The Christian's CHARTER Shewing the PRIVILEDGES OF A BELIEVER BY THOMAS WATSON Master of Arts of Emanuel Colledge in Cambridge and now Pastor of Stephens Walbrook LOND.

He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all; how shall hee not with him freely give us all things?

Rom: 8.32.

Godliness is profitable unto all things having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.

1. Tim. 4.8.

Quàm divites illi qui omnia possident!


The third impression Enlarged.

London Printed by T. R & EM for Ralph Smith at the signe of the Bible in Cornhil, neer The Royal Exchange. 1654.

TO THE Right Honourable, and Religious, The Lady MARY VERE Baronesse of Tilbury, And My much Honoured LADY.


I Have presumed upon your La­dyship, humbly to present you with these few Meditations. As it is a rich mer­cy [Page] to have a spiritual Ioynture, so it cannot but be a comfort to know what it is. 'Tis a joy to the young heir to have a view of his estate; that is the work of this Treatise, to set before you the Land of promise. While we are here in the combate, we had need look to the Crown to make us fight the more valiantly. Moses had an eye at the recompence of re­ward, and that did animate him against sufferings; yea, our blessed Saviour himself looked at the joy set before him. Madam, Could we live in the thoughts of these great things to come, what sub­lime, what sweet lives should we lead! Surely, if there be any sad [...]nesse gathers in our spirits, if any [Page] despondency, it comes in at this leak of unbelief. Vnbelif is a bad neighbour, it is alwayes rai­sing either Jealousies of God, as if he would not be as good as his Word; Vnbelief with Sarah, laughs at the promise: Or scru­ples in the heart, whether all these promises belong to us. The Devil shot three fiery darts into the virgin-castle of Eves heart, whereof the first was the most deadly, Yea, hath God said? He would induce this beliefe in her, that God had not spoken Truth: and when he had once wrought her to distrust, then she took of the tree, &c. All [...]he train of tentation that Satan [...]ayes, is to blow up the fort of [Page] our Faith. We had need main­tain this grace, it is Faith must maintaine us. While the Pilot keeps his ship, his ship keeps him. Right Honourable, Blessed be the riches of Gods grace, who hath set this heavenly plant in your heart, and hath kept you in the faith, insomuch that all the shakings of the times have but settled you the more; and I doubt not but he that hath begun a good work in you, will performe it untill the day of Jesus Christ. What an unparalell'd mercy is it to be kept free in the time of in­fection? God hath given your Ladyship a sound judgement, and a tender conscience, both which are jewels of great price. I may [Page] say of you, as it is said of Jeho­shaphat, his heart was lift up in the wayes of the Lord, 2 Chron. 17.12. Yet I have observed, the more you have been lifted up in God, the more you have been cast down in your self. It is excellent, when the higher we grow in knowledge, the lower we grow in humility. I speak it to the praise of free-grace, God hath crowned your silver haires with golden vertues, every one of which doth shine as thos [...] preci­ous stones, the Sardius, the Topaz, and the Diamond, Ezek. 28.13. Holiness is a beau­tiful thing, it carries a majesty in the face of it; even those that op­pose it, cannot but admire it. Grace [Page] differs little from glory; the one is the seed, the other the flower▪ Grace is glory militant, and glory is grace triumphant. Theodo­sius thought it a greater honour that he was a Christian, then the head of an Empire. Your piety is a greater glory to you, then your Parentage; it is more to be the daughter of faith then to descend from Nobles, or to have the blood royal running in your veins. Madam, There is a time shortly coming, when neither birth, estate, or any worldly embellishments will do us good; you have laid in provision against that time, and gotten the new birth, when all o­ther birth and Nobility must lie in the dust. This is that which makes [Page] your name smell in Gods Church, as the wine of Lebanon. Go on, Right Honourable, in those paths which have an immediate tendency to life and blessednesse. We are like to meet with many rubs in the way before we get to Heaven: It is said of Israel, their soul was much discou­raged because of the way. Num. 21.4. Had we more grace, we should have need enough to use it: expect we must fiery serpents; but, the righteous will hold on his way, Job 17.9. Is not every Christian an Ensign-bearer to carry Christs Colours? We must resolve to be good in good earnest. The almost Christian shall be al­most [Page] saved. It is wise counsel our Saviour gives, that we should count what religion will cost us, Luk. 14.28. It will cost us re­proach; this is a part of Christs livery which we must weare. Think not that our innocency will priviledge us from the reproaches and slanders of the world; Christ was the most innocent person up­on earth, never did any unholy thought come into his minde, yet his innocency would not shield him from slander; he was called a friend of sinners. Let us not be discouraged; shall we cease from being Saints, because others will not cease from being Devils? Is it a wonder, when an army is in [Page] fight, to see the bullets fly abroad, and the fire-balls? when the seed of the serpent is fighting with the seed of the woman, is it strange to see the bullets of tentation flie, & the fire-balls of slander? But if our innocency will not keep us from being shot at, it will keep us from being hurt: for as no flatte­ry can heal a bad conscience, so no slander can hurt a good. Again, Religion wil cost us persecution; this is a part of Christs legacy which he hath left us, In the world ye shall have tribulati­on. Our ship would soon over­turn, if it were not ballasted with some afflictions. A Christian is a compounded creature, he hath some evil in him, therefore God [Page] afflicts; and he hath some good in him, therefore the Devil afflicts: Hence that of Cyprian Cum coe­peris in Christo piè vivere, in­grederis torcular., When a man begins to be religious, he must think of going into the wine­presse: and perhaps the blood of the grapes may be pressed out; but the meditation of things to come, should sweeten the tryals present, and make us, that though we cannot live without them, yet to live above them. What if the times are worse, if they make us better? and if our burdens be hea­vy, seeing the way we are to go is but short! Madam, I will not hold you longer, I make bold to devote this Manual to your Honour; I acknowledge how weak and unfeathered it is, therefore [Page] unfit to flie abroad into the world; but the importunity of some friends, and principally, the many favours received from your Ho­nour when I was in your noble Family, and which have been since continued, did press upon me (yet not without some reluctancy in my own thoughts) to commit it to the publick. I hope the discourse may be seasonable, and doubt not but it will take some impression if it be as a naile fastned by the great Master of Assemblies. I have drawn but the [...], or dark lineaments of that bles­sed condition which the Saints shall arrive at: expect not to see it in its orient colours till God himself give you the Pattern, [Page] and you shall both see and enjoy it at once. The Lord preserve your Ladyship, and all those Noble Branches descended from you, which is the prayer of,

Your honours most humble and faithful servant, THOMAS WATSON.


  • THe preface, and entring into the words. p. 1, 2
  • An Objection answered. pag. 3.
  • All things in heaven and earth are a Beleevers. p. 6
CHAP. II. Reasons shewing how the Beleever comes to have this rich Charter.
  • 1. Because he is an heire of the Covenant. p. 7.
  • 2. Because he is so nearly related to Christ, who is heire of all. p. 10.
  • The unsealing of the Charter. p. 11.
  • Things present are a Beleevers. p. 12.
  • Section. 1.
    • That Paul and Apollo are his. p. 12, 13.
    • The first inference. p. 15.
    • The second inference. p. 17.
    • The third inference, p. 18.
  • Section. 2. That the world is his. p. 24.
  • Section. 3. That life is his. p. 31.
  • The enlarging of the Charter. p. 36.
  • Section. 1.
    • That remission is a Beleevers priviledge. p. 37▪
    • [Page]How we may know whether this be our priviledge. p. 39, 40.
  • Section. 2. That Regeneration is a beleevers priviledge. p. 41.
  • Section 3. That Adoption is a Beleevers priviledge. p. 45.
  • Section. 4. The inferences drawn from Adoption. p. 51.
  • Section. 5. The signes of Adoption. p. 59.
CHAP. V. The second part of the Charter.
  • That things to come are a Beleevers. p. 63.
CHAP. VI. The 12. Priviledges in reversion.
  • 1. Death is a Beleevers. p. 66.
  • Though death in it self be a privation yet to a childe of God it is a Priviledge. p. 67.
  • To whom death is a priviledge. p 78, 81
  • The second Prerogative Royal of a Beleever, he shall be carried up by the Angels. p. 84.
  • The third Prerogative Royal: the Beleever shall be with Christ. p. 89
  • Six priviledges growing out of this.
    • 1. Vision. p. 92.
    • 2. Union. p. 97.
    • 3. Nobility. p. 99.
    • 4. Ioy. p. 103.
    • 5. Rest. p. 114.
    • 6. Security. p. 118.
  • The fourth Prerogative Royal: the glorious inhe­ritance. p. 122. [Page]Which hath six Properties.
    • 1. Sublimenesse. p. 124.
    • 2. Magnificence. p. 125.
    • 3. Purity. p. 126.
    • 4. Amplitude. p. 128.
    • 5. Light. p. 130.
    • 6. Permanency. p. 131.
  • Concerning the glory of this inheritance foure things superadded.
    • 1. It is ponderous. p. 135.
    • 2. It is satisfying. p. 135, 136.
    • 3. Though others have their portion paid out, there is never the lesse for us. p. 137.
    • 4. The soules of the Elect enter upon possession im­mediately after death. p. 138.
  • That the New creature only is the heir of this new Hierusalem. p. 149.
  • The fifth Prerogative Royal: our knowledge shall be cleare. p. 153.
  • Five Mysteries God will clear up to us in heaven, so far as our humane nature is capable. p. 154.
    • 1. The Mystery of the Trinity. ibid.
    • 2. The Mystery of the Incarnation. p. 155.
    • 3. The Mystery of Scripture. p. 159.
    • 4. The Mystery of Providence. p. 160.
    • 5. The Mystery of Hearts. p 163.
  • The sixth Prerogative Royal: our love shall be per­fect. p. 165.
  • The seventh Prerogative Royal: the Resurrection of our bodies. p. 171.
  • Several Corolaries, our Uses drawn from the Re­surrection.
    • [Page]1. Use. p. 182.
    • 2. Use. p 185.
    • 3. Use. ibid.
  • The eighth Prerogative Royal: the bodies of the Saints shall be richly enameld with glory. p. 187.
  • Five properties of glorified bodies.
    • 1. Agility. p. 188.
    • 2. Clarity. p. 189.
    • 3. Beauty. p. 190.
    • 4. Impassibility. p. 192.
    • 5. Immortality. ibid.
  • The ninth Prerogative Royal: we shall be as the Angels in heaven. p. 194.
  • The tenth Prerogative Royal: the Vindication of names. p. 199.
  • The eleventh Prerogative Royal: the Saints abso­lution. p. 203. Where is observable,
    • 1. The Book of life opened. ibid.
    • 2. The blessed sentence. p. 204.
  • The twelfth Prerogative Royal: a publick and honourahle mention of all the good the Saints have done. p. 205.
CHAP. XVIII. Use. 1. Inform. 1. Branch.
  • The first inference drawn from the proposition. p. 210.
CHAP. XIX. Inform. 2. Branch.
  • [Page]The second inference, shewing the difference be­tween the godly and the wicked, the wicked have all their worst things to come. p. 212.
  • The Reprobates black Charter. p. 213.
CHAP. XX. Use. 2. Tryal.
  • Second Use of Tryal: shewing how a Christian may know whether he hath any right to the Beleevers priviledges. p. 227.
  • That faith gives a title. p. 229.
  • The nature of faith opened In its Essentials. p. 230.
  • The nature of faith opened In its Consequentials. p. 244.
  • A reply to the sinners Objections. p. 256.
  • The Beleevers Objections answered. p. 259.
  • The third Use, Exhortation.
    • 1. Branch. Shewing the duties of a Beleever by way of Re­taliation.
      • 1. Duty, Thankfulnesse. p. 270.
      • 2. Duty, Exemplarinesse of life. p. 274. Walk as Christ did upon earth.
        • 1. In Sanctity. p. 275.
        • 2. In Humility. p. 279.
        • 3. In Charity. p. 283.
      • 3. Duty, Contentation. p. 285.
      • 4. Duty, Anticipation of heaven. p. 288.
      • 5. Duty, Chearfulnesse, p. 292.
      • 6 Duty, Envy not them who have only things present. p. 297.
      • 7 Duty, Comfort in the want of spiritual comfort. p. 299.
      • 8. Duty, All our things must be Christs. p. 303.
      • 9. Duty, Wait for these great things in Reversion. p. 306.
    • [Page] Use. Exhortation. 2. Branch. To such as have only things here, that they would labour for things to come. p. 312▪
      • Sublunary things are but
        • 1. Vain. p. 313.
        • 2. Uncertaine. ibid.
        • 3. Vexing. p. 314.
        • 4. Dangerous. ibid.
      • Our pursuit should be rather after the portion [...]hen a few gifts. p. 317.


1 Cor. 3.21, 22, 23.

For all things are yours, whether Paul, or Apollo, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours, and ye are Christs, and Christ is Gods.

CHAP. I. The Porch or Entrance into the words, together with the Proposition.

HAppinesse is the mark, and centre which e­very man aimes at. The next thing that is [Page 2] sought, after being, is being hap­py; and surely, the neerer the soul comes to God who is the fountain of life and peace, the nearer it ap­proacheth to happinesse; and who so near to God as the Beleever, who is mystically one with him? he must needs be the happy man: And if you would survey his blessed Estate, cast your eyes upon this text, which points to it, as the finger to the Diall: For all things are yours. The text may not unfitly be com­pared to the Tree of LifeRev 22.2., which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every moneth; there are many precious clusters grow­ing out of this text, and being Skil­fully improved, will yield much fruit.

In the words we have the In­ventory of a Christian, All things are your; A strange paradox, when a believer can call nothing his, yet he can say, Eae sunt fidelium o­pes, ut vel cum Croeso Rege certa­re ausint, quantum. vis summā premantur & injuriâ, & inopiâ. Weinri­chius. all things are [Page 3] his. I have often thought a poor Christian that lives in a prison, or some old cottage, is like the Usu­rer, who though he goes poore, and can hardly find himselfe bread, yet hath thousands out at use: So it is with a child of God, 2 Cor. 6.10. as ha­ving nothing, yet possessing all things. What once the Philosopher said, Solus sapiens dives, Only the wise man is the rich man; give me leave to say, only the believer is the rich man; here is his estate summed up, All things are his.

Before I come to the words,Object. there is an objection must be remo­ved, If all things are ours, there seems to be a community: what is one mans, is anothers.

Answ. Answ. The Apostle doth not speak here of civill Possessions; Paul did not go about to destroy any mans propriety; Omniae vestra quae in sacris li­ [...]er is non excep [...]a. Pet. Mar. for though he saith▪ All things are yours; yet he doth not say, what any man hath is yours.

[Page 4] Object. Object. But is it not said, [...]; They had all things. common? Acts 2.44.

It is true: but first, This was purely voluntary:Answ. Piscator. non fuit praecep­tum, sed susceptum; there was no precept for it.

If it be objected, that this was set downe as an example to imi­tate.

1. I answer; Examples in Scri­pture are not alwayes Argumenta­tive: The Prophet Elijah called for fire from heaven, to consume the Captaines and their fifties [...] King. 1.10.; but it doth not therefore follow, that when one Christian is angry with another, he may call for fire from heaven. Thus the Primitive Saints out of prudence and chari­ty, had all things common; it will not therefore follow, that in every age and century of the Church, there should be a common stock, and every one have a share.

[Page 5]2. I answer; Though the Di­sciples had all things common, yet still they held their propriety, as is clear by Peters speech to Ananias Act. 5.4. Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? It is true in one sense, what the Primitive Church had, was not their own; so much as could be spared was for the reliefe of the Saints, thus all things were common; but still they kept a part of their estate in their owne hand. There is as the Schoolmen observe, duplex jus, Aquin. a double right to an estate, a right of propriety, and a right of charity. The right of charity belongs to the poor, but the right of propriety belongs to the owner. For in­stance, God made a law, Deut. 23.24, 25. That a man must not put his sickle into his Neighbours corne. We reade that the Disciples being hungry when they went through the fields [Page 6] on the Sabbath, did pluck the ears of corne, there was charity; but they must not put the sickle into the corn, here was propriety. This I the rather speak, because there are some, that when God hath made an en­closure would lay all common: It was Satan pulled down Iob's hedg. The Lord hath set the eighth Com­mandment as a fence about a mans estate▪ and he that breaks this hedg, a serpent shall bite him. Thus ha­ving taken that objection out of the way, I come now to the Text.

And it falls into three parts. 1. The Inventory, [...], All things, 2. The Proprietors, [...], All things are yours. 3. The tenure, [...], Ye are Christs. Which three bran­ches will make up this one Propo­sition.

Doctr. Doct. That all things in heaven and earth, are the portion and pre­rogative of a believer. A large Inventory▪ All things: we can [Page 7] have but all. And the Apostle u­seth an ingemination, he doubles it, to take away all hesitancy and doubting from faith.

CHAP. II. The Arguments proving the Proposition.

THere are two Reasons which will serve to illustrate and confirm the Proposition, All things are a beleevers.

1. Because the Covenant of Grace is his.Reas. 1. The Covenant is our Great Charter, by vertue of which God set­tles all things in heaven and earth upon us. By sin we had forfeited all, therefore if all things be ours, the title comes in by a Covenant; till then we had nothing to hold by. This Covenant is the issue and birth [Page 8] of Gods love▪ it is the legacy of free-grace. This Covenant is en­riched with mercy, it is embroy­dered with promises: you may read the Charter, Jer. 31 34 [...] I will be their God. And there is a parallell to it, Ps 5 [...].7 [...] I am God, even thy God: This is a sufficient dowry. If God be ours then all things are ours.

1 He is, 1. Eminently Good. One Diamond doth virtually containe many lesser pearls: the excellen­cies in the creature are single, and want their Adjuncts. Learning hath not alwayes Parentage: Ho­nour hath not alwayes Vertue. No Individuall can be the receptacle and continent of all perfections: But those Excellencies that lie scat­tered in the creature, are all united and concentred in God, as the beams in the Sun, the drops in the Ocean.

2 2. Hee is Superlatively Good. Whatever is in the creature, is to- [Page 9] be found in God after a more tran­scendent manner A man may be said to be wise, but God is infinite­ly so; Powerfull, but God is eter­nally so; Faithfull, but God is unchangeably so. Now in the Co­venant of Grace, God passeth him­self over to us to be our God; I am God, even thy God.

This expression, I am thy God, imports three things: 1. Pacification. 1 You shall finde grace in my sight, I will cast a favourable aspect upon▪ you, I will put off my armour, I will take down my Standard, I will be no more an enemy. 2. Do­nation. 2 God makes himself over to us by a deed of gift, and gives away himself to us: he saith to the believer, as the King of Israel said to the King of Syria, 1 King. 20.4 I am thine, and all that I have: This is alvea­rium divini mellis, an hive full of divine comfort: all that is in God is ours: his Wisdom is ours, to teach [Page 10] us; his love is ours, to pity us; his Spirit is ours, to comfort us; his mercy is ours, to save us. When God saith to the soule, I am thine, it is enough, he cannot say more. 3 3. Duration. I will be a God to thee, as long as I am a God.

Reas. 2.2. Reason. All things are a believers, because Christ is his Je­sus Christ is, [...], the pillar and hinge upon which the Covenant of Grace turns. Without Christ, we had nothing to do with a Covenant. The Covenant is founded upon Christ, and is sealed in his blood. We read of the Mercy-seatExo. 25.17, which was a divine Hieroglyphick, typifying Jesus Christ. There will I meet thee, and I will commune with thee from a­bove the Mercy-seat ▪ ver. 22. To shew that in Christ God is propitions. From above this Mercy-seat he com­munes with us, and enters into Co­venant. Therefore it is observa­ble, [Page 11] when the Apostle had said, All thing are yours, he presently adds, Ye are Christs. There comes in the title, we hold all in capite. This golden chain, Things present, and things to come, is linked to us, by vertue of our being linked to Christ. By faith we have an inter­est in Christ; having an interest in Christ, we have an interest in God; having an interest in God, we have a title to all things.

CHAP. III. The opening of the Charter, Things present are a Beleevers.

AND now I come to that great question,Quest. What are the things contained in the Charter?

Resp. There are two words inAnsw. [Page 12] the text that expresse it, Things pre­sent, and things to come. I begin with the first.

1. [...].1. [...], Things present are a beleevers. Amongst these things present, there are three specified in the text; Paul and Apollo, the world, life, &c. Here is, me thinks, a row of pearl: I will take every one of these asunder, and shew you their worth, then see how rich a beleever is, that wears such a chaine of pearle about him.

§. 1. Paul and Apollo are yours.

1. [...].1. Under these words Paul and Apollo, by a figure are comprehend­ed all the Ministers of Christ,Summi & in [...]imi. Pareus. the weakest as well as the eminentest. Paul and Apollo are yours, viz. their labours are for Vo [...]is ad bonum in­serviunt. Aretius. edifying the Church. They are Beza. adminicula fi­dei, the helpers of your faith. The [Page 13] parts of a Minister are not given him for himself, they are the Chur­ches [...]. Oecume­nius in lo­cum.. If the people have a taint of errour, the Ministers of Christ must season them with wholesome words; therefore they are called Mat. 5.13. the salt of the earth. If any soul be fainting under the burden of sin, 'tis the work of a Minister to drop in comfort, therefore he is said to hold forth the brests as a nurse 1 Thes. 2.7.. Thus Paul and Apollo are yours: All the gifts of a Minister, all his graces, are not only for himself, they are the Eph. 4.8. Churches. A Minister must not monopolize his gifts to him­selfe, this is to hide his talents in a napkin; such an one makes an en­closure, where God would have all common. Paul and Apollo are yours: The Ministers of Christ should be as musk among linnen, which casts a fragrancy; or like that box of spik­nard, which being broken open, fill'd the house with its odourJoh. 12.3.: So [Page 14] should they do by the savour of their ointments. A Minister by sen­ding out a sweet perfume in his do­ctrine and life, makes the Church of God as a garden of spices. Paul and Apollo are yours: They are as a lamp or torch to light souls to hea­venRev. 1.20.. Chrysostome's hearers thought they had as good be without the Sun in the Firmament, as Chrysostome in the Pulpit. Paul and Apollo are springs that hold the water of life: as these springs must not be poisoned, so neither must they be shut up or sealed. A Minister of Christ is both a granary to hold the corn, and a Steward to give it out. 'Tis little better then theft, to withhold the bread of life. The lips of Apollo must be as an hony-comb, dropping in season and out of season. The graces of the Spirit are sacred flow­ers, which though they cannot die, yet being apt to wither, Apollo must come with his water-pot1 Cor. 3.6.. It is not [Page 15] enough that there be Grace in the heart, but it must be poured into his lips. As Paul is a beleever, so all things are his; but as Paul is a Mi­nister, so he is not his own, he is the Churches. There are three corro­laries I shall draw from this.

Use 1. If Paul and Apollo are yours, Vse 1. Every Minister of Christ is gi­ven for the edifying of the Church; take heed that you despise not the least of these; for all are for your profit. The least star gives light, the least drop moistens. There is some use to be made even of the lowest parts of men: There are gifts differing Rom. 12.6., but all are yours. The weakest Minister may help to strengthen your faith. In the law, all the Levites did not sacrifice, onely the Priests, as Aaron, and his sons; but all were serviceable in the worship of God; those that did not sacrifice, yet helped to bear the Arke. As in a building, some [Page 16] bring stones, some timber, some perhaps bring only nailes; yet these are usefull, these serve to fasten the work in the building: The Church of God is a spiritual buil­ding1 Cor. 3.9, some Ministers bring stones, are more eminent and useful; o­thers timber, others lesse, they have but a nail in the work, yet all serve for the good of this building. The least nail in the Ministry serves for the fastning of souls to Christ, therefore let none be contemned. Though all are not Apostles, all are not Evangelists, all have not the same dexterous abilities in their work; yet remember, all are yours, all edifie. Oftentimes God crowns his labours, and sends most fish in­to his net, who though he may be lesse skilful, is more faithful; and though he hath lesse of the brain, yet more of the heart. An Ambassador may deliver his Ambassage with a trembling lip, and a stammering [Page 17] tongue, but he is honourable for his works sake, he represents the Kings person.

Use. 2.Vse. 2. If Paul and Apollo are yours, all Christs Ministers have a subserviency to your good, they come to make up the match between Christ and you: then love Paul and Apollo. All the labours of a Mini­ster, his prayers, his tears, the preg­nancy of his parts, the torrent of his affections, all are yours; then by the law of equity, there must be some reflections of love from your hearts towards Paul and Apollo, such as are set over you in the Lord Phil. 2.29.. If they seek your establish­ment, you must seek their encourage­ment; if they endeavour your sal­vation, you must endeavour their safety; What an unnatural thing is it, that any should strive to bring them to death, whose very calling is to bring men to life▪ The Mini­ster is a spiritual Father 1 Cor. 4.16., it was a [Page 18] brand of infamy on them, Hos. 4.4. For this people are as they that strive with their Priest. Was there none to fall out with but the Priest, even he that offered up their sacrifices for them? and what is it, think we, for men to quarrel with their spiritual Fathers? even those whom they once had a venerable opinion of, and acknowledged to be the means of their conversion? Either love your spiritual Fathers or there is ground of suspicion that yours was but a false birth.

Vse. 3.Use 3. If Paul and Apollo are yours, they are for the building you up in your faith. Then endeavour to get good by the labours of Paul and Apollo, I mean such as labour in the word and doctrine. Let them not plow upon the rock: Answer Gods end in sending them among you. Oh labour to profit: you may get some knowledge by the word, such as is discursive and [Page 19] polemicall, and yet not profit.

Quest. What is it to profit?

Resp. The Apostle tells us, Heb. 4.2. When we mingle the word with faith, that is, when we so heare, that we believe, and so believe, that we are transformed into the image of the word; Ye have o­beyed from the heart that forme of doctrine, [...], into which ye were delivered▪ Rom. 6.17. It is one thing for the truth to be delivered to us, and another thing for us to be de­livered into the truth: the words are a Metaphor taken from lead and silver cast into a mould. This is to profit, when our hearts are cast into the mould of the word preached: As the seed is spiritu­al, so the heart is spiritual. We should do as the Bee, when she hath sucked sweetnesse from the flower, she works it in her owne hive, and so turns it to honey: Thus when we have sucked any precious [Page 20] truth, we should by holy Medita­tion work it in the hive of our hearts, and then it would turn to hony: we should profit by it. Oh let the la­bours of Paul and Apollo have an in­fluence upon us. A good hearer should labour to go out from the Ministery of the Word, as Naaman out of Iordan, his leprous flesh was healed and became as the other: So though we came to the word proud, we should go home humble; though we came to the word earthly, we should go home heavenly: Our Le­prosie should be healed. Ambrose ob­serves of the woman of Joh. 4.7. Samaria, that came to Iacobs Well: She came peccatrix, she went away praedica­trix; She came a sinner, she went away a Prophetesse. Such a meta­morphosis should the Word of God make. Let not the Ministers of Christ say upon their death-beds; the bellowes are burnt, and the lead consumed; they have spent their [Page 21] lungs, and exhausted their strength; but know not whether they have done any thing, unlesse preached men to hell. Oh labour to grow: some grow not at all, others grow worse for hearing; 2 Tim. 3.13. Evil men shall wax worse and worse, as Pliny speaks of some fish that swim backward: they grow dead-hearted in Religi­on, they grow covetous, they grow Apostates: It were far easier to write a book of Apostates in this age, then a book of Martyrs; men grow riper for hell every day. Oh labour to thrive under the spirituall dew that falls upon you. Let not the Ministers of Christ, be as those which beat the air. Is it not sad, when the Spiritual clouds shall drop their rain upon a barren heath? When the Ministers tongue is as the pen of a ready Writer, and the peoples heart is like paper when it is oiled▪ that will take no impression. Oh im­prove in grace: If you have a bar­ren [Page 22] piece of ground, you do all you can to improve it, and will you not improve a barren heart? It is a great Encomium and honour to the Ministery, when people thrive under it; Need we, as some others▪ Epistles of commendation 2 Cor. 3.1.? Paul esteemed the Corinthians his glory and his crown; hence, saith he, though other Ministers have need of letters of commendation, yet he needed none; for when men should heare of the faith of these Corinthians, which was wrought in them by Pauls preach­ing, this was sufficient certificate for him that God had blessed his labours, there should need no other Epistle, they themselves were walking certi­ficates, they were his letters testimo­nial. This was an high Elogium; what an honor is it to a Minister, when it shall be said of him as once of Octavius, when he came into Rome he found the walls of brick, but he left them walls of marble; [Page 23] So when the Minister came among the people, he found hearts of stone, but he left hearts of flesh. On the other side, it is a dishonour to a Mi­nister when his people are like La­bans lambs, or Pharaoh's kine. There are some diseases which they call, opprobria Medicorum, the reproaches of Physicians; and there are some people who may becalled opprobria Ministrorum, the reproaches of Mi­nisters: what greater dishonour to a Minister, then when it shall be said of him, he hath lived so many years in a Parish, he found them an ignorant people, and they are so still; he found them a dull, sloth­full people, (as if they went to the Temple, as some use to go to the Apothecaries shop, to take a Re­cipe to make them sleep) and they are so still; he found them a pro­fane people, and so they are still▪ Surely there is some fault, or God doth not go forth with his labours; [Page 24] such a people are not a Ministers crown, but his heart-breaking Oh let your profiting appear to all. 1 Tim. 4▪15. God sends Paul and Apollo as blessings a­mong a people, they are to be help­ers of your faith▪ if they toile all night, and take nothing Luk. 5.5., 'tis to be feared that Satan caught the fish ere they came at their net.

§. 2. Shewing, That the world is a Beleevers.

2. [...].2. The next thing is, the world is yours.

  • 1. The lawfull use of the world. is a Believers.
  • 2. The speciall use of the world, is a Believers.

1. The lawful use of the world is yours. The Gospel doth some­what enlarge our Charter. We are not in all things, so tied up as the Jewes were; there were several sorts [Page 25] of meat that were prohibited them, they might eat of those beasts onely that did chew the cud, and part the hoofLev. 1.3., they might not eat of the swine; because though it did divide the hoof, yet it did not chew the cud; nor of the Hare, because though it did chew the cud; yet it did not not divide the hoof, it was unclean; but to Christians that live under the the Gospel, there is not this prohi­bition. The world is yours, the law­full use of it is yours; every crea­ture being sanctified by the Word and Prayer, is good 1 Tim. 4.4., and we may eat, asking no question for conscience sake. The World is a garden, God hath given us leave to pick of any flower. It is a Paradise, we may eat of any tree that growes in it, but the forbidden, that is sin; 1 Cor. 7.31. And they that use this World, as not abusing it. We are apt to offend most in lawful things. The World is yours to traffick in; onely let them that buy, [Page 26] be as if they bought not: take heed that you do not drive such a trade in the world that you are like to break in your trading for heaven.

