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Full text of "The whole works of the Rev. W. Bates"

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University of California. 



Received October, 18Q4. 
c/1ccessions No. 3^0^^ Class No. 


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Hdb. 4. 9. Therereniiaktethiherrfi^earegttothepw^qfGod. 

CHAP. ' Pag«. 

Ifltiodiietkm* Tbooobereiiee.of the words. The plan 
of the treatiset 3 

I. . Description of the peop]pjDf:<^God« They are His by 
decttODy spedal ra4eaaption^ anil renovation. They 
yield to Him volontary and persevering obedience* 4 

U. Heaven is the flacb of this rest. Its stability, immen- 
sity, splendour, and pleasantness. 9 

III. The BXCBLLBKCT of this rest It » a hoh/ rest. Sin 
is deetrojM; tenrntations are excluded; holy duties 
we performed, and the.sopl poi|iisssirw mqpernatural en- 
dowia»ents. 15 

IV. The second excellency of this rest. It is a joyfid rest. 
The joy of boly^men in this life aripes from pardop, 
grace, and the hope of heaven. The joy of the glori* 
led arises from exemption from toil, and afflictions of 

all sorts, and from the conquest of all enepaies. 22 

V. The subject continued. The joy of heaven arisQi from 
the oof^yuncfjon qfall the saints who are free from ble- 

' mishes, united in blessed work, animated with perfect 
love. 34 

VI. The subject continued. The joy of heaven corresponds 
with the majesty of God, and is proportioned to the 
love He bears to His. people, . and to the infinite value 
of the blood of Christ. . The highest glory of heaven 

ia the enjoyment of God. 38 

V\h The ihira exceUency of this rest* It is etermU Be- 


CHAJPi Pace. 

caitae there is no change in God^ and there shall be 
none in his people. 49 

VllL 7%e love of God and the suffsfiiW of Christ are the 
causes of bestowing this rest. In wh^i s^nse it is a re- 
ward. The saints can claim no mm^ because God has 
an absolute right to our services; our spiritual powers 
are restored by free grace ; our best actions are imper- 
fect; they are of no advantage to God ; and they bear 
no proportion to heaven. 51 

iX. Proofs that this Test is reserved for the people of God 
from his immutability, justice^ specif love, and power. 
It is given after a life of service because that is most 
hpuQurable to God, and mo9t advantageous to the 
chrisliA^, : ^ 58 

X. Application of the siibjefct. i'he JirH use. How 
dreadful will be the future state of God's enemies. 
)?)|^oftht£iriiresent4»>Tiat'4ei)iriiy. Thi^lvill bb 
.deprived of this rest. They will be in a state of posi- ^ . 
tive misery. That misery will be eternal, * o3 

XL The 's^orid use. "Lmh th6 iWAi^ ctf ms xifiMtj It 
cannot afford true content. It will not b% tt |^^rdtb- • 
lieAt cblitftMafliWi • i . '* 76 

XII. TKd tkara^tfft. Th^tA>p€^'of Oite!rNt4hbffM'forf%)ai 

Against pM^ mm^mi Wb«iiK» yasif \sb %aitJM- 

mSAKi br^b^rSteattths) ; >• . 8t 

a!IL The fourth use. TMft-f^t iAiMi HdnMsteli t6 tlft 
«8ifrts iA WAt \t^KA wittt' dllltftu ^Vm fli^ "tiiSX 
dii-A^i^oMe^^^. WKh "M^t 9pMt 'l!lf^ >)hl^M 

ts^t'etfUtii: THe tittwam^fiess^^ ^^Mtst to die a^gim 

a defect in grace, and an inordinate attachmclft tb'tH^ 
^wdrlB, W 

xrv. T^ejffih \m. m 'ik\^ dforib -ddfiribb th tH« 

(T^IeK of Hd^ffiUa*, 98 

XV. TheiHiritfc nj^. Bj^ioi^titiMi (» {tt«MS% 1m thh 'titti 

■ General riilei. To jiUtiff bm^lm'; -WM-^ |«Mbk 

H(ilipedS. SpeclU rttlieil. tTboosetfiU'^l iOfamOy) 

i&edit9tteb|8h it seHotbtv) e&«l<y[h\aAillett^^«lffNSI'Sfilil- 

. Hf; ieflclfy'iJbiKiTie «be ea66«th, 100 

11. ON Divine %e*itAT!on. . 

cal; occasional or deliberate, ' »»* 


CHAP. ' Vj^i. 

II. Thenecetff^f^ medil^^^ D|8a^Qty,Y^iiiess^ I»- 
zioess, and sensual pleasures are liinderahces to this 
duty, '120 

III. The time for meditation. How frequent? (fpiy Imz 
sho!^^ 1^ oqptinue ? Morning, night, and the 8a\>batn, 
proper ieasbhs, »,► . x ..... tt > r- r ^^ 

IV. The adva/r^gei of medifatioii. b'ivpro^^et the facul- 
ties of the soul, gives efficacy to ordinances, increai^ 

V. ^/^ for inm^iipg D^em^^^^ aovaint^^e, ' I3g 
yf. Vsejirst of irial.' Tlie tlioughts d^ a is^^xi indicate his 

f^^^; T^e ,«ffere^e& b^w?cu i^hint^ ' and in- 
IcQte^d jthg^DJs, ^ 146 

VII. aJso 84Qf>Tiffffi reprq(]f^ To partial men fbjr nedectij^ 
■ this duty^. . Tp i^^erate 'men ((ft oriiission, ktii jrie- 

VIII. ju^^f tJ5?rcfofeyAy^t<3i^^ TTie dujy enforced by VfH 
WW isugyipnta, . * .:;.-. j^^ 

J;]^ The%egjping jtj,!^? .^eojjplifi^ in a mejd^tajtioh on the 

Job as. {!$. df4mi9wml^§oii^iffihf^ 

^. The consistency b(^tjye«p:^}ijB ;f(^.,o^ (Jip4 ^ij^ other 

^11. What heavenly wisdom is, , 194 

M. The folly o^,-yj3[S^ tpeir'jiujfsui^s, ", ":\ 207 

c!h ^yim^^ww m^^^^h^ ^^p w#i? ipw* wise, , , m 

XIII. Mer^^ji^u^gn^pfmv^e truths. a^ 212 

^IV. Warning against naranes» of heart, and presumption, 

which quench ths fear of God, *' . i • 215 



Dedication to Lady Russell. 
On dbath. 

Heb. 2. 15. And deUioer them, who through fear qfdeaih were 

* aU their Jtfetime sidged to bondage. 
CHAF. Figt. 

I. Prooib of Cbrist*8 deity. How tlie devil is said tohave 
the pow^r of death. Ai^ account of death's entrance 
into the world^ 237 

II. What the fear of death includes. The passion of fear .. 
Jn general. The special causes that make death so 

feiuriul. ' The bondage of men from the fear of death. 
Reasons why men do hot always feel this fear^ 244 

III. I^ow the death of Christ frees us from the tormenting, 
fear of death. It redeems us from the curse^^ makes 
death a blessed advantage^ frees the saints from afiic- 
tions^ and obtains for them the highest positive good^ 256 

* W. Why believers are subject to death' since the sting of it 
is taken away. They die that sinful frailties may be 
abolished, that their graces may be exereised, and be- 
. cause the natural body is incapable of a eelestial di- 
' vineiii^. Their resurrection is delayed tUl the coming 
oir Ghti^t. Proofs of the certainty of their re- 
surrection, 264 
y. The qualifications of those who have a right to this 
privilege. Union with CUrist is absohrt^ly .requisite. 
The Spirit is the bond of this union. He . illuminates 
the understandings inspires love to God, and comnm- 
* ulcatcs power to do the divine will, 271 
VI. AppUcation cf the. subject. How mat are our obliga- 
^' tiohs to the Redeemer. ' It should be' our great busi- 
ness to overcome the fear of death. ;Necessity of re- . . . 
conciliation with God. The danger of delaying re- 
, pentance, .' ' :^' ' 2/8 
VIL Application continued.* The dcisperate hazard of trust- ! 
f ' ing to sick-bed and death-bed repentances. Such in- ' ' 

stance^ v^ry few, and extremely uncertain, ; 288 

. .yill. Application concluded. Rules how deatlrntay be ren*^ '^ 
dered comfortable. The duties of dying samts. 296 


ActM 17. 31. Became he hath hppoirUed a daijjin the n>hu:h he 
fviil judge the world in righteousness, Uf thai man* wl^Om 


he'HAliy\6r&inid; U)hefeo/%ejhath gioim a9surance' ntito 
all fi(i€n'^in that hehoUh vmed km Jram the deadJ ' . 

I, The ooheronce «f the tej^t^ Dlvihe prerogativj^ t<> judge ^, , 
the v»orid. Oysilificatioos of Christ for that ofllce/ 
Why the day of Judgment' is calledthe great day^ 309 

II. The eqtkity of the divine lav which will be the rule of 
iudgm^nt^ 316 

IIL The wisdom and justice of God in ordaining eternal 
death tp be the punishment of sin^ 322 

1V» The evidence of facts produced as the reason of judg- 
ment.. The books will be opened^ divine omniscience 
vfUl give isvidence, consdence will bear testimony, and 
numerous witnesses will ajipear. The impartiality of . 
the sentence, * 326 

V. jfypKcation .of the mUged. The certainty of a future 
judgment. It is a vindication of the proceedings of 
providence, a comfort to the saints under persecution^ .. 
a restraint from secret sins, a remedy for Sensual temp- 
tations, and a motive of terror to the wicked, 342 

VI. Application concluded. Preparatives for the last Jtidff- 
ment. Faith in Christ. Sincere obedience. SeU- 
cxsmiHatioD* ItnpAveiiil'of tatoata. Zeal for the 

of Christ. Loye.tf||he»aaints^ 355 

Psalm 16. 11. ThofamU 9liom n^ the Tp^^^ % pte^ 

sence isfidness ojjcy; at thy right hand there are pleasures 
for evermore. 

I. The divine pieeence is th6 felicity of the saints. The 
glory of the place described. The h^^piness of hea- 
ven illustrat^l by sensible representations, 

II. In heaven there is an exemption from all evils^ and the 
enjoyment of all blessings, 374 

III. The vision of God in heaven. His works and word, 

his decrees and counsels will be revealed to the blessed, 378 

IV. Effects of the vision of God. A glorious likeness. 
Humble veneration of His ezeelleneies. Ardent love 

to Him, 384 

V. Union with God and its effects. Perfect knowledge. 
Pure love. Supreme joy, 389 

VI. Communion with saints and angels. The felicity of 
heaven is everlasting, 39i 

CHAP. Pftge« 

yj^. Tto fe|»ffty P^ IjewW w »o^ 4iipiiiH8^ by )^e n^m- 

ber of its jpo^essoE?. If continues j^ ^ver. ' The aor 

plication.' 1*he wofal foity of dinners hi refasiag tins 

happiness. It originates in the mercy of God, and jp 

Vni, tfle i^ijW»$?*tipns /rf d!?o^ ^btsfii heavep. 

The ^^m W4 PfcWA^y 9f regeneration, m^ 's^»p. 

^^. The necessity of faith in Christ. We must cjboosehea- ' 
vp 9s .owr ,f!^jj;m,e. hfijpjpjn^. TMs choice must )[^e 
sincere; ' ^ • . ^22 

X. J^V' ehoi9^ pf jieaycn ^nust be Ijwt^i^. The propfx- 

ji^ .of ftS^vinc perseverance, ^ 435 

XL PirjSct;ioii9 J^o>y .to fix pyr'c^icetuightt^nthe f^^ 

J(}L On the steadfast] belief, and serious consideration ' ^of 
^temaj r^.i^iji^, 4f4 

XI U^ Ob^ct^S Y^yf}^ P^ ^£9Vf. to ^K^ serious considera- 
jtiqa9 of^t^c ^qo^l, ^d £te^nine it to choose heaven^ 464 

XI V^ 4^d4itioq^ pjoiives to encouri^e us to see}& the king- 
dom of ^^«^y<en^ . *70 

MaikO. 48. Where A$kfmo$mduik.nat, aniiMm fii^jU noi 

I. Exposition of the text. The dreadful naMr^4iMa»tBi[e 

fit^hnm^ I ,«1 

_^ he eternal a|iraffO{i of fut^e punishment^ 492 

IIL I^Vactical inferences. We tnei^cy of<iod in sdvation. 
The depravity of sinners* The wages of sin. Our in- 
iViite,<^atiw«.to^fiWti(;f^^ SpO 

'0 v/;j ; . 





Heb. IV. 9. 
^* Th^re remaioeth therefore a rest to the people of God.'* 


the coherence of the wordi. The doctrine and method of faftodlins It pro- 


JL HE words arc an inference from the foregoing part of the 
diapter^ wherein the apostle doth by illustralion and proof make 
a discovery to us of the fiiture state of rest for the people of God. 
He makes use of a double illustration for this, 

1st. God's sacred rest from the works of creation, from the 
4tfa verse. ^ And God did rest the seventh day from all his 
works;" that is, after God had perfected the invisible and visible 
world, on the review of all his works, finding them very good, 
he took pleasure, he was satisfied in all those discoveries of his ' 
own*perfections in the works of his hands ; and this is said to be 
his rest. God always enjoyed his own glory and blessedness 

VOL. Ill, X 


even from eternity : but this rest here spoken of^ hath respect 
to the precedent work of creation, and that joyfiil reflection that 
God made upon his own works ; because they were according to 
the model of his infinite wisdom, he was infinitely pleased in 
them. Now this divine rest is produced here as an illustration 
of that rest that the saints shall enjoy in heaven, after all their 
works done for the glory of God here on earth. 

2nd. The second illustration is from the rest that was pro- 
mised to the Israelites in the land of Canaan ; and the apostle 
speaks of this in the first verse, " let us therefore fear, lest a 
promise being made of entering into his rest, any of you should 
seem to come short of it.'' And in the foregoing chapter he had 
been treating of this rest. They were at first harassed in Egypt 
with <^el oppression, and they were to pass through a waste 
and wild wildomess, wherein they were to have many hard and 
difficult journeys. To those that did believe, and obey accord- 
ing to that belief, Canaan was promised as a land of rest. Now 
this temporal Canaan was but a type of the heavenly Canaan, 
the land above, that flows indeed with milk and honey ; that is, 
where holiness, and joy, and pleasure, are for ever in perfection. 
Now, s^th the apostle, the earthly Canaan was to be a repre- 
sentative of that country above, which is prepared for the people 
of God. And indeed this was the wisdom of the Holy Spirit of 
God, to raise the thoughts and desires of men by temporal 
things to those which are eternal. This is the double illustra- 
tion. The proof which the apostle urgeth here, that there is 
still a rest remaining for the people of God, is from hence, that 
after the Israelites were possessed of Canaan, yet the royal pro- 
phet David speaks of another rest, that unbelievers should be 
excluded from, and that believers should obtain. ^ Again, he 
limiteth a certain day, saying in David, to-day after so long a 
time as it is said, to-day, if you will hear his voice, harden not 
your hearts ; for if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not 
after Uave spoken of another day ^ there remaineth arest there- 
fore, to the people of- God." If you will be obedient to his caU^ 
do not harden your hearts, through infidelity; if you will believe 
and be holy, you shall come to thi6 rest, Uiat indeed deserves 
that name, not like the rest in the land of Canaan. If indeed 
he had given them rest, David would not have spoken of ano- 
ther rest. If we had be^n possessed of it in the land of Canaan, 


David would not have said, if you remain in disobedience and 
infidelity you shall not enter into it, but if you be obedient you 
shall possess it. But seeing David hath said so, I conclude, 
saith the apostle, '* there remains therefore a rest to the people 
of God/' The words that I have read to you do contain that 
which is the most powerful and the most comfortable motive to 
believe and obey the gospel, and to persevere in it, that can be 
offered to you, especially considering the state we are in of stran- 
gers, and of a continual warfare ; there is nothing can be more 
desirable than to hear this, and that can give more vigour to our 
souls in the ways of God. There is an expression of Solomon 
applicable to this purpose, ^^ as cold waters to the thirsty soul, 
so 18 good news from a far country/' This is good news from 
heaven, the country above, therefore infinitely refreshing to us 
in all the heat, trouble and toil that we are engaged in, in this 
suffering world; ^^ there remaineth therefore a rest to the people 
of God/' 

The doetrine that I shall insist upon from the words, is this, 
there is a divine and blessed rest that is reserved as a reward to 
the people of God. I call it divine, because it is an imitation of 
God's rest, and it remains, for it is reserved as a reward. In 
the opening of this, I will show you, 

I. Who are they that are characterized by this title, the peo- 
ple of God, and who are qualified for this reward and rest, and 
have a title to it, and an interest in it. 

II. The place of this rest where it shall be. 

III. The excellencies of this rest. And then, 

IV. Come to the application. 

A 2 



Who are the people of God, for whom hoAven if reaerred. They are inch m 
be bAth a propriety in : oot apoo cominoo accounU only, bat special aD4 
peculiar onet, tIe. electioo^ special rcdemptioD» and renovatioD. And 
Buch as anfeignedly consent to take htm for their King, and yield a Tolup- 
«aryi perseTerlog subjection to bins. 

I. Jb IRST, Consider who they are that are characterized here 
38 heirs of this diviiie and blessed rest ; and they axe called the 
people of God. I shall not run forth into a long discourse of all 
those things that the scripture speaks conperning the heirs of 
heaven, a^d thfir qualifications : I shall restrain what I shall 
say tQ this title, The people of God, and tiiis title includes, 

i. God's propriety in them, they are his people. 

ii. It concludes on their part, 1st. An unfeigned consent to 
take him for their King. And, 2nd. A voluntary persevering 
subjection to him. 

i. God's people are those he hath a propriety in ; and this I 
will open particularly to you. 

][• God hath a general right to all the works of his hand^, 
especially in the reasonable world. You shall find the psalmist 
aaith, in Psalm 100. 3. ^^ Know ye, that the Lord he is God ; it 
is he that made us, and not we ourselves : we are his people, 
^he sheep of his pasture.'' He hath an undoubted right in all 
creatures, both men and angels, as he is their Creator. But 
notwithstanding this clear title of God, the greatest part of the 
world do not obey him : he hath indeed the right of a king, 
but they do not pay him the reverence due to him as a king ; 
they do not subject themselves to him. And in this respect you 
must make a difference between being a king, and reigning over 
a people : a prince may have authority over a people, and they 
may prove rebellious, and he not reign over them. Now the 
greatest part of the world live in this way of rebellious opposition 
against God. It is said, Psal. 2. 2, 3, ** the kings of the earth 


9et theniaelvesy and the riilers take counsel together agliinst the 
Lord, and against his Anointed^ saying, <' let us break their 
.bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us" It is not 
creation that gives that propriety in a people, that they shall 
hereby have a title to God's rest : die fallen angels were his sons 
by creation : the angels are called the sons of God $ but they 
Iwve proved rebdlious in bis own eourt^ and therefore expdled 
from thence* 

2. The propriety of God in his people, is upon more peeuUar 
and special accounts. 

(1.) Tob^nwith the rise of it; hb merciful choosing of 
them from eternity to be vessels of grace and glory. God's m- 
ginal title ariseth from his electing-love ; ^' I have chosen them 
to be a people to myself.'' Isa. 43. 20. And our Saviour speaks 
ing conc^ing his apostles, John 6. 17. '^ thine they were, and 
thou gavest them me" How were the apostles God the Father's 
in a special manner? The meanuig of that expression is, they 
were thine by thy men^iftd choice, by thy peculiar electing^love | 
thine they were and thou gavest them me > to be the matter of 
my purchase; to be redeemed and saved by me. You must 
know, as it is with earthly kings and their people, they have 
their several limits^ whereby one kingdom is distinguished from 
another ; as rivers, mountains, and the like ; so the kingdom 
and people of .God are limited by his election, from the king- 
doms of the world, and of satan. All those upon whom the 
beams of electtng-love shine, those that God hath chosen from 
pure mercy, they are his people strictly and properly, and dis« 
tinguisbedfrom all those that are entitled his people by ap exter* 
nal profession. 

" (2.) This title of God to his people, as it took its rise froni 
election, so it is confirmed by his special and peculiar redeeming 
of tiiem: he paid a ransom for them out of his own treasury | 
that is the most precious blood of the Son of God' given for 
them by the order and appointment of his Father : and the Lord 
Jesus was God's^servant in the work of our redemption ; and his 
redemption bad r^pect to the wiU.of his Father, as the first rise 
and motive of it ; and those whom his Father gave him, he doth 
effectually redeem : he not only laid down a price for them, but 
all the benefits he purchased by his blopd,^, he applieth to them* 
You know how the apostle challengeth the Cofiuthiaos upe« 



this title. 1 Cor. 6. 19, 20. " You are not your own, ye are 
bought with a price ; therefore dorify God in your bodies, and 
in your spirits, which are GodV' Mankind was fallen from 
the glory of God, and was brought to a state of servile bondage 
to sin, and was under the curse of the law. Now though this 
could not defeat God of his right, this sin of man could not alie- 
nate man from God ; God's title was still entire, notwithstand- 
ing ; yet nevertheless man was brought into such a state, that 
he was incapable to serve God. Then he was pleased to appoint 
the life of his Son to be a sacrifice to redeem mankind from the 
curse of the law, and to reconcile himself to them, and free 
them from the bondage of sin. And this is a title that cost him 
more dear than the creating of the whole world ; for that was 
effected by his word ; " he spake^ and it was done,'* saith the 
psalmist j but it was not so in the redemption of man, that had 
sold himself to sin, and was under the heavy sentence of the law: 
he was put to the expence of that which was the richest treasure, 
the precious blood of the Son of God. / And thus God hath a 
special people upon the account of electron and special re- 

(3.) The third title God hath to his people, is from renova- 
tion, the restoring of them to his own image, and the renewing 
of their natures, and giving to them heavenly endowments, pre- 
paring them for his service and glory. So you shall find the 
apostle tells them, Eph. 2. 10. ** for we are his workmanship, 
created in Christ Jesus unto good works ; which God hath before 
ordained that we should walk in them." So that as a man hath 
a right to the house which he builds, and he is truly the owner 
of it that finds the materials, and frames and raiseth the build- 
ing ^ so God is the owner of his people ; they are his living and 
Spiritual temple, raised and framed for his praise, they are his 
workmanship. As in nature God is obeyed by every rank of 
creatures in those actions which are congruous, and suitable to 
those principles of operation which he hath put into them. As 
when the sun runs its course, and the stars keep their regular 
motion, and the flux and reflux of the sea obey God^ and all 
the creatures observe that order that he hath appointed, and act 
according to their several principles of operation. Thus it is 
with the sensitive world ; and so it is likewise with the people 
tli GoAy that have a nev/ nature communicated to them^ the^ 

CHAP. U OF Tffll sAmrg, 7 

are furnished with heavenly qualities to «enre God^ and to gloriiy 
and enjoy him. 

Thus I have gone over three things that evidence God's pro- 
priety in his people) and could you bring it down to yourselves^ 
it would be of use to ypu. Eleetion is an object too high for us 
to see immediately; we Cannot look into the rolls of eternity; 
but election makes itself evident^ and declares itsi^ in our sane-* 
tification: for sanctification is, as it were, a temporal election; 
for God chooseth a person when he makes him holy, and sepa* 
rates him from the rest of the world : Psd. 100. 3. ^« We are his 
people, and the sheep of his pasture/' You must understand it. 
in a political sense : God is our governor, and we must obey 
him ; you kttow flocks of sheep have marks upon them, that se* 
parate and distinguish them from other sheep; so the saints have 
God's mark upon them. Holiness to the Lord is a visible stamp^ 
whereby they are distinguished from the world; whereby it is 
dear and evident, that he prepares them for hiar rest above. 

ii. On owt pait, being of the numbei' cif the people of God, 
includes these things: our uff^ned comeht to be his people. 
When the soul is absoluteiy and entirely brought' to dose with 
the right «of God, and to confirm bis right in us, and to acknow- 
ledge it, and W aecept of it cordial^ and sincerely ; then we 
come to be iik the number of God's people. You find an express- 
sion whieh is^cfiiettty to this purpose x Psal^. 1 10. 3. .^ Thy peo- 
ple shall be willing in the day of thy power/' WxUing:to what ? 
Willing to aeiuiowledge the eovereignty of God aaid Christ, and 
to yield up themselves to it.' In the day of thy power ? That 
is, when the grace of God, )vbieh'bath omhipotency going along 
with it, shall work upon the heart, and make it willing to own 
and acknowledge God in this. There are none but will adsnow- 
ledge God in professioap'>tiad words that they are his : but the 
greatest paH; of the wofldf^e^ the crown opoa the devil's head ; 
tliey are> his ^servants, and jrield him the throne of their hearts, 
and he rdgns in them : but those that are the people of God, 
they do with their hearts acknowledge his right and title to them, 
and do most ^smcnAy close with him. In short ; a& God takes 
diem to be his people, so do they joyfully and pleasantly yield 
up themsdves to be his servants, and take him to be their sove-> 
reign : if it be offered to their choice, they infinitely prefer him 
and Ins government above all others* This^ as to our believing 

A 4 

9 THE ]»VBaLA811N« aSST 6HAP« K 

aense^ ia the ftnmdation of our relation to God. His election 
and choice is a thing without us, and above us ; and it discovers 
itself by the effects ; until we be made a willing people, we can 
never discover that he is our King and Lord, and will reward us 
with eternal life. That you may nof^ deceive yourselves with 
a vain pretence of being God's people ; they that are the people 
of God, will own him for their King, and be subject to his laws, 
and subject to them all, without exception. If there be any du- 
ty, God commands you as a king, and from that title, and if 
there be any niceness or aversion in your breasts against it, and 
you would fain have your bbligation to that duty dissolved, you 
are none of God's people ; for the reserving of one sin, and the 
exception of one duty, will make you in a state of rebellion and 
enmity against God. Where ever this is, it will make a person 
^capable of this rest : though the gospel makes an allowance for 
failings, and infirmities, and relapses ; yet there is no chancery in 
the gospel for any person that retains any sin, and that hath a 
pk«vailing exception in his heart against any command : if you 
think there is, you build your hopes upon a fancy. The gospel 
requires sincerity ; and the very essence of sincerity lies in this, 
that I endeavour entirely to comply with all God's wilL I may 
be surprised into a sin agmnst God ; I may by a sudden tempta- 
tion break a command.; but if there be not a sincere epdeavour 
to comply with all the will of God, suth a person is God's ene- 
my, and never to be received in his kingdom. The subjection 
must be entire and sincere ; ^< Then shall I not be ashamed" 
(saith the psalmist, Psal. 119. 6.) '^when I have respect to all 
thy commandments :" that is, his hope shall not be disappointed 
at last, so as to expose him to everlasting shame. 

There must be a fersenermg and a con^oit^ «tii^ection. Rom* 
2. 7. <^ To them who by patient oontinuaac^inwell-doingy" what- 
soever it eost you, whatsoever difficulty k^rlhasard you are exposed 
to, whatsoever yon lose. If you do not persevere in well-doing, 
you can plead nothing from goepeUpromises, to this rest. Rev. 
2. 10. << Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a 
crown of life.'' Weie it possible for a man to go <m in a course 
of hoimess to the last day of his life, and he should then break 
off his course, if he should meet vrith a temptation so grateful or 
terrible as to make him leave off his obedience to God, he could 
have no comfortable hope of heaven : ^^ For he only that endu- 

CHAP* II. ' OP TflB SAIVTi. 9 

leth to the end shall be aayed," And here it is obeecvable, the 
ficriptaie telk lu, though a man hath lived in a course of disobe* 
dience and oppoeilion to God many years^ if he turn to God at 
last, apd persevere in that return he shall go to heaven : but if 
be hath lived an hundred years in obedience and at last iall off 
he shall parish for ever. And we find a reciemUance of this in 
the justice ot men. Suppose a peiaon hath done never so wor- 
thily for a king and kingdom, if afterwards he turn rebel, he may 
jusdy be cut off for his rebellion. So if a person fall off from 
God; all his former righteouMiess shall be forgottra; for this 
rest remaineth only for those that are the persevering people of 


Keafea the place of tUs r«Bt It is italiie^ awl vaKly large i very slorleni^ 

aod pleaMi^U 

II. X Come now to speak of thejaJaee of this rest. It is enjoys 
ed in that kn^^om that b unshaken above. You shall find an 
expression ct the apostle very fit to my purpose : Heb. 12. 29. 
^ Wherefore we receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken or 
moved.'' It is a, proper place for this rest I am speaking of. 
The kiogdcuns of this, worid are not move properiy dnnpared to 
any things than the sea^ wbieh is always voluble nid ineonstaat, 
and sometimes aq violent, thfit he i^ich expects rest there, must 
contradict botk reason and sense. This world isa seat of change 
and mutability : but the kin|fdom\aiMwe is^nsost aptly resembled 
by a sea of ^ass,. Rev. 15. 2. 'M saw as. if it were a sea of 
g^." There is no unquiet agitatiea in a sea of glass, no dis« 
turbance there. The kingdom of heaven is God's sanctuary, 
where the God of peace reigw* It is said in the book of Job^ 


Job 25« 2. ^^ He makes peace Iq his high places." Indeed 
once Uiere was a disturbance in heaven ; when the angels feil ; 
but that disturbance did not continue, they wefe pesendy expel- 
led from their first habitation ; that is the region of peace. 

It is an Expression of Seneca, as a .piece of poetical bravery^ 
^ninms.mpienti^ eti ncut locus supra hAnam^ semper iOic sere^ 
tmm est i the heart of a wise man is like the place above the 
moon^ all is serene and calm there. 

The lower region is charged. with douds and thunder, whidi 
enqounter one another, and make disturbance: but the true rest 
}s heaven, the jcelestial paradise above, the New Jerusalem, Ood 
hath fitted and prepared that place for the rest of his people. 
Although it is but little that we can speak of the glory of that 
place, I can raise your thoughts of it a little, by one considera- 
tion which I find in the prophet Isaiah, chap. 6. When the se» 
raphims were praising God, one cried to another, and said, 
^< Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of Hosts 3 the whole world is full 
of his glory.'' That which I apply it for, is this, this lower 
world, that is this earth, is full of the glory of God ; the earth, 
which God hath made the receptacle of birds and beasts. If the 
earth that is the wilderness of God's people, and which his ene- 
mies enjoy, is full of the glory of God, pray raise your thoughts 
by this consideration ; 

What is heaveo then* andttlie'glory of God's sanctuary above? 
How do all his perfections ehine there. 

If the <^ earth be full of the glory of the Lord," do not doubt 
but the gbry .of that place dkfh contribute to the blessedness of 
this rest«:. Look upon, the aspectiUe heavens, All those great lu-* 
miliaries, sup,: moq^^ land stars,, they are but the frontispiece of 
hftaipen ; now this is the rest of the pecjple of God. We cannot 
tmr cOAeeive wkal is the glory of that rest,^ The scripture satth 
someltiflpg t» «s of the plaueJiDf.oQr fttture- happiness $ it wonid be 
a piMd>t«riDaity 'to xtakfi sueh inquiries into it as we have Ho 
fanii]Elatioaf(»;in tte word of God: but there are several things 
the Holy l^iiritiiB the sctipture reifwls to us concerning it: all 
vihich mVi inrve to eidai^ our apprehensions eoncemfaig that 
test and. blessedness, we shaH enjoy in heaven. There are four 
viduch I shdl briefly toudi upon, and then proceed. 
. 1« The stability ai that place, the security of it. It is called, 
Heh. 11. 10* ^ A dty that hath foandations." There the apos- 

CftAP. in or TBB fiAnrTf» 11 

tie speaks concerhing the patriardis that were in ui unsetded 
conditicmr, travelling into a strange country. It is Biid ecokeem^ 
ing Abraham^ the father of them, Heb. 11. 10* <<He looked ior 
a city which hath foundations whose bttiider and maker is God. 
He dwelt in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs vdth 
him of the same promise/' Tabernacles were moving tents, that 
had no foundations, that might easily be carried from one place 
to another : but heaven is a city which hath firandations. This 
lower world, and the upper world that is visible to us, shaU ei- 
ther be refined or consumed by fire, notwithstanding all that ex- 
quisite order and beauty that we see in them. The apostle tells 
us they are reserved for fire ; How whether that file shall be con- 
suming, or whether it shall be merely a reforming purifyuig fire^ 
we are not certain : though there are some probable reasons thlit 
•may induce us to a belief of it that it shall etaly be a refermil^ 
and refining ohe. For the epestle tells us, Rom. 8. 22.^ ^^ We 
know the whole creation groaneth, and tiravaileth in pain toge- 
ther until now :" and in the foregoing verse it is said, *' Because 
4he creature also shall be delivered fi:om the bondage of corrup- 
tion, into the glorious Hbeity df the childreh of God/' Thie 
apkwtle speaks concerning this world, which yoii know hath been . 
defiled and stained by the sin of man. And St. Peter saith, 2 
Pet. 3. IS: ^' We look for new heitVens and a new earth, where- 
in dvi^lleth righteousness/' TtAd vi«U>le fon«^ of the heavens, 
which is subjected t6 our eye, shall^be destroyed: far thus the 
psalmist speaks, Psal. 102. 2S, 26. <<Qr old hast thou laid the 
foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the works of thy 
hands ; they shall perish, but thou shait endure ; yea, all of them 
shdl wax old as a garment, as a vesture shait thou dfange thiH», 
and they shall be changed." hi'ijke elementary world all things 
are in a {yerpetuat change : those things that are so imich admi« 
ted ttid loved, aU those vnin idofe that men set theirbeaits upon^ 
they are ail changing and pishing every day : bnt now for the 
heavens and the earth themselves, observe what tile prophet 
saith, '^ Thou shait ehange them.'' We see -no cause that 
would be sufficient to ehang^ tMa heaven and this earth ; the di«- 
vine power oiily can do it : but he that hath made them, will and 
can easily change them. But for the heaven of glory, where th^ 
laints shall bb, that is a city that hatih foundations, there shaU > 
be no chan^ there. In the history of the erealiaii; it b 


Table, Moses speaks not one word concerning the making of the 
aapreme heavens, though they may be included in the visible hea* 
vens. He only apeaks eiqpressly of this visible world, which shall 
be changed. Observe what onr Saviour tells us, John 14. 2. ^* In 
my Father's house are many mansions/' Our habitations in this 
lower world aie like an inn, or house of progress, that one lies at 
{or a little time. But heaven is cdled a mansion, the place of 
the saint's residence ; there shall be no change, no shadow of 
change there, but it shall be kept always by the power of God^ 
-as a prepared habitation for the rest of God's people. Now by 
the way, this showa how vain it is for us to expect rest here, in a 
house that is but propped up for a while. Therefore we cannot 
expect rest here. It is spoken of as one of the prodigies of na- 
ture, concerning the kingfisher, that she builds her nest in the 
aea, one of the most moveable dements ; but that little bird ia 
instructed by nature to build her nest there when there is a per- 
fect calm, for the security of its young. But there is no calm in 
this world, all things are in a perpetual flux, in a rapid motion. 
The heavens that are over us shall be confounded and destroyed, 
and the atars shajl fall like leaves in autumn, and the fire shall 
pass upon them all: but the heavenly kingdom is unshaken, a 
]>lace that is fit for rest. . 

2. To show yo}i further how th» place is fitted for rett, as the 
scripture speaks t^enceming the stability ctf it, ao it discovers to 
m its vastness and immensity. It is a place capacious enough 
to be the seat of an innuaoerable company of angels, and of all 
the saints of -God, when they shall be united together in one glo* 
«ious assembly at the last day. John 14. 2. << In my Father's 
Jiiouse are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have tdd 
you. I go to prepare a place fqr you.'' Many mansions ; there is 
joom in abundance. There is such an extension, as to hold all 
Jthe blessed spiijts t<^ether, so as every one shall have his parti- 
^ajr mansion, every one shall have a place of ease and rest. 
When Solomon bad built a magnificent temple to God, saitb he^ 
1 Kings 8, 27* ''But virill God indeed dwell on the earth? Be- 
bold, the heavens, and the heaven of heavens cannot contain 
thee; how mudh less this house which I have built ? Will God 
indeed dwell on earth P'^ That is, will he afford his glorious 
presence with his peojpie in his temple ? Then it follows, ^< Be^ 
bold, the heavenS| and the heaven of heavens cannot contain 

CHAP* If* or TBB 8A1K1S. 18 

thee/' It is spoken with respect to the amplitude of that king* 
doin« There are three heavens that the scripture speaks of; ^e 
cerial heaven^ that which encompasseth all the earth and sea. 
So you read of the fowls of heaven, the birds that fly in the air. 
^cUy, The ethereal heaven, where are the sun, moon, and stars. 
And 3dly, There is the heaven of heavens which is called the 
third heavens in scripture. Now do but observe this earth, that 
contains innumerable inhabitants and creatures upon it, this vast 
earth, compared to the starry heavens, is but as one single point; 
it is as nothing : and the heaven of heavens encompasseth all the 
starry heavens, and hath a vastness that is inconceivable to us. 
How great it is, we cannot tell; but we are sure of this, that it is 
a place built for the glory of God, and answerable to the great- 
ness of that King. Now this still falls in with the notion of the 
rest : every saint shall be a king there, and have a kingdom large 
^enough to fill all his desires. It is a fancy of some of the school* 
men, that one of the torments of hell shall be the narrowness of 
ihe place, where the dBmned shall be crowded together. I can- 
not tell whether then is any foundation for such a notion in 
eeripture, where wa read indeed of hell represented by the great- 
est torments to sense, as fire and brimstone, and the worm that 
never dies : but it says nothing of its being so strait a place. But 
as for heaven, that the scripture represents as a very large one. 
Our Saviour says, ^ In my Fatfaer^s house are many mansions ; if 
it were not so, I would have told you i" if it were not a place 
large enough for you, I would have been so faithfid to you, as to 
make a discovery of it. So that the boundlessness of that kii^- 
fdom tends to make it a fit habitation for our rest. 

3. The scripture disooveieth to us the glory of it: and that 
fore-mentioned place cS Solomon is applieabletotUs purpose: 
it is called the heaven of heavens ; it is so called by way of ex- 
cellency and tranatendeney; and Christ calls it my Father^* 
house : Christ*s Father is die Father of glory ; you know he is 
particularly- called so in scripture; the Father erf glory. So hea- 
ven is called €k>d's throne: Isa. 66. 1. ^^Thus saith the Lon^ 
heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool.'' His throne^ 
that mgmfies it is that plaee wherein he doth manifest himself in 
fais glorious presence. As when a king is seated upon his thronet, 
«t is with all die ensigns of mi^esty and greatness. God's throne 
JM fbat place where he exhibits himself in the most g^ous man* 


uer. So it is called God's temple : Hab. 2. 20. '^But the Lord 
is in bis holy temple/' Heaven is a throne and a temple, a 
place prepared with all divine art for the manifestation of God's 
glory. You read concerning New Jerusalem, Rev. 21. 17, 18. 
<^ The building of the wall of it was of jasper, the city was pure 
gold, like unto clear glass; -and the foundation of the walb of the 
city was garnished with all manner of predous stones." The 
waUs of the city are thus represented to us by precious stones, 
because they are most fair and lively representations of the excel- 
lency cS that place : but alas I M the rare marvels of nature are 
nothing, compared to the glory above. AH the lustre of dia- 
monds, the fire of carbimdes, and the beauty of pearls, are no- 
thing to the glory of heaven. We are said to be made meet to 
be partdcers of the inheritance of the saints in light. Light is the 
highest comparison that the scripture can make use of, both to in«- 
form us and astonish us with the glory of heaven. When our 
Saviour appeared at his transfiguration, it is said. Mat. 17* 2. 
f^ His face did shine as the sun, and his garments were white^as 
the light," This is the highest comparison in nature, the inhe- 
ritance of the saints in light. So on the contrary hell is set forth 
by a place of darkness, invindble darkness, the blackness of dark- 
ness for ever, for there is a perpetual night. So heaven is said 
to be a place of light. Do but consider what heaven is, when 
the scripture saith, " The Lord is the light of it, and God is the 
glory of it." There is no need there of the light of the sun, for 
Christ the Sun of Rigfateousness sheds abroad an effusion of tran- 
acendent glory, that at the first entrance into heaven the saint is 
•truck with admiration at the glory of the place: and it is said 
in one scripture, ^< Thy God shall be tby glory." Now is not 
this fitted to be a place of rest, a place of light and glory ? 
• 4, Heaven this everlasting rest is represented to us in the 
sqripture under the notion of a place of pleasure, and so it is 
jcaUed a paradise. So you shall find our Saviour speaking to the 
thief on the cross that prayed to him, Luke 23. 43. ^^ Lord, re- 
Aiember me, whentfamLcomest into thy kingdom: Jesus said 
unto him. Verily, I say unto thee, to-day sbalt thou be with me 
hi paradise." The apostle Paul tdls us, 2 Cor. 12. 4. << That 
he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, 
&c" Now this expression is allegorical, and allusive to that 
^fint^ddidous garden that God prepared to be a seat for innocent 


man. Tbe garden of Eden ^'Bs a place that had in it M things 
that were for tbe support, and comfort, and pleasure of this life $ 
and paradise is a word that ngnifies a garden of pleasure. fi6w 
heaven is represented to us by paradise, a place that was made 
for delight and joy ; and it hath this glorious privilege above this 
earthly paradise^ that the earthly paradise was not exempted 
from the, poison of the serpent, that infected man in his head 
and original, the wofiil effect of which we feel to this day : but 
the paradise above is inaccessible to all evil, a place framed for 
delight, no thorns or briars there, nothing that can afflict or 
cause sorrow ; no, it is the paradise of God, a paradise in the 
midst whereof the Son of God is the tree of life, upon which 
the saint^ feed and live for ever. And this is another thing the 
scripture speaks of concerning the glory of that place where we 
shall have our rest. 


Of the excellency of this rest. This is a point which caraal men cannot re* 
lish: it is a holy rest, hoth as it imports a ceasing from the dominion and 
heing of sin and temptation: and performance of aU those holy duties. 
which are proper to this state i for wHtch the sonl it exalted to the highest 
pitch of natural perfection, and baa sapernatnral endowments, whence re* 
salt the most exalted operations, 

III* X Shall, in the next place, consider the excellencies of this 
rest : and here I shall premise th^, that I am about to treat of 
a subject that I fear most that are here cannot tastcf or relish. 
As for a discourse of heaven, a carnal man is no more affected 
with it, than if yO\x should bring a swine into a curious palace, 
adorned ivith all-things of art and industry; to see pictures 
drawn with exquisiteiskiD in paint, or statues carved in the most 
' exoeUttit and lively maiaier ; eould a swine take any deHght'in 


these things ? So widimtt a pore heart, and holy and heayenly 
affections, we cannot taste any thing of heaven, or of this rest 
prqpared for the people of God. If you speak of heaven to a 
carnal mm, it is just as if a maaCer of philosophy, or the mathe* 
matics, should come and read to an illiterate ignorant man • the 
sublime notions, and profound mysteries of these noble sciences : 
no UKMre can a carnal man relish the things of heaven. If an 
ai^el should come and speak to him, he would say, give me this 
world, and the things here below, and keep heaven above. I 
Aail now proceed to speak of the excellencies of this rest. 

i. First, Thb rest that remains to the people of God is a hobf 
rest; it is called a sabbath rest. 

Now in the opening of this, there are two things considerable. 

1. It ia a b^y rest, in ceasing from sm, as the scripture' 

2. It b a holy rest, as it consists in the exercise of all those 
holy and heavenly parts of worship which b proper to heaven ; 
and such is the rest of a sdbbath. 

1. For the first of these ; as it imports a ceasing from sin. 
There is a threefold freedom and rest from sin. (1.) There is a 
freedom from the dominion of sin, and this is that privilege which 
the saints have in their measure in this life. 

We read our Saviour tells the Jews, John 8. 34, 35. ^^ whoso- 
ever committeth sin, is the servant of sin; and the servant 
abideth not in the house for ever, but the Son abideth for ever. 
If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free in*, 
deed/' That is the truest and noblest freedom, to be freed 
from the servitude of sin, that bpndage, that enslaves our more 
excellent part, our immortal part, the soul $ that is most royal 
and excellent liberty; and this is obtained bv the Son of God; 
that is, if you look upon the state of sin, wherein we are in- 
volved by nature, look upon it as a part of the curse fallen upon 
mankin<^ upon account of his apostacy from God ; and so our 
Saviour hath, purchased this privilege for a believer, that he 
should be vesciied froqi this bondage of sin, for sin hath these 
two great evils that go along with it ; it is not only a provoca- 
tion to God^ expo^g a man to the wrath of God, and making 
him obnoxious to the divine displeasure ; but sin does also defile 
and debase the human nature, vnd so hath in it the greatest 
eurse that the reasooable cieature is capdile of; it makes a man 


ualiHe to GoA^ aad viler thao the earth he teeadft upoQ ; and 
like the brute beasts, it degrades him to the lowest servility. 
There is nothing in the world Uke sin, it provokes God to give a 
man over to hi3 own heart's lusts, and to forsake him for ever, 
and to pronounce a curse jqpw him, ^' he that is unjust, let him 
be unjust still ; and he whic)i is filthy, let him be filthy still.'' 
Rev. 22. 1 1. And those that fell under this curse, are under 
the greatest servility. . The wicked are all his slaves. Take that 
man that is of the dvilest conversation in the world, tilt he be 
sanctified and renewed by Christ, be is a slave, and under the 
command of some lust, lliough it be not visible to you, and it 
hath a throne in his heart, and reigns there. '^ But now,'' saith 
the apostle, Horn. 6. 22. ^' being made firee from sin, and be- 
come servants to God, you have ywt fruit unto holiness, and 
the end everlasting life." Observe, here he ^eaks concerning 
the present sanctified state of the people of God, thai are freed 
from sin, from its power and reign : whoever is not thus free, 
he hath no interest iin Christ, neir jever felt the blessed effects of 
his death. This is one s^p and degree »to that rest the .apostle 
q[>eaksx>f4a the text, 

^2.) There is a freedom firom the relics or the beii^ of 
sin, a freedom that ia^»orts an absolute and complete puri* 
fying and cleansing from all kinds and degrees loi sin what* 
soever ; and this is that which is meant hero. The apostle 
^eaks of this to the Ephesians, <^ Christ loved the cborch, and 
gave himself for it, that ha ipight sanctify and deanse it with 
the washing of water by^ the word, that he miglit present it to 
himself a glorious church, not having spot or wtiiiUe, or any 
such thing, but that it should be holy* and withbot blemish." 
Eph. 5. 2, 6, 27*. This desfgn of Christ's death is' carrying on 
while the saints are in this world ; it is carrying on by the pro* 
vidences of Gqi^. whether pro^rous or afflictive, and also by 
the ordinances of God, and the .S|^irit of jGod, who midces both 
ordinances aAd providences effectaal upon the soul. ' But this 
entire freedom from sin is only attained when we come to hea« 
ven. And you may observe here the great wisdom of God, that 
as sin brought in death, so now with respect to the people of 
God, death is that which abolisheth sin, that puts au end to all 
sin ; he hath made that which is in itself a penalty of sin, to be 
instrumental for the entire dearing and purifyiog the soul from 
you III. B 

18 THB WmKLA99iHQ REST €HAr. Hf* 

■in. For when this mnctal flesh is laid down in the grave^ the 
soul shall be cleansed ftom all remaining poUntions, there shall 
not be so much as a spot or wrinkle, or any such thing. In the 
12th of Hebrews, *where we have the state of the gospel church 
vepresented both as miKtant $md triumphant : *^ you are come/' 
says the apoatle, ^* to Mount Sion) the ei^ of the living God^ 
the heavedy Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of 
angeb ; to the general assembly and church of the firstrbom^ 
whose names are written in hesven, and to God the judge of all, 
and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the 
mediator of the new eovenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, 
diat speaks better things than the blood of Abel.'' The spirits 
of just men made perfect, doth signify an absolute and entire 
freedom from all sin, which is the greatest imperfeetion and de? 
basing of the soul. 

(3.) There is another freedom freia shi, which is in heaven ; 
and that is a freedom from all molesting temptations, from all 
things that might disturb their peace, that might endanger their 
fsll. You shall find the tw:o Adams, both the first and second, 
although they were perfectly innocent, yet they were both liable 
to temptations ; and the first Adam fell by a temptation, and 
kst more grace in one moment, than we can ever recover in this 
world in all ages. Yon all know how cheaply and easily he 
parted with his hi^piness, by the subtle temptation of satan. 
The second Adam was tempted too by the wicked one; but saith 
Christ, <' the prinoe of this worid cometh, and findeth nothing 
in me.'' There was no corruption in Christ to work upon. The 
temptations of satan surrounded him in the wilderness, but could 
not surprise him, they could not fasten any thing upon him ; 
but yet our Lord Jesus was liable to temptation. But in heaven, 
O Messed rest, where the arrows of the tempter can never reach. 
There is not 4mly a freedom from sin, and all poilsibility of that 
sinning, but there is a freedom firom any thing that might dis- 
turb that blessed rest, as it often frdls out in the world; but by 
the grace of God, when the saints are tempted, they reject the 
temptation, and overcome the tempter. We read of that holy 
and chaste creature Joseph, when a gmteful temptation offered 
Itself, he refiised it viith abhorrence, '' how can I do this great 
wickedness, and sin against God ?" So the heavenly grace God 
eemnMnfeates to ius people, makes diem victorious over both 

eULP. Ub OF VBB iAIiniB. 19 

{rtaaaant aoid terrible temptatioiis ; ^^ W0 ive vMe than eeiH|tte>» 
mt" (aaiththe apoetle) << duroi«h Chriat that Iwth kyred «8.'' 
And there is a most divine joy which ariseth in the soul when 
we hare thk testimony of oitr si necrit y, that we reai^ tempta- 
tioiis. But nmr in heaven there shall be nothing of this, H«e 
the people oF-Ood keep their innboence, and preserve their pii« 
,rity, ]fet chey are diaterbed by temptations. '< I besoo^t the 
Lord thrice/' saith the apostle when he was bufiisted by satat^ 
*^ there was ^[iven mito me a thorn in the fleshy a messenger of 
eMm buflktted me^ lest I shoiUd be maked above measure. For 
this tUng I besought the Lord dirfee, that it might depart fiom 
me : and he said unto me^ my grace is sufficient for thee." 1 
Cor. 22. 7. But in heaven Uiere shall be no buAting of sata% 
■o oioiesting us fay temptation* O blessed rest ! when the soul 
shall be freed from sin^ sin which is the greatest cfril in ks 6wn 
nature^ the highest provooatbn to die holy God, and the most 
bwth^isome thing in the worU to a holy mil which is a oontir 
mial b6dy 4]f death. O hlcased test! when the soul shall be 
freed from sin^ and all the degrees of it! whenH)he soul shall be 
nised above all temptations j udien it shall be in the light of 
God's countenance for evor^ where nodiing shall disturb our most 
joyful esercise in die serring and praising of God. Do but con*' 
sider whM a happy state this is } and indeed tlB you are so ter 
freed fitmi sin as to be out of love with it^ and to hate it, with 
an ineeoncUeabie hatred, you eanaot be partakeia of thb privi- 
lege, and lieat en itself would he no hcaren to you» If you do 
not look upon ^ as the greatest evil, and iqpon holiness as the 
most giorioos good, and nmst desind>le excellsncy, y^ki casnot 
be cqmMo of Ais blessed rest. 

2* It is a holy nst, as it includes in it not a bare cessatian 
frmn sin, but rfso an exerdao' of dl those holy and 'heaveulf 
duties which are proper to this state of rest. The w&td that is 
used hws, in the original, signifies the rest of a sabbath : now 
the rest di a sabbath, had two things considerable in it. 

(1.) The rest of a sabbath was commemorative of th& de^ 
Kve r a ne e from the Egyptian bondage ; and in this respect that 
command is bo mom, as to us : the Jewish rest was a duty on-- 
jomed with respect to their state of servitude, whemin they had 
been bamased so long in I^gypt, and the rest of that day was in 
itself a duty upon that account: indeed the leat that we have 

B 2 


tkow upon the Lord's day, mfty be typical of our rest in heaven^ 
but it bath no retrospect on the servility which the Jews saf* 

(2.) The rest of the sabbath was relative^ in order, to the 
performance of all solemn services which God required on that 
day. For if you consider rest in itsrif, that is, bodily rest, it b 
a thing not pleasing and gratefiil to God in itself; but it hath 
respect to some more noble end ; that is without intemiptioa 
they might attend upon the service of God in the tabernacle, or 
temple, or other places of worship^ where God was called upon. 
And so this heavenly rest includes in it the performance of all 
those acts of duty, and homage, and thankfulness which are the 
immortal work and business of the^amts above. 

Now for the opening of this to you, the following things are 
to be noticed. 

In order to this perfect service of God in heaven, the spirits 
of the saints are exalted in their natural faculties to the highest 
degree of natural perfection, that so they may be prepared for 
this service. Their understandings are most clear, and com-» 
posed : there is the exaltation of the soul in .all its power and 
faculties, to the highest d^ee of natural perfection. This is 
included in the expression of the apostle^ where he speaks of the 
heavenly state^ Heb. 12. 23. ^f ye are come to the spirits of just 
men made perfect.*^ 

All these powers and faculties have supernatural endowments^ 
which are the highest perfection (I spoke of their natural per* 
fections before) all heavenly graces are infused into. the soul, and 
that in the highest degree ; so that as your jewels of great price 
are set in the finest gold, so then the graces of God's spirit are 
most fully given to the human soul, when it is raised to its 
highest perfection. Thus in. the understanding, there is aper^ 
feet knowledge of God. Light is that which is spoken of as the 
character of heaven ; it is called, ^' the inheritance of the sainta 
in lights" and so saith the psalmist, ^' in thy light we shall see 
light." In the will and affections there is a most entire and ar- 
dent love of God, which is its highest perfection. In the whole 
soul there is that joy and that peace that may make all the facul« 
ties united to glorify God. 

(3.) From the soul raised to the highest degree of its natural 
perfection 3 and from those supernatural peifections that are 


bestowed upon it^ there result the noblest^ and purest^ and 
most exalted operations of the soul ; and herein they consist : 
in the contemplation of God, and his glorious excellencies, and 
wonderful works, and in the continual love and praises of God, 
the admiring of him, and the esteeming of his excellencies and 
works, and in the continual enjoying of him. Thus the heavenly 
state is often set forth by the seeing of God ; Matt. 5. 8. *' bles- 
sed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God x** Heb. 12. 
'^ and vrithout holiness no man shall see the Lord." And it is 
«et forth by the praising of God ; Isa. 6. 3, ** and the seraphims 
cried one to another/ and said, holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of 
hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory." And so you shall 
find. Rev. 5. 13. " every creature which is in heaven, and on 
^arth, and under the eaith, and such as are in the sea, and all 
that are in them, I heard saying, blessing, and honour, and 
glory, and power be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and 
unto the Lamb for ever, and ever." : This is the work of heaven : 
and indeed we cannot entertain any proper conception of heaven 
otherwise : for observe, the glorifying the creature is not f6r itself^ 
but in order to the glory of God. God doth not take the soul 
and transport it to heaven, that the soul should be merely happy 
in the enjoyment of God, but that God might be glorified in 
glorifying the creature. So that you cannot otherwise conceive 
of this rest, this divine' and heavenly rest. Now here God acts 
like a wise and holy God, all his actions terminate in his own 
glory. This one consideration of heaven, that it is a holy rest^ 
is that which makes it unamiable, and undesirable to carnal 
men. It i^ true, such may desire it as a refuge from hell : but 
^ey desire it not as a state wherein they are to be always con- 
versant in the love of God, and in the praises of God, and the 
everlasting enjoyment of him. Carnal men cannot taste it, they 
have, not a proper palate' for it : it can only draw forth the heart 
of the saints: aad yet, letme teB yoti, this is the substantial 
blessedness of heaven. 

There is a question among philosophers, whether happi- 
ness consists ki oor action, or merely in our enjoyment ? And 
we must detenbine it doth consist in both. It is not our mere 
passive reception of the glory of God that is bur happiness, virith* 
out our active pcMms to him,* our glorifying him, the Author 
and Fomrain of ftlU 

B 3 



It if a joyful rest Thia set forth by the joy of holy men in this life, io par* 
doD, grace, aod hope of heaven. The grounds of this joyfol rest ; tIx. 
freedom from all toil ia the service of God, from afflictions of all sorts. 
Comparad to the joy of harvest i and of a vibtory. Which most be freat» 
because of the dangerous enemies that are overcome* and the prize thai 
hereby is secured i and it is an entire, absolute, final victory. 

ii* X HE second excellency of our rest in heaven^ it this^ it is 
not only a holy rest, but it is a jagfid rest. And for the open- 
ing of this, there are many things whieh I shall propound to you. 

1. Consider the kingdom of heaven hath several degrees. 
There is a lower degree of it that is possessed here. You 
shall find in one scripture our SavuHir telb his havers, that 
^^ the kingdom of God is within them." And if jou eompsune 
that scripture with what the apostle saith^ Rom. 14. 17. *^ the 
kingdom of God is not in meats and drinks^ but in righteousness^ 
and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." You will find that in 
this life we have the first degrees of the heavenly kingdom. We 
have the first degrees of it as to the righteousnesh and hoKness of 
it, and as to the peace and joy of it while we are here. And 
therrfore we read of the firstfiruiti of the Spirit, and of the 
earnest of the Spirit : that is, the operations of the Hofy Ghost, 
whether the graces or comforts of tite saints, here^ are the fiiet- 
fruits and earnests of the heavenly state. Now this I lay as a 
foundation, that so I may raise your thoughts to consider what 
the joy of the heavenly life is. Consider, in this life there are 
three things that are matter of spiritual joy to the saints, wfaloh 
aflbrd so rich, so replenishing and satisfying a joy to them, that 
til the pleasures of the worid are dilute end tasteless to them, 
and they bear with magnimimity all the troubles icf this wovM. 
Let us a little consider them, that so we may tbcrAy eEsmh; «od 
'(^ oar thoughts to conctive at the' gldcy of heaven^ Tbsre 
ve three things that are matter of our joy here* 

(1.) Reconciliation with God in Christy the pardon of «9. 


ThM the apoBtle particularly iivitaneeth in; Rom. 5. 1* 
<' being jnstified by faith,, we have peace with God, through our 
Lord Jesus Christ.'" The peace and joy that arises from hence, 
the apostle telb, PhiL 4. 7* *^ passeth all understanding/' not 
only with respeot to the causes of it, it being purchased by the 
obedience and sufferings of the Son of God ; but the sense of it 
while we arehere^ exceeds all possible expression 3 onrunder* 
standings cannot find out words large enough to declare the joy<- 
fill sense we have of it. For the soul that hath felt what an in-- 
tokrabie burthen «in is^ to have the pardoning ni^cy of God 
4ipon solid groimds declared to it, it brings down heavep into the 
soul, it is a very paradise here. O my brethren, he that enjoys 
^ pardoning mercy of God by the light of £sitb, hath % joy 
unspeakable and foil of glory. 

(2.) Another thing that k msttter of our qiilritual joy is, 
Vj^m the work of grace is carried on prosperously in the 
soul. When rdigion in its radiancy and vigour governs in our 
bearts. There is nothing more joyfiil to a holy person than this; 
snd aceordingly as sin is subdued, and temptations effectually 
tesisted, and grace doth obtain more degrees of power within us, 
pioportioaably according to the righteousness and hdiness of this 
luii0doH^ is alw^ the joy and peace of it, unless it be in par- 
ticular UmpMiom* I speak of the usual course with God's 
people ; this makes the soul willing to suffer the k)ss <tf •outward 
ihin^, if its inward graces thrive -and flourish^ 

(3.) As the iavowr of God, and the image of God, ate 
the causes of this joy, so the hope of eternal glory. This 
the scripture often mentioneth i Rom» 5. 2. ^* reJ4Hcing ia hope 
of the glory of QoiJ' And it is said ia another place^ '^ rejoi- 
cing in hope;'' and Rom. 15. 10. '' rejoice ye Gentiles with his 
people. Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in 
belittviiig, thaft you may abound in hope through the power of 
the Holy Ghost.^' We ba;ve not only joy of present reconcUia" 
tien, but of believii^ that we shall come to the eonsummatiog 
joy above. I lay this d<ywn for raising your thoughiss by this 
consideration : if that joy that is in the bieast of a saint k 90 
gieat, that the strength, and virtue, and efficacy of it will make 
Ua despise all that the carnal world so much esteemeth^ and 
endue all that the caraal world so much foars; then ase^ in 
your tb0lifl^» and consideir what is the joy of heaven; if the 

B 4 


earnest and firstfruits of it will make a christian rejoice, and 
** glory in tribulation !" Rom. 5. 3. I remember it is the ob- 
servation of Tertullian in the primitive times, that when the 
christian church was under the inost terrible persecution, the 
very heathen were induced to consider what the religion waar, 
that fortified men to endure the greatest miseries with that se- 
renity of soul, with that joy, with that triumph. He dbaerve^ 
that several heathens were induced to consider the excellency of 
religion, and to say, certainly this religion is divine, it is the 
offspring of heaven, that can' make poor creatures endure such 
troubles with joy. Now (my brethren) there is as much diffe- 
rence between what the saints attain and enjoy in this worid, 
and the joys of heaven, as there is between sipping at a cisterri, 
and entering into the ocean of joy. Here the joy of heaven 
enters into the saints, but hereafter they shall enter into that 
joy. ** Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." Matt. 25. 81. 
Heaven is tlie element of joy, the immense ocean of joy, where 
the souls of the people of God are always filled to the utmost 
capacities. O consider how joyful that state must be, which so 
infinitely transcends and exceeds the joy that the saints have 
here! And yet the apostle Paul, who was a man of sorrows^ 
1 Cor. 6. 5. ^' in* stripes, in imprisonmeiits, in tumults, in la- 
bours, in watchings, in fastings ;'' saith he, '^ we are as sorrow^ 
fill, yet always rejoicing/' He speaks of his troubles with- a 
diminution, as sorrowfiil } as if they only touched his skin, and 
did not pierce his fle^h ; but be had his heart full of joy. But 
now this fulness of joy, the perfection ef it is abo^. Consider 
this joy of heaven, this heavenly rest ; 

2. There is in it a fireedom from all toil which we' endure in 
the service of God. White we are here below^ our bodies are 
the instruments of our souls ; and though '' the spirit is willing, 
yet the flesh is weak *J* therefore it is requisite there should be 
an intermission of the most serious, intent, and most immediate 
service of God, beeause our, sensitive facukies would otherwise 
be wasted, and sink under the burthen. He that plays upon a 
lute is fain to relax the strings, lest by a constant stretching of 
them the strfaigs should break. But we shall cease in heaven 
from all that labour that is wearisome to our sensitive parts : for 
although the' bodies of the sunts shall forever be joined with 
- their soub in the sendee of God> yet their bodies there shall be 


spiritual bodies ; ^^ it is sown a natui'al body^ but raised a spiri- 
tual body." 2. Cor. 15. 44. Spiritual, not with respect to the 
substance of the body, for it is impossible that flesh should be 
converted into spirit; but it is a spiritual body, as it is fitted for 
those spiritual exercises in heaven, and as it hath spiritual en- 
dowments that qualify it for that state. So that in heaven there 
•hall be no weariness and no occasion of relaxing us from the 
service of God, for the refreshhig and recruiting our strength. 
But on earth no saint can continue with constancy and invaria- 
bieness in the discharge of his duty, but he will waste his strength 
and spirits, and want refreshment. Indeed our Saviour did do 
the will of his heavenly Father without intermission ; but every 
saint while he is living in the flesh, needs somie relaxation, in order , 
to a mor*» vigorous service of God : but in heaven, in that eter- 
nal rest, we shall be freed from all that is toilsome and wearying 
in the serving and glorifying God. 

3. There shall be a rest from all those afflicting evils which 
we are liable to upon a double account. Either, 1st. Thosis 
afflictions that are attendant upon our mortal state : those afflie- 
tions which though they are not the immediate punishments of 
sin, yet are the consequ«ices of sin. It is said, that '^ man is 
bom unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward:'' you know sparks 
do naturally ascend ; so man in this mortal state is naturally 
liable to trouble, and many times the most excellent servants of 
God are under painfiil and languishing diseases, so that they can 
neither live nor die ; how many times are they exposed to those 
calamities which swiftly range through the world, which strike 
first upon one, and then upon another? Though yet they are 
overruled by a superior providence. In heaven they shall be 
^freed from all that is afflicting, that will any way discompose or 
-fistress their rest. 2dly, Besides these common calamities^ 
there are qiecial afflictions that the people of God are obnoxious 
to; while there is any in this worid that hate the image of God^ 
and oppose the glory of God, his people are liable in a special 
and peculiar mahner to their rage and ftiry : for there was no age 
•as yet, but there have been enemies to the saints as saints: as 
die apostle 8«th, <« he that loveth him that begat, will love him 
also Aat is b^otten of him.'' So on the contrary, one who hates , 
Urn Aat begat, will hate him also that is begotten cxf him. We 
««ad, John 12. they had a design to murder Lazanis, becanse 


Christ niMed him from the dead ; because his diviiie power and 
authority was visible in his resurrection : so many hate the saints 
because God hath quickened them to a divine life, that were 
dead in sins and trespasses*. Do you not see in France at this 
very time the spirit of persecution and rage raised against the 
pofiessors of the truths which except God in mercy extinguish, 
will end in their ruin ? And it is your duty to lay it to heait, 
and sympathize with them. But in heaven the saints shall he 
freed from all this : they are not only freed from all calamities, 
but from all persecutions they are exposed to for the naatie of 
Christ. In the next place. 

4. They are freed from all sorrowftil affections : you shall find 
4he scripture hath expressions more than once about this. It is 
said, Rev. 21. 4. That '^ God shall wipe away all 4^tn from 
their eyes ; and there shall be no suffering, neither sorrow, nor 
crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the ^former 
things are passed away/' In heaven there is no shadow of sin, 
no shadow of sorrow, no shadow of death : it is the kingdom ik 
life and joy ; all tears are dried up there. Now there are three 
kinds of tears that flow from our eyes while we are in this worlds 
which shall all be dried np in heaven. 

(1.) Our tears of contrition for our offending God, and for 
fear of the divine displeasure. O there is no grief more cordial 
than this! A holy soul that loveth God, is never more deeply 
serious than when he exercises this affection ; because God is dSs-* 
pleased and didionoured, this is that which pricks tbek hearts; 
at we lead. Acts 2. 27. '' The Jews were pricked to their 
hearts,'' when they heard that they had crucified the Lord of 
. Ufe. Indeed a hardened stupid wretch, in whom rebellion reigns, 
he looks upon his sins as a light burden : but a graciQ«M soul is 
troubled for a vain thought, for an idle word, or an irr^jnlar ac- 
tion : the reason is» because a saint hath proper oonc^tions of 
the holiness of God, the highest valuations of his fisvour ; theas- 
fore wh^taoever is a contradicticm to his holy wiU, whatsoever 
edipseth the light oC has oountenanoe, he doth most deeply and 
•easH>ly lay. to heart. In heaven it is matter of their joy» that 
God hath given them comfdete victory over all their fMt mm. 
Bepentanee should aoconqMay the soul to the i^tes of beave», 
but it shall never enter theee. As we read in the book of Esther, 
Mnceming the court of the Persien empeior, it is said that mm 


shottld eome in mottrniag into his court ; so none are to cotne to 
iieaifen in mourning* : when once they are admitted into that 
state^ immediately sorrow and sighing fly away. And is not this 
a joyful rest, when we shall be freed from all sorrow^ the most 
sharp, and woundii^, and deepest sorrow. In heaven there is no 
ffemembranee of God's displeasure agunst sin, and therefore no 
relics of sorrow for it : but the ieconciled faee and favour of God, 
is that which fills them with joy. When the prodigal was re* 
tamed to his lather, Luke 15. (that is an instance of a convert- 
ed pevsoD in this life) and confessed his sin penitently and mourn- 
fiilJy, the father calls for the robe and ring, kept a festival, and 
received him into his embraces* O conceive what infinite joy 
tbeie is in bring received into the kingdom of our heavenly Fa- 

(2.) As in heaven we shall be freed bom all tears of con- 
trition, so from all tears of compassion for the sins and miseries 
of others. They shdl be all wiped away in heaven. Good men 
have the tenderest affections, and are most apt to sympSEthiae 
with others in their temporal or spiritual troubles. If a saint 
eould live here without sin^ or any external trouble as to hb own 
fetstm, yet while he lives among the miserable, and is oncost 
passed with so many spectacles of woe, so many sad sights, he 
oaa sever be free from sorrow* Our Lord Jesus, when he drew 
near to lenMilem, and foresaw the dreadfol desolations that 
were hasteaiog to it, 'he wept over it. Every ssihit hath the 
sane mmd aod aifeetions 4hat Christ hath, and hath meking and 
ieoder affectioDS) and a ooBqfMissionate and sympathim^ spirit, 
with refer^ee to the evils and sufferings of others. Now in hea- 
ven all these teats of compassidn shall be wiped away. What 
*sense or hnowMge the spirits in heaven have oi^h^man afiiirs in 
this world, is u«ceftaia to us : ^^ It is said Abraham b ignorant 
of us:" he kndws aot* tmr aflUated stale here, that is, particular- 
ly ; but the slants above generally know that the saiats here ale 
fai proMas and ooafliets, that, the church here is militant. Bat 
their that areeeated hsfare the dvone tt God, we incapable of 
sorrow, and haitU impressions^ it, fiwm all the evib that befel 
others, as Ghrist himself isb For tliey Irve his life, and they ate 
eotitimiaQy satisfied uodi Ms presence: so that it is impossible 
dvy should he touched vrith any sorrowful sense of the evib that 
hefel oIliBrs. Now is ttOt this a joyful rest, when we Aidl net 


only be freed from the sorrow of our own sins^ but also from all 
that sorrow that the spectacles of human misery might draw 
from us? 

(3.) There are those human tears and sorrows that aris^ 
from our own personal troubles, that are not for sin, but for 
the punishment of sin, the troubles that are afflictii^ to 
sense. While a man hath a soul here joined to living flesh, the 
aoul will sympathize with all the troubles and afflictions of the 
body : but in heaven God hath prepared a sanctuary of rest from 
whatsoever may disturb or afflict us. It is said concerning the 
church on earth, there shall be no pricking briar, no wounding 
thorn : but this is eminently true of the church in heaven. So 
that if you consider the heavenly rest, with respect to the free- 
dom that shall be from all toilsome labour, and all those sorrows 
chat arise from afflictive eviis^ it may give you some apprehension 
what the joy of heaven is. 

Now this freedom from evil is that which most sensibly disco- 
vereth to us the heavenly joy, while we are in this state, and up- 
on this account, because human nature in this life is surrounded 
with eviis^ and is more sensibly affected with evit, than it is with 
that which is good. The life erf man, which is a passage through 
this world, is fitly compared to a voyage through a tempestuous 
sea; and you may as well reckon the number of waves that im- 
petuously break one upon another, as you can reckon up all the 
afflictive evils of this life. There is not the life of any single per- 
son, but there are so many scenes (if I may so speak) and so many 
habits and changes in this life, from mourning to joy, and from 
pleasure to grief and sorrow, that it cannot but be a sensible de- 
monstration how desirable it is to be freed from these things. 
The truth is, we have here real griefs, but our joys ar6 empty. 
Nay, there is nothing that is a temporal comfort, but it hath a 
hidden sting in it, and may be an occasion of grief and discom- 
fort. So that our present life in this is like a labyrinth of thorns^ 
we walk from one place to another, but still we meet with 
thorns: but hi the heavenly state above, we are free firom all 
these : sorrow and sighing are fled away : the first step we take 
into the heavenly kingdom, we bid an eternal farewel to grief and 
sorrow. Doth not this render this heavenly life very desirable, 
when we ^hall have nothing at all of impressiflos of tfaicgsthat 
are evil ; when all the affections ahJall be in a joyful exierciie fiv 


ever? This I would have yoa frequently to consider of^ as one 
affecting notion of heaven. The scripture insists upon it to 
make it deurable to you. Now before I proceed to speak con* 
ceming thdse things which will be our substantial joys in heaven 
(for now I am speaking of freedom from misery and trouble) 
there are two considerations whereby the scriptures represent the 
joyfiilness. of this rest^ with respect to our labours, sorrow% and 
conflicts in this life. 

Heaven is such a riest from aQ our sorrows and sufferings, and 
from. all our laborious actions in this life, as we take in thchar- 
vest, after all the toil and trouble we have been at in tiUing the 
earth, and preparing it for the harvest. It is compared in scrip* 
tare to that joy that we receive from taking of the fruit of our 
labours. The psalmist, when he speaks concerning the. aflSic- 
tions of God's people, hath this very allusion, Psal. 126. 5. 
<^ They that sow in tears, shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth 
weeping, bearing jwedaus seed, shall doubtless come again with 
rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him/' Where you see the 
afflicted st^te oi godliness in this Jife is compared to sowing in 
tears; and the rest and reccnnpence after it, is expressed by 
bringing tteir sheaves with joy. Now observe, there is no car- 
nal joy that ariseth from our labours, that is more sensible than 
this, when we partake of the harvest or of the vintage. It is 
said there, where the psalmist speaks of carnal joy in its eleva- 
tion ^ Psal. 4. 7« ^^Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more 
than in the time that their com and their wine increased.'^ 
When <Nir lahnuis that are used towards the earth in ploughing 
and sowing, ham>wing, manuring and watering it, in order to 
fruitfrriness, succeed in a plentiful harvest, this is a time of joy* 
Now our rest in heaven is a partaking of the harvest and vintage 
of our labours ; and in this respect it is a great joy. If you wUi 
believe a voice from heaven it is so: Rev. 14. 13. '^Blessed axe 
the dead which die in the Lord, from henceforth ; yea, saith the 
Spirit, that they may rest from their labours, aqd their works do 
follow them.*' Their works do follow them; that is, they do en* 
joy a fruitful harvest of all their works here* They rest from 
their labours, and have a blessed result from them in heaven. 
The holy soul enjoys the benefit of all its prayers, of all its tears, 
of all its sincere services to God, of all its lov^ and charity to 
men^ and of all its earnest end^vours for heaven. The memory 


then hath a clear and perfect view of all the aerncts that were 
done God on earth. Now the testimony of eonecience in thift 
life is so joyful^ that the apostle saith^ 2 Cor* h 12. '< For our 
rejoicing is this, the testimony of onr conscience, that in stmpli* 
city and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the 
grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world.*' 
When the soul comes to heaven, this testimony of consdence 
shall be revived and renewed in perfecttcMi ; so that oonsdenee 
that was here our comfort, shall be there our eterftal crown, and 
we shdl enjoy the fruit of all our own unfeigned endeavours to 
pleaw and glorify God. Every talent that we have improved for 
him, shall be infinitely returned to us. And on this account the 
heavenly rest hath respect to the actions and sufferings of the 
saints in this life, as the fruit of their labours ; so it is a joyfel 

5. This rest is a joyful rest, as it is represeated to us as a rest 
that is the fruit of t>ictory over aU our ernmm that we contended 
with in our way to heaven. When we come to that blessed state^ 
we are then victorious over them, and so that rest is infinitely 
joyful. Now the scripture makes use of this resemblance. We 
find Rom. 8. S7« it ia aaid concerning the saints in ibis life, 
^^ Nay, in dl these things we are more than conquerors, tjirough 
Urn that loved us.'' Mat. 12. 26. <^A bruised reed shall he 
not breaks and smoking flax shall he not quench, tin he send 
forth judgment unto victory.'' Judgment, by that is meant 
grace in the soul ; it is called judgment, because the work of 
grace is carried on in a rational convindng manner. The judg- 
ment leads the will, and the will commands all the inferior feeul- 
ties : and << Judgment shall be brought forth unto victory:" grace 
shall at last be powerful and victorious over all ifo enemies. 
Now there is fio joy in the world that ia equal to the joy of vic^ 
tory and triumph. And that you may see a little what the joy 
of heaven will be in this respect, do but eonaider these things^ 
which vofke that victory infinitely more sweet and joyful Co the 

(1.) The danger we are in from the enemiea with whom we 
do contest in our way to heaven. The scripture represents 
them as fbrmklable because of their enmity, subtilty, strength 
and great numbers; which shows how infinite our dan- 
ger is. They are caUed by the title of tteir cMef and r^genf^ 


the AtBgon ami the roaring lion who hath innumerable squadrons 
under him^ l^ons of rebelliom sjiirite that are always warriqg 
against us. They are for their craft set forth under the title of 
the old serpent : for their strength they are called principalities 
and powers ; and spiritual wickednesses in opposition to f esh^ 
whic^ is an expression of our fhulty and weakness : and they are 
]Q combination with innumerable lusts in our* own hearts^ and 
with this world, and they use the allurements and discourage- 
ments of it to overcome us, and make us lose our heavenly prize. 
Now do but consider what we are to oppose so terrible, and such 
Bumberless enemies. The «<^pture speaking concerning the 
state of man, in opposition to satan, calleth us babes— ^' Out of 
the months of babes, and sucklings hast thou ordained strength." 
IM. 8. 2« This does first respect our blessed Saviour, who 
iprang from so mean an original, as being a babe and a suck- 
Iteg ; and under that name all his members, the whole church of 
God in all ages are comprehended $ they are but in a state of hu« 
man weakness and infirmity, so that we are in uiMpeakable dan« 
ger of being overcome by these enemies. Wheve the enemy is po* 
ient and cruel) and the strength that overeosies it so sisail, how 
4]oth it enhmce the sweetness of victory! I will give you one 
iastaaee of It. The children 4if Israel were pursued by Pharaoh 
and aH his chariots of Egypt-; there was no passage visible for 
diem ; tiiere was the red sea before them, and a crael enemy 
behind them. Now when God made a pass^e for them 
throMgh the red sea, and when he destroyed all their enemies in 
their paesage, do but read what was the joyful effect of that vie* 
toiy : ^Thea sung Moses and the children of Israel, this song 
9Mo the Lopd, saying, I wHl sing unto the Lord, for he hath tri- 
wphed glorioasly; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into 
tlto sea. The Lord i» my strength and song, and he is become 
my sanation, &e. who is like untoihee O Lord aftiong t^ goifa, 
who is Ifte'tbee, glorious in holiness, fearftd in praises, dmng 
wonders?" Exod. 15. t-^ll. The memory of the eminent 
danger that threatened them, made them break forth into tho 
high praises of God, and fiBed them with the most cordial and 
senfliMe joy, to see that they should be fiaved from the enemy 
that was ready to devour them in sndi^manner. So in 114 P8a^• 
— ^< When Israel wentoitt of Egypt the house of Jaeob from a 
people of atrange ba^piage^ the sea saw it and flod^ Jordan wsb 


driven back.' The mouutains skipped like ranis^ and the little 
hills like lambs. What ailed thee, O sea, that thou fieddest ? 
Thou Jordan that thou wast driven back ?" These figurative ex- 
pressions triumphantly set forth the praises of God for delivering 
them from their present danger, when thejr had the sea before 
them, and the Egyptian army behind them. When we come to 
heaven, and shall consider how dangerous an enemy we had to 
encounter with, how tedious conflicts he had wi^h xis, ^nd how it 
might be said of us as D^vid said of himself, " There was but a 
step between me aod death.'' And God saved us from an encr 
my without us, and spiritual enemies within us ; theu w^ JBjbaU 
sing the song of Moses and of the Lamb. So we ^ead of th« 
church when it had rest from antichristian enemies ; ^< And th^ 
sing the song of Moses and the Lamb, saying great and iparvel- 
lous are thy works, Lord God Ahnighty" &c. Rev. 15. 3. When 
we shall overcome this spiritual Pharaoh, the devil and all his 
hosts, O this will fill us with strange surprising joy, and will 
make us magnify t^e saving mercy of God, and admire his won- 
derful power^ which savelii us from such enemies. That is one 
of the considerations that shows how the rest of heaven will be 
the joy of victory, in overcoming dangerous and cruel enemies. 

