Quatuor Novissima: OR, MEDITATIONS UPON The Four Last Things, DELIVERED In four COMMON-PLACE DISCOURSES:

BY Thomas Longland M.A. and Fellow of S. JOHNS College in Cambridge.

O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end,

Deut 32.29.

[...]

Eccles. 7.

Haec spirituatis est exercitii summa, haec forma studii spiritualis, ut sapientèr disponamus praesentia no­stra, recogitemus in amaritudine animae nostrae praeterita, futura quo (que) solicitè provideamus.

Bern. in Solen. Pet. & Paul. Ser. 2.

London, Printed by A. Maxey for J. Rothwell, at the Fountain in Goldsmiths-Row, Cheapside. 1657.

TO THE REVEREND AND LEARNED, Anthony Tuckney D. D. Regius Professor; And Master of S. JOHNS College in Cambridge.

Reverend SIR,

THese few Dis­courses, which (next to their being Gods Sacred [Page]Truth) derive all their Worth, from your vouchsafing an Ac­ceptance of them, had not seen the light, un­less you had cast a smiling Aspect upon them and their Au­thor.Eccl. 1.7. The grate­full Rivers acknow­ledg their Homage, by sending their Streams to the Ocean from whence they were re­ceived.

Dumb Creatures [Page]teach me to speak, and thankfully to acknow­ledge, That next to God, you are One, to whom I owe what I have or can do. You have been the Con­duit, through which he hath conveyed much good to my outward, many Mer­cies to my inward Man. I desire to praise him, to testifie my Thanks to you, by Devoting these [Page]Meditations to His Honour, your Patro­nage and Perusing. Let others commend their Patrons; desire of Praise, implieth weakness in the Sub­ject; your Brighter Name stands not in need of such a shadow as mens Applause, to make it more Re­nowned in the world. Native Worth is ever more respected, than Adventitious Glory: [Page]Yet excuse me, if I say you are one who in these last dayes, de­light to Meditate of the last things, who in these worst dayes, put not the evil day far from you, or him who presents it to your view. Your Acceptance of these Papers, doth make them more welcome to those who are look­ing Sion-ward, and doth encourage him [Page]in what may promote his own or their jour­ney thither: who is

Yours, In all Obligations Christian and Civil, Thomas Longland.
Christian READER,

SUch thou art, or my desire is thou shouldst be, into whose hands these Papers are fallen. I did once think to have saved my self the pains in writing, though not thee the trouble in the perusal of an Epistle. But being most privy to my own thoughts in the publish­ing these Discourses to the World, and also the best Judge of my own Intentions in their composure, I thought it [Page]convenient to acquaint thee, That these Meditations were the Result of some vacant hours; the occasion of which was (what I pray may be their effect upon thee;) namely, A desire so to num­ber my dayes, that I might apply my heart to wisdome: Which afterwards I did de­liver in a Learned Audi­tory, yet contrary to my first thoughts. I since re­solved to communicate them unto others; not doubting but they may (through Gods Blessing) be useful in the World; and may in some measure testifie my desire to acknowledge my Obligations [Page]to him, who hath Honoured me in the Acceptance of them to his Patronage. These, and such like, were the Reasons of adventuring this small Essay of my Studies to vulgar view. If any ambiguity in the Expres­sions be taken notice of, know, The safest Interpretation was my intention: If any ob­scurity appeareth in the Phrase, consider, They were not delivered, much less suited Ad Populum, To the Vul­gar: And should I have altered the phrase, (in some places) the sense would have been inverted. If any thing else want an Apologie, let [Page]thy Charity finde an Ex­cuse. Psal. 30.12. Remember thy Tongue is thy Glory, and is better used in Praying for, than Censaring of him, who is

Thine, To promote thy Eter­nal Welfare, T. L.
HEB. 9.27.

It is appointed to men once to die, but after this the Judg­ment.

COnsiderations of death to living men,Charron of Wisdom, lib. 2. c. 11. Sect. 2. though usually most unwel­come; yet are the most profitable to promote the Duty of Preparation thereunto: for which purpose I have made choise of these words. And because I will not build without a Foundation, lest I erect a totter­ing Structure, I wil first speak some­thing to the scope of these words, and then deduce a Proposition, which shall be the Basis of my future Dis­course.

These words (as a Learned man notes) are alledged by the Author to the Hebrewes, Paraeus in locum. as an Argument to evince, or reason to prove, that Christ neither could, nor should of­fer oftner then once, which is clear, if we consult the precedent and sub­sequent words of the Text. But it being not my intention to speak to them as they stand in relation to the Context, but as they make an intire Proposition; I shall not be solicitous after any inquiry of their relative connexion; but as they are in Thesi. they are the declaration of the De­cree of Heaven concerning our lat­ter end: Statutum est, &c, It is appointed to men once to die, but after this the Judgement.

I shall speak to them in order,

  • 1. Death.
  • 2. Judgment.

I. Of DEATH.

Doct. FRom the First, they suggest to our Meditations this Doctrine, That Death is inevitable.

A short, yet sure Truth, as we shall see in the sequel of this Dis­course.

Were it not that the daily specta­cles of mortalitie, which we see, the deep groans of dying men, [...]. Chrysost. Serm. de Fid. & leg. Naturali. Immortalia ne speres: monet an­nus & al­mum quae rapit hora diem. Ho­rat. lib. 4. Od. 7. which eccho again, which was the usual Sa­lutation of one, to Philip of Mace­don, That he was a man. I say, If these did not convince us, of the truth of this Doctrine; I might ap­peal to those sudden fits, and fainting distempers, the most healthful bo­dy doth sometimes perceive in it self. To the course of Nature, which shewes us, as the longest day hath its closure in the night, even so the long­est life must have its period by death.

But as I do believe there is not a­mongst us such an Epicure, who be­lieveth [Page 4]not a life to come af­ter death; so I in charity hope there is not such an Atheist as doth be­lieve he shall not die. I will passe this therefore, and proceed to disco­ver the nature of death, which I shall endeavour in the resolution of these Questions:

  • 1. Quid sit? What it is?
  • 2. Quot uplex sit? Of how many sorts it is?
  • 3. Quare sit? Wherefore it is?

For the First. In the resolution of this Question, What death is? Be­cause it is a privation, I shall not cu­riously seek out a positive definition, but speak to it as it may be consider­ed,

  • 1. Formaliter in se.
  • 2. Accidentaliter ad aliud.

First, What it is formally, and in it self.

Death is the separation of life from its subject: Death is not only a cessation from action, but a negati­on of existence: for the soul may in a swooning fit cease to operate, not to animate. There may be a suspen­sion of action, where there is not a privation of its principle; but death [Page 5]separateth the soul the fountaine of vital action, from the body the sub­ject thereof.

Secondly, We will view death in what it is Accidentaliter ad aliud, Accidentally and in reference to somthing without it self. And that to

  • 1 The Godly.
  • 2 The Wicked.

First, To the Godly. And so it is a rest from their labours. [...]. Chrysost. Hom. 51. de Sanct. Mar. Boren. & Pro [...]c. Blessed are they that die in the Lord from henceforth, yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours, and their works follow them, Rev. 14.13. They rest from

  • 1 Sin.
  • 2 Sorrows.

Both which the holiest of men are exercised with, and subject to, whilst they live in the world; they labour under the former, in the latter, whilst in this dying life. But when they dye, that which doth sepa­rate them from their bodies, doth unite them closer unto God. Their death is the Funeral of their sins, the resurrection of their Graces: that which doth unpinion them of mortality, doth also translate [Page 6]them into the glorious liberty of the Sons of God. So that Death is but a change to a holy Job; Job 14.14. Act. 7.60 2 Cor. 5.10 a sleep to a blessed Steven; a dissolution of the earthly house to a holy Paul, whilst by it he accounteth, not to be found naked, but to be cloathed upon with his house which is from heaven; to have mortality swallowed up of life, and by the death of his body, Rom. 7.24 to en­joy his wisht for deliverance, from the body of death. And this for the first, Death to the godly is a rest from their sins.

2.2 It is a rest from their sorrowes. Josephs feet shal no longer be detain­ed in the stocks neither shal he com­plain of the iron which entred into his soul [...] Nor any of the Saints and holy Martyrs shall at all complain of the incessant malice of their enemies. Death shal give them a resting-place; for in the grave the weary shall be at rest; There the prisoners rest toge­ther, they hear not the voice of the op­pressor, Job 3.17, 18 And all this shall not be the effect of a Stoical a­pathy or stupefactive cessation from sense and motion: But by an intro­duction into real joy. That soul [Page 7]which was before glewed unto the body, shal therefore be dissolved that it may be with Christ, and that which whilst it was in the world, was but at best a prisoner of hope shall then be set at libertie, and have eternity wherein to expatiate; in the enjoy­ment of those mansions of glory which God hath provided for such whom he shall account worthy to be partakers of the inheritance of the Saints in light. [...] V [...]ri. Septu. The righteous also are taken away from the evil to come, Isai. 57.1. and their graves are but beds wherein they rest in the evening of their dayes.

And thus you see, that as to live is Christ, so to die is gain to believers, whilst by it they rest from sin and sorrow.

Our next work is to consider death in its reference to the Wicked. And to them it is the beginning of e­vil, the entry of their woe. They are the men who have hope only in this life, and therefore are of all men the most miserable. That death which in its intention is to put out the candle of a good mans life, doth but snuff it, and make it burne the [Page 8]brighter, whilst their life of grace is consummate by being swallowed up in a never-ending life of Glory. This shall cause the candle of the wick­ed to go out in a stench, their Sun to set in a cloud, their flattering day of prosperity to end in a dismal night of black eternal horror: whilst by it, they shall at once be separated from their bodies, and from the presence of God, in whose favour is life, and from his right hand, where are plea­sures for evermore. And thus I have answered this Question, Quid sit? What death is?

Secondly. Quotuplex sit? Of how many sorts it is?

And Death in its complexe notion represents it self under a threefold respect, [...]. Chrysost. Serm. 56.

  • 1 Corporal.
  • 2 Spiritual.
  • 3 Eternal.

These three unnatural branches, spring from one root; to wit, Sin.

  • The First is by sin.
  • The Second in sin.
  • The Third for sin.

The First is competent to both, the [Page 9]Godly, & the wicked, and hath been spoken to already. Let us consider a little the second, Spiritual Death, and this also hatha double considera­tion,

  • 1. A Death in sin.
  • 2. A Death to sin.

The Apostle speaks of the former to the believing Colossians, Col. 3.13 where he tells them, that they being dead in sins and trespasses, God hath quickned them together with Christ. And thus the wicked are said to be dead whilst they live; there being a separation between God, the Author of Spiritual life; and their souls, the due subjects thereof, by reason of their sins, Psal. 59.2. And this is the estate of every one of us until God saith unto us, Live.

A Death to sin. Secundum Spiritum [...] mors est, non credere vina quae c [...]edeb [...]t, non jacere vana; quae faciebat. August. Serm. 121. de Resur­rect. more. And this is the estate of a lively Christian; of one who is passed from death to life. This is to be dead with Christ; and is a testimony to him in whom it is, that he shall live with him, Rom. 6.8. This is not, as the former, the re­sult of sin, but the gift of God; and of this death there is a twofold testi­mony.

First, A death to the Law. That is to say, when we are brought by the threatnings in the Law to know that there is no salvation or life to be found by the Law, but in Christ, and this I doubt not to assert for the meaning of S. Paul, Gal. 2.19. For I through the Law am dead to the Law, that I might live unto God.

Secondly, A dying to the World. A de [...]pising all things therein, or whatsoever it counteth admirable for the excellencie of the knowledg of Christ. And thus to do, is to be made conformable to the death of Christ, Phil. 3.8, 9, 10.

But I haste to passe over these, which though fair fruit, yet never grew on this tree; profitable Do­ctrine, but not arising from the pre­sent Text, spoken to by transition, rather then regular deduction from the subject I am upon.

I proceed to consider death in its third acception, Eternal Death. This is the in-let of Hell, the sum of mise­ry, the second death, (which I sup­pose is not excluded, yet not prima­rily intended in the words) and hath [Page 11]power over none, but such as have had no part in the first Resurrection. THIS is the dregs of the fury of the Lord, the Cup of his sorest indigna­tion, which requireth eternity, to drink it to the bottom. This is the gnawing worm and unquenchable fire the sense whereof doth cause them on whom it is inflicted to meditate terror for ever. THESE are the sparks which the wicked have kindled from the fire of their own lusts; and wherein God will cause them to lye down in sorrow. THIS is that De­vouring fire, who among us shall dwell with it? Who among us shall dwell with these everlasting burn­ings? Every one shal thus die for sin, who is before dead in sin.

The next Question I am to re­solve, is, Quare sit, Wherefore it is? which will be answered by inquiring, Ʋnde sit? Whence it is? And there is a threefold rise of Death:

  • 1. Satan.
  • 2. Man.
  • 3. God.
  • The first by Temptation.
  • The second by Consent.
  • The third by Infliction.

1. SATAN is the grand contriver of mans destruction, and therefore is the Author of it, not by a Physical but moral causality. He is the Father of sin, [...]. Jam: 1.15. Sin the parent of death He who is the Antient of daies tells us, the Devil is [...], A murderer from the beginning. And through mans cowardise in consenting to ini­quity, he who at the first did but u­surp, hath now [...], the power of death: and is not to be o­vercome, but by Christ who is stronger then he. And blessed be God that the Author of Death is overcome by him who is the Prince of life, Heb. 2.14, 15. and the Au­thor and finisher of that faith against which the gates of hel shal not prevail

But 2. Man consenting. This is ano­ther cause of death: to prove this, see that remarkable place, Rom. 5.12.Hic enim duo concur­runt ten­tator et ob­temperator. Zeged. loc [...] commu. As by one man sin entered into the world & Death by sin, & so death passed up­on all men for that all have sinned. We were no sooner children of Adam, but we were sons of Death. Our first Fa­ther Adam, & we in him did eat of that apple, the core whereof doth yet stick in our throats, and will at length choak us one by one. Sin is our own work, & death is the Wages of sin, wch [Page 13]brings me to the third cause, God in­flicting. If man by his sin saith he will die, God by his decree saith he shall die; so that man shal have his will though it end in his woe. If A­dam will needs entaile an hereditary curse upon his posterity, God will so ratifie it by his supreme Act in hea­ven, that it shall never be cut off, it shall be inevitable, seeing he hath appointed for men once to die. And thus we have the resolution of these three Questions. I shall only answer an objection, and so proceed to use.

Object. But is this true? It is ap­pointed to men, men indefinitely; to all men to die. What is the reason we read of some persons who did not, of some who shall not taste of Death?

