[Page] ΑΝΩΘΕΚΡΥΠΥΑ, OR GLORIOUS MYSTERIES. WHEREIN The grand proceedings betwixt Christ and the Soule: As also the Discoveries, of those his hid­den secrets of Renovation, with the Saints Peregrination, last Mutation, and Glorification, their graces Consum­mation: is clearly laid open to the great supportation, and comfort of all drooping, stooping, and unsetled hearts; by which they may fully see, what they have been, are, and shall be, to their everlasting contentment.

BY S. M. Minister of the Gospel of God.

To the Saints is made knowne, what is the riches of the glory of this Mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of Glory. Col. 1. 27.

Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also Justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. Rom. 8. 30.

LONDON, Printed by Matthew Symmons, in the yeare 1647.

GLORIOUS MYSTERIES.

I CORINTH. 15. 8.‘And last of all, he was seen of me also, as of one borne out of due time.’

CHAP. I. Of the visions of Christ.

DIvine patience hath a large latitude. God can suffer, and suffer long Tardus ad poenam, ad salutem cun­ctis celer est Deus.; would men returne at last un­to an everlasting stay: his com­passions faile not, that's the cause that all consume not: Servants of the 'leventh houre shall have equall pay with those that are of the third, sixt, and ninth: as [Page 2] the first may bee last, so the last shall be first, as Christ ha's said. Resistance against sweetest Ma­jestie, and releeving mercy may be long lasting, yet if it ha's a pe­riod Christ cannot cast off, will in nowise cast out, such as come unto him. A man may be last in the Iohn 6. 37. Regeneration, and yet equall to the first in the apprehension, and participation of Jesus Christ.

Last of all, viz. beyond which time he could proceed no farther against Christ [...] à continendo, & cohibendo id viz. in quo necesse est, ut consistamus ultrà quod pergerenon liceat. Beza. Mat. 19. 30. [...]. : I was not among the first that saw him; that's my griefe; yet see I did, and see I doe, him that's invisible. He that sees least and the last does as truly see, and as freely injoy the Lord Jesus, as he who sees most; apprehended with the first. Despaire then! where art thou? and what ground hast thou to survive in man? Who would despaire of the hope of life, when God's so good to a man so bad as Paul was before Conver­sion?

[Page 3] Presumption! thou mayst not live neither; for though true Repen­tance be never late; yet late Re­pentance is seldome true Poenitentia vera nun­quam sera, at poenitentia sera rarò ve­ra. Aug. : as he once said. Christ spar'd one Thiefe at last, that none should despaire: and but one that none may presume: this digression is for caution to presumptuous spi­rits.

THree things concur to make up a right sight naturall. An Object: a medium (as the aire in­lightned, or some such thing) and a seeing facultie. 'Tis so in all spirituall sight that's right too.

Christians! Consider First, God in his Glorie is the object of your spirituall sight: and know you not, that the more glorious your object is, the more is your sight gladded, so long as 'tis not overwhelmed? for there is a time, when glorious Majestie is an object too strong for the spi­rituall sight. Excellens sensibile de­struit sensum. God is invisible, [Page 4] not because obscure; but for that he's too glorious for mortal sight, put on immortality then, that you may see aright, him in whom you beleeve. But in Heaven, the eye of the soule shall bee inlarg'd and made capatious, suitable, to its glorious object to take in much of God. What say yee? Is't not evident in created light, that the more light the eye has, the better 'tis pleas'd, if the eye it selfe be sound and right? even so 'tis in the things of the Spirit. Will you heare what a soule, restlesse without God, said. 'Tis this, One thing have I desired of Psal. 27. 4. the Lord, that will I seeke after, that I may dwell in his house all the dayes of my life. And why? to behold his beautie: dwell with him; but 'twas that he might see him, still be in his presence, have his eye upon him: He lookes, and likes, elects, and loves, when God sets himselfe in sight. Does not the glorie of God, who is beautie it [Page 5] selfe, comelinesse it selfe, keepe a God-like mans eye upon the object? What can be more allu­ring then the lovelinesse of the loveliest Lord? What can re­joyce the spirituall sight more? Christians! are you not astonish'd with the perfections of this ob­ject, when you looke upon't in earnest? if you be not, 'tis your sinne, and let it cause many thoughts of heart within your se­cret parts. Deare friends! 'tis a sad thing to have so bad an eye, as that so good an object should not be of greatest force to ravish both sight and sense, bringing the whole soule into a glorious rap­ture, in the beholding of such a glorious aspect.

Secondly, spirituall sight hath a medium too; Jesus Christ's that medium: the good God may be seen; but 'tis in, and through a good Christ *. Christ is [...] the very beame, splendour, and brightnes of his Fathers glorie, the expresse [Page 6] Image of his person Heb. 1. 3. Est magna gratia in hac voce. [...], ab [...] & [...] splendorem emitto: propriè est splendor ad res externas resultans ex interna facultate: quemadmodum splendor à sole promanat, Polan. Syntag. Refulgentia qualis so­lis splendor est autem solis: & radiorum ejus splendoris (que) ea­dem natura. Aret. in loc. Effulgentia relucentia Greg. in loc. Significat etiam splendo­rem ab alla luce editum; sic filius est splendor a luce paterna e­ditus: sicut in Symbola legitur lumen de lumine Victorin. Stri­gel. in Nor. Test. superloc. : For Christ proceeds from the Father, as Light, brightnesse, raies, and beames from the Sunne, in the Firmament of Heaven Christus à Patre proce­dit sicut lux, splendor, & radii à Sole. Hyperius in locum.. The Sunnes beames and streames of light are pure: darknes comes not nigh them: so is Christ, who's the brightnesse of the Father. O glori­ous God! thou art the greatest good.

And Christ ha's told you (you seeing Christians!) that he who ha's seen the Sonne, ha's seen the Fa­ther John 14. 7. 9. & cap. 1. 18. Luk. 10. 22. also, and that no man knowes the Father, but the Sonne, and him to whom the Son reveales him. And is not the Father best seen in the Sonne? who dare see the face of [Page 7] Majestie, without a Jesus? no mortall man can see the face of the immortall God, and live: onely God-man, the man Christ Jesus, is found worthy, as Gods equall, to mediate betwixt an of­fended Lord, and offending man. Blessed Messiah! thou art a suta­ble good to thine in this respect. Christ is the medium to this glo­rious object of spirituall sight. Christians! you may have food from Heavens store-houses: but then forget not to bring the Lord's Benjamin with you; for if so, you may not see his face: you may see God, and take him in also into your spirits; but it must be in the name and strength of Je­sus Christ, in whom the Father is reconciling soules to his bles­sed selfe, and then 'tis but aske and receive: seeke, and find: knock, and it shall be opened to you: When you draw neere to God. Onely Christ is the way to life, and to Iter od gra­tiam, est gra­tia. the Father of all such mercies; [Page 8] for he's truth and life it selfe with the Father. Sensible soules! what goe ye out for to see, a reed shaken in the wind? Is there any vision like this, or sight compara­ble to this? what! is there so glo­rious an object, or medium in spi­rituall sight? O [...] the depth of the riches both of the wisdom & knowledg of God! how [...] searchable are his Judg­ments, and his wayes past finding out!

Thirdly, spirituall sight has a light too, a light super-sensuall, super-naturall: Naturall light may give insight into divine im­pressions of wisdome, power, and providence in Creation, pro­tection, and preservation of out­ward things; but can it reach fur­ther? Can naturall light give in­formation in things above na­ture, things of Grace? Can flesh and bloud reveale God and Christ to a wanting soule? Christ saith nay to such a thing. Thou art Christ, said Peter to Jesus: and what was the replie? 'twas this. Bles­sed [Page 9] art thou, and why? for flesh and bloud hath not reveal'd this to thee; but my Father which is in Heaven. 'Tis ablessed part of blisse; that the invisible God, and the invi­sible good is not to be unfolded by natures light: for were it so, what poore discoveries then would nature make of mysteri­ous grace? spirituall things, visi­ons of Christ, are foolishnesse to a naturall heart; nor can a spiri­tuall object be received by it, be­cause 'tis spiritually discerned. Spi­rituall things are to a naturall 1 Cor. 1. 14. heart's sight and sense like mu­sick, in a dead mans eare, which moves him not, affects him not. What good doth hee find in it? what doth he take in of it? Sure­ly nothing. Onely Christ can reveale himselfe in a soule, to that soule. As the Sunne raies reveales its owne lustre, or as fire reveales its owne heat and vigour by giving heat, making hot, things held unto it. Nature may re­veale [Page 10] God as Maker and sustai­ner of things, both above and be­low, but cannot shew you a God, reconciling himselfe to your soules in a Christ. The best advan­ced and inlarged spirit of nature is below this great imployment: Light is not seen but by the light: darknesse cannot discover it: the Light may shine in darknesse, but Ioh. 1. 5. darknesse comprehends it not: so onely grace can discover its own originall, Jesus Christ: onely something of God in man can dis­cover rightly God himselfe un­to man. Without holinesse ther's no sight had of holiest Majestie: Heb. 12. 14. true sight of God and Christ is had onely by the light of his own perfections; and when wee see light it selfe, 'tis by, and in his owne light, as David notes: wee Psa. 36. 9. our selves, alas! see Christ ob­scurely and everie good. We are by nature darknesse it selfe: which thing shewes that the light of spi­rituall sight is super-sensuall. [Page 11] But would you know the parts of this worthy sight, glorious visi­on? then your election's good: these times have made Atheni­ans many, and the great question that now is, is this: friends! what newes have you: but alas for us all! that things of Christ are as things unheard of to so many. Would you see the sights above the world? weel presse after perfection in the principles thus.

1. Right sight of Christ is to see him as he is: when Christ appeares he shall be seen as he is. The most 1 Joh. 3 2. of men see the Lords Christ pro­miscuously, rudely, untowardly: These have no right vision: Christ ha's an inamouring glorie. Chri­stians! Is it so in your eyes? doth his beautie steale away your hearts? have you observ'd him well? is he the fairest of ten thou­sand in your esteeme? doth this lovely Lord delight your spiritu­all sense of seeing? why should [Page 12] it not? Christians are not filled with heare-saies concerning Je­sus Christ, they will ascend to live above means in the use there­of. David had an Absalom, who had no blemish in him from the crowne of the head to the sole of the foot, and that none in Israel was so much to be prais'd, as he, for his beau­tie: but was hee like Christ? If compared to him he's nothing, ha's no comelinesse at all. Belee­vers! can you see Christ as he is? that's your worke, and that's the sight of worth: if you cannot now doe it, ere long yee shall; when yee come into the King­dome of your Father. What though you doe but see in part now, because Messiah's but in part re­veal'd? It doth not here appeare what Saints shall bee, or what Christ is, and will be unto them hereafter. Glorie must reveale what grace cannot. Little chil­dren! mind these thiags, see him as he is, see his glorie, behold [Page 13] that. A child of God will beseech his Father to shew him his glory Exod. 33.18. So John speaking of Christ saith, wee beheld his glory. [...] Verbum non simplieitèr videre signifi­cat sed spectare, i. c. diligentèr & fixè intueri aliquid seu novum & admirandum spectaculum Iansen in Concord. Evang. Spectavimus seu novum & admirandum spectaculum Eras. [...] est cum admiratione & stupore in ueti Beza in oecumen. Quasi in theatro diligentèr, perspicaè, hilariter, cum dijudicatione & dilectatione. Lo [...]i [...]. saw it intentively, visibly. Christ's Glory is a Christians Crowne, and his owne glotie sha'd serve Christ: veile to Christ's glorie, as the Angels cover their faces, viz. their glorie in the presence of his: much glorie gives much light; 'tis light in darknesse, life in death, and joy in heavinesse. When he shewes you his glorie 'twill transport you, as Peter in the transfiguration: 'twill force you to say, 'tis good to be there where glorie is resplendent: 'twill cause you to crie out; let us make this our mansion, pitch our tents here. Oblessed Diety! humani­tie [Page 14] is best lodg'd, when most lost in this matchlesse glorie.

Secondly, right sight of Christ is experimentall. To see Christ for a mans owne selfe, and soule, with a mans owne eyes (as Job speakes) and not another. Hearing Iob 19.26, 27. of Christ by the eare serves not Saints turnes: a heartie feeling of his inward workings is that a Christ-knowing Christian seeks most after. Some are all for heads fulnesse; but a right spectatour of Christ covets hearts fulnesse of Christs holy presence; hear­ty motions towards Christ, by Christs power, savour more with savorie Christians then headie notions of Christ among acutest wits. To discourse of Christ is sweet and good; but to seed on Christ is much better. Christi­ans! doe you feed and eat hearti­ly of this bread of God? Is it good to you? do's it doe good in you? answer for your selves, you worthies of the world to [Page 15] come! Can you say, I behold the Lamb of God that takes away my sinnes, as well as the sinnes of o­thers, that come to the Father by him? Can you say with Job: be's my Redeemer: with Mary, my God, Lord, and Saviour: my Me­diatour, my Intercessour, and Peace-maker? now blessed are you then; and the eyes that see the things that you see Lu. 10. 22, 23.. You are bles­sed with Christ's owne sweetest lips. Who then can curse when Christ do's blesse? Care not then for the worst of foes; but be strong in the Lord thy strength and thy redeemer.

Now, to insix this principle on your spirits, note these things. Experience hath a teaching and teachable vertue in it, 'tis the best teacher, as our Proverb runs. For

First, it strengthens memorie, can put on, record all, the brea­things, movings, and workings of Christ towards a Christian's [Page 16] soule. 'Tis called by Philoso­phers Multiplex memoria, 'tis remembrance upon remem­brance, mercies flowing into the mind of beleevers: experience is the matter of multitudes of thoughts Psal. 94. 19. : It makes the thoughts of God many in the minds of the good.

Secondly, it strengthens affe­ction; too one, that hath a heartie tast of the Lord Psal. 34. 8. Christ from ex­perience; ha's a heartie love to him: Will you heare the voice of experience? 'tis this. O taste and see how good the Lord is? such a one's well affected, and af­fecting also all that follow Christ: the warmth, Spirit and life of such his kind of speaking; is found verie taking in the hearts of sound Disciples, and doth disco­ver whence 'tis, whether 'twould, and to what it tends.

Thirdly, it rectifies the judge­ment. One that ha's had a through, inward, sensible, and invisible, [Page 17] pledge of Jesus Christ, his dear­est love and nearest communion with his owne soule: that man or woman hath right thoughts of Christ, and his owne estate al­so; for the thoughts of the righte­ous are right Prov. 12.5.. And hence, and onely hence, 'tis that he speak's right words of Christ? Job's friends had not Jobs experience, were not so much acquainted with God, and the nature of his dealings with himselfe, and his: and what followes? God saith they spake not right things of him as did his servant Job Job 42. 7.. All other sorts of sayings of men, concer­ning Christ, are the speakings out of a mans selfe more than God.

Fourthly, it strengthens the will to elect Christ and Christ's things. One that hath drawne water out of this well of Salvati­on with the well's owne bucket, and ha's drunck a hearty draught of the water of life; his will, to [Page 18] speake out Christ, and his good­nesse, goes beyond his power. And sad he is with Paul, that hee cannot doe the good hee would. I speake of one that hath drawne good from Christ with Christ's owne abilities; ha's received him in his owne manner; suffer'd him to abide in him according to his owne order. And now marke well the evill of the contrary state: by what a man ha's when he wants experience.

First, 'twill be but a borrowed light, sight, and apprehension that you'l be proved to have used; and the evill of that's very great: in these respects. First, 'twill be your sinne: for you are bound to use and improve your owne talents, not to build upon another's foundation *: a snare, which (to Rom. 15. 20. the Apostles comfort) hee did escape. Secondly, 'twill be your shame: you account it a dis­grace, and are ashamed to be seen on this day in borrowed gar­ments: [Page 19] but 'twill be greater cause of shame at the last day, to be found cloath'd with no better perfections, then the borrowed parts, and acquired arts of o­thers: to have no knowledge of Christ but what is traditionall: taken in from creatures like your selves. What a great shame and unspeakable blushing will it cause in you then; when you shall bee strip't of all your bor­rowed garments, and shall seeme as you are there; who would not be as you seem'd here? Thirdly, 'twill bee your Judgement: you Mat. 25. 24. 31. shall be judg'd for not using your owne gifts, and that in a right manner. Wee have a true Pro­verb, every man shall answer for his owne sinnes, and 'tis as true, that every man shall answer for not using his owne graces: Every one shall give account of himselfe to God *, saith the Scriptures: of Rom. 14. 12. himselfe and his owne experi­ences in the Kingdome of grace. [Page 20] Fourthly, 'twill be your losse, you have no more then you use, and so: use 'tis even so with us all: we enjoy no more then wee doe experimentally imploy. What good wilt be to me to discourse plausibly of a rich mans treasure, when the meanesse of my being, & course of living, plainly speaks 'tis none of my owne? and what good will all thy parts and por­tion doe thee, when thou shalt die of this disease, non-experi­mentall acquaintance with Christ? who will know you then as little as you know him. The losse will be of these things. First, losse of time: time might be better spent relating to a mans owne benefit, and respecting that. Secondly, losse of labour: the Apostle was what hee was by the grace of God which was in him, and tells you that grace was not given him in 1 Cor. 15. 10. vaine [...] 'T was not made voyd., 'twas not lost labour. May we not truly say of experi­mentall sight of Christ, as Job did [Page 21] to his friends of speaking out the truth. O! how forcible are right Iob. 6. 25. words? and we say too, O! how forcible is a right sight of Christ.

Thirdly, to see Christ, is to see Christ as a man is seen of Christ, and for the same reason, to the same end: 'tis to know as you are knowne, and to apprehend that, for which also you are apprehended of Phil. 3. 12. Christ Jesus Or rather [...]. If I may com­prehend that, for which I am comprehended..

First, Christ sees all the tur­nings, and windings, and secrets of his peoples hearts: all the first rises, motions, and conceptions of things within their secret parts. There's nothing in his, hid from him, so shall Christians see and know Christ one day▪ and that for ever: see all he is and ha's: what thoughts hee ha's had of them from the beginning: what a world of love ha's been, and is stor'd up in his blessed brest for them: they shall see the perfecti­on of all his mercies and com­passions towards them: and in the [Page 22] Sonne you shall see the Father, and how little cause you have had in this world, to say will God be mercifull no more: ha's he forgotten to be gracious; ha's he shut up his loving kindnesse in displeasure? how little reason can bee render'd for such despaire: there's no­thing in God and Christ, that's communicable to the creature which shall bee hid from thee; thou precious child of a preci­ous Father! thou shalt know as thou art knowne: this is to see Christ cleerely: this is a glori­ous vision; but 'tis not had till you have entered the heavenly Canaan.

Secondly, Christ lookes on a poore Soule that he may fall in love with it. Christians! how doe you serve Christ? doe you set your eyes, hearts, and hands on Jesus Christ that you may shew your love to him, lay fast hold on him, and with Jacob not let him stirre from you, till hee [Page 23] ha's blessed you with right-hand favours?

How stands your hearts to­wards Christ? Are you well af­fected towards him? do's look­ing breed liking, and liking long­ing in your brests, and spirits af­ter much of him? Let me tell you, if your sight be right which you have of him, 'twill serve you so; the more you see him, the better you like, and long for his societie.

And now, distressed soules! whom sinne and the Serpent ha's stung, behold a Jesus, looke up to the author of grace and heal­ing: what! will you die in your sinnes, and be damned for ever, rather then that the Lord Christ should worke his will upon you, pluck your sins from you, which are as your right hands and eyes unto you? are you good at bur­ning? have mercie on your selves and precious soules, and mind these things For [...].

[Page 24] First, all heires of everlasting life longed to see Christ before their deaths, and had their de­sires. What made old Simeon desire to depart this world in peace but this? He had seen Christ as well by faith as sense. What put Paul into his two great straights, a loathnesse to die, and a loathnesse to live: a desire to die, and a desire not to die: but this? Hee had seen much of Christ. Me thinkes I should heare you say of Christ, as Jacob of his Joseph, 'tis enough my sonne's yet a­live, Gon. 45. ult. I'le goe and see him before I die. Seekers of Christ! what thoughts have you? what words fall from you concerning this thing? your Saviour's alive, will live for ever▪ and doe not you long to see him before you die? If not, your graves will be Sepulchres both to you and your comforts, and you'l lie downe in sorrow. And, pro­phane soules! Let me tell you from the Lord, 'tis a miserable [Page 25] thing to see death before you have seen Jesus Christ. To die Christlesse is to die a Godlesse, gracelesse, and heaven lesse wretch: to make a worse end than bruits. Unsanctified soules! where is the sounding of your owne bowells for your owne welfare? do's not thy heart quake, and all thy parts shake to thinke of the slighting of a Jesus, and of tram­pling under foot his most precious bloud? It had been better for thee thou hadst ne'r had being then not to have a well being in the Lord Christ.

Will you heare the language of a Christlesse man at the Judge­ment-day? 'tis this: Mountaines and rocks fall upon me, and hide me from the face of him that sits upon the Throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. All such mens Joyes have a mar-mirth with them: when such an one dies, all dies with him: his sinne being excep­ted, which shall ever live in the [Page 26] memorie of the Lord of Hosts, and give life to the parties owne miserie.

Secondly, your necessitie call's for it Ingens te­lum n [...]cessi­tas. Liv. O quantum cogit egestas!: you must mind him, for you want him: necessitie is made a cause of minding somethings: Christ tells of some that would not sup with him, would not come at him; and what thinke yee was the cause? one had pur­chased ground, and he must see to it; Another had bought cattell and hee Lu. 14, 18, 20. must prove them: A third had mar­ried a wife, and hee could not come, would be excused: for necessi­tie made them all doe it. Alas poore soules! is it a fault to own a Christ, accept of a Jesus, a Savi­our? Is it an offence in your esteeme so to doe, that ye would be excused for it? Or is it a bur­then that you beg to bee excused from it? the Lord lay no other burthen on my owne soule, then Jesus Christ his yoake, and fel­lowship with my spirit. But who [Page 27] can read, without remorse of heart, and moistned eyes, the re­turne that Christ made to those unworthie persons, and their un­worthie sayings? Not one of them Ver. 24. shall taste of my Supper. Tender hearts! do'st not trouble you to see faithlesse men so much their owne foes, as not to taste of Christ's Supper? And, incorri­gible sinners! Doe you know and feele the weight of this censure, sentence? 'tis not to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God: 'tis not to have the least mouthfull of hidden Manna: not to have any thing to doe with the bread of God, and food of soules; 'tis to have all wants and no supplies to be wretched, poore, blind, and naked; and yet not in the way to receive one mercie. See you not what 'tis then to supply the wants of an outward man, by increasing the wants of an inward?

Does necessitie cause an aboun­ding [Page 28] man to have a worldly mind? ô! what necessities, like those of the soule? what wants are more piercing, distressing, and vexing, then inward wants? I tell thee no mortall wants ought so much as immortallitie: you have need of him for Wisdome, righteous­nesse, Sanctification, and Redempti­on that in all your services hee may pray in you, pray and plead for you to your heavenly Father; worke in you, and worke for you his owne blessed will and worke, and to present you, and what's yours, blamelesse before his Fa­thers presence in life, death, and at the Judgement day. Consi­der! Doe not stormes drive men into a harbour? and doe not Warres constraine men into strong Castles and holds? oh then! Let wants drive thee unto a Christ, and let him drowne thy selfe in himselfe, who's the ocean of supplies.

