A DISCOURSE OF THE GLORY To which God hath called BELIEVERS By JESUS CHRIST.

Delivered in some Sermons out of the 1 Pet. 5 Chap. 10 Ver.

Together with an annexed Letter.

Both, by that Eminent and Worthy Mi­nister of the Gospel, Mr. JONATHAN MITCHIL, late Pastor to the Church at CAMBRIDGE in NEW-ENGLAND.

Rom. 8.30.

Whom he called, them he also Justified; and whom he Justified, them he also Glorified.

1 John 3. ver. 3.

And every man that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself, as he is pure.

LONDON, Printed for Nathaniel Ponder at the Peacock in the Poultry, Anno Dom. 1677.

TO THE READER

THe ensuing Treatise being tran­smitted to me by a friend from New-England, with a desire of its Publication; I did in order thereunto seri­ously peruse it; and finding (as far as I am able to judge) an excellent discourse, spiri­tually and powerfully managed and im­proved, and thereby most likely to redound to the edification of every Reader, (all Divine Truth having an influence and efficacy into Conversion and Sanctificat­on when God shall command a blessing by [Page] it upon the Soul;) but above all, more pe­culiarly suited to the support and consola­tion of the Saints in this their wayfaring and afflictive pilgrimage: I have been thereby induced to recommend it to such into whose hands it shall come, being fully persuaded that its own worth will speak for it self with such a conviction upon the minds of all whose senses are exercised in and about things of another world, and who have any experience of Christ, in them the hope of Glory: as that they will neither think their time or pains mispen­ded in its Perusal.

The subject matter of these Sermons, (for so they were, as being delivered to a popular Auditory in the course of the Au­thors Ministry,) doth relate to that Glo­ry to come, unto which God hath called his chosen after their sufferings here, du­ring their absence from the Lord.

To add any thing about it beyond what the Reader will find in the Book it self, [Page] as it is above my ability; so if it were not, I should account it beneath that modesty which I desire to observe in all things.

All I shall therefore say, is this; that whatever is usually spoken of this Glory, either as it is objective, or formal the Reader will find much discoursed about, both to his satisfaction if he come unto the perusal of it with a pious humble heart; and withal desiring, to be edified by Spiritual Soul-searching Doctrine: But if any shall expect those curious spe­culations which may be met with in the discourses of the School-men upon this sub­ject; some of which are perhaps temera­rious, to be sure at best un-intelligible to vulgar capacities, they will be disappoint­ted; For our Authors design being rather to profit others, then to beget an opinion of his own abilities, (though they were very great) he hath avoided all such matter and manner of handling of it, other then what he had learned from the Scriptures, and chose to insist mainly on that which may be [Page] helpful to form up the Soul to a meetness for that Inheritance amongst the Saints in light, than meerly to object to mind the high Idaea's of that future state, when per­haps the heart may be wholly a stranger to the very first fruits of that Communion with God in Jesus Christ by Faith and Ho­liness; out of which, as from its root doth spring the hope of this Glory to come: Yet also is there enough said, (considering it was deliver'd in an Auditory of plain, humble growing Christians,) to mix plea­sure with advantage; As that, which be­sides sound Doctrine, and incorruptness in speech, hath also the ornament of variety of truths handed out in a copiousness of expression, and confirmed, illustrated, and urged from most pertinent Texts of Scripture, and strongly fastned as nails and goads by a workman that needed not be ashamed in his service to the Church under the great Master of the Assem­blies.

To be sure the called ones to the hope of this Glory, will find that full account [Page] given of what is their own Inheritance in that future state, as may be very conducing to sweeten to them the sorrows, temptations and afflictions of the present, and to mantain themselves under a fixed expe­ctation of Gods promise of Eternal Life made to them in Christ before the World began, without which we can neither live holily, nor die comfortably; Death is only sweetned to us as we can look upon it, our priviledge is an out-let from sin and misery, and an in-let to Glory both in Holiness and Happiness; And then indeed do We begin to live, when by be­lieving We have everlasting life, John 3. ult. — And when the tasts of it now, and the hopes of its consummation here­after are improved in our Christian course, as a means & motive to take heed to walk worthy of it, by mortifying our sins, and purifying our selves, even as he is pure, 1 John 3.3. and to strengthen our selves thereby to a patient enduring the troubles of this present time, especially those suffer­ings which are for Righteousness sake, [Page] which in the Apostles Arithmetick are reckoned not Worthy to be compared with the Glory that shall be revealed; And withall, to engage us to be stedfast and immovable, always abounding in, yea faithfully finishing of the Work God hath given us to do, as knowing that our la­bour shall not be in vain in the Lord.

Which ends and purposes as the Glory to come in the Contemplation of it, is of Wonderful Ʋse to effect and perfect them; So the management of this by the Author, as it is singularly adapted to an acquain­tance with the Nature, Properties, Ad­juncts, Enjoyments and Consolations of that state; So also it is powerfully im­proved to the moving the heart and affe­ctions, to endeavouring a making it sure to our selves, partly by ministring close matter of search that We be not deceived in our hopes, partly by instruction how to live up to them, so as to give all diligence, to be found of Christ without spot, and blameless: So that, together with a full [Page] information of the Truth it self, there is carried in with it what may make it (if the holy one teach us to profit) most effectu­all to receive it in the love and power of it; which is, and ought to be the great design of delivering over to others any thing of moment, especially divine truths.

And further, I cannot but hope that God may sanctifie it to some sinners, who have as yet no interest in Grace, and so no right to Glory, (whilst they continue such,) if they shall to the reading of them subjoin prayer to God, that he would by his spirit ingraft them into their minds to the saving of the Soul. For while on the one side they view how great the future portion of Gods now poor despised ones is and will be, it will naturally lead them to compare the present difficulties of Religion, and the ways of holiness in this World, with the exceeding great glory that shall be revealed in the day of the manifestation of the Sons of God; when all they that follow holinss shall see God, not [Page] only by the light of Faith as now, but in the light of glory shall see him appre­hensively as he is, though not compre­hensively or adequately; so see him as to be like him, to be satisfied in him, and blessed with him, and in the Communion of the Lord Jesus, and his holy Angels and Saints, and then also obtain an eternall freedom from the remains of sin and suffering: And this consideration may also lead them on the other side to com­pare the pleasures of sin, that are but for a season, with the everlasting sad wages of it, which is death; and that in the loss of God blessed for ever; seperation from the Communion with Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and not only in the loss of God which is unspeakable, but also in those just and holy punishments from the hand of God, which it is righteous with him to recompence to them that are workers of Iniquity, and who by despising the glory of Grace now, because of some inconve­niencies it is cloathed with, (though they are so only to depraved minds, and such [Page] whose hearts are set upon the world, and the lusts of it) do judge themselves un­worthy to find Grace in Glory hereafter; which considerations sanctified, may pro­mote very far their turning to God, and that they may have this saving effi­cacy on such Souls shall be my prayer to God for them, into whose hands they may come.

But further, which shall draw this Epi­stle to a close. I am well satisfied, if they find not that acceptance here they may deserve; yet the revival of these Sermons in Print, to the eye and memory of them that were Ear-witnesses of them from his own mouth, will be an acceptable service to them; who have known from the be­ginning his manner of life, which was blameless, grave, and exemplary, and in speciall his ministry to the finishing of his course, wherein he was a burning and a shining light: among whom, though being dead he yet speaketh, and his name is a precious ointment, and his [Page] praise amongst all the Churches in that wilderness, as being a man of singular learning profound judgement, a master in that Israel, a Scribe indeed, instructed for the Kingdom of God, of whom it may be said (as once was of another) that He was one, not only that had a treasure, but was himself a treasure to the Church of God while he lived. How himself li­ved in the power of the truth he preched, may be seen by the annexed letter to this treatise which was penned upon occasion of a dear friend of his, begging his assistance about his Soul concerns, which e­very Reader sensible of spiritual things will judge, answered with an excellent spi­rit, the spirit of God, and drawn out of his own experiences, and this, when but newly entring upon his minstry, as he lived holy, so he dyed in peace, and admi­ring Gods Grace his last dying words (al­most) being these, Lord thou callest me away to thee, I know not why, if I look to my self, but at thy bidding I come; although hee needs not this recommenda­tion, [Page] having received his reward, and so is above it, yet we that survive need it, whose business it is to follow the faith and holiness of such, especially when we be­hold the end of their conversation, and not only so, but it is in order to the publish­ing of other things of his, if this find ac­ceptance; which that it may, and a good success, is the Prayer of

Reader,
Thy Servant in the Gospel, JOHN COLLINS.
June 29 1667.

Of the Perfection of Glorificati­on hereafter in Heaven. SERMON I.

1 Pet. 5.10.

But the God of all grace, who hath called us into his eternal glory by Christ Je­sus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

FRom this Verse to the end of the Chapter, is the conclusion of this Epistle, written by the A­postle to the suffering Saints of those times, that were, and were yet like to be under great suffe­rings and tryals. Chap. 1.6. and 4.13, 17. and 5.9. In this 10th. Verse, we have the A­postles farewel, wish, or prayer for those suf­fering Saints he writes unto. Men, especial­ly good men, in their farewel words and wishes, defire to speak much in a little room; But the God, or, now the God of all Grace, &c. (Dutch Version, and so the English in other like conclusive prayers, renders the same Greek [Page 2] particle [now.] Heb. 13.20. Rom. 16.25. Jude 24.) Here, 1. The things he desires and prays for, sor they are great and weighty, [make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.] 2. He takes hold of, and prayes to God under such titles and considerations, as are sweet grounds of faith; for that he prayes for, and most comfortable and suitable for suffering Christians to feed upon, viz. 1. From his rich and all-sufficient grace, [The God of all grace.]

2. From the great eff [...]ct and fruit of that grace, viz. his calling the faithful unto glory by Christ Jesus, or the glory he hath called them to (which is the only thing we shall at present take up, to insist upon from these words▪) this Glory is here set forth and de­scribed.

1. From the peculiar property and durati­on of it, viz. Eternity, it is eternal (or ever­lasting) Glory. No such thing, (no honour or splendor, or welfare that is eternal) is to be found in this World. 2. From the nature of it; [His Glory] that heavenly Glory which he liveth in▪ and communicateth the similitude and liken [...]ss of it in measure unto his, Joh. 17.22. That th [...]t is laid up with him in Heaven and stands in the enjoyment of him, so as he is both the singular Author, and (as I may say) the matter of it.

3. The Causes of it: The Principal, God, [Page 3] (included in that, [His Glory] and also in the first Clause of the Verse. The grace of God in and by Christ Jesus, Christ the Mediator. Sub­ordinate, viz. the work (or Grace) of ef­fectual calling. 4. The subject of it, viz. those that are called, i. e. effectually called: Whe­ther [us] or as some Copies read it, [you] (Beza) that makes no difference as to the sense. He speaks of those that are, (or are reputed to be) effectually called; those are they that shall be brought to this Glory. Vocation is the way to Glorification, that is the strait Gate that leadeth into life eternal.

5. The order wherein we are brought un­to it, (or the antecedent of the actual posses­sion of it,) viz. after we have suffered a while, [for if we read it us in the first Clause, then so the words must properly run: Now the God of all Grace who hath called us, after we haue suf­fered a while, unto his eternal Glory by Christ Jesus. I see no reason why the person should be changed from us to ye: nor is [after suf­fered a while] to be referred to the following, but the foregoing Clause.] The way to Hea­ven lies through sufferings, Act. 14.12. But it is, but suffering a while, compared with eter­nity; or suffering a little, (as the Word may be rendred) compared with the weight of Glo­ry, 2 Cor. 4.17.

Doct. Eternal Glory in the World to come, is [Page 4] that which the faithful (the effectually called) shall be brought unto (or obtain) by Christ Jesus, (or by the Grace of God through Christ Jesus.) after that they have suffered a while in this world.

This Eternal Glory is the prize of the High-calling o [...] God, Phil. 3.14. i. e. the Prize, the Crown, the Glory which they are called to run for, and to obtain possession of at the end of the race. The perfection of everlasting Glo­ry, is that which the Calling of a Christian (the work of Vocation) aimeth at, tendeth to, and issueth in, Rom. 8.30. and 9.23, 24. Vo­cation is the first open work of (Grace upon an Elect person, and Glorification is the last, so 2 Thess. 2.14. 1 Thess. 5.9▪ We are upon the last great benefit that Believers have by Christ, (as we see in the Text, it is by Christ Jesus) setting forth the Blessed Estate as such, viz. Glorification. We have spoken of the Incoa­tion of it, which is in this life. It follows, to consider of the Perfection, or Consummation of it, which shall be hereafter in Heaven.

And this is the Subject now before us from this Text, which plainly speaks of future Glo­ry; for it speaks of that shall be actually pos­sessed and enjoyed after we have suffered a while here. There is a Glory now upon the faithful in their sufferings, 1 Pet. 4.14. But this Text speaks of that perfect fulness of Glo­ry [Page 5] for ever, that shall be enjoyed after all their sufferings are ended. That it is so, (or the truth of the Doctrine) is evident in the Text, and in multitude of other Scriptures; Rom. 8.18. 2 Cor. 4.17, 18. & 5.1. Luk. 18.29, 30. 1 Pet. 1.4. It is that God hath promised and appointed, Jam. 1.12. & 2.5. Luk. 12.32. Christ hath purchased, Hebr. 9.12, 15. prayed for, Joh. 17.24. and possessed as our fore­runner, Joh. 14.2, 3. Hebr. 6.20. and that all the Saints have expected, and lived and died in the certain hope of, Hebr. 11.10, 16, 26. & 13.14. Rom. 5.2. 2 Tim. 4.8, 18. Philip. 3.20, 21. Col. 1.5. 2 Thes. 1.5, 7. Ps. 73.24. Nothing more evident and frequent in the Scripture than this. As it is a matter of Faith not seen at present, but believed and hoped for, so God hath given us abundant ground for Faith, or testimony concerning it in his Word.

Q. But the principal question before us, is, What this Glohy is that the faithful shall enjoy in the world to come?

A. We cannot fully tell you what it is, 1 Cor. 2.9. if not the good and great myste­ries of the Gosp [...]l, then much less the Glory of Heaven, which is the up-shot of all those myste­ries, and whereof the best Saints do see but some glimmerings here. But what the Scrip­ture hath plainly recorded, we may gather up, [Page 6] and thence draw a little map or general view of that Glory that is prepared for us in ano­ther world, such as may suit and reach useful practical ends, (to stir us up to seek after it, to esteem it above all the world, and make us account it the only great matter and necessity to get to Heaven, and may help the Saints to rejoyce in their portion, and comfort them over all their sorrows in this life, &c.) though not to satisfie or feed a curiosity of roving speculation.

A sober apprehension of Heavens Glory, is sufficient for us while we are in the way to it; an exact comprehension of all particulars will be had time enough when we come thither. But when Earth is full of trouble, and evil round about us, it is not unsuitable to hear of Heaven, and to be looking into that, 2 Cor. 4.16, 18. we shall not faint as long as we look upward, Act. 7.54, 55. We are ready to look on the right hand and on the left, but to be looking up stedfastly into Heaven, is the best posture in evil times. We need bitter things here to drive us off from the Earth; but our hearts had need be relishing and tasting the sweetness of Heaven, to draw them up thi­ther. When Peter wrote to the Saints under great and manifold tryals and afflictions, in a time when Judgment must begin at the house of God, and many amazements and terrours [Page 7] were ready to seize on poor Christians, both men and women, 1. Pet. 3.6, 14. Now he discourses much of Heaven, and of the Glory there. He begins with it 1 Pet. 1.4, 5, &c. and ends with it in the Text. A discourse on such a subject, is not unsuitable at such a season. Now therefore for a short view of that eternal Glory that is the portion of the faithful in the world to come, (or of the Glory of the Saints in Heaven) it may be set forth and considered, 1. In a Positive; 2. In a Comparative, or Ar­gumentative way, from such Comparisons and Considerations as may argue the greatness and goodness of this Glory. 1. In a Positive way, so we may take this description of it.

☞ The Glory of the faithful in the life to come, wherein the benefit of Glorification is consummate, it is the perfect blessedness of the Saints, whereby in their souls after death, and in soul and body after Judgment, (or after the Resurrection,) being fully freed from all evil both of sin and sorrow, they shall be filled with holiness and comfort, and all good, in the full fruition of God, (or compleat communion with God Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,) all together in the highest Heavens for evermore. The summe of it stands in,

  • 1. The Matter or Ess [...]nce of it; which con­sists,
    • 1. In perfect freedom from all evil.
    • [Page 8]2. Perfect enjoyment of all good.
  • 2. The continuance or duration of it, that it is eternal, or for evermore.
  • 3 The degrees of it; that it is enjoyed, 1. In soul after death. 2. In soul and body, at, and after the last Judgment.

1. This Glory of the Saints in the world to come contains in it, 1. Perfect freedom from all evil. They are in part freed here, (some beginning of deliverance from sin and misery here,) but there perfectly; every rag and rem­nant, every spot of sin, and wrinkle of misery, shall be there utterly taken away and aboli­shed, Ephes. 5.27.

1. From sin, the worst of evils; there will b [...] perfect freedom and deliverance from sin, not only guilt and reigning power, but from th [...] being of it. Those prayers then will be fully answered, Hos. 14.2. Psal. 39.8. and that design of Christ fully accomplished, 1 Job. 3.5. Tit. 2.14. 1 Pet. 2.24. Hebr. 12.23. therefore free from the moral imperfection of sin, per­fectly sanctified. You shall then be freed from sin, both 1. In the habit; the disposition of sin will be [...]hen abolished, the roots, and [...]eeds, and principles of it plucked up; no more in­clination or proneness to the least evil, or in­disposedness to good: you shall never complain of (or be troubled with,) a body of death more, Rom. 7.24.

[Page 9]Perfect blessedness will take away that wret­chedness. 2. In the act of it, from the greatest to the least; no act of sin shall ever be done in Hea­ven, which is a place of perfect holiness; when once there, you shall never have vain thought more, never swerve from the rule of holiness either in thought, word, or deed; not a sinful omission or defect of loving, delighting in, praising, glorifying God, of acting your facul­ties and affections upon God, shall then be found with you: Oh what an Heaven of hap­piness is there in this alone one particular, to be freed from sin! Sin is the heaviest burden of the Saints here, and that that makes their lives bitter to them, that they cannot live without sinning against God: Let all the world smile on them, this makes them go up and down with heavy hearts. If the Lord should say to any gracious heart here, Ask what I shall give thee; thou wouldst say, Lord, that I might be rid of sin; thou wouldst rather have this, than Crowns and Kingdoms. Why this desire shall be fully granted then. These corruptions that have dogged thee up and down the world and oft prevail'd, shall never trouble thee more. The sins thou hast been groaning under all thy life long, since any spark of spiritual life was put into thee, once on Canaan shore, thou shalt see those Egyptians no more for ever. No pride, no passion; no sloathfulness, no car­nal [Page 10] mindedness, no fleshliness no coldness, deadness of heart and affections, no uneven walking, no grieving of the Spirit of God, or of the spirits of Fellow-Brethren, no unholy action or conversation, shall ever be heard of more. There in that Canaan above, the Lord will give you rest from all your Enemies, and from those especially, Hebr. 4.9, 10. Those Canaanites that have been so long thorns in your sides, you shall see an end of them, (that then will be perfectly fulfilled, Zech. 14.21.) and triumph over all; behold that fully done, Micah 7.19. and then sing, as Exod. 15.1, 4. (All the works of the Devil, all the train of that Hellish band hath he utterly destroyed, v. 5, 6.)

2. From sorrow or misery, all manner of af­flictive evils (sin and misery go together, as the body and the shaddow; when the former is abolished, the latter also shall altogether cease) As viz. 1. Satans temptations tending either to sin or discomfort, to defile or disquiet us. Once in Heaven, you shall never have temp­tation more. That evil one shall never cast in a bad thought, or tempting inticement, or a troublesome fear and discouragement, or vex­ing disquietment: He shall never fling a fiery dart at thee more, none of his messengers shall ever buffet thee any more. Here he cannot de­stroy a Saint; but there he shall not so much [Page 11] as disquiet: For Satan's walk and rend'vouz is on the earth, Job. 1.7. But he never came in Heaven since he was a Devil, nor ever shall come there; the highest room where he comes in, is the Aire, (Epes. 2.2. this Elemental world) but never mounts so high as the third Heaven. He is cast down into Hell, and shall never come in Heaven, 2 Pet. 2.4. Jude 6. While the Saints tread on the earth where that Serpent Crawles, he may bite (nible at) their heel: But when once they are with their head in Heaven in their state of Exaltation, there they are quite out of his reach; though both Christ and Christians in their Humiliation-time here on earth, were lyable to be tempted and troubled by the Devil. Then the Saints shall fully triumph over this Hellish Pharaoh, (the Devil, him and all his host or train) when he shall be cast into the Sea and deep of that full torment that is prepared for the Devil and his Angels; into which he shall be actually cast after the last Judgment. Now is his Tempting, but then shall be his Tormenting time, Mat. 8.29. His tempting time and his ranging about for that purpose (1 Pet. 5.8.) will be then at an end: Satan is said to be shut up and bound during the prosperous and flourishing times of the Church in this world, Revel. 20.23. But much more fully and absolutely shall he be bound from molesting the Saints of their [Page 12] triumphant state in Heaven: then shall he and all his Complices be in torment, Revel. 20.10. While the Saints reign in Peace for ever. Oh the sad Annoyance that even Gods dear children have from that Belzebub here, Zech. 3.1. but they shall be fully forced from that hereafter.

2. Injuries and molestations from evil and wicked men, there will be none of them in Heaven, neither (as Job 3.17, 18. true of the Grave but much more of the state of the Saints happiness of the life to come.) No wick­ed man, no Injurious Adversary, no Papistical or Atheistical hater of God and his people shall ever come within Heaven doors, (none but Saints shall be there alone together) much less be able to trouble or molest there. Then shall the promise be fully acomplished, 2 Sam. 7.10. Whatsoever Corner of the earth you retire or remove into and plant in, you see the children of wickedness can follow you thither and af­flict you: The Saints shall never be planted in a place that is absolutely their own till they come to Heaven. Oh, get a Patent for that, take up a Lot, and build and plant there in Heaven, and then you shall have a place of your own (what you send thither aforehand, your Hope, your Treasure, &c. is safe; and when your persons are there once) none shall ever mo­lest you more; no fear of invasion, no ene­mies [Page 13] to annoy of one nature or other, no Pirates by Sea, nor Parties by Land, no Sword nor weapon of destruction there, no going in­to Captivity, no Garments rolled in blood, no sound of the Trumpet or Alarm of War. It may be when you came into this Wilderness, you thought that this would be a place of your own, and that none would ever trouble them­selves to come into this Corner to trouble you. But alas New-England is but Earth and not Heaven: No place on Earth is exempted from molestation by the Devil and his Instruments, but Heaven is that, and that alone, and that fully; there the Children of wickedness and the Sons of violence shall not afflict you any more as before time; then will those prayers be fully and compleatly answered, (which the poor children of God have oft need to power out before him) Psal. 140.1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, and 17.4. the Saints may then triumph over all wicked Adversaries, as Psal. 9.6, 7. Also the troubles that arise from the mixtures of the Wicked among the Godly (as here there is a mixture of bad with good, and much trouble thence ariseth,) will there be ended; there is no Mesech nor Tent of Keder to be complained of, as Psal. 120.5, 6. nor as Psal. 57.4. nor yet false Brethren (unfaithful, unsound, Hete­redox, or Hypocritical persons that are secret adversaries to Truth and Piety) as 2 Cor. 11.26. [Page 14] Psal. 55.12, 13. You shall have no dis­couraging company in Heaven that will clog, and thwart and hinder you in that that is good, none to oppose either Truth or Piety; but all to joyn with one accord in the serving and Glorifying of God.

3. Divisions, differences and dissentions a­mong the Godly, which the state of Imperfecti­on on earth is lyably to, and lamentably cum­bred with, and trouble and disquietment mul­tiplied thereby, but no such thing in Heaven; there is but one mind, and one mouth in Hea­ven, as there is but one truth, not so much as a dissering apprehension among all the thou­sands and millions of Saints there. There we shall fully attain what is exhorted to, 1 Cor. 1.10. and prayed for, Rom. 15.5, 6, 7. There that goodly sight is to be seen in perfection, Psal. 133.1. The state of perfection there im­plyes and infers this, Hebr. 12.23. The Saints while children may wrangle, and contend, and differ; but when grown up to their adult age, and to a perfect man, they will have more grace than so, Ephes. 4.13, 14. That ignorance, weakness and darkness whereby we are oft here mistaken and miss the truth, and cannot see the same truth by the same light, (our knowing in part, whence we may be mistaken in part, ignorant in part,) will then be done away, and hence perfect union in the truth, [Page 15] which is but one, 1 Cor. 13.9, 10, 11, 12. Si non amplius in his terris te visurns sum, (said old Grineus writing to Chytraeus apud Milch. Adam. pag. 879.) ibi tamen convenie­mus, ubi Luthero cum Luingleo optimè jam con­venit. Paul and Barnahas, Hooper and Ridley, Luther and Zuinglius are there fully reconci­led, and shall never differ or contend more. Heaven is full both of peace and truth, even of that peace that is knit in the bonds of truth and holiness. The griefs and distracti­ons that result from dissentions among the Godly here, are there all swallowed up in perfect peace. And so all the difficulties and weary travails, and oppositions that Christ's Kingdom now conflicts with, and must be carried on through, are there ended: Mans corruptions, Satans temptations, weakness on every hand, cumbers even Gods work with difficulty and obstruction here; but no such thing there: the Militant state of Christ's Kingdom is then ended, and it passeth into a state of victory and rest.

4. Bodily ailes, sicknesses, pains, weakness, deformities, infirmities of what kind soever, you shall be freed from all these in the life to come, Philip. 3.21. Do you think the body of Christ now glorified knows any pain, or grief, or weakness, as when on earth? no more shall the bodies of the Saints in Heaven; but be in [Page 16] perfect health, in your beauty, strength and Glory for ever, 1 Cor. 15.42, 43. The Resur­rection (to that life to come) will cure the oldest pain, aile, ache, disease, lameness, that could not be cured here; those ailes that you carry to your Graves with you, you shall not bring them out of your Graves again; you shall rise again, but they shall be buried, and lost and laid aside for ever; nor shall the body be so troublesome as now, need so much ado about it, and so many shores and props of meat, drink, sleep, cloathing, &c. You are groaning now under many bodily ailes and evils; but then comes a day of Redemption of the body, as well as soul, actual perfect Re­demption of it from all evil, Rom. 8.23.

5. All other afflictions from the hand of God: all the remnants of the Curse that Christ leaveth upon us in this world for our chastisement and correction, Rev. 21 4. if it shall be so comparatively, (i. e. compar'd with the troubles of former times,) in the more glo­rious times of the Church Militant, much more will it be so absolutely in the glorified estate of the Church-Triumphant. While sin is with us, (as here,) there will be sorrow but the abolition of sin will abolish sorrow too per­fectly: No sin, and no sorrow neither in Hea­ven: All tears shall be wiped away; i. e. all afflictions or troubles that are the cause of [Page 17] tears, shall be quite taken away: No more of those tears that arise from the various tryals of this weary life, wants, straits, losses, crosses, in Name, Estate, Relations, Imployments; the briars, thorns and thistles that grow in every corner of the field of this world, Ezek. 26.24. There will need no rod in Heaven, not a frown, nor a blow, nor a stroke of correcting anger there: As there is nothing but wrath in Hell, so there will be nothing but love in Heaven: Here on earth there is a mixture of both, yea even to Gods own people while they have sin in them, and are full of faults, though Children, their Father cannot but be angry with them now and then▪ and they need a rod ever and anon, Psal. 89.32, 33. but in Heaven, as no sin, so no anger, no not for chastening there [...] the Lord will never knit his brows, nor chide or strike, never hide his face (there be here Soul-afflictive spiritual Ago­nies from a sense of Gods anger, and doubts of his love, those also shall cease) but they shall live under the smiles of his face, and light of his countenance without interruption. But thus in that, as to fredom from all evil, as 2 Cor. 5.4. so sin is swallowed up of grace and holiness; the remainders of sin and sor­row that hang about us in this state of Im­perfection, are utterly swallowed up and abolished by that perfect holiness, and per­fect [Page 18] happiness that there is, and continues for ever.

2. Perfect enjoyment of all good. It is not a meer negative happiness that the Saints in Heaven partake of, viz. a not being misera­ble, an absence of evil; but also the positive presence and enjoyment of all good, Psal. 16.11. Joy is from the presence of good, and full joy from the satisfying fulness of all good. Under this Head may be comprised those great and glorious things that make up, and compleat the positive happiness of the Saints in Heaven, and were pointed to in the description: As, viz. 1. Full fruition or enjoyment of God; perfect, glorious and full communion with God, the God of Glory, God Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. This is the main, and the essence of the Happiness of Heaven. It is not a carnal or sensual thing, (standing in bodily, carnal pleasures and delights, as Pagans and Maho­metans teach, and sensual Spirits dream) but spiritual, divine and coelestial, standing in the enjoyment of God, and communion with him. This we have some little tast of here, but be­ing there in perfection, it makes up perfect blessedness: for mans blessedness lies in frui­tion of God the chief Good, whom he was made for, and in whom is that infinite fulness of all good, that is able to satisfie and make happy the soul of man, and to be the endless [Page 19] joy thereof. It is not Creatures, Crowns, Kingdoms, not a Created world, or heap of worlds, but Jehovah himself that you shall en­joy in Heaven. The infinite increated Good, who is greater, better and sweeter than ten thousand worlds, God blessed for evermore: 'Tis he that is the All of the Saints there, 1 Cor. 15.126. You shall not only have an In­terest in him, relation to him, (that you have here) but actually enjoy him; and not only some beginning or tast of that enjoyment, but enjoy him in the fullest, most immediate, and most perfect manner that finite Creatures are capable of. It is called the seeing (the beati­fical vision) of God, Mat. 5.8. a seeing him face to face, 1 Cor. 13.12. Not that the Saints see God (i. e. the Divine Essence) with bo­dily eyes, (though Christ, who is God as well as Man, they shall so see, Job 19.26.) nor yet with the eye and faculty of the understand­ing (being finite) can they have a full, ade­quate, comprehensive sight or knowledge of the Infinite God as he is in himself: But as fully, gloriously, clearly and immediately as a Glorified soul is capable of, and unspeakably beyond and above what is attained here, and unto full satisfaction shall they see his Glory, and enjoy the pourings out of his love and goodness; for seeing is oft used for enjoying in Scripture.

[Page 20]The particular manner and way of this vi­sion and fruition of God, how can we in this Tabernacle and twilight discern or describe? we speak but as Children of these things, 1 Cor. 13.11. But in general; we know in Communion there is a mutual acting: As here our acting (the acting of our souls) upon God, and Gods letting out himself (commu­nicating himself) to us; and it is by these two faculties that our souls (for it is a Soul-communion that we here speak of) act upon an object, viz. the understanding and the will, in which the affections are included, for they are but the actings and out-goings of the will; so in the acting of those two upon God, and in Gods letting out himself unto those, viz. into our understandings and our hearts, (or wills and affections) lies this commu­nion; and in the highest and plenary degree of both those, according to the capacity of each Saint. Hence this full and glorious com­munion with God in Heaven contains, 1. A clear vision or sight of the Glory of God by the understanding: not only an habitual knowledge but an actual looking, beholding (Mat. 18.10.) and gazing upon the face of God; i. e God in the full manifestation and discovery of himself in his Essence, Attributes, Subsista [...]c [...], Works, in the mystery of Christ Jesus, of his Word, Gospel, Scriptures, Provi­dences, [Page 21] Truths; all that is knowable, all that God hath, does, or shall communicate and make known to his Saints. You shall then see all, (and there are obj [...]cts that shall ra­vish all beholders for ever;) now you have some dark glimmerings of things, (1 Cor. 13.12. that natural darkness being not yet dis­pelled, Ephes. 4.18.) but then clearly as at Noon-day, as those who see face to face. God also shining into the understanding, letting in the Heavenly light of Glory thereinto, and so communicating to the soul a beatifical vision of himself, i. e. of the whole discovery or Re­velation of himself, which he hath made in Works or Scriptures here, (the meaning and Glory of all which they shall then see and un­derstand) or shall further make, and give forth to the Saints in Heaven.

2. A fruition of the goodness of God by the will, the will and affections; or a taking in, closing with, and drinking down the sweet of the love and goodness of God, which the Lord will let out unto the soul, and fill it with, to its everlasting joy, delight and fullest satisfaction, Psal. 16.11. & 36.8. The love and goodness of God, being poured forth and communicated in the sweet and lively sense of it, (as will then be fully and perpetually, which we have but a little tast of here, Rom. 5.5.) will be as a River of pleasure, which [Page 22] the soul will be drinking of to all Eternity. Hence all the liking and delightful affections, (love, joy, desire, delight) will be acting to the highest upon God, and filled full with him, and hence ravished always with his love, and enlarged to praise, bless and glorifie him, and sing forth Hallelujahs for ever.

SERMON II.

MOreover there will be a special commu­nion with each person of the sacred Trinity, God Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, according to their several special operations for us, and manifestations of themselves to us.

1. The face of the Fathers love will be seen in its Glory and sweetness, in electing, chu­sing, giving his Son, transacting with him, Justifying, Adopting, &c. and to see him a­gainst whom we had sinned, smiling on us with complacence and delight, taking us into his bosom, and loving us with the same love wherewi [...]h he loves his own Son, how ravish­ing will that be? You shall then be in the Fa­thers house, Joh. 14.2. and under the pour­ings out of the Fathers love, Joh. 16.27, 28. & 14.21, 23. & 17.21, 23, 24.

[Page 23]Going to Heaven, is called (or explained by) going to the Father, Joh. 14.2, - 6. It is the Journy's end, and the last and highest rest of the souls of the Saints, and of all their de­sires, hopes, prayers, breathings (as Joh. 14.8.) to behold the Fathers Face (Mat. 18.10.) and to have a full sight and enjoyment of his Love and Communion. From this we were cut off by sin, by our fall from God as Creator, and hence seperated from his presence, and never since sin came in, could the Father have to do with us in an immediate way. And while sin hangs upon the Saints, they have more dark and doubtful, and distant thoughts of the Fathers Love: We can more readily see the Love of Christ who is the next to us, and con­verses immediatly with sinners: But now after that the effect of Christs Redemption and Me­diation shall be finished; and their full Re­storation into the Bosom of the Fathers Love accomplished, by him who is the way thither, Joh. 14.6. and sin utterly abolished, and the Saints perfectly restored to the Image of God and made like their Heavenly Father: And so Christ shall deliver up his Kindom; i. e. the pre­sent militant and mediate administration of his Kingdom, and present it in its compleat, perfect and unchangeable state, as the Effect and final Issue of that Negotiation, which he hath exercis [...]d in the time of this World, 1 Cor. [Page 24] 15.24, - 28. Then will God the Father (with the Son and Spirit) more immediatly (in an unspeakable manner) Communicate himself to the Saints, and bare the face of his Love; take them into his more Immediate presence, fill them with his goodness, and be all in all to them. And then shall the Saints see and ascend unto the Fountain-love of the Father, the ori­ginal of the whole Mystery of Christ, and of all the grace and salvation by him, the Well-head of all gracious Dispensations and Communi­cations, in a fuller manner then now they can. They shall everlastingly be drinking down, and Bathing themselves in those Rivers of Love that have been running down from Everlasting, and from the well-spring of Election have issued forth in the whole Dis­pensation of Christ: From the Father they were given to Christ, Joh. 17.6. To him they shall then be presented, Heb. 2.13. Jude 24. and by Christ brought into the nearest Union and Communion with him that possible can be, Joh. 17.21, - 22, - 26. The Scripture speaks much of the Fathers Love, 2 Cor. 13.13. 1 Joh. 16.27. Rom. 8.39.

And that (often) antecedent to the sending of Christ, and all benefits by him as the ori­ginal and fountain thereof, Joh. 3.16. 1 Joh. 4.8, 9, 10. Ephes. 3.3, - 6. Tit. 3.4, - 6. This will then be seen and enjoyed in the fullest [Page 25] manner and measure, according to the capacity of glorified Saints. God the Father will be letting forth, and pouring out his love into the souls of the Saints, (shedding it abroad in greater measures than now, Rom. 5.5.) and they drinking down the sweetness thereof for evermore, beholding and tasting what manner of love that is, which here they can see and conceive but a little of, 1 Joh. 3.1, 2. and as Ephes. 3.18, 19. They also making re­turns of love unto him, and sweetest ebulli­tions thereof, loving God then actually with all the heart, soul, strength and mind, as is commanded. This loving communion with God the Father (or communion with him in love) shall the Saints enjoy in Heaven in the fullest manner for evermore.

2. The Son of God who is incarnate, the Lord Jesus Christ who is Man as well as God, his face shall be seen, and his company en­joyed by the Saints in Heaven, in a peculiar and most immediate manner; you shall see the man Christ with bodily eyes, as Job 19.27. you shall ascend to him then, and be with him, enjoy his immediate company and com­munion, see him face to face, Job 19.25, 26, 27. Philip. 1.23. 2 Cor. 5.8. 1 Thes. 4.17. 1 Joh. 3.2. You shall hear him speak to you, and discourse of the great things of God, each word of whose lips will be more sweet than [Page 26] ten thousands of Gold and Silver; you shall behold him pouring forth himself and his love, yea the love of God to you, and the disco­veries and communications of his grace and goodness, through, the lips and expressions of a man; you shall then have full communion with the man Christ Jesus, that everlasting Mediator between God and Man. Why the company of a good man, a loving friend, a gracious Saint here, that breaths much of Christ, how sweet is it? What then is the company of Christ himself, who is full of grace and truth, and that with the fulness of an head to derive like Grace, and so now like Glory to all his members? For as he is the merito­rious and dispensing cause, so also the exem­plary cause, as of all Grace here, so of Glory hereafter, as Joh. 1.16. so you shall have Glory for Glory, Glory in your measure like unto his Glory; the Glory that he shines with in Heaven, you must share in it, and have; you shall have the same Glory for kind and nature, though for measure and degree not equal, but he will still have the preheminence, Joh. 17.22. Rom. 8.29. 1 Joh. 3.2. you shall live in the same Heaven with him, Joh. 14.3. partake of the same love of the Father, Joh. 17.23. drink of the same pleasures, live the same life of holiness and happiness, reign with him in the same Kingdom, Rom. 8.17. Rev. [Page 27] 3.21. Be thrown into the same Ocean of Joy (though Vessels of different quantity will take in different measures, and so difference in de­grees between the Saints themselves, much more between the Saints and Christ.) Yea, pro­bably the Saints in Heaven may have Commu­nion with Christ in the Acts of Grace, as here in this life they have Communion with him in the habits of Grace; i. e. that the same Actings, the same Contemplations, Tasts, Ap­prehensions, Ebullitions of heart, the same springing of Love, Joy, Delight and sweet Affection, that the man Christ hath, shall run through Heaven and be in their measure com­municated to all the Saints there: For Glory properly stands in, and results from the lively Acting of Grace; and therefore Communion in Glory, may import Communion in the Acts of Grace, &c. But however, to be sure, they shall be like him, 1 Joh. 3.2. And bear his Glorious Heavenly Image there, 1 Cor. 15.48, 49. Like him in Soul, Pure, Heavenly, Holy, inlarged in Love to God, and to his Glory as he is, and like him in body too, Phil. 3.21. And enjoy his Blessed Converse and Com­pany.

