THE Saints Convoy TO HEAVEN. A DISCOURSE occasioned by (and in Part Preacht upon) THE DEATH and FUNERAL OF Mr. Benjamin Lindsey, Who Deceased, the 21st of February, 1697.


LONDON: Printed for John Lawrence, at the Angel, in the Poultry, over against the Compter. 1698.

THE EPISTLE TO • Mrs. Rebeccah Lindsey, Mother , • Mr. Joseph Lindsey, Brother , • Sisters • Mrs. Abigal Shipton, , and • Mrs. Sarah Pike,  , • Kinsmen • Mr. John Hinde, , • Mr. Morgan Hinde, , • Mr. Richard Hinde, , and • Mr. Robert Hinde,  , and • to Mr. Benjamin Lindsey, lately Deceased. 

Dear Friends,

ACcording to the several Rela­tions (nearer or more re­mote) wherein ye stood to Mr. Benjamin Lindsey, when he was li­ving with you, Nature and Reason di­ctates that ye must be differently af­fected, [Page] as to Degrees, by his being by Death removed from you, yet being so much beloved and respected by you all, it is easy to determine that his Death was Matter of Sorrow to you all; but the Religion ye all profess, and the Christian Doctrine ye all do own, must be instructive to you, that ye sorrow, not as those that have no Hope, either that his Soul, being so Pious, was not carried by Angels into Abra­ham's Bosom, or that his Body, that ye carried and lodged in the Bosom of the Earth, should not be raised again to a joyful Resurrection, and be hereafter, where the Soul at present is, in Happiness and Glory: Of which Two Things, the believing Considera­tion should drie your weeping Eyes, relieve your mourning Spirits, and comfort your Sorrowful Hearts.

To the Mother I send this short following Advice:

1. That you would not so much sor­row that your Son's Body is gone down [Page] to the Grave, as rejoice that his Soul is gone up to Heaven: Not so much mourn, that he whom you did bear, bring forth, and bring up, is taken from you, as be comforted that God hath taken him to himself: As know­ing he is better pleased to be where he is, and more Happy, than if he had continued to be on Earth, with you, and that he would not be from thence, to come again to you: And let this make you the less Sorrowful in this World, because his Soul is now trium­phant in the other, which is a better World: for I suppose you loved your Son better than to grieve at his Pre­ferment.

2. That considering the Greatness of your Age you would clear your E­vidences for Heaven, and not have them to seek, when you should have them to shew, nor to get▪ when you should have them to use for your more comfortable Departure; that as you are sure your Body must go down to your Son's Body, so you might be as [Page] sure that your Soul shall go up to his Soul, that as he was where you are, so you might be with God, where he is.

3. That you daily remember, you are almost at your Journey's End; in a Course of Nature so near the Door of Eternity, that you cannot be much longer in Time; therefore when you cannot move so speedily in Natural Motion, run more swiftly in your Spi­ritual Race, that you might not fall short of the Joy and Crown that is set before you.

4. That since your Son (now gone from you) hath made such competent Provision for you, that you need not spend your Breath in asking, What shall I eat, or what shall I drink, or wherewithal shall I be clothed? Your Enquiries might be, How shall I love God more, please him better, and be more prepared for my Eternal State? Since now you need not cark for Earth, take more Care for Heaven.

[Page] 5. That since you have more Benefit of your Sense of Seeing, than of Hear­ing, supply the Defect of Hearing, by your diligent Reading; and the less you can hear Men speak to you in Dis­coursing, the more do you speak to God in Praying; and the less Converse you can have with the Creature, the more Communion do you desire, get, and maintain with God.

To the Rest of you, let me be your Remembrancer, that ye get a sanctified Improvement of this Breach by Death, that God hath made amongst you, that ye so mind Temporal, as not to forget your Eternal Concerns, to watch and be always ready, because the Son of Man might come, in an Hour that ye think not of; to pre­pare to follow him and others that are gone before: to keep up the Power of Godliness in your Hearts, and to de­monstrate it in your Lives: Seriously and believingly to think of another world, and every Day you live in this, [Page] to stand in Time, and look into Eter­nity: To be Good, and to do Good, as he was, and did, that is taken from you, whereof (in Part) ye have been Eye-witnesses: To live Holily, that ye might die not only Peacably, but also Triumphantly; as is his Prayer for you, who desires it might be yours for him, who is,

Affectionately Yours, To his Power, Tho. Doolittle.

THE Saints Convoy TO HEAVEN.

Luke XVI. 22.‘And it came to pass that the Beggar died, and was carried by the An­gels into Abraham's Bosom.’

SOME think it is not material whether the Discourse of our Lord Jesus concerning the Rich Man and the Beggar, be taken as a Parable, or an History, or composed of both; when it is confessed, that under this Narration, Christ describes the State of the Good and Bad in the other World, and asserts the Existence of the [Page 2] Soul, after its Separation from the Bo­dy; and that it immediately passeth to Heaven or Hell, before the Resurrecti­on of the Body, and general Judgment of the great Day.

Tho' there was a Disparity between Lazarus spoken of in the Text, and our Friend, whose Death is the Occasion of this Discourse upon it, in regard of their outward Circumstances in this World; yet if the latter be a Partaker of Felici­ty with the former, in the other World, I might easily be excused for choosing this as my Theme upon this sad, but righteous Providence: especially, when there is no other so express to my De­sign as this is.

The Rich Man here spoken of, was a voluptuous Sinner; who, while he li­ved, did live in outward Pomp; and, when he died, was buried in great State. The Poor Man was full of Sores, and Hungry, while he lived; and no mention is made of his Funeral, when he died.

The one was Rich on Earth, but now a Beggar in Hell. The other a Beg­gar on Earth, but now Rich in Heaven.

The Poor Man, on Earth, begged for some Crumbs at the Rich Man's Door; [Page 3] but he could not obtain them. The Rich Man, in Hell, begged for a Drop of Water; but it was denied him.

Some live and die Poor, and in a State of Sin: These have their E­vil Things here, and hereafter too: Misery on Earth, and more in Hell.

Some live and die Rich,Luk. 16. 25 and finally Impenitent: These have their Good Things here, and their Evil Things hereafter: A short Heaven in this World, and a long Hell in the next.

Some live and die Poor, but in a State of Grace: These have their Evil Things in this Life, and their Good in the next: Short Misery on Earth, and long Felicity in Heaven.

Some live and die possest of a good Estate, and in a State of Grace: These have their Good Things here, and better hereafter: Now some Earnest, then actual Posses­sion.

It is better to live and die in the Depths of Poverty, and have the Soul Everlastingly saved; than in the Heigths of Prosperity, and the Soul E­ternally lost. The worst Condition of [Page 4] a Child of God, be it never so bad, is better than the best Condition of a Wicked Man, be it never so good.

In the Words of the Text Five Things may be observed:

  • 1. The Passage of a Believer to the Place of his Eternal Abode. He is car­ried, or transported to it.
  • 2. What of the Believer is carried to that Place or State? And that is, the Soul. He was carried; his Soul, not then his Body. His Soul was transported, his Body was left behind. The Soul is carried at his Dissolution; the Body not till the Resurrection.
  • 3. Whither was the Soul carried; what was the Place or State to which it was transported? Into Abraham's Bosom.
  • 4. When? As soon as he died; that Minute it was separated from the Body, it began its Journey to its Eternal Home.
  • 5. By whom? By the Angels he was carried into Abraham's Bosom. Not by one, but many Angels.

Several great Articles of Faith affor­ding great Support and Comfort to Believers are taught by Christ in these Words.

[Page 5] 1. Observation. That the Soul doth exist after its Separation from the Body. Other­wise it would not be capable to be car­ried to another State of Blessedness and Glory.

Gen. 2. 7.In Man's Mortal Body, there is an Immortal Soul.

Death turns the Soul out of the Body, and the Man out of this World.

Death deprives the Body of Life, and leave it a Lump, or Mass of Breathless Clay;Eccl. 12. 7. but in Death, the Soul escapeth Death. Death, that conquereth all Mens Bodies, kills no Man's Soul.

The Life and Being of the Soul can­not be destroyed, either,

  • by Outward Violence,
  • by Inward Principles.

First, Not by Outward Violence. No Finite Power can make the Soul to cease to be. The most Powerful, Cru­el and Enraged Persecutors who may torture, kill or burn the Body, cannot touch nor reach the Soul. Mat. 10. 28. Fear not them which kill the Body, but are not able to kill the Soul; but rather fear [Page 6] him which is able to destroy both Soul and Body in Hell. Tho' they had a Will to kill the Soul, yet they want Power: If they would, they are not able: They can neither kill it, nor damn it. Luke 12. 4. I say unto you, my Friends, be not afraid of them that kill the Body, and af­ter that have no more that they can do. When they have taken away the Life of the Body, they have done their worst, their most, their all; so that there is no more that they can do; for the Soul escapes their Fury, and their malicious Rage. And as Creatures cannot, so we are assured that God will not cause the Soul to cease to be; and this we know:

1. From the Promises he hath made to sincere Believers, to give to them Eternal Life; Joh▪ 3. 16. For God so loved the World, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever be­lieveth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting Life. That they shall be for ever with the Lord, 1 Thes. 4. 17. That they shall be Eternally Saved, Heb. 5. 9. That they shall have a Crown in­corruptible that fadeth not away, 1 Pet. 1. 4, 5. If these Eternal Things shall be enjoyed by Belie­vers, [Page 7] then their Souls must exist to all Eternity; for that which is no­thing can enjoy nothing.

2. From the Threatnings of God re­corded in his Word, of the Ever­lasting Punishment they shall be tormented with in the other World, to all Eternity, that leave this World in a State of Sin, Rev. 14. 10. The same shall drink of the Wine of the Wrath of God, which is poured out without Mixture, into the Cup of his Indignation, and they shall be tor­mented with Fire and Brimstone, in the the Presence of the Holy Angels, and in the Presence of the Lamb. V. 11. And the Smoak of their Torment as­cendeth up for ever and ever; and they have no rest, Day nor Night—If Souls shall lie under the Punish­ment of Sense for ever, they must exist for ever: for that which is nothing by ceasing to be, can have no Sense of Punishment.

Secondly, The Soul cannot die, or cease to be, by any Internal Principles; such as contrary Qualities in the Body, which after Conflicts, and one consumed by the other, cause the Death of the Bo­dy: as Fire in the Lamp licking up all the Oyl, causeth the Lamp to go out: [Page 8] or if too much Oyl be poured in, and overflows the Fire, it also is extinguish­ed. Neither can the Soul dye with old Age, as the Body will; for time is not the measure of the Duration of the Soul, as it is of the Body; but Eviternity, and Beings measured thereby, tho' they have a Beginning, yet shall have no Ending.

Use.Let this awaken all to provide a Lodging for their Souls, against the Hour they shall be separated from their Bodies. Now our Souls dwell in Houses of Clay, and these have their Foundati­on in the Dust,Job 4. 19. and will shortly fall, and the Soul be dispossessed, and turned out of this House, in which it is a Tenant at Will of the great Landlord of all the World, who might Seal a Lease of Eject­ment at his Pleasure; when you can­not remove from one House to another in the same Parish, in the same City, or in the same Nation; no, nor yet in the same World; but will be such a Re­move as never yet you made, from one World to another.

Since then the Soul after Death will be in Being, it must be some where; for that which is no where, is nothing. but where shall it be? There are but [Page 9] Two Places in the other World, where Souls shall be,Heaven, orHell. Do you know in which? Or do not you think nor care in which your Soul shall live and lodge for ever? If in Hell, your Lodging will be so uneasy, that in it you cannot rest. A Bed of Flames, a Lodging in boiling Lead or Oyl, or burning Brimstone, will cause you to cry out,I am uneasy, I am uneasy in my Lodging, I cannot rest upon this Bed, I cannot take one wink of Sleep! May I not change my Lodging? I am weary of being here. May I not go back again from whence I came? I thought my sick Bed was uneasy, but this is worse, inconceivably worse! be­yond Expression more painful and uneasy! But if I may not go back to my old Lodg­ings, in that World from whence I came, Let me seek a cooler Lodging where I am; Let me rove from one side of Hell unto the other, if I might find some easy Corner, where I may a while be free from Pain and Torment. But alas! I cannot. Wo is me, I cannot! Every Nook is Hot, is Hot, is exceeding Hot. The Justice of God pur­sues me, wherever I go: My enraged Con­science doth accompany me, and tormenting Devils follow me; and the Fire burns me to what Place soever I hasten; and there is no Hope; O Desperate Case! there is no [Page 10] Hope, either of Deliverance, or Mitigation of my Misery. Die I would, but cannot; cease to be I would, but must not. Cursed Caitiff that I am, in this Extremity I must lie and lodge to all Eternity.

Secure then your Title to an House Above: to Mansions in Heaven, that when your Soul shall be turned out of this, it may be received into that. How comfortable would this Knowledge be, on a dying Bed, when you shall say, This Tabernacle must be taken down, this Earthly House is going to Ruins, it can be repaired no more, it can stand no longer? Food I cannot eat to patch it up: Medicines cannot remove that Sickness from me, which will re­move my Soul out of this Earthly House. But I know, blessed be God, I know that I have a Building of God; an House not made with Hands, Eternal in the Heavens. 2. Cor. 5. 1.

II. Observation, The Souls of Belie­vers, after Death, are transported into an Eternal State of Blessedness. The Body is carried and lodged in the Bosom of the Earth: the Soul is carried and laid in the Bosom of Abraham.

[Page 11] This Figurative Expression, denotes a Place of Love and dearest Affection. Christ is God's dear Son, or the Son of his Love, Col. 1. 13. and said to be in the Bosom of the Father, Joh. 1. 18. John, the beloved of the Lord, is found nearest Christ, lying in his Bosom, Joh. 13. 23. and There was leaning on Jesus his Bosom, one of his Disciples whom Je­sus loved.

The Bosom is also a Place of Ease and Rest, and sweet Repose: So God com­forting and giving Rest unto his People, is said, to carry them in his Bosom, Isay. 40. 11. Thus Lazarus, wearied with Affliction, want and Poverty, was received up to Everlasting Rest.

There are Conjectures why Abra­ham's Bosom is mentioned, rather than the Bosom of Moses, or David, or any other that were in Heaven.

1. Because he was on Earth given to Hospitality; Gen. 18. he entertained Three Angels; and the Angels carried the Soul of this Beggar, who could not obtain the least Alms at the Rich Man's Gate, into Abraham's Bosom, where his Wants were all presently supplied. The Rich Man was a Churl; Abra­ham was Charitable. The Poor Man [Page 12] was carried from the Churl's Door, to the Charitable Man's Bosom.

2. Because he was the Father of the Faithful, and the Father's Bosom is the Child's Place.

3. Because the Promise of Canaan, the Type of Heaven, was made to him and his Seed for ever.

But I conceive the plain meaning is, That he was carried into Heaven, where the Faithful, with Abraham, the Father of all the Faithful, shall be ga­thered, sit down, rest and be comforted for Ever: as Mat. 8. 11. I say unto you, that many shall come from the East, and from the West, and shall sit down with A­braham, Isaac and Jacob in the King­dom of Heaven.