Thirdly, a right sight of Christ [Page 29] gives a right sight of selfe, and selfes estate; men ne'r see them­selves so well, as when they most see Jesus Christ. Christians! You may see in Christ what you have been, are, and shall be. What you have been.

First, what excellent creatures yee were, when yee stood in your first Parents: how exquisite that righteousnesse, and holinesse was, in which you were first made, af­ter the Lords owne likenesse: but you have lost it, and there­fore also the sight on't, such as it then was; but you may, behol­ding Christ againe, find it in him: as a second Adam hee ha's done, do's, and ever will keepe his inte­gritie, station, and perfection, without any the least alteration: you may see in him what glorious ones you were, before yee were cast out of an earthly Paradise. This is the mysterie, yee shall know by him, what you were be­fore you were, what a blessed [Page 30] estate standing man was in, what an excellent nature he had before it was lost, how well hee might have lived, and all his posteritie, had hee not sinn'd with outward senses, and stain'd his inward soule: hee sinn'd with his senses by hearing with his eares, the praises of the fruit, beholding it with his eyes, touching with his hand, and tasting with his palate. Thus sinne, entring by his senses, got into the world, and death by sinne; himselfe being made sen­suall, with all his posteritie by that act.

Secondly, what you are,

First, by degeneration: how much unlike what you once were. When you see his holinesse, doe not you see your owne unholi­nesse? when you see his puritie and passing Sanctitie, doe not you by meanes of that see your owne impuritie and surpassing depravi­tie? Will you heare what a God-beholding man said once, [Page 31] 'twas this: Woe is mee, for I am un­done, because I am a man of uncle an lips, and I dwell in the mids of a people of uncleane lips, for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. 'Twas his trouble (and hee gives the reason;) that his lips were not cleaner, like the Lords, and that his societie was so un­cleane, that it did unfit him for communion with the highest God and King: it pierced his honest heart that he had no grea­ter a part of the Lords holy na­ture in him. Christians! When you see the Lords lowlinesse, doe not you see your owne loftinesse? When you see Christs humility, doe not you see your owne pride? When you see his clemencie, cannot you then see your owne naturall crueltie to your selves and others? so also by the light of his patience, you may see your owne passion: by his kindnesse to you, your own unkindnesse to him, by all his faithfullnes, your [Page 32] own unfaithfulnes, & by his fruit­fulnes in good, your own barrēu [...]s?

Secondly, by restauration: what a vast difference is betwixt grace and the best refined nature? Moreover, there's now a more firme union betwixt thy soule and God, then was betwixt God and man at that time: for had the union then been as strong as now, Adam had ne'r lost himselfe, and his by sinne: the onenesse that's betwixt God and his people is such, that they can never any more be parted and taken asunder: besides all this; Adam was left to himselfe, and to his own will: to choose whether he would stand or fall: But now Christians are not left to themselves, and cannot have their will; God will never leave them, nor forsake them, and they shall ne'r fall more so to indanger themselves and soules, as he then did: for God is both able and willing to make them stand. Is not this to see your [Page 33] selves truely, and fully, and what­soe're you are, uprightly, and what you are not in such a man­ner; surely no vision is like this, no sight like this.

Thirdly, what you shall bee. It do's not here appeare what you shall be; but in Christ, and where Christ is, you may plainelie, clear­ly, and throughly be resolved of that: for when you see him even as he is, so shall you your selves be: Christ breathes out sweetlie this selfe same thing: Father! I will that those whom thou hast gi­ven Iohn 17. 24. me be with me where I am, that they may behold my glorie. Christ's glorie is transforming: he'l have you with him, that you may be­hold him: and what's the issue? 'tis this: you'l be changed into the same glorie, you cannot escape it, there you, with open face, as in a glasse beholding the glorie of 2 Cor. 3. 18. the Lord, are changed into the same Image from glorie to glorie, and that of the Lord the Spirit [...]. Can a [Page 34] representation of his glorie, by a medium, transforme so sweetlie? Ha's glorie such a power? Oh then! what will it doe, when wee shall behold it without meanes, more clearelie then a glasse can represent it?

Fourthlie, all right sight of Christ ha's in it a sustaining na­ture, a heart-releeving vertue, a soule-reviving abilitie: things of Heaven are all supporting, much more Christ himselfe, whose pre­sence is the Heaven above, as he's God equall to the Father: doe you want an experiment of this also? the Apostle gives you one, 2 Cor. 4. 17, 18. when he tells you that, Christ and all his obedience is & was for your sakes; adding that for this cause wee faint not in the perishing estate of the outward man, whil'st the in­ward is renewed day by day, whilest light affections worke us unto, fit [...] us for [...], massie glorie; and all this, when wee looke not at things which are seen; but at things [Page 35] which are not seen. When the in­visible soule's lost in her unseen Saviour, shee's safe and takes her rest; for the Lord makes her dwell in safety.

Christ's souldiers! pray tell me, what seen power and might sustained you in all your spiritu­all warefare that you have had? I can tell you none at all; for when you were in the field against sinne, Satan, the world, and selfe, had you not all the Lords owne armour on? The helmet of Salva­tion, brest plate of righteousnesse, Eph. 6. 13. to 18. the girdle of truth, with the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, and above all the sheild of Faith, whereby you were able to quench all fierie darts shot and darted at you, your soules and peace: and, when you were smit­ten, did not Christ stand by you, with you, and in you? Did not he teach your hands to warre, and singers to sight, as David speakes? had not he your hand in his, and [Page 36] caused you to give some mortall wounds, kill that which would have kill'd you your selves, soules and all: which being gone, all was gone with you. Who stood by Joshua when he called on God, and Satan stood at his right hand to resist him? was't not the Angel of the Covenant, Jesus Christ? Zech. 3. who, when the Tempter accused him for standing before the Lord in filthy garments, did excuse him, remove his rags, and give him robes? and does not Christ stand everie Christian in the like stead? Sure I am, if ever you did over­come, and were not foiled in the Lords fights and fields, 'twas thus with you. O how precious, and how cordiall are the thoughts of these things! the number where­of no end yee know. Who then that's wise desires not to see Christ, and himselfe in Christ, before hee behold his last, great­est and approaching change and dissolution? 'Tis a blessed thing [Page 37] to be able to graspe Christ and death in the armes at once, at one and the same time, and is't not an everlasting curse to die Christlesse? Search the Scriptures, and you'l find it so.

Finally, let the Lord perswade Ʋse. you to bee endeared to Jesus Christ; ever set him in your sight, looke up to him, who looks downe towards you; for he's the Author and finisher of your graces: would you know the use­fulnesse, of such right apprensi­ons of Christ, then consider these things sincerelie.

First, 'twill increase inward Joy. Have you a mind to be merrie? be much in this, and 'twill make you right glad: other mirth may end in mourning; but this can­not, this makes the spirit rejoyce in God its Saviour, (as she said) there are many Joy-makers, as friends, estates, the treasures and pleasures of this life; the Scrip­tures tell you of a joy of harvest, [Page 38] and a Joy of heart; a Joy of harvest is verie great, but this brings joy Isa. 9. 3. 65. 14. of heart, both great and good, a cordiall Joy. Precious soules! sow precious seed weeping; but a precious Christ being the fruit, they reap their crop singing: some sow in teares, weeping, mour­ning, sighing, roaring, & wailing after this dearest Lord, and Je­sus; but when they find him, themselves are found to reape in joy: Righteous ones! what though as the Spouse you have gone a­bout Cant. 3. seeking him, whom your soules love, even earlie and late, by night, as well as day, and have long de­sir'd societie with him, yet have not found him, and your selves in him? Consider, he seekes as well as you, ha's lost as well as you: besides, when hee finds you, and you him, you'l hold him fast; and so good is he, you'l not let him goe; Christ told the Jewes that Abra­ham rejoyced to see his day, did see it, and was glad. And sensuall world­lings Ioh. 8. 56.! [Page 39] what e're you deeme of such a favour, it skills not, sure I am, that a right sight of Christ, will make a right-sighted Chri­stian glad at heart; nothing do's him so much good as this: small things cause laughter in the face, when the heart's a stranger to the Joy; but this, as 'tis the nature of great things, will make the heart glad, even then when the face of a man, and face of times is verie sad: the comforts arising hence are meat for Saints to eat, which the world knowes not of: and now a word to you that would glorie in something, what can be your glorie? which shall not bee your shame, besides the knowledge of Jesus Christ?

God ha's said. The wise man may not glorie in his wisdome; nei­ther Isa. 9. 23, 24. Jer. 9.23, 24. the mighty man in his might, nor yet the rich man in his riches. Why? who shall glorie then? and in what shall men glorie? if not in such desireable things; well Je­hovah [Page 40] hath said, Let him that glo­rieth, glorie in this, that he under­standeth, and knoweth mee, that I am the Lord, which exercise loving-kindnesse, Judgement, and Righ­teousnesse on the Earth: for in these things I delight. God ha's shew'd you what to glorie in, gracious spirits! 'tis in your acquaintance with him: when you know, and understand him aright; see him as he is; viz. full of loving-kind­nesse, Judgement, and Righteous­nesse, one that acts as he is: 'tis his delight to doe such things? Beleevers! are you like him, by looking upon him? are you chan­ged in this respect? Marke well, what it is you glorie, delight, and take pleasure in.

Secondly, 'twill strengthen pa­tience under the crosse and cha­stizement for Christ: doe you suffer from the hands of unreaso­nable men? and would you be aven­ged of them, as of your enemies? looking up to Christ you'l find▪ [Page 41] he's not yet aveng'd of his ene­mies: do's God suffer, & shall not man? does the head endure the contradiction of sinners against him­selfe? and can the members think to be free? Is't not all reason in the world, that head and mem­bers, should bee fellow-sharers, in the sufferings of the whole bo­die mysticall? who dare denie it? 'twas a sweet saying of a faith­full witnesse to the truth of Je­sus, who seem'd to faint, under his great triall; and being offer'd a cup of spirits, to sustaine him, replied thus; My Lord, and Ma­ster had gall, and vinegar given him: as if he had been astonied, to see himselfe fare better then Christ: and indeed, experienc'd Christians! when you thinke in sufferings you are served ill, you should consider, sweet Christ was not served so well: that will still your murmurings; for can you suffer as much as hee ha's done? I tell you nay: yet far­ther [Page 42] do's the event or end of things, bring cares upon you? why! James commands you by the Spirit, to behold, and see the end Iames 5. 11. of the Lord. You may thinke your troubles will end ill, have an evill end; but God can put a good end to ill beginnings: as some things may be sweet to the taste, yet bit­ter in the bellie; so other things may be unsavorie, in the first con­coction, which may be better in, and by the second; though in things naturall, or corporall it is not so, as Physitians have said.

CHAP. II. Of right Regeneration.

FAlne man's rising is graduall, first, by Grace, and next by Glo­rie: by man came the maladie, and by man also comes the re­medie: a fruit lesse first birth may be repair'd by a second: by Adam sinne entered, and reigned unto [Page 43] death, and by Adam grace ente­red, reigning unto life, ('tis the second Adam that now I meane) Grace can make up, what nature ha's lost; amend what nature hath done amisse: First, birth's privi­ledge is nothing: Second, birth's priviledge is all things, all in all, referring to felicitie: Regene­ration antecedes Glorificati­on: He that's borne but once dies twice; but he that's borne twise shall not taste of the second death.

First-births are an Embleme of the second; ther's a certaine like­nesse betwixt them both: we'l give you a hint of the whole thus.

FIrst, naturall births bring suf­ferings, both on the bearer, and on that which is born: the mother ha's her pangs and thro's, and the child's in straites too, till it's brought from the womb, into the world: spirituall births bring suf­ferings also, the Spirit that brings forth is a sufferer too, as well as [Page 44] doer, it being quenched. Spiritu­all Christians! you can tell, that you have often quenched the holy Spirit, even in all its motions, strivings, and contestations, with­in you. Have not you when the Spirit ha's diswaded from evili, and perswaded to good, negle­cted its sweetest motions? how seldome have you moved with the Spirit, against the flesh, and for the Lord? aske your hearts this question, obedient sonnes of God: where, almost, is that man, or woman, that's kind to the Spi­rit? gives it good entertain­ment? Ah Lord! thy Spirit meets with hardest measure, from our flesh: and is't not grieved, vexed, and resisted also? if men goe one step further, which is to despight it; they have done their worst against it, and their owne soules also. These are the steps which reach to Hell. Take heed you tread not the first of them, quench not the Spirit. 'Tis a verie [Page 45] sad thing, to sinne so fowly, that if a man sinne's but one sinne more, he fall's finallie: next to resisting, comes despighting, and then how can you bee renewed by Repentauce? Is not this to ven­ture the losse of a precious soule desperatelie? and to be unkind to the Spirit immenslie? than which what is more dismall? the Spirit suffers, being quenched.

And then the flesh, that suf­fers being crossed, in all its cor­ruptions: In the second birth, right Regeneration, all who are Christ's, have their flesh crucified; Gal. 5. 4. with the affections, passions, and lusts, proud flesh is beaten downe, and Christ's humble Spirit set on high: in such a soule, love to sinne, is the life of sinnne; if you loath it 'twill die: hatred unto it is a wounding of it, who knowes not this, that knowes Jesus Christ? and hates sinne, as 'tis hatefull, and makes hatefull? sinne is, or should be to Saints [Page 46] more hatefull then all things, and to creatures most hurtfull. When nothing else is hatefull, or can make so in the sight of God: Will you mind what one borne of God ha's said? 'twas this, I hate the evill I doe. Love of sinne must die, when love of Christ will live, and be lively: lustings after sinne are lessened too; if not whollie mortified: one of the Lords births, though he sinne, yet he hungers not after it, doe's not thirst to commit it, ha's but listlesse desires towards it, and troubl'd he is, that he doth at all desire such an undesirable thing; hee would faine be, and doe, bet­ter then hee is, and does, though his flesh be crossed, and himselfe, made to suffer.

Secondly, in naturall birth's, the bearers bowells yerne towards the babe i'th birth, least it should prove abortive; right glad's the parent, to see the child live, and doe well: her saying's like his, [Page 47] is my sonne safe? deale gently with 2 Sam. 18.32. & 5. him for my sake. In spiritual births, the bearers bowells yerne too: the Lords bowells worke to­wards babes in Christ, least they should miscarrie; and loath is hee that poore soules should pe­rish, die in sinne and be damned. Hence those sayings, how shall I give thee up? how shall I doe this? or that against thee? God would rather bring up, then give up, or cast out any soule: will you marke his saying in sacred writ? 'tis this, I desire not the death of sin­ners: I had rather they would re­pent, and live, turne you, turne you, Ier. 31. 20. why will you die? Is Ephraim my deare sonne? is he a pleasant child? for since I spake unto him, I doe ear­nestlie remember him still; therefore my bowells are troubled, & doe sound for him, I will surely have mercie upon him.

O! how glad is God when men doe prove good, live the life of Christ, and prove godlie Christians:

[Page 48] Thirdly, before the naturall birth, the babe in the wombe re­ceives not nourishment in an or­dinarie way, but in an extraordi­narie manner, not by the mouth, but at the navell, is cherisht invi­sibly: yet cherish'd it is, and doe's well: In spirituall births, babes in Christ are fed too, but 'tis my­steriouslie, not in an ordinarie way, the ordinarie way is pray­ing, reading, hearing, pondering, and conferring of the good things of God: but before this babe spirituall can tell how to use his mouth, how to improve this or­dinarie meanes of life so, as to take in nourishment by it; God by some extraordinarie way, breakes invisiblie and sweetlie upon the soule, and gives it a taste of his soule-ravishing Joyes, inwardly, secretlie. And yet, al­though he ha's it, hee cannot tell you how he came by it, how hee tooke it in; so strangely was hee ravish'd: he feels much, but can [Page 49] speake out little of the Lords goodnesse to his owne soule; for is't not the nature of such things to cause joy in the heart more than in the countenance, when other things are wont to make onely outwardly cheerfull? The wind bloweth where it list's, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it comes, nor whether it goes: so is everie one that's borne of the Spirit. Is not the way of the Lord with a soule, like the way of an Eagle in the aire, the way of a Ser­pent on the rock, neither of which you are able to track? the way of a ship in the midst of the Sea, which you cannot find out? so hidden and mysterious are his workings. Saints live the life of their Saviour in­visiblie, not by bread onely.

Fourthly, before naturall birth's, babes in the wombe void not excrements: tis the same in this case: before that a man's borne againe, comes out of the wombe of sinne, death, and Hell. [Page 50] Though he have the most refined nature, yet voids hee not excre­mentall sinnes, filthie, defiled, and defiling garments: he pre­ferres rags before robes, that's his follie; Experience! speake thou, is't not true? Let the dis­pencers of the Lords sacred my­steries crie out, and crie on, ne'r so oft, if you live in your sinnes, you shall die, die the death of Devills themselves, yet you'l ne­ver part with your excrimentall sinnes, till you are come through the straights, and felt the pangs of the new birth. O! that men were wise and would consider this thing, wisely, and well: who would not long to be borne againe, to have a new nature, and name; and be made like to Christ?

Fifthly, in naturall birth's, Homo epito­me mundi va­giens nasci­tur. babes are borne crying, as the Philosopher notes. In spirituall birth's, babes of Christ are borne crying too: Grace in a Christi­an will doe like grace, lead him [Page 51] to the Throne of grace, and ac­quaint him with the God of Grace, through Jesus Christ: while he's living he's crying, and praying to the living God, and well-spring of everie good. Chri­stians! when you were first chan­ged, had your eyes first opened, did you not, as well as now you doe, hunger after Christ's Com­munion? was it not verie sweet unto you, when in all your wants you were carried out unto the God of supplies? and was't not a great ease to your spirits, when you could, and did poure out your soules before him? Babes of Christ! when borne, doe ec­cho to their Father, crie for crie. When Christ cries out Saul, Saul, the answer is, who art thou ô Lord? and what wouldest thou have me to doe? then Saul of Tar­sus Acts 9. must be sent to; for behold hee prayes, saith Jesus: he prayes. God saith to his child, seeke my face, and the child's heart answers, thy [Page 52] face Lord will I seeke, ther's like for like. Saints love to retaliate with their God: would you heare the heartie crie of a heartie Chri­stian? 'tis this. As the hart panteth after the water brookes, so panteth my soule after thee oh God! my soule thirsteth for God, for the living God; Psa. 42. 12. when shall I come, and appeare be­fore God? the sweetest presence of sweetest Majestie is refresh­ing, that, babes of Christ doe know full well.

Sixthly, a babe of the naturall birth, in the day of its nativitie, is a poore, polluted, helplesse, and shiftlesse creature, ha's no­thing but what's given it, nor ha's it a power to deserve any thing. 'Tis an object of loathing to ma­ny: but is not an object of love almost to any, and 'tis shiftlesse, it may lie and sit still, as in the open field, to the loathing of its person; but cannot stirre head, hand, or foot, to help it selfe, to releeve it selfe. So in the Spiri­tuall, [Page 53] do's not God, when hee comes in, to change men, find them in their bloud, polluted, with a navell uncut, unwashed, not salted, unswadled, not pitied, and much loathed? and who can shew mercie to such, if God did not? did not God cast his skirt over such, how naked would they be and appeare? Eze. 16.4, 5, 6.

7. A child of the naturall birth, being brought forth, by an in­stinct of nature lives lingring after the mothers brests: so in the spirituall, the new-borne child lives hungring after the brest's of Christ's consolations, and that by an instinct of grace; were there no meanes to stirre up, no reward to accrue, yet babes of Christ could doe no o­ther but long after the sincere milke of Gods word, as new borne babes, that they may grow there­by. The purest word and freest 1 Pet. 2. 2. from mixture is that, they most covet. Christians! what are your [Page 54] desires? and how strong are they this way? you see what some by an instinct of grace can doe: be you wise in heart then, prove your selves, and tell me: is this your worke?

Eightly, a new-borne babe, sucking, is satisfied with sincere milke, and that alone, when no­thing else can please it, satisfie, or appease it's crying-out loud: so in the spirituall, when a poore soule ha's rang'd the world through for delights and fulnesse, ha's tryed all wayes and meanes to quiet it selfe; at last it sits downe, finding no rest in the crea­tures, and resolves, the Lord shall be its resting place, and when it wants the comforts of this life, yea, sometimes even bread for his hungrie stomack, it can goe to his Fathers house and home, and there find bread enough, e­ven the bread of God: can bee content with the brests of Christ▪ when, if you give it all the world, [Page 55] you cannot still it, fill it; for its wanting still: but at the brest it can suck, and bee delighted with the abundance of that glorie, as the Prophet speakes. Oh sweet Isa. 56. 10, 11. God! how good art thou? and how much good do'st thou to the soules of men?

And now let all seeke after this Ʋse. as after hidden treasures. viz. to be borne againe. God do's you a greater favour, when hee makes you live the life of Christ, than The life of grace is farre beyond the life of nature. when he causes you to live the life of man. 'Tis a more blessed thing by innumerable degrees to be borne twice than once; for the one can but give you ente­rance into an earthlie Canaan at the best, which do's not alwayes doe so well, the other gives you enterance into an heavenly one, which birth never do's amisse to any. Who, that's wise, will then boast of his naturall birth, when hee ha's ne'r come under the power of the spirituall, ne'r felt [Page 56] it's pangs, nor been partaker of it's priviledges? Carelesse soules! doe you want a spurre to this purpose? consider! as there is a paritie betwixt them, so there is a disparitie in respect of the ex­cellencie of the one above the other.

For first the natural is by carnall copulation, and is a fleshlie Ge­neration; the first man is of the earth, earthie: and how can hee bee cleane, 1 Cor. 15. 47. that's borne of a woman? as Job ha's said. But the spirituall is by a spi­rituall Job 25. 4. union and communion of God and Christ with the soule of man, and is a spirituall Rege­neration: he that will enter the Kingdome of God must be borne a­gaine of the Spirit: said Christ: and that which is so borne is spi­rit, as that which is borne of the flesh is flesh. The second man is the Lord from Heaven. Doe not you see then, the last is more noble then the first, and that the spiri­tuall excells? who, considering [Page 57] this, desires not to bee borne a­gain? 2. The seed of the naturall is corruptible, mortall, may pe­rish and die; but that of the spi­rituall is incorruptible, immor­tall, remaines for ever. Yee are borne againe, (saith the Scripture) 1 Pet. 1. 23. not of corruptible seed; but of in­corruptible, by the word of God, which lives and abides for ever. He that is borne of God sinneth not, that is, not unto death, and why? marke that; for the seed of God re­maines in him: the seed that's in 1 Joh. 3. 9. him is of an immortall nature.

3. In the naturall the conception is sinfull: David tells his God that hee was shapen in iniquitie, and in sinne did his mother conceive him: and may wee not all trulie say to each other, as the Phari­sies to the blind man, thou art al­together borne in sinne. I am alto­gether borne in sinne, shapen in sinne; ô vaine man! why boasts thou so much of thy noble birth, who know est nothing of thy Re­generation? [Page 58] But the spirituall is a holy conception of the grace and goodnesse of a good and gracious God: a gracious spirit can tell you he is what hee is by the grace of God that is in him. Are not 1 Cor. 15. 10. all the conceptions of Gods Spirit in the soule like him­selfe; verie holy, verie spirituall, verie heavenly? what concepti­ons like them, or to be compared with them? Surely none. In the naturall, birth men are borne bru­tish: vaine man would be wise; but he is borne like a wild asses colt. Men by nature are cruell, crosse, Iob 11, 12. perverse, unteachable, hard to be intreated: but by grace, holy, heavenlie, harmelesse.