What the particular Imployment and manner of Converse of the man Christ, with and among the Saints in Heaven will be, we cannot now tell you, you shall know it when you come [Page 28] there; to be sure it will be most Holy, ex­cellent and Glorious, and full of mutual joy and delight; I may suggest this meditation. Look what Christ did in Converse with his Disciples after his Resurrection, when he was then entred into a Glorified estate, he then opened to them the Scriptures, so as their hearts burnt within them, Luk. 24.27, 32, 44, 45. And spake of things of the Kingdom of God, Act. 13. Then indeed but in order to the carrying on of the Kingdom of Grace, and in such a measure as suited that end. But why may we not think that he will then in Heaven in such a manner and measure, as suites the Kingdom of Glory, expound the Scriptures, lay open the depths of the Book of God, and the Mysteries of Divinity, those fully and clear­ly that were here known but in a little part, and other points that were not known at all, the wonders of Law and Gospel, of the Word and Works of God, the depths and know­ledge of Wisdom: But especially the depths of Love and Grace (the things that tend to the praise of the Glory of Gods Grace; the great end of all his dealings with his people, Ephes. 1.6.) those will he open and lay forth in a glorious manner: And oh the burnings and flames, and sparkling Impressions of Sera­phical Affections that all the Saints about him will then be filled with. Never such a Preacher, [Page 29] and never such Hearers for Attention and Af­fection (no Sleeping, no Dulness, no Weariness) as there will be. In a word, Ordinances then shall cease, but the quintessence and extract of all Ordinances shall be then enjoyed (that power and Glory of God, that beauty of the Lord be seen in the Sanctuary of Heaven, that here were but glimpses through Glasses) Mat. 26.29. Glo­rious and sweet Communion do the Saints here enjoy with Christ at a Sacrament, in that Ordinance of the Lords Supper: But in Hea­ven (in the Kingdom of his Father) he will (as I may say) celebrate that Sacrament, i. e. give them the quintessence, comfort and Commu­nion of it in another manner; in new, fresh and immediate Communications of his Grace and sweetness. There shall not be now need of any outward Elements, Bread or Wine; but the Inward part, the Spiritual Communion; they shall have it new and fresh (in a more lively and better, fuller manner then here) whence they shall be as men full of new Wine, filled with the Springs of Heavenly Affection and Consolation. Wine is oft used to express Joy, Gladness, Comfort, Psal. 104.15. The Com­munion between Christ and the Saints in the Coelestial Life, will compleat, perfect, and far transcend that that is but in a weak and mean degree, begun in Ordinances here. Con­sider also that the Union and Communion be­tween [Page 30] Christ and the faithful, being set forth by that of the Conjugal relation in Scripture, our present state is but an Espousal, the Con­summation of the Marriage is at the day of Judgment; thence follows the full enjoyment each of other in Heaven, when Christ hath carried his Spouse home to his Fathers house, Ineffable, Mutual Delight, Communion, Com­munication of Secrets and Hearts each to o­ther, Joy and Contentment will thence ensue. Then will those words be most fully verified, Isa. 62.4, 5. and 54.4, 5, 8. Zeph. 3.17. Then will the Book of Canticles (that Book of Loves between Christ and his Church) be understood and fully practised: But thus in Heaven you shall have Immediate and full Communion with the Lord Jesus. You hear of him now, but you shall see him then, and be ever with him; there was flocking to see him, when on earth in his Humiliation, Luk. 19.3, 4. And the Spiritually minded then saw Glory in him, Joh. 14. But what will it be then to see him in Heaven in his Glorified estate? And not only to see him as a stranger, as a Glorious person: But to see and enjoy him as thy Friend, as thy Brother, Saviour, Husband, Cant. 5.16. One who sometimes powered out his Heart-blood for thee, and will now power out his Heart-love to thee for evermore.

3. The Saints shall have full Communion [Page 31] with the Holy Ghost, they shall have the Ever­lasting fulness and presence of the Spirit, and so have a fulness of Gifts and Graces, of Holi­ness and Comfort for evermore. The Saints have somewhat of the Communion of the Ho­ly Ghost now, 2 Cor. 13.14. But they shall have it in perfection then. We have but the first fruits of the Spirit, but an earnest penny now, Rom. 8.23. 2 Cor. 1.22. and 5.5. There­fore there is an Harvest, the whole sum, a ful­ness of the Spirit that shall be imparted then. And as the Holy Spirit is a Spirit of Grace and Comfort now, by whose Presence and As­sistance we are upheld in both, so will he be then; only in such a way, manner and measure as suits a state of Perfection; then he will rest upon you as a Spirit of Glory, so hath he done in a great degree on some Martyrs here, 1 Pet. 4.14. but there, in Perfection on all the Saints.

Hence the Saints in Heaven having the ful­ness of the Spirit, shall be replenished with all those Excellencies and endowments that are the Effects and fruits of the presence and special operation of the Spirit, filled with all the fulness of God. As 1. With singular Di­vine Guifts of knowledge, wisdom, inlarge­ment of understanding (as 1 King. 4.29.) and utterance, (For there will be use of utterance in Heaven, in Glorious Conference and Con­verse [Page 32] of the Saints.) Here are Gifts given for the Kingdom of Grace by the Spirit, 1 Cor. 12.4, 8, 11. But there are Guifts suiting the Kingdom of Glory. 2. With all Graces of Holiness or Sanctification; those now brought to per­fection, and kept up in act and exercise. Sancti­fication of the Spirit (2 Thes. 2.13.) will then be perfect (of which further afterward con­cerning the Glory of the Soul) and there will be the constant un-interrupted Presence and Assistance of the Spirit to actuate every Grace, to keep it up in its full exercise: The heart ever inlarged for God, ever fixed and tuned to sing his Praise, as Psal. 57.7, 8. Thy Glory (Heart and Tongue) shall be ever awake, thy Harp ever in Tune then, the Spirit of Grace everlastingly filling and quickning thy Heart, and holding thee up in Heavenly, Spiritual activity and inlargement. 3. With abundant Comfort and Consolation. The Holy Ghost will then fully do that work of a Comforter, and dwell in all the Saints as such, (Joh. 14.16.) in his Choicest and most Glorious Com­forting Operations. That in Rom. 5.5. will then be fully done: Then perfect Assurance and sense of the Love of God, without all mix­ture of doubt, or fear, or darkness; full Assu­rance shall be wanting to never a Saint in Hea­ven; the meanest shall see the Love of God more clearly than the strongest did here: That [Page 33] great question, will then be out of question for­ever. The light of Gods Countenance shall be then lifted up, and shine upon your souls as a Sun that never sets, nor is overcast with clouds. The knowledge and sense of that one thing, [that the Infinite God loves thee with an everlasting love] which is more worth than ten thousand, thousand worlds, shall live in thy heart, and be the Life and Joy of thy Soul; and fill thee with peace that passeth all under­standing. The joy of the Holy Ghost (that is a manifest and eminent part of our Com­munion with the Holy Ghost) shall then be at its full height, which now we have but some tasts and drops of, Rom. 14.17. That that Christ hath been so long aiming and driving at, will then be attained, Joh. 15.11. and 16.24. Their Joy is the Element the Saints in Heaven live in, (they breath in no other Aire but that) the Ocean they swim in: It is that they enter and go into, Mat. 25.21, 23. Joy at once expresses Heaven, and Hea­venly Glory: It is a Mass or Heap of Joy, a Region of Joy, an Aire and Element of Joy (the Joy of the Lord God, the Joy of the Holy Ghost) into which they are brought, and where they breath and live, and swim in the fulness thereof for ever, Psal. 16.11.

2. A second thing considerable in the po­sitive Happiness of the Saints in Heaven, is [Page 34] their inherent personal (subjective, the former particular pointeth chiefly to their obj [...]ctive Glory, though they go together; and ther [...]fore both there and here somewhat of both) Glory, or perfection both of Soul and Body. This partly makes them capable of that foresaid full enjoyment of God, and partly results from it. For our present frail, weak and distempered faculties are not capable of that Glory and Glo­rious Communion, 1 Cor. 15.50. and 2.9. they must therefore be raised up to an higher state of Perf [...]ction in order thereunto. And the enjoyment of that Communion with God continually reflects unspeakable Glory and Happiness, inherent Excellencies upon the whole man. But hence the person of each Saint is Glorified (filled with Glorious Excel­lency and Perfection both of Soul and Body:) All that be there are Glorified Persons, Rom. 8.17, 18, 30. Col [...]ss. 3.4. Glorious or Glorified they are both in their Souls and Bodies i. e. considering them as they shall be after the Re­surrection and last Judgment. Consider there­fore a little. 1. Of the Glory of the Soul. 2. Of the Body of a Saint.

1. The Glory, Felicity and Perfection of the Soul of a Glorified Saint. The Soul is lifted up to its full Perf [...]ction, Hebr. 12.23. endowed with all those Excellencies and Perfections that are proper to it, especially the perfect Resto­ration [Page 35] of the Image of God, and all the good and Excellency that resulteth thence, made like unto the Soul of Jesus Christ, 1 Joh. 3.2.

The most proper and principal subj [...]ct of Heavens Glory, is the Soul. Hence it's cal­led the Salvation of our Souls, 1 Pet. 1.9. that is, the great Vessel that holds the Riches of Glory that are powered in there, Rom. 9.23. The Soul of man is capable of more Glory and good, than is in all this whole lower world put together, all the Pleasures and Treasures of it cannot fill one Soul: (no not as its now on earth in its narrow capacity; for it shall be far larger when in its Glorified inlarged capa­city in Heaven.) But then it shall be filled full as it can hold: All the Excellency that a Created Soul is capable of, shall then be put upon it; and all the good and Glory its ca­pable of holding, poured into it. Consider it in those two faculties of the Soul, Understand­ing and Will. 1. The Understanding shall be. 1. Strengthned and enlarged, enabled to see much and far; raised and heightned to great quickness and deep Comprehensions of Understanding, Isa. 11.2, 3. So when the spirit of Glory shall rest on the Saints in Hea­ven, (the Members of Christ) it shall make them of quick and large Understandings; yea quick to discerne and conceive of Spiritual objects, and things which here we are dull and [Page 36] slow in. Some men here on earth (in this dark lumpish house of Clay) have been of accute understandings, quick apprehensions, and vast Parts and Abilities; what then shall Saints in Heaven be. Solomon had a large Understand­ing, that held as many Notions and Concep­tions, as there are Sands on the Sea-shore, 1 King. 4.29.

And yet (saith one, viz. Dr. Goodwin on Rom. 8.18. page 56.) the Soul of the least Child (i. e. that was a Child here, for vide Aquinas in supplement. Q 81. and Bolton of Heaven, page 129.) in Heaven, that went out of the World happily, when but newly come forth of his Mothers Womb, exceeds all the knowledge that Solomon had on earth. Adam before the Fall had a large and ready Understanding, as his so soon naming the Creatures according to their natures shewes: But Heaven restores the Saints to Adam's Primitive Perfection, and unto more then so. All those Defects, Wounds and Weaknesses in mans nature, and so in his Understanding, that came in by sin, as fruits or punishments thereof, (or that im­port a miserable afflictive) Imperfection, or that unfit for the fruition of the appointed Glory; these are all removed from the Glo­rified Saint. 2. Furnished, yea filled and sa­tisfied with all useful, desirable, and Beatifical knowledge. The Glorified Saint shall be a­bundantly [Page 37] stored and furnished with Know­ledge, of the Works of God, and the admirable rayes and beams of Gods wisdom that shine therein (in the frame of his Works of Creation, and natures of his Creatures, which men now gather up somthing of from Arts and Sciences. True Learning will then,Note: Vide Bolton of Heaven, page 141, 142. and there come to, and be in its Per­fection. The clear certain know­ledge of all useful Truth will a­bound in that Heavenly Academy; for this will be for the Glory and Honour of God, that he may have the Glory of his Works, and of his Wisdom therein, that it may not be lost and buried, as it would be, (most of it) if neve [...] further seen into, and minded than it is here, Psal. 104.24.36. And it is a part of the per­fection and excellency of the Rational Crea­ture, an attaining of his end, who was made to behold the wisdom of God in the World, Job. 36.24, 25. And it was an Excellency he gave to Solomon, when he would be kind to him; therefore he will not deny it to his Saints in Heaven. And our present defect and dark­ness in this knowledge, is a fruit of the fall, therefore shall then be removed.

2. Of the Word of God, and of all the deep Mysteries of Religion, the meaning of the Holy Scriptures, and of the hardest places therein; the solution of the most knotty, questi­ons [Page 38] in Divinity, the Explication of the most Glorious and ravishing Mysteries of God and Christ, of Creation, Providence, Redemption and Application, &c. shall then be fully known and understood. This is evident▪ for know­ledge, especially in spiritual things, (matters of God and of Religion) shall then come to its full perfection, 1 Cor. 13.9, 12. And the beatifical vision compriseth this, Mat. 5.8. i. e. they shall see (with the understanding, as well as enjoy with the whole Soul) God in all those discoveries and manifestations of himself that Creature is capable of, and consequently in all truths concerning himself (all those Divine Truths) that make up that discovery. Yea, (I add) the mind shall be filled and satisfied with the knowledge and contemplation of those Glorious Truths and Objects, unto ra­vishing Joy and Contentment. Here the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear with hearing▪ Eccles. 1.8. but then it shall, though of so vast a concavity, (as we see here, the mind of man is a vast thing, it can take in, and swallow down Heaps of Knowledge, and yet is greedy after more; it can grasp that World in its conception, &c. Much more large will this Vessel be, when widened to its Glorified capacity, yet) it shall be filled and satisfied, Psal. 17.15. There is that to be seen and known in God that sufficeth, Joh. 14.8 (there [Page 39] is enough to suffice an infinite, therefore more than enough for a finite understanding.) I [...] ­sight of what was to be seen in Solomon and Solomon's Court, and hearing of his wisdom, was so ravishing and satisfying to the Queen of Sheba, 1 King. 10.3.8 What then will the fight of the Face and Glory of God in Heaven be. The eye of a mans body is but a small thing, and the apple of it smaller, yet by the help of the Sun it is able to take in, and be­hold half the world, the whole Hemisphere at once. How much more vast and large will the view and vision, and prospect of the eye of the understanding be, (what vast objects, delights and Glories will it take in) when it hath the light of the Glory of God in Heaven shining about it, yea into it, Psal. 36.8.9. It will take in great and wonderful discoveries of God, and even see his face, i. e. have a wonder­full Glorious view and vision of him, and of all those clear manifestations of himself, which he shall then communicate; but how large so­ever, it shall be filled unto full satisfaction, Psal. 17.15.

2. The Will, Heart and Affections shall also be.

1. Inlarged, or compleatly fitted, framed▪ disposed and sanctified to take in that Glory, or that Glorious Communion with God that is to be had in Heaven. The spirit will be per­fect [Page 40] (Hebr. 12.23.) in this respect, i. e. per­ [...]ctly sanctified, filled full of holiness, and so everlastingly fitted and inlarged for that holy work of Glorifying God, that is the work of Heaven; alwayes in tune for that, never out of frame, as you often are here. The Image of God upon the Soul, shall then be perfectly re­stored, as that part of it which stands in know­ledge, Colos. 3.10. so also that of holiness and righteousness, Epes. 4.24. which is seated chief­ly in the will and affections: your Souls shall be top full of Holiness. You that now long and cry out for Grace and Holiness, for an heart to love God, to fear him, to delight in him, to be inlarged for him, you shall then have your desire to the full; never feel a weak­ness or impotency, or straitness of heart God­ward more: never find your hearts at your left hand, but always dextrous in Holy works, and inlarged for it; then may each Saint say to another, as 2 Cor. 6.11. and to God de prae­senti, as Psal. 119.32. I will run, &c. For thou dost inlarge my heart. And especially the af­fection and Grace of Love, that shall be inlarged and flourish there: Love to God and to his Saints, the perfume of that will fill Heaven. Heaven is the place of Love, that is, the head-grace there alwayes acting, never failing, 1 Cor. 13.8.13. Those affections that bring pain with them, as tormenting fear and grief, 1 Jo [...]. [Page 41] 4.14.) and those Actings that imply Imper­fection in them; or a state of Imperfection ac­companying them as prophesie, and that infe­riour imperfect way and manner of know­ledge that we have here, and those actings of faith and hope that are proper to this life, (in contra-distinction to the fight and presence of the good believed and hoped for; though the Grace of faith and hope it self, or dependance on God in Christ shall continue in Heaven) those I say shall cease, but Love is alwayes comfortable, Philip. 2.1. and the full acting of Love, implies perfection, 1 Joh. 4.18. (the more intensely and strongly Love acts and carries the Soul to God, the more perfect we are, (the strongest acts of faith are under our greatest Imperfections, wants and miseries, when the good of the promise is wanting, Heb. 11.1.) And Love is most directly the spirit of Holiness, and of actual sweet joyful Commu­nion with God) and therefore Love shall emi­nently continue and flourish in Heaven, and be alwayes in fullest act and exercise. 2. Filled and satisfied with good, the heart of man is a large Vessel, the desires have a vast reach, even after infinite good: This whole World cannot satisfie one heart; but then it shall be filled (that word full verified, Isa. 55.2) Brim­ful of Comfort and Contentment in the fruiti­on of God who is goodness it self, infinitely [Page 42] good; enough to satisfie the endless reaches of the heart of man. You shall then have as much as you would have, when the will, the desire is opened to the widest, it shall be filled, Psal. 81.10. And whereas Love seeketh nearest Union and fullest Communion with the Beloved: If thy Soul love God, it would be drawn as near him as may be, Cant. 1.4. Why, Love shall be satisfied in this respect; the Soul shall be as near God as it would be, and have him as near as it would have, ever loving him, and ever loved of him, delighting in him, and de­lighted in by him; lying in the arms and bo­some of his Love: Christ and all the faithful, his Spouse will then give their Loves (Cant. 7.12. each to other, ever opening and exchang­ing hearts. And so Joy will then be full, Psal. 16.11. All the liking affections (whereby the will goes out unto,. embraces and enjoyes good) shall then be fully satisfied, as Psal. 107 9. Jerem. 31.25. Psal. 36.8. And for the Soul of man to be closing with and satiated, actually satisfied in God the chief and infinite good, this is Happiness: this is the fruition that is beatifical.

2. Consider the Glory of the Body, viz. when that shall come to its Glorified estate, as it shall do at, and after its Resurrection. It shall then be Glorified as well as the Soul., be­ing made like the Glorious Body of Christ, [Page 43] Philip. 3.21. 1 Cor. What that is, was in some glimpse of it seen in Christs Transfiguration, Mat. 17.2. that was a little glimpse and speci­men of the future visible Glory of Christ, and so of the Saints that shall be like him, So Mat. 13.43. Consider but those passages (to avoid curiosity here) in 1 Cor. 15.42, 43, 44. It shall be the self same Body for substance, but endow­ed with new and Glorious qualities, viz.

1. Incorruption and Immortality, it is sown (i. e. as here buried) in Corruption: It is raised in Incorruption, so v. 53, 54. The Saints Bodies shall not be lyable to any Cor­ruption, hurt or decay, by sickness, pain, old-age or death, but clothed with Immorta­lity: All principle and power of dying being swallowed up, 2. Cor. 15.4. To live for ever without liableness to death. No fear of dying then, when once in that other happy World. The King of Terrours never sets foot there, Luk. 20.36: Adam might possibly have lived and not dyed, but these shall live and cannot die. And as not exposed to death, so not to any other hurt or aile, inward decay, or out­ward violence: What abundance of Hurts and Ailes, Maimes, Accidents; as also Inward Diseases now? How many Tooles are at work to knock down this Clay-tabernacle? but then it shall be so strongly built, as to be Impreg­nable by the assaults of Corruption.

[Page 44]2. Glory Splendor and Beauty, v. 43. The Body is now a vile thing (Philip. 3.21.) when under earthly Adams Image, especially in its decaying state, under Sickness, Sores, Maimes, Rheums, Wrinkles, &c. It is a sorry, poor, ill-looking, deformed, pale noisome thing: But then the Bodies of the Saints shall be Glo­rious, Beautiful, Goodly, Amiable and Shining as the Sun: (whereof that of the shining of Moses his face, and of Christ in his Transfigu­ration, was but a little glimpse.) And far above that of Adam in innocency, when neither shame nor deformity was yet known.

3. Strength and Power, v. 43. Now the Body is a weak, fraile, feeble thing, often un­able to perform its needful operations, soon wearied, tyred with action, and at last sinking under its own frailty to the Grave: But then Strong, Vigorous, Lively, Healthy; freed from all defects and infirmities above weariness and weakness: And so from the Imperfection and weakness of Infancy, or decrepit Age. All the Saints, even such as die Children, (as Di­vines most probably conclude) shall rise again in full strength and stature, such as the flower and vigour of years did, or would have given; as such as Adam at his Creation was made in (Vid. Aquin. Suppl. Quaest. 81. Bolton of Hea­ven, page 129. Bucan. Lot. Com. page 422.]

4. Spiritualness v. 44. Not that the Body [Page 45] shall be then turned into a Spirit, or lose the nature of a true Body. But 1. The Body shall then live as Spirits and Angels do, without Meat, Drink, Sleep, and such like External, E­lementary, Bodily supports as we need in this Animal-life, being then sustained by the All-preserving, All-quickning Spirit of God, with­out the help of such means, Mat. 22.30.

2. The Body shall be perfectly conformable, obedient and subservient to the operations of the Spirit, or Soul, (as also to the guidance of the Holy Spirit of God) The ready instrument of the Soul aptly imployed in spiritual work. As when the Spirit, or Soul serves the Car­nal: So when the flesh (the Body) readily serves the Spirit, it may well be termed Spiri­tual. Now in this Life, the Soul is taken up in serving the Body; the greatest part of our time, Labour, Strength, Study, is spent in the providing Meat and Clothing, and Comforts for the Body, and feeding that, Eccles. 6.7. But then the Body (not needing those things) shall be wholly serviceable to the Soul. The Body shall be no more such a Troublesome, Cumbersome thing as now it is, needing so much tendance and adoe about it, and oft interrupting Spiritual work thereby. But then it shall be a more Spiritual and Heavenly peace, alwayes free and ready for Soul work, for Spiritual Heavenly imployment. Your Con­templations, [Page 46] Studies, Sweet Affections and Communion with God never broken off and interrupted by Eating and Drinking, by Dres­sing and Undressing, &c. as here they are.

3. Activity, Agility, Lightness Nimble­ness and speed in motion, may also be imply­ed in this Spiritualness of the Body: Not dull, slow, heavy-moulded as now: but in Agility and Activity more like to Spirits. Hence, easily made to ascend to meet the Lord in the Aire, 1 Thes. 4.17. and afterward to go up with him to the third Heaven: And able, no doubt, in a very little time, (though not pro­perly in an instant) to move through those vast spaces and distances of those Heavenly Mansi­ons, and from one quarter of the Coelestial World to another.

3. The Glorious Company of Saints and Angels is another Additional part of Heavens Glory. The fruition of God is the main Es­sence of it. But this is an Accessional Adjunct, or Concomitant that is full of Comfort: Yea, it is a necessary Concomitant, for God will be enjoyed by his people in a Communion for­ever, not in a single seperate way, but in Con­junction and Society, Mat. 8.11. and that Communion will be an help to their enjoy­ment of God, a way and means of their Com­munion with God. When we speak of our Immediate Communion with God in Heaven, [Page 47] we are not to understand it absolutely, that there shall be no mediums between us and the transcendant Majesty of God; for there will be the Humane nature of Christ, and the Com­munion of Saints, who in a Coel [...]stial way and manner, will be helpful and useful one to ano­ther, to convey much of God to one another: But Immediate compared with what we have here, and so as these inferiour instituted means and helps, and Glasses that we have here shall he laid aside. But the Communion of Saints will then be in its Perfection and fullest Ex­cellency in the Church triumphant. And Love, Holiness and Communicativeness, which is the life of Communion, then will flourish, 1 Cor. 13.8. You must there enjoy Christ your Head, not alone, but in fellowship with all his My­stical Body. Hence I said in the Description [All together] they shall have fruition of God All together, in the Highest Heaven for evermore, Heb. 11.22, 23. We now come and are joyned to that body by Mystical Relati­on, but then by way of actual Communion.

Consider here. 1. There will be only true and Blessed Saints together in Heaven, no mixture of unsound ones, or secret enemies; there the Communion will be absolutely pure, such as is not to be expected, nor no rule al­lowes us to expect or insist upon in the Church on earth; for here there will be a [Page 48] mixture of Corne and Chaffe, Wheat and Tears, Sheep and Goats, good and bad Fish while the World stands: But then a perfect separation of Goates from the Sheep, and the Latter alone go into the Kingdom of Heaven, Mat. 25.34, 46.

2. There will (after the last day) be all the Saints together, all the Vessels of Glory ga­thered together▪ the whole Congregation of the Righteous, (Psal. 1.5.) the whole gene­ral Assembly of the first born: All the faithful seed of Abraham, which are as the Stars in Hea­ven, and as the Sand on the Sea-shore (all that ever were, are or shall be of the Elect and saved blessed number) and this adds much to the Glory of it. We know numerous and great Assemblies here on earth, are very solemn and affecting. The very faces of many Saints together, are quickning each to other, (Psal. 42.4. for a multitude to go and be together in the house of God, is no small thing) But what an Assembly will then be, what an Heart-ravishing Congregation, when all the Millions of Glorified Saints shall meet toge­ther, all their faces shining with the Image of God, to praise and Glorifie God, and joyn­ing in the same Hallelujah, Revel. 19.1, 2, 3.

3. There shall be a knowledge one of ano­ther; the Saints in Heaven sh [...]ll know one another. Society without acquaintance, is not [Page 49] com­fortable, this shall not be wanting in that place of Bliss. Yea,Note: Vid. Bu­can Loc. com. page, 444. you shall know not only those that were of your acquaintance here; but all the faithful, even strangers whom you never knew before; you shall be able to say, (as Mr. Bolton speaks,) this is Abraham, Jacob, David, Paul, this was Luther, Calvin, Brad­ford, &c. As may be gathered from the A­postles knowing Moses and Elias, whom they had never seen before, in that glimpse of Heaven at Christs Transfiguration. And from Adams knowing Eve, and whence she was at first sight, (without any humane in­formation) of which Argument Luther Dis­coursed the Evening before his death, and thence conclud [...]d the thing in hand, viz. That we shall know one another in the life to come [Melch. Adam. in vita Lutheri, pag. 154.] and all Comfortable knowledge will be then vouchsafed, but this is one part of it. Yea, if it should ask time to come acquain­ted with every one, to be sure there will be time enough there, remembering also the quickness and accuteness of understanding, memory, &c. But a Superiour and more im­mediate way of this knowledge there may well be supposed.

4. There will be most sweet, Holy and comfortable Converse of the Saints together. [Page 50] Though we cannot tell you the particular manner and order of it now, (it will excel in order, as well as otherwise.) Yet to be sure it will be Precious and Glorious, and full of sweetness and Comfort: And there will be full time, season and opportunity for it at large. Moses and Elias were talking together with Christ in that little representation of Heaven, Mat. 17.3. There will not want or­derly Conference and Discourse, and speak­ing one to another among that Heavenly company. There you may hear of all the wonderful things that God hath done for his Church in this World; yea, and for each particular person. The story's of the Expe­riences of the Saints, (many of which are now lost and forgotten) the Lords admi­rable variegate Dispensations; the embroi­dered work of Providence, when the whole piece shall be made up and finished, the cu­rious needle-work thereof (the Coat of many Colours that God hath made for his Church, and for all his Beloved ones in the varieties of his dealings with them.) It will then be spre [...]d abroad, declared, viewed, related, dis­coursed of at large! Luther in his Comment on Genes. 5. Fol. 76. Considering how short­ly Moses passeth over the story of those Ho­nourable Fathers before the Flood; why that (saith he) is reserved for another World, the [Page 51] last day, there will be talk for Heaven; then you shall see those Sages shining in Majesty and Glory, and then you shall hear of them, and from them what they did, and what God did (by, or for, or with them or others) in their times, the particular stories thereof: You shall then hear what Seth did, Enosh did, what Cainan did, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, did, and suffered too; the stories of which times shall live and be revived in Heaven, to the Glory of God, and joyful delight of the Saints; having also before that been repre­sented at the great day of Judgement: the like you may see of other persons and times: For God will not lose any of his works, nor the Glory of them, Psal. 104.31. both of Creation and Providence. But consider how sweet is the Communion, Company and Con­verse of Gracious Saints here on earth: How do your hearts burn in Godly Conference (as Luk. 24.32.) when you can get in; though much adoe to get into it here for worldly matters and unsavory hearts. But those that are Savory and Spiritual, and Breath much of Christ and Grace in their Speeches, what Life and Sweetness do you find therein; it may be you smell of their Company a good while after, your hearts are somewhat the more Savory for it. But what then will the Converse and Company of the Saints in Hea­ven [Page 52] be, when there shall be no sin, no defect either in Sp [...]ak [...]r or H [...]arers, no imperti­nencies in their speeches, [...]o unsavoriness, every one full of God, full of wisdom and holiness, &c. You will truly say, it is good being here, when you have not M [...]ses and Elias only, but Christ withall the thousands of his Saints about you, as Mat. 17.4. It is a phrase often used of dying Saints in Scrip­ture, that they were gathered to their people, Genes. 25.8. and 35.29. and 49.33. Numb. 20.24. Deutr. 32.50. there in the other world, in Heaven is the great Congregati­on (gathering together, or Assembling of the peopl [...] of God: there they meet, and come togeth [...]r, and shall be together forever. We think Death takes, and rends, and carries men away from their people, from their Friends, Relations, Brethren: But the Saints by Death are more properly gathered to ther people: (so the Scripture speaks, re­specting not this inconsiderable, but the other world.) As the removal of the Travail­er from the Inne s [...]parates him indeed from the people (i. e. strangers) at the Inne, but gathers him to his own people at home: So Death carries the Saints from a Forreign Co [...]ry to their home, and from strangers (in comparison) to their own people; to [...]ose that are wholly, and only (without [Page 53] mixture their own people, Heb. 12.23. You must die, and go to H [...]aven, if you will c [...]me to the great meeting and Congregation of the people of God; there is the Center, the Country, the City where you shall find them all, there they shall all meet, and live to­gether forever.

And hence by the way, mind one help to know whether you be like to go to Heaven or no, (men for Heaven,) viz. Are you for the Company, and Communion, and inse­perable fellowship of the p [...]ople of God, the Saints and faithful in Christ; is your delight in them, (Psal. 16.3.) your love to them, (1 Joh. 3.14., 18.) would you have your lot among them: And if there be any person or people that have more of Gods Image upon them, Grace and Presence, in, and with them, than others, those you are most endear­ed to? Do your hearts cleave to the people of God, and to their Holy Communion, and Fellowship, and Interest, desiring to be one of them, to stand and fall, to rejoyce and mourn, to live and die with them? Verily you must be gathered to the people of God now, if you will be gathered to them then; (for all that Communion, both with God and his people, that is perfected in Heaven, is begun on Earth) you must be their Companions now, (Psal. 119.63.) If [Page 54] you will have their company then: You must be of them, and for them, and take your lot among them now, and desire to walk in Holy Fellowship with them in all the Ordi­nances of God, if you will be so then. Yea, though they be under suffering and affliction, and contempt in the World; you must not let that pull you away, or make you stand off from them, Heb. 11.25, 26. As with Christ, so with his people, (for they go to­gether) you must suffer with them, if you will reign with th [...]m; you must take your lot among them now, (whether of peace or trouble) if you will have a lot among them in Heavenly Glory. In the story of the Arrian Persecutions, there is a passage of one who was but a Youth, (a Boy) who when a Com­pany of Holy Martyrs were to be put into a Ship and burned together,Note: Clark's Mar­tyrolog page 99. he hastened after to be among them, to whom a Seducer said; Why hastest thou (my prety Child) unto Death? let them go they are Mad; take my Couns [...]l, and thou shalt not only have life, but great ad­vancement in the Kings Court. To whom the Lad answered, you shall not get me from the Fellowship of th [...]se Holy men who bred me up, with whom I lived in the fear of God, and with whom I desire to die, and with whom I trust I shall obtain the Glory to come. And so being [Page 55] all put into the Ship, they were burned to­gether. Oh, be with the people of God, and cleave to them one arth, (yea willing at Gods call in any regular way to suffer with them in a suffering condition. Think not, nay de­sire not to stand when the people of God fall) if you would be with them in Heaven. If you Espouse or prefer another Interest (the Interest of Estate, that you love your Estates better than you love the people of God, or their welfare, or of ease, or of quiet, or worldly Greatness) before the Interest of the people of God, and you will stand at a distance from them for the sake of such things: If something else be more predo­minant in you then the love of God, and of his people, (and those two go together, 1 Joh. 4.20. and 5.1. Mat. 25.40, 45.) surely you are not principled for Heaven; nor can have any good evidence of your going thither. To be for God and for his people, should be our All on Earth, (our whole desire and designe) 2 Cor. 5.13. as that shall be our All in Hea­ven; to enjoy Communion with God in the sweet Communion and Fe [...]lowship of his Saints; that is Heaven, and that is the desire and aime of every Gracious Saint on Earth.

Of our Communion with Angels in Hea­ven, I shall not speak particularly: What it [Page 56] is, and the manner of it will be known when you come there. But as by Christ, we are brought into a Fellowship and Co [...]munion with the Holy Elect Angels, H [...]b. 12.22. (who should else have been forever in Fel­lowship with D [...]vils, Mat. 25.41.) so that Commu [...]on will th [...] be p [...]f [...]ct [...]d and know [...] fully as it is h [...]r [...] initi [...]l, imperf [...]ct and but little known. As the Saints when Glorified, shall in their quali [...]i [...]s and manner of [...]ing, be more like unto the A [...]gel [...], M [...]. 22.30. So will [...]h [...] then he c [...]p [...]ble of mo [...] Communion with t [...]m th [...]n now. If there be joy among th [...] Ang [...]l [...] w [...]en a sinn [...]r enters; into the Kingdom of [...]r [...]c [...] by Re­pentance, Luk. 15.10. what joy w [...]ll then be when all the Saints shall come in the King­dom of Glory. The Angels M [...]nister to the Saints by the way [...]o Heaven: Hebr. 1.14. and conduct them thither when th [...]y die, Luk. 16.22. with what mutual joy will th [...]y all then be entertain'd there. It will th [...]n be known what good Offic [...]s the Holy Angels have done for the Saints here, both for par­ticular persons and Churches, and places, in their Ministring [...]o and fo [...] th [...]m;Note: Greenhill on Ezek. 1.5. pag. 88. how they have o [...]posed counter­min [...]d th [...]r [...], both D [...] ­vils and wicked men; what not able services those Courtiers and Cur [...]iers of Heaven have [Page 57] been sent from Heaven upon by the Lord Jesus Christ on the behalf of his people; into Courts of Princes, and other great motions of the wheels of Divine Providence, Dan. 10.13.20. Ezek. 1.5. How th [...]y have Guarded, Defended, Succoured in many dangers, being faithfull to their Charge and Trust, Psal. 91.11, 12. and 34.7. They now do us good turns, and we know it not. But surely all shall be known then, as well as t [...]se p [...]rfect instances that are set down in Scripture: But all to the Glory of God and Christ, by whom th [...]y w [...]re imployed. And to the further Joy and Comfort of the Faithful in the sense of Love of God, who h [...]th so inclined and im­ployed the Glorious Ang [...]ls to do for them. And then will Saints and Angels in one Triumphant Society, admirably joyn in Praising and Glorifying God for all his wonderful Works; and in special for the M [...]st [...]ri [...]s of Christ and Marvels of his Re­d [...]mption, (which the Angels are eminently delight [...]d with, 1 Pet. 1.12. Ephes. 3.10.) as [...]uk. 2.13.14. Oh that ever worms of Dust (sinful man) should be lift up to the place and state of Angels; yea, in some respects higher, in regard of their nearer Relation to Christ their Head, who as 1 Pet. 3.22. (fellow Citizens and fellow Courtiers with them in the Heavenly place, which was pro­perly [Page 58] their own Habitation, Jud. 6. Mat. 22.30. Luk. 2 15.) to partake with them in the Beatifical Vision, Mat. 18.10. and to bear a part with them in the praises of God.

Ʋse, A word of Incouragement and E­stablishment to the people of God, and that in the midst of troubles here in this World: They need heartning on while here below under Temptations and Tribulations, why a sight and thought of Heaven and of the Rest and Recompence there is enough to do it, Hebr. 11.25, 26. Even when the Interest of Piety and of the truly Pious is laid low in the World and despised among men, and they that are for Heaven in earnest, are counted a company of Foolish, Humoursom, Mad Fanatical people; why if that be to be foolish (to be for Heaven in good earnest, and sixed in the way thither, i. e. in the way of the Rule, not to be turned out of the way by the smiles or frowns of all the World) if that be folly, be more foolish still, as 2 Sam. 6.22. Heaven is the best choice when all is done, and it is the truest wisdome to chuse that, and not to stick at all the Tribulations that ley in the way. The Psalmist begun to think he had made an ill bargain when he was chasten­ed all the day long, and the wicked prospered on earth, &c. But having God for his Portion Psal. 17, 24.73. And keeping with God in the [Page 59] way of Faith and Obedience, that is the way to Heaven; fear not all this World, nor all the Tribulations thereof, Luk. 12.32. Consider 1. All that Satan or the World can do, cannot reach to Heaven where your Portion and Treasure lyes, Mat. 6.20. They work but upon the earth, the troubles about you here are but earthly troubles: But your business is in Heaven, your hope is laid up in Hea­ven, Colos. 1.5. your trade is for Heaven if Christians indeed, and that cannot be ob­structed by any imbargoes on Earth. 2. If God will bring you to Heaven, then he will not let you miscarry, or be lost in the mid-way: If he have called you to Eternal Glo­ry by Christ Jesus, then all the Sufferings in the mean while shall not interrupt it, Rom. 8.30. (nothing can break that Chain) v. 31, 35, 39. nothing in all this World can, or shall cut you off from Heaven and Glory, or from the Everlasting Love and Fellowship of God to be enjoyed there. If that be indeed the choice of your Souls, (that you refuse all this World and choice Heaven, chuse the Fruition of God in Christ for your Por­tion) if you make Moses's chooce Heb. 11.24, 26. and Paul's choice, 2 Cor. 4.18. (and that choice the Lord propounds to every one, Mark. 10.21.) why then Heaven you shall have, and God ingages it, and hath ap­pointed [Page 60] you to it, Heb. 11.16. why then he will not lose you b [...] the way in the Croud of Worldly Tempta [...]on [...] or troubles▪ but will keep you, and carry you through by his own power, 1. Pet. 1.5. [...]3. Instead of hindring all things, and espe [...]ially the oppositions and troubles of the Truth, shall but help you on toward Heaven, and further your Glory there, 2 Cor. 4.17. Sanct [...]fied Tribulati­ons and Suffering for Christs sake, or in obe­dience to his will; they help to greaten your Crown and Reward in Heaven, Mat. 5.11, 12. they help you with an Evidence for Hea­ven, Rom. 8.17. 2 Tim. 2.11, 12. 2 Thess. 1.4, 5.

And they help to quicken and drive you on in the way to Heaven, to make faster speed thither, being Sanctified unto the ex­ercise of Grace, and to awake Faith, Prayer, Weanedness from the World, esteem of Hea­ven, more Converse there, &c. Heb. 11.9, 10, 13 14, 16. Oh what can hurt the people of God whose faces are toward Heaven, (looking, seeking, pressing after that) and their back upon Earth and Mammon: The World comes to scourge and lash, when they seek to weary and [...]fl [...]ct them, and make them as miserable on earth as may be; why they do but drive them the nearer and faster into Heaven. Oh then let none none of those [Page 61] things move you, but hold on stedfastly in the way to Heaven, the way of Faith and Holiness, the way of regular walking with God and cleaving to him and to his Truth, his Name, his Interest and his People. In the way of well doing, commit your selves to him, and be not Biassed from it by any thing in all this World: Let nothing on the earth (this vile miserable earth) hinder or divert you [...]om an Heavenly choice, or from an Heav [...]nly course; remembring the Cloud of Wi [...]nesses before you, and especial­ly the great Example of Christ Jesus, Heb. 12.1, 2.

SERMON III.

THe Glory of the place, where Saints shall be together and enjoy the Beatifi­cal presence of God, viz. the Highest Heaven, the third Heaven, 2 Cor. 12.2. The Heaven of Heavens, 1 King. 8.27. Deut. 10.14. That Glorious stately Region above the Starry Heavens, made and fitted to be the Everlasting habitation of the Blessed; whether Christ ascended, and where now he is in his Hu­mane Nature (Ephes. 4.10. Mark. 16.19. Act. 3.21.) where God doth manifest and communicate himself and his Glory in the fullest and highest manner, and therefore called the Habitation and the Throne of God, 1 King. 8.30, 39, 40. Isa. 63.15. and 66.1. Psal. 11.4. and 33.13, 14. Mat. 5.34. And where all the Saints shall be and dwell with Christ forevermore, Joh. 14.2, 3. and 17.24. 2 Cor. 5 1. Mat. 25.34. Touching this place (the third Heaven) and the Nature and Glo­ry of it; I shall not enter into a particular and distinct Discourse, (we have sometimes had more opportunity for that, in conside­ring th [...] Works of Creation.) But take two [Page 63] or three familier Considerations that may set for ththe Glory of this place, the High [...]st Heaven. 1. It is the Excellency, top and Summity, the Crown and Glory of the whole World: As it is the highest in place, so in Nature and Excellency the Chief and Choicest part of the whole Creation: As Canaan, the Type of it was called the Glory of all the Lands, Ezek. 20.6. So is this Hea­ven the Glory of the whole Creation, the Fairest, Best and Goodliest piece therein. That may be one reason of that Name, the Heaven of Heavens: As Song of Songs, i. e. the best, most excellent Song, so this is the most Excellent Heaven; all other Heavens, and so all other parts of the World are far inferiour to it. It is the choicest place in the whole Creation; the best Room God hath in this stately House that he hath built. Now the Lord lets you sit without among the Servants in the outer Rooms, in the Kit­chin (the Smoaking Kitchin) of the World, this Earth I mean: But then (when grown to full Age, and fully Married to his Son,) he will entertain you in the best Room he hath (the Fairest that ever he built) his own dwelling Room and Presence Chamber of Heaven. This lower World, (Earth and Aire, and Starry Heaven) they are but as the Out-houses and Hovels that are set up [Page 64] more incuriously: But this Heaven is the dwelling house and place of the Great King. And hence it is the immediate Workman­ship of God himself, Heb. 11.10. Men build other Cities (and we know they are full of Splendor and Beauty;) but God built this, 2 Cor. 5.1. It is a City (a place of the con­fluence of all that Nature and Art could heap together, so Cities are among men) and a City of Gods building; whose Artificer and Builder is God, the word is: As if God shewed his Art, what an Artist, what an Artificer, a Master-builder he is in making this Heaven: Of all his Works this is the most Artificial and Master-piece. Now we see this lower World is stately Fabrick, a Beautiful frame, especially as it would have been if not defiled by sin, Psal. 104.24. and 8.3. and 19.4, 5. What then is that higher story of the third Heaven, which excells in Excellency, Splendor, Glory and Magnifi­cence, as much as it doth in Height; the the Spaciousness and Local Situation of it, speaks and notifies its Transcendant Excel­lency. It's stately height [the highest Hea­ven:] As the Earth the lowest, so the Hea­ven the highest Region, it is above (the highest of all) in place▪ (far above all these visible Heavens, Ephes. 4.10. and yet they are of a vast height) and as far above all in Ex­cellency [Page 65] of Nature and in Glory, Deut. 4.39. Josh. 2.11. Earthly things are low things, and therefore placed here below down in the Vally: But that is above, on high, Ephes. 4.8. Heb. 1.3. Cant. 8.18. It is the highest place of all, (Luk. 2.14. and 19.38.) there is none above it, and truly you can aspire no higher than what is there, so its spaciousness and vast largeness; the Earth (though 21600. Miles in compass) is but as a point, i. e. of no considerable bigness (of no sensible quan­tity) compared with this second, lower, Star­ry Heaven; what is it then to that Heaven of Heavens, which is the highest and utmost Rim and Circumference of the whole Universe, containing within the Bowels or Concave of it, this whole lower World: And so of greater compass than the largest of these vi­sible Heavens. And we may probably sup­pose, that its own height and wideness (I mean from rhe Pavement to the Roof of it) holds proportion with its Compass or Cir­cumference, so that it is every way of Tran­scendant vastness and largeness. A Beggar lives in a narrow little Cottage, but a Prince in a spacious Pallace. That place that God erected for his own dwelling place (the Ha­bitation of his Glory) is suitable to so great a Majesty, as 2 Chron, 2.5, 9. Yet is God not contained in it, (2 Chron. 6.18.) but con­taining [Page 66] it by his power, and filling it all with his Beatifical presence and Glory. And as Joh. 14.2. there (in that spacious Region) are Mansions and Rooms, and Lots and Dwellings for all the thousands of the Glo­rified ones. You shall be no way straitned when you come there (no Tribe of Israel complain there of the straitness of their Lot.) But may say as Psal. 118.5. the way to it is strait, but the Kingdom it self is great and large.

