ΜΙΣΘΟΣΚΟΠΙΑ. A PROSPECT OF Heavenly GLORY For the Comfort of Sion's MOURNERS. By Joseph Cooper Minister of the Gospel. Author of the Domus Mosaicae Clavis.

For our light affliction which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are tem­poral, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Cor. 4.17, 18.
[...] Cyril. Hier. Catech. 18. p. 210.
Legant priùs & posteà despiciant, ne videantur non ex judicio, sed ex odii praesumptione ignorata damnare. Hieron.
[...]. Clem. Alex. 290.

London, Printed by W. Redmayne, and to be Sold by John Cooper Apothecary at the Half-moon and Seven Stars in White-chappel, and Joseph Cooper Toyman at the Corner of Hungerford-market in the Strand, 1700.

TO THE Honourable the LADY Elizabeth Barnadiston.

AT the Desire of the Authors Rela­tions, I prefix your Ladyships Name to a Treatise by himself prepared for the Press, and committed to my pur­usal at the motion of Dr. Bates, who a­mong the brightest Luminaries now shines in his expected and desired Firmament.

The ensuing Picture drawn by his im­partial Intimate, will revive your remem­brance of the Blessed Mr. Cooper, who was so highly esteemed by your Honourable Mo­ther, and (among many other ejected Mi­nisters) no small sharer in the effects of her Beneficence, which she exerted there not as a Boon to oblige the Needy, but for a Te­stimony to that cause for which he suffered, and a just return to his occasional Labours, whence greater Blessings were designed to [Page] herself and Family. But seeing the Subject treated of, viz. The Glory of the Saints Re­ward is that under the Power whereof you determine your Choice, bear your Affli­ctions, and direct your Actings, it would be vain to labour at a further Apology for this Dedication.

The Design pursued by the high displays of Glory in this Book respect both Sinners and Saints.

Sinners are concernedly perswaded to enter into the way of Heaven, from a Con­viction that the good there received infi­nitely exceeds in Pleasure, Honour, and Ad­vantage; whatever can be found in a sinful course. This part is so warmly and wisely managed, that the obstinate Reader must ascribe his ruin to his own perverseness; for this motive from eternal Rewards is en­forced with that account of the vanity and vileness of a temporal Bliss, as must put any considering Person to the blush, who sets up Earth as a Rival with Heaven, or takes up with a Portion in it, yea, though end­less Misery were not the Wages of that Mad­ness: Yet assured this last will be found true, and that God governeth us, by fear as well as hope, the prudent Author describes [Page] Hell in a manner fit to terrifie the most se­cure from persisting in ungodliness, to their neglect of Christ and forfeiture of this great Salvation.

The mind impressed with the prospect of these two extremely different States he leaves neither under despair of recovery, nor yet under darkness what means he should apply himself to: And therefore, he prescribes the method to be used by the un­converted, yet still in a dependance on the Grace of Christ from the demonstrated im­potency of meer nature, and total want of human merit; and encourageth a compli­ance with the said method by full assurances that a disappointment cannot arise from our fallen State as irrecoverable. But least the mistaken Presumption of the Hypocrite should fix his danger by a claim to Saintship, he faithfully states the infallible sign of the Heirs of this heavenly Kingdom, and warns against a conceit of safety before these be evident. The other part of his design is to fix the Eyes of Saints so upon this cer­tain and glorious Crown of Life, as thence to derive relief and strength against those endangering Snares, worldly Allurements, afflictive Sufferings, and tiresome Labours [Page] which will attend them in their Pilgri­mage; this he treats of as a Man first forced on this Subject for a divine composedness under his own exercise; and then from the experimented fixing & transporting power thereof commends the same to Zion's Mour­ners, as effectual to make them happier even under Sufferings, than without them.

It may be less proper in an Epistle to your Ladyship to mention the doctrinal points wherein this divinely heated Soul discovers much Light and Judgment. How accu­rately and strongly doth he prove against the Antimonians the lawfulness of a Saints respect to the recompence of reward, the rectoral connexion between Gospel Duties and Benefits; the necessity of Repentance in order to forgiveness, &c. which I hope will be the more regarded from him, be­cause his opinion about Predetermination and the object of Reprobation is more plea­sing to them, than that of others of us be.

Madam! a Book of which these are the Contents, must be acceptable to one, in whom such Truths had an early regenera­ting Power, and can entail on Posterity a great stock of Prayers sent up by the Au­thor, and his Brethren, at the request of [Page] the Lady Wimbleton, whose Death invites you to an imitation of her exemplary Life.

Her Ladyship with the Reverend Author are now beholding and enjoying that Glo­ry in its fullness, the darker glimpses where­of sufficed to raise them above this World, and reconcile them to Death; yet were their present Station capable of a blush, reflecti­ons on their low Apprehensions, remiss La­bours, scanty layings out, and faint long­ings for that Glory, would compel it.

Its but a few moments, and our State is decided for Eternity, and the unseen World shall be felt in its greatness (as well as reali­ty) beyond our comprehension. Oh, what a change will the very Borders of it make in our Thoughts, advancing, cleansing, and improving such as are most sublime and best, whilst all others perish which are car­nal false or foolish!

That you may dayly proceed in a meet­ness for Heaven, by further evidence of title, and agreeableness of temper; that none of your Off-spring may come short thereof by degenerating from their emi­nently pious Ancestors; And that these uncontroverted Truths (which deserved an [Page] earlier Publication as well as larger Audi­tories than the time of Preaching them would admit) may be of saving use to them, and many others, shall be the fervent Prayer of,

Madam,
Your Ladyship's Most Humble Servant Daniel Williams.

The EPISTLE To the CANDID READER.

THOUGH all Men, by an Innate Appe­tite, do desire Blessedness, and have that before them as their* Ultimate End, in some kind of general, undistinct, and con­fus'd Intention: Yet i [...]possible it is for any Man, ever to enjoy Blessedness, and to have it in full Frui­tion, if not Guided thereunto by a Light from Heaven. True Happiness is not to be discerned by Nature's Dim Eye; Though it be a Tree of Life, yet the Fruit thereof grows so High, that Nature's Hand can never Reach it. As the Sun, that glorious Eye of the World, is not to be Seen, but by it's own proper Light; Ten Thousand Torches, though Lighted up, and uniting All their Beams in One Flame, cannot shew us the Sun: So, it is not all the Natural Rea­son in the World, though Clarified, and Improved to the utmost Reach of all Humane Understanding, that can bring us to any Saving Acquaintance with God, as our Happiness and Reward, without some bright, shining Beam of Divine Revelation, from Himself. [Page ii] Nature may shew Men, some Dark, and Cloudy Dis­coveries of Happiness, at a distance; just as that Blind Person, who, when his Sight began to return, saw Men walking like Trees: But, to give Men, a Clear Prospect of this Fruitful Land, and, to Direct them sufficiently in their Way thither, This Nature can no more do, than a Star, of the least Magnitude, can make Day in the World. Happiness is, indeed, the Harbour, for which, We are all Bound; but, we shall certainly Lose ourselves, and, Miserably make Ship-wreck by the way, if ever we put to Sea, with­out our Card and Compass of Wisdom from above, to help us in Steering a right Course, towards this wished Shore. There is nothing that can ever lead us to God, as our End, but, that which comes from God, as the Beginning of our Strength, in the Saving Know­ledge of our chiefest Good▪ In every Man, there are Two Prime Faculties, a [...] Understanding, capable of more Truth; and, a Will, desirous of more Good, than what the universal Confluence of all Created Beings, can possibly afford: God therefore, who is the First Truth, and the Chiefest Good, must first Enlighten the Understanding, with the Saving Know­ledge of Himself, before ever the Will can tell how to Move Regularly towards Him, as her Center, or Enjoy Him, for her full Satisfaction. He must Guide the Soul by his Counsel, on Earth, or else, she can never come to Heavenly Glory. [Psal. 73.24.] We are sure to lye down in Darkness, and, to Dye in the Wilderness of our own Folly, if the Lord direct us not, as by a Pillar of Fire, through the Night, and Thick Darkness of all our Ignorance, into the Hea­venly Canaan of true Happiness. There is no Propor­tion [Page iii] betwixt a Natural Eye, and a Supernatural Hap­piness; and so, no possibility that such an Object should be seen by such an Organ. The great God hath Ordained Man, to a far more Noble End, than what his Natural Faculties can either Merit for him, or, Discover to him. That Glorious and Ultimate End, in the Acquisition whereof, and not otherwise, the Heart of Man can rest Satisfied, it's as far above the Reach, of our most Soaring, and Sublimated Thoughts, as it is, for Worth and Excellency, beyond all our Deserts. Since the Infernal Raven, pick'd out the Eyes of our Understanding, with a Splinter of the Tree of Knowledge, of Good and Evil, we have all, like the Sodomites, been Groping in the Dark, for the Tree of Life: [Deut. 32.32.] But, should never have been able, to Distinguish It, from the Vine of Sodom, all whose Grapes, are Grapes of Gall, and Clu­sters Bitter, had not God himself, given us a Taste thereof, from Heaven, by the Hand of Christ. The Patrons of Universal Grace, (I confess) would turn the whole World into an Eden, and, have the Tree of Life to be found in every Garden, as well, as in the Paradise of God: But, the Vanity of that Opinion, is Written in Legible Characters, upon that confused Chaos, that heap and crowd of Contradictions, about the Summum Bonum; in the Ruines whereof, the most improved Reasons of the Heathen Philosophers, and the most raised Wisdom of the World's Learned Sages, lyes Buried to this Day. 'Twas the common Aim of all the Philosophers, (as Austin hath Obser­ved) of all the Heathen Sages, by Seeking, Studying, [Page iv] Disputing, and Living to find out, and lay hold upon Happiness: But yet, so Dreadful were their Misap­prehensions about it, and the Means conducing there­to, that (if Varro may be Credited, or* Austin after him) they Disputed themselves into no less than Two Hundred, Eighty and Eight Sects; some placing Hap­piness in this thing, and some in that, according to their several Inclinations, Humours, and Conditions, together with the different Projects they had to drive on in the World. So that there is no Possibility of finding out the way to True Happiness at Athens, a­mongst the Philosophers, who sought it only by Human Reason; but, in Jerusalem, amongst the Prophets and Apostles, Men, inspired with Divine Wisdom from Heaven; they will tell us the Truth, That our Happi­ness stands not in the Quint-Essence of Any, nor in the general Collection of All, Created Good Things; but, in the having of the Lord JEHOVAH for our Portion, and, our exceeding great Reward.

MEN may Fancy much Happiness, where Garners are Full, affording all manner of Store; where their Flocks are Fruitful, and their Oxen are Strong to Labor; where there is no Breaking in, nor Complain­ing in their Streets: But, David, a Man after God's own Heart, by an holy Epanonthesis, Contradicts that gross Mistake, [Psal. 144.15.] and stands like a Beacon upon an Hill, to give Aim at the Mark of True Blessedness; pronouncing that People alone to be Happy, whose God is the Lord. Let Men dive into the bottom of Nature's Sea, yet they will be able to bring up from thence, nothing but Hands full of Sand and Gravel; this One Pearl of Great Price, is no where Engendred in the Bowels of the Earth, When the Enquiry was; Where shall Wisdom be found? [Page v] and, Where is the place of Ʋnderstanding? The Depth said, It is not in me; and the Sea said, It is not with me. [Job, 28.13, 14.] So, if the like Enquiry be made after True Happiness, both Sea and Land, both the Riches of the Earth, and the hidden Treasures of the Deep, must needs say, It is not in them. A Man having Crowns and Scepters, and Bags of Gold under his Feet, may seem to stand upon a little higher Ground than his Neighbours: But, for all that, if God in Christ be not his Portion, he is not one Cubit higher in the Stature of true Blessedness. The Truth is, we are all ready, as Samuel, in the case of David, to mistake the Blessed Man, and to set the Crown of Happiness upon their Heads, for whom, God never intended it; as Samuel over look'd little David, and would fain have Anointed Eliab King, be­cause so goodly a Personage: But, we must not Measure Happiness by Worldly Things; nor pro­nounce them Heirs of Heaven and Glory, who have the fairest Portion of Earth, and Earthly Enjoyments. The Pen-Men of Holy Scripture, when-ever they go about to Decipher a Blessed Man, they never do it by his Outward Condition, but by his Inward Qualifi­cation; not by his Large Purchases, but by his Holy Practices; not by what he hath in Possession for this Life, but by what he hath in Reversion after Death. Hence it is, that you shall never hear any such Words fall from their Mouthes, as to say; Blessed are they that are Rich. Blessed are they that are Mighty. Blessed are they that are Honoured before Men. Bles­sed are they that have Gorgeous Apparel, and Fare Deliciously every day. But, Blessed are they, whose Sins are Forgiven them. [Psal. 31.1, 2.] Blessed are they that Walk in the Law of the Lord. Blessed are they that Mourn. [Mat. 5.3.—11.] Blessed are they that Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness Sake. Blessed are the Pure in Heart, for they shall see God. [Page vi] A Man may have many Blessings, and yet not be Bless'd. And again, he may lye under many Mise­ries, and yet not be Miserable. Have all the Bles­sings in the World, yet without God, thy Condition is Miserable: Have all the Miseries that the World can inflict, yet still, if God be thy Portion, thou art perfectly Blessed. 'Tis not what Men have, but what they are; not what is their Present and Temporal, but what shall be their Future, and their Eternal Con­dition, that speaks them to be either compleatly Mise­rable, or truly Blessed.

THIS Ensuing Treatise have I, therefore▪ Com­posed, on purpose to beget, both in my own, and others Hearts, more serious, fixed Thoughts of our Eternal Condition. And, as you will find that in it, which may be as a flaming, fiery Sword, turning every way, to keep Men from having any thing to do with the Forbidden Fruit of Sin: So it may be for a Ja­cob's Ladder to the Righteous, whereby Scaling the Walls of the New Jerusalem, as in an Holy Storm, they may come to eat at length of the Tree of Life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God. Durst I compare this Treatise with the Ark of the Cove­nant, I might tell you, there is laid up in it, both an Aaron's Rod, and a Pot of Mannah: There is some­thing of Hell's Horrour discover'd, to Affright Men out of their Ungodly Courses; and a Glimpse of Heaven's Glory, such as it is, to Decoy them into a Life of serious, practical Holiness. Every Man is ei­ther of God, by Regeneration, living a Life of Faith, and going to Heaven: Or, of Satan, by Corruption, living a life of Sense, and running on in a swift Career to Hell. This Discourse have I suited to both Condi­tions, endeavouring to shew you, (according to the small Talent, wherewith the Lord hath entrusted me) That if there be any Fire in Hell, the Wicked shall [Page vij] Everlastingly be Tormented in it; and if there be any Glory in Heaven, God's People shall for Ever be Crowned with it. When Zuinglius at any time, like a Boanerges, a Son of Thunder, was Rattling proud, and hard-hearted Sinners, he would often, like a Bar­nabas, a Son of Consolation, let fall some Beam of Comfort upon the poor, trembling Soul: Bone Chri­stiane, haec nihil ad te! Whatever Terrour is here spoken, will fall heavy upon none, but the Wicked, who walk according to their own Hearts Lusts: There is a Vein of Comfort laid in to Refresh God's People; the whole Discourse is a River of Life, send­ [...]ng out, (thô through an Earthen Pipe) those Streams, which may well make Glad every Gracious Heart. Hell, I have herein Deciphered to deter from Sin, when Men shall fear the Vengeance of Eternal Fire, which will follow after. Heaven, I have also, in some measure Described, to work Joy in Well doing, when God's People shall fix their Eyes upon that far more exceeding and eternal Weight of Glory, to which it leads. He that by patient continuance in Well-doing, [...]eeks for Glory, Honour, and Immortality, may turn and read of Heaven; how Blessed he is like to be, when God shall Crown him with Life Everlasting. He that hardens his Heart in a Course of Ungodliness, let him turn and read of Hell, how dreadfully Misera­ble he is sure to be, when he shall be Punished both Soul and Body from the Presence of the Lord, and from the Glory of his Power.

THE* Epigrammatist would have the Silver Axe of Justice carried before the Magistrate, to Proclaim, If thou be an Offender, let not the Silver Flatter thee; [Page viij] but if an Innocent, let not the Axe Fright thee. I te­stify the same, to every one that shall Read the Words of this Book, if thou be an Impenitent, Ungodly Sin­ner, let not the Glory discoursed of, Flatter thee, since Wrath and Hell are thy Portion: But if thou be a Child of God, let not the Flames and Misery that abide Ungodly Men, Affright thee, for there is a Crown of Righteousness, there is a Kingdom of E­ternal Glory, that will, after all present Troubles, fall to thy share. Truth is, what ever Discourses we can make of this kind, have neither Thunder enough in them to Awaken us, nor yet Glory enough to Attract our Eyes, to the due Beholding of those Eternal Con­cernments, which God hath set before us. Men are generally as Careless in Religious Affairs, as if Hell were but a Melancholick Dream, and Heaven a Devout Fancy; as if there were no Horrour in the one to Affright them, nor any Glory in the other to Engage their Thoughts, and Attract their Desires. Most Men are so Infatuated, with the Painted Beauty of this Earthly Jezabel, the World, that they can let out their Affections upon nothing else: They set up their Rest here, building Tabernacles below, never caring for that Building which is of God, Eternal in the Heavens. How many Thousands doth the World carry Captives at her Wheels, so strangely Tyrani­zing over fond Mortals Affections, that they can nei­ther Spirare, nor Sperare Coelestia, no more Hope for, than Breath after, Eternal Enjoyments? 'Tis Storied of the Duke of Alva, That being ask'd by Henry the Fourth, Whether he had not Observed the Ecclipses? He answered the King, No: I have so much to do upon Earth, that I have no leisure to look up to Heaven. Thus, the Generality of Men have so much to do upon Earth, and are so deeply engaged in their Secular Affairs, that they have no leisure to spend their Thoughts upon Heaven and it's Glory.

Lactantius, * will have those guilty of Degrading themselves into the Shapes of Brutes, and unworthy the Names of Men, who lye Grovelling here below, never fixing their Thoughts on Eternal Concernments, nor setting their Affections on Things above. And yet how are Multitudes every where Grovelling in the Dust of Earthly Vanities, never sending up a Look, a Desire, a Thought, no, nor so much as one Hearty Groan after Heaven! Natural Bodies, they follow the tendency of that Element which is Predominant in them; a Stone moves down-ward, it would be at the Center: Thus those, in whom the Love of the World is Predominant, they cannot but move Down­ward, the Earth is their Center, and that they will make towards, let come of Heaven and Glory what will come! Possibly, whilst Religion is in Credit, and the way to Heaven lyes through the Fortunate Islands, the Arabia Foelix, or through the Golden Streams of the Lydian Pactolus, these Men may have their Faces that way, and seem to Steer their Course Heaven-ward: But, if once Religion be under Hatch­es in the World; if once a Life of serious, Scripture Holiness be counted Faction, and all things are at such a pass, that there is no getting to Canaan, but through a Barren Wilderness; no coming at the fair Havens of True Happiness, but through the Straits of Poverty, Reproach, and Affliction; they have Wit enough (such as it is) to set Sails for another Wind, and will think Heaven it self, for a Golden-Mine, a very easy Morgage. Many there be, who, whilst Religion walks in Stately Equipage, will be Reteiners [Page x] to her: But, if at any time the Watch-men Wound her, and the Keepers of the Walls take away her Veil, you may presently see them very Shy of, if not Asha­med, to wear so much as her Livery. What* Clemens saith of a certain Friend, That he was not his, but his Riches Kinsman: This is true of many Professors, who, if Religion had not Riches in her Left-hand, would never pretend neither Kindness, or Kin to her. Such Men who thus design their own Profit, Honour, and Promotion in the World, by that pitiful Religion which they have, they are just like the Lapis Chelido­nius, which (say Naturalists) will retain it's Virtue no longer than whilst you keep it inclos'd in Gold. The Upper Springs of Grace and Glory, which God always gives in Dowry with his Daughter Achsah, True Godliness, cannot make a Worldly Heart fall in Love with Her; unless God will give him the Ne­ther Springs also, such as Riches, Honours, and earth­ly Possessions, he will never be brought to Match with her; nor is the Match ever made so sure upon this Account, but if at any time God dry up these Nether Springs, now the Stream of this Muck Worm's Affe­ctions, will wholly fail, such a Nabal, will God's own Daughter, (Religion I mean) find him, that he will be sure to turn her upon her Father, not forbearing (so much as one Night) to thrust her out of Doors. When the Ark came into the House of Obed-Edom, and they saw that it brought a Blessing upon him and his whole House, then every one (no doubt) could think it worth their Entertainment: But, when Judgments attended the Ark of God, almost every Man thought it a Burden, and by all means would turn it off, so that in such a time, the Ark of God finds no Rest; they send it from Gath to Ekron, from Ekron [Page xi] to Askalon, [1 Sam. 5.] counting him the Happy Man that could well rid his hands of it. Thus every Man will own Religion Prospering, a Blessing Ark: But, where is he that will own Religion under Worldly Disadvantages, that will entertain the Ark of God when Persecuted, when Banished, when Dangerous, and Un-doing to those that meddle with it? How­ever the Love of the World do thus eat out the Heart of Religion, with those who have their Portion in this World; yet, certainly it becomes not you, Christians, whose Treasure is in Heaven, thus to have the Wayes of God in Admiration for Advantage sake: Thus to Morgage your eternal Inheritance, to keep the poor Cottage of an earthly Estate, wherein you are but Tenants at Will. Their Condition, of all Mens, is most Miserable, who go from Heaven to Hell: From the Heaven (I mean) of Wordly Pro­sperity, to the Hell of Endless Destruction in the World to come. The very Life of every Worldling is wrapt up in the Bundle of his outward Enjoyments: And therefore not having made sure of Heaven, they must needs (as it was once said to a great Lord) be great Losers when they Dye.

AND, shall such miserable Caitives as these, Chri­stians! be the Men to Tread out the Way for your Feet to Walk in, when every Step, alas! that they take, sinks as low as Hell? Have you no other Copy to Write after, but that which is Written in Blood? Will no other Path serve the turn, but that of Men, Selling the Riches of Heaven and Glory, for a little thick Clay, which inevitably leads to Destruction? Such an Errour, though Received by Tradition, is [Page xij] enough to throw you head-long into Tophet; nor can you chuse but Perish Eternally, if you will make the Examples of such Misers the Rule of your Living. Why cannot you (as†{inverted †}† Bernard hath it) suffer the Wise Men of this World, who, like the Serpent, lick the Dust of the Earth, to go Wisely down to Hell? Is it not better (as a Divine of ours wittily) that we choose to Arrive at Heaven with Tatter'd Sails, than to Ruffle towards Hell with Cleopatra's Silken Tack­lings? Let others Admire the Gaudy Tulip, which closeth with every approaching Night, and cold Blast that comes, yet Christians, they should be like the Herb Semper-vivum, retaining their Verdure, and Greeness in the hardest Winter. What thô others will not have the Golden Apples of Glory, if not pla­ced in the Silver Pictures of Worldly Contentments, will you therefore Throw away those Apples of Gold, because the Silver Pictures of your Secular Enjoyments may get a Crack, and are Broken in pieces? Hea­ven it self is a sufficient Portion; though you had not so much as the Crumbs, with poor Lazarus, which fall from the Rich Man's Table: how much more, when you are sure of the Barrel of Meal, and that Cruse of Oyl for your Viaticum, which will never fail, till the Famine be over, and you come to eat Bread, even the Bread of Life, in the Kingdom of God? Remember Christians, you are to Seek what most may corduce to the bringing of you to Heaven, not what is the com­mon [Page xiij] usage of Earthly Minds; you must look what may best fit you for your Eternal Inheritance, not what is most approved by those, who have neither Part nor Lot therein. 'Tis Storied of Charles the V. That when the Duke of Venice, had shewed him his sumptuous Palace and earthly Paradice, instead of Ad­miring it, he only gave him this Serious and Chri­stian Memento; Haec sunt quae faciunt invitos Mori: These are the things that make us so Desirous to Live in the World, and so Unwilling to Dye. The Lord sees good to break his People in their Estates, with Breach upon Breach, that they may be more willing and ready to leave the World, to get out of their earthly Tabernacles, and to be Cloathed upon with their House which is from Heaven, They shall have nothing but Hunger and Thirst, and fiery Serpents in the Wilderness of this World, that they may never take up their Rest, till they come to the heavenly Ca­naan, nor be Satisfied, till they come to sit down to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, where they shall have a full Meal of Glory. So that though it be no Comfort to be Broken in our Estates; yet there is much Comfort comes in by Broken Estates. Though Lazarus had no Advantage from his Poverty, because that brought him to the Rich Man's Gate, yet he had great and everlasting Advantage accrewing to him, into the sweet Repose of Abraham's Bosome. God puts the* Gall and Wormwood of Vanity and Vexati­on, [Page xiv] of Trouble and Disappointment, upon the Brests of all our Injoyments here, that we may not have a Delight to be always Sucking at them. He makes them a Broken Reed, that fearing to be Pierced by them, we may not Lean upon them. He sets them on Fire, now and then, like as Absalom did by Joab's Corn Fields, that we may not dare to lye out any longer, but may gladly repair to him as our Absalom, as the alone Author of Peace, Rest, and Happiness to our Souls. And certainly, when we find so much Bitterness in all our Injoyments, we yet think it so good to stay here, did we find nothing but Delight and Sweetness in them, we should never think it good to go hence. They that have Feathered their Nests in the World, have no mind (as One well Observes) to be upon the Wing to Fly out of it. With you Christians, it must not be so: Your Emblem should be ( [...], if Clemens hit right) a Ship moving towards Heaven, that must no where put in for Harbour, till at the Shoar of Blessed Eternity. If others will Flag and Flutter here below, and be Intangled with the Bird-lime of Wordly Cares, let them: But be sure that you Soar a-loft, getting above the Cares of the World, and Flying as with Wings like a Dove, to the Windows of the Temple of God, in the heavenly Sion. It becomes not you, that are the Off-spring of Heaven, to lye Grovelling upon the Earth: You, that are the Seed of the Woman, it becomes not you to Content yourselves with the Ser­pent's Food. The Heart of every Christian is the place where God, and Christ, and serious Thoughts of Hea­ven should lodge: Let not therefore the World U­surp upon them; set not your Hearts upon those things, which God would have you always to keep under your Feet. Remember, Sirs, many might have come into the Harbour of Eternal Rest, with full Sails, with Top and Top-Gallant of Divine Pleropho­ry, [Page xv] had they not run the precious Vessel of their Souls on Ground; had they not split themselves upon the Rock of Worldly Cares. So hard it is to cut our way through an importunate Croud of Earthly In­cumbrances, into the Kingdom of God. Whenever therefore, Christians, the World appears to you in a Garment made of Love, suspect it for a* Dalilah hired to Betray you into the hands of your Mortal Enemies, the cruel Philistines. The Champions could not wring an Apple out of Milos's Hand, by all their Strength; but a Fair Maid, by Fair Means, got it presently: Thus the Beauty and Smile of the World, it may Foil us sooner than the Strength of the World; this, if we look not to ourselves, may easily Steal from us all the sweet, delicious Fruits of Heaven and Glory. Earth-seeking is usually Heaven-losing: They that Trade most for the World, do seldom Purchase that One Pearl of great Price. Sicily is so full of sweet Flowers, (if Diodorus Siculus may be Credited) that Dogs cannot Hunt there: Sure I am, the sweet In­joyments of this World, may easily make us lose the Scent of Heaven. How well Satisfied then should we be, to be without these things, striving to live above them, when we find them so often, like a strong Re­mora, hindring us in our Course to the Fair Haven of Eternal Happiness? Of some Mountains, Geographers Write, That their Tops are above the middle Region of the Air, and out of the reach of Storms: Thus Christians, they should leave this lower Region of the World, and live above, would they not be Storm dri­ven in their Voyage towards the Holy-Land. Ana­xagoras being Accus'd, as One that Studied not Poli­ticks [Page xvi] for his Country's Good; I have (cry'd he) a great Care of my Country! pointing at Heaven. Let the World, Christians, Accuse you how it will, besure that you Study Heaven, that you Meditate Glory, that you seek with all Care and Diligence the King­dom of God.

OF so great Consequence is a due Respect to Hea­ven and Glory, that* Lactantius denies those to be of the True Religion, who seek them not as their Hap­piness and Reward: Nor will he grant, That any Man knows the Power of Virtue, who remains Igno­rant of, not desiring that Eternal Recompence, where­with the Lord at length will Crown it. However, you may Learn by this Treatise, that it is of wonder­ful great Concern to a Christian, in all his Obedience; and therefore, no such Forbidden Fruit as some would have it be, but a Tree of Life, planted by Heaven, for all God's People to Feed upon. Some, I know, have Applauded Un-bribed Obedience, without eying the Reward, by the Emblem of a Lady, with a Water-pot in the one Hand, and a Fire brand in the other; Re­solving, to Serve the Lord, though Hell-fire were Quenched with the Water, and there were no Torments to Punish her for Sin; though Paradise were Burnt up with the Fire, and there were no Re­ward, no Heaven, no Glory to Crown her for Well-doing. How far such Hyperbolical Abstractions are Commendable, I have shewed else-where: And must here only say, That though the New Nature would [Page xvij] Act like it self, let God deal with it how he please, yet it's dangerous to Perplex poor, trembling Con­sciences with those Suppositions, wherein we have not the Spirit of God going before us. This were just [...]s if you should set a Man to Shoot, and then take a­way the Mark: Or, as if you should bid a Man go Work in your Field, and allow him no Wages for his [...]ncouragement. Sure I am, that as the Gospel de­ [...]erreth us from Sin, by Arguments formed out of Hell [...]nd eternal Damnation: So it incourageth us to wait [...]pon God in a way of Duty, by Arguments made out of Heaven and Glory.*⁎* There is nothing more usual with the Holy Ghost, calling poor Sinners to Repen­tance, than to interweave Mercies and Judgments, Promises of Heaven that we may not Despair, and Threatnings of Hell that we may not be Secure, and Presume. True it is, God must first be Loved and Served for Himself: And so he may be, and yet be Loved for Heaven too, so long as we seek no other Heaven, but what stands in the Full Injoyment of Him­self. There is no such a vast Hiatus, such a [...], such a great Gulf betwixt God's Glor [...], and man's Salvation, as some do Fancy: The Sacred Oracles do no where speak of such an implacable Enmity be­twixt them, nor any where teach them to stand upon Terms of Opposition, so that he who beholds the one, should not be capable of casting an Eye upon the other also. Clemens Alexandrinus will have the great end [Page xviij] of all Religion and true Piety, to be the Acquisition of an eternal Rest in the Downy Bosome of God's Love. To be sure it doth not Illegitimate any Man's Piety, nor Impeach the Truth of his Religion, to make this his End in serving God, that he may arrive at length to the full Fruition of God in Glory. The Lord, by a Miracle of Condescending Love, doth allow us, in Glorifying him, to seek our own Glory: And, in Serving Him, he gives us leave to eye the Saving of our own Souls. Should I tell you, that in all his Commands, the Lord seeks not Himself, but you; not that he may reap any Accessions of Happiness and Glo­ry by your Obedience, but that you may carry away the whole Crop; there is a Truth in it, for which both Lactantius, and Clemens Alexandrinus will be my Vouchees.* The great work which God hath been contriving from all Eternity, and still hath upon the Wheel in the World, is to save his People from their sins, and to bring them to a state of endless Hap­piness. So saith Clement. Therefore God wills his People to worship and do Homage to him as a Father, that keeping on in the pleasant Paths of Virtue, and divine heavenly Wisdom, they may come at length to Life, and blessed Immortality with Himself. So La­ctantius. The Lord sets us to Work in his Vine-yard, [Page xix] that he may give us the Reward of eternal Glory, not that any Revenues of further Felicity may be brought [...]nto the Exchequer of Heaven for him, by our work­ [...]ngs. The Lord knows how Dead we are Naturally to the things which concern our eternal Peace: And therefore doth he tempt our desires as it were with the tenders of Glory, Honour and Immortality, that he may bring us to chuse the way of Life.

AND, O how Serious should this make us in the study of Holiness! how willing to spend and be spent [...]n the Work of the Lord, when so sure that all the Lines of Obedience which we draw, shall center in Happiness!†{inverted †} Quintilian is of Opinion, That though [...]n it self Ambition be a Foul Vice, yet it begets as the Off-spring thereof, many a Beautiful and Amiable Vir­ [...]ue. Sure I am, there is an holy Ambition, a Desire to be Great in the Kingdom of God, to sit High in Glory, that, if deeply rooted in our Hearts, would bring forth a most virtuous Off-spring in our Lives, making us Men of brave Resolutions, of high Majestick Spirits. We should then think it as much below our­selves, to be dabling, like Children, in the Mire of Worldly Drudgery, and filling our Laps with the Dirt of Earthly Injoyments, as Alexander thought it below his Princely Grandeur, to be found exercising [...]t the Olympick Games. When Hormisdas, that No­ [...]le Persian, could not be drawn by a sordid Office in * [Page xx] the Stable, to Revolt from Jesus Christ, yet the King thought, by some greater Preferment, to overcome him, and therefore promoting him in his Palace, Jam nega Fabri Filium, said he; Now deny the Capenter's Son, speaking Reproachfully of Christ: But such Princi­ples of Heroicalness, such a Spirit of Gallantry, did a due respect had to the Recompence of Reward, put into him, that he can Trample with an holy Scorn up­on all those Honours, when coming to Bribe him out of his Interest in Christ and Glory. Thus it would make us Scorn the World, and let go all worldly In­joyments, rather than Deny Christ, or do any thing unworthy our Christian Profession, did we but ponder upon the Crown prepared for us. He that hath this Hope, purifies himself, (saith the Apostle 1 John 3.3.) [speaking of the Hope of Glory at Christ's Appear­ance] as he is pure. If any thing there be, which can beget in us a care to walk before God, in all holy Conversation and Godliness, 'tis certainly the due Consideration of that Eternal Reward that God sets before us. Heart Purity, with a Life of practical Godliness, that's the Regia Via, the King of Heaven's High-way, which leads to Glory: So that whoever hath a due respect to heavenly Glory, desiring that as the Reward of all his Labours, can no more make li [...]ht Performances, than a Man who desires Life, can s [...]t Light by Food and Raiment, with such like Com­forts, that are as Oyl to feed that Lamp. As there is no possibility of arriving at Heaven without Know­ledge [Page xxj] of the way: So neither is it possible, that we should ever come to Heaven, the way being known without walking therein. 'Tis not the Jacob's Staff of Speculation, but the Jacob's Ladder of a Godly Conversation, by which we must Climb the Tree of Life. The School-men have large Disputes pro and con about the Nature of Divinity, Whether it consist more in Speculation or in Practise? Aquinas makes Theo­logiam Speculativam, and Scotus will have it Practi­cam; but indeed 'tis the Complication of both these that makes a good Christian, whose Gospel Light must be Animated with a Gospel Life, and all whose Knowledge must Expatiate into Obedience. These things if you know (saith the Lord of Life) happy are ye if you do them. John, 13.17. Knowledge may be our Pilot to guide us in our course; but Practise is the Ship in which we must Sail to the Shore of eter­nal Soul-satisfying Happiness. Hence the Apostle, (James, 1.25.) pronounces the Practical Hearer Blessed, though not for his Deed, yet in his Deed clear­ly making Practise the Evidence, thô not the Ground of our Happiness; the Way that leads to a Crown of Life, though not the Price whereby we should think to purchase it. As God is a plentiful Rewarder of those that diligently seek him, so he will be sought be­fore ever the reward of eternal Glory can be had. Having therefore our Eyes upon the Star of True Hap­piness, let us keep our Hands to the Helm of Practical Holiness.[†] He that would be Blessed, desiring to be Wise to Salvation, let him hear the Voice of God; let [Page xxij] him work Righteousness; let him despise humane Va­nities; let him enterprize divine Offices; that he may come at length to the full Enjoyment of that Chiefest Good, for which he came into the World. We must quit ourselves like Men on Earth, or never look to be made glorious like the Angels in Heaven. True Hap­piness is a rich Jewel, Lockt up in the Cabinet of Heaven, in the Kingdom of God: Holiness must turn the Key, or the Door of Blessedness, the Gates of the Heavenly Jerusalem, will never open to us. Keep we therefore our Eyes upon Heaven's Glory, and then forbear we to do the Work of God upon Earth if we can. It's hope of Gain that makes the diligent Trades­man be up so early, and so patient to endure hardship: How much more should the Hope of gaining not Earth but Heaven, not those Riches which perish in the using, but the Riches of eternal Glory, make us labour to be Holy? Oh let Carking for this World be expel­led with our Care for Heaven: Let this eat up our Hearts with desire to have the Injoyment of that glori­ous Inheritance! 'Tis Fabled of Leobis and Biton, that their Father having been imploring the greatest Blessing from the Gods upon these his Two Sons, the next morning they were found both Dead in their Beds. The greatest Blessing that can befall a Child of God, is to dye in the Lord, bidding Adieu to this vale of Tears, and so entring upon his Master's Joy. The Happiness of God's People doth indeed dawn in this Life in the Beauties of Holiness from the womb of the Morning; but the Noon-tide of their Happiness, the Meridian Light of Glory, doth never shine forth upon them, till they come to Heaven. Most of a Christian's Drink in this Life is Oxymel: Heaven alone puts that pure Cup of Consolation into his hand, wherein there is no sour Ingredients. True Blessedness grows indeed upon the Tree of Godliness, which hath indeed [Page xxiij] some Bloomings and Buds of Comfort here; but it comes not to it's full growth till another Life: This World is too Cold a Climate to bring it to Ripe­ness; it must first be transplanted into the heavenly Canaan, and have the Sun of Righteousness shining upon it in full strength, before the blessed Fruit of this Tree will ever be brought to it's full Maturity. So that a Christian doth not Wither when plucked up of Death as it were by the Roots: but he changes the place of his growth, leaving the Wilderness to be Planted in Canaan, where the Fruit of Holiness is now Crowned with Life everlasting.

COME then, come all ye that Hunger, that be­ing satisfy'd with this heavenly Food, ye may lay aside your Hunger for ever. This Meat and Drink, which God hath provided in Heaven, is of that Sovereign Virtue, that it both makes the Blind to See, and the Deaf to Hear, and the Lame to Leap for Joy, and the Foolish to know Understanding, and the Sick it restores to Health, and the Dead it makes to Live a life of end­less Glory. Tully would have a Prince fed with Ho­nour, and drawn to Heroick Atchievements by the desire of Glory and Renown: And I, [...]kewise would have God's People to live upon the Glory to come, as that which will draw them to walk worthy of God, [Page xxiv] who hath called them out of Darkness into the King­dom of his dear Son. Can any Man that sees Heav­en, and knows what it is to be with the Lord for ever, go on in a course of sensual brutish living, not re­garding to prepare himself for the Glory to be reveal­ed in him? So sweet is the Pleasure of that eternal Light, that if we should enjoy the same no more than one short hour, yet for this one hour's Happiness, we ought, and that deservedly, to despise all the Delights and Pleasures that the universal confluence of Worldly enjoyments could afford us.

TELL me then, if God's People be not well advi­sed, to study Holiness? Tell me, if the Wicked be not dreadfully Besotted, to go on in a course of Ungod­liness? Oh tell me, or yourselves rather, if the Flesh be not a deadly Enemy, if the World be not a mur­therous Traytor, that for the Pleasures of Sin, which are but for a season, would make us to forfeit such ful­ness of unutterable Joyes at God's right hand for ever­more? What Man that is well in his Wits, consider­ing these things, would delight in the Ple [...]sures of Death, to los [...] for them the Paradise of God? To live a life of sensual Pleasure, or to win the World by works of Dar [...]ness, what is your Gain poor Mortals, if you lose the Inheritance of Saints in light? Re­member, Heaven is an holy place, into which nothing that defi [...]eth, or is unclean can ever enter! Queen E­lizabeth, they say, observing once in her Progress some Pictures of her self, hung up that were much unlike her, caused them to be pulled down and burnt Burn­ing and everlasting Destruction in Hell must be the end of all those who strive not to become like God in Pu­rity and Holiness! Besure therefore that you be found changed into his Image: Let every unrighteous way be shunned, and let Religion be your [...], the [Page xxv] great Business of your Lives, would you ever escape Misery, and be Crowned with Glory. You must both begin and hold on in the Spirit, would you ever come to the Spirits of Just Men made Perfect. He that would have his Holiness carry his Soul to Heaven, must be sure to carry it to the Grave with him. Per­severance, that is the Crowning Grace; and yet few, there be, who do Crown their good Undertakings with Perseverance. Albeit, that those alone who continue in Well-doing to the end shall be Saved: Yet small is the number of those, who make not a full end of Well-doing, before ever Salvation be obtained. The hands of our Faith and Obedience, like those of Moses, are apt to grow weary, and to hang down, if the liv­ing Stone of an eternally glorious Reward, be not put under them, by a due Respect had thereunto: That therefore our Hearts may never fail us, nor our Hands grow weary in Well-doing, the Lord allows us to have with Moses an Eye-fixed upon the Recompence of Life everlasting.

WHAT then remains, but that we all give dili­gence to answer the Lord's Bounty, with undaunted Perseverance in a way of Duty, looking carefully to ourselves, that we lose not the things which we have wrought, but that having finished our Course with Joy, we may receive a full Reward. He that hol [...]s the Mystery of the Faith in a pure Conscience shall be Saved; but he that makes Shipwrack of Faith and a good Conscience shall be Damned! Look to it Chri­stians, exchange not Canaan for Egypt, exchange not Heaven for Hell, Oh take heed that you make not Sale of a Crown of Life, of a Kingdom that cannot be sha­ken, for the Wages of Unrighteousness!

NOW may the Lord make this ensuing Discourse to you, like a Golden Spur, to extimulate and provoke to Diligence, in the way to Sion. May He cause it, like so much divine Nepenthe, to expel your worldly Sorrows, and to fill your Souls with the Oyl of Glad­ness! May he let you find it as a Pillar of Fire to guide you through this Wilderness, to the Land of Promise! May he change it whilst you shall medi­tate upon it, into the Chariot of Amminidab, that will carry your Hearts away into Heaven, enabling you to lay up for yourselves a Treasure there! So Pray­eth,

Yours in the Faith, Love, and Service of the Everlast­ing Gospel, for JESUS's Sake, JOSEPH COOPER.

A PROSPECT OF Heavenly Glory, For the Comfort of Sion's Mourners

HEB. XI.xxvi.

For he had Respect unto the Recompence of the Reward.

CHAP. I. The Con-Text Cleared, the Text Divided, and the Terms Explained, with the Doctrine Observed from the Words.

SINCE first the Tree of Knowledge, became an occasion of eternal Death to us, the Tree of Life it self, hath brought forth almost no­thing else but Apples of Contention amongst us, some Affirming, That we are to Merit eternal Life [Page 2] by our Obedience, and others, denying the Lawful­ness of having any respect at all to eternal Life in our Obedience; though only by way of Incouragement, and as the unmerited, and gratuitous Reward, which God hath freely promised to all that Diligently seek him. Heb. 11.6.

BUT as Christ himself, the sole Author of eternal Life to all that obey him, was Crucified betwixt Two Thieves, so that which I take to be the Truth of God in this case, as neither Derogating from the Freeness of his Grace, nor yet Patronizing Disingenuity and a Mercenary Spirit in Man, why, it lyes inviolate be­twixt these Two Extremes, which are both of them Errors of no less dangerous Consequence, than of ma­nifest and palpa [...]e Repugnancy to the unerring Rule of Truth, God's holy Word. For though we may not have Respect to the purchasing of eternal Life, by our Obedience, yet we may lawfully have Respect to the Possession of it in our Obedience: And though we must not make eter [...]al Life the sole Ground of Obey­ing the Lord, yet we may lawfully with Moses, to quicken us in our Obedience, have Respect to the Re­compence of Reward, as I hope by Divine assistance, ha­ving first given you the Dependance, and genuine Sense of them, to make good from the Words of my Text.

FOR the Dependance of the Words, we must know that if we look upon the general state of this Chapter, wherein they have their place of residence, we shall find it to be an Apostolical Abridgment of the Old Testament, in that part thereof which is Historical, containing a Narration of the Heroical Atchievements of those Fa­mous Worthies of the Lord, the excellency of whose Faith in the many eminent Fruits, and invincible Ope­rations of it, is herein left upon everlasting Record, [Page 3] as that which shall be found unto Praise, and Honour, and Glory at the blessed Appearance of Jesus Christ. 1 Pet. 1.7.

AMONGST these Famous Worthies, of whom both Men and Women, our Apostle gives a particular Catalogue, as of Persons made Glorious by the unblast­able Fruits of a lively Faith, some have Renowned themselves as Servants actively, by their doing and li­ving to God; and others have approved themselves as Soldiers passively, by their Magnanimous Suffering and Dying for God: But now Moses, of whom my Text is spoken, stands fully interested in both Con­ditions, as having given sufficient Testimony of his Faith, not only by what he did, but also by what he suffered; not only by laying forth his Life in the ways of God, but also by his readiness to lay down both Riches, and Honours, and Pleasures, yea, and Life it self for the Cause of God. For, whereas, whilst yet in his Non-age, he had the Honour to be called the Son of Pharoah's Daughter, yet no sooner did he come to Age, and arrive at the [...] of true Wisdom, but he voluntarily renounced that Priviledge, though pos­sibly it might have proved a Preludium to Royal Dig­nity, intitling him to the Crown and Government of all Egypt, so great was his Ambition to be found in the number, that he might have a Right to all the Privi­ledges of God's Children. ver. 24.

WHEREAS he might have lived a Courtier, enjoying what Heart could wish, faring deliciously e­very day, and glutting himself with all carnal Plea­sures, that either variety of melodious Sounds, and exquisite Harmony, or gorgeous Apparel, or extremi­ty of Luxury could possibly afford: Yet we find him bidding adieu to all these, and rather chusing to suffer [Page 4] undeserved Scorn, Reproach, and Persecution with the People of God, than to enjoy those, and the like Plea­sures of Sin for a season, v. 25.

WHEREAS in a word, the whole Land of Egypt was before him, and likely (for ought I know) to enter­tain him with the sway of a Royal Scepter, with the Go­vernment of the whole Kingdom, and with an universal Confluence of all the Happiness that either Riches, or Honours, or the whole Treasury of Egypt could sup­peditate: Yet in the preceding part of this Verse, wherein my Text lyes, the Holy Ghost there testi­fies of him, that he preferred the reproach of Christ be­fore all this, the very worst, and that which is most bitter in Christ, before the choicest Treasures, before the very best, the most sweet and delightful Enjoy­ments in all the Land of Egypt, esteeming it his great­est Honour to be dishonoured in the World, for the sake of the Lord Jesus; and the reason of all this, you have subjoyned in the Words of my Text, even because he had a Respect to the Recompence of the Re­ward.

THUS I have in short given you the Dependance of the Words and thereby also given you to under­stand, that they are brought in as one grand reason of Moses his Obedience and Self-denyal, letting us plainly know, why Moses should thus refuse the great dignity of being called the Son of Pharaoh's daughter, why he should rather choose to suffer Affliction with the People of God, than to enjoy the Pleasures of Sin for a season: Why he should esteem so highly of Reproach for Christ, as to count it greater Riches than the choi­cest Treasures in all the Land of Egypt; and the reason of all this was, because he had Respect to the Recompence of the Reward, which if seriously consider'd of, why, [Page 5] it will make him take up his Cross chearfully, it will make him follow hard after Christ, as well in Ad­versity as in Prosperity; it will make him do, and suf­fer, and willing to become any thing, if by any means he may attain such a transcendently glorious Reward, a Reward that is nothing less than the full enjoyment of God over all, blessed for ever, in whose Presence there is fulness of Joy, and at whose Right-hand there are Pleasures for evermore. Psal. 16.11.

BUT waving the Relative Consideration of the Words, we purpose to insist upon them as Absolutely Considered, and as they are an intire Proposition of themselves, and so they will present us with these Two Considerables following.

  • I. A Gracious Act, exerted by Moses, the Man of God, and that we have expressed in these Words; For he had Respect
  • II. A Glorious Object, about which, that Act of Moses was exercised, and that we have expressed in these Words; —To the Recompence of the Reward.

THESE are the parts of the Text, the Genuine sense whereof I shall give you in the explication of the Terms, labouring now to break the Shell, that so you may come to that sweet Kernel of Gospel-truth, which is wrapt up, and enclosed therein.

FOR he had respect.] In this Phrase is implyed, that gracious Act of Moses, whereby he had respect to, stedfastly fixing his eye upon, the recompence of the Reward, as matter of singular incouragement to deny himself for the Lord's sake, in all those Riches, Honours, and variety of carnal Pleasures, which by [Page 6] dissembling Conscience, and continuing a Courtier he might probably have enjoyed, at least for a Season. The Original word [...] is metaphorical, signify­ing in this place, to look from one thing to another, not with the eye of the Body by any corporeal sight, but with the eye of the Soul by a spiritual sight: And so truly it doth most emphatically set forth the power of Moses his Faith, enabling him to look from the things that are seen, to the things that are not seen, from things Te [...]poral to things Eternal, by which means he was wonderfully encouraged to let go all worldly Advantages, and to suffer Affliction chear­fully with the people of God. Moses had the whole Land of Egypt, together with all the Riches, Glory, and Pleasures thereof before him, which a Carnal heart would think might have made him content to live and die a Courtier: But such was the power of Faith within him, fixing his heart and mind upon things above, upon the Land of Promise, the Coelestial Canaan, the Heavenly Jerusalem, together with the Beatifical Vision of God in Eternal Glory, that for these he can chearfully renounce whatever Riches, whatever Honours, whatever Pleasures the Land of Aegypt could possibly afford him.

TO the Recompence of the Reward.] That glorious Object, upon which Moses fixing his eye, did so chearfully deny himself in all his worldly enjoyments, you have here expressed by one word in the Original, [...], signifying such a Reward, whereby a Man is Recompenced. This Recompense is diversly taken, according to the Persons to whom, and work for which, it is given. When to a wicked Person for an evil work, it intendeth a fearful Revenge, comprizing under it Indignation and Wrath, Tribulation and Anguish, as that which is due to Sinners upon the commission of any the least Transgression: But when [Page 7] to a Righteous Person accepted of God through Christ, as here in my Text, for a work approved by him, then indeed it doth not import any merit or de­sert on Man's part, but abundance of Mercy and Grace on God's part, who, though we are unprofita­ble Servants, and can merit nothing at his hands, yet will not suffer us to do or endure any thing for his sake, without a most transcendently great and glorious Recompence.

WHAT that recompence of reward was, upon which Moses so stedfastly fixed his eye, is not here I confess distinctly set down, but yet we may easily collect from the carriage of Moses, that it was some higher Honour, some better Pleasure, some more ex­collent and durable Treasure, than the Land of Aegypt could ever afford him, otherwise, making choice of these, why is it that we find him renouncing those, unless we should think him to have changed for the worse, when yet we find the Spirit of God, in the words of my Text, commending his choice?

'TWAS not then any Temporal Reward, but an Eternal Reward that Moses had in his eye. 'Twas not Earth, but Heaven; 'twas not the Meat that perisheth, but the Meat which will indure to Ever­lasting Life; 'twas not any Momentary Pleasure last­ing only for a Season, but it was Fulness of Joy in God's presence, it was perfect freedom from Sin, it was Grace glorified, it was the Beatifical Vision of God in Heaven, together with those Soul-satisfying Pleasures that are at his right hand for evermore, to which, in all his obedience, we find Moses so stedfast­ly looking.

SO then from the practise of Moses, the Man of God, thus fixing his eye in all his obedience upon [Page 8] the recompence of Reward, and encouraging himself therewith chearfully to bear the Cross of Christ, to Mortification, Self-denyal, and the like wholsome severities of Religion, you may observe with me this point of

DOCTRINE. That God's People for their better encouragement to all holy, self-denying, and obediential walking before him, they may lawfully have Respect to the Recom­pence of the Reward.

WHILST we are denying our selves, running the way of God's Commandments, and doing the work which he hath given us to finish here on Earth, 'tis no Soloecism at all in Christianity, for us to have our eye stedfastly fixed upon that eternally glorious Re­ward, which the Lord hath laid up with himself for us in the Kingdom of Heaven. We may, lawfully walking with God all our life, be encouraged against whatever Difficulties and Persecutions we meet with in Heaven's way, to think how incorruptible the Crown is, how glorious the Kingdom, how unspeak­able the Joy, how secure the Rest, how endless the Pleasures, how undefiled the Inheritance, how full, un­interruptible, and everlastingly satisfying, the Com­munion with God over all blessed for ever is, where­of we shall take Possession in the hour of death.

HOLY Daniel, when praying in the Land of his Captivity, he opened his Window, and set his face towards Jerusalem: Thus when Praying, when Re­penting, when Suffering, and Dying for Christ, we may lawfully open the Eye of Faith, and set our faces towards the heavenly Jerusalem, towards the promised Canaan, towards the Temple of God in Zion, the place of our eternally blessed, and glorious Rest.

'TIS a bold attempt for Men to make restrictions where God himself hath made none; for Men to say we must not, when God himself saith we may in all our obedience have an eye to the recompense of Re­ward, to the full enjoyment of him in Glory.

THE example of Moses in this place, doth evince beyond all exception, that some respect may lawfully be had to the recompence of the Reward, at least by way of motive and encouragement to stir us up, and to quicken us both in doing and suffering for the God of Heaven. For this you see is given in as one special reason, Why he refused to be called the Son of Pharaoh's Daughter: Why he chose rather to suffer affliction with the People of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season: And, why he esteemed the Reproach of Christ greater Riches than the Treasures of Aegypt, even because he had a respect to the Recom­pence of the Reward, esteeming of all the Riches, Honours, Pleasures and Enjoyments of this World, as not worthy to be compared with the Glory that was to be revealed in him.

AND if Moses might thus incourage himself to indure hardship, as a good Souldier of Jesus Christ, by having an eye fixed upon the recompence of Re­ward, upon Glory, Honour, and Immortality, why should it not be lawful for Christians to do the same? How can that be unlawful in Christians, which the Holy Ghost hath left upon eternal record, as a matter of high commendation in him? Let us not think that the Lord will condemn us for looking at that in our Obedience, for which he hath so highly commended his Servant Moses. That which was im­puted to him for a Virtue, will never be imputed to us for a Crime: But we also, as well as he, may, for our better encouragement in all the ways of obedi­ence, [Page 10] have respect to the recompence of reward, to that far more exceeding and eternal weight of Glory. The Husbandman can cheerfully undergo the Labour and Charges of Seed-time, though many times very great, when his eye is fixed upon the Harvest. Thus to make us chearful in sowing to the Spirit, we may lawfully have an eye to the great Harvest, when every one that now soweth Righteousness, shall be sure to Reap a full Crop of Eternal Glory, Gal. 6.8.9.

CHAP. II. The Method laid down, with two introductory Propositions, for the better understanding of the Doctrin.

IN the prosecution of this Heavenly Truth, having first premised something by way of Introduction, I purpose (annuente Deo) to observe this Method.

I. I shall shew you, What it is to have respect to the Recompence of the Reward.

II. I shall endeavour to let you understand, How you are to have Respect to the Recompence of Re­ward.

III. I shall give you, Some Scripture Reasons, proving that you may have respect to the recompence of reward.

IV. AND lastly, I shall help you to improve this Truth, by way of Use and Application, that so it may [Page 11] not be Unprofitable, but every way Advantageous to your Souls.

BEFORE I come to these things, you must give me leave to premise something (as was hinted.) by way of introduction, which I shall wholly comprize in these two particulars.

1. THAT we are bound to serve the Lord, and to walk in all dutiful obedience before him, though there were no Heaven, no Glory, nor reward of E­ternal Life to be expected from him. The obliga­tion of our obedience to the Lord Jehovah, ariseth not so much from the promise of Eternal Life, an­nexed to the Commandment, as from the authority of God's Commanding.

INDEED, when-ever God sweetens his Precepts with Promises, crowning our Temporal Obedience with an Eternally Glorious Recompence, this lays us under a stronger engagement: But yet if you separate betwixt the Precept and the Promise, if you take away the Reward of Eternal Life, yet all this will not dissolve, nor nullify that obligation of O­bedience to God, that lies upon us. For impossible it is, and utterly repugnant to the quality of Ra­tional Creatures, as we are, not to be subject to the will of our Creator, and indebted in all possible O­bedience to him that made us.

SUCH is the transcendent Excellency of God, that in himself he is infinitely worthy of all our Services, and such is the Sovereignty of God over us, that though we should serve him ten thousand years together, in the most holy, seraphick, and heavenly manner that ever Saint or Angel did, yet after all [Page 12] this, he might annihilate us, and yet do us no wrong.

WHATSOEVER we are, whatsoever we have, whatsoever we are able to do in this world, the Lord hath more interest in it than we have our selves, and therefore we owe our selves, we owe our enjoyments, and services to him; so that he may justly require them at our hands upon any terms, and we are bound to surrender them, though he should never vouchsafe us the least recompence of Reward for so doing.(a) Though we may look to the Recompence of Reward, yet we must not stay there, but must look beyond it to God's Glory, resolving, that though he should never Reward us, yet in well-doing we would glorify him.

A Child is bound in duty to obey his Parents, though they have no Portion, no Riches, no Inheri­tance to bestow upon him, because they are his Parents: Thus Christians, though there were no Heaven, no Happiness, no reward of Eternal Life for God to be­stow upon you, yet doubtless you were bound to o­be [...] him, even because he is God over all blessed for ever.

(b)FOR sundry respects whatever good works we do, or can do, they are all of them due to God, [Page 13] and therefore (saith Bernard) he might require them of us, and we accordingly were bound to perform them, though he should never render to us for them the reward of Eternal Life

2. THAT though we thus owe Obedience to God, and are bound to serve him, were there no Reward to be expected, yet such is the infinite condescention and goodness of God, that he hath provided an Eternally glorious Reward for all such as walk sincerely in O­bedience before him. He might exact Obedience at our hands upon terms of absolute Sovereignty; but such is his matchless condescention, that he only desires it upon Terms of Bounty, and remunerative Good­ness.

(c)THE Lord, though in regard of his absolute Sovereignty over us he might, yet such is his re­munerative Goodness that he will not suffer any thing which we do for him to go unrewarded, but will certainly Crown it with Eternal Glory.

AS Christ commanded the broken Meat to be gathered up, not suffering the least fragment to be lost; So the Lord will gather an exact account of [Page 14] all our Performances, and will never suffer us to lose so much as a Prayer, as a Sigh, as a Tear, no nor so much as a Cup of Cold Water by him, Mat. 10.24. God's People are now indeed, by those that have their Hope in this Life, counted of all Men most miserable: But when Christ shall come to be glorified in his Saints, and admired of all those that believe, then shall the Wicked themselves be convinced, that verily there is a Reward for the Righteous, Psal. 58.11. Wicked Men think it in vain to serve God; they can see no profit in keeping his Ordinances: but however, if we walk uprightly, abounding in the work of the Lord, we shall find, that our labour will not be in vain with the Lord, and that in keeping his Commandments, there is great Reward, Psal. 19.11. 1 Cor. 15.5, 8.(d) God will never forget our labour of Love, nor suffer any good thing that we do for him to go unrewarded.

'TIS storied of Caius the Emperour, that after he came to be Emperour, the first thing he did was to prefer Agrippa, who, for wishing him that Imperial Dignity, had suffered Imprisonment, to whom he gave a Chain of Gold full as heavy as the Chain of Iron, which Agrippa had worn in Prison for his sake: Thus to be sure, when the Lord comes to sit upon the Throne of his Glory, the first thing he will do, shall be to Reward all those that have done or suffered any thing for his sake; then he sets upon their Heads a Crown of Righteousness, then he puts them in full Possession of Eternal Glory, then he calls them up into Everlasting Communion with God in Heaven, saying; Come ye Blessed of my Father. Mat. 25.34. [Page 15] Pharoah's(e) Butler may forget the Kindness of Joseph; but the Lord will never forget our Labour of Love, nor suffer any thing that we do for him, to go unre­warded. Heb. 6.10. We have the Promise of God, who cannot Lie, for our Security, that if by Patient continuance in well-doing, we seek for Glory, Honour, and Immortality, he will certainly Crown us at length with Life everlasting. Rom. 2.7.

CHAP. III. The Doctrine explain'd; shewing what it is to have a Respect to the Recompence of the Reward, in Six Particulars.

I. THESE things premised, I come now to shew you, What it is to have Respect in our O­bedience to the Recompence of Reward: And that I shall indeavour to do in these few Particulars.

1. STEDFASTLY to believe, that there is a Reward for the Righteous, and that our Labour shall never be in Vain in the Lord. 1 Cor. 15.5.6. Faith is the Eye of the Soul, that gives it a sight of those eternal good things, which are not seen: So that when in our Obedience, we get as it were upon the top of Mount Pisgah, thence taking by the Eye of Faith, a Prospect of the Heavenly Canaan, where after our wearisom Pilgrimage, we shall have an ever­lasting [Page 16] glorious Rest, then we have respect to the recom­pence of the Reward.

MEN may possibly discourse of Heaven and Glory, telling you to Admiration, how incorruptible the Crown is, how everlasting the Joy, and how transcend­ently Glorious the Happiness, which God hath pro­vided for those that Love him: But till they sted­fastly believe the Truth of all this, till by Faith they can look within the Vail, till by Faith they can An­tedate Heaven, and bring down the bright Re­flections of eternal Glory into their own Hearts, they have no respect to the Recompence of the Reward. For how can he have respect to Heaven and Glory, to eternal Life and Happiness in the World to come, who Believes them not?

THE Sun is a Glorious Body, but that's undiscern­able to a Blind Man, who wants an Eye to behold the Lustre and Splendour of it: So though the Recom­pence of Reward be transcendently Glorious, and ten thousand times more Radiant than the Sun in it's Noon-day brightness, yet an Unbeliever can have no respect to it, as wanting an Eye of Faith to discern all this. There is a dark Mist upon Eternity to all Un­believers; they are led by carnal Reason, and will therefore believe no more than what Sense discovers: but now Faith, that gives a present Subsistence to fu­ture Glory, and is the convincing Evidence of things hoped for, of Heaven, and eternal Felicity, though as yet unseen. Heb. 11.1.

SENSE cannot out-see time, nor look beyond the Grave; but Faith gives the Soul a clearer Prospect of Eternity, and shews it under all Afflictions, a far more exceeding and eternal weight of Glory. 2 Cor. 4.17. So then, when by Faith we can look into another [Page 17] World, believing that verily there is a Reward for the Righteous; when by Faith we can assure our hearts of the Glory to come, believing that he who Sows to the Spirit, shall of the Spirit Reap Life ever­lasting, then we have Respect to the Recompence of the Reward.

2. FIDƲCIALLY to apply it to our selves, as that which we believe shall be the Recompence where­with the Lord will eternally Crown us. Thus Moses whilst he refused to be called the Son of Pharoah's Daughter, esteeming the Reproach of Christ greater Riches than the Treasures in Egypt; doubtless he looked upon the Lord Jehovah as his Portion, upon the Kingdom of Heaven as his own Inheritance, upon Life, Happiness, and Eternal Glory, as things pre­pared for himself, and so he had Respect unto the Recompence of the Reward. To come unto the Lord in ways of Obedience, believing him to be a plentiful Rewarder of all that diligently seek him, is some­thing: but when we appropriate God for a Portion to our selves, saying with Thomas, My Lord, and my God, and believe him to have prepared for us in par­ticular, such Eternally Glorious Things, as eye never saw, nor ear heard, nor could the Heart of Man ever yet conceive of, then we have Respect indeed to the Recompence of the Reward.

THE Church of Rome, I confess, hath Anathe­matized all those who urge it upon Believers, as their duty to appropriate God, and Christ, and eternal Glory in Heaven, to their own Souls; and they call us by way of Reproach Specialists, for maintaining that the Object of saving Faith is the special Mercy of God; Remission of Sins for me, and Justification through the Blood of Christ for me, and a Crown of Life laid up for me, and a Kingdom of Eternal Glory [Page 18] to be expected by me in Particular; this they de­claim against as the first-born of all Absurdities: But believe it Christians, without this particular Appro­priation of God and Christ, and Eternal Glory to our selves, our Faith will bring us no more Peace, no more Comfort, no more Joy in the Holy Ghost, than for Lazarus to hear there was Food enough in Dives's House, when he might not so much as taste of the Crumbs that fell from that Rich Man's Table! Hagar had a Well of Water hard by her, but for all that she sits weeping, so long as she saw it not: Thus Christian, though God and Christ and the Kingdom of Heaven, with all the Glory thereof lye before thee, yet so long as thou lookest not upon God as thy Portion, upon Christ as thy Saviour, and upon the Kingdom of Heaven as thy Eternal Inheritance, no wonder though thou weep, and go mourning from day to day! For 'tis only respect to God and Christ, to Heaven and Eternal Glory, as things wherein we our selves have an Interest, that can effectually com­fort our Souls, and make us rejoyce with Joy un­speakable, and full of Glory.

STRIVE we then to look upon Heaven and Eternal Glory, as prepared for us in Particular, to look upon a Crown of Righteousness as laid up for us, and then we have respect indeed to the Recompence of the Reward! Though, Christian, thou canst not say Riches are thine, yet see that thou canst say Grace and Glory are thine, and that is much better. When once the Soul can say, though now I Sow in Tears, yet anon I shall Reap in Joy; though now I walk in Sackcloth, yet I shall shortly be cloathed up­on with the White Robes of eternal Glory; though be now Poor in this World, yet for all that, I am Rich in Faith, and Heir-apparent to the most glorious Kingdom that ever eye beheld; though I now lie [Page 19] amongst the Pots, mourning like the Doves of the Valley, yet, looking towards Heaven, can say, above yonder Heavens must I dwell for ever; above yonder Heavens hath the Lord prepared for me a Crown of Righteousness, a Mansion of eternal Glory, all ful­ness of Joy in his Presence, and unperishing Pleasures at his own Right Hand for evermore. When thus, I say, the Soul can Appropriate the Happiness, the Glory, and the Royalties of the World to come, to it self, then it hath a due respect to the Recompence of the Reward.

3. SERIOƲSLY to consider of Heaven, and Glory, and often to be meditating upon them. 'Tis not a sudden motion, nor now and then a transient thought about eternal Life and Happiness in another World, that will prove a Man to have due respect to the Recom­pence of the Reward: But there must be serious Thoughts, and fixed Meditations upon them, so that the Mind may be delightfully busied about, and wholly taken up in the sweet Contemplation of them. Za­cheus being a Man of low Stature, could not see Christ, but by climbing up into the Sycamore-Tree. (f) Thus Christians, unless you climb up into the high Sycamore of Heavenly Meditation, seriously fixing your Thoughts in all your Obedience upon that Crown, that Kingdom, that eternal weight of Glory, which God hath prepared for those that love him, you can never have any due respect to the Recom­pence of the Reward.

WHEN God would have Abraham take a view of Canaan, he called him up into the Mountain of [Page 20] Nebo, to the top of Pisgah: So, would we ever take a Prospect of the Holy Land, the Promised Canaan, the Heavenly Jerusalem, as that which must be the Reward of all our Labours, the way is to go up unto the Mountain of Nebo, even to the highest Pisgah of Heavenly Meditations. Such is the Power of Holy Meditation, that it sets a Man upon the Shoar of Eternity, it carries him with Paul up into the Third Heaven, and brings him, notwithstanding any flaming Sword of Worldly opposition to keep him out, into the Paradise of God; so that now he can see the Beauties, taste the Pleasures, and clearly take a view of the Glories of the World to come. Whilst Stephen was stedfastly looking towards Hea­ven, he saw the Glory of God, and Christ, standing at his Right Hand: Thus Christians, we never get so full a Prospect of God, and Christ, and Eternal Glory, as when we seriously meditate Heaven, sted­fastly fixing our thoughts on the World to come. We Read of Elijah, that he was carried up to Hea­ven in a fiery Chariot: Thus Holy Meditation, it would carry us above the Clouds, it would give us Possession of Heaven before we come there, and set us in the midst of all the Glory and Royalties of E­ternal Life, as if they were already present. Heaven­ly thoughts are as so many steps towards our Eternal Rest: When by these therefore we Travel every day to the City of God, and delightfully walk therein; when every day we take, as it were, a turn or two in Paradise, seriously Meditating Heaven, together with the glory that shall shortly be revealed in us; then we have Respect indeed to the Recompence of the Reward.

4. EARNESTLY to desire and long for it. When we see so much of the Excellency, Worth, and Glory of the World to come, that we groan within [Page 21] ourselves, desiring, with all our hearts to get out of these Houses of Clay, and to be cloathed upon with our House which is from Heaven, then we have respect to the Recompence of the Reward, 2. Cor. 5.2. When Paul had once been wrapt up into the Third Heaven, and seen the Paradise of God, his Note was ever after, I desire to be dissolved and to be with Christ: Thus the Soul that hath a respect to the Recompence of the Reward, he hath been in the Heavenly Paradise, he hath tasted some Clusters of Canaan, and therefore he cannot but long for more; he can never be soon enough with Christ, he can never soon enough get above the World, and Sin, and Temptations; he can never be soon enough with God in Glory; Oh! when shall it be? They that have the first Fruits of the Spirit, cannot chuse but have their eyes always fixed upon the Recompence of the Reward, earnestly desiring the time of Harvest, when they shall Reap a full Crop of Eternal Happiness, and Glory in the Heavenly Canaan.

AS Noah's Dove was restless, finding no place whereupon to set the sole of her foot, till she came into the Ark; so, Christians, if your eyes are rightly fixed upon the Recompence of the Reward, you will find your selves carried out after Heaven and Glory in a restless manner, and will never sit down satisfy­ed, till you come to rest in the Bosome of God's E­ternal Love. Never, Christians, did Rachel more long for Children, nor David for the Waters of Bethle­hem, nor Absalom to see the King's Face, than your Souls will long for the glorious Liberty of the Chil­dren of God, to be drinking the Waters of Life in the Heavenly Paradise, and to come to the Beatifical Vision of God in Glory, where you shall see him Face to Face, in case you have an eye rightly fixed upon the Recompence of the Reward!

THE Language of every Soul, whose eye is rightly fixed upon Heaven and Glory, it is like unto that of Job, speaking forth his desires after God, Oh that I knew where to find him, that I might come even to his seat! Job 23.3. Such a Soul is impregnated with holy desires and longings after God in Glory, and with these the Soul travels all the day long, crying out with the Church in the Revelations, as in pain to be delivered from under the bondage of Sin and Cor­ruption, into Heavenly Glory.

GIVE the Soul Riches, give it Honours, give it all the Pleasures that can be thought of to ravish the heart of a Carnal Man, yet having an eye rightly fixed upon the Recompence of Reward, in vain shall you seek, by these, to bribe it out of its holy desires, and longings after God in Glory. For scorning and trampling upon them all, as unworthy to come in competition with God, it even breaketh through desire after him, and can truly say of God, with holy David, Whom have I in Heaven but thee? and there is none upon Earth that I desire besides thee! Psal. 73.25.

'TIS just with the Soul as with some Women in the time of their Impregnature, who if they see any thing, when they are with Child, that they have a mind to, they must have it, or else they will long and dye for it: Thus the Soul, that by Faith hath got a sight of Heavenly Enjoyments; now the heart of such a Soul it is set upon Heaven, and he must have Heaven, upon a Crown of Life, and he must have a Crown of Life, upon God and Christ, and Eternal Glory, and he must have them all together, or else (give him what you can) he will long and die un­satisfied!

THERE is so much of the Beauty, Loveliness, and Glory of Christ revealed to the Soul, in looking upon the Recompence of Reward, that now it grows impatient of living any longer without him, crying out, as she did in another case; Why are his Chariots so long in coming? and, Why tarry the wheels of his Chariots? When will my beloved make haste, and be like a young Roe upon the Mountains of Spices? When will the day break and the shadows fly away, that I may see my beloved in his Glory? When will he come to put an end to these days of Sin and Sorrow, that I may rest for ever in the Bosome of his Eternal Love? When will he take me by the hand, and lead me out of the Wilderness of this World, into the Heavenly Canaan? When will he rebuke the Winds and the Seas, that will give me no rest in this Trouble­some World, and set me safe on the Shoar of Eternal Happiness? When will he deliver me from this Body of Death, and gather my Soul to the Spirits of Just Men made perfect? When will he take from me these Rags of Mortality, and cause me to be cloathed upon with an House not made with hands, Eternal in the Heavens? When will he make me return and come to Sion with Songs, and everlasting Joy upon my head? When will he cause me to obtain fulness of Joy and Gladness with him, in Eternal Mansions of Glory, that Sorrow, and Sin, and Sighing, being done away, I may be with the Lord for ever? Oh, when shall I once see that blessed day!

NOW, What is it, I beseech you, after which your hearts do thus strongly breathe, thus insatiably thirst, thus impatiently long? If Riches will not satisfy, but you must have a Treasure in Heaven; if Worldly Honour will not satisfy, but you must have a Crown of Righteousness from Christ himself; if Carnal Pleasures will not satisfy, but you must have [Page 24] that fulness of Joy which is in God's Presence, and those Pleasures which are at his Right Hand for ever­more; if, in a word, the Life that now is, will not satisfy, but you must, though you dye for it, go live for ever with Christ in Glory; why then, there is no doubt, Christians, but with Moses, you have an eye to the Recompence of Reward. For then our eye is rightly fixed upon the Recompence of Reward, when our Souls are carried out in strong desires after God, and Christ, and Eternal Glory, as our only Happiness!

5. TO be by the consideration of it, exceedingly en­couraged to diligence, and patient waiting upon God, in all the ways of Obedience, that whatsoever the Lord shall call us out to do or suffer, we may with chearful­ness undergo it all. This is that, I confess, which some will not endure, telling us that as we are to give, looking for nothing again, so we are to walk in all dutiful Obedience before God, doing and suffering Whatever he calls us out to, without taking any in­couragement at all thereto from the Recompence of Reward: But certainly the Holy Ghost hath given us, in Holy Writ, such abundant satisfaction, concern­ing the lawfulness of taking incouragement from the Recompence of Reward, to follow hard after God in all the ways of Obedience, that no Christian need perplex himself upon that account.(g) For is not this the great design of God, in making Promises of Life, Happiness, and Eternal Glory to those that o­bey him, thereby to incourage us to all dutiful and obedient walking before him. God hath tyed our Work and our Wages together, that expecting to [Page 25] receive from him at death, the Wages of Eternal Glory, we might work the more chearfully for him all our life: And, that we may not look upon the way of Duty as tedious, nor count his Commandments grievous, he hath set up a Crown of Life at the end of Duty, and assured us, That in keeping his Com­mandments there is great Reward, Psal. 19.11.

GOD is not so austere a Task-master, as to envy his People their Comforts in a way of Duty; nor will he ever impute it to them, as their ruin, that in keeping his Commandments, they had an eye, for their own incouragement, to the Recompence of the Reward. And truly, if to be incouraged in a way of Obedience, by the Recompence of Reward, may be construed a just forfeiture of a Mans ingenuity, as some would bear us in hand, I see not (for my part) how we shall be able to excuse any of God's dearest Children, no nor our Blessed Lord himself, but must confess them to have been acted by a slavish and servile Spirit, (which yet to do, were the first-born of all horrid Blasphemies.) For, though it should have been written in Capital Letters, with a Pen pluckt from the wing of a glorious Seraphim, yet it could not have been more plain and legible, than the Holy Ghost hath already expressed it, that the most holy of all God's Children, our Blessed Redeemer himself not accepted, had an eye for their incouragement, in all the ways of Obedience, to the Recompence of the Reward.

WHAT else did holy Moses, but incourage him­self to suffer Affliction with God's People, by the con­sideration of Life and eternal Glory in Heaven, pre­pared of God from Eternity, for all that Love him? Was not this also the Paradice of those Primitive Mar­tyrs, who took joyfully the spoiling of their Goods, [Page 26] having this as their great Incouragement thereto, that they knew themselves to have in Heaven, a better, and more enduring Substance? Heb. 10.34.

THE like we may say of those other Worthies, who scorned all earthly Injoyments, that their Perse­cutors could offer, as Allurements to insnare them, not accepting Deliverance from them upon any base and unrighteous Terms, but were endued with such a Gallantry, and Christian Resolution, that rather than dishonour God in the least, rather than cast a little Incense upon the Altar, in honour of the Idol, for the saving of their Lives, they would dye the Death, they would be Slain with the Edge of the Sword, they would be Stoned, they would be Burned, and Sawn asunder, having this strong and everlasting Consola­tion, incouraging them with Patience to undergo all this barbarous and inhumane Cruelty, that they hoped to obtain a better Resurrection, even a Resurrection to Life, and eternal Glory, in the Kingdom of Heaven. Heb. 11.

BUT waving these and the like Instances, I shall give you an Instance, against which, none can except, but those whose proud Spirits would make them seem more Holy than Holiness it self, and that is of Our blessed Redeemer, concerning whom it is thus Writ­ten; That for the Joy which was set before him, he endured the Cross, despising the Shame. Heb. 12.2.

I shall not hence take occasion to determine, whe­ther the Sorrow, the Cross, and the Humiliation of Christ, were the Meritorious Cause, or only the An­tecedent of his Joy, his Crown, and his Exaltation at the Right Hand of God in Glory, as being wholly Excentrick to my present Design: But, let the de­cision of that famous Controversy from this Text, be [Page 27] what it will, yet I think the Apostle's words do con­cludingly Evince thus much, That Christ having an eye to his Mediatory Glory, and Exaltation at God's Right Hand in Heaven, was incouraged thereby with Patience, to undergo that most execrable, painful, and ignominious Death of the Cross, for our Sakes.

DO not then Question the Lawfulness of this holy Practice any longer, but having an Eye stedfastly fixed upon the Recompence of the Reward, be incouraged thereby to all diligent and upright walking before God, in wayes of Obedience, whatever it cost you.

IF the Men of the World, for your Integrity, Frown upon you, and hate you, let this incourage you to hold it fast, that God himself will Smile upon you, and afford you his Loving-kindness, which is better than Life.(h) If because you cannot comply with the Men of the World, in their sinful and ungodly Pra­ctises, they should cast you into Prison, yet let this incourage you still to keep close with God, that he will shortly knock off your Fetters, and take you up into Mansions of eternal Glory. If you meet with any Cross in Heaven's way, let this incourage you with Pa­tience to undergo it, that e'er long you shall receive from Christ, a Crown of Righteousness. If, in a word, any subtil Persecutors, should promise you in­joyment of Life and Liberty, on condition that you will but comply with them, and do as they do, why, let the Hopes of obtaining a better Resurrection, that [Page 28] is to say, a Resurrection to eternal Life and Glory, in the Kingdom of God; let this incourage you to scorn the motion, not accepting Deliverance from them, up­on any such dishonourable, and unrighteous Terms: For, when for the Joy which is set before us, we can do any thing, part with any thing, and suffer any thing, with Patience, that God calls us to, chosing rather to indure the most exquisite Torments, than in the least to Dishonour our God, why, then we have an Eye in­deed to the Recompence of the Reward.

6. TO design in all your Obedience, the Salvation of your own Souls, making this the great end of your Lives, that at length you may attain to the full injoy­ment of God in Glory. Here also I confess the Truth meets with some Adversaries, who do tell us, That to make Heaven the end of our Duties, seeking in all our Obedience, our own Happiness, our own Glory, our own Salvation, is Mercenary, and utterly inconsistent with the free Spirit of a Christian: But the truth is, if we consult holy Scripture, we shall find this Pra­ctice so far from being Mercenary, and inconsistent with the free Spirit of a Christian, that he is unworthy the Name of a Christian, who, in all his Obedience, and Performances, is not found so doing. For, if Christ himself hath Commanded us, That we should seek the Kingdom of God, and the Righteousness there­of in the first place: That we should lay up for our selves, a Treasure in Heaven, not labouring for the Meats that Perish, but for the Meat which shall endure to eternal Life: How can we then count that Man a Christian, who, despising the Authority of Christ, cares for none of these things, but carelesly goes on in a way of Duty, as if Heaven and Glory were not worth the looking after?

YOU may Believe it, Sirs! the main Errand upon which God sent you into the World, was to work out not only his Glory, but your own Salvation with fear and trembling: And let me tell you, so inseparably is the Glory of God, and your own Salvation, joined together, that you never Dishonour God more, than when Salvation-work is neglected by you, and you begin to be unmindful of your own Happiness.

GOD's Glory, I must confess, must be the Ultimate and Highest End of all our Obedience, as will farther be shewed you: But yet this hinders not, but that in all our Obedience we may design our own Hap­piness, making the eternal Salvation of our immortal Souls, the great End, next unto God's Glory, of our Lives. For, Subordinata non Pugnant, is a sure Ma­xim. We do never Oppose God's Glory, when we only make Heaven our End, and seek the Salvation of our own Souls, with a due Respect had unto his Glory.

THERE is indeed a Two-fold End, Fine Operis, & Finis Operantis; the End of the Work, and the End of him that Worketh: And though in some cases, they are diverse, if not contrary to one another, yet in the Case now spoken of, they are co incident, and both of them materially the same thing.(l) For, not only doth the Scripture make Salvation the end of Faith and Obedience, but also of Christians them­selves, Believing and Obeying the Lord, when it teach­es them to work out their own Salvation with fear and trembling. 1. Pet. 1.9. Phil. 2.12.

BE not therefore such enemies to your own Souls, as to neglect that Happiness, which God, in all your Obedience, would have you to look after, but now see that you make Heaven and eternal Glory the great end of your Life. Whilst others are designing to make themselves Rich, and Great, and Honourable in the World, Oh! let it be the grand design of your Souls to surprize Heaven, and to take, by an Holy Violence, the Kingdom of God, Mat. 11.12.

IF, Christians, you would make again of Godliness, be sure then that by all holy and godly Conversati­on, you gain for yourselves, in Heaven, a Crown of Life. Rest not satisfied with the low and beggarly injoyments of this World, but now see that you set your Affections on things above, endeavouring to lay hold on eternal Life. Your present life is a flitting shadow, a vanishing bubble, a day, which, though never so pleasant, must yet have the dark Curtains of death drawn over it, and cannot be long; but the life which is to come, is a leaf never fading, a light ever shining, and such a day as shall know no evening. Tell me then, which is most rational, to seek after, that life, and those Pleasures which are lost almost as soon as found: or after that Life, and those unfadable Pleasures, which, being once found, can never be lost nor taken away from us, Luke 10.42.

(k)LEARN now to prefer true Happiness before de­ceitful Riches, eternal Comforts before short injoyments, and those things that will prove everlastingly advan­tageous to your Souls, before the Pleasures of Sin, which are but for a Season. God doth not grudge [Page 31] that you would seek your selves in his Service, only he would have you to seek after your selves, not in the Meat that perisheth, but in the Meat which shall endure to eternal Life, John 6.27. There is a kind of holy Ambition, which our Blessed Lord hath not only allowed, but also exhorted us to, and that is, that we should aim at, and seek after a Kingdom. Not an earthly Kingdom, from which we may soon fall; but an Heavenly Kingdom, which connot be shaken, where­in we shall reign with Christ for ever and ever. Revel. 22.5. Here then is a whet-stone to diligence, and matter for our ambitious thoughts with warrant to be working upon. Earthly Princes, if under, pre­tence of serving them, you seek to possess your selves of their Crowns and Kingdoms, will deal with you as Traytors; but the King of eternal Glory, he is never better pleased with you, than when, in serving him, you aim at a Crown of Life, indeavouring to get Possession of the Kingdom of Heaven. For, then you have respect indeed, to the Recompence of the Re­ward, when, by patient continuance in well-doing, you seek for Glory, Honour and Immortality; and therefore you need not to doubt but God will short­ly render unto you eternal Life, Rom. 2.