Answ. I. Answer, Particular exceptions destroy not the verity of general rules: because some go out of the backdoor, we doe not therefore cease to say that the gate is the ordinary way out of the house; and because some hath not seen death, or others shall not, we need not cease to affirm, It is ap­pointed for men once to die; for men are said to die either properly, and really, or by way of aequiva­lency, when they ungergo a [Page 14] Change equal with death. Thus did Enoch when he was translated; E­lijah, when carried to heaven in a fiery Charriot, and this shall they undergo who shall be found alive when Christ shal come to judgment. The essence of Death or rather its nature, not consisting in cinerefacti­on, but (as I have before affirmed) in a separation of life from its sub­ject, which in Gods people is ac­companied with a blessed dis-union, of sin from their soul. They are no longer subjects of sin, when once ves­sels of eternal glory.

The next thing in order of me­thod will be to make some inference from what hath been said, and let me premise this, it will be wisdom for us to look this King of Terror in the face, and to consider whether we are able to encounter with him or no; and what Nero did when he heard he was sentenced by the Se­nate, as an enemy to the Publick Weale, to be punished More majo­rum, despairing to live, he tried the points of the Ponyards wherewith he had resolved to dye, to feel their sharpness, before he sheathed them [Page 15]in his bowels. So it would be wis­dome in us. by serious reflection up­on our frailty, to die daily, that so the day of our death may not sur­prize us unawares. Storms are most terrible when they surprize us sud­denly, and without a shelter. Death will then be most unwelcome, when it overtakes us unprepared or unre­solved to grapple with it.

I shall now endeavor to apply this Doctrine.

If this be true, That death is ine­vitable; Ʋse 1 then let us live as such who are to die. Because death is an evil to nature let us not hasten it: be­cause it is a necessary consequent of our sin: Let us endeavour, that though it separate our souls from our bodies, yet it seize not on us in such an estate, which will separate both from God. Because by Christ it is o­vercome; and proves a friend to Grace by hasting its consummation in Glory: let us not be afraid to en­counter with it. But alas, how few of us make this improvement of the necessity of death? How many by intemperance and disorder do dig [Page 16]their graves with their own teeth; How many are there whose [...], are their [...] whilest they are Som­no vino (que) sepulti before their passing-bell hath tolled; and even whilest their bones are full of marrow, Job. 20 11. their souls are replete with the sins of their youth. These are such who put far from them the evil day; They consi­der not the daies of darknesse, neither think of them any more then (as the Prophane proverb is) Their dying day. Their inward thought is, that not only their houses, Psalm 49.11. but they shall abide for e­ver, not considering there is a God in whose hands are their life, breath and all their waies; that their breath is in their nostrils, and their life ere long may be as water spilton the ground; that it will lay the greatest Prince le­veld with the poorest Peasant;Pallida mors aequo pulsat pede pauperum tabernas Regum (que) turres Hor at. lib. 1. Od. 4. that Death regards not the scepter of a mortal Prince, nor compassionates the sad estate of any nor will be bri­bed to give a release from natures bonds; that the grizly hand of death will cover many a naked brest (which formerly hath been the looking-glasse of lust, and pride) with a wind­ing-sheet: That this which [Page 17]is called death, [...] Chrysost. Serm. de Fid. & Leg Natur. Psal. 49.14 shall cool the valour of all the hot-spurs in the world, who in their life time could not put up an in­jury without a challenge. That they shall roll in the dust, who sometimes did wallow in pleasures, like the swine in the mire; when like sheep they are laid in the grave, and death shall feed upon them. And how few of the heirs of life, do walk as if they were to pass to an inheritance, but after death? whilst some do either with persecuted Elijah, or peevish Jonah, seek after death, exceedingly desirous of the penny, but yet so delicate, that they they are loth to work in the heat of the day. Others of them, though they have set their faces towards the new Jerusalem, and are on their journey thither, yet by the way they remember the flesh-pots of Egypt, Num. 11.5 and their present enjoyments do make them the lesse active in the expecta­tion of future felicity. God is for­ced to cast wormwood upon the brests of the Creature, that he may make them the more earnestly draw water out of the wells of Salvati­on.

Others of them conceive, God may [Page 18]have honour by their lives: and therefore they are loath they should be deprived of such an opportunity, by their deaths. For this cause pos­sibly the Psalmist might say, Psalm 102.24. O my God take me not away in the midst of my dayes. And up­right Hezekiah might beg for a re­prieve after God had said unto him, Thou shalt dye, and not live. All these, though their intentions might plead an excuse, yet their actions are not commendable. Yet we know, a found constitution is consistent with some qualmes: and we ought to conclude, that strength of grace is consistent with some weakness in this particular. Gods people cease not to be men by becoming Christians; as they are the former they may be afraid, as the latter, they do dare to dye. Aaron upon Mount Hor can be stripped of his clothes,Num. 20.18 and with­out repining go to bed. Blessed Si­meon wil depart in peace, Luke 2.29 30. after his eyes have seen the Lords Salvation. Act. 21.13 The holy Apostle is indifferent whether to live or dye, but if it be for the name of the Lord Jesus he is ready not to be bound, but to dye also. [Page 89]Thus we see the Shepherd of Israel, hath sheep as well as Lambs in his fold; men of riper years, as well as babes in Christianity. Such as dare encounter the King of terrors, as well as such who are afraid at his pre­sence.Vide Bul­linger. in 1 Thess. 4.8 Morte [...]n mali vitant sancti in vi­tant, quibus non tam vi­tae hujus in­teritus: quam aeter­nae interitus est. Heidfel. Sphis Theo Phil. c. 38. p. 908. But all believers have this hap­pinesse, though few live in the com­fort of it, that death to them is but a sleep, the grave an hiding place, both a resting from their labours: their passage from this vale of misery, is but an entrance into their Masters joy. This notwithstanding, is not sufficient, for a Christian to know, that though he die, yet his life is hid with Christ in God. He must so dye, that God may be glorified by his death; the which that every one of us may do, we must prepare our selves for so great a change. The which preparation consists in three things,

  • 1. Dying unto sin.
  • 2. Living unto righteousness.
  • 3. Mortification to the world.

A word to each of these

First, 1 Dying unto sin. * The sting of death is sin; 2 Cor. 15.56 he then that dyeth unto sin, destroyeth death. And [Page 20]frequent reflections upon death, would prove an excellent meanes hereunto. But oh! how hard is it (though we have daily Spectacles of others mortality) to live under con­victions of our owne! we should live more in heaven, if we did believe we were to die, and so to goe from hence. This would season our dis­course, lives, and check the exorbi­tancy of our rising lusts to consider it is appointed for all men once to die, and consequently alleviate the feare of death. For that which maketh death terrible to a considerative mind, is not so much the pain which is felt in the separation of soul & bo­dy; (for I doubt not but men undergo more sharp agonies (as to fense) in a fit of the stone, [...]. Chrysost. expos. Psal. 116. or gout, or such acute diseases, then at the moment of their dissolution) nor is it altoge­ther that natural abhorrency of an annihilation, or destruction of being. which maketh death formidable; but that which represents death sitting upon a pale horse, as described Rev. 6.8. is conscience of sin, and thereby ob­ligation unto hell following after death: but a beleever may use with a [Page 21]holy confidence, what sometimes presuming Agag said,1 Sam. 15 32. Surely the bit­ternesse of death is past; and with the blessed Apostle may close his eies in peace with a [...], &c. Rom. 8.83.39. I am perswaded that neither death, nor life, nor Angels, nor principalities, nor powers, &c. shall be able to sepa­rate me from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

2. Living unto righteousnesse. Mala more put [...]nda non est qu [...]m bona vita prae­cesserit. August. de civit: Dei lib. 1. cap. 11. A holy life will usher in a happy death. This is that which doth also evidence our dying unto sin, and will make us die more peaceably in our beds. We find, that they who li­ved most up amongst the heathens to the principles of morality, were least afraid to die; when those who lived the most rudely, were most un­willing to leave the world. Seneca, or Cate, when about to die, seem ex­ceeding ready, when a wicked Nero, whose conscience told him what his mouth did utter,Sueton: in vita Nero­nis. Vivo deformiter ac turpiter, doth depart the world with an Ʋs (que) adeone mori miserum est and encourageth himself to his own ruine, with an [...].

It becometh not, It becometh not thee, O Nero, to be so daunted, go to, en­courage thy selfe. Upright Heze­kiah had not such cause to weep, when the Prophet brought those ty­dings to him,Isai. 38.1, 2 that he should dye, and not live, seeing he was so well pre­pared for death, that he could ap­peal to God, that he had walked be­fore him in truth, and with a perfect heart, and done that which was good in his sigh. David his father also, a man after Gods own heart, did thus prepare for death, and after he had served his own generation, by the wil of God fell asleep, Act. 13 35.

Thirdly,3 Mortification to the world; this will prepare us for the stroke of death. Those things which are glewed together, are not with­out much difficulty dis-united; and when our affections are set upon earthly things, we shall not willing­ly think of being covered up in dust. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush: and men are not easily per­swaded to part with present delights for an expectation of future happi­nesse. The man who fareth delici­ously every day, will not willingly [Page 23]hear of being meat for worms. He who is gorgeously arrayed (as the rich man in the Gospel) will not ea­sily strip himself to a winding-sheet, or they that stretch themselves upon their couches, will be willing to be laid in the grave.Charies the Fifth. Haec sunt que fa­ciunt invitos mori, These are the things which make us unwilling to die, was a sober answer of that pru­dent Emperor to a magnificent Duke of Venice in the like case. But now a child of God, whose Treasure is in Heaven, desireth to be there himself also, leaving the world [...], as the Apostle his phrase is, Phil. 1.23. having a desire to be dissolved, and to be with Christ; who by his death doth enable his to die to earthly things, that their heart may soar a of [...], and aspire to that place, where he their treasure is; where their souls being sequestred from earthly comforts, they drink no longer at the broken cisterns of the Creature but derive all their happi­nesse from him with whom their springs are found. Thus those pre­cious Jewels (their immortal souls) shall there shine in their native lu­stre, [Page 24]where not trampled upon by fil­thy sense, they approach to God, and are made more like to him from whom their essence was received. And thus much shall serve for the first use.

Is Death inevitable? Ʋse 2 then let this be a cordial to cheer us up un­der, to strengthen us against the losse of friends: we usually say, pati­ence perforce is small hearts ease, but yet we may make a virtue [...] this necessity of mortality imposed upon us, to help our patience in this particular. The wise heathen could comfort himself under the losse of his sons, with this expression, Scio me mortales genuisse; [...]. Laert. Diog: vita A­naxag. I know I have begot such who are mortal. But a holy Christian, who knoweth that God hath appointed, and not fate imposed, a necessity of Death to all, may with greater comfort sup­port himself with a Scio Deum hoc decrevisse; I know God hath ap­pointed it: and with the Psalmist, hold his peace seeing the Lord hath done it. David hath learned this lesson exceeding well: and we see him take it out to the amazement of [Page 25]his Servants, 2 Sam. 12.21, 22, 23. even to their saying with admira­tion, What thing is this that thou hast done! Much more may we comfort our selves, if we know they did die in the Lord: The doubt of which possibly might be one rea­son of the impatience, and immode­rate grief of the aforesaid holy man, for the death of Absalon. Were our relations holy in their lives, they are happy after death: They have left us, we have not lost them, but shall receive them, or ra­ther be received to them at the last day, when death shall be swallowed up into victory. 'Tis the Apostle his comparison, That which thou sowest is not quickned, except it die: nei­ther is the body raised in glory, ex­cept sown in dishonour, 1 Cor. 15.36 43. This is rather envy than pie­ty, to bewail the death of such,Charron of Wisdom, lib. 3. c. 27. see­ing their absence from us, speaks their presence with their and our chiefest good. Their death is but a departure to a better life. Hence St. Paul, when he speaketh of his death for the cause of his blessed [Page 26]Saviour, [...]. Ch [...]ysost. in Phil. 2.12. and the service of the Church, Phil. 2.12. doth not call for their tears, but rejoying. The serious belief of a Resur­rection, and this life which is to come, would be then a great support, under our loss of friends for the present; 1 Thess. 4.14. or else the Apostle shewed himself no good Rhetorician, when he maketh use of such an Ar­gument, to perswade believers from sorrowing, as others which have no such hope. But whilst I speak for this,Humanitatis vero of­ficia & misericordiae opera (quod & alibi mo­nuimus) per hoc non da­mnantur &c. Bulling. in 1 Thess. 4.13, 14. I would not seem the least to countenance or insinuate the other extreme; I mean, that [...], which is more common in the world. Many men, who would not be count­ed [...], men without hope, yet are [...], without natural affe­ction, who never think they shall live, till their relations die; and follow them with less sorrow to their graves, then they return with laughter to their Chests. The which though they labour to conceal, yet [Page 27]their neglect of Funeral Rites to their deceased friends, doth give o­thers occasion to suspect it. If you ask them a reason of this omission, their answer is at hand; and because you shall know they speak not with­out the book, you shall have the sense, if not the words of the Father, O mnis ista curatio funeris, August. de Civit. Dei, lib. 2. c. 12. conditio sepulturae, pompa exequiarum, magis sunt vivorum solatia, quam subsidia mortuorum; Funeral so [...]mnities are rather for the comfort of the living, than the advantage of the dead; and therefore are with less trouble omit­ted, than cost performed. But I could wish such to look a little fur­ther, and they shall soon perceive what ill use they make of that Do­ctrine: Nec ideo tamen contemnenda, August. de Civit. Dei, lib. 1. c. 13. & abjicienda sunt corpora defuncto­rum, &c. We must not therefore cast those away, from whom God hath withdrawn his breath, especially those bodies which have been the or­gans of the Holy Spirit to every good work. God will not be well pleased that men should respect those bodies that were the Temples of the Holy [Page 28]Spirit, no more than dung, which is cast forth into the open Air: That the Stones of the Sanctuary should be poured forth in the top of every street; that the precious Sons of Zion, com­parable to fine gold, should be esteem­ed as earthen pitchers; nor that the Body of a man should be buried as the Carcase of a dog. The same God who hath commanded us, not to sorrow, as men without hope, doth yet allow we should mourn as those, in whose hearts resideth love. That we weep,Vid. Bullin. optimè de hac re dis­serentem, Dec. 3. Ser. 10. de Inst. Eccles. Mat. 23.27, 29. will speak us men; that in this case we grieve with moderation, will shew us Christians. Indeed our Saviour seems to chide such who did build the Tombs of the Prophets, and garnish the Sepulchers of the righ­teous: but (take notice) they were such, who themselves were as graves that did not appear, and like unto whited Sepulchers, Luk. 11.44, 47. seeing it was not affection to the persons of the Prophets, but respect to their own praise, which put them upon that Religious shew, yet Hypocritical action; they per­secuting the Lords anointed, whilst they pretend to do his Prophets no [Page 29]harm: yea, to reverence their me­mory after death, whom their Pa­rents not onely hated, but attempted to kill when alive. Notwithstanding this, we finde it the practice of the Saints, to bewail the loss of their friends, and decently to interre them. Even the Father of the faithful, Gen. 23.2. when Sarah is dead, cometh to mourn, and to weep; and with no less care than love, doth provide a Burial-place for her. Thus when Jacob had yielded up the ghost, the youngest Joseph shews the strongest love, and fell upon his fathers face, and wept upon him; and kissed him, and commandeth his servants the Physicians to embalm him, Gen. 50.1, 2. and made a mourning for his father, ver. 10. There was his natu­ral affection as a Son, yet but seven dayes; there his moderation as a Christian, [...], Eus. Eccles. hist. l. 1. c. 4. who had hopes of a Re­surrection: which the Egyptians not expecting, were more extrava­gant in their sorrow, and mourned for him seventy dayes. We finde it also promised as a blessing to Abi­jah the Son of Jeroboam, that all [Page 30]Israel should mourn for him, and bury him; which was performed, as to him, so to good Josiah, whom the Prophet Jeremiah lamented for, and all the singing-men and the singing-women spake of; and that not for once, but made it an Ordinance in Israel to this day, composing Elegies upon him: when-as wicked Jehoia­kim, 2 Chron. 35.25. as a curse upon him, had no o­ther Monument, but the burial of an Ass, drawn forth, and cast be­yond the gates of Jerusalem; nei­ther did any lament for him, say­ing,Jer. 22.18, 19. Ah Lord, or Ah his glory! Not to multiply Examples, let that of our Saviour be the last, who was decently interr'd, as for otehrs, so this account, Vid. Polan. Syntag l. 6. c. 19. That we might be careful that our burials of the dead may be so comely, that it may answer somewhat the hopes we have of a Resurrection unto life. Fear of Superstition, must not thrust us up­on a certainty of Inhumanity; the former is not to be allowed, the lat­ter must ever be avoided. The Medium, is, A due respect to those after their deaths, whom we [Page 31]have loved in their lives: which will testifie to the world, they liv'd desired, whilst they die lamented. We in the mean time moderating our grief with this Consideration, It is appointed unto men once to die.

