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MEDITATIONS Representing A Glimpse of Glory: OR, A Gospel-Discovery OF EMMANUEL's Land. Whereunto is subjoined, A SPIRITUAL HYMN, Intituled, The dying Saint's Song; and some of his last LETTERS.

By Mr. Andrew Welwood, Brother to Mr. JOHN WELWOOD, late Minister of the Gospel in SCOTLAND.

Col. 3.4.

When Christ, who is our Life, shall ap­pear, then shall ye also appear with him in Glory.

Isai. 60.19, 20, 21.

— The LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting Light, and thy GOD thy Glory. Thy Sun shall no more go down, neither shall thy Moon withdraw itself: Thy People also shall be all righ­teous, they shall inherit the Land for ever.

Rev. 21.22.

—The LORD GOD Almighty, and the LAMB are the Temple of it.—For the Glory of GOD did lighten it, and the LAMB is the Light thereof.

BOSTON, Re-printed by ROGERS and FOWLE, for W. Mc ALPINE, near the Mill-Bridge. 1744.

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The Publishers TO THE READER.

Christian Reader,

THOU hast here presented to thy View, A GLIMPSE of GLORY from the heavenly Zion, so bright and lively, as nothing of humane Composure, yet extant, can equal. A Ray of such hea­venly Fire, as, being received into an Heart affected with Eternal Objects, may prove a blest Mean to inflame it into a Divine Rapture of holy Longing, to see, and enjoy these unseen Things, which are here in so bright Colours represented. Whosoever will in Sincerity, and with At­tention, peruse this small TREATISE, will be led in­to such a delightful Contemplation of divine and heaven­ly Things, as may, in a Manner, transport his very Soul into that heavenly Paradise; carry him along the beau­tiful Banks of that pure River of the Water of Life; and represent to the Eyes of his Mind, that noble and glorious Company that stands about the LAMB, on Mount Zion, in white Robes, with Palms in their Hands, singing a new Song of Praise to JEHOVAH and the LAMB. Here shall he find the incomparable Beauties of that upper Paradise, and royal Palace of the King of Kings, described so brightly, in such high and lofty Expressions, as well suit these sublime and supernatural Objects; and yet withal so easy to be understood, that [Page iv] the meanest Capacity, exercised in spiritual Things may apprehend the true Sense and Meaning of them. The holy Heart of the Author has been so much in Heaven, that from the End of the Prelude, to the Conclusion, he talks altogether like one in Heaven already, and as a Possessor of the GLORY he describes: Which is to be attentively noticed, for the better understanding of the Scope and Intent of the Discourse.

Besides the Description of Heaven, and the Glory which the Saints shall enjoy there; (which is the professed Sub­ject of the Book:) There are not a few other excellent Subjects interspersed, and pretty largely handled. How sweetly doth he expatiate upon the Praises of Christ, the ever-blessed Redeemer? How lively doth he describe him, in his humbled State: his humble, laborious, sorrowful, yet holy Life; his painful, shameful and accursed Death; his infinite Love to his Chosen, that put him upon all that voluntary Humiliation and Suffering? With what Ravishment doth he admire the Difference of these Two, so distant Estates? In what sweet, lively and bright Ex­pressions doth he declare the mutual Intercourse betwixt this glorious Redeemer, and his Chosen, especially in the upper HOUSE? It is also another great Aim of the Author, to display the Attributes of GOD, to his Glory: His Grace & Mercy towards the Elect; his Sovereignty in his Works of Creation, Providence, and especially Election; his Truth & Faithfulness, in making good all his Promises; his Unchangeableness, in his Purposes of Love and Grace to his own; his spotless Holiness and Justice, in punishing the Wicked. How lofty is he in describing the Sovereignty of God over his Creatures; either to create, or not create, elect, or pass by, as he pleased? How sweet, large & ravishing is he, in holding forth the FREEDOM & RICHES of REDEEMING GRACE! And how doth he exult and glory in the Unchangeableness of God, which secures the same to all Eternity? His wonderful Wisdom, in contriving the [Page v] Saints Way to the Kingdom, thro' a Life of Sufferings, Afflictions, Poverty, Labours, Watchings, Sorrows, &c. is pleasantly cleared up; and many mysterious Provi­dences, relating thereunto, judiciously unfolded; which may serve much for Confirmation and Consolation to many poor drooping Believers. In describing the Holi­ness and Justice of God, in the eternal Punishment of the Damned, he takes Occasion largely to delineate the mise­rable Estate of the Ungodly: Nor is this improper for his Subject; for Contraries, set beside other, serve to in­lighten one another. He sets forth their extreme Misery from the Greatness of their Torments; the great and in­conceivable Loss they undergo, in their eternal Banish­ment from the Presence of GOD and the LAMB; the Eternity, yet Justice of their Punishment: Which Justice he founds not on an arbitrary Constitution, but on the infinite Holiness, Justice and Sovereignty of God, against whom Sin is an infinite Offence, as striking against his very BEING and GLORY; and therefore deserving an Infinity of Punishment. The Blasphemies they con­tinually belch forth against their Creator, for his puni­shing them, tho' at the same Time their Consciences ap­prove him just; and their horrid Inclination to fulfil their Lusts, tho' they cannot: All which he reckons their Pu­nishment, as well as their Sin, for he was at no Loss to believe, That there is Sinning in Hell. And finally here is set forth the holy Triumph of the Righteous over the Wicked, Devils and Men, once their mortal Enemies; now laid low under the Soles of their Feet, and for ever banished their holy and happy Society. All which the Author describes in such a moving and pathetick Manner as might cause an Adamantine Heart to relent & tremble, and to enquire, What must I do to be saved? How shall I escape the Wrath to come?

And indeed, to bring Souls to such a serious Enquiry, and draw Hearts from this base, empty Earth, to an In­quest after Heaven and Salvation, is the great Aim of the [Page vi] Author through all this Book. And hence, how pathe­tick and vigorous is he, in his Inviting, Perswading, and Reasoning with the Unconverted (whom he commonly stiles Worldlings, because yet intangled in the Lusts of the World) to awaken them to a due Concern about hea­venly Things, and wean their Hearts from earthly Vani­ties; and by lessening their Esteem of them, to draw their Affections from them?

And that such as are perswaded, seriously to mind and apply themselves to this noble and necessary Study, may not want an Help at Hand, to discover to them the Good­ness or Badness of their Estate: He hath added in the Conclusion of the Work a considerable Number of Excel­lent Marks or Notes, whereby a Christian may discern his being in Christ, and whether he be in an heavenly Frame, or not; also by them a formal Hypocrite may be detected.

If there be any Flights of lofty and sublime Thought, here and there, that may offend the Censorious, 'tis de­sired, That before they censure, they would first compare them with the Similitudes and Expressions of holy Scrip­ture, and next with the Sentiments of sound Divines, gi­ving some Grains of Allowance, on Consideration of the sublime and rapturous Way of writing, here used; and, 'tis confidently presumed, they'll find Nothing, but what is most agreeable to Truth, in this whole Tractate. There is a Sentence, Sect. 54, where he seems to make Sincerity the Condition of the New Covenant, as Perfecti­on of Obedience was the Condition of the Covenant of Works; which may perhaps offend some, who dislike the very Term Condition in a Covenant of Grace. But who­soever considers how large and pathetick he is, in de­scribing the free Grace of God, and ascribing all the Glo­ry of Redemption and Salvation to Christ, and only to Christ, must be perswaded, he cannot mean, that the Be­liever's Sincerity, or any Grate of his whatsoever, is the Condition of the New Covenant, in a legal Sense; for so [Page vii] Christ's Righteousness alone is the Condition of that Co­venant. Nor can we charitably judge, That this Term, Condition, is in any worse or stricter Sense affirmed of Sincerity, which presupposeth and includes Faith, than it is of Faith it self, in the 32 Answer of our Larger Cate­chism. It is clear then, That the Author takes Condition in a large Sense, for any Thing required or accepted in the new Covenant: And so it is true, That as Adam's Works were to be perfect, in Order to Acceptation; so the Believer's good Works cannot be accepted without Sincerity; and will, thro' Christ, be accepted when Sin­cere: Which must certainly be all the Author intends by Condition in that Place.

He is also pretty positive in his Opinion of the Reno­vation of the Earth and visible Heavens, at the Day of Judgment; which he describes in bright and beautiful Emblems. The Opinion is indeed controverted among the Learned: But most of the Orthodox are of the Au­thor's Side. Hence, when he is speaking of Things in that renewed State, after the Day of Judgment, none needs marvel, that he calls Sun, Moon and Stars everlasting, and the Earth an eternal Monument, as in Sect. 43; Or, stum­ble at any such uncommon Expressions: For he speaks as one beyond Time in Eternity.

Moreover, the intelligent and observing Reader will here find such a surprising Variety of the most profound Gospel-Mysteries, interwoven in such a beautiful and art­ful Contexture, as will every where entertain his Under­standing, with an uncommon Delight.

'Tis hoped, none will desiderate Method, or quarrel the Want thereof as a Defect; if it be but reminded, That devotional Books, amongst which this may justly claim a chief Room, are not usually astricted to the Rules of Art and Logical Method: It being the Design of such Writers, not so much to please the Fancy, or entertain the Understanding with an orderly Ranging & Methodi­zing of Things, as to quicken and inflame the Affections [Page viii] with divine and sublime Meditations: Where, not a Gingle of empty Eloquence fills the Ear; but heavenly and supernatural Objects, brought down, as it were, from the eternal World of Spirits, and made familiar to the Understanding, move and engage the Heart, and ele­vate the Soul to follow hard after these only worthy and substantial Delights. And besides, the intelligent Reader will find upon due Perusal, that 'tis not a meer rude Heap of indigested Matter; but that there is really a comely Order observed, in the Disposing of the Thoughts herein contained, which will sufficiently gratifie the Under­standing, while the incomparable Matter melts and in­flames the Affections.

As for the Titles of the Sections, the Publishers were not assured, whether they were added by the Author himself, or by some other Hand: Nay, they did not want Ground of Suspicion, both from the Difference of Expression, and sometimes from the Unsuitableness to the Matter, that some less skilful Person had added them. Yet having no Copies save one (except the Letters, and Saint's Song, whereof we found several Copies) to com­pare, 'twas tho't safest to retain them, lest any Thing might be desiderate that was in the Manuscript: And the judicious Reader is left to his Choice, whether to read on the Matter, without Regard to these Titles, or otherwise; for it must be owned, That, considering the Variety of heavenly Purposes, sometimes comprized in one of these Paragraphs, 'tis no easie Matter for any Man to devise an apposite Title, to express the Substance of the Matter therein contained.

There is no Doubt, but the Reader, by this Time, will be longing for some Account of the Author: And it were to be wished, that a true and genuine Relation of the Life of that pious Youth could have been recovered, in or­der further to oblige the Publick; which had it been pra­cticable, no Pains would have been spared to transmit it: And without all Doubt, such a Life would have been a [Page ix] rare and excellent Draught, worthy of Christian Imitation. He was the Son of a godly Father, Minister of the Gos­pel at Tondergirth in Annandole; concerning whom there is related this remarkable Passage. When the LORD had taken away from him his beloved Wife, the Desire of his Eyes, he spent the whole ensuing Night in Prayer and Medication in his Garden. One of the Elders of the Parish coming next Morning to visit him, and condoling his Want of Rest by Reason of the Dispensation so lately befal­len him, he replied thus, or to this Effect: ‘I declare I have not all this Night had one Thought concerning the Death of my Spouse; I have been so wholly taken up with the Meditation of heavenly Things. I have been this Night upon the Banks of Ulai, plucking an Apple here and there.’ This Passage plainly shews what a heavenly Soul this holy Man hath been; and how plentifully this gracious Youth, his Son, hath been blessed with the same Spirit, is abundantly evident from the ensu­ing Treatise. His Brother Mr. John Welwood was a Per­son well known to many, and his Memory still favory to all that knew him, for his Holiness, Diligence in the La­bours of the Ministry, amidst many Perils from Bloody Persecutors and false Brethren; his undaunted Zeal and Courage in the Cause of Christ, tho' under a very weak and sickly Constitution of Body. What a Life of Faith he lived in these Perillous Times, is evident from several Letters of his, written to his Godly Acquaintances, and Friends, yet extant in Manuscript. And as he excelled in the Grace of Faith, so this holy Youth, the Author, seems to have peculiarly abounded in that of Love, as will be abundantly manifest from the whole of this heavenly Tra­ctate. And how zealous he was for the royal Prerogatives of his lovely Redeemer, usurped by wicked Rulers; and the public Concerns of His House and Glory; may be gathered from several Passages in this Treatise, tho' the Nature of the Subject did not permit him to enlarge much this Way. It appears plainly, from his Letters annexed [Page x] to this Treatise, that he designed to have served the Lord Christ in the Work of the Ministry, if it had pleased the Lord to have continued his Abode here below: But the good Lord was pleased early to transport him from the Wilderness of Earth to the Paradise of Glory; and to accept the Will, in that Matter, for the Deed, as him­self speaketh. He died at London, in Time of our late Per­secution, as would seem, of a Consumption; under which Affliction, how much he profited and grew in Grace, ap­pears also evidently from the same Letters. He conclu­ded his holy and happy, tho' short, Life, with the swee­test Assurance of obtaining that Coelestial Blessedness, he here describes, and quietly slept in the Lord. And tho' the rest of the History of his Life cannot here be com­mitted to Writing, (as was design'd, if certain Informa­tion could have been obtained) yet there is here a ge­nuine Transcript of it to be read; for no doubt he en­deavour'd to live what he wrote, and such a lasting Monu­ment erected to the Glory of his Redeemer, as will also serve to transmit his Memory embalmed to Posterity, without needing an Elogium from any other Hand.

To conclude, the Treatise it self will, upon due Pe­rusal, so approve it self to every gracious Heart, by its heavenly and divine Strain; the noble Design it drives, namely to exalt Christ, and allure Souls to him, by its most sweet and taking Composure; its Stile being both lofty, as to the Subject, and condescending to the most I [...]literate; and finally by the sweet Discoveries it makes of that holy City, the heavenly Jerusalem, the Hope, Rest and Joy of all the Saints: The Treatise, I say, will so recommend it self, as that it shall need no Ivy to be hung out to invite the Passenger; and will only need to be known, to recommend it sufficiently to every de­vout Soul.

That the Almighty Lord, with whom is the Residue of the Spirit, and who only can command the Blessing, may make this TREATISE a blessed Mean, in the Hand [Page xi] of his holy Spirit, to build up and comfort Believers, to quicken them to Heavenly-mindedness, and draw them from the too eager Love of this Earth; and awaken, allure and draw Sinners to JESUS CHRIST, charmed and ravished with the unspeakable Glory of the great Reward, here described, which He hath promised to all them that turn from Iniquity, and sincerely love Him; is the earnest Desire of the Publishers.

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A POEM, Written by a Friend of the Author, upon the Sight of this rare Piece, in Commendation of both.

YOU exc'llent Souls, whose lofty Minds aspire
To higher Objects only, whose Desire
Disdains o'er-valu'd Dung, vile Worldlings Choice,
Is not allur'd with Siren's empty Voice,
And scorns to aim below the Zenith High,
Whither refin'd Perfections all do fly;
Here is an Object highest Thoughts transcending,
Yet unto mean Conceptions condescending:
Here's Heaven, and Glory, higher Eden come
T' unhappy Earth, a sweet Elysium:
Here's Glory brought to us, or happy we
To Glory made, by nimble Wings, to flee,
On Seas of brinish Tears, poor we are tost,
With boist'rons Winds, and lofty Waves are crost;
Can't see our dearest native Soil, or Lover:
But, here's a curious Prospect, to discover
That Land afar off▪ those sweet Hills, and Vales,
Where blow these fragrant, Soul-refreshing Gales,
[Page xiii]Which rouse these fainting Souls, whose Feet do stand
Within the Borders of Emmanuel's Land;
Where shines th' Eternal, with celestial Show'rs,
Ne'er-ending Blessings on the ransom'd Pow'rs,
The soaring Author hath flow'n up above,
Drawn by the Cords of his Redeemer's Love;
Hath walk'd along the Green, and flowr'y Banks
Of Life's sweet River, view'd the curious Ranks
Of Glory's stately fruitful Trees; hath tasted
Their Fruits most pleasant, and delicious; feasted
His Eyes, on Glory's Land, most lovely, fair;
His Taste, with Nectar, and Ambrosia rare;
His Smelling, with Heav'n's Spring's Embroidery;
His Hearing, with harmonious Raptures high;
His Touch, upon the silken Carpet's Lap,
Which Glory's Fields and Alleys doth inwrap:
His Mind, upon the elevated Things,
And deep Contrivance of the King of Kings:
His Love, on Joys, which Eye hath never seen,
Which Man's capacious Heart did ne'er contain,
He's sad, that Mortals in foul Mire should wallow,
And greedily vile Lumps of Earth should swallow:
Most friendly bids you share some Drops with him
Of Pleasures Streams, in which the Saints do swim:
He (Israel's Spy) ripe Graces from promis'd Land
Hath brought (t' inflame them) with a liberal Hand.
Thy Pen mounts higher, than the Eagle's far;
Thy sharpest Eve, more than the Eagle's, dare.
Thy Draught Apelles Tables far outvies,
More curious thy Picture is than his.
Thy Raptures future Ages shall admire,
And these shall light their Tapers at thy Fire.
Th [...]u'st trode a lofty Path, ne'er trode before,
And which shall be, it seems, by none trode more:
Thou ha [...]t out-stript and sham'd the Ages gone,
And by thy rarest Writings grac'd thine own:
[Page xiv]The Times to come may trace thy stately Pace,
But still thou'lt get the Honour of the Place.
Who would see Glory off the nearest Shores,
Draw near it with these curious mighty Oars;
Cast out on Glory's beauteous Skirts your Eye,
And there, O Saints, your ravisht Souls shall spy
A Paradise, whose lowest Parts excel
This vilest Dunghil, in which Mortals dwell:
A Paradise, each Glimpse of which shall fill
Your Minds with Wonder, and with Joy your Will:
In short, a Paradise, whose ev'ry Part
Shall so inflame your ever ravisht Heart,
That longing you shall never rest, till ye
Have Heav'n in you, or you in Glory be.
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A Glimpse of Glory: OR, A Gospel-Discovery of EMMAUEL's Land. The PRELUDE.

ROUSE thee, O my Soul, from this base and contagious Earth: Why should lower Thoughts, and base Aims possess thee thus? What hast thou here, that may draw thee a­side from the Centre of thy Felicity, but for one Moment? If this World, in her rosy and youthful Constitution, be very Vanity and Vexation of Spirit; what must there be now in her sad and withered State? If in her Smiles, she be not worth the regarding; what Folly is it, to court a frowning Nothing?

2. Is it Time, O my Soul, to place one Beam of thy Affection upon such a filly, base Dunghill, so as to give it an affectionate Look? Trample it under thy Feet: Car­ry thy self after the Manner of these, who expect the Kingdom. GOD hath formed thee of such a capacious Constitution as nothing can satisfy thee below his infinite SELF; and shouldst thou be confined, in thy Outgoings, within the Limits of this lower, smoky Region? Mount up swiftly, far above the Sun, Moon and Stars, beyond the Borders of this narrow Vault, where thou mayest sweetly bathe thy self, in these Oceans of Joys and Felicity, that know neither Brim nor Bottom: Thou art not to waste away thy Conceptions on Things to Day in their Vigour, and to Morrow they are not: Shadows, empty Nothings, Night-dreams & Vanities, insufficient Objects for the Fa­culties of such a noble Being, to fix upon. Art thou not [Page 16] beginning to consider of a more enduring Substance? The Kingdom that cannot be shaken, Emmanuel's glorious, stately and ever flourishing Land, the smiling, rosy Place where his Servants do incessantly serve him, and see his Face eternally, without a Cloud; where our all-lovely WELBELOVED doth corporally dwell, and shall for ever take up his eternal Abode; a fruitful, fragrant, beautiful, delightsom Soil, overflowing with the true and real Nectar and Ambrosia; a Garden of Delights, a Para­dise of Pleasures, planted at the Beginning by the Almigh­ty's own Right-hand, whereon he hath manifested, in an high & transcendent Manner, the incomprehensible Glo­ry of his Power, Love and Goodness, wonderfully, above what Eye hath seen, Ear hath heard, or the Mind of Man, within the Tents of Mortality, considered: What a won­derful Frame is this! O the alluring Objects up above! The first Thought whereof set all on a Flame: O what Desires! O what Longings! When shall Mortality be swallowed up of Life, Death of Victory, Time of Eternity, Miseries of Blessedness, Sorrows of Joys, Pains of Pleasures, painted Enjoyments & Delights of his Love & eternal Sweetness?

3. All Creatures are ever in Action, especially these of the highest and most noble Rank, which must neces­sarily have some Object or other, to fix their Outgoings upon: The most excellent and sublime are then to be chosen; and what more excellent, than what will fill all the Powers and Faculties of blessed Men and Angels throughout all Eternity?

4. To take a View of the higher Canaan, is neither Cu­riosity nor Audacity, but a necessary Duty, lying upon all, who are travelling thither: The Advantages of such a noble Study cannot be told, nay, nor conceived, but by the Exercised therein.

5. According to the Knowledge, so are the Affections, both as to Kind and Degree: What we know not, that we cannot love; & what we behold lovely, we cannot but love it. Seraphick Spirits, no Wonder you are ofttimes [Page 17] ravished from your selves! Ah silly Worldlings, you cannot but have a drooping Life of it; since you know nothing but Earth: Had you an half Glimpse of the more enduring Substance of the ever-flourishing, never-fading Glory, how should you be in an unexperienced Frame of Joy and Admiration! How should you disdain all the lesser Beauties on this Side of Time! But ah! you never saw the enduring Glory; and what Wonder you are as you are?

6. Mortality hath no greater Joy, than the solid Hope of Glory; the Sweetness, arising from the solid Hope of so great Things, fills the Soul with wonderful Ravishments, and perfumes the lowest of earthly Enjoyments: Surpas­sing Joys to my Soul: These temporal Things, my LORD bestows upon me, are as Pledges of the fair Inhe­ritance. And are not all visible Things as so many Em­blems of the Invisible? Wordlings, you are Fools, to i­magine, We have a sad & melancholy Life: None live but we; tho' we may be said to be, as to this Life, Of all Men the most miserable; 'tis only as to the Bulk of Externals: You know not our Joys, nor the Manner of our Enjoyments; neither can ye know them.

7. Of Necessity we must search after another Life, than this evan [...]shing Vapour.

May not the Vanity and Vexation of Spirit, in the Pur­suit of every sublunary Enjoyment, force us to the search­ing after another Life? If we search not for the Glory to come, then let us search after nothing at all. Sirs, what Madness, to notice this Earth, unless in Order to Eter­nity? Do you not clearly see all your temporary Enjoy­ments die in the Birth? Are not the glistering Shews of Men on this Stage of the World, like the Appearance of Aerial Things in the Clouds? Here are Armies engaging one another, there are Ships under Sail, yonder are Men riding in the Equipage of Kings, Queens, &c. other wheres are Towns, Castle, Rivers, &c. All appear real to the [Page 18] Spectators, but anon all evanishing to nothing, and where are they? Fools! are they considering, That thus it is with all the Glories of Time? Verily, to all Eternity, they shall be as if they not been.

8. The small Study of Glory proves us, in a great Part, carnal.

Is it not evident, we have our Eyes too much upon Shadows, and that we divide our Looks betwixt Heaven and Earth; since our Joys are more carnal than spiritual, and our Longings and Desires run so little heaven-ward? Ah, our Love to the only WELBELOVED, is not un­like that that every Nation carries to their God; else we would be often crying out, Is not my Welbeloved gone unto another Country? and shall not my Heart & Love for ever dwell there, and only there? Sit I down here, When he hath removed himself to another Place? Can there be any Thing desirable where he is not? O, all ye Beauties of this lower World, what are you to me, if my LORD be absent ? Let me pass through all possible Diffi­culties, even through ten thousand Oceans of burning Fire and Brimstone; providing I land at last, on that ten thou­sand times happy Place, where he for ever dwells; that these Arms may be blessed in embracing, these Eyes in e­ternal beholding, and all my Faculties may be filled with his eternally ravishing Sweetness. Oh, when shall I behold thy Countenance! When shall I hear thy Voice! When shall I stand amongst these happy, happy, happy Ones, who stand in the immediate Presence of thy all-glorious Majesty, and have the naked, immediate and clear Vision of thine eternally ravishing Godhead; Ah, how is it I think of any Thing, but Heaven? Why are we not ever in an impatient Longing, to be in his everlasting Embraces? Know we what it is, to take him for our only WELBE­LOVED? Is not every Sounding of his very Name, me­lodious Harmony in our Ears? Doth not every Hearing or Reading of him, affect us with a wonderful Sweetness? [Page 19] Do not the Tho'ts of our being in his naked Embraces ere long, fill us with an Extasy of Joy? Are we not of­ten challenging Years, Months and Days, that they suc­ceed so leasurely one another; and contending with Sun, Moon and Stars, that they run their Course so slowly; looking upon every Hour, as an Age, in his Absence; and Death as of a sweet and lovely Countenance, since it opens us a Passage to the full Enjoyment of him; and the Marrow of all Creature-Excellency, as a Mass of Deformity, if it should eclipse for a Moment, the sweet Enjoyment of his Alsufficient Self?

9. Students of Glory, overlook the Difficulties and Vex­ations of Time.

Sweet, sweet is the Way to my blessed Home! Can the Way be thought tedious, that leadeth to such bound­less Joy? O the goodly Country I behold lying at the End of my Race! Hell in my Way should be as a plea­sant Paradise: What tho' Sadness assault me? Yonder are Oceans of Joys at the End of my Journey; tho' Wea­riness, yonder are green Pastures, with an eternal May; tho' Death, yonder are Floods, the Rivers of Life, of which I shall drink, and drink again, for evermore. Doth Po­verty and Contempt interveen? Lo, the rich Inheritance, the Golden and Pearly Cit [...], the splendid Houshold-stuff! O the rich Inhabitants! How do mine Eyes af­fect mine Heart! O blessed Christ, I have seen thee in thy Beauty; and O how is my Soul in an uninterrupted Motion, to be at thee! The Affairs of Time move not as such. O what Allurements! Who can see, and not run? O thy violent, sweet, attractive Vertue! How strongly and quickly dost thou draw thy Members up to Heaven after thee! See I not thee, O WELBELOVED, standing with the massie Crown of Glory in thy Hand, crying, Run, and have it? And shall I not run, even run with Patience and chearfully unto the Death? How chearfully did my LORD go up to Jerusalem, to purchase the Crown for [Page 20] me! a Crown to be purchased thro' a World of Sor­rows and Difficulties! What am I doing? Why stand I thus? All is purchased already, and the Word is to me, ENTER and POSSESS.

10. The Study of Glory is so alluring, that the more we study, the more we love to study it.

Had we a Discovery of the only excellent Things, how difficult would it prove, to get our Thoughts plucked off them? Most lovely Things, seen in their Loveliness, captivate the Affections most▪ and consequently determine the Tho'ts: Do we not think most upon what we love most? Worldlings I appeal to your Consciences, if your Tho'ts run not out most upon earthly Things: Why? You know them only, and esteem them most: But, had you a View of the real World, the Outgoings of your Soul would run in an higher Orb. Had we the Impressions of Glory on our Spirits, lower Objects should not easily draw down our Tho'ts, or turn them aside; yea, our higher Powers should be so strongly affected, as that the lower Powers should be regulated even in Sleep; our I­maginations would be composing and dividing the Ideas of the Life to come, they received, according to their Natures, from the higher Faculties. How oft would we be, in our Dreams, walking up and down the Streets of the gol­den City, the Beds of Lilies and Roses, in the higher Pa­radise of Glory, the Banks of that River of Water of Life? Days-Thoughts have Influence upon Night-Dreams: the Disposition of the Fancy follows that of the Mind. Ah, ye Sons of Men, what Wonder your Fancy run out after so foolish a Manner! The Strength of your sublime Powers is wasted on Dunghil-concernments, your Tho'ts are full of Earth, and all your lower Powers are full of it also.

11. Creatures are only to be esteemed more or less ex­cellent, according to their Knowledge; it being the primum Mobile of all other Endowments.

[Page 21]Creatures are Excellent according to their Knowledge: Let Beasts imagine, that the Scenical Garbs of Riches, and Titular Honours, add any Thing real to Men: It is only Knowledge that differenceth; without it a Man is but a Beast; and with it, in its elevated Pitch, he is a glorified and immortal Creature: This is Life Eternal, That they might know thee, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent. And is not the Knowledge more Noble, ac­cording to the Excellency of the Objects, they being taken up congruously? O then, are they not seraphick Creatures, whose Minds are set upon the only Excellent Things? had we a sight of that surpassing Glory, how would our Minds be elevated wonderfully above this base Dung­hill? How should we look down upon the greatest Things of Earth, as inconsiderable Trifles, far below our sublime Spirits? how should we trample on Crowns and Sceptres, yea, many Worlds tho' existent, when elevated, on our high Places, clothed with the Sun, and having the Moon under our Feet? How should we laugh at silly Earth-Worms, crawling over one another with great Trouble and Vexa­tion; Ah Childish Spirits! are you contending and wa­sting your Inch of Time on Trifles and shining Nothings? what is the Gain, when all your Projects are accomplished? Heirs of Glory, no wonder, you are termed by Truth it self, the Excellent Ones of the Earth; none of excellent and generous Spirits, but you. The Opinions of blind Worldlings concerning you is of no Value; the Excel­lency, and Baseness of Mankind is not yet laid open: Mortality, and its black Retinue, obscure all: A little Patience, and the Almighty shall unmask the whole Race of Mankind.

12. A clear View of so great Rewards, heartens to all Duties.

The clear Sight of the great Recompense of Reward, makes the Creature chearful in Duty; Am I so slow in my Race, and the matchless Inheritance at the Stake? Cries not my Lord unto me, Be thou faithful unto the Death, and I will give thee a Crown of Life? Is there [Page 22] such a necessary Connection betwixt a Momentary Fight, and an Everlasting Triumph? O the Disproportation! who would not fight? who would not wrestle? O let me run to the Death.

13. The better we are versed in the Study of Heaven, the more we are fitted for it.

Is not Grace young Glory? and the Forethoughts of Heaven, a Preparation for Heaven? even as black Nature is a Preparation for Hell, the height and Perfection of Wickedness: A Sutableness is congruous betwixt the Creature and its Condition. High Spirits are not for base, low Things; as creeping Spirits are not for high. What Things in Heaven can delight a carnal Soul? Earth, Earth, and only Earth, is its known Object: Give him Earth, and he desires no more. There is Congruity, and Discongruity betwixt the Capacity and Object: Beasts have no uptak­ing of intellectual Things; neither carnal Men (termed Beasts in Scripture) of the Things of GOD. O sweet! How do the Saints smell of Glory, before they enter in? May they not say, Whither I go, I know, and the Way I know? Were I ignorant of the World I remove for ever into, could I be thus in so joyful a Frame? My Soul is going to the Place, where my Heart is already. I know in whom I have believed, and what is his Reward, O Joy unspeakable, and full of Glory.

14. Noble Uptakings of Glory, make us in Part Posses­sors of Heaven and Glory.

Serious Meditating on Heaven, renders us, in some Man­ner, Possessors thereof: Our Conversation is in Heaven, saith the Apostle; and again, You are come (not to the Mount visible) unto Mount Zion, and to the City of the living God. Converse and Presence is only by Benefit of the Mind; were we dwelling in Heaven by Faith, we might be said to be in Heaven, before we were there; or rather Heaven would come down unto our Souls; Christ [Page 23] and all his glorious Train would be intimate unto us. O then! we might say, my Company is sweet, My Fellow­ship glorious: He, whose Presence enlightens, enlivens and beautifies Heaven, is ever present with me: I have set the LORD always before me, because he is at my Right-Hand, I shall not be moved. A Bundle of Myrrhe is my Welbeloved unto me, He shall ly all Night betwixt my Breasts. O passing Joys and Sweetness! the Source of all Joys and Sweetness doth possess my Heart. Blinded Worldlings, you see but the outward Garb of Saints; saw you what were within, you could not but admire their Happiness: The King's Daughter is all glorious within. Saw you your own selves, in your own genuine Colours, ye would run from yourselves, if it were pos­sible: Hell lodgeth within you, and you know it not; but anon, when the Conscience is awak'ned, ye shall know it, to your dreadful Experience.

15. Heaven is the proper Place, where all Excellency dwells: Should we not then dwell mentally there?

As the Fields are most pleasant, fertile and beautiful, which lie nearest the perpendicular Rays of the Sun; so the more nearly we approach the Sun of Righteousness, the more vigorous and lively shall our Condition be: How shall we bloom and flourish like a Tree planted by the Rivers of Waters? O how beautiful shall we become in the Eyes of God, Angels, and Saints! Worldlings, you live in a cold Climate: Can any Thing befal you, ex­cept Withering and Decay? Come hither, this is the Sunny-side of the World; were ye here, ye could not but cry out, The Lines are fallen to me in pleasant Places; yea, I have a goodly Heritage.

16. We are allowed to have our Mind no where else, but in Heaven, that only being free of the Contagion of Sin.

To have the Mind in Heaven, is safe; to let it fall down to Earth, is most dangerous: Mostly from this do Satan, [Page 24] the World, & our vile Hearts get such Advantage against us: This is the Place where Satan dominiers; to dwell here, implies a Submission to the Sceptre of his Govern­ment. No Wonder so many Mischiefs befal Earth-worms. Heaven is the Saints proper Soil: If ye be wise, O Citi­zens of the New Jerusalem, range not without the Bor­ders of your Kingdom, lest some Evil befal you.

17. According to the Excellency of our Knowledge, accor­dingly is the Sphere of our Activity; and consequently our Fitness for doing great Things for our LORD's Glory.

Who are most accomplished for the greatest Actions and Sufferings for Christ? Who, but these who are most above? If the Study of humane Sciences renders a Man in some Measure excellent, What will the Study of this Hyperphysical Science do? All other Sciences are subor­dinate to this; it being a practick Science, directing and illuminating our Minds, in the right and solid Uptaking of all Things. Know much of GOD, and know much of all Things.

18. What we know and affect, that we are; if Earth, we are earthly; if Heaven, we are heavenly.

The Difference betwixt Saints and all Wordlings, lies much here; as the Man is, so are his Thoughts. Do the Faculties of thy Soul run most out on Heaven and Glo­ry? Doth Heaven more affect thee than Earth? Is't the ordinary Frame of thy Spirit? O the Blessedness of thy Condition! little canst thou conceive what thou art com­ing to. But, doth thy Mind run most upon Earth? is it the most delightsom Object? & is Heaven a fram'd and strange-like Subject to meditate upon? Is that the or­dinary Harmony of thy Spirit? O thy dreadful Condi­tion! who can conceive it? But thou shalt know it ere long.

[Page 25]And how sweetly & cordially are we invited to come up from this base Earth, and partake of that noble Fellow­ship with the Father and the Son? The Gates of Glory are cast wide open to all; the Wells of Salvation are not sealed: If you be eternally thrust out blame your selves. He complains, exhorts, arguments, Ye will not come to me, that you may have Life. Why will ye die? Whosoever will, let him come, and take of the Water of Life freely. Ah Fools, what are ye doing? Doubt ye whether to come up or not? what have ye there but broken Cisterns? Here, O here, are the Fountains, the Rivers, the Oceans of Living Waters. Beware, Sirs, this become not your eternal Complaint, Heaven was wide open, and I would not come in; and now, Wo, Wo, Wo for evermore! the Gates are for ever shut against me.

19. It is dangerous to take a superficial View of Glory, and no more: We are to search, & die searching; since Earth hath so strange a Power upon Creatures composed of Earth.

O Heirs of this never-fading Glory, need we speak of the Things you have a View of, far above all our Ex­pressions! See you not what is inexpressible? are you not ravished with the Goodness of your Lot? have you not been often upon the Top of Mount Pisgah, viewing the higher and lower World; the vast Difference betwixt the Childrens Inheritance, and that of the Bastards? have ye not received a Taste of the delicious Fruits that grow on the Tree of Life? have ye not received in your Souls, some Sparkles of that heavenly Joy and Love? have you not experimentally seen the Nothingness and Vanity of all created Enjoyments? How is it then; that so many of you are so base and carnal in your Deportment, as it is difficult to discern betwixt your Walk, and that of the Sons of the Earth? What! back to the Earth again, after you have re­ceived so high an Elevation? You somewhat resemble the fallen Angels. Sirs (if it be so, that you are fallen in­deed) it is an Hundred to One, if ever you approach so [Page 26] near Heaven, on this Side of Time: Apostasy, in the smal­lest Degree, is very dreadful. Be it so, you cannot totally and finally become Earth again; yet, is it not sad, ne­ver to come near to the first Attainments? as it mostly falls out in fallen Saints: Even David's last Ways were below his first. But however, Can ye endure so to dis­grace your Lord's Glory, before the Eyes of vile World­lings, who esteem Heaven a well invented Chimera? Can you feed their Atheism? And dare you shake the Faith of weak ones, and be the sad Occasion of many's going back at the Birth? Either walk in an heavenly Manner, or pro­fess no Religion at all: If your Converse be like that of Dunghil-wretches, wherein do ye glorify GOD more than they? Yea, you do dishonour him more a Thousand Stages. Christians, can you forget your sweet Country, in this me­lancholy Wilderness; is not Death at your Hand? Our Time is short, for making ready for Eternity; ere we get a Sight of the vain World, Death will assault us. What is Time, but a Preparation for Eternity? Were there not Connexion betwixt these two, verily, Time were of no Consideration: Have we lost the real Use of our Senses? Do not all we see, or hear, invite us to go up, and leave this despicable World? Every earthly Enjoyment hath Vanity written upon it; every Thing here hath a frow­ning Countenance: Are we not looking for a City whose Builder and Maker is God? Let us be perswaded of the Truth of so great Things; let us embrace the Promises, and confess, we are Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth, that the Natives of this World may perceive we seek a Coun­try. Cry out, Sirs, Adieu, you guilded Enjoyments, ab­stracted from the Life of all Enjoyments, ah glistering Nothings! what are you all to me! What to One who hath sound the enduring Substance? Welcome, a Thou­sand Times Welcome, eternal Joys, substantial Pleasures, enduring Comforts. Welcome Enjoyment of God, in any Measure, tho' thro' a Glass. Mount up, O my Soul, on the Seraphick Wings of heavenly Meditation: [Page 27] Tho' thou hast lien among the Pots, yet shalt thou be as the Wings of a Dove, covered with Silver, and her Feathers with yellow Gold. Let not a low Sight content thee, never rest, until thou be over the Borders of Time, where thou shalt be at Rest, and free of Trouble: Here is nothing but Vanity and Vexation of Spirit.

20. Scripture gives us a Discovery of Things beyond Time.

By a spiritual Uptaking of the Scriptures, in their own genuine Sense, we might attain unto the sublime Know­ledge of excellent Things: They are wisest, who are best studied in them: Faith is an Instrument, whereby the Soul takes up aright the Things contained therein. And doth not every Page smell of Heaven and Glory? The Glory of God, and intellectual Creatures, and everlasting Enjoyment of him, is the Subject and Scope of all. Nay, this great Volume of this visible All, demonstrates some­what invisible, of a far higher Nature: The Heavens de­clare the Glory of God: The invisible Things of him from the Creation of the World are clearly seen, being understood by the Things which are made. How many Draughts and Emblems of Glory may we behold, in the glorious Fabrick of Heaven and Earth; how doth the Spirit set before our Eyes, that inconceivable Glory to come, in Types and borrowed Terms, drawn from the Glories of this lower Region? Verily, they have the Advantage of others, who have Spirit and Opportunity, for searching into the admirable Works of God's Creation: For, such is the Nature of Things visible, that they lead us to these that are invisible.

21. Glory is not to be considered after a Philosophical Manner, being altogether supernatural.

To enquire metaphysically into the Nature of this ex­cellent Glory, is not our Intention: We desire not to speak other Things, than what is written. Subtil Inqui­ties are cold, having small Influence on the Affections, [Page 28] the Inflaming of which is our Aim. A Gospel View of Glory, in a Scripture Dialect, is our Design. That the Scrip­ture termeth Heaven, a City; and again, a Bride, shews that all Emblems come wonderfully short, in representing such inconceivable Things; and therefore Discourses thereof are not to be examined, according to vulgar Rules. Glory may be understood, either formally, or subjective­ly, which is the supernatural Elevation of the Creature; or objectively, which is the Manifestation of GOD to the Creature: The Glory then to be revealed, is a supernatu­ral Perfection, and that in Kind. Natural Wisdom, never so intense, is not Glory: The Splendor of the Sun, tho' a thousand Stages gradually augmented above what it is, is still but natural Glory, and not a supernatural Elevati­on. Every Thing is perfect, beautiful, excellent or glo­rious (which Terms express the same) in its own Kind; but in Heaven, are all supernaturally excellent, as being elevated far above the Reach of their natural Beings.

22. All Creatures from the highest to the lowest, are passively capable of supernatural Elevation.

What baser Things than Dust? and yet that's admitted within the New Jerusalem: Yet may intellectual Beings be said (Gr. kat' exochen, i. e. by way of Eminence) to be only capable of Glory: And then we may say, Glory is the highest Elevation (actual) of a Creature, in its Being, Faculties, Vertues, Operations and Relations, by which it is enabled to enjoy God to the full.

23. Nothing leads us so excellently to the Knowledge of Glory, as Grace its Forerunner.

Grace being an Endowment above the Strength of Na­ture, what is it else, but young Glory? For that the Know­lege of the one will lead us by the Hand unto the Know­lege of the other: As Glory is Grace in the Bloom and fullest Vigour, so Grace is Glory in the Bud & first Spring­ing; the one is Holiness begun, the other Holiness per [...]ec­ted; [Page 29] the one is the Beholding of God darkly, as thro' a Glass, the other Beholding him Face to Face. Christians, are you considering, that in Part you are glorified already? Tho' it be small, like a Grain of Mustard-seed, and ob­scured by Corruption and Mortality; a little Patience, and you shall see it grow out wonderfully in all Dimen­sions, and flourish, and bloom, and be fruitful and fra­grant through never-ending Ages. You have tasted that the Lord is good; you shall swim, ere long, in the Oce­ans of Goodness: You have had his amiable Countenance lifted up upon you; a little hence shall ye for ever dwell under the Noon-Day Rays of his ravishing Face: Some Drops of celestial Joy have fallen into your Hearts, unto Ravishment; you shall enter into the Ocean it self ere long: You are walking with the Lamb, in the Days of your Pilgrimage; you shall follow Him anon whitherso­ever he goes. May ye not then attain to some Conception of Glory? the Tree may be known by its Seed; the di­rect Rays, by the reflex. As for you, Worldlings, who know not what it is to have Communion with GOD the very natural Consideration of such dazling Glory, may rouse up your Senses, and cause you to understand what you never heretofore considered.

24. Saints get some Discoveries more evident, than through a Glass, which may be termed Glimpses of Glory.

The Saints, on this Side of Time, are not seldom more than Victors; they have Sights above that of Faith: O the Sights, O the Sweetness, O the Ravishments, more like those of Overcomers, than Fighters, which the Saints experience! Why may we not then attain to some Appre­hensions of the Glory above? may not the Experience of our selves and others lead us into the Discovery of won­derful Things? No Doubt, the New Creation is a super­natural Elevation, which we shall never be able to attain unto, through the ordinary and connatural Influencing of the Spirit on our congenite Faculties; His marvellous [Page 30] Light is of another Nature, than that common Light which he communicateth to every one that cometh into the World. Natural Excellency, never so gradually perfected, is still natural; gradual Difference changeth not the Kind. Join all common Graces of Reprobates together, could they make up a Saving or Supernatural? Many Carnals make not a Heavenly; many material Excellencies, make not up a Spiritual: Grace is a heavenly, new Principle infused, not the perfecting of what hath been already, in the Worldling. O Sirs, beware of a Beguile here: The intense natural Knowledge of Divine Mysteries, with the Overflowings of Love and Joy arising there from, may dazle our own Eyes, and the Eyes of the Spectators. Look that you have Heaven indeed within you, else you can­not enter there. O to be Partakers of the Divine Nature! O for the Noble Mind of Christ! O to be transformed in the Spirit of our Minds! Cause thy Wind to blow on our dry Bones, and we shall live. Be not beguiled, Sirs; as ye saw, so shall you reap: Have you the immortal Seed within you? Look well to it, let it not be choked with Cares, Anxieties & Vanities; Tho' the Beginning appears small and inconsiderable, the End will be wonderfully glorious and excellent: The Wonders to be manifested upon thee, will be the Perfection of what thou hast got already: If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the Dead be in you, He shall also quicken your mortal Bodies, by the Spirit that dwelleth in you.

25. All Things invite to this excellent Study, and no Argument against [...].

We heartily beseech you, to step up to the Top of Mount Pisgah, and take a View of our ravishing Country: What have you to say against the Business? COME and SEE, will answer all your Objections: whatever you can say against the Matter, will prove it. Speak ye of Melancho­ly? O what Sweetness is here! Of Inability, & Dim­ness of Knowledge? O the Lightsomness of this City! All [Page 31] Things are obscure and smoky below. Speak we of Hin­derances from our necessary worldly Affairs? O how doth the Sight of this Glory oyl the Wheels, and cheer up to every Duty! Will any term it, An unknown Subject? Nothing more fruitful, and fuller of Varieties: Nothing more lightsom than Glory. Art thou worldly-minded? O then, study Heaven; The Excellency of the one, will cause the other to disappear. Thinkest thou Hell and De­struction are more to be considered by thee? Come, and thou shalt behold, that the Discovery of Glory discovers all Things; since there is no Danger, for a trembling bro­ken hearted Sinner: The Way to Glory is the Path of Life, the new and living Way. We are not come unto the Mount that might not be touched, and that burned with Fire; but unto Mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem, the innumerable Company of Angels, and to the Spirits of just Men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new Co­venant, to GOD the Judge of all, and to the Blood of Sprinkling, that speaketh better Things than that of Abel.

26. This Skill is only from above, and to be begged of GOD.

Thou inexhaustible Original of all Light, Life & Ful­ness, draw up our Minds to thee, from this proper Habita­tion of the Devil and his Slaves; and hold us ever with thee, lest we fall down to this Dunghill again: Then shall we be joyf [...]l in Glory, we shall sing aloud in our Beds, we shall speak of the Grea [...]ess of thy Kingdom, of the Excel­lency of thy Majesty, and of the Glory of thine Inheritance, in the Saints in Light: Then shall we go out with Joy, and be led forth in Gladness; the Mountains and the Hills shall break forth before us into Singing: Then shall we re­nev [...] our Strength, we shall mount up with Wings, as Eag [...]s; we shall run, and not he weary; and walk, and not be faint.

[Page 32]

INVITATION.

HERE Tabor's Tops, surmounting far the Marches
Of those Etherial most majestick Arches,
Reaching beyond the Azure Canopie,
(Which envious Mask hides Glory from our Eye)
Into the new Creation, whose bright Glory
Would cause Earth's Splendor vanish, make us sorry,
We've plac'd a Grain of Love on Things below,
Since only 'bove this World all Sweets do flow.
Ascend the Mount, aspiring Souls, and enter
Within the Cloud, fear not, draw near Love's Center:
Go in to th' privy Chambers of the King,
If princely Minds, and flowing Hearts you bring:
But wanting these, I straitly you command,
In my LORD's dreadful Name, aloof to stand.
There shall you see your LOVER's lovely Face,
His heavenly Gesture, His divinest Grace:
There shall his Voice melodious charm your Ears,
And from your Hearts shall banish quite all Fears:
There shall the Smell of's Garments, all perfum'd,
Refresh your fainting Sp'rits, with Cares consum'd:
There shall you feast upon the cheering Wine,
That Crimson Liquor of the only VINE.
You and your LORD shall clasp in one Love-tie,
Ne'er to be loos'd through all Eternity
Your Thoughts shall dive into Love's deep Abyss,
And scan, what without all Dimensions is:
Your heart (surpassing Joy!) in your LOVE's Breast,
And his in yours, eternally shall rest.
In fine, your Senses, Soul and all shall lie,
Bathing in Sweetness everlastingly.
[Page]

A Glimpse of Glory: OR, A Gospel-Discovery of EMMANUEL's Land.

THOU Glory and Beauty of the higher Pa­radise, fulfil thy Promise upon me, in let­ting me see Thee in thy Beauty, and that Land that is very far off. A Discovery of thine Excellency, a Taste of thy Sweet­ness, should cause me to overlook all sublunary Things, should enable my Glory to proclaim thine aloud before the Sons of Men. Let thy Strength appear in Weak­ness: Thou can'st perfect Glory and Praise by Babes, and Nothings; get thy self Glory, and I have all I can desire.

2. All Joys! Am not I exalted on the high Places of the Earth? Wonderful! what strange Things are these? What hath God done? Shall I write, or shall I not? What avails Earth's Idiom here, which falleth short in the full Expression of earthly Things? Shall I not debase my LORD's Glory, if I endeavour to represent it by the low, base and childish Expressions of Earth's Idiom: But since our condescending LORD is pleased, in borrowed Terms, to express these inexpressible Enjoyments, which neither Eye hath seen, nor Ear hath heard, or the Heart of Man conceived, we will follow his Footsteps; being certain, tho' our Expressions reach not the Brim of that Ocean, yet they may surpass most Men's Esteem of it. May we not then, in borrowed Speeches and dark Em­blems, [Page 34] delineate the Glory of his Kingdom, the Excellency of his Person, & the Riches of his Inheritance in the Saints in Light, until we come unto the Fulness of the Stature of Christ: When we shall see and express Him, as He is.

3. The Soul must be elevated on the Wings of heavenly Meditation, before it get a Sight of the promised Land.

Now, my Soul, thou art got up to the Top of this sublime and majestick Mountain overlooking the celestial Canaan. Ah, my Senses are not celestial! Yet do the Things I see and hear, fill me with Joy unspeakable, and full of Glory: I cannot tell what my Faculties are filled with. Words are narrow for such high and wide Things. But should we not express these Things according to our Measure?

4. Glory is rather to be admired by Mortals, than un­derstood.

I am quite amazed, confounded and ravished at once. O eternal Dwelling-place of blessed Men and Angels, and of the MAN infinitely more excellent than all! How am I affected with thy various Beauty, excellent Glory, and delightsom Sweetness! What appearest thou now, O lower World? Thou art the Dunghil; this the Palace-royal: Thou art the Footstool, this the Throne. Were the Cur­tains betwixt the higher and lower World drawn aside, all lower Glories would disappear: All Glories are here, and only here: This is the World. Where shall we find Emblems any where else, sufficient to represent, in the thousand thousand Part or Property, one of the infinite Beauties, various Glories, admirable Excellencies, tran­scendent Vertues, wherewith this Land is stored? Verily it is a large Land indeed, like a Confluence of infinite Number of Worlds. O my Lord, thy Report was true, In my Father's House are many Mansions. The Earth is Nothing to the visible Heavens, and the visible to the in­visible. O vast Land! Are they not shallow Fools, who [Page 35] boast themselves of Shovelfuls of Earth? But Worms are much taken up with Dunghils. Nothing below this nar­row Vault of the visible Heavens can bound the Outgo­ings of capacious and sublime Spirits.

5. We may imagine, in this our Childhood, childishly; and so conceive of Glory in a metaphorick Way.

And O the Beauty and Sweetness, wherewith this bles­sed Land is adorned! Earth in its May-clothing, with its various Beauties, appeared somewhat delightsom before; but all former Apprehensions are swallowed up; all the Senses & Faculties are lost in the endless Maze of infinite Varieties of Beauties and Excellencies. Are not the Eyes almost ravished from their proper Orbs, by the strong at­tractive Vertue of ravishing Objects? Are they not daz­led and confounded? What Varieties! what Glories! what numberless Numbers! Every Object is enough to allure unto Ravishment: But the Conspiration of them all cannot be told. How are the Ears charmed with number­less Variety of melodious Raptures! so that the Ears be­come Harmony itself. How do incessant and full Gales of odoriferous Exhalations perfume and fill with a passing Sweetness, not only the Brain, but every Vein, Artery and Sinew I That which enters the Mouth, every where, surpasseth Ambrosia & Nectar. The circumjacent Spirits have so pleasant Embraces, as they still refresh the Body, that cannot be weary. What shall I say? Am I not nonplus'd here? Lo, all Beauties, both material and im­material, here! All Things are here in an eminent formal Manner. O mighty God, this World is a Master-piece of thy Power, Wisdom and Goodness indeed. Did I never see more of thy ravishing Attributes, than what is imprin­ted on this golden World, should I not be ravished with an eternal Rapture? This is a Land befitting the Inhabi­tants; all Things are ever in their May-clothing, do bloom and flourish with an eternal and glorious Verdue, seem­ing, as it were, all to outbrave one another, in wonderful [Page 36] Beauty and Excellency: What would an earthly Para­dise appear here? Shall we speak of Gold and Gems, trampled upon by Beasts? Sure the Sun in its Strength would blush to let forth its Rays on so beautiful a Place, the least Stone here would look him out of Countenance; Nothing in the lower World, which is not here; and nothing here, which is to be seen in the lower World. If we speak any Thing in earthly Idiom, it must be in perfect Contradictions; all is covered over with all Vari­eties of Beds of Lilies, and Roses, and dropping sweet-smelling Myrrhe, every where the Vines flourish, the Man­drakes send forth an odoriferous Exhalation, the Pome­granates bud, the Grapes and all Fruit hang in goodly Or­der; all is overslown with Ambrosia, Milk and Hony; all is an Orchard, all a Champain Field; every Place is the sunny Side of the Hill, and also a pleasant Shadow; every Place is filled with odoriferous Gales, and yet there is nothing but one sweet and endless Calm: The Winds that blow here are like vital & animal Spirits. Are they not these Heart-refreshing, and Soul-rejoicing Brea­things of the Spirit of Life? All are planted with Trees, every one of which doth specifically differ from one ano­ther, and bears every Month, every Hour, every Minute, Ten thousand Kinds of Fruits; and every Fruit contain­eth Ten thousand Qualities; and every Quality Ten thousand Vertues, and every Vertue Ten thousand De­lights, and every Delight is enough to confound My­riads of Worlds of Men and Angels. All Things send forth melodious Notes, odoriferous Perfumes, and what may charm Thousands of Senses, differing specifically from one another: All Things here do more than con­tain all the Vertues and Excellencies of Sun, Moon and Stars. O what every Thing is, how inconceivable, and be­yond Imagination! This World is all Things, 'tis a Pa­lace, also it is a glorious and stately City, decked with the Glory and Comeliness of her Builder; Whose Light is like unto a Stone most precious, whose Walls are high [Page 37] and beautified with Twelve Gates, and at the Gates are Twelve Angels, whose Figure is Four-square, whose Cir­cuit Twelve thousand Furlongs, and the Height of the Wall an Hundred forty four Cubits; the Building thereof is of Jasper, and the City of pure Gold, as it were transparent Glass. If the Foundations thereof be of Pearl, the Houses, Streets and Walls of Gold, what must the Deckings of the Houses be? If the ordinary Stuff exceed the Price of the Diamond, who can weigh our most noble JEWEL of the New Jerusalem? Sure all the Excellency of this lower Universe would be of no Reckoning here; yea, many Worlds are not to be valued. Must not this be a glorious and delightsom City, which is immediately enlightned with the uncreated Glory of JEHOVAH, and the LAMB? All the Kings of the Earth bring in their Glory and Ho­nour hither: All other Glories and Excellencies are swallowed up, and concentred here: All Joys, all Plea­sures, all Contentments, all Desires are for ever here.

6. We cannot be so high, in our own Conceptions of Glory, but still we may be higher.

But let us draw near, that we may discover more of these wonderful Things: What ravishing Melody is this? Were it not Heaven to dwell within the Sound of Heaven's Melody? I am altogether ravished! O it is good to be here! O the sweet, sweet, sweet Frame the In­habitants are in! Their Hallelujahs have converted me almost into Joy itself. But what can I say? The Idiom of Glory hath a wonderful Efficacy and Deepness, beyond our shallow Uptakings, as far transcending Earth's Lan­guage, as Immortality doth transcend Mortality: And I want an Ear celestial, musical, to perceive distinctly, and understand these angelical Songs, and wonderful Expres­sions of Joy, Love and Admiration in the higher House: But the very Sound is enough to ravish all our Senses. Hear I not something like the Song of Moses and the Lamb?

[Page 38] ‘We will sing unto the Lord; for he hath triumphed gloriously, his Enemies hath he over whelmed with ever­lasting Shame: He is our Strength, and our Song, and he is become our Salvation: Thy Right-hand, O Lord, is become glorious in Power; who is like unto thee? Glorious in Holiness, fearful in Praises, doing Wonders. Thou in thy Mercy hast led forth thy People, which thou hast redeemed; thou hast guided them in thy Strength, unto thy holy Habitation: We have a strong City, Salvation hath our God provided for Walls and Bulwarks. We will greatly rejoice in the Lord, our Souls shall incessantly and eternally be joyful in our God; for he hath clothed us with the Garments of Sal­vation, he hath covered us with the Robes of Righteous­ness. Thou hast awaked, & put on Strength, O Arm of the Lord; Art not thou it, which dried up the Red-Sea? that hath made the Deeps of the Sea a Way for thy Ransomed to pass over? Therefore the Redeemed of the Lord do return, and come with Singing unto Sion, and everlasting Joys upon their Heads; and Sorrow & Sigh­ing hath fled away. Sing ye Heavens, shout ye lower Parts of the Earth, break forth into Melody, ye Moun­tains; for the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and glori­fied himself in Israel. Behold, we dwell on high, our Place of Defence is the Munition of Rocks: Our Eyes do see the King in his Beauty; our Eyes do behold Je­rusalem a quiet Habitation, a Tabernacle that shall ne­ver be taken down. And in this Mountain hath the Lord of Hosts made, unto all People, a Feast of fat Things; and hath swallowed up Death in Victory, and hath wi­ped away all Tears from all Faces. The Lord is a Sun and Shield: He hath given Grace and Glory; no good Thing hath he withheld from these who have walked uprightly. How excellent is thy Loving-kindness! We are abundantly satisfied with the Fatness of thy House, and thou hast made us drink of the Rivers of thy Plea­sures: Thou hast turned our Mourning into Dancing; [Page 39] thou hast put off our Sackcloth, and girded us with Gladness: The Lines are fallen to us in pleasant Places; yea, we have a goodly Heritage: Thou hast shewed unto us the Path of Life; in thy Presence is Fulness of Joy, and at thy Right-hand are Pleasures for evermore. Worthy is the Lamb, that was slain, to receive Power, and Riches, and Wisdom, and Strength, and Honour, and Glory, and Blessing; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God, by thy Blood, out of every Kin­dred, and Tongue, and People, and Nation; and hast made us unto our God, Kings and Priests; and we shall reign for ever and ever. Cry and shout, thou In­habitant of Zion; for great is the holy One of Israel in the Midst of thee.’ What a golden Life is this? Am not I come into Mount Zion? Know I not now by Experience, that the Converse of Mortals may be above? O what a ravishing Frame am I now in! The Melody of Heaven draws me nearer and nearer; I cannot, I will not, I may not rest, until I look within the Vail.

7. Christ, the Desire of all Nations, because he is God, most fully manifested to finite Capacities.

O strange! Nothing but wonders! Are not the whole Inhabitants of the higher Canaan all in a Sea of Delight, Love and Admiration? Are they not all flocking round about, as contending, who shall be most satiated with the matchless Beauty and Loveliness of the WHITE and RUDDY ONE, the STANDARD-BEARER among Ten thousand? O the Days-man, betwixt God & Creatures! the Wonder of Wonders, the Glory & Triumph, and Shame of Creatures, the Beauty of Heaven, the Admirati­on of Earth, the Compend and Model of Heaven and Earth, and all Things, the Life of all Joys, Marrow of all Loves, Flower of all Desires, Fountain of all Sweetness, Sun of all Glory, the everlasting Delight of the Father, and Ravishment of Men and Angels, the Centre whereun­to all Hearts, all Loves, all Eyes do eternally & inces­santly [Page 40] run, the Brightness of the Father's Glory, the ex­press Character of his Person! Christ Jesus, God-Man, the ever-flourishing Stock & the Stem of Jesse, the Plant of Renown! All are chanting thus.

Speak no more of Beauties; Men & Angels, all lesser Glories are quite swallowed up: This is the only Beauty, the only Excellency, by the borrowed Rays of whose Loveliness, we are all rendered glorious: Out of his Ful­ness have we all received; let us down with these massie Crowns of Glory at his Feet; For of him, and by him, and through him, and to him are all Things.