2. The special use of the world is yours.

1. The world was made for your sake.

2. All things that fall out in the world are for your good.

1. The world was made for your sake. God hath raised this great fa­brick chiefly for a Believer. The Saints are Gods jewels, Mal. 3.17. The world is the shrine or Cabinet where God locks up these jewels for a time. The world is yours [...]. Oecumen., it was made for you. The creation is but a theatre, to act the great work of Redemption upon. The world is the field, the Saints are the corn, the ordinances are the showers, the mer­cies of God are the Sunshine that ripens this corn, death is the sickle that cuts it down, the Angels are [Page 27] the harvesters that carry it into the barn. The world is yours, God would never have made this field, were it not for the corn growing in it. What use then is there of the wicked? They are as an hedge to keep the corn from forrain invasi­ons, though oft-times they are a thorn-hedge.

Quest. But, alas,Quest. a childe of God hath oft the least share in the world, how then is the world his?

Answ. If thou art a believer,Answ. that little thou hast, though it be but an handfull of the world, it is blest to thee; If there be any consecrated ground in the world, that is a believers. The world is yours; Esau had the venison, but Iacob got the blessing: a little blest is sweet. A little of the world with a great deal of peace, is better then the revenues of unrighteousnesse. Ps 37.16. Every mercy a childe of God hath swims to him in Christs blood, and [Page 28] this sauce makes it relish the sweet­er. Whatever he tastes, is seasoned with Gods love; he hath not only the mercy, but the blessing: So that the World is a Believers. An Unbe­liever, that hath the World at will; yet the World is not his, he doth not taste the quintessence of it. Thornes and thistles doth the ground bring forth to him. He feeds upon the fruit of the curse, Mal. 2.2. I will curse your blessings; he eats with bitter herbs: So that properly the World is a Believers. He only hath a Scripture-tenure, and that little he hath turnes to creame. Every mercy is a present sent him from heaven.

2. All things that fall out in the World, are for your good.

  • 1. The want of the World, all is for your good.
  • 2. The hatred of the World, all is for your good.

Mundi in­digentia.1. The want of the World is [Page 29] for your good. By wanting the ho­nours and revenues of the World, you want the temptations that o­thers have. Physicians observe, that men die sooner by the abundance of blood, then the scarcity; 'tis hard to say, which kills most, the sword or surfet: A glutton with his teeth digs his own grave. The world is a silken net, Prov. 3.32. the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. Him whom I shall kisse, (saith Judas) take him: so, whom the world kisseth, it often betrayes. The want of the world is a mercy.

2. The Hatred of the world is for your good.Mundi ini­micit [...]a. Wicked men are in­struments in Gods hand for good, (albeit they mean not so;) they are flails to thresh off our husks, files to brighten our graces, leeches to suck out the noxious blood. Dant pre­ciosa balsa­ma. Hier. Out of the most poisonful drug, God distils his glory and our salvation. A childe of God is beholding even to [Page 30] his enemies, The ploughers ploughed upon my back Ps. 129.3, if they did not plough and harrow us, we should bear but a very thin crop. After a man hath planted a tree, he prunes and dresseth it. Persecutors are Gods pruning-hook, to cut off the excrescencies of sin; and evermore the bleeding vine is most fruitful: the envy and malice of the wicked shall do us good: God stirred up the people of Egypt to hate the Isra­elites, and that was a meanes to usher in their deliverance. The frownes of the wicked make us the more ambitious of Gods smile; their in­censed rage, as it shall carry on Gods decree (for while they sit backward to his command, they shall row for­ward to his decree) so it shall have a subserviency to our good. Every crosse winde of providence shal blow a believer neerer to the port of glo­ry. What a blessed condition is a child of God in! kill him, or save him [Page 31] alive, it is all one. The opposition of the world is for his good. The world is yours.

§. 3. Shewing, That life is a believers.

3. The next thing is, Life is yours. Hierome understands it of the life of Christ. 3. [...] It is true, Christs life is ours, the life which he lived on earth, and the life which he now lives in heaven; his satisfaction and his in­tercession both are ours, and they are of unspeakable comfort to us. But I conceive by life in the text, is meant Natural life, that which is contradistinguished to death: So Ambrose. Ambrose. But how is life a Belee­vers? Two wayes.

  • 1. The priviledge of life is his.
  • 2, The comfort of life is his.

1. The priviledge of life is a be­lievers: that is, life to a childe of [Page 32] God, is an advantage for heaven: this life is given him to make pro­vision for a better life. Life is the porch of Eternity; here the Believer dresseth himself, that he may be fit to enter in with the Bridegroome. We cannot say of a wicked man, (unlesse catachrestically) that life is his. Though he lives, yet life is not his, he is dead while he lives. He doth not improve the life of na­ture to get the life of grace; he is like a man that takes the lease of a farm, and makes no benefit of it. Diu fuit in mundo, non vixit; he hath been so long in the world, as Seneca speaks, but he hath not lived. He was borne in the Reigne of such a King, his father left him such an estate, he was of such an age, and then he died; there's an end of him, his life was not worth a prayer, nor his death worth a tear. But life is yours; 'tis a priviledge to a Believer, while he hath natural life, he layes hold up­on [Page 33] 1 Tim. 6.12. eternal life, how doth he work out his salvation? what a do is there to get his evidences sealed? what weeping, what wrastling? how doth he even take heaven by storme? So that life is yours: It is to a childe of God a season of grace, the seed-time for eternity; the long­er he lives, the riper he grows for heaven. The life of a believer spends as a lamp, he doth good to himselfe and others; the life of a sinner runs out as the sand, it doth little good. The life of the one is as a figure ingraven in marble; the life of the other as letters written in dust.

2. The [...]fort of life is a be­leevers 2 Cor. 6.10..2 As sorrowful, yet al­wayes rejoycing [...]ake a childe of God at the [...] disadvantage, let his life be [...]ver-cast with clouds, yet if there be any comfort in life, the believer hath it. Our life is oft imbecill and weake, but the [Page 34] spiritual life doth administer com­fort to the natural. Homo compo­nitur ex mortali & rationali, Man (saith Augustine) is compounded of the mortal part and the rational part;Aug. the rational serves to comfort the mortal. So, I may say, a Chri­stian consists of a natural life, and a spiritual, the spiritual revives the natural. Observe how the spiritu­al life distils sweetnesse into the na­tural, in three cases.

1 1. In case of Poverty. This oft eclipses the comfort of life [...]. Menand.. But what though poverty hath clipped the wings? Poore in the world, yet rich in faith, Jam. 2.5. The one humbles, the other revives

2 2. In case of Reproach. This is an heart-breaking, Psal. 69.20. Reproach hath broken my heart. Yet a Christianhath his Cordial by him, 2 Cor. 1.12. [...]: For this is our rejoycing, the testimony of our conscience. Who would desire [Page 35] a better Jury to acquit him then God, and his own conscience?

3. In case of losses. 'Tis in it 3 selfe sad, to have an interposition be­tween us, and our dear relations. A limb, as it were pull'd from our bo­dy, and sometimes our estates strangely melted away; yet a belie­ver hath some gleanings of comfort left, and such gleanings as are better then the worlds Judg 8.2. vintage. Ye took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, [...], knowing in your selves that you have in heaven a better and an induring substance, Heb. 10.34. They had lost their e­state, but not their God. Here is, you see, the drie rod blossoming. The spiritual life distils comfort in­to the natural. Take the sourest part of a Christians life, and there is comfort in it. When you heare him sighing bitterly, it is for sin; and such a sigh, though it may break the heart, yet it revives itIsa 57.15. [Page 36] The tears of the godly are sweeter then the triumph of the wicked. The comfort that a wicked man hath is only imaginary, it is but a pleasant fancy; as rejoycing, yet alwayes sorrowing: He hath that within spoiles his musick. But life is yours. When a believers life is at the lowest ebbe, yet he hath aspring­tide of comfort.

CHAP. IV. The Augmentation of the Char­ter.

AMong these [...], Things present, There are yet three other priviledges which are in the beleevers Char­ter.

  • 1. Remission of his sin.
  • 2. Regeneration of his nature.
  • [Page 37]3. Adoption of his person.

§. 1. Shewing, That remission of sin is a jewel of the Believers Crown.

1. The Remission of his sin. This is,

  • 1. A costly mercy.
  • 2. A choice mercy.

1. It is a costly mercy. That 1 which inhanceth the price of it, is, 'tis the great fruit of Christs blood: Without shedding of blood is no re­mission Heb. 9.22.; Christ did bleed out our pardon: he was not onely a Lamb without spot, but a Lamb slaine. Every pardon a sinner hath, is writ­ten in Christs blood.

2. It is a choice mercy. This 2 jewel God hangs upon none but his Elect. 'Tis put into the Charter, I will forgive their ini­quity; and I will remember their sin no more Jer. 31.34.. This is an enriching [Page 38] mercy, it entitles us to blessed­nesse,Psal. 32.1. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputeth not his sinne. Of all the debts we owe, our sinnes are the worst; now to have the booke cancelled, and God appeased; to heare God whisper by his Spirit, Sonne, be of good chear, thy sinnes are forgiven; I will not blot thy name out of my book, but I will blot thy sinnes out of my book: This is a mercy of the first magnitude. Biessed is that man; in the Origi­nall it is in the plurall, [...] Bles­sednesses. Hast thou but one bles­sing, my father, saithGen. 27.38. Esau? lo, here a plurality, a whole chain of blessings. Pardon of sin is a vo­luminous mercy, there are many mer­cies bound up with it. You may name it Gad, for behold a troop comes Gen. 30.11. When God pardons a sin­ner [...], now he puts on (if I may so speak) his brightest robe: There­fore when he would proclaim him­selfe [Page 39] in his glory to Moses, it was after this manner, The Lord, the Lord, mercifull Ex. 34.1.. His mercy is his glory: and if you read a little fur­ther, you shall see it was no other then pardoning mercy Ver. 7., Forgiving iniquity, and transgression, and sin, &c. 'Tis an high act of indulgence. God seals the sinners pardon with a kisse. This made David put on his best cloathes, and anoint him­selfe1 Sam. 1.20.. It was strange, his childe newly dead, and God had told him, that the sword should not de­part from his house, yet now he falls anointing himselfe: the reason was, David had heard good news, God sent him his pardon by Nathan the Prophet 1 Sam. 12.13., The Lord hath put away thy sin. This oile of gladnesse which God had now poured into his heart, made way for the anoint­ing oile.

Quest. Quest. How shall I know that this priviledge is mine?

[Page 40] Answ. Answ. He whose sins are par­doned hath something to shew for it. There are two Scripture-evidences. 1 1. The pardoned sinner is a weeping sinner. Never did a­ny man read his pardon with drie eyes: Look upon that weeping penitent, She stood behinde Christ weeping Luk. 7.38.. Her heart was a sacred limbeck, out of which those teares were distilled.

Quest. Quest. But to what purpose is all this cost? what needs weeping after pardon?

Answ. Answ. Because now sinne and mercy are drawne forth in more lively colours then ever. The Spirit comes thus to a sinner; Thou hast sinned against God, who never intended thee evill, thou hast abused that mercy that saves thee; all this thou hast done, yet behold, here is thy pardon; I will set up my mercy above thy sin, nay, in spight of it. The sinner be­ing [Page 41] sensible of this, falls a weeping, and wisheth himselfe even dissol­ved into teares. He Zach. 12.10. looks upon a bleeding Christ, with a bleed­ing heart. Nothing can so melt the heart of a sinner, as the love of God, and the blood of Christ. 2. He whose sins are pardoned, his heart burnes in love to God: thus 2 we reade of Mary Magdalene, as her eyes were broached with tears, so her heart was fired with love to Christ; For she loved much Luk. 7.47.. Gods love in pardoning a sinner is attractive. The Law hath a driving power, but love hath a drawing power.

§. 2. Shewing, That Regeneration goes along with Remission, and is a branch of the Charter.

2d. Priviledge.2. [...]. The Regeneration of his nature, which is nothing [Page 42] else but the transforming the heart, and casting it into a new mould: you have a pregnant place for this, Rom. 12.2. Be ye transformed by the renewing of your minde. In the Incarnation, Christ did assume our humane na­ture, and in Regeneration, we partake of his divine nature.

This blessed work of Regene­ration, is in Scripture called some­times the new birth Joh. 3.3., because it is begotten of a new seed, the Word, Iam. 1.18. And sometimes the new creature Gal. 6.15; new, not in substance, but in quality. This is the great promise, Ezek. 36.26. A new heart also will I give you. Observe, Remission and Regenera­tion are two twins. When God pardons, he takes away the Rebels heart. Where this work of Rege­neration is wrought, the heart hath a new Byas, and the life a new Edi­tion. How great a priviledge this is, will appear two wayes. Till this [Page 43] blessed work of Regeneration, we are in a spiritual sense,

  • 1. Stil-born.
  • 2. Illegitimate.

1. Stil-born; Dead in trespasses 1 and sinnes, Ephes. 2.1. A man in his pure naturals is dead,

  • 1. In respect of working.
  • 2. In respect of honour.

1. In respect of working. 1. Respectu operis. A dead man cannot work. The works of a sinner in Scripture are called dead works Heb. 9.14: bid a natural man do any thing, you had as good set a dead man about your work: bring him to a Sermon, you doe but bring a dead corps to Church; bring him to the Sacra­ment, he poisons the Sacramen­tall cup; he may receive the E­lements, but nothing concocts Christus fide dege­ [...]dus. Tertul.. It is as if you should put bread and wine into a dead mans mouth. Re­prove him sharply for his sinne Tit. 1.1 [...]; To what purpose do you strike a dead man?

[Page 44] 2. Respectu honoris.2. He is dead in respect of Ho­nour. He is dead to all priviled­ges. He is not fit to inherit mercy. Who sets the Crown upon a dead man? The Apostle calls it the Crown of life, Revel. 2.10. it is only the living Christian shall wear the Crown of life.

2. A man unregenerate is spiri­tuallly illegetimate: The Devil is his father. Ye are of your father the devil Joh. 8.44. And sin is his mother. Sin is the womb that bare him, and the paps that gave him suck. Thus it is till Christ be formed in the heart of a sinner, then his reproach is rol­led away from him. Regeneration doth ennoble a person, therefore such an one is said to be borne of God, 1 Iohn 3.9. O how beauti­full is that soul! I may say with Bernard, O anima, Dei insignita imagine, desponsata fide, donata Spi­ritu, &c. O divine soul, invested with the image of God, espoused [Page 45] to him by faith! A person rege­nerate is imbroydered with all the graces of the Spirit; he hath the glistering spangles of holinesse; the Angels glory shining in him; he hath upon him the reflex of Christs beauty. The new creature is a new Paradise set full of the heavenly plants. An heart ennobled with grace (to speak with reverence) is Gods lesser heaven.

§. 3. Shewing, The nature of Adoption, and that this is a part of the Beleevers Charter.

3. The third priviledge is the Adoption of his person: 3. [...]. Having pre­destinated us to the Adoption of chil­dren by Iesus Christ Eph. 1.5.. A believer is made of the blood royall of hea­ven. This adoption, or son-ship consists in three things: 1. A [Page 46] transition, or translation from one family to another. As a plant must be taken out of one soile and put into another, else it cannot proper­ly be said to be transplanted. He that is adopted, is taken out of the old family of the devil, Ephes. 2.2. and Hell, ver. 3. to which he was heir apparent, and is made of the family of heaven, ver. 19. of a noble family, [...]. God is his Father, Christ his elder Bro­ther, the Saints Co-heirs, the An­gels Fellow-servants in that Fami­ly. 2 2. Adoption consists in an im­munity and disobligement from all the lawes of the former family, Psal. 45.10. Forget also thy Fathers house. He that is spiritually adopt­ed, hath now no more to do with sin. Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with Idols Hos. 14.8.? A childe of God hath indeed to do with sin as with an enemy, to which he gives battel; but not as with a [Page 47] Lord, to which he yields obedi­ence. He is free from sinne Rom. 6.18., I do not say he is free from duty. Was it ever heard that a childe should be freed from duty to his Parents? This is such a freedome as Rebels take. 3. Adoption consists in a legall investiture into all the 3 rights and priviledges of the fami­ly into which the person is to be adopted. There are foure of these royalties, or priviledges.

1. He that is divinely adopt­ed,1 the entaile of hell and dam­nation is cut off. Before, all the curses in Gods book were due to us; adoption cuts off the entaile: [...], Rom. 1.1. There is now therefore no condemnation to them which are in Christ Iesus. A believer is out of the power of damnation. Will a father passe the sentence upon his own sonne? He may, as in some cases Judges have done in their circuit: but God [Page 47] will not. God doth so love his eldest Son, that for his sake he will not destroy any of his adopted sons. In­deed, every believer is like to Christ the eldest Son; He hath the same spirit, the same judgement, the same will: so that there being something of Christ the eldest Son in every a­dopted son, God will not destroy him; for then he should throw some­thing of Christ into hell.

2. The second royalty is, a new name. In two cases the name is changed; in marriage the wife lo­seth her own name; and in adop­tion, he that is adopted, assumes a new name; before a Slave, now a Sonne; of a sinner, a Saint; To him that overcomes, I will give a white stone, and in the stone a new name written Rev. 2.17. The white stone, that is remission, and the new name, that is adoption; and the new name is put in the white stone, to shew, that our adoption is grounded upon our ju­stification; [Page 49] and this new name is written, to shew, that God hath all the names of his children enrolled in the Book of life.

3. The third Royalty or privi­ledge of adoption, is a new Scutchion. 3 You may see the Saints scutchion, or coat armour: The Scripture hath set forth their heraldry. Sometimes they give the Lion, in regard of their courage, Prov. 28.1. Indeed, they are neerly allied to him, who is the Lion of the tribe of Iudah. Sometimes they give the Eagle, in regard of their sublimenesse: They are ever flying up to heaven upon the two wings of faith and love, Isa. 40.31. They shall mount up with wings as Eagles. Sometimes they give the Dove, in regard of their meekness and innocency, Cant. 2.14. O my Dove, that art in the clefts of the rock. This is the dignity of a a believer, he hath a new Scutchion.

4. He that is adopted, is heir ap­parent 4 [Page 50] to all the promises. There is never a promise in the Bible, but a childe of God may say, this is mine: therefore they are called the heirs of the promise Heb. 6.17.. The promises are cal­led great and precious, 1 Pet. 1.4. Great, for their extent: Precious, for their excellency. The promises are a Cabinet of jewels, they are brests full of the wine of consolation; there is Christ and heaven in a promise; now he that is adopted is made an heir of the promise, and he may lay a legall claim to it. An unbeliever hath nothing to do with these privi­ledges. Ishmael was the son of the bond-woman, he had no right to the family: Cast out the bond-woman and her son, as Sarah once said to Abra­ham, Gen. 21.10. So the unbeliever is not adopted, he is none of the fami­ly; and God will say at the day of Judgement, Cast out this son of the bond-woman into outer darknesse, where is weeping and gnashing of teeth.

§. 4. The Corrolaries, or necessary inferences from adoption.

This blessed state of adoption doth strongly infer two things.

  • 1. Gods love.
  • 2. Gods care.

1. Adoption sets forth Gods com­placency, 1 or love to the Saints. Ad­option is enriched with love. For a King to take a galley-slave and ad­opt him for his son, what is this but love? When we were galley-slaves to the devil, then did God invest us with the priviledge of son-ship, 1 Ioh. 3.1. Behold, what manner of love hath the Father bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God? It is mercy that feeds a sinner, but it is rich mercy that adopts him. If the Saints are children, all Gods trans­actions toward them are love. Let him do what he will with them, yet he loves them, they are adopted.

[Page 52] Object. 1. Object. But God is angry with them.

Answ. Answ. Gods love and his anger towards his children are not opposita, but diversa, they may stand toge­ther, he is angry in love; Rev 3.19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. A bitter pill may be as needfull for preserving health, as a julip or cor­dial: God afflicts with the same love he adopts: Bern. Deus irascitur cùm non iras­citur: God is most angry, when he is not angry. Affliction is an argument of son-ship. If you endure chastnings, God dealeth with you as with sonnes Heb. 12.7.. God had one Sonne without sinne, but no sonne without stripes: Affli­ctions are refining, Prov. 17.3. The fining pot is for silver; and the fur­nace for Gold. Fiery trials make golden Christians. Afflictions are purifying, Dan. 12.10. Many shall be tried, and made white. We think, God is going to destroy us, but he only layes us a whitening. God will [Page 53] make us at last bless him for our suf­ferings. Oculos quos peccatum clau­dit, poena aperit:Greg. The eyes that sin shuts, affliction opens. When Ma­nasseh was in chaines, then he knew the Lord was God. Every Chri­stian must go to heaven upon the crosse. First, the stones in Solomons Temple were hewn and polished, and then set up into a building: first, the Saints (who are called [...] Pet. 2.5 lively stones) must be hewen and carved by sufferings, as the corner-stone was, and so made meet for the celestiall building.Col. 1.12.

Object. 2. But sometimes those that are adopted are under the black clouds of desertion:Object. 2. How doth this consist with love?

Answ. 1. Yet God leaves a seed of comfort: He that believes, Answ. 1. hath the seed of God in him 1 Joh. 3.9. Gods children when they want the Sun, yet they have a day-s [...]ar in their heart. They have the work of san­ctification, [Page 54] when they want the wine of consolation: Grace is better then comfort.

2 2. I answer, God may forsake his children in regard of vision, but not in regard of union. Thus it was with Jesus Christ, when he cried out, My God, my God. There was not a separation of the union be­tween him and his Father, only a su­spension of the vision No [...] fuit divulsio u­nionis, sed tantùm su­spensio visi­onis.. When the Moon doth intervene between us and the Sun, there follows an eclipse. Gods love, through the interposition of our sins, may be darkned and e­clipsed, but still he is a Father. The Sun may be hid in a cloud, but it is not out of the Firmament. The promises in time of desertion may be as it were sequestred; we have not that comfort from them as for­merly; but still the believers title holds good in law.

3 3. Whe [...] God hides his face from his childe, his heart may be [Page 55] towards him. God may change his countenance, but not his heart. It is one thing for God to desert, ano­ther thing to dis-inherit. Hos. 8.11 How shall I give thee up, O Ephraim? Hos. 8.11. This is a Metaphor taken from a fa­ther going to dis-inherit his son, and while he is going to set his hand to the deed, his bowels begin to melt, and to yearn over him: though he be a prodigal childe, yet he is a childe, I will not cut off the entail: So saith God, How shall I give thee up? though Ephraim hath been a rebellious son, yet he is a son, I will not dis-inherit him. Gods heart may be full of love, when there is a vaile upon his face. The Lord may change his dispensation towards his children, but not his dispo­sition. The believer may say, I am adopted, and let God do what he will with me, let him take the rod, or the staffe, 'tis all one, he loves me.

2. Adoption sets forth Gods ten­der 2 [Page 56] care. Will not a father take care for his child? This care of God shines forth in two things.

  • 1. Prevention.
  • 2. Provision.

1 1. In Prevention: God ever lies sentinell to keep off evill from us. 1. Temporal evill. There are many casualties and contingencies, to which we are incident; God shields them off, he keeps watch and ward for his people, Psal. 121.4. He that keeps Israel, shall neither slumber nor sleep. The eye of providence is e­ver awake, and God gives his An­gels charge over us, Psal. 91.11. A believer hath a guard of Angels for his life-guard. There is an elegant expression to set this out, He bare you as upon Eagles wings Ex. 19.4., an emblem of Gods providendentiall care to his adopted. The Eagle fears no bird from above to hurt her young, on­ly the arrow from beneath; there­fore she carries them upon her [Page 57] wings, that the Arrow must first hit her, before it can come at her young ones: Thus God car­ries his children upon the wings of providence; and they are such, that there is no clipping these wings, not can any Arrow hurt them.

2. Spirituall evils, Psalm 91.10. There shall no evill befall thee: God doth not say, No af­flictions shall befall us, but no evil.

Question. Quest. But sometimes evil in this sense befals the godly; viz. sin, they spot their garments.

Answer 1. But that evill shall not be mortall. Answ. 1. As quick-silver is in it selfe dangerous, but by oyntments it is so tempered, that it is killed; so sinne is in it self deadly, but being tempered with repentance, and mixed with the sa­cred ointment of Christs blood, the venemous damning nature of it is taken away.

[Page 58]2. Though sinne in it selfe be evil, yet to believers God will bring good out of that evil; he will humble them, and every trip shall make them the more watchful. Poison is in it selfe evil, but the wise Physician can turne it to a so­vereign medicine.

2 2. In Provision. Hath God ad­opted us for children, and will he not provide for us? Behold the fowls of the aire, &c Mat. 6.26.. Doth a man feed his bird, and will he not feed his childe? Consider the lilies of the field ver. 28.. Doth God cloath the lilies, and will he not cloath his lambs? The Lord careth for us, 1 Peter 5.7. As long as his heart is full of love, so long his head will be full of care.

§. 5. Shewing, The signes of adoption.

Quest. But how shall I know that I am adopted?Quest.

Answ. If thou hast in thee a child-like heart, which is,Answ.

1. A tender heart, 2 Chr. 34.27.1 Be­cause thy heart was tender. The heart that was before a flinty, is now be­come a fleshy heart. The heart is fear­ful of sin; the least haire makes the eye weepe, so the least sin makes the heart smite. Davids heart smote him when he cut off the lap of King Saul's garment; what would it have done if he had cut off his head? A tender heart is like melting wax to God, he may set what seale he will upon it. A tender heart is like adamant to the threatnings of men; in this sense, the more tender the heart is, the more hard.

[Page 60] 2 2. A childe-like heart is a pray­ing heart. The Spirit of adop­tion is a Spirit of supplication: Ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby ye cry, Abba, Father Rom. 8.15.. Be­fore the childe is out of the womb, it cannot crie. While men lie in the womb of their natural estate, they cannot pray, so as to be heard; but when they are born a­gain of the seed of the Word, then they crie, Abba, Father. Prayer is no­thing else but the souls breathing it selfe into the bosome of its Father. Prayer is a sweet and familiar inter­course with God; He comes down to us upon the wings of his Spirit, and we go up to him upon the wings of prayer. It is reported in the life of Luther, that when he prayed, it was, Theo­dor? in vit. Luth. pag. 142. tanta reverentia, ut si Deo; & tanta fiducia, ut si a­mico: it was with so much reve­rence, as if he were praying to God; and with so much boldnesse, as if [Page 61] he had been speaking to his friend. This prayer must have constancy and instancy, [...], Rom. 12.12. continuing constant: The heart must boile over. Prayer is compared to groanes unutterable Rom. 8.26., it alludes to a woman that is in pangs: we should be in pangs when we are travelling for mercy: such prayer commands God himselfe Is. 45.11.

3. A childe-like heart is a loyall heart; it is moulded into obedi­ence,3 'tis like the flower that opens and shuts with the Sun; so it opens to God, and shuts to tentation: This is the language of obedience, it is written in the volume of my heart; I delight to do thy will, O my God.

4. A childe-like heart is a zealous heart. 'Tis impatient of Gods dis­honour.4 Moses was cool in his own cause; but hot in Gods. When the people of Israel had wrought fol­ly in the golden calfe, he breaks the [Page 62] Tables. As we shall answer for idle words, so for sinful silence. It is dan­gerous in this sense to be possessed with a dumb devil. David saith, the zeale of Gods house had Ps. 69.9. eaten him up. Many Christians, whose zeal once had almost eaten them up, now they have eaten up their zeal. Let men talk of bitternesse, for my part, I can never believe that he hath the heart of a childe in him, that can be patient when Gods glory suffers. Can an ingenu­ous childe endure to heare his fa­ther reproached? Though we should be silent under Gods dis­pleasure, yet not under his dishonour. When there is a fire of zeal kindled at the heart, it will breake forth at the lips. Zeale tempered with holinesse,Psal. 39.3. this white and sanguine is the best complexion of the soule. Of all others, let Ministers be impatient when Gods glory is eclipsed and impeached. Let [Page 63] not them be either shaken with fear, or seduced with flattery; they are Gods ensign-bearers, his warri­ours 2 Tim. 2.3., and therefore must discharge against sin. God never made Mini­sters to be as false glasses, to make bad faces look fair. [...]or want of this fire of zeale, they are in danger of another fire, even the burning lake, Rev. 21.8. into which the fearfull shall be cast.

CHAP. V. Shewing that things to come are a Believers.

AND so I slide into the se­cond part of the Text, [...], Things to come are yours: here is portion enough! It is a great comfort that when things present are taken away, yet [Page 64] things to come are ours. Me thinks, the very naming this word, Things to come, should make the spirits of a Christian revive. It is a sweet word; our happinesse is in re­version, the best is behinde, all is not yet come that is promised. Tru­ly, if we had nothing but what we have here, we were miserable 1 Cor. 15.9.; here are disgraces, martyrdomes; we must taste some of that Gall and Vineger which Jesus Christ drank upon the Crosse: but O Christian, be of good chear, there is something to come: The best part of your portion is yet unpaid. All things to come are yours. God deals with us, as a Merchant, that shews the worst piece of cloath first. We meete sometimes with course usage in the world, that piece which is of the finest spin­ning, is kept till we come at hea­ven. It is true, God doth chequer his work in this life, a white spot [Page 65] with a black; he gives us some­thing to sweeten our pilgrimage here, the Praelibations and tastes of his love; these are the earnest and first-fruits, but what is this to that which is to come? Now we are the sonnes of God, 1 Iohn 3.2. But it doth not yet appear what we shall be: expect that God should keep his best wine till last; Things to come are yours.

CHAP. VI. The first Prerogative; To Come.

BUt what are those things that are to come?Quest.

Answ. Answ. There are twelve things yet to come, the which I call twelve Prerogatives Royal, wherewith the Believer shall be invested. The first is set down in [Page 66] the Text which I will begin with. [...]. 1. Death is yours. Death in Scripture is called an Enemy, 1 1 Cor. 15.26. Yet here it is put in a Christians Inventory, Death is yours. 'Tis an enemy to the mortal part, but a friend to the spiritual. It is one of our best friends next to Christ; Death is a part of the joincture. When Moses saw his rod turned into a serpent, it did at the first affright him, and he fled from it; but when God bade him take hold of it, he found by the mi­raculous effects which it wrought, it did him and the people of Is­rael much good; so death at the first sight is like the rod turned into a serpent, it affrights; but when by Faith we take hold of it, then we finde much benefit and comfort in it. As Moses rod divided the wa­ters, and made a passage for Israel into Canaan Ex. 19.16.; So death divides the Waters of Tribulation, and [Page 67] makes a passage for us into the land of promise. Death is called the King of Terrours Job 18.14., but it can do a childe of God no hurt; the sting is pull'd out 1 Cor. 15 55.; The Bee by sting­ing loseth its sting: While death did sting Christ upon the Crosse, it hath quite lost its sting to a Be­liever: It can hurt the soule no more then David did King Saul, when he cut off the lap of his gar­ment. Death to a Believer, is but like the Arresting of a man for a Debt, after the Debt is paid; Death, as Gods Sergeant at Armes, may Arrest us, and carry us before Gods Justice, but Christ will shew our discharge; the Debt-book is crossed in his blood.

Quest. How is Death ours?

Answ. Two wayes.

  • 1. It is the Out-let to Sin.
  • 2. It is the In-let to happiness.

