The Cross Crowned: OR, SHORT AFFLICTION Making way for ETERNAL GLORY.

Opened in a SERMON Preached at the Funeral of DANIEL WALDOE Esq in the Parish-Church of Alhallows Honey-lane, May 9. 1661.

By JAMES NALTON, Minister of the Gospel, and Pastor of Leonards Foster-lane London.


London, Printed by D.M. for SA. GELLI­BRAND at the Golden Ball in St, Pauls Churchyard. 1661.

To my Honoured Christian Friend, Mris Anne Waldoe, Relict of Mr Daniel Waldoe lately deceased.

IT was the desine of your dear Husband (while yet living) that I should per­form the last Office of Love, to a Deceased Friend, in preaching his Funeral Sermon. The honour that I bore to him, not the ambitious humor of appearing in Print, ha's made me willing (against my own inclination) to expose these poor worthless Meditations to pub­lick view. This I have done the rather, that thereby I might be an Instrument to perpetuate the memorial of so worthy and mitable a Christian, and to commend his practise to posterity. And for so doing, I look't on that passage of Solomon, as a sufficient warrant, Prov. 10.7. The memory of the just is blessed; yea, the [Page]righteous (saith David) shall be had in e­verlasting remembrance, Psal, 112.6. Wicked men though they be like Nim­rod, mighty hunters before the Lord, (Gen. 10.9.)he great Oppressors, and dare do this before the Lord as if they would provoke him to his face; and though they have been the terror of the mighty in the land of the living, as the Prophet speaks, Ezek. 32.27. Yea, though they use all means possible to perpetuate their memo­rial, calling the lands after their own names, Psal. 49.11. as Absolom reared up a pillar, and called it Absoloms place, 2, Sam, 18.18. and Cain built a Citie, and called it after the name of his Son Enoch, Gen. 4.17. and some men at this day can build Hospitalls with the money which they have got by force and fraud, and crushing the needy: Yet all this will not make their memory last; the name of the wicked shall rot, and their Re­membrances shall be like ashes, Job 13. 12. that is, Those things by which they would be remembred and mentioned a­mong the Sons of men, (as Wealth, and Honour, and Power, and Greatness) shall [Page]be but as ashes of no value, but trodden under the foot of men; but the remem­brance of the godly, even when they themselves are dead, shall still be kept alive, with men to be renowned, and with God to be rewarded: How precious is the memorial of Moses and Aaron, though dead so many hundred years ago? The Spirit of God sets a Star of Ho­nour upon them, Exod. 6.27, These are that Moses and that Aaron.

And certainly, among all those Christi­an Vertues, which do en balm the memo­rial of the dead, there is none of a more sweet and fragrant savour, then the Grace of Charity. Witness the Speech of our Saviour, concerning the woman that an­nointed his feet with precious ointment, Matth. 26.13. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this Gospel (shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her, Maries name now smells as sweet in all the Churches of Christ, as her ointment did in the house where it was poured out; such an honourable remembrance did blessed [Page] Paul leave as a Legacy, to Onesiphorus, and his family on the same account; 2 Tim. 1.16. The Lord give mercy to the house of Onesiphorus, for he oft re­freshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain. And Greg. Nazianzen speaking of Rahabs entertaining the Spies has this remarkable Passage, [...]. Her chari­table hospitality conduced not only to her commendation, but to her eternal salvati­tion.

I knew not to whom the Dedication of this Sermon so properly belonged, as to your self, who was so nearly related to that eminently charitable Citizen, whose death occasioned the preaching of it. Such as it is, I here present unto you; not that the view of this Monument should renew your sorrow, but that the frequent Commemo­ration of those vertues wherewith God was pleased to enrich him, and the pious fruitful and exemplary conversation wherin he walked before you, might not on­ly moderate your grief for the loss of so dear a Husband, but also provoke you, and all that knew him, to tread in the same steps, [Page]according to the counsel of the Holy Ghost, Heb. 6.12. Be followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. The Lord Jesus reveal himself more fully and graciously to your soul, fill your heart with joy and peace in believing; sweeten your outward loss with those inward comforts of his Spirit, which may enable you feelingly to say with the Psalmist, In the multitude of my thoughts within me, thy comforts de­light my soul, Psal. 94.19. And this will be better to you then the comfort of all Relations; yea, it will be Marie's por­tion, that shall never be taken from you: And that it may be so, is, and shall be, the hearty prayer of

Your much obliged Friend and Servant in the Gospel, James Nalton.


2 COR. 4.17.

[...]r our light affliction which is but for a moment,The Text. worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of Glory.

THe holy Apostle (in the fore-going Verse) layes down an excellent Lesson, for us all to learn, by his [...]ample, (though there be sew, very [...], that have learnt to write after [...] Copie)in these words, For this cause [...]faint not, as if he should say, Though [...] meet with sorrows and sufferings [...] all sorts, temptations, afflictions, [Page 2]persecutions, reproaches, fightings with­out, and fears within, yet we do not sit down in despondency and despair, but we bear the burden that God hath laid upon us without fainting and with­out fretting: It is true indeed, our outward man doth perish, that is, our body, together with our bodily health, strength, and welfare, doth decay and decline, but yet our inward man, that is, our soul, together with the powers and faculties of it, being renewed by the spirit of grace, and strengthened by the graces of the spirit, is, in the midst of all these troubles and tryals, more and more repaired and revived day by day; this is strange, (may some say) But would ye know how it comes to passe?

The Apostle answers in the words of the Text, and renders a reason of his not fainting under all his sufferings. For our light afflictin which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.

The Text contains in it, the two­fold state or condition of a believer, [Page 3]

  • One in this life:
  • The other in the life to come.

And both these ballanced, or compa­red one with the other, in a threefold computation.

First, The state of a Beleever in this life, is a state of affliction; his condi­tion in the life to come, is a conditi­on of glory.

Secondly, The afflictions of a beleever in this life are light and easie; the glory of beleever in the life to come is a weighty glory: Weighty, did I say? Yea, It is an hyperbolical or transcendent glory: The Apostle useth such a high-flown expression here in the Text, as is not to be found in any other Author sacred or prophane, [...], an exceeding excessive weight: He could not find a word high enough to ex­press the greatnesse of it: Deus & coe­ [...]um non patiuntur hyperbolen; God is so [...]nfinitely great, and heaven is so uncon­ceiveably glorious, that we cannot ei­ther think or speak too highly of them, for eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nei­ [...]her have entred into the heart of man, [Page 4]then things which God hath prepared for them that love him, 1 Cor. 2.9.

Thirdly, The Afflictions of a Belee­ver in this life are but for a moment; the glory wherewith he shall be invested in the life to come, is an everlasting glory.

The words being thus opened, and cut out, there are three points of Do­ctrine especially observable in them, which will draw out the strength of the Text, Viz.

  • Doctr. 1 1. The Afflictions which the godly meet with here on earth, make way for that glory and happiness, which is laid up for them in heaven.
  • Doctr. 2 2. The Afflictions of this life are but light and eafie; The glory of the life to come is a weighty and transcendent glory.
  • Doctr. 3 3. The Afflictions of this life are but for a momenty, The glory prepared in the life to come is an everlasting glo­ry.

To begin with the first Doctrine which is this: The Afflictions which the godly meet [Page 5]with here on earth, make way for that happinesse which is laid up for them in heaven.

For the explication and confirmation of this truth, there are three Queries would be satisfied.

  • 1. What those afflictions are which the godly meet with here on earth?
  • 2. Why God will have his children exercised with those afflictions?
  • 3. How or in what respect these af­slictions make way for that glory and [...]appiness that is laid up for them in [...]eaven?

For the first Querie, What those af­ [...]lictions are &?

Ans. The godly meet with afflictions of all sorts both inward and outward [...]roubles.

1. They are exercised often with in­ward troubles, viz. temptations and spi [...]ual desertions, the tumblings, tos­ [...]ings, and disquietments of their own pirits, which lye as a heavy burden up­ [...]n the soul, far more afflictive and in­ [...]upportable, then any outward crosse or [...]ffliction on the body or estate can be; [Page 6]for a wounded spirit who can bear? Prov. 18.14. Thus ye hear Heman that god­ly wise man complaining, Psal. 88.3. My soul is full of troubles; and David crying out, Psal. 42.5. Why art thou cast down, O my soul, and why art thou dis­quteted within me? yea, it sometimes falls out, that the terrors of the Almigh­ty do set themselves in battel array against them, Job 6.4. and come upon them with that violence, that they are distracted under them, Psal. 88.15. While I suffer thy terrors (saith Heman) I am distracted; so that, a godly man (ye see) may be brought to the condition of di­straction; and a child of light may for a time walk in darkness, without the least sense or apprehension of peace or comfort, Isa. 50.10.

Secondly, The godly are exercised with outward troubles, such as the [...] the five terrible things that Ari­stotle speaks on, Viz. Ignominy, poverty, persecution, sickness and death.

For the first of these, viz. Ignomi­ny, the best of Gods children have been reproached and reviled, counted [Page 7] troublers of Israel, as Elijah was, 1 Kings 18.17. and men of contention, is Jeremy was, Jer. 15.10. and pesti­lent fellows, and movers of sedition, as Paul was, Acts 24.5. Yea they are counted [...], the scum and off-scouring of all things to this day, 1 Cor. 4.13. Was not the lord Jesus reviled to his very face? John 8.48. Say we not well, that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a Devil? Yea, accounted an Impostor or deceiver, Matth. 27.63. a blasphemer, Matth. 26. 65. he hath spoken blasphemy; and a sad-man, John 10.20. He is mad, and [...]ath a devil, why do ye hear him?

For the second of these, Viz. Pover­ [...]y; it hath been the condition of the Saints here on earth, God hath kept them very low, that by the poverty of their condition, they might be brought to poverty of spirit; God usu­ally keeps his soundest sheep on the short­est Commons: Ye read of poor Saints [...] Jerusalem, Acts 15.26. They were precious Saints, yet very poor, yea some of whom the world was not worthy, yet [Page 8] wandred about in sheep-skins, and goat­skins, being destitute, (wanting some ne­cessaries for a time) afflicted and tor­mented, Heb. 11.37.