8. No Manifestation of God, so full and sweet to Crea­tures, as through Emmanuel; so infinite is the Distance.

O! my only WELBELOVED, thou art God, thou art God, the infinite JEHOVAH; and therefore thou art become my ALL, and only One; none but Him! I disdain all Yesterday-beings, for a Welbeloved: Yet, since thou art a Creature also, thou art more lovely as to me; wert thou not Man, as well as God, I could not enjoy thee so familiarly and nearly: Though Sin in its self cannot be the Object of Joy, yet the Result thereof is passing joyful: This World of free Grace, transcends never so many Worlds of another Kind. The Enjoyment of God, as a Redeemer, Husband, Brother, is another Manner of Enjoyment, than of God Creator. Happy, happy we, that ever we were miserable! We had been un­done, if we had not been undone. We ruined our selves, but thou hast made us up, far, far above all that we had to lose: O sweet Debt of thy free redeeming Grace! Shall not every Moment of Eternity augment my Obligation? I am thy bound Dyvour, O my Lord; and therefore my Happiness shall grow and bloom throughout all Eternity.

9. One Sight of Christ is enough to ravish never so many.

The first Sight of thine Eyes hath stricken me with everlasting Admiration! Many excellent Beauties do my [Page 41] blessed Eyes behold, but thou dost infinitely transcend them all. Thy Countenance hath a Beauty & Excellency above all possible created Glory! Increated Glory rays thro' the Vail of his humane Nature! My blessed Eyes, a thousand Times blessed Eyes, which behold the Man, who is God! Fellow-Beholders, this Sight hath cast us for ever into a wondering Frame! the more we be­hold, the more we are inflamed; the more we love, the more we behold! O Wonderful eternal Circle! Hence Joys inutterable, inexpressible; hence the sweet praising Disposition, hence Admiration, hence Beholding; and thus throughout Eternity.

10. All our Enjoyment nothing, till we see him Face to Face.

O Flower of Excellency! O Ocean of Loveliness? Mortality could take up no considerable Portion of thee; the most excellent of their Discourses was childish Nonsense: Nothing, but seeing thee Face to Face, can discover thy Worth. Verily I never saw thee until now; and therefore Love and Joy were never in their highest Vigour. I love, I love now indeed! What tho' I might be said to love thee in thy Absence, and to be filled with Joy unspeakable and glorious, with the very Sound of thy Name? These Drops are nothing to the Ocean, the Tasting to the Banquet. O sweet, sweet, Nothing but Joy! who can stand beside infinite Love, and not be inflamed? Am I not almost converted into Love it self? O delight­som ravishing Fire! What greater Happiness, than to burn here for evermore.

11. The Soul is not perfectly happy, until it rest, with­out Interruption, in the Welbeloved's Love.

Now we are for ever in one anothers Arms; the Days of Heaven shall not put a Period to these Love-Embraces: Thou hast set me as a Seal upon thy Heart, as a Seal upon thine Arm; for Love is strong as Death, the Coals there­of [Page 42] would burn up Hell itself. Nothing but full Eternity, incessant Enjoyment, will satiate this burning Love; and therefore art thou unto me as a Bundle of Myrrhe, which lieth forever betwixt my Breasts. This is the Place where Love doth bloom, with an eternal Verdure: No Ups and Downs, and Hidings of his Face; no Love­sickness, thro' the want of personal Possession; no need of Apples, or Flagons of Wine; no contending with Time and Days, because of their seeming lazy Pace; nor with interposing Clouds, ling'ring Death, Sin and Mortality: Nothing, but full Enjoyment; I am as I would be: I see thy Face to the full; and therefore my Happiness overflows the Banks.

12. The mutual Interest betwixt Christ and his Chosen, is an eternally sweet Consideration.

Thou art mine, my dearest Lord, and I am thine; I was thine from Eternity, and thou art become mine to Eternity. O my large, wide, broad Inheritance! Thou art mine in full Possession: O my Happiness, my Happiness! my Loves overflow, my Joys are in their Spring-tide! Even thou art mine, and thy Desire is towa [...]ds me. No Wonder I am ravished with thy Beauty: But art thou ra­vished with mine? Wast thou not at Rest, until thou hadst brought me to these higher Chambers of Glory, that thou mightest be delighted forever in my Fellow­ship? What am I to thee? If there be any Thing in me can draw one Look from thee, it is thine, only thine, and not mine own. If the Rays of this borrowed Love­liness in me redound back upon thee, Thou hast recei­ved but what is thine own. Beholdest thou ravishing Loveliness in me, who am, what I am only of thee? what boundless Ocean of Sweetness, what infinite Worlds of Beauty are in thy matchless Self! Many an excellent Object have I seen, but thou hast ravished my Heart from them all. I have found, I have seen him, who is only lovely: This fair One hath my Heart for evermore. [Page 43] Choicest Beauties of Yesterday, were it possible for you to draw my Affections in the least aside? I have tasted of Creatures Sweetness, but they could not satisfy: Shall it not be my endless Exercise, incessantly to kiss, and draw ravishing Consolations from the Lips, that brought the joyful Tydings of this boundless Happiness? None but Thee! If I love and delight in other Beauties, it is as they are decked with thy Loveliness; as they are Em­blems, Shadows and Reflections of thee, who art alto­gether lovely: But thou art the substantial Beauty, thou art the Beauty! Let innumerable Millions of Worlds of Beauty stand round about Thee, one Ray of thy Tran­scendancy would eclipse them all. Beholders, can you tell what you see? O his Beauty, his Beauty! What more can be said, than that it infinitely transcends the Concep­tions of Men and Angels?

Other Loves are but the Picture and Resemblance of Love, to this sublime and noble Love of JESUS: This is Love indeed; should I speak of Flames? am I not en­tred into the Ocean? The I Floods, the Worlds of Love, for God is Love, and he that dwelleth in Love, dwelleth in God, and God in him. Is not this a sweet ravishing Habitation? What Joy to think, This is my eternal Re­pose? I dwell in the Midst of hot burning Flames, without Harm, as in a Bed of Roses, and an Orchard of Delights.

13. The glorified Soul, reflecting on former Things, looks upon all, as childish.

This is the Fulness of the Stature of Christ: How ca­pacious, to receive incessantly Floods of Love! Before, my Soul was narrow, now it is larger than the Heaven of Heavens. O the Outrunnings of my Soul after Thee! Before, they were small Streams; now they are huge Floods; small Things are not now noticed; all our Desires are now swallowed up. What is the Moon when the Sun doth appear? How massie, massie art thou, O Love of Jesus! would thou not down-weigh innume­rable [Page 44] Worlds? Had I known, in the Ten thousand Part on Earth, what now I know, the World would have ima­gined me quite beside my self: How wonderfully would I have spoken, written and done? But, ah, how poorly and childishly did we speak of thee; What Joy, that Mor­tality is done away!

14. Saints and Angels shall be ever going forth into the matchless Excellencies of their WELBELOVED; and running them, as it were, over and over again.

Tho' I behold thee, as thou art; yet am I ever sup­plied with new Matter of Admiration: When more Ages are past, than Atoms in the Creation, I shall not be jejune, to express thine infinite Excellency. Men & Angels, when shall you dive so deep, as you may dive no further? But shall I not for ever delineate thy Beauty now, when I have thee in my Arms? Sirs, shall we not for ever speak of him, of whom too much cannot be spoken? No Inju­ry is here done to the Father and blessed Spirit; Their Glory and Excellency do visible shine here: And do these Arms embrace God, these Eyes see him? O the Mystery of Godliness! Men and Angels, you are all astonished: God visibly manifested! O Wonder of Wonders! Is not thy Name rightly termed, WONDERFUL? O my ele­vated Thoughts! O Eternity, Eternity thou shalt be fil­led with Wondering: What Glory shines in this Man's Face! Thy Countenance, Welbeloved, hath a non-such Majesty. The Saints have the Face of glorified Crea­tures, and no more; but the Majesty of thy Counte­nance is altogether Divine. O Perfection's Flower, and Marrow of Loveliness! None, who see thee, will enquire, What art thou more than another Beloved? O thy Face, thy ravishing Face! Indeed thou art the White and Rud­dy, the Standard-bearer amongst a Myriad: Thy Face; my Welbeloved, is like the Face of the Son of God; every Smile is full of inexpressible Joy; For God, thy God hath anointed thee with the Oil of Gladness, above all thy Fellows. Is not this He, Men and Angels, Whose Visage [Page 45] was more marred than any Man's; in whom the world saw no Beauty, or Desireableness? Is not this He, whose Face was spit upon by the Filth and Offscourings of Men? Verily, Welbeloved, tho' thou art the same, Yesterday, to Day, and for evermore; yet appearest thou far changed, from what thou appearedst on Earth. O but then thou didst strangely mask thy Divine Beauty with the Vail of Mortality, which now thou hast done away, that thy Glory may shine forth in its full Splendor before thy Chosen! O thy stately Majestick Head, only worthy to be crowned with Glory and Honour, to be exalted far above all Creatures! Strange! this majestick Head, that was once beset with a Crown of Thorns, is now surrounded with the Bright­ness, which carries in its Bosom boundless Joys. This was the Joy than was set before him. O Blessed we, that have such an Head! The Head of this golden World is of fine Gold. O how beautiful are the Adornments of thy Head! O thou wouldst entangle all Creatures for ever in the Folds of overcoming Love! How am I ravished with thine Eyes! Heaven and Glory dwells in every Look; the first Glance of them did strike Heaven and Love into an e­ternal Rapture: Nothing can resist their overcoming E­manations of Love. And, did these Eyes gush forth Tears, through bitter Grief and Sorrow? Could ever the least Sadness & Darkness enter into such Divine Orbs of Light and Joy? Thou hast overcome me with thine Eyes, my fair One. One Look of Thee, and no more, would ra­vish Ten thousand Worlds of Men & Angels. O the Noon-day Light of thy Countenance for ever and ever! And who can tell the Comeliness of thy fragrant, beautiful Cheeks? And what can be said of thy rosy Lips? How do they perfume this Land with their fragrant Myrrhe, that inces­santly drops from them! O what boundless Ocean of Grace is poured into them! Therefore, God hath blessed thee for evermore. Every Kiss of them is an Heaven of Sweetness. I am filled and overcome with this Mirrour of Glory! The Smell of thine Ointment, afar off, did ravish my [Page 46] Heart; but now I am more, Ten thousand Times more, than ravished! One Drop of this Myrrhe would sweeten ten thousand Oceans of all imaginable Bitterness: And O thy princely Hands, fit to sway the Sceptre of this ever-flourishing Kingdom, delightsome Habitation! Can there be a more blessed Posture? His Left-hand is under my my Head, and his Right-hand doth embrace me. Am not I circled in the Arms of unsearchable Love? The eternal God is my Refuge, and underneath are everlasting Arms. These blessed Arms, that were stretched upon the Cross for me, do embrace me sweetly, for evermore. Whether thy Love doth more shine forth in the first, or latter Pos­ture, cannot be told: But sure thy Love, in all its Re­splendency, passeth all created Understanding. O the Glo­ry, Sweetness and Excellency of thy Belly! O thy Bowels of Compassion! O what Rivers of Water do from thence flow out incessantly upon us! And what is compa­rable to thy stately Legs? How glorious are thine Out­goings among us! O my King and God, when thou trode upon the high Places of the Earth, its Foundations were shaken. How didst thou trample the People in thine Anger, and the Kingdoms in thy Fury? Thou came skip­ping over the Mountains, leaping over the Hills, for the Salvation of thy People. Blessed Men and Angels, what can be conceived or expressed, of such a wonderful Per­son? O his stately Deportment! Every Part of him, so to speak, is an infinite Mass of Beauty. What a Beauty then must all these numberless Beauties, composed in one, be? Is not thy Countenance as Lebanon, excellent as the Cedars? Thy Majesty is wonderfully various, and every Variety the Height of Excellency. By sweet Experience, I may say, The Mouth is most sweet: The Relicts of the Impression of one of thy Love-kisses may fill the Soul with passing Joys, throughout endless Ages. Suppose a Creature filled with all possible Creature-Sweetness, one Kiss of th [...] most sweet Mouth would swallow up all. O the Words of thy Mouth, passing in Sweetness the Hony [Page 47] distilling from the Hony-comb! Thy Voice, thy ra­vishing Voice! Even to stand without the Gates of New Jerusalem, and hear the Sound thereof, might wrap up a Creature in eternal Ravishment. And, is it possible, my matchless One, to attain the furthermost of thy infinite Perfections, tho' but one simple Excellency? Let me ra­ther further and further into the Ocean of thy Loveliness, thro' endless Ages; yet shall ever be in the Entry: Ne­vertheless will I pay thee the Tribute of Praises, & cry up thee before Men and Angels; and speak of thine Excellen­cy, while my Being remains. I praise thee not, because I am able to shew forth thy Worth fully; but strong Love doth constrain me, that forever I must be express­ing, and for ever the Conclusion must be, THOU ART ALTOGETHER LOVELY; for to Thee alone doth this Epithet appertain. You chiefest of created Excellencies, can this agree to you? Are you nothing but Masses of pure, essential and unmixed Love? Who but he, even he alone is altogether lovely? He is all Loves, all Sweetness, all Ravishments: Nothing but Loveliness in Him! His Weakness, Infirmity, Poverty, Contempt, Crosses, Losses, Pains, & Death, flash forth the ravishing Resplendencies of surpassing Love and Sweetness. Heart and Love, and all is gone from me. O the sublime Thoughts of my elevated Understanding! O this Frame! this Love! this Sweet­ness! All are inutterable, all are inexpressible!

15. Even to stand beside the Chief of Ten thousand, is a Dignity unconceivably above the Excellency of all Crea­tures.

That we might be ever with thee, and behold thy Glo­ry, was one of thy great Petitions, in the Days of thy Flesh; Thousand, thousand Times blessed I, that ever this was asked! Thou asked nobly, and thy Father gran­ted like a King. Can we have more than to dwell in thy immediate Presence? Any Enjoyment of thee, surpasseth that of the Flower of created Sweetness: A Sight of thee [Page 48] in a Vision of the Night, through a Glass, or any Way, is ravishing; as I often have sweetly experienced, in the Days of my Pilgrimage: To touch the Hem of thy Gar­ment, or to see Thee in thy Infancy, was a Happiness inexpressible. What shall we say to our Lot, who are as near thee as out Heart can desire? O this high, high, high Dignity! O beloved Estate! far above the Heaven of Heavens; Nay, Numberless Heavens supperadded to one another! And am I in thy immediate Presence, even in the Chambers of Presence with Thee? O lovely one who inhabits Eternity! what Honour is this? What shall I say of it? But, thy Ways are incomprehensible. This is the Prerogative of the Saints, this is it! What shall be done unto the Man, whom the King delighteth to ho­nour? Spake he not in good earnest, when he told us of Dignities, Thrones, Crowns, Priesthoods, & Posses­sions of all Things? Shall I never enough wonder at the Honour of the Saints? This is the Dignity of the Over­comers, to wear the Lawrel, the Badges of Honour, the Garlands of Glory. How came thou to all this, O silly Self? hast thou been born to wear an immortal Crown, to be overladen within and without with so great a Weight of Glory? Thou appears, indeed, in the Equipage of a King, decked with Majesty, Glory and Honour; arrayed with wonderful Excellency and Comeliness. Waft thou not once, O thou silly I, a base Worm, defi­led with the very Filth of Hell? How hast thou robb'd the Almighty of his Glory, dishonored his Excellency, wronged his Holiness, trampled upon his most precious Things, on his Blood; done what thou couldst to pre­cipitate thy Self into eternal Perdition; violented the Gates of that woful Prison, O undone Soul, to cover thy Self with utter Darkness from the charming Beams of the Sun of Righteousness? yet am here, even here, surrounded with inexpressible Glory! Many Thousands, less deserving, are in the Place of utter Darkness. O thy Love! thy Love! which passeth all Understanding! O [Page 49] thy free, free Grace! O the Height, and Depth, and Length, and Breadth of thy Ways! My Enjoyments are more than free; hath he not brought me over my De­servings? But nothing can stand in the Way of infinite Love. Thou loved me, because thou loved me; and because thou loved me, I became lovely in thy Sight. Not unto us, not unto us be the Glory; but unto JEHO­VAH, and the LAMB be Praise for ever and ever.

16. The Nearness of Saints and Angels to their Cre­at [...]r, and Redeemer, astonisheth them eternally.

What astonishing Condescendency, to admit Bits of Nothing so near thee! Can this thy Way be ever enough admired? It is strange thou shouldst daign Creatures with either thy Love, or thy Hatred! What is Man, that thou shouldst visit him? that thou shouldst notice him, and bring him into Judgment? But more wonder­ful! Hast thou not crowned him with Glory and Honour? Thou hast made him sit down beside thy Self! He tread­eth the lower World under his Feet, he walketh on the high Places of the Creation: O thy Bounty! O thy Condescendency! Should I stand so near my Lord, the King? Since free Love will have it thus, and it is not his Way, to create Desires, and not fulfil them: Strong Love can take Rest no where, but in his naked Embraces. On Earth I was unsatisfied, oftentimes complaining of Dis­tance and Absence; and when I found Thee, I would not let thee go, but held thee fast, until weentred into those glorious Mansions: And how are my Thoughts heightned, by [...] holding Thee Face to Face? The nea­ter Thee, the [...]her Esteem and Reverence, none can have low Tho'ts of Thee, but they that know thee not.

17. No Knowledge, no Evidence unto the Noon-day Evidence of Glory.

The first Ray of thy infinite Glory upon me, discovers infinite Varieties of Wonders; Men and Angels, are we [Page 50] not all an Assembly of eternal Wonders? and all the Product of the Noon-day Vision of Glory, not of Igno­rance? All the Things of Time, from the greatest to the smallest, are now seen to be Wonders; howbeit that little of them was discerned, & that in a brutish Manner. Strange! O Beloved, thou art another Manner of Christ than we spake of, in the Days of our Mortality: Thy very Name was scarce conceived. How came I hither with so little Conceptions? Have I not begun to know, in the very first Entry of Eternity? My Knowledge on Earth w [...]s of no Evidence, in Comparison of this Noon-Day V [...]ion of Glory: As the Man looks back on his In­fancy, [...]s a meer brutish Ignorance; & the Man awak­ned, on his b [...]-past Dream; so do I now, on my most refined Conceptions on Earth. O the clear and sharp Uptaking of a glorified Capacity! Do I not be­hold every Thing, as it is in its own proper and naked Being? All Shadows have fled away: What Won­der, to think what we were, and what we are! O the infinite Power of Omnipotent JEHOVAH! What a Perfecting is this! but what cannot my Lord do?

18. To be Witnesses of the Glory of JEHOVAH and the LAMB, is an inexpressible Dignity.

And dost thou manifest thy Self, in such a Manner, to us! What is essential Eternity to Beings of Yesterday! Are we fit Witnesses of thy Glory? O infinite Jehovah, are we not before thee, as Nothing & Vanity? May not the Greatness of thy Glory, if thou shouldst let it forth to the full, confound, even confound us to Nothing? In Infiniteness nothing can comprehend, but an infinite Un­derstanding: The furthermost of all created Glory is Nothing and Vanity in thy Presence, tho' it might seem somewhat among its like. Dart forth the full Rays of your Glory, all you Creatures; you shall not dazle these Eyes, which are fixed on a higher Object.

[Page 51]19. What he manifests to us, is a Wonder; but th [...] Way of his manifesting it, is a Wonder of Wonders.

Shall we not wonder again and again, and for ever, at the Way thou hast taken to manifest so nearly & famili­arly unto us, thy incomprehensible Glory? Hast thou no assumed the Nature of a Creature, that thou mightest converse the more intimately and condescendingly with us? To enjoy thee any Way, requires an infinite Conde­scendency; the Disproportion being infinite: But this, this is the most wonderful Condescendency possile! O this is the most excellent of all possible Ways! O the wonderful Soul-alluring Glory that doth most sweetly dart upon us from the Man, who is God! O eternally blessed I, who have such a WELBELOVED, in whom is all Fulness; Thou art a marrowless One indeed. We have done for ever with other Beloveds. What Wonder, I am so deeply in Love with thee? What Wonder I swim in Floods of eternal Satisfaction, who enjoy thee so familiarly? Can a Creature be more happy? I am full, I am full, and can desire no more!

20. To consider the Change Christ hath undergone, is an eternally ravishing Consideration.

Is this He, who was born of the Virgin Mary, in a Stable, & laid in a Manger! who for the most of his Days was in a poor, obscure, contemptible Condition; who was a Man of Sorrow, and acquainted with Grief; or no corporal Beauty in the Eyes of the Beholders, and sub­ject to all the Infirmities of feeble Mortals, except Sin; Who was deserted of the Outgoing of the Sweetness and Love of GOD; Nay, did drink, from Brim to Bottom, the bitter Cup of his Father's Wrath; Who was appre­hended in an ignominous Manner; betrayed, denied and forsaken of his own Disciples; violently haled away to Judgment, reviled, mocked and buffeted, and spit upon: accused of Blasphemy, Treason, Madness, and whatever hellish Heads could devise; then scourged, and set forth [Page 52] to the Opprobry and Laughing of the rascally Multitude; then condemned to the vile and shameful Death of the Cross, for Blasphemy and Treason; and that by the Pe­tition of the vast Multitudes gathered together to the Passover, who preferred a base Robber before him! The Sentence was not sooner pronounced, than executed; for he was hanged betwixt two Thieves, in the Sight of the Multitude, to the Insultation of Devils, and their Slaves, who beheld this matchless One nailed to the cursed Tree, and bled to Death in great Torment, and Anguish of Spi­rit: White the Sun, clothed in Mourning for his Lord, contrary to the Course of Nature, sympathized with the eclipsed Creator, and withdrew its Beams from these, who had eclipsed the Light of the whole Creation. Thus did my Welbeloved continue for a long Space, and gave up the Ghost in great Torment of Body and Spirit, yes was buried, continued under the Power of Death for a Time: And this, even this is the same. Behold, Men and Angels, behold and wonder at the Man, who is the Wonder of Wonders, and whose Name is termed Won­derful! Welbeloved, thou appearest to be far changed, tho' thou be ever the same! Thou only hast done heroi­cally, O mighty Captain of the Lord's Hosts! this was thy Design from Eternity: Oughtest thou not first to have suffered, and then to enter into this incomprehensible Glory? Thou hast graciously overcome, and satisfied incensed Justice, against the Children of thy eternal De­lights: Having spoiled Principalities and Powers, thou madest a Shew of them spenly, triumphing over them on the Cross: For tho' thou, being in the Form of God, tho't it no Robbery to be equal with God; yet madest thou thy self of no Reputation, and became obedient even unto the Death: Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Thee, and given thee a Name above every Name, that at the Name of Jesus every Knee should bow, in Heaven, Earth, and under the Earth. Wast thou not as low as the Grave? And yet hast ascended on high, led Captivity captive, [Page 53] and received Gifts for Men! Art thou not He, who li­veth, and was dead? And behold, Thou art alive forever more! Who is exalted, and waft low and despised; and behold, thou art exalted above all created Heavens for­ever; who rejoicest, and did weep, and sigh, and groan, and behold, thou art surrounded with boundless Joys for evermore! Who reignest victoriously, and waft in the Form of a Servant; and behold, thou reignest in glorious Majesty for evermore! Art thou not a wonderful One indeed! Shall Men and Angels ever enough admire thee? Tho' every Moment of Eternity shall be filled with Admiration of my ravished Heart.

12. God manifested in the Flesh, for ever a Mystery.

And is Dust and Ashes for ever exalted to such an incomprehensible Pitch of Glory? O Dust, how camest thou hither? Strange! that the Almighty hath exalted thee above Sun, Moon and Stars; and hath brought thee into his immediate Presence, to carry the least Tincture of supernatural heavenly Glory upon thee, to become the Temple of the Holy Ghost! But, Men and Angels, what are your Conceptions of this Dust, to be the Temple wherein the high and lofty One, the almighty Jehovah, the eternal consubstantial Son of God, doth personally dwell, and with which he is personally united? Is not this a Mystery? Is not this an infinite Abyss, Men, and Angels, into whose Furthermost you shall never be able to dive?

22. That God should bring about the highest Exaltation of humane Nature, thro' Man's horrid Ingratitude, an Ocean of Wonders.

To think, That these bodily Eyes behold my Redee­mer, might astonish ten thousand Worlds: Are we not all overwhelmed in Astonishment? Is not every one cry­ing, What hath God done? O thy incomprehensible Ways! O thy irresistable Power! O thy unsearchable [Page 54] Wisdom! O thy Love, thy boundless Love! Love that passeth all Understanding! Strange! hath the Almighty exalted thee, O Man's Nature, unto this incomprehensible Dignity? It was much thou receivedst the Characters of Divine Maiesty and Excellency; yet more to be admitted into Friendship & Converse with that great and dreadful Former of all. O are not such Gradations of Wonder, like Millions of Worlds, placed above Millions of Worlds, and again, and again, and for evermore? Is not Man in­finitely obliged to such a Sovereign? If the crawling Worms be infinitely obliged for their Being, what shall be said of Man, created with so noble a Being, in so noble a Condition: Was it possible he could ever have loved, feared, praised him enough? was it possible a Creature, thus dealt with, could rebel? Yet strange! when this dreadful Prodigy did enter the Creation, O astonishing Rebellion! monstrous Ingratitude! From thenceforth, what could be expected but pure Vegeance, like an o­verflowing Flood, should destroy Head and Tail, Root and Branch, with an eternal Destruction? Could any Mercy have been expected from Heaven to Earth, when Earth had denounced open Enmity against Heaven? What shouldst thou have done, dread Sovereign of all Things, with base, monstrous and ingrate Mankind, but make it wholly the Butt of thy unmixed Wrath? What are never so many Worlds of Men and Angels to Thee, that thou shouldst spare them, if once they dare to utter one World against thee? Shouldest thou reduce to Nothing, what thou hast created? What hast thou lost, since thou couldst produce, in this very Moment, Millions of Millions of Worlds? Yea, and if produced, what are they, but as so many Millions of Shadows & Nothings before thee? O the Conscendency, the Sweetness of thy Nature! O the boundless Riches of thy Grace! O the Height, the Depth, the Length, the Breadth of thy unsearchable Ways! Hast thou become Friends with Man again? entred into a Treaty of Peace and Reconciliation with him? held out [Page 55] the golden Sceptre, as a Manifestation of the Thoughts of boundless Love, that flamed in thy Heart from all Eternity? erecting a glorious Throne of free, altogether free Grace, upon the horrid Apostasy & Rebellion of ungrate Man? Who could have imagined such a Dispensation as this? Were you expecting this, you glorious Angels, when ye beheld Man backslide so monstrously? Were you thinking so prodigious Ingratitude would come to this? Were you not amazed at such a second Covenant, after the breaking of the first? Yea, are we not all in the same admiring Frame? O Eternity, thou art sufficient to make the Impression old, which God hath enstamped on the Minds of Men and Angels. The Objects are wonderful! Our Faculties are wonderfully evelated! What Wonder, my Heart is fixed! O this Frame of Spirit! I see, I see, that a World of altogether free Grace, was the only Design of Eternity! even that Heaven should be filled for ever with a Song, To him that sitteth on the Throne, and to the Lamb, for ever and ever. Lord, what hast thou done? Not only hast thou become Friends with Man again; not only hast thou made him thine everlasting Minion, but thou hast also personally assumed his Nature: that thou mightst draw him nearer thy Self, & manifest thy Glory unto him, in a more familiar, intimate, sweet & wonder­ful Way, than was possible in the first Dispensation. Won­derful! Did Man cast off the Image of his Maker? And, did his Maker take upon him Man's Image, to restore all again? Didst thou, O my God, assume personally our Nature, even in its lowest Estate, that thou mightst weep, and sigh, and groan, and sorrow, and die for undone Man? Is not this Love indeed! Man had destroyed him­self, but did our excellent Welbeloved step in betwixt eternal Wrath, and the miserable Sinner; and all the Bil­lows of Divine Vengeance did he receive, till Divine Fu­ry was pacified! No Sorrow, no Shame, no Pain could ter­rify him: Infinite Love is invincible. I will not spare base Man, said offended Majesty, in the Day he rebels against [Page 56] me, as I have said, he must die the Death; for the Word hath gone out of my Mouth. Be it so, saith the Son of God; here am I, a Man ready to suffer all Sorrow, Grief and Pain, of Soul and Body, unto the very Death: Hath Man sinned? Man shall bear the Punishment. I, even I will die the Death: Sacrifice and Offerings thou wilt not accept; but a Body thou hast given me. I will bear their Grief: I will carry their Sorrows. My Father, I am glad thou lay upon me the Iniquity of them all; they are thine and mine from Eternity: This was our Tran­saction before all Ages, That in the Fulness of Time, I should lay down my Life for these, thou hast given me out of the World; Therefore, Thou, O Father, dost love me, because I lay down my Life for my Sheep.

23. The Relations betwixt God and us, an everlasting Amazement:

Who can search into the Depths of thy boundless Love? Thou hast delivered us from going down into the Pit; Thou hast found a Ransom: This is a Draught of infinite Wis­dom, the eternal Wonder of Men and Angels! Verily, thy Loves are incomprehensible, matchless, boundless and unchangeable; which, tho' we sometime doubted, in the Days of our Absence, yet all are now evident, as the Noon-day Light; past, present and to come, present them­selves for ever. O then my Happiness overflows its Banks! Am not I overjoyed, as at the first Entry? How famili­arly and sweetly do I converse with thee, O excellent Weldbeloved! Myriads of Ages appear not a Moment in thy Presence. This Dispensation is an eternal Wonder! Would not this have been thought a horrid Petition, before the Promulgation of the Gospel? O that thou wert as my Brother, that sucked the Breasts of my Mother: when I should find thee without, I could kiss thee: His Left-hand should be under my Head, and his Right-hand should em­brace me. I am my Beloved's, and his Desire is towards me. Indeed our Dignity before our Fall was high and [Page 57] glorious: But, O this Dispensation of Love! Sirs, is not God our Brother, our Husband, our Redeemer, our only Welbeloved? O our Happiness! What shall we do throughout Eternity, but wonder? God manifested in the Flesh, O strange? Lord God Almighty, what couldst thou do more to Creatures?

24. Men and Angels run themselves in an eternal Circle, of beholding and admiring God visibly manifested.

Shall I not behold and admire, admire & behold, and flame and love, while this immortal Being remains? The Vail is drawn aside, and we behold clearly the Man, Christ Jesus, filled with the Godhead! Indeed the Earth is full of a Divine Glory, the Heavens also in a more spe­cial Manner, Saints and Angels wonderfully & eminent­ly; yet all in Measure: But Glory dwells in this Man above all Measure! He is God equal with the Father. No Nearness to the Fountain of all Glory, unto that Near­ness of the humane Nature of our Welbeloved, with the Godhead! O then the Emanations of thy inexhausti­ble Fulness! Even thy Glory, Beauty and Sweetness, shall overflow their Banks for ever & ever. We are ever filled and over-filled with thy Fulness; yet there still re­mains as much behind. Infinite Worlds of Men and An­gels couldst thou satiate, and make to run over with thine overcoming Love and Sweetness. Upon whom may, and doth not thy Light shine? Thou art the Sun, we are the Stars: What should we be, didst thou draw in thy Glory? Wherever thy Glory is peculiarly manifested▪ there is Heaven. Let me be any where, so be thou shine upon me. They have the sunny Side of the World, who behold thy Face in Righteousness. A World of all Creature-Beauties and Delights, is a Hell without Thee: I should count them a Mass of Deformity, should they for one Mi­nute stand in betwixt me and thy ravishing Countenance. None but JEHOVAH and the LAMB! Had I h [...] this Sight but for one Moment on Earth, would I in the least [Page 58] have regarded the glistering Vanities of Time? In thy Light I see Light; every Thing appears as it is: They are inlightned to the full, who dwell under the Beams of thy ravishing Countenance. Blessed ones, what must He be, whose Glory and Beauty, darting in upon us, doth beautify us all? What were we, if this fair One were not amongst us? By thy darting upon me, I am Partaker of Divine Nature, even transformed from Glory to Glory. O thy attractive, lovely Emanations! I cannot, will not, but follow thee, whithersoever thou goest, tho' without the Borders of this great All, or thro' the Lake that bur­neth with Fire and Brimstone: These then should be no more what they are, but Worlds of Joy and Delights. O thy Glory, thy Glory, thy Glory! Cursed Monsters, who are under eternal Vengeance, for your Hatred to his Excellency, had you a Glimpse of this transcendent Glo­ry, should not your Misery and Torment be quite for­gotten? But ye are banished from his Presence & Glo­ry, and therefore you are unutterably miserable. O my Happiness? Is it not good to be here? Wonderful! was I ever loth to come here? My Lord is here, are not then all Things here? Was I ever loth to come here, because silly harmless Death did stand in the Way? But what is it to pass through Ten thousand black Deaths, Ten thou­sand Ages of all imaginable Torment? One Hour here, will do more than make up all. O massy, real, substan­tial, enduring Glory! Am I not happy, eternally happy? Happiness is here in its full Bloom and Verdure. I have thee in my Arms, O Welbeloved; and is it possible I can be more blessed?

25. The Glorified only capable of understanding Glory fully: Mortality can conceive little.

By thy Blood, and only by thy Blood, have we entred these Oceans of unspeakable Happiness; Through Thee have we such full Access to the Father: Thou art our Wisdom, Righteousness, all Things. O perfect Security [Page 59] for ever and ever! What Wonder this could not enter the Minds of Mortals? This is onl [...] to be conceived by manly Capacities. Before, we res [...]mbled thee, in Part; because we saw thee by Faith, as [...]ough the Glass of thy Word, but in Part: Now we are [...]pacious! now thou shinest upon us in full Splendor, whereby thine Image is fully impressed upon us: We know thee Face to Face, as thou art, without the Benefit of interposing Creatures, and Ideas extracted from other Things. O immediate Vision of God! O clear Discoveries of infinite Perfecti­ons! I see, I see the Infinite ONE Face to Face, as I am seen, and my Life is preserved. I am fully satiated, ra­vished, overcome with thy lovely Image. What Wonder! I am like Thee, who partake of thy Nature, the Beams of thy Excellency every where darting upon me. O this Illumination! O the high, high Pitch of Glory! O the everlasting Smiles of my Lord's Countenance! O Mani­festations of more and more throughout Eternity! All the Enjoyments of Eternity are as one Moment; All Ages are as swallowed up in the infinite Depths of boundless Excellencies. Creature-enjoyments are empty, and may be received; but infinite Love ravisheth throughout E­ternity: When more Ages are past than there are Atoms in the Creation then shall I be, just as I am now, ever swiming and diving in the Depths of thy infinite Perfecti­ons, and never attaining the furthermost. This is a Life! How sweet to dwell under the Noon-day Beams of thy ravishing Countenance? All Darkness and Ignorance are quite dispelled; every Thing is known as it is, in its own proper Essence: Here Wisdom flourisheth in its highest Region; my former Attainments are swallowed up, like the [...]ight of a Candle beside the Sun. O this light Day o [...] E [...]ernity! O Eternity, thou art not sufficient, wherein I may delineate what my elevated Heart doth conceive! All are inexpressible: Mysteries are no Myste­ries, and yet eternal Mysteries! How was I beset with Darkness, & could not attain suitable Uptakings of thee? [Page 60] How was I vexed with low and unbeseeming Thoughts of thy all-glorious Majesty? Whence Deadness and Un­fitness of Spirit for worshipping of thee aright. Now I am inlightned with the full and immediate Beams of thy Glory: And O how great and precious are my Thoughts of thee! O this ravished Frame of Spirit! How am I all inflamed with divine Love? I am rendered Divine; there­fore I bend to thee with an incessant and eternal Propen­sion: Holiness before was in Part, now the Copestone is upon it. How beautiful and comely are we become, through the Blood of the Lamb! I see, WELBELOVED, thou canst wash black Hell fair and white, till it become a Lump of Heaven and Glory. Sirs, are we not far chan­ged? May not every one of us say, I am not I? Might we not misken our selves, were it possible such a Thing were compatible with Glory?

26. The beholding of God, in his Way of Subsistency, and Outgoings to Creatures, is endless Ravishment.

The wonderful Mystery of thy being One in Essence, yet Three in the Way of Subsistence, was only to be believed by Mortals, and not to be understood demon­stratively: But now I behold with a Noon-day Evidence, what I believed. Thou art One, in the most simple Man­ner; and yet there are Three in the blessed Godhead, every One of which is God, who are only distiguished by proper Ways of Subsistence. I believed in the Land of Darkness, this, as all other Mysteries, should be fully manifested in the Land of Glory: Now all, all is accom­plished! My Hope hath not made me ashamed: He hath fulfilled the Desire of those that fear him. O blessed I, for evermore! What a Life is this, thus to swim in the O­ceans of Delights! O this Enjoyment! O my heavenly Fa­ther, first Person of this all-adorable, eternal, co-essential Generation! O thou Brightness of the Father's Glory, and express Character of his Person! O Holy Ghost, the e­ternal [Page 61] Conspiration of Love betwixt the Father and the Son! O ravishing Sights? Shall I not behold, with an eternal overcoming Delectation? What is God? will take Eter­nity to answer; tho' we behold Thee as thou art, one View of thy infinitely amiable Essence, and Way of Sub­sistance, w [...]uld seal up innumerable Worlds of Men and Angels in everlasting Ravishments. Can I express what I behold? Should I write new Volumes through Milli­ons of Ages, until the Creation were filled, they should contain nothing to that my Heart is filled with: Should I write to all Eternity new Songs of thine immortal Praises, should I not be ever a beginning, and never ful­ly begun? O sweet, sweet Fellowship with the Father, Son and Holy Ghost! O my Redeemer, do I not behold Thee! the Brightness of thy Father's Glory, the express Character of his Person: his Efficacy and his Wisdom, by which he made all Things? The Lord possessed thee in the Beginning, ere ever the Earth was; even then thou waft by him, as One brought up with him, and was dai­ly his Delight, rejoicing always before him: Immortal Blessings and Praises to thee. O God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, art thou not lovely, excellent, full of all Delights and Sweetness, who hast begotten such a matchless super-excellent One, as Christ Jesus, our excellent Welbeloved, our Redeemer, our Head, our Days-Man, our All in all! Thy substantial Image is lovely, O my heavenly Father! O then thy Loveliness! Men and Angels, you are but as so many painted acci­dental Draughts of God's Excellency; but Christ Je­sus is the substantial Image of God, his very Power, Ef­ficacy, and Excellency, by which he doth all Things; his very Self. None but Christ! Is he the Father's Darling? and is he not ours? Is he his Wisdom, Joy and Delight? and is he not ours also? O eternal Ravishments! God hath given to, and for us, the Son of his everlasting Love and Delights! Sent he not only his only Son and Heir into a Base and inhumane World, that he might [Page 62] save and gather together the Sons of his eternal Choice? O blessed Counsel from Eternity of the glorious Trinity! O happy we, that ever free, free Love bowed and con­descended so! What could Jehovah do more for us, than he hath done? Hadst thou any greater Gift, than the only Son of thy Love? Didst thou give thy [...]osom-De­light to be a Propitiation for us, the Off-scourings of all Things? Is not this Love infinitely transcending all finit [...] Capacities? That thou vouchsafed a Being on us, was a great Bounty; but more, that Thou created us after thy lovely Divine Image; yet more, thou con­descended to enter into a Covenant with us; and yet higher, to be appointed thy everlasting Minions! But what shall we think, Men & Angels, hath he not given unto us the Son of his everlasting Delight? This Gift can never be enough admired & esteemed! O Almigh­ty Jehovah, Thou givest like a King! too great a Gift indeed, for us to receive, but not too great for Thee to give. Nothing can be too great for Thee; and this was the greatest Gift that thou couldst give: Hadst thou given us Ten thousand Worlds of Beauty, stored with all imaginable Paradises of Pleasures, with innume­rable created Heavens of Sweetness, with infinite Le­gions of Men and Angels, should they not have been esteemed rich and noble Gifts? But all is just nothing to matchless JESUS. It is a Shame to lay any Thing in the Ballance with him: One Ray of his Godhead would confound all possible created Excellencies to no­thing. O thy Excellency! thy Excellency! Am I not over­joyed, am I not overjoyed, that I shall cry thee up thro' numberless Ages? Ye may hide your selves, Men & An­gels: for all your Beauties and Glory, what are you to him? It is astonishing Condescendency, he admits you to stand beside him! I can but extol Thee, before innume­rable Assemblies of Men and Angels. My Heart is fixt, e­ternally fixt. Shall we not, as it were, contend, who shall extol Thee most? And said thou, Amen, My Welbeloved, [Page 63] to the blessed, a Thousand Times blessed Bargain of the New Covenant? Verily, that Love thou manifested in the Fulness of Time, did show the Love that flamed in thy Heart, before all Ages: Tho' thou waft in the Bosom of the Father, ever delighting him, and delighting in him; yet didst thou come down to base Earth, and conversed familiarly with silly, sinful, frail Man! and was found to be a Man, that Thou might save him lost and undone to the uttermost. Men and Angels, you are all looking in, with Astonishment: To behold God Personally, clo­thed with the humane Nature, is a Sight, we can never enough view and admire! The Mirror, wherein we behold the Love of God to Creatures, in its full Splen­dor. Waft thou never enough near and intimate with us, until thou becamest Bone of our Bone, and Flesh of our Flesh? until thou becamest one with us, who art one with the Father; For both he that sanctifieth, and they that are sanctified, are all one: For which Cause, thou art not ashamed to call us Brethren. O essential Love; art thou not here manifested transcendently? That Sentence was comely in thy Mouth, Love your Enemies. Hast thou not loved thy mortal Enemies, to the Death? Were we not Heirs of Wrath, born Enemies against thy Highness? but, in Despite of our Enmity, didst thou love with an everlasting Love. Nothing can stand in the Way of infinite redeeming Love. No Matter what I have been, since I am lovely in thy Sight: 'Tis wonderful Loveliness, to become the Object of thy e­ternal Love! and this only will I glory in. The more vile and lothsom I have been, the more doth the Love­liness, Nobleness, and Freeness of thy Love appear, which will neither be budded, nor hired. Sovereignty shines forth in all thy Actings. Who shall give thee, and it shall be recompensed? Not unto us, not unto us, but unto him that sitteth upon the Throne, and unto the Lamb, be Glory forever end ever. O blessed Spirit of Grace, the eternal Aspiration of Love, and Outgoing [Page 64] of the Father and the Son, thou great Jehovah, blessed for evermore, how sweet a Co-operation hast thou in this glorious Work of Redemption! This transcendent Manifestation of altogether free Grace! How sweet hast thou been unto us, in the Days of our Pil­grimage! How didst thou convince, convert, enlighten and comfort! We should have perished in our Journey to this goodly Land, hadst thou not strengthned us, in our inward Man. And waft Thou so sweet in the Days of our sinning? Art thou not now sweet, infinitely more than sweet? O the full, incessant, eternal Flow­ings of the Spirit of Love! This South-wind breathen strongly, causing the Spices of the higher Paradise exhale a ravishing Fragrancy every where: How, in every High-tide, nothing but ravishing Perfumes? no Winds, but the Breathings of the Holy Spirit. O what Rivers, Oceans, Worlds of Consolation! One Drop of this fall­ing upon the Heart, appeared Heaven itself; but this is more than Heaven! Every Drop of this boundless Ocean of Sweetness, I am entred for ever into, would ravish Ten thousand Worlds of Men and Angels. This could not be conceived by Mortals, unless in a childish Manner; the first Fruits surpast their Apprehensions, and yet had no Proportion considerable with the Harvest. None can apprehend this, except they be experienced therein; and none can be capable of this Experience, but those, who are raised to this wonderful Pitch of Glory. These Floods of Sweetness would have undone us, in a Moment, had we entred them in our frail Mortal Estate. O miraculous Elevation of Glory, which can bear such Sweetness! Are we not as so many Trophies, and Monuments of thy transcendant Power, in its high Victory? Much of thine Excellency was to be seen in thy Kingdom of Nature; much more in thy Kingdom of Grace, but most in this of Glory: Here shine forth thy infinite Excellencies, in their Noon-day Splendor.

[Page 65]27. Nothing but Rivers, Oceans of Joy, overflow Em­manuel's Land.

O Joy inexpressible, and altogether glorious: Now, now I find to the full, by sweet, sweet Experience, That in thy Face there is Fulness of Joy, and at thy Right hand are Pleasures for evermore! In the Days of my Pilgri­mage, Thou put more Joy and Gladness into my Heart, than in the Time, when Worldly Enjoyments abounded in Worldlings: Then have I been so ravished with the Glimp­ses of thy Countenance, that earthly Joys could take no Place; so that I could not but imagine my self in Heaven already; thinking that the Vintage had come in place of the first Fruits: Now, O now! I am in thy immediate Presence. Thy Sweetness, O thy ravishing Sweetness; The Floods, Oceans, Worlds of eternal ravishing Delights treasured up at thy Right-hand, wherein I am entred and swim for ever and ever! Thy Land, O Emmanual, overflows with Pleasures. Never, never did I know what Joy was, until now. Now I feel, Light hath been sown for the Righteous, and Joy for the Upright in Heart. Joy is come to its May blooming Vigour. O the Rivers of Pleasures, that sweetly run through all the Faculties of the Soul and Body! O the full Gales of the Spirit of Consolation! Am I not almost Joy it self? Are these the Joys that were so much spoken, and written of, on the other Side of the Water? Surely, Earth's Idiom hath come wonderfully short! Thy Word was written to Children, and therefore did express all in a Manner suted to childish Capacities; but nothing low and childish here! O Massie, Solid, Substantial, Enduring Joys! O Sublime, High, Manly Frame! None to the Joy of my Lord! Hereto­fore I was sometimes filled with Joy; but now I am entred into Joy it self. I live and dwell in Joy! No­thing, but Joy for evermore! Thou hast brought me in­to these glorious Mansions of Glory: How shall we for ever be glad, and rejoice in Thee! As the Apple-Tree among the Trees of the Wood, so art thou among the Assem­bly [Page 66] of Men and Angels. O surpassing Delights, in sitting under thy Shadow! The Sweetness of thy Fruits, the Fragrancy of thy Perfume, no Tongue can express! They who come under the Covert of thy Wings, never desire to remove from thence. Sirs, is not this a Life of unmixed Joy and Sweetness, to sit under the Boughs of this Tree of Life? Is it not good to be here? Have not the Lines fallen unto us in pleasant Places? Have we not a goodly Heritage? and after such a World of Wo and Tribulation, to enter over Head and Ears, in these super-abundant Joys! O sweet Dispensation! first to be afflicted, and then comforted; to weep, and then to re­joice, to run, and then to rest! O High-tide of over­flowing Joys! which hath swallowed up all former Griefs and Sorrows. The first Sight of thy ravishing Countenance, O my God, made me, as it were, forget that ever I was on Earth! This Land hath a sweet-smel­ling Countenance: Pain and Sadness should be converted here into Joy and Delight. Here is an eternal Spring; For the Winter is past, the Rain is over and gone, the Flowers appear on the Earth, the Time of the Singing of Birds is come, and the Voice of the Turtle is heard in our Land. Now we have everlasting Joys for Sorrow, the Oil of Gladness for the Spirit of Heaviness. We exceed­ingly rejoice with Jerusalem, who have loved her! We suck, and satiate ourselves with the Breasts of her Conso­lation: we milk and delight ourselves with the Abundance of her Glory: For the Lord extendeth Grace to her, like a River. Our Eyes do see this, our Hearts do rejoice, and our Bones do flourish like an Herb. He hath made us an everlasting Excellency, a Joy of many Generations: Sing, O Heavens, for the Lord hath done it: Shout, ye lower Parts of the Earth; break forth into Singing, ye Mountains; For the Lord Jehovah is my Strength and my Song, He also is become my Salvation: Therefore with Joy will I draw Water out of the Wells of Salvation. Cry out, and shout, O ye Inhabitants of the higher [Page 67] City; Let your Joys sound throughout the whole Crea­tion. O Sirs, is not our Lot far changed? Nothing on Earth was heard among us, but the confused Noise of Warriors, the Sighs and Groans of Men in an Agony. Now the Heavens of Heavens are filled with the joyful Melody of Heroick Conquerors. We sowed in Tears for a Moment; and now reap in Joy for evermore! Thou hast made us glad, unconceivably above the Days Thou hadst afflicted us: Thou hast arisen, and thine Ene­mies are scattered, and all thy Haters are fled before Thee; as Smoke is driven away before the Wind, so are they e­vanished before thy terrible Presence: But all the Righte­ous are glad, and they rejoice before Thee; yea, they ex­ceedingly rejoice.

28. This Land of Joys is filled with undone Dyvours. Glory, Glory, Glory to the Purchaser of this everlast­ing Blessedness! Let the Crown flourish on his Head throughout all Ages. O my Happiness, who shall ever praise Thee. And was I elected before all Ages, to be the everlasting Beholder, and Extoller of thy infinite Glory; Hadst Thou such wonderful Thoughts of Love to me, when I was not? Were I in the Place of my Deserving, should I not been even now Blaspheming thine all-glori­ous and exalted Name? O thy free, free Love! O the un­searchable Riches of thy Grace! who chose abomina­ble me, out of the base and hellish Mass of Mankind, to be a Vessel of Glory and Honour, in the high Hall of Glory. Lord, what hast thou done? O Wonderful Bargain of the new Covenant! O the infinite Depths of all Wisdom, Power and Excellency, to be seen in this great Salvation! O the Contrivance! O the Carrying on! O the Copestone thereof! Strange! how hast Thou brought me hither? I see, thy Counsels cannot, in the least, be frustrate by all the Power of Creatures. When I was a wretched, lost Creature, lying in my Blood, and no Eye pitying me; then didst Thou, in thy By-going, [Page 68] cast a Look of Love on me, and said unto me, Live: And that Time became a Time of Love. Free Love was the Rule thou walked by; not my Diservings, or Willing­ness. Had I been left to my hellish Will, I should for ever have destroyed my self: But Thou sweetly and connaturally, ere ever I was aware, didst ravish Heart and all from me; So that my Will could not but stoop to thy overcoming Loveliness. When I was following after the monstrous Imagnations of my evil Heart, debauching my Loves and Joys on Creature-enjoyments, despising the only Excellent Things, then didst Thou discover thy irresistible Lovliness unto me; which bowed, trans­formed, and enamoured all the faculties of my Soul; so that I could not but yield, most willingly yield: Con­naturally did the Influences of thy Spirit work on the Powers of my Soul; So that I closed with Thee on thine own Terms, as freely as I had been absolute Sovereign of myself; and yet as infallibly as I had been no intellec­tual Agent. Verily Thou, Thou alone, art the absolute Sovereign of all Things. O thy wonderful Way of Working! who can trace thee in all thy Proceedings?

29. The Glorified, reflecting on the Way to the King­dom, see it to be an inconceivable Draught of Divine Wisdom.

O piercing Joys and Sweetness, that ever I heartily and sincerely received thee, on thy own Terms! How well hast thou kept, what I have committed unto thee, and presented it spotless & glorious before the Father? Now I behold all thy Promises compleatly accomplished. Thou hast ever held me in thine Hand, thro' all the dangerous Wilderness, I have overpast; Thou hast guided me by thy Counsel, and at last brought me to Glory. How hath thy Strength been seen in Weakness? How many Temptations have I overcome? How many Crosses have I wrestled thro'? How many Floods have I overpast? How many boisterous Storms have I set my Face against? [Page 69] How have I escaped thro' all the Assaults of the Devil, the World, and the Flesh? And yet my Lord hath set me fairly above all Hazards and Difficulties! My Feet for ever stand now within the glorious Land of Emmanu­el's blessed Conquest. All the united Strength of blessed Saints & Angels could not have bro't me hither. Sirs, shall we not be telling to one another throughout Eter­nity, what God hath done for us in Time? That E­ternity may be filled with a Song to Jehovah, and the Lamb. Who should exalt, and love, and fear, and obey, and serve Thee, if not we? Didst thou love us from E­ternity? And shall we not praise thee to Eternity? And can we but extol thee? Not so much because thou art Good to us, as because thou art Good in thy self. But, O how is my Heart inflamed, to think, how thy Love from Eternity brake forth in Time! How didst thou shew forth the Acts of thy free sovereign Love? in that thou hadst written my Name for eternal Life! How bravely have all Exigences, and cross Dispensations con­spired to my Welfare? Now I see, All Things work to­gether for the Good of those that love Thee. The saddest and most cross Junctures of Providence have been the best: When thou seemest to be smiting, thou wast healing! When thou appeared to be destroying, thou wast making up! Shall I not for ever declare thy wonderful Ways? Happy I, who shall ever have Eternity before me! Thy Ways to me in Time are the Matter of an eternal Song! All Exigences of Time did so jump together, as every one hath proved a Step to this inexpressible Glory. Free redeeming Love hath been written on all the Passages of my Pilgrimage! and most in the last Water; when I be­gan to sink, thou held me up in thy Arms, and put my Head in thy Bosom, and said, Be of good Cheer my Love, thy Sins are forgiven thee; fear not, my Dove, but rejoice exceedingly; for thy God, thy Head, thy Lord, thy Hus­band, thy Saviour is here, holding thee in his Arms. Have I bought thee so dearly, suffered so many Griefs, and [Page 70] Woes and Pains, yea, Death it self for thee? Carried thee through the hazardous Wilderness, so circumspectly, and tenderly; and will I let thee perish now? Never fear, my fair One; Am I not willing? Am I not able? Have not I overcome Death and Hell? I have dried up this River with the Soles of my Feet; nothing remains for thee to do, but enter in, and possess.

30. The Fellowship betwixt Christ and every one of his, as intimate and familiar, as if he had but one.

And hath not the Sound of thy Welcome, on this Side of the Water, an immortal Permanency on my Heart? The Impression is indelible: In my first Landing on the Shore of this sweet Land, did not thou run, and fall on my Neck, and embrace and kiss me? Saying, ‘Welcome a thousand Times, with all my Soul, [...] this purchased Possession: O my fair One, it ravish­eth my Heart to behold thee here! With Desire have I desired thine intimate Fellowship, and could not rest, till I had bro't Thee hither, that strong Loves might be satiate with full and mutual Enjoyment. And now shall these Arms be exercised in embracing; We shal [...] for ever be twisted in the nearest Connexion of Love, and swim in the boundless Ocean of Delights. Hast thou been faithful over a few Things? And shall I not make thee Ruler over all Things? Enter thou into the Joy of thy Lord, thy Love: Seest thou not the Treasures of all Joys and Blessedness, I have laid up for thee, even for thee, my lovely One? I had not forgot thee, while I was on Earth; and no Wonder, since from Eternity I loved thee. What are thy Thoughts of such great Preparation? Is not this a ravishing Place? How is it stored with all Manner of Delights, suitable to thy highest Capacity? Doth not thy Sight shew, That thy Imaginations of these on Earth was nothing? Lo, al [...] this is the Fruit of my Sufferings and Death: And now, how shall I entertain thee, since thou hast come [Page 71] hither? Thou longed, in thy Pilgrimage, for the na­ked and immediate Enjoyment of me: And now enjoy me, as thy Heart can desire. Thou art mine, & I am thine: We eternally feed among the Lilies. I will satiate thee with my choicest Love-dainties, & fill thee to the Full, with my eternal overcoming Sweetness. These victorious Brows do I adorn with this massie Diadem of Glory: With these fair and resplendent Robes of Righteousness do I aray thee, that all the Spectators shall admire thy Majesty & Glory. Thy Excellency on Earth was obscured, by the Vail of Corruption and Mortality: Now have I removed all thy Infirmities, healed all thy Diseases, raised up thy Faculties unto such a wonderful Pitch, as thou art fit for conversing with me Face to Face. And didst thou, my Delight, desire nothing more than the immediate and full Enjoy­ment of me? & despised the World, in its most smil­ing Condition, in Comparison of my matchless Excel­lency; looking on all Pains, Sufferings & Difficulties, for my Name's Sake, as delightsom; making my Glo­ry and Exaltation thy chief Joy & Aim? And shall I not deck thee with passing Majesty, & Glory? This, This is the Man, O my Friends, whom I have honou­red, and will honour him; for he is worthy: Because he set his Love upon me; therefore have I delivered him: I have set him on high; because he hath known my great Name. This is the Man, O my Father, who hath been with me in my Temptations, who hath glorified me on Earth, and done great Things for me: Even this is the Man, who hath kept the Word of my Patience; Who hath known, that all Things, whatsoever thou hast given me, are of thee; for I gave unto him the Words which thou gavest me, and he hath received them, and did know surely, that I came out from thee, and believed, that thou didst send me. How great a Friend was he to me on Earth? When I was hungry, he gave me Meat; when thirsty, he gave me Drink; when a [Page 72] Stranger, he took me in; when naked, he clothed me; when sick and in Prison, he visited me. Verily, in my Eyes he is worthy of eternal Glory. Whatever thou hast been in my Sight, thou art worthy of eternal Glory and Renown. Heroickly done! Thy Sufferings and Actions for my Name's Sake, I heartily acknowledge excellent Service: Receive then these enriching Palms of of Victory into thy valiant Hands, as an everlasting Sign of thy Conquest over the Devil, the World and the Flesh: And thy majestick Head be graced with these Lawrels of Triumph, while thine Enemies shall for ever lie under thy Feet. All that thou beholdest are thine; for they are mine, & I am thine: And now thy Hap­piness superabounds, and overflows its Banks. Now do I rest in my Love to thee, and thou dost rest in thy Love to me: I rejoice over thee; yea, I exceedingly rejoice with Singing. How shall we ever dwell in these ever­lasting Love-embraces? How shall we be filled with Love through Eternity?

31. Visible Things, a most imperfect Representation of Invisible.

O inexpressible Ravishments of Love! O most holy, sweet and condescending Nature of my Welbeloved! E­very Hour of Eternity is like the first Hour: Thy Love is green and blooming through never-ending Ages. Is not this a sweet Life, O Inhabitants? This Soil overflows with Milk and Hony. Have we not undergone an ad­vantagious Transportation? The Outfields of this Land wonderfully excels the lower World! Indeed, the very Earth is full of thy Glory: What passing Delectation have I found in meditating on thy Works of the lower World? How did every Thing I heard, or saw, shew forth thy eternal Power and Godhead? But, O the Difference be­twixt Heaven and Earth, could never enter within my Conceptions on Earth! O glorious World! should we, in the State of Mortality, have strained our Conceptions [Page 73] to the highest, and imagined all the Glory our Eyes could then behold, augmented and perfected more Stages higher than there are Atoms in the Creation; yet, should such a World have been a deformed Mass to thee. Low­er Excellency, gradually perfected, will never attain unto that Excellency, which is essentially of an higher Degree. I thought in my Childhood, that the lower World might somewhat resemble the higher; howbeit I knew the Dif­ferance was inconceivable, and that here should be no Ebbings or Flowings, Bloomings or Fadings, or what could imply the least privative Imperfection: But now I see they have no Likness to one another, either in Whole or in Part; even as to the smallest external Resemblance. No Beauties, no Comeliness, no Joys, no Delights here, if we speak according to Earth's Dialect; yet, here are all Things in an high and eminent Manner. O my God, how incomprehensible art thou in thy Works? How ra­vishing in that Reflex of thy Glory, which shall endure for ever? Thou shalt for ever rejoice in thy Works; e­very Work of thine is a Deepness, a ravishing Wonder to my elevated Capacity! Might not the mediate Enjoyment of thee, through thy Creatures, render a Creature eternal­ly happy? How excellent is thy Name in all the Earth! who hast set thy Glory above the Heavens. What Won­ders are written in those Heavens of Heavens? The choice Master-piece of Thee, who art perfect in Know­ledge, and excellent in working. This is a World stored with all Manner of Riches, the Inhabitants here inherit all Things.

32. All Excellency, spiritual or corporal, on Earth, is augmented in Glory, by Myriads of Stages.

We knew on Earth by the Word, that when the Clay-house of our Tabernacle should be dissolved, we were to receive a Building of God, an House not made with Hands, eternal the Heavens: For in that we did groan, not de­siring to be unclothed, but clothed upon with our House [Page 74] from Heaven; that Mortality might be swallowed up of Life. And now, every one of us, in our own Kind, ap­pears the Perfection of Beauty! Whose very Clay-Ta­bernacles are now conformed to his glorious Body; and whose Souls are made perfect in Holiness! And did our Bodies, when terrestrial, so degrade? how doth the ce­lestial, united to an elevated Soul, perfect with passing Excellency? Did our vile clubbish Bodies impede the sub­lime Operation of our Heaven-born Spirits? How do these glorious Bodies perfect perfected Souls, in all their Out­goings? If, when sown in Corruption, they rendred us frail and contemptible, in many Things like the Beasts; how excellent, glorious and majestick are we now, when Vileness and Corruption is swallowed up of Glory? Yea, if it might been said of our Souls, when darkned with Mor­tality and Sinning, They were in their Operation quick; what are they now, when exalted to such a supernatural high Pitch of Excellency? Did we behold, by Faith, a ra­vishing Fulness & Beauty in thy Face; what do we now behold, when made so capacious and divine? Were our Bodies, when animal, such stupendious Pieces of thy un­searchable Wisdom & Power, as every one of us was ama­zed, & said, I am fearfully and wonderfully made! How excellent and curious are these heavenly Bodies, conformed to the glorious Body of the Son of God? Did our Wisdom shine, in our mortal Faces? what Majesty and Glory dwells in every Cast of our Eye now? Where the Pot­sherds of the Earth so vigorous, strong and valiant, that many of us through Faith excelled in these Perfections, which brutish men were only taken with, whereby we subdued Kingdoms, stopped the Mouths of Lions, quench­ed the Violence of the Fire, escaped the Edge of the Sword, waxed valiant in Fight, turned to Flight the Armies of the Aliens? O now, our wonderful Strength and Vigour, when our very corporal Parts become spiritual, and of a Divine Nature! Had some of us Hearts, in our dull earthly Condition, enlarged as the Sand on the Sea-shore? [Page 75] How capacious are our Hearts now, when widened above the Dimensions of many Worlds? What is Earth to Hea­ven? What is Darkness to Light? What is Childhood to manly Estate? O high, high Capacity of Glory! O su­perexcellent and only Glory in its Blooming! O the ra­vishing Frame, that we are for ever into! Are we not the self-same Persons we were on Earth? and yet we are not the same! Every one of us is like our All-lovely and WELBELOVED! whom we eternally behold, with our bodily Eyes, according to our proper Measure; every one of us is at the highest Pitch of created Perfection: This is a wonderful Transformation indeed! O Sun, Sun of the lower World, I can look thee out of Countenance, and dazle thee with every Cast of mine Eyes! Is this, sometime poor, frail, despicable I? Surely this is I! this self-same I, who was so silly in mine own Eyes, and the Eyes of all the Beholders. Wonderful! Am not I crush­ed under such an exceeding Weight of Glory? But Glory, and only Glory, can sustain it self. Thy eternal Power and Godhead is manifested upon us, in a transcen­dent Manner; Thou hast gone beyond, by almost infinite Degrees, the Limits of Nature: The natural World is quite abolished; what now is natural, and agreeable to created Beings, before was miraculous and naturally impossible.