(2.) The second thing is, this jpyful rest is also enhanced, if 
you xsonsi^ler what that prize is which you have secured and pre- 
served from these enemies by this victory. Suppose there was a 
contention about things of no great value, yet victory is pleasant 
about trifles ; but much more a cause of joy when it is about 
things of greatest moment. When angry and prou4 kings con* 
tend about a province or a kingdom, it is no grea$ ropttCer, for 
the whole world is bft a miserable scene of vanity; and if one 
jnan had it all, he would be always unsatisfied. But now ccmsi* 
der you are to encpunter with spiritual enemies for your all. The 
scripture tells us they war against the soul. 1 Pet. 2. 11. The 
soul is our most excellent and eternal part ; they war against 
your souls and would rob you of your innocence, of yo^r purity 
and peace ; the prijse here is invaluable : these enemies would 
rob you of the love of God, which is better than li£e, for this is 
that which they contend for. The apostle speaks concerning our 
spiritual enemies. Rom. 8. 35. *^ Who shall separate us bom 
the love of Christ ?" And that is the prize they would fain rob 
Hs of^ the k>ve of Christ, which is the fountain of all felicity ; 

C8AP. IT. or Tn tAnen^ 

andthfrlofeofGod, which k better tfam life. These:. criemtet 
would rob ii9 of his favour^ and expose w to hie dUpfeasvre* 
Therefore the priae id so gready.our victory orei our enefmee must 
be very sweet. << Hold fast that which thoo hast, that no naa 
lake thy croivn/' It is a crown of Hfe, a crown of ri^teoasaess, 
an ioMDorlal inheritance, that fadeth not away, the kingdom, d: 
heavenu The apostle calls it the *^ priee of our high calling of 
God in Cbriat Jems" Now where there is such aperfeocton of 
Ueswdnc^s, and where it is the soul that is oontendedior,' how 
sweet will the vidoty be, when all our enemies: sbdl be oi«»* 
thrown, and we secured ftom their assaults. 

(3.) AnMher thing thai makes this victory joyfiil, is this^ it 
shall be entire, absolute, and final, over ail these enemies. As 
Moses said to the Israelites, <^ Stand still and see the sahratioa 
of God, which he will sliow unto yon to-day; for the Egyptiana 
wiM>tn yotthave seen to«day, yoU' shall see them again no more 
for ever," Then after their deliverance, they brake out into a 
tnompbant song. While- we are. in thn world, we are aiways in a 
sinte of warfare. Now consider what pleasure there i» in victo^ 
Iff a hdy seal ftndb more joy in conquering muB passing than i» 
gratifying all his passions. There is move pleasuie in mex^fying 
one carnal aSsetion^ than in satisfying aU our eaasal aftdicttr. 
This victory will end in everlasting songs of triumph, ht this 
world the enemy will return upon us after we have conquered 
him : if yon resist him one hour and foil him, he will assault you 
the next. It is said, the tempter departed from Christ for a 
season. Lidie 4. 13. But he was so bold and insolent as to retura 
again upon him. So it is with evei^ believer in this world : our 
victory is but single, and the enemy is not quite broken > there-* 
fare we shouM be always upon our guard and have our graces in 
a vigorous exercise, and our armour in readiness. But in heaven 
the enemies are totally routed and subdued, and our conflicts and 
dangers are at an end, for we shall be molested no more. O how 
joyful shall this be to us I We are not able to conceive what 
greater joy we can receive, than in getting a final and entire vic- 
tory over all our spiritual enemies. There is one. scripture very 
applicable to this purpose. Rev. 3. 21. << To him that overco- 
meth wiU I gssni, lo «it ^^ih m^in my Ihtoae, even as I flse 
overcame, and am tett down with myFoher in his throne.'' . It 
is by ^rp^eiingin (he way o(, holiness^ tiotliiiifithitiiadiitg'all tbo 

VOL. HI, c 

S4 THB.RVIUlLAmKa ilBST . CHAf»« T. 

di«tarbaneer and opposition that we neet Ivith, that we dvorootto* 
What now doth ^iag on the throne signify? It signiiies two 
thii^, rest and triiunph. To sit down on the throne after vie* 
tory it signifies rest and freedom from all the assaults cS our ene« 
mies and that triumphant joy, that glory the soul shall then be 
in : for heaven is a state of glorious joy, that ariseth from the 
ruin of our ^iritoal enemies. God hath made a pcxir weak be* 
bever to be ¥ictorioBs over all die opposition that earth and hell 
oould malLe against him. Therefore saith the apostle^ ^< We are 
more than conquerovs/' All the conflicts and oppositions that 
we meet with shall contribute to our rest and triumph* O can* 
sider these things and seriously believe and meditate on them, 
that so the soul may be eidai^ and strengthened with e«i^ 
stancy and vigour to go through our spiritual warfare, till we 
eome to that joy&l rest in heaven. There is nothing will make 
US more zealous for God And cheerful in resisting tiemptatioDSy 
than the consideratien of this everlasting rest. There is a to^ 
nmphant felicity shall be bestowed upon all those, that persevere 
in holiness to the end of their lives. Thus I have done with the 
eonsideratioB of this joyfiil rest, with respect to the cessation and 
fneidtn it gives us from all our labours, and from all the afflic-* 
tive evQs, and a friU and complete victory over all our spiritual 


There is « conjonctioo of all the laintt in this rest. Whose society is hi|(hly' 
plea^ant^ because they are free from all blemi»bes, and united in the most 
joyful work I sad exceedingly lot e escH ether. 

X Shldl now proceed to the positive part of eubataiitial happi* 
ness. And.the first 1 shall instance in, is the lowest pait of hea- 
ven, yet it is tiiat which will make it very sweet to our appre^ 

CHAP. V, - OF TUB flAiKTSr 85 

htaskms^ tis* Tbe conjunction rf all the saints of God in that 
blessed rest, and their comiikunion in that heavenly glory. The 
communion of saints is one part of thetr happiness in this life ; 
and it is a part of our happiness in the next : you shall find 
therefore the apostle, when he speaks of the gospel-state, which 
comprehends both the militant and triumphant church, Heb* 
12. 22. says, '* But you are come to Mount Sion, the city of th^ 
living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable com- 
pany of angels, and to the general assembly and church of the 
&st-bora, which are written in heaven/' We have not a more 
proper conception of happiness, than for persons to converse with 
those whom they iove. Do but consider in this present life, how 
sweet and pleasant is the conversation of a wise and holy person-, 
and one in whom there is sweetness of affability : how charming 
is the conversation of such a person ; how strangely dofli it ravish 
our hearts ! So that when a man meets with such a one, he is 
like an ai^l sent from paradise to him. Now do but imagine 
with yoonelves what joy most be, when you shaQ meet with the 
universal assembly of all the glorified spirits : when the blessed 
angels of God, of i|ll orders, shall be every one your friend : when 
you shall see all the members of the Old and New Jerusalem, the 
dnireh under the Old Testament and under tbe New, and shall 
have the most sweet and intimate converse with them. There 
«e two things considerable, to show you how much your joyAil 
converse in beaven will be above what you can have with the 
saints here^ in the present state : the holiest person cm earth hath 
his blemiabes and imperfections^ so that we cannot have such a 
dear eonveise with him, but it may be, sometime or other^ 
something will be a litde irksome, and this may take off from 
their amiableness. And we can choose none to be a friend 
aaoilg men, but we must make an allowance for human frailties 
and infirmities. Bat now in heaven, the image of God hath re- 
ceived his last band; all tbe celestial colours are added to it, to 
give it beauty, life, and vivacity : their grace is changed into glo- 
ly, and every saint is a complete copy of the original perfection 
of God himself: so the saints, in heaven are all exceedingly love- 
ly, and God lovejth them. Therefore there is reason we should 
believe that the spirits of just men made perfect, will add to tho 
lovtfiaeaa and universal joy of that place | for heaven is a world 
•f love, the law of km veigns tbeve : iaith and hope shall cease^ 

c 2 


but leve shall teign in heavefi : there the saints lere God per- 
fectly, and love one another with an invariable affection. There 
they have one heart, and one mind ; and therefore how are they 
pleased with the happiness of one another, in the happiness eve- 
ry one enjoys? And they are ail" sharers in the happiness of 
•every one* How doth this make that communion and converse 
to be more sweet ! 

' And consider, they are all united in that most joyfnl work of 
worshipping, of glorifying, and praisiiig God ; and they are al- 
ways inffaming one anothers affections to God. We read that 
the seraphims cried one to another, and said, ** Holy, holy, holy 
is the Lord of hosts ; the whote earth is full of his glory.*' Isa. 
6. 3. They cried one to' another, as if they would inflame each 
'others breast ; and that which is our work here is our happiness 
there : they are always joyfully united in the praises of the Lord, 
who is the King of saints : they are always singing glory to God 
that sits upon the throne,- and to the Lamb for ever and ever. Now 
where there is such loveliness in every one, where there is such an 
entire affection, akid where they are all united in so blessed a 
"work ; O what a state of joy is there ! This is the state of 

Do bat consider what Che scripture speaks of this state, and it 
is impossible that any one that believes and hopes for this bless- 
edness, but he should immeaiately despise the ectrth, and atl thoae 
temptations t^at would hinder him fh>m obtaining. It is incre- 
dible that any one should hope for this, and not immediately re- 
nounce these vain and sensual perishing pleasures. O let us be 
purifying ouraeives, and refining ourselves, that we may be made 
meet for heaven : this should be the end of your hearing, and it 
is the end of my preaching to you. * 

In short, heaven is that kingdom and that state where lOve is Che 
law, and where it rules. So you shall find the apostle tells us, 
1 Cor. 13. 8. ** Charity never fails; whether there be pr6phecies 
they shall fail ; whether there be tongues they shall eeasej whe- 
ther there be knowledge it shall vtmish away, iec" Faith and 
hope shall give way to vision and enjoyment, which is in its per- 
fection above. We read of the love of Jonathan to David, a rare 
and almost unparalleled instance, considering the great distance 
between them ; the one being a prince and an heir to a crown, 
-and the other but of mean extraction. 1 Sam. 18. 1. In heaven 

OBAP« V^ OF THB ^SAf ft!k • • 91 

the lftw«f kir«. is obeytd in .ito l^ffection : tbcw sMt j««e thjik 
neighbour as thyself.; it is not obeyed so here; but in hes^^en 
there is a complete obedience ; they have a love so complete and 
absolute to one another, that they unspeakably love the happi* 
ness of one another. If you should say to me now, but the scrip 
ture tells us, there are degrees of glory in heaven, and doth not 
that cause some suspicion and jealousy between them ? Is there 
nothing of discord there ? Where some excel others in glory as 
the stars of the greatest magnitude excel those that are lesser in 
glory. I answer all the saints in heaven are complete according 
to their capacities : indeed some are more enlightened and more 
enlarged in their enjoymeat of Cod*; but they are all complete, 
they are all kings, and they all reign with God, they are all heirs 
of God; whM'can be said more el them? Ooiisi<iBr4iiither with 
yourselves 5 the wills of all the blessed are in perfect conformity 
and submission to God's will. Now it is the will of God, and an 
dfect of Us ,wisdom, that there should be different d^rees of 
glory; and thatofder which God hath established is most equal 
and amiable hi their eye. He that hath the lowest degree of 
glory, he is as weU sotiafitd'as he-thai hath the highest; because 
it is according to the will of God c. in that variety, and is 4hose 
•evtialdegroca of glory> the order and wisdom of God apffteors*. 
I will cK|iiiesS'(hk to jma by. a .simililude^ thai yon OMiy att un* 
derstand it. As in an instriiment of music then aie soreral. 
strings of difiarent nses and sottods, some strings haiva a highei- 
and slHffper souBd, others a lower and graver note $ fintm which 
variety all the hamony doth result. Now if the ffenAgs of this 
itiscnmient -were rcapabfe of osaking theic cfaoie^ every one* 
would be in that place where it is set, because all the nuisic and 
harrooiiy ariseth fram this dislinotion and variety ; so every saint 
in heaven hath that degree of glosy that infinite wsdom hath ap-. 
pointed |.aad therefore he would choose it because iiis according 
tothedfrvine will' and vrisdom, and because 'm 41 that variety 
there ia hamenjry and beauty, atid iweetncss. So that this is 
net prajndieial-.ter.'that holy-andparfis^t love that coigns ia hea- 
ven^ ioa.ail is love, and all is jcycand peace there. Now this is 
one pare of the joy. of heaven ; the ^* apostle'' speaks of it, Heb. 
I2.'J2. 'HBttt )ee are eame to Mowt Sion, the city of the living 
God, and ip an iwumtf able oompaiv^ of angels, ^ni to the ge|i^* . 


M TBB mvmjMwe rsmt chap, vn 

ttti ttflienUy wd chuneh of the finit-bero which are written in 


nt «Mer kap^Hiai •# Ckit rctk liei is tlw cnjajnaeat of G«d. Tke j«7 of 

Iwaneo l«. exceeding p«mt, became U is corretpondeol to tke Bugct^y *b4 
greatness of God; aod proportionable to the love he bears to his people, 
and to Ibe infinite price of the blood of Christ. Christ is enjoyed in hea- 
voo, aad Ood« on whom tbesaiaU' lovo it entirely flx«d, and tlttroCMI 
^Mi Mij cowoiiHacatM biaiself to Itoa, aad ljp«odifttely. 

X ShaU new proceed to speak of the most sohstanlial part oi 
the joya of beareiiy aiid that is our enjoyment of God hnaeelf : 
all other dungs, divuies OKpeesa by Iha aceessionB and additioiial 
joysef baB«e»; hot the suhstastial aod eoKntial :|oy thaseflire ia 
in God fataneH . / 

Before } qleakofthis, there aieiihroe fsoasideiationa.whieh I 
ahatt lay down to saise y«»r tlnai^ } tfaatthonghkisiflD^ossi^ 
hie that wo shoiddfiiUf understand that joy hcfbin we oiwe thirr 
that, yot 4heaa liu^ help us by 4q|reas to ascend to a htgher.ap*) 
{liehensienoCit. ■ 

^ 1« Thegloryy bkessdneew, and se9t of heaven, is that wluoh 
ahhll be answeraUe and eorrespoikkat so the nujeety, gssatoessy. 
and magnifieenoe of God, who is. the preparer and giver <rf. it t\ 
gifts are usuaBy proportioned to the state aad degree of thosn 
that give them. You read in the book of JBsther «Bnoermng the 
Psfsian inooareb) he desigaod m entectainniena;{i(k all his prkir^ 
oes and setvaals^ and the poweie of Pemia aad MeiEa, and tho* 
noUee, and the prinees of the proiFinoes behg hefisre him when 
he showed the riehes of his gtarifMukingdDeti, apd tbfe honour .of 
his eneUiBdit ittajesty many d^rs^ even an hundred days; Eatb. !•■ 

4. 5. ^* JkaA wb^ theae^dayt wcte eniM, tli« kkif made a feast 
vAt0 all ib^ peq>le that.w^re piQtctit in Shiishaii the palaG% iNMdi 
imlo great and amall for seven days, in the court of the garden 
of the king'e falaee.'' Yon read there bow ponspoue and great 
this eotertaimnent was for all his sulgeets : there w«re vesscbof 
gold of different forms and figwes ; fof it is aaki^ '^tfaeygave tfaea 
drink in yesaels of gold, (the vesseb being divers one from aa^ 
ther) and royal wine in abundance, according to die state of a 
king." Thus you see what splendour and magnificence there was 
b this entertainment. Now comiider with yourselvM when the 
king of heaven will prepare a glory and a bkasednessy whereby 
he will show the ridies of his glartens kingdom, and the honoiir 
of his excellent mi^ty : Q who is able to nadftstand it whlhi 
we are here tiel6w ! The angels above cmbsC eompmhend tC; 
It is obeer?^>le^ that this is attributed fo God's imaoediate «a* 
king and preparing, Matt. 2$. 34. <^ Then shall the king say to 
them pa hi» right band» come ye blessed ol my Father, inherit 
the kingdom prepared fof you liwm the fen n Jation ef the world." 
It was prepared by God before the fomidataon of the worid was 
kid; Now Aqm. thiags whieh are immediately made by God 
hatre tHkB clearest signatures, and marks of his cKoeUentperfea* 
tiei»s there ie the moit gloriooe refotgenee of hisattributeashL* 
ning in tba#e things^ k bobeervabla, tbsib thorn things iriuoii 
God hath made by his command are not so eaoBeMena m thoso 
things wlveh ha hath made by his/ hand: he spake the word, and 
gave hifr eomasand coneenring atber lereatares, and thejr waM 
made, Geo. 1. 90. <' And God sakl, lei the wateia htiag fmab 
ahnndantly ; the moving creatares that have Ufo, and fowb that 
may fly above the earth, in the o|>eB firmament of heaven* And 
Godaaid, let the earth faring faitfi titO' Hmgaeataiedker Us 
kfaidy- ealtie and creeping lidngi^ and beasia af the eaith after hie 
kind, and it was so. And God said, let oa make man in oar own 
image and likanesa, and let tlieaa havn domifien over the fish of 
the aea^ and over the fowls of the air, aad after the eattie,^ ani 
over all the earth/' Whereas God spake the word, and olhet 
oraatvrea ware made by hie command i he nmde man by hk owyi 
hand, aa the most eicellent piece of this lower world. So hea* 
van and the glory of 4t is madeiiy God's own hand, ^ it waa made 
by GodUmsetf, as the expression of his power, greatness^ majes* 
tyy and goodness. 

a 4 


2. Tlieiieslg«mrd.cmttMenti«nbtht«^'theglory of God 
that wbidiiviU bear a proportmi to tkat love of Qoi which ha 
hath to hit people, it shall be a noble expretrion of that lore^ 
and suitable to it. Now to make tou a little to iin<lwM»nd the 
forae of thit-: God hath a general love to hit creatuvee^ and a 
ipeeial k»ve to his duldren^ to those who are his Mends rad fa- 

. (1.) There is a general love that God bears to mankind in this 
lower H'orU, as th^y have the title of his creatures c that Im^e 
hath deoiamd itself in making this world so pleasant an habita- 
tion fer man as he is in his natural state. Now pray connder 
with yoorselwes; God hath made a thousand things in this world, 
which are not absahitely necessary for the support of our lives, 
bat .for the r e fres h m e n t, and comfort, and pleasure of them ; and 
this 18 from his general love to mankind. How many stars are 
there that adorn the firmament in the night ? which are a most 
pleasant, spectacle, but are not so absolutely necessary for lights. 
And how many things are there which are fer pleasure and de* 
light, which nro not naeesiary for the support of life. 

(2.) God hath a peculiar love to his children, and that lovo 
ha hath dcsignad to gloriiy in heaven : therefore you shall find, 
Eph. 1. 6. tfae great work of redempthm, both as to the aceom* 
phafament of it,, and the aetaal bestowing the fttiits thereof upon 
ua ; the'great end of it is said to be to the praise of the glory of the 
grace of God ; the glory of his lorie ; that love which wanned his 
hioast from eternity- with thoughts of compassion towards man ; 
this love ha will glorMy in heaven v <tnd he hsith prepared such 
glory and joy for tliem, that they shall know he wilMove them 
Kke a God in an infinite and inconcel%'able mamter. Do but a 
Nitle ascend in your thbughts>thus ; ^ Hath God made a beauti- 
All wartd, ao fiiil of eomlbrta and reffeshment ; hath he mada 
thk) and grwn it to j-ebeilsous oontiiinacious sinnera, those that 
live in open defiance of hit laws and goveraroent? What then 
hash he prepared fer .those that %)Vo and* serve him, in the king- 
dom above?' » . . ' 

d» Consider what that gloryand' blessedness must fan whhsh 
baoii a proportion to Ohe infihite'priceof the bfeod of the Son of 
Oad, whkh whsakod-not only ^ he a ransom to free yda from 
bell, but as a price to obthm heaven fer yoa : the saints obtain 
heaven not only by pardon and by gift, but with respect to the 

OBAP* YU r ^OFl/nOL SAlWft 4)" 

Lord Jcaattkey obtain it bypprthsse; fae p«pd»ml k for them ; 
<^ tke gtft of God »€mMl itfet, tbiDUBb Jeans Chosfe our Lord^M 
Aoiii.^* 23* Our Savionr- kft heivoD, and ^ndiured a Hfeof 
sorrow kese m ibeworU^ and ^■IniQtted to m f f tnm^aMd dymg^ 
that we might obtain beAven* 

Now mmld be who ia a jastfisteemer of things^ give sudi an 
inestimable price for that whidiis not answerable to it ? O 
certunly this is- the highest step that, we can asoend to bees $ 
heairen is such a glory, aa.is worthy of. all that which Cbctst aba 
ecemal Son. of God, and Losd of .iifa did and suffBcds. t i i e m fcua 
wlien we haye s pe bc nand thought aocordnig to themftoiest'OK^ 
tent of our mindia, «bow short do wt £sU of that inodknt aarf 
inconeeiyaUe glor3^1 These aretlwidireeliiaia I|pre.jwu;tofaiM 
jrour tboij^s to consider how great<tbis glory must bo. Now | 
come to that which the scripture tells, us ia the heaven of heavens^ 
and that ia thfi eayayniBnt of God and^Chmt* 

FiraC^ i wiU apeak n little conceiaing the eajoifnielit of Christ'o 
jureaonee: now there ma]rbe.adoubkjcoiisi40ealionoCvt. 

(1.) As Chiast is the eternal Son of God, and posaeiMetfa the 
divine natuna, with all the diwne^>e(Koallenfiie% a^dwsokbe and the 
father are one: and in what iriialLspeak oanoeaaitigithe.eajoy* 
nent of God^ the * enjojimcnt .of Christ, as thejelsmai Son of 
God, iaiaduded; the Father, Son, and Holyt Ghost, beuigaio 
tame, in substaiaial and ^aseitfsal glorjrx so the enjoyneatof one 
is:Cbe enjoyment 'Of every one of them: and.indeed.it iatbeaai 
ered Triuity.thftt is the f(Hilktain; at our boppbiea»» and of that 
glo^' that we ei^qy in beay«n» .Bat 2diy, There is. the consi*^ 
^ei^ion of (be seotnd person in the sacred and Itased Trinity, 
ss united to the h^man natmse; a^ as;tbe glory of the £an oC 
(iod shines through the human aaturOf. and is oommmui^^ited t« 
all the blcas^ spiriu ^bove; and in* Ibis, partaonly aansi^raticm 
I s^all first fpeak:Of it. Now xhisis,.tbat whith i*.both Ahe ide- 
lire oi Christy and>.the most ardept deiise of eyeiy holy sonl^' 
In be with ChrMit^ and e^joy his presenoe. Yon slttU< aae it ii 
the prayer of. Christ; ^SFadier I will Oat they ako whom tbon 
fa^givon <4e».> mny be with me where 1 am, that they vmy be- 
bpbl my.g^. whicih thoubast given tne/' John 17. 24. ..They 
Are woi4s ^fvil ef love and joy, that Christ, should piay to his 
Fath^, that tbey should be with him^ and see his glo^, that 
ii^ytboth pteai<L wd astooish. usj that it should not. content 


Oamt 10 bt gbrifad done, nor gtorifad wiUi fait «i«dt, iMfc 
that Us poor servaalBy wiio beee are kMsUad and loaded with 
afficftioaS) who have been m a moital djing atate^ that Ihay 
fbooM be raiead to hk hi a gdiai > and ate hm glerj; it w ao ar<> 
gument of the purest and dearest love that is osooaiYaUe. And 
ar oar Savkuf here deolases the ntort pore and ardent im^ to his 
people, so all those urtia are members of Christ have an aident 
desias to be with him, and behoU his glory $ so yea shall find 
the apostle PaaL ^^ JFor I am in a strait between two, having a 
desire to be wiA Christ, which is bt better.'^ Cbih I. 33. The 
apesftk aspiesfefnts Inmself to bo in suspense, being new drawn by 
two kadslaans.^ the presence of Christ above^ that drew him to 
beaten; and the good of the dnveh below, that drew him and 
peessed him to stay on eaith: I would fisin be with Ch^cist, yet I 
em wUUQg to .slay heee fat the fiittheronce of your salvatieii* 
Certainly every holy soul,thoi^ not in the saase dsgree as Paul/ 
has a desne to be with Christ, as Paul bad f and ihat desire is 
a supreme aversuUng aftetaen in his soul to be with Chsist, t^ 
see his fl^ory ( stnd eooordwgly the joy of the soul is enlarged 
when it eanas personally to be with Christ $ for this is a inley 
aeoecding to As degree of our love, is the strength of our dewe; 
andaecoiding to-lihe strength of our desife is the joy of fruitions 
this is a rulatiiat runs thioagb the affBrtions 9 deasre results from 
love, and tahas its fira and heat from h; ; and joy is raised and 
intended aoeording to the degree of our desive, vdien we cofte to 
possess the desired object* O my bi«threnp what joy overflows 
all the saints above! who ase eontinaally beholding the gkwy 
of Christ, and see the Deity sbinfaig farth in hb human nature^ 
see inm advanced above ali priacipaiities add powers : and thai 
whidi ghws that sweetaeei of joy to them, is this; they shall 
see him tbns gloriled that died lisr them, and purohased salva« 
tioh for them* This oettamly is that wiiieh vvUI render the 
behoidfa^ of Chiist'a glory snfinitdy fimmg to us; it was he 
that did aeeemptiBh it I9 Ms qwnsofieringe ; he did and aoiered 
what jnstiee re^uened ; ho seoniiMl' the honour <rf divine juiftiee^ 
that ho might exalt.tha siehes of dvvino mercy in oorsabatiokb 

Therefore I say, consider what infinito pisasure comes to an 
holy grateful aod, to see his. Saviour thus raised, honoured^ 
veverenoed^ and msgnifiad, by all the powers in heaven: to 
think it is the Lordof life tl^^ gave his life for me that I.seo 


Ann ddtvascadl And besides this^ the sight cf the glory of 
Christ hath a tmnsfermk^ power npoa all the sainta, they are 
Bade like liim ; so that in seemg diis glory, they are glorified 
with him : fbr yra asast know that ear Saviour not only was the 
Bientorious cause of our glory, hat also he is the pattern and the 
efficient cause of it: so that by seeing him in glory we shall ba 
made like liini> we shall be transfavmed into iris glorious image; 
It is an ebaervable expmssion wbteh our S^riour hath, when he 
^)eaks to those servuits thOtt had improved their talents fertile 
hoDour of ^leir mester; Matt. 25. 28. ^ weU done good and 
fiUthAtl servant, theu haat bsen iMxM over a few iMngB, I will 
make ihee a fuler oirer many things, eAter Ijkms lata the joy of 
thy loid;" thou shalt partake of the same joy 'thy master doth; 
TUsis thalWhirii makes *the saints unspeakably liappy ahorse} 
tbey ihatt be nitb Christ, they shall l>e satisfied wkh his glory^ 
aad^'inlheiroimlMtnityto it t for all the saiasts shall be con« 
(snned to the human nature of Christ giortf ed, as to their pat* 
tern Md their great exemplar : ^ who shdl change our vtie* 
hody^ that it may be fasMened like tmto his glorioas body, ac^ 
oordii^totfe working wherobybe is abloe^eato saMae idl 
things unto himself." Phil. 3. 21. And our souls in heaven shiA 
be cm ifa nneU to hm glorious soul. 

(SL). Thai wftkh m the Ughest gldry >af heftven, is the ei^oy- 
oieiit'i^ Ood himself. Now Ibr the openifig of thftsr to you, wri 
are lo conssdcr iiist that rule I gave you before, that according 
to our ime and oar dtfiire, soch will be our joy ih possessing th^ 
desired good« Now every sahit hath a desire towards God, and 
a love to him; which I shall briefly open to you under the^e two 
conaidesatiooB : Ist. ThattMf tove and de^re Is entirely fixed 
opes God bihrnaif $ so. that all other things without? him canno< 
uMtke them happy. The love of' 4)e solhts to God is entire td 
faiaiy es the fbontma of thit Mdty ^feh done can make them 
Ueaaed. Yw shall And Ihia ib David, Plat. V. 4. ^ one thin^ 
bevel deahadof she Lord, that will I seek after, that I ma>^ 
daaell^iD the haeae «f the Lord aM the days 6f my dfe, to bebiM 
the beeocy of she Lord, end to inquire in his temple i" where 
yett see that he fixed his desire upon God, as the sole object of 
Us faapfrfness : for indeed true happiness is neither absque Deoy 
mm Mir^Dmrn^ it is neither withoaft God, nor out of God ; 
itiaiD^i^ himaelfs th^ is absolute perfection, where God is 


enjoyed, who is the spring of happiness. If you eoaM abstract 
iR your thoughts ail the inferior glories of faeaiven wichoot God^ 
you would leave heaven widiout itself. It is ottty God's presence 
wU^ makes heaven. The saaits' affections are entirely set on 
God ; they do not only desire God as the proper object of their 
hftppiness^ but t^y desire him-witii the strength of their affec- 
tions ; that is, the fell enjoyment of God alone can satisfy themt 
They infinitely desire him. Thcnefere you shall find the psabnbt, 
when he speaks concerning the ardency of his affections to Gody 
be says, Psal. 42. 1. ''as the hart panteth after the vrntet* 
brooks^ ^ psnteth my soul after thee, O God : my soul tfatrstetb 
for God, forthe Itving God. When shall I come and appear 
before God?" These expressions set forth to us in a most lively 
manner, the Sard^ncy of his desire to enjoy God ; his appearing 
betoe God, that is meant of the lower enjoysnent of God in his 
Oidinanees : he was a banished person, and could not eiijojr God 
in his tabernacle^ the place of public worship. Now obaerve^ 
this love and desire of the saints towards God is infinitely in** 
creased in heaven ; tbeie£sre according to the bve and desire wa 
have towards G<h1, so must be the joy that flows firom his pre* 

God doth most fiilly communicate himself to the saints in 
heaven. K By reirealiag ail his smiaMe exedfendts Co their 
nunds. Th^efore it is said, Matt. 5* '' bleased are'tbe pure in. 
hearty for they shall see God/' They shaU aee himwitfa an in-* 
teltectaal eye j their understandings shall see all his glorious per- 
fections, as much as th^r can receive of him ; and only he that 
sees God, imderstands what a happines»it is to;see htm. It 
may be^ several of you that hea^ me,> while I am speaking to 
you of seeing the Lord^ can na'tnofie reiieh it^ thai^ if you should 
put a cold piece of earth into yoqr moiltlis; but he that is a saint 
indeed^ hath some glinuneiingft of it» and some foretaste of it. 
To have a clear Tiew of those difineexcelleiictes which are the 
happiness of God hiipsdf, which are his natural bUMsedttess-; to 
see his beauty, tt|e beauty of his hoHness, and the gkry of Uk 
power, and all his other attrihute$<^ned toyou'in the mo«ft 
enlarged manner; if our souls were but ctilightened^ aiid saneti^ 
iied^ and raised, this would be very ewest to us : the veiy hopes 
of it would be a heaven to us. Thus the scripture doth*repre- 
sent to us what heaven is : ^^ udttjio^ hpUoess no man AM se# 

CifAP; Vf • - OP THB SAINTS, 4S 

God." ' Seeing ^od k' tke possession of hM flxcfHenoies, bf 
being brought to see and enjoy Mtnt <^ Thou wilt show me the 
path of yfe: in thy presenee thete is fidness of joy, at thy right- 
hand there are pteMims for evermore/' Psal. 16. 1 1« God waa 
from eternity a heaven to himself^ infinitely glariaaa -and joy&d 
fai himself » eeitamly then his pf«sehct must be a-* heaven to tbs 
blessed spirits He that hath the r«««tiues of aUng^ maf eaiily 
^achai^ the expenees of a snftdl family. If > Ood :haith that in« 
finite excess of happiness- to make himself happy; he can easSy 
make those happy that desire it. 2dly. This- shall be aoeom-* 
panied with, the most fervent love of him. Every soul in heaven 
is inflamed with the' highest degree cf love to God^ and theitfo^ 
infinitely pleased in the glory of God. Now firom the sight of 
^>u^ glory, and that love that he showetb in giving thataighty 
that love we have to him is fed, and consequently our joy must 
always be in its sprinf^-tide there, because we have the cdnthnial 
presence of God himself. ^' As fir me, I will beheld thy face in 
righteousness ; i shall be satisfied when i awake with thy Vkt* 
nesB." Psal. 17* 15. When ray soul is perftcted with righteous* 
ness and holiness, I shall see thy face and be satisfied* Whether 
you understand it of the likeness of God shining id our glorified 
Saviour <>r no, there will be satisfaction flowing fivim the dis* 
covery and enjoyment of God's perfection in heaven. Tlie wise 
man tells us, <^ the desire. accomplished is sweet to the soul." 
Prov. 13. 19. It is the triumph of the soul. Whenever a man 
hath a strong desire accomplished, it is the greatest pleasure to 
him. Do but consider then, what a paradise there is abeve^ 
where all the desires are fiiliy satisfied m God's presence. Do 
but seriously lay this to hearty whether is it possible to conceive 
any thing that is more joyfid, than for the soul to have the most 
beloved, the most desired, and the most supreme good in its 
possession. Thus it is with the Verified saints idxive in heaven* 
I shall not' trouble you with a curious dispute, whether or no 
we shaU seeliie essence of God in heaven; for such a discourse 
would be above your canities and iqi^prehensions. The scrip* 
ture doth principally insist upon this, when it reveals heaven to 
us : we shall be blessed in the presence of God» vre shall be 
hapi^ hi the fruition of him : thercfiire it is said, Rom. 8. 17. 
<^ we are the children of God, and if children then hrirs,. heirs 
of God and joint heiis w^ Chrisu" And in the prophecy of 

4f THB «9«U«A8IW6 REST QIU?. VI, 

lildahH k&ttd» th4tiGbddMdl becNtfglairj; And the proplMt 
iereaMlw Lfto. 3. 24« saith^. wkidi w {iriacipalty tecoiniilislicd 
in hcavMi, ^' the Lord is my pMrtion, aailh aiy^ooi) Uiefofore 
wiU I hope io him.'' Now far i» vriko are hm in thk' lower 
worid^ WB hwre >iit tiativw coneeptiont conetmiiig the enjoyw 
Mkil of Gods but die moft the aoul midemUiub God> the oiore 
It knows iriiat happioen there ie in the eBJoymeotof him. i 
would have yoa otieervey that the nore any man ondentands 
wlMt this worid is^ the less he.es|oys it ; for the more he dis« 
eoveie the vani^ of it, the more he understands how fooKsh and 
deeeitfiil this world i» in its promises of hi^ioess. Ther^bre 
Solomon, who bad an inqniring mind, and power and riches 
answerable to his mind, after he had made a diligent search into 
aU the henouiB, riches, and pleasures of this world, the result 
is, ^ aU is vankjr and vexation of spirit :" he had a sickly dis- 
taste of all the pkaaoBeo aiid dUighC he had enjoyed in this 
wcrid* BuC now the more the soul understands of God, the 
more it envoys of God : for it finds the dhdne peiieetkins to be 
so immense, as to be above ail that it can express^ nay above aU 
it could conceive or distinctly desire. So that t^ miMie God is 
understocKl, the more he is enjoyed, esteemed, and delighted in-: 
and therefore in heaven itself where God is understood and loved 
in perfection, there he is enjfsyed hi perfe^on* And there is 
great difference between the soul's enjoyment of God in heaven, 
and on earth ; those that are on earth enjoy not God so MIy, 
clearly, and satisfoetorily, becaase thev cnjoyusenl of God is me* 
Irately; either 1st, by creaftuies as secondary canses of comforts^ 
as all things that in the order of nature are comfortable to x», 
they are but like cistenis that convey somethttig to us from God 
ear fountain : or else 2dly, he is eiyoyed in his ordinances, in 
those sacrsd appointments wherein he hath promised to reveal 
and communicate himself, his grace and oemfoits to them. But 
now in heaven God's exedkncies Hid pssfeetiotts are connnni- 
eated to the creature in a more imfenediate amnncr. When we 
taste nay comfort in the creature^ it all coowa from God; than 
eemfert we have in the creature is limked, but it is God thaft 
miakes it comfortable, and communicates coinfait to us by the 
creatures* God is the-nathor of all that good we receive by 
them. It comes to us from him. That comfoft uMdi comes 
from God in the creature, is like liquor put into a bottle, that 

WAP* «^ ^« ne auBW. 43 

takes off firMiralts gtathwiMs tni ;nchiiM : %6.vSk tlw ^lAftftft 
that cena bom God lliroiii^ the xaraat«rct» there is » dinamH 
tioQof iheviaatb^paBaMirav^ the eraatnre. Batvhen wi 
aeme to ei^y theimiaeAdla ocecttenelas of GodI, his ^goachiM^ 
poivier, a^ kaUnaWf and the lihe$ this MU be our bdiven; there 
knethisi^diat abril edipae or dlay thrt ooinfiart. That vrhieh 
aomta from Ibe presenee. of. Ged. inmediatetyy is aUpm^ and 
anwJTffii jnyj rapleoUiing and satMjing* 

In heamnwe ehaH enjej God's knisediate ^codeocies by 
knowledge and lo«e» Th^e we shall undatttaad his eternity, 
omnipotence, immansity^ hie infinite hohness, txA all other per-^ 
fections^ so'filf as we are .eapahfeof mideiitsiidinf them. And 
Asie is one coMidention the scrifrtnre adds te what I am 
speaking; we drnB not only ei^ the p e rfes t ss n s of €bd irnme* 
dialdy, so as no creatnre -shall interpose between God and ns, 
nor these ordioamias, whieh ase lofrer adtninistratiom ;. bm we 
sbdl en^ God without the hitefposichm of Onv Almi^ty Me« 
diaser* . i Cor. 15. 2&» it is said eonceming Christ oor Mediator, 
^ when dl thmgs shall be subdaed nnto him, then shaB the Son 
Uasseif dso he snfa^t to him that pot all things rnider Mm, 
that God nuy be all in all/' I will open this briefly to you i 
m oor present state we have no eommmdon with God, but 
throogfa Jesos Christ the Mediator, reconeUing God to as, ssid 
makk^ ws aeoeptriile to Ged. All the spiritnai beneflls we re* 
oeive, diey are conveyed to «s through Jesits Christ oar Mediae 
tbr ( for the holy and rightsovs natate*of God e^ have no con-« 
waee lamMdintely with an tinhety cieature. The best saints in 
the worid are unholy in pe^$ and there can be no eooverse wHh 
God, bat thioogh Christ eiir Mediator. Now observe^ the Lord 
Jcsns Christ hath A snpreaie empire delivered him byeommission 
ftom his Father; and this he is to manage tiB the adverse 
powers are entirely subdued, till the powers <^ earth and helt are 
sU broken and vanquished. This is to be done by Chrliit as God- 
OMn. But when after the last day Christ dhall by that supreme 
set of judgment east the dtevib and all the wieked into hell for 
ever, .and shidl enter into heaven wtth his saints, then ends the 
government of Christ. That 1 may a little open this to you by 
a similitude or illustration that you will all understand : it is as 
if a king had a great part of his kingdom revolted from him, 
and those revdted subjects rising up in rebellion against him. 

'48 THB.lBVXftiJfcMnNA BMBT 4»aA VT. 

md U^ Sitdt A dttigtt to ucmet tlmm by Ms merey and cle<*> 
mency, umI those that woold not be prevailed with, afaoald be 
instancies of his just severity. ' He pots bis own son into com* 
mission, to invite those that are capable of merey^ to accept of 
paidooy and to sabdue those that are nbeUioiis, and obstinsteiy 
resist his power and authority, and gives his son full empire for 
the aecompiishment of thiv design. Now when he hath, by the 
offers of mercy and pardon won some, and reduced them Urtheiv 
dilty sold obedience, and broken and subdued the rebeHious party 
that Goatmiled in their opposition against him,, he delivers up 
his commission to his father. Thus when oar JLiord Jesns, w1m> 
received a commission fimn hisFatherto maker overtures of mercy 
and pardon to those, revotted erealarcs that wero ) proper objeeta 
of it, and would thauhfiiUy accept of that grace.^atnsr reuderad 
pi them ; aikd also to subdue and vancpiish the rebellious^ and 
break their power that obstiiHiteiy and finally oppose and rtmu 
bim; when he hath acoomplished this, there is noAirtlier work 
for Christ as Mediator, to reeoncile- and appease God in heavesit 
for then God the Father, Son, and Spirit will gloriiy die aamtt 
immediatdy; so that there will be no. interposition betweenr a 
displeased God and sinners. For as the first creation of all Chtnga 
was from infinite power, wisdom and goodness of the blessed and 
glorious Trinity : so in heaven the felicity of the glorified saints 
is fi'om the same blessed Trinity: for there is a concurrence 4if 
all the persons of the Holy Trinity in^ the happiness of hea^mi r 
the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are equally the fountain of that 
eternal blessedness the saints enjoy in their glorified state. O 
consider how happy the creature must be when it receives all 
from God's blessed treasury : when idl that the creature can poo- 
nbly receive, shall come fiom God immediately. And this is 
that which will cause that joy that is unspeakable andfuUof 
gtory. If I would speak never so long on this eubfcel ail my 
thoughts and expressions would fail infinitely short of it. It ia 
our happiness that we are incapable of understanding it : so thai 
our incapacity turns to our adYant^;e : it is infinitely above att 
we can Bsk or think, even this rest that we shall enjoy abova 
with God. 


CHAF. vir. 

It it an eteroal rest. For God*f love is ancbaogeable to thexnv and m 'k 

theirs to him. * 

ill. Another excellency of -this rest is this ; as it is a holy 
and a joyful rest, so it shall be an eternal rest. Eternity is an 
inseparable attribute of true and perfect blessedness. Now in 
heaven there is such a glory and blessedness, as will not only 
satisfy all out desires, but will exclude all our fears. There shall 
never be any danger of losing it ; nay, there shall nevet be any 
feflcr of losing it. Now for the opening of this to you, there are 
only three things I shall touch upon : First, To prove to you, 
that it will be an eternal rest. Do but consider, the love of God 
that ia die cause of it, it is unchangeable. Tl^e love of God is 
uachangeabiy set upon his peoplie. Thus saith the psalmist, 
'' thy mercies, O Lord, are from everlasting to everlasting, upon 
them that fear thee.^* Consider the wisdom of God ; it is im- 
possible.that he- should change his love towards those that he 
hath chosen and consecrated to his service, and to be of his so- 
ciety, and in his presence for ever. It is impossible that he 
should change his love, because he did from eternity foresee 
what could fall out. There can be no cause why he should 
change his affection ; for God is not man, that he should lie ; 
or as the son of man, that he should repent. If one man love 
another, there may be something in the person that may cause 
hb friend to withdraw his affection ; but God saw man in the 
state of weakness and frailty ; and if his love endured us in thi» 
present life, it will continue for ever ; for his love is unchange- 
able and everlasting. 2dly. Consider this rest is everlasting, 
because there is no change shall ever be in those that are glori- 
fied. The saints AM persevere eternally m their love to God. 
In this world the affections of holy men to God are like the 
needle in the compass, though it tremble and point sometimes^ 
to the east or west, yet when it settles, it turns directly ta^ila 
VOL. iiu ]> 


beloved pole, that is, the north. So it is with the saints ; God 
is their pole and centre, their desires, and their whole souls tend 
to him. They have some variation, some slips and falls firom 
God, which may cause him to withdraw from them, and leave 
them under a cloud of sorrow : but in heaven holy souls are di- 
rectly, fully, and constantly fixed upon God, without the least 
cooling or intermission of their affections, God is their exceed- 
ing joy, and that for ever. He is the everlasting object of their 
love and praise ; so that there can be no cloud there : for God's 
love is unchangeable to tliem, and their love is unchangeable to 
him ; and therefore it is impossible they should ever be turned 
from God ; for the light of his countenance directs and governs 
all their minds and hearts. For consider here below ; do you 
think any one that is thirsty will leave a clear flowing spring for 
puddle water ? So it is impossible that holy souls in heaven 
should ever turn their affections from God. If God's love be 
unchangeable to them, and their love unchangeable to him, what 
can change their blessedness P If there were any power superior 
to God, that could put an end to their happiness, then they 
might fear ; but all their enemies are cast into hell, and they 
have no less than the infallible promise of Christ to secure them: 
^^ because I live, ye shall live also," saith our blessed Saviour : 
if God lives and is eternally happy, we shall be h^py for ever. 
They are in an everlasting covenant with him, and shall be in 
eternal communion with him. So that the rest in heaven is an 
immortal rest. There shall never be any diminution of their 
glory, no interruption of their joy, nor no end erf it: ^^ at thy 
right hand there are pleasures for evermore.'* To conclude all^ 
we are poor short-sighted creatures ; we do understand things by 
our senses, and are most affected with those things which do 
touch them. 

Do but consider with yourselves, whatsoever is pleasant to you 
in the order of nature, whatsoever it is that may gratify your 
sensual faculties, if it were possible for you to take in all those 
pleasures the world hath, and strain them all into a cup, and 
drink them up at one draught, they are not all comparable to 
the least degree of that joy and glory that is above for one mo- 
ment. If you could live the whole circle of time, from the first 
rjse of the world to the end of it, and enjoy all the pleasyres 
pat all others have enjoyed in all successions of ages, they are 


not to be named with one moment's enjoyment of God in hea- 
ven. As if one person could feel the poison and stings of all the 
torments, miseries, and calamities that all men endure in thia 
world, it were nothing compared to the prepared plagues for the 
wicked in hell. If you have reason and faith to exercise your 
serious thoughts, nothing deserves your utmost endeavours but 
heaven. If you will not be guilty of the most stupid folly, then 
seek the kingdom of God, and the righteousness of it. 


The f^ood wHI of God, and the sniferings of Christ, the supreme canses of 
bestow iag this rest s yet it is a reward, and in what sense. Merit ex- 
clttded by God's absolute right to oor obedience, and the quality of our 
good actions; which proceed from Fpiritoal powers, restored by free 
grace; and are very imperfect; and no benefit to God; and there is no 
proportion between them and heaven. The blood of Christ mingled with 
them docs act make them meritorious. 

IV. J. shall, in the next place, proceed to prove, that this rest 
is reserved as a reward to the people of God ; in the opening of 
this, I will show you. 

First, What are the supreme causes of this, that so you may 
not misunderstand the notion of a reward. 

Secondly, That this is a reward for the people of God ; in what 
sense you must take it. 

Thirdly, I will prove to you by clear irresistible arguments. 
Chat there is a rest remaining for the people of God. 

First. There are two supreme causes of this rest the scripture 
speaks of: the first is the eternal pleasure and good will of God 
to prepare this rest for bis people, and to prepare his people for 
it : so you shall find; '* fear not, little flock, it is your Father's 
good pleasure to give you the kii^om.'' Our Saviour eomfoits 

D 2 


his disciples with this : where you may observe by the way, that 
it is not only said to be the good pleasure of God to give thfi 
saints this heavenly kingdom, but it is attributed (o him as our 
Father : so that our possessing heaven is not by way of purchase^ 
but gift. We are as heirs, as children of God ; we are not pur>- 
chasers, but inheritors of it^ as the children of our heavenly 
Father. To bring' this home to your bosoms, it is God's good 
pleasure to give this to his children as a Father, he dispenseth ii> 
to his children, and to them alone. There are two things in- 
cluded in the natural relation of a Father. 

1. That he communicates being to a child; he is the s^ 
condary author of its life. 

2. He communicates that life which he possesseth himself^ 
as to the kind and nature of it : these two things are essentially 
requisite to denominate a man a father. Now that you may 
know whether you are the objects of this love of God, he gives 
it, 1st. To those that are born of him; that receive a new nature 
from him, John 31. 13. ^ which were bom not of blood, not 
of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.*' 
2dly. This new nature is called in scripture the divine nature, 
2 Pet. 1.4. " whereby are given unto us'exceeding great and 
precFous promises, that by these you might be partakers of the 
divine nature." Now there arc two characters in this divine 
nature, whereby a saint is like to God ; that is, the holiness and 
the immortality of that nature. 1st. The holiness of it; for 
God is a holy God, and his life is a life of holiness : and so all 
his children, to whom this heavenly kingdom is designed, are 
*' holy as God i^ holy in all manner of conversation." 2dly. That 
holy nature hath immortality in it : so the apostle tells us, 1 
Pet. 1. 23. " beii^ bom again, not of corruptible seed, "but of 
incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and abides for 
ever :" that which is bestowed upon us is an immortal seed, that 
shall be always springing up till it come . to perfection. Bring 
this home to yourselves ; are you under the good pleasure of 
God ? Are you sensible of it, that you are heirs of his kingdom 
and love ? It rau^t arise from hence that you are his children. 
Consider further, the good pleasure of God is made here the 
prime cause that appoints this etemal kingdom unto his children; 
the good pleasure of God is that which dispenseth this glory to 
them, and at last will put them into the actual possession of it. 


It is said to be his gocNl pleasure, h» love, his pure and mere 
mercy, Jude 21. ^< keep yourselves in the love of God, looking 
for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life/' It is 
a mercy whichgiveth us glory at the last: it is not only mercy 
that appoints it, but it is pure love that giveth us possession (tf 
It. 2dly. The next cause of this eternal rest which the saints 
have bestowed upon them is, the Lord Jesus Christ : so you shaH 
find, Rom. 6. 23. '* for the wages of sin is death, but the gift 
of God is eternal life, through Jesus Cnrist our Lord :'' where 
you see still that eternal life is attributed to God as a free gift. 
The Greek word signifies, most gratuitous, most free, unde- 
served, and the pure effect of grace. " The wages of sim is 
death |" that is, it is a righteous recompenee of sin, eternal 
death : (for you must understand it by the opposition to eternal 
life ;) eternal death is a righteous recompenee of sin. If you 
consider that God against whom it is committed, so it deserves 
an eternal punishment ; but the gift of (iod is eternal life. 

If you consider the sufferings of Christ, or his obedience in 
those sufferings, it will appear that to him we owe eternal 
life : consider what that death was that he suffered for us, Heb. 
2. 16. he expiated the guilt of sin, and dissolved that bond 
whereby we were obliged to eternal punishment, the death of 
Christ did that. If you could prescind and abstract the suffer- 
ings of Christ from his obedience, his sufferings might only free 
you firom heli. But now the obedience of Christ was so perfect 
in itself, and so glorious to God, his obedience to the death of 
the cross, whose divine nature had an infinite worth in it, and 
whose human nature was spotless holiness, he procured for us a 
right to heaven; not only a freedom from ruin, but axight to a 
higher glory than was lost in Adam. Therefore we must attri* 
bote all to the love of God in Christ, on the account whereof the 
apostle breaks forth into a most solemn acknowledgment, Rev. 
1.5. ^^ unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in 
his owii blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God^ 
and his Father ; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. 

Now with respect to Christ's redeeming us fi-om hell, and be^ 
stowing heaven upon us, we owe to him homage, worship, and 
praise for the heavenly kingdom, apd we shall praise him for 

P 3 


ever. So that here are the two supreme causes of this rest^ the 
love of God, and the ptirchase of Christ. 

Notwithstanding this, the scripture tells us, (and we may 
safely speak the words of scripture) that this rest is reserved 
as a reward to the people of God ; so you shall find that ex* 
pression. Matt. 5* 11, 12. where our Saviour encourageth the 
persecuted saints 3 ^' blessed are you when men shall revile you, 
and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you 
falsely for my sake ; rejoice, and be exceeding glad, for great is 
your reward in heaven. 

Now for the understanding of this, you must distinguish; 
there is a double notion of reward. 1st. A reward strictly taken; 
and so a reward is a righteous recompence that is given to a 
person as an allowance for a due senrice, according to the, pro*- 
portion of its worth. So you shall find Deut. 7* God command- 
f th that we shall not detain the reward of the hireling, &c. But 
in this sense heaven cannot challenge any thing firom God as a 
reward, in a strict sense. 

There is a lower sense of a reward, and that, is, when 
there is a recompence given for a service that was due, and 
mean in itself, but it is given from the bounty and pure liberality 
and riches of the rewarder. Now in this sense you must under^ 
stand it, when heaven is said to be a reward of the doing ov 
suffering of the saints, because in the order of giving, it is a 
reward after our service performed to God : it hath the nature 
of a reward, because it hath respect to the service of the saints ; 
but not as a reward strictly due to that service ; and that will 
appear if you do but consider, 

1st. The quality of the person. 

2dly. The quality of the service, 

1st. Consider the quality of the person; and here are these 
things to be considered. 

(1.) That God hath an absolute right to all his creatures, so 
that by their obedience to him, they can merit nothing* All 
their power of acting, and all their faculties are from him* They 
can deserve nothing; all is his own, 1 Chron. 29. 14. *^0f thiqe 
own have we given thee,' saith David : the product of our inward 
and outward strength ; all our talents are from God. That I 
may illustrate this by a similitude that you all understand ; the 


apo8tle Paul wrote to Philemon, to prevail with him for a kiiVd- 
ness to One^mus ; and it is an epistle very insinuating, where 
there is an intermixture of many powerful argmnents. verse 8, 1). 
" Wherefore, though I might be much bold in Christ to enjoin 
thee that which is convenient, yet for love-sake I rather beseech 
thee being such a one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner 
of Christ, I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have be- 
gotten in my bonds, which in time past was to thee unprofitable, 
but now profitable to thee and me ; whom I have sent again ;* 
thou therefore receive him that is mine own bowels/* After the 
apostle had used all the address of love, he makes use of a strain 
that which Is the most artificial and powerful^ verse 18. " If he 
hath wronged thee, or oweth ought, put that on my account/* 
A strange piece of rhetoric with which he concludes his argu- 
ments : *' I Paul have written it with my own hand, I will re- 
pay it ; albeit I do not say to thee, how thou owest to me even 
thine own self besides.** It was but a small return he desired at 
his hands, considering how much he owed to Paul 5 probably he 
Was his spiritual father. Therefore gratitude might oblige Phi- 
lemon to answer his desire in this. Had Paul such a right in 
Philemon as that he owed himself to him, being his spiritual fa- 
ther, and an instrument of his conversion in bringing him to the 
knowledge of Christ ; how much more do we owe ourselves to 
God, owe all to him, and therefore can merit nothing of him? 

(2.) Another thing, with respect to the quality oF our per- 
sons is this, the meanness and vileness of our persons j so that 
whatsoever comes fi-om us, cannot possibly merit any thing of 
God. Abraham was a great prince, and a man that hacT 
sAundance of treasure ; but when he speaks to God he abaseth 
himself, and says. Gen. 18. 27. " Behold now I have taken up- 
on me to speak to the Lord, which am but dust and ashes.** 
And John the baptist, though a person of eminent holiness, yet 
when he speaks of Christ, John 1. 27. " He it is who coming 
after me, is preferred before me, whose shoes* latchet I arri not 
worthy to unloose.** And the blessed virgin who had the honour to 
be the mother of 'Christ, how doth she break forth into praises 
of the Lord, with a reflection upon her own meanness, Luke 1. 
46. '^My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoi- 
ced in God my Saviour ; for he hath regarded the low estate of 
hia handmaiden; for behold from henceforth all generations 

P 4 


shall call m^ blessed/' We are so low, mean, and contemptftle 
to God, that it is impossible we should oblige him : the whole 
world compared to him is but as the. drop of a bucket. Now 
what a small part are we of that drop ? Nay the whole world 
compared to him is but as the small dust upon the balance ; no- 
thing yea less than nothing, and vanity. So that there can be 
no obligation or merit arising from such creatures as we are. 

2dly. If we consider the quality of our actions, it is impos- 
sible we should merit any thing from God. 

^L) Because all our spiritual powers are restored to us by the 
free grace of God. The apostle Paul saith, ^^ We have no suffi- 
ciency of ourselves, as of ourselv&s so much as to think a good 
thought," Phil. 2. 13, " For it is God that worketh in us both 
to will and to do, of his good pleasure :" so that all our spiritual 
power and strength is from God : and it being entirely hi«, we 
cannot merit any thing from him. For all the power and 
strength we have, we owe it entirely to God and Christ; there- 
fore John 15. 5. our Saviour compares himself to the vine, and 
the church to the branches, ^^I am the vine, and ye are the 
branches ; he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bring- 
cth forth much fruit ; for without me ye can do nothing." The 
branch hath no power or living juice of its own, but what it de- 
rives from the root. So all our habitual graces, and ail our ex- 
ercise of those graces, is from God and Christ; therefore. there 
can be no* merit on our part. For, indeed our obligation is in- 
creased, by the exercise of graces, and we are debtors to him 
by it. 

4, (2.) Do but consider what imperCection attends all our ser-^ 
vices ; so that were there not a Mediator as well to make our 
services acceptable, as to justify our persons, we should be expo 
sed to the displeasure of Gad ; for the relics of sin stain and de- 
file every service that comes from us. 

The Holy Spirit is the immediate cause of every grace in ua ; 
but it is we that act an^ exercise grace. Christ is the author 
and finisher of our faith ; but it is we that believe : the Spirit of 
Christ is the cause of our obedience ; but it is we that obey ; we 
are the oext agents though he be the supreme cause. 

There is a great imperfection in all our services that we per- 
brm to God : in our faith there is nmch of unbelief; and in our 
obedience, there a^e some degrees of disobedience ; all our duties 


hsve an alloy, and sadi biemifthes in them as would expose us 
to the anger of God, did not God for Christ's sake, pardon and 
accept us. 

(3.) Our services are of no advantage or bene^t to God. 
** My goodness extendeth not to thee, but to the saints that are 
in the earth." Psa. 16. 2. If you had the affections of an an- 
gel to praise God while you are upon earth, his majesty and glo- 
ry would not be increased by all your praises : for '^ His glory is 
above the heavens." If the sun should shine upon . a dear crys- 
tal glass, that should reflect the beams of the sun, it oould never . 
reach the body of the sun, so as to increase the light of.it : so it 
is with us ; God shines upon us by his mercies, and we reflect 
them back i^in by our praises and grateful acknowledgmenta, 
bat his essential gbry is not increased by it ; our righteousness 
doth not profit hnn ; you can lay no obligation upon him ; none 
but those you do some kindness to, receive some benefit from. 
you ; God's ^ory is above all the power of the creature ; h^ is 
immense, and infinitely above ail our. services, we cannot oblige 

(4.) There is no proportion between what is done and suf<- 
iered by us and the glory of heaven, for saith the apostle, ^^ I 
reckon that the sufferings of this present time, are not worthy to 
be compared to the glory thtttfhaU-Jie revealed in us." << I 
reckon," upon doe weigl^ing all things together, it is the result 
ct my judgment, there is no comparison between the one and 
the other. When the apostle put them in the balance with the 
glory of heaven, the afHictions of this present life were light and 
inconsiderable. If sufferings, afiictions, and troubles are light 
much more is our obedience. If a father should see a child write 
a line after- a copy, with an uoskilfiil hand, and gsv^ him a twen«' 
ty-shilling-piece for that Writing, you cannot say this is a just re- 
ward ; no, but from his father's love and bounty. So God gives 
us heaven for ouf service here, but there is no proportion between 
our doings and sufferings aud that exceeding eternal weight of 
glory ; it is purely from gift and unmerited bounty : though it be 
a reward in respect of order, given to us for sincere service, per«* 
formed to him. Now the papists do stand stiffly and confidently 
for a otrict reward : it is true say they, our works and services do 
ttot deserve heaven, but. the blood of Christ mixed with them, 
jsay make them mentorions. If. you should take the dust of 


gold and niix it 'with saiiid and say it is worth so much, it is not 
tibe sand, but the gold that is to be esteemed and valued; for the 
mixture of the sand doth not make the gold of greater value : so 
QUr works mixed with Christ's merits are like gold mixed with 
sand* And therefore heaven is given with respect to Christ's 
precious blood, and not to our merits. Now it is observable that 
the papists, that build their hopes upon this fallacious and de- 
ceitfol ground, do also very congruously determine, that it is our 
duty to live in doubt of heaven and salvation ; for they look upon 
assurance as the effect of pride and rash presumption. So that 
by their doctrine there is no solid hope of salvation. How much 
better is hope and well grounded confidence in Christ, than 
doid>tfiil fear. Heaven is bestowed from the rich bounty and li- 
berality of God : it is a reward that hath respect to the sincerity 
oi our service, and not to the real worth and value of it. For 
heaven is a reward that is merited only by the sufferings and 
obedience cif our blessed Redeemer, who is the author of eternal 
salvation^ to all ^ose that love and obey him. 

» • <! § • 


Th\M ttU is «ef <alDly rcict ved for the people of God ; hecaute of the imnata. 
bilUy of Qod't promise, which promise is agreeable to the general jiMtice 
of God, and his special love to his people. The divine power is their 

' great security. Why It is not given till after a life of service. This me- 
thod most honourable to God, because hereby he tries tliehr faith and love : 
and moftt comfortable to them. 

jL Shall noaw proceed to show yoa^ that this rest is certainty re- 
served for God's people ; and that I shall make apparent to you 
from these following considerations. 

i. The immutability of the word of God, wherein this rest is 
promised to his people. There are many promises in seriptme. 

i^BM^ IX. OF TttB 8AUfT8. ' 5A 

tbe^sttbject laatter of which ]» thfe ; that there is a state of bleas* 
edness reserved lor the saints* Rom. 2. ?• ^^ To them who by 
patient contiotttoce in welUdoing} seek for glory, and honour, 
and inuQortaUty^ eternal iife.^ Thus the apostle expressly sets 
forth this rest» which is a variation of it voder several notions ; 
and tells us, if we suffer with him, we shall reign with him* If we 
suffer with him, that is, in imitation of hb example, and in obe-i 
dience to bis commands, we ahali then reign with him. Rev. 2« 
10. <^ Be thou faithliil unto death, and I will give thee a crown 
of life/' The heaven is not more studded with state, than the 
scripture with promises of this nature. Now it is.tme, before 
the promise is made, there is an absolute sovereign liberty in 
God, whether he will- give such a right to the cveature : but when 
God hath made a promise, he doth (as I may so speak) make 
himself a debtor to his servants ; though you must not take it in 
a strict sense, but there is an obligation -lies upon him to fuliil 
his )Mromise. The apostle when he gives you an account of the 
foundation of his faith says, ^* For I know in whom I have belie* 
ved ; and I am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I 
have committed to him against that day ;'' that is, I know him 
to be a holy and true God, upon* whdse promises I have a blessed 
dependence, they all being of iofoUible certainty. The truth of 
it b, the word of God when itis onee passed, is anuxre firm assu« 
ranee to us, than we can have, that the sun will rise the next 
day ; a greater assurance is given to us, than all this regular 
course of nature, that is established by the works of his provi«* 
dence ; for we caimot tell when the course: of nature shall have 
its period. But we have a most uncontroUabie assurance for 
that, which God " who cannot lie promised before the worid be- 
gan." God cannot deny the essenrial perfections of his own na«^ 
ture ; therefore he will most certainly, perform his promise. Up* 
on this we may venture our hopes and our souls, as upon the 
most calm and clear security : God hath promised it, and he will 
do it. 

ii. Let us consider those excellent properties in the divine na<» 
lore which may still confirm our faith in the promise of God. 
. ls(. This promise of eternal life to his servants is that which 
is eon^ntaneous to the general justice of God^ ^^ Say to the 
rig^iteous it shall be well with him, for they shall eat the fruit of 
their doingi. Woe to the wicked it shall be ill with him, for the 


reward of his hands shall be ghen him/' The general righte* 
ousness of God hath so disposed the dtstribatimi of rewatds and 
punishmentB, that those that fear him^ though indeed they can 
deserve nothing of him, yet from his pure love and according to 
his justice and righteousness they shall have a reward. The 
wicked indeed, according to strict- justice, ^ shall be rewarded ; so 
the apostle speaks 2 Thes. 1. 6, 7« ^^ Seeing it is a righteous 
thing with God to recompense trifaalation to them that trouble 
you ; and to you who are troubled rest with U9 ;" that is, accord- 
ing to the holy and righteous nature of God. It is not according 
to strict justice, but there is a clemency of God manifested in the 
pardon of sin, and his admirable love and bounty in recompen- 
sing the righteous : yet it is consentaneous to his justice that 
those who serve him as sons do a father, he wMl spare them and 
reward them. 

2dly. It is according to his special love« It is not only from 
general justice, but special love and goodness is tlie fountain of 
this promise. Pray cAiserve how God deals with his chosen peo« 
pie ; the foundation of all his blessings is love, a iove that is free 
and unmerited, a love that is rich, and glorious, and liberal ; this 
love proceeds fnorn one thing to another ; God gives, that he may 
give ; he gives his people grace that he may give them glory. 
He begins the work of holiness in them here, he perfects the 
work he begins, and be crowns the work he perfects and all from 
free love. This is the foundation of his promise, that love that 
is rich and free and glorious, so that one mercy to them is the 
earnest of another,, and his promises are so concatenated that 
where he gives grace he will give glory. 

^dly. The divine power is our grea^ security ; that God cart 
and will accomplish those promises that he hath made to his 
people. 'Tarn persuaded that he is able to keep that which I 
have committed to him against that day." 2 Tim. I. 12. What 
is the depos^tum Paul commits to God ? 1 know divines gene- 
rally interpret it of his departing soul. A believer when he 
eomes to die, resigns up his soul (as. his Saviour did) into God's 
hands. This seems not - to be the true meaning of the apostle 
here, for while a man hath a soul living in his body, and in his 
possession, it cannot suit with Che notion of a dqoositum 5 for a 
depositum is that which is out of my possession and committed 
to the hands of another : therefore thb depositum is thf crown of 


life and glory which God hath promised to believen ; a believer 
trusts it with God. I have tmsted my eternal happiness with 
God, the crown of life I trust with him. He is gracious and 
powerful, and cau bring me through all the dangers and tempta* 
tions and troubles of this present world to eternal felicity ; al- 
though they interpose between me and the divine world, and my 
body must descend to the grave before I can obtain life, yet I 
know divine power can raise me from the dead and bring me to 
eternal life and glory. 

It is an interesting inquiry, which next demands our atten- 
tion ; why Ms rest remaims, and shall be given us afterwards. 
At present it is an unseen rest, it is above our reach, it Yemains, 
saith the apostle, we do not possess it yet. Why is God thus 
pleased to diqiense and give us it ? I answer ; 

1. In general ; the infinite wisdom of God appears in the or- 
der of giving; observe the expression of Paul, Eph. 1. 8. The 
apostle in these words hath a respect to the particular foundadon 
of the gospelHSOvenant, the Lord Jesus Christ. God did in\i 
wise manner order that the honour of his justice might be secured 
and yet his mercy advanced. The apostle, speaking of the for- 
giveness of sins in the blood of Christ, herein appears saith he 
the wisdom of God to honour his justice and holiness, and ad- 
vance the riches of his grace ; the wisdom of God appears in the 
whole constitution of the gospel, in framing the covenant of grace 
so, that rest and blessedness shall be dispensed as a future re- 
ward, to the people of God, that are obedient to the death : so 
that as the combat goes befinre the triumph ; and the race bdbre 
the crown, so a jife of service and obedience always goes before 
the eternal enjoyment of God above. 

2. More particularly. It is that which is most honourable to 
God ; uid infinitely comfortable to his people. Honourable to 

(1.) As he is pleased to honour himself, by the trial of their 
foith, which is a grace of that precious nature and importance, 
that the apostle Peter tells us, that the trial of it is much more 
preeious than gold. 1 Pet. 1. 7* How honourable is it to the 
truth and pow^ of God when a believer doth give credit to his 
relation of the unseen world, firmly believing, that there is ano- 
ther life after this ; another happiness that sense cannot disco* 
Ter ; as firody believiiig tfus as if he saw xU What an honouiable 


testimony is diis to God, when his word shall be snch a security, 
that we can venture our all upon it ! Abraham when he had gi* 
yen such an excellent testimony of his faith, belieying the promise 
of God that he should have a son in his old age, though he Mras 
dead in nature as to generation, it is said, be believed God 
and it was imputed to him for righteousness : God esteemed that 
as a noble testimony of his faith, and consequently rewarded hini 
for it. So those who are clothed with flesh, and are conversant 
only with sensible objects in this lower world, when they can 
give such credit to the promise of God concerning invisible and 
eternal things, as to govern themselves entirely in their lives, with 
respect to them ; this is giving God as much glory as we are able 
while we are in this state. 

(2.) For the trial of the truth and strength of our love to God, 
whether we will prefer the enjoyment of him hereafter befone all 
the pleasure of this fading workL Love is best discovered by 
comparison and choice : when things are presented to your wil^ 
i^d you despise the allurements of the one, and chose the other, 
this discovers love. There are in competition with you the va- 
nities of the world gilded over, and very pleasing to sense j but 
God sets against them an everlasting reward in heaven, the en- 
joyment of himself as our portion. Now when in the midst of 
all these tempting vanities, I chose God for my portion (Lam. 3. 
24.) though that choice divest roe of all that fools admite, and 
that carnal men choose ; it declares that my love to God is cor* 
dial and real, is predominant, and bath a pre-eminence above 
all other aiie«tions. How honourable is it to God, when the 
mature hweth him above life, and all the comforts of life I God 
reserves this reward then, for a trial of our love. 

(3.) He is honoured by our sincere obedience. Did a present 
temporal reward always attend holiness, who could tell whether 
men served God for nought or no ? You know the devil cast it 
as a reproach upon Job, when God had hedged him about, and 
given him a princely abundance, and he seemed the hi^>piest man 
in all the east ; as if Job's obedience to God, was merely the ef« 
feet of that t^nporal happiness he enjoyed; But God is pieased 
to ctkf to us an eternal estate, and this estate is a future one, 
and an estate that hath many incumbrances upon it, that must 
be removed before it be enj<^red. Yon must pass through many 
difficukies on die ohe band^ and on the eHi^; and you eannot 


come to it without dying; and iritether it b^ a nataral death, or 
a videat one you caonot tell. Our obedience is from pure bve 
to bis majesty ; for the rest that is in heaven, is the enjoyment of 
the law of God : so it is pure love that can animate a christiati 
to despise all things in comparison of God. Now consider how 
honourable our superlative love is to him. It is true it would be 
eifually bounty for God to take a person to heaven as soon as he 
hath formed him ; but it is more honourable to God, when we 
have such a love to him. And hence it is most ctm^ortable to 
God's people ; and who would not choose such a way as doth 
most clearly and undtwembliRgly express our love to God ? 

j^l^pUcation of the Subjed. 

How tad is the fatore state reserved for God*8 enemies. The false principles 
and motives of tbeir present peace: false apprehensions of the mercy of 
God: future purposes! Plunging themselves into vrorldly business and 
pleasorvs. A mlteni^le state remains for them. They shall be deprived 
of this rest I wiiich alone will be very afflictive, becasse tbey iball perfect* 
ly understand what they lose; that this is owing purely to their own folly, 
for the sake of perishing vanities. They shall be in a state of positive 
misery, directly contrary to the happy state of heaTcn i and an eternal 

Xf there be sueh a rest '^ remaining to the people of God )^ wo 
may hence infer how sad is that future state that remmns for 
God's enemies in another world. And these contraries being set 
together will ilhistrate one another. O the heary doleful state 
that remains for those who are rebels against God t It is true^ 
here tbey may have rest ; they may be quiet and undisturbed in 
theb miiub^ and sleep securely in the very shadow of death. 
But O the fearfiil owdcitag they will have when they come into 


eternity! O the strange convnUons of comcienee then, and 
tbose dieadAiI disorders and tumults that will be in their soula! 
To make this more clear and affecting to you, I will a little 
touch upon those false principles and motives of peace and rest 
that wicked men have here, which will shortly all be taken fiway : 
and then I will show you what a restless ocmdition they will be 
in, in the next life ; what an incessant remorse will torture them 
to the days of eternity. 

As to the false principles of reason, there are some that are 
very obvious and very necessary to touch upon. We find that 
these two attributes of conscience meet together, a bad consci- 
ence and a quiet. None more secure, none more undisturbed, 
than those that are in infinite danger of ruin. And although 
God tells us, there is no peace to the wicked, there is no solid 
well-grounded peace ; yet the scripture tells us in another place, 
Deut. 29. 19. ^^ And it comes to pass when he hears the words 
of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall 
have peace though 1 walk in the imagination of my heart, to add 
drunkenness to thirst ; the Lord will not spare him, but then the 
anger of the Lord and his jealousy shall smoke against that 

1. I will show you a little the vanity of this peace. Now that 
which lies at the bottom of all is this : they have false apprehen- 
sions of the mercy of God. They have a false peace and we 
cannot rob them of it, but whatsoever is spoken to them against 
it, they notwithstanding still cherish it. It would be a great cha- 
rity to rob them of this false peace ; but they will flatter them- 
selves, and say, God is infinitely mercifiil, and they hope, he will 
not be so severe as preachers declare him to be. Nay though 
the book of God hath threatening and thundering words against 
the wicked, yet they are no more afraid of those threatenings, 
than a company of boys are of their squibs and crackers which 
are of their own making. God is more gracious than he is re • 
presented to us, say they ; therefore they mil put theb souls to 
venture. I shall only tell these deceived wretches^ that though 
they can never enough, amplify the mercy of God, for it is infi- 
nite ; let them remember, God's mercy is a holy mercy, and a 
just mercy : and there are other perfections' in God besides bia 
mercy, and that God will glorify his mercy in a way suitable to 
his own nature, O vain man, never be b<dd upon this attribute^ 


whilst thou hast the character of one of God's enemies. Ob- 
serve the Lord Jestis Christ, the meek Lamb of God, who was 
made of love and mercy ; observe What he saith to the pharisees^ 
which is appKcable to all wicked persons, Mat. 23. 33. ** Ya 
serpents, ye generation of vipers how can you escape the damna- 
tion of hell ?" With what zealous indignation doth he speak ! 
.Perhaps you may think you are not such sinners as the pharisees. 
Do not deceive yourselves ; all that are unregeaerate are a gene*^ 
talami of vipers, Rom. 1. 29. 30. Read that catalogue of sinners 
being filled with ail unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, co*- 
vetousness, maliciousness ; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, 
malignity, whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, &c. Such as 
these shall never enter into the kingdom of heaven. You think 
you may obtain heaven because you are such as these ; but see 
what 18 written, John 3. 3. " Verily, verily, I say unto theej ex- 
cept a man be bom again, he cantiot see the kingdom of God." 
Consider, I beseech you, in what a solemn manner our Saviour 
speaks this to Nicodemus. This Christ himself the purchaser of 
divine mercy hath assured us of. What a vain thing is it to be 
at rest with false presumption, that a man shall do well because 
God is merciful ; while he doth not believe what God declares of 
his justice and holiness. 

2. Another common motive of their rest and quiet is this ; 
presathem to a speedy turning to God, then they will tell you, 
that they will secure their Utle to heaven at some future time. 
They think they have time enough yet : they will escape hell by 
an act of future repentance. But O dread this and consider the 
certam shortness and uncertain continuance of Kfel O remem- 
ber if it please thy Judge, thy death is as near thee, as thy sio 
that deserves it ! Thou canst not have the least security^ that 
thou shalt survive this sermon. Therefore to put off repentance 
is such folly and stupidity that no man would be guilty of in a 
temporal respect. Were it not commonly practised, one would 
think it so absurd a folly, that human nature were incapable of 
tt. We carry our lives in our hands as David speaks. ^ There 
iabat a step between us and death.'' If sickness should seize 
you su4denly, how terrible would it be to have the first death and 
the second invading you at once ! 

3. Another motive and Taise principle is this; they plunge 
thcRtnselves into the busmess and pleasures of the world. « Into 



the hisiness of the world ; all their senses are abroad^ not so 
much as one sense stays at home to considejr their state. They 
are never left iat freedom to think, what their condition is. 
Others are dipped mpleamreSj and they follow the vicious stream 
of their own hearts pleasantly and nothing disturbs them. It is 
just as when the wind and tide go together, the stream is calm 
and smooth ; so while their hearts, and the things of this world 
join together, while the current runs one way, they are at peaoe. 
But remember when the wind blows against the tide, all the 
waves are tumultuous and impetuous, and break into rage. So 
there is a time coming, when this world shall blow contrary to 
you } then yon shall be distressed ; then there will be time enoiigh 
for an uneomfortable remembrance of your fdly. 

These are some of the false giounds upon which men cherish 
rest here, and will not be broughf out of the possessioa of it« 
But this will not last long ; you may please and raviah yovrseivea 
with sensual delights and dreams till the justice of God awakens 
you ; and in the next life there is nothing but sorrow and trouble 
and anguish and vexation. There is no rest unless you can rest; 
in chains and iames of fire, and under the gnawings of ^n et^* 
nal. worm and the everlasting wrath of God. If. you saw a per-* 
son upbn a rack, his body stretched and tortured, and all his 
bones disjointed; can such a one have rest? then you may have 
rest in hell ! Do you think that one who lies under ;the tortu- 
ring, pain of the stone or gout, and every pang cuts like the very 
pang of deatby do you think th^t such a person can take any* 
rest ? All the parts of the body and all the powers of the soul 
shall be tormented in hell : as they shall feel those tornsentsi 
fears, and sorrows, which shall, prey upon them, in that endless 

Hence we may infer how miserable will be the state of tboser 
that, are strangers i|nd enemies to God. For the blessed rest is 
only prepared for God's peoplor This inference is so well; 
grounded, that it admits of na doubt, as we find in Rev. 14, 13., 
'^ And 1 heard a voice from heaven, spying unto sue, write, ble^** 
sed are the dead which die in the Lofd, from h^ucefortb^ yea» 
saith the Spirit, that fiiey may rqst frpm their labours,. and. their 
works do follow them.'' Where you fee this blessedness is ^p* 
propnated to those that die in the Lord, Ficpm whence nge have 
fhisclear deduction y ^^ Cursed are those that die in their ains,"'. 


He that dies in CtiFist is blessed, for he goes to the fountain of 
his life : but he tlhit dies in his sins, carries that heavy weight 
with him that will sink him into the abyss of ntiscry. This doth not 
respect only those that live in gross sins, those that are desperate 
and dissolute; but it is a bar against all those that are unregene- 
rate and unrenewed. 1 Cor. 6. 9, 10. You have a catalogue 
of notorious sinners, *5Be not deceived, neither fornicators, nor 
idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of them- 
selves with mankind ; nor thieves, nor covetous, ncr drunkards, 
nor revilers, nor ej^tortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." 
But it- may be now you will bless yourselves in your hearts, to 
think that you are not of this number; my brethren, remember 
#hslt th^ Lord of life tells you, John 8. 3. with an asseveration, 
*^* Verily, verily I say unto thee, except a man be born again he 
cannot see the kingdom of 6od.^' If you have not a reformed 
mind, a reformed witl^ and reformed affections ; and if your lives 
be not reformed you can never enter into God's kingdom. In ' 
short before I go to a more particular opening of this, take a 
character of those persons he excludes from the reward in these 
three plarticulars. 

1st. All those who kre contrary to the nature of God who ^ 
infinitely holy shall be excluded from this rest. Whei^ver there 
is one sin in dominion this doth imply a standing contrariety to 
the natur6 of God; whatsoever sin it be whether it is visible to 
the eyes of men or no, or whether it is ai secret sin, if it hath a 
throne in your hearts, this implies an utter contrariety to the na- 
ture of God. It is impossible for such a person to be received 
into this rest. You may sooner reconcile night and noon-day, 
than the' presence of God with such creatures. The truth is, it 
they could be transported to heaven by divine power, heaven 
would be ift> more heaven to them, in whom there is a contrarie- 
ty to the nature of God. To make it sensible to yoti all ; there 
is nothing in the world more pleasing and more refreshing than 
the light of the sun to a sound eye; for light is that which makes 
the whole creation beautifbl and pleasing to us ; yet there is no- 
thing more uneasy or more vexing to a sore eye corrupted with 
humours ; therefore such persons will seek for retirement, make 
' every thing dark, because the light of the sun will so afflict them. 
Indeed the presence of God is a heaven tq a holy soul ; but to 
those that are contrary to his holy nature, it is not so, therefore 

£ 2 


it is that they are objects of God's rejection ; he cannot take de- 
light in them, and they cannot delight in hii% there being a fun- 
damental opposition in the nature of God to such sinners, and in 
them to God ; therefore you may be assuredj that all such shaB 
be excluded from this rest. 

2dly, The notion of God's people implies obedience. Nqw 
by way of opposition ; those that are rebels against his law and 
government, are none of his people ; those that live in a known 
violation of his precepts^ are all rebels to him. They may, in- 
deed, own his government in words, but if it were in their power 
they would pluck him from his throne and set up another king, 
the God of this world. These are excluded from this rest. 