(l)THINK we therefore no Labour too much, no time too long, for the gaining of eternal Glory in the Kingdom of Heaven. If, upon uncertain hopes of a fading Kingdom, whose foundation is in the dust, Men will take such pains, laying all at stake, and hazarding, not only Liberty, but Life it self; What should we do then, but contemn the World, run the hazard of greatest Sufferings, and move chearfully [Page 32] forward in all the ways of Obedience, towards the Crown of eternal Life, towards a Kingdom that can­not be moved, towards a City that hath foundati­ons, whose builder and maker is God? For,(m) who ever contemning the corruptible Enjoyments of this Life, shall aspire in the ways of Obedience after Heavenly Glory, why, God the Righteous Judge of all the World, will make such an one meet to be a partaker of the Inheritance of Saints in light, and will honour him at length with a Crown of Eternal Life. Whilst, Christians, you seek after, in the ways of O­bedience, the Recompence of the Reward, why you have then a due respect unto it, and shall therefore in no case lose your Rewards.

THUS you see what it is to have respect to the Recompence of the Reward; you must stedfastly be­lieve that there is a Reward; for the Righteous; you must fiducially apply it to your selves, as that which you in particular, shall be Crowned with; you must often meditate upon, and be spending your Thoughts about Heavenly Glory; you must earnestly long after Life Eternal, desiring to be cloathed upon with your House which is from Heaven; you must take in­couragement from the Glory that shall shortly be re­vealed in you, to keep close with God, in ways of Obedience, whatever it cost you; and you must also by patient continuance of well-doing, seek for Glory, Honour, and Immortality, making this the great end of your Lives, that you may work out your own Salvation with Fear and Trembling; and so doing, you need not doubt, but you have a due respect unto [Page 33] Heavenly Glory, and have rightly fixed your eyes upon that eternal Recompence of Reward, which God hath set before you.

CHAP. IV. The Doctrine explain'd; further shewing how we must have respect, in our Obedience, to the Recompence of the Reward; In Six other Particulars.

II. THAT which, according to the Method at first resolved upon, comes next to be clear­ed, is; The manner how you are to have respect to the Recompence of the Reward; which, with all plain­ness, I shall endeavour to explicate in these subse­quent Propositions.

1. WE are to have respect, in our Obedience, to the Recompence of the Reward, not Principally, but Secondarily, and with due Subordination to God's Glory. Heaven and Glory may be the subordinate ground and end of our Obedience; but they are not to be made the supream ground, nor the ultimate end of our Obedience.(n) We may eye them se­condarily, and with subordination to God's Glory: [Page 34] but not primarily before, nor supreamely and above, the Glory of God.

GOD hath, indeed, so inseperably conjoyned his own Glory and Man's Salvation together, that they cannot possibly be divided, nor put asunder: but yet, as 'tis said of them in the Resurrection, God will have every thing in it's own order; we may intend the Salvation of our own Souls, making that an inferiour and subordinate end in our Obedience, however, that which we ought to make the supream, and the ulti­mate end of all, is the glory of God: For the glory of God (you must know) it's the greatest good; 'tis the Perfection and united splendour of all the glorious Rayes of his other Attributes, infinitely surpassing the glory of all Created Excellencies, and therefore more to be preferred than the Salvation of the whole World; better all the World should be Damned, and go to Hell for ever, than that God over all blessed for ever, should not be Glorified. And truly, when we go about to subordinate the glory of God to our own Salvati­on, making eternal Life and Happiness, our ultimate end, and God's Glory subservient to that, we commit an act of the grandest Sacriledge, as doing what in us lyes, to take the Crown from God, and set it upon our own heads.

GOD is willing to give us Heaven, to give us Life and Immortality, with any thing that may conduce to our eternal Happiness, but his own Glory; and that he professeth he will not give to any other: The Benefit, the Comfort, the eternal Recompence of all our Obedience shall be our own, but the Glory and Praise, that doth wholly belong to God, and must more be regarded than our own Salvation. What Pharoah said to Joseph, having set him over all the Land of Aegypt, In the Throne will I be greater than [Page 35] thou, the like (methinks) God saith to us; Though I have set you over the works of my hands, vouchsafing you eternal Life and Happiness, with all the good things of Heaven, that lye before you, yet on the Throne will I be greater than you, and my glory you must seek in the first place, endeavouring to set the Crown upon my head, Gen. 41.40.

(o)'TIS not sufficient that in well-doing we pro­fess our selves willing, by the same act of Obedience, both to obtain for our selves the Recompence of Re­ward, and also to promote the glory of God; but we must here solicitously beware, that we make not the Recompence of Reward our ultimate end, giving that the preheminence of God's glory. For, where there are divers ends subordinate to each other, that which of it's own nature, is the most excellent, must always be accounted of in the first place, and most chiefly had regard unto.

(p)THE eye of the Soul (saith Carthusian) in all our Obedience is rather to be fixed upon God's glory than our own Reward: and we should rather [Page 36] be induced to do well, and to suffer, by an impulse of divine Love, than by the desire of a Recompence; otherwise we should shew ourselves to be Mercenaries, and neither faithful Friends, nor Servants. As they say of the Moon and Stars, they have an innate light of their own, but it's nothing in comparison of that mutuatitious light which they receive from the Sun: So God's People, they have, and lawfully may have, an eye to their own Salvation in what they do, but that which they make the principal, and most noble end of all their Obedience, is the glory of God.

(q)THE Servant of the Lord (saith the devout Granatensis, Lib. de Perfect. Amoris dei. c. 13. p. 156.) in what he doth, looks not so much at the Re­compence of his good Works, as that every thing may be found in them conducing to the greatest advance­ments of God's glory. Though then, Christians, you may have an eye to your own Salvation, to eternal Happiness, to the Recompence of Reward, making that the end of all your Obedience; yet remember, 'tis but an inferiour end: that which you ought to make the ultimate, and chiefest end of all, is the glory of God. If a Man should stop at a Colon, and give over Reading there before he came to a Full-point, the Sentence would be imperfect: Thus, Christians, your Salvation is but a Colon at first, God's glory is the Full-point; if therefore you stop at your own Salvation, not looking beyond it to the Glory of God, why, let me tell you, there is not one perfect Sentence to speak for you in the whole contexture of all your Obedience, but they are every one of them imperfect, [Page 37] and will signify nothing at all before God's Tribunal, when you shall come to read them as Evidences of your interest in Heaven and eternal Glory.

(r)GOD will not have us make the Mistress wait on the Handmaid; make a Tabernacle, the Temple; make our own Salvation, which is but a secondary matter, our principal end, as if worthy to be valued more highly than the glory of God it self, which yet is the most noble, and principal end of all. We never shoot so far beside the mark, as when we aim more at our own Blessedness, than the glory of God, over all blessed for ever. In other miscarriages we violate God's holy Law, but in this we violate his glorious Dignity, endeavouring, as much as in us lyes, to Un-god him, and Idolatrously to sit down our­selves upon the Throne of his Glory. When ever therefore you are tempted with Sacrilegious hands to lay hold upon God's glory, preferring your own Salva­tion before that, why, repel the Temptation, as Joseph once did the unchaste importunity of his amorous Mistress. The Lord hath commited all that he hath to my hand; there is none greater amongst all his Creatures than my self; the Lord hath given me his own Son out of his Bosome; he hath given me grace; he hath given me the hope of Life, of Heaven, and eternal Happiness, neither hath he kept back any good. thing from me, but his own glory, because that only belongs to him: How then, shall I do this great wick­edness? How shall I lay Sacriligious hands upon his glory? How shall I prefer my own Salvation, my own Life, my own Happiness before it, and sin against God?

REMEMBER, Christians, though you may seek your selves, you may seek Heaven, and Life, and eternal Happiness, yet not in the first place, the honour of God, why that must lye next your heart, and the glory of God must be most in your eye, as not being a subordinate end, like your own Salvation, but the principal end of all. God's glory must be the Terminus Reductivus, to which all our Obedience must be reduced, as the ultimate end of it. Every Christian is a Spiritual Archer, and God's glory must be the mark that he shoots at. He is a Spiritual Traveller, and though he may take up his lodging at his own Salvation, yet God's glory must be the end of his Journey. He is, in a word, a Spiritual Naviga­tor, and though he may cast forth the Anchor of hope at his own eternal Happiness, yet he is like to make Shipwreck of himself, if he go about to put in any where else for harbour, but at the fair haven of God's glory. As all the Rivers run into the Sea, and all the Lines meet in the Center; so all our actions, and all the Rivers of our own Happiness, they must meet together Concentring themselves in God's glory. And certainly, Christians, we never attain the end of our Faith, the Salvation of our Souls better, than when Faith and Salvation both are referred to the glory of God as their ultimate end. We never come sooner to that Rest, which remains for the People of God, than, when God's glory is made the Center, not only of the works which we do, but also of the Rest it self which we look for, as the eternal Reward of them. We are never (in a word) more sure to hit the mark of our own Salvation, than when we aim most directly at God's glory. For then your respect to the Re­compence of Reward is such as God would have it to be, when you principally seek for Heaven, and eter­nal Glory, that God himself may thereby be glorifi­ed.

2. WE are to have respect, in our Obedience, to the Recompence of the Reward, not singly, but joyntly, and in conjunction with God's Glory. If we may not principally have respect to Heaven, in our Obedience, preferring that before God's glory, much less may we think it lawful to make Heaven the sole end of our Obedience, not regarding, but wholly neglecting, his glory that prepared it. If we may not prefer our own Happiness before God's glory, much less may we wholly leave off the care of God's glory, and ex­clude it out of our thoughts, in seeking to make our selves happy. Since God, in seeing his own Glory, did also consult the Happiness, and eternal Salvation of our Souls, why, 'twere a point of the greatest in­gratitude in the World, for us, in seeking our Salva­tion, not also to consult his Honour, endeavouring, that whilst we are saved, his Name may be glorified! 'Tis unlawful to Dogmatize that we must be willing to be damned, that God may be glorified, or else we are still but Hypocrites, and were never sufficiently humbled: but to be willing to have God himself dis­honoured, and lose his glory, that we may be saved, is most wicked and abominable. For, betwixt the glory of God and our own Salvation, the [...] is so strong and inseparable, that 'tis impossible for any Man, rightly to seek the Salvation of his own Soul, who doth not also intend, God's glory as his ultimate end. He that doth not take aim before he shoots can never hit the mark: So, Christians, if you only look at your selves, not taking, in all your Obe­dience, a right aim at God's glory, you can never hit the mark of your own Salvation. If you separate the Soul from the Body, it's no longer a living Crea­ture, but a dead Carcass: Thus, if a due respect to God's glory, which is the very Soul of all our Obedi­ence, be separated from the care, which we seem to have, of our own Salvation, it's no longer a living [Page 40] Sacrifice, holy, and acceptable unto God, but a dead service that will nothing at all avail us to Life, and eternal Happiness.

THE Moon, when in the full, looking directly upon the Sun, is a glorious Creature, but if once the Earth interpose it self betwixt her and the Sun, she becomes a dark, obscure Body, of whom we may say, That there is no form, nor beauty, nor comeliness in her that we should desire her: Thus, Christians, whilst in our Obedience, we look directly upon God's glory, endeavouring to promote that, as well as our own Salvation, we are glorious in the Eyes of God; but if once we suffer self-ends to intercept, and wholly to shut out our respect to God's glory, we presently lose our beauty in God's eyes, and his Soul can no longer take pleasure in us.(s) Though then we do not amiss in having an eye to the reward, which God sets before us, whilst labouring in God's Works: yet, we must heedfully see to it, that we are, not only acted in ways of Obedience, by a desire to the Recompence of the Reward, but also, by a care to promote God's honour, and to glorify him. For, when we respect our selves, in what we do either alone, or above God, God hath no respect at all to us; nor will he ever Crown our Souls with eternal Happiness, in case we seek it alone, and not in the nearest conjunction with his glory.

THOUGH then, Christians, you may seek your own Happiness, yet be sure that you do it not singly [Page 41] but joyntly, and in the nearest conjunction with God's honour, endeavouring as well that God may be glorifi­ed, as that your own Souls may be saved. The Sun hath Heat as well as Light, and no Man can possibly separate betwixt them: Thus we must not only have an earnest desire after our own happiness, but must also endeavour, by the light of an holy Conversation, to glorify God, giving all diligence, that nothing may separate betwixt a desire of our own Salvation, and a care to promote God's glory in the seeking of it. God hath joyned his own glory, and our Salvation together: When, therefore, we eye them both, then we rightly have respect to the Recompence of Re­ward, so that God himself will now be glorified, and we shall be saved!

3. WE are to have respect, in our Obedience, to the Recompence of the Reward, not mercenarily, thinking by any thing that we can do, or suffer, to merit it at God's hands, but filially expecting it, as the free gift of our Heavenly Father. The first Covenant that ever God made with Mankind, was a Covenant of Works, and ever since we are naturally prone to be trading for Life and Salvation in that way; thinking to spin the Thred of our eternal Happiness out of the bowels of our own good Works: But, unless we come off from that way, looking wholly for Hea­ven and Glory by a Covenant of Grace, we shall never have them, the Lord having resolved to deny those Heaven and Glory, who will not accept of them upon terms of Grace.

(t)GLORY is not the Wages of a Servant, but the Inheritance of a Son: So that we never have [Page 42] respect rightly to the Recompence of the Reward, till we look for it as the free bestowance of our Hea­venly Father, and not as the purchase of our own good deservings.(u) The Church of Rome, will tell you, indeed, that you must Repent, and preform good Works, and walk in Obedience before God, and all this with an eye to eternal Happiness, as Wages for Work, and as that which you have dearly bought at the hands of God, with the Merits of your own Righteousness: But since that Blessed Apostle (Rom. 8.18.) hath already pronounced all the Afflictions of this present Life, Martyrdom it self not excepted, too light to be put in the Ballance with that weight of glory, which abides God's People in the Life to come, What are all our Prayers, and Humiliations? What are all our good Works, and Religious Performances, that these should be counted worthy of, and fully com­mensurate, in equality of worth and dignity, to Eter­nal Happiness?(w) If by suffering and resisting unto Blood, and dying for Christ, we cannot deserve the Recompence of Eternal Glory, in vain then by obeying Christ, by doing for him, and by living to him, shall we think to Merit it. 'Twas a good saying of(x) Anselme, that though a Man should serve God never so fervently, for a Thousand Years together, yet [Page 43] should he not thereby condignly Merit one half-days enjoyment of God in Heaven. And truly, Christians, so vast is the disproportion betwixt your Work, and the Reward of Eternal Life, which God hath promised, that if a Man should have all the World given him for speaking a word, it were nothing in comparison of this. For betwixt a Temporal Obedience, and an Eternal Recompence, betwixt the work of a finite Creature, and that of unconceivable glory, which the infinitely Blessed God will bestow upon you, What comparison can you make? This made(y) Chryso­stom affirm, That though the godly should have done a whole Million of good Deeds, yet that such a Crown of Life, that such an Heaven of Happiness, such a Kingdom of Eternal Glory, such transcendent Honour and Dignity, should, for such small and pidling matters be given them, it is of God's free Grace, and not of due Debt.(z) The Recompence of Reward, given out by the hand of free Grace, doth so exceedingly abound, that it incomparably excelleth all humane Merit, and therefore to expect it upon the account of our own good deservings, were nothing else but to go about, by a kind of Spiritual(a) Plunder, to [Page 44] enrich our own good Works, and to enhance the price of them, by the Spoils of Heaven, and Glory it self. For, if by the Merits of our own Righteous­ness, we think to obtain the Crown of Eternal Life, we must first pluck from it the many rich(b) Jewels with which it is hung, otherwise, such is the Poverty and Imperfection, attending the best of our good Works, that they will never be able to reach the Price thereof. Besides, Christians, whatever we do or suffer for God, (Luke 17.10.) it's no more than what we are obliged unto; and surely, in doing our duty, we can never lay the(c) Foundation of Merit for Eternal Glory: Nor may we think to make a Purchase of the New Jerusalem, by paying an old Score.

WOULD we ever Merit Heaven and Eternal Glory of God, we must present him with some acceptable(d) Services which we owe him not; but how shall we give him any thing wherein he hath not already a full propriety, when there is nothing that we are, or have, there is nothing that we can do, or suffer, in a way of Obedience, but is due unto God from us, by every kind of Right. Had we any thing of our own wherewith to come before the Lord, there might then be some ground of pretence for the Merit of [Page 45] good Works:(e) But since all that we have is due to God, because it came from him, and bears his Image and Superscription upon it, we cannot rationally think it possible for us to Merit any thing thereby of God, unless we can think it rational, that God should be obliged, in point of Justice, by giving us one Mercy to give us another, by giving us Grace to put us at length in Possession of Eternal Glory. That whereby, Christians, you differ from others, from the vilest of Sinners, from the Damned themselves, that are now roaring out in Hell, is not of Merit, but of Grace; not of Debt, but a free Donative; 'tis nothing in your selves, but the free distinguishing love of God, dropping the Pearl of Grace into your hearts, whilst others are left to perish in their Sins, that hath made the difference. And surely by those graces which you freely receive from God, you may not think to Merit Life and Eternity of Glory at the hands of God. For certainly, whatever grace you have, it obligeth you to Duty, so that your Graces and your Obligations of Obedience to God, they grow up together; and the more grace you receive from God, the more deeply do you stand engaged to abound in the fruits of Righ­teousness towards God: How then can you once have a thought that that Grace and Holiness, which God hath freely wrought in you, and whereby he hath laid you under the strongest engagements, to all holy and upright walking before him, should make God your Debtor, obliging him, in point of Justice, to render you the Reward of eternal Glory? Indeed, to whomsoever the Lord gives Grace, he will also give Glory; and whomsoever he now makes Holy, [Page 46] he will Crown them at length with Eternal Happi­ness: But this you must know, not an act of Justice founded upon Man's Merit, but an act of free Grace, bottomed upon the Remunerative goodness of God, in the Blood of Christ, Rom. 6.23.(f) 'Tis an act of Justice in God to punish Sin, which is wholly our own, and purely Evil; and therefore Death is here called the Wages of Sin: But to Reward the good Works of Believers, which are neither their own, nor purely good, is an act of free Grace; and therefore we find the Apostle to exclude all opinion of Merit, calling Life Eternal, in this place, the gift of God.(g) So that we see, though it be of Justice that the Wicked are Punished; yet it is of Grace that the Righteous are Crowned.(h) And if it be of Grace, then not of any Merit in our own good Works: otherwise grace were no more grace, if not every way free and gratuitous. (Rom. 4.4.) For how can we count it a point of grace to give a Man his due? Or what need he sue for Mercy, who requireth no more than his own at the hands of God? Admit but of Merit, and you leave no place of entrance for the grace of God;(i) So likewise the grace of God [Page 47] in Christ, it leaves no place for the Merit of our good Works. For Grace and Merit are altogether in­consistent and mutually destructive one of another, Rom. 11.6. So that if you pull down the Merit of good Works, you set up Grace; and if you go about to establish Merit, you do utterly destroy the Grace of God, and make it of none effect. Let us not then, Christians, look, in our Obedience, to have that of Debt, which God hath decreed to be of Grace; nor go about to seek Heaven and Glory by way of Pur­chase, which the Lord hath intended to be a Donative, and of free Gift. Whilst others trust to the Merit of their own good Works, let us wholly rely upon the free Grace of God in Christ Jesus, looking for the Recompence of Eternal Life, not from the Justice of a Judge, but from the Mercy of a Father; not from the worth and dignity of our own Performances, but from the free Bounty, and Remunerative Goodness of the Lord our Redeemer. You may do good Works, and walk in ways of Obedience, with an Eye to the Recompence of the Reward: But yet none of these things must be done with respect to the Meriting of Eternal Life by them. For though (as(k) Chryso­stome sweetly saith) we had done ten thousand good deeds, yet it is of Grace that we must look to be saved, and of Loving-kindness, not of any desert in ourselves, that we must seek to obtain Eternal Glory,(l) We stand so infinitely indebted to the God of [Page 48] Heaven, that though we should, with all the strength of Body and Mind, exercise ourselves, in Obedience to God, all our Life long; though with bitterness and anguish of Spirit, we should bewail our own Sins, mourn in some Wilderness till Doom's-day, and dissolve our Souls with weeping, into(m) Rivers of Tears; though we should live like Angels of Light, shine like the Sun in it's Noon-day Brightness, and exercise ourselves unto Godliness continually with all our might; though we should give our Bodies to be burnt, die ten thousand deaths, and lye frying, as Fire­brands in Hell, upon the Grid-iron of God's dis­pleasure, so many Millions of Imaginary Ages as there be Stars in the Firmament of Heaven: Yet by all this, we could not possibly oblige the God of Heaven, to render us the Reward of Eternal Life; nor bring forth any thing, that by way of condign Merit, could purchase that Crown of Righteousness, that Kingdom of Eternal Glory, that fulness of Joy, and everlasting Happiness, which abides us in the World to come. So then, though we may look at Heaven in our Obedience; yet it's utterly in vain to think of Merit­ing Heaven by our Obedience. Though the Reward of Eternal Life may encourage us to Well-doing; yet in vain shall we look to Purchase that glorious Re­ward by our well-doing. Though we may assure our­selves of the Blessing of Eternal Life and Glory from God in keeping his Commandments, Psal. 19.11. yet, if for keeping his Commandments, we expect that God should bless us with so glorious a Reward, we are sure everlastingly to fall short of it. For if you think to Merit with God, expecting, upon Terms of [Page 49] Justice, the Reward of Eternal Glory from him, do but cast up your Reckonings aright, and you will find that there is nothing but an Eternal(n) Travail which can Merit an Eternal Rest; nothing but an everlasting Conflict, that can deserve to be Crowned with an everlasting Triumph; nothing but Infinite Labour, that can Purchase that Infinitely Glorious and Soul-satisfying Reward, which the Lord, for our encouragement, hath set before us! Why then should we put ourselves upon such a Prince as we shall never be able to discharge, seeking Glory, Honour, Immor­tality, and Eternal Life, by the Merit of our own scanty and imperfect Obedience, when we know that the Glory, Honour, and comfort of Eternal Life, can only be obtained through the Riches of God's free Grace and divine Indulgence?

LOOK, you may, Christians, having fought the good fight, having finished your course, and kept the Faith, to receive from Christ, the Righteous Judge, and Immarcessible Crown of Glory, 2 Tim. 8. But, take heed, that you never think, by your Fighting for God, Running the Race he hath set before you, and Believing him in all his Promises, to Purchase that glorious Crown, which is not the Wages of an hi [...] ­ling, but an Inheritance prepared of God for all his Children. If you think, Christians, to spin Salvati­on out of the Bowels of your own good Works, and to raise up the Seed of Eternal Life to yourselves, out of the dead and barren Womb of your own Righte­ousness, why, let me tell you, then all your Hope, 'tis but as a Spider's Web, which will quite be swept [Page 50] down by the Besome of Death. You never think to live and Purchase Eternal Glory by your own Righ­teousness, but you forfeit that Crown of Righteousness, which Christ hath laid up with himself for all that love his appearance, Col. 3.3.4. Whilst therefore you look at the Recompence of Eternal Life, remem­ber 'tis the free gift of God, and not the Purchase of your own Obedience.(o) For, to be sure, their life was never hid with Christ in God, who think to find Life and Happiness amongst the rubbish of their own ruinous Performances. Nor shall they ever appear with Christ in Glory, who make a Christ of their own good Works, thereby thinking, to Merit at God's hands, the Reward of Eternal Happiness. For to put confidence in our Holiness, will as certain­ly shut us out of God's Heavenly Kingdom, as if we were altogether unholy.

4. WE are to have respect in our Obedience to the Recompence of Reward, not carnally looking for a Sen­sual Happiness, but Spiritually, as longing for an Hap­piness that shall consist in the adequate Perfection of all our Graces, together with the full enjoyment of God in Glory. We are not to look for a Turkish Paradise to gratify the Flesh; but for a Sinless state of Holiness, where Grace shall be perfected into Glory. We may not think of bathing our Souls in Worldly Delights and Carnal Pleasures; but of coming to the full injoy­ment of God himself, whom to see without end, love without loathing, and praise, without ever being wea­ry, is the only complement of all our Happiness. [Page 51] There are multitudes of Men and Women in the world, who having imbibed some gross Conceits, and carnal Notions of Heaven, would be glad, when they can live no longer here, to take up there, as conceiting it to be a place accomodate to the desires of their own carnal Hearts: But, we never have any due respect to the recompence of the Reward, till we look upon Heaven as a place, where Sin shall be wholly aboli­shed, Grace perfectly glorified, the World trampled upon, and God over all blessed for ever, enjoy'd as the Center of perfect Rest, and everlasting Satisfaction. As Balaam desired to dye the death of the righteous, which he knew would be Crowned with Peace, but had no care at all to conform himself to the life of the righteous: so, many there be who desire Heaven as a place of Happiness, but not as a place of perfect Ho­liness. Such is the Malignity of a carnal Heart, that it will assimulate whatever it meets with, and turn it into the likeness of it's own brutish Lusts. So that whenever a carnal heart desires Heaven, it's not an Heaven of God's preparing, but an Heaven of it's own fancying; not an Heaven to make it perfectly Holy, but an Heaven that will make it sensually Happy. As a little Leaven turns the whole Lump into it's own Sourness; or, as the Salt Sea turns the Fresh Rivers, and the Sweet Showers of Heaven into Salt Waters▪ So, the Heart which is Unsanctified, it turns Bethel into Bethaven; the holy City of Sion, into a filthy Sodom; and the heavenly Jerusalem it self into Ba­bylon; looking only for the Wages of Unrighteous­ness, and for Heaven as a place of Sensual Pleasure, but not as a place of Spiritual Injoyments. As some Jews (Acts 1.6.) had carnal Notions of Christ, and his Kingdom, looking for a carnal Messiah, who should come in Worldly Pomp and Splendour to restore the Kingdom to Israel: So, many that profess themselves to be Christians, they have carnal Notions about the [Page 52] Recompence of the Reward, looking after a Turkish Paradice, after an Heaven that is wholly Carnal, like their own hearts, abounding with nothing but Fleshly Delights, and Sensual Contentments. They conceive indeed of Heaven as a place where there is Freedom from all Misery, and as a place wherein all Fulness of Joy, of Delights, and everlasting Pleasures dwells: But yet both these, the Misery removed, and the Plea­sures indulged, both Freedom from the one, and the Injoyment of the other, they fancy in a way suita­ble to their own Carnal Minds, and so they can desire to come to Heaven: Oh but Remember, Christians, it's not an Heaven of our own Fancying, but of God's Preparing, that in all our Obedience we are to look after. 'Tis not Egypt, but Canaan; 'tis not an Idol's Temple, but the Temple of the living God; 'tis not a wicked Sidon, but the holy hill of Sion, the place of God's royal Residence, where we are to expect the Reward of all our Labours. Though then you may have Respect, in your Obedience, to the Recompence of the Reward; yet take heed that you turn it not into the Wages of Unrighteousness. And, though you may look at Heaven as the Reward of all your La­bours, yet besure that you do not turn it into a Turk­ish Paradice. 'Tis not so much Sensual Pleasures, as a perfect Freedom from all inordinate Desires after them, that shall be our Reward: Nor so much deliverance from Hellish Torments, as the full injoyment of God himself, in a State of Holiness, that shall be our Heav­ven. There is no other Glory in Heaven, than what springs out of the Seed of Grace, grown up into a Flower: Nor is there any other Heaven that can make us compleatly happy, but full and everlasting Communion with the God of Heaven. 'Tis true in­deed, the Recompence of the Reward doth admit of many glorious Ingredients, which do all of them con­cur to make up the Soul reviving Cordial of compleat [Page 53] Happiness: But yet, that which is the Elixir of hea­venly Glory, the Quint-essence of all our Happiness, and the very Bosome of the Coelestial Paradice, why, 'tis an heart made perfect in Holiness, and so fully enjoying Communion with God himself. For, as the Moon and Stars, though glorious Creatures, cannot make day in the World, but must leave that to the Sun, from whom they borrow their Light: So, thô there be many rich Jewels, shining like so many glorious Stars in the Firmament of heaven, yet all of them can­not satisfy the Soul, nor make a day of perfect happi­ness to dawn upon it, but must leave it for that to per­fection in Grace, and to the full enjoyment of God ov­er all blessed for ever. So then, the Recompence of Reward, whereunto we may have a respect in all our Obedience, it's nothing but Grace grown up into Glo­ry, together with an Heaven of Rest in the Bosome of God's eternal Love. Whilst therefore we have Re­spect to the Recompence of the Reward, let us be sure that we look upon it, not Carnally, but Spiritually, not with an Eye of Sense, but with an Eye of Faith; not through the False Glass of our own carnal Hearts, but through the Pure Glass of God's holy Word; and as therein for our Incouragement, we find it repre­sented to us, and curiously drawn out by the Finger of God himself, in it's most pure, angelical, and heav­enly Complexion. Do not look with that grand Sen­sualist Epicurus, for such an Happiness when you come to Heaven, as is wholly immersed in carnal Delights, in the Flatteries of Lust, in the Blandishments of Sense, and the like Brutish Pleasures: But remember the Happiness which abides you in God's heavenly King­dom, 'tis a bright Constellation of Graces, Crowned with the Quint-essence of perfect Holiness, and all of them ripened into so many Flowers of Glory; 'tis the Facial Presence of a propitious Deity, accepting of, and blessing the Soul with, eternal Rejoycing; 'tis the [Page 54] very Smile of infinite Purity, and the pleasant Beams of divine Love, shining forth upon the Soul in their Noon-day brightness: In a Word, the Happiness which abides you in the Kingdom of Heaven, 'tis no­thing else but Grace grown up to it's highest Stature and Perfection in Glory, together with the full Ac­quiessency of the Soul in God himself, as the only Cen­ter of Rest, and everlasting Satisfaction. Let an Epi­curus please himself with the Ticklings of Fancy, the Inticings of Luxury, the Elegancies of Musick, the Imbraces of Venus, and the Delights of Corporeal Objects, Steeping all his Pleasure in Sense, and ma­king the Body the only proper Center of Happiness: Yet see, Christians, that you look after an Happiness of an higher and more noble Extraction; after those Pleasures, which are of a more generous and spiritful Nature, that come bubling out from the Fountain of all Goodness, and make all to Rejoyce that drink of them, with Joy unspeakable and full of Glory!

‘SUCH is the Froth of some vain Imaginations, Such is the Scum of some Obscene Fancies,’ Such is Folly bound up in some Carnal Hearts, that they dare go about to Create an Epicurean Happiness, and to warrant a Turkish Heaven, conformable to their own Lusts, and vile Affections, as if nothing could make us Happy, but what will gratify our Senses, But judge in yourselves, Is such an Happiness becoming a Ra­tional Creature, and can such an Heaven be fit for an immortal Soul to dwell in as the Center of it's eternal Rest? Believe it, Christians, the truly Sensual, thô feigned Heaven of a Mahomet, would prove a real Hell to an Angel, or a glorified Saint. They cannot live in Elysian Fields; the very Air is infectious: They cannot Delight themselves with the fading Flowers of Sensual Injoyments, which Wither away in our hands, and are so quickly Bla [...]ed. The arrival of glorified [Page 55] Saints, at a state of perfect Holiness, is their greatest Happiness: and that which is the very Heaven of Hea­ven to them, is the full, soul-satisfying, and everlasting Communion that they have with the God of Heaven. After such a Reward as this, let us look in all our Obedience, expecting no greater happiness, than to come to Perfection in Grace and Holiness: Nor let us look for any better Heaven, than to have fulness of Communion with God, resting our Souls for ever in the Bosome of his eternal Good-will. This you shall find was the Happiness which holy Paul looked after, who being about to epitomize his desires, and to give us the Sum of them all in one Word, tells us, That they were all carried out after, and did meet in the full enjoyment of Christ, as their proper Center. I have a desire to depart (saith he) and be with Christ, which is far better. He doth not say, he had a desire to be in Heaven, and to sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the Prophets in the Kingdom of God, though that also were a Truth: But to be with Christ, enjoying fulness of Communion with God in him, as that which was infinitely, and beyond all degrees of Comparison, better. The Quiet Haven is better than the Wreckful Sea; the Victorious Triumph is better than the Doubtful Battel; the Joy of Harvest is much better than the Toil of Seed-time: But to be with Christ, enjoying everlasting Commu­nion with him; and the Beatifical Vision of God in him, this is best of all; this indeed is the Heaven of [Page 56] Heaven; and the very life of that Happiness, which, in all our Obedience, we should look after.

5. WE are to have Respect in our Obedience to the Recompence of Reward, not Servilely, as Persons that are meerly acted by a Spirit of Bondage, but Ingenuously, and out of a principal of Love, to that God who hath prepared it for us. A Christian, by patient continu­ance in Well doing, should seek after Heaven and Glo­ry, not for fear of Wrath and Hell, but for the Love-that he beareth to the God of Heaven. Whilst we look at the Recompence of the Reward, we should be drawn to walk in Obedience before God, not with Cords of Fear, but with the Ba [...]ds of Love. As the Love of God to us was the Spring of all his gracious Dispensations towards us, so our Love to God should be the rise of all that we do in Obedience to him, ma­king us Serve the Lord, rather out of Choyce, than of Constraint. The Obedience of those that have an eye to Heaven and Glory, should not be a Legal Debt, but a Free Will-Offering: It should not be a Neces­sitated Service, extorted by fear of Hell and Wrath, but an Eucharistical Sacrifice, drawn out by the Love of God, shed abroad in our hearts. The motion of all wicked Men in the Service of God, is Compul­sory and Violent, nor will they act any further there­in, than they are driven by the Spirit of Bondage, and the dreadful Estuations of their own accusing Consci­ences: But you that ever look to get the Reward of Eternal Life, your Souls must be acted in the Ser­vice of G [...]d; by the Spirit of Adoration; the Chariot wherein you move towards Heaven, should be all [Page 57] Paved with Love; you must shew yourselves to be a Willing People, indeavouring to be chearful, unconstrain­ed, and ingenuous in the Service of God. 'Tis the Property of Hypocrites to serve the Lord, as of Con­straint, and not Willingly; their Obedience is For­ced like Water out of a Still, by the Fire, and what­ever they do in the Service of God, 'tis wholly for Fear, as the Parthians Worship the Devil, that he may not hurt them: So that if you take away all con­ceits of Danger, all Workings of the Spirit of Bondage, the terrours of a troubled Conscience, to­gether with the Fears and Pre-occupations of Hell, why, now the Chariot wheels of their Souls are ta­ken off, neither will they any longer run the ways of God's Commandments, because, that which was the Spring of all their Endeavours, is now taken away. But with you, Christians, whose Eye is rightly fixed upon the Recompence of the Reward, it must not be thus; The Spring of your Obedience, must not be the slavish Fear of Wrath and Hell, but sincere and unfeigned Love to the God of Heaven.

INDEED, when first we begin to set out in the ways of Grace, we are then rather acted by the Terrours of Sinai, than by the Comforts of Sion; by the Curses from Mount Ebal, than by the Blessings from Mount Gerizim; by Fear than by Love; and by the Spirit of Bondage, than by the Spirit of Ado­ption: But, having tasted that the Lord is gracious, we must now learn to serve him with a more free and ingenuous Spirit: Our Obedience must now no long­er [Page 58] be Compulsory, and as of Necessity, but Spontane­ous, and Voluntary, as a matter of greatest Delight and Complacency to us. Heaven and Hell display'd, and drawn out before our Eyes in their lively Colours, do usually most work upon us, and leave the deepest Impression behind them, when first we go about to re­form our ways; then Hell is the great Inducement to shun Sin, and Heaven is the grand Incentive to an Holy Life and Conversation: But yet our Obedience must afterwards be more free, and spontaneous, running sweetly in the smooth Channel of Love to God and his Glory; and not in the rugged Channel of the slavish Fear of Wrath, and Hell, and everlasting Burnings. Those workings upon the Soul which come from Fear, they do usually prove Abortive: When that Obedi­ence which proceeds from a Principle of Love, is ne­ver blasted, but grows up into the Flower of eternal Glory. There is in Fear a debilitating Power, ma­king the motions of the Soul, like those of the Parali­tick, Weak and Trembling; it contracts and freezes up the motions of the Soul, it clips the Wings, and takes off the Chariot Wheels: But now Love it's a vigorous active Grace,* putting not only Strength, but a kind of Omnipotency into the Soul; the moti­ons of Love are unresistible, it despiseth Dangers, tram­ples [Page 59] upon greatest Difficulties, facilitates the hardest Province, and maketh the Work of Obedience, how displeasing soever to Flesh and Blood, come off with delight. Whatever Sacrifice of Obedience proceeds from the fear of Wrath and Hell, why, 'tis offered up to God grudgingly, and with a sparing hand: But that Obedience which flows from a Principle of Love to God, it must needs be performed without Murmuring, and that with much Cheerfulness, Delight, and Glad­ness of Soul. A Man that is acted by nothing but the fear of Wrath, and eternal Misery, cannot choose but move slowly in Heaven's way: But when once the Soul is steeped in the Love of God, this now is like Oyl to the Joynts, like Sails to the Ship, like Wings to the Bird, or like a Spring within, that sets all the Wheels of Obedience on Work for God. Yet mi­stake me not neither, as if I thought all fear of God's Wrath, and Hell, to be unbecoming a Gospel Spirit, and a thing wholly Inconsistent with the Love of God.(f) For God is so his Children's Father, as that he is their Lord also. So that though the name, Father, speaks Love and Boldness: yet the name, Lord, speaks [Page 60] Fear and Reverence. And though the love and hatred of God are inconsistent; Yet the fear and the love of God, not only may, but must dwell together in every gracious Soul.

FOR, as the Consideration of God's Goodness should beget in our hearts, towards him, Love and Boldness; so the greatness of God should beget in us Fear and Reverence. As we love God for his Grace and Mercy, because he hath, out of the abundant Riches of his Goodness, prepared Heaven: So we are to fear God for his Justice and Almighty Power, trembling continually before him, because he is able to destroy both Body and Soul in Hell. God hath, not only the tender Indulgence of a Father, but he hath also, the dreadful Countenance of a Judge: And as that doth keep us from despairing, so this should keep us from Presuming; as the thoughts of God's Fatherly Indulgence, should work in us an intire Love and Affection to him, so the thoughts of his just dis­pleasure against all Unrighteousness, must breed in us all Reverence and due Devotion, to work out our own Salvation with fear and trembling, Phil. 2.12. Only you must know, there is a two-fold fear; the one sinful and the other holy; the one servile and slavish, proceeding from a root of Enmity and Hatred in the Heart against God, the other filial and child-like, proceeding from a Principle of Love to God, and his Glory. Slavish Fear is disingenuous, making him, that is acted by it, more afraid of Wrath, and Hell, and Eternal Burnings, than he is of displeasing the God of Heaven; and therefore not becoming a Child of God: But now, Filial Fear, it is wonderful In­genuous, filling the Soul, whenever it draws nigh to God, with all Reverent and Awful Thoughts of him, and causing it to be more afraid of displeasing God, and coming under his Frowns, than of Hell it [Page 61] self, with all the Torments thereof; and this is the Fear wherewith the Lord must be Feared, and by which we may lawfully be acted, in all the ways of our Obedience. For though Perfect Love casteth out that Slavish Fear, which proceeds from the hatred of God, 1 John 4.18. yet it doth not cast out, but is the ground of Filial Fear and reverence towards God. Though it casteth out Tormenting Fear; yet it doth not cast out Obeying Fear. Though it cast out the Son of the(g) Bond Woman, which is nothing but a Servile Affection, that makes a Man turn the back many times upon his beloved Corruptions, and do something in a way of Obedience, not so much for fear of losing the Smiles and Favour of God, as for fear of suffering the Vengeance of Eternal Fire: Yet doth it never cast out the Son of the(h) Free-Woman, which is an Holy Affection of Soul, making all that have it, Shun Sin, and walk in Obedience before God, more for fear of displeasing him and losing his Smiles, than for fear of Everlastng Burn­ings in Hell it self. So that the Fear of God, when not Servile but Filial, doth contribute as much to the ingenuity of our Obedience, as Love it self; making us look, in all our Performances, not so much at Hea­ven and Hell, as at God himself, that he may be [Page 62] pleased with us and smile upon us. And therefore, though God must be served in Love, yet he loves no Service which hath not this Sovereign Ingredient of Filial Fear, Heb. 12.28. as well knowing, that such fear is nothing else but the Fire of Love, breaking forth into a pure flame of Holy Jealousy, lest God should be robbed of his Glory, whilst looking more in our Obedience, to the Recompence of the Reward, than to God himself, we take the Crown from him, and set it upon the head of our own Happiness. God is pleased indeed, at first, to set before us Heaven and Hell, the one in all it's(i) Glory, and the other in all it's Torments, that by the Fear of Hell he may drive us out of Sin, and draw us, by the Love of Hea­ven, into ways of Holiness: But when once we have tasted, that the Lord is gracious, and found one days Communion with him, better than a Thousand else­where; when once we have been on the top of Pisgah, getting a Prospect of that Heavenly Canaan which God hath prepared for us; when once we have been taken up into the Mount of Transfiguration with God, beholding his matchless Beauty, and transcendent Glory; why now the Lord will have us acted in all our Obedience, not so [...]uch by the thoughts of Hea­ven and Hell, as by love to himself, doing all that we do in the Service of God for his own sake: As the Samaritans said, Now we believe, not because thou hast said it, but because we have heard him our selves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the World, John 4.42. So must we say, having tasted the goodness of God, in ways of Obedience, now we serve thee, not slavishly, as Persons that are [Page 63] meerly acted by a mercenary Spirit, by the fear of Hell and the hope of Heaven, but ingenuously, and out of a Principle of love to the Lord, as counting it our Meat and Drink, our chiefest Delight, our center of Rest, our Heaven upon Earth, to glorify the God of Heaven, and enjoy Communion with him in the Beauties of Holiness. Lycurgus would have Virgins to be Married without any Portion, that so their Husbands might take them purely for Love, and not for any Sordid, and By respects: Thus(k) Chri­stians, though we cannot love nor serve God without a Reward, yet we must neither serve nor love him, so much for the Reward that he will Crown us with, as for his own sake. 'Tis Storied of(l) Alexander, that he was wont to say of his two Friends, Ephestion and Craterus; Ephestion loves me, because I am Alex­ander, but Craterus loves me, because I am King Alex­ander: implying, that the one loved his Person, and the other nothing else but his Princely Gifts. Many there are in the World, who, Craterus-like, have a good mind to God's gifts and benefits that he be­stoweth on them, and for these they would seem to love him: But(m) Christians should be so many Spiritual Ephestions, obeying the God of Heaven, and loving him for himself, and all other things in the World, Heaven and Glory it self not excepted, for his s [...]ke. If there be any subordination betwixt God and Heaven, surely then we should rather love, and by [Page 64] patient continuance in well doing, seek after the Reward of Eternal Happiness in Heaven, for God's sake, than love and seek after God, for Heaven's sake. 'Tis hard, I confess, to distinguish betwixt God, and the Recompence of the Reward:(n) But, if any such distinction may be made, we must rather love, and obey God for his own sake, than for the sake of that Eternal Reward, how glorious soever. For as Austin well saith,(o) God will not be loved and served, because he gives us any Reward besides him­self; but because he gives us himself, as our exceed­ing great Reward, Gen. 15.1. The Wife that in­tirely loves her Husband, she looks for no other Re­ward of her Love and Obedience to him, but only to enjoy him as her Husband: So we must not be acted, in our Obedience, by a Mercenary Spirit, looking more at our own Reward, than at God himself, but must think it a sufficient Reward of all our Love and Obedience to God, that we shall, at length, enjoy him as our God in Christ Jesus. When we are acted more in ways of Obedience by the Fear of Hell, and by the desire of Heaven, than by Love to God, this argues a servile mercenary frame of Spirit, clearly evincing, that our respect to the Recompence of the Reward is not such as it ought to be. For, though we may lawfully have respect to them both, looking upon the Torments of the one, to deter us from Sinning [Page 65] against God, and upon the Comforts of the other, to encourage us to all holy walking before him; yet that which ought to be the main Spring of all our Obedience, setting all on work for God, that which should be the very Soul of all our Religious under­takings especially, deriving Life, and the purest quint-essence of Holiness into them, why 'tis the Love of God shed abroad in our hearts. Oh therefore see to it, that in all your Obedience to God, you be acted, not by the Spirit of Bondage, but by the Spirit of Adoption; not by Fear, but by Love; not by servile and mercenary, but by filial, and ingenuous Principles! You may set the Joys of Heaven on the Right Hand, and the Torments of Hell on the Left, having an eye to them both, as strong incentives to quicken you in your motion: But the Love of God in Christ, this must be the spring and main ground of your moving in Heaven's way.(p) For, we never Worship the Lord in a right way, we never serve God as we should, till we can serve him for himself: Nor do we con­sult God's Glory at all, but our own security, when 'tis only the fear of Hellish Torments, and not the love that we should bear to the Lord, that makes us walk in Obedience before him. An heart rightly affected in the Services of God, is so ingenuous, and so throughly steeped in the Christal Stream of Divine Love, that though there were no Heaven, no Hell, no Reward, nor Punishment, yet it would constrain a Man to do his Duty, making him to shun Sin, and to [Page 66] walk in all upright Obedience before the Lord.(q) Let God say to such an one, Crown yourselves with all Earthly Delights, and take your fill of all Mun­dane Pleasures; Cloathe yourselves in Purple, and fare Deliciously every day; Sin as much as you will, and deny yourselves in nothing that a Carnal heart can desire, yet you shall never die for it, nor be cast into Hell, only this shall be your Punishment, that you shall never see my Face, nor enjoy my Favour: Why, such is the strength of the Love which he bears to the God of Heaven, that he would tremble at such an offer, and not much be tempted with it to sin against the Lord; not so much because he is afraid of falling into Hell, as because he is unwilling to offend that God whom his Soul loveth, and whose Favour he looks upon as better than Life it self. A true Chri­stian, though he may fear Hell, and eschew it, with a fear of flight and aversation, yet this is not the Spring of his Motion, but, as the Primum Mobile sets all the other Spheres a going, and as the Soul, informing the Body, gives Life and Motion to the whole Man, so the Love of God, shed abroad in the heart, this is the Spring of a Christian's Obedience, setting all the Faculties of his Soul, as so many Heavenly Orbs, a [Page 67] going for God, and putting Life into all it's Per­formances. The Sparks do not more Naturally fly upward, than the Love of God doth actuate, draw forth, and carry a Christian, in ways of Obedience, to God.(r) He serves God because he loves him, and he loves him because he will love him, looking upon this as a sufficient reward of all, that he hath a God to serve and love, in whom he cannot but rest and delight, (according to the Notation of the Word, for Love in the(ſ) Greek, and the Nature of the Letters making up the word for Love in the Hebrew Tongue, which are all of them quiescent) as in his proper Centre. Love to God winds up a Christian's Affections, to that intention of Zeal and Fervency, that he undergoes a kind of compulsion, and hath an holy necessity within himself, constraining him to walk before God in all dutiful Obedience. The hope of Heaven before may draw him, and the fear of Hell behind may drive him: But Love is that vital Prin­ciple within whereby he is acted, and which, like the very Soul of Obedience, teacheth him a natural Motion. So that, in a Christians Obedience, Force and Free­dom, Violent and Voluntary, Necessity and Liberty, yea, the most pure Liberty, and the most, powerful [Page 68] Necessity, they meet together.(t) For though the Love of Christ doth constrain them: yet 'tis not by any forcible, but by a loving necessity.(u) Truly Love alone, is the greatest Tyrant, over-powering all other Powers, as Chrysostom well observes: and yet there are none that do perform such spontaneous and willing Obedience to God, as those that have the commands of this Heavenly Tyrant upon them, lying under the sweet constraints of Divine Love.

6. AND Lastly. We are to have an Eye to the Recompence of the Reward, not Preposterously, neglect­ing to use the means, appointed by God for the attaining thereof; but Regularly, giving all diligence to become holy, and to work out our own Salvation, in a way of all upright and holy walking before the Lord. We may lawfully have respect to the Recompence of Re­ward, but remember, it must be in the ways of Obe­dience, that we may not deceive ourselves, expecting a Crown of Happiness, when we never take care to follow after Holiness. God cloathes indeed the Lilies of the field, though they neither Toyl, nor Spin, Mat. 6.26, 29. But unless we toil, and give dili­gence to put on the Lord Jesus Christ for Sanctificati­on, God will never cloathe our Souls with the Robes of blessed Immortality. He feeds the Fowls of the Air, though they neither Sow, nor Reap, or gather into Barns: But if we should neglect to Sow Righ­teousness, not endeavouring to gather the Fruits of his holy Spirit into our own Souls, to be sure we shall never be suffered to feed upon the Tree of Life in [Page 69] the Paradise of God. The Lord hath stiled himself, a plentiful Rewarder, but it's only of those, who dili­gently seek him, Heb. 11.6. And, because he is an Holy God, we must therefore seek him in a way of Holiness, would we ever find him rewarding us with a Crown of Righteousness. If a Man (saith the Apostle) strive for Masteries, yet is he not Crowned, except he strive lawfully, 2 Tim. 2.5. The only lawful striving for Heaven and Glory, is against the Corruptions of our own Nature, to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of Flesh and Spirit, labouring to perfect Holiness in the fear of God, to mortify through the Spirit, the deeds of the Body, and to enter in at the strait Gate of Regeneration; and except we thus strive, look we may at the Recompence of Reward, but God will never Crown us with it. For, certainly God makes none happy hereafter, but whom first he makes holy here: Nor will he put any thing in Possession of Eternal Glory, but those in whom he first puts his holy Spirit, to make them Gracious. The only way, amongst the Romans, to the Temple of Honour, was through the Temple of Virtue: Thus the Lord hath made Virtue the way to Honour, amongst Christians, calling them first to Virtue, 2 Pet. 1.3. and then to(w) Glory; so that Virtue must be sought by way of Preparation, before ever a state of Glory can be their Fruition. Heaven must first be brought down into our Souls by Sanctification, before our Souls can possibly be taken up into Heaven for their Glorification. The Kingdom of Heaven, it's a pure place, it's an Inheritance that is Incorruptible, and undefiled: Whatsoever therefore is unclean, and [Page 70] defileth, can never enter into it, Rev. 21.27. In Ire­land, the Soil is so pure, that no venemous Creature will live there: To be sure, such is the infinite purity of that Soil, in the Land of Promise, the heavenly Canaan, that those who are infected with the Venome and Poyson of Sin, not labouring to cleanse themselves from it, cannot possibly live there. Foolish Sinners are apt to please themselves, with some pleasant dreams, about going to Heaven when they dye, not consider­ing, how vexatious, and contrary that holy habitation would be to them, should they come thither with their Natures unsanctified. For the accomplishment of true delight, there must be an harmonious conformity and correspondency, betwixt the faculty and the object, about which it is conversant: So that, if the faculty be not duely prepared, let the object be never so pleasant, yet it will afford nothing of true delight, but a deal of vexation and weariness. The Sun is a pleasant object, affording much delight and satisfacti­on, to one that hath no impediment in his sight, and yet to sore Eyes, there is nothing more afflicting and tedious, than to behold it: Thus, though Heaven be a place of unspeakable Pleasure, adorned with all glorious Objects that a gracious heart can desire, yet should a Man unsanctified come there, he would think himself in the very Suburbs of Hell, and instead of meeting with happiness therein, he would find it a place of his greatest disquietment. If our first Parents were, by one Sin, so far indisposed for Communion with God, that they were not able to bear his Presence, nor so much as able to look upon the back parts of God, in the Earthly Paradice, but sought, through the dread of his Presence seizing upon them, to hide themselves from the Eyes of Omnisciency; How then will unsanctified Sinners, whose Souls are become a very Sodom of all Unrighteousness, be able to bear the holy Presence of God, to see him face to [Page 71] face, and to look fully upon the Brightness of his Glory, in the heavenly Paradice, where they shall not have the least Fig-leaf to hide the shame of their nakedness? Believe it, Sinners, unless your sore-eyes be healed, and your Natures Sanctified, you may find as much comfort in Hell, as you could in beholding the Face of God in Heaven. That Heaven, which is a Paradice of all delights to a gracious Soul, you that are not Sanctified and made New Creatures, you would find it a very Tophet, a place of all hellish and intollerable Torments, should you enter into it. In Ireland, they say, is a Fountain, whose Waters kill all those Beasts that drink of them, but is pleasant to the People, not hurting them, though they usually drink of it: Thus, though that pure River of Water in the New Jerusalem, proceeding out of the Throne of God, and of the Lamb, Rev. 22.1. be more pleasant than life it self to all God's People, yet, should any brutish Sinner, be suffered to drink of those Waters, he would find them more bitter than the stroke of death. For the Soul must first be made a prepared subject for Heaven and the Joys thereof, or Heaven it self would be an Hell to it, and the Joys of Heaven, they would fill it with the greatest, and most exquisite Torments. And truly, would Ungodly Sinners but set Reason a-work, they might easily satisfy themselves of their own unfitness for Heaven, and what an hell it would be to them should they come there. They that count it a weariness to serve the Lord a few hours together on Earth, how can they think themselves fit for Hea­ven, where they must serve him day and night with­out ceasing to all Eternity. If they find it so tedious to be restrained from Vanity, by the presence of a faithful Minister, or a serious Christian, for a little scantling of time, How can they think themselves able to bear the presence, of an infinitely holy God, re­straining them from all their Sins, and pleasurable [Page 72] Vanities for ever? When they cannot endure to spend a short Sabbath, with seriousness, in the worship of God, but are presently tired out, longing that the Sabbath were over, What fitness have they to spend an Everlasting Sabbath, in worshiping the God of Heaven, which will never be over? Grace, dawn­ing in God's People, is now their burden, their sore eyes cannot look upon the brightness of it; Oh then, How unable will they be to bear it, when all it's im­perfections being done away, it shall break forth into a bright Sun-shine of eternal dazling glory? Oh be convinced, that you must first be made holy, or you can never be made happy; you must first be sanctified, or you can never be saved; you must first be cleansed from all unrighteousness, and made New Creatures, or you will never be fit to inhabit the New Jerusalem. Esther might not come into the Kings Presence, till first she was washed and purified: So, till first we be throughly washed in the Laver of Regeneration, and purified thereby, from all Filthiness of Flesh and Spirit, we can never enjoy God's Presence in a state of Glory. Holiness is that which becomes God's House, and therefore, except you follow after Holi­ness, and pursue it, you must never look to come to Heaven, the place of God's holy habitation. 'Tis fabled of Hercules, in the Flames of Oeta, that he left the Garment, sent him by Deianira, which could not be got off, without tearing his Flesh, and so became Im­mortal: If you have not already prevented me in the accommodation, the Moral of the Apologue is this; You must put off the Rags of your own Filthiness, laying aside every weight, Heb. 12.1. and the Sin which doth tenaciously cleave to you, would you ever enter upon a state of blessed and glorious Immortality. As the rising Sun must needs go before the perfect day: So sanctifying Grace must needs go before, and is that alone, which can fit us for eternal Salvation. [Page 73] God hath told you in his holy Word, that nothing which defileth, shall ever enter into the New Jerusa­lem: And whomsoever the voice of God, speaking in the Scriptures, shuts out of Heaven in this Life, they shall undoubtedly be shut out of Heaven in the Life to come. So that in vain shall you look for happi­ness in the World to come, if here you give not dili­gence to be holy, walking in all dutiful Obedience be­fore the God of Heaven. Pharnaces being up in Arms against Caesar, sent him a Crown, thinking by such a Present, to appease his Wrath, but Caesar send­ing it back again, returned him this answer, Faceret imperata prius, let him first lay down his Arms, and return to his Obedience, and then his Crown should be accepted of by way of Recognizance: Thus, as Caesar would not accept of a Crown, so, to be sure, God will never give a Crown of Glory to those, by way of Recompence, whom he sees to be up in Re­bellion against him, not labouring to become holy and to walk in Obedience before him. The Kingdom of Heaven is a place prepared for Children, and not for Strangers; for Friends, and not for Enemies; for such as are pure and undefiled in their way, and not for the wicked and unrighteous, 1 Cor. 6.9. who must never, continuing such, inherit the Kingdom of God. The Ark of Noah was a Receptacle for Beasts that were unclean, as well as for those that were clean: But into Heaven there shall in no wise enter (as was said) any thing that defileth and is unclean. Let then, I beseech you, the consideration of all this make you careful, to seek after Heaven and Glory, in a way of Grace and Holiness.(x) Holiness is the Per­spective through which we must see God. 'Tis as [Page 74] possible to see the Sun without Eyes, as to see God, and be saved without Holiness. For, without Holiness no Man can see the Lord, Heb. 12.14. There is an(y) Inheritance laid up for Saints in light, but in case you walk in darkness, not labouring to make your­selves meet for it, you must never look to en [...]oy it, Colos. 1.12. Oh that you would therefore be daily Mortifying your(z) Corruptions, breaking off your Sins by Repentance, perfecting Holiness in the fear of God, and so preparing your selves for Heaven, that you may be counted meet to be partakers of that glorious Inheritance. He that Soweth not his Field, hath no hope to Reap it; he that runneth not the Race, hath no hope of the Garland; he that Fighteth not the Battel, hath no hope to obtain the Crown: Why thus, my Friends, if you sit down satisfied without Grace, not labouring to become pure and holy, and unblameable before God in love, you can never have any good hope to enjoy the Harvest, the Garland, the Crown of Eternal Life, Ephes. 2.12.

PROMISE yourselves what happiness you please, and be as confident of your own good condition as you will: Yet, believe it, Sirs, unless now, with the Wise Virgins, you get Oyl in your Lamps, and Grace in your Souls, you must never sit down with Christ in the Kingdom of God to the Marriage-Supper. For [Page 57] to presume of Life and Happiness, without(a) Grace and Holiness, is the next way to lose them both, and to plunge yourselves deeper in Eternal Misery, Pre­sumption being still the Preface to Damnation. And are you grown so secure indeed, that you can sit down satisfied without that, which alone can make you meet for Heaven and Eternal Glory? Oh, methinks, that unmarcescible Crown of Life, that far more exceeding and eternal weight of Glory, whereof you must ever­lastingly fall short, if you keep it not in the way of serious Practical Holiness, should make you give all diligence, to get Grace into your hearts, and to be­come holy! Is it nothing do you think to miss of Eternal Glory, to be eternally shut out of God's heavenly Kingdom, and for ever to lose that Crown of Righteousness, that fulness of Joy, and those Plea­sures, which are at God's Right Hand for evermore? Oh what everlasting hellish horrour will fill your Souls at Death and Judgment, should you spend your lives in Vanity, not striving to perfect holiness in the fear of God! Oh that you would look upon a grace­less condition, and negligence in the ways of God now, as you will look upon it, when for want of grace and diligence in Heaven's way, the Lord shall throw you down for ever into hellish Torments, the Lord shall punish you with everlasting destruction from his own blessed Presence, and bid you depart accursed into everlasting fire, prepared for the Devil and his Angels! Oh the unspeakable horrour, Oh the ever­lasting dreadful confusion, that will then fall upon you! Oh what Worlds would you not give to be saved, when, for want of sanctifying grace, you must of necessity be damned for ever! Oh what would [Page 76] you not now do to come to Heaven, when for want of Holiness you are sure to be thrown down into hellish Torments, and there shut up amongst damned Spirits, in everlasting Chains, under darkness! In the fear of God, Sirs, and out of tender compassion to your own Immortal Souls, do not rest a moment longer in a graceless condition, but as ever you desire to be saved, now labour to be throughly sanctified, and as ever you would see the face of God in Glory, now labour to walk before him in all holy Conversation and Godliness! Never think to be Mercenarij, if you will not be Operarij: You can never receive the Reward of Eternal Glory, when you dye, if you work not hard in God's Vineyard, so long as you live. The Lord will give you both the upper, and the nether Springs, both Grace and Glory: But on this condition, that you espouse Achsah his Daughter, that you devote yourselves to the practice of Piety, endeavouring to perfect holiness in the fear of God, Heb. 12.28. There is a Kingdom that cannot be moved, there is a(b) Crown of Life, more glorious than the(c) Sun in it's Noon day Brightness, there is fulness of Joy in God's Presence, together with Soul-satisfying(d) Pleasures, at his Right Hand for evermore, and all this you may have for your Portion, and to make you everlastingly happy, but then you must seek it in God's own way, by patient con­tinuance [Page 77] in(e) Well-doing, and by a life of Serious Practical Holiness. He that would have a good Harvest, must diligently Till and Sow his Ground: So you must break up the fallow Ground of your Hearts, endeavouring to Sow to the Spirit, would you ever obtain a blessed Harvest, in which you may reap a full Crop of Eternal Joy. God hath tyed Grace and Glory, Holiness and Happiness together: So that no Grace, no Glory; no Holiness here, no Happiness hereafter. Whosoever leads a lewd un­sanctified life on Earth, shall never lead a blessed and glorified life in Heaven. As no Man might be in the Wedding-house, not having on a Wedding-garment, Mat. 22.11, 12. So whoever is not found cloathed with the garments of Righteousness, he shall never enter into a Mansion of glory, into an house not made with hands, eternal in the Heavens, 2 Thes. 2.13. The Image of God must first be renewed upon you, in the Beauties of Holiness, before ever you can be capable of seeing the face of God in Sion, or be counted meet to be Inhabitants of the New Jerusa­lem. Look at Heaven and Glory as much as you will, and let your eye be still fixed upon the Recom­pence of the Reward: Yet, if you seek it not by patient continuance in well doing, endeavouring to cleanse yourselves from all filthiness of Flesh and Spi­rit, you are never like to be Crowned with it. In vain do we look at Heaven and Eternal Glory, so long as we live in Sin, never striving to be holy, [Page 78] which is nothing but to walk in the way that leads to Hell and everlasting Misery. For then only have we due respect to the Recompence of the Reward, when we seek it in a way of Obedience, endeavouring to be changed into the likeness, purity, and holiness of that God, who hath promised, that so doing, he will Crown us with it.

CHAP. V. The Doctrin Proved; evincing the lawfulness of having a Respect to the Recompence of the Reward, in Twelve Particulars.

III. HAVING thus shewed you, What it is to have Respect to the Recompence of the Reward, and how you may do so, we are in the next place to evince it, for your better satisfaction, by some Scriptural Demonstrations, That you are allow­ed of God, to have respect to the Recompence of the Reward, and may lawfully do so in all your Obedi­ence.

1. WE may lawfully have Respect, in our Obedi­ence, to the Recompence of the Reward, because God himself hath commanded us, that we should do so. Had not the Lord, by his own Authority, enjoyning us, by Patient continuance in Well-doing, to seek after Heaven and Glory, made it our duty to do so, we might well have questioned the Legality of such a practise: But now there is not the least ground of Hesitancy, nor any colour of Reason, why we should question, Whether that Practise may be lawful, and currant amongst Christians, which hath God's own [Page 79] Image and Superscription written upon it? The Lord commands us, that we should seek the Kingdom of God, Mat. 6.33. as our end, and his Righteousness, as the only adequate means leading thereto; he hath bid us lay up for our selves a Treasure in Heaven; he requires of us all, that, we should work out our own Salvation with fear and trembling, Phil. 2.12. he hath willed us, the seeking of those things that are above, Col. 3.1, 2. enjoyning us, to lay hold upon Eter­nal Life, 1 Tim. 6.12. And shall we still question the lawfulness of that Practice, for which we have a Mandamus sent forth of God, and therein an un­questionable Warrant, sealed and subscribed by the unerring hand of Heaven it self? From God's O­portet, which is wrapt up in every one of his Com­mandments, that are, all of them, holy, and just, and good, Rom. 7.12. we may, doubtless, concludingly infer the Christians Practical Licet, without seeming, in the least, to patrocinate, or give countenance to any Unchristian, Disingenuous, and Mercenary Per­formance. If God say, we must, the inference will be undeniable, that Christians, by patient continuance in Well-doing, may lawfully, here on Earth, seek for Glory and Honour, for Immortality and Eternal Life in the Kingdom of Heaven. Form the Argument in what mode and figure you please, sure I am, That wherever the Will and Command of God are made the Premises, the least that you can put in the Conclusion, without reflecting dishonour upon God himself, must be the Legality and Holiness of the practise inferred from them. For, since the Will of God is the only adequate rule and measure of all Holiness, How can we but acknowledge that to be lawful and holy, which doth harmoniously accord with it, and in every way proportionate thereto, so far as we find it to be trans­cribed into Holy Writ? The Holiness of Man doth [Page 80] consist in his(f) Anological resemblance of, and con­formity with God, who is alone the sure Standard, the grand Exemplar, and the objective cause of all Purity and Holiness in the Creature. Every action of Man is holy or unholy, according to it's con­formity with, or contrariety to the Will of God. Holi­ness is nothing else but a pure derivation from God himself, the Spring and Fountain of all Purity: And therefore, whatever is conveyed into the Heart and Lives of Men, from this pure Fountain, through the Golden Pipes of God's Commandments, it must needs be holy, and just, and good. For, to be sure, con­formity with the rule of Holiness, can never make a Man unholy: no more than walking in the light can produce darkness. Did our Holiness consist in a con­formity with some else besides God's holy Will, in a conformity with the Decrees of Counsels, with the uncertain Records of Antiquity, with the Judgment of Fathers, with Ecclesiastick Constitutions, with Enthusiastick Impulses, or with the dictates of an Erronious Conscience, embracing many times the shadow of Holiness, and engaging Men to the strict observation of that, for the doing whereof, God never gave his Fiat, we might then indeed come under censure, and be impeached of unholiness, for conform­ing our selves to the Will of God, endeavouring to transcribe his Commandments into our Lives and Con­versations. But to set up all these, or any of these for a Rule, making them the standard of Holiness, were to usurp God's Sovereign Authority, and to set the Crown of his Glory upon the head of a poor [Page 81] obscure non-entity, or something worse; just as if a Man should go about to make a small Drop the Spring and Mother of the vast Ocean; or, as if he should make that little Ray of Brightness, which dissembles itself in a dark Glow-worm, the Fountain of Light to the glorious Sun. Doubtless, as God is the sole Author of our Being, so he must be the only Rule of all our Operations. We can no more be independent in these, than we are in that. For since we live in God, and have our Being from him, there is nothing in all the World, that can denominate us truly Holy, but a care to act and move according to his Righteous Will. Every Impression supposes a Seal from whence it came; every Stream will lead you to the Spring-head, out of which it issued, and came bubbling forth; every Beam of Light doth put you in mind of the Sun, out of which it shines, and upon which it doth necessarily depend: So whatever you see that is Good, that is Pure, and shining forth, with a native Lustre and commanding Beauty, in the Lives of Men, it may well bring to your Remembrance the God of Heaven, who is the Fountain of all Goodness, the Chrystalline Spring, out of which all Moral Purity, by a Blessed Emanation, issues, and the glorious Sun of Righteousness, by whom our Lives are irradiated, with most clarified Beams of Holiness, and without whose uninterrupted Irradiations, like refracted Beams, they would presently cease to shine, and become a dark Chaos of all confusions. For, as Light in the Air is nothing but a derivation from the Sun, that Fountain of Light: So, Holiness, in us, is nothing but a Pure Emanation of Goodness, and a noble progeny of Moral Rectitudes, springing from, and born, not of Blood, nor of the will of the Flesh, nor of the will of Man, but of the will of God himself, John 1.13. whose Image and Superscription they bear. Indeed some things are intrinsically good, they have a [Page 82] native Beauty, they are essentially Pure, and there­fore God wills them; whereas other things are only Amiable, and holy, and good, because God wills them; so that they have no moral Entity and Goodness, but what they receive from the Signature of God's Will, and Command, upon them: However, whether we seek of things that are Intrinsically Good, or of things that are Meerly Good, from the Command of God injoyning them, yet surely their Go [...]dness is not Inde­pendant, and the measure of it self, but doth wholly consist in that beautiful Resemblance, and harmomious Analogy, which they have with God's holy Will. For, all Created Excellency, it shineth with a bor­rowed light; whatever Goodness is in the Creature, it is only by way of Participation from God, pre-sup­posing(g) the same transcendently treasured up in him, even as the Impression presupposes the Seal that made it: So that there is no form, nor comeliness, nor beau­ty in any thing, that we should desire it, any further than we find either the bright Stamp of divine Sove­reignty, or the plain Superscription of his Holiness, in legible Characters written upon it.(h) For, God himself is the Centre of all Good, and Holiness, from which the Lines of all Moral Rectitudes, and Divine Virtues are drawn, according to which they are regulated, in which they are conserved, and into which returning, they must ultimately resolve themselves.

SINCE Holiness then is nothing else but an har­monious Conformity with, and a Transcript of his righteous Will concerning us: Why should we count our having a Respect to eternal Glory, any Forfei­ture [Page 83] of our Holiness, or go about to censure that Pra­ctice, as Unlawful, for which we have God's own Fi­at? Were not this to make more Sins than God ever made, and to go about, by a kind of Interpreta­tive Blasphemy, to impeach the infinitely Holy God of giving, not only his Imprimator, but his Fiat also, to unholy Practises, commanding Men to seek after Heav­en and Glory, from the beholding whereof, they should (according to what some Dogmatize) turn away their eyes, as the greatest Vanity? But, dare we say, That Mens walking in the Light of the Sun, is Darkness to them? Or, That Conformity with God's Righ­teous Will, is the cause of any unrighteous Practise? Sirs, to question the Legality and Holiness of Duties commanded, is to question his Holiness, and the Law­fulness of his Authority, who commanded them. How dare we then say, that is Bitter in the Fruit, which we know to be Sweet in the Root? How can we count that Impure in the Streams, which we dare not but confess to be Pure in the Fountain? How dare we traduce that as Sinful in the Practise, which we know to be Holy, and Just, and Good in the Precept? How dare we, to be short, look upon Christians as Disingenuous and Transgressing in that, which they purely Act in Obedience to God's Commands. If God, Christian, bid thee, by patient continuance in well-doing, se [...]k for Heaven and Glory, do not doubt but his Command will sufficiently secure thee from the Censure of a Legalist, or Mercenary in so doing, be­fore Men and Angels. For, Who shall lay any thing [Page 84] to the Charge of God's Elect, in those Precepts, which are justified by the Holy Precepts and Commandments of God himself injoyning them? Rom. 8.33.

2. WE may lawfully have Respect in our Obedience to the Recompence of the Reward, because the most E­minent of God's faithful Servants have done so before us. We have not only Precept, but President to war­rant our Practise in this case; there being none of the People of God, but by striving to enter in at the strait Gate, by laying up for themselves a Treasure in Heaven, by Suffering with Christ, that they might be Glorified together with him, have clearly Comment­ed and Paraphrased upon those and the like Portions of Holy Scripture, that we, knowing thus the mind of God therein, may go and do likewise. Thus David, a Man after God's own Heart, (Psalm, 119.112.) and therefore surely no Mercenary, he inclin'd his Heart to perform God's holy Statutes alway, as expe­cting in the end the Reward of eternal Glory. In the Original, it is even to the end, ( [...] Fructus prae­mium,quod fructus postremum, et finis laboris est) and so our own Translation renders it: But yet the same Word doth also signify a Reward, which is not usually given before the end of our Works; clearly implying, That David having an Eye to the Recom­pence of the Reward, did more Cheerfully run the way of God's Commandments. David was willing to take pains in God's Vineyard, spontaneously incli­ning his Heart to perform God's holy Statutes all his dayes, as expecting, at the evening of his Death, to re­ceive the Penny of eternal Life and Glory, in God's heavenly Kingdom. This also we find to be the Pra­ctice of holy Paul, a man so Ambitiously desirous to promote God's Glory, that through an holy Transport of Love thereto, he once wished himself suspended, and put apart from the Comforts of Christ, in the Jews [Page 85] stead, that God might but be glorified thereby; Rom. 9.3. And yet he hath an Eye, in all his Obedience, to the Recompence of the Reward, putting forth him­self with the greatest Intenseness of Zeal and Diligence imaginable, for the Price of his High-calling. [ [...] Graece, quod magnam habet Emphasim signi­ficat enim manus, totumque Corpus protendere ad sco­pum ut eum apprehendas ante quam pedibus eum attige­ris. A lapide in locum.] He did not grudge to Spend and be Spent in the Service of, but stretching forward, and extending himself (usque ad extremum virium) he pursues ( [...], according to the Aim which he had taken) the Reward set before him, (so the Original Word [...], signifieth) as impatiently de­siring to be seized of God's Kingdom, and Glory, to which he was called. And though he was a man dai­ly exposed to Reproach, Persecutions, and greatest Di­ficulties in Heaven's way, for the cause of Christ, 2 Cor. 4.18. yet, whilst he looked at the things which are not seen, making Heaven and Glory the scope and end of his Life, (as the Original may well import) he was incouraged thereby, with cheerfulness and ala­crity of Spirit, to encounter them all, not thinking his Life dear, if by any means he might win the Crown, and be landed safe at the Haven of eternal Rest. So that the Respect which this holy Apostle had to the Recompence of Reward, it was instead of a Cordial to comfort him, amidst all his Afflictions; it was a strong Incentive with him to Obedience, putting Life and Vigour into all his Endeavours; and from this he took Incouragement, most gladly to Spend and be Spent in the Service of God. Heb. 10.32. The like we may say of those Primitive Christians, mentioned in the Epistle to the Hebrews, who, though they were encoun­tred with a whole Army of Afflictions, though they were spoiled in their Goods, by wicked men, as so many Harpies preying upon them at their pleasure; though [Page 86] they were Theatriz'd, and brought forth upon the Stage, not only as Spectacles of Scorn and Reproach, but also as Objects of Persecution, for wicked men to exercise their Malice and Cruelty upon, from whom they received, not only bitter Words, but also hard Blows: Yet they joyfully underwent it all, enduring the Cross, and despising the Shame, as Christ their Re­deemer had done before them; and all this, because they had an Eye to the Recompence of Reward, believing themseves to have in Heaven, an induring Substance, a far more exceeding and eternal weight of Glory, that would abundantly make amends for all their Suf­ferings. So that the grand Reason, inducing these Primitive Christians to indure Afflictions, and take joyfully the spoyling of their Goods on Earth, was their Hope of a better, and more induring Substance, when they came to Heaven. Besides these, many pregnant Instances might be given out of Ecclesiastical History, of Christians incouraging themselves by the Recompence of Reward, to run the hazard of Re­proach, Persecution, and sorest Afflictions in the World, for the sake of Christ and his Cause. I shall not lose my Life, (saith one Martyr, being led out to suffer) but change it for a better; instead of Coals I shall have Pearls! And with this Considera­tion he died comfortably. Another, Dr. Taylor by name, being asked by the Sheriff, as he drew nigh to the place of Execution, How do you, Sir? Never better, (reply'd that holy Man) for now I know I am almost at home: Meaning Heaven, where he should be with the Lord for ever. With this also, Atha­nasius incouraged the Christians to perseverance in the Faith, under the Arrian Persecution, That Affli­ction was but Nubeculo citò transitura, a Storm, or rather a little Cloud, that being quickly blown over, would end in a glorious Sun-shine. Like unto him was the Practice of holy Mr. Bradford, who taking up a [Page 87] Fagot at the Stake and kissing it, turned his Head to the Young Man that suffered with him, and said, Be of good Comfort Brother, for we shall have a merry Sup­per with the Lord this Night. Justin Martyr, also tells us of the Christians in his Day, That they, who before their Conversion had pleasure in Uncleanness, did now wholly imbrace Chastity, they that had sometimes used Magical Arts, did now dedicate them­selves to the good and eternal God; they that e'er-while set an higher Estimate upon their Money, and earthly Possessions, than upon any thing else, did now bring all into the common Treasury, that distributi­on might be made according to every one's Necessity; they who formerly hated each other, and betwixt whom there were Heart-burnings, and deadly Animo­sities, did now Lovingly live together, and familiarly converse with one another, praying for their very Enemies, and beseeching those that were their most cruel Persecutors, to break off their Sins by Repen­tance, and live holy. And he gives in this as the rea­son of all, that they, together with such as had some­times despitefully used them, living holy, might have good Hope, and everlasting Consolation thrô Christ, receiving from God at length the reward of eternal [Page 88] Glory. Much to the same purpose I find a Speech in Cyril, who tells us, That true Christians did all of them, by all holy Conversation and Godliness, seek the Kingdom of God, not making the empty and un­satisfying Injoyments of the world, their End, but in­deavouring to lay hold upon eternal Life.

BUT, waving these, and the like Examples, as being not altogether so Cogent and Authentical, we shall conclude the Argument with holy Moses, from whose Practice, the Doctrine it self was deduced. Moses, though (as we said of Paul) a man so ambitiously de­sirous of, and passionately zealous for God's Glory, that rather than the least Dishonour should reflect up­on him, he could wish himself blotted out of God's Book of Life, in respect of whose Glory, he seems careless of his own Salvation: Yet thought it no im­peachment of his Ingenuity, to steal a look from Glo­ry, to peep within the Vail, to cast an eye upon the Recompence of Reward, for his incouragement to all upright, self-denying, and holy walking before the God of Heaven.* He had Heaven in his eye, expecting a Crown of Glory after all his Sufferings, and that made him walk on so cheerfully in Heaven's way. Being therefore compassed about with so great a Cloud of Wit­nesses, why should we any longer count it unlawful, or think it a forfeiture of our uprightness and ingenuity, [Page 89] to have Respect in our Obedience to the Recompence of the Reward? If persons so eminently Holy have gone before us, without contracting either spot or ble­mish, or any such thing, in having an eye to the Re­compence of the Reward, why should we Hesitate a­bout, or scruple the Lawfulness of following after them? To be sure, Christians, if respect to Heaven and Glory, did not forfeit the Sincerity of a David, of a Moses, of Paul, it can never prove any forfeiture of your Integrity. For, where the Pattern it self is Holy, and Just, and Good, conformity therewith will never make any man Disingenuous and Unholy. If the Spirit of God record it as Praise worthy in others, that in keeping God's Commandments, they had Re­spect to the Recompence of Reward, he will never upbraid us, as Persons Disingenuous and Mercenary, for the like holy Practise. For certainly, whatever incouragements to Obedience, the Lord formerly af­forded his People, to this day he allows them the same, or greater: So that whenever we have Re­spect in our Obedience, to Heaven and Glory, we do no more forfeit our Integrity, nor prove ourselves Mercenary and Disingenuous, by so doing, than Self-denying Moses, Upright David, Zealous Paul, and all God's Faithful People have done before us.

3. WE may lawfully have Respect, in our Obedi­ence to the Recompence of the Reward, because not only the Children of God, but our blessed Lord himself, had an eye thereunto. We may imitate the People of God, so far as their Actions run parallel with, and do clear­ly paraphrase upon his holy Will: But now the Life of Christ, it's an authentick Copy of Holiness; it's an [Page 90] unblottable Draught of perfect Piety; it's nothing else but the Wilt of God incarnate, and made manifest in our mortal Flesh: So that if Christ had Respect, in his Obedience, to the Recompence of the Reward, we need no longer stand Questioning the Lawfulness of such a Practise, but are bound to look upon it as Ho­ly, and Just, and Good. For, every one will acknow­ledge, the Actions of a Deity to be Indeficient, and confess it a thing Praise-worthy in all men, to Write after so fair a Copy. Now, that Christ himself had Respect, in his Obedience, to the Recompence of the Reward, we find written in legible Characters, by the unerring Hand of that blessed Apostle, where he tells us, That for the Joy which was set before him, Christ indured the Cross, and despised the Shame. Heb. 12.2. As Christ, in the dayes of his Flesh, did truly and properly obey God the Father, notwithstanding the Hypostatical Union, and the Absolute Perfection of his inward habitual Holiness, wholly determing all in­differency and undeterminateness, which some School­men would have to be constitutive of Liberty: Why, so if we consider him as Man, ‘He was to have Ra­tional Comforts, and Humane Incouragements, in all his Obedience, that the Frailties of his Humane Na­ture, being relieved with such Spiritual Cordials, he might the more Cheerfully go through with the great work of our Redemption, which the Father had giv­en him to finish.’ Isa. 53.10. Hence we find God the Father in that Federal Transaction, that was be­twixt Him and God the Son, from all Eternity, con­cerning the Redemption of Lost Man, Indenting with the Lord Jesus Christ, and promising him, in case he would undertake the Work, both a blessed Success therein, and also, to Crown him afterward, with an everlastingly Glorious Reward. In case he would make his Soul an Offering for Sin, then the Lord promises, That he shall see his Seed, and prolong his [Page 91] dayes, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall not Labour in vain, nor spend his Strength for naught, and in vain, but shall be so glori­ously successful in the discharge of his Mediatory Fun­ction, that we shall obtain thereby, an everlasting Kingdom, and find his Sufferings like a fruitful womb, bringing forth many Sons and Daughters unto God. In case he would bear the Iniquities of the People, then the Lord promises, that he shall see of the Travail of his Soul and be satisfied, and shall be abundantly well pleased with all his Sufferings, and all his bitter Agonies, they shall turn to most sweet Satisfaction, when the Lord being reconciled to lost Sinners, and their Souls everlastingly Saved, he himself shall sit down on the right hand of God in glory. In case, (to be short) he shall pour out his Soul unto Death, and make Intercession for Transgressors, then the Lord pro­mises, to divide him a portion with the great, and that he will cause him to divide the Spoil with the Strong. Christ shall not always be held a Captive of Death, but having satisfied divine Justice, he had the Promise, for his incouragement, of a glorious Victory, and of an everlasting joyful Triumph over all his Enemies. So that, that which made the Lord Jesus Christ, Psal. 110. drink so cheerfully of the Brook in the way, was the Assurance he had to lift up his Head with everlast­ing Rejoycing. That which made him so cheerfully humble himself, and become of no Reputation amongst men, (Phil. 2.7.) was the Assurance which he had, that God at length would most highly exalt him; and give him a name above every name. That, in a word, which made him so cheerfully Suffer, induring the Cross, and despising the Shame, was the Assurance which he had, that having once suffered in the Flesh, he should en­ter into Heaven, and there sit down upon a Throne of Glory, Luke, 24.26. And, shall we then, that are the Members of his Body, be afraid to imitate Christ [Page 92] our Head, thinking it unlawful, to have Respect, in our Obedience, to Heaven and Glory, when the Lord Jesus himself, that indeficient Pattern of all Righteous­ness, hath done the same before us, leaving us an Ex­ample, that we should follow his Steps? 1. Pet. 2.22. [Sancta Christi vita est perfectissima virtutum idea: omnis Christi actio est etiam nostra institutio. Gerha. Med. 30.] Jesus Christ is the Rule, according to which we must Walk; He is the Copy, according to which, we are to Write; He is the grand Pattern, according to which, we must indeavour to Live. God's People, they must never be followed, without a Quatenus, any further than they follow Christ: But now Christ must be followed, without any such Pro­viso, we may follow him ad caecam obedientiam, and yet never miscarry; so long as we walk as He walk­ed, we are still taking Steps towards Heaven and Glo­ry. The best of God's People, they are like the Pillar of Cloud, that went along with the Israelites, in which there was a dark side, and a light side; the light side of the Cloud we may follow, but not the dark side: But now Christ is a Sun of Righteousness, always shi­ning with such spotless, and unblemishable Splendor, that walking in his Light, we need never be afraid of enveloping ourselves in the darkness of any Sin. The Works of Christ are our Rule, as well as his Word; his Actions were a living Decalogue, clearly Paraphra­sing upon the whole Mind of God therein; his Life was a constant Exercitation of the Power of Godliness; and all his Performances, they were nothing else but Religion exemplified, and adorned in her own native colours. Since then, Christ is thus the fixed Center of all Righteousness, the Abstract of all Virtue, a full, though compendious Praxis of Divinity, and the only unerring Rule of an Holy Life, why should we scruple to Walk as he Walk, or think we Forfeit our Ingenuity, in looking, for our Incouragement, to all [Page 93] holy and upright walking before God, at Heaven and Glory, as he also did? [Tota vita Christi in terris per hominem quem gessit, disciplina morum fuit. Aust. de vera Religione.] The whole Life of Christ, was, and is a perfect Pattern of Holiness to all Christians: So that we shall be so far from sinning in following Christ, that we never sin more dangerously, than when we cease to follow him, not labouring to Transcribe his Actions into our Lives and Conversations. Incas­sum laborat in acquisitione virtutum, qui eas alibi quam in Christo quaerit. Bern. There is no way in the World for us to attain unto any Goodness, but only through Christ: Nor to learn any true Virtue, but only from the Example of Christ, in his holy Conver­sation, which we stand obliged to follow.