1. Death to a Beleever, is an 1 Out-let to Sin▪ we are in this life [Page 68] under a sinful necessity; even the best Saint; There is not a just man upon earth, that doth good and sinneth not. Eccles. 7.20. Evill thoughts are continually arising out of our hearts, as sparks out of a Furnace. Sin keeps house with us whether we will or no; the best Saint alive is troubled with In-mates; though he forsakes his sinnes, yet his sinnes will not forsake him. 1. Sin doth 1 indispose to good; How to performe that which is good I finde not, Rom. 7. ver. 18. When we would pray, the heart is as a Voyal out of tune: When we would weepe, we are as 2 clouds without rain. 2. Sin doth irritate to evil; The Flesh lusts against the Spirit Gal. 5.17: There needs no winde of Tentation, we have Tide strong enough in our hearts, to carry us to Hell. Consider sinne under this threefold notion.

1 1. Sin is a body of death [...]. Rō. 7.24., and that not impertinently. First, It is [Page 69] a body, for its weight. The body is an heavy and weighty substance: so is Sin a body, it weighs us down. When we should pray, the weights of Sin are tied to our feet that we cannot ascend. Anselm seeing a little Boy playing with a Bird, he let her flie up, and pre­sently pulls the Bird down againe by a string: So, saith he, it is with me, as with this Bird; when I would flie up to heaven upon the wings of meditation, I finde a string tied to my leg; I am over­powered with corruption: but Death pulls off these weights of sin and lets the Soul free. Second­ly, Sin is a body of death for its an­noyance. It was a cruel torment that one Meze [...]ti­ [...]us used, he tied a dead man to a living, that the dead man might annoy and infest the living. Thus it is with a childe of God, he hath two men within him, Flesh and Spirit, Grace and Corruption▪ [Page 70] here is the dead man tied to the living; a proud sinful heart is worse to a childe of God, then the smell of a dead Corps. Indeed, to a natural man sinne is not offensive, for being dead in sinne, he is not sensible of the body of death: but where there is a vitall principle, there is no greater annoyance then the body of Death: Inso­much that the pious soule oft cries out, as David, Wo is me, that I dwell in Mesek, and sojourn in the tents of Kedar Ps. 120.5. So saith he, Wo is me, that I am constrained to abide with sin. How long shall I be troubled with inmates? How long shall I offend that God whom I love? When shall I leave these Tents of Kedar?

2 2. Sinne is a Tyrant, it carries in it the nature of a Law; the Apostle calls it the law in his members Rom. 7.24.. There is the law of Pride; the law of Unbelief; it hath a kinde of ju­risdiction, [Page 71] as Caesar over the Senate, perpetuam dictaturam Vers. 15.. What I hate that do I: The Apostle was like a man carried down the streame, and was not able to beare up against it. Sinne takes us pri­soners; whence are our carnal fears? whence our passions? whence is it that a childe of God doth that which he allows not; yea, against knowledge? only this, he is for a time Sinnes Prisoner: The Flesh oft prevailes (though in coole blood, the elder shall serve the younger;) whence is it, that he who is borne of God, should be so earthly? The reason is, he is captived under sin: but be of good chear, where grace makes a Combate, death shall make a Conquest.

3. Sin is a leprous spot. It makes every thing we touch uncleane:3 We reade, when the Leprosie did spread in the walls of the house, the Priests commanded them to take [Page 72] away the stones in the wall, in which the Plague was, and take other stones, and put in the place of those stones, and take other mor­ter, Levit. 14.42. Lev. 14.42. But when the Plague spread againe in the wall, then he must break downe the house with the stones and timber thereof, Vers. 45. Ver. 45. Thus in every man naturally, there is a fretting le­prosie of sinne, pride, impenitency, &c. These are leprous spots: now in conversion, here God doth, as it were, take away the old stones and timber, and put new in the roome; he makes a change in the heart of a sinner Ezek. 36.26., but still the leprousie of sinne spreads; then at last, death comes and pulls down the stones and timber of the house, and the soule is quite freed from the le­prousie. Sinne is a defiling thing, it makes us red with guilt, and black with filth Quan­ta foeditas vitiosae mentis. Tull.; 'Tis compared to a menstruous cloath Is. 30.22; we need [Page 73] carry it no higher. Pliny tells us that the Trees with touching of it, would become barren Ejus tactu steri­lescunt f [...]u­ges, ejus gustu in rabiem adi­guntur ca­nes. Plin.; and Hierom saith, Nihil in lege menstru­ato immundius; there was nothing in the Law more uncleane, then the menstruous cloath; this is sinne. Sinne drawes the Devils picture in a man; malice, is the Devils eye; oppression, is his hand; hy­pocrisie, is his cloven foot; but be­hold, death will give us our discharge, death is the last and best Physici­an Ultimus morborum medicus mors.; which cures all diseases; the aking head, and the unbelieving heart. Peccatum erat obstetrix mor­tis, & mors erit sepulchrum pecca­ti. Sinne was the Mid-wife that brought Death into the World, and Death shall be the Grave to bury Sinne; O the Priviledge of a Beleever! he is not taken away in his sinnes; but he is taken away from his sinnes. The Persians had a certaine day in the yeare, which they [Page 74] called vitiorum interitum, wherein they used to kill all Serpents and venemous creatures: Brisson. de reg. persi. lib. 2. Such a day as that will the day of death be to a man in Christ. This day the old Serpent dies in a Beleever, that hath so often stung him with his temptations: this day the sinnes of the godly, these venemous crea­tures shall all be destroyed; they shall never be proud more, they shall never grieve the Spirit of God more; the Death of the body shall quite de­stroy the Body of death.

2 2. Death to a Believer, is an In­let to happinesse: Sampson found an honey-combe in the Lions carcase; so may a childe of God suck much sweetnesse from death. Death is the gate of life; death pulls off our rags, and gives us change of rayment:Nemo ante funera foe­l [...]x. Solon. all the hurt it doth us, is to put us into a better condition. Death is called in Scripture a sleepe, 1 Thes. 4.14. Those that sleepe in Iesus: as after [Page 75] sleep the spirits are exhilarated and refreshed: so after Death, the times of refreshing come from the presence of the Lord. Death is yours. Death opens the portal into Heaven, as Tertullian speakes: The day of a Christian's death, is the birth-day of his heavenly life; it is his A­scension-day to glory; it is his Mar­riage-day with Jesus Christ. After our Funerall begins our Marriage; Well then might Solomon say, Bet­ter is the day of a mans death, then the day of his birth Eccles. 7.1.. Death is the spiritual man's preferment, why then should he fear it? Death, I confesse hath a grimme visage to an impenitent sinner, so it is ghast­ly to look upon; it is a pursuivant to carry him to hell: but to such as are in Christ, Death is yours: It is a part of the Joincture. Death is like the Pillar of cloud Ex. 14.19, it hath a dark-side to a sinner; but it hath a light-side to a believer: Deaths pale [Page 76] face looks ruddy, when the blood of sprinkling is upon it; in short, Faith gives us a propriety in Hea­ven, Death gives us a possession; Feare not your priviledge; the thoughts of death should be de­lightfull. Iacob, when he saw the Chariots, his spirits revived: Death is a Waggon or Chariot, to carry us to our Fathers house. What were the Martyrs flames but a fiery Chariot to carry them up to Hea­ven? How should we long for Death? This world is but a Desart we live in: Shall we not be willing to leave it for Paradise? We say, It is good to be here; we affect an earthly eternity: but grace must curb nature. Think of the priviledges of Death. The Planets have a proper motion, and a violent; by their proper moti­on they are carried from the West to the East; but by a violent motion they are over-ruled by the Pri­mum Mobile, and are carried from [Page 77] the East to the West: So though naturally we desire to live here, as we are made up of flesh; yet grace should be as the primum mobile, or master-wheele, that swayes our will, and carries us in a violent motion, making us long for death. Saint Paul desired to be dissolved: and 2 Corinth. 5.2.2 Cor. 5.2. In this we groane earnestly, desiring to be cloathed up­on with our house which is from hea­ven: we would put off the earthly cloathes of our body, and put on the bright robe of immortality; we groane, [...]. 'Tis a Me­taphor taken from a mother, who being pregnant, groanes and cries out for delivery. Austine longed to die, that he might see that head which was once crowned with thornes. We pray, Thy Kingdome come: and when God is leading us into his Kingdome, shall we be afraid to go? The times we live in should, me thinks, make us long [Page 78] for death: we live in dying times, we may heare as it were Gods passing Bell, ringing over these Na­tions. Foelix Nepotianus, qui haec non videt, as Hierome said in his time; Nepotian is an happy man, that doth not see the evils which befall us: they are wel that are out of the storm and are gotten already to the haven: To me to die is gaine Phil. 1.21..

Quest. But who shall have this pri­viledge? Answ. death is certaine: but there are only two sorts of Persons, to whom we may say, Death is yours. 'Tis your pre­ferment.

1 1. Such as die daily: We are not borne Angels, die we must; Therefore we had need carry al­wayes a deaths-head about us. The Basilisk if it see a man first, it kills him; but if he see it first, it doth him no hurt: The Basilisk death, if it sees us first, before we see it, 'tis dangerous: but if we see it first by [Page 79] meditating upon it, it doth us no hurt: study death, often walke among the Tombs. It is the thoughts of death before-hand, that must do us good. In a dark night, one Torch carried before a man, is worth many Torches carried af­ter him: one serious thought of death before-hand, one teare shed for sinne before death, is worth a thousand shed after, when it is too late. 'Tis good to make Death our familiar, and in this sense to be in Deaths oft: 2 Cor. 11.23. that if God should pre­sently seal a lease of ejectment, if he should send us a Letter of Summons this night to surrender, we might have nothing to do but to die.

Alas, how do we adjourne the thoughts of death▪ 'Tis almost death to think of it. There are some that are in the very threshold of the grave, who have one legge in the earth and another legge in hell: yet put farre from them the evil day Am. 6.3.. [Page 80] I have read of our Lysicrates, who in his old age dyed his gray hairs black, that he might seeme young againe. When we should be build­ing our Tombes, we are building our Tabernacles: die daily, lest you die eternally. The holy Pa­triarchs in purchasing for them­selves a burying place, shewed us what thoughts they still had of Death. Ioseph of Arimathea ere­cted his Sepulchre in his Garden: we have many that set up the Tro­phies of their victories; others that set up their Scutchions, that they may blaze their honour: but how few that set up their Sepulchres? who erect in their hearts, the seri­ous thoughts of death? Oh, re­member when you are in your gar­dens, in places most delicious and fragrant, to keep a place for your Tomb-stone: die daily. There is no better way to bring sinne into a Consumption, then by oft look­ing [Page 81] on the pale horse, and him that sits thereon Rev. 6.8.. By thinking on death, we begin to repent of an evil life; and so we disarme death before it comes, and cut the lock where its strength lies.

2. Such as are in Heaven before they die: death is yours. If we will 2 needs be high-minded, let it be in setting our minde upon heavenly things. Heaven must come down into us before we go up thither. A childe of God breaths his faith in Heaven; his thoughts are there: When I awake, I am still with thee, Psal. 139.17. David awaked in Heaven, his conversation is there, Philip. 3.20. For our conversation is in Heaven. The Believer often ascends Mount Tabor, and takes a prospect of glory. O that we had this celestial frame of heart! When Zacheus was in the croud, he was too low to see Christ; therefore he climb­ed up into the Sycomore-Tree Luk. 19.4: [Page 82] When we are in a croud of world­ly businesse, we cannot see Christ: Climb up into the tree by divine contemplation: If thou wouldest get Christ into thy heart, let Hea­ven be in thy eye: Set your affecti­ons upon things above Col. 3.2., Colos. 3.2. There needs no exhortation to set our hearts upon things below. How is the curse of the Serpent upon most men? Upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the dayes of thy life Gen. 3.14. Those that feed onely upon dust, Golden dust, will be unwilling to returne to dust: Death will be terrible.

The tribes of Reuben and Gad desired Moses that they might stay on this side Iordan, and have their portion there; it being a place con­venient for their Cattel Num. 32.41.: It seems they minded their Cattel more then their passage into the holy Land: so many Christians, if they may have but a little grazing here in the [Page 83] world, in their Shops, and in their Farms, they art content to live on this side the River, and minde not their passage into the Land of Pro­mise: you that are in heaven before you die, Death is yours.

An earthly Saint, is a con­tradiction. [...] signifies a man refined and separated from the earth: if an Astronomer, in stead of observing the Planets, and the motions of the Heavens, should take a reed in his hand, and fall a measuring of the earth, would not this be counted a solecisme? and is it not as great a solecisme in Re­ligion, when men that pretend to have Christ and heaven in their eye, yet minde earthly things? Phil. 3.19. Our souls, me thinks, should be like to a ship, which is made little and nar­row downwards, but more wide and broad upwards: So our affe­ctions should be very narrow down­wards to the earth, but wide and [Page 84] large upwards towards heavenly things. Thus we see death is a pri­viledge to believers; death is yours: the heire, while he is under age, is capable of the land he is borne to: but he hath not the use or the be­nefit of it, till he comes of age; be as old as you will, you are never of age till you die: Death brings us of age, and then the possession comes into our hands.

CHAP. VII. The second Prerogative Royall of a Believer.

NOw I proceed to the second Prerogative, which is yet to come: what holy Da­vid saith of Sion, Glorious things are spoken of thee, O thou City of God, Psalm. 87.3. I may apply to these [Page 85] blessed things in reversion.

2. The second Prerogative roy­all 2 of a Christian, is, he shall be carried up by the Angels: In this life, a believer is carried by the Saints; they lift him upon the wings of their prayers, and when they can carry him no longer, after death the Angels take him, and carry him up: thus shall it be done to the man whom God will honour. Wicked men who are of the Devils life-guard, when they die, they shall have a black-guard of Angels to carry them: Thou who art an old sinner (that hast an hoary head, but thy heart is as young in sinne as ever▪) I may say to thee, as Christ said in another sense, to Peter: When thou art old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not Joh. 21.18.. So I say, Thou old sinner, the time is shortly coming, [Page 89] when thou shalt stretch forth thy hands on thy death-bed, and ano­ther shall binde thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not; thou shalt be carried by a black-guard: but a believer shall be carried by the Angels into Heaven: The beg­ger died, and was carried by the An­gels into Abraham's bosome Luk. 16.22.. Abraham's bosome is a figurative speech, representing the seat of the Blessed: thither was he carried by the Angels: Poore Lazarus, when he was upon earth, he had no friends, but dogs to come at him; when he was dead, he had [...] convoy of Angels. After our fall▪ the Angels (as well as God) fell out with us, and became our e­nemies; hence, we reade that the Angels (set out by the Cheru­bims) stood with a flaming sword, to keepe our first Parents out of Pa­radise, Gen. 3.24. but being at peace with God, we are at peace with [Page 87] the Angels: Therefore the An­gell comes with an Olive-branch of Peace in his mouth, and pro­claimes with triumph, the newes of Christs incarnation, Luk. 2.11. For unto you is borne, in the City of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord: the Angels blesse God for mans Redemption, Ver. 13. And suddenly there was with the Angel a multitude of the heavenly hoast praising God, and saying, Glory be to God in the highest. The Angels love mankinde (especially where there is the new-man) and are rea­dy to do all friendly offices for us: as in our life-time, they are our supporters Psal. 91.11. He shall give his Angels charge to keep thee: So after death they are our Por­ters: Lazarus was carried up by the Angels. The Angels are cal­led [...], ministring Spirits Heb. 1.14; they are willing to mi­nister for the good of the Saints: [Page 88] Hence some observe, it is said, La­zarus was carried, [...], by the Angels, in the plurall, not by one Angel: as if the Angels had been ambitious to carry La­zarus, and every one strived which should have a part: wicked men do not strive more, who shall have a part in the death of the godly, then the Angels do, who shall beare a part in their ascension. O in what pomp and triumph did Lazarus's soule now ride! never was Dives so honoured in his life, as Lazarus was at his death. For a King to help to carry the Hearse of one of his Subjects, were an high honour; but a believer shall have a guard of Angels to conduct him. Amasis King of Egypt, that he might set forth his magnifi­cence, would have his Chariot drawn with foure Princes, which he had conquered in the War: but what was all this to the Chariot in [Page 89] which Lazarus, and the soul of e­very believer shall be drawn at their death? they shall be carried by the Angels of God.

CHAP. VIII. The third Prerogative Royal of a Believer.

THe next great Prerogative is, The Believer shall be with Christ in glory, Phil. 1.23. I desire [...], to be dissolved, or loosen anchor, and to be with ChristPhil. 1.23. This is a priviledge of the first magnitude: surely, we can be no losers by being with Christ. A graft or scion, though it be taken out of the tree, it doth not perish, but is set into a better stock: thus it is with a Christian; while he is here, [Page 90] (even after Conversion) there is much of the wilde Olive still in him; now when this scion, by death is cut off, he doth not pe­rish, but is set into a more noble and generous stock, he is with Christ, which is farre better: a state of perfection, is better then a state of imperfection. Our graces are our best jewels, but they are im­perfect and do not give out their full lustre: they are like the Moon, which when it shines brightest, hath a darke spot. Our faith is mingled with unbeliefe, our hu­mility is stained with pride; the flame of our graces is not so pure, but it hath some smoake; grace is but in its infancy and minority, it will never be of full growth till we are with Christ. This is the highest link in the chaine of glory, we shall be with Christ. What is it the pious soule desires in this life? is it not to have the sweet [Page 91] presence of Christ? he cares for no­thing, but what hath aliquid Chri­sti Bucer., something of Christ in it▪ he loves duties, only as they are ma­nuductions to Christ▪ why is prayer so sweet, but because the soul hath private conference with Christ? Why is the Word precious, but because it is a meanes to convey Christ? he comes down to us up­on the wings of the Spirit; and we go up to him upon the wings of Faith: An ordinance without Christ, is but feeding upon the dish in stead of the meat. Why doth the wife [...]ove the Letter, but because it brings news of her hus­band? Here we enjoy Christ by letters, and that is sweet; but what will it be to enjoy his presence in glory? Here is that which may a­maze us, we shall be with Christ, Christ is all that is desirable; nay, he is more then we can desire. A man that is thirsty, he desires one­ly [Page 62] a little water to quench his thirst; but bring him to the Sea, and here is more then he can de­sire. In Christ, there is not onely a fulnesse of sufficiency, but a ful­nesse of redundancy; it over­flows all the banks: a Christian that is most sublimated by Faith, hath neither an head to devise, nor an heart to desire all that which is in Christ; onely when we come to Heaven, God will enlarge the vessell of our desire, and will fill us as Christ did the Water­pots with Wine, Joh. 2.7. up to the brim. Now this priviledge of being with Christ, hath six priviledges grow­ing out of it.

SECT. I. The first Priviledge of being with Christ.

1. VIsion, Job 19. ver. 26. In my flesh shall I see God Job 19.26; the sight of Jesus Christ will be the most sublime and ravishing ob­ject to a glorified Saint. When Christ was upon earth, his beauty was hid. He hath no forme or come­linesse Is. 53.2.: the light of the divine na­ture was hid in the darke lanthorne of the humane: it was hid under re­proaches, sufferings; yet even at that time, there was enough beauty in Christ to delight the heart of God. My Elect in whom my soul delighteth Isa. 42.1.: then his vaile was upon his face, but what will it be when the vaile shall be taken off, and he shall appeare all in his embroydery? In him dwels the fulnesse of the Godhead bodily, [Page 94] Col. 2.9. Such glittering beames shall sparkle forth from Christ at that day as will infinitely amaze and ravish the eyes of the beholders. Ima­gine what a blessed sight it will be to see Christ wearing the robe of our humane nature, & to see that nature sitting in glory above the Angels; Ip­se Deus sufficit ad praemium:Bern. 'Tis Hea­ven enough to see Christ. Whom have I in heaven but thee Ps. 73.25? Ibi sunt Angeli & Arch-an­geli. There are, saith Musculus, Angels and Arch-angels; I but they do not make Hea­ven: Christ is the most sparkling Dia­mond in the ring of glory. There­fore the Apostle doth not say, I de­sire to be dissolved, and to be [...], in heaven, but to be [...], with Christ: because his presence is the heaven of heaven.

If Jesus Christ be so beautiful here in his ordinances, viz. Word, Prayer, Sacraments, (they are the beauties of holinesse) If there be so much excellency in Christ, when [Page 95] we see him by the eye of faith, through the prospective glasse of the promise: O what will it be, when we shall see him face to face! When Christ was transfigured on the Mount, he was full of glory, Mat. 17.2. His rayment was white as the light. If his transfiguration was so glorious, what will his inaugura­tion be? What a glorious time will it be, when, as it was said of Mor­dec [...]i Est. 8.15, we shall see him in the pre­sence of his Father, arrayed in roy­all apparel, and with a great crown of gold upon his head. Oh look of­ten upon him with a believing eye, whom you shall shortly see with a glorified eye.

That which will adde to the Saints vision, and make it truly bea­tificall, is, that (through Christ) the dread, and terrour of the divine Es­sence shall be taken away; Majesty shall appeare in God, to preserve re­verence, but withal, Majesty cloath­ed [Page 96] with beauty, and tempered with sweetnesse to excite love and joy in the Saints. Through the face of Christ as through a bright Mirrour, or Crystall the glory of God, his wisdome, holinesse, mercy shall be sweetly transparent. We shall see God as a friend; not as guilty A­dam did, who was afraid and hid himselfe Gen. 3.10; but as Queen Esther look­ed upon King Ahashuerus holding forth the Golden scepter Est. 5.2.. We shall have the smiles of Gods face, and the kisses of his lips. O what a bles­sed sight of God will this be! sure­ly it will not be formidable, but comfortable; and to set off this visi­on the more, the Saints shall alwayes be beholding the Kings face; while they live here in the world Gods eye is never off from them, and in heaven their eye shall be never off from God; they shall be ever look­ing on that blessed object, and the more they behold the shining lustre [Page 97] of his glory, the more they shall be ravished both with desire, and de­light. God must make us able to beare the sight of all this. We are no more able to beare a sight of glory, then a sight of wrath, but we shall be qualified, and made fit to receive these penetrating beames.

SECT. II. The second Priviledge of being with Christ.

THe next Priviledge is Union; our being with Christ is not only locall, but conjugall: We shall so behold him as to be made one with him. What nearer then uni­on? what sweeter? Union is the spring of joy, the ground of privi­ledge; by vertue of this blessed union with Christ, all those rare beauties wherewith the humane na­ture [Page 98] of the Lord Jesus is bespangled, shall be ours. Let us compare two Scriptures, Ioh. 17.24. Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me, be with me, where I am, that they may behold my glory. That is, the glory of the humane nature; but that is not all, Ver. 22. The glory that thou hast given me, I have given them. Christ hath not his glory onely for himselfe, but for us: we shall shine by his beames: Non tan­tum aderit gloria sed ine [...]it. Bernard. Here Christ puts his graces upon his Spouse, and in heaven he will put his glory upon her. No wonder then the Queens daughter is all glorious within, Psal. 45.14. and her cloathing of wrought gold. How glorious will the Spouse be, when she hath Christ's jewels upon her? Judge not of the Saints by what they are, but by what they shall be: It doth not yet appeare what we shall be, 1 Joh. 3.1. Why, what shall we be? We shall be like him. The Spouse of Christ shall not only [Page 99] be made one with Christ, but she shall be made like Christ: in other marriages, the Spouse changeth her condition, but here she changeth her complexion: not that the Saints in glory shall receive of Christ's Es­sence (a Socinian errour,) They shall have as much glory, as the humane nature is capable of: but though Christ conveys his Image, yet not his Essence. The Sun shining upon a glasse, leaves a print of its beauty there; and it is hard to distinguish between the glass and the sun-beam: but the glass is not the beam, the sun conveys only it's likenesse, not it's essence.

SECT. III. The third Priviledge of being with Christ.

THe next priviledge, is, Nobi­lity: which consists in Three [Page 100] Things. 1. Every Saint shall be a King: There are some that aspire after earthly Scepters, as if here were the place of the Saints reigne: then surely, the Church of God should not be militant upon earth, but tri­umphant. But, behold the honour of the Saints, they shall be all Kings! (though I say not in this life) all Christs Subjects are Kings: therefore you read of, 1. Their Royal [...]obe, Revel. 6. v. 11. 2. Their Throne, Revel. 3, v. 21. To him that over­comes, I will give him to sit upon my Fathers throne. Perhaps here he had but a poor thatched house, but there a Throne. 3. Their Crown. In this world, the Saints weare a crown of Thornes, but there a crown of Glo­ry: and this crown hath two Pro­perties.

1 1. It is Incorruptible, 1 Pet. 5.4. it fades not away; it doth not wither: but after millions of years is as bright and flourishing, as at the first dayes wear­ing; [Page 101] eternity is a flower of the Saints crown.

2. It is unmixed, it hath no cares 2 woven into it: Kings crowns are so weighty in regard of the cares and sorrowes appendant, Non ita [...]rona cir­cundat ca­ [...]ut S [...]cut a [...]m [...]m solli [...]citudo. that often they make their head ake. Cyrus the Persian King was wont to say, Did men but know the cares which he sustained under an Impe­riall crown, he thought no man would stoop to take it up. The Crown Royall, though it may be made of pure gold, yet it is mixt mettal: but the Saints Crown in glory, is without mixture: it is not mingled with care of keeping, or feare of losing: oh then, let us be willing to suffer for Christ; if we beare the Crosse, we shall wear the Crown.

A second Part of the Saints ho­nour is, they shall sit with Jesus 2 Christ when he judgeth the world: Know ye not that the Saints shall judge [Page 102] the world 1 Cor. 6.3? The Saints shall sit with Christ in Judicature, as the Justice of Peace with the Judge: the Saints are Christs Assessors; they shall be with him upon the Bench, ap­plauding his righteous sentence. O, what a glorious Tribunal will that be! here the world judgeth the Saints, but there the Saints shall judge the world.

3 3. They shall sit nearer the Throne then the Angels: the Angels are noble and sublime Spirits, but Christ having taken our flesh, the knot be­ing tied between the Divine and Hu­mane Nature in the Virgins womb, we shall be ennobled with greater honour then the Angels: the Angels are Christs friends, but not his bre­thren; we are flesh of his flesh. He is not ashamed to call them brethren Heb. 2.11.: and surely, Christ will see them of the blood royall advanced. To what Angels hath Christ said, Ye are my brethren? This honour have [Page 103] all his Saints. As the Saints robes in glory shal be brighter then the An­gels, (theirs being only the righte­ousnesse of creatures, but these having upon them the Righteousness of God Jer. 23.6. ▪) So their dignity shall be greater. O infinite! here we are prisoners at bar, but there Favourites at Court: the Saints shall sit down in glory a­bove the Angels.

SECT. IV. The fourth Priviledge of being with Christ.

THe next priviledge is Joy: This joy of the Saints, pro­ceeds from Union; when our union with Christ is perfect, then our joy shall be full, Rev. 21.4. And God shall wipe away all tears, and there shall be no more sorrow.

1. There shall be no weep­ing.1 Jesus Christ hath provi­ded [Page 104] a Spunge to wipe off the tears of the Saints. Here the Spouse is in Sable, it being a time of ab­sence from her HusbandMat. 9.15: But in heaven Christ will take away the Spouses mourning; he will pull off all her black, and bloody robes, and will cloath her in white robes, Revel. 7.13. White, as it is an Embleme of the Saints purity, so it is a type of their joy; heaven should not be heaven, if there were weeping there: hell indeed is called a place of weeping; they that would not shed a teare for their sinnes, while they lived, shall have weeping enough; but we never read of weeping in heaven. Christ will take downe our harps from the Willows; there he will call for his Heralds and trumpe­ters: the Angels, those blessed Quiristers, shall sing the divine anthems of praise▪ an [...] the Saints shall joyne in that heavenly Con­sort. [Page 105] If it were possible, that any teares could be shed, when we are with Christ, they should be the teares of joy, as sometimes we have seene a man weepe for exessive joy; Christ will turne all our water there into wine.

2. There shall be no sorrow; one 2 smile from Christs face will make us forget all our afflictions: sorrow is a cloud gathered in the heart upon the apprehension of some e­vil: and weeping is the cloud of griefe dropping into raine: but in heaven the Sun of righteousness shall shine so bright, that there shall not be the least interposition of any cloud; there shall be no sorrow there, nor any thing to breed it: there shall be no sin to humble; heaven is such a pure soile, that the Viper of sin will not breed there; there shall be no Devil to tempt; the old Serpent is cast out of the heavenly Para­dise. There shall be no Enemy to [Page 106] molest: When Israel had conquer­ed Canaan, yet they could not get rid of all the Canaanites, they would live among them; But the Canaanites would dwell in that land Judg. 1.27.: But when we are with Christ, we shall never be troubled with Canaanites more. In that day (I may allude to that of the Prophet) there shall be no more the Canaanite dwell in the house of the Lord Zac. 14.2 Nullus ibi hostium me­tus, nullae infidiae Dae­monum. Bern.. God will keep the heavenly Paradise with a flaming Sword, that none shall come neere to hurt: Upon all that glory shall be a defence Isa. 4.5.. There shall be nothing to breed sorrow in heaven. There are two things that usually raise the clouds of sorrow, and both shall be removed when we are with Christ.

1. The frownes of great men: how ambitious are men of the Princes smile? but alas, that quickly sets in a cloud, and then their comforts [Page 107] are in the wain, they are sad! but when we are with Christ, we shall have a perpetual smile from God: the Saints shall never be out of fa­vour, Jesus Christ is the great favo­rite at Court; and as long as God smiles upon Christ, so long he will smile upon the Saints, they having on Christs beauty, and being part of Christ.

2. The losse of deare friends: a friend imparts secrets; friendship is the marriage of affections, it makes two become one spirit. David and Ionathan tooke sweete counsel together, their heart was knit in one: now here is the grief, when this precious knot must be untyed: but be of good cheare, if thy friend belong to the election, after thou hast parted with thy sinnes, thou shalt meet with him and never part. If thy friend be wicked, though he were thy friend on earth, thou wilt cease to be [Page 108] his friend in heaven. The pious wife shall not complaine she hath lost her husband, nor the religious Parent, that he hath lost his childe; all relations are infinitely made up in Christ, as the whole constellation in the Sunne, that great Lamp of Heaven. When a man comes to the sea, he doth not complaine that he wants his Cisterne of water: Though thou didst suck some com­fort from thy relations; yet when thou comest to the Ocean, and art with Christ, thou shalt never com­plaine, that thou hast left thy cistern behinde: There will be nothing to breed sorrow in heaven; there shall be joy, and nothing but joy: Hea­ven is set out by that phrase, Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord Mat. 25.21.. Here joy enters into us, there we enter into joy: the joyes we have here, are [...] ▪ those are [...]. These are from heaven, those are in hea­ven: the joyes that we shall have [Page 109] with Christ, are without measure, and without mixture:Ps. 16.11 In thy presence is fulness of joy.

1. The heart shall be filled. No­thing 1 but Christ can replenish the heart with joy: the understanding, will, affections, are such a triangle, that none can fill but the Trinity. As Christs beauty shall amaze the eye, so his love shall ravish the heart of a glorified Saint; must it not needs be joy to be with Christ? what joy when a Christian shall see the great gulfe shot between heaven and hell? What joy when Christ shall take us into the Wine-celler? and kisse us with the kisses of his lips? What joy when the match shall be at once made up, and solemnized be­tween Christ and a believer? these are the more noble and generous de­lights.