2. It is a place that was never defiled by sin, as all this lower World hath been, which hath marred it, spoiled the Beauty, and Gloss, and Hangings, and Comfort of it, and in­fected the very Walls of the house, &c. And turned it into a place of Briars and Thorns, of Troubles and Sorrows, and a Valley of the shaddow of Death: But Heaven is a Holy, a most Holy place, where never stain or spot of sin came. It's Primitive Lustre, Beauty, Sweetness and Comfort was never marred thereby: And hence a place only of Joy and pleasure, (not of sensual and Carnal, but of true genuine Spiritual Pleasures) Psal. 16.11. Heaven is called Gods Heavenly Habita­tion, Deut. 26.15. 2 Chron. 30.27. Isai. 57.15. Hence the inmost part of the Taber­nacle and Temple, which was a Type of this Heaven, was called the Holy of Holies, or [Page 67] the most Holy place, Heb. 9.8, 12, 24. It being by the Lords everlasting appointment and choice, set apart to be the place of his most Special, Gracious, Glorious and Holy pre­sence, where only Holy work shall be done, (Prasing, Blessing, Glorifying God) only Holy persons shall come, and only the Holy God be seen and enjoyed: It is chosen to be the dwelling place of perfect Holiness, so per­fect as is exclusive of the least sin. And hence the very being in this place (in Heaven) and the sight of it, will be a continual means (as it was with the Tabernacle and Temple of old, whilst instituted Holiness was upon it) to raise and keep up the heart in holy af­fections to God. And there will be every thing that may further, nothing to hinder Holiness, neither sin nor devil ever entred Heaven; or shall enter there. It is absolutely undefiled, 1 Pet. 1.4. And hence none of that Confusion, Disorder or Discomfort that re­sults from sin and temptation, and makes this Earth a miserable place; Heaven is an Holy and so an Happy place.

3. It is a place subject to no Change; of a Constant incorruptible nature, 1 Pet. 1.4. Inconstancy is the name of this lower World, being made up of inconstant (incorruptible) natures: The Materials, Principles and Composition of it, so framed and ordered [Page 68] as to be a stage of mutation, of continual Ge­neration and Corruption, of perpetual Alte­ration; mixt bodies resolveable into their jarring principles the Elements; and the Elements th [...]mse [...]ves capable of being blend­ed, disordered and dissolved, and thrown into an heap of Confusion, their Forms striving and conflict [...]ng on the common stage of the first matter, and moving, dis-resting each other, the more Passive Element is a prey to the more Active: And hence this whole lower World is capable of final dissolution and d [...]solation, and being turned into a dismal Chaos-like condition (a fit place for Hell) the last day. But the third Heaven never changed since it came out of nothing, what it was at once, and at first, that it alwayes is, and will be: It's principles never stood a­sunder, nor can be sundered; it is not re­solvable into any pre-existant or seperable principles; hence uncapable of dissolution or corruption, or of any essential Change. As it came immediatly out of nothing, and was at once perfected by the power of God, so unless he should by the same power annihi­late it, (which he will never do) It must con­tinue, and continue in that perfection forever. Hence it is a kin to the nature of Immortal Substances and Spirits, and a fit and suitable Habitation for them. An everlasting un­changable [Page 69] Habitation for Immortal and Everlasting Inhabitants, 2 Cor. 5.1. Hebr. 13.14. Luk. 16.9. Hence also a fit place to lay up and enjoy an everlasting Portion in, Mat. 9.19, 20. there are causes of Corrup­tion and Destruction (natural or violent, Intrinsecal or Extrins [...]cal) to every thing on Earth. But it is not so in Heaven; there is no moth and rust, (no internal natural Causes of decay) no Moth to fret the Gar­ments of Glory; no rottenness or Worm that b [...]falls or breeds in the Timber of that Heavenly House; nor yet any Thief (De­vil or wicked man, no violent external Cause) that can dig through (as the word is) the Walls of that house, the third Hea­ven, or the Pavement or Floor thereof. It is of Impregnable Strength and Solidity; there are no Chinks, Clefts, Gaps, or Crevises in the Walls of it (for solidity or firmness, transparency (and) may stand together, Job 37.18.) it is impenetrable by the force of Created Nature. God keeps the door of Heaven in his own hands; he only opens it for Angel or Saint to come out or in, no Created force can break or dig through it: He alone can rend or cleave the H [...]avens, Isa. 64.1. Mark. 1.10. This lower World was made but to be a Stage for men to act their parts on for a few Ages, and then taken [Page 70] down: Hence it stands but on Crazy shows it may and will e're long fall on heaps: It is like a Te [...]t or Tabernacle that stands on stakes thrust into the ground. But the third Heaven stands on strong unmoved founda­tions, Heb. 11.10. Being made and fitted, built by God to be the everlasting settled Rest and dwelling of the Blessed, Psal. 73.18. Isa. 22.23. Oh let this point take off our minds from, and raise them above the Earth, and shame us for our Earthly-mindedness. The Saints are men for a better Country, (even an Heavenly) for a better place, Heb. 11.16. a place of rest (immutable rest and peace) in­stead of a place of change and motion. A place of Holiness instead of a place of sin. A place of Glory and Beauty and Caelestial Ex­cellency, instead of these dregs of nature that we have here on Earth. You are now but in the out-houses, the Barn, the Hovel where the Swine and Beasts come, as well as the Children: But then in your Fathers house, the Palace it self; the best Room God hath in all the Creation, Heb. 11.16. Better, yea and bigger too. Will you be crouded into a Nook (a Corner) of the earth for your Por­tion, (which will one day prove no better than a Nook of Hell) when you might have a lot in those Spacious Mansions above: What a point, a Punctillio is the Earth if [Page 71] you had it all? The Saints have greater por­tions, a lot above greater than it all, which should make them of great Spirits, able to de­spise this little inconsiderable lower World. Oh foolish and low-spirited Sons of men, that are scuffling and contending for and a­bout this point of the Earth (the Earth be­neath) like to meer Ants and Pismires craw­ling on this dust, and neglect the great and high things of Heaven, as far beyond these things, as the Heavens are higher than the Earth; that make so much adoe about a little place to stand in under the shed and Hovel of this lower World; that will e're long fall about their Ears, and are mindless of the vast concernments of Everlasting Ha­bitations. If there were no Heaven, (no better things there) we might mind the Earth only, and set up our stand there: But if there be a Fathers house, an Inheritance undefiled, &c. then men are not come to themselves, they are under Spiritual mad­ness that content themselves with Earth and the Husks thereof▪ and seek not a Lot and Portion in Heaven, and in the good things thereof. Indeed it is not the place alone, but the Company (the Fellowship of God and all the Saints, that makes Heaven so happy a place) there; the place and its Di­vine Commodities are inseperable.

[Page 72]Thus of the matter and substance of the Glory of the Saints in the life to come. Now follows —

2. The Duration or Continuance of it, viz. That it is Eternal or Everl [...]sting. It is Eter­nal Glory in the Text, so 2 Cor 5.1. Heb. [...].15. Mat. 24.46. Psal. 16.11. Eternal i. e. It shall be and continue without interruption, and without End.

1. Without Interruption. It shall at no time be discontinued, broken off, interrup­ted, intermitted, but a permanent Glory, alwayes fresh and green, without fading or declining, 1 Pet. 1.4. not suffering any winter or fall of Lease, but in a perpetual Spring. Here our Communion with God and enjoy­ment is marvellously interrupted and broken. By that time you are well in, you are put out again: By that time your Harp is well in Tune, and begins to sound well, you are fain to lay it aside: Wordly occasions, Bodily necessities take you off, and interrupt your talk with God, and with his Word, and with your own Hearts. By that time the heart be well warmed at an Ordinance on a Sab­bath, and you begin to see its good being here, and to tast and take in the sweetness of Communion with God, the Ordinance, the Sabbath is at an end; you can be but a while together in Godly Conference, for a [Page 73] turn and away; you must part and break off necessarily. But when in Heaven, no Interrup­tion, no breaking off, a full spring-tyde with­out any Ebb. Yea there is there no Inter­ruption of the Act of Grace, and comfort of it, and feeling thereof, not only the state and the habit abides the same, (so it does here, when actual Communion, and the sweet live­ly feeling, Heavenly Actings and Ebulliti­ons of Grace are Intermitted, yet the habit and spirit thereof abides still.) But the Glo­rious Heavenly, [...]weet, pleasant Acts of Grace are perpetual, Psal. 16.11. Pleasure is from the pleasant actual fruition of good; and so Heavenly, pleasures from the actual enjoy­ment of G [...]d, and of his Beatifical presence, and gracious actings upon him; and those Pleasures there are for evermore: What is here tasted in an Ordinance (Psal. 36.8. and 65.4.) is there perpetual, and that in fulness; so, Mat. 18.10. the Beatifical Vision, (or Communion, or Fruition, those are but the same thing in divers words) is never inter­rupted. Heaven is a day without night, a Summer without a Winter, a Flood without an Ebb, a Morning without Clouds, a blissful Communion with God without Interrupti­on. Variety of exercise there may be in Hea­ven, and variety of truths, and Acts, and Contemplations the Saints may be busied a­bout [Page 74] (for they cannot take in all at once) but all serving to continue and carry on their fruition of God, and the Bliss and Glory thereof.

2. Without End. The Happiness and Glory of the Saints in Heaven, shall never, never have an end, but continue to all eter­nity, as long as Heaven is Heaven, as long as God is God. This implyes that,

1. It shall never be lost by, or taken away from any Saint in Heaven, nor shall he ever fall from it, or be removed from it, bereaved of it, once in Heaven, and ever there; once put on that Crown of Glory, it shall never fall from thy Head. Adam was in a good condition in Paradise once; but he lost it, fell from it, and so he was driven out of Pa­radise; being in that honour, he continued not as Ps. 49. and hence we may say as Lam. 5.16. But no danger of that there: All that are carried to Heaven, are there set in an im­mutable estate by Christ Jesus. Some have been for a falling away on Earth: But none ever so much as dreamed of a falling away in Heaven. Neither Devil nor sin yet came thither to rob them of that Glory, Mat. 6.20.

Hence this Heavenly Glory will be pro­perly your own, never to pass away from you, Luk. 16.12. Nor

[Page 75]2. Shall it ever expire or come to an end, either by the Cessation of the Saints Being, or of their Glory. No change or alteration shall ever put an end to it: But it shall con­tinue forever and ever, World without end. This is the Crown of that Crown of Glory that it is Eternal, Everlasting, never to be lost, never come to an end. This damps and imbitters all Earthly Joyes and Comforts that they are but Temporary, you must leave them, or they you; they are but a fashion that passeth away. But this unspeakably sweet­ness Heavens Joyes, that they shall conti­nue for ever; it shall alwayes be thus. No danger or possibility of losing or ending this Happiness. This [Ever] is the stinging tor­ment of the damned in Hell, and it is the the ravishing Joy of the Glorified in Heaven.

The length of time that we have or hope to have in any thing, adds unspeakably to the sweetness and Comfort of it, Luk. 12.19. The Worldling feigns to himself a kind of Eternity in his Possessions and Enjoyments, else he could not look at himself so happy as he does, Psal. 39.11. That was Davids Con­tentment, 2 Sam. 7.18, 19. Oh then how Joyful is that Joy, how Heavenly that Hea­ven, how Glorious is that Glory that hath this ingredient, to be in truth (not in fancy or dream) Eternal: Not for many years only, [Page 76] but for ever, for more thousands and millions of years, than their be Grass-piles on the Earth, or Sands on the Sea-shore. To make some use of this last particular, the Eternity of Heavenly Glory.

Ʋse 1. Hence see how infinitely Heaven's Glory weighs down, out-bids and out­matches all this present World, both the good things, and the evil things thereof.

1. All the good of the Earth (of this World) is but Temporal; all this world can give us no Eternal good things. The Earth hath riches, but no Eternal Riches; Plea­sures, but no Eternal Pleasures, Heb. 11.25, 26 Honour and Greatness, but no Eternal Honour, Psal. 49.12 It is a poor Glory that this world hath, not worth the name of Glory; it is but a paint, a fashion that pas­seth away, 1 Cor. 7.31. though called Glory by sensual Worldlings, Genes 31.1. These momentary fading things, what are they to Eternal Glory? Oh foolish and unwise are they that fell Heaven for Earth, Eternal Glory for present contentments: That will rather leave Treasures in Heaven, than leave and forsake those things, Mark 10.21, 22. the greatest Possessions here are not great, (no great matter, a trifle, a nothing, a shadow) compar'd with Treasure in Heaven, Luk. 16.10, 11, 12.

[Page 77]2. The evil things, the Sufferings, Trou­bles, Tribulations of the World, that lye in the way to Heaven; and that the World does or can bring upon the faithful, they are small matters compar'd with the Glory that they are passing to, Rom. 8.18. for these Suf­ferings are but for a little while, but that Glory that follows is Eternal, 1 Pet. 5.10. so 2 Cor. 4.17. who would stick at a few moments trouble and travel, to go unto E­ternal Rest and Glory. If God call you to travel for Heaven through a few paces of troublesome and dirty way, through a few dayes of trouble and tryal (Revel. 2.10.) Is it not a shame to boggle at this, or to think it an hard bargain; or to be diverted and turn­ed out of the straight way to Heaven by such things, as 2 Pet. 1.11. The Scriptures have told us before-hand of Sufferings and Tryals, and therefore it should be no strange thing to meet with them.) But it hath also told us, and set before us the Glory that shall follow, this should swallow up the other, and make us endure them easily, Hebr. 12.2. and 11.26.

2. Hence it is, that that is worth look­ing and seeking after, bending all our de­sires and endeavours to obtain, viz. the Hap­piness and Glory of Heaven; for it is Eter­nal, and 2 Cor. 4.18. Eternal things should [Page 78] be the things we look at and after, as our scope (as the word is) our aime, mark and designe. To lay out our selves about Temporal things, and make them our maine business is a great folly, Prov. 23.5. Psal. 39.6. Men are busie about this and that, (about many things) but there is but one great business, (Luk. 10.41, 42.) to provide for Eternity; to get and make sure of that good part that shall last for ever, and never be taken away from us. And

3. With what study, earnestness, care and seriousness, with what intention of mind, what Ardency of aff [...]ction should we look after Heaven. For Eternal Glory and Salva­tion is a great matter, a great object, we had not need be slight or negligent about such a thing, about a business of Eternal Con­cernment. It is said of Zerxes, that Elegant Painter, when asked why he spent so much time and labour about what he did, (when others turned off their work apace) that he answered, Ego propter Etermitatem pingo. Note: Caussin Poly. Hist. Symb. pa. 627. I paint for Eternity; that that should stand and continue in after times. We in a more proper and full sense may say we act for Eternity; and therefore we had need be more intense and exact, when as we pray for E­ternity, (ask Eternal life of God,) hear for [Page 79] Eternity; follow God for Eternity; come to Christ Jesus for Eternal and Everlasting Life. How Serious, Hearty, Affectionate, Fervent, Intense should those Prayers, Duties, Comings be? Why that is that we are seeking after, (if in earnest) to lay hold on Eternal Life. (1 Tim. 6.12, 19.) Oh with what fear and trembling, care and diligence, should we pursue that business? Come not slightly to Christ, in a negligent careless manner, or with a piece of thy Heart when thou comest for Eternal Life, &c.

The Salvation Christ holds forth, and calls to attend unto, and come and follow him for, is Great Salvation; for it is Eternal Salvation. Oh be not negligent about that Hebr. 2.3. and 5.9. how humbly obedient unto him. Oh with what an humble Hearti­ness, Affection, Seriousness, Thankfulness, whole heart should a poor sinner come and look to Christ, imbrace and cling to him, hang on him for deliverance from Eternal Death, and for the gift of Eternal Life. (how precious is that Grace, Rom. 5.21.) for Rom. 6.23.

SERMON IV.

3. IT follows to consider of the degrees of this future Glory as it is enjoyed. 1. In Soul after Death, 2. Both in Soul and Body, at and after the Resurrection and last Judgement. In the former state, the Saints have a more incompleat (though sweet and excellent) in the latter a more compleat, full and perfect enjoyment of this Glory.

I shall not speak of the different degrees of Glory in Heaven, comparing one Saint with another: Though that seems to be a truth, that as we see there are diss [...]ring degrees of Grace and Holiness here, (and God distri­butes more eminent Gifts and Graces to one than to another, not withstanding that the Imputation of Righteousness in Justi­fication be equal to all,) so there will be in Glory hereafter. When God shall Crown his own Graces in his Saints: Every one shall not have such a Crown as Paul, to whom the Fruits of his Ministry will then add to his Crown and rejoycing, 1 Thes. 2.19. nor be set next to Christ as some shall be, Mat. 20.23. there will not want order in the Heaven­ly [Page 81] Mansions, nor variety mixed with Identi­ty, wherein the Lord delights, viz. Calvin Instit. lib. 3. cap. 25. Sect. 10. and in Mat. 13.43. and 20.1, - 16. Bucan. Loc. com. pag. 446. Leigh's Body Divinity pag. 872. But only somewhat of the Glory of the Saints in those two [...]ates, the state of the Soul in its separation from the Body after their re-uni­on, which all the Saints that die do pass through. Here

1. Consider the Glory and Happiness en­joyed by the Soul in its separate state after death, from thence to the Resurrection.

2. The Accession (or increase, or more compleat fulness) of Glory that followes up­on the re-union of the Soul and Body, at and after the Resurrecion.

1. The Souls of the Faithful do after death immediatly pass into Glory, even that Glory that we have before spoken of: The sub­stance whereof they do enjoy in as perfect a degree (or in as full a measure) as the Soul in its separate state is capable of, (though there is a further degree and fulness of Glory reserved for the whole man upon re-union of the Soul and Body, of which afterward) the Soul of a Saint is presently Glorified after death, though the Body be not. It presently enters into peace (Isa. 57.2.) Rest and Con­solation, Luk. 16.22, 25, Into Blessedness [Page 82] and Glory, Revel. 14.13. from henceforth, from this time, from the time of their death, and so on forward they are in blessed­ness and rest, no fear of passing through paines of Purgatory for a time, as Papists had taught before the Light of the Gospel broke forth. The Souls of the Saints departed, do enjoy that Heavenly Glory that we have spoken of. For

1. They are at Death immediatly made perfect in Grace and Holiness, Heb. 12.23. perfectly freed from all sin, and endued with all heavenly perfection of mind and will; of which what it is we spoke before. Death puts an end to the death of sin in the Saint, he rests from the Labour and Burden there­of; and he is clothed with perfect Holiness, fit for that place of Heaven and Heavenly presence of God which he is passing into.

2. They enjoy the Beatifical vision and Glorious presence and Fellowship of God and Christ, Philip. 1.23. No sooner departed, and the union of the Soul and Body dissolved by death, but he in his Soul is with Christ, 2 Cor. 5 6, 8. as soon as absent from the body, (and that is the Soul departed, that is absent from the Body, and while absent in its seperate estate: If Paul be absent from the Body, it is in his Soul, which is there, and oft in Scripture called man) he is present [Page 83] with the Lord. When Stephen falls asleep by death, the Lord Jesus receiveth his Spirit or Soul, Act. 7.59. so Psal. 49.15. Eccles. 12.7.

3. The Soul departed, enjoyes in some way and some degree, the Company and Communion of other Souls and Spirits of the Blessed, Heb. 12.23. The Soul of Lazarus is with Abraham, and so with all the Saints, the Children of Abraham that are departed this Life, Luk. 16.22. Mat. 8.11, The Souls or Spirits of Isaac and Jacob are gathered to their people, Genes. 35.29. and 49.33.

4. It is carried up by the Angels into the third Heaven, there to be with Christ untill his second coming, Luk. 16.22. with Mat. 8 11. Luk. 23.43. i. e. in his Soul, for his Body was detained here on the Earth, and thrown into the Grave: By Paradise is meant the third Heaven, 2 Cor. 12.2. with ver. 4. so 2 Cor. 5.1, 2. When the Soul goes out of the Tabernacle of this frail Body, it enters into the Heavenly house that is Eter­nal: It is not Harbour-less when turned out of all house and Harbour in this lower World. The Soul of a Saint being departed out of the Body is with Christ, Philip. 1.23. and Christ is in Heaven, and there continues till his second coming, 1 Pet. 3.22. Act. 3.12.

Hence the Soul of a Saint, of the Saint de­parted, [Page 84] hath the knowledge and actual active fruition of its own Blessedness [is comforted and rejoyced therein, and actually drinking in those Pleasu [...]es and Joyes that are in the presence of God, Luk. 16.25. Psal. 16.11. with 2 Cor. 5.8. compared with which, its state on Earth, was but a state of absence from him, v. 6.] and hath an assurance of an Happy re-union with the Body, and of all that fulness of Glory that the whole person shall enjoy at the Resurrection, for which it waits and longs, Rom. 8.23. till it be accom­plished it is waited for, Psal. 16.9. Rev. 6.9, 10, 11. According to most Interpreters (vid. Parens, Dutch Diodate in Loc. Calvin opusc. pag. 460. Bucan Loc. Com. pag. 447.) in that Text is held forth that the Souls of the Saints departed, being at present clothed with Robes of Glory, do long for their consum­mate felicity in the full Redemption of the Church, &c. which shall be at the last Judge­ment. A truth in it self, whether the proper intendment of that place or no (vid. Bright­man in L [...]c.) 2 Tim. 4.8. All the Saints as on Earth, so in Heaven do love and long for (not with any disqu [...]eting Impatience, but with an Holy Expectation) the appearing of Christ, when they shall also appear with him in Glory. But as there is an expectation of the future Glory of the Body, the whole [Page 85] Person, so there is a present enjoyment of Glory and Blessedness by the Soul: while the Body is a vile and loathsome Carkass, buried under the Clods, fed on by the Worms, and turned to dust▪ the Soul is Shining, and Triumphing in Glory, Swimming in fulness of Joy in the presence of Christ, and among the Spirits of the Just, Hearing and Seeing (after its intellectual way) those things in Paradise that cannot now be uttered. What some of the Saints and Prophets in Scripture have tasted of in raptures and Extasies, and Paul in 2 Cor. 12.1. - 4. for a little (see Mr. Norton's Ortho­dox Evang. pag. 339.341. wherein the Soul abstracted from use of bodily helps and Or­gans, had a more immediate visional Con­templation of Objects presented) that and more then that, doth the Soul departed en­joy (even a perpetual Vision of God and frui­tion of the Joyes of Heaven without the Body) from Death to the Resurrection. That conceit that some have had of the Souls sleeping (or being in an unsensible unactive condition, without the exercise of under­standing, memory or affections) till the Re­surrection; is fond and foolish, and contrary to the plain Testimonies of Scripture before cited (which hold forth an actual enjoyment of Glory and Glorious Communion with God immediatly after Death) as Well as to the [Page 86] nature of the Soul: And was long since largely confuted by Calvin in his Psychopanychia Opuse. pag. 449.476. one of the first things he wrote.

1. How kind is God to his people, that he will not put them off so long as the Re­surrection before they enter into this Glory; though the Body cannot (according to ap­pointed order) come at it before, yet the Soul shall have possession presently. When Death must send the Body to the Grave, Heb. 9.27. then he will take the Soul into Heaven and have its company there.

2. This may sweeten Death to the Faith­ful, and make them cheerfully yield up their Spirits into the hand of God, who stands ready to receive them. There is a present object of Glory before them, a Joy imme­diatly to be enjoyed, set before them, which may make them cheerfully pass into it through the dark entry of Death. Though there be a Land and Grave of darkness for the Body (which yet is sweetned by the Burial of Christ) yet an Inheritance of the Saints [...]n light, which the Soul shall presently pass in­to; this is that that over-ballances Death and absence from the Body, leaving the World, even the presence of the Lord▪ being with Christ which is best of all. This should make us willing to leave the Body, 2 Cor. 5.8. leave the old Crazy Rotten-house of [Page 87] the Body, to go into the new building, and into the bosome of Christ into Heaven, 2 Cor. 5.1, - 4. And this is presently to be enjoyed, you shall presently be with Christ when you leave this Body; things remote affect not so much; but this is near and just before you; as Christ comforted them with that [this day] Luk. 23.43. The day of your dying, is the day of your living in Paradise, in Glory: The day of your falling into the Earth, (as to the Body) is the day of your ascending and being taken up to Heaven, Luk. 9.51. Going to the Grave and going to Heaven, they go together to the Faithtful (inseparably together) and there is more Comfort in the latter, than discomfort in the former: No sooner dissolved, but you are in the Angels Arms to be carried into Christs Bosom, even before you can be upon Friends Shoulders to be carried to the Grave. The same step whereby you leave the World, you go to the Father, as Joh. 16.28. You no sooner de­part hence, but you are with Christ, Philip. 1.23. are gathered to him, (and that Blessed company and people that are with him, Genes. 35.29. Oh how should this lift up all the Saints above the feat of that that can but kill the Body, but pull out the Pins of this old house and dissolve that, that is the furthest that all created power can go, Luk. [Page 88] 2.4. Mat. 10.28.) But Death and all the Instruments of Death, are so far from killing the Soul, that it lets that but out of Prison, and sends it unto Life Eternal.

2. Now consider what further Glory shall be added to the Saints (for the full com­pleating and Consummation of their Glory and Happiness) at and after the Resurrection upon the re-union of the Soul and Body. It is a more incompleat,Note: Bucan. 10 [...]. Com. pag. 447. Parens in Revel. 6 Calv. Opu. pag. 469.467. or (as some call it) an Inchoate enjoyment of Heavenly Glory, that the Saints have in their separate estate of their Souls. But at the Resurrection of the Body and re-union thereof to the Soul, they shall have the com­pleat fulness and Consummation of their Glory. This compleatness of Glory (and so the Accession or addition to what they had before) at and after the Resurrecti­on, we may take up in several particulars.

1. They shall then have full Conquest and victory over Death, and full deliverance from the Curse. The last enemy that shall be destroyed, is Death; and that is not fully de­stroyed and swallowed up till the Resurrecti­on, 1 Cor. 15.26, 54, 56, 57. Though the Soul dye not, yet Death hangs and abides upon the Body, and so upon the person, and continues to make up a separation between [Page 89] those two, Soul and Body, (which had it not been for sin, should never have been parted) untill it be raised, and shake off its dust, and the re-union effected hence; the Curse is not fully, finally and totally abo­lish'd to the Saints till the Resurrection: For Death is a fruit of the Curse. While the Body is turned into, and abides in its dust, there is somewhat of its Ancient Curse re­maining, Genes. 3.19. It hath some hold of them while the Grave holds the Body: But when that is rased, and hath shaken off its dust and Corruption, and this Corruptible put on Immortality; now here is compleat deliverance from the Curse, and every Rag and Remnant of it: For Christ at his Resur­rection had a compleat Victory over the Curse, it can hold him under no lo [...]ger; so hath the Saint. Here is now a Redemption of the Body, and so of the whole man from the Curse, and from all Enemies; even the last of them, which is Death, Rom. 8.23. There is the Redemption of the Soul before (i. e. simply in it self considered, though Re­latively, as it stands in relation to the Body, and naturally desires Re-union with it, so it may be said not to be fully Redeemed; that is, the person is not fully Redeemed while any part of it lyes under the Curse.) But now is the Redemption of the Body from Death and [Page 90] Vileness, and so now the whole man, the person is compleatly Redeemed (delivered, set free) from the whole Curse. Hence it is called the day of Redemption, Ephes. 4.30. Hence when Christ tells us of a full Life that he will give us, he tells us of the Resurrecti­on, Joh. 6.40, 54. He hath not finisht his quickning work (his work of giving life) till then.

2. The Body shall then be Glorified; there will be the accession of the Glory of the Bo­dy, which was not before. That part of each Saint till now (till the Resurrection) was not Glorified, but lay in the dust and among the Worms in vileness and debasement: But now the Body shall not only be raised up and live, and so be freed from death, (as be­fore) but also be carried and adorned with Glory, Honour, Beauty and Excellency un­speakable; be made a Glorious Body, Phil. 3.21. An impassible Beautiful, Agile, Strong, Spiritual Body, 1 Cor. 15.42, 43, 44. Of this Glory of the Body; what it is, we spoke something before (touching the Personal perfection of a Glorified Saint) I only men­tion it now, as part of the Additional and Compleat Glory that acrew's to the Saints at and after the Resurrection, which was not before. And this will increase the Joy of the Soul, (the Glory of the Body will be an [Page 91] addition to the Joy of the Soul) and so the Happiness and Glory of the Soul considered extensively (i. e. in its relation to,Note: Vid. A­quin. Suppl. Qu. 93. Art. 1. Mr. Nort. Orthod. E­vang. pag. 352, 453. and participation with the Body, rejoycing in its Joy, &c.) will be greater after the Resurrection than it was be­fore, though considered inten­sively, and intrinsically (viz. as to the Essen­tial Happiness of the Soul, that consists in its vision and fruition of God) so it is the same before and after the Resurrection. The Ad­junctive additional Glory, or Joy of the Soul will be increased, through the Essence of the Happiness of the same.

3. Hence the person (the whole person consisting of Soul and Body) of each Saint shall then be Glorified, or after an Happy Joyfull meeting of those two old friends, Soul and Body; there will be an enjoyment of compleat Happiness in and by the whole mar. It was but a peice of a Saint that was Glorified before, (but a part, though in­deed the principal part, the Soul) but now the whole, the entire person (for neither the Soul alone, nor the Body alone, is the person, but the entire whole made up of both) that is now Glorified. And look as the condition of a part is attributed, or be­longs to an integral whole, as if a Leg or an [Page 92] Arm be hurt or wounded, we say the man is hurt or wounded: so the person may be truly said to be inglorious (not Glorified) while an Essential part (the Body) is so: Though the Soul be Glorified (and so the man in regard of that part) yet properly the person is not till both Soul and Body be, so Joh. 7.39. not Glo­rified because his Manhood was not. So Mat. 22.31, 32. Abraham properly (i. e. the person of Abraham) does not enjoy God and the good of the Covenant, (Eternal Life) unless his Body be raised: Indeed the Soul of Abra­ham might, but not Abraham properly; for A­braham is a person consisting of Soul and Body. It is properly but the Soul of such a man that is Glorified before the Resurrection: But now the man, the person is the whole en­tire man consisting in Soul and Body. And Hence 1. There will be an Happy and Joy­ful meeting or re-union of the Soul and Body, this re-union will be mutually Joyful, and the Joy of the whole. For the Soul of man was naturally made to subsist in a Body; hence it is incompleat and imperfect without it, (it hath not its perfect and compleat manner of subsisting in its separate estate) hence it desireth and longeth after re-union with the Body, and by re-union it receives, though not any Essential, yet an Integral perfection. And as the parting of these two [Page 93] old friends, was sorrowful, and contrary to nature, or to natural inclination, (though swallowed up and over-ballanced by that greater good, the presence of Christ, Phil. 1 23. yet in it self sorrowful, and unplea­sant unto nature) so their meeting again will be wonderful joyful; they meeting in a con­dition of Joy and Bliss. When the Soul is in Glory it now wants but one thing to make its Joy compleat, viz. To have the Body with it in the same Glory: This is now at­tained, and now it is come to its full rest. 2. There is now henceforth (from the Re­surrection and so on to all Eternity) an actual plenary enjoyment of Glory and Happiness by the whole man in both the parts of Soul and Body. That Glory that was before but in a part, is now diffused into the whole: And the Soul acts more perfectly in a Glori­fied Body, (because more naturally) then it did in its seperate estate.Note: Aquinas ubi suprà. Indeed now on Earth, the Body is a clog to the Soul; and hence the se­perate Soul hath a fuller and freer en­joyment of Happiness than it can have here: But the Glorified Body being made a Spi­ritual Body, i. e. perfectly subject and conformable to the Spirit and Noble ope­rations of the Soul: It will be an help, not an hinderance, and so an advantage and in­couragement [Page 94] to the Soul, and to the whole man in taking in those pleasures that are a­bove. As the Souls (or the Saints) state of subsisting will be more perfect and compleat when re-united, so will its operation be: The Saint will then with bodily eyes behold the man Christ (this is more then he did be­fore) with infinite contentation; that Job put an Emphasis upon, that with those eyes he should see God, Job 19.25, 26, 27. with Bodily Ears hear, and Tongue utter forth the Praises of God: With and through Bodily senses act upon, and take in the Glo­ry of Heavenly objects, Christ and the Saints, &c. this is a great Addition to what was before. 4. There shall then be a ma­nifestation of the Glory of the Saints unto the whole World: This is an eminent and remarkable accession of Glory that shall be to the Saints at the Resurrection and last Judgment: And when the Scriptures ex­toll the Glory that shall be then, it hath special respect unto this. The Glory that the Saints have on Earth, and also that which they have now in Heaven in their Souls, it is a secret and hidden thing from the World, (they go up and down the World now under a mean outside, and look like other men, and they do to visible ap­pearance as others do, and their Bodies are [Page 95] carried to the Graves as others, and turned to the dust: And whither their Souls go is not known; their Happiness is an unseen thing by any other eye but that of Faith.) But then it shall be revealed and made mani­fest to the wonderful Glory of God, and to their singular comfort and advancement, Rom. 8.18. Now the Saints have only con­cealed Glory, (hidden under a cloud of suf­ferings, under the Image of the Earthly Adam, which go to the Grave with them) but then revealed not only to them in a word and promise, but in, and upon them in real and visible accomplishment, 1 Joh. 3.1, 2. Colos. 3.3, 4. Neither Christ nor Christians do now appear to a blind World as they be, but then they shall; then their Glory shall be made manifest unto all. So 2 Thes. 1.10. Vid. Dutch Annot. Consider a little here. 1. To whom. 2. Of what this manifestati­on shall then be.

1. The Glory of the Saints shall at the last day be manifest to all the World, to Men, Angels, Devils, in the most publick open manner, as Christs proceedings with them, his owning, acknowledging, acquitting of them shall be publick; so as all men shall see and know that these men are Happy men, Beloved of God, the Brethren of Christ, Ves­sels of Glory and Partakers of the Kingdom. [Page 96] In special. 1. They shall then be manifested one to another. We hope well now of the good state of the dying Saints, Friends, Relati­ons; but then we shall be fully certain when we shall meet them in the Congregation of the Righteous, and at the right hand of Christ at the great day, and see them finding Mercy of the Lord at that day, as 2 Tim. 1.18. when the Parents shall meet the Children, and the Friend his Friends, Brethren and gracious Acquaintance there among the sheep at Christs Right hand. This happily may be known by the Souls departed before in Heaven: But most fully and openly then, which is the time when every one hath his publick and open Judgment to be seen of all, though he had his personal, private and particular Judgment before. But besides, they shall not only know each others state in General, but in Particular, hear of, and be­hold the Graces, and Gracious Actings of the Faithful (their Brethren in Christ) and all the Gracious dealings of God with them, the whole progress of his Love from first to last, laid open then, in that Revelation-day, the day of Judgement, 1 Cor. 4.5. this will endear them each to other. 2. To all the wicked and Reprobates, both Men and De­vils: To those that have despised, opposed, Reproached, Scorned, Persecuted, Insulted [Page 97] over them here. As it was said of Christ when Judged, Abused and Despitefully used, Mat. 26.64. So it may be said of Christians here­after, shall the wicked, yea those same per­sons that here abused them, see them arrayed in Robes of Glory, and sitting on Thrones as their Judges, sitting on the Throne with Christ, Revel 3.21. For as Christ shall ap­pear, so shall the Saints also appear with him in Glory, Colos. 3.4. The Saints shall Judge wicked Men and Devils, and surely they shall see, and know, and behold them sit as their Judges, 1 Cor. 6, 2, 3. so Luk. 13.18. They that here counted them mad-men, Fanatical, Frantick, Conceited, Humoursom, Foolish Creatures shall then see that they made the wisest choice, &c. They did not so much de­spise them now, as they shall admire them then, 2 Thes. 1.10.

2. Of what there will be a manifestation, or what in special will then be manifested (of and concerning the Saints, and their Glory) to all the World, viz.

1. Their Graces and good Works, the service they have done for God, both in doing and suffering, Eccles. 12.14. The good works of the Godly, as well as the evil Works of the wicked, shall then be laid open, 1 Cor. 4.5. i. e. Every good man for what is good, so 1 Pet. 1.7. A tryed Faith that hath held [Page 98] out through many tryalls, shall then be held up before the World and Commended (Praised, Honoured) by the Lord Jesus, which will not be so much the Commendati­on of themselves, as of his own Grace and work in them: For all is of him, their good works, the acts and the fruits of their Graces; even such as themselves can hardly tell how to own: He will own them, and speak of them before all the World, Mat. 25.35. - 40. though they be poor things in themselves, and as from them; yet as they are the fruit of his Spirit and Grace in them, the stamp of his own Image; the effects of sincere love to him: The poor but childish actings of his children here, the things he hath made Gracious Pro­mises to, and so he will make much of them, and put an honour upon them before the World, Mat. 10.32. Luk. 12.8. Revel. 3.5. The Lord Jesus will confess, acknowledge and own every one of them before all the World, and will confess all they have done for him: He will say, these are they that have continued with me in my Temptations, (Luk. 22.28.) that have preferred a good Conscience before all Riches and Honours; that renounced the World to follow me fully, that forsook all for me, and loved not their Lives to the Death: These are my Brethren, Sisters, Friends, Mo­ther, that have done the will of my Father,Mat. [Page 99] 12.49, 50. He will not be ashamed of us then, if we be not ashamed of him now.

2. Their Crown of Happiness and Glory, which the Lord hath laid up for them, and will then actually and fully put upon them, 2 Tim. 4 8. a Crown of Righteousness, i. e. which the Righteous and Faithful God, ac­cording to his Gracious Promises made to his own Grace in us, and the appointment declared to all that run for the Prize of the Heavenly Calling, will bestow on the Righte­ous. It is the Saints Coronation-day, and that must needs be a day of great Glory to them, when they shall be openly Crowned before the World: They are now Heirs and have Title, &c. to the Kingdom, but that is their Coronation-day: He that was be­fore a Prince, or lawful King, yet at the Solemnity of Coronation, appears in emi­nent Splendor, and hath eminent Honour put upon him: Such a day, is the day of Judgment to the Saints; they are now Princes and Kings unto God by Title, &c. But then they shall be brought forth and Crowned before all the World, Actually in­stalled into their Kingdom, and into the ful­ness of the Glory thereof, Mat. 25.34.