For the third particular, viz. Persecu­tion, it hath been the portion of Gods most eminent servants, as our Saviour has foretold, Matth. 10.23. They shall persecute you from one City to another; yea, all that will live godly in Christ Je­sus shall suffer persecution, 2 Tim. 3.12. Christ himself was no sooner born then banished, Matth. 2.13. It was the Mot­to of famous Mr. Rothwel, who was called, the Apostle of the North, Perse­cutio est pignus futurae gloria, Persecuti­on is the pledge of that eternal glory which we expect.

For the fourth, viz. Sickness, the best of Cods servants are exercised with it; Timothy was a rare yong man eminent for piety; nourished or nursed up in the words of faith, and of good doctrine, 1 Tim. 4.6. [...] as if he had suck­ed piety with his mothers milk, yet he was much acquainted with bodily sick­ness and distempers, as appears by Pauls [Page 9]counsel to him, 1 Tim. 5.23. Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomacks sake and thine often infirmities; He had not onlyone infirmity, but divers infirmities, and those not once, but often disturbing his health; yea God will have it so, that the sickness of the body may conduce to the health of the soul: A ve­ry Heathen could say, Tunde Anaxarchi manticam, nam Anaxarchi minime teris, Beat my sack (saith he, meaning his body) but thou canst not hurt my soul. So here, God will have the body, which is but the sack, (for the soul is the treasure in the sack) beaten and bruised with sick­ness, aches and infirmities, that the soul may be preserved and kept without hurt till the day of the Lord Jesus.

For the fifth particular, viz. Death, The best of Gods servants are not ex­exempted from it; for what man is he that liveth and shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul (h. e. his life) from the hand of the grave, Psal 89.48. It is true, the Lord Christ has delivered his members from the sting of death, but he hath not exempted them from the [Page 10] storke of death, and the reason may be this, because he will have his members conformable to their head, that as the Captain of our salvation was made per­fect by sufferings, Hebr. 2.10. and by the gates of death entred into glory, so must all his souldiers and servants enter the same way; yea, we shall never be freed from the body of death (that we carry about us) but only by the death of the body, that look as sin brought death into the world, so death shall help to carry sin out of the world, God will have such a cursed Dam to perish by such a Daughter.

Ye see the outward troubles to which the Saints on earth are exposed, Igno­miny, poverty, &c. I might add to these, they are often exercised with crosses and disappointments in their children, and this is a very sharp affli­ction, that those children which God hath drawn out of our loins should mis­carry to all eternity, and rush upon the rock of their own ruine; yet thus it often falls out, that God punisheth a good father, in a bad son, and then it is a [Page 11] cure to the father, and a curse to the son; thus he punished David a good father, in Absalon a rebellious son, that was ta­ken away, [...], in the very act of his rebellion: Thus faithful Abraham had a scoffing Ishmael, upright Jeho­saphat had a wicked Jehoram, zealous Josiah that was anon-such for piety, had not one good son to succeed him in the throne.

In brief (that I may dispatch the first Querie) the godly here on earth meet with sufferings from God, and suffe­rings from men, and sufferings from Satan, and sufferings from their own hearts, which usually work them more mischief, then all the Devils in Hell can do; sufferings for sin, and sufferings for righteousness; some are exercised in one kind, some in another, some more, and some lesse, but all have their portion in affliction: Deus unicum habuit filium sine flagitio, nullum sine flagello, God had one only Son (viz. the Lord Jesus) without sin, but he hath never a Son without sorrow and affliction.

2. Querie for Explication is this; [Page 12]Why God will have his children exer­cised with these afflictions?

Answ. Many Reasons may be ren­dred, but I will reduce them to three heads.

  • In reference to their Sins.
  • In reference to their Graces.
  • In reference to their Duties.

For the first, God is pleased to ex­ercise them with afflictions in reference to their sins, either

  • To Prevent sin.
  • To Discover sin.
  • To Purge out sin.

1 God does it to prevent sin. He hedgeth up their wayes with thorns, that they may not find their crooked paths, Hos. 2.6. He lets them blood, that he may prevent the Plurifie of Pride and self-confidence and creature depen­dance. He never administers this spi­ritual Physick but when there is need, 1 Pet. 1.6. Ye are in heaviness (if need be) through manifold temptations, and God sees we have need of preventing physick, as well, as refreshing cordials; yea, it is a great mercy that God layes [Page 13]stumbling blocks in the broad way to hell, that if we set foot in that way, we may break our shins to correct us, rather then break our necks to destroy us.

2. God does it to discover sin, as appears by that Text, Deut. 8.2. The Lord thy God led thee these forty yeers in the wil­derness to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thy heart, to know, that is, to let thee know, they had ne­ver known so much of the baseness and sinfulness of their own hearts, if God had not brought them into a wilder­ness; every rod (ye must know) hath a voice, Micah 6.9. The Lords voice cryes to the City, Hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it; this voice bids us search our hearts and say as Job did (when the rod was upon his back) Job 13.23, 24. How many are mine iniquities and my sins, make me to know my transgression and my sin (h. e) the particular bosome­sin to which by nature I am most incli­ned) Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and holdest me for thine enemy? Put a quart of Ale in a skillet, and ye see not the [Page 14]scum or dross that is in it, but when you have set the Ale on the fire, then the scum appears, which did not before: so here, there is a great deal of scum and dross, and filth of corruption that lies hid in our hearts, but the fire of af­fliction does discover it, and makes us more sensible of it then ever we were before. It was the speech of Gasper O­levian, a German Divine, I never knew so much of God and his purity, nor of my own heart and its impurity, as I did in a long sickness.

3 God does it to purge out sin, Isai. 27.9. By this shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged, and this is all the fruit to take a­way his sin. There are three desperate diseases that would destroy the soul, which can be purged out no other way, then by this sharp physick of affliction, viz. Pride, Security and Earthly-mind­edness: But now by affliction God hides pride from man, Job 33.17. By the Rod God awakens the sinner that he sleep not the Sleep of Death: When David was so fast asleep, that he said in his prosperity. I shall never be moved, [Page 15]Psal. 30.6. God by hiding his face from him, ver. 7. did so trouble him, that he was awakened out of his Security. And lastly, By the bitter potion of afflicti­on, he weans us from the world and the love of it, My soul is even as a weaned child, Psal. 131.2. By laying mustard on the Teat, he keeps us from sucking too deep a draught of earthly content­ments. It was a savoury speech of worthy Dr. Sibbs, God embitters all o­ther things to us, that himself only may be sweet.

For the second Head.God is pleased to exercise his children with affliction, in reference to their Graces, that they may be tryed, exercised and increased. Our Saviour counsels the Laodiceans to buy of him gold tryed in the fire, Revel. 3.18. By Gold is meant, the golden Graces of his Spirit, and those graces are best tryed in the fire of affliction. If our Graces be such as will abide the fiery Tryal, then are they true graces indeed, and not counterfeit; That faith doubtless is a true saith, that is a Furnace Faith, such as was the faith of those three Worthies, Dan. 3.17, 18, [Page 16] Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O King; but if not, be it known to thee, that we will not serve thy Gods, nor worship the golden Image which thou hast set up. Fiery Tryals make golden Christi­ans.

And as affliction tryes the truth of our Graces, so does it also try the strength of our Graces. Some Graces are like stars, quae interdiu latent, noctu lucent; They shine not in the day time of prosperity, but in the night time of adversity. The strength of a Fort or Castle is not known, but in the time of a siege, when it is assaulted with batte­ries and onsets: So here, the strength of faith, and fervency of love, and con­stancy of patience should never be known, were it not for the batteries of hell in strong afflictions and violent temptations.

For the third Head.Thirdly, God will have his children exercised with afflictions, in reference to their Duties, [Page 17]Partly to

  • Fit them for service.
  • Quicken them in ser­vice.

1 To fit them for service; Roses while they are in a Nosegay carryed in your hand, they are of little use, but put them in a Still, and bring them to the fire, and then they yeeld you both a sweet Cake, and sweet Rosewater: So here, while God carries us, as it were, in his hand, or dandles us on his lap in a way of prosperity, we are in a manner uselesse, or do him very little service; but when he brings us to the fire of affliction, we are more usefull to him, and he has more service from us. Re­markable is that Scripture, Acts 9.15,16. Our Saviour speaking of Paul, He is (saith he) a chosen vessel to me, to bear my Name before the Gentiles; I, but how does it appear that he was a ves­sel so serviceable to his Master? It fol­lows in the next words, For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my Names sake; as if he should say, By sufferings I will fit him for service.

2. As afflictions fit us for service, so [Page 18]they help to quicken us in service; we are usually in our way to heaven like tops, we run no longer then we are whipt; In working for our Lord and Master, we are for the most part like a team of horses, that if the whip be not held over them, they will quickly be at a stand.

3d. Querie for Explication is this, How or in what respect these afflictions make way for that glory and happi­ness, that is laid up for the Saints in light?

Ans. The Text tells ye, They work for us, or make way for the obtaining of that Crown that is set before us.

Quest. But how do they work for us?

Ans. They work, not by way of me­rit, (as the Papists would have it) for what proportion is there between finite sufferings, and an infinite or endless re­ward? between light and inconsidera­ble sufferings, and a superlative weight of glory?

If our afflictions were meritorious, they must bear some proportion with that [Page 19]reward of glory which we work for, and wait for at the great day of Christs ap­pearing; but there is no more equality or proportion between our afflictions in this world, and the glory of the world to come, then there is between a drop of water, and the whole Ocean; see what the Apostle saith to this pur­pose, Rom. 8.18. I reckon that the suf­ferings of this present time are not wor­thy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed. I dare boldly say, If a man could endure the torments of Hell for a thousand yeers on earth, he could not thereby merit one hours fruiti­on of glory in heaven. The Papists therefore that hope by their Pennances, and Purgatory satisfactions to merit heaven at the hands of God, shall be so far from meriting by their sufferings, that they shall suffer for their merits.

Quest. But if afflictions do not work glory by way of merit, how then do they work it?

Ans. They work glory on a three­fold account. 1. By the free grace and mercy of a bountiful God and Father, [Page 20]who rewards the services and sufferings of his children, for his own sake, and his promise sake, and according to his own heart; so doth David acknowledge in that gratulatory confession, 2 Sam. 7.21. For thy words sake, and according to thy own heart hast thou done all these great things; Yea he looks especially at the merits of his own dear Son our blessed Redeemer who has purchased this privi­ledge for us with his own blood, that all things (even afflictions themselves) should work together for our good, Rom. 8.28.