2. All the senses shall be filled 2 with joy; and, at once; The eye shall be filled; What joy to see that Ori­ent [Page 110] brightnesse in the face of Christ? there you may see the Lily and the Rose mixed, white and ruddy, Cant. 5.10. The Eare shall be filled; What joy to the Spouse to heare Christs voice? The voice of God was dreadful to Adam, after he had listened to the Serpents voice: I heard thy voice in the garden, and was afraid, Gen. 3.10. But how sweet will the Bridegrooms voice be? What joy to hear him say, My Love, my Dove, my undefiled? What joy to heare the musick of Angels, even the heavenly hoast praysing God? If the eloquence of Origen, the gol­den mouth of Chrysostome did so af­fect and charme the eares of their auditours, Oh then what will it be to heare the glorious tongues of Saints and Angels, as so many di­vine Trumpets sounding forth the excellencies of God, and singing Hallelujahs to the Lamb? The smell shall be filled; What joy to smell [Page 111] that fragrancy and perfume that comes from Christ? All his gar­ments smell of myrrhe, aloes, and Cas­sia. The sweet breath of his Spirit blowing upon the soule, shall give forth its sent, as the wine of Leba­non. The taste shall be filled; Christ will bring his Spouse into the ban­queting house, and she shall be ine­briated with his love; O what joy to be drinking in this heavenly ne­ctar? This is the water of life: This is the wine on the lees well refined. The touch shall be filled; the Saints shall be ever in the embraces of Christ; Behold my hands and my feet; handle me▪ and see me, Luk. 24.39. That will be our work in hea­ven; we shall be ever handling the Lord of life: Thus all the senses shall be filled. Yet though there be a fulnesse of joy, there shall be no surfeit; Ibi nec fames, nec fastidium. Bern. the soule shall not be so full, but it shall desire: nor shall it so desire, but it shall be full: That [Page 112] which prevents a surfeit in heaven, is that there shall be every moment new and fresh delights springing forth from God into the glorified soul: Well might the Apostle say, to be with Christ is farre better. Great is the joy that faith breeds. Whom not seeing, yet believing, ye re­joyce with joy unspeakable and full of glory 1 Pet. 1.8.. If the joy of Faith be such, what will the joy of fruition be? There is ioy when we fall into tem­ptations, Jam. 1.2. If Christs suffer­ings are full of joy, what then are his embraces? If the dew of Hermon hill be so sweet, the first fruits of Christs love; what will the full crop be? In short, there will be nothing in heaven but what shall adde infi­nitely to the joy of the Saints. The very torments of the damned shall create matter of joy and triumph. I may allude to that of the Psal­mist, The righteous shall rejoyce when he sees the vengeance Ps, 58.9.; the elect shall [Page 113] rejoyce upon a double account to see Gods justice magnificently ex­alted, and to see themselves mira­culously delivered. There shall be no unpleasant object represented; nothing but joy. Such will that joy be, when we are with Christ, that as it is not possible, so neither is it fit for a man to speake, 2 Cor. 12.4. We read that Ioseph gave his bre­thren money and provision for the way; But the full sacks were kept till they came at their fathers house; God gives us something by the way; some of the hidden-manna: some taste of his heavenly joy in this life, but the full sacks of corne are kept for heaven. O what joy to be with Christ? surely if there were such joy and triumph at Solomons coronation, That all the earth rang with the sound of it 1 King 1.40.; What joy will be on the Saints coronation-day, when they shall be eternally united to Jesus Christ? This shall [Page 114] inhance the joy of heaven; It is for ever: 1 Thes. 4.17. Then shall we ever be with the Lord. If this joy should after many years have a period, it would much abate the sweetnesse. But certainly, if we could by our Arithmetick reckon up more millions of ages then there have been minutes since the Crea­tion; after all this time (which were a short eternity) the joy of the Saints shall be as farre from ending, as it was at the beginning.

SECT. V. The fifth Priviledge of being with Christ.

I Proceed to the next priviledge, which is Rest Felix transitus à labore ad requiem, à pe [...]g [...]i [...]a­tione ad patr [...]am. Bern.. A Christian in this life is like Quick-silver, which hath a principle of motion in it self, but not of rest: We are never qui­et, [Page 115] but as the Ball upon the Racket, or the ship upon the waves· As long as we have sinne this is like the quick-silver: A childe of God is full of motion and disquiet; I have no rest in my bones by reason of my sinne, Psal. 38.3. While there are wick­ed men in the world, never look for rest. If a man be poor, he is thrust away by the rich: if he be rich, he is envied by the poore; sometimes losses disquiet, sometimes law-suits vex: 'Tis onely the prisoner lives in such a Tenement as he may be sure none will go about to take from him: one trouble doth suc­ceed another, Velut unda super­venit undae: sometimes the flood­gates of persecution are opened; Rev. 12.4, 5. sometimes the Tombstone of disgrace is laid upon the Saints: either the body is in trouble, or the minde, or both; The Saints in this life are in a pilgrim-conditi­on: the Apostles had no certaine [Page 116] dwelling place, 1 Cor. 4.11. We are here in a perpetual hurry, in a constant fluctuation: our life is like the Tyde, sometimes ebbing, some­times flowing: here is no rest: And the reason is, because we are out of our centre; every thing is in motion till it comes at the centre; Christ is the centre of the soule: the Needle of the compasse trembles, till it turns to the North-pole. Noahs Dove found no rest for the sole of her feet, till she came at the Ark: This Ark was a Type of Christ; when we come to heaven, the Kingdome that cannot be shaken Heb. 12.28., we shall have rest, Heb. 4.9. There remaines therefore a rest for the people of God. Heaven in Scripture is compared to a granary, Mat. 3.12. Mat. 3.12 an emblem of rest. Wheat while it stands on the ground is shaken to and fro with the winde, but when it is laid up in the granary, it is at rest: the Elect are spiritual wheat, who while they are [Page 117] in the field of this world are never quiet, the winde of persecution shakes this wheat, and every one that passeth by will be plucking these sacred eares of corne, but when the wheat is in the heavenly Garner it is at rest. There remaines a rest, &c. Not but that there shall be mo­tion in heaven (for Spirits cannot be idle) but it shall be a motion without lassitude and wearinesse. They that die in the Lord rest from their labours Rev. 14.13.. The work which the Saints shall do in heaven shall be de­lightsome and pleasant, it shall be a labour full of ease, a motion full of rest. When a Beleever is in hea­ven, he hath his Quietus est. The lower Region is windy and tempe­stuous; when we are once gotten in­to the upper Region of glory, there are no winds or noxious vapours, but a serene calmnesse; this it is to be [...], with Christ.

SECT. VI. The sixth Priviledge of being with Christ.

THe last is Security. 'Tis pos­sible a man may have a few minutes of rest; but he is not se­cure, he knowes not how soon Ec­lipses and changes may come: he is still in feare, [...], &c. Antis [...]hen. and feare makes a man a servant, (saith the Philo­sopher) though he know it not. There is torment in feare, 1 John 4.18. He that hath great possessions, thinks thus; But how soone may I fall from this Pinacle of honour? how soone may the plunderer come? Nay, a beleever, that hath durable riches, yet is still pendulous and doubting concerning his con­dition.

1. He somtimes questions whether [Page 119] he be in the state of grace or no: and thus he thinks with himselfe; perhaps I believe; perhaps I do not believe: I have something that glisters, perhaps it is but a counterfeit chaine of Pearle? my Faith is Presumption, my Love to Christ is but self-love; and when the Spirit of God hath wrought the heart to some sound perswasion, he is soone shaken againe; as a ship that lies at anchor, though it be safe, yet it is shaken and tossed upon the water: and these feares leave impressions of sadnesse upon the heart.

2. But secondly, he feares, that though he be in the state of Grace, yet he may fall into some scanda­lous sinne, and so grieve the Spirit of God, sadden the hearts of the righteous, wound his own consci­ence, harden sinners, discourage new beginners, put a song into the [Page 120] mouth of the prophane; and at last God hide his face in a cloud. A childe of God after a sad declen­sion, having by his sinne put black spots in the face of Religion, though I deny not, but he hath a title to the Promise; yet he may be in such a condition that he cannot for the present apply any Promise, he may go weeping to his grave.

These sad feares like black vapours, are still arising out of a gracious heart; but when once a believer is with Christ [...], there is full security of heart: he is not onely out of danger, but out of fea [...]e. Take it thus, a man that is upon the top of a Mast, he may sit safe for the present, but not secure. Perhaps the Pirates may shoot at the ship, and take it; perhaps the windes may arise suddenly, and the ship map be cast away in the storme; but a man that is [Page 121] upon a rock, he stands impreg­nable: his heart is secure. A Chri­stian in this life is like a man upon the top of a Mast, sometimes the Pirates come abroad, viz. cruel persecutors, and they shoot at his ship, and oft, though the passen­ger (the precious soule) escapes, yet they sink the ship; sometimes the windes of tentation blow, those northern windes; and now the Christian questions whether God love him, or whether his name be enrolled in the book of life; and though being in Christ, there is no danger, yet his heart doth hesi­tate and tremble: but when he is with Christ, off from the top of the Mast; and is planted upon the rock, his heart is fully secure; and you shall heare him say thus, Now I am sure, I have shot the gulf, I am now passed from death to life, and none shall pluck me out of my Sa­viours armes.

CHAP. IX. The fourth Prerogative Royal.

LEt the Lucianists and Epi­cures place their happinesse in this life; a beleevers is in reversion; the golden world is yet to come. I passe to the next Pre­rogative, which is:

4. The blessed inheritance, Col. 1.12. Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meete to be parta­kers of the inheritance of the Saints in light. This world is but a Tene­ment, which we may be soone turn­ed out of; heaven is an inheritance, and a glorious one. Heaven hath no HyperboleCoelo non datur Hy­perbole.: if the skirts and Sub­urbs of the Palace, viz. the Stars and Planets be so glorious, that our [Page 123] eyes cannot behold the dazling lu­stre of them. What glory then is there in the Chamber of presence? What is the Sanctum Sanctorum? Of this blessed place, we have a figurative description, Revel. 21. Iohn was carried away in the Spirit,Rev. 21. and had a Vision of heaven, Ver. 2. That it was the Hierusalem above, is cleare, if we consult with Ver. 22.Vers. 22. And I saw no Temple therein: while we dwell upon earth, there is need of a temple; we shall not be above Ordinances till we are above sinne: but in heav [...]n, God will be in stead of a temple, He shall be all in all 1 Cor. 15.28. Rev. 21.25. And Ver. 25. There shall be no night there: No City is to be found, not the most glorious Metropolis under heaven, where it is alwayes day: for though some Regions which lie immediately under the Pole, have light for several moneths together; yet when the Sunne with-drawes from the Horizon, they have as [Page 124] long a night as before they had a day: but saith the Text, There shall be no night there: In hell it is all night; but in heaven, the day will be ever lengthening. Now this blessed Inheritance, or Kingdome which the Saints shall possesse, hath six Properties, or rather Priviledges, worth our serious thoughts.

1. Sublimenesse, It is set out by a great and high mountaine, Revel. 21. ver. 10. It is placed above the Aëry and Starry Heaven, saith Mus­culus; it is the Empyraean Heaven, which Saint Paul calls the third Hea­ven [...] Cor. 12.2.. For the situation of it, it is far above all heavens, where Christ himselfe is Eph. 4.10. This is Sedes beato­rum, the Royall Palace, where the Saints shall dwell. The men of this world are high in power, and in pride; but if they could build their Nests among the Stars, the elect [Page 125] shall shortly be above them; they shall take their flight as high as Christ: here is a preferment worth looking after.

2. Magnificence, It is set out by pearls and precious stones, the rich­est jewels Rev. 21.19., If the streets are of gold, what is the furniture and hangings; what is the Cabinet of Jewels? I wonder not, that the vio­lent take it by force, Mat. 11.12. I rather wonder others are no more violent: What are all the rarities of the world to this? the Coasts of Pearle, the Islands of Spices, the Rocks of Diamonds? What a rich place must that needs be, where God will lay out all his cost; where Wisdome doth contrive, and Bounty doth disburse?

Fulgentius beholding the pomp and splendor of the Romane Senate-house cried out, O how beautiful is the celestial Hierusalem, if the ter­restrial [Page 261] Senate-house be so glorious! In this blessed inheritance there is nothing but glory; there is the King of glory; Ps. 24.7. there are the Vessels of glory; Rom. 9.23. there are the Thrones of glory; Mat. 19.28. there is the Weight of glory; 2 Cor. 4.17. there are the Crownes of glory; Rev. 4.4. there is the Kingdome of glory; 1 Thes. 2.12. there is the Brightnesse of glory; Heb. 1.3. This is a purchase worth getting. What will men adven­ture for a Kingdome? The worst come to the worst; 'tis but ventu­ring our blood, we need not venture our conscience.

3. Purity, Heaven is set forth under the Metaphor of pure gold, and transparent glasse ▪ Revel. 21.21. The Apostle calls it an inheritance undefiled 1 Pet. 1.4. Heaven is a pure place. It is compared to the Saphyr, Rev. 21.19. The Saphyr is a precious stone, of a bright skie-colour Caeruleo colore. Plin, and it hath a vertue in it, saith Pliny, [Page 127] to preserve chastnesse and purity. Thus Heaven is represented by the Saphyr; it is a place, where onely the refined sublimated spirits do enter. And Heaven is compared to the Emerald, ver. 19. which (as Writers say of it) hath a precious ver­tue to expell poison. Heaven is such a pure soile, that as no fever of lust, so no venome of malice, shall be there, with the Emerald; it will expell poison. There shall not en­ter into it any thing that defileth, Revel. 21. vers. 27. It is a King­dome wherein dwells righteousnesse, 2 Pet. 3.13. In this lower Region of the world, there is little righte­ousnesse, They set up wickednesse by a law, Psal. 94.20. and the wicked devours his neighbour, which is more righteous then he, Hab. 1.13. Homo homini lupus. The just man is op­pressed because he is just. One saith, There is more justice to be found in hell, then here among [Page 128] men: for in hell no innocent person is oppressed; but here righteousnesse is the thing that is persecuted Mat. 5.10. A man can hardly tread two steps, but either into sin or into suffering. In this world the law is made 1 Tim. 1.9 only for the righteous man. The sinner need not feare any punitive vindi­ctive act of justice, rather he that reproves sinne may feare. Holi­nesse is the white that the devil shoots at. But heaven is a king­dome, wherein dwells righteous­nesse: there is the Judge of the world; who puts on righ­teousnesse, as a Brest-plate Isa. 59.17: who loves righteousnesse Ps. 11.7.. There is the sun of righteousnesse Mal. 4.2.. There is the robe of righteousnesse Isa 61.10. There is the crown of righteousnesse 2 Tim. 4.8..

4. Amplitude, The inheritance is sufficiently spacious for all the Saints. The garner wide enough to receive all those infinite graines [Page 129] of wheat that shall be laid in it: and he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the City, &c. The City lieth foure-square, and the length is as large as the breadth, and he mea­sured the City with the reed twelve thousand furlongs Rev. 21.15, 16.. Or, as I finde it in some Greek Copies, [...]. Twelve times twelve thousand furlongs. Here is a finite put for an infinite; impossible it is that any Arithmetici­an should number; or Rhetorician expresse these furlongs. It is a phrase only that darkly shadows out the amplitude and largenesse of this celestial City, though there be in­numerable company of Saints and An­gels in heaven, yet there is infinitely enough roome to receive them, In my fathers house are many Mansions Joh. 14.2. Some are of opinion that every be­leever shall have a particular Man­sion in glory. Every Saint shall have his Kingdome, saith Iansenius. [Page 130] We know our Saviour told his A­postles that they should sit upon twelve thrones Mat. 19.28.. Certainly the Saints shall not be straitened for roome. The continent of glory is wide enough for the most vast su­blime spirits to expatiate in.

5. Light, It is called an inherit­ance in light [...]ol. 1.12; [...]. If every star were a Sun it could never shadow out the bright lustre of this celestial Paradise. Light is a glori­ous creature; what were all the world without light but a dark prison? What beauty is there in the Sunne when it is masqued with a cloud? Lumen actuat colores, saith the Logi­cian: Light doth actuate the co­lours, and make every flower ap­pear in its fresh beauty. Heaven is a diaphanum or bright body all o­ver embroydered with light, not like the Coelum stellatum, or starry heaven, here and there bespangled [Page 131] with starres, but other parts of it like checquor-work interwoven with darknesse. Here Christ as a conti­nual Sunne shall give light to the whole heaven. The lamb shall be the light thereof Rev. 21.23.; indeed all other light in comparison of this, is but like the twilight, or rather the mid­night. Here alone are the shining rayes of beauty, which every glorifi­ed eye shall be inabled both to be­hold and to possesse; and this light shall have no night to Eclipse it, no snuffers of death to extinguish it; when once the Sunne of righteous­nesse hath risen upon the soule it shall never set any more. This is an high Gradation of the glory of heaven, it is an inheritance in light. When the Scripture would set forth the blessednesse of God himselfe, it makes it consist in this, He dwelleth in light 1 Tim. 6.16..

6. Permanency, It is an inheritance [Page 132] incorruptible 1 Pet. 1.4. It runs parallel with eternity: Eternity is a circle, that hath neither beginning nor end; a Sea that hath neither bottome nor b [...]nks. This is the glory of the ce­lestial Paradise; it abides for ever. The world passeth away 1 Joh. 2.17., 1 Joh. 2.17. Every thing is passing: 'Tis good to look upon the world, as the Heathens did upon pleasure; they looked upon the back-parts of plea­sure, and saw it going away from them, and leaving a sting. The world is passing away, but Heaven never passeth; therefore surpasseth evil things (as paine and misery) length of time makes them worse, but good things (as joy and pleasure) length of time makes them better. Heavens Eminency is its Permanency. Things are prized and valued by the time we have in them, lands, or houses in fee-simple which are to a man, and his heirs for ever, are esteemed far better then leases which soon ex­pire: [Page 133] The Saints do not lease heaven, it is not their Landlords house, but their Fathers house: And this house never falls to decay, it is a mansion-house, Iohn 14.2. There is nothing excellent, (saith one of the Fathers) that is not perpetual;Greg. Na­zian. The comforts of the world are fluid and uncertain like a fading garland; therefore they are shadowed out by the Tabernacle, which was transient, but Heaven is set out by the Temple, which was fixed and permanent: It was made of strong materials, built with stone, covered with Cedar, over-laid with gold. This is the Heaven of Hea­ven, We shall be ever with the Lord, 1 Thes. 4. ver. 17. Eternity is the highest link of the Saints happinesse; the soul of the believer shall be ever bathing it selfe in the pure and plea­sant fountaine of glory. As there is no intermission in the joyes of heaven, so no expiration. When once God hath set his Plants in the [Page 134] celestial Paradise, he will never pluck them up any more; he will never transplant them: never will Christ lose any member of his body: you may sooner separate light from the Sunne, then a glorified Saint from Jesus Christ. O eternity, eternity! what a Spring will that be, that shall have no Autumne? what a day that shall have no Night? Me thinks, I see the morning-Star appear, it is break of day already.

And this inheritance of glory fades not away, 1 Pet. 1.4. Had it not been enough for the Apostle to have said,1 Pet. 1.4. It is an inheritance incor­ruptible? Nay, but he addes, It fa­deth not away. There is a sacred climax in this▪ the meaning is hea­ven doth not lose its glosse or ver­nancy. A Rose may continue in its being when it doth not retaine its beauty. The substance of it may be preserved when the colour and [Page 135] savour is lost: but such is the glo­ry of this inheritance, that it cannot be made so much as to wither but like the flower we call Semper-vi­vens, it keeps fresh to eternity. Concerning the glory of this bles­sed inheritance, let me super-adde these foure things:

1. The glory of heaven is pon­derous and weighty; It is called, A weight of Glory, 2 Cor. 4.17. Immensum gloria calcar habet. God must make us able to beare it. This weight of glory should make suffer­ings light: This weight should make us throw away the weights of sinne out of our hands, though they be golden weights: who would for the indulging of a lust, forfeit so glorious an inheritance? Lay the whole World in scales with it, it is lighter then vanity.

2. It is infinitely satisfying; there is no vacuity, or indigen­cy, This Encomium can be given [Page 136] properly of nothing but heaven. You that Court the world for ho­nour, and preferment, remem­ber, the creature saith concerning satisfaction It is not in me. The world is made in manner of a circle, the heart in manner of a Triangle; a circle can never fill a triangle; heaven only is commensurate to the vast desires of the soul. Here the Christian cries out in a divine extasie, I have enough, my Savi­our, I have enough. Thou shalt make them drink of the Rivers of thy plea­sures Ps. 36.8., not drops, but rivers; and these onely can quench the thirst. It shall be every day festivall in Heaven; there is no want at a feast. There shall be excellency shi­ning in its perfection Id perfe­ctum cui nihil addi potest. Lac. lib. 1. cap 3. The world is but a Jaile, the body is the Fetter with which the soule is bound; if there be any thing in a Jaile to de­light, what is the Palace and the Throne, what is Heaven? If we [Page 137] meet with any comfort in Mount Horeb, what is in Mount Sion? All the world is like a Landskip, you may see Orchards and Gardens cu­riously drawn in the Landskip, but you cannot enter into them; you may enter into this heaven­ly Paradise, 2 Pet. 1. ver. 11. For so an entrance shall be made abun­dantly into the everlasting King­dome, &c. Here is soul-satisfacti­on.

3. Though an innumerable company of Saints and Angels have a part in this inheritance, there is never the lesse for thee: Here is a propriety in a community; another mans beholding the Sunne, doth not make me to have the lesser light: Thus will it be in glory. Usually here, all the land goes to the Heire, the younger are put off with small portions: In Heaven, all the Saints are Heires; the youngest Believer is an heire▪ and [Page 138] God hath land enough to give to all his heires: All the Angels and Arch-angels have their portion paid out; yet a Believer shall have never the lesse. [Hereditas illa non minuitur copiâ possessorum, non fit angustior numero cohaeredum: Aug. in Psal. 49.] Is not Christ the heire of all things?Augustin. Heb. 1. vers. 2. and the Saints co-heires? Rom. 8. vers. 17. They share with Christ in the same glory. 'Tis true, one vessel may hold more then another, but every vessel shall be full.

4. The soules of the Elect shall enter upon possession immedi­ately after death, 2 Corinth. 5. vers. 8. We are willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. There are some that say, the soules of the Elect sleep in their bodies; but the Apostle here confutes it; for if the soule be absent from the [Page 139] body, how can it sleep in the body? There is an immediate transition and passage from death to glory, The soule returnes to God that gave it Eccl. 12.7.: Christs Resurrection was before his Ascension; but the Saints Ascension is before their Resurrection. The body may be compared to the bubble in the water, the soule to the winde that fills it: you see the bubble riseth higher and higher, at last it breakes into the open aire: so the body is but like a bubble Jam. 4.14, which riseth from infancy to youth, from youth to age, higher and higher; at last this bubble breakes, and dissolves into dust, and the spi­rit ascends into the open aire: it returnes unto GOD that gave it.

Be of good comfort, we shall not stay long for our inherirance; it is but winking, and we shall see God. O the glory of this Paradise! when [Page 140] we are turned out of all, let us think of this inheritance which is to come, Aug. Praemium, quod fide non attingitur; faith it selfe is not able to reach it; it is more then we can hope for: There can be no want, where Christ is, who is all in all, Ephes. 3.11. Eph. 3.11 In Hea­ven, there is health without sick­nesse, plenty without famine, riches without poverty, life with­out death. There, is unspotted cha­stity, unstained honour, unparallel'd beauty: there, is the Tree of Life, in the middest of Paradise; there, is the river that waters the garden; there, is the Vine flourishing, and the Pomegranates budding, Cant. 6.11. there, is the banquetting-house, where are all those delicacies and rarities, where­with God himselfe is delighted: while we are sitting at that Table, Christ's Spiknard will send forth its smell Cant. 1.12.. There, is the bed of love, there are the curtaines of Solomon, [Page 141] there are the Mountaines of Spices, and the streames from Lebanon; there are the Cherubims, not to keep us out, but to welcome us into Para­dise; there, shall the Saints be a­dorned, as a Bride with Pearles of glory; There, will God give us a­bundantly, above all that we are able to aske or think Eph. 3.20.. Is not here e­nough? what cannot an ambiti­ous spirit ask? Hamans aspiring heart could have asked not only the Kings royal Robe and the ring from his hand, but the Crown from his head too; a man can ask a century of Kingdomes, a million of worlds. But in heaven God will give us more then we can ask. Nay, more then we can think. An high expression! what cannot we think? we can think, what if all the dust of the earth were turned to silver, what if every stone were a wedge of gold, what if every flower were a ruby, every pile of grasse a [Page 142] pearle, every sand in the Sea a dia­mond; yet, what were all this to the New Hierusalem which is above. It is as impossible for any man in his deepest thoughts to comprehend glory, as it is to mete the heaven with a span Isa 40.12, or draine the great Ocean. O incomparable place! Surely, were we carried away in the spirit, I meane, elevated by the power of Faith, to the contemplation of this royal and stately Palace, I know not whether we should more wonder at the lustre of heaven, or at the dulnesse of such as minde earthly things. How is the world adored, which is but a Pageant or apparition! It is reported of Caesar, that travelling on a time through a certaine City, as he passed along, he saw the women for the most part, playing with Monkies and Parrets: at which sight, he said, What? have they no children to play with? So I say, when I see men toying with these [Page 143] earthly and beggarly delights, What? are there not more glorious and sublime things to look after? That which our Saviour saith to the wo­man of Samaria, If thou knewest the gift of God and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink, thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water Joh. 4.10; the same may I say, Did men know these e­ternal Mansions, and what it were to be digging in these rich Mines of glory: would God give them a Vision of heaven a while, as he did Peter, who saw heaven opened, Act. 10.11. how would they fall into a Trance, (being amazed and filled with joy!) and being a little recovered out of it, how importu­nately would they beg of God, that they might be adopted into this stately inheritance! But what do I expatiate? these things are un­speakable and full of glory. Had I as many tongues as haires on my [Page 144] head I could never sufficiently set forth the beauty and resplendency of this inheritance. Such was the curious art of Apelles in drawing of Pictures, that if another had taken up the Pensil to draw, he had spoil­ed all Apelles work. Such is the excellency of this celestial Paradise, that if the Angels should take up their Pensill, to delineate it in its colours, they would but staine and eclipse the glory of it. I have given you only the dark shadow in the Picture, and that but rudely and imperfectly. Such is the beauty and blisse of this inheritance, that as Chrysostome saith, if it were possible that all the sufferings of the Saints could be laid upon one man, it were not worth one houres being in Heaven.

Augustine is of opinion, we shall know our friends in heaven. Nor to me doth it seeme improbable, for sure our knowledge there shall [Page 145] not be eclipsed, or diminished, but encreased. And that which An­selme doth assert, that we shall have a knowledge of the Patriarchs, and Prophets, and Apostles, all that were before us and shall be after us, our predecessors and successors, to me seemes very rational; for so­ciety without acquaintance is not comfortable, and my thinks the Scripture doth hint thus much; if Peter and Iames, having but a glimpse of glory (when our Lord was transfigured on the Mount) were able to know Moses and Elias whom they had never seen before: how much more shall we, being in­finitely irradiated, and enlightened with the Sun of righteousnesse, know all the Saints, though we were ne­ver acquainted with them before? And this will be very comfortable. Certainly there shall be nothing wanting that may compleate the Saints happiness.

[Page 146]Now that this glorious inherit­ance is the Saints Prerogative, I shall evince by two Arguments.

It is so, 1. In respect of the many obligations that lie upon God for performing this.1. Argum [...]n [...]. As, 1. In regard 1 of his promise, Tit. 1.2. In hope of eternal life which God that cannot lie hath promised. Gods promise is 2 better then any mans bond. 2. In regard of his oath. He who is truth 3 hath sworne, Heb. 6.17. 3. In regard of the price that is paid for it, Christs blood. Heaven is not only a promised possession, but a pur­chased possession, Eph. 1.14. 4. In 4 regard of Christs prayer for it: Father I will that they also whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am. Joh. 17.24. Now God can deny Christ nothing being the onely favourite. I know thou alwayes hearest me, Joh. 11.42. 5. In regard of Christs ascension. 5 He is gone before to take possession of heaven for us. He is now ma­king [Page 147] preparations against our com­ing, Joh. 14.2. I go before to prepare a place for you. We reade that our Lord sent two of his disciples before to make ready a large upper roome for the Passeover, Mar. 14.15. So Jesus Christ is gone before to make ready a large upper roome in heaven for the Saints. 6. In regard of the 6 anticipation of the Spirit in the hearts of the godly, giving them an assurance of, and stirring up in them passionate desires after this glorious inheritance; hence it is, we read of the earnest of the Spirit, 2 Cor. 1.22. and the first-fruits of the Spirit, Rom. 8.23. and the seale of the Spirit, Eph. 1.13. God doth not still his children with rattles. Heaven is already begun in a beleever, so that the inheritance is certaine. You see how many obligations lie upon God; and to speak with reverence, i [...] stands not onely upon Gods mercy, but upon his faithfulness to make all this good to us.

[Page 148] 2. Argument.The second argument is in respect of the Union which the Saints have with Jesus Christ. They are members of Christ, therefore they must have a part in this blessed inheritance; the members must be where the head is. Indeed, the Arminians tell us, that a justified person may fall finally from grace, and so his union with Christ may be dissolved, and the inheritance lost. But how absurd is this doctrine? Is Christ divided? can he lose a member of his body? then his body is not perfect; for how can that body be perfect which wants a limb? and if Christ may lose one member from his body, why not as well all by the same reason? and so he shall be an head without a body; but be assured, the union with Christ cannot be broken Joh. 17.12., Ioh. 17.12. and so long the inheritance cannot be lost. What was said of Christs natural body, is as true of his [Page 149] mystical: A bone of it shall not be broken. Look how every bone and limb of Christs natural body was raised up out of the grave, and car­ried into heaven: so shall every member of his mystical body, joyn­ed to him by the eternal Spirit, be carried up into glory. Feare not, O ye Saints, neither sinne nor Sa­tan can dissolve your union with Christ, nor by consequence hinder you of that blessed place where your Head is.

Quest. Here it will be asked,Quest. Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Psal. 24.3. who shall be a Citi­zen of this new Hierusalem, which is above?

Answ. The new creature:Answ. this you reade of, 2 Cor. 5. vers. 17. This new creature doth disponere ad coe­lum, prepare for the new Hierusalem. This is the Divine and curious Ar­tifice of the Holy Ghost in our hearts, forming Christ in us: the [Page 150] same Holy Ghost that overshadow­ed the Virgin Mary, and formed the Humane Nature of Christ in her wombe, doth work and produce this new creature. O thou blessed man and woman, in whom this new creature is formed! I may say to thee as the Angel to Mary: That which is conceived in thee is of the Holy Ghost: Of all God's creatures, the new creature is the best. Then let me aske, Art thou a new crea­ture? Art thou a scion, cut off from the wilde Olive of nature, and ingrafted into a new stock, the Tree of Life? Hath God defaced, and dismantled the old man in thee? doth some limbe drop off every day? Hast thou a new heart? Ezek. 36. verse 26. Till then, thou art not fit for the new heaven: Art thou new all over? Hast thou a new eye, to discerne the things that differ? Hast thou a new appetite? Doth the pulse of thy soul beate after [Page 151] Christ? It is onely the new crea­ture, which shall be heire of the new Hierusalem. When thou wert sailing to Hell, (for we have both winde and tyde to carry us thither) hath the North and South-winde awaked? Hath the gale of the Spi­rit blown upon thee, and turned thy course? Art thou now sailing to a new Port? Hath the seale of the Word stamped a new and heaven­ly print upon thee? Then I am speaking all this while to thee, this blessed inheritance is entailed upon thee.