33. The highest Manifestations of God in Time, are but meer Emblems of the Noon-day Manifestation.

The most signal Foretaste of this Glory on Earth, was thy Transfiguration, O Welbeloved, in the Days of thy Mortality, on the holy Mount, when thy Face shone as the Sun, and thy Raiment was as the Light; so that mortal Beholders were amazed, & confounded: Such an Unsuita­bleness there is betwixt Mortality and Immortality! Weak Heads would not be able to bear one Draught of this ce­lestial Wine. And was thy Face so majestick and glori­ous, in the Days of thy Mortality and Sorrow? Is it not [Page 76] more than Majestick and Beautiful, now in the Days of thy Joy and Exaltation, when Thou hast seen all the Tra­vel of thy Soul, and art satisfied? More Loveliness is to be seen in every View of thy divine Countenance, than on in­finite Numbers of excellent, beautiful Worlds. One Sight of thee, and no more, may set never so many Myriads of Men & Angels in the burning Flames of immortal Loves! Much was spoken, in Time, of thy Acts, and Glory, and Majesty; but lo, the thousand, thousand Part hath not been told! Indeed thou art a Beloved, more than another Beloved. All Joys, that I ever took thee for my All, and only One! That ever I cried heartily, Amen, to the blessed Bargain of the new Covenant, & renounced my Vanities and came to thee! That ever I subjected myself to the O­bedience of all thy Commandments! That ever I prefer­red a holy, heavenly, mortified Walking, in Time, to the fulfilling my vain fleshly Inclinations! That ever I estee­med the Reproaches of Christ greater Riches than the Plea­sures of Sin for a Season! Now I clearly behold, That I have chosen the good Part, that shall never be taken from me. O happy I! that ever I sold all, and bought this matchless Pearl of invaluable Price! O my Riches, my Riches! Since I have Thee, O Welbeloved, what can I have more? Strange! wast thou despised by base Worldlings? But they knew thee not; thy ravishing Loveliness was hid from their blinded Eyes; which if they had seen, how should the whole Race of Mankind run after thee? Men and Angels, all Beauty, all Loveliness, all Excellen­cies are here to be seen: Much is to be seen in this visible Fabrick of this great Creation; but no Ma­nifestation of Glory to this! Who can desire more, than to stand beside thee? O Flower and only Beauty of Hea­ven, what are all created Heavens? Thou art only Hea­ven thy self. No Wonder, Mary Magdalene, you inor­dinately desired such an Armful, as the dead Body of this lovely Lord Jesus; since you knew it was, tho' a dead Lump of Clay, the Body of the Man, who is God, infi­nitely [Page 77] above the Value of innumerable, glorious created Heavens. What a sweet Armful now, when exalted to such an high Pitch of Glory?

34. The Saints are every Way like their WELBELO­VED; since full Love must have full Similitude.

Love desires the nearest Similitude, and Conjunction: As Thou becamest like us, assuming our Nature; so hast Thou made us like Thee, both in Spirit and Body. We are in every Part transformed into thy lovely Image: Whatever before was Terrestrial, is now Heavenly and Divine. These Tabernacles were sown in Corruption, Dis­honour and Weakness; Now they are raised in Incorrup­tion, Glory and Power. They were sown natural Bodies; they are raised spiritual: For as once we bare the Image of the earthly Adam, so now we bear the Image of the hea­venly. O thy vivifying Spirit, that raised Thee from the Dead! By whom thou hast made us uncapable of any the least Change, tending to Corruption! And what tho' it were not so? Here is the Tree of Life, whose very Leaves are Medicines of Mortality. Thou art the Light and Life of the higher House; thy sweet, lively Influen­ces can make dead Clay live eternally. O thy sweet Sha­dow! Thy pleasant Fruit! Thy ravishing Perfume, fil­ling all with immortal Vivacity! Is it possible any can die beside Thee, O Fountain of Life! What Wonder, I am so lively, who have the Beams of Life ever darting upon me? The Inhabitants here cannot say, They are sick. Here is perfect Security; our Iniquities are blotted out, and quite abolished. O excellent Life of God, in its Perfe­ction! rendering, not only the Spirit, but also the Body, every Vein, every Artery, every Sinew, active with immortal Vigour; for all is filled and over-filled with Joy. O my Beloved Thou art excellently termed, The Prince of Life, the Resurrection and the Life. Verily, Thou wast in good Earnest when thou criedst He that believeth on me, out of his Bell shall flow Rivers of [Page 78] living Waters. O the Power & Strength of Immortality! We are become mighty, we have the Strength of an U­nicorn; The Lord Jehovah is become our Strength. We will walk upon the high Places of the Universe. He hath given Power to them that were faint, & to them, who had no Might, He encreased Strength. What was the Strength of Clay to heavenly Vigour? The Disproportion be­twixt the Excellency of the Terrestial, and Celestial, cannot be told: And no Wonder we are so vivacious and strong; since our earthly Part is become heavenly and glorious: Flesh and Blood is done away, as incompati­ble with such heavenly Majesty. These Bodies, tho' sub­stantially the same, yet are they quite other as to the Qualities, which are Heavenly, Spiritual and Divine. Na­ked Beings, considered as such, are endowed with no Ex­cellency: It is only by supervenient Modifications they are rendered intrinsically more, or less, excellent, or base. What Wonder we are thus? Whose Essences are clothed over, and perfected, without and within, with superex­cellent Perfections, meerly heavenly and divine. O the Comeliness and Beauty wherewith Soul and Body is a­dorned! O what Beauty, when two excellent Beauties are united in one! O sweet Union! O pleasant delightsom Fellowship! In the Days of Mortality, the Consort be­twixt them was, in a great Part, jarring and unpleasant, the one did obscure the Excellency of the other: But now the Soul in the Body, is like the Sun shining in its proper Sphere; or like the Light darting thro' a perspi­cuous Body, adorned with various modifying Beauties, whereby the Rays are variously perfected, in their modi­fied Out-goings: All the Properties, Perfections, Facul­ties, and Actions of Soul and Body, are modified and perfec­ted by their substantial Connexion. Indeed, my Lord, we have gained wonderfully, by losing our first Excellency; which was excellent in itself, and glorious and heavenly in Comparison of our sinful Condition, we precipitated ourselves headlong into: But was earthly, [...] Com­parison [Page 79] of this. Who could have imagined that an earth­ly animal Creature, should have been exalted to the State of Angels? How silly is Man, in an earthly State? How excellent, in an heavenly? and all by the Power and Vir­tue of the Man, who is infinitely more than a Man.

35. Complete Blessedness is the complete Enjoyment of God, every Way, mediately and immediately.

We are blessed, and more than blessed, who enjoy thee every Way: We drink abundantly, both out of the Fountain and Streams, at once; being satiate with the re­flex & direct Emanations of thy eternal Sweetness. Even thou thy self art in an incomprehensible Way delighted with the Reflections of thy Glory, where with this beau­tiful All, but especially thy Spouse, is adorned. Art thou not inamoured with thy ravishing Image imprinted on her? So that thou criest out, Thou hast ravished my Heart, my Sister, my Spouse; thou hast ravished my Heart with one of thine Eyes, with one Chain if thy Neck: Thou art all fair, my Love, there is no Spot in thee. The Love of Compla­cency ariseth from Similitude: O then shew thy Love to us; our Love to thee, and one another! We are become altogether fair, by washing ourselves in thy most preci­ous Blood. What can be our Exercise thro' Eternity, but sweet Embracing? O our ravishing sweet Entertain­ments of Love, among these ravishing Mountains of Roses and Spices! O what Compellations! What Love-Kisses! O the overcoming Perfume of the vast Mountains of Myrrhe, and Hills of Frankincense! O the Smell of his Lebanon-Garments! O his fragrant Ointments! O his Soul overcoming Emanations! Every Hour here is Heaven, and more than Heaven. What Joy to see Christ, and all his Members together, in the royal Palace of Glory? Are we not all gathered up to these heavenly Pastures? and none is wanting. We all longed to be here, sought to be here, prayed to be here, ran to be here, groaned and wept to be here; and behold, we are all [Page 80] here for evermore! We helped and comforted one ano­ther in our Journey hither; & behold, we are here for evermore! Satan and the World, our Corruptions, yea, and oftentimes ourselves strove to hinder our Course hi­ther; and yet we are here for evermore! Now we are personally all come to Mount Zion, and unto the City of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem; and unto an in­numerable Company of Angels, to the general Assembly of the Church of the First-born, which are written in Heaven; and to God the Judge of all, and to the Spirits of just Men made perfect; and to Jesus, the Mediator of the New Covenant; to the Blood of Sprinkling, that speaketh better Things than that of Abel. O sweet Converse! O excellent Fellowship! O the Frame of my Heart! O the high Motions of Joy and Love! O Eternity! is it possi­ble thou canst prove wearisom? Ten thousand Ages seem not one Hour! Who can set forth the Sweetness of thy Land, O Emmanuel? Is it not an House, an Orchard, a City, a Kingdom, a World, a Common-Wealth of a most comely Order? How good and how pleasant is it, for them t [...] dwell together in Unity? It is as the e­verlasting Dwellings of the Spirit, that dwells on these everlasting Mountains of Zion; for here hath the Lord commanded th [...] Blessing, even Life for evermore.

36. Christ i [...] the everlasting King, Priest, and Prophet of his People.

Friends of the Bridegroom, are you not overjoyed, be­cause of the Bridegroom's Voice? No Wonder it was said of him, Never Man spake like this Man. How doth he ravish us with his sweet Compellations of Love? Our Souls fail us not when he speaks; Mortality is swallowed up of Life. Sirs, is not our Welbeloved and we in these green Pastures together? O his ravishing Smiles! O his Looks of Love towards us! O his Voice, his Voice! I am inflamed! Is he not saying, in the boundless Joys of his Spirit, Father, behold me, and the Children which [Page 81] thou hast given me, are forever in the most intimate Fel­lowship of one another, here in these highest Mansions, which I have prepared, wherein we might be satiate with Loves, throughout Eternity? According to thy Promise, I do see the Travel of my Soul, and am satisfied; for Thou hast divided me a Spoil with the Great, and I divide a Por­tion with the Strong; because I poured out my Soul unto Death. We all reap the Fruits of our Groans and Tears, Afflictions and Labours: My Chosen are comforted, & I am comforted. All the Children of our everlasting Love are here, beholding my Glory, which thou hast given me; for thou dost glorify me with thine own self, even with the Glory I had with thee, before the World was. Now the Cope-stone is put upon our everlasting Contrivance of free redeeming Grace: Those, whom from Eternity we chose for our Minions, have I effectually called in to me, in Time; and caused them willingly and sincerely to cry, AMEN, to the Bargain of the New Covenant: And I have brought them through a World of Temptations, Snares, Afflictions, and all imaginable Impediments, into this Haven of everlasting Blessedness. As from Eternity I loved them; so to Eternity will I enjoy them: As I made them Sharers of my Sufferings and Sorrow; so have I made them Partakers of my Glory and Joy: As I have entred into the Oceans of boundless Joys; so have I made them to enter also. The Desires of my Soul are fully accomplished: My fair Ones Joys are full: As their Afflictions were my Afflictions, their Sorrows my Sor­rows; so their Joys are my Joys: For we are One, and they are One in us, even as we are One: For I have given them the Glory, which thou hast given me; I in them, and thou in me; whence they are made perfect in one. As thou hast loved me, so do I love them; and they eternally abide in my Love: And Thou hast loved them; for they have loved me, in Despight of all Opposition, in a vain World. Behold, my Father, how fair, and beau­tiful, and lovely, and sweet I have made my Spouse! She [Page 82] is all desirable, and comely; no Spot, no Blemish is to be found in her. Offended Majesty hath nothing to say? I have redeemed her, I have washed her in my own Blood. Here I stand an high Priest for ever, after the Order of Melchisedeck, as a Monument that Justice is pacified, and all is in sweet Terms: As thou lookst upon me with in­finite Love and Delight, and art well pleased with all my Sufferings and Actings, for thy Glory, and on her Be­half; so art thou well pleased with her. Since of thine own good Pleasure, from Eternity, thou accepted of the Bargain, Vengeance hath Nothing to exact: I was woun­ded for my Chosens Transgressions, I was bruised for their Iniquities; and in my Eyes they are worthy to walk in glorious Robes, up here with me, before the Throne. They kept their Garments clean in the Midst of a filthy and polluted World; they accounted all the Glory and Excellency of Time, but Dross and Dung, unto my Glo­ry and Exaltation; and looked on all Afflictions and Dif­ficulties, as easy, for my Name's Sake: They subjected themselves to the universal Obedience of all my Com­mandments: They fought the good Fight, they finished their Course, they kept the Faith. O how heroically have they done, for the Crown of Life, which forever adorne their victorious Heads! As thou, O Father, hast set me down on thy Throne, so have I given unto them to sit down on my Throne; for I have glorified and exalted them, as thou hast highly glorified and exalted me: And now we are forever exalted, above all our Enemies; Thou hast made them our everlasting Footstool: Death and Hell are cast into the Lake, that burneth with Fire and Brim­stone. Our Joys are full, our Glory perfected, our Happi­ness boundless, our Praises incessant for ever and ever.

37. An Astonishment, that the high and lofty One should look on Creatures.

Men and Angels, are we not all amazed and confound­ed with this infinite Love of JESUS? What are we to [Page 83] Him, that he should cast one Look, either of Love or Hatred, upon us? What are our Tho'ts? O the won­derful Frame of my ravished Heart! He loves us, he de­lights in us, his Eyes are fixed upon us, his Heart is open­ed to us, his Arms are stretched forth to us, his Voice is of us, and to us; Who, but We! O my Lord, what hast thou done? O Love of Jesus! I will cry thee up a­gain and again, and forever I will cry thee up. Blessed I, who have such a glorious Assembly to help me, with an high, eternal Note of Praise! O this is Life! O more than Joy! more than Happiness! more than full Satis­faction!

33. Earth and Heaven quite opposite Things.

Yea, surely they are lovely, who are arayed with his Comeliness; and what doth the Spouse want, that the Bridegroom hath to give? O then she is endowed with all possible Excellency! This is an Assembly of Kings and Priests; every one is a noble, magnificent and royal Per­son; all are Children to the King of Kings, all are Princes of the Blood-royal of Heaven, all are Possessors of all Things. Here is the Flower and Perfection of all Beauties connected together. This is the Company God hath chosen, and with which for ever he will dwell. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, in the City of our God, in the Mountain of his Holiness. Beauti­ful for Situation, the Joy of all Nations, is Mount Zion: How compactly is it built together? It lieth four-square. No Temple here; for the Lord God Almighty, and the Lamb, is the Temple thereof. None needs teach another; we are all fil [...]ed with thy Fulness: We behold Thee, Face to Face. No more mediate Enjoyment, Shadows have fled away. Now, and never until now, are we lifted up above Ordinances: Prophecies have failed, Tongues have ceased, Knowledge hath vanished away: We knew in Part, and prophesied in Part; But that which is perfect is come, [Page 84] and that which was in Part is done away. When I was a Child, I spake as a Child, understood as a Child, thought as a Child: But when I became a Man, I put away chil­dish Things: For now I see Face to Face; but in my Childhood, I saw through a Glass darkly: Now I know, even as also I am known. And what Wonder? since our Minds are illuminated by the Rays of thy transcendent Glory. No need of created Light, Thou art become all and in all unto us. We wonderfully enlighten one ano­ther, Men and Angels; but all is Nothing to the infinite Light. O the Glory of Jehovah, which ever shall be ad­mired, and never comprehended! How nearly and sweet­ly is it communicated unto us through the DAYS-MAN, CHRIST JESUS? And how richly is thy City stored, O Emmanuel! Here are all Manner of Things, New and Old, which thou hast prepared for thy Friends. Were they Fools, who forsook all, they possessed on Earth, to become Citizens here? Here is the Abundance of all good Things, all Joys, all Delights, all Beauties; all are here, in a most eminent and superabundant Manner: Nothing like Imperfection here; no Darkness, the Sun is ever in his Meridian, the Light of his Countenance is ever lifted up upon us; for ever doth he look upon us, in a sweet, smiling, loving Manner; for His Anger is turned away, and he comforteth us, O joyful, O white, O blessed, O ra­diant Day of endless Eternity! This is the Day, which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it: Even this is the Day, which hath taken its Birth from his infinitely amiable Countenance. O these Rivers of Con­solations, that make glad the City of God! O the eternal Emanations of All-fulness, flowing out from the Throne of God, and of the Lamb! No Mixture of Creature-imperfections, all proceed immediately from the Fountain! O my God, how was I tormented with Thirst in the Wil­derness? I was ever full of Wants, and Desires: But O now! now I am drunk, ravished, filled and satiate with the eternal overflowings of thy surpassing Sweetness, [Page 85] which run over this vast Multitude of Men and Angels, like a mighty Inundation. In the Days of our Vanity, we sat by the Rivers of Babylon, and wept; when we thought on the sweet Life the Inhabitants of this higher House, this higher Jerusalem had, we could not but groan forth, When shall the Night be gone, and the Sha­dows evanished? When shall Time be out of the Way, that I may enter into the pure River of the Water of Life. and satiate my self with all the Fulness of God? My Soul thirsteth for God, the Living God; when shall I come to appear before God? How long shall I dwell in a dry and parched Wilderness, wherein there is no Water? Wo is me, that I sojourn so long in Mesech; for my Days are con­sumed like Smoke, and my Bones are burnt as an Hearth: By Reason of the Voice of my Groaning, my Bones cleave to my Skin, My Days are like a Shadow that declineth, and I am withered like Grass. But O, now is the joyful and white Side of Providence turned up! My Youth is renew­ed like the Eagle's: I swim in the Ocean of Life. Who can tell what ravishing Solace is under the Branches of the Tree of Life? Divine Vengeance cannot dart through: Yet behold I fully thy Countenance, O Jehovah! We are thy Servants, ever serving thee, and beholding thy Face; having thy Name written on our Fore-heads. I went mourning to the Grave, because of my Unfitness for ser­ving thee on Earth: But O! now I serve thee in as hea­venly and divine a Manner, as I would: I am become al­together like thee! I am filled with thy Glory and thy Beauty: no Need to ask, Shew me thy Glory: Thy Face incessantly and eternally do I behold, and live.

39. Nothing in Glory, but Songs to Jehovah and the Lamb.

This is Zion, the Perfection of Beauty the Joy of the whole World: This is the City which God hath made, even which he hath made in a peculiar Manner. O what Glory! O what Majesty! O what Joy! O what Blessed­ness! [Page 86] ‘As we have heard, so have we seen in the City of the Lord of Hosts, God hath established it for ever. The Lord our God doth save us this Day, as the Flock of his People; for we are the Stones of a Crown lifted up, as an Ensign, upon his Land: For how great is his Goodness, and how great is his Beauty! Sing, O Daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all thy Heart, O Daughter of Jerusalem: For the Lord thy God, in the Midst of Thee, is migh­ty; He hath saved Thee, and rejoiceth over Thee with Joy; He rests in his Love, He joyeth over Thee with Singing; He hath healed our Backslidings, He hath loved us freely: For his Anger is turned away, and he comforteth us. He is as the Dew unto us, we grow as the Lily, and cast forth our Roots as Lebanon. He hath made us, and the Places round about his holy Hill a Blessing, & causeth the Showers to come down in their Season; even Showers of Blessing for evermore. And the Tree of the Field doth yield her Fruit, and our Land doth yield her Increase; and we are safe in our Land, and do know the Lord. Behold, He hath brought us from all Countries, and gathered us from the Coasts of the Earth: For the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the Hand of him that was strong­er than he; therefore are we come to, and sing in the Height of Zion; and flow together to the Goodness of the Lord, for Wheat, and for Wine, and for Oil, and for the Young of the Flock, and for the Herd: And our Soul is as a watered Garden; And we shall not sor­row any more at all: For behold, the Lord hath crea­ted a new Heaven, and a new Earth, and the former is not remembred, nor doth come into Mind. Our Gates are open continually, they shall not be shut Day nor Night; for Brass we have Gold, and for Iron we have Silver, and for Wood Brass, and for Stones Iron. Vio­lence is no more heard in our Land, Wasting nor De­struction within our Borders. But we call our Walls [Page 87] Salvation, and our Gates Praise. The Sun shall no more go down, neither shall the Moon withdraw her self; for the Lord is unto us an everlasting Light, and the Days of our Mourning are ended. We are all Righte­ous, we inherit the Land for ever: We are the Branch of his Planting, the Work of his Hands, that He may be glorified. Our Light doth break forth as the Mor­ning, and our Health springeth forth speedily: And our Righteousness doth go before us, and the Glory of the Lord is our Reer-ward. We are saved of the Lord with an everlasting Salvation; we shall not be ashamed, nor confounded, World without End. O Lord, Thou art my God, I will exalt thee, I will praise thy Name; for thou hast done wonderful Things; Thy Counsels of Old, are Faithfulness and Truth; for thou hast been a Strength to the Poor, a Strength to the Needy, in his Distress; a Refuge from the Storm, a Shadow from the Heat: And hast brought down the Noise of Devils and their Slaves, as Heat in a dry Place. And hast swallowed up Death in Victory, and wiped away Tears from all Faces. Lo, this is our God, we have waited for Him; He hath saved us, we will be glad and rejoice in his Salvation: He extendeth Peace to us like a River, and our Glory is like a flowing Stream. Our Heart rejoiceth, our Bones flourish like an Herb: And the Hand of the Lord is known to­wards his Servants, and his Indignation towards his Enemies; for he hath punished the World for their Evil, and the wicked for their Iniquity; and hath caused the Haughtiness of the Proud to cease; and hath laid low the Pride of the Terrible, and broke the Staff of the Wicked, and the Sceptre of the Rulers. Hallelujah, Salvation, and Glory, and Honour, and Power unto the Lord our God: True and righteous are his Judgments; for he hath judged all his Ene­mies; and the Glory of Avenging Justice is for ever displayed. Let Israel rejoyce in Him that made him: [Page 88] Let the Children of Zion be joyful in their King; for the Lord taketh Pleasure in his People: He hath beauti­fied the Meek with Salvation. Praise the Lord, O Jeru­salem: Praise thy God, O Zion; for he hath strength­ned for ever the Bars of thy Gates, He hath blessed thy Children within thee: He maketh Peace within thy Borders, and filleth thee with the finest of the Wheat: The Lord hath chosen thee for his Rest, here will He for ever dwell; for he hath desired it.’

40. The Happiness of the Saints superabundant, since they have all Manner of Enjoyments.

Are we not more than blessed? United Happiness hath the greater Force. O the sweet Fellowship of Blessed Men and Angels! All Manner of Enjoyments are here! All our natural Propensities are fully satisfied, and we are every Way filled with God: As our Fellowship with him was interrupted, imperfect, and at a Distance on Earth, so our Converse with Creatures was of small Profit: Vanity (as to us) was poured out on all Creature-en­joyments; since our Faculties were in a great Part, viti­ate, was not our Fellowship on Earth oftentimes for the worse, as well as for the better? for that our Converse savoured strongly of Earth, differing little from that of Worldlings. But, is not this a wonderful Change? We look like an Assembly of Kings and Priests indeed. Are we not all one, in Mind, in Love, in Joy? for we have the Mind of Christ. All of us resemble advantageously that perfect and only Pattern of Holiness, that infinite World of ravishing Beauty, and boundless Ocean of overcoming Sweetness, that only Delight, Love, Satis­faction, Wonder, and All, of Men, and Angels. I am like Thee, O my WELBELOVED: I am like Thee. O Joy! superabounding Joy! This one Thought bears in its Bo­som, Ten Thousand Heavens. O Sirs, are not his Glory, his Excellency, his Sweetness diffused among us? We are one in Christ; and therefore one among our selves, be­ing [Page 89] united by the Spirit of Love. Thou art the Head, we the Members: All Treasures of Excellency are commu­nicated from Thee, unto us, as from the Root to the Bran­ches, which are the same Tree. We are one with thee; for both He that sanctifieth, & they that are sanctified, are one. Are you not excellent then, O ye Angels? Were not pas­sing excellent, and only delightsom, O ye excellent Ones of the Earth, when incompassed about with innumerable Infirmities; and are you not now, so many Masses of Ex­cellency and Delight? If, when clothed with Mortality, you were of sublime and princely Spirits; what are you now, when Mortality is swallowed up of Life? Was our Converse sweet in the Valley of Tears and Sorrows? and is it not more than pleasant in this Paradise of Joys and Delights? Was our Lamenting our Distance from God, to one another, sweet? What Ravishments in our mutual Congratulations of these overflowing Delights, and Hap­piness, in the immediate Presence of JEHOVAH and the LAMB? What a golden Life is this! As this full Enjoy­ment of Thee, O my God, doth swallow up all other Enjoyments; so doth it perfect them also. Until our Love to thee was perfected, never did we love one a­nother perfectly. The more thou art loved, the more of thy Image. Thou art the Centre of all my Faculties; All my Love to Saints and Angels terminates in Thee; Thou hast clothed them with thy Loveliness, and they are become Lovely: Yea, tho' they were not, yet, since they are the Object of thy Love; therefore will I love them: But, because thou hast loved them, therefore hast thou made them wonderfully lovely; and there­fore, how are we all kindled together, into an eternal Flame! O what a wonderful Sympathy! As we suffered in one another's Afflictions; so do we rejoice in one a­nother's Joy. O this superabundant Joy and Happi­ness! Since all your Joy and Happiness, Men and Angels, are mine; even me they affect; I am as filled with them: The Happiness of Thousands, and Myriads [Page 90] of Thousands, are abridged into one Happiness. And how discovering is the Light of thy Glory! I know every one of you in particular, as by Name, and what was your Lot on Earth. When our Converse is more joyful, shall not our Fellowship now be passing excel­lent? The Faculties are great, the Objects are great, and great is Eternity, which we have ever before us in our Fellowship: We are not confined, as on Earth, to Days, Hours and Years; but shall speak to one another of his infinite Excellencies again and again and more and more, and for ever speak: And what new Delights, since Earth's childish Dialect is done away! Words, Sentences, Orations, and Volumes, were as dark Shadows, of little or no Signification: But O the profound Idiom of Im­manuel's Country! Every Word is like a Talent, repre­senting more than Ten thousand excellent Volumes, in Earth's Language. How admirably do Mortality and Immortality differ in all Things! Cry out then his match­less Praises; Shall we not contend, who shall speak most excellently of his Glory? shall we not be for ever recoun­ting his wonderful Goodness to us, in Time and Eterni­ty? O ravishing Fellowship with Men and Angels! O more [...]han ravishing Voice of the Son of God! Were it not the Prerogative of Glory, that one Enjoyment cannot divert from another, I should for ever shut all my Fa­culties against you, O Fellow-Creatures, that they might only be filled with JESUS my only WELBELOVED, whatever I enjoy, still I enjoy thee perfectly and fully; with whomsoever I converse, continually I am with thee. Thou art the Beginning, Middle, and End of all. O the eternal high Tides of Joys in my Heart! Nothing can separate me, in the least, from this immediate Enjoyment of thee. The Members are not hindered from receiving Influences from the Head, because of their mutual Com­merce among themselves; reflex Rays hinder not the di­rect; the enjoyment of the Thing included eminently, hinders not the Enjoyment of that which includes. I en­joy [Page 91] Thee; and therefore I enjoy all Things; and my En­joyment of Creatures, is no new Enjoyment, but another Manner of enjoying of Thee; like the beholding the Light of the Sun darting from the Moon: Every one of us re­flects the Beauty, wherewith thou adornest us.

41. All the Attributes of God contribute to our eternal Blessedness, but His Unchangeableness is the Crown of all.

How do all smile with a ravishing Countenance, whether we view in Time on Earth, these present Enjoyments; or their Flourishing throughout Eternity? The Conside­ration of God's wonderful Providence in Time, will fill the Thoughts with enless Admiration. And am I not ravished, in looking back into infinite Perfections, be­fore all Ages? Here there is ever a Further; but 'tis ac­cording to finite Conception, to look upon Thee, as past, present and to come. Thou art eminently all Things, yet not formally, and in their own proper Nature: We change every Moment, and have still new Actings; be­cause we are finite Beings: But with thee there is no Va­riableness, nor Shadow of Turning. Whatever thou dost, from Eternity thou dost it: Thy Actings have neither Beginning, Middle, nor Ending; Which are but one simple Act, the same with thy Self, tho', virtually and e­quivalently, it contains in its Bosom innumerable Actions; even as thy Everlastingness, innumerable Days, Years and Ages. Who can admire enough thy Simplicity? All thy Excellencies are but one Excellency, equivalent unto in­finite Worlds of Excellencies. O what a blessed Life have we, Men and Angels, in dwelling in God, the Almigh­ty, Alsufficient JEHOVAH! in whom is contained infi­nite Varieties of all Joys, all Pleasures, all Sweetness, all Contentments, all Beauties, all Glories, in a transcendent, eminent, and most perfect Manner. O happy I! who have such an infinite One, boundless One in all Perfections, to be my Portion! O thou [...], eternal, unchange­able [Page 92] in thy Wisdom, Power, Holiness, Justice, Goodness and Truth. Everlasting Ravishments! He, who loveth us, is unchangeable; He, in whom we trust, is the Rock of Ages, whose Goings forth have been from Eternity. O then! thy Smiles are everlasting. Our Happiness is eternal; it is Joy upon Joy, to consider, this Life can have no Pe­riod: It hath neither Middle, Progress nor Ending; But shall ever be a Beginning, and shall be ever, ever alike far from the Period of my Joys and Happiness, ever in this same ravished unspeakable Frame of divine Love and Joy, I am just now into! Shall it ever be high Tide? O more than Happiness! It overflows its Banks: It is much I bear this Joy! O my Joys, my Joys, you are of an immortal Duration! O my excellent Welbeloved, now hast thou with Eternity crowned all my Happiness! To think ever to be disjoined from thee, would imbit­ter all the present Sweetness: The greater the Enjoy­ment, the greater the Loss. Temporary Enjoyments no­thing affect me: What will end, will be as if it had not been. Never so many Ages are nothing in the Minds of elevated Creatures: Only Fruits are taken with Time. Nothing is real and substantial, but what is enduring. Nothing vain and empty now: All Things here shall be ever in the self-same State, we are now in. So are all Things in Hell also. The Fashion of this World shall never pass away: All are now solid and enduring: Vani­ty is for ever banished out of the Universe; all Things shall be for ever as they are. O [...]y Joys! tho' you were low, yet the Thoughts of your e [...]ernal Permanency may cause you to swell over your Banks. O Glory, Glory! how massie art thou? Not a Thing glistering now, and anon evanished. O the more enduring Substance! The King­dom immoveable! These everlasting Arms incircle us eter­nally! For the Lord shall reign for ever, even thy God, O [...], to all Generations. We that trust in the Lord, are like Mount Zion, that cannot [...]e removed, but abid­eth for ever. The Glory of the Lord shall endure for e­ver: [Page 93] He shall rejoice in all his Works. The Children of thy Servants shall continue, and their Seed shall be established before thee: With long Life dost thou satisfy them, and shewest them thy Salvation. Thou art the Strength of their Heart, and their Portion for ever. O real, solid, sub­stantial, enduring Portion! Indeed, thou art the Rock of Ages. All the innumerable Ages past, present, and to come, do roll upon thee, as their Foundation. Thy Years are throughout all Generations: Of old didst thou lay the Foundations of the Earth; and the Heavens were the Work of thine Hands: They did perish, but thou shalt endure; yea, all of them waxed old, like a Garment; as a Vesture thou changed them, and they were changed: But thou art the same, and thy Tears shall have no End. O my passing Happiness shall have no End! O Life, and Marrow of Joys! I shall be ever with thee, O most lovely WELBELOVED! Some transient Glimpses of thy Loveliness upon my Soul, was an Heaven upon Earth: But O, the permanent and full Outlettings of thy Beauty, Sweetness, and all Excel­lencies, are more than Ten thousand Heavens of Happi­ness! I am here dwelling within the boundless Circle of E­ternity! O sweet for evermore! only because of my sweet­est Welbeloved, whom I fully & eternally enjoy! What Good would my Life do unto me, were I not to enjoy him, throughout eternal Ages? Not, that I account it not an invaluable Happiness, to receive one Love-kiss, and no more, from thy sweetest Mouth: Should not its won­derful Impression leave a passing ravishing Sweetness, throughout endless EVERMORE? One Sight of thy only excellent Beauty, one Smell of thy ravishing fragrant Garments, one Love-smile of thy overcoming lovely Face, transcendently excels the Height of all Creature-Enjoy­ments. Any Thing of Thee, my matchless ONE, is of incomparable Excellency: Thy very Frowns are incon­ceivably sweet, because thine.

[Page 94]42. That we are altogether Christ's and not our own, is our only Happiness.

Thy Kingdom, O Emmanuel, is an everlasting King­dom; the Sceptre of Glory dost thou sway to all Gene­rations. Indeed, when Time and Days come to a Period, and thou hadst put down all Rule, and all Authority and Power, thou delivered up the Commission of governing the Church, and (in Part) bringing the World back to thy Father; and art subject as Days Man betwixt God and Creatures, that God may only fill the Faculties of Men and Angels, with his uncreated Sweetness: Yet, as Days-Man, thou art for ever King, Priest and Prophet of thy Chosen; the eternal Head of Men and Angels; The First-born among many Brethren, having the Prehemi­nency in all Things: Thou art the great Lord Mediator, the crowned King of Zion, for ever and ever: We are under Thee so many crowned Kings in Zion: But thou art exalted above all; upon the Throne of thy Father Da­vid dost thou sit; and of thy Kingdom there shall be no End. The Lord hath laid Help upon One that is Mighty, he hath exalted One chosen out of the People; He hath made Him his First-born, higher than the Kings of the Earth: His Mercy doth he keep for him, for ever; and his Cove­nant standeth fast with him: His Seed also hath he made to endure for ever, and his Children as the Days of Hea­ven: All Kings fall down before him; all Nations serve him. There is an handful of Corn in the Earth, on the Top of the Mountains; the Fruit thereof doth shake like Lebanon: And they of the City do flourish like the Grass of the Earth. O PLANT of RENOWN, Men and An­gels are as so many Branches ingrafted in Thee eternal­ly! or else we should in a Moment wither. To all Eter­nity we stand in Need of a Days-Man; we are not able eternally to stand on our own Legs; neither are we able to behold God so fully and familiarly, as in the Face of EMMANUEL, the White and the Ruddy! And what a­mazing Dignity, Men and Angels, for us to reign over all, [Page 95] as Co-heirs with this essential Heir of all Things? Do I reign with thee, O KING of Kings? Wonderful! Thou hast given me Power over the Nations, and I do rule them with a Rod of Iron; as the Vessels of a Potter are they bro­ken in Shivers; even as he received of his Father! What were earthly Kingdoms and Principalities, but evanishing Vapors, Night-dreams and Vanities? What were the Shields of the Earth, but Bits of half-dead Clay, breathing for a few Hours, Days and Years, at the most, and then re­turned to Dust again? No Wonder he loaded the basest of Men with the greatest Portion of thick Clay: Such a Dunghil was a fit Portion for Dunghil-worms: No won­der he gave so little of Earth to his Chosen; such Gifts are below sublime, heavenly and Divine Spirits. Sirs, have we not been ordained for far better, and more ex­cellent Things than Earth's silly Glory? It was not our Father's Will we should be troubled with many Nothings: Much Clay would have clogged us, in our Way. He knew best what was for us, who cut us short of Creature-Enjoyments. What have we lost, who have received Gold for Clay, Diamonds for common Stones, solid Sa­tisfaction for vexing Vanities, Heaven for Earth, Eterni­ty for Time, all Things for nothing? All Glory to him, that sits upon the Throne, and the Lamb. Let the Crown eternally flourish on the Head of the Purchaser of such su­perabundant Happiness. O the great Things we have esca­ped? O the great Things we have attained! And were these Joys purchased by Sorrow? This golden Life, by a shame­ful and cruel Death? This Glory, by Shame and Contempt? This Rest, by Labour and Wrestling? This Exaltation, by Lowliness and Submission? O the Price, the Price! Every Sight of the Man who is God, would overvalue, and over­buy Ten thousand excellent Worlds. O my Happiness! Art thou not of infinite Value, tho' thou wert not, in the thou­sand Part, what thou art? What can we render unto the Lord for his wonderful Goodness? What can we, thy eternal­ly bound Dyvours, do but cry aloud, Thy Excellency? [Page 96] And, the more we praise thee, the more our Obligation grows upon our Hand. O, let us ever, in this Manner, run our selves into thy Debt. No greater Liberty, n [...] higher Prerogative, than to be eternally obliged Debt on to thy free Grace, redeeming, exalting Grace. O then! shall I not praise thee, my Redeemer, my Exalter? Shall not boundless Eternity be filled with thy Praises? Is my Happiness, Life-immortal? And shall not my Praising be immortal also? O this high, high praising Frame! No­thing but ravishing Hallelujahs throughout Eternity. O Sirs, is not this Frame altogether inexpressible, wholly inconceivable?

43. The Manifestation of God, in Time, nothing to that of Eternity; and that of Eternity, nothing to what dwells hidden in Himself.

Even the small Breathings of these full Gales of the Spirit, that blow strongly in this higher Region, falling down upon the Land of Grace, filled my Heart with such passing Sweetness, that I could not but cry out, Lord, my Heart is fixed, my Heart is fixed, I will sing Praise unto thee. O let all Creatures, in all Places of thy Dominion, sing forth thy Excellencies. Let me behold thy Name set on high, and the Desires of my Soul are accomplished. I am ravished, I am ravished with thy surpassing Sweetness, thy overcoming Love­liness! Is not this Heaven, even Glory come down to Grace's Region? Or, what can Glory be more? But now, now I clearly find, these have been but the first Fruits, some Drops falling off this boundless Ocean; and no Wonder little seemed exceeding great to a little Child; then I could not be capable of Glory, in the Perfection and Bloom thereof. The Ground sufficient to bear a Tree, in its first arising thro' the Earth, would not be able to bear the least Branch when it attained its perfect Pitch. Yet the Remembrance of thy Ways to me, in my Childhood, is full of Delectation. How thou hast [Page 97] bro't thy Sons to Glory, is an eternal Wonder! O to think of the wonderful Discoveries of thy self to weak Mortals! whence Thou evidenced, that thou couldst shew forth thine Excellency by Weakness and Emptiness, Did I not sometimes, even when a blockish Mortal live rather by Sight, than Faith? O the strange Disco­veries of thy infinite Beauty! from whence arose high flaming Love, then Zeal, for setting Thee on high, far above all. Continually were thy Praises in my Mouth; I desired, that all I tho't, spake, or did, should tend to thy Glory, for whom are all Things. How tormen­ted was I, to see so few on Earth, for extolling Thee! To see almost All minding their own Things, and very few Thine. How vexed was I, that my Heart was so shallow, and my Faculties so unfit for glorifying Thee? Therefore did I long to be here, for nothing more than to praise Thee aright, before this glorious Assembly of Men and Angels. How oft have I been crying out, O to be an Instrument of his superexcellent Glory! Let me be eternally confounded, (abstract from sinning) if thereby his Excellency may be manifested. What are all Creatures to him? Let him be exalted, let him be praised, tho' we all should be abased for evermore. O the inexpressible Sweetness, my Soul finds in praising Thee! In the Bosom of this Divine Exercise is contained a great Reward. It is both the Work and the Wages. It is Happiness to extol Thee; it is only Hell, not to be for thy Glory. O praise him, for ever praise him, all his Works. It is a light Thing that thou alone shouldst praise Him, O silly I! O when shall I stand among the innu­merable Assembly of Praisers, and tell, and hear told over thine Acts, and Glory, and Wisdom, and infinite Excellencies forever and ever! Verily all thy Promises are Yea, and Amen, to those who put their Trust in Thee. Thou hast given unto me all the Desires of my Heart: Now, O now, I am in the Land of Praises, in to Midst of you, O glorious Creatures, who for ever [Page 98] sing forth Hallelujahs, to Him that sits upon the Throne, and the Lamb. It was but the Weakness of mortality caused small Stirrings to appear high and mighty Over­flowings. O Glory, Glory! Thou art indeed substantial and massie. Since Glory cannot fully delineate thy Ex­cellency, I behold thy amiable Countenance to the full, O God of Glory; and O then the Enlargement of my Heart! O then, the wonderful Flames of Love! Nothing was known, was felt; until now: I have heard some Rumor of Thee; but now I behold and perceive, that all possible Creatures, exalted to the highest Pitch of Excellency, can never be able to praise thee to the full: Even because of this, I will praise Thee, that Thou art infinitely above all Praises. Were thou not infinite, Thou shouldst not be the eternal Object of my Praises: Crea­ted Enjoyments cannot satiate for ever. How am I over­joyed, Thou hast thus fitted me for setting Thee on high! How am I lifted up in my Capacity, almost infinite Stages above the highest Pitch of Mortality! Sirs, This is ano­ther Manner of Praising than was to be found within Mor­tality's Tents: Our Songs can only be learned by these who have attained the Height of wisdom; even who are filled with all the Fulness of God. What are finite Things in the Way of our Conceptions? We are past from the low Conceptions of Mortals: Earth's putid Idiom, in its highest Strain, composed & divided by all possible Ways, or portrayed down in as many Books as would fill the Creation, should not express in the thousandth Part, so much of the Excellency of our never-enough exalted One, as one Sentence of this Song of Glory. What is expressed by dull Sound, or tuned out in Black and White, is not now worth the Noticing; yet, had I no other Way of ex­pressing thy Excellency, before Men and Angels, I should for ever and ever be writing Songs of thy match­less Praises, that all the Beholders might, in some Mea­sure, conjecture the high Tho'ts of my Heart. Were there Oceans of Ink greater than Ten thousand Worlds, and Paper and Pens conformable thereunto, I should soon [Page 99] exhaust them, in writing new Songs of thy matchless Praises; and yet the Thoughts of my elevated Heart should not in the least be diminished; but should be, like an eternal Fountain, ever inditing new Matter, ever sending forth new Streams of Praises. What Wonder? I am filled with thine Image: I behold thee Face to Face, and therefore see more and more of Thee to all Eternity. Ever, ever shall I have new Discoveries, & yet for ever shall I have the same; for I behold Thee as Thou art. What Wonder we are in such an high praising Frame, O blessed Ones! who, being framed so capacious, to re­ceive the full Emanations of his infinite Glory and Sweetness, stand continually in his immediate Fellowship? Are we not ravished in praising? 'Tis the only Happi­ness to be thus exercised; The only Misery, to have the Faculties exercised in other Things. No Monster to a Creature careless of thy Glory! You abominable Prodi­gies of Nature, who are not for extolling your Creator, Preserver and Benefactor, Can the Desperateness of your State be told? Should you not praise him, eternally praise him? He is the Potter, you are the Clay; He is the absolute Sovereign, you his eternal bound Vassals: All that you are, and have, is of him: If you are mise­rable, it is only of your selves: Nothing from Him, but that which is good. He is a pure Mass of Holiness, Excellency and Desirableness. O cursed! O desperate! O astonishing Frame! to have the Heart hardned against the Original of all Joys and Blessedness. Thousand Times happy I, who am thus, thus conformed unto the Divine Nature! O this sweet, sweet Frame of Heart I am alto­gether for Praises: This is the Land of Praises; the whole Assembly resounds with Praises. O my blessed Ears! which are eternally filled with the melodious Raptures of Emmanuel's ravishing World. Is it possible Sorrows can enter here? All is filled with superabounding Joys: Every where thy Beauty is fully manifested. Let us dive deep, and look, and look again, ever shall we find new [Page 100] Matter for Love-Songs. Doth not a sweet willing Con­straint lie upon us to praise Thee? Inundations of all Goodness do flow out from thee, O inexhaustable Ocean of all Excellency: And must they not incessantly run back to Thee again? Yea, who can but extol Thee, O alsufficient JEHOVAH? because Thou art essentially beautiful and excellent. What tho' little of thy Good­ness were let forth on Creatures? the Manifestation of thy Goodness to Creatures adds just Nothing to Thee: Whether Thou create or not create one Creature, on a World, or Millions of Worlds, all is the same to Thee. Thou art infinitely above the Praises, or the Blasphemies of Creatures. Thy Glory is unchangeable; before all Ages did thy infinite Perfections shine forth, in the same infinite Splendor; So that, in the Fulness of Time, when it pleased Thee, to shew forth thy Glory, in the Produc­tion and Adorning of finite Beings, nothing in the least was added to thy boundless Excellency: Thy Creating was the Manifestation of what was from Eternity; not the bringing forth of what was not at all: As when the Sun should dart forth his Light, which before he kept within himself; or a Box of precious Ointment, when broken, exhales a Perfume, which before lie hidden.

And what hast Thou manifested on Creatures, to that which thou might'st, if so it had pleased thy Sovereign Will! What is this World existent, but as a vast Ocean should let forth one Drop, when it might pour forth M [...]ll [...]ons of Millions of Showers for ever and ever? What are these Handful of Creatures, unto these vast numberless Armies, eminently contained within the Compass of thine infinite Power? whence, thy Dominion over Things that are not created, is greater, than over Things that are. From all Eternity hadst Thou the Sovereign Disposition of all possible Beings, and they are for ever at thy Beck. Hadst Thou never determined to create any Creature, Thy Power and Sovereignty should ever have shined forth in as full a Splendor, in order to these self-same [Page 101] Creatures existent, as now it doth: To restrain a Being from existing, or to cause it exist, are alike Acts of in­finite Sovereignty. Men and Angels, shall we not cry up the Incomprehensible Excellency of our God? What can we contribute even to his declarative Glory? Are we any Thing, to the Infinite Armies in the Womb of his Omnipotency? and yet hath He appointed us the only Criers up of his Praises; the only Spectators, through­out all Ages. O how inconceivable are thy Ways! Hast Thou chosen these few out from among innumerable Ar­mies of Excellent Creatures, contain'd within the Bosom of thy Excellency? Might'st Thou not have Numberless Worlds of Men and Angels just now serving Thee, and not one of us existent? How is absolute Sovereignty, and free Grace to be seen every Where? Creation is an Act of free Grace and Goodness. O thou whole Han­dy-Work of God, how oughtest Thou to praise thy So­vereign Lord? You Sun, Moon and Stars, for ever exalt him, who conferred upon you an everlasting Being, passing by infinite Numbers of others; and only you hath He chosen, as never-ending Monuments of his tran­scendent Excellency. Thou Earth, with thy various Beauties, praise thy bountiful Creator, who hath appoin­ted thee an eternal Monument of his Justice and Mercy, passing by innumerable possible Ones. O thou glorious and majestick Heavens, sing forth the high Praises of thy Almighty Former; tho' thou art the Top and Flower-excellency of this vast All, what art thou to these innu­merable possible Heavens, Jehovah could produce? Thou whole Creation, tho' thou art exact in Number, Weight and Measure, what art thou to what Incomprehensible Jehovah can effect? What are you, O all ye Creatures? you are infinitely every Way within the Limits of his in­finite Power; yea, tho' it were not so, one Blast of his Nostrils, could confound you to nothing in a Moment. Down with your Glory before Him, all Creatures; ac­knowledge your eternal Sovereign: Shall not Eternity [Page 102] resound with his incessant Praises? shall not this great All be ever in a rejoicing, praising Sound? shall not the Earth clap its Hands, the Heavens leap for Joy, be­fore Him, who hath formed them eternal Monuments of his superexcellent Glory? This is the only World God hath been pleased to make; from Eternity to Eternity there is no other; neither shall this undergo Changes any more: How sweet a Savour doth the Almighty smell? pronouncing that the Vicissitudes of Day and Night, Seed-Time and Harvest, Winter and Summer shall for ever cease; and that an eternal Spring-tide, an end­less Summer, an incessant Harvest shall remain. This is the golden World; all Things have a smiling Countenance: Wickedness shall triumph no more. It was but for a Moment, they opened their Eyes, and behold they are not: But the Righteous are in everlasting Remembrance. Thou lower World, how art thou loosed from that bitter Ser­vitude to the Filth and Off-scourings of all Things? being the Stage of horrid Rebellion against thy great Former; the Place where created Enjoyments were pre­ferred before that Fulness of all Sweetness in the Alsuffici­ent Jehovah. Our Eyes behold what we believed, and hoped for: O glorious new Heaven, and new Earth, wherein dwelleth Righteousness! Are we not now Ma­sters of all? through the Heir of all Things, do we in­herit all Things? All Things before were ours in Title, now they are ours in full Possession; for our Minority is expired.

44. All the Promises are in Part fulfilled in Time, and fully in Eternity.

Your Folly is even manifest to your selves, cursed Worldlings, who imagine [...] us Fools, who laid our Hope and Confidence on the great Promises of the Almighty: Lo, all that ever he promised unto us, he hath perfor­med, to the Full, & more than to the Full. Lo, we in­herit Heaven and Earth, and all Things, and delight our [Page 103] selves in Abundance of Peace. We behold the Floods of Hony and Butter, and heap up Gold as the Dust: Yea, the Almighty is our Defence, & we have plenteous Silver: Our Eye is clear, as the Noon-day; we shine forth, and are as the Morning: Our Flesh is fresher than a Child's, and we return unto the Days of our Youth. The Lord is our Keeper, the LORD is our Shade, on our Right-Hand. The Sun doth not smite by Day, nor the Moon by Night. And the Lord preserveth our going out, and our coming in, from this Time forth and for evermore. Be­hold, we eat, cursed Wretches, but ye are hungry: Behold, we drink, but ye are thirsty: Behold, we rejoice and triumph, but ye sorrow and are ashamed. Lo, He that sitteth upon the Throne, hath made all Things new; and the former Things shall not come into Mind. Behold, a new Heaven and a new Earth! for the first Heaven, and the first Earth are passed away; and there is no more Sea. Behold, the Tabernacle of God is with Men, and he doth dwell with us, and we are his People, and he is our God: And he hath wiped away all Tears from our Eyes: And there is no more Death, nor Sorrows, nor Cries, nor Pains; for the former Things are passed away. Vile Wretches, tho' your everlasting Dungeon be situate with­in the Verge of that Dunghil, you adored heretofore; yet shall you never set your Head within this glorious Fa­brick, but shall abide for ever, in utter Darkness: Ye pos­sessed the Earth for a Moment, and carried your selves, as all had been yours, bearing down the excellent Ones of the Earth: But now, we have you under our Feet for ever­more. Now, it is manifest, who were the true Heirs of the Earth: Now it is clear, who were really Excellent. What think ye now of your Pleasures of Sin for a Season? Have ye not built your House, as a Moth, and a Booth that the Keeper maketh? As Drought and Heat consume the Snow-water; so hath the Grave consumed you. Your Tri­umphing hath been short, and your Joy but for a Moment. Tho' your Excellency might seem to mount up to the [Page 104] Heavens, and your Heads reach unto the Clouds; yet are you perished for ever, like your own Dung: You are fled away, as a Dream, and are not found; all Darkness is hid in your secret Places, a Fire not blown hath con­sumed you. Your Strength is Hunger-bitten, and Destru­ction is ever at your Side, it doth devour the Strength of your Skin; even the First-born of Death doth devour your Strength: Brimstone is scattered upon your Habitation, your Root is dried up beneath, and above your Strength is cut off: You are driven from Light into Darkness, and chased out of the World; for God is jealous, and reven­geth; the Lord revengeth, and is furious, and will not at all acquit the Wicked: The Mountains quake at him, and the Hills melt, and the Earth is burnt at his Presence; yea, the World and all that dwelleth therein: With an over­flowing Flood doth he make an utter End of the Wicked; and Darkness doth for ever pursue his Enemies. The Lord is good to all, and his tender Mercie [...] are over all his Works: He hath fulfilled the Desire of them that fear him, he hath heard their Cry, and saved them. All thy Works shall praise thee, O Lord, and all thy Saints shall bless thee. Thou hast delivered us from our Enemies. We have fled unto thee, and under the Shadow of thy Wings we ever rejoice. Thou hast led us unto the Land of Up­rightness: And as for the Head of those that compassed us about, the Mischief of their own Lips hath covered them; burning Coals have fallen upon them, they are cost into the Fire, into deep Pits, that they rise not again. But the Righ­teous give Thanks unto thee; the Upright for ever dwell in thy Presence: Many a Time have the Wicked afflicted us from our Youth, yet have they not prevailed: But all that hated us are confounded, and turned back, and are as the Grass on the House-tops, that withereth before it be grown up. When the Wicked did spring as thee Grass, and all the Workers of Iniquity did flourish, it was that they might be destroyed for ever. The Lord is a Sun and Shield; He hath given Grace and Glory; no good Thing [Page 105] hath he withholden from those that walked uprightly. Blessed is the Man that trusted in thee! We trusted in thee, and were delivered; For thou hast considered our Trouble, thou hast known our Soul in Adversity, and hast not shut us up into the Hand of the Enemy: Thou hast set our Feet in a large Place. We were in Trouble, our Eye was consumed with Grief; yea, our Soul and our Belly: Our Strength failed because of our Iniquity, and our Bones were consumed: We were a Reproach to our Enemies, a Derision to a phanatick World. But we trusted in thee, O Lord; we said, Thou art our God: And lo, Thou hast delivered us, for ever, from the Hand of all our Enemies: Thou hast made thy Face to shine, in its full Splendor, eternally upon us; Thou hast saved us, for thy Mercies Sake. O how great is thy Goodness, which th [...]u hast wrought for them that trusted in thee, before the Sons of Men! O love the Lord, all ye his Saints; for the Lord preserveth the Faithful, and plenteously rewardeth the proud Doer: His Anger endureth but a Moment; in his Favour is Life. Weeping may endure for a Night, but Joy cometh in the Morning. Surely Goodness and Mercy shall follow us all the Days of our Life, and we will dwell in the House of the Lord for ever.

45. All the Attributes of Jehovah, especially his Jus [...]ice and Sovereignty, are seen evidently in the Damnation of the Wicked.

All Joys! How doth the Glory of Mercy and spotless Justice shine forth before the Eyes of all? Within the Limits of Time, some small Forerunners there were, of what we now most evidently behold. How didst thou drown almost a whole Generation for their Iniquity? How didst thou make thine Earth to devour & swallow up thy rebellious Blasphemers? Yea, in all Ages thou broughtst down signal Strokes of thy Displeasure on a vile World; burning up their Cities, destroying their Fields, & making their cursed Carcasses to be like Dung [Page 106] upon the Earth: So that thy most impious Enemies could not but say, Verily there is a God that judgeth in the Earth. And every Stroke of thy Vengeance was Mercy to thy Chosen; for, how often hast thou compelled thy sworn Enemies, to come bending unto thy People? Such were small Skirmishes, and partial Victories over Parties of thy Foes. Since Earth, by thine Appointment, was the Place, where every one was to act their Part, in order to Eternity; and the Wicked to fill up their Cup of Wrath against this eternal Day of Wrath; Is not Hell a Part of our Heaven? Is not the displaying of the Banner of Ju­stice, Matter of Eternal Exultation? By the horrid Re­bellion of wicked Men and Devils, thou appeared to be rob'd of that Honour and Glory due to thee, from all thy Creatures. How doth thy Excellency for ever break out from under the Clouds, that seemed to darken it heretofore? Thy vile Enemies, through thy Long-suffer­ing, did pass on in their Rebellion, some Time unpuni­shed: Nay, in their abominable Ways, through thy won­derful Providence, they prospered, they lived, they become old, yea, were mighty in Power: Their Seed was esta­blished in their Sight, and their Offspring before their Eyes: Their Houses were safe from Fear, neither was the Rod of God upon them: They spent their Days in Wealth, and in a Moment went down to the Grave. Yea, one E­vent happened to all: He destroyed the Perfect and the Wicked; when the Scourge slew suddenly, he did laugh at the Trial of the Innocent. In the Place of Judgment Wic­kedness dwelt: Yea, there were just Men, to whom it happened according to the Work of the Wicked; A­gain, There were wicked Men, unto whom it happened ac­cording to the Work of the Righteous. No Man knew ei­ther Love, or Hatred, by all that was before him. The Wicked were buried, who had come and gone from the Place of the Holy. O golden Year of Jubilee! wherein every Thing is reduced to its proper Order; every Man re­warded according to his Work; the most hidden Things [Page 107] of Darkness are laid open: The Innocency of the Righ­teous, and the Perversness of the Wicked, are laid open, before all. All Things are in a right Order now. No more to be seen exalted Folly, or debased Wisdom: The histrionick Fancies of Riches, and titular Honours, are quite done away; Fools shall no more rule over the Wise. Heroick Spirits eternally possess the State of Prin­ces; and slavish Spirits are bound in everlasting Chains of Darkness. How doth the Equity of thy Proceedings ap­pear, O righteous God! What tho' monstrous Repro­bates roar out their horrid Blasphemies against thy spot­less Holiness? Thou art of purer Eyes, than to behold Iniquity; and wilt not at all acquit the Guilty. What Joy! to behold Truth vindicated from all the horrid A­spersions of Hellish Monsters. I'm over joy'd, in hearing the everlasting Howlings of the Haters of the Almighty; what a pleasent Melody are they in mine Ears? O eter­nal Hallelujahs to JEHOVAH & the LAMB! O sweet! sweet! My Heart is satisfied. We committed our Cause to thee, that judgest righteously; and behold, thou [...]ast fully pleaded our Cause, and shalt make the Smoke of their Torment for ever and ever to ascend in our Sight: For Righteous art Thou, O Lord, and just in all thy Ways. Cursed Creatures, your Consciences tell you the Equity of Jehovah's Ways. Are you not the Creatures, that banished God out of your Thoughts? And it is most equal you are banished eternally from the Presence of God, and the Glory of his Power; Being given up to a Reprobate Mind, hardned against your great Former and Preserver. Are you not all most worthy of divine Vengeance, who hate your Creator, and preferred your base selves before him; who in the Midst of his Bounty, when he gave you Abundance of created Enjoyments, con­temned and abhorred Him? Who are so desperately mad against that infinite Original of all Goodness, that tho' he should remove from you his just Punishments, and re­store unto you your former Enjoyments; yet should [Page 108] you stand out ungratefully against him? O horrid Mon­strosity! That which might be known of God, was ma­nifested unto you; For the invisible Things of him from the Creation of the World, were clearly seen, being under­stood by the Things which were made; even his eternal Power and Godhead: So that you were without Excuse; because that when you knew God, you glorified him not as God, neither were thankful: But became vain in your Imaginations, and your foolish Heart was darkned: Profes­sing your selves wise, ye became Fools, and worshipped, served and loved the Creature, more than the Creator, who is God blessed for evermore. Even your own selves be­ing Judges, vile Wretches, is not your Lot suitable to your abominable Nature, which shewed it self, in your Way of walking in Time? The Characters of a Deity were so written on your Heart, as it was impossible to can­cel them; yet ye sacrilegiously strove to eradicate such noble Draughts, written by the Finger of God, and ba­nished from your Minds the Thoughts of his Mercies, or Judgments: Self, and only Self, was the ultimate Centre of all your Designs and Projects: Whence you preferred the Enjoyment of Creatures, before that of the Alsufficient Creator; esteeming it a more desirable Lot, to live eter­nally in the Midst of earthly Riches, Honours and Plea­sures, than in an immediate Fellowship with God. And is it not most just, he remove these Enjoyments, you basely placed in his Room? Your own Glory was more de­signed by you than his; and should not he confound, and put to Shame the Nothing-beings, you adored, and set above him? What should he otherwise do unto you, mon­strous Wretches? Should he restore the Enjoyments you used against him? Should he cut you off to Nothing, who have desired to be his eternal Enemies, and would have essential Eternity destroyed? Did you not care to see his Cause and People debased? and is it not most just, you be Spectacles of Shame and Vileness, throughout Eter­nity? Would you be above the Most High? And should [Page 109] ye not ly under his Feet, while his Glory remains? Are you stated Enemies against him? And may not your Adversary use his Power against you, and tread you un­der his Feet, as you would do to him, if your Power did answer your monstrous, abominable Will? Do you curse him, and want a relenting Heart to acknowledge your Madness; And are so dreadfully hardned against him, that ye would despise and blaspheme Mercy, even Mercy offered unto you? And is it not most just, you continue for ever, in that most terrible Condition? No wonder your Consciences gnaw you so fearfully: You cannot but be dreadfully affrighted at your monstrous selves; God in his Equity having so wonderfully sharp­ned your Faculties, as that you are able to understand your own Wickedness most clearly and fully. Your Wickedness, in Time, was in its Bud, now it is at its Height; the Smell of Hell was upon you even then, but now you are so many black Lumps of Death and Hell, cast into the Lake of Fire. You were not afraid to speak irreverently of him; now you directly (O monstrous Madness!) curse him to his very Face. The Sentence is now fully accomplished, To him that hath, shall be gi­ven; and from him that hath not, shall be taken a­way, even that which he hath. Did you hate the lovely Image of God? And is it not most just, the Remainders thereof, you had on Earth, be quite abolished? Some Loveliness, some Excellency you are endowed with, through the Creator's Bounty: Now you are stript of all, and are nothing but vile Lumps of Deformity. Your Torments on Earth might have raised Compassion in the Hearts of Fellow-Creatures, but now your Malice and De­formity is so monstrous, as you cannot become Objects of Compassion: No, the beholding of the Smoke of your Torment is a passing Delectation. O my GOD, Thou art holy in all thy Ways, and righteous in all thy Works: Thou art not the Cause of their everlasting Ruine, tho' they blasphemously father it upon thee. Cur­sed [Page 110] Wretches, who hath turned your Hearts against God? Hath he turned them against himself? This is repugnant. Or, was he obliged to hinder your Rebellion; or to turn your Minds again towards him, when you fought against him, with all your Strength, Soul and Mind.

