal Portion of­fered, and brought to hand, for a worldly good flying from you, whilst you do pursue it. And if it chance you overtake, and so [Page 321] be answered in the desires of your hearts, yet missing of the true good, you shall find your Gain to be your loss, and your loss such, as is irreparable by all your gain. The loss it will be of your Souls; and what shall a man give in exchange for his Soul? Now these Considerations duly weighed,Mar. 8.37. methinks should rouze up and awaken the dull and su­pine Spirits of poor Mortals to put on for Eternity, now in this their day. Let us fear (saith the Apostle to the Hebrews) lest a Promise being left us of entring in­ [...]o his rest, any of you should seem [...]o come short of it: Heb. 4.1. The Promise is left to us, as well as unto them, and it stands sure: But now to take up short of this Promise, and so to miss of it, is [...]o deprive our selves of all the Good that's in it; and then, though we have never so much of worldly good, yet we are ut­terly undone for ever.


WE have divers Arguments to stir us up to put on for an Eternal Portion, and to lift up our heads, and look beyond present things. The door by which an Entrance is to the en­joyment of an eternal Good, stands open for all Commers who have an heart to enter There is as fair a way for the poorest sort who have but a lit­tle Portion in this World, to have the God of Heaven and Earth to be their Portion: to have whatsoever Jesus Christ hath Purchased by his Blood, to be their Portion; to have Hea­ven, and Eternity, and immor­tality to be their Portion; as there is for the Greatest Poten­tate in the World. Many poor people are ready to say, Alas, [Page 323] I am poor, I have little, I know little, I am able to do little; I live upon others Charity, how shall I ever come to enjoy an In­terest in this Eternal Portion? My Father is dead, and hath left me no Portion, and my Friends they are poor, and those few of them that are o­therwise, they overlook me. I, but for all this, you may come to have a Portion: It's possible some poor Wretches may have a Portion in God, and Christ, and Immortality, as well as the greatest and richest of all. Raise up therefore your hearts, you that are poor and mean; and know, that you are born for high things: How meanly so­ever you live now, you may be glorious Creatures hereafter, if so be you have an heart to put upon it, and to seek after this Eternal Portion. But now, you'l all say, Lord, what should we do, that our Portion may be an higher Portion, and our [Page 324] Good a more choice Good, than this World is able to vouch­safe unto us? Oh, says the rich man, that's truly and throughly convinced of the in­sufficiency of all Worldly Good, as to Eternal Satisfaction (for though it's hard for such to be convinc'd, yet not impossible, and with God most easie) What shall I do, that I may enjoy this blessed Portion? And says the poor man, Sith it's possible for the poorest and meanest Wret­ches to have an Interest in this Eternal Good, I am resolved to cast in my Lot, and what shall I do? Now the Directions that I would lay before you (some whereof may suit all sorts, and all of them one or other) are these that follow.

§. I.

First, If you would have the Good Things of Eternity for your Portion, then consider from whom Every good gift, Jam. 1.17. and every perfect gift doth come; and pray to the Father of Lights, that he would vouchsafe you an Interest in that Eternal Por­tion. As Prayer at all times is a Christians duty; so when Matters of Great Concernment are before us, no less than the Everlasting Welfare of the Im­mortal Soul, surely then this Duty is firstly to be practised. Therefore begin with Prayer; we ought not to set about any of our lawful and just Callings, without a particular addressing our selves to God. This was the practice of good Eleazar, Abraham's Servant, when he was employed in finding out a Wife for his Master's Son; O Lord God of my Master Abraham,Gen. 24.12 [Page 326] I pray thee send me good speed this day: And this also was the practice of good Nehemiah, Neh. 2.4. in the distresses of the people; I prayed unto the God of Heaven, and then I spake unto the King. These were but Matters of a temporal concern, how much more than is Prayer to lead the way in Matters of Eternal Mo­ment? The remisness of Chri­stians in this Duty shall be con­demned by the very Heathens, who in this Point shall rise up in Judgment against many pro­fane Christians, who look oft­ner upon their Gold, than up­on their God, as Salvian speaks. We read often in their Wri­tings, that in any general Ca­lamity, they did joyntlyMorbis grassanti­bus vel prodigiis nunciatis, pacem De­um exposci moris erat: vide Bris­son de Formul. l. 1. pag. 81. Edit. 1592. im­plore the Peace and Favour of their Idolatrous Gods: that in anyPlin. Panegyr. Bene ac sa­pienter ma­jores insti­tuerunt ut rerum agendarum, ita dicendi initium a praeca­tionibus capere, &c. Sueton. in Aug. cap. 35. Vide Brisson. de Form. l. 1. p. 42. Et Coquei Comment. in Aug. de Ci­vit. Dei, lib. 2. cap. 8. num. 2. matter of Consequence [Page 327] they made their entry upon it by Prayer, commending the suc­cess thereof to the Power and Providence of those Deities which they believed. Insomuch that we read ofLivius, lib. 26. A. Gell. Noct. Attic. lib. 7. ca. 1. Cujus ab a­dolescentia vita descri­bitur Diis dedita, tem­plis (que) nutri­ta. Aug. de Civit. Dei lib. 3. c. 21. Pub. Scipio a great Roman, that he ever went to the Capitol, before to the Senate, and began all the Bu­sinesses of the Common-wealth with Prayer. How much more then ought we to do it, who have not only the Law and Di­ctate of Nature to guide us; who have not deaf and impo­tent Idols to direct our Prayers to, as their Gods were: but have,

Fi [...]st, The Law of Christ re­quiring it; Pray always: Ephes. 6.18. Pray without ceasing: 1 Thes. 5.17. In every thing by prayer and supplication with thanks­giving, let your requests be made known unto God: Phil. 4.6. Who have,

Secondly, The Example of Christ to enforce it; whose cu­stom [Page 328] was to pray not onely Morning and Evening: Luke 22.39. Mark 1.35. Matth. 14.23. but upon every other solemn oc­casion. As for Example, before his Preaching: Mark 1.35, 38. before his Eating: Mark 6.41. before the Election of his Dis­ciples: Luke 6.12, 13. before his Transfiguration in the Mount: Luke 9.28, 29. before his Pas­sion: Matth. 26.36. John 17.1. and in his Passion: Hebr. 5.7. Who have,

Thirdly, From Christ that [le­gitimate, ordinary, fundamental Prayer (asTertul. de Orat. cap. 9. Tertullian calls it) the Lord's Prayer] not only ap­pointed for our use, but as a Rule and Directory by him fra­med, to instruct us how to pray, and to bound and confine our extravagant and vast Desires.