But if thou art an old sinner, ex­pect that heaven should be kept as Paradise, with a Flaming Sword, that thou mayest not enter: Be assured, God will never put the new Wine of glory into an old musty bottle. Heaven is not like Noah's Arke that received cleane beasts into it, and un­cleane Gen. 7.8.: this inheritance doth not re­ceive all comers. It is only the [Page 152] wheat that goes into Christs garner, what hath the chaffe to do there? this inheritance is only for them that are sanctified, Act. 20.32. Is thy heart consecrated ground? We read that in the time of Ezra after the re­turne of the people from the capti­vity, some who were ambitious of the Priesthood, sought the writings of the Genealogies, but they were not found among the numbers of the Priests, therefore they were put by as polluted from the Priest­hood Ezr. 2.62: So whosoever they be that think to have a part in this bles­sed place, if their names be not found; that is, if they are not new creatures, they shall be put away as polluted from this inheritance.

CHAP. X. The fifth Prerogative Royal.

I Passe on to the next thing to come, which is.

5. Our Knowledge shall be clear. Knowledge is a beautifull thing; such was Adam's ambition to know more, that by tasting the Tree of Knowledge, he lost the Tree of Life: In Heaven our knowledge shall be cleare. Religion is a continued riddle; many things we have now but in the notion, which then we shall see perfect­ly; now we know but in part 1 Cor. 13.9.. The best Christian hath a vaile up­on his eye, as the Iews have upon their heart; hereafter the vaile shall be taken off. Here we see through [Page 154] a glasse darkly, [...], in a rid­dle, or mystery; then face to face: that is, clearly.

There are five Mysteries which God will clear up to us when we are in heaven.

1 1. The great Mystery of the Tri­nity: this we know but in part. U­nity in Trinity, and Trinity in Uni­ty, where One makes Three, and Three make but One: this is bad Arithmetick, but good Divinity; we have but dark conceptions of it: it is a Mystery so deep, that we may soon wade beyond our depth.

Augustine being to write his Books of the Trinity, was taught modesty by a childe, who was la­ding the Sea into a little Spoon; to whom Augustine said, that he labour­ed in vaine, for his little Spoone would not containe the Sea; to whom the childe answered, My lit­tle Spoone will sooner hold this vast Ocean, then your shallow brain can [Page 155] containe the depth of the Trinity. How little a portion is known of God? If Iob asked the question, Who can understand the Thunder? we may much more ask,Job 26.14. Wo can un­derstand the Trinity? but in hea­ven we shall see God as he is 1 Joh. 3.2., that is, perfectly.

Quest. But shall every Saint en­joy God so perfectly that he shall have the same knowledge that God hath.

Answ. the infinite essence of God shall app [...]ar to the Saints Tota, but not totaliter Ioh. de combis comp [...]nd. Theol. lib. 7. cap. 26.; we shall have a full knowledge of God, but not know him fully, yet we shall take in so much of God as our humane nature is capable of; it will be a bright and a glorious knowledge: here we know him but ab effectu, by his Power, Wisdom, Mercy: we see but his back-parts, there we shall see him face to face.

2. The Mystery of the incarna­tion,2 [Page 156] Joh. 1.14 Christ assuming our hu­mane nature, and marrying it to the divine. Therefore call'd, [...]. God-man. [...] God with us. A Mystery which the Angels in heaven adore 1 Pet. 1.12. God said, The man is become as one of us, Gen. 3.22. but now we may say, God himselfe is become as one of us! it was not only mirandum, but mira­culum. There was nothing within the sphere of natural causes to pro­duce it. The incarnation of Christ is catena aurea, a golden chaine made up of several links of Mira­cles. For instance, that the Creatour of heaven should become a crea­ture;Creator coeli crea­tus sub coe­lo. that eternity should be born; that he whom the heaven of heavens cannot containe, should be enclosed in the womb; that he who thunders in the clouds, should crie in the cra­dle Qui to­ [...]itruat in coelis, cla­mat in cu­nabulis.; that he who rules the starres, should suck the breasts; that he who upholds all things by the Word [Page 157] of his Power, Heb. 1.7. should himself be upheld; that a Virgin should con­ceive, that Christ should be made of a woman and of that woman which himself made; that the creature should give a being to the Crea­tour; that the Starre should give light to the Sunne; that the branch should beare the Vine; that the mother should be younger then the childe she bare, and the childe in the womb bigger then the mo­ther; that he who is a Spirit should be made flesh; that Christ should be without father and without mother, yet have both, without mother in the God-head, without father in the Man-hood; that Christ being incarnate should have two natures (the divine and humane) and yet but one Person; that the divine nature should not be infused into the humane, nor the humane mixed with the divine, yet assumed into the Person of the Sonne of God, [Page 158] the humane nature not God, yet one with God. Here is, I say, a chaine of Miracles.

I acknowledge the mercy of the incarnation was great, we having now both affinity and consanguinity with Jesus Christ; Christs incarna­tion is the Saints inauguration.

The love of Christ in the incar­nation was great; for herein he did set a patterne without a parallel, in clothing himself with our flesh, which is but walking ashes; he hath sowed as it were sackcloth to cloth of Gold, the humanity to the Deity. But though the incarnation be so rich a blessing, yet it is hard to say which is greater, the Mercy or the Mystery 1 Tim. 3.16.. It is a sacred depth, how doth it transcend reason, and even puzzle faith, We know but in part we see this only in a glasse darkly, but in heaven our knowledge shall be cleared up, we shall fully understand this divine riddle.

[Page 159]3. The Mystery of Scripture: The hard knots of Scripture shall 3 be untied, and darke Prophecies ful­filled. There is a sacred depth in Scripture which we must adore: some places of Scripture are hard in the sense, others dark in the phrase, and cannot well be translated in regard of ambiguity; one He­brew word having such various and sometimes contrary significations, that it is very difficult to know which is the genuine sense. As it is with a traveller which is not skilled in his way, when he comes to a turning where the way parts, he is at a stand, and knowes not which way to take; I might give some in­stances. It is true, all things purely necessary in the Word of God, are cleare: but there are some sacred depths that we cannot fathom, and this may make us long after Hea­ven, when our light shall be clear. So for Prophecies, some are very [Page 160] abstruse and profound; Divines may shoot their arrowes, but it is hard to say how neare they come to the mark: 'tis dubious whether in such a particular age and century of the Church, such a Prophecie was ful­filled. The Iewes have a saying when they meet with an hard Scri­pture they understand not, Elias ve­niet & solvet nodos: Elias will come and interpret these things to us; we expect not Elias, but when we are in Heaven we shall under­stand Prophecies, our knowledg shall be clear.

4 4. The great Mystery of Provi­dence shall be cleared up. Provi­dence is Regina mundi, the Queen of the world; it is the hand that turns all the wheels in the universe; Chry­sostome calls it the Pilot that steeres the ship of the Creation. Provi­dences are often darke; God writes sometimes in short-hand▪ the cha­racters of Providence are so various [Page 161] and strange, and our eyes are so dimme, that we know not what to make of Providence: hence we are ready to censure that which we do not understand: we think that things are very excentrick and dis­orderly; Gods Providence is some­times secret▪ alwayes wise. The di­spensations of Providence are often sad, judgement beginning at the house of God, and the just man perishing in his righteousnesse, Eccles. 7.15. that is, while he is pursuing a righteous cause: though his way be pious, it is not alwayes prosperous: and on the other side, those that work wic­kednesse are set up, yea, they that tempt God are delivered, Mal. 3.15. though now our candle be in a dark lant­horn, and the people of God can­not tell what God is a doing, yet when they are in heaven they shall see the reason of these transactions Joh. 13.7: they shall see that every Providence served for the fulfilling of Gods [Page 162] Promise, viz. that all things shall work together for good, Rom. 8.28. In a Watch the wheeles seeme to move crosse one to another, but all carry on the motion of the Watch, all serve to make the Alarm strike; so the wheeles of Providence seeme to move crosse, but all shall carry on the good of the elect; all the lines shall meet at last in the centre of the Promise; in heaven, as we shall see Mercy and Justice, so we shall see Promises, and Providences kissing each other: Our light shall be cleare. When a man is at the bottome of an hill, he cannot see ve­ry farre: but when he is on the top, he may see many miles distant. Here the Saints of God are in the valley of tears, they are at the bottome of the hill, and cannot tell what God is a doing: but when they come to Heaven, and shall be on the top of the mount, they shall see all the glo­rious transactions of Gods Provi­dence; [Page 163] never a Providence but they shall see either a wonder or a mercy wrapt up in it. A Limner at the first makes but a rude draught in the picture, here an eye, there an hand; but when he hath limn'd it out in all its parts and lineaments, and laid them in their colours, it's beautifull to behold. We that live in this age of the Church, see but a rude draught, as it were some dark pieces of Gods Providence re­presented, and it is impossible that we should judge of Gods work by pieces; but when we come to Hea­ven & see the full body and portrai­ture of Gods Providence drawne out in its vive colours, it will be a most glorious sight to behold: Providence shall be unridled.

5. The Mystery of hearts. We shall see an heart-anatomy, Eccles. 12.14. Eccles. 12.14. For God shall bring every work into judgment with every secret thing. We shall see the designes [Page 164] and cabinet-counsels of mens hearts discovered; then the hypocrites mask shall fall off. O the black conclave that is in the heart of man Ps. 64.6.; The heart is deep: it may be compared to a River, which hath faire streames running on the top, but when this river comes to be drained, there lies abundance of vermine at the bottome: thus it is with mans heart, there are fair streames running on the top, a civil life, a religious profession; but at the day of judgement, when God shall draine this river▪ and make a disco­very of hearts, then all the vermine of ambition, covetousnesse, shall appeare, all shall come out: then we shall see whether Iehu's designe was zeal for God, or the Kingdome: we shall see clearly whether Iezabel had more minde to keep a fast, or to get Naboths Vineyard: then we shall see whether Herod had more minde to worship Christ, or to wor­ry [Page 165] him; all the secrets of mens hearts shall be laid open: Me thinks, it would be worth dying to see this sight. We shall then see who is the Achan, who the Iudas; the wo­mens paint falls off from their fa­ces, when they come neere the fire; before the scorching heat of Gods justice, the hypocrites paint will drop off▪ and the Treason hid in the heart will be visible: These my­steries will God reveal to us: our knowledge shall be clear.

CHAP. XI. The sixth Prerogative Royal.

THE next priviledge, is, Our 6 Love shall be perfect: Nulla vrtus sine charita [...]e. Aquin. 22ae. qu. 23. a. 7. Love is the Jewell with which Christ's Bride is adorned: in one sense it is more excellent then [Page 166] Faith; for Love never ceaseth, 1 Cor. 13.8. The Spouse shall put off her Jewel of Faith, when she goes to heaven; but she shall never put off her Jewel of Love: Love shall be perfect.

1 1. Our love to God shall be perfect: The Saints love shall be joyned with Reverence, for a filial disposition shall remaine, but there shall be no servile feare in Hea­ven: Horrour and trembling is proper to the damned in hell; though in Heaven there shall be a reverencing fear, yet a rejoycing fear: we shall see that in God which will work such a delight that we cannot but love him. And this love to God shall be, 1. A fervent love: we love him 1 here secundùm studium, there secun­dùm actum, as the Schoolmen speak: Our love to God in this life is ra­ther a desire, but in Heaven the smoak of desire shall be blown up into a flame of love, we shall love [Page 167] God with an intensenesse of love: here our love is lukewarme, and sometimes frozen: a childe of God weeps that he can love God no more; but there is a time shortly coming when our love to God shall be fervent, it shall burn as hot as it can; the damned shall be in a flame of fire, the elect in a flame of love. 2. A fixed-love: Alas, how soon is 2 our love taken off from God! other objects presenting themselves steal away our love. Your goodnesse is like a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away Hos. 6.4.: In the morning you shall see the grasse covered with drops of dew, as so many pearls, but before noon all is vanished: so is it with our love to God: perhaps at a Sermon, when our affections are stirred, the heart melts in love: and at a Sacrament, when we see Christs blood as it were trickling downe upon the crosse, some love-drops fall from the heart; but, within a [Page 168] few dayes all is vanished, and we have lost our first love, this is matter of humiliation while we live. But O ye Saints, comfort your selves, in Heaven your love shall be fixed, as well as fervent; it shall never be taken off from God any more: such beauty and excellency shall shine in God, that as a divine load­stone it will be alwayes drawing our eyes and hearts after him.

2. Our love to the Saints shall 2 be perfect: Love is a sweet har­mony, a tuning and chiming toge­ther of affections. Non erit invidia dis­paris clari­tatis, quia erit in om­nibus uni­tas chari­tatis. Aug. in Io [...]. Hom. 3. It is our duty to love the Saints, 1. Though they are of bad dispositions; sometimes their nature is so rugged & unhewn, that grace doth not cast forth such a lustre; it is like a gold ring on a leprous hand, or a Diamond set in iron: yet if there be any thing of Christ, it is our duty to love it. 2. Though they in some things dif­fer from us, yet if we see Christ's [Page 169] image and portraiture drawn upon their hearts, we are to separate the precious from the vile. But alas, how defective is this grace? how little love is there among Gods people? Herod and Pilate can agree: wicked men unite, when Saints divide. For the divisions of England there are great thoughts of heart. Conten­tions were never more hot, love never more cold. Many there are whose musick consists all in dis­cords, whose harp is the Crosse; that pretend to love truth, but hate peace, Ps. 120.7 Divisions are Satans Powder-plot, to blow up Re­ligion. Sin brought forth sepa­ration, and this daughter of sepa­ration hath brought forth the grand­childe of division. For these things there are great searchings of heart. It were not strange to hear the har­lot say, Let the childe be divided; but to heare the mother of the child say so, this is sad. If Pope, Car­dinall, [Page 170] Jesuite, all conspire against the Church of God, it were not strange; but for one Saint to per­secute another, this is strange. For a Wolfe to worry a Lamb is usuall; but for a Lamb to worry a Lamb is unnatural. For Christs Lily to be among the thorns, is ordinary; but for this Lily to be­come a thorne, to teare and fetch blood of it self, this is strange! How will Christ take this at our hands? Would he not have his Coat rent, and will he have his Body rent? Oh that I could speak here weeping: Well, this will be a foyl to set off heaven the more; there is a time shortly coming, when our love shall be perfect, there shall be no difference of judgement in heaven; there the Saints shall be all of a piece. Though we fall out by the way, and about the way, we shall all agree in the journies end. When once the blessed Harp [Page 171] of Christs voice hath sounded in the ears of the Saints, the evill spirit shall be quite driven away. When our strings shall be wound up to the highest peg of glory, you shall never hear any more discord in the Saints Musick. In Heaven there shall be a perfect Harmony.

CHAP. XII. The seventh Prerogative Royal.

THe next glorious priviledge to come, is the Resurrecti­on 7 of our bodies. This is an Article of our faith. Now for the illustration of this, there are three things considerable: 1. That there [...]s such a thing as the Resur­rection. 2. That this is not yet past. 3. That the same body that dies shall rise again.

[Page 172] 1 1. I shall prove the Proposition, that there is a Resurrection Sublatâ fide resur­rectionis, totum Reli­gionis aedi­ficium cor­ruit, &c. of the body. There are some of the Sad­duces opinion, that there is no re­surrection, then let us eat and drink, for to morrow we die, 1 Cor. 15.32. To what purpose are all our prayers and tears? and indeed it were well for them who are in their life-time as bruit beasts, if it might be with them as beasts after death; but there is a resurrection of the bodyJoh. 11.24., as well as an ascension of the soul 1 Cor.; which I shall prove by two Arguments.

1 1. Because Christ is risen, there­fore we must rise: the head being raised, the rest of the body shal not alwayes lye in the grave, for then it would be an head without a bo­dy: his rising is a pledge of our re­surrection, 1 Thes. 4.14.

2 2. Ex AEquo, in regard of justice▪ and equity; the bodies of the wick­ed have been weapons of unrighte­ousnesse, and have joyned with the [Page 173] soul in sinne; their eyes have been a casement to let in vanity, their hands have been full of bribes, their feet have been swift to shed blood; therefore justice and equity require that they should rise again, and their bodies be punished with their souls. Againe, The bodies of the Saints have been members of holinesse: their eyes have dropped down tears for sinne, their hands have relieved the poor, their tongues have been trum­pets of Gods praise, therefore ju­stice and equity require that they should rise again, that their bodies as well as their soules may be crown'd: There must be a resurre­ction, else how should there be a re­muneration? We are more sure to arise out of our graves then out of our beds: the bodies of the wick­ed are lockt up in the grave as in a prison, that they may not infest the Church of God; and at the day of judgement they shall be brought [Page 174] out of the prison to tryall: and the bodies of the Saints are laid in the grave as in a bed of perfume, where they mellow and ripen against the re­surrection. Noah's olive-tree spring­ing after the flood, the blossoming of Aaron's dry rod, the flesh and sinews coming to Ezekiel's dry bones, what were these but lively emblems of the resurrection?

2. That this resurrection is not 2 yet past: some hold that it is past, and make the Resurrection to be nothing else but Regeneration, which is call'd a rising from sinne, and a being risen with Christ Col. 3.1.; and do affirme, that there is no other re­surrection but this; and that only the soul is with God in happinesse, not the body. Of this opinion were Hymeneus and Philetus, 2 Tim. 2.18. But the rising from sinne is call'd the first resurection, Rev. 1.6. which implies that there is a second resur­rection; and that second I shall [Page 175] prove out of Dan. 12.2. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake; he doth not say, they are already awake, but they shall awake. And Iohn 5.28.Joh. 5.28. The houre is coming in which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth, they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the re­surrection of damnation. Observe, Christ doth not say, they are come forth of the grave already, but they shall come forth.

Here a question may be moved, Whether the bodies of some of the Saints are not in Heaven already,Quest. then it will seem that their resurre­ction is not yet to come? as we read that Elias was taken up to hea­ven in a fiery chariot: and Enoch, Heb. 11.5. was translated, that he might not see death.

Answ. I know the Question is controverted among Divines:Answ. [Page 176] But there are some reasons do perswade me that Enoch and Elias are not yet bodily in Heaven, nor shall be till the resurrection of all flesh, when the rest of the Elect, like a precious crop, being fully ripe, shall be translated into glory. The first is Heb. 11.13. where it is said, 1 These all died in faith, where Enoch was included. Now why we should restraine this word [...], these, on­ly to Abel, Noah, Abraham, and not also to Enoch, I see no rational ground.

Quest. Quest. But is it not said, he was translated, that he might not see death? How can these two stand together, that Enoch died, yet he did not see death?

Answ. Answ. This word, [...], that he might not see death, I con­ceive, (with some Divines) the mean­ing is, that he might not see it in that painful and horrid manner as o­thers: his soule had an easie and [Page 177] joyful passage out of his body; he died not after the common manner of men; so saith Peter Martyr. Seeing and feeling, are in Scripture oft exe­getical, the one is put for the other, as Rom. 7.23. I see a law in my mem­bers, that is, I feel a law. 2. My se­cond 2 Argument, is, 1 Iohn 3.2. It doth not yet appeare what we shall be, but we know, [...], when he shall appeare, we shall be like him. We read in Scripture but of two Appearings of Christ, his appearing in the flesh, and his appearing at the day of judgment. Now his appearing in this text, must needs be meant of his last appearing; And what then? then saith the Apostle, we shall be like him, that is, in our bodies, Phil. 3.21. The spirits of just men be­ing already made perfect, Heb. 12.23. Whence I infer, Enoch is not yet a­scended bodily into heaven, because none of the bodies of the Saints shall be fully made like Christ till his se­cond [Page 178] 3 appearing. 3. Besides this may be added the judgement of many of the Fathers, who were pious and learned. It is not probable that E­noch and Elias should be taken up in their bodies into heaven, saith Peter Martyr, and he urgeth that saying of our Lord, Joh. 3.13 No man hath ascended into heaven, (that is, saith he, corporeally) but the Son of man that descended from heaven. Of this opinion also is Oecolampadius, Martinus Borrhaeus, and learned Doctor Fulk, Dr. Fulk. who in his marginal notes upon the 11th. to the Hebrews, hath this descant. ‘It appeareth not, saith he, that Enoch now li­veth in body, no more then Moses, but that he was translated by God out of the world, and died not after the common manner of men.’ And concerning Eliah, the same reverend Authour hath this passage, ‘It is evident, that he was taken up alive, but not that he [Page 179] continueth alive. And again, be­cause we read expresly, that he was taken up into heaven, 2 King. 2.11. It is certaine, (saith he) that his body was not carried into hea­ven.’ Christ being the first that in perfect humanity ascended thither: 1 Cor. 15.20. Christ is become the first-fruits of them that sleep: He is called the First-fruits, not only be­cause he was the most excellent, and sanctified the rest, but because he was the first Cluster which was gathered, the First that went up in a corporeal manner into the Seat of the Blessed. For my part, I see not how Christ could properly be called the First-fruits; if Enoch, and Eliah were bodily in heaven before him. Hence we see that the Resur­rection is yet to come.

3. The third thing is, That at the resurrection every soul shal have its own body: the same body that dies shall arise. Some hold that the [Page 180] soul shall be cloathed with a new bo­dy, but then it were improper to call it a Resurrection of the body, it should be rather a Creation. It was a custome in the African ChurchesCyprian., to say, I believe the resurrection hu­jus carnis, of this body. I confesse, the doctrine of the resurrection is such, that it is too deep for reason to wade here, you must let faith swim. For instance, Suppose a man dying, is cast into the Sea, several Fishes come and devour him, the substance of his body goes into these fishes, afterwards the fishes are taken and eaten, and the substance of these fishes goes into several men; now how this body, thus devoured, and as it were crumbled into a thousand fractions should be raised idem nu­mero, the same numerical body, is infinitely above reason to imagine, we have scarce faith enough to be­lieve it.

Quest. Quest. How can this be?

[Page 181] Answ. To such I say as our bles­sed Saviour, Matth. 22.29.Answ. Ye do erre, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God. 1. Not knowing 1 the Scriptures: The Scripture tells us expresly, that the same body that dies shall rise again, Iob 19.26. In my flesh shall I see God, not in another flesh. And vers. 27. My eyes shall be­hold him, not other eyes. So 1 Cor. 15.53. This mortal shall put on im­mortality [...].: not another mortall, but this mortall. And 2 Cor. 5.10. That every one may receive the things done in his body, &c. not in another body. Death in Scripture is called a sleep; it is farre easier with God to raise the body, then it is for us to awake a man when he is asleep. 2. Ye erre not knowing the pow­er 2 of God: that God who of no­thing created all things, cannot he reduce many things to one thing? when the body is gone into a thou­sand substances, cannot he make an [Page 182] abstraction, and bring that body to­gether againe? Do we not see the Chymist can out of several metals mingled together, as gold, silver, alcumy, extract the one from the other, the silver from the gold, the alcumy from the silver, and can reduce every metall to its own species or kinde: and shall we not much more believe, that when our bodies are mingled and confounded with other substances, the wise God is able to make a divine extraction, and re-invest every soul with its own body?

Use 1. Use 1. This is comfort to a childe of God: As Christ said to Martha, John 11.23. Thy brother shall rise againe: so I say to thee, thy body shall rise again. The body is sensible of joy as well as the soul; and in­deed, we shall not be perfect in glo­ry till our bodies be re-united to our souls. Therefore in Scripture, the doctrine of the resurrection is made [Page 183] matter of joy and triumph, Isa. 26.19. The dead men shall live, Isa. 26.19 together with my dead body shall they arise: Awake & sing ye that dwell in the dust. Death is as it were the fall of the leafe, but our bones shall flourish as an herb, in the spring of the resur­rection. That body wich is moul­dred to dust shall revive. Some­times the Saints do sowe the Land with their bodies,Ps. 142.7 Psal 79.3. Psal. 142.7. and water it with their blood, Psal. 79.3. But these bodies, whether imprison­ed, beheaded, sawn asunder, shall arise and sit down with Christ up­on the Throne. O consider what joy will there be at the re-uniting of the body and soul at the resur­rection. As there will be a sad meeting of the body and soul of the wicked, they shall be joyned toge­ther as briars to scratch, and teare one another: So what unspeakable joy will there be at the meeting to­gether of the soul and body of the [Page 184] Saints? how will they greet one another (they two being the near­est acquaintance that ever were?) what a welcome will the soul give to the body? O blessed body, thou didst suffer thy self to be martyrd, and crucified, thou wert kept under by watchings, fastings, &c. when I prayed thou didst attend my pray­ers with hands lifted up and knees bowed down. Thou wert willing to suffer with me, and now thou shalt reigne with me; cheare up thy self my deare friend; thou wert sowne as seed in the dust of the earth with ignominy, but now art raised in glory; thou wert sowen a natural body, but now art raised a spiritual body. 1 Cor. 15 43. O my dear body, I will enter into thee again as an heavenly sparckle, and thou shalt cloath me againe as a glorious vest­ment; I will (I say) enter into thee againe, and both of us will enter in­to our Masters joy.

[Page 185] Use 2.Use 2. It shews the great love and respect God bears to the weakest be­liever▪ God wil not glorifie the bodies of his dearest and most eminent Saints, not the Patriarchs or Pro­phets, not the body of Moses, Elias, till thou risest out of thy grave. God is like a Master of a Feast, that stayes till all his guests are come. Abraham the father of the faithful, must not sit down bodily in Heaven, till all his children are born; and the body of every Saint perfectly mellow and ripe for the resurrection.

3. If the bodies of the Saints must arise,3. then consecrate your bodies to the service of God: these bodies must be made one with Christs body. The Apostle makes this Use of the Doctrine of the re­surrection, 1 Cor. 6.14. And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power: there is the Doctrine. Know ye not [Page 186] that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the mem­bers of an harlot? ver. 15. there is the Use. It is enough for wicked men, to adulterate and defile their bodies. The drunkard makes his body a tunnel for the wine and strong drink to run thorow. The Epicure makes his body a living tombe to bury the good creatures of God. The adulterer makes his body a stewes. The body is called a ves­sell in Scripture 1 Thes. 4.4; these vessels will be found musty at the resurrecti­on, fit only to hold that wine which you read of▪ Psal. 75.8. In the hand of the Lord there is a cup, and the wine is red; this is the wine of Gods wrath. It is enough for those bo­dies to be defiled which shall be joyned to the devil: but you that are believers, that expect your bo­dies shall be joyned with Christs body; oh cleanse these vessels; take [Page 187] heed of putting your bodies to any impure services. Present your bodies a living sacrifice, Rom. 12.1. Have a care to keep all the passages and cinque-ports; sometimes the devil comes in at the eye; therefore Iob made a covenant with his eyes: and goes out at the tongue; therefore Da­vid set a watch before his lips: Surely those that have their hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, that is, the guilt of known sinne, will have a care to have their bodies washed with cleane water Heb. 10.22..

CHAP. XIII. The Eighth Prerogative Royal.

I Proceed now to the next Pri­viledge which is to come,8 viz. The bodies of the Saints shall be enamel'd with glory. In [Page 188] this life the body is infirme, Physi­cians have much ado to piece it up; it is like a Picture out of frame, or an house out of repaire, every storm of sicknesse it raines thorow. O ani­ma, [...]. quàm deforme hospitium nacta es! How doth the excellent soul oft lodge in a deform'd body? The bo­dy is like a piece of rotten wood, diseases like wormes breed there, feavers, plurisies, aches, &c. But this body shall be made glorious at the resurrection, it shall neither have diseases nor defects; Leah shall no more complain of her blear eyes, nor Barzillai of his lamenesse. There are five Properties of the glorified bodies.

1 1. They shall be agil and nim­ble: the bodies of the Saints on earth are heavy in their motion, and subject to wearinesse, but in Heaven there shal be no elementary gravity hindering, but our bodies being refined, shall be swift and facile in [Page 189] their motion, and made fit to ascend, as the body of Elias. In this life the body is a great hindrance to the soule in its operation, The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. The soul may bring its action against the body, when the soul would flie up to Christ, the body as a leaden lump keeps it down; 'tis vivum sepulchrum: but there is a time com­ing when it shall be otherwise; the bodies of the Saints shall be agil and lively, they shall be made fully subject to the soul, and so no way impede or hinder the soul in its mo­tion.

2. The bodies of the Saints shall 2 be transparent, full of clarity and brightnesse; as Christs body when it was transfigured, Matth. 17.2. our bodies shall have a divine lustre put upon them: here they are as iron when it is rusty, there they shall be as iron when it is filed and made bright: they shall shine, tanquam Sol [Page 190] in fulgore, saith Augustine, as the Sun in its splendour; nay, seven times brighter, saith Chrysostome: here our bodies are as the gold in the oar, drossy and impure; in heaven they shall be as gold when it spangles and glisters: so cleare shall they be, that the soule may sally out at every part, and sparkle through the body as the wine through the glasse.

3 3. They shall be amiable; beau­ty consists in two things. 1. Sym­metry and proportion, when all the parts are drawn out in their exact lineaments. 2. Complexion when there is a mixture and variety in the colours, white and sanguine: thus the bodies of the Saints shall have a transcendency of beauty, put up­on them. Here the body is call'd a vile body: Vile ortu, in its birth and production:Phil. 3.21 de limo terrae, of the dust of the earth: The earth is the most ignoble elementJob 30.8.. And vile [Page 191] officio, in the use that it is put to, the soul oft useth the body as a weapon to fight against God [...]. Rom. 6.13; but this vile body shall be en­nobled and beautified with glo­ry, it shall be made like Christs body Phil. 3.21..

How beautiful was Christs body upon earth, in it there was the Purple and the Lily, it was a mirrour beauty: Rivet. Genebrard For all deformities of body issue immediately from sinne, but Christ being conceived by the holy Ghost, and so refined and cla­rified from all lees and dregs of sin he must needs have a beautiful body, and in this sence he was fairer then the children of men Ps. 45▪ [...]. Christs body, as some Writers aver, was so fair by reason of the beauty and grace which did shine in it, that no limner could ever draw it exactly; and if it was so glorious a body on earth, how great is the [Page 192] lustre of it now in heaven? That light which shone upon Saint Paul surpassing the glory of the sunne Act. 26.13.; was no other then the beauty of Christs body in heaven; O then what beauty, and replendency will be put upon the bodies of the Saints! they shall be made like Christs glorious body.

4 4. The bodies of the Saints shall be impassible, free from suffering. We read that Iob's body was smit­ten with biles, and Paul did beare in his body the marks of the Lord Iesus, but ere long our bodies shall be impassible: not but that the bo­dy when it is glorified, shall have such a passion as is delightful (for the body is capable of joy) but no passion that is hurtful, as cold, or famine, it shall not be capable of any noxious impression.