4. In the naturall, babes are born to griefe, sorrow, and trouble. Although afflictions come not forth of the dust, neither doth trouble spring out of the ground, yet man is borne to trouble, as the sparkles flie upward. 'Tis naturall for a man to know sorrow. But in the spi­rituall, [Page 59] he's borne to peace, Joy, and quietnesse. When a man's begotten againe, he's begotten to a 1 Pet. 1. 3, 4. lively hope, to an inheritance uncor­ruptible, and undefil'd, that fades not away, reserv'd in Heaven for him. And are not the fruits, or births of the Spirit, Love, Joy, Peace, Goodnesse, Faith, and the like? By the naturall birth you are brought forth into a trouble­some, irkesome world; but by the spirituall out of troubles in­to peace. In the world babes of Christ shall have trouble; but in him they shal have peace which passeth Ioh. 16. understanding. Now tell me, you wise virgins! whether Martha, or Mary ha's chosen the better part? Whether Heavens quietnesse bee not better then earth's cum­brances? whether interest in Christ, and by that, a right title to the creatures bee not better, then a portion in the creatures by usurpation without Jesus Christ? By the spirituall birth privi­ledge [Page 60] you inherit all things: by the naturall nothing: although you possesse something. You have seen what the spirituall birth is by its likenesse and vn­likenesse to the naturall: wee'l now shew you how God brings in, and brings up returning sin­ners. Thus.

  • First, He principles them.
  • Secondly, acts them.
  • Thirdly, builds them.
  • And fourthly, confirmes them.

First, God is said to principle man, when, by uniting himselfe to the soule by his Spirit, he do's invisiblie sow the seeds of all grace in the heart at once; grace is called the seed of God. Uni­on disposeth for communion, communion corroborates uni­on. Ioh. 3. 9.

'Tis a passive reception of Christ that now I meane; that, whereby a principle is begotten in the will. Christ joynes the [Page 61] meanes and end together: so should the godly doe Election, vocation, Justification, Sanctifica­tion, Humiliation, then comes the end which is glorification.

Secondly, Christ acts them, drawes out those principles al­so.

First, his first act is illumina­tion, he shines out from Heaven with a cleare light upon the hearts of men, and upon their wayes. Light was the first thing that appeared in the old Creati­on, and 'tis the first that appears in the new Creation also: Light Gen. 1. 1. was the first ornament of the world, wherewith the Lord decked it as with a garment Answ., and this light is Christ. For, yee were once dark­n [...]sse; but are now Light in the Psal. 104. 2. Eph. 5. 8. Lord: Light discovers darknesse: Regeneration is a translation from darknesse into light. True Converts! how like you that; his light discovers sinne, all the clo­sest secrets of closest hearts, and [Page 62] Justice incensed against the sin­ner? Light discovers the uneve­nesse of a mans way, and what it is in the account of Justice it selfe. Ioh. 1. 9. This light's immediate. (Christ in you the hope of glorie) it ha's no meanes of conveyance, but acts like it selfe, scrutinously: the light of this Sunne, like the wise mens starre, never leaves a soule till 'tas lead it to a Saviour, a meanes of escape from all sinnes evill; Divine light informs men on whom the Lord hath laid help, 2 Cor. 4. 6. even on one that's mighty, and able to save: that's the next act of il­lumination, viz: a discovery of the sufficiencies, as well as the effici­encies, of a Jesus; that he's able to save to the utmost all that come unto God by him; and that he can in no wise cast out them that come unto him: it brings glad tidings to sad soules: sinne may bee mightie; but Christ is mightier, will subdue it: sins may be many; but Christ's mercies [Page 63] are more: sinnes may be great­lie incensing; but Christ is great­lie pleasing unto an offended Majestie, and sinners in the Sonne cannot bee displeasing unto the Father: he loves light, for hee dwells in it: this divine light re­veales 1 Tim. 6. 16. all. Returning sinner! why droopest thou? Can thy sinne undoe thee, when 'tis laid on Christ? sad soule! why weep­est thou as one without hope? canst thou bee worse then whom God ha's pardoned, and Christ ha's purchased, cleansed, and sav'd? Thinke not so, least thou sinne against the remedie it selfe. Light from Heaven will reveale Christ to thee, and thee to thy selfe, thou sinking soule! thy wants and Christ's supplies shall meet together; then doe not distrust of that.

Secondly, Chri'sts second act in man, by which hee drawes out his owne principles, is humilia­tion, begetting in the subject [Page 64] low thoughts of selfe, and all selfes worth: shall I tell you what they say sincerelie, whom God and Christ, by the Spirit ha's humbled? 'tis this, I am a worme and no man. I am not worthie to be call'd a sonne, make me as a hired servant. I am the least of all the Saints: yea the least of all thy mer­cies. Oh! that I were but a doore keeper in thy house. Christ hum­bles whom hee will exalt: Gods method is first to lay low, and af­ter to set aloft: yet note you, 'tis truth in the inward parts he chief­ly aimes at: some are so gradu­all in putting upon much, that they prove irregular in discou­raging little; though truth of grace; selfe-loathing also, for selfe-defilements, joynes hands with this grace: would you know how Christ humbles, breakes the heart kindlie? 'tis thus: by setting himselfe with his wounds open before their eies; as peirced by their sinnes. I will powre upon [Page 65] my people a spirit of grace and sup­plication: marke that: and then they shall looke on him whom they have pierced, and mourne for him as one mournes for the losse of a first borne. Can you looke on a pier­ced Zech. 12. 10. Christ, you flintie hearts! and not be broken, pierced your selves? if you doe, 'tis because the Spirit of grace is not poured out upon you. When Peter set forth a crucified Christ, were not Acts 2 36.37. his hearers pricked at the heart, when they beleeved, through grace gi­ven, that they were the verie men the preacher meant? Could his lookes fetch teares from Peters eyes, and will not his wounds doe the like to others? what hin­ders? This is Christ's way, to a­base men kindlie; and who more kindled in love to Christ than such who are so laid low? you see his acts, and his wayes to effect his blessed will on man. Christ ha's his ends too in humbling such as he'l save: we'l shew what [Page 66] his ends be as briefly as may be.

First, Christ humbles that hee may inhabit, he dwells in the high­est Heavens, with him also, that is, o [...] a contrite, humble, and low spirit, to revive him.

And as it is uncomfortable not Isa. 57. 15. to dwell in God, so in like man­ner, 'tis disconsolate not to have a God dwelling in us: are not Cities and Kingdomes without Inhabitants verie solitarie? even so is a soule without God, ve­rie dismall, verie uncheerefull. Christ's presence is reviving, this Christ knowes, and thus hee humbles that hee may inhabit, make the heart his mantion, dwel­ling place. God dwells in highest heavens, and lowest soules.

Secondly, Christians are hum­bled to make them lovely in the sight of the Lord: An humble soule is a comelie one, meeknesse is a great inward ornament; is in the sight of God of great price: a 1 Pet. 3. 4. proud heart is void of Christ's [Page 67] comelinesse weares not his robe of graces. Consider! Do's God prize, greatly prize the meeke in heart, the quiet in spirit? then you! that studie to bee esteem'd of him, covet to bee humbled by him.

Thirdly, Christ humbles that he may exalt: When thou wa'st lit­tle in thine owne eyes, wa'st thou not 1 Sam. 15. 17. made head of the Tribes of Israel, and the King over them? saith Sa­muel to Saul. When Saul thought himselfe one of the smallest of the Tribes of Israel, and his familie the least of all the fa­milies of the Tribe of Benjamin; then God made him greatest. But when he waxed proud, and reje­cted the Lord, and his words spo­ken to him by his Prophets, God rejected him; and his latter end was worse then his beginning: doe not you now observe a vast diffe­rence between the fruits of God's humbling man, and mans exal­ting himselfe? marke the end of [Page 68] each operation, and then tell mee, i'st not sweet to be laid and kept low by Christ; that this grace may have its perfect work in you, as well as other graces: let all true converts speake: Is not Christ most advanced by man, when man's most abased by Christ? who can denie it?

Fourthly, Christ makes hum­ble that he may bee familiar with the humble spirit: God and Christ is a stranger to the loftie in heart, will not be familiar with them as a man with his friend: will you heare the Lord himselfe speake, who best knowes his owne mind in this principle? 'tis this. Though the Lord be high, yet hath hee respect to the lowlie; but the proud he know­eth afarre off: hee knowes them; but 'tis at a distance, not as friends nearely alied to his blessed selfe: he knowes them as enemies and useth them so; hee resists, the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Many incomes from the [Page 69] highest Heavens have the lowest soules: Christ do's not▪ when a man's downe, adde afflictions to his bonds, deject; or reject a soule that's dejected alreadie; but when he's downe, helps him up, when he ha's much trouble, gives him much peace, for much sorrow, much Joy, garments of joy for the spirit of heavinesse to humble hearts: he's called a God that com­forts those that are cast downe; but 2 Cor. 7. 6. he's to the proud a stranger, ô sweet Lord! there's none like to thee, nor are there any workes like thine.

Fifthly, Christ humbles to con­form, those he'l save to himself, as wel in grace, as glory: Christ him­selfe was humble, and faine would he have his to be, and doe, like him: Learne of mee saith Christ, Mat. 11. 29. for I am meek and lowly of heart. How sweet a designe is this? what! doe all Christ's acts prove transforming, is all he doe's done to change us into the similitude [Page 70] of himselfe? ô great mysterie! blessed is hee that understands it, and improves it. To bee like Christ is to enter glorie in this terme of life, to be in part what we shall be for ever compleatly: for what's the glorie of the just and children of God in Heaven, but their likenesse unto Jesus Christ? When John spake of great things to come in glorie not ap­parent, he summes up all in this one saying; we shall be like Christ. Humilitie makes man the Em­bleme 1 Ioh. 3. 2. of Christ: for he was hum­ble, but pride makes man the Em­bleme of Satan, the Father of Pride; as proud as Luciser, that's the world's proverb concerning some: but how glorious would it be, were it possible to find men as humble as Christ? Humilitie is Gods Creature, pride is the Devills: you see then how need­full a grace it is as well as faith and love with other graces: then suffer your selves to be made like [Page 71] Christ in this, and admire his goodnesse in this excellent end he propounds in his workings in you, and actings of you, for good, because the pride of a man shall bring him low, but honour shall up­hold the humble in Spirit. Prov. 29.23.

Christ's third act in, and on man is his bringing up the soule, and infixing of it to the object so apprehended by it. Men are mightily prone to seeke out ma­ny comforters: but Christ will have his to have but one, and in him all true contentments. Christ first removes all props that a soule might rest on, and take comfort in, on this side him­selfe. Is it prosperitie that some leane on? when they are setled on their lees, and have their cares of Christ, & soule choaked, he chan­geth that into adversitie, and then in their afflictions they'l seeke him early: when Christ withdrawes himselfe, returnes to his place, they'l acknowledge their offence [Page 72] and seeke his face whose presence was not prized before: when men smart by outward and inward wants, then supplies from Christ are desireable, verie seasonable. Christ will teach mercies worth by its want, to those hee loves: health is best prized in sicknesse, riches most prized in povertie, libertie's most priz'd in infring­ment.

So Christians learne to prize the sweetnesse of their Saviours presence, by the bitternesse of his absence: doe we doate on friends? Christ will take them hence; to let us know there's no friend like Christ: thus he cleares it out to the soule, that all props beside himselfe, are broken reeds, that will deceive when most weight is laid on them, or broken cisternes which hold no water when wee thinke there's most in them.

Secondly, Christ removes all obstructions that hinder conjun­ction [Page 73] with him. Do's unworthi­nesse discourage? Christ assures them he's worthie, and hee is so in himselfe for their sakes, and that living waters are powred out to thirstie soules freely: that such have most of Christ, and receive most from Christ, who carrie least unto Christ: that a man's owne Righteousnesse effects not, nor can his owne unrighteousnesse hinder, his Justification, because men are justified freely by his grace, and that there is one who justifies the ungodly; if they bee returning backsliders: that it's more pride then humilitie to keepe from Christ meerely for a mans unworthinesse of Christ.

Thirdly, Christ workes in the heart a true perswasion, on Scrip­ture-ground, that himselfe and all his benefits are made over to such a person in particular, that hee may know that his Redeemer lives, that he shall see him for him­selfe, Job 19. 25. [Page 74] that he is his God, his Lord, his Saviour, his Mediatour, his Intercessour, his Advocate at the Throne of grace.

Christ's third act is a building of them: when Christ ha's pre­pared 1 Pet. 2. 5. Heb. 3. 6. materialls, then he falls to building.

Christ builds Christians.

First, by keeping them and all their graces in continuall action: there are sometimes fightings without, feares within, to exercise 2 Cor. 7. 5. grace, to quicken faith, patience, and watchfulnesse: God suffers sometimes one corruption to get strength, sometimes another, to keep them doing, as well as beleeving, fighting as well as fal­ling: sometimes unruly passion strives to reigne, then the Spi­rit strives that patience may have its perfect worke, at another time worldly sorrow fills the whole man, then the strife is, that all sorrow may be turned into sor­row for sinne: now cares of the [Page 75] carcase eat a man and his com­forts up, then meanes is used that the soule be car'd for too, that all cutting cares be cast on God, for hee cares for his owne, while Sa­tan tempts to despaire: another while he tempts men to presume, this makes worke for grace, do's not weaken, but strengthen grace, for vertue gets strength by wounds. Adde to this, pride, vaine Virescit vul­nere, virtus. glorie, hearts hypocrisie, forma­litie, sensualitie, incredulitie, in­fidelitie, deadnesse of heart, dul­nesse in divine services, froward­nesse, untowardnesse, unwatch­fulnesse, coldnesse in affections, weaknesse in desires after Christ, badnesse of memorie, mispending mercies, time, talents, wanton­nesse, abuses of Christ's love, breach of bonds and Covenants, relapses, recidivations, and the like.

Secondly, by infusing strength sutable to oppositions: some, like Pharaoh's task-masters re­quire [Page 76] much worke, but give no a­bilities thereunto; but Christ is no such Master, if hee laies bur­dens on a soule, he gives a heart and parts able to sustaine it. Which of his servants did e're come into great straights, who had not great helpes? Some have slept on the cold ground and were healthfull, when in pub­lick employments for Christ? whereas being wearied in their owne personall employments, though they have reposed them­selves on beds of downe, been well fedd, and warmely clad; yet could they not have health and lifes vigour in them. Christ­minding Christians have said it: and ha's not he promised to lay no more on you then you are able to beare? is not this a specimen, that he's a mercifull Master? if affli­ctions bee many which surprize the Saints, strength shall bee gi­ven either of bodie or mind to uphold them. When the Lord [Page 77] foresaw that Paul should be trou­bled, and much opposed in A­caiah, be accused before Gallio; Acts 18. 14. how thinke yee hee was enabled for the encounter? 'twas thus: the Lord Christ appear'd to him in a vision, saying: Bee not afraid, but speake, and hold [...]ot thy peace, ver. 9, 10. for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: hee had great tryalls; but hee had great strength: the strength of God was with him, the arme of God wrought deliverance for him. In all afflictions God observes a meane, is never in the extreame, hee ha's said he'l correct in measure, yet will not leave men altoge­ther Jer. 30. 11. unpunish'd: he has a rodde, and hee ha's a staffe as David speakes: yet so pitifull is he, that Psal. 23. he'l not cudgell a weakely child; for that were to breake his bones, because he is tender, and a switch, or rod may suffice. O soule! con­sider, thy Saviour can tell how much thou smart'st under everie [Page 78] twigge he layes upon thee, and how much thy heart breakes un­der everie blow receiv'd from him: then consider; would'st thou in patience possesse thy soule, and selfe, under all thy suf­ferings? thy abilities and difficul­ties are with thee in measure, gi­ven thee by measure. And more­over, what though sinne bee a grace-weakning vice, yet if grace be afforded in proportion, sinne shall perish, when grace will flou­rish; so well workes God in the soules of his servants, and upon their spirits. Is not this to bee built up, and that upon the rock Je­sus Christ, who's a ne'r failing, firme foundation? tis to grow accor­ding to the measure of the stature of Christ.

'Tis a causing of his to live onely upon himselfe, and his glo­rious Father: to live above all things; even those things which would be above them, and keep them under. Shall I tell you, yee [Page 79] disconsolate soules! what Christ, first or last, will cause you to live above? They're such things as these.

First, Christ helps his to live above corruptions: would you know how? 'tis thus, by giving soules a sight of pardoning pro­mises, as well as a sense of incen­sing sins, and imperfect services. Some pore too little, others so much, upon their sinnes, that they have scarce a heart to ponder their Saviour, or any of his sweetest sayings; are listlesse lovers of the Lord Jesus. Sad Soules! let me tell you, your sinnes doe keep you under. Discouragements with feares and distrust, have surpriz'd you, got above you; and will not this thing, if allowed of, make you goe drooping, stoop­ing, mourning to your graves? what's of more force to kindle discomfort within your brests? God would have men bee sensible of sinne, stand, and goe under it [Page 80] as under a heavie burthen: but shall sense of sinne bee such, as that it should hinder from the sight of the Lamb, who is the meanes of escape from its evill, staine, filth, guilt, and power? God forbid.

Secondly, Christ cause's his to live above temptation: and that's thus: When they in the time of greatest temptation, being assaul­ted, are made to reassault Satan, and stand, or else if they doe fall, makes them fight even falling, with their weapons in their hands: when though they are slaughtered, foiled and doe fall, yet they cannot be overcome. As hee said of persecuted Christi­ans Occidi po­terant, vinci non poterant, Cyprian. Deo duce non potest esse dubius belli eventus, Eraz. Mar.. And can the event of that fight be doubfull, where the Lord is the Leader? I trow not. Christ makes Christians doe like himselfe in such à case; retort back the Serpents owne subtill arguments to him againe. When Satan alleadged Scripture to al­lure [Page 81] Christ to sinne, hee alleadges Scipture to prove he should not tempt the Lord God; but serve him: Mat. 4. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. so, when Satan censures a soule to his face, & which is more, even to & before the face of God, should he doe. Do's the Tempter suggest unto thee. Thou art a cast-away, art wicked, and therefore thy selfe, and services are an abomi­nation to the Lord, that many better than thy selfe are in Hell, that thou art an hypocrite, doest but dissemble, wilt fall away, come to nothing, hast sinn'd a­gainst the Holy Ghost, and that thy day of grace is past? 'tis sweet to replie as he, who art thou that condemnest? 'tis a Christ that died, yea rather, that's risen againe, who is ever at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Therefore Satan get thee hence; for thou savourest not the things which be of God, and thou should'st not thus tempt the servants of Christ, who are one with him, [Page 82] as 'twere bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh, and much more. Thus not to give place to temptation, is to overcome it, and live a­bove it; 'tis to bee firmely built upon the rock of ages, Jesus Christ.

Thirdly, Christ in building helps some to live above graci­ous evidences: and that after this manner: working the soule to a close with, and dependance upon an absolute promise, when the glorie of an evidence, from the conditionall promise, is eclips'd.

Ther's a time when some of Gods deare children stagger, be­twixt the promises and condi­tionall performances. Gracious spirits! you can tell, that this is your very case. Alas for some! how hardly doe they live, and how uncheerefull doe they spend their dayes on earth: because the Comforter, who should releeve their soules, is farre from them? as the Church once said.

[Page 83] Others also would be glad at the heart, could they graspe Christ in the precious Promise, by a precious Faith; and what hin­ders this? even this is the thing, corruption and carnall reason in­tervenes, comes between the soule and home. Hence objecti­ons are rais'd against God, Gos­pel, Christ, Promise, selfe, and all; because the evidence is dark­ned, do's not at all exist. To sup­port such, build up such, it plea­seth the Father of mercies, as well as Spirits, to convince and perswade the soule, that he'l sup­plie what's wanting, will heale back-slidings freely, worke both will and deed fullie, and thus hee sustaines the soule in life, raises it up as it were from the grave of despaire, and dismall di­stresse.

Fourthly, Christ help's some to live above glorious manifestations of his Fathers love. 'Tis after this sort, viz: when in the ab­sence [Page 84] of those manifestations, just ones are made to live, and re­joyce in the invisible essence of God; viz. when they live & rejoyce in the Lord, when they see him not, and that with Joy unspeake­able and full of glorie: when a Chri­stian can live waiting on him, who ha's hid his face from him, as the Prophet said hee would doe: 'tis an easie thing to swimme when the head's held up; but 'tis a singular thing to be kept from drowning, when the whole man's kept under water. Christians! through Christ you may and can doe singular things: this is one: when the Sunne is no more thy light by day, neither for brightnesse Isa. 60. 19. doth the Moone give light unto thee, yet the unseen Lord's to thee an e­verlasting light, and thy God's thy glorie. When, as the Church said, Micah 7, 8. thou sittest in darknesse, yet hast determin'd the Lord shall bee a light unto thee. When, as Paul said, thou seest no light of Sunne, Moone, [Page 85] or Starres appeare for many dayes, and yet canst live like a child of light in thickest darknesse: tell me, tell me, thou spirituall soule! is not this to live above even glo­rious manifestations of dearest love? if not: what is't then? verilie, verilie I say unto thee, thou that so livest, livest by Christ, like Christ, with him, in him, whilst he thus acts in thee, for thee, and by thee.

Thirdly, Christ builds his: and that hee do's by cherishing and nourishing them with heart-ravi­shing comforts and solicitati­ons. Christ's comming into a soule is verie restorative, his be­ing solicitous with her is verie instructive: when hee comes to her, much good comes along with him; for he ne'r comes into an emptie heart with an emptie hand. He filleth the hungrie with good things. Satan's all for emp­tiing the soule of good things; but Christ is all for filling: [Page 86] Christ makes his abound towards Heaven and heavenly minds. Did you ever see such a guest, you keepers of his Temple! which is within you, which you have of him? do's not his cu­stome make you rich to keepe open house for ever? Alas my friends and worthies of the o­ther world! when hee first used your hearts, his house, you were worth nothing, had nothing but sinne, that's nothing, 'tis but va­nitie, emptinesse: what insides had you? and how uncleane were they? and were your outsides ought but bodies of unsanctified parts? what were all your mem­bers lesse than weapons of unrighte­ousnesse, raised up both against your selves and Saviour also? was not your whole man a slave of Satan, his captive prisoner? now when he repaires you, puts a glorie upon you, dispossesses Satan in you, fills your hearts with himselfe, do's hee not then [Page 87] build you up as a spirituall house for himselfe? True Converts! answer to the question, is not this one thing that Christ hath done for you, in your conversion from sinne to himselfe? is not this course the meanes of bring­ing and breeding up your soules; for the heavenly Academie a­bove? is not this to make you fit to be partakers of that inheri­tance of the Saints in light? Do's Col. 1. 12. not this kindnesse deserve a gi­ving thanks to the Father, who ha's made you so?