INDEED, we are to know, That though all those things which are recorded of Christ, were writ­ten for our Instruction; yet they were not all of them written for our Imitation. For, some Acts of Christ were Instances of divine Sovereignty and Prerogative, as his sending for the Colt, without asking the Owner's leave, Mat. 21.2. Some were Acts of divine Power and Omnipotency, as his turning Water into Wine, John, 2.7. Walking upon the Sea. Luk. 7.21. dis­possessing of Devils, and raising the Dead to Life, these were miraculous Works, which are the Legible, but unimitable Characters of a Deity, so that though men can best read them, yet they can worst write after them. Some were Works of Merit and Mediation, done by him as Prophet, Priest, and King of his Church, John 10.22. Acts 20.28. such were his giving of the Spirit, redeeming his Church with his own Blood, 1 John 2.1. and interceeding for his People at the Right Hand of God in Glory; which (whatever the Church of Rome Blasphemously dogmatize to the con­trary) is no less incommunicable than the work of [Page 94] our Redemption, since none may take up the Censer to offer Incense, who have not a right at the Altar to offer Sacrifice? Some (in a word) of Christ's Acts, were Moral, Mat. 11.29. and ordinary pertaining to the common nature of Holiness, which they had written upon them to the Lord in capital Letters, as being nothing but a visible Commentary upon the whole Law of God. The Three first are for our Instruction: But the last, comprizing the acts of Christ's ordinary Obedience, are only for our Imita­tion. Christ bid us not to Redeem the World, to raise the Dead, nor to walk upon the Sea: But in the Works of Piety and Holiness, he saith to us as Gideon to his Souldiers; Look upon me, and do likewise, Judg. 7.17. We are always to look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our Faith, Heb. 7.26. giving diligence to be holy, as he was holy; to be pure, as he was pure; Mark. 14.36. to be self-denying, as he was self-deny­ing; to be upright, and without guile, as he was without guile; 1 Pet. 2.22. to be humble, and lowly of Spirit, as he was humble; Mat. 11.28. to be zealous for God's Glory, as he was zealous; Joh. 16.17. And, by the Joy, which is set before us, we may lawfully be incouraged to indure the Cross, despising the shame, as He also was. For, to be sure Christians, in follow­ing Christ, the only authentick Rule of Righteousness, you can never do any unrighteous Action. In imita­ting Christ the Holy One of God, looking in all your Obedience at Heaven and Glory, as he did before you, you can never become unholy. The Life of Christ is a fair Copy, without any Blot or uneven Letter in it: So that indeavouring to Write after him, you can ne­ver come under the Blot of being Disingenuous, and Mercenary in the Service of God. Let Christ be the Rule, by which you draw the Lines of all your Acti­ons, and then they will never prove crooked or une­ven. Let him be the Glass, by which you adorn and [Page 95] dress yourselves, and then you will never appear in any other Attire, but what will be most Graceful, De­cent, and Amiable in the sight of God. Let him, in a word, be the Primum Mobile, turning about by the sweet impulse of his own most holy Self regulated Ex­ample, both the superior and inferior Orbs of your Souls, and then, though you seek your own Happiness, longing to Feed upon that heavenly Ambrosia, in the Hesperian Vales; though you fix your eyes never so wishly upon the Recompence of the Reward, Steering a right Course towards the Tartesian Shore of eternal Rest, yet your motion can never be excentrical, nor irregular.* For, there is nothing more becoming Christians, than to make their Lives a Transcript of that fair Copy, which Christ, by the hand of his own holy Example, hath set them: Nor is there any thing more intrinsick, and essential to Christianity, than for the Professors thereof to walk, as Christ himself walked. ( [...].) The very name of a Christian is so apposite and significant, that it doth ful­ly interpret, and clearly comment upon his Essence, teaching us, that the Epitome of Religion, the Abridg­ment of true Piety, the Quint-essence of real Holiness, the Compendium of all Virtues, and the whole Sub­stance of a Christian, is to have the Signature of Christ's Holiness upon his Soul, indeavouring to ex­press in his Life, the Virtues of the Lord Jesus. And certainly, since our Christianity doth mainly stand in Conformity with Christ, we can never make a For­feiture of it, nor be Impeached of Mercinariness, in [Page 96] looking at heavenly Glory, as He did, whilst we walk in Obedience before God on Earth.

4. WE may lawfully have Respect, in our Obedience, to the Recompence of Reward, because the Lord doth frequently incourage his People, by the consideration of eternal Glory, to all Dutiful, and Ʋpright walking be­fore himself. As God affords his people Happiness at the end, so he allows them Comfort in the way of Du­ty, sweetning all his Commandments with Promises, and incouraging to all upright and holy walking be­fore himself, by giving his People the Assurance of an everlastingly glorious Reward. God doth not exact Obedience from his People, upon terms of absolute Sovereignty, but upon terms of Bounty, and remune­rative Goodness. He doth not appoint them their Work, and hide from them the Reward: But, to make them go through with it the more Cheerfully, he often tells them of the Reward, wherewith, ha­ving finished their Course, they shall eternally be Crowned. As God gives the best Wages to those who are his Servants, so He likewise holds out the best Incouragements to draw us into his Service, and to make us willing to Spend and be Spent there­in. Man is a Rational Creature, and of such a Sequa­cious Temper, that fetching your Arguments out of the Topicks of Profit and Pleasure, you may carry him whither you will: And therefore, the Lord, who knows our frame, he leads us on in ways of Obe­dience, by Rational Comforts, and Human Incourage­ments, assuring us, that in keeping his Commandments, there is great Reward. Psal. 19.11. God knows, that Blessedness is the Alpha and Omega of every man, the Centre wherein all our Desires meet, and that no man can wittingly make light of, much less give the Repulse to his own Happiness: He therefore stands, like a faithful Guide, to give Aim to all those amongst [Page 97] us, that would fain bend their Course to the safe Harbour of Happiness, and like an auspicious Herald, proclaim­ing upon Mount Gerizim, the Mount of Blessings, with Wisdom in the Proverbs, Hearken unto me, O ye Children, for Blessed are they that keep my wayes, Prov. 8.32. The Lord knows, we have many tall Ana­kims to encounter, before we can take possession of the heavenly Canaan, and therefore he incourageth us, as Caleb did him that should smite Kirjath-Sepher, Josh. 15.16. whom he promised his Daughter Achsah to Wife: So in case we shall quit ourselves like Men, induring Hardship, as good Soldiers of Jesus Christ, he will give us his Daughter Achsah to Wife; he will give us the Ornament (as that name may signify) of eternal Glory; he will give us to eat of the Tree of Life, (Rev. 2.7.) in the Paradice of God. 'Tis Sto­ried by the Hebrews of Joseph, That when he had ga­thered much Corn in Egypt, he threw the Chaff into the River Nilus, that so, floating down to the neigh­bouring Cities and Nations, they might know what Plenty there was in Aegypt, and be provoked thereby to seek thither: So God, to make us know what Glory is in Heaven, and the more to incourage us to seek thither, he hath thrown some Husks to us here, that so, tasting the Sweetness of Heavenly Glory, in the Husk of a Promise, we might aspire after it. Be ye stedfast, (saith St. Paul, 1 Cor. 15.5, 8.) be ye unmoveable, be ye always abounding in the work of the Lord. And, why so Stedfast, why so Unmoveable, why such care to abound in the Work of the Lord, but, because (saith he) you know, that your Labour shall not be in vain in the Lord? God doth not deal with us, as Crater the Philosopher did with a certain Virgin that was in Love with him, and would needs Marry him: He did what in him lay to discourage her, shewing her his Crooked Back, And this is your Hu­sband! (said he) and bringing forth his Staff and Scrip, [Page 98] Why, this (adds he) is like to be your Dowrey! But now, the Lord doth what in him lyes to Incourage us, telling us what Treasures of Love and Sweetness, 1 Cor. 2.9. what heaps of Joy, and fulness of Glory, what unseen, unheard of, unconceivable, and Soul-ra­vishing Pleasures are prepared for us, in case we will but love him, and walk in Obedience before him. 'Twas one of the Devil's Master pieces, when he Tem­pted Christ, hoping to draw him to his impious De­sires, that he carried him up into an exceeding high Mountain, shewing him from thence, all the Kingdoms of the World, and then promised him, saying, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Why, thus (with holy reverence be it spoken) what the Devil did to Christ Wickedly, the Lord doth Graciously to his own People: He takes them up into Mount Nebo, from thence shewing them thrô the Perspective of his Promises, not the Kingdom of this World, but the Kingdom of Heaven, with all the Royalties and Glory thereof, assuring them, Mat. 5.3. that all shall be their own, if they will but walk hum­bly before him, indeavouring to worship him in Spirit and Truth. The Lord understands full well, the Frailties of our Nature, and what great Discourage­ments we are like to meet with in Heaven's way: And therefore he is pleased, most Graciously to draw us on the wayes of Holiness, by the proposal of such Re­wards, as may incourage us to go on therein, what­ever it cost us. Our Condition in this World is like that of the Israelites, passing towards the Land of Ca­naan, we must go through the Red Sea of Persecutions, and through an howling Wilderness, where we shall often be Stung with fiery Serpents, before ever we can get to the heavenly Canaan; and therefore the Lord, he allures us by all sorts of Promises, and sweet In­ticements. I will allure her, (saith God, Hos. 2.14. speaking of his Church) and bring her into the Wil­derness. [Page 99] The word in the Original, which we Tran­slate [Allure] doth also signify to Deceive, Seduce, or to Beguile: But here it's taken in a good Sense, im­plying, with much Emphasis, That God doth sweetly till men on in ways of Holiness, and by an heavenly Artifice, wrapt up in Promises of Life, graciously seduce them into the Obedience of his own Commandments. In the Precept he acquaints us with our Duty, and in the Promise he shews us what shall be our Reward, By that he appoints us our Work, and by this he would incourage us Cheerfully to go through with it, that having the Promise of an eternal Recompence, we may never grow weary in well-doing, 2 Thess. 3.13. Gal. 6.9. Such is the goodness of God, that he sweet­ens all his Commandments with Promises: And when­ever he calls us out to any Duty, he incourageth us to the Performance thereof, by the Proposal of some glori­ous Recompence, Rom. 8.13. He bid us, through the Spirit, mortify the deeds of the Body; and that we may not want Incouragement to so difficult a Work, he tells us, that so doing, our Souls shall live. He bids us to take up our Cross, not detrecting to suffer for Christ: And he gives us this incouragement thereto, That if we suffer with him, we shall also reign with him. 2 Tim. 2.12. He bids us in a word, Sow to the Spirit, indeavouring to be fruitful in every good word and work: And for our incouragement to that holy practise, he tells us, that so doing, we shall of the Spi­rit reap Life everlasting. Gal. 6.8. So then, since God himself is graciously pleased to allure and draw us on in wayes of Obedience, by the proposal of an eternal Recompence, we may lawfully sure, having Respect thereunto, take Incouragement from it. For to what end should God sweeten his Commandments with Promises, but to make us more Cheerful in the way of Duty, when we know how transcendently great and glorious our Reward shall be? Promis­siones [Page 100] nullas dedisset deus pijs de beatitudine, nisi vellet ut inter bene agendum easdem respiceremus. Daven. Col. c. 1. v. 5, p. 46. ‘Those men do begrudge the Lord's Bounty, and would seem wiser than God himself, who deny us a Liberty to make use of the Spirit's Motives,’ Pietas habet promissiones vitae praesentis, et futurae: at frustrà, si non licet intuitu illarum excita­ri ad bene agendum. Dav. ubi sup. In vain hath God made Promises of Life to such as keep his Command­ments, if in keeping thereof, we may have no respect to that Life, that Happiness, that Glory, which is held forth in the Promises to us. Doubtless, Christians! 'tis not Ingenuity, but Ingratitude, to deprive ourselves of those Incouragements to Obedience, and of that Comfort in a way of Duty, which the Lord himself hath graciously allowed us to make use of. And thô possibly you may think, that you highly please the Lord, whilst you walk on in a way of Duty, without any respect to your own Happiness, yet the Truth is, you do Presumptuously tempt him, as Ahaz did, when refusing to ask a Sign, which God promised to give them, Isa. 7.11.12. The Lord knew the necessity of giving a Sign to his People in that Exigence, in or­der whereunto, he bids Ahaz ask a Sign; but he's Modest, he's ashamed that God should be put upon the working of a Miracle to confirm his Faith; far be it from him so to Tempt the Lord, and to question his Faithfulness; he will believe him without a Sign, that he will. However, here were specious Pretences, yet the Lord was no little displeased, that his Favour should be made so light of, and a Sign under a pretence of Modesty refused, as if they better knew what was needful for themselves, than the God of Heaven. Hear ye me now, O House of David, it's a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? Thus, Christians! when we refuse to take Incourage­ments from the Promises of Life, to walk in Obedi­ence [Page 101] before the God of Heaven; when under a pre­tence of Ingenuity, and a Gospel Frame of Spirit, we take on us to serve God for himself; He bids us seek for Glory, and Honour, for Immortality and eternal Life, by patient continuance in well doing, but far be it from us to be Mercenary, or to seek ourselves, we will serve God, and run the way of his Command­ments, without any Respect at all to Heaven and Glo­ry, that we will; why now we weary the Lord, and making light of his Favour to us, we Tempt him, as if we knew better what Motives to make use of, and what to seek in our Obedience, than God himself. For to be sure we do no less Tempt the Lord in not seeking after what he hath Commanded, than we do in expecting what he never Promised. We do no less Tempt the Lord, in creating occasions of Desperation, than in nourishing a groundless Presumption. We do no less (in a word) Tempt the Lord, in making the way more difficult and narrow, than we do in making the way more facile and wider, which leads to the Kingdom of Heaven, than God himself hath made it. Be afraid then, Christian, of Tempting God, for want of taking Incouragement from the Promises of Life and Glory, to run the way of his Commandments: But never be afraid of displeasing him, or Forfeiting thy Ingenuity, by having Respect, in thy Obedience, to the Recompence of the Reward. For certainly, it can never Argue a Disingenuous, and Mercenary Spirit, to make use of that as an Incouragement, whereby to provoke us to all holy, self denying, and upright walking before him. If God himself take us up in Mount Nebo, shewing us the Land of Promise, the Coelestial Canaan, the Heavenly Jerusalem, for our better Incouragement in Heaven's Way, we are not sure to turn away our eyes from the beholding of it. Look whatever God himself doth set before us, as a motive to Diligence in Heaven's way, we may lawful­ly [Page 102] be acted by it, and have our eye fixed upon it▪ Since therefore, the Lord of Mercy hath set before us, the Recompence of Reward, propounding therein Heaven and Glory, as Incentives to Obedience, we may lawfully Eye them, and in all our Obedience have Respect unto them.

5. WE may lawfully have an eye to the Recompence of Reward, in our Obe [...]ience, because this Reward is nothing else but what every Christian stands obliged to look after, and above all things in the world to desire. The grand Reason, inducing some to deny the Law­fulness of having Respect to the Recompence of the Reward, is their gross Mistake concerning the Nature of it. They look upon Heaven and Glory, through the false Glass of their own distemper'd Fancies, where­by the Complexion of Heaven and Glory hath been so strangely metamorphosed, transfigured, and misre­presented to them; that though in it self it be of such an unsullied, magnetick, graceful, attractive and ch [...]ste Beauty, that the very Eyes of the glorious Sera­phims, are Captivated, to the most insatiate beholding of it, yet they can see no such Form, such Beauty, such Comeliness in it, that a gracious Soul should de­sire it!

HOWEVER, if we set aside this mu [...]dy Pre [...] ­dice, abstracting from Heaven and Glory, what a Carnal Heart would conceive to be there, we shall find that there is nothing in Heaven and Glory, that a gracious Soul can tell how to spare; there is nothing in the Recompence of Reward, in eternal Life and Happiness, but what every Christian is bound to look after. The Blessedness which abides us in Heaven, it's either Objective, or formal, and Subjective. Bles­sedness Objective, is nothing but God himself, that immense and boundless Ocean of [...]ll Goodness, in [Page 103] whom are treasured up such Altitudes, such Hyperbo­le's such over-flowing Pleonasmes of all Excellencies and divine Perfections, that whosoever is admitted to the participation of them, like a Stone in the Center he can go no further, he can possibly desire no more, but is perfectly satisfied, taking up his everlasting re­pose in the words of holy David, that spiritual Orphe­us, Return to thy rest, O my Soul, for loe the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee! Blessedness Formal and Subjective, why it's nothing but the Clarifying of the Soul, Crowning it with a bright Constellation of all heavenly Graces, and raising it up in Holiness to the Fulness of the measure of the Stature of Christ, where­by being accurately prepared for immediate Commu­nion with God himself, it now launcheth forth into that fathomless Ocean of all Goodness, bathing it self in the Vastness of a Deity, warming it self in the un­interrupted Irradiations of an eternal Sun-shine, swim­ming in the Chrystalline Rivers of purest Pleasures, and everlastingly closing with the Lord Jehovah, that fixed Centre of Rest and Happiness, in a way of pure Extatical Speculation, in a way of sweetest Love, and Soul-intrancing Fruition. And, if such be the Recom­pence of the Reward that is set before us, if such be the Heaven, the Glory, the Happiness that abideth us in another World, how dare we assert it unlawful, when the Scripture hath made it our Duty, by patient conti­nuance in well-doing, to seek after these things, pursu­ing them as the great End of our Life? May we not in our Obedience, have respect to the perfecting of all our Graces, and to the fulness of Communion with God in Glory? Is it our Duty now to perfect Holiness in the fear of God, 2 Cor. 7.1. seeking his Face and Favour with all our Heart, and may we not much more have our Hearts carried out in Desire after that bles­sed Estate of Happiness, where all our Graces being perfected into Glory, we shall immediately enjoy the [Page 104] Light of God's joyful Countenance, solacing ourselves with eternal Smiles, and drinking in of that Fulness of Joy, and delicious Pleasures, which are at his right Hand for evermore? May we here serve God, and make use of every Ordinance with respect to the get­ting of a little more Grace, a little more Faith, more Sincerity, more Love, more Holiness; and may we not serve him with respect to full Perfection, when Grace that is now Militant, shall then be Triumphant, that is now in the Bud, shall be ripened into a fragrant Flower, that is now in its Infancy, shall attain to its full Age; that is now in a word but Dawning like the Morning Light, shall then break forth into an un­cloudable glorious Sun-shine? May we here serve God, run the way of his Commandments, wait upon him in the Beauties of Holiness, and be frequent in ev [...]ry Duty, with respect to the getting of a little Ac­quaintance, a little Fellowship, a little Communion with him in Christ, so that we can be satisfied with no Duty, wherein we have not some fresh ministrations of his holy Spirit, some heavenly Influences gliding down into our Souls, some Signals of his presence with us, some propitious Glance from his Eyes, some Dawn­ings of his Glory upon us, and yet may we not ascend by an holy Gradation, and have respect to Fulness of Communion with God, when we shall not see him through a Glass darkly, as now we do, but having the Dust of Sin and Mortality wiped out of our eyes shall see him Face to Face, when we shall not be put off with a transient Smile as now we are, but shall have the Light of his Countenance s [...]ining upon us with most clarified Beams and pure Irradiations to all Eternity: When (in a word) we shall not only see the Back-parts of Jehovah, as now we do, but the Lord shall cause all his Goodness and Glory to pass before us, to flow in upon us, and to abide with us for ever? Doubtless in this bundle of Life, in t e Recompence [Page 105] of the Reward, there is not any one Flower bound up, but what hath such a spiritual Fragrancy, and such a Tincture os divine Beauty, that every Christian is ob­liged to seek after them, indeavouring above all things in the world, to G [...]ther them. The Happiness of a Christian, 'tis Grace glorified; 'tis Holiness arrived at it's highest [...], and pitch of heavenly Perfection, Heb. 12.14. which surely we are all of us bound to follow after, pursuing it with all our might, as that without which we can never see the Lord. And as for the Reward of a Christian, it is God himself, 'tis to be with the Lord for ever, to see his Face, and en­joy his Favour for ever; which surely we are also Bound to seek after, giving all diligence to make God our Portion, and the strength of our Heart for ever. Psal. 73.26. And shall we say, that a Christian Sins, or is Disingenuous for Obeying with an eye to Holi­ness, and with respect to the God of Heaven, who a­lone is the fixed Centre of Rest and Happiness? Or, Dare we say, That Christians are not to regard Holi­ness on Earth, but to live as they list; nor to long for the full injoyment of God in Heaven, but to be the cen­tre of their own Happiness? Surely God never in­tended that we should sit down satisfied without Him, and be Happy by reflexion upon our own Excellencies, as if Life and Happiness could be found where nothing but remorseless Death, and Misery keep their walk. As God never rested till he had made Man in his own [Page 106] Likeness, leaving a Tincture of his own Purity and Holiness upon him; so he hath put Emptiness and Dis­satisfaction into all our Creature Enjoyments, Psalm 17.15. that we may never rest till returning to God that made us, we shall behold his Face in Righteous­ness, and be satisfied with his Likeness. Whatever Grace, whatever Holiness God's people have, it's wholly derivative from him: So that whatever Feli­city, whatever Happiness they may look to enjoy, it stands wholly in reduction to God himself, as the Original and Fountain-Cause. The motion of every gracious Soul, it's like that of Coelestial Bodies, purely Circular; so that it can never rest, but will still be rolling, and breathing, and panting after God unsatia­bly, till returning back unto him, it hath fixed it self in the Sabbatical centre of everlasting Communion with him. Such a Soul is touched with the true Load­stone of Grace, so that now it sees such an attractive magnetical Beauty in a Deity, that it cannot possibly settle upon any thing below God himself. That's the language of every gracious Soul, and the proper Idiom of its more sublime and clarified Affections, wherein we find the Sweet Singer of Israel, make expression of his Love to God, saying, Whom have I in Heaven but thee, and there is none upon Earth that I desire besides thee! Psal. 73.25. As the Moon and Stars, those glorious Lamps of heaven, are not able to supply the absence of the Sun, nor will their united Light amount to so much as to make up one Day, or one Moment of a Day, though they should knit and concentricate all their Beams: So David, he knew full well that thô in Heaven there be the Moon-light of glorious Angels, and the Star-light of those imparadised Souls, the Spi­rits of [...]ust men made Perfect, yet without the bright Irradiations of a Deity, and the Light of God's Countenance, t [...]ey could never make up the least sha­dow of Glory, the least Ray of Soul [...]atisfying Hap­piness, [Page 107] which makes him look beyond them all, desiring neither Saints, nor Angels, nor Heaven it self with all its Glory, Royalties, and Paradisical Pleasures, in com­parison of the God of Heaven. Thus also it is with every one of God's People, they look upon him as their Happiness, so that Heaven it self would not be Heaven to them; this Goshen would prove an Egypt, this Canaan would be turned into a Wilderness, if the Lord should withdraw his glorious Presence. The pre­sence of the King is that (we say) which makes the Court; and as it was told Commodus, Ibi Roma ubi Augustus, that where the Emperor is, there was Rome: So, that which God's People do count their Heaven, that which they look upon as a Garden of Flowry Pleasures, as a Paradice of all Delights and spiritual Contentments, is the full and immediate Injoyment of God himself, 'Tis not so much the Society of Saints and Angels in Heaven, as the Beatifical Vision, as the Downey Bosome of a Deity, as eternal Communion with the God of Heaven, that they desire and make their Happiness. All other Lines meet in this Centre, all other Stars borrow their Light from this glorious Sun, and all other Comforts do empty themselves into this vast Ocean, wherein Rivers of purest Pleasures do meet, and everlastingly concentricate themselves to make glad the City of God. [Et ipsa est beata vita gaudere ad te, de te, propter te, ipsa est et non est altera, August. Conf.] The injoyment of God in Glory, this is the Apogaeu [...] of heavenly Joy, this is the high­est Zenith of true Blessedness, this is the co [...]pleat Volumn of perfect Felicity▪ wherein all the Particu­lars of Happiness are not Epitomized, but so amplified inlarged, and paraphrased upon, that the Heart of Man cannot possibly desire any more. For whatever can be desired to m [...]ke one Happy, is richly treasured up in God, as the indeficient and over-flowing Foun­tain of all Goodness. So that all the Glory and Hap­piness, [Page 108] whereof God's people look to be made parta­kers when they come to Heaven, is reductively, and [...], summed up in this, that they shall be with the Lord for ever, 1 Thess. 4.17. If then Holiness may be desired, or God himself loved by us, and sought after, why then doubtless we may lawfully have Re­spect in our Obedience to the Recompence of Reward, as being co-incident therewith, and nothing else. He may well have Respect in his Obedience to the Recom­pence of Reward, and fix his eye upon heavenly Glo­ry, who makes God his Portion, and his exceeding great Reward, desiring no other Heaven than for ever to be with the Lord, beholding his Face in Righteous­ness, loving him without loathing, and praising him without ever being weary! Deus finis erit desideri­orum nostrorum, qui sine fine videbitur, sine fastidio a­mabitur, sine defatigatione laudabitur. Ubi supra.

6. WE may lawfully have Respect in our Obedience to the Recompence of the Reward, because to such, and to such only, is the promise of eternal Life made. Thô the Promise of eternal Life were conceived in the Womb of Free Grace, and brought forth by the auspicious Midwifery of God's ri [...] Mercy in Christ Jesus, and so is eve [...]y way f [...]e and gratuitous in the rise of it, as proceeding wholly from the insti­gation of God's goodness, and not depending upon a­ny antecedent Condition in us▪ as the impulsive Cause thereof: Yet since the promise of Life eternal doth bear in it the nature of a Reward, which hath always relation in the accomplishment of it, to some presup­posed Performances, we must therefore know, that it will never be made good to us, but with dependance upon Duties in us, that may fit and qualify us to re­ceive so glorious a Promise. First we must do the Work, and then receive the Reward; First we must get Grace, and then God will give us Glory; first we [Page 109] must finish our Course, and then we shall receive a Crown of Righteousness; first we must Sow to the Spirit, and then we have the Promise of God for our Security, that of the Spirit we shall Reap Life everla­sting. We must not therefore anticipate, and per­turb that comely and blessed Order which God hath put in his Promises, expecting that God should glori­fy us in Heaven, before we have glorified his Name on Earth. For, be the promises of Life and Glory never so free and absolute in their Rise, yet they are conditi­onate in their Accomplishment, so that unless by the due and faithful performance of the Conditions anne­xed thereto, we be qualified for them, we can never receive them. Amongst many other Conditions and Provisoes, upon which God hath made us the Promise of eternal Life, this is not the least, that by patient continuance in well-doing we should seek after it. For saith the Apostle, to them that by patient continuance in well-doing, seek for Glory, and Honour, and Immortality, God will render eternal Life. Rom. 7. As God, when he bad promised deliverance unto Israel, Ezek. 36.37. yet tells them, that for this he will be enquired of by the House of Israel, to do it for them: So, though the Lord hath given us a promise of eternal Life and Glory, yet he will have us seek it by patient continu­ance in well-doing, before ever he will Crown us with it. In vain shall we think to find eternal Life, if we seek it not in the first place, giving diligence to lay hold upon it. For, when Promises have the Condi­tion annexed to them, we cannot take any Comfort in the Promise, till we are sure of the Condition. To say then, that we may not have Respect in our Obe­dience [Page 110] to the Recompence of Reward, to Eternal Life, and Glory, which is one grand condition specifi­ed in the Promise thereof, is to render this glorious Reward altogether unfeasable, and indeed to reflect dishonourable Blasphemy upon God himself, as if he had Promised Eternal Glory with such a Promise, as may not lawfully be seen unto, with such an unrigh­teous condition as can never be performed without Sin. But dare we say, that the Infinitely Holy God will make us tenders of Life and Glory upon any other terms than what shall be Holy, and Just, and Good? Hath the Lord threatned that without Holi­ness we shall never see him: and will he then make disingenuity and unholiness the way leading to him? Doth this pure indeficient Fountain, which is always one and the same, send forth such sweet and such sower Water? Is the God who hath promised us Life and Glory, Holy, and dare we think that he would suspend the Promise thereof upon any unholy and Sinful condition? Doubtless, since the Good and Holy God hath made a respect to the Recom­pence of the Reward, a condition of our receiving the Promise of Life Everlasting, we need not fear the doing any thing unlawful, but may well have a full Plerophory, that what we do must be Holy, and Just, and Good, whilst by Patient continuance in well-do­ing, we seek to make sure of Heaven and Glory.

7. WE may Lawfully have Respect, in our Obedience, to the Recompence of the Reward, because otherwise we should not exercise, nor have many of our Graces con­versant about their proper Objects. The Lord doth not only require that we should have an harmonious compages, and an universal complexion of all saving Graces in our Souls, but also that every Grace should be acted upon, and regularly conversant about it's own Object, which yet, without a due respect had to [Page 111] the Recompence of the Reward, cannot possibly be. For how can Faith be the Substance of unseen Glory, how can desire long after it, or hope expect it, if it be not a thing lawful for a Christian to look after, and to have respect unto it? Faith (saith the Apostle) is the Substance of things hoped for: the Evidence of things not seen. Betwixt Faith and Hope there is a very near affinity, and they stand mutually related to one another, each of them having respect to the other, as the two Cherubims looked one towards the other over the Mercy Seat. Faith layes the Foundation of Happiness, and Hope builds upon that Foundation a glorious prospect of it. Faith leaning upon the Promise of God, concerning Eternal Life, puts strength into Hope; and Hope looking for that Eternal Life, which God hath Promised, pours the Oyl of gladness into Faith. That Good which Faith sees, Hope patiently waits for. Faith fixeth an Eye upon future Glory, and Hope tarrieth for it till it becomes present. Faith, in believing the Joys of Heaven, gives Hope a sight of them; and Hope, in expecting of them, makes Faith to rejoyce with joy unspeakable and full of Glory. Faith believes it shall end in Salvation, 1 Pet. 1.9. and Hope bids the Soul be patient and wait to the end that it may be saved. Faith discovering a weight of Glory, makes strong the hands of Hope, and Hope climbing up thereby into the Mount of Transfiguration, makes the face of Faith to shine with the reflexions of the same Glory upon it. [Fides accipit praesentia dei beneficia, vel etiam in spe posita repraesentat, ac veluti oculis subijcit. Polan. Syntag. Lib. 9. cap. 9. Pag. 3851.] In a word, what Hope [Page 112] looks upon as future, Faith gives it a present subsisten­cy, reallizing those things to the Soul, which have now no other being, than what is in the Promise; so that Faith steadfastly believing, Hope cannot but with Patience expect that Crown of Life, that Heavenly Kingdom, that Eternal Happiness and Glory which God hath Promised. Thus, whilst we have respect, in our Obedience, to the Recompence of the Reward, these Graces of Faith and Hope, they are exercised about their proper objects; the one believing the Pro­mise of Eternal Life, and the other waiting to receive it, which otherwise they could never do, but must either act irregularly, embracing those objects which they ought not so much as to glance upon, or else must be perpetually cloystered up in the Soul, devoting themselves to an unprofitable Lethargical, unactive Life, and so antidating a supersedeas from their pe­culiar Offices and Labours, before ever God did set his seal thereunto. For what is the Respect to the Recompence of Reward, of which we are now speak­ing, but a Sovereign Cordial made up of those choice Ingredients, Faith and Hope, to comfort the Spirits, and make glad the Hearts of God's People, whilst walking in all upright, self-denying, and holy Obe­dience before him? 'Tis doubtless the First-born of Impossibilities, for the Soul to believe the Promise of Eternal Life, and wait for it as it ought to do, with­out having respect, in all its Obedience, to the Re­compence of the Reward, which is nothing but these two Graces conversant about their Virgin-objects, uniting their strength, and mingling their most sprightful, and generous Wine for the comfort of God's People in Heavens way. So that, whoever asserts it unlawful to have any respect, in our Obe­dience, to Heaven and Glory, he doth what in him lies to make the motions of Faith and Hope Irregular; or else to put out the Eye of Faith, as the Philistians [Page 113] dealt with Sampson, and to break the Anchor of Hope, leaving the Poor Souls to the courtesy of an enraged Wave, to the clemency of an inhospitable Rock, to the mercy of an inexorable Wreckful Storm. Indeed though most other Graces have Eternity written upon them, living that life which shall never be swallowed up of Death: Yet Faith and Hope are Graces of a shorter date; they are both of them Children of the Promise, but not like to be long lived; their opera­tion is such as doth infallibly imply an imperfection in the subject receptive of them, and therefore they must die in the Mount, not thinking to enter into the Land of Canaan, where Faith shall be perfected into Vision Beatifical, and Hope into the full and immediate fruition of God Himself. Irenaeus (I confess) would have Faith and Hope to abide in the Life to come, and also Durandus seems to incline that way: But, though a Faith of Dependance will be in Heaven, giving all the Inhabitants of that New Jerusalem a full Plerophory, and everlasting Assurance of their Happiness, yet to believe the Promise of Eternal Life, and Hope for it, as now we do, is altogether incom­possible with a state of Glory. For we can walk no longer by Faith when once we see God face to face: Nor hope any longer for Heaven and Glory, when once we are put in full Possession of them-As there­fore Hope, which is seen, is no Hope: so Faith, which is seen, is no Faith. For what a Man already sees and fully enjoys, why doth he yet believe or hope for it? Faith may now lay hold upon God's Word of Promise for everlasting Salvation, and Hope may now expect this Salvation, waiting with Patience for it: But, when God shall fulfill his Promise, putting us in full Possession of Heaven, and Crowning us with eternal Salvation, then Faith shall be quite at an end, and Hope shall have its full Period. Faith and Hope may now bear up the hands of the Soul while it fights [Page 114] the Lord's Battels, as Aaron and Hur did bear up the Hands of Moses: But when all the Spiritual Ama­lekites are utterly destroyed, and we come to the heavenly Canaan, whose Cities are Walled about with everlasting Salvation, and all her Streets Paved with undisturbed Peace, Isa. 26.1. then Faith and Hope will be no longer useful, but their Office shall quite expire. However those men deal unequally with Faith and Hope, obtruding upon them an unjust Su­persedeas, and ingratefully cutting them off the midst of their days, who will not allow a Christian in his Obedience, to steal by the eye of Faith, so much as one comfortable look from Heaven, nor patiently to wait by Hope for the Promise of eternal Life. Shall Faith and Hope give way hereafter, the one to open Vision, and the other to the full Fruition of God in Glory, and shall we deny them their Canaan here, not suffering them to draw water with Comfort out of the Wells of Salvation, nor to Solace themselves in the sweet Embraces of Heaven and Glory, their Vir­gin Objects? Certainly Christians, your Graces of Faith and Hope can never be conversant about their proper Objects; so long as Heaven and Glory are not in your eye. You do intercept the expectation of Hope, and draw a thick Veil of Darkness before the eye of Faith, when you have not respect in all your Obedience to the Recompence of the Reward, seeking by patient continuance in well-doing, for a Crown of Life. Since then our Graces will be ob­structed in their genuine Operations, and not suffered to be conversant about their proper Objects, if we have not a due Respect in our Obedience to the Re­compence of the Reward, we may well conclude the practise to he holy, and just, and good. For, surely the Lord will have all our Graces drawn forth after, and regularly exercised upon their proper Objects.

8. WE may lawfully have respect in our Obedience to the Recompence of the Reward, because this is no­thing but what that innate desire of Happiness, which the God of Nature hath immoveably fixed in the Cen­tral Point of every Rational Beeing, especially, doth prompt and oblige us to. If we diligently consult the whole Context of that [...], the Law of Na­ture which God himself hath unblottably written up­on the Table of every Man's Heart, with his own un­erring Finger, we shall find many Radical Principles and unraseable Impressions of Virtue, Justice, and Goodness upon it: And yet amongst them all there is no Principle more undelible, no Impression stamped deeper, nor any Precept more Triumphant, unquesti­onable, and authentical, than this, that every man ought to provide for his own welfare, consulting the perpetual conservation, the blessed Advancement, and the everlasting Happiness of his own Beeing. As God hath by a natural Instinct set all other Creatures a longing after their own Preservation and Welfare: So he hath more Emphatically stamped every ration­al Nature with an innate desire of its own Happiness, whereby it cannot but long after it. Though since our first Apostacy from God, we be miserably degene­rated from the excellency of our own Natures, and have our Wills so corrupted, and wholly perverted about the ultimate end, that we have not those Brea­things, those Pantings, those unsatisfied Desires after God himself as we should; we are not drawn by the attractive and magnetical virtue of a Deity, desiring to fix ourselves in the Quietative Center of his Love, and Favour, and the Light of his Countenance; we make him not our supream and ultimate end, aspiring after fulness of Communion with the Lord Jehovah, as the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End of all our Happiness: Yet an innate desire of Happiness is so incorporated with our very Beeings, and so inde­libly [Page 116] written upon our Essences, that the Fall it self hath not blotted it out, but even in a state of Cor­ruption, this sacred Relique of God's Image abideth with us; so long as we continue to be rational Crea­tures, we must needs owe thus much Kindness and Courtesie to ourselves, as to consult the Welfare of our own Beeings, seeking nothing more than to land them safe at that, which we take to be the Haven of Rest and Happiness.

THOSE that are the greatest Patrons of Free­will, who make an undistinguishable Aequipoise, Unde­terminateness, and Indifferency in the Will to Good or Evil to be essential to all Liberty, so that take away this [...], and with them you take off the Chariot Wheels of the Soul, and wholly destroy the nature of Free-will: Why, yet these grand Adiaphorists, are so strangely Conquered by the Invincible Evidence of this triumphant Truth, that they suffer it to pass with­out any Contradiction, acknowledging, that this Indifferency and Freedom of Will, is not express con­cerning Happiness; a man is not Free whether he will desire Happiness or not, but his Will is determined that way; there is a natural Pondus from God up­on him, by which he doth poise towards his own Welfare, and cannot but Will the Prosperity of his own Beeing, together with all such means as he [Page 117] judgeth necessary for the accomplishment of it. ‘As the Elements have their proper Principles of Moti­on, whereby they never rest, till they come to their Center, wherein they do wholly Acquiess.’ So not much like thereto is the Heart of Man, which by an natural desire of Happiness is restless, still seeking with unquiet Agitations, Rovings, and anxious Disquisiti­ons, in what Center to Acquiess, and take up its Re­pose. Did you never behold a Needle touched with a Load-stone, quivering, and trembling, and with much curiosity directing its Point towards the North, as the place of its peculiar Rest, and magnetick Fi­xation? Thus every Man hath his Soul touched with an innate Appetite after Happiness, as with a Spiri­tual Load-stone, so that no man can choose but desire his own Welfare, directing all his unquiet Agitations, Quiverings, and curious Endeavours for the hitting, and attaining so fair a Mark.

YOU may possibly call to mind an Aristotle, Sa­crificing his Life to his own Curiosity, in the strange Heats, and irregular Estuations of inconstant Euripus! Possibly you may have read of a Cleopatra, unnatu­rally craving the help of two Poysonous Asps to suck forth her Life and her Blood together! At least you cannot but remember Achitophel, dispatching himself for very Madness that his Oracle was not re­ceived! Zimri, King of Israel, burning himself in his own Palace! (1 Kings, 16, 18.) Judas, rid­ding himself from the Horrors of black Dispair, by committing a Rape upon Hell it self! as persons that seem practically to have Enervated the Strength of my Reason, and sufficiently to have proved that all men desire not their own Happiness.

BUT however these, and the like Instances may be look'd upon by a vulgar eye, as so many anomalous [Page 116] [...] [Page 117] [...] [Page 118] Individiums, and Exceptions from this general Rule: yet, indeed, they do most strongly confirm it, giving us a full Certificate written in their own Blood, that all men desire Happiness, whilst they would venture to purchase a bare Appearance thereof, at so Dear a Rate, taking Sanctuary in the Grave, and indeavour­ing to hide themselves in the most abhorred Estate of Annihilation, that they might be at Rest. Though then we should search the Records of all Ages, taking a rise from these low descended times of ours, to those Primordial Seasons that first began the World: yet we could not find any one particular, amongst all the Sons and Daughters of Mankind, how eminently Vir­tuous, or prodigiously Vicious soever, that could so play the Heteroclite in Nature, as not to breathe after a state of Blessedness, desiring a share therein. As in all Nations there is an exact Likeness, and Agreement in the Situation and Composure of Mens Faces, so that every one hath his Face set Heaven ward: Why, thus there is the same Likeness and Agreement also in the bent and byass of all mens Spirits, so that every one, whether Good or Bad, whether Wicked or God­ly, doth desire his own Welfare. For, whatever is Natural, as this innate desire of Happiness is, must needs be Universal, Immoveable, and perpetually Energetical, communicating its Virtue, Strength, and Power to the whole Kind: So that amongst all the Sons of Men, you shall not find one whose Heart is not touched with this Load-stone, who doth not Love his own Welfare, who doth not seek after his own Happiness, moving towards that as his proper Center.

INDEED, all Men are agreed about their Summum Bonum; nor do they all seek to be happy the same way; some you may see digging in the Mines, to see if they could spy any Vein of happiness there; you may see o­thers ambitiously seeking after Honours, to see if they could find any happiness there; some you may see tor­turing Nature, and setting her upon the Rack to extract the finest and quintessence of the Creature, to see if they could meet with the Spirit of happiness in such pleasu­rable Distillations; and others again you may see trim­ming their Lamps with the Oyl of Humane Learning, to see if their intellectual endowments, their choice dis­coveries, and speculations would afford them any hap­piness:* But yet though they were thus divided in the Branches, they were notwithstanding closely united in the root; though they could not agree upon the way of happiness, yet they did all of them agree and con­spire in this, to make Happiness their end; this is the blessed Harbour for which they are all bound, although embarked in several Vessels, and affecting different Winds to sail by; this is the Mark at which they all shoot, though many of them take their aim amiss; however, in a word, Mens perswasions of what is that Good which will make them happy may be diversified according to their Inclinations, yet Blessedness is the Center wherein all their desires meet. Observe we then our own Ge­nius; let us diligently consider what Nature doth prompt us to, and that will make it something clearer, that we may lawfully have respect in our obedience to the re­compence of the reward. Think not that by sending [Page 120] you to Nature, I go about to make void the Grace of God; for though they both spring from the same Foun­tain of Love and Unity, so that there are no Principles of discord betwixt them, yet Nature is but the Hand­maid, Grace is the Mistress; Nature teacheth you to consult your own Happiness, but it's Grace alone that can put you in the right way, and at the end Crown you with it. Men by nature are all of themselves in equal circumstances in order to eternal Happiness; they may desire it, but are all of them equally distant from it, till God himself makes the difference according to his own Decrees, which are all of them eternal, and unconditionate. However, God hath left this natural desire of Happiness in us as a stock whereupon to graft the Plant of Grace. Nature indeed could never make us happy without Grace, and yet Grace presupposes Nature as that which affords it matter to work upon; so that whilst by Na­ture we desire our own Happiness, Grace doth not pluck up this desire as an unsavoury Weed, but doth manure and cherish it, and perfect it by putting us in the right way that leads to eternal Happiness. What shall we then think of those that deny us the liberty of consul­ting our own Welfare, would they have us banished from our own essence, and walk Antipodes to the Law of Nature? Judge in your selves, is it comely for a Man to go about to blot out the Law of Self-preserva­tion, which God hath engraven upon every Being, as with the point of a Diamond? Doth not Nature itself teach you what a shame it is for a Man to be careless of his own Salvation, never labouring to promote the welfare of his own Being? If the Law of Nature teach us to consult our own Happiness, to be sure the God of Nature for obeying her in that innocent dictate, seeking Life and Eternal Glory in all that we do, will never condemn us.

9. WE may lawfully have respect to the recompence of the reward in our obedience, because otherwise we should neglect our great end of our Lives, which is to seek after the Happi­ness, and Eternal Welfare of our own Souls. The main care [Page 121] of every Man in this World should be, as to glorifie God, so to save his own Soul. Our Souls are a sacred Deposi­tum, wherewith the Lord hath entrusted us; and there­fore he allows us not to be prodigal of their Welfare, but expects that like faithful Depositaries, we should give all diligence to keep them, that no Man may take their Crown. Christians should not be like the Married Wo­man, who careth for the things of the World, how she may please her Husband:* But like the Chast Virgin, they should care for the things of the Lord, that being Holy both in Body and in Spirit, they may save their Souls. That which is the grand mark, for the hitting whereof we should bend and direct all our endeavours; that which is the Centre towards which we should al­ways be moving, is the Eternal Salvation of our Immor­tal Souls, which above all things we should give dili­gence to Land safe at the Peaceful Haven of undistur­bed rest, and endless felicity. I have read of Anaxa­goras the Philosopher, that being asked for what end he was Born, answered, To contemplate the Heavens, and behold the Sun; but the true end for which we were Born into the World is this, that we may glorifie God and enjoy him for ever, to the saving of our Souls. God never sent us into the World with a design to make us Cosmopolites, that should negotiate for nothing save the perishable Enjoyments of this present Life; but the great thing which the Lord hath given us in charge is to have our Conversation in Heaven, laying up for our selves a Treasure there.* Labour we must all so long as we are cloathed with Mortality, yet not for the Meat that perisheth, but for the Meat which will en­dure to everlasting Life. In this World we have no continuing City, the Lord would therefore have us seek [Page 122] for one to come,* for a Kingdom that cannot be mov­ed, for a City that hath Fo [...]ndations, whose Builder and Maker is God. The Lord hath sent us into the World as into his own Vineyard, and the great employment he hath set us about, is to work out our Salvation with Fear and Trembling. Though using moderation we may consult the Welfare of our Bodies, yet our great care must be to promote the Happiness of our precious Souls, that when these earthly Tabernacles of our Bo­dies fail us, we may be received into everlasting Habi­tations. That which will infallibly be the end of a Christians Faith, should designedly be the end of every. Man's Life, even the Eternal Salvation of his own Soul. God will have our care proportionate to the worth and dignity of that object about which it is conversant. Since therefore our Souls are as so many Orient Jewels of unvaluable worth, good reason there is that our most [...]incipal and sovereign care should be to provide for them, that they may be eternally Blessed shining like the Sun in the Firmament of Heaven for ever, with the bright reflexions of God's Benign Aspect and Glory up­on them. What I find spoken by Solomon in Wisdom's commendation, may very well be accommodated to a rational Soul. She is more precious than Rubies; and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared to her.

THE* Soul is the Glory of the whole Creation, 'tis the Quintessence of a rational Creature; 'tis an incar­nate Angel, ruling as Empress in the midst of Man, who is the Microcosm, the Epitome, the compendious Abridgment of all the World. The Body of Man is compounded of gross Materials, 'tis come of an earthly [Page 123] Extraction; but now his Soul its an Heaven-born Crea­ture; 'tis the Off-spring of God himself, as coming down from that Father of Spirits. The Body is nothing but a piece of well refined Mud, 'tis an earthly Taber­nacle raised out of the Dust for the Soul to dwell in; but the Soul is of a more Noble and Divine Original; 'tis the sweet and delicious Breath of a Deity derived into the Body by Divine Inspiration from God him­self.

THERE is that Beauty, Comeliness, and choice Embroidery to be seen upon the Body of Man, which doth sufficiently prove it to be more than the mere Workmanship of any finite Creature: but upon the Soul there are those signatures of a Deity, those heavenly Cha­racters, and Divine Lineaments, which seem clearly to evince it, to be wholly the Workmanship of an Infinite God. 'Tis fictioned by the Poets in their Mythology, of Prometheus that he did work and fashion the Bodies of Men out of Clay: but he was fain to steal Fire from Heaven for the informing and quickning of them with living Souls.(a) When the Body is curiously formed, and admirably organized in the lower Parts of the Earth, yet still it would remain a lifeless and unspirited piece of Clay, did not God animate and quicken it with a living Soul, with a celestial Spark lighted by his own Breath from Heaven.

THE Body of Man is but a Flower springing out of the Earth, that will quickly wither, and return to its Dust: but his Soul hath Immortality written upon it; its a Bud of Eternity that can never be blasted, nor wi­ther away into nothing. The Body indeed is nothing but a Compound of Death and Mortality; it will quick­ly crumble away into dust and rottenness: but the Soul having no Principles of Death and Corruption bound up in it, will run a Line parallel to a [...]l Eternity; it can ne­ver [Page 124] be confined by time, but will for ever be launching forth in the boundless Ocean of an endless Duration. The Body is obnoxious to the stroke of Death, and by the Hand of Violence may before its time, be matricu­lated amongst those that sleep in the Dust: but the Soul being an immaterial Substance is above that fatal blow, and hath from the spirituality of its own Nature ever­lasting impregnable security against every Hand of Vio­lence written upon it, so that Death itself is not able to touch the Life of the Soul.

THE Soul therefore being thus Divine in its Ori­ginal, and Eternal in its Being and Duration, there is no Man unless he will renounce his own Understanding, and apostatize from his own essence, but must acknow­ledge it a point of the most important and masculine reason in all the World, to consult the Salvation of our Immortal Souls, providing above all things for their E­ternal Welfare. Should we prefer the Casket, before the Jewel; a frail Mansion of Mortality, before an hea­venly Inhabitant; or the dark Lanthorn of the Body, be­fore the Soul, that Divine Lamp, which if fed by the Oyl of Grace, would always shine forth with most ra­diant, dazling beams of Brightness? The excellency of our Souls is so transcendently Great and Glorious, that it justly lays claim to our principal care: and because they will never be raked up with our Bodies, in the cold Embers of Death; why therefore hath the Lord made it the great end of our Lives, to work out Salva­tion for them, giving diligence to make them meet through Grace, for everlasting Mansions of Glory in the Kingdom of Heaven. But how can we thus take care of them, or design their Eternal Happiness as the great end of our Lives, in case we may not have respect to the recompence of the reward, seeking Life and Eternal Glory by patient continuance in well-doing to Crown them withal? Can the Salvation of our Souls be the object of our principal care next to Gods own Glory, [Page 125] when out of a pretended Zeal for that, we would seem altogether careless and unsolicitous about the saving of our own Souls? How can we say we make salvation the great end of our lives endeavouring that our Souls may be happy, when we hold it unlawful to bend and le­vel all our desires for the hitting of that fair mark? Believe it Christians, they that would perswade you 'tis unlawful to have respect in our obedience to Heaven and Glory, do in effect go about to argue your Souls into the careless neglect of their own everlasting wel­fare. But can you be regardless of your own Salvation? Can you sleight the great end of your lives, and turn your back upon your own happiness? Can you indeed neglect your immortal Souls that must either be happy or miserable, either imparadised Souls in Heaven, or damned Spirits in Hell to all eternity? Do you know what Salvation is; how everlastingly blessed those Souls will be, that may approach the presence of their God, that may see his Face, that may rest in his eternal em­braces, that may enter into the joy of their Lord, and drink freely of those Rivers of pleasure which are at his right hand for evermore? Oh then make not light of so great Salvation, but give all diligence to get an interest therein for your immortal Souls. To make sure of eternal happiness was the great errand upon which God sent us into the World: oh therefore take heed that you do not leave it upon uncertainties, seek­ing after the Kingdom of God and the righteousness thereof, as if you were loth to find it!

(10) WE may lawfully have respect in our obedience to the recompence of the reward, because the very nature, and proper genius of true Grace, is to make a blessed divorce betwixt the world and the heart wherein it is resident, and so to car­ry out the heart in strong desires and unsatisfiable breath­ings, after Heaven and Glory. True Grace is an Heaven-born Spark, and therefore it doth naturally ascend up­ward, aspiring after Heaven and Glory, as its proper re­gion. As all the Lines meet in the Center, and as all the Rivers do run into the Sea, uniting themselves in the [Page 126] vast Ocean: so all the desires of a gracious Soul, they meet in Heaven, uniting all their forces in one conti­nued, and insatiate anh [...]lation after fulness of Commu­nion with God in Glory. The Sun though seen in the Water, yet hath his Tabernacle fixed in Heaven:(a) so though a Christian hath his commoration upon Earth, yet his Conversation, his Trade, his Commerce is daily in Heaven, the place of his Eternal Abode. The Men of this World are ever inveloping themselves in thick Clay; they are not soaring Eagles, but crawling Muck­worms: but now all those that are truly gracious, they are Men of another Spirit; they live in the highest Re­gion; and are compared to Eagles in regard of their Heavenly-mindedness.Isa. 40.31. Life enables Men to lift up their Body from the Earth, and to tread upon it with their Feet:(c) Thus whoever have the Life of Grace be­gun in them, they tread upon all earthly Enjoyments, and are carried upon the Wing of desire quite above all sublunary Comforts into Heaven itself. The heart that is seasoned with saving Grace is restless till it come to be fixed in a sure State of Glory and Happiness: just like the Needle that is touched with a Load-stone, upon which there is nothing but unquiet agitations, and trem­blings till it be firmly fixed, and settle immovably in the North Point. We read of Noah's Dove that she found no place whereupon to rest the sole of her Foot, but on­ly in the Ark: so the People of God, they find no place but in Heaven, whereupon to rest themselves, and there­fore all their breathings, desires, and longings are carried out that way. The Child doth not more naturally [Page 127] breath, nor the Fire more naturally contend upward, than the Children of Grace do affect those things that are above,(a) desiring to be cloathed upon with their House which is from Heaven. Oh this is the pure Foun­tain after whose(b) Waters they insatiably thirst and pant, like the chased Hind; this is the only Centre of rest, towards which they are constantly bending their motion; this is their choicest Treasure, and there­fore no wonder, if their Hearts be set upon it. The Soul that is truly gracious like the several Elements hath a proper principle of motion within it self, so that it can never rest below, but is still aspiring after things above. 'Tis Glory and Honour, 'tis Immortality and Life everlasting in the kingdom of Heaven, which true Grace fixeth the heart upon, and makes it long after. Who ever is truly gracious he hath Heaven in his eye, and the World under his feet, not labouring for the meat that perisheth but for the meat which will endure to eternal Life. An hyprocrite may indeed be possessed with a kind of inefficacious lazy desires after Heaven and Glory; there may be some velleities, unactive wishings and wouldings in a graceless Soul after eternal Life and Happiness; which are broken by the pre-ap­prehensions of difficulties, and so produce no suitable endeavours. Desires fly from such a mans Heart like Sparks from a Furnace, which though they break forth in heaps, yet they suddenly die; and so presently quench the Spirit which gave them motion. But now a gra­cious Soul, his Hands they second his Heart; his inward Affection 'tis followed with eager prosecution: so that he doth not only desire Glory and Honour and Immort­ality, but he likewise by patient continuance in well doing seeks after them, and will not leave off his pursuit of Heaven, whatever difficulties may occur in the way. His desires are turned heavenward, and therefore he digs for heavenly Treasure; this is the mark at which [Page 128] he aims; this is the prize for which he runs; this is the crown for which he so earnestly contends. Give him Riches, give him Honours, give him worldly pleasures, give him the very Flower and Quintessence of the whole creation; nay, give him the universal confluence and aggregation of all creature-injoyments, and yet in vain shall you think to satisfy him; his Heart is set upon Heaven, upon Life, and eternal Glory; so that you may as well stop the Sun in his course, as prevail upon such a man to sit down satisfied with any thing here below. As the Sun exhales and draws up the vapours from the earth: so true Grace it hath a magne­tick virtue in it, whereby it draws up the heart from earth in a continued anhelation after Heaven and Glory.(a) 'Twas said of Christ that he set, he obfirmed, he hardned his Face, as the original sounds, to go to Jeru­salem: thus all that are living members of Christ's my­stical Body they set their Faces heaven-ward continually, directing their course and urging their passage through all difficulties towards the heavenly Jerusalem. Such are bound for the Holy Land, and therefore they will never put in any where for harbour, till they come to appear before their God in Sion.(b) They are risen with Christ, and must needs therefore by virtue of this their spiritual resurrection, seek the things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. They have layd up for themselves a Treasure in Heaven; and therefore a stone doth not more naturally move towards its proper Center, than their hearts upon that account do move heavenward. For as where the Carcass is there will the Eagles be gathered together: so where­ever a Mans Treasure is, there will his Heart be also.

IF then the proper Genius of Grace, be thus to make a divorce betwixt the World and the Heart, and to carry [Page 129] out the Soul in strong uncontroled and invincible desires after Heaven and Glory, how can we once think it unlawful to have respect in our obedience to the recompence of the reward? What, may not true Grace be allowed to act like it Self, and to carry back the Heart to Heaven from whence it came? True Grace is a Bird of Paradise, and will nothing serve the turn unless we clip her Wings, that she may Soar no more aloft in uncurbed desires and panting anhelations after Heaven and Glory? There is a native beauty and amiableness in all actions agreeing with, and pro­portionate to the dictates of right reason; and shall we then judge it unbecoming a Christian to act suitably to the dictates of true Grace in having respect to Heaven and Glory in his obedience, to the seeking whereof Grace so strongly inclines? May the Fire contend up­ward, and every Element according to that Principle of motion which it hath within, be carried to its proper Center, and may not Grace? Is the Grace of God shed abroad in the Heart, a Creature so badly principled that we may not suffer it to act us according to its pro­per Genius, without forfeiting our ingenuity, and becoming mercenary? Can we not hold fast our in­tegrity and be filial in all our obedience, unless the Grace of God whereby we are become his Children, must be banished from its own essence, renounce its proper inclination, and move excentrical to that hea­venly Orb wherein God hath placed it? Doubtless the Fire doth not more naturally burn, nor the Sparks fly upward, than Grace doth carry forth the Soul upon the swift wing of desire after Life and eternal Happiness. To be sure then, whilst according to the law of Grace you seek after Heaven and Glory in all your obedience, you can never be counted ungra­cious, nor do any thing unbeseeming a gracious Soul.

(11) WE may lawfully have respect in our obedience to the recompence of the reward, because otherwise we should un­dervalue the purchase of Christ's precious Blood, ungratefully [Page 130] turning our backs upon that, which the Lord Jesus in all that he did and suffered for us did next unto Gods glory aim at. The Socinians who are only Christians, [...], and as Salvian said of some in his days, in contumeliam Christi) they (I confess, cannot endure to hear that Christ by his Death and Sufferings de­signed any such thing, as the purchasing of life and salvation for us. They will allow him to be the Prince of life, and a constituted God after his Resur­rection; but his Blood, and Sufferings, they will in no case acknowledge them to be the price of our Life, and the meritorious cause of our Redemption from the wrath to come. That he died for our good, leaving us an example, that we should follow his steps, they will readily grant; but that Christ should lay down his Life and die in our stead, that we through Faith in his Blood might escape the Damnation of Hell, and so have an entrance into heavenly Glory, they will not abide. They make him like Job, upon the Dunghil, or Stephen the Proto-martyr under a storm of Stones, a rare pattern of patience in his Death; but as for the Treasury of his Merit to Life and eternity of Glory, that they do wholly reject. The most that they will allow concerning the Death and Sufferings of Christ our Redeemer is only this, that he died as a famous Martyr to confirm the Doctrin he preached, and to be an example unto us, that we might walk in all patience and self-denial before God: But as for that expiatory Sacrifice which in his Death he offered up to God the Father, and that full satisfaction which he made thereby to Divine Ju tice, against this they bend all their strength, as Men that were industriously resolved to undermine the whole Work of our Redemp­tion, and to reduce themselves into the same estate of hopeless and everlasting unpreventable misery with lapsed Angels, that are now shut up in everlasting Chains under Darkeness. However there is a sufficiency of Scri­pture-evidence shining forth with most clarified Beams of brightness, enough to satisfy all those whose eyes the God of this World hath not blinded, that Christ died [Page 131] by way of Satisfaction to Divine Justice, that he laid down his Life in our stead, and that in all his sufferings he designed the purchasing of Life and eternal Salvation for us. Hence, besides the several Types, and daily hibastical Sacrifices under the Old Testament, all pre­figuring that Jesus Christ was by his Death to make an Attonement for Sin; we have the Holy Ghost every where in holy Writ asserting this as the grand end of Christ's coming into the World, and of his be­coming obedient unto Death, that he might save Sin­ners, that he might make satisfaction to Divine Ju­stice, that he might reconcile us unto God, that he might impetrate the forgiveness of Sins for us, and so put us at length in possession of endless Glory. As the Lord doth naturally hate Sin, so likewise he is natu­rally inclined to punish it: and though there be a Rem­nant according to the election of Grace that shall be saved, yet in order hereunto the Lord stands upon terms of satisfaction to his own Justice, resolving to have an adequate satisfactory price deposited, or the Captive shall never be released.(a) To declare therefore the righteousness of God that he might be just, Jesus Christ was set forth to be a propitiation for our Sins, redeeming us out of the hands of Divine Ju­stice (which once being violated becomes inexorable till full Satisfaction be given) not with Silver or Gold, or any such corruptible thing, but with his own precious Blood, as of a Lamb undefiled, and without spot. In our first and grand Apostacy from God, the Fountain of our Life and Happiness, we together with the light of Gods countenance, did miserably lose our selves:(b) For this end therefore Christ came into the World, that he by the Sacrifice of himself, might seek, and save us. Though before the Fall there was a sweet accord a blessed Covenant of Love and Friendship betwixt God and Man: yet no sooner did our first Parents preva­ricate, but this peaceful League was changed into a [Page 132] dissentious and mutual enmity, God for Sin hating Man, and Man through Sin hating God. To make up therefore this sad breach, to compose this un­sociable difference, Christ humbles himself unto Death, that so this dissentious Flame which threatned to involve the whole Race of Mankind in one general conflagration, being by the effusion of his own Blood supprest, there might be a mutual Recon­ciliation, and an unjarring indissoluble League of Love betwixt God and Man established. The Socinian I know will tell you that the enmity was not mutual betwixt God and Man, and that Christ by his Death did not pacify God reconciling him to lost Sinners, but only destroyed the enmity that was in our Natures against God, shewing us thereby that the Lord was already reconciled unto us, and ready to receive us into the bosom of his eternal Love. But though 'tis true, that the very coming of Christ into the World was an evident demonstration of that Philanthropy, and Stu­pendious Love of Benevolence, whereby the Lord stood inclined to do good to lost Man; yet without the pro­pitiatory Sacrifice of Christ upon the Cross, there was no Love of complacency, but the Wrath of God abid­ing upon us; Reconciliation (as Chrysostom observes well) presupposing enmity; and pacification some kind of ho­stile opposition. Hence Christ our Redeemer is so of­ten called the Propitiation for our sins:* which word doth properly signify somewhat whereby the anger of another is pacified, and so he is induced to become propitious, favourable, and merciful towards the Party offending. A time there was when Man stood not obnoxious to any guilt, but sate enthroned in spotless [Page 133] Innocency, so that Divine Justice it self could then bring in no black charges, nor any Bills of Indictment against him: but since first our first Parents touched the forbidden Fruit we stand every moment obnoxious to the Arrests of Divine Vengeance, are involved in an universal guiltiness of nature, and must eternally lie under the Dint of Gods heavy displeasure, had we not Redemption through Faith in the Blood of Christ, even the forgiveness of our Sins. Had not Adam and we in him apostatized from God, the Death of Christ would have been needless; but now by reason of that first prevarication, and our own supperadded Iniquities, we could not otherwise escape the damnation of Hell, since without the shedding of Blood there was no* re­mission of Sins. If Christ undertake to blot out, and cover the black lines of sin, he must draw them all over with the red lines of his own Blood. 'Tis not that unbloody Sacrifice of the Mass so much extolled in the Roman Synagogue, that can expiate our guilt, and cleanse us from Sin: but if the deep stain of Sin be fetched out of our Souls, and our Robes washed white, it must be in the Blood of the Lamb. A Popes Indulgence may be of efficacy to send some ignorant People to Hell, with more chearfulness and security, than otherwise they would have gone thither: but that Pardon which will prove effectual indeed to calm your Consciences when estuated through the guilt of sin, to Skreen your Souls from the scorchings of unquenchable Fire, and to make you appear with comfort before God's Tribunal, it must be sealed with the precious Blood of Christ himself. Betwixt Heaven and Mankind there is a great Gulf fixed, which nothing but the Torrent of Christ's own Blood streaming down with an unresistible power could unfix and carry away. Our first Parents in the Garden of Eden had no sooner sinned, but God drove [Page 134] them forth thence, setting an Angel to stand Centinel and to keep them out of Paradise with a flaming Sword: but the Blood of Christ hath opened that passage, at once blunting the Sword, and quenching the flame, that so his Elect might have a free entrance into Life, and Glory. No sooner did Christ give up the Ghost but the Veil which parted the holy place from the Holy of Holies was rent asunder; the Lord thereby willing to let us know thus much, that the Death of Christ had removed all obstructions that might interpose betwixt Believers and their eternal sal­vation, in the Kingdom of Heaven. As there fell a mighty storm upon the Red Sea whereby the passage was opened For Israel to go out of Egypt into Canaan: So Jesus Christ was to undergo the most dreadful storm of a cursed Death, that there might be a passage for us to eternal Glory through that sea of wrath which was betwixt our Egypt and our Canaan, our Sins and the everlasting salvation of our immortal Souls. Like Isaac upon the Altar, we were all of us fast bound in the cords of our own iniquities, and so ready to be offered up in Sacrifice to Divine Justice: but so strong was the Love of Christ that immaculate Lamb of God, that he comes in our stead; interposeth betwixt us and the stroke of God's heavy displeasure, suffering it to fall directly upon himself; he takes the chastisement of our peace upon him, and so offers up himself a Sacri­fice unto God, Bleeding, groaning, and dying for our sins, that we through faith in his Blood might not perish, but have eternal life. This is that I confess which the Socinian would fain evade, and by all means labours, as a Man made up of antipathies against the truth, to contradict, telling us that Christ died Bono nostro, but not vice nostra; for our good, but not in our Room and stead: but we have this truth confirmed with such a cloud of Witnesses, and attested by so many Scripture evidences that one would wonder that ever Men should so far indulge the petulancy of their own [Page 135] carnal reason, as to make the [...]st oppositio [...]* The Lord, saith the Prophet speaking of the Messias, hath layed upon him the iniquities of us all. Not the sins themselves, not the fault of them, nor the stain and pollution in them; but the guilt and penalty belonging to us for them: this was that which the Lord layed or more agreeably to the Original caused to meet upon Christ, even as many debts do all meet together upon one common Surety who is forced to pay them all in their stead for whom he stood bound. The Messias shall be cut off saith another Prophet, but not for himself, or nothing to him as the Hebrew will bear it; clearly implying, that what ever the Lord Jesus suffered, it was wholly upon our account, and in our stead. What else mean those many emphatical expressions in holy Writ, where Christ is said to have [...]red, died, and shed his Blood for us? He* suff [...] us, saith the Apostle Peter in one place; and in [...] Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the ju [...] for the unjust. But more emphatically our Bless [...]d Lord himself makes this to be the great end of his coming into the world,(a) that he might give his Life a ransom for many. Where the particle for in the Original is not [...] which may some times signify no more than the final cause, implying that which is only done for the good and profit of another: but its [...], which doth always signify a commutation, and Subrogation, an exchanging of one for another, and a substituting of one in the place of another, clearly implying that Christ gave his Life a ransom in our Room and stead. The same thing doth St. Paul assure [Page 136] us of,(b) where he tells us that Christ gave himself a ransom for all, meaning all not universally, for then all should be saved, but indefinitely of what rank or degree soever. The word in the Original [...] is of special Emphasis, not barely signifying the price of Redemption as some have rendred it; but a Counterprice when one doth or undergoes in the Room of another that which he should have undergone in his own Person; in which sense Jesus Christ was our Counterprise, giving his own Life for the saving of ours.(c) And truly the Peculiarity of Christ's Death and Sufferings doth sufficiently evince them to have been not only for our good, as the Socinian would have it, but also in our Room and stead. Christ died so for us, as no Man, no Prophet, no Apostle, no Martyr ever did or can do. Twas not barely for the confirmation of our Faith, and for the encouragement of us in our sufferings, in which sense(d) Paul testifieth of himself that he endured all things for the Elects sake, and many thousand Martyrs have died for us: but it was by way of Substitution as our Surety, Christ willingly suffering in our stead, and redeeming our Life with his own Death; in which sense Paul disclaims the arrogating of any such thing to him­self with the greatest abhorrency, and indignation, where reproving the factiousness of the Corinthians, he asketh them,(e) was Paul crucified for you? This Blessed [Page 137] Apostle St. Paul with all the holy Martyrs of Christ, they suffered no doubt for our good, that we seeing them seal the Doctrine of Christianity with their dearest Blood, might believe it to the saving of our(f) Souls: but yet they were never said to give their Souls a ransom for their Brethren, which is said of Christ, nor to purchase the Church of God with their own Blood, which is plainly affirmed of Christ, to let us know that in his suffering and dying for his people, there was something peculiar unto him that could not possibly be communi­cated to any other. (g) Behold than a miracle of tran­scendent love; Oh sweet exchange! oh unsearchable artifice! oh benefits surpassing all expectation! that the iniquity of many should be hidden in one righteous per­son; and that the obedience of one Christ, should make many unjust persons righteous! Oh what manner of love was this, where the unjust sins, and the just is punished! the guilty transgresseth and the guiltless is beaten! the impious offend, and the pious is condemned! what the evil deserves, the good suffers: what the servant perpe­trates, the Lord payeth; and what Man commits, the Son of God himself undergoes for our sakes. All the Glory of the godly, it wholly springs out of the shame of theit Lords sufferings, and passion. All the Rest of the godly it lies in the wounds of their Saviour, by whose * [Page 138] stripes they are healed. Jesus Christ was in a bitter agony sweating clods of Blood, that a cold sweat in the agony of Death may not seize upon us. He would wrestle with the Powers of Death, that in our last conflict with Death our Faith might not fail us. He would un­dergo most grievous anguish, and have his Soul exceed­ing sorrowful unto Death, that our Hearts might be fil­led in Heaven with joy unspeakable, and full of Glory. He would begin his Passion in the Garden, that he might expiate Sin which was first committed in the Garden of Paradise. He would be unjustly condemned on Earth, that we being absolved in Heaven, may at length have admittance into the glorious liberty of the Children of God. He would have his Face covered, that the Veil of Sin, which hinders us from the beatifical Vision of God in Glory, might be taken away. He walked in heaviness towards Mount Calvary bearing the weight of his Cross, that he might remove the burden of Eternal Punishment, not suffering us to lie under the stroke of God's heavy displeasure for ever. He cryed out in the bitterness of (a) [Page 139] his Soul as forsaken of God, that we might never be for­saken of God, but have eternal Communion with him in Heaven. He thirsted upon the Cross and would have Gall to drink, that having merited for us the enlivening nectareous Dew of Divine Grace, we might not pine with perpetual thirst, but be satisfied with the sweet Wine of Eternal Consolation. He would often weep and be filled with sorrow, that coming to Sion with Songs and everlasting Joy upon our Heads, we might obtain Joy and Gladness, and have all tears wiped from our Eyes, so that sorrow and sighing shall fly away. He in a word would be crowned with Thorns, that having laid aside the Rags of Mortality, we at length might be crowned with Life and Eternal Glory in God's heavenly Kingdom. Since then Christ was thus afflicted that we might be comforted; since he drank of the Brook in the way that we might lift up our Heads with everlasting Joy; since his Soul was sorrowful unto Death that we might receive the reward of Eternal Life; since he came into the World for our sakes enduring the Cross and de­spising the Shame, for this very end that we at length might be crowned with eternity of heavenly Glory; what incongruity can you think it, to have respect in our obedience to the recompence of the reward? Had Christ our Redeemer a respect in all that he did and suf­fered to the meriting of Eternal Glory for us, and may not we have respect in our obedience to the enjoyment of that Happiness and Glory which Christ hath so me­rited? Did the beloved Son of God come down from the Bosom of the Father, live such a miserable Life, and die so painful, execrable, and ignominious a Death, to pur­chase such a reward as a Christian cannot look at in his obedience, but it will make him forfeit his ingenuity, and transform him presently into a mercenary? Indeed to fall in love with the Gift, and forget the Giver, high­ly to prize Redemption, and to undervalue our Redeem­er; to have our Hearts more set upon Heaven and Glo­ry than upon Christ himself, who hath purchased it for us with his own Blood, this were monstrously sordid and disingenuous: but yet the respect which Christ had [Page 138] [...] [Page 139] [...] [Page 140] to the purchasing of Heaven and Glory for us in his Death and Sufferings, doth sufficiently evince that we al­so in our obedience may have some respect thereunto. I read of a certain Young Gallant that having received a Wound in the Wars whereof he came halt home, his Mother told him, Son, this Wound will make you re­member Virtue every step that you take: To be sure Christian, since Christ was wounded for our transgressions, purchasing Life and Eternal Glory for us by the Price of his own Blood, this may well make us think of Hea­ven every step that we take in the way of Gods Com­mandments. Not frequently to make glad our Hearts with the sweet Meditation of Eternal Life, not often to dwell upon it in our Thoughts, taking encouragement therefrom to all holy and self-denying and upright walk­ing before the Lord, what less could it be than to under­value the precious purchase of Christ's dearest Blood, and to make light of that great Salvation which he by his Death and Sufferings hath procured for us? True, it is not so much Heaven itself the Purchase of Christ's pre­cious Blood, as that unfathomable Love which made him Purchase it for us at so dear a Price, that should be min­ded of us, and constrain us to obedience: but doubtless unless we fix our Eyes upon the recompence of the re­ward, considering how glorious the Kingdom, how im­marcessible the Crown, and how entransing the Joy is which Christ our Redeemer hath provided for us, we shall never be able to take a due estimate of the Love of Christ in all its dimensions. The best way to know what is the heigth and the depth, the length and the breadth of the Love of Christ to our Souls is often to be considering how great things he hath done for us; to what a contemptible Birth, to what a miserable Life, to what a lamentable Death, he humbled himself to Pur­chase Life and Eternity of heavenly Glory for us. And surely Christians, as Heaven and Glory must needs make us stand admiring that Love of Christ which provided them for us: why so the Love of Christ which made him willing to suffer, and bleed, and die, that our Souls might live and be eternally blessed, it will make us more [Page 141] highly to value the recompence of Eternal Life. That Inheritance of Saints in Light is of itself most glorious, and above all things in the World to be desired: but when we consider that it is a purchased Possession, and that our Evidences for it are sealed with the Precious Blood of Christ as of a Lamb undefiled and without spot, this will wonderfully enhance the Price of it, and cause it to shine forth with greater Oriency, Lustre, and Glory in our Eyes. Should a Wife receive from her Husband in his absence a Rich Jewel, as a pledge of his Hearts Love to her, which he purchased for her with the ha­zard of his own Life, how highly would she prize it, and how often with delight, would she look upon it! Believe it Christians, Eternal Life is that rich Jewel, that Pearl of great Price, which Christ the Husband of your Souls hath purchased for you; not with Silver, nor Gold, nor any such corruptible things, but with his own precious Blood: and therefore so far is it from be­ing unlawful to have respect unto it, that if you do not very highly esteem of it, and often with delight in your Obedience cast an Eye towards it, you do ungratefully come short of the instance but now given, undervaluing the Purchase of your Saviour's Blood.

(12) AND lastly we may lawfully have respect in our obe­dience to the recompence of the reward, because we cannot o­therwise seek Gods Glory as we ought to do. Betwixt Gods Glory and our own salvation the Connexion is insepa­rable: so that without a due respect had to our own happiness, we can never give God that honour which of right doth belong to his Holy name. The Tyrians when Alexander besieged them, they chained their City to the Statue of Hercules, so that the one could not perish and be destroy'd without the other: Thus the Lord, he hath tied the eternal wellfare of our Souls to the Statue of his own Glory, so that no Man can look off, and make shipwrack of his own salvation, but the Glory of God together therewith, will suffer and be much eclipsed. The Lord can indeed get himself great Revenues of Glory out of [...]ur Eternal Ruine, making his Justice to appear orient, [Page 142] and shine bright in punishing us with everlasting de­struction from his own Blessed presence: But yet the redundancy of his pardoning mercy, and the Rules of his free Grace can no otherwise appear [...] glorious, nor any where shine forth in their own native lustre and Beauty, but only in the happiness and eternal salvation of our immortal Souls. A Man that would draw a Chain after him, must hold fast some particular Link: thus we must lay fast hold upon the Silver link of e­ternal Life, would we ever draw the Golden Chain of God's Glory along with us. Our own salvatio [...] though it be an end, yet its only intermediate and to be sought in subordination to God's Glory, which is the supreme and ultimate end of all: When therefore we have not respect to our own salvation which is a necessary Medium, we can never promote God's Glory as our ultimate end. The Man who provides not food for his own sustenance can never preserve Life: Thus in vain shall we think to promote God's Glory and preserve that, if we labour not for the meat which will endure to eternal Life. Tis storied of Phidias, that he had so artificially wrought, and so curiously intrailed his own Name in Minerva's Buckler which he made for her, that it could not be taken out without the dissolution of the whole frame: Thus the Lord out of his own infinite goodness, he hath by a strict connexion knit and united his own Glory and the salvation of his people together; he hath most divinely wrought their name and eternal welfare in the frame of his own Glory, so that now without eclipsing his Glory it cannot be taken out; we cannot cast off the care of our own Salvation, but the costly frame of God's Ho­nour and Glory will thereby be broken and fall asunder. There are some who would pass for Christians of the highest form, and pretending much to a Gospel-frame of Spirit, tell us that a Man is never sincere, nor in ca­pacity to give Glory to God as he ought, till he can be willing to be damned, making light of his own salvation [Page 143] that God may be glorified: But the truth is, Men never so much dishonour God, take the Crown from his Head, and turn his Glory into shame, as when once they begin to make light of Heaven and Hell, of eternal joy in God's presence, and everlasting destruction from his presence, not seeking by patient continuance in well doing for Life, and eternal Salvation. What I find storied of Hippocrates his sympathizing Twins, which is, that they were ( [...]) exactly Contemporaries, both living and dying together, the same will hold true in our pre [...]ent case, of a care to promote God's Glory, and withall of a due respect to the recompence of the reward; as both of them live, so they die together, the one of them never surviving the other. 'Tis not here as in the Service of two contrary Masters who carry Anti­pathies in their bosoms, and speak forth nothing in all their Commands but mutual contradictions, where the Servant will either hate the one, and love the other; or else he will adhere to the one, and despise the other, but(h) he that seeks God's Glory doth thereby promote the wellfare of his own Soul; and he that seeks the saving of his own Soul doth thereby advance God's Glory, and set the Crown upon his Head. For God out of the Riches of his Grace hath so joyned his Glory and our salvation together, that he who duely seeks the one, must seek the other; and he who neglects the one, must needs make light of the other also. Let Men pretend never such Hyperboles of love to God, and Transports of Zeal for his Glory, yet if they will go on in a voluntary neg­lect of life and eternal salvation, never seeking after them by patient continuance in welldoing, they do certainly make forfeiture of all their pretended Zeal, as Men that do even embezel God's Honour, and fall short of his Glory. For no Man can rightly aim at God's Honour and Glory as his ultimate end, who doth not also intend the beatifical vision of God and everlasting communion with him in the Kingdom of Heaven, as his greatest [Page 144] Happiness. Neither do those rare and almost unparal­lelable instances of Zeal for God's Glory in Moses and Paul, any thing prejudice, but rather establish and add strength to this reason, whilst ambitious to express an Hyperbole of love to God, if such a thing may be, and how much they were affected with his Glory, they do it by a certain velleity, or a kind of incompleat willing­ness to be divorced from something of their own happi­ness, rather than that the Lord Jehovah should suffer any thing in Point of Honour, thereby fully assuring us, that next to God's Glory their own welfare and eternal sal­vation was most precious in their Eyes. And truly had they not first made Choice of God as their happiness and reward, they would never have been so tender of his Honour, desiring with such an holy ambition to pro­mote his Glory. For 'tis only the hope of everlasting communion with God in Heaven firmly botomed upon our interest in him, that can beget a true Zeal for God, and make us willing to Sacrifice all our interests on Earth, how precious, and dear soever, to his Glory. Men like Jehu, may go far, and pretend much for God and his Glory, till the Lord's interest and their own fall asunder: But they only will run the hazard of losing all,(k) and most zealously contend for God's Glory in this Interim of Mortality, who do most earnestly seek after Glory Honour, and Blessed immortality in the life to come. As no Man can raise up a stately edifice till first he have layed a good foundation: so truly, unless a care to provide for our own eternal happiness be first laid as a founda­tion, we shall never be able to raise up a sumptuous build­ing of Glory, or any monument of due praise to the God of Heaven. For though God's essential Glory be inde­pendent like himself,(l) and so infinitely excellent that being always in the full of Divine splendour, and [Page 145] brightness, it can neither admit of* waxings nor wanings by any transactions of sinful mortals as we are: yet his declarative Glory doth still shine forth, and is eclipsed, according to our conversation in the world; so that God hath then most Glory by us, when we walk most Hea­venly, seeking life and eternal salvation by patient con­tinuance in well-doing; whereas his Glory undergoes an eclipse, and the Lord always suffers in point of Honour, when at any time we seek not the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness, but begin to make light of our own sal­vation. If then the Lord hath thus inseparably conjoyned & knit together his own Glory and our salvation, so that whoever turns away his eyes from beholding the one, must needs neglect and make light of the other also, how can we look upon it as unlawful to have respect in our obedience to the recompence of the reward? Is the end our duty, and the means our Sin? Is God most trans­cendently glorified in our eternal Salvation, and yet may we not lawfully take care for the saving of our immortal Souls? Is it the Honour of the God whom we worship, and that which sets the Crown of Glory upon his Head, that he is a rewarder of all those who diligently seek him; and yet is it not lawful, but sin in us, to have respect, whilst here we seek him, and walk in obedience before him, to that eternal recompence of reward, which out of the Riches of his Grace he hath provided for us? Be­lieve it Christians, since the Glory of God is bound up in the bundle of your life, and must needs be eclipsed, when ever that is neglected, you need doubt no longer but that you may lawfully have an eye to the recompence of the reward, seeking life and eternal salvation in all your obedience.