3dly, Those that are not affectionate to God's glory, nor con- 
cerned for his interest in the world, they are none of his people, 
they are all to him. Those who, if they can preserve their own 
private interest, let the afiairs of the church sink or swim ; if 
they can have a flourishing prosperity in their families, let the 
cause of God decline or prosper, they care not ; these are nose 
of God's people, they shall be excluded from this rest. 

This being now laid as that which shall direct you in all I 
speak after, I shall proceed, and being now to speak to you of 
the most unpleasing subject, the torments of hell, I shall only 
say this, that were not the subject necessary, it is that which of 
all subjects a gospel minister would be most unwilling to speak 
of. For as God himself hath prepared and threatened hell for 
this end, that men might choose heaven and avoid hell : so none 
that hath a heart like our Saviour, but whenever he doth open 
these treasures of God's wrath to you, doth it merely upon this 
account, that you may escape them and be compelled to turn in- 
to the way of life. 

This state of misery, which is contrary to the rest I have been 
speaking of, the scripture sets forth to us in that manner that 
may most affect and arouse us. So the apostle, Rom. 2. Ji 8. 
*^ To them who by patient continuance in well-doing seek for 
glory, and honour, and immortality, eternal life : but unto them 
that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, indignation, and 
wrath, tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man that doeth 
evil." Now that which I observe is this, the Holy Spirit doth 
by variety of expressions signify to us the extremity and perfec- 
tion of that misery that is in bell ; ha caUs it indignation and 


wrath, tribulation and anguish, to enlarge your apprehensions 
concerning the peffect misery of that state. As it is said before of 
heaven, that it is a state of glory, honour, immortality, and eter- 
nal life ; and all to raise your apprehensions, and attract your de- 
sires after heaven; so here you have expressions multiplied to im* 
press upon you the fearfiilness of that state. As in heaven all is 
oomposed, for the comfort, joy and blessedness of the saints; so 
in hell all is prepared for the torment and misery of the wicked. 
All within them and without them is to aggravate their misery. 
He judgments of God in this life, which he lays upon sinners^ 
here in the day of his patience and clemency, are many times ve- 
ry heavy, and exceed the strength and courage of men to bear 
them ; but all of them are nothing to that full vengeance, that 
eemplete recompence of sin, that God shall bring them, in the 
day of his righteous judgment. We read Deut, 29. 19. an ex- 
pression of Moses to the Israelites; *^And when it comes to pass 
he hears the words of this curse, and he bless himself saying, I 
shall have peace though I walk in the imagination of my hearty 
and add drunkenness to thirst : the Lord will not spare him^ but 
then the anger of the Lord and his jealousy shall smoke against 
that man." All the judgments of God in this world against sin- 
ners, are but the smoke of hell-fire ; no more comparable to the 
enduring the torments of hell, than the feeling hot smoke to the 
burning of hell itself, as those intermediate comforts which God 
gives us in this life are nothing to the consolations, which he will 
give us in heaven ; so all the temporal evils which the wicked 
meet with here, are nothing to the torments of hell. This being 
laid down in general^ I shall come to open it to you more parti- 

I. The first thing which is considerable is this ; the deprwation 
qf thif blessed rest, which none who are enemies to God shall 
ever obtain. When the great King shall call the world to judg^ 
ment^ and pass a sentence upon the wicked, the first part of the 
sentence will be, "Depart from me," that is, depart from Christ, 
who is the fountain of life and joy, whose presence is the heaven 
of heavens. ** Depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire pre- 
pared for the devil and his angels.*' Mat. 25. 41. The carnal 
sinner will think with himself, if it be but the loss of heaven I 
shall do v/ell enough, if that be all damnation signifies, I shall 



not be much concerned ; but now to make you understand the 
dre^idfiihiess of this sentence, cotisider. 

(1.) You shall then more perfectly understand what that bles- > 
sedness is you lose ; and so you shall feel yourselves infinitely mt<r 
aerable upon this account* Indeed in the present state, the car-* 
nal unbelieving heart despiseth heaven, he looks upon nothing to 
be substantial, solid good, but what is sensible to his lower facul^ 
ties. We preach heaven to them, which they think is but an 
airy happiness, a notional thing ; th^e is no seeing or feeling, or 
tasting of it. So the carnal wretch thinks the loss of heaven will 
be an easy thing. But in the other world their sight shall be 
cleared, and their judgments changed, they shall know what they 
lose, and that loss will be accompanied with stings of conscience, 
and those dreadful te&rings of themselves, that it is impossible to 
conceive. When EUsha said, thus saith the Lord, about this 
time to-morrow, shall a measure of fiQe flour be sold for a she«- 
)(el, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Sa- 
maria. Then a lord on who^ h^nd the king leaned, answered 
the man of God, and said, behold if the Lord would make win-' 
dows in heaven, might this thing be ? and he said behold thou 
shalt see it with thuie eyes, but shalt not eat thereof. 1 Kings 7* 
1« I apply it thus ; the damned shall see the glory of heaven, but 
they shall not partake of it. They shall see it only to their 
terror and sorrow. Now to put it in an ordinary case : if a 
man hath made a foolish bargain, and after comes to understand 
his folly in parting with such a thing, the price and value of 
which he did not understand, it wiU cause troublesome reflec- 
tions upon himself. I remember a stpry, that .when Charles the 
bold, one of the dukes of Burgundy, took a great city, there was- 
a. jewel found of incomparable value ; the soldier that found it 
sold it for four florins (about twenty shillings) but after it was 
sold for many thousand pounds. If the spldier had known the 
price afterwards, how it would have enriched him, it would great- 
ly trouble and vex him, that he had made so foolish a bargain. 
The wicked part with heaven foolishly, atid lose it for trifles ; 
but when they come to understand what a jewel it was, of what 
incomparable value, it will greatly afllict them ; and the remem- 
brance of their folly will be always grating upon their spirits and 
torment them. In hell, shall be " weeping, wailing and gnashing 


ofteetH*^ when the wicked shall see '^Abraham^ Isaac, and Ja- 
cob, in the kingdom of God, and theniRelves shut out for ever." 
This will cause dreadful tormenting reflections, though now pos- 
sibly jou may pass it over with slight unconcerned thoughts. 

(2.) They will owe this privation to their own folly and wick- 
edness, and this will be as tormenting as the loss itself. And 
because this is so material a thing I will open it to you. 

I speak now of those that live under the gospel, they shall not 
be able to pretend, that they are ignorant of this rest, and there- 
fore fell short o£ it ; no, for our Savioi^' hath abolished deaths 
and brought light and immortality to light through the gospels 
Our Saviour hath, as it were, rent the veil of heaven, and given 
us a discovery of the glory there. He did not only reveal heaven 
Co us, but rose from the dead to give us an ailment and an ex- 
ample of that blessedness that all his believing members shall be 
raised unto.* He hath brought life and immortality to light, so 
that there can be no pretence of ignorance. Under the law they 
had but as it vt^re a (vrilight^ some faint glimmerings of this 
state ; but now it is clear and open to all, that there ^' remains a 
rest to the people of God." So that they shall never be able to 
say, they never heard of heaven. 

Again ; as they cannot say they never heard of heaven, so 
neither can they pretend it was never offered to them ; for in the 
preachmg of the gospel, there was a continual offer of the king- 
dom of heaven. The very threatenings of hell were in order to 
make men accept of heaven. All the commands, aU the en- 
treaties, all the threatenings of the gospel centre in this, to 
make people willing to accept of heaven. They are all concur- 
rent means, to make you ^* seek the kingdom of God and his 
righteousness." None are excluded from the promise of God. 
Whosoever wiH let him take of the waters of life freely. So that 
there is not a bare possibility of obtaining, but a certainty, if you 
be not wanting to yourselves, and if you be not rebellious against 
God ; this will be another aggravation. 

(3.) Hell will be increased by this consideration; that al- 
though hearen is revealed and offered to us, it is not offered upon 
impossible terms, upon such conditions as the human nature 
cannot comply with. No^ this cannot be pretended ; for what- 
soever difficulty there is with reference to our corrupt affections, 
or our unprepared hearfi^ yet nevertheless the divine glory is so 



freely ^d richly offered to mep in the gospel^ that if they will 
accept of it, they shall be conqueron over all obstacles ; God 
offers his Holy Spirit to them that ask it. '^ If earthly parents^ 
who are evil^ know how to give good things to their children^ 
bow much more will your heavenly Father give his Holy Spirit 
to them that ask it?" Now the Holy Spirit by his assistance^ 
will make every command easy. He will make the yoke oif 
Christ an easy, gracious, and benign yoke. Now to make this 
sensible to you ', it is with a sinner in his carnal, corrupt state^ 
with respect to the things o[ Cod, as it is with a man in a 
burning fever or dropsy, that cannot abstain from drink : I can- 
not forbear drinking, saith he, for I am almost burnt up ; but if 
a physician comes and tells him, I vrill give you a julap that will 
quench your thirst ; now if he refuses it, he dies voluntarily and 
wilfully, t^en have dropsy desires after the world, and are in- 
flamed with an insatiable thirst after it ; but saith God, I will 
give you my Spirit that shall change and purify you from all 
those vicious affections that make you thirst after earthly things. 
Now they grieve the Spirit of God, resist it, and quench all the 
holy motions ; they will not comply with it, It is hence evident^ 
that they are guilty of their own ruin ; all this loss of heaven is 
from their own choice, and the natural effect of their own per- 
verse wills. The sinner will not be able to stand wider the 
burden of these - thoughts, I have lost heaven because I would 
not have it ; this will be more tormenting than all the infernal 
fiends, that, their loss of heaven is owing purely to their ohd 

(4.) To show you what a hell it will be to lose heaven, a sin- 
ner shall then reflect for what perishing vanities he loet heaven ; 
he shall be able to make a true comparison between what he 
k>st^ and that which he lost it for. This is consequent to the 
fit^mer, because he shall know what heaven is. The great rea- 
son why men pursue the things below, is because they under- 
value the things above ; they have no esteem, no taste for them; 
but then they shall be able to understand what heaven is. Then 
it will appear what a wretched bargain they made to part with 
heaven for these things. O when the « considering soul shall 
come to compare things, to think that I have lost the perfec- 
tions of heaven for vexing and transient vanities, we cannot con- 
ceive the detestation the soul will have of itself. That the soul 


wtiich was' a s^uritual^ immortal beii^, should for sensual, tran- 
sient vanities lose heaven ! When you hear at any time of a . 
person mixing with a brute, it raiseth a disdain in you^ and you 
will count that person the worst brute that doth so. He that 
sets his heart upon the world is a more prodigious monster,; he 
that joins an immortal spirit with spiritual dust. The soul will 
aggravate its misery that it brought upon itself for such mean 
and cheap vanities. 

Again; that which will be an aggravation of this loss of hea- 
ven is, it is then irrecoverable; the day of mercy is eiqiired, 
God will be justly inexorable to all their lamentable cries. For 
the time of his patience being expired, pure and strict justice 
takes place, and will exact from the sinful creature the payment 
of the rights of it for ever. 

2. Now besides this deprivation of the rest of heaven, there is 
hfodtioe and contrary state of misery, that those which are 
rebels to God shall be plunged into. To open this briefly, con- 
sider, that hell is represented to us in those expressions that 
have an absolute direct contrariety to the state of heaven, and 
all to signify the positive misery of that place. For example; 
heaven is said to bean inheritance of light; 1 Cor. 12. Hell 
is said to be a region of darkness, perpetual darkness, Jude, 13. 
you have an expression so strong and iiiU, that nothing can ex« 
ceed it ; ^ they are wandering stars, to whom is reserved the 
blackness of darkness for ever.*' O that thick and disconsolate 
darkness that shall never be refireshed with the least star, no, 
not with one spark of light; blackness of darkness, darkness that 
may be felt, like that in Eg^. Heaven is said to be a place 
of joy; ''in thy presence there is fiilness of joy, and at thy 
right hand there are pleasures for evermore/' But in hell there 
is weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth. All whieh are 
expresttons of desperate sorrow. Sometimes in scripture heaven 
is set forth by springs of refreshing water ; so you have an ex- 
pression which may be implied to heaven, Rev. 7. 17* '' for the 
Lamb in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead 
Uiem unto living fountains of water.'' It signifies both refresh- 
ment and abundance of that refreshment that is in heaven. 

It is said that hell is a lake that bums with fire and brim- 
stone ; where the damned shall be drowned in flames, and burned 
in streams for ever. A strange expression, a lake that bums. 


&c. In heaven Uie saints shall be always praising and glori* 
fying God^ they are filled with joy, and it breaks forth with 
overflowing thanksgivings. But in hell there is blaspheming 
God, and cursing the Holy One, that is blessed for ever. So it 
is said concerning those that are punished in hell, Rev. 16. 10. 
'^^and the fifth angel poured forth his vial upon the seat of the 
beast, and his kingdom was full of darkness, and they gnawed 
their tongues for pain, and they blasphemed the God c^ heaven 
because of dieir pain and their sores, and they repented not of 
their deeds.'* Ver. 21. <' And there fell upon men a great hail 
out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent, and they 
blasphemed God because of the plague of hail, for the plague 
thereof was exceeding great.'' Hell is the region of misery, they 
blaspheme God there for the extremity of their torment. 

It is said of heaven, it is the saints' rest ; they have a sweet 
and calm repose in the enjoyment of God. There a believer can 
say, '' return to thy rest, O my soul." But in hell they rest 
neither night nor day, bat they are under continual tormenting 
reflections on their own wickedness and the extremity of God's 
wrath. They have no interval nor space of ease. They are al- 
ways upon the rack ; torn and miserable in their own sense for 
ever. The scriptures set forth the possitive torments of hell 
thus ; and all this shall be for ever ; the door is sealed upon them 
and their state is unchangeable, and they are continually restless, 
not only under the impressions of their present torment, but by 
the focesight that this shall never have an end. O this is the 
very hell of hellt O saith the forlorn wretch, if I could but live 
again, and have a trial, whether I would repent or no, or, O if 
I might at length die, and have an end of this torment, then 
hell would cease'to be hell. But all their wishes shall be inef- 
fectual, for they shall nev^r have any ease or end. You cannot 
think they can free themselves by power. All the armies of dark- 
ness cannot resist the powers of an infinite God : our Saviour 
hath an expression applicable to this purpose, '^ bind them hand 
and fbot, and cast them into utter darkness ;" whidi implies, 
they have no power rither to escape or make resistance.* This is 
that which makes hell to be so terrible, after the damned have 
nm through millions of years, the sum they owe to God's infi- 
nite justice is entire, they have made no payment yet. It is 
impossible to think of thw without horrqr> that then a person 


thall be entirely and eternally miserable. 'I remember vfhsit I 
have read| of one that was an impious atheist, who was struck 
at last with an ulcerous distemper that run throughout his body^ 
and filled him with noisome vermin accompanied with the mast 
cruel pain, that he was ashamed and afraid of society, and he 
retired into a private room ; and when one asked him how he 
did, he put his finger or thmnb through the hole of the door and 
bid has firiend take notice and see how it was filled with ukers 
and vermin, saying, just as this is so it is with my whole body. 
So the damned shall be miserable in all parts. Dives begged 
for a drop of water to cool his tongue, when he was tormented 
in the flames. It is not to be understood as if his tongue only 
was tormented, but by that we may make a judgment, how 
miserable he was in every part. But will not God change the 
sentence at last, when the damned creature has endured ten 
thousand years of torment? No^ God will not repent nor re- 
tract his sentence. Not to speak of the desert of sin, nor the 
justice of God in it, that they preferred misery before heaven 
and happiness, they cannot complain of his justice in their pu- 
nbfament ; because though these wretches are in perfect misery, 
yet their hearts are not chaiiged to k)ve a holy God ; they are 
blaspheming and filled with rage ag£unst a holy God : they are 
continual objects therefore of his hatred, not only for their sins 
in thi» present life, but for that cursed enmity that is still in 
their hearts against hhn. As the most holy and powerfiil Judge, 
they eternally hate him ; and they are the proper objects for his 
holiness, and justice, and power to work upon for ever. And 
they are not only objects of his hatred, but of his scorn and de- 
rision, ^ he wiU laugh at their calamities and mock when their 
fear, ccHoeth.'' If you believe the scripture, it is a wonder that 
any of you can live in an unrenewed state one day or hour. 
There is nothing more amazing than this, ^at any man that 
haih 90 much fiiith, as to believe an eternal hell, and hath not 
any loye to God and holiness should be quiet one hour ! Men 
will not part with their beloved sins though hell attends them. 
I remember reading of one who had a voracious appetite, that 
wb^n he had meat laSd on the coals to be broiled for him, he 
wtmU snatch it up greedily, and eat the flesh and burning coals 
together. ' So some persons are set upon their lust8, though the 
Qoals ol hell fire cleave to them. And if there was not a terribte 


Judge to puDiah them, they would create a hell to themsehres by 
refleeting upon their sins, which will bring them torment and 
anguish, and horror for ever. 

Thus from what I have epoken yon may see something of the 
doleful state that the enemies of God shall be cast into. And 
this may be a powerful persuasive to you to flee from the wrath 
to come, and to seek after the kingdom of heaveit. 

The sum of all is this ; they are entirely and eternally misera- 
ble, they shall in hell be dead to all the joys and hopes of life ; 
nay to all the hopes of dying, but alive to all the agonies, to all 
the torments of death for ever. 


We henee learn to understand this world with all its allurements: which caa 
afford us no true content, as appears from the testimony of God, and the 
eiperience of mao i nor is it of a permanent continuance. The sodden 
change that death makes will cause a quicker sense of miserj la lieU. 

J. Shall now pass on to the second use from this doctrine of 
the divine and blessed rest of the saints in the next world, which 
is this : from hence we may be instructed how to disparage this 
world with all its temptations, with all its allurements, whereby 
it deludes and destroys the souls of men. 

There is a necessity to make use of the revelation of heaven 
and to compare this world with it, to take us off from its in- 
viting efficacy ; because that which diverts us from heaven, from 
seeking the kingdom of God and his righteousness thereof is this 
world. This is the great temptation that the devil makes use 
of unto that end. And the world hath this advantage from its 
being present. It is the expression of the apostle, Gal. 1. 4/ 
^ who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from 


this present evil world." The world is that which we tianTeise 
with, it is that which is hourly iacumbent upon our senses* 
And so you shall find the force of that temptation upon Demas^ 
the apostle puts it upon this, *' Demas hath forsaken us, having 
loved this present world.'' And the great disadvantage tiiac 
heaven has, is this, because it is a state that is luture. And dis- 
tance in time hath the same efiect that distance in place hath. 
Distance in place makes objects of immense greatness as nothing 
to us ; it lessens the angles of the eye so^ that stars of the first 
magnitude are but like glittering spangles and sparks of light, 
though one of them be sixty times bigger than the whole earth. 
Though heaven is so glorious a blessedness, yet men look upon 
it at a vast distance, and so it lessens their esteem of it. And 
though God hath made such a revelation of this blessed state, 
that if reason ruled us we should abhor all things in comparison 
of it 3 yet because it is not at hand, lower thmgs prevail with 
men, which are visible to their senses. 

Now I shall endeavour to make a right comparison between 
this world and this heavenly blessedness, and show you what 
heaven is, and by a just deduction, I shall show you that there 
is nothing but folly and madness, or something worse, that can 
possibly incline the heart of men to neglect heaven, and pursue 
the world. Let us but consider and compare heaven, this eter- 
nal rest. I have been speaking of, and this world, in these two 
respects, and you shall see, if you put them in the balance of 
the sanctuary, how light this world is, and how that exceeding 
eternal weight of glory will turn the scales ; and accordingly you 
shall choose and pursue the things above. Heaven I toM you 
consists in two things, to sum up what I then spoke : it is a state 
of perfect satisfaction, and a state of eternal satisfaction. PsaL 
17* 15. '< As for me I shall behold thy face in r^hteousness; 
I ahaU be satisfied .when I awake with thy likeness." What this 
likeness is, whether or no it be the essential glory of God, or 
whether it be that glory that eminently shines in the human na- 
ture of the Son of God, or whether it be that likeness of God, 
that shall appear in every saint, in every one of the blessed ; 
take it as comprehending all these, ^' we shall be satisfied with 
God^s likeness,'' in the next state, which is a state of true life; 
and in the eternal exercise of all the faculties of life. Now com- 
jpare this world and heaven in both these respects, and you will 



see an infinite disproportion. First, for the world and all its 
offers to us cannot afford nstme content: and, Secondly, if it 
could, we have no permanent continuance ; and you shall see in 
both these respects how incomparably heaven exceeds it. 

L This world can afford us no true and perfect content. And 
for this we have both the testimony of God, and the universal 
testimony of mankind. ^ We have GoSh tegtimany in his word ; 
so that if you will believe him that knows what is in the crea-^ 
ture, and that put into it all those degrees of comfort and good- 
nsBs that are in it ; if you believe him he tells you that all worldly 
tilings have but the appearance of happiness, 1 John 2. 16. 
All thst is in pleasure, riches, honour, is but' vanity in masque- 
tade, vanity gilded over with the appearance of happiness, and 
men are deceived with false titles and empty names. There is 
no such thing as true pleasure, true riches, and true honours iii 
this world. These are too high titles for things below the moon ; 
all, the colour and false appearance of these things is maintained 
by those solecisms in language. which ate current in the world. 
We call them riches and pleasures and the like, but in truth 
they do not answer those names. Therefore the heart is still 
empty and foU of anguish amidst all these things. Nay the very 
senses are not satisfied with them. '< The eye is not satisfied 
with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.'' Eccl. 1. 8. A!f 
this world cannot fill the emptiness of the eye, or the ear. Pray 
do but consider the wise and tender mercy of God to us, that 
•he hath made these things, although necessary for the support 
of the present life,, and some way refi^eihing and ornamental, 
yet nevertheless he hath not given them such a degree of good 
as shall satisfy the soul of man. What is the reason of it ? It 
is his wise love. .\^lse love, that you may seek for happiness in 
himself. He .hath declared vriiat the world is, that yad m&y 
not be deeei\^ed with it; he hath itiade it to be empty and uh« 
%ikl;isfying, that yo4 may seek for happiness in himself. I re- 
member an observation of a philosojIheiP, sqpeaking iX the iVisdom 
-and goodness of divine providence in making the winds in this 
natural world, that so they may be instrumental to men's dis- 
covery of foreign parts, that diey may not be confined to the 
country where Aey are bom. 

The application is easy : the desires and aiibctions in man are 
as the winds. God bath given you these desires to make you 


seek after heaven. The affections are given to us, that not being 
satisfied with this world^ we may seek after the world that is 

Now what the wise man saith dbnceming riches, is applicable 
to all other things in the world, ^^ wilt thou set thine eyes upon 
that which is not?" Upon that which doth not answer the title 
of it ? You may call it substance^ but it will never satisfy yeu. 
Will you set your hearts upon the worlds which can never answer 
your affections^ that can never give you true and perfect joy^ 
where you cannot; obtain rest for your souls ? This should make 
you to seek earnestly after tiie kingdom of heaven. It is^true^ 
if there w^re not a revelation made of this liappiness^ ell the 
aignmeets that I shall use would be ot no effect; if you were 
as the heathen world, upon whom, the Sun of Righteousness 
fiever roae^ who.nev^r had a state of immortality and blessedness 
reveal^ to them« If you did think that because the soul and 
body are born togetjier and live together, therefore they shall 
die together : that* when one shall be resolved into the dust, th4 
other shall vanish into the air ^ then it were wisdom for you to 
nuike the best of what you have at present. But when Go4 
bath promised us a heavenly and eternal rest, for a person to 
make the world his happiness, it is just as if a person should 
httve the purest meats, and should choose to feed upon husks ; 
or should pitch upon acoms, when he hath the choicest fruits of 
the earth to eat of* 

Now to cypress this to you by a familiar and plain.siuiilitude^ 
suppose that the mol^s, which are blind naturally, and never 
saw the ligkUof the sipi, nor the beauty of this visible world, if 
they keep their holes, and think there is no better state^ and 
feed upon mean and bitter roots, and think there is no better 
fipody you dp not. marvel at ijt;. . But if you see the birds of the 
air tbatb^bQJbith^; light of the sun, and feed upon sweet and 
pleasant fruity j[ if youst^d see tbem run into the holes and 
cave* of the eart^ij you eould.not but wonder. If a heathea 
eonfine hipself to the things of this lower world, and make then» 
bis hl^inessy he pi^lilse a blind mole that knows no better things 
to feed upon, and delight himself with than these perishii^ plea*- 
spies* But for chrisliaas^ those that pretend to believe and ex- 
pect a heaFSOly etemalrest, that tliey should mind this world 
4NS as to neglect heaven g it is the most amazing prodigious folly* 


For both reason and sense tell them that this world cannot give 
them true eontent. And we have the concurrent testimony both 
of God and roan, for all persons must grant it, there is no true 
and perfect satisfaction here. 

2. Suppose there were, there is no permanent continuance of 
it. It is an inseparable adjunct to all our enjoyments here, they 
aie but temporal, they are but for a short space. For you are 
Kable to one of these two things, either you shall have your end 
shortly, or they shall have their end. With reference to all you 
enjoy and possess, you shall have your end in dying; or your 
riches and enjc^ents shall make themselves wings and fly away 
from you, before you leave the world. However, they shall not 
attend you one step beyond the grave^ not one^ not one moment 
beyond death. 

Where sense is so convincii^, one would think we should need 
no other argument to make us lay it to heart. 1 Cor. 7. 31. 
'' For the fashion of this world passeth away,'' where the apostle 
intimates the vanity of.it, it is but a fashion, it is but a shadowy 
happiness, there is but a mere appearance. This fashion passeth 
away, and what should more cause our undervaluing of it than 
this ? Suppose it were greater than it is in its own nature, yet 
if it be always in a fleeting posture, if the most substantial liap- 
piness here is but like a heap of snow before the heat of the sun^ 
like a shadow that flies away at noon-day-light. If it be but the 
shadow of a shadow, or less, if one would speak any thing more di- 
minutively ; how great a folly is it to set our hearts upon it ? Of 
Christ's kingdom it is said there shall be no end ; but this world 
is always in a flux^ always lapsing, and tending towards its 

I remember Seneca speaking of his master Attalus^ that 
which cured him of the inordiniate love of the world, was the 
sight of the triumphs of Rome, where there was all the magni- 
ficence, and splendour, and grandeur of the world made most 
conspicuous : after he had stood some hours in seeing all, saith 
he, ^ I have seen all this pomp and magnificence put in such 
order, and passing slowly along, yet it is all gone ; and why 
should I esteem and love this which is so transient and momen- 
tary ? Why are we struck with wonder and amazement at this ? 
It is but a vain pomp, and passeth away ; the scripture tells us 
so, *' the world passeth away, and the lusts thereof; but hf that 
doth the will of God abideth for ever.'' 1 John 2. 17. 

€HAP4 XI. OF THB. SLinm. ^ 

I^et me tdl you further^ upon this account that is so shortj 
and an eternal state follows it, that there is no such unhappy 
person in the world, as he that is happy here, because of the 
sudden change that death shall make in him jfrom his present 
pleasure to eterlasting misery. This is that which will double 
his misery. 

As I remember it is an observation of physicians, that there 
is nothing more destructive to health than the sudden change of 
the seasons, when we pass from extreme cold to extreme heat. 
O tlie sudden change from the pleasures of this world to everlast* 
ing torment, will double the misery. Remember when you live 
in the world, shining in pomp, and flowing in pleasares, and en- 
joy the greatest prosperity, uid have the strongest bodies, and 
the firmest hedth^ you may be struck with death suddenly ; but 
suppose you do not die suddenly, but have the preface of a sick- 
ness before your dissolution ; yet when the physician comes and 
speaks but a few words of some cold hope, that there is only 
some possiUIity of your recovery, it is like the sentence of death 
to you. But when you are ready to depart, and your soul sits 
tremUing upon pur lips, and you are ready to take your flight, 
you have nothing to pitch upon but heanren or hell. Now since 
this world is so shadowy and short an enjoyment, shall this take 
you off from seeking heaven ? One would think it impossible 
that the reasonable creature shoukl be guilty of such folly. Bring 
this down to yourselves, if this world is that which makes us 
neglect heaven, let us learn to disparage this world, by com- 
paring it with the eternal worM, that so we may seek the things 
that are above. 

?oi. III. 



This rest ahoald fortify tis against all the afflictions of this present Iife> 
whether they be cbaftiseiiients, or persecutions. 

OiNCE there is a divine and blessed rest hereafter for the saints 
of God, it should fortiiy us against all those afflictions and 
calamities that befal us in this present world ; Firsts against all 
those afflictions that befal us a» chastisements from God, those 
iiiiiich are designed for preparing us for this blessed rest, and 
these are most usual. And Secondly, those afflictions which we 
suffer for righteousness sake. 

1. Those afflictions- that are chastisements of us not for righte^- 
onsness sake, but with respect to sin. There are two conside- 
radons which will render them tolerable to us: (1.) Consider 
they come from the love of God, though that love be displeased. 
Rev. 1. 17* '^ As many as I love I rebuke and chasten.*' . O it is a 
dreadful state, when God doth take away his rod from a person^ 
as one that is incorrigible ! if God once say, ^^ why should they be 
smitten any more, they will revolt more and more ?" It is the 
most terrible word next to that of, ^^ go ye cursed." But when 
God doth afflict in order to make us better, when he doth cor- 
rect us for our good, O this sweetens the cup. When I have 
this argument, I am part of God's paternal care, and under his 
gracious providence, that he doth not leave me un'chastised in 
sin. But which is more particularly to my purpose, because 
these chastisements are in order to an eternal rest, they are to 
purify us, and to prepare us for that rest. When he is pleased 
to put his people into the fire, it is to refine them, and bum up 
their dross ; it is to make his image more bright and shining 
upon them, and that is the principal cause ; I speak with re*> 
fercnce to God, it is his love, though displeased that afflicts them. 
So then the issue of all, shall be the eternal enjoyment of God 
in heaven, how should this make God's people willing to bear 
his present displeasure, when God's rod is upon his children ; it 


is more powerful to convince them, for thereby he makes them 
sensible of the evil of sin, which only can bar their entrance into 
heaven ; he takes their hearts off this world, which would turn 
them from heaven* \Vhen you are under the sharpest afflictions, 
you may comfort yourselves with this, that there is a blessed re- 
pose in the bosom of God, when you shall enjoy his favour with- 
out eclipse or interruption. I speak this to the people of God 
that labour to have his chastisements sanctified and effectual 
upon them. The very belief of this is able to sweeten all the 
afflictions that we can meet with here. It is an expression of 
the apostle; ''rejoicing in hope.'* Rom. 15. 13. ''The God 
of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing." 

2. Especially those sufferings that are endured for righteous« 
ness sake, are not only made tolerable, but easy and amiable to 
us. I shall tell you that which at first you may think a paradox, 
but is an eternal truth ; he is the happiest man in the world that 
suffers most for God, and receives least of his reward here : be-* 
eause of the degrees of glory that are reserved for such a one 
hereafter, which shall infinitely recompense all tha^ he suffereth 
here. There are two scriptures that I shall set before you fc^ 
this purpose* Rom* 8. 18. " For I reckon that the sufferings 
of the present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory 
which shall be revealed in us.** " For I reckon,** as if he had 
said, I have made a strict search into it, I have thoroughly ex- 
amined the matter, I have, upon a just computation of the fiituro 
glory, found that it is incomparably above our present sufferings. 
Who is it that saith this? It is the most afflicted person in the 
world, and one that had such a sight of heaven while he was 
here, that he did, as it were walk by sight. As the Israelites 
sent spies into the land of Canaan, to give them an account of 
the fruitfiilness of that good land; so Paul was as it were, sent 
from earth to heaven to discover it, and give us an account of it. 
^^ For I reckon that the sufferings of the present time are not 
worthy to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed in us.*' 
AU the sufferings of this life are moderated and allayed by the 
sense of God*s favour to his peojde, and they are all but for. a 
time. Therefore you find Paul histancing in this very case, 2 
Cor. 4. 17. ** ftw our light affliction which is but for a moment, 
worketfa for us a fiir more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." 
Where yon see the opposition is made both in the degree and 



duration of those things. All the afflictions of this world Hd&f 
are but UgfU and momentary ; but it is an eternal weight of 
glory. And will not infinite and eternal glory support us under 
short and light afflictions? I know many times they are very 
heavy to sense, and very afflictive. But then faith and hope 
represent to the soul, and give assurance of tliis eternal rest, 
which is a great support to the soul. The more tempestuous 
the sea is, the more sweet will heaven be. Therefore comfort 
yourselves under all your afflictions that you suffer fox Christ's 


This mt sITordtatroDg coBsoUiioB to Che MUtt ia (heir conflict with deatkv 
D<^a(h considered as it either alfecU natore, or is an inlet to betfren. The 
saints must under^ It, that the relics of sin may be eztingaistaed $ as a 
meant to bring tbem to glorj i became they mast ran the race before they 
have Uie priaei that there may be a ditUactioa between the present and 
fatnre state; that di?ine power may be florifled In their rcsurrectioo* 
A threefold temper of spirit with which a taint should die; with sobmie* 
slon to the win of God, with Joy from a consciousness of his own slacertty, 
and a prospect of heaven. It is Tery diahonoarable for a taint to be wn- 
wllUnc to die ; it arfuea a great defect in hit faith and love, mad too s^ofc 
a valne for thii worlds 

Xf there be a Messed rest remaining for the aamts in the nexC 
world, this will alford strong eonsolalaoD in their conflict with 
death, that unirarsal enemy of mankfaid. For this is nam^ ^ 
iMrcifol prondenoe of God appointed to be a meaw of coo^e^* 
ing them to the possession of thb rest.' Thefefore the sMnto 
•honld meet death, not only without thoae tenocs and fcaia 
which nainrally we are Kable to apoa that aeeoont, bat with 
J<»yAd afle«tioQh, as the psabaist said, ^ 1 waa ghd when thqr 
said, let US go np to the house of the Lord/' So when the 


pusionate call of God by death shall sound in the ears of a chris- 
tian, that he should come up to this rest^ he should receive that 
call with joy. 

It is otherwise with wicked' men ; to them death is (and ought 
to be) the king of terrors. And in truth it is the saddest sight 
in the worlds when one who hath Uved a careless life, neglecting 
God and his soul : when such a one dies with the same indif- 
ference as if he was going to deep, without any sollcitousness or 
coneeitiment about his future staite. It is often thus, that an 
affected security in this life is punished with an inflicted security 
at death. It is often so that the sinner goes from an inward 
darkness to outer darkness. 

On the other side it is sad to see an awakened and terrified 
sinner die ; when one that hath lived in a course of sin, and God 
by the cold hands of death attacks, and seizes upon him to bring 
him to judgment ; and conscience be^s to take courage, and 
speak touthe sinner, and tell him what his state is| and his fear 
presently turns into despair. Thb is a most dreadful sight, to 
see a man that hath lived as if he should never die, to die wiUi- 
out any hope of living Iq another worid. 

fiut to see one that hath 'been a sincere servant of God, one 
that hath Kved a life of holiness, to see this person joyful upon a 
death bed : when the funting flesh sinks under the weight of a 
disease, to see the soul supported and raised with the blessed 
hopes of hesyen, it is certasnly the most cemfortabte sight in 
the world. Nothing is so honourable to religion ; nothing so 
encouraging and consolatory to those that are round about such 
a person ; nqthing so much discovers the power of godliness as 
to see a servant of God not only die in peace, but to die in 
triumph. As I remember Bernard tells us of his brother, I was 
ealled (suth he) to see a miracle, to see a man triumphing in 
death, and o^er dealih. O this, is that which makes teKgion to 
be so vabaMe. This is that which is the way to convert sinners 

Te impnorre this part of the application, I will. First, show 
how we are to consider death 5 Secondly, upon what account 
tins dispeasation is continued to4he saints, that they caHkiot ob- 
*«n heaven but by dying; Thirdly, with whatirame and temper 
of mini it becomes tbexn to receive death; Fowthly, how dis* 



bonoltrable a thing it is for the people of God to be tinvriUing 
to die. 

1. Show how we are to consider death. Death may be con-* 
sidered two ways (!•) o^ i^ affects nature^ as it dissolves the 
vital intimate union between soul and body, and separates those 
n^ar and dear friends ; so it hath an aspect that is unpleasing to 
us. Considered thus in itself^ death is so far from being an ob* 
ject of ones desire, that our blessed Saviour who was a person 
holy, harmless, undefiled, who never had ah irregular passion, 
yet when he drew near to death, he prayed, *' Father, if it be 
possible let this cup pass from me/' There was an aversion to 
death in the human soul of Christ. You must understand it 
thus : his death was attended with all those circumstances, that 
made it truly formidable. Take an instance in one of the ho* 
liest persons that ever was in the worid, and that is Paul, 2 
Cor. 5. 4. after he had expressed his desire to be in heaven, 
<^ for in this we groan earnestly^, desiring to be clothed upon with 
our house which is from heaven.*^ In the fourth verse he telb 
usy ^^ for we that are in this tabeniaole do groan beings burthened, 
not for that we would be. unclothed, but clothed upon, that mor* 
tality might be swallowed up of iife.'^ If it were possible, and 
if it were matter of a lawfol wish, a saint would not desire to be 
unclothed, but have this body of flesh changed into an immortal 
body. But if heaven he obtained by dying, if God wiD take off 
t)iis vile garment of flesh, that he may put the royal robe upon 
us, we must be virilling to be unclothed. 

(2.) Consider death as a means to bring us to everlasting 
blessedness : so it is the proper object of our desire. Phil. 1 . 23; 
'/•Having a dbske todepart and be with Christ whieh is fer bel^ 
ter j yet neverthdiess to abide in the flesh is more needfol fet 
you.'' I desire to depart, aa my being present in the body, im-» 
plies beisig dra«aft from the Lord. So the apostle desSred to he 
divested of this body that he mig^t see Christ face to fiice. 
Though all the saints of God have not such wings of fire as the 
apostle, had, sUOh ardent aflectbns to be with Christ, yet where 
there is a renewed na^te, there wiU be a tendency and an ia- 
dinataon towaids it, that so they may be with Gdd and Christ 
which is far better, and in this respect the nature <tf death is 
changed to the peqple of God. It is an enemy to nature; but 


eonsidered by this mercifiil order ol the divine providence^ as it 
is a means to bring ns to heaven^ so it is reconciled to iis* Pro?. 
14. ^^ If a man's ways please the Lord, he will .make his ene- 
mies to be at peace with him." So if your ways please him^ 
he wHl make death, your last oiemy to be a friend to you; and 
it will be the best and most blessed friend to remove us from this 
sinfnl world' to the enjoyment of the most holy and blessed God. 
1 Cor. 3. 22, 23. <^ AUthnigs are yours, whether Paul or 
Apollos^ or Cephas, or the world, ovMfe, or death, or things pre^ 
sent or things to come ; all are yours, and you are Christ's and 
Christ is God's." Where you have the scale of subordination 
the gospel makes ; Christ is God s, and you ai« Christ's, and 
all things are yours. 

There is such an indmate union between God and ChriA, and 
Christ and believers^ that all is;tbdrs, whether life .or death; 
death is for their advantage : Phil. 1. 21. '^ for to me to live b 
Christ, -and to die is gun;" but to a carnal man, death is the 
greatest loss, he loseth ail his good things in this woridj and 
his h<^8.of all good in the neiet. He loseth whatsoever be 
vahies here^ and what is valuable iii the next life. Death is to 
a carnal man a fiery stingihg serpent, it wounds him and de»- 
livers him to eternal death. But to a saint death is an advsm^ 
tage, it brnigs him to the enjqfjment of Ood^ and the blessed 
spirits above*- And further the^ is. an exprnston, that is most 
Temarkid>le la this purpose/ to^show that the nature of deathly 
changed to a believer, that whidi la itself is the doom of the 
law and corse and punishment of sin, yet the death of a saint is 
of most precious acowint in Godjs sights Psal. 116.: L5. << pre^- 
dotts in the sight of the Lord is'tbs deatii of hk saints.*' God 
never looks Aipon his people with. a more lender compassionate 
eye, than in a dying hour : sqipose their death be attmded with 
all the circumstances cS ignominy and tcmu^ - and contumely in 
die world, it is most precious to him. 

Now if it be imd, if this be necessary in order to the making 
ef death deshable to us, what is. the reason that God doth by 
dying bring, the saints to heoiren ? hexrould if he pleased, change 
all, as diose that shall be found aKve at the (K"Ding of Christ at 
the last; God could, if he pleased idiange them by his infinite 
power, and give thimi a blessed immortality instead of deadli 
This leads me to remark^ 



2. What tt the itaaoa of this dispensation, why death is am- 
tinued to the saints ? For these reasons. 

(1.) God is pleased to contiime death in the world to saiiots 
, and belierers, because by this he would extinguish all the relios 
of sin; which 4ire principally seated in the carnal and senrntive 
fiumlties. Death is a marii of God's displeasure against sin, and 
be continues it so to be to the. end of the world to all his people,' 
that he may make death iastrumeiital to abolish ain, that so no 
root or fibre of it shall remain. It is true, God couLd abolish it 
by his infinite power immediately; bnt he doth it this way to 
declare what an evil thing sin^ is. As soon as the ^soul is sepa- 
rated from the body it is presently beed from all the taint and 
defilement of sin (1 speak now of the saints.) The body indeed 
faUs to the gnnre, and God will at last reeompose that in honour 
and glory, and in a state of perfect purity. But this way he 
hath choseft to ea^nguish the. relics: of sin by death. Suppose 
'that a piece of plale be battered and soiled extreuidiy, so that 
neither, the fiishion nor ti» lustre of it remains, a gcridsmith will 
melt this down and .pot it ioto a new figure and form. Thus it 
is with the body of a saint, it is like a piece of plate soiled and 
Jbatteied by sin, and tSod mcks it down in order to its being re- 
fined and made meet far a glorious state. 

. (2*) Death is a means to bring iis to glory ; it is the way that 
our Saviour went in before us ; he aseended into hesvea by the 
grave, and ie an exanqple of Our glorification } '' our vile body 
•hall be changed by Christ,'' that it may be << fashioned like 
unto his gkcioos body, srccordiag to the working whereby he is 
aUe even to sididue ail things to himself." Phil. 3. 21. We 
must be the food of worms, sad U^ iathat place winch is called 
the famd of fargetfohiess. When our Redeemer, ascended into 
heaven, he took the grave in his way; and he hath perfiuoed the 
grave, and made-it a bed of rest- to his people. 

(3.) Another reason why doth is continue^ to the sunts, is, 
1)eeanse this is the order of the divine wisdom in the gospel, that 
none shouM receive the prize but those that run the race. There-* 
fere till we have run that race that is set before us by our dying, 
which is the accomplishment of it, we have net a rin^t to the 
erowH. ^ None are crowned," saith the apostle, " but those that 
strive lawAiUy.;" .and in our encountering death, the last enemy, 
we declare our love to God : for *' whether we live or die^ we are 


the Lord's/' And till we overcome desth we «re not qualified 
for the crown of righteousness, We^ and glory : therefore Gfod dis- 
pensetfi his reward after we hate persevered in his service. For 
he hath chose this way to give heavoi to us. Although it is a 
most free finrour and gift of his love, and the richest liberality of 
his hand ; yet it is after we have glorified hhn by perseverance, 
and that dying as well as livhag. * 

(4.) God'ccmtinues this dispensation to the saints that they 
shall eome to heaven by death ; that he may distinguish between 
^e present state and the future. If every saint and bdy man 
should be glorified after such a term of yean and aseend to hea- 
ven as our Saviour did, we should not then walk by fiiith, but by 
sight ; and so there would be no distinction between this and the 
next state. It is ordered by Ckxi in the gospel, that we should 
live by faith. God is therefare pleased to reserve that glory for 
the saiats in tbt other world, and they must pass to it by dying. 
He wiU try their faith, and exercise their reason tdo, whether 
they wiU beHeve him upon his promise. 

{5.) Another reason why God eontinues death to the saints in 
all ages is ior the greater glorification of his power in i:aising their 
dead bodies at the last day ; when all that have lain in their re- 
positories for so many ages ; all the saints whose bodies have 
heea reserved into their elements, and scattered abroad, tn a mo- 
ment, in the twinkling of an eye, shall aU be re-animated and re- 
united to their souls, and made possessors of God for ever. 'The 
reaorreetion of. the* body is a miracle almost equal to the crea- 
tion ; for it is the raising a glorious body out of matter most un- 
prepared and ifidbpOeed. The apoetie tells us^ wr Saviour shall 
come to be '^glorified in his saiiits, and admired in all them that 
believe,'' 2 Thes. L 10. the angels thema^es will then be 
struck, with a noble wonder, to see spfibging out of the. dust in- 
numerable glorified bodies. So. when the aposde. speaks con- 
oemii^ the reswrection of the just; Phil. 3. 21. ^Wbo shall 
change our vile body, that it may lie fesfaioned like .unto his glo- 
rious bodyy aeeordiQg to the' working of his mighty povreV, where^ 
by he his able even to subdue alt things to himseit'* With what 
an emphasis doth he speak of the divme powar that shall raise 
our bodies ? ^Tbus I have opened to you the reasons why God is 
pleased, by dying to Mng his sainta to their everlasting rest. 

3* Let us now see with what temper and frame of spirit it be- 


comes the peofde of God to leaye thiB wbrid. Thbre are thxee 
things to which I shall advert. 

(1.) That which is the bwest degree of grace is this, a saint 
ahould die with subwissioii io the wiU of God, with an acqui- 
escence in the will of his Father. There may be some stormy 
affectpons in oiur nature, considering death as a natural evil ; yet 
nevertheless, when we consider it is God that gave fife and it is 
God thAt takea awaiy lifo, our death should be with resignation 
and yieldhig up ourselves to God.- Observe that most pasricHiate 
story concerning Abraham's oAering up Isaae. He was com- 
manded to saerifice his son* ' Consider what a hard work it was 
for Abraham to olfer up his son, and for his son to be offered up. 
Yet we. do not read of the ieait rductancy either in Abraham or 
Isaae ; for there was a superior consideration both in the one and 
in the other, that silenced ail the motions of nature. Abraham 
complies with God, and Isaac readily yields up Imnself Io be sa- 
crificed by his £ahee. When God signifies his will to us, that 
we must die, whatever are the next causes of it, tfaey sire but in- 
strumental to his providence, and tbersfare it becooies us, with 
the gresfteat WiUii^^ness, to resign up onraehes to God. ' Indeed 
when a; wicfc^ man dies, his soul is often rent firom him by au 
act of violence ^feuad force. .' O how miwiHingly doth he go! for 
what is the hope of the hypocrite, when God shall take away his 
soul ; that is, take it away by storm* But a gracious person 
4ioold ddiver up his soul to God. ^ Loid now lettest thou thy 
servant depart in peace, accoiding to thy word : -for mine eyes 
bane seen thy sahrittion.^' Bow vohintarily doth he commend and 
resign up his soul to God ! if you dibuld say it is true, I am will- 
ing to yidd up nty^sottl to God, but I am afraid to die : many of 
the most holy servants of God are most sensible, even in a sor- 
lowfol manner, of their appeanmoe before the great tribunal, and 
the aootamt they are to give to' the Padier of spirits ; and diia 
makes them unwilling to die. To that I shall only say thus 
much; it.is a very isad case, thoogii the soul is safe as to its eter- 
nal interest, if there be an uneomfertaM^ apprehension of our 
being io danger^ yet even then i^- is the duty of the creature to 
fiubmit. This is a duty that must nsfver be violated. You may 
imty indeed with earnestness, as David, '^Ospareme a littla 
that I may reco^r strength,* beftmf I go hence, and be no more.^ 

CBAP. Xtlf. OF THB SAmTB. 91 

Psal. 39. 18. And this is becoming the serrants of God. But 
if Ciod by his providence show it his will they should die, sub- 
mission to his decreeing providence is entirely their duty ; and 
this 18 the lavteat step that we can go. 

(2.) To ascend higher ; it becomes a saint to receive death 
not only patiently, bnt joyftdly, as it is that which shall bring him 
to the sight of God, to the perfect love of God, to the enjojrment 
of the blessed society above : I say a sami should receive death 
joyJuUg. It is that which is the end of his fiiith, and of his 
hope; and tliat which: if he be a tme saint, hath been the su-^ 
preme object of his desire, for in tnlth, no man can pray in since- 
rity, "thy wiH be done and thy kingdom come,*' but in that very 
petition, he desires God to fit him tat heaven, and to take him to 
it. Thevefbre he should receive death joyfiilly when ever it comes. 
We read in the 42 psalm, a very passionate expression of David, 
"Myaoul thirstethfor God, for the living God: when shall I 
come and nppeat before thee?'' He was then banished from the 
tahemacie. How much greater reason have we to say, O when 
shaH I appear beibre God in his temple above, and see his un- 
vriied glory, aiid love him as ttiuch as I am capable of Itmng? 
O consider when the body dies, tk» soul is not oppressed in its 
ruins, bnt is deSvered by it. The soul hath an immediate en- 
trance into glory, and a fiiU possession of the kingdom prepared 
for it. And O the joyfiil reception that the holy sodi hath when 
it oomes to heav^A. Therefore i4^h what joy should it go thi- 
ther: it is wehiomed by its God' -and Jesus Christ, the Ihiition of 
whom is its bless^ness for ever. Christ wilt prononnce the 
blessed senisenoe and say, <^ WeH done good and ftdthlbl servant 
enter thM Into the joy of thy Loid,'' O trfcot an eestacy will a 
holy soul be in wb^ it hears these life-breathittg "vMirds friooi the 
month of' Christ I All the angels and saints above, have, as il^ 
were, an overflowing joy, wh^ the people oJF God are brought 
safe to the everlasting kingdom. You know when theM Is a great 
fleet of ships,- that are all designed for one harbour and port, 
some come in before the other into the harbour ; bow do they 
iveicome the rest that oome after ! What expressions of joy, 
what caressing and feasting between friends, when they are safely 
arrived in the same harbour I This is a little emUom of the joy 
that is above. With what triumphant joy do the saints welcome 
iMie another after they ar^ passed throogh these dangerous seas^ 


the troables and temptations of this wicked worM, and are arri'- 
ved safe to the bosom of God. But yoa will say there are many 
of the people of God, that do not feel this joy when they come 
to die* I answer it is their own fault. They do not only lose a 
privilege, but they neglect a duty. It may be, that they have 
not lived with that holy care, and circumspection, and accuracy 
as becomes those that made it their business to finish their 
course with joy. Yet nevertheless the saints of God, where there ' 
is true grace, though they may experience fears, and doubts, and. 
troubles, yet their happiness is secured. It is with diem as it is ma* 
ny times with a setting sun, that is obscured with thick vi^xmrs ; 
but it ariseth in the morning in a beautiftil horison. So many a 
saint may set in a cloud, and be afraid of appearing before God ; 
but when they come into the other world, they are received with 
joy and triumph. We should labour so to live, that we may die 
joyfully. There are two things which are causes of joy to the 
dying saints^ 

1st, A reflection upon a life sincerely spent in the service of 
God, though attended with infirmities and failings. For thus 
saith the apostle, 2 Cor. 1/22* <<For our rejoieing.is this, the 
testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sinceri- 
ty, not with fleshly wisdom, ^but by the grace of God we have had 
our conversation in the world/' The reflection upon a life that 
hath been pleasing to God in the main coursie of it, and a con* 
scienee sprinkled with the blood of Christ, O it midies death de- 
siraUe, it makes a man joyfiil in death. And this joyfiil reflee- 
tion upon our past worfcs, is an imitation of God. For when 
God look^ back iqKm his works of creation, and saw that they 
were all very good, he rqoiced in them^ he delighted in the re* 
view of them ; then he appointed n sabbath, and a day* of rest, 
ao when a christian k)oks back upon a life regulated by the gos- 
pel according to lliat acceptance that God dedareth there; O 
the peace and joy that is in the soul ! 

2dly, Another cause of a christian's joy in death, is the pros- 
pect of eternal blessedness that is before him : it was the saying 
of a* holy man in a dying hour, there is no man can overoomer 
death, but he that looks beyond death. Now a christian by foith 
lodes through the dark cloud ; he sees that when the natural life 
shall be extmguished, the spiritual life shall come to its perfec- 
tion. This prospect makes the saints joyful, I re«d of the far 

* CBAP. Xltl. OF tHS dAlMTll. AS 

mous astroaomer Hipparchus, one speaks in prake and admira^* 
tion of him ; O the divine wisdom of Hipparchus^ fie freed the 
world from a double darkness and inconvenience, of ignorance 
and fear; when be discovered the causes of the eclipses. For the 
people thought that they should lose the sun and modn when 
there was an eclipse of them. Thus death is an eclipse; it 
cclipseth this natural life for a timet but he that hath an en« 
lightened faith and hope of an eternal rest, knows- a better life 
shall be restored to the body, and the soul shall enter immedi* 
ately into the possession of eternal life. Therefore although the 
body ijf a saint may sigh and groan for the pangs and agonies it 
endures in a dying hour, yet he can rejoice and lift up his head^ 
because the day of his redemption draws nigh. 

(S.) It becomes a saint not only to die joyfully, but thankfully^ 
with solemn praises to God that he will be pleased to take him 
to himself. ** Father I will, saith Christ, that those whom thou 
hast given me, may be with me where I am, that they may be- 
hold my glory.'' This may make a saint to die triumphantly^ 
considering that divine grace hath made him persevere to the 

* end. For perseverance is that which qualifies him for heaven^ 
and entitles him to it by the promise, '^ Those that patiently 
continue in well-doing, shall hav^ honour, glory, immortality, 
and eternal life/' O with what thankfulness shotdd a saint ot 
God leave the world, seeing God hath pleased to fortify his spi- 
rit agwist all those temptations that have ruined so. many souls^ 
and to keep his love alive acting and governing in the breast of a 
saint, and that he is pleased to take him immediately to himself. 
A saint should die with hymns of praise in his mouth, and b^n 
his heaven here. It is observed, that when great rivers near the 
sea break forth and overflow the banks, the sea meets them and 
mixeth with them : so when- a saint ascends to heaven, many 
times it descends to him and refresheth him in his dying agonies. 
A dying saint should begin the work of praise here, that shall be 
his employment and* blessedness for ever. We are never more 
Indebted to God, than when we come to die. When he hath 
carried us dirough a sinful tempting world, and hath cbnveyed us 
safe to eternal felicity. 

Thus I have shown you how it becomes a saint of God to die. 
O that you would labour so to die, for it will be your unspeak- 
able advantage. I am sure you will be of my mind then^ unless 


you axe under a fatal stupidity^ and a damnable dehuion. You 
will wish you had prepared yoaraelves to die comfortably. O 
that we could despise all the terrors and allurements of this 
w<Mrld, that we may die a happy death! ' 

4. I shall show you how dishonourable a thing it is fior the 
people of God to be unwilling to die ; how it doth refleet upon 
them and argues that which should be matter of continual sor« 
row and grief. 

(1.) It arguea a strange d^e<^ in his faith. We have a dou- 
ble apprehension of death, the apprehension of nature^ and the 
apprehension of faith. Indeed in the apprehension of nature, 
there is nothing to sweeten it, considering it in itself. He that 
looks upon a dying or dead persim merely with a carnal eye, will 
9ee matter enough of dread ; to behold a body labouring under 
agonies, and either painful or languishing distempers ; to see it, 
as we read of the possessed person in the gospel, sometimes cast 
into the fire, and sometimes into the water ; sometimes it may 
be in a burning fever, and sometimes in a cold aweat ; here is 
nothing to make it desirable. To see a dead body, pale, cold 
and stiff, without motion or life, this is still matter of terror« 
But if you look upon it with the apprehension of faith, it gives 
you another prospect of it. Tar death is that which is ordained 
by the Father of mercies, to put us into a state beyond dying* 
In the apprdiension of faith, death is so far from wanting conso- 
lation, that it is the greatest consolation in the world to a belie^ 
ver, because fiuth tells him that after death we shall sin no more; 
weep no more ; and be above all afflicting evils. Faith assures a 
believer that his soul shall immediately enter upon a blessed im* 
mortality as soon as he leaves the body* It shall be transpcnrted 
by a guard of angels, those immortal warriors, through the devil's 
kingdom^ safely to eternal rest. And for the body that indeed 
falls to the dust; but f«th assures me, that this shall be trans- 
formed and made like unto Christ's glorious body, and shall 
be re-united to the soul, and be its consort in everlasting happi- 

We read in the book of Leviticus, concerning the house that 
was infected vnth the fretting leprosy, God ordered that it should 
be pulled to pieces and demolished: and we read of the order of 
God concerning the tabernacle, that it should be taken down 
when it was to be removed. Now the death of the vmked man> 


and the saint may be compared to these two^.as to ih(^ diffeieiico 
of them. When a wicked man dies, bis body is like the bouse 
infected with the leprosy^ all the parts of it^ after being pulled 
down are thrown into rains and rubbish with execration. But 
when a saint dies, his body is taken down as the tabernacle was^ 
with a great deal of care, to be preserved till it be raised a gl<^ 
rious temple, for the Spirit to dwell in for erer. NOw since faith 
giveth us an assurance of these things lyb^t a dishonour is it to a 
christian, . th^t he should be unwilling to die. We read of the 
disciples, that when our Lord came unto them upon the waters^ 
they said it is a spectre, it is a spirit : they could not bear the 
apparition : but our Saviour said unto them, '^ Be not afraid it is 
Ij" It is I that am your merciful Saviour* A strange thing that 
we should be afraid of death ! It b Christ that corned by death 
to take us to himself. The reason why a saint dies, i& this, be* 
cause Christ will have those souls, which cost him so dear, ta 
reign with him in glory above, that he may obtain his purchased 
possession* Do but then consider with yourselves, how disho- 
nourable it is to a christian^ one that hath made it his business 
and work to glorify and please God ; what a shame it is to be 
unwilling to die 1 It argues as if there were some relics of infi* 
delity in him too powerful for his faith. Is it not a shame to a 
christian to read what is reported conc^ning a philosopher 
among the heathens, when Antigpnus the emperor threatened t^ 
put the philosq>her to death ; threaten this, said he, to your in-» 
Solent courtiers, that are softened with sensuality, for I am pre- 
pared for death. Is it not a shame to a christian that he should 
not \^ above the fear of death, when a heathen philosopher 
speaks thus with courage and bravery, unmoved at the threatenf 
logs of it? What a shame it .is for a christian to be afraid of 
death, when God hath given him assurance^ that there is eternal 
rest above. 

(2.) It argaes the OQldness qf car love to God and C&rwf* 
Love b an affection of union ^ it is that which is always aspiring 
and acting in desire, after the full fruition of the person beioved. 
And if there be the kai^ degree of holy love in the seal, it is 
that which causeth it to ascend in its dedres towards Ood^ to be 
vrithhim. You know as soon as the iire is kindled, the sparks 
will be ascendmg, and the flame arising ; so where there is a sin* 
eere love to God and Christy it is always in a tendency and indi^ 


nation towanb him. Therefore in the New Testament you have 
tfa]0 as the univeraal common character of christians, they are 
. those that, '' Love the appearance of Christ." This is their 
character. And pray do but consider how this coldness of our 
love that 1 am now speaking of, is aggravated upon one aeooant : 
our Saviour had such a love for us, that he left the bosom of hia 
Father, the throne of his g^ory, and descended into this lower 
atate of misery for us, that he might redeem us from iniquity, 
and recover us from our lost and undone condition* And shall 
not our love make us willing to €ucend to him where we enjoy 
him in glory? When the soul is divorced from the body it is 
immediately united to Christ, married to him for ever? Shall 
we not be willing to leave this world, that we may be united to 
him that loveth us ? How can we pretend to the love of Christ, 
and not have this inseparable effect of it, earnest desires to be 
with him ? Certainly this consideration should make us asha- 
med, that we live so patiently in this world, that we are not al- 
ways under earnest longings and languishings to be with Christ 
above, that he may *^ Kiss us vrith the kisses of his mouth, whose 
love is better than wine;" and that we may enjoy his love which 
is infinitely sweeter than all the festival entertainments of this 
world. Did the love of Christ niake him willing to come from 
heaven to earth to siiffier for us; uid shall not our love make us 
willing to ascend to heaven to reign with him ? I know what I 
am now speaking, does no more affect a carnal heart, than if I 
were offering him a stone for food. But I speak to those that 
have this holy fire in their breasts, and that sincerely love Christ. 
Methinks it should make us ashamed, to be indifferent whether 
we continue still in the worid, or go to heaven. 

(3.) It argues too great an attachment to the world; and how 
dishonourable is this to the christian. As if his heart were 
glued to these things ; as if they were his chief happiness ! I do 
not wonder if I s^e H carnal man that is rich and lives in plea- 
sure, if Ae be unwilling to die. What our Saviour telk of the 
young man in the gospel, is true of such, <* He went away sor* 
rowfiil from Christ, for he had great possessions." For such a 
man to leave the world sorrowfiil, that hath his heart here, and 
his happiness here, I do not wonder at it. It is a badexchange 
that such a one mdies. But for the man that hath a title to an 
-eternal kingdom, to be .unwilling to die and leave this world, 

CSAP. Xltl. or Tltil SAtNTB. tf7 

BOiely Mfgoes a great degree of carnality in his breast^ that he 
diould be so taken with these trifles of time^ these empty vani«* 
ties^ and that he should be so unwilling to go to that place, 
where there is the only true treasure, and the only true pleasure 
and delight, and perfect satisfaction ! 

Consider how very dishonourable it n for a christian to be un* 
willing to die, thereftve let us labour constantly to conquer this 
aversion to death, this fear of it ; the truth of it is, there is no 
excuse that a holy man can bring for hisjunwillingness to die ; 
but indeed the very excuse increases the fault. If you say you are 
not yet prepared to die, therefore you fear death ; it is your own 
fault that you are not every day prepared, seeing there is a strict 
and peremptory command of Christ to partake of the symbolicaJ 
representation of his sufferings, if you neglect to come, and say, 
you are not prepared 3 why are you not ? It is a guilty neglect 
of your souls that you are not prepared for this blessed ordinance, 
it is not your pretence of unpreparedness will free you, if you 
neglect and disobey this charge and command of your heavenly 
Father. So if you are unwilling to die and unprepared it is your 
fault that you are not ready for death. All those that are united to 
Christ and have an interest in him, and have mortified their 
lusts, O let them not be unwilling to die. Indeed many of those 
diat walk holily and humbly, and are conscientious christians, 
are many times afraid to die; I do not deny this. Sometimes it 
is with them in reference to the fears of death, as it is with one 
that hath wasps humming about him that have lost their sting; 
they miay terrify him but cannot hurt him. Death to a saint is 
like a wasp that hath lost its sling, it may make a humming 
ntMse about him, it may raise trouble and fear in him for a time, 
birt cannot really hurt him. Now to such I shall only say this ; 
where there is a sincere humble soul, that hath made it its busi* 
neas to please God, although many infirmities and many sins 
have att^ed his performances (which the best sdnts are guilty 
of) ne^^erthelcBS do but consider, what the gospel saith concern* 
iag oar Saviour, it tells you he is your Judge ; he that valued you 
so much as to give his life for you; he is your Judge; your Advo- 
cate is to pass sentence ; and shall we not be willing to appear 
bdbre him that is our Saviout? Shall not the ransomed with 
jey give up themselves to their Redeemer ? 

It is a terrible consideration to appear before an infinite God, 

VOL. iiu o 


but this h a eomfortable consideration^ that his goodness is an- 
swerable to his greatness. That I may allude to that scripture^ 
that respects the saints coming to the throne of grace^ saith the 
apostle, *^ Let us come boldly to the throne of grace," Heb. 4. 
19. So I may say, let a saint go boldly to a throne of glory ; 
ivith boldness, calmness^ and joy let the saints deliver their souls 
up to Christ t 


This affords comfort ia the deaUi of holy Crieodt. 

X HE next use of the point is this ; if there be an eternal rest 
remaining for the people of God, then this affords us solid com- 
fort intke death of our dearest jriends wlio die in tlve Lord, and 
who are ascended to enjoy this rest. It is one of the tenderest trials^ 
in the world, when God takes from us our dear relations and be- 
loved friends. There is nothing more affects humanity, nothing 
more wounding, than when tho^e we value, love, and esteem, 
and delight in are taken from us. Now the apostle gives this 
direction, 1 Thes. 4. 13. *' But I would not have you be igno* 
rant, brethren, concerning them that are asleep, that you sorrow 
not even as others which have no hope ; for if we believe that 
Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep, in Jesus 
will God bring with him.*' Indeed for the heathen, that looks 
upon death as a gulph that swallows a man for ever, there might 
be sorrow to part with their dearest relatives; but for the saints 
that believe an eternal state, and have a well-grounded hope that 
those that are near them, either in consanguinity or affection, are 
removed from this land oi darkness to the inheritance of the 
saints in light 3 they should not be dejected^ nor overwhelmed 
with sorrow. 


A dying believer should speak to his friends^ as Christ did to 
his disciples^ '* If you loved me, you would rejoice, because I am 
going to my heavenly Father." They are going to a place where 
they shall never be in danger of losing God, or their souls. We 
should refresh ourselves with consideration : though our departed 
friends are dead to us, they are alive to God in their better part ; 
they are now infinitely and eternally happy. I shall apply by 
way of illustration for this part of the argument, that which wd 
read concerning Jacob and Joseph ; Jacob, you know, was over- 
whelmed with sorrow at the apprehension of Joseph's death ; 
when he saw Joseph's garment torn and covered with blood. Gen, 
87. 33. he said, " It is my son's coat, an evil beast hath devoured 
him ; Joseph without doubt is rent in pieces. And Jacob rent 
his clothes, and put sack-cloth upon his loins, and mourned for 
His son many days." He thought a wild beast had devoured 
him, when at the same time, Joseph, the beloved son of his fa- 
ther, was seated next to the throne of Pharaoh in the rich king- 
dom of Egypt, and made governor of the land. We are wound- 
ed many times by the apprehension that our deceased friends are 
torn in pieces by death, this fills the channel always with new* 
sorrow, when we reflect upon it. But remember, if they were 
saints they are reigning in a better kingdom than that of this 
world. Your holy friends, you mourn for them as if they were 
torn in pieces by death, when they are reigning at God's right 
hand ; ^< In whose presence there is fulness of joy, and at whose 
right hand, there are pleasures for evermore." Therefore dry up 
this current of tears that you shed for the departed servants of 

a 2 


CHAP, xv; 

Exhortation to prepare for this rest. Gcnerail rales for it| to purify oor- 
sfUes more and more, and perfect holiness in the fear of God; whereby 
our title will be dearer, and onr assurance more joyful. Special rulesi to 
fix our choice on this eternal rest as our portion ; frequently and scrloasl^ 
think upon it; keep up earnest desires after it, and a llvcliy hope of it| 
aod strictly observe the Lord's Day, 

xSy the way of exhortation to you all, to prepare fir tJds eter^ 
nal rest. It is at a distance from us, though the distance be but 
small from many of us. And there is a great deal of difficulty 
attending it; but the excellency and the glory of it is that which 
will justify our greatest pains and diligence in labouring for it. 
It is our Saviour's coun^l, '< Seek ye first the kingdom of God, 
and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to 
you,'' Mat. 6. SS, Therefore seek it first. As we read the first 
part of God's creation was a heaven, ^^ In the beginning God 
created the heavens and the earth." An empyreal heaven^ the 
heaven of hea;yens was the first part of God's creation. And as 
it was the first part of God's work, so let it be the first part of 
onr work to obtain a title to it, and be qualified for it* Thus 
saith the apostle Paul, Phil. 3.. t3, 14. <^ Bre.thren, I count not 
myself to have apprehended : but this one thing I do, forgetting 
those things which are behind, and reaching forth to those 
things which are before, I press towards the mark for the prize 
•of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." '^ I press towards 
the mark ;" what vehement contention and earnestness do these 
words signify? So the apostle, 1 Tim. 6. 19. ''Charge those 
that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded nor 
trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us 
richly all thing to enjoy, and that they do good, and be rich in 
good works, &c. laying up in store for themselves a good foun- 
'dation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eter- 
nal life." And our Saviour tells us, *' The kingdom of heaven 
suffers violence, and the violent take it by force." All these 


scriptures I adduce to show you, with what vigour, and <filigence^ 
and zeal, you should labour for an eternal rest. 

Now in the management of this, 

L I shall lay down some general rules how yon should prepare 
for an eternal rest. 

II. Then some special rules for the government and conduct of 
yoursdves for the obtaining of it. 

1. The first genera] rule is this in <»der to your preparation 
for this eternal rest : Jet it be- your constant care to purify your«» 
selves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, 2 Cor. ?• !• saith 
the apostle, *^ Having therefore these promises ; dearly bdoved, 
let us cleanse ourselves from all fikhtness of flesh and spirit, per* 
fecting holiness in the fear of God.'' What is that promise? 
It is this in the 18th verse of the last chapter, 'M will be a Fa^ 
ther unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the 
Lord Almighty." O cleanse yourselves from all pollution of 
flesh and spirit. Under the law no person was permitted to en- 
ter into the tabernacle but tl^tme that were legally cleansed. He 
that should go to sacrifice with his legal uncleraness died for 
it. O consider what is that legal undeanness to the unclean- 
ness of sin? What is the touching of a dead body?. What is 
this ? It bath no guilt in ttsdf, no moral turpitude in it. God 
for wise reasons enjoined it, and expected obedience to it, that a 
man that was thus typically unclean should not enter into the ta« 
bemaele. But O consider, one that hath the uncleaaness of sin 
shall not enter into the temple above, he roust be purified. Thus 
saith the psalmist, <' I will wash my hands in innooeney, and 
compass thine altar, O Lord.'' He speaks of the material aUar^ 
how much more should we be pure, holy, and undefiied, if we 
enter into the tabemade above ? We read in the book ot Est- 
her, 2 chap* 12. ^<0f the vingins that were prepared twelve 
months for king Ahasuerus." The time that we are in this 
world is but as it were the mondis of our purification for the 
eteansing tift from sin, diat we may be fit for heaven. Let it be 
your oooatantserioos work to beeteansing yourselves, and purify* 
ing your hearts, Jam.. 4. 8. saith the apostle, ^ Draw nigh to 
God, and he will draw nigh to you t cleanse your hands, ye sinners, 
and purify your hearts, ye double-'minded." If you would have 
God draw near to you, and if you would draw near to God, yon 
must ^anse your hands, a^d purify your hearts ; you must not 

G 3 


only be free fiom sins of d: crimson gniH, tliat nattthil conscience 
will take fire at; but you must be cleansed from ail inward affec* 
tion to sin^ if you will appear before God here ; much more if 
yon will appear before him above : 1 John 3. 3. ^* And every 
man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself even as he is 
pure." There cannot be a rational hope of heaven without pu- 
rification : because the promise that doth secure heaven to the 
saints, hath always this condition with it, only those that are ho* 
ly shall see God. ^' Follow peace with all men, and holiness, 
without which no'man shall see the Lord." ^' Blessed are the pure 
in heart for they shall see Gad/' There ^annot be a well-grounded 
hope of heaven without purification. And because every day we 
are so apt to contract defileYnent, let us purify and cleanse ourselves 
every day by the application of the blood of Christ, and watch 
over ourselves, that not so much as a vain thought, or an irr^>ular 
action be allowed by usi We must be always cleansing ourselves, 
John 13. 4. it is said, '^ Our Saviour arose from supper and laid 
aside his garment, and took a towel and girded himself. After 
that he poived water into a bason, and began to wash his disci- 
ples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was 
girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter, and Peter said unto 
him, thou shalt never vrash my feel ; Jesus answered him, if I 
wash thee hot, thou hast no port with me. Simon Peter saith 
unto him. Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my 
head : Jesus saith unto him, he that is washed, needeth not save 
to wash his feet, but is dean every whit/' These words are an 
allusion to the fa^ion of the country where they walked in san* 
dak, and their feet were apt to contract soil ; and when they 
came to any house this was part of their entertainment to wash 
their feet. The moral is this, he that is sanctified by the Spirit 
of God and purified, needs not such a change as one that is un-* 
converted, bv^ every day he contracts defilement, and therefore 
needs to wash himsetf ev^y day with the blood of Christ. We 
should use a strict care and regard to ourselves, for we contract 
defilement every day while we are in this world : that part of ho- 
liness called mortification is to be carried on amtinuaUy, lest sins 
and lusts cleave to us. We should never cease carrying on thia 
l^essed work tiH if, come to perfection, because it is a necessary 
preparation to our living with God above. There is no unclean 
thing shall ever enter into the New Jemsalem. We must therefore 

CfiAP. XT. Ot THB SAINtS«r 103 

SO lri>our ta live^ thut when we come to die, ^' We may be found 
of God in peace, withoat spot, and blameless,'' without the least 
rebellious affection against him. This is that which will make 
death comfortable^ and will cause us to triumph oter it with the 
blessed apostle, 1 Cor. 15. 55. <<0 death where is thy sting? 
O grave, where is thy Tictory ? The sting of death is sin, the 
strength of sin is the law ; but thanks be to God that giveth us 
the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.'' If sin be pardoned 
and mortified, death hath lost its sting. Therefore I beseech 
you^ let this be your constant work, to be purifying yourselves 
from alV hypocrisy and all camslity, and all kinds and d^eea of 
sin^ and to attain to an unspotted holiness here. 

2. To cleansing from sin, add the posfitrre duty of perfecting 
holiness in the fear of God : every day be aspiring after a com- 
plete conformity to God, and obedience to him, and to his holy 
wilL This is always in conjunction with the former. The cru- 
cifying of the body di sin^ and the quickening and vigour of 
the new man are inseparable. For sin is crucified by the power 
of grace^ and by the vigorous actings of it. So that we must la- 
boor that every grace (so far as is possible for us) may receive ita 
consummate d^ree here ; not only that it be in us in truth, but in 
a degree of eminency, and to exercise those graces for the glory of 
God. The holy apostle doth make this inference that I am now 
speaking of, when he had been speaking of the glory of the re<* 
sorrection, I Cor, 15. uit. <* Therefore my beloved brethren, be 
ye steadfast, immoveable, always abounding in the work of the 
Lord, forasmuch as yoa know your labour is not in vain in the 
Lord.'^ Thia abounding in the work of the Lord is according to 
the sphere and compass wherein we are placed. We must always 
be diligent, active and zealous in the service of God ; we must nei- 
ther abuse our talents, nor neglect them, but be always improving 
them for the glory of God, and the good of our own souls, and the 
souls oi others ; and this, that 4ve may be the more prepared for 
the eternal rest* And I would have you consider, that there is 
not the meanest christian, that is of the lowest rank, and of the 
smallest acoomt in the world, but may abound in the work of 
the Lord according to these circumstances, and that place where- 
in he is, and may glorify God emmently. I remember it is the 
exhortation of the apostle, and it is worthy your notice, speaking 
eoneeming servants, 2 Tim. 9. 10. *^ Exhort servants to be obe- 

G 4 


dient unto their own maatero, and to please tfiein ^vdl in all 
things, not answering them again^ not purloiningy but showmg 
all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God onr 
Saviour in all things." Servants then were slaves, in the lowest 
degree of bondage, comparatively to what our servants are ; yet 
they might by their good fidelity adorn the doctrine of God our 
Saviour in all things ; they might glorify God eminently in their 
low estate, and so prefUtfC themselves- for this heavenly rest. I 
may illustrate this by an instance or two* Suppose a statuary, 
one that is an excellent sculptor, be employed to carve a statue, 
whatsoever the materials be, he may use as much skill in carving 
upon an ordinary stone as upon the finest marble. So whatso* 
ever thy condition is in the world, thou mayest glorify God in ^ 
it, and bring praise to his name, and show as excellent graces as 
be that sits on the throne. For our glorifying of God hath re- 
spect to that place wherein we are set, it is with reqf>ect to those 
circumstances wherein we are. As our Saviour speaks concern-* 
ing the poor widow that east her '^ two mites'^ into the trea- 
sury, she gave more than those that threw in their costly gifts, 
yea, though they had cast in a talent ; for she threw in and gave 
^1 that she had. It was esteemed more because o( her zealous 
affection. Thus we may glorify God in a low estate. . To give 
you another illustration. There are fruit trees of several kinds, 
and some fruits are more valuable than- others ; that tree that 
brings forth abundance of fruit according to its kind, is a vidtMi- 
Ue tree. As that which is laden vrith apples, though there be 
other trees which bring a more excellent firait, yet this is an ex- 
cellent tree in its kind. So a cbristaBn that doth adorn that 
place wherein God hath set him, briogii honour to God by dili- 
gence in his place, and prepares himself, for the heavenly glory. 
There are two things that are proper for ua to consider with re- 
spect to excellii^ in grace. 1. Hereby we shall make our title 
to heaven more clear, have a more jpyiul assurance of it. For 
let me tell you, a great light discovers itself to a weak eyse. 
Where grace is in its radiancy and luitre, it discovers itself to the 
soul. Whereas many holy saints of God, who have the truth of 
grace, yet because it is in them so strong and powerfiil, have not 
the comfi)rt of it. If you abound in graee, you shall httve an 
abundant entrance into God's heavenly kingdom. One that hath 
true grace^ his title to heaven is safe and certain> but not so. 


eoinibfrtri^ al oae tbat bath faigbar dugnm of grace. Let me 
apply^one expiesdon of scripture to tUft purpose, Ephes. K 12* 
<< That we should, be to the pvaise ct his glory who first trusted 
in Christ; in whom also that after diatyebdieved^ yie were sealed 
with that holy Spirit of promise^ which is the tannest of our in- 
faeritance until the . redemption, of the purchased possession/' 
Suppose a man contract a baigmn with you^ ahd give a small 
earnest, eiceept you be aasured of his flddity, you will be apt to 
fcar he may leave it and lose his earnest, but if he give you a 
great emuest, he is kept £rom breaking his oorenant and agree- 
mmt with you. If God give you his l^irit, it is an invioiaUe 
earnest that you shall come to glory; for God will not lose the 
earnest of his sanctifying Spirit in the least degree. Bat the 
more the Spint appears in its holy operaticms in the soul, we have 
a richer earnest, and a more blessed confirmation that we shall 
oome to heaven« Therefore this labouring to excel in holiness^ 
and aspiring and endeavouring to be eminent according to our 
places, gives us the most comfiirtable hqpe that we shall be for 
ever with God in heaven. 

Let me give you one instance of this, and compare it with- ao 
instsnce in the Old Testament : we read of the apostle Paul, who 
always had a triumphing evidence of his being saved, he challen* 
ges heaven and earth, Rom. 8. 38. <^ For I am pjersuaded^ that 
naither life, nor death, nor angels,, nor principalities, nor powei% 
nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth) 
nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love 
of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lwd ;" andin another plaea 
be tells ^By **l know whom I have beliei«d, and that he is able 
to keep that which 1 have committed to Mm against that day;" 
and when he comes to be sacrificed, he saith, 2 Tiiii. 4. 7, 8. 
^ I have fought a good fi|^t, I have finished my course^ I have 
kept the faith : hencefeith is lud up for mt a crown of righte* 
ousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at 
that day, and not to me only, but unto all them also that love 
Us appearing." Do you think this was the exehisive privilege oC 
Paul as an apooftle? No^ for he takes in all believers as sharing 
irith him in this privilege. The Spirit of God to a believer, doth 
i«itness with his spirit that he is a" child of God ; and this he 
doth by to iHustration <rf those graces, which constitute hhn to be 
a son of God. We read that the apostle had a triumphant joy 


in the fruit of his admiraUe holiness and fiddity to God ; saHb 
he^ <^ I know nothing by myself;'^ he neglected no part of. hu 
ministerial work, that he might thereby honour God; and from 
thence did spring that blessed hope that he skoukl be with God 
in heaven for ever. Compare this instance of Paul mth that of 
David, who was an inspired prophet, a . man after God's own 
heart, a man of extraordinary rerelations ; but walking care* 
lessly, he fell into presumptuous sins ; O what dqsth of horror 
and perplexity was he sometimes in? *' My sins are more in 
number than the hairs of my head, and mine iniquities are gone 
over mine head, as an heavy burthen, they are too heavy for me; 
I am troubled, I am bowed down greatly, I go mourning all the 
day long/^ Psal. 38. 4, 6. And how <k)th he earnestly beg of 
God to restore the spirit of joy to him, Psal. 51. 11, 12. '< cast 
me not away from thy presence, take not thy Holy Spirit from 
me, and uphold me with thy free Spirit/' So that a prophet, if 
he neglect to glorify God, may fall under such unquiet fears as 
may render hia life a kind of death to him. A saint should 
labour to be always (as the apostle Paul v^ras) aspiring i^ter the 
perfection, of holiness. Phil. 3. 14« 

3. Let us glorify God abundantly in our several places; for 
then we shall have a more ample rich reward, and the greater 
degree of glory above. There are some thrones in heaven which 
are higher than others, and brighter crowns, and more excellent 
degrees of glory; therefore '^ he that sows sparingly, shall reap 
abo sparingly ; and he that sows liberally, shall wet^ liberally." 
He that is abundant in the work of the Lord, the blessed re- 
warder will proportionably reward him in the future state. 

n. I shall now proceed to the spedal rules. 