Fourthly, Christ confirmes his; even those he will save.

First, by giving them some set­lednesse of Spirit, concerning their finall condition; the know­ledge of what a man shall bee in the end, and for ever, is the great Question; and most stated by some: and when the Spirit speaks, that it shall bee everlastingly well, then the soul's safe. What breeds doubts, fear's and distru­stings, [Page 88] so much as this? whence are those cries? I am a wretch, shall be damned, and goe to Hell▪ am a cast-away, have deceived ma­ny, and am deceiv'd my selfe, whilest I seem'd what I was not, and so beguiled my owne soule. There's no mercie for me, I have so sinn'd against it: Christ dyed not for mee, such a one as I, there's much in God; but nothing for mee, my heart's hardned against the use of meanes. Is't not hence? their unacquaintance with the certaintie of what their condition shall be? for then, the Serpent subtilly winds himselfe in; and makes the condition of such to be worse than 'tis. Now, when Christ, the Sunne of Righ­teousnesse, doth arise, shining in­to, and upon that soule, all those mists of ignorance and er­rour are soone disper'd, and then at the last the unsetled soule is made steadie, you cannot move it: though feares arise, and doubts [Page 89] be many, and trialls more, yet this is the result of all in such a soule; well, let God doe what hee will with mee, I'le hang on him: though he kill mee, yet will I trust in him. I have many rubs in my heavenly race; but I shall get through all at last: I am often brought to call in question what my finall estate is: but yet I can­not say but God ha's done some­thing in me, sure I am, I would not allow of sinne for all the world, and, if my heart deceives me not, I would be better then I am, would faine love God, serve him and feare him, that's my de­sire, and I doe not sinne; but I am troubled at it, troubled in the actings, and it brings me on my knees to the God of pardons. Thus it pleaseth Jehovah to work secretlie the soules settlement in a fit season, which may fitly bee called Christ's way of bringing up his children.

Secondly, by assuring them of [Page 90] his abilitie, and activitie to keep them from a totall Apostasie, and fatall destinie. Will you know how, confirm'd Christians speake? 'Tis thus. When I fall I shall arise. God, first, or last, fa­stens Micah 7. 8. that truth upon the soule, which the Psalmist speakes of: Viz: that, though a good man fall he shall not be utterly cast downe: and what's the reason? for the Lord upholds him with his hand. Feares, of falling from Christ in tribulations that attend Christi­ans, or towards the close of time, keep some under, makes them sad, till Christ confirmes them, and makes them glad. Perseve­ring grace! thou art a Jewell, and happie is that soule that ha's thee, and holds out to the end.

HEB. 11. 13, 14, 15 16.‘And they confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.’‘For they that say such things declare plainly, that they seek a Countrie: And truely, if they had been mindfull of that Countrey, from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned: But now they desire a better Countrie, &c.’

CHAP. III. Of the Saints perigrination in this evill world.

HEavenly minds, whilest rang­ing through an earthlie Re­gion, are farre from their hea­venly home: this world's a strange Countrie to the worthies of the o­ther: Dayes on earth, are but dayes of pilgrimage to heires of Heaven, and few, and evill, are all of them: the wise in heart, co­vet to escape the foolish snare, of placing soules rest, and happinesse in earthly contentments: loath are they, that full Barnes, faire structures, goods, heap'd up for ma­ny [Page 92] yeares, should keep them out of their owne Countrie; the Cana­an above: for this were to dwell in a strange land for ever, or else in some worseplace: Citizens of Heaven are strangers here.

We'lshew you first, what it is to bee a stranger. Secondly, whence it is. Thirdly, the use you are to make of it.

FIrst, 'tis to bee there, where a man's out of his proper place, as a fish on the drie Land; and this is the case of all Saints un­der the Sunne: when a man ha's holinesse, Heaven's his home: he may seeke the things of this world, yea great things; but not for himselfe, for God ha's said, seeke them not: he's to bee, for Christ, as well as to doe for him, and to seeke things which are a­bove, where Christ sits, at the right hand of God: hee may use this world; but it must bee so, as Col. 3. 1. though he us'd it not: holy hearts! [Page 93] you may love things below, in measure, putting bounds to your love; but you may not set your affections, fix them upon these things, lodge them in, and on these things here.

When you'r about to set them, (saith the Apostle) set them on things which are above: and why? ver. 2, 3. for your life is hid with Christ, in God; speake out, you Denizens of Heaven! Doe not you survive in Christ? dwell in him? Is this world your owne, and onely home? will you heare, what o­ther strangers have said, that did precede you? 'twas this, our con­versation is in Heaven. You Phil. 3. 20. Saints, and servants of the most High! when you dwell much in, and upon the world; you doe not like your selfes, refin'd, but like your selves, depraved: not like strangers in the earth, and so­journers in the world; but like great housholders, lasting, earth­lie inhabitants.

[Page 94] Secondly, He's a stranger who lives, under the dominion, of a strange King: the children of this world live under the reigne of the God of this world; who ha's blinded their eyes, and hardned their hearts, so as that they are waxen fat, and full; as though they lack'd nothing, if not, what meanes their subjection, laying downe of their necks, to the yoak of the Lawes, customes, fancies, and fashions of this world? what's the reason, they follow the multitude to sinne; and drinke in iniquitie; as the fish do's water? Is't not hence? they're under the rule, and Regiment, of the Prince that rules in the aire; and workes in the children of disobedience: Prophane soules! do's not this speake you, strangers in Heaven? and unto the life of holinesse, with­out God in the world? What can you say for your selves? and what reason can you give, why that sentence of the Judge, should [Page 95] not passe upon you? which is, if you amend not, you shall not enter into his rest: and making excuses, to keep your selves from Christ, shall not taste of his Sup­per, eat of his dainties; are your actions a captivation of your selves, and affections, to Christ: or Satan, sinne, and the flesh, who are Antichrists? Consider it sadlie; for your case is put se­riouslie, as to the businesse in hand: Now the worthies of the world to come, are strangers in this land; for this verie reason, they have another King; are the subjects of another Kingdome; and are guided, rul'd, and go­vern'd, by the Lawes, and cu­stomes of that Countrie, which is above; whence they come, and to which place, at the end of their travailes, and the travailes of their soules, they shall returne.

Beleevers! you are, or should be govern'd, by the Law of the Spirit of life: a Law of love, an [Page 96] inwritten Principle receiv'd, from Father, Sonne, and Spirit; so that were it possible, you should not know the Law Morall, yet would you not be as Paul speaks Rom. 2. 14. of some justly; a Law unto your selves? would not grace com­mand you, and the divine nature, constraine you, into a dutifull frame? doe not dutifull chil­dren love to doe duties to their Parents? Not to bee, and doe, like sonnes, is to force an abdica­tion from the Father: what! could Heathens, having no Law, doe the things contain'd in the Law; and that by nature? and shall Christi­ans doe lesse with grace, which do's so much excell, the most re­fined nature? The Apostle af­firmes, they had an inwritten principle; viz. the worke of the Law, written in their hearts: so, Christ's familiars! make report, doe not your soules long to bee subject unto Christ? are not you under his Dominion, if so, [Page 97] that proves you, blessed pilgrims, and strangers here.

Thirdly, he's stranger-like, Ad placitum Principis. who, lives in a land, or leaves it, onely at the pleasure of the Prince; such strangers are Saints here; when God the King of Saints pleaseth, their beings must receive their periods: God hath put bounds to earthlie beings; and 'tis from the good pleasure of his will, to Christ's co-heires.

Strangers to Heaven as well as strangers on earth, have boun­ded Object. beings too?

But 'tis not pleasure, 'tis dis­pleasure Answ. from God to them, such forbearance, is an effect of wrath, not of love: 'tis but his willing­nesse to shew his wrath, and make his power knowne, that hee en­dures, with much long suffering, the Rom. 9. 22. vessells of wrath, fitted, to destructi­on (saith the Apostle.) What though all things come alike to all (as the wise man speakes) and that there is one event to the Righ­teous [Page 98] and to the wicked; yet ther's Eccles. 9. 2. Gods good will appearing to the one, whilest his ill will breakes forth in the events of the other: the good man ha's peace in his end, whilest ther's no peace to the wicked saith my God; but they are like to the raging seas which cast up mire and dirt. Saints are here at the good pleasure of their Prince, and therefore stranger-like on earth, so also is their substance with them at the good pleasure of his will: get what they can, God will have the disposing of it in love. You see then, heavenly Inhabitants! you are not this worlds children, that, the house you must put on, is a house from Hea­ven, immortalitie, everlasting life: 2 Cor. 5. 2. and this is that home the Lord would have you groane earnestly for, that you may be cloath'd there­with.

Fourthly, he's a stranger, who ha's double duties and burthens laid upon him, because he's not [Page 99] a peculiar native of that Coun­trie where hee dwells: such are Saints while in the bodie, and dwelling here; for they have burthens of their owne to beare, and they also beare the burthens of other men.

First, of their owne? they have that, made burthensome to them, which is not made so to o­thers, to earthlie men: sinne is their burthen, both the sinnes of themselves and others: though God ha's laid the iniquitie of Saints on his Sonne, that they shall never be their burthen here­after, and that themselves shall never feele their weight for fu­ture; yet ha's hee made their weight heavie to them, whilest in the bodie. My iniquities are gone over my head, and are a bur­then too heavie for me. The good man could not stand under the burthen, when the crie of his crime was ascended on high, and tells you he ha's no rest in his bones, [Page 100] nor soundnesse in his flesh, by reason of his sinne. That he's troubled with it, and bowed downe greatly: that it makes him goe mourning all the day long. What though 'tis better to feele their pressures here, than lie under them in Hell? yet, in that they are a burthen to Saints here, and not to sinners, it demonstrates them strangers in this world. For men of this world find not sinne ponderous in them, they can swallow it downe without any the least dis­like, checke, or curbe given to it. But sinners! what though you're incensible now? you shall find your sense of feeling hereaf­ter. I can guesse at your diseases: suffering grieves you more than sinning? sinne is your Heaven, such as 'tis: if not; what means your complaining and crying out of the one, but not of the other?

Secondly, burthens of others: the sinne that others feele not, because 'tis in them as its proper [Page 101] place, even that (I say) makes the Saints know sorrow. A righ­teous soule's vexed, fretted, sad­ded from day to day, whilest hee 2 Pet. 1.8. heares, sees, and observes the un­lawfull deeds of men: and 'twas such a trouble to the Prophet, that rivers of waters ran downe his eyes, for the breach of the Law: viz. abundance of teares shedd he for other mens sinnes: whereas, a­las! in this age, men are seldome seen to weep for their owne sins. Oh England! thy people grow in knowledge, but not in practise; they're all for speculation. Many of thy people know sin; but few there are who have a heart to sor­row for sinne. Ile tell thee thy disease; thou art Judgement sad, but not sinne sad: Joy ha's so much transported some (whether headie or heartie, let experience speake) that there's little growth of other graces found. Faith, Love, Patience, Meeknesse, Gen­tlenesse, Mercifulnesse, and Bro­therlie [Page 102] kindnesse are rarities in these tottering times. Ah Lord! what will the end of these things be? English Atheists! must Saints beare your burthen here? what then? why? you shall bear't your selves hereafter: ungratefull hearts! you have melting Pro­phets, whose soules weepe in secret places for your pride, whose eyes weepe sore, and runne down with teares on your behalfe; such strangers have burden enough, and more then they can beare, did not God lay help on one that's migh­tie: they have burdens of suffer­ing too. Both their owne and o­thers: the Saints have many reall feares, sorrowes, sufferings, fight­ings, and smitings, within; which the children of this world feele not, many sower morsells, and many a bitter cup which others taste not of; is not this to be us'd like a stranger? what feares of falling? cares of standing? de­sires of beleeving, living, and lo­ving [Page 103] the Lord Jesus, are there found in them, that are not else­where? and are there any sor­rowes like to theirs? Children of this world are safe in the hands of Satan, who acts them, and workes in them; hence they are not disturb'd, not molested, and tormented by him, as Gods children be; who can have no rest in the world by reason of him, and sinne which is his creature: when any rest they take, 'tis in him whose dwelling is farre above this unworthie station. Stran­gers can hardly live in a strange Land, such is the opposition they have from sundrie causes. Souldiers of Jesus Christ endure hardship, whilest in the Church Militant: adde to this, the suffe­rings of others, who is weake, and 2 Tim. 2. 3. 2 Cor. 11. 29. they are not? offended, and they burne not? afflicted, and their bowells yerne not, stirre not? certainely there's a sweet near­nesse, and blessed dearnesse of af­fections, [Page 104] betwixt united members of Christ's bodie mysticall: for their affections doe all runne in one, and the same veine; a veine of 3 Ep. Ioh 1. 7. truth, as those who love in truth, knowing truth, and for the truths sake. When God brought evill on I [...]m. 3. 1. to 25. the Church, Jeremiah cries out, I am the man that have seen affliction by the rod of his wrath. I am brought into darknes, he ha's turn'd his hand against me, he ha's broken my bones, cō ­pass'd me with gall & travel, made my chaine heavie, ha's shut out my prayer, & as for the wormwood, & the gal, my soule ha's them still in remembrance: with many expressions of like importance. And Paul was but one Member of the Church; yet there came upon him dayly, 2 Cor. 11. 23. the care of all the Churches, he bare their burthen, as well as his owne; and so fulfill'd the Law of Christ. The like to Paul is the case of some now: Some one Christian takes care for all the Churches: surely then these acts, so strange [Page 105] to the world, must needs prove Saints to be strangers here. But whence is it, and why do's God serve his sonnes and daughters thus? put them into a strange Land? Let them live for a time so farre from home? whence is it he puts them into the hands of this world, which is so unkind a nurse, to them, and whatsoever else is his? we'l shew you whence 'tis that so kind a father puts his chil­dren into such an unkind world.

First, that they may see the vast difference, which is betwixt earth and Heaven: unsanctified ones see no difference betwixt the one and the other, all's alike to them: could they live below, and know no wants, not meet with changes, have their hearts desire, they would seeke no other Hea­ven, bee content to live below, and not above the world: for Christ's unsavourie and verie ful­some to such full hearts: selfe­sufficient ones, who barre out the [Page 106] sufficiences of Christ, keepe at a distance from him: sensuall selfe­content with seen things, and see­ing is beleeving with such an one: Besides this, Rest is sweet to the la­bourer, as the Proverb is; so Hea­ven's then exceeding good to the godly, after their wearied stepps, and long and irkesome travailes on earth: mercies are best, when most missed: Heaven is to Saints as the Inne to the traveller, a great refreshment: Heaven is by so much the more glorious, by how much Earth's ignoble.

And was't not the Lords in­tention, that a Rest should re­maine for the children of God, when the time of refreshment should come from his presence? Is not this to put a difference be­twixt rest and trouble? what do's it more? Saints are bid to run ne the race that's set before them. Now you know there's a great dispari­tie betwixt the beginning, mid­dle, and end of a race: these ho­nest [Page 107] foot-men have great weari­nesse, trouble, and rubbs; yea, sometimes falls and bruises in their heavenly race; but the end is in Heaven, and there's rest, with reward in fulnesse.

Secondly, to glimpse out glo­rie to a faithlesse people, by per­sons under their owne forme: that his light may shine in them, and from them in the midst of a perverse generation: there's much of the glory of God in his Image on the godly: hee could take them hence, and state them in Heaven, as soone as they open the wombe; but that evill men may see there's some that love him, and live like him, as well as others that slight him, and live like the Prince of darknesse: Doe not these children of blessed light let the world see, by their con­versation, what a life their Father leads and lives? note this well: earthlie men are much led by examples of men, and God sends [Page 108] good men to give examples to the bad; yea, he ha's sent a good Christ, who ha's left an example, that all should tread his stepps. This takes off the cloake of excuse from the back of sinne, now men have seen, ther's no cloake for their sinne; because there's no­thing imitable and observable, in any person, or thing, which may not bee found in Christians, or Christ; in one, or other the sons of God.

Thirdly, besides this; God sends some into the world, even their strange Land, and place of captivitie, to save others from fatall ruine, for a time: the Saints being in this world supports ma­ny, and keeps them alive: God would soone put an end to such cumberers of the ground, did not his sonnes stand in the gap: then unkind world! how canst thou abuse such props of thy peace as these be? when Lot's out of So­dom, the whole is set on fire: so [Page 109] when all the Lords righteous Noahs are got into the arke Christ, and Heaven; the whole world's destroyed with fire; for the Spirit ha's said it, who cannot lie: that vengeance shall bee taken 2 Thess. 1. 7, 8, 9. by sire, when troubled Saints shall have rest, and when the Lord Jesus shall be reveal'd from Heaven with his mighty Angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and obey not his Gospel: who shall bee punished with everla­sting destruction, from the presence of the Lord, and from the glorie of his power, when he shall come to be glorisied in his Saints, and admir'd by all them that beleeve, and then shall the wicked themselves be re­vealed too, with all their sligh secret trickes and shifts, whom the Lord shall consume with the Spi­rit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightnesse of his comming: as the same Apostle affirmes. Then consider these things, pro­phane 2 Thess. 2. 8. soules! esteeme these [Page 110] strangers more, least that you incurre the displeasure of God, and your beings here be of no va­lue, no long duration.

Fourthly, God sends his hi­ther to dispose of them for high­er things: some are sent to lesser schooles, to fit them for exercise in greater places: this world's the schoole of the Crosse to the Saints, and when they have lear­ned how to beare a Crosse, they shall weare a Crowne: when they have learned to be sustained under a losse, they shall inherit all Christ, and whatsoever is gaine: Saints must enter heaven; but 'tis, as the Scripture speakes, through many tribulations. Gold is not pure, if not tried, water's not sweet with­out a current: Vessells are not bright, if not scowred; nor are Saints fit to enter Heaven, if not prepar'd: Hence, that say­ing: Give thankes to the Father, who ha's made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance, of the Saints in [Page 111] Light: made us, we are not found meet, but the Lord makes us meet, while wee are survivers in this world: holinesse, and heavenly mindednesse in Saints, is their fitnesse for Heaven and happi­nesse: and suffering fits for reign­ing: our light afflictions, if wee be 2 Cor. 4. 17. sonnes of God, worke for us, or worke us unto, as the word sig­nifies, a more exceeding weight of glorie.

Light afflictions to exceeding massie glorie, and momentarie sufferings fit us for, worke us to, eternall reigning. God prepar'd Mat. 25. 34. for his children a Kingdome before the foundation of the world, and the same God prepares them to bee fit Subjects for such a Kingdome, yea, and which is more, to be fit Princes and Kings in that King­dome: hee ha's washed away their sinnes in his owne bloud, and ha's made them Kings, and Priests un­to God, and his Father: saith the Spirit to the seven Churches of Rev. 1. 5, 6. Asia.

[Page 112] Fifthly, that grace might have a being, as well as Glorie: grace ha's a being onely in the gracious here, and had not God brought them into this strange Land, where should especiall grace have existed, save in the brest of its O­riginall? true it is, there had been glory to God on high: as the Angels sang, when they appear'd to the Shepheards; but where would have been peace on earth, and good will towards men, if God had not brought forth his chosen vessells, to make peace with them, make knowne his good will towards them? what brought the babe Jesus into the wombe and world, bred him up in the shape of a man, made him doe and suffer like a God; but the power and good pleasure of his Father, for his childrens good, whom hee knew would be strangers in this world? and is not the Kingdome of grace on earth, in the hearts of these strangers? where is't else? [Page 113] how are all the manifestations of grace, and favour from God made apparent; but to his chosen? being here, they are here to be cal­led, sanctified, justified, and sav'd from hence. Oh great mysteries & rarely observ'd of any! Now to applie: would you know your state, and relation in which you stand, as to the businesse in hand? then note these things and marke them well.

1. What price doe you put on Ʋse. 1 the worlds glorie? how high is that in your esteeme? what thoughts have you of it? I must tell you that a holy one, and hee who's a stranger on earth, do's more esteeme the repairing of the Lords Image in his soule, his restitution to his ancient, or a better discent, his re-estating in the possession of God, and the so­cietie of Angels; than all the ho­nours, pleasures, and treasures of this glittering, delighting, and advancing world: hence hee in­deavours [Page 114] to rid himselfe from such feculent matters here, and out of the greatnesse and good­nesse of his Spirit, with the no­blenesse of his divine disposition, is altogether ambitious of the presence of the Lamb, and immuta­ble good things. Strangers on earth can tell you the truth of this Relation: and you, Deni­zens of Heaven! tell me, ha's not God wrought your heart to this frame? if he ha's not, he will doe it first, or last: for the Citizens of Heaven set not much by the best things on earth, when they are themselves, and act like their Saviour.

Secondly, a stranger on earth is knowne by his Language: thou art a Galilean, for thy speech be­wrayes Mat. 26. 73. Mark. 14.70. thee: Or as another Evan­gelist, thy speech agrees thereunto: so one who's a Citizen of Heaven is knowne by his speech; hee speakes a language different from the worlds natives: the Scrip­tures [Page 115] tell you of a sound speech which cannot be condemned: that's the language of Heaven, and all its Natives: whereas the children of this world have a putid, un­found, rotten language; such as the holy Lord cannot owne, but will call to account for everie idle Col. 4. 6. word that's spoken by them: hence the Apostle moves the Church of the Collossians to speake, like Christ, words with grace, season'd, as with salt; that have the savour of God in them: and in the new Covenant, the Lord bound him­selfe to give to his children a pure language, that they might call on the Zep. 3. 9. name of the Lord with one consent. What's all this, but to shew, that he would have them differ from other people, be knowne by their speech? a Christian should bee knowne by his discourse, in all societies: what though sinners can speake the language of Saints; yet Saints should not speake the language of sinners: will you [Page 116] heare how these spake, who are now in Heaven? 'twas thus; as they were allowed of God, not as they who please men, but God which ap­proveth 1 Thess. 2. 4. the heart: and can the heart be good when the speech is bad? the Scripture saith nay, and in this the worlds Proverb may convince it, viz. As is the man such is his speech: uncleane spea­kers! a word to you, your speech bewraies you too: shewes you are earthlie men, have earthly minds; for out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speakes. What will you doe in the day of in­quisition for sinne, the great and terrible day of the Lord? Dare you use uncleane speech then, be­fore the spotlesse Lambe of God, and Judge of quick and dead? if so, use it now: if not, shun it, that Christ may give you a discharge from that, and all other your sinnes.

Thirdly, a strangers mind and motion's homeward: he may be [Page 117] where hee lacks nothing, is well accommodated, ha's many friends and more pleasures; yet still his heart's at home, his mind's carri­ed thither, and all his motion's that way: (for home's homely, as we say) 'tis even so with men of the high Countrey, whilest in this low Region: Paul tells you, hee pressed forward after the marke: he was in the world, and injoyed enough for a stranger too; but yet his mind was with Christ, and in Heaven, his owne Countrie; his motion was that way also: and was't not his good opinion of his heavenly home, that caused those words to fall from him; I desire to be dissolved, and to be with Christ. And why? for 'tis best of all, I have Christ while I live; but when I die, I shall have gaine: what motive more strong, to pro­voke to longings after heavenly mansions? Children of God! hie you home, for the night drawes on, and the posting Sunne [Page 118] of worldly Joyes, treasures, and pleasures, is almost set, let the Lord then trie your hearts and search your reines in this respect; for if you bee strangers, 'twill thus be knowne: aske your hearts this question, whither, and to what place, or end doe all my a­ctions and motions tend? when you draw nigh to God querie thus: what doe I approach his ho­ly presence for? is't to put on my house from Heaven? is't, that my love may be lessened to my earthly Tabernacle? say to thy soule in the night season: where have I been? what have I done, this by past day, and to what end did my being and doing tend? some mens paines, cares, and feares tend to intomb them in the world, burie them in the earth: these are not strangers here, are not in a strange land. Earthlie soules and sensuall! Looke about you, and consider your estate: for heavenlie ones [Page 119] are lost in God, drown'd in Christ, Heaven's their home.