Fourthly, Who gave the Al­tar of Christ to receive; the In­cense of Christ to perfume; the Name and Intercession of Christ, [Page 329] to present our Prayers unto God by: Who have Christ sancti­fying; and, as I may so speak, Praying our Prayers unto his Father for us. As we read of the Angel of the Covenant, who had a Golden Censer, and much Incense, to offer up the Prayers [...]f the Saints: Rev. 8.3, 4. which was nothing else but the Media­ [...]ion of Christ, bearing the Ini­ [...]uity of our holy things, as Aaron was appointed to do; Exod. 28.38. nothing but his Intercession for us at the right hand of his Fa­ther: Rom. 8.34.

How much then (these things considered) not only of Reason, but Encouragement have we to [...]eek to God by Prayer, and that [...]n the first place, and the ra­ [...]her when the things we are a­bout are Matters of Eternal Moment. This we shall find to be an efficacious way, as of gi­ [...]ing Glory to God, so to con­ [...]ribute to our own advantage, [...]n bringing to pass the Event [Page 330] in Aime. For by this means we do,

1. Acknowledge our Depen­dency on God as the first Cause▪ 2 Chron. 14.11. & 20.6. and give him the Glory of his Soveraign Power and Domini­on over all Second Agents, and of effectuallizing all Means in or­der to the End designed; in ac­knowledging that without hi [...] we can do nothing: Mat. 8.2. and this Power of God is the ground o [...] Prayer.

2. By this means we put Go [...] in mind of his Promises, Isa. 43.26. and s [...] acknowledge not our Depen­dance on his Power only, bu [...] on his Truth and Goodness too and the Promises and Truth o [...] God are the Foundation of a [...] our Prayer. That which encou­raged Daniel to set his face t [...] seek unto God in prayer for th [...] restitution of liberty out o [...] Babylon, Dan. 9.1, 2, 3. was God's Truth an [...] Promise revealed by Jeremia [...] the Prophet, that he would ac­complish but Seventy years i [...] [Page 331] the desolation of Jerusalem. That which encouraged Jehosaphat to seek unto God against the mul­titude of the Moabites which came up against him, 2 Chron. 20.9. was his Promise that he would hear and help those that did pray towards his House in their Afflictions. That which encouraged David to pray un­to God for the stability of his House, was the Covenant and Truth of God; Thou hast re­vealed to thy Servant, saying, I will build thee an House; 2 Sam. 2.27, 28.29. there­fore hath thy Servant found in his heart to pray this prayer unto thee. And now, O Lord, thou art that God; that is, the same God in thy fidelity and mercy, as thou wert, and thy Words be true, and thou hast promised this Goodness to thy Servant; therefore let it please thee to bless the House of thy Servant, &c. Excellent to this purpose is that which Saint Austin observes of his Mother, who very often and earnestly prayed unto God for her Son,Aug. Confes. l. 5. c. 9. [Page 332] when he was an Heretick: Chi­rographa tua ingerebat tibi: Lord, saith he, she urged thee with thine own Hand-writing, she challen­ged in an humble and fearful con­fidence, the performance of thine own obligations.

3. Moreover, by this means we hasten the Performance of God's decreed Mercies: as al­so we retardate, yea quite hin­der his almost purposed and decreed Judgments. The Lord had resolved to restore Israel to their wonted Peace and Ho­nour.Ezek. 36.37. Yet for all these things will I be enquired unto by the House of Israel to do it for them, saith the Prophet. The Lord had threatned destruction a­gainst Israel for their Idola­try,Psalm 106.23. Had not Moses stood before him in the breach to turn away his wrath; as the Psalmist speaks. And we read of the Primitive Christians,Just. Mart. Apolog. that their Prayers procured Rain from Heaven, when the Armies of the Empe­rours [Page 333] were even famished for want of Water:Tertul. A­polog. ca. 5. and that their very Persecuters have begg'd their Prayers. All this is to let you see, as the Excellency, so the Necessity to season your Undertakings with Prayer. And now you being to look out after a Matter of so great Moment, as an Eternal Good for your Immortal Souls: Sure­ly it's requisite to begin with Prayer. When you consider the Excellency and Worth of the Prize desired; then, in the sense of your inability, look up to the Power of God as a­ble, to the Truth of God as faithful to accomplish and make good all his Promises. Say, that he has commanded us to seek him, Amos 5.4. to seek his strength and his face; and that he has promised,Psa. 105.4. that those that ask shall have, Matth. 7.7. and they that seek shall find: And that he hath pro­mised to give that which is good; Psa 85.12. and good gifts to them that ask Luke 11.13. [Page 334] him: and that he would ha­sten and speed the Work, when he is sought unto about it; for before they call, Isa. 65.24. he will answer: and whiles they are yet speaking, he will hear.

And thus as you are to be­gin with Prayer, so by Pray­er also you are to carry on and season, as the whole of your Christian Life; so eve­ry of those directions or means, that shall be offered to you, or embraced by you, in order to the obtainment of your desi­red End.

§. II.

Secondly, Imaginaria in seculo & nihil veri. Tertul. de coron. mil. cap. 13. Would you have an Eternal Good to be your Por­tion? endeavour then to yet a true sight and thorow ap­prehension of the Nature of all Worldly and Created Good: See the Vanity that is in it, and the Vexation of Spirit is­suing from it. Consider it in its Insufficiency to satiate the Des [...]res, and quiet the Moti­ons of an Immortal Soul. Be­hold it not as it comes, but as going from you: View not so much its Face and Promises, as its Back-parts and Disappoint­ments. Lift up and look un­der the Vizard that is upon all Worldly Good and see it in its Intrinsick Nature, and view it fully to its latter end, and then your Affections cannot but loo­sen from it, as from a filthy Harlot, whose rotten and de­formed [Page 336] Carkass is onely set off with a little Paint, or some outward Dress and Trimming, on purpose to allure the Simple to destruction. Nay, if there were any solid Good in these Worldly Enjoyments to be found, (which there is not) How fleeting and uncertain not­withstanding are they? How short is the time wherein we may hope for (not promise to our selves at all) a fruition of them? The words of the A­postle are very Emphatical to this purpose; 1 Corint. 7.29. The time is short: It remaineth, that both they that have Wives, be as though they had none: and they that weep, us though they wept not: and they that rejoyce, as though they rejoyced not: and they that buy, as though they pos­sessed not: and they that use this World, as not abusing it. That is, as not to be drowned, and smothered in the Businesses of this Life, as if there were [Page 337] any fundamental and solid U­tility in them; for saith he, The fashion of this World passeth away. The Apostle's Exhor­tation is beset at both ends with a strong Enforcement: First, The Time is short. The Apostle, as the Learned con­ceive, useth a Metaphor from Sails, or Curtains, or Shep­herds Tents, (as Hezekiah makes the Comparison: Isaiah 38.12.) Such things as may be gathered together into a nar­row room. Time is short; that is, that Time which the Lord hath spread over all Things like a Sail, hath now this [...]ive thousand years been rol­ [...]ing up, and the end is now at hand, as Saint Peter speaks: [...] Pet. 4.7. The Day is ap­proaching when Time shall be [...]o more: And so the Words [...]n the Original will well bear [...]t; [...], The remainder of time [...]s short, or Time is short, for [Page 338] so much as yet remaineth of it to be folded up; and therefore we ought to behave our selves as men that have more serious things to consider of; as men that are very near to that e­verlasting Haven, where there shall be no use of such Sails a­ny more. And in the Apo­stle's close the same Reason is farther yet enforced: For the fashion of this World passeth away; [...], the Figure; inti­mating that there is nothing o [...] any firmness,Quodcunque nunc nasci­tur mundi ipsius sene­ctute dege­nerat, ut ne­m [...] mirari debeat sin­gula in mundo cae­p [...]sse defice­re, cum to­tus ipse jam mundus in defectione sit. Cypri­an. Cont. Dem. or solid Consist­ancy in the Creature: it is but a Surface, an Outside, an emp­ty Promise, all the Beauty o [...] it is but skin-deep: And the [...] that little which is desirabl [...] and precious in the eyes o [...] men, (which the Apostl [...] calls, The lust of the World 1 John 2.17.) [...], it passeth away, and is quickly gon [...] The Word, as the Learned di [...] ferently render it, hath th [...] several Arguments in it [...] [Page 339] express the Apostle's Exhor­tation.