So it is the Saints Marriage-day, the Con­summation of their Marriage with Christ after the Espousalls here; wherein therefore [Page 100] they shall be brought forth in Robes of Glo­ry, befitting the Spouse of the King of Kings, and that in the fight of all the World. The Glory that God hath put upon his own Children, and Christ upon his Spouse and Fellow-heirs, shall then be manifested and openly revealed. Hence

3. This Love of God and Christ to them in all this, in all his wonderful works of Grace, (of wisdom power and goodness) in all he hath done in and for them, in Electing, Calling, Justifying, Adopting, Sanctifying, preserving and keeping, and carrying on by his power to Salvation, and now fully Glo­rifying: The whole Chain and Circle of his Love, all the wonders of Mercy and Grace wherein he hath abounded toward his Saints, shall then be revealed and discovered, 1 Joh. 3.1, 2. 2 Thes. 1.10. The Glory of the Saints shall be so revealed, as may Glorify God and make him admirable in all he hath done in and for them, ver. 11, 12. As God will then reveal; set forth and shew abroad his wrath and Justice on the Vessels of wrath, Rom. 2.5. and 9.22. So he will reveal his Love, Grace and Mercy, towards the Vessels of Mercy in that day of Revelation. The whole Mystery of Grace will be then unfolded in the Glory of it, and to the Glory and Praise of God, which as it is the last end of all Gods Dis­pensations [Page 101] toward the Elect, Ephes. 1.2. So that end shall then be attained. We may say as Colos. 1.26, 27. Christ (the whole mystery of Christ) shall then appear in his full Glory; and Grace is the sum and top of the whole mystery of Christ. And this will be to the singular Comfort and Joy of the Saints, as well as to the Glory of God; the benefit of the compleat and final pardon of all their sins, and this opened in its Glory, what refresh­ment and joy will it be, Act. 3.19. the like may be said of all the rest.

4. The Superiority of the Saints over (above) the wicked, and being preferred be­fore them, and in a Condition infinitly better and more Happy then they, Psal. 49.14. They (the upright) shall be the better men, and better on't then in a more Happy and Honourable Condition, exalted far above them, while they seemed to be the under­lings of the world, under Poverty and Per­secution) and this shall plainly appear and be seen in the morning of the Resurrection. Then will that plainly appear that the Elder shall serve the Younger Gen. 25.23. The Esau's of the World, the great Doers and Busslers and mighty Hunters therein, shall come be­hind the younger Brother; the despicable, the more unlikely the Jacob's; the plain men that dwell in Tents, the pious and Godly, though [Page 102] never so poor and mean and despicable in the World, whose out-side promises not so much. Here in this World, men and things are oft mis-placed, Servants on Horse-back, (Ham and Canaan Servants of Servants; so the wicked are of servile, busie, ignoble Spirits and Conditions; yet of him, of such oft are the Nimrods, the mighty Hunters in the Earth. And Princes (the Children of the King of Kings, the Heirs of Heaven) walk­ing as Servants upon the Earth, Eccles. 10.7▪ 6. But then all things shall be set to rights and put in their places, then these Princes shall be on Thrones of Glory, Luk 22.30. 1 Cor. 6.2, 3. And the wicked (how high so­ever they have been here) below at the Ba [...], filled with shame and horrour. Piety and Godliness shall then be honoured and ad­vanced however it is despised now: And the poor if Pious, shall have the Crown, Jam. 2.5, and 1.12. that will then appear, Prov. 28.6. Yea, and then the righteous Cause of the Lords people shall be judged, owned and maintained, which will tend to their Glory who have oft been condemned unjust­ly in this World, as Christ himself was. That Judgment-seat of Christ Jesus hath been oft appealed to by Martyrs and Sufferers, and he will then receive those Appeals, and judge them righteously; and that openly to the [Page 103] confusion of all the unrighteous Judgments that have passed here in the time of this World. Devils shall then receive their doom and punishment for all their wicked mo­lestations of the Saints and oppositions of Christs Kingdom in one way or other; and all enemies destroyed and brought down under the feet, not only of Christ, but of his Church also. And this final and total subduing of enemies, and exalting of the Church shall be seen and known openly and beheld. And this manifestation of the Sons of God, is that which the whole Creation and all the works of Providence are in Travel for, Rom. 8.19. - 22, 23. The Glory of the Sons of God is formed and prepared in the womb of Providence now; but that is the Birth­day of the manifestation of it, then the my­stery of God is finished, and the work of God upon, and in his Saints is brought forth in its full beauty and perfection.

Thus of the Manifestation of the Saints Glory at the last day. Add we another con­sideration, shewing the Compleatness and Consummation of their Glory then.

5. At the last day the whole number of the Saints will be compleated, and the My­stical Body of Christ entirely filled up, and then will God compleatly and most Glori­ously communicate himself to the whole at [Page 104] once. Christ will then represent his Kingdom and Body compleat and entire, every way come to its full growth and consistency (Ephes. 4.13.) as it shall abide forever; and in that com­pleat Estate, he with the Father and the Spirit will Communicate himself thereto, in the most perfect and Glorious manner, as Heb. 11.40. So the Saints that are now in Heaven, shall not be made perfect without their fellows, and till the remnant of their Brethren (as Rev. 6.11.) have run through their militant course, and be come in; there is yet a further perfection they shall have, when they are all come to­gether: When the Body Mystical is entire and full, then it hath its fullest Beauty, Com­fort and Glory: For every member addeth something▪ and there is in some sort a defect, while any one is wanting: For the Joy and Glory of every member of the Body, is the Joy and Glory of the whole, and every one serves to compleat the Communion and Comfort of the whole. And when the Lord hath all his Children about him, (none are mi [...]sing) Christ all his Members with him; the Mansions of Heaven filled up with all the Vessels of Glory set in order in their places, (as it shall be after the day of Judgment, and so [...]o all Eternity) with what ineffable de­light will the Lord open to them all the Treasures and Riches of his Glory; and what [Page 105] wonderful ravishing matter of Praising and Glorfying God, and what compleat com­fort therein, which must needs raise up the Joy and Glory of the Saints unto the greatest height and highest possible perfection.

Ʋse, Of this plenary compleat Glory, that the Saints are to have at the last day, and not till then.

1. Be not stumbled or troubled and of­fended at the clouds of darkness; the mean outside and seeming ingloriousness and ob­scurity that is upon the people of God, and upon the work of God in the World at the present: For the time of the manifestation of the Sons of God, and of the discovery of their Glory, and of the finishing of Gods work referring to them, is not yet come. Marvel not to see the Saints go up and down under mean and outward misery, to see them poor and low, sick and crazy, and dying, and Bodies turned to dust, as well to see them sweating under many affl [...]ctions and sorrows, lying among the pots, black with the soot of many troubles: Why now their Glory must be hid from the World, and it must not yet appear what men of quality they are; they must pass Incognito, and go in some disguise through the World; though the Sons of God and Princes of Hea­ven; they must not appear in that state at [Page 106] pre­sent: But this present hiding will set off their appearance, and manifestation with greater Lustre another day: to see them on Thrones, whom you have sometimes seen in vile raiment, whom you would hardly deigne to look upon, will be the greater wonder and Glory t [...] him who lifts the poor out of the dust, and the needy from off the dung­hill. It may be they are despised now; but you shall one day see them in so much honour, as you will wish you had honoured them, (as the pious do, Psal. 15.4. how poor soever, does he fear the Lord, honour him highly? if you will not, Christ will honour him one day before men and Angels: But he'l be a­shamed of you, if you be ashamed of him, or of his Members and people now) Jam. 2.5, 6. And stumble not at Gods work because 'tis now wrapt in Clouds; why it is not yet come to its Issue, it is but a doing. Children and fools (they say) must not look on things half done; we are so foolish we cannot see in­to the beauty of Gods work while it is but half done, not made up and finished. When the Mystery of God shall be finished (Rev. 10.7.) and all Providences come to their Issues, the whole story wrought up; then when God shall bring forth his embroidered curi­ous work compleat and finished, then it will and shall appear Beautiful and Glorious be­fore [Page 107] all the World; the black pieces, the darker lines and coulers illustrating the o­ther when set together, which look'd upon alone shew unhandsome. When all the con­fusions that are in the World shall Issue in goodly order, and every thread, every stitch appear to have been drawn by Art, (which now seem to go in and out, this way and that way, and we can make nothing of them; as if a Child should look upon a Curious Needle-wo­man at work on some piece, he would see little in it) how will God be admired, as Psal. 139.14, 15.16. so it is with all that work that is formed in the womb of Providence, in the time of this World, which in that great Re­velation-day (the day of Judgment) that Birth-day of the manifested Glory of the Sons of God and of the work of God shall appear to have been most curiously wrought as with Needle-work, though now it is obscure and secret to us. Oh the praises God will have then!

Ʋse. 2. Hence see that our Eyes and Hearts should be upon that day, that last and great day, the day of Redemption and Glory, of Resurrection and Judgment that is to come. That is the great day, (Jud. 6.) this (the time of this World) is but a little day in com­parison, this is mans day (1 Cor. 4.3. But that is the day of God, the day of the Lord, [Page 108] 2 Pet. 3.12. 1 Cor. 5.5. 1 Thess. 5.2. Paul's eye and heart was upon that day, 2 Tim. 1.12, 18. and 4.8. We are all for this day, this present time and present things, alas they are not to be mentioned to that day, Rom. 8.18. Oh make sure of being well on't at the last day; owned and confessed, and saved at that day, and you are well enough. There is a time to come, lay a good foundation for that, 1 Tim. 6.19. so carry it in this day as you may be owned in that: Now own Christ and own his people, and be not asha­med of the Chain of their Sufferings if you would find mercy at the day. Remember these Scriptures, 2 Tim. 1.16, 18. Mat. 25.34, to 40. Mat. 10.32.33. Luk 9.26. Mark. 8.38. Is there any word or any truth of Christ, any rule of his, any part of his mind which you are ashamed on, because the times do not fa­vour it, because men frown upon it; Oh tremble at that, lest the Lord Jesus be a­shamed to own thee at that day.

Oh labour to have such thoughts of things, and such affections toward them as you will have at that day: How will you think of sin then? Of duty then? Of Cleaving to Christ, and to his people then? Of Zeal for the Glory of God then? Of diligence in seeking God in Prayer and Meditation then? Will you not then wish you had made more wrestling and [Page 109] weeping instead of sleeping and wording Prayer? That you had hearkned diligently to Christ, &c. Oh now do as you would wish to have done then.

SERMON V.

2. IT follows now a little to Consider, and set forth the Glory of the Saints in Heaven (this Eternal Glory that is reserved for the faithful in the World to come) in a Comparative way by the Comparisons and Considerations, as may evidence to us the greatness and goodness (the transcendant ex­cellency) of this Glory. This way the A­postle lead us to, in Rom. 8.18 by com­paring with other things which now seem great to us (as great afflictions, and so other great things in this World) which yet are nothing to it, we may see the exceeding greatness thereof. There be sundry obvious Comparisons from the less to the greater, and some other Argumentative Considera­tions, (I shall put both together) which may familiarly shew and Realize to us the great­ness and excellency of this Glory.

Comp. 1. Consider what great things God [Page 110] gives out of his Common bounty, even to wicked men in this World: What then will he give out of his special and everlasting love to his own Children and Friends in Heaven? Worldly and wicked men which are his Slaves, yea enemies and appointed to de­struction; yet in the present time of patience and bounty, the Lord cuts out to many of them great things, such things as the World accounts very great, and as are great in themselves, though compared with Heaven­ly things, are very little; Riches, Wealth, Thousands and Ten Thousands of Gold and Silver, Sumptuous Buildings, Houses full of all Good Things, Lands and Livings, &c. Yea, sometimes Crowns and Kingdoms, Scepters and Dominions of vast extent, the Splendor whereof (even of that Glory that sometimes worldly men are arrayed with) even dazles the eyes of beholders. Sometimes men of the World do glitter and glister with Glory, an earthly Glory and Splendor, such as strikes an awe and admiration into beholders, Psal. 49, 16. Dan. 2.31, 37, 38. and 5.18, 19. why if such be the Glory of the earth given to the earthly and wicked men: What will be the true Glory of Heaven that God will bestow upon the Vessels of Glory there. Luther sometimes called the Turkish Empire (that vast Empire, containing so [Page 111] many swelling Titles and large Dominions) a Bone or Crum which God threw to that great Dog the Turk. Such vast Empires and Kingdoms God hath sometimes given un­to the worst and basest of men. Dan. 4.17. How vitious and vile have the Turkish Sultans, and many other Heathnish Princes been; so Antiochus the illustrious, a vile per­son, Dan. 11.21. Why if God have such Crums to throw to the Dogs of the house, what is the whole Loaf that he reserves for his Children! If this great King of Heaven do keep his Prisoners so well during the few dayes of their Respit and Reprieve from Execution; (as look upon the brave accom­modations and great Poss [...]sions, &c. of the men of the World, they are but as the fair Room of a Prison, where eminent Male­factors are kept and well tended till they be brought forth to Execution, Joh. 21.7, 12, 30.) What will he do for his Children and Heirs who shall be with him in his own Palace for ever, Psal. 17.14, 15. Some men of the World which have their Portion in this Life, have a great Portion here, even their Belly full, as much as heart can wish; as much of sensitive worldly good as they can possibly take in, all manner of abundance of earthly delicates, and this out of God his Treasure, because it is hid and laid up in the [Page 112] several store-houses of this lower World, (Earth, Air and Sea) and brought forth by, the workings of his Providence and bestow­ed upon them: So that these things are given out of Gods Treasury by his common bounty to the men of the World. And if you speak of what Earth can afford, they are great things that are most given to them: But David hath a greater perfection than all this, Ps. 171.5. But thus look upon the consolation that many wicked men have here (Luk 16.25. and 6.24.) which must needs be a poor thing, (Luk. 16.10, 11.) a nothing, com­pared with the portion of the chosen Saints of God in Heaven, (when God shall set him­self to pour out Love and Mercy into those Vessels thereof) and yet often it is much, it is strange to see what God hath given to some vile men this way; as that they are ready to be cryed up for the only happy men. This is a ready and useful meditation, when we read in story of the Magnificence, Riches and Greatness of Worldly men, or see and observe any instances thereof; to think, oh then what is the Glory and Happiness that God hath prepared (not of the same kind, for worldly sensitive delights scrued up to the height, but an Happiness of an higher, a Spiritual and Caelestial nature) for them that love him, and for the subjects of his [Page 113] everlasting love in another World, if there be so much given unto Enemies in this.

Comp. 2. Consider what the Saints enjoy in this World; I mean not of outward things so much, (for they often have but little that way; they shall not usually have very much of Earth, lest they forget Heaven) but of Spiritual and Heavenly Comforts, and good things; their fore-tasts of future Glory, they are often exceeding sweet and precious, a thousand times better than all the Earthly outward enjoyments of worldly men: Yet all they have here is but a taste, but an earnest, an handfull of first fruits, Epes. 1.14. Rom. 8.23. What then is and will be the full draught, the whole bargain, the whole Harvest in Hea­ven? Their best condition here, is but a condi­tion of absence from the Lord, compared with that presence they shall have hereafter, 2 Cor. 5.6, 8. If God send to them such tokens and tasts of his Love in their absence: What will he pour out upon them when they shall be present with him? Consider it in two or three Particulars.

1. The Communion the Saints have with God in his Ordinances here: Oh how sweet is it, Psal. 84.10. What then is a day in Heaven, yea Eternity there? The World knows not, nor can they well express the sweet incomes they have; the heart-raising, yea ravishing [Page 114] Communion, the Quicknings, Gracious Brea­things, the Comforts they meet with in Prayer, sometimes in Hearing the Word (a Christian said Mr. Dod is half in Heaven, sometimes in Singing of a Psalm) in Medita­tion, Psal. 63.5, 6. in Gracious Spiritual Conference, Luk. 24.32. In the Sacrament of the Supper, where they are refreshed as with new Wine. Why if dark glimpses through these glasses of the Ordinances be so sweet and Glorious, (2. Cor. 3.18.) what then will the sight face to face be? 1 Cor. 13.12. The Ordinances of God and Communion with him therein is unspeakably better than the best of Earthly and Worldly Enjoyments (Galeacious his Speech) Psal. 119.72. But all that Communion the Saints have here, is but a little compared with that shall be in Heaven; there is full Communion, there they are present, now in Comparison absent from the Lord, 2 Cor. 5.6.

2. The special Joyes and Comforts of the Holy Ghost, that the Lords Faithful Gra­cious ones do at times tast and partake of in this life. Their ordinary constant Commu­nion is precious, but they have also some extraordinary Consolations and sheddings abroad of the Love of God, sometimes when under great Sufferings and Tryals, as the Martyrs (whose Consolations have been [Page 115] wonderful and singular as their Sufferings were) sometimes after long sickness and weakness, and in preparation for sore Con­flicts, sometimes on Sick and Dying Beds: Oh the Peace that passeth understanding, the Joy unspeakable and Glorious, (1 Pet. 1.8.) the ravishing Consolations in the sense of the Love of God, which the faithful have at times been feasted with, such as in Compa­rison, whereof all the Comforts of the whole World (all the Riches, Honours, Pleasures upon Earth) are but a dry Chip; such as the surpassing sweetness and Glory whereof can­not be expressed: And yet this but a little taste of Heaven, as a drop to the Ocean, of the same kind indeed with the Glory that is there; but as an earnest Penny of a great and Rich Bargain. A drop of the Joy of the Holy Ghost, excells all the Rivers of World­ly, outward, sensual Comforts and Joyes, which the men of the World swim in, Psal. 4.6, 7. (but infinite drops of Worldly Joy together, it will not make Heaven, but of Spiritual Joy it will) but this is but a drop, there is an Ocean of such Joy in Heaven, which the Saints shall Swim and Bath them­selves in to all Eternity.

3. The Visible Glory and Peace of the Church that may be enjoyed in this World, before the coming of Christ. Great things are [Page 116] spoken in Scripture of the Glorious times that are yet to come; wherein Jews and Gentiles shall walk together in the Lord, and the Church shall enjoy freedom from open enemies and Persecutions, Isa. 60.18. plenty and purity of Ordinances, Ezek. 37.26. Isa. 66.21, 23. plentiful Effusion of the Spirit and of the Graces thereof, Ezek. 39.29. Prevalency and Eminency of Truth, Holi­ness and Peace, Joel 3.17. Zephan. 3.9. Godly and Gracious, Civil Rulers who shall make their business to promote Truth and Holiness, the honour of Christ and the welfare of his people, Isa. 49.23. Rev. 11.15. The spe­cial presence of God in all the wayes and means thereof among them, Isa. 60.19, 20. Revel. 21.23. And hence Honour and esteem in the sight of all men, Isa. 62.7. and 25.8. Revel. 21.24. Why this condition of the Church will be a little Heaven upon Earth (hence conceived to be described by sundry terms taken from the Kingdom of Glory in Heaven, Rev. 21. and 22.) and there will be much Glory in it, Isa. 60.1, 2, 7. But yet it will be far short of Heaven indeed; no state of the Church on Earth, shall equal the state of the Church in Heaven. There will still (in the best time on Earth) be sin and Im­perfection, and Temptation, and Flesh, and Allurements of the World to conflict with­all, [Page 117] and many particular afflictions too from the hand of God.

We in this remote Corner of the World, have for a long time (as may be well con­ceived) enjoyed not a little tast and speci­men of this peaceable and flourishing Condi­tion of the Church; but yet we find it is not Heaven, we find Corruption enough in our own hearts, and in one another to keep us in a continual conflict, &c. In the best estate of the Church on Earth, there will be still cause to sigh and groan for the coming of Christ in the day of full Redemption, Rev. 22.20. The greatest Glory that ever the Church shall enjoy on Earth before the Com­ing of Christ to Judgment, will in compari­son of Heaven be inglorious; for that will alwayes be a truth in this world, 1 Joh. 3.3, 2.

But if so much Glory and such great things be to be enjoyed on Earth, what then will Heaven be? The thought or expectation of Glorious and Happy times on Earth, in­stead of Carnal drawing down our minds, it should raise and lift them up thither: For all is but an Hansell, a Taste, a beginning and Inchoation of what will there be Consum­mate: All the pledges and tasts which God does, or ever will give his people on Earth, they are but to quicken them to press after the prize, a full draught and rest that is reserved for them.

[Page 118] Comp. 3. Consider the great sufferings, troubles, sorrows and afflictions that the faithful, (some of them especially) have en­dured in this life, those are a little matter, as nothing to the future Glory in Heaven; there is no Comparison between them, which shews that Glory to be exceeding great, Rom. 8.18. Paul's Sufferings were very great, few have ever gone through more then he did; had you seen, much more had you felft them, you would have thought them exceeding heavy, 2 Cor. 11.23. - 27. and 6.4, 5. 1 Cor. 4 9, 11, 12, 13. 2 Tim. 3.11. yet there was no Comparison between the evil and trouble of all these, and the Comfort of that Glory; this did infinitely over-ballance them, they hold no weight against it as the word imports, 2 Cor. 4.17. N [...]t that the affliction in these was light, but because the other end of the ballance was exceeding heavy. As you know, though there be a considerable weight in one Scale, yet if you put a far greater in the o­ther, (as several hundreds against ten or twenty pound weight) why? the far greater fetches up the other, as if it were a light thing, a Feather, a very nothing Why thus put into one Scale, all the Afflictions that ever you felt, or have seen, others feel about you; all Sicknesses, Pains, Diseases, Weari­some nights and dayes thereby; such Griefs [Page 119] as those in Job 6.2, 3. All the Sufferings of the Martyrs, Racks, Strappadoes, Burnings and exquisite new-devised Torments; all the Deaths, Stripes, Pains, Bonds, Wants, Re­proches, Afflictions that Paul went through from first to last, heap them on altogether in one Scale; yet Eternal Glory in Heaven being put into the other Scale, it is a weight exceedingly exceeding all this [...] this speak the exceeding greatness of this Glory that so far so exceeding Hyper­bolically weighs down all the Heaviest Af­flictions, that they are but as a Feather, as nothing to it: And yet some one of these Afflictions will weigh down all the good and Comfort of this World. Let a man have a dangerous Sickness, a sore Tormenting pain upon him, it imbitters all; yea he would willingly part with all he hath (though great Riches, &c.) to be freed from it, Job. 2.4. Mark. 5.26. But put them altogether, and they will be over-ballanced and weighed down by the Glory of Heaven, even as a few Sands by a Mountain.

Comp. 4. Consider the Excellency and Glo­ry of this lower World, and the Cost, Riches and stately workmanship that God hath ex­pended and laid out thereupon, and upon the entertainment he gives to all his Crea­tures there in: What then is the Glory of [Page 120] the third Heaven, and of those upper and Coelestial Mansions? (Gods own dwelling place) And what is the Entertainment that he will give there to the Inhabitants there­of? This lower World is but as a stage, that is set up for a while to be taken down again: It is but as the hovels and out-houses where all sorts of Creatures are kept; but Heaven is the Palace, the dwelling house of the Great King, and appointed to be the everlasting habitation of the Blessed, Joh. 14.2. 1 King. 8.39, 43. If you should come to any Great or Wealthy mans Place, and there find the Barnes and Out-houses excellently and Substantially built, and much Cost laid out about them, ample accommodations there­in for every Beast and Creature about the house, and liberal Provision for them, every thing compleat and excellent; you would say, what is the Dwelling-house, and what is the Furniture thereof? Sure that is wonderful Rich and Stately, and both the Building and Furniture beyond measure exquisite. The application is obvious. Even this lower World is a curious and costly piece: The Earth, which is but the dregs of Nature, is full of Gods Riches, Psal. 104.24. In the Bowels of it is Gold, Silver, Precious Stones, Mettals of all sorts; the surface of it is in the Summer-season clothed with a [Page 121] pleasant dress, delightful to the sense, and profitable for use: It is arrayed with more Glory than Solomon had in his greatest Splen­dor, Mat. 6.28, - 30. Hos. 14.5, 6, 7. Psal. 65.12. The Sea is full of Riches and of the admirable Works of God, Psal, 104.24, 25, 26. The Air is a Treasury of fruitful showers and other admirable Meteors, Deut. 28.12. The Aetherial Heaven is garnished with Stars, Job 26.13. Therein is a Tabernacle for the Sun, that admirable work of God, tra­velling his dayly and yearly Circuit to give Light and Heat to all things on the Earth, Psal. 19.4, 5, 6. In these visible Heavens is such Divine Workmanship as may ravish all beholders, Psal. 8.3. and 136.4, 5, 7, 8, 9. and look upon the entertainment God gives unto all his Creatures here in this lower World; all the multitudes that are down-lying and up-rising in this great house of his▪ what Commodious and large Provision he makes for them, even Inferior Creatures, besides and beneath man, Psal. 104, 27, 28. The wild Asse hath the range of the Moun­tains for his pasture, Job. 39.6, 8. There is enough to spare for him and all other wild Creatures that live upon the Grass in the Wilderness; their table lyes alwayes spread, and there is enough and to spare by the state­ly bounty of the large Creator. The feeble [Page 122] Conies want not their houses and fortifica­tions, Psal. 104.18. Nor the Birds their resting places, ver. 12.17. The young Ravens are not forgotten of God, Job 38.41. Psal. 147.9. Why is there such work and such Riches filling this lower World; (Earth and Sea, and Water, and the Starry Region) what then is Heaven? And what are the Riches and Glory that are laid up there? What is the Entertainment there given to men, yea to Saints and Members of Christ Jesus? Christ uses that Argument as to this World, Mat, 6.26. much more may we use it as to the World to come; when God shall pour out the fuln [...]ss of the Riches of his good­ness upon the chosen Vessels thereof. If such workmanship be laid out upon the Earth, and the r [...]st of this house of time, what a curi­ous piece is Heaven? that house of Eternity, (2 Cor. 5 1.) the City and Palace of the King, the very Region and place of Heaven, the Fathers House where all his Children must be lodged, and accomodated, and dwell for­ever) it does as far excel, and is far above the Earth as the height of it, and the ends and uses of it do excel. The Pearls and Preci­ous Stones, &c. that are found in the Earth, will scarce serve to make the Walls of that City; as appears by these Metaphorical Descriptions of the Heavenly Jerusalem, [Page 123] which it meant of the Church on Earth, is far excelled by the Glory of Heaven, Revel. 21.18, - 21. and if the outside be so Glorious, (that the best of the things on Earth are scarce worthy or fit to be shadows or resem­blancs thereof) what then is the outside? What is the Furniture within, and enter­tainment there? Why it stands not in Car­nal outward things and delights, (as the Mahomitan Paradice, and the Heathen Elysian Fields) they cannot be raised up to such an height as to make Heaven: But Spiritual holy Delights, and Joyes in the frution of God, and those in their height and fulness; compared wherewithal the Glory and Joy of the World, is but a trif [...]le. And the Exter­nal condition of the Body shall in Glory, Beauty, Vigour, Strength, Spiritual Activi­ty and Comfort, every way unspeakably ex­ceed what it is or can be conceived here.

Comp. 5. Consider the vast preparation God maketh for the Glorifying his Saints in Heaven. The great preparation he maketh both to prepare Glory for them, Mat. 25.34. Joh. 14.2, 3. Heb. 11. 16 And to prepare them for Glory, Rom. 9.23. 2 Cor. 5.5. Col. 1.12. Election, Redemption, Christs As­cennsion and Intercession, Vocation, Sancti­fication: Christs second coming (Joh. 14.3.) are all to make way, and fit for, and bring un­to [Page 124] to this Glory. When we see great and va [...] preparations for a thing, (much time and cost spent therein) as for a Kings Coronation, for a Funeral, for a Wedding; we conclude it will be very magnificent. [...]n this preparati­on for Glory, there is much time spent; all the time of this life the Believer is fitting for it, nay from before the foundation of the World, from all eternity preparation hath been making, Mat. 25.34. and all the time of Christs being in Heaven: By his possessing it as our head, Intercession, &c. Joh. 14.3. And great Cost, all Ordinances are to this end to fit us for Heaven, and all Providences: Christs Death, Bloodshed, Ascention, Inter­cession, 1 Pet. 5.10. &c. And all the Gra­cious operations of the Spirit, 2 Cor. 5.5. All the promises point thither speak of that Glo­ry, and empty themselves there. There and then (viz. in the Glory of Heaven and not till then) they shall be fully accomplished. All the great and magnificent things which have so high a sound in all the promises in the Book of God, they are fully found and met together there. All the great expecta­tions and hopes of the Saints Center and Issue there: All which shew that the Glory of Heaven must needs be exceeding great and excellent. And so the difficulty of it might be another Argument: For difficilia quae pul­chrà; [Page 125] it cost Christ dear, his Pains, his Blood, Life; and it must cost the Christian not a little in Praying, waiting, watching, striv­ing Travelling, Suffering the oppositions of Hell, Flesh and World, and not without great difficulty, at last he gets to Heaven, 1 Pet. 4.18. Mat. 7.14.

Comp. 6. I might mention the Titles that are given to this Heavenly Glory in Scrip­ture. It's called an Inheritance, Ephes. 1.18. Act. 20.32. that is, amongst the best things on Earth: A good Inheritance, what care to obtain, settle, make sure of that; a Rich Heir is counted happy, though he wait long e're he come to Age: But this is an Inheri­tance not Earthly, but Heavenly, Colos. 1.12. 1 Pet. 1.4. A Kingdom, Mat. 25.34. Luk. 12.32. A Crown, Jam. 1.12. 1 Pet. 5.4. Crowns and Kingdoms are counted the top of Humane felicity on Earth; the highest that mens Hopes, Desires, Ambitions Climbe; what Scuffling and Strugling all the Earth over; to be Heirs of a Kingdom, is transport­ing glistering Happiness; what a strange thing would such news be to you: Why if a Believer thou art so, (Heirs of a Kingdom better then all the Kingdoms upon Earth, an Heavenly Kingdom, 2 Tim. 4.18. The Kingdom of God, Act. 14, 22.) how poor and mean soever thy outward condition be, Jam. 2.5.

[Page 126] Ʋse 1. It serves for the Incouragement and Comfort of the people of God in refe­rence to all the Afflictions and Tribulations that they meet with in this World. We spake somewhat of this in the close of a for­mer Exercise; a word further of it now. This is the Improvement the Apostle makes of this point, both here in the close, 1 Pet. 5.9, 10. and in the beginning of the Epistle, 1 Pet. 1.4.5, 6. this the Scripture is oft di­recting us unto out of the midst of the mire and water of Afflictions and Troubles, out of the dark valley of the shaddow of death to lift up our head and peep into another World; look over into that wealthy place that lyes at the Journey's end, through many Tribu­lations, &c. Act 14.22. The thought and remembrance of the Kingdom that lyes at the end, is the great Comfort against all the Tribulations that are in the way. When Death is walking up and down, and taking away here and there; though it be Affl [...]cti­on and matter of bitter sorrow to the Liv­ing: Yet to those that hopefully die in the Lord, it is an happy change, for they go in­to Eternal Glory, Joh. 14.28. They go to possess (to b [...]gin and enter upon the posses­sion of) this great Glory we have been speaking of: We do but speak and hear on't, but they possess it; they have an end of their [Page 127] warfare, and are entred into peace and rest forever (though this hinders not, but that it should be laid to heart by the Living, when Righteous and Pious ones, Elder or younger are taken away, Isa. 57.1, 2.) when we our selves are upon the edge of the Grave, and Death a drawing near; when the windows of the Senses begin to be shut toward this World, (the sight and hearing) we should open them toward another World, and let the Glory of that shine into our minds and hearts: Labour to make our portion there­in sure, by a sound, a lively, an often renew­ed, and a working Faith on Christ Jesus, and be much in the Contemplation of it, take in the Comfort of it by sucking, and chawing, and taking in the promises and the fore­thoughts of it. Startle not at Death, nor hang back from it, when as it is a passage to this Life and Glory, when the Dissolving the old Tabernacle is but a drawing toward the house Eternal in the Heavens, 2 Cor. 5.1, 8. we should not be unwilling unto that. So [...]n other Afflictions, when poor and low in the World, under wants and straits, if in Christ you have Riches enough in Heaven, Jam. 2.5. Treasure there that none can take from you, Mat. 6.20. Ephes. 6.18.

When under reproach unjustly, you have names written in Heaven, Luk. 10.20. Ho­nour [Page 128] and Glory there, Rom. 2.7. When fears dangers and appearances of sad Changes and troubles are before you here; you have an unchangeable portion and rest in Heaven, and that it is safe and secure; neither Hell nor World can take that away from you, Heb. 6.19. When Sufferings threaten here, there is a Glory to follow that will make amends for all, 1 Pet. 1.11. Mark. 10.29, 30. Oh lift up your eyes to Heaven, and there see and possess that Glory that infinitely weighs down all the evil and discomfort that is here below, Rom. 8.18. And Consider, 1. Afflictions, Sufferings here are but for a while, a little while: But that Glory is E­ternal, Text 2 Cor. 4.17. 2. This Glory shall over a while, put an everlasting end to all Suffering and Sorrow. After you have suffered a while, then suffering comes to a final end, never to return or trouble more, and everlasting Glory follows, Revel. 21.4. This Glory shall put a period, an end to Suffering, and then continue without end, Job 1 [...].16, 17, 18. 3. The Happiness and Comfort of this Glory that lyes at the Journeys end, will abundantly make amends for all the trouble of the way; yea the re­membrance of fore-passed Troubles and Tryals that you have passed through and born with Subjection to the will of God, will [Page 129] then be sweet. Haec olim meminisse Juvabit: Labour and toil here will make rest the sweeter, Eccles. 5.12. fore-passed and escaped dangers and difficulties and conflicts, its pleasant to look back upon: All these the Lord hath supported in and carryed through, and I am here saved by the Lord, and set down in peace: What a Song of Praise to God, and Comfort to himself, does David sing when delivered out of the hands of all his Enemies? Psal. 18. and 116.3, 6, 7.4. You may make an advantage of all Af­flictions to drive you to Heaven and to this Glory, to wean you from the World, and make you look and long, and sigh for rest in Hea­ven; to take you off from resting and build­ing on the Earth, where there is no rest, and fire you to Heaven, 2 Cor. 4.16.17, 18.

Ʋse 2. Hence that there is a greater and better, a more Excellent portion to be sought after and obtained, than all this World, and all the Riches, Honours, Plea­sures and Treasures of it. There is Eternal Glory in the World to come (that we are called up to mind and seek, that is to be obtained by Christ Jesus) and that is ten thousand, thousand times a greater and a better matter, (a more desirable, more ex­cellent, more noble thing) than all the Glo­ry and good of this World. Should Satan [Page 128] [...] [Page 129] [...] [Page 130] shew you (as he did to Christ, Mat. 4.8.) all the Kingdoms of the World and the Glories of them, and put all the varnish and glitter­ing splendor upon them that could be, and offer to give you all this (could he make good his word) if you will be his? walk in the wayes of sin and sensuality, and give up your selves to be men of this World, and to take up your portion here; you may boldly refuse the bargain, and say he offers you to your loss: Christ far outbids him, and makes you an offer that is infinitely better, while he sets Heaven before you and the Glory of it, and sayes renounce Sin and the World, and come and possess Eternal Life and Glory in and with a Saviour: This is as much better than the other, [...]s the Heavens are higher than the Earth. Were it so that you ha [...] Crowns and Kingdoms in choice, yet there were rea­son that you should lay them aside in Com­pa [...]ison of this; neglect them rather then ne­glect this, despise, slight, contemn them, to imbrace, pursue, possess this Crown and Glo­ry that is above. How much more reason to prefer it before those little s [...]raps of the World that are within [...]our reach and com­pass, those shreads of pleasure, or wealth, or honour, or outward Contentments that you are capable to obta [...]n: Those little things of the World that lye before you, when as [Page 131] the greatest, nay all the things of the World are as nothing, compared with the Heavenly Portion that is offered you in Christ Jesus. And yet this is the Bane of men; this is the stumbling stone at which their Souls fall and perish, viz. Preferring Earth before Heaven, the present God of this World b [...]fore that to come; and so taking up their rest here, lay­ing out themselves, their Spirits and Af­fections upon present outwa [...]d worldly things, with neglect of, and so as to have their hearts dryed up toward Heaven and Heaven­ly things. Oh foolish and unwise! Oh un­speakable sottishness and unreasonable ab­surdity, to prefer Earth before Heaven, or to take up with the Earth, when Heaven is set before you: To have Affections, Spirits for Earth, and none for Heaven, when Hea­ven does so infinitely excel.

What is it most men are running after, cleaving to, setting up their hearts upon, laying out their Spirits and best Affections, and utmost endeavours about? Is it not somewhat in this World? Pleasure, or Profit, or Honour; lust of the Flesh, or Eye, or Pride of Life? (Pride of Life, 1 Joh. 2.16. i. e. an high and pompous manner of living; affecta­tion of height, state and costliness in all the things of this life, both Apparel, Housing-Furniture, &c. above Place, Rank, Ability [Page 132] or Sobriety) either in unlawful wayes and excesses; or at least, contentment in the lawful good things and comforts of this Life, that is, the highest, the chiefest good that many seek after, rest in, and are wholly taken up about: And so taken up here, as to have no heart for God, or Christ, or Hea­ven; no mind, no affection to those things, they are slightly passed over, and the other pursued as the maine; this present World ingrosses all. But behold the Word of God shews us a more excellent Object and Prize to run for, a better designe to pursue the Glory and Happiness of another World, that is infinitely more excellent, more necessary, worthy our pains and affections, more pro­per for immortal Souls to be busied about. Should you judge by the minds and wayes of most of the Sons of men? You would think there were no higher or better thing to be minded than the good of this World: But the point shews us, that that is better and more excellent: What is all the Glory and good of this World, to that of the Glory to come? It is no more, nor so much as a pebble stone to a Pearl, or Husks to Bread, or Dirt to Gold, or Rags to Robes: Who would take up with the former, when he may have the latter? Yea when called (as we are continually by the voice of the Go­spel) [Page 133] to attend and imbrace the latter. Re­member all the outward good of this World is but Earthly, the other is Heavenly: But Bodily, (pleasing and pampering, and Paint­ing the outward man) the other is Spiritual, adorning, perfecting and making happy the Soul: But Temporal, the other is Eternal, 2 Cor. 4.18. The one Corruptible, the other Incorruptible, 1 Cor. 9.25. The one stands in the enjoyment of Creatures, and but the lower sort of Creatures neither, the other in the enjoyment and frution of the Infinite Creatour, God Blessed for evermore. How far must the latter needs excell the for­mer.

Ah this Doctrine should take us off from, and lift us above the Earth, wean us from the World, which is hard to effect the hearts of men are so Carnal: There is good there to draw us, but the Lord is fain to add many evils (troubles) here to drive us out; and well if both would do. Oh weep over our Earthly mind and heart: Paul did so, and get to Heaven in your Conversation, Phil. 3.18.20. Are you of the Redeemed or no? Gal. 1.4. Colos. 3.12. Good is the Object of the Will and Affections, and where choice is of the best good, if there be one thing better than another, the Will of man would have that, it aspires after the best: Why here be the [Page 134] things, and therefore set your affections upon them, and not on these meaner, worse and inferior things that are beneath. Oh get that sweet evidence of Effectual Cal­ling, that you are called out of the World, (taken off from this World) and are men of another World, men for Heaven, bent up­ward, d [...]claring plainly that you seek ano­ther and better Country then this, and then you may be sure that God is your God, Heb. 11.14, 16. and will be your guide to the death; that he will guide you by his Counsel, and afterward receive you unto Glory.

SERMON VI.

HAving passed through the Explanation of this Doctrine, we may briefly add somewhat by way of Reason: Why the Lord will give unto his people such great Glory in the World to come, only out of the Text, and we may rather take notice of some Reasons here, because they are pointed to in the Text.

Reas. 1. From the Grace (the rich Grace) of God, and for the Glory thereof. Th [...] God of all Grace will give us this Eternal Glory. It is [his] his Glory, in his hands and dispose, and he out of the Riches of his Grace will bestow and communicate it (though he is the God of all Grace also, as he is the Au­thor of all the fruits and works of Grace in us; yet the expression leads us to the foun­tain, viz. The Infinite Grace nnd kindness that is in God) so Rom. 5.21. It is from Grace as the Efficie [...]t: That Grace (the ex­ceeding Rich, Infinite Grace and kindn [...]ss of God) may be forever acknowledged, mag­nified and exalted, Eph [...]s. 1.3, - 6. When it shall be shewed (and God will set himself to [Page 136] shew) what a gift Infinite free Grace (good­ness, kindness, bounty) can give, then this will be the Gift (such a thing as would Beg­gar all men and Angels, and all the Riches of ten thousand Worlds; they could not all, should they Joyn together, reach such a Gift as this) Eternal Glory by Christ Jesus, Rom. 6.23. God only, the God of all Grace could give this. He only was so rich as to be able to fill and store Heaven with all the Trea­sures and Riches of Glory that is there pre­pared; and when he hath done, to give it freely to his chosen. There are Riches of goodness in the Gifts God gives and scatters among men here in this World: But those are but little matters, and by the By. But in the Gift of Heaven and Heavenly things, he will set himself to shew the exceeding Riches of his Grace, Ephes. 2.6▪ 7. We say, how can it be that such wonderful Glory should be bestowed on such worthless worms? Why it could not be indeed, were it not from exceeding Rich and Infinite Grace. Grace i. e. that whereby God freely and plen­tifully gives to the undeserving Creature) and in designe to magnifie that.