CHAP. VI. The Doctrin branched forth into several uses, and prosecuteth the first by way of Information in Four Particulars.

(4) AND lastly, having hitherto given you to un­derstand in several particulars, what it is to have a respect to the recompence of the reward, how you are to do so, and withall let you know the arguments evincing the lawfulness of such a practice, there is now only remaining the practical improvement of the Doctrine by way of use and application, which indeed is the life of all Doctrinal discourses, bringing every thing home to the Soul in a close and particular accommodation, and therefore more longly to be insisted upon. For as the Sun in the firmament of Heaven hath a twofold virtue, the one of illumination, whereby sending forth its beams of light it guides this lower part of the World; and the other of influence, whereby it communicates itself to in­feriour Bodies covering them all over with its* healing wings: So in every portion of holy Writ there is an illumination of truth upon the mind and understanding, and withall there is an influence of Grace and Goodness upon the Will and Affections. As therefore I have hither­to shewed you the light of truth, for the irradiating of your minds in the doctrinal part of my Text; so in the next place I am to make some use of the words, that they may shed forth their influence of Grace upon your Hearts, covering them all over with their healing virtue. And truly the Doctrine observed from the words, is like a box of precious oyntment, which in the Application I shall endeavour to break, that it may send forth a spi­ritual fragrancy, and a sweet smelling savor to refresh [Page 147] your Souls. 'Tis not an empty Vine, but a Tree of life richly laden with fruits of Paradise, which I shall now in the practical improvement of it, endeavour so to shake, that unloading all its precious Fruits into your own bo­soms, it may feed and enrich your Souls to eternal life. The Lord having planted a Garden Eastward in Eden for our first Parents, he caused a River to go out of Eden to water the Garden, from whence it parted itself and became into four heads. Holding resemblance herewith, if your Souls be the Garden of God, my Doctrine is a River of life proceeding from the Eden of the Text, from whence also to Water your Souls and make them fruit­ful as the Garden of God, it divideth it self into four Heads, in the use of it yeilding us matter of Information, Reprehension, Exhortation, and Consolation.

(1) THEN by way of Information, since that it is thus lawful for us to have respect in all our obedience to the recompence of the reward, this may well satisfy us concerning the truth of these ensuing Corollaries. As

(1) THIS may give us to understand that its no argument of insincerity, nor any just forfeiture of a Christians uprightness and ingenuity for him to have an eye in his obedience to the recompence of the reward. A Christian in seeking after Heaven and Glory in all his obedience, he doth nothing but what is holy and just, and good, which doubtless can never make him unholy, nor be any just forfeiture of his uprightness, and integrity in the sight of God. You may as well extract dross out of the purest Gold, and dregs out the most refined Spirits, as a Christian may become disingenuous and contract upon himself the guilt of hypocrisy by having an eye in his obedience to the recompence of the reward. Indeed I Read of many in holy Writ,* censured as mercenaries and stigmatized for gross hypocrites, because they were wholly acted [Page 148] in God's service by sinister ends, and worldly consider­ations, serving the Lord not for love but for loaves, for esteem of Men, secular Advantages, Honours, Prefer­ments, & earthly Emoluments, together with the like ex­ternal accommodations: But that a Man should be impea­ched of insincerity, and branded for a Mercenary, a Legalist, an Hypocrite, because acted in the ways of God by a desire after the full enjoyment of God in Glory, seeking Heaven and Happiness, seeking Life, Immortality, and eternal salvation by patient continuance in welldoing, this never could I find recorded in God's sacred Oracles. Live not then Christian any longer upon self-created Racks, let not thy Countenance be sad from day to day, suffer not any groundless sorrow to have Dominion over thee, as if thou delightest in nothing but to make thy Soul a map of misery, neither let thy Heart any longer be filled with fears, and jealousies, and perplexing thoughts about thy own sincerity, censuring thy self for that, wherein God did never yet condemn, but always justifie thee! To be labouring in all our obedience, not(b) for the Meat that perisheth, but for the Meat which will endure to Eternal Life; not for Earth, but Heaven; not for the favour of Men, but for the smiles of God in the Face of Jesus Christ; not for things Temporal which are seen, but for things Eternal which are not seen; not for a Portion in this World,(c) but for that better part which shall never be taken from us; not for the Honour which comes from Men,(d) but for the Glory, the Felicity, and that Eternal Soul-raping Hap­piness which comes of God only; this argues not Hy­pocrisie and Mercenariness, but an Heart that is truly Upright and Sincere in the Sight of God! There is a certain Fish with one Eye called Uranoscopus, which they (a) [Page 149] say is always ga [...]ing upwards towards Heaven: Thus e­very true Christian hath his Eye still fixed upon Heaven, he looks within the Veil, and would always by his good will be on the top of Mount Nebo, thence taking for his better encouragement to all holy self-denying and up­right walking before the Lord, a prospect of the Celestial Canaan. Make not that then Christian any sign of Hy­pocrisie, which doth clearly argue thee to be a true Na­thaniel, (a) an Israelite indeed in whom there is no guile. Had the Lord by prohibition, or otherwise made it un­lawful for us to have respect in our obedience, to the recompence of the reward, and yet still thou wouldst allow thy self in that practise, this indeed might have forfeited thy Integrity: but since the Lord himself doth approve of it, both commanding and commending it, as praise-worthy in Holy Writ, let not Christian, thy Heart reproach thee, and smite thee for an Hypocrite, whilst by patient continuance in well-doing, thou seekest after Glory, and Honour, and Immortality in the Life to come! 'Tis of dangerous consequence for a Christian, as to make those things evidences of Sincerity, so to make those things signs of Hypocrisie, which God never inten­ded to be such. If the Lord have any where made it the distinctive Character of an Hypocrite, to have an Eye in his obedience to Heaven and Glory, then indeed you might well make sad inferences against, and pass hard censures upon your selves: But if otherwise, you find the Lord commanding you to do so, and have the practice of the most eminently Holy and Upright of all God's People, plainly paraphrasing upon that Command­ment for your better satisfaction, oh then take heed that you be not rash to conclude hard things against your selves, because you cannot but have an Eye in all your obedience to the recompence of Eternal Life, lest you be found reflecting dishonour thereby upon God himself, and blaspheming against the Generation of his Children! What shall a Christian bring in an action of disingenuity [Page 150] against himself, and conclude himself an Hypocrite for that, which all along hath been the laudable practice of Gods true Nathaniels, who have received Letters testi­monial subscribed by the Hand of Heaven itself, that they were Israelites indeed, in whom there was no guile? What think you Christians, of Moses, of David, and of Paul the Apostle? Were [...]hey not all of them Men according to God's own Heart, Men upright in their lives and conversations, and far enough from being mercenaries in the service of God? And yet all this not­withstanding, they lived upon the Mount of transfigura­tion, their Faces were still Sion-ward, they had always an eye to the recompence of the reward, seeking always for themselves by patient continuance in well-doing, no less than eternity of Life, and Glory, in God's Heavenly Kingdom. If then Christians, upon this account you dare not censure them, take heed that upon the same account you do not censure your selves, as persons that are altogether disingenuous, hypocritical, and merce­nary in the service of God! There is nothing unlawful, but what is holy and good, in obeying the Lord with respect to eternal Glory, look not therefore upon your­selves for so doing, as carnal, but as spiritual; as hy­pocritical, but as upright and sincere in God's own account. To be encouraged to obedience by the con­sideration of that eternal reward which follows after, is to make use of the Spirit's own Motives; and to be sure the more you are affected with the Spirit's Motives, the more sublime, ingenuous, and spiritual doth it argue the frame of your Hearts to be. [...]s therefore he that is most acted in God's service by secular respects, and carnal considerations, seeking Great things for him­self in the World, is the most carnal earthly minded Christian: so he that is most encouraged to obedience by Heavenly considerations, seeking life, immortality, and eternal Glory, together with everlasting Soul-in­transing communion with God in Heaven, he is the most Seraphique, the most generous, the most noble spirited, and Heavenly Christian; and then surely no hypocritical, [Page 151] disingenuous, and sordid Person in God's account. What a needless jealousie is it then, for God's People to suspect, and make sad Inferences against themselves, as if they were carnal, hypocritical, and mercenary, upon that ve­ry account, which indeed doth most eminently distin­guish them from all carnal Gospellers, speaking all their Graces to be of a most spiri [...]ual, untainted, and generous graceful complexion? What, cannot Moses have a respect to the recompence of the reward, anticipating for his encouragement by Faith, the Glory, Happiness, and Spiritual Pleasures of the heavenly C [...]naan, but he must presently forfeit his Integrity, and undergo the censure of a Mercenary? Fear not poor jealous trembling Chri­stian; That for which in this interval of mortality thou suspectest thy own Sincerity, shall be owned another day, as a good evidence of thy uprightness, and integrity be­fore the Lord. For the Soul to go up with Christ into the Mount of Transfiguration, for the Soul to be still looking out at its Windows towards the Temple of God in Sion, for the Soul to breath after fulness of Commu­nion with God in Glory, for the Soul to warm it self in the Sun-beams and bright irradiations of heavenly Bliss, for the Soul to long after the ripe and generous Clusters of Canaan, for the Soul to fix its Eye upon Eter­nity, encouraging itself with the assured hope of eternal Rest after all its Labours, in the Land of Promise, to be sure Christian this does not bespeak adulterous glances, nor does it make any just forfeiture of thy uprightness and ingenuity, but it rather argues thee to be one of those true Nathaniels, whose Praise is not of Man, but of God!

(2) This gives to understand the wonderful condescension, and matchless goodness of the God whom we worship, who suffers us not to go without our Spiritual Cordials, but allows us the strong consolation of respect to the recompence of the reward in all our obediential and holy walking before hi [...] The Lord considering his absolute Sovereignty over us, might have exacted Obedience at our Hands without making any Proposals of Life and Eternal Glory, for our better en­couragement [Page 152] thereto: But such is his matchless condes­cension and remunerative Goodness, that he sweetens our Work with Wages, allowing us whilst our Hand is at Work in his Vineyard sowing to the Spirit, to have our Eye upon the recompence of the reward, upon that joy­ful Harvest, that full Crop of Eternal Life and Glory which will follow after. Though after all we have done and suffered for God,(a) we must acknowledge ourselves unprofitable Servants, as being everlastingly unable to add so much as one cubit to the Stature of his infinite Happiness, and surpassing Glory: yet such is his boun­ty, and the riches of his Grace, that if a Crown of Life, if a Kingdom of Eternal Glory, if a fulness of Joy,* and everlasting Pleasures at his own right Hand, can make us stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the Work of the Lord, we shall never want encouragement. Here then is a glorious Specimen of Divine remunerative Goodness, that though we are unavoidably subject to God our Creator, and are indebted upon that account, in all possible Obedience to his righteous Will, though, (since we can in nothing be profitable to him) there were no reward to be expected from him: Yet he makes pro­posal of such friendly and glorious Rewards extorting from us by a kind of holy Violence the debt of Service, that seeing us unwilling to serve him of our own accord, he may invite us thereto by the promises of Heavenly Benefits, and that seeing our Wills averse from his wages, he may captivate us wholly to himself, by the largeness of [Page 153] his ample gifts and munificent bestowances, wherewith he is pleased to crown us. So then there is an Eterna Rest, there is Life, and everlastingly glorious Felicity set before us striving lawfully, as a Blessed(a) Reward where­with all our Labours shall be crowned: Yet not through any condigne merit of our own, but through the glo­rious Munificence and Goodness of the God whom we worship, and in whom we have hoped. It hath been indeed the way of unbelievers in all Ages to bring an evil report upon the wages of God, opening their opprobrious calumnies against Heaven it self, as if the Lord were not a bounteous* Rewarder of those that dili­gently seek him, nor his service at all advantagious and profitable, to such as exercise themselves therein. But if we duly consider the remunerative Goodness of God to those that fear him, what a full reward, what transport­ing Joy, what an Heavenly Kingdom, what an undefiled inheritance, what an immarcescible Crown of Life, what a far more exceeding, and Eternal weight of Glory, the Lord sets before his People in all their obedience, allow­ing them to solace their Hearts, and to encourage them­selves whilst wandring through the inhospitable Wil­derness of this World, with the Hope of an everlasting Glorious Rest in the Celestial Canaan, it will sufficient­ly wipe off the reproach, and make us all stand admiring those innumerable Hyperbolies, and Miracles of Love, and Condescention, and Bounty that do all meet together in the Divine remunerative Goodness. Oh what manner of Consideration, what wonderful, matchless Goodness is this our God, that whereas by Nature we are Enemies to him, despising his Sovereign Authority, making light of his Divine Favour, though better than life it self and run­ning [Page 154] in a full Career towards Hell and Eternal Destru­ction, he should prevent us with his Love, arrest us by the gentler hand of his Mercy, inveagle us by the sweet insi­nuations of his own Spirit, subdue us to the obedience of his Righteous will by an irresistible over-powering Work of free Grace, and after a [...]l this allure us to be Happy, leading us on in wayes of holiness by the Divine Suada, by the powerful Rhetorique, by the unsullied cap­tivating glances, by the magnetique prospect of Heaven, and Eternal Glory! God might have measured us out a full Cup of Divine Fury without any ingredients of Love; he might have writ the Sins we stand Guilty of, and his wrath against us for them, in our own Blood; he might have raised up a Monument of Glory to himself out of our Eternal Ruins; he might have made every one of us even in this present Life a Magor-missabib, filling us with the trembling of Cain, the madness of Achitophel, the despair of Judas, and the dreadful astonishment of Bel­shazzer, thro' the heart-rending proccupations of Hell and Eternal Damnation! When therefore in stead of all this Terrour, we find the Lord willing to glorifie the Ri­ches of his Mercy in our Happiness and Salvation, not only wooing us to receive Mercy, beseeching us to be Happy, and entreating us to accept of Heaven and Glory; but also setting open the Wells of Salvation, feasting us with Heavenly Manna, giving us many sweet prelibations and fore-tasts of Eternal Glory, tak­ing us up every Day to the top of Mount Pisgah, and thence raising us for our encouragement in well-doing to see the Beauties, and to antedate the Pleasures of the Celestial Canaan, of the Heavenly Jerusalem, how can we choose but stand adoring, as Men filled with Extasies and Trances of Admiration, the Lords won­derful Condescention, and matchless Goodness towards us? Was it ever known amongst the Kings, Poten­tares, and Monarchs of the World, that they could e­ver do any thing worthy to make so much as an Emblem of Gods remunerative Goodness, when in their chiefest Goodness they set their Wits a-work how to gratify their greatest Favourites, and what to do for [Page 155] the Man whom they delighted to honour? They have cloathed their Favourites in Purple and Royal Appa­rel, they have incircled their Heads with a princely Diadem, they have intrusted them with universal ne­gotiations of State, they have mounted them upon their own Steeds, with Proclamations before them of their special Favour: But yet all this, superadding thereto all that Splendour which attracts the desires of the most noble Heroes, all that Glory which feeds the Admiration of the most ambitious Princes, all that Beauty which captivates the Hearts of the most pas­sionate Lovers, all those Thrones, Empires and Tri­umphs, which the World so much adores, I say all this will be no more than the small drop of a Bucket to the whole Ocean, than the light of a Star to the glorious Sun, if compared with that Crown, that Kingdom, that eternal Reward, which through a Mi­racle of condescending Love, and matchless Goodness the Lord promises, and makes proposal of for the en­couragement of his own People. For what is finite compared with that which is infinite? What is Earth compared with Heaven? What is a temporal Reward, if compared with the recompense of Eternal Life? What (in a word) is the confluence of all secular en­joyments, if compared with the vast and boundless Ocean of Gods(a) fulness, wherewith his People have a sure promise to be satisfied for evermore? Oh that all you who do yet continue the Vassals of Satan, and are still Slaves to your own usurping Lusts, would now consider your folly, your madness in refusing to walk in obedience before so bountiful a Master, and in entertaining unreasonable prejudices against the ways of God, as if there were no profit, nor advantage to be found in them! Consider it poor foolish Sinners, can the World, the Flesh, and the Devil do that for your Souls, that the God of Heaven both can, and hath promised to do, will you but submit to [Page 156] the Scepter of his Kingdom, endeavouring to walk in all dutifull▪ obedience before him? God offers you a Crown of Life, together with many exceeding precious promises, which as so many Death-bed Cordials will antidote your Hearts against the Terrors of the Grave; and can the World the Flesh and the Devil make you any such Tenders, and make them good when they have done, that hearkning unto them, you should ungrate­fully turn your backs upon the God of Heaven, mak­ing light of the Tenders of his Love, and Grace? But must the Lord have such a stir to make you Happy? Must he follow you with daily Importuni­ties, alluring you by Rewards to provide for your own everlasting Welfare, and will you yet go on in the careless neglect of him, and his wages, as if Heaven and Eternal Glory were not worth the looking after? Is the Lord such a plentiful rewarder of those that diligently seek, allowing them for their encouragement in all Holy and Upright walking before himself, the full prospect of such an Heavenly Kingdom, such an unfadable Crown of Life, such an incorruptible, un­defiled and glorious inheritance, and will you still go on to undervalue his Love and Goodness, refusing the right ways of obedience as unprofitable and fruit­less, which do all of them center in Eternal Blessedness? Then blame not the God of Heaven the Riches of whose(b) Grace and Goodness you have thus despi­sed, if for bringing up an evil report of him and his wayes, he cause you with those unbelieving Jews to die in the Wilderness, and for ever exclude you out of the Celestial Canaan. You must not always think to live upon the Expences of free Grace: But if still you go on to turn it into wantonness, being thus abu­sed it will shortly turn to fury. The Divine remune­rative Goodness of God so richly expressed in the fre­quent tenders of Heaven, it should have dropt Oyl into the Wheels of your Souls, making them more like the [Page 157] Chariots of Aminadab, (c) like a bounteous, sweet-hearted and willing People (as that Word may import) in all the Ways of Obedience with a Noble Spontaneity: But, if still you shall retain your unreasonable prejudices against, and wonted averseness to the right way of God's Commandments, esteeming of the Lord as an hard Task-master, and looking upon his Service as a cruel Bondage, assure your selves, that the very Goodness of God will accumulate Wrath against you, and plunge you a Thousand Times deeper in remediless unpreventable mi­sery, than if you had never sitten under the tenders, the solicitations the gracious Importunities of it.(d) Oh inconsiderate ungrateful Sinners, of what a crimson tin­cture is your giving the repulse to Gods merciful con­descentions, when waiting upon you with tenders of Grace and Glory? Oh Sirs do you well consider, how by such sordid refusals of Mercy, you turn that into a favour of Death which breaths out nothing but Life and Happiness; you provoke the Lord to rain down Vollies of Wrath and Fury, yea Hell it self (as the Fa­ther said of Sodom's destruction) out of Heaven upon you, necessitating him to vindicate the reputation of his ho­liness, in your Eternal Misery, and Damnation! What, to blaspheme against the Goodness of God, when pur­suing you, as unwilling to let you without a Blessing! To turn your backs upon the gracious condescentions of God, when following you with strong importunities of Love, and intreating you to provide for your Happiness! To make light (in a word) of Heaven and Glory, when [Page 158] offered by the Hand of free Grace, upon no harder terms than only that you should cordially accept of them, and by patient continuance in well-doing seek after them! Oh Sirs, such prodigious Ingratitude as this, it will de­stroy you with a double destruction! This will heat the Furnace of God's Indignation against you, seven times hotter! This will set an accent of greatest horrour upon Hell, and be the greatest emphasis of your Misery and Eternal Damnation, in that place of Torments!

(3) THIS may give us to understand what a pleasant thing it is to serve the Lord, and how unjustly the ways of God are traduced by Men of corrupt minds, as if there were no Joy, no Com­fort, no solid grounds of Consolation, nor any Cordials to make glad the Heart to be found in them. God's People in all the ways of obedience are never suffered to go without the hope of Eternal Life in their Hearts, and a fair prospect of Heaven and Glory in their Eye; how should they go disconsolate, or want matter of delight, and comfort to make them rejoice with Joy unspeakable, and full of Glory? If as Solomon tells us, it be such a pleasant thing for a Mortal Eye to behold the Sun: how pleasant then are the wayes of Wisdom, wherein the Soul having fixed its Eye upon the reward of Eternal Life, is al­ways irradiated with most clarified Beams of Joy, and reflexions of Glory from the Sun of Righteousness? Goodness is true Naomi, that will be turned into a Marah, into bitterness as she was; but is always a plea­sant object (as that name sounds) yeilding matter of delight and spiritual pleasure to all that embrace her. The ways of God are like green Fields full of vernal Flowers, the Beauty whereof, doth exhilerate the Mind, making a Man forget his weariness, and so come to his Journeys end before he is well aware. God deals with all his People, as with Moses in the Wilderness, to whom he granted for his comfort and satisfaction, a prospect [Page 159] of Canaan, though he suffered him not to enter therein; so though his People cannot enter into the Heavenly Canaan, whilst traveling through the Wilderness of their Earthly Pilgrimage; yet he brings them down Heaven, upon Earth; he brings the Harbor into Sea; the Rest, into their labour, the Glory, into their trouble, and something of the future* reward, into their present work; allowing them for their comfort a [...]rospect of the Hea­venly Canaan, which doth wonderfully rejoyce and make glad their Hearts. Men of carnal Hearts are apt indeed to look upon Religion as a sullen, and austere exer­cise, that comes to plunder them of all their Comforts, as if embracing that they would never have a merry hour, nor see one Summers day of joy after. As Christ cast out of the Minstrels, when he raised up the Rulers Daughter from Death to Life: So Christianity, they think, banisheth all Joy, necessitating them to take their longum vale of all delight, and to bid farewell to it for ever. A Life of serious practical Holiness trans­forms Men as they imagin, into mopish Monks, pos­sessing them with unsociable melancholy, and causing them like Rachel, weeping for her children, to refuse all comfort, as persons ambitiously desirous, to make them­selves perfect emblems of sorrow and discontent. But surely that encouragement which God allows his People in a way of Duty, setting before them a Kingdom of Eternal Glory, a Triumphant Crown of Righteousness, together with the reward of Eternal Life as the recompense of all their labours, may well satisfie us that all those are intolerably abusive and calumnious, bringing a most false Report upon a Christian Conversation, who do thus shamefully traduce it, as a thing destructive of, and whol­ly inconsistent with all Joy. If Abraham could rejoice foreseeing by an Eye of Faith the day of Christs incar­nation, when he only came to purchase Heaven and [Page 160] Glory for his People: How much more may the Children of Abraham lift up their Heads with Joy and everlasting consolation, foreseeing by an Eye of Faith that Happy day, when Christ should be* glorified in his Saints, and admired in all those that do believe, as coming to put them in full possession of that glorious inheritance which is uncorruptible, undefiled, and which fadeth not away, but is reserved sure in the Heavens for them? That Chri­stians, which the Bernadine Monks fondly conceited, that the Sun shone only in their Cell, it holds true of you with reference to the Sun of Righteousness he irradiates none, with the pure Beams of comfort, he lifts up the light of h [...]s Countenance upon none but such as walk close in Communion with him. The outward Sun that shines with promiscuous, undistinguishable Beams both upon the Good and upon the Bad, both upon Fr [...]ends and Ene­mies: but the Light of the Knowledge of God in the face of Jesus Christ the Sun of Righteousness, that shines upon none, that communicates its heart-entrancing, hea­venly influences of joy and gladness to none, but those whom God loves with his special, dearest, and eternal Love.

(a)Amongst all the Rods of the Princes of Israel, the Rod of Aaron the high Priest alone brought forth Buds, and bloomed Blossoms, and yeilded Almonds: Thus a­mongst all the Children of Men, they alone that are made spiritual Priests unto God, have their Souls like an Aaron's Rod, bringing forth the Buds, Blooming the Blossoms, and yielding the delicious Fruit of inward comfort to make glad their Hearts. God will never pour the new Wine of consolation into the old Bottles of ungracious carnal(b) Hearts: Till therefore the [Page 161] Heart be spiritualized it can never relish the Sweet­ness of God, and his ways, nor ever meet with any so­lid comfort to feed upon. The people of God are not left comfortless in the World; only they feed upon hid­den Manna, which a carnal Heart is not able to relish; they live upon the Mount of Transfiguration, which no ungodly person can ever approach unto; they have fullness of joy, but its wholly in the light of God's coun­tenance; so that such as are estranged from him must not look to intermeddle with it.(c) The pot of Manna reserved as a Memorial of God's extraordinary and mira­culous provision for his people in the wilderness, was only to be kept in the Ark, in the Tabernacle of Testi­mony: Thus Sirs, your Souls must first become the Tabernacle of the Holy Ghost, they must first be made an Ark of the Covenant, before you shall ever have a pot of hidden Manna, any solid joy, any spiritual com­fort put into them. Wicked Men indeed, they may steep themselves in carnal delights, and for a while may seem to make their Hearts merry with the flatteries of lust, the blandishings of sense, and the pleasures of lux­ury: but all this is like a Lamp, which while it burns is consuming itself;(d) yea in their greatest effusions of laughter the Heart is sorrowful, and the end of that mirth is heaviness. The sensual pleasures of Wicked Men for the present, have more gall then hony, more bitter than sweet, more vexation than contentment in them: But then, which may be as an Hand-writing against them, making their Knees smite on against another, their Naomi will prove a Marah, their joy will ere long be turned into sorrow, and all their carnal content­ments they will end in eternity of intolerable hellish torment.(e) For all sensual delights, like so many sparks, [Page 162] they make a mark and vanish; like some blazing Me­teor, they give a bright and sudden coruscation, and immediately disappear; like a candle they flame a while, but at length they go out in an unsavoury snuff of perpetual shame, and everlasting contempt.(f) Miserable then are all those whose pleasures do center themselves in carnal enjoyments. Oh how soon will their hony be turned into Gall, their mirth into mourning, and all their carnal Jolity into Wrath, and Eternal Misery.(g) The longest Summers day will at length have an end, leaving us to the dusky shade of the tedious night: so be the Summer day of their mirth and carnal Jolity ne­ver so long, yet at length it will end in a night of forest wrath, darkness, and Eternal torments in Hell! But now a Christians comforts, they have Eternity written upon them, and will never fail. Such an one upon better grounds than that rich Fool in the Gospel may be merry, and walk with a chearful countenance; as having much goods laid up, not for many years, which at length will have an end, but for a long, and blessed Eternity, which will never end.(h) As whilst the Sun keeps above our Horizon it can never be night: so whilst a Christian hath Faith in his Heart and a Crown of Glory in his eye, say the World of Religion what it will, here is enough to bear up his spirit, here is e­nough to comfort his Heart, here is enough to make a glorious day of joy, tranquillity, and everlasting exul­tation in his Soul. For that(i) joy must needs last for ever, whole object remains for ever. And because such an one hath his joy from a Prospect of Heaven, he must needs come something near to the joys of Heaven it­self. Oh little would Men of carnal Hearts imagine, [Page 163] what fullness of joy, what a Garden of all Soul satis­fying pleasures, what a Paradise of all delights, and spiritual contentments God's people have in ways of o­bedience, whilst stedfastly fixing their eye upon Hea­ven, and Glory! Were their Souls, Christians, but in your Souls stead: Did they but feel in themselves, what you experience; had they ever yet fed upon that hidden Manna? upon which you are daily feasted; had they ever walked in communion with God, and tasted that the Lord is gracious as you have done; had they ever seen as you do by an Eye of Faith, what a glorious Kingdom, what desirable immunities, what immar­cescible Crowns of Life, what transcendently blissful Soul-raping and extatical felicity the Lord hath prepared for them that love him; did they in a word but ante­date with you by hope the Glory of these Heavenly Mansions, the Security of that Rest, the constancy of that joy, the sweetness of these paradisical delights, and the fulness of those unperishable pleasures which are at God's right Hand for evermore; they would then be ashamed that ever they entertained hard thoughts of Holiness, and have enough within themselves to satis­fy them, and make them readily subscribe to the wise Man affirming, that all the ways of Wisdom are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths peace. And truly till thus wicked Men have an experimental knowledge of those heavenly influences of joy, those Divine Com­munications, those fresh ebullitions of comfort, those Clusters of Canaan, those Fruits of Paradise which are to be had in the ways of God, you can no more make them believe nor conceive of such things, than you can make him that was born Blind fully comprehend what is the Glory of the Sun in its noonday brightness! However, would they but set reason a work, they might at least from that Crown of Glory, that Heavenly Kingdom, that recompence of Eternal Life which God's people have always in their Eye, satisfy them­selves that Christianity is no such disconsolate pensive kind of Life as they shamefully, to the reproach of [Page 164] God, and Christ, and the Holy Spirit of comfort, do traduce it to be;(k) there being scarce any way so tedious, but the emolument, the excellency, the advan­tage of the end will derive sweetness into it. The Racer expecting a Garland runs chearfully, the Husband­man promising himself a joyful Harvest, he undergoes the labour of sowing with comfort, and the Souldier in hope of a triumphal Crown, he will throw himself upon the Pikes, and fight courageously: How much more then may a Christian with comfort run the way of God's Commandments, he daily sowing to the Spirit and fight the good fight of Faith, for whom hav­ing finished his Course, there remains an Heavenly Kingdom, an immarcescible Crown of life, a full Harvest of Eternal Glory. If you will but grant Sin­ners that there are any delights in Heaven, any true joy in God's Blissful-presence, and Glory in those Eter­nal Mansious, any pleasant Fruits growing upon the Tree of Life in the Paradise of God, and comfort in the everlasting smiles and embraces of Jesus Christ, Reason itself will compel you to acknowledge, that God's people having their eye fixed upon, and walking in the way which infallibly leads to all this transcendent­ly blissful and glorious Happiness, must needs for the present rejoyce with joy unspeakable and full of Glory. I dare not indeed affirm of God's people, what Tully doth of Syracuse in Sicily, and others of Rhodes, that there is not one Day throughout the year wherein the Sun shines not clearly upon them. This Vally of Tears is full of Clouds, 'tis the priviledg alone of the Heavenly Jerusalem to be above them. The Mirth that hath no Mourning, the Joy that hath no Sorrow, the Crown that hath no Cross, is reserved for Heaven, as peculiar to a state of Blessedness and Immortality. God's people, they may sometimes go disconsolate and be without [Page 165] joy, as the Wine failed at the Marriage where Christ was: But then their Water was turned into Wine; and so the bitter Waters of Marah which at such a time a Christian drinks of shall be turned into the Wine of Eternal consolation. They may for a while be under a Cloud, but then that very Cloud shall at length be dissolved into a Golden shower of comfort to make glad their Hearts. They may be suffered a while to wander in the Wilderness, but yet that Wilderness shall become a Canaan; affording them many ripe Clusters of Grapes to feed upon. They may in a word, have a sad and disconsolate Autumm, both their Graces and comforts for a time withering: But the spring-time of Heaven­ly joy will again return, wherein all their Comforts shall blossom afresh, and their Graces shall recover their former vernancy, never to decay, nor to lose their beauty any more, till ripened into the delicious flower of Eternal Glory. So then though God's people may be in heaviness for a season; yet even then they have the foundation of their comfort remaining sure, because the Morning of true joy will again dawn, and the Sun of Righteousness arise upon them with healing in his wings. After a weary Week, will come a Sabbath; after a time of trouble, will come rest; after a sharp conflict, they are sure of a glorious triumph; after a night of darkness, they shall have a morning of joy; and after all their storms, they are sure to be landed safe at the Port of Eternal comfort.(l) But the un­godly are nothing so; their joy like a bubble quickly vanisheth; like a flower it soon fadeth; like a Jonah's Gourd, it presently withereth; like a blazing Comet it evapoureth and spends itself in a short time, por­tending their Eternal ruin;(m) or rather like the morn­ing Sun-shine upon Sodom which ended in a direful storm of Fire and Brimstone from the Lord out of Hea­ven to destroy them. Albeit then that God's own peo­ple [Page 166] go mourning like Doves of the Vally now and then, whilst the wicked and ungodly drink deep of carnal pleasures faring deliciously like Dives every day: Yet because the godly shall have beauty for ashes, the oyl of gladness for mourning, and the garment of praise for the(a) Spirit of heaviness, whilst the wicked shall weep and howl for their misery, for the wrath, the everlasting destruction in Hell, that must shortly come upon them▪ why therefore let us not (what eyer be the condition of the godly in this Life) entertain any hard thoughts of God and his ways, as if no solid comfort would be found in them. For whether is better, that Joy which will end in everlasting hellish torments or that Sorrow which shall be turned into joy that can never be taken from us? Certainly (as a reverend Divine now with God once said) if a Man were crowned with royal State, and imperial command of all the Kingdoms upon Earth; if his Heart were enlarged to the utmost of all created capacity, and filled with all the exquisite and unmixed pleasures that the reach of mortality, and most ambitious curiosity could possibly devise and might without interruption and distaste, enjoy them the length of the World's duration, they were all nothing to the enjoyment of the precious and peerless comforts of the state of Grace, but even for one hour, Believe it Sirs, there is no such joy to be found in the ways of sin: There is no such comfort to be met with in car­nal delights, as God's people are called to partake of in ways of Holiness. Can there be a more cordial joy, a more entrancing delight, a more strong and everlast­ing consolation, than for the Soul to feed upon hidden Manna; to have the sweet and delicious Clusters of Canaan to refresh it in the wilderness; to dwell con­tinually upon the top of Mount Pisgah, thence taking a clear prospect of the Land of promise, a Land that flow­eth [Page 167] with Milk and Hony?(a) To be sure Sirs, Chri­stianity doth not, when it comes into the Soul, extirpate, but only ordinate our joy, teaching us to place it upon the right object. It doth not take away our joy but only refine it, that it may be seraphique, spiritual and heavenly. It doth not come to pluck up the Tree by the roots, but only to prune and water, it that abound­ing with more Paradisical generous Fruit, it may yeild you the more sweetness, the more delicious, full and satisfactory Grapes of Canaan to refresh your Souls. Your carnal delights, they are satiating, but not sa­tisfying; glutting, yet not filling; like some delicious Meats that nauseat the stomack, yet fill it not. But now that delight which a Christian hath in the serious contemplation of Heaven and Glory, it brings in ful­ness, without satiety; it satisfies, and yet excites; fills, and yet enlargeth the desires of the Soul after more. In carnal delights there is that deceitfulness that when we* want them, they are coveted, when we have them, they are loathed: But the delights accrewing to the Soul from a prospect of Heaven are such as are only loa­thed by those that want them; but still desired by those that tast them; who can never be glutted, but provoked to more insatiate longings after them, by their sweetness.

(4) THIS may give us to understand what small Rea­son the Men of the World have to exclaim of God's people for their Zeal, Circumspection and Diligence in well-doing, or to censure them upon that account, as Persons guilty of unnecessary preciseness, and indiscretion, making more ado than they need. The Lord hath set before them a Crown of Glory, and is that an unnecessary transport of Zeal which maks them contend for it? He shews them a [Page 168] Kingdom for their encouragement, and must that needs be misguided Zeal, Indiscretion and Madnes [...] that makes them offer violence to it? He hath promised them the reward of Eternal Life, and will you censure them as perverse, zealous Fanatiques, and Sons of violence, be­cause they willingly spend and are spent in the service of so bountiful a Master, when their Eye is continu­ally fixed upon so glorious a Prize? The Men of the World, how freely do they spend their mony for that which is not Bread, and their labour for that which can­not satisfy? And will you then wonder at God's peo­ple and think it strange, that having set before them the Bread of Life, together with that Fountain of living Water which yields all fullness of satisfaction to those who drink of it, they should proportionate their en­deavours to the worth and dignity of such transcend­ently desirable, and beatifical objects? Have you ne­ver observed with what unweariedness the Husbandman undergoes the labours of his calling in hope of a plen­tiful Harvest? Did you never see with what undaunted courage the Souldier will endure the hostile incursions, the fierce onsets, the cruel encounter of an Enemy in hope of uncertain victory? And what shall I say of those that run in a Race, have you not seen them rallying up all their strength, putting forth themselves to the utmost of their ability, and contending with an ambitious uncon­trouled violence towards the Goal, for the Crown that was set before them? Wonder not then, if God's Peo­ple be unwearied in the work of the Lord, will encoun­ter the greatest difficulties, and contend with a sacred violence towards the mark of their high Calling, when their Eye is always fixed upon a full harvest of Eternal Glory, upon an everlasting victorious triumph, upon a far more pearly, and incorruptible Crown of Life!

(f) IF (as Tertullian speaks) Men purchase Glass, the brit­tle enjoyments of this Life at so dear a rate, will you count it an unreasonable nimiety in Religion, indescreti­on, and an excess of superfluous Zeal in Gods People, that they are willing with the like expense of Time, la­bour, and strength to purchase the rich Jewel, the encha­sing orient Pearl of Eternal Glory? What, is not Heaven more worthy of our Care, and utmost Diligence, than Earth? Is not a Crown of Righteousness, more worth than a Crown of Rose-buds, and therefore with a greater proportion of Zeal and Carefulness to be sought after? Is it Reason that we should more earnestly pursue the un­certain perishable comforts of this present World from which we must erelong be eternally divorced, than Glory, Honour, Immortality, and Eternal Life in the World to come? Doubtless Sirs, if Life and that Eternal; If a Crown, and that of Glory; if an inheritance; and that of a Kingdom incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away be worth seeking after; then we need not be much solicitous about vindicating God's People in the zealous Passages, severe Endeavours, circumspectious Deport­ments, and sanctified Singularities of their Christian course, from the Imputations of Indiscretion, misguided Zeal and Fanaticism, which Men of corrupt Minds, carnal Gospellers, and such as have nothing but a bare Profession to shew for themselves, are apt to lay them under. For having that Crown, that Kingdom, that glo­rious Inheritance continually in their eye, should not their care, their diligence, their endeavours be in some measure answerable, and proportionate thereto? You de­ceive your own Souls, and do most sordidly undervalue (a) [Page 170] the recompence of the reward, when you think upon easier terms to have Heaven than Earth, and the Meat that will endure to Eternal Life, than the Meat which perisheth, yielding no satisfaction! Oh brutish and unreasonable Sinners, what are all your Riches, and Honours, what are all your Profits and Pleasures, but as Weeds to Flow­ers, or as Dross to the purest Gold, if compared with that far more exceeding and eternal weight of Glory, which abideth God's People in another World! And shall we then think you have reason to censure them as guilty of too great severity, superfluous Zeal, and unnecessary Preciseness, for giving diligence to make sure of such a glorious Reward, when you yourselves think no time too long, no diligence excessive, no pains too great, which you are at in pursuance of those fading Vanities? Judge all you blessed Saints that stand already possessed of this eternal heavenly Glory; yea, let those among you that have had but the least foretasts, prelibations and glean­ings thereof, if this be not an unreasonable censure, judge freely! Shall the covetous Worldling rise early, go to bed late, eat the Bread of carefulness, macerate his own Body, and wholly exhaust his strength in pursuit of that which, in the judgment of the wisest of Kings,(a) is nothing but vanity and vexation of Spirit, like a Moth eating up and consuming it, as the original sounds? And shall not the People of God having such a glorious Crown in their eye, much more lay hold upon all oppor­tunities, walk closely with him that hath called them to his Kingdom and Glory, and gladly spend and be spent in all holy Exercises, that at length they may partake of that fulness of Joy which is in God's presence, together with those super-celestial Soul-satisfying Pleasures which are at his right Hand for evermore?(b) Doth not the Lord in his sacred Oracles of truth require, that we [Page 171] should give all diligence to make our Calling and Ele­ction sure? Are we not commanded to work out with greatest Labour and Industry, as the Original hath it, our own Salvation? Hath not our blessed Lord comman­ded that we should earnestly contend, striving as in an Agony to* enter in at the strait Gate of Eternal Life? And must we not also storm the Kingdom of Heaven, assaulting it with a kind of Holy Violence, and forcing our way thither through all difficulties, would we ever enter into it? What then is the Blasphemy of all those who in opposition to the holy Spirit of Truth calling us out thus to spend and be spent in the service of God, do take upon them a cursed neutrality, indifferency, and in­sipid formality in the ways of God, censuring all those that will not be formal, outsided, and negligent, like them­selves, as persons of furious Spirits, perverse Zealots, and humoursome Fanaticks, as if they were afraid of too much Holiness? Believe it Sirs, these and the like Scrip­ture Injunctions do concludingly evince that Christianity is no idle speculation, but a business of greatest activity, requiring the quintessence and vigour of the Spirit, the very strength and sinews of the Soul, together with the greatest intensness of all the affections. There is such an attractive magnetique virtue in that eternally glorious reward which Religion proposeth to all them that do cor­dially embrace it, that their Hearts are so inflamed with desire after it, that it turns all difficulties into fuel, for their Zeal to feed upon. Impossible it is for such as are truly gracious to be remiss and negligent in Heavens way, as being transformed by a prospect of Heavenly [Page 172] Glory, into so many incarnate Seraphims, whose proper na­ture it is to have their affections boyled up to the highest consistency of uncurbed Zeal for Gods Glory,(c) mak­ing them fervent in Spirit, serving the Lord. Would you therefore approve your selves to be true Nathaniels, Israelites indeed, in whom there is no guile? Then see that ye willingly spend and be spent in the service of God, contending with an holy Violence, that you may enter through the strait Gate into the Kingdom of Heaven. 'Tis no heartless wish nor languishing endeavour; no still­born Prayer nor abortive resolution, which will argue your Souls to be sound, and of the right Complexion. Many there are amongst us, who taking up the form, and denying the Power of Godliness, are all for a mo­deration in Goodness: So that with them lukewarmness, though it speak the Soul in the saddest temper, shall be graced with the name of Discretion, and Christian Pru­dence. The truth is (as that holy Man now with God, whom before I quoted, saith) all unregenerate Men in a manner, do usually cast unto themselves in the mould of their own worldly Wisdom, a religious Mediocrity, and they pitch with resolution and security, upon a de­gree of Zeal compatible with their own secular concern­ments, and this must be a competent sufficiency of Holi­ness for Heaven, and serve their turn for Salvation. This glorious formality, if God's People out of a conscious­ness of their duty, and from the strength of desire, which they have to the recompence of Eternal Life, transgress, why now the Wicked to prevent the estuations of a troubled Conscience, and the dreadful pre-occupations of Eternal Flames which would otherwise seize upon them, they are forced to censure God's People as guilty of too much preciseness, circumspection, and affected singularity. For should they not fancy an easier way to Heaven than that of striving and running, contend­ing and wrestling wherein God's People walk, they [Page 173] must needs cast away the confidence (I say not of their Hope, but) of their groundless presumption, and sit down in despair as Persons for whom it is impossible, that they should come to Heaven, or ever escape the damna­tion of Hell. But believe it Christians, whatever short Cut carnal Gospellers fancy to Heaven, you must resolve to serve the Lord with fervency of Spirit, excellency of Zeal, and enflamed affections, together with a supernatu­ral singularity above all ordinary and moral perfections, would you ever come there. Fair and softly, saith the Proverb, goes fair: But (as one wittily observes) it ne­ver goes so far as Heaven.(a) God prepared a Wife for Adam in Paradise sleeping: But there are no preparations of Happiness, Life, and Eternal Glory made, for sleepers in the Paradise of God. Our first Parents sinning were cast out of Paradise, and therefore we can never return thither to feed upon the Tree of Life, unless we return with undaunted resolution upon the Cherubims flaming Sword. We must not only take up the form, but also embrace the power of Godliness; we must not be almost(b) but altogether Christians, would we ever receive the Crown of Eternal Glory. For to be sure they that have only an appearance of Holiness, shall go to a real Hell: and they that are but almost Christians, shall but almost be saved; which indeed will be the emphasis of Dam­nation, to have been within a step of Heaven, and Eter­nal Glory: Let then Christians, the blind World enter­tain you with what malicious invectives, and approbrious Sarcasms it will, censuring you for Phanticks, perverse Zealots, and dissembling Hypocrites: Yet see that you abate not one scruple of your former Zeal, either taking up with a slothful oscitancy in the ways of God, or leaving your selves at a profane liberty to comply [Page 174] in any sinful practices, but having always an Eye to the recompence of the reward, give diligence to be still as precise, circumspect, and accurate in all your walk­ings as ever! Remember when ever the Men of the World ask you what need you be so strict and accu­rate, so precise and circumspect, not contenting your selves to do as others do? Why it is in plain language, and to paraphrase a little upon those profane Queries, as if they should ask you, what need you make matter of Heaven and Glory, what need you so much to regard Life and Eternal Salvation in the Kingdom of God, not con­tenting your selves to go to Hell, and be damned for ever as the Wicked must? And can you indeed make light of Heaven and Eternal Glory, can you Christians be willing to fall short of Gods beatifical presence in Heaven and for ever to lie under his frowns in Hell, that such ungodly questionings as these should make you ashamed to own Christianity in the Life, eminency and power of it? As they, Christians, have little reason to censure you for your Diligence, Zeal, and circumspe­ction in Heavens way: So little reason have you to be ashamed thereof, being come within ken of your Rest already, and may with Moses from Mount Nebo, take a clear Prospect of the Holy Land, of the Celestial Canaan!

CHAP. VII. The Doctrine improved by way of Repre­hension, reproving all such as do inordi­nately love and pursue the World, and discovering the vanity of all Secular En­joyments; in Six Particulars.

(1) BY way of reprehension, this Doctrine affords just matter of Reproof against, and may smite as with a mighty Scourge, two sors of Persons.

(1) Since God allows us to seek Glory, Honour, and Immortality for our selves by patient continuance in well­doing, [...]. Chrysost. in Mat. 22. how justly are all those reproved who making light of these eternal concernments do wholly spend their time and exhaust their strength in pursuit of the profits, Emoluments, and comforts of this present World? The Lord makes them tenders of a Crown of Life: But they chose to deck themselves with Rose-buds, preferring Earth before Heaven, and troubling themselves about many things,Luke 10.42. whilst that better part is neglected, which if chosen should never be taken from them. Like Esau, they sell their Birth-right for a mess of Pottage. Like Judas, they betray the Lord of Life, who would save their Souls for thirty pieces of Silver. Or like our first Parents, to get the forbidden Fruit, they let go their Hap­piness in Paradise, preferring one deadly Apple from the Tree of Knowledge, before all the delicious Apples on the Tree of Life. What pains do we see Men take? [Page 176] What hazards do they daily run to satisfie their unsatiate desires after Creature-enjoyments? whilst Heaven with all the Glory, and Royalties of it are neglected, as the pleasing fictions of some devout Fancies, rather than mat­ters of reality: With what wracking of Brain, with what strength of endeavour, with what Conflicts of Passions, with what vehemency of desire, and remorse of Consci­ences, do Men resolving to be rich, pursue their Earth­born vanities, making that pitiful Religion they have, serve turn, and Christianity it self become Handmaid to wait upon their gain and secular advantage?Boni quippe ad hoc utuntur mundo, ut fruantur Deo: mali autem contra, ut fruantur mundo, uti volunt Deo. Aug. de Civit. Dei, lib. 15. cap. 7. Where­as the truly gracious do improve their Earthly Treasures for high and Heavenly ends, using them in a subservien­cy to their Christian devotion, that they more freely enjoy God: Why on the contrary, carnal Hearts, they subordinate every thing to their own sordid ends, using God, his Name, his Worship, his Ordinances, that they may more plausibly prosecute and enjoy the World. Doth not daily sad experience let us see, how Men will hazard their own lives in desperate undertakings, make themselves perpetual Drudges to the Times, comply with every prevailing Faction, throw away their own Mercies, make shipwrack of Faith, dissemble conscience, and ex­change their salvation together with all Hopes of Heaven and Glory for Earth, and Earthly enjoyments? Oh that I could but speak to the Heart of such amongst you who thus inordinately pursue the World, grasping continual­ly with adulterous embraces? Was this the end of your being in the World, to Idolize the Creature, loving, pri­zing, and serving that, above God your Creator? Have you not things of greater consequence, and that more nearly concern you, to look after, than the profits, emo­luments, and perishable comforts of this present Life? Is it not an immortal Soul more worthy your care, than [Page 177] a sinful Body; the Riches of Heaven and Glory, than your Earthly Treasure; and the recompence of Eternal Life, is not that more worthy your care, than the con­fluence of all Creature-enjoyments? Your approaching Death, your Eternal Judgment before Gods Tribunal, your everlasting condition in the world to come, should not these things be seriously minded, and much rather regarded of you, than the husky enjoyments of a dying Life? What (alass!) Poor brutish Muck-worm will thy full Garners, thy Bags of Gold, thy sumptuous Build­ings, thy long Leases, thy gorgeous Apparel, or thy dainty Dishes, and sweet Morsels avail thee, when the great God calls to Judgment, when Death, as God's inexorable Serjeant shall arrest thee, and thou must now breath out thy Life and thy Hope together? Will your Deeds and Leases, be evidences for Heaven? Will your Riches, Honours, and Pleasurable enjoyments, be able to comfort your Hearts, when now breaking through the bitter pangs, and dying groans, that will shortly take hold of you? Will your Coffers, or your Bags of Gold be accepted as a ransom for your lost Souls, or can they purchase your pardon, when now tryed for your Lives, for your everlasting unchangable State, before the righ­teous Judge of all the World? To bring you off from the over eager pursuit of these perishable enjoyments, and to beget in your cheeks an holy blush that ever you should neglect Heaven to seek them, dwell a little on these things.

(1)(a) CONSIDER all Creature-enjoyments, they are vain and unprofitable. The very choycest of your Worldly comforts, they have nothing in them, but that which is unprofitable, and good for nothing. There is always most vanity where there is the least profit: And where there is no profit at all, there is nothing at all but vanity. And yet this is the Character which So­lomon [Page 178] hath given us of all our Creature-enjoyments. E­very Creature in his Diary hath vanity written upon it, and(b) therefore since the whole cannot exceed the particulars when added together, he gives us in this as the total Sum of all sublunary comforts, Vanity of vanities, all is vanity. Add a thousand Cyphers toge­ther, and yet without a figure they signify just nothing: So though a Man had the whole confluence and uni­versal aggregation of all Creature-comforts, yet such is the vanity bound up in them, that without the figure of Divine favour, they are altogether insignificant, and stand for just nothing in the Register of true profit. And therefore(c) Solomon endeavouring to call off Men from the too eager pursuit of Riches, will not vouchsafe them any station amongst things really existing, but thrust­ing them down into the bottomless Abyss of a non-entity, he thus queries with the insatiate Mammonist. Wilt thou set thine Eyes upon that which is not, and make them to flie (as 'tis in the original) upon a meer nothing? The generality of Men they idolize Riches, and look upon them as some great matters: But the comfort, the benefit, the profit accrewing to us by them is so small, that if you count them any thing at all, you do quite over-prize them, and do count them a great deal more than what they are ever like to amount unto. We can hardly form up a conception of our Creature-enjoyments, so diminutive and small, as indeed they are: Nor can we be able to reach so low in our thoughts as the bottom of that vanity and unprofitableness which is written upon them. Most Men look upon their Riches, Honours, and Worldly accommodations through a Multiplying-glass, which doth swell them up far above the proportion of their own magnitude, and quite stretcheth them beyond the line of their proper dimen­sions: [Page 179] But would they look upon these things as they are in themselves, how would their tall gigantine sta­ture shrink up into a Pygmey-dwarfishness, and what a line of unprofitableness and vanity would they find stretched out upon them all?* How long then ye Sons of Men will ye love vanity, and go on to set your Hearts upon that which is not? Oh turn not aside from seek­ing after Glory and Honour, after Immortality and Eter­nal Life:(d) For why (as Samuel said in another case) should you go after vain things, after Riches and secular accommodations which cannot profit? Grant Sirs, that you do not see the vanity of these things in a Calm, yet what will you do in a Storm, when dis­tress and anguish takes hold upon you? In the day Sirs, that Satan shall accuse you, that Conscience shall tor­ment you, that Heaven shall frown upon you, and that Hell beneath shall enlarge itself to devour you, what then will your Houses and Lands, your Riches and your Honours avail you? What though, Man, thy Barns be full, and thy Cup overflows? What though thou hast Mines of Gold, and Rivers of Oyl? What though thou number thy Oxen by thousands, and thy Sheep by ten thousands? What though thou be arrayed in Roy­al Apparel with Solomon, and farest deliciously every day like the Rich Glutton? Yet what will all this abun­dance profit thee in a day of wrath? Will these things quiet the estuations of an accusing Conscience, in the day that God shall awaken it, and amaze thee with the sight of thy own iniquities? Will they profit and afford thee comforts, when breathing out thy poor Soul into Eternity thou must now be convented before the righteous Judge of all the World? Oh let not your Eyes commit Adultery with the fair-faced nothings of this World whilest you live, that through the vanity of them can afford you no profit when you come to die [Page 180] and to make your appearance before God's dreadful Tribunal!

(2) CONSIDER all Cr [...]ture-enjoyments they are disquieting, and vexatious. There is not only* vanity in all worldly accommodations rendring them unpro­fitable, but there is also vexation of spirit in them, which makes them a second Achan to such as enjoy them, so disturbing their Rest, that they live continually upon the Rack of discontent. The love of this prese [...] World is a passion, but yet it is very active upon us, at once eating up, and tor [...]nting our Spirits within us. Many Men think if they had but such an accession to their livelyhood, if they could but compass such an estate, if they might but attain to such preferment, they should then be at ease in their minds, and sit down satisfyed: But alas! when these desires are fully accom­plished, and they have possibly gone beyond the very modesty of their former wishes in their worldly ac­quirements, how often do they find their ease and com­fort going out by the same door, at which their Riches, Honours, and secular emoluments entred in?(e) Such is the vexation of all Earthly accommodations, that whoever enjoys most of them is most sadly afflicted by them: Neither will they suffer him to enjoy any thing with a quiet mind of his possessions, who pursues them with an inordinate love and affection. Our Creature-comforts, they are not only vanity in regard of their uselesness, as being unable to profit us in the day of adversity; but they are likewise vexation in their en­joyment, not forbearing to molest and disquiet our Hearts even in the day of Prosperity. Men think in getting Riches, to crown themselves as with Rose-buds, and to find them sweet to their Tast: But are not all their Ri­ches [Page 181] when procured, like a Crown(f) of Thorns upon their Heads piercing them through with many cares, and do they not find them to be mingled with gall and bitterness? Oh how happy doth many a Man think he should be and live in the World, could he but enlarge his Barns, and accumulate Riches as others do: But doth he not find them, as the wise Man s [...]eaks, making all his dayes(g) Sorrow, and his travail, grief, not so much as suffering his Heart to take rest in the night? False joy [...]ike the crackling of thorns, a Man may possi­bly find now and then in the abundance of worldly accommodations: But still there is some Flie in the oynt­ment, some Death in the pot, som [...] [...]hief in the Candle which utterly marreth all, leaving such an one under nothing but sadness and vexation of Spirit. You know how it was with Ahab King of(h) Israel, upon whom the want of one poor vineyard of Naboth, brought such heaviness of Heart and sadness of spirit, that a­midst all the happiness which either Riches, or Honours, or extremity of luxury could afford him, the Man lays himself down upon his Bed, turns away his Face, re­fusing to take his necessary Food, as one resolved to die of the Sullens, out of Hand. The like vexation of Spirit do we find that wicked Haman the Son of Amedatha the Agagite, amidst all his court-preferments, fretting under.(i) Never Subject was more highly advanced, and honoured by his Sovereign than this wicked Haman, and yet the denyal of one poor Mordecai's Knee, how doth it make him hang down the Head, vexing all his mirth and carnal jollity into self-tormenting envy, and discontent? We do never pursue with eagerness the riches, honours, and emoluments of this life, but we find a sting in them to vex and torment us. And as Fire under Water, the hotter it burns, the sooner it is ex­tinguished [Page 182] by the over-running of the Water: So earthly things when too eagerly pursued, they raise up such tumultuary per­plexing thoughts, in the minds of Men, as do at last quite extinguish all the heat, and comfort which was expected from them. Oh then that every Worldling would consider what an enemy he is to his own Happiness whilst thy Heart is ino [...]dinately carried out after, and transported with idolatrous love to any Creature-enjoyments, no quiet can be in thy mind, no rest in thy Soul. And why will you thus be the authours of your [...] misery in seeking for rest, where is nothing but trouble; for comfort, where is nothing but disquietment, and for pleasure, where [...] [...]othing but vanity, and vexation of Spirit? What are all your Riches, and Honours, and worldly accommodations when eagerly pursued after, but like the Whoredom of painted Jezabel to trouble your peace, and to fill you with Heart perplexing thoughts? The Sun and Stars in the lower regions by reason of their nearness to the Earth, they frequently* exhale those Fogs and Meteors that do often break forth into Storms and impetuous Tempests: Thus likewise in earthly minds the sun-shine of Creature-enjoyments, why it raiseth up those Cares, and Heart-dividing thoughts, that a Man can have no rest but is full of unquiet agitations, burning like Aetna with an em­bowel'd sulphurious Fire, which doth often break forth into a sullen Tempest of discontent. Labour we there­fore to be content(h) with such things as we have, not neglecting Heaven and Glory where is fulness of joy, for the comforts and emoluments of this World which are not only vain and unable to profit us, but also vex­ation, [Page 183] to molest and disquiet us.(i) For doubtles [...] Sirs, as Manna in the Wilderness, when the people dis­trusting God's daily provision, would needs hoard it up, bred Worms, and stank: So when Men inordinately loving the World, will needs accumulate Riches, they do but store up Worms to gnaw upon their Consci­ences, that will daily vex and disquiet them. If there­fore you would not multiply your own [...]orrows, be not too much in love with your worldly enjoyments, striving beyond measure to multiply them. Therefore hath the Lord rubbed gall and wormwood upon the breasts of all our Creature-comforts th [...] we may learn to get weaned affections to them. Ev [...]y Rose hath its Thorn in this present life that we may not to much be delighted with its sweetness.

(3) Consider all Creature-enjoyments, they are uncertain, and changable. The Riches, Honours, and enjoyments of this present Life, they are called Bona Fortunae, the Goods of Fortune: Not so much because they are the Largess of that fictitious Goddess, as because they are like her, in­constant, and always obnoxious to variety of changes. (a) As the fashions in the World alter and change every day: so doth the fashion of the World, with all its enjoyments. What we usually call substance, is indeed but a glining sha­dow, that hath nothing but mutability written upon it. Men may fancy what assurance they will in their earth­ly enjoyments: But indeed they are always like the Moon in her last quarter, ever upon the change.(b) Our Crea­ture-comforts they are not so properly possessions as Pageants, * [Page 184] which whilst they please us, in a moment they pass away from us. (c) Hence Riches have the epithet of uncertain gi­ven them by divine Inspiration, as most proper for them: Because we know not how soon God may sequester us from them, or them from us, and so leave us to survive our own Happiness. The World usually deals with its greatest Favourites, those that serve it with most devo­tion, as [...] dealt with Jacob his near Kinsman, who changed his Wages ten times. Day unto day makes re­port, and every Mans own experie [...]ce may read him a sufficient lect [...], concerning the manifold s [...]d changes, a [...]d various [...]tions to which we are every Day li [...]ble in our Creat [...] [...]njoyment [...] ▪ How many of the Worlds greatest Favourites, have we seen honourable and disho­noured in one and the same Day?(d) In fulln [...]ss of Creature-comforts, and yet emptied of them all in a mo­ment? Abounding with Riches, and yet soon reduced to wants, and with Job becoming poor, even to a Pro­verb? Compassed about with Friends and Relations in the Morning, and yet deserted of them all before the Evening, as persons left alone to outlive the choicest of comforts? You then that have heard and seen the Provi­dence of God thus ringing the changes of Creature-en­joyments all the World over, why will you still proceed in your Love to them, and commit Idolatry with them? Do you not consider that your Beauty, your Riches, your Honours, your Pleasures, and all your Creature-comforts, are no better than inconstant fading Vanities, that are [Page 185] daily obnoxious to variety of changes? What is all your pleasure, but as a bitter Pill wrapt up in Sugar, which however it be hony in the mouth, yet is gall in the sto­mack? What is all your Beauty, but as a fading flower, which at the first breaking forth of the Sun of Afflictions may be scorched, and wither away into the ghastliness of a dead Carcass? What are all your Honours, but as a blast of idle wind, which can neither be kept by all your care, nor reduced by all your policy when once gon past you? What (in a word) are all your Riches, but as a golden ray from Heaven's Sun-shine, which in a moment may be intercepted by every discontented cloud that comes, lined with nothing but want and poverty? For shame then let the great uncertainty of your Creature-en­joyments, and that mutability which you see to be writ­ten upon them, make you labour no longer for them, but rather strive for those better comforts which are a­bove uncertainty and can never change! Worldly Pru­dence when speaking in its proper dialect will bid us hold fast that which is certain,(e) and let go that which is uncertain. Behold then I set before you Earth and Hea­ven: And which of these two will you now make your choice? Will you choose an uncertain Earth before a certain Heaven? Will you choose those Earthly enjoy­ments, that are daily subject to variety of changes, be­fore those Heavenly Mansions of Glory, that are above mutability, and can never change? Or that the mani­fold changes to which all our Wordly comforts are daily obnoxious, may cause us to change our thoughts of them, and no longer to pursue them with a doting observance! In all the changes to which our Creature-enjoyments are daily liable,(f) this is the great end, which God aims at, that we may not love the World nor the things of the World. When therefore you find your health chan­ged into sickness, your Riches changed into Poverty, your Honours changed into Reproaches, and all your [Page 186] Creature-enjoyments into so many pregnant instances of the Worlds uncertainty, oh see that hereby you be in­structed what little reason you have to let out your affe­ctions upon them, or to fall in love with them! Are things of such a changeable nature so much to be prized? Shall an uncertain perishing World be preferred before Heaven and Glory, which are not obnoxious to any uncertainty, but have security against all changes written upon them? Here Sirs, you can enjoy none of your Creature-comforts with security, but whether you have Riches, or Ho­nours, or Pleasures, or any other worldly accomodations you hold all upon the greatest uncertainty, and are sure of nothing: But now making choice of Heaven and Glo­ry for your portion, you will find them to be beyond the reach of change, and indeed like the Laws of the Medes and Persians that knew no alteration. Why then will you rather choose to be Tenants at will in your Worldly enjoyments than to purchase the Fee-simple of Heaven, and unchangable glorious felicity? Oh be not such enemies to your own Happiness, as to make light of the certain unchangable Glory of Heaven, preferring the uncertain mutable and perishing enjoyments of this World before it! If you will make your choice, choose not for your portion uncertain Riches; but choose, oh choose the favour of God in Christ which is certain; choose Heaven and Glory, they are certain; choose the Kingdom of God, choose that better part, with Mary, which is certain, and can never be taken from you!

(4) CONSIDER al Creature-enjoyments, they are frau­dulent, and deceitful Many Cheats there are in the World, but the most absolute cheat of all, is the World it self.(g) Tis storied of certain Apples growing nigh to the lake of Sodom, that they have a golden outside, and are pleasant to look upon, but being touched they deceive expectation, all crumbling away into dust, and rotteness: [Page 187] Thus the World with all its enjoyments, they have a fair outside, and appear desirable, but if once we grasp them too eagerly, they will shame our hopes, and deceive our expectations, all mouldering away into the rotteness of disappointment. We often come to the World as Christ to the barren Fig-tree expecting the delicious fruit of delight and satisfaction: But upon tryal we find no­thing save only the leaves of an empty [...]romise to shame our hopes. Many large promises the World will make us, of pleasure, delight, and satisfaction from what we enjoy:(h) But (as Cyprian well hath it) therefore it smiles, that it may exercise its cruelty upon us; it flat­ters us that it may deceive us; it entertains us with all blandishments of Fortune, that it may destroy us; and sometimes it will promote us that afterwards it may de­press us, and plunge us the deeper in some sudden unpre­ventable Misery. Achan, he promised himself much de­light and happiness in a wedg of Gold and Babylonish garment: But in the issue they proved devoted and ac­cursed things, not only deceiving his expectations, but al­so procuring his utter and inevitable ruin. Thus the World with all its enjoyments, they will promise safery, and yet they cannot profit us in a day of Wrath.(i) They will promise long life, and yet they cannot hinder but that the same night a Mans Soul amidst all his abundance may be taken from him. They will promise (in a Word) all delight and contentment to those that have them; and yet then they usually fill us with sorrow and vexation of spirit, and leave us most discontented. Let not him then amongst you that would not be deceived by Creature-enjoyments any longer suffer his Heart to be set upon them. You may come to the World as to a Lot­tery with an Head full of Projects hoping to get a great prize: But you will doubtless return with an Heart full [Page 188] of Blanks, as Men disappointed of your Hopes, and ut­terly deluded in your expectations. For the World doth always put a cheat upon its greatest admirers: And such as expect most from it are most frequently deceived by it. Why then will you set your Hearts upon that, which will shortly break your Hearts with the heavy stroke of disappointment? How many hath the World already de­ceived, promisi [...] them Ease, when behold Trouble; Ho­nour, when behold Disgrace, Pleasure, when behold Pain, and Life when behold nothing but Death and inevitable Misery have been their portion! The World Sirs! may beget in your [...] l [...]ge Hopes, and make you many profuse Promises, in case you will adore it: But remem­ber when the promises are fairest, you do then lie obnox­ious to the greatest disappointment from it. What large Promises of further Honour and Preferment in Ahasuerus his Court did it seem to make that wicked Haman, when all the promotion it designed for him was to send him out of the World with an hempen Squincy, hanging him on the same Gallows that his own Malice had erected for poor Mordecai? Thus whoever loves the World, designing for himself no greater Happiness than the Riches, Honors and Pleasures of this present Life, he will find them like a broken Reed, not only deceiving, but mortally wound­ing him. And is this your Wisdom, to desire what will certainly disappoint your expectations, and may possibly prove the occasion of your Eternal Ruin?(k) The soft Sands have betrayed more to shipwrack than the hard Rocks:(l) Thus your Creature-enjoyments th [...]t make you large promises of Happiness, they may sooner expose you to inevitable Misery than the want of them can do.* Hannibal's Army having overcome the troublesome Alpes, was afterward spoiled by the Italian Dainties: Thus Chri­stians [Page 189] there is nothing that will more easily betray you in­to the hands of heart-rending disappointment and un­preventable misery, than an Heart inordinately set upon the World's Dainties.(n) The World never cockers any whom she makes not a Fool.(o) She gives her Guests plea­sant Cups at the beginning, that when once they are soundly drunk she may give them a deadly wound. What alass! are all your Creature-enjoy [...]ents but like Est­hers invitation of Haman to a b [...]nquet with the King, which though it filled him for a while with some windy Hopes, yet it suddenly ended in his over ruin? If there­fore the World with all it [...] enjoym [...] be so deceitful promising Happiness, but exposing [...] save mi­sery and disappointment, let us set our Eyes and Hearts upon that which is true, [...]d cannot deceive us; upon that which will make good infinitely more to the enjoyer, than ever it promised to the expectant! Though the World promise much, yet it performs little: But what­ever Joy, Happiness, and satisfaction God promiseth us in Heaven, it shall be made good with the advantage of a thousand fold.(p) As the Queen of Sheba coming to Solomon had satisfaction beyond the report, which made her cry out as in an extasy the one half was not told me, thy Wisdom and Prosperity exceeds the Fame which I heard: So Christians, when once we come to the full en­joyment of God in Heaven, we shall find that Happiness and Glory there, which will make us cry out, Lord it was a true report that we heard of thy Kingdom and Glory in promises, but behold the one half was not told us of that Happiness and Glory which we now enjoy! Who then that is wise would prefer the lying Vanities of the World before this true Treasure? Why will you set your Hearts upon that which deceiving your Hopes, [Page 190] will expose you to the Misery of Eternal disappointment, in the mean time neglecting that Glory which will so far exceed our Hopes as to leave us for ever in a blessed ex­tasy of admiration?

(5) Consider all Creature-enjoyments, they are empty, and unsatisfying. Your Creature-enjoyments, they are not commensurate to the desires of an immortal Soul: And are therefore no more able to satisfy you, than a Star of the least magnitude is able to make day in the World. The Souls appetite is too vast for any creature in the World to fill up the measure of its capacity: And to be sure, that which cannot fill the Souls appetite will for ever leave it empty, and unsatisfied. The Soul is a spiritual Being, whereas all our worldly [...]njoyments are of the Earth, earthly: And how should such earthly enjoyments be able to satisfy an Heaven born Soul?(k) Solomon tells us plainly, that he who loveth Silver shall not be satis­fied with Silver. It may promise to ease us of our cares: But it always multiplyes them. Like Drink to a dropsical Man such are all our Creature-enjoyments: So far from slaking, that they enflame the Thirst. They will promise to fill the Souls appetite: But they only [Page 191] enlarge it. They are not so much Food as fuel to our desires: They de not allay our appetite as Bread doth when received, but they rather encrease our appetite, as Oyl doth the flame, when cast into it. And how is it possible that that desire should ever be satisfied, which groweth and receiveth strength by the fruition of the thing desired? The whole Confluence of all Creature-enjoyments can reach no further than the out­ward Services of the body: For the desires of the Soul being boundless, and capable of more happiness than the World can afford them, they must needs remain empty still, and be unsatisfied. A Man may quickly have enough to load his Body, to overcharge his memory, and to fill his Barns, though enlarged to the same mea­sure of spaciousness with the rich Mans in the(l) Gospel: But to answer the cravings of his own Heart, to quiet the enlarged appetite of his immortal Soul, and to fill up with satisfaction the immense capacity of all his de­sires, he can never have enough, though he had the whole World changed into one Paradise for such an end. When a thing is out of the place of its own rest, it will never leave moving naturally till it come thither: Thus since nothing below the Bosom of God himself, and fulness of communion with him can be the proper place of rest to an immortal Soul, no wonder though amidst all Crea­ture-enjoyments it be still unsatisfied, and in perpetual, restless motion. Men are apt to promise themselves I know what imaginary happiness and satisfaction from their Creature-enjoyments: But to be sure Happiness is a real thing and no figment of a minting fancy, nei­ther is it indeed for satisfaction to come in at the door of imagination. For as the Creature is unable to make us happy, and give satisfaction: So we are to make up an happiness for our selves out of the Creature, or to take [Page 192] satisfaction from it. When the whole Creation hath done its best, and we have used our utmost skill, torturing Nature to extract the most exquisite Spirits, and the pu­rest quintessence, which the variety of Creatures can afford: Yet after all this our Hearts will be filled with nothing but endless rovings, and unquiet agitations; and still our Souls will be crying like the Horse leeches Daughters, Give, give, as unable to find any thing in the universal aggregation of all sublunary comforts proportionate to its own unlimited, and boundless de­sires. For certain it is (my Brethren) there is nothing that can make us happy, but the God who made us:(m) Nor is there any thing that can give satisfaction to our Souls, but Christ who gave satisfaction for them. God would not rest from his works of creation till Man was formed. Nor can any Man rest from his longing des [...]es of want and indigence, till God in Christ be enjoyed. What though the whole world were an earth­ly Paradise, the Rivers running with Nectar, the Fields bringing forth Ambrosia, the Trees yielding Fruit like the Tree of life, the Clouds showering down precious Pearls, and every Creature were an Orpheus or Am­phion with Musiques harmonious charm to chase away the evil Spirit of discontent, and to entertain us in World with all variety of melodious sounds, and carnal delights? Yet I can assure you from the Word of life and truth, that our Souls would be still restless, and would find such an earthly Paradise come as far short of giv­ing satisfaction, as the light of a little Star doth come short of the Sun in its noon-day brightness. There is no rest nor satisfaction to be had for our Souls, till we return to God, or God turn his face towards us, and [Page 193] cause the light of his Countenance to shine upon us. Why then will you spend your Mony for that which is not Bread, and your labour for that which cannot satisfy? Will you still be seeking the living amongst the dead, the Tree of life in an Earthly Paradise, and satisfaction from that, which is nothing but Vanity and vexation of spirit? You may kock at every Creatures door, but you will find there is nothing within to entertain you, save only the heir-long of emptiness and disappointment. Vanity is the very quintessence of the Creature, and all that can possibly be extracted out of it is nothing, but vexation of spirit. And can that which is Vanity, think you, satisfy, or vexation give your Souls contentment? Can you think to gather Grapes of Thorns or Figs of Thistles? What a gross mistake is this, that you should think to find any filling entertainment for your Souls in that which is all emptiness? That you should think to find satisfaction in that which breeds nothing but dis­content, perplexing the Soul with a thousand cares?(a) What is this but (as the Father saith) to seek for Life in the Region of Death, to seek for Heaven in the Hell of worldly distractions, and for happiness, in that that may prove our greatest misery. Oh that you would once consult though not your Duty, yet at least the real satisfaction of your own Souls, no longer seeking after broken Cisterns, but now coming to the Fountain of living Waters, that you may be filled! We cannot conceive so great a confluence of earthly enjoyments, but still as more may be added, so more will be desired: But who ever obtains the enjoy­ment of God in Heaven, Oh what fulness of joy, what a Garden of soul-satisfying pleasures, what a Paradise of all delights and spiritual contentments doth he find in him! Now the Man hath as much joy, as much comfort, as much satisfaction as Heart can hold; now, like a stone in the Center, he can go no further, nor de­sire * [Page 194] any more Happiness than what he hath already; now with holy David he can sing his Requiem, Return to thy rest oh my(b) Soul, for lo the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee! What enemies are you then, that love the World, to your own Souls, preferring Trouble before Rest; the boysterous Ocean before the serene Harbour; emptiness before satisfaction; and a famine of true contentment, before that fulness of delight, and Heavenly repast which you might find in God? How vain is the shadow if compared with the substance, a drop if compared with the vast ocean, a broken Cistern if compared with the Fountain of living Water, or the confluence of all Creature-enjoyments if compared with the full enjoyment of God himself? If then you love your Souls, come away from these unsatisfying Vanities, and seek now after Heaven and Heavenly objects, making God your ultimate end, and the full enjoyment of him, your only happiness! What (alas) will your Riches avail you without this Pearl of great price! Will the Shell without the Kernel, will the Cistern without the Fountain, will the Stars without the Sun, give content, and can they make a day of hap­piness, and satisfaction in your immortal Souls? When a Man my Brethren, can sow Grace in the furrows of his field, when he can fill his Barns with Glory, when he can get Baggs full of Salvation, when he can Plow up Heaven out of the Earth, and extract God out of the Creatures; then, but not till then he may be able to find that in them which will satisfy the unbounded de­sires of his own Soul. Be not then any longer so foolish as to look for satisfaction from your Creature-enjoyments, preferring the taste of an Apple with our first Parents, before all the happiness of the Celestial Paradise! Your creature comforts they are all of them impertinent, and must needs upon that account be altogether unsatisfying, as having no due commensuration, nor sutableness to the wants and exigencies of an immortal Soul. What one [Page 165] sin is all the World able to expiate? What one misery is it able to deliver you from? What one corruption can it mortify for you? What one Grace can it enrich your Hearts with? What one glimpse from God's favourable countenance can it help you to? What one word of comfort can it speak to your troubled Con­sciences, when distressed with the sense of God's wrath and the dreadful pre-occupations of Eternal burnings in Hell? Indeed the favour of God, and the hope of Heaven: An interest in Jesus Christ, and assurance through him of Eternal Glory, these can give satisfaction, as being every way sutable to, and commensurate with our spiritual wants. But now the impertinency of earth­ly enjoyments is such that you can never make up a sutable Estate for your Souls out of them, nor satisfy their unmeasurable desires at the dry and empty Breasts of any Creature-comfort. Oh how foolish then and irrational is every covetous Muck-worm! Thou hast possibly Riches, and Honours, and Lands for thy por­tion: But what will all these avail thee, what content and satisfaction can they give thee, not having an interest in the Lord Jehovah! * Behold the Fire and the Wood, but where is the Lamb for sacrifice said Isaac to Abraham! Thus may I say to you, here you have Houses and Lands, here you have Friends and worldly dignities: But where is your interest in the Lord Jesus; where is the Grace of God to sanctify you; where is the mercy of God to Pardon you; where is the love of God to comfort you; where is the favour of God to make glad your Souls, as the strength of your Hearts and your portion for ever? You have possibly the good things of this life; but where are the good things of a better life? And be it so that you should abound, and be crowned with all variety of Creature-comforts: Yet remember your Souls they will still be restless and for ever unsatisfied; till you come to rest your selves in the downy Bosom [Page 196] of God's Eternal love, and to have fulness of sweet com­munion with him in Glory.

(6) And lastly consider all creature enjoyments they are but moment any and only for a season. Like a Jonahs Gourd, such are the choicest of all our Earthly Comforts, growing up in one Night, and withering away into nothing the next night following. Had we the longest lease of World­ly enjoyments it would soon be worn out; our lives are but short of themselves, and therefore such comforts as we only hold for term of Life at the utmost, cannot possibly last long. What the Apostle saith of miraculous Gifts, may truly be said of all our worldly accomodations; whether you have Riches they shall fail; or Relations af­ter the Flesh, they shall cease; or whether you have Honors in the World they shall vanish away, neither shall any Man's Glory descend after him. Men usually call their Riches and Worldly accommodations by the name of Substance, when indeed they are but a shadow, that will never be seen any more when once the Sun of our lives is gon down. Death will seal a Lease of ejectment, and turn us out of all our possessions; so that though now our Creature comforts attend upon us, whilst we live and enjoy prosperity, yet when once we come to breath out our Souls into Eternity, they will all forsake us.(a) You know how the Apostle Paul was accompanied by the Disciples to the Shore, but there they took their leave of him: Thus your Honours, Riches, and Earthly enjoyments, they may accompany you to the Shore of Eternity, but there they will bid you farewel for ever.

WHY then will you set your Hearts upon such fa­ding Vanities, labouring more for the Meat that perish­eth, than for that which will endure to Eternal Life?(b) What we see is Temporal: But what we see not is [Page 197] truly Eternal.* And is not then the everlasting unseen Glory, of Heaven, to be sought before all those Earthly enjoyments that your Eyes behold? Much talk there is of Riches, and Honours, and Pleasures, and for these and the like momentany enjoyments, we may daily see Men exhausting their strength, and wearying out their Lives, though they know they must shortly leave them: And shall not we be much more willing to lay forth our selves for those Pleasures which will never fail us, for those Honours which shall never be blasted, and for those which Riches can never be taken from us? The enjoyments of this Life are like a L [...]p which while it burneth doth consume it self: But now the Riches of Heaven and Glory are Eternal and can neve be wasted? All Worldly com­forts they are still upon the wing, and when ever Death finds us we shall lose them for ever: But now the re­compence of reward, that hath Eternity written upon it; its a Kingdom that can never be moved; its an Eternal weight of Glory; its that [...]etter part, tha [...] Soul-entran­cing Joy which no Man can take from us. Dwell then I beseech you in your thoughts a little seriously upon this particular; and forasmuch as all your Creature-com­forts will shortly leave you, oh labour for those comforts, for those Graces, and for that Glory, which will never fail you, but abideth for ever! You profess your selves to be Christians, to believe the Resurrection, and after that an Eternal condition for immortal Souls, why then will you fix your Hearts and ground your Hopes upon those in­consistent and rotten materials, which will shortly crum­ble into dust, and leave your Souls to sink under the stroak of God's heavy Displeasure in Eternal Misery? If Sirs you, would not be Eternally miserable in the World [Page 198] to come, then take heed that you do not too eagerly pursue the temporal enjoyments of this present World!(c) For whoever will have his Heaven of Worldly pros­perity in this Life, must expect no other portion but an Hell of Wrath and endless Misery in the Life to come. He that will live in pleasure for a time shall for ever be tormented; it being a Righteous thing with God to sen­tence all those to Eternal punishment in Hell, who have preferred their Earthly enjoyments before the Happiness and Glory of Heaven it self.(d) Thus Dives who in his Life time received his good things, whilst Lazarus re­ceived his evil things, while he was tormented in Hellish flames, when that poor Man was comforted in Abraham's Bosom: Only thus far let me caution you, that every one who prospers in this Life cannot properly be said to receive his good things:(e) Nor can every one who is here afflicted be said to have received his evil things: But they receive their good things in their Life [Page 199] time, who place the Whole of their Happiness in the Pleasures and Delights of this present World; counting themselves to be blessed, because they are not in trouble as other Men; and they receive their evil things in their Life time, who sincerely fearing the Lord, do patiently endure all the tribulations of this present World, breathing continually with an humble and contrite Heart, not after Temporal but E [...]ernal Joys, not after transitory enjoyments, but after that better part which shall never be taken from them, together with those Pleasures which are at Gods right Hand for evermore. Look to [...] then, that though you use the World yet you set not your Hearts upon it: And though you meet with tribulation in the World, yet see that you cast not away the confidence of your Hope, but labo [...] to make a sanctified improvement of it.(f) For remember, those who violating the Command­ments of God, do place their whole delight in [...]eir secu­lar accomodations, must with Dives be Eternally tormen­ted in Hellish Flames: Whils [...] [...]hey who feari [...] the Lord do patiently undergo all present Afflictions▪ shall rest with Lazarus for ever in the sweet entrancing Bosom of Father Abraham!

CHAP. VIII. The Doctrine further improv'd by way of Reprehension; reproving all ungodly Per­sons, who prefer the Pleasures of Sin, before the Recompence of Reward; and shewing the Folly of that Practice; in Six Particulars.