1. It [deceives or couzens] and therefore use it, as if you us'd it not; use it as a man in a serious business would use a false Friend, that profers his assistance: though his Protesta­tions be never so fair, yet so employ him, as that the busi­ness may be done though he should fail thee.

2. Transversum agit, It car­ries a man head-long: The Lusts of the World are so strong and impetuous, that they are apt to enflame the desires, and even violently to carry a­way the heart of a man: And for this cause likewise use it, as if you used it not; engage your selves as little upon it as you can: do as Mariners in a mighty Wind, hoise up a few Sails, expose as few of thy af­fections to the rage of World­ly [Page 340] Lusts as may be: beware of being carried where two Seas meet; as the Ship wherein Paul suffered Shipwrack; I mean of plunging thy self in a Con­fluence of many boisterous and conflicting Businesses, lest for thine inordinate prosecution of Worldly Things, the Lord ei­ther give thy Soul over to suf­fer Shipwrack in them, or strip thee of all thy Lading and Tackling, break thine Estate all to pieces, and make thee glad to get to Heaven upon a broken Plank.

3. The Fashion of this World passeth over, it doth but go a­long by thee, and salute thee, and therefore use it, as if thou usedst it not: do to it as thou wouldest do to a stranger whom thou meetest in the way, he goes one way, and thou another: Salute him, stay so long in his company til [...] from him thou have received [Page 341] better Instructions touching the turnings and difficulties of thy own way; but take heed thou turn not into the way of the Creature, lest thou lose thine own home. Thus if you study the nature of all Worldly En­ [...]oyments, and their insuffi­ciency as to Eternal Satisfa­ction, you'l find from such [...]onsiderations an advantage­ [...]us Income. The practical knowledge of the vanity of all [...]emporal good, will be one [...]ood step in the way towards [...]he enjoyment of Eternal.

§. III.

Thirdly, Get an Eye of Faith, to look through and above the Creature. A man shall never get to look off from the World, til [...] he can look beyond it. For the Soul will have hold fast of something, and the reason why me [...] cling so much to the Earth, is because they have no assurance if they let go that hold, of having any Subsistance else where Labour therefore to get an inte­rest in Christ, to find an everlasting footing in the stedfast­ness of Gods promises in him and that will make thee willing to suffer the loss of all things; Phil. 3.8. i [...] will implant a kind of hatred and disestimation of all the mos [...] precious endearments which th [...] Soul did feed upon before. St Peter saith of wicked men, that they are Pur-blind, they cannot see a far off; [...]. they can see nothing but that which is next them, [Page 343] and therefore no marvel if their thoughts cannot reach unto the end of the Creature. There is in a dim eye the same constant and habitual indisposition, which sometimes happeneth unto a sound Eye, by reason of a thick mist: though a man be walking in a very short lane, yet he sees no end of it: [...] Arist. Rhet l. 2. and so a natural man cannot reach to the Period of Earthly things; Death and Danger are still a great way out of his sight. Whereas the eye of Faith can look upon them as already expiring, and through them look upon him, who there­fore gives the Creatures unto us, that in them we might see his Power, and taste his Good­ness. And nature it self me­thinks may seem to have intend­ed some such thing as this in the very order of the Creatures: downwards a mans eye hath something immediately to fix on, all is shut up in darkness save the very surface, to note, that we [Page 344] should have our desires shut up too from those Earthly things which are put under our feet, and hid from our eyes, and bu­ried in their own deformity. All the beauty and all the fruit of the Earth is placed on the very out-side of it, to shew how short and narrow our affections should be towards it. But upward the eye finds scarce any thing to bound it; all is transparent and diaphanous, to note how vast our affections should be towards God, how endless our thoughts and desires of his Kingdom, how present to our Faith the Heavenly things should be even at the greatest distance. The A­postle saith,Heb. 11.1. that Faith is the substance of things hoped for, that it gives being and present sub­sistency to things far distant from us, makes those things, which in regard of natural cau­ses are very remote, in regard of Gods promises to seem hard at hand. And therefore though [Page 345] there were many hundred years to come in the Apostles time, and for ought we know, may yet be to the dissolution of the World: yet the Apostle tells us, that even then it was the last hour; [...]. 1 Joh. 2.18 because Faith being able distinctly to see the truth, and promises of God, and the endlesness of that life which is then presently to be revealed, the infinite excess of vastness in that, made that which was o­therwise a great space, even seem as nothing, no more in comparison than the length of a Cane or Trunk, through which a man looks on the Heavens, or some vast country. And ever the greater Magnitude or light there is in a body, the smaller will the medium or distance seem from it: The reason why a Perspective Glass draws remote Objects close to the eye, is, be­cause it multiplies the Species. We then by Faith apprehend­ing an infinite, and everlasting [Page 346] Glory must needs conceive any thing through which we look upon it, to be but short and va­nishing. And therefore though the promises were a far off in regard of their own existence, yet the Patriarchs did not only see but embrace them; their Faith seemed to nullifie and swallow up all the distance. A­braham saw Christs day and was glad; Joh. 8.56. He looked upon those many ages which were between him and his promised seed, as upon small and inconsiderable distances in comparison of that endless Glory into which they ran; they were but as a Curtai [...] or piece of Hangings, which di­vide one room in a House from another. Labour therefore to get a distinct view of the height▪ and length, and breadth, and depth, and the unsearchable love o [...] God in Christ, and to find in thy own Soul the truth of God in his promises, and that his word abideth for ever, and that wil [...] [Page 347] make all the Glory of other things to seem but as grass.

§. IIII.