To set all Saints and Angels a wondring at the Riches of God, and at the bottomless and boundless depth and breadth of his Grace and Love: For it all comes from that foun­tain [Page 137] of Gods Grace, Ephes. 2.8. though pur­chased by Christ; yet to us Christ himself and all is the Gift of Grace. Eternal Glory and all that belongs to it is from the God of all Grace. Text. If God do in Heaven re­ward any little service we do him here, it is a reward of Grace and not of Debt.

Reason 2. From Christ. It is by the means of Christ Jesus that we are brought to this Eternal Glory. Text. So Thes. 5.9. As the Grace of God is the fountain, original and wel-spring of it (Luk. 12.32.) so Christ Je­sus the Mediator is the great way and means whereby it is accomplished for us, and con­veyed, communicated to us. Christ brings us to Eternal Glory.

1. By his purchase of it by his Death, or passive Obedience; he purchased our delive­rance from Eternal Death and Wrath: And Righteousness (or active obedience) he pur­chased and procured for us everlasting Life and Happiness. Hence Rom. 5 21.

It is through and by means of the Righ­teousness of Christ (his obedience whereby being imputed to us, we are made righte­ous in Justification, v. 19, 18.) that Grace powerfully accomplisheth our Eternal Life. For Grace will so contrive and carry on the matter, as that Justice may be answered and attended; that it may be a Just and Righte­ous [Page 138] thing with God to give us life, and so it is by means of the Righteousness of Christ: Had it not been for which, the sentence of death must everlastingly have reigned over us Sinners.

2. By his possession of it for us as our Head and Agent, Heb. 6.20. Joh. 14.2. By the Ascension of Christ, way is made for us into Heaven. The first Adam could have brought us but into an Earthly Paradice, but the se­cond Adam being Lord from Heaven (1 Cor. 15.47, 48.) and ascending thither after he had wrought the work of our Redemption on Earth, Heb. 1.3 Hence the Head draws up the Body after it, and to it, Jo [...]. 17.14. Hence Believers also shall ascend thither, and have an Inheritance there in the third Hea­ven, and in all the Glory of it.

3. By preparing and ripning us for it, by the work of his Spirit; that whole work of Grace that is begun, and carried on in this World to fit us for Glory; conducting us through this World as he did Israel of old, through the Wilderness to bring them to Canaan, Isa. 63.9, 14. so 2 Cor. 5.5. Ephes. 4.30. Rom. 9.23.

4. By coming again to receive us to, Joh. 14.3. the great end of his second coming, is the actual, full, and final accomplishment of the Salvation of his people, or putting [Page 139] them into full possession and fruition of it, so to remain forever, (which is the end and up­shot of all his work) Heb. 9.28. 2 Tim. 4.8. He will come again into this lower World, even here to put Glory upon his people in the sight of all, Colos. 3.4. Rom. 8.18, 19. and then to carry them up to Heaven where he now is, Joh. 14.3. and 17.24.

Reason 3. From the work of Vocation, the tendency and scope whereof is to bring us to this Eternal Glory. Text. In Vocati­on the Lord calleth us out of a state of na­ture (of sin and death) into a state of [...]ter­nal Salvation, and layes that foundation of Grace, the superstructure whereof issues in Heavenly Glory. The Lord in the word of the Gospel, calleth us to possess and receive Eternal Life (or Glory) in and with Christ, 2 Thes. 2.14. and makes it over to them that obey that call, or that effectu­ally believe, 1 Joh. 5.11. And he calls us to look at Eternal Glory in p [...]rfect Communi­on with God as the end of our Race or Jour­ney; and to travel towards it, toward that mark of Heavenly Glory which is the prize that we are called to run for, Philip. 3.14. 1 Cor. 9.24, 25. The Lord calleth us out of this World to be men of another World, to take up our Lot and Portion in Heaven, and to seek and wait for it, being as strangers [Page 140] here, as Abraham was called to leave his Country and Kindred to wait upon a pro­mise of the Heavenly Canaan, a figure of the Earthly, Heb. 11.8, 9, 10, 13, - 16. It is a Christians Calling (the business he is called to attend upon) to get to Heaven, to seek for Glory, Honour and Immortality to come. The Grace begun in Vocation hath an in­seperable connexion which tendeth to, and issueth in (groweth up to) the perfection of Eternal Glory. Glory is but the Harvest of that seed that is sown in Effectual Cal­ling: It is the perfect man which is an In­fant in Vocation.

If the seed be sown, the Child born, as it is in Vocation or Conversion, (Regeneration) then the harvest must needs follow. Calling is the first patent link of the Chain (for Predesti­nation is latent in the Counsel of God the first openwork of Grace upon an Elect person; and Glorification is the last, but the connexion between them is inseperable, Rom. 8.30. And also Vocation is the strait gate that leads to Life Eternal, through which all must pass that get to Glory, and by which they are prepared for it, Rom. 9.23, 24. Hence none but such, and all such, all the Effectually Called shall infallibly be brought to Eternal Glory: If God have begun the work of Grace in Calling, he will finish it in Heavenly Glory, Phil. 1.6.

[Page 141] Reas. 4. From the Sufferings and Troubles of the Saints here. 1 Pet. 5.10. The Saints having suffered with Christ here, they must reign with him hereafter, Rom. 8.17. 2 Tim. 2.12. Having been troubled in this World, they must go to rest in that to come, 1 Thes. 5.7.

The best services and sufferings of the Saints, do not deserve or merit any such thing as Heavens Glory: But the Lord is pleased according to his free promise, and abundant Grace, Richly to reward such poor things above their worth. The Lord re­wards his poor Subjects, not in any way of exact Justice, (as poor men that will give the Labourer but his hire) But like Generous and Bounteous Princes that will give a Pound for that that scarce deserves a Penny: Yea far more largely then so, our Services and Sufferings bear no proportion with Heaven: But God will Bounteously give it, and call it the Recompense of Reward, Heb. 11.26. i. e. a Reward of Grace, not of Debt or Merit. But such is the Lords promise and Grace, that he hath laid up a rich Reward for his suffering Saints, and they shall not lose it, nor miss it. They that have their Suffering, Labouring, Fighting time here, they shall have their Rejoycing, Resting, Triumphing time hereafter, 2 Cor. 4.17. The Lord will [Page 142] not be behind hand with any of his people, nor yet deal scantly with them; for a mo­ments suffering and service on Earth, they shall have Eternal Glory in Heaven.

Ʋse 3. Of awakning and Terrour to all Impenitent and Unbelieving sinners from the consideration of their loss, or of what they (continuing in that estate) must and will inevitably lose and miss of, viz. Al [...] this Heavenly and Eternal Glory that we have been speaking of. For we see it is the por­tion only of the Faithful of the Effectually Called, as Text and Doctrine tells us: There­fore they that abide in Impenitency and Un­belief, that turn a deaf ear to the Call of the Gospel, all their dayes neglect or reject the offers and motions thereof, or are but half (but almost) perswaded, never Effectually overcome to imbrace Christ Jesus, and to be his in earnest: They will lose and be de­prived of it; lay altogether that hath been said, or might be concerning the excellency and greatness of this Glory, you will lose and be [...]eparated from all this; this must be none of the portion of any such, but they must be driven away from the presence of God and fellowship of this Glory. The pain of loss one part of the damneds misery, follows from the point in hand. To lose this Eter­nal Glory by Christ Jesus, what a fearful loss [Page 143] is that indeed, we cannot now tell you what you will lose: It is more then Tongue can utter and Heart conceive, 1 Cor. 2.9. The damned in Hell will have a quicker and fuller apprehension of it to their own Terrour than here We can reach: For they shall see and know in a great measure what it is, though never so as to taste of it. Oh the anguish that will thence follow, Luk. 14.28. Consider a little here.

1. Who they are that shall lose or miss of this Glory, that shall never see it as to par­take of it: And let two or three plain Scrip­tures speak to this.

1. Workers of Iniquity (i. e. continuing such to the end of their day of Grace) they must be thrown out, and the door of Heaven Everlastingly shut against them, sent a­way from the presence of God, Luk. 13.27, 28. They that live impenitently in any sin, that follow the Trade of any way of Evil, that live and allow themselves in any in sin; yea though but secretly: And though they take upon them a Profession, of the name of Christ, Mat. 7.21, 22, 23. 1 Cor. 6.9, 10. Gal. 5.19, - 21. Ephes. 5.5, 6. Yea they that live in the omission of known duties, especially the duties of Love (cor­dial Love) to the people of God, Mat. 25.41, - 45. and so other duties also, Zeph. 1.6. and 3.2. Heb. 2.3. Psal. 79.6.

[Page 144]2. Unbelievers, that never truly believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, by whom alone we may be saved, Joh. 3, 36. 2 Thes. 1.8, 9, 10. We are called by the Gospel and by Effectual Calling (as in Text) brought to partake of this Glory. They therefore that turn a deaf ear to the call of the Gospel all their dayes, never heartily listen to it, and imbrace it; never give up themselves to Christ, or receive him by faith, they will come short of this Glory.

Though you have never so many natural or moral excellencies, though you carry it Commendable, and are useful in your places, &c. Yet if never took off from your own Righteousness, and from Carnal rest in the World, (in Creature Comforts) and from love to sin, to take hold of and be united to a Saviour, to rest upon him, and him alone for Salvation and become his forever: If never divorced from all things else, and Espoused, Married to Christ by Faith; you perish without remedy, and shall never see the face of God in Glory, Mark. 16.16. We are commanded to tell you of that, and you will find it true.

3. The unregenerate, (all unbelievers are so, but there is a distinct notion in this which may be useful) Joh. 3.3, 5, 6. They whose hearts are not turned from sin to God, and [Page 145] changed from nature to Grace, from flesh to Spirit: The unconverted and unsanctified, (it may take in both) that are and continue such; they that are not born again; never have a new Heart and Spirit, nor made new Crea­tures: They shall never be saved, never at­tain to, or partake of this Eternal Glory. Be you civilly Honest, or morally Virtuous, or pharisaically Righteous and devout, or externally well-reputed as Nocodemus was: yet if not regenerate, never born again, never saved. None but the new born are Heirs of Heaven, 1 Pet: 1.3, 4. As descend­ed from the first Adam we are only to an In­heritance in Hell: We must be new-begotten, and new-born to an Inheritance in Heaven. In this sense flesh and Blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God; our old Hearts and old Natures are not fit for Heaven; they must be new moulded, new made before they come there.

4. The unholy will miss of Heavens Glo­ry, Heb. 12.14. Heaven is an Holy habita­tion, without Holiness no coming there. You may get to Heaven without Riches, without Worldly Honour, or possibly with­out great parts and Literal attainments, [Surgunt indocti & Caelum rapiunt, &c. As he, Apud Leigh's Body Divinity pag. 230] with­out Earthly Contentments, but without [Page 146] Holiness no man shall see the face of God in Glory. Th [...]re must be a sanctified heart, and a sanctified life; yea and that here (in mea­sure; though there will be imperfection while here) if ever you be Glorified here­after. You must here begin that Holiness that shall be perfected in Heaven. There are that hate Holiness, scorne and scoffe at it; why you will have little heart to mock, when you shall see the Holy ones, the Saints of God carried into Heaven and you thrust out. Others have no delight at all in Holiness, in Holy Duties, Holy Ordinances, Holy Com­pany, it is a bu [...]den, a weariness, a trouble to them. Why you are not principl'd for Hea­ven, Heaven would not be a Paradice, but a Prison to you (a torment) in that Condi­tion. Others are utter strangers to an Holy Conversation; rather walking in the Com­pany and wayes of loose, lewd and wicked men, than in the wayes of the Holy: Con­trary to 1 Pet. 1.14, - 18. nothing of Heaven or Holiness is to be seen upon them, no Im­pression or Charecter thereof: Why truly if you do not beg in Heaven in this World, you must not look to find it in that to come.

5. They that are Enemies to the Lords Holy and faithful people; that do hate, ma­ligne or seek the hurt or overthrow of those that love Holiness, or of their Holy Enjoy­ments, [Page 147] 2 Thes. 1.5, - 9. Trouble and Rest shall then shift hands: The Godly that now suffer Trouble, shall then [...]nter into Rest: but their Troublers shall have trouble, yea everlasting Trouble instead of Rest. They that have had no heart to do good Offices for the Lords People, (the Members of Christ) will then hear from Christ a depart you Cursed, Mat. 25.41, - 45. much more they that act against them. The Godly by Graci­ous suffering of Tribulations get to Heaven, Act. 14.22. But the wicked by being active in bringing Tribulations on them, plunge themselves deep into Hell.

Oh foolish World, they can never effect the destruction of the Godly, but they effect their own destruction by endeavouring it, Psal. 9.13, - 17. What plainer evidence of a state of Perdition than to be an Enemy, yea if but a secret enemy and hater of those, who it may be your Consciences tell you are in a state of Salvation, and are such as are like to get to Heaven. For I speak not of pretended, but real Saints, (or real as far as appears at least) to be an enemy to those, is the directest way you can take to everlasting Confusion, Psal. 129.5. and 34 21. As you love your Souls, take heed of being found in the least opposition to the Interest of Christ, or of his people.

[Page 148]2. Consider how, or in what way these im­penitent unbelieving sinners do come to lose or miss of this Eternal Glory, viz. in General. By neglecting or not embracing the Call of the Gospel in this day of Grace; and turning aside to vain things. He calls us (saith the Text) to his Eternal Glory by Christ Jesus.

Hence look as by Effectual Calling, i. e. by obeying and answering (hearkning to, and imbracing) the Call of the Gospel; the faith­ful obtain it, and are brought into it; so on the contrary, others that live under the Go­spel miss on't by not hearkning to this Call, by turning a deaf ear thereunto; refusing and neglecting when called to come to Christ Je­sus, Prov. 1, 24, 27. They that hear not Christ when he sayes come, (Luk. 14.17.) in the Kingdom of Grace, shall n [...]ver hear him say come in reference to the Kingdom of Glory, as Mat. 25.34. And they that hear not this latter Call [come] it will be because they would not hearken to the former. The Lord Jesus now calls to every one of you; come unto me, and possess Grace and Glory in and with me: If you attend to this Call by the obedience of Faith, you shall hear him then say to you; Come you Blessed, &c. Isa. 55.3. But alas men lose and put away that Eternal Glory, by neglecting resisting and refusing this Call of Grace. Here therefore, [Page 149] take these two or three Considerations.

1. Every time you neglect or refuse the Call and offer of the Gospel, you put away this Glory, as Act. 13.46. The Lord Calls you (on his part to Eternal Glory, or) to come and receive both Grace and Glory in and with Christ Jesus, Rom. 6.23. Heaven is offered you when Christ is offered. Hence you slight and refuse, and turn your backs up­on all the Glory of Heaven, when you neglect the Call of the Gospel, or dis-accept of Christ offered therein. The Salvation of God (Eter­nal Salvation) is offered to you (Act. 28.28.) and you will not hear on't; you despise all the wonderfull Happiness of Heaven that we have been speaking of. Oh fearful wick­edness, monstrous madness and miserable miss — of Heaven! So when you will not pray nor meditate, nor hear, nor wait at Christ's gates: It is as much as to say, that you are not for Eternal Glory, which is to be sought and obtained in such wayes, and how Justly, how unexcusably do such perish. The Lord is calling you to Eternal Glory, but you turn away from it.

2. Consider, what it is, for the sake whereof you lose or turn away from this Glory and neglect the way to it. Why, a vile lust, a vain World, these are chosen, and Heaven refused; these have your affections, [Page 150] when Christ and all his Glory can have none of them: And so for the sake of those, for this present World (a heap of vanities, a fashion that passeth away) you lose all the good of that to come. The voice of the World calling us to Eternal Glory by Christ Jesus, cannot be heard for the voice of the World calling us to present Objects and things here: And so for Earth men lose Heaven, Mark. 10.21, 22. What a mad and foolish bargain and choice is this! And yet thus it is; there is never a sinner that misses Heaven, but he chuses Earth before it.

3. You lose and miss of this Glory when it was brought near to you in the Call and offer of the Gospel, when according to the order of means you might have had it: When you were called to Eternal Glory by Christ Jesus, viz. by the outward Call of the Gospel (a real Call, though not to you Effectual) the reflection upon this will be one day bitter and tormenting. From under a Call to Heaven to drop to Hell; from un­der a word and call and offer of Salvation to Perdition, what a dreadful thing will that be. (i. e. in the Eternal dispensation of it) you that live in the visible Church, you had an Interest in the Kingdom of Heaven, (it was in your hands as it were, left with you, and you had the offer of it, the dispensation of it, [Page 151] Job. 4.22.) now to lose it, to let it go, to be d [...]prived of it: For the Children of the Kingdom to be cast out, that will bring with a witness wailing and weeping and gnashing of te [...]th, Mat 8 12. After you have been lifted up to Heaven, it will be a fearful thing to fall down to Hell, Mat. 11.23, 24.

3. Consider the greatness of this loss and the bitterness thereof.

1. From the exceeding greatness of the good that is lost, viz. Eternal Glory, all the Happinss of Heaven; the sweet fellowship of the Father, Son and Holy-Ghost, wherein is fulness of Joy &c. Psal. 16.11. and all the Concomitants thereof that Heaven affords. Oh it is beyond our Expression or Concep­tion. All that we have before spoken of about this future happiness, presents matter of meditation here, aggravating this loss: Go over the particulars and say, I (wretched sinner continuing in that Estate, or if I live in sin and unbelief) must lose and be thrust out from all this; be seperated from the sweet p [...]esence of God, from the Love of the Father, the Grace of the Son, and the Con­solation of the Holy Ghost. Be stript of Glory both in Soul and Body, utterly deprived of the Image of God, each spark whereof is more worth than a World: Be thrust out of the Company of Saints and Angels, (among [Page 152] damned Wights and Devils) Be shut out of Heaven that place of Bliss and Glory, and this perpetually, everlastingly, for ever and for ever more. Others must go in, and en­joy all this: But I, I (for my br [...]i [...]ish sinning away my day of Grace, if I should go on as I have thus long done) be thrust out: what wailing would that produce, Luk. 13.28.

2. Compare herewith Worldly losses, the loss of good things in this World, and re­member what a griefe and torment that sometimes is. If you had, or were but in a fair probability and expectation to have, and then should lose but a great sum of Money, lose your house by Fire, a Commodi­ous Dwelling, a fair Estate, or all that ever you have (though but a little) by this or that occasion, much more a Kingdom, a Crown, what a bitter thing would that be. If you do but lose a dear Friend by death, a sweet Relation, a yoak-Fellow, a pleasant Child; how does grief come flowing in? how are you steept in sorrows: It lyes down and wakes with you, and wrings wormwood into your Cup; yea it [...]imbitters all other Com­forts, though you have many others yet about you. How do you see persons some­times take on, and wring their hands when they have lost this or that dear Comfort here! What will it then be to lose Heaven! to lose [Page 153] the Riches, Pleasures, the Crown, the King­dom of Eternal Glory? Not one Comfort but all, not one Saint, but all at once, yea not Creatures, but the Creator himself, God blessed for evermore: Oh who can express or conceive the anguish, the wailing, &c. That must needs accompany and follow this.

3. Remember also the bitter sense that such as have been sensible, have had here of the loss of Gods pr [...]sence and light of his Countenance, or of Communion with him. Davids tears are his meat for that cause, Psal. 42.3, 4. (but for the want of wonted Communion of Ordinances) Job 13.24, 26. Psal. 88 14, 15. Yea Christ himself, Mat. 27.46. To be forsaken of God when felt as it is, is an insupportable misery, (burden) though but for a little season; should this be thy portion, and that for ever, the horrour where­of who can express?

4. The irrecoverableness of this loss, as it will then be. When you shall have slept out, and sinned out your day of Grace, and be found at the day of Death and Judgment in an unregenerate and unpardoned Estate: Then you will find your loss and deprivati­on of Heaven to be irrecoverable, no possible remedy or recovery; no place for repen­tance or remission, nor capacity thereof: But the sentence final, absolute, irrecoverable, [Page 154] Mat. 25.41. Heb. 6.2. Oh think of these things, and lay them to heart with fear and trembling▪ while yet there may be a re­co [...]y an [...] you may possibly come out of that e [...]u [...] estate, and obtain this Glory by Christ [...]esus, while yet the door is open be­fore it be shut forever, Luk. 13. 24 25 - 28. Oh tremble to rest a moment out of a state of Grace, for the end of that will be to be shut out of Glory. Oh let not present Earth­ly Comforts content or quiet you, while you are like to lose or have little hope to obtain Eternal Glory: Mourn after Christ now, that you may not mourn then without hope.

Ʋse 4. Consider hence what a sin and shame it is to be slight or slothful, to stick at small matters in the way to Heaven, (in seeking and travelling toward this future Glory) or attending to what the Gospel calls us unto; for there is no work, no duty the Gospel calls us to, but it tends to Eternal Glory, it is part of the Race or way thither, that is the tendency of the whole Call and Rule of the Gospel to guide us through Grace to Glory▪ Text. Now we see how great and wonderful a thing, how trans­cendant a good this future (this Eternal) Glory is, and should we be slight and slug­gish in pursuit after this. The G [...]ea [...]ness and Exc [...]ll [...]ncy of that that lyes at the end of the [Page 155] Race (of a Christian course) may blame and shame all negligence and backwardness in the way.

1. It condemns slightness or negligence and slothfulness in Religion, in a Christian Course in the matters of our Salvation; which thing is our great Bane and Woe, the Perdition of multitudes, and the sad Temp­tation and hindrance of the Saints them­selves; why this is here sharply rebuked, and we may have hence a notable help against it. For, what is Eternal Glory a thing to be slightly sought after, negligently or sluggish­ly attended to? Does negligence and slight­ness become or suit so great a business? Heb. 2.32. Can you pray slightly or coldly, &c. when you are praying for Eternal Glory? Can you hear carelesly, keep Sabbaths loosely, meditate perfunctorily, confer coldly, spend seasons of Grace idlely; when as you are in all these about the business of Eternal Life and Salvation?

Oh it is a great thing to be saved Eter­nally: It is no small matter to obtain Eter­nal Glory, a Room among Saints and Ange [...]s in Heaven, &c. And though God gives it freely, (as to matter of merit on our part) yet he will have the greatness and worth of it acknowledged and esteemed by our serious­ness, diligence and earnest in seeking it: He [Page 156] gives it freely but not easily, i. e. not without our pains and diligence in seeking after it, and waiting for it, not without our striving, (as in Agony) Luk. 13.24. wrestling Ephes. 6.12. [in high-places, rather, in or about Heavenly things, so Gouge in Loc. pag. 43. Gurnal Part 1. pag. 307.] fighting, 1 Tim. 6.12. in all diligence, Heb. 6.11, 12. A Prince may give a thing freely, and yet command his Servant to wait diligently on him, to take the season to present himself with Reverence, Humility, &c. This is necessary to a meet and orderly receiving it: So here, we merit nothing by all our diligence; Eternal Life is a gift, Rom. 6.23. but there is a diligence required to the receiving (the Cordial, Hum­ble, Dependant, Suitable receiving) of it, Isa. 55.1, 2. the diligence of the Begger is required, not of the Buyer or Earning La­bourer properly. It is a most preposterous and absurd thing, that we should be trifling, slight and negligent when about so great a business as Eternal Salvation; that consists not with a due esteem and true receiving of it: It will never be got in that way. All diligence is here called for, 2 Pet. 1.10. Heb. 6.11, 12. and good reason, for it is a great business, 1 Cor. 9.15. Philip. 2.12.

2. It serves to blame and shame our stick­ing at small matters in the way to Heaven, as viz.

[Page 157]1. At the pains of the Spiritual warfare, or of a Christian course. We must (as I but now said) take pains in Fighting, wrestling, waiting, striving, &c. if we will get to Heaven: But this men stick at; it's death to be put upon it: They would be glad to go to Heaven, but are loath to take so much pains (to break through Difficulties, Cor­ruptions and Temptations to follow God) Oh shameful folly and sloth; will not Hea­ven quit cost? This is as if we should refuse to step over the way to receive a vast Estate, to rise out of a warm Bed, put feet over the threshould, travel a little in a dark night, step forth in a Cold Morning, in a Rainy day, or some such little small difficulty or trouble, to get a Kingdom, or to save ones life, &c. far less than so is the utmost pains of a Christian course, or Warfare compar'd with Heaven. They despised the pleasant Land when they would not fight for it, nor venture upon Walled Towns and Sons of Anak, &c. nor run any hazard for it, Psal. 106.24, 25. with Numb. 13.28, 29, 31, 33, and 13.3, 4, 10. What was not Canaan worth that, so good a Land as even them­selves acknowledged it was, Numb. 13.27. So it is a fearful despising and undervaluing of Heaven, not to be willing to fight and strive and travail for it, or not to think it [Page 158] worth so doing. What shall we stick at a little hardship, or danger, or difficulty and trouble (at the trouble and pains of Praying, Meditating, or Renouncing our Beloved sweet Lusts and Giant-like Corruptions, &c.) when Eternal Glory is set before us, when we are in choice of Heaven the Glory of all Lands, that Land flowing (not with Milk and Honey only, but) with fulness of Joy and pleasures forevermore.

2. At parting with the World and the good things of it, which the Lord calls us to; to forsake all we have here if we will have Christ and Heaven, Luk. 14.33, 26. Though he does not presently call us actually to part withall, but only in affection and readiness of mind and in Comparison of Christ: But if he should call us actually to part withall we have▪ as (by a particular command) he did the Rich man, Mark. 10.21. It were a shame to stick at it. You that have good Estates (great Possessions:) If Christ should b [...]d you now presently part with it, give it all [...]o [...]h [...] poor, or to the publick (so to [...] [...]e Lord does often by his Rules call y [...] do a good deal that way) lay it all [...]n at the foot of Christ, take your fare­ [...]ell on [...] (truly you must do so actually e're long b [...] [...]iz. when a dying hour comes, and it may [...] sooner: Yea indeed a man can do [Page 159] no duty for Christ to purpose, nor follow Christ in earnest without the spirit of this) and you shall have Treasure in Heaven; would you stick at it and say it is an hard saying, and go away sorrowful: Oh the practice of many proclaims, how like they would be to do as the Rich man there did, and so to part with Heaven rather then part with Earth. Alas if Christ Call not for all, but for a little, from them he cannot get it▪ though he offer to repay it in Heaven­ly Teasure, more than an hundred or a thou­sand fold, Mark. 10.29, 30. And so it is a parting with the World for Christ and Hea­ven, to make it subordinate and subservient to our Communion with Christ (to Religi­ous duties in their season, to daily walking with God) and not to be so predominant as hinder and croud out the same; but how or­dinarily does the world prove mens Master in this respect; that when Christ's service (attendance upon God and upon Religion) and the Worlds service comes in Competi­tion, the former is made to give place, and crouded out by the latter, and the mind and affections so engaged in the World, that it cannot tend upon Christ or Heaven. But oh the madness here of, to set Earth above Heaven, Vanity above Eternal Glory, or to refuse to part with, or deny, neglect Earth [Page 160] for Heaven; that is a Pebble for Pearl, Husks for Bread, Dirt for Gold. &c.

3. At the Cross, at Sufferings for Christs sake, or from his will, at those Tribulations which the Lord hath appointed to meet us, and exercise us in our way to the Kingdom of Heaven. Act. 14.22. Why the greatest and heaviest Affl [...]ctions that you can meet with in this World, are but light (think of the worst you can, even such as Paul, such as the Martyrs endeavoured) and the longest are but for a moment, compared with Heavens Glory, 2 Cor. 4.17. Rom. 8.18. Is it not a shame then to stick at them, or shrink from the way to Heaven (the way of Faith and a good Conscience) or be discouraged in it be­cause of them; to be offended (with the stony ground) at Religion when Tribulati­on attends it, Mat. 23.21. or to baulk any part of the way to Heaven for fear of Tribu­lation: Oh if we be men for Heaven, we should be above those things, or being mo­ved by them, Act. 20.23, 24. Who sticks at a Crossing through a Brook, or swamp, or Miry-place, when travailing toward some place of desire, or for some desirable end: Oh keep Heaven in your eye, and then even Moses his choice will not seem an hard choice, Heb. 11.24, 26. May afflictions help and further thee towards Heaven (so all afflicti­ons [Page 161] sactified, and patiently endured does, and eminently those for Christ) then you may re­joyce, as Mat. 5.12.

SERMON VII.

Ʋse 5. OF Exhortation. 1. To all to be­lieve on the Lord Jesus Christ. It serves to invite, perswade and draw us to Christ Jesus, to close with him, embrace him, or believe on him according to the Call and offer of the Gospel; seeing by him, and by believing on him you shall obtain Eternal Glory. This further great benefit is to be had with and by Christ. This is part of the Estate and Riches that this great Suitor that makes love to your Souls is possessed of, and will impart to all that imbrace him: Your believing on him, if you believe in truth, shall be to Life Everlasting, 1 Tim. 1.16. All the Doctrine of Christ (his Person, Offices, Benefits) is attractive unto Faith, (and to improve it that way, is a principlal part of our scope in these Discourses) and so is this part of it also that we are now upon. Every one of his Benefits are full of Argument to per­swade us to believ [...] on him; and so this of [Page 162] Glorification, and this part of it, viz. the Consummation thereof in future Eternal Glory. As we improved other particulars before; so let us make a little improvement of this to that which is the great end of the whole Gospel, viz. to make Christ sweet to us, Glorious in our eyes, and to draw us to close with him. And this the Text leads us to, viz. Hence to lift up the voice of the Call of the Gospel in your Ears, and to press you to attend and obey it: For God therein Calls us to Eternal Glory by Christ Jesus. Look as by Effectual Calling (i. e. by obeying and answering the Call of the Gospel) we are entred into a state of Eternal Glory, so as to be infallibly brought unto it by Christ Jesus. So the word (the General Call) of the Gospel Calls us to come, and take (to enter upon the possession of) this Glory in and with Christ Jesus: When the Gospel Calls us to Christ, and fellowship with him by belie­ving, it Calls us to Eternal Glory. Oh then hearken to this Call, and obey it: That is the Exhortation that we are now to press upon you here before the Lord, Luk. 14.17. All things are ready provided in Christ, and so this thing Eternal Glory. Come in, and come home to Christ Jesus: Imbrace him withall your hearts, receive and possess him, and in and with him you shall possess Eternal Glory, 1 Joh. 5.11.

[Page 163]It is now given you in the promise upon the first day and hour of your true believing: And it shall Infallibly be given to you in the accomplishment. Attend and obey the Call of the Gospel (a Glorious Call it is, which Calls unto such Glory) and the Lord will by a firm deed (a sure promise) presently make over to you both Grace here, and Glory hereafter, Everlasting Life and Blessedness, Isa. 55.3. Heb. 5.9. Oh hearken to this word of the Lord, this voice of the High-calling of God in Christ Jesus; you that have hither­to been stooping down to the dust, minding nothing but Earth and Vanity; yea running down hill in the way of sin toward the lowest Hell: Incline your Ear, and hearken to a motion and offer of Eternal Glory in Hea­ven; open your eyes and see the Lord Jesus standing withall Grace and Glory in his hands and inviting to him, to let out of your hands (i. e. out of your hearts) the trifles of the World, and take Eternal Glory in and with a Saviour: Behold Heaven is opened to you, the door stands open before you, if once at last you will be perswaded to enter in. And you that have believed al­ready, sit not by as if this Exhortation did not concern you; but oh believe again, im­brace Christ again, come to him afresh with fresh and new sweetness, with more clear­ness [Page 164] and establishment in believing; so you should do at every time he calls you, and sets his Glory before you, (Joh. 2.11.) and so at this time this day: Renew your Con­jugal Imbraces of Christ Jesus, and so your lively hope of this Glory. Christ delights to be often asking for our hearts, and setting himself before us as the attractive object of them; and we should delight to be often giving our hearts to him, and clasping about him as the only Glorious, Lovely, hope and rest, and portion of our Souls.

Now for the pursuing of this Exhortation, or pressing the Call of the Gospel by this Argument of Eternal Glory to be had (and which we are Called to) by Christ Jesus. Let us a little improve the point and Text before us.

1. By way of motive or quickning and perswasive considerations to draw our hearts to Christ Jesus.

2. By way of direction and help to guide us in our believing on him.

3. By way of Answer to some Objections that tend to beat us from Believing.

For the first, though it is God only can draw and perswade, yet he does it by his word; and therefore we must apply our selves to speak and hear, to listen to such quickning drawing Considerations as the [Page 165] word of the Gospel does suggest, and in that way the spirit breaths.

1. If the Lord Call thee to Eternal Glo­ry (or to come and receive Everlasting Blessedness through Christ) then what does he Call thee from or out of? Why from a state of Eternal wo and misery, which is that that we are naturally in, and that belongs to us as sinners, and as in our selves considered, 1 Pet. 2.9. Colos. 1.13. Joh. 5▪ 24. The word of Christ therefore calls thee from Death to Life. Oh consider what damnation is about thee; yea upon thee, considered in thy self, and in thy Natural Estate, whereby thou lyest under all sin, and under all Wrath, Tem­poral, Spiritual and Eternal, Rom. 6.23. That work thou hast done, and that wages (Death, Eternal Death) belongs and is due to thee, thou art sinking under the burden of the Curse (lying under it as without Christ, Gal. 3.10. and it is all upon thee, Joh. 3.36.) ready every moment to drop into Hell, lyable to everlasting seperation from God; to hear that doom, Mat. 25.41. Se­peration from God; thou hast the beginning on't already in the result of the guilt and power of sin, in that dead, dark and God­less heart of thine, and thy estrangement from God thereby, and this strongly tends to perfect separation from God, and that is [Page 166] Hell as è contra, &c. Why this should make this word of Salvation, this offer of Eter­nal Life, and Call to come to Christ for it, wonderful sweet and acceptable. Bread in Famine, Deliverance in Emminent dangers, Life to him that is going down to the pit, how precious is it? Job 33.22, 24. It is to one that is going down to the pit, that the Lord speaks this Calling word, should not that go to thy heart? As thou art going down to Hell, the Lord calls thee up to Heaven. When that doom is pronounced in Mat. 25.41. and those multitudes going away to Hell, suppose thy self among them, and that one should then come with a message from God to call th [...]e back again, and to invite thee to go up with Christ in Heavenly Glory; what a ravishing thing would that be! Why then there will be no place for recovery or hope: But now such a like thing is really done to thee, thou art going down to the Pit among the Uncircumcised, posting on in the way to the lowest Hell, under the Curse, &c. And yet behold now the Lord Calls to thee to turn about, and accept of a Saviour, and of Eternal Life and Salvation in him. Thou poor perishing Sinner, if thou hast any mind to Salvation, it's offered thee freely in Christ, (Act. 16.31.) Is not this worthy of all ac­ceptation?

[Page 167]2. Remember what Glory it is that you are called up unto, or that is to be had by Christ Jesus. Here reflect upon all the promises, all that hath been spoken of the Excellency of Heavenly Glory; which is indeed above what Tongue can speak, or Heart conceive. Blessedness, perfect and Everlasting Blessed­ness, freedom from all evil, from the worst of Evils (sin, all sin, that deadly and bitter evil that kills thee all the day long) the vi­sion and fruition of God, that Ocean of good­ness, compared with which, the whole World is but a drop. Should the Lord offer you heaps of Gold and Silver, and bid you take them freely, what flocking would there be; and what hearkning would there be to such a proposition; should he tell you of Crowns and Kingdoms, and make Proposals about them; Should a match be offered to thee that should bring with it Riches, and Ho­nours, and Treasures in abundance; how would thy heart spring and leap within thee at the thoughts of it, and you would not need much perswading. We offer you this, (I mean the good and Comfort that is in these things) and more, ten thousand times more, as Mic. 2.11. If poor Ministers had Gold and Silver to tell you of, they should be hearkned to. Why but we have that that is better, as much better as the Heaven is higher [Page 168] than the Earth, and this we lay before you in the name of our God. The Earth, and the Glory of it is too low a business to send his Son Jesus to purchase for you, and to bless you with, or the Gospel to tell you of. But Heaven, Heaven if you have any mind to that Eternal Glory that is to be had by Christ Jesus, and that the High-Calling of God in Christ calls you to. Come, will you leave the Earth, and go up to Heaven? will you throw the World at your feet as dung and dust, and go up thither into the bosom of God, to have the Love of the Fa­ther, the Grace of the Son, the Fellow­ship of the Spirit to all Eternity? Why then Christ is for you; this is that the God of all Grace Calls us to by Christ Jesus, and this is most worthy of all acceptation. The Land we tell you of, (that Coelestial Land of pro­mise) is an exceeding good Land; some Clusters and Tasts of the Grapes whereof we have shewed you: If you be wise, go up at once and possess it, and let nothing hinder or detain you, as Numb. 13.30. and 14.7, 8.

3. Consider what a wonderful heart­breaking thing it is, that the Lord should speak such a word of Salvation to you, or give you such a Call to Eternal Glory. Verily next to that Call that the Saints shall have [Page 169] at the last day to the immediate fruition of this Glory, Mat. 25.34. is this Call that you now have to the possession of it, in and with Christ in the Kingdom of Grace: The Lord now sayes to thee, come, come to Christ Jesus, Imbrace and possess him as of­fered in the Gospel, and in with him Eter­nal Glory; not seperating the estate from the person (think not to have Christs Glory without having Christ himself) nor the end, from the way to it. Heaven from the way wherein you are to walk thither. But take altogether, (Christ, and through him Grace and Glory to be obtained in a way of walk­ing after Christ in the Kingdom of Grace) and welcome it as the free gift of God, Rom. 6.23 Psal. 84.11, 12. This the Lord Calls you to come, and take possession of; he bids you now enter Heaven, and take your lot there in the promise and beginning of it: And what a wonderful thing is this. Remember,

1. Whom he speaks and Calls unto; a vile Sinner and wretched Malefactor, that deserves to be turned into Hell, and might have expected to hear a doom and Sentence of Wrath only; to hear only news of Woe and Wrath, and Fire, and Blood; to hear such a word as that in Mat. 25.41. And will the Lord unto thee say come, come to a Saviour, and be forever Blessed in and with [Page 170] him, 2 Tim. 7.18▪ 19. The Lord speaks to you of a great while to come, even of Eter­nal Glory in the World to come, the offer of it unto you all, and the promise of it, if you do believe.

2. Who is it that Calls, viz. God in Christ Jesus, the God of all Grace, Phil. 3.14. He sends from Heaven to Call you up to Hea­ven. I tell you the Bowels of the Lord Jesus now in Glory, are now yearning over some of you; yea all of you as he is dispensing this word of Salvation to you, 2 Chron. 36.15.

We are but poor Instruments, Messengers, whom he imployes and sends: It is from the design of Christ to seek, and save poor Crea­tures, to bring them to Heaven; therefore he sets this great Salvation before you, and Calls on you not to neglect it; therefore he lifts up his voice that you might hear it, (as all his sheep shall) and follow him, that he might give you Eternal Life, Joh. 10.27, 28. That the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, should call up a worm to the Fellowship of his own Glory. Luk. 1.43. much more the Lord himself.

3. Of what he speaks, viz. Eternal Glory, i. e. Grace and Glory, the beginning of it here, the Consummation of it hereafter, the former in order to the latter, and to the whole of both at once. He offers and calls to [Page 171] it at once. The best and greatest thing that God hath to give; God hims [...]lf hath no greater gift than that (Rom. 6.23.) and this he thrusts into thy hands, the thing that you have most need of, absolute need of; for there is but one thing necessary, and that is to get Heaven, to be saved forever; the thing that is able to make you Happy, a Beatifical good, Everlasting Communion with God which is our Blessedness; whole Happiness at once, this he layes before you.

4. When he thus speaks and Calls to thee, when Earth is full of trouble about you, (and there is no rest upon it) then he Calls you up to Heaven, and to rest there. When this lower World is stormy and unquiet, then he leads you to the upper region (to the Cham­bers of Glory) where Peace dwells, as Isa. 26.20. when the Sea rages and is tempestuous about you, now he discovers an Harbour to put into, the fair Haven of Eternal Glory, the Bosom of the Blessed God, where your Souls may dwell at ease, Psal. 25.13. In every other dwelling there is some Inconvenience, trouble, difficulty, pinching, want or ail; that you do not sit at ease, some hard knot in every Worldly Pillow, that you do not lie at ease: But there your Souls shall dwell at ease, lodge in goodness as the word is: Goodness, universal goodness shall be your [Page 172] lodging place. Yea when sin had even thrown you down to Hell, seperated you from God, provoked his wrath yet now the Lord speaks of Heaven to you: Yea now he thus speaks,Note: Prov. 1.33. and Calls after all your neglects and mispence of time; he is yet calling, yet offering Christ, and Life, and Heaven to you, this day, this hour: Behold now an accepted time, a day of Salvation, a day of Receiving, Possessing and obtaining Eternal Salvation in Christ Jesus: The offers of Salvation might have long since ceased and ended to you-ward; but behold yet they are continued, and thou hast this one Call more, not only yesterday you might, but to day you may hear the voice of Christ Je­sus: Oh harden not your hearts from so do­ing. It may be thou sayest as Isa. 55.5, 6.