1. Fix your choice upon this eternal rest as your portion. As 
we read of Moses, when he was to depart from the children of 
Israel, this was his last and most affectionate counsel to them, 
Deut. 30. 19. ^^ I call heaven and earth to record this day 
against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing 
and cursing ; therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed 
may live." So I say, choose this eternal rest as your supreme, 
good and happiness, without which you are undone for ever, 
and without which you had better never have been bom, or been 
in the lower rank of creatures. But you will be ready to thinki 

CHAP. XV. 09 THB-flAIMTf. 107 

that tbere we Btme but what will choose it« But pr«y consider 
what a choice it rnuat be ; it must be with all those conditi<Mis^ 
and with all those difficulties, that attend this state, and are an- 
nexed to it. It is not choosing heaven and happiness abstractly, 
and only to have a desire to enjoy this blessed state, and to say, 
I will take thiy for my happiness ; unless you consider the terms 
and conditions of it ; now in short the terms are these : you must 
despite all things in comparison of it : you must suffer all things 
that are evil in the world, all that flesh and blood calls evil, if 
God by his providence call you to it, that you may attmn it : 
and for the gqod things of the world, take life and ail the en- 
dearments of it, and all the ornaments of life, riches, honours^ 
pleasures, friends, and relations, these must be all hated, com- 
paratively, when eternal life comes in competition with them ^ 
for oar Saviour tells us, Luke 14. 26. ^^ if any man come to me, 
and hate not his father and mother, and wife and children, and 
brethren and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be 
my disciple/^ It is true, it is not meant as if God commanded 
an absolute hatred of them > but tbere must be such a love and 
choice of heaven above these things, that whenever 'they come in 
competition, you must reject them as if you hated them : al- 
though there is a regular love to them allowed, it is but in 
subordination to Christ, who is the supreme object of our affec- 
tions. The stars are in the heavens in the day as well as in the 
night ; but their light is suspended when the sun appears, they 
have no light as to our peroeption : so God allows us to have 
a» natural love to our father, mother, &c. yet whenever they come 
in competition, all these affections must be suspended. You 
must love Christ and heaven above them all ; though you must 
still retain a love to those comforts and mercies that God hath 
given unto you ; yet you must hate and despise all in compari- 
iK>n of Christ ; and as the apostle saitb, ^' if we suffer with him, 
we shall also reign. with him." Whatsoever may be objected to 
you to divert you from following Christ and pursuing heaven^ 
ypo must in the resolution and habit of your sonb despise it, and 
I^reCer Christ and heaven before it. <^ Be thou faithful unto 
death, and I. will give thee a crown of life." Rev. 2. 10. Be 
faithful in that covenant which God hath made with you in the 
gospel,. whatsoever befal you ', though it be the loss of life itself 
you must be willing to submit to it> that you may obtain heaven« 


When th^ 10 such a choice of hea?eh, it will have a bksBed 
cooimand and influence upon our whole iires. Now for your 
comfort consider these words of Christ, Luke 10. 42. ^^ but one 
thing is needful, and Mary hath chosen that good part, which 
•hall not be uken irom her/' O if your choice of heaven be 
sincere, firm, and constant, heaven shall never be taken from 
you ; if all the powers of darkness, and wicked men conspire to- 
gether, they cannot take from you eternal life ; they may take 
away your teropord life ; but this shall bring you to that life that 
16 eternal. 

2. Exercise your thoughts frequently and seriously upon this 
eternal rest. The apoetle you ehail find, 2 Cor. 4. 18. declares 
what it was that gave him courage ; '< while we look not at the 
things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen : 
for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which 
are not seen are eternal.^ While we are here in this lower 
world, and our souls confined to flesh, we are not able to e^- 
ceive of heaven, according to its excellency and glory ; we are 
not able to form proper conceptions of it, such as are answerable 
to its greatness and worth. But God hath been pleased to make 
such a discovery of heaven to us in the world, and in such fit 
and effective representations, that we may exercise our thoughts 
comfortably upon it. When Moses came firom conversing with 
God on the mount, there was such a lustre on his face as daz- 
zled the eyes of the Israelites ; they were not able to ifee the 
fiace of heaven upon the earth, they could not bear it^ and 
though he put on a veil, that they knew it was Moses. So the 
admiring amazing beauty of heaven we cannot see it unveiled ; 
God hath therefore thrown a veil over it, and he hatli through 
that veil discovered so much of the glory^ heaven, that we 
know it is the most glorious state and the supreme happmess of 
the soul. Therefore we should entertain our souls with such 
representatives of heaven, as what the scripture makes, to set 
forth the joys of it. The scripture saith, ^' it is an eternal feast.^' 
tt is said, we shall *^ sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and hcch, 
in the kingdom of God/' It is an allusion to the manner of 
their entertainments. You know a feast is made for love and 
joy, and friendship. So this is an eternal feast, the souls of the 
blessed are always delighting themselves in God and one another. 
And then i^n,. to represent the j^ory of heaven^ the scripture 


exptesseth it to you under Che notion of a 'kingdom, ibfaich is the 
highest d^ree of earthly glory; and it is called an everlasting 
kingdom^ aad a cra^n of life ; and all this to show us that it is 
the h^hcst dignity that the reasonable nature is capable of. 
Then to show the riches of this kingdom, it is called the <^ in^ 
corraptible inheritance" that shall never fade; bay, to com-* 
prehmd ail together, the scfipture tells us, ^ we are heirs of Gody 
and joint^heirs with Christ/' We shall enji^ God in heaven^ 
who is the infinite and indeficient fountain of all good. So that 
now take into your thoughts, as distinctly as you can, what the 
joy of heaven is, and what die riches and glory of it 'are. Then 
be diligent to serve and glorify God, and preparje fer heaven, i 
know all christians are not fit for neditation, that being so ex<* 
alted a duly, and heaven s6 sublime a subject. Yet still therer 
may be an ascent of our thoughts towards it, according to thkt 
leveral representations. 

By mentation and serkms tiioughts we taste and see the good«- 
ness of God ; atid we may enter into that rest, while we are here, 
by our serious and frequent thoughts of it. 

3. Keep up in your souls lively and earnest desires dter it. it 
is the character the apostle gives* of all christians, 2. Tim. 4. 8w 
they love Christ's appearing; ^^ Henceforth (sakh' the apostle 
Paul) is laid up' for me a Crown of righteousness, whidi the 
Lord the righteous Judge shall gite me at that.day, and not to me 
only, but unto aH them also that love' his a^pearmg/'. But yo«r 
will say, the bitterness of de&tlf is not passed. How shall w«' 
eome to heaven without dying. L^t me iell ydb, the desires of 
heaven, in a saint, are superior to all his earthly desires. For: 
this desire of heaven, is tin overmHng ^me. When Simeon, hf 
an oracle, was told, that as soon as he should see Christ he should' 
die, Luke 2. ^. he did oot delay his gdog^ to see Christ. It is 
said, << he came by the Spirit into the\ tfdklple." His deshr^^ 
were drawn forth to see Christ ; and how warhily did Ms dennf 
beat for heaven, that as soon as he had seen him he might de« 
part and he widi God for ev^. ^< Lord^ now lettest thou thy 
servant depart in peace aedmling to thy word, fdr mine eyes^ 
have seen thy salvation.'' Attd the apostle tdls us, Rom; 8. 211^^ 
^^ the whole creation groaneA-^and-travuleth until now| and not 
only they, but we ourselves also which have the firstfruits of the 
Spirit^ eyen we ourselves groan udtfain ourselves^ waiting for the 


adoption, the redemption of our bodies/' They that have re- 
ceived the firstfmits of the Spirit, by experience know what a 
blessed thing it is to have the favour of God, and they are in« 
Wardly breathing and longing after the foil enjoyment of him in 
heaven. Their adoption, that shall be declared vnth all so- 
lemnity and glory at the great day. '* The redemption of their 
bodies ;" that is, the final accomplishment of their redemption : 
they that have the firstfhiits of the Spirit, they long after it. 

4. Always preserve your hopes of heaven lively, and powerful 
in your souls. Hope is a grace that hath a most admirable in- 
fluence upon the christian life. Faith and hope are twins, they 
prosper together. They are those two graces that are influential 
upon all other graces, and they will make a christian do any 
thing, or suffer any thing for God. It is the hope of heaven 
that always purifies us, that makes us with jog encounter all the 
allurements and terrors we meet with in the cause of God. The 
scripture compares it to armour, and makes it one of the chief 
parts of the spiritual armour, the breastplate of hope and love. 
It is that which defends us against all the fiery darts of satan 
and wicked men. Indeed if we deface the seal of the Spirit, and 
blur our evidences, it will make us act in the service of God, 
just as a limb out of joint ; that is, neither with strength nor 
eomdiness. But if we act grace lively, it will give continual 
vigour to us in God's ways, and make us wait for the salvation 
of God. As we read of Jacob, when he was blessing his sons, 
he breaks <mt into a rapture, '^ I have waited for thy salvation, 

Lord.'' This hope will make us wait for salvation till God is 
jdeased to give it. If I have hope, as an anchor, it will make 
ne outride all storms, and cheerfully to endure all troubles for 
the obtaining of salvation. 

5. and Lastly, If you would prepare foi* eternal life, O then 
be careful to keep the Lord's day holy. For the sabbath here is 
a short |dl>ridgoient of our eternal rest : it is, in truth, an antici- 
pation of it. 

•, Heaven, I told you, is a sabbath rest, it is such a rest as im- 
plies the most noble, excellent, vital and joyfol exercise of the 
spul in the entire service of God. And that person that accounts 
the sabbath-day honourable, and esteemeth it* his delight, and 
says as David, '^ a day in thy courts is better than a thousand ; 

1 had rather be a door-keeper in .the house of my God, than 


reign in the tents of wicked men :'* he that looks upon this sa* 
cred time as his privilege, that spends this whole day in the 
service of God, either in the solemn assembly, and public society 
of God's people, or in his family, or in his closet, and most secret 
addresses to God, he is preparing for the eternal sabbath above. 
what a sad indication of a carnal heart it is to dislike this 
holy day. 

One that looks upon the Lord's day as a melancholy interrup- 
tion of his carnal pleasures, and saith, *^ when will the sabbath 
be ended ?" as those carnal wretches among the Jews, hath no 
affection for God and his service. But they that spend the Lord's 
day in heavenly exercises, and with holy affections, and pass 
from one day to another, from hearing to prayer, and from prayer 
to holy conference, and can entertain « their souls with God, and 
enjoy communion with him in these duties : it is a blessed evi- 
dence that they are prepared for the heavenly glory, and for the 
enjoyment of God in this eternal rest. The soul by the duties 
of this holy day, and the instruction it receives thereon, is made 
fit for an eternal communion with God above. What is heaven? 
Do not deceive yourselves ; it is not such a rest as a carnal 
heart imagines. Heaven is the enjoyment of the divine pre- 
sence, and consequently the joyful exercise of all our faculties 
upon God, with regard to his excellencies and perfections, our 
admiring of him, and loving him, and praising him, and mag- 
nifying him with the highest veneration, and with the most in- 
flamed exercise of love, delight and joy, and all those holy 
affections which will be our work and blessedness in heaven : so 
much as you exercise of these, so much of heaven you have in 
you here. Therefore make the Lord's day your joy ; and let 
every hour of this sacred time be dedicated to God. When the 
sabbath comes, welcome it with the most joyful affections, re- 
membering that the Lord's day here, will prepare you for the 
eternal sabbath above : and if you be in the Spirit of the Lord 
upon the Lord's day here, you shall have the Spirit of the Lord 
to rule and govern you, till you come to the kingdom above, 
where you shall enjoy this eternal rest that remains to the peopk) 
of God. 



PsxL. CXIX* 97. 
O how loU I thy Uw ! It li my medltatlota all the day. 

The Book of I^salms is entitled by Catvin, * The Anatomy of 
the Soul/ wherein all its inward workings are made visible. In 
this text we have the working of David's affection, and the 
motion of his understanding represented to us. Here is the 
working of his affection,-^' Oh how love I thy law!*' Here is 
the motion of his understanding, '^ it is my meditation all the 
day/' Constant love produceth continual meditation on God's 
law. I intend to fix my discourse upoo the latter part, concerp* 
ing the meditation of David ; and I suppose this may be one 
reason for which he is entitled, <^ a man f^r God's own heart," 
because of the heavenly frame and temper of his spirit. 

David was always ascending to God, and descending upon 
himself; to endear God to his soul, and to engage his soul to 
God. " When I awake (saitb he) I am still with tfeee." Peal. 
139. 8. 

« This aod the following dlieoune were taken in ihort hand, as delivered 
hy the Dr» They were ihowa to him, aod net hii approhatlon as to the 
faithfulnoM with which they weretakea dowa, thongh probably, withoat 
the least idea of their publication. They obflously want his fiaishiog 
hand. Ed. 

VOL* III. 9 

114 ON jonriKB iobitation. chap^ i. 

In the discussuig of which duty of meditatioD, I ahall use 
this method. 

L Explun the nature and kinds of it. 
IL Show the necessity of it. ' 

III. The time wherein this duty is to be practised^ 

IV. Those admirable advantages which it brings to the soul. 

V. Lay down those rules whereby you may manage it the 
more cheerfully and succeas&Uy, 

■iae a e^ 


Of <he nature of meditation. It U ipecnlatiYo or practical. The latter 
described, and the description opened. Occasional meditation. The sin 
of neglecting it^ and the advantage of performing it. Deliberate medi* 
tatloii : which ii either direct or reflective. 

I. 1M[eDITATI0N is a duty so rare and unpractised, that I 
think the knowledge of it is not among all christians, the exer* 
cise of it is among very few; and therefore if I should tell you 
that it is an unaccustomed duty^ this might be an imperfect ac- 
count of it. 

In the general. Meditation is the vehement motion of the 
understanding, for that is the leading faculty in this duty. And 
that I may the more fully expliun it to you, I will consider its 
kinds : it is either speculative, or practical. 

1. Speculative meditation is this: when there is a serious 
inquiry made afver some hidden truth, when the soul purposeth 
to enrich itself with the treasures of knowledge ; and this is 
practised by many rational men ; I mean those, whose under- 
standings are more refined • and raised than ordinary people's. 
But if our meditation be merely speeulative, it is but like a win- 


ter sun, ynhUah chines but doth not wann. This therefoie I shall 
not speak of* 

2. Praotical meditatiom The and whereof is to bring the 
soul to a serious detestation of sin, to a closing with, and em* 
bracing of the will of God i this is that I intend to treat of, and 
it is like blowing of the coals to warm the soul. Which I shall 
describe to you in this manner. 

Meditation, is the serious exercise of the understanding, 
whereby our thoughu are fixed on the observatioa of spiritna) 
tilings in order to practice. 

i. Then here is the act, it is die serious exercise of the un* 
derstanding. And in this respect, meditation is an inward secret 
duty ; the soul retires itself into its closet, and bids farewel to 
the world. It is an invisible duty to the eye of men ; and there- 
fore carnal persons do not relish it ; it is an exerdse of the un- 
derstanding ; it is that duty whereiqi we do not converse «tvith 
drossy outward things^ And this is another reason that renders 
it so difficult to the men of the world. You may observe this as 
a rule, that every duty the more spiritual it is, the more carnal 
men disrelish it ; and therefore they will rather hear the word 
than pray iu their families ; and rather pray than meditate ; and 
what is the reason ? Because meditation is a more spiritual 
duty. Nay further, because it is ao exercise of the understandtr 
ing, therefore it is one of the moot noble works that a christian 
can perform $ reason is then in its exaltation. When the soul 
doth meditate, it doth put forth the most rational acts, and 
then is the soul most Uke to God ; for God spends an eternity 
in contemplating his own essence and attributes. That is the act, 

ii. The quality of this act, whereby the thoughts are fixed. 
There is a gre^t ineoosistenfcy in the thoughts of men ; but me- 
ditation doth eh#in and fasten them to a spiritual object. The 
soul then lays a command upon iuelf, that the thoughts (which 
otherwise are very fleeting and feathery) should be fixed upon its 

Tius duty upon this very account is very advantageous : you 
know a gvden that is watered by sudden showers, la more un- 
certain in its fruit, than when it is refireshed by 4 constant 
stream ; so when our thoughts are sometimes upon good things, 
and then fun off; when they do but take a glance (as it were) 
upon holy objects, and then run awav ; there is not such fruii 

H 2 

116 ON DIVI^I^ MSDITAtlo'^. dHAI^. 1, 

brought into the soul as when our minds by meditation do dwell 
upon them. The rays of the sun may warm us, but they do not 
inflame unless they are contracted in a burning glass ; so some 
slight thoughts of heavenly things may warm us a little', but will 
never inflame the soul, till they be fixed by close meditation. 
Therefore David (who was an excellent man at this duty) telb 
us, Psal. 112. ?• his heart was fixed^ and suth the same con- 
cerning the frame of a good man. 

iii. Consider the object of this meditation ; our thoughts are 
fixed on the observation of spiritual things : all spiritual truths 
are symbolical to a gracious heart, and will yield some advan- 
tage to the soul; but there are some particular truths which 
may be of more usefiilness. To instance in two or three. Me- 
ditation fixeth itself upon the joy and glory of heaven, that so 
the soul may aspire and breathe after it ; it fixeth itself upon the 
^efiRng' nature of sin, that so the soul may for ever renounce and 
fibhor it ; it fixeth itself upon the never dying worm and fire of 
hell, that a christian Inay always labour to eschew it, and run 
from it. Such objects as these the meditation of a christian is 
fixed itpoh. 

iv. Consider the end of meditation. It is in order to practice. 
There ar^ many persons that fly over a garden of flowers, (I 
mean over many spiritual objects) their thoughts run and they 
gather no honey, they bring no fruit to their souls ; but this is 
not the way of. a christian ; and therefore spiritual meditation is 
thus described by God himself. *' This book of the law shall 
not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate therein 
day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all 
that is written therein.'' Josh. 1. 8. The end of it is to observe 
for practice and use. So in the Book of Job we have an ex- 
pression applicable to this purpose ; ^* lo this, we have searched 
it ; so it is, hear it, and know thou it for thy good.'* Job. 5. 
27- Some know things that they may know them, and some 
know things that they may be known, and taken notice of; but 
spiritual meditation draws forth the strength of an object for a 
man's own good. iHow this practical meditation, is either occa- 
sional or deliberate. 

1. Occasional meditation, that is, when the soul spnrituali2eth 
every object, when the understanding is like a limbec that 
distils something from every thing it sees and views for the good 


rf the soul. This is that spiritual dhemistry that turns all metaU 
into gold. Our blessed^ Saviour was a mast eminent example of 
this, he drew spiritual matter from natural objects j the gospel 
is fiill of parables upon this aocoont. ^ 

A christian should. laboiir to see all things in :God, and God 
in all Jthings. Evexy stream should lead him to the fountain. 
All things hare below should he. but a ladder toTaise up his. soul 
to God. I shall speak more of this occasional meditation^ be- 
cause it is of great use, and he that neglect it 1. Reflects dis-> 
honour upon God. 2. Is injurious to his own soul. 3. Doth 
neglect the creature. I speak now of Jthose meditations that 
Hiay be ifdsed by those variety. of objects before us. 

(1.) He doth reflect dishonour upon God. The end of the 
creature is this, that God may have and receive a tribute of 
hpnourand praise ; and therefore God hath infused a reasonable 
soul into the body of man, that so man might be a considering 
creature, whereby he hath fitted man for meditation : this duty 
doth oblige all rational beings. See Job 3S. 7. Where the 
Lord speaks concerning the work of creation, when *' the morn-* 
ing stars sang together." As tmods sing at, the break of day, so 
in the morning of the. creation the angels sang together; and 
God expects it from man, ^^beoaase he hath give)) him a- reason* 
able soul. Our five senses aue so many doors whereby the ex^^ 
temal objects are conveyed to us, and the soul is to take notice 
pf them. Nay for this very end did God create man in the lastr 
day of the creation, when he had made a feast he btou^ maa 
as thegu^t,.and whenhe hadfiroHjied a pdace^ be produced 
man.to dwdl.in it; and what is the reasmiy >bitti this, that he 
might ^ify the Creator? When God Had adorned the hea^ 
^vens vrith fitars, and the earth: with flowers ; tJien he brought 
forth. liiaa to give him the praise of all. The first sabbath was 
inatiftuted for this end, that men might solemnly bless God for 
the creation of the world. 

(2.) He that doth not meditate occasionally injures his own 
aoul. He that makes u^e of the creatures, and doth tiot learn 
by them, robs himself of the best part of thai which he should*, 
enjoy of them. The creatures are but the adumbrations of the 
infinite majesty that is above. Now will any man content him- 
self with psnnted meat for food? So wilt thou content thyself* 
with the bare enjoyment of the : creature $ axul not ascend up to* 

H 3 


God ? He hath given thee the creatures upon this account^ that 
they might be instruments to raise up thy soul to himself. 

(3.) He neglects the creature. • There is nothing within the 
whole circuit of nature, but is of some use to raise up our souh 
to God. From the sun, to the stone | from the cedar, to the 
violet; every creature hath a voice to teach us something of God* 
This whole world is a school for man. All the creatures spell 
this to US) that there is a God. Now if we neglect this use of 
it, by our meditation, then we neglect the creature. The whole 
creation is a well tuned instrument, and man is. to make the 
music ; and if we do not by meditation raise up our thoughts to 
God, we are in the fault. 1 will not pass it over without reck<« 
oning what advantages the soul may get by it. . 

1st. This will dispose and fit the soul for admiration and praise 
of God. \Vhat is the reason that men do rather wonder at the 
effects of art, thhn at the works of God in nature ? but this^ 
because they do not meditate upon them ? So that many per-* 
sons «et God beneath a painter or carver* Praise and admini^ 
tidn is the going forth of the understanding upon an excelknt 
object. Now when you shall read the book of the creation, you 
will have reason to praise the Author of it. When you cast your 
eyes upward and consider the sun, O meditate and take notice 
ef this, that bright sun is but a shadow of God 1 It is God that 
bath stretched forth that rich canopy over our heads. When 
you east your eye down, and consider the vast body of the earth, 
it bangs in the sor, which is so weak a thing that it cannot hold 
up a fedther, ip is founded upon the power of God. , When yois 
consider the vast .collection of waters in the sea, that «sudi m 
raging element should be bounded with the saod, which is the 
weakest thing ; how should (his teach us likewise to admire \m 
power ! He that will but converse with the creatures thus by 
way of meditation, will learn to admire the useearchable wia^ 
dom, the unspeakable goodness, and the in&iite power of God* r 
. 2dly> As it will dispose the soiil for praise, so for thank^iv- 
ing. Now this differs from praise, thus ; when I praise a things 
I respect the worth of it) when I am thankfol for a thing, I re*^. 
spect.my interest in it. Now when a man shall, consider thW 
great world, and all things here below were made for the glory 
«tf God, and the use of man, this will raise our thanksgiving to 
God, and inflame our love to. faim« .What is the reason that we 


are more gratefuT for small courtesies of men, than for the rich 
benefits of God ? ' But because we do not meditate on them. 

3dly. This occasional meditation upon the creature without 
us, .will be an excellent ground for our faith and dependance 
upon God. Our Lord Jesus doth urge his disciples to believe 
upon this account. Saith he^ ^* do you not see the lilies, they 
neither sow nor spin, yet they are clothed with a richer garment 
than Solomon ? Do you not see the sparrows ? there is not one 
of them falls to the ground without a providence, and you are 
of more worth than many sparrows/' Matt. 6. 26. When a 
christian shall consider thus ; God is the great master of the 
family of heaven and earthy he makes provision fpr all his crea** 
tures ; and if my God takes care of these things that are inferior 
to me, much more will he take' care of me ; for it is Christ'4 
argument, 'f ye are of mora value than many spacrows.'' Nay^ 

41y. This occasional meditation, will be a means to cure, th^ 
most vicious part of our lives ; ^or n^liat is the wickedest part of 
a man's life ? it is his vain thoughts. As in nature there is no 
vacuity or emptiness, but a vessel is either filled with liquor oc 
the air j now the more water you pour in^ tf)e more air goes but^ 
So if you would but store ybpr souls with these occasiona) medir 
tations, it would thrust out vainaqd vile tIxo)]t^hts. Oh it is a 
rare temper when a christian is always upon the wing. When 
he is like the beams of the sufi, they touch the earth, but the 
body of the sun is fixed in heaven. So it is with a christian 
when he converseth with the world, but enjoys God. 

51y. This occasional meditation will enliven thy obedience to 
God. When thou considerest' thus with thyself, that thou art 
always maintained by the expences of his providence, this will 
encourage thee in his service. A master looks for the service of 
him he feeds and maintains ; so if you consider you are always 
supported by the charges id, f^e^gc^ce, and every good thing 
given^ is the fruit of God's 'bbuiify "; nay, that all the creatures 
observe God by a perpetual law, this will Iikewi$e raise thy ohfi^ 
dience to mm.. . . ^^^^ ' r, . .»} ■ - "• :> 

The sun always runs his cou^sev wtkb6ut.enor.ior ialterati^n. 
All the creatures here below will contradict their own proper 
nature to be subservient to, the vfll of God, such medita^tidis aa 
these will enliven your obedience. Ijq sum'up all: occasional 
wiedltation brings this advantage to Vis, "the world, which is the 

H 4 

house <»f m9n^ is made the temple of God. A|id th^n are all th^ 
creatures used according to the design and end of God, for which 
they were created, when all these beams of goodness which shine 
from the Father of lights, are reflected' upon him again. 

2. There 13 deliberate meditation, and that is t)vo-foId : it is 
either direct or reflexive. 

(1.) Direct.. When the understanding fixeth itself upon some 
truth, and draws from it thos^ advantages which may be proper 
to itself. We read of Isaac, thc^t *' he went out' into the field 
io meditate." Gen. 24. 3. The word in its primitive significa- 
tion hath this import } that he went forth to confer with truth ; 
when there is a mutual and reciprocal discourse between truth 
and the soul, when the soul meditates upon tl>e law of . God^ 
takes the command of God, add speaks to it, and the command 
speaks to the soul, there is a mutual' conference. Therefore it is 
said, " the law shall talk with the^,** Prov. 6, 22. it shall give 
thee direction hoiv to manage the course of thy life. 

(2.) Reflexive meditation ; and that is, when there is a solemn 
discourse between the soul of man, and himself; when there is a 
colloquy crjr soliloquy, an inward conference between a man an4 
his own heart, and ht inquires how the state and case stands ii) 
Reference to himself, whether or no reconciled to God ? and piit§ 
practical questions concerhiiig his everlasting state. 


Of tlie necessity of meditation. Deliberate meditaUoli eoninaiiileil. Hin* 
derances of it, disability, maltitade of baiioess, laziness^ and seosual 
• 'pUanMdi«$ vedecied OB, "The du^y ^renedi * 

lit ' ' f' • . ^ 1'' . . . • * ' ■ 

|I- jL Coipe now to'the sjM^ond head, the necessity of this de- 
liberate mei^itation. .' I^ is nqi of arbitrary coucemment^ but it 


is jieceuarj^ God. commands it; aaith he to Joshua, '^thou 
shall meditate in the law day and night, that thou mayest ob- 
serve to doy according to all that is written therein/^ Josh. 1. 8. 
Joshua was a prinqe of Israel, had numerous employments, and 
jet notwithstanding such multiplicity of business, saith God to 
him, ^* thou sbalt meditated" And Hag. U 5. '< thus saith the 
liord of hosts, consider your. ways." It is a doty which falls 
under an absolute command, and this command of God cuts off 
all the Tain pleas of carnal men, and all those hinderances wbidi 
take them. oif from this duty. There are four I shall name, all 
cut off by this command of God. 

i. Some pretend their unfitness for this duty; they want both 
temper and matter; they cannot confine their thoughts to aii 
object, and tfiere is such a barrenness in their souls, they have 
not spiritual objects to discourse upon. For answer, consider, 

1^ That man's disability doth not give him an exemption from 
4\ity. jif you have lost , your power, yet God hath not lost his 
^gbt^ He commands you to do it, and will this be a sufficient 
plea at the last day to say, you cannot do it ? 

2. This unfitness of thine proceeds from a coiruptedness of 
spirit* Thy.b^art is carnal and sensual, and therefore thou. canst 
not meditate on, spiritual things. If there were but love in thy 
souJ^ that would nail thy heart to holy objects. ^* Oh fa<vw bve 
) thy law ! it is my meditation all the day" (saith David in the 
text.) Dost thou think one sin shall excuse another? You 
cannot meditate^ what is the reason ? because you hw^ carnal 
hearts. Nay^ 

3. This a^i^es ^hou bast be^n guilty of the n^ect pf tbia 
4u1yi ^hou art unfi^ bfscause thou bast neglected iu We may 
see iiif nature^ those beasts that. are very fie^pe^ y^ are tamed 
by custom^ and manageable by use. A little phiid will lead a 
beast when he hath been used to it ; sp t;hy though w^iicb are 
very fleeting and unruly, yet if thou didst use to call th<m to an 
account, if thoU didst issue out ,a command, and wast resolved 
to serve God in (t^s .d^ty^ this would bring thy thoughts to a 

ii.. (And this is the common objection against this and alt 
other duties) Mutitude of business. There ams many who will 
tell you^ that they are so harassed by the employments of thia 


world, that they cannot spend time in this duty solemnly^ and 
seriously. But to answer. ' 

1. Consider, that the duties of religion^ are not slight matters^ 
to be performed in an idle hoar. Shall those things which are 
the special acts of thy life, give way to thy worldly occasions ? 
Suppose you should hear a husbandnnin say t^us, I have so much 
business that I can neither plow nor sow, would you not look 
upon that man as mad ? and doth it not argue a greater mad- 
ness, for a man to say thus ; I have so many employments that 
I eadnot mind, or meditate upon those things which relate to 
eternity ? I told you before, that a prince cannot plead dis- 
mission from this duty, although his employments are very nu- 
merous. Nay, 

2. A muitittide of business is so far from dismissing thee from 
this duty, that it should rather excite thee to it. For argue 
thus, if my affieurs be many and various, I have more need to 
meditate upon the law of God, that so ' I may behave lAyself 
therein with a clear and cfaeerAil conscience ; and therefore pre* 
tend not this, for this will never avail thee at the last day. 

iii. Much lesd can spiritual laziness, give us an exemption 
from this duty; -and this (in truth} is the great cause why men 
do not perform it. Vain men lie upoa the bed of security, as if 
gvaoe would drop* out of the clouds; as if glory were the fruit 
of a ftw- verbal prayers; this is the temper of worldly men, but 
this will never ^tase you from this duty. If you do but cOttsi- 
dey that heaveti itself i»'the reward of the victorious, ^ the violent 
take it by force.'' Matt. 11.12. If the duty require sweat and 
pains, temeraber that there is a crown which is promised as the 
reward of \\t- ^Blessed is the man who meditates iil tll^ hw of 
the Lord )-' l^sak Ti 1, 2. thet^ is a blessed etenritjr thatlshall be 
his portion ; and consider this, how many of the wof Id spend the 
flower o^thdrtime^, the vigour bf their affectiottb, the strength 
of their bodies, arid all in the service of sin ; thejr toil like horses 
in the service of ^in*; and shall they spend more of thefa* Istren^th 
and time in that.virork which is die worst drudgery, an(I when 
their wages is eternal death, than you will do in the work of God ? 

iv. Sensual pleasure is another hinderance of this duty;" the 
pieaaures of the world discompose our soub, and unfit our bodies 
for the duties of m^ditatioli. A voluptuous nran is like water^ 


which 18 a fluid element^ and frequent in motion ; who can set a 
seal upon water? Now when thy soul is drenched in pleasures^ 
it is made fluid, and always moving and running, from one 
thing to another, and this unfits thee. Oh rememher this, the 
sweetness of religion is incomparably more than all the pleasures 
of sense. If a christian would but experience this duty of me«> 
ditation, and .observe what a rich income both of gface and joy 
it prodaoeth to his soul^ I should need no lurgument to press it 
upon him. 

You have heard the nature of meditation, that it b a duty 
obliging all of us; Oh that I could persuade you to a serious 
and conscientioiis exercise <if it t Oh that every day you would 
oooaecrate sotne time to meditate on the wordi It is an ex* 
pression of Bellarmine before his book. The Ascent of the Mind 
to God ; writing to a great man, he tells him, ^ the pretence of 
outward employments and the like, cannot exeuse hhn from this 
duty;- foi no man can say thus, I have -m much'4)U9iness that I 
cannot eat or sleep; much more let thy soul (which is the bettei' 
part) have some nourishment erety day/ Be fi^uent in occa* 
Clonal meditation, and raise up thy soul to God by it, and re- 
member the scripture isaoomment upon the book of th« creature. 
Andset apart sometime fei^ solemn- meditation. What is the 
reaaon the lordiaances are so unsuccessful? but because men da 
not meditate:. ; Why do we make such slow pnqgress in the 
waya of ehristiaiiity, and our 86uls drive like Pharaoh's chariots 
without wheels'? but because we do not meditate. Why- are w& 
«o frequently vanquished by sin ? but for want of meditation. 

The great reason why some draw back, and others make nor 
swifter progress, is this, because they are not seriously and con-' 
ataotly and cduaetentiously every day doing something in thi^ 



Of -Che time tor meditation. The f rsqveDCly of It; urfed byf^omotWvs, 
The coniiBiMBce of it. Monivf , cveaiAg, ni^ti and tlie lablMlli day, 
the most proper seuoos for it. 

III. M H£i time for this duty ;. and there are three things I 
shall opeii to you in reference to that ; the frequency of it ; the 
continuance ; the seasons when we may most for the advantage 
of our souls draw, forth otr meditatioiis. 

i. For the fre<piency. 

In the general you must kuow^ the scripture doth not pon* 
tively determine any set times wherein we are obliged to me* 

. Spiritual pnidepce fBrnd holy affections should give rules ^o us 
(or the frequency of meditation. The scripture speaks in general 
terms^ David tells us of a godly man, that he '* meditates in the 
law day and night.'' Psal. 1.2. Col. 4. 2. Eph. 6. 18. And 
as for his own practice, although he had the bustness of a king- 
dom, and the pleasures of the court to divert him, yet saith he, it 
is my meditation *^ all the day,'' which implies the constant dis- 
position of his soul to this duly, and likewise that orcfinarily he 
was wont to set apart some portion of every day for the perfer- 
ipance of it. There are two things which should penniade you 
to frequency in it. 

1. By frequency, you will make your thoughts more pliable 
for the discharge of this duty. Your souls will be more accom-* 
plished and fitted for the exercise of it. Yon know that custo- 
mary running makes a person long breathed. So when we often 
use ourselves to this duty, our thoughts will be more consistent, 
and we shall be more improved and ripened for the exercise of 
it. Whereas he that long neglects it, will find diat meditation 
first is unpleasant, then unnecessary, at last burthensome and 
odious ; and this proceeds frt)m disuse. 

2. Long interruptions of it will hinder the firuit of it* When 
there are large gaps and strides between our performance of this 

CfiAP. Iir: ON DIVINB MBDlTAtlON; 125 

duty, we lose the benefit of our former meilitations. As it is 
with our bodies, if a man makes a free, and liberal meal, this 
will not maintain his body to morrow, and a day after, but he 
must have constant food, else nature languishes and decays ; so 
you meditate to day, but if you should neglect it for many days 
after, you will lose the benefit of it, and the soul decays and lan- 
guishes. If the bin! leaves her nest for a long space, the eggs 
ehill and are not fit for production ; but when there is a constant 
rncubation, then they bring forth : so when we leave religious 
duties for a long space, our affections chill, and grow cold ; and 
are not fit to produce holiness, and comfort to our souls ; but 
wlien we are constant in this work, then shall we find the ad- 
vantage of it I 

ii. For the ^continuance of this duty, how long must we conti- 
nue in it ? 

I answer, so long ordinarily till thou dost find some sensible 
benefit conveyed to thy soul. The nature of man doth much 
disrelish this duty, and we are apt to be soon weary of it ; our 
thoughts are like a bird in the cage, which flutters the more be- 
cause of its confinement ; so our thoughts are apt to run stray- 
ingly out, when we confine them to such a duty as this is ; but 
he that begins and doth not proceed, loses the benefit of the du- 
ty. As it is in the kindling of a fire in wet wood, you know 
continuance is that which must cause the flame. When you 
blow at first, there is a little smoke arises, by holding on you 
raise sparks, but he that goes forward at last brings it to a flame. 
So it is in the duty of meditation ; when you begin to meditate 
npon spiritual things, at first you raise a smoke a few sighs to- 
wards God ; by continuance you raise some sparks of heavenly 
desires ; but at last there is a flame of holy affections that goes 
up towards God. Now you should not orditiarily leave the work 
till the flame doth so ascend. When a man goes forth in a calm 
and serene evening, and views the face of the heavens, he shall 
first see i^ star or two twinkle and peep forth ; but if he conti- 
nues, both their number and lustre is increased, and at last he 
sees the whole heaven is bespangled with stars in every part ; so 
when thou dost meditate upon the promises of the gospel ; at first 
it may be one star begins to appear, a little light conveys itself to 
thy heart ; but go forwards and then thou wilt find when thy 
thoughts are amplified and ripened, there will be a -dear light. 


more satisfaction eonveyed to thy so»il ; and in continuance the 
covenant of grace^ will appear bespangled with promiaea as heft« 
yen with stars^ and all to give thee satifaction, 

ill. For the seasons of meditation* 

To that I answer, there is qo time in itself but is alike pleaaing 
to God, and there are no hours that are amiss to a gracious spi« 
rit. Yet nevertheless there are aoine particular seasons, wherein 
our affections are more smart and vigorous, wherein our thoughts 
are more lively, and more disposed £:»* this duty and contempla- 
tion. Now we should choose these seasons. I will instance iu 
some seasons which the scripture speaks of. 

1. The mombg, after the body hath been composed by the 
sweetness of rest, then is a fit time for meditation, and there is a 
^uble reason for it. 

(1.) Because we should consecrate the firstfruits to Qod. We 
should pitch our virgin thouglits upon him, and upon spiritual 
things, before they are opened to the embraoements of inferiot 
dbjeets; When you awake in the morning you have many suit-» 
prs that attend your thoughts. Now have a oare that it be not 
with you as it was in the inn of Bethlehem ; strangers took up 
the rooms in the inn, and Christ was excluded, luid put to a 
manger. So in the morning, vain worldly thoughts take up the 
room of .your souk, but God and Christ are excluded. We 
should honour the Lord with the first of our substance, and with 
the first of oof thoughts and afiections. 

(2.) In the morning meditate upon this account, because the 
influence of the duty will be visible in your lives in the succeed- 
ing parts of the day. That wherewith a vessel is first seasoned 
conveys a lasting savour and tincture to it. So holy meditation, 
leaves an abiding tincture upon our hearts all the day. It is an 
excellent expression of Solomon (speaking of the law of God) 
^« When thou awakest it shall talk with thee.'' Prov. 6. 22. 
What is the meaning ? As servants come to their masters in the 
morning, and receive rales from them, how they shall direct their 
business in the dayz so a gracious heart takes directions firom the 
law of God, in the morning, how he should manage himself all 
the following parts of the day. Gen. 24. 63. 

2. Another season for meditation, is the evening. For this we 
hove the example of Isaac recorded in scripture, that he went 
out to meditate at even-tide. 

CHAP, uv 5^* myts^ uEj>nxjiw^ 127 

3. In the nlgfht season, when wr bodies «re rqioa^' in the 
bed^ tb^ our ^^ should be repo^ 4n th^ bosom of God by 
•weet meditation* , We have the command of the Lord for this^ 
^^ Commune with your own heptts upon your beds and be still/' 
Psal. 4.4. And there is a double arg^ument which may move 
you to this night-m^itation. • 

(1.) Because then our souls are 8e<|uestfered from the business 
of the world ; they are retired from all the noise and tumult of 
things here below, they are not distracted with the incursions of 
sensible objects ; and at such a time as that is, we are best fitted 
for meditation. Secrecy, silence and rest, dispose the soul for 
meditation ; and all these we enjoy in the night season ; then we 
are excluded firom company, motioo, and business* 

(2.) Because when the curtain of darkness is drawn over the 
world> our hearts are apt to be filled with a religious fear of God, 
our souls are more composed in the night, and we have more 
awful apprehensions of God. And therefore observe the connex- 
ioa^ ^' stand in awe and sin not,..com)nttne with your own hearts 
upon your beds* The bed is an image and a representation of 
the grasve,'^ and at such a time as that is a man may be mors 
serious and composed in this work. David says^ '^ My reins also 
instruct me in the night season/' Psal. 16. 7* the meiining is 
David's inward thoughts did then read a lecture of divinity to 

4. The sabbath day, is a season tor meditation. This should 
be the temper of every christian to be in the Sfurit on the Lord's 
^y. On that day when our Saviour did arise from the earth<^ 
our souls should ascend to heaven. 

Consider with yourselves, the Lord's day is « type of heavenj 
and contempla^OQ is the work of heaven. The rest of the sab* 
bath is but an abridgement of that long eternity which the sahit9 
shall enjoy with God; and the employment of heaiven » contem- 
plation. The giorified spirits above are always exefcia^ in a 
ste^y view and consijderation pf; God's infinite glory^ : Now %}m 
sabbath being a type of heaven^ «i|d ^ns^itation bet||g ithe I work 
of heaveuj certainly this day is the most fit settgn for medita^ 
lion. As fi>r you who disrelish this duty, and are ynaequaiated 
with it, do you expect heaven P Your inditfposiftioB to this duty 
will be a bar to keq> you firom blesaednes^) and hinder yon bom 
entering into that rest. A gracious soul upon the Lord's day by 

his meditation may convene with God ; he may discoune mth 
the inhabitants of another world, he may enjoy as much of God 
88 this interposing veil of flesh and blood will admit ; the onl^ 
difference between a saint in heaven, and a saint upon earth who 
meditates upon God, is in respect oip the degrees and the manner 
of their fruition. For otherwise a saint upon earth enjoys hea* 
ven especially on the Liord's day, when every duty receives a spe* 
dal blessing, and therefore the duty ct mentation. 


Of the ad^Mts^M of meditatioii* It inprovct the faculties of (he teal, by 
opening the understand log, and raising the affections. Makes prayer, the 
word^ and sacraments effectoal. Improves the graces of faith, hope and 
love. It briogs comfort. Increaaei hoif aei*. 

IV. X HE advantages of meditation, are so many and so rich, 
that methinks the consideration of them might draw forth the 
most sluggish spirit to the performance of this duty. 1 confess 
the duty is difficult, but consider the pleasantness of it, out of 
the strong comes sweetness. The advantages of it I shall rank 
under five heads. 

i. Consider what an improvement the faculties of yoursoob 
Wfli reeeive by meditation. 

1. I ^irifl begin with the understanding faculty. 

Meditation f s the nurse of wisdom, it is the most excellent in- 
strument to convey knowledge to the soul. There are two de- 
fects' in every man's understanding, there is darkness, and there 
is a fluidness in his understandhig, that he cannot fix himself up- 
on an object. 

Meditation cures .both these. For the darkness of his under- 
standing, meditation takes the yeil from the face of truth. 
The glory and beattty <^ tnith^ doth not consist in an expres- 


sion, but we oaght to penetrate into the nature of it by medi- 
tation. We have an expression of Solomon, speaking of know* 
ledge and understanding, he bids us to ^^ Search for her as for 
hidden treasure ;''.Prov« 4. 2. observe the expression, you know 
jewels, do not lie upon the surface of the ground^ but they are 
hid in the rec^tades of the earth, you must dig for them before 
you can enjoy them. Truth is in Ptofiindo, and our understand- 
ings are dark. Now you must search for the truth of God as 
for hid treasures. He that rides post through a country is never 
able to make a full description of it ; and he that takes but a 
tmnsitory view of the truths of the gospel, will never come to 
the full knowledge of them. It is meditation that makes them 
appear to our eye in their beauty and lustre. I have read a si^- 
militude of Peter Martyr that converted one. Suppose yon 
should see a company of men dancing at a great distance, you 
would look upon the men as full of madness and frenzy ; but if 
you draw near, then you will find their motions regular and full 
of art : so many mysteries of the gospel if you look upon them 
at a distance, they are above reason, they seem to oppose sense, 
you cannot see the truth of them ; but bring them to a near dis^ 
tance within the view of thy soul by meditation, and. then you 
wiO see their excellency and glory. 

Meditation is that that doth- take away the darkness of the 
understanding ; and then for the fluidness of the understanding, 
because it is apt to spring from one thing to another. Medi- 
tation in its very nature is the fixing of it. Take one instance, 
but it is above all, it is such an instance, as should command the 
most knowing persons in the world to follow, 1 Piet. L 10. 
There you shall find the words, ^^ of which salvation the pro^ 
pbets have inquired, and searched diligently, who prophesied of 
the grace that should come unto you,'' and verse 12. speaking 
of the mysteries of the goepel> '< The angela desire to look into 

Now observe, if the prophets who had the immediate asdst- 
a&ee of the Holy Ghost, did make a serious inquiry, and narrow, 
search into their own prophecies, that they might come to know, 
the meaning of them ; should not this encourage ua to make'in^ 
qoiry into the truth of God by meditation? Nay the angels of 
heaven, they bow themsdves and pry into the mysteries of the 
gospfsl by a serious contemplation^ 

VOL* III. 1, 

130 ON DfVrt«« lASITAYlOH. CflAP. IT. 

2. Consider, as meditation dbth open the understanding, and 
presents truth to the brain, so it raiseth the affections. Know- 
kdge without meditation to warm the affections, is like the 
glancing of a beam upon a wave, it fills it with a little clarity, 
but doth not heat it ; so when there are many notions of truth 
in the brain, if meditation doth not apply them' to the heart, and 
fix them upon the soul, the affections have no warmth by them. 
Slight visions make shallow impressions. He that with a run^ 
fling eye looks upon a piece of broidery, doth not see Che curi* 
•usness of the work, and* therefore doth not admire it. So when 
we with a running eye look upon the truths of the gospel, no 
wonder our affections are not raised towards them. David 
speadiing» concerning. his meditation, "While I was musing the 
fire burned, my heart was hot within me." Psal. 39. 3. It is 
musing makes the fire to burn. Thus meditation enlightens the 
understandings and inflames the affections. 
. ii. It is the great instrument whereby the ordinances of the 
gospel become effectual to us. I shall instance in three of them. 
1. Prayer. 2* Hearing. 3. Receiving the Lord's Supper.. And 
you shall see what an eminent advantage meditation conveys to 
all these. 

1. For prayer. Meditation before prayer, is like the tuning 
of ah instrument and setting of it for the harmony. Meditation 
before prayer doth mature our conceptions, and exercises bur 
desires. What is the reason that in praj'er there is such a 
slight discurrency in our thoughts, that our thoughts are like 
dust in the wind carried to and fro ; but only for want of medi- 
tationi? What is the reason that our desires like an arrow shot 
by a weak bow do not reach the mark ? but only this, we do not 
meditate before prayer; he that would but consider before he 
comes to pray to the. pure majesty of God, the things that he is 
to pray for, pardon of sin, and the life of glory, how would this 
cause his prayers to ascend like incense towards God ? The 
great reason why our prayers are ineffectual, is because we -do 
not meditate before them. David expresseth prayer, by medi- 
tation; " Give 'ear to my words, O Lord, consider my medica- 
tion." Psal. 5. I. ' . 
2. For hearing the word, the benefit of that exceedingly de- 
pends upon meditation. Before we hear the meditation is like 
the plough which opens the ground to receive the seed, and afker 


we have heard the word it is like the harrow which covers the 
new sown seed in the earth, that the fowls of the air may not 
pick it up : meditation is that which makes the word i\ill of life 
and energy to our souls. Wliat is the reason that the most of. 
men come to. hear the word as the beasts did into Noah's ark, 
they came in unclean and they went out unclean ? The reason 
is because they do not meditate on the truths they hear ; it is 
but just like putting money into a bag with holes, presently it 
falls out : so the truths they hear preached are put into shallow 
neglective memories, and they do not draw them forth by medi- 
tation, therefore hearing the word is so little effectual; it is said 
'^ Mary pondered these things in her heart." When men are 
sick of the lientery disease, (in which they do cast forth their 
meat as they receive it in) the body cannot be nourished, there 
cannot be those degrees of strength that others receive; but 
when our meat is digested, then it conveys blood, spirits and 
strength to all the parts of the body ; hearing the word is like 
ingestion, and when we meditate upon the word that is di^ 
gestion; and this digestion of the word by meditation produ- 
ceth warm affections, zealous resolutions, and holy actions; 
and therefore if you desire to profit by hearing of the word, me- 

3. For the receiving the sacrament, there you shall find that 
meditation is necessary before we receive, and in receiving. Be- 
fore we receive, the great duty commanded is examination ; now 
examination is managed by this duty of meditation : he that me- 
ditates aright concerning Jesus Christ, who is the author, the 
object and the end of the sacrament^ he that considers with 
himself,, what rich testimonies there are of grace to the worthy 
receiver, and what sure marks of vengeance to the unworthy re- 
ceiver, how will this dispose his soul for coming to this ordi- 
nance ? He that meditates of his infinite misery out of Christ, 
and of his feticity in Christ, how will this sharpen his desires to 
eome to the Lord Jesus ? So in receiving, we should then me- 
ditate upon the sufferings of Christ; for the sacrament is the 
abridgment of Christ's agcMiy ; and upon the affections of Christy 
for the sacrament is the copy of his love* And he that receiver 
the sacrament with wch meditations, will find his graces to be 
better and stronger, than the graces of others who neglect this 

1 2 


duty. The sacrament is food^ and so you must receive it ^th 
an appetite, with strong desires, and it must be concocted by 

iii. The third advantage^ the graces of the soul receive like- 
wise an increase, and an advantage by meditation. Graces and 
meditation are reciprocal causes of each other ; as food main- 
tains our life, and our life dispenses our food, so here meditation 
maintains grace, and grace exercisetb meditation. There are 
three graces I will instance in, which all receive support, and 
strength from this duty. 

1. Tlie grace of faith. Our thoughts are the purveyors of our 
faith ; when faith declines and languishes, when our thoughts are 
ready to terminate in despair, then meditation brings a cordial to 
our faith, and raiseth and recovers it. Meditation upon the 
grace of God^ and upon his power, is the most eminent suppor*- 
ter of faith in all our temptations. 

Meditation upon the grace of God. When a bleeding soul 
considers thus, God hath promised mercy, not to those who de<- 
serve it, but to those who want it; the promises are not built 
upon goodness within me, but upon graee without me : this rai« 
seth faith, and produces life and spirit into it. So for the power 
of God, when we are in the midst of external wants and many 
dangers and hazards. When the soul shall meditate thus; that 
God by one fiat, by one word, gave being to the world, that his 
power is infinite, how doth this underprop our faith? We have 
examples of this recorded of Abraham, it is said that *^ Abraham 
accounted that God was able to raise him up even from the 
dead." Heb. 11. 19. How did Abraham's faith become victo- 
rious ? God commanded Abraham to offer his son Isaac. Now 
the promise was this, *' In Isaac shall thy seed be called." Now 
how did he preserve his faith ? Considering or meditatmg, thai 
<^ God was able to raise him up even from the dead." Abraham 
considered thus much, there is such a a power in God, that ra^ 
ther than the promise should be made void, the resurrection of 
Isaac shall be more miraculous than his birth, God is able to 
raise my son from the ashes of a consumed sacrifice ; and there- 
fore Abraham offers up his son willingly, as to his dispositioo 
and frame. So meditation of the truth of God, that he is the 
Father of lights, in whom there is no shadow of change^ the Holy 

OaAP* IV» qHf DIVINB MBI>I7ATI<»«« 189 

One of Iwael that ca&not He, that his life aiid honour are enga- 
ged fi>r Ihe performance of all bis promises j this supports and 
underprops, all our declining faith, and makes it victorious. 

2« Hope, which is another grace in the soul that thrives, and 
flouriehes by the help of meditation. JPaith i» coniinned, and 
hope is enkuged by it. The chriAtian who meditates upon these 
mcomparabte (but invisible) thii^ that belong to another world: 
Oh this will' enlarge his hc^eand make it, the more generous and . 
the more active. If a christian would but by meditation consi- 
der ail those enamouring notions of heaven, and blessedness 
which the scripture lays down : if he would consider it aa his 
portion, as a treasure, as a crown of glory, how would this en- 
large his hope ? Experience tells us, that men of low thoughts 
have barren hopes ; the weakness of our hope, and the lownes^ 
of it proceeds from the neglect of meditation. 

3. The grace of love that is begun and refined by meditation 
in the soul of every true believer; there is a love of desire to- 
wards God, and a love of complacency in him. l^^ow medita- 
tion doth fire both these; there is a love of desire in him towarda 
G^, there is an aflfectionate longing after him : a thirsty Iovq ia 
the aool, that longs for an interest in Christ. Now what doth 
it proceed from ? but frotn diis, from a consideration of our infi- 
nite want of CShrist, from a seriotts mediCatioo of those treasurea 
of grace, that are in the Lord Jeaus. And then Cor the love of 
eomplacency, that flows bom this. As the love of desire flowa 
from the meditation of Christ's benefits : aothe love of compla- 
cency arises from the meditation of his excellencies also. The 
persmi of Christ is invested with the most attractive glory, he is 
the image of hk Father : now it is meditation that opens to ua 
these exoeUencies of Christ, and the glorioua.blessings we re- 
oeive from him, and so raiseth kwe of delight in him. It is me- 
ditation that blows our love into a purer flame, and raises it to a 
higher degree ; therefore as yon desire to have your love refin^ 
and raised towards God, m^tate« 

iv. Meditation, as it advanceth the graces of the soul, so the 
comforts of the soul. God conveys comfort to us in a rational 
way, and although he is able to ram manna in the wilderness^ 
and to cast in comforts to our souk, without any labour of ours, 
yet usually he dispenseth comforts according to this standing 
rule : he that doth not work, ahall not eat, he that doth not la- 



bour in the duties of religion, shall not find the sweetness of re- 
ligion. Now meditation is the serious and active performance 
of the fionl, to which God hath promised comfort. I will open 
this by this consideration. The promises of the gospel do not 
convey comfort to tis, as they are recorded in the word merely 
but as they are applied by meditation : I will illustrate it by this 
similitude, the grapes white the^ hang upon the vine, do not 
produce that wine which cheers the heart of man ; but when 
they are squeezed in the wine press then they yield forth their 
liquor, which is of such a cheering nature : so the promises while 
they are in the word barely, do not send forth that sovereign 
juice, which cheers our hearts ; but uiien we ponder them in our 
souls, and press them by meditation, then the promises convey 
the water of life to iis. There is an expression of Dawid, which 
suits with this, Psal. 63. compare the 5th and 6th verses^ 
" When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in 
the night watches, my soul shall foe satisfied as with marrow and 
fatness ;*' observe the connexion, meditation turns the promises 
into marrow, it conveys the strength of them to our souk. One 
morsel of meat chewed and digested, dispenses more nourish* 
ment than a greater quantity that is swallowed down whole ; eo 
one promise that is ruminated upon, and digested by meditation, 
conveys more comfort than a bundle of promises in the head, 
that are not meditated npon, which we did not consider. Nay, 
consider this, the comfort which meditation brings, is the most 
spiritual, refined joy that we are capal)Ie of. The pleasures of 
the world may excite laughter, but they cannot produce solid 
joy ; but meditation produceth solid joy in the heart ; the things 
of the world may gratify the bestial part of our bodies, but it is 
spiritual meditation that rejoiceth the angelical part <^ our souls 
within us. Indeed meditation is that which makes a man to be 
a citizen of the New Jerusalem ; he can take a walk in the pa- 
radise of God every day, and pluck fruits oiF the tree of life, and 
draw water from the weils of salvation. He that performs con- 
scientiously the duty of meditation, doth maintain such a corre- 
spondence with God as the angels do : such a one doth enter 
upon his possession of heaven by degrees and steps. Therefore 
if you desire the comforts that are spiritual and heavenly, per- 
form this duty. 
▼. It is eminently usefiil to produce the ])Ower of holiness in our 


convereations. ' There are two parts -of holiness in our lives, the 
one is the discharge of religious duties, the other is the repelling 
of temptations ; now meditation enables us to both these. 

1. It enable^ us to the discharge of religious duties, because 
it conyeys to the soul the livdy.aense and feeling of God's good- 
ness ; so the soul is encouraged to duty. David hath an expres- 
sion, ^ J^y lovingkindncss is before mine eyes, and i haVe 
walked m thy truth.*" Pfial. 26. 3. Meditation is that which 
malies religious duties to be reiVeshments to us ; we look upon 
tbem as our ornament, and not as fetters, because meditation 
makea them sweet to -vs. You shall And' in scripture there ts a 
connexion between meditation and practice^ between memory 
and duty. Therefore it is said, Numb. 15. 40. ** Thou shalt 
lemember these things to do them," and Psal. 119. 11. ^^Thy 
word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee," 
and verse 15. ^< I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect 
unto thy ways ;" meditation is that which fills the soul with a 
liveljr sense of God's goodness, and so encourageth 4is to duty. 

2. Then secondly, for repcHkig temptations, and for the con« 
ipest of them meditation is eminently uaefiil. For consider the 
lapses of God's people proceed usually from inoogitancy, and for* 
getfiilnessj if Peter had remembered that prsemonition of Christ, 
he bad not' fallen into that sin ; but because he' was incogitant 
and forgetful, he fell into a snare : so we are surprised by inco* 
gitancy and neglect. Now meditation is that duty that draws 
forth suitable truths against every temptation, the memory is the 
exchequer of the soul, and there is a treasury of God's com»- 
mands ; now meditation goes into that treasury, and draws foidi 
fresh arguments against every temptation, and therefore if you 
desire to be holy in your lives, perform this duty, and be seriouir 
and consdentiotts in the discharge of it. What jan orator said in 
another case when he was asked, what was most eminent in rhe- 
toric and oratory, gave this answer, pronunciation, pronuncia- 
tion, pronunciation ; so if I should be asked what do I think is 
the best means and way to advance the faculties, to make tba 
ordinances firoitiiil, to increase grace, to enlarge our comfort, to 
produce boUness and the like, I should answer, meditation, um > 
ditation, meditation. 

I 4 

136 OK DivnfB utExnrjmati. cbap, ▼•» 


Of mlet for tbe managing meditation to advantage. Rales which respect 
Ch« person. Freedom from the goiltof sin. Purity of heart. A treannre 
of diviDc traths. Sobriety in the use of worldly things. And fervent love 
to spiriloal ones. Rules which respect the object. It should be what has 
a tendency to advance holiness, suitable to our present sta'e and temper. 
Bales which respect the daty. We should be sfs methodical, and psMrtIco* 
lar as may be. Discharge ouiselvea of worldiy things. Beg the assistance^ 
of the Spirit. Stop the first cxcursioiis of our thoughts : \%hich will fix our 
miods. We most meditate by way of argument, comparison, 'emission in 
com|flaiots and desires, and by impressions charging and checking oar own 
■ouls: which will warm oar afectioBs. 

V. X HE rules, I shall vedpoe to these three heads } 

Those which concern the person, that is to exercise this diity> 
i«— Those which respect the choice of our object ^-^Those roles 
iidiich may direct us how we should meditate on the object witb 
success and advantage. 

u Those which concern the person exerciring this dvty. 
1. Rnk. ^* Labour to have thy heart cleansed from the guilt 
of sin.'' A tumultuous conscience is very unfit for so calm and 
sedate an exercise as meditation. It is said,, that when an ele- 
phant comes to the water, it disturbs the stream that it may not 
see the repxesenti^ion of its own visage ; thus it is with guilty 
consciences, they cannot endure to look in the glass of medita- 
tion lest they should have a view of tlieir native form. We read 
concerning the devils when they were near Christ, they asked 
bim whether he were ^'corne to torment them* before their 
time ?" This is tbe language of guilty creatures, therefora 
they do in effect otter the same words with the devil ; <' Depart 
from us we desire not the knowledge of thy ways/' Job 21, 
19« He that bath the sense of his guilt upon him, when he me^ 
dttates on God, this brings to his remembrance the holiness, tha 
justice, the truth of God ; and this .reminds him of his ruin, and 
so makes the duty very unpleasant to him. And by the way, 
take notice, this is the reason why wicked men are always either 
carried away with the pleasures or the business of the world, so 


tbat they iray not 'have liiDe to iiiake inward reflections upon. 
dieir own state and meditate on their own conditian. As it ia 
with a mili^ if yon do not pHt.eora into it, it will grind itself; so 
they fill their minds with the vanities and bunneaises of the worlds 
that they may noC grind upon themaelves : therefore cleanse your 
soqIs by hearty appUcataoos of Christie bloody if you desire to be 
fit for this duty« 

2. Rule. <^Lid)oar for a pure heart/' The former rule re- 
spected the guilt of sin, this the defilement. Meditation is 
founded in the puigative part of religipn* There is a^- double 
reason for this rule, partly because sin.; darkens the understand* 
ingj it defiles and dims the soul. A soiled glass yields nQ4:lear. 
representation of things : so when the heart is soiled with the 
fikh of sin^ it.is not fit for this duty. Partly upon this accouitf^ 
because sin as it darkens the understanding, so it unfits the soul 
to receiire any benefit by this duty. That doth which is white* 
is receptive of any ookmr, but that which is black will not 
change. So here, when the heart is cleansed and purified from 
the stains of sin, it will be moulded into the form (rf* any truth 
the soul meditates upon ; but when the blackness of sm is tbere^ 
it is not receptive of any colour, or very dilficuUly* Gerson. 
makes the first step of meditation, . to be an humble repentance^ 
iqpon.this acQO^nt, because it cleanseth the soul. 

3« Rule. <^ Treasure up in your souls a stock of spiritual, 
truths/' .Truth is the food of the soul, upon which it exerdseth 
its digestion and dqpastion ; when a man hath laid in, he rm^. 
by out. Mat. 12. 35. there is an excellent expression, <^ A good 
man oot of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth, good 
things.^' Truths in the soul are like gold in the. ore: medita- 
tion coins the gold and brings it forth, in holy discourses and 
jNOOs actiomu Whereas where there are no spiritual mines of 
traih in. the aoiftl, it is no wonder the thought^ coin dross and 
vanity*. Igwmmoe is that which doth impovfffish the soul, and 
canseth ua to be barren in this duty of meditation. 

4. Rule. ^ Sobriety in the use of all worldly things," is an 
snoeUeat! help to meditatioii. A holy art of moderation, either 
in respect of the cares of the world, or the pleasures of the 
world; for an excess in these discomposes the mind, and unfits 
the body for this spiritnal duty. 

Tht basioess of the worId» to speak of that firsts will unfit us 


for the duty of meditation. When tbe mind ascends this hill, it 
must be light and free, and the burden of our cares must. be laid 
aside. Have you «ot seen a bird, when her wings are Hnied, 
bow unable she is to put forth herself, and to ascend by flight 
into the air? Thus it is with a man who is encumbered with 
worldly business, his thoughts are dinged together, and his soul- 
is unable to take its flight, and to mount upward. And there-, 
fore we have an expression in the canticles, Christ speaks to his 
spouse, <* Come ray spouse let us go forth into the field," Cant. 
7. H. which imports a retreat and sequestration from the bu- 
siness of the world, and a retirement from tbe hurry of worldly 

And as the business of the world, so the pleasures of this 
work! likewise exceedingly unfit us for this duty. When chil- 
dren's minds are set upon play, they are very unwilling to go to 
school; so when men's minds are set upon pleasure, this alio- < 
nates their hearts from such severe exercises as meditation* I 
have read concerning Jerome, he complains of himself, that al- 
though he was in a detsolate wilderness, yet his fancy conveyed 
him to the dances of the Roman ladies. So it is with pleasu-' 
rable persons, let them sequester themselves from the vinble 
Qompany of men, yet their fancies are filled with corporeal re- 
semblances : carnal pleasures make the heart fat, and so make 
the soul unable to perform such exerdses as this is. It is said 
goncemtng the ass which is the dullest of all animals, that his - 
heart is fattest of all creatures ; this is very applicable to this du- 
ty of meditaf ion. And therefore as you desire to be free and 
ingorous in this duty or exercise, disentangle yourselves from the 
cares and pleasures of the world. 

5. Rule. ** Labour for fervent love to spiritual things," and 
this will be an excellent help for the performance of tliis duty. 
Holy and lirely affections do both incline and chain the thoi^hts 
to spiritual objects. As ail rivers proceed from the sea, and re-- 
turn to the sea ; so our thoughts proceed from our affections,^ 
and our affections are enkindled by our thoughts. This is the 
reason why the master comiption, doth engross our thoughts, 
because our love is set upon it. Thoughts and affections arere-^ 
dprocid causes of each other. As the body conveys heat to the 
clothes, and the clothes preserve the warmth of the body ; so our 
thoughts are excited by our affections^ and then our affections 


Ao east forth their strength and efficaoy upon oor Noughts. 
Our thoughts enkhidle our affections^ and when the affections 
are kindled they cause our tlioi^ghts to boil-over, Psahn 39. 3. 
^ While I was musing, the fire burned," and David says in the 
text, *^ Oh how love I thy la«r ! It is my meditation all the 

ii. Those rules whieh respect the object^ that is to be medi* 
tated upon, the first of which is this. 

1. Choose such an object as hath a tendency in ii to advance 
holiness. There are some pmnts in religion, whieh are chiefly, 
speculative, there are others whieh are more practical.. Now as 
the tops of mountains are barren, but the humble rallies fraitful* 
So speculative points are barren, and the meditation of them is 
ineffective. I'here are some slight dishes whieh gratify the pa* 
late, but have no substance in them to feed and strengthen the 
body : so there be some truths which though they ar^ deliciousy 
yet they do not produce holiness ; and although they may plea^ 
the taste, yet they yield no solid nourishment to the soul. 
Therefore choose such an object, as may at onee more clear thy 
understanding in respect of knowledge, and also itiflume thy af 
flections God-wards. We lose much of the benefit- of medita* 
tion, when we pitch our thoughts upon those objects which are^ 
not most fruitful. And here by the wi^ observe, that many- 
meaner christians do thrive more 4n holiness, than (hose of rich- 
er gifts upon this account, one sort are more subtile in the mo- 
tion of their understandings, and the other are more sincere; 
they meditate upon those objects nmt iruit&Uy in reference to- 
their lives, and so they make a eensible pnogvessin the ways of 
religion, wliereas others are barren. 

2. Meditate upon those objects whieh are suitable to thy 
state. Our state respects either our temporals or our spirituals. 
Now lor our spirituals, I would direct 'your meditation answer* 
able to that expression of Christy where it is said, <^ the Spirit 
shall convince the workl of sin, of righteousness and of judg* 
ment.'' John 16. 8. Now proportion your choice to the state 
wherein you are : as (or example, art thou in a state of security ? 
Let the object of thy meditation be the evil of sin*, its intrinsical 
evil, and its consequential evil, is thy soul pressed with the 
guilt of sin ? Let thy meditation then respect the righteousness- 
of Christy th0 infinite sufficiency and amplitude, that is, in the 

140 ON DlVlttB- MBDlTATIOIf* CffAP. V. 

merits the Lord Jems, whertby he ib aUe to repair all the inja* 
lies that have been offered to God's justice. Is thy soul sensible 
of the worth and excellency of the divine image and life ? Then 
meditate upon judgment, upon holiness, how thou art obliged by 
an indispensable necessity, to )ive purely and aeeording to Che 
gospel. So in reference to temporals, let your meditation be 
suitable to youi; state : are you honourable? Then let your me- 
ditation be concerning your own vileness. Thus when David 
was raised to the throne: ^< What am I Lord, and what is my 
fether's house ?'' Or, do you abound with the riches of tbis 
U£e? Let .your meditation be how to exercise your stewardship 
to the best advantage. ^^Tbe liberal man deviseth liberal 
things." Isa. 23. 8, So, is your state afflictive? Then medi-> 
tate upon the wisdom of God, who dispenseth not a grain more 
than your stiength shall be able to bear, or whatever attribute 
may yield you comfort or advantage in such a state. 

3. Choose such an object as doth correspond and b fit to pre* 
sent the temper of thy soul. God hath been pleased to allow us 
variety oi objects. Sometimes we may contemplate the myste- 
ries of the gospel, sometiqaes the beauties of the creation : when 
we are not fit for the severe exercises of the closet, we may go 
forth into the field, and there may consider the wisdom, power^ 
and goodnesa of God, which are visible in all this works. 

iii. Thirdly, and that which I principally eye, is, to, lay down 
eome rules, to direct you about the manner how you should per** 
fimn this duty. The person bring disposed by those qualities } 
and the object being chosen ; how you should then meditate up- 
on that olyect: the general end you should propound to your* 
selves is, both to taste and see bow good the Lord is; at once to 
have beams of light in our undeiataadings, and influences of heat 
upon our affections; but sight ami go before tasting, therefore 
our endeavour must be to manage this work aright : those that 
go by water for pleasure, do not cast out the net; but those do 
so that make it thar gain and trade, that so th^ may catch the 
fish : so if we do intend to make an advantage, to our souls in 
this duty, we should cast the net aright. Now there are two 
things I will open. 1. How you should fix your thoughts. 2« 
How you should warm your affections whai you are meditating, 
on the mercies of God. 

1. For fixing our thoughts observe the following particulais. 

€HAf. V. <fs mvttts MtmtATlOS. 141 

(1.) Meditate in a m^thodiealway. Begin with those things 
\chich are low, and then ascend higher^ you will find a sensible 
advantage, by an orderly management (^ this duty ; for this will 
he of special use to ecmfine oar thoughts. When we run from 
one object to anodier without onk¥, we lose the benefit. As 
when there is a crowd of persons press fimvard to go through 
one door, all are hindered in their progress : so when our thoughts 
run from one object to another, we cannot proceed nor make 
imch sensible progtess as otherwise we might do, one thought 
hinders another. He that intends to go several ways, goes no 
way : so he that lets the eye of his soul run from one object to 
another without fixing, "Idseth the advantage of this duty ; and 
therefore let us use an order and method in our thoughts. 

(2.) Let your meditation be as particular as you can, in refe* 
rence to the nature and circumstanced of the object. You know 
that particulars are affecting, and therefore we should labour to 
have as mimite thoughts concerning every part of the object as 
we can ; as to give you an instance, suppose my meditations 
were fixed upon the mercies of God, then the best way were to 
rank these mercies under, several heads. Some are spiritual^ 
some are corporal. If you would meditate upon the common 
mercies of. this life, then take your rise with David, from the 
, very first beginning of your being. ^* My substance was not hid 
frcHn thee, when I w%is made in secret, and curiously wrought in 
the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance^ 
yet being impcsfe«t, and m thy book all my members were writ- 
ten ;" (as an artificer first draws a model, and then finisheth it.) 
And then pnooeed a little, he brought m<e safely into the worlds 
(wliich mercy would be thought miraculous but that it is ordi* 
nary.) And when I came, he provided two bottles of milk fo? 
me before I could hdp myself; and aU my days mercy and my 
soul have been as twins of the same age, and day ; and then 
consider the 'mercies of infancy, and childhood, and youth, and 
riper years. And then think of the merries that respect the day^ 
ttid the night ; how God is Hke a pillar of cloud, and fire ; and 
then divide these temporal mercies, 3ome respect the estate,' 
some the name, and some the heakh. He that shall thus medi-* 
tate upon the mercies of God, he wHl by experience find, that 
he needs an eternal life to be thankfid for the mercies of this 
temporal life« . *" - 


(3.) Befoi«you begin the work, let there be aserioitt dis- 
chai^ of all worldly thiRgs ; whenever we engage in any duty 
we are apt to look back, because we do not leave the world be- 
hind us. • Thereibre when you begin this work, issue forth a 
practical decree, a strong resolution that you will not endure 
any vain thought to interpose between God and your soula ; this 
is the girding up of our minds, that so we nay not be hindeoed 
in our race. 

(4.) Beg the assistance of the Holy Spirit: he that is Ale to 
stop the sun in its flight, and to bound the waters in their course; 
he is able to fix thy thoughts and to stop their motion, 

(5.) Be careful to prevent or stop the first excursion of thy 
thoughts. Many times our thoughts hurry us away before we 
are aware ; whereas, if there were a carefiil watchiulness, to pre- 
vent the first diversions, we should be more constant. In a town 
where there is a constant watch and ward, vagrants are stopped 
from entering, and hindeied from conversing there ; so if thy 
soul watch the first motions of thy thoughts, those vagrant ex-^ 
cursions of them would be prevented. Yet take this caution : 
suppose thy thoughts on a sadden do glance forth upon a carnal 
object ; do not pore upon the thought, but rather proceed in thy 
work. For here is the devil's policy, to get that by reflex aets, 
which he cannot get by direct acts. And many times a chris- 
tian loseth the advantage of the duty, by poring upon his vain 
thoughts. It is just like a crier in the court that calb for peace, 
and by his noise makes more disturbance. A man that is bent 
to go a journey, doth not regard the barking of every dog ; so 
when thou dost deri^ to ascend this mount, do not r^ard every 
vain thought that may be injected ; but strengthen thy resolu- 
tions, and go forward in the discharge of thy work. 
• 2. How we may perforkn- this duty «o as to inflame and fire oiur 
afiections : for that take these four particulars. 

(1.) When thou dost meditate upon a subject, vrfaich is of 
spiritual concernment, let thy thoughts work upon it by way of 
argument, and serious eoosideration both of the causes and of 
the effects of the object. As now suppose I were meditating upon 
the eonversion of a sinner ; here my thoughts should ascend to 
the cause of this converision ; it is the Spirit of holiness, be that 
is able by his power to raise from the grave, is. alone able to raisei 
firom the power of sin : and then we should descend to the effects 

CHAK V. OK J^IVIKS HBDifAnoir; 143 

tiTthings/for the etfects ak interpretem of the nature of their 
causes.. An to instance ; suppose I were meditating upon sin ; 
consider the efiects of sin, the fall of the angels^ they were the 
'Courtiers of heaven, and the associates of God ; but sin is that 
which ciut them from their first habitation. So if jou bring 
your eye lower to the fall of man ; certainly the poison is very 
deadly, one draught of which destroyed the whole race of man- 
kind. If you look upon the effects of sin^ which are inward, 
there you shall find terrors of conscience ; there is a spiritual 
tophet vHiich sin hath enkindled : sin is that whidi causeth a 
man to walk up and down with a hell in his own bosom. If 
you look outward, upon men's bodies, and consider the effects 
of sin, all the diseases from the scorching fever, to the lingering 
consumption ; all are the effects of sin ; and chiefly if you re-^ 
gard the terrors of another life, if you consider the never dying 
worm, and the ever living flames ; these things discover the na- 
ture of sin. 

(2.) That so this work may be the more efficacious upon your . 
affections; manage it as by argument, so by comparisons. I. 
By similitudes. 2. By comparing those things which are oppo- 
site one to another. 

: 1st. By similitudes : they have an excellent force to prevail 
upon the soul, they are of great use, both to enlighten the un- 
demtanding, and inflame the affections. To enlighten the un- 
derstanding; a similitude is that which presents a truth clearly 
to our apprehensions: by the knowledge of a material thing that 
is visible, we come to the sight of a spiritual thing that is invisi 
ble ; and therefore our Saviour trained up his disciples by earthly 
similitudes : you know a double medium helps the sight, there- 
fore old men look through spectacles. Similitudes are like a 
double medium, and as they help our apprehensions, so they ex- 
ceedingly inflame our affections. We naturally love pictures; 
mow. a similitude is the picture of truth, for fancy to look . and 
gaze on ; far instance, we all of us naturally are full of timorous- 
ness in the dark. Why do I not much more tremble at hell ? 
" For there is blackness of darkness." We all of us fear death : 
then why do I not^ fear sin ? which is the death of the noble 
part, which destroys the soul. Thw if you find* your hearts duH 
addrsluggbh in the duties of religion, compare thyself with the 
creatures beneath thee^ as thou art a rational being. The sun 

144 PN BIVnVB MSDlTAnOK* .0H4P. T^^ 

and stars obey thdr Creator by ft eonskuit law ; there ia an im^ 
alterable teaour of thar obedience : and why do I iwerre, and 
wander from the ways of hotiaeas ? They will contradict their 
private nature, to obey the commands of God ; and why should 
I gratify my carnal justs and pleasures to disobey God? As the 
Lord said to them in Malachi, when they were negligent in 
reference to their religious duties, he bids them put it into a 
temporal case, ^' offer it to thy governor, will he be pleased with 
thee."&c Malachi K 8. 

2dly. Manage this comparison by way of dissimilitude, and 
compare thiogs that are unlike one with another, and this will 
work on our affections. For instance, compare the ea^ness of 
Christ's yoke with the bondage bf sin, and this will raise your 
affections, and iut^nder them in reference to the Lord Jesus. 
Compare the beauty of holiness with the exorbitances of a carnal 
life : consider every ^ner hath many lords, many tyrants over 
him ; but he that is a servant of Christ, hath but one master, 
who is full of meekness and sweetness* These lords command 
contrary things ; and thus while one lust ravishes the soul to 
itself, another hales it to another object ; whereas all the com- 
mands of Christ are regular, and they all concentre in one end, 
to advance the glory of God. Then consider the different fruit ; 
those that are slaves to their lusts, have sin for their work, and 
hell for their wages ; their service is drudgery, and'thetr recem* 
pence eternal death : but the ways of God are liberty here, and 
glory hereater. The comoiands of the gospel, are not fetters^ 
but ornaments, and they bring a crown ; how wodd this cause 
the soul with a greater willingness to submit to the commands of 
the gospel ! Shall wicked men draw sin ^ as with cart*ropes f*^ 
Isa. 5. 18. that is, diall they toil and q>end themselves in the 
service of their lusts ? And shall 1 refuse obedience to that God 
whose service is perfect freedom ? 

3. When thou art meditating that so it may be fhritfo! ; kt 
there be frequent emissions of thy soul to God: let thy ithoiq^lita 
be moulded into words, and that, (1.) By way of compiaint. (2.) 
Sy way of desire. 

(1.) By way of complaint, as when thou hrt meditating eon-> 
({eming the. glory of another world, then leieet upon thy aoni 
thus, and compUin to God, Oh wretched man that I am, wlio 
^m chained to this earth I My treacherous nature hetraya m^ 


U> the vanities of this life. Oh that I sfainild be iasensible of 
qnritual joys ! and chanaed by aeiuual delights 1 Oh that I 
ehould be so mad upon and fond of perishing vanities, and dis 
esteem and undervalue a blessed eternity ! Thus we should com- 
plain to God of ourselves^ there should be confession mixed with 
this complaint. 

(2.) These emissions towiuds God should go forth in a way of 
desire and request to him. We should breathe forth our souls 
thus. Oh when shall my brazen affections be melted ? When 
shall I be unglued from the world ? What, shall I be a stranger 
in my affections, as I am in my residence ? O Lord thou who 
hast prepared glory for my soul^ prepare my soul for glory. 