HEB. 9.27.

But after this the Judge­ment.

II. Of JUDGEMENT.

HAving spoken of Death out of this place; I now come to speak of what is after it, to wit, Judgement. Although possibly by Judgement may be here meant, the particular Judgement of every man; (to wit) immediately after the sepa­ration of his Soul and Body, by Death. Yet where God hath not expresly set us bounds, I suppose it is not necessary for us to confine our selves. There being therefore no such [Page 33]necessity of that restriction, I shall take my liberty to speak of the ge­neral Judgement at the end of the World. In my ensuing Discourse, I shall not attempt any Division in this intire Proposition, but deduce this Doctrine: Doct. ‘That God hath appointed a Day in which he will Judge the World.’

The express words of the Apostle, Act. 17.31. I shall not heap up many Arguments, either from Scripture or Reason, [...]. Chrysost. de Laz. Con 4. to prove the truth of this Proposition; though up­on due consideration, ma­ny from both would crowd into my thoughts. But I wave them: for I suppose my self to speak to Christians who believe, not to Infidels who may deny, at least doubt, of this truth. But if I must needs prove it, I will go no further than that usual expression of men, to put an end to strife, As God shall judge me. The frequency of which [Page 34]in mens mouthes, doth testifie to their faces, that God hath appointed a day wherein to judge the world. For the due understanding of which Truth, let these particulars be considered:

  • 1 Judex, The Judge.
  • 2 Judicandi, The persons to be judged.
  • 3 Modus Judicii, The manner of Judgement.
  • 4 Judicii Eventus, The Event of the Judgement.

For the first,1 we will consider who shall be the Judge: We finde in Scripture this Title, The Judge of the World, attributed sometimes to God, sometimes to Jesus Christ.

To God, 1 as Gen 18.23. Shall not the Judge of all the Earth do right? Eccles. 3.17. I said in my heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked. But I suppose, those and the like places, may be under­stood of Gods Providential Ex­ercise of Judgement in the World, as being the Moderator and Go­vernour thereof, and not of the [Page 35] Ʋltimate and Definitive Sentence at the last Day:Ideo antem cum diem Judicii Dci dicimus ad­dimus ultimum, vcl no­vissimum: quia & nunc judicat, & ab humani generis initio judicavit. August. de Cir. Dei, lib. 20. c. 1. for thus the Father judg­eth no man, but hath com­mitted all judgement unto the Son, Joh. 5.22. not but that the whole Trini­ty do exercise this Work: for Opera Trinitatis ad extra sunt indivisa; but in a more singular manner Christ, as he is [...]: and that upon these Accounts.

  • 1 As it is a part of his Regal Office.
  • 2 As he is iDELEGATUS DEI to this Work.

FIRST,1 As it is a part of his Kingly Office to judge others, to ab­solve the Innocent, to condemn the Nocent: this is a Kingly Work. And that Christ hath Authority to do this, is evident; for in the day of his Inauguration, when the Diadem of Glory was first set upon his head, (to wit) after his Resurrection, he tells us, All Power is given unto him both in Heaven and in Earth: He [Page 36]drunk of the Brook in the way, and here he did lift up his head. But in the last Day, he shall much more be higher than his enemies; when they who in their popular fury cried out, We have no King, but Caesar, Videbunt ergo Judaei Deum & hominem sem­per regnantem quem ne­gande desperaverunt morientem. Aug. de Sym. ad Catech. tract. 4. c. 8. and would not have him to rule over them, shall be brought be­fore him, and slain before his face. They who would not kiss the Sce­pter of his Grace, shall be bruised like a potters vessel, by the iron Rod of his Justice.

Secondly, 2 As he is DELEGATUS DEI to this Work; as God hath assigned, substituted, appointed him to, or committed to him the Judge­ment of the World. See Act. 17.31. He hath appointed a day wherein he will judge the World in Righte­ousness, by that man whom he hath ordained. And so Rom. 2.16. God shall judge the secrets of men by Je­sus Christ: Rom. 14.10. 2. Cor. 3.10. And hence Gods Tribu­nal is called the Judgement-seat of Christ. And thus we see Quis Ju­dex. SECONDLY,

Quinam Judicandi? 2 Who are to be judged? The Doctrine tells us in general, the World; but more particularly

  • 1 Angels,
  • 2 Men.

FIRST,1 Angels, that is to say, The evil ones, they shall be judged: for therefore is it they are reserved in everlasting chains under darkness, unto the Judgement of the great day, Jude 6. This the Devils believe, Mat. 9.29. and tremble because of: and therefore was that cry, Art thou come to tor­ment us before the time?

But SECONDLY, Man; 2 and that

  • 1 Good Men,
  • 2 Evil Men.

For, saith the Apostle, 2 Corinth. 5.10. We must all appear before the Judgement-seat of Christ. But yet this shall be after a diverse man­ner: THE former, to be decla­red just; THE latter, to be con­demned as wicked. The former [Page 38]shall have Confidence when he shall appear, [...]. Chrysost in Gen. 1. Hom. 8.1 Joh. 2.28. The latter shall not onely be asha­med, but shall not stand in the Judgement, Psal. 1.5.

I now proceed to the third thing to be considered,3 which is MODUS JUDICII, The manner of this Judgement. And in the right stating of this, these things must be ob­served:

  • 1 Res Judicandae, The things judged.
  • 2 Norma Judicii, The Rule of Justice.
  • 3 Assessores in Judicio, The As­sessors in Judgement.

FIRST, The things to be iudged. The matters to be inquired after in this great Assizes, at this general Audit, and what they are, is re­solved Eccles. 12.14. God shall bring every work into Judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be evil, or whether it be good. This Judge of Heaven and Earth, is [Page 39] Sagax animi. [...]. Chrysost Hom. 25. de fut. Judic. tom. 6. He will suffer no person, no thing to escape his most exact scrutiny, to avoid his un­controlled Sentence. He himself tells us, Mat. 12.36. There is not an idle word, but we shall give an account of it. The Apostle Paul goes some­what further than this, Rom. 2.16. In that day when God shall judge, [...], the secrets of mens hearts. And if God do so, what is there hid, that shall not be made manifest? The Adulterer, who waiteth for the twilight, and to whom the morning is as the shadow of death, shall in that day be made manifest at noontide to the view of Men and Angels. And if his being known here, put him in the terrors of the shadow of death, Iob 24.17 how terrible shall that day be unto him, when what he hath done in secret, shall be proclaimed upon the house-top? For look as the Apostle saith, Heb. 4.13. [...], &c. There is not any creature that is not manifest in his sight, but [Page 40]all things are naked, [...]. Oe [...]umen. in locum. [...], and open­ed unto the eyes of him, with whom we have to do: So shall they be to all the world at the day of Judg­ment: for, there is no­thing covered, which shall not be re­vealed; and hid, that shall not be known, Matth. 10.26. The hand of Justice at that time, shall wipe away many a blot, which hath been cast upon the people of God, their name, actions, cause, by the ungrateful world; and shall pluck off many a Mask from the face of such, [...] &c. Chrysost. de Pro. lib. 1. who have covered hatred by deceit, and make them known in the midst of the congregation. He shall then, by the Touchstone of his Truth, distinguish gold from that which glisters, and is not such; and shall take every piece of repro­bate silver, and cast it into a fur­nace of unquenchable fire, not to purifie, but to consume it. In this world, Saul is sporting in his Palace, [Page 41]while David is flying as a Partridge upon the Mountains; Ahab is stretch­ing himself upon his Couch, whilst righteous Naboth is breathing his last under a heap of stones; Ahasue­rus and his Courtiers are drinking wine in bowls, whilst holy Esther, with the Church of God, are weep­ing and wailing, covered in sackcloth and ashes: Ps. 37.6, 7. Heb. 11.37. VIOLENCE covereth the wicked as a garment; their eyes stand out with fatness, they have more than heart can wish: whilst the godly wander about in sheepskins and goat-skins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented. The proud are called hap­py; yea, they that work wickedness, are exalted. Vide Aug. de civ. Dei l. 20. c. 2, 3. The Chaff and the Corn are mixt together in the same floor; the Wheat and the Tares grow together in the same field. But in that great and notable day of the Lord, when God shall appear with his fan, and throughly purge his floor, Mal. 4.1. Hic est qui dicitur, dies judicii. August. de civ. Dei, l. 18. c. 35. he will separate the precious from the vile; and all the proud, yea, all that do wickedly, shall be stubble, and that day shall burn them up. Then shall the world discern between the righte­ous [Page 42]and the wicked, between him that serveth God, and him that serveth him not, Mal. 3.18.

Secondly, NORMA JUDICII, The Rule of Justice. This also must be considered in Courts of Judica­ture; and because that Lex est nor­ma Judicii, we shall see that God will proceed legally also: for, as for heathens, who having not the law, are a law unto themselves; if they sin without the law, they shall perish without the law, Rom. 2.12. They then shall be judged by this Rule, (to wit) the law of Nature. As for such, Secondly, who have sinned in the law, they shall be judged by the law, Rom. 2.12. and so that law which was ordained unto life, through their breach thereof shall be found to death; as the Apostle speaks in his own person elsewhere, in another case. For such then who have heard of the Moral Law, it shall be the Rule of their Judgement, but yet closer. Revel. 20.12. The Apostle John speaking of the last Judge­ment he saw in a Vision, he tells us, The dead were judged out of those [Page 43]things which were in the Books, &c. Now there are three Books, out of which, the Dead shall chiefly be judged:

  • 1 The Book of Conscience.
  • 2 The Book of Gods Omnisci­ency.
  • 3 The Book of the Scriptures.

For the first, 1 The Book of Con­science: The Book spoken of, Rev. 20.12. which is the Book of Life; LIBER VITAE UNIUSCU jus (que) (The Book of each mans Life) as one * translates it;Vide Aug. de civ. Dei l. 20. c. 14. and that is (as he interprets it) Conscience: into which, God shall infuse a supernatu­ral Light, whereby all the actions of men, which have been written in it, shall appear, however former­ly they may have seem'd rased out by Oblivion: Conscience shall then awake, however it hath been stifled or seared by counter-checks, to the dictates of an inlightned minde. Truth, though imprisoned before in unrighteousness, shall now have its freedom to accuse, yea, to condemn [Page 44]the sinner; and (will he nill he) shall set those sins before his eyes,Psa. 50.21. & 51.9. from which God hath not hid his face.

Secondly, 2 not onely Conscience, which is the Clerk of the Assizes, but God, who is the great Custos Ro­tulorum, shall produce and prefer all the Bills of Indictment that can be brought against a sinner, and reade all the Pardons which have been sealed to a Saint, who stands now at Gods Tribunal, for his Trial upon Life and Death.

Thirdly, 3 The Book of the Scri­ptures: This shall be NORMA JƲDICII, The Rule of Judgment. And so we hear the Judge himself say, Joh. 12.48. The word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him at the last day: And one of his chief Retinue tells us the same; God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, (saith he) [...],Rom. 2.16. according to his Go­spel delivered by me. Men shall be judged according to their Works, their Works according to the Go­spel. The wicked shall be judged, [Page 45] SECƲNDƲM, ET PRO­PTER OPERA, according, and for their Works, by the Law; The godly, SECƲNDƲM, SED NON PROPTER OPERA, ac­cording, but not for their Works, by the Gospel: Which Gospel shall condemn the wicked, for their neg­lect of so great Salvation; and shall acquit the godly of their sins against the Law,Praeveni­unt judici­um fide suā. Aug. Serm. 121. de re­sur. mort. by reason of this, that they believe in Christ, and so have ac­cepted the Reconciliation tendred in the Gospel.

THE third thing in this manner of Judgement considerable,3 is AS­SESSORES IN JƲDCIO, the Assistants or Associates in the Judg­ment: and these God doth use out of indulgence, not indigency; to ho­nour them, not to help him. And they are

  • 1 Holy Angels,
  • 2 Glorified Saints.

Christ formally, the Angels instru­mentally, the Saints declaratively, shall Judge the Word.

FOR the first, 1 I have touched somewhat upon this already; onely let me adde, He is said formally to Judge, who passeth the definitive Sentence of Life or Death, Absolu­tion or Condemnation upon the In­nocent or Nocent; and that Christ with his own mouth shall do this, and that (as I have said) as a part of his Regal Office, see Matth. 25.34. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, &c. SECOND­LY,

The Holy Angels instrumentally or ministerially: 2 for, with the sound of a Trumpet they shall gather to­gether the Elect from the four winds, from the one end of heaven unto the other, Mat. 24.31. And whether or no Christ will use them as instru­ments to execute his Sentence, I shall not here determine; the Af­firmative seems evident, Mat. 13.49, 56.

