[Page] [Page] A SERMON Preach'd at WHITE-HALL Before the QUEEN, March the Sixteenth, 1691.

BY EDWARD PELLING, D. D. Chaplain in Ordinary to Their Majesties, and Rector of Petworth in Sussex.

Publish'd by Her Majesty's Special Command.

LONDON, Printed for W. Crooke, at the Green-Dragon without Temple-Bar, MDC XCII.

COLOSS. I. 12.

Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the Saints in Light.

IT may be otherwise rendred thus, and more agreeably to the Original; Who hath fitted us for a share of the inheritance of the Saints in Light: Which St. Chrysostom doth reckon to be a very Signal Act of the Wisdom and Goodness of God; that he doth not only tender us the Felicities of Hea­ven; but moreover, qualifies and fits us for the Enjoyment of them. This, saith he, is a double favour, to offer, and to fit us too. Honour is lost, when 'tis thrown away upon an improper and unfit Person. And hence St. Chrysostom argues, That though God's pre­paring a Kingdom for us, be a great expres­sion of his free Grace and Goodness, not me­rited in the least by any Performances of ours, [Page 2] yet the preparing of us for that Kingdom, the fitting of us to enter into it; this is the main Thing, the greatest Work and Blessing of all: And for that Reason it is, that St. Paul doth here give God such hearty Thanks for his unspeakable Goodness and Mercy, in making us meet (or fit) to be par­takers of the inheritance of the Saints in Light.

In Discoursing upon which Words, I shall,

I. First shew, That, in order to the En­joyment of the Felicities of another World, it is necessary for us to be fitted and qualified for them in this.

II. Wherein that Fitness doth Consist, or what those things are, which directly serve to fit us.

III. And then, in the Last Place, I shall draw down this Speculation to our Pra­ctice.

[Page 3] 1. That in order to the Enjoyment of the Felicities of another World, it is highly ne­cessary for us to be fitted for them in this; to be made meet, and apt, and rightly qualifi'd for the Enjoyment of them. My meaning is, that though we use the Means of Grace and Salvation, as the hearing of God's Word, Prayer, the Receiving of the Holy Sacrament, and the like; though we believe all the Doctrines of our Religion; and though we be fully satisfied of the Truth of God, and comfort our selves with confident Expectations of God's Good­ness and Mercy; yet, besides and beyond all this, there is required such a Temper of Mind, such a Disposition and Frame of Soul, as is suitable to that Blessed State, which is the Portion of the Saints in Light.

The Reason of this is drawn from the Common Notion of Happiness. For after all the nice Disputes which have been about it, Happiness must be a State of Delight [Page 4] and Pleasure, resulting from the Congruity between the Object and the Desire. What­ever it be that is prepared to make one Happy, though it be never so good, he can­not find true Happiness in it, if it be dis­agreeable to his Mind, or short of his De­sires; so that he cannot enjoy it with Com­placency and Delight; because in such a Case, ones Soul would be unsatisfied and uneasie, which is utterly inconsistent with a State of Happiness, especially such a Per­fect State of Happiness, as the Saints in Light enjoy. Heaven it self could not be a Place of Pleasure to such Souls, as cannot love or rellish so Divine Entertainments, nor care to be acquainted with them. For by Heaven is understood, not only a Glorious Place, where the Spirits of Just Men live, without any Sense of Misery and Pain; but moreover a Perfect State, wherein all those things are fully prepared, which the Powers and Faculties of every Holy Soul do reach after here, with a greedy and restless Appe­tite, as the only proper Object for a Rea­sonable Soul to be employ'd about. It [Page 5] includes a Perfection of Knowledge; whereby the Mind doth with transcendent Pleasure perceive, whatever the Understand­ing is capable of perceiving; and a Per­fection of Enjoyment, whereby the Will is, with transcendent satisfaction, gratified with whatever it is capable of Desiring. To render therefore this Pleasure and Satisfacti­on, and conseuently this Happiness, Per­fect, there must of necessity be a Corre­spondence and Suitableness, between the Powers of the Soul, and the Things of Hea­ven: The Faculties must be of such a Dis­position and Temper, as answers and a­grees with the Nature of the Things. For­ced Enjoyments can never be delightful; to be sure not so perfectly delightful, as Enjoy­ments that we desire.