5 5. They shall be immortall: here our bodies are still dying, quotidiè [Page 193] en im dempta est aliqua pars vitae, & cúm crescit vita, tum decrescit Sen.. It is improper to ask when we shall die, but rather when we shall make an end of dying: first the infancy dies, then the childhood, then youth, then old age, and then we make an end of dying: it is not only the run­ning out of the last sand in the glass that spends it, but all the sands that run out before. Death is a worm that is ever feeding at the root of our gourds: but in Heaven our mortal shall put on immortality. As it was with Adam in innocency, if he had not sinned, such was the excellent temperature and harmony in all the qualities of his body, that it is probable he had not died, but had been translated from Paradise to Heaven. Indeed, Bellarmine saith, that Adam had died though he had not sinned; but I know no ground for that assertion, for sinne is made the formal cause of death Rom. 5.12.: [Page 194] however there's no such thing dis­putable in Heaven, the bodies there are immortal, Luke 20.36. Neither can they die any more. Luk. 20.36. If God made Manna (which is in it selfe corruptible) to last many hundred years in the golden pot, much more is he able by a divine power, so to consolidate the bodies of the Saints, that they shall be preserved to eter­nity. Rev. 21.4. And there shall be no more death: our bodies shall run parallel with eternity.

CHAP. XIV. The Ninth Prerogative Royal.

9 THE next Priviledge, is; we shall be as the Angels in Heaven, Matth. 22.30. Christ doth not say, we shall be [Page 195] Angels, but [...] as the Angels. Qu. How is that? R. Not only that we shall not die; but, in regard of our manner of worship. The Angels fulfill the will of God.

  • 1. Swiftly.
  • 2. Perfectly.
  • 3. Chearfully.

1. Swiftly: When God sends the Angels upon a Commission, they do not hesitate or dispute the case with God, but presently obey▪ The Angels are set out by the Che­rubims, which had wings: this was not to represent their Persons (for spirits have no wings) but their Office▪ to shew how swift they are in their obedience; it is as if they had wings, Dan. 9.21. The man Gabriel (this was an Angel) was caused to flie swiftly: as soone as ever God speaks the word, the An­gels are ambitious to obey; now in Heaven we shall be as the An­gels.

[Page 196]This is a singular comfort to a weak Christian: alas, we are not as the Angels in this life; when God commands us upon service, to mourne for sinne, to take up the Crosse, O what a dispute is there? how long is it sometimes ere we can get leave of our hearts to go to prayer? Jesus Christ went more willingly to suffer, then we do often to pray: how hardly do we come off in duty? God had as good almost be without it. Oh, but (if this be our grief) be of good comfort, in Hea­ven we shall serve God swiftly, we shall be winged in our obedience, we shall be even as the Angels.

2. The Angels serve God per­fectly: they fulfill God's whole will: they leave nothing undone; when God commands them upon duty, they can shoot to an haires breadth. Alas, our services how lame and bedrid are they? we do things by halves; in stead of using [Page 197] the world as if we used it not, we pray as if we prayed not, we weep for sinne as if we wept not: how many blemishes are there in our ho­ly things? as the Moon when it shines brightest hath a dark spot in it: how many graines should we want, if Christ did not put his merits into the scales? our duties, like good wine, do relish of a bad cask: the Angels pouring sweet odours into the prayers of the Saints, Rev. 8.3. sheweth, that in themselves they yield no sweet savour, u [...]esse per­fum'd with Christs incense; but in Heaven we shall be [...] even as the Angels, we shall serve God perfectly: how should we long for that time!

3. The Angels serve God Chear­fully: 'tis their heaven to serve God: when they are singing halle­lujahs, they are ravished with holy delight: though being spirits they need no food, yet it is their meat [Page 198] and drink to serve God. As Adam in innocency, if he had stood though he was set to dresse the garden, and should have been imployed in ma­nufacture, yet this labour would have been without paine and travel, it would have been delightful to him. Thus the Angels serve God without lassitude and weariness The joy of the Lord is their strength. When we shall arive at Heaven, we shall in this sense be as the Angels, we shall serve God chearfully, we shall [...] and not be weary: what a blessed priviledge is this, we that now are accounted [...] 1 Cor. 4.13., as the off-scouring of men, shall be [...], as the An­gels!

CHAP. XV. The Tenth Prerogative Royal.

THE next Priviledge to come is the Vi [...]dication 10 of Names. Those which have a good Conscience, have not alwayes a good Name. The old Ser­pent spits his venome at the godly through the mouthes of wicked men: if Satan cannot strike his dart into our Consciences, he will put a dead flie into our Name. The peo­ple of God are represented to the world in a very sad manner; how strangely doth a Saint look when he is put in the devils dresse! as those Primitive Christians that were cloathed with Bears skins, and painted with red devils, Iob was represented to the world as an hy­pocrite, and by his friends too, which [Page 200] went near to him. Paul was called a seditious man; and he suffered in the opinion of some as an evil doer, 2 Tim. 2 9. Wherein I suffer trouble as an evill doer, even unto bonds: he did not onely bear Christs marks in his body, but in his Name. Our bles­sed Saviour was call'd a deceiver of the people. It hath ever been the man­ner of the wicked world, to paint Gods children in very strange co­lours. It is a great sinne to defame a Saint, it is murder; better take away his life then his Name; it is a sinne which we can never make him re­paration for; a flaw in a mans cre­dit being like a blot in a white pa­per, which will never out: The de­faming of a Saint is no lesse then the defaming of God himselfe; the Saints have Gods picture drawn in their hearts; a man cannot abuse the picture of Caesar, without some reflection upon Caesars person. Well, either God will cleare his peoples [Page 201] innocency here, which he hath pro­mised, Psal. 37.6. And he shall bring forth thy righteousnesse as the light: thy good Name may be in a cloud, but it shall not set in a cloud; or else at the day of judge­ment, then there shall be a Vindica­tion of Names.

In this life the godly are called the troublers of Israel, they are se­ditious, rebellious, what not? but a day is shortly coming when God himselfe will proclaime their inno­cency. Believe it, as God will make inquisition for blood, so for Names; The Name of a Saint is precious in Go [...]s esteem, it is like a statue of gold which the polluted breath of men cannot stain; and though the wicked may throw dust upon it, yet as God will wipe away tears from the eyes of his people, so he will wipe off the dust from their Name. The time is shortly coming when God will say to us, as once to Io­shua [Page 202] Josh. 5.9., I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you: Even as it was with Christ, the Iews rolled a great stone upon him, and as they thought, it was impossible he should rise againe; but an Angel came and rolled away the stone, and he arose in a glorious trium­phant manner: So it shall be with the godly, their good Name oft lies buried, a stone of obloquy and reproach is rolled upon them; but at the day of judgement, not an An­gel, but God himself will roll away the stone, and they shall come forth from among the pots, where they have been blacked and sullied, Ps. 68.13 as the wings of a dove covered with sil­ver, and her feathers with yellow gold. O what a blessed day will that be, when God himselfe shall be the Saints compurgator!

CHAP. XVI. The Eleventh Prerogative Roy­all.

THE next blessed Priviledge,11 is the sentence of Absolu­tion. Here take notice of two things:

1. The Processe in Law, Rev. 20.12. The books were opened: It is a 1 metaphor taken from the manner of our Courts of Judicature, where there is the whole Processe, every circumstance traversed, and the Witnesses examined: So here, the books are opened, the book of Gods Account, the book of Conscience: now observe another book was open­ed, which is the book of life; that is, the book of God's Decree, the book of Free-grace, the book that [Page 204] hath our Names written in it, and our Pardon; and the elect shall be judged out of this book: surely the sentence cannot be dismall, when our Husband is Judge, and will judge us by the book of life.

2 2. The Sentence it self, Matth. 25.34. Come ye blessed of my Father: 1 wich implies two things. 1. The Saints Acquittance: the Curse is taken off, they have their discharge in the Court of Justice and shall have the broad Seal of Heaven, Fa­ther, Son and holy Ghost, all setting their hands to the Pardon, and this Christ shalll proclaim. 2. It implies 2 the Saints Instalment. Come ye blessed. As if Christ should say; Ye are the heirs apparent to the Crown of Heaven, Heaven is your free­hold; come in ye blessed of the Lord, enter upon possession. And this sentence can never be reversed to eternity; but as Isaac said, I have blessed him, and he shall be blessed. At [Page 205] the hearing of this comfortable sen­tence, O with what ineffable joy will the Saints be filled! it will be Melodia in aure, Iubilum in corde. Bern. like musick in the ear, and a Jubily in the heart. Even as Elizabeth once said to the Virgin Mary, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy: so the heart of a believer will leap in him at the hearing of this blessed sentence, and be ready to leap out of him for joy. O what trembling now among the devils, what triumph among the Angels!

CHAP. XVII. The last Prerogative Royal.

THE last Priviledge to come is, God will make a pub­lick 12 and honourable men­tion [Page 206] of all the good which the Saints have done. This I ground upon three Scriptures, Matth. 25.21. Euge, bone serve, Well done, thou good and faithful servant. The world maligns and censures; when we dis­charge our conscience they say, ill done; but God will say, well done, thou good and faithful servant; he will set a trophy of honour upon his people, Matth. 25.35. I was an hungred, Mat. 25.35 and ye gave me meat; I was a thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and ye cloathed me, &c. King Ahashuerus had his book of Records, and when he did read in his book, he took no­tice of Mordecai's good service, and caused him to have publick honourEsth. 6. Ver. 1, 10.. Be assured, God hath his book of Re­cords, and will openly take notice of all the good service you have done, and he himselfe will be the Herald to proclaim your praises, 2 Cor. 4.5. Then shall every man have praise of God.

[Page 207]I speak this the rather, to encou­rage you in Gods service. Perhaps thou hast laid out thy selfe for the Cause of God, and thou seest Pro­vidence blows upon it, and thou be­ginnest to think, it was a desperate venture, all is lost. No: thy Faith and Zeal is recorded, thy Name is taken in Heaven, and God will shortly give thee a publick testimo­nial of honour, Well done, thou good and faithful servant. What a whet­stone is this to duty? how should it adde oyl to the flame of our devoti­on? thou perhaps hast prayed a great while, and watered this seed with thy teares; be of good com­fort, thy tears are not lost, God bot­tles them as precious wine, and it is not long before he will open his bottle, and this wine which came from the winepresse of thy eyes, shall sparkle forth in the sight of men and Angels. Nay, God will not only take notice of what we [Page 208] have done for him, but what we would have done. David had an in­tention to build God an house, and the Lord did interpret it as if he had done it, 1 King. 8.18. Whereas it was in thy heart to build an house unto my Name, thou didst well that it was in thine heart 1 King. 8.18.. Intentional goodness is recorded, and it shall adde to our Crown.

What a good God do we serve! who would ever change such a Ma­ster! it were, one would think, e­nough, that God should give us wa­ges for our work (especially seeing he gave us ability to work;) but that God should applaud us, Well done! Think how sweet it will be to heare such a word from God, how ama­zing and ravishing, when he shall say openly, These are the servants of the most high God, these are they that have feared an Oath, that have wept in secret for that which it was not in their power to reform; these [Page 209] are they that have kept their gar­ments pure, that have valued my fa­vour above life, that did rather choose to honour me then humour men: These are they that were willing to wash off the staines from the face of Religion with their blood, and to make my Crown flou­rish though it were in their ashes. Well done, good and faithful ser­vants, enter into the joy of your Lord. Thus shall it be done to them whom God delights to honour.

These are those glorious things which are to come: I have led you up to the top of the mount, and gi­ven you a prospect of Heaven, I have shewn it you at the little end of the Perspective; I shall say of this glory of heaven, as once the Queen of Sheba of Solomons pomp and magnificence 1 King. 10.7., The half of it hath not been told; the Angels here must be silent.

CHAP. XVIII. The first Inference drawn from the Proposition.

Use 1.IT shews us what an high valu­ation and esteeme we should set upon the godly.Informa. 1. Branch They are, we see, men greatly in favour with God, as the Angel once proclaim­ed to Daniel Dan. 9.23.. and they are in­vested with glorious Priviledges; they are of an heavenly descent, borne of the Spirit; and they are ve­ry [...], for they are Heires of the Kingdome Jam. 2.5.. God hath not onely laid out some parcels of land, or divided heaven to them, as Canaan was divided to Israel by lot Josh. 15. The Tribe of Iudah to inhabit in one Countrey, the Tribe of Reuben, a­nother, [Page 211] &c. God, I say, doth not parcel out heaven thus to the Saints, no; heaven is theirs with all its Perquisites, with all its Royalties. There are no enclosures or Land-marks in heaven: There can be no confinement, where every thing is infinite: Oh what an high value and estimate then should be put upon the Saints! they are heirs! How doth the world re­spect great heirs? What honour then should we give to the godly! [...]. They are adopted into all the stately priviledges of hea­ven! It is true, an heir in his young age may be kept short, but how rich is he when he is possessed of the inheritance? how rich shall the Saints be, when God shall poure out of his love, and shall empty all the treasures of glory into them! The Saints are jewels, but their worth and riches, is not known; there­fore they are trampled upon by [Page 212] the world. It doth not yet ap­peare what they shall be: all things are theirs.

CHAP. XIX. The second Inference drawn from the Proposition.

IT shews us a maine difference between the godly and the wicked;Inform. 2. Branch the godly man hath all his best things to come, the wicked man hath all his worst things to come: as their way is different, so their end; Thou in thy life-time receivedst thy good things Luk. 16.25.. The wicked have all their good things here; they have not only what heart can wish, but They have more then heart can wish Ps. 73.7.: their worst things are to come: Why, what is to come? the [Page 213] Apostle answers, 1 Thes. 1.10. wrath to come. And here I shall briefly shew you the wicked mans Charter: which consists in five things.

§. I.

1. The awakening of Conscience: this 1 is to come. Conscience is Gods de­puty in the soul, his viceroy; a wick­ed man doth what he can to un­throne conscience, and put it out of office. Conscience is Gods Echo, and sometimes it is so shrill and cla­mourous, that the sinner cannot en­dure the noise, but silenceth con­science, and at last by often sinning, conscience begins to be sleepy and seared; having their conscience seared with an hot iron, 1 Tim. 4.2. this conscience is quiet, but not good, Bernard. for the dumbnesse of con­science proceeds from the numb­nesse of it Idèo te plango quia te ipsum non pla [...]gis. Hierom.: It is with him as with a sick patient, who having a conflu­ence [Page 214] of diseases upon him, yet be­ing asleep, is insensible of the pain. The conscience of many a man, is like the body of Dionysius, so grosse and corpulent, that though they did thrust needles into his flesh, he felt no paine. Time was when conscience was tender, but by often sinning he is like the Ostrich, that can digest iron; or as it is said of Mithridates, that by often accu­stoming his body to poyson, it ne­ver hurt him, but he could live up­on it as his food. That sinne which was before as the wounding of the eye, now is no more then the cutting of the naile. Well, there is a time coming when this sleepy conscience shall be awakened. Belshazzar was drinking wine in bowls, but there came out fingers on the wall, and his countenance changed Dan. 5 5, there con­science began to be awakened. Conscience is like a looking-glasse, if it be foul and dusty, you can see [Page 215] nothing in it, but wipe away the dust, and you may see your face in it clearly: there's a time coming, when God will wipe off the dust from the glasse of a mans consci­ence, and he shall see his sins clearly represented. Conscience is like a Lion asleep, when he awakes he roars and tears his prey: when con­science awakes, then it roars upon a sinner, and tears him, as the devil did the man into which he entred; Mark 9.22. he [...]ent him, and threw him into the fire. When Moses rod was turned into a Serpent, he was afraid, and fled from it; oh what is it when conscience is turned into a Serpent? Conscience is like the Bee, if a man doth well, then consci­ence gives honey, it speaks comfort; if he do ill, it puts forth a sting: it is called a worm, Mark 9.44. Where the worm never dies. It is like Promethe­us's Vulture, it lies ever gnawing: it is Gods blood-hound that pursues a [Page 216] man. When the Jaylour Acts 16. saw the prison-doors open, and as he thought the prisoners were missing, he drew his sword and would have killed himselfe: when the eye of conscience is opened, and the sinner begins to look about him for his evidences, Faith, Repentance, &c. and sees they are missing, he will be ready to kill himselfe: a troubled conscience is the first-fruits of hell; and indeed it is a lesser hell. That it is so, appears two wayes.

1. By the suffrage of Scripture, 1 Prov. 18.14. A wounded spirit who can bear? a wound in the Name, in the estate, in the body, is sad; but a wound in the conscience, who can bear? especially when the wound can never be healed: for I speak of such as awake in the night of death.

2 2. By the experience both of good and bad. 1. By the experience of good men: when the storme hath ri­sen [Page 217] in their conscience (though af­terwards it hath been allayed) yet for the present they have been in the suburbs of hell. David com­plaines of his broken bones Psal. 51.8, he was like a man that had all his bones out of joynt. What is the matter? you may see wherein his pain lay, Psal. 51.3. My sin is ever before me; he was in a spiritual agony: it was not the sword threatned, it was not the death of the childe, but it was the roarings of his conscience, some of Gods arrows stuck fast there: though God will not damn his chil­dren, yet he may send them to hell in this life.

2. By the experience of bad men, who have been in the perpetual convulsions of conscience: I have sinned, saith Iudas: before he was nibling upon the silver bait, the thirty pieces; but now the hook troubles him, conscience wounds him: such was Iudas his horror, be­ing [Page 218] now like a man upon the rack, that he hangs himself to quiet his conscience. This shews what the hell of conscience is, that men account death easie to get rid of conscience, but in Nemo po­test à se­ipso recur­rere. Isid. vaine: it is with them as with a sick man, he removes out of one room into another, and chan­geth the aire, but still he carries his disease with him. Thou mayest think, O sinner, to laugh thy sinnes out of countenance; but what wilt thou do when conscience shall be­gin to flie upon thee, and shall ex­amine thee with scourgings Act. 22.24.? it is a mercy when conscience is awaken­ed in time, but the misery is when the wound is too late, there being then no balm in Gilead.

§. II.

2 The second thing to come, His appearing before the Judge; 2 Cor. 5.10. For we must all appear before the judge­ment-seat [Page 219] of Christ: Hierome thought he ever heard that sounding in his ears, Surgite mortui, Arise ye dead, & come to judgement. What solem­nity is there at an Assizes, when the Judge comes to the Bench, and the Trumpets are sounded? Thus Christ the Judge shall be accompanied with Angels and Archangels, and the Trumpets shall be blown, 1 Thes. 4.16. For the Lord himselfe shall de­scend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the Trump of God. This is the great and general Assizes. Then shall Christ sit down upon the Throne of Judicature, holding his sword in his hand, and a flame coming out of his mouth 2 Thes. 1.7.. Now the sinner be­ing summoned before him as a pri­soner at bar, he hath his guilt writ­ten in his forehead, he is [...], condemned before he comes, I mean in his conscience, which is the consistory or petty Sessions: and [Page 220] appearing before Christ, he begins to tremble and be amazed with horrour; and not being covered with Christs righteousnesse, for want of a better covering, he cries to the mountains to cover him: Rev. 6.26 And the Kings and the great men said to the mountains and rocks, fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. Nothing so dreadfull as the sight of mercy abu­sed. Now the Lamb will be turned into a Lion; and he who was once a Saviour, will be a Judge.

§. III.

The third thing to come, is, His 3 Charge reade: I will reprove thee, and set thy sinnes in order before thee, Psal. 50.21. As God hath a bottle for tears, so he hath a book to regi­ster mens sins, Rev. 20.12. Rev. 20.12. The books were opened. Oh what a black [Page 221] charge will be read against a sin­ner; not only the sins which have damnation written in their fore­head, as drunkenness, swearing, blas­phemy, shall be brought into the charge, but those sinnes which he slighted; As

1. Secret sinnes, such as the world never took notice of: many a man 1 doth not forsake his sins, but grows more cunning: with the Vintner, he pulls down the bush, but his heart gives as much vent to sinne as ever; his care is rather that sinne should be covered then cured: Not unlike to him that shuts up his shop-windows, but follows his trade within doors▪ he sits brooding up­on sinne; he doth with his sins as Rachel did with her fathers Idols, she put them under her that he might not finde them; so doth he put his sins in a secret place Deut. 27.15.: all these sinnes shall be set in order before him: Luk. 12.2. For there is nothing co­vered [Page 222] that shall not be revealed: God hath a key for the heart Jer. 17.10..

2 2. Little sinnes, as the world calls them; Though I know no such thing as little Treason; the Majesty against which it is committed, doth accent and inhance the sinne. Be­sides, little sins (suppose them so) yet multiplied, become great. What is lesser then a grain of sand, yet when multiplied, what is heavier then the sands of the sea? a little summe multiplied is great; a little sinne unrepented of will damne; as one leak in the Ship, if it be not lookt to, will drown Navis si unam ha­buerit t [...] ­bulam pe [...] ­foratam, mergitur fluctibus. Aug.. You would think it is no great matter to forget God, yet, Psal. 50.22. it hath a hea­vy doom. The non-improvement of Talents, the world looks upon as a small thing; yet we read of him that hid his Talent in the earth, Mat. 25.25. he had not spent it, only not trading it, is sentenced.

3 3. Sinnes that in the eye of the [Page 223] world were looked upon as graces; sinnes that were coloured and mas­qued over with [...] for God and good intentions, &c. men put fine glosses upon their sinnes, that they may obtain credit, and be the more vendible. It is said of Alcibiades, that he embroidered a curtaine with Lions and Eagles, that he might hide the picture under, full of Owls and Satyres. Plutarch. So doth Satan em­broider the curtain with the image of Vertue, that he may hide the foul picture of sinne under. The devil is like the Spider, first she weaves her web and then hangs the flie in it: so he helps men to weave the web of sinne with religious pretences, and then he hangs them in the snare; all these sinnes shall be read in the sin­ners charge, and set in order before him.

§. IV.

4. The next thing is, The passing [Page 224] of the Sentence, Matth. 25.41. Ite maledicti, Depart from me, ye cursed. At the hear [...] of this sentence, the heart of a sinner will be rent thorow with horror; that heart which be­fore would not break with sorrow for sin shall now break with de­spair. At the pronouncing of this dreadful sentence, depart from me, the sinner would be glad if he could de­part from himself, & be annihilated; O it will be a sad departing! We use to say, when a man is dead, he is departed; but this will be a depart­ing without a deceasing. As soon as Christ hath pronounced the curse, the sinner will begin to curse him­selfe. Oh what have I been doing! I have layn in wait for my own blood Prov. 1.18., I have twisted the cord of my own damnation. While he lived, he bles­sed himselfe; oh how happy am I, how doth providence smile upon me! Psal. 49.18. Though whiles he lived he blessed his soul, yet when this [Page 225] sentence is passed, he is the first that will curse himself.

§. V.

5. The pouring out of the Vi­al, Psalm. 75.8. For in the hand 5 of the Lord there is a cup, and the wine is red, it is full of mixture, and he poureth out of the same. This is the sad execution: hell is set out by Tophet, Isa. 30.33. which was a place situated neare Hierusalem Calvin., where they offered their children in the fire to Moloch. A Metaphor to figure out the infinite torments of hell: the sinner shall lie in the fur­nace of Gods wrath, and the breath of the Lord, as a pair of bellows, shall blow the fire. Hell is said to be prepared, as if God had been sit­ting down to study and devise some exquisite torment: Hell is set out in one place by fire Mat. 18.8, and in another place by darknesse Mat. 12.13.; to shew that hell is a fire without light: the hy­pocrite [Page 226] while he lived, was all light, no fire, and in hell he shall be all fire, no light; nothing there to give comfort, no musick but the shriekes of the damned; no wine but what is burnt with the flame of God's wrath: There shall be weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth. The weeping hypocrite shall go to the place of weeping: while he lived, he lifted up his eyes in a false devo­tion, and now being in hell he shall lift up his eyes Luk. 16.. He that gnashed his teeth at the godly, shall now have gnashing enough; before he gnash­ed in envy, now in despair; and this for ever. He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire, the word unquenchable scorcheth hotter then the fire.Mat. 3.12 The fire of hell is like that stone in Arcadia I have read of, which being once kindled, could not be extinguished. Eternity is the hell of hell; the losse of the soul is irrepa­rable; if all the Angels in Heaven [Page 227] should go to make a Purse, they could not make up this losse. Si rur­sum corruerit anima, unde reparabi­tur? num potest alter Christus, aut idem iterum crucifigi Bern.? When a sin­ner is in hell, shall another Christ be found to die for him, or will the same Christ be crucified again? oh no: they are everlasting burnings. Isa. 33.14. Thus the sinner hath all his worst things to come: but a believer hath all his best things to come, the things which eye hath not seen, nor eare heard, viz the beatificall vision, the cry­stall streams of joy that run at Gods right hand: his Heaven is to come.

CHAP. XX. A serious Scrutiny about the Be­lievers Charter.

I Hear, me thinks, a Christian say▪ Use 2. Tryal. Great are the Priviledges of a Beleever, but I fear I have no [Page 228] title to this glorious Charter: All depends upon an interest. Were there a dispute about our Estate, whether such an Inheritance did belong to us, we would desire that there should be a triall in Law to decide it. Here is a large Inheri­tance, things present, and things to come; but the question is, whether we are the true Heirs to whom it belongs? now for the deciding this, we must seriously examine what right we have to Christ; for all this Estate is made over to us through Christ: so we finde it in the text; All things are yours, and ye are Christs: There comes in the Title. Jesus Christ is the great Magazine and store-house of a Christian, he hath purchased Heaven in his blood; now if we can say, we are Christs, then we may say, All things are ours.

Quest. But how shall we know that we are Christs?Quest.

[Page 229] Answ. Those that are Christs,Answ. Christ is in them, 2 Cor. 13.5. Know ye not that Christ is in you?

Quest. Quest. But how shall we know that?

Answ. If we are in the faith;Answ. It is observable, before the Apo­stle had said, Know you not that Christ is in you, first he puts this query Examine whether ye are in the faith? Christ is in you, if you are in the faith: Here lies the question, Have you faith? Now for the deciding this, I shall do two things: shew you first the essentials of faith, then the consequentials. 1. The essenti­als 1 of faith. Faith ere it be wrought must have some preparatories: there must be some legall bruisings in the soul, some sense of unworthinesse. Now to this blessed Grace of Faith, there are three things especi­ally requisite.

§. I. Shewing that Knowledge is requi­site to faith.

The first is Knowledge. Faith is an 1 intelligent grace; though there may be knowledge without faith, yet there can be no faith without know­ledge: They that know thy Name will put their trust in thee, Psal. 9.10. Philo calls it, fides oculata, quick-sighted faith. Knowledge must carry the Torch before faith: 2 Tim. 1.12. For I know whom I have believed. As faith without works is dead, so faith without knowledge is blind. De­vout ignorance damnes: which con­demns the Church of Rome, that think it a piece of their religion to be kept in ignorance; these set up an Altar to an unknown God: they say, Ignorance is the mother of devotion; but sure, where the Sun is set in the understanding, there must needs be [Page 231] night in the affections. So necessary is knowledge to the being of faith, that the Scripture doth sometimes baptize faith with the Name of knowledge; Isa. 53.11. By his know­ledge shall my righteous servant justi­fie many; knowledge is put there for faith. Now this knowledge of Christ which goes before faith, or rather is the embrio and first matter of which faith is formed, consists in four things: The soul through this optick glasse of knowledge, sees

1. A preciousnesse in Christ, he is 1 the chief of ten thousand, the pearl of price. Christ was never poor but when he had on our rags: there is nothing in Christ but what is pre­cious; he is precious in his Name, in his Nature, in his Influences; he is called a precious stone Isa. 28.16; he must needs be a precious stone, who hath made us living stones.

2. A fulnesse in Christ; the fulness 2 of the Godhead, Col. 2.9. all fulnesse, [Page 232] Col. 1.19. a fulnesse of merit; his blood able to satisfie his Fathers wrath: a fullnesse of Spirit; his grace able to supply our wants; by the one he doth absolve us, by the other he doth adorn us.

3 3. A suitablenesse in Christ; that which is good, if it be not adae­quatum, suitable, it is not sa­tisfactory: If a man be hungry, bring him fine flowers, this is not suitable, he desires food: if he be sick, bring him musick, this is not suitable, he desires Physick: in this sense there is a suitablenesse in Christ to the soule; he is quicquid appetibile, as Origen speaks, whatever we can desire. If we hunger and thirst, he is pabulum animae, the food of the soul; therefore he is called the bread of life. If we are sick unto death, his blood is a sacred balm: he may be compared to the trees of the Sanctuary Ezek. 47 12., which were both for meat, and for medicine.

[Page 233]4. A Propensenesse and readinesse in 4 Christ to give out his fulnesse: Isa. 55.1. Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no mony, buy and not, &c. Behold here, at what a low price doth God set his heavenly blessings! it is but thirsting, bring but desires. Be­hold the Propensenesse in Christ to [...]spense and give out his fulnesse: buy without money; a strange kind of buying! there's bounty in Christ as well as beauty. As he is all ful­nesse, so he is all sweetnesse, of a noble and generous disposition; he doth not only invite us, but charge us upon pain of death to come in and believe: he threatens us if we will not lay hold of mercy: he waits to be gracious Isa. 30.18: This is the lenoci­nium, and enticer of the affections: this draws the eyes and heart of a sinner after him: what are the bles­sed Promises but Christs golden Scepter held forth? what are the [Page 234] motions of the Spirit, but Jesus Christ coming a wooing? and such a knowledge and sight of Christ is necessary to usher in faith: now the soul begins to move towards him; he sees all this variety of excellency in Christ, and withall sees a possi­bility, nay, a probability of mercy: there is nothing that hinders him, God doth not exclude him unlesse he exclude himself: Then he thinks thus, What is it keeps me off from Christ? is it my unworthinesse? behold, there is merit in Christ: is it my wants? there is enough in the fountain, and Jesus Christ doth not expect that I should carry any thing to him, but rather that I should bring something from him: he doth not expect that I should carry water to the well, only an empty vessel: why then should not this fulnesse in Christ be for me as well as others? While he is thus parlying with him­self, the Spirit works a kind of per­swasion, [Page 235] that Christ is willing that he in particular should taste of this mercy; then follows the second act which faith puts forth, and that is consent; Well, I will have Christ whatever it cost me.

§. II. That Consent is requisite to faith.

Though Knowledge be a necessary antecedent to Faith, yet it is not 2 enough, there must be secondly Consent: Faith is seated as well in the heart and will, as in the under­standing: as well in the affection, as in the apprehension. With the heart man believes Rom. 10 10.. Scepticks in religi­on, may have a faith in the head, but not in the heart; they are more Notion, then Motion: the soul con­sents to have Christ, and to have him upon his own terms.

1. As an Head; the head hath a 1 double office: it is the fountaine of [Page 236] spirits, and the seat of government: the head is as it were the Pilot of the body, it rules and steers it in its mo­tion. The believer consents to have Christ not only as an Head to send forth spirits, that is comfort; but as an head to rule: A sinner would take Christs Promises, but not his Laws: he would be under Christs benediction, but not under his juris­diction. A believer consents to have whole Christ; non eligit objectum, he doth not pick and choose; but as he expects to sit down with Christ upon the throne, so he makes his heart Christs Throne.