The Saints declaratively shall judge the World, 1 Cor. 6.2. Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? This honour then shall the Saints have, that they who are [Page 47]now trodden down as mire in the streets, shall hereafter sit upon the Bench with the Judge of the Earth. They shall judge the World: how? Not as Counsellors to this Judge; For who hath been his Counsellor, Rom. 11.24. but declaratively? that is to say, either by consenting to his Judgement, as just and true, as in Courts of Ci­vil Judicature, they are said to do, when by rising up, or some such sign, they shew an assent to the Sentence, pronounced by the Judge, as the Judgement of the Court: or else declaratively; that is to say, their Faith, good Conscience, Integriry, shall then so appear, that they shall make the wicked inexcusable. And thus even in this life, Noah is said by preparing an Ark, Heb. 11.7. to have condemned the world: And in the life to come our Saviour saith,Mat. 12.41. The queen of the South shall rise up in judgement with that generation which heard him, and his Gospel, and shall con­demn it. And he also tells his Di­sciples, Luk. 22.30. that they shall sit on Twelve Thrones, and shall judge the Twelve Tribes of Israel; [Page 48]that is to say, the Faith of the Apo­stles,Non est a­liter intel­ligendum. Marlorar. in loc. [...], 1 Cor. 4.13. who were Israelites, yea igno­rant men, and yet embraced Christ, and were Ministers of his Kingdom, shall take away all excuse from the Israelites. O how shall the spark­ling Beauty of a Saint (who is but in this world accounted as the filth thereof, and the off-scouring of all things) break forth in that day, when God shall make up his Jewels, [...]. Cyri [...]. Catec. 15. p. 382. even to the dazling of the eyes, and tying the tongues of those, whose malice or detraction did so far hin­der them, that they would or could not be­hold the Majesty of Heaven in their lives, whilst in this world! They shall then look upon them with an eye of envy, whom before they view­ed with supercilious contempt and disdain; and with their tongues shall say, We fools counted their lives madness; but behold, they are num­bred amongst the righteous. And thus much for this third Particu­lar.

We shall next speak to JƲDICII EVENTƲM, The Event of this general Judgement: and it is set down, Mat. 25.46. The wicked shall go away into everlasting punisment; but the righteous into life eternal; the former shall be punished with ever­lasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and the glory of his power, 2 Thess. 1.9. The latter shall meet the Lord in the air, and so shall ever be with the Lord, 1 Thess. 4.17. It may be expected I should now speak somewhat to the LOCƲS JƲDICII, The Place of Judge­ment: And truly some have curi­ously disputed, none I know of clear­ly determined this thing. Some would have it in the Valley of Je­hosaphat, which is situated betwixt the City of Jerusalem and Mount Olivet, which is toward the East; which opinion is grounded from that of Joel 3.2. where God saith, He will gather thither all Nations, and plead with them there for his people: and the Argument is enfor­ced from Act. 1.11. where the An­gel tells our Saviours Disciples, [Page 50]whilst they stood gazing up into heaven, that the same Jesus which was taken up from them into heaven, should so come in like manner, as they had seen him go into heaven. Others think it shall be in the Air, Grotius, Amesius, &c. out of 1 Thess 4.7. For my part, I I desire to be wise unto sobriety; and till I better understand the aforesaid places of Scripture, I shall believe, if God will finde a time when, he will also finde a place where, to judge the World.Temerè de­finire non audeo, quod excogitare non valeo. August. de Civ. Dei, l. 21. c. 30. In the mean time, I shall leave it amongst the [...], the secret things which be­long to God; as knowing, that those things which are revealed alone be­long to us. As for the TEMPƲS JƲDICII, the particular time of this general Judgement, some may possibly be inquisitive after; and some, with more confidence than success, have undertaken to define it. But I should be loth to decide, what Infinite Wisdome hath left in doubt: neither do I profess my self to un­derstand, what the Angels of heaven, nor any man doth know, but the Fa­ther onely, Mat. 24.36. Proud desire [Page 51]of knowledge may do hurt, where humble ignorance of what God is pleased to conceal, doth not suppose a fault. Let me leave this therefore irresolved, as the former, and apply what hath been already said.

It may inform us in the words of the Apostle,Ʋse 1 Rom. 14.12. So then, every one of us shall give an account of himself to God: for therefore is this Judgement appointed, that God may exercise Distributive Justice in the World, by rewarding the righte­ous, punishing the wicked; absol­ving the one, condemning the other: which actions suppose a scrutiny in mens lives. And although God who knoweth all things might with­out further witness, pass to give Sen­tence; yet he will give the sinner leave to plead his own Cause, and then out of his own mouth will con­demn him; or else so clear shall be the testimony of his own Conscience, that it shall leave him speechless, without excuse. And thus the sin­ner shall justifi: God when he speak­eth, and shall clear him when he judgeth. Thus they who would not [Page 52]confess their sin here, to give glory to God, shall (will they nill they) then confess it, to take shame unto themselves. Neither is this account less strict than sure; there are no shifts to avoid it: we cannot blinde the eyes of this Judge with gifts, nor scare him with our frowns; nor appeal from his Tribunal to a higher Bench, nor hide our selves from his Omniscience, or fly any where from his Presence: His Serjeant, Con­science, will Arrest the proudest Prince, and bring him before the King of kings; where, devested of his Royal Pomp, he shall equally stand to receive his Doom with the meanest Peasant, and shall there exchange his Scepter for a Crown of Glory, his Royal Ornaments for the White Robes of the Saints; or else be environed with greater shame. Each creature will own the Summons at that day, which the last Trump shall proclaim: The Earth shall give up its dead, the Sea likewise its; that so each person contained in them, may give an account of himself to God.

Secondly, If God hath appointed a Day wherein to Judge the World; Then learn that, 1 Cor. 4.5. There­fore judge nothing before the time, un­till the Lord come, who will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the heart. Let no man anticipate God, or take his Office out of his hand, by judging his brethren Ex­act knowledge is requisite in a Judge;Si judicas cognosce. Sen. Med. but the eyes of man are too dim to judge of the actions of others, be­cause they cannot see them in the heart, their Root and Fountain: for God alone searcheth hearts. Hence it is that holy men in this life are oft judged as hypocrites; when as on the contrary, the glistring gloworm of Morality, in this dark night of the world, goeth under the notion of Holiness and Integrity. Thus the righteous are condemned, and the wic­ked are justified by those, who judge after the sight of their eyes, accord­ing to appearance, and not righteous judgement. To those God doth speak, Who art thou that judgest an­other? Iam. 4.12 And also Gods people say, [Page 54](as to Moses was once retorted by the Israelite) Who made thee a Prince, Exo. 2.14. and a Judge over us? Produce thy Commission, thou that art so for­ward in censuring or condemning the rest of thy brethren: If thou hast none, what is thy plea for this in­ordinate practice? Is it that in the Psalmist;Psa. 12.4. Our lips are our own, who is Lord over us? And therefore thy tongue walketh through the streets. Hast thou not read, that God is ready to judge both the quick and the dead? to acquit whom thou condemnest; to condemn whom thou approvest? Or readest thou not that of the A­postle, Jam. 5.9? Behold, the Judge standeth before the door, execute not then thy malice, till God hath deli­vered his Sentence. It is not hatred of sin, but desire of revenge, which doth inflame mens tongues with a love to blame, and condemn, not a­mend and correct the faults of others; or rather as S. Austin doth notably observe,De Serm. Dom. in Mont. lib. 2. cap. 18. in Mat. 7.1. Such do labour with Pride or Envy, which cause their hearts to swell against the persons and names of their brethren.

Whilst I thus inveigh against judg­ing another, I do not say, but we may say A sin is a sin; Gal. 5.19. for the works of the flesh are manifest and there­fore fall under our censure. But in judging, we must avoid these three things:

First, 1 We must not, we may not judge our brethren about the use, or abstinence from those things which in their own nature are indifferent. In this case the Apostle puts the question,Sunt quaeiam facta media quae ignoramus quo an mo siam qaia & bono, & malo si [...]r. pos­sunt, de quibu. temera­rium est judicare maxi­me ut condemnemus. Aug. de Serm, Dom. in Mont. l. 2. c. 18. Rom. 14.4. Who art thou that judgest another mans servant? to his own Master he stand­eth or falleth. And for the abstinence from such things, the same Apostle saith, Let no man judge you; Calvin in loc. and that is (as one explains it) make guilty of Judgement, or Con­demnation, (to wit) for the omission of such Ceremonies as were abolish­ed by Christ his death.

Secondly, Our Suspicions must not serve us to condemn our brethren; for those [...], those secret things of the heart, it is Gods work to bring [Page 56]them to light, 1 Cor. 4 3. Suspicions are no Proof, and therefore not a sufficient foundation of a Legal Sen­tence: No, nor every Report is suf­ficient to raise a mist, whereby to darken the reputation of our bre­thren: for we know, SI SATIS FƲERIT ACCƲSASSE, NE­MO ERIT INNOCENS, If it were sufficient to accuse, none should be innocent. We must therefore in this case take Gods counsel, and imi­tate his practice. First, We must take his counsel, Deut. 13.14. They were not upon a bare report, to de­stroy them who said, Let us go and serve other gods. (But minde) thou shalt inquire, make search, and ask diligently: and behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, then do thus and thus. Again, see Gods Practice, Gen. 18.21. There God, who is Omniscient, saw their sin, the cry thereof came unto heaven, yet speaking to our capacity, and sug­gesting our duty; I will go down now (saith he) and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I [Page 57]will know. This is the second thing we must avoid then in judging: we must not condemn our brother for what we suppose or suspect, before sound search after, and clear know­ledge of the fact.

Thirdly, 3 and lastly, We must not condemn our brother for some parti­cular failing we clearly see in his life; either to the safety of his estate here, or the final security of his con­dition hereafter. My meaning is this, If I see one, the more constant tenor of whose life hath been to­wards God, and the remembrance of his Name, through temptation hurried, or invigilancy intangled in any sin, I must not censure this man to have been alwayes an Hypo­crite, or condemn him as one who shall ever be a Reprobate: No, I am to look upon him as a dislocated joynt in Christs Mystical Body; [...], Gal. 6.1. and therefore I must endevour to restore such a one in the spirit of meekness, considering my self, lest I also be tempted. That mans tongue had out-run his wits, and charity also, who should have (as it is to be [Page 58]thought many one did) counted David a Hypocrite before, or a Re­probate after his two great sins, Murther and Adulteny. But the Sun was never totally eclipsed, nor shall the candle of the righteous be put out in obscurity. Ps. 37.24. A righteous man may fall, but he shall not utter­ly be cast down: and it is the confi­dence of the Church, When I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me, Mic. 17.8. Let me adde, Though the constant tenor of a mans life in sin,Duo autem sunt in quibus temerarium ju­dicium evitare debemus cumincertum est quo a­nimo factum fuerit quic quid, & quum in­certum sit: qualis fu­turus sit, qui nunc vel honus, vel malus, appa­ret. Aug de Serm. Dom. l. 2. c. 18. may give us ground to think a man at the present, to be no better than a childe of wrath; yet this cannot warrant us to say, Here­after he shall be a son of perdition: for, INTER PONTEM ET FON­TEM, MISERICOR­DIA DOMINI; God maketh our Necessity of help, his Opportunity to bestow mercy. And he who here hath wallowed with Swine in the mire of sin, may before he die be washed [Page 59]white in the blood of the Lamb, and made fit to lodge in Abraham his bosom. Apud aper­tissimos ad­versarios, praedestina­ti amici la­titant, ad huc ignoti­ctiam sibi. Aug. de Civ. Dei, l: 1. c. 35. He who here had fellow­ship with the unfruitful works of darkness, may through Gods renew­ing Grace be made meet to be parta­ker hereafter, of the inheritance of the Saints in light. We must not then, we cannot judge any, scarce as to their estate here, not at all to their weal or woe hereafter.

The Third Ʋse, Ʋse 3 is that Jam. 2.12. So spe [...]k ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. He founds his Exhortation upon the Rule of Judgement, The Law of Liberty: He doth not say, Liberty, your Law; which Judge, many one would with their hearts and good will stand to: but that Law, the ob­servance of which, makes you, speaks you free, is certainly meant by the Apostle. Now he that will practise this duty, must observe these Dire­ctions, which will prepare him for the last and final Judgement by the Law of Liberty, the future Rule of our judgement.

FIRST, that in Act 17.30. Let [Page 60]our actions answer Gods injuncti­ons, which is, that all men every where do repent. God gives a reason of this Command in the following verse, [...], &c. Be­cause God hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness, &c. This is the great Audit of Heaven, and God expects our Accounts should be ready. It is Heavens Assizes, and God would give us notice to make sure of our Advocate, lest we be impleaded. It is the day of Hearing, and God ex­pects that our cause should not then be to be commenced: and because we cannot say we are innocent, God de­sires we should meet him with Re­pentance, that so he may not lead us forth with the workers of iniquity. [...]ic agat a­nima paeni­tentiam, ut illapossit mutaare sen­tentiam. Aug. de Sym. ad Cat. tract. 3. c. 8. He warns us to flee from the wrath to come, which cannot be, but by fly­ing to his mercy in Christ offered at the present: we should meet him with sorrow, that he may not cover our faces with shame; open our mouthes to him in confession, lest we stand speechless before him at that great day. Let every one of [Page 61]us say, QƲID FECI? What have I done? lest hereafter, in the bitter­ness of our Souls, each of us cry out, QƲID FACIAM? What shall I do, for the great day of his wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand?

Secondly, Let us practice that,Constitue te ante te; a­scende tri­bunal men­tis tuae, esto ribi judex, torqueat te timor, e­rumpat con­fessi [...], &c. Aug. in Psal. 49.1 Cor. 11.31. Judge our selves, that we may not be judged. We shall not be condemned at the Great Assizes, if we judge our selves in our own Private Sessions. If we would con­sider our wayes, God would not set our iniquities in order before us. When God doth open the Books, amongst the which, that of his Om­niscience will be one, all our debts will be found cancelled, wiped out with the blood of our Redee­mer, if we wash them with the tears of true Repentance. Assure we our selves, God will not seal up that mans iniquity in a bag, whose tears he putteth into his bottle. In that day the penitent sinner shall lift up his head for joy, and know his Redeemer liveth; when the obstinate sinner shall not stand when he is [Page 62]judged. He who hath opened his mouth to God in Confession, shall stop the Devils mouth, by pre­venting his Accusation. Then shall that Promise have its full ac­complishment,Pro. 28.13 He that confesseth his sins, shall finde mercy, when he that hideth them, shall not pro­sper.