Hence it follows, That it is of infinite Concernment to us, while we live in this World, so to mould our Tempers, and so to trans­form our Minds, that our whole Soul may be of a Complexion and Frame, agreeable to that Heavenly State, which is the inheritance of [Page 6] the Saints in Light. 'Tis as much as our Souls are worth, to do it, and to do it now; be­cause there is nothing between this World and another, but Death; and that can never alter a Man's whole State so, as to make him fit for that, which he was not fit for before: Death does only give the Soul a Passage into another World; it doth not change its Incli­nations and Habits. Those are things which we are here a long while Contracting, and consequently must require a long time to change and alter them. An Habit of Ver­tue is not infused into the Soul in an Instant, but is acquired by degrees, by a constant Repetition of Vertuous Acts; nor is this to be done, but by the Assistance and Co-opera­tion of God's Spirit, sowing in our Nature a seminal Principle of a New Life, and both Preventing and Furthering us in all our Works. Now this great Work can be done but once, and this Life is the only time for it. For when Death comes, there is an End of the H. Spirit's Operations, and the Spirit of a Man is past all mending. There can be no Repentance in the Grave, nor any right [Page 7] Repentance in Hell it self. Though there must needs be Sorrow where there is such Torment, yet it is a Sorrow not for Sin, but for the Rewards of it; no Godly Sor­row that reneweth the Heart: The Soul is still disposed, as before, like a Wild Creature that retains its Nature, though it be shut up within a Grate. Heaven, indeed, is a Place where a Soul is perfected; but yet it is, not by changing its Habits and Qualities, but by crowning them with Glory. A Life of Vertue and Holiness, is consummated and made unchangeable, but not begun there. In short, it is impossible to conceive how that habitual Bent and Biass, which is in the Heart of every wicked Man, can be total­ly and finally rectified, meerly by the passing of his Soul out of one World into another, and that too against its Will and Desires. Such a Soul therefore could not be happy among the Saints in Light, were it admitted into that Society; because a Carnal Mind is so far from relishing those Divine Pleasures, which are at God's right hand, that it is at Enmity a­gainst them, and against God himself.

[Page 8] This I take to be one great Reason, why God hath given us so many Laws of Vertue, that thereby he may make us Ves­sels fit for Glory; fit for that Happiness, which, of his infinite Goodness, he hath provided for all his poor Creatures, which are capable of receiving it; and, which he desires to Communicate to us all, not wil­ling that any should perish. Though the Practice of Vertue be Reasonable and Ex­cellent in it self; and though it brings with it such Peace, and Comfort, and Satisfaction here, as is preferrable to all the Glories under the Sun; yet the usefulness of it another Day, and in another Place, is the main Thing considerable. God, who dwells him­self in Heaven, knows what we are to do, and how we are to live there, and which are the best means to prepare and fit us for an Heavenly State. Though the Rea­sons of every Particular Vertue may not at present be so obvious to our view, yet God sees them; He knows whither every Vertue ultimately tendeth; and how it serves [Page 9] to Subdue, to Regulate, to Purifie our Minds; to Raise our Affections; to Refine our Natures, and to Cultivate our Souls; so that every Particular Grace and Vertue now, may spring up into a Life of perfect Glory and Happiness hereafter.

From which Premises, these Four things must follow.

1. First, That we may not in any wise build our Hopes of Eternal Happiness, upon any Decree of God, without due Prepara­tions of our own. For God's Decrees sup­pose us to be rightly prepared: And as it is God's Purpose, that without Holiness no Man shall see him; so the very Nature of the Thing, requires all possible Sanctifications of Heart and Body, to fit us for the Beatifical Vision.