46. Sovereignty the first Mover of all Things.

How gloriously doth thine absolute Sovereignty shine forth in all thy Ways? Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive Glory, and Honour and Power; For thou hast created all Things, and for thy Pleasure they are and were created. Because, so it pleased thee, will abundantly answer all Questions concerning thy Proceedings. Why are we here such and such by Name? Because so it pleased thee. We, that are praising thee, might have been thine eternal Blasphemers; and those who are cursing thee, might have been thine eternal Praisers; But absolute Sovereign­ty would have it otherwise. That all Things are thus, is because of thy free Will: These Creatures might have been in another State; or others in their Room, or none at all; if so it had pleased thee. All the external Lots, in Time, the most contingent Things, were eternal Draughts of absolute Sovereignty. Is not the eternal Resound of our endless Songs, Not unto us, not unto us, but unto Thee, O absolute Sovereign of all Things, be the Glory forever! Wicked Men & Devils have mightily endeavoured, to ob­scure the Glory of thy absolute Sovereignty, by ascribing undetermined and absolute Sovereignty to intellectual Agents over their Actions: Stupid Madness! Are not all Things at thy Beck? Whatever pleased thee, hast thou done, in Heaven and on Earth: The Hearts of Men are in thine Hands, as the Rivers of Waters, thou turnest them whither soever thou wilt. Thou removest the Mountains, and they know it not; Thou overturnest them in thine Anger; thou takest away the Heart of the Chief of the People of the Earth, they grope in the Dark without Light: Tho' thou art not the Cause of such a Monster [Page 111] as Sin; yet, Sin could never have entred within thy Creation, without thy infinite Counsel: Its Existency, or not Existency was at thy Disposing; for Thou wilt have Mercy on whom thou wilt have Mercy; and whom thou wilt, thou hardnest. Hast thou not Powet over the same Lump, O great Potter, to make of it any Vessel thou pleasest, either of Honour or Dishonour? Mayest thou not do, in thine own Things, what thou wilt? Blasphe­mous Miscreants, your Blasphemies redound to his Glory; for this were you created, that his absolute Sovereignty might be clearly manifested over you, the Vessels of Wrath fitted to Destruction: And that Sovereignty is cast in Justice-mould; So that ye most deservedly undergo eternal Wrath: He shall have eternal Glory over you, O Haters of his Glory! These Beings of yours are so many ever-standing Monuments of his ravishing Perfections. O the Depths of the Riches, both of thy Wisdom and Know­ledge! How unsearchable are thy Judgments, and thy Ways past finding out? For who hath known thy Mind? Or who hath been thy Counsellor? For of thee, and thro' thee, and to thee are all Things. Here is my Heart satisfied; since the Disputers of thy Ways are eternally confoun­ded. Rore out now your Blasphemies, vile Creatures; you are indeed in your Enemy's Hand, Divine Justice hath o­vertaken you. Every Billow of Vengeance, that runs over Soul and Body, might dash to nothing ten Thousand Worlds; But he holds you up with one Hand, and dashes on with the other. Strong Influences, for sustaining a Being, are ever shower'd down upon you. Why strive you against him, silly Bits of Nothings? For He gives not Account of any of his Matters: Far be it from him, that he should do wickedly; for the Work of a Man is rewarded unto him. For He layeth not upon a Man more than right, that he should enter into Judgment with him. Can a Creature be more just than God? Can a Creature be more pure than his Maker? Behold, He putteth no Trust in his Servants, and his Angels he chargeth with [Page 112] Folly: Behold, he taketh away, and none can hinder. Who may say unto him, What dost thou? Can we by Searching find out him? Can we find out the Almighty unto Per­fection? Shall Creatures shape thee out, according to their finite Conceptions? Shall they think to compre­hend thy Ways? Art thou not altogether wonderful in thy Working, O Infinite? What comprehendeth infinite Excellency, except an infinite Understanding? Shall we not be ever diving further and further, and ever a begin­ning to dive? Wert thou, and thy Goings out from Eter­nity, comprehensible by us, then wert thou not GOD, the infinite JEHOVAH: Thou dwellest in Light, which no Man can approach unto; Thou art he, whom no Man hath seen, or can see. Can we stoop low enough before thy Throne? What are Beings of Yesterday to thee? What are never so many Worlds before thee? Shall emp­ty Nothings quarrel at what they cannot comprehend? Thy Tho'ts are not as our Tho'ts, neither are thy Ways as our Ways. Who hath directed thy Spirit? or, being thy Counsellor, hath taught thee? Who instructed thee, and taught thee in the Path of Judgment? Behold, all Crea­tures are before thee as nothing, less than nothing, and Vanity. O boundless Ocean of all Perfections! We are forever swallowed up in thy infinite Fulness. O Super-abundancy of all Happiness and Joys! O more than per­fect Satisfaction, in the full Accomplishment of all Desires! O more than Sweetness, surpassing all Sweetness! O Hea­ven! O Glory! how massie, solid, real, substantial and enduring art Thou? O only Life: O Marrow, Flower and Vigour of all Lives! O Life of Beholding, Praising, Rejoicing, Wondering! O Life of Ravishments? O Life of Living! O Life of Lives!

47. A World of free redeeming Grace, the most ex­cellent World possible.

What speak we, Men and Angels, of the Limits of divine Power? What talk we of his manifesting his Ex­cellency [Page 113] in one, or many, or innumerable Worlds? Is it not manifested to the uttermost? The Production of never so many Armies of Creatures can add nothing thereto: Since the Manifestation of God in the Flesh is the principal Design of Eternity; And all other Manifestations are in order to this. There stands One among us all who is the First-born of every Creature existent, or possible: Here is the Man, in whom is visible to be seen, such Glo­ry, Majesty, Loveliness, Sweetness, Compassion, Mercy, Justice, Wisdom, and all Treasures of overflowing Fulness of Excellency, in such an incomprehensible, transcendent eminent and superabundant Manner, as all the Beholders are overwhelmed in a Sea of delightsom Ravishments for evermore. Couldst thou, O my God, manifested thy self more clearly, familiarly, sweetly, condescendingly? Away with other Worlds, tho' they were; this is the only one, since my all-lovely WELBELOVED dwells here. Thy Beauty, my fair One, darts round about thee, and fills this World with passing Glory; yea, were this World Myriads of Myriads of Stages, and never so many Times greater than it is, one Ray of thy Countenance, one Glance of thine Eye, would enlighten and adorn it all. What tho' we could view and comprehend at once Thousands of Thousands of created Paradises of Beauty? one Sight of thy God-like Visage would swallow up all. Angels, had you such a sweet Manifestation of Divine Beau­ty in the Beginning, as now! Is not our Heaven now two Heavens? Since the essential Image of God standeth here, clothed with the humane Nature, as our everlast­ing King, Priest and Prophet, the great Lord Mediator of the new Covenant, the boundless Treasure of all Ful­ness, out of which we shall all be filled and satiate for evermore. Are we not, as it were, constrained betwixt standing back, and drawing near? Those who behold thee, what can they think of themselves? Yet, who can see, and take Rest until they be folded in thy ravishing Embraces? Verily thou art both the Shame and Glory of [Page 114] Creatures: Created Excellency is exalted in thee, to the highest Pitch; and all created Excellency is beautified and obscured before thee. This is the MAN (Men and An­gels) by whom all Things in Heaven and Earth do flou­rish and bloom: This is the Tree of Life, the great Vine of Glory, into which we are all ingrafted, as so many Boughs and Twigs: All the Glory of his Father's House hangs upon him; the Offspring and the Issue, as so many Chips & Pieces, darting out from him. This is he, in whom we have been ordained to this Blessedness from E­ternity: This is he, who was promised to the People, under the first Dispensation of the Gospel; who was held forth by Types and Shadows unto them: This is he, by whom the carnal and beggarly Elements of the World were destroyed; the clear, evident Gospel-Dispensation was brought in; the Hand-writing of the Law cancelled; the Vail betwixt Jew and Gentile was rent asunder; the Nations were ingrafted into the old Stock of the peculiar People; the abstruse Secrets of Eternity were opened; the Kingdoms were shaken, the Princes of the Earth were set up, and pulled down; the Church was preserved, and flourished, in Despight of all the World. This is the Man, who wounded the Heads over many Countries; who trode the Wine-press alone, and trampled the People in his Fury, until all his Raiment was stained with Blood. This is he, whose Name is called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Al­mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace: Of the Increase of his Government and Peace there is no End. This is the Stone cut out without Hands▪ which smote all the Power, Strength and Might of Kingdoms, Nations and Languages: And lo, all Principalities, and Thrones, & Powers, and Dominions are broken to Pieces together, and become like the Chaff of the Summer Thre­shing-Floor, that the Wind hath carried away. And be­hold, this Stone, which hath smitten to nothing all transi­tory Glory, is become exceeding great, & filleth all in all. This is he, whom nothing could overcome: He entred [Page 115] the Lists with Death and Hell, and gave them an eternal Foil; So that they ly under his Feet, & the Feet of his Chosen, for ever and ever. Could Ten thousand Deaths overcome Him? Were not Devils & wicked Men Fools, that imagined to bind him with any Ties? What would Chains greater than many Worlds; What would infinite Numbers of Mountains of Brass, be to hold him down, that he rise not again? How did this Lion of the Tribe of Judah, rouse himself from the Sleep of Death, like a mighty Man after Wine; & made Heaven & Earth, and all to quake? Who but the Standard-bearer among Ten thousand; Who, but the Prince of the Kings of the Earth; Who but the mighty Captain of the Lord's Hosts, could have done so valiantly? Thou only hast done heroically, O Welbeloved. You little Heroes of Time, your Magnanimity and heroick Acts vanish here; Even tho' ye had done all you did, in your own Strength, and not by his: What tho' you subdued Kingdoms, wrought Righteousness, stopped the Mouths of Lions, quenched the Violence of Fire, through Weakness became strong, put to Flight the Armies of the Aliens? All these were done thro' Faith in him. Yet, what have ye done? Could you have trode the Wine-press alone, and drunk the Cup of the Wrath of the Almighty, from Brim to Bot­tom? Could you have stood in the Gap, when infinite, eternal Vengeance, like a mighty Flood, was rushing in, upon rebellious Mankind? Who else could have turned back the mighty Current of such Floods of Wrath, and pacified offended Majesty, bringing Rebels to stoop, and be received into Mercy and Favour again? Who other could have given Hell such a Blow, as it shall never be able to rise; and raised Men and Angels to such a Pitch, as that they shall never fall? Who other could have led Captivity captive, and purchased Gifts for Men, even for the Rebellious? Who other could have opened the Gates of this celestial Paradise, shut upon base, ungrate Man; and exalted him, by thousands of Stages, to more Glory, & Ex­cellency, [Page 116] than he fell from? Thou art All in all, thou art Marrowless, O WELBELOVED! No more Comparisons betwixt Thee & Creatures. Hide your selves, and be con­founded, all lower Excellencies: Be ye silent, all Crea­tures, when he begins to speak; cover your Faces, all you little Glories and Beauties, when he doth shew his Face: You are nothing, you are Vanity, compared to him; He is all Things. Verily in him dwells all Ful­ness. Thou art not, O Heaven of Heavens, worthy to be a Foot-stool for his glorious Feet. Infinite Worlds, erected above one another, were low for him to tread upon. What are you, Men and Angels, that you should thus stand be­side him; That you should set your Head within that World he is pleased to dwell in? Did he not wonder­fully condescend, you might run out without the very Creation? What is our Strength and Beauty? On whose Legs do we stand? Are we able, for one Moment, to per­severe in our Integrity without him. Should we not all become deformed, and fall a-sinning, did he draw in to himself what he darts forth? How is this Paradise of God planted with goodly Trees, blossoming and flouri­shing with an eternal Verdure? But, did they not receive Sap and Life, and all, from this golden Branch of the Stem of Jesse; how in a Moment should their golden Blos­soms wither, their Fruit fall off, their Leaves decay, and their Root dry up? It is ten Heavens of Joy, O Welbe▪ loved, to know that thy Love is unchangeable, and that these that are united to thee by Faith in Time, and im­mediate Beholding in Eternity, shall never be disjoined from thee, but shall ever remain close locked in the Arms of eternal Love. What are your Thoughts, O ye Ransomed Ones, of this astonishing Dispensation? What an inconceivable Transportation is this; that any of the cur­sed Stock of Mankind should be adopted Co-heirs with the essential Heir of all Things! Of him are we in Christ Je­sus, who of God is made unto us Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification, Redemption, and all. Thousand Times [Page 117] blessed Counsel of Eternity! that chose us in him before the Foundation of the World; having predestinated us unto the Adoption of Children by Jesus Christ unto him­self, according to the good Pleasure of his Will, to the Praise of the Glory of his Grace; wherein he hath made us accepted in the Beloved: Having made known unto us the Mystery of his Will, according to his good Pleasure, which he had purposed in himself; that in the Dispensa­tion of the Fulness of Time, he might gather together in one all Things, in Christ, both which are in Heaven, and which are on Earth. It was not thy Purpose, Dread Sove­reign, that any should inherit Glory, through their own Obedience: A World of Working was but for a Time that this of altogether free Grace might shine forth more gloriously. Free Grace's Banner is the only Pavilion, we should for ever abide under. How greatly did the Devil befool himself, in endeavouring to obscure the Glo­ry of his Maker, by the Rebellion of Man? Was he not herein an Instrument in the Hand of the great Sovereign, whereby He made Way for his chief and only Purpose? What should our Blessedness have been, to what now it is, if we had wanted thee, O EMMANUEL, the Man of God's right Hand, the very Breath of our Nostrils? Our eternal Songs should not have been so melodious; the Praises of free redeeming Grace should not have been heard here: Glory to the Lamb, that was slain, and lives for ever, should never have been sung. No Worlds to this World! No Happiness to this Happiness! This is the Flower and Top of all possible Dispensations! Here is a Confluence of innumerable Providences, that shall never be comprehended. Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful Works, which thou hast done; and thy Thoughts which are to us-ward, they cannot be reckoned up in Order to thee. How evidently do I now see, that thy Love passeth all Understanding; that thy Ways are in­numerable, and thy Thoughts unsearchable? My Eyes are eternally fixed upon thee, O Flower of all Beauty and [Page 118] Loveliness; thou art the Centre whereto all Desirableness and Excellency betakes itself: In beholding thee, I be­hold all Things. Art thou not Love, discovered to the Full? Mercy manifested, in its highest Perfection? Judg­ment and Righteousness visibly, in its full Splendor? What have we, which is not in thee? And what can Crea­tures want, which is not in thee? Shall we not, O En­joyers, be satiate, beautified, ravished, blessed, for evermore, with that infinite Fulness of all Excellency, which dwells in him? We behold, to the Full, thy Glory, as the Glory of the only begotten Son of the Father, full of Grace and Truth: And of thy Fulness have we all received, and Grace for Grace. We have received thy Testimony, have set to our Seal that God is true; That thou, whom he sent into the World, speakest the Things of God: For He giveth not the Spirit by Measure unto thee. O how great is the Mystery of Godliness, God manifested in the Flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of Angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the World, received up into Glory! If this was wonderful in Time, is it not ten thousand Times more now, when the bright Day of Eternity hath broken up? If a Sight of this, by Faith, was ravi­shing; am I not now passed all the Limits of such Moti­ons? O this Frame! O Glory, Glory! thou art massie indeed!

48. The Work of Salvation, a never-enough admired Draught, and all drawn through the Channel of Exigencies.

Immortality, Glory, Praise, and Dominion to the High­est, that ever it pleased Him, thus to communicate himself to Men and Angels; That ever he purposed in himself to give unto us the eternal Son of his Delights, as our ever­lasting Days-Man, Redeemer, Husband, Head, Lord, and all Things. To have enjoyed thee, according to the first Dispensation, had been unspeakable Happiness; but to be chosen in Christ, is overflowing Happiness! O! were we predestinate to be conformed to the Image of the [Page 119] Son, which in Time was begun, and now is perfected? Any Tincture of thee, O Welbeloved, any Perfume of thy Garments, is passing glorious and excellent. O then, thousand Times blessed I! who am clothed with the Robes of thy Righteousness, the Garments of thy Beauty; who am satiate with thy Likeness, filled with thy Sweet­ness, adorned with thy Loveliness, decked with thy ra­vishing Graces. I am like thee, I am like thee! Here is all my Happiness. This, thy ravishing Image, was be­g [...]n in me, in Time; and now thou hast brought it to the high Bloom and Perfection. What passing Joys! to think how thou hast made me grow up, from my Childhood, to this manly Constitution: How hast thou been making me grow up until thou transplantedst me from thy lower Garden of Grace, to thy higher Paradise of Glory! Once I was a small Shrub, scarce discernable from the base Thorns and Briers, that overgrew the Earth: But now I am thro' thy infinite Excellency, a mighty and flou­rishing Cedar, in this higher Lebanon. Strange! now, thou hast brought me to this glorious Condition; and still from lesser to greater, until I have arrived at Per­fection! Is it not most evident, that the Path of the Just is as the shining Light, that shineth more and more, until the perfect Day? Tho' our Beginning was small, yet our latter End is greatly increased: Our Beginning was full of Ignorance and Infirmity; now our Age is clearer than the Noon-day. We shine forth as the Morning! Thou hast brought forth our Righteousness as the Light, and our Judgment as the Noon-day. And thus hath been thy Way, in all thy Proceedings. How small was thy Church in the Beginning? How few in Number among the numerous Multitude of Mankind? Yet, how didst thou increase and multiply her, as the Sand in the Sea-shore, in Despite of Devils and wicked Men? And appearedst thou not, O Welbeloved, as a small Stone, cut out without Hands? And yet hast become great and filled all. Thou shewedst thy self, at thy first Manifestation in the Flesh, unto the [Page 120] Sons of Men, in the Form of a Servant; So that thou waft of no Reputation in the Eyes of a stupid World, who are only affected with external Shews: How didst thou make thy Gospel to go through the World, without any earth­ly Pomp or Observation? So that the wise Men of the World, for a long Time, did little notice it; yet, did thy Name break forth before all Nations: The whole World spake of thy Glory. It had been a light Thing, that thou shouldst only have raised up the Tribes of Jacob; but thy God did also give thee for a Light to the Gentiles, that thou mightst be his Salvation unto the Ends of the Earth. When Darkness did cover the Earth, and gross Darkness the People, thou filledst them with thy Glory, and madest the Place of thy Feet glorious: For the LORD sent the Rod of thy Strength out of Zion, and caused thee to rule in the Midst of thine Enemies, and made thy People willing in the Day of thy Power; and at thy right Hand did strike through Kings in the Day of his Wrath: Thou judged a­mong the Heathen; Thou filled the Places with the dead Bodies; Thou woundedst the Heads over many Countries. How vain hath the Judgment of Worldlings proved, who despised the Seeds of Glory, sown in the Hearts of the Chosen? They considered not the Noon-day Brightness, succeeding the Dawning. Fools! were only taken with what filled the external Senses: Transitory Glory was a dying Blaze. It is gone, eternally gone! The Bastard's Portion did flourish, and seem to eclipse the Childrens for a Moment; because it was then the Bastard's Harvest, but the Children's Seed time: Because thou wouldst shew thou couldst lead thy Chosen, in their weak and childish Estate, into this Kingdom through Fighting, and Wrestling, and great Opposition of all Kinds: Whereby our eternal Song is drawn up higher, in exalting thy Wonderful Provi­dence, in bringing us to Glory. What astonishing Things do I behold, concerning my Pilgrimage, which then I could not perceive! O Time! Time! thou fills Eternity with Admiration. Wonderful! thou brought us not [Page 121] hither at the first Production of our Beings: And was an Inch of Time a Prelude to Eternity? Did a Moment's Fighting usher in an eternal Triumphing? A Life of Faith, a Life of Beholding? A small Intercourse by Let­ters and Love-tokens, an eternal, full, and naked Enjoy­ment? O wonderful! O sweet Dispensation! O pleasant Conspiration of divers Providences, and all linked toge­ther in the most comely Order! What an excellent Con­nection, between Time and Eternity? What Joy, to be viewing them both at once, and comparing them toge­ther? It is wonderful! to consider the Difference betwixt the Workings of thy Spirit upon me now, and then, toge­ther! Was it not the Day-star, that arose then in my Heart? Now all is fully illuminated. I am placed under the full Rays of thy Glory. How is this Being of mine filled with thy Divine Nature? All is perfected! O my elevated Faculties! All my Accomplishments in Time, are so perfected, as they are swallowed up; And so may be said to be done away, as a small Drop, by the Approach of a vast Ocean. What higher Happiness, than thus to resemble thee, O Fulness of all Happiness! O everflou­rishing Estate of Joys! Every Moment is a golden Life, every Day is ten thousand Heavens of Blessedness.

49. Our Blessedness, one eternal Act of Marrying, Feasting, Triumphing, Solacing in the Bed of Love.

This is the Day of our King's Espousals, and the Day of the Gladness of his Heart: This is the Day we longed, prayed, sighed, weeped and wrestled for. And may not every Minute obliterate Millions of Millions of Ages of Sorrow and tormenting Labour? This is the Day wherein it is ever Morn, ever Noon-day; but never a declining Shade. You Sorrows, you Griefs, you Labours, you can­not enter this thrice blessed Day of Eternity! It is our Marriage-Day, the Day of the Gladness of our Hearts. No Nights, Weeks, Months, or Ages; all is after the same. Eternity is but one Day; the Day of the great [Page 122] Consummation of the Match betwixt our glorious Bride­groom and us. In Time we were betrothed unto him, by the Mediation of his Ambassadors, and there passed Love-tokens as a Seal of the Willingness of Parties, and such were sufficient until the full Accomplishment. Now, O Now! are we met together, in this majestick Marriage-hall of Glory, prepared for the Solemnizing of this eter­nal Marriage. All are now in the Marriage-robes. At­tendants of the Bridegroom, you are majestickly arrayed, as it well becomes the Ministers of so magnificent a Prince. O how doth the Father of the Prince, the Bridegroom, appear in his Glory, and Majesty! What wonderful Ma­nifestations of JEHOVAH are here? and how is the BRIDEGROOM adorned? O my Head and Husband! How hast thou arrayed thyself in thy royal and gorgeous Apparel? Thou appearest indeed like a Prince, in his Marriage-day! O but thy Raiment is far changed! Thou hast cast from Thee the base Garb of Mortality, that in a great Part obscured thy matchless Glory and Loveliness, and hast decked thy Self with ravishing Divine Majesty and Loveliness, as with a Garment. Thou sought and wooed thy Bride in a low and contemptible Equipage; Thou madest it known thou couldst draw Hearts to Thee in the most low and despicable Condition: It would not have been so wonderful, if thou hadst allured, and gained Consent, appearing in thy royal and majestick Estate. But here is the Wonder! yet, no Wonder: Since Lowness, Weakness, Shame and Contempt, cannot but change their Nature, and become Exaltation, Vigour, Glory and Re­nown; if once Thou assume them. But now, Thou art altogether gloriously arrayed, sutable to the Person and the Day. O the Beauty! O the ravishing Perfume of thine Apparel! All thy Garments smell of Myrrhe, Aloes & Cas­sia, out of the Ivory Palaces, whereby they have made thee glad. The very Perfume of his Raiment is two Hea­vens! What Sweetness then, to stand within the Place filled with such ravishing Fragrancy. But O! to be ever thus, [Page 123] in an eternal Act of Marrying, Espousing, Embracing, Kissing, and full Communications of Love, is ten thousand Lives of Satisfaction, ten thousand Worlds of perfect Blessedness, all beaten in one Mass. Who but CHRIST, and US! How hath he arrayed us, according to his Grandeur and Excellency? All is embroidered with Gold and Gems; every Diamond, every Rubie, every Sapphire transcends, by innumerable Stages, the Sun of the lower World, shining in his Strength. And doth not this great ALL appear in joyful Apparel, as befitting the Es­pousals of so glorious a COUPLE? All Things dance and sound forth melodiously, our Epithalamium. What a Life is this? ever to be Marrying! ever to be at the Marriage-Feast! ever to be entring the Bed of Love! This Feast is furnished with all Delights, it ravishes every Moment, and throughout all Eternity! O what Variety! O what Efficacy in every Delicate! Every one doth forever satiate: and yet Delights are ever renewed! This Land is nothing but a Table furnished with all A­bundance of Fruits always. All Milk, all Spices, all Delights, every where superabound eternally. And in what a ravishing Manner art thou ever inviting! Eat, O Friends, drink yea drink abundantly, O Beloved: Drink and drink again, and forever drink. This is a Day of Gladness and Rejoicing; this is the Day of the Accom­plishment of all our Desires. The POMP of this Day is glorious indeed! Verily, my GOD, Thou hast made us as happy as can be! This Dispensation transcends in­conceivably all other! This Delight and Love is ever blooming and green! O this sweet and delightsom Bed of Love! One Sight and Smell of it, afar off, is ravishing. How is it all strewed over with ever-flourishing, and o­verflowing Roses and Lilies; with infinite Kinds of odo­riferous and beautiful Flowers of infinite Virtues? All my Faculties are filled, and overfilled with all Manner of Delights and Sweetness! Is not this Wine of Glory, O Enjoyers, of wonderful Efficacy? who can endure to [Page 124] pull the Cup from the Mouth? and yet every Draught doth satiate to the full. And is it not endowed with all possible Vertues? Do not its Spirits fill all the Faculties and Powers with an immortal Vigour; an unspeakable Sweetness, and surpassing Joys? Great Things hast thou prepared, O WELBELOVED, far above all our Concep­tions! What shall be my never-ending Exercise, but to be satiate and ravished with thine uncreated Sweetness? If my Closing with Thee, tho' absent, was passing joy­ful, how shall I now rejoice, and exult, in solemnizing the BARGAIN, in satiating my self for ever with fully-manifested LOVES, in this Bed of Love? The Wooing-time seemed small and inconsiderable; O the Marriage is wonderfully glorious and excellent! What esteemed a base World of thy great Call, when thou sent thine Am­bassadors to call them unto this everlasting Supper? How did they slight such an astonishing Dispensation, as a well-invented Fancy, and turned themselves wholly to their Earthly Enjoyments, as being the only real Things, which affected their brutish Minds? Do you not now see your desperate Madness, O vile Worldlings? Is not your Ap­prehension wonderfully changed? Did you slight the sweet Invitations of the Almighty, to such boundless Happiness? Well, you shall never taste it, through all Eternity. You have gotten your Choice, a momentany Enjoyment of Earth have you received: This boundless Joy you never cared for. If you have done wisely, re­joice therein throughout Eternity. O happy I! that ever I gave up my Name into the Number of thy espou­sed Ones! That ever Thou inclined my Heart to take Thee, for my Lord, Head and Husband! O blessed Choice! thousand Times blessed Choice! Had I known in Time, how happy a Bargain I had made, should I not have been overjoyed unto the Death? And was there such Difficulty, to get the Children of Men to say, Amen, to such an advantagious Bargain? Didst Thou knock, and knock again, O Welbeloved, at the Doors of our [Page 125] Hearts, before we would heartily accept? didst Thou ar­gument, beseech, threaten and weep for a Consent? Who would have thought, but one serious Invitation had been enough for all Mankind! O blockish Mortality! O stupid brutish Madness! Thou hast not Cause here to exalt thy self, O empty Self, who despised, and overlooked, so much this glorious Match: Who stood more out against these glorious Offers? Didst thou not play fast and loose with JESUS, as all others? When He saw, he could not prevail with thee, more than others, (all Mankind being alike in their Orignal) He put in his Hand by the Hole of the Door, and then caused thy Bowels be moved for him: He filled thine Heart, ere ever thou wast aware, with his overcoming Love and Sweetness. Thou wast hearing the Sound of this Gospel in a dead and natural Way, but he breathed upon all thy Faculties, and said unto thee, Live; and thou arose from the Dead, and heard, and saw Wonders in the Gospel, that blind stupid World­lings could never perceive. Had he suffered thee to follow thy natural Inclinations, thou hadst marched on, to end­less Destruction, contrary to all his loving Invitations. Nay, but since from Eternity he had chosen thee, of his own good Pleasure, out of the Mass of Mankind, He could not but manifest his Love to thee, in Time, in a special Manner; and therefore he past from Intreaty, to Ravish­ments, and drew thee with such strong Cords of Love, that thou couldst not but yield. O my holy One, no Creature can resist thy overcoming Beauty: When thou dartest forth thy Love, all is set in a Flame; Hell and Death could not resist thee. Ever hast thou been drawing Sinners up to Heaven after thee, unto this great Marriage; and now we are all within the Bed of Love. Love! Nothing but ravishing Love! O what Looks of Love! Nothing but Kisses, but eternal Embraces! Men and Angels, is it pos­sible we can be more happy? What can Creatures have more? Is there any more sweet and lovely than the Chief of Ten thousand? Can there be any greater and nea­rer [Page 126] Fellowship with him than this? He is our Friend, our most intimate Friend; we speak with him Face to Face. Nay, He is our Brother, near of Blood unto us; we will kiss, eternally kiss, and shall not be ashamed. Nay, He is our Husband, One with us, as he is One with the Father, One in Nature, Spirit, Mind and Affections: He is ours, and we are his. O what great Communications of Love shall we eternally be filled with! Are you not chanting forth Marriage-Songs, O ye Angels? are ye not foe ever inventing Love-Songs of your matchless Bridegroom, O ye Saints? O thou whole Creation of God, art thou not in a smiling exulting Posture? And is not all this Glory and Blessedness the Object of your Grief and Sorrow, vile Miscreants? are you gnashing your Teeth, through Torment and Sorrow, and Envy, when the whole Creation claps its Hands, for exceeding Joy? Is it not most just, that you are the Curse and the Derision of all? You judged your selves unworthy of this bound­less Happiness, and are you not justly shut out from this joyful Marriage-Supper of the Lamb? No more crying, Come unto the Marriage: All is past and done, nothing to do; all Things continue in this very Condition they are in. O now, who but JEHOVAH and the LAMB! Who but the Lamb and his Spouse! who are now Masters of all, who are now the eternal Triumphers. Behold, Men and Angels, behold your King and Head, and Welbeloved, in his Robes-royal, with such a massie Diadem of Glory on his Majestick Head, as would crush in Pieces Ten thousand Myriads of Worlds: Every Ruby of his Crown transcends all Valuation; the Diamonds and Pearls for ever dazle the Eyes of the Beholders: All the Spectators are amazed & confounded; they sparkle and ray forth Beauty and Loveliness thro'­out all Generations. Is it possible you can restrain your Eyes, O Spectators! must not all your Faculties bend thither eternally? Who can express the Thoughts of his Heart? who can tell what he clearly beholds? who can [Page 127] behold enough what appears most evident? This is the SIGHT, the only Sight: What greater Happiness, O Prince of Glory, than to follow Thee, whithersover thou goest! What Glory, to run after thy Chariot, in this Day of thy Glory and Power! What Honour, to bear up thy Train, in this thy Marriage-Day! Follow thee! Could we but follow thee, tho' it were but through in­numerable Worlds! Never, never, shall we be disjoined from Thee. O strange World! O wonderful Estate, ever to be triumphing! ever to be marrying! ever to be solacing in the Paradise of Loves! ever to be riding in the Chariot of Honour! This Chariot is of the Wood of Lebanon, the Pillars thereof are of Silver, the Bottom of Gold, the Covering of Purple; the Midst thereof being paved with Love for the Daughters of Jerusalem. Is not this a Majestick Chariot, that contains such a great Com­pany of Kings and Priests? What a Life is this, thus to ride in the Chariot with the great King of Glory, whose Goings forth have been from Eternity! Is this the Honour of the Saints? Is this the Glory we heard, and spake so much of, on Earth? Is this the Ac­complishment of my Expectations? This is more than ever I could ask, or think; thus to triumph, in at the Gates of this golden City, up and down its golden Streets, along the Border of this pure River of living Water, overshadowed with this delightsom Tree of Life! O astonishing Exaltation! O silly I, art thou not highly exalted! It was much thou couldst expect this, but more thou can bear it. One Beam of thine infinite Excellen­cy, O my excellent Welbeloved, hath a wonderful Efficacy, that can render Dunghil Wretches of such sublime royal Spirits, as that they can carry, bravely, the highest Exaltation and Glory! Thou art worthy, O Flower of Excellency, thus for ever to ride glori­ously, and all thy redeemed Ones after Thee! Thou fought and overcame; and shall not all be crowned with immortal Glory and Honour, thou art pleased to [Page 128] cast thy Favour upon? Thou wooed and sought thy Bride through Labour, and Shame, and Pain, and Sor­row, and Death, tho' deformed and vile, slighting all the Manifestations of thine infinite Love; and shalt thou not deck and beautify her, and be delighted in her eternally? O this sweet, sweet Union & Communion! O the mutual Compellations of vehement and mutual Love! Nothing but, ‘O thy Fairness, thy Beauty! Be­hold, thou art fair, my Love; behold, thou art fair! Be­hold, Thou art fair, my Beloved! Thou art all fair my Love, there is no Spot in Thee! Thou hast ravi­shed my Heart, my Sister, my Spouse; thou hast ra­vished my Heart with one of thine Eyes, with one Chain of thy Neck! O the Fairness of thy Love, my Sister, my Spouse! The most rejoicing Liquors, the most refreshing Fragrancies, are nothing comparable thereunto! O thy honied Lips! O thy ravishing sweet Tongue, passing all Rivers of Sweetness! O thy Lebanon Garments! they smell like a Field, which the Lord hath blessed. I am my Beloved's, and my Beloved is mine; he feedeth among the Lilies. Come, my Beloved, let us enter the Bed of Loves, and eternally satiate our selves with overcoming Delights: O then, I will be satisfied with Love-kisses and Embraces! I will cause thee to drink of all my Delicacies: Thy Left-hand shall be eternally under mine Head, and thy Right-hand shall embrace me. I shall be for ever a Seal upon thine Arm, upon thine Heart. Strong bur­ning Love requires the nearest Enjoyment. O what a green and blooming Love is this! We are ravished with the Love of Espousals! thro'out Eternity, every Hour is the first Hour, every Enjoyment as the first Enjoy­ment! All is like the Lilies, Roses, Paradise-Flowers round about us, that laugh and smile with an immor­tal Verdure! Dance, and dance eternally, thou whole Creation of God; let the Manifestations of thy Joy be for ever manifested: Rejoice, even rejoice for ever, in [Page 129] these wonderful glorious ESPOUSALS of the LAMB; for upon every Part of Thee hath its Excellency an In­fluence. Had JEHOVAH so admirably adorned Thee, O thou Heaven of Heavens, were it not for the Glo­ry and Majesty of these everlasting Espousals? Would he have adorned thee with such glorious Mansions, if it had not been for the Glory and Delights of his Bride? Would the Mountains of Myrrhe and Frankincense been filled with such passing Ravishments; all the Gardens of Love with such Rarities of Beauties? Would the Walls, the Houses and Streets be made so wonderfully excellent and delightsom; were it not for the Honour and Delight of such a glorious COUPLE? Wouldst thou been renew­ed after so glorious a Manner, O thou lower World; were it not that thy Maker will have all to smile, and appear in a sweet, joyful and Marriage-apparel, in this Day of the boundless Joys of his Heart? O joyful Crea­tion of God! O my Heart, thou overflows with Ravish­ments! O Flower and Excellency of all Lives! O high­est Top of all Felicity! O boundless Oceans of eternal Ravishments!

50. The full Enjoyment of God, consists in the nearest mutual Conjunction.

O blessed Self, that rests so sweetly in the Arms of thy only WELBELOVED! Thy Head eternally lies in his Bosom: The Heat and Life arising from his flaming Heart, hath a Vertue, would cause Death and Sorrow to live and be cheerful. Hell and Devils, tho' I were in the Midst of you all, I could not fear you, who rest within these invincible Arms. You Flower and Excellency of all Creature-beauty and Loveliness, you could not allure me, to leave, for one Moment, this ravishing Repose. This was a Counterpoise in all thy Difficulties through the Valley of Tears: The Fore-thoughts of this, added Strength and Courage in all thy Faintings and Infirmi­ties: The Hope of this sweet Rest hath not been vain. [Page 130] Had I had suitable Apprehensions thereof, how valiant had I been for the Truth upon the Earth? How should I ever contended to the uttermost, for the smallest Things of my WELBELOVED? How should I raised up against me the Tongues and Opprobries of the most excellent Saints on Earth? How should I have been so couragious, and zealous for his Interests, as that I should have proved a Man of Contention, in the purest Times? The Threat­nings, Opprobries and Mockings of either Friend, or Foe, should have been Nothing regarded by me: But I should have so carried, that I should have scarce escaped capital Punishment, in the best of Times. How should I have acted to Admiration? How should I have run and fought, and fought and run, ever with Joy unspeakable and glori­ous? Can there be greater Blessedness, than to dwell within these Arms of Love; My Labour, my Grief, my Sorrow, hath been just nothing: One Moment's Repose in thy Bosom, sweetest Welbeloved, might swallow up Ten thousand Ages of all Labour, Pain and Sorrow. Now I need no more pray for Kisses; and I will also kiss, and be ever drawing Sweetness from these blessed Lips; for we shall never change this blessed Posture. No Need to charge any, That my Beloved be not provoked to arise till he please. I am overjoyed, that all Sinning and Vani­ty is done away, which did much separate us a sunder! O sweet, sweet, that thou hast made me pleasant and desi­rable in thine Eyes! What can I desire more, than that I am lovely and delightsome in the Eyes of my Lord the King? Rejoice and be glad, in what is thine own: Even rejoice over me with Singing, and rest in thy Love to­wards me. Drink and drink again of that Sweetness, wherewith thou hast filled me: Be delighted always with this Loveliness, I am Partaker of by thy Bounty and F [...] vour. Let mine Eyes for ever ravish thee, for ever da [...] forth Rays of Loveliness upon thee; and be satisfied with my Breasts at all Times. My Blessedness can be no grea­ter; Thou art mine, and thy Desire is towards me. Won­der, [Page 131] and be greatly amazed, O all Creatures, the eternal ONE, and Yesterday-beings are for ever in the mutual Delights of Love, in the ravishing Solaces of one another! Dive, and dive eternally, Men and Angels, you shall e­ver be infinitely from the furthermost of this Abyss of Wonders. Who can comprehend this Exaltation? Who can conceive this Condescendency? What think you, That GOD and Creatures converse so familiarly together! What think you, That he is our Brother, our Husband, One like us, One with us, One for us, One ravished with our Fellowship, for evermore! Who can show the Thoughts of his ravished Heart? Who can fully reflect on the astonished Apprehensions of his elevated Mind? Hast thou not shown, what infinite Power can do? How low infinite Love can stoop! How highly infinite Bounty can exalt; How wonderfully infinite Excellency can make beautiful and excellent! O my Faculties! you shall be ever filled with Astonishment: Ever satiated with his uncreated Sweetness! Can I suffer any Want in thy Bosom, O Fountain of Excellency? Shall I not be filled, whom am set down beside this Well of living Water, un­der the Boughs of the Tree of Life, whose delicious Fruits are ever falling upon me? I am satiate with thy Love, my fair One; some Glimpses thereof on Earth, were ravishing, wonderfully above what the Abundance of Corn and Wine could produce: The Report of thine Excellency and Glory filled the Heart, with passing Sweet­ness: Thy ravishing Emanations cannot be contained within this large Land: but had Influence upon the lower World, causing many of the Inhabitants to be deeply in Love with thee, whom they never saw; so that they re­nounced the Love of all Things for thee, strove exceeding­ly to be like thee, and please thee in all Things: Fought against all Opposition, endeavoured to the uttermost, for exalting thy Glory, and continued in a longing Frame, to behold thee Face to Face: And so remained faithful unto the Death. Thy Lovers are never satiate, till they [Page 132] have thee in their Arms: The Enjoyment of thee afar off is ravishing sweet, & cannot but cause the Beholder to run with all his Might, until he be at thee, even innected in thine eternal Embraces. O my Life, my Life! O sweet, sweet, sweet for evermore!

51. The Life of Glory, the only Life, that overtops all other Lives, and swallows them up.

All Creatures live according to the Capacity of their Being, but no Life to that which is Divine! The Animal Life is dead and dark, and without Efficacy and Beauty; the Intellectual is a low and base Thing: But this Life of Glory doth only excel all other Excellencies. All o­ther Lives are swallowed up here! That which is in Part, and imperfect, is done away, by that which is the Perfection of Excellency. O my Lovely One, thou art in­deed the Prince of Life! Thou art the Life of all the Inhabitants of this majestick City: Didst thou withdraw what thou hast communicated, should we not be so ma­ny Lumps of Death and Deformity? Thou art my ALL in all, my fair One! Thou art my Life, and Vigour of all my Joys and Desires. That divine Life, by which thou eternally livest, hast thou breathed into me; so that I am become inconceivably above a living Soul, or an in­tellectual Creature: This noble divine Life didst thou communicate unto me, in my dead and sensual Condition, but in a small Measure, that it was much obscured by Sin and Corruption; then being the Time of Childhood and Wrestling: But how hath it grown more & more, until it hath overtoped, and swallowed up all other Lives; so that now I am filled with all thy Fulness? Even thy Na­ture, thine Image, thine Excellency hast thou fully im­pressed upon me: So that, as thou art, so am I. O secure Estate! I Christ is my Life; is not then my Life eternal? My Life lies in the Fountain; and shall it not be ever in its Vigour and full Strength? Other Lives are like small Drops, separated from the Ocean, and may vanish: How [Page 133] soon did animal, rational and intellectual Lives fall from their native Constitution? Nothing permanent, which is not Divine; nothing everlasting, which lies not immedi­ately without the Mixture of Creature-imperfections; The nearer thee, the safer; the further off thee, the more dangerous; to be quite cut off from thee, is perfect and only Misery. Cursed Men and Angels have no other In­fluence from the Fountain, but that which conserves their natural Beings, in their natural Operations. O Welbelo­ved, not only in thee do I live, move and have my Being, but thou art my All in all! I am filled with all thy Ful­ness. O my Life, my Life! Do I not live for ever­more?

52. No Necessity of Creatures in Heaven: Jehovah is eminently all Things.

All Things are swallowed up in thine infinite Excellen­cy! Created Enjoyments are cried down, Times and Days are for ever fled away: All Things are immediate­ly subjected to JEHOVAH, even the SON himself. All Rule, all Authority is put down; no Subordinations a­mong Creatures; one Thing stands not in Need of ano­ther; every Thing would be, as it is, tho' all other Creatures were done away: All flourish by the immedi­ate Rays of the Sun of Righteousness; GOD doth main­tain all Creatures without the Concurrence of Creatures: No Connections of second Causes, no Dependencies of one Creature upon another: Nature's World is quite a­bolished; the Conditions of Beings are altogether chan­ged: Yet, in how sweet an Order do all Things agree? All are independent; yet, all conspire in one; the Bond of Love betwixt all, is strong and immortal; the mu­tual Aspects of all are pleasant, and superabounding, in Beings accomplished, every one in their own Measure, immediately from the Original of all Perfections. You Creature beauties, the full Emanations of your Loveli­ness and Sweetness are ever darted upon me with Delight; [Page 134] yet, am I happy to the uttermost, whether I enjoy you, or not: Time was when I could not well have wanted you; But now, whether I enjoy you, or not, I am ever the same; being filled and satiate with his eternal Sweetness: You are the Adornments, Outfields and Pendicles to my great Inheritance, and no Addition thereunto. And art thou, O my GOD, become All unto me? The Want of all my temporal Enjoyments is a Gain, that cannot be told! How have I been vexed, and wearied, with being occupied about vain, empty, unsatisfying Nothings; So that I was glad of a borrowed Vision of thee, of a re­flex Manifestation of thy Glory and Excellency; and was so covered over with Shadows, that I could neither order right Expressions, nor Conceptions, because of Darkness. How oft have I bemoaned, ‘When shall the Day dawn, and the Shadows fly away that I may be filled im­mediately with his Glory? This Sight of his Beauty, this Taste of his Sweetness is tormenting, as well as de­lightsom: I cannot rest, until I get full Enjoyment: Still I would have more and more of GOD, until I be filled with all his Fulness: But Oh! I cannot; Ten thousand Things stand in betwixt me and him, through this earthly and sinful Estate; so that I am oftimes so confused and disordered, that I can desire nothing at all: How doth this poor Life depend every Moment, on ten thousand Things? Here am I diverted, through Mortality, by every Thing that comes in my Way; in­numerable Creatures having a commanding, diverting Influence over me: Must I be ever sleeping, eating, drinking, conversing in this and that Trifle? Must I draw Consolations from this, and the other, and the third Creature; and have a Fellowship with my GOD, by Benefit of Means and Ordinances, which ever have the Tincture and Savour of Imperfection? And are not the Conduits oftimes so corrupt, as that they imbitter my Enjoyments? And are they not so stopt, as that I am almost dead son Want? How am I drawn aside [Page 135] hither and thither; this feeble Flesh being apt to receive new Impressions, every Moment, from every Thing that comes in the Way! And how vexing are all these Enjoyments, tho' most necessary? What a nauseating Round do I run, ever tossing the same Stone? That which hath been, is that which shall be, and there is no new Thing under the Sun. What Profit hath a Man of all his Labour? For tho' the Eye is not satisfied with Seeing, nor the Ear with Hearing, so that new Enjoy­ments are ever required; yet, must the same Things be run over, and over again: And what might seem more excellent, than by the serious Search and Study of Things, to have the Heart filled with great Experience of Wisdom and Knowledge? Yet, I perceive, that this also is Vanity and Vexation of Spirit; for in much Wis­dom, is much Grief; and he that increaseth Knowledge, increaseth Sorrow. Run fast, O Time, and Days, that this World may be cried down for ever, and God may become All in all. Silly Worldlings desire to have these Enjoyments eternally; because they know no bet­ter: Something the Faculties must be exercised with, tho' with vexing Vanity. O but I have a Sight of the only satisfying Object! O to have all these out of the Way! Were it not thy good Pleasure I should conti­nue thus for a Time, I could not but die through long­ing for the immediate Vision of God. Scattered Streams, and Drops are become bitter; When shall I enter, Bo­dy and Soul, into the Ocean, and be filled, and swal­lowed up for ever and ever? When shall I receive the direct Rays of all Excellency from the Sun of Righte­ousess; no Clouds intervening throughout Eternity?’ O Flower of all Blessedness! O golden Life of all my Desires! I am past from the Light of the Sun, and of the Moon; I am past from the necessary Help of Shadows, and Nothings. The LORD JEHOVA His my only Strength, and Light, and Life, and Joy, and Song, and all Things. Is it not sweet living thus, in the immediate Presence of [Page 136] Jehovah and the Lamb? O Emmanuel's World, thou art an excellent Habitation! How sweetly and commodious­ly art thou situate, directly against the SUN, and ORI­GINAL of all Light, and Life, and Joy, and Sweetness? Who can but be lively and joyful here? Indeed, this is the smiling World, the rosy, and sunny Side of the Creation. What more can be said of my overflowing Happiness, than that I am here for evermore?

53. Glory is an eternally blooming Thing.

Is not the Fountain of Life deep? Men and Angels, is it possible you shall ever draw it dry? Nay, is it possible you can draw so much, that less remains behind? Yea, what could Millions of Millions of Angels multiplied do here? Not only drink, and for ever drink; but en­ter in, and you shall be, as so many Nothings, swallow­ed up, as it were, and lost forever. What infinite Springs of Sweetness, and Consolation ly hid? Dig further and deeper for ever, and still you shall find new Springs: Still there remains as many hid, as at the first Searching. What boundless Varieties of Joys and Sweetness? Every Draught, every Tasting may eternally ravish: yet, eve­ry Moment, every Instant is filled with new Delights, new Ravishments: For what can exhaust infinite Delights and Sweetness? We may feel, and taste, and enjoy it, as it is; but can we comprehend it, and search it out unto Perfection? When we are all filled, the boundless Ocean is nothing diminished. And since we are ever drinking, ever drawing in Floods of increated Sweetness, are not our Delights infinitely various, and renewed every Mo­ment? Which is an Enjoyment of the same, after diverse Manners, according to its infinite Varieties of Perfections, which eminently and virtually dwell therein. O then, the various and wonderful Conceptions of Men and An­gels! O the ever green and flourishing Communications of ravishing Loves, and Joys! Shall there not be, every Moment, a new Love-song of Praises? Shall not infinite [Page 137] Perfections, more and more seen, supply forever with new Expressions of the Excellency, Glory, Loveliness, Sweetness and Kindness of HIM, that sits upon the Throne, and the LAMB? We are past from augment­ing of our Knowledge, by borrowed Visions; or per­fecting it, by striving to know more, and more evident­ly, and distinctly: All Confusion and Darkness is done away; Error, Ignorance, and false Uptakings, are no more: We know as we are known, even nakedly, imme­diately, and Face to Face; without a prospective Repre­sentation, or Clouds interveening: So that, as to Kind, Knowledge is perfect; yet, shall we not ever be search­ing into the unsearchable Riches of this bottomless Mine, filled with all Varieties of Silver, Gold, Gems, Dia­monds, Rubies and Sapphires, of inconceivable Value and Excellency? Are we not as so many Divines, search­ing, preaching, discoursing more and more of the tran­scendent Excellency of that Fountain of all Fulness! Do we not, in this ravishing Exercise, run over again, in the same Round? O then, throughout all Eternity our Happiness shall ever be increasing. In the very first Entry, all superabounds and overflows its Banks; so that nothing is wanting, in the least, to perfect Happi­ness, Satisfaction and Fulness: Yet shall these over­flowing Tides of Loves, and Joys, and Ravishments for ever swell higher and higher; so that the succeeding Moment shall be more superabounding than the immedi­ately preceeding. O then, the Growth and Flourishing of ten thousand Myriads of Ages! And doth not this River increase proportionable to its Greatness? O then! after Myriads of Ages, according to the Number of the Atoms of the Creation; how shall it be augmented above the Number of all these Atoms, thousands of Times multipli­ed by themselves? So that, to all Eternity, we are ever changed from Glory to Glory, and ever ascend higher and higher, and still the Steps become wider and wider; the Faculties ever are more and more clear and extended; [Page 138] and the Discoveries more and more wonderfully ravish­ing. This infinite World of all Perfections is beheld clear­ly and immediately as it is; yet, who can comprehend all the Beauties, Delights, Excellencies and infinite Per­fections, wherewith it is stored? Or, who can reach the infinite Number of Paradises, Mountains, Vallies, Ri­vers? Yea, who can reach the ten thousand thousandth Part of its Immensity? So that eternally we shall follow the LAMB, through new Gardens, Orchards, Paradises, Mountains, and ever be going directly forward, making greater and greater, and more wonderful Discoveries. All the Powers and Faculties become more and more powerful and vigorous; so that Joy, and Delight, and Love, and Ravishment, shall swell more and more in Height, and Breath, and Length, and Depth through­out Eternity. Men and Angels, is not our Inheritance inconceiveably large and fertile, rich and beautiful, and delightsom? Can we among us all but reckon over our Palaces, Cities, Paradises, Countries, Kingdoms and Worlds? O what high Stretchings of Mind! and what further and further Stretchings, to let in these boundless Inundations of increated Sweetness, that over­flow incessantly, rapidly, and eternally? O my God, this Happiness is more than superabounding! Who can express? who can conceive, what a Life it is, to be received into the Bosom of thy infinite Excellencies? to be admitted into the eternal Enjoyment of thy in­comprehensible SELF! O what eternal Manifestati­ons of the GODHEAD, to Men and Angels, in the Face of CHRIST! What Outlettings of new and va­rious Influences from the Sun of Righteousness! What incessant Showers of the Dew of our WELBELOVED's Youth! What high, full, constant, lively and cherish­ing Gales of the sweet ravishing Breath of JEHOVAH! What Wonder then, all the Trees of this Paradise of Glory ascend higher and higher, spread their Branches further and further, and increase eternally in their [Page 139] Strength, Verdure and Blooming and Fruitfulness? Poor Life, that depends on Creature-influences and Creature-enjoyments! Neither are they satisfying in themselves; nor can they yield new Sweetness eternally. Was it not the highest of all Madness and Folly, to forsake the eternal Fountain of living Waters, and rest an broken Cisterns, that can hold no Water? O Joy of all Joys, that ever I rested upon Thee, as my only Portion! O my Happiness! my Happiness surpasseth all Expression!