Fourthly, Would you have this Eternal good to be your Portion, then labour to take off your Hearts from all the out­ward comforts, that are in this present World. Let not your Spirits bottom here. Men na­turally fix upon things that are here below, and look no higher: The borders of this World are the utmost confines of their thoughts, they look no further. All their care and study is, what they shall eat, Mat. 6.31. and what they shall drink, and wherewithall they shall be clothed. The bent of their Hearts, Thoughts and Works, is wholly intended to resolve the old doubts, which Carnal Men do make, how to satisfie the Lusts of the old man by gather­ing together a stock of World­ly Comforts? In this bottom [Page 348] we find all their Hearts imbar­qued. But now if you have a desire to look upwards, and to trade towards Eternity; let your Souls loose from these out­ward Comforts; Faith (as was told you) to see beyond them, will loosen your Souls from them: shake them off your Hearts, as S. Paul did the Viper from his hand.Act. 2 [...].5. Solatio mi­serorum, non gaudia beatorum. Aug. Epist. 119. Look upon them no fur­ther than as merely serviceable to you in the way towards you [...] journies end; whereto yet the [...] can contribute no further but only as a Viaticum for the body: If your thoughts entertain them at any higher rate, they will prove a snare and clog unto you in the way. They that will be rich, 1 Tim. 6.9. fall into Temptation, and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtfull Lusts which drown men in destruction and Perdition. Know, it is not necessary that you should be rich, and great, and eminent in this World: or that you should have great Estates [Page 349] and incomes here, that's not ne­cessary. But it is necessary, say, that I should have my Heart esta­blished with grace, Heb. 13.9. It is necessary that I have peace with God, and that my sins be pardoned, and my Soul renew­ed; It is necessary that I should provide for my Soul, and look after the things of Eternal mo­ment: but how things go here with me in this present World, there is no great necessity so much to concern my self, or be affected with them. Thus if you will have an interest in the better Portion, let your Hearts loose from Worldly Comforts. Meditate often upon that saying of our Saviour Christ, what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole World, and lose his own Soul? Mark. 8.36. Pray that the Lord would give you the true sense and understanding of this Text, that you may know and inward­ly digest the meaning of it, and find that vertue in it, as may [Page 350] loose your Hearts from this present World.

§. V.

Fifthly, Let the whole course of your life be carried on in the fear of God, and thence season­ed with a fear, lest that here should be the All, that ever you are like to enjoy. As this was made use of as a sign before, so now as a means. Let the whole course of your life be steer'd (as it were) with the fear of God, lest that God should put you off with present things. Think oftentimes with your selves, what if I should never enjoy more good, than here I have, and that with this present life all my good should end? Should God now this night take me away out of the Land of the living, and give me my Por­tion in the Infernal Pit of dark­ness, what would all the good of this present life avail me? [Page 351] Had it not been infinitly better that I had never known it, nor enjoyed it, than thus to be put off with it; and for a few tran­sitory hours of fading comforts, now to lye howling under the justly deserved wrath of an in­finite God in paines unsuffera­ble to all Eternity? Often do you meditate and think upon the conditions of those, how in­finitely forlorn they are, to whom it falls out to be their lot to have all their good things here. Think with your selves, that though they now abound in all wealth and store, yet you even see them on slippery ground, Psal. 73.18, when all their good and jolly thoughts shall perish, and they never like to enjoy good hereafter any more. Let the course of your life be seasoned with such thoughts as these. And especially you that have great Portions in this World, and you know that hitherto you have done God, his Church, or [Page 352] People, little or no service; you have not served him in the abundance and fulness you do enjoy. You know there are many poor People that live upon Almes have done God more service, and have contributed more to the Honour of his name, than you have done with all your wealth in all your dayes. Oh, you have great cause to fear, lest you be the persons who may take up with this World, and for whom there's no good reser­ved in the World to come. Ru­lers, and governours and the great men of the World had need here be caution'd to consi­der, as having cause to fear lest here should be their All. Oh, that amidst their fulness they would mind their latter end. Chrysostome, on the thirteenth Chapter to the Hebrews speak­ing of Governours, hath such a Speech as this, I wonder (saith he) that any governer should be [...]aved. We will not say so. But [Page 353] they are liable to a great deal of temptations, and to assaults that are much more furious and violent to the carrying them a­way, than others are, who want those Worldly Comforts and advantages which they do enjoy. And our Saviour Christ tells us, that a man who has a great Por­tion in this World, though it's possible he may have more here­after, yet it's hardly, Mat. 19.23, 24. Oh, therefore fear lest your good things here should be your All.

§. VI.

Sixthly, Honour the Lord with your substance here: It is the wise mans Counsell, Prov. 3.9. If you would not be put off with a Portion in this World, then improve the Portion that God gives you here to the Ho­nour of his name in order to the life to come. Think, that you cannot better lay out your E­state [Page 354] and enjoyments, than in and about the service of God, who does expect it from you, as having for that, chiefly, amongst other ends, entrusted you with, and lent it for a while unto you. You are here no more nor o­therwise than as stewards, and the commitment of these out­ward mercies for a time is to you: but if you shall not be faithfull in the unrighteous Mam­mon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? Luk. 16.11. Oh! therefore improve and lay out your Estate for God. Be con­vinced of one Principle in Di­vinity more,Si bona hu­jus mundi desunt, non per mala opera quae­rantur; si adsunt in mundo, per bona opera serventur in caelo. Aug Epist. 205. and that is this that there is more excellency and good in one vertuous action, than there is in all the creatures in Hea­ven and Earth (besides the works of Angels, and others of the Saints; excepting them:) Take all Creatures, Sun, Moon, Stars, Seas, Earth, all the riches in the World, the choicest Jewels, ri­chest Pearls, put all together; [Page 355] this is a truth in Divinity, that there is more excellency in one vertuous action, than there is if thou hadst all those things to be thy possession. If men were con­vinced of this, they would be abundant in good works then; they would surely be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate, and so lay up in store for themselves a good founda­tion against the time to come, that they may lay hold on Eternall Life. 1 Tim. 6.18, 19. Oh, labour to Honour God with your Sub­stance, dedicate some good part of your Substance to God; and as God hath blessed you, lay something still aside; If you think God will not reward such a quantity as the Tenth, why then Honour him with a ninth, or an eighth, or a seventh, or a fifth, with something I say, that shall shew you are desirous to o­bey every Commandement, and so to prove your selves sincere to God. Surely to mark how [Page 356] God prospers a mans labour, and then to be constant in laying aside a good Portion for God, this shall be none of mine, it shall be Gods, ready at hand for pious uses, to keep up, and beau­tifie Gods House, to strengthen the hands of Gods Messengers, to further Gods Worship any way, and to relieve the poor Members of Christ, would make you so rich in good works, and so encrease your liberality by exercise; as would undoubtedly pull a rich blessing upon you, and cause you to have interest in­to the blessing of having your prayers to run over with en­crease. Shew your selves libe­rall to God, check not with nig­gardize the Profession of your lips; for so you give others reason to think (though your selves be so full of self love, that you will not think so) that you draw near unto him with your mouth, and with your lips only do honour him; but your [Page 357] Heart is removed far from him, Isa. 29.13.