Fourthly, strangers in a strange land content themselves onely with things needfull, as they passe through the land of their pilgrimage: aspire not after any great matters; If they mind their home sincerely: is't not as true of such, who are Citizens of Heaven? a little contents them, when they are themselves. Paul had learned what ever his conditi­on was, therewith to be contented: and why? 'twas because he was a stranger, and his hope of the things of this world was very little. So, honest hearted Israel desir'd but food & rayment, and then promised the Lord should bee his God: so A­braham was content to dwell in Tents, who might have had state­lie Heb. 11.9. 10. structures, to shew hee was in a strange Countrie, and looked for a Citie which ha's foundations, whose maker and builder is God: and me thinkes, I should heare [Page 120] all sayings of Saints about out­ward things, to hold harmonie with that of Agur: Lord give Prov. 29.8, 9. me neither povertie nor riches, but seed mee with food convenient; and on the same ground, he had: left you be full and denie him: which, 'tis a thousand to one, you'l doe, and then say, who's the Lord? or be­ing poore, steale, and so take the name of your God in vaine: adde to these, two things more, to cause content in strangers.

First, fulnesse is onely at your owne home: if you looke for't here, you doe but beat the aire; for it ha's pleased the Father that all fulnesse should dwell in Christ: now when you are at your Fa­thers house, and have Christ in your armes, you may say you're full▪ have bread enough; but ne'r till then: do's not the wise man tell you that all's vanitie under the Sunne: viz: vacuitie, empti­nesse, and lightnesse: it ha's left the creature, (as wee said before) [Page 101] you must bee above the naturall Sunne, before you can espie, or take in a spirituall fulnesse: and, is't not better to have it there, where you may hold it? Lay these things among your cutting cares, and carefull thoughts, and then you shall find those thoughts will be eaten up of these; the lesser things will bee lost among the greater. When David doated much on the world, what was the issue? 'twas this, he thought him­selfe a foole for so doing; tells the Lord he was ignorant, and as a beast, a bruit before him. Psal. 73.

And at last, he sweetly sings, whom have I in Heaven but thee? and there's none on earth that I desire be­sides thee: then he had enough; & beloved strangers! let me tell you, you either have, or shall have enough too: as the Proverb is: for when you awake you shall be satisfied with the Lords Image: at the Resurrection, God will make you amends (I am sure) [Page 122] for all your hard measure that you receive in this strange land.

Secondly, unnecessarie things: things you need not, are not in straights for, are but as lumber, and luggidge, which will hinder you, and presse you downe as you're running your heavenly race. Do's not experience teach, that some have more of the worlds wealth, than they can tell how to use? do's not that hin­der in heavenly ingagements? I know nothing more obstructive. Oh! how good is God to his, then, when he rids them of need­lesse luggidge, strips them of seen things, that hee may cloath them with unseen things, an invi­sible, incorruptible, immortall substance? do's not one staffe support the Traveller when a bundle of staves brings him un­der. Oh then! that all, who in­tend for Heaven, would seek no more provision for the journey, then will help them thither. Oh [Page 123] soule! will it not grieve thee to consider, that when thou hast cer­tainely thought thou art as high as Heaven, thou shalt by an evill world be laid as low as Hell? be then in earnest a stranger to it, and in it? for to be a stranger to the other world, will hinder from entering into thy Masters Joyes.

Fifthly, strangers ingage not themselves, too much, in the af­faires of the Natives of strange lands: strangers must not bee medlers, as the Proverb is. Citi­zens of Heaven! would you shew your selves to be strangers here? plunge not your selves too deep then in the negotiation of the Na­tives of this world; who make it their busines, to be mightie, weal­thie, honourable, pleased and pleasur'd here: but doe not you doe so; meddle not with that their businesse; hasten home, and why? for their's most might, wealth, pleasure, and treasure, in [Page 124] heavenly places. What can you thinke of, which is in this world, and is not in your Fathers house?

And now, you strangers! you Ʋse. 1 may be glad 'tis with you as 'tis; that you are no better acquainted here. Oh! be not loath then, nei­ther feare to leave this strange land: would you hasten to your journeyes end? is your heart at home? let these things then give life to your indeavours that way.

First, till you leave it, you're farre from your best friends, and chiefest favours. When the pro­digall child was from his Fathers house, 'tis said hee was in a farre Countrie: and is not your case the same; who dwell in God? What! are huskes, hardly got, so good? what! shall they bee more in esteeme than bread? if you will not come from among the swine, your Father will fetch you: 'tis better then, to goe and meet him, while his armes are open to re­ceive [Page 125] you, his head bowed to sa­lute you, and his heart drawn out to feast you, feed you, cloath and adorne you with Jewells. Con­sider, your father is of another Countrie, he, that begot you again, lives in Heaven, a great way hence: and what are you here for, but to dispatch your Fa­thers businesse? as Jesus told his Mother. Are not you the Lords factours? and must factours stay alwayes abroad? what! shall they forget their native Countrie, and not hasten to it? who, that's wise, do's not strive lawfully to be at his heavenly home? What! know you not that your Father's your best benefactour? Besides, your spirituall brethren and si­sters, with all your holy acquain­taince, are within those heavenly places: a godly child may have his thoughts running out on his godlie parents deceased; a hus­band his thoughts on his wife, and on the contrarie, the wife on [Page 126] her husband: but alas! they can­not see their faces till God hath taken them out of this strange land: who then would bee wed­ded to this world, and not rather wean'd from it, and married to the Lord? Yet further, your por­tion and dowrie is above, also: your reward's with the Lord in the land of the living: how then can you like to dwell in a land, where there's such dying of persons and portions? some live by bread on­ly, in a sence; but children from on hie cannot: the mind or soule is the man, as wee say, and that cannot, may not survive in such a manner, by such meanes.

This strange land can onely mi­nister to the bodie, ha's not one savourie morsell for the soule; do's rather contaminate and de­sile the soule, than refresh it. O divine, Celestiall soule! 'tis the safest way for thee then, to flie from this strange land in all thy motions, as from the face of a Serpent.

[Page 127] Secondly, you should not bee loath to leave it, when providence will have it so; for till then you'l be foiled, vexed, and soiled with filthie sinnes: they'l beare you downe, keepe you under, bring you low, when you would be on high with God in the Hea­vens: whilest the soule is in the bodie, sinne lodgeth with her, will have roome as well as shee. Oh! how unrulie a guest is sinne? Besides, here, in this strange land, you cannot sing your Hebrew songs so sweetlie, with such ful­nesse of Joy, as in your owne Countrie: if this world, which sometimes inthrals you, should require of you songs, bid you bee merrie. Alas! this is no place for such Joy, as is a Joy of heart: heartie Joy is in Heaven, and me thinkes I should heare such a voice from Christians, as was heard in the Temple before the fall of the Jewes, Migremus hinc, let us goe hence, let us goe hence. [Page 128] Thus, as children learne to speake, and delight in the lan­guage of their Parents; so should you, in imitation of Christ.

Finally, I beseech you, if you be strangers, that you would, as Pil­grims and strangers, abstaine from fleshlie lusts, which warre against the Spirit: so saith the Lord of Rests: for certainly sinne cannot enter Heaven. Oh! what a bles­sed good would it prove to you? if you would bee and doe now, what you are willing to bee and doe then, when purest glorie must make the scrutinie for, and into impurest sinnes.

1 CORINTHIANS 15. 51, 52.‘Behold, I shew you a mysterie, wee shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, &c.’

CHAP. IV. Of the Saints last and best change.

MUtable man ha's made his times variable, Adam chang'd his mind, and God chang'd his man­sions. Paradise could not hold him, who held not God in his thoughts; let goe an unparaleld good. When man alter'd his doe­ing, God alter'd his being. All changes are our owne, the Lord ha's said he change's not. Muta­tion by sinne was the maladie, but mutation by grace and glorie is the remedie: man ha's chang'd for the worse, yet man is chang'd for the better, that's the mysterie. [Page 130] Man ha's made himselfe mutable, yet the immutable God will tran­slate him into an immutable estate of good: though the changes of life bee many, yet a change by death deprives them of beings. He's best that lives at rest, can ne­ver alter more: Now there re­maines such a rest for the people of God.

Saints have their appointed Doct. time of change. We'l therefore shew you what a change is: next the severall sorts of changes, and then the use of them; even after this manner.

FIrst to be changed, is to have a different manner of being; 'tis the cessation of a person or thing, from being what it once was. We'l now shew you what the changes of this world be, & then the sundrie kinds of them: thus.

  • 1. Either such as respect the bodie.
  • 2. The soule or Spirit.
  • [Page 131] And thirdly, such as concern them both joyntly.

First, externall changes. Saints whilest in the bodie are children of change, nor can their injoy­ments of life bee found immuta­ble. Certainlie the sorrowes of life, exceed the pleasures of the living: strange are the turnings of things, as well as times. The tur­ning of riches into povertie, Plentie into scarcitie, Health, in­to sicknesse, Joy into heavinesse shew, that all seen good is short liv'd. The Lord's arrowes stick fast in some, and fester fouly. Children of change! tell me (if you can) how soone is a friend-like amitie turn'd into a foe-like enmitie, even in these our dayes? How doe friends start aside like a broken bow, from fidelitie, to Treacherie? as Ephraim once did? Consociation, and Com­munion, is now turn'd into Se­paration, and confusion; shall I give you the reason? 'tis the want [Page 132] of immutable, unchangeable love. Husbands, and wives, Parents, and children, Masters, and ser­vants, are rent in sunder; by rea­son of some different opinions. Do's not this speake out strange alterations? What do's it more? and what do's all this, but imbit­ter the comforts of a former communion? Ther's nothing in this world found long-lasting, God ha's added brevitie, as well as vacuitie, unto all outward things. Secondly, there's a change of spi­rits too, God ha's given some, o­ther spirits then what they once had.

The Scripture tells you of a newnesse of Spirit, there's not an annihilation, but a mutation in this respect. This is to have the hearts frame, turn'd into Christ's frame, a corrupt mind, converted into the mind of Christ; Passion, turn'd into Pati­tience, Pride into Meeknesse, hardnesse, into softnesse, Lofti­nesse, [Page 133] into lowlinesse. Hence the understanding makes right disco­veries of Christ, and selfe, the will inclines unto, and closeth with, better objects than it was wont to doe. Then affections of love to sinne, are turn'd into ha­tred of sinne: and nothing is so much belov'd of him, as that Christ who suffer'd for sinne. If any evill be discover'd, he shunnes it, if any good, he embraces that, is right glad of that, oh how good is such a change! 'Tis a comfort to see grosse mettall pure, darke aire cleare, a dead Lazarus live, and be lively: But the comfort arising thence, is not worthie the name of comfort, if compared to that comfort arising hence.

Thirdly, such a change as do's referre to them both joyntly, and that's a change of life; a life of nature, into a life of grace, a life of grace into a life of glorie: the first is sweet, and good, viz. the life of nature, but the second is [Page 134] sweeter and better, viz. that of grace: the third, the best and sweetest life of all. Viz: that of glorie. And 'tis alwayes God's method with those he'l save, thus to turne nature into Grace; and Grace into Glorie: and that by one and the same Spirit, who workes out nature, workes in grace, and workes up the graci­ous unto Glorie. Such a change is exceeding good, makes excee­ding glad: But alas! who can number the sorrowes of such, as shall be translated from under mercies, into everlasting mise­ries? from a pleasing earth, into a tormenting Hell? Lord! what a sad, and bad change is this? and what mortall can abide thy comming? oh that naturall men then would become graci­ous, that in fine they may become glorious! and let me tell thee who ever thou art, such a change as this, will sweeten all other thy changes in this world.

[Page 135] In a word, to bee gloriously chang'd, is to have a vile body made like unto the glorious bodie of Jesus Christ. But first, the livelie bodie, must be turn'd into lifelesse Ele­ments, whereof it is compound­ed. 'Tis a change of the bodies materialls, and elementarie qua­lities, and this last, even this is that blissefull thing our Apostle speakes of: this is that glorious Mysterie which merits observati­on. Behold, I shew you a Mysterie, we shall not all sleep, but wee shall all be chang'd. Oh renewed soule! Remember thou in all thy thoughts, and wayes, the worth, and comfort of this thy last, and best change: thus thy Autumne is turn'd into a spring, thy heavi­nesse of the night, into the Joy of the morning, even the mor­ning of the Resurrection. Now, Ʋse 1 that that day come not on you as a thiefe in the night, mind much these rules following.

  • 1. Expect it.
  • [Page 136] 2. Rejoyce in it.
  • 3. Suffer God to dispose you for it, expect it, and that on these grounds.
  • 1. Life's brevitie.
  • 2. Death's certaintie.
  • 3. Your owne Necessitie.

Life's brevitie. What is life? 'tis said in the Scripture's that 'tis but a shew, and alas! what's Psal. 39. 6. that? 'tis but of a short aspect, though made verie glorious by the skill of the Artificer; and then 'tis shut up though the eye be not satisfied with seeing. And elsewhere 'tis call'd a shadow, which Joh 8, 9. if you doe graspe, what have you gain'd? open your hands, and you'l find 'tis nothing: James 4. 14. Besides, when the Sunne is set, or the Medium of its Represen­tation, it's briefly forgotten, as a thing whose Idea was never in mind. 'Tis but a vapour which the wind will soone dissipate, scatter, and disperse. A Post that hastens name what you can [Page 137] that's of the swiftest wing, yet you'l find lifes speed is greater; by which it hasten's out of the living, the posting Sunne of worldlie wealth and greatnesse is set in an instant, in a moment. Wee every day stand with our lives in our hand, as David phra­ses his dayes on earth. Life ha's many out-lets, but few in-lets. There's many wayes to goe out of the world, but onely one way into the world: and that passage is verie dangerous too; some have beings in the wombe, and at last it's made their tombe, they ne'r see the world. Others bring to the birth, but want strength to bring forth. Job may well call't a flower; for though 'tis sweet; yet 'tis of an earthlie breed: It ha's a glorie too; but the best glorie of a flower must be preserv'd by a shower, and when all's done it withers, and is lost at last.

Secondly, Deaths certaintie: it will not faile you, 'twill find [Page 138] you wherever you goe: therefore when thy bones are full of marrow, and riches comes in as a floud: Ar­gue thus, yet I must die. Christ­expecting Christians can tell you, that a wife, a child, a friend, nor any of them, can be injoyed for ever: That their estates, com­forts, and lives, are going, decli­ning, will desert them, and there­fore doe long for, and desire a change, after which they can change no more.

'Tis further cleare thus. First, from Gods decree. It is appointed Heb. 9. 27. for all men once to die. Secondly, from the constitution of our na­tures. Mans nature is a compo­sition 2 Cor. 5. 1. of wasting ingredients, he's made up of dying materialls; The Apostle calls the bodie a house of earth; and know you not that earth may be and is corrupt­ed, do's breed that which will in­fect, and infest it, with a noisome stench? Besides, a house of earth is weake: and what is there, [Page 139] which hath not power on that which is weaknesse it selfe? Adde to this, that a Tabernacle is not made to last long, 'tis made on purpose for a short time of exi­gence, and distresse.

Thirdly, the defilements of our nature, they put us to the sword, murther us in our com­forts; have given being to this last change as well as others. Trees and plants breed the wormes which at last make them lifelesse, and so doe we serve our selves, and soules. If Adam give Rom. 3. 12. leave to sinne, sinne will give way to death. There's no man living, who shall not have his fit of dying; though the death of Saints bee precious in the sight of the Lord, yet die they must; for his onely begotten sonne did not escape it. What then though a man strive, repine, order his diet, intreat, and shun occasions; yet as the Psalmist speakes, none shall deliver his soule from the hand of the grave: [Page 140] Live hee as long as Methuselah, yet must hee die at last. Gray­headed sinners! what meane you to stand it out with God so long, to breake with God for a trifle? what's your life, that should bee spent, laid out for him, and that he requires from you? 'Tis not worth the honour to be account­ed of force, to draw your soules from God. Oh then! make no more waste of time, redeeme it; for if Christ ha's redeem'd you, you cannot squander away the whole thereof, and give him none. Remember, 'tis a difficult thing to die well.

Thirdly, mans necessitie, and that first in respect of the bodie. A corruptible bodie, cannot en­ter into the incorruptible Hea­vens? it must die and be chang'd: It must leave its filth in the grave, before it can be meet to dwell in the heavenlie places above. The bodie is now the substance and matter of all diseases, putrifacti­ons, [Page 141] infirmities, and deformities, although you take in the come­liest Creature your eyes have seen within the bounds of this observation: For is't not con­ceived in the likenesse of flesh, heat of lust, and staine of sinne? the sensible Prophet sincerely confessed it. Besides, who knowes Psa. 51. 5. not that knowes Christ, that 'tis the livelie instrument of sinne? The verie excrements of whose nostrills, ear's, pores, and other passages duelie and trulie consi­dered, will seeme more loath­some then the uncleanest sinke or vault. Oh! what vile bodies have wee! and how great need have wee that they should be chang'd, buried in the dust and refined? Trees and plants bring forth leaves, flowers, fruits, and plea­sant smells; But mans bodie brings forth naturallie nothing but vermine, wormes, rottennesse, and a filthie stench. Lord! what is man that thou art mindfull of [Page 142] him? and what ha's hee to bee proud of, who's made of such materialls?

First, in respect of the soule; that she may be freed from that discord which is in the bodie, un­till the change comes; for whilest the bodie lives a naturall life, there's no businesse can bee dis­patched which concernes the soules welfare, without a muti­nie in the heart: the flesh is a home-bred enemie, a bosome Re­bell, that's daily against the Spirit, because they are contraries. The flesh, alas! forestalls all Divine motions, actions, and indeavours, of the soule, and Spirit; and it begets, and breeds, an indispo­sednesse towards them all; though all the wayes of God be plea­santnesse, and all his paths peace; yet this bodie of flesh will make them seeme irkesome, burthen­some, and full of trouble. Is't not high time then, that the bo­die should be changed? made a [Page 143] better servant to the soule? Be­sides it's sinne-sick distempers are infanable, whilest it is here, for ha's it not brought on man a certaine necessitie of sinning? so that we cannot but displease the highest Lord.

Doe you doubt of this? why the Scriptures tell you, that those who are in the flesh cannot please God; that wretched Law of the Rom. 8. 8. members wars against the Law of the mind, and Spirit of life: which brings the whole man into an in­supportable bondage. This is mans miserie in his uprisings, and downe-lyings, a depraved nature Rom. 7. 23. is his associate, and as David speakes, innumerable evills doe encompasse him about; and have taken hold of him: that he's not able to looke up to Heaven. This bring's Psal. 40. 12. to mind a worthie saying of like concernment. O flesh, flesh! I can neither live with thee, nor without thee. Now at the re­breathing in, or the re-uniting of [Page 144] the soule, to its owne proper per­son; the bodie shall be found in­corruptible: and that, even that; will be found the last and best Re­surrection.

Secondly, rejoyce, in, and at the Ʋse. 2 thoughts of such a change, consi­der, first, 'twill rid you of all un­cleane societie with sin and sin­full flesh: whilest we are here we converse and commerce with greatest sinners; and with innu­merable sinnes: we, alas! walke among the Tombes, with men that lie under the powers and pledges of the everlasting death, persons who die living, and will at last live dying, and yet ne'r bee dead. In this life, Gracious Chri­stians! you heare the greatest Majesties name prophaned; his wayes blasphem'd, truths de­fam'd, and doe see his friends are foil'd and spo'ld: But after death you shall never heare such evill tidings any more. Who then, that's wise, will love, and long to [Page 145] live with the dead; more then the living? or in the societie of condemned persons, in a noy­some goale, rather than to have fellowship with the glorious Princes of God, in the Heaven of matchlesse and endlesse glo­rie? In this Babylon faithfull Jewes are forc'd to hang their Harpes upon the willowes; are much disabled from singing sweetlie to the Lambe their Hebrew songs: certainly then all whose mansions are with God; are, or should be, wearie of this world: wean'd from this scituation; peinched with the coldnesse of this cli­mate; for this world alas! is a great cooler to the heat of a gracious heart.

And were they as subject to it, as its children are, were they as much intangled with it: Though now they may have a little heat, yet then they would have none at all.

Secondly, 'twill free, and re­move [Page 146] you from all carnall ob­jects; then there shall bee no more Gold, nor greatnesse, to al­lure you from God: no sinne, nor sinnes pleasure to intice and bewitch you, lie prostrate be­fore you: no selfe, nor Satan, to tempt and intrap you: Good Lord! what a good case will thine then bee in? who? or what can expresse those joyous rari­ties, and transcendent verities, of such glorious beings? Oh! how unsearchable are the riches of such grace, and favour? Narrow hearts! open your selves, and the gates of your soules, and let the King of glorie come in: why should he be unto you as a wayfa­ring man, that staies but for a night and is gone?

Thirdly, 'twill alter the nature of all your spirituall distresses: there shall bee then, no more doubts unresolved; no more sins, the 'ile be destroi'd; no more graces unrevived: no more feares [Page 147] of finall falling; no more que­ries about the truth of your high calling, no more want of God, Christ, and the good desired; no more dislike of, and from un­knowne Christians; no strange­nesse of carriage among knowne members of Christ's bodie my­sticall. In a word, there shall af­ter this change, never bee any more hearts hardnesse; minds blindnesse, wills perversenesse, loves coldnesse, zeales rashnesse, listlesse desires, heartlesse prayers, tiresome spirit, or rebellious flesh; But, holy hearts! you shall be God-like, Christ-like in all things.

3. Suffer God to dispose you for it, sith 'twill come and you must be changed. Men square wood before they build, discipline their Troopes, e're they joyne in battell; rigg, trimme, and fur­nish their ships, ere they launch, put forth to Sea: so God is fit­ting some, every day of life; for [Page 148] the day of death. Would you know the way, by which the Lord effects this blessed fitnesse; for so glorious a change? so great a worke, as is the worke of dying? observe then rightly, these serious things in the sequell: God fits his children for such a decease, thus.

First, by making the bodie of sinne irkesome to them. There are some, who with David, have their sinnes ever before them; can­not forget them are greevously Psal. 51. 3. burden'd with them, and their crie is such as this. Oh! who shall deliver me from the bodie of this death? This, even this ha's made some wearie of the world, yea, and wearie of themselues too: all the while longing to be there, where they might never see, or seele it more. Such had rather die a thousand deaths, then live dishonouring him; in whose fa­vour stands their life: and whose loving-kindnesse is better than life; as David speakes. Hence also [Page 149] everie sanctified sorrow, and suf­fering, of this earthlie life; puts him upon minding his last and long'd for home: every decay of strength, dimnes of sight, dulnes of hearing, and disabilitie of be­ing, and doing, with all sicknes, weaknes, aches, and pains: these I say doe forewarne him of his approaching decease. And thus with Job he waites all the dayes of his life, untill his appointed change comes. Holy hearts! you're well acquainted with the state of this distresse; and therefore, you must signe, and seale to the truth of this experiment: yet let not your hearts be troubled, for sinnes burthen shall bee remov'd, and you your selues certainely se­cur'd, and sav'd.