2. Afflictions work or make way for glory, by making us conformable to Christ our Head, for he first drunk of the brook in the way, (that is, as he passed through the world, he drunk of a trou­bled brook of bitter sorrows and suffer­ings in the day of his humiliation) before he lifted up his head in the day of his exal­tation, Psal. 110.7. And therefore our Sa­viour used that language to his Disciples, Luke 24.26. Ought not Christ first to have suffered these things, and so to enter into his glory? So then these afflictions when they are sanctified make us conforma­ble [Page 21]to a suffering Saviour, and if we be conformable to him in his Cross, We shall also be conformable to him in his Crown, If we suffer with him, we shall also be glo­rified with him, Rom 8.17.

3. Afflictions work glory for us, be­cause they work us for that glory, that is, they fit us and prepare us for the fru­ition of it; They help to make us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the Saints in light, Col. 1.12.

Qu. How do they fit us or make us meet to be partakers of that eternal glory?

Ans. These three ways do they fit us for glory: 1. They help to purge out that drosse and filth of corruption, which as it is odious to the Lord, so is it prejudicial to our own salvation, for there shall in no wise enter into heaven any thing that defileth, Rev. 21.27. Now affliction helps to purge out this filth, to purifie us and make us white, Dan. 11.35. Hence is it that affliction is compared to a furnace, Isa. 48.10. I have chosen thee in the furnace of affli­ction: Look what the fire is to the mettal, or the fan to the chaffe, or the [Page 22] file to the rough iron, the same is af­fliction to every teachable sinner, It helps to rub off his rust, to cleanse him from his chaffe, and to refine him for his Masters use.

2. They fit us for glory, by helping us to act and exercise our graces, and the more our graces are brightned, the more fit are we to have communion with a holy God: Therefore he corrects us for our profit, that we may be partakers of his holiness, Herb. 12.10. Now the more holiness we have here, the more we are fitted for eternal happiness here­after.

Thirdly, they fit us for glory, Because they wean us from the world, and the love of it: The Lord by some smart­ing rod or other knocks us upon the fingers, when he sees us take too fast hold on these uncertain vanities; the hardship and several straits that we meet with on earth, make us long to be in that place, where all tears shall be wiped from our eyes, Revel. 21.4. yea everlasting joy shall he upon our heads, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away, Isai. 35.10.

Ʋse 1 For the Application of this Point: We may improve it: 1. By way of In­formation; There are these two Do­ctrinal Inferences that may be hence deduced.

First Les­son. The first is this: That afflictions are not so evil, grievous or hurtful as we take them to be.

We look upon afflictions usually with an eye of prejudice, an evill eye, and therefore when any unexpected crosse or calamity does befall us, we are ready to say as Ahab did to Elijah, 1 Kings 21. [...]0. Hast thou found me out O mine enemy? But pull off the vizard from this unwelcome guest, and ye shall find that the crosse has more sweetness then sharpness in it. It is true, no afflicti­on or chastening (saith the Apostle) Hebr. 12.11.) for the present, seemeth to be joyous, but rather grievous; neveethe­less afterward it yeelds the peaceable fruit of righteousness, to them that are exer­cised thereby: The pleasures of sin are sweet for the present, Stollen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant, Prov. 9.17. But afterward they are [Page 24]more bitter then gall and wormwood; they may well be compared to the lips of a strange woman, Pro. 5.3 [...]5. They drop as an honie-comb and her mouth is smooth­er then oyl, but her end is bitter as worm­wood, sharp as a two-edged sword, for her feet go down to death, and her steps take hold of hell; Or the pleasures of sin may be compared to the Locusts which John saw at the sounding of the fifth Trumpet, Rev, 9.7, 10. Their faces were as the faces of men, and they had hair as the hair of women, but they had tails like unto Scorpions, and there were stings in their tails; on the contrary affliction is bitter for the present, but profitable afterward to every one that can rightly improve it: It is a sharp Schoolmaster, but it makes good Schollars; Schola crucis, est schola lucis, the school of cor­rection is the school of instruction, and in this school we many times learn more in a moneth, then we did in seven years before; witness Manasseh, who in all the time of his prosperity, had not learnt that one lesson, To know God aright, h. e. to know him as a sin-hating, sin reven­ging [Page 25]God who will not spare the proud­est Potentates upon earth, if they do provoke him, but when he was brought to the school of correction, he humbled himself greatly before the God of his Fa­thers, 2 Chron. 33.12. and the Text saith, Then Manasseh knew that the Lord he was God, ver. 13. Affliction in this re­gard may be compared to a frosty mor­ning in the winter-season, it is somwhat sharp, but it helps to clear the blood:

How many Christians have you and I known (in our Observation) that have been whipt to heaven by adversity, whom prosperity would have suddenly, and yet insensibly drawn to hell ? Is there never a soul here present that can say experimentally, as Themistocles did, Pe­riissem, nisi periissem; I had been un­done, if I had not been undone? Lord, if thou hadst spared the rod, thou hadst lost thy child; but blessed for ever be thy name, thou didst not suffer me to run post to hell for the want of a fa­therly whipping.

Second Lesson. The second Lesson by way of Infe­rence is this:

That the wisdome of God is infinite and unsearchable, in that he can make good Sampsons riddle to all them that fear his name; Out of the eater comes forth meat, and out of the strong comes forth sweetness, Judg. 14.14. The Lord can (for the godly's sake) bring good out of evill, grace out of sin, light out of darkness, glory out of affliction, yea heaven out of hell.

The ways of God (as one saith excel­lently) seem full of contradiction to us, because it is his usual manner to bring things to passe by contrary means; Sibs soul-conflict. for ex­ample, when he means to justifie a sin­ner, he condemns him first; when he means to comfort a sinner he casts him down first, when he intends to bring a sinner to heaven he brings him by the gates of hell first, when he means to set a crown of glory on his head, he will have him to wear a crown of thorns first; Oh how unsearchable are his judgements, and his ways past finding out? Rom. 11.33. Well may we conclude with the Prophet, This (wonderful dispensation of providence) cometh forth from the [Page 27]Lord of hosts, who is wonderful in coun­sel, and excellent in working, Isai. 28.29.

2 Use. A second Improvement that live may make of this Doctrine is this; If afflictions make way for glory, it would be a profitable and needful in­quiry for every one of us, by a serious self-scrutiny and impartial examinati­on to call our selves to an account, to search and sift our hearts and lives, whe­ther the afflictions that we have met with have had that kindly operation on our souls, yea or no: I beleive, there are none of you that hear me this day, but ye have had your tryals in one kind or other, and in some degree or other; but the question is, What spiritual advan­tage have you made by them ? Have they been sent as Gods messengers, in a tendency to that eternal happiness that ye look and long for?

Quest. It may be you will ask, How may I know that affliction is working for me this eternal glory that the Text speaks of?

Ans. Take this for a certain rule; If affliction be sanctified doubtlesse it is [Page 28]making way for future glory, for San­ctification is the way to Salvation.

Therefore sanctified affliction is better then unsanctifi'd prosperity; sanctif'd sick­ness is better then unsanctified health, sanctified losses are better then unsancti­fied gain. For what is the hope of the hypo­crite, though he has gained (a great estate) when God takes away his soul? Job 27.8. or what shall it profit a man to gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Mark 8.38. This thou shalt find by experience, whoever thou art that hast been train'd up in the school of affiction; let thy condition be what it will be, never so poor or low, or friendless or comfortless. yet if it be sanctified to thee, it is a mercy, yea, it is a greater mer­cy then if God should give thee all the treasures or pleasures the earth can afford thee, for God may give riches & honors, and these outward accommodations in anger, Hos. 13.11. I gave thee a King in mine anger, & took him away in my wrath. But God never gives a sanctified use of a­ny condition in anger, but it is always in love and favour. Rev. 3.19. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: though he may severely chasten thee, he may at the [Page 29]same time dearly love thee.

Quest. But then it may be demāded, How may I know that my affliction is sanctified to me?

Answ. Signs of sanctified affliction.I answer, Then is affliction sanctified to thee, when thou art sanctified by the affli­ction: For example, 1. If it make thee more humble and base in thine own eyes; If thou canst say feelingly with the Church in Babylon, Remembering my affliction and [...]ny rebellion (so some read the Hebrew word [...]) the wormwood and the gall, my soul has them still in remembrance, and [...]s humbled in me, Lam. 3.19, 20. Sound [...]umiliation is a special fruit & product of sanctified affliction, for the more the soul [...]s humbled, the more it is emptied of self-righteousness, & self-confidence; and the more it is emptied, the more capable it is of Gods grace and mercy; it is the hum­bled soul that prizes the Lord Jesus at the highest rate, & saith of him as the Church does, Cant. 5.10. My beloved is white and [...]uddy, (white in his innocency, and ruddy [...]n his passion) the choicest of ten thousand; [...]t is true, our humiliation does not serve [...]o make us more precious to Christ, but it [...]vs to make Christ more precious to us,

2. Thy affliction is sanctified if it [Page 30]make thee more holy and heavenly mind­ed; if the hardship thou meetest with here in the wilderness, make thee long to be at thy Fathers house: If the losse of earthly treasures or outward advantages, make thee lay up treasure in Heaven, where neither moth can corrupt, nor theeves break in and steal; if the disap­pointments thou meetest with here on earth, and the uncertainty of outward riches, make thee more eagerly seek for the durable riches which Solomon speaks of, Prov. 8.18. Riches and honour are with me, (saith Wisdome) yea durable riches and righteousness; why, what are those durable riches? surely such as these, peace of Conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, assurance of Gods love and favour, an evidence of Christ Jesus dwelling in us, the saving sanctifying graces of the spirit of God, and inward comfort flowing from those graces, these are such commodities that the world can neither give us, nor take from us; they are Maries portion that shall never be taken away, Luke 10.42. If, I say, af­fliction make thee drive a trade for hea­ven [Page 31]more vigorously, certainly affliction is sanctified to thee, and thou art much bettered by thy affliction.