A Third thing, is that Act. 24.16. To Exercise our selves to have alwayes a Conscience void of of­fence towards God, [...]. Chrysost. de Fut. Jud. Hom. 25. Tom. 6. and toward men. This the Apostle tells us was the result of his Faith in the Resurrection, which doth im­mediately precede the Judgement:2 Cor. 5.9, 10. to which also St. Paul had special regard, as an excellent Motive to a holy life. The same Conscience which doth Absolve us in this life, will also, under God, Acquit us in the other. A Conscience which is here void of offence, will not here­after be filled with Complaints: but if our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our hearts, and [Page 63]knoweth all things, 1 John 3.20. Repentance indeed is, TABƲLA POST NAƲFRAGIƲM. But no man will sink his Ship, trust­ing to a possibility of escaping drowning by a floating Plank: Nor should we sin, because the Grace of God doth abound. No man runneth into Debt the more, because he hopes for a Purse to discharge it. Next to having our sins blotted out of Gods Book, it is our greatest happiness, not at all to run upon the score; espe­cially when God hath told us certainly, The Soul that sinneth shall die; 2 Tim. 2.25. but hath left it at a peradventure, whether or no he will give us Repentance, to the ac­knowledgement of the Truth. He therefore that exerciseth him­self to keep his Conscience void of offence, taketh the surest course to be one, who [...],Joh. 5.24. though he may appear before Gods Tribunal; yet he shall not come into Condemnation. It is through Faith we are saved; but our Faith thus working by Love, [Page 64]herein is made perfect, 1 Ioh. 4.17 that we may have boldness in the Day of Judge­ment.

MAT. 25.46.

And these shall go away into Everlasting Punishment; but the Righteous into Life Eternal.

III. Of HELL.

I Have formerly spoken of Death, and its consequent, Judgement: the which seeing it is terminated in a definitive Sentence of Absolution or Condemnation, I have chosen these words, wherein we have de­scribed the different estate of the Wicked and the Righteous after Judgement: They shall go away in­to [Page 66]everlasting punishment, but these into life eternal. And because we judge of Contraries best,Ideo autem hunc te­nere ordinem malui ut postea disseram de faeli­citate Sanctorum, nec à divinis ordo iste abhor­ret eloquiis &c. Aug. de Civit. Dei, lib. 21. cap. 1. where they are opposed each to the other (we know the pleasure of light, by experiencing the terrors of darkness; the worth of health, by feel­ing the woe which is in sickness) I shall endevour to repre­sent to your thoughts the nature or estate of Hell; that so we may with greater vehemency aspire by our thoughts and actions towards Hea­ven.

The subject then of my present Discourse, is, To Treat of Hell; in the Suburbs whereof, every Son of Adam is born, and therein doth inhabit; till being born again, he becometh the Son of God, and con­sequently, an Heir of Eternal Glo­ry. In these words, we have these parts.

FIRST,1 The Persons; which are two sorts expressed under these terms: [...], that is to say, [...], The Wicked, those on the left hand: [Page 67] [...], The Righteous on the right hand.

Secondly, 2 Their Places, which are as different as their Persons. The one shall go, [...]; the other, [...]: the former of which is Everlasting; the latter, Eternal. I shall endevour to speak to both in their order.

Doct. The Proposition I observe from the first part, is, ‘That the Portion of the Wicked is everlasting Punishment:’

Or in the words of the Psalmist: ‘The Wicked shall be turned into Hell.Psal. 9.17.

I suppose I need not multiply pla­ces to evince the truth of this Pro­position: if any man doubt of it, let him consult his Conscience; the secret rebukes whereof, do some­times anticipate Hell, and give the sinner an earnest of that Sum of Misery, the payment whereof never shall have end. Let me [Page 68]ask such a sinner, if he feel nòt that Worm crawling in his brest, which shall never die? If he is not sometimes even scorched in this life, with some sparks of that unquench­able fire? But I should be sorry to think my self speaking to any who are worse than the Devils who believe what I am about to speak, and do tremble. I therefore pro­ceed to open this Abyss of Ter­ror, to bring to light the state of this place of Darkness, by consider­ing it in these respects:

  • 1 Secundum Materiam, Accord­ing to its Matter.
  • 2 Secundum Modum, Its Man­ner.
  • 3 Secundum Mensuram, Its De­gree.
  • 4 Secundum Durationem, Its Duration.

I shall speak to Hell, and the Torments thereof, according to all these respects.

For the First: When I speak of [Page 69]this Materia Gehennae, my pur­pose is not problematically to di­spute, or positively to assert any Corporeal fire in that place of Torment,Aquinas Suppl. ad 3. partem, Quest. 97. Art. 5. Bellarm. de Purgat. lib. 2 cap. 11. Eligat quis (que) quod placet, aut ignem tribu­ere corpori, animo ver­mem hoc propriè, illud topice, &c. August. de Civ. Dei, l. 21. c. 9. Qui ignis, cujusmodi & in qua mundi vel re­rum parte futurus sit hominem scire arbitror neminem. Ibid. de Civit. Dei, l. 20. c. 16. which some out of choice, rather than with clearness have possibly underta­ken: But my design is to treat of that Materîa circa quam, that object upon which these inter­nal flames are conver­sant; as also the Mate­ria ex qua, that Pabu­lum ignis, the fewel and foment of those everlast­ing burnings. And as to the first, we are to know, That Soul and Body conjoyn'd, are the adequate objects of this eternal fury. They have been partakers in sin, and there­fore shall be sharers in suffering; though the Soul, as it was the Prin­cipal and Ring-leader of this Rebel­lion against its Creator, shall have the first and deepest taste of this Mi­sery. Look as the Body, whilst in this life, by reason of the corruption [Page 70]of the Soul, was made an instrument thereof to act impiety: so when they are in Hell, the Soul shall be the Efficient of that vexation and an­guish which shall seize upon the Body. Even as we see here they do sympathize together, and partake of the weal or woe of either in this life: Though I deny not but God doth positively inflict his wrath on the Body, as well as on the Soul, as we shall hear further ere long.

But Secondly, 2 Let us see what is the Materia ex qua, that which doth kindle, and doth keep alive those coals of fire, which are heaped up­on the heads of the wicked; and that is Sin. This is that which was the Parent of Hellish sorrow, which did dig that Bottomless Pit, and doth daily inlarge the Mouth there­of. We lost our Right to Happi­ness, when we let go our Title to Holiness; and ever since we have departed from God, our steps have took hold of Hell; which is the production of the Creature, not at all the operation of the Creator: [Page 71]and though he execute it as an act of his Justice, [...]; Theoph. in Mat. 23.41. yet he approveth not of it, when it comes in com­petition with his Mercy: for, As I live, saith the Lord, I desire not the death of a sinner, but rather that he turn from his iniquity, and live, Ezek. 33.11. And thus much for the first Consideration of Hell and its Torments.

SECONDLY,2 We are to consider it, Secundum Modum, according to the Manner of that estate: And this will further descry the nature of these Torments; the manner of which, consisteth

  • 1 In privation of Infinite Good.
  • 2 In position of Ʋnspeakable Mi­sery.

The First is that Paena damni.

The Second, that Paena sensus which those miserable Creatures do lie under.

First, That Privation is part of [Page 72]the nature of Hell, seems to have some ground from this expression, [...], they shall go away; there is then terminus à quo, from which they depart, as well as ter­minus ad quem, whither they go: [...] ab à privativo & [...], is an Etymologie which every School-boy is acquainted with: and such in­deed is the nature of Hell. There is a twofold privation which I shall touch upon.

First, 1 A Privation of all outward enjoyments, of whatsoever the world calls good.

Secondly, 2 and chiefly, A privation of the Beatifical Vision. And in­deed, if the former were all, [...], Chrys. ad Theod. laps. Pa­raen. Hell were something tolerable; there being nothing without a man, in the absence whereof he may not retain his hap­piness But yet that is not inconsiderable in this forlorn estate, because whilst wicked men have their outward comforts about them, they do somewhat stupifie Conscience, and put far from them the evil day. [Page 73]But in Hell, [...], Chrysost. ad Theod. laps. Paraen. Cain shall finde no Cities to build; nor shall his Posterity in­vent to themselves instru­ments of Musick; none among them will take the Timbrel and Harp, or rejoyce at the sound of the Organ. Belshazzar cannot there drink wine in bowls, or eat the lambs out of the flock, or the Calves out of the midst of the stall. The rich man shall be de­prived of his delicate dishes, and that fine raiment wherewith he was clad every day. There are no Dice, whereby to cast care away; nor Cel­lars, wherein to drown his grief. Je­zebel her Paint shall there be melted off, and burning shall be in stead of beauty. Neither shall Judas his Bag afford him a crum of Comfort: for, in one hour, so great delights are come to nought. But this is the least part of their loss; for these al­so shall be deprived of him, in whose Presence is fulness of joy, and at whose right hand are pleasures for [Page 74]evermore. Depart from me, ver. 41. is the first and worst of that dread­ful Sentence which such shall hear. How shall Amazement and Horror, the pangs as of a woman in travail, seize upon the Souls of these accur­sed Caitiffs, when the Lamb of God shall utter his voice like a Lion, in that terrible Sentence, Depart from me; each syllable whereof doth pronounce amazement, accent grief, and will cause their Souls to meditate Terror, whom it doth concern. Thus those who did forget the God that formed them, shall be cut off from his hand, and be remembred no more. They who were the Servants of Sin, shall be free amongst the dead. They who were wise to do evil, whilst they suffer the terrors of the Lord, shall be distracted. They who wearied themselves to commit iniquity, shall finde, that the wages of sin is death, when they shall reap the fruit of their own doings, and their back­slidings shall correct them.

But I proceed to the Second (to wit) Position of Ʋnspeakable Mi­sery. 2 And here were my Tongue [Page 75]as the Pen of a ready wri­ter, [...]. Chrysost. ad Theod. laps. Paraen. Psal. 108.11. I should fail in speak­ing of those Torments which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entred into the heart of man to conceive. If we respect the Soul, great is the misery inflicted on it. Let us then judge of the Lion by his Paw, and that Ocean of wrath, by those [...]. Chrys. ad Theod laps. Paraen. Drops thereof, which fall sometimes up­on men on this side the Infernal Pit. If these do drown men in sorrow and sadness, what will be the case of such, when God shall afflict them with all his waves? when the terrors of the Lord shall come round about a Soul,Psa. 88.17. and compass it about together? when the Lord shall meet such a Soul, as a Bear which is robbed of her whelps, and shall rend the caul of his heart? when he shall make the wicked as a fiery oven in the time of his anger, Psa. 29.9. and shall swallow them up in his wrath, and the fire shall devour them? Iob 7.15. when God shall hunt them [Page 76]as a fierce Lion, and the Almighty shall set himself against a sinner in battel aray? How would such a Soul choose strangling and death, rather than life? But this is not all, though the chiefest of their sorrow; for the Body hath sinned, and must also suffer: That flesh which hath swimmed in pleasures, shall be drench­ed in rivers of Brimstone: Those eyes, which were sometimes the win­dows of vanity, shall now be the in­lets of ghastly spectacles: Those ears, which were delighted formerly with corrupt communication, shall now be affrighted with hideous yellings of those damned creatures: The curi­ous smell, stopped with the stench of that infernal place: That nice palate, shall want its curious fare; when he who was mighty to drink wine, and a man of strength to min­gle strong drink, shall feed upon wormwood, and drink the water of gall: The delicate touch shall no longer then be pleased, when he who was accustomed to stretch him­self upon Beds of Ivory, shall have this at the hand of the Lord, to lie [Page 77]down in sorrow. This will silence each cursing Shimei, who addeth grief to the sorrow of Gods people, by reproachful taunts; and tie the tongues of those railing Rabshekahs, who love all devouring words: For the tongue of the Slanderer shall not then be at liberty to walk up and down the earth, when its imprisonment in Hell shall controll it: The hands of the violent person shall be Ma­nacled there, and cease to oppress; and the feet of him who was swift to shed blood, shall be reserved in everlasting chains of darkness. Rev. 18.17 And by how much the more such have glorified themselves, and lived de­liciously, so much torment shall be given unto them. Were their strength the strength of stones, or their flesh of brass, yet how could they harden themselves in this sor­row? Can their hearts endure, or can their hands be strong in the day that the Lord shall deal with them? it's Gods own question, Ezek. 22 14. Yet endure they must, and that more than I have yet named. And this leads me to the Third Con­sideration [Page 78]of these Torments.

Secundum Mensuram, 3 Accord­ing to the Measure or Degree of them: and this is exceeding great, yet various, according to the several demerits of the sinner; for such as rebel against the light, is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever: LAESA PATIENTIA FIT FƲROR, Love slighted, turns to irreconcileable hatred. The Gulf between Heaven and Hell is made more wide, by neglecting great Sal­vation. It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of Judgement, than for Chorazin and Bethsaida, wherein Christ did his mighty works. We poor Mortals (until God do bring us from under the power of Satan to himself) do live in the world, as if Hell were not so hot, or the Devil so black, as indeed he is; as if Hell and Heaven were Nuga tricae (que) the one not worth the avoiding, the other not worth the enjoying: But the heat of fire was never painted; and the Devil is more deformed, than represented on the wall; there [Page 79]are unexpressible Torments in Hell, as well as unspeakable Joyes in Hea­ven. Some who write of Purgatory, Bellarm. de Purg. l. 2. c. 14. Bellarm. de Aeter. Faeli. Sanct. l. 2 c. 11. Bosquier Dom. in festo post pentec. tom. 2. tell us, the pains thereof are more exquisite, (though of short continuance) than the u­nited Torments that the earth can invent, though of longer duration. If the Popes Kitchin be so warm, how hot is the Devils Furnace? A Poetical Fi­ction is but a Mei­osis, Paena autem vehemens ac multo sevior illis, Quas & Ceditius gravis inve­nit aut Radamanthus Nocte diéque suum gestare in pectore testen. Juv. Sat. 13. when brought to shew the nature of these real Tor­ments: The lashes of Furies are but petty scourgings▪ when compared to the stripes of a wounded Conscience: Tytius his Vulture, though feeding on his Li­ver, is but a Flea-biting to that Worm which gnaweth their Hearts, and dieth not: Ixion his Wheel is a place of rest, if compared with those Billows of Wrath, and that Wheel of Justice, which is in Hell brought over the ungodly: The task of Da­naus [Page 80]his Daughters is but a sport, compared to the torture of those, whose Souls are filled with bitter­ness, within whom are the Arrows of the Almighty, the poison whereof doth drink up their spirit. Look as men did drink iniquity like water, so God will pour out the vials of his wrath; they pressed him under their sins, he will load them with his fu­ry and indignation;Deut. 32.22. they heaped up their sins as high as Heaven, the fire which is kindled in his anger, shall burn unto the lowest Hell; their sins have been increased, his wrath is treasured up, the measure whereof appears from the several Names it is intitled with.Mat. 13.42. Luk. 16.28. It is called, A furnace of fire, which speaketh intolerable heat; A place of Torment, which speaketh a total privation of ease; A Prison, Mat. 5.25. & 5.22. which speaketh restraint; Gehenna, from the Valley of Hin­nom, where the unnatural Parents did sacrifice the fruit of their bo­dies for the sin of their Souls, to their merciless Idols. The which word,Gehenne vox Galli­ca. by a Neighbour Nation, is retained, to signifie a Rack; than [Page 81]the Torture of which,Rev. 20.10 what more exquisite? It is called A Lake of fire and Brimstone; than the torment of the former, what more acute? than the smell of the latter, what more noisom? There is heat, yet no light; for it is termedMat. 25.30. outer darkness. In a word, he hath made it deep and large, [...]. Chrysost. Hom. 25. de fut. jud. tom. 6. the pile thereof is fire and much wood, the breath of the Lord like a stream of brimstone doth kindle it, Isa. 30.33. But yet if I have not sufficiently set out the measure thereof, if we believe not Moses and the Prophets, which are with us, let us impannel a Jury from Hell, let them from the dead speak, and see if their Verdict amount not to this. It is an evil and bitter thing to depart from God, and that his fear was not in them. What saist thou, O Cain, is the fire of Hell more delightful than the flames of Bre­therly Love thou didst abhor to live in, whilst in the world? Thou also, O Achitophel, is thy Treason and [Page 82] Conspiracy against the Lords anointed, Nihil proderit damna­tis quod in hac vitâ in perpetuâ saturitate, & ebrietate vixerunt, quia tunc ne guttu am qui­dem aquae obtiuere pos­sunt. Nihil proderit eis quod vestibus usi fu­erint splendidis, quia induentur confusione & corpora ips [...]rum vestien­tur igno [...]iâ. Nihil proderit [...] quod in hac vitâ constituti fuerint in honoribus, quia in inferno nullus erit ho­nor, sed [...] inuus gemi­tus & dolor. Ger. Med. 49. rewarded with that repute thou didst expect? What thinkest thou, O Bel­shazzar, is the Cup of the red wine of the fury of the Lord, as pleasing to thy taste, as thy wine drunk in thy sacrilegious bowls? Tell us, O Ju­das, will thirty pieces out-value the loss of an immortal Soul, or coun­tervail the misery of six­teen hundred and odde years in that place of darkness? Or resolve us, O Herod, whether the breath of the Lord, which keepeth alive these eternal Coals, doth tickle thy fancy, as sometimes vulgar air, or popular breath, now thou art proved a Man, and no God, by being brought down to the sides of the Pit? The Fore-man speaks in these and the rest of their Names, My punishment is greater than I can bear? Gen. 4.13.