2. Nor may we depend upon Faith, without other Acts of Obedience to the Divine Laws; because that Faith must needs be Imperfect and Ineffectual, which [Page 10] doth not serve to Purifie us, as God is pure.

3. Nor may we lay any stress upon Re­pentance it self, without such Fruits as are meet for it. For where there is not such a Renovation of Heart, as is Productive of Reformation of Life, there is no Repen­tance unto Salvation, let the Grief and Re­morse of Mind be never so great.

4. Much less may we trust to any out­ward Severities and Mortifications of the Flesh, without the Sanctification of Heart and Spirit. Though this Solemn Paschal Fast be of very Ancient Institution, and was observed in the Primitive Times, to great Purposes of Religion, and is of great use still, where People are careful to answer the Ends of it; yet no Bodily Exercises profit any thing, in comparison of Substantial Holiness. Fasting is a Relative Duty, in­tended for the mortifying of our sinful Lusts and Affections. It is not alone, and of it self any Preparative to Happiness; nor are [Page 11] those outward Penances to be valued at all, which the Folly and Superstition of later Ages have grafted upon it.

In short; Considering how the Holy Scrip­ture inculcates the necessity of a new Heart, a new Spirit, a new Creature, and the like; the only Business we have to do in this our day, is, to form in our Souls such Divine and Noble Dispositions, as may make us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of God's Saints, and render a Life in Heaven perfectly agree­able to our own Hearts desire.

2. What those Dispositions are, which are necessary to Fit and Prepare us for an Hea­venly State, is the next thing to be Conside­red. And for the right understanding there­of, it is requisite to enquire a little into the Life of the Blessed above, because that is the proper Idea and Pattern, according to which we are to form those Dispositions I speak of.

Not that we can pretend to have Perfect Conceptions of the other World. It is a [Page 12] thing we know but little of, because God hath not been pleased particularly, to Re­veal the Condition and State of it; and therefore we must not presume to pry too nar­rowly into that Holy of Holies, or think to discover now all those things which are yet within the Veil. 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. Yet so much God hath Revealed to us by his Spirit, that we have reason to believe these Five following things:

1. That the Life of the Blessed Saints, is a Life of perfect Love and Peace. Though we cannot now distinctly conceive, how Spi­rits Converse with one another, and Com­municate their Thoughts and Affections to one another; because the Notions we have here, come from Idea's presented to our Sen­ses, and our Senses are not fine enough for Spiritual Representations; yet it is certain, that entire Harmony, is a great Part of the Heavenly State. God himself, the Center of Happiness, is Love. And as he Displays [Page 13] and Communicates his Love over the whole Intellectual World; so the Affections of that infinite Host of Blessed Spirits to him are Reci­procal, because it is in him that they are happy. And because they are all like him, and all love him, and all derive their Felicities from him, their mutual Love to each other must needs be inviolable and universal; so that Angels and Saints make up but one Society, all united together in the same Mind, in the same Joys, and in the same common Love of God. Hence the Apostle tells us, that Charity never faileth, 1 Cor. 13. 8. and so he sets it above Faith and Hope; not only because it is of greater Use, and singularly Communi­cative and Beneficial in this World, but chiefly because it hath this peculiar Prerogative, that it is of endless Duration in the next. Whe­ther there be Prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be Tongues, they shall cease; whether there be Knowledge, it shall vanish away; but Charity shall never fail; it will be the everlasting Ex­ercise of the Saints in Light; their proper and peculiar Employment. Those Wars and Fightings, which are among us now, pro­ceed [Page 14] from our Lusts: That Envying and Strife which rageth in this World, is Earthly, Sensual, Devilish; those Hatreds, and Ani­mosities, and Divisions, which attend our present Warfare, are Effects and Arguments of Carnality. When that which is Imperfect shall be done away, a Perfect State of Love, and Unity, and Concord, will be at once the Portion and the Happiness of the Tri­umphant.