Sign. 3 3. If thy affliction teach thee obedi­ence to thy heavenly Father. 1. Active obedience to do what he enjoyneth; If thou canst say with Paul (after he was unhorst and humbled) What wilt thou have me to do Lord? Acts 9.6. as if he should say, though it be never so crosse and contrary to my carnal and corrupt nature, though it be a parting with my right hand, or right eye, (a sin as dear to me as either of them) I will be con­tent to do it. 2. If it teach thee Passive obedience patiently to suffer what he in­flicteth; as it was said of our dear Sa­viour, Hebr. 5.8. Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; so if thou canst say, It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth; I will put my mouth in the dust, if so be there may be hope, Lam. 3.17, 29. In brief, if thou canst say, as the Church does Mic. 7.9. I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against him; certainly affliction [Page 32]has a kindly work upon thy soul.

4. If affliction teach thee to prize mercies more, and to surfet on them lesse, to be more thankful in using them, and more fearful of abusing them, then thou hast been heretofore, it is a token thou hast profited by thy affliction; we usually, in the Sun-shine of prosperity, fall asleep, and forget God and our du­ty to him, yea forget our selves, and the vows we made in time of trouble; it fares with us as with little children, the pap makes us wanton, Hos. 13.6. Ac­cording to their pasture, so were they filled, (h. e. when God had brought them out of the wildernesse into a land flow­ing with milk and honey, and had fed them to the full) they were filled, and their heart was exalted, therefore have they forgotten me; Ephraim and Manas­seh (ye know) were brethren, Ephraim in Hebrew signifies fruitful, Manasseh signifies forgetful, fruitfulness and for­getfulness ( [...]) are sworn brethren; but if the Lord by imbittering our comforts, or mingling water with our wine, teach us tempe­rance, [Page 33]or a spiritual moderation in our carnal desires, that which the Scripture call, 1 Cor. 7.29, 31. That they who have wives be as though they had none, and they that rejoyce, be as though they rejoyced not and they that use this world, is not overusing it ( [...]) Then certainly such an imbitterment is in mercy.

Sign. 5 Fifthly, If Affliction help to melt and mollifie thy heart, as Job spake (though in another sense) God maketh my heart soft, and the almighty troubleth me, Job 23.16. God sometimes softens our hearts by troubling of us: If the bitterness of sorrow make thee to tast the bitternesse of sin, and feelingly cry out, O what a bitter thing it is that I have forsaken the Lord my God, who is the fountain of li­ving water, and have been digging bro­ken cisterns that will hold no water, Jer. 2.19, 13. O what an evill and bitter thing it is, that I have so often parted with my peace for the tickling pleasures of sin for a season? But it is bitter and bitter again, that I have grieved that ho­ly Spirit of God, wherewith I am (or [Page 34]might have been) sealed up to the day of redemption, Eph. 4.30. If thy soul can bespeak it self in that language which Josephs brethren used one to a­nother (after their consciences were a­wakened for that sinful and injurious act of selling their innocent brother into the hands of the Ishmaelites,) Gen. 42.21. We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; so if thou canst say thus to thy soul, Ah vile unworthy wretch that I am, verily I am guilty, deeply guilty before the Lord, for my unkindness and undutifulness to the Holy Spirit of God, when he besought med (in his heart-melting motions) saying, Oh do not that abominable thing that I hate, Jer, 44.4. Do not go on in a way of pride and presumption, security and formality, bru­tishness and earthly mindedness, but I would not hearken; I turned a deaf ear to all his piercing motions and pres­sing commands.

Alas, alas! Is not this that sweet spirit of grace, whose counsels I have [Page 35]despised, whose secret whisperings I have slighted, whose warnings I have resisted, and whose warmings I have quenched? Might it not be just with God to say to his spirit, Never knock more at this sinners heart, never strive more with him to bring him to repen­tance, but seeing he will be filthy, let him be filthy still? Oh that for this my eyes could run down with tears, and my eye-lids gush out with waters, as the Pro­phet speaks, Jer. 9.18.

If thy heart be thus melted with some penitential thawings, and heart-irking grief for thy miscarriages; certainly af­fliction has had a kindly work upon thy soul, such a softning and sanctifying af­fliction is an evident sign of thy adop­tion.

Sign. 6 Sixthly, Then is affliction sanctified when it makes thee more fearful of of­fending such a gracious God and Fa­ther: If it have taught thee that lesson which Elihu lays down for us all to learn, Job 34.31, 32. Surely it is meet to be said unto God, I have born chastise­ment, I will not offend any more, that [Page 36]which I see not teach thou me, if I have done iniquity, I will do no more. If thou canst say with David, (who had been trained up in the School of affliction) My flesh trembleth for fear of thee, and I am afraid of thy judgements, Psal, 119.120. Burnt child, we say, dreads the fire. If it be so with thee, that thou canst say, I dare not be bold with those sins for which I have formerly smarted; I dare not be bold with the fire where­with I have been scorched; nor stum­ble on the same stone whereon I have been bruised: then thou mayest con­clude, thy affliction is sanctified to thee, and thou art sanctified by it.

But now on the contrary, If after God has made thee smart under many rods, and exercised thee with various afflictions in thy body, or in thy soul, or in thy estate, or in thy relations, and yet thou be as proud and self-confident as ever, as carnal and earthly-minded as ever, as stubborn and inflexible to Gods commands as ever, as unthank­full in the use of mercies, and as rea­dy to abuse them as ever; as hard heart­ed [Page 37]and unbroken as ever, and as fearless of offending God, and careless to please him as ever thou hast been heretofore; doubtless thy afflictions are not at all sanctified to thee, neither art thou one jot made better by them; they are but the fore-runners of thy everlasting de­struction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power, where­of the Apostle speaks, 2 Thes. 1.9. they are but [...], the pre­libations or foretasts of the punish­ments in Hell fire.

I have dealt somewhat plainly and freely with you in this Use of Exami­nation! O that you would deal free­ly and unflatteringly with your own souls! Oh that you would be true to your own spirits, and that ye did but love your selves so well, as not to be­guile your own souls in the latter end.

Ʋse 3 The third Improvement that may be made of this Doct▪ in, is for Exhortati­on, To put us upon the practice of three needful Duties.

Duty. 1 The first is this, If afflictions make way for glory, we should justifie the [Page 38]Lord in all his providences and proceed­ings toward us. Though the rod be never so sharp , and the burthen we groan under be never so heavy, yet let us keep up good thoughts of God, and say with the godly Levites in their con­fession, Neh. 9.33. Howbeit thou art just in all that is brought upon us, for thou hast done right, but we have done wicked­ly. Lord, thou smitest not without cause, thou seest we stand in need of such sharp physick, else thou wouldst deal more gently with us. It was the speech of Mauritius the Emperour, when that bloody and treacherous phocas slew his children before his eyes, using the words of David, Psal. 119.137. Righ­teous art thou, O Lord, and upright are thy judgments. And it was the Legacy that Mr. Ezekiel Culverwel (an ancient grave Divine in this City) gave to his daughter after he had been many years bed-rid, and sore afflicted with the Gout and Stone, Be sure (saith he) in every condition that God casts you into, keep up good thoughts of God, and speak well of his name. Wicked men in the [Page 39]day of their calamity, are ready to dis­pute the cross which they should take up, and quarrel with every rod that God laies on them: Though their condition be above their worth, yet their pride is above their condition; and therefore they are ever murmuring in such lan­guage as the Israelites used, Numb. 14.3 Wherefore hath the Lord brought us into this Land to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey (to our enemies the Canaanites) were it not better for us to return into Egypt? And when the Prophet Jeremy threatned them with the Caldean Army, that should even in their dayes, and before their eyes take away the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the Bridegroom, and the voice of the Bride, Jer. 16.9, 10. All that they replyed was this, Wherefore has the Lord pro­nounced all this great evil against us? What is our iniquity? or what is our sin that we have committed against the Lord our God? But the godly have another spirit and a better language, for they say with holy Ezra, chap. 9.13. After [Page 40]all this is come upon us for our evil deeds, and for our great trespasse, Thou, O our God hast punished us lesse then our iniquities do deserve; Yea, (saith David) Psalm 119.75. I know, O Lord, that thy judg­ments are right, and that thou in faith­fulness hast afflicted me. This is the first Duty.

Du∣ty. Second Secondly, We should learn to bear every rod, not only patiently, but also thankfully.

1 Bear it patiently, because we have sinned; so did the Church, Mic. 7.9. I wil bear the indignation of the Lord, be­cause I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me.

It was a savoury and submissive speech of Jo Brown a Martyr in Q. Maries daies, Lord, I will bow, and thou shalt beat me.

2 Bear the rod thankfully, because God can order it to our advantage; for all the paths of the Lord (all the passages of his providence) are mercy and truth to them that keep his Covenant and his testi­monies, Psal. 25.10. Even paths of se­verity are paths of mercy; and we know [Page 41](saith the Apostle) we can speak it by experience,Rom. 8.28. that all things shall work toge­ther for good to them that love God, &c. Though the passages of providence ta­ken singly by themselvs alone, seem to work against us, as Jacob said on a sad occasion, Gen, 42.36. Me ye have bereav­ed of my children, Joseph is not, and Si­meon is not, and ye wil take Benjamin away also; All these things are against me; yet take these providences together, & they are all for us, not against us: As Letters in a Printers shop if ye take them singly by themselves, they will make never a word, but if you put them together, they wil make first one word, and then ano­ther, one line, and then another till the whole book be printed. A needle woman if she take one colour alone, can make no curious work of it, but if she put many colours together, then she makes an ex­cellent piece; So here, we must put all providences (both of goodness and severi­ty, as the Apostle phraseth it, Rom. 11.12) together, and not judge of Gods working by one act, but by many acts together, and then we shall find them all [Page 42]tending to our salvation, and ending in it: For

1. Either by a Temporal evil God will work a Spiritual Good, to make us more holy, humble, and heavenly-minded.

2. Or secondly, By a lesse temporal e­vil, God will work a greater temporal Good; as Josephs imprisonment was the way to Josephs advancement: Jobs great losses, were recompenced with far greater gain, for he lost but seven thou­sand sheep, and three thousand Camels, and five hundred yoak of oxen, Job 1.3, 14, 16. But God recompenced all his losses with double gain, for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoak of oxen, and so God blessed the latter end of Job, more then his beginning, Job 42.12.