II. SIn [...] God allows us to seek Life and Eternity of Hea­venly Glory for our selves by patient continuance in well-doing▪ how justly may this speak reproof to all those who have pleasure in unrighteousness, making daily Pro­vision for the Flesh to fulfill the Lusts thereof? God would have them to seek after Spiritual Delights, but they seek after nothing, save their carnal Pleasures, preferring the Wages of unrighteousness, before that eternal recompence of Reward, which the Lord hath prepared for those that love him. They are not so much desirous of the pure and unmixed Joys of Heaven, as of those feculent and sordid Delights which they find in a course of Sin, whilst indul­ging their own bruitish and sensual Appetites. Such are all those who prefer a Tavern before the Sanctuary; a Strumpets arms, before their Saviours embraces; the Bowls of Bacchus, before the Cup of Salvation; and carousing Healths amongst their ungodly Associates, before those Ri­vers of unperishable Pleasures, which water the Garden of God in Paradise for evermore! Oh, but how is it that for the putrid and noysome Carrion of bestial Delights, you will thus renounce the Communion of Heavenly Joys? Is this your Wisdom, your Prudence, to make Sin the ob­ject of your Joy, the Theatre of your Delight, the Cen­tre of your Desires, and the Element wherein you would [Page 201] continually chuse to live, when God by a Miracle of rich Grace, calls upon you to seek after Glory, and Honour, after Immortality and Eternal Life in the Kingdom of Heaven? Can you think to maintain the comfort of your Life by Sin, which is nothing but the fuel of Death and Misery? Will you make that the sole object of your Joy, which alone is the inlet to an ocean of Sorrow, and per­plexing disquietments? The truth is we have many a­mongst us who wear Christ's Livery and are called Chri­stians, but yet they live as Persons resolved to chuse Epi­curus, that grand Sensualist for the Master o [...] their licen­tious Faction, making Pleasure with him, the Alpha and Omega of all their Happiness. Seneca though an Heathen had a far more noble [...]d heroick Spirit than such, esteem­ing it the greatest Pleasure to contemn all carnal Pleasures, whilst these reckon it for the highest accent of [...]licity to live in them. Such voluptuous Wantons walk directly an­tipodes to the end of their own being, living in nothing but carnal Delights, as if God sent them into the World to be therein like the Leviathan sporting themselves, and feasting their Souls in an Ocean of sensual Pleasures. They begin to anticipate here, that Paradise of swinish Delights, which Mahomet promised his own na [...]y Herd, at leastwise to take an earnest of it, continually soaking themselves in their own intemperance, and brutish luxury. They look after no other Heaven than only to go singing to Hell; and though you give them the greatest variety of delight­ful objects, yet they cannot be Merry, unless they may have Treason against Heaven it self for the game, and the Devil for their playfellow. But be ashamed, oh carnal Gospellers thus to give up the strength of your Souls in the service of sensual Pleasures, making light in the mean time of Heaven and Glory together with those unsullied Paradisical Pleasures which are at God's right Hand for evermore! Oh let not that be matter of Pleasure and De­light to you, which lay so heavy upon the Soul of your blessed Redeemer! Did Christ bleed, and groan and die to save you from your Sins, and yet will you live with delight in the Pleasures of Sin? How ever can you [Page 202] have a good thought of Sin, when you look upon it as that which brought down the Son of God from Heaven, and that murthered the Lord of Life and Glory? Must the beloved Son of God undergo the curse due to your Sins, and must he also humble himself unto Death to pur­chase for you the reward of Life everlasting, that after all this you should undervalue his Love, and make light of so great Salvation, preferring the Pleasures of Sin, which are but for a season, before it? Will you see (I beseech you) your folly in the glass of these ensuing considerations?

(1) CONSIDER thus to delight in carnal Pleasures, it argues your Souls to be utterly void of Grace, and dead in sin. Where ever Grace comes with power it mortifies all vile affections, and quite alienates the Heart from all sinful delights so that whoever delights in the Pleasures of Sin, to be sure he is yet in a state of Nature, and was never brought under the Power of converting Grace.(a) A voluptuous Man cannot be a gracious Man: Nor is it possible for the Dove of true Piety to find any place whereon to rest the sole of her foot, in a deluge of carnal Pleasures. Our first Parents by eating of the forbidden fruit, they lost their right to the Tree of Life, and were shut out of Paradise:(b) By feeding with delight upon the forbidden fruit of Sin, Men forfeit their right to all saving Grace, and must need be shut out of Gods pre­sence which is better than life it self, as that alone which can quicken, and revive a dead Soul. Tis the dead Fish only and not the living that are carried away with the stream: Thus when Men are carried away with a deluge of Sin, and swim willingly down the stream of carnal de­lights, its a sign they were never alive unto God, but that still they are dead in trespasses and Sins. Hence the [Page 203] Widow who indulges a sensual appetite living in Plea­sure,(c) is said to be dead whilst she lives. Who ever hath Pleasure in unrighteousness, delighting in that as his proper element, he hath no principle of Life and Grace abiding in him, but is spiritually dead, whilst he lives in the Body. When Wickedness is sweet to our taste and we delight our selves in it, here is the reigning pow­er of Sin, separating betwixt us and the God of Heaven, and that indeed is not only the Death, but the Hell of every graceless Soul. A Life of sensuality speaks that Man to be spiritually dead, who in such a manner lives after the Flesh.(d) For if you live after the Flesh (saith St. Paul) ye shall die. When Men give their full consent to sinful desires, not only committing iniquity but hav­ing Pleasure therein; Not only esteeming a sinful Life to be happy, but also counting it their Wisdom with pro­fane Esau to sell their Eternal Birth-right for one mess of such pottage; why this now is to live after the Flesh, and whoever thus lives, he is dead whilst he lives. Doth then thy fancy run in a way of Sinful objects with de­light, taking thought for the Flesh to fulfil it in the lusts thereof? Dost thou make thy self the standard; and thy sensual appetite the rule of all thy actions? Hast thou an Heart carried out continually after sinful objects if absent, desiring, and grieving for them; but if pre­sent, rejoicing, and delighting in them? How dreadful, oh brutish Sinner is thy present condition! If thus to enjoy the Pleasures of Sin be the Life of thy Soul, its estranged from the Life of God, and thou art dead though thou livest!(e) There is a Death saith Philo of the Man, [Page 204] and there is a Death of the Soul: The first which he calls the Death of the Man that's the separation of the Soul from the Body; the second, which he calls the Death of the Soul, that stands in the want of Grace, and the pre­sence of Sin. Tho then thy Soul be not separated from thy Body, yet what will all this avail, so long as thou livest in Sin, which is the most dreadful Death, and wantest the Grace of God, which indeed is the Life of thy Soul? Did the Body of thy dearest Relation lie dead upon the floor, what a woful Spectacle would it be, and how bit­terly wouldst thou weep over it? But O Sinner thy Im­mortal Soul, which should be more preciously d [...]ar in thy sight than all thy Relations in the World, that lies dead in Sin, it's estranged from God the Fountain of Life, it hath no interest in Christ the Prince of Life, it hath no Portion in the Holy Ghost the Spirit of Life; it hath neither Part nor Lot in Eternal Glory the Crown of Life; and is not this a far more sad and woful Spe­ctacle, such as may well turn thy Head into Water, and thy Eyes into a Fountain of Tears? Oh what should fill thy Heart with Groans, thy Eyes with Tears, and thy Mouth with doleful Complaints, if not this, to see thy Soul without Life, without God and Christ, and with­out all hope of Eternal Glory in the World? Canst thou weep bitterly for a dead Relation, and yet canst thou not weep for thy self, hast thou no Tears to shed over a dead Soul? For a Man to be killed by Sin, and yet to live to Sin, taking pleasure therein, what a wo­ful condition is this? If yet Sinner thou hast pleasure in unrighteousness, to be sure the Tokens of Death are upon thee, thou hast neither Life, nor yet any hope of Eternal Life abiding in thee! A Soul taking delight in the pleasures of Sin, it's a dead Soul;* and a Dead Soul, it shall never see Life, but the Wrath of God abides up­on it!

(2) CONSIDER so long as you take delight in the pleasures of sin, you remain uncapable of, and can never enjoy communion with God. If conformity be that which capacitates for a mutual communion, then doubtless, an unholy sinner that hath pleasure in unrighteousness, is altogether unfit for communion with an holy God, whose Eyes are so infinitely pure that he cannot behold the least iniquity.(a) There can be no fellowship, where first there is not some similitude. What fellow­ship can there then be betwixt the great God who is all light, and profane ungodly sinners delighting them­selves in the unfruitful works of darkness? You may say there is fellowship betwixt you, and the God of Heaven:(b) But then if you walk in darkness, making sin your delight, you lie, (saith the Apostle) and do not the truth. 'Tis an exempt priviledge, and that which is peculiar to the pure in Heart, that they shall see God, and have communion with him.(c) Hence St. Paul puts the question, intending thereby a more vehement negation, what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness, and what communion hath light with darkness, and what concord hath Christ with Be­lial? We see by experience, the darkness cometh not till the light be gone, and when the light cometh the darkness vanisheth, they cannot dwell together, it being the nature of things contrary mutually to take away each other: Thus the infinitely holy God, and a vo­luptuous sordid Sinner who hath pleasure in unrigh­teousness, they are of such contrary natures, that they can no more have fellowship together, than the clearest Light, and the thickest darkness. Amongst all the crea­ture, there are none that can have communion with any that live not the same life with themselves; as a Plant [Page 206] whose life is only vegetative, can have no communion with a beast whose life is sensitive; neither can a beast have communion with Men, because they live a rational(d) life: Thus all sensual wicked Men, they are estrang­ed from the life of God, they live a life of sensuality delighting in sin as their proper Element, and therefore can have no communion at all with God, whose life is a life of unchangably blessed and spotless Holiness. Oh then how miserable is the condition of all voluptuous sensualists, who render themselves uncapable through their brutish lusts of communion with an holy God! Michael and the Dragon, could not agree in one Heaven, nor the Ark and Dagon in one House; no more can a wicked Man, and an holy God agree to have communion together. Your carnal pleasures, they shut out from communion with God, as the Plague of leprosy shut out of the Camp, debarring a Man from all society with such as were clean.(e) And had you rather with the Prodigal be feeding upon Husks amongst Swine, than to feed with delight upon this bread of life in your fa­thers House? Will you still go on to preferr these Onyons and Garlick of Egypt, your carnal delights, and pleasurable vanities, before all the delicious Clusters of Canaan, before the hidden Manna of Sweet communion, and fellowship of an holy God? Poor brutish sinners, did you but know by experience, what it is to walk in the light of God's countenance, what it is to enjoy his favour, what it is to be under his smiles in the face of Christ, to receive daily the fresh communications of his love, and for ever to have the sweet influences of these heavenly Pleiades falling down like a Golden showr into your own bosoms, oh how quickly would you nau­seate [Page 207] all carnal delights, how quickly would you come off with shame and self-abhorrency from your pleasura­ble vanities, making choice of Communion with God as the only Paradise of true delight, and Soul-satisfying pleasures in all the World.(f) Oh therefore do but tast and see how good the Lord is, and what fulness of joy you may have in communion with him! You have long been sucking the Breast of carnal delights, and tasting how good the pleasures of sin are, though but for a season! Come now in like manner, and draw the sincere milk of comfort from the breasts of Divine promises; lay your mouths to the Hony-Comb of Hea­venly communion; sit you down a little under the shadow of the most High, ascend with God into the Mount of transfiguration, take a turn or two with him in the Galleries of love, and if you find not a day thus spent to be better, more laden with Fruits of Paradise to re­fresh and make glad your Souls, than a thousand else where, then turn aside again to your carnal plea­sures, renounce this Heavenly Canaan as a barren Wil­derness, and go back to the flesh-pots of your sensual de­lights in Egypt, and spare not! But oh the fulness of joy, and divine satisfaction of a Man walking close in com­munion with God! You may as well perswade the most pompous Monarch faring deliciously every day to lay aside his princely Robes, to desert his Throne, and go feed upon husks with the Prodigal, as a Man walking in communion with God to leave off that holy practise for those pleasures of sin which are but for a season! You that are acquainted with God, know the sweetness of it, and having had a tast, cannot but desire more.(g) And I tell you Sirs, communion with God, this is none other but the House of God, and this is the very gate of Heaven, to use Jacob's words: And yet out of this for a little wanton dalliance, for a little sensual delights, and sugared poyson, do all wicked and ungodly Men ex­clude [Page 208] themselves! Whilst we walk in communion with God, we get some glimpses of his Glory; and though we cannot get up into Heaven, yet we find Heaven itself many times let down into our Souls: But then this is the childrens bread, which those that have plea­sure in unrighteousness must not think to feed upon; their portion is with Nebuchadnezzar to go a grazing amongst the Beasts of the field; and though they count their carnal delights, to be an Heaven upon Earth, yet indeed they are entred already within the Suburbs of Hell: For whoever is shut out from communion with God hath already begun his(h) Hell: The greatest emphasis of Hell and damnation mainly consisting in the sinners Eternal separation from the God of Heaven. Oh then if any thing will make you break off your sins by repentance, and abandon all the pleasures of sin which are but for a season, let the fear, let the misery of losing the happiness of communion with God prevail with you to do it! Hast thou sinner, any lust that will be in­stead of communion with an infinitely holy God to thy Soul? Or is there any such pleasure in sin as can fully make amends for the loss of Divine favour, and the sight of God's blisful countenance to all eternity? From thy face shall I be hid, so Cain that first-born of Parricides, cried out unto God, in an agony of black despair: But wo and alas from the light of God's coun­tenance, in this World shall I be excluded, and from Eternal communion with God in the World to come, so may every ungodly sinner who hath pleasure in un­righteousness, cry out despairing both night and day continually! Libertines cannot walk with God and see his smiles, who have pleasure in sin, never fearing his frowns.

(3) CONSIDER Men delighting in the pleasures of sin, they do walk direstly Antipodes to the Grace of God, and [Page 209] turn it into wantonness. (i) The Grace of God, that teacheth us to deny ungodliness, and worldly lusts: But such as have pleasure in unrighteousness, they deny the grace of God, for their worldly lusts, and carnal con­tentments. Their profession is Christianity, which ob­ligeth them to be holy: But their practise is sensual and brutish, as if they were ashamed of being suspected for too much holiness. They pretend a Freedom from the guilt and imputation of sin: But that they abuse for an encouragement to wallow in the Filth and pollution of sin. They will confidently lay claim to Christs legal righteousness without them: But they chuse to live without his Gospel-righteousness within them. Its enough for them to be justified, they never seek to be sanctified, but let loose the Reins to all licentiousness; as if there were not due preparation for Eternal life by inherent righteousness, as well as of a Title to eternal life and sal­vation by imputed righteousness. The Lord Jesus, as they presume is become their Redeemer; and therefore these profuse riotous Sinners, they will run in God's debt, committing sin with delight, and living in it without remorse, because Christ hath paid all the score, He hath redeemed his people from the curse of the law; and therefore these practical Antinomians, they resolve to lead really accursed lawless lives, as if an open trade in Hells commodities, were licenced, and sealed by the Blood of Christ. The Grace of God in the Gospel hath no other improvement amongst such wicked sen­sualists, but to make them the more ungracious: And all the use they make of it, is to strengthen their Hands in wickedness, that they may sin securely. Thus Men of corrupt minds, and reprobate concerning the faith, they will therefore take liberty to sin that Grace may abound: So that as Zuinglius well said, if they were called Satanists, in stead of Christians, there were no need of other manners. O calamity never enough to be deplo­red! [Page 210] (k) We do with such infamy disgrace the noble, and truly precious name of Christ, as if like Mercury, he were the God and Patron of usury, theft, and all licentiousness. But why do you flatter yourselves with the Christian name, when this most sacred name instead of expiating doth but aggravate your guilt? Can you think that Christianity will be a Sanctuary from the wrath of God to those, who by their unmortified lusts, and unchristian lives are daily eclipsing his Glory?(k) Will it profit you to be called Christians, when for blasphe­ming that holy name, you are like to sink deeper in Hell than the worst of Heathens? What tho the Gospel be full of Grace, and peace, and all spiritual Cordials for Heart-broken Sinners, so long as you turn that Grace into wantonness, not accepting of terms of peace, but as carnal delighting to go on in the constant violation of God's holy Commandments? Can you think that the willful abusers of Grace, will be suffered to hide them­selves under the Skirt of free Grace? Shall those have the peace of God for their portion, who by their brutish lusts make war against Heaven, and bid defiance to God himself? Will the Lord ever comfort those with Gospel Cordials, whose only comfort it is to lead ungospel lives, taking pleasure in sin? Be no longer deceived, neither God nor his Gospel will be mocked by you! The Sweet­est Wine degenerates into the sharpest Vinegar: So the Grace of God in Christ, when abused for an occasion to sin, doth mingle the Wine of astonishment with most flaming ingredients for all those who thus turn it into wantonness. For Men under Gospel-light to have fel­lowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, is a God-provoking sin. We never so much displease the (l) [Page 211] Lord, as when we most indulge ourselves in carnal pleasures: Then is the Grace of God most egregiously abused, when Men take encouragement from it to go on in making provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. Such cross the great end of God's Grace, and walk diametrically opposite to the grand design of Christ in the Gospel.

(a)The great end of God's pardoning Grace, and the grand design of Christ in the Gospel, is the destroying, not the favouring of Sin; the healing, not the increasing of the wound; a Pious and Holy, not an impious and profane Life. Sinners, believe it, Christ never came down from Heaven to give you a priviledging licence to walk on merrily in the way of carnal Pleasure, which leads to Hell.(b) The redemption purchased by Christ, its an Eternal obligation to service, not a Door opened to sensu­ality: It's a bridle to curb our lascivious Flesh, not a feast intended to feed and please it. Justification by the merits, and Sanctification by the Spirit of Christ are inse­parable Concomitants. When Christ had his side pierced with a spear, there issued forth Water and Blood: And to be sure, he that is not sprinkled with the Water from his impure lusts, hath neither part nor lot in the Blood of Christ.(c) The Lord Christ designed this in his Death, that his redeemed ones should not live unto themselves in the lusts of concupiscence, but wholly unto him who di­ed for them, and rose again. He came into the World to destroy the works of the Devil; not to purchase Men a licence to do the Devils work.(d) When he died it was to purifie himself a peculiar People zealous of God's [Page 212] works: Not to patronize impure Hearts, allowing them to sport themselves in the works of unrighteousness. In one word, the design of Christ was not only to keep Men from being Vessels of Wrath, but also to make them ves­sels of Honour. Consider then what you do, when de­lighting in your carnal pleasures, and how sadly you turn the Grace of God into wantoness! Oh tis sad in­deed when Men grow the more wanton for Mercies; the more secure, because of Divine Patience, and the more sensual, delighting in the Pleasures of Sin, because Christ hath purchased redemption for lost Sinners! What, must the beloved Son of God so bitterly groan and bleed and die for our Sins, and shall we still live in them with delight, as in our proper element? Was it a light mat­ter that made Christ sweat drops of clodded Blood, and for which the Lord of Glory must die the Death? Oh why should we still have Pleasure in Sin, which mingled so bitter a Cup for our blessed Redeemer? When thus we abuse Christ, we make him our Enemy: So that where-ever his Grace is despised, his wrath will take place.(e) Whosoever do indulge themselves in their carnal pleasures under a pretence of Christ's patronage shall most dreadfully smart for their blasphemy, under the severest stroke of his Eternal displeasure. You must not always think to wantonnize it, still living upon the abuse of Gospel Grace: But if still you make light of that great salvation, never think but your carnal plea­sures will ere long expose you to a far more exceeding and Eternal weight of damnation in Hell!

(4) Consider, your carnal pleasures they degrade the Soul, and make it become like the Brutes that perish. Where sensu­ality bears the rule, she will never suffer reason to enter in at the gate, as well knowing that whoever hath the least of what sensuality desires, hath a great deal more than sound reason alloweth. And what is there that can more brutify the Soul of a rational Man, and degrade it [Page 213] from the excellency of its own being into the likeness of a Beast, than to live in those Pleasures which the dictates of right reason do condemn?(f) Tully, tho an Heathen, yet thought him unworthy the name of a Man, who should spend one Day in carnal Pleasures. And Marcus Aurelius, he was wont to protest, that though the Gods would par­don him, and Men would not hate him, yet he would not allow himself in any sensual contentments for the vileness of them. When Men live by their brutish appe­tite, and not by reason, they do but carry a beasts Heart under the shape of a Man.(g) All the difference betwixt a Beast and a voluptuous Man stands mainly in the bo­dily shape. For wherein else doth he differ from bruit Creatures, who making light of the best things, devotes himself wholly to the Pleasures of Sin? The nature of these Pleasures is such, that they do emasculate and dis­pirit the Soul, taking away the use of reason, and so leav­ing a Man wholly to the impetuous violent impulses of an uncurbed brutish appetite. Good Men indeed have their Pleasures as well as the most sensual Epicure: But such Pleasures only as are fit for a rational Soul to feed upon, such as are pure, Spiritual and of an Heavenly ex­traction.(h) The Pleasures of a Wicked Man, which do all of them spring from some carnal and brutish frui­tion, are altogether unbeseeming a Christian, in whose Heart the most refined Pleasures of Heaven and Glory, do even in the Life by a sweet anticipation concentricate themselves. Nor are the Pleasures of a Swinish sensualist rolling himself in the dirt and filthiness of carnal content­ments, [Page 214] any more to compare with the Pleasures of a Child of God delighting himself in the sweet contempla­tions of Heaven and Glory, than the coursest Bread with our finest Manchet, or that fulsome Water which by a nasty kind of percolation soars out of a filthy dunghil, with those more pure clarified Streams which flow from a living Fountain. Why then will you be like the Beasts that perish, still melting away in Pleasures wanton Lap? Can you count it your Honour to be degraded from your own essence, or your Happiness to go a grazing with Ne­buchadnezzar amongst the Beasts of the Field? Have you nothing to glory in but your own shame, nor any thing to make you merry, but what will make you cease to be Men? The very Heathen by the dim light of Nature saw so much turpitude in a Life of carnal Pleasure, that they accounted it the Life of a Beast, esteeming it as the Quintessence of true Pleasure, to contemn all carnal Plea­sures, and live above them. And will you then that live in a Goshen of Gospel-light come short of Heathens, tak­ing Pleasure in the unfruitful. Works of Darkness,(i) which their Star-light condemns, as better becoming irra­tional Brutes than immortal Souls? What Man would not rather die, saith Tully, as cited by that Christian Cicero La­ctantius, than to be turned into the form of a Beast, though still he should retain the mind of a Man? But oh how much more miserable is it for one to be in the form of a Man, and yet of a brutish Mind delighting in the same sensual Pleasures with the [...]ery Beasts that perish? Remember O Man how miserable the Crown falls from thy Head, how thou turnest thy Glory into Shame, how thou degradest thy self into the nastiness of a very Bruit, and exposest thy self to the scorn of the whole creation, when wallowing in the mire of thy sensual Pleasures?

(4) CONSIDER Men delighting in the Pleasures of Sin, they can never enter into the Kingdom of God, nor ever come into the place of his holy habitation. Such as feed with delight upon these Onions and Flesh-pots of Aegypt, they must never think to tast any ripe Clusters of Canaan, nor to feed up­on the Tree of Life in the Paradise of God. The King­dom of Heaven, it's a peculiar place prepared for a pecu­liar People: Not for such as turn the Grace of God in­to wantonness, defiling themselves with every impure lust; but for those who through the Grace of God are clothed with the Robes of Holiness, endeavouring to cleanse themselves from all filthiness of Flesh and Spirit. (k) Heaven, my Brethren, it's a pure Mansion, it's an in­heritance incorruptible, undefiled; and therefore whatso­ever defileth, or is unclean, can never enter into it. Tis not enough that Heaven is prepared for us, but we also must be prepared for Heaven, would we ever enjoy it.(m) Those only may look for the inheritance of Saints in light, who through the mor­tification of their vile affections, are made meet for it, having no fellowship with the unfruitful Works of Darkness. A Man having the Leprosie upon him, was shut out of the camp, and might not come among God's People in the Earthly Tabernacle: Thus he that hath a Leprosy of Sin upon him, polluting himself with carnal Pleasures, will undoubtedly be shut out of the Camp of glorified Souls, and must never think to come within the Heavenly Tabernacle.(n) When once our first Parents had sinned, they were driven out of Paradise, and kept off from the Tree of Life by the Cherubims flaming sword; Thus Sirs, whatever Sin you take Pleasure in, it will drive you out of Heaven, and may well be likened to the Cherubims flaming Sword, to keep you from ever feeding upon the Tree of Life! And is it nothing do (l) [Page 216] you think to miss of Eternal Life, and for ever to fall short of Heavens Glory? Or still taking delight in the Pleasures of Sin, will you promise your selves those Pleasures, which are at God's right hand for ever­more? Can you ever imagine that Goats and Swine must enter into the new Jerusal [...]m? Shall corruption inherit incoruption, and those that suffer their vile affections to run riot, counting fellowship with the unfruitful works of Darkness their chiefest de [...]ight, must they look to shine like bright Stars in the Firmament of heavenly Glory?(o) Know you not (saith the Apostle) that the Unrigh­teous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God? Be not de­ceived, for neither Fornicators, nor Idolaters, nor Adul­terers, nor Effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with Man­kind, nor Thieves, nor Covetous, nor Drunkards, nor Revi­lers, nor Extortioners shall inherit the Kingdom of God. Believe it Sinners, whatever good thoughts you may have of your carnal Pleasures, yet will you find them a Jacob taking from you the Birth right of Heaven, and deceiving you of the Blessing of Eternal Glory! How dare you then live one moment longer in the Pleasures of Sin, when you know they will rob you of your Crown, and for ever shut your Souls out of Heavenly Glory? Oh Sinners what prodigious folly are you guilty of, thus to sell your Birth-right for a mess of Pottage, and let go Heaven for a little carnal contentment! Do you know what you do, when thus you let run riot, inventing prodigious ways of sinning to satisfie your brutish appetite? Have you any lust that will countervail the loss of Heaven▪ or any of your carnal Pleasures that can make amends for the loss of Eternal Glory? What are the cups of Bac [...]hus, to the Cup of Salvation whose ingredients are nothing but Love and Eternal sweetness? What are the dainties of a Dives, to the Marriage-supper of the great King, to which the People of God shall all sit down with a fulness of Delight? What are the smiles of Venus, to the light of God's coun­tenance, when shining upon us in its noon-day bright­ness? [Page 217] What, in a word, are all the unchast arms of a las­civious Lais, to the delicious chast embraces of Christ our Redeemer, in the downy bosom of whose Love all believ­ers shall rest themselves, and therein take up with satisfa­ction their Eternal repose? Who then but a Man distra­cted would deprive himself of Eternal heavenly Pleasures, for the Pleasures of Sin which are but for a season. To see God as he is, to behold the King in his Glory, to be made glad with the light of his Countenance, to feed for ever upon hidden Manna, and to drink of the River of his Pleasure, so that we shall never hunger any more, nor thirst any more, nor be the least moment without any fulness of Joy and Comfort to all Eternity, how glorious were such a priviledge, and what a prodigy of madness would it be, to purchase a little carnal Pleasure with the loss of such a far more exceeding and Eternal weight of Glory! Tis true, whilst we are in this World, living by sense, little do we know what it is to have the full enjoy­ment of God in Heaven, nor can we indeed so prize it as we ought to do: Oh but what thoughts will Men have of Heaven and Glory, when all their carnal Pleasures leaving them, they must now stand trembling at the Bar of divine Justice, there to receive from God their ever­lasting doom! What will all your Pleasures and carnal contentments avail you, when God shall bid you depart accursed, as everlastingly unfit to enjoy communion with himself in Glory? Though Sinner thou shouldst live like an Epicure, and hadst the universal confluence of all Flesh-pleasing vanities, yet they were no more worthy to be compared with the least moments enjoyment of God in Glory, than the small dust of a ballance with all the World.

(6) AND lastly, consider the pleasures of sin though sweet for the present to an unsanctified carnal Heart, yet they will end in Eternal endle [...]s misery. (a) What Solomon saith con­cerning the Wine of drunkenness, it holds true of all [Page 218] carnal pleasures, which like that, at the last will bite like a Serpent, and sting like an Adder. Those that now live in carnal pleasures, will shortly pass into a place of Torments, where their Flowers being all faded, that Fire will kindle upon them, that must burn for ever.(b) Though lust come in with a painted face, and be sweet in the act, yet her end is bitter as Wormwood, her feet go down to Death, and her steps take hold of Hell.(c) There is a certain Herb, the juice whereof being taken, makes a Man laugh till he dieth: Thus whoever takes pleasure in sin, well may he laugh and make merry a while, but to be sure he must die eternally, and be damned for ever! The seeming pleasure of sin is but coloured cruelty, all being nothing, but a sweet sawce to make Men swallow down with greediness those mor­sels of poyson, the fiery venom whereof will afterwards drink up their Spirits and inflame their Souls with ever­lasting burnings in Hell. The sting of sin will remain, when the pleasure of sin is gon: And though here Men make it their delight and merriment, yet in Hell it will fill them with Horrour, and Eternal torments. As Diana of the Ephesians seemed to smile on such as came into her Temple, but to frown upon such as went out: So sin at first seems to smile upon those that have pleasure in it, but at last it exposes them to the frowns of an an­gry God, and for ever lays them under the stroak of his heavy displeasure. Such is the deceit of sin, that at first it presents(d) pleasure and profit before us, but so soon as ever the act thereof is over, it deals with us as Amnon with Thamar, thrusting us out, and hating us; wounding our Consciences, and destroying our Souls Your carnal pleasures, they may so far infatuate you a [Page 219] while,(e) as to make you think you are steering a right course towards the harbour of Eternal rest: but if still you go on to delight in them, you are sure to make ship­wrack of your precious Souls and to be broken in pieces inevitably upon the rock of God's eternal Displeasure!

Who then for a moments pleasure, could run the hazard of eternal Vengeance? Do the damned in Hell think you find comfort in those pleasures of sin, wherein for the present you so much delight? Is there so much as one drop of hony in that bitter cup of Divine Fury, where­of they are forced to drink deep to all eternity? Oh Remember Sirs, your carnal pleasures, they turn you into vessels of wrath, and so make you fit for destruction.(f) If Hell beneath hath enlarged herself and made her Mouth wide without Measure, it is that all such as re­joyce in sin may descend into that place of torment. Look over Sirs, the beginning, and see what will be the end of your sin. The fish Swim down Jordan pleasantly, but they fall at last into the dead Sea: So through a Jordan of carnal Delights, you will come at last into the boundless Ocean of God's Wrath, and Eternal Displeasure. Here you sport it with your carnal pleasures, but there you must smart for them: Here they are your pleasure, but then they will be your eternal Torment. And oh how in­tolerable will eternal Burnings in Hell seem to you, that are now for nothing else but your sensual content­ments! Now your flesh is delicate and tender, it may lie soft, and fare deliciously, and have all sensual provi­sion made to satisfy it: But how will it do when cast into a Bed of sorrow, when it comes to dwell with eter­nal Burnings, when it must be tormented Night and Day without ceasing for ever? Oh let the heat of Hell over­come the heat of lust, and the bitter end of sin, let it keep you from ever taking pleasure therein! The Lord [Page 220] hath tied sin and the punishment thereof together as with Chains of Adamant, so that if you break not off your sins by repentance(g) 'tis impossible that ever you should escape the damnation of Hell. Who then can tell the misery, the flames, the everlasting burnings, which at last like a tempest of Fire and Brim-stone wiil fall upon all that have pleasure in ungodliness! Go to then ye Sons of Belial, let loose the reins to all licentiousness, please Flesh in all sensuality, eat, drink, and be merry; account our words as wind, and Death and Hell as some poe­tick fictions; cloath yourselves in Scarlet, and fare deli­ciously every day: Yet know that ere long destruction will overtake you as a Whirlwind, and for all these things God will bring you to judgment.(h) And is this such a merry jocund life, to go from short joy, to eter­nal sorrow, and after you have surfeited a while upon your carnal delights, then to be punished with everlast­ing destruction from the presence of God, and from the Glory of his power? Oh what Tophet is not a Paradise, what flames are not a Bed of down to such a destruction! And yet this must be the Eternal portion of all the un­godly, and thus it will be done to all those that have pleasure in unrighteousness. Remember this ye that are mighty to drink Wine, and that follow strong drink till ye are inflamed, your Bacchus-bowls will ere long be turned into vials of wrath, and after all your pleasant Liquors, you must not expect the least drop of Water to cool your Tongues, when eternally tormented in hel­lish flames! Remember this ye whose strength is consum­ed in chambering, and wantonness, you will shortly have enough of all your lascivious practices, when you must embrace deformed Devils, lie down in a Bed of sorrow, and have the Fire of Lust turned into the Fire of Hell! Remember this (in a word) ye covetous rich Men that go cloathed in Scarlet and fare deliciously eve­ry Day, weep and howl for the miseries that will come [Page 221] upon you, when all your worldly treasures shall be turn­ed into treasures of wrath, and the rust that now cor­rupteth your Silver,(i) shall devour your flesh, and like Fire seed upon you for ever! And shall all our warnings be lost that tell you of a storm to drive you to the Harbour? Was Sodom, though pleasantly situated, any safe place to be dwelt in, especially for Lot, when the Lord had given him notice of a cloud of Fire and Brim­stone hanging over it, and now ready to fall down in a storm of forest wrath upon it? Will you never be seri­ous in these Eternal concernments, that those Eternal hellish torments of sin which follow after, may deterr you from the Pleasures of sin which are but for a season? Oh what everlasting furious Heart-rending reflexions will you have upon your own madness, when though now you sare deliciously, yet anon you cannot get a drop of Wa­ter; though now you are Cloathed in Scarlet▪ yet anon you must be covered with shame; though now you walk with delight amongst your ungodly associates, yet anon you must be shut up in everlasting Chains under dark­ness; though now you take your fill of carnal pleasures. yet anon you must depart accursed into everlasting Fire! Oh Believe it sinners, the time is at Hand, when as Jo­nathan did in another case, you will cry out of all your carnal pleasures, I have tasted a little Hony, and now I must die! I have had a little taste of the hony of sin, and taken some sensual delight therein, but now I must die eternally and perish for ever; of all my carnal pleasures there is nothing now but Eternal Torments remains unto me! If then Sirs, you have any spiritual discerning, consider this, and learn now to counter balance your temptations to sin, with those Eternal easless torments that will fol­low after! The Lord fenced Eden with a flaming Sword: Thus the Eden of sinful Pleasures is fenced with the flaming Sword of God's Wrath, which doth always cut those asunder that must needs enter in. Oh that now [Page 222] therefore you would look upon the Pleasures of Sin, as you will then look upon them, when instead thereof you must have nothing but Eternal Pains! Oh the change that every sensual Sinner will then meet with; now re­joycing, but then mourning; now laughing, but then weeping and gnashing of Teeth for evermore! Oh what Worlds would he now give to be saved, when for a little wanton Dalliance, for a little sensual Delight, and carnal Contentment, he must now go to Hell, and be Damned for ever! Where then is thy Reason oh Man, that for a superfluous Cup thou shouldst adventure to drink a Cup of Wrath unmixed, and for the Pleasures of Sin here shouldst willingly run the hazard of eter­nal Burnings in Hell! Canst thou be content to purchase thy carnal Delights with the Blood of thy own Soul, with eternal bitter Howlings, and Lamentations in Hel­lish Torments? Oh little can you now imagine how dreadful will be the end of all your ungodly Practices, when as your Pleasures in Sin have abounded, so your eternal Pangs and Torments in Hell shall much more abound! Be no longer enchanted then if you love your Immortal Souls, with any sensual Contentments, but think often with your selves what fiery Wrath and In­dignation they will shortly expose you to! Look beyond your carnal Pleasures to that eternal Crown of Life, whereof they will deprive you, to that everlasting un­preventable Misery, wherein they will involve you, and then delight in them still if you can!* How much bet­ter [Page 223] is that Sorrow, that will end in Joy, than that Joy which will end in eternal Sorrow? And what Man that is well in his wits, doth not count it a wiser part to go weeping to Heaven, than laughing to Hell, the Tor­ments whereof are endless, and past all imagination?

CHAP. IX. The Doctrine improved by way of Exhor­tation to God's own People, exciting them to walk in the whole course of their Life, as becomes a People that have Heaven and Glory set before them, as the sure reward of all their Labours; wherein the Exhortation is branched out into Twelve Particulars, of grand import to every gracious Soul.

III. BY way of Exhortation, this Doctrine may be useful both to Saints and to Sinners, both to such as have and to such as have not an Interest in that Recompence of Reward which God sets before us.

(1) BY way of exhortation to you that are blessed with an interest in this glorious reward; give ye dili­gence so to act and walk in the whole course of your life, as becomes a People that have Heaven, and Glory at all times in their Eye. The great care of every Chri­stian in this present World, should be to walk worthy of him that hath called us to his Kingdom and Glory, endea­vouring that his Christian deportment may be something answerable to his high encouragement. Though the [Page 224] Lord should never sweeten his holy precepts with any on promise to encourage to the present work of Duty by the [...] [...]roposal of an Eternal reward, yet we were bound to ob [...]rve every precept with the most religious devotion, to walk in all dutiful obedience before him; how much more when God holds forth a Crown of Life, an Hea­venly Kingdom, an Eternal weight of Glory to provoke us thereunto? If a prospect of Heavenly Glory will not make us walk circumspect, and cause the face of our con­versation to shine, it argues we are Men of a sordid and ignoble Spirit. What shall God promise us a Crown of Life, shall he take us up into the Mount of transfigurati­on, shall he shew us all the Beauties of Heaven, and af­ford us a full prospect of Eternal Glory for our encou­ragement to all holy self-denying and upright walking before himself, and yet shall we be remiss and negligent in a way of duty, not endeavouring to walk as becomes the Gospel of Christ? Believe it Christians, that res­pect which God allows in all your obedience to Heaven and Eternal Glory, is a strong engagement upon you, ob­liging you in all things to have respect to that which you know to be acceptable and well-pleasing before him. Oh then take heed that you spot not your selves as the Men of the World do, but see that you live as those that are Burgesses and Citizens of the new Jerusalem, striving always to sh [...]w forth the Virtues of him that has called us out of Darkness into his marvellous light. You have heard what manner of Priviledge the Lord endulgeth you with, what fulness of Joy, what an immarcescible Crown of Life, what an Eternal recompence of reward the Lord sets before us; what manner of Persons should we then strive to be in all Holy Conversation and God­liness!

TO manifest therefore that you have a due sense of God's wonderful condescending Love, see care­fully to the ordering of your conversation aright accor­ding to the purport of these Twelve ensuing particulars.

(1) WALK thankfully, adoring the Riches of God's Grace, who allows you so great encouragement in Heavens Way. When God allows you in all your obedience the liberty of having a respect to the recompence of the reward, what less can you do than with all thankfulness acknowledge his won­derful condescention, and stand admiring it? Can you see the Heavens open, and a Crown of Life prepared for you, and yet remain ungrateful under such transcendent­ly great and glorious discoveries? Doth God allow you to walk at all times with Heaven in your Eye, and will you not strive to make melody to the Lord in your Hearts? Shall your heavenly Father shew you his back parts, and cause all his Glory to pass before you, and yet can you be unthankful, not endeavouring to glorifie his great Name? The God of all Consolation (Christians!) is no niggard of his Cordials to us: And shall we then shew our selves niggards in our retribution of thanks to him? Shall God's Hand be opened, and ours shut? Is his Heart enlarged, and shall we be straitned in our Bow­els? Can we make so light of Heaven and Eternal Glory, as to think the Lord unworthy our Praises, for allowing us a full prospect of them? If the Disciples were in such an extasy of admiration when taken up into the Mount with Christ, and beholding some obscure glimpses of heavenly Glory; How much more cause have we to stand as in an extasy, admiring the Goodness of God, whom he allows to live every Day upon the mount of transfigu­ration, shewing us all the Beauty, and causing us to anti­cipate the Pleasures, Glory and Happiness of the World to come? God might have left us under a necessity of obedience without any hope of an Eternal reward in Hea­ven, and yet even in that case all thankful acknowledg­ments had been done to him: How much more when our Work is sweetned with the assured Hope of an Eter­nal reward, so that now going on in the way, we may look at Heaven and Glory as that which will be the end of every Duty? Oh let us all with enlarged and ravished affections, with the utmost vigour and activity of enfla­med Hearts, recount the wonderful condescention, and [Page 226] stupendious love of God in vouchsafing us for our encou­ragement a prospect of the Land of Promise in the Way thither! To admire the Riches of free Grace, and to warble out the Praises of God, will be a great part of our Work when we come to Heaven;(a) let us now there­fore begin the employment of Heaven whilst we live on Earth, adoring the Lord's remunerative Goodness, where­by we have so great encouragement, no less than a Crown of Glory, to all Holy, Self-denying, and upright walk­ing before him! When God shews us Heaven and Glory as in a mirrour, that by the bright reflections of it, our Hearts may be rejoiced, 'tis but equal that we should strive to become the Monument of his Praise, at all times blessing the Lord in our Hearts, and with our Mouths speaking good of his Name. The Glory of Heaven is so transcendently great, that we may sooner lose our selves in the admiration of it, than ever return thanks to God proportionate to the least glimpse that proceeds from it. Oh be not any longer unwilling to be much in thanks­giving and praise to him, who sowillingly allows you the encouragement of so transcendently blessed and glorious a reward in all your obedience! What, can you bless God for giving you a Crum, and not for shewing you a Crown of Life, as the certain reward of all holy perfor­mances? If liberty to use the good things of this World be matter of thankfulness to God, how much more shall we thank the Lord, admiring his Goodness, for the Liber­ty which in all our obedience he allows us, to have res­pect to all the Good things of Heaven and Glory, and the World to come? If enjoying the Meat that perisheth, we are bound to bless the Lord and speak good of his Name for such a temporal fruition, how much more should we adore the Lord whilst eying the Meat that will endure to Life everlasting, though but yet in expectation? The [Page 227] Queen of Sheba having obtained a sight of Solomon's Glory was so strangely transported, that she had almost lost her Soul in an extasy of admiration: In what an extasy of admiration should it then put us, causing us with all thankfulness to adore the divine remunerative Goodness, when the Lord gives us a sight of his own Glory every Day, making us to behold in our prospect here on Earth all the Royalties, Immunities, and Soul-entrancing de­lights of the heavenly Jerusalem? Had God, Christians, gi­ven you the Kingdoms of the World, with all the Glory of them, they had not been worth so much as the least glimpse of that Glory to which the Lord allows you to have an Eye in all your endeavours: Be therefore no lon­ger unthankful to God, but admire him rather.(b) Be­cause thy loving kindness, saith the Psalmist, is better than Life, my lips shall praise thee: So my Brethren, because the Lord allows you that respect to the recompence of re­ward, that sight of Heaven, that prospect of Eternal Glory which is better than Life it self, why therefore let your Lips, yea, and your Lives too praise him. The sight of Heavenly Glory puts Life into the Soul and so makes it go on with delight in ways of obedience: Oh therefore let that God who thus makes your Hearts chearful, be sure to find them thankful, and your Mouths running over with his Praises in every condition! For remember it, he that is not truly thankful to God for Glory in expectation, shall never have Heaven and eternal Glory in their full fruition. You must now admire the goodness of God in the hope of Eternal Life, or you can never taste how good the Lord is in the bestowance of Eternal Life upon you.

(2) Walk uprightly, doing all that you do in the Ways of God, not for vain-glory, nor from any ambitious desire of popular applause, but purely from a principle of love to that God who in all your obedience hath allowed you the strong and everlasting en­couragement of having an Eye to the recompence of the reward. You need not Christians, to look asquint in your obedi­ence, [Page 228] nor do any thing that you do to be seen of Men, so long as the Lord sets before you the reward of Eternal Glory, allowing you to look on that, as a Feast wherewith to refresh you, as Robes of Righteousness wherewith to a­dorn you, as a consort of Celestial Musick wherewith to delight you, and as a Royal Diadem wherewith to crown you after all your labours, when once you come to Hea­ven!(c) Let not therefore vain-glory, nor any such low and sordid principles act you in the Ways of God, but let the Love of God, who allows you, by way of encou­ragement, a respect to the recompence of Eternal Life, be the spring of all holy motions in your Souls. Look you may at the recompence of the reward, but shall never receive it, if in all your obedience you have not God, and Eternal Glory, but the praise of Man, and vain-glory for your end. Be the Tree of your Christian profession ne­ver so stately and flourishing, yet vain-glory is a Worm that will smite it, and so quickly make it wither away that you must never expect to gather any clusters of Canaan, any ripe fruits of Paradise, any gleanings of true Happi­ness from it. The Pharisees they fasted, and prayed, and gave Alms; but because they did it all to be seen of Men, this took the Crown from off their Heads, and robb'd them of all future Happiness,(d) Verily I say unto you (saith Christ) reproving their Hypocrisy, they have received their reward. They sought in all their religious perfor­mances the praise of Man, not the Glory of God; and therefore their Sin, it becomes their punishment: The praise of Man they shall have, but the Glory which comes from God only, they shall never have. And yet tho vain-glory be thus like the Curse of Christ to the barren Fig-tree, causing all our Plants so to wither that the ripe fruit of Eternal Glory will never grow upon them: Yet how apt [Page 229] are the very best to let all their performances be sowred with this Leaven, and to suffer this Worm to corrupt their Choicest Fruits, and Flowers! Oh how rare a thing is it to see Men acted, not by any carnal respect or vain-glorious motive in what they do, but by spiritual motives and Heavenly considerations, such as are the Love of God, a desire of Communion with him, and the hope of an Eternal reward from him!(a) E­steem of Men, popular Applause, and worldly Glory, these make many Persons take some little tincture of Re­ligions, who otherwise would never have had so much as a shew of it. Many thousand there are who count godliness not gain, unless they can make a gain of god­liness; nor will they at all lay forth themselves in the service of Christ, unless thereby they can raise up to their own name a Monument of worldly Glory. But oh how unworthy and sordid is the practice of such self-designers in religion, who do thus subordinate the Glory of God, the credit of Religion, and the joys of Heaven, to their own carnal ends, and make them all subservient to the lust of their own hypocritical, vain-glorious, and am­bitious Hearts! Is there not beauty enough in God to attract our love, and Glory enough in Heaven to recom­pence all our labours, unless we may have, and ambiti­ously design for ourselves the praise of Men? To fol­low God in religious performances to be seen of Men, to make a profession of Christianity meerly that our names may be famous and admired in the World, what is this but to be a Judas selling Christ for Mony, or Esau, selling our Birthright for a Mess of Pottage? Beware then that you never enter into this temptation, which that you may not do, pray hard for an upright frame of Spirit, and consider often as a motive to all holy duties, the Glory, Happiness and Eternal joy which God hath set before you. As Aaron's Rod devoured the Rods of the Magici­ans: [Page 230] So that Crown of Life and Eternal Glory which shall shortly be put upon us, should utterly devour, con­sume and eat up all desires after vain-glory. If stately and sumptuous Buildings allure you, think often what Cottages these are in comparison of those Heavenly Man­sions which Christ is preparing for us. If gorgeous and fantastical Apparel bewitch you, think seriously what wages these are in comparison of those white Robes where­with all the people of God shall be cloathed in the King­dom of their Father. If any worldly splendour and Glory have an influence upon you, oh think what a Bubble it is in comparison of that far more exceeding and eter­nal weight of Glory which lies before us in all the ways of obedience! Let a Man but often revolve in his thoughts, and always keep in his Eye the Reward of Eter­nal life, and he will not need to look abroad in the World for any motives to all upright, self-denying, and holy walking before the Lord. Oh how little should a Christi­an be affected with all Earthly Glory, and how upright should it make him, when God allows him in all the ways of obedience a Tree of Life to feed upon, causing him by faith to see the Glory, and to anticipate the plea­sures of the Heavenly Jerusalem! What, is it not enough that there is Heaven at the end, unless you may have the praise of Men in the way of obedience? Will not the Glory which comes from God alone satisfy you, unless vain Men like yourselves admire you? Is it nothing to be walking on towards a Crown of life, unless others see, and count every step that you take in Heavens way? Can you think you have cleansed your Hearts in vain, and count all your labour lost in the service of God who will shortly reward you with an Eternal reward, if you have not the praise of Men given you into the bargain? Oh dreadful hypocrisy, and never to be bewailed but with tears of Blood? If thus you be acted by vain-glory and sinister ends in the service of God▪ in vain shall you expect a Mansion of Eternal Glory in God's Heavenly Kingdom. Our first Patents by eating of the Tree of Knowledge, they lost their right [Page 231] to the Tree of life: Thus if you will seek the praise of Man, and live upon the Wind of popular applause in the service of God, you cannot but forfeit your right to Eternal Glory!(b) For as Austin well observes, 'tis not the greatest doers but the sincerest Livers, not Men of a glorious profession and many performances, but Men of holy motives and pure intentions whom God will reward with Eternal life. So much better it is not to seem and be, than not to be, and yet seem a true Christian! Beware therefore lest being wholly acted by Vain-glory and other sinister ends in the service of God, there be found under the name of a Christian nothing else, but the Heart of an Infidel.

(3) Walk contentedly, not murmuring against Heaven, but sitting down as well satisfied with your present condition be it what it will. 'Twas hard enough with old Jacob when there was a Famine in the Land of Canaan; but having received the glad tidings of his Sons welfare, he is now at ease, and as one fully satisfied he cries out, it is e­nough, Joseph is yet alive: So whatever hardships attend you, and whatever Troubles you stand involved in; yet Christians methinks the glad Tidings of Eternal Life prepared for you, and of that everlastingly glorious Re­ward which God sets before you, should make you sit down well satisfied, and cry out as in an extasy of ad­miration, it is enough, we have Heaven in our eye, and a Crown of Life lies before us! What though you have but little in hand, yet so long as you have Heaven in hope, and a clear prospect of Eternal Glory in your eye, why should you not be content and sit down satis­fied? Whatever Christians, your conditions be in this [Page 232] present Life, yet you may say with holy David, consi­dering that glorious recompence of Reward which God allows you to have an eye to in Heaven's way, the lines are fallen to me in pleasant places, yea I have a goodly Inheritance! If, as Solomon saith, it be such a pleasant thing for the eyes to behold the Sun, and that which would give them content, if with any thing they could be satisfied; how much more should you count it plea­sant to behold by the Eye of Faith the Sun of Righteous­ness, to behold an eternal Reward of Glory, giving di­ligence to sit down satisfied with so blessed a sight? The poor weather beaten Sea-man, how well satisfied is he, though yet tossed with Storms, and impetuous Tem­pests, when once he discovers Land, and comes within [...]en of the Harbour? And will not you Christians la­bour to be content, when whatever Troubles abide you, whatever pelting Storms you are tossed with upon the boysterous Sea of this ungrateful World, yet still you may discover the Land of Promise, and are always with­in ken of Heaven, that wished Harbour of eternally blessed and glorious Rest? That which learned St. Paul the great mystery of contentation, enabling him to sit down as well satisfied in every condition, was his sted­fast fixed beholding of eternal Glory. Paul though sadly troubled, and perplexed, and always delivered unto Death for Jesus sake, yet he murmures not, but is well content with all this, as having fixed the Eye of his Faith, not upon Earth but Heaven,* not upon things that are seen, but upon an eternal weight of unseen Glory. And why is it that we having the same Reward set before us, and the same Crown of eternal Glory to fix our eyes upon, cannot learn of that blessed Man in every condition therewith to be content? Oh take heed Christians that you murmure no longer against Heaven, but strive that having stedfastly fixed your eye upon heavenly Glory, you may well be satisfied in every con­dition; not only when God gives, but also when he tak­eth; [Page 233] not only when we receive good from the Hand of the Lord, but also when we receive evil; not only when you abound with Blessings, but with Crosses too; not only when you enjoy all things, but when you are stript of all! Oh Christians how welcome should every thing be where nothing is deserved! If we look at our own deserts, we may wonder rather at what we have, than repine against God for what we want. If we want something 'tis a Mercy that we want not all. If we lie in a Prison, 'tis a favour that we are not shut up in Hell amongst damned Spirits. If we have not so much in hand as many, yet here is a miracle of Mercy to sa­tisfie us, that we have as much in hope as heart can wish. This consideration then Christians, like Hagar's Well may make us refrain our weeping, and sit down content when our Bottles are empty. Though here we should be stript naked, yet hereafter we shall be cloath­ed with the Garments of Salvation. Though here we should wander up and down in hunger seeking our Bread from desolate Places, yet hereafter we shall feed with delight upon the Tree of Life in the Paradise of God. Though here we sit in Darkness and have no Light, yet this should make us content in every such disconsolate condition, that hereafter we shall partake of the Inheritance of Saints in Light, where we shall have a bright Sun-shine of eternal Glory!

(4) Walk humbly, acknowledging your own unworthiness that ever God should give you the encouragement of so glorious a reward. When the Lord for your better encouragement to all holy, Self-denying, and upright walking before him­self, allows you to look up to Heaven; you have then cause (if ever) to walk humbly, and be abased as low as Earth. Where the guilt is great, and the receiver, as in this case, altogether unworthy, the most sutable return that can be is Humility, and self-abasement. God's People should never lie lower in Humility than when he raiseth them highest in their Hopes, and full assurance of Eternal [Page 234] Glory.(a) Thus holy David, when God had spoken of establishing his Throne and Kingdom for ever, he now as admiring the wonderful condescention of God in his preferment, confesseth his own unworthiness, saying, who am I oh Lord God, and what is my House that thou hast brought me hitherto? Well! The Lord hath spoken to us of an everlasting Kingdom, assuring us of that in the end, as the reward of all our labours, and shall not this teach us all humility, causing every one to acknowledg his own unworthiness of so great Mercy?(b) The Moon doth never shine less than in her nearest approaches to the Sun, from whom she borrows her light: Thus Christians, we should never think our selves to shine less than when God causeth us to approach nearest to himself in the ten­ders of Heaven and Glory, which his Goodness affords us. They that know not these Treasures of Love and Sweetness, may admire themselves, and have big-swelling thoughts of their own Worthiness: But let those amongst you that are come to have a prospect of Heavenly Glory, fixing their Eye upon an object of the first magnitude, be vile in their own apprehensions, losing themselves in the fulness of God's free Grace and remunerative Good­ness! There is nothing that should more humble us than to think how highly the great God is about to exalt us: Nor any thing that should more debase us than to consi­der how Glorious the Lord promises at length to make us We should see our own Poverty in the Riches of God's Bounty to us: And be ashamed of our own drop, when he makes us thus lanch forth in the fathomless Ocean of his own remunerative Goodness. The Stars vanish when the Sun appears; and so the small Candle of our own worth should presently disappear, and be put out under an e­verlasting extinguisher, when once the Glory of Heaven [Page 235] ariseth in our thoughts.(c) Elijah wrapt his face in a Mantle, when the Glory of the Lord passed before him: Thus when God gives us a prospect of Heaven, causing all his Glory, for our better encouragement in a way of Duty, to pass before us, 'tis time that we should now wrap our selves in the Mantle of true Humility. The greatness of God's Mercy in giving us a sight of Hea­venly Glory, should make us (if any thing can) to be little in our own Eyes. 'Tis then most easy to see our own pollution and vileness, when God takes us up into the Mount of Transfiguration, and causeth the light of the Glory of Heaven to shine round about us. The Sun indeed having dazled our Eyes we see nothing well: But yet we discern our selves, and see our own un­worthiness best of all, when our Eyes are most dazl'd with the brightness of that Glory which God sets before us. As therefore with one Eye we behold the good that is done by us, so to keep us humble, let us stedfastly look with the other, upon the good that is laid up in Hea­ven for us. What is all our Work, to so glorious a re­ward? What is the Wilderness of our barren obedience, to that fruitful Canaan, a Land that flows with Milk and Hony? What (in a word) are all our weary Weeks of Labour and Travail, to that Eternal Sabbath of Rest that will follow after? Do but consider Christians the trans­cendent worth and excellency of that reward which God sets before us, and then be proud if you can, of your own worth, and religious performances, how excellent soever!(d) That far more exceeding and Eternal Weight of Glory may well keep you humble, and cause what­ever you can do, or suffer for it, to seem lighter than vanity it self. We that did not deserve the least glimpse of heavenly Glory, what doth the Lord afford us a full Sun-shine? We that could not expect the smallest tast of his Goodness, what doth he give us a whole Cluster of Canaan? We that have deserved nothing but to be fil­led [Page 236] with the fear of Wrath, the foretasts of Hell, the dreadful preoccupations of Eternal Burnings, doth the Lord allow us, for our encouragement, the hope of Glo­ry the first fruits of Heaven, and the joyful prelibations of an Eternal recompence of reward there? Oh then let us all fall down and adore his matchless Goodness, endea­vouring to be as low in Humility, as the Lord hath made us to be high in our priviledges! We that have ri­sen thus in God's thoughts, should fall in our own, striv­ing most to humble our selves, when most assured of a Blessed Exaltation to Life and Eternal Glory.(e) Remem­ber Sirs, you must stoop low in Humility, would you ever enter in thro' the strait Gate, into the Kingdom of God. Man by Nature is full with the emptiness of Self-admira­tion and till this be removed out of the Way, he can ne­ver be filled as a vessel of Honour, with the new Wine of eternal Consolation. We lay up the richest Wine in the lowest Cellars: So doth God the Riches of heavenly Glo­ry in the humble and lowly Hearts.(f) Whom ever God intends to exalt he first humbles them: Giving none the blessing of Eternal Life, till first he have brought them upon their knees.(g) Be little therefore in your own Eyes that you may be great in God's heavenly Kingdom: And if ever you would sit high in Glory, be sure to live low in self-abasement. Men that neither desire Glory, nor consider the worth of it, may well be proud standing much upon their own worth: But you that would come to Glory at last, as having seen the excellency of it, must count it your greatest worth to be sensible of your own unworthiness, resolving to creep to Heaven upon the [Page 237] bended knees of true humility. And truly there is no­thing that will lay Men so low in themselves, as to think seriously how high for their encouragement God raiseth them in promising, and how much higher God will raise them in bestowing Eternal Life upon them. If any thing can empty us of Self-admiring thoughts, and can keep us humble, 'tis duly to consider, how richly God will fill us erelong with Eternal Soul-ravishing Comforts. Then if ever will the Soul lie at the feet of God, when her Eye is stedfastly fixed upon those entrancing Pleasures which are at God's right Hand for evermore. He that thinks to rise in Glory cannot choose but be humble, lying down in his own shame.

(5) Walk resolvedly going on in the way of your Duty, with what difficulties soever it may be attended. Most Men are apt to measure duty by their own safety, are unwilling to engage in the wayes of Christ, till all difficulties are re­moved by a secular arm; and if once the Times frown up­on any religious exercise, their faces are no longer to­wards that Duty, as formerly, nor can you possibly pre­vail with them to lanch forth any further for Christ, than if at any time a storm should arise, they may get safe to the Shore again! But judge in your selves, is it seemly for those to make shy of Duty, because of seeming dangers attending it, to whom God allows the hope of an Eternal reward for their encouragement the way of Duty? Shall they leave themselves at a loose indifferency, performing or omitting Duty at their own choice to evade the Cross, who shall erelong have their Heads incircled with an im­marcessible Crown of Glory? Did Noah thus? Did Abra­ham thus? Did the three Jewish Worthies thus, though threatned with the scorchings of an hot fiery Furnace? Did Daniel thus, who notwithstanding the Royal Edict to the contrary upon pain of being made a Prey to the ravine of furious Lyons, was yet frequent in the invoca­tion of holy Prayer, calling upon God, and giving thanks to him as he did afore-time?(h) Oh methinks Christians, [Page 238] it should shame us to decline Duty not persevering in the faithful and constant performance thereof, how dangerous and difficult soever, having allowed us for our encou­ragement a prospect of Heaven, as a bright glimpse of fu­ture Glory, and in all our religious undertakings, a res­pect unto the recompence of reward! Do you not ob­serve Christians, how the Merchant-venturer puts to Sea, running many a desperate hazzard amidst Storms, and Tempests in hope of a gainful return? And with what undaunted courage doth the valiant Souldier take his Life in his hand, encountring the fiercest adversary upon the hope of an uncertain victory? Why then should we decline our Duty for fear of any Storm, who are al­ways within ken of the Harbour, where once being landed we are sure to enjoy an everlasting calm?* Why should not we valiantly fight the Lord's Battels, who fight not as uncetain, but are sure of the Day before we en­ter the Field, and may sound a triumph before the Victory, as knowing that through Christ we shall be more than Conquerors? Oh why should we be afraid to grapple with any Goliah-afflictions, to encounter a whole host of crosses, or to suffer any fiery try­al in a way of duty, being encouraged thereunto, by that Eternal recompence of reward which the Lord hath set before us! The Lord allowing us a respect in our obedience to the recompence of the reward, will expect that we should always have an open ear, and an obedient willing frame of Heart to fall in with every work that he calls us to, not pleading the greatest diffi­culty against the faithful preformance of any duty. Discouragements against the Commandments of Christ, [Page 239] and difficulties apprehended against our duty to him, must never be pleaded: But whatever oppositions, what­ever flames, hardships, and fiery tryals stand betwixt us and Christ, we must break through them all to come unto Christ, in a way of dutiful obedience to his righ­teous Will. And let me tell you, in vain shall any Man seek his own safety out of a way of duty, or think to be freed from that which is evil, by neglecting the do­ing of that which is good. The Worlds greatest poli­ticians, they think to dissemble conscience, to comply with every prevailing faction, and to turn their backs upon the most necessary Duty, if the times will not bear it, is the way to live secure and be at rest: But Believe it, to hold fast our integrity is the surest way to safety, and if ever we would keep out of harm's way, we must be sure to keep in the way of God's command­ments. Jonah might at first play the fugitive, but hav­ing payed for his learning, he found by his own expe­rience, that Nineveh was his safest way.(a) In a way of duty we have the promise of the faithful God for our security: But out of that we lie open every mo­ment to all the hostile incursions of Men and Devils. Lot kept his integrity in Sodom, and vexed his righteous Soul in seeing their obscene conversation:(b) The righteous God therefore kept Lot from Sodom's Misery, and made Zoar a Sanctuary to him against their destru­ction. Let therefore the safety, and everlasting en­couragement which may always be found in a way of duty, make us all study Heart-integrity, endeavouring to run the way of Christs commandments, with what dangers and difficulties soever they may be attended. If out of a way of duty, you have the like promise of safety, protection, and an Eternal reward of Glory, to what the faithful God hath made you whilst walking in all dutiful obedience before him, then dissemble [...]on­science, [Page 240] and consult your duty no longer, but turn your back upon the ways of Christ and spare not! But if Christians, you have only the promise of safety from God, and a Crown of life set before you, whilst walking in the way of your duty, then take heed lest neglecting duty upon any pretence, you put yourselves from under Heavens protection, and another take your Crown! Oh we think Sirs, that Crown of life, that Heavenly King­dom, that far more exceeding, and eternal Weight of Glory which the Lord hath allowed us to take incourage­ment from in all our obedience, should make us resolve to hold fast our integrity, to obey Christ in the face of all dangers, and to go on in the faithful performance of every duty, whatever it cost us! Though Christians, our Province be difficult, yet our recompence is sure: And tho our discouragments in a way of duty be many, yet our encouragments are infinitely more. What though there be hardships attending the commandments of Christ, yet doth not obedience thereto pave the way to Glory, and is not this the gate of Heaven, through which thou shalt enter at length into the Kingdom of God? What though Men frown upon thee, forbidding thee to follow the Lord in the way of his judgments, yet is it not be [...]ter to obey God than Man, and will not his Eternal smiles make amends for the Worlds frowns? What though (in a word) thy obedience to Christs command­ments should expose thee to reproach, persecution, and sorest calamities in the world, yet having Heaven and Eternal Glory always in thy Eye, look not shy upon any duty, but hold on in the way of obedience, not doubting, but the Lord who allows thee so great encou­ragement in the way of duty, will be sure to Crown thee in the end after all thy afflictions, with a far more exceeding and Eternal weight of Glory!

(6) WALK Zealously, as willing to spend, and be spent in the service of God. You may well put your hands to God's Plough, and give diligence to abound in the work of the Lord, so long as he allows you for your better [Page 241] encouragement, to have Heaven and Eternal Glory al­ways in your Eye.(c) The Israelites removing their Tents, they went from Mithcah to Hashmonah, from sweetness to swiftness; as those names, if paraphrased upon according to their true notation, signify: Thus Christians, they should go from the sweetness of God's favour manifested in giving them a prospect of their fu­ture Glory, to swiftness in running the way of his com­mandments. The end of God's bounty is Man's duty; so that the goodness of God's discovering the Kingdom of Heaven, and setting that before you;(d) your own duty should make you offer violence to it, endeavouring to take it by force. The industrious Husbandman, he refuses no labour, but doth willingly spend and [...]haust his strength in tilling the ground, for the hope that he hath of a plentiful Harvest, wherein he shall reap the be­nefit of all his endeavours. And should not Christians much more lay forth themselves in the service of God with all diligence, having no less for their encourage­ment, than a Crown of Glory, an Heavenly Kingdom, than the recompence of Eternal life set before them? We live, I confess in declining times; and because ini­quity doth abound amongst us, the love of many be­gins to wax cold: But yet we must still remember that the People of God are to live not by example, but by rule, which requires that we should always strive to be best in the worst of times, that when others are outsided and formal, we should be fervent in Spirit serving the Lord,(e) giving diligence to have our Zeal for God and his Glory by an holy Antiperistasis, kindled from the coldness of others. And truly there is that in the recompence of reward, which if carefully eyed, would make us burn in Heavenly Zeal for God, and cause us to run with all diligence and holy contention, the Race which he hath set before us. Let Men of a formal [Page 242] Spirit reproach thee, count all thy zeal for God an holy frensy, and thy diligence in his ways no better than a symptom of a religious dotage, yet keep thy Eye sted­fastly fixed upon the recompence of the reward, and thou needst not slack thy pace in Heavens way, but mayst well continue stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. For what should more streng­then our Hearts and Hands to all diligence in the ways of God, than to have Heaven with all the Glory, and royalties thereof continually in our Eye before us? Can any Man having fixed his Eyes upon, and expecting an Eternal reward of Glory in Heaven, indulge himself in the dead and powerless performance of holy duties, not [...]bouring to be carried on in the Work of the Lord, with a mighty violence, and holy activity of Spirit? That Man is certainly unworthy the Glory of Heaven, who thinks it not well worth his utmost diligence, and labour of Love on Earth.(a) The Kingdom of Heaven is prepared not for loyterers, but for labourers: Not for those that stand idle all the Day in Gods Vineyard, but for those that make hast to run the Way of his Command­ments.* This Kingdom, though not meritable by the endeavours of any mortal, but the free gift of God, yet is never to be taken but by an holy Storm: Nor must any Man ever think to come there, that is not willing to gain it in the sweat of his brows. How then should this fill our Hearts with great thoughts, and our Hands with all opportunities, sending us forth to meet all advantages, and engaging us to use all possible dili­gence in Heavens way? And can you be content to lose Heaven rather than Labour for it? To be shut our [Page 243] of the Paradise of God for ever, rather than force your selves into it, by an holy violence through the strait Gate? Can you do too much for a Crown of Glory, or expend more strength in the service of God, than what the recompence of reward will make amends for? Oh believe it Christians, you can never put your time, your strength, your diligence to better usury, than by laying forth all in the service of God! There is not a prayer, not a sigh, not a tear, not the least struggle of the Spirit against the Flesh herein, that shall ever be lost:(b) But as your diligence, for Christ doth abound in the work of the Lord, so the reward of Eternal Life by Christ shall much more abound unto you. Your weak [...]ea­vours shall be crowned with strong consolation [...] For your temporal obedience on earth, you shall receive the recompence of Eternal Glory in Heaven: And for your labour of love here, you shall rest for ever hereafter in the sweet and delicious embraces of your best beloved, the dear Lord Jesus, whom to see without end will be endless happiness! Oh then what diligence in the service of God, what labour in the work of the Lord, what exactness in all our Duties, can be sufficient for that God, who hath prepared such transcendently glorious and Soul-raping felicity, for those that faithfully serve him! Hast thou Christian, such a Crown, and yet run no faster? Hast thou such an eternal Triumph, and yet fight the Battels of the Lord with no more courage and activity? Hast thou such a blessed and transcendently glorious Reward, and yet no more diligent, zealous and abounding in the Work of the Lord? Oh take a pro­spect by the Eye of Faith of the Land of Promise, view the Glory, observe the royalties take notice of the many choyce immunities of that Heavenly Canaan; let the recompence of Eternal Life be always in your Eye, and then forbear to be fervent in spirit, when ser­ving [Page 244] the Lord, if you can! Their labour, their Zeal, their diligence for God should never be small, to whom he vouchsafes a prospect of so transcendently great and glorious a Reward, The endeavours of a Christian for God, should always bear some proportion with what encouragements he receives from God. Having there­fore so clear a sight of what God hath layd up for us with himself in Heaven, we should never think we can do enough for God on earth. So long as God holds out a Crown of Glory, we should never withhold our labour, our pains, our diligence in a way of duty. Thou art unworthy Christian, the least glympse of Heavens happi­ness, if such a sight do not presently transform thee into [...] incarnate Seraphim, making thee burn with Hea­venly Zeal in the service of God like Coles of Juniper, as willing to undergo the greatest labour, for so glo­rious a recompence! Let us therefore with all intention of mind, with all vigour of Soul, with all due preparation of Heart run the way of God's Commandments, remem­bring it is all for the life of our own Souls, and that the recompence of Eternal Glory is still before us, as the reward of all our Christian endeavours.

(7) WALK Heavenly-mindedly, not loving the World nor the things of the World, but wholy setting your Hearts upon things above. In this case if any where your Eye should affect your Hearts so, that the sight which God affords you of an eternal Reward in Heaven, may attract and draw up your affections thither; wholly divorcing them from the Love of all Creature-enjoyments. The Lap­wing is made an Emblem of infelicity by some because having a little Coronet upon her head, she yet feeds upon the worst of excrements: Well you that have a Crown of Glory, though not already upon your head, yet in your Eye, take heed that you be not such Enemies to your own Happiness as to feed with delight upon the sordid enjoyments of this present World. Themistocles that gal­lant Athenian Captain, bid his Friend take up those Brace­lets which he espied on the ground, for saith he thou art [Page 245] not, Themistocles, implying, that it was below a Person of his Place and Renown, to be affected with such Vanities: So Christians let the Worlds Friends stoop down and em­brace her Profits, Honours, and outward Accomodations, it's below you that have Heaven in your Eye to be taken with them. 'Tis a thing unbecoming all you, whose Re­ward is laid up in the highest Heavens, to stoop so far be­low your selves as to lay out your affections upon Earth and earthly enjoyments. If Alexander would not exercise at the Olympicks, as thinking such Pedantick recreations too far below him,(i) how much more should a Christi­an scorn having Heaven and Glory in his Eye, to be found, like one of the base Fellows, eagerly pursuing the lying Vanities of a dunghil World? 'Tis stori [...] [...]one Tigranes, that coming to redeem his Father, and Friends with his Wife, who were all taken Prisoners by Cyrus, he was asked in particular what ransom he would give for his Wife? To which he readily answered, that he would purchase her Liberty with his own Life: But prevailing upon easier terms, as they returned, every one commen­ded Cyrus for a goodly Person, and Tigranes would needs know of his Wife, what she thought of him; truly said she, I cannot tell, for I did not so much as look on him; whom then (said he wondring) did you then look up­on? On whom should I, replied she, but on him that would have redeemed my Life with his own Liberty? Thus Christians, you should so much be taken up with Love to Christ, and the delightful contemplation of that Happiness, and glorious Liberty, which he by his own preciou [...] Blood hath purchased for you, as not to think the whole World with all the Glory thereof worth the looking after, much less to spend your Thoughts, your Time, your Affections, your Strength upon it. The Re­ward [Page 246] which God sets before you, it's an heavenly Re­ward, and therefore do not like Men under the curse of the Serpent, lie crawling-upon the Ground, and licking the dust of the Earth; but let all your Thoughts, your Desires, your insatiate breathings of Soul, be continually running Heaven-ward. 'Tis enough for Heathens who know not God, never had any glimpse of his Glory, nor any tenders of an eternal Reward made to them, to con­sult of their own Profit, Pleasure and Honour in the World, suffering all their affections to run out that way: But for you that have seen the Back-part of Jehovah, that have been upon the Mount with Christ, that have Heaven with all its Royalties and Glory lying before you, as th [...] [...]ard of all your obedience, for you to be Earth­ly-minded, seeking great things in the World for your selves, is the most dreadful miscarriage that can be! What is Earth to Heaven? What are the Riches of the World, to the Riches of Glory? What is the Mammon of Unrighteousness, to that immarcessible Crown of Righ­teousness, which the Lord sets before you, for your bet­ter encouragement to all holy Self-denying and upright walking before him?(c) Oh methinks Christians you should even blush and be ashamed, to let the World get possession of your Hearts, having no less than an Eternity of Life and heavenly Glory in your Eye! 'Tis said of the Loadstone that it cannot draw Iron, so long as the Diamond is in presence: And shall earthly Vanities draw out your affections after them, when a Crown of Life, all set with sparkling Diamonds of Glory is in presence? Are you cloathed with the Sun, as with a garme [...], and cannot you now trample the Moon with all the Subluna­ries under your Feet? Have you Heaven in hope, and will not that content you, unless you may have the Earth [Page 247] with the fulness thereo [...] in your Hand? Do you not know what* Enemy the World is to the progress in Hea­vens way, denying Men, if once they go about to court it, a quiet passage through its Territories, as the King of Edom did the Israelites, to the promised Canaan! Esau by hunting too long after Venison, he lost his Fa­thers Blessing: Thus whilst hunting after Honours, Ri­ches and Promotions in the World, you will lose with out a speedy return, the Blessing of an Eternal Life. A Man with a Mote in his Eye cannot see clearly, nor with any delight behold the Sun: Thus if you suffer your Eyes to be filled with the dust of the World, you can ne­ver clearly see, much less look upon with delight, that glorious Reward which God sets before you.(e) The Ri­ches, Honours, Glory and all the accomodations of his World, are but sugared Poysons, that will then most cer­tainly destroy us, when we delight to be feeding upon them. Impossible it is for Men inordinately affecting the World not to be mortally infected by it. Whilst Martha was much cumbred about many things she forgot to look after the one thing necessary. And so whilst Men are troubled in the World pursuing with eagerness the en­joyments thereof, they do easily forget to look after the Reward of Eternal Glory: 'Tis a rare thing for Men not to lose in Spirituals when they gain much in Temporals; not to be impoverished in Grace, by their Riches; not to starve their Souls, when their Bodies prosper, and not to fall in their desires after God, and Heaven, and Glo­ry, when raised a few steps higher in this present World. Crates Th [...]anus was a huge despiser of all worldly enjoy­ments, as judging them prejudicial to the serious study of Philosophy: and shall we then drown our selves in [Page 248] worldly cares, who pretend to be studying Heaven and E­ternal Glory?(f) Believe it Christians the more you love the World, the less Liberty you enjoy for Heaven: Nei­ther can you so easily meditate Eternal Glory, and lift up your Hearts to God, when burdened with the cares of this present Life. How many wither in Spirit whilst they flourish in the Flesh, growing the more cold in their devo­tion, the more warm they find themselves in their worldly possessions? The better some feather their Nests, the more unfit they are to soar aloft, and fly to God upon the wing of Divine Meditation. And to tell you the truth, (what an holy Divine of our own once thought) many might have gotten well to Heaven, had not the World gon so well on their side, as to make them believe there was no better Heaven to be found! Consult then, if you love your Souls, their Eternal Welfare, and do not go about to undo your selves for ever, by your Earthly-mindedness. Where the Carcase, is there let the Eagles be gathered together: Your Reward, your Trea­sure, your Happiness, they are all laid up in Heaven, let therefore your Heart and your Affections be there also. 'Tis not for such Eagles as you to stoop at Flies; for those whose Eye should be fixed upon an Eternally glori­ous Reward in Heaven, to be always moving towards the Earth as their proper Center! Doth God take you up into the Mount, giving you a prospect thence of Heavenly Glory, and cannot you think it good to be there, but you must be going down in Worldly-mindedness to your earthly Comforts? Will you still like the Prodigal be [Page 249] feeding upon Husks, when there is Bread enough to spare in your Fathers House? Will you still be building Taber­nacles for your selves on Earth, when the Lord shews you such Mansions of Glory prepared in Heaven? Foo­lish Children! When such an eternally glorious Reward is held out to you, by the Hand of your heavenly Father, how can you with any patience behold the World, or think it worthy that you should spend so much as one thought upon it! You should live Christians, in the high­est Region of an heavenly Conversation, leaving those to scramble for the World, that have nothing else to live up­on.(g) That of Lactantius was a brave heroick Spirit, which if throughly imbibed would make you all say with him, let the Kings of the Earth have their Kindoms, let [...]e Rich Men have their Riches, and the Prudent of this World, let them have their Prudence to themselves, so that they will only leave us the folly of seeking by patient conti­nuance in well-doing Glory, and Honour, and Immorta­lity, and Eternal Life! Get your Hearts fixed upon your Treasure in Heaven, and I dare say it will never grudge you to see the Lord filling the Bellies of the Wicked with his hidden Treasure on Earth. It matters not much what they have in hand, so long as God allows you to have always an immarcessible Crown of Glory in you to Eye. Oh this is the Happiness of Gods People even in this present World, that having gotten their Hearts once weaned from earthly Comforts, they live in the suburbs of the heavenly Jerusalem! When once they leave off to feed with delight upon the Garlick and Onions of Aegypt, they shall then sit down under the shadow of Gods dearest Love in Canaan, and there find his Fruit sweet to their tast! When once they turn away their Eyes from beholding worldly Vanities, they may behold with de­light the promised reward, and have their Eyes continu­ally feasted with the bright, entrancing beams of Heaven­ly [Page 250] Glory!(h) Who then for the desire of such a Life would not despise this present World? Who for the de­light of that abundance, would not even fear the Riches of gliding time! Who for the Love of that glorious Kingdom would not contemn as things of no value, all earthly Kingdoms? Oh believe it Christians, you will have Meat to eat which the World knows not of living Heavenly-minded! The World can never feast her great­est Favourites with those redundancies of Joy and Com­fort, which you may expect, getting weaned affections to things below, and living above. Let therefore the Price of earthly Commodities fall, and the price of heavenly Commodities rise in your thoughts: And tho you be absent from your Treasure in Body, yet see that you be always present therewith in Spirit. In vain doth God afford you a prospect of Glory on Earth, if it prove not a spiritual Load-stone to attract and draw up your Hearts as high as Heaven!

(8) WALK patiently, as well satisfied to suffer and bear the worst of Afflictions, that at length you may come to Heaven, the best of Rewards. Their Hearts may well be establish­ed with divine Patience in every condition, whose Eyes God allows to be fixed in every Duty upon heavenly Glory. And truly the condition of God's People in this present World, doth evince the great necessity of Divine Patience to all that will live Godly in Christ Jesus Luther makes it the very definition of a Christian to be a Crucian, who denying himself must take up his Cross and follow Christ. The Lord Jesus hath two Crowns, the one of Thorns, the other of Glory: They that would enjoy the latter and be crowned with Glory, they [Page 251] must first undergo the former, and be crowned with Thorns. What the Holy Ghost said of Christ, that it behoved him to suffer, and so to enter into his Glory, the very same holds true of all his People,(i) who through many afflictions must enter into the Kingdom of God. The stones in Solomon's Temple were first hewen and polished, and then set up into a stately Building: So God's People, first they must be hewen and carved by sufferings, before they can be fit to build the Tem­ple of God in the heavenly Jerusalem. To all the Peo­ple of God this World is a Wilderness, not a Canaan; an Egypt, not a Paradise; a troublesome Sea, not an Har­bour of Rest! The day that is without clouds; the light that is without Darkness; the Joy that hath no sorrow, is reserved for Heaven. So then the misery of our pre­sent condition, may well let us see the necessity of Chri­stian Patience to suffer and wait upon God in it. With­out Patience every burden will seem too heavy, every Cup that our heavenly Father puts into our Hand too bitter, and every affliction too long: But get Patience, and that will lighten every burden; have Patience, and that will sweeten the bitterest potion; lengthen Patience, and that will make the time of all your afflictions seem short. There is [...] passive obedience required of all Chri­stians, that they may quietly suffer, and 'tis patience must help them: If we bring evil upon our selves, then we should afflict our Souls with Godly Sorrow; but if the Lord bring evil upon us, then we must exercise Pa­tience, both quietly hoping,(k) and waiting for his sal­vation. Christian Patience, is not only a comely Grace, making misery it self, by a pious deportment under it, seem amiable; but 'tis also a necessary Grace, making the very worst of Miseries seem tolerable, by framing a Mans mind to his present condition, when his condi­tion is not to his mind. There are many Men professing [Page 252] the Christian Faith, who if deliverance come not at their own Time, they presently grow impatient of waiting God's time, resolving to trade for it in their own way: But were their Hearts established with divine Patience they would never thus precipitate their Mercies, nor think that deliverance worth the having, which only springs up out of the ruines of Faith, and a good Consci­ence. 'Tis the nature of Christian Patience to make a Man tenacious of his integrity, working in him a strong resolution not to purchase the greatest good, with the commission of any the least evil. This makes a Man the same in Prison, as at Liberty; the same in Poverty, as when abounding with Riches; the same when under reproach, persecution and sorest calamities in the World, as when the Sun of outward prosperity shone bright upon him. Let what Storms will bluster abroad in the World, he enjoys his mind at home; by Patience he holds possessi­on of himself(l) of his Wisdom, of his Faith, of his Integrity, Meekness, Humility, and every other Grace; and of these all the Power, and Policy of Hell it self can never dispossess him. Such is the force of Christian Patience, that it derives a kind of invincibility into the Soul, giving every Man that hath it, the strongest security against all dangers. Impoverish him you may, but can never undo him. Persecute him you may, but can ne­ver ruin him.(m) Kill him you may, but can never conquer him, nor take his Crown from him. For as Patience keeps us in present possession of our selves, and all saving Graces: So it will infallibly put us in full possession of Life, Happiness, and all future Glory. Be patient therefore, and stablish your Hearts in a quiet de­pendance [Page 253] upon God under all your sufferings, not doubt­ing but after a sorrowful night will come a morning of Joy, after a wet seed-time will come a plentiful harvest, after a weary Week will come an Eternal Sabbath of rest in the heavenly Canaan! (n). The Vision is for an appointed time, but at the end it will speak and not lie: Though it tarry, wait for it, for it will surely come and will not tarry. We are apt to antedate the Visions of God, and to make them speak deliverance before their appoin­ted time; but we must learn by Faith and Patience to wait upon God for their seasonable accomplishment, assuring our selves that though they may tarry beyond our Time, yet they will never tarry beyond God's time. When we are prepared for a Mercy, and that Mercy ripened for us, then the Vision of Mercy, of Comfort, of deliverance will be sure to come, and will not tarry. The Lord usually makes the pressures of his People, the prefaces of his Mercy to them, taking occa­sion from their low condition, to compass them about with Songs of deliverance. When the Morning is at the darkest, then comes the gladsome Day: So when the condition of God's People is most dark, and sad, and gloomy, then the Day of deliverance will dawn upon them. When [...]he Sea is at the lowest ebb, then in comes the tide: So when God's People are in the lowest con­dition, then a tide of all sutable Mercies will come flow­ing in upon them. When (in a Word) the Wine at the Marriage solemnized at Cana in Galilee, was all spent and the Water-pots filled up to the brim with Water, then did our Blessed Lord turn that Water into Wine: So when the provisions of God's People are all spent, and their Souls filled up to the brim with the bitter Waters of Marah, then will the Lord turn those Waters into the Wine of Eternal Consolation. Be patient there­fore Brethren, holding fast your integrity, and let no Reproach, no Persecution, no evil entertainment that (m) [Page 254] you meet from the World,(o) make any of you grow disloyal and antimagistratical: But remember with divine Lactantius, your Religion must be defended not by killing, but by dying, not by inhuman cruelty, but by Christian Patience, not by the perpetration of a­ny Wickedness, but by holding fast the mistery of Faith in a pure conscience. 'Tis the most unseemly thing that can be, for a Christian having assurance that the Rod of the Wicked shall not always rest upon his lot, to put our his hand through impatience to any iniquity. We dishonour the God of Heaven when we act so far be­low our selves, our engagements, our hopes on Earth. What, should not the hope of a joyful Harvest make you patiently endure the sorrow of a wet Seed-time? Should not the expectation of an Eternal Reward, make you patiently endure all present sufferings? And a pros­pect of Heavenly Glory, should not that make you with all Patience endure whatever Reproaches, whatever Af­flictions, whatever Bonds, Persecutions, and Imprisonments, you shall meet with on Earth? Oh remember it Christians, therefore doth the Lord allow you to have regard in all your obedience to Heaven and Glory, that so you might not regard any suffering, Persecution or fiery Tryal that may possibly attend you in a way of obedience, but with Patience undergo them all. The Lord hath fixed Heaven at the end of Duty, that we may learn with more Pati­ence to break through the difficulties of the Way. And that we may not give over our diligence for God, nor grow impatient through our present Miseries, he gives us leave in all that we do, and suffer, to have an Eye [Page 255] upon our(†) future Happiness. And certainly Christians you had need of Patience (as the Apostle saith) that af­ter you have done the Will of God, ye may receive the Promise. Without Patience after we have done God's Will, there is usually no receiving of the Reward for doing his Will. Through Patience the Will of God is fulfilled in us, and the Promises inherited: Go on therefore suffering his Will, and waiting with Patience for the promised Inheritance of eternal Life, that will follow after. Oh be not impatient of that Sorrow which will end in Joy; be not impatient of that Cross which leads to a Crown; be not impati­ent of that Cloud of Disgrace, which anon shall be changed into the bright Sun-shine of eternal Glory; be not (in a word) impatient of those Afflictions through which you will shortly enter into the King­dom of God! Oh labour, having Heaven in your Eye, with Patience to wade through the big-swelling Waters of all earthly Afflictions!