Saved Souls, possest of their Mansions in Heaven, shall have perfect and per­petual Rest from all Evils that afflict, molest and burden them, and cause them here, in the Place of their Pil­grimage, and Travel to their Eternal Home; to sigh and sob, to grieve and groan, to weep and Mourn; when lodg'd above, they shall rest for ever.

1. From the In-dwellings of Corruption. While the Soul dwells here in the Body,Rom. 7. 17▪ 33. 24. Sin will dwell in the Soul: While the [Page 13] Believer is here a Sojourner, Sin will be his constant, disquieting, molesting Inmate: When Body and Soul do part, then Sin and the Soul shall also part; and tho' Body and Soul at length shall meet again; yet they and Sin shall meet no more.

2. From all Troubles arising from un­godly Men: These shall persecute, im­prison, disturb their Peace no more, for ever.

3. From all Temptations of Satan. The Devil got into the Earthly Paradise, and and by his Subtilty beguiled our first Parents; but is cast down from Heaven, to return and enter no more; nor shall be a Tempter to any in the Cele­stial Paradise any more, for ever. He might follow his tempting Trade with us on Earth, but must leave it off, as to all in Heaven.

4. From the Imperfection of their Gra­ces. Here our Faith is so feeble, our Love to God and Christ so little, our Delight so small, our Knowledge so short, our Desires so faint, our Hope so wavering, and all our Graces in such low Degrees, that we often call all into Question, doubt of our Sincerity, fear Hipocrisy, and think our Attainments great, if we mourn the more, because [Page 14] we love no more; and have more De­sires to desire more; and sorrow the more, because we delight in God and Christ, and Fore-views of the glorious State Above no more. And these make us more restless on our Sick Beds, because our Souls are Sick, as well as our Bo­dies; and our inward Man as Weak as our outward Man is: And too many, instead of departing in Triumph, with Assurance of Salvation, breath out their Souls with mourning Complaints and Fears, concerning their future Eternal State; leaving the World with these piercing Questions, Is God mine? Is Christ mine? Shall Heaven be mine? I am going, but I know not whither. I must I must leave all my dearest Friends in this World; but what will be my Company in the next?

But when these Holy Souls shall be carried into Heaven, all these Mists shall be dispell'd; these Clouds shall be scatter'd; this dark and gloomy Day shall end in a bright and glorious Sun­shine for evermore. For when they are come to that which is Perfect, and that which is Perfect is come to them, that which is in Part shall be done away, 1 Cor. 13. 10, 12. For all the Spirits of [Page 15] Just Men, carried thither, are made Per­fect, Heb. 12. 23.

5. From any Desertion from God. The Children of God, in that Light, shall walk no more in Darkness. Nor que­stion the Love of God to them, nor their Love to God, any more than we can question whether it be Day, when we see the Sun to shine in its greatest Brightness; or whether Fire be hot, when it warms our Hands.

Not one shall there say, My Lord hath forsaken me, or my God hath forgotten me. No such Question there;Psal. 77. 7, 8, 9. Will the Lord cast off for ever? Will he be Favourable no more? Is his Mercy clean gon for ever? Doth his Promise fail for evermore? Hath God forgotten to be Gracious? Hath he in Anger shut up his tender Mercies? When I was on Earth, this was my Infirmity; but now in Heaven, I will meditate on all that blessed Work of God, that hath brought me to this Glorious Place; and resting in my Saviour's Bosom will talk with this Holy Company, of all the Marvels and Wonders of his Grace; in bringing me to this happy State of Life, and Light, and Love, and per­fect Rest for Ever.

6. From all Discords and Divisions that were amongst believers on their way on [Page 16] Earth, to this State in Heaven. There they are all of one Mind, of one Heart and Way: There is no Diversity of Judgment, no Alienation of Affection, no rash and uncharitable Censures; but all filled with Love to God and one another.

7. From all ensnaring Allurements of this World. These, too often, did deaden their Affections towards God, interrupt their Communion with him, and by the World's Smiles, were sometimes brought under God's Frowns; and when it was best with their Bodies, it was worst with their Souls: and the more they enjoyed of the World, the less their Conversation was in Heaven. But there they have got above all worldly Profits, all fleshly Pleasures, all carnal Joys; and shall bathe themselves in those Rivers of Pleasures,Psal. 16. 11. and be delighted in that fulness of Joy, which is in the Pre­sence of their Lord and Saviour to all Eternity.

8. From all distracting Cares, and dis­quieting Fears, about the want of things necessary to bear their Charges on their Journey, while on Earth, to the Bosom of their Lord. They shall have no more need of such Cautions,Mat. 6. 25. Take no thought what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, [Page 17] or wherewithal ye shall be clothed: For in that Place and State they shall be hun­gry no more,Rev. 7. 16. nor thirst any more, nor feel any Want of any such things; but shall live without these, as Angels in Heaven do.

9. From allTroubles and Remorse, and Stinging of Conscience. Conscience that shall still remain in the Bosom of the Damned,Mar. 9. 44. shall Eternally torment, and gnaw upon them; and,Heb. 11. 25. for very Vexa­tion, shall cause them to cry out,What Fools were we, for short Pleasures of Time, to run into these Everlasting Pains?Mat. 16. 26What Madness did possess us, for small Profits of the World, to lose the Enjoyments of all the Happiness of Heaven? What Distracti­on did seize us to come to this filthy, loath­som Dungeon! to this dark and dismal Pri­son, for the fading Honours of a short and Transitory Life? Cursed Caitiffs that we are, that did prefer the good Things of our cor­rupt Flesh, before the things that were really good for Body or for Soul! Miserable Hell-hounds (for so now we are, and must for ever be) to keep our Sins, and lose our Souls; to gratify our Lusts, and for them to be cast out from the comfortable Presence of the blessed Lord!Luke▪ 15. 16.To sell Heaven for a Merry­bout! to come short of Eternal Joys, for an Ale-bench Song, and there to drink and [Page 18] swill, like Hogs at a Trough, and now to lie in tormenting Flames, and cannot obtain one Drop of Water, Luke 16. 24, 25. (tho' a River would not be enough)to cool our Tongues.

But the Saints in Abraham's (or rather in their Saviour's) Bosom, shall have a quiet, sedate, and rejoicing Conscience in their own, that shall refresh and com­fort them, that they did deny them­selves, to save themselves, that they did venture or sustain the Loss of Life, to ob­tain Eternal Life:Heb. 10. 34. that they took joy­fully the spoiling of their Goods, that they might have in Heaven a better and more enduring Substance.

10. From all irksom Weariness in Holy Exercises. While they are in the Bosom of the Church Militant, they are too often weary in doing their Duty, when they are not weary of doing of it; and the better they do it, the more weary they are in doing of it: and if they are weary of it, it is because they do it no better. They are weary of a dull and lazy, slothful Heart; they are weary of their unbelieving, hard and unaffected Heart; they are weary of their distract­ing Thoughts, and wandring Minds, and roving Affections: But the more Life and Liveliness, the more activity and exercise of Faith, and Love, De­sire [Page 19] and Delight, of Joy and Hope they perform them with, the less weary they are of them: Much labour seemeth light, long time seemeth short, and the great­est Pains are pleasant to them: and in so doing,Mat. 26. 41. they find the Spirit is willing when the Flesh is weak.

The Damned, in the Bowels of Hell, and in the Devil's Bosom, are weary of their Torments, of their Pain and Pu­nishment; such a Bosom is no Place of Love or Rest; and the more they are embraced in the Devil's Arms, the more uneasy still they are, and wish that he couldhug them into nothing; and La­menting, say,Have our Bosom Sins brought us to such an uneasy Bosom? Have our embraced Sins brought us to the Em­bracements of such cruel and merciless Tor­mentors? We never hug'd our Sins so much, but the Devil huggeth us as close. We ne­ver kept our Sins so fast, but the Devil will keep us now as long. We are weary, we are weary of this Place and Pain; more weary than we were of Prayers, and Ser­mons, and Sabbaths upon Earth; we were weary of them, and Death freed us from that Weariness; but now we are weary of these Pains, which we were weary in pray­ing against, and never must be freed from them.

[Page 20] But when the Soul is carried into Heaven, it shall be no more weary of the Praise, Delight and Love it shall be imployed in for ever: and tho' it shall not rest Day or Night, saying, Holy, Holy, Rev. 4. 8. Holy Lord God Almighty, yet it shall find sweet and pleasant Rest, both Night and Day, in sounding unwearied Hallelujahs to the Lord, in the Savi­our's Bosom.

Take some Corollaries from what hath been said.

1. Let go your Bosom Sins, as you would have your Souls carried into A­braham's Bosom. Make no Sin your Bosom Friend:Job 31. 33. neither hide it in your Bosom.

1. by indulging and cherishing of it, as a Mother the Child in her Bosom: beware of that Sin, which all other Sins are Servants to.

2. By defending and pleading for it.

3. By withstanding the Reproofs that are given to you▪ for it.

4. By pleasing your self in thinking of it.

5. By not confessing of it to God, who knows the most secret Things in your Bosom.

2. Let no Bosom Friend draw you to sin; Deut. 13. 6, 8. not the Wife, or Husband of your Bo­som, [Page 21] or any as dear to you as your own Soul, lest when you are carried from them by Death, you be not carried by Angels into Abraham's Bosom.

3. Let Christ have a Room in your Bo­som now, that you might be received in­to his Bosom hereafter. Christ should lie nearest your Heart: He that is in the Bosom of the Father, is most worthy of the chiefest and choicest Room in your Heart. Say and do as the Spouse, Cant. 1. 13. A Bundle of Myrrh is my Well beloved unto me, he shall lie all Night betwixt my Breasts: Some say Myrrh be­twixt the Breasts is an excellent Cordi­al: Christ in our Bosom is a reviving Cordial, for it is a Pledge that we here­after shall be in his.

4. When the Souls that shall not be carried up to Heaven, shall be dragged down to Hell,Psal. 79. 12. they shall have the Recom­pence of all their Wickedness pour'd into their Bosom, and of all their Reproaches, wherewith they have reproached the Lord. God now saith,Isa. 65. 6, 7. That then he will not keep Silence, but will recompence into their Bosom, and will measure their former Works into their Bosom.

5. Whatsoever Soul would be carried up to Abraham's Bosom, must be laborious in Religion while he is here. He must nei­ther [Page 22] hide his Sins nor his Hand in his Bosom, not the one from parting from it, nor the other from working with it. The slothful Man that hideth his Hands in his Bosom, Prov. 19. 24 and will not so much as bring it to his Mouth again, must starve, because he will neither work nor eat: And he that hideth his Sin in his Bosom, and will not so much as bring it to his Mouth Penitently, and with Brokenness of Heart, to confess his Sin, shall be damn­ed for his Sin. Angels will carry no Idle, Slothful Souls to Heaven: Abra­ham's Bosom is no Place for Loiterers: It is those that Fight, and Run, and Wrestle, and Overcome, that shall have Repose and Rest in Abraham's Bosom: For,Mat. 11. 12. The Kingdom of Heaven suffereth Vi­olence, and the Violent take it by Force.

III. Observation, A gracious Soul se­parated from the Body, is presently carried by Angels into a State of Happiness in Hea­ven. At Death it is not annihilated, nor doth it sleep with the Body, neither doth it stay in any other supposed Place, but is instantly on its Journey to Glo­ry, and immediately passeth into the Celestial Paradise.

The sure Word of God doth assure us of this: and if we believe the one, [Page 23] we must grant the other, since it is so express and full in the asserting of this Doctrine, that is so comfortable to sancti­fied and prepared Souls.

Designing Brevity in this, I shall on­ly alledge a few Texts that do confirm it:

Luke 23. 43. Jesus said unto him, Veri­ly, I say unto thee, to day shalt thou be with me in Paradise.Where note▪

1. The Asserter. Jesus said unto him (the penitent dying Thief.)

2. The Manner of his Assertion. Verily, I say unto thee: A Word of Asseveration commonly used by Christ, in Matters of great, undoubted Certainty and Mo­ment.

3. The Thing Asserted. To Day shalt thou be with me in Paradise.

Where observe,

  • 1. The Place spoken of: That is, Pa­radise; that is, the Third Heaven, where God doth manifest his Glo­rious Presence. Thus Paul, speak­ing of a Man caught up to the Third Heaven, presently subjoins, He was caught up into Paradise: by Two Words intending one and the same Place: 2 Cor. 12. 2, 4.
  • 2. Who should be in that Place of Paradise: Thou that art now a [Page 24] dying Man. Thou, that is, thy Soul; for of his Body it could not be understood.
  • 3. With whom the penitent Thief should be in Paradise: With Christ. Thou that art with me on the Cross, shalt be with me in Hea­ven.
  • 4. When his Soul should be with him in Heaven: To day. To day thou shalt die, and to day thou shalt have Eternal Life: To day thou shalt expire on the Cross, and to day thou shalt have a Crown of Glory in the Highest Hea­vens.

The different Pointing of the Words, corrupting the Sense, is such a bold At­tempt, that should it be admitted in o­ther Places, as the Opposers of the Soul's immediate passing into Glory, sawcily do in this, it would be such a mangling of the Scripture, that we should be at a Loss to know the Meaning of many plain Texts.

What need had Christ to speak the Words thus; Verily I say unto thee to day? Did not he know Christ then spake to him? Did not he hear him? And did he hear him that Day, and could not he tell that Christ spake to him that [Page 25] day, except Christ added, to Day I say unto thee? What need Christ add his asserting Verily, to these Words, I say unto thee to day? Could not the Thief trust his own Ears, that he then heard Christ say to him, except Christ add, Verily, I do as [...]ure thee that it is to day that I say this to thee?

Which is greater Ground of Support and Comfort to a dying Penitent, to acquaint him, I say unto thee to Day, thou shalt be with me in Paradise; but I do not tell thee when, nor how ma­ny Thousand Years hence, this shall be thy Happiness; or thus, Verily I say to thee, to day, this very Day, thou shalt be with me in Paradise? It is but a Dream, that the Soul shall sleep when a Man dies.

A Second Text is,2 Cor. 5. 6. There­fore we are always confident, knowing that whilst we are at home in the Body, we are absent from the Lord,Ver. 8. We are con­fident, I say, and willing rather to be ab­sent from the Body, and to be present with the Lord.

Here note:

1. While the Soul is in the Body, we are in our Earthly Home.

2. While the Soul is in its Earthly Home, it is absent from its true Home, [Page 26] which is in Heaven, from the Vision and Fruition of God in Glory.

3. When the Soul doth leave its Earth­ly Home, it goeth to its Heavenly Home: for when it is absent from the Body, it shall be present with the Lord, in the Glorious Enjoyment of him to all Eter­nity.