Or thirdly, by a temporal evil, God wil work an eternal good for his children, as it is here in the Text, Our Tempora­ry afflictions work for us Eternal Glory, according to that of the Prophet Isaiah, chap. 61.7. For your shame you shall have double (a double portion of glory) and [Page 43]for confusion they shall rejoice in their por­tion, everlasting joy shall be unto them. And may not all these considerations make us willing to bear afflictions, not only patiently, but also thankfully.

I know it is a very hard lesson to take out. But we have both Precept for it, 1 Thes. 5.18. In every thing give thanks. Be thankful even for affliction. And we have President for it, Acts. 5.41. When the Apostles were not only threatned by the Rulers, but beaten for their preaching up the Lord Jesus, the Text saith, They re­joiced that they were counted worthy to suf­fer shame for his name; and 'tis elegantly expressed in the Original, [...], That they were honoured with dishonour. And the Apostle could say, Rom 5.2, 3. We do not only rejoice in hope of the glory of God, but we glory al­so in tribulation. Had we but such a faith as he had, we should be able to do as he did.

Du∣ty. Third The third Duty that this Doctrine presseth on us, is this, viz. To labour for a sanctified improvement of every affliction; that we may be able to say [Page 44]with the Psalmist, Psal. 48.8. As we have heard, so have me seen, this truth by experience. We have heard that af­flictions help to discover sin, or prevent it, or purge it out, and blessed be God we have found and felt in our hearts this spiritual advantage by it.

We have heard, That affliction helps to try our graces whether they be true or counterfeit, and to exercise or bright­en our graces, that they may not be rusty (for a rusty key, though it be fit­ted for the lock, yet til it be brightned, it will not open it) and to improve or increase our graces (for the more they are exercised, the more they are increa­sed.) Now as we have heard so have we seen this spiritual benefit also.

We have heard that affliction helps to fit us for service, and to quicken us in it; and this we have seen also by experience that when we have been dull and drow­sie and slow-pac'd in heavens way, af­fliction hath rouzed us out of our sleepi­nesse, and made us mend our pace in our heavenly journey. It was the speech of famous Mr. Greenham, when his [Page 45]friends about him were earnestly beg­ging on his behalf, that God would mi­tigate his pain (which was acute and pressing) No, no (saith he) Lord give me the good, the good of this affliction. If the Lord teach you and me this spiri­tual Trade of improving our afflictions [...]o spiritual soul-profit and advantage, we shall find the merchandize of it is bet­ter then the merchandize of silver, and the gain thereof better then the gain of fine gold, as Solomon speaks of wisdom, Prov. 3.14.

Use. 4 The fourth and last Use of this point is this:

It makes wonderfully for the encou­ragement of all Gods Children: It may bear up their spirits, and chear up their hearts in the midst of the saddest suffer­ings and heaviest pressures that can lye upon them; for all these are making way for Eternal Glory, that will abun­dantly recompence all our suffering, and all our waiting; nay, I dare boldly say, One hours fruition or enjoyment of that glory which is laid up for the Saints in light, will preponder or out-weigh an [Page 46]hundred yeers suffering: Therefore as our Saviour said to his Disciples, John 16.33. These things have I spoken to you, that in me ye might have peace: in the world ye shall have tribulation, but he of good cheer, I have overcome the world. Observe here, Gods people at the same time when they have tribulation in the world, they may have peace in Christ; at the same time when there is a great shower ratling upon the tiles, there may be musick, in the chamber; therefore saith our Saviour, Be of good cheer, be not daunted or dismayed at those suf­ferings that ye must undergo, for I have conquered them all, and ye shall be conquerors in me, and by me; So say I to you, Lift up those hands that hang down, and those feeble knees, Hebr. 12.12. Fear none of those things which ye shall suffer: It is the counsel of our Saviour to the Church of Smyrna, and he gives a strong cordial to support her in the midst of her fears and fainting fits, in the next words, Behold the Devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may may be tryed, and ye shall have tribula­tion [Page 47]ten dayes: Observe here, how ma­ny Ingredients there are in this Cor­dial. 1. It is true, the Devil (h. e. by his Agents and Instruments, who do his drudgery) shall cast some of you (not all of you, for some are not well able to suffer, and therefore the Lord Christ will spare them, for he is a tender-hearted carefull shepherd, that gathers the lambs in his arms, and carries them in his bosome, and gently leads those that are with young, Isai. 40.11.) 2. It is but a Prison that he casts ye into; if he were not restrained, he would cast ye all into hell fire. 3. This imprisonment is, that ye may be tryed, (not that ye might be destroyed, or brought to exe­cution.) 4. Ye shall have tribulation ten days; if the Devil might have his will, it should be for ten years together, nay, ye should never come out of prison while ye lived; but his power and rage are limited both for the measure and the continuance of them; therefore be faithfull unto death, and then I will give ye a crown of life. Oh what a heart-cheating Cordial may this be to every [Page 48]poor drooping disconsolate soul! God do's but cast thee down for a while, that he may exalt thee for ever; he does but correct thee with a fatherly rod, that being chastened of the Lord, thou mayest not he condemned with the world, 1 Cor. 11.32. (and beleeve it (Sirs) it is far better to be a corrected child, then to be a cocker'd bastard; if we want chastisement whereof all Gods children are partakers, we are bastards and not sons, Hebr. 12.8. It is better to go bruised to heaven, then with ease and quietness to go to hell) he does but cast thee into the furnace of affliction, to purge out thy drosse, not to destroy thy soul; he loves thee in the fire, as well as when thou art out, and stands by thee all the while; The Lord set home this comfortable cordial upon thy heart, that it may stand thee in stead in the evill day. So much for the first Doctrine.

Doctr. 2 The second Doctrine is this, viz. The afflictions of this life are but light and easie; the glory of the life to come is a weighty and superlative glory.

There are two Branches in this Do­ctrine, [Page 49]which I must distinctly open and confirm, Viz.

1. That the afflictions of this life are but light and easie.

2. That the glory of the life to come, is a weighty and superlative glory.

Branch. 1 For the first of these, That our affli­ctions are light and easie: This (ye will say) seems very strange and incredible; for it may be objected, Object. Do not we see Gods own children sometimes groan­ing under such heavy burdens, as are ready to break their backs, or sink them down into the dust? doth not David say, Psal. 69.2. I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing, I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me; doth not Heman that godly wise man com­plain Psal. 88.7.15. Thy wrath lies hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves; yea, I am so sadly afflict­ed, that I am ready to die; and that which [...]s yet sadder, these afflictions have last­ed not a few days or years, but a long time, Even from my youth up till this say. And does not holy Paul, speak­ing of the trouble which befell him in [Page 50] Asia, say expresly, 2 Cor. 1.8. That we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life? How then can the afflictions of the god­ly be said to be light and easie?

Answ. To this I answer, The afflictions of the godly are not light and easie in them­selves, but lye heavy upon them, and make them sometimes cry out in the anguish and bitterness of their spirits, as Job did, chap. 6.12. Is my strength the strength of stones, or is my flesh of brass? Am I made of so hard mettal, that I can endure any thing? Am I a sea, or a whale, that thou settest a watch over me? ch. 7.12. How long wilt thou not depart from me, nor let me alone till I swallow down my spittle? ver. 19.

But in two respects they may be said to be light and easie to be born.

1. If ye consider them comparative­ly, compared either with

  • The torments of Hell which are pre­vented.
  • Or the joyes of heaven which are prepared for them.

For the first of these, Compare the [Page 51]afflictions of this life with the Torments of hell, and they are but a fleabiting in comparison of that worm that dieth not, and that fire that shall never be quenched; Oh who is there living upon earth, that understands the power of Gods anger, or that dreadful indignation, the moun­tains and milstones of wrath, that lie upon the damned in hell, and will lye for evermore? Psal. 90.11. It was a de­vout Meditation of Austin, Domine hic ure, hic seca, modò in aeternum parcas; Lord cut me here on earth with the sharpest knife of affliction, bruise me here, nay, burn me here, to that thou spare me hereafter, and keep me from ever­lasting fire.

For the second, Compare the afflicti­ons of this life with the joyes of heaven, that are prepared for the godly, and then they are exceeding light and inconside­rable; what is a drop of Vinegar put in­to a hogshead of Wine? it is nothing, it is swallowed up, and not discerned. What is it for a Prince to travel in a rainie stormie day, when he is riding to take possession of a Kingdom? He e­steems [Page 52]steems the rain not worth regarding.

Pericula non respicit Martyr, coronam respicit, saith Basil. A Martyr looks not at the danger that is before him, but at the Crown of glory that is be­yond that danger.

If one of you should have a Jewel of five hundred pound thrown at you, and in the throwing, it gives you a blow upon the hand, but you have the Jew­el for the blows sake, you would esteem the blow as nothing for the Jewels sake. What one affliction, crosse or calamity is there that can be named, which is able to posze one smile of Gods face? And if a smile an earth be able to sweeten the bitterest cup, and to ease the heavi­est burden that can lie upon us, what will the full fruition of God in glory be? If a woman in travel (though she have torturing pain for a while yet) as soon as she is delivered of the child remem­bers the anguish no more, for joy that a man is born into the world, as our Savi­our tells us, John 16.21. How much more may that unconceivable joy and happiness that is laid up in heaven, when [Page 53]it is enjoyed but one day, nay but one hour, make the godly forget all their sorrows and sufferings which they en­dured here on earth for many yeers to­gether?

2. Afflictions are light and easie, in re­gard of Gods gracious supportation that he affords his servants in bearing of them: Here the Psalmist speaking out of his own experience, Psal. 94.17, 19. Unless the Lord had been my helper, my soul had almost dwelt in silence, When I said, my foot slippeth, thy mercy o Lord held me up; In the multitude of my thoughts within me, thy comforts delight my soul. Gods supporting hand made a heavy burden easily born. And in­deed it is worthy our Observation, ☜ Obs. When God does not support a man in the day of tryal, the lightest affliction will be so heavy, that he shall sink under it; see it in Ahitophel, when he saw that his coun­sel was not followed, (a man would have thought, this had been a very small tryal for so wise a man, and so great a Poli­tician to grapple with: but God leaving him to himself, he sinks under it) he [Page 54]goes home to his house, and hanged him­self, 2 Sam. 17.23. On the contrary, when God does support a man in a dark and cloudy day (as the Prophet calls it, Ezek. 36.12.) the heaviest affliction that can befall him shall be so equally poized, that he shall be able to stand under it; see an instance in David 1 Sam. 30.1, 6. His City Ziklag is burnt with fire; his two wives Ahinoam and Abigail were ta­ken captive, David and the people that were with him wept, till they could weep no longer, and (that which was yet worst of all) the people spake of stoning him, for very grief and anger, that their sons and daughters were carried captive; here was a sore affliction indeed, such a dole­ful distress, as might have broken a man to pieces; but God supporting David, he stands under it without fainting; He encouraged himself in the Lord his God.