If any say his state is so poor that he cannnot. I answer

God hath propounded this as a means to get riches; and the poor man hath no reason to think that Gods means will be unavailable. But a poor neces­citous man that is fain to live of the bounty much what of others, must not be a rule for those that have better Estates. I am veri­ly perswaded, that one great cause of many a Christian mans poverty, is this; he Honours not God with his riches, and why should God make him rich? If we see a man not to Honour God with his wit, or strength, and then God deprive him of wit, and strength; doe we not readily impute this cross to the desert of that sin? And why are we not induced to conclude, God doth not prosper this man in his Estate, because he did not Honour God with his Estate? [Page 358] You think it is a brave thing that you have so much coming in by the Year, do but one good action for God out of an upright Principle, and there is more ex­cellency in that one action, than there is in this Estate, if thou hadst ten thousand times more added to it. There is a richness in good works, as well as in any Estate;1 Tim. 6.17, 18. So the Apostle, Charge them that are rich in this World, that they be rich in good works. Oh, improve, lay out your E­state for God. S. Ambrose in his Sermons upon the rich man, saith he, Is it not more Honour, that so many Children shall ask of you as their Father, than that so many pieces of Gold shall call you their Lord? The pieces of Gold, they do (as it were) call you Lord: and there are two or three Children shall call you Fa­ther; is there not more excel­lency, to have a couple of Poor Orphans, while you are alive in this World, to call you Father, [Page 359] than to have so many baggs of Gold call you Master? Oh, [...]herefore lay out your Portion for God, Give a Portion to seven, and also to eight. Eccl. 11.2. Make to your selves Friends of the Mammon of unrighteousness, that when ye fail, they may receive you into Everla­sting Habitations, Luk. 16.9.

§. VII.

Seventhly, Would you have an interest in this Eternal Por­tion, then make Christ your Por­tion here; Take not up with a­ny thing in this present World short of the Lord Jesus: fix not your Heart below him, who is the strength of the Heart, Psal. 73.26. and the Portion for ever. They only are the Generation, for whom the good things of Eternity are re­served, to whom God hath gi­ven, and who accordingly accept of the Lord Christ as their Por­tion here: who take him as the chiefest of ten thousands, and [Page 360] prefer him before all, and so he becomes to them an Everlasting Foundation.In eo funda­mentum non est Chri­stus, cui cae­tera praepo­nuntur. Aug. de Civit. Dei. l. 21. c. 26. You have the Lord Christ offered daily unto you in the Ministery of the Word, he is held forth in the Gospell of Reconciliation, and held forth to you, to be accept­ed by you, and upon Gospell-terms embraced, to become your own to all sanctifying, and sa­ving ends and purposes: on this errand the Ministers of the Gos­pel are sent, to Preach Christ Crucified, and to tender him un­to you, to beseech you to receive and entertain him, and to pray you, in Christs stead, as his Em­bassadors, to be reconciled to God, 2 Cor. 5.20. They are sent to hold forth his excellencies, to Preach his unsearchable riches, to open his benefits, [...]. Ephes. 3.8. to make known the priviledges and blessings you shall partake of, by your acceptance of him: a­mongst which this is one we are to Publish, and upon Gospel [Page 337] trust to tender, even a right in him to an Everlasting Portion, 1 Pet. 1.4. an Inheritance incorruptible, and un­defiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved, in Heaven for you: This undoubtedly is yours, if Christ be yours: Nay all things are yours, whether Life, or Death, 1 Cor. 3.21, 22. or things present, or things to come, [...]ll are yours: if Christ be yours. Oh therefore lay out for him, and make him your Portion [...]ere; God offers him, and would give him, do not you ne­ [...]lect so great Salvation. Heb. 2.3. Act. 13.46. Judge [...]ot your selves unworthy of Everla­ [...]ting Life by putting away from [...]ou this Blessed Portion, which [...]n, and with Christ is held out [...]nto you. An accepting of him [...]y a true Faith now in this pre­ [...]ent World, will undoubtedly [...]sue to a full fruition of him, [...]nd of perfect happiness in him, [...] the World to come. The [...]olly of men in this respect is [...]xceeding palpable, who having [...] Glorious end set before them, [Page 338] and means Infallible conducing to that end, without or beside which, it is given in assurance to them that they shall never attain that end; and they are convin­ced that the end is truely excel­lent and desireable, the mean probable and easie to be attempted; and they have some fai [...] thoughts towards it, and co [...] wish the enjoyment of it, th [...] they might dye the Death of [...]e righteous, Num. 23.10. and that their last [...]d might be like his; yea, and per­haps they have some hopes, but vain, and upon empty grounds that it shall go well with them▪ and yet they will not enter into the way, nor accept the mean [...] appointed for the obtainment o [...] the end. They regard not t [...] make Christ their Portion her [...] and yet they hope for an Eternal Portion of good things her [...] after: Whereas Christ is th [...] way, John. 14.6. the truth, and the life, the hope to come to life, and nev [...] set one step in the way, nor regard [Page 339] whether there be a work of true saving Grace and Faith up­on their Hearts, or no. Is not this palpable madness? Is not this self-condemning folly? And yet we find the whole World to lye a-sleep in this secure condi­tion, without God and Christ; insensibly sliding down into deep destruction, whilst by a cursed Hope-well they promise good un­to themselves, and yet the pro­per and only means appointed by God, for the attainment of that good (and without which there is no hope) is laid aside, and wholly neglected of them.

§. VIII.