Secondly, by making death to them desirable: this is a death­sweetning way: and he acts in the businesse after this manner. First suggesting into their thoughts, that when death surprizeth them [Page 150] it shall be stinglesse; and what's the sting of death? why the Scrip­tures tell you 'tis sinne: sinne is deaths Arrow, which when 'tis shot into the bowells of the soule, at the appointed time of change, oh! how do's it wound with horrour, cut with amaze­ment; and pierce with dread, of a great, just, and glorious Maje­stie? And then, how do's the poore soule fester with despaire, whil'st she cannot beleeve, or hope to bee well, and doe well, after death: who ha's been, and done, so ill, in time of life. And cer­tainely, if in life, there's no dis­charge from sinne; in death, the soule will greatlie feare, if not throughly feel its discharge from Christ.

But to you that are in Jesus Christ, be this word spoken. The Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, hath made you free; from the law of sinne and death: The sting of death is sinne, and the strength of [Page 151] sinne is the Law. viz. sinnes Law; Rom. 8. 1.2. 1 Cor. 1. 15. for this place seemes to explaine the other.

Thus you are freed from both the power of sinne and death al­so. I may adde, and the victorie of the grave, which cannot im­prison, or infringe your bodies long; so long, as to retaine you for ever. Give thankes then un­to God, who ha's given you the victorie, through your Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and sing with Paul, ô death where is thy sting? ô grave where is thy victorie? For when a poore soule considers within her selfe thus: well, I am now neere my time of change; I must leave the world: But Christ ha's promis'd that he'l bee with me to the end of my course; and ha's also assur'd me, that my sinnes are forgiven, and forgot­ten; I have a discharge from them, through the mercie of God. Is she not then readie to crie out? Come Lord Jesus, come [Page 152] quicklie. Death doe thy dutie freely: and thus the poore, droo­ping, doubting Christian, lives dying; yet ne'r tastes of the se­cond death. God acquits the soule in Justification from sinnes guilt; and cleanseth the soule through Sanctification from sinnes filth; hee that's washed from his old polutions, hath the heavenly ornaments of Christ's Spirit: He's fit to solemnize a marriage with the Lambe. God also perswades the soule, that he ha's found a righteousnesse; as well as a ransome for her. Now beleevers may conclude then, as the Scripture speakes: that Righteousnesse delivers from death: And that the righteous hath hope in his end. He fits his to be changed by mortification also, for when God, by his Spirit, has crucified sinne; that would have slaine the soule Death cannot hurt much, in smi­ring the carcase. Hence is that of Christ. Feare not them who kill [Page 153] the body, but are not able to kill the soule.

Secondly, the Lord makes the change desirable to some by in­lightning Heb. 7. 25. their eyes, and strength­ning their hearts, unto a fight and sense of all the al-sufficiencies of Christ; to sustaine the soule un­der the straights of such a death: what though sinne upbraids thee, Satan affrights thee, and thine owne heart trembles within thee, & that thou art at a stand, knowest not what to doe, nor how to die? Yet beleeve, for Christ will car­rie thee through. Christ did not give himself for thee in vain, that he should give thee up in thy last, & greatest triall; give thee into the hands of Satan. Why then, leane on him, who's a stay of strength and you'l not miscarrie: He that hath, and is had, of a good Christ shall bee sure of a good death with strength and peace.

Thirdly, by giving his a through taste of that heavenly joy, hear­tie [Page 154] holinesse, and reall happinesse; that themselves shall possesse in the fruition of Christ, when once they are changed. This the Scrip­ture calls first fruits of the Spi­rit, and of glory. And is't not this, that makes the Saints themselves, groane within themselves; wait­ing for the Redemption of their bo­dies? Rom. 8. 23. The Lord ha's said it, Oh! how do's the taste of Heavens joy, and of the powers of the world to come; strengthen a re­newed Christian, leaning on Christ, to lie under the stroake of death? yea, even to long that so great a worke were over? and thus God sweetens death to the good; gives it a good savour, when they come to taste it, it being the same cup, which Christ himselfe did first drinke of.

Now you have heard how it fares with the good, at their last change; and how good such a change is to them: But alas! for the bad, the Christ-lesse man, [Page 155] 'tis bitter unto him. These things imbitter death to the grace­lesse.

1. The biting and tumifying sting of death, that indisposeth to dying well: 'Tis biting: oh! how will the wofull thoughts of a mispent life, of by past sinnes, of slighting Jesus, and his holy waies, like fiery darts, and scorch­ing Scorpions, peirce through the soule and Spirit? Then un­cleane sinners, as James speakes of James 5. 3. the rust of ill gotten, and ill kept gold; the guilt of your sins shall eat your flesh as it were fire: Then even then all scruing deceivers, shall be forced to say of their own unlawfully acquir'd goods, as Israel of Idolls, get you hence: But alas! these are thy workes, and they will follow thee, flow faster into thy mind, then thou canst get them out, and make thy soule wearie even to the death.

Secondly, Death's sting tumi­fies also, Judas sinn'd, betraid his [Page 156] Master, improved the reward: But what was his end? hee fell head-long, burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowells gushed out: Death had stung him, and the sting made him swell so, that, his tumour being great, the world could not hold him; and for hast that hee might the sooner bee at his owne place, he betrayed him­selfe into the hands of Satan, was his owne executioner. There's a time when stoutest sinners shall burst asunder, under the hand of austeerest Justice. If the Lord's love makes not breaches on mans Spirit, drawes him not up to­wards Heaven; his wrath will breake it, beat it even to powder, and cast it downe into the lowest Hell. O sinners! Learne then while a Saviour teaches, what an evill sinne is.

Secondly, the sudainnesse of an Heb. 4. 27. approaching Judgement. After death comes Judgement, and what's the Judgement? Christ-lesse [Page 157] man or woman! I have sad newes for thee: thou thy selfe and all thou art, must bee presented be­fore a Holy, most Just, and migh­ty God: And with thee shalt thou bring all thy vaine thoughts, will thou, nill thou, idle words, un­cleane and sinfull workes, mi­spent time and Talents; In a word all the secrets of thy heart shall then bee torne in pieces, re­veal'd, and unfolded: yea, those secrets, which no eye hath seen, but his, which is ten thousand times brighter then the Sunne; yea, even those secret sinnes which have been cover'd here by restraint from God, or men, shall be uncover'd there: so that thou wilt bee fill'd with astonish­ment to see that which thine eies never did, nor ever would be­hold. There the hearts closest corners, & darkest depths, shall then bee laid open, made visible, before the face of God, Christ, Angels, and men. A meere dis­course [Page 158] of Righteousnesse, and Judge­ment to come, God being in it, and Foelix hearning of it, what effects did it worke in him thinke you? why the Text tells you it made him to tremble, and to bid Paul be gone, hee could not en­dure to heare on't. So Belshaz­zar Dan. 5. 5, 6. saw but the writing of Judge­ment upon the wall, which did but import a temporall scourge: And his countenance was chan­ged, his thoughts troubl'd him, so that the joynts of his Ioines were loosed, and his knees smote one against another. And what's any carnall man more, then sensuall Belshazzar, or carnall Foelix, that he should thinke himselfe se­cure from Judgement? You then that put this evill day farre from you, beare in mind this thing: A sonne of Love could not indure that; hee prayed, Enter not into Judgement with thy ser­vant ô Lord: How then can a child of wrath abide it, who is by [Page 159] nature nothing else? It's called in Scripture the day of the Lord, his great day, his terrible day. 'Tis the day of Christs's com­ming Ioel. 2. 11. saith the Prophet Mala­chie. And who shall stand when Mal. 3. 2. he appeareth? for he is like a Re­finers fire, and fullers sope. Thus you have seen things that imbit­ter the change to some, even all that know not Christ, and o­bey not his Gospel.

Thirdly, the certaine standing before an impartiall Judge of quick and dead, who cannot, will not connive at sinne, and sinners; When all flesh shall appeare before the Judgement seat of Christ: that every one may receive the things 2 Cor. 5. 10, 11. done in his bodie, according to that he hath done, whether it bee good, or evill. knowing therefore the ter­rour of the Lord, We perswade men saith the Apostle. Oh! how terri­bly, intollerable are the thoughts of this! surely words cannot ut­ter it: then he, who said, Lord de­part [Page 160] from me, Ile have none of thy wayes, shall find that God ha's said Amen to his prayers. Adde to this, that though he stand to be judged, yet hee shall fall in the Judgement. For the ungodly shall not stand in the Judgement, as the Psal. 1. 5. Psalmist notes. You then! whose destruction is of your selves, if your precious soules miscarrie: Consider sensibly in whom your helpe lies, make out towards a Jesus betime; for there's no mer­cie shewed on the other side the grave; one drop of water which is but a verie small thing: if mis'd and desir'd, cannot be obtain'd: Then, if ever you'le owne free grace and fellowship with Christ. Doe it now, even while 'tis called Heb. 4. 11. to day; heare his voice and harden not your hearts: for this day let slip, you may ne'r have another. Resisting sinners! I wish you well, my bowells are troubled for you; oh pitie your selves! and let not sinlive to kill your soules: [Page 161] as it hath serv'd others who are gone to their owne place. Re­member, and forget not Jerusa­lems fall and follie: least sweet Christ hide the day of peace from your eyes, as once hee serv'd her.

Fourthly, the stinging thoughts of being Christ-les, and friendles, at that Tribunall bar of heavenly Majestie: The thoughts of ha­ving no Advocate with the Fa­ther, to speake one good word for the soule to the Irefull Judge; none to stand betwixt God and the soule, none to keep off the stroakes and blowes. When Con­science shall suggest, and cause a man to crie out in bitternesse of his spirit; Ah wretch that I am, I have lived so ill, I cannot die well, nor willingly: yet die I must, but cannot tell what will become of my poore soule and selfe! I am now giving up the Ghost, but alas! I know not who shall have it; I have been Satans [Page 162] servant, and sinnes servant, all my daies, have slighted glorious meanes of acquaintance with God, have been wearie of Ser­mons, wearie of spirituall ser­vices, and spirituall societie: Thus have I made the Judge my foe, and the Advocate my adver­sarie; And woe is mee I know neither of them both. And then though such crie out; Moun­taines and hills fall upon us, and hide us from the presence of him, that sits on the Throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: Mountaines will not doe it for them. Then men shall shreeke and crie out with trembling, Lord, Lord. Ho­sanna thou sonne of David have mercie on us: yet shall have no o­ther Answer but this, I tell you, I know not whence you are, depart from me; you shall goe thither, where there shall bee weeping, wail­ing, and gnashing of teeth. When you shall see Abraham, Isaac, and Luk. 13. 27, 28. Jacob, and all the Prophets in the [Page 163] Kingdome, and you your selves thrust out. Or that of Christ; I professe Mat. 7. 23. unto you, I never knew you, then, even then, those who have been asham'd of Christ, and of his words; in a sinfull, and adulterous genera­tion: shall find Christ will bee a­shamed of them, as he comes to Judge in the glorie of his Father, with the Mark. 8. last. holy Angels. Ah Lord! can no healing be found for these woun­ded soules? Is there no balme in Gilead for them? open their hearts, inlighten their minds, ob­serve their wants, and supplie them all; lay hold on their sinnes, and subdue them fullie: and, se­cure, sensuall soules! I say to you, as they to Jonah, Arise you sleepers, call on your God.

Fifthly, the resignation of the soule into the hands of Satan, a devillish tormenting Tyrant, a cruell enemie to all mankind: one that, odio intestino prosequi­tur followes and pursues man with a deadly hatred. Satan ha's an [Page 164] Interest in some now, but then he'l have the principle: some are of him as Christ speakes, and those must unto him at the close of time. Then Satan puts in a bill of inditement, as large as that booke of Zacharie; wherein is alledged all evill deeds that e're were committed: yea Conscience, Zcah. 5. neither good nor quiet, will ac­cuse, and memorie give bitter evi­dence, the whilest the Devills are Ezek. 2. 10. readie to fetch away the soule. In a word, the whole man, and everie part thereof will bee di­stressed, those verie eyes which were quick and active to behold Luk. 12. 20. vanitie, shall loose their light and see nothing but bloud-guiltinesse of sinne: and the other senses af­ter their order shall faile, and fall, the mind, reason, and Me­morie, as heavenly powers of the soule, shall be shaken with fear­full stormes of despaire, and flashings of Hell fire. Then the earthlie house shall shake and [Page 165] tremble, yea, the humours like an overflowing Sea, shall roare and rattle; Then the Sunne shall bee turn'd into darkenesse, and the Moone into bloud, and the starres shall fall from Heaven. The aire shall be full of stormes, and fla­shing Meteors, the earth it selfe also shall tremble, the Sea roare, and mens hearts shall faile for feare, ex­pecting the end of such sorrowfull beginnings, which shall receive no periods. Then he, or she that ha's spent so many dayes or nights in vaine, and idle pastimes, would give a world, could it bee done, for one houres delay: that they might repent, be reconciled to God, and live. Repent now, desperate sinner! Compare things together, say to thy selfe, in earnest thus. There is a sinne that I am addicted to, as Pride, Passion, Covetousnesse, Luxurie, Prophanenesse, of this and the other sort; which if I live in, and goe on, I die for ever; I loose [Page 166] God, Christ, Heaven, and my owne soule too, and then what gaine I? Nothing but the plea­sures of sin, which are levitie, va­nitie, and then the pressures of Hell which are perplexitie. The Proverb is, if a man doe venture, and run a hazzard, let him doe it for something: so let us doe as well as say. What! shall I gra­tifie Satan for tempting, the flesh for suggesting, the world for alluring to sinne, with the losse of my precious soule? when I am gone, all's gone with me. And Christians! be you re­solv'd in this particular, doe not you like these; what though Sa­tan roares Lyon-like, The flesh drawes one way, the world ano­ther? yet stand you fast, quit your selves like men, bee strong in the Lord your strength: persevere, hold out to the end, let no man take your Crowne for if you are redeem'd from thrall: by precious bloud: then come not into such bondage [Page 167] againe, worke not in such Turkish Gallies any more, that your last change be not bitter, and if you are right for Christ, be assured you cannot.

Sixthly, the stinging thoughts of an exclusion, and ejection from Gods blessed presence, and all familiarity with him and his in those heavenly places; this losse, even this (as the Learned have proved) is a greater tor­ment, then ought else can be un­to damned soules Poena dāni, seu divinae vi­sionis priva­tio, omnium omninò suppliciorum summum est, quo Deus ho­minem punire potest: Nam uti videre Deum, ipsissima beatitu­do est: Ita, Deum videre non posse, maxima damnatorum poe­na est, &c. Inter supplicia omnia hoc futurum est summum, maximum (que) à conditoris aspectu vel brevi morula detineri. Intollerabilis est Gehenna & illa poena: tamen licet quis innumeras ponat gehennas, tale nil dicet, quale illa faelici exci­dere gloria, à Christo odio haberi: audire, Nescio vos Chrysoft. ad Po. Antioch. Omnia verò gehennae supplicia superabit, Deum non videre, & bonis carere, quae in potestate habuisti obtinere. Bern. de in­ter domo. cap. 38. Intollerabilis quidèm res est etiam gehenna: quis nescit, & supplicium illud horribile? tamen si mille aliquis ponat gehen­nas, nihil tale dicturus est, quale est à beatae illius gloriae ho­nore repelli, exosumque Christo, & audire ab illo: non novi. vos. Chrys. in Mat. Hom. 24.. And 'tis [Page 168] fitly called a paine of losse, viz. an unhappie and everlasting ba­nishment, from the highest hea­ven; and the beatificall vision of the most glorious soveraigne, and chiefest good. 'Tis not to have the least influence of heat and life, from the least Ray of that Sun-like, resplendent bodie of Christ: not to have one glance of its glorie, not to have one taste of those overflowing rivers of pleasures, not to have one glimpse of that inaccessable light, and Jehovah's glorie. What shall I say the losse is? And how shall I esteem it? Surely none, but one, who ha's been in Heaven, heard and seen what's there; can tell you what it is to bee shut out thence. Paul could and did doe something this way, having had in a rapture a little glimpse of that infinite glory; And having drunke a small drop, of those ever springing fountaines of matchlesse Joy and Peace: Hence [Page 169] was he brought to call the most ex­cellent things of this life, and the knowledge of them but drosse and dung, yea, even dogs meat, in com­parison of those things above: Oh how sweet! how comforta­ble! how refreshing are the surpassing rarities of Heaven! Honest soules! doe not your hearts burn within you, when you thinke on them, discourse on them, and read of them, even burne with love to them? Sure I am whate're you thinke of these things, and whatsoever the worke is that they make upon your spi­rits; that the losse of them will be bitter: And I seriously ac­knowledge through Gods good­nesse, I count nothing gaine in respect of them, when I am my selfe, and compare the best of o­ther things with them. Oh paine of losse! thou peircest the verie heart, soule, and inward parts, dost wound deeply: The paine of sence is but as a scar in the flesh, [Page 170] to this; for, this cuts the verie heart in peeces, breakes it to shi­vers: Doe you not see this con­firm'd by common experience? oh how do's it fret, vex and dis­quiet men to loose good bar­gaines on earth? when a man do's but let slip an opportunitie of taking a good peniworth of commodities, when it ha's been offer'd: How do's hee upbraid himselfe with his negligence fail­ing; and folly? There are some cannot get such a fault out of their minds along time, especi­ally if the gaine that would have come that way, was such, as that it would have made them rich men, as long as they liv'd after. Aye! but what's that bargain, pur­chase, or prize to this? that may be lost in a moment, & at the best it lasts not long; for life it selfe is but short with all the accom­modations of it: but I must needs tell all intelligent hearts, ther's enough in God to make you rich [Page 171] for ever; and if he makes a bar­gain with you, gives himself for your selves, he'l warrant his com­moditie to last for ever, and to serve for everie turne: Heaven is meat, drinke, and cloathing, health, libertie, and harbouring, unto all that are seated there. You see then by this, what it is that imbitters death, and the change to some: this last ha's most gall and wormewood in't, namely, the pain of losse, which Christs sensible servants ne're su­staine. Finally, unto you, who are the redeemed of the Lords Christ, be these things spoken. Feare not but desire to see this day, your last, and best, even the last and best of all your changes. Consider.

First, the day of your change is the Lords pay-day, everie la­bourer in the Lords vineyard, shall then receive his peny; everie prayer shall then have its answer; Everie hungring, and thirsting [Page 172] soule shall then bee filled, shall ne'r hunger nor thirst more: Eve­rie sigh, groane, and the teares that have fallen from the eyes of Saints in secret, or else where, shall have their fruit, even the qui­et fruits of righteousnesse; which were sowne in peace many yeares before: And then all teares shall be wiped off from all faces of Saints, yea, even everie grace shall then be glorious. Moses did and suf­fer'd much when he did but eye the reward, what then shall wee be, suffer, and doe, when wee re­ceive it? Then 'twill goe well with the righteous, no mans latter end will be like theirs.

First, the soule will bee in its prime then, for whilest it is in a corruptible bodie, it is so ruled by senses, and is so fiercely car­ried on by sensuall appetites, that it's compelled to give way to the bodie; and cannot follow the light either of nature, or Rea­son: Hence the truth is withheld [Page 173] in unrighteousnesse, and the soule cannot act like her selfe; like a Spirit, whose nature is to sore aloft, towards the place whence she came. Now till then, the soul is made a servant, and cannot looke out at the eyes, but 'twill bee infected, nor heare by the eares, but 'twill bee distracted, nor smell at the nostrills, and not be tainted, taste by the tongue and not be allured, or touch by the hand, and not bee defiled: And everie sense on everie occa­sion & temptation is ready to be­tray the soule, untill the bodie is changed and made glorious. Who then that's wise will not long for his approaching decease, that he may enter the Celestiall Paradise? to exchange his brasse for gold, his vanitie for felicitie, vilenesse for honour, bondage for freedome, a lease of life tem­porall, for an inheritance of life immortall: Sith that to live here is to die? for how much wee live, [Page 174] so much wee die; everie step of life is a step towards death: and he that ha's liv'd the halfe of his dayes, is dead the halfe of him­selfe. Death gets first our Infan­cie, then our youth, and so for­ward, and certainly as long as we have lived, so long we have died.

But 'tis very grievous, and irke­some Objection. to mee, to thinke of the taking asunder of soule and bodie: Might they goe together as Enoch's did, the change would bee more comfor­table.

They are put asunder but for a time, after which the'l bee united Answer. for ever: Besides the union of the soule with Christ remaines in full force still, as the Hypostati­call did, when his bodie lay in the grave. The Lords presence is with the bodie in the dust, as much as the soule is in Heaven with God, and in his presence. God told Jacob hee would goe downe with him into Egipt, and on. 46. 4. also surely bring him up againe; [Page 175] But Jacob was dead ere hee was brought up againe. Therefore he carried up his carcase out of Egypt, not his soule, and so ful­filled his blessed Promise. Saints! why care you so much for the carcase? why feare you to let it lie in the dust, and to bee turned into its owne materialls? ther's not a bone, nerve, or sinew of the whole shall be lost; he keeps all the bones of the Righteous, saith the Psalm 34. 20. Prophet. And ha's not Christ told you that the haires of your heads are numbred? He has told them one by one, and certaine­ly in the Resurrection, though you may have more in order to perfection: yet you shall not have lesse. Is not this comforta­ble? Do's it not warme you at the heart, and refresh you to see how you are car'd for? then, as you are not like children of wrath in your living, so loath to be like them in your lothnesse of dying. Adde to this, that the [Page 176] grave is but the Lords Treasurie, wherein hee layes all the bodies of his Saints: or may fitly bee called a second wombe. Now consider well. God might have made the first wombe thy tombe, and then how couldest thou have beheld his greatest glorie; Ther­fore grudg not at Gods procee­dings in such a kind as this: For God meaneth your good in such an alteration. The bodie falls but like an eare of corne into the ground, that it may sprout and spring up more gloriously: who then minding Heaven, lets his mind run so much on his earth­ly Tabernacle? is so loth to lay it downe? Surely Abraham's change was still before him, and he bought him burying places. and Job waited for it all the daies of his life. In a word, the soule shall have no need of the bodie, untill the Resurrection; she's happie of her selfe till then: Nor can a glorified soule returne into [Page 177] a sinfull bodie againe: Hence 'tis evident, as some conceive, that Lazarus his soule was not in Hea­ven, was not a glorified soule, for if so 'twould not have return'd into a sinfull bodie: But the uni­on betwixt soule and bodie was losed at that time, and the soule was still in the bodie: tanquam in sede, non tanquam in organo. 'Twas in the bodie, but did not animate the bodie.

Secondly, that you bee not loth to stoope to Christ in this great worke of dying, and that you may have comfort in it. Con­sider further.