5. In what way a portion in this Eternal Glory is to be had and obtained (in what way the Lord offers it and calls thee to possess it) viz. in a way of believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, i. e. (as I may so express it) in a way of leaving and taking: Leaving that that is worthy to be left, and taking, accept­ing, chusing that that is worthy, most worthy to be taken: Leaving and letting go all evil, misery and vanity, sin and world, as at­tended and enjoyed in a way of sin, Luk. 14.33. And taking all good, Christ and all his [Page 173] benefits, Grace and Glory; all saving good, in and with a Saviour. This great Estate (of Grace and Glory) together with so sweet, desirable and Glorious a person (a match) as the Son of God is: What a wonderful offer and motion is this, and how worthy of all acceptation. Hence

4. Consider that they that now in the day of Grace chuse this Eternal Glory in earnest, may, yea shall have it. If you chuse Heaven indeed, you shall go thither; if willing to have everlasting Felloship with God for your portion, you shall have it. Why, if this be true, what more plain than that the offer of of this Glory is free and real? what more in­excusable or wilful, than the sin and perdi­tion of those that perish? What remains, but that you be perswaded to chuse and im­brace Heaven, and Life Eternal, though one would think you should need little perswa­ding. Now this is most true and evident. Deut. 30.19. if you chuse life, you shall live, Joh. 3.19. Therefore if they had loved light ra­ther then darkness, (i. e. chosen light, i. e. Christ and all his Grace) they should not have been condemned but saved, see Prov. 1.29. Isa. 56.4, 5. Psal. 119.30, 173. Isa. 66.3, 4. Every man hath his choice: Do you chuse Lust, Sin, Vanity, World, you shall have it. Do you chuse separation from God, to live [Page 174] at a distance and in estrangement from him, that will inevitably be your everlasting por­tion if you continue in that choice. But if the Lord give you an heart to chuse Heaven (i. e. not meerly as a place of outward ease; but of Holy Communion with God, and fruition of him) rather than Earth. If you indeed chuse God and his Fellowship rather than the World, Christ and Grace rather than sin; then you shall have that. Why is there any Body that does not chuse Hea­ven? that would not be saved? Yea a great many, viz. they that chuse sin, Prov. 8.36. and 1.22. That chuse this present World for their Portions, 2 Tim. 4.10. That will none of God, Psal. 81.11. For it is the enjoyment of God that makes Heaven; why if you will none of Heaven, if you refuse Eternal Glory, or the way to it; if you care not for Blessed­ness, no wonder if you miss of it, and just will be your perdition. But oh, who come to be so sottish and brutish as to chuse evil before good, Earth before Heaven and Death before Life; chuse Life and that you may have forever.

5. Whither will you turn you, if you dis­obey this Call, and neglect this offer of Eternal Glory by Christ Jesus? Where will you take up your portion? Where will you find any thing Comparable to this, or ought that can make you happy if you refuse this? [Page 175] Isa. 10.3. You will go to the Creature, to a vain World, to the pleasures, profits and preferments of it, you will dig in the Earth for a Portion: But alas there is no Eternal Glory to be found; there is no good here that can make up happiness, much less a du­rable happiness. There is no Treasure on Earth but there is a destroyer lies by it, Mat. 6.19. There is nothing safe in this World; you can lay up nothing where destruction may not find it: There is but one safe place to lay up a portion in, and that is Heaven: You do but lay up for the fire what you lay up on Earth, for that will be the last end of all things here, 2 Pet. 3.10. When that day of the universal burning of the World comes, what a sensible demonstration will it be of the vanity of laying up our portion on Earth; and so are all particular burnings (of Houses or Towns or Cities) in the lesser dayes of Gods Judgements now. How many wayes does the Lord proclaim unto men, that here is no suitable or durable portion for them to be had on Earth? You must to Heaven if you will have any true or lasting Happiness, any Eternal Glory. There no Moth, nor Rust, no Fire, nor Water, no Pirate or Robber comes. Make this World your Inne, and not your Home, and then, when it is fired you may leave it without loss, (the Traveller [Page 176] suffers little or no loss when the Inne where he lodged all night is set on Fire) and go home to an Everlasting Habitation. Oh men may call the things of this World a Glory, as Genes. 31.1. but there is nothing here worthy that name; or if it be, it is not Eternal Glory to be sure; it is but a fading fashion that passeth away. Look upon the various changes, losses, destructions, wherein the best and goodliest portions in this World do fade, and fail, and pass away, you may write on them, Sic transit gloria mundi. Why then, if you ne­glect and refuse Heaven, and turn to the things below, you do but imbrace shadows for substance, shells and shews, and vain things that cannot profit you, and what a madness and folly is that?

6▪ Consider the peril of refusing or dis­obeying this Call and offer of Salvation; or what the issue would be, should you neglect it, viz. everlasting heaviness, misery and dam­nation. If you will not have Heaven, you shall have Hell, (for you must have one of them) yea a deeper and hotter Hell; because you had the offer of Heaven, and refused it. The Lord hath brought the matter to this pinch, there is but this choice before you, either Heaven or Hell, either Eternal Glory, or Eternal Misery: If you refuse the former, you shall not escape the latter. If you will [Page 177] none of Christ and Grace▪ you shall have sin, and be given up to it: If you will not have the Fellowship of God, you shall have the Company of the Devil and his Angels: If you will not hear the voice of the call and promise of the Gospel, you shall one day hear that dreadful word, Mat. 25.41. Why, if this be the choice, is it not plain and easie to determine which is to be chosen? Shall not thy Soul with fear and trembling groan to God to deliver thee from such a madness and misery as to neglect Heaven and chuse Hell, to hate Christ and love death? And such a madness it is to dis [...]regard the Call of the Go­spel, the voice of wisdom, and to go after the foolish woman, whose Guests are in the depths of Hell.

7. Remember that we must hear Christs call now in the word and Kingdom of his Grace, if ever we would hear his Blessed and Glorious call at the last day unto the imme­diate, actual fruition of Fellowship with him in the Kingdom of his Glory. If we would then hear him say, come (as Mat. 25 34.) we must hear, and obey that word from him now. Come now if you would come then. Come now to Christ Jesus, and enter into Fellowship with him (as God calls you, 1 Cor. 1.9.) in a way of Faith and Grace, if you would then come into his Kingdom, and be [Page 178] for ever with him in a way of Glory. Are you willing to hear Christ at the last and great day; when he shall break out of the Clouds, set him down on the Throne of his Glory, and call all Nations before him; then to say to you: Come you Blessed inherit the Kingdom? Then you must hear him now who cryes to you in the Gospel: Come, come unto me that you may have Life and Glory for evermore; (Luk. 14.17.) The same portion for substance that the Saints are called to then, you are invited and called to now (viz. Fellowship with Christ and parti­cipation of all his benefits, Peace, Grace and Glory:) there from an Inchoation you pass to the Consummate fruition of them; here from a total want, to an entire possession of them, (so at the first believing, which is in that regard a greater matter than the other) will that word be acceptable and joyful then, why should not this be so now? And if you do hear his voice and come to him at his call, you shall hear that blessed word then, Joh. 10.27, 28. as è contrà Job 21.14. with Mat. 25.41.

2. Now add we some Directions to guide and help us in Believing on Christ unto life Everlasting; or in coming to Christ to obtain by him Eternal Glory or Salvation.

1. Know that you may and ought to come [Page 179] to Christ for Salvation, for Eternal Life: For what he gives, we may take, but Rom. 6.23. what he designes in giving him­self to us (which here is to bring us to Eter­nal Glory, 1 Pet. 5.10. 1 Thes. 5.9. 2 Thes. 2.13, 14.) we may aim at in receiving him, and coming to him. Christ calls us to him, and we may and ought to come to him for all his Benefits: And we see this of Glorificati­on, and the Consummation thereof in special; is part thereof, see also Joh. 5.40. 1 Tim. 1.16. Act. 16.31. 1 Pet. 1.9. We may come to him for our own Salvation, i. e. not as se­perate from, or in oppsition to Gods Glory; which cannot be if we understand Salvation aright. And that's a second.

2. Be sure you have a right conception of this Glory, or Salvation, or happiness of Heaven, i. e. Look not at it as consisting in external sensual ease and pleasures, or free­dom from outward evils (though an holy and sanctified outward rest and freedom from outward afflictions is a part of the good that is in Heaven, but not the main; that is but an adjunct.) But look at the Com­munion with God, Fruition of God and per­fect Conformity to his Image as the main thing in it, Psal. 73.25. 2 Cor. 5.8. Psal. 17.15. Let Your Hearts and desires be emi­nently set upon freedom from that great evil [Page 180] of sin (which is a choice part of the Happiness of Heaven, Heb. 12.23.) and fruitton of that highest good the presence of God, the fellowship of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost in perfect Holiness; let this be the mark and top of thy desires: Neither desire the end, without the way; Heaven, without the way to it. Be willing and desirous by the Grace of Christ to begin thy Heaven here, Com­munion with God here, Holy work, and holy enjoyments in all the wayes thereof here, Psal. 27 4 For Heaven is but the perfection of what is here b [...]gun: They that begin not Heaven in this World, will never find one in that to c [...]me. And therefore be instant with Christ, not only for Grace and Comfort hereafter, or at the point of Death, &c. but for present Grace, some beginnings of it at least, (not limiting to measures, nor ex­pecting the sensible fulness of it, till after you have waited and sought, and been swimming in tears in this World, and therefore not quar­elling nor being discouraged because of the weakness of Grace at present) so much as may keep you following after God for more: For present change of Heart and Nature, for Grace to enable you in measure to Glorifie God on Earth, that so you may be Glorified with him in Heaven.

3. Behold Christ Jesus set forth and of­fered [Page 181] in the Gospel as the Ladder to Hea­ven; or as the only and Glorious way from out of the depth of your sin and misery, unto the height of that Eternal Glory. If there be an high place or loft before you, you can­not g [...]t to it, but if a Ladder be set up, you can ascend by that. As well can our heavy Earthy Bodies fly up to Heaven, as our Souls ever get thither of and by themselves. (alas we have neither wings nor legs of our own to climb Heaven with) But Chr [...]st is a Ladder t [...]i [...]her (the Antitype of Jacob's Ladder) by him we may ascend thither: By Christ Jesus (as in the Text) we may obtain Glory; yea he is not a dead passive Ladder only, but a living way: He hath living Arms, and a mighty power to carry u [...] up thither, to lift us up through Grace to Glory, Joh. 3▪ 13. Ephes. 2.5, 6. Christ dying, rising, ascending for us, is fit and able to raise us up from death to life in Heaven. Christ is a Ladder whose foot reaches low enough by his Incar­nat [...]on and Humiliation, even as low as our low and mean Condition, yea as the dungeon of our Curse and death, Gal. 3.13. (and hence near and fit for us to step upon, to take hold of and whose top reaches high enough, (even as high as the height of Heavenly Glory, Genes. 28.12. by his Glorious Deity and Exaltation; by the infinite value of his obe­dience [Page 182] purchasing that Glory for us, and by his Ascension possessing it for us, and by his mighty power carrying and conducting us to it. If you take hold of him, and cast your selves on him by Faith; he will not only (as I said) be as a Ladder to sustain you in going up, but in the Arms of his active power and Grace he will carry you up to Eternal Glory; carry you on his shoulders thither, as Luk. 15.5. Joh. 10.18. 1 Pet. 1.5. Hence.

4. Esteem the Lord Jesus Christ as most precious and Glorious, (as a suitable and all-sufficient Saviour, or Author of Eternal Salvation, and gladly imbrace an everlasting match with him, with relyance on him to carry you through Grace to this Eternal Glory.

1. Seeing and beholding him as the way to Heaven, and to the Enjoyment of the love, favour and presence of God, (Joh. 14.4, 6.) as the Glorious Author (purchaser and dis­penser) of Eternal Salvation: Prize him, highly prize him, and esteem him; that is one ingredient of true believing, 1 Pet. 2.7. and this point is a marvelous help to it. For shall not he be precious and Glorious in our eyes, by whom we may obtain such Eternal Glory: He that opens Heaven to us, even to sinners, and shall not all this World be vile and dung in our eyes in comparison of him, Psal. 73. in follows ver. 25.

[Page 183]2. Prizing him, take him, embrace him, in a Conjugal way for thy Lord and Saviour. Prophet, Priest and King; consent to have him for thy Head and Husband for ever, and to be his, his Spouse, Subject, Servant, De­pendant evermore. Think not to have the Estate (this great Riches of Grace and Glory, Eternal Glory) without marrying the per­son, the Benefits without Christ himself Having the Son himself, you have, and shall have Eternal Life, 1 Joh. 5.11, 12. It is given in and with him, Rom. 6.23. And therefore you must take Christ himself, if you would have or get a sure Interest in this Glory.

3. Taking him, rest and relie on him for Salvation, or for obtaining this Eternal Glory. Relie on his righteousness, and obe­dience, to procure and purchase it, Heb. 9.12. and to give you a lawful Judicial Title to it, Rom. 5.21. that now having in him pleased God, and fulfilled the Law, you shall live for ever) on his Ascension and continual intercession to prepare and maintain a place and room for you in that Glory, Joh. 14.2. Heb. 6.20. Ephes. 2.6: And relie on his mighty power and grace (his strong hand which nothing can pluck you out of, Joh. 10.28.) to prepare you for it, to keep, and carry, and conduct you through the wilderness of this World unto the Heavenly Canaan (Isa. 63.9, [Page 184] 14. to guide you by his Spirit, and preserve you to his Heavenly Kingdom, and at last (in the work of his second coming, Heb. 9.28.) fi­nally to accomplish and finish the matter of your [...]lva [...]n and Glory, I [...]s 73.24. Joh. 6.54.

5. Improve this Eternal Glory, which is offered, and g [...]ven in and with Christ,) as an h [...]lp to sweeten and facilitate, and make the heart come [...]ff in that which is the hard­est thing, in the work of closing with Christ, viz. parting with the W [...]rld, forsaking and sitting loose from the World and all that you have here: Renouncing sin absolutely, and Earthly contentments, in Comparison of Christ. Here it is that men stick, Mark. 10.22. 2 Tim. 4.10. Joh. 5 44. Philip. 3.19. The Impression of Worldly Lusts and Af­fections, are they that choak the word and call of th [...] G [...]spel, Luk. 8.14. Mark. 4.19. B [...]t here is a notable help against this; when Christ comes with Heaven, and the Glory thereof in his hands, it withers away the Glory of this World. What shall take us off the E [...]rth, or [...]n [...]ble us to contemn that, if H [...]ven will not: This may make us forsake the pleasu [...]es of this World, as a drie chip compar'd with those above, Heb. 11. 25 29. and the profits and wealth of it, Mat. 6.19, 20. Psal. 17.14, 15. And what is the Ho­nour and Glory of it, compared with this Glory of Heaven, Heb. 12.2.

[Page 185]3. Answ. Some Objections that readily fall in here.

Obj. 1. This (may some say) is too great a thing that ever the Lord should offer, (to be received) or give (upon receiving) Eternal Glory (so vast a thing as everlasting Life and Blessedness) to such a vile thing as I am! How is it possible?

Answ. It is the God of all Grace from whom this Offer and Call, and Gift is: If it were from men or finite goodness, it could not possibly be: But the great God is able to do it▪ Rom. 6.23. He is rich enough in Grace to give such a gift; to do such a work of Grace as this. Ephes. 2.7. Hence as 2 Sam. 7.19, 21, 22. And it is by Christ Jesus. By the infinite merit of Christ, and by his mighty saving power, Phil. 3.26. If there were not such mighty causes at work, (as the Grace of God, the righteousn [...]ss and strength of Christ) It were incredible, that so great a thing as Eternal Glory should ever be offered or given to, or bestowed upon such as we are. But Mat. 19.16.

Obj. 2. But I have blind eyes, and a dead Carnal heart; I cannot see nor believe on Christ, nor take hold of him, nor get posses­sion of this great Gift: I want an hand and an Heart to take it.

Answ. God in Christ is the God of all Grace, [Page 184] [...] [Page 185] [...] [Page 186] in that notion also, viz. the Giver and Worker of all Grace, and so of the Grace of Faith: That also is the Gift of God, Ephes. 2.8. why therefore in the sense of unbelief and inability to believe, (especially to believe in Truth; we shall make no right work on't. Lord, unless thou work all our works in and for us, Isa. 26.12.) Groan and cry to the Lord, as Mat. 9.24 Trust not thy own heart to believe, or to hammer out a Faith of its own, but put it over into his hands: Look to him to be Author and Moulder of thy faith, Heb. 12.2. Colos. 2.12. The King of Glory is come to thy door, beg him to open the door, and come in: Look to him to give all at once, whole Eternal Life, and so this beginning of it, this entrance into it, viz. Faith. Come to him, leaning on him and on the power of his drawing Grace, when you cannot come by the strength of your own legs, put your buckle under you, Cant. 1.4. Psal. 143.10. By the land of up­rightness may be meant Heaven; not one right step thither without the help and lead­ing of Gods Spirit.

Obj. 3. But my sins shut me out, and shut Heaven against me, and thrust me rather into Hell: How can such an unclean thing ever hope to see the face of God in Heaven?

Answ. Behold the Lamb of God, &c. Be­hold [Page 187] the Attonement of Christ doing away sin, and his righteousness purchasing life for us. By Christ Jesus it is that you are called and may come to this Eternal Glory, not by any thing in your selves. Our sins indeed had shut Heaven, but the blood of Christ opens it, Heb 10.19, 20. Though we be unclean in our selves, we are presented there now as holy before God in the righteousness of Christ; and Christ will make us inherently holy before he carry us thither. Nothing in­deed but our sins is the great hindrance from Heaven: But therefore Christ is sent, and set apart on purpose to take away sin, both by Justifying and Sanctifying Grace, 1 Joh. 3.5. And therefore by Christ we may obtain Eter­nal Glory.

Obj. 4. But though I look to Christ, and come to him for all Spiritual and Eternal Blessings; for all the fulness of God, I feel my self a poor, vile, miserable, empty Crea­ture; having but little either of holiness or Comfort. Where is this Glory that Saints have by Christ Jesus.

Answ. Believe the promise that is made to every Comer to, or Believer in Christ. Take Eternal Life and Glory in the promise, possess it in the promise and in the Covenant, and so as in Christs hands, 1 Joh. 5.11. though thou hast it not yet in thine own hands in [Page 188] fruition and accomplishment: Remember that Eternal Glory is first given to thy faith, before it be given to thy feeling; nay when thou feelst the quite contrary, as Canaan was to Abraham, when he had y [...]t no foot of it, nay when poss [...]ss [...]d by enemies, 2 Cor. 5.7. 1 Pet. 1 8 9. H [...]b. 11.1. The actual fruiti­tion of this Glory must not be till after you have suff [...]red a while (T [...]xt) not only under outward [...]ll [...]ctions, but also a conflict of spiritual Corruption. Some beginnings there are of it here, but they are but little, and they sh [...]w themselves rather in [...]ing after it than feeling of it, Rom. 8.23, 24. Not E [...]rth but Heaven, is the place [...] the con­s [...]a [...], c [...]mfortable, sensible prese [...]c [...] o [...] God, 2 C [...]r. 5 8. Believe for Heaven, fight for it now, and you shall enjoy it one day, 1 Pet. 1.6, 8, 9.

SERMON VIII.

Note: Exhort. 2.TO Believers, to the Faithful whom God hath called (ef­fectually called) unto this Eternal Glory by Christ Jesus. The Godly that are Heirs of Heaven, or profess themselves to be of that number.

1. To get assurance of their portion in this Eternal Glory.

2. To make improvement of it, even of so rich, and great, and happy a portion as this is.

1. Labour after a settled and well ground­ed assurance that this is your portion, that you are of that number for whom an Inhe­ritance is reserved in Heaven, who shall ob­tain this Eternal Glory. That so you may be able to rejoyce in the lively hope and certain Expectation of it▪ as Rom. 5.2. and know as Paul did, 2 Cor. 5.1. and 1 Joh. 5.13. This may be known, though the fruition of this Glory is reserved for Heaven; yet a certain interest in it, (title to i [...]) and the knowledge thereof also is given on Earth.

Labour after this: It is that we are ex­horted to by the Apostle, 2 Pet. 1.10. If we [Page 190] make sure of Effectual Calling, we make sure of this Glory; for there is an inseperable Con­nexion between them. To quicken thereun­to, Consider,

1. Great matters cannot be made too sure, and in all other matters of great moment, common reason and nature teaches men to be diligent to make all sure. If Estate or Life be in hazard, how sollicitous are men to be up­on sure grounds: In settling of Earthly Inhe­ritances, how careful, punctual and exact that no flaw, no matter of doubt or danger be left. What matter is of so great a weight, as the matter of Eternity, everlasting Life and Glory, (Hezekiah when like to die, was desirous of a sure evidence that he should live and recover out of his sickness, and have his fifteen years time more here, 2 King. 20.8.) How much more sollicitous should we be, to be sure of Eternal Life, (Life through all the dayes and years of Eternity) when we were so like to die the second death; and there­fore to have it confirmed not by miracles, but by Scripture signes and evidences; in great matters, and matters wherein the af­fection goes out much, men will delight to have the assurance and ratification over and over, as 1 Sam. 20.16, 17. Oh when we are making a Covenant with Christ, and he with us, about matters of everlasting Life, that [Page 191] that is for ever after this life, as v. 14, 15. we cannot but desire him to speak again; yea swear again, (as he condescends to both, Heb. 6.17, 18.) and Establish his promise to us over and over; our love to him and intence desire to be sure of his love, should induce to this. When Jacobs heart was upon being buried in the Cave of Machpolah in the Land of Canaan, which was a type of Heaven, and being buried therein of that possession that the faithful take of Heaven when they die, when they go to a place of their own properly: the Sojourners and strangers while they live in this World.) He will have Joseph both promise and swear to bury him there, and gave charge to all his other sons about it too, Gen. 47.29, 30, 31. and 49.29, 32. So Abraham how careful is he to make sure his possession of the Cave of Machpelah, Genes. 23.17, 18, 20. He can be content to have never a foot of Land of his own while he lives, but he will make sure of a good burying place when he dies, i. e. of an happy Estate after death, of a portion of the Heavenly Canaan, and of being buried in the certain hope (as of all the promises of God to be made good to him and his, so in special) of an happy Re­surrection to Eternal Glory; that was the meaning of it. Oh though you have never so little in this Earth while you live, though [Page 192] strangers and pilgrims here, yet make sure of Heaven when you die; make that one bar­gain sure, and you are happy, that you shall have a possession of your own in that better Country, even an Heavenly Kingdom.

2. We have nothing else sure, we had need make sure of this; we have no portion cer­tain, (nothing to trust to) if we have not this portion of Eternal Life and Glory. There is no certainty of any thing in this World; Riches have wings, the top of ho­nour is a slippery place, life it self is but a vapour: All things here lye within the reach of many devourers and destroyers, Moth and Rust, and Thieves, Pirates at Sea, and other Sons of violence at Land: And what is saved from other Destroyers, is but reserved for the fire, that must be the end of al [...] the possessions upon Earth, 2 Pet. 3.10. All Earthly possessions must turn into a blaze, and end in smoak, as Genes. 19.28. At the great day of Judgment there shall be an uni­versal burning (all the Earth on a light fire) in particular, previous dayes of Judgment here (which are tasts and hansells of that) the Lord often contends by fire. Why if men will not see by the light of the word, one would think they should see by the flames of devour­ing fire, (though indeed seldom do men see by the latter, or by any destroying Judg­ments [Page 193] that have obstinately refused the light and voice of the former: But in it self it is a wonderful help to see, and it will be so to them that regard the word) the vanity, uncertainty and perishing nature of all things here. But to be sure our enjoyment of all things in this World (at best) hangs but upon the twine-thread of our life, which there are so many sharp edged tooles (Sick­nesses, Diseases, sad Accidents,) continually ready to cut asunder, we are not sure to have it continued one hour longer. Had we not need be sure of something when all these things shall fail, as Luk. 16.9. Paul knows what he hath to trust to when this World turns him out of doors (he hath then an house to hide his head in,) 2 Cor. 5.1. Oh it is a Comfortable thing, when temporal habita­tions fail, to be sure of Eternal ones. Imagine you were now to die, this moment leaving the World, how glad would you be to be sure of Heaven and of a better life: Why that must be e're long, and you cannot think to be sure of it then (in a dying hour) if you do not labour to make it sure now in a time of health and peace. Wnen David looks over the World and sees the vanity fading uncer­tainty of all portions (of Riches, Glory, Ho­nour, fair Dwellings, &c.) here, what a thing is it to him to be sure of a God to re­ceive [Page 194] him into Arms of Love and Mercy when he dies, and of an happy waking in the morning of the Resurrection to Eternal Glory, Psal. 49.6. - 15. and 73.17, - 24. when you see men stand in slippery places and one tumbling down after another, (the Rich tumbling into poverty, the Great into Contempt) then look to your feet and to your standing; what foot hold have you, what sure bottom and foundation have you to stand steady upon, as Psal. 26.11, 12, 13. The wicked stand in slippery places, but the godly that walk with God in integrity, stand in an even place. The Covenant is sure (2 Sam. 23.5.) the state of Grace is a sure standing, Rom. 5.2. Psal. 20.7, 8. indeed in regard of themselves they would fall as soon as any, but they have a sure hand to hold them, Psal. 73.23, 24.

3. Should not we make this use of the times we live in, to quicken us to make sure of Heaven. May we not get this meat out of the eater, this good out of all the evils and troubles that are in the World. Is it now a time to walk at peradventures with God, to live at uncertainties, to hang be­tween Heaven and Earth, to be to seek of a resting place when trouble fills the whole Earth. When the Lords anger is burning up and down the World, and his fury poured [Page 195] out like fire every where, and the Rocks thrown down by him. Had we not need make sure of his love, and be able to say the Lord is good and my strong hold, &c. Nah. 1.14, 15, 16. When Hypocrites cannot stand (as they cannot before God appearing in his dreadful and devouring wrath) h [...]d we not need make sure of sincerity of G [...]ace, Isa. 33.14, 15, 16. You may bear up your head for a time, and go up and down careles [...] but sooner or later, one way or other, there will come such a devouring fire, such an ap­pearence of wrath, such dreadful Judgments as no false heart, now slight chaffy professor shall be able to stand before, Mat. 3.12. He had need have Gold tryed in the f [...]ee▪ Grace that is of Golden solidity and purity▪ Dross and chaffe will not bi [...]e the fire that unkin­dled in the day of Gods Judgments▪ when he takes his Fan into his hand to sever, purge out, and burn up the Chaffe (the hypocrites and sinners in Sion) that is mixed with the wheat, and found on the floor of the visible Church. When Jerusalem's sins are ripe for Judgment, and God hath waited his time upon obsti­nate sinners and despisers of the Gospel (as he did on the Jews in and after Christ's time) then a threshing and winnowing, fanning, and to the chaffe a burning time comes. Then indeed the Lord will lose never a grain of [Page 196] sound wheat (it had need be sound and solid wheat that can bear the tossings of the Fan, and the blasts of the wind, and not be heaved and driven quite away.) But chaffy hypo­crites and sinners will not be able to stand or abide such a time, Amos 9.9. (or I will fanne the house of Israel as Corn is fanned, tossed in a fanne) 10. Oh we had need be sure to be good and sound wheat at such a time, be setled, strengthned, stablished in Grace, well built and founded; as Peter prayes for them here in Text. To a time of great afflictions, Sufferings and Troubles, 1 Pet. 5 9, 10. in a time when Judgment was begun at the house of God, 1 Pet. 4.17. and of fiery tryals, v. 12. Oh at such a time it is a suitable and a pre­cious thing to have a lively Inheritance, as he begins the Epistle, 1 Pet. 1.3, 4, 5 6. When the Earth looks uncomfortably, when the face of things in this lower world hath terrour, trouble and blackness in it (and was it ever blacker than at this day!) It is then seasonable to be looking up stedfastly into Heaven, and to get a clear sight of the Glory there and of our Interest in it, Act. 7.54, 55, 56. Oh we might make a gaine of all the troubles of the times, did we turn them this way, to lift up our eyes to Heaven, and to awaken our Souls to make sure of a por­tion there.

[Page 197]4. It is a shrewd sign of one that is not like to get to Heaven, to be careless of making sure of it. For whence is this carelesseness, but from taking up with and resting in other por­tions, things of this World (and see Jam. 4.4. 1 Joh. 2.15. they that take up their portion in the Earth, are not like to see Heaven, to be sure in that way they never shall) from slighting, despising and dis-esteeming Heaven, for what a man highly prizes and makes his portion, his chief good, he will be solicitous and studious to make sure of: To be careless herein, is as much as to say, that we make no great matter whether we have or lose it, get or miss it. It shews one to be a negli­gent seeker of Heaven and Eternal life (for if he were in good earnest, he would pursue the matter till he made sure work on't, till the matter were brought to some issue, he would seek till he find.) But it is only the diligent seeker that shall, obtain and no other, Heb. 11.6. Prov. 8.17. and 13.4. Qui frigide rogat docet n [...]gare. The Lord will not pin Heaven upon our sleeves: He will make us seek after it in good earnest if ever we have it, Rom. 2.7. Luk. 13.24. there may be fits and pangs of carelesseness, but God will re­cover and awaken, if he intend mercy. They that seek and run to purpose, cannot endure to be at uncertainties, 1 Cor. 8.26, 27, 28. [Page 198] (uncertainly, vid. Dutch Anotat.) Paul can­not end endu [...]e to run at such a rate, that he may be as like to lose as win, v. 24.

5. It is sure we were once in the way to Hell▪ we had need to look to it, to make sure that we are got into the way to Hea­ven. We lie by nature children of wrath, were set down into the World in Hell-path; and it may be did for a long time palpably and evidently go on therein even in the broad way that leads to destruction, and had we not need be sure and clear that we are got out of that way and state, into the way and state of Eternal Life. He whose life was never in danger, will not be so solicitous: But take a Malefactor that was condemned to die, if there be any hopes overtures of pardon; how careful will he be to have it sure, and under all the confirmation that may be. We are by nature under a real title to Hell, guilty of sin whose wag [...]s is death, and by the Curse and Sentence condemned to die, and under the power and dominion of sin that was [...]rying us to Hell and would inevit­ably do it if left to our selves: Had we not need look that we have got a real title to Heaven, that the [...]e be a reallity in our claime to that. An empty broken hope, a shaddow, an [...]h [...]o [...]ncy is not enough to set against a [...]li [...]ys The C [...]rs [...] is real, and sin real, and our [Page 199] being heirs of Hell real: Oh is our pardon real, our fellowship with Christ real, our title to Heaven real, our Regeneration real and certain, Joh. 3.3.5, 6. It is certain we were flesh, are we become spirit? (new Creatures, made spiritual and holy) we were born naturally to an Inheritance in Hell, are we indeed born again supernaturally to see the kingdom of Heaven?

6. Consider that great danger of being de­ceived here, it's a matter of highest moment; to be deceived about everlasting life is a dreadful thing, and yet we are wondrous prone and apt to be deceived, Mat. 7.13, 14. Christ tells the Pharisees that they could not not escape the damnation of Hell, Mat. 23.33. and yet they themselves thought that they could not but be heirs of Heaven, and that whoever missed of happiness they should not, and that it was another sort of people that were accursed, and not they, Joh. 7.49. Luk. 18.11, 12. multitudes have dropt to Hell, that lived and died in great expectations of Heaven (being deceived, some through Hae­retical previty, some through practical hy­pocricy of heart and life) yea many that have been great professors, it may be Preachers of the Truth, Mat. 7.21, 22, 23. Luk. 13.24, 25, 26. Prov. 14.12. Rom. 2.17, - 21. Rev. 3.17. Luk. 18.11, 12. Paul acts with all di­ligence [Page 200] in the way of Salvation, as being quickned with fear, 1 Cor. 9.27. which (though he was assured of his Salvation through grace) was a just fear in a condition alway, viz. in case he should be negligent, sensual, slight and slothful in running for the prize, he might then fall short and be re­jected at last, as a spurious hypocrite; his being a Preacher would not save him. The guile and deceitfulness of our hearts, the narrowness of the way, the manifold Temp­tations of Satan and the World; do make it difficult, not to be deceived in that great point. Oh what need have we with fear and diligence to labour after a grounded sound assurance of a state of life, of utmost care and pains to make our Calling and E­lection, and so our Glorification sure.

And there is much need to press such matters as these to quicken to this work, for the heart is very backward to it; and apt to be slight and slothful in it, and that is a main reason why so many live without assurance; because they neglect and put of the matter, and will not be perswaded to set themselves in good earnest about it, to take effectual pains to make all sure. It is the Lazy Christian that usually lives without assurance.

Quest. What course may we take for the obtaining of this assurance of Eternal Life and Glory?

[Page 201] Answ. For Direction here: We have many occasions (though not too many) to be speaking somewhat of this nature: Let me at present propound something.

1. By way of means to obtain this.

2. By way of tryal, or helps to discern and discover the truth and certainty of our title to Heaven.

1. For a way of means to obtain this.

1. Pray much and earnestly for assurance; I speak properly to those that are regenerate, or have hopeful beginnings of Grace in them; though the things we speak may be of use also unto others, to mind them what they are to pursue after: Where there wants Faith, pray for it; but where there is Faith, or somewhat of it, pray for more of it; for growth and exercise and that in special un­to full assurance. It is Christs own direction to his Disciples, Joh. 16.24. If we have not full Joy, it is because we have empty, slight and thin prayers; they that are much in asking, shall be much in receiving both Sancti­fying and Comforting Grace. And oh sweet consideratlon, that it is the mind and will of Christ that we should seek and pray for full Joy and Peace in believing, so Joh. 15.11. He speaks to us for this, and he would have us speak to God for it: He would not have you alwayes drooping and complaining, [Page 202] nor live a poor, scant, scrambling, beggarly life. He would have you have full Joy and abound (be rich what are you beggarly, and have sc [...]r [...]e af [...]w rags of broken hopes to cover you) Rom. 15.13. Pray for this, this is according to his will you shall be welcome to ask it of him 1 Joh. 5.14, 15 and that is the way (prayer according to his will with faith that he hears such prayers) to come to know, as v. 13. The Lord would have us not only sip, but take full draughts of the water of Life, Joh. 7.37. and that by (or in a way of) asking the same, Job. 4.10. Prayer takes up what is left us in the promise: The Lord hath left you large portions of all Grace Sanctifying and Comforting; yea Eternal Glory to be enjoyed fully hereafter, and in the assurance, hope and Comfort of it here. Go and take it up by humble fervent Prayer; for it's the Legacy Christ hath left you. Turn all his pro­mises into prayer, and desire him to do as he hath said, 2 Sam. 7.25, 27, 28, 29. You are thus far sure (at least) that he hath spoken of such things that he hath to give, and that you are bidden pray and seek for them, and that he will do them for them that heartily seek them. Oh with what sweet hope and in­couragement may you pray for these things. And prayer is not only a means for the time to come, but it oft brings in present incomes [Page 203] of the good prayed for. The Bucket of prayer dipt into the well (of Salvation, or) of the wa­ters of life comes up full, and that many times unto feeling as well as unto Faith, (for unto Faith true prayer alwayes does so.) How often does the Lord sweetly comfort and establish the Soul while the praying for Com­fort and stablishment, Ps. 4.6 7. How oft does David in his Psalms close with Praise when he began, with Prayer. We have examples in Scripture of extraordinory appearances to Gods Servants, while they were praying, Dan. 9.20.23. Act. 11.5. and 22.17, 18. and much more frequent, are more ordinary Communications of Grace and Consolation in Prayer: but it must be hearty, fervernt, importunate Prayer; empty, lifeless Forms and Customary overly performances, do much harden the heart and quench the spirit, and do provoke the Lord to withdraw, instead of coming near the Soul: But 2 Chron. 15.15. Luk. 11.8, 9. Hos 12.3, 4.

2. Labour after the mortifying and sub­duing of your special and beloved sin, your own iniquity. For while that prevails, that darkens the sincerity and Efficacy of Grace in the Soul; breaks the Peace thereof, grieves the Holy Spirit, who thence withdraws his Comforting work. But when that is sub­dued, and there is a good measure of victory [Page 204] over it, and a plain penitent departing from it, (not only by exchange of one bosome sin into another, nor by its bring out of date in regard of the natural disposition of the Body, &c. but when really mortified, made better to the heart, the Soul broken from and for it, watchful against it, improving Christ for Redemption from it) that is a plain evidence of the sincerity of Grace, Psal. 18.21, - 23. If that master sin be mortified, all sin is; and where there is true mortifi­cation, there is true union to Christ by Ef­fectual Calling and a state of Life Eternal. Hence the cutting off of the right hand, i. e. of the bosom-sin, is accompanied with en­trance into life, (that is a thing accompanies Salvation, Heb. 6.9.) Mark. 9.43, - 47.

Hence when the Apostle would raise them up to a Heavenly frame, such as might shew them to be indeed risen with Christ: He calls on them to mortifie their special Corrupti­ons, Colos. 3.1, 2, 3, 5. And now when sin is subdued, and the Soul is taught to walk with God in his wayes, the Lord will delight to manifest himself and his Love (his comforting Grace) to the Soul, Joh. 14.21, 23. Act. 9.31. It is often seen that the Lord withholds and denies assurance, and lets the Soul be followed with fears, and doubts, and troubles on purpose to discover, imbitter and break [Page 205] the power of some prevailing lust, some sweet sin. If you can tamper with your lusts, and make provision for the flesh and be at truce with your sins, and entertain the delights of it: Now instead of Comforting, the Lord will break your bones, if he loves you, he will let you have no peace till you out with this guile and repent in earnes,t and throw away this sweet sin, Psal. 32. Oh mind and mark out your most prevailing, most inticing beloved sins; and if that be the provocation, the partition-wall between God and you, throw it away. Isa. 30.22, 23.

3. Labour to keep Grace in action and exercise. Be much in acting all Grace, both in the hearty and serious performance of holy duties, and in daily renewing of repentance for dayly sins, and of Faith by going to the Blood of Christ for pardon, and for more of his Spirit; and also in the exercise of other particular Graces (love, brotherly kindness, charity, patience, meekness, self-denial, zeal, &c. as there is occasion for them, 2 Pet. 1.5, 8, 10, 11.

Exercise of Crace is the best evidence of Grace: Let a man breath, eat, walk and work, he needs no other demonstrations that he is a living man; so would you shew and see and discern that you have the life of Grace, the life of Christ in you, (and so are [Page 206] in a state of Salvation) up and be doing and acting, performing the actions of a Chri­stian life, be breathing after Christ in Prayer, feed on him in the Promises and Ordinances, feed upon the word of God: Can you feed, can you eat at every meal in the season of duty, (as Luk. 24.41, 42, 43. thats an evi­dence of a living risen Christian) can you make a meal of a Sabbath and your Souls are refreshed thereby, &c. and walk before God, get up and walk in his wayes, work the work of the Lord that is committed to you in Christs strength and name; this will demon­strate the life of Grace, 1 Cor. 15.10.

It is labouring working Grace that is not vain, or Counterfeit, or dead Grace, Jam. 2.17, 18. And to this end put forth and exercise every Grace in its season, Psal. 1.3. The Lord giveth us special seasons and occasions, on purpose to draw forth the exercise of such and such a Grace, we might have marvelous improvement of them for benefit and comfort, if the fault were not our own, as 1 Joh. 3.17. there is a season to exercise love, kindness, compassion when he sees and hears that his brother is in need, want or misery; now bowels should act and stir, being made tender by the Grace of Christ: If love stir not, act not now, sure the habit of that Grace dos not dwell in him. Ano­ther [Page 207] wrongs and provoks you, now is a a season to act, meekness and patience, you are troubled, and you swell, and fret, and are vexed: But you forget that the Lord is now come to try you, whether you have any pa­tience in you, whether you have learned of Christ to be meek and low in heart, 1 Pet. 2.20, 21, 23. Here's a season for the Gospel-fruit; to see whether that Grace will bud and bring forth, whether you can forbear and forgive, &c. as Colos. 3.13. It may be you are stirr'd up by another to an act of Charity and kindness, an object and occa­sion of it presented to you: The Lord hath now sent season to draw forth such fruit (as you know if there be life in the root of the tree when the season comes, the Spring time is, the Sun shines, &c. Now the sap will rise, and it will bud and blossome. If you see neither bud nor leaf, but a dry sear-top in the season, you say it's dead) Oh if thy Grace be alive, the season will draw it forth: You think you have other Graces, yea but this Grace must act now in such a season of it, 2 Cor. 8.7, 8. Phil. 4.10, 17. So duties of Religion towards God, zeal for his Glory against sin, duties of Holiness or Righteous­ness, be ready and active therein, in the seve­ral seasons thereof, this is an excellnt Rule both for the Increase and Comfort of Grace, [Page 208] 2 Pet. 1.5, - 11. He means, add the exercise and practice of them: Labour to have each of these Graces (according to their several objects and occasions and seasons) drawn forth into act and exercise, and appearing in the fruits of it. For the Beeings and habits of all Grace are implanted at once and at first: And when all sorts of Graces are found in a Christian, and are lively to put forth them­selves in the several proper wayes (for where is one in truth, there is all in the root, and that should appear in the fruit in the season thereof) is a choice help to make our Calling sure, and to have an open entrance. See Baxters Saints Rest, part 3. pag. 166.