4. The Opposition of these Two is immediate. To be present in the Body is to be absent from the Lord: To be absent from the Body, is to be present with the Lord.

5. The Confidence of the Apostle that there is such a Glorious State, which is the reason of our Willingness to leave the Body, that from thenceforth we might be with the Lord in Heaven. De­ny the Souls immediate passing to God in Glory, and you take away the Reason of the Choice, rather to be absent from the Body, than to be present in it.

The Third Text is,Phil. 1. 23. ForI am in a Straight betwixt two; having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ, which is far better. Note,

1. The Apostle's Straight. Two things were before him, to live or die, Reasons swaying him sometimes to the one▪ some­times to the other: For the Good of God's Church, it would be better for [Page 27] him to live than die, Ver. 22. For his own Advantage, it would be better for him to die than to live, Ver. 21. This was his Straight.

2. His own Inclination, and vehement Desire, in respect to himself, that he would chuse rather to depart, than to continue upon Earth.

3. The Reason of his Desire and Wil­ingness to depart, that he may be with Christ: But there would be no Reason in this Reason, if by departing, he should be nothing the sooner with Christ.

4. The Preference of one State before the other, or the comparing of the one with the other: It is better to die and be with Christ. There is an excellent Gradation in the Text:

It is [...], better.

It is [...], far better.

It is [...], far better by much.

But if a Believer die, and the Soul is not the sooner with Christ, than if he had lived longer, it would not have been better but worse, for while the A­postle lived he had himself much Com­munion with God, but if he departed, and not with Christ, he had none.

While he lived he was useful and pro­fitable to the Church on Earth, but [Page 28] after his Departure he could not.

While he lived he did glorify God on Earth; but if he departed, and went not to Christ, he could not glorify him, neither on Earth, nor in Heaven.

While he lived, he knew God, and loved him, and delighted in him, and was sensible of God's Love to him; but if he departed and went not to Christ, he was capable of none of these; and so still it was worse, far worse, far worse by much, to depart than live.

This might be largely improved by way of use, which I hope you will pra­ctically use in all your Ways, though I cannot stay to speak, what ye should, and I hope you will do, if you keep in Remembrance, that a pious separated Soul is presently on his Journey to the highest Heavens, and who shall be his Convoy thither: Which was my first Design in chusing this Text, to entertain your thinking Minds upon this Occasion.

IV. Observation,The Holy Angels of God are the Bearers that carry the separa­ted Souls of Believers into Heaven.

[Page 29] Men take care for the Bearers of the Body, when dead: God takes care for the Bearers of the Soul, when departed.

Men are Bearers that carry the Body to the Grave: Angels are the Bear­ers that carry the Soul to Glory.

Men mourning follow the Corpse to the House appointed for all the Li­ving: Angels triumphing go along with the Soul to the Mansions pre­pared for all the Believing.

The Ministration of Angels, for the Good of Believers, is asserted in general, inHeb. 1. 14. Arethey not all ministring Spirits, sent forth to minister for them, who shall be Heirs of Salvation? Where may be noted,

1. The Nature of Angels: They are Spirits, intellectual, immaterial, immor­tal and active Creatures; the noblest and most refined Part of God's Creation: more excellent than Man; yet Servants to Christ their Lord.

2. Their Office: They are Ministring Spirits.

3. Their Number: All of them are so, if there be Degrees and Orders among them, all and every one of them, from the highest to the lowest are God's Ser­vants, waiting and attending upon him, [Page 30] to go and come as he appoints, for the Good of the People of God, whose Fellow-servants they own themselves to be, Rev. 19. 10. and 22. 9.

4. Their Commission: Being sent before they go, they must have their Warrant from God, before they move; Psal. 103. 20. Bless the Lord, ye his Angels, that excell in Strength, that do his Command­ment, hearkening to the Voice of his Word: tho' they have Power to Act, yet they must not, nor do they stir, without a Command from God.

5. Their Execution: They are sent, and then they Minister; They hearken to the Voice of his Word, and then they do his Commands.

6. The Object of their Ministration, or the Persons they are charged with: Such as shall be Heirs of Salvation.

Angel is a Word not so much to signi­fy their Nature as their Office, that is to say, they are Messengers, to go at the Command of their Sovereign Lord, up­on his Errands from Heaven to Earth, and back again from Earth to Heaven; Gen. 28. 12. And he dreamed, and behold a Ladder set upon the Earth, and the Top of it reached to Heaven, and behold, the Angels of God ascending and descending on it.

[Page 31] The Ministration of Angels in the Behalf of those that shall be Heirs of Sal­vation from their Birth to their Death,Gen. 18. 10. Judg. 13. 3, 4, 5. Luke 1. 11, 13, to 18. (yea, and sometimes before their Con­ception) is copiously treated of in Scrip­ture, but from their Death to their Pas­sage to Heaven, and afterwards, is more sparingly mentioned; but one Saying of Christ (as this concerning the Poor Man's Soul) is sufficient Evidence of their conveying of them from the Place where they die, to the Place where they shall live for ever.

It will be needful, to more clear Pro­cedings about the Angels conveying the Souls of Believers, from their Death, to the Place and State of Happiness, to pre­mise some Propositions; which are,

1. That God by his absolute Power is able to do those things, which in the or­dinary course of Providence, he maketh use of second Causes, to accomplish and bring to pass. What he doth by Means, he can do without any Means; he hath tied us to the use of Means, which he himself is not obliged, thro' any need of them,Exod. 34. 28. 1 King. 19. 8. to make use of. So by his Pow­er he supported Moses and Elias Forty Days, without Eating or Drinking; yet in the ordinary Way of God's Appoint­ment, that we might live, we must both [Page 32] Eat and Drink. Therefore when we speak of the Conveyance of Souls, by the Ministration of Angels, to Abraham's Bosom, it is not to be thought, that he could not do it without them tho' he doth it by them.

2. The Good Pleasure of God is the highest and most satisfying Reason, why he that could safe-guard Souls to Hea­ven, by his own Almighty Power, will have them conveyed thither by the Mi­nistry of his Holy Angels. To the Que­rist, that seeks for Reasons in the most sublime Mysteries of Religion (as Ele­ction, Special Redemption, Effectual Vocation, &c.) why one, and not another, is an Instance of God's Grace; the Answer, That it is God's good Pleasure, is, and ought to be satis­factory; Mat. 11. 25, 26. Eph. 1. 5, 11. and this good Pleasure of God is extend­ed to the Armies of Heaven, as well as to the Inhabitants of the Earth, Dan. 4. 35.

3. God's good Pleasure, in his Govern­ment of Angels and Men, is made known, not only in his Word, but also by the Events of his Providence: In our present Case, Christ relates it as a Mat­ter of Fact done by the Angels, that they did carry the Soul of Lazarus into [Page 33] Abraham's Bosom. Now we know, what Holy Angels do, is God's Pleasure they should do; for they do nothing but what doth please him. That Angels should convey his Soul to Heaven, was God's good Pleasure.

4. As it is God's good Pleasure to give the Kingdom, not to Men, as Men; but as believing, sanctified Men; and so to every one that is such, to one, as well as another: So it is the good Plea­sure of God, that his Holy Angels should convey Souls to this Kingdom, not as Souls, but as believing, sanctified Souls; and so every Soul that is such, one as well as another.

It might be thought by some, that from this Particular Instance, of An­gels carrying Lazarus his Soul to Hea­ven, an universal Conclusion cannot be gathered, that they thus Minister to all other godly separared Souls.

But what may be spoken of one Indi­vidual, under this Reduplication (as such) of any Kind, may be spoken of e­very Individual of the same Kind. As this individual Person (Peter) as a Man, is a rational Creature: Therefore, eve­ry one, that is a Man, is a rational Creature. By which, here I mean the same with Animal Rationale, in Distincti­on [Page 34] on from Angels, it being nothing to my purpose to debate, whether they may be called Rational, as well as Intellectual Creatures.

So this individual Person (Abraham) was Justified, not as a Man, but as a believing Man: Therefore every Man that is a believing Man, is Justified; and thus the Apostle draws an Universal con­cerning all Believers,Rom. 4. 23, 24. from what was written in the particular Case of Abra­ham, as, a Believer; For from a Parti­cular, as such, the Consequence is good to all and every one that is such. Which Axiom is commonly allowed.

In the Matter before us, it is certain, Holy Angels did not carry Lazarus his Soul to Heaven, as a Soul; for then they should carry all Souls thither: But as it was an Holy Soul; and if a Soul as Holy, shall by Angels be conducted to Glory; then every Soul that is Holy, shall be so conveyed also.

5. Angels conveying Holy separated Souls to Heaven, doth not detract any thing from the Glory of God; but doth rather make it the more manifest, and is subservient thereunto. For,

Christ is their only Saviour, Angels their Carriers.

[Page 35] Christ is their Commander herein, they his Servants to do it.

Christ by Angels brings Souls to pos­sess that Happiness, which so many Angels fell from.

Christ, as Mediator, is exalted above those Noble Creatures.

Christ manifests his constant Love to, and Care of the Souls of all Belie­vers, till he puts them into the actual Possession of what he hath purchased for them: Christ came himself from Heaven to procure it, and sends his Angels from Hea­ven to fetch them to it: And this will be made more manifest, by considering the useful Service of the Ministration of Angels, in con­veying Holy Souls into his Pre­sence.

1. The Holy Angels are the Guides of separated Souls, in their Journey to Hea­ven. It is a long Journey from a dying Bed on Earth, to the Heaven of Heavens: The one being distant from the other, some Millions of Miles, and a Way the Soul never went before, and to it, an unbeaten Path; it stands in need of a Guide, to direct it in its Way, which is well known unto the Angels, that have so often gone to and fro, from the [Page 36] one to the other. Many Passengers in a Ship, from hence to the East Indies, thro' the vast and wide Ocean, will need a Pilot to steer their Course, or else might never arrive to their intend­ed and desired Harbour: So the Soul that is to pass through the vast Regions of the fluid Air, in a longer Voyage, (in respect of Distance) will need some to conduct it, that it might not miss its Way. It may be, it goes out of the Bo­dy, not knowing whither it is going, and how then should it know its Way? Therefore God that hath sent his An­gels to direct and prosper the Way of his Servants on a Journey from one Place to another upon Earth, (Gen. 24. 7, 40.) will much more send his Angels to di­rect their Souls, in their Travel from Earth to Heaven.

2. Angels are sent to be the Guard of separated sanctified Souls. They are to pass through the Devils Territories, who is the Prince of the Power of the Air, Eph. 2. 2, 3. where are numerous and powerful unclean Spirits, which are Principalities and Powers, and Spiritu­al Wickednesses in high Places, Eph. 6. 12. These would intercept the Holy Soul, in its Journey Home to Heaven; but Holy Angels are its Guard to con­duct [Page 37] it through the Hosts of Devils, and protect it as it passeth along.

This hath been the frequent Ministra­tion of Angels for the Safety of God's People from their Enemies in this Life: As when Jacob was to meet his Brother Esau, who did resolve to kill him; Gen. 32. 1, 2. Jacob went on his Way, and the Angel of God met him, and he said, this is God's Hosts; and he called the Name of the Place, Mahaniam, i.e. Two Hosts, or Two Camps; the one to go before, the other behind him, or one on the one side, and the other on the other, to keep him safe from Danger every way.

If God send his Angels to guard his Servants in this Life, when in Danger of their Enemies, will he not much more to defend their separated Souls in their Passage to Heaven, when they are to pass through the Air, where Devils do swarm? especially if these Things be considered:

First, When the Host of Devils that the Soul is to pass through, is far more numerous, than Esau's Company against Jacob.

Secondly, When Devils are more impla­cable against the separated Soul, than Esau was against Jacob; for he was re­conciled [Page 38] to him; but Devils never will to Holy Souls.

Thirdly, When Devils are more Pow­erful to act against the separated Soul on its way, than Esau and all his Com­pany were against Jacob, when he was on his Way.

Fourthly, When the Danger at the most, that God's People are in from Wicked Men, is the Life of the Body, but without doubt, such is the Malice of Devils against holy Souls separated from their Bodies on their way to Heaven, that if not defended, they would seize them, to keep them from Eternal Hap­piness in Heaven.

Fifthly, When this is the Last Season they shall ever have to make any At­tempt upon the Holy separated Soul, which when once entered into Heaven's Gates, shall be assaulted no more for Ever.

Tho' the War with Devils, in some Respects, might be over as soon as the Soul is separated from the Body, that it shall be no longer managed by the same Subtilties, alluring Temptations, Fleshly Enticements, evil Suggestions, sensible objective Snares; yet I conceive, in other Respects, the War is not end­ed, till the Soul is safely arrived in [Page 39] Heaven, but is carried on in a different Manner, to what it was in the Body: When in the Body, he assaulted the Soul not by Violence, but Persuasion; out of the Body, he knows it will be in vain to assault by Persuasion, therefore on its Way would seize it by Violence, did not God, by his Angels, powerful­ly preserve it.Exod. 14. 9, 28, 29. For as Pharaoh and his Host pursued the Children of Israel, when they had escaped out of Egypt to the Red Sea, where God opened the Waters to Israel to pass thro', and shut them upon Pharaoh; so Devils will per­sue the Soul to the Gates of Heaven, till God open to the Soul, and shut them against the Soul's Pursuers.

For as there are Principalities and Powers of Hell, that way-lay the sepa­rated Soul; so the Principalities and Powers of Heaven are ready to secure it.Jude V. 9. And if the Devil contended with the Archangel, and the Archangel with the Devil, about the Body of Moses, why should we think there is no War, be­twixt the Principalities of Heaven and Hell, about the Soul on its Way to Hea­ven, or that the Soul is not active in re­sisting the violent Assaults of Devils, in Conjunction with the Holy Angels?

[Page 40] 3. God's Love to, and Care of his Peo­ple is manifested in the Ministration of Angels, in that they are charged to be their Keepers in all their Ways, Psal. 91. 11, 12. Now the Way of Believers is Two-fold, and they are to keep them in both, or else they do not keep them in all.

  • 1. In the Way of their commanded Duty, in this Life.
  • 2. In the Way to their promised Re­ward, and they are in this Way immediately after Death, till they enter into Heaven.

Is it likely God should charge his An­gels with them, to keep them from Dangers, while they keep in the way of Duty, and give them a discharge from keeping them on their way to their Reward? especially when they are in Danger of Devils, not only in the way of their Duty; but also (passing thro' their Territories) on their Way to their Reward, passing from Earth to Hea­ven.

Do not the Angels of the Lord en­camp round about them that fear him, to deliver them? Psal. 34. 7. Do not separated Souls, on their Passage, fear God with an holy, reverential Fear, as well as when they were in their Bodies, [Page 41] and much more, and so have still the Qualification of such as are the Objects of Angels Ministration? Do they now encamp round about them on every side, to deliver them from Danger, while they are liable thereunto, and will they decamp from them on every side, to deliver them no more, tho' sur­rounded with Dangers after Death, till their Souls enter into Heaven?