2. The Life of the Saints in Light, is a Life of Devotion. By Devotion, I mean, the offering up of the Soul to God, from a lively sense of the glorious Excellencies of his Nature, and of his boundless Goodness to his Creatures. Whether the Saints departed do offer up any Prayers unto God, is a thing un­certain. Though some Protestants are in­clined to think, as a probable Matter, that out of a Principle of Charity, they pray in general for the Church Militant; yet that they pray for particular Persons, or in particular Cases; or that they pray as Mediators; or that they are to be prayed to themselves; all [Page 15] this we utterly deny. But it is a Truth un­questionable, that they Adore the God of Heaven, in such a way as is suitable to a State of Bliss and Perfection: Admiring the Glories of his Nature, extolling His Maje­sty, Praising him continually, and never resting from giving him Thanks, for the In­finite Riches of his Grace and Goodness. This appears from many Passages in St. John's Revelation, where the Four Beasts are said, not to rest Day or Night, saying, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty; and the Four and twenty Elders are said to fall down before him that sat on the Throne, and to Worship him that liveth for ever and ever; and with Harps and Golden Vials full of Odours, to Sing a new Song unto the Lamb: And the Angels them­selves, with the Beasts and Elders, are said, to Worship God, saying, Amen: Blessing, and Glory, and Wisdom, and Thanksgiving, and Ho­nour, and Power, and Might, be unto our God; and the like. For though this was a Visiona­ry Representation, not a set History of the particular State of Heaven; yet the Analogy it bears to it, plainly shews, that the Spirits [Page 16] of Just Men made Perfect, do, with the Blessed Angels, make up one Heavenly Chorus, to Adore the Infinite Majesty of God; and to chant out Praises and Hallelu­jahs unto him to Everlasting Ages.

3. And hence it follows, Thirdly, That the Life of the Saints in Light, is a Life of the most Divine Contemplation also. For this is the Ground of that Adoration and Worship which is paid to the Creator of all things; and so St. John, speaking of the Day of Appearance, tells us, That then we shall see God as he is, 1 Jo. 3. 2. For now we see through a glass, darkly, but then, face to face, saith St. Paul, 1 Chr. 13. 12. and again, Then shall I know, even as also I am known. By which several Expressions it is evident, that though the Saints of God have very imper­fect Conceptions and Glimpses of him in this Mortal Life, and though it is impossible for them, being Finite Creatures, to have an Adaequate and Comprehensive Knowledge of him in any State whatsoever; yet when the Glory of God shall be Revealed in them, [Page 17] they shall clearly and closely perceive every thing that is knowable of God; with the most ravishing satisfaction, shall Contem­plate the Beauties and Glories of his Essence; and as fully, as 'tis possible, understand his Perfections, together with the astonishing Reasons of his Decrees and Operations. Whatever Notions our Souls have of God in this Life, we are fain to gather by looking into the Glass of his Creation, and of his Word, as the Means of seeing what we are able to discover: And that Imperfect Vision we have, is but a Reflex Vision, by the help of weak Consideration and Discourse. And hence it is, that our Apprehensions are so childish in Comparison; we Argue like Chil­dren; Speak like Children, and Understand like Children, whose Conceptions are rather Dreams and Fancies, than the Results of So­lid and Man-like Reason. But when that which is imperfect is done away, the Soul is blest with a direct and immediate view of God; with a clear Understanding of the Ex­cellencies of his Nature, how Wise and Just, and Good and Powerful God is, and how [Page 18] wonderfully Righteous and Gracious in all his Works.