I now proceed to consider it 4 [Page 83] Secundum Durationem, In its con­tinuance: and we need not go far for the resolution of this; for it is called in the Text, [...], [...]. Chrysost. ad Theod. laps. Parae [...]. everlast­ing punishment, the end thereof is not known, its duration is undetermin'd. Hell is a bott [...]mless pit, and therefore shall never be fathomed: It is [...], an unquenchable fire; and therefore the smoke of their torments doth ascend for ever and ever, Rev 4.12. Hell is a Prison, from whence is no freedom; because no Ransom to be paid, no price will be accepted for one in that estate. When we lie un­der great sorrows, sinking troubles, yet this strengthens us, Dabit Deus his quo (que) finem, God will put an end to all these. But this is that which will augment the misery of a damned creature, he is sensible his case is sad, he is sure God hath de­creed it shall be no better: the sor­rowful reflection upon which, shall wound his Soul, and in the anguish thereof cause him to utter with his [Page 84]mouth, what his heart is astonished at, Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? This is the portion of those, whose Souls are removed far off from peace, and for­get prosperity; in the bitterness whereof they complain, My strength and my hope is perish'd from the Lord.

Whilst I have been thus reasoning of Judgement to come, possibly some Felix may tremble, the thoughts of Hell may have kindled some affection towards heaven, and he whom the love of Christ could not constrain, yet the terror of the Lord may have almost perswaded to be a Christian; [...] Cyr. Chat. 15. p. 389. being fore-warned, he may desire to flee from this wrath to come. Such I shall send to John Baptist for direction in this case, Mat. 3.8. Bring forth fruits worthy of amendment of life: Avoid those sins which do in a principal manner lead to these chambers of death, and bring forth the fruits of Holi­ness, the end whereof is Eternal Life.

Quest. What are those sins which God hath affixed his condemnatory Sentence to the Commission of?

Ans. I answer indefinitely in the language of the Apostle, The wages of sin; that is to say,Rom. 6 23. of every sin is death: but more particularly God hath revealed his wrath from heaven against those sins, which he doth u­sually reserve to punish in Hell.

First, Ʋnbelief. 1 This is that sin which first made the breach between God and Man, and hath ever since continued the fewd: This was that, which laid the foundation of Hell, that digged that Pit of Perdition: This is that which vilifieth God, it maketh him a liar, 1 Joh. 5.10 it eclipseth the Sun of Righteousness; no wonder then if God will punish it in Ever­lasting darkness: yea, [...]. Chry. hom 25. de fut. jud. tom. 6. not believing of Hell, doth make more broad the way which leadeth to destruction. Ʋnbelief in the heart, is always ac­companied with ignorance in the head; and against both, Gods ven­geance is directed; 2 Thess. 1.8.

Secondly, 2 Detraction. Whisperers and Back-biters, are joyned in the [Page 86]Catalogue with haters of God, who are worthy of death, Rom. 1.31. The Detractor, [...]. 1 Tim. 3.11. is a Devil above ground, his tongue is already set on fire from Hell, which doth sadly presage what will be the portion of the Soul and Body for ever, unless Repentance quench those flames. He who hath here swords in his lips, Psa. 59.11. may expect hereafter his iniquity should be upon his bones: He that smiteth others with his tongue▪ may expect the Arrows of Gods Quiver to enter into his reins. In a word, he in whose mouth is a rod of pride, may fear to be broke in pieces as a potters vessel, by the staff of Gods indignation.

Thirdly, 3 Hypocrisie. God will make a right path for his Justice to­wards those, who turn aside from him by their crooked wayes. The Holy Tongue admits not of the Neuter Gender, nor will the God of Holiness allow neutrality in any person: for, The hypocrite in heart heapeth up wrath, Job 36.13. and we finde Hypocrites and Ʋnbelievers meet together in that place of mi­sery, [Page 87]and their Griefs made the Standards of others sufferings Mat. 24.51. Luk 12.41.

Fourthly, Ʋncleanness. 4 This shall abide the trial of these (I say not) cleansing flames. They who have burned in the fire of lust, must not think much to be scorched in the flames of Hell. Pro. 7.12. He who went after that Harlot (as Solomon describes him) as an Ox goeth to the slaugh­ter, shall finde in this place what follows, He shall go as a fool to the correction of the stocks. She to whom stoln waters were sweet, and bread eaten in secret was pleasant, shall vomit up those sweet morsels, and her mouth shall be filled with gravel. She who perfumed her bed with Myrrhe, Aloes and Cinnamon, Pro. 7.17, 18. shall finde the end thereof as bitter as wormwood, as sharp as a two­edged sword: whilst they who go astray in her paths, shall finde that her house is the way to Hell, Prov. 7.27.

Fifthly, SENSƲALITY. 5 A loving of pleasures more than loving of God: The Harp, and the Viol, Is. 5.12, 14 [Page 88] the Tabret, and the Pipe, and wine are in their feasts; but they regard not the work of the Lord, neither consider the operation of his hands: therefore Hell hath inlarged it self, and opened her mouth without mea­sure, that they who did thus spend their dayes in mirth, may in a moment descend thereinto. Destru­ction is to none so sudden; as to the sensual person.Dan. 5.5. Whilst Belshazzar is tasting his wine, in the same hour come forth the fingers of a mans hands, and write his doom. When the rich man cries,Lu. 12.20. Soul, take thine ease; God breaks his sleep with that terrible voice, Thou fool; this night shall they require thy Soul.

Thus have I spoken to this estate or place of Hell. I should next discourse of Heaven, and there Sense will be the best Orator. He alone can describe it, who liveth in the fruition thereof. But yet the People of God are not left in the dark, concerning the nature of this Inheritance of the Saints in light. They behold through a Glass yet darkly, that which ere [Page 89]long they shall see face to face: Even in this Wilderness of the world they have a Pisgah-sight of the Heavenly Canaan, the description whereof followeth in the next Dis­course.

MAT. 25.46.

But the Righteous into Life Eternal.

IV. Of HEAVEN.

IN the former part of this Verse, you had the black side of the Cloud, here you have the bright part thereof; you saw the mouth of the Bottomless Pit opened, be­hold here the Heavens opened, and the righteous ascending thereinto. I have spoken of Hell, let me now endevour to shew you the estate of the Saints in Heaven: But how shall we sing the Lords song in a strange land? Ps. 137.4. was sometimes the sorrowful [Page 91] quaere of the Jews So I say,Quis audet de his re­bus, positus in hac mortali carne, quae aggravat animam aliquid dicere? cum Paulus Apostolus hoc non valuit explicare, qui in isto positus corpore us (que) in tertium caelum gratiâ operante valuit ascendere. August. de Sym. ad Cat. lib. 2. cap. 12. Think not that I can describe these Mansions of Glory, who am impri­soned in a house of Clay; the which whilst I do be­hold, my eyes are dazled, my hand doth waver, whilst I undertake to de­scribe them; and I can but lisp forth my half­conceptions of the feliciry of that state:Non possum dicere, quia nec videre possum, tamen aliquid non im­pudenter dico, qui ex Scaipturis dico. Aug. Ser. 10 de Resur. mort. yet so far as Scripture will give leave, I shall endevour the prosecution of this sub­ject: for it must be an Angel from heaven, or some blessed Saint, who with that holy Apostle hath been eaught up into the third Heaven, who can conceive these [...] which concern that estate. Not­withstanding which, I shall express my thoughts of it, by prosecuting this Doctrine: Doct. ‘That the reward of the Righteous is Eternal Life.’

In speaking to which, I shall con­sider this Recompence of Reward, this gift of God, Eternal Life, much after my method used in speaking to the wages of sin, Hell, or Death, and so we may view it,Rom. 6.23

  • 1 Quoad Subjectum, According to the Subject.
  • 2 Quoad Modum, The Man­ner.
  • 3 Quoad Mensuram, The Mea­sure.
  • 4 Quoad Durationem, The Du­ration thereof.

For the first, I mean, the Subje­ctum in quo, The Subject in which this Glory shall be revealed, this E­ternal Life shall reside: and what God will conjoyn in this estate of Bliss, let not me separate. The Subject then of this Happiness, is the Body and Soul re-united: The Body, as well as the Soul, was an in­strument of grace here; it shall be a vessel of glory hereafter: both of them had their fruit unto holiness, and the end of both shall be Eternal [Page 93]Life. The Body without the Soul is incapable of; the Soul without the Body is incomplete in this Eter­nal Happiness. They were Commi­litones in pugna, they shall be Con­sortes in praemio: It is styled,Rom. 8.18 Putas qua­lis tunc erit splendor a­nimarum quando solis claritatem habebit lux corporum. Aug. Ser. 12. in verb. Apost: 2 Cor. 5.10 1 Cor. 15. Glory revealed in us. Not to speak then of the Soul, which is the proximate Subject thereof, and therefore shall excel that of the body: Let us a lit­tle see what Scripture speaks con­cerning that whereof the Body shall be a partaker. The Apostle descri­bing to us the estate of the Body in the Resurrection thereof, doth in some measure represent to us the est [...]te it shall for ever continue in. The Body of a man, considered in this present condition it is in, is of little worth, had it nota reference to an Eternity, which is future. It is corruptible, dishonourable, infirm, natural; but when it is raised again, this corruptible, doth put on incor­ruption; that which was sown in dishonour, is raised in glory; that which was sown in weakness, is rai­sedin power. In a word, that which was sown [...], a natural [Page 94]body shall be raised [...], a spiritual body. So far then as these opposites excel each the other, so far shall the estate of the Body which is future, excel that which is at present. But the same Apostle doth yet more lively delineate the future glory of the body. So great shall the change thereof be,Phil. 3.21. that it shall be fashioned like unto the glo­rious body of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is here [...], a vile body; or which is worse, a body of vileness. Ante ortum sper­ma faetidum, Gerhar. Med. 34. in vita saccus stercorum post mortem cibus vermium. This is the condition of all: But Gods people are exceeding vile in the eyes of others, and are yet more vile in their own eyes. Oh but in that day, when God doth make up his jewels, he will remember them, when he will cast aside many a glittering stone. He will be glorified in them who were despised because of him; he will despise those, in whose ac­count he was not precious: the lat­ter shall awake to shame, and ever­lasting contempt, but the former shall [Page 95] shine as the brightness of the firma­ment, Dan. 12.2, 3. as the stars for ever and ever. And this for the first.

Secondly, 2 Let us consider it QƲOAD MODƲM, according to the Manner of this Eternal E­state: And so we shall finde it consists,

  • 1 In Remotione Malorum.
  • 2 In Exhibitone Bonorum.

In Removing what speaketh Mi­sery; in Conferring whatsoever is called Good. I begin with the for­mer, because it is ever supposed, at least effected by the latter.

First then,1 the Removal of Mi­sery, doth ever accompany this estate of Happiness. Now there are three great Miseries under which holy men groan in this life, which they shall then be freed from:

  • 1 Sin.
  • 2 Temptations.
  • 3 Sorrow.

From all these, the Saints shall [Page 96]then be released. I will speak somewhat to them in their or­der.

First, Sin. 1 This is the source of all our misery; and when we are freed from it, we shall be complete­ly happy. This is that [...], Sin that dwelleth in us, Rom. 7.17 as the Apostle calls it. And therefore before we lay down this tabernable of our body,Quia peccavit ista natura, quum peccare po­tuit, larg [...]ore gratia li­beratur, ut ad cam per­ducatur libertatem: in qua peccare non possit, sic enim erit inamissibi­lis voluntas pietatis & aequitatis, quomodo est faelicitatis. August. de Civ. Dci, l. 21. c. 30. it will not change its dwelling. An imperious Tenant, which will turn the Land-lord out of doors: But this is our comfort, it is a Tenant at will; I mean, at Gods will, who by our death shall destroy it. This, because the nearest, is therefore the greatest grief to a godly heart. The sin of others also is matter of trou­ble to a pious Soul. But in this e­state of life, righteous Lot shall no more be vexed in his Soul,1 Pet. 2.7, 8. with the the ungodly deeds of the unclean Sodomites: Ps. 110.5. Holy David shall not sojourn in Meshech, nor dwell in the [Page 97]tents of Kedar: Or Jeremiah wish for a lodging-place of wayfaring­men in the wilderness, that he might leave his people, and go from them. The choicest earthly contents are but a shadow, or as a dream of the night, to those heavenly delights, where each faculty of the Soul shall be setled in its primitive perfection, and each member of the Body be­come subservient to the end of its Creation, The Glory of God, and the Comfort of the whole: The Law of the Members shall be ex­tinguisht by the victorious strength of the law of the Spirit of Life which is in Christ Jesus: Those civil com­motions in the minde of man shall cease, and the blessed conquerors shal bear their Palms in their hands, and cast their Crowns at the feet of him,Rom. 11.15. with whom they shall also reign.