That it is no more but a meere mutation, 'tis not an annihilati­on, being turn'd into nothing; but a being turn'd into something better then you were: and who, that has understanding will not let fall a handfull of dirt to take up a handfull of Gold? 'tis but like Josephs act of changing his garments, when hee went in to [Page 178] Pharaoh; You shall but for a few houres, it may be, but for a few minutes, be putting off and on that which the Scripture calls cloathing. Put off, and lay aside the ragges of mortalitie, and sinne, and then put on the robes of immortalitie, eternitie, and glorie. A Christian at the most do's but taste aliquid mortis, his death is but as a sleep.

Thirdly, this change will put a period to all other thy changes, at death they all shall loose their beings; Here you find changes of Joy, and sorrow, comforts, and crosses, sicknesse, and health, abundance, and wealth: But af­ter this you shall ne'r bee trou­bled any more, with a sick body, sad estate, and common losses; And for inward changes they shall cease also, whereas here you're sometimes free, anon di­stressed, sometimes you have a sweet taste of Heaven, at other times distracted with feares of [Page 179] Hell, sometimes stroaked with Christ, and the comforts of the Spirit, anon stricken with Sa­tan, one while magnifying God for grace, another while crying out of sinnes violent workings in your minds and members; But at this day of change you'l be released for ever, from sinne and Satan, and you shall bee as free, as heart can wish, or desire. In a word, 'tis your yeare of Jubi­lee: in the yeare of Jubilee, every one that-had lost or sold his lands, upon the sounding of the Trumpet return'd, and received them againe; so you Saints of the most high God shall have what you have lost, even the ful­nesse of that Image which you lost in Adam, of all knowledge, wisedome, Righteousnesse, and true holinesse, which then he had, and lost, and you shall enjoy a better estate than ever hee lost, or sold.

IOHN 17. 22, 23, 24.‘And the glory which thou gavest mee, I have given them, that they may be one even as we are one, &c.’‘Father I will that they also whom thou hast given mee be with mee where I am, that they may behold my glory which thou hast given me, &c.’

CHAP. V. Of the unfolding of Glory, or the Inhe­ritance of Saints when chang'd.

CHrists gifts are largely exten­sive, he gives all hee ha's to his, what would they more? Christ's sayings are all truth: neither Grace nor Glory, nor any good thing doth he with-hold from his. The Glory which thou gavest me, I have given them. The end of Christ's amity is unity: all Christ's drift is to encrease union betwixt himselfe and his: if dis­content surprize his, they shall have all he is and hath, ere he'le [Page 181] be at odds with them: Oh what a Jesus is this! Christs friends fare as himselfe doe's; If he have Glo­ry they can't want it, that they may be one. The union of Christ with Christians, is like that of Christ with God, some things ex­cepted: even as we are one, &c. All Christs acts have his whole will in them: Father I will, &c. Christ loves that his should be in­dwellers in Glory, dwell with him: such Inmates offend not him: I will that they may be with me where I am. Christ loves to haue his Glory look'd on, give him what hee loves: for will not looking breed liking? and li­king longing after such a bles­sing? that they may behold my glory, &c. Wee'l shew what the Glory is that's given, and that as succinctly as may be.

[Page 182] GLory in the generall, is no­thing else but apparant ex­cellency, and even so the word is used in Scripture, for even that which was made glorious, had no Glory in this respect [...] by reason of the glo­ry which excelleth. 2 Cor. 3. 10. Nonunquam [...] [...]pud philosophosest idē quod [...] seu [...]. Item fama rumor, & in bonam & in malam par­tem saepius ad bonae famae existimationē restringitur; unde vertitut gloria, honor. Eras. opinio & per syncchdochen generis gloria, quia gloria est opiniopraeclara de a­licujus sapientia & virtute. Pisc. in Gal. 2. 2. Matie, Math. 6. 29. Acts 7. 2. splendor, Luke 9. 31. Acts 22. 11. brightnesse, Hebr. 1. 3. & 2 Cor. 3. 7. And in this place heavenly felicity or eternall glory. Hinc [...] quod significat, ornare gloria, glorificare, usurpatur vel de collatione boni praeclari & singula­ris vel de manifestatione, & predicatione gloriae. Tarnovius. 'Tis excel­lent, for 'tis the Lords Glory-Christ enjoynes his followers to to say to his Father, Thine is the Glory: and in Scripture phrase whensoever God is added to things, it denotes them emi­nent; as the citie of God, the moun­tain of God, the increases of God, It is apparant too. My soule thir­steth, and my flesh longeth for thee, to see thy glory, so as I have seene it in the Sanctuary. Hence it is that [Page 183] where a Believer is, where Christ is; hee shall clearely see, and fully know the excellencies of God, and Christ: yea, what his owne excellency is, by vertue of his union and communion with them both; for then that Glory will be apparant above, which is not so apparant here below.

Three things there are that make everlasting Glory.

  • 1. The Lords revealing of himselfe to the soule clearly and immediatly.
  • 2ly. His communicating of himselfe unto her fully, and at once.
  • 3. The convolution or turn­ing of the whole soule on God, according unto what hee reveales of himselfe in such a manner.

1. A clear revelation of God, Tunc et enim justi cuncta scient quae Deus fecit scienda tam ea quae praeterita, quam ea quae post mo­dum sunt futura. Anselm de similitud. Cap. 54. Neque sola vi­sio Dei sanctis hominibus in coelo promittitur sed etiam omni­um rerum, quas fecit Deus, &c. Greg. [...]e aetern. felicit, l. 3. c. 2. and in him many other secrets. [Page 184] ‘Then shal be made evident those sacred secrets, and glorious my­steries of the holy Trinity; of the unity of Christ's Humanity with the Divine nature, and of Christians with Christ: then all the causes of God's eternall Councell, in Election and Re­probation; as also the manner of the Creation of the World, with the fall of the Angels, and all the mysteries of the work of Redemption, together with the spirituall substances, offices, or­ders and excellencies of those Angels that stand. The nature, immortality, operations, and originall of our owne soules, and that after a way unuttera­rable.’

Visions of God, and glory on Earth, are darke; we see darkely saith the Scripture: would we see clearly, we must waite then til we are in Heaven. For whilst he talked with God, the skin of his face did shine, so, as that the peo­ple were af­fraid to come nigh him. Ex. 34. 29, 30. God told Mo­ses, hee could not see his face, viz. all his Glory, & live: (a part he did [Page 185] see:) But no living man is found capatious enough to take in such a degree of glory, as is the fulnesse of Gods face and favour. Is't not the darknesse of the vision, and the obscurity of the evidences of Gods grace & favour, that some­times makes a child of light sit in darknesse, and can see no light? what (save this very thing) made the Church cry out, Lord thou Lam. 3.44. hast covered thy selfe with a cloud, so that our Prayers should not passe through? and Job, Loe he goeth by Job 9. 11. me and I see him not; hee passeth on also, but I perceive him not. If it be said the Revelation is not dark in it selfe: but to such as it con­cernes, 'tis the apprehension which is darke that such have of it: It's granted: but still 'tis evi­dent we see darkly here, and that God and glory are but reveal'd in part, whiles we are here, so that imperfect revelations are darke comparatively, referring to what they shall be.

[Page 186] How doe some precious souls grieve, take on, mourn and com­plaine, because they cannot see God to be theirs, & themselves to be his, and abiding in him clearly? To such bee it now spoken, ere long disconsolate soul! thou shalt Gloria ha­bitat rupibus. Clem. Alex. [...] Where there's an excellency there's a great difficulty. be in his armes, behold his glory, and thine own too, which he ha's given thee, even there where this kind of darknesse, nor any other of what nature soever can ever approach. Revelations of God in heaven are immediate also, as well as cleare; there, languishing soules! you that here mourne af­ter God, cry night and day after the Father of Spirits, are sick of love: there (I say) you shall not need to be staid with flaggons, or comforted with Apples; (as the Spouse once desit'd) for God shal be all unto you then. The Greek Poet when he had recited an ob­scure Poem, and all his Auditors had left him, except Plato, spake thus: Plato is to me in steed of al. Plato est mihi pro omnibus. [Page 187] So a soule that's forsaken of all, except God, findes God in stead of all to her. And you also that now take great paines, and have many weary fits in prayer, hea­ring, reading, conference, & me­ditations; shall then rest from those labours, and enjoy God and Christ, without any such meanes.

Others also, whose hearts are now full of cares, feares, and sor­rowes about the maner of doing such services: one while bewail­ing badnesse of memory, another while coldnesse of affection, at a­nother time deadnesse of heart, drowsinesse and dulnesse of spi­rit, with all carnall, idle, wande­ring thoughts, uncheerfulnesse, unfitnesse, and unsuitablenesse, to and for such holy employments: even those (I say) shall then bee freed from all such burthens: they shall have nothing there to care for, nor shall they have any employment to take paines in; [Page 188] for it shall be, not a paine, but a pleasure to follow the Lamb whither soever he goes, with whom is fulnesse of joy, and at whose right hand are pleasures for evermore.

2ly. His communicating of himselfe fully and at once. On earth God communicates of his fulnesse: but the commu­nication of all fulnesse it selfe is onely in Heaven. Besides, the communication of fulness which Saints receive here, is onely of grace for grace: Believers! if you'l receive glory for glory, expect till you be where Christ is, in whom such fulnesse dwels. Father I will that they may be where I am: to behold my glory. That, even that will be their renowne, who shall dwell in light marvellous

God do's this; first, to keep under selfe-advancing sins: wee, Alas! are invincibly prone to lift up our selves, and let Christ lye low, who ne're deserv'd such un­kindnesse at our hands: we rise in [Page 189] our owne conceits immensly, a­bove measure; hence wee con­straine the Lord to leave thornes in our flesh, something or other to beget anguish in us; some­times a Satan, a Devil to buffet us, & beat us out of our high holds: If in-comes from heaven abound on mens spirits, oh how apt are they to waxe fat, and forget the rocke whence they are hewen? yea, the very brests that gave them suck, ran out freely for their nourish­ment? But what a sad and bad thing is this; that men should be evill because God is good? That God cannot abound in Revelati­on, but man will abate in humilia­tion? Paul sinn'd once thus, but it brought him on his knees thrice to the God of pardons; God will not communicate all his ful­ness on earth, least men should be full of spirituall tumours on such a bottome: hee'l first have them where they can bee proud no more, and then they shall in­herite [Page 190] all fullest glory. Oh the height, and the depth of the wisdome of God! how unsearchable are his Counsells, and his wayes past finding out! but.

2. God gives not out all his fulnesse here, for earthly vessells, unglorified Christians cannot hold it all whilst in the body. The Widdowes oyle increast whilst her Vessell could receive it: but when once the Vessells were straitned, its encrease was suspen­ded. Christians have had, and still have as much of God here, as such Vessels will hold: speak experience! Are not some so full of Christ at some times, as that they can scarce containe them­selves in a huge world? and hence would faine be with Christ, that they may bee more inlarg'd like their object, to receive as much of him as can bee given? What mortall can tell how much the affections of Saints are inflamed, and how much their zeal is kind­led, [Page 191] when God comes in sweet­ly, and comfort breakes in up­on them like a flood? Then, even then, how loose they stick to the Creatures, and how much they long to be above them with the Creator, I want words to ex­presse. These like the Israelites, when once they had got a taste of the grapes of Canaan, they can­not be at quiet untill they are ca­ried thither. Is not this to keep men longing, who would bee found lothing, had they all ful­nesse here? what is't else? God speaks good to the heart, but 'tis here a little, and there a little, to keep their stomacks open, that he may put in more when he ha's a minde so to doe. God commu­nicates all at once in heaven too: (though some have other thoughts) this puts a difference betwixt fruition of his commu­nications on earth, & the posses­sion of them in heaven: for here he gives out himselfe but by de­grees, [Page 192] now a little and then a little as we said before. God serves his children as you deale with yours: an heire in his minority is kept under, to make him know him­selfe, and hee receives his sub­stance only by parcels, and small pieces: but when he comes to be of full yeares, then his whole in­heritance comes in at once. And in this sence as the Apostle speaks the believing heir, while he is a child, dif­fers nothing from a servāt, though he be Lord of all. But when he's of ripe yeares, & comes into those heavēly places, hee is made a Lord, yea a King, & his Father gives him his portion all at once, Gal. 4.1. If discoveries of God in glory bee not full, and at once, then these absurdities would follow.

1. The vision of God then would be but graduall, but imper­fect, and in part, there as wel as here: and stil the glorified would stand in doubt, when the rest should be revealed, which kinde of doubting would argue distrust, which cannot possibly have place in heaven. Nor did it ever enter into the thoughts of the most High, that the least occasion should be given to such an evill; And certainely when Saints are where they can sin no more from [Page 193] any cause in themselves, or with­out themselves; such as urge the Principle must needs be guil­ty of charging God: For by the rules and lawes of such kinde of arguing, 'twill easily be gather'd that the Lord's shutting in of himselfe though but for a season, makes the soule question the cer­tainty of future discoveries. Concerning which persons, I had almost said their blasphemie is of a very high nature: but.

2. Where then were the Saints cessation from labour; would there not then bee a continuall want of the exercise of grace? yea even of faith, hope, patience, and long-suffering, untill the ac­complishment of such a full dis­covery of God to the soule. And who knowes not that those gra­ces shall cease to exist & be, when once the Saints are made glori­ous? For what need will there be of faith to evidence things visible, and such things as are not at a di­stance [Page 194] from the Sts? what need of hope to waite for that which is had already? and what an uncom­fortable Doctrine will this bee found to dying Christians. In a word, grace is swallowed up of glory; yet I grant that love shall be ever active in those heavenly places.

The third part of glory is the convolution or turning of the whole soul on God, according unto what he reveals of himselfe in such a maner: here alas! Chri­stians cannot roule themselves on God immediately & fully. Here the means is cal'd in to help, and wee see little is done; but by the meanes. Faith comes by hearing, as the Scriptures speak.

Besides, who can doe it fully, when as hee that knowes but in part, trusts, and believes but in part; for how can he assent unto what he knowes not? Adde to this, that here the thoughts wan­der from God, cannot be kept in [Page 195] in holy employments; and the heart is oft absent, and afarre off, when the person is present, as God complains: and this either from some defect, in the manner of the administration of the word (the absence of the spirit and po­wer concurring) or some cause subordinate thereunto. But in Heaven the presence of God holds the soule close to it selfe, so that it cannot wander, cannot stir from God; and the Majestie and glory, with the amiablenesse of the same presence, drawes out all the abilities of the whole soul, to act answerable unto the lawes, nearenesse, and dearenesse of such a relation as is betwixt God and her selfe. Hence 'tis as easie for a glorified, soule to bee turn'd on God, and to doe for God, as to be, God having freed her from all power of acting otherwise, & having also implanted in her an in-written constitution, an in­nate instinct by glory. To be com­pleatly [Page 196] glorified, is to be freed from all imperfections of soule and body, and to enjoy all per­fection in them both joyntly: which by reason of Terminus â quo, viz. the miseries and evills that Saints are delivered from, is fitly call'd in sacred writ, Redemp­tion; and in regard of terminus ad quem, 'tis as truely and proper­ly 1 Cor. 1. 30. Gal. 3. 13. Eph. 1. 13, 14. Eph. 1. 3. Iohn 3. 36. 1 Pet. 5. 10. & Cap. 1. 4. stiled beatification, life, eternall Glory, glorification, and an immor­tall inheritance.

On which two branches there growes that blissfull fruit, which the glorified eate in the midst of the Paradise of God. Of these 2. in their order it is that we intend to speake.

Wee begin first with the im­munities of the soule, which are a part of her glory; The first is glorious liberty, such as is pecu­liar to the children of God, viz. freedom from all infringements, and soule-straitning powers.

1. All power and possibility [Page 197] of sinning against her soveraigne good; conceptions of sinne shall then cease to be, much more then shall the births of sin, which are Death, be annihilated. There re­maines no Condemnation for her, because she's in Christ, walkes af­ter the spirit of God, and followes the Lambe whither soever hee goes. Sin, Death, Divels and Hell, are swallowed up in the victories of her Husband.

2. From al spots of sin, all spi­ritual impurity, all low thoughts of God, and high thoughts of her selfe, all irregularity of will, as it was rebellious to right reason with greatest opposition: Though here she could not elect or reject like the Lord, yet in glory shee shall. Adde to this her freedome from all unsoundnesse of judge­ment, and taints of error; which while she was unglorified she was subject unto; in all her apprehen­sions, receptions, and concepti­ons of the most Holy God, and his [Page 198] most Holy things, or of her selfe and others. Besides, her freedom from all impuritie, and imbecili­ty of affection; her love then shal be undefiled, like unto Christs, and not weak, cold or feeble, as't is whilst in an earthly Tabernacle.

3. From all instruments of sin. Shee'l then be freed from such a body, whose members are all weapons of unrighteousnesse, and re­bellious servants to her, as shee's a soule: the Law, viz. the power of the members, can rebell no more against the law of her minde, to lead her captive to sinnes law, viz. sins power. The unruly Carkasse shal never crosse, vexe, and disquiet her more; Serenity and Magna­nimity shall then cover her as a garment. Shee shall then have the substance, dominion, and strength of a Spirit, which is such as is in the Angels of God, one of wch did in one night slay 185000. 2 Kings 19. 35. Nor shall the vile body ever let in sinne by the sences, to conta­minate [Page 199] the precious soule any more.

The senses of hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting and touching shall be spiritualiz'd, ere that the soule will employ them againe. The soul shal never re-enter into an unglorious body, when once she's rid on't; Nor shal shee ever have need so to doe, for shal she not be contain'd in God? and is not that better then to exist in a naturall body? The soules of Sts, although their strength bee now held in, and buried in their massie, sinful, weake bodies, shal then appeare in their native and origi­nall strength.

Finally, there shal be then mens sana, in corpore sano: a sound mind in a sound body.

The parts of the bodies glory are such as these;

1. Freedome from all wants, weaknesses, distempers, and un­comelinesse. Neither blindnesse, lamenesse, deafenesse, nor croo­kednesse [Page 200] shall enter that place of perfection. The bodies of Saints though they dye imperfect, yet shall they rise made perfect in all their parts. What though their bodies be without form, comeliness, & fashion; yet they shal be made handsome, beautiful, and comely, just like unto the glorious bodie of Christ: yea, and which is more, they shal, saith the Text, be fashio­ned in the whole body like unto his bo­die: bee as handsome bodied as Christ is, and have as comely a Person, and feature as he himself ha's, whom the Father loves dear­ly. Mephibosheth shall have no lamenesse in his feet then, he shal not halt before God in glory: nor shall Moses stammer, and fal­ter with his tongue, or need an Interpreter in that day. For ha's not God promised to turne unto Zeph. 3. 9. his people a pure language, that they may all call upon the Lord to serve him with one consent; or as in the O­riginall, with one shoulder.

[Page 201] 2. It shall have no want of outward sustenance. Beings on earth may consist in what men shal eate, and in that where with they shal be cloathed. Providence existing in such supportments: but the Kingdome of Heaven, and Saints beings there, consists not in meates or drinkes: but in righteousnesse, and true holinesse. They shall hun­ger Revel. 7. 16, 17. no more, neither shall they thirst any more; for the Lamb which is in the midst of the Throne shall feede them, and leade them to living foun­tains of water, as the spirit speaks.

Thirdly, adde to this, that the bodies weakenesse with want of health shall cease then. Here the discord of the bodies Elementa­rie qualities, and its corrupti­ble nature concurring begets di­stempers, diseases, putrifactions, and contagions; Although affli­ctiōs come not forth of the dust, neither doth trouble spring out of the ground: but in glory by the powerfull influence of Di­vine [Page 202] Majestie upon the whole man, there shall be a perfect har­mony and agreement among all such qualities and dissonant hu­mours. Their bodies whether hot and dry, or cold and moist, shall have perfect health and strength. Then ulcerous Lazarus shall be found as whole as a fish; and in that day all inward or out­ward contagions, and hurtfull impressions shall cease to be. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my Isa. 11. 9. holy mountaine saith God. There's no beating, bruising, wounding, stabbing, or killing of bodies in glorie: then the most high God with a stretched-out arme, will free the Carkasse from all dispo­sednesse to any inward decays of strength, or vitall spirits: which estate in Scripture is aptly cal'd a Condition, or Inheritance, incor­ruptible, 1 Pet. 1. 4. Potentia non moriendi ex quadam hy­pothesi unio­nis cum ani­ma originali ter perfecta immortali. undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserv'd in heaven for them▪ Hence the body is invested with Potentia non moriendi, im­mortality, [Page 203] it can never be a dying body any more, nor shall the Saints ever have cause to cry a­ny more, oh! who shall deliver mee from this bodye of death? and is not this that blessed day of the bodies redemption from sinne & death, its wages? What but this made those followers of Christ, who had receiv'd the first fruits of this glory wee speak of, to groane within themselves, waiting to en­ter this rest?

4. And what misse of sleep can there be then, when the body ha's ceas'd from its labours, which makes it wanting in such a kinde. Besides, there will be no lacke of fire to heate us, or aire to coole and strengthen the bodies brea­thing; for there shall be an aura Quae supplet defectumaeris corporibus glorificatis. caelestis as some affirm, which shal supply the want of aire to glorifi­ed bodies: but I rather judge there shall bee no misse of such things, because there shall be no sunne to scorch them, neither cold to [Page 204] pinch them: the sunne shall not light upon them, nor any heate as the holy Ghost ha's said.

5. And can you think that he who cloaths Lillios on earth with­out their owne paines taking, will let Saints in heaven goe naked? Ha's not the Lambe of God pro­mised that his shall walke with him in white? and that his raiment is so fit and large, and covers so wel, as that nakednesse cannot appear. Who tooke away Joshuah's filthy Revel. 7. 16. garments, when hee stood before the Lord, caus'd his iniquities to pass from him, and cloath'd him with change of raiments? was't not the Angell of the Covenant, Jesus Christ?

6. Its universal freedom from Sicut spiritus carni serviens non incon­grué carnalis ita caro spiri­tui serviens, recte appella­tur spiritua­lis, &c. Aug. de civit. Dei, l. 13. c. 20. all power to affront the spirit of Christ, by disobedience and dis­honour. And as subjection to sinne and Satan shews the body is naturall whilst here: so submissi­on [Page 205] to the spirit of Christ there, will shew it is a spiritual body, which is another part of its glo­rie.

8. A general exemption from Restat ergo ut suam recipiat quis (que) mensu­ram, quam vel habuit in juventure, etiamsi senex est mortu­us: vel fuerat habiturus si antê est defunctus. Aug. de Civit. Dei, l. 22. c. 15. Circa triginta annos defini erunt esse etiam seculi hujus doctissimi homines juventutem. Idem. Ibid. Resurgent omnes tam magni Corpore quam vel erant vel fu­turi erant in juvenili aetate. Idem. Ibid. all minority, Infancy, youth, old age, & witherdnesse, by all which the bodie's found in an imperfect state: Infants, youths, and aged persons, if in Covenant with God, shall rise in the perfection of strength and yeares: which as some have prov'd shall be such as is found to bee in persons about the age of 30. or as others affirm, about the age of 33. and then, as others have made good by argu­ments, the child shall rise in that perfect strength it would have had, had it liv'd untill the time of the fullest perfection of growth.

Now to the second branch of [Page 206] the definition, viz. That to be glo­rified is to enjoy all perfection in soul and body both joyntly, and of that thus.