4. From this clear and intimate Know­ledge which the Saints in Light enjoy, it fol­lows yet further, that their Life there is a Life of Purity; because St. Paul tells us, that without Holiness no Man shall see the Lord, Heb. 12. 14. and our Saviour's Promise of seeing God, particularly belongs to such as are Pure in heart, Math. 5. 8. We come into this World unclean from the very Womb; and as we grow up, we contract a great deal more Filthiness of Flesh and Spirit, by med­ling too much with the World; and by suf­fering our foolish Appetites to run out after the Corruptions of it. To Cleanse and Sanctifie our Souls, and so to fit them for a Life of Bliss and Perfection with himself, is the great Work of God here. And this he does by the Ministry of his Holy Word; by the use of Holy Sacraments; by the in­ward Motions and Operations of his Holy Spirit, and by that variety of Holy Laws which he hath laid before us. And hence it [Page 19] is, that there are so many Vertues pro­posed to our Practice, proper and peculiar to this Mortal State, wherein we are surrounded with Misery and Temptation; as, Modera­tion, Temperance, Meekness, Self-denyal, Patience, Fortitude, Justice, Submission, and the like. For though these Vertues are high­ly consonant to Human Reason; yet the great Advantage they bring in order to a fu­ture Life, is the most considerable Excellen­cy of them; for all these serve in their seve­ral kinds, and in a great measure; some to subdue and tame our wild Spirits, and to prepare them for a Life of everlasting Peace; others to mortifie us, and make us weary of our Lusts; others to curb and bridle our Pas­sions; others to defend us from Temptati­ons; others to wean our Affections off from the World; all of them to Spiritualize our Natures, to scour us from our Dross and Tin; and in one respect or other, so to purge the Soul, that when it goes out of the World, being sprinkled with the Blood of Christ, it appears Pure and without Blemish in that Heavenly Sanctuary, whither nothing [Page 20] that is Unclean can come. This is that Ho­liness and Purity of Heart, which prepares the Saints for the seeing of God. And as this Pure State fits them for the Beatifical Vision; so doth the Beatifical Vision fix and confirm them in that State, and renders it unchangeable. The Reason is, because all manner of Perfection which the Heart of Man can desire, being in God, and in God only, every Soul, that is with him, must needs be satisfied to the full; and the Under­standing and Affections must of necessity be so employed and fixt upon him, that the Will cannot possibly be averted from Enjoy­ments, so infinitely Perfect and Satisfactory. The very Nature and Condition of that Bles­sed State, cannot permit any Souls to wan­der, in the least, from an Infinite Good; and therefore they must Everlastingly con­tinue Pure and Spotless; like the Holy Lamb of God, whose Will was perfectly Conformable to the Will of his Father; Who knew no Sin, neither was any Guile to be found in his Mouth.

[Page 21] 5. Besides these Positive Felicities, which the Saints in Light enjoy, I think there is but one particular Thing more which is Reveal­ed to us, of their Life in Heaven, and that is, That they bear a Resemblance and Si­militude of God himself. Thus St. John tells us, 1 Jo. 3. 2. Beloved, now are we the Sons of God, and it doth not yet appear (that is, it doth not yet distinctly and fully appear) what we shall be: but we know, that when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. Some render the Words, when it shall appear, (meaning when our fu­ture State shall come) we shall be like God; and indeed it seems to be the more natural Reading: We shall be like God in all man­ner of Glory, according to the Capacities of Finite Beings; and saving the Difference that ever must be between God and Crea­tures. We shall be like him in a Divine and Immortal Life; this Frail Animal Life being quitted, and changed into a Spiritual one, and Corruption being swallowed up of In­corruption. But the greatest Happiness will [Page 22] be, that we shall be like him in the Divine Perfections and Excellencies of his Mind; without any Error in the Understanding; with­out any obliquity in the Will; without any Disorder in the Affections; there will be a perfect Rectitude in our Nature, Resemb­ling in all possible Degrees, those Perfections which are in the ever Blessed God, who is ab­solutely Righteous, Holy, and Good.

Now by what is thus Revealed to us, con­cerning the State of the Saints in Light, we may easily perceive what Dispositions of Soul are necessary to be in us, to fit and prepare us for a Blessed Portion with them, viz. The same Divine and Heavenly Dispositions, which the Saints in Light have, such Qualities and Habits of Mind we must have here; such an Heavenly Conversation we must be­gin here; such a Frame and Temper of Heart we must carry with us to the Grave; because, as our Inclinations and Affections are, when we go out of this World, so they will be for ever.