Thus I have made good the first Branch of the Doctrine, That the af­flictions of the Godly are light and easie.

Branch. 2 The second Branch is this, That the glory of the life to come is a weighty [Page 55]and superlative glory. It is called here [...], A weight of glory, allu­ding to the Hebrew word [...], which signifies both weight and glory. It is the weight of gold that adds much to the value of it. The more weighty a Crown is, the more it is worth in our esteem.

Nay yet more, This glory is not on­ly a weighty glory, but an hyperbolical transcendent glory, far surpassing the capacity and comprehension of such poor creatures as we are; for such is the excellency, beauty and sweetness of it, that (as one saith excellentlyBolton of the four last things.) No mor­tal man can describe it, no created under­standing can conceive it, or comprehend it: Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nei­ther have entred into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love him; 1 Cor. 2.9. The eye has seene admirable things, Solomons Temple and the glory of it, which was so great, That for the Temples sake at Jerusalem even Kings did bring presents unto God, Psal. 68.29. and Solomons stately house, which was thirteen years, [Page 56]in building, 1 Kin. 7.1. and all the won­ders of the world.

The ear has heard most delicious ex­quisite heart-ravishing musick; the heart of man can conceive yet much more then either eye hath seen, or ear hath heard, for in conceit it can turn all the stones upon earth into pearls, all the sand upon the sea-shore into Silver, and all the wa­ter of the Sea, into liquid gold, yet the height and happiness of heavenly glory do's far surpass all this, especially if ye consider these three things most wor­thy of our meditation.

  • 1. The place where this glory is pre­pared.
  • 2. The Properties wherewith it is a­dorned.
  • 3. The Priviledges wherewith it is attended.

For the first, The place where it is prepared, is Heaven, The new Jerusalem, The City of the great King; this must needs be a glorious place, it ye consider these particulars.

1. God himself is the maker and builder of it, Hebr. 11.10. The most goodly Pa­laces [Page 57]that ever were built on earth are but the work of mens hands, but this is a house [...], made without hands, 2 Cor. 5.1. God himself made it without mans help. 2. God built this house for himself, for the honour of his Majesty, to be the place of his residence, where he will keep his court, as if he should say, Here will I dwell, for I have a delight therein.

3. In building this house, he shewed all his skill, it was his Master-piece, there­fore there are two words used in the Text, Heb, 11.10. [...], The former of them signifies an Artifi­cer, a curious workman or contriver; God did not only build this house, but he shew'd extraordinary workmanship in contriving it, the frame or fabrick of this earthly globe, ye see it is a goodly piece full of beauty; but alas! this is but a stage or scaffold set up for a while, viz. for 5 or 6 thousand years; (which is but a mo­ment in comparison of eternity) but this heavenly house is to last for ever. Now if the scaffold, be so glorious, how infi­nitely beautiful will the house it self be?

4. It must needs be a glorious place, because of the Glorious Company there residing, viz. The great God of hea­ven and earth, the Lord Christ with a glorified body, and all the holy Angels and spirits of just men made perfect, con­tinually triumphing in the praises of the Holy One, rejoycing in him, and he in them.

For the Se­cond The Properties wherewith this glory is adorned; I will name but these three.

1 It is a pure Glory without the least mixture of misery or infelicity. There the Saints enjoy light, without dark­ness, mirth without mourning, health without sickness, wealth without wo, beauty without blemish, and honour without envy. In this life, all our com­forts have some mixture of bitterness in them, but there are unmixed joyes and delights without the least worm­wood or gall mingled with them.

2 It is a perfect glory, nothing shall be wanting that the soul can desire, Ful­nesse of joy, Psal. 16.11 and a full Re­ward, 2 Joh. 8.

3 It is a satisfying Glory. The Saints shall be abundantly satisfied with the fat­nesse of his house, and he will make them drink of the River of his Pleasures, Psalm 36.8. All the pleasures and treasures that this world can afford us, will not give satisfaction to an immortal Soul; They do not feed Esurientem animam, but esuriem animae; The hungry soul is not filled, but the hunger of the soul is increased by them. But this glory will so fully delight, beautifie and sa­tisfie the soul, that it can desire no more.

For the third. The Privileges wherewith this glory is attended.

They are of two sorts, some are

  • Privative.
  • Positive.

1 Privative, in the freedom from all evil.

For example. The soul is here sub­ject to temptations and corruptions, de­sertions from God, and provocations from wicked men, Psal. 120.5. Wo is me that I sojourn in Mesech, &c. These are so exceeding grievous to a gracious [Page 60]heart, that they make a man cry out with holy Job, My soul chuseth strangling, and death rather than life, Job 7.15. But when the Soul comes to enjoy that glo­ry, all these shall be removed. All tears shall be wiped away from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain. Rev. 21.4.

2. Positive Priviledges in the fruition of all good things, that can be conceived or desired.

For the Saints shall have an Imme­diate Communion with God these three wayes, viz. By

  • Seeing God,
  • Enjoying God,
  • Being made like to God.

1. The Saints shall see him as he is, 1 John 3.2.

This is that which is called the Bea­tifical, or blessed-making vision, for in his presence, (Hebr. [...] in his faces) is fulness of joy; If a man had all the pains of hell upon him, this vision were able to make a man rejoyce; because totam amaritudinem Gehennae absorberet, saith Chrysost. It would swallow up the bitterness of hell it self.

2. The Saints shall enjoy him as their Portion: He shall be All in All, that is (as one sweetly expresseth it▪) He shall be joy to our Souls, Life to our Bodies, Beauty to our eyes, Musick to our ears, Perfume to our nostrils, Honey to our mouthes, and Contentment to our hearts; for what can be wanting to him that has that God for his Portion, who has and does all, and fills all things in heaven and earth.

3. The Saints shall be made like to God, and conformed to the Image of his Son Jesus Christ, Rom. 8.29.

1. Like him in Soul, by perfection of Grace, for they shall have perfect know­ledg, perfect holiness and righteousness, as much as Creatures can be capable to receive.

2. Like him in Body; For he shall change our vile Bodies, that they may be fa­shioned like unto his Glorious Body, Phil. 3.21. Then shall our Bodies be Spiritual, 1 Cor. 15.44. active, lively and nimble as Spirits; And they shall be Impassible, such as are not capable of suffering, and Immortal such as can never dye; In brief, [Page 62]they shall have such an admirable beau­ty and lustre put upon them, that they shall shine forth as the Sun in the King­dome of their Father, Matth. 13.43.

Ʋse. For the application of this Doctrine, If the glory of the life to come, be so weighty and transcendent, then we learn this undoubted truth, That the service of God is no unprofitable service. It was a lying slander that those Blasphemers cast upon the ways of God when they said Mal. 3.14. It is in vain to serve God, and what profit is it that we have kept his Ordinances, and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of Hosts; Just like some at this day, What good is got by fasting and praying, and that precise walking, that Preachers presse us to from day to day? O had these men e­ver seen but one glimpse of that beau­ty that is in grace, which is glory begun; or one tast of that heavenly glory, which is grace ferfected, then they would ac­knowledg, we can serve no such master as God is, either for work or wages; as he is the best master, so is he the best pay-master: To thee therefore that [Page 63]walkest after the course of this present evill world, and according to the will of the Prince of the air, the fpirit that worketh mightily in the children of dis­obedience, Eph. 2.2. Let me propound that Question, which Saul did to his servants that stood about him, 1 Sam. 22.7. Will the son of Jesse give every one of you fields and vineyards, and make you all captains of thousands, and cap­tains of hundreds? So say I to you, Can sin, or Satan, or the world, give you such wages as this? such transcendent glory as this, in seeing God, enjoying God, and being made like to God? No, no, they will pay you with sorrow and vexation, with shame and confusion, and condemnation to all eternity.

Consider seriously of it before it be too late, for the time will come when you will befool your selves and say, O what sots and senseless wretches were we that willingly deprived our selves of that weighty and transcendent glory, for a few stinking lusts, and the pleasures of sin for a season! We thought the ser­vice of God unprofitable and burden­some [Page 64]saying, What A weariness is it Mal. 1.13. But now, Oh that we had been a thousand years fasting and praying, mourning and weeping; Oh that we had been ten thousand years excercising the strictest duties of Religi­on self denial, renewing repentance, mortification, contempt of the world; and the like) rather then have lost this weight of glory; for it is an invaluable, unconceiveable, and irrecoverable loss; the tears of Hell are not sufficient to be­wail the loss of Heaven: Thus will it be, I say it again, thus will it he with all you, that neglect so great salvation, and account Gods service an unprofitable service: The Lord of his infinite mercy awaken you to Repentance.

So much for the second Doctrine.

Doct. 3 The third Doctrine is this, viz. That the afflictions of this life are but for a moment, the glory of the life to come is an everlasting glory.

That the Afflictions of this life are but for a moment appears in this, Be­cause our life, if it were ten times longer then it is, in comparison of Eternity, is [Page 65]but a moment of time, Mine age is nothing before thee, Psal. 39.5. It is but as a drop of water in comparison of all the water in the Ocean.

That the glory of the life to come is an everlasting glory, the Scripture brings in abundant Testimony; the Righteous shall enter into everlasting life, saith our Saviour, Matth. 25.46. And heaven is called a Kingdom that cannot be shaken, Hebr. 12.28. Earthly Kingdoms are quickly shaken to pieces; the great King of Kings and Lord of Lords, can as easily tosse Kingdomes, as we can toss a Tennis ball; where are the four great Monarchies of the world, the Babylonian, Persian, Gre­cian, and Roman? They devoured one another, and death devoured them all, but this heavenly Kingdom cah never be moved, neither is it capable of any change, corruption, or alteration: Doth not the Apostle call it an inheritance in­corruptible and undesiled, and suck a one as fadeth not away? 1 Pet. 1.4. Doth he not call it a crown of glory that ne­ver withers of waxethold, 1 Pet. 5.4.