Especially when their dearest Friends that take care of the Burial of the Body, can be no help to the separated Soul, in its Travel to Heaven. Their Friends and Relations that ministred to them when sick, and on their dying Beds, till the Moment they gave up the Ghost, from that Instant have no more that they can do unto, or for their Souls; no, not so much as by their Prayers for them: And will Angels then forsake them al­so, and afford them no more Help on their way to Heaven, than their Friends, whom they have left behind can do?

4. Holy Angels promote and rejoice at the Conversion of God's Elect, because then they have a Right and Title to Heaven, Luke 15. 7, 10. And will they not be as careful of their compleat Sal­vation, in watching over them till they [Page 42] are put into the actual Possession of their Mansions in Heaven?

5. Christ will use the Ministration of Angels, for the Salvation of all the E­lect, as to their Bodies, as well as their Souls united to them, at his second Com­ing, and will they neglect the Conveying of the separated Soul, while the Body till then, is left behind? Angels shall be Christ's Servants then,

  • 1. In gathering together all the Elect, Mat. 24. 31.
  • 2. In separating between the Righte­ous and the Wicked, and severing the one from the other, Mat. 13. 49.
  • 3. In catching them up to meet the Lord in the Air, 1 Thes. 4. 17. All the Elect that shall then be raised, and found alive, shall be caught up as in the Arms of Angels, to such a Meeting with their Saviour, as after it shall be no parting; for they shall be with the Lord for ever.

Use I. Terrour.

Learn hence, the woful Case of eve­ry impenitent Soul, as soon as separated from the Body: Every finally-unbelie­ving Sinner's dying Day, will be a dole­ful, dreadful, dismal Day: His expi­ring [Page 43] Moment will be the Beginning of such Horror as the Soul was never in be­fore; because that very Moment it shall be seized by Devils, that stand waiting for it, and shall lay hold on it, as raven­ing Wolves, as roaring Lions, as enraged Tygers, leap upon their Prey.

Luke 12. 20. God said unto him, thou Fool, this Night [...] they (that is, Devils) shall demand thy Soul of thee. The word signifies to require ones own, which is his due; with Vehemency to call for it, and to demand it from one, tho' un­willing to give it; yea, as it were, by Force and Violence to wrest it from a­nother, as owing to him. This Fool sinned all Day, and died at Night: He served the Devil all Day, and at Night the Devils came to reckon with him, to pay him his Wages: he took care where to lay his Goods, and the Devils took care where to lodge his Soul at Night; he reckoned of many Years, but he had but that Day; he was for taking of his Ease, but the Devil took him and put him into Little ease; yea, carried him to a Place where he could have no Ease, nor Rest to all Eternity: he was for his Cups, and Company, and Mirth in both; but at Night he had such a bitter Cup, [Page 44] and frightful Company, that spoiled his Mirth and turned it into Mourning.

If one Devil, in some frightful visible Shape, should appear to you in the deep and silent Night, what Terrour would the sight thereof fill you with? Would not such Fear and Trembling come upon you, as would make all your Bones to shake,Job. 4. 14, 15. and make the Hair of your Head stand up, when your Heart and Courage would so fail you, that you your self would be ready to fall down? as when the Discipes saw Christ walking on the Sea, they were troubled, Saying,Mat. 14. 26 it is a Spirit; and they cried out for fear.

Oh then, what Horror will the Sin­ful Soul be filled with, next Moment af­ter Death! Oh, What Fear! What Trembling! What Amazement shall possess it! How may we imagine, with what direful Shriekings it will cry out and say,Who are all these? What Black-Guard is this? What is all this Host I am fallen into, and am surrounded with? I never saw such a sight as this: I have often been in wicked Company, but I never fell into such Company as this. Oh! ye greedy Devils! Ye furious Furies! Ye hasty unclean Spirits! What means your Rage? Whither [Page 45] do ye hurry me? Whither will ye carry me? Carry thee! First, as Jaylors we will car­ry thee as our Prisoner to the Seat of Judg­ment, to be Tried; and being there condemn­ed, next, as Executioners, we will carry thee to the Place of Punishment.

Oh! My woful Case! Oh! My remedi­less Misery! Oh! My hopeless State! Are these the Devils I did please? Are these they I did so daily serve, so readily yield un­to? They could not in my Body have forced me to Sin; but now, just out of the Body, they do, they do, oh, what shall I do? they do force me to the Place of Torment to suffer for my Sin. Wo is me! Is there no Hope? Alas for me! Is there none to help? Is there no escaping out of these Hands, I am so suddenly fallen into? Oh, that Death had killed me, as it hath my Body, from whence now I am turned out! Oh, that I were without Life and Sense, as now my Body is! My earthly Friends are mourning, weeping, and groaning, over my Breathless▪ Carcass; and these Hellish Fiends are rejoicing that I am come from those to them. My Friends are mourning because they have lost me; and these tormenting Devils are glad that they have found me: Men on Earth are not in such haste to carry my Body to the Grave, as these Devils are to carry me to Hell. Oh, Cursed Caitiff that I am! What Difference [Page 46] hath one Hour made? What a miserable de­ceived Wretch was I, when in the Body, and how convinced of my Self-deceiving Flattery, as soon as separated from my Body?

When in the Body, I did think all would be well, as soon as cut of the Body, I am sure, woe is me, all will be woe.

When in the Body I was amongst my Friends, as soon as out of the Body, I am amongst mine Enemies.

When in the Body, I did dream of being Happy; as soon as out of the Body, I saw it was but a Dream.

When in the Body, I did hope, and till I parted from my Body, I would not I did not part from my Hope, that I should be carried into Heaven; but as soon as I parted from my Body, I parted from my Hope, and my Hope from me; for these infernal Spirits are carrying me to Hell, and I cannot, fain I would, but cannot any longer hope for Heaven.

When in the Body, the Devil and Sin did blind mine Eyes, that I could not see the sandy Foundation, on which I built my Expectation of Happiness in the Highest Heavens; but as soon as Death and Friends had closed the Eyes of my Body, then the Eyes of my [Page 47] Mind were opened, to see all my Build­ing on that rotten Foundation is gone to Ruine, and I am going in this Company to the Lowest Hell.

Such-like bitter Cries, such self-la­menting Groans, we may conceive the separated sinful Soul to utter, as it is on its way in the Company of Devils to the Place of Outer-darkness; where there shall be Weeping and Wailing for Ever.

Yet if we consider the Circumstances that will farther aggravate the Sorrow of the Soul, in its Journey to the Lake of Brimstone, arising from the Company of unclean Spirits, that are dragging it along to the Place of Torment, which the distressed unsanctified Soul shall be apprehensive and sensible of, it will pass our Thoughts to conceive, and our Words to express how great its Horror will be, and what Fear and Trembling it will be filled with, when it shall find these Carriers of it to Hell, to be,

1. ExceedingPowerful and Strong, that the seized Soul is not able so to resist as to rescue it self out of their Hands. Their Strength is signified by their Names, be­ing called Principalities and Powers,Eph. 6. 12. and known by the Effects [Page 48] which they have done, in such as have been possessed; as we read of one,Mar. 5. 3, 4. That no Man could bind him, no not with Chains; because that he had been often bound with Fetters and Chains, and the Chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the Fetters broken in pieces: Neither could any Man tame him. How then will this add to the Misery of the Soul seized by them, when, tho' it struggle, it can­not get free; tho' it strive, it is to no purpose; tho' it resist, it cannot pre­vail?O Miserable Wretch that I am! when I was in the Body, I should have resisted their Temptations, and might; now I would their Power, but cannot. I should have withstood their enticing Persuasions, but did not, I could, but would not; now I would withstand their Force and Violence, but I cannot, fain I wou'd, but woe is me, I cannot: I must along with these dragging Devils; I would not, but I must, for they are stronger than I.

2. This will aggravate the Evil of his Passage, in that the Company of Devils isso Numerous: ALegion of unclean Spi­rits possessed one Man's Body,Mar. 5. 9. and will not a Legion of them be as ready to seize one Soul? Which, when the separated Soul perceives, enquires,Why so many? Why so many to one? Why [Page 49] so many so strong, to one so weak? Are all of one Mind? Are ye all agreed to hurry me to Hell? Is there not one amongst you all will stand my Friend? Not one to take my Part, to be on my Side? Alas for me! Tho' they are many, they are as one. How strange is this! that a Legion of Devils should be so unanimous in my Ruine, that all are called by one Name, as if many were one!As the Devil that possessed a Man, being asked, what is thy Name? he answered, say­ing, Mar. 5. 9. My Name isLegion, for we are many.Never was a poor Debter on Earth, carried to Prison by the Joint-consent and One-will of many Serjeants; as I poor Debter, am carried to the Prison and Dun­geon of Hell, by the Joint-consent and One-will of many Devils.

3. This will aggravate the Sorrow, the Soul in its Passage to its long and doleful Home will be filled with, That these Carriers are so swift and active in their Motion: which will increase the Hor­ror of the Soul in its way, upon these Accounts:

First, Because by flight it cannot escape from them. When we cannot resist an Enemy by the Strength of our Arm, yet we may escape by the Swiftness of our Feet: When we cannot get the Victory by Fighting, we might prevent our Cap­tivity [Page 50] by Running. But this will give no Relief to the separated sinful Soul, be­cause evil Spirits are such agile, swift, and active Creatures, that move so fast, that the Soul cannot be more speedy than they: Tho' Holy Angels, as they are stronger, so they are swifter than A­postate Spirits, being more able, ready and speedy to protect and defend us, than Fallen Angels are to hurt and de­stroy us;Isay. 6. 2. 6. and therefore the Good are said to have Wings, (which, as I remem­ber, is not spoken of the Bad); yet these Infernal Spirits are so much speedier in their Motion, than the Soul, that it can have no Hope of preventing their transporting of it from the dying Bed, to its Lodging in the Flames of Hell.

Secondly, Because by them it will be broughtso soon to the Place of Torment. Men on Earth sin so much, swear so fast, and run in the Ways of Wicked­ness, as tho' they could not get to Hellsure enough, norsoon enough: But when they have done sinning upon Earth, and are on their Way to their Eternal Miserable State, they will think Devils put them ontoo fast, and carry them with too much speed▪ to that Place where their Entertainment will be so bad. We may imagine the separated [Page 51] Soul, in the Devil's Arms, to lament it self, sayingWhat! Is my Journey like to be so short, when my Journey's End will be so bad? Am I going whither I would not, and yet do these Carriers make such haste? must I thus be posted to such grievous Tor­ments, whence I shall never be delivered? Tho' the Way be so uncomfortable; yet the Place will be so much more, when I come thither; therefore let me move more slowly to it: Tho' I have an Hell within me, on my way to Hell; yet, O that it might be a Thousand Years before I enter into it! but I wish in vain; for this swift Motion will quickly bring me to it.

4. TheInsultings of the Devils over theirPrisoner, will aggravate its Misery on the Way to Hell; when, as they carry it along, shall reproach it to this purpose,Here is the Fool we took captive at our Pleasure! Here is the Soul that had no more Wit than to stop his Ears to the Calls of Mercy, to the Offers of Grace, to the Tenders of a Saviour, to the Commands of God: God called him to repent, but he would not; God commanded him to believe, but he did not: We persuaded him to sin, and he did; we enticed him, and he con­sented; we suggested, and he yielded. We have him, we have him; away with him, away with him; he is condemned, make [Page 52] haste, away with him to the Place of Exe­cution: We led him with a String, we drew him with a single Thread, when in the Bo­dy, whither we listed, but now we have him in Chains, to drag him to the Place whi­ther he is unwilling to go. Come along.Oh, not so fast!Come along, make speed.Oh! not so swift, I shall be there too soon!Too soon! thou art expected, thou art waited for, make haste and come away.

5. Moreover, theMerciless Nature of the Devils, will add to the Amazement of the Soul in his Passage to the Place where it shall find no Mercy. As the Damn'd in Hell cry out for Mercy, for a small Measure of Mercy, as may be in a Drop of Water, Luke 16. 24, 25. and no Mercy shall be shewn to them: so the separated Soul on its Way thither, tho' it cry to its Transporters for the least Favour, shall find none. Might not we suppose it to cry out and say,What! Will nothing serve you but my Ruine! will nothing please you but my Damnation! Will nothing satisfy you, but that Ibe made as misera­ble as your selves! have Pity upon me, if ye have any Pity in you, have Pity upon me! All I have, I would give, that I may find some Mercy from you. Thou silly Soul! Thou hast nothing left to offer unto us, to [Page 53] spare thee, or to shew any Kindness to thee, that we should let thee go: Death hath stripped thee of all, and thou art fallen na­ked into our Hands: But it was thy self and not thy Money we desired: Thy Friends have got thy Money, and did let thee go, but we have gotten thee, and will not let thee go. Oh miserable Soul that I am! Did I serve you so constantly, so heartily, so chearfully, when in my Body; and do ye serve me so cruelly, so unkindly, so unmercifully, as soon as I am separated from my Body! Is there none to whom I might look for a little Mercy? Is there none in whom I might hope for help and Succour, in this distressed Case that I am in? Let me turn mine Eyes eve­ry way, if I may see any hope of Help, when this Company I am fallen into, will afford me none.

First, If I look back to those my Friends, that loved me dearly, that ministred to me constantly, Night and Day, while I was with them; that parted with me with weeping Eyes, with wringing Hands, with sorrowful Hearts, cannot they relieve me? Cannot they give As­sistance to me? When I was with them, they did Comfort me; when I was Sick, they gave me Cordials; when I was in Pain, they did turn me, hoping I might have Ease; when I was afraid to Die, [Page 54] they spake Words of Comfort to me. But now, Woe is me! being separated from my Body, I am out of their reach, I am past their Help, I am no more ca­pable of receiving,Psal. 49. 7, 8. nor they of afford­ing any Benefit unto me. They are in Time, I am entred into Eternity; they are in one World, I am now in another, and there is no Converse I can have with them, and there is no Kindness they can shew to me.

Besides, they might be ignorant of my Case, they might not know what Com­pany I am fallen into, nor what is the way that I am going: Nay, they might be deceived, thinking I am travelling to Heaven; when, alas! I find I am posting to Hell: Supposing the Holy Angels of God are carrying me to Glo­ry; and therefore say, Our Loss is his Gain: While we are left in Trouble, he is going to his Eternal Rest: and so they do not so much as pity my Case; and tho' they are weeping over my dead Body, yet they do not Mourn because of the Misery that I am in, when they imagine I am on the Way to Happi­ness, tho' I find, I know, I am sure I am on the Road that leadeth to Eternal Darkness.

Secondly, Tho' these Devils of Hell [Page 55] that seized me, are merciless Devils, yet the God of Heaven is a merciful God, may I look up to him, and cry, Most Merciful Lord, behold my Misery, be­hold my deep Distress; behold me, if ever, now behold me and have Compas­sion on me! See whither this Troop, this Host of Internal Spirits are carrying me; Stop them, oh! stop them in their Way! or, if they will, and must to Hell, let not me go with them: Rescue, O rescue me out of their Hands, while on the Way; for if I enter thro' the Gates of Hell, and they be shut upon me, there will be no coming back for Ever: no Hope, no Help for Ever.