Eighthly, See to the services you perform to God, that they be choice services. Doe you look for the good of Gods chosen? Psal. 106.5. then your services should be chosen services. True it is the Inheritance is given upon the account of Son-ship, and not [Page 340] Servitude: but yet these Sons are to Honour their Father in a way of Service, they are to shew their Obedience by serving him without fear in holyness and righteousness before him all the dayes of their Lives. Luk. 1.74, 75. Our Savi­our Christ, though he were a Son, yet (saith the Apostle) he learned Obedience; and being made per­fect is become the Author of Eter­nal Salvation to all them that obey him, Heb. 5.8, 9. Service here goes before the reward hereaf­ter, though the reward is not rec­koned of Debt, but of Grace: for when we have done all those things that are commanded us (were that possible, or within our compass) yet we are unprofitable Servants, and have done but that which was our duty to doe, Luk. 17.10. Now if you expect choice mer­cies, let your services be choice services; such as in some mea­sure may aim at an Heavenly Portion. Let your services, as on the one hand influenced on [Page 341] by, so on the other be tendent to the Grace of Eternal Life. How should your services be seasoned with Faith, and Fear, and Self-denyal? How should they be sprinkled with the salt of the Graces of Gods Spirit? If you expect, and move towards an Eternal Portion; how serious and earnest, how real and inten­ded should your thoughts be, and the workings of your affecti­ons in and about your services? Let your designs in your duties be Heavenly, if you design the Inheritance of the Saints in Light. See to the choiceness of your Services in their Principle, end, and manner. A Supernaturall Principle is requisite to a Super­naturall Work. Those Princi­ples which are congenite, and naturally inbred, will not enable to the performance of a Super­naturall Work:Joh. 3.6. For that which is born of the flesh, is flesh; but that which is born of the Spirit, is Spirit. Grace it is a Supernatu­ral [Page 342] Principle, and works beyond what conviction merely is able to raise one to, it brings a suit­ableness between the Work and the Heart, to which otherwise the Heart will not be enclined, but naturally is averse and in­disposed. Hence all that enmi­ty in Souls that are in the state of unregeneracy to the things of God; they cannot away with Gods Service and Worship, the Work of God it is a burden to them, they cannot bear it; they complain under it, as irksome, tedious, wearysome: saying with those the Prophet menti­ons, When will the New Moon be gone, Amos. 8.5. Mal. 1.13. and the Sabbath? What a weariness is it? They snuff at it. Why is all this; but because they want a Principle of Grace enclining the Heart towards Gods Law.Psal. 119.36. A Choice Service must have a Choice Principle. And so the end must be suitable too, or else the Service will not find acceptance. The end has a [Page 343] great Influence upon the Work to render it acceptable, or re­jected: if the end and aim be towards God, to Honour him, in Obedience to him, to fulfill his Will, to please him, to testi­fy our Submission to, and depen­dance upon him, our thankful­ness for mercies received, bene­fits conferred, and our trust in him: thus the end's good, and will so far dignifie and put a va­lue upon the Work. But if the end and aim be towards our selves, as our own praise, Self-esteem, Worldly credit, if it be to Honour our selves, by seeking to receive Honour one of another: Joh. 5.44. If the aim be at our profit, advancement, or advan­tage in this World, it is a poy­son to our services; and of such Our Saviour Christ says, Verily I say unto you, they have their re­ward, Mat. They have what they aim at, and they have it now. And we are to see that our Services be Choice in [Page 344] their manner too. The moda­lity of the Act, as well as the matter, and end thereof, is duly to be considered: Circumstan­ces are to be weighed, not only the bonum but the benè is to be regarded. Seneca, in giving of his rule, how to know the affecti­ons, when they are naturall, and when not, saith he, you shall know a natural affection by this, if it be kept within bounds, it is na­tural; if it be out of bounds, it is not natural. I'le make use of it in another way, when you come to the Service of God, if you think to limit God in his Ser­vice; you will go so far, as may be consistent perhaps with ease, or profit, or credit, and there stop, this is but a natural Service. But if the Service be Supernatu­ral, you will let out your Hearts (if it were possible) Infinitly to God. You will propound no bounds, no limits to your Service. And this is indeed the truth of Grace, when it hath [Page 345] the impression of Gods Infinit­ness upon it: that the Soul sets no limits, nor bounds in the way of Grace, but desires to answer God (if it were possible) by an infinite way: as he is without all bounds and limits, so the Soul would set no bounds nor limits to Grace in Service. This is a Choice Service, in a Supernatu­ral way.

§. IX.

Ninthly, If you would not have your Portion in this world, then be willing to part with, and freely cast away from you, whatever of your Portion you have sinfully gotten. Let not the riches of iniquity abide with you, neither what you have sin­fully gotten load conscience any longer. You bear about with you a secret, and inward wit­ness which is privy to all your ways, and takes Cognizance of all your dealings. The Spirit of [Page 346] Man is the Candle of the Lor [...] (says the wise man) searching all the inward parts of the belly, Prov. 20.27. Now if you are con­scious to your selves of any un­just, or unrighteous dealing; or that you have wrongfully gained by oppression, cousnage, extorti­on, or fraud, or by any other unjust, or unwarrantable way, and means, sleep not with it; lye not down one night with the wages of iniquity in your bosom; do not any longer maintain a War with conscience about it, neither take part with Carnal Reasonings to stop the course of good Convictions; but yield and deliver up your selves in obedience to the revea­led will of God. Know that all such sweet Morsells which you have delightfully swallowed down, and now perforce with­hold, they must up again; And therefore be rather willing to part with them now. Resolve upon it, whatsoever thou hast [Page 347] gotten wrongfully, never to keep [...]t against thy will; but do it willingly, else thou canst have no comfort in thy present Porti­on, nor an interest in the bles­sed Portion of the World that is to come. If there be any true Divinity in the World, this is [...]rue: and yet it is hard to con­vince any covetous Worldly minded men, who have gotten much this way. It's an old rule but a true, that all the Repen­tance you have in this World,Non remit­titur pecca­tum nisi re­stituatur ablatum. August. all your fasting and sorrow for your sin will never obtain Par­don, without restitution, if you be able. Unless you do what you are able to restore, you can never quit your conscience, take comfort, nor have the par­don of that sin. Consider the Doctrine of our Saviour Christ, Mat. 5.23, 24. If thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there remem­brest that thy Brother hath ought against thee: leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way, [Page 348] first be reconciled to thy Brother, and then come and offer thy gift. The Sacrifice of Repentance, or of a sorrowfull Heart (which yet is but Hypocriticall, where there is not Restitution) will not come up with acceptance up­on Gods Altar, if you do not first what you are able to restore, and so sincerely to be reconciled to your Brother. Notable for this is the example of Zacheus, the truth of whose Repentance was fully evidenced, and that he was one of those, whose trea­sure was laid up in the good things of Eternity, when he does ingeniously profess, saying, Lord, if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold, Luk. 19.8. Zacheus was freely to part with and cast away from him whatever of his Portion he had sinfully gotten: he was willing to make Restitution for the wrong he had done. Behold here a true Son of Abraham, a [Page 349] man to whose house Salvation was come. And Jesus said unto him, this day is Salvation come to this house, for so much as he also is the Son of Araham.

§. X.