4. Be much in Meditation, serious spiri­tual Meditation on the word and promises of God, the condition of thy own Soul, thy own wretchedness, emptiness, vileness in thy self; the riches of Grace in Christ, the things of Heaven, both in more occasional, transient opportunities; and in more solemn seasons set apart for that purpose. Meditation ap­plyes general truths to our selves in particu­lar, soakes things into the heart, which else did but float in the head and fancy; gives both a clear understanding, and also a relish taft a savour of the truth, brings the Soul acquainted with the things of God, that now they are no longer strangers, as Hos. 8.12. [Page 209] It digests the food that men take in, in other Ordinances; yea it makes all the works and providences of God to be meat and foo [...] use­ful beneficial to the Soul, Psal. 104.34. And hence it does many wayes both actuate and exercise Grace, and help to discover Grace. And indeed a spirit o [...] gracious medi­tation, when a mans thoughts and affecti­ons (for both are acted in meditation) do frequently, and ordinarily practically feed and dwell upon the word and things [...] God, it is a clear evidence of a godly man, Psal. 1.1, 2. yea of a living fruitful Christian, v. 3. As contrariwise that is the Character of the wicked. Psal. 10.4. The godly man is either in a frame for holy meditation, or sick while he wants it, (or so far as he wants it) mour­ning under, striving, wrestling against the vanity and carnalness of his own thoughts, and after more spiritualness. He falls very short here, and the unstediness, and unsavouri­ness, unprofitableness of the thoughts is much of that body of death which he groans un­der. But oh his bitter mourning, and he is getting ground herein, and the more ground he gets, the more comfortable: And those seasons wherein the heart is at liberty this way, and is spiritually fixed, how sweet are they! But this meditation brings in marrow and fatness, much Spiritual Joy and Comfort, [Page 210] Psal. 63.5, 6. He that hath attained the ex­cellency of spiritual and Heavenly minded­ness, he hath clear evidence for Heaven, yea Heaven is already b [...]gun with him.

5. In special, be much in self-examination and tryal of ou [...] estates, which ought to be one eminent and frequent subject of our me­ditation, 2 Cor. 13.5. God gives assurance in the way of means, and of this means in spe­cial. Pursue and follow home in frequent self-examination, by applying and conside­ring the Scripture-evidences of a state of Sal­vation, and searching whether they be found with thee; so shall you come acquainted with your own estate, and the spirit breaths in that way to help us to know the things that are freely given us of God, 1 Cor. 2.12. for the spirit bears witness with our spirits or Consciences, Rom. 8.16. And our spirits come to bear witness, or give verdict for us in a way of reflecting upon, searching our selves, comparing our selves with the word; and Judging our selves accordingly: Think it not enough to hear of marks and evidences of a good estate, but use them, apply them home to your Souls, and make a sad enquiry whether it be so and so with thee. And this leads us to the second thing mentioned, viz. Tryals whether we be those that shall be certainly saved, or get to Heaven to this Eternal [Page 211] Glory the Text speaks of. And we may con­clude Affirmatively.

Evid. 1. If our Souls do chuse God Com­munion with him for our portion (our chiefe good) and blessedness. If ou [...] minds (or judgments) esteem, our wills imbrace, and affections adhere unto (desire, love, de­light in) God and the enjoyment of him as our happiness: If that be the portion, the whole happiness that our Souls chuse; that we might have the favour, fellowship and fruition of God Father, Son and Holy Ghost for evermore. (For Heaven as we have said, mainly consists in the fruition of God) if that be the portion our Souls fix upon, then we are men for Heaven. That portion is pre­sented to us, and left with us in our first entrance into Christianity, being expressed in our Baptism, (the name of Father, Son and Holy Ghost.) And the fruition of that name, the full enjoyment of God Father, Son and Holy Ghost in all the manifestations and com­munications of himself, this is the end of our Christian race, and makes up the perfection of Glory in Heaven. Consider, hath the Lord so shewed thee the vanity of all other portions and things, the emptiness that is in thy self, and the excellency of this portion, to have the blessed God for thine according to the whole Covenant of his Grace, (2 Sam. 23.5.) [Page 212] so as to take up with this and this only, that thou canst say, as Psal. 73.25. and 27.4. (that is the voice and spirit of the holy Saints in Scripture, and so of every truly gracious heart) Psal. 16.5, 6.

It may happily be said still, how shall we know this? Why this one would think should be a sensible and palpable thing, what a man makes his chief good, what his heart is set upon, and he pursues and seeks as the designe and desire of his heart and life, and places his Happiness, his All in. When the covetous man makes money and wealth his main design, his chief good; may not he himself easily see that his heart is set there; yea even others may see it: He subordinates all to that, and makes that the business of his life, that Interest carries him still at every turn, that Byasses him. And the same you may say of the Ambitious man for his honour, the Voluptuous man for his pleasures, &c. And truly this may be seen in the Godly man, that he is for God, and for the service and Glory of God, for Communion with him and enjoyment of him in all his wayes, that is his one thing, Psal. 27.4. there his spirit runs, Rom. 1.9. He subordinates all to that, directs all his endeavours and labours to that, 1 Cor. 5.8, 9. That is the Interest that carries him, there you shall find him in all changes, [Page 213] (when he is himself at least, he may be shaken a little by Temptation, and violently hur­ried this way and that way, but the Needle of his Soul returns to that North pole, and rests not till it stand fixed there: As it is with the Needle of a Compass touched by the Loadstone; you may by violence shake it this way and that way, but thither it will return, and there will fix and stand toward the North.) He will be for God still, 2 Cor. 5.13. (for God and so for his people, and wayes, and Truth, and Ordinances, for they go to­gether) nothing can buy him off from that Interest, Cant. 8.6, 7. Oh wonderful is the Efficacy in the turn, that God gives to the Soul in the work of Conversion, and so in the after impress of Sactification, that henceforth the Soul stands bent for God (set for God) and all the temptations, affrightments, al­lurements of Hell and the World shall never utterly turn it away from him, And truly Christians should so act and walk, as to de­clare plainly what they are; for (what the chief good and portion they seek is) as Heb. 11.14. The Covetous man declares plainly that he is for money, and the Voluptuous man declares plainly he is for pleasures of the flesh, for his Cups, &c. Oh the Godly man should declare plainly that he is for God and for Heaven, for the Glorifying and enjoying [Page 214] of God for evermore. And verily God will have his time sooner or later, to try men to the quick w [...]o and what they are; are you for this or that worldly Interest, for wealth, or for being uppermost in the World, envying those that are any higher than you? or for liberty to sin, &c. Why then that will carry you away from God and from his wayes and interest; when God and Mammon part, then you will follow Mammon: But if you be indeed for God, and you seek Davids one thing, Psal. 27.4. If that be the master Inte­rest in your Souls, then you will cleave to God whatever come; and many waters shall not be able to quench your love to him.

SERMON IX.

2. IF we truly believe on the Lord Jesus Christ; he that believes on Christ shall get to Heaven, the Scripture is plain for that, Act. 16.31. Joh. 3.16. and 6.47. (he that shall live an everlasting life, must go to Heaven to live that life there for ever, there is no living an everlasting life in this World) 1 Joh. 5.10, 11, 13. Christ is the Ladder to Hea­ven (as we said the last time) he that sets the foot of Faith on that Ladder, shall be carryed up thither, though no worthiness of his own to deserve or obtain it, no strength of his own to ascend to it, 1 Pet. 1.5. Now for the discovery of a true Faith in Christ▪ you often hear of that. But at present take some plain Scripture Characters of a true Faith.

1. Does thy Faith grow in an humble, lowly, self-emptying spirit, Mat. 5.3. i. e. humbled in the sense of thine own spiritual poverty and wretchedness, so as to have no way but to go a begging to Christ for all. Those whom the Lord will raise so high as Heaven, he first layes them very low in them­selves: If ever he make you so rich as to [Page 216] give you to Heaven, he will first make you very poor, very empty, lest, vile, helpless, wor [...]iless, strengthless, nothings in your selves lying at the foot of free Grace in Christ▪ quite taken off from your selves to fix upon a n [...]w root and foundation in Christ Jesus, Isa. 57.15. God dwells with such, and therefore they shall dwell with God forever; pride shuts out of Heaven, nothing more Psal. 138.6. there shall never come near him) they are the humble whom God will save, Job. 22.29.

2. Is there the nature and true spirit of Faith, viz. (according to the expression in the Text to go no further) an hearty answer of obedience to the Call of the Gospel. Hath the Call of Christ in the Gospel pierced the ears of thy Soul, yea doth it pierce them continually and captivate thy Soul into obedience [It is a saying of Doctor Sibbs, Note: Soul Con­flict, pag. 37. that is an excellent way of knowing ones Faith, as when I know I believe, because in hearing Gods gracious promises opened and offered unto me, the spirit of God carrieth my Soul to cleave to them as my por­tion.] Does the spirit so breath in the Call of the Gospel, as to cause thee to come to run to him (Isa. 55.5.) Doest thou now hear and hearken to Christ when he he sayes come in the [...]ord of Grace [come unto me!] [Page 217] then thou shalt one day hear him say [come] in a word of Glory,Note: Same word in Mat. 11.28. and 25.34. Mat. 25.34. The Comer to Christ never ceaseth coming (1 Pet. 2.4.) till he come to him in Glory: But if the Lord have bowed thine ear, and drawn thine heart to hear and obey the voice of Christ, this is sweet and clear evi­dence for Heaven, Joh. 20.27, 28.

3. Consider the Concomitants of thy Faith. Is it accompanied,

1. With Repentance (or breaking off from sin, from all sin in heart and affection, and any known sin in life ann Conversation?) so true faith is, Mark. 1.5. Act. 20.21. The path of sin is the path-way to Hell, Rom. 6.21.21. Prov. 7.27. And to live and go on therein, to follow the trade of any way of sin, is inconsistant with true faith, 1 Joh. 3.6. But the way of turning from sin to the service of God in Christ, is the path way of Life and Heaven, having a sure connexion there­with, though not as a meritorious cause, yet as an inseperable Antecedent, Rom. 6.22.

2. With willing taking of Christ's yoak upon you, subjection to his will in every thing, (Mat. 11.29.) as your head and hus­band, Ephes. 5.23, 24. that you can deny your selves, and your own wills in submission to his will (to him as Lord, as well as Sa­viour) [Page 218] and in special to his disposing will, to bear the Cross at his appointment Mat. 16.24. patience is a con [...]omitant and a sweet evidence o [...] true Faith, Heb. 6.12, Revel. 13.10. When dif [...]culties, temptations (on right h [...]nd or left) sufferings, tribulations, perils do not drive you off fr [...] the Love of Christ, of his truth or wayes, or from the way to Heaven, the way of the rule; this shews you to be good ground, and principled for Hea­ven indeed, 2 Thes. 1.4, 5, 7. 2 Tim. 2.12.

3. With Love to Christ Jesus, Joh. 16.27. so to believe in Christ, as to love him dearly and unfeignedly, is an evidence of true be­lieving: And if you love him, you love his truth, his Word, (Mark 8.38.) his Wayes, his Ordinances, his People as such (hence that is an evidence for Heaven, 1 Joh. 3.14. and 5.1. and when the people of God are under affliction and suffering, as they were in the Apostles time; and have no worldly ad­vantage to allure you to love them or cleave to them, but the contrary: It may be you must run great hazards if you imbarque with them, then it proves a searching Tryal: Of many Professors, there are but few that prove of Moses mind, when it comes to Heb. 11.25.) And when temptations of Worldly allurements, or Worldly threatnings (trou­ble) cannot buy you off from the Love of Christ, Cant. 8.7.

[Page 219]4. With living upon Christ and by him, Gal. 2.20. That you cling to him as your life, have your spiritual soul-subsistance in him, and repair to him for Grace to live to God at all times; he is your spiritual liveli­hood, from whom you derive spirit, strength and Grace, Heb. 12.1, 2: 2 Cor. 3.4, 5. and 12.9. Joh. 15.4, 5. That is a clear demon­stration of true spiritual (which is Eternal) Life, when a man lives not from nor for him­self, but from Christ, Joh. 6.57. and for or to him, 2 Cor. 5.15.

5. Is it accompanied with forsaking all for him, Luk. 14.33. And that may be a third evidence for Heaven.

Evid. 3. If by the Grace of Christ we are taken off from the World, and are strangers, sojourners and pilgrims in it: Then it is a a plain Case, as Heb. 11.13, 14, 16. Every man hath, and takes up his portion either in Heaven or Earth; if not in Earth, then in Heaven; if here a pilgrim, then his home is in Heaven. Nothing less than a Divine and Heavenly good, and a relish thereof by an in­lightned Soul can kindly take it off from and lift it above all Earthly good: For I speak not of a weariness of the World, though fro­wardness and discontent, but of a weanedness from it. The heart of every unregenerate man is fixed, glewed to the Word, under a [Page 220] dominion of it, 2 Tim 4.10. Ungodly men are men of this World, and have their porti­on in it, Psal, 17.14. Now to have such ac­quaintance with Christ as does wean the heart from the World, lift it up above it, enable the Soul to contemn it all in Comparison of Christ, Phil. 3.8. and give victory over it, 1 Joh. 5.4. This is a plain evidence of one that is called out of the World to be a man of another World, or an Heir of Heaven.

Evid. 4. If we begin our Heaven here on Earth: For Heaven is begun here (in some measure, though indeed but in a very poor little measure, compard with the perfection that shall be in Heaven) by them that shall get to Heaven hereafter, as viz.

1. In loving and maintaining Commu­nion with God according to the measure of this life: Do you now seek and enjoy the Communion with God in Ordinances; do you behold him in the beauties of holiness through these glasses; that is a pledge and beginning, and so an evidence of that full Communion you shall have in Heaven, and of your seeing him there face to face; and on the Sabbath in special: Are your Sabbath dayes of bosom Communion with God? That is a sweet evidence that you shall keep an Everlasting Sabbath in Heaven, and that you are preparing for that Sabatism [Page 221] that remains for the people of God, Heb. 4.9. If strangers to God, and prophane hearted on the Sabbath, you are not for Heaven.

2. In studying, and loving, and labouring after holiness, or in begun Sanctification. The perfection of Holiness is the Glory of Heaven; but what shall there be perfected, is here begun: Do you love Holiness and delight in the wayes of it, Rom. 7.22. weary of sin, v. 24. following after holiness, Heb. 12.24. then you shall go to Gods holy dwelling place, into Heaven, and there be perfectly for ever.

3. In Heavenly-mindedness. Having the heart there, and finding the things thereof, thoughts, affections, Conversations above: That wherever it is, is a sure mark of an heir of Heaven: there is sincerity, yea some eminency of Grace where that indeed is, Phil. 3.15, 17, 20, 21. as Mat. 6.21.

Exhort. 2. To Believers especially when comfortably assured of Heaven: To improve Heaven and the hope of it while on Earth. Make improvement of this happy portion of Eternal Glory which God hath prepar'd and reserved for you in Heaven, and now given you in the promise. Though we be not yet come to the fruition of it, yet that Revela­tion, and hope, and certain promise of it that is given to the faithtful now in this life, is of [Page 222] great use, and may be improved by them unto good purpose sundry wayes. As, viz.

1. To raise and ennoble their Spirits, make them of a truly noble and excellent temper, and free them from that baseness that sin hath brought upon the Spirits of men. To be born to great things, or otherwise in way of promotion thereto, as to a great Estate, high Honours, and a Kingdom espe­cially: It does naturally raise and greaten the spirit for great designs, delights, employ­ments than others are. This point should make the Godly of a Princely spirit, seeing they are heirs of a Kingdom, they should be indeed Israel, every one as a Prince of God; of a Princely spirit both.

1. In regard of Imployment. It ill be­comes a Prince to be scraping Kennells, or dwelling among Scullions in a Kitchen, or driving a petty pedling Trade to get a penny, &c. So the heirs of Heaven should holily disdain to do the Devils drudgery, to be Slaves to the World, or to a base Lust, to cringe and crouch to a Temptation for a little outward advantage, to go a beg­ing to the Creatures for a little Comfort or Refreshment, as having nothing else to live upon; such should be ashamed to be seen in the imployment of sin, in the service of Satan, or so to follow the World as to be under it, [Page 223] or slaves to it, 1 Cor. 6.12. Tit. 2.3. They should reign over the World, and have domi­nion over it, not be slaves to it.

2. In regard of Affection and Delight, or what you give your minds unto. David when King, yea when set apart for that Kingdom, did not mind the Ewes great with young, as he did when a Shepheard. The Country Peasant minds his Cattel and Farm, &c. But the Prince hath greater and higher marters to mind, the Affairs of a Kingdom. The heirs of Heaven should not mind Earthly things, or to set their hearts upon things below, so as to be taken up with them, and look no higher than them, (you may use them as Servants, Philip. 1.19, 20. Col [...]s. 3.1, 2. nor give themselves to the base pleasures of the flesh. For such to delight in the pleasures of sin, fleshly lusts, is as if Princes should go among the Swine to eat Swill and Husks, or they that have been brought up in Scarlet embrace Dunghills. They that have God and Heaven to delight in, for them to delight in a lust, in the pleasures of the flesh, is a shameful base­ness and unworthiness, Rom. 13.11, - 14. The nearer we are to Heaven, the further we should be from minding the things of the flesh, 1 Pet. 2.11. Yea not only vile things (as are the things of sin, but small things, little things (such as all the things of this World) [Page 224] are too low and mean for the great Heirs of Salvation to set their minds and hearts up­on. He that is an Heir to thousands, or to a Kingdom, will he covet a pin or a point, or a poor thatched Cottage, or stand upon such small matters, &c. He that is an Heir of Heaven, should be of a greater spirit than to thirst after Gold and Silver, Honours and Riches in this World; these are too low things for him who hath infinitely greater matters to satisfie himself with. All that he needs is (like a Prince absent in the Coun­try) but so much as will carry him home to the Court, to his Fathers house, there he shall have enough: Should such a one care for Luggage for worthless Lumber, or for a Load of thick clay.

3. In regard of Magnanimity and Courage▪ Great and Noble Spirits do excel in Valour and Courage, fit for high Actions and De­signes, not daunted with danger, nor dis­couraged with difficulties that lye in the way of Great Atchievments; and in special Va­liant in War. So should the high-born heirs of Heaven be more generous and noble-mind­ed, than to be daunted with the difficulties and tribulations that lye in the way to the Kingdom, Act. 14.22. Not so pusillanimous, as to faint in the day of Adversity, Prov 24.10. as to give in when the Sons of Anak and the [Page 225] walled Towns are talked of, now the Courage of Caleb and Joshua becomes them that are bound for Heaven, for that Glory of all Lands, and not the faint-heartedness of the rest. And to be Valiant in the Wars of the Lord, un­daunted in the Spiritual warfare, to hold on, and hold out to the last gasp in conflict with temptations, corruptions, oppositions and assaults of Earth and Hell, become those that are fighting for Heaven, and for Eternal Glo­ry there, for that Crown that is incorrup­tible, 1 Cor. 9.25, 26, 27. 2 Tim. 4.7, 8. 1 Tim, 6.12. Paul is of too great a spirit to be moved with all the sufferings that the whole World can bring upon him, Act. 20.23, 24. Hee'l not stir an inch out of his way (the way of the Rule) for them all; those are light things with him, (2 Cor. 4.17, 18.) while his eye and heart is upon Heaven. Contemptus à me est romanus & favor, & furor, said Luther. He can contemn both the favour and fury of all the World. Yea this is a holy greatness of spirit becoming those that are in choice of a Kingdom, even the Kingdom of Eternal Glory.

Thus Heaven should raise and ennoble our Spirits: Conversing with great objects, makes great Spirits. We see it dayly, that accord­ing as the things and objects are, great, or mean, that men converse withall; so they [Page 226] are high or low spiri [...]ed (Genes. 49.9, 10, 14, 15. Judah is for a Kingdom, and therefore he hath a Lion-like magnanimity of spirit: Isachar is among his Sheep-coats, and Cow-houses, and Rural Tents, as also Reuben, Jugd. 5.16. And therefore they are more ig­noble, Ass-like servile spirited) The great things of the World are but seemingly great, and therefore it is but a false, and shady, and spurious greatness of spirit that the great men of the World have: But the true Christian, how poor soever in this World, converses with the things that are indeed great, God, Christ and Heaven, and Eternal Glory, Jam. 2.5. and therefore true and genuine great­ness of spirit, holy magnanimity and bravery, is, and should be found with him. It is a shame fo [...] him, if the poorest, meanest Be­liever have not more true greatness of spirit (humble indeed, and nothing in himself, but high and mighty in Christ, strong in the Lord and in the power of his might) then the greatest Nimrods of the World: They wrestle not for corruptible Crowns, not for a fashion that pass [...]th away, and that will leave them spiritless and succourless when real distress comes: But he hath that that will stand by him, and endure through all worldly changes, and is a sufficient support against the same; even as Heaven is higher [Page 227] then the Earth, so should the spirits of true Christians be above that of the World. Hence we find among the Martyrs, poor mean men, women, sometimes have had a spirit above their Persecutors, when clothed with all Worldly greatness, as Act. 6.10. Mat. 10.18, 20. and in their greatest sufferings they have been more then Conquerours, Rom. 8.35, 36, 37. Sin hath debased the spirit of man, and made it so vile and low, that every temptation, every Worldly allurement or affrightment overcomes it, and tramples upon it. But Grace raises the spirit of a Believer who is risen with Christ, especially when it grows up to a sight of Glory and lively hope thereof: when Faith and Holiness are lively and active, it makes a man to be of an ex­cellent spirit; above the spirit of the World, Dan. 6.3. So far as this Excellent spirit is wanting in Christians, so far they are carnal and Earthly and little acquainted with Hea­ven. Oh get thine heart filled with Heaven, that will lift it above the Earth, and above that Earthliness and baseness, and weakness that sin and estrangement from God doth clog it with.

2. Improve Heaven, and your hope there­of unto Consolation, or spiritual Joy and Comfort. This use the Lord expects and re­quires you should make of that hope of Glory [Page 228] hereafter which he gives unto you here, Luk. 10.20. Mat. 5.12. Rom. 5.2. 1 Thes. 4.18. Heaven when actually enjoyed, is the fulness of Joy and Comfort, Mat. 25.21. Psal. 16.11. Luk. 16.25. And while it is but promised and hoped for, it is a matter of great Joy and Comfort. If any of the faithful live without this Joy, they do either discouragedly (and sinfully) put away, or carelesly neglect the portion that God gives them. Oh we have too much Earthly, but too little Heavenly Joy; an Earthly Carnal heart is the reason of that, whereby we live below the Con­dition that God calls to. Comfort and Joy is the life of every life, (whether natural, ra­tional or spiritual) If a man have no Joy of this life, it is a death rather than life. No life so full of Comfort as the life of a Chri­stian, is, or may be: Spiritual life hath Glory in the end of it to put Comfort into all the way. Oh what happy and Comfortable lives might we live, if the fault were not our own; when as we have the whole Covenant of Grace, and therein a whole Heaven made over to us to rejoyce in; God and Christ and his spirit to be our everlasting portion, and not only an Interest in him at present, but full fruition of him in Heaven made sure to us. What though there be tribulations, bitterness in the way; there is sweetness e­nough [Page 229] in the end to swallow up all the bitter­ness thereof, and to make it a light thing, as 2 Cor. 4.17. and therefore notwithstand­ing that we may rejoyce more particularly therefore, let the fore-thoughts of Heaven be matter of Comfort and Consolation.

1. Against the loss of any of the good things of this World, one or more, some (yea) or all, Heb. 10.34. Though you lose this or that on Earth, if you have Heaven, you have that that is better, and virtually you have it still: A better good contemns an inferior good in it. For Major continet mi­nus: He that hath White-bread enough need not care though he lose a Brown-Loaf: He that hath God and Heaven to rejoyce in, can lose but little, though he should lose all the the Earth: He hath the best good, and the main still and more, enduring a permanent, a never-failing good, a good that cannot be lost. Whatever you lose here, you have a portion in Heaven that you cannot lose; no spoiler can spoil you of that, Mat. 6.20. He cannot lose much whose portion is in Heaven, for that cannot be lost, and all the rest (all the World) is but a little, an inconsiderable thing, Luk. 16.10, 11, 12. The much (the main) the true riches, and that that is your own (your proper portion that is assigned to you by God, to have, and to hold forever) [Page 230] that is whole and safe still. They that have great Estates, they may bear it to lose a little, and not feel it much; yea, that that would be to another man the loss of his whole Estate, he may bear it to lose a little; yea should it be all Earthly Comforts, that to an ungodly man is his whole Estate, it is all that ever he hath, he may well wring his hands and waile, and take on as one undone: But the Godly that hath all the Glory of Heaven, all the good of the Covenant of Grace for his own; it is but a flea-biting to him, but a little, nay indeed none of his proper Estate and Portion; but Additionalls, but thread and Paper cast in over and above. Moses can lose and leave all the Glory, Wealth and pleasure of the Court of Pharaoh, and make no matter of it, while he looks to this recompence of reward, Heb. 11.24, 25, 26.

2. Against the fears and dangers of Evils that may befall us in this World, and all manner of afflictions therein; fears and threatning dangers of what may come, is oft no small part of our tryal and affliction. But Luk. 12.32. in times of greatest fears this is a quieting thought, that there can come nothing that shall keep you from Heaven if you be the Lords: Whatever good be taken away, it cannot take away Heaven from you; whatever evil comes it [Page 231] cannot hinder you from Heaven; (It cannot separate you from everlasting Communion with) nay it shall further you rather there­unto. And if so, then you may triumph over all things, and evil instruments in the World that do or can annoy you. Rom. 8.35.37, 38, 39. If you do or most actually go through some Tribulations and sorrows, (such as are pinching and painful to the flesh,) yet fear them not (with any discouraging dismaying fear) for they are but a small matter com­pared with the Glory that follows, Rom. 8.18. 2 Cor. 4.17. And also you shall be sure to get well through them; if you be sure to get to Heaven, (as every true Believer is) then you are sure to get well and safe through all the troubles that ly on this side Heaven. If a man in his Journey come to a place of mire, or water; if he apprehend danger of drowning, or of not getting safe through, that dr [...]ads him; but if no danger of that, if sure to get well through, why the present trouble or hardship of wetting his foot, putting th [...]m in the cold water, &c. he makes nothing of that. Why all that are true Believers, God hath assured you of this, that you shall never come to any bad place, to any trouble or tryal in all the way to Heaven; but you shall get well through, and safe to Heaven at last, Isa. 43.2. Why then the present trouble [Page 232] of a little hardship and pain to the flesh, should be no great trouble to you, 1 Pet. 1.4, 5, 6. But when troubles are in the Earth, (as they are even to astonishment to this day) then should you go up and find Comfort in Heaven: If you have Heaven to set against Earth, and all Earthly evils, you have en­ough. While we tarry below, or look only downward, or round about us, we may sink as Peter on the water: But look up­ward, away to Heaven, (look up stedfastly into Heaven with Stephen) and there all is calm and comfortable, and speaks more peace and Comfort to the faithful, than all the World can speak trouble.

3. Against all the difficulties, straits and conflicts that lye in the way to Heaven. The way indeed is strait and hard to flesh and blood, Mat. 7.14. it is full of troubles from the World of temptations from Satan, oppo­sitions from the flesh, tryalls from God; re­quiring a continual warfare, conflict and ex­ercise in all these respects, and much pains and care both to get into, and keep in the right way. It is so way-laid with enemies, that you must be fain to fight at every step, 1 Tim. 4.6, 12. Be it so, yet there is that in the end that does infinitely over-ballance all the troubles in the way. It is but going through a miry-lane to a wealthy Palace, or [Page 233] breaking through a rainy-day to go at the time appointed to take possession of a great Estate (who sticks at that?) We have some­times mentioned that passage of Chrysostom [vid. apud Burroughs on the Excellency of the Soul, page 358.] great difficulties are rendred small when the matter is exceeding great for which they are gone through. Who thinks it much to ride and run through frost and snow, mire and water, night and day; when a Kingdom, nay but a private Estate, an Inheritance, a good sum of Money lyes at stake: Men will go through great pains and difficulties and make nothing of it for those things which the World accounts great. But they are all trifles to Heaven, 1 Cor. 9.25. Remember the greatness of Heaven's Glory that will lessen and lighten (2 Cor. 4.17.) yea sweeten all your labour and travail to it. Look upon the end when you are pressed with the difficulties of the way; so Moses did, Heb. 11.26. and Paul did, 2 Cor. 4.18. Eternal Glory is worth Travelling for, worth Praying for, waiting, watching for, worth sweating, suffering, striving, fighting for, and it will quit, cost and make amends to the full. Israel had good reason to venture through hazards and difficulties, and to go on clearly through them all, when as Canaan was such an exceeding good Land, Numb. 14.7, [Page 234] 8, 9. Psal. 106.24. so here. But seeing you are called to Eternal Glory, travail on cheerily thitherward, though it be through hardships and difficulties, stick not at them; there is that in the end, and that promise of certain assistance in the way; that is enough to carry you through. Heaven will make amends for all.

4. Against those spiritual evils and wants that you are here labouring under, which of all other are the sorest exercise and saddest discouragement to a gracious heart: Heaven will cure them all; the very fore-thoughts whereof is full of Comfort.

1. Sin and remainders of Corruption, that is, the great and bitter complaint and vexation of the Saints, Rom. 7.24. that they never be free, in no duty, at no time but still evil is present with them, and oft in the prevailings of Corruptions, and hurrying im­pressions of sin, make work for bitter repen­tance: And after all means, mercies, afflicti­ons, Prayers; yet the indwelling Corruption returnes, and appears again, &c. Why e're long you shall be rid of this troublesome in­mate; Heaven shall set you free for ever: No body of death there, none of the old man shall accompany you thither. The time is coming (oh happy time, the very thoughts of it may make you leap for Joy) when you shall never [Page 235] have vain thought more, never be troubled with corruption more, never feel any unsa­voury heart more, never vexed with temp­tations more; but among the spirits made perfect, serving and enjoying God with sin, without weariness, without interruption and end. Heaven was never defiled with sin, (the Devil did not sin there, but in this lower World, and was shut out of Heaven for his sin) nor ever shall be. In that holy place you shall be perfectly holy for ever. Hence,

2. Heaven will cure the imperfection of Grace, which we groan under here, having none but the first fruits of the spirit, Rom. 8.23. We groan under spiritual imperfections, wants, weaknesses. Grace though begun, is is but low, and little, and weak. Hence we are pressed with spiritual wants, both of Holiness and Comfort, falling short in every thing; our attainments poor and defective: We are mourning and striving after perfection, but reach it not: But in Glory Grace will be per­fected, that is a state of perfection, Heb. 12.23. Every Saint will then become to a per­fect man, Eph. 4.13. no longer a babe and childish, rather Carnal than Spiritual, as man 1 Cor. 3.1. and 13.9, 10, 11, 12. Oh glorious and happy day, when the Image of Christ shall be compleated in us, and we shall be fully like him, 1 Joh. 3.2. you shall then [Page 236] have that fulness of Grace and spirit, which you are now praying and mourning: Then will all your Prayers be answered, all pro­mises fulfilled to the height, and as Josh. 23.14. The day is coming when every Grace shall be full grown; when there shall be per­fect love, perfect holiness, perfect know­ledge, perfect unity, perfect conformity to the will of God. A dram of Grace is more worth than all the World, but what will Grace in perfection be, when you shall be filled with all the fulness of God, as full of God as you can hold, or can desire to be. Never any more complaints of want or weakness; to be sure then there shall be such a time, and that you shall come to it, what a joyful thought is this!

5. It affords comfort against that absence from the Lord and want of enjoyment of his presence, which here we are mourning under, 2 Cor. 5.6, 7, 8. the greatest presence of God that we here enjoy at any time, is but ab­sence in comparison. How often do we find the Lord withdrawing and absenting himself, hiding his face, leaving us at a loss; and when after mourning and seekings, he does draw near, and let out himself in any Ordi­nance or promise; yet it is but little in com­parison, and soon interrupted and clouded again, and it will be so: Expect not a full [Page 237] and satisfactory and constant uninterrupted enjoyment of God, a morning without clouds here: That is reserved for Heaven; we shall be complaining of defects in our Commu­nion with God while in this World: But Heaven will answer and satisfie all our de­sires and expectations in this respect. It will bring us into the presence of God, and set us before his face for ever, Psal, 41.12. we shall then be never absent, but alwayes present with the Lord, I Thes. 4.17. If God had not reserved this for another state and place, we might wonder that we can reach no more of it, nor that after all our Prayers and mourn­ings we get so little of it, and find so many withdrawings, and sin and World are suffered to put in, and make so many interruptions: Oh it is to make us look and long for ano­ther World; make that use of all the defects and interruptions we find in our Commu­nion with God: Prize Heaven and be wait­ing for that day of full Redemption, and think not to enjoy our Heaven here: But be willing to go hence that we may go to God; be willng rather to be absent from the Body, that we may be present with the Lord, that we may be with Christ which is best of all, Phil. 1.23. willing not only to trade into that Countrey, and with much adoe fetch some tasts of the Commodities thereof hither; [Page 238] but to remove thither, and there possess the fulness thereof, even of Beatifical Commu­nion with God Father, Son and Holy Ghost for evermore. In the mean time let the fore­thoughts and belief of it (now while we walk by Faith, and not by sight) be a comfort and rejoycing in hope that we shall one day have what now we want; what now we pray and seek for, but cannot fully reach. Believ­ing rejoyce with Joy unspeakable: Believ­ing that there will come a time when you shall lye in his bosom, and see his face, drink in the rivers of his pleasures without imper­fection, without interruption, and without end.

SERMON X.

3. IMprove Heaven and the hopes, pro­mises and forethoughts of it, to quicken you to prepare for it and for the great Glory there. Even those that are in Christ, and have Grace begun in them, and have hopes to get to Heaven at last; yet they may be unready and unfit for Heaven, unprepared to go away thither when ever the Lord pleaseth. But we ought to be prepared; and the con­sideration of it should stir us up to labour to be fitted for it, Colos 1.12. Mat. 24.44. and 25.10. Rom. 9.23.

Quest. How may we come to be prepared for Heaven? or what is this readiness, and how obtain'd?

Answ. A main thing in it is to get a por­tion in Christ. Get into a state of Justificati­on and Salvation; and good evidence thereof. Give all diligence to make your Calling and sure.

But this we have spoken of before; we are now speaking to those that are in Christ; yea especially to those that have some Com­fortable assurance of it, that have a well-grounded [Page 240] hope of Heaven; you have got much when you have that, and are in a great measure ready; but yet that is not all, they that are in Christ, and have some good hold of him by Faith, have further need to be pre­par'd for Eternal Glory. As viz.

1. By growing in Grace. Labour to grow in Grace; and thereby to be ripe for Heaven. Though the Cor [...] be come up, yea grown up and eared; yet it is not fit to be gathered in­to the, Garnertill it be ripe. If the seed of the word have taken place in thy heart and sprouted, and come up, and be above ground that thy self and others may hopefully discern it, that is a comfortable thing: But alas thou art too green and raw, thou needest a great deal more time, and Sun, and growth, to fit you for Heaven; your stalk is not grown yet, nor your eare filled nor hardened, you need more solidity and hability, and con­sistance of Grace: you are not fit for the Sickle nor the Flaile yet; (to pass through death) nor to be laid up in the Chambers of Glory: You had need improve every dayes Sun, and every drop of Dew and Rain; all means and Ordinances, and the influence of the Spirit therein to help on your growth; that so at the last you may be as a shock of Corn coming in its season. And you must be willing to stand abroad till then, though it be [Page 241] in the wind, and Sun, and weather of this troublesome World, till full ripe; and then you shall be Inn'd and carried into the Hea­venly Garner. Heaven is the perfection of Grace, thy Grace must grow a great deal be­fore it come to that: It is far far short of it, it had need be growing dayly; thou art but a dwarf, a babe, yet it would be a fearful thing for thee not to grow; (as it is to see a little child not grow,) you must come to a perfect man, to a full stature if you be Christ's, and for Eternal Life indeed, and how can that be if you do not grow. If you be a living, you must and will be a growing Christian. If you be one that shall live in Heaven for­ever (i. e. in the perfection and adult state of Grace) you must grow while you are in your childhood here on Earth, Eph [...]s. 4.13.14, 15. Think often of the necessity, the absolute ne­cessity of growth.

Think, I must have more Grace than I have, I must get further on in the way of Grace if ever I get to Heaven: For there is perfection (which how far am I short of) and and I must press and get on nearer and nearer towards that perfection while I am in the way to it▪ if ever I get thither.

Take a man that is in a Journey, and hath gone a good way, why the steps that are re­maining are as necessary as those that are [Page 242] past, if he mean to get to his Journey's end: If he sit down and stop in the and w [...]y, he will no more get thither than if he had nev [...]r set out. It is as necessary that you pr [...]ss [...] for­ward, and make a progress in the way to: [...]ea­ven, if you mean [...]o g [...]t home thither, as it was that you came thus far: Oh therefore be of Paul's mind, (so the sincere will b [...]) Phil. 3.12, 13 14, 15. Yea, if we do not go on for­ward toward H [...]aven, we shall be in danger to fall back to Hell: Negl [...]ct of growth is the High way to Apost [...]y Heb. 6.1.4. q. d. unl [...]ss we go toward perfection we shall go backwards, and be in danger of utter Apo­stacy. Hence the sincere and truly gracious (the Eff [...]ctually Called) cannot, sh [...]ll not content themselves with a little, or the mea­sure they have attained, or stop in the mid­way, but go on. They that are indeed ap­pointed for Heaven, (i. e. for full and perfect Communion with God in Christ) shall keep travelling on till they come there.

Oh therefore labour after growth: Be as hungry after milk to grow by, (labour as much for to take in the good of every Ordi­nance for growth) as ever you were at first Conversion to get Life, and the beeing of Grace when felt by a total want: Yea the tast of Gods Grace should make us more intense than we could be before we tasted. 'Tis a [Page 243] dangerous thing when persons because they have got something, and go for Saints, and have some hope of Heaven, then sit still and grow full and careless, and all their prayers and seekings grow flat and slight, and they feel no need of Ordinances, but despise them. And so spiritual fulness and security, and pride, and sloth seize upon them; and when they stand at a stay may quickly grow worse and decline and are in the high-way to utter Apostacy: But if God love you, he will fire you out of this frame. Oh you keep open doors of a formall lifeless Profession, but what growth is there, what progress, or intense and earnest strivings (prayers, mour­nings, labours) after growth? Think it not a small matter to be in a stupified withered condition, rather of the losing than winning hand: There may be a winter upon Grace for a time; but if your spring-time return not, it will be plain, that you are dead tree [...]. Oh be growing (and if you be acting, you will be growing; exercise and growth of Grace go together: be active, stirring and lively in every duty, in every good work in the season of it) that is both an evidence and a prepara­tion for Heaven.

2. Be loosen'd from this World; for while staked down and fixed here, while you shoot forth your roots into the Earth, and grow [Page 244] here as in your place of settlement and rest, you are unfit and unready to remove to Hea­ven; yea, or to be travelling toward it. It is he that is a stranger and pilgrim in the Earth, and that dwells in tents here, ready on a short warning to pluck up stakes and be gone, that is a faithful seeker of that better Coun­trey and Traveller toward it, Heb. 11.9, 10, 13▪ 14, 19. You cannot have two homes, nor two rests, nor two portions: If you take up your home and rest in this World, you are not prepared nor principled for Hea­ven, nor fit to go thither as your home, E­tern I dwelling. Be loosning and drawing off your hearts from the World; expect not either a perpetual, nor yet a long abode here, (let not that be your inward thought, whi [...]e your outward and common word is, that we must all die, and be gone over a while, Psal. 49.11.) Be sensible of the vanity and emptiness here: Do not so much as de­sire your portion in this World, but make choice of another portion, Psal. 17.14, 15. Be often thinking of, and expecting and wait­ing for your removal from hence into ano­ther World, Job 14.14. Heb. 13.14. when under the sanctified sense of our non-con­tinuance in this City, we are in a fit posture of se [...]king one to come.

3. Get inlarged, lively and dear affections [Page 245] to Christ, so as to love and long to be with him. Heaven is the place of fullest and nearest Communion with God in Christ, and there­fore of strongest, sweetest and most ardent af­fections to him; the more strong and lively our affections are, the [...]tter we are for Hea­ven, and the fitter to leave all to go thither. And indeed the nearer we come to God, and to our home with him in Heaven, the stronger our affections will be to him. As Holy Bradford said a little before his end: As 'tis with men in sailing (saith he) when they come near to the shore, or Haven where they would be, so the nearer I am to God, the nearer I would be: And (saith he) I have given over all care and study, and only do I covet to be talking with him, whom I have alwayes studied to be withall, [Fox vol▪ 3. pag. 305.] Heaven is the place of love, the letting out and acting of love between Christ and his Saints, and the same is begun here: The more affectionate love we have to Jesus Christ, the fitter we are for Heaven. Hence those that are fit for Hea­ven, are described by that Character, that they love his appearing, 2 Tim. 4.8.