2 2. The believer consents to have Christ for better for worse, a naked Christ, a persecuted Christ: faith sees a beauty and glory in the re­proaches of Christ 1 Pet. 4.14., and will have Christ not only in purple but when with Iohn Baptist he is cloathed in Camels haire. Faith can embrace the fire, if Christ be in it. Faith looks [Page 237] upon the Crosse as Iacobs ladder, to carry him up to Heaven: Faith saith, Blessed be that affliction, welcome that Crosse which carries Christ upon it.

3. The Believer consents to have Christ purely for love; if the 3 wife should give her consent only for her husbands riches, she should marry his estate rather then his per­son; Seneca. non est amicitia, sed mercatura; it were not properly to make a mar­riage with him, but rather to make a merchandise of him: the believer consents for love, August. amat Christum propter Christum, he loves Christ for Christ: Heaven without Christ is not a sufficient dowry for a belie­ver: there's nothing adulterate in his consent, it is not sinister; there's nothing forced, it is not for feare; that were rather constraint then con­sent: a consent forced will not hold in Law, it is voluntary. The beauty of Christs person, and the sweetness [Page 238] of his disposition, draws the will, which as the Primum mobile or ma­ster-wheel, carries the whole soul with it.

4 4. The believer consents to have Christ pro termino interminabili, never to part more; he desires an uninterrupted communion with him, he will part with life, but not with Christ: indeed, death when it slips the knot between the soul and the body, it ties it faster between the soul and Christ.

5 5. The Believer doth so consent to have Christ as he makes a deed of gift Amor non nisi donum amantis. Guil. Paris., resigning up all the inte­rest in himself to Christ; he is wil­ling to lose his own Name, and sir­name himselfe by the Name of Christ: to lose his own will, and be wholly at Christs dispose: Ye are not your own 1 Cor. 6.19.; he resigns up his love to Christ. In this sense the Spouse is said to be a spring Cant. 4.12. shut up. She hath love for Relations, but [Page 239] the best of her love is kept for Christ: The world hath the Milke of her love, but Christ hath the Cream of it: the choisest and pu­rest of her love is a Spring shut up, it is broached onely for Christ to drink. This is the second Act of faith.

§. III. Opening the nature of Recumbency.

The third thing is Recumbency. The soul having given its consent that the match should be made up, and done it out of choice, now it casts it selfe upon Christ as a man that casts himselfe upon the stream to swim, it makes an holy adventure, it clasps about Christ, and saith, My Lord, my Jesus, which is as it were the joyning of hands. This Act of Recumbency is sometimes in Scripture call'd a com­ing to Christ Joh. 6, 37, sometimes a leaning [Page 240] upon Christ Cant. 8.5. This is that faith which justifies.

Now concerning this faith, I shall lay down two Rules. 1. That faith justifies not as a formal cause, but purely as an instrument, viz. as it lays hold on Christ the blessed object, and fetcheth in his fulnesse: and in this sense it is call'd a precious faith 2 Pet. 1.1: the worth lies not in faith, but in Christ, on which it doth centre and terminate; Faith in it selfe considered, is not more excellent than other graces. Take a piece of Wax, and a piece of Gold, of the same Magnitude, the Wax is not valuable with the Gold; but as this Wax hangs at the lavell of some Will, by vertue of which a great Estate is confirmed, and con­veighed, so it may be worth many hundred pounds. So faith consider­ed purely in it self, doth challenge nothing more than other graces, nay, in some sense, it is inferiour, it [Page 241] being an empty hand: But as this hand receives the precious Almes of Christs Merits, and is an instru­ment or channell thorow which the blessed streams of life flow to us from him; so it doth challenge a superiority above other graces.

Indeed, some affirme, that the [...], the very Act of believing, without reference to the Merits of Christ, justifies. To which I shall say but this; 1. Faith cannot justi­fie as it is an Act, for it must have 1 an object: we cannot (if we make good sense) separate between the Act and the Object. What is faith, if it do not fix upon Christ, but fancy? It was not the people of Is­raels looking up that cured them, but the fixing their eye upon the Brazen Serpent. 2. Faith doth not justifie as it is a Grace. This were to 2 substitute faith in Christs roome, it were to make a Christ of Faith. Faith is a good Grace, but a bad [Page 242] 3 Christ. 3. Not as a Work: which must needs be, if (as some affirme) it be in lieu of obedience to the Moral Law. Then we should be justified by Works, contrary to that, Ephes. 2.9. where the Apostle speaks expresly, Not of works. So that it is clear, faith's excellency lies in the apprehending and applying the object Christ: therefore in Scripture we are said to be justified, [...], through faith as an Instrument deputed Eph. 2.8.; not [...], for faith as a for­mall cause.

The second Rule is, that Faith 2 doth not justifie, as it doth exercise grace. It cannot be denied but faith hath an influence upon the graces; it is like a silver thred that runnes thorow a Chain of Pearl: it puts strength and vivacity into all the vertues; but it doth not justifie un­der this Notion. Faith begets obe­dience: By faith Heb. 11. Abraham obey­ed: But Abraham was not justi­fied [Page 243] as he obeyed, but as he belee­ved Rom. 4.3. Faith works by love, but it doth not justifie as it works by love. For as the Sun shines by its brightnesse, not by its heat; though both are inseparably joyned: so faith and love are tyed together by an indissoluble knot, yet faith doth not justifie as it works by love, but as it layes hold on Christ. Though faith be accompanied with all the graces, yet in point of justifi­cation, it is alone and hath nothing to do with any of the graces. Hence that speech of Luther; in the justification of a sinner, Christ and faith are alone, Tanquam sponsus & spomsa in thalamo; As the Bride­groom and Bride in the Bed-cham­ber. Faith is never separated from the graces, yet sometimes it is alone. And thus I have shewn you the Es­sentials of faith.

§. IV. Shewing what are the fruits and products of faith.

2 I proceede to the Consequentials of faith. There are many rare and supernatural fruits of faith.

1. Faith is an heart-quickning 1 grace, it is the vitall Artery of the soul: The just shall live by his faith, Hab. 2.4. When we begin to believe we begin to live. Faith grafts the soule into Christ, as the cion in­to the stock, and fetcheth all its sap and juyce from that blessed Vine. Faith is the great quickner; it quickens our graces, and our du­ties.

1. Faith quickens our graces; 1 the Spirit of God infuseth all the seeds and habits, but faith is the fountain of all the acts of grace; it is as the Spring in the Watch that moves the Wheels: not a grace [Page 245] stirs till faith set it a work. How doth love work? By faith! When I apprehend Christs love, this doth pullize and draw up my love to him again. How doth humility work? By faith! Faith humbles the soul; it hath a double aspect, it looks up­on sin, and a sight of sin humbles: it looks upon Free-grace, and a sight of mercy humbles. How doth patience work? By faith Jam. 1.3.! If I believe God is a wise God, who knowes what is best for me, and can deliver not onely from afflicti­on, but by affliction: This spins out patience. Thus faith is not only vi­va, but vivifica: it puts forth a di­vine Energy and operation into all the graces.

2. Faith animates and quickens 2 our duties. What was the blood of Bulls and Goats to take away sin Heb. 10.4? It was their faith in the Messiah, that made their dead Sacrifices be­come living Services. What are [Page 246] Ordinances, but a dumb shew, with­out the breathings of faith in them? therefore in Scripture it is called, the prayer of faith Jam. 5.7., the hearing of faith Heb. 4.2., and the obedience of faith Rom. 16.26., dead things have no beauty in them, it is faith that quickens and beauti­fies.

2 2. Faith is an heart-purifying grace: Having purified their hearts by faith, Acts 15.9. Faith is a Virgin-grace, of a pure and heaven­ly nature. Faith is in the soule as lightning in the Air, which pur­geth; as fire in the Metals, which refines; as Physick in the Body, which works out the disease. Faith works out pride, self-love, hypo­crisie: it consecrates the heart: That which was before the Devils Thorow-fare, is now made Gods Enclosure, 1 Tim. 3.9. Holding the mystery of faith in a pure conscience. Faith is an heavenly plant, which will not grow in an impure soile. [Page 247] Faith doth not only justifie, but sanctifie: as it hath one work in heaven, so it hath another work in the heart: He that before was un­der the power of some hereditary corruption, as soone as faith is wrought there is a sacred vertue coming from Christ for the ener­vating, and weakening that sin: the waters are abated. The woman that did but touch the hemme of Christs Garment felt vertue coming out of him Mark. 5.27.. The touch of faith hath an healing power: Faith casts the Devil out of the Castle of the heart, though still he keeps the Out-works. Satan hath a party in a Beleever, but there's a Duel fought every day: and faith will never give over, till, as a Prince, it prevails. This is the faith of Gods Elect Tit. 1.1.. Thou that say'st thou be­lievest, hath thy faith removed the Mountain of sin, and cast it into the Sea? What, a beleever, and a drunk­ard! a beleever, and a swearer! a [Page 248] beleever, and an Apostate! for shame, either leave thy sins, or leave thy profession: Faith and the love of sin can no more stand together, then two contraries in the same part of the Subject gradu intensivo; as light and darknesse;

Faith is an heart-pacifying grace; 3 Peace is the daughter of faith, Rom. 5.1. Being justified by faith, we have peace with God, Faith is the Dove that brings an Olive-branch of peace in its mouth; Faith presents God reconciled, and that gives peace. What is it makes Hea­ven, but the smile of God? Faith puts the soul into Christ, and there's peace; Iohn 16. ult. That in me ye may have peace. When the Conscience is in a Fever, and burns as hell, faith opens the Orifice in Christs sides, and sucks in his blood, which hath a cooling and pacifying vertue in it. Faith gives us peace in 1 Trouble, nay, out of Trouble. 1. It [Page 249] gives Peace in Trouble: Faith is an heart-pacifying, because an heart-securing grace. When Noah was in the Ark, he did not fear the De­luge: he could sing in the Ark. Faith shuts a beleever into the Ark Christ: Lead me to the Rock which is higher than I, was Davids prayer Ps. 61.1.. Faith plants the soul upon this Rock. The West-Indians built their Palaces upon the tops of hills: in the Flood the waters covered the hills; but a beleever is built higher: Isa. 33.16. His place of defence shall be the munition of Rocks: but a man may starve upon a Rock; there­fore it follows, Bread shall be given him, &c. Faith builds a Christian upon the power, wisdome, faith­fulnesse of God: This is the muni­tion of Rocks: and it feeds him with the hidden Manna of Gods love: here is bread given him. The way to be safe in evil times, is to get faith; this ushers in peace, and it is such a [Page 250] peace as doth garrison the heart, Phil. 4.7. The peace of God shall keep your heart, [...]: It shall keep it as in a Tower or Garrison. 2. Faith 2 gathers peace out of trouble: joy out of sorrow Joh. 16.20, glory out of re­proach 1 Pet. 4.14.. This is the key to Samsons Riddle, Out of the eater came meat; this explaines that Paradox, Mat. 7.16 Can a man gather Grapes of Thorns, or Figs of Thistles? Yes, of Trials and Persecutions faith gathers joy and peace: here are Figs of Thistles. How were the Martyrs ravished in the Flames? The Apostles were whipt in prison, but it was with Sweet Briar. O how sweet is that peace which faith Breeds? it is a Plant of the Heavenly Paradise; it is a Christians Festival; it is his Musick: it is [...], as Chry­sostome speaks, the anticipation of Heaven.

4 4. Faith is an heart-strengthen­ing grace: a beleever is heart of [Page 251] oke, he is strong to resist tentations, to bear afflictions, to foil Cor­ruptions; he gives check to them, though not full mate. An unbelie­ver is like Reuben, unstable as wa­ter, he shall not excell. A state of infidelity, is a state of impotency. A Beleever is as Ioseph, who though the Archers shot at him, his bowe abode in strength. If a Chri­stian be to do any thing, he con­sults with faith; this is the sinew, which if it be cut, all his strength goes from him. When he is call'd out to suffering, he harnesseth him­self with Faith, he puts on this coat of maile; Faith layes in suffer­ing strength, furnisheth the soul with suffering Promises, musters to­gether suffering graces, propounds suffering rewards.

But how comes Faith to be so strong? Answ. 1. Because it is a 1 piece of Gods Armour; it is a shield he puts into our hand: Eph. 6.16. [Page 252] Above all, taking the shield of Faith: a shield will serve for a brest-plate, a sword, if need be, an helmet; it de­fends the head, it guards the vitals; 2 such a shield is Faith. 2. Faith brings the strength of Christ into the soul; Phil. 4.13. I can do all things, [...], through Christ that strengthens me. The strength of faith lies out of it self, it grafts upon another stock. When it would have wisdome, it consults with Christ, whose Name is wonderful, Counsellour; when it would have strength, it goes to Christ, who is call'd the Lion of the Tribe of Iudah. Christ is a Christians Armo­ry, Faith is the key that unlocks it. Faith hangs upon the lock of Christ, all its strength lyes here; cut it off from this lock, and it is weaker then any other grace. Christ may be compared to that tower of David Cant. 4.4, on which there hang a thou­sand bucklers, all shields of mighty [Page 253] men. The faith of all the Elect, these shields hang upon Christ. Faith is an Heroicall grace; the Crown of Martyrdom is set upon the head of faith. By faith they quenched the violence of the fire Heb. 11.34.; the fire over­came their bodies, but their faith overcamr the flame.

5. Faith is a life-fructifying 5 grace, it is fruitfull. Iulian upbraid­ing the Christians, said, that their Motto was Only beleeve; and the Papists call us solifidians: Indeed, when faith is alone, and views all the rare beauties in Christ, then faith sets a low value and esteem upon works: but when faith goes abroad in the world, good works are the handmaids that wait on this Queen. Though we place faith in the high­est Orb in matter of Justification, yet good works are in conjunction with it in matter of Sanctification. 'Tis no wrong to good works to give faith the upper hand, which [Page 254] goes hand in hand with Christ. Good works are not separated from faith, only faith challengeth its seni­ority. Faith believes as if it did not work, and it works as if it did not believe. Faith hath Rachels eye, and Leahs womb:Rom. 7.4. Rom. 7.4. That ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that ye should bring forth fruit unto God. Faith is that Spouse-like grace which marries Christ, and good works are the children which faith bears.

Thus having briefly shewn you the Nature of Faith, I now come to the reflexive Act: Have you faith or no? And here let me turne 1 my self, first to Unbelievers, such as cannot find that they have this uni­ting, this espousing grace; what shall I say to you? Go home and mourn; think with your selves, what if you should die this night? what if God should send you a Let­ter [Page 255] of summons to surrender, what would become of you? you want that grace which should intitle you to Christ and Heaven: oh, I say, mourn: yet mourn not as them without hope, for in the use of means you may recover a Title. I know it is otherwise in our Law-Courts; if a Title to an Estate be once lost, it can never be recovered: but it is otherwise here; though thou hast no Title to Christ to day, yet thou may'st recover a Title: thou hast not sin'd away the hope of a Title, unless thou hast sinn'd away the sense of sinning. To such as are resolv'd to go on in sinne, I haue not a word to say, they are upon the spur to go to hell: but to you that have been prodigall sonnes, but are now taking up serious resolutions to give a bill of divorce to your sins; let me encourage you to come to Christ, and to throw your selves upon his blood; for yet a Title to Heaven is recoverable.

[Page 256] Object. 1. Object. 1. But saith the sinner, Is there hope of mercy for me? sure this is too good news to be true: I would believe, and repent, but I am a great sinner. Ans. And who else doth Christ come to save 1 Tim. 1.15.? whom doth God justifie but the un­godly Rom. 4.5? did Christ take our flesh on him, and not our sins?

2 2. But my sins are of no ordina­ry die?

Answ. And is not Christs blood of a deeper purple then thy sins? is there not more vertue in the one, then there can be venom in the o­ther? what if the devil doth mag­nifie thy sins, canst not thou mag­nifie thy Physician? cannot God drown one sea in another, thy sinnes in the Ocean of his mercy?

3. But my sins are of a long 3 standing?

Answ. As if Christs blood were only for new and fresh wounds? We read that Christ raised not only [Page 257] the daughter of Iairus, which was newly* dead, and the widows sonne which was carried forth to burying; but Lazarus, that had layn four dayes in the grave, and began to putrefie: and hath Christ lesse vertue now in Heaven then he had upon earth? if thine be an old wound, yet the me­dicine of Christs blood applied by faith, is able to heale it: therefote sink not in these quick-sands of despair. Iudas his despair, was worse in some sense then his Treason. I would not encourage any to go on in sinne, (God forbid,) 'tis sad to have old age and old sins. It is hard to pull up an old tree that is rooted, it is easier to cut it downe for the fire; but let not such despair: God can give an old sinner a new heart, he can make springs in the desart Isa. 30.19: Have not others been set forth as paterns of mercy, who have come in at the twelfth houre? Therefore break off the league with sinne, [Page 258] throw thy self into Christs arms say, Lord Jesus, thou hast said, Joh. 6.37 Those which come to thee, thou wilt in no case cast out

2 2. Let me turne my self to the people of God, such as upon a seri­ous scrutiny with their own hearts, have ground to beleeve that they have faith, and being in the faith are ingrafted into Christ: read over your Charter, All things are yours: things present, and to come: You are the heirs on which God hath setled all these glorious priviledges Give wine, saith Solomon, to them that are of heavy hearts Prov. 31.6.. But while I am going to pour in this wine of consolation, me thinks, I hear the Christian sadly disputing against himself, that he hath no right to this Charter.

CHAP. XXI. The Beleevers Objections an­swered.

THere are three great Ob­jections which he makes: Object. 1. Alas, saith he,Object. 1. I cannot tell whether I have faith or no?

Answ. Hast thou no faith?Answ. how didst thou come to see it? a blind man cannot see: thou canst not see the want of grace, but by the light of grace. Quest. But sure,Quest. if I had faith I should discern it? Ans. 1.Answ. 1. Thou mayest have faith, and not know it: a man may seek for that sometimes which he hath in his hand. Mary was with Christ, she saw him, she spake with him, yet her eyes were held that she did not know it was Christ: the child lives in the womb, yet doth not know that it lives. [Page 260] 2. Faith oft lies hid in the heart, and we see it not for want of search; the fire lies hid in the embers, but blow aside the ashes, and it is dis­cernable: Faith may be hid under fears, temptations; but blow away the ashes. Thou prizest faith; hadst thou a thousand Jewels lying by, thou would'st part with all for this Jewel: no man can prize grace but he that hath it. Thou desirest faith, the true desire of faith is faith. Thou mournest for want of faith; dispute not, but beleeve; what are these tears but the seeds of faith?

Object. 2. Object. 2. But my faith is weak, the hand of it so trembles, that I fear it will hardly lay hold upon Christ?

Answ. Answ. There are seven things which I shall say in reply to this. 1 1. A little faith is faith; as a sparkle of fire is fire: though the pearl of faith be little, if it be a true pearl, it shines in Gods eyes. This little [Page 261] grace is the seed of God 1 Joh. 3.9, and it shall never die, but live as a sparkle in the main sea. 2 A weak faith 2 will entitle us to Christ as well as a stronger. To them that have obtained like precious faith, 2 Pet. 1.1 not but that there are degrees of faith; as faith purifies, so all faith is not alike one is more then another; but as faith justifies, saith is alike precious; the weakest faith justifies as well as the faith of the most eminent Saint; a weak hand will receive the almes: for a man to doubt of his grace be­cause it is weak, is rather to rely up­on grace, then upon Christ. 3. The Promise is not made to strong faith,3 but to true. The Promise doth not say, Who ever hath a faith that can remove mountains, that can stop the mouth of Lions, shall be saved; but whoever believes, be his faith ne­ver so small, the Promise is made to true faith, and for the most part to weak. What is a grain of mu­stard-seed, [Page 262] what is a bruised reed, but the emblem of a weak faith? yet the Promise is made to these: A bruised reed he will not break Mat. 12.20.. The words are a miosis, where the lesser is put for the greater: He will not break. that is, hee will bind up: Though Christ chides a weak faith, yet that it may not be discouraged, he makes a Promise to it. Hierom observes upon the Beatitudes, there are many of the Promises made to weak grace: Matth. 5.3 Blessed are the poor in spirit; Blessed are they that mourn, ver. 4. Blessed are they that hunger, ver. 5.

4 4. A weak faith may be fruitfull; weakest things do multiply most. The Vine is a weak tree, it is born up and underpropt, but it is fruitfull; it is made in Scripture the Emblem of fruitfulnesse Psal. 128.. The Thiefe on the Crosse, when he was newly conver­ted, he had but a weak faith; but how many precious clusters grew upon [Page 263] that vine! Luk. 23.40. he chides his fellow-thief; Dost thou not fear God? Luk. 23.40. Verse 41. he falls to self-judging, we indeed suffer justly: he believes in Christ when he said, Lord: he makes an heavenly prayer, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdome: here was a young plant, but very fruitful. Weak Chri­stians oft are more fruitful in affecti­ons; how strong is the first love, which is after the first planting of faith!

5. A Christian may mistake, and think he is weak in faith because he is 5 weak in assurance, whereas faith may be strongest when assurance is weak­est; assurance is rather the fruit of faith: The woman of Canaan was weak in assurance, but was strong in Faith. Christ gives her three repulses, but her faith stands the shot; she pur­sues Christ with an holy obstinacy of faith, insomuch that Christ sets a trophy of honour upon her faith, Mat. 15.28. O woman, great is thy faith: it may be a strong faith, though it doth not [Page 264] see the print of the nailes: it is an he­roicall faith that can swim against winde and tyde, believe against hope Rom. 4.18. Christ sets the crown upon the head of faith, not of assurance. Ioh. 20.29. Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

6 6. God hath most care of weak believers; the mother tends the weak child most: God will gather the lambs with his armes, and carry them in his bosome Isa. 40.11. The Lord had a great care of his weak Tribes: when Israel march'd towards Canaan, the Tribes were divided into several compa­nies or Brigades: now it is obser­vable, all the weak Tribes were not put together, lest haply they should discourage one another, and so have fainted in their march; but God puts a strong Tribe to two weak Tribes; as Issachar, Zebulon, two weak Tribes, and Iudah a victorious Tribe; therefore he gives the Lion in his standard: surely this was not [Page 265] without a mystery; to shew what care God hath of his weak chil­dren, CHRIST the Lion of the Tribe of Iudah shall be joyned to them.

7. Weak faith is a growing 7 Faith; 'Tis resembled by the grain of Mustard-seed, of all seeds the least; but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a Tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the Branches thereof Mat. 13.32▪. Faith must have a growing time; The seed springs up by degrees; First the Blade, and then the Eare, and then the full Corn in the Eare: the strongest faith hath sometimes been weak. The faith that hath been renowned in the world, was once in its infancy and minority: Grace is like the waters of the San­ctuary, which did rise higher and higher. Wait on the Ordinances, these are the brests to nourish faith: be not discouraged at thy weak faith, though it be now in [Page 266] the blossome, and bud, it will come to the full flower.

Object. 3. But, saith a childe of God,Object. 3. I fear I am not elected?

Answ. Answ. What, a Beleever and not elected? Who told thee thou wert not elected? Hast thou any skill in the black Book of Reprobation? The Angels cannot unclasp this Book, and wilt thou meddle with it? Which is our duty to study, Gods Secret will, or his Revealed? 'Tis a sin for any man to say he is a Reprobate. That which keeps him in sinne, must needs be a sinne; but this Opinion keeps him in sinne, it cuts the sinews of endeavour. Who will take paines for heaven that gives up himselfe for lost? O Beleever! be of good comfort; thou needest not look into the Book of Gods Decree, but look into the Book of thy heart, see what is written there: he that findes the Bible copied out into his heart, his [Page 267] nature transformed, the byasse of his will changed, the signature and engravings of the Holy Ghost up­on him, he doth not look like a Re­probate.

When you see the fruits of the earth spring up, you conclude the Sun hath been there; 'Tis hard to climb up into Election: but if we finde the fruits of holinesse spring­ing up in our hearts, we may con­clude, the Sun of Righteousnesse hath risen there, 2 Thes. 2.13. God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation by the Sanctification of the Spirit. By our Sanctificati­on we must calculate our Election. Indeed, God in saving us, begins at the highest Link in the Chaine, Ele­ction; but we must begin at the low­est Link of the Chaine, Sanctification, and so ascend higher.

Therefore laying aside all dis­putes, let me poure in of the Wine of consolation. Thou who art a [Page 268] Beleever, (and though thou wilt not affirm it, yet thou darest not deny it without sin) let me do two things, shew you your happinesse, then your duty.

1. Behold your happinesse: all the 1 things which you have heard of, present and to come, are your porti­on and prerogative. What shall I say to you? All my apprehensions fall short: When I speak of things to come, I know not how to ex­presse my selfe but by a deep silence, and astonishment. O the Magnitude and Magnificence of the Saints glo­ry! The ascent to it is so high, that it is too high for any mans thoughts to climb: The most sublime spirit would here be too low and jejune. How happy art thou, O Beleever! if God himselfe can make thee bles­sed, thou shalt be so: If being in­vested with Christs Robes, ena­mell'd with his beauty, replenished with his love: If all the dimensi­ons [Page 269] of glory will make thee bles­sed, thou shalt be so. O the in­finite superlative happinesse of a Beleever! All things to come are his. What? To have the same Joynture with the Angels, those blessed Spirits! Nay, to speake with reverence, to have a partner­ship with God himself! to share in the same love, to be enriched with the same glory which did sparkle forth in the humane nature of Christ Joh. 17.22.! How amazing is this! the thoughts of it are enough to swallow us up. O what an inheritance is he born to, who is new borne? Suppose he is poore in the world, and despised, (The King of the Moors was offended at Religion, because the Profes­sors of it were poore,) I say to him as our Saviour, Luk. 6.20. Blessed are ye poore, for yours is the Kingdome of God. All things to come are yours. Who would not be a Be­leever! [Page 270] O that I might tempt such to Christ as yet stand out.

2 2. Learn your duty. Mercy calls for Duty.

CHAP. XXII. Shewing the Duties of a Belee­ver by way of Retaliation.

THere are severall Duties which I would presse upon Beleevers; and they branch themselves into nine particulars.

1. Branch.1. Admire, and thankfully adore the love of God in setling this rich Charter upon you. How was Da­vid affected with Gods goodnesse? 2 Sam. 7.19. Thou hast spoken of thy servants House for a great while to come. So should we say, Lord, thou hast not only given us things pre­sent, [Page 271] but thou hast spoken of thy servants for a great while to come, nay, for ever. It will be a great part of our work in heaven to admire God: let us begin to do that work now which we shall be for ever do­ing. Adore free-grace; free-grace is the hinge on which all this turns; Every link in this golden chaine is richly enamell'd with free-grace; Free-grace hath provided us a plank after shipwrack. When things pas [...] were forfeited, God hath given us things to come. When we had lost Paradise, he hath provided heaven. Thus are we raised a step higher by our fall. Set the Crown upon the head of free-grace. O to what a Se­raphicall frame of spirit should our hearts be raised! How should we joyn with Angels and Arch-An­gels in blessing God for this! 'Tis well there is an eternity coming; and truly that will be little enough to praise God. Say as that sweet [Page 272] Singer of Israel,Ps. 103.1, Psal. 103.1. Blesse the Lord, O my soul; Or as the Ori­ginal will bear, [...]. Bow the Knee, O my soul, before the Lord. Thus should a Chri­stian say, All things in heaven and earth are mine; God hath set­led this great portion upon me, Bow the Knee, O my soul, praise God with the best instrument, the heart; and let the instrument be screw­ed up to the highest, doe it with the whole heart. When God is tu­ning upon the string of mercy, a Christian should be tuning upon the string of Praise, I have given you but a taste of this new Wine: yet so full of Spirits it is, that a little of it should enflame the heart in thank­fulnesse. Let me call upon you, who are the heirs apparent to this rich inheritance, Things present and to come; that you would get your hearts elevated, and wound up into a thankfull frame. 'Tis not [Page 273] an handsome posture, to see a Chri­stian ever complaining when things go crosse. O do not so look up­on your troubles, as to forget your mercies. Blesse God for what is to come: and to heighten your prai­ses, consider God gives you not one [...] [...]hese things, but he gives y [...] [...]mself.Da mihi te Domine. It was Austins pray­e [...]. Lord, saith he, What ever thou hast given me, take all away, only give me thy self: You have not on­ly the gift, but the Giver. O take the Harp and Violl; if you do not blesse God, who shall? where will God have his praise? he hath but a little in the World. Praise is in it self an high Angelical work, and requires the highest spirited Christians to perform it. Wicked men cannot praise God: they can say, God be thank'd; but as it is with the Hand-Diall, the finger of the Diall is at twelve, when the Diall hath not moved one mi­nute. [Page 274] So, though the tongues of wicked men are forward in praise, yet their hearts stand still. Indeed, who can praise God for these glorious priviledges to come, but he that hath the Seale of the Spirit to assure him that all is his? O that I might perswade the people of God to be thank [...]ll, Make Gods Praise glorious Psa. 62.1. Let mee tell you, God is much ta­ken with this frame; Repentance is the joy of Heaven, and Thank­fulnesse is the musick of Heaven: let not God want his musick; let it not bee said, God hath more Murmurers than Musici­ans; Who so offereth praise, glorifies me Ps. 50. ult.

2. If all things to come are yours, live suitable to those glori­ous hopes: you that look for things to come, let mee tell you, God looks for something present from you; namely, that your lives [Page 275] be answerable to your hopes What manner of persons ought you to be? 2 Pet. 3.11. You have heard what manner of priviledges you shall have; I, but what manner of persons ought you to be? Those that look to differ from others in their Condition, must differre from them also in their Conver­sation. Wherefore beloved, see­ing you look for such things, be diligent that you may be found of him in peace without spot 2 Pet. 3.14. We would all be glad to be found of God in peace, then labour to bee found without spot. Spot not your faces, spot not your consciences; live as those who are the Citi­zens and Burgesses of this new Ie­rusalem above. Walk as Christ did upon earth. There are three steps in which we should follow Christ.