54. Emmanuel's Land is altogether of free redeeming Grace, yet is it given by way of Reward.

And what is this great Assembly of such glorious and majestick Creatures, but a Number of bound Debt­ors to the free Grace, altogether free redeeming Grace of JEHOVAH and the LAMB? Are ye not, O blessed Creatures, so many Monuments of the free and undeserved Bounty and Love of Him, whose Love passeth all Understanding? Away with Deserving and Merit! what can Creatures do to Thee? what can their Acting, or Suffering for Thee, merit at thy Hand? If any have any Thing of its own, or can do any Thing of it self, then may it glory in what is its own. If all Creatures are not eternally obliged to love, and obey, and serve Thee, with all their Might and Vi­gour; then let them ask Wages for obeying. Yea, is it not an eternal Wonder, Thou shouldst make Men, or Angels Actors, or Witnesses of thy infinite Glory and Excellency? What are all Creatures to thee, that thou should open thine Eyes upon them? what unspeakable Dig­nity, to be allotted to the lowest Piece of Service for Thee? The more Creatures adore, and love and obey Thee, the more they are run into the Debt of thy free Grace: Yea, tho' Creatures could deserve, the very active Glorifying of thee carries in its Bosom full and overruning Recompense. And what Proportion imaginable is there betwixt the [Page 140] Acting or Suffering of a finite Creature, and one Mo­ment of these boundless Joys? The Service is finite, but the Reward is invaluable. Tho' it had been possible for Creatures to persevere under a Covenant of Works; yet could they not have deserved, nor earned Wages, except by Virtue of Paction, a Product of wonderfully free, and condescending Grace: Which Way of Earning is under this second Covenant, and that in a more sublime and glorious Manner. Perfect Obedience was the Con­dition of the First; Sincerity of the Second. Continuati­on of a national Life, in an earthly Paradise, so long as the Creature persevered, was the Reward of the First; Eternal Duration of a divine Life, in this celestial Para­dise, the Reward of the Second. The First was made with the earthly Adam, as the Head, and principal Person of the earthly Ho [...]se; the Second, with the heavenly A­dam, as Head & principal Person of the heavenly: But the First ruined both himself and his; not being able to fulfil the Bargain: The Second hath made up both him­self, and his, for evermore, by perfect Obedience, and full Satisfaction, and Excellency of Power, in transfor­ming his Children into his heavenly Image, and bring­ing them all infallibly to Glory. The Covenant was principally made with our WELBELOVED; all the Pro­mises of the new Covenant were made to him, as the Chief and First-born of many Brethren; So that it was impossible, that any of his Chosen from Eternity could be lost; being put into so sure an Hand, who was counta­ble to the Father for every one of them; having from Eternity received them from Him, as his Spouse, his Chil­dren, his Brethren, his Co-heirs, his Pupils, to be guided and tutored by Him, in Time and Eternity: So that all the Stress and Care of our Salvation was laid upon our great Lord Redeemer's Shoulders; according to which Trust, He hath Called, Justified, Sanctified us, Inabled us, kept us from falling away, in the midst of Infirmi­ties, Difficulties, Temptations; and presented us without [Page 141] Spot, or Blemish, before his Father. Our first earthly Fa­ther played the Bankrupt with all, and left us poor, vile, miserable Wretches, lying in our Blood, and no Eye pitying us; our Nature being in his Loins, as the Root and Original of us all. Did he not degrade and debase; So that from excellent rational Creatures, created after the ravishing Image of our Maker, we became Brutish, Vain, Foolish and Vile? But in came our Welbeloved, and assumed our Nature, in its low and base Condition, with all its Infirmities and Passions, yet without Sin, and raised it up to a far, far higher Pinnacle of Excellen­cy, than ever it fell from. Before, its Excellency was natural, but now it is supernatural; before earthly, now heavenly and divine. What are our Thoughts of the in­conceivable Rays, and ravishing Resplendencies of free, free, free Grace, shining from the Godhead, in the Face of Christ, to undone Creatures? What could we do for our selves, when broken and lost? was not our Conditi­on on most desperate-like? We could not keep our selves in our first Condition, when intire and in our full Vigour; What then could we do, when broken in Pieces and de­stroyed? Had we not been obliged to Him, who had restored us to our former Estate, or meerly saved us from eternal Wrath, tho' no more? But O! what astonish­ing Bounty, Love, Mercy, Condescension, Compassion, Kindness, Patience, and infinite Wonders shine here! Sirs, what have we lost, by our great and unspeakable Loss? Our Fall was abominable, dreadful, monstrous, ungrate and astonishing; yet what have we lost? Ah! no Thanks to us, that we are not eternally undone: Utter Destruction may be ascribed for ever to us, tho' the Guilt thereof is eternally cancelled; let all the Glory and Praise rest upon his Head, unto whom it doth alone appertain; even on his glorious and majestick Head, who is the Author and Finisher of this great Salvation. We are thine! we are thine, O excellent WELBELOVED; even [Page 142] thine upon all possible Accounts! In our first Condition we were thine by Creation, thine by Covenant, & these were sweet! But O now! Now we are also thine by Re­demption, thine by Purchase, thine by a better Covenant-Foundation, a better Foundation than by Conquest; thine by a new Creation, thine by Exaltation to this glo­rious & divine Estate. O sweet, sweet! we are altoge­ther thine, and nothing our own! O boundless Joys! I am eternally tied to thee, by all Obligations! O my inconceivable Happiness! Self hath not the least Occasion to boast of itself: No Creature, Man or Angel, hath a­ny Thing to glory in, before thy Presence. O thou Hea­ven of Heavens, shalt thou not be filled with Songs of free redeeming Grace? What should we do with our Diadems, our Sceptres, our Palms, our Robes, our glo­rious Adornments? What should we do with all that we are and have, but cast them down at the Feet of him, who hath created, redeemed, and sanctified us? e­ven at the Feet of him, who hath redeemed us to God, by his own Blood, and made us to our God, Kings and Priests? and we shall reign for ever and ever. O excel­lent! The less our own, the better; the more thine, the more blessed Condition! We are altogether thine; all our Excellency, all our Actings, all our Sufferings, all our Glory, is only thine. This Kingdom thou alone didst purchase, without the Help of any: All, all are the Product of free, eternally free Love; all is given to us most freely! From Eternity were we chosen to all this Blessedness, most absolutely, without Respect of fore­seen Excellency, or Deserving. All is most free to us; but dear to our WELBELOVED! What couldst thou give more, my dearest Lord, than thy Life, thy Blood, thy very Self? Couldst thou lay down a greater Pawn for our Salvation, than thy noble, su­per-excellent, and glorious Self? Could Love have been manifested in a more transcendent, glorious and excellent Way? What couldst thou have done more [Page 143] than thou hast done? Is not this in excellent Inhe­ritance, Men and Angels? Is not this Land a beautiful, rich and pleasant Land indeed? Doth this look like the Field of Blood? Our Emmanuel conquered all this by his Blood and Death: He rode over Hell and Devils, and vanquished all the Opposers of this boundless Bles­sedness. Thousands and ten Thousands were nothing in his Way. He made Nations and Languages Sacri­fices to divine Justice. He rent the Heavens, and came down; the Mountains flowed down at his Presence: He trod down the People in his Anger, and made them drunk in his Fury; and did bring down their Strength to the Earth. He gave Egypt for our Ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for [...]s. Were not these great Things: Hath he not re­deemed Zion by Blood? Hath he not made a noble Conquest? Yea, He slew Death it self; He went to the Land of Death and Destruction, and vanquished his strongest and most cruel Enemies, in their own native Soil. O wonderful! He led Captivity captive, by being led Captive! By undergoing Shame, and Pain, and Grief, and Ignominy, He conquished boundless Joys and Delights, and Glory, and Renown: By dy­ing, he vanquished Death, and him that had the Pow­er thereof. Here, O here is the invaluable Price! The Life, the Life, the Blood of God! Wonder, and stand in an eternal Amazement, all Creatures! The Life of the Lord of Life, was laid down a Ransom for us! as the Price of our eternal Blessedness. Who can value the Life and Blood of the Man, who is GOD, blessed for evermore? Shell we speak of Ten thousand Millions of Millions of Excellent Men, of glorious Angels? That is just nothing. Shall we speak of Myriads of Myriads of Worlds, more excellent every one than another? That is just nothing also: So many Creatures, so many Nothings. Never so many Worlds are so many Shadows, in Comparison of the enduring Substance. O the Price, the Price! Do not the Thot's [Page 144] thereof heighten the Conceptions of Men and Angels beyond all Conception? What strange Flamings of Love! What high Motions of Joy! What overflowing Tides of Admiration, at every Thought of the wonderful Way, wherein God hath done all this to us! All this Honour saith, Behold the Son of God shamed! All this Glory saith, Behold eternal, essential Glory obscured! And this joyful and flourishing Life saith, Behold the Prince of Life in a great Agony, bleeding to Death, even the shameful and painful Death of the Cross? O highest Manifestation of infinite Love! All is come thro' the Bowels of our dearest Lord Jesus, whose Love to us was so strong, that nothing could in the least quench it: He laboured thro' Love, sorrowed thro' Love, wept thro' Love, He died of Love. When cold Death be­gan to seize on his Heart, he found it all flaming with the Love of his dearest Spouse; neither could he destroy these immortal Flames, which flash and dart forth their overcoming Rays, throughout Eternity. O thy incom­prehensible Love! Bend hither all your Faculties, Men and Angels, and be amazed for evermore! O my hea­venly Father, by thy infinite Gift, thou hast lost no­thing; the Son of thy everlasting Love and Delights is ever in thy Presence. O my Redeemer, thou hast lost thy Life, yet thou hast not lost it; behold, Thou art alive for evermore. The Price of all doth eternally re­main, else should the Things bought be nothing. Let no Creature speak of its Excellency, or Acts; what can they conquest? What can they purchase? Our Emmanuel hath purchased all Things: Indeed by Birth-right he is the eternal and essential Heir of all; yet hath he added a new Right, and made all his over again by Conquest. Not unto us, not unto us; but unto Thee be all the Glory, Do­minion, and Praise, for ever and ever: Yet, O wonder­ful Bounty, Condescendency and Love! Thou hast put on our Heads the Crowns of Conquerors, the Laurels of Triumph: Thou hast put in our Hands the never-fading [Page 145] Palms of Victory: Hast thou done all? And shall we bear the Honour of, Well, and Heroically done, for the great and massie Diadem of Glory? Hast thou conque­red? And shall we triumph, as Purchasers of Heaven and All? Hast thou suffered? And shall we enter into this Glory, as having undergone all the Assaults of Hell and Death, in our own proper Strength? This is a sweeter, more condescending and wonderful Dispensation, than it thou hadst brought us immediately out of the State of Nature into this State of Glory; or created us in the Midst of this incomparable Happiness. O sweet, sweet! to think, That Grace hath ushered in Glory; a L [...]fe of Believing, a Life of immediate Vision; a Life of Labour and Difficulty, this Life of eternal Repose; a Life of Shame and Reproach, this Life of immortal Glory and Renown; a Life of Fighting, this Life of everlasting Triumphing; a Life of Tears, Pain and Sad­ness, this Life of boundless Joys and Delights; a Life of Fears and Weakness, this Life of perfect Security and Might! How wisely hath my Lord connected all Things together? that our Glory might be more than Glory; our Happiness more superabounding Happiness. This Glory, this incomprehensible Glory, and Renown will he have to rest for ever upon our Heads. Words of Amazement! to hear my LORD say, in the Presence of all, to e­very one, Well done, good and faithful Servant, thou hast been faithful over a few Things, I will make thee Ruler our many Things; enter thou into the Joy of thy LORD: Heroically done, for this massia Diadem of Glory: Wor­thy art thou to walk with me in White; for thou hast kept clean Garments, in the Midst of a polluted World: Thou hast valiantly fought and overcome; and art thou not worthy to triumph with me, throughout the vast Ages of endless Eternity? As I have done, so thou hast suffered patently, even unto the Death; and therefore, it well becomes thee to enter into this un­speakable Glory. What, Lord! must I, poor silly I, once [Page 146] base, sinful, wretched and undone I, must even I possess this undefiled, incorruptible, never-fading Inheritance? What have I done? Or, what have I suffered for thy ex­cellent Name? Yea, what have I not done, endeavoured and desired against thy Holiness? Yet, even I must enter here, as worthy of all! I must wear the Conqueror's Crown! I must bear the Palms of Victory! Even thus it must be, thus it should be; since it is the good Pleasure of my LORD the King. When our Bridegroom hath made his Spouse the Perfection of Beauty; How is his mystical Body composed of various Members, every one endowed with its own proper Beauty? Every one is not graced with the same Measure of Excellency; since every Member conduceth to the beautifying of the whole: Va­rieties of Glories in the same is wonderful, ravishing and pleasant. Even on Earth, the Spouse was adorned with va­rious Excellencies, chiefly for Beauty, and not for Neces­sity: Nay, the Heavens and the Earth are not defective herein: Were every Star like the Sun; or all the Stars of equal Glory; or, the whole Expansion adorned with e­qual Glory; or were every Part of the Earth covered o­ver with the same Beauties, so that nothing did excel a­nother; Were all Heaven, or all Earth; or were Earth of equal Glory with Heaven; or were all a Sun; or were the higher and lower World nothing differing in Glory; all would be every Way the same; and so nothing so beautiful as it is. Indeed the Head is loving to all the Members, and is alike affected with them all; yet, every Member is in its own Order, According to his good Plea­sure, which from Eternity he purposed in himself. As he distributed, after divers Degrees and Manners, his Gifts and Graces, to his Chosen in Time; so doth he make the Harvest correspondent to the Seed-time, the manly Con­stitution to the Infancy, the Vigour and Blooming to the Budding and first Springing forth. According to the Grace given unto us in Time, and the Improvement [Page 147] thereof, in acting, or suffering for his Glory; accor­dingly is every one of us rewarded: As he did promise and testify, That as every Man should receive according to his Works; So they that are wise, shall shine as the Fir­mament, and they that turn many to Righteousness, as the Stars forever and ever. The Connection betwixt Time and Eternity here, is not natural, from the Nature of Things, as if so much Grace deserved so much Glory; so much, or so long Acting or Suffering, such or such a Diadem of Honour: But meerly from his good Pleasure, who disposeth all Things most absolutely and freely: I [...] so it pleased him, he might have disposed otherwise; but this is the most excellent, because he hath done it. All our Excellency, and all our Acting, or Suffering, was only of him, and not of our selves: He alone did work in us both to will, and to do, of his good Pleasure. The more we were graced, the more we were enabled, the more we were obliged: Only it hath pleased his infinite Bounty to perfect in Eternity, according as he did begin in Time; and to give us the purchased Possession, by Way of Reward. In our LORD's Distribution of his Rewards, he considers the Multitudes of Talents, and the Improvement of them, and Way of Improvement; as, if with Vigour and great Sincerity; also Perseverance there­in, and Duration, with more and more Magnanimity unto the Death; also the Greatness of the Opposers is conside­red: Also the Effects, and extending of Talents, for the Good of others; as when the Man acts bravely, be­fore Sun and Moon, whereby great Glory doth redound to him, for whom are all Things; and many are strength­ned, and converted unto Righteousness: Suffering is con­sidered in itself, as such, excelling Acting; which is more or less excellent, even as acting according to other va­rious Circumstances. O the wonderful Way thou hast taken to beautify thy Spouse! How doth the Head shine most eminently above all the Members; and every Mem­ber, according to its Measure, aloted from Eternity? E­very [Page 148] one of us was appointed, before the Foundation of the World, to this Measure of Glory, most absolutely and freely, without any Respect to Excellency, or good Works in Time: And yet, O eternal Admiration! He hath rewarded every one of us, according to our Righte­ousness; according to the Cleanness of our Hands he re­compensed us: For we kept the Ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from our GOD: For all his Judgments were before us; and we did not put away his Statutes from us; we were also upright before him, and we kept our selves from our Iniquity: Therefore hath the LORD recompensed us, according to our Righteousness, according the Cleanness of our Hands in his Eye-Sight: For with the Merciful thou hast shewed thyself merciful; with the upright Man, thou hast shewed thyself upright; with the Pure, thou hast shewed thyself pure; and with the Froward, thou hast shewed thyself froward: For thou hast loved the afflicted People, and hast brought down the high Looks. All thy Promises to the Overcomers hast thou perfectly accomplished. Boundless Happiness for evermore!

55. All Things are fully discovered in Glory, which lay hid in Time.

All Things are laid open before the Eyes of all: How passing clear and evident is the Light of Glory? Do I not know you all, and every one? not only according to your proper Essences, and Weight of Glory; but also, what Manner of Persons you were in Time, as to all these Circumstances, by which Men were differenced from one another: So that we may say, This, and this is the Man who was such and such an Instrument in Time, for the incomprehensible Glory of our never-enough exalted Re­deemer; who will manifest all the good Works, and Ex­cellency of every one before his Father, and before his Angels. He from Eternity knows by Name, and hath manifested the Name of every one, before the whole [Page 149] Creation. Are you not eternally shamed and confounded, you Haters of the only excellent One? You are declared by Name before all, and every one in singular; the most hidden Things of Darkness are now laid open for ever and ever: All your Thoughts, your Words, your Deeds; All your Inclinations, your Purposes, your Pro­jects, your Impieties are made known perfectly to the Consciences of every one of you, to one another, and to us all. Hide your selves now, if you can; neither your selves, nor your Wickedness, shall ever henceforth e­scape our View. Now we are inconceivably elevated a­bove all natural Sagacity! Natural Illumination was wonderful discovering, as the Sagacity of Man in his first Estate did shew; the Light of Grace was more piercing, as discerning Things far above the Reach of Nature; but all are scarce Emblems of this Light of Glory. How just and holy art thou in all thy Ways, O my holy ONE? Thou hast for ever unmasked the two great Companies of Men an Angels; all now appear in their genuine Co­lours: Our Innocency is manifested; and their Wicked­ness is laid open. How many Things did we refer unto this Day? as indiscussable by dim-e [...]ed Mortals, who judged according to Externals, Conjectures and Probabi­lities; and not according to the Things as they were in themselves; Whence the condemning of the Innocent, and justifying of the Guilty: Whence many went off the Stage of the World, branded with the opprobrious Name of Hypocrites, New-gospellers, Traitors, Seditious, Facti­ous, Phanaticks, and what not? who were the Glory, Flower and Excellency of the Generation: How many of the most excellent of the Earth were cried out against on every Side, because of their singular Holiness, and Fer­vency of Spirit for the Interests of Christ and Power of Godliness, above others; because of their Testifying against the proper Sins of their Generation; that even some of the weakest of the Saints did cast abroad soul Aspersions [Page 150] on them; did hate, and persecute them, as Troublers of the World? And how many were accounted, by the Ge­nerality, true and sincere Saints, because of their selfish prudential Way of Carriage, in all Exigencies, and among all Sorts of Persons; because of their larger Recommen­dation of all, and Baseness of Spirit, in the publick In­terests of God; tho' rejected, deserted, blasphemed, and troden upon by almost all; because of their Compli­ance with the Humors of most, and insinuating of them­selves upon both by Good & Bad, in an humble and loving Manner; because of their sinful Reservedness, in the Mat­ters of God, in a declining Time; because of their keep­ing themselves free from gross Outbreakings; because of their Counterfeiting of real Saints, by acquiring a fine out­ward Carriage, and a huge literal, notional Knowledge of divine Things; that they might pray, write and dis­course like Men, much in the intimate Fellowship of Je­sus: As also, because of their outward Prosperity, which gave Men a brave Lustre in the Eyes of dull Mortals. All, all is now unmasked! Now, now it is manifest, who were excellent, who were not; who have been the real Friends of the Bridegroom, and who have been counter­feit. How sweet is the Righteousness of God, now vin­dicated! What Delectation, to behold all Things drawn out of Darkness! My Hatred to Impiety and hellish Mad­ness is so great, and my Zeal for the Glory of my never-enough exalted Lord and Redeemer, is so violent and strong, that all natural Affections, in their highest Ben­s [...], would here be swallowed up to Nothing: To see the Glory of Divine Vengeance manifested on Father, Mother, Sister, Brother, Son or Daughter, now black and ugly Lumps of Hell, and Haters of the Fountain of all Love­liness and Sweetness, is a Sight eternally delightsom.

56. Among the many Pendicles of the fair Inheritance, the sweet Fellowship of Men and Angels, is very consi­derable.

[Page 151]O how sweet a Dispensation! How wonderful is divine Providence! You who were sweet and profitable Compa­ny to me in my Pilgrimage, for ever walk with me on the Tops of glorious and majestick Mount Zion. Sirs, I esteemed and loved you above all then, as the only excel­lent Ones of the Earth, in whom was all my Delight; But now, Love is in its Bloom and full Perfection. What a golden Life would I have esteemed it on Earth, to live in the Company of the most wise and excellent in all Ages? O now! all the Excellent of the World are my Compa­nions; every one of which transcends, by Millions of Stages, in Wisdom and Excellency, the most excellent meer Man on Earth, O ye beloved Ones, is not your Fellowship far changed? Old Things are past away, all Things are become new. All earthly Ties are broken a­sunder, which did much hinder the Fellowship of Saints on Earth: We are every Way free! Spiritual Relation hath swallowed up all other. No Obligation betwixt us, but that of Love: We hold not any Thing mediately; Jesus, the First-born of the Almighty King, is our immedi­ate Superior in all Things. O glorious magnifick King­dom! O let the Crown for ever flourish on the Head of the Conqueror; What tho' all this Assembly of Men and Angels should be abased, if he be exalted? What tho' all should decrease, if he increase? What is the Flower and chief Excellency of all created Glory? He is the Beauty and Triumph of all Creatures, the Head and First-born of every Creature, infinitely more than all Creatures; He is Jehovah.

57. The Saints are eternally acquitted; and all their Faculties are filled up with his ravishing Voice.

All Things are eternal: The Saints are eternally ac­quitted and justified; and all the Wicked are ever im­panelled and condemned. In how ravishing a Manner doth our Welbeloved smile upon us? Forever doth he stretch forth the Arms of his Love to embrace us? O [Page 152] the Sweetness of his Lips! The Loveliness of his Voice; Hony and Butter is under his Tongue, and the Smell of his Nose is as the Smell of Lebanon: His Eyes are ever fixed upon us; every Look, every Beckning of the Hand manifests a Love, ever to be admired, and never to be comprehended. O his Voice, his Voice! Is he not saying, ‘Behold, and for ever behold your Lord, your Head, your Husband, your King, your Maker, your only Welbeloved, who loved you with an eternal Love; washed you, when polluted, in mine own Blood; and made you Kings and Priests to my Father, and your Father? Did I love you, when vile and abominable? and shall I ever hate you, when made fair and lovely, through my perfect Comeliness? Come my fairest Spouse, come my lovely one, let us satiate our Selves with ravishing Loves, while the Heavens remain. Be­hold these Arms, that were stretched out upon the Cross, for your Sakes, are ever ready to embrace you: With Desire have I desired this golden Day of mutual Loves and Delights, even this Day of my Espousals and Gladness of Heart; and therefore I have put on my Marriage-Robes, arrayed my self with Glory and Ma­jesty, as with a Garment: And you also have I decked with passing Glory. And can we be but ravished! Thou hast ravished my Heart, my Sister, my Spouse! Even when thou wast black, thou wast precious in my Eves: Sin and Vileness is Nothing in the Way of my infinite Love. I loved thee, because I loved thee: And because I loved Thee, therefore hast thou become ex­ceeding lovely. Are you not dear unto me? are you not my Delights and Rejoicing? You are the Fruit of my Labours, Sufferings, sad Hearts, Tears, Sighs, Groans, Fear, Pain, Shame, Reproach: In seeing you I behold my Seed, the Travel of my Soul, and am sa­tisfied: Enjoy me now, as much as your Soul desires. All Mountains are removed, all Shadows are fled a­way. [Page 153] The Occasions of your Doubtings, Jealousies, Dispondencies, are no more: We shall enjoy one ano­ther to the Full. Love shall be no more pain'd and sick of Delays. Have I not hasted to this eternal Day of Enjoyment: How have I dispatched much in a small Time? I have come skipping over the Moun­tains, leaping over the Hills. I swimmed through Seas of Blood, Oceans of Tears, Worlds of Woes and Griefs; trod the Wine-press of the Wrath of God Almighty; crushed the People in mine Anger, and trampled them in my Fury; made my Name to sound throughout the whole World; filled the Earth with the Knowledge of my Name; erected a glorious Church on Earth of Jew and Gentile; put away Time and Days; cried down for ever all earthly Pleasures, Pomps, Glory, that we might enjoy this eternal Day of Love's fullest Manifestations: And behold, I am become All in all unto you for evermore. Rest, my dearest Spouse, in my Bosom: Rest in your Love unto me; behold, I rest in my Love unto Thee, and rejoice over Thee with Singing. Hast thou laboured with me? Here is an eternal Repose. Hadst thou mourned? Partake of my boundless Joys. Hast thou suffered for my Name's Sake? Thou shalt eternally ride with me in my majestick, triumphant Chariot of Glory: Thou shalt no more be sick o [...] Love through Absence and Want of the Light of my Coun­tenance; whence ill Thoughts, and Doubtings of mine unchangeable Love. Kiss, and kiss for ever, and take thy Fill of Love-embraces. His Banner of Love shall ever overspread us! 'Tis Nothing what thou hast been; since I have elected Thee, and washed Thee, and made thee passing beautiful and excellent; and thou hast be­come mine. My Life, my Blood, my Soul did I give for thee: I have become like thee, and made thee like unto me; that our Fellowship might be most intimate, and sweet. And what, my fair One, could I have done more, to make thee superabundantly blessed? [Page 154] Have I not fitted thee for my Fellowship? Have I not adorned thee with superexcellent Beauty, Glory and Majesty? Nothing can shew forth thy Pleasantness, thy surpassing Excellencies: All Trees, all Flowers, all Roses, and Lillies, all the Beauties that adorn the spang­led Heavens, would blush, to contend with thy sur­passing Beauty; all their Perfections are but Emblems of that substantial Excellency, wherewith I have beau­tified Thee. Thine Eyes would overcome me, I could not look upon thy Beauty, if thou didst not draw near; that Love may be satisfied with full Enjoyment.’ Can there be greater Blessedness? can there be more inti­mate Fellowship? O what Love-embraces! What Love-kisses! What overcoming Smiles! We bathe ourselves in the Oceans of pure unmixed Love! ‘The very Smell of thy Garments, my fair One, ravish my Heart; they exhale a Fragrancy, like a Field which the Lord hath blessed! Even my Father hath blessed thee, and thou art blessed for evermore. All, who have cursed thee, have been cursed; and all, who have blessed thee, have been blessed. The eternal God is thy Refuge; and underneath are everlasting Arms: And he hath cast out the Enemy from before thee; and hath said, Destroy them. Thou dwellest in Safety, alone; the Fountain of Jacob is open unto thee. O People sa­ved of the Lord, the Shield of thine Help, and who is the Strength of thine Excellency: And thine Ene­mies have been found Liars unto thee; and thou hast troden them, upon their high Places. O are you not blessed, eternally blessed, who have been appointed to so great Things? Glory, Excellency, Strength, Beauty, Honour and all are yours! Behold, behold, ye Children of my everlasting Loves and Delights, these precious Crowns, these Garlands of Glory, wherewith I adorn you!’ Behold, behold, all Creatures, Devils and wicked Men, thus is it done eternally unto the Men, whom the King delighteth to honour. This is the Ma­jesty [Page 155] I clothe them with, who have loved, feared, and obeyed me, unto Death, in their Generation. This is the Kingdom, these are the glorious Mansions, I have set them down into. ‘I spake not to you, my fair Ones, of earthly Kingdoms, and Possessions: These celestial Habitations were you ordained unto, as your ever­lasting Country. I told you of Worlds, and King­doms, and Crowns, and Sceptres, and Cities, and glorious Mansions; and behold, inconceivably more than I promised: Yea, did you not inherit Time also? Did you ever want Journey-bread, as long as on the Way to this Country? Tho', for your Good, I did not laden you with the thick Clay of the Earth, I ever cut out that Lot, which was best for you; which was not a Life of earthly Abundance: If it had been otherwise, I should have made you the only Sharers of Earth, the only Potentates of Time; But Dunghil Earth, was far below your Divine Minds. How degra­ding had it been, to see my Fellow-heirs vexed, tor­moiled, and distracted with Dunghil-Concernments? No, your generous Spirits were exercised with high and excellent Things, and were not brought down by the empty Concernments the Sons of the Earth were only occupied with. My Way to this unspeakable Glory, was thro' Contempt, Reproach, Afflictions, Poverty, Shame; I could not dignify you, more than by making you Partakers of my Lot, my excellent Ones: If I had plunged you in the Midst of earthly Prosperity and Abundance, you should have missed the greatest Glory, which is Suffering for my Name's Sake; your Crown should not have been so massie and glorious: And where would have been the Exercise and Trial of all your Graces? Your Patience in Tri­bulations, your meek, quiet and contented Spirit, when the vilest of Men were exalted, and did abound in Temporal Enjoyments, sharing the Earth among them, as if they alone had only derived their Pedigree from [Page 156] Adam? Where had been manifested your Confidence in your heavenly Father, if Sense had not seemed to con­tradict the Promises? Thus was the Draught of my infinite Wisdom, that your Way to the Crown should be through all Manner of Trials, Afflictions, and Oppositions. Great was your Agony with Devils, with wicked Men, with your inbred Corruptions, with many external Disasters; even unto Hunger, Thirst, Nakedness, and sore Trouble for your Daily-bread▪ And should it not have been thus? For, if no Enemies, no Fighting; if no Fighting, no Victory; and if no Victory, no Triumphing: Is not here a golden Chain of wonderful Wisdom and Love? Possess for ever this glorious Kingdom, my valiant Ones: a Kingdom ordained for you most freely and absolutely without Respect to Work or Excellency; yet, possess it by Way of Conquest: My free Grace, given to you in Time, do I crown with this eternal and exceeding Weight of Glory: All this Kingdom is for every one of you, as if there were none else; all of you are Pos­sessors of all Things. I have redeemed you from eternal Wrath, Misery and Sinning; I have purchased all Things for you; I have prayed to my Father, that you, whom he had given me, might be for ever with me, where I am, to behold my Glory, which he hath given me; for he loved me, before the Foun­dation of the World. These, lo, all these are your Portion. Earth was a Portion for the Bastards only; and therefore, I divided it most largely amongst them, casting Crowns and Principalities, and the greatest earthly Things of Time, to the vilest of them: To indulge your Childishness, I gave sometimes to some of you large Portions of the Earth; for many Ends, known only to my self; and for giving you a brea­thing Time, best the Spirit that I had made should have been brought to nothing: But earthly Portions were only fit for base Spirits; poor and empty were the [Page 157] Donations I vouchsafed upon them, in Comparison of this. When I give to you, I give like a King indeed: When I have ascended on high, and led Captivity cap­tive, I share no less among my Friends than everla­sting, ever flourishing Kingdoms and Principalities; and this is the Manifestation of free Love, before the Corner-stone of the Earth was laid: Here, as every where doth my absolute Sovereignty shine. I am Alpha and Omega. No Cause of my Actings without my self: By me, through me, and for me are all Things: For you have I chosen Vessels of Glory and Honour, that on you I might shew forth that infinite Bounty, Love and Compassion that dwelleth in me.’

58. Reprobates are already judged and condemned; and all their Faculties are filled with the dreadful Roarings of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.

How doth our holy One fill the Senses of cursed Re­probates with his dreadful Voice, wherewith Ten thou­sand Worlds might be shaken to nothing! How doth the Lion of the Tribe of Judah roar forth! ‘Be eternally confounded from my amiable Presence, vile Wretches, you are a Smoke in my Nostrils, a Fire that burneth all the Day long. Your Soul abhorreth me. O prodigious Monsters! and my Soul abhorreth you. Betwixt us this unquenchable Hatred shall increase, thro'out Eterni­ty: As your hellish Violence, and monstrous Abo­minations do increase, eternally will I kindle the Flames of my Fury upon you; so shall I be eased, refreshed and comforted. I have been wearied with refraining: Now is this unquenchable Fury, that burned in my Breast, broken forth, and my Soul is delighted. Did such an hellish Madness possess you, as to think you might escape my avengeful Hand? And knew ye not your selves, Bits of Creatures, rebelling against me, the Omnipotent Sovereign of all Things? Let your own [Page 158] selves accuse your selves of your horrid Villany against me, the boundless Original of all Excellencies, Loveli­ness and Sweetness; which you experienced, ungrate Wretches: Did you prefer, and love and desire only your selves? Shall the Creature be set up above the Creator? The Monstrosity of this doth eternally affright you! your selves are intolerable Torments to your selves; for you behold your Vileness, as it is. Did you not think, because of my Silence, that I was like to base you? But now I will eternally reprove you, and set your Sins before your Eyes: Now you see your Wretchedness. What think you of your holding the Truth in Unrighteousness? So that you become vain in your Imaginations, and your foolish Heart was darkned; professing your selves wise, you became Fools, and changed the Glory of the incorruptible God, into the vain Fancies of your desperately deceit­ful Hearts; still looking upon him, as one like your selves. What think you of delighting more in created Enjoyments, than in me, the Fountain of all? Your Affections bended most to Nothings and Vanities; the Fountain of all Blessedness you abhorred. Did you not say, Let him depart from us; for we desire not the Knowledge of his Name? What Profit is there in serving him? What Pleasure in being in his Fellow­ship? Yea, what a Weariness is it? Let us have earthly Enjoyments, and we desire no more; these are the only Things we delight in. What think you, that you are born Enemies, Haters of me from your very first Original? With your first Breathings of Life, did you breathe forth Malice against your Crea­tor, Preserver and Benefactor; and what can you do eternally, but roar with your malicious Blasphemies? But what availeth either your Malice or Goodness? I am infinitely above all Creatures. What is that to me, whether Creatures obey, or disobey? What are you, that I should be mindful of you, and bring [Page 159] you into Judgment? What are you, that my Anger should burn eternally against you? Yet is it my Plea­sure, that upon you be manifested the Glory of my a­venging Justice: As I have sworn, so have I perform­ed, That every Knee shall bow to me. You, stiff-neck­ed Wretches, would you not yield to the Sceptre of my Government? I will make you stoop, and lick the Dust, like Serpents, under my Feet, and the Feet of my Chosen, whom you hated and despised in a vain World. I alone will be exalted, and my Glory will I not give unto another. Would you not be the actual Instruments of my Glory? I will eternally make you the passive Proclaimers thereof: Your Cursings and Howlings shall set me on high, even proclaim the Glory of my spotless Holiness, throughout all Ages. Cursed Creatures, whom my H [...]ds formed to serve, and o­bey, and glorify me; Shall I not recompense your Hatred and Rebellion upon your own Heads? Shall not my Soul be fully avenged upon you? You are the Abomination of my Soul; and therefore Vengeance shall be my eternal Delight. I am of purer Eyes, than to behold Iniquity: Triumph I not? I, the righteous Lord, love the Righteous; my Countenance doth behold the Upright: But the Wicked, & him that loveth Violence, my Soul abborreth. According to my absolute Sovereignty, might I have made out of you any Thing I pleased; but thus have I done, that the Glory of my spotless Ho­liness might eternally shine forth: But as I said, so have I done; and it is known, whose Word stands, yours or mine. Said you, in the Stoutness of your Hearts, Our Tongues are our own, who are Lords over us? We are Lords, we will no more come unto thee? And shall you not find, to your eternal Misery, who is the great For­mer, and absolute Sovereign of all Things? And you the vilest of all Vileness, of whom most lovingly I of­fered my Heart, my Blood, my Life, my Kingdom and [Page 160] all Things; and yet you slighted and neglected all; as Things of no great Excellency: O mine Enemies, mine Enemies! slain and destroyed ye shall be eternal­ly before mine Eyes: I have no Enemies like you, un­to whom I most condescendingly revealed my Will, ap­pointing your Lot within the Pale of the Church. I have found you, O mine Enemies, you Haters of my Holiness, and Despisers of mine Excellency, who at the most loved a Form of Godliness, but denied the Power thereof. Did I rise up early and late, crying unto you? Did I beseech, intreat, protest, obtest, sigh, weep and groan over you, that you would come out from your vain Conversation, & partake of a blessed Communion with my Father and Me? And shall I not cause you to howl, and roar, and weep, and gnash your Teeth, in ut­ter Darkness for ever and ever? Have I not intreated long? should I wait for ever upon Creatures, madly se­rious against me? I have sworn by my Holiness, That after Death no more Forbearance; the Word hath gone out of my Mouth, it cannot be recalled: I am not a Man, that I should change. I appointed a Time for every Thing; a Time of Forbearance, and a Time of Punishment: This is the eternal Day of Wrath; the end­less Day of Vengeance is in my Heart; The Year of my Redeemed is come: I curse you, bitterly curse you; all the Woes that ever I pronounced, fall upon you; let them be written upon your Foreheads, and on your Hands, and fill all the Powers and Faculties of Soul and Body: Wo, wo, wo! World of Woes & Curses fall down incessantly and eternally upon you all, according to your Wickedness: As every one of you hath sown, so shall you reap. Wo unto you, who have joined House to House, and Field to Field, extruding Adam's Fellow-Heirs. Wo unto you that have mingled strong Drink. Wo unto you that have drawn Iniquity with Cords of Vanity; who have called Good Evil, and Evil Good. Wo unto you who were wise in your own Eyes, and [Page 161] prudent in your own Sight. Cursed be you, that pla­ced your Confidence in Creatures, and not in the Lord Jehovah. Wo unto you, that shut Heaven both upon your selves and others: Wo unto you, who devoured the Needy, and for a Pretence made long Prayers: Wo unto you, who compassed Sea and Land, to draw others unto your Faction, under the Pretence of the Salvation of Souls: Wo unto you, who, by your foolish Subtil­ties, did cast a Mist upon all the Duties of Religion: Wo unto you, who were strict in the Circumstantials and Externals of Religion, and careless of the Power and Life thereof: Wo unto you, who pretended Love and Reverence to the dead Saints, because they could not testify against you; But maligned, persecuted and con­temned the living Ones, because of their standing out against the Sins of the Generation wherein they lived. O cursed Wretches, the Flames of my Rage shall feed themselves upon you: Try your Stoutness and Mag­nanimity now; the Threatning of my Fury and In­dignation did little affect you: You gave me the Lie, and said, It is not the Lord, neither shall Evil befal us. When my Hand was stretched out, you would not see; but now you see, and feel, and are everlastingly asha­med: Your Atheism is quite done away; know ye not now, that I am a God of Truth and Equity? Have I not performed all upon you, that ever I spoke? Are you not filled with Wrath? Is not Soul and Body tor­mented with the dreadful Flames of my Fury? Shower I not down upon you incessantly Fire and Brimstone, and an horrible Tempest of all Manner of Pains, Griefs, and Torments? Devils and wicked Men, tear & tor­ment, and curse one another; you concurred bravely in sinning, concur in your punishing; you loved the Fel­lowship of one another, be eternally together: Com­panions in Time, and Companions in Eternity. The Fellowship of any holy Ones you little esteemed; I [Page 162] have made betwixt them & you a vast Gulf of eternal Separation: Had you known their Dignity, you should have wondered, that I suffered you to abide in the same World with them. What think you now of provoking me, vile Wretches? Are you the Creatures, that tho't highly of sinning? Are you able to despise and mock at the just Punishment thereof? No more vain Laugh­ing and Jollity; the Fewel of your base sinful Delights have I taken for ever from you: Not one Smile of Joy from henceforth. All the Mercies I vouchased upon you, did ye use against me; the more I continued my Bounty, the more you rebelled and vexed my holy Spirit; tho' in me you lived, moved and had your Being, yet you forgat me, and minded your own worldly Things, more than my Glory and Interests through the World. All your Actions were subordinate to base Self; even your most excellent-like Actings and Suffe­rings for my Cause, were ever out of one selfish Design or other: I will fill you with your own Ways. You shall not be troubled with Offers of Mercy any more, or with the Exercises of Godliness any more: Nothing but Blasphemy fills your hellish Mouths. You shall not be vexed with the Company of my Saints any more: You shall have your Fill of one anothers hellish Fellow­ship throughout Eternity: Your Choice and Delight shall not be taken from you. Know you not who I am? Am I not he, whom you despised and forgot? Am I not he, whose Yoke ye brake asunder from your Necks? Am I not he, whom you defied, and proclaimed War against? Gird up now your Loins, like Men, and main­tain your Quarrel valiantly; shew, by your magnani­mous Deportment, the Justness of your Enmity against Me. Desperate Wretches, you have not the Heart to submit; neither are you able to stand against one Bil­low of my Indignation. It was plainly manifested unto you, all would come to this; but your Minds were fil­led with Vanity: I am free from the Ruin and un­speakable [Page 163] Misery of you all; only your selves have destroyed your selves: Madly and desperately have you run to your own Destruction; and who was obli­ged to stand in your Way? Who hath struck you with such a monstruous Hatred to all Good, and Inclination to all Evil? Are ye not naturally wicked, and abo­minable? Are you not Haters of my Holiness and Ex­cellency? Had ye not from the Beginning a strange Averseness from my spotless Holiness? Blasphemous Wretches, you see my Ways are equal, to your eternal Torment and Confusion; your Mouths are for ever stopped, and you are found guilty: Nothing have you to say for your selves, your monstrous hellish Frame is as a thousand Witnesses against you. Should not I alone be exalted? Should I not crush to Pieces all the Despisers of my Glory? Shall I not for ever cause you to drink the pure and unmixed Wrath of the Almighty, that is poured forth without Mixture? That ye may be filled with my Fury and Indignation, and may be drunk, and made mad, and torment and tare, and devour and curse yourselves, and one ano­ther; that every Thought may bring in a dreadful Horror, and hellish Pangs. O mine Enemies! mine Enemies, whom I made the Shields of the Earth, who became greater in Wickedness, than in your worldly Greatness: You Ringleaders of Iniquity, Betrayers of the great Trust I dignified you with; the Ruin of thousands shall fall on your Heads. Did you tyrannize, without Law, or Reason? Alledging, You were ac­countable to none for Outrages, but unto me; that you might fulfil your wicked Desires without Countroul­ment? O vilest of Wretches, whom I set over my Church, to defend Her from all external Damages, to hold her in all her glorious Privileges, that I left her, in my Legacy; and to hold the Crown, upon my Head, in Despite of the Opposers: Did you make Havock of her? Did you rob her of her Adornments? Did you pull [Page 164] the Crown off my Head, and put it on your own? Did you neglect the Affairs of my Church, and subordinate them to your own temporal, vain, transient Affairs? Did you put the Sword in the Bowels of my Chosen, which I gave you to protect them with? O mine Enemies! I will neither fight with small or great, in Comparison of You; even you, I will ever be avenged upon; you, and all your Parasites, Executors, Applauders, Conni­vers and Consulters to your horrid Rebellion. Durst you, you base, you vile Wretches, be so monstrously audacious, as to usurp my Prerogatives? Durst you de­stroy, imprison, banish, torment, and be as Thorns in the Sides of my excellent Ones? What you did to eve­ry one of them you did to me; I will recompense it. It had well become you, to stoop and lick the Dust at the Feet of my Brethren: It had well become you, to hold up the Train of my Robe-royal, in the Day of my Wounding: It had well become you, to have honoured, and reverenced every one of them, from the highest to the least: Had you considered their Dignity, you would have wondered I permitted you in my Providence to dwell in that World they inhabited; far more to have had any Manner of Superiority over them. Here I meet you, my cursed Enemies; know you with whom you con­tended? Am not I He, whom you contemned, despised, impoverished, imprisoned, banished, maligned, and spewed out the Venom of Hell against? I am He, whose Blood you esteemed as Water; my Brethren you hated, because they bare my Image; for my Sake, even for my Sake, you persecuted them; whatever was your Pretensions, the Power of Godliness was the Butt of your Malice: Durst you malign the Exercising of my Spirit of Grace, in its highest Actings, as a Spirit of Sedition, and rebellious Combinations? Did you take it upon you, to shape out the Government of my Church ac­cording to your foolish Fancy, as an indifferent Thing? As if I had left any Blanks in my Testament, for you [Page 165] to fill up according to your hellish Pleasure: You, even you, with the Betrayers of my Interests and People, will I place eternally in the Brunt of my Fury. Be eternally confounded, all mine Enemies together; Sects, Ranters, Civilians, devout Naturalists, Formalists, carnal Gospellers, Latitudinarians: You have I chosen, before all Ages, Vessels of Wrath and Dishonour, fitted to Destruction; that over you I might shew forth my ab­solute Sovereignty, Long-suffering, Power of my Wrath, Purity of my Holiness, and infinite Perfections.’

59. All the Creatures are Sharers of this eternal Day of Joy: Except reprobate Men and Angels.

Clap your Hands, and be exceeding joyful, O thou Creation of God, who art forever loosed from Vanity and Bondage: This is the Day which the Lord made, rejoice and be glad in it: This is the eternal Day of the Restitution of all Things: Shout, and cry aloud, ye lower Heavens, and dance thou Earth; Sing melo­diously, O ye heavenly Hosts, Sun, Moon and Stars: O ye Mountains, are ye not eternally skipping, like Lambs? You Valleys, you pleasant Fields, are you not ever smiling, and shouting for Joy? You have been wea­ried, and worn out, in serving sinful Creatures; you have been defiled, and written over with Vanity; But now are you renewed, and made pure and clear. How earnest was your Expectation of the Manifestation of the Sons of God! for you were made subject to Vanity, not willingly, but by Reason of him, who had subjected you in Hope: Because you were also to be delivered from the Bondage of Corruption, into the glorious Li­berty of the Children of God. O fair, beautiful and de­lightsom Creation, all Things now are Thousands of Stages more excellent, than at the Beginning! Nothing dwells here, but Righteousness! Thou art not now, O Earth, the Stage of all Wickedness & Rebellion against thy Creator; thou groans not under the Weight of [Page 166] sinful abominable Wretches. You Fields, you are not divided, and possessed by the vilest of Men, who, by the Benefit of the Revenues cast out of your fruitful Womb, were, in their own Eyes, and in the Eyes of silly Fools like themselves, excellent and considerable Persons; you furnish not Fewel for their stinking Pride, tyrannizing, and villainous Pleasures: It was by you, under the Appointment of your Creator, the vile Worms of the Earth appeared somewhat; being clothed over with the scenical Garbs of Riches, and titular Honours, else they had been vile in one anothers Eyes, as now they are to all Eternity; having no inter­nal, real, or personal Excellency worthy to be accoun­ted of. Out of thee, O Earth, do not come the precious Fruits, for filling the bellies of wretched Miscreants, who did eat and drink largely, and wallowed in all earthly Delights; when the only Excellent of the Earth, thro' Oppression, were sometimes pinched in the Neces­saries of a mortal Life: Out of thee do not come Instruments of Cruelty the Weapons of War, with which the Seed of the Serpent did kill, and tor­ment, and persecute the Blood-royal of Heaven: Out of thee do not come the Beasts, wearied with serving, and holding up the Filth and Off-scourings of all Things: The Horses are not groaning under Lumps of Death and Hell, riding in a brave and gallant Manner, with a fine Train; joining Battle with the Camp of the Saints, that they might destroy the Righteous from the Earth, and have none to stand in the Way of their hellish Endea­vours, their monstrous Triumphing and Tyrannizing, as absolute Sovereigns of all: The Sheep are not wearied in furnishing Coverings, and ranting Apparel for the vilest of Creatures: Now they have not a Rag to cover their Nakedness; No Silk, and brave Embroideries for the vile Carcases of hellish Monsters: The excellent Creatures are not now slain to hold in the Life of base Miscreants, Ten thousand Stages below the lowest of [Page 167] Beasts. Thou Air, thou art not an Instrument any more, whereby the wretched Souls and Carcases of cursed Sin­ners are kept together, in a tolerable Condition; base and treacherous Enemies to GOD and Man, do not now defile thee, by drawing thee in, and out, for the Con­servation of their abominable Life. Thou Water, thou art not now used by the Devil and his Slaves, as Instru­ments of their Cruelty against the only princely and noble Persons, the Co-heirs of Heaven and Earth, and all Things. Thou art not, O Fire, compelled violent­ly, against thy Nature, to reduce to ashes, with great Torment, the precious Bodies of Zion's Children, compa­rable to fine Gold. You Sun, Moon and Stars, you shall not shine upon the Wicked, as well as the Righteous, my more: You do not lose your sweet Influences up­on the Abomination of Heaven and Earth, and all Things: Are you not in your own Kind happy, by being freed from such grievous Bondage; more grievous, than to be corrupted, destroyed and broken in a Thou­sand Nothings: O what Joys! all dance, and rejoice! all are in a melodious Frame! the Virtue of my WEL­BELOVED's Suffering and Exaltation extends by Super­abundance to all Things. No Wonder, we are plung­ed in the Oceans of unspeakable Joys and Delights! Tho' all were in a mourning Apparel, we could not but eternally superabound in Joys! This is the eternal Day of our Redemption, the Day of the Restitution of all Things.

60. All Things are renewed, and glorified; Nothing anihilated.

O thou lower World, thou art made new indeed! O such a majestick, glorious Fabrick out of the Ashes of a Dunghil! O heavenly Earth! or earthly Heaven! Wonderful! not a new Creation, but a renewing of the Old, that perished by the Fire of his Indignation! O my LORD, thou canst make any Thing out of any Thing [Page 168] thou pleasest: Beings, & no Beings, are all alike to Thee! Verily this is a Change, wherein infinite Excellency is highly manifested. What Joy, to behold the Face of all Things! Our Seeing of the first Temple will not cause us to weep, because of this Second: Here is a magnificent Royal Palace reared up, in the Place of a Dungeon; A stately Majestick City, in the Place of a few poor Cottages. Was the former Fabrick real? or was it not rather imaginary? Were they not Fools, who were only delighted with it? Were they not bewitched, and led away with Fancies, Night-Dreams and Vanities? I thought the former Earth, in the Days of my Mortality, full of the Glory, Bounty, Riches and Excellency of the great Former; and was it not? Yet, was it a dark Shadow, to what mine Eyes behold. This is a Change could never have entred within the Conceptions of the most excellent Creatures; This is materially the Former, and yet not the Former. It is manifest, my ALMIGHTY ONE, thou canst create never so many Worlds, differing altogether in Excellency from one another: But thou hast done it, because it so pleased Thee: Just, and holy, and wise, and true art thou, in all thy Ways. This is the Stage whereon thou actedst most wonderful Things, as a Prelude to this endless Day of Eternity: Whereon thou ran an inconceivable Mass of various Dispensations, which will fill Eternity with Admiration: Here didst thou display the Banner of thy Mercy, and Justice, in the very same Traces of Providence, as the wisest of Mor­tals could not trace thy Footsteps; Here thou wroughtst the never-enough admired Work of our Redemption; here thou wooed thy Bride; here thou prepared thine Enemies for the Time of Vengeance; here thou madest all Things ready for this everlasting Day; and therefore in thy Wisdom hast thou continued it, an eternal Monu­ment. Oh! thy Sovereignty runs in the Channel of thine infinite Love and Bounty! Thou mightst return all Things back to their Original again: But thy Goodness is for [Page 169] ever extended over the Works of thine Hands: Thy Glo­ry endureth for ever; Thou dost rejoice in all thy Works; Shall I not then rejoice in them? shall not I, consider­ing them, be eternally ravished? Might it not render a Creature eternally blessed, to consider thy infinite Glory, and Perfections, written on thy Handy-work? Even in the Days of my Childhood, I could not open mine Eyes, on the most ordinary Productions of thine Excel­lency, without strange Stirrings, Love, Joy and Admi­ration. O the ravishing sweet Sights, that even then I have seen of Thee, through the Glass of the Creature! How have my Thoughts run a Maze of ravishing De­lights and Sweetness, in considering the Vastness and Expansion of the Canopy of the lower World! the Beams of thy Chambers, laid in the Waters; the Clouds, thy Chariots, whereon thou didst gloriously ride; the Winds the Pavement whereon Thou walkest; Thy Omnipotent Power, in laying so firmly the Foundations of the Earth, that it cannot be moved; The prodigious Overflowing of the Waters, when they overwhelmed the Earth; The un­searchable Manner of bounding the boistrous Waves of the raging Sea, by sandy Bulwarks; Thy Wisdom, in watering the Vallies from the Mountains, and the Mountains from the Sea and Heavens; that the Fowls of the Air, and the Beasts of the Field might drink abundantly: The Excel­lent Vertues of base Dunghil-Earth, manifested in its rich, pleasant, sweet, various and lively Off-spring; as, Grass, Herbs, Flowers, Shrubs, Trees, and innumerable Mul­titude of Beauties, filling all the Senses with passing Delectation, and subservient to all the Defects of indigent Mortals; as Nutriment, Medicine, Clothing, and Habi­tation: The wonderful Eye of thine omniscient Provi­dence over the most inconsiderable Creatures; as, the Conies, and Goats, who were provided of fit Refuges from all Danger: The exact Ordina [...]s of Sun, Moon and Stars; The Vicissitudes of Light and Darkness, for the several Exigencies of Men and Beasts. In the Midst of [Page 170] such ravishing Thoughts of thy Power, Wisdom and Goodness, how have I been filled, according to the Mea­sure of Mortality, with inexpressible Joy and Sweetness? So that I could not but cry out, with ravishing Astonish­ment, O LORD, how manifold are thy Works? In Wis­dom hast thou made them all! The Earth is full of thy Riches! And again fell into the deep Contemplation of the Greatness of the Sea, its innumerable Progeny of small and great Animals; Thy Wisdom, in Appointment of Navigation; and Power, in the Leviathan's playing there; thy rich Bounty, in holding a well-furnisht Table, to so numerous a Family, as the People of Heaven, Earth, and Sea; Their necessary Dependence on thee, every Instant, in their Living, Moving, Being; so that they are not, if Thou draw in thy Self and the Vivify­ing Spirit thou communicates unto them. Have I not, O my GOD, been in many such sweet Meditations, until I have been wrapt up in a Frame of Spirit inutterable, inexpressible? and sung forth in the midst of such Sweet­ness, The Glory of the LORD shall endure for ever; The LORD shall rejoice in all his Works: I will sing un­to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing Praises unto my God, while I have my Being; my Meditation of him shall be sweet; I will rejoice in the Lord. How oft have I thought, Is the Wilderness so sweet and pleasant? What must the In-land be? Is there such ravishing Variety of Beauty, Glory, and Sweetness, all along in my Pilgrimage? What can I imagine to behold in my Na­tive Country? Is the Habitation, where Devils, wicked Men and Beasts inhabit, so excellent and glorious? What can I think of the Place where JESUS, the EMMA­NUEL, with his fair white Company of Saints and An­gels, everlastingly abides? Is my God's Footstool so glorious? What must his Throne be? Is the under Vault of this base Dun [...] so Majestick? O the higher Hall of Glory! where the glorious King, and his magnificent Court remain! Doth the Habitation symbolize with the [Page 171] Inhabitants? The higher World must inconceivably transcend this lower. And is this Earth so sweet, when cursed, and defiled, because of its abominable Inhabitants? what shall it be, when renewed, and made only an Ha­bitation of Righteousness? Shall not every Place excell Eden? and Eden the Celestial Camps? Indeed, O lower World, we might, in our Mortality, conceive something confusedly of thy Renovation; but could never have imagined, thou shouldst have been thus: O Earth, thou appearest to be placed after the former Manner, to be of the former Magnitude, and Figure, as to every Point corresponding to the same Points of the Heaven of Hea­vens; also the lower Heaven differs not in Magnitude, Situation, and Number of Tapers, from the former; and only herein do the old and new World agree: Now, the smallest Star would have confounded the In­habitants of the old, and made the very Sun to evanish in its Light: The Beams of Light darting every where are substantial; filling not only the Eyes, but all the Sen­ses with passing Delight; it containing innumerable Per­fections and Vertues, not to be perceived by Mortals; their Senses being few, and capable of little: But now, every Sense is equivalent to Ten thousand thousand dif­fering in Kind from one another: The Light of one Lu­minary confounds not the Rays of another, tho' all are united and made one: The Moon appears to change Faces, by the nearer, or further, Approach of, or Distance from her King; yet she is ever more glorious than the Sun in his former Condition: Every Star showers down Millions of Millions of various Influences, which in a Moment would convert the former Earth to a Lump of Gold and Gems: All are transparent, even the Sun, Moon and Stars, though compact solid Globes of Light: No Vail drawn betwixt the higher and lower Habitation: No smoky Fumes betwixt Heaven and Earth: No Winds, nor Storms, Tempest [...], pinching Cold, nor pierceing Heat: No Vicissitudes of Summer and Winter: Nothing but [Page 172] an eternal Spring-tide, and endless Summer, a constant Harvest: All are in their blooming Estate, and fullest Perfection. What Wonder! Is it not the Centre of infi­nite Influences? the sweet Influences of Pleiades are ne­ver bound up, but are every Minute showered down; the Bands of Orion are ever loosed: And is not the heavenly Earth so impregnate, with such infinite Vertues? Is it not so lively and vigorous; so full of the Seeds of innumerable Excellencies, as that, in it self, it is beau­tiful, fruitful and excellent, without Influences from Creatures of an higher Nature? In its own Nature doth it contain the Vertue and Operations of Sun, Moon and Stars. How infinitely various are the Sensitive Vegetables? What Beauty, and Glory, and Vertue is to be found in every One? The smallest Pile of Grass might alone banish Darkness from the whole Universe. O the Roses and Lilies! every one like a Star in its proper Orb: All Things are like Lamps of Light; yet, nothing hindering the Varieties of Colours, which are infinitely various, and wonderfully lively: All the Rays of such innume­rable Beauties and Excellencies, tho' united in one, are nothing troublesom, through their Intensity, but the more delightsom: And all Lights, all Colours, all Ex­cellencies as infinitely intended. O then! their passing Pleasantness! every Thing appears endowed with all Man­ner of Excellencies, as Colours, Figures, &c. and so to be a little World. What may be said of this, in compa­rison of the former? This is Beauty, the former was De­formity: This is Light, the other Darkness: This is Liveliness and Activity, the other Deadness & Laziness: The former was a confused, deformed and lothsom Chaos; out of which is made this excellent, beautiful and glorious Fabrick. Who can behold, and not smile and le [...]p for Joy, at the Bounty and Power of JEHOVAH, so visibly manifested? And what sweet, cheering Brea­things do so harmoniously sound among the stately Trees of this universal Paradise? O what Diffusing of delight­som, [Page 173] odoriferous Exhalations! One Gale would cause Death it self to be lively; being a thousand Times more excellent, than the most pure and refined Animal Spirits of Mortals: One Gale of this, would have rendered the former Earth a fertile Eden for many Ages: Eyes and Ears, and all the Faculties, are lost in an endless Maze; To find a Beginning, Middle and Ending, is a Task for Eternity. All is one Orchard, one Paradise, one Field, one Garden of Delight! The most curious Artifice of Cities, Palaces, or what else, would be De­formity. Nature now cannot be bettered by Helps: JEHOVAH hath ordered all, in an Order above the In­vention of all Creatures: Eden here would be like a black Spot on a fair and beautiful Face. Every Drop of Dew, that dangleth on these Trees of God, excels Rubies and Carbuncles. All the Rivers run Liquors a­bove the most precious Quintessential Extractions of the former World. May it not be called indeed, The Golden Age? They who behold Thee, see the Floods of Hony and Butter. May they not heap up Gold, as the Dust; and Gold of Ophir, as the Stones of the Brook? How excellent is thy Loving-kindness, O God! therefore the Children of Men put their Trust under the Shadow of thy Wings. We are abundantly satisfied with the Fulness of thy House; And Thou makest us drink of the Rivers of thy Pleasures. Thou visitest the Earth, Thou waterest it, Thou greatly enrichest it with the Rivers of God, which are full of Water; Thou crownest the Year with thy Goodness; and all thy Paths drop Fatness: The Hills, the little Hills and Valleys shout for Joy, and sing, ‘The Lord is our Keeper, the Lord is our Shade, on our Right-hand; the Sun doth not smile us by Day, nor the Moon by Night; We are secure for ever and ever: All thy Promises are more than fully accomplished. Men and Angels, the Product of his everlasting Counsels is all brought forth: It is done, thus it is because it thus pleased him. Holy, holy, holy LORD GOD Almighty, which was, and is, [Page 174] and art to come! Thou art worthy to receive Glory, and Honour, and Power; For thou hast created all Things and for thy Pleasure they are, and were created.