O this ETERNITY, ETERNITY, E­TERNITY, It is such a great depth or bottomless Ocean that it swallows up all our thoughts; it is that which makes every mans condition either infinitely happy, or incomprehensibly miserable▪ In reference to the wicked such as have no interest in Christ, no work of grace upon their hearts, no fear to offend God, nor care to please him; It may smite their hearts with that fear and conster­nation, that gastly horror and doleful confusion, that if I had the tongue of men and angels, I were not able to ex­press it suppose a little Bird should e­very thousandth year fetch a drop of water out of the Ocean, how many mil­lions of years would it be before this bird could empty the Ocean? Surely, this is but a picture of eternity; so long, and infinitely longer, shall those damned wretches suffer the torments of Hell fire, without end or ease, without mitigation or intermission.

In reference to the godly, this Eterni­ty may ravish their hearts with admi­ration, and holy exaltation or rejoycing [Page 67]in Spirit, that the glory prepared for them is such as shall never have end: After a million or thousand thousand years expired, their glory is but begun; and when ten thousand millions are past, their glory is not hear to an end. That golden speech of Bernard, Momentaneum est quod delectat, aternum quod cruciat; The pleasures of sin are but for a mo­ment, the punishment of sin is everlast­ing, may by way of Inversion, be fitly applyed to all true beleevers; the suffer­ings they meet with are but for a mo­ment; the pleasures at the right hand of God, which they expect, are for ever­more; at thy right hand (saith David, Psal. 16.11.) are pleasures for evermore.

In brief, it is the highest pitch of the misery of the damned in Hell, that their punishment is everlasting, and yet their torments are so great, that every mo­ment seems an eternity: On the con­trary, It is the highest pitch of the Saints happiness in heaven, that their joyes are everlasting, and yet these joyes are so fresh, that their eternity seems but a moment.

Ʋse. For the Application of this Point. There are four duties of infinite con­cernment, that I would presse upon you in reference to this eternal glory; O that I could prevail with you to put them in practise.

Duty. 1 First, Give all diligence to clear your title to this eternal glory, that you may know it is prepared for you, I say for you.

Quest. But how may we clear our ti­tle to this Inheritance?

Ans. Ye must labour to get evidences of your election, make your calling and election sure, saith the Apostle, 2 Pet. 1.10. that is, make your Election sure by your calling; prove one, and prove both, if ye be called with an internal, as well as an external vocation, ye may be confi­dent ye are elected: Therefore get evi­dences of your effectual vocation, by re­turning an Eccho to Gods call, that when he saith, Seek ye my face, if thy heart can answer, thy face Lord will I seek, Psal. 27.8. When Christ saith, Come to me, poor dejected sinner, thou that art weary of the work of sin, and heavy laden, with [Page 69]the weight of sin, Come to me, and I will give thee rest, Mat. 11.28. If thy heart can answer, Lord I would creep to thee on hands and knees; when the spirit of God whispers in a voice behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk in it, Isai. 30.21. If thy heart can return a yeelding answer; Lord, if it be the way, (though it be a narrow way and full of difficulty, yet) I will walk in it; this is an evidence of thy effectual calling. So likewise, Get Evidences of your Adoption, that ye are the children of God, because ye are like your father; and get eviden­ces of your justification and sanctifica­tion by feeling the Lord Christ coming neer your hearts, both by blood and wa­ter, pacifying your Consciences, and purifying your hearts and lives; this is the way to clear your Title to this everlasting Inheritance.

In brief, There are two things will exceeding much conduce to the, clear­ing of your Title;

  • Viz. 1. The Adding to your Graces.
  • Viz. 2. The Acting of your Graces.

For the former, Hearken to the coun­sel of the Holy Ghost, 2 Pet. 1.5, 7. Give all diligence to adde to your faith vertue (that is, a well composed life, saith Judicious Calvin) and to vertue know­ledge, and to knowledge, temperance, and to temperance patience, and to patience Godliness, and to Godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness Cha­rity; This adding to your Graces, is a Laying up in store for your selves a good foundation for the time to come, that you may lay hold on Enternal Life, as St. Paul expresseth it, 1 Tim. 6.19. That as wicked men are said to treasure up wrath against the day of wrath Rom 2.5. So ye (on the contrary) by these Addi­tionals, will be treasuring up grace a­gainst the day of glory.

For the latter, Be still acting of your Graces, and exercising of your selves to godliness: 1 Tim. 4.7.

For example, 1. Let Faith be in exer­cise, still feeding upon the Promises, and making vigorous application of them to your own Souls: If the Promises feed your faith, your faith will feed your As­surance, [Page 71]and carry you with comfort and confidence to your journeys end.

2. Let Repentance be in exercise, by re­newing that godly sorrow which comes from God, and leads the soul unto God, looks on God offended, and ends in God reconciled. Holy Job, though he had a strong faith, as appears by that much admired speech of his Job. 13.15. Though he slay me, yet will I put my trust in him: yet in the same verse, ye may see, he was frequent in renewing his re­pentance: I will (saith he) reprove my own wayes before him (so some read the phrase, and the Hebr. word [...] will well bear it) q. d. I will be so far from justifying my self, that I will disallow mine own wayes, and disavow my own righteousness; yea repent daily, and ab­hor my self in dust and ashes, Job. 42.6.

3. Let Love be in exercise; Love the Lord Jesus dearly and sincerely: Be sick of Love towards so sweet a Saviour, as the Spouse was, Cant. 2.5. Love no­thing much, but onely him whom you cannot love too much; And if you love him, see what he himself saith in that [Page 72]comfortable Scripture, John 14.21. He that loveth me, shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest my self to him. Now if Christ manifest himself to thy Soul, then certainly thy Title to heaven is cleared.

4. Let fear be in exercise; Happy is the man that feareth always, Prov. 28.14. and the more ye walk in the fear of the Lord, the more ye walk in the comforts of the Holy Ghost, Acts 9.31. This is the first Duty.

Duty. The second The second is this, Be more eager and earnest, instant and constant in the pursuit of this Eternal Glory, than ever ye have been to this day,

Oh that ye and I could go up to the top of Mount Nebo as Moses did, Deut. 32.49. and view the pleasant Land afar off, and tast some of the Grapes of Canaan by serious Meditation.

Oh that we could seriously consider.

  • 1. From what we are Redeemed.
  • 2. To what we are appointed.

Redeemed from wrath, appointed to me [...]cy; Redeemed from the pit ot hell, and appointed to the glory of heaven; [Page 73]Redeemed from those infernal flames, and everlasting burnings, but appointed to those everlasting joyes, which no heart can conceive, nor tongue express.

Were these things soundly digested and seriously considered, they would awake our drowsie spirits, and set the wheels of the soul a going, that we should not onely walk in the way that leads to life, but we should cheer­fully run the race that is set before us: Heb. 12.1.

The truth is, we might do a great deal more in the pursuit of our glorious hopes than we do, if we did but put forth our strength to do what we are able; and we might put forth our strength more than we do, if we were not sick of a spiritual Lethargy; and we are sick of a spiritual Lethargy, because we do not prize those glorious hopes that are set before us according to the worth of them.

In Gods fear therefore, let us hearken to the Counsel of the Holy Ghost: Heb. 6.12. Be not slothfull but follow­ers of them who through faith and pati­ence [Page 74]inherit the promses. This is the second Duty.

Duty. The third The third is this; Let us call off our affections from the world, the pomp and glory and vanity of it, that they may be set upon that Eternal Glory, which is prepared for the Saints in light

To you that are called with a holy calling, and have had a tast of that ever­lasting Consolation, and good hope through Grace, God seems to speak in that language wherein Joseph spake to his Brethren, Gen. 45.20. Also regard not your Stuff, for the good of all the Land of Aegypt is yours: So faith God to you, set not your hearts on trash and trifles; there is a Crown of eternal glory set before you: Is it fit for Kings Children to be raking in dunghills? This duty of weanedness from the world is seasonable at all times, but most suitable to the times whereinto God has cast us; for now God seems to say to us as he did to Baruch, Jer. 45.4▪ 5. Behold that which I have built will I break down, and that which I have planted, I will pluck up, even this whole Land: And seekest thou [Page 75]great things for thy self? Seek them not; Oh that we had such a spirit as Moses had, he refused to be called the son of Pharoah's daughter (he trampled upon all the honours and pleasures of Egypt) Because, he had an eye to the Recompence of Reward, Heb. 11.24, 26. It is Storied of Alexander, that when he heard of the riches of the Indies, he gave away all his present Possessions that he had in Macedon, and being asked why he did so? He answered, I hope and look for far greater things than these: Oh that we could imitate this Heroick Resolu­tion, To contemn our present enjoy­ments in comparison of our future hopes. This is the third Duty.

Duty. The fourth The fourth and last is this, Let us frame our selves to a Heavenly Conversa­tion: Though our commoration or a­bode be upon earth, let our Conversa­tion be in heaven Phil. 3.20. For hereby we shall be sitting our selves for that Glory that shall be revealed. If one of you were to have an Inheritance in Spayn, you would learn the Spanish tongue, and the Spanish fashion, you would frame [Page 76]your selves to the custom of that Coun­try or Kingdom, where you were to spend your dayes: Why surely, ye look for an Inheritance in Heaven among the Angels, yea to be [...], Equal to the Angels, Luke 20.36. Why do you not frame your selves to an Angelical Conversation? You look to be like them in dignity, strive to be like them in duty; To do your Fathers Will on earth, as the Angels do it in heaven. To this end, Let us every day take a turn or two with Christ on Mount Tabor, take a prospect of heaven, and turn every Solemnity into a school of Divi­nity; Let us say as Fulgentius did when he saw the Nobitity of Rome sit moun­ted in their bravery, Si talis est Roma terrestris qualis est Roma caelestis? If Rome be such a glorious place, what is Heaven? If the Musick on earth be so delightfull, how unconceivably sweet and melodious will the Musick of hea­ven be? Thus a Sanctified fancy may make every creature a ladder to heaven.

Use 2 To close up al with a word of Consola­tion.