1. In sanctity: his was an holy life;Joh. 8.46. Which of you convinceth me of 1 [Page 276] sinne? Though he was made sin, yet he knew no sinne. The very di­vels acknowledged his holinesse: we know thee who thou art, The holy One of God. Oh be like Christ; tread in his steps. In the Sacra­ment, wee shew forth the Lords death 1 Cor. 11 26.: And in an holy conver­sation wee shew forth his life. The holy oyle, wherewith the Vessels of the Sanctuary were to be consecrated, was compounded of the purest ingredients Exod. 30 32., which was a Type and Embleme of that Sanctity which should rest upon the godly; their hearts and lives should be consecrated with the holy oyle of the Spirit. How doth it discredit and as it were intomb the honor of religion when men profess they look for heaven, yet there is no­thing of heaven in them; if there be light in the lanthorn, it will shine out: and if grace be in the heart, it will shine forth in the conversation. [Page 277] It is a great sinne in these times to be bewailed, the looseness of Professors: even those that we hope (by the rule of charity) have the sap of grace in their heart, yet do not give forth such a sweet savour in their lives: How many under the Notion of Christian Liberty, degenerate into Liberti­nisme. The carrage of some that go for Saints is such, that it would make men afraid to embrace Religion. What Chrysostome saith of the Contentions of the Church in his time; (If, saith he, a Gen­tile should come and say, I would bee made a Christian; yet when hee sees such a spirit of Dissensi­on among them; one of Paul, and another of Apollo, such are the diversity of opinions, that hee knowes not which to chuse, but must returne to his Gentilism a­gaine:) The same may I say of the loosenesse, if not scandals of some Professors; If a stranger [Page 278] should come from beyond Sea, and see the miscarriages of many, their Covetousnesse, their Licenti­ousnesse; had hee no other Bible to read in, but the lives of some Professors, hee would turne back again, and resolve never to be made a Christian. Pudet haec opprobria nobis—. What a shame is this? Did Christ walk thus when hee was upon earth? His life was a pattern of Sanctity! You that are Profes­sors, your sinnes are sinnes of un­kindnesse, they go nearest to Christs heart. Do you live as those who have hope of things to come? is Christ preparing Heaven for you, and are you preparing Warre a­gainst him? Is this your kindnesse to your friend? O consider how you wound Religion; Your sinnes are worse then others. A staine in a black cloth is not so easily seen or taken notice of; but a spot in a piece of Scarlet, every ones eye [Page 279] is upon it. The sinnes of wicked men are not so much wondred at, they can do no other, theirs is a spot in black; but a sinne in a Pro­fessor, this is like a spot in a bright Scarlet, every ones eye is upon it▪ this wounds the honour of Reli­gion: The deviation of the godly is as odious as the devotion of the prophane. Oh that there were such a lustre and majesty of holinesse in the lives of Professors, that others might say, These look as if they had been with Jesus, they live as if they were in Heaven already. Aaron must not onely have Bels▪ but Pomegranates, which were for savour, as the other were for sound. It is not enough to dis­course of godlinesse, or to make a noise by a Profession: What are these Bels without the Pomegra­nates, viz. a life that casts a savour in the Church of God?

2. Walk as Christ did, in Humi­lity. 2 [Page 280] His life was a pattern of Hu­mility. He was the Heir of Hea­ven, the God-head was in him, yet he washeth his Disciples feet Iohn 13.6. He poured water into a Bason, and began to wash his Disciples feet, and to wipe them with the Towel. No wonder it is said, that he came in the form of a servant; he stands here with his Bason of water and a Towel; nay he did not onely humble himself to the Disciples feet, but he humbled himself to the death, even the death of the cross, Phil. 2.8. Tread in this step of Christ▪ be humble; the humble Saint looks like a Citizen of hea­ven. Humility is the vail of a Chri­stian: Christs Bride never looks more beautifull in his eye, than when she hath on this vail▪ Be ye clothed with humility 1 Pet. 5.5. Humility, as it hides anothers error, so it hides its own graces; grace shines bright­est thorow the Mask of humility. [Page 281] Moses face shined,Exod. 34.29. but he wist not that it shined. What are all our duties without humility? Incense smells sweetest when it is beaten small Species a­romaticae cûm in pul­verem re­diguntur, suavissimè redolent.; when the Incense of our duties is beaten small, then it sends forth its most fragrant perfume. Humility studies its own unworthinesse, it looks with one eye upon grace, to keep the heart chearful, and with the other eye upon sinne, to keep it humble. Better is that sinne which humbles me, then that duty which makes me proud! Humility gives all to Christ; as Ioab when he had gotten a victory, sends for King David, that he might carry away the Crown of it: So doth the humble Christian, when he hath gotten the victory over a corrupti­on, he sets the Crown upon the head of Christ: if he hath strength to go thorow duties, he writes Christ and free grace upon all. I la­boured more abundantly then they all; [Page 282] yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me, 1 Cor. 15.10. You that look for things above, let me tell you, the way to ascend is to de­scend; the lower the tree roots, the higher it shoots up: would you shoot up in glory, would you be tall Cedars in the Kingdome of God? be deeply rooted in Humili­ty. Humility is compar'd by some of the Fathers to a Valley; we must walk to heaven thorow this valley of Humility. Humility is such a precious Herb, as growes not in the garden of Philosophy; that is rather Humanity, then Humility. Humility distinguisheth Christs Spouse from harlots. Hypocrites grow in knowledge; but not in hu­mility. [...]. Knowledge puffs up, 1 Cor. 8.1. 'Tis a Metaphor taken from a pair of Bellowes, that are blown up and fill'd with winde. He that is proud of his knowledge, the Devil cares not how much he [Page 283] knows. It is observable in the old law that God hated the very resem­blance of the sinne of pride, he would have no honey mingled in their offering; Ye shall burne no leaven, nor any honey in any offering of the Lord made by fire Lev. 2.1 [...]. Indeed, leaven is soure, but what is there in honey that should offend? why no honey? because honey when it is mingled with meale or flower, maketh it to rise, and swell, therefore the people of Israel must mingle no honey in their offering. This was to let us see how God hated the resemblance of this sinne of pride. Be hum­ble.

3. Be like Christ in Charity; 3 Christs life was a life of charity; he breath'd nothing but love; he was full of this sweet perfume: as his Person was lovely Cant. 5.16., so was his Disposition, he was compos'd all of love: his lips dropp'd honey, his side dropp'd blood, his heart dropp'd [Page 284] love. You that expect these glorious things to come, live as Christ did, live in love: Oh that this spice might send out its fra­grant smell among Christians! We know we are passed from death to life, because we love the brethren 1 Joh. 3.14.. Dost thou love the Person of Christ, and hate the picture? He that loves him who doth beget, loves him also that is begotten 1 Joh. 5.1. There are two Devils which are not ful­ly cast out of Gods own people, The devil of vaine glory, and the devil of uncharitablenesse. Are we not Fellow-Citizens? Doe wee not all expect the same Heaven? Nay, are we not Brethren? which should be a sufficient bond to knit us together in amity. We have all the same Father, God; We are borne of the same Mother, the Church; we are begotten of the same seed, the Word; We suck the same brests, the Promises; [Page 285] Wee feed at the same Board, the Table of the Lord; We wear the same cloathing, the Robe of Christ's Righteousnesse; We are partners in the same glory, the in­heritance of the Saints in light. And shall we not love? There is in­deed a blessed strife, when the Saints strive for the faith: but this is a strife that consists of unity; Striving together for the faith of the Gospel, Phil. 1.27 [...].. You that look for things to come, live suit­ably to your hopes: Walke as Christ did, that some of his beams may shine in you, and his life may be as it were copied out in yours.

3. The third duty is,3. Branch. If things to come are a Beleevers, be con­tent though you have the lesse of things present: Having food and rayment, let us be therewith content 1 Tim. 6.8.. Oh what a rich estate hath a Beleever! he is to be [Page 286] valued according to that which is in reversion. Things to come are his. If you were to take an estimate of a man's Estate, would you value it by that which hee hath in his House, or by his Land? Perhaps he hath little in his house, little money, or plate; but he is a landed man, There lies his E­state. While we are in this House of Clay, we have but lit­tle. Many a Christian can hard­ly keepe life and soule together; but, hee is a landed man, things to come are his; then be content with the lesse of things present: If wee have but a small fore-crop, we shall have a great after-crop; it is sufficient if we have but enough to beare our charges till we come to Heaven. An Heire that hath a great Estate beyond Sea, though hee hath but a little money for his voyage thither, he will bee con­tent. If a Christian hath but e­nough [Page 287] to pay for his passage, till he comes at Heaven, it is suffi­cient; as Seneca said to his friend Polibius Fas tibi non est de fortuna conqueri, salvo Cae­sare. Sen., Never complaine of thy hard fortune, as long as Caesar is thy friend. So I say to a Be­leever, Never complaine as long as Christ is thy friend; hee is preparing the Heavenly Mansions for thee. If thou complainest of a­ny thing, let it be of thy complain­ing. Should not Hagar have been content, though the water were spent in her Bottle, when there was a Well so neare? God hath made a Deed of gift, he hath given Christ to a Believer, and in him all things, things present and to come, Grace and Glory Psal. 84.11.; is not here enough to make him content? But, saith the Christian, I want present comforts. Consider, the Angels in Heaven are rich, yet they have no money; thou hast things to come, Angels riches, such as cannot stand with [Page 288] reprobation; bee content then with the lesse of things present. The Philosophers, who never under­stood one syllable of this Charter, did contemne riches, and preferr'd a contemplative life; what poore contemplations were those? cer­tainly a man that lives by faith, may have more sweet content in his soule by the meditation of things to come, then a worldly man by the enjoying things pre­sent.

4. Labour for such an high de­gree of faith,4. Branch. as to make these things to come, present. Faith and Hope are two Sisters, and are very like, they differ thus; Hope looks at the excellency of the Promise, faith at the certainty of it: now faith looking at the infal­lible truth of him that promiseth, thus it makes things to come pre­sent. Faith doth antedate glory, it doth substantiate things not [Page 289] seen Heb. 11.1.: Faith alters the Tenses, it puts the Future into the Present Tense, Psalm. 60.6. Gilead is mine, Manasseh is mine, Ephraim is the strength of my head, &c. Those places were not yet subdu­ed, but God had spoken in his holinesse, he had made David a promise, and he beleeved it, therefore hee looked upon them as already subdued: Gilead is mine, &c. So saith faith, God hath spoken in his holinesse, hee hath made me a promise of things to come, therefore Heaven is mine already. When one hath the reversion of an house, saith hee, This house is mine, Oh that wee had this Art of Faith, thus to anticipate Heaven, and make things to come present. Thou who art a Beleever, Heaven is thine now; thy head is already glori­fied; nay, heaven is begun in thee, thou hast some of those joyes which [Page 290] are the primitiae, the first-fruits of it. A Christian by the eye of faith, through the Perspective-glass of the promise, may see into Hea­ven. Faith sees the Promise ful­filled before it be fulfilled. Faith sets to its hand: Item, Received so much, before it be paid. Had we a vigorous faith, we might be in Heaven before our time: That which a weake beleever hopes for, a strong beleever doth in some kinde possesse. Oh that wee could often take a prospect of the Heavenly Paradise: Walke about Sihon, and go round a­bout her, tell the towers thereof, mark ye well her bulwarks, con­sider her Palaces Psal. 48.12, 13: So, Walke into the Heavenly Mount, see what a glorious situation it is, go tell her Towers, see what an in­heritance you have; see your beauty and Nobility, behold your Scutchion: Oh that wee could [Page 291] thus breath our faith up this Mount of Heaven every day. Do not say, All this shall be mine; but, It is mine already: my Head is there, my faith is there, my heart is there: could we thus living up to the height of our faith, reallize and antedate things to come, how would all present thing vanish! if a man could live in the Sunne, the earth would not appear: when Saint Paul had been wrapped up into the third Heaven, the earth did hardly appeare ever after: see how he scornes it, I am crucified to the world: it was a dead thing to him, hee had begun Heaven already; thus it is with a man that is Heavenlized. You Saints that are earthly, the eye of your faith is blood-shot: it is the cha­racter of a sinner, he cannot see afarre off [...]., 2 Pet. 1.9. like a man who hath bad eyes, that can see but just before him. Faith [Page 292] carries the heart up to Heaven, and brings Heaven downe into the heart.

5. Branch.5. If all things to come are yours, then walke chearfully with God, put on your white robes: hath a Beleever a title to Hea­ven? what, and sad? Wee rejoyce in hope of the glory of God, Rom. 5.2. It is but a while, 'tis but putting off the earthly clothes of our body, and wee shall bee clo­thed with the bright robes of glory, and can a Beleever bee sad? See how Christ doth secretly check his Disciples for this, Luke 24.17. What manner of communications are these, while you walke and are sad? What, sad and Christ risen? So I say to beleevers; Things to come are yours: why walke ye and are sad? let them bee out of heart, who are out of hope. Oh rejoyce in God: when the lead of the flesh begins to sink, let the cork of faith swim [Page 293] above! How doth the heir rejoyce in hope of the Inheritance! How doth the Apprentice rejoyce to think of coming out of his time! Here we are kept under by sinne, and a childe of God is forced some­times to do the devils work, but shortly death will make us free; there is an eternall Jubile com­ing, therefore rejoyce in the hope of the glory of God. Can wick­ed men rejoyce that have their portion in this life, and cannot hee rejoyce that hath a reversion of Heaven? Are the waters of Abanah and Pharpar like to the waters of Iordan? O ye Saints, think into what a blessed condi­tion you are now brought! is it not a sweet thing to have God appeas'd? is it not a matter of joy to be an heire of the promise? A­dam in Paradise had choice of all the trees, one only excepted. The Promises are the trees of life, thou [Page 294] may'st walk in the garden of the Bible, and pluck from all these trees. Who should rejoyce if not a Chri­stian? he hath never so much cause to be sad, as he hath to bee chear­full.

Object. 1. Object. 1. But my sinnes trouble me.

Answ. Answ. 'Tis true: That sinne will not forsake thee, is matter of sadnesse; but that thou hast forsa­ken sinne, is matter of joy: Sinne is a talent of lead. That thou canst not runne so fast as thou would'st in the wayes of God, is matter of sadnesse: but that thou goest without halting, (in regard of uprightnesse,) this is matter of joy; and for your comfort re­member, shortly you shall sinne no more, all things shall be yours but sinne.

Object. 2. Object. 2. But we are bid to mourn.

Answ. Answ. I would not speak against [Page 295] holy mourning; while we carry fire about us, we must carry wa­ter; as long as the fire of sinne burns in our brests, we must carry tears to quench it. But consider, 1. Spirituall joy and mourning may stand together; sometimes it rains and shines at once: when there is a shower in the eyes, there may be sunshine in the heart: in re­ligion, mourning and musick are not inconsistent. 2. The end why God makes us sad, is to make us rejoyce; he doth not require sorrow for sorrow, but it is or­dain'd to be sal & condimentum, as sauce to make our joy relish the better: we sowe in tears, that we may reap in joy: 3. The swetest joy is from the sourest tears: Christ made the best wine of water Joh. 2.: the purest and most excellent joy is made of the waters of true repen­tance: the Bee gathers the best honey off the bitterest herbs: Tears [Page 296] are the breeders of spirituall joy. When Hannah had wept, she went away, and was no more sad. Those clouds are very uncomfortable that never have any sunshine: That mourning which dies the soul all in sable, viz. that hath no place for rejoycing, I shall rather think it despair, then true remorse; The same God who hath bid us mourn, hath also bid us rejoyce, Phil 4.4. 'Tis an excellent temper to be seri­ous, yet chearfull. Jesus Christ loves the sanguine complexion: joy puts liveliness and activity into a Christian, it oyls the wheels of the affections; an heavy mind makes a dull action: the joy of the Lord is your strength Neh. 8.10.. The pensive me­lancholy Christian doth disparage the glory of Heaven: What will o­thers say? Here is one that speaks of things to come, and of a Crown laid up, but sure he doth not be­lieve it: see how sad he is! what [Page 297] ado is here to make a child of God chearfull! shall we need bid an Heire rejoyce in the Estate befallen him? let me tell you You who refuse consolation, are not fit per­sons to praise God: 'Tis a kind of Solecisme, to praise God with a sad heart: I will sing praises, Psal 108. v. 1. 'Tis more proper to sing praises, then to weep them. Rejoyce, O Christian, lift up thy crest, triumph in the hope of these [...], things to come: it is not enough that there be joy within the firmament of a Christians heart but it must shine out in his coun­tenance.

Sixth Duty. If all things to come are a believers,6. Branch. let him not envy them who have only things present. God often wrings out the waters of a full cup to wicked men, but there are dregs at the bottom. Indeed, the prosperity of sinners is a great temptation: David stumbled at it, [Page 298] and had almost fallen; Psal. 73. My feet had well nigh slipt: It is not matter of envy but pity, to see men thrive in a way of sinne; a fool is in gay cloaths, but do you envy him? a man under a sentence, going up the ladder, do you envy him? They that will be rich fall into temptations and a snare, Quis aera­rio, qui [...] ple [...]is locu­lis invide [...]? Sen. 1 Tim. 6.9. Do you envy a man who is fallen into a snare? wic­ked men have that guilt which im­bitters their comforts, so that they may be said to want what they have [...].: as a man who hath great pos­sessions, yet having a fit of the Stone or Gout, while he is in that torment he may be said not to have them, because the comfort of them is ta­ken away. A believer hath better things then these; things to come: Wicked men have a Crowne of un­righteousness, he hath a Crown of righteousness; they have robes (and perhaps stained with the blood of innocents) Jer. 19.3., he hath the [Page 299] bright robe of glory. Envy not the oppressour, and choose none of his wayes: Prov. 3.31. better is san­ctified adversity, then successefull impiety.

Seventh Duty. Be supported in want of spirituall comfort:7. Branch. spiri [...]u­all joy is a sweet thing [...] is the spiced wine that [...] lips of them who are asleep to speak: Cant. 7.9 this is the hidden Mannah, the bunch of grapes that growes upon the true vine; this is the Saints banquet­ing stuffe; how sweet is it to have Word▪ and Spirit, and Conscience speaking peace! in the mouth of these three witnesses faith is confir­med. But, saith the poor soul that goes mourning, It is not so with me, I have not the Privy Seale of Hea­ven, I want assurance. Well, do not give over waiting. We read, Iohn 6.19. the Disciples were in the ship, and there arose a great storm, And when they had rowed about twenty [Page 300] five, or thirty furlongs, they see Ie­sus. This, O Christian, may bee thy case, there is a tempest of sor­row risen in thy heart; and thou hast rowed from one Ordinance to a­nother, and hast no comfort: Well, bee not discouraged, do not give over rowing; thou hast rowed but three or foure fur­longs, perhaps when thou hast rowed twenty five or thirty fur­longs, thou may'st see Jesus, and have a comfortable evidence of his love; but suppose thou shouldest row all thy life long, and not have as­surance, there are tw [...] things should support the heart in want of spiritu­all joy.

1. Suppor­ter.1. God denies comfort to exer­cise grace. We are impatient if we have not comfort presently; and truly, did we carve for our selves, we should often cut the worst piece; a Christian would ever bee upon Mount Tabor, looking into Canaan, [Page 301] he is loath to come downe into the valley, and be in trials, agonies, tem­ptations, as if God could not love us except hee had us in his armes: God will have us without comfort sometimes; to make us row against tyde, beleeve against hope. Of what use were the Starres, if the Sunne did alwayes shine? how could patience have it's perfect work, how could repentance' if we were alwayes upon the Mount of joy? Rachel is more fair, but Leah is more fruitfull; comfort is fair to look upon, but grace is better then comfort. A Christian should ra­ther pray for a fruitfull heart then fair weather; oftentimes when God lets downe comfort into the heart, wee begin to let down care. As it is with Musicians, before they have money, they will play you many a sweet lesson; but as soone as you throw them down money, they are gone, you heare no more of them: [Page 302] Before joy & assurance, oh the sweet musick of Prayer and Repentance! but whē God throws down the com­forts of his Spirit, we either begin to leave off duty; or at least slacken the strings of our Vial, & grow remiss in it: thou art taken with the mony, but God is taken with the musick; thou art taken with comfort, but God is more taken with thy faith: when there is too much sunshine, oftentimes there follows a drought in our graces.

2. Suppor­ter.2. The second thing to support the heart, is, Things to come are yours: it is but staying a while, and you shall be brim-full of comfort: now a beleever is an heir of this joy, let him stay but while he is of age, and hee shall bee fully possessed of the joyes of Heaven. For the present, God leaves a seed of comfort in the heart, 1 Joh. 3.9 the seed of God; there's a time shortly coming when we shall have the full flower; We shall drink of the fruit of the vine in the Kingdome of [Page 303] Heaven Mat. 26.29.. As Paul said of Onesimus, Philem. v. 15. For perhaps he there­fore departed for a season, that thou mightest receive him for ever: so I say of the comforts of Gods Spirit, they may bee withdrawn for a sea­son, that we may have them for ever: there's a time coming when we shall bathe our selves in the rivers of di­vine pleasure.

8. The next duty is,8. Branch▪ If all Christs things are ours, then all our things must be Christs; this is Lex Talionis, justice and equity require it. There's a joynt interest between Christ and a believer: Christ saith, All mine are thine, things present, and things to come; then the heart of a believer must echo back to Christ, Lord, whatsoever I have is for thee; my parts, my estate; it was the saying of a reverend Father▪ Lord, thou art my all, and my all is thine Anselm.. Oh be willing to spend, and be spent; do, and suffer for Christ.

[Page 304] 1 1. Let us to our power advance the Honour and Interest of Jesus Christ: Alas, what is all that we can do? If a King should bestow upon another a Million per annum, with this proviso, that in lieu of his ac­knowledgement he should pay a Peppercorn every year to the King, what proportion were there between this mans rent and his revenue? Alas, we are but unprofitable servants Luk. 17.10., all that we can do for Christ is not so much as this peppercorn; yet up and be doing: Christ hates complements: we must not only bow the knee to him, but with the Wise men Mat. 2.11, pre­sent him with gifts, gold, frankincense, and myrrhe. Be not like the sonnes of Belial, who brought their King no pre­sents 1 Sam. 10. ult.. But, saith the Christian, I am poor, and can do little for Christ. Canst thou not make a Deed of gift, and bestow thy love upon Christ? In the Law, he that could not bring a Lamb for an offering, if he brought [Page 305] but two Turtle-doves, it was suffi­cient. The woman in the Gospel that threw in but her two mites, yet it was accepted Mar. 12.42.. God is not angry with any man because he hath but one Talent, but because he doth not trade it.

2. Suffer for Christ, be wil­ling 2 to sell all, nay, to lose all for Christ: we may be losers for him, we shall never be losers by him; if he calls him for our blood, let us not deny it; we have no such blood to shed for Christ as he hath shed for us. It was Luthers saying, That in the cause of God he was cont [...]nt, totius mundi odium & impetum susti­nere; to indure the odium and fury of the whole world. Basil affirmes of the Primitive Saints, they had so much courage in their suffer­ings, that many of the Heathens seeing their Heroick zeal, turned Christians; they snatched up tor­ments as so many Crowns. Oh think [Page 306] nothing too dear for Christ. We that look for things to come, should be wiling to part with things present for Christ.

9.9. Lastly, If all things to come are ours, be content to wait for these Great Priviledges: it is not incon­gruous to long for Christs appearing, and yet to wait for it: you see the glory a beleever shall be invested with; but though the Lord gives a great portion, he may set a long day for the paiment. David had the promise of a Crown, but it was long before he came to weare it. God will not deny, yet he may delay his promise, to teach us to wait: 'tis but a short-spirited faith that cannot waite. The husbandman waites for the seed: there is a seed of Glory sowne in a belee­vers heart, waite till it spring up into a harvest. Truly, it is an hard thing to waite for these things to come; so many discou­ragements [Page 307] from without, so many distempers from within, that the Christian is willing to be at home: therefore we need patience, Heb. 10 36. For yee have need of patience. But how shall we get it? nourish faith; ver. 35. Cast not away your confidence. Patience is nothing else but faith spun out; if you would lengthen patience, be sure to streng­then faith.

There's a great deale of reason why a beleever should be content to wait for Heaven. 1. God is faith­full 1 who promiseth Heb. 10.23.: Gods Word is security enough to venture upon, his Bond is as good as ready mo­ney: all the world hangs upon the word of his power▪ and cannot our faith hang upon the word of his promise? we have his hand and seal, nay, his Oath. 2. While we 2 are waiting, God is tuning and fit­ting us for glory; Giving thanks to the Father▪ who hath made us meet for [Page 308] the inheritance, Col. 1.12. we must be made meet. Perhaps our hearts are not humble enough, not patient enough; our faith is but in its swad­ling bands, we should be content to wait a while, till we have gotten such a vigorous faith as will carry us full-sail to Heaven. As there is a fitting of vessels for hell, Rom. 9.22. so there is a ripening and a preparing of the vessels of mercy, ver. 23. A Christian should be willing to wait for glory till he be fit to take his 3 degree. 3. While we are waiting, our glory is encreasing; while wee are laying out for God, he is laying up for us, 2 Tim. 4.8, If we suffer for God, the heavier our Crosse, the heavier shall bee our Crown. Would a Christian be in the Meri­dian of glory, would he have his robes shine bright, let him stay here and do service; God will reward us, though not for our works, yet according to our works Mar. 16.27.: the longer [Page 309] We stay for the principall, the greater will the interest be. 4.4 Wait for these things to come out of ingenuity: The longer a Christian lives, the more glory he may bring to God. Faith is an ingenuous grace, as it hath one eye at the reward, so it hath another eye at duty▪ The time of life is the only time we have to work for God. Heaven is a place of receiving, this of doing. Hence the Apostle being enfla­med with divine love, though he could with all his heart bee with Christ, yet hee was content to live a while longer, that he might build up souls, and make the Crown flourish upon the head of Christ Phil. 1.24.: 'Tis self-love saith, Who will shew us any good? di­vine love saith, How may I do good? The prodigal son could say, Father, give me my portion; he thought more of his portion, then his duty. [Page 310] A gracious spirit is content to stay out of Heaven a while, that he may be a means to bring others thither. He whose heart hath been divinely touched with the love of God, his care is not so much for receiving the talents of gold, as for improving the talents of grace. Oh wait a while, learne of the Saints of old, they wait­ed: if we cannot wait now, what would we have done in the times of the long-liv'd Patriarchs? look upon worldly men, they wait for preferment; shall they wait for earth, and cannot we wait for Heaven? If a man hath the reversion of a Lordship or Manor when such a Lease is out will he not wait for it? We have the reversion of Heaven when the lease of life is run out, and shall we not wait? Look upon wicked men, they wait for an opportunity to sin; [Page 311] the adulterer waits for the twilight Job 24.15.; sinners lye in wait for their own blood, Prov. 1.18. Shall men wait for their damnation and shall not we be con­tent to wait for our salvation? Wait without murmuring, wait without fainting; the things we expect are infinitly more then we can hope for. And let me adde one caution; wait on the Lord, and keep his waies, Psal. 37.34. while we are waiting, let us take heed of wavering. Go not a step out of Gods way, though a Lyon be in the way, avoid not duty to meet with safety: keep Gods high­way, the good old way, Jer. 6.16. the way which is paved with holiness, Isa. 35.8. and an high-way shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness: avoid Ps. 125.5 crooked pathes, take heed of turning to the left hand, lest you be set on the left hand. Sin doth crosse our hopes, it barracadoes up our way; a man may as well expect to find [Page 312] Heaven in hell, as in a sinful way

My last Use is to such as have on­ly things present, Use ult. that they would labour for things to come. You have seen the blessed condition of a man in Christ, never rest till this be yours: Alas, what are the great possessions of the earth? the world hath vanity written upon the frontispiece; there's a transi­ency and a deficiency in these things. What is Honour' but a rattle to still mens ambition? it is like the Meteor which lives in the ayr, so doth this in the breath of other men Hon [...]r est in honora [...]te.: it's like a gale of wind which carries the ship; sometimes this wind is down, a man hath lost his Honor, and lives to see himself intombed: som [...]mes this wind is too high: how many have been blown to hell while they have been sailing with the wind of popu­lar [Page 313] applause! Honor is but magnum nihil Sen., a glorious fancy, Acts 25.23 [...].. It doth not make a man really the better, but often the worse: a man swell'd with honour (wanting grace) is like a dropsy­man whose bigness is his disease.

And for riches (the silver goddess which men a dore,) what are they? 1. They are 1 vain: I gathered me silver and gold and the peculiar treasure of Kings and of the Provinces, Eccl. 2.8. and behold, all was vanity, vers. 11. That must needs bee vain which cannot fill the heart. Covetousness is a drie drunkenness; the more men have, the more they thirst;Eò majora cupimus, quò majora habemus. like the fire, the more fuell is thrown into it, the more it is inflamed.

2. They are uncertain, 1 Timothy 2 6.17. they are ever upon the wing: Outward comforts, as one saithPlato., are Dei ludibria, quae sursum ac deor­sum [Page 314] suo coelo feruntur, like Tennis-bals, which are bandied up and downe from one to another. 3. They 3 are vexing: It was a fruit of the curse, Genesis. 3.18. Thorns and thistles shall the earth brin [...] forth: The comforts of this life have more or lesse of the Thorn in them: They are sweet-briar: Riches may well be called Thorns, they pierce both head and heart, the one with care of getting, the other with griefe 4 in parting with them. 4. They are dangerous, they oft turn to the hurt of the owner, Ecclesiastes 5.13. they areBern. dulce venenum; a sweet poison; how many have pull'd down their soules to build up an estate! A ship may bee so loaded with gold and silver that it sinks; A gift blindes the eye Deut. 6.19., the same may bee said of riches, the golden dust of the world puts out the eye of the soule, [Page 315] that men neither know God nor themselves: Iudas (as Tertullian thinks) was pretty honest till he carried the bagUsque ad [...] [...]ssici [...]m.. It's hard to bee in office, and not put conscience out of office; oh what are these present things in comparison of things to come! Christ who had all riches, scorn'd these earthly riches▪ hee was borne poore, the Manger was his cra­dle, the Cobwebs his curtaines: hee lived poore, Hee had not where to lay his head Mat 8.20▪; hee di­ed poore; for as Austin observes, when Christ died, hee made no Will, hee had no Crown-lands, only his coate was left, and that the Souldiers parted among them; and his Funeral was suitable, for as he was borne in another mans house, so hee was buri­ed in another mans Tombe. To shew how hee did contemne earth­ly dignities and possessions. His [Page 316] Kingdome was not of this world: Suppose an houre of adversity come, can these present things quiet the minde in trouble? riches are call'd thick clay Hab. 2.6, which will sooner breake the backe, then lighten the heart: When pangs of Conscience and pangs of Death come, and no hope of things to come, what peace can the world give at such a time? surely it can yield no more comfort then a silken stockin to a man whose legge is out of joynt; a fresh co­lour delights the eye, but if the eye be sore, this colour will not heale it; Riches availe not in the day of wrath Prov. 11.4.. Thou canst not hold thy wedge of gold as a Screene to keepe off the fire of Gods justice: Let this sound a retreate to call us off from the immoderate pursuite of present things, to labour for things to come; what are these neather [Page 317] springs to the upper springs? As Abraham said, Lord, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless Gen. 15.12.? So say, Lord, what wilt thou give mee, seeing I go Christ­lesse? Luther did solemnly pro­test, God should not put him off with these things: Valde protestatus sum me nolle sic sa­tiari ab eo Luther.: Oh labour for those blessings in heavenly pla­ces Eph. 1.3.. Things present are plea­sing, but not permanent; be not content with a few gifts: Abraham gave unto the sons of the Concubines gifts, and sent them away; but unto Isaac, Abraham gave all that he had Gen. 25.5. Reprobates may have a few jewels and ear-rings which God scatters with an indifferent hand, these with the sons of the Con­cubines are put off with gifts, but labout you for the portion Ps. 119.57, that portion which the [Page 318] Saints and Angels are spending up­on, and can never spend: get by faith into Christ, and then all is yours; so saith the Apostle, All things are yours, and ye are Christs.


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