(9) WALK fiducially, endeavouring that at all times your hearts may be established with a well grounded assurance of your interest in that glorious reward which the Lord hath set before you. Let it not suffice, that you have Heaven in your Eye, but labour also to have the assurance there­of in your own Hearts. 'Tis good to have a sight of Glory, but it is much better to know that we have a right to Glory. To have an Interest in e­ternal Life is the strongest ground of Comfort; but till there be some Assurance and Knowledg of our Interest, we usually have small sense of Comfort. For the fear of coming short of Heaven, makes the Soul to live continually in a temporal Hell, depriving it of all that Comfort which an Interest in heavenly Glory, if known and improved, would otherwise have filled it with. Hagar's(a) Well did not comfort her, [Page 254] [...] [Page 255] [...] [Page 256] though close by her, till the Lord opened her Eyes to see it; nor could Mary Magdalen refrain her weep­ing by Christ's(b) Sepulchre, because though Christ was present with her, yet she did not know him: So though the Well of Life Everlasting be before us, and Christ having the Reward of eternal Glory in his Hand be present with us to Crown us, yet if we know not all this, we may well be filled with Sor­row, and go weeping as Men without Hope from day to day. For it is not so much Heaven, as the Assurance of Heaven, nor so much an Interest in e­ternal Life, as the Knowledg of our Interest in that glorious reward, that can wipe away all Tears from our Eyes, and make our Hearts rejoyce with Joy unspeakable and full of Glory. The Safety of your Souls depends indeed upon your Interest in the Re­compence of eternal Glory; that gives them the strongest Security against an everlasting Shipwrack; so that let what Storms and Tempests will be abroad in the World, yet having an Interest in heavenly Glory, they shall never miscarry, but be landed safe upon the wished Shoar of eternal Rest: But yet the Comfort of your Souls, and Hearts, and Lives doth mainly depend upon the Knowledg and Assurance of that blessed Interest. You may be safe with a bare Interest in Heaven, but you can never be Comfor­table, nor free from Heart-perplexing Thoughts all the day long, without knowing your Interest, without some Assurance of Heaven as your eternal Inheritance! The Sun when hid in a Cloud, doth not yield those comfortable Irradiations and guilded Beams of Bright­ness to refresh us, as at other times, when shining forth in its Noon-day Splendour: So neither must you expect the like Comfort from Heaven and e­ternal Glory to solace your Hearts, your Interest there­in being hid from your Eyes, as otherwise they would afford, did you but know Heaven to be your home, [Page 257] and eternal Glory to be entailed upon you as your Portion in another World. You then that would live Comfortable, and die Triumphing, give diligence to know what Right you have to the Recompence of Reward. 'Twill afford you little Comfort to have Heaven in your Eye, so long as you want the As­surance of Heaven in your Hearts, not knowing but you may eternally fall short of it. A prospect of e­ternal Glory, without a known Interest in eternal Glory, will prove but a dull Cordial. Be thy Right to eternal Life never so good, yet thou losest the Comfort thereof, so long as thy Evidences for eternal Life are not cleared up. And had you rather dwell in the Tents of Kedar invelop'd in thick Darkness, than to live and die assured of the heavenly Jerusa­lem as your own Inheritance? Had you rather walk under the Fears of Death, and be filled every day with the dreadful Apprehensions of eternal Burnings, than to know that your Names are written in the Book of Life? Had you rather be wandring in the Wilderness, not knowing whether ever you shall come to Canaan, than to be upon sure ground for that holy Land? Had you rather be shut up in a black Cloud, than solace your Souls in the bright Sun­shine of God's Love and Favour? Had you rathe [...] be under continual Tossings at Sea, and live at the Mercy of every enraged Wave, than to come with full Sails into the peaceful Harbour of a divine Ple­rophory? Had you rather be upon Uncertainties for an heavenly Mansion, than to know that if your earth­ly House of this Tabernacle were dissolved, you have a Building of God, an House not made with Hands, eternal in the Heavens? In one word, had you ra­ther barely look upon heavenly Glory, than to be­hold it with an Eye of Faith, as that which shall infallibly be the Reward of all your Obedience, to Crown you with? What (alas!) are all the Royal­ties of Heaven and Glory to me, if I may not know them to be mine? Were all the Beams of [Page 258] heavenly Glory collected and gathered together in one Sun, yet what were all this to me, if still I be left to sit in Darkness, not seeing any ground of Claim to one beam of that Glory? Let all the Clu­sters of Canaan, let all the Grapes of that Holy Land, be pressed and strained into one Cup, yet what Comfort can my Soul have thence when seeing them, I know not but I may want them for ever? God allows us in all our Obedience to look at Heaven, and Glory, and eternal Happiness, but wherewith shall I clear up my Heart, and make glad my Soul, if I cannot look upon Heaven as my Heaven, upon Glory as my Glory, upon eternal Happiness as my own Happiness, and exceeding great Reward? What sweetness can a Christian draw from the Promise of eternal Life, if he know not himself to have an In­terest in it, and be not sure to live eternally by it? Lose not therefore the Comfort of your Souls in an heap of Uncertainties; do not cast away through your Unbelief, those Cordials which God hath provided for you; oh! sit not down satisfied any longer with­out the assurance of Heaven, if you would not live and die without the Joys of Heaven! Many there are, (I confess) that cry down Assurance under the reproachful Nick-names of carnal Confidence, Pre­sumption and Security, as if this heavenly Manna like that in the Wilderness were subject to Corrup­tion, and would breed Worms, making Men turn Li­bertines, grow careless, and cease to work out their own Salvation with Fear and Trembling. But the truth is, there are none that ever walk so chearful, so upright, so circumspect in Heavens way, as those that know they shall infallibly come there. Amongst all Men in the World, those are always most sted­fast, most immoveable, most abounding in the Work of the Lord, that know their Labour shall never be in vain, but be Crowned at length with eternal Rest. Whoever expects to receive much from God, and hath the Hope of eternal Life abiding in him, such [Page 259] an one will most willingly spend; and be spent in the Service of God, giving diligence above all others to purify himself as(c) he is pure. As well you may say that the Fire will make a Man freeze with cold, as that the Assurance of eternal Life will make God's People grow secure, sloathful, and negligent in their Christian Course, taking boldness to live as they list. What doth the Assurance of future Glory, dispose those that have it, to turn the Grace of God into Wantonness? Shall a known Interest in the Reward of eternal Life, be thought to make Men love the Wages of Unrighteousness? Must the knowing that we have an Inheritance amongst the Saints in Light, incline us to have the more Fellowship with the unfruitful Works of Darkness? Can you think that the Souls Evidences for Heaven, should encourage it to walk the way which leads to Hell? Men that are yet unacquainted with the Spirit of Adoption, not knowing what it is to have the hope of eternal Life abiding in them, may tell you so, and with a great deal of Confidence, they may speak out such fine Repugnances, as if the sparklings of the white Stone, would beget a Stone in the Heart of God's Children, and the reading of their new Name writ­ten therein, would make them act contrary to their new Nature.: But get a well-grounded assurance [...]f heavenly Glory, labour to have the hope of eternal Life abiding within your selves, and you shall easily find by your own Experience what a strong En­gagement this will be to all Holy, Upright, and Circumspect, walking before the Lord, making you a thousand times more willing, than ever to spend and be spent in his Service. Dwell therefore▪ no longer in Generals; lose not your Comforts in a heap of meer Conjectures, and Uncertainties: But give dili­gence [Page 260] now to bottom your Souls upon a sure Foundati­on, labour to read your own Names(d) written in the Book of life Eternal; and let it not suffice you to have a Prospect of Heaven and Glory, but be sure to get good Evidence for them. Is it not better to lie safe at An­chor, than to be left every moment to the Pleasure of a Wave? Oh let Faith no longer be put to silence, when endeavouring to speak in its own proper Dialect: But let your Right be made so clear to the Kingdom of God, to Heaven, and eternal Glory, that you may say, this Heaven is my Heaven, and this Glory is my Glory, and this Kingdom is prepared of God for me, as the place of my eternal Abode! Oh this will be the strongest Cordial when you come to die, to know that your Names are written in the Book of Life, and shall never be blotted out! Oh how comfortably may you leave the Wilder­ness of this World, when you know you are now going to take Possession of the heavenly Canaan! Oh 'tis good having an Eye to the Recomp [...]nce of eternal Life, when we know we shall shortly be Crowned with that glorious Reward! A well-grounded Assurance of Hea­ven, this is the Suburbs of the new Jerusalem; and oh with what comfort may we live there a while, when we know that the Gates thereof shall never be shut against us, but we shall have an abundant entrance into that e­verlasting Kingdom!

(10) WALK comfortably, not desponding under any affliction, but rejoycing in the assured hope and expectation of that reward which is set before you. They should never allow themselves to go without Joy in their Hearts, whom the Lord al­lows to walk continually with Heaven in their Eye. though forest Afflictions should wait upon you, though [Page 261] sharpest Persecutions should overtake you; whether the days of your Pilgrimage be cloudy or clear, shining with Prosperity, or lowring with Adversity; yet so long as you have before you an immarcescible Crown of Life that can never wither, why should you suffer your Com­forts to wither and fade, and die within you? What, shall every Northern Blast nip Glory in the Bud? Shall the Wilderness of worldly Afflictions, which is not so thick set with any Difficulties, but by Faith you may see through them all, make you hang down your Heads like a Bull-rush, and go disconsolate, when all the good of the heavenly Canaan lies before you? Must the Recom­pence of eternal Life lose its Power to Comfort, when e­ver the World gets a Power to Afflict you? Cannot Heaven it self Minister Sweetness, if at any time your earthly Enjoyments should be imbittered, to you? How is it that you are not ashamed to let the Malice of a few en­vious Philistines stop up all those fresh Springs of Com­fort which God hath opened in Heaven to refresh and make glad your Souls? The Sun once appearing in our Hemisphere, the Clouds are presently scattered, and all the dark Shadows of the Night, they fly away: Thus when the Lord gives us a sight of Heaven, and makes the Reward of eternal Life in all its Royalties and Glory to appear before us, all Clouds of Disconsolatenes should then be scattered, and all the dark Shadows of worldly Sorrow, they should for ever take Wings and fly away.(e) So we find it, I am sure with good Habakkuk, who having fixed his Eye upon God, as one that would Crown him at length with eternal Salvation, he resolves, come what will come, to Feast his Soul continually with the Joy of the Lord, he purposes to live and die with his Mouth, or rather with his Heart full of hidden Manna; he gets him up into the Mount of Transfiguration, re­solving that whatever Storms are abroad in the World, he will never be driven thence! And what is it, I would fain know, that makes you who have the same Encou­ragement [Page 262] with this holy Prophet, to eat all your Comforts with bitter Herbs? Why is it that your Hearts are fil­led with Bitterness, and your Mouths running over con­tinually with the Gall of sad Complaints? How comes it to pass, Christians, if one may know, that you walk all the day long in the Valley of Tears, never labouring to get your selves up into the Mount with God, nor to solace your dejected(g) Souls by taking a Prospect of the heavenly Canaan? Though such may well hence out of heart as are still without Hope in the World: Yet certainly its below the Hopes of God's own People, to be daily swallowed up of those worldly(h) Sorrows, which will shortly be turned into Joy unspeakable, and full of Glory. Understand then ye blessed of the Father, where your Comfort lies, and see that fixing your Eye upon the Recompence of eternal Life, you live conti­nually(i) rejoycing in hope of the Glory of God! The Wicked they go rejoycing all the day long, though their Portion be only in this present Life: And will not you much more walk comfortably▪ to whom belongs the Reversion of eternal Life, and whose Reward shall be so great in Heaven? The(k) Eyes of ungodly Men are con­tinually beholding Vanity, and yet even hence you may find them taking a great deal of sensual Joy, and carnal Contentment: And is there no Joy to be found in be­holding the Glory of Heaven, no Comfort flowing in upon your Souls from a prospect of eternal Happiness? What, are the Waters of Abana and Parphar, so much better than the Waters of Jordan? Shall a small glance of worldly Felicity, afford more Matter of Joy and Gladness, than an Eye beholding with open view the Kingdom of Heaven, with all its Royalties and surpassing Glory? Oh who should walk comfortable, and rejoyce [Page 263] on Earth, if not the People of God, whose Eyes are con­tinually feasted with bright Visions of Happiness, and eternal Glory from Heaven! Awake then oh sluggish Christian, and go forth chearfully to the Work of the Lord: There is no such Lyon in the way as thou dream­est of; or if there be, why yet in that very Lyon thou mayst find Hony! The way to Heaven is not so dark and gloomy, as most imagine; though indeed it be strait and tedious to Flesh and Blood, yet there stands a bright Crown of eternal Glory at the end, which makes it com­fortable. Be ashamed then, having such encouragement to walk disconsolate in Heavens way. There are not so many Thorns to prick you, as Roses to refresh you: Nor half so much cause of Sorrow, [...]s there is of Com­fort, and rejoycing of Spirit. Christians walking in Hea­ven's Way, they may meet (I confess) with a fiery Try­al, but then there is some Light for their Comfort, as well as Heat to Torment them. And let me tell you, the more your Hearts are melted and softned in such a Flame, the deeper will be the Impression of divine Love, Consolation and Sweetness upon them. A sight of Glory from Heaven, is then most Cordial, when we can see nothing but Bonds and Imprisonments, and forest Afflictions to abide us on Earth.(a) How sweetly did Stephen, that blessed Pro­to-martyr, fall asleep under a Shower of Stones, as if he had gone to Heaven in a Bed of Down? The Reason of all was this, he saw Heaven open and Jesus stand­ing at the right Hand of God, ready to turn every Stone that was thrown at him into an orient Pearl, and to Crown him so soon as ever he had passed the Straits of Death, with eternal Life. Thi [...] made him forget his Sorrow, and walk on with Comfort through the Valley of Death, that at length he might come to that Glory in Heaven, which he found such a Cordial to his Soul, when ready to leave her earthly Ta­bernacle. And why is it that we having the same Re­compence of Reward set before us, cannot endure the [Page 264] like Hardships with the same Comfort? Must there be so much ado to make us live upon those Cordials, which Heaven it self hath provided for us? Are the Consola­tions of God grown small with us, that we resolve thus to walk with sorrowful Hearts, whilst he shews us Hea­ven as in a Glass, and sets Glory in our Eye? Shall e­very light Affliction eat [...]ut the Heart of our Comfort, when we see there lies before us a far more exceeding and eternal Weight of Glory? Either Christian let thy Heart feel more, or thy Eye see less of Heaven: And do not go to bring up an ill Report upon the cele­stial Canaan, by walking disconsolate in the way thither! For you that have Heaven before you, to come weeping after; for you that have Glory in your Eye, to be filled with Sorrow; for you that may hope to live with God for ever in the Mount, to go mourning from day to day like Doves of the Valley; how unseemly were this? If the World be bitter, yet sweet is Paradise. If the Earth cast you out, yet Heaven will receive you. If here you be tossed with Storms like a Ship at Sea, yet arriving at the wished Shoar of Eternity, you will find rest. If in this(b) World Men Revile you, and Persecute you, saying all manner of Evil of you falsly for Christ's sake, yet still you should walk rejoycing, and be exceed­ing glad, because great is your Reward in Heaven. And what so great Matters are all our Afflictions on Earth, that they should be able to imbitter Heaven? Pray you,(c) what is Affliction to Glory? What is light Afflicti­on to a weight of Glory? What is a short momentary Affliction, that like a little Cloud, will soon be blown over, to ( [...]) a far more exceeding, and eternal Weight of Glory beyond all possible Hyperbole, that will never be over? That Man (sure) never looked by Faith so far as Heaven, [Page 265] whom any Affliction on earth can make to go weeping [...]ike Rachel, refusing to be Comforted.

(11) WALK purely, endeavouring to cleanse your selves from all filthiness of Flesh and Spirit, and to mortifie every Lust [...]hat would spoyl you of your Reward. It becomes not those that have the Recompence of eternal Life before them, to love the Wages of Unrighteousness: Nor those that have Glory in their Eye, to make themselves by the Pol­ [...]utions that are in the World through Lust, like one of the base Fellows. The Inheritance of the Saints in Light, [...]ts a pure, and an undefiled Inheritance: And there­fore beholding it, we must labour to be changed into the [...]ame undefiled Purity, and Holiness with it, would we ever come to the full Enjoyment of it. The Lord al­ows, us a sight of Heaven in all our Obedience, that be­holding from day to day, we might at length receive a Tincture of Purity, and unspotted Holiness from it. He gives us a prospect of our future Happiness, that be-(d) holding with open face the Glory of the Lord, we might be changed into the same Image, from Glory to Glory. The difference betwixt Grace and Glory is not (as some observe from these words) specifical, but gradu­al: They differ not in Kind, but only in Degree. Grace is Glory inchoate, and Glory is Grace consummate. Grace is Glory Militant, and Glory is Grace Triumphant. Grace is Glory dawning, and Glory is Grace shining forth in its noon-day [...] brightness. And I know no better way to ripen Grace into Glory, than for Grace to behold, and continually sun it self in the warm Beams of eternal Glory. The Hope of future Happiness, is the strongest Inducement to present Holiness. Every Man(e) that hath this Hope in him, purifieth himself, as he is pure. Hope to be like Christ hereafter, Glorious as he is Glorious, and Blessed as he is Blessed, will work in us a desire to be as like him as we can here, Pure as he is Pure, and Holy as he is Holy. He that hath most hope [Page 266] of being saved, will give most diligence of all others to be sanctified. We never cleanse our Hands so much, as when we have Glory in Hope: Nor do we ever Purify our Hearts so throughly, as when we have Heaven in our Eye. When Moses had been with God upon the Mount, he came down with his Face shining: Thus if at any time God calls us up into the Mount with himself, giving us a sight of that Glory, which shall shortly be revealed in us, we should be sure to come down, having not only our Faces, but our Hearts likewise shining with unspot­ted Purity. It were the most unbecoming thing in the World, for those to D [...]file themselves with any Unrigh­teousness, who have their Eye continually fixed upon an undefiled Inheritance, expecting as the full Reward of all their Labours, a Crown of Righteousness. What, shall not Heaven's Brightness expel the Darkness of Hell? Shall not the Hope of eternal Happiness, promote in our Hearts and Lives the Work of Holiness? Is there a Crown of Glory at the end of our Christian Course, and shall not that make us walk Pure and Undefiled in the way thither? With what Face, Christian, canst thou look upon the Recompence of eternal Life, and yet stu­dy to gratify thy own brutish Appetite, defiling thy self every day with the Pollutions, superstitious Obser­vances, ungodly Practices, and sinful Compliances of a wicked World? Believe it (Sirs!) the very Mire in the Streets shall sooner be transubstantiated into massy Gold, than a Man thus weltring in the Filth, and Mire, and Vomit of his Sins, shall ever be suffered to enter into the Kingdom of God. Sin blocks up the way to Heaven; nor must any Man ever think he shall come to Glory there, if he enter not in through the Suburbs of Grace.(f) The Prophet David hath resolved the Case long ago, telling us, that he who is of clean Hands,(g) and of a [Page 267] choice, pure, polisht Heart (as the original imports) shall ascend into the Hill of the Lord, and shall stand in his holy Place. Without Holiness we cannot serve the Lord in a way of Duty; much less are we fit with­out Holiness to enjoy the Lord in a State of Glory.

A Man living in fleshly Lusts, hath the very Plague­sores of Hell running upon him: And shall such an one ever think to stand before an holy God in Heavenly Places? To be sure the inheritance of Saints in light, it was never prepared for those that have any fellowship with Works of Darkness. And do you love your Lusts better than your lives, or will those Pleasures of Sin which are but for a season, countervail the loss of Hea­ven, and Eternal Glory? Oh foolish and unwise Sin­ners, who for a draught of Wine, for a brutish lust, for a moment of carnal Pleasure, will let go whatever Joy, whatever Happiness the Lord hath provided in Heaven for those that fear him!(a) Why is it that you see not the danger of Sin, how sadly it provokes the Lord against you, how it emasculates and disinews your Souls, how it blocks up your way to Heaven, how it robs you of your present Comfort, how it forfeits your future Crown and Happiness, exposing you in the World to come to Eternal unpreventable misery! And will you still be defiling your selves with this mortal pollution: And that when Heaven and Glory lie before you as a bait to all Purity, Uprightness, and holy walking before God, will you thus provoke the Lord with Manna in your Mouths? Shall not the ripe Fruits of Canaan make you nauseat these wild Grapes, and for ever to d [...]srelish these clusters of Sodom? When the Glory of Heaven is in your Eye, will you have upon your [Page 268] Hands the pitch, and in your Hearts the very plague of Hell itself? Oh why is it that you will thus render your selves uncapable of Heavens Glory, by your own sinful, Soul-defiling and unrighteous conversation? Is not the recompence of Eternal Life which God sets before you attractive enough to draw you out of the mire of all your fleshly Lusts, and ungodly Practices? You have stronger engagements to purity of Life and holiness of conversation than others upon you: You may daily see the Beauties, antedate the Pleasures, be­hold the Glory of the Heavenly Jerusalem, and yet will you strive to be no more holy, no more pure, no more undefiled than others? 'Tis your duty to be every whit as good, as others are bad; every whit as holy as others are profane; every whit as pure, as o­thers are polluted; and whilst others are running into all excess of riot, you must labour the more to cleanse your selves from all filthiness of Flesh and Spirit,(b) en­deavouring to perfect Holiness in the fear of God. What if others profane the Sabbath?(c) You must sanctify it. What if others drink till they be drunk?(d) You must study to be sober. What if others de­file themselves with the pollutions that are in the World through lust? You must labour to keep your selves unspotted of the World. What if others cast in their lot, and strike hands with the workers of ini­quity?(e) You must have no fellowship with the un­fruitful works of Darkness. 'Tis only the Self-purifying Soul, that is capable of Heaven; such an one and none else, is a vessel of Honour fit, as for the Masters use here, so to be filled with the new Wine of [Page 269] Eternal Consolation hereafter. Oh therefore do not go to exclude your selves out of Heaven by your sinful compliances: nor to make your selves unfit for the King­dom of God, by your self-pollutions! What in all the World will encourage to Purity and Holiness, if not to live daily upon the mount of Transfiguration, thence taking a prospect of Heaven, and Eternal Glory? God allows you to have a respect to the recompence of the Reward, setting Heaven continually before you; and let that make you to walk before him in all holy conver­sation, and Godliness! You never deserve to see the least glimpse of Heavenly Glory any more, if having such a pure undefiled reward in your Eye, you keep not your Hearts pure, and your lives undefiled in the World.

(12) AND lastly, walk perseveringly, never growing weary of well-doing, but labouring to be faithful to the death, that then you may receive that Crown of Life, that transcen­dently glorious reward which God now sets before you. (f) Chri­stians must not think it is enough to set out for God at the first, but they must know 'tis their Duty also to hold on in their obedience, with God to the last. They that have begun to do the Work of God in the Morn­ing of their youth, they must continue working in God's Vineyard till the evening of Death, would they ever receive their penny of Eternal Glory. Be th [...]u faithful unto death,(g) and I will give thee (sai h Christ speaking to those of the Church in Smyrna) a Crown of Life. The Lord Jesus will never yield that those shall be crowned after Death, who have not been faithful and constant in obedience to him all their Life. We must continue stedfast in well-doing to the end, would we ever be blessed of God with Eternal Salvation [Page 270] in the end.(h) Amongst all those that are hired to work in Gods Vineyard, not he that begins first, but he that holds on to the last, and he alone shall receive the Reward of Eternal Life.(i) As God condemneth no Man before through final impenitency persisting in Sin, he hath made himself a vessel of Wrath fit­ted for destruction: So neither will he crown any Man, before through patient continuance in well-do­ing, he hath made himself meet to be a partaker of the inheritance of Saints in light. We must first con­quer before we can triumph, first win the Garland, before we can wear it; first seek by Patient continu­ance in Well-doing, Glory, Honour, and Immorta­lity, before ever God will crown us with Life E­ternal. How injurious then are all such to their own Souls, that like Orpah take their leave of Christ to decline afflictions, forsaking the favour of God for the love of this present World, exchanging the Ark for Dagon, the Doctrin of Christ for the Traditions of An­tichrist, the Worship of God in its native Beauty for the pomp and varnish of sordid superstition, thus mise­rably ending in the Flesh, though sometimes they seem­ed to have begun in the Spirit? Are there not some amongst us,(k) with whom it is thus, and of whom we may say, as sometime Paul to the Galatians, ye did run well, who did hinder you, that you should not o­bey the truth? At your first setting out in the ways of God, you did run to purpose, then you were ve­ry resolved, and sensible, and seemed very serious: But wo and alass, such fatal effascination hath now be­witched you, that like Sampson having lost your strength, you move not at all in the Zodiack of true Godliness, unless with Hezekiah's Sun by way of retrogradation; Time was, that Jehu-like you seemed to drive on with [Page 271] an holy fury for God in the work of reformation: But now alas the Chariot-wheels of your Zeal are taken off, and if you build not up Calves with Jeroboam at Dan and Bethel, yet you can well sit down in a luke­warm indifferency under them. Time was that you could not let a Day pass you without the performance of some Duty, nor any duty, without some experience of Gods Grace, and Love and Goodness to you: But now alass you can spend whole Days and Weeks, if not some Months, and yet never give the Lord a visit, at least in such a formal manner, that as God hath no Glory, so your Souls have no comfort, no incomes of Grace from Heaven, no spiritual advantage thereby! Time was that you spent much time in clearing up your evidences for Eternal Life, giving all diligence to make your calling and election sure: But now a­lass you can put Eternity it self to venture, you have left off working for Heaven; a sad sign that your mo­tion was artificial, not natural proceeding from a prin­ciple of Life within! Time was that you counted it your delight to consecrate the Sabbath, as holy unto God, waited with joy for the rising of the Sun of Righte­ousness on that Day, and were filled with many vehe­ment pantings, anhelations, and breathings after God in his Ordinances: But now (alass!) there is such an un­savouriness upon your Spirits, that you count it, a weariness to serve the Lord, and are so far from esteem­ing one Day in God's Courts better than a thousand elsewhere, that you think that to be the longest Day in all the week, crying when will the Sabbath be o­ver? In one word, time was that you seemed to have escaped the pollutions that are in the World through Lust, to be convinced of the evil of Sin, to resolve against all Unrighteousness, to bewail bitterly your Drunkeness, your Pride, your Uncleaness, your impro­vident mispence of Time, your horrid Oaths and bloody execrations, together with all your Ungodly Practi­ses: But wo and alass do you not now turn from the holy Commandment delivered to you, and instead of going on to reform your lives do you not return to your [Page 272] former vomit, breaking forth into more obscene, pro­digious, and abominable impieties than ever? Oh let me (my dear Friends!) out of that tender Love which I bear to your immortal Souls, bespeak you in the language of God to his own People!(l) What iniquity have your Fathers found in me that they are gone far from me? So what iniquity did you ever find in God, and the ways of God, that you are thus gone away from them, and so soon grown weary of them? What iniquity have you ever found in the invoca­tion of holy fervent prayer, that the wings there­of are now clipt, your devotion grown cold, and you come like slothful Suitors to God,(m) as if you would teach the Lord to give you the repulse? What Ini­quity have you found in God's holy Sabbaths that you are grown weary to bear them, and count it no great priviledge thereon to wait upon God, and have sweet communion with him in the Beauties of Holiness? What Iniquity have you found in Heavenly medita­tion that you cannot now soar aloft as formerly, but like Sisera whose Head was nailed to the Earth, have your hearts nailed and fast riveted to Earthly projects? In short, what iniquity did you ever find in the re­formation of your lives, abstaining from the many gross infamous and horrid pollutions that are in the World through lust? Is there not as much evil in your Drunk­eness, swearing, and the like abominable impieties, now as ever? Are they not as highly displeasing to the holy Spirit of God, as greatly prejudicial to the wel­fare of your precious Souls, as truly meritorious of Eternal Burnings in Hell, as ever? and is not that God who cut off Herod in his Robes, Belshazzar in his Cups, Babylon in its Pride, Jezabel in her paint and whoredoms, as able now to cut off you sinning after the same ensample, and to punish you with everlasting destru­ction from his Presence, and from the Glory of his Power? Oh then if you love your Immortal [Page 273] Souls beware of recidivation▪ take heed of relap­sing again into any of those sinful courses, which you formerly had escaped, and be sure that you walk perse­veringly endeavouring that you may never turn aside from the holy Commandment delivered to you! Re­member Lot's Wife, nay, remember Judas that Son of Perdition, and take heed that you never look back in your Christian course! If having set your hand to the Plough of an holy Profession, you should afterward look back; if having begun in the Spirit, you should after­ward end in the Flesh; if having escaped the Pollutions that are in the World through lust, you should again be intangled therein and overcome thereby, your latter end will be worse, more dreadful and damnable than your first beginning! Your hopes have been raised high by your Christian Profession, and therefore should you now miscarry, you must needs sink the deeper in Hell, and eternal Damnation! And oh what Millions of Worlds would you not now give to change places in Hell with a Turk or an Infidel, and to have no greater punishment there than an ordinary Damnation!* Every evil after the expectation of its opposite good, becomes the greater evil. What then will be the Hell, the Mi­sery, the eternal Heart-rending Reflexions of all Apo­states, who notwithstanding all their groundless hopes, are now like to be swallowed up of black Despair. They thought themselves once in an happy condition, but now distress and anguish takes hold upon them! They promised themselves to drink for ever of the River of God's Pleasures, but now whole Vollies of Brimstone, and all the Vials of God's Wrath, come thundering down upon them. They expected to sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob and all the Prophets in the Kingdom [Page 274] of God, but now they are shut up irrecoverably amongst damned Spirits in everlasting Chains under Darkness! They presumed themselves to be in the ready way to Heaven, but now they are inevitably dropping into Hell, the rageful Flames of which Infernal Lake, are now ready to seize upon them and burn them without quen­ching for ever! And can there possibly be a greater em­phasis of Misery, than such everlasting dreadful disap­pointment? Look to it then all you that have taken up the practise of Piety, and take heed that you never draw back to your own destruction! O labour to hold fast your Integrity, be not weary of well-doing, but look well to your selves, that you lose not the things which you have wrought, that you lose not your Pray­ers, your religious performances, and all your sufferings, but that you may receive a full Reward! You have not only Hells horrour behind you to keep you from draw­ing back; but you have also Heaven's Glory before you to keep you stedfast and unmovable always persevering in the work of the Lord.(a) And why will you e­ver have thoughts to leave that way, which leads to Glory, or grow weary of that Work, which will short­ly be crowned with an Eternal Reward? If Jacob thought not his fourteen years hard service tedious, having Rachel, a beautiful indeed, but yet a fading Flower, in his Eye: Why then should you look upon the service of God, as tedious or ever grow weary of it, having Heaven itself in your Eye, where you may gather not only Beautiful, but unfadable Flowers of Happiness, and Joy, and Glory for ever? What grea­ter reproach can you bring upon your selves, than to fall from your own stedfastness, making shipwrack of Faith, and a good conscience, when the Glory of Hea­ven [Page 275] lies before you, as an encouragement to all patient continuance in well-doing? Columbus having sailed long without making any discovery, his company at last be­gan to grow weary of the Voyage, till at length they espied Land, and then they went on chearfully; Thus though you be all weather-beaten and tossed as with Storms upon the troublesome Sea of this World, yet having the Land of Promise, the Heavenly Canaan in your Eye, you should never grow weary in well-doing, but hold on chearfully. It's but a while Chri­stians, and in case we hold fast our integrity we shall have done wrestling, and weeping, and praying, and then reap the fruit of all our labours. Its but a while and holding Faith and a good Conscience, we shall have done suffering and bleeding and dying for the cause of Christ, and so be crowned with Life Ever­lasting. It's but a while, and continuing patient in well-doing, we shall come amongst all the redeemed of Christ to Sion with* Songs, and everlasting Joy upon our Heads; we shall obtain Joy and Gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall fly away! Let not therefore your hearts grow faint, nor your hands be weakned through any Afflictions, Tryals, or Difficulties that you meet with in Heavens way, but having such everlasting consolation and good hope through Christ, let all your Righteousness be like the Morning-light, never decli­ning, but still shining more and more to the perfect day. They should never backslide, nor grow weary of serving God on Earth, whom the Lord allows for their encouragement to all holy self-denying, and upright walking before him a clear prospect of Heavens Glory! In vain doth God shew us the reward of Eternal Life, if the sight of it makes us not faithful unto the Death!

CHAP. X. The Doctrine improved by way of Exhor­tation to poor ungodly Sinners, advising them to give all diligence for an Inter­est in this glorious reward, and pressing the necessity thereof upon them by Five weighty Considerations.

(II) BY way of exhortation to you that have no interest in this glorious Reward which God sets before us, give all diligence that it may be yours. What will Heaven, and Glory, and Eternal Life a­vail you, if you can not look upon Heaven as your Heaven, upon Glory as your Glory, and upon the recompence of Life Eternal, as that which shall be your portion for ever? Wealth in the Mine doth no good at all, till actually severed and set apart for per­sons, and uses; Water in the Fountain is of no service to a Man, till conveyed thence into his own cistern: So though the recompence of Reward, be as a Mine full of excellent and unsearchable Riches, as a Foun­tain overflowing with living Waters, yet till it be actu­ally made our own, that we come to dig in this Mine, and to draw Water with Comfort, out of this Foun­tain of Life, we remain as Poor and Miserable as if this recompence of Eternal Life had never been set before us, 'Tis not a prospect of Heaven, but an in­terest in Heaven; not the tender of Eternal Life, but the having of Eternal Life, that will make us Happy. Moses himself had a sight of Canaan, and yet died in the Wilderness: Thus God may give you a sight of Heavenly Glory in the tenders of the Gospel, yet not embracing it by Faith, you may die in your Sins, [Page 277] fall short of the celestial Canaan, and be damned for ever. Sit not down therefore satisfied in hearing of this Eternally Glorious Reward, but give diligence now to get an interest in it, and to make it your own. Oh lose not your precious Souls, lose not Heaven and Eter­nal Glory, for want of looking after them.

(1) CONSIDER, if you get not an Interest in the Re­compence of the Reward which God sets before us, you are like to have all your Portion in this present Life. You may pos­sibly promise your selves great things hereafter, because your Barns are full, and your Cup overflows here: But in vain shall you look for Glory when you come to die, if you seek it not by patient continuance in well-doing all your Life. 'Tis no good Argument that your Hearts are filled with saving Grace, because your Bags and Coffers are stored with Gold. Because the World dandles you upon her Lap, 'tis no sure sign that you shall rest for e­ver in Abraham's bosom. You may not think to be Heirs of Heaven; because you are the Possessours of the Earth. For not getting an Interest in the Recompence of the Reward now, you are sure to go without it to all Eter­nity. The good things of this present World you may love, but the good things of Heaven and Glory, you shall never have. You may have a large Portion of earthly Enjoyments: But shall never enjoy the Inheritance of Saints in Light. 'Tis no new thing for God to fill their Bellies with his hidden Treasures, with the choicest of all earthly Comforts, who never take any care to lay up for themselves a Treasure in Heaven. But what (alas!) will it profit you to have Earth in Hand, if you have not Heaven in hope? What though Riches and Honour are the Lot of your Inheritance amongst those whose Lot is Happiness and eternal Glory? What relish think you hath Dives now left him of all his Delicacies, or Esau of his dear-bought Pottage? What pleasure hath the Rich Fool of his full Barns, or that young Man of his large [Page 278] Possessions? What delight hath Jezabel in her Paint, or Ahab in Naboth's Vineyard? What comfort can a Man have in the choicest Quintessence of any, or in the great­est. Confluence of all earthly Enjoyments, who must re­ceive them as his Portion, and can never expect any other Happiness, any other Portion, or Reward in God's heavenly Kingdom? It may be for the present thy Mony is thy Idol, and thou art held in Thraldom under thy own Possessions, but what will remain of thy Silver and Gold to carry thy Soul through the Storm of Death, save only the(b) rust thereof to joyn in Judgment against thee, and torment thee, eating thy Flesh like Fire for ever? It may be thou art acted now by vain Glory and Desires of popular Applause, but what will it then avail thee, to be admired by thy fellow Prisoners, and condemned by thy Judge? It may be thou servest thy own Lust, and another's Beauty, but what Pleasure will there be in all this, when the Fire of Lust shall be turned into the Fire of Hell? It may be thy worldly Comforts and Accommo­dations are now looked upon by thee as thy greatest Happiness, but what miserable Comforters will these be, when peeping out of thy Grave, thou shalt see Heaven and Earth all on a fire, and Christ coming in the Flames thereof to take Vengeance upon thee? There is a blessed God that could comfort in such an hour, but thou must never see him! There is a Crown of Glory that fadeth not away; there is a Kingdom that cannot be moved; there is all fulness of Joy, and Soul-satisfying Pleasure; but having thy Portion in this present World thou shalt never have these to comfort thee in the World to come! Make the best of your Portion here, of your Riches, Ho­nours, and Pleasures on Earth; for you must never re­ceive any Portion hereafter, you must never look to be Crowned with Life, and Eternity of Glory in Heaven! Oh then how unhappy are all those who neglect to get an Interest in the Recompence of the Reward, have no Hea­ven but Earth, no Glory but what will end in everlast­ing [Page 279] Shame, and perpetual Contempt, no Pleasures but what must shortly be changed into Hellish, Intolerable, and remediless Torments! If you love your immortal Souls, come away from all worldly Vanities, and be sure to get an Interest in this glorious Reward, that your Lives, and your Happiness, your Rejoycing, and all your Comfort, may not end together! The greatest Portion in this Life will afford you but small Comfort, of upon good Grounds you cannot look for a better Por­tion after Death!

(2) CONSIDER the Recompence of the Reward which God sets before us, it's a thing feasable, and that which you may obtain if you will but seek it. The Riches, Kingdom and Glory of this World may be sought, and yet never found: But whoever by patient continuance in well-doing shall seek for Glory and Honour,* and blessed Im­mortality, God will certainly Crown them with Life ever­lasting. The Lord is willing to bestow Heaven, the best of Rewards upon the worst of Sinners, will they but em­brace it. This eternal Recompence of Reward, 'tis a thing indeed difficult to be obtained, that none may des­pise it: But yet it's possible to be obtained, that so none may sit down discouraged, as despairing of it. This Ex­hortation would be out of season to the Damned in Hell, betwixt whom and eternal Glory, there is a great Gulf fixed, so that they are now no longer within the Possibi­lities of Life and Salvation: But for you, there is still Balm in Gilead to heal all your Wounds; there is an all-sufficiency of Merit in Christ to expiate your Sins; and there is still a most merciful Propensity of Will in God, to Crown all those that diligently seek him, with a glo­rious Reward. And why then since Life is before you, will you die the Death? Why will you choose to be miserable, under Tenders of Glory and eternal Happi­ness? Why will you expose your selves to hellish Tor­ments, [Page 280] when the Lord himself doth so earnestly invite you to accept of Heaven? Shall God be willing to give, and yet you so unwilling to receive the Reward of eter­nal Life? Oh why will you be such Enemies to your own Happiness, making light of that great Salvation, which though difficult, is yet possible to be obtained? Can you be content to fall short of eternal Glory, and for ever to(c) be shut out of Heaven, where is fulness of Joy? Shall God hold out the Golden Scepter of his Grace, and will you not so much as touch it to save your own Lives? Must he follow you with daily Im­portunities of Love, intreating you to accept of this glorious Reward to make you happy, and will you still with Disdain turn your backs upon him, as if the Fa­vour of God in Christ, as if Heaven and eternal Glory were not worth the having?(d) The Lord is Bountiful, and willing to give: But yet he expects that you should be so dutiful, as to receive with all thankfulness what he gives. The bestowance of this glorious Reward, doth indeed belong to God, as his part: But then the seeking and acceptance thereof doth belong to every one of you as your necessary indispensable Duty. Give di­ligence then, since God so freely offers, with all thank­fulness to embrace the Reward of eternal Life. Were the Matter of this Exhortation an Impossibility, exciting you to seek for what you could never find, and to labour for what you could never obtain, you might well in such case make light of it: But when thus you have a Crown, a Kingdom, an eternal W [...]ght of Glory set before you, [Page 281] together with this Encouragement, that in seeking you shall be sure to find them, how inexcusable must you needs be, if still you should go on in the careless neglect of them? Because the Recompence of eternal Life is possible to be obtained, therefore impossible will it be for those that seek it not, that ever they should escape the Vengeance of eternal Death.

(3) CONSIDER how unable all your Creature-enjoy­ments will be to afford you any solid Comfort at Death and Judgment, not having an Interest in the Recompence of eternal Life. What the Holy Ghost saith of Riches, may truly be affirmed of all Creature-enjoyments, and worldly Accommodations, they profit not in a Day of Wrath. The Night approaching, we lose the benefit of the Sun for a time, and can no longer we enjoy the Light of his beauteous Beams: So the darksom Night of Death and Judgment approaching, you can now no longer enjoy the Comfort of Riches, Honours, and the like worldly Accommodations, but must lose them for ever. You may cry Brethren, to your Riches, and cry to your Ho­nours, and cry to your Friends, and cry bitterly to your dearest Relations, but not having an Interest in the Recompence of Reward, all these will then answer you as the King of Israel (e) sometime an­swered the poor Woman of Samaria, if God do not help you, whence shall we help you? The good things of this Life, they are only calculated for the Meridian of Time, and do only shine with a borrowed light: So that when Death shall seize upon you, and Judgment overtake you, they will then be gone, and like a Shadow disappear for ever. And will you not labour, all this considered, that you may not be com­fortless when all your Creature-comforts fail you; not without good ground of rejoycing, when all your En­joyments will avail you nothing? Oh that you were but wise to consider this, that you would but remember [Page 282] your latter end! Will your Health, and your Strength, and your Life endure for ever, or have you any thing in this present World that can deliver you from Death, and the Jaws of Hell? Boast you may for a while of your worldly Enjoyments without an Interest in hea­venly Glory, but when you come Sirs to look pale Death in the Face, and must hold up thy Hand to be judged at the Bar of Christ the Righteous Judge of all the World, though now you had the very Quintessence and most refined Spirits of all Creatures mingled in one Cup for your Comfort, yet assuredly you would find them but a cold Cordial. Though Sirs you were Cloathed in Scarlet, faring deliciously every day; though you were all bespangled with the Pearls of Heaven, enjoying the whole Empire of the World as your own: Yet what (alas!) were all this against the fatal Stroak of impartial Death, or against the Judgment of the great God now Sentencing your Soul and Body to the Vengeance of e­ternal Fire? Never think that your Riches, Honours and the like earthly Comforts will avail you any thing against the Thunder and Fire of Heaven in such a day! An Interest in heavenly Glory, this indeed will be able to comfort you: But have all the Riches, Honours, and Pleasures that the World can afford, and yet without this, your condition is equally helpless with the Dam­ned in Hell! And shall not all this constrain you to seek the Kingdom of God, endeavouring to get an Inte­rest in eternal Glory? Since Earth cannot relieve you, why will you not resolve to look after Heaven?

(4) CONSIDER how small the number is of such as shall ever obtain the reward of Eternal Life, and let that make you labour the more for an interest in it. The Lord hath indeed prepared a Kingdom, yet not for the re­ception of all promiscuously whatever good or bad:(a) But only for the housing of that twice little di­minutive Flock, for whose sake the good Shepherd hath [Page 283] laid down his Life. This glorious recompence of the reward will be given but to very few, because so ma­ny refuse to work in God's Vineyard for it. Of those many that are called,(b) there are but few that are chosen to obtain Salvation by Jesus Christ: And yet how few are all those that are called, in comparison of such as never yet had any call from Christ in the Gospel? If the learned Brerewood compute right, who divideth the whole World into thirty parts, assigning nineteen of those thirty to idolatrous Pagans, six to Mahumetans, and but five to Christians, within how nar­row a compass will salvation be confined? Salvation to be sure is no plant of India, nor is it any com­modity to be found in Turkey: Such Goats and Swine as inhabit there whether Idolaters worshipping false Gods, or Infidels worshipping the true God out of Christ, they must never think to enter into Paradise, nor to gather fruit from the Tree of Life. So that if any where Salvation may be found, 'tis only amongst those that are Christians: And yet even here such is the number of seduced erroneous Papists on the one hand, and of profane formal Protestants on the other, that un­doubtedly there are not many of them, that shall ever be saved.(c) Of the four sorts of grounds that we read of in the Parable of the Sower, there is not three good and one only bad; nor two good and two bad: but only one good, and all the rest bad; to teach us how small the number is of sincere Christians who re­ceive the blessing of Eternal Life, in comparison of those impenitent, fruitless and ungodly Christians who are nigh unto cursing,(d) and whose end is to be burned. Amongst all the inhabitants of the Earth, there are but few to be found, that will ever find the right way to Heaven and Glory.(e) For strait [Page 284] is the gate (saith Christ) and narrow is the way which leadeth unto Life, and few there be that find it. Though all Men desire, and many seek, yet few they be that find the Way to true Blessedness. This is the mark that all Men aim at, but so many take their aim amiss that but few hit it. This is that wished Harbour for which all Men are bound, but so many sail by a false Compass, that small is the number of those who steer a right course thither. There are multitudes of Men and Women, that perish in the Broad Way which leadeth to Destruction: But few that walk in the nar­row Way which leadeth unto Happiness, and blessed immortality in the Kingdom of God. And what will make you cast off Presumption, and offer violence to the Kingdom of Heaven, if not this consideration that there is but a very few who have either part or lot in that Glorious Inheritance? Were there but few dam­ned and many saved, yet in that case it would much concern us to look to our selves, lest we should be some of those few that must go to Hell: How much more should we look to our selves, laying hold upon Eternal Life, when so few shall be saved, and go to Heaven; when so many walk on in the Way of De­struction, and must go to Hell? Oh deceive not your own Souls, expecting to go to Heaven in a croud, but give diligence to be found of that little Flock, upon whom it is the Fathers good Pleasure to bestow a Kingdom! Whilst multitudes of Men and Women go crouding into Hell, strive you to walk in that nar­row Way which will bring you to Glory. Be not discouraged by the paucity of those that shall be sa­ved, but because they are so few resolve to be found in that blessed Number, that they may be the more. Remembring this still for your encouragement, that though there be but few, yet some there are, who shall receive the reward of Eternal Life, and you as soon as any, if by patient continuance in well-doing you will but seek it! Be they never so few that shall find the Way which leads to Glory, yet no Man can ever lose the Way thither, but through his own negligence!

(5) CONSIDER you have yet an opportunity wherein to seek the recompence of Eternal Life, and let that make you to give all possible diligence in labouring for it. When God affords us an opportunity of Grace, he then expects that by patient continuance in Well-doing we should seek for Glory: When he holds open the Gate of Mercy, then if ever he calls us to enter in. When (in a word) he makes reports of Life and Salvation to us in an ac­ceptable time, then, oh then above all things in the World, it concerneth us to work out our own Salvation with fear and trembling! Well, yet the fair-day of God's Grace is not over, and therefore deal wisely in your Heavenly Merchandise, now buying of him Gold tried in the Fire that you may be rich, and purchasing for your selves, that one Pearl of great price. Yet your seed-time is not past, be sure therefore to sow in tears that hereafter ye may reap in Joy; now sow to the Spirit that of the Spirit ye may reap Life Everlasting! Yet Christians the six Days of the Week are not all of them gone, see therefore that you ga­ther Manna, now labouring to make provision for an everlasting Sabbath of Rest in God's Heavenly King­dom! Though the damned in Hell be shut up in an Everlasting Night under Darkness, yet still it is Day with you: Work therefore while you have the Day, because the Night cometh wherein you cannot work. If ever you would be able to go through with the work of your Salvation, you must be sure to set a­bout it in the Day of Salvation: And if you ever would find the Reward of Eternal Life, you must be sure to seek it, before the glass of your Life be run out, and your strength exhausted. Pray therefore to Day; repent to Day; seek Heaven to Day; thou art not sure of to morrow: And he that is not fit to Day, will be less fit to seek after Heaven when to morrow comes! How vainly then do Men talk of work­ing for Heaven, when they are just going to the place of Reward: and of doing the greatest Work, to re­pent, believe, and seek the Kingdom of God, when their [Page 286] strength is at the lowest ebb?(f) But believe it Sin­ners, you will find it too much for one to look af­ter a sick Soul, and a sick Body together; too much to get a lively faith, when he lieth a dying; too much to mount up as on Eagles wings to Heaven, when his feet are going down to the Grave, and his steps take hold of Hell! If ever you would have your works in the full and Eternal Reward of them to follow you when dead, you must be sure to follow your work close while you live, now seeking by patient conti­nuance in well-doing for Glory, Honour, Immortali­ty, and Eternal Life. Now therefore delay not the doing of that, which must be once done, or your Souls are undone for ever. What do you not yet know the certainty of an approaching Death, together with the Vanity and shortness of your own Life, which according to the just estimate of Truth, is no more than a span which is soon measured, a Vapour that quickly vanish­eth, a Flower that presently fadeth, or a little spot of time betwixt too vast Eternities? Do you not know that upon this short moment of time dependeth your E­ternal condition, of Happiness, if improved well, but of Misery if ill-improved.(g) Do you not know that the longer you delay to seek after this Eternal Reward, [Page 287] the more unfit you will be for it, and the less able to go through with so difficult a province, it being im­possible, that your Hearts thro' procrastination should not grow harder, your corruptions stronger, whilst custom converted into a second Nature, produceth without a miracle of Mercy, an irrecoverableness in a course of Sin? Do you not know it's a point of the greatest disingenuity that can be, to exhaust the Spirits of your strength in the service of Sin, consecrating the first fruits of your Time to such a cruel Aegyptian Taskma­ster, and to reserve no better for the service of the great God, than the very ruins of your strength, nor any o­ther than the dregs of your time, wherein to seek the Kingdom of Heaven?(h) Do you not know how fast your lives unravel, being not of a permanent, but tran­sient nature continually wasting, like the Oyl in the lamp, whether you work or stand idle in God's Vineyard, whether you will seek for a Crown of Life or not seek it? Do you not know that be the time of your lives never so short, yet the term allotted for us of God wherein to seek after Heaven and Glory is never extended beyond it,(i) as the Israelites might gather Man­na on any of the six days in the Week, but not on the seventh? Do you not know, but if you neglect the present opportunity, refusing now to seek after the re­ward of Eternal Life, God may seal you up in your im­penitency for ever, denying you all further advantages for your Souls, as not having promised a Day of Re­pentance to any, though he have promised to all that are [Page 288] truly penitent a Crown of Glory?(k) Oh then to Day if you will hear his Voice harden not your Hearts, ne­glecting the reward of Eternal Life till tomorrow, when the present time is the only Day of Salvation! If the Day of Salvation be neglected, your hope of Salvation will for ever be frustrated. If now you let slip the Day of Grace, you cannot chuse but fall short hereaf­ter of the Crown of Glory. Time and opportunity in this case do vastly differ. Time is the continuation of Hours, Days and Years successively coming after each other: But opportunity is the universal concur­rence of all other helps and advantages to give birth by their auspicious Midwifery to your wished ends. So that you may have time, and yet lose your op­portunity. You may have in the Glass of your time many sands, when there is not a sand left in the Glass of your opportunity. You may have the Moon-light of time, when the Sun of opportunity is gon down in an everlasting Night of Darkness upon you. And to be sure Sirs, if you lose the Sun-light of oppor­tunity, you will never be able by the Moon-light of time to find out, and walk in that narrow Way which leads to Glory.(l) The five foolish Virgins came too late, and for that cause were everlastingly shut out from the marriage Supper.(m) Jerusalem had the things belonging to her peace hid from her Eyes, because in the Day of her visitation she would not know them. And Esau having lost through delays his Fathers Bles­sing, [Page 289] he found no place of Repentance, nor opportuni­ty to recover it, though he sought it with Tears. So that you see the least of opportunity to get Heaven once fallen, never springeth again. The Market-day of Grace once over, we must never expect a second, wherein to purchase for our selves that one Pearl of great price. The swift tide of God's mercy in the stri­vings of his Spirit once returned, we must never look to see it high water again, nor think by the reflowings thereof, to have our Souls landed safe upon the wish­ed shore of Eternal Rest. And this dear Friends I tell you, not to plunge you in despair, but to beget in you desires after the lively hope of Eternal Life: not to shut you up under a sentence of wrath and unpreventable Misery in Hell, but to hasten you in your pursuit of Heaven and Eternal Glory. Though you have former­ly made light of Salvation, yet if now you will prize it, though you have heretofore turned your backs upon Heaven, yet will you but now seek after it; though hitherto you have undervalued all those inestimable ten­ders of Life and Eternal Glory which God hath made you, yet if now you will close with them seeking dili­gently by patient continuance in well-doing for Glory Honour and Immortality, you need not doubt but Sal­vation shall be your Crown, Heaven shall be your home and the full enjoyment of God in Glory, that shall be your portion and your exceeding great reward. Yet the Gol­den Scepter of God's Grace is stretched out, now there­fore be sure to lay hold upon it. Yet there is a door of Mercy stands open, be sure now to enter in thereat. Yet you are not sealed up under an irreversible Sentence of Wrath in Hell, give diligence therefore this day, this hour, this present moment, to lay up for your selves a Treasure in Heaven. Now, oh now my beloved is your Term-time, wherein to plead with God for the lives of your Immortal Souls, shortly comes an everlasting Vacation of Happiness or Misery, where you cannot be heard pleading for your selves though with Tears of [Page 290] Blood! As in War so in this case, we are not per­mitted to err twice; now Heaven and Eternal Glory lie before you; either speedily get an interest in them, or together with your present opportunity you will lose them for ever. When Death begins to make his arrest upon thee, its not then a time to sow, but to reap the fruit of our doings; not to labour for Eternal Rest, but to rest from our labours; not by works of Righte­ousness to seek a Crown, but to receive a Crown of Righteousness; not to lay up for our selves a Trea­sure in Heaven, but to go to Heaven, where our Com­fort, our Treasure, our Happiness are all laid up! That Seed of Grace must be sown in season, from which we would ever reap a crop of Eternal Glory. Now therefore while the Lord waits to be gracious, while his Spirit strives, and calls you to break off your Sins by Repentance, be sure to work out your own Salva­tion with fear and trembling, providing for your selves everlasting Heavenly Mansions, against the Time that your Earthly Tabernacles will be dissolved! Oh remem­ber, if while God affords you the auspicious gales of his own Spirit, you shall not now hoyst up your Sails set­ting forward in your Voyage for the holy land, you must never expect to arrive safe at the shore of blessed Eternity.

CHAP. XI. A Sixth Consideration added to move Sin­ners to seek an Interest in Heaven and Glory, taken from that everlasting Mi­sery that will otherwise befall them, where also the Horror of that Hellish Misery is set out in Six Particulars.

(6) AND lastly consider if you get not an interest in Heaven­ly Glory, the reward of Eternal Misery must be your portion. It hath by some been fiction'd that what every Man affected in this Life, with that he should be sola­ced in the Elisian fields: The Moral carrieth in it a certain truth, that look what Men set their Hearts most upon here, such shall be their Eternal condition in another World, whether it be upon Sin unto Death, or upon Righteousness unto life everlasting. Whatever the Church of Rome may dogmatize of their Limbus Infantum, a Receptacle for the Souls of Infants dying without Baptism, or of a Purgatory for such as die in venial Sins whose guilt was not fully expiated;* Yet as the ways of Men in this life are but two, either Holy or Unholy, so the Divine Oracle acknowledgeth no more than two Final and Everlasting estates for Men in the Life to come, the one of Happiness, the other of Misery, the one of all fulness of Joy in God's presence, and the other [Page 292] of everlasting Destruction from his Presence, and from the Glory of his Power. Hence it is said of God, that to those who by patient continuance in well-doing, seek for Glory, and Honour, and Immortality, he will render eternal Life: But to every Soul that hath Pleasure in Unrighteousness, not obeying the Gospel, Indignation and Wrath, Tribulation and Anguish.(*) And Christ himself declaring the Process of that great Day, as he only takes Cognizance of two sorts of Men, the one Righteous, the other Wicked, the one as Sheep on his right Hand, the other as Goats on his left: So he only makes mention of a twofold Sentence, the one of Abso­lution, the other of Condemnation, each assigning to its proper Objects, their everlasting Condition; so that the Wicked, in the Execution of this Sentence, must go a­way into everlasting Punishment, and the Righteous into life Eternal. They that have not the Happiness to stand amongst the Sheep of Christ on the right Hand, they must stand amongst the Goats on his left. They that are not pronounced Blessed, are pronounced Accursed. And whoever is not called to inherit the Kingdom of God, to be sure he must have his Portion with Hypocrites in the Lake that bumeth with Fire and Brimstone for ever. E­very Man's Works when he once comes to be matriculat­ed amongst the Dead, will(†) be sure to follow him, either for his Comfort, if they have been Righteous, or for his eternal Confusion, if Unrighteous. Never think then (my Brethren) falling short of Heaven, and Glory, to escape the Damnation of Hell. For as when the Light is departed, a gloomy Darkness immediately thereupon succeedeth, and taketh place: So whoever are not count­ed Meet to be partakers of the Inheritance (b) of the (a) [Page 293] Saints in Light, for them is reserved the(c) Blackness of Darkness for ever. And who to avoid Misery, would not choose Happiness? Who to escape everlasting Shame and perpetual Contempt in the World to come, would not now make Glory his Option? Who to prevent the heaviest Stroak of God's eternal Displeasure, the furious gnawings of that Worm which never dies, and the most exquisite Torments of everlasting Burnings in Hell, would not now give diligence to lay up for himself a Treasure in Heaven? Believe it Sinner, thou that art a Demas, embracing this present World, thou that art a Ju­das betraying thy Lord and Master for thirty pieces of Silver, thou that art an ungodly Achan, hugging thy self in any accursed thing, which God hath devoted, thou (in a word) that art a prophane Esau, selling thy Birth-right for a Mess of Pottage, I have received a Commission from God to write bitter things against thee, and out of love to thy poor Soul, let me tell thee, that if thus thou go on to make light of Heaven and Glory, there re­maineth nothing but a fearful looking for of Judgment, (d) and fiery Indignation from the Lord to devour, to torment, and to burn thee for ever! Oh then consider this, all ye that forget God, left he tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver you! What is there in all the Profits, Honours, and pleasurable Vanities of this World, that for them you should run the hazard of ever­lasting hellish Torments? What, is not Life to be pre­ferred before Death, Happiness before an Eternity of Misery, and the Joys of Heaven, before the everlasting Pains, Tortures, and Burnings of Hell? Oh remember it Sinner, there is that in Hell, which, though thy Flesh were of Iron, and thy Bones of Brass, might make thee tremble, and thy Knees to smite one against another! And yet in case thou be a Drunkard, a Swearer, a Co­vetous, or an unclean Person, making light of Heaven to enjoy thy Lust, this is the place whither shortly thou (b) [Page 294] must go, and wherein thou must erelong receive for thy Portion, the Vengeance of eternal Fire. For the Mouth of Truth hath spoken it, and will make it good,(d) that the Wicked shall be turned into Hell, with all the Na­tions that forget God. But that what I have said, may effectually influence your Souls to look after Heaven, give me leave to Epitomize Hell, and to shew you in some few Particulars, the Horrors wherewith this place of Torment is filled up to the brim.

(1) CONSIDER the Purity of Hell Torments, which are a Cup of the Wine of God's fiercest Wrath unmixed, wherein there is not to be found any one Ingredient of his Love, or Mercy. Here the worst of Men do enjoy some Good: But in Hell, even they whose Condition is the best, they have nothing but Evil. There is not any Grant of the least Comfort to the greatest Torment; not one drop of Ho­ny in all the Gall which is given them to drink of; nor so much as the least glimpse of heavenly Light in all that Cimmerian Darkness: But(e) Sorrow without Joy; Death without(f) Life; and Judgment without Mercy, must for ever be their Portion. 'Tis I know the Opinion of the Schoolmen, that the very Reprobates in Hell are pun­ished oitra condignum: Whence some would infer, that there is no place wherein there is not some Impression of God's Mercy, nor any Creature which doth not tast of his Goodness. But however God should mitigate some part of that Torment, which the Sinner justly deserved, and which in the Rigour of his Justice he might rightly have inflicted: Yet as for any positive Effect of God's Mercy and Goodness in Hell, the Damned are altogether unacquainted with it. 'Tis true, both the Devils and Reprobates in Hell, they have a Physical Being, which [Page 295] in it self is good: But yet to them it is nothing so, as being only continued to render them capable of everlast­ing Destruction from the Presence of God, and from the Glory of his Power. They have a being, but it's only to fit them for an eternal Misery; they have a Life, but such that they would(h) give ten thousand Worlds to be eased of that heavy Burden, as being made thereby ob­noxious to the stroak of eternal Death. So that whatever be the Goodness of a Physical Being which the Damned have, yet sure it doth not preponderate the Vengeance of eternal Fire conjunct with it. But still you may look upon Hell, would you conceive aright thereof, as a place of Torment wherein they shall never have the least ease; as a place of Sorrow, wherein they must never ex­pect the least Joy; as a place of Destruction from the blisful Presence of God, wherein they may never tast the smallest of his Mercies, nor expect one comfortable Smile from his Face to all Eternity. And oh what To­phet is not a Paradise, what Flames are not a Bed of Down to the loss of all our Comforts, but especially to the loss of the God of our Comforts! That which is privative, taking away from the Sinner all Good, is worse(i) than that which is Positive in Damnation, though hereby be brought in an universal Deluge of all Evil, a whole Iliad of Miseries at once. The Pain of Loss doth infinitely preponderate the Pain of Sense: So that(k) the Reflexion of a Sinner upon the loss of God, and Christ, and eternal Glory will be the Sting of all his Sorrows, the Head of that envenomed Arrow, which will drink up his Spirits like Poyson for ever, and this [Page 296] is that Worm of Conscience which never dies, the fu­rious gnawings whereof will be far more dreadful and intollerable, than the Vengeance of eternal Fire it self! If the departure of God from his own People, though Partial, and only for a Time, be so dreadful, that they usually cry out as Men undone, thinking no Rhetorick sufficient to express it in, but Sighs, no Tongue, but Shreeks and Groans, no Ink, but mournful Tears, no Pa­per, but that of a wounded and broken Heart; oh then how unsufferable will the loss of God be to all the Damn­ed in Hell, who must be Punished with a full and ever­lasting Destruction from God, and from the Glory of his Power? Do they mourn so bitterly when for a small moment he forsakes them, though with great Mercy he gathers them; when in a little Wrath he hides his Face from them, though with everlasting Kindness he will have Mercy upon them? Oh then how bitterly wilt thou Mourn, and with what heart-rending furious Re­flexions wilt thou look back upon thy own prodigeous Folly, when the Lord shall forsake thy Soul to all Eter­nity, when he shall hide his Face from thee for ever, commanding thee to depart from his Presence Accursed into eternal Fire! Should you imagine ten thousand Hells,(l) yet all this were not so much as to lose the beatifical Presence of God in Glory. The full Enjoy­ment of God, that is the Crown and the Glory of Hea­ven: And so, the total loss of God, that is the great­est Emphasis of Hell, and eternal Damnation. Oh that is the Sting which enters into the Bowels; that is the Worm of hellish Horror which will feed upon them for ever; that is the heavy Milstone of God's sorest Wrath which will inevitably sink and drown them in eternal [Page 297] Perdition! A Man who enjoyeth God can never want Comfort: But whoever loseth God, he loseth all his Comforts together with him. How woful is then the Condition of all the Damned in Hell, who must neither enjoy God, nor the least Mercy from God to all Eterni­ty? Here possibly you have Riches, and Honours, ma­ny Friends, and carnal Pleasures: But losing God thou must leave them all behind thee, nor shall any of them be able to bring thee Tidings of Comfort, when shut up in Hell! You(m) know how it fares with Rich Dives; he denied the Crums to poor Lazarus, and in Hell, though he seek it with Tears of Blood; yet the Comfort of one drop of Water to cool his Tongue, when tormented with infernal Flames, will not be granted him. For that's a Place of Judgment without Mercy; there the Eye sees no Comfort, the Tongue tasteth no Comfort, the Ear heareth no Comfort: But Punishment without Pity; Sorrow without Succour, Torment without Ease; and the loss of God over all Blessed for ever, is the Por­tion of all the Damned! And what Sinner, hast thou any Lust, any Sin, any Dalilah, whose Love will be able to compensate the loss of God, of his Kingdom and Glo­ry for ever? Can'st thou dwell Sinner in Misery with­out Mercy, in continual Mourning without Mirth, in Heart-killing-sorrow, without any Solace, in the Valley of the shadow of Death without the Favour and loving Kindness of God, which is better than Life? Why, what reason hast thou poor Self-destroying-soul, by thy careless neglect of Heaven and eternal Glory, thus to run the hazard of being Punished for ever from the Presence of God, of his Grace, of his Mercy and Goodness in hellish Flames, where are all things to fill with Terrour, but nothing to excite Desire, or to Minister the least Comfort? Oh this, this is the grand Aggravation of the Damned's Misery, and that which makes it saddest of all, that in Hell they must not only lose their Riches, Honours, and Relations which were all in themselves [Page 298] Good, but the Presence of God himself, who is best of all!

(2) CONSIDER the Society you are like to have in Hell-torments, which is none other than that of Devils, and that of damned Spirits, whose Names were not Written in the Book of Life. As in Heaven there are none but Saints and glorious Angels. So in Hell there are none but Sinners, and snaky Devils; and these are they that for ever must be your cursed Associates in Wrath and Misery. The Tares, and the Wheat in this Life, they grow both to­gether: But when Christ, who is our Life shall appear, having gathered home the Wheat into his own Garner, he will bind up the Tares in Bundles and burn them to­gether. Here the(n) Sheep, and the Goats, the Foolish, and the wise Virgins are promiscuously mingled toge­ther, being oftentimes, not only of the same Nation, but of the same Cognation and Family too: But there is a great day of Separation coming, when being sorted, and set one upon God's right Hand, and the other upon his left, the Wicked with the Devil and his Angels, shall be hurried away together, as so many Swine and Goats from the Presence of God, into the Vengeance of eter­nal Fire. And oh what a dreadful Aggravation of your Torments in Hell will this be, when the Devil who in­stigated you through his Subtilty to commit Sin, and those that were your Companions in the Contrivances, Pleasures, and Profits thereof, must for ever become your Associates in that Wrath, that Misery, that endless unpreventable Destruction that will follow after! Ma­ny Fool-hardy Sinners there are, who think it will be some Allay to their Misery in Hell, that they shall not go thither alone: But to be sure the more Vessels of Wrath, the more Vials of God's Wrath will be poured out upon them;(o) and if the con­current Judgment of Expositours upon the Parable [Page 299] of Dives and Lazarus (p) that which made the rich Man so passionately desirous to have his five Brethren premonished by the Herald from the Dead, was not any Compassion which he bore to them, but a certain fearful looking for of an Aggravation of his own Misery, by the Association of them with himself in those Hellish Tor­ments. Howl and tremble then all ye that neglect Glo­ry, striking Hands with the Works of Iniquity, for the Misery that will shortly come upon you, when Chained up by the Almighty Hand of God amongst Devils and damned Spirits in the dark Chaos of eternal Confusion! In this World the Wicked love not to Associate them­selves with God's People, but shun their religious Socie­ty, abhor their devout Exercises, exclaiming of them as the only Troublers of the State, Subverters of good Or­der,(q) Enemies to Coesar, the very Pests of the(r) Coun­try where they live,(s) and Men that turn the World upside down: But oh what everlasting horrid Confu­sion, what Trembling, what fearful Astonishment, what furious Heart-rending Reflexions will this fill them with, to see the Righteous called up into eternal Soul-entrancing Communion with God in Glory, and them­selves carried headlong with grisly Devils, and damned Spirits into hellish Torments! If David complains so bitterly of the(t) Society of contentious Neighbours, saying, Woe is me(u) that I dwell in Mesech, and that I [Page 300] sojourn in the Tents Kedar: What cause then of sad complaint will all the damned have in Hell, where they shall by their bitter out-cries, horrid execrations, and doleful schrietchings mutually aggravate each others Torments, and never envy any other Company than that of enraged Devils insulting over them with hellish spite, and torturing them as the Instruments of God's eternal Vengeance, with variety of exquisite Torments for ever! Should a poor damned Soul break out of Hell with the Flames and Wrath of God upon him, and at­tended with Legions of furious Devils shew himself in our Streets, filling the Air with his doleful Out-cries and hideous Roarings, how dreadful would it be to all Beholders! How would Mens Hair stand an end, and their Knees smite one against another! Think then with your selves, and let it make you serious in seeking Heaven: How dreadful it will be to have your Portion with the Damned in Hell, to dwell with Millions of snaky Devils, and to be filled for ever with the hideous Out-cries and doleful Lamentations of such everlastingly tortured, and torturing Caitifs!

(3) CONSIDER the universality of Hell torments, which will so diffuse themselves, through the whole Man, that not any faculty of Soul, nor any member of Body shall be free from anguish. Here Diseases have their particular place of residence assigned them in the Body, so that some parts are free, while others are full of Pain; Or if any Distemper exercise such an universal Tyranny o­ver the whole Body as to afflict and torture it in every Part and Member, yet the Spirit of a Man doth often escape the malignity of his affliction sustaining him un­der it. But in Hell the whole Man must undergo an [Page 301] universal Misery:(a) So that every Vein and Artery in the Body, every Power and Faculty of Soul, shall be filled up to the brim with the invenomed bitter Water of Gods enraged jealousie to torture and perplex them for e­ver. Here the Body is tortured in all parts, not a Vein, nor an Artery, not a Muscle goes free: And in every Sense it is terrified, and beset with some prodigy of Horrour, and dreadful astonishment. There shall be Tears in the Eyes, for there is weeping and wail­ing; Horrour in the Ears, proceeding from those hide­ous outcries, doleful complaints, and horrid execrations which the damned will breath forth for ever in Hel­lish Torments;(b) the smell which was here so choice in singling out its fragrances shall there be everlasting­ly offended with the noysom fume of Brimstone, and with those poysonous favours that proceed from dam­ned Reprobates, which if breathed into the Air were enough to infect the whole World with a mortal Plague; the curious Palate which here must be entertained with variety of delicious Fare, not well knowing through niceness which dish at a Feast to feed upon, shall there tast nothing but the Poyson Asps and the Wine of Everlasting astonishment; the Touch which here must be gratified with all softness and effeminacy as impati­ent through the delicacy of it to endure so much as the injury of one cold blast, shall there be everlastingly afflicted with most exquisite Tortures, lying under the fierce Storm of Gods Wrath, which like a Tempest of Fire and Brimstone shall excruciate and beat upon it for ever. And as all the Senses, so every Member of the Body shall have its peculiar pain to wrack and torment [Page 302] it for ever. The Head that was here swoln like an impostume with all wicked Plots, and treasonable de­signs against Heaven, shall in Hell feel the ach of Gods heavy Displeasure, and break into an Eternal Agony of unsufferable Pain. The Face that was here the deadly Bait of Bestial desire, exercising a lustful Tyranny over, and commanding a secret adoration from the amorous Lover, shall have no such sweetness now, as to move any pity, no such attractive Beauty now, as to capti­vate any Eye, nor any such silent Rhetorick, as to draw a Sigh, a Tear, a Groan from any beholder, but must now gather blackness for ever, and instead of the garish paint of comely Features, which will all melt away under the hot scorching Beams of Gods sore displeasure, be filled with the confounding blushes of Eternal Flames.(c) The Heart that was here the Minthouse of all in­ordinate affections shall now meditate Terror for ever, be shot through with ten Thousand invenomed Arrows of the Almighty and now every Sin, every Lust it hath harboured shall be turned into so many Scorpions and Furies to sting and torment, and rend it for ever. Thus if like a skilful Anatomist I should go through the Whole Body of Man, criticize upon every part, I might shew you how their Eyes will start out for very anguish, their Tongues be scorched with thirst, their Lips quiver, their Flesh tremble, their Sinews be dread­fully wracked, their Bones are all shatter'd in pieces, their Moisture and Marrow dried up, their Bowels shudder for Horrour,(d) their Hands and Feet bound fast in fiery Chains of Eternal Wrath, the Joints of [Page 303] their Loyns loosed,(e) and their Knees like Belshaz­zars smite one against another for that Eternal Wrath and Misery which must come upon them. But wav­ing the several Parts of the Body, as capable of no more than the Body and mere outside of Hellish Torments, I must tell you that all the faculties and Powers of the Soul shall have their share in all the unsufferable end­less Torments of Hell, which indeed will be the Soul, the Emphasis, the sting of those Hellish Torments. Here the Understanding shall be dreadfully per­plexed, when the Soul shall see how for a little sugared Poyson, a little sensual delight, and wanton dalliance, it hath lost a Crown of Life, lost the enjoyment of the ever Blessed God, and Eternal Glory, and plunged it self irrecoverably in everlasting unpreventable Misery.(f) Here the Will shall also be filled with all the in­gredients of Wrath and Misery, obfirmed in Wicked­ness, captivated for ever in the Labyrinth of Horrour and Heart-rending despair without any thread of es­cape, desiring nothing more than for ever to be swal­lowed up, and lie hid in the most abhorred estate of annihilation, from the Wrath to come. Here the va­rious affections of the Soul (which however distant, if not contrary in the circumference of their differing objects, did yet all of them accord to meet, and con­center themselves in this Life upon nothing but Lust. and Sin, and Creature-Vanities) will wage an ever­lasting intestine War, begetting such tumultuary Jars,(g) pernicious Schisms, unquiet agitations, Heart-rending conflicts, and Boyling estuations within, that now the damned in Hell will be like the troubled Sea indeed, having no rest Night nor Day for ever. Here in a word the Memory that faithful remem­brancer of all opportunities lost, all Mercies slighted, all Sins committed, and of all favours abused, shall [Page 304] now be an everlasting Fury, bringing all those things to mind,(h) and reflecting them continually to the Conscience, which awakned through the scorching heat of Gods heavy displeasure, shall now become not only a Thousand Witnesses but a thousand rag [...]ful Devils, to throw the Soul into an Everlasting Agony, to ex­cruciate, sting, and torment it, as with Scorpions for ever. And if this must be the Lot of the damned in Hell, so that no Member of Body, no Faculty of Soul shall be free from such exquisite unsufferable Torments, what a prodigy of madness is it then for Men by ne­glecting Heaven and Eternal Glory to expose them­selves Body and Soul to all this Wrath, and Horrour, and universal unpreventable Misery! Think of it seri­ously, and consider, if now you cannot endure the ach of our Member, how ever you will be able to suffer, when all of them must be most dreadfully tortured together in one common destruction? What will you do when all the Senses of your Body, which here you have studied so much to gratify, shall have all their pleasing objects turned into matter of Hor­rour, and Everlasting anguish? Nay, what will you do, in what abyss will you hide your selves from your selves, from your Sins, from the Wrath of God, when your poor Souls that were chief in sinning shall now be chief in suffering, and shall be turned into so many living Hells, full of nothing but the Wine of astonishment, together with the Fury, and indig­nation of the Lord for ever?

(4) CONSIDER the immutability of Hell Torments, which makes the condition of all those remediless upon whom soever they have once taken hold. Every condition in this Life is a Compound of mutability, vicissitudes, and various changes; Health and Sickness, Ease and Pain, Joy and Sorrow mutually succeeding one another: Nor is there any Man so miserable through Sin, and the Hand of God upon him for Sin, but breaking off [Page 305] his Sins by Repentance he may find Mercy,(i) the Lord being always ready in this Life to crown with Glory all those that by patient continuance in well-doing seek after him, as willing to touch by Faith the Golden Scepter of his Grace. But Wo and alass if letting slip the Day of Grace, you be once condem­ned at Christ's Tribunal, now you must inevitably be banished his Glorious Presence, and shut up for ever amongst the damned in the Prison of Hell without either Bail, or Main-prize, there being now no more any Day of Grace, any calling to Repentance, any Heavenly Manna, falling, any Angel descending into the Pool, any Jacob's Ladder let down from Heaven, by the climbing whereof you might escape out of the bottomless fiery Dungeon of Tophet, where the Pri­soners would not live, yet can neither die, nor evade their Torments.(k) When once the damned come within the confines of Hell, they have then shot the Gulf, through which there is no returning again to Heaven and Glory. Hell will not be to the Sinner like Jonah's Whale, when once it hath swallowed him up, to cast him again upon the Shore of true Happi­ness: But rather like the Red Sea to the Egyptians, where­in all further Hopes of Comfort, of Mercy, of Deli­verance from that place of Torment will be drowned for ever. The Sun may go down in a Dark Cloud, and yet rise Gloriously again bespangling the World with more pure clarified Beams of Light and Splendour: But those who once go down in the Pit of Destructi­on [Page 306] making their Beds in Hell, they must never look any more, coming out of those Hellish Torments; to rise in Glory. The Place of the Damned is like the Lyons Den, where all the Footsteps look forward but not one backward. So that what Solomon saith of such as go in to an Harlot, is here verified of those who have their portion in Hell:(l) none that go in unto her return again, neither take they hold on the paths of Life. For the Arrest of Hell and Damnation as it will take no Bail, so neither doth it admit of any the least Hope of evasion for ever, but unpreventably shuts up the Soul in remediless Misery. And oh how dreadful will it be for all you who now make light of Heaven and Glory, to be shut up irrecoverably in Hell, and remediless Torments! Oh this is the em­phasis of the damneds Misery in Hell, this is the sting and Poyson of all their Sorrows, that there is now no further Hope of obtaining Mercy, no way to fly from the Wrath to come!(m) If Hope deferred maketh the Heart sick: How dreadfully then will it break and rend their Hearts to be plunged deep in that bottomless Sea of Divine Wrath, where all their Hopes shall be dashed against the Rock of Eternal Despair! That Hell is such a Prison as admits of no Hope of release, such a Night as shall never see the dawning Day of Grace, such a black Storm as will never end in a Sun-shine of Glory; this hath more Torment, more Pain, more Terrour in it, than all the Torments of Hell. 'Tis a diminution of our Happiness to en­joy that good which may be changed for Evil, and the greatest aggravation of our Misery to lie under that evil, which we can never hope will be changed for good. That which makes the Saints in Glory com­pleatly Happy, and the Reprobates in Hell compleatly miserable, is this, that the one need expect no worse, and the other can never expect any better Condition. [Page 307] As Heaven would not be so full of Joy, if not above all Fear of Future Evil: So neither would Hell be so full of Horrour, if not quite below all hope of future Good. For to be without all hope of Good is infinitely worse than the suffering of any of the so­rest Evil: So that whatever Flames, whatever Wrath is determined upon the damned in Hell, yet all this doth not now torment them so much, as the loss of their Hopes ever to be made Happy. Why then will you now let go your Hopes of Heaven, exposing yourselves to remediless hellish Torments? Is it nothing to be shut up in that darkness, where you shall, have no hope at all of Light for ever? Nothing to undergo that Misery in Hell, which excludes all hope of future Hap­piness in the Kingdom of Heaven? Nothing to be plun­ged in that unconfined ireful Ocean of God's fiercest Wrath, out of which you can never have Hopes of swimming to the wished Shoar of Blessed Immortali­ty? Oh what will you do when filled with that Hor­rour which shall never give way to any the least Com­fort? When overwhelmed with that Sorrow which shall never be turned into Joy? When surprized with that Everlasting Night of Wrath and Gloominess, which will never have a Day-break of Love and Mercy? Oh this, if any thing will make the Torments of Hell tolerable, that they are unchangeable, shutting out the Hope of all true Comfort! Here you must never think to change Torments, for Ease; Death, for Life; the never dying Worm, for the light of God's Counte­nance; nor the Flames of Hell, for the Glory and Happiness of the new Jerusalem.