4. Manage this duty, by way of impressions upon the heart, 
when you have thus sent forth your souls to God. As it is when 
a vapour is drawn up to heaven, it afterwards returns to the 
earth : so when thy thoughts have been drawn up towards God, 
then they should descend upon thyself, and that in a double 
way. (1.) By way of charge to quicken tliy soul to duty. (2.) 
By way of check and restraiot to keep thy soul from sin. 

(1.) By way of charge to quicken, thy soul to duty. As wbep 
a ehfiflitian cmisideTs with bimsfdf, how superficial lie U in the 
sertice of God, how (many times) he offers a sacrifice without a 
heart ; let him charge his soul thus. My soul, consider that 
God doth both deserve, and require thy affections : he is the 
Maker, the Searcher, the Redeemer, and Judge of spirits; ia* 
him there is majesty and purity- conjoined; and therefore when 
thou art engaged in any religious service, draw near to hijn with 
thy spirit. Why should we debase God, when we pretend to 
honout him? and deal with his name as the devil did with the 
body of Christ ; who raised him to « pinnacle of the temple, in^^ 
tending to thtow htm down?" So many seem to honour God, 
when at the same time di^y diabase bfan.. 

(2.) By way of check «nd restraint from sin. Whenever any 
temptation presents itself to us : let us by meditation thus argue. 
What will be the fruit of these things ? Can we resist the wrath' 
of God ? Are ^e stronger than he ? The temptation is plea-^ 
sing, but the issue of compliance will be dreadftil. The time is 
a coming when there wi^l remun nothing of sin, but the worm 
and the flame. Thus we should check our hearU, a|id repress 


\46 on DlVUfX MBOlTATIDir* CflAp. Vt« 

them in their motkiiu towank sin. that we may stop the oeieor 
of our sins, and may be lestrained frcm the commission of thenu 


A use of trial. The difference between holy men ani) othert, shown hf 
their thoug ht« : which are the immediate issiiei of the heart, and the in* 
▼ittibla* deMshtfol* contiaued aeta of the tool. Necesiary cMtiani. A 
difference between ▼oluntary and ii\jected thoughtt. Good tbouffatt 
pleasant to tts, And productite of holiness : else no %\f^n of oar spirituat 

£ IRST by vi^ay of trial. This a«ierti6n of David^ contains the 
character of a man that is truly gracious. '^ Oh how love I thy 
law ! It is my meditation all the day.^' And it is that which 
b the original distinction between a carnal and a gracious fnm6 
of heart ; a gracious man's soul is the ^< chamber of presence fiMr 
the Hdy Spirit." I'he soiil of a c4mal man) is the devil^a 
thoroughfare : temptations are let in, and oomiptions are let oul« 
Vou know a painter may draw the extehial represent^otis of a 
man, but he cannot set forth the vitals, the inward parts ; so it 
is here, idthough there may be asimilititde between the external 
practices of a siunt, and a carnal wretch ; yet the inward mo- 
tions of the Understanding, and the working of the affections^ 
eannot be represented by a widied man. If yoU take the whole 
world of unregenerate men, and look into their breasts ; you 
iPirill find that some of them likd the oamelion, feed upon the air 
of honour ; and others like the 'serpent, feed upon the dust c^ * 
profit ; and most like the swine satisfy themselves with the will 
of carnal pleasures^ This is the temper of their souls, and these 
9re the objecte about which they exercise their thoughts. But 


tiovr take a gracious man^ he substantiates hearen by his fore* 
thoughts of it ; if the breast of a gvaeious man were transparent, 
you would find a line drawn from his soul towards God. Herein 
is a great difFerenoe between these two sorts of men : there is an 
expresstcm of Solomon, concerning the temper of a fool ; (now 
Solomon's fool is the wicked man.) As ^ he thinketh in his 
heart, so he is/' Prov. 28, 7. The thoughts of the soul dis- 
coter most naturally the frame and temper of the heart. ' For 
the opening of this a little more, consider these four particulars 
in reference to our thoughts and meditation, and they will cli?ar 
up the difference between a godly man, and one that yet is but 
in his natural state. 

1. Consider this, that the thoughts whereby meditation is 
managed, are the' immediate issues of the heart ^d therefore 
the best discoveries of a man. There are many interposing cir- 
cumstances between our actions and our affections many times j; 
but there is no interposition between the heart and the thoughts. 
♦* Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts,'' (saith Christ.) Matt^ 
15.19. He that would taste of the water of the sea, must take 
it up immediately from the sea, and not when it hath passed 
through the veins of the earth some miles ; for so it loeeth its 
brackishness. So he that would pass an estimate upon the state 
and frame of a man, must'jttdge of his thoughts which imme- 
diately arise from the soul': for you cannot judge of him (miny 
times) by his externa} actions. Therefore by what your con- 
tinued meditation is upon, you may conclude your state good 
or bad. 

2. They are the invisible productions of the soul ; and that is 
another thing* which makes them the better to discover our tem- 
per : they are neither subject' to the knowledge, nor to the cen- 
sure of the world ; so that a man ddth act most naturally in 
them. Fear and 'shame sore two great checks and restraints from 
evil actions. Pruse and interest are two great attractives to 
good actions, in reference to wicked men. Pear s^nd shame re- 
strain them from^sin. Praise and interest excite them to good. 
But now thoughts are neither capable of these restraints, nor of 
those attractives ; because they are not subject to the eye of the 
world. And this is the reason why many that dare not steal with 
the hand, yetdBie steal with die eye; and so those that dare 
not defile another's body, yet dare pollute their own souk with 

K 2 


speculative wickedoess, because their thoughts are inviuble, iiot 
seen by the eye of the world ; and this fortifies and strengthens 
this diflfercnce. 

3. Oar thoughts as they are (he invisible productions of the 
soul^ so they are the naost delightful jscts of the spul : our 
{thoughts proceed from our affections ; ^d there^re you may 
find the temper of the heart by ,^em : and thi^ is ti^e reason 
why the different thoughts of men, stream forth in various and 
different ways. As a covetous man sets up an image of gold, 
and falls down and worships it in his thoughts^ and tlus is very 
delightful and pleading to him, because the world is his God, 
And thus pleasurable persons set up images of vanity, and these 
Jhey look up9n with tlje grea^^t delight and cqntentment ; be- 
cause pleasure is their Go^ :. so an ambitious mail fancies echoes 
of praise, he hears the sound of his own glory ; and this takes up 
bis thoughts most delightfiilly and pleasingly, becau^ honour l^ 
fiis God. Now a gracious heart looks upon things spiritual, a^ 
those phiefl^ that deserve his affecjious, for his tl>oyghts run 
upon thenu , * . 

• 4. Our thoi^hJLs are the continued acts of the soul. There 19 
Xioilnng ^o.prpfiise in all the world as the soul of man; it is al- 
ways spending of itself. The sun is not so full of beam;?, as the 
heart is of thoughts. Now where the^ten^er of the soul is car- 
nal, there is a vile expence of our thoughts upon base inferio? 
objects ; but where the soul is changed and renew^, there ii^ % 
constant tendency of the soul to\Yards God, there the thoughts 
by troops run up to heaven, and unbosom themselves in God* 
Jhese are thi&reGned acts of ; the soul, and thefefore they do the 
most fully represent Xhe difference that is between a carnal and a 
spiritual man. , There are only these three cautions I will fix to 
this trial; possibly many of, you m^y &ncy yourselves cl^anged 
upon this account, because sometijfies you have .good thoughts 
within you ; therefore, take three cautions to strengthen the trial. 

(I.) Consider there is a difference.between good thoughts that 
ascend from the frame of ouf heart 5 and those that are injected 
from without. For instance, a gwcious man's holy thoughts 
ascend from the spiritual frame that is in his soul ; but now a 
wicked man may have holy thoughts cast into him as a flash of 
lightning in the night, which doth, not make a day ; neither doth 
the injection of some holy thoughts^ argue the frame of his 


heart spiritual and holy. When he hath , been hearing a warm 
sermon, then he thinks with himself, heaven deserves his choice 
and eager pursuits 5 this is but from without, and therefore doth 
not argue that he is spiritual. Paul calls thoughts the " counsels 
of our hearts :" 1 Cor. 4. S. now when thy thoughts are the fruit 
of thy counsel ; when thou dost determine to think of God, this 
argues the frame of thy spirit to be changed ; but if it be merely 
an injection, thou mayest be in d natural state. I will illustrate 
it by its contrary ; a gracious heart may have evil thoughts cast 
into him, there may be a rape committed upon his understand- 
ing; yet nevertheless he may not be a carnal person: so thou 
mayest have good thoughts cast into thee, yet this doth not arise 
from the frame and temper of thy soul. Bad thoughts may rush 
into a godly man, but they do not rest there : so good thoughts 
may he injected into wicked men, but pass away and are very 
transient, they do not arise from the frame of their hearts. 

(2.) Consider whether these holy thoughts which sometimes 
are in thy soul, are cherished there as in their proper place and 
centre. In the 1 7th of Job y. 11. there is an expression concern- 
ing oui thoughts, they are called *^ the possessions of our hearts;" 
for so the word signifies in the original, and so U is rendered in 
the margin of your bibles. Now have spiritual thoughts their 
residence there ? Are they fixed there as in their natural soil ? 
Are they in thy heart as meat in the stomach, which is received 
in its proper place, and so turned to food and nourishment ? 
Good thought* in a wicked man, are like wind in the bowels of 
the earth, which is never quiet till it hath made an eruption ; or 
like thunder in a cloud, that breaks forth in violence. 

(3.) Are these spiritual thoughts in thy heart, productive of 
holiness in thy life ? then it is an argument the frame of thy soul 
is right : our thoughts are implicit words, and our actions are 
explicit thoughts ;' therefore if thou find the power of meditation 
in thy life, this is an argument, those thoughts which are in thy 
^u?^ are natural. 

K 3 



A UM of reproof. Carnal men reproved for their total neglect of neditatioiK 
And regenerate men for their too great dirate of it, and reminoew in it > 
* wherein they are gnilty of nnkindnesi to God, and diiparagement of him. 

f OR reproof, and that ; to carnal and sensual men ; to those 
that are truly gracious. 

First, To the carnal and sensual sinner, that lives in a constant 
neglect of this spiritual duty of meditation. Oh it is a sad com^* 
plaint, ^' God is not in all their thoughts :" consider with thy* 
self, how many years thou hast lived in the world, and thy 
thoughts have been altogether strangers to heaven ? Did God 
give unto thee that cabinet of thy understanding, either to keep 
it empty, or to treasure up in it only chaff or dung ? Did God 
intend when he made thee a rational creature, that thou shouldat 
only spend thy thoughts either upon those things that are un-* 
profitable, or those that are sinfiil ? Certainly God had higher 
ends when he gave to thee a reasonable soul. To press the sense 
of this upon you : consider with yourselves the sinfiilness of neg* 
lecting this duty of meditation ; it degrades thee from that ho- 
nour which God hath given thee in thy creation ; it debaseth 
thee and maketh thee of the inferior rank of creatures. There is 
an excellent expression in the 92 Psalm, ver. 5. ** O Lord how 
great are thy works, and thy thoughts are very deep ?" It fol- 
lows in the 6th verse, '^ a brutish man knoweth not, neither 
doth a fool understand this/' Observe the expression, those 
persons that neglect this duty of spiritual meditation, and do not 
consider the works of God ; degrade and reduce themselves into 
the order of beasts. A carnal man that looks only upon the 
form and figure of external things, hath no better apprehension 
of them then a brute hath : a brute looks upon them with as 
clear an eye, as a carnal wretch ; be that looks upon the things 
of the world, as only made for his own end, and not for the glorj- 
of God; and he that neglects the consideration of spiritual things 
lives like a brute. A brutish man knoweth not, neither doth a 

CHAP. VII. ON filVIKB IfflDlTATIdN. 15} 

fool consider this ; so that there b a gte^t deal of evil and sib 
in it. Consider further some of the heatiest jiidgipents that ar^ 
recorded in scripture^ have been eicefcised for the sins of thoughts ; 
you know the angels lost heaven for their aspiring thoughts ; and 
the old world were consumed by the deluge for their unclean 
ones ; therefore certainly the neglect of this duty^ which consists 
in the exercise of thoiigto is n very gntX sin. Thy evil thoughts 
are like young vipers, which destroy the mother that bare them| 
ao thy evil thoughts will destroy thy heart which eonceives them. 
At tli^ last day one of the great parts of the account we must 
give to God^ must be of our thoughts^ Rom 2. 16. ^' when Go4 
ehall judge the secrets of men's hearts by Jesus Christ according 
to my gospel/' Then there shi^^ be a narrow inquest ipade of 
the thoughts of men ; and thoie (hou^^ts which Uiou esteeuEiesI 
as nothing in refeience to the lightness ot the sin that is com- 
mitted by them^ will be as numerous as the sand, and prove as 
w^hty, You that content yourselves to spend days, weeki^ 
^ years without meditation t Oh you that spend yvnir thoughtf 
upon trivial vanities: considers in hell yopir thoughts shall be 
your chief tormenton, then every thought shall be as a dt^m^ op 
poniard to stab thy soul. The worm that never d^^Si implies 
the sad reflections of conscience upon your fvil i^ys, an4 that 
is managed by your thoughts ; those thoughts now ihi^ af e the 
chief part of your sin^ they sb^ Ifaea be ti^e sbarpust execu- 
tioners: therefore turn the strfiom of ycsir thoughts towards God^ 
Secondly. Those who s^ gnucxoQ$f and have a principle of 
r^eneration in them, they deserve reproof upon a double ac« 
iDount : partly because they so much neglect this duty of medita- 
tion, and partly hecanse they are so remiss in the performance of it. 

1. They neg}ect and disuse this duty. That there are such 
laige gaps5 and strides between our performances of meditatioui 
tt should strike us. with fear and sorrow. The most christians 
are apt to look upon meditation, and those other duties which 
are wholly spiritual, as melancholy interruptions of their peace 
and quiet, and thereupon are very backward in the discharge of 

2. When we do perform them, how weak and how remiss are 
pur thoughts ? Our thoughts are like an arrow which is shot 
from a bow that is weakly bent, they will not reach their mark, 
they die in their very birth, and lose th^ir life before thf^y havf 

It 4 


performed any thtngi How should this fill us Mith' sorrow? As 
it is with the pegs of an instrument, when you are winding them 
up they slip down between your fingers, and when you have 
raised them to a due pitch, they presently fall again ; so it is 
with our thoughts in heavenly meditation ; when we are raising 
them, they slide down ; and when we have lifted them up ib 
some measure, how. soon do they fall to the earth again ! This 
is a great sin and crime of a high nature. Consider first, what 
.an unkind recompenoe is this to God, that you should spend your 
thoughts but seldom upon him ? His thoughts were fixed from 
everlasting upon you, and will not you send up your thoughts for 
a short time to him ? His thoughts are ever drawing forth to- 
wards you, and shall yours move seldom tov^ards him ? Psal. ' 
40. «5» saith Daivid, '^ many O Lord my God are thy wonderfid 
works which thou hast done,, and thy thoughts to us ward, they 
cannot be reckoned up in order to ttite & if I would declare and 
speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.*^ He bath 
from eternity spent his .though upon jnmi, and they are eveiy 
moment going forth. towaM)» you; there shoidd be a oontinuid 
return of our thoughts to him. Nay he hath given his Son to 
you, and will you not -give your thoughts to him ? It is the most 
unkind recompenee to neglect this duty of meditation. 

3. Consider it is a real disparngement to God, when we shall 
turn our meditation from him to sinful objects. When we shall 
prefer carnal sweets before him. If the eye doth not abide upon 
the object, it is either because the object displeaseth, or because 
the eye is taken off by something that is better ; so if our medi- 
tationa-ape so fleeting and unsteady in reference to God, what is 
the reason ? either God doth not please us> or something better 
that pieaseth us draws our eyes off from him ; and this casts a 
real disparagement upon God. Oh that we should forsake thi; 
Fountain of Living Waters for broken cistesos^ that can hold n« 
water ! 



A ue of esbortatiOB. FreqaeDcy and constancT In meditation pressed npoil 
holy BiAo Tbis ii lh« best use of our uodersCaodings. An imitation of 
Chritt^s example. Wiclied men's tbougbCs beiog so fixed on the world, 
shonM provoke us 1o it. Holy men have a divine nature disposing them 
10 this duty. It is one of the best iostniments of communioo with God. 
And makes way for an abundant entrance into heaven. 

ISy way of exhortation. To all thoee that are truly gracious-, 
let me press upon' them, the constant and frequent discharge of 
the duty of nedttation : and that I shall urge by these ail- 

First. Consider^ this duty restores thy understanding to its 
priniitive authority, it puts thy reason to the purest and best 
use; therefore thou shouldest be frequent and serious in the dis<- 
charge of it. This is that which Tindlcatee and rescues our un* 
derstandbg from its captiTity to the flesh, and restores it from 
its prostitution to our senses ; it reiiBes our reason, it advanceth 
it. This should be a powerful argument to persuade you to the 
performance of it. Our thoughts are winged messengers, that 
are able to mount above the visible heavens, to go towards God 
himself. Now meditation is that duty that puts them to their 
best use : why should our thoughts inherit the curse of the ser- 
pent, to cleave to the earth, and feed upon ashes, when there is 
such a duty wherein we may exercise them ? Therefore you 
that are christians should consider this, and accordingly should 
be excited to the discharge of this duty. 

Secondly. Let me pi^ss this dety upon you fitrni the example 
of the Lord Jesus. Psal. 16. 8. '' I have set the JjOtA always 
before me" David speaks that conceming himself by way of 
type, it is spoken of the Lord Jesus principally as appears by 
Acta 2. 25. our Saviour Christ when he was upon the earth, he 
was in heaven, not only in T^;ard of the residence of bis Deity, 
but in respect of .his thoughts imd affections. The thoughts of 
.Christ were as nnmennis as the stars, and they were all in order 
as the ttaiB^ they were all spiritual and heavenly. .Now tkcri 


should be a confermity between the members and the head; it ia 
the apostle's exhortation. << Let the same mind be in you which 
was in Christ." Phil. 2. 5. Therefore as you desire to be eon- 
formed to him» so be frequent in the exercise of this duty. 

Thirdly. Consider the example of wicked men, how their 
thoughts are all fixed upon the earth, and let this be a motive 
to you. Take but the covetous workUing, and what are his 
thoughts upon, but gainfol contrivances, how he may tecniit his 
estate, how those that deal with him may be losers, and he may 
be a winner ? You may read it in the expression of the fool in 
the go^l, '^ I will pluck down my barns and build greater, 
Sic" Luke 12. 28. These were his musings upon his bed, and 
thus doth a worldly person. If you come to a voluptuous fet^ 
son, what are his thoughts upon? He makes a supposition to 
serve instead of enjoying, and all bis thoughts are spent upon 
this ; bow he may gratify his carnal senses, how he may make 
imwision for the flesh. And if yon come to a proud person, 
wh|it are bis thoughts bent upon? He dreams of a ladder, 
whereby be may plimb up to the top of honour. Now shall ear^ 
nal spirits spend the strength of their souls upon such perishing 
vanities } and will not you spend your thoughts upon God and 
Christ, and upon the things of eternity ? Shall a wicked roan 
by his meditations draw forth as it were the quintessence of 
earth ; and shall not we extract for the good of our souls^ the 
marrow of the promises and the sweetness of religion ? 

Fourthly. There is a divine nature conveyed to you, which 
disposeth you for this duty. Indeed it is no wonder that a car* 
nal man . is always meditating upon worldly things, for he hath 
only in him that which is conveyed from the first Adam. Now 
the first *^ Adam was of the earth, earthly.'' But a gracious 
soul hath a new nature : now that is an active pHneipIe, and 
enables tlie soul to spiritual things. This is the gfory of the 
christian religid^, that it i:hangetb the thoughts of men ; and 
whereas your papists mumble over their prayers by number, and 
your carnal persons, moral protestants isre only convenant about 
the external acts of religion : regeneration changeth the frame of 
our thottghts, and maketh us to mount upwards. Grarious souls 
are disposed for it ; what Christ qiake oonoeming lesten in the 
gospel, it raiseth the meal and swells it ; so when grace is put 
into thy soul, it insinuates itself into thy thoughts, into thy dis- 


coones, into thy actions* Those that are regenerated can in 
some measure perform this duty naturally and easily ; it is as 
easy for the flame to ascend^ as for a stone to desoeqd. A vine 
doth with as much ease produce grapes, as a thistle or a thora 
doth prickles : and therefore thy heart may produce spiritual me^ 
ditations, with almost as much ease as a carnal man shall pro« 
dttce sensual corrupt vile thoughts ; if thou do not injure the di^ 
vine nature, but exereise it in sending up holy thoughts towards 
God. ' ' 

Fifthly. Consider that this duty of meditation, is one of the 
choicest instnmients of our communion with God. Communion 
with God is managed by duties on our part, and by donatives on 
God's part : by the ascents of our min<k to God, and by the de- 
scents of God to our minds. Now meditation is that duty 
whereby the soul doth mount upwards towards God. By medi^ 
tation a christian is able to discourse with the inhabitants of the 
invisible world : by meditation he is able to walk with God, to 
eye God in all his ways : by meditation he is able to draw from 
God, those comfcnrts which every attribute doth promise and 
bring forth to the soul. This is that great duty whereby we 
manage communion with him : and this know by the way, those 
christians which are most neglective of this duty, will find a sen* 
sible declination both in their affections and in their practice^ 
because they neglect communion with God. For aU the pro* 
gress both of holiness and joy that we make, it is grounded upon 
our communion with him $ and therefore the negleot of it will be 
a breach in our communion, and consequently will bring a 
dearth, both in respect of our graces and our comforts. 

Sixthly. Consider by the serious performance of this duty^ 
thou wilt procure for thy soul an abundant entrance into the 
kingdom of glory. Such a christian doth enter upon his inhc* 
ritance by degrees; his thoughts and affections are forerunners, 
and as harbingers to take up those mansions of glory. So that 
as we read concerning the angel that appeared to Manoah in the 
book of Judges, he ascended up in the flame of the sacrifice : so 
it is with a christian, his meditation doth enkindle his affections, 
and then he ascends up in the flame of his affections unto God. 
Such a christian when he comes to die, changeth his place but 
not his eompany ; for he was in heaven, when he was upon 
earth. The discharge of this duty would cause in our souls a 


lower heaven, and therefore you should perform ft with the 
greater care. Consider, what is the heaven of angels ? It is 
this, they always behold the face of their heavenly Father ; the 
constant and steady contemplation of God is the heaven of an- 
gels. Now meditation is that duty whereby we contemplate 
God. I confess there is this difference, while we are upon earthy 
we look upon God with an unsteady eye, as a man that holds an 
optic glass with a palsy hand ; he looks upon the stars ; but the 
glass is held so unsteady, that he cannot fully and fixedly look 
upon them : so we differ in degree of fruition, but not in the sub- 
stance. Th^ soul that hath conversed with God, and frequently 
walked with him, it will be no strange thing for him to die ; for 
he hath been dead to the world before, his soul hath been in 
heaven in reference to his desires, before it comes to heaven in 
reference to its own substance. 

To finish all, as you would desire to have real and solid argu- 
ments of the, change of your state; so be serious and very strict 
in the discharge of meditation. The old nature like a root is 
always productive of carnal thoughts : the devil is the tiller and 
husbandman of the old heart, and he makes those fruits that 
grow of themselves, to be more productive. But now if thy na- 
ture be changed, there is a spiritual seed conveyed into thy soul, 
and the influences of heaven should make you fruitful : and as 
you desire that, be strict in this duty. Although the beams of 
the sun touch the earth, yet the body of the sun is fixed in its 
own orb and sphere : so let this be the frame of your souls, al- 
though you must converse with the world, yet let your thoughts, 
your desires, your joys, your affections be with God in heaven, 
while these external commerces you must have with the worid, 
declare you to be on the earth. 



7ke fore^oUig rales exemplified in a meditation on (be sufferifigs of GbrUt* 

J. HAT which I design in the last place, is to reduce those 
mles ivhich J gave for meditation to practice upon this subject, 
viz. The sufferings of Christ. 

And first; one rule I laid down was to be as particular as you 
can, ia reference to the nature and circumstances of the object 
you meditate upon. Accordingly, 

First. l#ay down a draught of Christ's sufferings, and present 
that to youiselves: he that sh^i trace the story of Christ from 
the cradle to the cross, will find it to be a continual crudfiKicm, 
bis life was a passive acti<Ki, his death, an active, passion. But I 
libair confine ooyself more particularly to that which Was the Co- 
toAis and tJ%e most eminent. part of his sufferiiigB, and. therefore 
for the more particular setting this before you. I will propound 
the crucifixion of Christ as it respects his body $«-*Thie. agonies 
imd sortQU^ of his spirit, which was the highest part of his suf- 
ferings. For the fii:st of these, thbt which. respedted his body, 
the scriptui^ take^ notice of ithnee eminent ciroum^tanoes which' 
t^clopg to'tb^t^ The ignominy, i^ujnm, misery of it. - 

1. Tlje jgKoQHkiyiof his cru^ifiicion : and if you look hito the 
scripture^ you shall find he was scorned in eylery one of his oflS- 
ces. As he was a king, so he was ^oeptred with a reed, and 
crowned wilhtlior^^. As he was a prophet, so they blinded him 
and bade l^E|i.pro|)^esy' whp smpte him. As be was a priest they* 
elothed hi|a^th>a long robe, fH«hich was an emblem of that of- 
fice. ; The igii^iny ot Ojur .^atiiHir's suffering^, i^eepecteth the 
kind of his, df^, the plaqe of Jhis death, and the companions of 
his dea(h ;/ if you' respect <he kind of it; it^vlss hanging on a 
tree, thatdeat^i which' irendered .the person, and showed the fact 
to be abominable. If you respect the place of his d^ath, he was 
not crucified in a corner, but upon the tAup of Mount Calvary, so 
that he was exposed to the view of thu world. If you respect 
the companions of his deaths tliey were the dregs and worst of 


mankind, thieves and robbers : thns you see he that was the 
^' glory of heaven/' is made the ''shame of earth;" and he 
who was the adoration of angels, is the scorn of sinful wretches* 

2. The second circumstance is the curse of his death. The 
scripture doth assert this, '* Cursed is every one that hangeth on 
a tree/' Gal. 3. 13. There u'as both a ceremonial and a mo- 
ral curse in the death of Christ : the ceremonial curse was his 
hanging upon a cross : for the custom of the Jews was this, upon 
any notorious &ct, the malefactor was first put to death, by sto* 
liiiig> or the like; and then bis body was hai^;ed up before the 
sun : so that the hanging of a person, was a kind of second 
death, and this the Lord Jesus endured. The moral curse like- 
wise did concur to the death cf the Lord Jesfus, he bare the ini- 
quity of us all. 

3. The misery of it, which was inexpressible. Evwy part of 
Christ was a receptade of pain : those deaths whteb are linger* 
ing, there is a slow pace in them, but a quick torment. So it 
was with the Lord Jems, his hands, and his feet weie nailed to 
the cross ; they were those parts whidi were most distant from 
the vitals, and animal q>irits, and so his death was an extended 
torture. Now by meditation the soul should represent thw cru- 
dfixion of Christ to itself. 

If you eome to the sufferings of his saulf Christ bad a real 
taste of the bitterness of the second death. He dtank iip the 
cup of hom», he enduied the piuns of hell, thoiigfa not specie 
yet pondere ; ^ though he did not endure the same in kind ; yet 
he did in d^^e : though he did not suffer a local bell, yet he 
suffered a penal hell. Thus represent these things to your soak, 
by the help of meditati«Hi. 

To gather up the sum« The gracious soul, when it would 
warni ttaelf with the consideration ef Christ's death ; let it make 
itself a party in every passage of the story of his paassion ; end 
let the soul mix its affections with all the occurrences of it : as 
for eacample. First go to the gurden, and there let thy soul con- 
sider the sweat that dropped from him, hear his groans, and see 
his agonies. Then follow him to the rulers and soMiers ; and 
there consider all those actions of theirs, which contained the 
greatest scorn, slighting, and abuse of him. When the thorns 

• Sm more of this is -the Harmosy of the Attribatev, eh. 13. 

tXBJUf* Db OK bnrlKfi itSDlTAtlpN. 159 

are platted upon bis h€«d^ let them pierce thy heart. Then go 
from the ruler's house to Mount Calvary, and let thy soul take 
up part of the cross ; and when thou comest there let it be nail- 
ed to the crofis, and Meed with love for thy Saviour. The soul 
by reflex acts is able in some degree, to produce same passion 
and sorrow, which it would produce- if the object was visible to 
our bodily eye. Now there is none of you but fancy if you had a 
vbible representation of Christ hanging upon the cross, expend- 
ing his blood, bowing his head, sending forth his Spirit, this 
would affect you. By meditation represent this to the eye of 
thy soul, and Oh let it produce suitable passions and affections. 

Another rAie I gave you was this, when you meditate upon a 
spiritual subject do it by way of aigument $ considering the cau- 
ses and effects of it : so here, consider the causes and effects of 
Christ's sufferings. The causes of his sufferings are two, the 
love of the Father, and the love of Christ : I know the sin of 
man was the occasion of it. There was miseranda necessitas a 
miserable necessity on our part, but the cause was. commiserans 
vobtsUaSj commiserating mercy on God's part. 

1. To speak of the love of the Father. The scripture repre- 
sents this to us as the original cause of Christ's death. '< Herein 
God declared his love to us, that when we were yet sinners^ 
Christ died for us.'' * Rom. 5. 8. 

2. The love of Christ was the cause of this. Acts of grace 
cannot be extorted. Now this was merely an act of grace in 
Christ to give up himself to die for us. Therefore you find in- 
the first treaty t^t was between God and Christ, Christ de« 
dares an absolute resignation to the will of God, ^< Lo I come 
to do thy will, O my God." Heb. 10. 7. Obedience to his 
Father and l<Mre to man, was the cause of Christ's sufferings. 
Therefore although the death of Christ was violent in respect of 
men, it was voluntary in respect of himself: <^ I lay down my 
life." Observe a vast difference between Christ's answer to Pe- 
ter, and his answer to Judas j when Peter out of an irregular 
pity to Chf ist's person, desired him to favour himself; because 
that hindered man's redemption, he saith, ^' get thee behind me 
satan." John 10. 15. Mat. 16. 23. Mat. 26. 50. How 

• See more of this in the Harmony of Che Attribnte«, chap. 9, thron^oat^ 
but etpeoially towardi the cnd(. 


^arp and aevere was it? But when Judas comes to betray 
Christ, he calls him frieod. What a great difference is there in 
the answers of Christ ? This shows the wiUiogness of his com- 
pliance with his Father's decrees; the love of Christ was the 
cause of his sufferings; that love which was as ancirat as his 
Peity^ and survived his humanity. 

In the second place, let us proceed to the effects of these suf- 
ferings, and that will be an object ^t for our meditation. There 
are five eminent effects of Chr^t's sufferings, whi4sh the sciiptiirt 
speaks of. 

1. Complete satisfaction to the justice of his Father. The 
sufferings of Christ were euriehed by the unioh of his Deity ; his 
blood was the blood ,of God : it was more for a God to sadaiy, 
than for a man to sin. The violation of th^ law, was an act of 
the creature ; but the fulfilling of the law was an act of the Cre- 
ator; and therefore justice is completely satisfied. Upon this 
account Rev. 4. 3. we read that the throne of God, is encom- 
passed with a rainbow. A rainbow is an emblem of peaee. The 
justice of God receives more glory in the redemption of our souls, 
tjian in the damnation of the world. For Christ at once made 
full satisfaction, but all the damned souls in hell are ever satisfy^ 
ing. You know a payment may be made of equal value in a 
small weight of gold, which is equivalent to a greater weig^ of 
^Iver; Christ's blood and sufferings although they wercf short in 
i^pect of theiT time and duration; yet they did exceed the 
eternal torments of the damned in respect of the worth of lus 
person. ... 

, 2. The second effect of Christ's sufferings is, laying a fouada^ 
tjon for the calming and quieting df conscience. Conscience b 
Gpd's officer, and when the Judge is appeased, conscience then 
should suspend its accusations ; the/blood of Christ may well be 
c^led spiritual wine, for it doth at cmce cheer the heart of God 
by way of satisfaction, and the heart of man by way of pacifica- 
tion. Conscience cannot alledge any things but what may be 
answered from the death of Christ. I confess many times.belie- 
\ing sopls are full of perplexities; Cor the bee that hath lost her 
sting, may keep a noise and buz, .although it cannot, injure us : 
so when sin hath lost its sting by his death, yet there may be a 
noise about us, and this mAy trouble us ; but this proceeds not 
from the weakness of Christ's satisfaction, but from the weak* 
ness of our faith. 

OUP. IX* 4M l>tTtll3r iisittTAtiosr* 161 

3J The thifd eflfect of Christ's' death is this, the powers of 
darkness are bn^en by it. He that had power of dea^, the de- 
til is BOW made an -objeet of triumph. The devil thought he 
might get a ccHnplete victory when Christ suObted^ bat Christ 
tells us^ '^ Now is the prtnee ct this world judged/^ John 16, 
Ih Death itself that is our last enemy was destroyed by the 
death of Christ. And this was the reason why, when Christ 
died, many saints rose up and lived agaiu in Jerusalem, to de- 
dare to us death was conquered. And at the last da^ the . gravfe 
ahall give up its spoil, by virtue of Christ's death. 

4. The fourth effect of Christ's death is this,, the crucifixion 
of sin. Thereibre the scripture tells- us, the old msRi is crucified 
with him. Sin brought Christ to the cross, and Christ brought 
m to the cross and nailed it there. Herein appears the admi-> 
rable wisdom of God, that as sin brought in death, so the death 
of Christ should carry oat sin, I mean in reference to believers. 

5. The inheritance of glory is the fruit and effeet of Christ's 
d^etb. The blood of €hrist, mtifies the^few Testament. It is 
the key of pamdise, and opens heaven for us : there was such an 
exuberancy in: the merits - of Christ ; such a supererogation of 
worth, that not only satisfied for us, but purchased an inherit- 
ance for QsJ Whereas the first Adam had an earthly paradise ; 
the second Adam purchased for us an everlasting state of glory : 
dm is another medium, whereby you may exercise the duty of 
meditation in your soub. 

Thirdly. Another rule I laid down was this, when you do con- 
sider of any objects, amplify them by way of comparison, and 
that either by way of similitude or dissiiniUtude ;' do so as to the 
sufferings of Christ. 

1. If yoatake die sufferings and amplify them by way of 
comparison; But there is nothing in the creation, that is a fit 
subject finlly to represent them by: I shall therefore make a pa- 
rallel (as the scripture doth) between the death and cruciBxioK 
of Christ for us, and the death and killing of sin within us. 
The death of Christ was a real death, and so should the death 
of sin be : many times in the bodies of men, there is an interrup-. 
Hon of the vital and animal spirits ; so that some one part of the 
body, is as it were dead ; as in those that lie under palsies and 
die like; but it is not a real death, tilltbe soul be separated 
from the body : there was a real separation between the soul and 


1^ jm mVlKS MBlMtTATKni. «HAJ»*. Ui. 

the body in Christ; 6o thete shoaTd be between sin and us. 
The death of Christ was a sharp and ddonms death ; so we 
should exercise a holy severity against sin : we should not allow 
any tndnlgence to our lust^ The death of Christ was a gradual 
and a lingering death : so should we condemn our sins too, that 
«nce we cannot kill them at once, yet they should die by de- 

2. By dissimilitude. The scripture faath^ an eminent instance, 
1 Pet. 1. 18. <^ Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not re-* 
deemed with corruptible things'' (obserre'the dissimilitude) ^< as 
» silver and gold ; but with the precious Mood of Christ.''' Take 
all the treasures of the worlds although we deify them they can- 
not free one soul ; it was only the sacred treasures of heaven the 
blood of the Lord Jesus that .was able to free us from the wrath 
to come. Indeed the consideration of Christ's blood stains ail 
the glory of the world, and impoverisheth the richest splendour 
of the whole universe. 

Another rule which I propounded to you was to meditate on 
a spiritual subject by wt^ of emission or ejaculation of your souls 
to God, and that two ways. 1. By way of comphunt. 2. By 
way of desire. 

1st, Let the soul send forth itself to God by way of complaint 
of its insensibility of these suffering of Christ. Did. the whole 
creation bear a share with the Lord Jesus in his sufferings, and 
shall our hard hearts be insensible ? when the Son of Clod was 
debased, the suh of the world was darkened and eclipsed, and 
durst not show its glory. <The whole world (av I may so spedc) 
was hung with mourning,' in reference to the sufferings of 
Christ; and shall our souls be insensible ct these sufferings? 
The veil of the temple was rent, and shall not our hearts ? Im- 
press these consideraticMis. The creature that was not the 
eatiae of Christ's death and suflerings, sympathized with him, 
and shaH man* who was the cause neglect and despise them ? 
Christ shed drops of blood, and shall not we spend hearty sighs ? 
How should we thus complain of oursdves to the Lord, concern- 
ing the hardness of our hearts, 

2dly. By way of desire, and that in two respects, when we me* 
ditate upon the death of Christ. 1. That we may have an inter- 
est in those sufferings. 2. That we may feel the sensible fruit 
of them. 

CBAP* »• .«!} J>IVIMB MBDITATIOlf. \63 

(1.) That we may have an interest in these sufferings. It Is 
not a naked contemplation, bnt the imjriantation of our souls in- 
to Christ's death, that makes it effectual to us. There were 
many that did see the ark, yet lest their lives, becanse they were 
without it. So many may have an historical knowledge, yet 
because they are not united to Christ, they receive no benefit: 
therefore bchg that God would implant thee into that likeness of 
Christ's death, that he would unite thee to the Lord Jesus. 
Remember possession fdlows' uoimi. Christ's garments only 
cover Christ's members $ therefore let thy desires be exited after 
an interest in him ; 

(2.) That you may feel the sensible fruits and benefits of 
those sufferings of Christ. And here the soul should send forth 
its desires to God. Oh that my »ns might feel the vinegar and 
the gall ! Oh that they were nailed to the cross of Christ ! Oh 
that i might find the fruits of the cross I Oh that his • pains 
might produce peace to my soul ! Thus the heart of a gracious 
person should send forth bis desires to God. 
"* Another rule I gave you for the manning the duty of medita- 
tion, was by viray of impression upon oar own souls^ and that 
fikewise in a double manner, 1. By w^ of charge. 2. By 
way of restraint. Do so as to the sufferings of Christ. 

1. By way of charge. After the soul hath warmed itself with 
the meditation of them, let it impress upon itself these three 
things by way of eharge. To essercise faitb ; to infiama its fawe^ 
Mud to enliven its obedience. 

To escercise its faith. Thus let the soul of a christian rellect 
upon itself: *^ Why art thou cast down, O my soul, and why art 
thou disquieted within me ?" Psal. 42. 5. Why dost thou fear 
the punishment of sin, when guilt is tak^ away? Why art 
thou tossed to and fi^o with anxious fears mid perplexities? 
Consider the Lord Christ hath died^ and this is that which 
makes the apostle to cry victory over all our spiritual enemies. 
There are two thii^ wUch usually do weaken the trust of be- 
lievcM. One is the greatness of their sins, the other is the 
weakness of their faith. Now the sufferings of Christ answer 
both these. For the greatness of thy sins propose this ; our sins 
jure but finite acts, and therefore cannot preponderate his infinite 
righteousness. Oh consider, thy sin is infinite indeed in respect of 
A^ object; but the jigfateousness of Christ is infinite in respect ^ 

hi • 


the subject : certainly the obedience of God is more available to 
reconcile ua, than tlie disobedience of man was to make an enmity 
between God .and- Us. Conaid^r thus with thyself, if thou hadst 
always livedrin a.spoilesa innocency^ thou wouldst not then be 
afraid of God s yes, bat the righteousness of Christ exceeds the 
nainral robe -of thine inndoency. If the angels may always look 
vpen the face of God, wha are only clothed with their natural 
r^fateoofloess ; ceftsdnly a beKever may who is clothed with the 
righteousnesa of Christ. That blood is able to redeem ten thou- 
sand worlds. 

Suppose thy trust is taken oiF by reason of the weakness of 
thy bithy thon feaieat thy ftuth is not strong enough. The me- 
ditation of Christ's suflerings will answer that ; for impress this 
Vfoa thy sooi* The price is the same and the Acceptation of 
God is the same, both in reference to a strong faith ami a weak 
faith. A weak, eye that looked upon the brazen serpent, was an 
instrument to core the body as weH as a strong eye. The winga 
of a dove may carry it over the river, as well as the wings of an 
eagle; and a weak faith may lay hold on the righteousness of 
Christ, as well as the strong, and embrace it. Oh remember, 
the strongest faith is not the purchaser of our salvation ; and 
therefore when thy feith is weak, yet encourage thyself by consi* 
dering the suflerings of the Lord Jesus. 

2« By way of cheek and restraint. When ever you find your 
souls tempted to sin, let thia allay the heat of the temptation; 
and let the consideration of Christ's sufferings repel all those 
fiery darts. Let me allude to that of David, when the water of 
Bethlehem was brought to him, which was purchased by the 
hazard of men's lives, saith^ he, <' Shall I drink the blood of 
these men P And he poured forth the water before the Lord.'' 
When ever thy soul is tempted to sin, then argue thus ; shall 
Aaty that was his sorrow, be my joy? Sin was the spear that 
(q>ened hia side, and the nails that pierced his hands. Shi is 
that which makes every person to be a Judas to betray him ; a 
Pilate to condemn him and soldien to crucify him. And shall 
we thus again crucify the Lord Jesus? Shall we add sorrow to 
sorrow ? This i% one of the most noMe and powerful means to 
restrain and check the soul, whenever the temptations of sin are 
strong and vigorous upon thee. 

To conclude, the sum of what I would say is this. In this 
meditation of the death Of Christ, let the duty be^ 


Seriousy Affettionatej Applicative^ Practicah 

First. Serious. It is an expression of the apostle^ ^' Consi* 
der the Lord Jesus ;" let not your ^views be transient sudden 
glances^ which do no good ; but represent the Lord Jesus before 
your eyes in a serious and solemn manner. And you that are 
to come to the sacrament have an advantage of others: kings 
do many times represent their own persons in the broad seal ; 
they sit upon a throne sceptred and the like : so Christ in the 
sacrament (which is the seal of heaven) represents his own per- 
son. There is only this difference, the picture of a king is a 
dead representation : but the Lord Christ in the sacrament is 
most liveltly and efficaciously represented to the soul. 

Secondly. Let it be an affectionate view. Let your affec- 
tions correspond with the Lord Jesus Christ in all the passa- 
ges of his sufferings. If that argument will not break us, the 
flames of hell will melt us. Always make reflections upon 
yourselves, and consider that you were the invisible crucifiers 
of Christ. 

Thirdly. Let your meditation be applicative, always make an 
impression upon your souls. The generality of people look up- 
on the death of Christ as the death of a martyr, and not as a 
Mediator ; only as the death of an innocent |>erson, that suf- 
fered without cause) therefore they spend their declamations 
against the Jews, the soldiers, and Pilate ; but vain persons they 
never reflect upon their own hearts, they do not apply it to their 
own souls. Consider it is not the blood of Christ, as it was 
shed upon the cross ; but as sprinkled on thy heart that saves 
thee 5 and therefore make application of it when ever thou medi- 
tatest upon the sufferings of Christ. 

Fourthly. Let thy meditation be practical, reduce it to obe- 
dience. Oh this is to realize it in our thoughts ; when we live 
as those that feel the influences and power of Christ's death in 
our souls } when we find our hearts thereby to be enlivened in 
the duties of holiness, and our corruptions to wither and decay 
and fall before us, then it is that we meditate aright upon the 
death of the Lord Jesus. 

Take this as an encouragement. Those that thus make ap- 
plication of Christ as crucified 5 shall hereafter be conformed to 
Christ as glorified. Those that now feed upon his body in the 
sacrament by faith, shall hereafter feed upon his face by sight 
and vision, for ever and ever. 




Job xxviii. 28. 

And unto maa he said, behold the fear of the Lord, that it wiedom, and to 
Separt from evil is vnderttaiidiDf. 

JIF you look back to the twelfth verse, you shall find an inquiry 
made after wisdom; and in the following verses, there is a 
description of the wisdom of God^s providence, whereby he doth 
marshal and rank the innumerable sorts of creatures that are in 
the world. This wisdom of providence directs us to the wisdom 
of the law : this world being the school of rational spirits, every 
part of it, every creature, reads unto us a lecture of divinity. 
But the question is, ivfaat ia that voice, that is conveyed to us 
by all these things; the answer is^ ** the fear of the Lord, that 
18 wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding.'' If you 
look into this great volume, the book of the creatures, which is 
written within and without, written within with invisible es- 
sences, the angels, &c. written without with corporeal substances, 
all the visible objects of nature ; and if you would know what ia 
God's design in all these, it is this, that man should learn to 
fear him, that being the chiefest wisdom, and to depart from* 
evil, that being the most eminent understanding. This is the 
connexion of the words. In that part, which at the present, I in*. 

L 4 


tend to prosecute and treat of, you may observe first the subject^ 
The fear of the Lord. Secondly, The predicate, that is wisdom. 

The doctrine which I shall insist on is this, the fear of God is 
eminently wisdom. 

I. Now in the opening of the fir^t head, the fear of God, we 
will consider, 

i. The nature of God's fear, 

ii. The objecto upon which it is terminated. 

ill. Distinguish it from that degenerate fear that is in wicked 

iv. Show you the products and effects of it. 

V. Speak concerning those seeming contrary graces to which 
it is united, as faith, love, hope and joy, &c. 

vi. Answer some questions, how Car, and in what manner the 
threatenings of the word shoyld work upon the fear of a con^r 
verted person. 

vii. And then exhort you to this fear of God, 

Tie nalare of the fear of God. 

t. Head of discourse. The fear of God. 

i. The nature of it. The fear of God in scripture is some- 
times taken more generally, and so it imports the whole circle 
of divine duties, and of religious worship. Thus it is said, 
Eccl. 12. 13. ^' fear God and keep his commandments, for this 
is the whole duty of man.'' And the reason why fear is thus 
taken, is pa^ly because the fear of God hath an influx upon all 
the duties of godliness, it being, (if I may so speak) the prsepo- 
situs that guides and orders them, and therefore it may well be 

OfiAF. n. ON TBB VBAR OV €H>D« 169 

pntfoT tke whole service that we owe to our Creator; and 
partly, because the fear of God is an enunent piece of godliness, 
one of the prime parts of God's service. As an artificer receives 
bis title from that work about which he is most conversant. 
Upon this account it is, you shall find in scripture, sometimes a 
godly man is described by his fear. Job was a man *^ fearing 
God ;'' and so ^^ blessed is the man that feareth God,'' which is 
the description of a gracious person. 

2* This fear of God is taken in a more restrained and limited 
sense, and ao the fear of God imports, that sanctified affection 
and sanctifying grace, whereby the soul doth solemnly and reve^- 
rently refiect upon God's perfections, and from thence is moved 
in all things to promote God's honour. 

The object* of the fear of God. 

ii. -M OW this fear will be fiirther opened to you, if you con- 
sider its objects, which are the perfections of God ; and those I 
shall present to you in this order. 

1 . The majesty of God, which appears in the works of nature 
and providence. There is a beam of God's glorious essence^ 
which shines forth in all the parts of the creation, that should 
draw forth our fear. The firmament over our heads is so great 
a body, 'that the earth is but a prick or a point, if compared 
with It ; yet that vast heaven, nay the heaven of heavens, can- 
not contain God. This discovery of his majesty, and of his im- 
mensity, should draw forth our fear, ** who would not fear thee 
thou .Kii)g of nations ?" When you look down and consider that 
vast collection of waters that is in the sea ; and that God by one 
word, doth bound the raging seas, that he swathes them with a 


girdle of sand^ as a nune doth a little inimnt ; this should fiH 
the soul with a religions * awe. The thunder is God's v<no^ 
whereby he summcHis the world to dread and reverence him 5 ' 
nay (as little as you think of it) the very clouds, which are the 
water*pots of heaven, when they descend upon the earth, should 
move our fear : for God saith by the propliet, ^^ will you not 
fear me, that send the former and the latter rain?" Jer. 5. 24. 
All tlie works of the creation should draw forth this grace. And 
certainly he that shall but consider with himself that expression 
of scripture, that ** num is but a virorm, and the inhabitants of 
the earth are jaa grasshoppers,'' &c. and make a comparison bei> 
tweos God and himself; between God's majesty, and man's 
meanness, if then he doth not fear God^ he acteth below bis 

2. The purity of God is the object of our fear. This (which 
is revealed in its glory in heaven) causeth the holy angek, and 
glorified saints, to pay the tribute of reverence to God for ever^ 
Isa. 6. I, 2, 3. There you diail fiiMi the prophet's vision of the 
Lord sitting upon a throne high, and his train lifted up, filling 
the temple. The ser^hims stood about him, and ^hey cried 
out and said, *^ holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole 
earth is full of his glory." They had a sight and view of God's 
holiness; and what is the effect of k? *^ They had six wings, 
with twun they covered their faces," as being unworthy to behold 
the glory of God's boUness; and ^ with twain they covered their 
feet," as being unworthy to be beheld by that holy God ; and 
<' mih two they did fly." Bev. 15. 4. *' Who* shall not fear 
thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name, for thou only art holy ?" 
He that doth not fear God's majesty, I told you he acts below 
bis duty; but he that doth not fear God's purity, doth not con- 
sider his sins. Because we have narrow thoughts of God's ho- 
liness, therefore we fear him so little. If our understandings 
were clarified so far, as to see the immaculateness of his purity, 
we should then fear him more. When the Lord Jesus Christ 
made a small discovery of his divinity, in a miracle, Peter pre- 
sently falls down, and cries out, ^^ Lord, depart from me, for I 
am a sinful man." Luke 5. 8. Purity and majesty conjoined, 
strike a sinner into consternation. 

3. Another object of our fear iit' God's all seeing eye, Psal. 16. 
8. <' I have set the Lord alwaj^ before me," how ? I have set 

eSAP. !!• ON tHB ITBAR OF 60X). 171 

him before me as my inspector, as my guHe, as my pattern, 
and this doth raise and excite fear towards God. There is a; 
pure and a piercing eye that looks npon our most retired actions. 
There is nothing that is a more powerfol motive to a man to 
walk as a christian than this, a certain persuasion that God's 
•ye'is always open upon him. There is no person that is any 
thing in religion, till the fear of God be written upon alTfala 
actions. We read Deut. 23. 14. God eommanded the Israelites, 
that ^ there should be no unclean thing in the camp, for the 
Lord walked in the midst of the camp/' Oh when you do but 
i^pr^end this, that the eye of God is always upon you, and 
make this the object of your fear, the influx of it will be power- 
ful for the regulating of your lives. Sometimes in scripture, the 
fear of God is opposed to forgetfulness of him. 

4. The power of God, is also an object of our fear, for this 
makes him a dreadful adversary, Psal. 90. 11. '^whoknoweth 
the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy 
wrath." It is impossible for the most trembling conscience to 
enlarge its apprehensions, and its fears answerable to the power 
of God's anger. You know that a trembling conscience is able 
to feney to itself the most direful torments ; the pouring out of 
hot oil into the tenderest parts of the body ; whatever torments 
rither the power or the art of man can do : but our apprehen- 
nons ave finite and limited, and when you have raised them to 
the utmost extent, they cannot reach any degree as it were of 
God's power. The power of the creatures is a limited power; 
Jbr as they have a fimited benignity, and can do us good but in 
part, so likewise they have but a limited malignity to do us 
hurt but in part; as you know there are some things that can 
etothe us, but not feed us ; some things can heal us, but not de- 
fend us from injuries : so on the contrary, fire may bum us, but 
it cannot drown us ; a «erpent may sting us, but not tear us. 
But now the power of God's anger is sueh, that it doth emt« 
neatly contain in it all sorts, all degrees of torment ; as the light 
«f the sun doth eminently eontain in it all the torches and can* 
dies in the world, and therefore who would not fear, as the 
tieasaies of his wrath, so the power of it. <^ Fear him," saith 
Christy <' who is able to cast soul and body into hell." And by 
the way, know the great reason why men do so much fear the 
fieat ones of Ihe earthy and ao little fear the God of heaven U 


this^ because we fancy to ourselves a large power in a mortal 
creature, and have dark ^prehensions of the iniaite power of 
the immortal God. The sinful compliance which abounds so 
much in the world, proceeds from this, because men fear the 
apger of the creature, but they presume on the merey of God^ 
and fear the justice (as they call it) of man, but they hope in tho 
goodness of God. 

5. The justice of God is another object of our fear. This 
attribute excites his power, awakens - his wrath, and causetb 
them to sparkle forth against sinners. Now this is the ground 
of our fear, as we are guilty creatures. All those attributes 
winch I have alseady 4aeiitioned, produoe fear in us in respect of 
the contrary qualities that are in us, as the majesty of God 
causeth our fear in respect of our meanness, his purity in respect 
of our vileness, his power in respect of our weakness, and so his 
justice in respect of our guilt, for we are guilty creatures. The 
love that we exercise upon God, respects him as a Father ; but 
the fear that we fix upon God is referred to him as a Judge ; and 
if we do but seriously take a view of God's justice as it is repre* 
sented in the word, it is impossible but that the most presump«* 
tuous spirit would be filled with trembling and horror- at the 
apprehension of it ; that justice that vrill take notice of the num- 
ber and of the, quality of all our sins ; that justice that will Bptam 
no person be he never so great, nor slight ' any person be bm 
never so mean; that justice that shall award sod dedde our 
everlasting state, who would not fear it? Ala^ the justice x>f 
man be it never ao severe, can but dispose of a few days, or u 
few years of our time } but the justice of God doCh award us for 
ever to glory, or tanuseiy. 

6. The mercy of God and bis goodncsss are the olgects of odr 
fear. Take this as a rule, the affectum of a matt ase best dia- 
covered by^ hi»>eflection on - mercy. The presumtQg sinner ^vill 
argue from itthii§^*there iff mercy in God, therefore | wavy en« 
courage myself in . fny. evil ways, and ( may offend bim- ; but tho 
gracious soul arguesthus, there is* mercy with Godr tbereCme'l 
will fear him. • Now if yo^'ask me how caaa peisoii.^G^€odfa 
mercy, I answer (>1.) ^n* ingenuous -so|4 fears ttf *di«plee3eit2 
(2.) He fears to lose it. i • ; c. .: •• , 

(1.) He fears to displease it. Timor coitWi tmor ifiXiy Mnm 
gratus^ ' h is a chaste^ a£lialand a g^utefol/tai) .whereby the 

,WAP^ UU ON TJffi SBAR M GO0* 173 

MNil 13 v^ry tender of displeasing the mercy of God. It is that 
fear which a child liears to a parent, which a wife bears to her 
Jiusbaildy which one friend bears to another, he woald not dis- 
jpleaae hinou Ob remmnber there is a dread in God's smiles, and 
bis miyesty is to be feared when it is most serene. 

(2.} The soul fears the loss of that mercy. For as a gracious 
spirit prizeth the mercy of God more than life, so it fears the 
loss of it more than dealh, Psal. 63. 3. *^ thy lovmg-kindness is 
better than life ;" and thus St. Awitin describes fear, it is Juga 
wmM^j ne perdat quod diligiij the flight of the mind, lest one 
lose what he enfo^s. If you ha^ taned how good the Lord is, 
there will be a fear lest you should hazard the smallest degree of 
the maoifestatioB of it. 

The dlftrcace between tervile and filial fear. 

III. X proceed next to distinguish between servile and filial fear; 
between that fear that is degenerate and slavish, and that which 
Is 'ingenuous and filial. The I^atjns distinguish these two sorts 
of fears by two words, the one is palled metuSy the other is called 
fimor ; metus is the fear which tespects an object, that may be 
injurious to me. Timor; being derived from a word which sig- 
nifies honour, imports a reverence of another, because of his 
excellencies. One of these is that fear which is Ravish, and the 
other genuine and filial : now there are several distinctions which 
I shall present to you of those two fears, that so you may be 
able to judge whether you are a partaker of this grace or no : 
you know there are many noxious weeds which are very like to 
garden herbs ; but although they be like in appearance, yet the 
operations of them are very different. So there is a similitude 

174 OV THB FJiAa Of QOD. CHAP, im 

betwten this fear of God, and that sla?iah fear wUeh b in a car« 
nai spirit ; yet they are rasdy diflerent in their efleets. 

1. The fbar that is slavish, is a foreed act, but that which is 
ingenuous is Tduntary. A slafish fear proceeds from a judicial 
impression, stamped upon the coDscience ; and so he that Kes 
under it makes it his design to break the chmns, and get him- 
self at liberty; but this son-like fear is the desire of a sain^ 
Nebem. 1. 1 1. *^ we desire to fear thy name/' it b the treasure 
of a saint, ha. 33. 6. <' the fear of the Lord is his treasure/' 
It is that to which he devotes himself, Psal. 119. 33. *^ thy ser^ 
vant who is devoted to thy fear.'' The fear of a widied man is 
a judicial impression ; for when the spirit of bondage strikes 
upon the conscience, then it is filled with fears and terrors. But 
now the fear of a gracious person, proceeds from himself, he 
takes the threatenings of God and endeavours to awe his own 
soul therewith, 2 Cor. 5. 10. <^ knowii^ the terrors of the hofd 
we persuade men ;" and this is the reason why a eaftisd spirit, 
(one that hath this slavish fear in him,) his great design is to 
break the fetters of conscience, to loose those ties, he would 
fain get out of that troublesome state. But now a gracious 
spirit always cherisheth this fear ot God : he' labours to know 
God more, that he may fear him more. And this is the reason 
likewise that this slavish fear is in such a soul only at soma 
times, there are sometimes violent impressions of conscience, 
some zealous pangs which move the soul ; and these persons 
are just like the marble pillars that will sweat in moist weather, 
but retain their hardness still : whereas a gracious fear is not a 
violent passion, but a serious constitution of spirit. Oh such a 
man fears God always, and this (by the way) is one difference 
between the grace of love, and the grace of fear ; love is that 
grace, that when we exercise it, the soul spends itself in violent 
ejaculatiqps towards God. Therefore in its raptures it cannot 
be always in us ; although there is a love burning in the send 
always, yet not a love flaming always, that cannot be : but now 
the fear of God is a grace, which you must exercide every mo- 
ment so far as it is possible. 

2. That fear that is degenerate and servile, doth merely arise 
from guilt. Guilt first brought fear into the world ; when Adam 
was convicted of his disobedience, then he feared and hid him* 
«elf. See an eminent example of this. Acts Zi. 25. Wh^n the 

CHAP. in. (Ur THB FBAR OW OOJ>, }75 

apostle Paul was called before the goveraor FeKx, yoa shall find 
the prisoner at the bar, by the help and advantage of conseience, 
made the governor to tremble. '' And as he reawned of righte- 
ousness, temperance and judgment to come, Felix trembled/' 
But now a gracious soul, his iear doth not arise merely from gnilt^ 
bot it is 8 fear of reverence in reference to God's perfeetions, it 
ariseth from the knowledge of God's excellency, it shall continue 
in heaven itself, when we are confirmed in glory ; when there 
will not remain the least degree of guilt, then shaU we most fear 
God. As I have read a story of a person of most eminent hrfi- 
ness when be was a dying, he was filled with great tremblings 
and fears of God ; there comes one to him and speaks to him, 
I wonder (saith he) that you who know God do so fearhim t 
< If I did know him more, I shonld fear him more ;' that was Ma 
dying answer. In heaven the fear cS God shall be perfected ; 
therefore it doth not merely arise from guilt. When God la 
pleased to dart a fire into the bones of a man, to cast stings into 
Ms conscience, then a carnal man fears;, when his heart is 
scorched with the estuations of those hists wherrin formerly he 
delighted himself (as a fish sometimes is boilcnl in that very water 
that formerly it sported itself in) then doth a carnal spirit fear. 
But now a gracious man when there is peace within, when there 
is a blessed serenity in the conscience, then he fears the Lord ; 
therefore it is said, '< thtf churches walked in the fear of God, and 
in the comfort of the Holy Ghost/' Acts 9. 13. there you see an 
union between fear and joy. 

3. This degenerate and servile fear respects the dismal eflbcts 
of sin, but not its evil nature. They in whom this is non me- 
tmmni peccaref sed^netuunt ordere, they do not fear to sin, but 
they fear to bum ; or if they fear sin, it is merely in reference to 
hmming. The one is Itmor pome, the other is ftmor cffeMWy 
the one fixeth itself on the puunishment, the other regards the 
oflenoe ; the one is awakened by the apprehension of those judg* 
flaents to which a man is exposed, the • other r^^ards the evil 
which a own hath -Ame. A child may fear to take up a burning 
coal, that doth not fear to take up a black coal, which will soil 
and pollute it. A carnal wretch fears to medd^ with that sin 
that will create terrors in his conscience, but is not afraid to 
meddHe with that sin which will defile him. The wise man 
sp ea king coneeming tfaia gracious fear, calls it, ** the fear of the 

176^ OK TUB RAB OF OOB. CBAP. ttl« 

cpmnatidiiieiit,'' Prov^ 13. 13. <^ \mt he that fiearath the cam^ 
iQOiidaient shall be rewarded/' I deny not but. eervile fear may. 
give a check to ourtsna; but this.^oth not proceed from any 
halved of ain> but from fear of hell. To illustrate this by a n^ 
ipiiitude, a dog akhoiigh his ravenous nature do prompt him td 
take hoM of the rneat^ fet when ihe staff is over his head he 
dares not touch it* A widied iman while terrors- of coiiscienee 
are upon him, ihough he loves his sin, yet ^he dares not venture 
upon it. What epieuTQ 19 there that is such a slave to. his appe* 
tite, that when he is under a fit of -the- stone, will venture on 
those meats that he knows will increase his paroxysm, and make 
bis pains more doloffous? and yet he may love the meat very 
well : so it is here, such a person that hath ttus slavish fear, 
although he I^ves his sin, yet he. may possibfy be kept from it 
for fear of hell, but this fear is terminated ouly vqpon the pu-* 

4. Another diflerence betwee9 these fears is drawn from the 
eontinwatice of them ; this servile fear usually being a sudden 
passion, but the ingenuous fear is a serious constitution of spirit. 
I shaU api^y to this purpose that which Aristotle speaks con* 
eeming the cokHm^of men; there are some colours which pro- 
ceed from complexion, there are oU^ers which proceed from some 
sudden passion. Suppose the question be, what complexion a 
man is of ; if he be pale through fear, or red for anger, we can- 
not say that man is of a pale or red complexion, because that is 
a sudden thing : it is just so here, one that is & carnal wreteh^ 
sometimes when there are sharp pangs oi conscience upon him, 
he may fear to mn ; but this fear remains no longer than the 
paroxysm of the huming ague, it may be not^so long, for sobmi 
few -hours <Hily; but the gracious spirit always maintains this 
fi^ar in him, << blessed is the man that feareth always ;" the one 
is but a sudden passion, the other is the complexion of the sooL 
. 5. They vastly differ in their excitations to that whieb is good, 
and that in two respects. (K) In respect of the extent of that 
good, to which canvd fear doth excite a. man. (2.) In respect 
of the manner of performance. 

(1.) In respect of the extent of that good. He that ia a sla»e^ 
and fears God servilely, his fear prompts him but to such a de- 
gree of good as he judgeth to be absolutely netessery for his 
own peace ; such a person will give God but gokUweight } be 

<UM.P4 UU a» THB WBSR G0 GOOV 177 

wUl not "fedorm those duties ta uriiich natural eonfecaenee by 
aome spear or goad doth not exeite him. But the fear that is 
ingenuous and filial, exdtes the sOnl to a more liberal degree oi 
service; therefore it is said^ 2 Cor. ?• K '^ petfectiag holioestf 
in the fear of God." So PhiL 2. 12^ <^ work out your own sal- 
vation with box add trembling." Now reduce this to your par** 
ticular state, and make an inquiry, whether the feat that yott 
bear towards God, doth only excite you to some duties- whidi 
the very light of natural consdence discovers and commauds ; or 
whether ixt no, doth it engage your hearts to all the duties of 

(2.) In respect of the manner of perfonnanee. This b the 
usmd temper of servile fear, it excites a man to the bare act of 
the duty, without regard to those qualities which should attend 
that act and that duty. Thus he that is a slave and fears God 
merely Cor his wrath, possibly he will pray and hear the word ^ 
but his prayers are but a little motion of the Hps^ tJ^y are spirit* 
lees devotions. He prays like a panoty without a correspond-* 
ency of his affections to that which he prays ^ and what is the 
leason of it? Because natural oonsdence is quiet for the 
act done. Whereas an ingenuous fear,' causeth the soul, ift 
prayer^ to labour that it may be in a flame, and endeavour to 
ndse the aflbctions to the highest piteh and degiee. He that 
fears as a slave, though he makes God the object of his dtety^ 
be doth not make him the end of his duty^ And therefore saith 
the Lord, '< when you fasted, did you fast unto me ?" Zech. 7* 
5. But this is the end of their duties^ to quiet conscience^ 
that all might be peaceable within. But ingenuous fear 
cxcite8''the soul to perform duties in sueh a manner, as may be 
acceptabk U> the Father of spirits. 

6. These fears differ in their restraints 6om ev3, and that 
likewise in a ikmble respect. (1.) In respect of tho nature of 
those evils from whence they are restrained. (2») In respect of 
tibe manner of their flight from them. 

(1.) In respect of the nature of those evila from whkb thqr 
are restrained. Servile fear checks the soul from those bladt 
ains which stare in the fiece of a natural conscience^ those sins 
which are of the first magnitude, and of a crimson dye, whieh 
do vattote cfmfdetUiam, waste the conscience, these sins slavish 
iear will keep a man from ; but for other .sias> which (although 


178 OH ram nuK ov 000* 4»iap. nr* 

they do not leave so gieat a blot upon the name, yet diey.maf 
leave a very great stain upon the soul) they do Dot legard. To 
give you an instance ; a natural man that lies under this slavish 
Hear, fears to kill a man, but not to hate or bear a spleen agunst 
a man $ and yet this is murder in a degree. Such a man fears 
actually to defile himsdf wiA a woman ; but he cherisheth ape« 
eulative wantonness, and gaaeth on the image of the lust, it 
may be whole days in his fancy ; and yet thb is the adultery of 
the heart, but this he doth not regard : but where there is an 
ingenuous fear, this causeth a person not only to fly sia, but the 
appearance of it, to fly the smallest sin as well as the greatest $ 
for as there is* the same reason of the roundness of a ball, as 
tihere is of a globe, so there is the same reason he should fly the 
smallest sin as the greatest. Thus an ingenuous child fears not 
only visible disobedience, but declines the very colour of it. A 
ehaste wife dotb not only fear to break the marriage knot, but 
flies every sign of disloyalty, and will not bring upon herself the 
kast suspicion of her chastity | so that in respect of the natvra 
of the evils declined, there is a vast difference. 

(2.) In respect of the manner of their flight : for that feo# 
irhich is degenerate and servile, although; it may withdraw the 
soul from the action, it doth not crucify the aAscdon to sin ; 
but now a gradous spirit doth not only fefbeAr sin, but dbhor itf 
he doth not only leave it, but loath it. In the. one the faeultice 
are bridled up, in the other the will is healed ; the one doth 
ubscondere hide Us sin, and keeps himself from outward actsf 
but the other doth obicmdere, he cuts off sin by the roots. 

7. Servile fear drives a man from God,' but filial fear unites t 
man to God. He that is a slave, his great care is how he may 
hide himself from God ; but he that is a son his great care is^ 
that God do not hide Uinself from hinu A siavid is afraid to 
find Ood^ a son is afraid lest be should lose him. St. Austin 
doth $4ttiitiibly explain this by the diff^irent fear the harlot hath 
of her husband, from that which the wife hath, who is loyal and 
Virtuous. The harlot saath be, iUa tiiMt ne ^iMtiiatj she; fears 
lest her husband should come home ; but the virtuous wife jfla 
timet ne deeemtj she feats lest he should depait. The harlot 
fears lest her husband should chastise her, but tHe virtuous wife 
lest he should forsake her. Thus it is here, he that is a slave 
all bis design is tbift, how he may hide himself firom God ; bat a 

CHAP. 'xr# <m tvM raat or ao9«< 179 

graaoiri ao4] dbtb leaB fear God's Utfm^ tbMl fab Ometfct, Im 
can better brook his strokes than the Hvithdrawing of his goiuh 

&. Senrife feariia an earnest of heD; filial fear is the beginaii^ 
of heaven. Servile fear is the fruit of the covenant of woxks^ 
and tberefiire'ther beginning Of sorrow^ Filial fear is this pro- 
duct of the covetotuit of glace ; for sttth the Lovd^ ^^ my lear I 
mil plant and put in theur.beartSj^' and so it i$ the initials of. 
glory. Senrile fear isonebfvthe black train Zi affecticviiB that 
shall acconqiany sinners to another world ; all the bright palt of 
their affections shall letfve thent» their joy^ their hope, and thd^ 
delight; but thek &ax, sorrow, despair and'biKrdr, riiall aecom«» 
pany them for ever : but now the fear jof God which is soiKliko 
and -ingenuous, that doth endnre for ever, that shall be cooh 
pleted in gldry; There are some graces iii a saint that are re« 
Isttve graces, that respect the present stat^, as repentance and 
the justifying feith of a saint ; but the fear of God^ that ia th$ 
eternal homa^ and tribute which the creature mast pay to faiflD^ 
and therefore it shall continiie for ever*. 

The effects ud pi94«cfa of Olial ftmn 

IT. Xt was next propounded to show what are the effects and 
proditets of fiKal fear ; they are these, 

1. The fear of Godprodhieeth a flight from sin : this is so es«^ 
ientialtothefearof God, that it makes up its description, the 
tear of God is to depart froin evil. In the i9th Pftalm ver. 9. 
you hsdre tti esqyression there, *^ the fear of the Lord is dean ;*' 
it is dian fmaaHter^ it is dead in itself; it is dean effee^te, 
m ie makes us dean ; that person that thus feats the Lord w^ 

u 2 

180 om run fsir or cot.^ ckap, rv« 

not ordinarily neglect' the least duty, nor commit tbe least am 
far the gtfratest good. The fear of God is avimm ti^ ^T custom, 
it is the sentinel and guard of the soul^ which is very vigilant 
that no temptation may enter in^ nor no corraption may pass 

2. Another effect of product of thi% fear of God, b a careful 
search afkef the perfect knowledge of God's will, diat so a man 
may not offend him, (and this proiSeedli from the former^ Pbah 
86. 1). '^ teach me thy way^ O Lord, and I will walk in thy 
truth, unite my heart to fear thy name:'^ Here you see the con-- 
junction of these two requests. A man that is a stranger to this 
fear, makes it Ms design to preserve his conscience £rom the oom-> 
mand* of the light of the wwd. Laty persons lie upon their beds 
of ease, and draw their curtains that no beam may dart in upon 
them i they are afraid of the shining light, lest it should scorch 
them; they are afraid consciencf should know what is the will 
ef God lest it should perform its oflBce of accunng them : but 
ime that fears God ingenuously, he tries what is the aceeptablo 
and good will of God. Thus it was with Job, chap.- 34:. 32. 
<' that which I see not teach thou me : if I have done iniquity I 
will do no more.'' This is the temper of a person that fears 
God ; and indeed you may carry this through all relations. This 
is the fear of a son, who will inquire what is his father's will 
that he may not displease hin.. The care of a wife is this, she 
will inquire what her husband's disposition is, that she may not 
contradict him : it is a necessary effect of fear to make a person 
full of inquiries after the will of him whom he endeavours to 

3. This fear hath a great inffuenee upon our performance of 
the duties of worship. (1.) It composeth the soul. (2.) It makes 
it awful in the discharge of them. 

(1.) It composeth the soul, Psal. 86. II. ^' unite my heart to 
ihv thy name.^' There is a natural lightness in the spirits of 
men, and when we come to religious duties our thoughts are like 
a bird in a cage, it flutters the more because it is inckised ; our 
thoughts then are fiill of such a light discurrenc^ as chaff in tbe 
wind, ovdust in the air; but now the fear of God binds up the 
smd from: flitting. The fear of God brings the soul to a con- 
wtcncy when it awaits upon God in religious duties^ He that 
itpp^ tbe sun ta its flighty and the waves in their eottrse^ doth 

bind np our thoughts by hb fear. This is the grace that unites 
our thoogjhts together. And thereibre yon may try younrivtes by 
this, whether or no when you approach th^ throne of grace doth 
the fear of God compose your spirit, doth it cause you to endea- 
Tour to get and keep your thoughts upon that, which then is re^ 
ifuired of you ? 

(2.) It renders the soul awful and solemn in the presence- cff 
God. We read, Heb. 12. 28, 29. ^ wt»refere we receiving a 
kingdom which cannot be moved, let ns hare grace whereby we 
may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear, lor our 
Ood is a consuming fiVe;" such a person when he comes to ariy 
duty, sees him that is invisible, i^d cherelbre fears befete him. 
A gracious soul although he be not always fervent as he should 
be, yet he will be always revertikit, (so it alvaays is when graett 
bath any actings jn the soul) for tht iowest degree tf grace is 
this, to compose the spirit in the sight of God. Thereforsr it is 
said, Ecd. 5. 1. '^ keep thy foot when thou goest to the botise 
of God;'' and certainly whensoever this grace doth exercise* its 
power in any degree, one of the first eifiscts of it* is this, to make 
the soul reverent and solenm in the i^pfehenswn of Godls per* 

4. Moderation in the enjoyment of lawfid dungs is anortier 
product of God's fear, «nd tln^ upon a double account. (1.) In 
respect of the strictness of the law. (2.) In regard of the de* 
cehiMness of the heart. 

(t.) In respect of the strictiless of the law. It is hot a nar-^ 
row path, and we are very ready to swerve frbui k. As one thaCf 
walks upon a rope is very careful to poise himself, so. diat hi¥ 
body may not slip aside j so i^ one tlut hath a son^Kkef fear, he 
knows that thens is but a little step between the aUowanceoiP 
God and the desires of our lusts j and therefore he will not do^ 
all that he may, lest he do more dian he shouM. Such a per-> 
son when he tastes the honey, will be carefiil of his wings, that 
diey be not dipped in thesHne of it, that so he may Hke the bee 
keep his course and voyage to heaven free. Such a person oen«* 
dders with himself that more perish by meat, than by poison ; 
because we are careful to keep ourselves from poison ; but meat: 
is the sustenance of our lives. In lidtis perimui amnes, we all 
perish by the abuse of things lawful, or mostly do so. 

(2.) In respect of the deceitfulness of the heart : we are s6 

M 3 

IS 09 THEB fBiX 09 nom .CVAJ!. fK. 

«pt tD tratiagnesB thoseJimits wfaieb are prMeribed to us. Wli# 
is tfiera 9M»mg us but is apt to abuse the swvetaeis of graee to 
looseness^ tbe power of graee to laraness, the aararaiice of graee 
to seairity, and tbe allowance of grace to lieentiousness ? Asd 
therefiMe because oar hearts are naturally so deceitful^ and so 
prone to transgress, such a person is very moderate io the use of 
lawM things. When he eats and diinks, this is bis rule, Ke will 
aat so mueh as will neither unfit himself for duty, nor dispose 
himself to sin; so mneh as may. neither distemper nature, nor 
dicturb grace ; so nsudi he will venture up<Ni the enjoyment of 
the eieatum, as may be a moti¥e and exiHlement to raise up bis 
aeul to God. This is the proper e&ot of divine fear« 

5, This k another product of filial ftar $ it eauseth in the soul 
upon tbe least appmbensioo of God's displeasure a double in-> 
quiry, (1.) How we have provoked God? (2.) How we may 
appease him R . 

(K) How we bav provoked him ? Sudi a s$ul hath a very 
fuick em to diseover the Lotd^s anger ; and when the Lord doth 
withdraw himself. from it, this is the inquiry of such a soul, bow 
have I provoked the Lord? Thus we. read of Joshua^ when his 
heart was struck with the fear of the Lord, he did by Ipt make 
in<|^r]F«fter'tbe!Sifffo'der» and nfsnx, eea^ till he had fixed upon 
Achan^ that was iha cause of God's anger. Thus doth 4. gra^ 
aiotts Jiearttake the candle of the; Lord, and make m inquiry 
what may be the sin that eclipseth the light of his eouut^lusnoe^ 
that sbufiteth: u)> his bowels, tbat idl^posetb and iutiefcepteth 
the iqfltten^tes of Us gmoe, aad fine beajms of oomfort t^at come 
firom.hiln.' .' ' . I '. 

(2.) Httvr he may' be appeased ? Ob Che - latnentij9g, the de«* 
wes, and tkecHrigoiOtts motions of . tbo soul towards tbe Recovery 
•Cdod^s JSpirit.t oUow doth it daily plead for it in tb^.name of 
Christi WhereM other pevseos uriien a breach is made between 
God and their souk, as tbefsreqpiqitit sih widiont fear, so they 
Ue in it wilJioiit seiii^i tbegr jca^bstif the guiit of tto Uiousandb 
of sins, whieb stond uoeanoelled in ike^ presence of God ; they do 
not make it thrir design to repair the breach tha& is m^de be- 
tween dueif Creator and tbemsdvea; biit it is otherwise with 9 
soul that feacs. the Lord. 

6. Thb fear of Odd is the best eorrecttve of the fear of man, 
As tbe beams frf tbe ^n discourage the burning vt the firej so 

CBA9* m mt TBB. BftS 09. 6C0| !8t 

doCh dat fcar of God covifect aad abate the fear of the d'edtenre; 
As Aflnm'8 fed twaHefwed iq> the nxh of the magieiaiM, ao doth 
the fear ttf the Lofd take the heart off fioni aa imnioderate fear 
of the creafture^ Luke 12« 4^ 5* ** Fear not him that can kill the 
hodjTy &c/' This is the groii&d «f all that sinful compliaBee that 
is in the world. (I mean in referenee to fear) viz. Peieoas fear the 
anger of a mao^ but presume en the mercy of God. Now there* 
five a gracioBS spirit doth realise to hiniBelf what the majesty of 
God is,. wfaa|; his parity, justiee^ power are, and from henee b^ 
quencheth all the fears of the creatures* And if it should happen 
«s.any tfae^ that iii' seine sadden temptatioa the fear of ^lan 
duwld orerpower- Inm, yet nevertbeleaB by consideration, he 
bfings hkqaetf to'hia fiotedieinper; aaif you put waiter and oil ifi 
a glass, if you shake the ghm Ab water may get upon the oil ; 
iwt let the glasa stand still,, then .the oil (at a tritnuphant con* 
qneror) mil recover the supremacy : so here, although in a temp^ 
tation, the fear of man may overpowser him, yet when he com* 
pairea a motial creatme to aa immortal God, then doth the fear 
eF God quettBh all other^fean* . 

ne ceaiiHeaoj feelwasa lbs l«ar of Gad, and Ui^ hope, love and joy. 

T« JL WHl now direct yiour attentton to the consistency that is 
between the fearef God, and ftith, love, hope and joy ; and be- 
Ibie I show yoU' the paHieahir ^;ieement between these graces^ 
let me prearise thesothtee tfaiags* * 

Fiiat. Knowthat there it an abadhite necessity of their anion 
m the soul of a'giaeious peraoa upon this account, because al- 
tiumgh am and grace oppose one another, yet grace and grace 
doth noty they dl ^prooeediag from die same root and cause. 