But alas! Woe is me! I call in vain, I Cry in vain, my Petition is in vain: Devils now can tell me, and Conscience now doth tell me, it is too late, and as they do tell me, so I find that now it is too late, if I had begged sooner, I might have speeded better: Mercy once, yea often begged of me, and I would not accept of Mercy: now I beg, and cry, and call for Mercy, and the God of Mercy doth deny me Mercy. Mercy hath done with me, and Patience hath done with me, and Grace will have no more to do with me; but Wrath will, and Vengeance will, and Justice hath and [Page 56] will have to do with me for Ever; God is now inexorable, his Wrath is now im­placable, his Anger against me, is never to be appeas'd.Mat. 5. 25, 26. The Adversaries have haled me to the Judge, the Judge hath delivered me to these Officers, that have their Commission from him to cast me into Prison, to which I am now on my way; from which I shall never return, till I shall pay the uttermost Farthing, which will never be. The Merciful God hath sealed their Warrant to apprehend me, and they have served it upon me, and to carry me to the Place of Execu­tion, and I am with them upon my Way unto it, without all Hope of Re­prieve, or Pardon.

Thirdly, May I not with better hope look unto Christ, that he that is the Way to Heaven might pity me, and stop me in my Way to Hell. It was he that came down from the highest Hea­ven, to prevent Sinners going down to the lowest Hell. It was he that was Ta­ken, Arraigned, Accused, Condemn­ed and Crucified, that Sinners might be released, discharged, and acquitted from the Guilt and Punishment of Sin. It was he that delivered Men that were possessed with Devils, rebuked them and cast them out, and freed them from [Page 57] their Power. O that Christ would Pi­ty me! O that he would have Mercy on me! O that he would shew some Bowels of Compassion to me, now, even now, before I am actually lodged in the Flames of Hell!

But this Cry, Poor Wretch that I am! this calling also is in vain; for he did not die to save Finally-impenitent Sin­ners, and cursed I was such an one: He did not design to save such Souls that left their Bodies, Unbelieving and Unsancti­fied; and yet I did so, cursed Caitiff! I did so. He would have stopped me in my Course and Way of Sin, but I would and did go forward; and now he will not stop me on my Way to Hell, but I must go forwards.

Fourthly, It will be much more vain for me, seized by these Evil Angels, to look to the Holy Angels of God for Suc­cour and Relief: For they are Mini­string Spirits for the Heirs of Salvation, but I am an Heir of Hell: They are his Servants to execute his Will against the Servants of Sin and Satan, and such an one I was, all the time of my Life of Trial:Gen. 3. 24. As they stood with flaming Swords, which turned every Way, to keep fallen Man from the Tree of Life, so they stand, as set by God, with Fla­ming [Page 58] Swords, turning every Way, to keep unsanctified Souls from entring a­ny Way into Eternal Blessed Life. Nay, they are to gather out of his Kingdom such as work Iniquity,Mat. 13. 41, 42. and to cast them into the Furnace of Fire.

Fifthly, Still will it be in vain for me on my Way to Hell, to look to Holy Souls lodged in Heaven; as it was for the Rich Man in Torments, to look to Abraham and Lazarus in Glory. My Friends (when I and they did live on Earth) did often reprove, exhort, and counsel me, did then pity me, and mourn over me, because they saw me walk in the Ways of Sin, and longed for my Conversion and turning unto God; they died before me, and were carried by Angels into Abraham's Bosom, after­wards I also was separated from my Bo­dy, and Devils are carrying me to Eter­nal Torments, which they in Heaven do not know, or if they do, they are so far from pitying of me, that they rejoice in the Righteous Judgments of God up­on all his implacable Enemies, how near soever they were related to them.

If I then on my Passage to my dole­ful Home, am such a forsaken Soul, for­saken of God, forsaken of Christ, forsa­ken of all in Heaven and on Earth, and [Page 59] am surprized by this Host of Devils, there is no hope, the Way is bad, the End will be worse, without End: O forlorn! forlorn! What a forlorn Soul am I! I and all my Friends are separated; my Body and I am separated; my Hopes and I am separated; my Body is left to be Meat for Worms, and I am taken as a Prey to Devils; my Body will be car­ried by Men to a cold Grave, and I am carrying by Devils to an hot Hell, ex­ceeding hot, where my Pain will be ex­treme, intollerable, and eternal.

Use II. Comfort.

That Angels are the Convoy of the Soul on its Passage to Glory, admini­sters Comfort to all those that are Heirs of Salvation.1 Cor. 2. 9. God hath not only prepared such things for us in Heaven, which Eye hath not seen nor Ear heard, nor can we now conceive how great and Glorious they are; set forth by a Kingdom, Mat. 25. 34 Jam. 1. 12. Col. 1. 12. John 14. 2. 2 Cor. 5. 1. 2 Cor. 4. 17. a Crown, an In­heritance, Mansions in our Father's House, a Paradise, a City that hath Foundations, an House not made with Hands, a Weight of Glory, Incorruptible Treasures, &c. But hath also secured our Way unto them, by the Ministration of his Angels, who [Page 60] are to conduct our separated Souls to the actual Possession of them.

I shall amplify this for our greater Delight and Joy in the Fore thoughts of it, by such Considerations that do by immediate and necessary Consequence flow from the Convoy of Angels recei­ving the Souls of Believers, at their Dis­solution, wherever they die, and trans­porting them into the immediate glori­ous Presence of God in the Highest Heavens, where when once lodg'd they will be happy for ever.

  • 1. The Excellency of their Company from Earth to Heaven.
  • 2. Their Safety in their Passage from the one to the other.
  • 3. Their Dignity before they are actu­ally glorified in Heaven,
  • 4. Their Celerity and speedy Motion, from and to such distant Places.
  • 5. The Exultancies of Joy, both of the Transporters and the Passengers, at their Arrival at the Haven of Happi­ness.

1. The Excellency of the Company the gracious separated Soul is immediately re­ceived into, doth cause abundant Delight and Joy unto it. The Difference of the Com­pany it had while in the Body, and hath [Page 61] as soon as out of the Body, doth present­ly shew it is got into another State, in­to a New World. It had often heard of the Heavenly Principalities and Powers,Mat. 28. 2, 3, 4. Luke 1. 12. but they never appeared unto it before. Angels are such glorious Creatures, that in this mortal State, we could not with­out Fear, Amazement and Trembling bear their appearing unto us. But when the Gracious Soul is out of the Body, the Presence, Company, and Vision of Glorious Angels shall transport it with Joy, and fill it with great Delight.

Tho' we cannot tell the Names of Angels that shall be sent to convey our Souls to Heaven (there being but one Proper Name in Sacred Scripture attri­buted to a Created Angel, viz. Gabriel, Dan. 8. 16. and 9. 21. Luke 1. 19, 26. which signifieth a strong Man of God, and might be a common Name to any An­gel sent by God upon any special Mes­sage, for every one is a strong Man of God) yet the Titles and Properties ascribed to them all, are sufficient Grounds of Satisfaction to us, whoever of them shall be commissioned by God, to Conduct us to the blessed State a­bove.

Twice we read of an Archangel, 1 Thes. 4. 16. Jude V. 9. which is Michael, sig­nifying, [Page 62] who as God, or who is equal to God; to be understood of Christ, the Son of God, the only uncreated Angel, for it pleased God to send his Son as his Messenger to declare to Men his Holy Will, and is often, in Scripture, called an Angel, and he is that Archangel, who is the Head of all Principalities and Pow­ers, Col. 2. 20. and all the other are his Servants and Attendants.

How much the separated Soul (being then made perfect in Holiness) will be delighted with the Sight and Know­ledge of this new Company, sent to con­vey it to Glory, we might apprehend by Titles given to them, setting forth the excellency of them.

  • 1. This Convoy sent for it, are Holy Ones: In Holiness they were at first cre­ated, and their Holiness they still retain, persevering in it, Dan. 4. 13. 17. and often called, Holy Angels, Mat. 8. 28. and 25. 31.
  • 2. They are Men of God, assuming the Shape of Men, when sent to Men by God, Judg. 13. 6, 9.
  • 3. They are Sons of God, having still the Likeness of God, in which they were at first produced, Job. 1. 6.
  • [Page 63] 4. They are stiled Gods; not that God that is Jehovah, but such Gods as are called Elohim, Psal. 8. 5. comp. Psal. 97. 7.
  • 5. They are God's Host, Gen. 32. 2. by these God doth protect his People.
  • 6. They are twice called Seraphims, be­cause of their burning Zeal for God's Glory, in executing of his Commands, Isa. 6. 2, 6.
  • 7. They are called Cherubims,
    Gen. 3. 24. Col. 1. 16.
    Thrones, Dominions, Principalities and Powers, im­plying their Vigour, Dignity, Govern­ment under God, over Things and Per­sons in this World, and the Right they have to the Government they take upon them.

Who can tell the Greetings, the Salu­tations betwixt these Glorious Angels and the Gracious Soul, at their first Meeting, after its Separation from the Body? All Hail, O Blessed Soul! Hast thou fought a good Fight? We are come to carry thee in Triumph. Hast thou run thy Race? We are appointed to fetch thee to thy incorruptible Crown. Hast thou finished thy Course? We are sent to conduct thee to thy Eternal Rest. The Soul might be conceived to reply, what Joy am I filled with at this your Salutation! O ye Holy Ones, how [Page 64] glad am I to see you? ye Men of God, ye Sons of God, how do I rejoice to meet you? Are the Gods, the Host of God, come to guard me on my way to Glory? Are these Seraphims flaming with Zeal for God, burning in Love to me, come to take me newly separated from my Body, to convey me to my Mansion in my Father's House? Are these Cherubims, Thrones, Dominions, Principalities and Powers come to de­fend me from the Principalities and Powers of Hell, and from the Spiritual Wickednesses in high Places, through whose Territories I am to pass, unto the Place and Happiness purchased, promi­sed and prepared for me? O how glad am I of your Company in this long Journey I am to go! How am I rejoi­ced I shall have your Conduct in this Way I never went before?

And Blessed, for ever Blessed be my God, that hath sent his Angels to be my Guide and Guard. I must Praise him, I must Praise him before I get to Hea­ven, who hath sent such a glorious Train to lead me to it: This is the Host of that God that I did love, and serve, and Trust and hope in: This is the Army of that God of Heaven, to whom I com­mitted my self, and resigned my self, [Page 65] when I was parting with my Body on my dying Bed: He hath not forgot me, nor his Promises that he made unto me: when my Father, my Mother, and all my Friends forsook me, because they could go no further with me, he hath sent his Angels to take me up. O the Difference betwixt the Company that I have lest, and this which I have found!

In the Body I was in Company with sinful Men, which were my Grief; out of the Body I am in Compa­ny with Holy Angels, which is my Joy.

In the Body I did converse with im­perfect Saints; now out of the Bo­dy, with pure, spotless Angels.

In the Body I was with mourning Friends; out of the Body, with tri­umphing Angels.

In the Body I was with weak, tho' loving Relations, that would have helped me, but they could not; out of the Body I am with these Angels that both can and will.

In the Body, on my dying Bed, I was with a few that watched with me Night and Day, till I had made them almost weary; but now, out of the Body, I have ma­ny Holy ones sent from Heaven, [Page 66] to watch me on my way unto that Place, where they and I never shall be weary.

O Blessed Company! O Blessed change of Company! I never was on such a Journey before; I never was in such Company on any Journey before; I never found such Pleasure in any Way I went, in any Company I was ever in before; and sure the Place I am going to, I shall find to be such, as I was ne­ver in before. Come, put on.

II.The Safety of the separated Soul by the Convoy of Angels, will increase its Joy on its Way to Glory. It shall be presently freed from all Fears of Danger.

In the Body it was not without its Fears: Fears from without and within; from above and below: many Fears it was filled with.

1. From a Tempting Devil, that on his dying Bed endeavoured to di­sturb his Peace, suggesting evil Thoughts, representing the Evil of his Sin, multiplying and magni­fying them by the Aggravations that did accompany them.

2. From In-dwelling Sin; there being the Remains of Sin abiding in his heart. I fear what this hard, un­believing [Page 67] Heart will expose me to.

3. From the Imperfection and Weakness of his Grace. I fear I do not love God; I fear God loves not me; I fear I am not sincere; I am a­fraid all my Duties have been done in Hypocrisy, and that I have not walked before God with an Up­right Heart.

4. From approaching Death. Possest with Fear about the Pains and Pangs of Death, how to bear them, and go thro' them; about his rea­diness and preparedness for Death; about his Meetness for a Participa­tion of the Inheritance of the Saints in Light.

5. And therefore from the Want of his Evidences of his Title to Heaven, and Assurance of Salvation: For which Cause the departing Soul was filled with trembling, perceiving it could not continue much longer in the Body, and yet afraid to leave it, saying, what if I should be decei­ved? What if I should make an Error in my Death about my Eter­nal State? What if, while I am in the Body, I should suppose that I have the Truth of Grace, and when out of the Body find that I had [Page 68] none? This makes me afraid to think of Heaven, least I should miss of it, or of Hell, least I should be doomed to it.

But as soon as the Gracious Soul is se­parated from its Body, and beholds the Chariot and Horses which God hath sent for him, all his Doubts are imme­diately resolved, and all his Fears pre­sently expelled, and the Clouds that in­tercepted the Light of God's Counte­nance from him, are forthwith scattered and dispersed.

Now the Safety of the gracious sepa­rated Soul, and its Freedom from all Fears of Danger on its Travil to Heaven, by reason of this Angelical Convoy, will appear by these Circum­stances, or rather Qualifications of the Messengers sent for it.

First, Because the Soul is guarded with such powerful Angels. Evil Angels that will endeavour to way lay the Soul are strong and powerful Spirits; but the Holy Angels that are to defend it on its way, are stronger and more pow­erful than they; not only in themselves, compared with the other, but also be­cause Evil Angels oppose the Soul in their own Strength, by meer Permission, without Assistance from God; but Ho­ly [Page 69] Angels act not only by that Power they are indued with from God, but also by Commission and Assistance from him; and therefore when we read of a­ny Fight and Conflict between the Bad and Holy Angels, the Good always over­came; because Christ, who is that Mi­chael, is the Lord General of the Hea­venly Host, and they fight under his Banner, and he that is the Captain of our Salvation, is the Captain, Leader, and Commander in Chief of this Hea­venly Army: Rev. 12. 7, 8. And there was War in Heaven, Michael and his Angels fought against the Dragon, and the Dragon fought and his Angels, and prevail­ed not, neither was there Place sound any more in Heaven. 9. And the great Dra­gon was cast out, that old Serpent, called, the Devil and Satan, which deceiveth the whole World; he was cast out into the Earth, and his Angels were cast out with him, Rev. 20. 1. I saw an Angel come down from Heaven, having the Key of the Bottomless Pit, and a great Chain in his Hand. 2. And he laid hold on the Dra­gon, that old Serpent, which is the Devil and Satan, and bound him a Thousand Years. 3. And cast him into the bottomless Pit, and set a Seal upon him, that he should de­ceive the Nations no more. Thus the [Page 70] Holy Angels are celebrated for their Power, being mighty Angels, 2 Thes. 1. 7. and do excel in Strength, Psal. 103. 20. Their Power, under God, is the Soul's Safety, on its Way from Earth to Heaven.