[Page 23] I observed before, That some Vertues are peculiar to our present Circumstances, to this Weak, Mortal and Militant Condition: Even those Vertues we must be careful to grow and proceed in now, because they help, every one of them in its kind, and in some mea­sure, to prepare us for a better State. But because the Life of the Saints in Light, doth immediately consist in the exercise and vigo­rous Activity of such Dispositions, as are pro­per to a Glorious and Perfect State; there­fore our great Study and Business in this World should be, to enrich and adorn our Souls with those Dispositions chiefly, and to make them habitual to us, by the familiar and delightful Practice of them now; that we may be in Heaven, as in our proper Ele­ment; that the Society of Saints and An­gels may be to our Hearts Desires; and that the Condition of the other World may be such as we would be in; such as we may be in Love with; such as we may enjoy with the highest Pleasure and Satisfaction. Were we caught up, with St. Paul, into the [Page 24] Third Heaven; or could we climb up ot the top of some solitary Mountain, there to pull out of our Sides, all those Briars and Thorns, which Adam left us; and throw our Griefs and Troubles away all at once, and so take our flight into those Happy Regions above: Good God! What an Orderly, Quiet and Harmonious World, should we find there? What a Family of Love? What a Consort of Devout Spirits? What an Angelical Host, with Ecstasies and Raptures, beholding the Face of God? What a Glorious Church, not having Spot or Wrinkle, or any such thing, but Holy and without Blemish; every Soul there resembling the Holy one of Israel, in Bliss and Sanctity?

3. Therefore, that we may be meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the Saints in Light, we must, above all things, accustom our selves to the delightful Practice of those Heavenly Graces, which are to be our Life in that day: To fill our Hearts with an entire Love of God and Man; to have fervent and perfect Charity among our selves: to [Page 25] lay aside all Malice and Bitterness of Mind: to keep the Unity of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace: to put on, as the Elect of God, Bowels of Mercy and Kindness: to love the Habitation of God's House, and the Place where his Honour dwelleth here below; to Pray without ceasing, and to be continually in the Temple, Praising and Blessing God in a great Congregation: To have God always in our Thoughts, increasing daily in the Knowledge of him, and being filled with it in all Wisdom and Spiritual Understanding: To cleanse our selves from all filthiness of Flesh and Spirit; and for the Perfecting of Holiness in the Fear of God, to be like him, as much as 'tis possible, even in this World; to be, as he is, and, by beholding, as in a Glass, the Glory of the Lord; to be changed into the same Image, from Glory to Glory, from one Degree of it to another.

So much as we have of these Vertues and Perfections now, so much we have of Hea­ven in our Possession already. This we should mind therefore, as the only thing we [Page 26] are to mind, as long as we breathe; because our Eternal Fortunes depend upon such a Disposition and Temper, as I speak of now. It doth not only Insure our Title to the Saints Inheritance, but it likewise renders our En­trance into it very Easie, and as it were Na­tural unto us. And this is the highest Ad­vantage we get by the sincere Practice and Love of Religion. Though it is a security to us against all the Dangers of this Life, and against all our Enemies round about us, because it Intitles us to God's Particular Pro­vidence and Protection: Though it always brings with it such Comfort and Peace of Mind, as is a kind of Heaven to us in the greatest Distress; and though it fortifies us against the Approach of Death, which is so unwelcom to Nature, and so terrible to Flesh and Blood; yet our delighting in the Ways of Vertue and Piety, brings us an Advan­tage beyond all these: It prepares us for a Blessed Life to that Degree, that after Death we shall be fit for no other State, but the Society of Saints, and the En­joyment of God. And herein lies the [Page 27] extream Folly of Lewd and Profligate Wretches, that while others are laying up in store such excellent Securities against the Time to come, that they may attain Eternal Life; these are Treasuring up all the Wrath and Vengeance they can, and prepare that Hell for themselves, which God Originally prepared only for the Devil and his Angels. Whither can we suppose A­theistical Spirits fit to go, but to that dreadful Place, where they will be forced to Believe, as the Devils do, with Trem­bling and Desperation? Or, whither can Men of Black Designs, of Turbulent Spirits, of Mischievous Dispositions, and Malicious Minds; Whither, think ye, can they be fit to go, but to their Confede­rates in Iniquity, those Spirits of Dark­ness, which are a Plague and Torment to themselves, as well as to the World? Hea­ven can be no Place for such Devilish Na­tures: Neither will God's Decree, nor can the Nature of the Thing it self allow it. It is impossible for the Saints of God, and the Sons of Belial, to be Joint-Heirs with [Page 28] Christ: There would be another War in Heaven; because there is such an utter An­tipathy in the Minds of Wicked Men to the Life of the Blessed.