Tenthly, If you would have your Portion in the good things of Eternity, then keep the eye of your Soul fixed upon the good things of the Life to come. A stedfast fixing of the eye upon an Object will greatly influence upon the Soul to change,Fugiendum est ad cla­rissimam patriam: ibi pater, ibi omnia. Aug. de Civit. Dei. assimi­late, or conform it to the nature of that Object fixed upon: so as the Soul shall become united with it, interested in it, or shall embrace it, as its interest. A man that is Worldly mind­ed and whose converse is with terrene Objects, to these he looks, and in these he lives. This Soul-converse with the things of this World will so work up­on him, as to assimilate and con­forme [Page 350] him to the nature of the World, his Heart shall be world­ly, his affections Worldly, his Meditations and Reasonings Worldly; nay he looks upon his interest as embarqued in the things of this World: Thus shall he be blinded as to his choice concerns; and this from a keeping the eye of his Soul as't were fixed upon things be­low. So it is with a Gracious Heart in its motions according to its temper; by fixing its eye upon Spiritual and Eternal Ob­jects, and conversing there, it becomes assimilated, conformed, and as it were changed into the Nature of such Objects, and so becomes Heavenly in its Affecti­ons, Reasonings, and Meditati­ons; and apprehends its inte­rest to lye in these things: so Divinely raised, and spirituali­zed shall the due fixing the eye upon Eternal Mercies render the Heart to be. The igno­rance or want of Practice of this [Page 351] Piece of Divinity renders Chri­stians, to the shame of their Professiion, so terrene and earth­ly in their courses, so mean and low in their Performances, so deficient and deceived as to the fixing their proper interest, so impatient under Afflictions, un­steady in their motions, and their conversations so below the Gospel of Christ: that there appears little or no difference betwixt them and the mere Mo­rall Heathen, unless in their fal­ling short of him in walking up to the Principles of true Mora­lity: which is matter of great Lamentation. The Apostle ex­presly sets down the Influence and Efficacy, that such an open fixing the eye will have upon the Soul, in 2 Cor. 3.18. But we all (saies he) with open face, beholding as in a Glass the Glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from Glory to Glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. The be­holding Gods glory in the Glass [Page 352] of the Gospell is Influential by the Spirit of the Lord upon the beholder, so fixing his eye, to change him into the same Glori­ous Image of Righteousness, and Holyness, and that from one degree unto another; till he grow up into the measure of stature of the fulness of Christ. Eph. 4.13. Keep therefore the eye of your Soul fixed upon Eternal Mercies. Look not (as the Apostle sayes) at the things which are seen, 2 Cor. 4.18 but at the things which are not seen: That so you may be changed in­to the same Image, and behold your interest there. You shall experiment a great advantage accrewing to your Souls in their Christian Course, from an in­tended bent of mind to Spiritu­al Objects: not looking upon them cursorily, and passiing them over with a transient, and superficial view, but seriously weighing, and duly considering them, in their breadth, and length, and depth, and height, that [Page 353] so you may know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, and be fil­led with all the fulness of God, E­phess. 3.18, 19.

§. XI.

Moreover, If you would have your Portion in the good things of Eternity, set before you the examples of the faithfull, which are upon record for your dire­ction, and who now enjoy a bles­sed Portion: and follow them. Tis the Apostles exhortion, be followers of them, Heb. 6.12. who through Faith and Patience Inherit the pro­mises. The faithfull who are gone before us, and whose lives [...]nd ways are recorded in Holy Scripture, are proposed as pat­ [...]erns for our imitation. To [...]his end we have that great Cloud of Witnesses spread, in [...]he Eleventh Chapter, of the Epistle to the Hebrews, that by [...]heir example we may be stirred [...]p to lay aside every weight, and [Page 354] the sin which doth so easily beset us, Heb. 12.1, 2. and to run with Patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the Author, and Fini­sher of our Faith, 1 Cor. 11.1 Be ye follow­ers of me, even as, I also am o [...] Christ: Saith the Apostle to the Corinthians. And he tells th [...] Thessalonians, that they, the Apo­stles,2 Thess. 3.7.9. were examples for them t [...] follow. We reject the Counsel of God against our selves, if w [...] cast aside the examples of th [...] faithfull, whose ways in Chris [...] are upon record made know [...] unto us: and the Scripture, [...] far, as to us, is rendred va [...] and unprofitable, unless to aggravate our Guilt and Condemnation, if we have no more regar [...] unto it. Wherefore are the [...] recorded, but for our imitat [...] on? The Praise in the Gospe [...] is not more theirs, then the benefit intended thereby, ours, upon a good improvement of thei [...] examples. Do we think to enjoy a Portion in Eternal Bli [...] [Page 355] and Happyness in another way, than the faithfull have attain'd it, who have gone before us? So as their way was one, and ours must be another? As if there were not one, but another Gospel? Or as if the Gospel were divers from it self? Do you think there are different and opposite ways to the same blessed end? As though God were not one, his word one, the way, the truth, and the life one. Surely these Imaginations are vain and empty, and by the Principles of right reason to be exploded. Let us therefore arm our selves with the same mind, 1 Pet. 4.1. Phil. 3.16. Hebr. 13.7. which the faithfull had that have gone before us. Let us walk by the [...]ame rule, by which they walked; considering the end of their conver­ [...]ation: they aimed at Happy­ness, and they constantly held on [...]n a way of Holyness to the en­ [...]oyment of it.Phil. 3.17. Be followers toge­ [...]her of mee (saith the Apostle to [...]he Philippians) and mark them [Page 356] which walk so, as ye have us for an example. Surely this frequent and earnest pressing the good examples of the faithfull for Christian imitation, argue [...] the acceptance of them as patters to be a Christian duty Why are they urged, if not to be accepted? Why are they se [...] before us, if not to be followe [...] by us?Etiamsi co­dices omnes qui toto orbe habentur, intercidis­sent, vita & passio Christi a­bund [...] Chri­stianis om­nibus suffi­ceret, ad virtutem omnem & veritatem perdiscen­dam. Ludov. Blos. spe­cul. spiri­tual. cap. 10. But above all set befor [...] you that grand examplar, th [...] Lord Jesus Christ, in his Life and in his Death: he hath left u [...] an example (saith the Apostle [...] that we should follow his steps, [...] Pet. 2.21. By the same wa [...] that the Captain of our Salvation came to the Crown, in th [...] same way are all his followers t [...] be crowned: and none are tru [...] ly such, but they that are led o [...] by him in the same steps, tha [...] he hath troden out before them Oh, therefore follow him, [...] you expect your Portion wi [...] him. If you look that he [...] dole out your share unto you [Page 357] from and out of that fulness that is in himself, give up your selves to be guided by him. As [...]ou acccept him for your only Saviour, so take him also for [...]our most perfect pattern,1 Pet. 2.22 who did no sin, neither was guile found [...]n his mouth. And then ye,Mat. 19.28. which have thus followed him in [...]he Regeneration, when the Son of Man shall sit in the Throne of his Glory; ye also shall receive your Crown of Glory that fadeth not a­way, 1 Pet. 5.4.

§. XII.