Secondly, Temptations. 2 These are part of the misery of a holy man.Nemo seeurus esse de­bet in hac vita, quae totae tentatio nominatur. Aug. Confes. lib. 10. cap. 32. Whilst we are in this probation­state, we cannot but be under a necessity of meet­ing with trials, whilst on [Page 98]this side heaven we are in danger of falling by them.Vide Aug. de civ. Dci, l. 19. c. 27. Strait is the gate which leadeth unto heaven, and great, yea many are the stumbling-blocks to hinder our entrance. Narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and many are the snares which are laid to hinder our progress thither. We open not our eyes, but we are ready to behold vanity; we hear not, but the Devil is ready by corrupt commu­nication to corrupt our manners; we taste not, but our wine is a moc­ker, and our bread deceitful. The Devil hath bribed our senses, and they are become purveyors of the flesh: Even where we think our selves most safe, the Devil doth oft take us napping, even in our harm­less Recreations: Latet anguis in herba, Ipsum mun­dum per o­mnes hor as tentationi­bus plenum. August. de civ. Dei, l. 1. c. 27. and we are stung ere we are aware. So that how true is that, In many things we offend all, Jam. 3.2. * Adde to all, Temptations from the World, such whom the Psalmist calls hisVid. Byth. Prax. in Psal. 5.9. Observers, such who watch for their haltings, and say as those of Jeremiah 20 10. Peradventure he will be enticed, and we shall prevail [Page 99]against him, and we shall take re­venge on him. And if such a mans foot slip, they magnifie themselves against him. This is a sword in the bones of Gods people,Ps. 42.10 (that I may use the Psalmists expression) a sore and grievous temptation: But hea­ven shall free them from these tem­ptations. A Dog may bark at the Moon, but he cannot pull it from its Orb; and the Devil may howl at the Saints in bliss through envy, but this great Dragon, the Devil, and Satan, is cast out into the earth, and his Angels with him, and shall never come nearer to molest them.Rev. 12.9. And this is one Stave in the Song of the Lamb, Now is come Salvation, and Strength, and the Kingdom of God, and the Power of his Christ, for the Accuser of our brethren is cast down, Rev. 12.10. And they who watched the stumbling of Gods people, will have enough to under­go their own misery, now they themselves are fallen into the Pit. Yea, these Sons of Zion, who by reason of adherent frailty, are im­pediments sometimes to each other [Page 100]in the way,Vita totius elegantiae & dignitat [...]s plenissima ubi non est adver sarius impugnans, ubi nulla peccati illecebris, ubi est amor perfectus & timor nullus, ubi Deus aeter­nus & unus omnium spiritus. Aug. c. 22. shall congra­tulate their mutual arri­val in their end; where those flames of love shall put out the fire of all contention; those rivers of pleasure shall asswage the heat of those Paro­xysms of wrath, [...], Acts 15.39. [...], &c. Chrysost. ad Pheod. laps. Paraen: where­with Gods people are too oft distempered in this humane state. But there shall they be of one heart, and of one soul, one with God, at unity amongst themselves for evermore. Each Name of Division will cease, every Bone of Contention shall be cast into the fire, each Rock of Offence taken away: Love, which was here in­choative, and in the increase, shall be there consummate, and blessed Ʋnion betwixt God and the Saints, shall render more happy their com­munion one with the other.

Thirdly, Sorrow. This is ano­ther misery incumbent upon Gods people here. Every Son of the first Adam is born crying; and [Page 101]few of the children of the second Adam live without tears upon their cheeks.Infantia non à risu sed à fle [...]u orditurh-n [...] lucem quo quid malo­rum ingres­sa sit nejci­ens prophe­tat quodam­modo. A [...]g. de civ. De [...] l. 21. c. 14. Every son whom he recei­veth, he chastiseth, Heb. 12.6. He himself was a man of sorrows: it cannot be expected then, that his should be unacquainted with grief. David, a man of no melancholy temper yet complains, that his tears were his meat day and night, Psa. 42.3. and elswhere we hear him rear­ing for the disquietness of his Spirit. And the Prophet tells us of the Church in general,Lam. 1. She weepeth sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks; and though she spread forth her hands, yet there is none to comfort her. But what? Hath the Lord for­got to be gracious, and will he remem­ber his people no more? Yes surely, the time is approaching, when every Prisoner of Hope shall be set at li­berty,Zech. 9.12 when sorrow and sighing shall flee away: when God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, nei­ther sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain. The Gar­den of Eden is but a Wilderness, if [Page 102]compared to this Paradise of the Saints; wherein is that river, the streams whereof thus make glad the City of God. Whence they, who whilst on the earth did draw water out of the wells of Salvation, are as from a Fountain satis fied with fa­vour, and full of the blessing of the Lord: Their temporary flashes of peace, being kindled into flames of immortal joy. This is the state of the New Jerusalem which is above: there is no such humour as Melan­choly in Heaven;Vera ibi pax est ubi nihil ad­versi nec à seipso nec ab alio quis­quam patle­tur. Aug. de civ. Dei l. 22. cr 30. those: Hellish fumes, that smoke from the Bottom­less Pit, shall not there arise to disturb our fancies, and corrupt our imaginations, to fill us with black and dismall thoughts: Malevolent Sa­turn shall be below us, and have no influence in that Superior state. And thus much for what doth consist In Remotione Malorum, In Removal of what is bad. Let us now consider the Second: which consisteth

In Exhibitione Bonorum, 2 Con­ferring what is Good. And this I suppose may be summ'd up in three Particulars: [Page 103]

  • 1 Vision of God.
  • 2 Society with Saints and An­gels.
  • 3 Fruition of inconceiveable Joy.

First, 1 The Vision of God. Whilst we are in the body, we are absent from the Lord, he standeth behinde our wall, as the expression is, Cant. 2.9. If ever we have a glimpse of God, it is but when he is pleased to look forth at the windows, or doth shew himself through the lattice; the Saints do but at best see [...], through a glass darkly in this life, but then face to face: which whether it be Oculo corporen, Aug. Fort. de vidend. Deo, ep. 311 & deinceps Tom. 2. A quin. Suppl. ad tert. partem quaest. 52. art. 2. 1 Ioh. 3.2. to me is curiosity to inquire, would be boldness to determine: But certainly they shall see him and S. John tells us how [...], As he is. Those blessed Saints, who have be­lieved on him whom they have not seen, shall there enjoy their desired sight of him whom they have belie­ved, according to his prayer, Joh. 17.24. Father, I will that they also [Page 104]whom thou hast given me, be with me, where I am, that they may behold my glory, &c. If those eyes were blessed, Luk. 10.23. which did behold Christ in his low estate, how happy are they who see him sit at the right hand of the Father? Here, he was covered in Scarlet, there he is clothed with Honour and Majesty: Here he was Crowned with Thorns, there in­vested with a Diadem of Glory: Here a Reed in his hand, there the Sce­pter of his Kingdome to protect his people; or the Rod of his Justice, wherewith to dash in pieces his ene­mies: Here spit upon, there his re­proach taken away: Upon the Cross rai [...]ed on, and blasphemed, there a Name above every name, at which every knee doth bow: Here invi­roned with Souldiers, there encom­passed with Millions of glorious Saints and Angels, partakers of that bliss with him, which he hath purchased for, and confirmed them in. The Patriarch Jacob, having seen God even in this life, sets up a Monument thereof, and calls the place Peniel, Gen. 32.30. in token of joy: For I [Page 105]have seen God face to face (saith he) and my life is preserved. Gerhar. Med. 48. Quod si momentanea Dei visio tantum po­tuit apportare laetitiae cumulum; quid potuit visio ejus aeterna? If those beams of comfort which are reflected upon them here,Domine tu scis quod illo die cum talia loque­remur, & mundus iste nobis inter verba ista vilesceret cum omnibus delectationibus suis. Aug. lib. Con. 9. Cant. 504. do so refresh their Souls in this valley of tears, what will be their joy, when the Lord shall be their everlasting light? If the Spouse her bowels are moved when Christ puts in his hand by the hole of the door, how will her Soul be inflamed, when she her self shall be received into those everlasting Mansions? When this Sun ariseth, every shadow will dis­appear; and he who did sometimes speak roughly to his people, shal then discover himself to be their Father, and their hearts shall revive within them. They who did bear his image here, when he shall appear shall be like him. They who in the world cried, Hosanna to the Highest, shall then chant forth Hallelujah to him that sitteth upon the Throne.

2 Secondly, The Society of Saints and Angels. This is another part of their Happiness. Our Saviour describeth part of Heavens Happiness to consist therein; [...]. Chrys. ad Theod laps. Paraen. Luk 13.28, 29. Mat. 8.11. They shall come from the East and the West, the North and the South, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, Ja­cob, and all the Prophets in the Kingdom of God. Cicero de Senect. pag. (mibi) 212. If Cato the Heathen Phi­losopher could comfort himself in his old age, with an O praeclarum diem cum ad illud animo­rum concilium, caetum (que) proficiscar, & cum ex hac turba & colluvione discedam! Vid. Melch. Adam. vit. Bullinger. Vid. Ger. Med. 48. de suavissima Angelorum in caelo asso­ciatione. And Socrates against death, because after it he hoped to see Homer, Hesiod, and other wor­thy men. How much more may a Saint lay down his head inLu. 2.29. Heb. 12.23. peace, and rejoyce, seeing he is but going to the City of the living God, to the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innume­rable company of Angels, to the general assembly and Church of the first-born, which are writien in hea­ven, [Page 107]and to the spirits of just men made perfect. [...], &c. Chry. hom. 70. de mart Egypt. The company of the Saints even in this life, doth com­fort the weak, encourage the faint, chear up the dejected, whilst by their mutual intercourse, and intimate so­ciety, they provoke one another to love and good works, inliven each others zeal, incite, and incourage each other by a good example, to hold forth to the end, that they may receive the Crown of Life; and by mutual offices of love, do endear themselves one to the other, and chiefly to God, whose image they behold ingravened in their Souls, as the bond of that Union which is be­tween them. If this be so pleasant, how sweet will then their commu­nion be in that s [...]te of peace, where they who served the Lord with one shoulder, and prayed to­gether here,Omnium Christiano­rum spes (fratre [...] cha­rissimi) in futurum [...]em­pus extenaitur u [...] quod hic servimus Dom no a­libi nos servisse lae [...]e­mur. Aug. in verb. apost. 2 Cor. 5.10. shall with one consent offer up praise to their God, where nothing shall in­terrupt their joy, fru­strate their hopes, con­tradict their wills, which [Page 108]are then perfectly on with God's. O blessed Society, where is no jarring envy, strife! O heavenly Consort, where is no Discord, but a perfect Harmony with God and one ano­ther! Me-thinks I could say with the Psalmist (his phrase somewhat va­ried) Who will give me the wings of a Dove, Psal. 55.6. that I may fly hither, and be at rest? And this is the second thing that shall be conferr'd upon them; they have been [...], like unto God in holiness here; they shall be [...], as with, so like the An­gels in glory hereafter.

Thirdly, Fruition of inconceive­able Joy. In this place, and that to purpose, Psal. 50.8. God shall make his people to hear the voice of joy and gladness. [...]. Chrys. ad Thcod. laps. paraen. If corn, and wine, and oil, do make mens hearts re­joyce, what will the light of Gods coun­tenance, when lift upon his people, so as never more to be obscured with a [Page 109]frown? God shall then put glad­ness into their hearts: his joy in this life is in them, then shall they enter into their Masters joy, Mat. 25.23. Here it is our happiness to have God rejoyce over us; there it shall be the honour of the Saints, to joy in and with the Lord. Joy here is in a capacity of increase; there it shall be full. Jeremiah, though some­times cast into the dungeon, as not worthy to behold the light, shall shine as the Sun; and though his feet did stick in the mire, yet shall he lift up his head for joy. Paul and Silas, who did sing in the Pri­son, whilst their feet were in the Stocks, shall then be delivered, and their glory shall awake to their Redeemers praise: Then the eyes of the blinde shall be opend, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstop­ped; then shall the lame man leap as an Hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing: In the wilderness shall waters break out, and the streams in the desart, Isa. 15.5, 6. This is the Saints Nuptial day;Rev. 19.7. should they not sing for mirth? [Page 110]The accomplishment of their War­fare; shall they not be in peace? The Harvest of their Hopes; should they not now rejoyce, who them­selves are gathered into the garner? Yes surely: But how great shall be the measure thereof? Which leads me to the third Consideration;

Quoad Mensuram, The Mea­sure of their joy. Of theQuae sententia plus habet disputationis quam certitudinis & utilitatis. Muscul. in 1 Cor. 15.40. different Degrees of which, there are more nice Discourses, than sa­tisfactory Resolutions: Some, whilst they would engross a greater portion of this glory, may possibly detract from Gods grace, which is free, and be­stows a penny upon him who is cal­led at the last hour, Quo uti (que) denario vi­ta fignifica­tur aeterna. Aug. Exp. in Johan. as well as on them who did bear the heat and burthen of the day. The Affirma­tive is most believed, because chiefly desired, and is an excellent motive to be abundant in the work of the Lord, because he that soweth spa­ringly, shall reap also so: but theVide Pet. Mart. in 1 Cor. 15.40. Musc. ibid. Negative is not yet beyond dispute.