M 4 

184 OM THB 

whieh » the Spirit of God. U it die opiidoB of some, thd 
giaee ia the amii is but one hdbit, and aeeordiBg to the verict]^ 
of acta wbieh it prodnceth, n it receives sevecal titles; as yatx 
koow the ocean as it wsabeth several shores, so it reeeivetfa so* 
yeral names; so they think^ that the habit of grace as it believes 
in God is called fiuth, as it depends upon him for the peifoiw 
BMoee of some good it is hope, as it feaieth him so it is tbw 
antitled ; but gisoting this is not a troth, suppose that every 
grace is a several habit, yet they all very ivell agiee, and it must 
be so* 

Second^. There is a cenvcaieBey in this agveement of the 
graces of die Spirit ; as thus, cue doth oootemper and eontttt 
the exDcbitaaess which otherwise would be in another, as I shall 
particuhuiy shcvw you when I come to the particular graces. 
. Thicdly. There is an actual eadsteoce of these graces in the 
soul ; for as they are joined to^gethcr in scripture, so they are es* 
perienced by every believer* These things being pesmised^ 
. 1. I ahaU begin with the fintgraee, FoMl There is an uniou 
between faith and fear in the soul; for.that consider, that tha 
fear of God although it doth weaken the security of the fledi, 
yet it never weakens the certainty of faith. There is a distrust- 
ful fear which faith ezpeb, but there is an awfid dread which 
&ith chcrisheth, and this h th^ fear which we are speaking of; 
the fear of God and fe4th aaa jawiprocal causes of each other, 
for faith produceth fear, and fear produceth faith, or improves 
it. First, faith produceth this fear, Heb« 11. 7* ''By faith 
Noah being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved 
with fear, prepared an ark, &c." where it is observable, Noah 
did believe an hundred yealoB b^rf the flood came, that there 
would be such a destruction, and he believed that he should be 
preserved and rescued from that deetructioa (obseave that) and 
yet Noah feared ; so that a believer that doth not only believe 
the power of the threateoer ted the truth of tha tbreateping^ 
buii believes he shall escape that ithreateoing^ yet. he fears it; thie 
is Noah's pase* If onee fejth be ^enched in .the. so«l there will 
remain no fear. Indeed faith is the ey« that 9eetb aU things in 
God; as to God all tbinfi ifra.prsaent, and iAkete iaaeithar first 
nor last, so. doth the eye.pf.feith aaeall things^ in some sense, aa 
present; and diereforo a believing soul looks upon Om day of 
judgment to be as reai 98 if U were tbm moment^ beoauae ho 


sees it ift God, and this caiia^ him to fea?. Whereas take 
away thk Mth and tiie soul 19 thto seeurej it behf|; ifvfth the ob«< 
jeets of our afieeciom in diecanoe of time, as it is with the ob^' 
jects of sense in distance of place. When a things is fsnr distant 
£roBi mine eye, I cannot petceive it ; so When tfaatwhich is evil 
is at a great distanGe from me, wlthiAit the ey« of Mth, I shrik 
never fear it; every evil doth dbete so much de 'terribiii as it 
hadi de Jktmrth But now faMi realizeth these tbhigs to the» 
soul, and so pnodueeth fear. 'Hiis feardodi improve fe]th» 
For there is a drcle in these causes, as there is a oommerce be4 
t«reen heaven and earth ; the vapours that ascend from the eartV 
cause clouds, and those clouds descend in showers, and so are 
the oBUsesof vapours; so it is with thegraees.cf the Spirit* 
Faith produeeth fear, and fear caasedi the sbul.more to beUeva 
the judgments of God and bis tlweatenings ; for when, once the 
nnid presages evil and fears it, it wiH the. mem Maongfy be4 
Keve it. The scripfwe unites these . t#o graiees, FsaL 64. 9^ 
iO. ^ All men shall fsar, &e. the i%bleons sfaaH be glad in th^ 
Lord, and trust in himf" here is an tmieii between these two 
graces. ^ - ' - \ 

2. "Vhis fear 'ef the seal ^is eonafetetft ^wllh' ^e^ Fear and 
hope in 1^ seel of a ehnstian, ate like jthe coirk' and the l^ad to 
a net, Che eork Heaps it from siillting and tlie-'lead Jt^ps it from 
too much floating; so it is here, fear keeps hopefirohi degenera-^ 
ting into piesiimption, and<'hDpe keeps fear from slalitng into 
despair. If ym do absl^aet fear from hope, the sbhl wiir be 
lazy ; and if you de abstract hepe irom fear, the soul will sink 
into a despondency. Therefore theremust b^ a fear with hop^^ 
and that will appear, if youi do consider tkete d^tise things.. (1.) 
The author of that reward whid> hope respects. (2.) The tOi' 
oure of the conveyance of thlit reward. (3.) The quality of the 
reward itseK. These ttum' show there must 'be fear with the 
hope of -a chrietian. 

(I.) If yen consider the audior of that reward, it is the holy 
God; andtfaerefore wlierever there is a hope ta receive a crown 
from his fmnd, there wifi be a fear to displease bim. I wilt 
Iwing this down to a teaapAra] ease, thus. It is a rational thing 
te imagine that a sakgeet deth hope to rise wlven he doth fear td 
displease his prince, for the king is the fountain of honour; and 
tiMrefoce if he doth not fear id displease him, he can never hope 

IM W Tm Hfitt 0f GOO* ^At* v» 

to rise hy him. Ko, k k Ch^ lojnd SMbject that fean to dia* 
pkase hifl •overeign, that acpecU adYaiioemait by btfii* A dum* 
ti«i who doth not fm to dbjlbaae God, cm Mrar hipe to be 
odTMoed by Um. 

' (2.) If^ECflpeotthecantejraiiceoftUsremnl, eod thafck 
«iq>ve8ied thns, H«b. 12. 14. » FoHonr peace with dl men «iid 
hdliness^ nvthoot whidi no amui sbaH see the lAwi.*- This k 
Ae oooditkni upon wMcb iIm remurd » proioiMd, and thfiKA»a 
it ia said, 1 Joba 8. S« "And every maa that hath this bopb in 
hiai> parifieth hiotadf even as he is pofe/' What hope is that? 
That is, bo diat cxpeoU to be oeofatmed to Ghnt in gloiy, ho 
viM iasitate Christ in- purity. 

. (3.) CoDoder the ^ry quality of the rawatd, and that like^ 
trise exoiaea fear. For wb^ is the reoompeiiee of ourhope but 
Alt, the viBk» of God? Nov what aaitb our Sariooc, Mat. 5« 
a. « tteaaod are the pum in heatt, fot they shall aee God,'' who 
ll &^re God.5 sinee the happiness of a saint is the dght of the 
piite: God, there must be puritf of heart to dispose him for it» 
The air above is so pim.that no-, aia dm live there* And there*- 
fore wherever there is hope of heaven, there must be a .fear of 
^ hactfuse btftnM consists in an ahsokOe freedora fbom it. 
HofiiF there mu^t be hope with fear for these C^ro reHaons, for 
JifL Fear wf dioitt hope defiles Om aouL 2dly. Fear without 
hope ruins the soul. 

( 1st. It dafika the soul $ fo^ k renders ow guik moreonmqx)- 
fedtitbailiQedV goodness; it makea sin to be as infinite an evil 
as God k:an infont^ goodi And«rhat k thkbul to dehoae God? 
fad thnsik staha the sonl. 

2dly* FMt witlknut hope rUins^hfe loul, and drives a^mah to a 
wietched ixeg^ect of all the tiieans of recovery, and toa dreadAiI 
fli|;ht from God. / As the ftoat and o6id. in winter do ao bind up 
the influences ef * theeartfi, thai it: oamiot pradifce iin ftiilta ; ao 
these affections of fear and despair do so bind iip thesoul'that 
it' cannot cbceicise acta of d^pendanee upon God ; and therefore 
there nmat be a.mixture of these two grai6es in the sonl, that ao 
the repenting sinner Urhen he despaiib in himsdf^ asi^ hope in 
^rod. When he sees nothing.wkhih hin, nothing foMow him to 
help Um, yet be may see something above fakn, that is,* the mer* 
iy of God. 
' 3. There k an union in the soul between fear and love. Love 

.without fear would become seeiire^ and fear without Iov& would 
becope slamah. Love is the deaiett oompaoion of this feer| 
ftheie is nothing more fearful tkaa an ipg^uous love, imd no- 
thing more loving than a filial fear. These two graces d# 
equally knit the soul to God* Lo?e is that grace which united 
the soul to God> and fear, keeps the soul from departing from 
God« '^ I will put my fear into their hearts that they shall not 
depart from me/' These two graces have the same promise! 
made to them; sp jfpu shall fii^d Psalm 145. 19^ 20. <'Hemll 
fijlfil the desires of them that fc^ him, he also will hear their 
cry and will help them, the Lord preserveth all them that love 
him." These two graces do embrace and support each other. 

OI^ection« Doth not the scripture tell us, there is no feaf in 
Jove, 1 John 4. 16. << but perfect love casteth out fear. 

Answer* This fear that is here made irreconeileable with love^ 
is not a fear, of God's judgments, hut ^i fear of persecMtbn in the 
]worid^ and so indeed^ when our love is perfected it conquers the 
fean of death. Thus Tertullian of old understood^tbis plaee^ 
saith he, *' What fear can be understood here, but the author c^ 
our denial of Christ." Quern amorem perfectum n^fygam, ti* 
wfunisf What perfect love- must we understpmd here, but that 
>vhich puts fear to flight, and that which anio^ites us ]to a con* 
fession of Christ? And. thfore .a^^ three reasons ^which confirm 
this interpretation.' 

(1.) The fiist is drawn' firom that expression* in the 17tli verse^ 
^^ Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness i^ 
the day of judgment,'' which may be it^terpretedtl^u^}/ herejn is 
our love made perfect and crowned, that we may If aye boldness 
in the day of temporal judgment, when we are arranged befor^ 
prinoes for the oause of Christ ' 

(2.) Consider the f^f^al^el that is made between Christ and 
UBj '* because as he is, so we are in the world ;" wh^t is the 
meaning of it? That is, as Christ upon earth laid down his lif^ 
to seal the truth, so while we are in this world upon the call of 
God's prondence, we should lay down our lives for the confes- 
•ion. of the truth. 

(3*) Because it is said in the 18th verse, <^ He that feareth is 
not made perfect in lore, and fear hath torment in it,'' that is, 
there is a rack, a pain, that is conveyed by the fear of death, as 
it is said, Heh. 2. 15. <' who all their days were under a spirit 

188 ON THB FllAtt OF GoD. CBAF. V. 

of bondage through fear of deaith/' And wherever there is a 
fear of death there cannot be a perfect love of Christ ; for the 
person that is a coward k* next to an apostate. That person 
^hich fears death is ready to apostatize from Christy when his 
life is in danger : but when this perfect love of Christ reigns and 
triumfAs it is stronger than death. How famiidable soever 
death is^ yet the love of Christ will cause the soul to embrace it; 
tf this interpretation be either novel to you, or if you think it 
not so genuine, you may reconcile the text by ray doctrine; for 
then understand here, a slavish fear of God merely as of a judge, 
which is inconsistent with lo^e ; but for ought I know the other 
sense may comport well enough with the meaning of the spirit. 

4. Another grace that is united in the soul with this holy fear 
is joy. This is a riddle to a carnal spirit, and yet it is one part 
of the mystery of godliness which grace teacheth, and which a 
holy soul is instructed in. Hence it is said in scripture, that 
** they did rejoice in God's goodness, and yet they feared his 
goodness.'' (I.) Our fear qualifies joy. (2.) This joy doth 
characterize and evidence our fear to be of the right kind. 
• (1.) This fear of God qualifies our joy. If you abstract fear 
Irom joy, joy will become light and wanton ; and if you abstract 
joy frcfm fear, fear then wilt become slavish. Hence it is said. 
Psalm 2. 11. "Rejoice with trembling.'' There is a sweet con- 
temperation of these graces. In heaven God is equally rejoiced 
in and feared, and while we are here below we should aspire to 
that heavenly temper. Then doth the soul most kindly rejoice 
In God, when it is filled with an awful admiration of his good* 
ness ; for this fear doth not contract the heart as grief doth, but 
enlargeth the heart in God's praises. 

(2.) This joy doth characterize t>ur fear, and evidence it to be 
of a right stamp. So you shall find 112 Psal. 1. "Blessed is 
the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his 

pBAT. ft, OS TUB EBAK OF GOP. 169 



AMWeriog some qaestioDt^ how te and in what OKunier the threatenings ef 
the word should work npon the fear oC a coD?erted yersoa, 

vi. X HERE are some qvesticHis which I shall propmnid con* 
cerning this grace> and so shall clear objections as I handle 

Qaestion 1. How.fa:r should the threatenings of the word 
work upon the fear of a converted person ? 

(L) I answer. Every affection must be exercised upon ita 
proper object ; for they were planted by the hand of God in tha 
nature of the reasonable creature^ and therefore none of them 
must be eradieated, but must be regularly exercised. Now as 
the bve of God is the loadstone of my love, so the justice of 
God is the object of my fear> and therefore these threatening^ 
must work upon the soul. 

(2.) That these threatenings must work upon the soul, it ap- 
pears by this; because they are part of the medium whereby 
God doth bring the soul to himself^ and whereby he doth direct 
the soul in the way that leads to life. There is an initial feai in 
the soul which prepares the way for the iSpirit of adoption, and 
sometimes is in the soul befiire ever the Holy Spirit hath takea 
up his residence there. As you know the sun before it riseth» 
darts forth some light into that part of the heavens where it is 
not present. There if also a fear of God's judgments which 
hath not only the Spirit for its origpuaal^ but the SfMrit for its 
companion. This fear of God's threatenings is not only from 
Ihe Spirit but with the Spirit, and therefore the Spirit of God is 
called the <^ Spirit of fear/' Isa, 11. 2. Now this fear the Spi- 
lit makes use of while vre live in this world, to direct us in the 
way to heaven. Therefore dbce the terrors of the Lord are part 
of the Spirit's disciplincj certcunly a gracious man should fear 
•God's threatenings. 

. (3^ In the scripture the threatenings of God are frequently 
propounded to believers^ and certainly they should work upon 

DO 0» THB VMAM aw €00. COAF. TTI 

their fear. The fear of God's judgments is not too senrik a pas* 
«oD to be in a child of light. The apostle Paul certainly knew 
the mind of God and the tenour of the gospel, and yet you shall 
find his chosen arguments to excite us to serve God are many 
times drawn from the fear of his jadgments. There are two 
places very remarkable, one in the 12 Heb. and the two last 
veraes, '^ Wherefore we recdvlng a kii^om which cannot be 
moved^ let tis have grace whereby we may serve God acceptably, 
with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming 
fue" Now observe, that the apostle speaks here to those that 
had an interest in the '^ Kingdom which cannot be moved i*^ and 
saith the apostle, *' Let us have grace,'' that is, let us exercise 
grace so as to approadi and serve him with '< Godly fear ;** and 
why, '^ for our God is a consuming fire/' The other scripture 
is in Phil. 2. 12. ^ Work out your own salvation with fear and 
trembling," where yov may observe the apostle doth emphatic 
oally speak, not of dohig it vrith ffuth and love, but with fear and 
tmmbling; and this fear and trembling is a posture 'fit for us 
till we come to the gate of heitven. To eondude the question, 
know that our Saviour who was the author of the gbspel, 
preacheth it to his disciples, Luke 12. 6. << Fear him which af* 
ter he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell ; yea, 1 say unto 
jou, fear him." And therefore those wanton spirits that are all 
for oOy doctrines, that will endure to hiear of nothing but the 
mhes of grace, cheat themselvea ; they flatter themselves into 
belt with vain hopes of heaven* As I must rej<rice in God 
fiir his goodness, so I must fear him for hid juKtice ; therefore 
this is clear, the threatening of God nrast wbik upon believers. 
- Question 2. In what manner must Ae fear ef God's jadg-^ 
menu work upon believers ? I answer hi these propositfons, 
• (1.) Inthegenerfd all our re^ous act$ must be itMtiiatdy 
terminated upon iSod. Take that as a rule, as his-eeiiimatt^ 
must be the principle to sway the conscience, so his ^ory mlial 
be the aim and the design ijf a diiistian. God most be the be^ 
ginning, the middle, the end of rfl our actions ; ilnd therefore 
When I come to Asconrse vvfaat nifluenee fear must have^ cartf 
this with you. 

(2.) Although the command of God must be tfie ground ef 
ioy obedience, yet the fear of God may be an excitation to it. 
The command of Godisthe roXio fonMSi of the obedfeneeef 

the creatare, tbe fear ^ God may be the nrtto mollMl. Take all 
rewards and pttirishments and abstract them from the commaiid 
of Qoiy jet the command of God obligeth us ; bin add tbes^ 
and they will more powerfully enforee it. A eipher is nolhing 
in itself, but add it to a sum and it indreaselh the sum i re^ 
wards and punishments being added to the command to ea*^ 
force it, • « • . » 

(3.) The fear of God shoiM work upon ns in this manner, to 
be a bridle to check and restrain us from sin. For you shall find 
this to be the method of the gospel, wheri God persdades us to 
duties he propounds reward $ when he dissuades us fironi'sili he 
presents and urgeth judgments ; therefore in this marniei^ should 
fear work upon the soul, Rom. 8. 13. <^ For if ye Uwe after the 
flesh ye shdl die/' there is a check from sin ; <^but if ye through 
the SjHrit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall ttve," tlierfe 
is an eneouragement to duty. - 

(4.) This fear of God's judgaients, or of the thveatenings 'of 
God, its dnefest season is then, when some present temptation 
presseth upon us, when conscience and the atfectious are divided^ 
when conscience doth withdraw a man from sin, and when bis 
carnal affections draw him forth to it, then should the fear of 
God come in. It is a holy design for a christian to counterba- 
lance the pleasures of sin with the terrors of it, and thus to cure 
the poison of the viper by the flesh of the viper. Thus that ad-» 
mirable saint and martyr bishop Hooper, when he came to die 
one endeavoured to dehort him from death by this, O Sir, con« 
sider, that *Life is sweet, and death is bitter;' presently he re- 
plied, ^ Life to come is more sweet, and death to come b more 
bitter,' and so went to the stake and patiently endured the fire. 
Thus as a christian may sometimes oiitweigh the pleasures of sin 
by the consideration of the reward of God, so sometimes he may 
quench the pleasures of sin by the consideration of the terrors cf 
God* We read of our Lord Jesus, that he did outweigh the 
Shame of the cross by the gk)iy of bis exaltation, HA. 12. 2. 
He was not ashamed of the cross, because of the glory thai waft 
set before him.- So a ohrbtiiii may thus consider with himself 
that communion with God exceeds all the gratifications of the 
•enses i that thero is more pleasure tin one minute's enjoyment of 
fais love tbaq hi all the camaldreggy deligfau ot die world for 
tver : and on the other side> he may make use of tfab fear» 

19t M TBB SBAB OF 6<ll># CIUP^ VH# 

(5.) I coiMSetve Uiis^ tAwt the feaf of God's threateoiiiepi doth 
move ingenuoualy work when it respects the loss of heaven than 
the casting into hell. For an ingenuous son doth not so mueh 
fear to be cast into a house of ccMrrection, as he lean disinherit* 
ing; so a gracious spirit doth more fear the loss of God*s coon- 
tenaace, than all the bodily pains that can be inflicted upon 
him ; this is a fear that is more ingenuous and filial. 

(6.) The fear of God*s judgments should so far^ and in this 
manner work upon ^very christian, as to render hia pardon the 
more wekcMne, and to make the giaee and love of God to shine 
forth with a brighter histre* Oh such a person as fears the 
power and the terror of God's wrath, how will he esteem Christ 
«s the crown of his glory, as the sprmg of his joy, and as his 
ridies! Oh such a person will break forth with the afottie, 
^^ God forbid that I should gloiy in any thing but in the cross of 
Christ.*' There is no person that ever prizeth a sanctuary or an 
asylum at such a high rate, as he that is pursued by the avenger 
of blood ; and no person will ever set a vahie upon the righteous* 
ness of Christ, and upon the mercy of God till he doth fear that 
wrath that is endless and remedileas* 

An exhorUUoB to the fear of God» 

vii. J^ET me press upon you th» eminent grace, a grace that 
in this respect hath a spedal prerogative and singularity that at- 
tends it, whereas many other graces of the christian life are but 
respective graces, they only concern some persons, some condi-* 
tions, and some states of life ; but the fear of God, shall I call it 
a single grace or rather an univeisal grace, that respects all per* 
sons in all states^ and at all times. It is not a peater absurdity 


fior a carpenter to Se vnthout his rule^ than for a christian to be 
without the fear of God. This is that grace which is the direc- 
tor of all other graces, and therefore let us fear him. But espe- 
cially upon this account, fear the Lord because it is the best pre- 
servatiye against sin ; the love of God is that which constrains us 
to service, the fear of God is that which checks and restrains us 
from disobedience. This will preserve the soul in the midst of 
snares'; lay but this fear aside and you will fall in plain ground. 
Thus wc read of Lot, by the fear of God he was preserved in the 
midst of defiled Sodom ; but when he laid that aside he sinned 
upon the mount. Therefore as you desire to keep yourselves 
•poUess, so let the fear of God reign in you. Remember our 
wiude lives are a continued temptation, we walk in the midst of 
snares. O consider, that although the enemy be without us, yet 
the traitor is within us, I mean our deceitful hearts ; and there- 
fore fear God with a fear of reverence, and fear your hearts with 
a fear of jealousy : if this grace do but take its regency in the 
soul, the devil may surround us, but he cannot surprise us. It is 
then with the temptations of &atan as it is with casting fire upoa 
a marble pavement, which can do no hurt; but if you cast in but 
one spark into gunpowder it causeth a conflagration : if the fear 
of God guards the heart, the temptations of the devil are but 
like casting fire upon marble, there is no danger ; but remove 
this bridle once, and every temptation is like a spark in gunpow- 
der. The world without us prevails over us because of the world 
within us, and it is only the fear of God that keeps the soul al- 
ways upon its watch and guard. And consider, it is as a duty 
which you are obliged to now under the gospel. There are va- 
rious attributes in God, and as his justice doth not devour his 
mercy, so his mercy doth not vidate his justice ; and there must 
be proportionable aJflfections in us to the attributes in God. As 
he is the God of mercy, so I should love and fear him too ; but 
as he is a just God, so our fear is properly terminated upon him. 
Remember this, if every grace of the soul should languish, yet 
the fear of God last of all remains ; that is the bond of the new 
covenant, ^' I will put my fear into their hearts that they shall not 
depart firom me ;** this is that grace that is of most universal use 
and influence in the christian's life ; and therefore let us exercise 
this duty^ this affection, that so we may be truly wise, we may 
be wise for ourselves, and wise towards God. 
VOL iiu N 



WhM keavenljr wiidam it. 

II. General head of discourse— That the fear of the Lord 
is eminently wisdom. Having opened the subject the ^^ Fear of 
the Lord," the next thing to be opened is the predicate, ' that ii 
wisdom.' It is recorded, Prov. 1 7. that it is the 'beginning 
of wisdom/ as it is so in point of order, so in point of excellency, 
this is the root, the fulness, and the perfection of wisdom. 

This fear of the Lord is that which will entitle a man wise for 
ever. Now for the more clear discovery of this I will 

1. Consider in the general what this heavenly wisdom is. 

ii. Upon what account it is that the fear of the Lord is wis- 
dom, the most eminent wisdom, and without which fear, sera* 
phical angelical wisdom is nothing. 

i. For the first of these, consider there is a double wisdom, as 
Aristotle distinguisheth it. 

1. There is that which he eaUs a wisdom universal. 

2. A particular wisdom. 

Now the particular wisdom is this, when we see a person jex- 
ce!leiit in an art, we say that man is wise as to that profession. 
The universal wisdom and that which is in perfection is this, 
when there is a knowledge of those principles and means which 
have a tendency to a man's absolute happiness. Now this is the 
wisdom that here I shall treat of; and before I show you the 
connexion of Cod's fear with it^ or bow the fear of God is that 
wisdom, we will consider 

(i.) Wisdom in its causes. 

{2.) "Wisdom in its objects. 

(3.) Wisdom in its acts. 

(4.) Wisdom in its scope and aim. 

(I.) The cause of this heavenly wisdom. This wisdom is a 
divine ray or emanation which flows from the Father of lights. 
^ There is a spirit in man ■: and the inspiration of the Almighty 
givetb them understanding/' Job 32. 8. Man hath the faent- 


ty, but God must enlighten that faculty. A dial is capable to 
show us the hour of the day, but the sun must first shine upon 
it : so the understanding of man is capable of wisdom, but God 
must shine upon it, so that in reference to its cause and (original 
it is heavenly. 

(2.) Consider the objects of this wisdom, and those princi- 
pally are two. 1st. God, and 2dly. A man's self. These are 
the two poles upon which heavenly wisdom turns itself. 

Ut. God as he is glorious in himself and good to us, so he is 
the object of spiritual wisdom. It is not the knowledge of the 
nature of diamonds or pearls that can enrich us, but the know- 
ledge of the wise God makes us wise ; this wisdom as it comes 
from God, so it returns to him, as those rivers that proceed from 
the sea do empty themselves into it. 

2d]y. There must be the knowledge of a man's self, and that 
in two respects. 

!• In respect of his capacity, 
2. In respect of his immortality. 

Firsts In respect of bis capacity. There 19 an unlimitedness 
ia the desires of a reasonable soul ; oyr desires are not confined 
to those degrees of goodness which are scattered in the variety 
of earthly things, hut reach forth towards the whole latitude of 
good, they can never rest nor acquiesce till they come to the 
comprehensiveness that is in God, and this is wisdom to know 
this capacity ; for it is the greatest folly in the world for a man 
to measure his capacity, in respect of his senses. 

Seicondly. The knowledge of the immortality of the soul, 30 
that all mortal and perishable creatures are no mor.e able to make 
the soul happy, than the light of a candle to give day to the 

(3.) What are the acts of this wisdom ? They are principally 
three. 1st. Deliberation. 2dly. Election. Sdly. Application. 
1st. The first is deliberation. A consulting with ourselves 
how we may advance ourselves to the fountain of goodness, how 
we may be really and eternally happy, how we may secure our 
souls, which are our jewel, with the loss of which the whole 
world would be but a specious beggary : and this act of delibera- 
tion, considering how we may make ourselves happy, is the pe- 
culiar excellency of a man ; this is that which distinguisheth him 
from the inferior order of creatures. 

N 2 


2. Election or a choice of those means which have an hitria' 
sical respect to the obtaining of that happiness, is another act of 
ivisdom. Hence it is said, Prov. 2. 10. " When wisdom enter- 
eth into thine heart/' (observe the expression) bare knowledge 
enters into the head, or it enters into the tongue, but wisdom 
enters into the heart ; it makes a man to choose those things 
which may promote his real happiness. 

3. Another act of this heavenly wisdom is an application of 
our light to practice. When we honour our knowledge by con- 
formable acts, it is a fruit of spiritual wisdom 5 and this is the 
great difference between mental knowledge and prudential judg- 
ment. Mental knowledge is terminated in the bare speculation 
of an object ; but that which is practical judgment goes forth in- 
to the conversation. Hence it is said, Prov. 12. ''I wisdom 
dwell with prudence." What is prudence, but the reduction of 
our knowledge to the various occurrences of our lives ? Divine 
wisdom always ends in a good conversation ; it is better known 
by the life, than by discourse. Naked knowledge is like the 
light of the moon, men sleep by it ; but this heavenly wisdom is 
like the light of the sun, men work by it ; and therefore it is 
said. Jam. 3. 13. " Who is a wise man and endued with know- 
ledge among you ? Let him show out of a good conversation 
his works with meekness of wisdom. 

(4.) The aim and scope, and design of spiritual wisdom is, to 
enable a ]>er8on to glorify God and to enjoy him ; to glorify God 
that so God may be honoured by us, and to enjoy God that we 
may be honoured by him. Thus you have the draught and 
tcheme of that wisdom that is heavenly. 



Ho If the foar of God is wiidon, 

ii. fV HICH brbgs me nearer to the text. In what respects 
is the fear of God'this heavenly wisdom ? And that I shall an- 
swer in these four particulars. 
The fear of God is the best wisdom^ because 

1. It manageth the highest business. 

2. It advanceth the supreme interest. 

3. It avoideth the most destructive dangers* 

4. (In order to all these) It improves the best season^* 

1. The fear of God is wisdom^ because it manageth the high- 
est business. Wisdom is not conversant about toys^ but in the 
guiding of the soul to its eternal rest } in that is wisdom expresr 
sed and exercised. We look upon a man that spends his time in 
picking of straws, and then in sticking them upon bis clothes, as 
a madman ; what is the reason of it ? Because these acts are 
below reason. So that man that spends his time and strength 
in reference to the world only, is a spiritual fool : what is the 
reason of it? Because these actions are below a christian ; and 
the one is as much spiritual folly as the other is natural frenzy* 
Aristotle teUs us, that wisdom is the knowledge of the most ho- 
nourable truths, and of those that are of the greatest concern- 
ment : now the fear of God is conversant about these, and that 
appeals principally in this particular; this fear conforms our 
greatest actions to that which is the greatest rule of wisdom, and 
that is the law of God; which is a draught of his will. Now 
the will of God as it is the rule of goodness, so it is the rule of 
wisdom ; and this grace of divine fear squares all our great actions 
aeeording Co the rule of the word ef God. This is that grace 
which deals with invisible sins, and those that are not known to 
the eye of the worM ; this is that grace which balanceth all our 
affections and corrects their excess. All temptations are usually 
grounded in love of pleasures, profits, or honours. Now it is 
this fear th^ crudfies the affections, is the mother of obedience 

N 3 


and devotion ; and therefore certainly because it manageth all 
our highest works, and conforms them to that rule that is perfect 
wisdom : this fear of God is most eminently wisdom, upon this 
account. There is no such fool in the world as the careless 
christian, for that person is heedless in his main business ; and 
however this fear of God may be inconvenient to our worldly af- 
fairs ; however it may be troublesome to the flesh (for the world 
accounts it but a fond scrupulosity, and the flesh accounts it but 
a weak folly) yet know thus much (for I speak in answer to that 
objection) it is true wisdom for a man to be esteemed a fool in 
the world. 1 Cor. 3. 18. " If any man among you seemeth to 
be wise in this world, let him become a fool that he may be 
wise."- This fear by thus conforming our greatest acts to the 
rule of wisdom, certainly is wisdom eminently ; when the fear of^ 
God doth draw the line, a man's steps must be very straight. 

2. This fear of God doth advance the supreme interest of the 
soul, and therefore it must be the best wisdom. And here 

First. Negatively, take all the blessings of the world these are 
not the highest interest of the soul ; the pursuit of earthly things 
is more worth than the gain of them : that person that wastes 
himself in the gain of worldly advantages, doth (if I may so 
speak) dig for iron with a mattock of gold. Such a person is 
like some foolish children, which with a great deal of toil and 
sweat run after a butterfly, and when they have got it, what is 
the reward ? A worm between their fingers ; alas, a great estate 
many times proves poison. But I am sure it is never bread, it 
can never give satisfaction ; therefore it is not wisdom principal- 
ly, or only to follow that. Consider, how many men of basest 
spirits and lowest parts, have wrought themselves into worldly 
estates. He that looks for happiness in this worlds it is as if a 
man should look for treasure in a coalpit, he is not likely to find 
it there ; therefore in the next place positively. 

Secondly. The fear of God promotes that which is the su- 
preme interest of the soul. The soul is more noble than the bo- 
dy, and therefore that which makes the soul happy must be our 
supreme interest. Seneca hath written a whole epistle upon 
this subject, * What is true wisdom ?* And afker he hath re- 
moved all natural enjoyments and excellencies, he doth resolve 
true wisdom to consist in this 5 this is his expression, then a man 
is truly wise when he doth ad bonum retertere suum^ return to 


hiaown good. NoW what is the good of the creature? I ao- 
Bwer^ there is a double good or perfection^ which belongs to eve^ 
ly creature. (1.) The absolute good and perfection wherein it 
was created, and that is the perfection of its beauty. (2.) There 
is a respective perfection and good for which it was created, and 
that is the perfection ot its use.^ And therefore if you would 
know what is the supreme interest of the soul ? In one word it 
is this^ when a soul doth arrive to the image of God, which is 
the perfection of its beauty, uid to conmiumon with God^ which 
18 the perfection of its use. 

(1.) When a soul arrives to the image of God, which is the 
perfection of its beauty. Thus we read, that man was created 
after God's image in righteousness and true holiness : now this 
grace of all others, hath the most powerful influx upon the con- 
versation of a saint, and therefore is most necessary to repair the 
ruins and decays of God's image. 

(2.) As for the enjoyment of God and communion with him, 
this grace likewise of all others hath the most excellent power to 
king us to that. The fear of Gt>d is that graee which makes 
God our friend, and therefore it promotes our highest interest. 
Suppose a man were to live for ever in the world^ I should then 
esteem it a piece of wisdom for him to make the great ones of 
the world his friends. But alas we must appear before God as 
our judge, and therefore to ensure God and get his image^ and 
enjoy his favour, is the highest and best wisdom. Yet let me 
add this by the way^ that the person that fears God drives on a 
double interest, Prov. 16. 7* "When a man's ways please the 
Lord, be maketh his enemies to be at peace witli him." Take 
this therefore as a rule, that a religious constancy will sooner 
gain men to be your friends than a base compliance; therefore 
he that fears God best promotes that interest too. fiut how- 
ever^ suppose he doth not, the attaining of God's image and his 
favour are the supreme interest of the soul. The (ear of God 
wiii bring to the soul both perfection and satisfaction, and there* 
fore it is the best wisdom.. 

3* The fear of God enables, the soul to avoid the most de^ 
•tractive dangers. All the wisdom of the world is exercised up- 
on one of these two points^ either to obtain some good that a 
man desires, or to decline some evil that a man fears. Now the 
fear of God as it enables a man to attain to that which is an in* 

w'4 ' 

200 ON THB nAR or GO0« cbap. ix« 

finite goody so to avoid that which is an infinite evil. By how 
much the more excellent and more difficalt the good is that we 
would obtain, and how much the more perilous and imminent an 
evil is that he would avoid, by so much greater is the wisdom 
that doth obtain the one, and avoid the other. Now the wisdom 
of God's fear teacheth us to obtain the highest good, and to 
avoid the worst and highest evil. What is the greatest danger 
in the world ? It is not the loss of external goods ; for alas 
these things are of a perishing nature, riches take wings and fly 
away, honour depends upon the fancy of another^ pleasure dies 
in the very enjoyment <rf it ; therefore the loss of these things 
caimot be the greatest danger. Nor can the enduring of the 
most sharp afBictions in this life be the greatest evil : for consi*- 
der how many of those that have been dear in God's affecUons 
have lain under the greatest corrections ; nay, they have triumph-^ 
ed over them ; therefore that is not the greatest dai^r. Bat 
the loss of the soul, that precious jewel, that is more worth than 
the world, is the greatest loss, and to endure the terrors of God 
in conscience is the greatest misery. Now the fear of God doth 
^ enable the soul to decline this loss, and to escape these terrors^ 
therefore it must be the greatest wisdom. 

4. (hi order to all these things) the fear of God doth improve 
the best seasons. We esteem it a great piece of wisdom in the 
world, for a person to improve his time. There is no penoo but 
hath his particular season and his time. Now the fear ot God 
teacheth us to improve that season and time for our etertial 
good, and that upon a double account. 

(1.) In regard of the gales of the spirit's motions, which are 
Very transient. For we cannot command the clock of mercy, to 
strike when we please, therefore a man should improve every 
season : for it is said, Phil. 2. 12. " Work-out your own salvation 
vrith fear and trembling/' it fbllovi^, verse 13. "For it is God 
which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good plea* 
sure." It is the fear of the Lord which excites a man to blow 
up every spark into a flame, and cherish every motion of the api^ 
rit, for he knows not how long this breath of the spirit will re- 
main. Such a person doth improve opportunities. Now oppor- 
tunity is avd&' KaiqiT, the flower of time. As a flower may 
wither and decay, yet the stalk remain ; so a man may lose his 
opportunity, and yet enjoy time. The day of God's patience is 


longer than the day of his grace ; there are many perBoos that 
live under ordinances, but find them altogether lifdeas and pow- 
erless as to their souls ; for they have lost their opportunity, and 
God withdraws his Spirit, and strives no more with them. Now 
the fear of God enables the soul to improve every season,* lest 
his Spirit should withdraw itself. The fear of God doth, impress 
this truth upon the soul, that as the purchasing of our salvation 
depends upon the satisfaction of Christ, so the obtaining of that 
salvation depends upon the improvement of the day of grace, 
2 Cor. 6. 2. <^ Behold, now b the accepted time, qow is the day 
of salvation.'' 

(2.) This fear of God causeth the soul to improve the season 
that it enjoys, in respect of the brittleness and frailty of life, our 
time being certainly short and uncertainly continued. He that 
is the sovereign Lord of our persons, is the disposer of our time. 
Death doth not follow the course of nature, but the order of 
God's decree ; therefore it cuts ofif some in their sins before they 
come to the flower. Now the fear of God impresseth upon the 
soul these apprehensions, I cannot command the motions of the 
Spirit, I cannot lengthen out the thread of life ; therefore I will 
improve the present season. This is that grace which causeth 
the soul to consider, because eternity depends upon my time, it 
is most precious, and therefore I will iniprove it. As a piecs of 
parchment which in itself is not worth a shilling, may be worth 
len thousand pounds, in respect of what it conveys 3 so this skort 
life which thou enjoyest, which in itself is of little worth/ yet 
eternity depends upon it, therefore it is most valuable. Tlie 
•om is this, do but put these three questions to yourselves, whe- 
Aer or no it is not the highest reason in the world for a man to 
manage all his acts in the fear of God, who is his judge ; to de- 
fisgn all his acts for the glory of God, who is his Creator } to 
conform all his ways according to the will of God, who is hia 
great master ; If you would but resolve these things by the judg- 
ment of renewed reason, certain I am, you would esteem the fear 
of God to be the best wisdom. If Solomon could tell us, that 
he is wise that wins other men's souls, how much more is he 
wise that saves his own? Now it is the fear of God which is the 
instrument of our salvation ; therefore let that be your principle 
to govam and order your whole lives, let this be your great en- 
gine^ and the spring of dl your actions to have the few at God 


as your director and goyemor. Gettain I am^ when at the laat 
day we shall appear before him who is the wisdon of the Father^ 
then shall only those who have followed this course be justified 
by him. There is good reason therefore that a wicked man, 
should be esteemed the greatest fool^ and the holy man^ the only 
wise person. 


Opening the leTeral false witdonu of the world. 

XN OW I come to the use of the whole. This doctrine gbes a 
check to the false wisdoms of the world : you may as in a glass 
see the extreme difference of those principles of wisdom in the 
msnagemement of all affairs which the w<»ld lays down^ and 
those principles of spiritual wisdom which are laid down in tbe 
word. He is a wise man in the world's account that can spin a 
wd) of vanityi who can drive on his carnal designs to the best 
adrantage ; but the worldly wise man is a fool in religion^ Jer« 
8. 9. '^ Lo they have rejected the word of the Lord^ and what 
wisdom is in them ?" That soul that trembles at God's word, 
hatk more true wisdom than all the sophies of tbe world. For 
the opening of this more fully to you^ I will discuss it in this me- 
thod ; I will consider 

1 . What are the designs and ends of worldly wise men. 

2. What are those means which they use to achieve those 

3. I will show you that that which they aeoount wisdom ia 
the management of those means, for the attainment of those esada^ 
is perfect foUy. 

1. For the first of the^e^ the ends of carnal men in the gene- 
ral^ sre woridly happiness^ that which the world can a&rd them* 

CHAP. X. ON tHS FBAlL OF 60I7. 203 

This is ever (by the corrupt judgment of man) formed as his 
happin&ss^ and into this all the motions of his soul are ultimately 
resolved : there is, since the fall^ not only a maim in the sensutd 
appetite, but in the intellectual and highest power of the souK' 
All the acts of an unsanctified understanding are foolish ; end 
this is the first ground of the world's folly, an act of the under- 
standing whereby they look upon something as their end, and as 
their happiness, which is not so. The scripture doth diversify 
it into three things, into pleasures^ profits, and honours, for thus 
much the world affords. Now the means whereby the world de j 
signs to attain these ends proportionaUy are three, 1 John 2. 
16. ^' for all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust 
of the eyes, and the pride of life,*' &c. *' is of the world." The 
world doth design to purchase these three ends by these three 
means ; the pleasures of the world by the lust of the flesh ; the 
profits of the world by the lust of the eyes, and the honours of 
the world by the pride of life. These are the means it useth for 
the attainment of these ends. Now there is a worldly wisdom 
which is employed in the using those means to that end, and this 
wisdom is likewise divided into three heads, James 3. 15. " that 
wisdom which descendeth not from above, is earthly, sensual, 

(1.) It is an earthly wisdom because it is exereised upon earthly 
objects, for earthly ends : this respects the gain of the world. 

(2.) It is called a sensual wisdom because it aims at the satis- 
faction of our flesh ; the bent of nature runs that way, for the 
gratifying of our senses, which are common between us and beasts^ 
and thus.it doth urn at pleasures. 

(3.) It is called a devilish wisdom upon this account, because 
pride which is the instrument whereby it would advance itself to 
glory, doth not only proceed firom the deyil as its author, but is 
in the devil as in its subject. There are some sins which make 
men the devil's slaves, but there are other sins which make men 
the devil's sons. Men are slaves to the devil when they commit 
such sins which the devil is not capable of, as all those sins which 
are merely acted by the body: but men are the devil's sons when 
they commit such sins which the devil is capable of, as pride^ 
malice, and such other spiritual sins ; for these render a man as 
like the deyil as an incorporated soul can be Uke an incorporeal 

204 OV THB FBAR OF €K>]>« CHAP. Xr 

ipirit. Thus in general I have laid down the acheme and dnngfac 
of that which I will open particularly to you : for the 

1st of these. The ends and designs of those persoos that aie 
wise according to the world. In the general know thus moGh, 
there is no greater mistake in the world, than when a man mis- 
takes his end : this I lay down as a principle which will carry me 
through all the discourse. For as it is direct folly for a man Co 
propound to himself no end in his actions (this is as if a man 
should strike a ball into the open air, there will be no return of 
it to him again) so it is the next depee of madness and folly for 
a man to mistid^e his end ; and the reason of it is' this, the last 
end of a man is happiness, and the best that he can design for 
himself. Now can there be a greater mistake than about our 
happiness? Pleasures, honours, and profits, the devil makes 
use of as his engines to destroy and undermine us ; therefore (hat 
man is lost, the very fiist step that he takes, who makes these 
things his end. According to this method did the devil manage 
his first temptation ; f<^ ao you shall find. Gen, 3. 6. ^ when 
the woman saw that the tree was good for food (there is the 
lust of the flesh) and that it was pleasant to the eyes (there is 
the lust of the eyes) and a tree to be desired to make one wiae'' 
(there is the pride of life) then she was taken and foiled. And 
aatan found this temptation was ao successfiil, that he hath 
formed all his snares ever ainoe according to this first model ; 
therefor^ when a man shall oooe propound these things to be 
his end, it is folly, the devil hath outwitted him. -Let ua con- 
sider the more particular reasons why the propounding of these 
things as our end is the folly. of a rational creature; for the 
/opening of that I must lay down this previous proposition. The 
soul of man is his better part : the soul is the angel, and there- 
fore tttat must only be propounded as my end which can bring 
that to petfection and satisfiictiaD, because therein consists the 
happiness of the creature. Now consider the soul under these 
three notions. 

1. Consider the soul in Reference to its nature, and ao it la 

, 2. Consider the soul in reference to its capacity, and ao it as 
infinite (iu some sense.) 

. 3. Consider the soul in Deference to its continiance and dusm*^ 
ticHi, and so it is eternal* 

CHAP. X« ON THB FBAR OP 60]>. 205 

Now by the opening of these yon will see what madness it is 
tot a reasonable creature to pc^ound any worldly thing to him- 
self as his end. Consider, 

First, The nature of the soul, which is immaterial: and 
therefore it can neither receive perfection nor satisfaction from 
the worid. Whatsoever doth convey either of these things, must 
have some commensurateness, some suitableness to the nature 
of the soul : to give you an instance, consider the bodily senses^ 
whenever they receive delight, it springs xfrom the proportion 
that is between the object and the senses. The eye when it re- 
ceives pleasure, it is because there is a suitableness between the 
visive faculty, and the colour of the thing seen. Natural reason 
receives delight from considering the contexture and concatena- 
tion that is between natural productions and their causes, here 
is a commensurateness between them ; but now the upper part 
of the soul cannot receive any perfection or satisfaction, but from 
God, because there is nothing suitable to its nature besides him. 
As it was breathed from God, and inspired by him into the body, 
so it can only be perfected in him. 

Secondly. If you consider the capacity of the soul, and that 
(in some degree) is infinite. The soul of man is capable of the 
image of God, of righteousness and holiness to renew him ; it 
is capable of the peace of God to deliglit him ; it is capable of 
the wrath of God, which is infinitely above the fears of man. 
Now can the world satisfy this soul which is capable of these 
things ? We use to say, that a well or the brain of a man is- 
empty, when the one wants water and the other wants wit, al- 
though the one be full of air and the other full of vapours ; the 
reason of it is.this, because wherever there is a want of that 
which should be of any thing, we say that it is empty. If the 
whole world were put into the heart of man, yet the heart would 
be empty without God, because it wants that of which it is ca- 
pable, and which it should have. There must always be a con- 
Ibnnity between the ingredients and the receptivity of the subject 
that takes them in. Is it not a folly then to make the world 
your end ? A man may as soon fill a vessel with virtue, or learn- 
ing, 8S fill the soul with the world. 

Thirdly. Consider the continuance of the soul. It is of an 
immortal duration ; it shall continue as long as God is merciful 
to save, as long as God is just to punish. Then certiunly the 

206 ON THE P£AR OF GOl>. CflAP. X. 

propounding the world as our aim or design is a great folly ; for 
these are all lying delights and perishing vanities. Would you 
not esteem that man a very fool who should make a journey for 
a year, and provide victuals but for one day ? Thus foolish is 
he who makes a journey for eternity with the things of mortality. 
All the things here below may be compared to the diurnal river 
(that I have read of) which runs in the day, but is dry in the 
ijight ; the reason they give of it is this, because it springs from 
the melting of snow, which lies on the top of the mountains. 
Now the beams of the sun dissolving that snow in the day, there 
is a current and stream, but the snow being congealed in the 
night, then is the channel dry. So it is with the world, all the 
things here below run in the day for the. time (possibly) of life, 
or of prosperity ; but when the night of death comes, then those 
rivers are dry ; and therefore certainly it cannot but be the great- 
est folly and madness for a person to make these things his end. 
It is a rule the heathen gives, it is a note of folly for a man to 
make an ill bargain ; I know not what worse bargain can be 
made, than for a man to exchange his soul for the world, there- 
fore he is the greatest fool that doth so. But on the other side, 
consider that God is an object that is able to bring both perfec* 
tion and satisfacticm to the soul ; he is able to bring perfection, 
because in him there is a transcendency of all good ; he is able 
to bring satisfaction, because once God being enjoyed there is 
no fear of the loss of him. He brings perfection to the soul in 
its chiefest faculties ; to the understanding he brings in perfec- 
tion as he is the first and the highest in generi vm, as he is the 
first truth ; to the will he brings perfection, as he is the last and 
chiefest m genere boni, as he is the chiefest good. Thus the 
understanding is perfected in its knowledge, and the will is per- 
fected in its love ; therefore for the soul to make sure of him, (as 
it doth by the fear of God) to make God its friend, certainly it 
is the best wisdom. The sum is this, in God there is a fulness 
of perfection, and a perpetuity of fruition, and therefore the soul 
once attaining him is made really and perfectly happy; whereas 
all the things of the world fall short as to the conveyance of 
these two. 



The folly of worldly wise men io particular, in pursuing the pleasuresy 
profits and honours of the world, 

2. Consider these things in particular ; we will take them 
asunder, and so show you how every carnal man is the greatest 
fool, by pursuing worldly things. 

1^. Consider pleasures. This is one end for which many 
persons de rack their understandings and employ their know- 
ledge ; and the souls of very many serve them for no other use 
but to he (if I may so speak) as cooks to provide sauces for their 
bodies. Certainly this must needs be a very/ great folly; for do 
you think the eandle of the Lord was enlightened in a man merely 
to search after earthly satisfactions ? Do you think the under- 
standing (which is the excelleney of the reasonable creature) was 
given merely to be conversant about these things, which are com- 
mon between us and beasts ? (for sensual pleasures are the hap- 
pine^of a beast) it cannot be* The folly therefore of pursuing 
of this, will appear to you in two things, 

(1.) Suppose you could squeeze all the pleasures of the world 
into one draught, yet they will deceive your expectations, and 
therefore it is a folly to search after them. Take all the plea- 
sures of the world, and they cannot satisfy your empty ^pses^ 
much less are they able to fill Jthe expanded desires of your sdiila^ 
All the gloiy of the world cannot satisfy the desires of on^ ^e, 
much less can it fill the desires and vacuities of the heart. 
Worldly pleasures are a sum in our desires, they are but a cipher 
in our enjoyment ; they are Junos in the pursuit, but they are 
dovds in the embraeement. All the pleasures of the world are 
but an earnest of grie^ if not of ruin : take them all and bring 
them to a person that lies under a troubled conscience, how sud- 
denly are they extinguished ? They are no more able (o give 
case to a wounded spirit, than a drop of wine is able to sweeten 
a large vessel of water; and therefore certainly it must be a folly 


to make these your end and happiness, because they deceive 
your expectations. Whereas the pleasures which the soul ob- 
tains from communion with God, they do not cloy us but they 
satisfy us ; the things of the world cannot satisfy our senses^ but 
the peace of God passeth all understanding ; and therefore there 
is a vast difference between them, and consequently that wisdom 
is more excellent that pursues the one, than that which pursues 
the other. Those pleasures which come from religious exercises 
are generous, and more co-natural to spirits, they do not de- 
grade the reasonable creature, they do not sink a man beneath 
his q>ecie8 as bodily pleasures do. As that beat which is con- 
veyed to the body by exercise, is for more natural amd whole* 
some than that which is conveyed by fire ; so those pleasures 
which the soul that fears God obtains by religious duties, are far 
more excellent than those dreggy delights which are conveyed by 
the things of this world. 

(2.) As pleasures do deceive our expectations, so they draw 
forth our corruptions, and consequently render us miserable | and 
therefore the pursuit of them is the greatest folly. There is 
nothing more dangerous in the world than sin mingled with plea* 
tare ; it is like poison in sweet wine, vrfiich suddenly destro]^ 
which presently strikes to the brain and heart, and so conveys 
death more speedily. And therefore that person who now makes 
it his design to taste the pleasures of sin, or rather to wallow in 
them ; to drink them in as a fish doth water, as TertuUian 
speaks, post pauca Ubidinum momenta emporata, after a few 
moments of lust which are evaporated, what will remain in the 
eoul ? The body will fiiil the lust, the lust will fail the aatisfac- 
don, and all will &il the man ; and then what is becmne of hia 
pleasure ? What remains of it but the worm and the fire ? And 
is it not a folly then ? Oh do but consider, do you think the 
images of these pleasures which are enjoyed in this world are able 
to refresh the soul of a damned person? No. They are all ex- 
tmgnished there, they will rather increase the tormeiit* 

2dly. Consider the profits of this world being made our tod^ 
whether they can make us happy, or consequently whether a 
man is wise in pursuing of them. As the scripture tells us, that 
^ laughter is madness,'^ so it telLs us, that *^ riches are vanity ;'* 
and therefore the pursuit of them cannot purchase to a man the 
title of a wise mpn, Prov. 21. 26. ^ the getting of ridies by a 

CK^. XI. ON THB FXAft OF <k>P. 209' 

Ijring tongue is a vanity lossed to and fro of them that se^k 
death/' All the riches of the world are not able to convey that 
happiness upon which wisdom is exercised^ in respect of those 
considerations which were before laid down. Certainly you 
would sayj that if a man should lie under a paroxysm of the gout 
or stone^ that this man would esteem it a very foolish thing in 
another^ to tell him that a piece o( gold would heal him. There 
is no suitableness between that and his disease ; it is just so here, 
there is a vastunsuitableness between the soul and earthly trea- 
sures. Besides, impress this upon yourselves; when the soul 
shall take its farewel of the world, it can carry none of these 
things with it ; and this refftlers it to be a most egregious folly 
to pursue them. Would you not account that man a very fool 
that whet! he comes to an inn, should spend all his time there 
to Aimish and adorn a room with curious hangings, when he 
must stay bat for a night, and leave it the next day ? Oh cotH 
sider, what is our life ! Is it not a vapour ? Is it not a bubble ? 
Is it not sometimes shorter than a night ? And shall we spend 
our time and our thoughts, which are the noblest offspring of our 
souls, about the pursuit of that which is like the hanging of a 
room for a night ? Is not this folly and madness ? 

Sdly. To come to the honours of the world. And as the scrip* 
tiire tells us, that <' laughter is madness," and *^ riches are va- 
nity ;" so it tells us, that " honour is but a foncy.'^ What is 
the glory of the world ? It is a phantasm, a shadow, a mere 
reflection, that which hath no reality in it. There is a notable 
expression in Psalm 62. 9. *' surely men of low degree are vanity, 
and men of high degree are a lie." They are the greater lie of 
the two upon this account, because greatness promiseth some- 
thing, and performs nothing : and therefore for a person to make 
this his aim, certainly it must be an argument of the greatest 
folly. Do but a little realize to yourselves this, when ^e wise 
men of the world, those that are wise in their generation, i^all 
appear before God, when they shall reflect upon all earthly ob- 
jects, and consider the vanity and the vexation of them, how 
will they befool themselves ? What furious reflections will the 
soul make upon itself, when it. shall consider for that which is 
not, the treasures of the world, for a mere fancy, for that which 
is madness in itself; I have hazarded and lost the enjoyment of 
an infinite good for ever. To conclude, there is no fool Tike the 

VOL, XII. . o 

210 OK THS RBAR OW €K>9* CHAP. Xlt. 

stnning fool, who ventures bis soul at every tiirn^ and to obbun 
the world runs blindfold into endless ruin. 

b^ K ^^ 


That all bamaD koowkdge i« not rafictent to make a maa «ige« 

f ROM hence we may learn, that those persons which please 
themselves only with human knowledge, are not wise in scrip* 
ture account. If it were possible for a man to unravel nature 
from the cedar to the hyssop, if he had such a judgment as to 
penetrate into all natural conclusions, and to resolve all effects 
into their proper causes ; yet if this man be without the fear of 
God (as Jerom said concerning worldly-wise men in the general, 
sapientur in infemum descendunt) he doth but wisely go to hell. 
Now that I may show jrou, that all human knowledge without 
the fear of God cannot render a man truly wise; consider it in 
these three respects. 

1. In respect of its insufficiency to repair the ruins of the fall, 
or to perfect that which is amiss. Experienced Solomon tells us, 
that •' that which is crooked cannot be made straight ;" Ecdes. 
13. ?• I shall apply it thus, there is an impossibility in natural 
knowledge to rectify the spirit of man, which is fidlen from its 
primitive rectitude, or to restore the image of God to the soul, 
which is so much distorted by reason of sin. Rom. 1. 21. The 
apostle speaking concerning the wisest heathens, ^' because that 
when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither 
were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their 
foolish heart was darkened," 22. v. ** Professing themselves to 
be wise, they became fools,*' all this is spoken of the wiset hea- 
thens. Seneca in a letter of his, where he makes an inquiry 
after wisdom, resolves it to be this, * for a man to have his soul 


pure, and an imitator of God/ Now this human knowledge 
cannot attain unto ; so that in respect of its insufficiency, it can- 
not make us happy. 

2. If you consider its Bfifalignancy against the truths of God, 
either against the sublimity of the gospel, or against the sim- 
plicity of it ; it will appear, thaC it cannot render a man wise. 

(1.) If you consider that malignancy that there is in human 
knowledge against the sublimity of the gospel. Those truths 
which reason cannot comprehend, it will not embrace. Hence 
we find, that the Socinians reject several of the fundamentals of 
Christianity, because they are above the flight of our reason. 
We read of the philosophers. Acts 17. 32. that ^^ they mocked 
at the resurrection :" and we read of Julian, that he did up^* 
braid christians as persons that were captives to a blind belief. 
Such kind of truths carnal reason in its elevations opposeth. 

(2.) And the simplicity of the gospel human knowledge is op- 
posite and repugnant to, and is malignant against it. Thus we 
read, that the doctrine of Christ was esteemed foolishness by the 
wise men of the world, because it was not conveyed to them in 
the blandishments of rhetoric, and because the very matter of 
the gospel was such^ as their pride and lust would not stoop unto. 
Experience tells us, that the gospel is above natural, and against 
corrupt reason. Now since human knowledge (when it is alone 
without the fear of God) is thus malignant, since it puts sin into 
armour (as I may so speak) certainly this can never render a matv 
truly wise. 

(3.) Consider its vicinity to corruption; when it is in its 
lustre, it then draws near to its period ; that death that doth 
attend a person, will bury all his learning in the same grave with 
him. Intellectual differences shall shortly cease, and then moral 
differences shall take place; one moment shall equal the learned 
and the unlearned, the knowing and ignorant person^ they sbal 
at last stand upon equal ground, but then good and bad men 
shall be differenced for ever. Now since death so suddenly ap- 
pioacbeth, certiunly this cannot be that which maketh us wise. 

o 2 


CHAP, xiir, 

The naked theory, or ipecalatioo of dirioe troths, not lufficient to nuiLe » 
man wUe* Sinful craft if fully. 

Jb ROM hence I shall draw this conclusion also, that the nalced 
theory, or speculation of divine truths, is not sufficient to make 
a man wise. If knowledge be only confined to the brain, if it 
be a naked illumination, if there be only a model of divine 
truths in thy head, without the fear of God, thou mayest have 
a curious knowledge, but thou wantest a saving knowledge. 
Now that I may show this the more clearly to you, I will lay 
down this rule, and so measure the bare knowledge of divine 
things by it ; all knowledge of what nature soever, is to be va* 
lued according to the end for which it is. Now the knowledge 
of divine things hath a double end, the glory of God and the 
rest of the soul and its salvation ; the bare knowledge of divine 
things without an answerable practice, is defective in these two 
ends, where it is separated from the fear of God ; and this I shall 
evince and evidence to you. 

1. For the glory of God, our Saviour hath told us, that his 
Father is such an husbandman, as esteems himself glorified in 
the firuits of our obedience. That person that is able to draw a 
map of the divinity to us, that can deduce one attribute firom 
another in' the ditine essence ; this man unless he doth practise 
what he knowB^ he glorifies God no m6re than a painter doth 
him whose picture he draws : God is not glorified in lifeless 
painted word), but in our works, when we bear his image and 
are conformed to his law ; when we are renewed in our minds ; 
as towardly children reflect a glory upon th^ir parents/ by ex- 
pressing their persons and imitating their virtues ; so doth a soul 
that fears God. The devils that are intelligent essences, know 
more by the subtilty of their natures than any man in this life, 
yet are far distant from glorifying of God. And in this respect, 
the smallest degree of practical knowledge is infinitely more va- 

CHAP, xnr; on ^hb i^Afi of cod. 213 

luable than the^greatest measure of that which is merely termi- 
nated 4n speculation. Take a christian that trembles at God^s 
word, that looks heaven-ward, this man doth understand more 
or better of divine truths, than the most subtle schoohnen, than 
the greatest Rabbins in the world. To give it you by instance, 
as a husbandman who knows what part of his ground is fit for 
meadow, what part is fit for pasture, and what' part is fit for 
com; although this man doth not know how to sur\'ey his 
ground, or how to draw an exact platform of it, yet he shall 
bring more advantage from this ground to the owner of it, than the 
most skilful mathematician that is able to survey it exactly, ac- 
cording to the rules of art, but wants knowledge in the tillage 
and manuring of it : so that christian which jeduceth his know- 
ledge to practi<ie by a holy life, reflects a greater glory upon God, 
than the most exact and skilful person in the points of divinity 
without the fear of God ; therefore certainly the naked illumina- 
tion of divine truths cannot make a man wise. 

2. This cannot save ihe soul and bring it to its rest. Bare 
knowledge can never reach to heaven ; it must be accompanied 
with the fear of God, and with other graces, 2 Pet. 1.8. " for 
if these thin^ be in you, and abound, they make you that you 
shall iiekher be bonren, nor unfruiitiuV &c. That knowledge 
is ^barren that is without solid and saving grace. Take a man 
that is able to delineate to you a sj'stem of divinity, that hath in 
his head the most sublime notions ; yet if this man hath not the 
fear of God, that knowledge is no more able to satisfy his soul, 
than the picture of a great feast is able to satisfy the appetite of 
one that is almost starved with hunger j this can never render a 
man happy. We read of Dives when be was in hell, he had a 
heaven and a blessedness in bis eye, but they did him no good ; 
80 it is here. It is just with such a person as with an ignorant 
physician, though possibly he may know the shape and the co- 
lour of an herb as it is set down in an herbal, yet he neither 
knows its virtue nor its opera(tion, nor how to prepare it for a 
medieine: so many persons among us, who know in general 
what -the truths of religion are^ as -to their practice^ as to the 
virtue and operation of them, they are utterly strangers. Psal. 
95. 1^. there is a notable expression, '^ it is a people that db err 
in their hearts, and they have«not known my ways." A strange 
expression^ that the Israelites should not know the ways of God, 

o 3 


who had received instmctions miraculously from heaven; the 
meaning of it I conceive to be tbisi this people do err in their 
hearts^ and they have not my ways (in their hearts) they had 
such a knowledge of God's ways, as a man hath of a country by 
a map5 but they had not the experimental knowledge of God's 
ways. Now you know a person that is to walk into a strange 
country, it is far better for him to have a beaten path, and the 
directions of an ordinary traveller, than to have the most accu- 
rate geographical description of it, and he shall sooner come to 
his journe/s end ; so that person that .desires to attain everlast- 
ing rest, let him walk in the steps of those before him that have 
attained the place, and let him experience those truths they 
have practised in the fear of God, and so he shall attain it. 
So that in respect of the glory of God, and the rest of the adul, 
it is not the bare knowledge of diyine truths that can make us 
wise : but let me annex 

3. A third thing, which is this ; the bare knowledge of divine 
truths is so far from attaining this double end, that where it it 
disjoined from the fear of God, it aggravates the ruin of a per- 
son ; and therefore this can never render a man wise. This 
knowledge will light a man to a brighter damnation. There are 
many persons that are right in their, opinions, but hare vile afy 
fectious ; and the knowledge of these persons will increase their 
sorrow ; they are like the Ethiopians that have a bright eye in 
a dark body, so they have much knowledge while they walk in 
the ways of sin : but in conclusion, this knowledge of tlietrs will 
be like a talent of gold to a man that is in the sca^ it will drown 
him the sooner, and sink him the deeper ; so it is here^ their 
knowledge of divine things will sink them deeper in. the wrath 
of God, an ignorant wretch shall have a cooler hell than these 
sublimated christians that are without the fear of the Lord. 
The sum is this, put it thus to yourselves ; what a folly is it for 
men to be disputing of religion and heaven, while others that are 
less knowing surprise it^ like that person that was gazing on the 
moon till he fell into a pit, or as a lark that flies up into heaven 
for a time, but at last falls into the net of the fowlen Thus it 
is with many men* 

This consideration^ that the fear of God is wisdom, tbows 
unto us the falseness of that sinfiil craft which is «o much used 
in the work! ; when men design by the slight of hrain to over- 


reach their neiyhbonn, and this they esteem their glory. There 
are many among us that live according to that hell-bred proverb, 
that ' plain dealing is a jewel, but he that useth it shall die a 
beggar ;' I confess, if this pi^verb were true, it is a wonder, 
«ince we have so many dishonest men among us, that so many 
die beggars : but know thus much, that that person that employs 
his understanding to deceive his neighbour, that person which 
doth affect the glory of acuteness in the ways of sin, doth but 
the more conform himself to the devil, who is a spirit of great 
knowledge^ bwit of greater wickedness. Hi^py are those souls 
that do not enter into sin's secrets; I will only say thus much to 
these persons, those that now employ their parts in the ways of 
sin, God will hereafter employ his wisdom to contrive a punish- 
ment for them ; and when the infinite wisdom of God shall con* 
trive a punishment, and the infinite power of God inflict it, there 
will be a proportionable reeompence for all their guilt. So much 
to discover those several sorts and degrees of £ilse wisdoms that 
|ve in the world. 


An ezhortatioa to beware of those sios which quench the gnze of God's 
fear, by way of defect. 

LdET us from hence ; — be per8«aded to beware of diose sins 
which quench this grace of God's fear ;— excited to the cherish* 
ing of this grace in our hearts. Beware of those sins which 
quench this grace, and those fell under a double consideration^ 
either ; those sins which by way of defect quench this grace ; or 
'thoee sins which by way of excess, do likewise exterminate this 
grace out of the soul. 

o 4 

216 <nf THB RAE OF «0». 4»AP. XIV. 

i. Those sins ^riiieh by way of defect quench ibw grace, and 
here I would mention, hardness of heart, PfQor. 28. 14. ^^ happy 
is the man that feareth always : but he that haideneth his heart 
ahall bi\ into mischief;" there is the opposition that is made 
between them. This hardness of heart 

1. Is either natural, that which is an hereditary disease: aU 
men have a heart of stone. This every one brings into the world 
with him ; and it is a wonder of grace, if every one doth not carry 
it out of the world with them* 

2. Volunt(mfy acquired by frequent acts of sin; men first 
wound their consciences, and dien they sear them by repeated 
acts of sin. As you know that ice which at first is 00 tremulous 
-and feeble that it will not bear a pebble, yet by a few days 
freezing will bear a cart $ so it is here, 

* 3. This hardness is penal, inflicted by God himsdf, not by 
the infiision of sin, but by the suspension of grace ; and this is 
contrary to the fear of God, by way of defect. The scriptures 
represent this hardness to us by three similitudes; first, aome- 
times by an iron sinew in the neck, and so it connotes an in- 
flexibility to God's commands ; sometimes by the hardness of an 
adamant, and so it implies an impenetrableness to the motions 
of God's Spirit ; sometimes by a brawn upon the heart, by 9 
fatness, and so it imports an imeosihility of God's threatenings. 
Now there are two parts of it wherein it opposeth God's fear ;— 
security, which is a privation of God's fear; — presumption, when 
there is an accession of boldness. 

Security, is one branch of hardness of heart ; this is a priva<p 
tion of God's fear. I mean by security, this, when a sinner can 
sleep out all God's thunder ; 'when all the threatenings of the 
>rord are to a soul, as colours to a bliud man : for who is so 
blind as he that wiil not see? AVhen they are as a tale to a di^if 
man ; and who is so deaf as he that will not hear ? When a 
person is like that secure emperor, who when he was in the 
midst of his enemies, yet he proclaimed akum eUentium beUiy 
deep silence of war, there must be no> discourse of arms : so it is 
with such a soul, the denouncing of judgments, and the threat-^ 
«nings of the word, and. the decision of the great and terrible 
day, are to such spirits but as a vain fancy, as if thete was no 
existence of these things but in the brain of him that preachetli 
them. This is that secure wretch who wants the fear of God, 

CaiB. XI7. -ON THB FBAR OF G01>« 217 

Allow me next to mention prewmption, when there is not 
only a mere priv«tion of feV) but an accesion of boldness. Pre- 
. sumption is security strained up to the highest pitch, it is secu- 
rity dipped in a scarlet dye. Now there is a three-fold pre- 
sumption ; — It is either in the thought; — Or in the discourse; — 
Or in the actions of men ; and it proportionably opposeth the 
fcar of God. 

1. In the thoughts. There arei^^rba meKtaUa^ whispers of 
the soul, which are not intelligible by the world. There are pre- 
sumptuous principles according to which men live, and this in 
ecripture is the voice of the heart. Psalm 50. 21. ''Thou • 
thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thyself;'' what is 
4he meaning of that? The principle that governs rtie life of a 
wicked man is this, that God is like unto himself, he draws such 
A pattern of God as is conformed to his own fancy, he makes a 
(God all of mercy, and sets up this idol in his soul, and bows 
4own himself to it ; he robs one attribute to enrich another ; he 
4akes away God's jjistice and holiness^ that he may enlarge his 
goodness ; this is presumption in thought^ such a person doth 
Aot fear Go4l 

2« There is a presumption in our disctmrseSy .and that princi- 
pally in two things: ^l.) When the sinner after his commission 
of sin justifies it ; he is not onty an actor of sin, but a defender 
of it. That man enters into the lisU with God that doth de- 
fend what be hates ; or (2.) when a person is arriyed to such a 
<kigree of presumption as to boast of his sin. And yet how ma- 
ny are thece among us who are thus piesumers, that boast how 
many pliant souk they have drawn to .their snares, how many 
weak brains they have conquered by their eups ? These ace 
persons that venture upcm a double daimnation, fint far commit- 
Cing ain, and ^n for boasting of il. What an .irrational thing 
is it for a man to boast of his sinsP . It is as if an. ipsprisoned 
ielon.^hoQld boast of his fetters, as if an infeoted person should 
Jiofi^t <xr.hirpbl||ae-soiies, as if a possessed praon should, boast of 
bis devil ; yet we have a number of those persons amongst us, 
who are heirs to those prostitutes, the very naming of whom 
drew teats from St.. Paul's eyes, who < glory in their shame/ - 

3. There are those who are presujnptuoua sinners in their oc- 
Uons* Now of tjiese .there areitwo sorts; (1.) Such as venture 
upoQ sins notwithstanding all those flashes of brimstone which 

218 Mi TBB nua ov gosu chap* xit* 

are east opea their frees ; such as nm to the fiwbidden fruity 
notwithstanding those angeb (I mean the preachers) who stand 
with flaming swords in their roouthsj threatening God's judg- 
ments against tliose that venture upon them* These are the 
presuming wretches who look upon themselves^ or at least-wise 
demean themselves, as if they were stronger than God, as if they 
were able with an airmy of lusts, to oppose God with millions oi 
angels ; these want this fear. We read in the aeripture concern- 
ing some persons, who had brows of brass, and faces harder than 
a rock, who were impenetrable against all God's threatenings ; uid 
we have a generation of such among us, who will tear the blessed 
name of God, and dismember his Son between their teeth : and 
notwithstanding all the threatenings of the word, yet they ven- 
ture upon their lusts as if they were unconcerned in these things; 
these are they which have conquered conscience, that have frus- 
trated ail the methods of grace, and when ministers excite them 
to use the reason of men and the faith of christians, they turn all 
into a mock and a jeer. These certainly are eminently void of 
the fear of God, and in their kind they are worse than the devils 
themselves; for the *' devils tremble" under the apprehension of 
this truth, that '^ God will come to judge them," Jam. 2* 19. 
but these daring wretches venture upon their lusts, notwithstand- 
ing all warnings, that are given to them. (2.) The presumer in 
his actions, is he that doth encourage himself in sin, by the pa- 
tronage of grace ; who discourseth thus in his heart, though not 
with his tongue (notwithstanding those various judgments and 
threatenings which are made known by the ministers of the gos- 
pel) certainly there is mercy with God, and he that made them 
will save them ; certainly the rule of the last day's account is not 
ao strict as ministers would make it, there will be a greater liber- 
ty ; and thus they venture upon the ways of sin, and spiders as 
diey are, draw poison from the flowers of mercy itself; this is 
the presuming wretch that wants the fear of God. Now to sudi 
persons, let me only by way of antidote and cuyay present these 
few directions. 

First. Seriously reflect upon those representations which the 
scripture makes of God, as a God of immaculate holiness, of im- 
partial justice, of infinite power; and press these upon your 
Bouls. As a God of immaculate holiness. In that attribute all 
other terrible attributes are rooted } it is the holiness of God that 


4B9Bettes fait juBtice^ and arms his power : this is that attribute 
5¥herein the creatore is most defective, and wherein God doth 
most excel ; and therefore this attribute will produee a fear of 
-6od. Do but argue with thyself, that God whose holiness is his 
glory, before whom the stars are not clean, will that God em*- 
brace thee with thy lusts? Certainly tlie holiness of God is 
more dear to him than the salvation of ten thousand worlds, 
^ consider God's justice, that justice that must award and de- 
cide men to their eternal state ; that justice, that is so eagle*- 
•eyed, as to .discover all thy crimes, with their aggravations. 
Cottsiier his power, he that is able not only to resolve thee into 
4hy first principles of nothmg (for it were happy for thee, if that 
were thy punishment) but he that can cast body and soul into 
hell-fire. Let these considerations raise the fear of God in thy 
soul. There is such a passage in scripture, as thb, <^ O earth 
tremble at the presence of the Lord." Psal. 114. ?• If the^ 
earth which is so vast and durable a body, if the earth which is 
incapable of sin (only being stained with the impurities of men) 
if this earth should fear and tremble at God's presence, how 
much more should sinfiil man, who is lighter than vanity, sinfiil 
man, who hath provoked the eyes of God's glory; who hath 
brought a curse upon the whole creation, what reason hath a 
man to fear ? Know thus much, there is no greater contempt 
of God in the world, than not to fear him. I do not wonder to 
see a superior to slight his inferior ; but to see a slave not to fear 
his prince^ this is wonderfiil ; so to see a worm of the earthy % 
little breathing dust, not to fear an infinite God, this is stupen- 

Secondly. Attend upon an awakening mintstry. Ministers 
should be sons of thunder (not of music) to exmte the fear of 
God in the hearts of men. 1 confess I look upon nothing ak 
more dangerous and deadly^ than a general, soft and toothless 
ministry : but for the ministry that is fiill of life and spirits, that 
ministiy which is answerable to the heart of God, this is the pros- 
per means which is designed by the Lord for the raising of this 
iear in men. 

Thirdly. Exercise faith in God's threatenings. Believe th^ 
troth of the threatenings, and the power of the threatener. Do 
Dot £mcy as if God would lose a dram of his truth for the saving 
of the worlds as if be would recede firom the sharpness and seve- 


rity of his threateningB. ^^ HeaTen and earth shall pass away, 
but not one jot or tittle" of all the tfareateuings of the ^* law of 
God shall pass away." Know that the law which was first gi« 
ven in fire, shall be at the last required in fire ; and then secure 
and presumptuous 'sinners shall find all their hopes and all their 
bravadoes vanish. To conclude, impress this upon your spirits, 
how infinitely dangerous it is for a person not to fear God until 
he feels his displeasure p What a sad thing it » for a man, 
when death is the first symptom of his disease ? So how inext- 
.pressibly tragical is it when a soul never fears God till he feels 
him ? Then it will be too late to have this passion raised in 
your hearts. The judgments of God to many persons, are like a 
sleeping lion, that awakes and destroys at once ; and therefore 
fear him that is able thus to deal with you. 



g|Opeiiiiig siBVisb fear io ff tpect of God, or men, or burseWesi wblcb eppo* 
•eth the fear of God by way of e^cea. 

ii« JL Now proceed to the next sort of sins, that I shall caution 
you against, and they are those which oppose the fear of God « 
by way of excess. The fear of God stands between these sins, 
as a temperate diet opposeth either an immoderate repletion, or 
else an unnecessary and a prejudicial abstinence : for as a mode- 
rate diet keeps the body in its strength and activity, whereas an 
immoderate repletion produceth surfeits, fevers, and other filial 
diseases ; so on the other side, total abstinence instead of pre- 
venting diseases starveth the body : so doth the fear of God, 
when it is in that temper that the scripture requires, keep the 
soul active, vigorous, and enlarged in the ways of obedience ; but 
when this fear shall be excessive, then it produceth many deadly 


distempers in th^ soul ; or when this fear is absolutely lost^ the 
soul (if I may so speak) is starved^ and loseth its life and 
strength. Now m the excess there is a two-fold fear, which op- 
poseth the fear of God. First. Slavish fear; Secondly. Super- 
stitious fear. 

First. Liet us consider slavtaib fiar, which is of three sorts ;— - 
That slavish fear which k merely terminated upon the wrath of 
God ;— That whidi respects the power of man ;-~That which I 
may call pusillanimity, that proceeds from the apprehensions of 
the insiqierable diiBculties which do attend a religious state. 

These are the three sorts of slavish fear, which I shall endea* 
vour to depress ; in respect of God, men,' and ourselves. 

1.- A slavish fear in retpect of God is this, when the soul is 
only taken up with the apprehensions of those treasures of wrath 
which God is able to pour forth upon it. A fear that looks up- 
on God as an irreooncileable enemy, or as an implacable judge ; 
this fear I would endeavour to eradicate, by presenting thesQ 

(1.) It springs from infidelity, vrhea faith is not exercised 
upon those representations of God, which the scripture makes 
known. In the gospel the mercy of God b represented to us as 
that which is his glory, his delight, his treasure. As his mercy 
must not violate his justice, so his justice must not devour his 
mercy. His mercy is an attribute as essential as his righteous- 
ness. But now when the soul disbelieves this, then it fears God 
as a slave fears his master. 

(2.) This slavish fear it is accompanied with dishonourable 
thoughts of God. It is a disparagement to his essence ; such a 
person represents God to himself under the notion of a tyrant, 
f he draws him with a black coal, and this is no less than blasphe- 
my. For a despondent sinner to think thus with himself, that 
God will exact perfection from a man answerable to the measure 
of an angel, or that God will triumph in the mere torments of 
his creatures, or that he delights in their ruin, it is a sin equal 
to i^eism; yea, it is in some respects worse than atheism. 
Atheism is a denial of the Deity ; but for one to entertain such 
apprehensions of God, it is the reproach of the Deity. I re- 
monber what I read of Plutarch (saith he) * I had rather poste- 
rity should say there never had been such a man as Plutarch, 
than to say, there bad been one Plutarch that was so cruel, that 

222 ON THB FBAR Ot €Ol^«^ ^BAP. KW 

he would devour his own children/ I know it is an inexpreasi* 
ble sin for a man to deny a Deity ; on the other side, to grant a 
Deity, and to entertain such thoughts of him ariscth to the same 
degree of wickedness. Such a person doth absolutely discharge 
the gospel, as if there were no chancery or moderation for the 
lapses and unavoidable infirmities of the best men. 

(3.) Wherever this slavish fear is, it doth corrupt all the servi- 
ces which proceed from him in whom it is. For the bane of all 
the religion in the world is either mercinariness, or slavishness; 
when a man serves God merely that he may obtain worldly bles- 
sings, or when a man serves God as the heathens served the de- 
Til, ne noceaty lest he should hurt them. Christians should be 
led by sanctified affections ; but this fear kills all delight* They 
come to the duties of religion as bears to a stake, and they go 
from them as birds out of a snare ; what is the reason of it? 
Because they have such apprehensions, and such a slavish fear of 

(4.) When it riseth to extremity, it prodnceth hatred against 
him, both in respect of his essence and attributes. A felon 
vrisheth that there was no judge, no law ; so doth this person 
that slavishly fears God, he wisheth that God were not omnipo- 
tent, that he might not have power to torment him ; that he 
were not omniscient, that he might not know the evil of his 
heart and ways. Hatred always strikes at the being of that 
which is hated ; when fear degenerates into despair, and that de- 
spair causeth hatred, that hatred at the last will cause a person 
to curse the fountain of blessedness : for thus it is in hell. 

(5.) This slavish fear renders a sinner completely miserable iit 
this world. AD errors about the nature of God are pernicious 
and dangerous ; but those errors which are accompanied with * 
fear, they are like a wound which hath an inflammation in it, it 
vrill bring death more painful and more speedy; so it is here, 
those errors concerning the nature of God, which are accompa- 
nied with such a fear of his justice, as if there were no reserves 
of mercy for relenting and reforming sinners ; these beget an hell 
upon earth, bring a soul into the very suburbs of hell, into the 
confines of eternal darkness ; and therefore labour against this 
fear. I do not speak against the fear of God's justice all this 
while, I would only rectify that fear, not abolish it ; let us so 
fear God's justice as to hate sin, and yet still so as to love his 


mercy and goodness. The snm is this; the fear oF God should* 
hove for its circumference the rererence of God and all his attri- 
butes, for its centre it should have godliness and practical holi- 
ness; the limit of our fear should be an awfiil regard of God's 
excellencies and perfectioti, and the end of our fear should be a 
constant obedience to him ; then our fear is angelical when it is 
kept within its bounds. So much for the first briuich, that sla- 
viih fear which is terminated upon God's justice, 

2* There is a servile fear which respects the fouoer qf many 
when the soul is so possessed with the fears of the power of the 
creature, that it draws back to destruction, that it dares not 
own its faith in the face of a tyrant : and to such persons, that 
they may correct their fear^ I shall present three considera- 

(1.) Consider, as the throne endures no rivals, so that fear 
which is a homage and tribute which we should pay only to the 
Sovereign Creator of the world, should not be given to the ci'ea- 
ture. He that doth immoderatdy fear the creature, dethrones 
God and deifies man. It is no less than sacrilege to alienate the 
affections from God ; and it is no less than idolatry, to place our 
aflf«ctions inordinately upon the creature, Isa. 8. 12, 13. '' Nei- 
ther fear ye their fear, nor be afraid ; sanctify the Lord of hosts 
hiinself, and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread." 
As the beams of the sun discourage the fire, and will not suffer it 
to burn ; so will the fear of God swallow up all our fear of the 
creature ; the greater fear will devour the less. 