(5) CONSIDER the extremity of Hell Torments, which for exquisiteness are so dreadful, that no heart can meditate the terror of them. What Burton saith of prevailing Me­lancholy, is much more true of the damned in Hell, whose Misery is so dreadfully accented, that there is in it no hope of a lighter, nor any place for an heavier stroak. No torture of Body like unto it; no Strapadoes, Hot-irons, nor Phalaris's Bulls: all Fears, Griefs, Suspi­cions, [Page 308] Discontents, are swallowed up and drowned in this Euripus, this Ocean of Misery, as so many small Brooks. Here the Wrath of God is poured out in full Vials upon all the Damned;* and who knows the power of that Wrath or the unconceivable horror it brings with it? So infinitely dreadful is the Wrath of God, that no Man in the World can understand it, much less stand under it, if once the stroak thereof falls upon him. And yet a Cup of this implacable Wrath full mixed with all sorts of Plagues, but unmixed without the least drop of Mercy, must be the Portion of all the Damned in Hell, where every Vessel of Wrath shall have that fulness of Wrath, that extremity of unuttera­ble Torments, which no Tongue can possibly express, nor Heart of Man though enlarged to the utmost reach of all created capacities, conceive! A Melancholick Man (saith a learned Divine of our own) may fancy vast and terrible Fears, Fire, Sword, Tempests, Wracks, Furnaces, Scalding-lead, Boyling-pitch, running Bell-mettal, and being kept alive, to feel their Torment: But yet all this, if compared with those most dreadful Horrours, and exquisite Torments, which the damned in Hell must for ever be plagued with, are no more than a little spark falling upon the Hand, to the furious Rage and Burnings of Nebuchadnezzar's hot fiery Furnace! We have heard tell of some that have endured mangling of Body, ripping of Bowels, breaking up­on the Wheel, Fleeing alive, Wracking of Joynts, Burning of Flesh, Pounding in a Morter, tearing in pieces with Flesh-hooks, Boiling in Oyl, Roasting upon hot fiery Grid-irons: And yet all these, though you should superadd thereto all Diseases; such as the Plague, Stone, Gout, Iliack Passion, Strangury, or whatever else you can name most Torturing to the Body, together with the most inhuman Cruelties, and prodigeous Butche­ries ever Executed by the most bloody Persecutor upon [Page 309] the blessed Martyrs of Christ in any Age, from the Blood of Righteous Abel, to this present time, would come infi­nitely short, albeit they were all collected into our extream­est Torment, of that Wrath, that Horrour, that uncon­ceivable Anguish which the damned most inevitably suf­fer every moment, without any intermission of their Pain in hellish Flames! The Storm of divine Wrath, which in Hell, like a Tempest of Fire and Brimstone will beat upon the Heads of the Damned, is(a) uninter­rupted, and continual admitting of no Vocation of Rest from that intolerable restless Anguish, wherein they must be Tortured night and day, without ceasing for ever! 'Tis some Comfort in their Life, that all our Sor­rows like an intermitting Feaver do afford us some Respite: But in Hell this will break their Hearts, that the Fit of the damneds Torment will be always upon them; there they lie continually in the most rageful Pa­roxysm of sorest Anguish without hope of any the least moments respite for ever. The Furnace of their Mise­ry shall always burn without an equal Heat, and yet the Heat of that Furnace(b) by the Breath of the Almighty like a River of Brimstone flowing in upon it, shall be boyled up to the highest consistency of fiery Rage, and revengful impetuous Fury! In Hell it is that God draws the revengful bearded Arrows of his Justice to the Head: Here he empties all the deep-drenching Vials of his Wrath upon the Damned, as beyond all time in Eternity, so beyond all measure in most dolorous Heart-rending Extremity. The(c) Wrath of God, if kindled never so little against a Sinner in this Life; if but one spark of it fall upon the Conscience, what dreadful ha­vock doth it make, turning every Man upon whom it lights into a living Hell, a Magor-Missabib, Terrour round [Page 310] about? Who then can tell how dreadful hot and scorch­ing God's Wrath will be, when through the heat of his enraged Displeasure against all the Ungodly, it shall be turned into the Fire of Hell, that will scorch and tor­ment them without quenching for ever? If the Fire which hath been given of God unto Man for his Use and Comfort, be so hot and unsufferable in Nature, that it is still reckoned for one of the most dreadful and exquisite Torments: What then may we think of the Fire of Hell, which not, Man who is able to devise much, nor yet Angels which are able to find out more, but God himself who is infinitely able to invent most of all, hath in the largest compass of his Wisdom sought out, to be not for use, but for a Curse; not for the Comfort of Man, but for his everlasting Torment? There is nothing more painful to the Sense than Fire; no Fire more noysome and scalding, than that of Brimstone: And yet hereby is the Punishment of the Damned set forth, importing the greatest Extremity of Wo and Misery ima­ginable, that they shall have their part in the Lake that burneth(d) with Fire and Brimstone. Whether this Fire(e) ought to be understood properly, or Figura­tively, of a true corporeal Fire, or only of some dread­ful kind, of Torment which the Spirit of God hath thought good to emblematize to us by that furious Element is much controverted. The School-men, and Papists earnestly contend to prove the Fire of Hell Material, as Austin, and some other of the Fathers Dogmatized(f) Amongst the Protestants, though some would have it partly Corporeal for the tormenting [Page 311] Tormenting of the Body, and partly Metaphorical for the Afflicting of the Soul, yet others there are that assert it to be purely Metaphorical, of whom the Learned Cha­mier tells us,(g) we are certain that of the Fire and Flames in Hell, there is nothing but what is Metaphorical, and that all such do but Childishly trifle, who judge other­wise of them. By these the unproportionableness of a material Fire to the Nature of Devils, and the Souls of Men, which are purely immaterial, is urged, and with much plausibility stood upon; they think it nothing likely, that a spiritual Being should become Obnoxi­ous to the Dint of any corporeal Punishment. But the o­ther with as much Facility seem to untie the Knot, tel­ling us that although corporeal Fire in the Nature of it, be not proportionate to any immaterial Substances, such as are Devils, and the Souls of the Damned in Hell, nor able by any physical Power of its own to leave any af­flictive Impressions upon them, yet considered for that end, by the Almighty Power of his revengeful Hand, to an height of transcendent Efficacy beyond all Hyperboles; so it can easily torment a spiritual Being, and make the [Page 312] same painful Impressions there, as it would upon a cor­poreal Substance. Some other Arguments there are in­sisted upon, which because I judge them concluding for neither side, I purposely wave; Nor shall I undertake the Decision of so dark a Controversy, rashly, (as Austin said in another case) defining, what with the utmost reach(h) of my shallow Understanding, I cannot compre­hend, as always thinking better to suspend our Judgment in things that are Occult, than Uncharitably to litigate about Uncertainties. Whether then the Fire of Hell be Corporeal, or only Metaphorical, is of no great Con­sequence, as affording no hope of any the least Ease, or mitigation of the Damned, torments which way ever the Decision of the Controversy goeth. For if it be taken properly for a corporeal Fire, yet there are in it those Ingredients of fiery Rage, and Impetuosity, which make it as far surpass in Degrees of Heat, and fierceness of Burning our most furious ordinary Fire, as that exceed­eth the Fire Painted upon the Wall. Our common cu­linary Fire is easily quenched: But the Fire of Hell is Unextinguishable, so that though the Damned in Hell should weep a whole Ocean of Tears, yet they could never quench the least spark thereof. Our Fire con­sumes the Body upon which it seizeth, causing Life to evaporate with its own Smoak: But the Fire of Hell, [Page 313] though it burn the Reprobate there, yet it never befriends them so far, as to consume them; though it dreadfully torments them, yet it will never Annihilate them. Our Fire with its burning Power can only burn Cor­poreals, and make impression upon bodily Substan­ces: But such is the Penetrativeness of Hell Fire, that its able to torment a spiritual Being; so that here the very Soul of a Man for(i) Subjecting it self willingly to a brutish Sensuality, shall be unwillingly Subjected to a sensual Pain, beyond all that the Heart of Men and An­gels can conceive of. But in case the Fire of Hell be Metaphorical, yet this argues not the Punishment of the Damned, to be one thought the less dreadful and terrible; because whatever terrible things the Holy Ghost makes use of, whereby to represent unto us the Pains of the Damned, they do as far come short of that which is in­deed the Torment of the Damned in Hell, as the Sting of a little Bee, comes short of the Sting of a Scorpion, if not infinitely more. For betwixt a Finite, and an In­finite, a Temporal, and an eternal Punishment, a Pun­ishment Inflicted by a weak Man, and a Punishment pre­pared by the utmost reach of God's Wisdom, with all fiery torturing Ingredients, and so set home upon every Faculty of Soul, and Member of Body, by the Almigh­ty Power of his omnipotent revengeful Arm, there is no Comparison. So that(k) though by our general Citation, you should call in all those prodigeous unheard of Ways and Methods of Cruelty invented by the deepest reach of Policy, and most exquisite Malice of implacable Devils in Hell, and executed upon the Faithful Servants of God, by the most bloody and merciless Tyrants, such as Ne­buchadnezzar's [Page 314] fiery Furnace, the Prophet Isaiah's grating Saw, Lawrence's Grid-iron, the Impaling used for the Torturing of Christians amongst the unpitying Turks, together with the many execrable ways of Torture In­spired by Hell it self into the most Inhuman Blood-thirsty Managers of the Spanish Inquisition: Yet in them all, could they pour out the very Dregs, and Poison of their torturing Power into one Cup, you would not be able to find any such Gall and Bitterness, such Horrour and Ex­quisiteness of Torment, as were worthy to make so much as an Emblem, or dark Shadow of the least gripe of Conscience, wherewith the Soul, or the least spark wherewith the Body of the Damned in Hell must be tor­tured for ever! Be therefore the Fire of Hell material, or only Metaphorical; yet you see it will be infi­nitely dreadful and tormenting, beyond all the Terror and Extremity of unsufferable Anguish which heart can meditate. Leaving off therefore all needless Disputes a­bout the Nature of Hell Fire, how should we all give diligence to set the Blood of Christ as a Skreen betwixt our selves and the Flames thereof, endeavouring to quench it by the Shield of Faith, that by woful Expe­rience we may never come to know what manner of Fire it is? It were a dreadful uncomfortable thing, for a Man to lie naked upon the hard Ribs of a Grid-iron. But oh how much more dreadful and intollerable, for a poor naked Sinner to lie boiling upon the fiery Grid-iron of God's Wrath night and day, with ceasing for e­ver! If the disjoynting of one only Member doth af­flict us with more Pain, than with Patience we are able to undergo; Oh then how unsufferable a thing will it be, when the whole Soul shall be Tormented, and the whole Body plunged in a Lake of Fire and Brimstone! There was dreadful howling, and hideous outcries (no doubt) in S [...]dom, and the Cities round about, when first they felt a Tempest of fiery Wrath and Brimstone Rained down from God out of Heaven upon them: How (think you) did the poor scalded Creatures run up and down in that Deluge of Brimstone, skreeking and roaring for [Page 315] the Misery that was come upon them? Oh, but what will be the Gnawings of the never dying Worm, what the furious Heart-rendring Reflexions of guilty Consci­ences upon mis-spent Time; what bloody Agonies of Soul, what wringing of Hands, and gnashing of Teeth in Hell, beyond all possibility of Belief or Imagination to the most frightful-working Fancy, when a fiery Stream of Wrath shall go out from the Throne of God, and poor damned Creatures shall wallow hither and thi­ther in the hot Fiery Lake of Tophet, without all hope of End, Ease, or the least mitigation of their Torments! Oh then if you have any Reason as Men, any Faith and Wisdom of Christians, any Bowels of Compassion to pity your own Souls, give diligence now to lay up for your selves a Treasure in Heaven, and so sly from Wrath to come, that you may never come into this place of Torments, the Pains whereof, for the Extremity of them are endless, and past Imagination! Oh let not all these Warnings be in vain, that tell you of an ap­proaching Storm, to drive you out of the Sodom of your sinful Life, that so Fire and Brimstone in Hell may ne­ver be your Portion! Oh let not the seeming Pleasures of Sin still bewitch thy Heart, when so sure to end in intollerable hellish Torments. Remember, Sirs, Sin is the Flint, out of which the Fire of Hell is strucken; 'tis the Fuel whereby the Flames of Hell are everlastingly fed and nourished; 'tis the Womb wherein all the Mise­ries of poor damned Creatures are conceived; yea, 'tis Sin that is the very Sting and Emphasis of Hell, making the Fire thereof to rage and burn so furiously, that all Rhetoricians in the Word have not Expressions compre­hensive enough, to set forth the Horror of it! Think often therefore of the Hell of Sin, and by that means, through the Grace of God, thou wilt save thy self from the Hell of Punishment.

(6) AND lastly, consider the Eternity of Hell Torments, which inevitably will seize upon you in case you fall short of Heaven and Glory, and let that prevail with you to make [Page 316] sure of them. Now God sets before you the recom­pence of Eternal Life: But in case you make light of that, to be sure Eternal Death, and Misery will be your portion. You cannot refuse an Eternal Weight of Glo­ry; but you must needs expose your selves to an E­ternal Weight of Wrath. Whoever turn their Backs upon Heaven, falling short of that, they fall into Hell irrecoverably,(a) where the Worm dieth not, and the Fire is never quenched. As the Fire of Hell is un­quenchable: so the Worm of Conscience is unendable: Neither can the Fire of Hell be quenched, that it should not for ever burn you; nor yet the Worm of Consci­ence, that Bosom Fury, by any means be finished, that it should not Everlastingly torment you. 'Tis storied of Caius Caligula, that having condemned a Malefa­ctor, he would give order to the Executioner so to strike that the party might feel himself dying and suf­fer the pains of a lingring Death. Thus poor self-destroying Sinner will it with thee, in case thou make not sure of Heavenly Glory:(b) Thou must ever be dying, but never dead; ever seeking Death but never find it; Thou shalt follow after it, but it will ever fly from thee! As the Righteous shall be blessed with an Eternal Sun-shine of Love and Glory: So the wicked they shall all be inveloped in an Everlasting Night of Horrour, Wrath, and extremest Anguish. Whilst the Righteous are called up into Heaven, there to be with the Lord for ever:(c) The Wicked, these are the Men, these are the Women that must then be puni­shed with Everlasting Destruction from the presence of God, and from the Glory of his Power! In Hell the damned shall never be able with Agag to say, the bitterness of Death is over: But when for millions of [Page 317] Ages, they have lain broyling upon the Grid-iron of God's sorest displeasure, still they will find bitterness to come, Wrath to come, Torment to come, Fire and Brimstone to come that will burn them without quench­ing for ever! As the People of God shall rest with him in Glory for ever: So the Wicked must be kept for ever upon the Rack of God's fierce indignation. As the Saints Heaven, so the Sinners Hell hath Eter­nity written upon it: There is no fear of falling from Heavens Happiness, nor any hope of ever escaping the Torments of Hell. The Saints Joys and the Sin­ners Groans, will run parallel with all Eternity: And look as the Pleasures of the one shall never have any period, so the Pains of the other shall never have any end. The Wicked in Hell they can neither cease to be, miserable. Though now they will infinitely desire it, yet there is no possibility of returning to that dark Abyss of nothing, whence first they were taken, or of hiding themselves for ever (according to the Socinian dotage) in the most abhorred State of Annihilation: Nor yet according to Origen's wild Opinion any hope of a Goal-delivery out of that infernal Prison, as if the Mercy of God hyperbolizing into a Solescisme of foolish Pity towards the damned in Hell (the very conceit whereof borders nigh upon the Confines of Blasphemy) would at last after some few Centuries of Years, rescue both Men and Devils out of the sure Hands of Divine avenging Justice!(d) The infinitely Glorious Majesty of God by their Sins was offended, which must needs derive an infinite guilt and deme­rit upon them, binding them over to suffer an infi­nite punishment: But because no punishment can be intensively infinite in the degrees and greatness of it, as being a thing impossible that a finite Vessel should [Page 318] hold an infinite Wrath,(e) that the back of a Poor fi­nite Creature should bear an infinit Stroak; why there­fore it must be extensively infinite; what is abated in greatness must be made up in the Everlasting Dura­tion of the suffering, and so the whole penalty will always be suffering, but never suffered, always will the Sinner be burning, but never burnt, nor ever come to any end of his Torments! The Sinner he des­pised an Eternal Happiness, making light of the great­est Salvation,(f) and therefore how justly doth he now fall under an Eternal Misery, whilst everlasting Wrath and Damnation take hold upon him? Who more deservedly shut up in Everlasting Chains under Darkness than such as willfully go on to neglect E­ternal Mansions of Glory? Such is the desperate mad­ness of wicked Men,(g) that all their Life long Hea­ven and Glory are neglected, and nothing but the Pleasures of Sin delighted in: So that wicked Men thus Sinning in their Eternity, no wonder though they be punished in Gods Eternity; they sinning so long as they had a life to live, how justly doth God ret [...] ­liate, punishing all their Wickedness and Sins upon them so long as he lives? Because the Righteous God lives for ever, therefore the Wicked, and the Ungodly, they must die for ever, be damned for ever, be tormented [Page 319] for ever!(h) Their desires of sinning were infinite; had they lived for ever they would have sinned for ever: And how Righteous a thing is this with God, that they should have punishment without end, who (had he not stopped them in the swiftest career of their carnal Plea­sures by the unwelcome arrest of Death) would ne [...]r have put any end to their Wickedness, and horrid Re­bellions against Heaven?(i) There are none that go down into Hell, but they carry their unbelieving im­penitent Hearts along with them: And therefore since they never break off their Sins by Repentance, endea­vouring to live unto God, they are but justly shut up in those fiery Chains of Wrath which will never break, and in which they can never die. Repentance is on all hands acknowledged a necessary prerequisite of pardon, except by those of the Antinomian Libertinisme: God will humble the Sinner and bring him upon his Knees, be­fore he give him a pardon. The Heart of every ungod­ly Man must either be broken by Godly Sorrow from Sin, or else wanting such godly Sorrow, he must ne­ver look to escape the Vengeance of Eternal Fire. But what hope of such wholesom, though bitter Fruit of Repentance, when the Tree is cut down, and now burnt irrecoverably in the Flames of Hell? God sor­row [Page 320] for Sin is not a Flower to be gathered out of any of those Bundles of Tares, that lie burning in Hell. The hot scorching Fire of Hell, it will break the Heart of the stoutest Sinner, but never mollify it: It will rend the Heart with unconceivable Horror, but never melt it down into Tears of unfeigned Repentance. The Wicked in Hell, they will have Fire enough to torment them for their Sins, but none to refine and purify them from the dross of their Sins: Tears they will have enough to shed over their Sins, because of that Wrath and Misery they have now brought upon them; but not one Tear to shed for their Sins as displea­sing to an Holy God, and violative of his Righteous Will.(k) For now they are to come to their final Estate, they have no further to travel, but are come to their Journeys end, where Sin shall be aggravated into a Prodigy of Wickedness, and most horrid Blasphemy, not conquered by a serious Repentance, the Will being here Everlastingly obfirmed in Wickedness.

*And though the Damned being now in Termino, where is neither place for Merit nor Demerit, (which as means have relation to some future Good or Evil, and must therefore cease, their respective ends once attained) do no longer contract further guilt by their bloody Cur­sings, horrid Execrations and Blasphemies against Hea­ven, so as to expose themselves, every Moment to new Degrees of Punishment, such obfirmedness and obstinacy in wickedness, being itself the very Emphasis of their Misery, and their greatest Punishment: Yet that Impe­nitence [Page 321] under Sin when [...]inal, should leave the Ungodly to an Eternity of Misery in Hell, is but equal; that such as would never sorrow for Sin after a godly man­ner should be eternally Damned for Sin, that such as would never humble themselves, nor go to God upon the bended Knees of true Repentance for a Pard [...], should for ever lie under his ireful frowns, is but equal Here the Lord is upon a Treaty with us holding out the golden Scepter of his Grace: But because in Hell this Treaty will be over, and Repentance our of date, there is therefore no further possibility that the Damned should ever escape the Vengeance of eternal Fire. Fools then, or mad Men shall I call them who hearing tell dayly how unsufferable for extremity, how unsupportable for Eternity Hell Torments are, do yet willingly to enjoy the momentary Pleasures of Sin, deprive themselves of that eternal hyperbolical weight of Glory, plunging themselves Body and Soul in eternal remediless Tor­tures? What, shall not the thought of eternal Destru­ction from the presence of God make you afraid, cau­sing you to fly by Repentance from the Wrath to come? Who can dwell with everlasting Burnings? or stand scorching (to give you the original) in the hot fiery Hearths of Eternity? There is not (Sinner!) any con­dition of Misery so dreadful and intolerable, as that which is unalterable: So that your Misery under the Wrath and ignifluous displeasure of God in Hell being endless, it must needs be easless. To a Woman in Tra­vail, now scrieching and crying out for the griping throws, and grievous Pangs now come upon her, 'tis no small Comfort to think that being once delivered, they will all have an end: But Wo and alass poor self-destroying Sinners, there is no such ground of Comfort as this in Hell, where all those whose woful end is to be damned, shall have Fire and Brimstone, [Page 322] unsparing Wrath and Damnation without end! Think not poor brutish Sensualist, that the dark Night of suffering, will be as short as the day of thy Sinning: or that thy future Miseries in Hell will as soon pass away, as thy present carnal Pleasures! The delight and p [...]fit of Sin is short: But the Punishment and Tor­ment that will follow after, is Eternal! When Sinner, thou hast lain as many Millions of Ages in Hell, burning like a Fire-brand upon the Grid-iron of God's fiercest Wrath, as there be Sands upon the Sea-shore ten thousand times told: Yet still an Eternity of suf­fering will be future (if all futurity there be not swal­lowed up in one infinite Moment of Pain) that will never be overcome▪ nor ever come to end! Were the damned in Hell to expiate their Sins with a whole Ocean of Tears, and yet but every thousand Year to shed a Tear, this would afford unspeakable Comfort and make them think themselves the most happy Men in the World, if then there might be an end of their Torment: Oh but what an Hell will this be in their Consciences,, what a Fire in their Bones, and what a Dagger in their Hearts, to think that when they have been burning as many Millions of Years in the Infernal Flames, as there are Drops of Water in the vast Ocean, yet now they are not one moment near­er coming out from that Place of Torment, than the very first minute that they were thrown down irrecoverably into it! For here the Worm never dieth, the Fire never goeth out; the Storm is never blown over, but an Everlasting Night of Darkness is determined upon them: So that though they should desire Death as a Paradise, yet it will fly from them, Fire will burn them, Devils insult over them, and the Flames of Hell torment them without quenching for ever! Oh dreadful condition, and never to be thought upon but with fear and trembling! For a Man to be miserable, and that Eternally; be shut up in Chains of Dark­ness, and that Eternally; have his portion with Hypo­crites in the Lake that burneth with Fire and Brim­stone, and all this Eternally; how doleful and unsuffe­rable [Page 323] would this be? And yet thus it is, and thus it will be with all the ungodly; their Repentance for Sin never had a beginning, and therefore the Wrath, the Horrour, the Heart-rending Torments of Hell, shall never have any end? Oh boundless Eternity! Oh Eternity not to be melted by any spaces of Time! Oh Eternity not to be comprehended by any huma [...]e Intellect! How infinitely beyond all Hyperbole of ima­gination doth it aggravate the Torments of the dam­ned in Hell! Grievous are the Torments of Hell for extremity; more grievous for the sad variety of them; but most grievous of all for their unfathomed Eternity! For what more miserable than for a poor Creature to be so extreamly tortured, that he cannot live, and yet so strangely wretched that he cannot die? What will it profit thee (Oh Man!) that in this Life thou hast had thy Pleasures, when in Hell there will be nothing re­maining of them but Eternal Pain to torment thee? Should not an Eternity of Hellish Torments following after, make thee fly from all the foregoing Pleasures of Sin, which are but for a season? What meanest thou poor fond Sinner! canst thou burn for ever! be damned for ever! undergo the Frowns of God for ever! or canst thou endure for ever an Eternal Ago­ny of Hellish Horrour!(a) Fly Man, if thou love thy Soul, these intolerable endless Tortures, where nei­ther the Tormenters will fail, nor the tormented die; where there is D ath without Life, and these Torments, where in Death itself that puts an end to all other Sorrows, can yield no Succour! Oh what Agonies and Horrours will invade, and tear in pieces the wo­ful Hearts of wicked Men, when they must be burning in Fire and Brimstone kept in highest Flame by the ignivomous Breath of the Almighty, World without end? [Page 324] Better were it for a Man to endure the sharpest and most exquisitely tormenting of all bodily Tortures in this World for a thousand Years together, without any Heart to pity him, or any Hand to succour him, than to lie under the Wrath of God, enduring the pains of the Damned in Hell the least moment: Oh then consider this all you that forget God, how will you be able to lie under the Frowns of God for e­ver, to endure the fierceness of his Wrath everlastingly, and to suffer through all Eternity the pains of Hell, without any hope of end or mitigation! Think then Sinners many sad and serious thoughts about your Eternal Condition! What provision you have made for Eternity! What Comfort your immortal Soul will meet with at the Threshold of Eternity! What Harbour you will put into when lanching forth in the vast Ocean of Eternity whereby to shelter your selves from the hideous Storms of God's Eternal displeasure! Who knows how soon (Sinners!) you may drop into Eter­nity, how soon you may be swallowed up of an E­verlasting Condition, how soon you may take possession of that estate in another World, which shall be for ever, and from whence there is no returning! Why then will you still make light of heavenly Glory, when in case you fall short of that, an Eternity of Wrath, Misery and unsufferable Torments in Hell must be your portion? Oh what desperate folly hath possessed the Hearts of all graceless Sinners, who never seek an interest in the Kingdom of Heaven, but run head­long without Fear upon Eternal Burnings in Hell, as it were to a Banquet! Is this your Wisdom to despise Canaan and die in the Wilderness, to set light by Heaven, and then drop into Hell irrecoverably? Is it your Wisdom to sin a while, and be damned for ever? Oh what Worlds would you give for Heaven when shut up in Hell! What Worlds for a Day of Grace, when Eternal Wrath is determined upon you! What Worlds for the least hope of eternal Glory, when punished with everlasting Destruction from the presence of God and from the Glory of his Power! How dreadful will [Page 325] be the Condition of all such as fall short of the Recompence of eternal Life, I have shewed with all Faithfulness: And now (dear Friends) I would beg of you, as ever you desire Comfort, living, or dying, as ever you would escape everlasting Torments in Hell, or be called up into eternal Communion with God in Heaven, that you give all possible diligence to make sure of that glorious Reward! Oh set a­bout this Work presently, without delay, set about it in good earnest, without trifling, set about it in a right manner, and do it throughly, that you mis­carry not, and that by the due Observation of these ensuing Particulars!

CHAP. XII. Directeth how to get an Interest in hea­venly Glory, and to have it as our eter­nal Reward, in 10 Particulars, which may be as so many Rounds in Jacob's Ladder, for the Soul to climb up into Heaven by.

1. LABOUR to be truly sensible of, and to get your Hearts very deeply affected with Godly Sorrow for all your Sins. Humiliation, like John the Baptist, ha­ving prepared the way of Christ before him: Now he takes the Sinner by the Hand,(a) and puts him in Possession of that Joy, which no Man can take from him. [Page 326] The King of Persia's Presence might not be approached of any Man in Sackcloth and Mourning: But the way to approach the blissful Presence of God in Glory, is first to be covered all over with the Sackcloth of godly Sor­row, as with a Garment. A Generation of Men there is, who not able to bear the wholsome Severities of Chri­stianity, do declaim against the Doctrin of Repentance, as Legal, and inconsistent with the Gospel-dispensation: But believe it Christians, such as thus make it their bu­siness to cry down the Practice of Repentance as an un­evangelical Work, by making you to neglect the Seed-time of godly Sorrow, they would spoil you of that Har­vest of Joy, that full Crop of eternal Glory which fol­lows after. For this observe I beseech you, as God's usual Method with lost Sinners, that first he humbles, be­fore he Exalteth them; first he gives them the Spirit of Bondage, to fear, before he gives them the Spirit of Adoption; first, he fills them with the Terrours of Mount Sinai, before he refresheth(b) them with Mount Sion's Comforts; first, he brings them to mourn bitterly for Sin, before he pours out upon them Oyl of Gladness; first, in a word, he puts into them the Spirit of Heavi­ness, before ever he will Cloath them with the Garments of eternal Salvation! So that here we must mourn and humble our Souls for Sin, would we ever come safe to Heaven, rejoycing with Joy unspeakable, and full of Glory. And truly whatever some say to the contrary, we may as well expect a Crop without Seed, as to reap the Reward of eternal Glory without Sowing in Tears. There must first a Shower of penitential Tears fall from our Eyes, before ever the Sun-shine of true Happiness in the Kingdom of Heaven will break forth upon us. Repen­tance is so necessary a Duty,(c) that no Man could ever yet get to Heaven, nor escape Hell without it. Sin must and will have Sorrow, either on Earth, or in Hell; ei­ther in this World to your Comfort, or in the next to [Page 327] your Shame, and eternal Confusion. If therefore you love your Souls labour by Sorrow to prevent Sorrow; by godly Sorrow for Sin here, to prevent despairing Sorrow for Sin in Hell What, is it not better that we should break off our, Sins by Repentance, than that wanting Repentance, we should be broken in pieces like a Potter's Vessel with the Lion-rod of God's heavy Displeasure? Is it not much better that we should fill God's Bottle with our Tears, than that for want of such Tears, he should empty all the Vials of his Wrath(d) upon us!(e) The Lord tells you plainly, he hath no pleasure in your Death: But yet he is resolved that you shall li [...]e upon no other condition, than that of breaking off your Sins by Godly Sorrow. And who would not rather live Re­penting,(f) than be damned, and die despairing? Did Esau seek his Father's Blessing with Tears, and will not you much more seek the Blessing of eternal Life at the Hands of God with Sorrow in your Hearts, and Tears in your Eyes, that you ever offended him? Oh little do you know the unspeakable [...]enefit accrewing to a poor Soul by Godly Sorrow; w [...]at Comfort it fills him with here, and what Glory at will Crown him with hereafter! There are none that live so comfortable on Earth, nor a­ny that go more surely to Heaven, when they come to die, than those whose Life hath been spent in bewailing their Sins.(g) Great, as Lactantius sweetly saith is the [Page 328] help, and great the Comfort of true Repentance: This like Balm is for the healing of our Sin-wounded Souls; this is the Foundation of our Hope, and this is the Gate of Salvation through which we may enter into the King­dom of God. When Hannah had wept before the Lord, she went away, and her Countenance was no more sad: Go you likewise and weep bitterly before the Lord for all your Sins, would you ever have your Hearts to be fil­led with Comfort, and your Faces to shine with the Oyl of eternal Gladness. They that would build high must lay the Foundation very low: Thus godly Sorrow for Sin is that sure Foundation Stone, upon which God lays the Superstructure of eternal Happiness. Holy Mourn­ing is the Seed out of which the(h) Flower of eternal Glory Springs. As the Harvest naturally follows the Seed Sown. So if now you shall carefully Sow in Tears, do not doubt but the(i) Harvest of everlasting Joy will follow after. Let not then your Souls be by any means prejudiced against godly Sorrow, which though bitter in the Root, yet will be sweet in the Fruit, working for your Repentance to Salvation,(k) never to be Repented of. The Pleasures, Mirth, and carnal Jollity of wicked Men will have a sorrowful end; there is never a drop of Honey in Sin, but will shortly be turned into a Sea of Gall; and as the Pleasures of ungodly Men have abound­ed in this Life, so their Torments in Hell shall much more abound: But as for the Tears that drop from the Eye of godly Sorrow, they will never grieve you, nor give you any just occasion to Repent of them, as being sure to end in Joy, and be Crowned with an Eternity of heavenly Glory: Repentance I confess is a Bochim, a place of Weepers, and therefore displeasing to a carnal Heart, that would always dwell in the House of Mirth: [Page 329] But(l) through this Valley of Tears you will come at length to the Paradise of God, where instead of the bit­ter Waters of Marah, your Souls shall be satisfied with the new Wine of eternal Consolation. when the Cloud that hid the Sun from us, is once dissolved into a Shower, then it shines out gloriously: Thus when the Cloud of your Sins, that now hides from you the Light of God's Countenance, dissolves kindly into a Shower of Tears, then will you find the Sun of Righteousness shining out upon you with the brightest beams of Love and Glo­ry. Shall I then prevail with you to become God's spi­ritual Seeds-men(m) now sowing in Tears to the Spirit, that of the Spirit you may reap Life everlasting. Oh neglect not I beseech you this great Salvation, deprive not your selves through the hardness and impenitency of your own Hearts, of that fulness of Joy, and eternal Happiness, which the Lord hath provided for all that are Mourners in Sion! What though godly Sorrow be dis­pleasing to Flesh and Blood, and Repentance bitter:(n) Yet who for that fulness of Joy, and those Plea­sures that are at God's right Hand for evermore, would not gladly undergo it? Possibly you think its a tedious thing to afflict your Souls for Sin, turning your Laugh­ter into Mourning, and your Joy into Heaviness: Oh but remember that Crown, that Kingdom, that eternal weight of Glory to which your Repentance leads, will abundantly make amends for all your Sorrow! By a few-hearty Sighs, and Groans, and Tears you may get to Hea­ven: And oh how sad would it be, if for want of these you should fall into Hell irrecoverably, and be torment­ed [Page 330] for ever! A(o) Man breaking off his Sins by true Re­pentance, is looked upon, and Crowned with eternal Glory, as if he had never sinned! But the least Sin Un­repented of, will be sure to plunge the Soul in remedi­less intolerable Misery.

(2) Be sure that you quit your own Righteousness, giving diligence to see the Insufficiency of it to Life and Salvation. Such is the Corruption of our Nature, that though the Covenant of Works be violated, and the Condition thereof unperformable to Man lapsed: Yet still we would Trade for Heaven in a way of working, building our Hope for eterna [...] Life upon the sandy Foundation of a Self-opiniative Righteousness. If at any time Men are startled by the powerful Impressions of a Soul-searching Ministry, and begin to feel the Sting of Sin in their Consciences; you may presently see them have recourse, not to Christ, but to Moses; not to the Righteousness which is of God by Faith, but to the Righteousness which is of the Law, placing their whole Affiance in the supposed Worth, and Merit of their own good Works, as if these could save them. But know you must, that those who put Confidence in their own Righteousness, will as surely fall short of Heaven and Glory, as those who make no Conscience of Righteousness at all. Good Works, when rested in, and made the Matter of our justification before God, are as infallibly Damning, as evil Works, when never Repented of.(p) For as many as be of the Works of the Law, (trusting in, and expect­ing Salvation by them) are under the Curse. The Law at first was an easie way to Righteousness, and from thence to Sal­vation: But now every step thereof sinks as low as Hell. It's written within and without with Curses; which way [Page 331] soever a Man stirs, he finds nothing but Death before him: One Man's way, by the Civility of his Education, the Ingenu­ity of his Disposition, the Engagement of other ends or Rela­tions, may seem more smooth and plausible than anothers, but by Nature they all run into Hell, as all Rivers, though never so different in other Circumstances, run into the Sea. And the Reason of all this, the Apostle hath subjoyned in the fol­lowing words, taken from that everlasting Inability that we lie under, to fulfil all Righteousness, which the Law in its utmost rigour and latitude doth require at our Hands, as pronouncing all those Accursed that continue not in all things which are written in the Book of the Law(q) to do them. So then though Sin and Death go together, as Work and Wage [...] yet eternal Life must never be expected as the Purchase of our own good Works, but as the free Gift of God in Christ Jesus. The Ways of Sin(r) is Death, saith the Apostle: But the Gift of God (saith he purposely, changing the manner of his Speech) is eternal Life. Say there­fore the Papists what they will of their Merit of Condignity, proportionate in worth and excellency to eternal Glory: Yet would you not for ever be shut out of Heaven, and fall short of Glory, you must Renounce all Opinion of your own Merit, laying hold on eternal Life, as the free Gift of God. For can we rationally think that our imperfect Obedi­ence should justly deserve with God the Reward of eternal Glory? Do we fail coming short in every Duty, and shall we yet look for Heaven, and not of Debt, and not of Mercy? If the(s) Suffer­ings of this present Life are not worthy to be com­pared [Page 332] with the(a) Glory that shall be revealed in us, what little reason can we have to think by any inferior act of Obedience to merit such a far more exceeding and eternal weight of Glory.(b) The Reward of eternal Life is the gift of God, and therefore not to be sought by Works of Righteousness, as infinitely exceeding in Worth and Dignity all our performances how glorious soever. Misinterpret me not, as if I were declaiming against the necessity of inherent Righteousness, when in­deed the meritoriousness and condignity thereof propor­tionate to eternal Life is all that we here deny. We do not cry down Obedience and good Works, as they stand in subordination to [...]ace, and are the genuine Fruits of Sanctification, as they of the Romish Faction have ma­liciously traduced the Reformation: But only as they stand in opposition to the free Grace of God in our Ju­stification, and are made by Pharisaical self-justitiaries the Foundation whereupon to bottom their hopes for eternal Life. We of the Church of England do main­tain the necessity of good Works, pressing earnest­ly to the practise of them as antecedaneous to Life Eternal, without which no Man can be saved: But that wherein we dissent from the Church of Rome is about the causality of good Words, with whom we dare not affirm,(a) but deny them to be meritorious of Eternal Life, as if a Man should be sa­ved for them. We do allow them with Bernard to be [Page 333] the preservatives of Hope, the Incentives of Charity, the marks of hidden Predestination, the Presages of fu­ture Happiness, the Way that leads to the Kingdom of Heaven, but not the meritorious causes of our reigning with Christ there. Take heed then that you think not of your own Righteousness above what you ought to think: 'Tis your duty to fulfil all Righ­teousness, but will certainly be your undoing if you trust in any. Beware therefore oh Man of this sugared Poyson within thee; let there be no depending upon thy good Heart, thy good Life, thy good Performan­ces: But remember the proud Pharisee who stands upon his own bottom, as well as ungod [...] Sinners whose lives are notoriously infamous for all manner of abomina­ble impieties, will fall short of Heaven! Whoever thinks to find Life in his own Righteousness and Glory in his own Graces, will be sunk through such carnal Con­fidence to lose Life and Eternal Glory for ever! Oh then let not any Man be found cloathed in his own Righteousness that would ever be cloathed upon with the Garments of Salvation! For Men to despair in themselves, counting all their Righteousness but loss for the excellency of Heaven: This is the best way to ob­tain the reward of Eternal Glory in the Kingdom of Heaven. He that here cries out as a Man lost and undone in himself, will hereafter be found in Christ to the saving of his Soul. Never did any Man yet get to Heaven by trusting in his own Righteousness: Nor shall any Man fall short of Heaven who renouncing his own Righteousness trusteth wholly to the Mercy of God in Christ Jesus.

(3) GET renewed Natures making sure of a principle of Grace within. (b) A Wicked Man in his unregeneracy, is no more capable of an interest in this Glorious Reward, than a dead Man is capable of being made the Monarch of the whole Universe. The Tree must [Page 334] first take root and be filled with sap before any pre­cious Fruit can grow upon it: So you must first have the Root of the matter within you, and be filled with the Sap of Sanctifying Grace, before ever you can be Trees of Righteousness bearing Fruit to Eternal Life. A Man must first be born into the World, before he can have any Dignities, Honour, on Preferment confer­red upon him in the World: Thus a Man also must first be born again from Heaven by the Holy Ghost, before ever he can be preferred to the full enjoyment of Life and Eternal Glory in the Kingdom of God.(c) For except a Man be born again from above (saith Christ) he cannot see the Kingdom of God. (d) A Man must first be a Member of the Church mi­litant on Earth by Sanctification, before he can possibly be made a Member of the Church triumphant in Heaven, by eternal glorification.(e) The Grace of God in Christ Jesus is that alone which must Crown us with Glo­ry, if ever we have it: And yet know you must, that the Grace of God itself will never reign but through Righteousness unto Eternal Life. The grand Reward of a Christian is the beatifical Vision of God in Glory: But because he is an infinitely pure and holy God,(f) why therefore without Holiness you must never look to see him as your Happiness and Reward. What should they do with an Holy God who are not themselves sanctified? Or how can they behold with Comfort the Holy one of Israel, who have not a pure Eye, but are all over polluted and stained with Sin? Ne­ver think to be a Vessel of Glory, if first thou be not seasoned throughout in Body; Soul, and Spirit with re­newing Grace. But oh how long shall these things be Paradoxes and hidden Mysteries amongst you! Where is the Man in our Congregations that knows by his (c) [Page 335] own experience what it is to be made a new Creature, to be born of the Spirit from above, to have his Heart washed in the Laver of Regeneration from all uncleaness, and (in a Word) to be [...]aised by the Almighty irre­sistable power of God, from the Death of Sin to the Life of Grace! Are not most Men pleasing themselves with external performances, making their Prayers, their Alms, their good Works, a fufficient Qualification for Heaven, whilst they never think of getting sanctified Hearts, and renewed Natures?(g) Oh that all such amongst you would now consider, how impossible it is for any Man to obtain the Reward of Eternal Glory, not being first born again from above, and made a new Creature! Poor self destroying Sinners, if here you be­come not Men of a pure Heart, you must never see the Face of God in the Kingdom of Heaven, but the Furnace of Hell is heating for you, and a Night of Eternal Darkness, abides you in the World to come! And is it nothing (do you think) to be shut out of Heaven, and to fall into Hell irrecoverably? Is it no­thing to miss of Eternal Life, and for ever to lose the Reward of Eternal Glory, that you can live and die so well satisfied in a carnal unregenerate Condition? True it is while we are in this World living by sense, little do we conceive what it is to be saved to sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the Pro­phets in the Kingdom of God, what it is to have full and Everlasting Communion with God in Glory; nor can we so prize these things now as we ought to do: Oh but we shall come to breath out our Souls into Eternity, and must stand trembling at God's Tribu­nal to receive our everlasting doom, then to be sure [Page 336] Life, Happiness, and Eternal Glory will be in request! Oh then that in such a Day when all the World can­not comfort you, Life may be yours, and Salvation yours, and the full enjoyment [...]f God in Heaven yours, give diligence now to have the Truth and Life of Grace in your inward Parts, endeavouring to find a through sanctifying Change wrought upon you. Re­member if you die in a carnal Condition you are un­done for ever, damned for ever: But if sanctified through the Spirit and made new Creatures, the Reward of Eternal Glory shall be your Portion!

(4) Lay hold upon Jesus Christ by a lively Faith, above all things labouring to get an interest in him. Christ hath pur­chased by his own Death the reward of Eternal Life: But its not for all promiscuously whether good or bad, but only for those that by Faith receive him, making him their Saviour. Though Christ were as universal a cause of Salvation as the Arminians dogmatize: Yet till by Faith you embrace him, as willing to receive him in all his Offices, as a Prophet to instruct and teach you, as a Priest to intercede and die for you, as a King to command, sanctifie, and govern you, to be sure he will never profit you to Life and Salvation.* He that hath the Son hath Life; but he that hath not the Son hath no Life. Both the Life of Grace, and the Life of Glory come in by Christ; he alone is the Tree from whence you may gather this Fruit of Paradise: And therefore of necessity you must close with Christ, would you either have the Life of Grace to make you holy, or the Life of eternal Glory to make you happy. Salvation for lost Sinners could no otherwise be purchased, but by the precious Blood of the Lord Jesus: And though now the purchase be thus made, yet the Blood of Christ can­not save you, unless you receive him to dwell in your Hearts by Faith. Communion is never to be found, but where first some kind of union went before to usher it [Page 337] in. So that though Christ came into the World to re­pair our lost condition, to cleanse us from all unrigh­teousness, to deliver our Souls from the Wrath to come, and to make us meet by [...]his Spirit working in us, for the full enjoyment of God in Glory: Yet if first we be not united to Christ, we can never have the Happi­ness of Communion with him in these and the like glorious Priviledges, but notwithstanding the Blood, the Death, the Sufferings of Christ, must for ever fall short of Eternal Glory. How dreadful then is the condition of every Christless Sinner! There is an All-sufficiency of Merit in Christ, but it shall never procure their Par­don. There is a redundancy of Grace in Christ. But it shall never sanctify, nor make them holy. There is a Soveraignity in the Blood of Christ, but it shall never cleanse their Souls from Sin. (a) There is an indeficient Fountain of Life in Christ: But refusing him, they must inevitably die the Death, and suffer the Vengeance of Eternal Fire! You then that would not for ever thus dreadfully miscarry and come short of God's Kingdom and Glory, oh see that you now give diligence to close with Christ, making him your Wisdom to direct you, your Righteousness to justify your Persons, your Sanctification to prepare you for Glory, and your Redemption to free your Souls from the Wrath to come! (b) His Merit is beyond all your Mi­sery, his Pardons are more than all your Debts; his Power to succour is infinite, and therefore it can ne­ver (i) (k) [Page 338] be non-plust by any thing but an Evil Heart of unbelief. Have Faith in Christ and though the uni­versal Guilt of all Mens Sins in the World lay upon you, yet they could never damn you: But want Faith refusing to accept of Christ upon Gospel Terms and Heaven itself cannot save you. Every Sin hath such infinite evil and malignity bound up in it, that of it­self it deserves Damnation: But yet no Sin doth actu­ally expose the Soul thereto, without Infidelity. Were there but one Soveraign medicine against some mor­tal Disease in all the World, surely his case must needs be desperate, who laboring under this Mortal Distemper, should refuse that Soveraign Remedy: Such is the case of every unbeliever, who refusing the Redemption pur­chased by Christ, and making light of so great Salva­tion, can never escape the Damnation of Hell, nor the Wrath of God, nor the Vengeance of Eternal Fire!(l) For there is no other Name under Heaven given amongst Men, by which we must be saved. Out of a tender care therefore of your own Souls, make sure of Christ, and do not dare to live a Moment longer with­out an interest in him. Christ alone is the Way which leads to Life; and therefore not believing in him, not emb [...]acing of him, not accepting of him as your Saviour. You walk every moment on the frontiers of Hell, not knowing how soon you may drop irrecoverably into that Place of Torments! Why then will you not come to Christ applying his Righteousness to your selves by Faith, that you may have Life, obtain Mercy, and be crowned with an E­ternity of heavenly Glory. Oh little do you know the Happiness of a Soul believing in Christ for remission of Sins and for Life everlasting! His Faith gives him an interest in that Christ, who hath Life, Heaven and Eternal Glory following after him, so that Faith alone doth more for him than all other Graces besides; for tho [Page 339] Faith in the Substance of it considered as an inherent Quality, hath no singular excellency above other Gra­ces: Yet as it is receptive of Christ, and an Instrument appointed of God for the applying of his Righteousness to our Souls, whereof no other Grace is any more capa­ble than the Eye of receiving food to nourish the Body, so 'tis the most precious and useful of all others. What the Eye was to an Israelite when stung in the Wilder­ness, that Faith alone is to us when mortally wound­ed with the sting of Sin. It was not a quick Ear, nor a strong Arm, nor an active Hand, nor an eloquent Tongue, that could heal him, but only an Eye, look­ing up to the brazen Serpent: Thus 'tis not Know­ledge though Angelical, nor Sorrow for Sin how affli­cting soever nor any Religious Performances how many and glorious soever, that can help us, but only Faith in the Lord Jesus,(e) through whom we shall never perish but have Eternal Life. Oh then what encou­ragement may this afford to all such as lie bleeding and groaning under the Sense of their own Sinfulness! Whatever your wounds be the Blood of Christ applied by Faith can heal them. Whatever your Sorrows be, the Spirit of Christ can abundantly comfort you. What ever your Fears of Wrath and Hell be, the Redemption purchased by Christ can remove them all. Whatever your unworthiness be, yet being cloathed upon through Faith with the Garment of Christs Righteousness, you are sure to obtain the Blessing of Life, Glory, and un­conceivable Happiness in the Kingdom of God! If then you desire when your Souls shall be dislodged from these Tabernacles of Clay, to have them received into everlasting Habitations, do not, oh do not any longer refuse, but now see that you close by Faith with a precious Christ! There is not a Soul of you I am sure, that is willing to go to Hell and be damned for ever:(f) Believe therefore in the Lord Jesus Christ, and so [Page 340] escaping the Wrath, the Flames, the Damnation of Hell, you are sure to be saved with an Everlasting Salvation. Remember Jesus Christ in that blessed Zoar unto whom retiring by Faith unfeigned, thy Soul shall live, and be crowned with fulness of Joy, when Fire and Brimstone, Storm, and Tempest. Wrath and Hell, shall be rained from Heaven, upon the whole World of the Ungodly!

(5) BE sure that you make an universal Resignation of your selves to the Lord Jesus, devoting yourselves wholly both Soul and Body, and all that you are to the service of Christ. That Faith which is saving hath two Hands, the one to receive Christ, and the other to give up the Soul to the obedience of Christ. 'Twill not suffice for us barely to rely upon Christ, that he may save us: But if our Faith be of the right Stamp, a Living and not a Dead Faith,(g) it will make us cleave unto Christ with full purpose of Heart,(h) that we may serve him in Holiness and Righteousness all our Days. We must here live to Christ by sincere obedience, would we e­ver live with Christ in Glory as our Eternal Recom­pence. Give Diligence then, that as Christ is yours, you also may be Christs. You must look as well at Christ commanding Duty, as promising the Reward thereof. Would you ever have Christ looking after you to Crown you with Eternal Glory. In vain shall you expect the Dignities and Priviledges that come by Christ, so long as you refuse to perform the Homage and Services that are due to Christ. Oh therefore beware lest there be any amongst you that fall short of Eter­nal Life, by building their Hopes for it, upon a partial accepting of Christ. If you take not Christ for your Sove­raign to obey and serve him, he will never be your Saviour to redeem and crown your Souls with eternal Glo­ry. [Page 341] (q) Your Faith is dead and will never save you, if it make you not live unto Christ, who is never the Author of eternal Salvation to any but such as obey him. Though we must be saved by Faith in Christ, not by Works: Yet that Faith will never save us, which doth not set us about working for Christ.(a) The Office of true Faith, is to bottom us upon Jesus Christ for Life and Salvation: But the Property of true Faith, is to make us work out our own Salvation with Fear and Trembling. And to be sure, that Faith is always false-hearted, which is not dou­ble-handed: That Faith will betray the Soul to eternal Destruction, which hath not one Hand to receive Christ, and another to give back the Soul to Christ, by way of holy Resignation. Look to it then, that whilst you be­lieve in Christ for the Reward of eternal Glory, you for­get not to be found walking before Christ, as a People wholly devoted to his Service, in all holy Conversation and Godliness. The(b) People of God, they are bought with a Price, with a Price more precious than that of Silver and Gold, and therefore must not think them­selves their own to live as they list; their Minds their own to meditate Mischief, nor their Eyes their own to behold Vanity; nor their Hands their own to work Wickedness; nor their Tongues their own to speak both Hebrew and Ashdod; nor any Faculty of Soul, or Member of Body their own, to be made the Instru­ments of Unrighteousness; But in every thing they must strive to be wholly at Christ's Devotion; in their Under­standings to know him, and Contemplate his Glory; in their Memories to treasure up his Promises, Precepts and sweet experienced Dispensations, in their Wills to submit to whatever he commands in his holy Word, that unerring Rule of all Righteousness, in their Eyes to be­hold his marvellous Works; in their Tongues often to be [Page 342] speaking with delight of him, to him, and for him; in their Hands to work the thing which is good; in their Feet to run the way of his Commandments; thus la­bouring to glorifie him both in Body and in Spirit, which are his.(c) For as Ignatius sweetly, a Christian hath no Power, being wholly set apart for God, either to alienate himself from God, or to dispose of himself in any thing, to the Prejudice of God's Glory. And he that thus lives Devoted to Christ, the Lord will be sure to own him in the day that he makes up his Jewels. Crowning him with the full Enjoyment of Christ in Glory.

(6) Have a special care to be that indeed, which you are in Appearance. The(d) King's Daughter, though she have a spiritual Embroydery without, yet she is said to be all Glorious within: And so must you be, would you ever Reign as Kings in Heaven, or to be Crowned with Glory: Seeming Holiness will set a Man in the outward Court: But inward Sanctity and Uprightness of Heart, is that alone which can fit him for the Holy of Holies. The Lord indeed will have the Goodness of our Hearts to appear in the Holiness of our Lives: But yet the ap­pearance of Holiness without, is never so much to be regarded as the Uprightness and Integrity of our Hearts within. Where there is a pure Heart, there will be clean Hands; but a Man may have clean Hands, and yet his Heart remain as Filthy, Unreformed, and Polluted as ever. How many have the Lamp of a glorious Professi­on, that would never purchase the Oyl of Grace, to sea­son their Hearts? Most Men desire to seem, but few will labour to be really Gracious, and of upright Hearts. They will cleanse themselves from fleshly Pollutions, but not from spiritual Defilements. They will hold forth the Form of Godliness in their Lives; but will by no means receive the Power of Godliness into their Hearts. Like [Page 343] Jezabel, they will give God a painted Face; but they ne­ver take care to present him with an upright Heart. Thus many are Righteous, and have a Name(e) to live before Men, who are nothing but painted Hypocrites, dead in Trespasses and Sins, in the sight of God: An outward Shew and Semblance, is enough for the one, but inward Power and Truth is required to the other. Let Consci­ence therefore be more to you than Credit: And be not so much solicitous about your Actions before Men, as about your Hearts in the sight of God. In vain are you Clean-handed before Men, if you be not also Pure-hearted before God. Your getting into a handsome Garb, and walking under a Pretence of Religion, will avail you nothing, so long as God looks at an upright Heart,(f) above all things, requiring Truth in the in­ward P [...]rts. 'Tis not the Form, but the Power of God­liness: 'Tis not the Semblance, but the Truth of Grace, which the Lord will accept of. If a Man could offer up every Day as many Prayers, as Thoughts to the Lord, Mourn in some Wilderness like a distressed Pil­grim till Noon-day, and outvy the very Angels of Light, for the frequency and external Glory of his ite­rated Devotion: Yet if all these be not the Fruit of an upright Heart, and a willing Mind, the Lord abhorreth them from his very Soul, and they prove like a blazing Comet, portending the Ruine, and inevitable eternal Destruction of him that performed them. The Lord is, no question for a fair outside, and requires external Per­formances at our Hands: But yet you must know, these can no otherwise find acceptance with him, than as they proceed from a pure Fountain, and are enlivened by the Uprightness of the Heart within. When the Heart is wanting in our Religious Duties, we do but of­fer [Page 344] up a dead Sacrifice to the living God, and so provoke the pure Eyes of his Glory. Do not then, oh do not present the Lord with Leaves for Fruit, with Lies for Devotion: But let your Tongues, and your Hearts, your Prayers, and your Hearts, your Lives, and your Hearts, your outward Performances, and the inward Af­fection of your Hearts go together, endeavouring to be better indeed, more Pure, more Upright and Holy, than you can be in appearance: Some(a) there are who would be thought good, but care not to be so; and though they be really bad, yet they would not be taken for any such Persons. Be not you like them, seeking the praise of Man with the loss of your own Souls: But whatever Grace, whatever Reformation, whatever Good­ness you make shew of before Men, be all that, and much more in the sight of God! If (Sirs) you think [...]an Ho­nour to appear Good,(b) is it not much mor [...] [...]n Ho­nour to be so indeed? What alas! is the Name of: Chri­stian worth, if you will go [...] put on the Nature of a Chri­stian? To think I was well reputed of amongst God's People, I was called a good, and had the Name of a Chri­stian, can this be a Cordial, when you come to die? Or will it comfort your Hearts, when appearing before the Judgment-seat of(c) the great God, where all your Paint [Page 345] and Varnish being washed off, you must now be punish­ed as Hypocrites, with everlasting Destruction from the Presence of God, and from the Glory of his Power? To be counted Rich, and yet turn Bankrupt, to be judg­ed healthful, and yet sick unto Death, would but aggra­vate in such cases a Man's Misery: So to be counted Holy, and yet Profane, to have a Name to live, and yet after all be found dead in Trespasses and Sins, oh this will most dreadfully aggravate the Hypocrites Misery a­nother day, this will sink them deeper in Hell, than the notoriously ungodly, this will prepare flaming Ingredi­ents for the Cup of Wrath, and put new Sti [...]gs into those fiery Scorpions that will vex and torment them for ever! If then you love your Souls, give diligence now to have the best side inward, doing every thing from the Heart s [...]cerely, as unto God! Strive you must to make clean the inside, as well as the outside of the Platter, and to have pure Hearts, as well a [...] [...]lean Hands, would you ever(d) be Vessels of Honour [...] for the Master's use. The foolish Virgins they had Lamps in their Hands, a Profession of Godliness(e) adorned with many glorious Performances: But these were not animated with an upright Heart, they wanted the Oyl of Grace within, and therefore depart from me (saith Christ) I never knew you. Christ will know those well, he will know them to be Men of pure Minds, and upright Hearts, whom he receives to dwell with himself in eternal Mansions of Glory: Otherwise if a Work of Grace be wanting within, if the Heart be unsound, and not inwardly Ho­ly, they must look to depart accursed into everlasting burnings, where the painted fire of all their pretended zeal shall most surely be punished with the true fire of God's heavy wrath, and sore displeasure. Thus you may possibly appear Holy be­fore Men, and have your Christian Profession adorned with many seemingly glorious Performances: But in [Page 346] case your Hearts be not upright before God, now he throws you down for ever into Hellish-torments, now he punisheth your Souls with everlasting Destruction from his own Presence; now he commands you to depart accursed into everlasting Fire, prepared for the Devil and his Angels, and you must obey him! Oh then what a woful thing is a rotten Heart, and how much doth it concern us all to be that indeed, which we are in shew! He that is seemingly good, but really bad, though die he may with seeming hopes for Heaven and Glory, yet fall he must into a real Hell of Misery, and eternal endless Torments!

(7) SEE that you mortify through the Spirit, the Deeds of the Body. That which thou sowest (saith the Apostle)(f) is not quickned, except it die; so, except first you die to Sin, you can never be quickned, nor raised, to enjoy the Reward of eternal Life. The way to die hereafter, is to live here: And the way to live hereafter, is to die here. They that now live in Sin, must hereafter expect Death, and eternal Misery, as the just Reward, and Punishment of their Sins: But they that now die to Sin, crucifying the Flesh with the Affections and Lusts, shall hereafter live with God in eternal Mansions of Glory. For saith the Apostle, if ye live after the(h) Flesh, ye shall die: But if ye through the Spirit, mortify the Deeds of the Body, ye shall live. Here you see are described two ways, the one leading to Death, the other to Life; the one to Hell, the other to Heaven; the one to endless Tor­ments, the other to all fulness of Joy in God's own pre­sence. So then he that will save the Life of his Sins, shall lose his Soul: But he that will mortifie himself, his beloved Lusts, and Sins, and dearest Corruptions, he shall live for ever. Though then you cannot totally kill (g) [Page 347] your Corruptions in this Life, yet see that you be daily mortifying them: Though you cannot wholly cast them out from remaining, yet be sure to keep them under from reigning in your mortal Bodies, that you should obey them. All Sins are meritoriously Mortal, but none save those which are left unmortified, do eventually prove so:(i) Though it be true that every Sin deserveth Death, even the Motus primò primi, concerning which the School­men write, the very first risings and ebullitions of Lust in the Soul, which do prevent all use of Reason, though standing in her highest Watch-tower of Vigilancy to des­cry, and with all curiosity to make observation of every approaching Enemy: Yet there is no Sin, though aggra­vated by supervening Circumstances to an equality of Guilt, and heinousness, with the most prodigious and horrid [...]mpieties that were ever yet perpetrated by any Offender, that doth actually infer Death, exposing a Man to the Vengeance of eternal Fire, unless suffered to go unmortified. The least Sin, when allowed of, is enough for thy Damnation, and the greatest, when mortified, can by no means hinder thy eternal Salvation. The Life of Sin, and the Life of a Sinner, are like two Buckets at a Well, if the one go up, the other must go down: Thus, if your Pride, your Hypocrisie, your Covetousness, your Car­nality, your vile Affections live in you, you must die eternally; but if through the Spirit you mortify them, you shall live for ever. Behold then, I now set before you Life, and Death, Mount Ebal, and Mount Gerriz­zim, Blessings, and Cursings, the Pleasures of Heaven, and the Torments of Hell; and oh that you would choose not Death, but Life, not Ebal, but Gerizzim, not Cursings, but Blessings, not hellish intolerable Torments, but heavenly Glory! There are but two Estates of Men in this present Life, and but two proportionate to them in the Life to come. Some here live after the Flesh, and they must die; their delight is present, but momen­tany; [Page 348] their pain is future, but Eternal; some do here by the Spirit mortify their beloved corruptions; their present Work is difficult, but short; their Reward is future, but Eternal and Glorious. Oh therefore above all things see to it, that every Lust, every Sin, every vile Affection in your Souls be subdued, mortified, and abstained from with the most religious Solicitude. If with Jehu you will still have your Calves at Dan and Bethel, notwithstanding your pretended Zeal for the Lord; if with Herod you must still keep your Herodias, notwithstanding your readiness to hear John Baptist; to be sure you will lose your Souls, and fall short of Glory! But if making it your great care to mortify through the Spirit the deeds of the Body, you shall keep your selves from your own iniquity, hewing in pieces your delicate Agag, and giving an Eternal Divorce to every Delilah that pleaseth you, then doubt not but Heaven shall b [...] [...]our home, and the God of Heaven himself, your [...]fe, your Portion, your ex­ceeding great Reward. For a Life of Mortification on Earth, is the sure way to a state of Glorification in Heaven!

(8) BE careful that you have an impartial respect to the whole Law of God, endeavouring with Zachary, and Elizabeth, (a) to walk in all the Commandments, and ordinances of God blameless. A partial respect to Gods Commandments, will be sure to expose you to a fatal Destruction from God's blissful Presence: But an universal Love and Obe­dience to Gods holy Will, this will set you above the reach of Hell and Misery, crowning your Souls with an universal Confluence of all Joy and Happiness, and purest Pleasures in the Kingdom of God..(b) Then [Page 349] (saith Holy David, that spiritual Orpheus) shall I never be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy Com­mandments. When our Obedience is not universal but partial it will end in shame, and [...]ause us to lie down in Eternal Confusion: But when with all Religious Ex­actness, and Godly curiosity (as the original Word im­plies) we have a respect to the whole Will of God, endeavouring that all our Obedience may be adequate thereto, now Glory, Honour and Life Everlasting, will be your Portion. See therefore that you go not about to indent and capitulate with God in matters of Obedience, as if the universal Respect of all his Com­mands, were not a Duty incumbent upon you:(c) But give Diligence now to have a Conscience uni­versally void of offence both towards God and towards Men,(d) in all things willing to live honestly. Like Mo­ses, would you ever enter into the heavenly Canaan, you must have both your Hand [...] [...]d with the two Tables of the Law, respecting both [...] and Man: God in each Duty of Piety, walking purely before him, and Man in each Duty of Equity deporting your selves Righte­ously towards him. To make conscience of one Duty and not of another, is indeed to make Conscience nei­ther of one nor other. Every Command of the De­calogue hath the same Image, the same Superscription, the same Divine Authority stamped upon it:(e) So that a Man allowing himself in the disobservation of any one (quoad vinculum formale) doth violate all, re­flecting contempt upon the Authority of the whole Law, though he do not actually violate it in every part. And yet how many are there who answer the Lord with an half-obedience, just like the Eccho which makes not a Perfect respondence of the Voice, but of some part thereof.(f) We read of a certain young [Page 350] Gentleman who came in a sad and serious manner to learn of Christ the Way to Heaven: But yet one thing was lacking, his desires of Heaven and Glory, they were bounded with secret Reservations, Proviso's and Conditions of his own; upon the discovery where­of by Christ, he went away discouraged, as not able to accept of Glory upon Terms of universal obedience. Thus frequently a deceitful Heart turns Men aside, entring Caveats against an universal devotedness to Christ, and causing them to stand, upon abatements with him in the bargain of Salvation; not considering that a due respect to all the Commandments of God is necessary in those that shall be saved, albeit that the Covenant of Grace never intended to make the perfect Observa­tion of God's Commandments any Condition of our obtaining Salvation. So then if you would not fall short of Glory, be sure that the Obedience of your Heart and Life be of equal extent and latitude with the whole Law of God.(g) He that stands upon abatements with God, keeping only such Command­ments as will stand with his carnal Interest, his World­ly credit, his Safety, and his secular Projects, doth not serve the Will of God, but his own choice. The Will of God revealed, that's the grand motive to obedi­ence: So that because the whole Law is but a Trans­cript of Gods holy Will, there is the same reason why you should perform obedience to all, as to any one of his Commandments.(h) Shame therefore your selves into the universal Obedience of God's Commandments, when ever you find your Hearts, to make shy of any Duty, with this pressing Consideration, that he who [Page 351] commanded one, hath commanded all! Every Christian he must be a through-paced Conformist to the Will of God; not speaking both Hebrew and Ashdod, not swear­ing by God, and Malchom, not taking one step straight, and another crooked, not keeping a covetous Heart for the World, nor a proud Heart for Hell, nor a sensual Heart for the Flesh: But endeavouring to ob­serve all things whatsoever Christ hath commanded us, giving Diligence to walk before the Lord in all holy Conversation and Godliness.(i) That for which we find Caleb and Joshua so highly renowned, was because they fulfilled it after the Lord: Thus would you ever have the highest Renown of heavenly Glory, you must follow the Lord fully; resolving, that though you can­not fulfil all Righteousness, yet you will neglect none. Thy failing in every Duty shall never keep thee out of Heaven, if there be no Duty, in the careless neglect whereof thou allowest thy [...]elf. Where the Eye of a Christian is upon the whole Law of God, and his Heart open to do it;(k) there the Goodness of God will accept the Desire for the Deed, of the Purpose for the Performance, and of the Will for the Work, never failing to crown the weakest endeavours when sincere, with a glorious Reward. But remember, those that only make conscience to do the Will of God in part, and not wholly: they have neither part, nor lot in his heavenly Kingdom, but must wholly end for ever fall short of Glory!

(9) TAKE heed that you build not your Hopes for Heaven upon a negative Righteousness, but give diligence to live in the constant and faithful practice of all positive Duties. (l) The Vessel of Honour is distinguished from the Vessel of Dishonour, not so much because cleansed [Page 352] from what is Evil, as because sanctified and prepared for every good Word, and Work. There are multi­tudes in the World that think themselves no small Saints, because not the worst and most prodigeously Wicked amongst Sinners: And many there be who count themselves in a good preparedness for Heaven, because they have not the very Botches and Plague­sores of Hell visibly running upon them.(m) God I thank thee (said that proud Pharisee) that I am not as other Men are, Extortioners, Unjust, Adulterers, or even as this Publican: As if so be, that because he had not his Hands full of Bribes, and Oppression, and the like Pollutions, he must needs go to Heaven, and be crowned with Glory. Thus many glory because they are no Drunkards, no Lyars, no Swearers, no Sabbath-breakers, no unclean Persons embracing the Bo­som of a strange Lover; and oh that all our People had so much Righteousness as this to glory of! But verily Sirs, the fair Way of negative Righteousness leads to Hell and eternal Destruction as well, as the foul pochy way of notorious Profaness. Did you ne­ver hear of a Man dying for hunger, as well as by eating Poyson? Did you never see a Runner lose the Gar­land, as well for leaving off to run, as by catching a fall? Did you never observe a Lamp going out as well for want of Oyl, as by means of an Extinguisher? So may you hear of thousands that die Eternally as well for want of doing good which is the Food of the Soul, as by feeding upon the Poyson of their own Hearts Lusts. So may you see Men daily losing the Garland of Eternal Glory for leaving off to run the Way of God's Commandments, as by falling into wicked Practices. So may you observe the Lamp of many professing Christians going out in the unsavoury snuff of sulphu­reous hellish Misery, for want of th [...] Oyl of gracious Performances, as well as by the fatal Extinguisher of o­pen [Page 353] Ungodliness. Do but look into the Process of Judgment which Christ will be sure to keep to in that great Day, and you will find upon due observation made, that the dreadful damnatory Sentence then to be pronounced against all the Ungodly, it runs most upon Negatives, commanding Men therefore to depart ac­cursed into Everlasting Fire, not so much for the Commission of Sins forbidden, as for the neglect and omission of Duty enjoined.(n) Ye have not cloath­ed, ye have not fed, ye have not visited my poor Brethren, saith Christ, and therefore go ye cursed. 'Tis not said, ye have robbed, ye have reviled, ye have persecuted them, but their neglect of the foremention­ed Duties is that which now undoeth them; this is that which sinks them to Hell and there works their E­verlasting Destruction!(o) What then will be the end of all Prayerless, Meditationless, Faithless, and Irreligious Persons, who though they [...]ase to do Evil, yet never learn to do well? The Question will shortly be, not so much whether you have oppressed, as whether you have relieved the Poor; not so much whether you have pro­faned, as whether you have sanctified God's holy Sabbath; not so much whether you have blasphemed, as whether you have called upon the name of God with an upright Heart? And this know, the allowed total omission of any such Duty will as infallibly damn you, as to live in the practise of the most gross and scandalous enormi­ties: So that to escape the pollutions that are in the World through Lust, will at the best but procure you a cooler place in Hell, so long as you walk not in the daily practise of those Duties which lead to Heaven! Thou then that art a Man standing much upon thy ne­gative Righteousness, boasting thyself to be no covetous, no unclean, no debauched Person, where i [...] thy Faith, thy Wisdom, thy reason still to go on in the careless neglect of Prayer, of Self-examination, of Repentance, [Page 354] of meditating in God's Word, and the like holy Exerci­ses, without which thou canst never be saved? It is good indeed not to do Evil; but yet it is withal a Soul­damning Evil not to do good. Wherefore was Meroz so bitterly cursed? Was it because making a Confedera­cy with the Enemy they fought against God's People? Oh no, but because they came not out to the help of Israel against the Mighty! Wherefore was that unprofitable Servant bound, and cast into utter Darkness? Was it for embezelling his Lords Talent, or for wasting it upon Harlots? Oh no, but because he had not improved it to his Lords advantage! Wherefore do we find that rich Man tormented in Hell? Was it because he had taken any thing from poor Lazarus, or pulled the Meat from his Mouth? Oh no, But because he did not cloath and feed him! He finds Judgment without Mercy, because he had neglected to shew Mercy: And because he de­nyed Lazarus a crumb of Bread to satisfie his hunger, now Heaven and Earth will not afford him one drop of Water to cool his Tongue. So certainly will the neg­lect of Duty expose to an eternity of Wrath, and un­preventable fiery Torments! For not only the corrupt Tree, but the barren Tree also is intended for the Fire; not only the Tree which bears ill Fruit, but also the Tree which bears no good Fruit must be fuel for the Wrath of God to burn upon without quenching for ever. Give diligence then, would you ever escape Wrath and obtain Glory, not only to forbear the doing of that which is evil, but also to be working the thing which is good. Leave th [...] Duties of that place wherein God hath set you undone, and your Souls are undone for e­ver: But if carefully performing them, you shall strive to abound with the Fruits of Righteousness, 'tis not long but you will have a blessed Transplantation, from Earth to Heaven, from the Wilderness of this World, into the Celestial Canaan! Only let every profane ungody Per­son [Page 555] stand aloof, as those for whom the blackness of darkness is reserved for ever. If a negative Righteousness will carry no Man to Heaven, to be sure then those who allow themselves in a course of all unrighteous practices, must fall irrecoverably into Hell and eternal Destruction. If the slothful Servant were so punished who only hid his Lords Talent in a Napkin, restoring it as good as he had it, what then will be the end of every wicked Servant who hath embezelled his Lords Talent spending it riotously upon Harlots? This Man must certainly ex­pect more dreadful aggravations of Punishment, than the other. That slothful Servant shall have a milder Cup of Wrath, when this wicked Servant shall drink up the dregs of Divine Fury. If the unprofitable Servant be avenged seven-fold, surely then the rebellious Servant must be avenged seventy times Seven-fold.(a) If Divine Justice whip the one with Rods, 'twill certainly whip the other with Scorpions. If sterility be cast into the Fire, who can tell the Wrath, the fiery Flames of Tophet into which rapacity shall be thrown? If he that relieved not others with what was his own must burn for e­ver, what Vengeance of Eternal Fire may those look for, who have extorted from others what was not their own? What will be the end of the cruel who grind the Faces of the Poor, if he shall have judgment without mercy who shewed▪ no mercy? If not doing the thing which is good will shut out of heavenly Glory; doubt­less then working that which is evil and abominable in the sight of God, will for ever sink▪ Men in unsufferabl hellish Torments!

(10) AND lastly, be much upon your knees at the throne of Grace, imploring with all earnestness, and holy Importunity the help of Heaven whereby you may be duly qualified and fitted for it. Our endeavours after Life and Glory, they must ever be succeeded with the Grace of God effectually working in us, or else we must lose our Reward. Nothing of ours will ever bring us to God as the end and quietative Centre of our Souls, except we first receive it from God as the Author of every good and perfect Gift.(a) If ever we come to Ca­naan, 'tis the God of Israel that must lead us by the Hand, and by the Arm of his Omnipotency put us in full possession of it.(b) There is an Inheritance of Saints in Light, but unless God the Father of Lights by a sufficiency of discriminating Grace do first quali­fy and meeten us for it, we are like to abide in e­verlasting Darkness. The Stone hath no power to mount upward but what it wholly receives from the strength and impress of the Arm throwing it: Nor have we whose Hearts by Nature are as Stones, any Power to move Heaven-ward, but what we do wholly receive from the irresistible Strength and Divine Energy of God's holy Spirit carrying us that Way. Free will to what is spiritually good, is a plain Soloecism in the School of free Grace: So that whoever by the good use hereof thinks to get the Reward, to be sure he shall never enjoy any fellowship in Christ's Colledge, nor have the least degree of preferment in the Uni­versity of Heaven. Our Estate by(c) Nature is without any strength: So that we are no more able to do the Works of a Spiritual, than a dead Man to do the Works of a natural Life.(d) By Nature we are [Page 357] blind, and cannot therefore see the things of the Spirit of God, unless he first gives us a(z) spiritual Eye. We are alienated from the Life of Christ, and must▪ never look to have, any saving acquaintance with him, if the Father draw us not. The Lord's drawing is not by destroy­ing the Will, but by Sanctifying of it, and inclining it to what is good. He puts forth the Arm of his Grace, to apprehend us, and that creates in us an Arm of Faith to apprehend him. They do but flatter and miserably comply with sinful corrupt Nature against Grace, who assert any such Power in Man, whereby he may prepare himself for special Grace. So prodigeous is our Impo­tency by Nature, that we have not the power of a good Thought, of a Sigh, of one hearty Groan after God, and Christ, and eternal Glory in our own hands. To talk of an universal Grace that is only determined, and made effectual by the good improvement of our own free will, antecedently consenting thereto, before any effectual change wrought upon us by the Spirit of Rege­neration, is indeed to deny God's discriminating Love, and instead of that, to set up an Idol of our own. If so be that the same Grace be granted to all, then 'tis not God, but every Man(a) that improves this Grace, who makes himself to differ from another, contrary to the true intent of the Apostle's Question. For that which is common to all Men, doth never make a difference be­twixt any. You must know then, that we do not dif­ference our selves from others, by improving the same Talent better than others did. But 'tis God alone who doth difference us from others, from the vilest of Sin­ners, from the damned in Hell, by giving us that Ta­lent of Grace to Trade with, and a Will to improve it, which he never gave to them. He is(b) no less the Au­thor, than the Finisher of our Faith: And he alone [Page 358] must work(c) Grace in us to make us Holy, as well as bestow Glory upon us to make us happy. We do not prevent God loving him first, but he prevents us, first Circumcising our Heart that we may love him. Were the Grace of God merely suasory, and by moral Argu­ments, making Tenders of Life and Glory to us, but giving us no(d) power to accept of them, nor renewed Hearts to close with them, well we might hear the glad Tidings of eternal Life, but most certainly for all that, we must die in our Sins, and be damned for ever. For (as a learned Divine of our own hath it) there is so much Perverseness, and devilish Antipathy in our Hearts by Nature, that neither the Promises of Heaven, can allure us, nor the Blood and Passions of Christ perswade, nor all the flames of Hell affright us out of our Sins, till the Lord by the sweet and glorious Power of his holy Spirit, subdue and conquer the Will to himself. The Apostle therefore, speaking to this purpose, contents not him­self to say, it is God that commands you, that exhorts, and persuades you both to will and to do: But (saith he) 'tis God that works in you both to will and to do of his(e) own good pleasure; implying clearly, that no­thing less than the almighty Power of God's own Grace, exciting, inclining, and determining the Will, can suf­fice unto any good Work. The Assertours of free Will, those grand Parasites of Nature, do count it indeed the first born of Absurdities, to teach that the Grace of God hath any such determining Influence upon the Will, as shall effectually work it to a closure with what is good. Hence they affirm, that God himself cannot▪ without wrong to the proper Crasis, and Constitution of the Will, [Page 359] without committing a Rape upon her Virgin-freedom, act otherwise upon it, than after all he hath done, or can do, to leave her the precious priviledge of resisting his Grace, rejecting the Tenders of his Love, and de­stroying himself! Thus whilst they would seem tender of the Creatures Liberty, they proclaim themselves Tray­tors to Heaven, encroaching upon God's Prerogative-royal, while they would make the World believe, that the essential, and characteristical Property of the Will must be destroyed, unless we give her a Power to baffl [...], nonplus, and conquer the Almighty Spirit and Grace of God at her pleasure. But we must know, God doth so accommodate his Concourse with the Will of Man in his Conversion, that no Violence is offered to the Will's in­trinsique Frame, nothing done inconsistent with her es­sential Constitution: Necessitate God doth, but never, compel the Will to what is good; he doth determine but not force h [...]r; he doth not destroy, but give her li­berty, rescuing her from under the Bondage of Sin, that she may be free to choose, to embrace, to delight greatly in himself. As when Water, which naturally descendeth, inclining downward, is transelemented and changed into Air, then it doth naturally ascend, contending upward: So when the Will of Man, which by Nature moves downward, is graciously changed and freed from her na­tive Viciousness, then she readily moves upward, and is wonderfully carried out after God, after Christ, after Heaven and Glory, taking a sweet Complacency in eve­ry good Word and Work. So that to consent to the Grace of God, [...]o accept of his graciou [...], help, and to long for it, this is wholly from God himself.(f) invin­cibly [Page 360] sanctifying the Will, and by an act of [...]lmighty Power, determining it to what is supernaturally good. It is not enough to provide the means, but God himself must strongly apply them; he must afford the blessed Operation and powerful Concurrence of his own Spirit; the Revelation of his own Arm and Might upon the Soul, or he will never consent, no, not to her own Happiness upon Terms of Grace. And truly if in Nature Man cannot determin himself, nor exert any vital Actions, un­less premoved and determined thereunto, by the imme­diate Influx of God upon him, as the first cause; how much less in things Spiritual? 'Tis much controverted, (I know) whether Men have not a Sufficiency of Power within themselves to act, move, and do all things agree­able to their Nature which God hath given them, without any further help from him to actuate that Power, to pre­move, and determine them to every physical Action that proceedeth from them? The dependance of all Crea­tures upon God for the Support, and Continuation of their Beings, is by most acknowledged: But that there should be the same necessity of dependance upon God for their Workings, there are many Men, both of great Learning, and of singular Holiness who deny it, those especially who side with the Jesuites against the Dom [...]n [...]eans in this Controversy, making an active indif­ferency to Good, or Evil, at(g) least an undeterminate­ness in the Will, to be of the Essence of Liberty. Du­randus his Opinion in this Case is sufficiently known, who would not have God to concur otherwise with his Creatures in any of their Actions which they exert, than by way of Conservation, so as to continue their several respective Beings, and energetical Powers to them. Au­stin speaks of some in his Time that were of the same [Page 361] Mind(h) affirming that God having Created the great Organ of the World, did forthwith leave it to play upon it self, and to make all sweet and harmonious melody, not by any further powerful touch from God, but by virtue of its first Composure. Above all others, Taurel­lus is most dogmatical, averring that it would degrade the great God from that Wisdom, Dignity, and Power, which of right doth belong to him, to think that he should so make his Creatures, as not to be able to dis­charge their respective Offices, without being prompted thereto by his almighty Help, and immediate praedeter­mining Influence. But to speak my Thoughts in one word, I see not how the Will of Man (which is not a Power simply and absolutely active, as Bellarmin would have it, but a mixed, having much of Potentiality in it) should be reduced into act, otherwise than [...]y some pow­erful impress of God upon it, who is a most pure Act. Besides; shall we give the Will of Man a creative Power, in reference to its own elicite Acts, which have surely some physical Being? Or acknowledging him the Au­thor, and first cause of all Actions as such, shall we de­ny him to praedetermine Man's Will in the producing of them, when every Cause is always before the Effect, at least in order of Nature? Are not all things below God owned for second Causes, not because they had their [Page 362] Being(i) from him (for so (as a learned Man observeth) they are dependeant Beings, not Causes) but because in their Operations they wholly depend upon him, and are predetermined by an immediate Influx of his Power? Let us not unsubordinate the Creatures to God their Cre­atour: And make that independent in its Workings, which we know to be otherwise in its Being. To me it seems little less, than to divest the great God of his Prerogative-Royal, and to set the Crown upon the Head of the Creature; when acknowledging him for the first Cause, we will(k) grant that we live, and have our Be­ing from him, but not that we are moved by him. The profound Bradwardine, the learned Twisse, the acute Ames, the Judicious Zanchy: Neither they, with many others of our Protestant Divines, nor(l) he could yet bear such Doctrin, who lays down this as a sure Maxim, that no­thing but God the first mover, doth either move, or act, if not moved and acted. And indeed its hard, to say, how they who deny the Will of Man to be physically de­termined of God, make not Man the first mover, not moved, the(m) first Agent not acted by any other: So that he shall be the first cause of determining his own Will, yea, independent, and without any other cause than himself. For we may not think that God only of­fers his Creatures a certain indeterminate, common, and [Page 363] indifferent concourse, which is either like a Laquy subsequent to their determining themselves, and comes in at the close of the day, actum agere; or like a Lesbyan Rule, which(n) they may incline, determine, and bend either to good, or evil as they please. This Devise of the Je­suites, is confuted at large by the Thomists, and most of our own Divines in the Doctrin of Providence, who re­ject it as that which makes the divine Providence con­fused, dependent, imperfect, and such as is capable of receiving its ultimate Perfection from the Creature. Though Similes prove nothing, yet they may illustrate, and therefore to give you a perfect understanding in this case I shall shut up with the Simile of a learned Divine, (whereof the most of our English Divines in their Discour­ses about Providence make use) telling you with him, that God set up the World as a fair and goodly Clock, to strike in time, and to move it in an orderly manner; not by its own Weights, by fresh Influence from him­self, by that inward and intimate Spring of immediate Concourse, that should supply it in a most uniform and proportionable manner. This great Organ of the World, he turned it, yet not so, as that it could play upon it self, or make any Musique by virtue of its own Compo­sure (as Durandus fancies) but that it might be fitted for the Finger of God himself, and at the presence of his powerful touch, might sound forth the praise of its Crea­tour in a most sweet and harmonious way. So then if where Man hath a Power he cannot act, unless determin­ed thereto of God, how much less is he able to act gra­ciously in spiritual Concerns, without the immediate pre­determining Work of God's Grace upon him? Thou can'st not stir a foot, nor move an Hand without God, and can'st thou then run the way of his Commandments, or touch the golden Scepter of his Grace without him? [Page 364] Never think to come to God without strength from God, nor to come to Heaven, if God carry not thy Soul thi­ther in the triumphant Chariot of his own Grace. The Lord breathed into Adam the Breath of Life, and then he became a living Soul: So the Lord must breath into thy Soul the enlivening Breath of his own free Grace, and then thou wilt no longer be dead, but alive unto God. If Christ will draw her, the Spouse doth then promise that she will run after him: Thus thou wilt never run after Christ, nor love Christ, nor have the least desire to Christ, if first he draw thee not by his own Spirit sweetly over-powering thy will to embrace, to chuse, to love the best things. The Power and Wis­dom of God forming the Babe in the Womb, that pre­vents and goes before all thought that the Child could have of its own formation: Thus those that have the happiness to be conceived in the Womb of free Grace, the Spirit of regeneration that prevents them with a principle of life, before ever they could have so much as a thought of, or a will to, or the least groan of de­sire after their new Birth. Lazarus he had never come out of the Grave at Christ's call, if the Lord had not first put life into him: Thus our good Works can ne­ver come out of the Grave of our unclean Hearts, 'till God do first of all* work them in us. Not that we are to think he doth formally believe, repent, and as one Person with us exert other vital actions of Grace accor­ding to that wild Opinion of some Libertines: But that he, as the Author, doth by the efficacy of his own Holy Spirit working in us, enable us to perform what­ever Duties, whatever Services, whatever Conditions himself hath required as necessary to our Salvation. [Page 365] * In the conversion of a lost Sinner unto God, 'tis Man that doth believe, repent, and will whatever is good and pleasing in the sight of God: But yet 'tis God as the sole donour of every such good and perfect gift, that doth first bestow a renewed will, and then by his Grace excite it, that the Sinner may actually believe and repent to the saving of his Soul. No Man did ever yet be­lieve, repent, or come to God for Mercy, but in the strength of God: Nor did any ever yet obtain the Re­ward of Eternal Life, but through the Grace of God effectually enabling to work in the Lord's Vineyard, and making him faithful unto the Death. Go then to God in Prayer you that love your Immortal Souls, for Grace, for Purity, for Holiness, but be sure that you pray fer­vently, remembring you can never arrive at the Haven of true Happiness, without the gentle gales of God's own Spirit to speed you thither. By nature you are dead in Trespasses and Sins, and if therefore God quicken you not, you are lost for ever. By nature you are mortally wounded, and this your wound is uncurable, you must die of it, if God heal it not for you. By nature you are a Reprobate to every good Word and Work, unless therefore God work in you both to will and to do of his own good pleasure, you can never work out your own Salvation. By nature you are dreadfully polluted, all over unclean as a Vessel in which there is no pleasure, so that if you beg not the Spirit of God to cleanse you from all filthiness both of Flesh and Spirit, you can ne­ver be Vessels of Honour sit for the Masters use. Holy Jacob being in danger of his Brother Esau's Fury he [Page 366] wrestled with God all Night, resolving not to let him go without a Blessing, and his two Arms he used in this holy Wrestle,(a) they were Prayers and Tears: Thus Sirs you are in danger not of Man's Fury, but of indignation, of Wrath, and Hell from the great God, and will you not wrestle for a Blessing, closing in with God by the Arms of Prayer and Tears! Oh seek the Lord while he may be found, and see that you call upon him whilst yet he is near! Do not, oh do not tri­fle away that Time about the Meat that perisheth, which should be spent in labouring for the Meat, which will endure to eternal Life! What is it to gain Earth and lose Heaven, to gain the World and lose your Souls? What alass! to fare deliciously every Day, and at Death to be found despairing, to be found dropping into Wrath, into Tophet, into Hell irrecove­rably? Oh how much better is it that now you should pray, and mourn, and weep bitterly before the Lord every Day, to get prepared for Heaven, for Glory, for a Crown of Righteousness, for the recompence of eternal Life, than that you should then weep and howl without Hope for the Misery, the Wrath, the unsufferable Hellish Flames that must now seize upon you and burn you for ever, torment you for ever? Well, that you may never forget seeking the Lord, nor cease praying before him, remember where your Strength, where your Hope, where all your Comfort lies. 'Tis the Lord alone that hath the Word of E­ternal Life, and therefore go to him resolving that you will pray and never give over praying, that you will wrestle and never give over wrestling, that you will weep and sigh and groan and never give over, till you have the Blessing. The same God who gives us the Crown when we have overcome, he must give us strength whereby to overcome. He that will cloath us upon with the Garments of Salvation when we come [Page 367] to Heaven, he alone it is that must now give us Grace cloathing us first with the Garments of Righteousness, that we may be fit for that glorious Inheritance!