Twelfthly, Whatever may be [...]n hinderance in your course [...]owards Eternall good things, or a let to your enjoyment of [...]hem, cast that away, lay that a­ [...]ide. The Christian life it is a [...]ace towards the obtainment of a prize. Now we know, that [...]n a race the runners lay aside, and put off whatever may be an [...]inderance or let unto them; They will not carry any thing of weight about them, that may [Page 358] prove burdensome in their race but in order to their quickness and nimbleness, and that they may speed away in their course, they fairly acquit themselves of whatever otherwise might be an occasion of trouble to them. So ought it to be with true belie­vers, in their Christian race to­wards the prize that's set before them. They are to lay aside e­very weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset them. Heb. 12.1. Whatever may prove a block in their way or if ported with them, an oc­casion of trouble to them, they are to bid adieu unto it. Though it were a right hand, or a right eye, or a right foot, yet they are to cut it off, and pluck it out, and cast it from them Though it were the dearest o [...] all outward things, yet if i [...] would be an hinderance to them in their Heavenly course, they are to say to it, as our Saviou [...] Christ to Peter (diswading hi [...] from going on upon that bles­sed [Page 359] design, for which he came in­to the World) Get thee behind me Satan, Mat. 16.23 thou art an offence un­to me. Cast it off, throw it aside, whatever offers to interrupt you in your Heavenly race. Heark­en not to the voice of such charmes, who would inchant you, and, by their Soul-deluding sorcery charm you out of the things that concern your Peace. How many dear lusts, and belo­ved sins shall you find smoothly pressing for the yet saving of their lives? Crying, Master yet save us; let us not thus soon pe­rish, yet a little breathing time; Oh spare us yet for a little while, torment us not before the time: yet a little sleep, a little slumber, Prov. 5.22. a little folding of the hands, and the like; as the sluggard argues himself into a state of Invinci­ble sloth, and poverty; so sin in its motions is still importunately pressing, till it get further hold, so as at last the sinner shall be holden with the cords of his sins. [Page 360] Consider, therefore, when yo [...] hear the voice of these temptin [...] Syrens, that their preservatio [...] will be your destruction: kno [...] that it is for your life, whic [...] they would now bring to th [...] stake,Prov. 7.23. that they so earnestly move for a Reprieve. Th [...] Counsell that the Lord gives Je­remiah for the securing himself against his subtill persecutors is good in this case, Jer. 12.6. Believe them not, though they spea [...] fair words unto thee. Say, you have a race to run, and the sands in the glass are passing too, and you cannot stand dallying with them any longer: Say, you know their design, and what lurks in the bottom, that (as Nebuchadnezzar said to his wise men) they would but gain the time, Dan. 2.8. that you might lose your prize: and therefore either be gone, or they are dead before you. Say, you have a race to run which requires speed and hast, and a­gility; and you have not time [Page 361] now to reason the case any long­er with them: [...], &c. Chrysost. ad pop. Antioch. hom. 5. and to carry them any longer with you, you find they are a Mass of deadly lum­ber upon your loyns. Say, it heartily repents you of your fol­ly that you have dodg'd with them thus long, and trifled away your precious time, in hearkning to their tempting Pleas, by which you have found your self, through a sad experience, thus far to have been but gull'd all a­long; and therefore now you are utterly resolved to bid an everlasting adieu unto them: and that your Heart rejoyces that now at length you shall part with such bad companions as they now appear indeed to be: and you are much more assured, that should you hold on to keep them company, they would prove far worse in the latter end, even bitter as Worm-wood, sharp as a two edged Sword; destructive to Soul, and Body too, depriving you of your [Page 362] Peace, and promoving your E­ternall woe. Thus whatever may be an obstruction to you in your course towards the Crown, resolvedly lay it by, never to resume it: So lay it by as to forget it too. This was the A­postles practice in his Christian course and rule to us? forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, he pressed towards the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, Phil. 3.13, 14.

§. XIII.

Lastly, Whatever may help forward or advance your Interest in, and enjoyment of an Eternal Portion, be sure you cleave to and hold it fast; make use of that to such an end. He that has a work to accomplish, and his design on foot is great, the means which is appropriate for the effecting such a work, and the bringing about such design shall not be neglected by him; but with all Industrious Diligence, according to the value such Design bears in his thoughts, you shall find him apply himself unto the means. If a Souldier design the gaining of a Victory, a Prize, Glory, or the pleasing of his Captain, you shall have him act accordingly in such ways and means, as pro­bably may conduce to such an end, arming himself with cou­ [...]age and resolution, as well as weapons; with a magnanimous and heroick Spirit, as well as Shield and Buckler: not over­born [Page 364] with the love of life, or un­man'd with the fear of death, or entangling himself with the things and cares of this present world. So we find the Apostles phrase, 2 Tim. 2.4. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him, who hath chosen him to be a Souldier. So a Christian that has a noble aim, no less than at Eternity, Life, and Glory; and who accordingly estimates the things aimed at, will not surely be remiss in the diligent use and improvement of all good means, suitable to, and appointed for the effecting of his aim. The end will put him upon the means; and the more excellent the end is in his eye, so much the more diligently will he intend the means. Now an heavenly Por­tion, an everlasting Inheritance the good things of Eternity, the excellency of their Name points at their Worth, so as no end can be more glorious: and therefore [Page 356] this must needs spirit to an in­tention upon the means. Who can think to attain the end of a Journey, which he never entred upon, nor, in order to it set a foot i'th way? or if he have entred in­to the way, yet shall linger there­in, and make no riddance? Or shall, after some progress therein made, turn again out of it? Can this man hope to attain his jour­neys end? surely no. The slight­ing of means in affairs natural or moral, and yet a discoursing of the end, argues the folly and va­nity of such Pretenders: and much more are such pretensions not only vain, but dangerous, when the Concerns are spiritual to which they are referred. Do you look for a Portion, an hea­venly, and therefore an high, full, and lasting; then apply your selves to the means conducent to the obtaining of it. Truly ac­cept, of the Lord Christ tendred in the Gospel; give up your selves unto him; live the life of [Page 366] Faith; follow after Holiness; learn and practice the great Les­son of Self-denial; diligently attend God's Ordinances; san­ctifie God's Sabbaths, manifest in your whole course a gracious change, and wait constantly all your days for a glorious change. Consider how the Apostle St. Paul draws on to a conclusion his Epistle to the Philippians, in these words,Phil. 4.8. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, what­soever things are honest, whatsoe­ver things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report: if there be any ver­tue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Keep in mind these things to follow them and cleave unto them. And add to your faith, vertue (saith St. Peter 2 Pet. 1.6, 7) and to vertue, knowledge; and to knowledge, temperance; and to tem­perance, patience; and to patience, godliness; and to godliness, bro­therly kindness; and to brotherly [Page 367] kindness, charity; for so an en­trance shall be ministred unto you a­bundantly into the everlasting King­dom of our: Lord and Saviour Je­sus Christ▪Psal. 16.11.In whose presence is fulness of joy, and at whose right hand there are pleasures for ever more. And now, Oh, that these Sayings might sink down into your hearts, and that you (throughly considering the mise­ry of those men that have their good things in this present life) might never cease your endea­vours in the pursuit of an Eter­nal Portion, till you come to find and enjoy the true Pe [...]rl of price, Mat. 13.45. even God your God, and Christ your All.


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