As therefore it is high Presumption in those of the Romish Faith, to trust to the Merits and Intercession of Saints, and to I know not how many Superstitious and Trifling Performances of their own, for their future Happiness; so it would be great Vanity in us, to depend either upon the Purity of that Religion we profess, or upon the Power, Mercy, and Will of God himself, without those inward Dispositions and Habits of Mind, which are necessary to make us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the Saints in Light. For, though we are saved by Grace; though all that we can do or be, cannot, by any intrinsick Dignity and Excellence in the Thing, deserve so great a Recompense of Reward, as is re­served for us; yet the Entire and Practical love of those things, which are Honest, Just, Pure, Lovely, and of Good Report, is the [Page 29] fixt and necessary Condition, without the Performance whereof, we cannot be truly Happy; 'tis that which must prepare us for the Eternal Possession of our Inheritance; that which must dispose and fit us for the Divine Mercy; that which must render us capable of seeing and rellishing the Great Goodness of God in the Land of the Li­ving.

To Conclude, It is natural to ask, What shall we do to be saved? An Enquiry which we should often consider of, and not lay it aside, as we are apt to do, till we are possest with the Pains and Frights of a Death-Bed. Now, this is the right and certain Way, so to mind the Things which concern our E­verlasting Peace, and are Preparatives to it, that the Practice of them may be Familiar and Delightful to us: To addict our selves to the Love and Exercise of all manner of Vertues; and to rise every Day to higher and higher Degrees in the Exercise of it. All this is necessary, to dispose and fit us for Perfect Happiness. This is to taste of [Page 30] Heaven, and to relish the Pleasures of it before hand; which we never can be satisfied with, except they be suitable and pleasing to our Appetites now. Those sensual and gross Delights, which Carnal Men hunt and reach after so greedily, would be nothing at all to them, were they not agreeable to their Bodily Senses. And this is the Reason of that diffe­rence, between the Pleasures of a Brute Beast, and those which are proper to Man; because the Organs of Sensation are of a different Contexture. And this is the Rea­son too, of the difference between the De­lights of an ordinary Man, and those which a Philosopher enjoys; because there is such a vast difference between Flesh and Spirit; the Sense is for one thing, the Mind and Reason is for another. And thus a Saint differs too from a common Philosopher; the one minds Nature, and seeks no further nor higher than this World; the other pants after Heaven, and nothing can satisfie or answer his Desires, but those Divine Plea­sures which are at the right hand of God. Thus, to be spiritually minded, is life and peace, as [Page 31] St. Paul discourseth, Rom. 8. 6. It is the ready way to it, the true Preparation for it; the Pledge and Earnest of it indeed; and, as it were, the Livery and Seisin of the inhe­ritance of the Saints in Light; Which I beseech God to give unto us all, for Christ Jesus his sake; to whom with the Father and the Holy Ghost, be all Honour, Glory and Thanksgiving, World without End. Amen.


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