61. The Triumphing over the Wicked, is a Part of the Saints Glory and Happiness.

O beautiful, glorious and joyful World! All have been sad-like until now: Who can open their Eyes, and not be over-joyed, tho' they extracted their Delights only from Creatures mediately? But what is this to you, Lost Wretches, shut up in utter Darkness? Your best World hath eternally vanished: This is a black miserable World to you. What have you to do with this fair Crea­tion? It is ours, only ours; for we are Christ's, and Christ is God's. Even the former Earth, you took for your Country, Heaven and Happiness, was only yours by Usurpation and Oppression; but now you shall usurp no more: If any Thing be yours, it is that bottomless Lake, wherein you crawl, like so many filthy Toads, Snakes and abominable Vermine: To behold you, would confound any Creature, not indowed with Immortality. O monstrous Sights! O the Infinite Power of JEHOVAH! that can shape-out after this Fashion: Your Structure symbolizeth with your Vileness; your Countenance cor­responds excellently to your hellish Minds; and you can­not but affright one another with your desperate hellish Looks and Minds; Blasphemy, and horrid Desperation is written on your Fore-heads, even the Wrath and Fury of JEHOVAH and the LAMB: One of your gastly Looks would affright Millions of Mortals out of their Wits: You are, O dreadful Vileness; extremely miserable; yet, not Objects of Pity: You might stirr'd-up Com­passion in the most zealous Breasts on Earth, because then you were endowed with some small Relicks of the Image of your Creator; but how fully is the Saying of our WELBELOVED accomplished on you? From him that hath not, shall be taken away even that which he hath. All [Page 175] the Spunks of Goodness are evanished; and what can re­main, but a Mass of all Impiety, & direct Hatred of God? Nothing like this was seen on Earth. Now you appear in your own Colours; God hath stripped you naked of all. Where are all your excellent Gifts, your Prudence, and Civility, your fine natural Disposition; your Love to God, you so much talked of? Now it appears, That the Heart of Man is deceitful above all Things, and desperately wicked, above Imagination. On Earth, be­cause of natural Ties, we could not but love you; your eternal Rebellion not being manifested to us: But now you are for ever our Lord's stated Enemies; that tho' he would offer you Pardon, your cursed Hearts would no less rise against him; your Hatred is unquen­chable, and augments thro'out Eternity. Fools, are you belching out the Venom of Hell against him, who for ever tramples you under his Feet? Doth not your Cur­sings and horrid Blasphemies sound forth the Justness of his avenging Wrath? Not because of his Wrath, and Dis­pleasure against you, are you mad against him; in the midst of his Bounty did you continue in your Enmity. His Holiness, his spotless Holiness is the Butt of your hel­lish Malice: Your Wickedness is come to its Perfection: Mortality was not capable of outing the ten thousandth Part of what is now manifested: Ever were you averse from the Fellowship of the ever-blessed God: Now you directly avouch your Enmity, as just and equitable, in De­spite of your Consciences, showing Right and Wrong. Know you not, That he against whom you have eternal­ly sworn your selves Enemies, may use his Power over you? And you would do so over him and his. What would you do with his holy Ones, if you had their ever­lasting Lot at your Disposing? Is not his Mercy over all his Works? Since he layeth not upon you the ten thou­sandth Part of that Punishment he could, and his Sove­reignty and Displeasure carves out the Measure of your Punishment: But is there any Measure, which he might [Page 176] not in Justice inflict? When it is augmented with never so many Ages, and your Strength augmented to bear it; ne­ver can it be said, He inflicts more than is meet; since Your Rebellion is against an infinite Majesty, and is of an endless Nature: Since You are ever sin­ning more and more; therefore are You obliged to his everlasting Mercy and Bounty. O my GOD, what a de­lightsom Change is this! I will rejoice, yea, I will for e­ver rejoice in beholding! What now, you Some bodies of Time, where is your gay Clothing, your fine well-pam­pered Carcasses? What think you of these vile, abomi­nable, ugly clubbish Bodies, which You only cared for, and would have so finely deckt, as if they had been made of some celestial Substance, and not of the same Lump, that all Mankind was made of? What is come of the ex­cellent Majesty and Reverence, silly flattering Fools made you believe, had been enstamped upon your very bodily Visage? Where is your brave Attendance, you imagined followed You, for Your real Excellency? Where is that Admiration, had of you, beastly Wretches, because of Advantage? What think ye, base Sycophants, of the Men you trusted to, and adored above God alsufficient? See you now any Majesty, or Excellencies in such poor, base, trembling Catives? Are they not the same, that they were? only the Fig-leaves that covered them are taken away. They imagined themselves Some-bodies, while they possessed earthly Abundance: How highly did they look: because they seemed to have some more Shovel­fuls of Earth than others? But now the lofty Looks of Man are humbled, and the Haughtiness of Man is bowed down; and the Lord alone is exalted in this Day. What now, Tyrants, silly Catives; are you the very same Men, that made the Earth to tremble? The Lord hath broken the Staff of the Wicked, and the Sceptre of the Rulers: Your Pomp is brought down to the Grave, and the Noise of your Viols ceaseth the Worms are spread under you, and the Worms cover you; Are you not despised in the [Page 177] Eyes of all, whether in Heaven or Hell? The Almighty hath laid open Your Nakedness, he hath discovered Your secret Parts: Fools, were you never thinking that it would come to this? Did you imagine, That the vilest of Men should domineer over the most Excellent, and no more of it? That the Wicked might oppress the Man more righteous than himself, and yet no more of it to all Eter­nity? Did the Almighty create Man after his Image, to eat and drink, and pass away an Inch of Time, and no more? Was it the Purpose of the wise Disposer of all Things, that Men should be ranked according to the Fan­cies of Riches and titular Honour acquired by Vanity, and maintained by Folly? What think you now of those You contemned not long ago, whom You esteemed as the Filth and Off-scourings of all Things, whom You thought unworthy of Your excellent Presence, because they were not laded with the thick Clay of the Earth? What Distance & Reverence looked You for from Fellow-Creatures, as if they had been made for so base an End, as to hold up Your Yeas and Nays? As if Caping and Cringing, & such histrionick Vanities had been requisite for the Sons of Wisdom? O joyful Day of Eternity! wherein all Things are unmasked; all Odds are made Even. The Fore tho'ts of this held up my Heart, in my sad Pilgrimage. Now, Wretches, 'tis evident, who on Earth should have been most honoured and esteemed, who should have had the chief Place among Men; Who sees not now, That Wisdom is the principal Thing? How vain was the Esteem of the World! Were they not Fools who in the least regarded it? Who considered Things only according to their external Shews. Catives, what think you of your Fools-paradise? Your golden Dream hath miserably beguiled you: Earthly Riches are cried down; the vain Denominations of Time are fled away. Only Wisdom for ever remains. What then, are you, poor wicked Wretches, exposed to the Shame, Contemp [...] and Mockery of all the World? Are you not made a Gazing-stock [Page 178] to God, Angels and Men? You snatched at Fan­cies, and neglected Wisdom, which would have rendered you excellent for ever and ever. They that practised best your foolish Modes and Inventions; that could comply best with your foolish Humours; that knew best, how to scrape together the Pelf of the Earth, were esteemed wise and accomplished by you: As for the truly Wise (who were ever very rare, and the Wonders of their Age) you contemned, and reproached them, as the Dregs of Man­kind. How did you triumph over the Poor, and Meek of the Earth? while your World remained, which was but for a Moment. An everlasting World is now come; May we not triumph Time-about? Which of us have chosen the better Part? Judge ye: Present Things you esteemed only real; and wondered at our Folly, that lived upon the Hope of Things to come; yea, and to come after Death, and the Dissolution of all Things: And are you not Fools, who neglected Immortality and Glory, and Ho­nour, tho' you had a miserable, pining Life on Earth, ear­ning your daily Bread by sore Labour and Grief? Could not a frowning vexing World loose your base Minds from it? O vile Wretches, esteemed you Earth, in its Winter­garb, before the eternal Enjoyment of the Fountain of all Blessedness? Verily your Mouth is eternally stopped. Wretches of Wretches, who were endowed with the Knowledge of the only excellent Things; who spake, and wrote to the Good and Admiration of others: Wonder­ful! knew you so much of the Alsufficiency of JEHO­VAH, the Emptiness of all Things below him; and yet did not put your Trust in him, did not care for a near Fellowship with him, but placed your Love and Delights on Vanities? You are to be doubly punished, who knew your Master's Will, and did it not: Good had it been for you, vilest Wretches, that you had been Idiots and Sots: How did you despise some of the Excellent Ones of the Earth; because of your more sagacious Nature, in up­taking? Your Heart hath not been upright before GOD; [Page 179] your Knowledge puffed you up; Charity hath been away; your Gifts and Abilities have you not used to his Glory for whom are all Things: But Self hath been the End of all your Endeavours. What a glorious Lustre had you then among weak Saints! The Rottenness of your Heart was overvailed with a Multitude of natural Gifts, and E­ducation: But he, who knoweth all Things, hath found you out; he hath weighed you in an even Balance, and ye are found wanting. Now, it is manifest, who is the Searcher of the Hearts, and the Trier of the Reins: Were they not wise, who overlooked the Approbation of Men, and gave all Diligence to be approved to thee? What thy Tho'ts are concerning a Creature, that it is indeed. Ma­ny Hypocrites have passed off the Stage of Time, with the Pasport of many of the Saints; but thy Well done hath only landed fair in thy blessed Kingdom. Indeed, LORD JESUS, in Time thou madest a brave Separation betwixt the Righteous and the Wicked; how oft hast thou sifted thy Church over, and over again, with smaller and smal­ler Sieves? So that the Difference betwixt the Wheat and the Chaff was very discernable. How oft hast thou drawn the Controversy betwixt thy Friends, and thy Ene­mies, to smaller and smaller Concernments? So that many, who, for Shame, could not, inpalpably gross Things, comply with the Devil and his Slaves; yet in Matters that seemed of less Consequence, did they side with them; whence their Hypocrisie and Luke warmness in the Matters of GOD did appear. O Apostates and Be­trayers of the Interests of Jehovah and the Lamb, your Mouth is eternally stopped! Many fine Excuses did your hellish Minds invent,in the Midst of your Villany: Your fine Subtilties, drawn from Prudentials and Politicks, are now laid open before Sun and Moon. You were too wise and prudent to take the plain Way, and come to the Streets for GOD: You were of too meek a Nature to hold the Devil and his Slaves at long Weapons: You were of too fine and subtile a Spirit to speak in plain [Page 180] Terms of the Controversies of the Time, and Sins of the Generation you lived in; You were too courteous and submissive to contend with the very Shields of the Earth, in every Concernment of the Prince of the Kings of the Earth: No, You were not such Fools, as to incur the deadly Fewd of those, who had Authority and Power in their Hands: Yet would many of You been ranked in a­mong the Camp of the Saints; whereby you were esteem­ed as excellent amongst some of the weaker Ones: Now it is evident, You were base Traitors, playing with all Hands, for your greater Security and Advantage; and that you have been lukewarm and indifferent in the royal Prerogatives and Honor of the great and mighty LORD of all Things, and the Welfare of his Spouse. You sta­ted Enemies against JEHOVAH, and the LAMB, what think you of your desperate Madness? Thought you to conquer and destroy the Friends and Darlings of the high and mighty One? Imagined you, that you were triumph­ing, when you prospered in persecuting of his Church? Fools, that was one of the great Ends, that the Almighty raised you up for; that you might scour and rub the Ves­sels of his Temple: Useful Instruments were you in the Hand of the great Actor; by you he hammered & polish­ed the Stones of his House; by you he cleansed it of Filth; by you he pulled it down, in Order to a more excellent Fabrick: You, you did the Almighty use, as Slaves in all servile Employments; and when he had fulfilled his In­tentions with you, he cast you into the Fire. Vile Wret­ches, is it not a dreadful Torment, to look our LORD JESUS in the Face? How doth his Presence and the Pre­sence of his holy Ones abash you? Where are Your high and lofty Looks now? What fear'd and astonisht-like Countenances! Are you the Men that spoke so highly a­gainst the Work and People of GOD? Are you the Men, who mocked his holy Ones, or not? Are you the Men, who cared not for our Fellowship; but thought the World might be well enough without these heavenly [Page 181] Creatures? Were you weary of our Neighbourhood, as troublesom; because of our stoick (as you fancied) and [...]ecise Principles, contrary to your loose and worldly Way of walking? Now you have your Will, you are no more troubled with our Fellowship; the Tares and the Wheat are eternally separate: Now your Hatred and Envy cannot reach us; we tread you for ever, as Dung a­mong our Feet. What are your Cursings and Blasphe­mies to our LORD, and us? Could a filthy Toad defile the Sun by spitting Venom upwards? Could the Smoke of the lower Region darken that Lamp of Light? Could the blustring Winds make the Stars to tremble? Could the proud Ocean, with its turbulent Swellings, beat down the pearly Foundation of the higher House? Your Envy and Malice is a vehement Flame, burning up eternally your Soul and Body: Your own Wickedness is poured upon you, and it burneth as the Fire; it devoureth the Briers and the Thorns, and kindleth in the Thickets of the Forest, and they mount up, like the lifting up of Smoke. Wickedness containeth its Punishment in its Bosom. All our Desires are fulfilled: The Zeal of our GOD's House did eat up our Heart, in the Days of our Pilgri­mage; but now we are overjoyed in beholding of the Vengeance: Much of the Vengeance of the Wrath of our GOD did we, with exceeding Joy, behold, when we lived within Time. How oft did he appear, for the Sal­vation of his People, with Garments rolled in Blood? How did he overturn a whole World by an universal In­undation of Waters? How did he burn up Countries and Cities in one Hour? How did he make Earth's devouring Jaws swallow up many of those, that it was burdened with? By Sword, by Famine, by Pestilence, by the Beasts of the Field, how hath he made the Carcasses of his Enemies to be spread like Dung upon the Face of the Earth? What strange Judgments have we seen upon Families, and Per­sons, conform to their Iniquities? How signal was his Providence over the Children of Men? So that Men were [Page 182] convinced, and could not but say, Verily there is a GOD, that judgeth righteously in the Earth: Verily there is a Reward for the Righteous and Wicked; a Difference [...] twixt him that feareth GOD, and him that feareth hi [...] not But all was Emblems, Types, Shadows and Represen­tations of what now we behold: All the Vengeance inflict­ed on cursed Wretches, was just nothing. What was Mor­tality capable of? All the Wrath inflicted in Time, com­pounded in one, was nothing, to one Moment of this e­verlasting Day of pure and unmixed Vengeance: The in­flicting of Punishment in Time, was only for the Sake of the Spectators, that the Inhabitants of the World might learn Righteousness. Vile Creatures, do you not know, whom you should have feared? What think you of your prodigious Madness, who feared feeble nothing Creatures, like your selves, and forgat and despised the Threatnings and Judgments of the infinite ONE? What could all Crea­tures do? All their Wrath and Fury, compared to the Vengeance of the Almighty, is like a small Drop to a boundless Ocean. Find you not now, that it is a fear­ful Thing to fall into the Hands of the living GOD? O what Billows of divine Vengeance! What Oceans of Wrath hath he treasured up at his Right-hand! Every Drop whereof might confound ten thousand Worlds. The Lord hath come out of his Place, to punish the Inhabi­tants of the Earth, for their Iniquity: The Earth also hath disclosed her Blood. For behold, the LORD, a mighty and strong One, who, as a Tempest of Hail, and a destroy­ing Storm, as a Flood of mighty Waters overflowing, doth cast down to the Earth with the Hand: The Name of the Lord is come, burning with his Anger; and the Burden thereof is heavy. His Lips are full of Indigna­tion, and his Tongue as a devouring Fire, and his Breath as an overflowing Stream, doth reach unto the Midst of the Neck. How doth the LORD go forth, as a Mighty Man? How doth he stir up Jealousy like a Man of War? He crieth, he prevaileth against his Enemies, I [Page 183] have long Time held my Peace, saith the Almighty, I have been still, and refrained myself: Now will I cry, like a [...]avelling Woman: I will destroy and devour, at once Multitudes, Multitudes in the Valley of Decision; for the Day of the LORD is in the Valley of Decision. He hath come down, and trod upon the high Places of the Earth; and the Mountains were molten under him, and the Val­lies were cleft: As Wax before the Fire, and as Waters that are poured down a steep Place. The Nations saw, and were confounded; they laid their Hand upon their Mouth; they licked the Dust like a Serpent, they moved out of their Holes like Worms of the Earth; and were greatly afraid, and confounded because of the LORD our GOD: For he is jealous, and revengeful; He revengeth, and is furious; Who can stand before his Indignation? And who can abide in the Fierceness of his Anger? His Fury is poured out like Fire; and the Rocks are thrown down by him. O thou Enemy, Destructions are come to a perpetual End: But the LORD's Anger endureth forever: He hath prepared his Throne for Judgment. Sing Praises unto the Lord, that dwelleth in Zion. When he maketh Inquisition for Blood, be remembreth them: He has not forgotten the Cry of the Humble; the Needy have not always been forgotten; the Expectation of the Poor hath not perished for ever. Upon the Wicked thou rainest Snares, Fire and Brimstone, and an horrible Tempest: This shall be for ever the Portion of their Cup. O love the Lord, all ye his Saints; for the LORD preserveth the Faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud Doer. The LORD is righteous, and all his Works are done in Truth. All my Bones shall say unto the LORD, Who is like unto thee? who deliverest the Poor from him that was too strong for him. Thy Mercy, O LORD, is in the Heavens, and thy Faithfulness reacheth unto the Clouds: Thy Righteousness is like the great Moun­tains, thy Judgments are a great Deep. Many, O LORD my GOD, are the wonderful Works, which thou hast done, and thy Thoughts, which are to us-ward, they cannot be [Page 184] reckoned up in Order unto thee; If I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbred. Sing Praises, unto GOD, sing Praises, sing Praises unto our King, sing Praises. The Heathen raged, the Kingdom were mov'd; He uttered his Voice, the Earth melted: The LORD of Hosts is with us, the GOD of Jacob is our Refuge; Selah. Through GOD we do valiantly; for it is he that treadeth down our Enemies. Surely Men of low Degree were Vanity, and Men of high Degree were a Lie; To be laid in the Balance, they were altogether lighter than Vanity. GOD hath spoken once, twice have I heard this, that Power belongeth unto GOD; also unto thee, O LORD, belongeth Mercy; for thou rendrest unto every Man ac­cording to his Work. Thou hast ascended up on high, thou hast led Captivity captive; thou hast received Gifts for Men: Thou hast broken Rahab in Pieces, as one that is slain: Thou hast scattered thine Enemies with thy strong Arm: But mine Horn hast thou exalted, like the Horn of the Unicorn; I am anointed with fresh Oil: Mine Eyes see my Desire upon mine Enemies, and mine Ears have heard my Desires of the Wicked, that rose up against me. Who is like the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high, who humbleth himself to behold the Things that are in Hea­ven? He raiseth up the Poor out of the Dust, and lifteth up the Needy out of the Dunghil; that he may set him with Princes. I will exalt thee, my God, O King, I will praise thy Name for ever and ever: I will speak of the Ho­nour of thy Majesty, and of thy wondrous Works: Thy Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom, and thy Dominion endureth to all Generations: Bless the Lord all ye his An­gels, that excel in Strength; Bless the Lord, all ye his Saints: Bless the Lord, all ye his Works, in all Places of his Do­minions: Bless the Lord, O my Soul. Hallelujah.

62. Reflections upon the victorious Power of Faith, and on the Folly of faithless Worldlings.

[Page 185]I, thus to triumph over Death, and Hell! am I eter­nal Victor over so strong and numerous Enemies? O ye Gates of Hell, could ye not prevail against me? Might ye not have destroyed Ten thousand Worlds of the like of me? What hath come of all your Boastings, when you have not been able to destroy Poor ME, when as­sisted and helped by my Welbeloved? Strange! have not I overcome you in the midst of great Weakness and Infirmity? O the Strength of Faith! I laid hold on him, who is mighty; I trusted in him, and therefore I could not be moved: I took hold on the Rock of Ages; and what could Ten thousand raging Seas have done unto me? These who hold Grips of Him, may swim safely through the Lake, that burneth with Fire and Brimstone. Devils, and wicked Men, you were Fools to assault us: Did you think, because of our Weakness and Morta­lity, to vanquish us, and carry away the Day? If you might have overturned the Rock of Ages, then might you have overturned us; for we relied upon Him: and it was a Repugnancy, to imagine, He might fail us. No Wonder, Devils, that you strove to bring us to Doubt­ings, and Distrust; for in Faith did our Strength lie▪ Had you ruined our Faith, and brought us to Diffidence, or presumptuous, foolish Boldness, ye had ruined us for ever: but our WELBELOVED prayed to his Father, that our Faith should not fail us; and he is greater and dearer in his Father's Eyes, than to be said Nay, in so earnest a Request. Now it is manifest, that all Things have been done by Relieving; It hath been the Sun, Ori­ginal, and King of all other Graces: Because I believed, therefore I spake and did for him on Earth; Therefore did I place the Flower and Vigour of my Love upon him; Therefore did I contemn all the Glory and Excellency of Time, for my Portion; Therefore did I exceedingly en­deavour to do the Things that are Well-pleasing in his Sight, and to be more and more like him; Therefore did I long to see him Face to Face. Men and Angels, through [Page 186] Faith in his Name, am I entered this blessed Place: Not by my Holiness, not by my Strength, and Integrity, is this wonderful Thing come to pass; but by laying hold on him, who is mighty to save unto the uttermost. Wic­ked Men and Devils, I have vanquished you; I have thrown you eternally to the Ground; not by the Excel­lency of mine own Vigour and Courage, but by laying hold on his Strength, who sustaineth all Things. Faith was the Substance of Things hoped for, the Evidence of Things not seen. For by it we have all received an ever­lasting Name. We believed, that what he had promised, He would perform, tho' we saw them not, either intui­tively, or rationally; tho' we had not received the Promi­ses, but only had a View of them afar off, yet were we perswaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed our selves Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth; Declaring plainly to Worldlings, that we were seeking a Place of eternal Abode, overlooking the Wilderness, as a Way­faring Place. O fairest WELBELOVED, how was I ena­moured and ravished with thy very NAME, when I had not seen thee! How was I perswaded of the Truth of all thy Promises and Threatnings, as if I had beheld them fully accomplished? How gladly and cheerfully did I loose my Heart and Love from all temporal Concern­ments, that they might be set wholly upon the great Things to be revealed? I believed all thou spoke; be­cause I counted thee both Faithful, Willing and Power­ful to accomplish: I consulted not with Flesh and Blood, to go and reason, Is it possible such a Thing can be? Nay, I overlooked all Objections, tho' never so plausible and strong; and stopped the Mouth of all earthly, sensual and devilish Wisdom, with, The Mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. But, O my fair One, how doth Beholding inconceivably transcend Faith! I trusted Thou wouldst perform above all I could ask, or think; but how con­fused, general and childish were my Conceptions of what now I enjoy? The highest I could bend my Con­ceptions, [Page 187] was, to imagine, that Eye hath not seen, Ear hath not heard, neither hath it entred into the Heart of Mortal, what thou hadst prepared for those that waited for thee: All I could conceive of this boundless Happi­ness, was, to consider it, as passing all Conception. How have I been vexed with the Baseness and lowness of my Apprehensions? and have endeavoured to strain them a­bove their proper Measure; not considering that childish Estate was not capable of manly Conceptions; and that Mortality must be swallowed up of Life, else the Creature cannot behold thy Face, and live. It was Wisdom to long for this Day of immediate Fellowship; but Folly to desire it within the Tents of Mortality: All I could then have of Thee, was thy Portraiture, Thou set down in thy Testament. Love-letters I received from Thee, in Earth's childish Dialect: Thou told me of Kingdoms and Cities, Diadems & Honours, Riches & Pleasures: Thou told me of thy Greatness, and Majesty, and Loveliness; all which were Things of the lower World much estee­med: But here are neither Kingdoms, nor Diadems; but Things transcendently above all such Trifles. How igno­rant have I been of my Happiness? Wonderful! that the Hope of this made me not overjoyed to the Death. O silly, hungry Wilderness, when I cast back mine Eyes upon thee, Can I but smile at the childish Folly of Worldlings, who only desired, endeavoured, contended for Portions, and Inheritances out of thee? They that purchased most, have acquired Nothing; and they who purchased least, can be in no poorer Case. What have you gained, base Worldlings? Enjoy the Fruit of your Expectation and Labour; Now, when the End of all Things is come, gather together your Purchase, and re­joice for ever in it: What! have you provided Nothing for the last Days? Laid you up no Treasures for this Time? Were you not thinking on this endless Day of Eternity? Have you been all such brutish Fools, as to provide Nothing for the last Day? Strange Folly and [Page 188] Madness! Had none of you but that much Consideration as to think, Possibly there might be a LIFE after an Inch of Time? Were ye Wise, or were ye Fools, who con­sumed all your Time, in providing for Time? Base Fools, did God create you for an Inch of Time? Thought you his Wisdom made you only to eat and drink, and mind your base selves, to provide only for your sensual decay­ing Life, and never to aim at his Glory, To whom, and through whom, and for whom are all Things? Did you imagine it just, that the lower Creatures should serve you; and yet you to neglect the CREATOR? Did you forget him; and should He have minded you, and given your Rain and fruitful Seasons, filling your Hearts with Food and Gladness? O ingrate Wretches! O abo­minable Fools! shall we not tread you eternally under our Feet, as the Dross, and Off-scourings of all Things? Dross you have coveted and desired, as your Portion; Dross you have loved, feared and served; and therefore baser you are than the basest Dross. Did you not consi­der what lay beyond Time? and was Earth your only Desire? Then have You judged your selves unworthy of any more. Did you seek for no higher Life, than the dying, evanishing, natural Life? and have you not ex­cluded your selves this sublime, excellent and immortal Life? Would you not believe the faithful and true Wit­ness, who testified unto you, of what excellent Things were laid up in Store for those, who feared, loved, o­beyed, and walked with God, in their Generation? Would you not rely upon him, for Time and Eternity; but laid hold on a present vain World? yea, and in such a base and brutish Manner, as you did not acknow­ledge him, and depend upon him, in your earthly En­joyments; but trusted to your Wisdom, your Labours, and a Thousand Vanities? Reap the Fruit of your own Sowing; you have received your Choice, and what would you have more? Had you chosen this endless Happiness, you had gotten it; and immortal Life would have been, by Ten [Page 189] thousand Times, more sweet than it was. And did you mock, in your Hearts, at our Folly, who overlooked all visible Things, and placed our Hope, our Joy, our Por­tion, our Blessedness on Things, that neither Eye could see, nor Heart conceive? And shall we not for ever in­sult over You now, when your Folly is manifest, even to your selves? Our Hope hath not made us ashamed: But what hath come of all your Aims and Hopes? Now, we have you eternally, as Dust under the Soles of our Feet. O Death and Hell, we have vanquished you for ever; Ne­ver shall you be able to rise again. O Grave! O Death! [...]how the Trophies of your Victory. Through God we have done valiantly; for he it is that hath beat down our Enemies. You seemed to overcome us, and hold us in Prison; but, through his Strength, we have broken all your Bands, and ruined You utterly. The Victory was ever ours: But all now is fully accomplished; not once Enemy is able to shake a Weapon any more. Everla­sting Hallelujah to our God, who hath given us the Vic­tory, through our LORD JESUS CHRIST. O what an endless Triumph; Wicked Men and Devils, you were or­dained for the Pomp and Glory of this Day. Our WEL­BELOVED has made our State every Way excellent and glorious; therefore hath he ordained Enemies for us to combate with, vanquish, and triumph over, for ever and ever. That our State might want nothing of the Top, and Flower, and Perfection of Glory and Exaltation; you have we, as a Foot stool, for ever to trample upon; All Things are ours, and for our Honour and Glory. Now it is evident who were the really great Ones. Now doth appear what Manner of Persons we are. Who but the LAMB, and his Followers! Who but the FIRST-BORN, and his Brethren! O the Height, and glorious Dignity of a Saint! Sirs, What think you? are we not made great Persons? Knew we our Dignity, when we were on Earth? Surely not in the Ten thousand thousandth Part: Mortality could not have born it. [Page 190] Have we not been like young Minors, who considered not the Glory and Majesty of our vast Inheritance, we were coming unto? and therefore, we sometimes degra­ded our selves with the familiar Converse of base World­lings, and crouched so creepingly as if such Beasts had been fit Companions for us: But in our Childhood we could not conceive these superexcellent Royalties. In­deed, I ever looked upon all the Saints, as the only Ex­cellent of the Earth; and was oft-times struck with Reve­rence and Admiration, at the Sight of the least of them: Yet, then I knew them not; Mortality could conceive little. Worldlings, know you not now, whom you have despised? Time was, when a Saint, as a Saint, was a de­spicable Nothing in your Eyes: Pelf, worldly Grandeur, and Applause, rendered Persons only excellent in your E­steem. What was a Man's Holiness to you, but some ima­ginary Fancies & Opinions, he had learned by Education and Teaching, and entertained through Conceitness and Fancy? Some precise Tenets, which were needless and superfluous: For Religion, in your Judgment, was an easy and trivial Matter; the Generality were Saints: A large and wide Charity had you for every one, not trans­gressing the Limits of common Humanity; Civilians, Moralists, Formalists illuminated, were all, in your O­pinion, fit for the glorious and majestick Kingdom; fit for entring this golden CITY, & conversing familiarly with JEHOVAH and the LAMB, in this royal Hall of Glory: Us you reproached, as Censorious & Unchari­table; because we looked upon Holiness, as a difficult, rare, and excellent Thing: because we counted the Way to this unspeakable Glory strait, and travelled by few; because we looked upon the Saints, as so many miracu­lous Signs and Wonders. Who have judged right, is now manifest to the whole Creation. We have sought, we have vanquished! Glory, Glory, immoral Glory to the CAP­TAIN, the Author and Finisher, for evermore.

[Page 191]63. What appeared on Earth, is really in Heaven; for there are really all Things.

O pleasant and melodious World! The former was jarring, every Part in Opposition to another: All Things were full of Labour, Groaning and Travelling, until this glorious Birth was brought forth. It could not stand, being divided against it self, being full of intestine Wars, and Desolations; it could not but come to [...]ought, and this fair Fabrick arise in its Place. Behold, nothing now but Peace and eternal Friendship: No­thing is out of Order; Every Part agrees with the whole, for sounding forth an eternal Hallelujah to the great Former. All Contention and Violence are banished out of this blessed World, into utter Darkness: Nothing but deep Peace and Security; all Things seem to kiss and embrace one another; these eternal Gales have no Flux or Change, tho' they are for ever blowing. Sirs, is not this gentle Breathing passing delightsom, af­ter so sore and hot a Battle? All is perfumed with Myrrhe and Frankincense! One Blast might cause Ten thousand Worlds to live. What a Life hast thou, O blessed Self? Who art filled with, and drawest in these full Gales of the Spirit, that bloweth where it listeth thro'­out Eternity. O these Wells of Salvation, infinitely trans­cending the Pools of Baca's Vail! One Drop is more delightsom and satisfying, than the Oceans of all earth­ly Sweetness. What were the broken Cisterns, that Fools were drinking of? They were inflaming, not quench­ing; more fantastical than real. O Fools! were you not imagining, you were swallowing down huge Vari­eties of all Manner of Sweetness? But you awaked and behold it was a Dream. Are you not confounded, when your Eyes are opened, to perceive so deep a Delusion? Were you not imagining your selves enjoying Riches, and Honours, and Pleasures? But now the glorious Day of Eternity is broken up, and where are they? Here are Realities: This Land is filled with eternal Springs of li­ving [Page 192] Waters of all Sweetness and Satisfaction; Strange! ever drinking, and never cloyed and surcharged: the dee­per, & more Draughts, the greater Delectation! O my Conceptions on Earth! O my Enjoyments now! I did not in the least conceive them. O my eternally pre­sent Enjoyments: And yet, I have all I could conceive. Whatever Pleasure, Satisfaction, and what can conduce to a Life filled with all Manner of Excellencies, Delights and Sweetness, is here in the Top and Flower of all Perfecti­on. When I strained my Conceptions to the highest Pitch of Mortality, and imagined Glory, Excellency and Sweetness, augmented and perfected, by Myriads of My­riads of Stages, above all the Glory I could perceive or imagine; still I have fallen wonderfully below this: And yet my Conceptions, in Part, represented this; for all Things are here: Here is an eternal Confluence of all Manner of good Things: Who can imagine any Thing, which might be here, and is not: What want we, O In­habitants of this wealthy City? Is not this the Centre, whither all Glory and Sweetness run, like a flowing Stream? And what Wonder? This is the City-royal of the eternal KING Here, here He manifesteth, immedi­ately, and in open View, his unsearchable Riches, tran­scendent Glory, infinite Power, boundless Goodness, and the infinite Varieties of his unconceivable Excellencies. Were they Fools, who overlooked base Earth, and laid out their whole Strength, for acquiting a Right to the glo­rious Possession, and the unsearchable Treasures of this Ten thousand Times blessed Land of EMMANUEL? Poor Earth, with thy glistering, nothing Enjoyments, whither art thou gone? O real, solid and substantial Enjoyments! all the Glorious, Beauties and Excellencies of Time were meer Shadows and Resemblances of what I behold. What, there, was in Appearance, is here indeed; the real Spring-tide is here: Here are the true Gardens and Or­chards of Delights: Here are the substantial Roses, Lilies and Violets: Here are the true Pearls, Rubies and Dia­monds; [Page 193] all the former were but Counterfeit, and in Ap­pearance such. I see the Difference betwixt Things here, and what were in Time, is such, as is between the bare Shew, and the Substance. I thought, I saw Crowns and Sceptres, Honours and Renown; but they were Vapours, glistering after their Similitudes, which are now evanished eternally to nothing; and behold the real Diadems, Sceptres, and Honours; I thought, I found some Pleasure and Delight; I thought, I beheld great Varieties of all Kinds: But the Night is gone, and the Day is broken up, that dispelleth glistering Shews and Vapours, in discove­ring the real and substantial Things: All Things are here in Substance, which in Time were in Appearance. Here are the real Dwellings, Cities, Orchards Hills of Frank­incense, Mountains of Spices. We were far mistaken, O Inhabitants, to speak of any Thing, as existent any where else than here; else all our Speech and Conceptions, within Mortality's Region, were meerly figurative: For, to conceive of Things properly, as they were on Earth, there was neither Sun, Moon nor Stars; neither Lilies nor Roses, nor Beauties, nor Excellencies; they are here, and only here for evermore. Were they wise, who placed their Delights on Shadows, and evanishing Nothings? Were they Fools, who overlooked all the vain Fancies of Time, and fixed their Minds only on this enduring Sub­stance? I have found the Substance, for the Shadow: I, even I am Possessor of the World of eternal Joy and Satisfaction.

64. A frowning tormenting Time, the Prelude of Eter­nity.

All Shame, and Sorrow, and Vexation, you are eternal­ly gone, as if you had not been: Sometimes you possessed us, but the fair and white Side of Providence is turned up for ever. I see, it was the Ordination of Eternity, That the Head and Members should be every Way conformed: All that are here, were of no Beauty or Desireableness [Page 194] sometime in the Eyes of Mortals; but were despised and rejected of Men, Persons of Sorrow, acquainted with Grief; being destitute, and afflicted, and tormented: Many Moralists, and Formalists, and lukewarm Christians, went for Saints, in the Eyes of almost all: But one Thing among a Thousand, might have discovered what they were, even that they underwent not the Lot of him, whom they professed to be following; the World smiled upon them, because they were of the World: Other Entertainment did they meet with, in their Progress through Earth, than the Chief of Ten thousand, in the Days of his Flesh: Tho' my Lord could have brought his Chosen to this unspeakable Glory, through the A­bundance of earthly Ease, Peace, Glory, Joy and Del [...]ght; yet, this hath been the Way of his infinite Wisdom. O ye Angels, could you have found out such a noble Draught! Could you have invented such an admirable Way, of bringing poor, feeble, sinful Mortals to Glory? O sweet, sweet Dispensation! Base Earth, that is now for ever eva­nished, was not my Country, but the Place of my Exile; not my Abode, but my Pilgrimage; and therefore it was well it frowned upon me, and appeared like the Thing that indeed it was, a vain, empty, glistering Nothing. My Lord hath been tender of his Darlings, and could not suffer Night-Dreams and Fancies to beguile them; which they might, they being in their childish and mor­tal Condition, if they had appeared with a smiling plea­sant Countenance. O my God, the greatest Snares that ever thou rainedst upon thine Enemies, was when thou gave them the Desires of their Heart: Earth they desired, and Earth thou madest to look kindly upon them; and therefore they are ruined for evermore. I see the Dispen­sation, that most crossed my own natural Disposition, hath contributed most for my Advantage: My Lord hath withheld no good Thing from me: It was best I should have had a Life of Sorrow, Torment and Vexation; it was well I was cut short of earthly Enjoyments. My on­ly [Page 195] Desire was to finish my Course, for this unspeakable Happiness, and that it should be swift and vigorous; and how excellently hast thou fulfilled the Desire of my Heart!

65. Glory causeth a total Change in all the Powers, Fa­culties and Vertues.

O my Heart, thou art changed indeed! How tormen­ting a Burden hast thou been unto me, in the Days of my Absence! even when I kept most observant and strict­est Watch over thy Frame, thou plaid me a Slip, and ben­ded oft from the Original of all Blessedness, unto Vanity, How wast thou drawn hither and thither, by all Dispen­sations? When I imagined, I had got thee wrought up to a sublime heavenly Frame; how soon didst thou become carnal and earthly again! When thou seemed all in a Flame of Divine Love and Zeal, how didst thou become cold and indifferent, ere ever I was aware? When I re­joiced in finding thee, in a lively, tender, Gospel-frame, how quickly didst thou become dead and senseless like a Stone! When I could not but cry out, O my Heart is fixed, my Heart is fixed; I will sing; yea, I will forever be altogether for Praises: How soon wast thou unsettled, and tossed up & down with the Winds of Vanity! When I could say, I will trust in him, and not be afraid; I will not fear, though the Earth be removed, though the Moun­tains be cast into the Midst of the Sea, the Lord Jeho­vah is my Strength and my Song, and He also is become my Salvation: How soon didst thou become despondent and fearful, afraid of Worms and Nothings, and forget­ting the Lord thy Maker, that stretched out these Hea­vens! When thou wast in so sweet a Frame, as I could not but wish, When shall I be in the WELBELOVED's immediate Imbraces: I value not that small Brook that lies betwixt me and him; Though I walk in the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I will fear no Evil; for he is ever with me: Yet, how soon wast thou overclouded, and dark­ned [Page 196] with Doubtings and Confusion; so that thou wouldst have given Ten thousand Worlds, if at thy disposing, for the fixed Perswasion of a CHRIST, and a BLESSEDNESS! How wast thou sometimes in a strong, enlarged and cheerful Frame, running the Ways of the Lord's Com­mandments! Thy Cry was, What is the Will of my Lord? All his Commandments are easy, because his: Anon, thou wouldst neither lead nor drive; His Worship and Service was a Burden. O my Heart, thou art now as I would! O all my Faculties, you are altogether heaven­ly and divine: All, all is swallowed up in full immediate Beholding: After him do ye go, with an uninterrupted, eternal Bensil: It is impossible for thee, my Soul, now in thy Lord's immediate Embraces, to fall away from this divine Frame; thou cannot but incessantly serve and glorify him with unspeakable Joy and Alacrity, since thou eternally beholds his ravishing Countenance: Can Doubting enter this Noon-day VISION of Glory, when we have attained the Height and Perfection of Evidence? Who can fear, that is incircled within these everlasting Arms? This City of Refuge is situate above the Reach of Ten thousand Worlds of wicked Men and Devils. Who can dwell thus, with an infinite Love, and not be all in­flamed with unquenchable Fires? The first Sight of thy goodly Visage, my fair One, hath captivated all my Fa­culties unto Thee.

66. Heaven the sweeter, the more Dangers we have e­scaped,

How have I been choked with the pestiferous Conta­gion of a vile World? So that I had almost lost my Life. The hellish Sights and Sounds, that have entred my Fa­culties, against my Will, made Hell and Death familiar unto me: I found it one of the most difficult Command­men [...] of my Lord, To stop m [...] [...]ars from hearing of Blood, and st [...]t [...] [...]i [...]te Eyes from se [...] o [...] Evil: Even when I set a Guard upon all my Senses, my inbred Wic­kedness [Page 197] betrayed the Fort-royal, and sensibly received the Sparks that fired up all. How could feeble, mortal I, but be confused, and diverted, and deadned with the Hurry, and Noise, and Vexation of an hellish World? How oft have I complained, Fearfulness and Trembling is come upon me, and Horror hath overwhelmed me? O that I had Wings like a Dove; for then would I fi [...]e away, and be at Rest: Lo, then would I wander far off and remain in the Wilderness: I would hasten my Escape from the windy Storm and Tempest! Ah! my Senses are filled with Vanity and Mischief: The Beholding, and Hearing of Blood and Evil, hath vitiated my Faculties, and made Folly and Madness seem common and ordi­nary to my Apprehensions; so that I cannot attain unto any sutable Abhorrence of Wickedness, when my Love and Desire after God is faint and weak; being high, or low, according to my Abhorrence & Hatred of Evil.’ 'Tis wonderful, O my Lord, it is passing wonderful, how I have landed in this choice happy Place with my Life! The humane Nature in its Integrity, might have been corrupted and destroyed, in such a noisom and pesti­lential Air, as filled the lower World; while it was the proper Habitation of Devils, and their base Slaves: But, who can suffer Hardship, whom thou once takest into thy Tutorage? These whom thy Father hath given thee, hast thou safely preserved, and none could be able to pl [...]ck them out of thine Hand. The most intire and ex­cellent Nature, committed wholly to its own Guidance, could not have been able to persevere, through the Ten-thousandth Part of the Difficulties and Temptations I have overpassed: But what cannot thy infinite Excellency do? No Security, but in being altogether thine, and Nothing our own, which happy I have experienced, to my eternal Sweetness. O now the Danger is past! O lively and de­lightsom Air of Emmanuel's Country! Nothing dwells in this World of my Welbeloved's Conquest, but Righte­ousness! You Off-scourings of all Things, I am not vex­ed [Page 198] with your abominable Vileness any more: Sometimes you vexed and tormented me, that the wonderful Effica­cy of my WELBELOVED's Graces might be the more evidently manifested; but you are evanished, unto Smoke are you evanished away. O now my Senses, you are on­ly filled with the only ROSE and BEAUTY of this ever­lasting, ravishing Paradise! No Sweetness, no Fulness, no Excellency, but that of the BRANCH: Yea, could the abominable Smoke of ten Thousand Hells ascend this sweet Region, it would not be perceived; but be lost, like a small Drop of Bitterness in a boundless Ocean of Sweet­ness. And O the delightsom Aspect of the Lamb's fair and white Company, that follow him whithersoever he goes! What a golden Life, in so ravishing a Fellowship! No­thing, but the mutual Emanations of surpassing Sweet­ness! Nothing but sublime Hallelujahs to him that sits upon the Throne, and to the Lamb, thro'out Eternity: O my blessed Senses, you are no more filled with Vanity and Vexation! Now, Devil, and his Slaves, what can you do? Your tempting vexing World is evanished for ever: Yea, tho' it were not, what are you to us! Like base Cowards, you assaulted us in our childish Estate; but what are you all, to one of us in our manly Vigour? Were you all drawn up in Battle Array against me, whom once You tho't unworthy of the least of your Assaults, should I not with one Lifting-up of mine Arm vanquish You for ever? Nothing in me can yield to Hell; Sin and Mortality is swallowed up of Life.

67. The Inhabitant shall not say, I am sick.

All thy Infirmities and Sickness, O my Soul, are quite eradicated; since I am in the Arms of all Life, Joy and Satisfaction. How have I been, in the Days of mine In­firmity, sick of Love for my only Welbeloved? Strong Love was like to die for want of full & personal Enjoy­ment, even when I had the greatest Manifestations on Earth: And no Wonder; the clearer Discoveries of [Page 199] Loveliness, the more ardent Desire of the nearest and fullest Enjoyment. O my ravishing Welbeloved! no soon­er I saw thee afar off, by a borrowed Vision, than I longed and desired for nothing more, than to have thee in my Arms, & be eternally incircled in thine immediate Embra­ces: No sooner did I embrace thee, as thou offered thyself and was espoused to thee; but I longed with exceeding Longing for this blessed Day of eternal Marriage. Let­ters, Love-tokens, Intercourses by Ambass [...]dors, and all Manner of mediate Fellowship could not give full Satis­faction: Nothing but Faintings, Longings and Desires, until I have thee in my naked Embraces. Apples and Flagons of Wine could scarce hold up my swooning Heart in thy Absence: The most excellent Enjoyment could do no more than hinder an eternal Deliquium: Only thy Self could cheer up the fainting Soul. O thy SELF, thy All-excellent Self! What, but thy noble-Self, i [...] worthy of Desire? None but Thee, none beside Thee! O Flower of my Desires, I am well, eternally well! My fair One, since I have Thee in my Arms, my tormenting Love-sickness is quite abolished from my Mind! The be­holding of thee Face to Face, hath swallowed up all former Things. I enjoy Thee fully, and am I not at the furthermost of all my Desires? Thou hast for ever, my dearest Lord, cut off all Matter of Complaint. Sirs, I need now be a Supplicant to none of you, for the Use of your Moven with my Royal Welbeloved, that ye tell him my Love-sickness, through his seeming Unkindness. Can there be greater Intimacy, than now, betwixt my Lord and me for evermore? I have entred thy very Heart, I lie betwixt thy BREASTS. Can Sickness, or Sorrow, or Infirmity dwell within the Circle of thine Arms? Were there any Sickness, it should be through Superabundance of overcoming Loves; but the Vessels are fitted for the superabundant Oil of Gladness, and Over­flowing of Joys. If this Ambrosia and Nectar of Glory be strong and sprightly, the Bottles are new, and of a durable [Page 200] Structure. What can I say more of my Happiness, than that I cannot conceive and express the full Emanations of thy infinite Love and Sweetness?

68. Grace an excellent Prelude to Glory, yet the Diffe­rence betwixt them inconceivable.

Whatever Sweetness and Delight I enjoyed in Time, is now augmented, Myriads of Myriads of Stages: By my leaving of Earth, I have lost no Enjoyment, not only because of Recompence, and Enjoyment of an higher Na­ture; but also because all Kinds of Enjoyments are here in an eminent and divine Manner. Thy Land, O EM­MANUEL, is stored with all Manner of precious Things, New and Old, which thou hadst prepared for thy Chosen, before all Ages. All the Joys and Delights that I met with in Time, were as so many light Essays and small Preludes of these substantial and enduring Pleasures; All have been slight Fore-tastes of this superabounding Harvest of Eternity: What was then in Drops, is now in Oceans; for I am entred for ever into the FOUN­TAIN of all Fulness and Satisfaction: And what Sweet­ness, before, I experienced blockishly and in Part, I find now in the most evident, sublime and vigorous Manner: Even my most refined Enjoyments of thy blessed Self, were but low, childish Motions, arising from shallow improper Apprehensions, raised by the Contraction of a Multitude of borrowed Ideas, extracted from lower Ob­jects; which indeed were passing glorious and sweet for the Time, filling Mortality almost above its Measure, appearing Childhood-Glory fallen down on Grace's Coun­try: But O the vast Difference betwixt Mortality and Immortality! Who can but smile at his former Apprehen­sions! No Wonder earthly stupid Creatures apprehend this unspeakable Glory in a stupid earthly Manner. Every Extraordinary may appear above what Eye hath seen, the Ear hath heard, or Mind can imagine. Unto the Mind that hath known this more by Faith, than Sight: [Page 201] more by certain Report, than evident Experience; for what can the Mortal imagine higher, than by the sweet Outletting of the Glory and Desire of Men and Angels, to be filled and overfilled with Joy unspeakable and full of Glory? But a Drop that would overfill a Vessel of the narrowest Size, would be as just Nothing to one of the Capacity of many Worlds. Yet, what Delight and Admi­ration, to look back and consider, how my Lord made Bits of half-dead Clay to be ravished with the highest Objects, far above the Reach of an earthly, mortal Con­dition! But Creatures of all Conditions are enamoured, ravished, satiate and over come, when once Thou begin­nest, in the least, to discover thy matchless Loveliness. What Delights, to conceive Bits of childish Nothings enamoured with Thee they never saw! and chanting forth their Love-Songs of Praises in the midst of the saddest Dispensations, which were able to torment, bear down, and crush low, feeble Mortality! O what Jo [...], to consider (with the same Eye) my Converse sometimes with THEE in Time, and now in E [...]ernity; and to par­rallel them together! How excellently doth the Espou­sing agree with the Marriage? How nobly doth Walking with thee by Faith, usher in the personal Following of thee whither soever thou goest? I find thy Dealing to the Saints, in Time, is a M [...]stery above the Reach of Nature in its highest Pitch, as well as thy Way with them in Eterni­ty. Little did, or would the World consider, what a gol­den Happiness I had in the Days of my Pilgrimage, in thy Fellowship: The choicest of their Religion was a for­mal out-side Homage they mocked thee with; but a familiar Converse with thee, was a Thing they had no Experience of: They worshipped thee as a dumb Idol; for no mutual Intercourse did they know, or desire: Thou wast near in their Mouth, but far from their Reins. O the golden Hours I have had, in thy ravishing Fellow­ship, within the [...]e [...]s of Sorrow, in Absence! Eternity cannot cancel the Memory of thy passing Kindness to [Page 202] me, in my low and despicable Condition: I have most sensibly found thy strengthning, cheering Presence, in all Afflictions and Difficulties; I found thee another Manner of GOD, than the foolish World imagined thee to be, even a present Help in Times of Trouble, and that gave Ear to my Prayers, and answered them speedily; both by the Influences of thy Spirit on my Heart, and thy Dispensations. Tho' then I was a Child, yet didst thou teach me to discern betwixt thy Frownings, and thy Smiles; the Light of thy Countenance lifted up, and the turning away of thy Face: Thou madest thy self famili­ar unto me; So that I approached unto thee, in all Exi­gencies, as unto a near & intimate Friend, of whose Kind­ness and Help I was perswaded, and trusted accordingly: I depended and trusted on Thee as a Father, casting all my Cares upon Thee; so that I was careful for nothing: I learned to know my Duty, and the Way of its Perfor­mance, and committed the Event of all to my LORD and Sovereign absolutely, without the least Reservation; being perswaded that he would completely fulfil all Things fully committed unto him, because he had promised; and would not make them ashamed, who placed their Con­fidence in him. And now I may testify before the whole Creation, that thou hast been better to me, in my Pilgri­mage, than I could imagine, or desire; and that the Lot Thou carved out for me, in Time, hath been best for me: I would not for Ten thousand Worlds it had been other­wise, as to the smallest Dispensation; the most cross and Ruin-like Dispensations, as to Sense, have been the sweet­est, having had the noblest Effects, and nearest Manife­stations of thy Love and Sweetness accompanying them: If any have proved any Thing bitter and disadvantagi­ous, it was because I brought them on my own Head, by my sacrilegious Boldness, in disposing of my Self, and what concerned me, without his Approbation and Consent: Yet, even these he turned to my Good; his Power being so transcendently excellent, as to bring [Page 203] Light out of Darkness; and his Love being so bound­less, to those whom he had chosen from Eternity, that he would suffer no Harm to befal them, but make all Things to contribute to their Good. O! can we but wonder at, and rejoice in the incomparable Condescendency, Wisdom and Excellency of our LORD, who hath con­trived and effected our eternal Happiness after so stupen­dious a Manner! Could we ruin our selves, since it was his Will to save? Could we in the least stand in the Way of our Happiness, since it was his sovereign eternal Plea­sure, to make us as happy as can be? O eternal Asto­nishment! the more we have undone our selves, the more he hath made us happy; the more we have degra­ded our selves, the higher hath he exalted us; the more we have hated and provoked him, the more kind and in­timate is he become to us! Men and Angels, could you have found out such a Way to manifest the Glory and Excellency of FREE GRACE? Is it not here manifest­ed in the highest Manner?

69. Praises to Jehovah for the Accomplishment of his Pro­mises to his People, & of his Threatnings against the Wicked.

Is it not an eternal Question, Men & Angels, whether the Excellency of our WELBELOVED manifested, or ly­ing hid, be more astonishing? But sure each of them is an everlasting Ravishment, which would plunge never so many Worlds in an Ocean of never-ending Astonishment: One Ray of his divine Excellency, now immediately be­held, doth implicitly discover, that more and more eter­nally may be seen; What then should be our immortal Exercise, but to bend all our Faculties to search, and look in, and admire, and flame in Love, and extol the tran­scendent Excellencies of HIM that sits upon the Throne, and the LAMB, throughout all Ages? JEHOVAH, al­together excellent, lovely! JEHOVAH is a Deep, we have for ever lost our selves in! What are we, Men and Angels, that we should set Him on high? What contribute [Page 204] we to the Declaration of his infinite Glory? Tho' we should wear out, to a Period, endless Eternity with our in­cessant Hallelujahs, could we, Bits of nothing, conceive in the least this infinite One? Did he not bow and hum­ble himself infinitely below himself, that he may be ap­prehended, as he is, by our finite Capacities, with his increated Loveliness and Sweetness. 'Tis strange! He should satiate Nothings with all his Fulness! This is a Mystery, a Wonder! Nothing but Wonders upon Won­ders! Every precedent Act is the Admiration of the follow­ing, and so thro' out Eternity. What Stretchings of Ca­pacities! What Bending of all the Faculties! O the Beau­ty, the Goodness, the Sweetness, that dwells from Eternity to Eternity in HIM! O the full Outlettings upon us! Tho' He were not excellent to us; yet, are we not constrain­ed to love, and adore, and extol him, who is an infinite Mass of all Excellency? Tho' he be infinitely above all the Praises of all possible Creatures; yet can we but cry him up, to whom all Glory is due? Are we not constrai­ned, who see his Face, to express, and again and again throughout Eternity, to express his INFINITE PER­FECTIONS? As Creatures, we are bound to be all for him; but these stupendious Obligations superadded, above all Production and Preservation, have elevated unto such a Frame, that common Tyes are almost swallowed up and evanished. O his Goodness, his Goodness! How great is his Goodness! and how great is his Beauty! Every Ray, every Outletting would ravish never so many Creatures. I will extol Thee, my GOD, O King, and I will bless the Name for ever and ever. Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his Greatness is unsearchable. I will speak of the glorious Honour of thy Majesty, and I will declare thy Greatness. Yea, all thy Works shall praise Thee, O Lord, and all thy Saints shall bless Thee. While I [...]ve, I will praise the Lord; I will sing Praises to my God, while I have my Being. Praise him, all ye his An­gels; praise him, all his Hosts; praise him, Sun and Moon; [Page 205] praise him, all ye Stars of Light; praise him, ye Heavens of Heavens, ye Waters above the Heavens: Let them praise the Name of the Lord; for he commanded and they were created; He hath also establish [...]d them for ever and ever. O Sing unto the Lord a new Song; Praise him in the Firmament of his Power; praise him for his mighty Acts; praise him, according to his excellent Greatness: For in this Day is the BRANCH of the Lord beautiful and glorious; and the Fruit of the Earth excellent and comely: For them that are escaped of Israel, and that are left in Zion, and that remain in Jerusalem, are called Holy. There hath come forth a ROD out of the Stem of Jesse, and a BRANCH hath grown out of his Roots; and the Spirit of the Lord doth rest upon him, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, of Counsel, Might, Knowledge, and of the Fear of the Lord: With Righteousness doth he judge the Poor; and reprove with Equity, for the Meek of the Earth: And he smote the Earth with the Rod of his Mouth; and with the Breath of his Lips did he stay the Wicked. And Righteousness is the Girdle of his Loins, and Faithfulness the Girdle of his Reins. The Wolf doth dwell with the Lamb, and the Leopard doth lie down with the Kid and the Calf, the young Lion and the Fatling together, and a little Child may lead them; for the Earth is full of the Knowledge of the Lord, as the Waters cover the Sea. O Lord, Thou art my GOD, I will praise Thee, for thou hast done won­derful Things; thy Counsels of old are Faithfulness and Truth: For thou hast brought down all those, that r [...]s [...] up against Thee; and art for a CROWN of Glory and a DIADEM of a Beauty to thy People. Judgment doth dwell in the Wilderness, and Righteousness remains in the fruitful Field; and the Work of Righteousness is Peace, and the Effect of Righte [...]usness Quietness and Assurance for ever. An high Way is here, and it is called the Way of Holiness: No Lion is here, no ravenous Beast goeth up thereupon; But the Redeemed walk therein, [Page 206] and the Ransomed of the Lord do return, and come to Zion with Songs, and everlasting Joy upon their Heads; They have retained Joy and Gladness, and Sorrow and Sighing have fled away. We are the everlasting Wit­nesses of thy Glory and Excellency, O dread Sovereign, and thy Servant whom thou hast chosen: Before Thee there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Thee: Thou, even Thou art the Lord, and beside Thee there is no Saviour: Before the Day Thou art He; and there is none that can deliver out of thine Hand: Thou workest, and who shall let Thee? We remember not the former Things, neither consider the Things of old: Behold, Thou dost a new Thing, and it springeth forth and we understand it: Thou dost even make a Way in the Wilderness, and Rivers in the Desert. The Beasts of the Field honour Thee, the Dragons arid the Owls; because Thou givest Water in the Wilderness, and Rivers in the Desert, to give Drink to thy People, thy Chosen. Us hast thou formed for thy Self, we shall shew forth thy Praise. Thy Righteousness it near, thy Salvation is gone forth: And thine Arm did judge the People; The Islands did wait upon thee, and upon thine Arm did they trust. The Heavens e­vanished like Smoke; and the Earth did vax old like a Garment; and they that dwelt therein did die in like Man­ner: But thy Salvation is for ever, and thy Righteous­ness shall not be abolished: The Mountains did depart, the Hills were removed; But thy Kindness hath not de­parted from us, neither shall the Covenant of thy Peace be removed from us. I will mention the Loving-kindness of the Lord, and the Praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord hath bestowed upon us. Thou rent the Heavens, and camest down, the Mountains flowed down at thy Presence; and thou trod down the People in thine Anger, and made them drunk in thy Fury; and didst bring down their Strength to the Earth. Tho' many of the Earth heaped up Silver as the Dust, and Raiment as the Clay; yet the Just put it on, and the Innocent divided [Page 207] the Silver: Terrors have taken Hold on them, as Wa­ters; a Tempest hath stolen them away in the Night: For thou hast cast upon them, and not spared; they would fain flee out of thy Hand. We clap our Hands at them, and have hissed them out of their Place. But thou hast delive­red us in six Troubles; yea, in seven no Evil hath touched us. In Famine he hath redeemed us from Death, and in War from the Power of the Sword; we have been hid from the Scourge of Tongues; neither were we afraid of Destru­ction when it came: At Destruction and Famine we did laugh; we knew also that our Seed should be great, and our Off-spring as the Grass of the Earth; and that our Ene­mies should for ever be made our Footstools: For thou hast destroyed them for ever, O GOD; and hast made them to fall by their own Counsels: Thou hast cast them out, in the Multitude of their Transgressions; for they rebelled a­gainst thee. They are brought down, and fallen; but we are risen and stand upright; for thou hast saved the affli­cted People, and hast brought down high Looks. We will extol thee, O Lord; for thou hast lifted us up, and hast not made our Foes to rejoice over us: Thou hast brought up our Souls from the Grave; thou hast kept us alive, that we should not go down to the Pit. Sing unto the Lord, O ye Saints of his, and give Thanks, at the Re­membrance of his Holiness; for his Anger endureth but for a Moment; in his Favour is Life. Weeping may en­dure for a Night, but Joy cometh in the Morning. We have delighted our selves in the Lord; and he hath gi­ven us the Desire of our Hearts: We have committed our Way unto him, we have trusted in him; and He hath brought it to pass; and hath brought forth our Righte­ousness as the Light, and our Judgment as the Noon-day. We have not fretted our selves, because of him that prospereth in his Way; because of the Man that bringeth wicked Devices to pass: But we have waited patiently, and behold the Wicked are not; they are for ever banished unto utter Darkness: But we inherit the Earth, and de­light [Page 208] ourselves in Abundance of Peace. Many have been our Affl [...]ctions, but the Lord hath delivered us out of them all: He hath kept all our Bones, that one of them is not broken: But Evil hath slain the Wicked, and they that have hated us are desolate: We were not afraid, when one was made rich, when the Glory of his House was in­creased: for when he died, he carried nothing away, his Glory did not descend after him: The Way of the Wicked was their Folly; like Sheep they were laid in the Grave, Death did feed upon them; we have now Dominion over them in the Morning; and their Beauty did consume in the Grave from their Dwelling. But God hath redeemed our Soul from the Power of the Grave; for he hath recei­ved us. Selah.

O sing unto the Lord a new Song; for he hath done marvelious Things; his right Hand, and holy Arm hath gotten him the Victory. The Lord is God, his Mercy is everlasting and his Truth endureth to all Generations. The Right hand of the Lord is exalted, the Right hand of the Lord doth valiantly. Praise ye the Lord, O Je­rusalem; Praise thy GOD, O Zion; for the Lord shall reign for ever, even thy God, O Zion, to all Generations. Hallelujah.

The CONCLUSION.

1. We ought to write of such Things with a trembling Hand.

AH! WELBELOVED, I am beginning to be afraid that I have [...]a [...]kned Counsel by Words without Knowledge. Ah! has this been the Effect of my ravi­shing View of thy superexcellent Glory to be revealed, [Page 209] to talk so poorly and childishly of such great and excel­lent Things! A ready Way to bring down the low Thoughts, that the Sons of Men have of Thee, much lower! A Destruction to my Design here, — the Flower of my Desire, which is only to ravish the Judgments and Affections of the Sons of Men, concerning the Excellen­cies of thy PERSON, the Greatness of thy Kingdom, and the Glory of thine Inheritance in the Saints, in Light. My dearest One, let this never see the Light, if it be apt to produce any other Effect. Pardon, dear LORD, my childish Boldness, and accept the Will for the Deed: Thou knowest, it is my Design, to set thee on high! But ah my Stupidity! Ah my childish Ignorance! I may say, in thy Sight, I am more brutish than any Man; and have not the Understanding of a Man: I neither lear­ned Wisdom, nor have Knowledge of the Holy. When shall my Childhood be gone? When shall I come to my manly Estate? How long shall my Faculties be stupid, marred and out of Order? If, even now, I am wondering at my childish Expressions of such superexcellent Things, what will my Reflections be, when attained to the Ful­ness of the Stature of Christ? It quiets my Mind somewhat, that I have expressed more, and ascended higher, than the Conceptions of most; and that all Expressions, and Dis­courses of sublunary Excellencies shall blush and think Shame to appear here: And that tho', whatever I shall be able to say, be unw [...]rthy of the meanest of thy Saints; yet, may it be an Occasion, to some of them of stirring themselves up to a more heavenly Frame of Spirit, and more serious and profound Apprehensions of the Things that are invisible.

2. The Essence of a Saint consists much in Heavenly-Mindedness.

Heirs of Glory, What think you of your goodly Inhe­ritance? the delightsom Countries, the pleasant Habita­tions, the unspeakable Joys, the everlasting Pleasures, the [Page 210] inconceivable Felicity, that ly a little before you, and to which you are posting? Are you not amazed with the Consideration of your wonderful Prerogatives? Is it pos­sible you can bear the Fore-tho'ts of what you are co­ming to? Shall you ever be able to pluck your Minds down from such ravishing Things? Have not all sub­lunary Excellencies disappeared in your Sight? What are the Stars, when the Sun doth appear? I think I hear eve­ry one of you say, I have done for ever with the painted Clay-Images; for I have seen and found the only real and substantial Things. O Joy unspeakable and full of Glory! You Delights, you Sorrows of Time, you are much over­looked by me, while I ly thus, within the View of eternal Ravishments. One Moment's immediate Converse with JEHOVAH, and the LAMB, shall eradicate all the Im­pressions of Sorrow and Grief, that I can possibly under­go. Shall I not see him, as he is? Am I not to see him Face to Face? These Arms, even these very Arms, shall embrace the Chief of Ten thousand: I shall be for ever satiate with his infinite Sweetness; even drunk and over­filled with his overcoming Loves. O the Frame of my Spirit! I can say nothing; Expressions fail me, for re­presenting the high Thoughts of my Heart! Where am I now? Am I not almost in Heaven already? Heart, and Love, and all have fled thither; nothing remains here, but this vile Clay tabernacle; and, ere it be long, it shall be there also. Verily I am come to Mount Zion, to the City of the Living GOD; my Converse is no more here.

3. Earthly-minded Creatures might be convinced of the Reality and Desireableness of heavenly Things, by due and deep Consideration.

Silly Worldlings, what think you of our World? Speak Men, I appeal unto your own stupid selves, which of us are wisest, wealthiest, merriest, most renowned and excellent? Are you not beginning to consider your de­sperate Folly and Madness? Are you not admiring the [Page 211] Foolishness of your by past Vanity, in spending your Strength for transient, evanishing Shadows? Are you not almost beginning to fall in Love with our blessed Country? Yea, are you not content to renounce the Love of your Dunghil for it? Are you not come to such a blessed Change, in your Tho'ts? Come hither, the Bargain is done, Heaven is yours; for it is, Love, and have it. What mean you Sirs? Why should any of you thus stand wavering? Must you not have Heaven? If you lose it, what can you purchase? Is there any Impedi­ment? Be willing, and welcome. Dare any of you doubt of the Reality of the only real Things? What, because they fall not under your brutish Senses? Then you may doubt whether you conceive, or not. Are ye such Brutes, as to think, there is no Up-taking but sen­sual, when the mental are Myriads of Stages more evident and real? Sirs, can there be any so mad, as deny all the Countries he never saw with his Eyes; when attested by Multitudes of Eye-witnesses, of diverse Sorts and Ages? And have not Numbers, of all Ranks and Conditions, of the most Excellent in all Ages, attested their most excellent Discoveries of this happy World? One of whose Atte­stations is more worthy, than the Testimony of Ten thou­sand of ordinary Men. O Sirs, want of Consideration causeth you to look upon the only substantial Things, as uncertain Fancies. But consider Eternity seriously, and you shall find your selves moved in another Manner, than those, who are led away with Enthusiasms. Sirs, enter into your own Hearts, enquire at your Consciences, and you shall find Heaven and Hell written upon them. Speak never so much, Worldling, against our happy World, thou but manifests thy Desires, not thy real and serious Thoughts; thou fights against thy Conscience: The Way of thy Blaspheming bewrays thee.

4. Transient Thoughts of Glory, signifie nothing.

[Page 212]Ah! Sirs, I fear many of you have taken but a View of our WELBELOVED's Country, on the by, and no more: Will ye not bend hither all your Faculties, and consider profoundly again and again what you have seen, until an enduring Impression be left upon your Spirits? What! shall your Thoughts be so superficial and transient, as you shall undergo no Transformation in the Spirit of your Minds; but still remain earthly? What, still earthly? and presently back to Earth again! Are you like earthly Exhalations, which by Bensil of a slight fiery Impression, tho' seen while aloft, yet still retaining the drossie Nature, they fall down again. Shall Glory be so soon forgotten, as if it were like a Nine-Days Wonder? How are you af­fected? Are you not in some heavenly Frame? And will you suffer it to evanish by Negligence, vain Conceits, worldly Thoughts and Words, and fleshly Lusts? Shall Dunghil-earth eclipse the ravishing View, you have got­ten? Will you become as low and creeping in your Con­ceptions, as you have been? May such a sad Sentence be sai [...] of you, The Glory you have seen to Day, you shall be­hold no more? W [...] [...]e prove like Balaam who tell to his accustomed Baseness, after the elevated Sight of Is­rael's comely Tents? Shall you be ranked with the fallen Angels, who fell from the highest Places of the World to the lowest? Keep your Situation, if you be wise; fallen Stars are most ab [...]minable: The higher Pitch, the lower Fall: Better you had never known such excellent Things, than to slight and to forget them; and be as base and earthly, as if the Sound of such astonishing Things had never come to your Ears.