(2.) Consider, this immoderate fear of the creature is the root 
of apostacy. Such a man will rather save his Ufe than his soul^ 
80ch a person carries his faith about him at the mercy of every 
.one that threatens to kill him : for this is a maxim, he *that is a 
coward will be an apostate. That man doth not fear God, that 
dares not die for him ; that man that bath not got above the 
love of life, and above the fear of death, will never be a martyr, 
he will never hold out for God ; therefore such a person is in the 
very next degree to an apostate. 

(3.) Consider the unreasonableness of this fear. To fear the 
sentence of a man when God is our Judge ; to fear the power of 
man, when God is our defence ; to fear death, which is but the 
entrance into an eterpal lifej what is this, but as little children. 

224 OI^ VHB FBAR M 60l>. CMAP. XT. 

to fear the vizard more than the man that ivean it ? Austin 
speaks excellently concerning this temper, saith he, these per- 
sons Timent carceremy non timent gehennam ; timmt crucudum 
iempordUmy non pcenas igtds (Btend'; timent modieum mori, non 
4Btemum mori; that is, they fear the prison, but they fear not 
hell ; they fear temporal torments, tut they fear not the flames 
of unquenchable fire; they fear the first, but not the second 
death ; and is not this an unreasonable thing ? There is one 
scripture which I shall desire to press upon such persons. Rev. 
21. 8. << But the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and 
murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and 
all liars, shall have their part in the lake, which bumeth with 
fire and brimstone, which is the scond death." Here the fearfiil 
are placed in firont of those which shall be cast into the lake, 
which burns- with fire and brimstone for ever. This is the se» 
cond sort of slavish fear, which,! would depress. 

3. Another sort of slavish fear which should be eradieated, is this, 
that fear which some persons take up from the apprehenmon nf 
insuperable difficaWies that attetid a retigioug ikUe; like the Is- 
raelites that would not venture upon the paradise of Canaan, be- 
cause it was defended by giants« So there are many persons 
among us, that if you could look inta their hearts you would find 
this principle ; they ccmsider the weakness of their natures, the 
alipperiness of their places, and the instability of their wills ; the 
rage of their affections, and the frequency of temptations^ and 
from thence they thus argue, .1 shall never be able to conquer all 
these ; therefore since I shall not be able to attain the prize, I 
will venture no charges; and since I cannot finish a religious 
course, I will not begin it ; and thus they waste and melt away 
their days in discouraging fears or worldly business. Some- 
times possibly they will make a trial, but they find if they are 
resolute one day, thiey are staggering the next ; tf they are strong 
one day they are vredk another, and at best like Peter, when he 
was walking upon the water, he slipped with one foot and sunk 
with the other : therefore they are c^ the temper of those in the 
prophet Jeremiah, ^< they said there was no hope, and therefore 
they will follow their own ways ;" Jer. 2. 25. I shaU never con- 
quer these lusts, never be able to perform these duties, therefore 
I will sit stilly and go no fiirther. To such persona I woidd offer 
these three considerations. 


(1.) Do you not beHeve thc^ there are degreed of torments ia 
hell ? Aad therefore, supposing this granted^ that you cannot 
attain to that perfection which God requires, will you therefore 
loosen the reins to all wickedness? A cooler hell is a kind of 
heaven ', there are some lashed with scorpions, others whipped 
but with rods, I speak as to the degrees of torment. 

(2.) Was ever the Spirit of God defective to those that sin- 
cerely endeavoured ? Hath not God promised to give his Spirit 
to those that ask it ? 

(3«) Is not divine grace strong enough to conquer the power 
of hell, and the deceitfulness of our hearts ? Is not the efficacy 
of the divine nature sufficient to repel temptations^ and to resist 
corruptions ? Consider, will a small candle when it is enlight- 
ened scatter all the darkness that is about us ; and will not a 
beam of grace in the soul scatter and triumph over temptations 
and corruptions t^ Sure I am that sin is not an infinite evil in 
itself} but grace hath an infinite power, there is an onmipoteney 
goes along with it. And therefore it is very great madness for a 
person to say thus, I will not endeavour against my corruptions, 
because I fear I shall never get the victory over them ; it is just 
as if a man in the midst of a great storm, for fear of it should leap 
into the sea, this you know wae madness : so for a man, because 
he fears he cannot by his own power and strength, get victory 
over his corruptions j therefore he will leave himself to the swing 
of them. Suppose a man when he is half a mile distant from 
his enemy, should draw his sword and brandish and flourish it in 
the air, as if he would, wound him by these flourishings, you 
would look upon this man as mad: but if this man should mount 
an ordnance, and level it agunst his enemy, and then should 
shoot at him, you would think this were but reasonable ; al- 
though the aet of shooting be the man's, the force of the act 
proceeds from the powder, fire, and cannon, which discharge the 
bullet. So for a man indeed to resolve against his lusts by his 
own power, and by the strength of his own resolutions, this can 
do no good : but for a man by the sword of the Spirit, and by 
the strength of Christ, to go out against his corruptions ; this is 
as the dischaiging of a cannon, there is some reason to expect 
that exeqition shouldbe done, because such a person is carried 
forth by the power of God. Thus I have opened the first heiMi 

VOL ill. I* 


of thoie sins which oppose the fear of God by way of excess, and 
that is slavish fear. 


Of svpentttioiis fear, is tespect of <blogt natnrslf carnal, and rellgioni^ 
whick 49 oppose Ibe fear of CM by way of excev. 

Secondly. X HERE is a superHitious fear, which likewise by 
way of excess, doth oppose the fear of God* I shall rank this 
under three heads ;— -Supentitaous fear in respect of tilings natn* 
ral;-*-Super8titioiis fear in respect of things casual ;— Supersti- 
tious fear in respect of things religious. 

1st. In respect of things natural: and here I shaU principally 
touch upon two things, both which are evident to experience. 

1. The superstitious fear, which many persons do exercise in 
reference to those eclipses, or natural changes which may be in 
the heavens. We have had in our times a laige experience of 
the vanity of men's fears in that respect. Jer. 10. 2« *' Thus 
saith the Lord, learn not the way of the heathen, and ba not 
dismayed at the signs of heaven, for the heathen are dismayed at 
them." When the children of Israel were to' be transpocted into 
Babylon among the Chaldeans, who were most skilftil in those 
arts, then doth God fortify them against judicial astrology, and 
bids them not to be dismayed at the signs of the heavens. I 
confess, this is an heathenish fear ; but alas we find, that for 
these many hundred years this hath continued among the chris- 
tians, notwithstanding those antidotes that have been prepared 
against it. And what is the reason of it? It is this, because 
those persons look upon these eclipses and conjunctions of the 
heavenly bodies to be prodigious, and to portend and import 
some disastrous and sad events : I shall only say thus mush, aQ 

CHAP. XV!. ON TUB RAft OY GOD. 227" 

fuch eclipses proceeding from natural caused, are not in the least 
prodigious. It is natural, that the sun and moon should meet at 
determinate seasons ; and it is natural that when they do meet, 
the opacous body of the moon should make a partial eclipse of 
the sun. It were prodigious indeed, if in the conjunction of 
these two bodies there should be no eclipse ; and therefore for a 
person superrtitiously to fear sueh things, he may upon the same 
reason fear sad events every night that ensues, because then the 
sun is eclipsed from us by the interposition of tl^e earth ; and 
therefore this is a great folly. I confess it was a prodigy, < that 
the sun was darkened at the passion of Christy for then the 
moon was not in conjunction with/ but in opposition against the 
sun : and it was a prodigy, when there was darkness among the 
Egyptians for three days. But here, since all things in this 
manner proceed from the concatenation that is between causes 
and effects, there is no reason to tremble. And therefore God, 
in scripture, doth sometimes deride this fear, and sometimes dis- 
suades from it, sometimes derides it as matter of scorn and great- 
est vanity, and sometimes dissuades from it and condemns it, as 
here in the text recited to you. 

2. There is a superstitious fear in reference to natural things, 
and that principally upon the account of dreams ; for there are 
many among us whose fears commence from their fancies, who 
do not rest while they sleep, but while their reason is asleep their 
fears are awake : these are the persons that have no dreams but 
what are accompanied with an interpretation, or with a predic- 
tion ; and if one event happens to be trae, it is a rule fin- an 
hundred with them. Now the vanity of such persons the scrip- 
ture takes notice of, and as an antidote against it, take these 
two things. (1.) Those Chat make use of their dreams as a rule 
for their acts, give the greatest advantage to satan ; the reason 
IS this, because he then is aUe to exercise his power when the 
creature is unable to resist him. If once you grant that there 
may be impressions upon your fancy (in dreams) of things that 
are to come, the devil then takes the reins into his own hands, 
and he will- tempt you when you cannot oppose him. (2.) As 
you give advantage to satan, so it is the greatest injury to a 
man's self; for such a soul is under perpetual fear, and makei 
himself miserable. 

p 2 


2dly. There is a superstitious fear in reference to casual things 
(and this is beneath a sermon, but yet necessary for some per- 
sons) some are transported with every trifling ccmtingency ; if 
the salt falls towards them, or if a hare crossetb Jthem in the 
way, presently they grow pale or red upon it, as if there were 
scHne evil that must ensue ; this is the quintessence of folly. 

3dly. And principally, there is a superstitious fear in reference 
to religious things, and this opposeth the fear of God, and it 
consisteth usually in one of these two things. 

1. When a person is afraid to .d<> that which God allows, or 
which God commands ; and thus men make more sins than the 
ten commandments. So we read of the Jews, they fancied the 
name Jehovah was not to be expressed but only by the high- 
priest, and that once a year, and that only in the " holy of ho- 
lies ;" and we read of the primitive christians, they were scru- 
pulous about days, months, and meats, as if there were some tie 
upon conscience which did retrench them from these things. 

2. As they are abstemious from what God allows, so they are 
exact in that which God doth not require, and this is eminently 
among the papists at this day. I might largely speak of this sin, 
1 will only say thus much of it ; — ^All the services of a supersti- 
tious person are unacceptable to God ;^— All the services of a 
superstitious person are odious to him« 

(1.) A superstitious person's services ave unacceptable to God. 
When a man is carver of his own obedience, he doth enter upon 
God*s rights and so his services are unacceptable. There is au 
expression in Col. 2. 18. <' Let no man beguile you of your re- ' 
ward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intru- 
ding into those tilings which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up 
by his fleshly mind." There are two things which we may ob- 
serve there, one is from that expression, a voluntary humility ; 
the word in the Greek E/x/SmWow is a voluntary in humility, one 
that is a volunteer that offers up will-worship to God, the apos- 
tle saith he doth intrude into those things which he hath not 
seen. The word which we translate, intrude may (with a great 
correspondency to the original notation of the word) be rendered 
thus, invading; that is, such a person doth invade God's right, 
and insolently set foot upon God's possession, as actors in a tra- 
gedy, where they went in a lofty and strutting manner i from 


thence the Greek word signifies to enter upon the right of ano- 
ther ; such a person invades God's rights and thereby renders all 
his services unacceptable. 

(2.) The services of a superstitious person are odious to God. 
There is one scripture which is inost convincing, where the Lord 
speaks concerning the sacrifices of the Jews, and shows how he 
doth dislike them, '' he that oflers a sacrifice is as if he cat off a 
dog's neck, and he that makes an offering as if he offered swine's 
blood ;'' Isa. 66. 3. where the Lord declares, that he looked 
upon their sacrifices to be no other than mere slaughter, and 
their priests to be the butchers ; for although the substance of 
their sacrifices were ordained by God, yet because they innova- 
ted in the form, all these sacrifices as they were thankless, so 
they were hatefiil to God. Certiunly this is one of the profun- 
dities of satau, to lead a soul by superstitious fear into these 
practices. And usually you shall observe, that profone youth is 
turned into a superstitious old age ; so that sin which was let out 
at the gate, returns in at the postern, and poor men work the 
work of death and hell when they fancy that they are in the way 
to heaven. As you shall see sometimes a poor dove, when its 
eyes are sealed and dark, it will mount up to heaven, but alas it 
is with an imdisceming wing, with fear and trembling ; the dove 
doth not consider that this flight of her's is made as a trail for 
the hawk to prevail over her. So here, many blind ignorant 
soulfl mount up to heaven in tiieir superstitions devotions (as they 
think) but they are made but a trail for satan. Superstition is 
the ivy of religion^ that seems to embrace it^ but it dispirits it^ 
and eats out its sap and moisture : therefore learn to quench and 
cast this out of the soul. The sum of all is, let us labmv to 
keep alive in our souls an ingenuous and filial fear of God^ let us 
fear hii^goodness that we may not displease him, let us fear his 
justice, so as we may not provoke him ; let us fear him in all his 
perfections, let us fear him as the angels fear him, as he is the 
holy <uid the pure God ; and he that fears God thus, thift fear 
from the imperfection of a man, shall at last be raised to the 
perfection of an angel ; that fear shall be like the sun, whose 
light breaks forth into greater clearness^ till it arrives to perfect 

T 3 









Of all aflairf for the compassing whereof men are so diligent 
and soli^tous, there is none, of that ahsolnte necessity^ and high 
importance^ as the preparation for death and judgment^ and the 
immediate consequence of them, heaven and hell, to obtain the 
one, and escape the other. This requires the whole man in his 
best vigour, and should be the work of the day, but it is usually 
delayed tiH the melancholy evening of age, or the twilight of 
death. TUe trifles of this world divert them from that main 
business, to which aH oliier things should be subordinate. It ^ 
equally ileserves wonder and compassion, that death which is so' 
constantly in men^ view, should be so seldom the matter of 
their application, when all are of the same glass, made of the 
same biSA natural principles ; and no argument is more frequently 
and pathedieaBy urged upon them. 

It IB not Grange thaf deep truths, which by the strength and 
exereiae of the inind are drawn like gold out of the mines, have 
no efficacy upon dioise' that are nol capable of understanding 
them: but the doctrines of death and judgment, heaven and 
hell^ are plutt truths, by natural, moral, aud divine evidence 
known to all^ yet no ntore affect men, than a paradox of incre^ 
diUe niBivelty. ^ If the doctrine of eternal judgment were but a 
probable opinkto, controverted with equal arguments, yet it is a 
matter of such tast concernment, that reason requires all our 
posaiUe dil^enee to avoid an ^tennd evil, that may be the loss 
of celestiat gkMry, and the torments of heU : biit since it is an in* 


fallible truth, ^as certain as the word of God^ it is a nurade to 
astonish heaven and earth, that men live as carelessly as if they 
should never die, and die as securely as if they should not live in 
the next state, to receive the just punishment of their sins. 
They are fearless whilst death is £sr off in their thoughts : and 
"When age has snowed upon their heads, that no marks of decay- 
ing nature should appear, make their own winter to flourish with 
another's spring. But it is in vaiii, far death knows them under 
their disguise, and will not stay beyond the appointed time. 
And in that decisive hour, infidelity or presumption hardens men 
to pass as quietly and boldly, in appearance, into another world, 
as unfeigned faith, and a regular lively hope in the promises of 
the gospel. But as deceitful physic stops the fit for the present, 
that will return more violently and fatally afterwards ; «o a coun- 
terfeit short peace transmits them to everlasting sorrows. 

' The design^ the foUowiog discourse is to a^wsken meo, that 
they may be wise and; consider their latter end t to accuse an 
interest in our Redeemer, who has disarmed death ^of . its «ti/B^ 
and made%t)p#t en^ny our friend: and to. practise .d)aQg evesy 
day, by withdrawing their hearts from the vanities of>tbia4r%v^ 
sient mric^ th^t have such a pemidousr influence ^, excite ibe 
carnal qipetites, a^d stiipify the cp^sdenoe, which, aqeiftbetrua 
tosses fk thfjvspn ,and mi^ry., * An^w)^ cap be miipc,jpi3iffpdak 
to render tl^ps .temperate an4 «ob^r )n tl^e use of pm^nt tUag% 
' TWilmt ;#M (S;ri(9M9i^ t)ieir pp^paf fU;ioqs far. tbdr^gfcat ifnd.fai^ 
^a^^, ^i^;.tli^ femeqibranee.thi^t dei^th u.|n}nf|diate]iy atn 
t|ra^^ ¥rii(bjuclgqAea]^ ^n^. ju^jjgmei^t vfit)i bl^ssedoess or misery 
faa ei{er ?,i .\,Mpow t,\ii^ a^g^gicmt; is naturally ;.dispIea|Bfv^ hulL 
the usefiilness should recommend it |;q our* BKMtf>9tmmii4 ^^^ 
posed d^lw|l^,^bef[>feA^;th^^ eati^tMii9Q^.pf;fti^ fafcy 
a||4 aeps^alra^tioiii. :A» herlis rf; ^e^rta^l >rifltye^.^t^.^ 
aQfi.pl««»agJP fte sight or fm?Hi yet m^ c^^bi^^y J^i^ l|k|lW 
i|^«ref»wf»[of/)ufatkj aMi pi«frrted b^f^.thn 6iw*.:flffl»f» 
that ftf^jpe^Effm^^ apd pi|jfttedi,by nal?^ ;9g .a%,:to e^cfl.tba 
ne^t k(^tl»MSpk>»MMlr\gV^^ . . .. , O.I :./ 1 1^: <^i r :.^. 

,^ ?;i^ be4)f i^'Wili eo^t||||ialja0Mui»^9B» Mfi.nb mI.hm tav 
prw^^i^: am%iWbila$ j(be oMtiaii^ jnw »». inimMri^^i^ «Mip 
iwg and wMteg^.if (beJn^wlmM^){».«»o^9d«Qg;9fli4 wmmi 
to peiftrtiali, the ikhraiAafe is inraoij^MlUe. KQ,}f^.c^H9li$9ie. 
able ia k to .a holy: beUfit^. in OieiiwtJPt hfWM .cMMDit Mft 


spirit into the hands of bis beorenly Father ! . (for thus he is au- 
thorized and encouraged by our Saviour's example) and ^^ lay 
down the flesh to rest in hope :" for Christ is the guardian of the 
grave, '^has the keys of death/' and. will revive the. bodies of his 
saints iocprniptible and immortal^ the <K>pies of his own glorious 

The inMoediate Teoompences of eternaljudginent, heaven and 
heU, are worthy of our most attentive and applicative thoughts^ 
Aat we obtain, the one, and escape the other... Heaven is the 
true happiness of the reasonable ,ere^ture,. and is the first and 
last in the order of things desirable ; the first for its attractive 
excellence, the last in its 'Consanunate fruition. This maybe 
certainly and perpetually enjoyed by all who sincerely and dili- 
gently seek it. If in the very different states of life here, there 
were any incapable of eterniU life, or that have another object 
for their last end, there might be some reason why they should 
be coldly aflfecced toifards celestial happmess, and to justify their 
sole pretensions to the things of time, wherein their interests 
are confined : but the offer of heaven regards all that upon God's 
terms will accept of it. The most sensible inequality, that riches, 
dignity, or any temporal accident makes between men here, is 
to true a nothing in comparison of eternal glory, that it makes 
no difference of one from another 'as to the obtaining it. For this 
remon it most nearly concerns every person, ^^ first to seek the 
kingdom of heaven, and the righteousness thereof,'' as the only 
way to ascend to it. 

The serious consideration of the everlasting hell prepared for 
unreformed sinners, is most necessary and useful, though carnal 
men are extremely averse from thinking on that terrible object. 
For this is the first motive that turns men from sin to holiness. 
The joys of heaven being spiritual and divine, have no attractive 
influence upon the carnal aflectiom, would never convert and 
reform any; but the torment of fire being moat evident and ve- 
hement to sense, is strongly represented by the imagination, and 
morves the affections. How many by solemn and believing 
thoughts of the unquenchable fire, haive felt the mirack upon the 
three children in the furnace renewed in themselves, their stroQg 
eotdB, the obstinate habits of sin, bumt asunder, and their powers 
reaiofed to the freedom of duty, the blessed liberty of obedience? 


In this respect the '* fear of the Lord is the beginning of wis- 
dom/' that directs us in the way to blessedness. 

Madam, I shall not attempt the celebrating your Ladyship's 
Tirtues, that render you a bright ornament of your sex, and more 
truly honourable than your noble descent and alliance : but direct 
my best desires to God, that your family may be a singular and 
eminent example of the tfivine &vtNir ; that the Aiding gloss of 
this world may not deceive you, but ^ your heart may be above, 
where your treasure is ;" that you may live to God^ and your soul 
for heaven and eternity. I am. 


Your Honour's very humble 

and faithful Servant^ 



Heb. II. 15. 

I deliver tli«m» who (bronfh fear of deaUi were all their lifetime tttl^jecl 
to bondage. 


The coherence of the text opened ; wherein the proofs of the eternal Deity 
of Christ are clearly alledged from scripture. An account given of the 

• reasons of his incarnation, la what respects the devil Is said to have the 
power of death* The death of Christ frees his people fjpom the tormenting 
fear of death, Aa account of death*s entrance idto the world, in a three* 
fold respect. 

XN the first chapter of this epistle, the pro<^s rf the eternal 
Deity of Christ are prodaced with that evidence of scripture* 
light, that OBly a veiled heart, obstinate infidelity can resist. 
The medium which the inspired penihan makes use of, is, the 
comparing him with the angels, the most noble flower of the 
creation, and showing that he is infinitely dignified above tliem. 
This he 4oe8 by a strong connexion of arguments : first, by his 
title that is divinely high and peculiar to himself. He is de- 
clared by the testimcHiy of the eternal Father to ^< be his Son,'' 
ver. 4, 5. in the most proper and sublime sense : '^ begotten of 
him," and therefore having the same essential perfections of the 
GocUiead in their uncreated ^ory. But the angels are not dig- 
nified with this name in any places of scripture, where the ex- 


cellency of the angels is in the fullest terms expressed. And 
that this name is taken from his nattare, is clearly proved : be- 
cause adoration is due to him upon this account, eren from the 
angels of the highest order. <^ When he bringeth in the first 
begotten into the world, be saMi, and let all the angels of God 
ipvorship him.'* Ver. 6. 

Divine worship is a prerogative inseparably annexed to the 
Deitv, both upon the account of the supreme excellencies of the 
nature of God, and his relation to angels and men as Creator 
and Preserver, the fountain of their being and happiness. This, 
without the most open defiance of his authority, cannot be given 
to a mere creature ; and by the command of God himself is to 
be performed as a respect due to the filial Godhead. Deut. 6. 
13. & 10. 20. The argument proceeds from the name to the 
offices. ^' Of the aiigels he saith, who maketh his angels spirits, 
and his ministers a flame of fire." ver. 7. They are the prime 
instruments of his providence, most zealous and active to accom- 
plish his pleasure. But the Son is God, not by analogy and 
deputation, as princes are, nor with « limitation and diminution, 
as Moses was made ^^ a God to Pharaoh,*' but absolutely and 
really as subsisting in the divine nature : and consequently he is 
the Supreme King, and to him the ensigns of majesty divinely 
royal are ascribed : *' but unto the Son be saith, thy throne, O 
God, is for ever and ever ; a sceptre of righteousness is the 
sceptre of thy kingdom.'* Ver. 8. Whereas the sceptres of earthly 
kings are often unrighteously managed, and their thrones ruin- 
ously fall. There is a fiirther confirmation from his works, 
that are divinely great and glorious, wherein no ereature has 
any share of efficiency. The making of the world is ascribed 
to him : ^' thou. Lord, in the beginning hast laid the founda- 
tion of the earth, and the heavens are the works of thy hands.'* 
Ver. 10. 

The divine attributes, the peculiar character of the Deit}', 
belong to him : eternity and immutability. The most solid parts 
of the visible creation <^ shall p^ish and be changed : but thou 
rcmainest, and art the same." His life is an entire, uiiifiirm, 
unchangeable perfection. His glory and felicity are in the same 
invariable tenour for ever possessed by him. Tiastly, the Son 
sits in that quality " at the right hand of the Father,*' ver. 13. 
in the society of empire, as equal to him in power and honour^ 

^ilAF. r. ON BBAtS. 23^ 

commanding^ all in the visible and invisible world, most easily 
ancl'irresl^ifoly, though gradually, subduing his enemies to a con- 
summate victory. But the angels^ so numerous and powerful^ 
" are ministering spirits/* ver. 14. employed for the defence and 
benefit of the church. 

From this summary account we may understand how firmly 
the divinity of Christ is established in the scripture. For those 
passages of' the prophets, that speak of the God of Israel as 
Creator, and the sole object of adoration, arc directly referred to 
Jesus Christ. And the name Jehovah, Psal. 97. 9. the majesty 
of which consists in its being incommunicable, is attributed to 
him. This is the foundation upon which the whole fabric of thfe 
gospel is built. The office of Mediator in the prophetical^ 
priestly, and regal administration, is necessarily joined with the 
divinity of his person. And the revelation of it from heaven, is 
as clear as the sun is visible in the firmament. All the difficul- 
ties in our conceiving this great mystery of godliness, are but 
like the shadows that attend the light. And all the heretical 
snbtilties to pervert the sense of such plain and positive texts^ 
are as impertinent as impious. 

This being established, the apostle proceeds to give an ac- 
count of the Son of God's assuming the human nature, and sub- 
mitting to sufferings and death. This is a divine secret so mira- 
culously strange, that the contrivance was without the compass 
of the angelical minds, and the discovery of it is only by super* 
natural revelation ; but when revealed, the account of it is so 
open- and consentaneous to reason, as being the most congruous 
means for the illustration of God's glory in the saving lost men^ 
that the human Mind, if not deeply corrupted with the* tincture 
of prejudice, must consent to it, ^^ as worthy of all acceptation.*' 

The substance of his reasoning is. this: that it was the pro- 
duct of the most wise, merciful, and righteous counsel of God, 
that the Saviour of men should have communion with them in 
their nature, that he might have a right to redeem them by his 
alliance and propinquity: for-^^ he that sanctifies, and they that 
are sanctified, are dl one,** chap. 2. 11. and that he might un- 
dergo sufferings, even to death, for the price of their redemption, 
and the remedy of their infirmities. <^ Forasmuch as the chil- 
dren are partakers of flesh and blood, he also likewise took part 
of the same^ that through death he might destroy him that had 

240 ON BBATU. CHAl». I. 

the power of death, that 18 the devil : and deliver them who 
through fear of death, were all their lives subject to bondage." 

The devil is said to have the power of .death* K Because he 
induces men to commit sin, that meritoriously renders them 
liable to death. He tempted the first man cum effectu, ** and 
was a murderer from the beginning/' 2. In that he inquires 
them with furious thoughts, and inflames their passions, from 
whence proceed strifes and wars, that efficiently cause death. 
He is supreme in all the arts of mischief, and alwap intent upon 
evil. It is by his instigation that men become like raging beasts, 
animated and bent on mutual slaughter. 3. Because he is many 
times the executioner of God's wrath, and inflicts death upon re- 
bellious and incorrigible sinners. It is recorded by the psalmist, 
that " God east upon the Egyptians the fierceness of his anger, 
wrath, indignation, and trouble, by sending evil angels,'' Psal. 
78. 49. those princes of the air, the instruments of the thunder, 
and fiery storm of hail that destroyed them. 4. Because he 
makes death more formidable to sinners, by heightening their 
guilty fears of God's tribunal. The false spirit tempts men to 
sin by many blandishments, but afterward he is a severe accuser 
of them to God, and to themselves. Lastly, This title may sig« 
nify his tormepting sinners with unrelenting cruelty in hell> 
which is the second death. Now these evils being the penal 
consequence of sin, our Saviour by his death appeased the in« 
jured justice of God, and thereby destroyed the cruel tyranny of 
. the devil. As the Lamb of God, in the notion of a sacrifice, 
he overcomes our spiritual enemies. Sin, satan and death, lie 
vanqubhed at the foot of his cross. Besides, our Saviour having 
felt such sorrows and infirmities as are usual to his people, by 
that correspondence and resemblance between them, is compas* 
sionately inclined to relieve them. I shall now insist upon the 
blessed privilege of believers set down in the text, viz. 

JTiat Jems Qurist by his death frees his people Jirom the ser- 
vUe tormenting fear qf death. 

In prosecuting the point, I shall, 1. Consider the account the 
scripture gives of death's entrance into the world. 2. Show 
what the fear of death includes, and the bondage consequent to 
it. 3. How the death of Christ firees us from the thraldom of 
that fear. 4. Who are partakers of this blessed privilege. And 
then apply it. 

cbaP. u o1^ I)^th» S4I 

I. The scripture gives an accottiit of death's entrance into the 
world, in a threefold respect. 

- 1. As the desert of sin. 2. As the effect of the divine decree« 
3. As the sentence of the law. 

1. As the desert of sin. The first design of the Creator was 
his own glory in conjunction with the happiness* of man. He 
was made accordingly holy in perfection, placed in paradise^ 
and his state contained all the ingredients of felicity proper to his 
nature. « He was capable of dying, as sad experience proves; 
yet no accident from witboat, no distemper from within had 
impaired his vigour, and made him actually subject to death • 
without sin. • Whilst innocent he was immortal, not from ever- u 
lasting principles of nature, but by divine preservation, of which \ ^ 
the tree of life was the ordained means and sacramental pledge^^^^ 
For God unchangeably loves his own image : and thoogh by his 
sovereignty and absolute power he may resume the being he 
gives, yet his goodness and covenant were a sacred assurance that 
man's happy life should run parallel with his perseverance in his 
ivLty. This immortality was not the singular privilege of Adam's 
person, but had been the inheritance of all his progeny. But he 
soon revolting from his just obedience, of immortal became mor<* 
tal, and according to the original establishment of propagation^ 
transmitted his nature with the guilt and poison of sin to all his 
posterity. ^' Thus by one man sin entered into the world, and 
death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that' aH 
have sinned." Rom. 5.12. As his obedience had been rel¥«nied, 
so his rebellion is punished in all that naturally descend from him. 
From hence it is, that so numerous a part of mankind aw cut 
off before the eonmiission of actual sin. Death enters into the 
fbfge of life, and destroys the conception that' newly began to 
Kve. -And what is more righteous than that man wfaenhedis* 
obeyed the Author of life, should- forfeit his Hfe and blessedness? 
• The soul voluntarily lost the spiritual :Iife-by forsaking God^ 
therefore unwillingly loses the natural life by expulsion from the 
body. The apostle says, *^ the wages of sin ia death," Romu 6. 
23. not only that of the body, but the death of. the soul, which 
is a dreadAil concomitant of it. And from hence we may dis- 

• Anima Toleof perdidit vitere, nolens ergo perdat & ? iviacare. 

you III. o 

249 QM ]>BATH« CfiAl>. I« 

cover the fake philosq>hy of the wisest heathms in their opi- 
nion of death. * They judged it to be the primary necessity and 
condition of nature, fixed by irresistible fate : and not under- 
standing the true and just reason of its coming into the worldj 
they could not apply a sufficient remedy f^nst its evil. 

2. As the effect of the divine decree respecting sin. This b 
discovered by revelation in the word df God, and, by the real 
execution of it. ^' It is appointed to men once to die/' Heb. 9« 
27. This decree is univenal and unrepealable. " One genera- 
tion passeth away, and another generation pometh :" Eedea. .1. 
4. like the ebUng and flowing of the sea in its stated periods. 
Nothing can interrupt or frustrate this appointment. There are 
divers conditioos of men» and various ways of living in the wgrkl^ 
some are high in dignity, others are level with the earth : some 
walk in a carpet-way, smooth and easy, others in a thorny and 
troublesome i some walk on the golden sands, others on the 
mire : but the same uncontrolable necessity of dying involves all. 
And whatever the way be, whether pleasant w doleful, yet every 
one passes in it with equal steps, measured by the same invari- 
able spaces of hours and days, «nd arrives at the same common 
end of life. Those m^o are r^gftrded as visible deities amongst 
men> that can by their breatli raise jthe low, and depress the 
loffyt that have the lives of millions in their power ; yet when die 
drdaioed time is .come, as they cannot bribe the aoousij^ con- 
science for a minute's silence, so neither delay d^h« ^^ I have 
said ye are gods, btit ye siiall die like m«n.". 

3. Death is to be considered as the sentence of the taw.- The 
reasonable creature was made .«nder a law, th^ rule of hi» aetims. 
The moral law directed biiti how to eontifme in his hdy:al4 
blessed state : to vriuch was annexed the precept of not eatingrof 
the tree of knowledge of good and evil, enjy as a mailt of.his 
subjection, and for the trial of bis obedie&e^ This precept had 
an infaHible sanctien by the lifoat high Lawgiver : '< in the dny 
thou eatdst thereof, thou shak die the dAth/' Geii. 2. 17. Man 
did Jiot keep this oomtaiand of so easy observation, and ju^y 
incurred its doom. As sm is the vidation of the law^ so death 

* Hac lege intraYerapt^ at exlrenl. Stnec, 

cbaP. i4 oif lifilTi^< 243 

is the violation of the sinner in his nature and felicity retorted 
from the law. 

The deaths of men are very different in their kinds ; and are 
comprised in the words of David concerning Saul : *^ the Lord 
shall smite him, or his day shall come to die, or he shall descend 
into the battle, and perish/' 1 Sam. 26. 10. Sometimes they 
are cut off by the immediate flaming hand of God, for the more 
exemplary revenge of ain; sometimes by surprising accidents; 
sometimes by bloody contentions ; sometimes by consuming 
diseases. But though death be not uniform, yet it is always 
the execution of the law upon offenders. As of those who are 
condemned by human justice, some suffer a more easy wd ho- 
nourable death, others a more di^faceful and torturing; some 
are beheaded, others are crucified, yet 'all die as malefactors: 
Thus some die a natural death, dthers a violent; dome' by k 
gentle preparing sickness vrithout reluctation, Mhers die upon 
the rack by sharp' pahis: sotne die attended with thdr IriendSy 
and all supplies to sweeten their passage, othei^ forsi^en of all 
comforters : y^t death is the same sentence of the lat^ upon all 
men. And this, if duly consideted, makes it terrible in what* 
«ver shape it appears. 



244 Qtf I»4TBt> CKAP. IK 

CHAP. n. 

What the fear of deftth inclades. The pauion of fear io general coiui<fere<f« 
The special causes that nake death so frarfat* It is an evil universally 
fcnowD. It is certainly fnUire. The bondage of men from the fear of 
death. The reasons why men are not always nnder the actual fear of 

JL X HE next thing to be considered is^ what the fear of 
death includes, and the bondage that b consequent to it. This 
1 shall explain and amplify, by considerii^ four things. 1. The 
pature of fear in general, as applicable to the present subject* 
^. The particular causes tfiat render death so fearful. 3. The 
degree of this fear expiressed by bondage. 4. How it comes to 
pass that m^ are not always under the actual fear of death, but 
subject to the revolutions of it all their lives. 

1. I will consider the nature of fear in g^eral, as applicable 
to the present subject. Fear is a passion implanted in nature, 
that causes a flight from an approaching evil. Three things are 
requisite to qualify the object, and make it fearful. 

(1.) The evil must be apprehended. Knowledge, or at least 
suspicion, excites fear, by representing an evil that is lijieiy to 
seize upon us. Till the mind discern the danger, the passions 
are unmoved : and imaginary evils by the mere apprehension, 
are as strongly feared as real. 

(2.) The evil must be future. For the naked theory of the 
most pernicious evil does not wound the soul, but the apprehen- 
sion of falling under it. If reason can open an expedient to pre- 
vent an evil, this passion is quiet. And fear precisely regards 
its object as to come. Present evils induce grief and sorrow: 
past evils by reflection afiect with joy, and give a quicker relish 
to present felicity. Approaching evils alarm us with fear. 

(3.) The evil must be apprehended as prevalent to make it 
fearful. For if by comparison we find our strength superior, we 
either neglect the evil for its levity, or determine to encounter it; 
and resistance is the proper effect of anger, not of fear. But 

<CHAP. n. OK BSATfi. 2^ 

when an impendent evil is too hard for us^ the soul shrinks and 
recoib from it. 

Now all these qualifications that make an object fearful, con- 
jciflr in death. 

Ist. It is an evil uniyersally known. The frequent fimerak 
ar^ a real demonstradon that speaks sensibly to our eyes, that 
death reigns in the world. On every side death . is in our view^ 
and the shadow of it darkens our brightest days. 

2dly. It is certainly future. All the wretched accidents of this 
life^ such as concern us in our persons, relations, estates and 
interests; a thousand disasters that a jealous fear and active 
fancy will extend and amplify ; as they may, so they may not 
happen to us. And from this mixture of contrary possibilities, 
from the uncertainty of event, hope, that is an insinuating pas- 
sion, mixes with fear, and derives comfort. For as sometimes a 
sudden evil surprises, not forethought of; so, often the evil that 
was sadly expected, never comes to pass. ** But what man is 
he that lives, and shall not see death ?" Psal. 89. 4. Who is 
so vain as to please himself with an imagination of immortality 
here ? Though men are distinguished in the condition of living, 
yet all are equal in the necessity of dying. Human greatness in 
every kind, nobility, riches, empire cannot protect from the 
sudden and sovereign hand of death, that overthrows all. The 
most conspicuous difference in this world is between the victo- 
rious, and the vanquished prostrate at their feet : but death 
makes them equal. Then the wretched captive shall upbraid the 
proud eonqueror, -^^ art thou become weak as me ? Art thoii be- 
come like us?'' The expressions of scripture concerning the 
frailty of man, are often literally and precisely verified : ^* he is 
like the grass, in the morning it flourishes and groweth up, in 
the evening it is cut down and withereth.'' 

ddiy. Death is a prevalent insuperable evil : hence the pro- 
verbial expression, *' strong as death that subdues all, cruel as 
the grave that spares none.'' It is in vain to stru^le with the 
paiigs of death. No simples in nature, no compositions of art, 
no influence of the stars, no power of angels can support the 
dying body, or retain the flitting soul. ^' There is no man hath 
power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power 
in the day of death : and there is no discharge in that war." 


246 ,'P^ ^SATB, jCHAP. n. 

Eccles. 8. 8. The body ainka in .th^ conflict; and <^ Death 
feeds on its proatrate prey in the grave. 

2. I shall consider mora paoticularly the ceases that render 
death so fearful to men : 1. In the apprehension of nature. • 2, 
In the apprehension of conacienic^* 

L In the apprehension of nature, d^atb hath this name en* 
graven in its forehead, fittimtm terribiliim^ the. supreme of ter- 
rible things, upon several acepnnta. 

(1.) Because usually sickness and pains languishing and tor- 
menting, make the first chai^eB in the body, and the natural 
death is violent. : This Hezdiiah complained of with a mowrnfixl 
aoeent, ^^ He will out me* off with pining .sickne9&: from day 
even to night thou wilt make an end of me. I . reckoned till 
morning that as a lion, so will he break aU my bones/' Isa. 38. 
A troop of diseases ar^ the forerunners of this '* King of terrors." 
There is a preceding encounter, and sometimes very fierce, that 
nature feels the cruel victory before it yields to this enemy. Asa 
ship that is tossed by a mighty tempest, and by the ooncaision of 
the winds and waves loses its rudder and masts, takes in vrater in 
every part, and gradually sinka into the ocean : so in the ship* 
wreck of nature, the body is so shaken and weakened by the vio- 
lence of a disease, that the senses, the animal and vital opera* 
tions decline, and at last are extinguished in death. 

(2.) Death considered in the strictest propriety, as destrucrive 
of the natural being, that is our first and most valuable good in 
the order of nature, is the just object of fear. The union be- 
tween soul and body is very intimate and dear, and like Darid 
aiid Jonathan they part unwillingly* Nature has a share in the 
best men, and works as nature. St. Paul declares, ^* we would 
not be unclothed/' not finally put off the body, but have it glo* 
rified in conjunction with, the soul. Our blened Saviour, with-* 
out the least impeachment of the rectitude and perfection of hia 
nature, expressed an averseness from death, and with submission 
to the divine will desired a freedom from it. His affections were 
holy and human, and moved according to the quality of their 

(3.) The natural consequents of death render it fearfiil. Life 
ia the foundation of all natural enjoyments ; and the loss of it in- 
duces the loss of all for ever. It is from hence that such evils as 

«re cbnmstent with life, and deprive us only of some particular 
content and pleasure^ are willingly chosen rather than death. 
The forfeiture of estate, the degrading from honour, the confine-^ 
ment to a peipetual prison, the .banishing from our nathre coun* 
try, are less penalties than death. « 

There is a natural love of society- in man, and death removes 
from alL The grave is a frightful solitude. There is no con- 
versatkm hi the ta?iitories of dfeuicness. This also Hczeldah in 
his apprehensions c( death speaks of with tears : << I shall see 
man no more in the land of the living.'' Isa. 38. 11. As in 
the night the world is an universal grave, * all things are in a 
dead silence; palaoss, couit»of justice, temples, theatres, schools, 
and all places of public conversation are shut up $ th^ noise and 
lumoar that keeps men in continual observation and action cea^ 
ees. Thus when the sun of this present life is set, all the affairs 
and business, all the vain joys of company, feasting, dancing, 
music, gaming, cease ! Every one among the dead is confined 
to his sealed obscure cell, and is alone an entertainment for the 

The psalmist saith of princes, ^^ Their breath goeth forth, 
fhej return to the earth, in that very day their thoughts,'' their 
glorious compassing thoughts, '^ perish.'' This the historian ob*- 
serves was verified in Julius Cesar : after his assuming the impe- 
rial dignity, he thought to reduce the numerous laws of the Ro- 
mans into a few volumes, comprising the substance and reason 
of all ; to enrich and adorn the city of Rome, as was becoming 
the regent of the world ; to epitomize the works of the most 
learned Grecians and Romans for the public benefit, f And 
whilst he was designing and pursuing these, and other vast and 
noble things, death surprised him, and broke off all his enter- 

At the terrible gate that opens into eteroity> men are stripped 
of all their honours and treasures, ^^ and as naked as they come 
into the world, go out of it. Be not thou afnud when one is 
made rich, when the glory of his house is increased. For when 

* Diesuorltar in nocten, Sc tenebrit usquequaq ; lepelitor; fnoastatar 
nvodi hoBori omnit sabttaotia de aigrmtur, tordeati aileiit, ttapent cuDcta, 
ubiqijuscUium est. TertuL de Resurrect, Car, 

f TaUa agentem atq j meditantem, mon pravenic. SueUn. 

Q 4 

248 OK 11BATH« CBAP. lU 

he dieth, he shall carrjr nothing away ; hia glory shall not de- 
scend after him/' Psal. 49* 16, 17. Death equally Tilifiesy 
makes loathsome and ghastly the bodies of men, ai^i reduces 
them to sordid dust. In the grave the * dust is as precious and 
powerful of one as of another. Civil distinctions are limited to 
the present time. The prodigious statue in Nebuchadnezzar's 
vision, Dan. 2. 32, 33, 34, 35. while it was upright, the parts 
were really and viubiy distinct : ** The head was of fine gold, the 
breast and arms (tf silver, the belly and thighs of brass, the legs 
of iron, the feet part of iron and part of clay : but when the 
stone cut out without hands, smote the image upon the feet, 
then were the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gdd, 
broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff the wind 
carries away." Who can distinguish between royal dust taken 
out of magnificent tombs, and pld>ean dust from common 
graves ? Who can know who were rich and who were poor, who 
had power and command, who were vassals, who were fcmark- 
able by fame, who by infamy ? ^' They shall not say this is Je- 
zebel," 2 Kings 9. 37. not know this was the daughter and wife 
of a king. The king of Babylon, styled Lucifer the bright star 
of the morning, that possessed the first empire in the world, was 
degraded by death, humbled to the grave, and exchanged all his 
glorious state for worms and putrefaction. ^^The worm is 
spread under thee, and the worms cover thee." Isa. 14. 11. In 
short, death separates men from all their admired charming va* 
nities. Now considering man merely in the order of nature, 
what reflection is more fearful and tormenting, than the neces- 
sity, that cannot be overruled, of parting for ever with all the 
delighto of life ? Those who have ascended to the throne, that 
are arrived at the height of temporal happiness, what a melan- 
choly prospect is before them of death and the dark grave? 
When all things conspire to make men happy here, the sensitive 
faculties and their fruitions are ebbing and declining, till they 

* Ai oar divine poet expresses it. 

The brags of life are but a nine days' wonder | 

And after death the fomes that spring 
From priTate bodies, make as big a thunder 

4s those that rise from a huge king. 


•ink into death, the whirlpool that will shortly swallow them up 
for eyer. This renders the thoi^hts of mortality so firightiul^ 
and checks .the freest enjoyments of carnal pleasures. 

2. Death is fearful in the apprehension of conscience, as it is 
the most sensible mark of God's wrath, that is heavier than 
death, and a summons to give an account of aU things done in 
this life, to the Righteous Judge of the world. " It is appointed 
to all men once to die, and afterward the judgment?' Heb. 9. 
27* The penal fear is more wounding to the spirit than the na- 
tural. When the awakened sinner presently expects the citation 
to appear before the tribunal above, where no excuses, no sup- 
plications, no privileges avail, where the cause of eternal life or 
death must be decided, and the awards of justice be immediately 
exeeuted ; O the convulsions and agonies of conscience in that 
hour! when the diseased body cannot live, and the disconsolate 
soul dare not die, what anxieties surround it? This redoubles 
tbe terrors of death, that the first transmits to the second that 
was figured by it. O the dismal aspept of Death riding on a 
pale horse, with hell the black attendant following. This fear 
surprised the sinners in Sion. '< Who among us can dwell with 
deiwttring fire ? who among us can remain with everlasting burn- 
ings ?'' This made a heathen, the governor of a province, to 
tremble before a poor prisoner : '^ While Paul discoursed of righ- 
teousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled." 
Acts 24. 25. << It is a fearfiil thing to fall into the hands of the 
living God, who lives for ever, and can punish for ever.'' Heb. 
)Q. 3). None is so powerfiil as God, nothing so fearful as the 
guilty conscience. 

3. The degrees of this fear are expressed by bondage. This 
passion, when regular in its object and degree, is excellently use- 
fol : it is a wise counsellor and faithful guardian, that plucks off 
the mask from our enemies, and keeps reason vigilant and active 
to prevent a threatening evil, (nt to sustain it in the best manner* 
It is observable in the brute creatures, that the weak and fearful 
are most subtile and ingenious to secure themselves, and supply 
the want of strength with artifice. But when fear is inordinate^ 
it b » tyrannous master, that vexes the weary soul, and hinders 
its free and noble operations. Cesar chose rather to be exposed 
to sudden deaths than to be continaaUy harassed with fear how 


to avoid it. * The Greek word implies the binding of the «pi- 
lit, that causes an inward slavery. And in the apostle's witting 
'^the spirit of fear, and the spirit of bondage/' Rom. & 15, f 
2 Tim. 1. 7* t aie equivalent. Idibodieth, whoi Abncr provoked 
by the charge about Saul's concubine^ - imperiously threatened to 
^P>i^ioto titt kingdom, to David, was strack '^ with such a fear, 
that h(e. could not. answer Abner a ward" 2 Sam. 3. 10, 1 1, 
The sudden passkm stifled his reply, and reduced him to a de- 
fenceless silence. Now the fear of death, as -it is remiss or vehe- 
inent,.such are the degrees qf bondage from it. 
• (1.) '^ inbkters the ^oyments of the present life, and makes 
the most prosperous in the world, '' even in the fuln<ess of their 
sufficiency, to be in ^straits/' 'Though the senses are pleased 
with the quick sweetness of change firom one object to ano* 
Aer, yet the soul cannot have a delightful undisturbed fruition, 
foreseeing that the stream of pleasure- will issue into the dead 
sea. ^ Truly light is sweet, and tt is a {feasant thing to behcrid 
the sun.'' Eedes. 1 1. ?• But how short is this life with all its 
pleasures, in comparison of <'the days of darkii^ss" that follow. 
Now though it is our best wisdom and truest liberty to rc^oe 
^in this world as if we rejoiced not,'' uid frequently to mecKtate 
on the cooling doctrines of '< death and judgment," to repress 
the transports of the voluptuous appetite; yet since the comforts 
of this life are liberally indulged to us by the love of God, to be 
the motives of our gratefol wad affectionate obedience, to sweet- 
en our passage to heaven, wc may with tranquillity of spirit make 
a pitfe and cheerfiil use of them in his service : and it is an op- 
pressing bondage when the disquieting anxious fears of death 
hinder our tempetate enjoyment of his favours and blessings. 

(2.) The fear of death oppresses the souls of men under a mi- 
serable bondage to the devil ; for his dominion is maintained by 
the idlurements and terrors^ of the world. Though men do not 
explicitly acknowledge his sovereignty, yet by voluntary yielding 
to his pleasing temptations, they are really his slaves. And the 
apprehension of temporal evils, especially of death, dressed up in 

* PfKttat lenel mori qoam semper timere. AfO^ from 8f«. 

0HAF. n, 0N BBATm S51 

a liightful representation ^th its "bltxHly pomp, is the strohgest 
fiDare to .the soul. Prov. 29. The fadnt- hearted prove false- 
heaited in the time of trial : for the timorous apirtt being wholly 
intent how to avoid the mcursion of a present evil, forgets or 
neglects what is indispensably to be done, and thinks to find an 
excvse in the pretended necessity. U(fw many have been- terri- 
fied from their clearest duty ' and resolved constancy 9 To escape 
death th^y ha«e been guilty of the most insufferable impieties^ 
'by rehovncing God their Maker and Saviour, and worshipping 
the devils for deities. Every age presents sad spectacles of many 
'^that choose iiiiqaity rather thto affliction/' Job 86. 2K that 
reUnquish their duty, and by wicked compliances save their lives> 
and lose their souls. Carnal desires, and carnal fears are -the 
chains of hell, that retain' men satan^s captivesw But what foHy^ 
what madness is it, for. the avoiding the impotent fiiry of the 
creature, to venture on the powerful wrath of God) that exceeds 
all the terrors that can be conceived by fear? This .renders 
them more brutish thap- the horse, that starting at- his shadow, 
qirings over a desperate' precipice. <<The fearfirfave excluded 
from heaven, and cast into the lake - of fire and brimstone for 
ever.'^ Rev. 21. 

(3.) The extreme fear of death and judgAient dejects^ and dis- 
courages the soul from the use of means to prevent eternal mise- 
ry, and induced a most wofiil bondage. Fear anticipates and 
escasperates future evils : for as knowledge excites fbar, so fear 
increases knowledge, by the incessant workings of the thoughts 
upon terrible objects. The fearful mind aggravates the foreseen 
evil, and distils the poison from all the circumstances and conse- 
quences of it. And when the evil is apprehended as. insuperable 
and indeclinable, all endeavours to escape are cut off. ^ What 
a philosopher observes of an earthquake, compared with other 
destructive evils, is true in this case. There may be a safe re-> 
treat from fire, from inundations, from storms, from war, from 
pestilence ; but an earthquake astonishes with so violent a per- 
turbation, that stops our flight from the imminent danger : f so 
the vehement impressions of fear firom the approaches of death, 
and the severe executions upon the sinner after it, distract the 

* Nslloni milam sine effiigio. S«iec. 
f Timor fugam perdiAC 


mind, and disable from '< flying from the wrath to come." 
These fears are more heavy by the suggestions of satan, who re- 
presents God so terrible in his majesty, inexorable in his justice, 
and unchangeable in his threatenings, that all hopes of obtaining 
bis favour are lost. As the ^* Egyptian darkness" was not mere- 
ly from the absence of the sun, but from feculent vapours con- 
densing the air, that it might be felt : so these dark and fearhil 
expectations of the divine wrath are not only from the with- 
drawing the light of God's countenance, but from the prince of 
darkness, that foul spirit. And as we read of the Egjptians, that 
*^ no man arose from his place for three days ;'' as if they had 
been buried in that darkness, and deprived of all active power 
and motion : so the despairing soul sits down mourning at the 
gates of death, totally disabled from prosecuting the things <^that 
belong to its peace." It is hope inspires and warms us with 
alacrity, encourages our .endeavours : despair blunts the edge of our 
industry. The soul suffers the hardest, bondage, and the oondir 
tion is inexpressibly sad under the tyranny of this fear. O how 
enthralled^ how desolately miserable ! Despair does meritbri* 
ously and effectually ruin the soul. For wlvei:e9s there is no at- 
tribute more divine, no clearer notion of the D^ty than love and 
mercy; this passion disparages his mercy, as if sin were more 
omnipotent, than his power to pardon; and all the tears that 
flow from it, are so far from expiating, that they increase guilt : 
and whereas the believing view of Christ* would as completely 
and presently recover the soul-wounded sinner, as the Israelites 
were by looking to the ordained visible sign of their salvation ; 
despair turns away the eye from our deliverer, and fixes it upon 
misery as remediless and final. 

4. How comes it to pass that men are not always under the 
actual fear of death, but subject to the revolutions of it all their 

The seeds of this fear are hid in the guilty breasts of men, and 
fit times, e^>ecially in their calamities, break forth and kin- 
dle upon them. In their leisure and retirement, intercurrent 
thoughts of death and judgment sting them by .fits, and make 
them uneasy. The flashes of conscience, like moments of light- 
ning, startle them, but they relapse into their habitual stupidity. 
And the account will be clear, by considering the following par- 


(1.) Men are apt to flatter themselves with the hopes of long 
life, and look upon death at a great distance. Though there be 
a dying disposition in the youngest and strongest persons, though 
we live in a world of casualties, and death lie in ambush to sur« 
prise us every day, yet we are secure : because evils affect us ac** 
cording to their apprehended nearness. A petty constable that 
is troublesome and vexatious, is more feared by his neighbours^ 
than the grand signior with all his executioners. As. remote 
objects, though of vast bigness, are lessened to our sight ; so 
through the supposed interval of many years, death is looked oil 
with a diminution of its terror. But when death presents itself 
before men ready to dispatch them, how formidable is its ap<* 
pearance ! Saul, though renowned for his valour, yet when he 
understood by revelation, that to-morrow he and his sons should 
be in the state of the dead, *^ there was no strength in him, but 
he fell straightway all along on the earth ;" 1 Sam. 28. struck 
through with fear before he was wounded by the arrows of the 
Philistines. Belshazzar in the midst of bis luxury and jollity^ 
attended with a thousand lords, and bis herd of concubines^ 
Dan. 5. 1, 2, 3, 4. inflamed with wine, and therefore less capa* 
ble of fear, yet upon the sight of the fatal hand writing on the 
.wall a few unknown characters, which his guilty oopscience (be* 
fore the prophet Daniel came) interpreted to be the sentence of 
present death, how fearfully was his countenance ehanged, pale 
as a carcass? How suddenly did his blood congeal> and his 
wannest quickest spirits die in his heart ? His wh<de body was 
aeized by such a vehement trembling, that bi$ joints were loosed^ 
and his knees smote one against another. This is a representa* 
ticm of those who bid defiance to death at a distance : but wl^en 
the ffttal hour is come, and tbey hear the sentence decreed 
against them, ** God has numbered thy days, and finished them; 
thou art weighed in the balance," (all tbv woffb. and actions^ 
t|iy thoughts and affections) '' and art fouqd wahtlag ;*\ and thy 
aoul shall be divided from thy body, the ctfe s^nt to heU to suffer 
the undying worm of consdence,, the other to. the grave, to be 
a prey to the worms of corruption.; bow fre they overcome with 

(2.) The continual succe^sim of the pleasures and business of 
the world divert the mind from the attentive strong contempla* 
tioQ of death and the conse<iueneeaof it. Pensive thoughts are 

254 ON DBATB, CBAl>. Ifi 

onweleome, and we etndiouiy endeavour to cancel the memory of 
such things as afflict us. It is said of the wicked, that ^ Qod 
is not in all their thoughts/' The consideration of the holy in* 
spector and judge of their actions is tormenting, therefore they 
fill their minds with earthly imaginations, to exclude the divine 
presence. We read of those, who to ** put far away the evil 
day, chaunted to the sound of Che viol, and drank wine in bowk." 
Aknos 6. 3, 4. They are rocked asleep with the motion Of fim« 
tastic vatrities. And sleep takes away fear, but gives no safety. 
« It is recorded of Marfais, that after his overthrow by Sylla, he 
was always in consternation, as if he heard the somd of the 
trumpets, and the lioise of the victorious arn^ pursdng himt 
arid fats fean were no' longer quiet than whilst charmed with 
lifine and -sleep';' ke therefore- was conttnuatly drunk, that hi 
mi^ht ibrget liimsetf, his enemy, and his danger; -Thus men 
make' a pitifiil shift to forget their tetter end ; and whilst they 
are ftdlowing either secular aflUrs, or sensual pleasures, are un- 
(xaicerned for what is to be hez^after. But this' diversion wiR 
sfamtly be >at an eild, for in their languishing hours,' when the 
wasted body ftub the oamal mind, and sensual desires lail the 
sum, then oonsdenco that s))oke with a low voice before, is^ loud 
and terrsbfei- andiike the rigid eicacter in the parable that took 
Ida dBbtor fay the throat, inquires them to pay what they owe. 
I (8,) Some «re so hardened in in&delity, that the powers d 
thk world 'to cone -make no Impression on their hesrts. They 
mind but Uctle, and ar^ le^ SE^fected with invisible things. They 
ibrti(y tiiemselves with-grdss thoughts, that the spirit of man va« 
lushes with IliD^ breath, -that deathis the end of this life^ and not 
thei beginnttig^^ another, <^and feed without fear.'' Place one 
fal* the mUbt of destructive evtk> but tinseen or not bdiev^, and 
lie is a^ fearless ab a blind person walking on the brink oPa deep 
frit/ Itideed thei^ are none less disturbed with ttm terronrf 
deatli^ than the euiinetttly good, or the e^ctremely bad t <ibr tbe 
ime Mtt have h blessed hope that death will be to them an en^ 
trance ihtb life, and live like the angels, <^ with a* joy unspeak^ 
«kble and glorioosi-' The others are sensual and secnie as the 
beasts that jperishy having extinguished the fear of eternal' Ibtate 
-ovils, whicn is the proper passion of reason. The apostle de- 

'■•■''• •*.fiHaa« 

CHAP, tt« Q» mULTH* 2S5 

dares, ^^ That knowing the terror of the Lord, we persuade men'' 
(to be reconciled to him, before the season of mercy be expired.) 
2 Cor. 5. 11. But those who have suppressed the natural no- 
tions of eternal judgment, as they think it beneath their wisdom 
to be persuaded by the promises of heaven, so breath their cou- 
rage to be terrified with the threatenings oS hell, and triumph 
over the ruins oS conscience. But though wicked infidels slight 
the threatenings, they shall not escape the vengeance of God. 

We read of Noah, '^ That being warned of God of things not 
seen as yet, moved with fear, he prepared an ark for the- saving 
of bis house.'' Heb« 1 1. Hia fear waa the native issue of his 
faith. But the profane world, in whom sense was predonrinant, 
that despised the oracle, and trembled at no judgments but- what 
were ading on the viable stage, *' th^ ate' and draak,'^ xnarriM 
and were given in marriage,'' till swept away by the udfeared in^ 
uodatioii. We redd that' Lot being eertifi^ by an embassy of 
a^gelsy that a dehigi^of fire would m a f(nr;hottss pour dowh 
from heaven upoa SodQB,'be most earatstly «iriieited hia sons in 
law, ^^ Arise, dqMurt out of this place, far the Lord will destroy 
this city:" but Ihey entestaiaed his oompassibnate adMce with 
derision, ^^he adewed to them asione. that ttniekfld/' and were 
surprised by those feaiiid flames that dispatcfaed^ thism'^froiki a 
temporal hell to that which is eternal. Timsrift was prophesied^ 
<* That in thd Ust da^ there shall oonie seoftra,' ivafking alter 
their own lutts, ^and saying, whei« im the/prodMse of Ibb eoi^ 
ming?" But let Aem Udspfa^me-awl'iooacii the moj^t sacral 
»nd terrible truths, let (them petpetaate tteirexefass of riot, and 
wild mirth while they live ; deatii will odtne^ and. judgment as 
Aur^a*<fefttbi : •■.:\: 

'.'."'•' * ".J . > ?! * i. . •♦ ; .1 ' : ,. r ■ Jv ';^ 

' ''{.Ml ■ ■ - y-i ,'1 , : : ; : ' . » 

^ • '• '/ 1 '"' ; * y .".' ...ji . .' *",' " T* v:, : 

. ■ r- >, r t.. J / ' : ..':.:.'*.;: Y)-. ::. >.. • 

• ^ • • . [ f .., : i , " ii/.-: ^* .'••■:'.' 



Row the death of Chritt frees nt from the torment iii|( fear of death. Bj dy- 
iog he paid oar rantom to ibe i^jared jattice of God, aod deprives satan of 
the legal power he had over ■•• His death is oar redemptioo from the 
curse of death, tt makes death a blessed advantage to believers. The 
happiness obtained by death aofolded. It freei the saints fk'om alBtcting 
evils, aad sin the caase of them. The highest positive good ol^tained by 

III. 1. Now come to show how the death of Christ frees us 
from the tonnentiDg fear of death. 

For the clearing this, we are to consider, that sin, satan and 
death, are enemies in combination agaiiM man in his mortal 
state ; and the destmctiye power of satan, and death, is from sin. 
When man renounced his Creator and natural Lord, he was ju- 
dicially given up to satan as the executioner of vengeance, and 
to the power of death. Such is the order, rather the confusion 
in the world by sin.. The empire of satan and death is built on 
the mine of our innocence. 

Now the Son of God canie from his throne in heaven to deli- 
ver us : and whereas there are two ways of obtainii^ freedom 
from captivity, either by ransom, or by power and rescue, in both 
respects our deliveranoe from bondage to these capital enemies, 
is ascribed to. the death of Christ. 

It is called our ransom, and that in its strict notion has a le- 
spect to captivity : ^^ There is one God, and one Mediator be- 
tween God and man, the man Christ Jesus ; who gave himself a 
ransoiQ for all." 1 Tim. 2. 6. His life was the full price of 
our liberty and salvation. God does not pardon sin, and release 
from punishment by a pure absolute act of his will and authority^ 
as a creditor forgives a debtor ; but in such a way as to preserve 
the rights of justice inviolate. Therefore when man was devoted 
to death, our Redeemer exchanged conditi<ms with him, and 
offered <'up his precious blood," 1 Pet. 1. 18, as our ransom 
to God, in the quality of the king and judge of all. Such vras 
the dignity of his person, that the entire irorld, the heavens and 

C8AF. HI. ON DKATH. 257 

the earthy wHft all their inhabitants, are of less value to him, 
than the basest dross to refined gold. Such was the greatness of 
his sufferings^ Phil. 2. 8. in which the highest degree of obedi- 
encey and the lowest degree of humility were conspicuous, as to 
bo a valuable compensialxon, ta obtain << eternal redemption 
for us," 

Now when God the Supreme Judge is satisfied, satan forfeits 
the right he had to torment us, and is divested of his dominion 
over our wills ; which though justly permitted, was an usurpa* 
tion upon God's right in man that can never be extinguished. It 
is said by the apostle,^ that our Saviour '^ blotting out llie hand- 
writing of ordinances that was agranst us, which was contrary 
to us, took it out of the way, nailing it ta his cross y** Col. 2. 
He abolished the use of the ceremonial law, that was an evi- 
dence and inditement of their guHt who performed it, and the 
curse of the moral law : it follows, ^' and having spoiled princi- 
palities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing 
over them in it.*' Our Satiour died victoriously; the* tree of in* 
famy on which he suffered, was the trophy of his conquest. His 
death disarmed satan of his weapons, whereby he subdued us> 
sin, the law, and death i for though his actual triumph was in 
his resurrection and ascension to glory, yet it is justly ascribed to 
his death ; for that meritoriously opened the grave at hie resur- 
rection, and heaven at his ascettsion. 

And here by the way it is most worthy of observation, that 
OUT deliverance from out spiritual and most deadly enemiee is 
equally righteous, as admirable and glorious : for our suffering 
Saviour appeased the wrath of God, and broke the powers of 
darkness. ^' The wisdom and love of God had their designs in 
bis death, as well as the malice and rage of satan ; as lines,- that 
are opposite in the cirenmference, meet in the centre." 

And as from the tyranny of satan, so the death of our Re- 
deemer is our redemption firom death, as to the euise and final 
dominion of it ; nay, has made it a blessed advantage to us. 

1. The curse is removed. Death considered as the wages of 
sin, is all sting and poison, the coasequent of the spiritual death, 
and the introduction to eternal death. ^^ The sting of death is 
sin, and the strength of sin is the law.'' 1 Cor. 15. Death 
hath its wounding power from sin, and sin from the law, that 
forbids it, that discovers its nature, and enhances the measure of 

vol. iiu R 


its guilt, and denounces condemnation for it. Now our Saviour 
having in our stead subjected himself to death, the penalty of the 
law for sin, ^^ There is no condemnation to those that are in 
Christ Jesus. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the 
law, being made a curse for us." Gal. 3. Death inflicted on 
the saints, has not that relation to the guilt oi sin, as to be pro- 
perly satisfaction to revenging justice. There are no petty pay- 
ments to be made by our sufferings after his complete satisfac- 
tion to God. *^ The Lord laid on him the iniquities of us all.^ 
Isa. 53. 

It is iudeed still a declaration of God's holy displeasure against 
sin, for that originally opened the way of its coming into the 
world ; and sometimes by the immatority or manner of it, it is 
a chastisement upon good men for sin ; that is, to make them 
renew their repentance, and mortify their carnal affections that 
fasten them to the world. For though after thf last act of ex- 
piration there is no place for repentance ; yet in the approaches 
of death, the soul is strongly excited by the call of God to re- 
view its .state, and make solemn preparations to *^be found of 
him in peace.'* But it is not in a strict sense the malediction 
anfl vengeance of the law executed upon them. The serpent is 
turned into a rod of correction in the hands of our heavenly Fa- 
ther for their good. Heb. 12. As the apostle, speaking of 
some that for their profaning the Lord's table, were fallen asleep, 
adds, '^ that when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, 
that we may not be condemned with the world." 1 Cor. 10. 
33. ^^A believer shall not be hurt of the second death.'' 
Rev. 2. 

From hence it is, that in the book of life, the scriptures, the 
death of the saints is called a sleep. Saint Paul ai^ues, ^' If we 
believed that Jesus died and rose again ; even so them also that 
aleep in Jesus, will God bring with him." 1 Thess. 4. 14. It 
is observable how the apostk varies the expression, '^ Jesus died, 
and the saints sleep in him :" for he sustained death with all its 
terrors, that it might be a calm sleep to his people. * They 

« AoDon loDge gloriosiat fuit, qBRndoqoideiii totan pro nobis agcbatsr, 
ut non motlo passio coporig, sed etiam cordis affectio pro oobit faceret? . £t 
quos tiviAcabat mori, nibilominus& trepidatio robustos, 4c mcestitai lcto% & 
tapditin alacref, & turbatlo quiet os faceret, Sc desolatio coosolatos ? Btnu 
8erm. \, dt S* Andr, 

coap. iir. OK Math. 259* 

enjoy as perfect a rest in the beds of dust, as ever in the softest 
down. Stephen in the midst of a shower of stones fell asleep. 
Believers die in peace. ** The righteous is taken from the evil 
to come 5 he enters into peace." Isa. 57. 1, 2. Being recon- 
ciled to God through the blood of Christ, they are not terrified 
at his cally but with sweet tranquillity resign their souls unto 
him. ^< Lord, now let thy servant depart in peace, for my eyes 
have seen thy alblvation.'' Luke 2. There is a vast difference 
in God's account, between the death of the righteous and the 
wicked. As the tabernacle in the wilderness was taken down with 
care upon their change of station, and delivered to the Levites* 
charge, in order to the raising of it again with honour ; but the 
house incurably infected with the leprosy, was plucked down 
with violence, and thrown into an unclean place with execration : 
thus '^ the death of the saints is precious in the sight of the 
Lord,'' their bodies are kept in the bosom of the earth, to be 
raised in glory ; and the death of the wicked is accursed. In 
short, as the wood that Moses cast into the waters of Marah, by 
a miraculous virtue sweetened them : so the cross of Christ has 
taken away the malignity and bitterness of death. 

2. Death is a blessed advantage, and enriching gain to a be* 
liever : it brings him to the possession of that good that incom* 
parably exceeds the evil that remains in it. For the death of a 
saint is not total ; but as in the ceremony of purification from 
leprosy, one bird was killed, and the other let fly in the open air, 
the mysterious shadow of the lepers being restored to a state of 
liberty : thus '* when the body dies and returns to the earth, the 
spirit returns to God, the Father of spirits, and fountain of life.'' 
Our Saviour told the Jews, <' I am the living bread that came 
down from heaven : if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for 
ever ; and the bread that I will give is my flesh, that I will give 
for the life of the world." John 6. 48. The heavenly divine 
life, that is communicated by the Spirit of Christ to believers, 
remains entire when the sensitive life is lost. The natural order 
18, ^' There is a time to be bom, and a time to die :" the su- 
pernatural is, there is a time to die, and a time to be born. 
The death of a saint is a * new birth; the piuns of the dying 

* Dies ifte qaem tn tanqaam tupremnm reform idas, »tcrni natal is ett 
£eiier. \ 

R 2 


body are as throws^ whereby the ripened soul is delivered into the 
'* land of the living." The happiness of a saint after deaths 
more particularly will appear by considering ; 

3. The freedom he obtains from all afflicting evils that are 
numberless here, and from sin the worst in its nature, and the 
cause of all the rest. The present world is a labyrinth of tboms, 
in every state, we meet with something to vex us. You may as 
well count the waves of the sea when enraged by a tempest, as 
the troubles to which in this mortal open state we are exposed. 
^^ Man that is bom of a woman is of few days, and full of trou- 
ble/' Job 14. I. A short life, and many miseries, O our un- 
happy capacity ! the body is liable to as many diseases, * as there 
are members ; and the soul to as many perplexities as pasakms* 
How often are the scenes and habits changed in the time of one 
man ? He that lives in pleasures, must act the mourner's part, 
^' OuF sweetest comforts have hidden stings i" and whatever b 
most pleasing, may occasion bitter grief« And usually holy men 
have a greater portion of afflictions here : sometimes by the ma- 
lignity and violence of tlie wicked ; as under the kw, the lamb 
and the dove were sacrifices, the emblems of innocence, and pu- 
ity, and meekness^ whilst the vulture and the lion, the greedy 
devourers escaped. The apostle declares of the elect, ** They 
are predestinated to be conformed to the image of God's Son,'* 
who traced out the way to heaven in his own blood, and by the 
cross ascended to the tlirone. Sometimes more immediately di- 
vine providence afflicts them to preserve their spirits from the 
tainted pleasures of the world, and for other holy ends : but there 
'* is a rest for the people of God in heaven." Besides, there are 
relics of sin in the best of the saints here. Indeed sin is deposed 
from sovereignty and rule ; the imperious lusts are crucified, but 
not quite expired. As those that were nailed to the cross in 
their hands and feet, the parts least vital and most sensible, died 
a painful and lingering death. ^^ Still the flesh lusts ogainst the 
spirit, and the spirit against the flesh." As there is a complex- 
ion of humours in human bodies, always jarring when they are 
in the soundest health ; and where there is not this active con- 
trariety, either the body is without a soul, a mere carcass, or a 
glorified body in heaven : so where there is not this internal 

* Tempoi angustatar ad vitam, dilatatur ad miseriam. 

CfiAP. III. 4)N BCATH. 261 

combat between g»ace and sin, either the man is WboHy ♦ car- 
nal, '^ dead in sins and trespasses ;'/ or wholly spiritual, reigning 
in heaven. And there is nothing more works on the tender af- 
fections of a saint, than to find in himself what is displeasing to 
God ; that still he is under a sad necessity of sinning. What is 
said coneeming an old man wasted and decayed in his drooping 
years, that **the grasshopper is a burden to him,'* is true of the 
new man in a christian 5 the sins that are counted light in the 
valuation of the world, are a heavy weight to him. Vain 
thoughts, idle ^ords, irregular passions, unprofitable actions are 
motives of heart-breaking sorrow. Now death is to a believer 
an universal remedy against all the evils of this life : it frees him 
4rom all injuries and sufferings, and from sin in all its degrees, 
from all inclinations and temptations to it. <' He that is dead, 
ceaseth from sin." Death is the passage firom this wilderness to 
the true Canaan, the rest above, that flows with better miljt and 
honey, with innocence and happiness for ever. There is nothing 
can disturb the peace, or corrupt the purity of the blessed. 

4. Besides the privative advantage, the freedom from all the 
effects of God's displeasure, and the resentments of it, there is 
the highest positive good obtained by death; **The spirits of 
just men are made perfect in heaven." The soul is the giory of 
man, and grace is the glory of the soul, and bodi are then in 
their exaltation. All the faculties of the soul are raised to the 
highest degrees of natural and divine perfection. In this life 
grace renews the faculties, but does not elevate them to their 
highest pitch : it does not make a mean understanding pregnant, 
nor a frail memory strong, nor a slow tongue eloquent, but sane* 
tifies them as they are. But when the soul is released from this 
dark body of earth, the understanding is clear and quick, the 
memory firm, the will and- affections ardent and vigorous. And 
they are enriched with divine light and love, and power, that 
makes them fit for the most noble and heavenly operations. 
The lineaments of God's image on the soul are first drawn here, 
but then it receives his last hand. All the celestial colours are 

* Omoes bomlDM ant tant penltat caro & nihil habent iplrUns^ ti tont in* 
Adelei sine regeneratlooe. Ant sunt tnntum iplrilut sfne came, ii sant sane- 
U f qoi jam io c4b1o sterna fruuntur pace sine pngna. Aut lant partim spi- 
ritqi, partim caro« 11 sunt omnes renati per spirltum sanctum in Christo, 
J9ig% c«al. JuL 



added, to give the utmost life and lustre to it. Here we are ad- 
vancingy but by death we arrive at perfection. 

We shall in heaven be joined to the assembly of saints and 
angels, our best friends. Love is the law of that kingdom, and 
f>erfectly obeyed there. Now how charming is the conversation 
of one that is wise and holy, especially if the sweetness of affa- 
bility bt: in his temper ? How pleasantly does time slide away 
in the company of our beloved friends ? We are not sensible of 
4t8 flight. But what dear satisfaction is it to be united to that 
chosen consecrated society above, ^'who love one another as 
themselves ?" Though the angels and saints have different de- 
crees of glory, yet every one is perfectly happy and pleased. As 
^he struigs c^ an instrument differ in the size and sound : some 
are sharp and iiigh, some grave and deep, others a mean ; and 
tfrom that variety results the harmony of music, so that if every 
string had judgment and election, it would choose to be what it 
is : so from the different degrees of glory in heaven, the most ad- 
mirable and equal order of the divine wkdom appears^ that sa- 
tisfies every one. 

We shall be in the glorious presence of God and Christ, 
^* where is fulness of joy, and infinite pleasures for ever." It is 
said of Abraham, " he rejoiced to see the day of Christ," two 
thousand years before his coming. When by faith he saw the 
incarnation of the Son of God, in order to the redemption of 
men, it put him into an ecstacy. Yet then our Saviour was 
bom to sorrows and miseries. But how ravishing is the sight of 
our Redeemer, ** set down on the right hand of the majesty on 
high, having purged our sins by himself," and accomplished our 
salvation? Now we are "absent from God," yet in beUeving 
his infallible promise, we ^^ rejoice with a joy unspeakable and 
glorious :" but how much more joyful is the fruition of them ? 
Here the divine goodness is derived to us through secondary 
means, that weaken its efficacy ; but in heaven the consolations 
of the Creator are most purely dispen^d, and his immediate ex- 
cellencies are made known. 

This blessedness exceeds all our thoughts and explicit desires, 
and requires the eloquence and experienee of an angel to set it 
forth. The bright sum of it is this, we shall see God in his glo- 
ry, " face to face," I Cor, 13. in the 'most perfect manner : th^ 
sight of his glory shall transform us into his likeness ; " we shall 


be like him, for we shall see him as he is.'" I John 3. This 
shall produce in us the most pure and ardent love ; and love shall 
be attended with inexpressible joy, and that with the highest 
praises of the blessed God, whose influxive presence is the hea- 
ven of heavens. 

And that which crowns all is, that the life above is eternal. 
This satisfies all our desires, and excludes all our fears : for un- 
<ihangeableness is an inseparable attribute of perfect felicity. 
The blessed are in full communion with God, ^^ the fountain of 
life, and Christ the Prince of life.'' ^^ Because I live/' saith our 
Saviour, ** ye shall live also." What can interrupt, much less 
put an end to the happiness of the saints ? The love of God is 
immutably fixed upon them, and their love upon him. Here 
thf ir love is subject to decays and gradual alienations ; as the 
needle in the tsompass, though it always has a tendency to the 
north pole, yet sometimes it declines a^d has its variations. But 
in heaven the love of the saints is directly and constantly set up- 
on God. The light of his countenance governs all their aflec- 
iions. It is as impossible to divert their desires from him, as to 
cause one that is inflamed nith thirst, to leave a clear flowing 
spring for a noisome puddle. In short, heaven is filled with 
eternal hallelujahs : for there is no appearance of sin, no shadow 
of death- there : all miseries are vanished, and all that is desirable 
is possessed by the saints: the circle of their employitient is to 
enjoy and praise the divine goodness for ever. 

Now is not the blessed exchange a christian makes of the 
present life, for that which is Infinitely better, sufficient to make 
death not fearful, nay desirable t6 him ? The regular well- 
grounded hope of this will compose the thoughts in the nearest 
approach and apprehension of death : no other principles or re- 
solutions are aUe to vanquish the teltors of our last enemy. And 
this happiness was purchased for us by the everlasting treasure of 
our Saviour's blood* The satisfaction of his sufferings was me<*- 
ritorious^ as the merit of his active obedience was satisfying. 

R 4 

264 lOM f^UkTH* CMAP. IV. 


The reason why beVievers die» aod ^re io the state of death for a tiae, not* 
withstandinf; the sting of death is taken away. Sin is abolished by death. 
Their ipraces are eminently exercised in the encounter with the last enemy. 
The natural body is nat capable of the celestial life. The resurrection of 
the saints is delayed till the cooiipg of Christ. The resurrecHop proved 
from revelation; aod (he possibility of it by reason. How Ibe res.urrpc* 
tion of Christ Is an assurance of the happy resurrection of ttie saipts. 

j|. Shall now resolve an interesting question ; hew comes k to 
pass, since believers are freed from the sting of deaths that they 
die^ and remain in the state of death for a time ? 

For this there are several reasona. 

L By this means all the sinful frailties that cleave to the 
saints in this life, are abolishjed^ *^ The body is dead because of 
sin ;" Bom. 8. And what is ncior^ becoming the wise and holy 
providence of God, than that as by sin «ian. was at ficst made 
subject to deatt), so by death sia dies entinely fof eyer. Thus, 
ias in Saipson A riddle, out of the devoorer comes jneat ; and 
our worst enemy is conquered by bis own weapons. 