Secondly, The Soul by this Convoy is safe, because conducted by such knowing Angels: Evil Angels, though they have lost all that Holiness they were at first created with, yet they re­tain great Measures of Knowledge, therefore we read of the Subtilty,2 Cor. 11. 3. 2 Cor. 2. 11. Eph. 6. 11. of the Stratagems and Devices of the Devil; yet the Holy Holy Angels are more know­ing than they, for when Devils are cast out, the good Angels do always behold the Face of God in Heaven, Mat. 18. 10. So that God revealing his Will to them about any Matter, Message, or Person, they readily know, and as readi­ly execute what he reveals to them to be his Will to be done by them. As to our present Purpose, by God's Revelati­on to them:

  • 1. They know those that are sincere­ly Holy; for they rejoice at their Conversion.
  • 2. They know when any Believer is dissolved by Death, and when his Soul is separated from his Body; [Page 71] else how should they know when to come for it?
  • 3. They know where any Believer dies, at home or abroad, on his Bed or in the Field, by Land or Sea; else how should they know where to come for it?
  • 4. They know the Soul separated, which is the Soul of a sanctified Man, and which of one unholy; else how should they know which to take, and which to leave; which to car­ry to Heaven, and which to leave to Devils to be carried to Hell; and here (thro' Divine Revelation) they never make any Mistake.
  • 5. They know the Way from any part of this World, to the blessed World above, by their often coming and going, and never miss their Way.

All which laid together, shews the Safety of Believers Souls, wherever they live, wherever they die, whoever they be, that there is no fear that they should not be found by the ministring Angels, or that finding them at Death, they should lose their Way to Heaven. So that the separated Soul at the first Ap­pearance of Angels to it, will see the Love and Care of God concerning it, and with admiring Thoughts thereof, [Page 72] may say, hath God made known to you the Place where I did leave my Body, and the very Moment when I parted from it, and that I was sincere in Heart to God, and gave you charge to come and guide me in my Way, unto his Glorious Presence; how chearfully will I go with you? knowing that by your Power, under God, I shall not be seized by evil Spirits, and by your Skill I shall not lose my Way.

Thirdly, The separated Soul, by An­gels Ministration, is safe, because con­voyed by such faithful Angels, that are always true to their Trust. If a Man be on a Journey in Company that is able to protect him, and skilful to direct him, yet if any in the Company be unfaith­ful, they may betray him; but here can be no Danger, nor Ground of Fear in respect of this Convoy.

  • 1. Else Holy Angels would not be faithful to God the Father, in be­traying any one Soul chosen by him to Eternal Life.
  • 2. Nor to God the Son, in losing any whom he hath redeemed and pur­chased by his most precious Blood.
  • 3. Nor to the Holy Spirit of God, by dropping any by the Way, which by the special Operation of his powerful Grace, he hath prepared [Page 73] and made meet for Glory, and had given to them the Pledge and Ear­nest thereof.
  • 4. Nor to the Soul committed to their Charge to bring to Heaven; for wherein could greater Unfaithful­ness to it be shewn, than in what concerns its Eternal State.
  • 5. Nor to their own Office or Com­mission to them, without fail to conduct such an one to the Hap­piness of Heaven.

Such Unfaithfulness is inconsistent with the Perfection and spotless Purity of Holy Angels, which being confirm­ed, cannot at any time fall into the least Error or Miscarriage, for then would they cease to be Holy Angels.

What Joy then is this to the separated Soul, that hath such a Convoy sent for it, as shall not indanger it by Weakness or want of Power, by Ignorance or want of Skill in the Way, or by Un­faithfulness or want of Fidelity to their Trust: O how happy am I on my Way to Happiness! How sure am I my Way will be prosperous! How certain is it I shall get safely thither!

Fourthly, The gracious separated Soul will be safe, because transported by such zealous Angels,Isay. 6. 2, 6. therefore called Seraphims, [Page 74] because they have a burning Zeal in executing all that God gives them a Charge to do. Devils are furious, en­vious and malicious, and are bent to de­stroy, devour and damn as many as they can, by watching, by walking to and fro throughout the Earth,Job 1. 7. 1 Pet. 5. 8. by tempting, and at last by dragging Souls to Hell, when separated from their Bodies. The Holy Angels are more for God's Glory, the Interest of Christ, the Good of Souls, than Devils are against them, for I sup­pose the Holy Angels do more exceed in Goodness, than evil Angels, as bad as they are, are filled with Wickedness: For in Devils there is something Mate­rially Good (besides their Being) tho' it may be Formally or Circumstantially Evil, as much of their Knowledge: but in Ho­ly Angels there is nothing that is Mate­rially or Circumstantially Evil.

Therefore the Holy separated Soul re­ceived into the Company of Holy An­gels, on its Way to Heaven, may delight it self and say, While in the Body, I was assaulted with Satans Temptations, De­vils did endeavour to persuade me to sin; but whatsoever Violence they may now assault me with, they shall no more with any Hopes entice me from my God, and the good Company I am in will de­fend [Page 75] me from them. What Zeal do these Holy ones shew in protecting of me? What burning Love do I feel in their Embracements? What Indignati­on and Anger do they discover, as I go along, against any evil Spirits appear­ing to endanger me? What Assaults the Spiritual Wickednesses have made, my Convoy hath secured me from: when they did draw near, these did beat them back: they are repulsed; and I, surround­ed with these, go safely on.

Fifthly, The gracious separated Soul will be safe, because defended by nume­rous Angels. Whether more Angels re­volted than are confirmed, is not needful to enquire: sure we are, there are mul­titudes of Thousands that did never sin, but retain their Integrity, Dan. 7. 10. A thousand thousands ministred unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousands stood before him. Rev. 5. 11. And I beheld, and I heard the Voice of many Angels round a­bout the Throne, and the Beasts and the El­ders, and the Number of them was ten thou­sand times ten thousands, and thousands of thousands. So many that they are innu­merable, Heb. 12. 22.

How many Angels may be sent to convey one particular Soul, is more than I do know: But we may be sure of this, [Page 76] that a Guard of so many shall be employ­ed, as is sufficient to protect it against all the Principalities and Powers of Hell; so that the Soul might pass with­out fear of Danger, and say, This Num­ber God hath sent, will see me safe in Heaven; for every one of them is Migh­ty, Powerful, every one is Knowing and skilful in the Way, and every one is Faithful to his Trust,2. King. 6. 16. 17. every one is Zea­lous for God's Glory in my Salvation, and mine Eyes being opened, I see there is more for me than against me.

III. The Convoy of Angels shews us the Dignity and Honour that God puts upon the separated Soul. Lazarus was much despised, slighted and neglected, when Body and Soul remained united, and whatsoever Contempt his dead Bo­dy was exposed to, his separated Soul was honoured with the Company of An­gels. Strange Change! one while lying amongst the Dogs, and another while carried by Angels: It's said, the Romans, after their Victories, in their Triumphs had their Charriots drawn sometimes with Elephants, sometimes with nimble­footed Jennets, sometimes with Pyde Horses; and Amasis, King of Egypt, had his Chariot drawn with Four Kings, [Page 77] whom he had conquered. But the Soul of a Believer is carried in greater Tri­umph by Angels into Heaven.

When the King askedHaman, what shall be done to the Man whom the King delighteth to Honour, he (suppo­sing it should be himself) said,Let the Royal Apparel be brought, which the King useth to wear, and the Horse that the King rideth upon, and the Crown Royal which is set upon his Head, and let this Apparel and Horse be delivered to the Hand of one of the King's most Noble Princes, that they may aray the Man withal, whom the King de­lighteth to Honour, and bring him on Horse­back through the Street of the City, and proclaim before him, thus shall it be done to the Man whom the King delighteth to Ho­nour, Esth. 6. 6, to 12.

Tho' we cannot see the Soul when it leaves the Body, nor the Guard of An­gels standing ready to receive it, nor hear the Songs of Triumph as they pass along, yet we may conceive what is pro­claimed (if not verbally, yet really in the thing done) in the Heavenly Host, as they pass through the Air, Thus shall it be done to the Soul, whom the King of Glory delighteth to Honour.

[Page 78] We may also imagin how the Soul it self is transported with Joy, and beats its Part in those Triumphant Songs, and is revived more than Jacob's fainting Heart was, when his Sons told him all the Words of Joseph, and when he saw the Wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him,Gen. 45. 27. so when the Soul seeth the Chariots that God hath sent to carry it to Jesus, is comforted and filled with Admiration, saying, I have lived hi­therto in a strange Land, where God did set me to be prepared for a State of Glory▪ to be taught and instructed in Christ's School, by his appointed Or­dinances, to be made meet to be a Par­taker of the Inheritance of the Saints in Light: I have been a Pilgrim and a So­journer in the lower World, where I dwelt in an Earthly Tabernacle and Cottage of Clay, where I looked for a City which hath Foundations, whose Maker and Builder is God; and now my Father hath sent, lo, what Glorious Angels he hath sent to fetch me home, to possess the Mansion prepared for me in his own House, and stately Palace in the highest Heavens: I am going to a better Country than ever yet I was in: I am on my Way to my Eternal Blessed [Page 79] Home, and with what Honour am I conducted thither? For

The Noblest of God's Creatures are sent by him to fetch me to his Glorious Presence, to the Place of Light, and Life, and Love.

The Courtiers of Heaven, are my At­tendants thither.

These Favourites of the great King are come to lead me to his Palace, and to introduce me (under Christ) into his Presence.

These Morning Stars are to go before me (which make me to rejoice with exceeding great Joy) these are to go before me to guide me to the Place where Jesus is (not lying in a Manger, but) sitting on his Throne at the Right Hand of the Majesty on high.

These that are to God, what Gentle­men of the Bed chamber are, to Earth­ly Kings are come down to fetch me up. Never had an (unbelie­ving) Earthly King such a Life­guard as this; nor such Attendants to wait upon him or to minister to him: All his Lords and Nobles and Captains, are far inferior to these Angels, and it is the great God's good Pleasure, that it should [Page 80] be done thus, to all the Souls whom he delighteth to honour.

IV. The Celerity and speedy Passage of the separated Soul, from Earth to Heaven, is evidenced by its being car­ried by Angels from the one Place to the other: Tho' the Distance from this Earth to the highest Heaven, is concei­ved to be Millions of Miles, and a fur­ther Voyage than from any part in this lower World, to another most remote, in point of Distance; yet the Passage is not so long, in respect of time, tho' the Way be long between the Term from which, and the Term to which the Soul is carried; yet it is not long the Soul is passing through the intermediate Di­stance, because it is helped by the spe­dy Motion of the Angels; which, that we may the better conceive, let us con­sider,

1. The Motion of Angels from Hea­ven to Earth, and back again, cannot be but through the Intermediate Distance of the one from the other: For the Con­tinuity of Angels Motion is not to be ta­ken only from the Continuity of the Du­ration (while they move) but also from the Continuity of the Space through which they remove.

[Page 81] 2. The Motion of Angels from such distant Extreams as Heaven and Earth, cannot be properly and strictly an instan­taneous Motion. When an Angel is actu­ally in Heaven, the Term from which, it is only potentially on Earth, the Term to which: Now if an Angel could move in one indivisible instant, from one to the other, it would be in Heaven and on Earth at the same Instant, and so in the same Moment it would be actually in both the extream Terms, when he was only actually in the one, and potential­ly in the other, which is to say, he is actually in one, and not in the other in the same Moment, and yet in the same Moment he is in both, which is a Con­tradiction.

3. Angels being Spirits, and not corpo­real Substances, are not hindered in their Motion by those things that Bodies are: Bodies move more slowly or more swift­ly, according as the Medium is, as they move swifter in the Air than in the Wa­ter, because the Air being more thin and subtile doth not so much resist the Mover, as the Water that is more dense and gross, must needs do: also because one Body cannot be penetrated by ano­ther, as a Man cannot go thro' a Door, when it is shut, the one must hinder the [Page 82] other in its Motion: But Angels, being Spirits, cannot be retarded in their Mo­tion, by the Solidity or Thickness of Doors or Walls, to hinder them from coming into a Prison, Castle or a Cham­ber where a Believer is a dying, for the receiving of his Soul: For though one body cannot be in the same parti­cular Place where another Body is, be­cause then there would be a Penetration of Dimensions; yet Angels by Bodies are not excluded, because they are immate­rial, as appears by a Legion of evil Spi­rits (which is Six Thousand Five Hun­dred) being in one Man: And tho' One Angel, because Finite, cannot be in Two distant Places at once, yet many Angels, because Immaterial, might be in One (where) or Place together at once; and so their Motion not hindred by the Presence of Bodies, or the Pre­sence one of another.

4. The Motion of the Angels is ex­ceeding Swift; and to express it, they are said to have Wings,Isay. 6. 2. Dan. 9. 21. and that they fly swiftly, more speedily than the Sun that moves Thousands of Miles in an Hour; it might come near in resem­blance to the Motion of the Eye, that can so quickly turn and look up to Heaven, or to Lightning, that runs in a [Page 83] little time, from one part of the Hea­vens to the other, and so comes nearest to an instantaneous Motion.

But the Scripture, that is the surest Rule to judge by, doth teach us, that an Angel can come from Heaven to Earth, while a Man is making of his Prayer to God,Dan. 9. 20. While I was speaking and praying, and confessing my Sin, and the Sin of my People I [...]rael, and presenting my Supplication before the Lord my God, for the Holy Mountain of my God. 21. Yea, while I was speaking in Prayer, even the ManGabriel,whom I had seen in the Vi­sion at the Beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the Evening Oblation. 22. And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, ODaniel,I am now come forth to give thee Skill and Understanding. 23. At the Be­ginning of thy Supplication the Command­ment came forth, and I am come to shew thee, for thou art greatly beloved.—Where we might observe,

1. The speedy Return that is sometimes made to Prayer; while a Believer is praying, the Answer is made; While the Prayer is going up, the Mercy is coming down.

2. The Angels stand ready before the Lord, waiting to be employed by him [Page 84] for the Good and Comfort of his Peo­ple, at his Pleasure.

3. God doth but give the Word, and Angels doth obey: The Commandment, or the Word, came forth, and I am come.

4. Angelsmake Haste to execute God's Commands:Gabriel was caused to fly swiftly.

5. The Time of his coming was, while Daniel was praying: At the Beginning of his Prayer Gabriel was in Heaven, be­fore the Ending of it, he was with Daniel.