The variousHas dissimilitude in resurrectione mor­tuorum apparet verum in applicatione vulge crratur, &c. Calv. in 1 Cor. 15.41. excel­lency of the Stars, is an Argument wanting light to evidence the diffe­rent glory of the Saints; it being wrested from the first intention of the Apostle: and, which is more, seems to be contra­dicted by the Lord of Glory; who speaking indefinitely of the Righte­ous, tells us,Mat. 13.43. they shall shine forth as the Sun in the Kingdom of their Father And it may seem a Para­dox, That each Saint should beLuk. 20.36. equal to the Angels, and yet un­equal amongst themselves in this state of Bliss, unless we also averre different Orders amongst them:Vid. Wal. hanc opinio­nem refu­tantem, cap. de Aug. off. p. 198. Which is but to allow a Scruple in the Schools; and that easier to assert, than maintain, rather than Resolve a Doubt in our own brests. As for that Similitude of the Sun, being more obvious to theBellar. de aeter. faelic. sanct. l. 5. [...] c. 3. Eagles eye, than to other Birds; or the fire its diverse heat, operating in a several manner upon many person: Whatever this may clear, yet it doth not necessarily prove this opi­nion. [Page 112]If I were to give my judge­ment, I had ratherVid. Wal. optimè dis­serentem de hac re tit. de Eccles: trium, pag. 451. Affirm, though (I say nor) there is probable Rea­son to deny this Assertion: But cautious Ignorance, is better than rash Presumption; therefore I leave this as I found it, An Exercise of our knowledge, and not by my de­cision, to be determined as an Ar­ticle of our Faith. But to speak more strictly to the Measure of this Glory, I have told you it is incon­ceiveable. The Apostle speaking of the first-fruits thereof in this life, calls it joy unspeakable, 1 Pet. 1.8. and full of glory. It is styled, fulness of joy, Psal. 16.11. Glorious objects to the eye, do usually affect the heart with joyful admiration: and Scri­pture hath described the City of God by such things, as are most affecting to sense, that so we may see the inconceiveable worth of that estate of Bliss; and by our necessity of Divine Condescention in this particular, guess at the Jewel, by the beauty of the Cabi­net; and have a transient view of the condition of the Saints in hea­ven, [Page 113]by considering the New Jeru­salem descending thence from God. We see this City described, Rev. 21.16. and whatsoever is glorious, re­presented in it. If for defence, it hath a Wall, and that not of Clay, but of Jasper, the foundation where­of is garnish'd with all manner of Precious stones. If for Beauty, even the streets are of pure gold, Cant. 4.10 like Solo­mons Chariot, the midst thereof be­ing paved with love. Thus God hath revealed Truth in a Mystery, uttered Knowledge in Parables; and what our understanding doth not comprise, our senses by this descri­ption may apprehend of that estate.Semper nobis in mea­tem veniat aeterne fae­licitas de cujus excellen­tia si omnia dicta fue­rint quibus omnium ho­minum linguae sufficiant vix tamen infima cjus particula delibata fue­rit. Calv. instit. l. 4. c. 25. Let us then be contented to admire, what we cannot compre­hend; to believe, what we cannot concelve; to consider, what no tongue can express. The Apo­stle Paul seems at a loss for words to express his thoughts of this glory, he styles it, [...], 2 Cor. 4.17. Which [Page 114]phrase, though we reade, A far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Yet Interpreters are at a loss to explain it. Judge we then of that good land, by the Grapes which are brought from Eschol; of the excellency of the Honey, by its taste upon the end of the Rod. [...] Chrys. ad Theod. laps. Parae. Have we ever discoursed with one who did lie in the bosom of God, who hath eaten of the hidden Manna, and to whom God hath given the White stone, and did not such a ones face shine, with Moses, and by his speech we might know he was upon the Confines of the New Jerusalem? Or have any of our Spirits been wounded with our Transgressions; and hath the Sun of Righteousness afterwards risen upon us with heal­ing in his wings? The tempe of a mans Spirit in such a case, is some dark Representation of that heaven­ly joy. Yet this is but the twilight of Glory, the dawning of that Ever­lasting Day. Nay, whilst we are [Page 115] speaking hereof, should God open the windows of Heaven, and give us a Steven's-sight of himself in Bliss, set us upon Mount Nebo, that we might behold this Land of Pro­mise; though this would strengthen our weak hands, confirm our feeble knees, and encourage us in our tra­vel to that Rest which remaineth; and, with Peter, [...]; Chrysost. ad Theod. laps. Paraen. in verba Pet. Mart. 17.41. constrain us to say, Lord, it is good for us to be here: yet this would but be as the Gate of Hea­ven, our entrance would not be, till with him we fell asleep. We finde Gods people ra­vished in the con­templation hereof, rapt up in an Ex­tasie of heavenly joy, with their believing apprehen­sions of it; whispering forth what they understood, or rather were ignorant of, concerning Heaven, in [Page 116]that of the Psalmist, Psal. 31.19. O how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee! How happy are they, whose Souls do lodge in goodness! Psa. 25.13. whose action is reflection upon by-past Misery, to rejoyce because of its then being fled away! whose labour is turned into leisure to praise their God! to whom no evil shall appear, no good be hid, when God shall be to them all in all! Men look upon Religion, usually as a Scare-Crow; and upon the Professors thereof, as so many Ghosts or Walking shadows: but were they not ignorant of this hea­venly joy, with which a stranger intermedleth not, they would then forsake their fading pleasures, and, with Moses, Heb. 11.25. choose to suffer affli­ction with the people of God, rather than to glut themselves with the most satiating contents of the crea­ture, which are but for a season. Yea, did Gods people live under deep impressions of those noble and lovely thoughts, wherewith God hath exprest himself concerning this their Bliss, their Souls would be [Page 117]drawn after him with that vigour and activity, that the heavy Iron is by the Loadstone: They would then no longer question, suspect Gods willingness to entertain them, but bathe their Souls in that Abyss of Love; cast their selves into those Arms that are stretched out to re­ceive them. This purer joy would cause them to disrelish the fleeting pleasures, wherewith Satan doth bait his hook, and allure them to Transgression. Stupefied Reason, and inchanted Sense, are the onely Caterers of earthly joy: but the Sons of God derive their comfort from a more noble Spring. The World, as it cannot take away, neither can it give that peace which they inherit from him,Ioh. 14.27 who is styled, The Everlasting Father, and,Isa. 9.6. The Prince thereof. No wonder then, if the pious Father doth rather confess his ignorance,Quanta erit illa fae­licitas? ne­scio. Aug. de civ. Dei l. 22. c. 30. than endevour a re­solution of the greatness of that Heavenly joy. Me-thinks, when we poor Mortals do hear of this in­corruptible Crown, 1 Cor. 9.25. this inaccessible Light, this immortal Life, we should [Page 118]stretch every Nerve, intend our strength, be unwearied in the work of the Lord, cast a despising eye upon the withering beauty of this inferiour World; run the race which is set before us; resist unto blood; fight the good fight of faith, that so, if by any means we might lay hold on Eternal Life: Which brings me to the last Considera­tion.

Quoad Durationem, Its Dura­tion It is called in the Text Eter­nal. We say of the things of this life (though in another sense) The End doth Crown the Work;Finis coro­nat opus. [...]. 1 Pet. 5.4. the Event doth prove the Action: But this is the Crown of this Estate, that it is incircled with Eternity. This Epithite, It is Mortal, doth dis­grace all Sublunary Glory; the thought thereof leaves a bitterness in our choicest earthly comforts; it causeth our Sun to set at Noon: but it is not thus in Heaven; Their Sun shall no more go down, neither shall their Mooon withdraw it self: for the Lord shall be their ever­lasting light, and the dayes of [Page 119]their mourning shall be ended, Isa. 60.20. When they are thus con­firmed in that state of Bliss, then shall they sing that of the Psalmist, Return unto thy rest, Psa. 116. O my Soul, for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee: for thou hast deli­vered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling; whilst the wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away.

Thus have you seen a Glimpse of this Approaching Glory. And pos­sibly some, whose hearts are affect­ed with it, may with him, Mat. 19.6. ask, What good thing shall I do, that I may have Eternal Life? I shall send such a one no further than our Saviours answer, ver. 17. If thou wilt enter into life, keep the Commandments: for to them that obey him, [...]. Chrysost. Hom. 25. de fut. jud. tom. 6. Christ is the Author of Eternal Salvation. Or let us look a little more, and see the condition of our admission hither; or for the default of [Page 120]what we shall be hindred this place of Happiness: Joh. 3.5. Except a man be born again of Water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. It is our New­birth, which will usher in this New-life: and this supposed, there are several graces, which, if they be in us, and abound, will minister unto us an entrance abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. And they are these:

First, 1 Humility. The Saints of God do not onely grow as the Lilly, the most tall and comely Flower in the Garden, but cast forth their roots as Lebanon. Hos. 14.5. [...]; Chrysost. [...]er. 27. de profec. Evan. tom. 5. Humility is their way to honour. I never see a strong Castle, a fair Tower, but its foundation was laid ex­ceeding deep; whereas a Cottage may stand on the Surface of the earth: neither was there ever any one made a Temple for the Holy Ghost, a fit Habitation for God, through the Spirit, who was not [Page 121]first deeply humbled. Whereas the Devils Sty, the heart of a wicked man, may be proud, and lifted up. But let such a one top the Stars, yet thence God will pull him down, and trample upon his glory: But he who is poor in Spirit, is upon the first Round in Jacobs Ladder, the top whereof reacheth unto Heaven. Blessed are such, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven: Mat. 5.3. it is theirs now in Reversion, it shall be theirs hereafter in Possession. Our Saviour, when born, did lie in a Manger; and now he is ex­alted on the right hand of God; he delighteth to dwell with him, who is of an humble and contrite spirit. Lu. 24.16. Christ ascended from the Cross unto the Crown; he de­spised the shame, before he recei­ved his glory; was found in the form of a Servant, before his be­ing declared the Son of God: and we must submit our selves to God, Jam. 4.10. humble our selves under his mighty hand, if we expect to be exalted in his due time. God will teach the humble; and such whom he [Page 122] guideth by his Counsel now, he will afterwards bring unto his Glory: This is the first duty we should practise in order to our future Bliss.

Secondly, 2 Purity in Heart, ex­pressed in a holy life.Mat. 5.8. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God: But there shall in no wise enter into the New Jerusa­lem, any unclean thing, or that defileth, Revel. 21.27. If Heaven were an Elisium, the proud per­son might perhaps get in, under the notion of an Heroick Spirit: If it were a Turkish Paradise, the unclean person might thrust in a­mongst the crowd. But this estate is nothing such.Psa. 93.5. Holiness becometh thy house, saith the Psalmist; much more then doth it become these everlasting habitations. This pu­rity of heart, is that which maketh the Saints meet, to be partakers of this everlasting Inheritance: It makes Heaven a sutable good to the desires of their immortal Souls. Flesh and Blood in its degenerate estate,1 Joh. 3.3. cannot enter into the King­dome [Page 123]of God; even the hope of li­ving with him, doth call upon us to purifie our selves as he is pure, 1 Joh. 3.3.

Thirdly, Love; to which might be annexed Peace, its issue: He that liveth in Love, God dwelleth in him; He that abideth in peace,1 Ioh. 4.16. [...] videbit & [...] Pax. vide Heb 7.2. shall live in the vision of peace for evermore. A Soul wing­ed with Love, will fly more swiftly to Hea­ven, [...]. Chrysost. Hom. 57. de Poenit. 9. and finde speedy Admission thereinto: Love doth conform us to God now; and they who are like him here, when he is manifested, shall be with him where he is. Yet God expects this Love should appear to others by the fruits thereof; and because our good­ness extends not unto him, we should shew it to the excellent ones in the earth. There is a work and labour of Love, shew'd by ministring unto the Saints, which we see the Judge of the World [Page 124]taking notice of, [...]. Chrys. Hom. 25. de Poen. 5. Tom. 1. in Matth. 25.31. and requiting, Matth. 25.35, 36. They who do such works in secret, shall certainly eat of the Hidden Manna: He whose left hand knoweth not what his right hand doth,Mat. 25.32 shall not stand on the left hand, when Christ shall sever the wicked from the just. He who soundeth not a Trumpet to gain the praise of men, shall be rewarded openly, and receive praise from God. The poor man's Box will prove the safest Chest, wherein to hide our Treasure: Giving to him, is to bestow on our selves; yea, to lend to the Lord, who will re­pay with the greatest interest. The Prophet speaking of Idola­ters, Isa. 46.6. tells us, They la­vish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver in the balance: but when the Idol is framed, yet can he not answer, or save out of trou­ble. But there is a better way to thrive, which he takes notice of; namely, To draw out our Soul to [Page 125]the hungry, to satisfie the afflicted soul, to bring the poor that are cast out, to ones house: They that do thus,1 Tim 6.19. lay up in store a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on Eternal Life.

Fourthly, Patient enduring Af­fliction for the Name of Christ. This is that which doth make Re­ligion even now honourable in the world, whilst those who do pro­fess it, do flourish like the Palm, notwithstanding those weights of sorrow which are daily cast upon them by the ungrateful World, with whom for a time they do converse. Like their Saviour, their honour doth most shine forth, whilst their enemies seek the most to eclipse their fame; much more shall this advance their worth, when God shall make their reproach to vanish, their shame to disappear. Upon such the Spi­rit of Glory resteth here,1 Pet. 4.14 and they shall rest in Glory hereafter. The Apostle doubts not to call this an evident token of Salvation, and [Page 126]that of God, Phil. 1.24. and tells believers, That their light Af­flictions, which are but for a mo­ment, do [...], not onely work, but work out a farre more exceeding, and eternal weight of Glory, with the which they are not to be compared. This is that which is the great support of their Souls, in their fiery trials, the Spirit it self beareth witness with their spirits, Rom. 8.17 If so be that they suffer with him, they shall be also glorified together. The Lilly of Christ shall no longer then be amongst the Thorns; his Dove, which hath here lyen amongst the pots, shall have her wings covered with silver, Ps. 68.13. and her feathers with yellow gold. Thus the Lord shall bring back the Captivity of his people, so that Judah shall be glad, and Israel shall rejoyce.

AWAKE then, OH my Soul! load not thy self with Refined Clay, trample upon these Earthly Nothings: Admire not those Apples of Sodom, which though beautiful to the Eye, yet when [Page 127]thou touchest them, moulder in­to dust; Gaze not upon these glittering Pleasures, colour'd Griefs, blushing Woes; Relish not these sugred Lies, but account Heaven thy Happiness, Godliness thy Crown, Christ thy All: So shalt thou insult over death, have bold­ness in the day of Judgement, shalt not be left in Hall, thy Righteousness shall go before thee, the Glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward.

THƲS. have I finished my Me­ditations on these Last Things; beseeching him who is the Prince of Life, to prepare us for the Approach of Death; Him who shall be our Judge, that he will be our Advocate; Him who hath the Keyes of the Bottomless Pit, that he would shut the mouth of the Grave, that it may not devour us; Him who is gone before to pre­pare a place for his people, that he would prepare us for that place, where we may bear a part in the heavenly Chorus, and sing that new [Page 128]Song, saying, Blessing, honour, glory, and power be unto him that sitteth on the Throne, and to the Lamb for ever and ever. Amen.

[...].

Quis alius noster est Finis; August. de civ. Dei, l. 21. c. 30. nisi pervenire ad Regnum, eujus nullus est

FINIS?
Ingenuous Reader,

THese, with some other faults that do oc [...] in the words or pointing, as they are [...] ­mitted to thy candid Censure, so also beg [...] ingenuous Correction, The Authors absen [...] and the Printers mistake, being the cause of su [...]

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Januarii 12, 1657.

IMPRIMATUR Cantabrigiae,

  • Theoph. Dillingham Procan.
  • Ri. Minshull.
  • Ra. Cudworth.
  • Guil. Dillingham.
  • John Arrowsmith.

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