This Doctrine may be as an Alaba­ster box of precious oyntment, to re­fresh and revive the spirits of all true Be­lievers, all the Saints and Servants of Christ, in the midst of all the troubles and trials, sorrows and sufferings that can befal them; There is a Crown of Eternal Glory prepared for you, which may make your hearts dance for joy; yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry, and when he comes he brings his Reward with him, Rev. 22.12. Then shall ye hear him speaking comfortably to you; he will speak to your hearts and say, Come ye blessed of my Father, receive the King­dom prepared for you from the foundation of the world, Enter ye into the joy of your Lord and Master, Mat. 25▪ 20. q. d. This joy cannot enter into you, because of your straitness, but ye may enter into it, because of its fullness; The Sea cannot enter into a Hogshead, because the Ves­sel cannot contain it; But the Hogshead may enter into the Sea, because the Sea can fill it. To conclude,

There are 4. principal Names, where­by [Page 78]the Holy Ghost expresseth the feli­city of the Saints in heaven:

  • 1. It is called a Life, and such a Life as is Eternal.
  • 2. It is called a Glory, and such a Glory as is a Crown.
  • 3. It is called a Kingdom, and such a Kingdom as is Immutable and Unmove­able.
  • 4. It is called an Inheritance, and such an Inheritance as is Immortal.

Now tell me (poor fainting, droop­ing Soul) What is it that thy heart can wish? Or what can bear up thy spirit under all afflictions, reproaches, difficul­ties and discouragements whatsoever, if this cannot do it?

Is there any thing thou lovest better than life? Is there any better life, than a life of glory? Is there any glory grea­ter than a Crown of glory? Is there any Crown so desireable as that which comes by Inheritance? Is there any In­heritance so admirable or delightfull, as that which is immortal undefiled, and such as newer shall fade away.

Lift up thy head therefore; because [Page 79]thy Redemption and eternal Glorifica­tion are so near at hand: say to thy own Soul as that godly man did on his death-bed; Hold out faith and patience; thy work is almost at an end: Encourage thy self, as Basil tells us the Martyrs en­couraged one another, when they were cast out naked in a Winters night, be­ing to be burned at a stake the next day: Sharp it the cold, but let us endure a while, and Abraham's bosom will warm us; Troublesond is the way, but the end of the journey will be sweet and pleasant: Let our feet burn awhile, that we may dance for ever with the Angels; Let our hands feel they fire, that we may lay hold on Eternal Life. The Lord Jesus work these things upon our hearts, that they may make an abiding Impression. Amen.

I have done with the Text.

Let me speak something to the Oc­casion: How seasonably this Text may be applied to our dear deceased Brother Daniel Waldoe Esquire, one that fined for Alderman in this famous City, (whose Funerals we this day solemnize) ye that knew him and his Conversation, may easily conceive.

He was a man trained up in the school of affliction for many years to­gether; being exercised with that acute and tormenting disease of the Stone, a­bout 30. years.

And doubtless God by that long and sharp affiction was preparing him for e­ternal glory, partly by purging out his dross, and making him white as the Scrip­ture phraseth it, Dan. 11.35. and partly by teaching him the exercise of Pati­ence and perseverance. For that speech of the Apostle was verified in him, Rom. 5.3. Tribulation worketh patience; It is a Paradox to Reason, for affliction in its self and its own nature worketh Impatience, and makes a man fret and fume like a wild Bull in a net, as the Pro­phet speaks, Isa. 51.20. But when God works with it, then it worketh pati­ence, and makes a man say with David, Be silent unto the Lord, O my Soul, Psal, 62.5. Do not utter an impatient word.

Yea his Afflictions taught him not onely Patience and submission, but also self-denial and sympathy, or a fellow-feeling with others miseries; He could [Page 81]sigh in their sorrows, and bleed in their wounds, and be affected with their suf­ferings, as if they had been his own: In brief, the Rod taught him that excel­lent Lesson, To have a heart weaned from the world; for the Rod has a voice, Micah 6.9. and it spake to him in that language which the Prophet used to the Jewes in Babilon, Micah 2.10. Arise ye, and depart, for this is not your rest.

The Testimony therefore that I may give of this worthy Citizen, without flattery or partiality is this.

First, He was a very humble man, low in his own eyes, no way self-con­sident, or self-conceited. And I am of the same opinion with that famous Divine, Dr. Harris, late of Oxford, that was wont to say, He valued no man for his gifts, but for, his humility under them; Certainly the more Grace any man hath in his heart, the more base he will be in his own eyes: Did ye ever know a man more eminent in Grace than Blessed Paul? And was there ever any man more humble? I am saith he [...], less than the least of [Page 82]all Saints, Ephes. 3.8.

Thus was it with this dear Brother of ours; he so hated Pride, and that vain and sinfull excess in apparel, so much affected in this luxurious wanton age, that he chose rather his own Children should be cloathed beneath their rank, than above it: And though he kept not a penurious Table, yet he profes­sedly declined that delicacy and profuse­ness which many delight in, that in both, he might not onely avoid the scandal of the Gospel, and offence the Godly; but that the superfluity in dyet and apparrel might be improved to the better advantage of cloathing; the naked, and refreshing the bowels of the hungry.

2. He was very Industrious in his Calling, and doubtless that is very ac­ceptable and well-pleasing unto God; especially, when this diligence ariseth not from a covetous desire of heaping up riches, but from an obediential re­spect to Gods Command, because he has enjoyned us that duty, Prov. 27.23. Be thou diligent to know the state of thy [Page 83]flocks, and look well to thy herds; and again, Prov. 10.4. The hand of the dili­gent maketh rich; yea God has annexed a promise to it, Prov. 22.29. Seest a man diligent in his business, he shall stand be­fore Kings, he shall not stand before mean men.

And indeed, God was pleased singu­larly to bless his endeavors, and to en­rich him with a Temporal estate: For though a large estate was not his design, yet was it part of his Reward, and a pledg of future and far better hopes laid up for him in heaven.

3. He was a Pious man; He did not so mind his particular Calling, as to neglect his General, but he drove a Trade for heaven, not onely in his ho­ly and religious observation of the Sabbath, but also in a carefull Attendance, at the Posts of Wisdoms house on the week dayes, as his occasions and bo­dily infirmities would permit. Nei­ther was he an idle and unprositable Hearer, but like the Industrious Bee, he gathered honey to carry home to his Hive, for the feeding of his Family, [Page 84]as well as the refreshing of his own Soul; witness those heapes of Sermon Notes, that are found in his Study.

4. He was a Faithfull man, one that filled his Relation faithfull; a ten­der hearted Husband to his Wife; a lo­ving carefull Father to his Children; one that knew how to love them with­out fondness, and to rule them without rigour. A prudent Governour towards his Servants, minding the good of their Souls, as well as the fruit of their Service.

5. He was a Charitable man, nay, (I may considently say) Eminent and Exemplary in the Grace of Charity; being a real. Cordial, faithful friend to a godly Ministry, as appeared by his great bounty manifested on every occasion; for to my knowledg, he has given very considerabe Sums of Money towards the encouraging of those that were painfull Labourers in Gods Vineyard.

Never any Minister or Godly man came to propound any work of Piety or Charity, publick or private, that needed to do any more than to propund it: For his heart was so dipt in Charity, [Page 85]and so set upon works of mercy, that he prevented Importunity, by his Christian and Heroick Liberality.

I do not speak rashly, but advisedly; He made no more of giving 10 l. to a work of Charity, than some of you (and those of the richer sort) make of giving 10 s. Yea, there are divers here present that can witness this Truth. Few did match him; none that I knew, did surpass him in works of Charity.

His Charity had two singular Con­comitants, which made it the more Re­markable and praise-worthy.

1. He did good while he lived; He carried his Lantern before him; He made his own hands his Executors, and his own eyes his Overseers. Some will part with their riches when they can keep them no longer; This is like a Cutpurse, that being espied or pursued, will drop a Purse or gold, because he can keep it no longer. But to be doing good in our life-time, while we have opportuni­ty, this is an act of Faith, and an evidence that we can trust God with our Estate, and our Children, that he will provide [Page 86]for them, when out heads are laid in the grave, according to that of the Psal­mist, A good man is mercifull and lend­eth, and his seed, is blessed, Psal. 37.26.

2. He dispensed his Charity so se­cretly, without any self-seeking or pha­risaical vain-glory, that his left hand did not know what his right hand did.

In brief, He did so much good while he lived, as if he meant to have nothing to do when he died, and yet he gave so largely when he came to die, as if he had done no good when he lived.

Now wherefore is all this spoken?

Not as if this Funeral Elegy could be any advantage to him; No, no, Fune­ral Sermons are vivorum solatia, not [...] [...]tuorum subsidia, saith Austin; They are no helpfull advantages to the dead, but wholesom Instructions to the living; The dead praise not thee O Lord, nor any that go down into silence, Psal. 115.17. Look as the dead return no praises to the Living God, so neither do they re­gard any praises from Living men.

It is not therefore spoken so much by way of Commendation, as to pro­pound [Page 87]him a pattern of Imitation. This deceased friend (as it is said of Abel) Heb. 11.4. Though he be dead, he yet speaketh, And what is the language that he useth▪ Surely it is the same that Gideon used to his Souldiers, Judg. 7.17. Look on me, and do likwise: If ye do as he did, ye shall speed as he sped.

Remember, you and I must answer for Examples, as well as Precepts.

Ye know what, is laid of Noah; Heb. 11.7. By building an Ark he con­demned the world: His piety condem­ned their impiety; His faith condemned their infidelity, his uprightness, their hypocrysie. So this good mans Cha­rity will condemn your want of Charity at the Great day.

If ye say, You have many Children, so had he; He has left 9. Children a­live; but the providing for them was no obstruction to his Charity.

To conclude; Blessed is that man that so lives as that he is desired, and so dies as that he is missed.

This Nathaniel, (so I may call him for his Sincerity, as well as a Job for his [Page 88]Charity) He lived desired, and will be exeedingly missed: Missed I say in his family, where he was a faithfull Gover­nour; In the City, where he was a boun­tifull Benefactor; In the Parish, where he was a usefull Neighbour; In the Company, where he was an honoured Member.

Missed among the Poor, especially Widows in necessity, to whom he was a Father.

Oh that God would humble us for our stupidity, That the righteous perish­eth, and no man layeth to heart, and mer­cifull men are taken away, and no man regards it, Isa. 57.1.

Oh that God would make his exam­ple powerfull and influential on all the Rich men that hear me, or shall read this Sermon, and the testimony that is given to this Worthy man: Oh that God would send us many such WALDOES!


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