That the Soul is not long in its Jour­ney to Heaven, is clear, from Christ's Word to the Thief on the Cross, Luke, 23. 43. Verily I say unto thee, to Day shalt thou be with me in Paradise. The same Day he was on the Cross, he was in Heaven: The same Day he was Cruci­fied, the same Day he was Glorified: And though the Day was far spent, yet that Day was his Soul in Heaven: The Soul may be carried from its Body to the Place of Glory, in a part of a Day. This is wonderful.

How comfortable is this to a dying Believer; who might, speaking to his weeping Friends about his Bed, say, What mean your Tears, your Sighs and Groans? Why are ye cast down? And why are your Hearts troubled? Would [Page 85] you grieve thus if I were going a Voy­age to the Indies, in Hopes of Gain, with a safe and strong Convoy? Why I am going to a better Place, with a safer Convoy, for greater Gain, and tho' the Place be far off, I shall soon be there; the same Day I go from you on Earth, be­ing helped on my Way by swift and fly­ing Angels, I shall go to Christ in Hea­ven. So soon! O then how near will my separated Soul be to my Mansion a­bove! What! turned out of the Body, and received into Heaven the same Day! Make what speed you can or will to interr the Body I shall leave with you, my Soul shall be carried by God's Holy Angels into Abraham's Bosom, be­fore my Body can be carried by Men, and lodged in the Bosom of the Earth.

And when the Soul is breathed out, and received into the Angels Arms, and perceives the swiftness of the Motion they carried it with, how greatly will it be delighted to think, tho' the Way be long, yet it will not be long before I shall be at my Journey's End: O the haste! the haste! the speedy haste they do make to lodge me in my Saviour's Arms! Methinks, they think it long till they shew me, what in Heaven is pre­pared for me! Methinks, they are Ho­lily [Page 86] Ambitious to help me forward, that I might see the State, and Place, and Company above, and how Glorious they all are! O, how do they fly! How do they fly! How swiftly do they fly with me in their Arms, that they may lodge me in that Place of Rest and Joy, where­in they have for so long a Duration seen the Face of God, joyed in their Rest, and rested in their Joy, and are desirous to have me there, that I, with God, and Christ, and them, might Rest, and Joy to all Eternity. I am now out of hearing of the Clocks, and see not the artificial Dials, by which Men see hourly the Motion of the Sun, where­by they measure their Time, and on their Journeys know how many Miles an Hour they go over: If in an Hour to their Earthly Home, they travel, with the Help of Horses and Chariots, Eight or Ten Miles, what haste do they think they make? How soon do they think they shall be at Home, received and en­tertained with Joy, with loving Em­bracements, by Friends waiting, look­ing, longing for their coming Home? But their swiftest Pace to their Earthly Home, is slow to mine, to my Hea­venly Home: It is, to mine, as the Crawling of a Snail, to the Motion of [Page 87] the Sun. God is looking for me, and Christ is looking for me, and the Bles­sed Inhabitants above are looking for me: Is the Cry in Heaven, Why is yon­der Soul so long a coming? When will it be here, that we might have a new Lodger in our Dwellings? Angels were ordered to go for him, the Horses and the Chariots were sent to fetch him up: Why is his Chariot so long a coming? Why tarry the Wheels of his Chariot? The Soul on its Journey looking out of his Chariot, and up to Heaven, and seeing them out of the Windows of Hea­ven looking for him, and calling, come away, make haste and come to us, it replies. I hasten, I hasten, I come, be­hold I come quickly.

V. The Angels being the Carriers, and the Soul the carried, it will be Matter of Joy to both, at their Arrival at the Port of Happiness; both Angels the Transpor­ters, and the Soul that is the Passenger, shall rejoice when landed at their in­tended Haven. As Mariners with their Passengers, sailing through tempestuous Seas, stormy Winds, and raging Waves, having escaped the Sands and Rocks, and Hands of Pyrates, and being come to their designed Harbour, are filled with [Page 88] Joy, and do shoot and shout, thereby giving out their Signs of Joy: So the Angels, and the Soul whom they have conveyed to the Gates of Heaven, do rejoice that their Voyage hath been so prosperous.

1. The Angels, that were the Carri­ers, do with Joy present the Soul to Christ, saying, O our Lord and King, thou gavest us Command to go and fetch this Soul to thee, and set it in Heaven, before thee, and lo here it is. Thou gavest us in Charge to conduct it in Safety to the Gates of thy Glorious Kingdom, and so we have. Thou didst enjoyn us to defend it from the Powers of Darkness, and all Hellish Principali­ties that might assault it by the Way, and we have brought it to thee through their Host, and here it is, we present it to thee, and to the Father, and the Ho­ly Spirit.

It is welcomed to the Kingdom by the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

God the Father doth graciously enter­tain it, as we must speak in our Man­ner, to set forth this Joy, as if he said to this purpose, come thou blessed Soul, come in, behold the Kingdom, and the Glorious State that I did choose thee to: look and see what I prepared for thee [Page 89] before the Foundation of the World: All this Glory I did design for thee, from all Eternity to all Eternity. There were but a few, in Comparison of those I justly passed by, that I chose unto this Happiness, and it pleased me to make thee one of those few, thou wast invol­ved in Sin and Guilt, thou wast wal­lowing in thy Blood, thou wast dead in Trespasses and Sins, as well as others: but it was my pleasure to ordain thee to be brought unto this Place and Paradise of Joy, which now thou dost behold, and which I sent my Angels to bring thee to: Come, welcom to my Glori­ous Palace; come, enter in, and sit down with all this Happy Company, that before thee I have received hither.

God the Son will also entertain it, saying, Come, O dear and precious Soul, I am Jesus thy Redeemer, I am Christ thy Saviour, I am he that went from Heaven to Earth, that thou and others might be brought from Earth to Heaven; I am he that suffered that thou might'st be saved, that died that thou might'st live; I am he that for thy sake did wear a Crown of Thorns, that thou for my sake might'st wear a Crown of Glory. Behold me, for I am he that was crucified for thee, that thou might'st [Page 90] be Glorified with me. Come, enter into thy Master's Joy, welcome to my Kingdom, welcome to my Presence; come, enter into thy Master's Joy.

God the Holy Ghost shall also Graci­ously receive it to his Glory, saying, (as we may conceive) Draw near, thou dear and precious Soul, draw near; my Comforts shall delight thee more than Ever: Thou shalt be filled with my Joy more than ever. Thou wast born in Sin, but I caused thee to be born again, thou wast unclean, but I did wash thee in thy Saviour's Blood. Thou wast un­fit for this Glorious Place and Compa­ny; but I did prepare and make thee meet to be a Partaker of this Inheri­tance, with these Saints, in Light: The Image of God, by Sin, was raced out of thee; But I did, with my own Finger, engrave it again upon thee: [...] work in thee what Grace was found in thee: I did enable thee to pray, and hope, and wait for this Crown of Life, of Righteousness and Glory, which is now set upon thy Head: I did give thee the Pledge, and Earnest, and First-fruits of this Glory, which now thou art posses­sed of: I bid thee Welcome to thy En­trance into it.

[Page 91] 2. The Soul that was brought by An­gels, and thus entertained by the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, at its first Arri­val there, shall be filled and transported with unspeakable Joy; when received in, and looking about, might be con­ceived to say, What Glorious Place is this! what a Glorious Company is this! But let me turn mine Eyes unto my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! My Lord! I did love thee before I ever saw thee: O how Glorious is my Lord! This is he that redeemed me by his Blood: This is he who bought me with his Blood, who bought me with his Blood; who when I was a Captive redeemed me, and bought me with his Blood. How low was he abased, how high is he ex­alted! How much was he abused, how much is he now admired! O, how did I long to see my Lord! How desirous have I been to be with him, where he is, and so I am; I was not, but now I am! O how good is it to be here! I never was in such a Place before: I ne­ver was in such Company before, except in my Passage to it: Here are such Glo­rious Sights I never saw, such harmoni­ous Songs and Praises, as before I ne­ver heard. Is this the State I prayed for, and hoped, and waited for! I heard [Page 92] much of it, before I came into it, but at my first Entrance, I see more, I en­joy more, I feel more than I did ever hear. O the Joy! the Joy! the Fulness of Joy that I am filled with!

O God my Father, I do Praise thee, I do Praise thee; I will for ever Praise thee that it was thy Plea­sure to choose me to it.

O God my Lord Redeemer, I do Praise thee, I do Praise thee, I will for ever Praise thee, that thou didst so freely, so greatly Love me, with such a costly Love, as with the Price of thy Blood, to purchase this Possession for me, and me to be brought to this Possession, to be an Heir and Inheritor of such a Kingdom.

O God the Holy Ghost, my Sanctifier, I Praise thee, I Praise thee, I will for ever Praise thee, that by thy Pow­erful changing of my Heart, bow­ing of my Will, renewing of my Nature, hast prepared me, that I might be and am received into this Glorious State.

I am but newly entred in, and I must begin my joyful Praises; and because this Happy State shall never end, my Praise shall never end.

[Page 93] 3. The Holy Angels that are in Hea­ven shall with Joy receive the Soul that is brought by other Angels to the Gates thereof, as some of the Angels were rea­dy to come for it; so those that staid A­bove will be ready to set open the Gates for its Entrance; for if they rejoiced when it was converted, much more will they when actually saved.

4. The Saints that were there before will, with Joy, welcome the New­comers; for if Good Men on Earth are rejoiced when others are made Good, much more will saved Souls above re­joice, when others with them, are actu­ally saved; and as Abraham did Laza­rus, receive them into their Bosoms.

Use III. Exhortation.

From the Ministration of Angels at­tending the Souls of Believers at their Dissolution, several Duties might be in­ferred, some of which are these:

I. Give Thanks to God, and Praise him for his Love to, and Care of you that are his People: That he hath made it the Of­fice of such Holy and Noble Spirits, to be your Attendants to minister unto you, for your Good: For if Children should be thankful to God for their good Pa­rents, who have loved them, and took care of them in their Infancy, and pro­vided [Page 94] Necessaries for them all along as they grew up, and Orphans for good and careful Guardians, and Pupils for good Tutors, and People for good Ministers, and Subjects for good Magistrates, and for all the Good that these have received from them, under God, as his Ministers to them for Good; then we should also for the Good Angels, and for the Good God doth convey to us by them, as his Servants herein, while we live on Earth, in the Place of our Pilgrimage, Angels looking upon us, as Strangers in this World, do us many good Turns; for it is not to be supposed, that these good Angels that are so careful of us, when we die, should do no Offices of Love to us, while we live; especially, when Scripture sets forth more copiously, the Ministration of Angels for us in this Life, but more sparingly after Death.

Tho' they do many things for us when we neither see them, nor know they are done by them, yet what the Scripture reveals, we might as confidently believe and hope for, as if we visibly saw it: They have been often used by God for his People's Good, in many Respects, ordinary and extraordinary.

1. To direct them in the Way where­in they were to go, about their Lawful [Page 95] Imployments, that they might not wan­der, Gen. 24. 7. and 32. 1.

2. To Watch them, to preserve them from Hurt and Danger, pitching their Camps about their Dwellings, Psal. 34. 7. and many a Night our Safety hath been more from the watchful Angels, than the Watchmen in the Streets; for except the Lord keep the City, Psal. 127. 1 (which he often doth by Angels) the Watchmen wa­keth but in vain.

3. To be instrumental in healing them when they have been sick and diseased: We may owe more to Angels herein (un­der God) than to the Physicians, being more skilful than they; and how far god­ly Physicians might be helped in prescri­bing their Medicines, by the secret, un­discernible Suggestions of knowing, ho­ly Angels, is a thing seldom thought of, Joh. 5. 4.

4. To supply our outward Wants, when reduced to great Straits, 1 King. 19. 5, 6, 7.

5. To bear them in their Arms, and to support them by their Power, to keep them from pernicious falls: Who knows how often Angels have prevented their Falls from their Horses, when riding on their Journeys, Psal. 91. 11, 12.

6. To enlarge their Liberty when they [Page 96] have been confined, and to deliver them out of Prisons, which they may be instru­mental in more Ways than one, Acts 12. 7, &c.

7. To comfort them in their Fears and Perplexities of Mind, Isay. 6. 5, 6, 7.

Tho' some of these mentioned were extraordinary Cases, yet they are appa­rent Evidences of their invisible Servi­ces, and of their Ability and Readiness to serve God in ordinary, and extraor­dinary Cases, in which God at his Plea­sure, may command them to help us, and we are sure they will obey. If for these ye should bless God, ought you not thankfully to acknowledge God's Love to, and Care of your Souls, when separated, in sending Angels to be their Convoy to Heaven?

1. Because evil Spirits would be too strong for the Soul, without a Guard.

2. Because your dearest Friends, can no way help your separated Soul.

3. Because there are no other Second Causes that your separated Souls can be committed to, besides the Holy Angels.

4. Because it is your Comfort to have such good Company with you on your Way: Travelling alone is solitary in a shorter Journey: suitable Company is desirable.

[Page 97] II. Learn your Engagement to Christ, for the Reconciliation he hath procured for you.

1. With God: By the Blood of his Cross, he hath purchased your Peace with him: Without this Peace made, God would have used the Ministration of Angels for your Destruction and Damnation, as he will by them cast the Ungodly into the Furnace of Fire, at the Second Coming of Christ; but the Ho­stility betwixt God and Believers is ta­ken away by Christ, and the Breach made up by his Blood, Col. 1. 20.

2. With Holy Angels: Betwixt Men and Devils Christ will make no Peace: War betwixt them is proclaimed, and shall be continued. Holy Angels that were confirmed, stood on God's Side, against Angels that apostatized, and Mankind that had revolted,Isa. 37. 36. Act. 12. 23. and were ready to execute God's Judgments at his Pleasure, upon his Enemies, of which we have many Instances in Scripture.

Wherefore that Angels are so ready to convey Believers Souls to Heaven, which is so great an Office of Love, must be attributed to Christ, who hath made such Holy Angels to be such great Friends to them, Eph. 1. 10.

III. Learn what Duties are incumbent [Page 98] upon you, while you live, from this Ministration of Holy Angels to your Souls, when you die: as they have been God's Messengers to make known his Will,Luke 2. 10, 11. Act. 1. 10. 11. and publish his good Pleasure, to instruct and teach, to bring glad Ti­dings of a Saviour for lost Sinners, and to be Witnesses of Christ's Ascention in­to Heaven, and to declare his coming again, by audible Voice; so they by their Example in taking the Care and Charge of Holy separated Souls, to con­duct them to Heaven, teach us several Duties.

1. By their Love to Believers separa­ted Souls, we should be excited to great Love to them. Love should be recipro­cal, in loving them that love us: Should not we love the Angels in Heaven, who are so ready to help us up to Heaven? Should we love every one on Earth, in whom we see the Holy Image and Likeness of God in smallest Measure, and should not we love these Holy An­gels that are like to God in highest De­grees? Should we love the Ministers of God, whose Preaching God hath made instrumental for our Conversion and Preparation for Heaven, and should we not love these Messengers of God, who are sent by him to fetch us to the Pos­session [Page 99] of our Mansions in Heaven? Do we love the Company of good Men that travel with us upon Earth, as they are Guides and Guards unto us on our Way, and shall we not love these Holy Angels of God, that will be our Companions in our Journey to Heaven? If we are to love such as are our Enemies in Life, surely we should love these that will be such Friends unto us after Death.