They love his company, and because but a little of it here, therefore they would go home to have it fully; they love and long for the presence of Christ, and to enjoy it in the fulness thereof, Phil. 1.23. 2 Cor. 5.8. [Page 246] Let Christ alone have your hearts, your whole hearts, let them not be divided and scattered to other things: And if you have lost your aff [...]ctions (your first love) recover them out of the hands of the Creatures, that sto [...]e them away from Christ, and be content with him and his love alone, now you are comfor [...]ably fit for Heaven, and for living t [...]re alone with him seperated from all the World. Oh when we have large and over­flowing affections to the World can pour out buc [...]ts full there, but scarse a drop for Christ, hearts straitned and shut up toward him, th [...]t we can live and rest in Creatures wi [...]out God, or without Communion with him [...]rom day to day; but God and all his love and promises cannot content us if Crea­ture Comforts fail, or we be parted from them: Alas we are far unfit for Heaven; this is not a spirit for Heaven, these earthly, low, carnal hearts are unfit for Heaven. Get them raised to more Holy and Heavenly af­fections, and more bosom delight in Christ, then you are fit to go into his bosom, and to live at rest there for ever.

4. Be finishing of your work, and to that end continually doing your present work with all yo [...]r m [...]ght; that is a part of our prepa­ration: While our work is not done, we are not ready; but Joh. 17.4, 5. when we have [Page 247] finished our work on Earth, then we are ready for Glory in Heaven: Now we cannot finish the whole work of our whole lives end: But God hath appointed each dayes work and hours work, the present duty of each season, by doing that, finisht the work of the day in its day; the work of every duty in the season thereof: now you are ready whenever the Lord shall please to come and call you, that he shall find you not idle not behind-hand, but doing the work appointed you in his name and for his Glory, then blessed are you, Luk. 12.40, 42, 43, 44. Do what God hath appointed, called you to, and that lyes up­on you in the season of it: Be continually so doing, then are you ready for your Lords coming. Is there any work that lyes upon thy hand, that Conscience tells thee should be done without delay; as to get thy soul settled in assurance of Gods love, to clear up thy evidences, make thy Calling sure, to get down such rebellious strong Corruptions, &c. or in thy place, in thy Family, Church, Com­mon wealth, is their service to be done which God calls loud for. Oh fore-slow it not, be not slack or slothful in it, but finish, dispatch, pur­sue thy work; be doing with all thy might.

5. Be upon your watch; in a wakeful sensible, attentive, vigilant frame and posture. That is the posture of those that are ready [Page 248] to meet the Lord and to go to him when­ever he calls, Mat. 24.42, 43 44. Watching is the way to be [...]ad [...], or a part of readiness, so Luk. 12. 36 37, 40. The Lord hath told us, he will come and take us out of this World into another, but we know not when, and he hath promised great and Glorious things to those that humbly wait on him, and for him; great is the danger of missing the good of the promise and mis­carry [...]ng at last (Heb. 4.1.) unspeakable is the happiness of those that obtain it. Hence are we to watch; watch against all the enemies of our Eternal Salvation, within and without (watch to escape all the snares and dangers that lye in the way, the snare of thy own Iniquity, the snares of an evil intoxing and and deceitful World, &c.) Luk. 21.34, 35, 36. watch unto duty to be attentive there­in, Ephes. 6.18 And watch and wait for God and for his coming to call us hence, observing also his goings towards you in all his dis­pensations, that we may be ready to attend him and meet him therein, as Luk. 12 36. Be wakefully sensible of every thing, of all that concerns your souls or the Glory of God; watching speaks the unbinding of the senses. A sleepy, sottish, senseless posture, is a very unready posture to be found in: The secure, senseless, sleepy person, is unfit and [Page 249] unready, either to live profitably, or to die comfortably. But he that is found watching (awake, and vigilant, and sensible, though poor and weak, yet in a sensible manner, &c.) need not be dismayed whatever come: The watching Christian is a blessed Christian, Luk. 12.37. And if after Conversion (as oft it comes to pass) after first affection and prosessi­on, you have fallen into slumbering fits and secure frames (while so, you are not ready, but) be awakned again, and recover your light, life, sense, diligence, and be in a fr [...]sh posture of watching for the Lord: So the wise Virgins are after their slumbering time, Mat. 25.5, 6, 7, 10. Oh in prove all the lights (v. 6.) God lifts up in word and works to that ends to get awake that we may be ready for Everlasting Communion with the Lord.

4. Improve this point unto Heavenly mindedness. If God have called us to Eter­nal Glory in Heaven, given us Heaven, the promise and the hope of it; how should our minds and hearts be upon it, as the heart of the Heir is upon the Estate he shall have at full Age, of a Prince upon the King­dom he is to come unto, so Phil. 3.20 our hope is laid up in Heaven, and therefore our hearts should be there, Colos. 1.5. Mat. 6.19, 21. It is the duty of all (even of yet strangers) to set their hearts upon Heavenly [Page 250] things by way of s [...]king after them, and after a portion in him, Job 6 27 But they that have a pro [...]ise thereof, and an Interest there­in already given to them, they have more reason and more advantage to lift up their minds and hearts thereunto. The H [...]irs of Glory should surely be mindful thereof. To this purpose.

1. Let your thoughts be much upon Hea­ven and Heavenly things. Hath God given you Heaven in the promise, then look upon it, see the breadth and compass of this gift, take many views of it as you are able, even as Abraham was to do of the Land of Canaan the type of it, when yet he had no foot of it in hand, but only it was given him in the promise of God, Genes 13 14, 15, 17. And when you can view it, and go over it as yours, your own [...]all this is m [...]ne) that will make the view of it wonderful sweet and di [...]ight­ful. While Heaven is to us as a strange Coun­trey, which we have no Interest in; we are strangers to it in our thoughts: But when it is our own, this makes the thoughts of it familiar and pleasant. Think much of Hea­ven, or of the things of Heaven, if you think of the things of God, then you think of the things of Heaven (it is not necessary to con­fine our meditations to Heaven strickly so called: All the things of God and of his word [Page 251] are Heavenly things; the enjoyment of God is the main thing in Heaven: Y [...]t the fore­thoughts of the full enjoyment of God in Glory with freedom from all sin and imper­fection, is a gloriou object of our meditati­ons, and should still be the Journey's end and Rest of all our thoughts and desires, which we should be travelling after) our thoughts are capable of ascending into Heaven now, and unto Jesus Christ at the right hand of God, &c. Though our bodies, our persons be not; and should we keep them imprisoned here below, thrust them into dungeons, and bury them in the dust of the Earth, when as they might mount upward, and walk at liberty in the Galleries of Glory, in the sweet presence of God by the help of his word (for do not rove into empty, vain, soaring speculations, but take up the word along with you; let Scrip­tures be the guide and matter of your m [...]dita­tion) take a turn there now and then, that you may not be strangers there; that you may say as Dr. Preston when dying, I shall but change my place, not my Company; your Company may be now with God and Christ, and so it shall be there.

2. Set your affections upon Heaven and Heavenly things: Affect Heavenly things as the best things. Love, esteem, desire, delight in the things of God and Heaven, and chuse [Page 252] them before all the things of the World, Col. 3.1, 2. that your hearts may be there (hav­ing taken up your treasure and portion there) before your persons be, then it will be no strange or uncouth thing for your persons to go thither, you do but go thither where your hearts have been long before. The soul (as they say) is rather where it loves then where it lives. You converse in Heaven (you may be said as it were to be in Heaven) if your hearts and affections be there, as Act. 7.39, Though their bodies never returned in A [...]gypt, yet in their hearts they went back thither, (and so many whose faces by pro [...]e [...]ion are toward Canaan, Heaven, yet their hearts are in the World and upon their Lusts Ezek. 33.31.) So the lively Christian goes up to H [...]aven in his heart, though his body be here on Earth.

But hence despise and dis-affect [...]l [...] Earthly in Comparison of H [...]avenly things, that we are said to mind most, which we have most affection and spirit for, which we lost most. If we have any true taste of Heavenly things, we cannot but prefer them before all Earth­ly things whatsoever, 2 Cor. 4.18.

3. Drive a trade for Heaven. Be trading to the Country now: By Faith and Prayer co [...]rsi [...] with God in Christ, and receiving, d [...]g from all H [...]avenly Grace and Good. You have Conversation in Heaven when you [Page 253] trade thither; you act as Citizens of Heaven (as the word in Philip 3.20.) when you have free trade there, free Commerce and In­tercourse at all times. Christ teaches us to be dayly trading, Heaven, when he teaches us to pray dayly unto God as our Father which is in Heaven, to God in Christ as an Heaven­ly Father, an Heavenly Majesty, and a foun­tain of H [...]avenly good things, that hath Hea­venly (has Spirit Grace, Fellowship with him­self) to give to them that ask him, to them that trade with him by Prayer for such things, Luk. 11.13. Let the Commodities of Hea­ven be above all precious to you: Buy them at any rate be willing to be at any cost, pains, labour and hazard for them: willing to part with any thing you have in hand (in this World) for them; willing to adventure much (as they that trade to Rich Countryes, they venture much thither) to adventure Estate, and Strength, and Life, and all you have in this World, so you may take it up in Heaven, and have it repayed you there, (as every spiritual adventure most surely shall, Mark 10.22, 30. Mat. 5.11, 12.) Heb. 11.25, 26. and be sensible of Every stoppage be­tween Heaven and your Souls, of any in­terruption of Intercourse between Christ and you: when Prayer speeds not, when Christ comes not in with his Influences, [Page 254] when they hear no good news from Heaven, God hides his face, and suspends and with­draws his Communications of Grace and Comfort) The Saints that are Traders to Heaven, are very sensible of such things.

But this is a part of having our Conversa­tion in Heaven (acting as tree men there) to have constant trade and Commerce there. And this the word in Phil. 3.20. may in a special manner lead unto. And H [...]nce.

4. Judge of our condition, and of the weal or woe (the comfort or discomfort there­of) by Heavenly concernments and Conside­rations: As we have more or less of Heaven­ly benefits, and Heavenly incomes, so Judge we our Condition to be better or worse. That is an act and fruit of Heavenly mindedness so to do: It is a meditation of that Holy Martyr Bradford, on that Clause the Lords Prayer, Our Father [which art in Heaven] that the Lord would teach us to Judge of his Fatherly love by Heavenly Benefits, and not by Earthly and Corporal. As it minds us (as he also saith) that Heaven is our home, for it is our Fathers house, whither all his Children must at last be gathered; so in the mean time to Judge of his Fatherly love rather by Heavenly benefits and blessings, than by Earthly and outward; for oftentimes the wicked prosper more in the World, and [Page 255] have more Worldly ben [...]fits than the Chil­dren of God; so that by (this direction in our dayly Prayers) the Lord would pull up our minds from Earth and Earthly to Heaven and Heavenly things [Bradfords Medi­tations pag. 21.22.] If we sh [...]l [...] look up­on Earthl [...], outward, visible and present things, how often might the p [...] of God (the truly pious) be judged to be of all men m [...]st miserable 1 Cor. 15.19. But look upon He [...]venly and Spiritual Riches and Comforts, and upon the fulness thereof that is laid up for them in Heaven, and given them in the pro­mise, and then you may see them unspeak­ably happy, Jam. 2.5. 2 Cor. 4.16, 18. If you are the Children of God, you are men for Heaven, and your Interest lyes there; Hence look upon things to go well or ill with you, as that Interest is furthered or not. This would be of marvelous use were it attend­ed: Esteem of your Condition and of Gods dealings with you by your forwardness for Heaven. If it be Affliction, Tribulation, yea manifold sorrows and Exercises if they set you nearer Heaven (nearer God and more in his besom) those are happy afflictions, and you may rejoyce therein, Rom. 5.3.4.5. Jam. 1.2.12. 2 Cor, 4.17. I outward prosperity attend you, and the World smile, but you are thereby drawn down from Heaven to the [Page 256] Earth, further from God, and your hearts lost in the World; truly you have little cause to rejoyce in that prosperity, but to mourn over your selves, Heb. 9.1. That is to us the best wind that lyes [...]air for Heaven, from what quarter soever it comes. Those are our best dayes wherein we have most Heavenly Com­munion with God, and are most fitted for Heaven.

5. Improve Heaven (or Eternal Glory in the World to come) and the promise and hopes of it unto diligence, faithfulness and fruitfulness in Gods work, the work that God sets you to do here upon the Earth, so 1 Cor. 15.58. Improve your Talents (i. e. all opportunities, and abilities, gifts, graces and means to do good, to do service to God) for the promoting of the Glory of God, and the good of men, your selves and others. The Consideration of our Masters Joy, and of the Glorious reward that will be therein given to all that so do, not of debt, but of Grace, should put us upon it, Mat. 25.15, 20, 21, 23. be [...]iligent, faithful and fruitful in the work of the Lord. Be it

1. Doing work, duty and service to God to be done by us; whether the work of our General Calling; serving God in the whole course of Christianity, the whole work of the warefare of Faith and obedience; they [Page 257] thoughts of Heaven should quicken us unto that, though it be hard work to flesh and blood, as hard as fighting, 1 Tim. 6.12. 2 Tim. 4.7, 8. as running in a race, 1 Cor 9.24, 25. as wrestling, Ephes. 6.12. or for Heavenly things, or the work of our particular Cal­ling, place and station wherein God hath set us in Family, Church or Common-wealth; be Diligent, Industrious, Faithful and Con­stant also, not byassed by Temptations on the right hand or the left, not made un­serviceable by discouragement or discontent, (that is a woful thing, when a man suffers the temptations he meets with on every hand here in the World, so to disquiet, distemper or discourage him as to make him unservice­able, and take him off from doing good work) not cast into a sleep by sloth and sluggishness: be faithful, serving God in thy particular course and way, so Act. 20.23, 24. 2 Tim. 4.78. Or,

2. Bearing and suffering work, if the Lord call to that, as less or more he ever does. We must suffer as well as do in this World, else we shall do but a little, and but a while: Why Heaven should make us cheerfully to suffer for God, to go through suffering work▪ whether losses or positive sorrows that the Lord tryes us with here, Heb. 11.26. Mat. 5.11, 13. Heb. 12.1, 2. The Saints have been [Page 258] wont to improve Heaven unto strength and constancy into suffering work, 2 Cor. 4.26, 17. Rom. 8.18. Heb. 10.34. But to quicken us to our work, of what kind so­ever from the point in hand, Consider,

1. It is a great shame for those to be idle or negligent and heartless in their work that have such a way to work in, as the way to Heaven is, and such a reward as lyes at the end of it. We serve a good Master, who serve the God of all Grace, who calls us to his Eternal Glory by Christ Jesus; sure we should do any thing for him. How hard so­ever thy work be, and how long soever kept tugging at it, Heaven will make amends for all. There is no proportion between our poor work, and that reward: And therefore it is not a reward of Justice, but of Rich and Princely Grace; rewarding that with thou­sands that is scarce worth a penny. You will serve men, and work hard it may be at your dayes labour (and it is equal you should so do) for your penny, and shall we stick at serving the Blessed God who sets before us such a recompense of reward as Eternal Glory is? Were ever any losers by him, either do­ing or suffering for him? No; Mark. 10.29, 33.

2. At the day of Christs appearing, none will be more sharply rebuked and ashamed than the Idle slothful Servant, Mat. 25.26, [Page 259] 27, 30. He might say what hurt did I do▪ I did no body any hurt with my talent, I did not do mischief with my wit and time, and strength: Yea, but what good did you do? what good work did you imploy your self in for the Glory of God and the good of men? Sins of omission whereby men can let alone their work (this and that should be done, but let alone, let lye) these will be sad­ly aggravated at that day.

3. You have but a little time to do work on Earth, compared with the time of your rest in Heaven. Our resting time is hereafter, (Rev. 14.13.) but our working time now; there will be work in Heaven indeed, but work done without toile, or sweat, or pain, as it was with Adam in Innocency as bodily labour; the sweet and pleasant work of Glorifying God: Now we can do no good work but in the sweat of our browes, with much conflict, pain and difficulty: But though it be so, this our painful labour is but for a while, for an Hirelings day, Job 7.1, 2, though you be kept sweating at it, you may bide it in the dust, and Sun, and heat, for the short day of this life, when after that follows rest, Eternal rest, and that will be sweet, as the rest of the Labouring-man is, Psal. 104.23. Methinks we should keep close at our work, and hold out in it till the evening of [Page 260] this life. (It is no long summers-day, it is but a short a moment any time, compar'd with what follows,) and then you shall go to bed in rest and peace, Isa. 57.2. It is but a little time you have to work on Earth, and you have much work to do (for your own Souls, for the Name of God, for the good of others) and therefore you had need be dili­gent that you may finish in time, and not have your work to do when your time is out, that you may with Comfort in measure say as Joh. 17.4.

4. We shall lose the reward of our work, if we do not follow our work to purpose, 2 Joh. 8. working by halves is the way to lose all our work, i. e. working idly, negligently, slothfully; or working unconstantly and un­faithfully; unstedfastly, going in, and giving over, not holding out, but falling off from the truth or the wayes and service of God (which the Apostle in that place, 2 Joh. 8. speaks of, and gives warning against) this brings a Curse instead of a Blessing or reward, Jerem. 48.10. Malach. 1.14. Heb. 10.38.

6. Improve Heaven unto fitness for, and Comfort in Death. Death unto the Saints is their passage from Earth to Heaven, from this place of sin and tears, into that state of Joy, and Bliss and Glory we have been speaking of (in their Souls presently, Luk. 23.43. [Page 261] and in certain hope of their Bodies Resur­rection to the same Glory) Hence a real sight, and lively hope, and taste of Heaven is able to sweeten death, how bitter soever unto Nature: This chief of Joyes is able to master the King of Terrours, and to cause the Believer to Triumph over it, 1 Cor. 15.54, 57. 2 Cor. 5.1.4. Death is a departing out of, if we speak of this life, (this poor, sorry, sinfull, weary life) such a one we say departed this life: But it is an entrance into life; if we speak of the life to come in Heaven (that sweet, glorious, sinless happiless) so it is to a Saint. A going out of a smoaky Cottage, but an entrance into a Kingdom, the Kingdom of our Lord, 2 Pet. 1.11. Isa. 57.2. It is a going from hence: But it is a going to Christ, Philip. 1.23. a going from your people and friends here, but it is a going and being gathered to their people, and Blessed Congregation that is above, Genes. 49.33. Hence the fore-thoughts and hopes of Heaven should,

1. Make the Saints willing to die, (of readiness and fitness for it in other respects, we speak somewhat under the third head) not willing to break away from their work before they have done it, out of frowardness, weariness and discontent, or before Gods time be come: But willing to go home, and to leave all the World, and pass through the [Page 262] dark entry of Death, that they may go to God, go home to Christ in Heaven when ever his time shall be come. As a dying Saint said, I have but one dark entry to pass through, and then I am at my Fathers house. Be it that death is a dark entry, yet it leads to thy Fathers house. Stick not at passing to it through such an entry, 2 Cor. 5 8. Be not willing and desirous alwayes to tarry here, among sins and temptations, and where you are Comparatively absent from the Lord: But be willing to be absent from the Body, to be Gloriously present with the Lord. Though the Body be a near friend, Christ is nearer: And your parting with that for a time, is in order to an happy meeting, Phil. 1.23. while Gods work, service and Glory, and the good of his people detains him here, he is willing to tarry; but otherwise desirous to be gone, when he looks forward to that that will be the Issue and Consequent of his departure or dissolution, viz. The full enjoy­ment of Christs Company, which is better than all the World.

2. It should give them Comfort in Death, to be looking up stedfastly into Heaven, unto Jesus Christ there (to whom you are now going) is a good dying posture, as it was Stephens, Act. 7. And it is a sufficient sup­port against the discomfort of Death. Look [Page 263] to the Glory and Life you shall be received up unto, that will swallow up the Death you shall be received through, Luk. 9.51. Heb. 12.2. When you lay down your heads in the dust, you at once lay down all sins and sorrows; who would not part with the Body, for a time to part with sin forever. Death will do that for you, that all Ordi­nances, all afflictions, all means could not do, it will presently carry you near, very near, fully near to Christ, into full and everlasting fellowship with him. Thus ma­nifold Consolations here, Eternally serves to establish and strengthen against all Sufferings and Death it self, 1 Pet. 1.10.

A Letter written by the Author to his Friend in New-England.

Dear and Intirely Beloved Friend,

IT is an afflicting Providence from God, and just cause of shame to me [for I can­not clear my self from a great deal of just blame] that I have not done, nor can now do any thing for you in regard of those wri­tings you desired of me: I have, and am con­tinually pressed with variety of urgent occa­sions, and much time [in the way I am in] is dayly taken up from my personal studies, besides many incident avocations: And alas I can do little, and make but slow progress in the long race of Learning I have to run! And it is my miserable guise, either by wick­edness or weakness, to fall short of that good I should either get or do; and if it be so in this case towards you, it is no wonder though it should be my deep sorrow! But yet con­sidering some passages in your last and former Letters concerning your Spiritual Condition, and knowing by experience in my self the reality of such Complaints, I would not be so graceless as to neglect you wholly therein: [Page 2] And though I can say or do very little, yet a word or two might be of some use; nor do I know what guilt might lye upon me, if I should be silent or slight in this Case! And therefore [Dear —] if my barren heart would suffer me, I would present you with a few words, as if you and I were alone in a Corner in the presence of God!

The Condition you express, is the Com­mon [but fearful] Epidemical Calamity of those times and places where the Gospel is Preached, and among such as outwardly carry fair: Convinced, but not humbled; some apprehensions of misery and affections now and then, but not deep effectual mournings; something burdened with sin and misery, and wrath of God; but yet able to bear it, and contented to live without being delive­red from it: Knowing every thing, and feel­ing nothing; or rather knowing every thing, and yet indeed knowing nothing; in seeing not, &c. For my own part, it is that which hath been the baneful misery of my soul [even that very thing which thou say and mean] ever since I knew any thing; and the Lord knows how little I am delivered from it, and how much of my work in this point [upon which the very hinges of our Salvation turn] is yet to do to this day! Oh [my —] if my heart were not Adamant, I should weep [Page 3] with and for you: And truly when I am most near God, I have no greater request then this for my self and you, that God would use any means to make us see things really as they are, and pound our hearts all to pieces, and make indeed sin most bitter, and Christ most sweet; that we might be both humbled and Comforted to purpose! An imperfect work of the Law, and then an imperfect work of the Gospel, is the bane and ruine of us in these dayes! Some fears and affections, and then some hopes of mercy [without finding full rest and satisfaction in Christ only] men rest in, and here perish! But hence is the ground of that you speak of: An heart that doth not, cannot feel sin [and consequently, no other thing that Gods word speaks of] and the wrath of God for it to purpose: Cannot be sensible of sin or misery in an ef­fectual manner! Now a word or two of Counsel to you in this Case!

First consider the end and thing you are to strive after. Secondly the way and manner how: Your business is never to rest till you come to feel sin as an insupportable burden, and then to find rest and everlasting satis­faction in Christ, imbracing him as your own! To go on humbling to be humbled, and to see such intollerable evil in sin; and be so burdened with the wrath of God lying [Page 4] upon you for it, as it may make sin ever­lastingly odious to you, and force you to fly for refuge to lay hold of the hope set be­fore you; and to have strong Consolation there! This is a great thing, not easily and quickly gotten, but fit not down at quiet till you come to this! This is the way to make all sure! But you will say I know not whe­ther I ever had any true humiliation; whe­ther there is any thing in me that will stand by me, when an hour of Temptation comes? Therefore now resolve, I will padle and dally with God and my own soul no longer, I will never give God rest till he shew me things really, and till I have attained that sense of sin and Faith in Christ Jesus which is real and effectual! This is the work of our lives, Joh. 6 29. Let me never rest till it be put out of all doubt, that God in Christ is mine own, and hath made an everlasting Covenant with me! This I will have, or I will be in bitterness before the Lord while I have any Being; and for the residue of my dayes, I will dwell with them that lye down in sorrow, I will have my society with such forsaken souls; who being desolate and deserted, are free among the dead: If the blessed God shall excommunicate this wretch­ed soul from his gracious presence, [which yet is but an Act of his most Holy and just [Page 5] severity] Oh! let me find this favour in his sight, that I may also excommunicate my self from the pleasures and enjoyment of this present World! And resolve this, if God will not let me see the good of his chosen, [and I have nothing to say why he should] I will mourn, I will mourn; let me live and dye in the house of mourning: If God will not Comfort me, nothing else shall; if I may not have peace and rest in God, I'le have none at all; if God will take no plea­sure in me, I'le take no pleasure in my self: Let my tears be my meat continually; let me go mourning up and down the World while I have a day to live: If God cast me off, let this be my condition! Nay, [come to this pass] I cannot live, unless God be reconciled to me: My spirit fails, if the Lord redeem not presently! There is no beeing, no biding for me, unless he speak a word of peace to me. [Psal. 69.2, 3, 17, 8. and 143.4, 7.] And in a time of need God will help, when you are lost, God will find you, when you are sick to death, he will heal you, Isa. 57.16, 28, 29. His bowels will earn towards you! Never fear want of Consolatian, if your Hu­miliation be not ineffectual! And here let me warn you of a thing or two!

Take heed least some lesser sorrows and affections heal and ease you, and so you be [Page 6] kept from great and effectual sorrows, and from Comfort by Christ only! Many a one sees himself in a miserable Condition; here­upon he goes alone, he prayes [and weeps too it may be] very affectionatly for mercy: Up­on this he grows well and whole again! His good affections please him and heal him, though he be indeed still as far from Christ and grounded Comfort as ever! Take heed of this. As also secondly, Of resting in some hopes of mercy, or in some tasts of mercy! Many things give a man good hope that God may save him, and the words of Comfort are sometimes sweet and refreshing to his heart, this quiets him: He hath enough now, he runs away with this, when as Christ him­self is not yet his; nor is he satisfied with him only! Many perish here; not but that these affctions and hopes are very good, and they may be true [and be sure to be exceed­ing thankful for any such thing; that you have any desire to seek God, any tears at any time before him, and hope toward him; its more than thousands have] and very good encouragement to seek after Christ more; but not to be rested in without Christ! It's a sign a mans heart is false, when a little of any thing will serve him! Use those sorrows, heart-breakings and hopes, as blessed encou­ragemnts and ingagements to follow on still, [Page 7] and get nearer to Christ and to gain in upon him; but rest not till you be sure you have Christ; and fully rest in him, and your heart live upon him only, alone, wholly and al­wayes! Now for the way you are to take in the Case owned and expressed by your self: I would add a little as the Lord shall help.

Do not say there is no hope, and so give over striving! Give not way to a sullen des­perateness and deadness of heart; to a dulled sunk discouraged spirit, as it were in vain to stir, and will never be better with you! Do not say, thus it hath been, and thus it is and you cannot help it, and there tear it! No, no, arise and be doing, and God will be with you, is an old and good Rule! What ever your Case be, never be discouraged: Be humble and afflicted under sin and mi­sery [the more the better] but never be dis­couraged! Resolve, I will yet follow God for all this, come on me what will! See 1 Sam. 12.20. Know that God is God, and not man, he can help, nay he will! He is willing to help you, if you be not unwilling to have it: See Isa. 55.8. Jer. 33.3. Hos. 13.9. Joh. 4.10. and 6.36. He hath after mercies for them that have abused former mercies, Ezek. 39.26. Jer. 3.1, 22. If it were but a may be, Amos 5.15. Zeph. 2.3. A [Page 8] who can tell? Jon. 3.9. Joel. 2.14. A Lord if thou wilt, Mat. 8.2. It's enough to make us follow after God to the last gaspe! Se­condly, look up to the infinite God to help you for his names sake, and for the Lord Je­sus sake. You know you are miserable and have unspeakable need of his help; though you do not feel it, and be not offended with it. Upon this ground [and this is ground enough] go to God and tell him; that the less sense you have, the greater is your mise­ry, and the more need you have of his help: None but God can pull you out of this pit, can inlighten this darkness, and break this Adamant; to him therefore you come ac­cording to his own Counsel, Rev. 3.18. Tell him he knows you and sees you, though you do not know or see him, no nor your self neither: He can take hold of you, though you cannot take hold of him, Joh. 15.16. Bring such an heart as you have [longing that it were better] to him, that he would mend it. Bewaile this impenitent heart, cry out of this secure sottifh heart, as the greatest evil that could befall you; beseech him to use any means to break it, and change it: Fill your mouth with Arguments before him; tell him of his free [oh hang there upon free mercy] his tender, his preventing, his mani­fold rich mercy: Say you are resolved never [Page 9] to leave him till he give you this Grace ef­fectually, and all the Grace you want, ever­lasting mercy: Cry to him out of the thick darkness, and out of the low [...]unge [...]n. Lam. 3.55. When you have no mind to pray, when Devil and World, when heart and the gates of Hell are agaist you: Y [...]t then, even then pray in spite of all your spiritual Ad­versaries: Offer violence to the Kingdom of Heaven, stir up your self to take hold on God; lay hold on Eternal Life, when no­thing but darkness and death is about you; when God stops his ear against you, and shuts up his heart too; yet then fall down before him put your mouth in the dust; judge and loath your self, hate your sin that brought you to this pass: Look again to­ward him, [as Jon. 2.4 7.] close with him at and upon the sword point, [though he kill me yet will I trust in him.] Bless his name, and say as Lam. 3.22. Ch [...]t [...]er before him; leave your self to his mercy, to his absolute, soveraign, meer mercy, renoun­cing all other props and comforts: S [...] Isa. 50.10. Tell him as Daniel 9.9. [...]solve to follow him though blindfold, an [...] see Rom. 11.32, 33. Gal. 3.22. When you are shut up under sin and unbelief, then look to him who is able to save to the utmost them that [Page 10] come to God by him: You know not how to look to him, nor what it is to believe, nor how to go about such a thing; therefore tell God that you come to him for Faith, as well as other things; You want every thing, and you come [...]or every thing: [the poorest Creature that lives] and know that the blessed God would have you come to him in Christ for every thing: Christ hath all power in his hands to help you, Joh. 17.2. and see Joh. 6.37. Thirdly, continue in seek­ing God till you find him: Follow on to know the Lord, and then be your Case what it will, you shall know him, Hos. 6.2. Col. 4.2. Luk. 18.1. Many are very serious and earnest for a fit, but they give over before the Lord come, and will rather patch up their Comfort and Salvation of any fashion, then take the pains to hold out in seeking God with all their might: Multitudes perish here. Oh! look to this; for do not think [especially in the Case you are in] to get Grace and Christ [in the sense before spoken of] presently! No, no, God may make you seek and wait many a day, but you shall reap in due time if you faint not, Gal. 6.9. Diligently therefore and Constantly attend and improve all the Ordinances and Oppor­tunities that God gives: In special, let me [Page 11] speak a word or two for your better help in them [being more private and personal] viz. First, Meditation [a most necessary and ef­fectual thing which few practice:] Get a little time to meditate dayly, laying aside o­ther things, and in other occasions too, think as much of Spiritual things as you can: We do not see nor feel, because we do not think of things; think of God and of Christ, of Sin, of Heaven, of Hell, of Judgment, of Eternity, how few shall be saved, how ne­cessary it is to take the present time: What we come into the World for, of quickning passages in Scripture, of Gods dealings with you, of your former life and present Condi­tion, &c. But you will say, my heart is so vain and stupid, I cannot think of things. I Answer▪ First, let this deeply humble you; and the vileness of your heart that here dis­covers it self will be worth the while. Se­condly, bese [...]ch God to help you. Thirdly, By use of time you will find it more easie. Fourthly take advantage upon all the evil frames that at present you feel, to apply and set on some soaking expression in Scripture: As in case of hardness, blindness, vanity, see Rom. 9.18. 2 Cor. 4.4▪ Prov. 10.20. Yea, hence see and say, that God is true, and his word is true; for the Scripture tells me of [Page 12] this heart I feel; and the rest of it will be verified upon me as well as this. Fifthly, take the advantage of special seasons for Medi­tation, when your heart is in a feeling frame [as after Prayer, after Sermon, if you cannot before] and lay up what you get: One truth felt in M [...]ditation, is worth a World, and it will make way for more. Sixthly, do something that is equivalent and helping to it, at least when you cannot so directly me­ditate: as reading of a good Book, writing of your former and present life: [that is a thing of endless use] gathering up Gods mer­cies, and your sins in writing sometimes, &c.

Secondly, Prayer; this is the blessed means of getting a poor soul to Heaven: And what an happiness is it that we may pray to God; besides Family-prayer, get some time for secret Prayer, dayly less or more: Be tel­ling God your heart alone; I know your occasions and labours [the Lord break my heart for you] would not afford you that liberty that I [wretch] have: But do what you can; love the duty, and God will pitty you, wherein you are justly, and by his pro­vidence [not your own negligence] hindred: and this is certain, he that hath an heart shall never want time or place to pray! En­deavour to order your matters, so as you may [Page 13] have time for it: And if you could weekly have a piece of an Afternoon [as Saturdy in the Afternoon an hour or two, or as God guids] set a part for secret and close converse with God by Meditation and Prayer, thinking, writing, reading, examining, mourning before God; and do this constantly you would never repent it: The business of Salvation is main­ly carried on in secret between God and a mans own soul: And by all means provide, that you may have your Sabbaths as free as possible all the day, and the Evening before and after, for spiritual work: Ply God in such seasons as these be, and be very thankful if you get but any little ground of your cor­ruptions and miseries: Go about your law­full occasions, not as a liberty to the flesh, [as to think that now my task of praying is over, now I may please my self, and refresh my heart in the World, &c.] but as the service of God, and as unto him, because he bids you be thus imployed: As when he bids me pray, I will pray with all my might; so I will work too, when he bids me work, and not do it to please my self, [alas, if I consider it, what pleasure or Comfort is there in this evil World] but to please him: I will busie and employ my self in this World, [be­cause he bids me] but my place and my [Page 14] rest shall be only in God, or no where: As Seamen go to Sea, but build their houses at land; so I'le go into the World, but lay up my heart and comfort and my whole support in God! I will live in the World, but not upon it; I will live only upon God, and have my Portion in him. And do not think that this sorrow and sence of sin, and mourning after God, stands in a Monkish dooping sullenness and sadness, [though 'tis certain that by the sadness of the Countenance the heart is made better, and one should not give himself to unnecessary mirth, which is very poysonfull, nor purposely choak his spirituall sorrows with temporal delights:] But when you have seriously spent your time with God, and have left your heart with him, and he calls you to your occasions; go about them with alacrity, and chearfullness, so as you may dispatch them comfortably; and carry amiably and delightfully to those about you. And let your sorrows and sense of your Souls miseries lie deep and undermost, so as you may recall them in their season; when you come to pray, or be alone with God again; labour to have a constant habi­tuall feeling of your self, [and get as many good thoughts and affections as you can at all times] so as it may be livelily actual, [Page 15] especially in your seasons of attending upon God, and in them drive on the business of your Soul, as if there were no World; and as if there were nothinng else to be minded but that. And if you find your heart gon when the season of seeking God comes; then know that you have in some measure back­slidden, and forsaken God; and never leave till you have recovered it. Recall and re­view often the chief sins of your life that you can remember; confess and aggravate them before God in a speciall manner, [but have your times of confessing and bewailling all the sins that ever you can remember] and think of what sins or course it was that caused God to leave you, to this wofull im­penitency of heart, and bewail them bitterly. One thing more I must add; Do not think it much to have some speciall seasons of seeking God, besides those I have named. If you had a friend with whom you might now and then spend a little time, in con­ferring together, in opening your hearts, and presenting your unutterable groanings before God, it would be of excellent use: Such an one would greatly strengthen, bestead, and further you in your way to Heaven. Spend now and then [as occasions will permit] an hour [or so] with such a friend more then [Page 16] ordinary, [sometimes a piece of a day, some­times a whole day of extraordinary fast, in striving and wrestling with God for ever­lasting mercy.] And be much in quickning conscience, giving and taking mutuall en­couragements and directions in the matters of H [...]aven! Oh! the life of God that fall [...] into the hearts of the Godly, in and by gra­cious Heavenly conference. Be open-hearted one to another, and stand one for another ag [...]inst the Devil and all his Angels. Make it thus your business is these and such like wayes, to provide for Eternity while it is ca [...]led today, looking to Jesus the Author and finisher of your Faith. But you will say [it may bee] and I speak but what I have found in my own heart, [Dear — I deal plainly with you, as I know you would have me do, and therefore let me suppose it should be said] This is a tedious hard task, and my heart likes not to be so yoaked and toiled in such things: I can take no pleasure therein; and if I should force my self to it for a while, yet it would soon weary me: I have no heart to these things; it may be somthing might be done in this way, or another might do some­thing: but I have no heart to it.

Answ. 1. Wonder not at this, not think the worse of that course, because your heart [Page 17] lusteth against it, but think the better of it. For, the better any thing is, and the more instrumentall for our Salvation, the more it is opposed by our vile hearts, which are enemies to God, and consequently to our own chief good.

2. Confess to God this naughtiness of your heart: beseech him to help you against this Devil, to change your nature, and let this occasion you to see and loath the wickedness of your nature, and be inraged against it. The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth unto envy, but he giveth more grace; Jam. 4.5, 6.

3ly Consider what is the reason why this way seems so irksome and tedious, and you have no heart to it? Is it not because of in­ward blindness and security? because you see not things as they be, nor the weight and worth of them? It is an irksome thing to a man to rise out of his bed in the night, when he lies warm and knows no danger, nor urgent occasion to rise; but if he awake, and see, his house on fire about his ears, he will make no demur about the matter, but be glad he may rise? Verily, one reall glimpse of the wrath of God burning about us, or of Eternity that is a coming; one reall glimpse of Gods anger [lying upon our Souls] which is infi­nitely above the most awful apprehension [Page 18] of man or Angel; Oh! this would make us skip at a time to pray in, at an hour to cry out to God for mercy in, especially if we might do it with any hope of being heard, and saved, as now we may. So that the rea­son why I have no heart to this course, is not because there is want of reason to perswade me, but because I am blind; and I feel my blindness, I know that I do not see things as they be, and therefore I have good reason to be deaf, to the Counsel of mine own blind ignorant heart, and to strive by all means to see better; and in the mean time, to believe what I do not see.

4ly. Offer violence therefore to the King­dom of Heaven, and be resolved in this point; let my heart say what it will, let Hell and World be against me: My God I must have, my God I will have; I must get sight of sin and faith in Christ Jesus, I must make my Salvation sure, or else I am un­done for ever; and therefore pray I will, and follow God I will, in despite of the Devil: Unto him will I look, and [in such a Case as this] on him will I wait, who giveth the same spirit of zeal, of indignation against sin and self, as sometimes was in holy Samuel, when he hewed Agag in pieces before the Lord in Gilgal. Lord, thou hast [Page 19] commanded me to seek thy face, and thy face will I seek: I wlll not confer with flesh and blood; I will not consult with Car­nal reason; but what God bids me do, that will I do, and do it with all my might.

5ly. Know that if you Conscionably at­tend upon God; he will by degrees make it sweet and easie to you: He will strengthen your heart and hands in your way and work, Is [...]. 40.31. You will find it a sweet and b [...]essed thing to stand Confessing your sins before God, and emptying your heart in his sight, opening all your Complaints and Soul-Concernments to him: You will find it an happiness that you may pray to the God of Heaven, and have any Communion with him. Our wicked hearts make religious duties irksome; else they are in themselves the sweetest things in the World: Oh! if ever we come to know God aright, we shall account it our happiness that we may do any thing, in way of service to him, and Communion with him.

6ly: Salvation is worth all our labour, be it what it will be: Is it a trifle to be saved Eternally? Do we think to get Hea­ven by a good wish? or to go thither in a Feather-bed? No, God will make us [Page 20] strive, and sweat, and wrestle for it; and be sure it will quit the Cost! It will never re­pent us o [...] any Pr [...]yer w [...] have made, or tear w [...] hav [...] wept, when we come there! Oh! follow not the guise o [...] this secure World, that [in these d [...]y [...]] is c [...]st into a dead sl [...]ep: Many pro [...]ess, but [...]w knew what it is to work out their own Salv [...]tion with fear and trembling: It is another m [...]r to be a Chris [...]n ind [...]ed, then [...]st make of it And of th [...]se that are since [...]e and [...]ively, you see but th [...]ir dark-s [...], y [...]u know not what they are in secret: Follow not ex [...]mple, but follow the word of God.

Thus I have given [...]ou the sum of my thoughts, according to my measure and manner. I bese [...]ch you make some use of this poor Letter, and r [...]ad it at such times as may most suit you: You may have many doubts and difficulties that I do not here touch; but s [...]ek God and he will guide you. As for your outward Condition▪ follow on in these things, and your trouble for sin and soul-misery, will swallow up all other troubles; and future Consolations will sweeten all: And whats [...]ev [...]r may happen to you here, yet hereafter it shall be well with you, and in your wearisome pilgrimage it may be for a Consolation to you, that you shall rejoyce in time to come.

[Page 21]Now the tender mercies of God be with you, [Dear —] and the Lord lead you by the hand to his Eternal rest, through all sins and sorrows, to his own Glory, and your everlasting Comfort: So I re­main,

Your unfainedly loving Friend to serve you. J.M.
FINIS.

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