5. An Invitation to exchange earthly for heavenly Things.

Launch out further and further into the Depths of in­finite Excellencies: Ah! what can we speak of such mas­sie, sublime Things? Tho' we should write as many Vo­lumes, [Page 213] as would fill the whole Creation; Earth's shallow Dialect is insignificant in such substantial Things; Words here are but silent Shadows, of no Efficacy: Come and see, and taste, would tell the Matter. Sirs, have you a­ny Thing to say? Is not the Business past all Debate? Need we say any more? Can you be so mad, as to be in­different & inconsiderate in such a weighty Concernment? Sir, How long shall you halt betwixt two Opinions? Stand no more back: O come, come, come away, and be everlastingly blessed! Are you not out of Conceit with Time's Worm-eaten Glory? Are you not lamenting your former Vanity and Madness? Are you not wearied in the Things, that cannot profit? Are you considering Things, never entred within your Conception before? What lets you then, that you become not heavenly and divine? Are you not altogether in Love with our WELBELOVED, the Author of all? Are you not closing with him, on his own Terms, as he hath offered himself, in his Testament? Are you not heartily embra­cing, and striving to grow more & more conformed to his lovely Image, until you shall grow up unto the per­fect Stature of his Fulness? O then! welcome, a thou­sand times welcome unto this glorious World of Emma­nuel's Conquest: You are come unto the joyful & light­som Side of the Creation. I dare pawn my Salvation, you shall never repent of so sweet a Translation: Your Light shall more and more break forth, unto the perfect Day; Your Progress, through all the Difficulties of Time, even Death it self, shall be cheerful and sweet.

6. The Hope of Glory swallows up all imaginable Sorrow.

Be of good Courage, ye Saints of the most High, you Princes of the World; all are yours; for ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's. It is all one whether Dunghil Worms contemn, or esteem you: It is below you to fear such feeble Beasts. Overlook the scenical Graduations of [Page 214] Time; it is below Princes, born to so great Things, to take Notice to such Trifles: Stand to your royal Pre­rogatives; fall not down from your ennobling Exercise; Set the Lord always before you, and you shall never be moved: Let the World reel to and fro; Let the Moun­tains be cast into the midst of the Sea; Let Thousands, and Ten thousands fall on every Hand; yet can you undergo no Harm. Death, in any Garb, is Gain unto the Person, who is in Heaven already.

7. Earth-Worms, who will be such, have nothing to do with Heaven.

You, who will still be grovelling upon base Earth, who tho' ye should read and hear never so oft, of the only ex­cellent Things, will back to the Dunghil again, and will vex and torment your selves with the Cares and Vanities of a transitory Life; who will endeavour and desire to be laden with thick Clay; we have only this to say unto you, He that is filthy, let him be filthy still. You have made a brave Choice, poor Fools, your Paradise is base, empty, hungry and transient, well befitting such noble and high Spirits as you: In whatever Account you seem to be, in the Eyes of a base World, you are vile despicable Worms: Craul, and set up your Crist, on your stately Dunghil: But know, if ye can understand, that these vile Bodies and Souls of yours shall never ascend higher; under our Feet shall we eternally trample you; your Kingdom being the Office-house of our Palac [...]-royal. Fill your selves with Dust, as the Serpents; le [...] your Day-thoughts, and Night-thoughts run out upon Dunghil Concernments; add House to House, and Land to Land heap up Treasures for many Days; and when you encoun­te [...] Death, or a Day of sad Affliction, cast up your grea [...] and precious Gains: Have you accounted your selves un­worthy of such unspeakable Blessedness? you shall ne [...] tast it; but be everlastingly shut up, in that horrid, abominable Lake; a suitable Dwelling-Place for such [...] [Page 215] Wretches: This dark smoky Region you only affect, and to utter Darkness shall you be driven, Where there is Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth.

8. Christ alone to be exalted and esteemed, who is the Purchaser of this noble Inheritance.

Let Glory and Renown remain for ever upon the Head of the Author and Purchaser of so great a Salvation! Can Angels ever enough admire Him? Can the Saints ever e­nough praise Him? Where shall we get a Throne to set this Majestick One upon? All our Glory and Excellen­cy is too base and low a Footstool for his Feet: Thou­sands of thousands of excellent Worlds, erected above one another, were too base and low a Foundation for him to trample upon. Men or Angels, what have you, or can you say worthy of him? Were your Hallelujahs tuned up never so many Stages higher; yet, still they should fall infinitely below his matchless Worth: What can we do, in extolling such a lofty One? For ever is he infinite­ly exalted above all our Praises; yet praise him we shall, eternally shall we praise him: All our Strength, Soul and Might must be fully let forth to his Glory; tho' all we can do be just nothing: Who is worthy of Glory, except our Welbeloved? Whom should we love, but Him? Whom should we praise, but Him? Whom should we admire, but Him? Who but He! None but Him. O let all our Powers and Faculties be eternally filled with Him. Ah! its black Shame the Sons of Men should think, and speak, and write so much of empty Nothings; and so little of this only excellent One! When shall our Welbeloved be great among all Nations? Ah, he is No­thing, or little known among the Sons of Men: little do they discourse of him; and what they discourse is cold and common. Alas! Men talk of him, as if he were a common Beloved! Men esteem JESUS, some or­dinary One: They hear of one JESUS that was slain at Jerusalem; and they are as little affected, as if they read, [Page 216] or heard of some common History: The News of his excellent Kingdom have small Impression upon them; they think they hear of new Worlds, never seen, or travelled to by any. CHRIST is an unknown Person to the most; the Sound of his Name hath filled the Ears of all; the Letters of his Name are well known, and no more: But who have been ravished with his good Ointments? Who hath been filled with the odoriferous Emanations of his Lebanon Garments? who has tasted of his Soul over­coming Sweetness? Who had him, as a Bundle of Myrrhe all Night betwixt their Breasts? Who have found him, and held him, and would not let him go? Who have been led into his Chambers of Presence? Who cannot live (tho' in never so great Abundance of earthly Things) without a familiar and intimate Fellowship with Him?

9. Religion is another Thing than stupid Wordlings imagine. Close Walking with GOD, if an hid Mystery unto them.

Poor Worldings, the best of you are but Formalists, occupied about the Outside and Shell of Religion: Thro' Custom, and a natural Conscience, you go thro' all the Bulk of the Exercises of Godliness; you hear, you pray, you read, you confer, you meditate; you perform Duties betwixt Man and Man, through Custom and Formality, through Shame of others, through vain Glory, through the Gnawings of a natural Conscience, which you must somewhat quiet, one Way or another. But know you what it is, to do all Things to the Glory of our WELBELOVED? To be afraid, that in the best of your Performances, you offend Him, and stir him up before he please? Know you what it is, to look more to the Manner of your Duties, than the Bulk of them? To the Principle, from whence they flow, than any Thing else? To the Intention and Frame of your Heart, in Duty? Know you what it is, to watch over your Heart? To have a stricter Eye over your Thoughts and Intentions? To be [Page 217] most troubled with, and in guarding against these secret Sins of the Thoughts and Intentions, which no Creature can see, but your selves? Know you what it is, to keep up a near and intimate Communion with Jesus? To have a mutual Intercourse with him? Know you what it is, to wrestle with, and to lay hold upon him, and to con­strain him, in a Manner, to bless you? Know you what it is, to account all Things Dross and Dung unto the Know­ledge of the Excellency of JESUS, the only WELBELO­VED? Are you indifferent to all Things, but CHRIST? Is the World, in all its Glory, Pleasure and Profit, a dead and crucified Thing in your Eyes? Is the Cry of your Heart, CHRIST, CHRIST, and only CHRIST; give you Him, and you desire no more? O Sirs, have you seen Him? have you heard him? have you found him? Know you his Smiles, the Lifting-up of his Countenance, his Love embraces? Ah! Worldlings, I am speaking of strange Things, unexperienced by you!

10. The Saints only know the Life and Mysteries of Godliness; and Strangers intermeddle not with their heavenly Delights and divine Joy.

You Saints of the most High, you are Witnesses of the Truth of all we have spoken: Have we not spoken poor­ly and childishly of so great Things? It is nothing we have said, to that which even you experience in the Land of Absence. O then! sincere One, hath not thy WEL­BELOVED written more of this his transcendent Beauty, Sweetness and Excellency upon thy Heart, than all the Learned of the World can put down, in Black & White? What can be written, or spoken of such great Things? Come see, and taste and feel, will manifest the Business Best. It was not our Intention, O ye excellent Ones of the Earth, to write to you of Things which are in o­ther Manner of Characters imprinted on your Faculties; but only to put you in Mind, lest you suffer such noble Impressions to decay, in the Midst of wordly Affairs, [Page 218] Temptations and Difficulties: That you may perceive the vast Difference between all Expression, & Feeling; that you may be stirred up to acquire the noble Gift of Utte­rance; that you may manifest to the Ignorant the Excel­lency and Loveliness of your WELBELOVED, and what he hath done to your Soul. We have written to you, Babes, who are young Students in Christianity; even to you, O Daughters of Jerusalem, who are enquiring after our matchless BRIDEGROOM, having only heard the ravishing Sound of his Name, but never have seen hi [...] amiable Countenance, nor entred his pleasant Beds of Spi­ces. O might we be eternally honour'd, in leading you in by the Hand unto him! Draw near, O draw near! And ye shall see more, Ten thousand Times more, than even you heard tell of; you shall begin to laugh at your pu­trid and childish Talking of such wonderful Things.

11. The woful State of Worldings, Excellency of Holi­ness, and Necessity of Conversion, with Marks thereof.

We have written unto you, Worldlings, what we have seen and found, that you may know that there are excel­lent Things indeed, which never fell under your brutish Senses; and to let you know that Godliness is another Manner of Thing, than ever entred within your Concep­tions, that you may enquire after the Reality of such ex­cellent Things, and strive to get a Sight of him, who is invisible; that in seeing, you may love him; & in loving, may be blessed for evermore. Poor Worldlings, we can­not but pity you, who cannot pity your selves: You see not your own base and low Condition; for if you could, your Condition were changed. Were it possible to de­monstrate your Vileness and Misery? Are you affected with nothing so much, as what falls under your Senses? What Preheminence have you above the Brutes of the Field! The Joys and Desires and Intentions of both are confined within an Inch of Time: Both are earthly, Loth are temporal, both decay in a Moment, and come [Page 219] to Nought. I appeal to your selves, base Worldlings, If they may be termed high-spirited, whose Thoughts and Projects are only upon Earth, the Fashion of which pas­seth away; as you cannot but perceive with your very bodily Senses. Ah Sirs, is it not even sad? Earth is the Centre of all your Love and Desires; earthly Glo­ry, earthly Riches, earthly Delight affects you most; let you have Abundance of Earth, and that eternally, and eternally you can live without the Enjoyment of JEHOVAH and the LAMB: The Kingdom above these visible Heavens appears strange Utopian-like Inven­tions, which, tho' ye give an historical Faith to, yet you are affected little or nothing with the News of such as­tonishing Things; and labour and endeavour, and pro­ject more for these perishing Things: Which snows, You are base Earth-worms, who have chosen this Dung­hil for your Country; despised and undervalued the en­during Substance; and have not stirr'd up your selves, to the deep Perswasion of the Truth, and Reality of such wonderful Things; but embrace Earth, and confess your selves its Natives, and home-born Slaves. May you not at last see your own Baseness and Slavery? Are you not ashamed of your former Vileness? Are you not be­ginning to perceive, that the Saints are the only excel­lent and noble Persons? Are you not looking upon it, as the greatest Misery and Baseness, to be earthly in your Mind and Affections? Are you not accounting it the only Dignity and Accomplishment, to be humble and di­vine? Again, we beseech you to be ingenuous, and not to lull your selves asleep, in Security's Lap, with a Num­ber of careless Will-bees, and May-bees. What, Sirs? Confess you the Reality of these wonderful Things to come? Confess you, that Heaven and Hell is the eternal Lot of all Mankind? Which of them are you making for? You know, according to your Preparations here, so are you hereafter to be; as you sow, shall you not reap? If you sow to the Flesh, shall you not reap [Page 220] Corruption? And if you sow to the Spirit, shall you not reap eternal Life? Whether will you travel the Way to the one or the other? Choose you: GOD sets Life and Death before you; beguile not your selves; God will not be mocked. Will you remain earthly; and yet think to enter the pure heavenly City? Is there a Foot-breadth for Earth-worms there? If earthly-minded Creatures, re­maining earthly, may expect to enter the fair and clean Jerusalem, then shall Heaven be filled with all Sorts of Cattle, and Hell shall be for ever empty; which is indeed the Opinion of stupid Worldlings, whose extensive Chari­ty reaches all Men that ever were, or shall be: Who are of so sweet and mild a Disposition, as that they dare not, cannot judge any, and are not ashamed to say of the basest Dunghil Worldling, It may be he has somewhat Good. But, believe it, Earthly-mindedness is a palpable gross Vileness, to all, who have their Senses, in the least, exercised. Enter your own Hearts, poor Wretches, and behold your own Practice, and the Practice of the Gene­rality of all who are about you; and you shall perceive your selves smell strongly of Earth. Do not all your Aims and Projects tend Earth-ward? Are not your last Tho'ts in the Evening, your first Thoughts in the Morning, the most of your Thoughts all the Day long, running upon lower Concernments? Earth, only Earth, fills your base Minds: Few, transient and brutish are your Conceptions of Things above: Eternity you make your By-aim, and Earth your chief Design. Do you not esteem earthly Glo­ry and Riches most? Are not these, who are most ladned with the thick Clay of the Earth, greatest in your Eyes? Had you not rather have wealthiest, the Men of most Account and Power in Time, to be allied to you, than the afflicted People? Can you not converse familiarly with Dunghil-worldlings, without any Trouble or Antipathy? Yea, have ye not the cursed Heart, to become one Flesh with a black Lump of Death and Hell, if so be they be laden with the Earth's worm-eaten Trash, or please your [Page 221] carnal Inclination, and foolish Fancy? Are you not more taken up with your own private, petty affairs, than with the great Concernments of Christ, and his Church? Have you not more Delight in earthly Enjoyments, than in the Exercises of Godliness? Are you not more sensible of your temporal Losses, than of your spiritual? Do not your Joys ebb & flow, according to the Ebbings and Flowings of worldly Things? Are you not ignorant of Rejoicing in Tribulation, because of the Smiles of Jeho­vah's amiable Countenance? And of Sorrowing, in the midst of earthly Abundance, because the WELBELOVED hath frowned, with dawn himself, & is gone? Worldlings, Is it not even thus with you? Let your Consciences speak, Men and Women; O hear them, that God may hear you. I say, Is it not most evident to your selves, that thus it is with you? And are you for Glory? Are you for the clean and holy City? Are you for dwelling with e­verlasting Burning? Are you for walking with the Lamb, clothed with the white and beautiful Garments of Holiness? Are you for standing among the fair delight­som Assembly of Saints and Angels, who eternally sur­round the Throne of Jehovah and the Lamb? Are you? Ye base Worldlings, as long as ye are what you are, you have nothing to do with Glory: Stand aback, touch not the Mount. Beasts are not to meddle with so great Things: Heaven is only for holy Ones; for with­out Holiness no Man shall see the Lord. Believe it, Sirs, you are Ten thousand Miles from Holiness: Holiness is a strange, unknown Thing in the World: The most refined Moralists, Civilians, Carnal Gospellers, and brave Forma­lists, have scarce heard the Sound thereof: There is a Path that no Fowl knoweth, and which the Vulture's Eye hath the seen, and the Lion's Whelps have not troden it, nor the fierce Lion passed by it. But, where shall Wisdom be found? And where is the Place of Understanding? Man knoweth not the Price thereof; neither is it found in the Land of the Living: The Depth saith, It is not in me; [Page 222] And the Sea saith, It is not with me. It cannot be gotten for Gold; neither shall Silver be weighed for the Price thereof: No Mention shall be made of Coral, or of Pearls; for the Price of Wisdom is above Rubies.

Believe it, Holiness, or Wisdom, is a rare Thing: A Saint is a Wonder. God hath placed them among the nume­rous Multitude of Mankind, like so many Signs and Won­ders: So many Saints in the World, so many Miracles of Nature: A Saint, in the Kalender of the Generality of Professors, is an ordinary Person; but, in Christ's, most extraordinary. There are fewer real Christians, than the most precise, and strictest in their Censures, can ima­gine. If the Nature of Holiness were well known, we should wonder, that there is, among all Mortals, one ho­ly One; for, in very Truth, a Saint is nothing else, but a Piece of Heaven, a new Creature, transformed from the Image of Hell, into that of Glory, One whose Conver­sation is only above, who is come unto Mount Zion, and unto the City of the living God: A Saint hath not the Stamp and Fashion of this World; his Heart and Love are quite gone from him to another Place; his Words, his Actions, his Deportment manifest he seeks a Country a­bove, and that he despiseth and overlooks all Things here, as Things inconsiderable, dead and crucified in his Eyes: His Joys, his Pleasures, his Contentments, his Treasures lie not here: His Torments, his Griefs, his Misery lies not in temporal Things; his Mind is elevated far above the Laughings or Frownings of a transitory World: Its Ups and Downs, its Ebbings and Flowings cannot affect him: His sublime Mind is set upon higher Objects; for he looks not to the Things that are seen; but to the Things that are not seen: For the Things that are seen, are tempo­ral; but the Things that are not seen, are eternal. Heaven is his Soil, his Element, the Centre of his Love and Desires: He longs, he prays, he greatly desires, he weeps to be there. The Desi [...]e of the full and naked Embracements of The Chiefest of Ten thousand, overtops, and swallows up his [Page 223] Desire and Love to all other Things. What tho' he hath fair, pleasant Possessions of Earth, many dear Friends, and pleasant Companions? What tho' he have an excellent Wife, and hopeful Children? All these are but Dross and Dung, unto the very Knowledge of the Excellency of JE­SUS his LORD: They are good and pleasant, but no­thing to the only WELBELOVED. He can leave them all gladly, to be with him. O my Comfort, my Children, my Friends, my Possessions, my Hopes here away, my Life, I could not but with exceeding great Grief, be thus separate from you, were I not going to One, who is sweeter, dearer and more lovely to me, above all Expres­sion, than you all: The Loss of all Things is no Loss; if I go to the full Enjoyment of Him, whom my Soul lo­veth. Whom have I in Heaven, or on Earth, but Him? Whom do I love and desire, but Him? No Enjoyments whatsoever [...]n quench my Longing to be with Him: He is my All, and only One. Farewel, all lower Enjoyments, the Love of my fairest WELBELOVED swallows up all other Loves. Be closed, my blessed Senses, from receiv­ing any more sublunary Objects, that ye may be ever­lastingly filled with his transcendent Loveliness, Sweet­ness and Excellency. And no Wonder the Saint cannot want Christ, since he is transformed into his lovely Image, a Partaker of his divine Nature; one, who is endued with the same Mind that was in him; one, who hath Christ dwelling in him; one, who hath the Kingdom of Heaven within him: So that it is natural unto him to tend God-ward, and Heaven-ward; even as it is natural for the Worldling to tend Earth-ward and Hell-ward. Every Thing hath a Propensity and Love to its own Centre and Like; and bends off from its Opposite: The Fire ascends towards the Centre and great Glob of Fire; every Bit of Earth disjoined, tends back to the whole again. Tho' there were neither Reward, nor Punishment; yet a holy One must love, serve, obey, praise and adore his God; for Heaven must operate like Heaven, even necessarily, tho' [Page 224] freely, sweetly, and without Compulsion. Again, World­lings must tend Earth-ward, tho' they should find never so much Vexation, Torment and Grief in it; tho' he should never be so often threatned, and perswaded of all the Miseries that follow an earthly, sensual and brutish Way of living; since he is all Sense, Earth and Corrup­tion, altogether destitute of the Divine Nature: In a Word, a Worldling is a visible incarnate Devil; a Saint, a visible incarnate Angel: Only Hell, on this Side of Time, is not fully accomplished in the one; nor Heaven fully perfected in the other. The holy One smells strongly of Glory; and the nearer he approacheth to his Journey's End, the more resplendent a Lustre hath he of Heaven: The Path of the Just being as the shining Light, that shi­neth more and more unto the perfect Day. O Tincture of Heaven! Their Actions have still a greater Smell of Glo­ry; but all is nothing to the Glory and Excellency of their invisible and inward Operation: Little or nothing appears without, in Comparison of that which is within. O the noble and seraphick Thoughts! O the strange Mo­tions of Love, and Joy, and Admiration, above all possi­ble Expression! O the ravishing Perfumes of passing Joys and Sweetness, wherewith the Beloved fills the Heart! It is impossible for the Saint, to put down in Black and White, what he feels on his Soul: All the Tongues of Men and Angels cannot manifest his sweet and noble Thoughts of his only WELBELOVED. He would glad­ly express them to all that are about him, but he finds it impossible. He is sometimes contending with his nar­row Fancy, that it cannot find out a more sublime, clear and excellent Way of expressing the matchless Worth of his Welbeloved: Other whiles, he is angry at the cold, shallow and putid Manner of others Discoursing: He would have all Men speak nobly, write nobly, do nobly, for Jesus. Nothing vexeth him more than to perceive the Generality of Men forget him: Or, when they speak of him, to talk so coldly and creepingly, as if he were a [Page 225] common, ordinary Beloved. He would have his Lovely One filling the Hearts and Mouths of all: He hates the Fellowship where he is not highly esteemed, loved, praised and adored: He greatly honours, and loves that, (tho' otherwise never so low and despicable) where he is prai­sed, worshipped and much accounted of. It is his conti­nual Torment and Affliction, he hath so low and unbe­seeming Thoughts of him: He is in great Rage at his Heart, that it should, at any Time, go astray, from such an excellent Object, after Vanity: He lays Bands on, watcheth over, and commands his Heart, that it have no­ble and excellent Thoughts of him; and entertain no other Beloveds beside him: He desires Nothing more, than to have his Heart wholly set upon him, and forever ravished and overcome with his Love. And no Wonder; since Christ, and he are One; One in Nature, Mind, Affections, Spirit, and all Things: As the Lord Jesus is, so is he, in a great Part. Every one of the Saints resem­bles the Children of the King of Kings: Among all the Sons of Adam, there are none their like; for they are a chosen Generation, a royal Priesthood, an holy Nation, a peculiar People; that they should shew forth the Praises of him, who hath called them out of Darkness unto his mar­vellous Light. The Generality of Mankind hath, ever from the very Beginning, looked upon them, as strange Manner of Persons, & nick-named them with various and strange Sorts of Names, according to the Iniquities of the Times and Places they lived in, because of their Rare­ness in Number, Singularity in their Way of Living and Practice, Preciseness in their Principles, and oppo­sing the Sins of the Times their Lot is cast into.

Ah! poor Worldlings, do ye not see, that a Saint is an­other Manner of Person than you imagined? Do you not perceive, that you are as far below real Holiness, as Earth is below Heaven? Is it not manifested to yourselves, that you are not the Creatures, whose Minds and Affec­tions are heavenly and divine? that you are not of a [Page 226] more noble and excellent Spirit than your Neighbours? True, your own desperate, deceitful Heart will cause you to imagine your selves rare Pieces of Excellency; yet it will give you no Demonstration, but only cause I, as such, appear great; and so confound every Thing, as you may evade us, one Way or another. So desperate are Worldlings, that they cannot abide to examine their Con­ditions; and when others hold out the Light, that they may discover them, they wink, lest they behold their own Misery and Vileness. But, Worldlings, may you not see your Nakedness, If you will but ask seriously, at your selves, a few ordinary Questions, and solve them faithfully, according to the answer of your Conscience?

First, Have you ever felt the Pangs of the new Birth? Are you Strangers to this? Know you not, Except a Man be born again, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven? This is strange! A Saint, a regenerate Crea­ture, a Man born over again; and yet without Pain, or Labour! Such a great Mutation, without great Symp­toms and Concomitants, cannot be. Ah! most Men's Religion hath come to them in a Night-dream.

2dly. Were you ever at What shall I do to be saved? Here, blessed Jesus, I subscribe a Blank, put in any Thing thou wilt; and, in thy Strength, I will gladly endea­vour the Performance of all; only save me; O save me, else I eternally perish. It is strange, you have not come this Length that many Reprobates have come, and yet imagine your selves Saints.

3dly. Hath the great Salvation appeared so great, in your Eyes, filled so your Minds, that it hath overtop­ped, and swallowed up the Thoughts of all other Con­cernments? Are you not come this far, that some Re­probates have, for a Time, attained unto? And can you imagine your selves Partakers of the great Salvation? Ah, mad Delusion!

4thly. Were you ever sick of Sin? Have you been more burdened under your Iniquities, than ever you were [Page 227] under an earthly Affliction? Do you not find the grievous Weight of a Body of Death? Yea, go you not lightly under your Iniquities? Only some of the grossest of them torment your natural Conscience; As for Ori­ginal Sin, your know it more by Speculation, than by Feeling: This doth show you are dead in Sins and Tres­passes, alienated from the Life of God. Can you then imagine your self such a noble Creature as a Saint?

5thly. Were you ever sick of Love for JESUS? Were you ever running after him, with the Tear in your Eye, with your Hands upon your aking Sores? Were you ever weeping, and groaning, and sighing at his Feet, for Mercy, and Pardon, and Reconciliation, and the Lifting-up of his amiable Countenance? Were you ever wrestling with Sin, as for your Life, and saying, Blessed Jesus, I must have Thee; Thee to be my Lord, my Head, my Advocate, my King, my Priest, my Prophet, my only Beloved, or I cannot live? Ah! Sirs, you, who know not experimentally what I am saying, have your Religion to seek yet.

6thly. Were you ever crying, as it were, O Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you, if you see my Beloved that you tell him, that I am sick of Love? Have you been fainting, because of an absent and withdrawing Lord? Have you had a wearisom Night without Sleep for Christ, because you could not find him? Know you not, by Experience, what I am saying? O then! you are Strangers to Christ.

7thly. Are not your Thoughts of Christ so high, that you cannot, in the thousandth Part, express them to others? Are not all Things Dross and Dung to you, in Comparison of Christ? If you can express all your Thoughts of him, you want the Mind of a Saint.

8thly. Though an eternal Enjoyment of all possible created Paradises of Joy and Delight, filled with all Smells, all Tastes, all Sights, all Melodies, all Delights the Heart of Man can imagine, were placed on the one [Page 228] Hand; and the eternal Enjoying, Praising, and Adoring JEHOVAH and the LAMB, on the other; which of these two Lives would your Heart most affect, and run after: It may be, you will say, I had rather enjoy Christ, than all Things. How then comes it to pass, you long not to be with him? How comes it to pass, you have more Delight in earthly Enjoyments, than in the Exer­cises of Godliness? Why is Meditating on him, the Ex­cellency of his Person, and the Glory of his Kingdom, so melancholious, and seldom an Exercise! Why are you not making it your Study and Delight, to keep up a near and intimate Fellowship with the Father, and the Son? Ah! poor Things, you are altogether ignorant of your selves; and therefore you talk, and you know not what.

9thly. Find you in your Soul a strong and ardent Longing and Desire after God, and still to have more and more of him, till you be filled with all his Fulness? Have you a greater Thirst after him, than ever you had after cold Water in an unquenchable Thirst, through a burning Fever, or great Heat, Labour and Weariness? Surely, if you be Partakers of his Nature, you cannot but bend to him with a strong Bensil. Are your De­sires after him cold and indifferent, and broken Cisterns can quench your Thirst! Be assured, you are dead, and have not your Senses exercised.

10thly. Can you discern betwixt the Exercises of Godliness, and God in the Exercise? Are you some­times seeking him, and cannot find him? Are you not calling unto him, and he gives no Answer? Are you ignorant of a mutual Converse with him? Find you not him speaking into your Heart, as really as you spake up to him? Know ye not what it is, to receive an Answer of Prayer? Ah! ye are Strangers to the My­stery of Godliness.

11thly. Find you more Delight in his Fellowship, when you are alone, than ever you found in all your [Page 229] earthly Enjoyments? Have you not been brought into his Chambers of Love, and rejoiced and been glad in Him? Have you not found his Love better than Wine, and the Savour of his good Ointments most cheering and refreshing? Nay, found you not, in some Measure, to your own sweet Experience, all the Intercourses written down in the Song of Songs? What say you? Are you Strangers to these Things; and yet, an espoused Soul to Christ? That cannot be.

12thly. Have you not a Respect to all his Command­ments, since you have resigned your self wholly over to him, without Reservation? Dare you contradict a known Precept, and can sacrilegiously cut and carve upon his Latter will, and put your own carnal Glosses upon his clear Commands, for your own worldly and carnal Ends? And yet Saints! and yet Lovers of JESUS! That's impossible.

13thly. Doth your Goodness reach the Saints, the Excellent of the Earth, in whom is all your Delight? Is there any in your Eyes, by a thousand Stages, so great, as a Saint? Is not a Creature the more lovely, excel­lent and esteemed in your Eyes, the more wise he is, the more he is like All-lovely Jesus? As for the several Fan­cies of Riches and Honour, you value them not, these are not the Things that heighten and depress Persons in your Account: But on the contrary, are you the People, that esteem Persons, according to Gay-clothing, Multi­tude of Trash, much of earthly Honour, Power, Autho­rity and Renown? Affect you more to have a really ho­nourable Consort, Children, Kinsmen, and Friends, than to have them wise and holy? Art thou such a Creature, that thou lovest the Converse of the Wealthy and Prosperous; and can take a Wordling, known to be such, to be the inseparable Companion of thy Life, be­cause of worldly Advantages; And can converse famili­arly and merrily with Worldlings, without any Antipa­thy, or Hurt to the Frame of thine Heart? Art thou such [Page 230] an one, and yet a Saint? Ah! poor Thing, thou art a Stranger to Holiness. It may be thou art a Formalist; that is, a Person illuminated, who hath a Custom of reading, and conferring, and meditating, and praying; and it may be, weeping, and hearing the best, it may be with Jeopardie; but the Life and Marrow of Religion thou art altogether ignorant of.

14thly. Do not the Affairs of Christ's Church through the World, and especially through the particular Church He doth most own, lie nearer your Heart, than all other Things? May you not say, If I forget thee, O Zion, let my Right-hand forget her Cunning; If I prefer not Jerusa­lem to my chiefest Joy? Are not your own Affairs oft-times forgotten by you; so much are you taken up with the Affairs of CHRIST? That Christ may be great, his Interests glorious, and his People exalted, is the Flower and Top of your Desires. You are exceeding angry against, not only his open persecuting Enemies, but all who are indifferent or luke-warm in his Mat­ters; Thou canst abide none, but the zealous Ones; Art thou not, as it were, burnt up with Zeal for the Glory of the only excellent ONE? So, that thou art crying out, Let the Sinners be consumed from the Earth; Let the Wicked be no more; Let all his Enemies perish; but let those, that love Him, be like the Sun, going forth in his Strength. But on the contrary, do thine own Af­fairs share largest of thy Thoughts? thou art oft-times so occupied with them, that the Affairs of Zion are al­most forgotten: It may be, thou wishes well unto her, and had rather she did swim, than sink; yea, would undergo a considerable Loss, upon Condition she might be exalted: But wouldst thou have the Affairs of Christ great, meerly out of Desire to his Glory and Exaltation? Dost thou desire the Rising of his Interests, tho' it were upon thy Fall and Ruin? Are thy great Affairs, even what concerneth Life, and the greatest Affairs of thine own, small, and of no Consideration in thine Eyes, in [Page 231] Comparison of the smallest Things of CHRIST? Yea, art thou not One, who can overlook, and cede many Things to the Enemy? Not an Hoof, is too great Pre­ciseness to Thee. And is not thy Hatred, and Indigna­tion, at his Enemies, weak and indiscernable? Thou canst hear his Work and People spoken Evil of, unconcern­edly, and be little or nothing moved: Thou art a very meek and moderate Man in his Cause; and art thou one of his? Hath he the Flower of thy Love? Is that Love burning in thine Heart, which many Waters cannot quench? Art thou a genuine Son of Zion? Never think it; poor deluded Creature, thou hast Religion yet to seek.

15thly. Do all earthly Things appear dead and cru­cified-like unto thee? Dost thou look upon this Earth as a melancholick Wilderness? And hast thine Heart and Eyes still upon thy Country? Yea, dost thou look with a disdainful Eye upon this base World, so full of Wickedness, Vexation, and Vanity; wherein thy Lord, and all his Followers, have got so bad Entertainment? But, on the contrary, dost thou look upon thine Enjoy­ments in a lovely and warmly Manner, and hast sweeter and more pleasant Thoughts of them, than of the Life to come? When the World smiles upon thee, dost thou smile upon it again; and canst easily bear the Want of the full Enjoyment of GOD; being so well pleased with an easy, earthly Life, either in Reality, or in Imagination; as thou art saying to thy self, It is good to be here? Art thou thus, and yet a Saint, a Pil­grim, who is travelling heaven ward, a Creature, whose Heart and Love is in another Country, and not here? This is a Repugnancy; never think it, Man: Think thy self the Thing thou art, an Home-born Slave; and then thou art a Step in the Way to true Liberty.

16thly. Art thou longing to be in the immediate Embra­ces of the Chief of Ten thousand? To behold him Face to Face, and be satiate with his immediate Fellowship? Is it [Page 232] oft the Cry of thy longing Heart, When shall I see him as he is, and that white and beautiful Company following him whithersoever he goes? When shall I see the Bride­groom and the Bride kiss and embrace one another? When shall he set his majestick Head thro' these visible Heavens, and appear in his royal Marriage-robes, before the whole Creation? Ah! the envious Heavens, that hide him from my longing Eyes! Ah! the longsom Days, that ly betwixt me and him! When shall we be eternal­ly in others immediate Embraces? But on the contrary, canst thou live contentedly, in the Midst of earthly A­bundance, with small or no Desires of his immediate Fel­lowship? Is this the ordinary Frame of thy Spirit: And yet a Saint! It cannot be. Can the chaste Spouse not long for her absent Bridegroom? Can the true Lover live patiently, without beholding the Beloved's Face? Ah! Sirs, you have not been really espoused to him. Have you not received his Love-tokens, nor been ravished with the Smell of his fragrant Ointments? and what Wonder, you are as you are?

17thly. Are you depending on God in every Thing? Acknowledge you him in all your Ways, and in every Exigency that befals you? Cast you all yours Cares upon him, and trust in him for all Things in Time and Eter­nity? So that you find your Mind greatly eased; as ha­ving One to your Father, who is both able and willing to carry you thro' all Difficulties and Afflictions? Are you endeavouring to do his Commandments, and commit the Event of all absolutely unto him, who, you know, brings all to a good Issue? Have you renounced the Dis­posing of your selves, and resigned that, with all your Concerns, even unto him? And dare not do any Thing without his Approbation? Or, on the contrary, do you rely on this Thing, and that Thing? If there be Money in the Purse, or Calves in the Stall, then you hope, you shall not want: You trust in hu [...]ane Probabilities; but if those fail you, you are dispondent; Thou hast not the [Page 233] Confidence in GOD, that may hold up thy Heart, in as cheerful a Condition, as when Corn and Wine abounded unto Worldlings. Thou cannot lay as much Weight on the large Promises in the Book of GOD, as Worldlings on their Charters in earthly Possessions; and therefore, thou art ever anxious about the event, and commits not the Disposing of thy self to him: Thou walkest by the Compass of Riches, Ease, Reputation, &c. And whether it be the Will of Christ, is thy last Consideration: Whether it be a Course, that will most glorify him, and make thy Progress swifter to Glory, doth not so much trouble thee; as whether it be a Course, will render thee prosperous, full of Ease, Wealth and Esteem in a World. Doth thine Heart dictate unto thee such an Occupation, such a Mar­riage, and such an Interprize will bring in great Wealth, much worldly Joy, a Multitude of Friends, greater world­ly Honour, &c? Therefore it is to be followed. Ah! deluded Wretch, walkest thou by earthly, carnal Rules; and yet such a noble Creature, as a Saint? Never enter­tain such Fancies: The Saints walk as Christ walked, He is their Fore-runner, and Captain.

The Difference between a Saint and a Worldling, may, in some Manner, be apprehended from what we have spo­ken. Ask seriously, at your selves, such Questions; re­flect upon your Way of Walking; see what is the con­stant Frame of your Heart, and what your Heart affects most; what your have been, and what you are aiming at, and seeking most; what you rejoice most in; what the Thoughts and Intentions of your Heart run out most up­on. O Sirs, be not beguiled in so weighty a Concern­ment: If you err here, you are eternally undone: It is Satan's great Endeavour, to hinder you from considering your self, or your Condition; he delights to see you pass away your Time, in considering your natural Abili­ties, your corporal Endowments, your Estate in the World, &c. But he is afraid you consider your spiri­tual Estate, how it stands betwixt God and you; whe­ther [Page 234] you be in friendly Terms with him, or not: If not, how you may attain unto a near Fellowship; and how you may keep your self in his Love and Favour, and grow more and more familiar with him. He loves, and endeavours to divert your Mind off eternal Concernments to temporal. But, Sirs, ought you not to give Eternity the first Place, the First, and Flower, and Choice and Might of all your Endeavours? Make sure Work in so great, great a Matter: Thy eternal Weal, or Wo, is upon the Wheels, Man; what shall be your Lot through­out endless Ages, is a Concernment above all you can con­ceive, or endeavour. Knowest thou not how the Matter stands? Is not the Time short, thou hast to prepare thy self i [...]o? Is not thy Life most uncertain? Is not the Work of Salvation a great, a long, a difficult Work? Is it not most ordinary, that Men die, as they live; and most certain, that their eternal Condition is, as they die? Knowest thou not, that it is written, To Day, if ye will hear my Voice, harden not your Hearts? Thou knowest not what a Day may bring forth. Come, O come, and embrace so friendly a Call. Have you any Excuse? Are you about any Business of such Concernment? Is any suc­ceeding Hour better than now? Doth not thine Heart draw on a new Scruff of Hardness? Why then, fall to Work in good earnest, as for Life and Death: Make sure Work, build not upon Sand, but on the Rock? Never rest, till you have Christ indeed, and not some Fancy in his Place; be sure you get an Interest in him. Never think your selves right, until you have a familiar and lively Fellowship with the Father and the Son; until there be mutual Communications of Love betwixt Christ and you; until you have heartily, and for ever, given your self wholly over to him, and taken him wholly over to you, to be your King, Priest and Prophet; to be your All, and only One; until you be enamoured with his matchless Beauty, overcome with his passing Sweetness; until Earth, in its best Condition, be an empty Nothing, [Page 235] and Vanity in your Eyes; until Heaven become your na­tive Country, were Heart, and Love, and all do ly; so that it shall be as natural for you to be heavenly-minded, as for Earth-worms to be earthly. O then! we shall greet you, by the excellent and princely Name of Saints. O then, you shall be no more Beasts, but Crea­tures of an high and seraphick Nature, the Sons and Mini­ons of the High and Lofty One; the Princes & Heirs of Heaven, and Earth, and all Things; for then all Things are yours, whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the World, or Life, or Death, or Things present, or Things to come: All are yours, and ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's.

A Soliloquie to GOD, Prayer-ways.

DIspatch, O WELBELOVED, and hasten the Day of our eternal Marriage; put Time, and Days out of the Way: Great Things hast thou to do, before thou descend visibly to this lower World: Thou hast been making great Dispatch, since thou ascended; and still the nearer thy second Coming, thou still hastenest thy Work the more: These few Years immediately preceed­ing, How hast thou put many and great Things through thy Hand? And now thy Kingdom is upon the advancing Hand; tho' it seem almost all tottering and decaying. That great and glorious Work, thou promisedst of old, is just now in the Birth, and near the breaking forth: Thy grand Enemies have begun to fall before Thee, and have still lost Ground; and tho' now they seem to have the Advantage, it is but in Appearance: Thou art but making thy self to flee before them, that thou mayest draw them all out after Thee; but, ere ever they shall be aware, thou wilt make thine Ambushcado's to assault them on the [Page 236] Reer; and in a Trice thou wilt environ them on every Side, give them an irreparable Rout. Thou art, O migh­ty Captain, as it were, retiring thy self, that thou mayest come back on thine Enemies with the greater Force: Thou art at the crying out, Ah! I will ease me of mine Adversaries, and avenge me of mine Enemies: For, be­hold, thou makest the Earth empty, and makest it waste, and turnest it up-side down, and scatterest abroad the Inha­bitants thereof: Thou art coming out of thy Place, to pu­nish the Inhabitants of the Earth, for their Iniquity; for, Thou shalt rise up, as in Mount Perazzim; Thou shalt be wroth, as in the Valley of Gibeon; that thou mayest do thy Work, thy strange Work; and bring to pass thy Act, thy strange Act. At the Noise of the Tumult, the People shall flee; at the Lifting up of thy self, the Nations shall be scat­tered, and their Spoil shall be gathered, like the Spoiling of the Caterpillers; as the Running to and fro of Locusts, so shalt thou run upon them; for thy Sword shall be bathed in Heaven, it shall come upon Idumea, and upon the People of thy Curse, unto Judgment: Thy Sword shall be filled with Blood, and shall be made fat with Fatness: For, Thou hast a Sacrifice in Bozra, and a great Slaughter in the Land of Idumea: And the Unicorns shall come down with them, and the Bullocks, with the Bulls; and their Land shall be soaked with Blood, and their Dust made fat with Fatness: For the Day of Vengeance is in thine Heart, and the Year of thy Redeemed is come. Thou art looking, and there is none to help; and thou wonderest that there is none to uphold; therefore thine Arm shall bring Salvation unto thee, and thy Fury it shall uphold thee: Thou wilt put on Righteousness, as a Breast-plate, as an Helmet of Salvation upon thine Head: And Thou shalt put on the Garments of Vengeance for Clothing, and shalt be clothed with Zeal as a Cloke: And Thou wilt tread down the People in thine Anger, and make them drunk in thy Fury; and wilt bring down their Strength to the Earth. Gird thy Sword on thy Thigh, O most Mighty, [Page 237] with thy Glory and thy Majesty; and in thy Majesty ride prosperously, because of Truth, Meekness, and Righteous­ness; and thy Right-hand shall teach Thee terrible Things: Be thou a Refuge for the Oppressed, a Refuge in Times of Trouble. When thou makest Inquisition for Blood, re­member them: Forget not the Cry of the Humble; that they may shew forth all thy Praise, in the Gates of the Daughter of Zion: That thou mayest be known by the Judgment thou executest, when the Wicked is snared in the Works of his own Hands: Let not the Needy always be forgotten: O! let not the Expectation of the Poor pe­rish for ever. Arise, o Lord, let not Man prevail; put thine Enemies in Fear, O Lord, that they may know themselves to be but Men: Behold, they travel with Iniquity, and have conceived Mischief, and have brought forth Falshood: They have made a Pit, and digged it; Let them fall into the Ditch, which they have made: Let their Mischief return upon their own Hand, and their vio­lent Dealing come down upon their own Pate: But those that trust in thee, let them rejoice, let them ever shout for Joy, because thou defendest them. Even let the Righte­ous rejoice, when he seeth the Vengeance; Let him wash his Feet in the Blood of the Wicked; so that a Man may say, Verily, there is a Reward for the Righteous: Verily, thou art a God, that judgest in the Earth. Remember this, that the Enemy hath reproached, O LORD; and that the fool­ish People have blasphemed thy Name. O deliver not the Soul of thy Turtle-Dove unto the Multitude of the Wicked: Forget not the Congregation of thy Poor for ever: Have a Respect unto thy Covenant; for the dark Places of the Earth are full of the Habitations of Cruelty. O! let not the Oppressed return ashamed; Let the Poor and Needy praise thy Name: Forget not the Voice of thine E­nemies; the Tumult of those, that rise up against Thee, in­creaseth continually. They have taken Crafty Counsel a­gainst thy People, and consulted against thine hidden Ones: They have said, Come let us cut them off from being a [Page 238] Nation, that the Name of Israel may no more be in Remem­brance; for they have consulted together, with one Con­sent; they are confederate against Thee. O make them like a Wheel, O my GOD, as the Stubble before the Wind; that Men may know that Thou, whose Name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most High, over all the Earth. O LORD GOD, to whom Vengeance belongeth; O GOD, to whom Vengeance belongeth, shew thy self: Lift up thy Self, Thou Judge of the Earth, render a Reward to the Proud. O LORD, how long shall the Wicked, how long shall the Wicked triumph? How long shall they utter and speak hard Things? and all the Workers of Iniquity boast themselves? They break in Pieces, thy People, O LORD, and afflict thine Heritage: Yet, they say, The Lord shall not see, neither shall the GOD of Jacob regard it. But Thou shalt arise and have Mercy upon Zion; for the Time to favour her, yea the set Time is come: For thy Ser­vants take Pleasure in her Stones, and favour the Dust thereof. For thy Mercy is great above the Heavens, and thy Truth reacheth unto the Clouds. Be Thou exalted, O GOD, above the Heavens; and thy Glory above all the Earth, That thy Beloved may be delivered, save with thy Right-Hand. Wilt Thou not give us Help from Trouble; For vain is the Help of Man. Through Thee we shall do va­liantly; For Thou art He that shall tread down our Ene­mies. Our Mouth shall be filled with Laughter, and our Tongue with Rejoicing: Thou shalt put a new Song in our Mouth; Each one of us shall sing forth, O LORD, Thou art my God, I will exalt Thee; I will praise thy Name, for Thou hast done wonderful Things; Thy Coun­sels of Old are Faithfulness, and Truth: For thou hast been a Strength to the Poor, a Strength to the Needy in his Distress; A Refuge from the Storm, and a Shadow from the Heat, when the Blast of the terrible One is as a Storm against the Wall. Lo, this is our God, we have waited for him, and he will save us: This is the LORD, we have waited for him; we will be glad and rejoice in his Salva­tion. [Page 239] We have a strong City, Salvation will God appoint for Walls and Bulwarks. Open ye the Gates, that the righteous Nation, which keepeth the Truth, may enter in. I cannot but smile, and leap for Joy, through the Fore-tho'ts of the glorious Days we shall see a little hence. Verily, WELBELOVED, Thou hast perswaded me with a strong Hand, that the Glory of the second Temple shall far surpass the Glory of the first; and that such a Day of thy Power and Excellency shall arise very shortly up­on BRITAIN, as shall dazle the Eyes of all the Behol­ders, confound and put to Shame all thy Adversaries, rejoice exceedingly the Hearts of thy now sadned and fainting Friends, and have a strong Influence and Re­splendency throughout all the whole Earth. We are thy covenanted People, thine in a more peculiar Manner, than any People, Nation, or Language throughout the Uni­versal World: Thy Name is called most signally over us, thy Glory and Renown is most especially concerned in our Affairs: Greater Mercy, Power, Wisdom and Sove­reignty hast Thou not manifested on any People, since Thou ascended on high: How majestick and glorious have thy Outgoings been among us? As if here had been the chief Place of thy Dwelling on Earth. Such majestick Banners of Mercy and Justice hast thou erected among us, as have amazed the Nations about: And tho', ere it be long, Thou wilt pour out our Blood like Wa­ter, by the Force of the Sword, because of our horrid Apostasies and Inventions; Yet, Thy Loving-kindness shalt Thou never remove from us, but shalt erect a Banner of Love over us, until the Day of thine Appearance. Thou hast manifested, that Thou art well pleased with thine Espousing of us, and that thou standest to the Bargain, by thy begetting a Progeny of Sons & Daughters, which appear to exceed, in Number and Excellency, all others through the Habitable World: Tho' our Iniquities testi­fy against us, and cry for utter Desolation, until we be like Admah and Zeboim; Yet, what wilt thou do for [Page 240] thy great Name, which will be greatly blasphemed throughout the World, if Thou utterly consume us? Hast Thou begun a Work, and shalt thou not perfect it? Hast thou laid the Foundation; And shalt Thou not erect it, unto the Cope-stone, that all may cry, Grace, Grace unto it? Hast Thou not ever frustrated the cruel and hellish Intents of thine Enemies, and made their De­vices to fall on their own Heads; And shalt Thou not now plunge them in the midst of their own Mischiefs, as that the Inhabitants of the World shall cry out, Hig­gaion, Selah? Hast Thou such a numerous and excellent Remnant, according to the Election of Grace; And shall they not hold Thee from removing altogether from hence? Yea, so hold Thee, as Thou shalt dwell most gloriously amongst us, and bless us with a double Blessing. Art Thou the Hearer of Prayer; And shall not the Sighs and Tears and Groans of thy afflicted, persecuted Ones prevail strongly with Thee? Are there not Thousands of Thousands of Prayers lying before the Throne, yet, not answered? How many strong Wrestlers have pray­ed and weeped for thy vindicating thy Work and People, and died Praying? Tho' Sighs and Tears did not move Thee, yet wilt Thou not regard the Cry of the Souls under the Altar, who testified for the very smallest of thy Interests unto the Death? Is not thy Kingdom now upon the advancing Hand, and the glorious Days at the Close of Time, which of old thou hast promised, at the Door? Anon, Thou wilt tread upon the high Places of the Earth, and the Inhabitants shall tremble, and be amazed: And the Loftiness of Man shall be bowed down, & the Haughti­ness of Men shall be made low, and thou alone shalt be exalted in that Day. Thou art coming forth in great Fury, and shalt tread the Wine-press without the City, up to the Horse-bridles: And the Carcases of the Men of this Generation shall be like Dung upon the Earth; for the Sword shall devour from the one End of the Land, even to the other: No Flesh shall have Peace, because the [Page 241] Earth is defiled under the Inhabitants thereof; since they have transgressed the Laws, changed the Ordinances, bro­ken the everlasting Covenant: For, from the least of them even unto the greatest of them, every one is given to Cove­teousness; and from the Prophet unto the Priest, every one dealeth falsly: They have healed the Hurt of the Daugh­ter of thy People slightly, saving, Peace, Peace, when there is no Peace: They be all Adulterers, an Assembly of trea­cherous Men; and they bend their Tongues, like their Bow, for Lies; but they are not valiant for the Truth upon the Earth. Behold, thy Whirl-wind, shall go forth in Fury, even a grievous Whirl-wind, it shall fall grievously upon the Head of the Wicked. Thou hast not sent these Prophets, yet they ran; Thou hast not spoken to them, yet they pro­phesied; Therefore will Thou cast out the Carcases of these Prophets, and these, to whom they have prophesied in­to the Streets, and the Fields, to be devoured by the Fowls of the Heaven, and the Beasts of the Field: For Thou wilt cut off from this Generation Head and Tail, Brar [...]h and Rush in one Day: And it shall be as with the People, so with the Priest; as with the Servant, so with his Ma­ster; with the Maid, so with her Mistress; as with the Bu [...]er, so with the Seller; as with the Lender, so with the Borrower; as with the Taker of Usury, so with the Giver of Usury to him: For Wickedness burneth as the Fire, it shall devour the Briers and Thorns, and shall kindle in the Thickets of the Forest; and they shall mount up, as the lifting up of Smoke. Through thy Wrath the Land is dark­ned, and the People shall be the Fewel of thy Fire: No Man shall spare his Brother; the [...] shall eat every Man the Flesh of his own Arm; Manasseth Ephraim, & Ephraim Manas­seh; and they together shall be against Judah; and the Streets shall be filled with Blood, and the Fields shall be soaked with Blood and Fatness, for it is the Day of thy Fury, and Revenge for the Controversy of Zion: But yet in it shall be a Tenth, and it shall return▪ and shall be eaten, as a Tyle-Tree, and as an Oak, whose Substance is [Page 242] in them, when they cast their Leeves: For the Holy Seed shall be the Substance thereof. And in that Day, shall the BRANCH of the Lord be beautiful and glorious; and the Fruit of the Earth shall be excellent and comely, for them that are escaped of Israel: And in that Day shalt Thou be for a Crown of Glory, and for a Diadem of Beauty unto the Residue of thy People; and for a Spirit of Judg­ment to him that sitteth in Judgment; and for Strength to them, who turn the Battle to the Gate. For Thou in the Midst of us art mighty; Thou wilt save: Thou wilt re­joice over us with Joy, Thou wilt rest in thy Love: Thou wilt rejoice over us with Singing: And thou wilt gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn Assembly, e­ven them to whom the Reproach of it was a Burden; and thou wilt create upon every Dwelling-place of Mount Zion, and upon her Assemblies, a Cloud, and Smoke by Day; and the shining of a flaming Fire by Night: For upon all the Glory shall be a Defence. Who is a GOD like unto Thee, that pardonest Iniquity, and passest by the Transgression of the Remnant of thine Inheritance? Thou retainest not thy Anger for ever; because Thou delightest in Mercy. O may thou be glorious and exalted through Britain, and the whole World! When shall the Night be gone, and thou arise with Healing under thy Wings? When shalt thou pour down the Spirit from on high, and make unto thy self a willing People? Hasten these Days, for thine Elect's Sake: Be an Hiding-place to thy Chosen, from the Storm and Tempest, and the Blast of the terrible Once; according to thy Promise: Cover us with thy Feathers, and under thy Wings make us to trust: Let thy Truth be our Shield and Buckler: Then shall we not be afraid for the Terror by Night, nor for the Arrow that fleeth by Day, nor for the Pestilence that walketh in Darkness, nor for the Destruction that wasteth at Noon-day: a Thousand shall fall at our Side, and Ten thousand at our Right-hand; But it shall not come near us; only with our Eyes shall we behold, and see the Reward of the Wicked. O let us see [Page 243] the Good of thy Chosen, and rejoice with thy Nation, and be glad with thy People: Let us see Good, according to the Days wherein we have seen Evil, and according to the Days Thou has afflicted us. And perform thy great Promises, now in the End of Time and Days; as thou hast already poured the Vials of thy Wrath on the Seat of the Beast: Now, our mighty One, dry up the River, the great River; and let there come a great Voice from the Temple of Heaven, from the Throne, IT IS DONE: That thou mayest have a glorious Church of Jew and Gentile; such a Day of thy Power, and Beauties of Ho­liness, as that the Clearest Days we or our Fathers ever saw, were but Days of Darkness and Ignorance, in Com­parison of them. Haste, O WELBELOVED, that Thou mayest cry down Time and Days; and become All in all unto thy Chosen, throughout Eternity.

The dying Saint's SONG.

FArewel, you Beauties of the lower Story
Of God's great All; Adieu, thou painted Glory
Of silly Earth; farewel, you Dreams, you Toys,
Cloth'd in the Garb of true Delights and Joys:
Yet, were you such, as to the World you seem,
What Place now can you have in mine Esteem?
Since all you lesser Beauties disappear,
In Western points of my Heart's Hemisphere;
You rose, shone, set, yet shall you not again
Shine on my Soul, while Heav'n of Heav'ns remain:
No more shall painted Loves my Soul bereave,
No more shall glist'ring Shades my Mind deceive,
No more shall empty Hopes cause Discontent,
No more shall carping Cares my Soul torment;
No more shall Pain cause me to groan and sob,
No more shall Fears cause stifled Heart to throb:
No more shall crackling Joys my Sp'rits exhal,
No more shall vain Conceits my Thoughts inthral;
[Page 244]No more shall vain Delights choke solid Pleasure,
No more shall Store of Clay appear a Treasure;
No more shall childish Rage my Blood inflame,
No more shall fond Desires possess the same:
No more shall my Conceptions be obscur'd,
No more shall my Affections be obdur'd:
No more shall Damps asleep my Senses lull,
No more shall clubbish Earth Soul's Actions dull;
No more shall Sickness my Clay-house possess,
No more shall Exercise cause Weariness:
No more shall silly Body cause a Lothing,
No more shall't stand in need of Food and Clothing;
No more shall Men contemn, if these fall low;
No more shall Men esteem, if these o'verflow:
No more shall Sin remain, Source of all ill,
No more shall Sin Man's glorious Structure spill:
No more shall Sin lodge near to heav'nly Grace,
No more shall Sin eclipse Christ's lovely Face:
No more shall Sin pull Heart from Things divine,
No more shall Sin my Heart to Earth incline.
Wouldst thou, in short express all said before?
Blest Self, say this, That Sin shall be no more.
Welcome, O gentle Death, I think thy Face
Appears not grim, but hath a pleasant Grace;
What tho' thy Looks are glostly, sad and sow'r
Unto the Wicked, whom thou dost devour?
Not so to us, Servants cannot appal;
For ours are Death, Life, Heav'n and Earth and all:
First Sight of thee, Friend Death, caus'd languid Heart
Leap, for exceeding Joy, and every Part
To spring, with Floods of Pleasure: I was slain
With sad Delays, but am reviv'd again:
I'll no more call thee Death, but Life's; I find
In thee, not Death's, but Life's Symptoms combin'd.
True, Death thou art unto the wretched Band,
Stark dead in Sin, and under thy Command.
O but all Things have chang'd their Kind and Face,
Unto the Sons of Light, and Life and Grace!
[Page 245]Sweet Christ hath turn'd, for us, all Blacks to White,
All Woes to Joys, all Sadness to Delight:
He past the Lists with Foes, and gave the Foil,
And made all Foes, to Friendship back recoil.
With thee, O Death, he grapled Hand to Hand,
And led thee Captive from thy native Land:
Now thou art tam'd, and lost thy fatal Sting;
Foes without Harm can no Disaster bring.
Enter this Heart, Friend Death, and thou shall hear
Thy Praises sung, with a melodious Cheer:
O sweet Beginner of all Joys and Pleasure,
Of all Content, and Fulness passing Measure?
O joyful Ev'ning-period, without Morrow,
Of Wants, and Pains, and Tears, and Griefs and Sorrow!
And which is most, O blessed outmost Border
Of all Corruption, Sinning and Disorder!
Once past this March, I may with Coldness cry,
All Sin is gone, Adieu all Misery,
O safe Refuge! O sweet eternal Port;
To which all weari'd Pilgrims do resort.
O Silver Stream! O pleasant passing Strand
From clownish Earth, to fair Emmanuel's Land!
O gladsom Boat-man! giving safe Convoy
From weeping Earth, unto the Land of Joy.
O quiet Sleep! which weari'd Sense assails,
And Sp'rits and Pow'rs with sweet immortal Gales.
O just Umpire, which doth the March discry
Of flying Time, and vast Eternity.
O skilful Sower of Earth's mortal Grain!
That it in heav'nly Glore may rise again.
O noble Usher, who by th' Hand dost bring
Us to the Hall of the immortal King.
Would I thy Praises in one Word express?
I'll only say, O Source of Happiness!
From thee did never-fading Glory grow;
From thee did ever-blooming Joy o'erflow:
By thee eternal Death was vanquished,
By thee eternal Life did it succeed.
[Page 246]O strange! The Source of Life did purchase more,
By dying, than all Creatures lost before:
Yea, more by infinite transcendent Stages,
Than can be told through endless Store of Ages.
By thee the Saints their Heritage possess:
By thee Earth's too too num'rous Folks decrease.
Thou art more mild, of a more pleasant Nature,
In these last Ages of the lower Creature,
Than in the first, when thou did suffer Men,
To run a longsom Race of Sin and Pain.
O without thee our strongest Hope would fail,
Our Joys would die, Despair would us assail.
The Thoughts of thee brought to my Heart Relief,
In all my Wand'rings through the Vale of Grief:
Indeed my longing Soul was sore opprest
With sad Delays, when thou seem'd not to haste
Thy wished Course, and to forget thy Call:
Now, now thy Coming hath redressed all.
O now my Heart's rejoic'd! Sweet Death and I
Are in each other's Arms; thrice happily
I bravely flee out o'er the March of Time,
Unto that happy, happy glorious Clime;
Where stored are enduring boundless Treasures
Of Loves, and Joys, and Heart-contenting Pleasures.
All Joy, Death's shady Vale, in drawing near
Thy dark'ned Borders, strange! thou dost appear
Another Thing, than what I did conceive;
Mistakes cause needless Fears, and Joys bereave.
Thee did my Thoughts present an ugly Den,
O'erspread with Horror, Sadness, Fear and Pain:
Sight tells the Truth, O thrice delightsom Place!
Stor'd with refreshing Shades of sweet Solace,
Cast by these stately Trees of fragrant Fume,
Which do o'erspread this true Elysium,
And do adorn this Trance, which Pilgrims brings
Into the Paradise, which ever springs.
[Page 247]Now do I set my Feet within this Vale,
What Gales of Joys are these, which me assail
In this first Entry? O this Grave might be
A ravishing Repose through all Eternity!
All here do laugh, and smile, and spring and sing;
Were Sadness here, it could not Sadness bring:
Were placed here all Griefs and Woes of Creatures,
Would they not change unto melodious Natures?
And can, O fairest One, thy Word command
Death's saddest Vale into a joyful Land?
How doth the Place, where Thou dost ever dwell,
In Glory, Beauty and all Things excel?
But what if this be it? O heavenly Frame!
My Mind's inlarg'd, my Heart is in a Flame!
O sweet Aspects! with what a pleasant Grace
Do heav'nly Hosts surround me, in this Place?
I'm ravish'd with the Raiment of that ONE,
Whose Fragrancy transcendeth Lebanon:
His Voice, his Soul transporting Emanation
Strikes me in an eternal Admiration!
No, this is Glory's Port; I see the Hall,
Where Lovely Christ, with Crown in Hand, doth call;
Come, come, my Fair, thy princely Head I'll crown
With these great Bays of Glory and Renown:
I'll thee adorn, in such a brave Attire,
That all, who thee behold, shall thee admire.
O Love, thou ever hast been, in my Sight,
A Mass of Beauty, Sweetness and Delight:
But now, my Fair, I'll thee so beautify
With the resplendent Rays of Majesty,
And passing Glory's Beauty; I'll so fill,
With Store of heav'nly Grace, thy Mind and Will,
And all thy Pow'rs; thy Glore so flourish shall,
And bloom, and shine and ray, through Ages all,
That most envying Seers shall confess,
Thou art a Mirror of all Happiness.
[Page 248]O hast thou fought thy Foes, and vanquished,
By off'ring Violence unto all, who did
Thy Course to Heav'n oppose? And shall not I
Put in thine Hands these Palms of Victory?
O didst thou gladly suffer, and despise
All Losses, Pains and Woes that did arise
For my Name's Sake, O Love? And shall not I
Cause thee to reign, in glorious Majesty?
Wast thou to all created Things deny'd,
Esteeming them but Dross and Dung, and Ey'd
Me as the only One? And shall not I
Thee with my matchless Beauty satisfy?
O hast thou bid Farewel, for evermore,
To earthly Things, which thou enjoy'd before;
That thou might'st come to me? And shall not I
Give full Enjoyment through Eternity?
O then, arise, my Fair, and come away;
Behold, the eastern Beams of this fair Day
Of vast Eternity dart in thy Face,
Causing all Shades retreat and flee apace.
O come, and enter this thrice happy Place,
Thou now beholdst. What ravishing Solace
Dwells here! what passing Joy! what boundless Pleasures
Flow in this Land, like Fountains, Floods and Rivers!
Nay, Nothing here, but Sweetness! ev'ry Part
Is fill'd with all Delights of Mind and Heart:
Here ev'ry Ray's a white and joyful Day;
Here ev'ry Bloom's a fragrant smelling May:
If once thou enter here, thy Rain is gone,
Thy Winter's past, and all thy Woes are done.
This is the holy Place, within the Vail,
Wherein once entred, shalt for ever dwell:
This is the Place of Old, I did prepare,
To be the Stage, whereon I might declare
My Beauty, Glory and Excellency,
Before this glorious, stately Company
[Page 249]Of Men and Angels, who shall see my Face,
And shall for ever in my Sight find Grace:
Lo, here behold, these rosie, fragrant Groves;
We'll satiate our selves with mutual Loves.
O here our Blessedness shall bloom for ay!
Arise, my Love, my Fair, and come away.
Thus speaks my LORD, this is his Invitation,
Thus sounds his Voice; O endless Admiration!
Transporting all: O Fires dart from above,
Transforming all into a Flame of Love!
His Soul-alluring Voice, His heavenly Grace,
That shines in every Look, His fairest Face,
His lovely Eyes, His Countenance Divine
Hath ravish'd quite away this Heart of mine:
At first Aspect, his Shade, a Draught might prove,
Would quite eclipse Ten thousand Worlds of Love.
Thrice blessed Saints, thrice blessed Angels, you,
Who stand within the near immediate View
Of such an One, all in your proper Places,
Encircled with essential Love's Embraces!
'Tis like two Heavens of Joy, to think upon,
That I shall be within these Arms anon!
More solid Joy the Hope of Glory brings,
Than all Enjoyments of created Things.
[Page]

LETTERS Written by Mr. Andrew Welwood, from London, a little before his Death.