CHAP. XIII. The Doctrin improved by way of strong Consolation to God's People, exhorting them to live upon a due respect to this eternal Reward, as upon hidden Manna.

(IV) AND lastly though we have for a little while been leading you as through the Wilderness, yet now we begin to draw nigh to the heavenly Canaan. My Text is a Tree of Life, and I would not willingly come from it, till I have shaken some ap­ples of Love, some of its sweet and precious Fruit into your Bosoms. 'Tis the Mount of Transfigura­tion, and I would not willingly come down till your Faces shine with the Oyl of Gladness. 'Tis a spiri­tual Eden, a Garden full of all pleasant Flowers, and I would not willingly come out of it, till I have cropt here and there one, and gathered you an hea­venly Nosegay, to revive and refresh with its Divine Fragancy, your Spirits in a fainting Hour. You have been with us a little upon the Ocean under all those Storms and rageful Tempests, which will beat upon such for ever, as have no right to the recompence of the Reward: But supposing your claim to this Re­ward good, your right unquestionable, and evidences without flaw, I shall now endeavour to lodge you in the peaceful and wished Harbour of Divine Consola­tion. And truly here is a River, the streams whereof (if any thing) will make glad the City of our God. The [Page 368] Well I confess is deep, but yet through the Comfor­ters assistance, you lending the Bucket of your Faith, I doubt not but we may draw Water, Water of Life, nay the Wine of Eternal Consolation to refresh you, to enliven and comfort your Hearts in every Condi­tion. What Wilderness need terrify thee, having Ca­naan so plain before thee? What Storms can disturb thy peace, being come within Ken of thy Eternal Har­bour? Oh think with thy self dear Christian, what Afflictions need discourage thee, having always in thy Eye such a far more exceeding and Eternal weight of Glory? This Doctrine drops Balm for the healing of wounded Souls; 'tis as so much spiritual Manna for God's People to feed upon in the Wilderness of this World till they are come to Canaan, a Land that flow­eth with Milk and Hony. Deny not then your selves the Comfort of that Reward which God sets before you. The Lord for your better encouragement sets Heaven with all the Happiness, and Glory thereof in your Eye, and therefore let not your Eye upon a pretence of (I know not what) Modesty or Self-denial be turned away from the stedfast beholding it. Oh see Chri­stians, that you dwell much in your thoughts, in your serious Musings, in your Divine Contemplations upon this Theam, endeavouring with Moses in all that you do, in all that you suffer for God, to have a due respect to the recompence of the Reward. Oh let the glimp­ses of Heavens Glory close up your Eyes when you go to Bed at Night, and let the Light, the bright irradiations, and Heart-warming Sun-shine of the same Glory be sure to feast your Eyes when first you a­wake, every Morning! Whilst you live, live in the Hope of Heaven, and when you die, oh strive that you may die in the full assurance of Heaven. Get, like Moses, a prospect of Canaan, before you leave this Wil­derness; and whether you pray, whether you wrestle with Temptations, whether you resist unto Blood striv­ing against Sin, or whatever you do, do all with respect to this Glorious Reward, and in the strong Consolation of that Eternal Rest toward which you [Page 369] are moving. This is not to be feeding upon any for­bidden Fruit, but indeed to be gathering Apples from that Tree of Life which God himself hath planted for you. This is not to be Mercenaries, but to be mo­ving like so many living Stones towards God, as the alone quietative Centre of all your Wishes, De­sires, and heavenly Anhelations. This is not to be carrying a Portion for your selves Christians, nor to be conveighing any stoln Waters into your own Ci­sterns, but it is to live upon your Fathers own al­lowance, and to be drinking of that pure Fountain of Life, of Divine Joy, and Comfort, which the God of Israel himself hath opened for you,(a) and in­vites you to. They do grosly mistake themselves, and injure God's Goodness, who looks upon the eying of Heaven and Glory in our obedience as a poysonous Corrosive to eat out the Heart of Sincerity: For if you rightly conceive of it, it's a most precious Sove­reign Cordial made up by the Hand of Heaven to re­vive the Heart of a Christian when desponding, and to keep his Faith, his Patience, his Hope, his Upright­ness, and all other Graces alive. Truth is, take away Heaven from a Christian, and you strike him, with all his Graces dead at a blow. For a Christian both here and hereafter, both Militant and Triumphant, he lives upon Heaven: Here by Faith and hereafter by sight; here by Hope, and hereafter by the full en­joyment of it; now he lives militant in expectation of Heaven, and then he lives Triumphant in the e­verlasting glorious Possession of Heaven.(b) See then, oh Christian, that thou let not out the Life Blood of thy Soul, of thy Faith, and of all thy Graces, by neg­lecting [Page 370] to have a respect in all thy obedience to the recompence of Reward! Oh pour not out upon the Ground that sweet nectarious Wine, that full Cup of Divine Consolation which thy heavenly Father him­self hath mingled, wherewith to make glad thy Heart, to enliven thy Soul, and refresh thy Spirit when labou­ring in God's Vineyard! 'Tis not Humility, but the Pride and Vanity of a fleshly Mind, 'tis not Upright­ness but Hypocrisy, when Men will not suffer them­selves to be encouraged by God's own Arguments, nor to be acted by the Lord's own Motives, nor to live up­on those spiritual Morsels, those provisions of Heaven and Glory, which the Lord himself hath made for them. Fear not then poor trembling Christian, thy own Sincerity, because Heaven is so much in thy Eye, so much upon thy Heart, and so much in thy Thoughts, this is nothing but that Banquet of Love, that the Lord would have thee always to live upon. Come then oh Believer, for the Master himself calleth thee. Come, and drink of this Water of Life; come with me, and let us gather some Clusters of Canaan; let us take a prospect to refresh us of that holy Land! Oh where should a Christian delight to be, but upon the top of this Pisgah, this Nebo, this Mount Abarim, beholding with Gladness the Celestial Canaan! What Pleasure canst thou have in an Aegypt, in a Babylon, in the black Tents of Kodar, when God calls thee to walk with him in the Galleries of his Love, to dwell with him in the Suburbs of the new Jerusalem, to live daily in the warm Sun-shine, in the bright Reflexions of Heaven, and Glory. Oh remember Christian when working in God's Vineyard for thy better encouragement, that golden Penny of Glory which the Sun-set of thy Life will bring with it. Remember whilst fighting the Lord's Battels against the(c) World the Flesh and the Devil, how certainly having overcome, thou shalt feed up­on [Page 371] the Tree of Life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God! Oh think often with thy self whilst thy Hand is at God's Plough, and thou art sowing in Tears what an eternal glorious Reward will follow after. The Mariner sailing in the darksome Night under Storms and Tempests, hath his Eye up­on the Star: Thus whilst sailing in the Ship of sincere Obedience under Storms and Tempests, you must have the Eye (Christians!) of your Faith always fixed upon the Pole-star of Glory, would you ever come safe to the Harbour of your eternal Rest. Like the Urano­scope your Eye must always be turned upward, view­ing the Beauties, telling the Towers, marking well the Bul-warks, considering the stately Palaces, and with all holy curiosity observing the Royalties of the supernatural Jerusalem. So long therefore as God keeps you at work here below, oh see Christians that you live with com­fort upon his allowance, solacing your Souls every Day, with due respect to Heaven above, and by serious fix­ed thoughts about the Reward of eternal Life which abides you there. Now that your Joy may be full and your Cup overflow, give me leave to shew you the Strength and Soveraignity of this Divine Cordial, by acquainting you with these two ensuing particulars, Viz.

(1) WHAT manner of Reward it is whereunto God allows you a respect in all your obedience.

(2) WHAT a due respect had unto this Reward will do for you, with what Marrow and Fatness of Comfort it may Fill you in every condition.

(1) I am to let you know what manner of Reward it is whereunto God allows you a respect in your obe­dience. And here had I the Tongue of Men and An­gels, had I the whole Monopoly of finest Elegancies, were the Words that I shall uter first formed for me in the Mouth of the most Seraphique Cherubim; yet so transcendently Glorious is that Recompence of Re­ward [Page 372] which God sets before you, that my expressions though filled up with greatest emphasis, and cloathed upon with the most full and comprehensive significan­cy, would as much come short of making an adequate discovery, a full representation thereof to your under­standings, as the light of a little Glow-worm comes short of the Sun in all its Glory. Hyperbolize to be sure I shall in speaking of this glorious Reward, but it will be by Way of Miôsis and diminution, rather than by way of Auxesis and aggravation. For whoe­ver will undertake to discourse of Heavens Glory, whilst he dwells himself in an Earthly Tabernacle, he will be no more able to express it fully, and to the Life, than that talkative Bird which can so neatly dis­semble the Voice of a Man, will be able with all her borrowed Notes to tell you what is the utmost Splendour, Glory, and Magnificence of all the World. The Land of Canaan (as one wittily observes) not­withstanding all the helps we have is still for the most part a Terra incognita, an unknown Land. So that to give a full description of it, in all its Riches of Glory, it's golden Mines, it's fruitful Trees, it's plea­sant Fountains, is no more possible for the stammering Tongue of a poor Mortal, than to compass the whole Heaven with a Span, or to contain the vast Ocean in Cockle-shell.(d) What Lactanctus saith of a certain Vice, the same may I say of this glorious Reward. It's greatness doth far exceed the largest significancy of the Tongues expression. For who tho exhausting the whole Exchequer of good Language, and Rhetoricat­ing [Page 373] it the utmost emphasis of all daring Hyperbo­les, can tell how incorruptible the Crown, how sweet the Rest, how glorious the Kingdom, how full and satisfactory the Joy of Eternal Reward will be. What Tongue of Man or Angel can fully express, how soft the Bosom of God's eternal Love is wherein his Peo­ple shall rest themselves for ever? What Tongue can say how entrancing the light of God's Countenance, how pleasant the embraces of a blessed Redeemer, how delightful those Soul extasying Rivers of Pleasure are which run out at the Right Hand of God for ever­more? Truth is, we can no more tell the excellency of a Christians Reward and the Powers of the World to come, by those descriptions thereof that we meet with in Holy Writ, than one who had never seen the Sun could give you a full account of all it's Splen­dour, Brightness, and Glory, by the twinkling of a little Star in a Dark Night.(e) St. Paul though he saw not all, yet he saw more, than what the Tongue of any Mortal Wight is able to utter. And truly as Austin hath it, we can better say what there is not, than what there is in a Christian's Reward, so unspeaka­bly great is the Glory of it. Let not therefore my dark, amd muddy expressions occasion in you any low contemptible Thoughts of this Glorious Recompence: But know that whatever through Grace I shall be e­nabled to speak of it, will be but a little glimpse of light breaking in at some small crany, in comparison of the Sun in it's Noon-day brightness. So that what the Queen of Sheba said of Solomon's Glory, the like will you when you come to Heaven say of this: It was a true report that I had in the Land of the liv­ing concerning the Greatness and Glory of a Chri­stian's Reward, howbeit I believed, not the words till now that my Eyes have seen it; and behold the one half was not told me of what by sweet experience I do now find.

THIS to prevent all low and unworthy Thoughts of that Reward whereunto God allows his People a respect in all their obedience. I now come to tell you as I can, what manner of Reward it is, which I shall do in these ensuing particulars.

CHAP. XIV. Makes Further Improvement of the Doctrin, by way of Consolation, shewing what man­ner of Reward it is, whereunto God al­lows his People to have a Respect in all their Obedience.

(1) THE Reward whereunto God allows his People a Re­spect in all their Obedience, it's a pure, sincere, and unmixed Reward. Here every Rose hath its Thorn, and our choicest Comforts, they have something of Vex­ation in them: But this Reward is a sweet Ambrosian Handkerchief, to wipe away all Tears from your Eyes, so that when once you come to enjoy it, then you shall sor­row no more, nor suffer any more, nor have any more sad Thoughts, any more heavy Hearts,(a) any more afflicted Spirits to all Eternity! Now God brings you to Sion with Songs, and everlasting Joy upon your Heads, wiping away all Tears from your Eyes: Now there(b) is no more pain for ever. Heaven is situated in [Page 375] so wholsom an Air, that whoever have the happiness to be made free Denizens of that new Jerusalem, they ob­tain forthwith such an admirable [...], and Tempe­rament both of Soul and Body, that they are never trou­bled again with any peccant Humour, to beget either Grief of Soul, or Aches, Pains, and Distempers of Bo­dy. Here every one of God's Children hath his Mouth filled with one Complaint or other; this Man cries out of his Losses, and that Man of his Sufferings; I was full, saith one, but now I am empty; I did lately abound, saith another, but am now in wants; e'rewhile, saith a third, I was blessed with a loving Husband, with a dear Wife, with indulgent Parents, with many sweet Babes, and choicest Comforts, but now Providence hath separa­ted betwixt me and them, and left me alone to out-live all my Enjoyments; call not me Naomi, call me no lon­ger Pleasant, but call me Marah, (c) for the Lord hath dealt bitterly with me. These daily are the sad Com­plaints, and thus we may frequently hear the best of God's People crying out in this Life: Stay but a while though, and the Reward of eternal Life will silence them all, so that there shall be no crying out in the Streets of the new Jerusalem, no Voice shall be heard there, but that of Joy unspeakable, of sweetest Melody, of eternal Triumph. Oh the infinite blessed difference betwixt our condition now, and what is like to be when we come to Heaven! Now weeping, then rejoycing, now groaning, then triumphing! Now filled with Gall and Wormwood, then overflowing with Rivers of Plea­sure! Now labouring, as in the Brick-kilns of Egypt, under a sad Heart, a diseased Body, a wounded Spirit; under Reproach, Persecution, and sorest Afflictions: But then resting(d) from our Labours, from all our Toyl, or Tears, our sad Thoughts, our dying Groans, our grievous fiery Tryals, and so crowned with Life, Im­mortality, [Page 376] and unmixed purest Pleasures at God's right Hand for evermore! Thou may'st possibly think it strange, Christian, to find so much Dross in the purest Gold, so much Gall in thy Hony-comb, such a mortal Sting in every Comfort, so dark a Cloud upon thee, when enjoying the fairest Sun-shine; so much occasion of Sorrow, and heart-breaking Sadness, so much Vanity, disappointment, and vexation of Spirit, in all worldly Enjoyments: But remember the Rose that hath no Thorn, the Honey that hath no Gall, the Day that hath no Cloud, the Crown that is lined with no perplexing Cares; the Wine that is dash'd with no bitter Waters of Marah; the Joy that hath no Grief, no Sadness, no Af­fliction to allay it, is reserved for Heaven, as the only Reward of those, who having finished their Cours [...], are now gathered to the Spirits of just Men made perfect. As God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all: So the Inheritance of(e) God's People is light, and in that there is no darkness, no night of Sorrow, no Trouble at all. There is all Joy, and nothing but Joy; all Com­fort, and nothing but Comfort; all Glory, and nothing but Glory; there is all fulness of Pleasure, a Cup of di­vine Consolation, brimful, and not any the least distast­ful Ingredient to imbitter it. Here indeed Job hath his Botches, and Hezekiah his Boyl; David hath his ulce­ring Wound, and Lazarus his noisom Sores; this Man spends his Days in Pain, and that Man in Sorrow; in this Man the Keepers of the House tremble, by reason of a Palsie, and in that Man those that look out at the Win­dows are Darkness, by reason of Blindness; in one Man the Daughters of Musick are brought low through deaf­ness, and in every Man here Sin reigneth unto Death! But the rewarded of God in Heaven, they feel none of these things, they groan under none of these Burdens, no Sickness, no Sorrow, no Viper of Reproach, of Persecu­tion, of stinging Grief, and Heart-rending Vexation can fasten upon them. As the upper Region of the Air, [Page 377] hath no Meteors, no Storms nor Tempests engendred in it: So God's People dwelling in the highest Region of heavenly Glory, they are quite above the reach of every Storm; no Wind of Persecution, Trouble, or of any the [...]east Grief shall ever blow upon them to disturb their rest. When Christians you come to(f) Heaven, then look you may for solace without sighing, for Comfort without Grief; for Ease, without any Pain; for rest, without ever being weary; and for all fulness of Joy and Glory, without any Devil to tempt you, any Enemy to [...]rouble you, or any the least Disappointment to afflict, and make sad your Spirits to all Eternity!

(2) The Reward whereunto God allows his People a respect in [...]ll their Obedience, it's a sinless Reward, cleansing them per­fectly from all the reliqu [...]s of indwelling Corruption. When [...]his Sun riseth, all the Clouds of Sin will be scattered [...]nd dissipated for ever. When once you get this Crown upon your Heads, you shall feel no more strugling of Sin and Corruption in your Hearts for ever. And(g) is not [...]his Christians, a blessed Reward, that brings with it a State of simple Perfection, so that being once possessed of [...]t, now you shall never have cause to complain more of [...] Body (h) of Death, of an unbelieving Heart, of an earthly Mind, of a drowsy Spirit, of a Law in your (i) [Page 378] Members warring against the Law of your Mind, of the Flesh lusting against the Spirit, so that you cannot do the things that you would, nor of an importunate croud of vain, sinful, and worldly Thoughts breaking in upon you, to damp your Devotion, to disquiet your Souls, and to interrupt your Peace, your Fellowship, your sweetest Communion with God over all blessed for ever? Here the best of God's People are troubled with Sin, dogging them wherever they go, and disturbing them in every Duty: But in Heaven the whole Body of Cor­ruption shall wholly be laid aside, and their Sins never trouble them more. Even in this Life God's People have the strength of indwelling Corruption broken that it cannot have any plenary and total Dominion over them: But yet till they loose from the Shoar of Time, and are landed safe at the Harbour of blessed Eternity, like a com­bersome Inmate it will abide with them.(k) Yet one thing you must know it is to have Sin abiding in us, and another thing not to obey it in the Lust thereof Sin cannot Reign over any of God's People: But it will re­main in them for the whole time of this mortal Life. It is mortally wounded in the weakest, yet not wholly slain in the strongest. 'Tis dejected and thrown down from the Throne of its Regency in the least Babe of Grace: But yet not ejected, or wholly cast out from the strong hold of its Inherency in those that have most Grace. 'Tis subdued in all, yet not wholly abolished in any of God's People, whilst cloathed with Mortality. The whitest Swan hath her black feet; the fairest Sum­mers-day(l) hath some misty Clouds; the purest Gold, [Page 379] its Grains of Allowance; the clearest Fire, its smoaky Vapours: So the holiest Saint hath the Reliques(m) of Sin, and indwelling Corruption, during the whole inte­rim of this mortal Life. The Lord hath left these Cana­anites, and Perizites, the Remainders, (I mean) of Sin, and indwelling Corruption in us to be as Thorns in our Sides, and Pricks in our Eyes to keep us low, that we may not be exalted above measure. Hereby the Lord hides Pride from our Eyes, and so keeps us humble in the sense of our own Vileness. The Reliques of Indwelling Corruption, are those stinging Corrosives which eat down that Pride of Heart, and Self-admiration, to which the best of God's People are here Obnoxious. Our black Feet, those are left that we may not be proud of our fair Feathers. For as that holy Father well saith,(n) we should be apt to grow high, ascribing overmuch to our selves, whilst cloathed upon with this mortal Flesh, did we not daily live under, and accordingly st [...]nd in need of pardoning Mercy, like the very time that this earthly Tabernacle shall be dissolved. As therefore Gravel, and Dirt is good to ballast a Ship, making it go steadily, and keeping it from being blown over with every Wind: So the remainders of Sin, and indwelling Corruption, these keep the People of God from being overthrown through Pride, and high towring Thoughts of them­selves.(o) David's miscarriage in the Matter of Uriah, did more deeply abase him, than all the Persecutions that ever he met with at the Hands of his Enemies. The like we may say of Peter, who(p) till he fell, was so well [Page 380] conceited of himself, that he thought himself able to live and die with Christ,(q) though all his fellows should deny him. But after that soul Miscarriage, when Christ came to question him about his love to him, you shall hear no such proud Boastings come from him, but he speaks with a great deal of Jealousy, and godly Trem­bling, which made Augustin conclude, it was much bet­ter with Peter, (r) weeping over his denial of Christ, than when pleasing himself with a Presumption, that he would not deny him. Above all, most pregnant to this purpose, is the Instance of that Holy Apostle St. Paul, who denyeth not, but ingenuously confesseth,(r) that after he had been wrap't up into Paradise, and heard unword­able words, such things as it was not possible for a Man to utter, there was given him a Thorn in the Flesh, to this very end, that he might not be exalted above mea­sure, nor lifted up higher in Conceit, than he was in his Extasy. 'Tis reckoned (I confess amongst the first-born of Absurdities, by one Dr. Gell, a grand Patron of sinless Perfection, that the Lord should suffer Sin to remain in his own People, for to keep them humble, as if, saith he, God would have us proud, that we might not be proud, and Sinful, that we might not Sin against him. But he that hath learned to drive out one peg with another, that hath seen the Diamond Cut with the Diamond, or felt the searching of a Wound,(s) causing Pain, that thereby a greater pain might be removed, will not much be transported with the Dr's. Novel, Speculations, nor yet easily be perswaded to count it any Absurdity at all, that the grand Physician of Souls should extract a sovereign Treacle out of Sins rankest Poyson, and use the Blood [Page 381] of this deadly Scorpion to the Cure the stinging of the Scorpion. For though Sin be not in itself me­dium per se, nor the cause of any good any more than Venom or Poyson of Health: Yet by the Wisdom of the great God it is made conducible to the humbling of his People who might easily if Perfectly cleansed therefrom be exalted to think of themselves above what they ought to think. The Truth is, it's not Sin but the Sense of Sin remaining which is a means to humble us. And as Grace accidentally causeth the Sin of Pride: So our Sins accidently may cause the Grace of Humility. Though then the Relicks of indwelling Corruption be evil, and to be striven with all earnestness against: Yet the due Sense of indwelling Corruption is good, and with all dili­gence to be laboured for, as that which (if any thing can) will be sure to hide Pride from our Eyes and keep us low. Nor doth it any thing at all incommodate the point in Hand, what is so commonly objected against it by our Adversaries: (With whom, to the Grief of my Spirit, I find a reverend Brother too rashly sym­bolyzing) that if we were perfectly sanctified, we should be perfectly humble, and then there would be no room for Pride. For whilst cloathed with Mortality the best of God's People are but in the way, not come to their Journeys end, not arrived at the secure Harbour of their Eternal Rest, where only and not else where they shall so be confirmed in Grace as not to stand in need of those many peculiar helps, which now they do. 'Tis true, were we wholly freed from all the Remainders of Sin, made perfectly holy, and withal confirmed in a state of Grace, then there would be no more danger of Pride than now there is amongst glorious Angels, and the Spirits of just Men made perfect: But were we only perfectly made Holy and not confirmed as the Angels are in such a state, there would still be as much danger of Pride, and of losing all again, by Self-admiration, as there was in Adam and the Apostate Angels; so easily might we surfeit upon, and have our Hearts over-charged with proud over-weaning Thoughts. Perfection in Holiness then, and a full discharge from all the relicks of Sin [Page 380] [...] [Page 381] [...] [Page 382] would not be sufficient security against Pride, and Self-admiration, unless the Lord should superadd thereto con­firming Grace: But this were to destroy order, to jum­ble Heaven, and Earth; Grace, and Glory together; this were indeed to confound the State militant of Vicatores, with the state triumphant of Comprehensores; which this Wisdom of the God of order permitteth not. So that Christians, in this Life a Sinless perfection is a Nonenity; you may as well expect a Garden with­out any Weeds, a Sun-shine without any Cloud, a Body without any peccant Humour, as a Soul with­out all reliques of Sin and indwelling Corruption.(a) Why else doth Christ direct us to pray daily for Pardon of Sin? We renew Sin daily, and therefore stand in need of Daily forgiveness: So much doth that Petition imply, unless we could imagin ourselves bound to mock God, imploring what we have no need of. If any Man dare be so hardy as to go before God with the Proud Pharisee telling the Lord,(b) he is so pure, so Holy so perfectly free from Sin, that he needeth no longer his pardoning Mercy; let him go to, and see what will come of it: But as for me and all the Lord's People, I desire we may still be found in the poor(c), Publican's posture smiting upon our Breast, [Page 383] and praying in the due sense of our own vileness, Lord be merciful to us Sinners!(d) Why else are we every where called upon in holy Scripture to go on towards every perfection to grow in Grace, and daily to be cleansing ourselves from all filthiness of Flesh and Spirit, if the Work be already done? If for the whole time of this Mortal Life God's People must be growing in Grace (as I never yet met with the Man that durst deny it) what a Solaecism is it to talk of a sinless Perfection? Whatever is still in a growing condition, that certainly is not come to its full Stature and, utmost maturity.(e) Why else doth every Branch in Christ stand in need of being purged by the Father so long as it bears Fruit unto God, if here we can be perfectly free from Sin? Every branch saith Christ in me that bringeth forth Fruit, he purg­eth it that it may bring forth more Fruit. What is it that God purgeth out of Believers but Sin? And yet of every Believer bearing Fruit in Christ, is it not said that God thus purgeth them? There is no Man in the World no branch in Christ, though never so fruitful and flourishing, but this Text doth undenyably prove him to have many luxuriances to be lopped off, and many superfluous Humours of Sin to be purged out. Why else do the best of all God's People stand in need of Christ as a spiritual Physician for the whole [Page 384] Time of this Life, if here perfectly cleansed from all their Sins, and healed of all their spiritual Wounds? Common Sense will tell you, that as 'tis needless to keep on a Plaister when the Wound is made whole every whit, or to administer purgative me­dicines when the peccant Humour is wholly evacu­ated: So 'twere needless for God's People to make use of Christ as a spiritual Physician, desiring him all their Life to exercise his healing Virtue upon them, could they here be compleatly healed of all their spiri­tual distempers, and made perfect in Holiness.(f) For the whole need not the Physician but they that are sick. So that either we must acknowledge ourselves to be sick, or Christ tells us we have no need of him. And indeed to preach up the Doctrine of an absolute per­fection in this life, is as much Antichristian as any thing I know, being a most deadly blow at Christ our spi­ritual Physician, and a Stratagem devised not only in Rome, but in Hell it self to put the Lord Christ quite out of Office, and his Blood out of Date for the healing of Sinners by making them believe they are perfectly, whole, and so neither need him to save them, nor a Plaister of his precious Blood to heal them.(g) But in a word, how come all God's People for this interim of Mortali­ty to be daily obnoxious to many sad Pressures, Affli­ctions, Calamities, and at last to Death itself, if perfect­ly freed from all the Relicks of Sin and indwelling Corruption? Whether God may not by his absolute Power and Sovereignity adjudge Man without any con­sideration [Page 385] of Sin to Eternal Misery is a Question much agitated, nor would the affirmative decision of it at all invalidate the strength of this argument: not only be­cause such a thing would be per modum simplicis cruc [...]atus, and not per modum poenae which hath always a respect to vindicative Justice, presupposing some guilt or demerit in the Person upon whom 'tis inflicted; but chiefly because whatever God may do by his absolute Power and So­vereignity, yet there is nothing more evident in holy Writ, than that God never afflicts any Man but he that is the subject of Sin. Indeed whereever God pardoneth Sin, there he doth also remove all punishment properly so called, never afflicting the Righteous Man in or­der to the satisfying of his own Justice: Nor always with respect to their Sins (though for the most it is so) as we may see in Job, whose Calamities were rather exercises of his Grace than correctives of any vice in him:(h) But yet whereever we see afflicti­ons rushing in upon any Person, we must needs con­clude that Sin was the Hand which made the breach whereever we see any Mans Teeth set an edge, we must needs conclude that Sin was those sower Grapes which made Way for it; it being a certain Truth, that were we perfectly freed from Sin, we should know no Sor­row. Though some afflictions are not sent out directly against, yet every affliction is a sad consequent and Testimony of indwelling Corruption.(i) The bundle of Rods at our back saith plainly there is yet Folly bound up in our Hearts: And whatever Calamities we are here subject to, do clearly evince us to be still the sub­jects in whom Sin abideth. Let our Adversaries if they can give us but one instance, whereever God afflicted an innocent Person, or shew us the Man that was whol­ly free from Sin, and yet liable to Sorrow.(k) Cer­tainly as Afflictions do daily, give birth to the Saints [Page 386] complaints: So their Sins do daily give birth to such Afflictions. What is it that makes all mankind rot like a Pomegranet, shiver like a Pot-sherd, splinter like a Ve­nice Glass, corrupt like a Standing-pool, and molder a­way like Sodoms Apples into Ashes, but Sin? Sin it is that infects our purest Air, that damps our richest Mines, that poysons our sweetest Dainties, that lays Thorns in our softest Beds of Down, that undermines Palaces, pulls down Crowns, shakes Thrones, and ruinates Kingdoms. This is the Mother of all our Trouble, the occasion of all our Grief; the Gall in our sweetest Hony; the Thorn that grows up with our most fragrant Roses; the Worm­wood that imbitters all our Comforts; the inlet to Pover­ty in our Estates, to Sickness in our Bodies, and indeed to a whole Iliad of Heart-breaking Miseries; 'tis the en­genderer of Tears in our Eyes; the cause of all Sighs and deep fetcht Groans, which make sad our Hearts every Day; 'tis the Harbinger of Death, and that which doth inavoidably usher in our final dissolution. The Natura­lists will tell you that were it not for Vapours ascend­ing there would be no Thunder nor Storms: To be sure all our Thunder-claps do proceed from our own malignant Vapours, nor should we be troubled with any Storm of affliction, were it not for these Sins and Corruptions that abide in us.(l) For when once we are perfectly freed from all the Reliques of indwelling Corruption, we shall hear no more of any Affliction: But shall quite be past, and out of the reach of all suffering, so soon as ever we are past a possibility of sinning. Rejoice then and lift up your Heads all you that have found Sin an heavy Burden, like a Gravel in your Bowels, like Fire in your Bones, and like Poyson drinking up your Spirits; the re­ward of Eternal Life will infallibly Prove the death of all your Sins. There is a fourfol [...] state of Man which respecting the point in Hand is vastly different: A state of innocency before the Fall, a state of Nature [Page 387] in the Fall, a state of Grace after the Fall, a state of Glo­ry above the Fall. In the State of Innocency Man might, but would not abstain from Sin; in the State of Nature Man neither can nor will forbear sinning; in the state of Grace Man would, but cannot be wholly free from Sin; but in the state of Glory Man neither will nor can have any the least Sin abiding in him. And if any thing, I am sure this is welcome news to you that know the bit­terness of Sin, that find whenever you would be good. Evil is present with you; that groan continually under that Body of Death which you carry about you; that complain every Day of Sin as that which hinders your Communion with a precious Christ, disturbs the quiet of your minds, makes Duty a weariness to you, cools the heat, damps the vigour, and blasteth the Comfort of all your Devotions, turning your poor distressed Hearts into a very Dunghil of all unclean and noysom Lusts. Sin in the Heart is like the Leprosy in the House, that would not out till the House was pulled down: Thus though Sin may cleave to you for the whole time of this Life, when once your earthly Tabernacles are dissolved, now Christ comes to reward you, to set the Crown upon your Heads, to receive you into Eternal Mansions of Glory, so that Sin and your Souls shall be parted never to meet again to all Eternity.(m) Here in many things we offend all: But in Heaven we shall none of us offend in any thing at all.(n) Here if we say we have no Sin, we deceive our selves; if with any Sin we enter into Heaven we must deceive the infinitely wise God, who never admits of us there till perfectly cleansed from all our Sins.(o) On Earth there is no Man that sinneth not:(p) in Heaven there is no Man that either doth or can sin.(q) That Sin which is now [Page 388] only so far mortified that it cannot reign over you: Shall then be totally abolished that it may not remain in you. God's People are now like the Moon-light in the Lord, but yet as the Moon so they have their spots and blemi­shes: But then they shall be as the Sun in its Noon-day brightness,(r) wholly light and unchangeably, Glorious, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing. Grace indeed doth weaken Sin in the Soul, enabling it to resist the Temptations of Satan: But the recompence of Eternal Glory will wholly abolish the former and deliver from the latter.(a) As Joshua took the five Kings, and shut them up in the Cave at Makkedah till the Battel was over:(b) So God restrains and shuts up Sin in the Cave of our Body till our Warfare be finished; but then he will utterly destroy them all. That Crown of Righ­teousness which shall now be set upon your Heads, it will perfectly ease you of every weight and the Sin that doth so easily beset you dividing like Moses's Rod the Wa­ters of indwelling Corruption, and so making a free pas­sage for you into the heavenly Canaan! So that having got this Crown upon thy Head, now thou shalt never more Christian, have cause to complain: oh my Pride, oh my Hypocrisy, oh my outsidedness, oh my vile affections, oh my carnal earthly deceitful Heart; but standing upon the Shore of Blessed Eternity, thou shalt see all these E­gyptians lie dead on the red Sea of Christ's Blood, never a­ny more to perplex thee, nor any more to trouble thee, nor any more to grieve thy Heart and wound thy Spirit to all Eternity! Oh this is the blessed time wherein the Garden of thy Soul shall no more be incumbred with any such noysom Weeds!(c) This is the Funeral of all thy [Page 389] Sins, and therefore must needs be to thy Soul the Birth­day of Joy unspeakable, and full of Glory! What is it Christian, that is now thy greatest Sorrow, thy daily Burden, thy continual Trouble, but only the remainders of Sin, and indwelling Corruption? Well, rejoyce Christian, and be exceeding glad, the time is at hand, when all these Achans that trouble thy Peace shall be ston­ed to death; all these Jonah's which cause so many Storms in thy Soul shall be thrown over-board. And all those Egyptian Lusts that daily pursue thee, as unwilling to let thee go free, they shall all of them be drowned, and e­verlastingly overwhelmed, as Pharaoh and his Host in the Red-sea! One touch of this glorious Reward, it will quite dry up every bloody Issue of Sin in thy Soul, and as perfectly cleanse thee from all Filthiness, and Pollu­tion, as thy Heart can desire to be!

(3) THE Reward whereunto God allows his People a re­spect in all their Obedience, it's a suitable Reward. This Reward doth so punctually hit the Condition of an im­mortal Soul, the Miseries, the Wants, the Desires of it, as nothing in the World besides can do. Be your pre­sent Troubles never so many, your Necessities never so urgent, your Desires never so enlarged: Yet the Re­compence of eternal Glory, it affords a proper supply to them all, answering every Trouble with a suitable Com­fort, every Necessity with a suitable Mercy, every De­sire with a suitable Good to fill up and satisfie it. Here is Bread of Life to feed the hungry, and sincere Milk to nourish the Weak,(a) and the Wine of divine Consola­tion to comfort the Disconsolate, and white Robes to adorn the naked, and Rivers of living Water to refresh the Thirsty, and an eternal Sabbath of Rest for all that are now weary! This Reward is Manna cujuslibet suporis; like the Manna prepared for God's People in the Wilder­ness, which they say had that very tast and relish in e­very Man's Mouth that pleased him best. Here if one [Page 390] thing suite well with your Desires, yet another goes cross, or if one thing answer your Expectations, yet in some other Mercy, or Comfort, you are often disappointed: Oh but the Reward of heavenly Glo­ry, this will answer your Desires, this will answer all your Wants, your Grievances, your sorrowful Sighs, and careful Groans, accommodating it self most exactly to your longing Expectations in all things. Every poor Soul in this Life, is a very Compound of manifold Mise­ries, Wants, and heart-breaking Distresses: But as it is said of Mony, that answers all things, so this Reward, it answers them all, and removes them all. What is it poor Child of God, that thou standest in most need of? What are thy Wounds that most pain thee, thy Troubles that most oppress thee, and what are thy daily Burdens that lie most heavy upon thy Spirit to grieve and afflict thee? What is it after which thy Heart doth so pant, and breath, so impatiently long for? Oh it may be thou art now upon the Rack, sorely distressed: But this Reward it will give thee a Writ of Ease from all thy Pain, not suffering thee to groan under them any longer. It may be with Zion, thou sittest with Tears upon thy Cheeks, weeping bitterly in the Night: Oh but this Reward, it will bring in fulness(b) of Comfort, wiping away all Tears from thy Eyes. Thou may'st possibly go mourning, and be bowed down, by reason of great Affliction: Oh but this Reward, it will give thee the Oyl of Gladness, and make thee lift up thy Head with everlasting rejoycing! Possibly thy Sins, thy Unbelief, thy Unfruitfulness, thy hardness of Heart, thy want of love to God, and our dear Lord Jesus, these trouble and afflict thy Spirit: Oh but this Reward, it destroys all our Sins, turns faith into open Vision, Hope into full Fruition, crowning all our Graces, how weak soever here, with fullness and everlast­ing Perfection! If thou groan because thy Pilgrimage is prolonged, and thou dwellest as it were in the Tents of Kedar: Oh remember this Reward, it will bring thee home to thy Father's House, it will gather thee to the [Page 391] Spirits of just Men made perfect, it will change thy So­dom into a Zion, it will turn the Brick-kilns of Egypt, in­to Canaan's Golden Mines, and the barren Wilderness of this World, wherein thou now wandrest up and down like a poor distressed Pilgrim, this Reward will change it into the Garden of God, into the heavenly Paradise, in­to a spiritual Eden, full of purest Delights, and divine Contentments! Now peradventure, thou hast Sorrow to remember thy Sins, thy former Miscarriages, thy dai­ly Troubles, thy absence from the Lord, who alone is thy Hope, thy Life, thy Comfort, thy Hearts desire; oh but dear Christian, this Reward, it will make thee to forget(c) the days of thy Mourning, it will put thee in­to the Bosom of thy dearest Lord, it will turn thy Sorrow into Joy, that shall never be taken from thee. On Chri­stians, there is that suitableness in his Reward, that it's the very Plaister for your Sore, the very Balm for your Wound, the very Voice of Joy to your Spirits in heavi­ness, the very Harbour of Rest and Happiness, after all your Storms that have so grievously tossed you! That variety of Expression, made use of by the holy Ghost, to shadow out the transcendent Excellency of this Reward, doth most clearly evince the suitableness of it to all the Wants, Indigences, and desires of an immortal Soul. If the Soul be dislodged from its earthly Tabernacle, this Reward(d) provides Mansions of Glory for the comfor­table Entertainment thereof in another World. If a Man be hungry, it's a pot of hidden Manna to feast him. If sorrowful,(e) its the Joy of the Lord to comfort him. If any Man be thirsty,(f) it's Rivers of Pleasure at God's right Hand for evermore, to cool and refresh him. If any Man walk in darkness,(g) and have no light in [Page 392] him,(h) it is the Inheritance of the Saints in Light. If any Man walk in the valley of the shadow of Death, it's a Crown of Life,(i) like a Death-bed-cordial to revive him. If any Man suffer Nakedness, for Righteousness sake, it's the Garments of Salvation to cloath him, it's the white Robes of Glory to hide the Shame of his Nakedness. If any Man lose Houses, or Lands, for Christ, it's an Inheri­tance, incorruptible, Undefiled,(k) and that fadeth not away, reserved in Heaven for him. To the weary Soul that hath long been troubled, through the Malice of an ungrateful World,(l) it's a resting from his Labours. To be short, if any Man endure Afflictions, it's a far more exceeding and eternal weight of(m) Glory. Oh then how suitable is this Reward, that a poor Soul can­not be in any Distress, nor labour under any Wants, but this Reward will afford supply of Comfort, giving ease to all that are now in pain, the Garment of Praise to all that are now in heaviness, and to all that are now labouring, and weary and heavy laden, the sweet enchea­ring Bosom of God himself, for their eternal easeful Repose!

(4) THE Reward whereunto God allows his People a Respect in all their Obedience, it's a sure Reward. So you may find it called by S [...]lomon, a Man in whose Breast all the Lines of Wisdom met, as in their proper Center.(n) The Wicked worketh a deceitful Work; but to him that soweth Righteousness, shall be a sure Reward. Both the Righteous, and the Wicked are Men of active Spirits; only the Works of the Wicked they prove abortive, pro­mising all good, but exposing to Misery, and so deceive [Page 393] Expectation: But the Righteous, he never meets with any such sad Disappointment, but as the Harvest natu­rally follows the Seed-time, so after a short Seed-time of Grace, there will spring up as the never failing sure Reward of such a Person, a full crop of eternal Glory. So(o) that you see the Text, though but short, doth yet car­ry in it both Blessing and Cursing; both Life, and Death; both Heaven, and Hell: Blessing, Life, and Heaven, to Crown the Righteous; Cursing, Death, and Hell, as that which must inevitably be the Portion of all the Ungodly. The Wicked he worketh the work of a Lie; that is, a sinful Work, every Sin being a Lie, and such a Work, that albeit, it tells us a fair tale, yet it will miserably de­ceive us at last, betraying us into the Hands of Wrath, Hell, and eternal unpreventable Burnings: But the Righteous he worketh uprightly, serving the Lord in Spi­rit and in Truth, and therefore the Reward of Truth shall be given him; that is, the Reward of Life, of Heaven, and eternal Glory, which the Truth, and Faithfulness of God stand engaged for. Hence the Apostle speaking of eternal Life,(p) he tells us that God, who cannot lie, hath promised it: Giving us clearly to understand there­by, that it's as possible for the God of Truth to be im­peached of lying, as for those that are Heirs of the Pro­mise, to fall short of eternal Life. This ma [...] the same Apostle bold to tell us,(q) that it's a Righteous thing with God to give a Writ of Ease,(r) an eternal Sabbath of Rest to(s) those that are now troubled for Righteous­ness sake; implying, that it were an unrighteous thing with God to do otherwise. Only we must not think that it were an unrighteous thing with God, not to give [Page 394] the Reward of eternal Glory to the Righteous, because of any Condignity in them, whereupon to claim it, or be­cause of any(t) Work done by them equivalent thereto: But because it would argue him inconstant, mutable, and unfaithful, should he fail to make good the Word that is gone out of his Mouth, or not render Heaven and Glory, to whom he hath graciously promised it. So that Righte­ousness here, and else-where, is not taken strictly for Ju­stice, properly so called, as if Man could do any thing to oblige God, or that should be proportionate in Worth and Dignity to eternal Glory; for betwixt the great God and his Creatures, there is no such Justice: But it's taken for his Truth and Faithfulness, which doth yet in a sort oblige him to Crown with Immortality, and Glory his own People, and they may urge him with his Promise, though still he is a Debtor to none but his own Fidelity. Or if you will have Austin's Thoughts in the case, he tells you that God hath made himself a Debtor to us, albeit, he be Debtor to none: Not by receiving any thing from us; but by promising(u) what he pleased to [Page 395] us. And thus tho [...] it were out of Mercy that eternal Life is promised: Yet it is now of justice to be given to those that can plead the Promise. So that what the Apostle saith of God's pardoning Mercy, may well be accommo­dated here to his rem [...]n [...]rative Goodness. If we by pa­tient continu nce in well-doing, seek for Glory and Ho­nour, and Immortality, the Lord is faithful and just to Crown us with Life(a) everlasting, being many times better, giving more, but never worse than his Word, giving less than he promised. Oh then wh [...]t greater Se­curity can any Man desire for eternal Life, than the Pro­mise of the faithful God, who cannot lie?(b) Though if we speak properly, both the Word of Life, and the Crown of Life, born the Promise, and the actual fulfil­ling thereof be of Grace: Yet having promised, it is but just that God should be so far Faithful as to make good all his Promises. The Lord therefore having made over by Promise an immarcessible Crown of Life, a King­dom that cannot be moved, an eternal weight of Glory to his own covenant People: Let them not stagger through Unbelief, but as stedfastly expect it, as if they had the Crown already upon their Heads, and were fully possessed of that Kingdom, and Glory.(c) For as his Goodness hath moved him to make us promises of Life and Glory: So his Faithfulness will engage him to make them all good. I might further tell you, for the strength­ning of your Hopes, of God's electing Love, which as it began in eternal Purposes of Grace towards you, so it shall never have an end, but in your full Enjoyment of [Page 396] endless Glory. To be sure(d) God never repented in time, nor ever will he, of what he purposed towards his People before all time. I might tell you of the Redemp­tion purchased by Christ, giving all the Members of his own Body, everlasting Security, that where he is, there they shall be also. For we may not think that the Lord Jesus would be so prodigal of his precious Blood, as to pour it out for Uncertainties, or to die without good Se­curity, that all who are truly Gracious should live with himself for ever in Mansions of heavenly Glory. I might tell you how much it is for God's Honour, that where­ever he hath been the Author of any good Work, he should also be the(e) Finisher, going through with it: And not like that foolish Builder, who began to build, but could not make an end, nor carry on his Work to Per­fection. So that if the Lord hath set you in the right way, he will take you by the Hand and lead you over in­to Canaan; if he hath been the Authour of Grace in your Souls, he is now concerned in point of Honour to finish it, and to perfect your Grace at length into Glory. I might tell you of the sweet Concatenation, and inviolable Connexion that is between the several Causes of our Sal­vation, which are so linked together, that they necessarily follow(f) from the first to the last. Whomsoever God did predestinate, them he also called; and whom he cal­led, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also(g) glorified. 'Tis not said, those he will glorify, but [Page 397] but those he hath glorified: To let us know that such as are praedestinated, called and justified, are as sure to be saved as if they were in Heaven already. But wav­ing these things, let me only tell you of those first Fruits of Grace in your own Souls which the Lord hath given you as the hansel, and sure earnest of Eternal Glory. Whereever God gives Grace he will also give Glory; his purpose in sanctifying you, it is to save you; and in making you Holy; to fit you for eternal Happiness. So that Holiness is not only a means fitting us for, but it's also an earnest to assure us of eternal Life. For Grace in the Heart hath a twofold use, not only to make us meet for the Inheritance of Saints in light; but also to be an earnest of it to shew us how sure it is; as being nothing but the beginning of Heaven, and as a few clu­sters of those Grapes, or Bunches of those Figs, the full Vintage whereof is reserved for the heavenly Canaan. * The Truth is, Grace is Glory in it's infancy▪ and Glo­ry is Grace adult; Grace is Glory dawning, and Glory is Grace in it's Noonday brightness: And therefore as the light once breaking in our Hemisphere, never ceas­eth but shineth more and more to the perfect Day, so the light of Grace in your Souls it shall never be [...]tally eclip­sed, but daily growing brighter till it break forth into a Sun-shine of Eternal Glory. For betwixt the sanctifying Graces of God's Spirit and Eternal. Salvation the con­nexion is most sure, and can never be broken. God hath tied as with Chains of Adamant the Work of his People and their reward, the Seed-time of Grace and the Harvest of Eternal Glory together: So that who­ever is truly sanctified must undoubtedly be saved, and whoever is gracious in this World, must needs [Page 398] be crowned with Glory in the World to come. Oh then what infinite Ground of Comfort may this be to e­very poor trembling Soul, that is afraid every Day, he shall die in the Wilderness, and never reach his desired Canaan! Thy Reward Christian, is sure; thy Happi­ness infallibly certain; and thy Crown shall no Man take from thee!

(5) THE Reward whereunto God allows his People a respect in all their obedience, it's an incomparably great and glorious Reward. (a) The Reward of every Christian it is God himself; and surely the great God cannot give us a greater Reward than himself. I am thy shield (saith the Lord to Abraham) and thy exceeding great Reward. We want Words to express what a little diminutive thing the Crea­ture is: But God the Creator he is so incomprehensibly great, and hath such an exceeding Muchness of Reward in him b [...]yond all degrees of comparison, (to speak the very Heart of the Original) that we want capacities to conceive of him. The Lord Jehovah he is a being infi­nitely great and good; there is none that can compare with him: As is a small drop to the vast Ocean, or a crumb of Dust to the whole Earth, such is the universal compage of all things to the great God; and yet eve­ry Christian hath this glorious God for his Reward,(b) to be the strength of his Heart and his portion for e­ver.(c) This made our Blessed Lord call upon his Dis­ciples to rejoice and be exceeding glad; because great (saith he) is your Reward in Heaven: So great indeed, that it passeth the expression of the most fluent Oratory, and the utmost reach of the sublimest fancy, in so much that let the one speak and the other contemplate, yet nei­ther can that tell, nor this conceive how incomparably great and glorious this Reward is. Such is the transcen­dent excellency and Glorious greatness of this Reward, [Page 399] that all the Crowns, Scepters, Kingdoms, and most noble enjoyments of this World, if compared with it, are no more than a dark Glow-worm to the Sun in it's Noon­day brightness. Compared with this Reward all world­ly Honours are but badges of Shame; all earthly Glories are but blots of Disgrace; all sumptuous Palaces, are but beggarly Cottages; all creature Comforts are but ly­ing Vanities; and whatever Riches, Preferments, or In­heritances the World can bestow upon it's Bosom Mini­ons, they are no more in comparison of this Reward, than a Straw or a Pebble Stone to a Mountain of Gold.(d) For what (as Dionysius hath it) can be compared with a sorrowless, and bright shining immortality? Though we have given us of God exceeding great and precious Promises, such as do far transcend the utmost comprehension of all humane understandings, albeit that they are accommodated as much as can be to [...]r present capacity, yet the Words in which these Promises are wrapt up, they do infinitely come short of [...]ssing to the Life, that fulness of Divine Blessing, H [...]p [...]ss, and glorious Reward, which the Promises [...]ro [...]g with.(e) Men talk of great matters in the World; [...]nd are apt to judge none less Happy than the truly Gracious: But let them contribute to each other what Beams of Glory they can; let them knit and unite all their Riches, Ho­nours, and worldly felicities together, yet they shall ne­ver be able to make up the least shadow of that glorious [Page 400] Reward which abides God's People in Heaven, much less to compare with it. Indeed as Abraham sent away the Sons of his Concubines with Gifts, still keeping the In­heritance for Isaac: So God doth vouchsafe many tem­poral enjoyments to wicked Men in this Life, but the Reward of Eternal Glory which is infinitely to be prefer­red, that Inheritance which is incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away, this God hath reserved for his own People Eternal in the Heavens. Oh then what infi­nite cause have God's People to stand admiring their own Happiness: Which though they may (as Austin saith) obtain it, yet they can never to it's worth value, and esteem of it! There are thousands in the World that have nothing for their Portion, but some perishing creature-enjoyment: But now the Lord Jehovah he is your portion, he is your shield and your exceeding great Reward who is God [...] all blessed for ever! And doubtless God shews us [...]re Love in giving us himself for our Reward, than if h [...] [...] crowned us with Royal State and sovereign comma [...] [...] [...]all the Kingdoms in the World. God may gi [...] [...] Riches, and Houses and Lands and yet hate the [...]e may cloath them in scarlet Robes here, and yet throw them hereafter into scarlet Flames; he may advance them to Honour in this World, and yet cover them with shame and everlasting confusion in the World to come; he may put a golden Scepter into Mens hands now, and yet break them in pieces hereafter like a pot­ters Vessel: But in giving us himself for our Reward; in making over himself to us by a federal transaction, as the strength of our Hearts and our Portion for ever, now he bestoweth the highest pledge of his special distinguish­ing Love upon us. For to be sure the Lord Jehovah, he is the most transcendently great and glorious Reward that the wisdom of God could devise that the Love of God could give or that the Heart [...] Man can desire. God is Bonum in quo omnia bona, a b [...]ing compleatly re­plenished with whatever is good and desirable; a Sun that always shines with a like brightness and is never e­clipsed [...]s as an essence that hath all excellencies and divine perfections bound up in himself as in one infinite [Page 401] volume; he is a boundless Ocean without either banks or bottom into which all the Rivers of Wisdom, Bles­sing and Goodness do empty [...]hemselves.(f) So that if blessedness (as Boetius defines [...]) do consist in the en­joyment of all good things, then all that are truly Gracious they are blessed, and they shall be blessed, as having that God for their Portion and Reward, in whom whatsoever things are good, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are desirable to make one happy, do meet as in the only Center of Life and Blessedness! What then is the folly of worldly Men blessing them­selves in their havings, not having the Lord Jehovah to be their shield and their exceeding great Reward? Poor brutish Sinner, is thy Rock like a Christian's Rock, or thy Reward to compare with a Christians Reward, thou thy self being Judge? Be it so that thou have Riches, Honours, and worldly Enjoyments: Yet what are these but as Wells without any Water, as Trees without Fruit, or as Stars without the Sun, that may glimmer a little, but can never make a Day of Happiness [...] thy Soul?(g) He that hath God hath all in point [...] [...]rue Happi­ness: but he that hath not God for his R [...]ard, is most wretched and hath nothing at all. Have all the Riches in the World, without God thou art poor! Have all the Honours in the World, without God thou art a vile Per­son! Have all the Pleasures in the World wherein to bath thy self like an Epicure every Day, yet without God thy condition is miserable, there being nothing but fiery Wrath and Indighation, that abides thy Soul in the World to come! Be ashamed then any longer to count [Page 402] the Creature any thing in comparison of God, who is the sure Reward of every believing Soul!(h) Do not talk with Naaman as if Abana and Pharpar, Rivers of Damascus were better than all the Waters in Israel. Do not think thy broken Cisterns to be better than the Foun­tain of Living Waters. What, shall Earth compare with Heaven? Shall Pebbles compare with this one Pearl of great price? Shall a small twinkling Star that uniting all its Beams hath scarce light enough to render itself visible, compare with the glorious Sun, usurp his Chariot, and take upon it to give light to all the World? Shall Crea­ture enjoyments that have nothing but Vanity and vexa­tion of Spirit for their very quintessence, be compared with a Christian's Reward, whose Portion is God over all blessed and blessing him for ever? Oh learn to put a difference betwixt Portion and Portion; betwixt earthly enjoyments, and the Reward of Eternal Life in Heaven! The difference is not so great between a Pins-head and the whole Body of the Earth, as between all worldly Riches, and heavenly Glory!(i) For as the sufferings are not, so neither are the Comforts of this present time worthy to be compared with the Glory which shall be revealed in us.

(6) THE Reward whereunto God allows his People a res­pect in all their obedience, it's a full and satisfactory Reward. Every Creature is short and defective; a very compound of Vanity, Emptiness, and guilded Deceit: That albeit the Soul should knock (as one well observes) at every Crea­tures Door, yet she can find no filling entertainment within; no Creature can bid her welcome; it would quite exhaust Natures Store-house and indeed bankrupts the whole Creation to feast such a Guest as the Soul to her full content and satisfaction. But now the Lord Jehovah he being the Reward of his People, there is that fulness of all Good in him that they need no more. God hath provided such a sumptuous Feast for them, that [Page 403] when they come to sit down at his Table with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, and all the Prophets in the Kingdom of Heaven,(k) now their Souls shall be filled as with mar­row and fatness, now their spiritual appetite shall be so fully satisfied, that they shall hunger no more, neither shall they thirst any more for ever. The Appetite of an immortal is too vast and boundless for any, nay for all Creatures in the World to satisfy; but in the recom­pence of Eternal Glory there is that which will answer all her cravings, that she shall now have no further to seek, but rest fully satisfied. This present Life is full of nothing but emptiness and dissatisfaction, even in the highest Zenith of all its blessedness; the Soul of Man hath a kind of infinite appetite, desiring this good thing, and that good thing, and yet having obtained them, like an hydropick Body 'tis as thirsty as ever, as much unsa­tisfied as ever:(l) But yet when once the Soul comes to Heaven, seeing God as he is, feeding upon the good things of his House, and drinking of the River of his Pleasures, now the Soul wants no more, now she hath enough to fill up all her desires, to supply all her needs, and to answer all her longings; now she is satisfied to the full; now she is got to her Journeys end, she is safely arrived at the Harbour of perfect rest; she is come like a Stone to her proper Center, and can go no further; can desire no greater Happiness, no better God, nor Christ, nor Comforter; no better Heaven, no greater Glory, no fuller Joy than now she hath, and shall have to all Eternity! In this Life God's People indeed have those glimpses of heavenly Glory, those divine Communica­tions of Grace and Goodness, those sweet illapses of the [Page 404] Spirit, those foretasts of Heavens Chear, those delicious sips of Canaan's Wine, that are enough to imbitter all se­cular enjoyments to them, and soundly to inflame, though not fully to satisfy their spiritual thirst: But in Heaven they sit down to a full Meal, they bath them­selves in Rivers of purest Pleasure;(m) they have now a Feast of fat things, a Feast of Wines on the Lees, of fat things full of Marrow, of Wines on the Lees well refi­ned; here Chri bids them welcome beyond expectation,(n) entertaining them in his own words to the Spouse, I am come into my Garden, my Sister, my Spouse; I have gathe­red my myrrhe with my Spices, I have eaten my Honycomb with my Hony, I have drunk my Wine with my Milk, eat O Friends and drink, yea drink abundantly O beloved! And surely the Soul that is entertained with such a Feast of Love as this cannot choose but be fully satisfied. Here is the Ho­ny and the Hony-comb, here is Wine and Milk: Here is abundance o satisfy Hunger, and abundance to quench the Thirst, and what can any Man desire more; I tell you Christians, if all the Glory of Heaven can satisfy your Souls, you shall have it; if all the fulness of God can sa­tisfy you [...] Souls, you shall have it; if all the redemp­tion purchased by the Blood of Christ can satisfy your Souls, you shall have it; if all the Comforts of the Holy Ghost, if fulness of Joy in God's Presence, and Pleasures at his right Hand for evermore can satisfy your Souls, you shall have them all to content you when you come to Heaven! Now when we find Peter under a dark glimpse of this Glory crying out in the Mount of Transfiguration as a Man in some Measure satisfied, it is good to be here: How can we reckon of any thing less than fulness of satisfaction when we come to mount Sion, and unto the City of the living God, to the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of glorious Angels, to the general Assembly, and Church of the First-born, [Page 405] which are written in Heaven, to the Spirits of just Men made perfect, and to the full enjoyment of God himself, whom to see and love will be perfect Happiness? Never fear Christian, that thy Soul, though enlarged to the ut­most of all created Capacities, and crying out for the present, like the Horse-leeches Daughters, give, give, will want any good thing, when once crowned with this glo­rious Soul satisfying Reward! The Soul that hath God blessed for ever, to be his Reward and Portion, need never complain of want, any more than a Man standing at the Fountain Head, or enjoying the glorious Sun, need complain of Thirst, or Darkness. One Sun is sufficient to give light to the whole World: To be sure one God in Christ, when fully enjoyed, is a sufficient Portion to quiet the Heart, and satisfie the most enlarged Desires of every gracious Soul in the World. If Jacob could say it is enough, hearing that his Son Joseph was yet alive, oh how much more may a Soul safely lodged in the downy Bosom of eternal Blessedness, and living with God in Mansions of Glory, say, now it is enough, I desire no more! When the Sun beholdeth the Moon with a full Aspect, then the Moon is at the full, and no further capa­ble of any the least Accession of Light: So when God shall lift up the Light of his Countenance, casting a full and propitious Aspect upon his People, now shining as so many glorious Stars in the heavenly Orb, why then they will be in the full of their Happiness, enjoying whatever good(a) thing they can desire, and uncapable of desiring any thing more than what they do enjoy! Oh then what manner of Reward is this, that we, who with Noah's Dove have been long hovering over the troubled Waters of Creature-enjoyments, and yet found no place of Repose, should at length be admitted into such an Ark as will give rest from all Labou [...] and Toyl, and from e­very Storm, entertaining our Souls with all fulness of De­light and Satisfaction! To be happy, yea, and so happy, [Page 406] as not to desire any greater Happiness; to be glorious, yea and so glorious, as not to desire any further Glory; to be full of all divine Comforts, yea, and so full, that there is no room to pour in the least drop of Consolation more; oh how transcendently blessed is such a Reward, and in­to what Extasies, into what heavenly Raptures, and Tran­ces of Admiration may it throw us, whilst but a little contemplating about it! And yet thus it shall certainly be done to the People of God, and this shall be the Re­ward of all such as the King of Glory hath a delight to honour! They have now that satisfaction in Commu­nion with God, which makes them count one day so spent, better than a thousand elsewhere: But when crowned with this glorious Reward, they will then have that fulness of divine Content, and Satisfaction in Com­munion with God, which will make them count Eterni­ty it self but as one day!

(7) That Reward whereunto God allows his People a respect in all their Obedience, its Simultaneous, and Insuccessive, such a Reward as they shall enjoy altogether, and at once. Here in this Life(b) the Lord Communicates of his Grace and Goodness to his People ( [...]) at sundry times, and in divers manners, by peace-meal; as the Apostle speaks, concerning the Revelation of God's Will to the Fathers of old: But in Heaven he gives them their Reward, their Happiness, their Glory by Wholesale, pouring out the full Vials of his Love and Goodness upon them at once, and causing them to drink in Rivers of purest Pleasures, of all heavenly Delights, and most sweet Paradisical Contentments altogether. If you carry a Vessel to the Conduit where the Water is drawn out at a Cock, it's filled only by degrees, by little and little: But take the Vessel to the Fountain, or some River where you may immerse, and plunge it over head, and now it's brim-ful, overflowing in an instant. Thus the People of God, though in this Life where the Lord [Page 407] Communicates of himself to them through the Conduit-Pipes of Ordinances, they fill successively, and only by degrees: Yet in Heaven, where they have immediate Ac­cess to God himself, there they are filled up with all hea­venly Joys, and divine Ravishments altogether, and once launching forth into that immense, boundless, and inde­ficient Fountain of all Goodness, they are possessed of all their Happiness together. This glorious Reward it hath Eternity written upon it, and that's an indivisible Center wherein all the tedious Lines of Succession are terminated, and swallowed up in an identical fixed condition. Here it is that God's People have their Happiness, their Joys, their Comforts altogether, and not successively one after another, as in this present Life. Those Comforts which are Flowers of time must be gathered by degrees, first one, and then another: But those Comforts, those Joys, and Pleasures which grow as so many fragrant Flowers in the Garden of blessed Eternity, they are all bound up in one Posey, to delight and refresh the Spirits of God's People altogether. The Comforts of this Life are not compossi­ble, as to the use and actual enjoyment of them, at one and the same instant of time: But the Comforts of this eternal Reward, they do not thus exclude each other, but do all conspire in a blessed Simultaneity, and Co-existence, so that the Saints in Heaven, they have the actual enjoy­ment of all, and every one of them together. Had we in this Life the universal Confluence, and [...] of all created Comforts, yet we could not enjoy them all to­gether, but must here learn Wisdom of the little mellife­rous Bee, first, to suck sweetness out of one, and then out of another, our greatest Happiness here, being no more than an uncertain Succession of Comforts, which once past, can never be enjoyed any more: But now in Hea­ven God's People shall have the actual: Enjoyment of all the Joy, the Glory, the Comfort that their Hearts can de­sire; they shall have the lively sense of every comforta­ble Ingredient that goes to the making up of this glorious Reward, together with the quick, and Heart-entrancing apprehension of every Circumstance that may any thing [Page 408] increase their Happiness, and all this at once, without Succession. As a Man from the top of some high Moun­tain, sees all things that are under him with one cast of his Eye:(a) So the Saints having ascended the highest top of the heavenly Mount Pisgah, do with one intellectu­al glance behold the ever blessed God, together with eve­ry sweet and necessary Appurtenance of true Blessedness. There shall not be a Succession of their Comforts, as now, nor shall they then(b) one while contemplate God, and draw sweetness that way; nor one while spend Thoughts upon their blessed Society of Saints and Angels, and draw sweetness from that; nor one while be thinking of the Glory of their heavenly Mansions, and draw sweet­ness out of that Consideration; nor another while me­ditate upon the perpetuity of their Joys, and drink in sweetness thence: But they shall joyntly, and at once have their Minds actually intent upon all those things, that are either of the Essence, or Integrity of their Hap­piness, drawing Comfort and Sweetness from every one of them, without any such tedious Transition of the Mind from one thing to another; so that there is not one Flower in all the heavenly Paradise, not one Apple upon all the Tree of Life, not one Jewel in their Crown, not one comfortable Circumstance in all the Glory of Heaven, but they will have the actual enjoyment of it, and of all heavenly Glory together. Our Comforts in this World, they are like many precious Truths scatter­ed here and there, throughout some great Volume, that cannot be found but by a tedious▪ and methodical Evolu­tion of the whole Book: But in Heaven we shall have them as in one general Synopsis, where we may view e­very divine Truth, every Comfort, and beam of Glory [Page 409] in its best Archetypon, God over all blessed for ever. We may compare our Enjoyments here to the Field of Man­na, which lay broad and wide, requiring both Time and Diligence for the gathering of it: But in Heaven w [...] shall have them all laid together, that so we may feed upon them all at once without distraction. The Lines, how far distant soever from each other in the Circum­ferences, yet they meet all in the Center: So be the Lines of our Mercies, our Comforts here, never so far asunder, that we cannot enjoy one, but we must leave another, yet meeting once in the indivisible Center of blessed Eter­nity, we may easily enjoy them all together. As the Light, though dispersed up and down through the Air, is yet collected in the glorious Sin: So all the Rays, and bright Beams, all the Joys of heavenly Glory, they shall be collected, and meet together in one eternal and simul­taneous Fruition. (c) For as Eternity is the perfect Possession of a boundless Life altogether; a State that intrinsecally will admit of no Succession, of no Priority, nor Posterio­rity, of no past, nor to come, being nothing but ( [...]) an immutable Moment that can never pass away: So the Reward of eternal Life, it's the full Fru­ition of all heavenly Glory together, where no part of the Saints Happiness shall ever be past, or to come, but [Page 410] always present with them, filling them every moment of Eternity, with all the Happiness and Comfort, with all the Joy and Blessedness of Eternity. Here God's People are in a mutable condition, enjoying all their Comforts by Succession, one after another, so that the same Ship which brings in one Comfort into the Harbour of their Souls, it carries out another: But this eternal Reward, it will put them into a permanent fixed way of enjoying all their Comforts together, they shall not lose one Com­fort by embracing another; nor have need to divert their Thoughts from one comfortable Consideration to exer­cise them upon another. Oh then what a Consideration is this to aggravate the blessedness of the Saints eternal Reward in Heaven, where they shall have all the Positures of Joy, rejoycing within, and without, above, and beneath, and on every(d) side together. They shall have Joy above them for the beatifical Vision of God; Joy within them for the Peace of their own Consciences, which now they find to be the best Feast; Joy beneath them for their Deliverance from the Wrath to come; and Joy round about on every side from their blessed As­sociates, the Saints and glorious Angels, with whom joyning, as in an heavenly Quire, they will warble out most melodiously the high Praises of God their Redeemer to all Eternity. How these things should thus be (I con­fess) I cannot easily satisfy my self, knowing what is the Finiteness of Man's Capacity, and the Infiniteness of this eternal Reward: But surely this must needs add much to our Happiness, and make us to rejoyce with Joy un­speakable, and full of Glory, when we shall not eat our Reward piece-meal, but shall sit down to a full Table, nor drink our Cordials one by one, but having all the Joys of Heaven and Glory, mingled together in one e­ternal [Page 411] Cup of Consolation, shall drink them all at once and together.

(8) THE R [...]ward whereunto God allows his People a Respect in all their Obedience, it's a Grace-perfecting Reward. The Perfection of all our Graces, is indeed a thing earnestly to be pursued after, whilst here we are working in God's Vineyard, but yet never fully to be obtained, till he comes to Crown us with our eternal Reward. As there is Chaff about every Corn in a Field,(e) and bitterness in every Branch of Wormwood: So by way of Adherency, there is much Defilement in the best Works, and much Imperfection in the most gracious Graces of the best of God's People. The Works of God's Spirit upon us, and the Graces of his Spirit within us, as they come from him are pure: But yet as clean Water passing through an unclean Channel, receiveth a Tincture of that Un­cleanness, so Sinfulness cleaveth to our holiest Actions, and as they come through our Hands, they admit of much adhering Pollution. How many Distractions, Rovings, Impertinencies, and secular Intermixtures do we find mingling themselves with our most serious Per­formances? How much Deadness, Formality, want of Relish, and unspiritualness do we find inseparably clea­ving to all our Services? How dim-sighted is the Eye of our Faith, when most discerning? How cold is the Fire of our Love to God, and his ways, when most warm and flaming? How full of trembling is the Hand of our Affiance; how sadly bruised are the Shoul­ders of our Patience; how lame are the Feet of our Obedience, and how dangerously crack'd is the Anchor of our Hope, though cast within the Vail?(f) Here our Graces are not without their Defects, nor our Du­ties [Page 412] without their defaults. Who sees not much Dross in his purest Gold, much Smoke in his brightest Fire, many blemishes upon all his Graces, many failings in all his Duties, and the print of his own unclean Hands to humble him, upon every holy Work that he takes in Hand? As the best actions of the Wicked through the want of right Principles, and right Ends are turned into Sin: For the best actions of the godly by reason of fleshly adherencies are always accompanied with Sin. And as their evil works are both their own, and purely evil: So their good works are neither there own nor purely good.(*) This made that holy and impa­radised Apostle St. Paul count all his own Righte­ousness in point of Justification, where nothing but what is absolutely perfect will be accepted no better than loss and dung, that he might win Christ. Nor can it be said that the Apostle here intendeth no other Actions and Priviledges than what he enjoyed before his Conversion: For he speaketh not only in the time past ( [...]) I counted; but likewise in the time pre­sent, ( [...]) yea doubtless, and I do count all things but dung, intending hereby the abdication of all his present Priviledges, Graces, and most glorious Performances as utterly insufficient by reason of ad­hering defilements to be the matter of his Justification in the sight of God. A consciousness of the like defects in all Graces and holy Performances, caused that(a) Evan­gelical Prophet of old, to complain in the Person of the whole Church (as both the Context and manner of speech do evince) that they were all as an unclean [Page 413] thing, and all their Righteousness as filthy Rags. Here you see the Prophet acknowledgeth a Worm to be in their best fruit; some sinful defects, some pollutions and vitiosity in all their Righteousnesses: Which re­senting with holy shame, he so far disgraceth whate­ver Duties, whatever Performances they had, as to com­pare them stain, and abhorred defilement for, with the unclean garment of a removed Woman. For this cause it was, that Aaron the high Priest, a Type of Christ, must bear the iniquity of their holy things, that all the People might know there was that imper­fection and blemish in their most holy Performances, that they could no otherwise find acceptance with God than only through the Worthiness and satisfactory Merits of Christ the promised Messias. Though then we do not say as our Adversaries of the Romish Fa­ction faitly calumniate, that the good Works of God's People are Sins, and ex natura rei culpable: Yet we say that their best Works are imperfect, their Graces ve­ry defective, and their most holy Performances attend­ed with some adhering Pollution. Their Graces how weak soever are not Sins, but it's their Sin that their Graces are no stronger. Their holy Performances are Sins: But it's their Sin that so many distractions, sinister respects, so much deadness, formality, and irreverence are mingled with them. So that we must still distin­guish betwixt sinful Actions, and Sin in the Actions. The Actions of praying, repenting, and believing, these are good as to the matter of them: But our re­misness, our negligence, our weakness in the exerting of them, this is sinful, and argues the most perfect in all the World to be yet imperfect, falling short in all that do(c) Neither doth that Scripture so much triumphed (b) [Page 414] in by a Pontificianizing Doctor of our own, where 'tis said that in all this Job sinned not, at all incom­modate this too sadly experimented Truth. For the Negation there is only of acts sinful in the matter of them, which Satan tempted that Holy Man to com­mit, and into which he expected Job would through impatience and the sharpness of his Afflictions have been transported. Nor doth it any thing at all ad­vantage the cause of the Perfectionits, which this Do­ctor hath taken upon him to assert, that the good Works and Graces of God's People are wrought by the holy Spirit of God in them.(d) For though the Spirit work these things in us, yet thats only by way of efficien­cy, as the Author of them, and not formally, as one Person with us.(e) The Spirit of God doth not believe and repent for us, but enableth us thereto: As it is not God that eateth, drinketh, or walketh, but we ourselves by ability received from him. Though then that which proceeds from the Spirit of God as the sole immediate cause thereof without the interven­tion of any other subordinate cause can never be im­preached of the least defect: Yet Grace being subje­ctively in us, and good Works formally wrought by us, as the Spirits Instruments, do admit without any re­flexion upon him of much imperfection and defilements. Here our Graces are mingled with Corruption, our best Duties with some undutifulness,(f) and all our reli­gious undertakings with the sad counterlustings and countermotions of the Flesh against the Spirit in them. Oh but Christians such is the pure Nature of this [Page 415] glorious Reward, that it will perfectly change you into the spotless Purity, and Holiness of itself. Truth is, the great Reward of Grace is Grace itself, a Christian being never compleatly happy till crowned with an ab­solute perfection in Grace and Holiness. But oh how happy will this Reward make thee, when all thy de­fects and weaknesses shall be done away, when all thy Graces that are now in their minority, and as so many Undergraduates shall grow up to their full stature in Christ, commencing Doctors as it were, and taking their highest degree of Blessed Perfection in Glory! Here Grace is like Gold in the Oar, having much dross of Sin and indwelling Corruption mingled with it; but in Heaven it will be fined into an absolute and unmixt purity. This Reward indeed for a little Time dissolves the frame of Nature, parting Soul and Body asunder; But it easily makes amends for that, per­fecting that frame of Grace, and at length brings both Soul and Body together again in fulness of Glory. You must never think to be so gracious, so pure and holy as you would be, Christians, till you come to Hea­ven: Where only the Law in our members struggling against the Law of our Minds shall have an end; where all decays and languishings of Grace shall be re­moved; where all deficiencies of Grace shall be filled up; and the first Fruits of the Spirit which here we receive as an earnest of Glory, shall be turned into a full Vintage. Your Graces are now like smoaking Flax, in which there is most Vapour and but little light; or like a broken Reed that is easily shattered with every blast: But in Heaven it shall be turned into purest Glory, and made a stately Pillar to stand un­shaken for ever in the Temple of God. Like the Sun wrapt up in a thick Cloud, such are the Graces of God's People now: But when once the Reward of E­ternal Glory shall be given them, then their Graces shall be like the Sun shining for in its strength with most ra­diant sparkling beams of Brightness. You then that go languishing all the day long that your knowledge of heavenly Mysteries is so dark and confused, your de­sires [Page 416] after God so faint, your Love to Christ so cold, your zeal for his Glory so remiss, your delight in his Ways so small, and all your Graces so full of Weak­nesses, and Imperfections, Oh lift up your Heads with Joy and take Comfort in the hope of this glorious Reward, which will quite do away all your present defects, crowning all your Graces with fulness and most heavenly perfection! Grace in the Heart of God's Peo­ple here is like a Plant that grows in a barren Soil which thrives but slowly and bears little Fruit: But when once it shall be transplanted into the heavenly Canaan, there it meets with that proper and fertile Soil which will bring it on to perfection, causing every Grace like a flourishing Vine to be laden with full Clusters of most sweet delicious Grapes for ever. Oh then what manner of Reward is this, and how much to be desi­red, which will thus change Grace into Glory, and our morning Twilight into a Noonday brightness, making all Gods People as perfectly pure, as perfectly holy and gracious as their Heart can now wish to be, if not much more! This Reward must needs make Grace per­fect, because Perfection in Grace is the principal part of this blessed Reward. Needs must this Reward per­fect Grace into heavenly Glory, because the greatest Glory of Heaven next to God himself is Grace per­fected, and blossoming into the Flower of unspotted purity.

(9) THE Reward whereunto God allows his People a res­pect in all their obedience it's a most safe Reward, and such as can never be lost nor taken from them. They are not only sure to have this Reward as we shewed in another par­ticular, but they are sure to hold it, so as never to be deprived of it. Other Rewards may be lost, and a Man may be cheated of them he knows not how: But the Reward of Eternal Glory, its a safe Reward; out of this all the cheats in Hell are not able to rook you,(g) as being indeed that better part which shall never [Page 417] be taken from you. This Reward is our Treasure laid up in Heaven, and therefore it can neither be corrup­ted by the M [...]th, nor be taken by the Hand of violence.(h) Here though we lay up Treasure under Lock and Key in Chests of Adamant, and make it never so sure, yet the Hand of Violence may break in upon our Trea­sure and plunder us as the King of Babylon did Jehoia­chim, of all our precious things: But having laid up our Treasure in Heaven and made the Reward of Eternal Life our Portion, we need then fear none of these things; no Hand of Violence can break through into Heaven either to steal or take our Crown from us. There is in­deed an holy Violence by means whereof a Man may take Heaven for himself: But there is no surreptitious Violence can enter there, whereby any either Man or Devil shall ever be able to take Heaven and Glory from another. The Condition of God's People in the hea­venly, is not like that of Adam's in the earthly Para­dise, but much safer,(i) as having Salvation appointed for Walls and Bullwarks that can never be broken through. The old Serpent by winding himself into the Terrestrial Paradise rooked our first Parents out of all their concreated Happiness. But there is no entrance for him into the Celestial Paradise, and so no possibility that ever he should be able to spoil God's People of their Crown of their Happiness and Glory which they have there. At the first God intrusted Man with his own Hap­piness, and then he willingly lost it: But now it is kept in the hand of God, and there is none that can pluck it thence. The eternal Reward of God's People is kept safe for them and they for it:(k) Because both of them are kept by the Power of God which is greater than all, and such as no Power on Earth or in Hell can vanquish. Let the Devil rage, let Hell conspire, let all the Powers of Darkness unite in one general machina­tion [Page 418] to deprive the Righteous of Eternal Life, yet they can no more do it, than a Man by one glance of his Eye can stop the Sun in its course. For however they hold Life Temporal upon the same uncertain Terms with others, and every small contingency may put an end to it:(l) Yet if we speak of their spiritual Life, either as inchoate in Grace here, or consummate in Glory hereafter, that is hid whith Christ in God This Life is not only hid from the Eyes of our Enemies that they cannot find it to conveigh it away from us privily as Rachel did her Fathers Teraphim: But it is also hid with Christ in God, whom they neither can nor dare assault. So that whoever will unglorify a Christian and take his Crown from him, they must first dethrone the Lord Jesus, and rifle the blessed Bosom of God him­self, where the Life, the Happiness, the Glory of God's People are all laid up. Oh then how glorious Christian is thy portion and how excellent thy Reward, which is not obnoxious to any hazards, but hath security written upon it against all danger of losing.(m) This Reward is that Inheritance which is reserved for you in the Heavens where there is happy Security, and secure Hap­piness: So that there is no invasion can be made of a­ny of your spiritual Enemies whereby to dipossess you of that great Salvation. As Hell is the Grave to bury all the Reprobates hopes in: So Heaven is the blessed O­cean wherein to swallow up all the Believers fears. The damned have no further possibility of winning Happi­ness when once in Hell, nor the blessed any further dan­ger of losing Happiness when once in Heaven. In Hell there is no hope of obtaining, and in Heaven there is no fear of ever forfeiting this glorious Reward. Oh then what infinite cause have you Christians amidst all your worldly losses to rejoice in hope of this Reward that can never be lost! Indeed Christ never promised you that you should not lose your Estates, nor lose your liberty, [Page 419] nor lose your Life, nor may you promise your selves an exemption from any such losses in the World: But this Christ hath promised, and you may build upon it as infinitely more sure than the Laws of the Medes and Persians, that holding fast the Mystery of the Faith in a pure Conscience, you shall in no case lose your Reward,* nor shall any Man ever be able to take away your Joy!

(10) THE Reward whereunto God allows his People a respect in all their obedience, it's an ancient Reward, as being prepared of him from Eternity for all his elect and cho­sen. Antiquity is a usual Topick, from whence we argue the Excellency, Goodness and Glory of many things: And however some things are never the better for being of a long standing, such as stately Buildings and perisha­ble enjoyments, whose antiquity only serves as a Worm in Jonah's Gourd to make them wither and fall into the rubbish of their own Ruins: Yet the Reward of God's People being incorruptible, and not liable to any such decays, it receives much in point of Goodness, and hath the brightest varnish of excellency and true worth put upon it from its own antiquity: Every old thing is not a good thing: But every good thing if not corup­tible, the older it is, the better it is. No Man, saith Christ, having drunk old Wine straightway desireth new: for he saith the old is better. If our Wine which is the Fruit of a perishing Vine do so gather Spirits by Age, as to be better than the new: What then is the transcendent Goodness of that Cordial Wine of Glory, which being the most generous Fruit of God's distin­guishing Love, was laid up from all Eternity in the Cellar of Predestination, to be set abroach in time, as the full Reward of all his elect and chosen? Many there be who pride themselves, because come of an ancient ex­traction, and dignified with an ancient Patrimony, such as [Page 420] hath been held time out of mind by them and their An­cestours: But a Christian's Reward was prepared be­fore all time; he is come of no younger an House than Eternity; the Foundation of his Patrimony was laid sure in Gods electing Grace; and the deed of his glorious Inheritance is so ancient, that it bears date from everlast­ing to everlasting, like God himself! Earthly Parents they will express their care of Posterity while yet unborn, by purchasing large Estates, and making them sure en­tails: Such and infinitely is the Love of God to his own People, who before ever they were born or had a being, did provide a Kingdom for them, making sure from all Eternity the entail of Heaven and Glory upon them.* For the Children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God accord­ing to election might