2. By their Condescention in the car­rying the Soul of the meanest Believer to Heaven, we should learn Humility, and to condescend to Men of low E­states, for the Good and Welfare of their Souls. What meer Creatures are more Noble and Excellent than the Ho­ly Angels in Heaven? And what Be­liever, as to outward Circumstances, was poorer and more loathsom than La­zarus? Was he not a Beggar that want­ed Bread? Was he not a Cripple, that could not go to, but was laid at the Rich Man's Gate? Was he not only sore, but full of Sores, that a nice and squeamish Person would have disdained to look upon him, but much more to dress his Sores? And yet the Angels of God did not disdain to carry this Poor Man's Soul into Abraham's Bosom? Did they take him in their Arms, whom the [Page 100] Rich Man would not take and lay in a­ny of his Out-houses?

Are any of the Sons of Men more Excellent, more Noble, more Knowing, and set higher in any Capacity above the Poorest and most Contemptible Be­liever upon Earth, than the Angels in Heaven? and yet are they ready to mi­nister to the Meanest, and shall any of us be so Great in our own Eyes, and look upon our selves in such a Magni­fying Glass, as to refuse to help forward the Salvation of the Poorest Soul?

3. Let the Ministration of Angels, in carrying Souls to Heaven, be a Pattern of our Obedience to God, all the Days of our Life on Earth. As they obey God in this, as in all things else, so let us write after their Copy,Mat. 6. 10. to do the Will of God, as by them in Heaven it is done: Tho' we cannot do it equally in Degrees, yet let it be our Holy Ambition to come as near to them as we can, in these Par­ticulars:

First, They do not stir to fetch a Soul to Heaven, without a Warrant from God; they are sent before they Come: So let us see what Warrant we have from God for what we do, before we do it; de­manding of our selves, hath God com­manded this? Hath he spoke the Word? [Page 101] Will the Holy Scripture,Psal. 119. 11. wherein God's Will and my Duty is revealed, bear me out, if I do this or that? What a Mul­titude of Sins by this would be prevent­ed?

Secondly, Angels come and carry be­lieving Souls to Heaven, with greatest Alacrity and Cheerfulness: As they joy in their Conversion, so in carrying them to Eternal Salvation, if they be sent ne­ver so often, to fetch never so many, they never grudge their Labour, they have not the least Regret nor Repining, but the more they are sent for the more they are pleased and do rejoice. So we should serve the Lord with Gladness, and and come before his Presence with Singing, Psal. 100. 2. We should pray to him with Delight, hear from him and obey him with Cheerfulness, and Joy.

Thirdly, Angels having a Charge to fetch a Believer's Soul, come speedily, with­out delay; they make haste to receive it, that they may be present at the very Moment of its Separation: They never come too late. In like manner we should imitate their Obedience in ours, Psal. 119. 60. I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy Commandments. God commands you now to repent, but you put it off till hereafter: God enjoins you to Day, [Page 102] whiles it is called to Day,Heb. 3. 7, 8. to hearken to his Voice; but you stop your Ears to Day, and so you will to morrow, if you shall have the same hardness of Heart to Morrow, as you have to Day. An­gels in conveying Souls do not so; but when God gives the Word, they obey speedily and fly swiftly.

Fourthly, Angels in carrying Souls to Heaven are Faithful in their Service in fetching as many as God sends them for, and no more, and the very same Souls and no other; they never mistake one for another, and never drop or lose any by the Way committed to their Charge. We, in Imitation of them, should be faithful in doing what God commands to every Person, in what Capacity, Sta­tion and Relation we stand to them: to one as well as another, and not on­ly to one, neglecting another, when each are equally committed to our Charge.

Fifthly. Holy Angels serve God in this Ministration with persevering Con­stancy: They have been imployed in Transporting Souls for many Ages al­ready past, innumerable Souls have been conveyed from this World to that above, and so they do still, as oft as Believers die, and so they will to the World's End, till all the Souls, ordained by God for [Page 103] Eternal Life, are lodged in the Heavens. To which Pattern we should conform our selves in our Obedience to God, per­severing therein to our Lives End, Psal. 119. 112. I have inclined my Heart to perform thy Statutes always, even to the End.

4. Let the Care of Angels, in car­rying Holy Souls to Heaven, make us careful of our own Souls, that they be such, and so qualified with special Grace, that they may be the Object of their Care, when they shall be separated from our Bodies, as you desire they, and not De­vils, should have them, when out of the Body; do you make it your great Con­cern, to have them Sanctified in the Bo­dy: For Holy Angels will not touch an unholy separated Soul, to defend it from the Devil's seizing of it. If the Soul be unholy while you live, and leave the Body unholy when you die, it will be unfit for the Glorious Presence of God, for the Holy Place and Company A­bove, and it will not be in their Com­mission to carry it thither, neither will they do it.

5. Grieve not, nor offend the Holy An­gels of God, as you expect and hope they should carry your Souls to Heaven when you die. Good and Evil Angels are [Page 104] your Spectators and Observers, when you might think little of it: When you do Evil, bad Angels rejoice, good An­gels are offended: when you please God, Devils are displeased, but good Angels are delighted at it.

Take heed in secret what you do, for there may be more Devils and Holy Angels with you, tho' not seen by you, than you are aware of.

Be mindful how you behave your self in the Publick Ordinances, because of Angels, good and bad, for when you come to these, good and bad Angels come also;Mat. 13. 19 the Devil to catch the Word from you, that you might not be saved, but that he might catch and carry your Soul at Death, to Hell: Good Angels to promote your Conversion now, that they may carry your Souls to Heaven hereafter. Because of these Holy An­gels in the Assembly watch your Car­riage,1 Cor. 11. 10. shall they see your Eyes rolling after sinful Objects? Shall they see you sleeping under the Word, or in time of Prayer? Will you so grieve those that you hope shall be imployed, in carrying your Soul to Heaven? Blush more that Angels see you nodding in Duty, than that Men see you.

IV. Tho' Angels shall be so careful of [Page 105] you, to carry your separated Soul to Heaven, yet be you careful, that you now carry nothing to them that is due to God; neither your Prayers, nor any part of Re­ligious Worship that properly belongs to God.Rev. 22. 8, 9. Worshipping of Angels is offen­sive to God, and displeasing to them, and they refuse to accept it: Tho' you were upon your dying Bed, you may not pray to them to come and guard you, but you may pray to God that he would send them to defend you, and carry you to Glory; as in another Case Manoah did, Judg. 13. 8. Manoah intreated the Lord and said, O my Lord, let the Man of God, which thou didst send, come again un­to us.—9. And God hearkened to the Voice of Manoah, and the Angel of God came again.—16. The Angel said, If thou wilt offer a Burnt Offering, thou must offer it to the Lord.

V. This is great Encouragement to dying Believers: When such an one perceives the approaching of Death, that he must get up and ride upon that Pale Horse that will carry him into the other World, he might say, Farewell, Dear Friends, Farewell; I am going, my time is ended my Course is finished; I shall be no more with you, and when my Soul is departed, there is no more that you can [Page 106] do for it: Weep not, neither be ye grie­ved, I have those that will take care of me, when ye cannot; God will take Care of me, and Christ will take Care of me, and the Holy Angels of God will take Care of me: I have God's Pro­mise for my Security, God's Power for my Protection, God's Angels for my Guard: The Angel of the Covenant will charge his Angels with me; the Messen­ger of the Covenant will send his Mes­sengers for me: The Surety of the Co­venant hath undertaken, with God, for me, and for me with God, and I shall reap the benefit of his Suretiship, and the Blessings of the Covenant for Ever, when carried up into Heaven: Death will carry me into Eternity; and An­gels will carry me into a blessed Eternity of Life and Joy, with Christ in Glory. The Horsemen of Israel are a coming, the Chariot is making ready, and as Death hastens, so do they, and will certainly be here as soon as Death, if not before. Shall I be afraid of Death, or Devils, or Hell, when Angels will meet me at Death's Door, and carry me to Heaven's Gates, and others let me in to take up my Lodging in Abraham's Bosom?

This is Ground of support to a Believer on his dying Bed, when he must mount [Page 107] the Pale Horse of Death, which will carry him into another World, that God will charge his Angels to attend, and to be read to receive his separated Soul, and carry it into the State and Place of Eternal Happiness in the other World.

This also might alleviate the Grief of surviving Friends, which often loads and burdens the Heart, because of the De­parture of such, that while they lived, were their Comfort and Delight; when they consider the joyful Company of the Holy Angels they have to convoy them to their Eternal Blessed Home, their joyful Entertainment there, their happy Rest, their holy Imployment, their in­conceivable Joys in the immediate Pre­sence of their Glorious God and Exalted Redemer, and the Eternal Spirit, and that all this shall be their Happiness to all Eternity.

It is no blind Charity to conclude that the Soul of this deceased Friend, is safely arrived at Heaven, and hath his Mansion there, when those that knew him best, and conversed with him most, and had the longest Acquaintance to observe his Conversation, can, and do af­firm, that his whole Life was very Ex­emplary, suitable to his Profession, and worthy of others Imitation.

[Page 108] When I was at his Funeral, a grave, solid, and judicious Christian, said to me, I have known him from his Begin­ing to his End, and think, that what­soever migh be said of an Upright Man, might be said concerning him.

He was very diligent in Redeeming his time, Improving it in the Duties of his particular and general Calling, cau­tious and watchful that he might not waste nor mispend the Hours of his Life, for tho' he had a considerable Estate, yet he was as laborious in his Station, as if he had not Bread to eat, till he had got it by his Hands; not from a cove­tous Desire of Gain, which was mani­fest, in that the same Hands that work­ed for it, were as ready to give it, as the Necessities of others called for it: For to my Knowledge, he gave a considerable Allowance, for many Years, towards the Education of a poor Scholar, whom, when he heard preach, before he died, said to me, he thought his Money well bestowed, and was a Comfort to him that it had been so rightly placed, and that he saw such Fruits of what he had therein done.

He was more than ordinarily ready to promote the Preaching of the Gospel a­mongst a People that, by reason of their [Page 109] low Circumstances, were not able to pro­cure it; one Instance I remember, when a Friend of mine did but mention the Case of such a People in the Country, tho' he did not ask him, yet before they parted, I saw him give several Pounds to be towards the Maintainance of a Preacher for that Year.

Another special Friend of mine, of his intimate Acquaintance, told me since his Death, that once he desired some Assistance from him, for the Relief of a very fit Object of Charity, more than ordinary, for which purpose he readily (beyond his Expectation) gave many Pounds. After some considerable time intervening, the same Person, upon a­nother extraordinary Occasion, renew­ed his Request for his Help, and he chearfully gave him upon that Account, as much as he did for the other. Where­upon my Friend told me, that such a Free-giver spoiled him for a Beggar for others (as to him) for after that, he could never prevail with himself to ask him any more, who was so easily prevailed with to give so liberally.

He was an earnest desirer of the Wel­fare of the Souls of others, for I know that he hath often bought many Do­zens of Books of several Subjects, and gi­ven [Page 110] them to Poor Persons and Families, asking nothing but that they would take them and diligently read them: Also if any desired him to transcribe out of his Short Hand into Long, any Sermon un­der which they were more than usually affected (tho' he was fully imployed, yet) he would take time from his sleep, and write it very fair and give them, being ready to promote the Interest of Souls, both by his Purse and Pains.

He was a singular Pattern of Dutiful­ness to Parents; being very tender and careful of his very aged Mother, both in respect to her Temporal and Spiritu­al State, liberally assisting her as to both (for tho' she was left a Widow in good Worldly Circumstances, yet in her Old Age she enjoyed not that Plenty as be­fore). For Temporals, she, by his Care wanted nothing; in Spirituals he was as forward to afford his Help, for being Weak thro' Age, and difficult in hear­ing, could not attend (as formerly) up­on Publick Ordinances, to supply the Want whereof, it was his constant Pra­ctice for many Years, every Lord's Day in the Evening, to go to her House, and laying his Face near her Ear, repeated the Sermons he had taken that Day, to her, and the rest in the Family.

[Page 111] He was not short in his Relation, as a Bro­ther to his Sisters, Two that by Providence were brought from higher to lower Circumstances in their outward State, he made comfortable Pro­visions for, one of which being discomposed in her Head, and not capable of caring for her self, he (like a loving Brother) was exceeding kind unto her, while he lived, and hath left them what will be a good Stay and Support unto them, now he is taken from his Mother and them.

He never was a talkative Man, but the less he said, the more he did; not like many, whose Tongues run faster in speaking Religiously, than their Feet in walking Holily: His Works did praise him more, to the Observers of what he did, than his Words did commend him to the Hearers of what he said; tho' what he said was Savoury, and his Words were weighty, rather than many; speaking but little tho' to good Purpose: And as he was sparing in his Words, when in Health, so he spake not much when sick and on his dying Bed: but told me, he had good Hopes of his Spiritual and Eter­nal State, and tho' he found Satan tempting to shake his Reliance on Christ, yet there he placed his only Trust and Dependance for Sal­vation, having consented to him, and accepted of him in all his Offices as offered in the Gospel.

Concerning the last Sermon he heard, which was about Love-sickness to Christ, through the abundant Sense of Christ's Love to the Soul, he said, it was an excellent, comfortable Frame of Spirit, in such as have experience of it: and this I thought he said, from his own Experi­ence, [Page 112] as having found and felt how comforta­ble it was.

His Head being affected with his Distem­per, and much inclined to Sleep, yet asked me to pray with him, saying, tho' I be drowsy, yet will I not sleep while you pray, but will join in the Prayers with you; and when sick, kept waking in his Bed, during the time of Prayer, when many in Health, in Family and Congregation, are sleeping when they should be praying: and tho' he was so heavy, yet would not be satisfied, except the Duty were performed, and striving against his Sleep, that he might strive with God in Prayer, said af­terwards, his Soul was refreshed, and was the better for it.

Within the space of about Fifteen Days, he was well and dead, when Sickness did seize him, Death made haste to remove him; but tho' Death prevented him of longer Time, he had prevented Death from hurrying him to Eter­nal Death, by his timely spiritual Birth and Con­version unto God, by his sound Repentance, and unfeigned Faith in Christ, which manifested it self by the Fruits thereof, thro' the whole Course of his Life, persevering therein to the End, and when God gave Commission to Death to make such haste to have his Body carried to the Grave, he gave Commission to his Angels to make as much speed to carry his Soul into Abra­hams Bosom; where it is in perfect Rest, and Love, and Joy; and let us all prepare that our Remove by Death, might be from Earth to Heaven. Amen.


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