I. A Letter to his Mother.

Dear Mother,

IF I were able to dictate now, when I am entring into Eternity, I could tell you the Consolations, where­with I am comforted of God, even when the chiefest Delights of the World, these Trifles, upon which the Sons of Men dote, can be no Comfort to me. Alas! what are all the Comforts, that flee away at Death? Even the Vanities of Time, which cannot convoy a Man with­out the Borders of Time; and far less endure with him through Eternity. My Death would seem Judicial-like to blind Worldlings, who see no Judgment, but to be de­prived of the empty and tasteless Vanities of Time; But I see, That all Things work together for Good to them, who are the Called according to his Purpose: Even Dif­ficulties Temptations, Griefs and Woes have all an happy End to the Godly: Out of the Eater cometh Meat, and out of the Strong cometh Sweetness: So, even eating and con­suming Griefs, Sickness and Losses, which make the out­ward Man decay, renew the inward Man, and make him flourish; Even the strongest Difficulties, Temptations and Foes, when overcome, yield the sweetest Victory: And the Thoughts of having rushed through so many Ene­mies, and so strong, shall be sweet throughout Eternity. I see clearly, all the Steps of divine Providence toward me, have conspired to a blessed Close; even the most difficult of them, especially this Half-Year: I would not, [Page 251] for never so much, but that I die were I die, and am sick in this Place; for his Dispensations have a wonderful Depth in them, & cannot well be discerned, but by Eyes inlightned from above. But Worldlings are blind, and vary strangely in their Judgment of Things; and even the Saints, while here, are much blinded with Sin and Infir­mities of this over-powering Mortality: Death has in­deed a terrible Face to these, that place all their Happi­ness in this Life; but I fear it not; it is not Death, but an Harbinger of Glory unto me: It is an hard-favoured Messenger, sent from my sweet Lord to me; 'Tis a dark and sad Chariot carrying to the Land of Light and Joy. My LORD hath done to me, what he hath determined from Eternity; and all his Purposes, even all the Tho'ts of his Heart, are full of Love, infinite Love, to those that wait upon him. I resolved to glorify him on Earth, and dedicated my Life wholly to my LORD's Service; and I know it is all one with him, as if I had done it: And I shall, in another Manner, exalt and serve him above, than I could have done here below, weighted with Mor­tality, and innumerable Infirmities. My Lord hath said to me, It would weary thee, to stay too long in this Val­ley of Tears and Misery; I take it, as if thou hadst done me many Years Service: I have abridged thy Days, but not thy Life: I have shortned thy Toiling, but not thy Reward. And O what a blessed Thing it is, that He takes the Task of many weary Years Service off my Hand! My Warfare is ended; O the joyful Change I am undergoing! When shall I see Him, as He is; When shall I get my Fill of lovely Jesus? O his Beauty, his Beauty, his Beauty! Men and Angels may admire the Freeness of his Grace, and admire it, and ever admire it! But what can they say, or comprehend of it? O the Freeness of his Grace! that he should admit the like of me to stand eternally before him, and to be for ever in his Presence; to be one of his honourable Train; Nay, to enjoy him, as near as can be! O! think ye, I lose any [Page 252] Thing, who get the Forestart, and become Possessor of that Inheritance? The Inheritance of many a more excel­lent and ancient Saint than I; nay, the Inheritance of the Heir of all Things? 'Tis little of Heaven I know, being obscured with Mortality, and living by Faith, and not by Sight. But O to think of the Expressions of Scripture concerning it; Eye hath not seen, nor Ear heard, nor hath it entred into the Heart of Man to conceive, what GOD hath prepared for those that love him: If Heaven could be conceived by us, I should not so much esteem it. But O, it is a massie Thing! O strange! that GOD should make Bits of mortal Men (and what a poor worth­less Thing Man is, let any behold in a dying and dead Carcase) not only as happy as we can desire, or conceive, but as happy as can be! O, the beholding of the Face of the Ancient of Days! But I know in whom I have belie­ved; and that he is able to present me spotless before the Father, with exceeding great Joy. If I perish, let him see to his Promise. I have laid all upon him: If I perish (through the Strength of my LORD, by whom I can do all Things) I shall perish believing. I expect much of Heaven, more than I can conceive; But, O! I think I shall be exceedingly deceived, (O sweet Deceit!) for I shall find more than Ten thousand Worlds can compre­hend. I shall see my Father ere long; Many sweet Days have he and I had upon Earth: Many innumerable Ages shall we have in Heaven together. O Heaven! O, the Difference betwixt this melancholious, smoky Inn, and the Magnificent Hall of Glory! O the Change I am undergoing! I go from the Twilight of the Sun and Moon, to the Noon-day of the Splendour of Glory; from a Dunghil, to a Throne; from bodily Infirmities, Dis­tresses, Diseases, and Pains, to a Land, whose Inhabitants do not say, I am sick; from wearisom Labour and Toil­ing, into an inconceivable sweet Paradise, where I shall rest for evermore; from a mortal Company, to an innu­merable immortal Company of Angels, to the General As­sembly, [Page 253] and Church of the First-born, which are written in Heaven; and to GOD the Judge of all; and to the Spirits of just Men made perfect; and to JESUS the Mediator of the New Covenant. O! what think ye, to be eternally, even for ever and ever among such sweet Company? Are there any more honourable and amiable Company, than they? O! what shall I say? What shall I think? that filthy and unworthy I should shew my Face among so glorious an Assembly. What is here, but Vanity and Grief of Heart? O do you not long to be gone, to be in that sweet and inconceivable Paradise? Cast your An­chor within the Vail, and then you need not fear Death, come when it will. But O, long Life, or Death rather! For the sooner at our Journey's End, the better; and the longer we are clogged with Sin and Misery, the worse; but the more we will love to linger in this Sodom. 'Tis hard to get our Hearts drawn quite off Time: We look kindly to the Bastard's inheritance; and therefore we ab­hor Death, and can frist Heaven longer than any Thing else: But if we could get a Sight of the King in his Beauty, and of the Land that is afar off; then, O to be gone! O to be up above these visible Heavens, and a­mongst these glistering Companies, who enjoy him to the full! O! if Man knew how vain a World this is! O! but they are happy, and inconceivably happy, who escape fairly the Temptations, Snares and Difficulties that are in this Valley of Tears, and who are fairly landed on that odoriferous, flowery Land, an that ravishing Land, which infinite and eternal Love did contrive to be the royal Theatre, whereon should be shown, to Men and Angels, the Height and Breadth, Depth and Length, of that Love, which passeth Understanding! If you run fast, you cannot be long behind me; and we shall see one another immediately: Death is no Separation to the Saints; For Time is nothing: For what is it to be sepa­rated for a few Hours, to them that are to dwell eternally together? What is transient Time to never ending Eter­nity [Page 254] of Joys! Death is far mistaken by the most Part of Saints, they have a wrong Conception of it; It is a sweet Repose to a weary Soul, and looseth the Soul from the Bands of Mortality, letting it out from a filthy, stinking Prison, unto the sweet and fragrant Air of Glory; It ends all Sorrows and Sighings, and begins unspeakable Joys: 'Tis but a dark Cloud ushering in the bright Dawn­ing of eternal Glory. O but my Lord hath excellent­ly circumstantiated my Death! O I admire his Love! I could tell many sweet Passages of Providences he hath cast in my Way: But I delay, until I be sitting upon the Brink of the River of Life; and then I shall number them: I cannot now praise him; Alas that I am so stu­pid and dull; but I shall praise him anon, I shall eter­nally praise him! O be glad and rejoice in our God! O sweet! that poor, dying, miserable I was not left to Uncertainties, not to know what to do; but to have such a sweet and kind Lord to repose on! Had I stayed long­er in this wretched Life, I was resolved to have shown my self as faithful to you as I could: But I commit you unto his Grace, who hath cared for me, even unto Death: Commit your self to him, he will bring all to a good Issue that is trusted to him. We are not our own; therefore we are not to dispose of our selves. CHRIST is a good Tutor and Governour, and carries all these well through, that commit themselves to him. See that Mary neglect not Seeking of God, Praying, Reading of the Scriptures; Let her not frequent ill Company. O the Worth of a Soul! and the Reward of these, that are in­strumental in gaining of a Soul! Our Bodies must go to the Dust; but our Souls are of more Worth than Ten thousand Worlds. I am not able to say more, I am so weak. O! run fast, Death is at the Door. We are all stepping into Eternity; What is Time, but a Preparation for it? Overlook Time, and live, as daily Dying, as one that must pass away immediately, and never be here any more. They build Castles in the Air, who imagine any [Page 255] Rest here; Let Worldlings dream of Rest here; Ours is a­bove; our Hearts are gone; and we are dead to the World. Farewel for a few Days. These are the Words of

Your dying Son, A. W.

II. A Letter to his Brother James.

Dear Brother,

I Hope, the last Words of your Brother, who is now stepping into Eternity, will have some Weight with you; and this Consideration will make you not to neglect them. Know you why you came into the World? I am sure, and you are as sure, Not to eat, and drink, and pass away your Time in earthly Business; but to get the Work of your Salvation well wrought and fini­shed, before Death assault you: It is most uncertain, and steals upon Men, as a Thief in the Night, when they are secure, never dreaming of such a great Change: Tho' truly my Gracious LORD lets me see Death still ap­proaching nearer and nearer; that I may draw ever near­er and nearer him, who is Life. O! it concerns you, to try, Whether you shall be a base Miscreant, crawling in the Bottomless Pit, with unspeakable Torments, in the Midst of wicked Men and Devils, blaspheming Jehovah and the Lamb to Eternity; or, a glorious Saint, confor­med unto the Image of the SON of the eternal GOD, loving, praising, adoring him, that sitteth on the Throne, and the Lamb, for ever and ever. Consider what I say, The Business is so weighty, so exceeding weighty, that Time, with all its Well and Wo, is to be overlooked, in Comparison of this absolutely and only necessary Thing: I tell you, There is an absolute Necessity, that you be [Page 256] holy (let not the Poor Name affright you; for Holiness is the sweetest, and most easy Thing in the World, to them that are holy:) For, Without Holiness, no Man shall see the LORD: And Salvation must be nearer your Heart, by many Degrees, than all other Concernments, tho' they were Ten thousand Worlds. You must know the Bargain of the New Covenant, & close heartily with it, in all its Fulness, without the least Reservation: Upon it, I recommend unto you Mr. Guthry's Trial of a sa­ving Interest in CHRIST; and desire you to read it, till you become such an one, as he describes. Believe it, Godliness is profitable for all Things; having the Promises of this Life, and that which is to come. Tho' it may seem troublesom in the Beginning; and tho' Christ's sweet and easy Yoke may seem an hard Wreath; yet believe me, there is Nothing in the World, but it, which can give Rest, and full Satisfaction to the Soul: All Things here are unsatisfying, tho' you had all that you can desire of them. O this is a vain World! These who are near Eternity will say so. O the vast Difference betwixt Time and Eternity! I assure you, if you had all that your Heart could wish or desire of the Pomp, Treasures and Pleasures of Time, you would find no Contentment in them: And when you shall be in such a Condition, as I am in, when pale Death shall be staring you in the Face; then all the Glory of Time will be, in your Eyes, nothing but a withered Flower. But alas! we are drunk with this World; and we never know well what we are doing, till Death make us sober. I must say again, and again, O the Difference betwixt Time, & Eternity! They that get Heaven, can get no more; for, alas! What are all Additions of Time? What is a few Days Eating, and Drinking, & Trifling? Yea, what are all the massie Exer­cises of Time, compared with the Exercises of Glory? We place too much of our Happiness in this Side of Time; and therefore Death is a great Disappointer: But we should be indifferent to all Things in Time, and have our Eyes [Page 257] ever fixed upon the Thoughts of Eternity: Then 'tis not at all to be regarded, in what Time of a Man's Life he die, if he die in the Lord: Yea, 'tis an invaluable Bles­sing for the Prisoner, or weary Pilgrim, to have all his Toilings by his Hand, and to win to his native Soil. You may think, I put a hard Task upon you; because our Nature is all polluted, and we are accustomed to do Evil. But the Ways of Holiness are sweet, and all its Paths are Peace: If you were once acquainted with the Ways of it, you would say, That Sin is the most base and vile Thing in the World; and Holiness is the most noble Ornament. And consider this, The more you set your Mind on Holiness, the more sweet and easy will you find it. As for temporary Things, take no Care for them; they are but Additions to the Son's Inheritance. I may say by Experience, He hath made good his Word to me in all these Things of Time; He hath made it good unto the End of my Race, in a most strange and wonderful Way: So that I have tasted more of my Lord's Good­ness, and wonderful Providence, in this last Half-year of my Life, than in many Years before: I think it a mer­ciful Dispensation, that he hath weaned my Heart from the World, more in this Half-Year's Sickness, than in many Years Health; This whole Half-year of my Life hath been a continual Winter, for bearing down my Corruption, both Original and Actual: And now the World hath no Relish to me. Farewel, vain World, I heartily submit unto Death, if it were for no more, but because it is the good Pleasure of my Lord, who most mercifully takes me away from the Bondage of my Corruption, and from the dreadful Evils to come. Medi­tate seriously on Death: It is a Business most weighty, a Business upon which your eternal Well or Wo de­pends: The End crowns the Work; die well, and you are well, even well for evermore. And O! is not E­VERMORE a massie Word? You shall find Death easy, if you be a diligent Seeker of God in your Life­time: [Page 258] If otherwise, you shall find it the forest Battle, that ever you fought; and you shall quake, when you shall hear an avenging God speaking audibly in your Con­science, He is not mine, take his evil Soul, Devils; pull him to Pieces, and hale him away to utter Darkness: The poor Soul wrestles in vain, but an avenging God leaves it for a Prey to Devils. Look not on Death, as afar off: Lit­tle will be the Difference betwixt my Death and yours. This Generation will quickly be gone: Time is a gliste­ring Star, appearing something before-hand, but indeed it is a transient Nothing. And one that dies at Sixty Years of Age, and another that dies at Twenty Years, think both alike, their bypast Time is a Dream. Short, or long Time is not to be regarded, but in Preparation for Eterni­ty: And he that is prepared, hath lived long enough. I could give you many Instructions, were I not very weak: Beware of ill Company; never think to see God, if you walk with ill Company: Companions in Time, & Com­panions in Eternity. Lay some Vows upon your self; but remember this, That you vow to do nothing, in your own Strength; for you shall find, that when you are weakest in your own Eyes, then are you strongest: I say, Lay some Vows upon your self, as to pray thrice a Day seriously and conscientiously; to read so much Scripture; and to mediate. Not that Men are tied to particular Times, but it is most profitable to lay Bands upon our loose Corruptions, which else will plead for too much Liberty. Imagine not your Thoughts to be free; vain Thoughts are the Source of vain Words, and unprofitable Actions; the Mind is the Spring of all. Be­ware of the Sins of the Time, as you would shun the terrible Judgments that threaten an apostate Generation: The Pastors are become brutish, they are Sons of Belial, and know not the Lord; therefore they, who hear them, are Partakers of their Abominations. I need say no more. You never have rightly sought God, until it be your chief Delight to seek him; therefore, never rest till you [Page 259] can say, I will go to God, my chiefest Joy. O then you are as happy as God can make you (to speak so, with Reverence to that High and Lofty One, who inhabits Eternity) and can you be more happy? I take to wit­ness against you, your own Conscience, and the great Judge of the Quick and the Dead, that, if you continue in any vain Imagination, living without God in the World, neglecting so great a Salvation, you are a Trampler under Foot of the Blood of the Covenant, and a Despiser of all Ad­monitions: But all this will do little, until He, who made Heaven and Earth, regenerate you. It may be he will hedge up your Way on every Side by Affliction, that you may be constrained to flee unto him, who is a present Help in Time of Trouble. This, if you follow it, is the best Legacy I could have left you; for, if you knew the Dan­ger of the Pelf of this World, little of it would suffice. I would not for a World, I had been born to be rich: The lighter burdened with thick Clay, the better; 'tis hard to get up the Mount, tho' ye had but a very small Weight upon your Back: For our Corruptions are weighty e­nough, without any Addition. If you neglect that, which not I, but Christ commands you, Farewel for ever. If you obey, Farewel for a few Days; and then you and I shall meet, in the only Paradise, the Flower of the whole Creation: We shall sit down upon the flowery Banks of the River of Life, and ravish our selves for ever and ever, with everlasting and unspeakable Joys. This is from

Your dying Brother, A. W.

III. A Letter to his Sister Helen,

Dear Sister,

I Am sorry, I did not write sooner, before my Strength and speech did fail; but I would be glad to spend my [Page 260] last Breath upon you, if I could do you any Good. I cannot forget you, even when I have forgotten the Vani­ties of the World; you are precious unto me, since I knew you in some Measure a Seeker of God. O what Advantages there are in seeking of Him! I defy Men and Angels to number and comprehend them: Endless Eternity shall be short enough to lay open the inconcei­vable Gains of Godliness. If you seek him diligently, sincerely and constantly, you shall have all Things: And O is not that a vast Word, ALL THINGS? All shall be yours, whether the World, Life or Death, Things present, or Things to come; all these shall be yours, even the Great ALL, and whatsoever is his. O but the Saints have a long, large and full Charter! If you had a Char­ter for many Lands, it were but a narrow Thing: But now every Place where you tread on is yours; and what can you desire more? Beheld the Heaven, and consider even the Heaven of Heavens; for these are yours: Is it possible, that a Saint, the Heir of all Things, and Joint-Heir with the Son of the Eternal; Is it possible, I say, that he can want any Thing? Nay, the great Eternal, the Maker of all Things, He is yours; and what can you desire more? Is it possible, that a Saint can want any Thing, whether spiritual or temporal? I mean any Thing that is good for him: And he alone knows what is best for us. When I look through the Passages of my Life, I see my Lord and Guide hath led me the best Way; and these have been the sweetest Dispensations, which crossed most my natural Disposition, and which seemed most Judgment-like to carnal Eyes. We are like ignorant Children, that have no Judgment to make Choice of Things; but would swallow down sweet Poison, and give away a rich Inheritance for painted Trifles. No Wonder then, the World be Fools and Mad-men in their Choice. My Life hath been but a Tract of Afflictions, and I would not for a Thousand Worlds it had been other­wise. Tho' my Old-Man desired still to be swiming in the [Page 261] Ease and Vanities of the World; yet I see my Lord hath been kindest, when I esteemed him most cruel. The last Part of my Life might seem Judgment-like: But O you would wonder, if you knew what I know, and what my Lord hath done for me, in this last Half-year of my Life, both as to Things temporal and spiritual: I cannot understand them now, but I shall very shortly; and they shall be to me Matter of eternal Praise. Tho' I had abounded with all the Ease, Delights, Pomp & Glo­ry, and Riches of Time; yet would I be glad to die, and leave the Puddle of swinish Pleasures, and drink of the pure River of everlasting Joys, that floweth from be­neath the Throne of GOD. This World quite mistakes Death: O! who would not willingly leave such a vain perishing World? wherein we are still dishonouring our God; a World wherein the Saints get bad Entertainment; a World wherein the LORD of Glory was, and is daily, crucified: What is here? All the Glory and Excellency of the Creation is up above: A few imperfect Saints are only here. But it is above, I shall see and embrace all these Worthies, the Courtiers of the King of Glory. You need not be sad for my Death; and will not, if you post hard after me, and follow on to know the LORD: For Time is just Nothing. We shall be glad and rejoice, with Joy unspeakable and full of Glory, throughout all Eterni­ty, in that Land of Glory, and inconceivable Joys. O, if you knew but a little of the Excellency of that Land of Blessedness! You would, in a Manner, envy those who go before you. Tho' you should pass never so many sweet Days ere you can get thither, you would weary: For your self, you are yet in an Hell, of Sorrow and Sin, while out of Heaven, and while they are in an Heaven of Joy, and Pleasure. O! Beware of Worldly-mindedness, & car­ping Cares; Commit all to your Father: Seek first the Kingdom of Heaven, and the Righteousness thereof; and then all other Things shall be added unto you. Fear not, It is your Father's good Pleasure to give you a Kingdom: [Page 262] And he that gives Heaven, will give as much Earth as will suffice you, and more than is sufficient, is a heavy Weight, that will pull you down the Mount. O mark this! He that gave his only begotten Son, out of his Bo­som, to be tormented unto Death for you; Will he not also with him freely give you all Things, even every Thing that pertains to Life and Godliness? As for Things temporal, the less of the World, the better: All the Saints will testify it, at least when they are leaving it. I can put my Seal to it now, when I am entring into Eternity, that it is most dangerous to be intangled ei­ther with Riches, Honours, or Pleasures; And that it is the sweetest Dispensation, to be afflicted, and cut short of them; for Prosperity is the Neck-break of the Life of Godliness, as the Experience of many a deceived Profes­sor may testify; who seemed Something, when afflicted; but when once they got the Bag, betrayed Christ. 'Tis hard for a Camel to go through a Needle's Eye: The more we are inveigled with this deceitful World, the less do we value Heaven. Now Nothing more glews a Man's Heart to the Earth, than Riches, which have weighed many a Man down to the Pit; where he is weeping and gnashing his Teeth, cursing Riches, and tor­menting himself, that ever he desired them: Whereas, if he had been poor, he should have been now (as Men may conjecture) rejoicing amongst these glorified Ones. Remember, that it is utterly impossible to serve God and Mammon; And if your Treasure be not in Heaven, nei­ther will your Heart be there. I bless my LORD for mine Afflictions (which have been still greater and great­er, till now, I am leaving them all) as much as for any Mercy, I ever received: For now I reap the peaceable Fruits of Righteousness, And tho' now I be weeping, while I sow; yet shortly shall I have as much as I can bear of the masie Sheaves of unconceivable Glory. Weep and howl, ye rich Men, for your Misery that shall come upon you: For you now receive your good Things, [Page 263] and the Saints their evil Things; therefore immediately shall ye be afflicted and tormentod, and they shall be com­forted. Blessed are they that mourn now, for they shall be comforted. For the Saints weep, while the World re­joiceth; but our Sorrow shall be turned into Joy, and their mad Mirth into unspeakable and eternal Horrour. O! if Men did consider this, they would not toil for their Ease and Pleasures of Sin, which are but for a Mo­ment; nor would they envy the rich Gluttons, but ra­ther the poor Lazarus's, that are despicable in the Eyes of all. Fret not when you see the Wicked prosper; nor va­lue Poverty, Shame and Contempt; since the only excel­lent Ones, of whom the World was not worthy, wandered about in Sheep-skins, and Goat-skins; being destitute, af­flicted, and tormented: And the honourable Apostles, and Followers of the Lamb, were accounted the Offscourings of all Things. O if the Saints would take Time, sit down and consider these Things! they would find it sweet, to be conformed, in Sufferings, to their Lord, who was a Man of Sorrows, & acquainted with Grief; That they might also be conformed to him in Glory. I fear Earthly mindedness may be your Predominant; therefore strive most against it: For, how can one set their Heart upon Trash, and earnestly desire it, and Heaven also? I per­swade you, the only Way to have as much of the World as is necessary and good for you, is to commit your tem­poral Lot wholly to Christ, without the least Reservation: This is best; for Nothing can be committed to him, and go wrong: Try him, and if ye do not find that he will carry you bravely through, so that you shall lack Nothing that is good for you, then call him a Liar: Yet, never any of the Saints could say, he failed them in a Jot of what he promised them. And how great are his Promises! as you will find in Scripture: They are all comprehended in this, The Lord is a Sun and Shield; he will give Grace and Glory; and no good Thing will he withhold from them that love him, and walk uprightly. [Page 264] Trust all to him; for, whether should you tutor your self, or he? Which of you is wisest? Cast all upon him, to the least Bit of Bread! and ye shall find a great Ease. They are miserable, who must care for themselves, and what concerns them, and have not a GOD to run to, on whom they may lay themselves, and all their Burdens. O! learn to trust in God for all Things, temporal and eternal: It is an hid Mystery to many Saints, in many Things, especially, to trust against Sense, to hope against Hope; when there is no humane Probability, then to re­ly upon the bare Word of him who is true, is a Diffi­culty; where his Providence seems to contradict his Pro­mises, or to make his Promise a Liar: But will you trust him for Heaven, and not for a Moment of Time? Think you, he will withhold Journey-bread, if you be a Travel­ler to the higher Canaan? It were a great Absurdity, to command any to go a Journey, and not to give what is necessary for it. Go on to Heaven, hold your Face still thitherward, and Christ will still be supplying all your Wants: Indeed he will not satisfie your carnal Disposi­tion, nor give you more than a Pilgrim needs; so that you should forget the Race set before you, by being in­tangled with a Number of Superfluities. I would say more, If Breath and Strength would permit: You know not what a World you are into; 'Tis full of Snares and Difficulties. You will find it hard to keep clean Gar­ments; unless you commit your self unto him, who can carry you as with Eagles Wings, and strengthen and support you, when you are ready to fall. Tho' you should be the precisest of all round about you; you will find all little enough, when you come to Death: O! Death is a weighty Business. You have scarce Time to prepare for it: All our Time is little enough for Preparation, tho' we should cut our selves short of our indifferent earthly Exercises: What Need had we then, to beware to pass our Time vainly? 'Tis precious every Moment of it having a Relation to Eternity. O Eter­nity! [Page 265] Eternity! Get some Sight of it, and your Thoughts shall be wonderfully changed: For, I tell you, could you get a Glimpse of that massie Thing, called, ETER­NITY, all the Things in Time should be no more in your Eyes, than a childish Toy in the Eyes of a Man. Even the World decked in its best Robes, seems such a poor Thing to me, that I would not be at the Pains to stretch out my Hand, if I had it for the taking up; & such will it seem ere long to many. Worldlings are but Beasts; and the richest and most flourishing of them, could you see them with my Eyes, are but mean Dunghil Worms; their Meditations cannot flee over Time. Then look up­on the World as mad, they know not what they are doing; they value only Time, and yet they know not how to get it past away. Be a great Reader of the Scriptures; for there shall you find Instruction, to make you wise to Sal­vation; and thereby you may guide your Steps warily, in an evil Time: There shall you find Threatnings, to rouse you up; and Promises, to comfort and sustain you in the saddest of Conditions. Reverence the Ordinances, administred by faithful Pastors; for they are the Ambas­sadors of the Lord, our King: But, abhor false Pro­phets, which lead Men into Destruction. Alas that there should be any of Christ's Servants, who give an ill Ex­ample to these that are Simple, counselling them, by their Practice, to follow Thieves & Robbers, whose Voice Christ's Sheep will not hear. Set, at least, three Times a Day apart, for Prayer; for when we neglect that, our Hearts are cold all the Day long; and then we are easily snared with any Temptation we meet with. Sometimes meditate, and consider your Self, and others; that so you may not go on in your Journey like the World, who never ponder their Way, but are led to Destruction by their earthly Desires, rushing into it, as Horses to the Bat­tle. What have you to do here, but to mind Salvation? Consider this; for Death will strip you naked of all Things here; but chuse the one Thing necessary, that shall never [Page 266] be taken away. Remember then, that all Things here are subordinate to Salvation: Our Time is short and un­certain, we flee away. Death will be upon you ere you be aware; it surpriseth alike all Sorts of Ages, Young and Old: Chuse you, whether you will have Death sweet or bitter. For my Part, I fear not Death; my LORD hath said to me, Son, be of good Cheer, thy Sins are forgiven thee. O who would not go hence, if it were but to stand at one of the Gates of the golden City, and see the Lord, with all the Ransomed Ones, the no­ble Company of Priests and Kings, standing round about the LAMB, crowned with Honour and Glory! One Hour of Heaven, yea, one Sight of the Face of the Ancient of Days, would do more than make up all the bitter Affli­ctions I have swimmed through in Time: Nay, I think the very Fore-thoughts of Glory do already swallow up all the Impressions of the Tribulations of Time, that have seized on me: They are nothing now; they are gone, and shall never return again; Yea, they are, as if they had not been. This shall be Matter of high Praises, through endless Eternity, for evermore. O vast Eterni­ty! But O silly Time! No Wonder Paul said, We look not at the Things that are seen, but the Things that are not seen; for the Things that are seen, are temporal; but the Things that are not seen, are eternal: The Things that are seen, were not from Eternity, neither shall they be to Eternity. O then! overlook them: Close your Eyes, as it were, upon them; and you shall see strange Sights, which shall make your Course to Glory swift and cheerful? O! what think you of Christ? Is there any like him? is there any but He? If you have him, you have all Things: His Words cannot be told. What think you of it, to be saved from everlasting Burnings? What think you of it, that sinful wretched we should be as happy as can be? Even eternally, and unconceivably happy! and all this purchased by the Death and Blood of our kin­dest LORD JESUS? O who would not love such an [Page 267] One? Surely, it is impossible to know him any Way a right, and not to love him: He is the Ravishment of Men and Angels. Increated Glory shines through the Vail of his humane Nature: We cannot enjoy God more sweetly, familiarly and fully, than through him: He is the blessed Days-Man betwixt God and Man; the Man Christ Jesus. Him I wish I could declare evermore: But my last Words, tho' they were fewer, may have a strong Impression upon you. Run fast, lose not the Crown; Heaven is well worth an Inch of Time's Run­ning. Cross corrupt Nature's Disposition; as you sow, so shall you reap: And consider, That Death will teach you, that all that you do is fruitless, which tends not to the great Salvation: All other Mercies are not worth, in Comparison of this great Salvation; and a short Time will spend them all: But it shall endure for evermore. O but the News of Heaven, such a sweet Heaven to weary Pil­grims, such a ravishing Paradise to these that are in this smoky Dunghil; I say, They are the greatest News that can be! And this whispered in your Ears, Run for you shall have the Crown, is another Kind of News, than, Run, and you shall have Riches, Honour, and Pleasures. Bless him at all Times, who hath disposed your Lot so, as these only great Things have taken you by the Heart, Be not weary in Well-doing; for in due Time you shall reap, if you faint not: And we shall see one another short­ly, in the Midst of such Joys, as the Tongues of Men and Angels cannot in the least express: Therefore, you have no Cause of Sadness, but of Rejoicing, that you have another Friend gone before you, who will welcome you shortly into your Lord's Joy. Grace be with you. Ac­count it all one, as if I had spoken all this to you Face to Face. These are the Words of

Your Dying Brother, A. W.
[Page 268]

IV. A Letter to his Cousin Thomas Welwood.

My Dear Cousin,

THough I be almost amidst Death's Pangs, I cannot forget you; because of the sweet Friend [...]hip we have had together; and because you are (I'm perswaded) one of the Heirs of Glory, and among those who wrestle through manifold Temptations, unto the Land of eternal Consolations! O if I could tell you what my Lord hath done for me unto this very Hour; and much more since I came hither, than in many fore­going Years! I think, if I had Time, I could fill a whole Volume with wonderful Experiences of his Loving-kind­ness, strange Providences, and sweet Chastisements: So that an Half-Year may be better than an hundred. 'Tis not the Length of Time, we are to look to: We have a race to run to Heaven; and when we have fini­shed it, we have done. Oh! Cousin, even a Saint may live long, and make very small Progress to Glory: Yea, many go backward; and it were better for them, they di­ed ere that be, before they dishonoured God by their backsliding Carriages: Therefore run fast, Eye the Joy that is set before you, and patiently endure all the Temp­tations and Troubles in Time; for your Lord hath promi­sed, that He will never leave you nor forsake you: And none shall be able to pluck you out of his Hand. Indeed you may have sore Trials, both outward and inward; but be of good Courage, and he shall strengthen your Heart: For you are not to bear your own Burden, but to cast it fully over upon Him. And I promise you, in my Lord's Name, you shall be sustained: He is our Strength, our Wisdom, our Righteousness, and our All; even all that we want, all that we can desire. Never notice [Page 269] long or short Life: but live to die, and then you die to live eternally. O! think much upon Eternity, and you shall think Nothing of Time. Alas! alas! the Things of Time fill our Eyes so, as we never regard Eternity: Yet, Time will be at a Close ere ever we be a­ware. I have somewhat the Advantage of you in getting the Fore-start: But we shall be together perpetually, even immediately; & we shall have another Manner of Con­verse, than possibly we could have had on Earth. In Heaven they are not confined to Moments, Days & Years; we shall have Eternity to rejoice and be glad in: O what a Life shall we have, when you and I shall follow the Lamb whither soever he goes! When we shall have Sin, Temptations and Miseries done away! We know not the Excellency of our invaluable Inheritance; and therefore are we so much taken up with earthly Trifles, and Shadows, that are Nothing; which bewitch all the Worldlings out of their Wits, & the Saints too, in a great Measure: It were more Wisdom in us, to use the World, as not abusing it, as not setting our Hearts upon it. Be­ware of the Cares of the World, and the Deceitfulness of Riches, wherewith you may be intangled, in the Condi­tion you are in; if you take not Heed, your Course to Glory will be the more slow, and you will drive your Chariot-Wheels heavily up to the higher City; yea, the thick Clay will make them come back upon you. O consider how great a Business Salvation is! We can never consider it enough. You will think so, when you come to Death, which you ought to look upon as at the Door.

I speak not these Things, as if you knew them not al­ready; but I put you in Remembrance, desiring to com­municate a little of my Mind to you, now, when I am at the Brink of Time; because Providence hath so ordered that we cannot speak Face to Face these Things, which are the true and genuine Thoughts of my Heart. Beware of the Pollutions of the Times. It is comfortable to me [Page 270] that I had Little or Nothing to do, as to outward Things, with this horrid, cursed Defection. Hate the Garments spotted with the Flesh: Clean Garments are of great Worth; and these few, in this woful Time, that have kept their Garments clean, shall walk with our Lord in White; for they are worthy. To keep clean Garments, that is, to be pious alone; pious in your Fa­mily, in your Worship; pious in your worldly Employ­ments; full of Charity, despising the World; walking wisely towards these that are without, and towards these that are within. And as to the Times, let your Zeal be wise, and your Wisdom zealous. You may believe a dying Man, I am fully perswaded that this Prelacy is abo­minable Antichristianism; and that the Prelates and Cu­rates are the Ministers, not of CHRIST, but of Antichrist and Satan; and that it is utterly unlawful to hear them, or do any Thing, that may shew you esteem them Mi­nisters, or any Way strengthen their Hands. O the dread­ful Wrath, that is hanging over these Lands like a Cloud, which will fall down in a Deluge of Divine Vengeance. God will make this Land to swim in Blood; even the Blood of all Sorts, Great and Small, Rich and Poor, Old and Young, shall be poured out like Dust: He shall be a strange Man, that shall happily escape such a Con­sumption. I will not speak much of the Matter, but I see fearful Things coming. But, O the glorious Days succeeding these! I cannot apprehend the Glory that shall shine in Britain, which shall enlighten to the Ends of the Earth. I fear not Death, 'tis Sin only we ought to fear; The Sting of Death is Sin; That being taken away, it is most harmless. It is sweet to die in Christ! O what an Exchange do I make! I shall see him, and that glorious Company of Saints and Angels, following Him whithersoever He goes: The first Hour of Glory shall, in a Manner, make me forget that ever I was upon Earth. My Afflictions have been greater than the Spectators could imagine; and still greater and greater, until I ar­rive [Page 271] at the Haven of eternal Rest. O 'tis sweet! O 'tis sweet! after a great-Toil and Labour. My Lord is ta­king me in the fittest Time; for both Body and Soul are very weary and sore tossed: But this Body shall get a sound Sleep, and a ravishing Wakning. O the great Dif­ference betwixt what it is now, and what it shall be short­ly! Who can conceive what Christ hath done for the Saints? O the Depth of free, altogether free Love and Grace! It shall take up Eternity to cry up the in­conceivable Love of JEHOVAH and the LAMB. O to think that Bits of Clay, sinful Clay, like you and me should be conformed unto the Image of our only Lord Jesus! That is a wonderful Exaltation! wonderful in the Eyes of all these, that see their own Emptiness and Vile­ness. O admire! O praise! O adore! Let these Things be still imprinted on your Heart; all other Things are but Trifles. Look upon the World, as a Number of mad Bodies: They are Beasts, whose Conceptions are con­fined within an Inch of Time: They are poor Spirits, who gape after Time's Riches, Honour and Pleasures. If the World knew what they were doing, they would wonder at themselves; at least, they would begin to que­stion, whether their Life on Earth was real, or only emp­ty, and a Night-dream. O such a Sight as I have gotten of the World! O 'tis but vain, Vanity of Vanities: The Flower and Choice of it is curs'd, and al­together Vanity. O if I could tell you of the Nothing­ne [...]s of the World, and of Things temporal; and of the Massiness of Things eternal! Compare them together, and you will wonder at the Difference! The most Part of Professors (among whom I put my self) take an easy Way to Heaven: And O where will you find the Man, or Woman, that studies a close Walk with God! 'Tis recorded of Enoch, that He walked with God Three hundred Years: But who can say, He hath walked with God one Day? We lose God in the Midst of our worldly Employments, and cannot say, We have set the [Page 272] Lord always before us; Therefore, we cannot say, We shall not be moved. We approach to Him, in the Mor­ning, Evening, and at other Times; but we neglect our Thoughts: Whereas to live full of holy divine Tho'ts, is to live a Saint: As the Man is, so are his Thoughts. Alas! I may say it, by sad Experience, Unwatched-over Tho'ts have made me, many a Time, not to dif­fer much from a Worldling. Keep your Thoughts right, and all shall be right: Keep thine Heart with all Dili­gence (saith the Spirit of God) for out of it are the Issues of Life. If your Thoughts be right, your Prayers will be seasonable, your Words and Actions will be seaso­nable, for, out of the Abundance of the Heart the Mouth speaketh, and the Hand acteth. Commit all your Affairs, temporal, spiritual and eternal, wholly to your heavenly Father, without the least Reservation: He cares for you; Therefore, be careful in nothing, but in every Thing give Thanks. Run, run with Patience, the Race that is set be­fore you; Laying aside every Weight, that may bear you down: Intangle not your self with the World; have as little ado with it, as you can: The Righteous shall scarcely be saved; they, who go uprightest, shall find hard enough Work: We are so full of Corruptions ori­ginal and actual, that Holiness is quite contrary to our corrupt Natures: I mean not the common Holiness, which even those, that are strict, are thought to have; but that which our Lord commands; He that loveth Father or Mother, Sister or Brother, or the World, or himself bet­ter than me, is not worthy of me. O it is an unknown Thing, to deny all, to take up their Cross daily, and follow CHRIST. I had a great Desire to preach CHRIST; But He will accept the Will for the Deed: I go to bet­ter Exercise, whereof one Hour is better than all the Prea­chings betwixt this, and Christ's second Coming, com­pendized in one. All here are but Shadows; all above is Substance. O what elevated Divines are above! They are all filled with all the Fulness of God; & do preach [Page 273] and cry up the transcendent Excellencies of JEHOVAH and the LAMB: There is a perpetual Crying-up of Christ. In Canticles, He can never enough speak of his Spouse: Up above, his Spouse can never enough speak of Him. There all are ravished with the Ancient of Days! Who, but the Ancient of Days? Who but CHRIST? Who, but the Saints? Then, let never Earth & Heaven be compared together; for I tell you, Earth, is but a tormenting Hell, in Comparison of that unspeakably de­lightful, and altogether ravishing Land, unto which un­worthy (but happy) I am going, O methinks, I am touching the Skirts of the fragrant Breathings of the Mountains of Spices! And O how I must be ravished, when I shall draw in no other Air, but the Breathings of the higher Paradise? They have the Advantage, that get the Fore-start to Heaven, and seeing the Face of JEHO­VAH first; and being more antient Possessors of that ex­cellent Inheritance. Why should any be afraid to go to Heaven too soon? Why should any be afraid he be too soon happy? Let Worldlings desire to crawl long on their Dunghils: But let us ever be longing to be dis­solved, and to be with our LORD, which is best of all. I commit you, your Mother-in-law, your Wife and Children, to the Protection of the Almighty; and pray for temporal and eternal Blessings to be poured out up­on you. These are the Words of

Your dying Cousin, A. W.

V. A Letter to Mr. Davidson.

Right Reverend,

THough I be stepping into Eternity, and was thought to have been just entring into it about Half an Hour ago, I could not but remember you and [Page 274] dictate a little of my Mind unto you: Not that I intend­ed to write any Instructions unto you, but only shew, That God is good to them that seek him; and that in his Providence, his Promises are all accomplished to the Full, to me. I cannot tell what he hath done for my Soul; but I think, He hath brought me to the End of my Days, to the End of my Race, by such a wonderful Chain of divine Providence, that I would not, for Ten thousand Worlds, He had brought me any other Way; or, that my Race had been either longer, or shorter. He liveth long enough, who liveth till he get Heaven: All other Things are but Pendicles. He liveth short While, who is unprepared for it; of whatsoever Age he be: Therefore my Death needs not offend any Man; for, what can I get more, than the Kingdom immoveable, undefiled, and that fadeth not away? I desired to live, for no other End, but to preach my Lord to the great Congregation; And think you not, He will accept the Will for the Deed? I de­dicated my Life for his Service; and I hope, He will graciously take it off my Hand, as if I had done him many Years Service. And I must tell you, He hath many wonderful Ways of Bringing his Children unto Glory: I could tell you it by sweet Experience, if my Weakness and Breath would permit. I would not, for all the Glo­ry, Riches and Pleasures of a vain World, my Lot had been another than my Lord hath appointed it; yea, my last Half-Year's Providence hath been a golden Chain, which neither I, Men, nor Angels can sufficiently value. Would you know, what I think now of Heaven? Tho' I were out of this State of Mortality, I could never think of it enough! O! O! O! the Joy of being with JEHO­VAH and the LAMB! O the Excellency of the Know­ledge of Christ Jesus, even on this Side of Time! But to see Him as he is, O who can tell what a Sight it is? Even these who see Him Face to Face, see, as it were, but the Skirts of his Beauty and Excellency: And let them dive still deeper and deeper, till Eternity, as it were, be at [Page 275] an End, they shall still be but beginning, and yet never well begun. To shew my great Love and Respect I have e­ver had to you, both formerly and now, I write unto you, even when the Dead-Rittle is in my Throat: And tho' I be in a great Agnoy, I find the only Way to Heaven, that New and Living Way, is only by the Blood of the Son of GOD: There is no other Way, but, Believe in Christ and be Saved. But it is a lively, purifying, loving and believing Way. I cannot say much, I am in Death's Pangs. But, O Death! where is thy Sting? O Grave! where is thy Victory? I am like to have a sharp Combat; but, I hope, Christ will not be an indifferent Spectator. The End crowns the Work. And if once I were within Emmanuel's surpassing sweet Land of Conquest, then should I trample Death and Hell under Foot; and tri­umph over all the Miseries and Afflictions of Time, which seemed to triumph over me. O Death what art thou, in mine Eyes! My LORD hath swallowed thee up in Victory: And can a free-born Son, and Con­queror, through the Blood of the everlasting Covenant, be afraid of a conquered Slave? Rev. 14.13. Hell, Sin, Devil and Death are conquered Slaves. I rest,

Dear Sir,
Yours, A. W.
FINIS.
[Page 276]

In debitam Libri & Authoris Laudem POEMA.

QUicunque aetherii fieri cupis Incola Coeli,
Hunc ades; hunc parvum saepe revolve Librum.
Invenies perquam nitidis descripta Figuris
Atria, quae sanctis sunt habitanda Viris:
Atria summa DEI, superi Palatia REGIS;
Angelicis Sanctis condecorata Choris:
Quae pius hic Juvenis, coelesti percitus Oestro,
Dat non vulgari delineata modo.
Hoc duce carpe Viam Coeli per pulchra Vireta,
Per Loca mortali non adeunda Pede:
Attamen illa patent Animo Penetralia Sancto,
Sordida qui Terrae Gaudia nulla putat:
Sed super Astra volat, CHRISTI inflamatus Amore,
Et Comitem Superis se quasi jungit ovans.
Talis non dubie fuit hic, qui Scripta reliquit
Haec Signa Ingenii vix imitanda pii.
De Coelo et Superis veteres quaecunque Poetae,
Carminibus soliti sunt celebrare suis,
Fabula cuncta Animis apparent sordida Sanctis;
Parvulus hic quanto fert meliora Liber?
Pro Jove, sancta TRIAS coelesti regnat in Arce:
Proque Diis falsis, Angelus astat ei,
Omnia Jussa DEI facere atque capessere promptus;
Seu tutare bonos, perdere sive malos.
Non Genii Heroum, sanctarum est Turba Animarum
Aligeris Sacris par similisque Manus.
Quos sua non Virtus radiantibus intulit Astris;
Justitia ast Christi, Patris et almus Amor.
Ergo huc tende Oculos avidos, age, Candide Lector;
Hic tibi Pisgai Verticis instar erit:
[Page 277]Unde Cananaeam coelestem cernere possis:
Clarior haud alia est optica Tuba, puto.
Ponitur ante Oculos Patriae coelestis Imago,
Quae rapiat Mentem mox super Astra piam:
Ut videat, quae non Oculis, non Auribus hausit
Mortali quisquam Carne gravatus Homo,
Nempe AGNUM sine Labe, Hominum qui Crimina tollit,
Sordida profuso Sanguine Corda lavans,
Victorem Inferni, stantem super Arce Sionis:
Ac REGEM cingit Turba redempta suum,
Quorum Palma Manus decorat, Diadema Capillam,
Aurea quae nullo Tempore Marcor edit:
Vestibus alba nitet lotis in Sanguine CHRISTI:
Atque Redemptori Carmina laeta canit:
Et sequitur REGEM per amoena Rosaria Coeli,
Ille triumphanti dum premit Arva Pede.
Hic simul Angelicas videas astare Phalanges,
Qui Capti CHRISTO non minus alta canunt
Carmina, nam quamvis non hos a Morte redemit,
Attamen, ut starent in Pietate, dedit.
In Solio aeternum residentem cernere PATREM,
Hic non obscure, sed sine Nube, licet:
SPIRITUS hic etiam Sanctus, Amor, Auraque Patris
Et Nati, ambobus par similisque sedet,
Hic sancta Urbs Gemmis nitidis constructa decoro
Ordine, fundavit quam Lanus ipsa DEI.
Cui pellucenti sternuntur Compita ab Auro
Urbs haec non ullo Lumine Solis eget:
Gemmula quaeque potest solare extinguere Lumen,
Ast Urbis Lux est AGNUS et ipse DEUS.
In Sedem hanc cuncti Regem referuntur Honores.
Nox nulla hic: Porta est semper aperta Die.
Non Plangor, non Luctus inest, Morbusve, Dolorve:
Abstersit Lachrymas nam DEUS ipse Genis.
Morte caret, superas quicunque has incolit Aedes:
Nam vitalis Aquae Flumina pura fluunt.
[Page 278]Arbor item Vitae riguae stat Margine Ripae,
Quae fructuet Foliis Gentibus apta Salus.
Hic, Vitam quodcunpue facit servare beatam,
Oceani in Morem larg [...]ter usque fluit.
Scribitur imptimis Deco [...] [...]ic, et Gratia Christi,
Quamque humili in Terris vixerit ille Modo:
Quas Vita Aerumnas, et quos in Morte Dolores
Pertulerit, Sponsae accensus Amore suae,
Quam nunc in Coelis sublimi est Sede locatus;
Ad dextram aeterni, dignus Honore PATRIS:
Quem solum agnoscit non tantum Ecclesia Regem;
Sed merito huic Regi flectitur omne Genu.
Quanto Homines miseros fuerit complexus Amore;
Quique itidem in Coelis mutuus ardet Amor,
Dum CHRISTUS placidis puros amplectitur Ulmis;
Dumque stupet Sponsi Mens pia Amore sui.
O! quam Felicis, tantis qui Amplexibus haerent!
Nec se divelli Tempus in omne timent.
Omnia sublimi, et longe meliore Cothurno,
Ipse tibi dederit delineata Liber.
Nam Scopus Autoris rapere in sublimia Mentem,
Quae nimium Mundi Stercore mersa jacet.
Et ponam in Terram, ac Rerum coelestium inanem
Allicit, et superi accendit amore Poli.
Et ne quid desit, quo longo obsepta veterno
Mens expergiscat, Tartara nigra ciet,
Atque aperit diras Fauces fumantis Averni;
Ut pateant Poenae, quas mala Turba luit,
Ut sanctum in Dominum Blasphema horrendaque jactent:
Conscia Mens justum dum tamen esse putat.
Ut miseris DEUS insultet justissimus Ultor:
Nec minus et Sancti, dum datur omnis Hono [...]
Justitiae aeterno REGI, qui contudit Hostem
Sub Pedibus Christi, sub Pedibusque suis.
Sentiet haec pia Mens Studio quam digna fideli
Omnia cum legerit, quae exhibet isle Liber.
[Page 279]

In Nomen doctissimi & pientissimi Authoris Acrosticum.

MAgnus in Terris, super Astra fulges
Angelos inter, Superumque pura
Gaudia aeternum bibis Ore pleno,
Illa, que tantum sitiebas olim.
Scripseras nobis equidem stupenda:
Tu tamen sentis meliora longe
Esse, que profert Domus haec Decori
Regia Coeli.
Almus in Coelis superis REDEMPTOR,
Nube non tectus, tibi se videndum
Donat: O felix tua Sors! supremi
REGIS in sancto Gremio quiescis;
Et Voluptates sine Fine Carpis.
Aura te Coeli vegetat fovetque,
Spiritus almus.
Walwode, aeternis Opibus abundas
Aureum cinget Diadema Crinem.
Lactis et Mellis bibis usque Rivos.
Vasta jam lustras spatiosaque Arva,
Omnibus quae Deliciis abundant.
Dicis et Laudes Genitoris almi.
Unico Nato Melos usque cantas
Spirituique.
[Page]

INDEX.

  • THE Prelude Introductory Pag. 15
    • Some Sections exciting to this Divine Study.
    • Sect. 7. Necessity of seeking everlasting Life Pag. 17
    • Sect. 8. Neglect of Glory proves us carnal Pag. 18
    • Sect. 9. Students of Glory overlook Time Pag. 19
    • Sect. 10. The Study of Glory is very alluring Pag. 20
    • Sect. 11. Creatures are esteemed by their Knowledge
    • Sect. 12. A clear View of Glory excites to Duty Pag. 21
    • Sect. 13. The more we study Heaven, the fitter for it Pag. 22
    • Sect. 14. Right Uptakings of Glory are Possession in Part
    • Sect. 15. Heaven is the Place of all Excellency, &c. Pag. 23
    • Sect. 16. Our Minds should be wholly there, &c.
    • Sect. 17. As is our Knowledge, so our Activity, &c. Pag. 24
    • Sect. 18. As we know, and affect, so we are, &c.
    • Sect. 19. A slight View of Glory, insufficient, &c. Pag. 25
    • Sect. 20. Scripture discovers Things beyond Time Pag. 27
    • Sect. 21. Supernatual Glory not to be naturally considered
    • Sect. 22. All Creatures someway capable of Elevation Pag. 28
    • Sect. 23. Grace, the Fore-runner, leads to Glory &c
    • Sect. 24. Saints get Discoveries called Glimpses of Glory Pag. 29
    • Sect. 25. All Things invite to this rare Study, &c. Pag. 30
    • Sect. 26. Knowledge is from above, and to be asked, &c. Pag. 31
  • An Invitation in Heroick Verse Pag. 32
  • A Gospel-discovery of Emmanuel's Land Pag. 33
    • Sect. 1 & 2. Invocation and Admiration, &c.
    • Sect. 3. The Soul to be elevated in heavenly Meditation Pag. 34
    • Sect. 4. Glory more to be admired than understood
    • [Page]Sect. 5. We can but conceive childishly of Glory Pag. 35
    • Sect. 6. Higher Conceptions of Glory attainable Pag. 37
    • Sect. 7. Christ, the Desire of all, fully manifested, &c. Pag. 39
    • Sect. 8. No Manifestation of God so full, as thro' Christ Pag. 40
    • Sect. 9. One Sight of Christ is ravishing to all
    • Sect. 10. All Enjoyments nothing, till we see him Pag. 41
    • Sect. 11. The Soul not happy, till it rest in his Love
    • Sect. 12. The Interest of Christ and his Chosen mutual Pag. 42
    • Sect. 13. The Glorified look on Time's Things, as childish Pag. 43
    • Sect. 14. They ever commemorate Christ's Excellencies Pag. 44
    • Sect. 15. To be beside Christ, inconceivable Dignity Pag. 47
    • Sect. 16. The Glorified's Nearness to God, astonishing Pag. 49
    • Sect. 17. No Knowledge to the Evidence of Glory
    • Sect. 18. To behold the LORD's Glory, is a Dignity Pag. 50
    • Sect. 19. His Manifestations, & the Manner thereof wonderful Pag. 51
    • Sect. 20. The Change Christ underwent, a ravishing Consideration
    • Sect. 21. God manifested in the Flesh, a lasting Mystery Pag. 53
    • Sect. 22. Wonderful, that God exalts Man's Nature by Sin
    • Sect. 23. The Relation betwixt God and us amazing Pag. 56
    • Sect. 24. The Glorified admire God manifested, &c. Pag. 57
    • Sect. 25. They only capable to understand Glory Pag. 58
    • Sect. 26. The Subsistence of the Divine Persons, a Mystery Pag. 60
    • Sect. 27. Oceans of Joy overflow Emmanuel's Land Pag. 65
    • Sect. 28. This Land of Joys is filled with Dyvours Pag. 67
    • Sect. 29. The Glorified reflect on the Way to the Kingdom Pag. 68
    • Sect. 30. Familiar Fellowship betwixt Christ and his Pag. 70
    • Sect. 31. Visible Things imperfectly represent invisible Pag. 72
    • Sect. 32. All Excellency augmented in Glory, &c. Pag. 73
    • Sect. 33. No Manifestation of God, to that in Glory, &c. Pag. 75
    • Sect. 34. Saints in Glory conformed to Christ Pag. 77
    • Sect. 35. Full Enjoyment of God is complete Blessedness Pag. 79
    • Sect. 36. Christ ever his Peoples King, Priest and Prophet Pag. 80
    • Sect. 37. Astonishing, that God should look on Creatures Pag. 82
    • Sect. 38. Earth and Heaven quite opposite Things Pag. 83
    • Sect. 39. Only Songs to Jehovah and the Lamb in Glory Pag. 85
    • Sect. 40. The Saints Happiness superabundant Pag. 88
    • [Page]Sect. 41. All divine Attributes add to their Blessedness Pag. 91
    • Sect. 42. That we are wholly Christ's, is our Happiness Pag. 94
    • Sect. 43. GOD manifested in Eternity most, &c. Pag. 96
    • Sect. 44. All the Promises fully accomplished in Eternity Pag. 102
    • Sect. 45. GOD's Attributes all seen in damning the Wicked Pag. 105
    • Sect. 46. Sovereignty the first mover of all Things Pag. 110
    • Sect. 47. A World of redeeming Grace most excellent Pag. 112
    • Sect. 48. The Work of Salvation most admirable Pag. 118
    • Sect. 49. Our Blessedness an eternal Act, &c. Pag. 121
    • Sect. 50. The full Enjoyment of God, in Nearness, &c. Pag. 129
    • Sect. 51. The Life of Glory the only excellent Life Pag. 132
    • Sect. 52. No need of Creatures in Heaven, Jehovah is All Pag. 133
    • Sect. 53. Glory is an eternally blooming Thing Pag. 136
    • Sect. 54. Emmanuel's Land is of free Grace, &c. Pag. 139
    • Sect. 55. All Things are fully discovered in Glory, &c. Pag. 148
    • Sect. 56. Fellowship of Men & Angels, a Pendicle of Glory Pag. 150
    • Sect. 57. The Saints eternally acquitted, and filled, &c. Pag. 151
    • Sect. 58. Reprobates are judged, condemned & terrified Pag. 157
    • Sect. 59. The Creatures share in the Joy of that Day Pag. 165
    • Sect. 60. All Things are renewed, and glorified, &c. Pag. 167
    • Sect. 61. Triumphing o'er the wicked, Part of Saints Glory Pag. 174
    • Sect. 62. Reflections on the Power of Faith, &c. Pag. 184
    • Sect. 63. The Reality of all Things in Heaven Pag. 191
    • Sect. 64. A frowning Time, the Prelude of Eternity Pag. 193
    • Sect. 65. Glory totally changeth all the Faculties, &c, Pag. 195
    • Sect. 66. Heaven the sweeter, the more Dangers escaped Pag. 196
    • Sect. 67. The Inhabitants shall not say, I am sick Pag. 198
    • Sect. 68. Grace an excellent Prelude to Glory &c. Pag. 200
    • Sect. 69. Praises to God, for fulfilling his Promises, &c. Pag. 203
  • The Conclusion, in several Sections. Pag. 208
    • Sect. 1. Such Things to be written of with Fear
    • Sect. 2. A Saint should be heavenly-minded Pag. 209
    • Sect. 3. Earthly-minded Persons to be convinced, &c. Pag. 210
    • [Page]Sect. 4. Transient Thoughts of Glory, insignificant Pag. 211
    • Sect. 5. Invitation to change earthly for heavenly Things Pag. 212
    • Sect. 6. Hope of Glory dispels all Sorrow Pag. 213
    • Sect. 7. Earth-worms have no Place in Heaven Pag. 214
    • Sect. 8. Christ, the Purchase of Heaven, to be praised Pag. 215
    • Sect. 9. Religion an hidden Mystery to Worldlings Pag. 216
    • Sect. 10. Saints only know the Mysteries of Godliness Pag. 217
    • Sect. 11. The sad State of Worldlings, the Excellency of Holiness, the Necessity and Marks of Conversion Pag. 218
  • A Soliloquy to God, Prayer-ways Pag. 235
  • A spiritual Song of the dying Saint Pag. 243
    • 1. The Author's Letter to his Mother Pag. 250
    • 2. A Letter to his Brother Pag. 255
    • 3. A Letter to his Sister Helen Pag. 259
    • 4. A Letter to his Cousin Thomas Welwood Pag. 268
    • 5. A Letter to Mr. Davidson Minister Pag. 273
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