1. The soul and body shall ex­ternally enjoy a most exquisite knowledge of God, the godly, & 1 Cor. 12. 1. of themselves also, when once they're made glorious. An exqui­site & perfect knowledg of God, they shall both see him not onely mentally and contemplatively: but also with the bodies eyes cor­porally: For the glorious God will let in such a great light, and give such a great strength of sight unto them both; as that the eyes of them both shall be opened, en­larg'd, and perfectly apted to concord with himselfe the ob­ject.

Whence was that of Job. I Iob 19. 26, 27. know that in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for my selfe, & mine eyes shall b [...]hold him, and not a stran­ger; as it is in the Originall, was't not hence? viz. that he had assu­rance [Page 207] in his own soul, being seal'd with the spirit of promise, that such a thing should be? and doe's not God approve this saying? when he sayes he spake right words of him? And which is more, we shall see and enjoy him perfectly in our selves: wee see and know the Lord on this side glory but by fits, now and then; even as a waifaring man, who stayes but for a night, and is gone: or else wee see him spiritually, as the Disciples saw him corporally, when he was comming towards them: they said, says the Text, hee is a Ghost. So when God comes in upon our spirits with joy and gladnesse, comfort and refreshment, wee are prone to thinke 'tis not hee. How many precious Saints are there under Heaven, whose soules with David refuse to be comfor­ted; shunne the Lord in his com­forts as if he were a Ghost? And though he say ne're so oft, as Christ to his Disciples, be of good cheere, Matth. 14.27 [Page 208] feare not to be comforted, It is I? Yet how hardly are men brought to believe, being slow of heart? yea, and though possibly they doe not thinke a Ghost is comming towards them: yet, doe they not oft conclude that strong consola­tions are delusions and illusions of a false spirit?

We doe not only feare vainly those things which cannot hurt us: but also dread even perversly those things which occasion our Non solum inaniter me­tuamus quae nocere non possunt, sed perversé etiam horreamus ea quae ad salu­tem faciunt: Mucs. Ludit suavisstuié, cum nos putamus omnia esse perditissi­ma. Luther. In tentationibus fingimus Deum alium: quàm revera est putamus Deum tum non esse Deum, sed phantasma, hoc est, horribile spectrum quod nos velit devorare. Luther. Quoad in angust [...]is sumus, non est credendum nostris Cogitationibus de Deo. Luther. safety.

For doe not many rather con­clude that Satan's transform'd in­to an Angell of light, then that themselves are transform'd into Christ? who can deny it? and that [Page 209] this unbelief argues an imperfect sight, and knowledge of God, & of his grace and favour? Such sad soules the spirit of bondage ha's chain'd up still; yea, some have, and doe possesse God here yet will not see and know such a thing: You that raise up more objections against God and your selves, then can meete with an­swers; Is not this your case?

Secondly, wee shall see him perfectly in the Creatures also, when we are in glory: Whilst we are here, wee see not so much of God in the creature as there is: wee are too much bent to see the Lord rudely, ignorantly, and ob­scurely, as hee comes unto us in the creatures. Alas! how seldom Longè extra septa evehi­mur. Chrys. doe wee observe and consider what of God wee take in by the Creatures? how much we enjoy him in connexion with them? And although fire, could not warme us, food could not streng­then [Page 210] us, raiment could not secure us from scorching heate and pin­ching cold, were't not that God were in them, to give heate to the first, put nourishment in the se­cond, & a conserving quality in the third; Yet how hardly are we brought to see, and wonder at the Lord in such a dispensation? Is not this to over-look the Cre­ator in the creatures? And is not such a sight of God too like that which the Heathen had of him? some of whom beholding him under the notion of Causa causa­rum onely, did colour over their creature-worship; by affirming, that though they did worship the Sunne, Moone, and Stars with o­ther created things, yet that they did not worship the Creature, but God in the Creatures; For said they, God is in every thing, and the truth is, wee all of us doe things of this nature very confu­sedly, and preposterously. If this [Page 211] were not so, what hinders (could wee see the Lord perfectly in the creatures) but that we might take in God, when: we take in the Cre­ature, and so have soule and bo­die fed together? But glory helps all this; for when Saints are glo­rified, they shall see God as hee is in himselfe & in themselves, and also as he is in the creaturs perfectly. And holy hearts! in the interim see as much of God as you can in all your morsells, and mercies, because 'tis very good for you so to doe. Remember the Israelites of whom 'tis said, that while the Numb. 11. 33. flesh was betweene their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was kindled, and they dyed, and why for they did not observe that God was in the mercie, which caused murmuring in them.

2. A perfect knowledg of the godly there is: as some have prov'd, Ibi á singu­lis omnes, ibi ab omnibus singuli cog­noscentur, nec quem-quam omni non latebit, quâ patriâ, quâ gentê, quâ stirpe, quis editus fuerit, vel quid etiam in vitâ suâ fecerit. Anselm de similitud. c. 59. All Saints shall bee [Page 212] known of every particular Saint and every particular Saint shall be known of all: there shall be no stranger in heaven In caelo nul­lus erit alie­nus. Aug. Ep. 6. ad Italicam: in glory Sts shall know not onely their ac­quaintance in this world, but also those whom they ne're saw here, even as persons seene and known before. Yet in a carnall manner after the flesh shall no man possi­bly know or be known. Yea that very Jesus that on earth was known after the flesh, shall bee knowne so no more. All know­ledge there shall be spirituall, e­ven as is the object and Medium thereof. Add to this, that know­edge of Saints in Heaven shal be personall, as well as spirituall; That this is so, many men of God have fully cleared by Scripture and Reason.

1. By arguments drawn from Adam who knew Evah as soon as he saw her, though hee had ne're seene her nor known her before Si enim A­damas virtuae imaginis divi­nae concratae Evam de cor­pore suo sūp­tam cum è somno evigi­lasset illico agnovit, &c. Kemnit..

2. By arguments fetched from [Page 213] the Disciples, knowing Moses & Elias in the transfiguratiō, where glory was but weakely shadowed forth. Arguing that in the ful­nesse of that glorious light, they would know them better Petrus in monte in mor­tali corpore Mosem & E­liam quos nū ­quam viderat revelatione interne cogno vit. Mat. 11. 34. Buchan..

3. Boni bonos in regno, & mali malos in supplicio ag­noscunt. Greg. By arguments fetcht from Dives, his knowledge of Abra­ham in Heaven, when the distance was great betwixt them: and that therefore the knowledg of Saints in Heaven who are present with each other, must needs be certain and excellent, with some others of like concernment Vide Kemnit Harm. Evang. C. 87. & Buc. Ioc. 39. & Greg Dial. l. 4. c. 33.. Alwhich are impregnable for matter of proofe; And although some thinke they have never prov'd a point sufficiently, till all is spo­ken thereunto that may be, with whom I consent not; yet shal I ad­venture to give in something more, sith, I am upon the sub­ject.

1. That knowledg which may most augment the comfort of communion, and without which [Page 214] lowship is not sweet, shall be in glory: but that's a personall knowledge of each other, there­fore such a kinde of knowledge shall be there. How uncomfor­table it is to have fellowship with strangers, persons we know not, let all men judge. Who will lay open his heart to a stranger? or mind almost the words of a strā ­ger? yea trust himselfe in the company of strangers? 'twas a great heart-smart & grief to Da­vid, that God had put his lovers and friends farre from him: yea his acquaintance into darknesse: that Psalm 88. ult. hee must be yoked to the society of strangers; so 'twas matter of great complaint to Job, that his acquaintance were estranged from Iob 19. 13. him, become strangers to him. But as 'twas said before, there shall be no stranger in glory, nor shal there be any cause of such com­plaints there, for acquaintance cannot bee put farre from us there, for wee shall then bee [Page 215] link'd to each other, and all of us unto the Lord, so as not to stirre from him without him: But.

2. That knowledg, which may most encrease the joy of the Just, in their heavenly Mansions, shal be in that heavenly place: but a perfect knowledge of Saints will most encrease the just man's joy. All my delight is in the Saints, and in them that excell. There­fore the righteous shall know one another in the Kingdome of their Father. A sight had of the Saints persons, & faces on earth, do's much encrease the joy of a believing beholder. They that feare thee, will be glad when they Psalm 119.74. see mee: because I have hop'd in thy word, said the sensible Prophet: and me-thinkes 'tis a great re­freshment to see the face, and have the society of a sanctifyed Saint. I have known some con­verts that have long'd, and lov'd to look on such, and to be where [Page 216] such have come: much more then will a sight and knowledge of them, being had in Heaven, where knowledge is fully perfect, delight a believing soule.

3. That knowledge by which a man shall know as hee's knowne, shall bee in Heaven: but that's 1 Cor. 13. 12. personall and corporall, God knowes the Saints persons. Per­sonall did I say? yea more then personall for Saints in Heaven, in Glory, shall know each other by their names, God knows them by their names; thou hast told me saith Moses, thou knowest mee Exod. 33. 12. by my name. And so shall Saints know each other in glory, else how can they know as they are knowne? On earth wee some­times know many persons by sight, but wee know not their names. Now in glory wee shall know one another by the same names we had on earth.

2. Wee shall have in glory a perfect knowledge of our selves, [Page 217] that great lesson of man-kinde. before the whole man is glorified wee cannot see our selves, and what wee are. Who knowes the spi­rit Eccles. 3. 21. of a man that goes upward? as the wise man speaks. 'Tis above the reach of a mortall wight, to know what spirit hee's of fully, and who can know the nature of that heart that's deceitefull above all things, and desperately wicked? as the spirit spake in the Pro­phets time? Oh what a neast of uncleane sinnes is made there! what depths of darkest decets, and closest shifts are harboured there! whose inclinations being sometimes scann'd, doe promise a sweete frame for God, when at another time upon an oppor­tunity and advantage of sinning, their carriage is such, that they render a man desperately vile. So as that a man can at no time know what hee is or would be.

And is't not hence that he one while hopes, and another while [Page 218] fears, now presumes, and anon despaires, is one while as high as Heaven, another while as low as hell in his owne account.

And here's the misery while we are in the flesh, we cannot or will not see into them; and have right thoughts of them: but in glory wee shall know what in­sides wee had before wee came there, & how much more vile we would have been here, had not God restrain'd us: yea, and that we had in us as bad natures as the worst of men, before grace made the difference. And shall we not then see how great a mercie and favour the Lord vouchsafed us, when he pull'd us out of the fire, our legs out of the stocks, and our whole man out of the chaines of darknesse, clawes & jawes of Sa­than, and from under the power of sinne? but chiefly for that migh­ty gift we receiv'd, when the Fa­ther made Christ our own. And all this that we may give thankes [Page 219] to the Father, who ha's made us meet being vile sinners, to be­come glorious Saints; That we may clearely see what cause wee have given us to magnifie the Compassions, cares, and endea­vours of the Trinity, for our Re­demption & advancement in the Paradice of God. And that wee should eternally sing Halelujahs to the Lamb that sits on the Throne of matchlesse Majesty; wee shall Non est bea­tus, esse quise non putat. know our selves, and that we are in an estate of Blisse.

Wee'l say no more of the first kind of perfection, viz. exqui­site knowledge, which the whole man possessing, is thereby very glorious.

2. Perfect holinesse, happi­nesse, Spiritualia erunt, non quia corpo­raesse desistēt, sed quia spiri­tu vivicante subsistent. Aug. and spirituality. Happiness puts not an end to holinesse, but makes it perfect. Holinesse is most perfect in Heaven, & ther's no sight of holiest Majesty with­out it. This shall be both of na­ture and actions; crossenesse and [Page 220] foulnesse of nature cannot enter into those places which are on high. Our natures shal be spot­lesse, and our actions they shall be blamelesse. There's nothing done in glory that can be blame­worthy: but to this purpose wee spake before.

3. Superiority. No man shal be under the jurisdiction of o­thers; all Saints are superiours in Heaven; ther's no difference betwixt him that was the Master and him that was the Servant. He that was a King on earth, fare's no better in glorie, then do's the meanest subject in respect of command. Saints are all fellows in Heaven; Yea those wealthy Christians, which here will scarce vouchsafe to look upon the mea­nest of their fellow members in Christ: wretched thing that it is! shall in that day see those poore ones of Christ eyed, and priz'd of God in glory as much as them­selves, and shall seee them as [Page 221] rich, and as well Crown'd and Thron'd, as he that was willingly ignorant of them.

Doubtlesse thou art our Father, Isa. 63. 16. though Abraham be ignorant of us, & Israel acknowledgeth us not: thou O Lord art our Father, and our Re­deemer, said the Prophet. Though the Brethren wil not know them, the Father will; doubtlesse hee'l doe like himselfe. And then all Oeconomicall, Politicall, Eccle­siasticall Relations shall cease. There shall be none to command, nor any to bee obeyed but the Lord, and his Christ, our Jesus. There the poore shall not feare the frownes of the rich, dread their threats, nor want their aids: but poore Lazarus shall sit downe with rich Abraham, I­saac, and Jacob, and with Da­vid the King on the same Throne, in the Kingdome of his Father. And the poore widow of Sarepta, as well as rich Dorcas of Joppa, Acts 9. 36. 39 shall have a Throne, and a crown [Page 222] in glory: For God is no respecter Matth. 8. 39. of persons: Saints shall be all alike in preferment there: the Lord makes no difference in giving grace, nor will he do't in confer­ring glory. Hee put no difference betweene us and them, purifying our hearts by saith, as Peter speaks. Peter had truth of grace, and they had it too; God minded not their persons. Though Peter and some of the rest had beene his ancient servants, and the o­ther had ne're seene the inside of his house, God purg'd them as well as the Apostles; 'tis so in glory, all shall sit as neer to Christ as can be. For the weak and poor Christian is as much allied to Christ and as deare to him, as the strong and wealthy can bee. Christ shed as many teares, sweat as many drops, endur'd as many stripes, and paid as great a price for the one as for the other. And in glory it shall be known, how hee takes his Lambes in his armes, [Page 223] carries them in his bosome, and leades gently those that are with Isa. 40. 11. young. Adde to this Dominion perfect rule o're the Creatures, which we lost in our first Parents. He that overcommeth, & is crown'd with glory, shall have power over Revel. 2. 26. Nations, and shall rule with a rod of Iron, as 'tis said.

Lastly, an orient splendor, and peerelesse brightnesse of resplendent light, shall cover the whole man as a garment.

Then shall the righteous shine Matth. 13.43. forth as the Sunne in the King­dom of their Father: Who hath ears to heare, let him heare. And will not this, even this, occa­sion an infinite, unconceiva­ble, and unparallel'd gladnesse Nonquia solis etiam splen­dorem non superabunt, sed quando nihil fulgentius sole videmus, proptereà re a­pertissimâ nobis ad exprimendum usus est. Chrysostom in Mat. Hom. 12. throughout the very soule, spi­rit, and whole man?

In a word, there shall bee first, that [...] a necessary sup­ply [Page 224] of outward things.

Secondly, that [...] a be­ing in Gods favour, and having a good aspect from God.

Thirdly, that [...] a well­doing, or right acting accor­ding to the emminencies there­of.

Thus of the parts of glory; a word or two of the adjuncts, and we apply the whole.

First, 'tis a coherent glory, such as agrees with, and is su­table unto the whole man. For a man to be cloathed with the perfections of Plants, or Ani­malls, that will not make him glorious, the perfections of o­ther things will not doe it, it must bee such as is sutable to him as he's a man, even a man renewed.

Secondly, 'tis emminent, ha's worth in't, for glory is the most lofty condition, a thing that's better then a man's selfe. All the creatures besides man, are [Page 225] inferiour to a soule; an unseen soule can't be advanc'd with a­ny seene substance, for shee is more noble then any such thing: And things below the soul can't set the soule aloft, it must be something better then a soule which can do that. Now no­thing but God is better: and he'l do it.

Thirdly, 'tis a contenting good, causing calmenesse, and serenity of spirit, so that when once the soule ha's what shee likes and loves, and is assur'd of the sufficiency thereof, knows she's not to seek, hath, and lyes on her Center: This makes her estate delectable, full, comfor­table, and well-pleasing; and as hee said in a bad sence, so may a glorified person say in a good sence; Soule take thine ease. And with the Prophet; Soule returne to thy rest, for the LORD hath dealt bountifully Psal. 16. 7. with thee, and ha's delivered my [Page 226] soule from Death, mine eyes from teares, and my feet from fal­ling.

Fourthly, perfect love, there shall bee no jarres, nor stirres in glory, no heart-burnings, and evill surmisings against each o­ther, there shall bee no pros­perity that can bee envied, nor shall there bee any adversity to bee despised: but of this before.

Fifthly, lasting, everlasting, it ha's perennity and perpetu­ity in it: and thus the diffe­rence is made apparent, which is found betwixt things above, and things below, things of hea­ven, and things of the earth.

Sixthly, and all this is made ours by it's conjunction with us, as the conjunction of the soul with Christ, and Christ with the soul, is a means to streng­then the proprieties of them both, which they have in each other: so the good things of Christ and glory being con­joyn'd [Page 227] with us, doe make them our owne.

O glory, glory! thou art sought of many after a sort: but enjoy'd only of a few that seek thee rightly. Augustine reck­ons up no lesse then 288. opi­nions of severall learned Phi­losophers about happiness, some placing it in one thing, some in another thing, being every one different in their conceits, oppo­sing what each other held.

And yet they did but beate the aire, and were in a Lab­rinth, not being able to get out. Surely if naturall parts, and helpes of nature could fa­thom the depths of such a glo­ry; such great witts might have accomplished it: But 'tis only the gracious, that can tell what 'tis to be glorious.

Now let all who expect to be and doe so well as they should in life and death, and after the Judgement, premize these things [Page 228] of weight and worth, and con­sider their Pondus sincerely. Oh! who minding these things can have the heart to harme them­selves, with making Idolls of inferiour things, and placing soules happinesse in outward en­joyments, and ne're advance fur­ther, or rise higher.

I Remember a saying of a Philosopher, who seing great possessions which hee had lost, spake thus. Had not these things perisht, I could not have been safe. So great an obstruction is the cleaving to these out­ward Non essem e­go salvus, nisi istae perjissent Anaxagoras. things, unto the well­fare of the inner man. Good Lord! what fooles are men, that seeke so much for a porti­on in the Creatures, and so lit­tle for an Interest in thee? If thy love bee beter then life, then thy dislike is more bitter then death; What then's thy fury? These things marre the taste of worldly treasure.

[Page 229] First, that both in the get­ting, and also in the keeping of such things, a man's always prone to offend his God. And who would live to injure his God, vexe his spirit, staine his nature, and procure his dis­pleasure? yet all this moves not ungodly men to seek for a Jesus.

Secondly, a man's still sub­ject to be displeas'd by the Lord. Men are usually cross'd every moment, and every day hath it's evill both of sinne and pu­nishment; sometimes wee are Matth. 6. ult. cross'd in things wee most like, A man sets not his love large­ly on a Wife, Childe, Friend, or pleasant and pleasing thing, but ordinarily 'tis taken from him, or else hee' [...] tooke from them. At other times a man desires things not attaineable, which is a very great, but a se­cret vexation. And is not all time laid out in bewailing what's [Page 230] past, a loathing what wee have tasted, and a longing for what we have not tasted? which were it had, would no more fil us, then this we have already.

We alas! are like men sea­sicke, who shift from roome to roome to finde ease: but whilst the winds arise, and the waters swell, humours are but stirr'd, not taken away. And oft times wee waite for better dayes: but they are hid from our eyes. Thus we are catch'd like birds in a snare, yet skip up and down as if nothing ail'd us. And which is worse, the joyes of Gods presence are for the greatest part kept from us here, which made Monica the Mother of Austin crie out Quid hic fa­ciemus? cur non ocyus migtamus? Cur non hinc avolamus? heartily; What doe wee here? why depart we not swifter? why slye wee not hence?

Thirdly, outward things are not as they seeme, and are e­steem'd, they have indeed a glo­rious [Page 231] shewes, and are admired: but inspice ea, view their insides and you will finde that they fill the head with cares, and the heart with vexation.

'Twas a good speech of an Em­perour, whatsoever hee him­selfe was: you (said hee) gaze on my purple Robe, and Gol­den Crown: but did you know what cares are under it, you would not take it up from the ground to have it.

Fourthly, Heavenly or earth­ly advancement is not in them. To Heaven they helpe not, for riches availe not in the day of wrath. Advance on Earth they shall not, for 'tis the Lords pre­rogative onely, to doe that for men. Promotion commeth neither Psalm 75. 6, 7 from the East, nor from the West, nor from the South: but God's the Judge, he pulleth downe one, and setteth up another, as the Prophet speaks.

Fifthly, they are unsuitable [Page 232] to the nature of a soule, and her sublimitie. And can you thinke that the Lord brought us into the World only to ac­commodate the Carkasse with things suitable thereunto? The soule must have a bonum congru­um, ere shee can bee glorious, or begin to bee so; But these things accord not with her. For is not the soul of an immortal na­ture? then how can dying things nourish & refresh a living soul? shee cannot get or make a li­ving out of all seen things i'th world, nor can shee live to her liking on sweetest huskes that be here. Shee's but hospes corpo­ris, and that may please the Host, which cannot please or pleasure the Guest; and that may fat the carkasse, which starves the soule. A man may have the desires of his heart in these things, and still retaine leane­nesse in his soul. Wofull experi­ence proves it to be true in some. [Page 233] Besides, good things of this life are but particular, can only sup­ply particular wants: but the de­sires of the soule are universall after good, and all good. God is all good to the renewed soule. Oh then let's not pursue the crea­ture Tanquam haec sit nostri medicina do­loris. so, as though that would cure our maladies, heal our mi­series, and bring us to glory.

And now wretched sinners be perswaded, lay not out strength, & time on that which is not bread, and on that which satisfieth not, neither kill your selves and souls carelesly: but walke in the wayes of the Lord, for he meeteth every one that worketh righteousnesse, and remembreth him in his ways. Be no longer your owne foes to en­joy the pleasures of sinne for a season, with the losse of the Pleasures and Treasures of Heaven for e­ver; and let God become your friend, who can stand you in stead in the evill day. Consider, hee's such a friend as is both wealthy, [Page 234] and helpfull; If a poor man hath a rich friend, and one that's help­full too, then his heart is eas'd.

A Courtier in the Court of King Cyrus, being upbraided with the meanenesse of his estate, re­plyed thus; What need I care, [...], Cyrus is my frend. When a man is sanctified, and in Gods favour, ha's not hee much more cause to say so of God? When hee wants, let him say, God's my friend, when Satan, sin, and the world play the part of e­nemies, say, wel, but God is mine; and all Saints in all places may crye out Emanuel, oh! how great a consolation is this? Be­sides, hee's alwayes one and the same to a return'd backslider, he's a friend in adversity, such an one is worth the prizing, he'l be in trou­ble with his as well as in peace, and then [...], as he said, where God is, ther's hea­ven. If a man goes to prison, and God goes thither with him, and [Page 235] stayes there by him, hee then en­joyes a Heaven. Oh then prize him, prize him, for every one prizeth something, and some things that are worth nothing: Let Christians then much more prize him who's more then all things, & worth more then all things; for no man was ever curs'd that had him, nor was ever any bles­sed without him.

Soli Sapienti Deo Gloria.

FINIS.

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