2. Death is continued to the saints, for the jOM^re eminent 
exercise and illustration of their graces, for the glory of God^ 
and in order to their future reward. * Faith a|id love, and 
patience, are declared in their most poweirAil .operations in oiir 
encounter with death. If every saint were visibly §1^1 ^itirely 
translated tq heaven, after a short course of /holy obedienee; if 
the wicked did visibly drop dow9 quick into hell, faith wouU 
be resigned to sight here. This would confound the militant 
state of the phurpb with the triumphattU Therefore now *^ dftih 

• Poterat aatem Chrlstts etlam boc donsre efed^atibas, at oec Istins ex- 
perireotur corporis mortem : sed si hoc f«cisset carni qumdam foellcitas ad- 
deretur, minueretur fidei fortitudo. Quid enim magnum erat ▼ivendo eos 
non mori qui crederent se non morituros? O^Anto est migus quaoio fortius 
quanto laudabilius ita credere, at se speret moritarat sine fine vlctnrum? 
jiug. depecc Mort. Lik. ۥ 


happens to the good as well as to the wicked/' In the next 
state they shall be separated by a Yast gulph^ an4 an amazing 
difference. Now faith, whatever the kind of death be that a 
christian suffers, seesthrough the thickest clouds of disgrace and 
misery, the glorious issue. As the illustrious confessor, who was 
crucified with our Saviour, proclaimed his eternal kingdom in 
the midst of insulting infidels. And our love to God then ap- 
pears in its radiancy and vigour, when we are ready for the tes- 
timony of his truth, and advancing his glory, to suffer a violent 
death : or when it comes in a gentler manner, for it is even then 
terrible to nature, we are willingly subject to dissolution, that 
we maybe united to God in heaven. And our patience has 
never its perfect work, and is truly victorious, till this last enemy 
be subdued. Death is the seal of our constancy and perseve* 
ranee. Now the righteous Rewarder will crown none but those 
^' that strive lawfiiUy,'' and are complete conquerors. * And 
bow wise and sweet is the economy of the divine providence in 
this, that the frailty of our nature should afford us a means of 
giofifynig God, and of entitling otdrselves by his most gracious 
promisies to a Messed reward ? 

3. Our Saviour by his iifvaluAie obedience and bufferings, 
has procured for believers a celestial divine life, of which the 
natural body is not capable. The apostle s«th, ^^ flesh and 
blood cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven.'' - The exigen* 
cies and deeays of the sensitive nature require a continual relief 
by food and sleep and other material suppUes : but the life above 
is wholly spiritusd, and equal to that of the angels. Therefore 
till this earthly animal body be reformed and purified, it is not 
capable of the glory reserved in heaven. This is so absolutely 
requisite, that those believers, who are found alive at the last 
day, AM << in the twinkling of an eye be changed," that they 
may be qualified for it. Now herein the wisdom of God is won- 
derful, that death, which by the covenant of works was the de- 
served penalty of sm, by the covenant of grace should be the 
iastrument of iaamottality : that as Joseph by a surprising circuit 
was brought from the prison to the principality ; so a believer by- 
the gnwe ascends to heaven. This the apostle, in his- divine 

• Exerciila ooMs sunt son fooera, dant aoimo fortitadinis gloriaoi ; con* 
■pis v»riM praBfarsDt ad eoronain, Cypr. de mortoU 


disputation against infidels, proves in a most convificing manner; 
'^ thou fool, that which thou aowest, is not quickened except it 
die." As the rotting of the oom in the earth is necessary to the 
reviving and springing of it up : so we must die, and the image 
of the earthly Adam be abolished, that we may be transformed 
into the image of the Heavenly One. 

And to the other part of the question, why the saints remain 
in the state of death for a time ? there is a clear answer. The 
resurrection of the saints is delayed till Christ's coming to judg- 
ment, partly for the glory of his appearance : for what an ad« 
mirable sight will it be, that the saints of ail ages shalh at once 
arise glorified and immortalized, to attend upon oar Saviour in 
the last act of his regal ofiice, and then to make a triumphant 
entry with him into heaven ? And partly, that the . established 
mder of providence may not be disturbed : for the changing of 
our nature into glory, in a sudden and inexplicable manner, can- 
not be without miraculous power; and if every believer presently 
afler death, were in his glorified body translated to heaven, the 
world would be always filled with miracles, v/tach were to cease 
after the sufficient confirmation of the gospel by them* But 
how long soever the interval be to the resurrection, it. shall be 
with *' them that sleep in Jesus/' as it is with those that awake 
out of a quiet natural sleep, to whom the longest night seems bat 
as a moment : so when the saints first awake firom death, in the 
great morning of the world, a thousand years will seem no more 
to them than to God himself, <^ but as one day." 

I now con>e to prove, that our Saviour will abolish the domi- 
nion of death over the saints. 

Whilst the bodies of the saints renoain in the grave, they seem 
to be absolutely under the povrer of death. The world ia a Gol- 
gotha, filled with the monuments of its victories. And it may be 
said to this our last enemy, in the words of the prophet to the 
bldody king, '^ hast thou killed, and taken possession ?*' but we 
are assured by an infallible word, that the power of death shall 
be abolished, and the bodies of the saints be revived incorruptible 
and immortal. 

The resurrection is a terra incognUa to the wisest* heathens; 
a doctrine peculiar to the gospel : some glimmerings they had of 
the soul's immortality, without which all virtue had been qx- 
tiuguished in the world, but no conjecture of the reviving of the 


body. But reamm asmsts faith in this point, both as to the ^ill 
of God, and his power for the perfonning it. I will gl^mee upon 
the natural reasons that induce the considering mind to receive 
this doctrine, and more largely show how *< the resurrection of 
the just is assured'' by our Redeemer. 

The divine laws are the rule of duty to the entire man, and 
not to the soul only : and they are obeyed or violated by the soul 
^nd body in conjunction. Therefore there must be a resurrec- 
tion of the body, that the entire person may be capable of re« 
compences in judgment. The soul designs, the body executes ; 
the senses are the open ports to admit temptations. Carnal 
affections deprave the soul, corrupt the mind, and mislead it^ 
The love of sin is founded in bonojucundOf in sensible pleasures: 
*^ and the members are the servants of iniquity/' The heart is 
the fountain of profaneness, and the tongue expresses it. And 
the body is obsequious to the holy soul in doing Or suffering for 
God ; and denies its sensual appetites and satisfa^ctions in com- 
pliance with reason and grace. The '^ members are the instru- 
ments of righteousness." It follows then there will be an uni- 
versal resurrection, that tbie rewarding goodness of God may 
appear in making the bodies of bis servants gloriously h^ppy with 
their souls, and their souls cdmpletely happy in union with their 
hodies, to which they have a natural inclination, and his re- 
venging justice be manifest in punishing the bodies of the widied 
with eternal torments answerable to their guilt. 

And of the possibility of the resunection, the circular and 
continual production of things in the world, is a clear demon-" 
atration of the power of God for thait effect. There is a pregnant 
instance that our Saviour and the apostle made use of as an 
image of the resurrection: a grasn cf corn sowed in the earth, 
corrupts and dies, and after springs up entire ; its death is a 
disposition to life. The eeaays of God's power in the works of 
returning nature, iowers and fruits in their season, instniet as 
how easily he can make those that are in the dust to awake to 
life« If the art of man, whoae power and skill are -very narrow 
and limited, can refine gold and silver to such a lustre,- as if 
their matter weie not * eaith digged out of the mines : if from 
black cinders it can form crystal glasses so clear and shining^ 

• ttomeo terne in igoi velSqnit. Tniuh 


how much more can omnipotency recompact our dust, and re- 
animate it with a glorious Hie ? Death that dissolves our vital 
frame does not abolish the matter of our bodies : and though it 
is corrupted and changed by a thousand accidents, yet it is un- 
perishing ; and under whatsoever coiours and figures it appeaiB^ 
God perfectly discerns, and will separate it for its proper use. 

More particularly, I will show how the resurrection of Christ 
is an assurance of the resurrection of believers to glory. A» our 
surety he was under the arrest of death ; it becoming the holy 
majesty of God, and conducing to the ends of his government, 
not to derogate from the dignity of his law, but to lay the penalty 
upon his Son, who interposed for us. Now having finished the 
work of our redemption by his sufferings, his resurrection was 
the just consequent of his passion. And it is observable that his 
resurrection, though one entire act, is ascribed as to himself, so 
to lu8 Father, Rom. I. 1 1. by whose consent and concurrence he 
rose again. Therefore it is said, ^^ whom God raised up, having 
loosed the pains of death, since it was impossible he should be 
hoMen by it.'' Acts 2. 24. It was naturally impossible upon the 
account of the divine power inherent in his person, and legally 
impossible, because divine justice required that he should be 
raised to life ; partly to vindicate his innocence, for he was re* 
puted, and suffered as a malefactor, and principally because he 
had fiilly satbfied God. Accordingly the apostle declares, '< he 
died for our sins, and rose again for our justification/' Rom. 4. 
Havmg paid our debt, he was released firom the grave, and the 
dtsehaige was most solemnly published to the world. It is there- 
fere said, << the God of peace raised him firom the dead :'' Heb. 
18. the act is most congruously ascribed unto God invested with 
that title, because his power was exerted in that glorious work, 
after he was << reoondled by the blood of the covenant.'' Briefly, 
Our Saviour's victory over death was obtained by dying, his 
triumph by rising again. He foiled our common enemy in his 
own territories the grave. His death was a counterpoison to 
death itself; as a bruised scorpion is a * noble antidote against 
its venom. 

Indeed his death is incomparably a greater wonder than his 
reflurrection. For it is apparently more difficult that the Son of 

* Qni iJbi ipse puleherrimam medieamentam. Cehus, 

CHAP, IV. ON 1>EATH. 26d 

God, who origiuUiy possesses immortality, should die, than that 
the human body united to him, should be raised to a glorious 
life. It is more conceivable that God should communicate to the 
human nature some of his divine perfections, impassibility, and 
immortality, than that he should ^bmit to our lowest infirmities^ 
sufferings^ and .death. 

Now the resurrection of Christ is the argument and claim of 
our happy resurrection. For God chose and appointed him to 
be the example and principle from whom all divine blessings 
should be derived to us. Accordmgly he tells his disciples in a 
forecited scripture, ^^ because I live, ye shall live also.'' Our 
nature was raised in his person, and in our nature all believets : 
therefore he is called <^ the firstfruits of them that sleep :" be- 
cause as the firstfruits were a pledge and assurance of the follow-^ 
ing harvest ; and as from the condition of the firstfruits being 
offered ta God, the whole harvest was entitled to a consecration ; 
so our Saviour's resurrection to the life of glory is the earnest 
and assurance of ours. He is is catted " the first*bom among 
the dead," and owns, the race of departed believers as his bre- 
thren, who shall be restored to life acciMrding to his pattern. 
He is ^' the head," believers ^' are his members," and therefore 
shall have communion with him in hb life. The effect is so in- 
fallible, that now they are said <^ to be raised up together, and 
made to sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." Ephes. 2. 6. 
If hb victory over our enemies had been imperfect, and he. had 
saved himself with diflicuky and hazard, ^^ as it were by fiiie,'* 
in the i^ostle's expression, our redemption had not been accom* 
plished: but his passion was triumphant; and is it conceivable 
that he should leave the saints, hia own by so many dear titl^, 
under the power of death ? If Moses, the deliverer ot Israel 
from the tyranny of Pharaoh, Exod. 10. 26. would not suffer 
any thing of theirs, ^^ not an hoof' to remain in the house of 
bondage ) will our great Redemner be less perfect in his work ? 
Shall our last enemy always detain his spoils, our bodies, in tint 
grave ? This would reflect upcm his love and power. It i» re- 
corded, to confirm our hopes, how early his power was displayed 
in forcing the grave to release its chained captives : ^ and many 
bodies of saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves 
after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared 
unto many.".. Matt. 27. &2, 53. What ^better earnest can we 


have^ that the strength of death is broken ? From what he has 
done to what he is able to do, the consequence is clear. The 
apostle tells us, '^ he will raise our vile bodies, and change them 
like unto his glorious body, by that power whereby he is able to 
subdue all things to himself." Phil. 3. 21. Our redemption 
^' will then be complete/' Rom. 8. 23. and all the bitterness of 
death past. The redemption of the soul is accomplished from 
sin and misery immediately after death : but the redemption of 
the body is the last in order, and reserved to crown our felicitv 
at the great day. Then ^' death shall be swallowed up in vic- 
tory," 1 Cor. 15. abolished for ever. 

And O the joyful reunion of those dear relatives after such a 
divorce ! when the body that was so long detained in the loath- 
some grave, 1 Cor. 15. shall be reformed with all glorious per- 
fections, and be a fit instrument for the soul, and partaker with 
it in consummate blessedness and immortality. It is said, that 
" those that wear rich clothing are in kings' houses :" but what 
are all the robes of costly folly wherein earthly courtiers appear, 
to the brightness and beauty of the spiritual body wherewith the 
saints shall be clothed, to qualify them for the presence of the 
King of kings, and to be in his house for ever? But O the 
miserable condition of the wicked in that day! Death now 
breaks their bodies and soub into an irreconcileabie enmity, and 
how sad will their conjunction be! The soul will accuse the 
body to have been sin's solicitor, continually tempting to sensu- 
dities : and the body will upbraid more than ever it allured the 
soul, for its wicked compliance : then the sinner shall be an en- 
tire sacrifice burning, but never consumed. Mark 9. Now from 
the assurance of a blessed resurrection by Christ, the foremen- 
tkned fear of death is conquered in believers. If the doctrine of 
the * transmigration of souls into bodies (the invention of Py- 
thagoras) inspired his disciples with that fiery vigour, as to en- 
counter the most present and apparent dangers, being feariess to 
part with the life that should be restored ; how much more should 
a christian with a hdy confidence receive death, knowing that 

* PoeUcet errore tso qsoi ille CiMontm 
Maximal, baud urge! leti metos, iode roendl 
Id ferrum mens prona Tiris, aoiraaeq; capaccs 
Mortis, & ignavum rediturs parcere vita. 


the life of his body shall not be finally lost^ but renewed in a 
blessed eternity ? 


The qaal locations of persons considered, that have a ri^hi to this privilege. 
Union with Christ the fountaio of cteraat life Is absolniely requisite. The 
vital bond of (hat anion is the sanctifying Spirit, The eminent operations 
of the Spirit considered, as the Spirit of truth, and of holiness, and the 
Comforter. He lllnininates the nndentandlng to see the reality and ex- 
cellency of stiperDatural tbin^. He inspires the ardent love of God. Di- 
vine love is the principle of universal holiness. The Spirit commnnicates 
a divine power to do the will of God. 

IV. X HE fourth general head to be considered, is, the persons 
that have an interest in this blessed privilege. 

This inquiry is of infinite moment, both for the awakening of 
the secure, who vainly presume upon their interest in the salva- 
tion of the gospel, and for the confirming and encouraging the 
saints. And We have an infallible rule of trial declared by St. 
John : '^ he that hath the Son, hath life; and he that hath not 
the Son, hath not life." 1 John 5. 12. All the excellent and 
comfortable benefits procured by our Saviour are communicated 
onty to tliose who are united to him. Particularly with respect 
to the present subject : justification, that great blessing of the 
gospel, the complete pardon of sins, that disarms death of its 
sting, is not common to all that are christians in title, but is a 
privilege with a limitation ; '^ there is no condemnation to those 
that are in Christ Jesus,** Rom, 8. 1. vitally as their head, from 
whom are derived spiritual influences, and judicially as their ad- 
vocate in judgment ; and such are described by this infallible 
character, *^ wfy) walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit/' 
The blessedness after death that is assured by a voice from hea- 

272 OK BBATir. CHAP. T^ 

▼eti) 18 with tikis precise restriction exclusive of all others, 
<^ blessed are the dead that die in the Lord ; they rest from their 
labours, and their wOTks follow them." Rev. 14. 13. The glo- 
rious resurrection at the last day^ when the bodies of the saint' 
that now rest in hope, shall be incorruptible and immortal, is 
the consequence of union with him. Thus the apostle declares; 
*^ as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive." 1 
Cor. 15. 22. As all that were naturally in and from Adam, the 
corrupt fountain of mankind^ are under the sentence of death; 
so all that are in Christ, the head of the regenerate, shall par- 
take of his blessed life. Others shall be raised by his power, as 
their Judge, but not as their head : raised to be more miserable 
than death can make them, not be transformed into his glorious 
resemblance ; made capable of suffering an ever-dying death, 
not revived to eternal life. 

Now the bond of our union to Christ, is the Holy Spirit de- 
rived from him, as the head of the church, and is the inward 
powerful and lasting principle of holiness, and new obedience in 
believers. ^^ He that is joined to the Lord, is one Spirit :" 1 
Cor. 6. 17. that is, by the Spirit of holiness has a real partici- 
pation of his life, is both '^ quickened and united to him." John 
6.36. When the prophet Elisha by the outward applying (he 
parts of his body to the dead child, 2 King 4. 34. inspired life 
into him, there was no real union between them : but Christ is 
by his Spirit so intimately united to believers, ^^ that he lives in 
them"^ and '^ they in him," Gal. 2* 20. The sanctifying Spirit 
renews the directing and commanding faculties, the fountains of 
moral actions ; enlightens the understanding with saving know- 
ledge, rectifies the obliquity of the will, purifies the affections, 
and reforms the life } so that " the same mind" is in christians 
ft as was in Christ ; and as his conversation was," such *^ is theirs 
in the world." This divine change is not wrought by natural 
reason, though assisted by the most powerful arguments. The 
breath of a man may as easily dispel a mist, or thaw a frost, as> 
human directions and motives to virtue can renew the mind and 
heart, and produce a holy frame of soul towards God. Renewed 
christians are said to '^ be in the Spirit," illuminated, inclined 
^d enabled by the Spirit to do God's will; and the Spirit of 
God to dwell in them, by his peculiar and eminent operations. 
" They live in the Spirit, and walk in the Spirit," An angel 

CHAT. V. ON MAVfi. 273 

nay assume a body, and act by it : btit'the haman soul enlivens 
it, and performs sensible operations by it. And such a principle 
is the Holy Spirit to the soul, gives it spiritual life, activity and 
power for goad wotIlm. By what application of the Spirit's 
power this is produced is mysterious and inexpHeable ; but as the 
apostle speaks of his rapture into the third heavens, that he 
knew it was real, and heard '^ unutterable ththgs /' though how 
it was performed, ** whether in the boily, or out of the body,^' 
he coukl not tell : thus when a natural man, the current of 
whose thoughts and affections was to the things of this world, 
becomes spiritual, when the' carnal appetite is subdued, and 
sanctified reason has the throne, when be feels such strong and 
sweet impnlsives to holiness as engage the will ; when the stream 
of his desires ascend to the things above, and his life becomes 
hdy and heavenly, he feeb and knows this wonderful change, 
though the manner how it was wrought he cannot telh I will 
show more folly this sanctifying work of the Spirit, that we may 
the better understand our state. 

The Spirit of God is denominated by various titles, *^ the Spirit 
of truth, the Spirit of holiness, the Comforte;,'' John 15. 26. 
and represented by various types, by ** an ointment that clarifies 
the eye to see things aright,'' by '* cleansing refreshing water,'' 
by <^ purifying refining fire," Rom. 1. 4. correspondent to. his 
sacred operations in the soul. 

As the Spirit of truth, he illuminates the understanding to see 
the reason and excellency of supernatural and heavenly things^ 
of the great mysteries of godliness, of eternal glorjf; so that a 
christian in his most deliberate, solemn and composed thoughts, 
ia his exactest valuation infinitely prefers them before the gaudy 
vanities of this transient world. When the eyes of the mind are 
truly enlightened, present things appear, or rather disappear, as 

As the Spirit of holiness, he renews the will and affections, 
inspires the soul with divine and unutterable desires after the fa- 
vour and grace of God, and communicatest spiritual power for the 
prosecuting and obtaining those desires. 

The Holy Spirit raises such a love to God, that habitually and 
strongly inclines the soul to obey his commands. 

This is the most clear and essential character of a christian, 
the speeial and most excellent property of a saint, upon which 

vol- III. s 

274 Otr OBATH. CEUF. V« 

all other holy <|Uiil(fic4tioD8 de|>end. As reason is the first aad 
chief exoellence of man, from whence his other perfections are 
derived, that distinguish him from the brutes, and give him a 
natural and regular pre-emineiice and dominion over them, so 
Ihat a i^an js most properly defined a reasonable creature : thus 
the love of God is the most divioe grace, the true form of holi- 
ness, the root from whence all other virtues spring and flourish, 
and most peculiarly distinguish a saint firom unregenerate men, 
however adorned and accomplished ; so that a saint is most pror 
perly defined to be a lover of G<xl. 

This is the principle of true holiness inherent in the soul, and 
shining in the conversation, that distinguishes the sincerity of a 
saint fit>m the art of hypocrisy, an affected appearance of religion 
for carnal sordid respects ; and from civil virtue, that restrains 
from what is ignominious and disgcaoefiil to our reputation, and 
makes obnoxious to penalties of the laws, and excites to praise- 
worthy actions, upon worldly motives; and from philosophical 
morality, that forbids vice as contrary to reason, and commends 
virtue as the chief ornament end perfection jof human nature, 
without a regard to please and glorify God. 

And divine Jove is the principle of universal hoKness. Love is 
called '^ the fulfilling of the law," as it is a comprehensive grace, 
and as it draws forth all the active powers of the soul to do 
God's will in an exact manner. Universal obedience is the ex* 
ercise of love in various instances. As the spouse in the Song of 
Solomon is -transforined in divers representations; sometimes as 
» sister, sometimes as a warrior, sometimes as the keeper of 
a idoeyard, but she always acted as a lover, and her chief busi- 
ness was to please her beloved. This allegorical description of 
the church, sigiiifies that when the soul is inflamed with the 
love of God, that affection will be active, and discover itself in 
all it does or suffers in the service of God. This will make a 
christian very desirous and diligent to please God in all things, 
and carefiil not to displease him in any thing ; for that is the 
inseparable effect of love. The felicity of the natural temper, 
and the force of education, may cause a loathing of some evils, 
and dispose to some good works, but with a reserved delight in 
other sins, and a secret exception against other duties. Servile 
fear is a partial principle, and causes an unequal respect to the 
divine precepts ; it restrains from sins of greater guilt, at which 

ohjlp* v» on bsath, 27J 

toQscience takts fire ; it urges to some duties, the neglect o( 
which causes disquiet; but the love of God causes the hatred of 
sia; aud thereCnre it is against all sin, not only to prevent th^ 
cxerdse of it, but to eradicate it out of the soul. All the fearful 
eousequenoes of sin do not render it so odious to a gracious 
spirit, as its ohh proper idea and iutrinsic evil, as it is contrary 
to tlie holy nature and law of God. Love unites the soul to 
God, and turns the thoughts continually to him : and the lively 
sense of his majesty and presence, who is so pure that he cannot 
behold iniquity, causes an aversi(Hi from all that is displeasing 
to his divine eyes. And from hence it is that a zealous lover of 
God is frequent and strict in reviewing his heart and ways ; and 
upon the discovery of sinful failings, renews his repentance^ 
which is the exercise of grief and love, and renews his purposes 
of more care and circumspection for the future. Love aspires to 
be like God in all possible degrees of purity ; for it inflames our 
desires after his favour, as that which is better thaa life, and all 
the sweetest enjoyments of it : and holiness is the powerful at* 
tractive of God's deligbtfiil love to us. 

Love is the principle of free, ingenuous, and joyfiil obedience* 
It waa our Saviour's meat and drink to do the will of his Father, 
For love is the fountaii; of pleasure, it moves the soul with elecf> 
tion and liberty, and makes every thbg grateful that proceeds 
from it. Therefore the apostle declares, ^^ that the law is not 
made for a righteous man ;" that is, as .it is enforced by terrible 
penalties, to constrain rebellious- sinners to obedience ; for love 
is an internal living law in the heart, and has an imperial power 
over his actions. And this also distinguishes the renovation of 
one sanctified by the Spirit from the imperfect change that is 
made in the unregenerate. They may stop the eruption of cor* 
rupt nature, but '^ are swine, that being washed, have an inch* 
nation to wallow in the mire :" they may by strong impressions 
of fear be urged to do many good things ; but in this they are 
like a bowl that is thrown with such violence, as controls the 
drawing of the bias, and makes it run contrary to it. But love 
inclines the soul to obey the holy motions of the Spirit with fii^ 
cility ; as the wheels in Ezekiel's vision " turned eveiy way with 
readiness as the Spirit moved them.'' 

And with holy love there is a spiritual power comiounicatedy 
thathoth the natural averseoess and impotence to what is good 

8 2 


nay be healed. By the virtue of the sanctifying Spirit, the aoiil 
that was dead, abeohitely unable to perform spiiitiud and anpert 
natural aets, ** is revived to a kind of omnipotence, it eao do aO 
things,*' required by the evangelical covenant, by the new law 
that is in the hands of our merciful Mediator for salvation. It 
is true, there are relics of sin in the best, and the flesh and 
apirit are repugnant principles warring against one another: but 
the renewed spirit will make no capitulation or composition with 
sin, but is so predominant, that sin is gradually subdued, and 
does not so freely and frequently break forth as it does from' the 
unrenewedi By the grace of the S|Mrit '< we are enabled te 
mortify the deeds c^ the body, to crueify the flesh with the af- 
fections and hists thereof;'* and to perform holy duUes with 
freedom, alacrity and zeai, in such a manner as is aeceptaUe to 
God. In short, saving grace is distinguished from that which is 
common to the unregenerate by its prevrieney and constancy. 
There may be a declination in the sunts tending to a downfai ; 
but <^ the seed of God,** that «ipematiural grace that ** remains 
in them,** wi^l by the power of the Half fipirit recover the an* 
premaqr* Others may be enlightened, «wd fed some good 
motions, and transient touches ; as Saul had ^s rapture among 
the prophets : but they are not truly, entirely, and peiaeveringiy 
converted to God ; they are not proof against the aUonmentt 
or terrors of the world. They make a iair profession till they 
are tried by temptations. Congealed drops of water appear like 
solid crystal, till the warm beams of the sun djssofaro them, and 
discover the hypocrisy <tf the crystal. False jewels may seem to 
have the lustre of diamonds, till they are broke by a &11, and 
discovered to be ^ass. Thus the riches, the honours and plea- 
sures of the flesh melt some, and temporal evils break the reso- 
hition of olliers, and make it erid^it they were not sincere 
converts. But where the Holy Spirit savmgly works, he is said 
^ to dwell :** he is not like a passenger, or a tenant at will, 
that neglects the house, and sufljers it to frdi into nmi, but as 
the proprietary and owner he keeps perpetual residenoe in true 
christians, and by his eontimial influence preserves them from 
final apostacy. 

Now from h^ice we may judge whether we have an interest ia 

* Christ amt his benefits. For the apostle cleariy tds us, << that 

if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he b none of Us.*" 


Rom. 8. 9. By tliis sacred signature we are appropriated to 
Christy and visibly distinguished from the world. For though 
the secret and pure influences of the Spirit in the soul are only 
known to the person that feels them^ yet his active inspirations 
are declarative of his presence and power in the outward conver- 
sation. As the wind that is of so thin and subtile a nature that, 
it is invisible lu itself, but we certainly know from what point it 
Mbws by the course and way that the ship makes : thus thb 
Spirit of God, who is compared to the wind, is discovered by an 
infifdlible indication, his fruits and effects i» a holy life. And 
those who have communion with Christ by hi» Spirit, have a 
share in his victories, and may with confidence meet the last 
enemy, death ; for we are assured, ^ if the Spirit of him that 
raised up Jesus from the dead, dwell in us, -he that raised up 
Christ' IVom the dead shall also quicken out mortal bodies, by the 
Spirit that dwelleth in us/* Rom. 8. 11. 

A preparative conformity to Christ in grace, will be followed 
with a consummate in glory. But those who never felt the sanc- 
tifying efficacy of the Spirit in their hearts and lives, though they 
are chriatiana in profeseion, yet they have no other miion with 
Christ, tiian a dead branch with a tree that receives no sap and 
virtue from it ; or an artificial member joined to the body, that 
may have the outward clothing and omaments proper to that 
|»rt, but derives no life and sense from it. *^ Whoever is ia 
Chrbt is a view creatttre.** 2 Cor. 5. !?• And only *^ those wha 
partake in Ae first resurreetion from sin, shaU be exempted iirom 
the power of the second death,'^ and upon jost grounds are fiteed 
from the terrors of the first. 




Oor dev obliffttioM io our Redeemer conldered^ who frees aa from tko 
stingi Aod fear, and domioioD of death. Hit love was equaT to the height 
of his glory from whence he descended, and the depth of his sofferin^s for 
our sake. An exeitatioo to make it the great desi^ of our IWes to oTer* » 
come the fear of death. Reconciliation with God requisite to oar being 
freed from the powers of death* Repentance is necessary to obtain the 
favour of God. The iofioite danger of delaying it, unfolded. The pre* 
sumption of long life is vain. The hope of a future repentance is yory 
deceitfnU It is very hazardous whether God will accept the repootaaoc 
that flows merely from bitter constraint at last. The cootinnaace in sia 
upon the presumption of pardon^ renders men most unworthy of it. 

X O apply this pointy let us, 

1 . Consider our dear obligations to our blessed Saviour, who 
to free us from the sting and enslaving fear of death, submitted 
to it with all its terrors from God and wicked men. He felt a 
sadness to an agony in his soul, and suflfered the equal extre- 
mities of ignominy and torment in his body. The fiivotir of God 
was intercepted from him, that it may shine upon us in that 
gloomy hour. And all his terrible sufferings, though fereknowa 
by his enlightened mind, could not weaken his determined will 
to undergo them for us : but when Peter regarded with a more 
tender eye his life than our salvation, he was repelled with in- 
dignation. Unparalleled love ! no less than divine, transcending 
all the instances of human affection. The highest kind and ex- 
cess of love among men is to die for another, and the highest 
degree in that kind is to die to save an enemy ; and of this our 
Saviour is the singular example: love incomprehensible! '^ it 
passes knowledge, and all understanding" but his who expressed 
it. His love was equal to the height of his glory from whence 
he descended, and the depth of his sufferings that he sustained 
in our stead. " By washing us from our sins in his blood, he 
makes us kings,'' Rev. 1 . dignifies us with spiritual sovereignty 
over, not only defiling, but disturbing passions. The freest and 
most confident sinner in the world, that rebels against the divine 

CHAP. Vf. OH DSATB. 279 

laws without restraint^ is a 8l2f?e, not only undei the cfaains of 
his imperious lasts, but in that he is liable to the seourgings of 
conscience whenever awakened, and to the servile .fear of death 
everyday. But the sincere christiaii has a dear and sweet peace, 
a blessed tranquillity from tk^i tarraenting. tqpprehenaons and 
fears of deaths that are the just consequences of guilt. 

One of the ancient Romans ^bigbly eelebraiMenthe astvdno* 
mers, who discovered the true, oauses jaf . the; eeiipaes of the sip 
and moon, and freed the world feonf the dottfaie«darkfuto cS ^ 
norance and. fear; for. before tbat.discpiveryyinieQt believed the 
obscuring of those great lights were the fainting fits of jtature, 
and mortal ^fyoaptoms threateniAg iui universal oakosfty; But 
what praise add bles^ng is due to our SaYiour,.. who'Jiath given 
us infallible assurance that the death of the righteous! is not, as 
the heathen' w6rid imagined, an incparable loss df'.life^ but a 
short eclipsing of. this low andmMti^bt that is eoiimian to sen- 
sitive creatures, to be restored omM excellent and permanent in 
heaven, where iibQ9e stars shine in the divine presekice for ever. 
^^ Thanks beito God which gives us the victory throtigh (Mr Lord 
Jesus Christ.'" . This should render him '^ infinitely preeioiis to 
us,'' and inflame our hearts witbdesh'es equal to our 'obligations 
to serve. him« . 
. 2. Let us nsftke it the gn^t design and main foQsiiidi8.of out 
Uves to remove 6om our souls the just fears of death.' Jt is one 
of the solemn foUies of the. world to fear whese* there kiiiacawes 
as if a sentinel, should mistrice g]ow»worm» in: A^' night fov 
lighted matches, and give a false akurm : but it is a worse folly, 
though pleastog^cnot to fear when there is the greatest reason to 
excite it. And it is so in the present case; for the most are 
)vithout the fear of deaths that shoald makethemiseicions in pre- 
paring for it: nay, to maintain . their security, ate as unwilling 
to hear conscience declare the' wretchedness of their conditioii 
with respect to eternity, as Aludb was the prophet Micaiab^ 
f< who aJwaysioretold evil things to him." 
. It was the chief design of the philosophers, by prmciples of 
reason, to fortify themselves against all frightful accidents, and 
with a masculine mind, with an ardent and generous spirit, to 

* Macli iBgenio eite coel! interpretes, reromqae natarae capacei, srgsneali 
repertoreiy quo Deoi homioe^que viDxittU, Plin, Ub, 2. 

s 4 

380 OM 0BATH. CSAP. VI. 

* encoonter this inevitable ev9. When one of then wm threat* 
eoed by the Emperor Antigontis with present death, he boidly 
replied, threaten this to your dissohite eonrtiars that are aofteoed 
and melted by senssal pleasuvfs, and easily receptive of terrible 
impressioiisy not ^ a philosopher to whom death is oentemptible 
in any appeanmce. This was a piece of aflected bravery 5 for 
Pagan philosophy oonld nevi^r furnish them with armoiir of proof 
against the dart of our last enemy. But the gospel assuring or 
that death is an entvanee wtto immortality, makes that to be 
the reality of a christian, that was a vam boast ejf the philo- 

Now that we may be established in that Messed tranquillity 
that death cannot discompose, the following directions are infi- 
nitely usefuL 

i. We mustgive all dihgenee to be in a state of reconciliation 
with God. The iMngs requisite to that are, as the apostle de-* 
dares, ^ repentance towards God, and iaath in 4ie Lord Jesas 
Christ/* Aets 20. 21. Repentance tndudes a godly sorrow for 
sins past, with a detestation- and fenaking them sincerely^ with- 
cttt hypocrisy > and entirely, without partiality in the heart and 
conversation. It is called ^^ repentance from dead works," Hcb. 
6. L the proper name of our sins, that deserve eternal death* 
By repentance we return to obedi en ee that is due to God ear 
maker and lawgiver. Faith respects the Redeemer, who by his 
blood shed on the cross, and pleaded in heaven, teooneiies God 
to penitent sinners* The belief of his merciful and powerfel 
mediation for our acceptance and pardon, ^* works by love,'' 2 
Cor. 5. 14. and ^ oonstrahn us'* to dedicate ounelves m a tie- 
voted piwpriety to his gfory and service^ and to live according to 
that de<heatian« These two are absolirtely ne ce ss ar y to the vital 
and salvifical state of a christian. And as soon as a person sin- 
oerely repents and believes, he is justified before God $ and if he 
dies, will certainly obtam eternal giery. This shdUld be the 
early and most speedy work of our lives : for the delay of repent- 
ance, and neglect of securing the favour of God, arms death 
Mth more stings and tenors. 

* Foelix qui potuit rcrnm cognoscere caatas: 

Atque Dietus roorlis & inezorabile fatam 



The m&iite di^gerirftlua I hiB mhU, to awaken the oAie* 
le88 and ««e«re. 

The denl is a aophiiter in {MifectioD; and his otdinary and 
vMCoeitfol ailifice tQ elude the foroe of present conviction, and 
wrap m^ in sin and damnafticHy ia to indaee them to delay the 
great work of the seal till afterwaid«. He is not so foolish to 
tell theas, ea he did oar first parents^ ^^ ye shall not die;"' for 
the tenq^aljon is so palpaMe, thait it eouM deeeive none. 
Though the e^ence and oartaioty of anpematural tmths, that 
disturb the security of sianefs^ is aometinuBS obscured by affiacted 
doubts^ yet there is no artifice that can resist the fiiU and etiong 
couTiotion m nien^ that death is inetitabie. Theagb natuK re* 
coils from it with abhorrence, yet this sad truth is so virible^ 
that it forces an assent from all. Those who are titular gods, 
the greatest princes, are not so nan as to pretend to an exemp* 
tion by piivil^e from that isfcal nteaanly ; they cannot fancy to 
be embahned alive, and that nature may be made -ineomiptibla' 
by act. The palace is as near the grave aa the cottage : therefore 
the devil cheriahea in men fond hopes of fL long Kb As some 
optic glaases deceive the sight, and make a superficial represen*- 
tation in coioumon a wall but two or three steps distant, ap- 
pear a lodg deep gallery : tluia the tempter hy a dangerous de- 
ceit, presents to the imagination the'fotal term at a. gieat dis- 
tance; andainee he cannot • le a sen the certainty of death in 
men's belief, he remows the imime of it out of their mem 
to weaken the impvessiod that il is capable to make on dieir 
afiectiona. Tbay dare not venture to die, aa they Irr^ carriesa 
of salvation, and unprepared for their aee m m ts with God ; there- 
fore they suspend the workings of ceosmeoee by a sfimaig oob»» 
pUance ; they reaohre at raadom to coovert and itfittm her^ 
after, but unU not determine at psesent to ioiaake their rina. 
The tempter inaimmtes theee will be a kmg mfecrval between the 
present time and the last heor^ that shafl decide dieir state fia 
ever } that it wil be a oowwnient season to prepare far the other 
world when they have done with tUs; aa if repentance were 
best at last, when there are no. teasptatidns, and Aeiefore no 
danger of retracting it. And the heart of man is a great flat- 
terer, very subtile to deceive and niin him with vain resdutions 
of a devout retirement, and* beeommg aeriously religioua here- 
after : and thus by an easy permiarion he gralifles the pteseat 


S82 <m sbatb. cbap* ru^ 

desires of the flesh, and goes in a rirmit from eoe iramtjr to ano- 
ther, till death surprise the presumer* It is very applicable to 
this purpose, what is related of Akoens the po^, who from every 
season of the year, * took arguments to give a new title to bis 
intemperance : the spring, he eaid^ icquired liberal drinking, in 
rign of joy for the renovation of nature $ the summer to temper 
our heat, and refresh our thirst ; it was due to autumn that is 
dedicated to the vintage ; and winter required it to expel die 
cold, that would conged the blood and tfinU : thus he pleaded 
for the allowance of his excess. And so men in the several ages 
tyf life (that are correspondent to the seasons of the year) frame 
eome excuses to delay repentance, and give some colour to their 
lebeliion against God, who commands us to hear bis voice to- 
day, obediently and immediately, upon na less than being exela* 
ded from his blessed rest for ever: Heb. 2. 7, 8. yet the self- 
deceiving.ainner preaches anollier gospel to himself, f and thinks 
the vanities of childhood, the pleasures of youth, the business of 
middle age, and the infirmity of old age, are plausible pretences 
to put off the serious. work of repentance: O that sudi would 
duly consider the desperate uncertainty upon wfaidi men build 
4ht\T hopes of a future repentance, and divine acceptance ! 

1 • Men delay repentance upon tbe presumption Of a long life : 
Jmt wbaA' is more unoertatn? It is the wisdom and goodness of 
.God to conceal in his impenetrable counsele the time of our so- 
journing here: for if men, thoiigh. liable to death eveiy hour, and 
•Iberefore ahoiikl> be uader just fear lest it surprise them unpre* 
|)ared, yet against so strong a jaitb, run with that exorbitant ve- 
J^menee aiter the prasent. world ; how much more licentious 
4Mmld they^ie,. if iemced from audden death ? but none can pro- 
mise torhinwetf one day* Death comes not according to the or- 
jier of nature, but the decree itf God. How many in the flower 
0f their, yoiith and etrength thought jthemselves at as great a dis- 
•tance from deaths jai^ tbe nast is from.tbe west, when there was 
•not the space of an hoar between them and death, between them 
•and hell ? The lamp suddenly expires by a blast of wind, when 
<there ie fdeaty of oil to feed it. The rich man pleased faimsdf 

* 4tlieii. 

* f Qttft cnim tatto explicet tei^it, quantm malt lit ata obeitre taate p^ 
HtsUiU ioperio, 4i taato tcoenti Mppli^o i 

eBAP. vr. im BSAtft. 

with designs of sensual enjoyments for many year#, yet did not 
«ee the dawnhig of tbfs nesct morning : ^' Thou loci, tiib night 
ahall thy sbol be required of thee/' This sentence- is pronoon'* 
«ed in heaven against thousands that are nc»tv aUve, oonyersant 
in the Tanittee'and business of the world, eating and drinkingi 
playing and trading, and aM unconcerned as to dying, yet shall 
breathe their last before to*fliorrow, and their imwiUiig souls be 
rent from the embraces of their bodses* In yttsiam BSanneiB 
men die from inward and ontward causes ; an apoplexy, an im- 
posthume, a flux of rhume stopping respiration, kiUs the body 
trfthout any presaging ftigns of death : as if thv loctmd alltbe 
-chambers shouU fail airitfain the house, while the wallaara stndiog 
entire. And how< many nnteeseen 'accidents, iind tberrfoias-in*- 
evitable, put a. sud^n* period to life B Is it not 4yar tmcst wis- 
dom, by -aaeaity repentance^ to prepare foT'deatU^ when the 
reason is certaiiily sfaivt, and init uncertainly oononu^ and the 
omission is irreparable ? 

2. Suppose' fife ^ be- continued^ yet-siliners that delay repent- 
ance, can imn!nA rational hftpes that they diail sincerely repent 
in time to cQmfi« For, .'•;•• 

. (1.) Savings^pcAtanoeisthaf^ft<if God: and »;it;dikeiy that 
.those who h«ft heeat insensibie of the kmd and eaniM; calls of 
the word; ttifleKibje to the grarious nietfaods of .Maprovidcnoe 
leading thepi'.to repentance, tbodd at hvt obtniir' eodverttng 
:griu:e? Th^^sles of 1the Spifir are ^ery tntisknlkji.and bloi^ 
.where tee pleases; and can k be expected diat those who have 
wilfully and often, fecaisted him, skniM by an eaohemnt favour 
TeoeJreaftdrwfrds n»6ke powerful gmoe, to oyemrift-dieir stnb* 
bom wiM, and make them ohedieDtP . To expeet dime grace 
and the po)v«irfal. workings of Abe Spirit, after loogLresiating his 
holy exeitatiofis,.is both unaeasooahle and unrevealed. It is 
.written as with -a suurbeam, that God «^ gmeiously pafdoo »» 
pelting sinners tbet reform their lives ; :* but it is no where pn^ 
mised ttf^t he will g^ve saving repentanto to thoae who securely 
continue ia- shi> upon a corrupt confidence they wiU repent at 
last. Our Savkior threatens to hisi that neglects the haproving 
the grace that is offered, << That which he hathshaU ba taken 
,away:" yet men unwilling at present to forsake their sins of 

• Neno ergo tibi promlttat, qsod eYSDieUsai aoa prsnUtlt Jm^ 

284 •» outTB. tmMT. ru 

plflflBtne «m1 pnifity raiiily hope thtj shall ehCain graee hereaftei, 
mthoul any promise from God^ and agnntt the tenor of fak 
thieatenings. God has tbreatamd that Us Spirit ''shall not 
alwajps strive with lebeUious siiineny'' and then their state is re- 
mediless* This may be the case of many in this life^ who aie 
insensible of their misery. As consaniptive persons decline by 
degrees^ lose thdr ^kpetite, eokmr and strength^ till at last they 
•re iM^em : so the withdmwings of the Spirit are gradual^ hi» 
motions are not so strong ner frequent; and upon the continued 
provocations at the disobedient^ frudly leaves them wider that 
most fearfiil doom, ^He that is flkhy, let him be fildiy still; he 
that is murig^iteoiiSy let Um hemvightcoiissdl:^ aadtfanspu-* 
mshes Uiem on this side heU, as he does the damned^ by giving 
them over to sin« It is a bloody adfontnre fer men to indn%e 
their carnal appetites, as if th^ had infidtiUe assurance that 
they shogM not die in an impenitent state, Tbs delayer does 
not rq;ulariy trust, but tempt God. 

(2.) Suppose the Holy ajpirit he not lotaBy wiAdrawn, yet by 
every dqi'a eentinnanee in sin, Ae heart is mora hOrdened against 
the im{»e8Bions of grace, more averse from nturtdng to God, and 
tqpeatande raD».diffienk and hpaaidoos. The last gloHty dispo- 
sition thai, asals np dse damnation of simieffs is impenitence. 
Now he. that.debys the retaming to his duty, shaH bav« more 
cause to jrepeflt hereafter, bnt less will and power; lor sin re- 
peated, .nudms* him more incqpaUe of repentance, and that 
which is i ndispositiop, wiU become avenenes and ofaettnacy. 
The heavi Mfith^diAcidty ciianges ks last end. Aetiona itiay be 
oa dde n ly changed, when these is a disaUHlPf to perfbrm Aem; 
bnt the ivwaid inchnataoni to sin, withoOt supemataral renewmg 
gmce, remain. It is thMAfc the safaciity of the old serpent to 
make the'cntranoe of sin easy: fbr he knows that custom is a 
second nalui^ and has a mighty power in us : ^*Can an Ethio- 
pian change his skin, or the leopai^ change his spots ? then may 
you who are accustomed to 4o eirit, do good.'' If sin in its in- 
fancy can make^iich resistance^ that the Spirit of grace is foSed 
m his motions to rescue the seal from its bondage^ how much 
more wfaien it is giown into a eoniimied kaibit ? Therefore the 
apostle «rges so seatously ; << To-dey if yotf wW hear.his voi<<i^ 
harden not your hearts, lest any be hardened through the decdt* 

(S.) How ttnoEnrtain it is wheCber Qod will aeoept the ad« 
^brcsaes of aiich at Uti? We are comnandedy *^Seek the Lord 
wUIe he may be found ; call vpoo faim while he is near/' The 
limitatioti implies^ if the season be negleeted^ he will hide his 
iace for ever. Now in cases of gveat moment and hazard^ what 
diligence, what caution diould be used ? 

1st. Consider how derogatory it is to bis majesty, to offer to 
him the dregs of our age^ the reliques of a licentioiis eareless life^ 
spent in the works of vanity. Is this <^ to ^ve glory to God ?'^ 
iex. 13. 16. Contempt provokes sapeiion as much as actual inja« 
ries : how vilifying is it of his eternal greatness^ that men lavishly 
waste the best of thor time and strength upon their lusts $ and 
when through weakness of age, or the violence of a disease, they 
can no more do the aets of sin, nor relish the pleasures of sin, to 
preaqnue that God will upon their prayers forgive their sins so 
long indulged, and of such vident provooatbns, and receive 
them into his kingdom, as if he could not be happy iPiithout 
them, and it were his interest to receive them ? God has laid 
his exceptions agafaist sudi addresses : he may justly stand upon 
tus greatness and hooour : ^^ If ye offer the blind for a sacrifice, 
is it not evil?. And if ye offnr the hune and sick, is it not evil ? 
Offer itnow to t^ govenmr, wBl he be pleased with it, to ae- 
oept thy person, saith the Lord of hosts?'' As the Lord up- 
braids the Jew» for their bkck ingratitude in bargaining for 
thirty pieces of silver, to have him betrayed to their malice ; ^a. 
goodly price that I was priied at of them :'' so when there is an 
ssniversal prostration of all the powers and faculties, when the 
apirits are damped, the vital heat is diecked, end the function 
4>f the senses is obst r ucted, tiica to seek to God for merey, and 
to make fur promises of obedience, he may justly reproach the 
pMMUMr, << a goodfy time you have allotted for me!'' Your 
yooCh and strength, the goMsn age of life, have been wasted on 
yoor lusts, and in the business of the work! ; and the wretched 
remains you tiunk worthy of my aoeeptence. 

2dly. Consider what sincerity or aooral vahie is in religion that 
mersly proceeds from bitter eonstraint. It is a rule in law, Fol* 
earn est Mtm pqmute^ im morhUB ^fiHui evfrocftuerf.-it is not 
B natsval bbth when the child is extracted from the dead mo- 
ther: it is not geoume piety that is extorted by the rack, whilst 
the hemt foil of rehi^ancy does not truly consent. Pure reli** 

286 ON 0BATB. €BAP« ?!• 

gioQ flows ODOonip^ed £khb love to God; it is the dregs that 
eome forth with pieasiiig. It is observed of the Isnel^es, that 
*^ when God slew them, they sought him, and returned aod in* 
quired early after God." But it is added, '< Nevertheless they 
did flatter with their mouths, and they lied to them with their 
tcmgues : for their hearts were not right with him, neither were 
they steadfast in his covenant/' Psal. 78. 34, 36. How often 
does experience convinee us of the inefficacy of a sickbed repent* 
ance ? How many that were very devout and mournful with one 
foot as it were in the grave, and another in hell, and were as a 
brand plucked out of the fire ; yet when the fear of deatli is remo- 
ved, all the terrors of consdeoee, the religious aflections that were 
feit and expressed by them, vanish as the morning dew ? Now 
converting grace is distinguished by its radication and ejfficacy, 
not only from the mere pretences of those who know their own 
insincerity, but from the real workings of conscience, and the 
imperfect dispositions to good that are in the unrenewed. And 
those persons who with the return of health, have returned to 
thw sins, if they had died with their religious resolutions, would 
have presumed ^'that their repentance was unto life,'' and of 
their interest in the divine mercy. ^The heart is deceitful 
above all things," and above all thmgs deceitfol to itselfl Be- 
sides, when sinners are phmged in deep distress, when the 
shadow of death sits upon their eye-lids, they may with 
plentifol efiusions of tears desire God to receive them to hea^ 
ven, not to 9Cfi and praise his adorable excellencies, not to 
please and gl<mfy him for ever, but as a sanctuary from reven- 
ging justice, a refuge from helL And will such prayers prevail ? 
What sweUs the confidence ct sinners, but unworthy notions of 
God, as if a forced aod formal confession of their sins could de* 
ceive his all-discerning eye; and desires merely terminated on 
themselves were sufficient to reconcile his, offended majesty? 

3* There is nothing renders men more unworthy of mercy 
than continuance in mn, upon presumption of an easy pardon at 
last. This is the most provoking abuse of his '< Goodness and 
loog-sufiering, that should lead them to repentance.'' Rom. 2. 
He can in the twinkling of an eye, in the beating of a pulse, cut 
off the sinner: it is as easy to his power as to will it. Aod there 
is no consideration should be so melting and moving as his cle- 
mency* We read of Dftvid^ that he had more than once in his 

*CerAF» Vli ON PBATll. 287 

power Saul hn unjust and cruel enemy, yet spared him : the ef- 
fect of it was that Saul was softened, and under such compunc- 
tion of spirit, that he wept, confessed his guilt, and persecuted 
him no more, overcome by that unexampled love : *^ If a man 
find his enemy, will he let him go?" 1 Sam. 26. 21. Yet men 
take advantage from the goodness of God, securely to despise his 
Jaws. The habitiral sinner thinks that God is so gracious, such 
a lover of souls, so easy to be entreated, that upon his dying 
prayer, " Lord, remember me in thy kingdom,'^ the answer will 
be,'** To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise." This is the 
deceitful principle upon which men usually build their hopes, as 
actions that bear the image of their minds clearly manifest. 
Now this presumptuous indulgence gives the deepest grain to 
their sins, and makes them more incapable of pardon. Chrysos- 
torn -observes, that Judas was encouraged to betray his master, 
presuming on his lenity, goodness, benignity ; which considera- 
tions intolerably aggravated his treason, and confounded his 
hopes. There is a dreadful threatening against those who reject 
the invitations of grace in their prosperity, and when the righ- 
teous judge comes to sentence and execution, are earnest suppli- 
cants for mercy. ** Because I have called, and ye have refused ; 
I have stretched out my hands, and no man regarded : but ye 
have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my re- 
proof: I will also laugh at your calamity, and mock when your 
fear comes : when your fear comes as a desolation, and your de- 
fltruetion as a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon 
you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer ; they 
shall seek me early, but shall not find me : for they hated know- 
ledge, and did not ehoose the fear of the Lord." Prov. 1. A 
doldHi case beyond all possible expression ! when the sinfiil crea- 
ture, forsaken of all comforts below, addresses to heaven for re- 
lief, and meets with derision and fury, seom and indignation. . 
Tlie foolish virgins, careless to prepare for the Bridegroom's co- 
ming, in vain at last discovered their want of oil, in vain solicit- 
ed the wise virgins for supply, tn vain knocked at the door, cry- 
iag, ^* Lord, Lord, open to us," Mat. 25, The answer was se- 
wem and peremptory,. " I know you not}" and they were for 
ever exchided from the joys of heaveq. 

286 W DIATH. CBAP. mi 


It is most incongruous to delay our reconciliation with God (ill the timt of 
sickness. It is Tery uncomfortable to delay it till our declining time* 
The Taoity of mea's presuming to delay rrpeotant^e, beeanse some have 
beea conrerted in their laac bottra. The iaslaoees of mcb are rare, aad aat 
to be draw o into eiample. Innumerable have died in their sins, deceived 
with hopes of repenting hereafter. Those who have delayed their re- 
pentance, are not utterly destitute of hopes if they earnestly seek God 
at last. 

4. How incongraoQs is it to delay, the oolemn work of recon- 
ciliation with God till the time of sicknets. This is an aftiir 
wherein our transcendent interest is concerned, and should be 
performed in our most calm and sensible condition, when we are 
most capable of reflecting upon our ways, and mdcing an exact 
trial of ourselves in order to our returning to God by a bcriy 
change of our lives. Now that the time of sickness is not a 
convenient season for this work, is sadly evident ; for some dis- 
eases are stupifying, and all the powers of the soul are benumb- 
ed in a dull captivity ; so that the sick man only perceives with 
his animal faculties. Some diseases are tormenting, and cause a 
great disorder in the soul, and distract the thoughts from consi- 
dering its spiritual state. When the storm is at the highest, and 
the pilot so sick that he can give no directions, the ship is left 
to the fury of the winds, and escapes by miracle. When there is 
a tempest in the humours of the body, and the soul by sympathy 
is so discomposed that it cannot apply itself to prepare for its 
appearance before the divine tribunal, what danger of being lost, 
and passing from a short agony to everlasting torment? 

Besides ; suppose the sickness more tolerable, yet how unfit is 
a person weak and languishing, * when sense and conscience are 
both afflicted, to encounter with the cruel eiiemy of souls? All 
that sincerely seek peace with God, must expect fierce anger 
and war from satan : therefore it is a point of necessary wisdom, 

* Male cum his agitur, quibus neceuitas iDCumbit bell! & morbi. Ftg* 

'chap. Vn. DN DXATB. 289 

whilst our bodies and minds are in the best order, to be prepa- 
Ting against his assaults. 

5. C!onsider how uncomfortable it is to deli^ repentance till 
age and sickness, when the fruits of it are not so evident nor ac- 
Geptd)Ie : in evil days, and the approaches of death, it is Tery 
hard to discover the sincerity of the heart, whether repentance 
proceeds from holy principles ; whether the sorrow then express- 
ed be godly for sin, or merely natural, for punishment; vftiether 
the good resolutions be the effects of permanent fidelity, or of 
violent fear, that will vanish, the cause being removed. When 
the invitations to sin cease, there may remain a secret undis- 
cemed love to it in the heart, which is the centre of corruption^ 
tmd root of apostacy. The snake that seemed dead in the frost, 
revived by the fire. Theinordinate affections that seemed mor- 
tified^ when the sensitive faculties were disabled to carnal enjoy- 
ments, may haveinward life, and will soon be active and vigo- 
rous in the presence of temptations, Apd that a deathbed-re- 
pentance is usually deceitfiil, appears ^om hence, that not one 
of a thousand that recover fit)m dangerous diseases are fitithfiil in 
performing their most sacred and solemn vows. How many ha- 
ving the sentence of death in themselves, and under the terrors 
of the Lord, have expressed the greatest detestation of their sins^ 
and resolved, as they thought sincerely, if God would spare them, 
to reform their ways, to become new creatures, exemplary in all 
holy conversation ; yet the danger being over, their heats of de- 
votion expire as they revive, and their lusts recover strength with 
their bodies, and being suppressed only by fear, are more fierce 
in their return. Their hearts were as marble, that in rainy wea- 
ther seems dissolved into water, but it is only fi*om the moisture 
of the air, and remains as hard as ever: when the fear of death 
is removed, all their promises of reformation are ineffective, as 
violent and void; all their religious affections vanish as the 
morning-dew. Now if these persons had died before this visible 
trial and discovery, they had passed into the other world with 
the reputation of true penitents, deceiving others with their 
prayers and tears, and liberal promises, the outward signs of re- 
pentance, and deceived themselves by the inward workings of an 
alarmed conscience : therefore ministers should be very circum- 
spect in applying the promises of mercy to persons in such a 
state ; for an error in that kmd has fearfiil conseciuences. A lit* 



tie opiate diviDity may quiet the mind for a time^ but the virtue 
of it will be soon spent, and the presumer perishes for ever. But 
fiuppase a dying person with true tears and unfeigned persevering 
affections returns to God ; can he have a comfortable assurance 
of bis sincerity ? Indeed the searcher and judge of hearts- liiill 
accept him : but how doubt^ and wavering are his hopes? what 
anxious fears are in his breast, lest he builds upon a sandy foun- 
dation ? And how dreadful b it to appear before the tribunal of 
God, and expect an uncertain sentence? 

But sinners still please themselves in this, that God has effec*- 
tually called some at the last hour, and they may find the same ' 
favour with others. To this I answer : 

(1.) It is true we have some rare admirable instances of God's 
mercy and grace, the dying thief and some others, which showed 
it is possible with God to abolish the most confirmed habits in a 
short time, and by* a swift conversion to prepare a sinner for hea- 
ven. But these miraculous eaumples are not to be drawn into 
consequence for the encouragement of any in their sins. A * 
prince will not endure that his free favours should be made a law 
to him, and the special privilege of some be extended to all. As 
Thales said, an <Ad mariner that has escaped the various dangen 
by rocks and storms at sea, was a new miracle : so tliat one who 
has lived an obstinate sinner, dies a penitent believer, U very 
rare and extracnrdinary. What our Saviour said concerning the 
salvation of rich men, is justly applicable to this case, ^^ That it 
was as easy for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, as tot 
a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven/' This so 
astonished the apostles, that they cried, ^^ Who then c^ be sa- 
ved?" To mitigate the difficulty, he reminds them of the 
divine omnipotence : ^' All things are possible with God/' Thai 
for one who has been hardened in a long course of sin, and ma- 
king himself meet for the ccmipany of damned spirits in hell, to 
be at last suddenly prepared and received into the pure and glori* 
ous society above, is possible, but possible only as miracles are, by 
the efficacy of infinite power ; and we cannot reasonably expect 
such miracles. And are heaven and hell such trivial things as to 
be left to an uncertainty ? Are not men concerned in another 
manner in the affairs of this world ? How careful to prevent the 

• Qaod alicvi gratlQie eoaccditar, trabi ooa debet ab aliU ia exenploni 


sentence ci death, of imprisonment, of banishment ? How dili^ 
gent to obtain some temporal advantage ? Yet how neglectlbl 
in things of highest importance? It may be, says the secure 
wretch, Qod will gire me repentance at last, as he did to others. 
* Remember you speak of that that most neariy concerns your 
soul, and dare you venture the salvation of an immortal soul 
upon a naked possibility of receiving grace ? What reasonable 
person would neglect a disease that may prove deadly, and rely 
on extreme remedies ? And can you be guilty of such a crue) 
indifference, such a desperate cardessness, as to leave eternal 
salvation and damnation to a peradventuref 

(2.) Consider how many thousands have died in their sins, f 
and of them great numbers cherished fallacious hopes of repent- 
ing at last. Diagoras the atheist, that denied a governing pro- 
vidence of things in this lower world, the sphere of mutability, 
when one for his conviction showed lum in the % temple of Nep- 
tune many votive tables, containing the grateful acknowledg- 
ments of those who by addresses to the gods in dangerous 
storms, had arrived safe at their ports ; and asked him, whether 
he had observed those numerous testimonies for divine provi- 
dence ? § He replied, ^ I see them ; but how many having in- 
vocated Neptune, yet perished in the ocean, and never came to 
pay their vows for deliverance ?' It was impiety in him to argue 
so against God's disposing providence ; but it may be justly said 
to those who neglect their present duty, presuming upon some 
examples of his glorious goodness on those who were converted 
and saved in their approaches to death, how many have finally 
miscarried in shooting that gulph, to one that has arrived safe lat 
heaven ? How many that presume upon their youth and strength 
to delay repentance, are suddenly cut off? the first symptom of 
their sickness is death. And what the angel with such solemnity 
dedared, ^< that time should be no more,'' is verified concerning 
them by an unexpected dissolution. How many, when sick, 
hope either by the vigour of nature, or the virtue of medicines, 
tp overcome the disease? and thus hope is cherished by the mor- 

t Vix dici potest qusntos, bsc iaasis ipel ombra deceperit. Aug, 

J Tslly. ^ TaUy, 

T 2 

292 0?f DEATH. eUAP. VII« 

tal kindness, the cruel deceit of friends, who are unwilling to 
discover their danger, lest their spirits should sink under the ap- 
prehension of it. And thus deluded, many never see death till 
they feel it, and perish for ever in their impenitence. How 
many that are guilty and graceless, when distant from death and 
hell but a few hours ; yet from atheism are secure as Jonah, who 
slept in. the midst of a tempest at sea? The tenor of their lives 
discovers this to be divine vengeance, they are seized by a spirit 
of slumber, and pass without fear into the state of everlasting 
desperation. How many are deceived with the appearance of 
repentance, and mistake a false peace for a true, and assuage the 
anguish of conscience, by palliating remedies ? Their sorrow for 
sin, their prayers, their resolutions of reformation, are the pro- 
duct of servile fear, that is ineffectual to salvation : and as it is 
with crafty tradesmen^ that take up much upon trust when near 
breaking ; so they itre veiy liberal of the promises of amendment 
when they are near dying. . From hence they vainly presume 
that God is reconciled to them, whose all-discerning eye sees the 
inward spring of their sorrows, and the principle of all the reli- 
gious resolutions is the guilty fear of eternal judgment. Now a 
faise tranquillity is more terrible than the storms of a troubled 
^>irit: (or those who hope upon deceitfiil grounds, are in the 
most hopeless state, n^lecting what is requisite in order to sal- 
vation. Thus innumerable pass in a cloud of delusion to the 
kingdom of darkness. And how many who have lived in care- 
less security, as if they had '' made a covenant with death," 
when conscience is awtJcened, and looks into the depth of their 
guilt, when they see death before them attended with judgment, 
and judgment with an everiasjting hell, as we read of Sisera, who 
from extreme fear passed to extreme security; so on the contrar}', 
these self-deceivers from security have fallen into despair. Then 
truth and conscience, that were so long under unrighteous re- 
straints, break the fetters, and terribly charge the sinners : then 
innumerable acts, which they thought to be innocent, appear to 
be sins ; and sin, that they made light of, to be infinitely evil, 
and in the highest degree hatefiil to God. And sometimes by 
the suggestions of the enemy of souls, they are overwhelmed 
with despair, and their last error is worse than the first. The 
devil makes his advantage of the timorous conscience, as well as 
gf the seared ; solitude is his scene, as well as the noisy theatre; 

€HAP. VIU 0?7 D£ATfi. 29S 

and by contrary ways, either presumption or despair^ brings sin- 
ners to the same end. He changes his methods according to 
their dispositions ; the tempter turns accuser^ and then such who 
had but a dim sight of sin before, have an over- quick sight of it^ 
and are swallowed up in an abyss of confusion : the condition of 
such is extremely miserable. It is observed by those who are 
bitten with a niad dog, that their cure is extremely ^ difficult, if 
not impossible ; for being tormented with thirst, yet are so fear- 
ful of water, that the sight of it sometimes causes sudden con* 
Tulsions and death. This is a significant emblem of a despairing 
soul : for when enraged consciexnse bites to the quick, the guilty 
person filled with estoations and terrors, ardently thirsts for par-' 
(k>ny yet fearfully forsakes his own mercies. Whatever is pro- 
pounded to encourage faith in tlie divine promises, he turns to 
justify his infidelity. Represent to him the infiirite mercies of 
God, the invaluable merits of Christ sufficient to redeem the lost 
world, it increases his despair, because he has perversely abused 
those mereies, and neglected those merits. The most precious 
promises of the gospel are killing terrors to him : as the sweet 
title of friend, wherewith our Saviour received Judas when he 
cam« to betray him^ was die most stinging reproach of his per- 
fidious villany. Thus it appears how dangerous it is to delay 
repentance and reconciliation with Crod till sickness and a death- 
bed^ when the remembrance or forgetfiilness of sin, the s^nse or 
security of conscience may be equally destructive. 

The sum of what has been amplified in this partis this : a vain- 
hope of living long, and being reconciled to God when men please, 
is the fatal foundation of their sins and misery. They apply the 
word of God against the mind of God, and securely provoke him, 
as if they could take heaven by violence, in contradiction to the 
gospel. But they usually dispose of that time they shall never 
enjoy^ and presume upon that mercy and grace they shall never 
obtain. We are commanded ^* to seek the Lord while he may 
be found ;" a sad intimation that it is not in our power to find 
him to our comfort when we please. He spares long, but abu- 
sed patience ^vill deliver sinners to revenging justice. Samson 
was three times in the chamber of his lust exposed to treachery, 

• MUerrimum morbi ^enuf, in quo aeger & siti & aquae metu croc iaturi 
qsorniB ipct in aof Mto est. Ceb. 

T 3 


and escaped ; but th^ fourth time he said^ '< I will arise/^ but 
was surprised by his enemies^ and lost his strength, and sight, 
and liberty. How justly will the wilful neglect of salvation so 
long, and so compassionately oflTered to sinners, render the divine 
mercy inexorable to their prayers and tears at last ? When a 
Roman gentleman that was wont to revel in the night, and sleep 
in the day, had wasted a great estate by luxury, he petitioned 
the emperor Tiberius to relieve his poverty, and was dismissed 
with this upbraiding answer, Sero experrectus eSy you are risen 
too late. He never opened his eyes to see his condition till it 
was past remedy. This is the sad case of many that waste the 
seasons of grace, and are careless of their duty, till upon the 
point of perishing, and then address themselves to God for his 
favour and pardon, but are justly rejected with the reproaches of 
their obstinate neglect of salvation in the time of their lives. I 
doubt not that some are wonderfully converted and saved at last ^ 
but these special mercies are like our Saviour's miraculous heal- 
ing the two blind persons as he was passing in the way, when 
great numbers of the blind remained uncured. We read a pro- 
digious story in the book of Kings, that a captain and his fifty 
men commanded Elias to come to the king, and immediately a 
tempest of lightning destroyed them. Now who would think 
that another captain with hb fifty should be so desperate, having 
the ashes and relics of those miserable carcasses before their 
eyes, as to make the same citation to the prophet? yet they did, 
and provoked the justice of heaven to consume them. And this 
madness is exemplified in thousands every day; for notwith- 
standing they see sinners like themselves cut off in their evil 
ways, they continue unrefbrmed, as if they were fearless of hell, 
as if resolved to secure their own damnation. 

I would not from what has been represented in this matter so 
universally usefiil, discourage any that have lived in a course of 
sin, from earnest seeking to God in their last hours : for even 
then they are not utterly destitute of hope. The gospel sets 
forth the mercy of God to returning sinners, in various represent- 
ations and expressions of admirable tenderness. When the lost 
sheep was recovered, there was joy as if a treasure had been 
found. The prodigal had wasted his estate in lasciviousness and 
luxury, and by a harsh reduction came to himself, reflecting with 
shame upon his folly and rebellion } and the sense of his misery 


(not a mote ingenuous or noble principle at first) compelled him 
to go to his father^ to try what his affections would do. And it 
was not a vain presumption, for he found the effects of fatherly 
and compassionate love : ** When he was a great way off, his 
father saw him, and had compassion, and ran and fell on his 
neck, and kissed him. And the son said, father, I have sinned 
against heaven^ and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be 
called thy son. But the father said to his ser\'ants, bring out 
the best robes, and put a ring on his finger, and shoes on his 
feet ; and bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it ; let us eat and 
be merry^ for this my son was dead, and is alive again ; was lost^ 
and. is found." The design of Christ was to represent his hea* 
venly Father in that parable : and to wounded spirits that feel 
the intolerable weight of sin, the mercy and mildness of the gos- 
pel is to be exhibited. God is rich in mercy to all that call 
upon him in truth. But to tell sinners who securely proceed in 
their sinful ways, that they may be saved at last, and notwith- 
standing their presumptuous repulses of God's calls to his service, 
yet think they may come into the vineyard at the eleventh hour^ 
and be rewarded, is to give countenance and protection to sin, 
and to harden them to destruction. Poison is not cured by gi- 
ving food, but antidotes, that put nature into a passion till it be 
expelled. The terrors of the Lord can only prove medicinal to 
fiuch depraved souls. 

To conclude this argument, let us seriously consider the reve- 
lation God baa afforded of himself in the gospel. He is a Father 
and at judge; justice and 'holiness as well as mercy are essential 
to his nature^ that our affections may be accordingly moved to- 
ivard^ him. ^^ If ye call on the Father, who without respect of 
pieiaonB jtii^elh accordihg to eVery man's work, pass the time of 
your sojourning here in fear.'' Presumption and despair are very 
dishonourable to God, and pernicious to the soul : the one de- 
stroys the fear, the other the love of God. But hope contem- 
pered with fear, has an excelleht influence in the christian life. 
Asthebattikst and the wind are both necessary, that the ship 
may sail safely; without the wind the ship can make no way; 
and without ballast it is in danger of oversetting by every gust. 
Thus hope and feat are necessary to bring us safely to heaven. 
Fear without hope chHIa, and stupifies the vigour and alacrity 
of the soul, that it cannot come to God : and hope without fear^ 

T 4 


makes it vain and cardesa of its duty, and Uable to be over- 
thrown by every pleasing temptation. Briefly, let us rightly 
understand the tenor of the evangelical promises of pardon and 
grace; they are conditional, and applicable only to penitent 
believers. And unfeigned faith purifies the heart, works by love, 
and is the living principle of universal obedience. And repent- 
ance unto life is productive of ail good fruits in their season. 
Without faith and repentance we can neither be justified in this 
world, nor glorified in the next. " Be not deceived, God is not 
mocked : as a man sows, so shall he reap. He that sows to the 
flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption : he that sows to the Spi- 
rit, shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." 


The preserving oorseWff from preflumptooas sfDS, a neans to reoder dettli 
comfortable. The zealous discharge of the duties of oar callings, aod cr- 
deaToars to glorify God, aod do good accord iog to our abilities, wiU 
tw«etc» the thoughts of death. An indifereoce of miad aad affections to 
earthly things makes death less fearfnl. Frequeat converse with God ia 
holy duties, makes death desirable. A steadfast belief of future happiness 
makes death desirable. An excitation to the saints to die with courage 
and cbcerfttlness. It is oar duty ta die with resignation and with pati- 
ence, aad earnest desires to be with Christ It is very tiecoalag a cMb- 
tian to die with joy and thanksgiving. 

ii. X He careiul preserving ourselves from wilful presumptuoiis 
sins, is a happy means to render death comfortable to us* Sins 
of ignorance and infirmity, of sudden surreption and surprise, the 
best men are not freed from in the present state : and being the 
daily motive of our grief, and serious circumspection to prevent, 
them, are consistent with the regular peace of conscience, arid 
the friendship and favour of God. But great sins in their matter 
being so contrary to natural conscience, and supernatural grace,. 

OftAP. VUI« ON BfiATH* 297 

or sins firesuinptuous in the manner of their commissionj snch as 
proceed from the choice of the perverse will against the enlight- 
enend mind, whatever the matter or kind of them be^ are direct 
rebellion, against God, a despising of his coAimand, and provoke 
his pure eyes, and make the aspect of death fearful. The Spirit 
seals our pardon and title to heaven as the Holy Spirit ; his tes' 
timony, that ^^ we are the children of God, and heirs of glory,'* 
is concurrent with the renewed conscience, and distinguished 
from the ignorant presumptions, blind conjectures, and carnal 
security of the unholy. As the sanctifying Spirit he distinguishes 
true christians from the lost world, appropriates them to God, 
confirms their present interest in the promises of the gospel, and 
their future hopes. Briefly, grace is the most sensible effect and 
sign of God's special favour, the fruit of election, and the earnest 
of glory : and the truth of grace is most clearly and certainly 
made evident by the continual e£Bcacy of it in the conversation* 
The observation of our hearts to suppress unholy affections, and 
of our senses to prevent them, a constant course of holiness in 
our lives (though many frailties will cleave to the best} is usually 
rewarded with great peace here. 

God has established a connexion between our obedience and 
his comforts. Those that keep themselves pure from the defile- 
ments of the world, have the white stone promised, the bright 
jewel of assurance of God's pardoning and rewarding mercy. 
We read of Enoch, " that he walked with God," was a star shi* 
ning in a corrupt age; the tenor of his life was holy, and he was 
translated to heaven without seeing death. Though this was an 
extraordinary dispensation, yet there is a peculiar reward analo- 
gical to it ; for those who walk circumspectly, they shall not see 
death with its terrors, but usually have a holy cheerfiilness^ a 
peaceful joy in their passage through the dark vaDey to heaven. 
But presumptuous sins against external and internal restraints^ 
the convincing law of God, and the directions of conscience, (to 
which even the sainu of God are liable here, as appears by Da- 
vid's earnest prayer to be preserved from them) such nns grieve 
the Holy Spirit, and wound our spirits, and^ if continued, se- 
quester us from the comfortable privileges of the gospel^ and 
render us unfit for the kingdom of heaven. And when they are 
rietracted by repentance, yet there often remains a bitter remem- 
brance of them ; as deep wounds, though cured,, yet. are felt in 


change of weather. And sometimes a spring-tide of dotibts and 
fears bveakl into humble penitent souls, in the last houiB: 
though death brings them safely, yet not comfortably to heaven. 

iii. The zealous discharge of the duties of our place and call* 
ing, the conjunction of our resolutions and endeavours to gloriiy 
God ; and do good according to our abilities and opportunities 
of service, sweetens the thoughts of death to us. For the true 
end and perfection of life is the glory of God ; and when with 
idelity it is employed in order to it, death brings us to the 
blessed rest from our labours. Our Saviour when he was to 
leave the world, addressed himself to his Father, '^ t have glo* 
rified thee on eardi, 1 have finished the work thou gavest me to 
do. And now. Father, glorify me with thyself, with the glory 
which I had with thee before the world was.'' John 17. A 
christian that imitates and honours Christ, and with diligence 
perseveres in well-doing, may with a humble confidence in the 
divine mercy expect the promised reward. The reflection upon 
a well spent life is joined witli a joyfol prospect of God's fevour 
and acceptance above. But to the careless and remiss, to those 
who are wilfully negligent of their duty, how fearful is death 
that summons them to give an account of their talents to the 
righteous Lord ? 

iv. A holy indiflference of affection to present things, makes 
it easy to part with them, and death less fearful to us. David, 
though a king, declares he was a stranger on earth, not only 
With respect to his transient condition, but his inward disposi- 
ti«»i; and that he was <* as a weaned child" from -the admired 
vanities of the world. Chrysostom in a letter to Ciriacus, who 
was tenderly sensible of his banishment, wrote to him, ' you 
now begin to lament my banishment, but I have done so for a 
long time : for since I knew that heaven was my country^ I have 
esfSeemed the whole earth a place of exilement. Constantinople, 
from whence I am expelled, is as distant from paradise as the 
desert to which they send me.' Bnt when our affections are set 
upon external things, and we are irregufair in our aims, intem- 
perate in our use, and immoderate in our d^ights, how sensible 
and cutting is the division from them ? H6w bitter is death that 
deprives a carnal wretch of all the materiab of his frail felicity ? 
What a storm of passions is rinsed, to lose all his good things at 
once ? For it is a rule in nature, what is possessed with tran- 

CHAP. Vlirr ON DBATH. 29^ 

sporting joy, is lost with excessive sorrow. As the ivy that 
twines so closely about the tree, and is intimately fastened by so 
many roots as there are branches, cannot be plucked away with- 
out rending the bark with it; so when the world, that was as it 
were incarnated with the, heart, is taken away, the heart itsetf 
is grievously rent by the violent separation. * And the infeli- 
city of carnal and \yorldly persons is heavily aggravated, in that 
the guilt in procuring or abusing those treasures and delights that 
they leave here with so great sorrow, vrill cleave to them, and 
give testimony against' them before their Judge. But when the 
affections are loose to the world, and set upon heaven, our lea* 
ving the earth is no loss but gain, aiid our separation from the 
body of flesh is with that alacrity, as the putting off a vile gar- 
ment to be clothed with a royal robe. It was the wise counsel 
of Tertullian f to the women of the first ages of the church, not 
to value and love the jewels and ornaments of gold, that they 
might be more ready and resolved to obtain by death, martyr- 
dom, and by martyrdom, eternal glory. And that we may dis- 
entangle our souls from those voluntary bands that fasten us to 
present things,- we must have a sincere uncoiTupted judgment of 
their meanness. The apostle exhorts, christians to moderation 
in their temper and conversation, with respect to the business 
and enjoyments here ; that *^ they who have wives, be as though 
they had none ; that those that rejoice, be as though they re- 
joiced not 5 and they that buy, as though they possessed not ; 
and they that use the world, as not abusing it : for the fashion of 
the world passeth away." To a wise and pondering observer, 
what comparison is there between shadows and dreams, and 
substantial everlasting blessedness ? If men had the same opi- 
nion of this world whilst they live, as they will have when they 
are to die, they would not inordinately seek it. TTiey who have 
magnified temporal honours and riches, and lived in pleasures 
without remorse, yet in their dying hours, when men speak with 
most feeling and least affectation, how have they vilified those 
empty appearances of happiness ? with what moving expressions 

* Heoeoiniest infcelieitas homloiini, propter qus peccaDt. Morieoteg 
bic dittHttVDty ft ipia peccatateciim portaot. Aug, 

f Stemiu expedUs ad omnem vim, Dihil babentes quod relinqvere timea- 
«us I retinacata Uta sant «pei aoslrae. Ve cult, Fam, 

900 cm DBATH^ CHAP. TIII^ 

dedared the vanity and brevity of worldly things ? As when the 
Israelites were to go through the river Jordan^ that opened itself 
to make a free and dry passage for them. ; the lower part of its 
waters ran into the dead sea, and utterly failed. Josh. 3. 16. but 
the waters that came from above, rose up and appeared like a 
mountain. * Thus when men come to the universal passage front 
this to the next life, inferior things absolutely fiiil, and are lost 
in the dead sea; but the things above, that are eternal, then 
appear in their true greatness, exceeding all human comprehen- 
sion : from hence is the change of mind and language concerning 
the one and other. 

V. Solemn, affectionate, and frequent converse with God in 
religious duties, will render death not fearful to us. The whole 
life of a christian, as such, is a '^ continual communion with the 
Father, and with Jesus Christ.'' 1 John 1 . 3. For he performs 
all good works by divine grace communicated '^ from above," 
and refers all to the divine honour. As in a pair of compasses, 
one foot is fixed in the centre, while the other moves in the cir- 
cumference : so the heart of a christian is in heaven, his aims 
are for God, whilst he is active here in the world. His natural 
and civil actions are heightened to a supernatural end : and thus 
*' his conversation is in heaven.'' But this was spoken of before: 
and that which is now specified, is the more immediate service 
of God in holy meditation, prayer, and the ordinances of the 
gospel, which is the noblest piEurt of the spiritual life.. 

Our blessed Saviour who was a comprehensor upon earth, 
always saw the face of God, and invariably sought his glory in 
all things, yet had his special times of prayer and heavenly com* 
munion wittk God, and the most glorious testimonies of his fa- 
vour in those times. Our communion with God here is as true 
as in heaven, but the influence and fruition is different according 
to our capacity. When the soul feels the vigorous exercise of 
the thoughts and affections upon God, and the raised operations 
of grace in holy duties, it is as certain a sign of God's fwhvu 
and acceptance, as when fire descended from heaven to consume 
the sacrifice. And often our affectionate duties are rewarded 
with sensible consolations, and holy souls are dismissed from the 
throne of grace, as they shall be received at the throne of glory, 

* Ad instar montls intomesceotis^ apparebaot procoL 


with the reviving testimonies of God's approbation. Now the 
assurance of God's love conquers the fear of death. 

This communion must be frequent. As love and respects be- 
tween friends are maintained by constant visits and letters, and 
mutual confidence arises from acquaintance : so by the inter- 
change of holy duties and divine favours, we preserve a lively 
sense of God's love, and a humble familiarity with his majesty, 
that his presence is not a terror to us. A christian that walks 
• with God here, when he leaves the world, (to use the words of 
a dying saint) ' changes his room, but not his company.' God 
was always with him or eurth, and he shall be ever with God in 

Slit eold and seldom converse begets strangeness, and that 
makes us shy of God. When religious duties are performed as a 
comptimental visit without zealous affections, or used only in 
times of affliction and exigency, as cordial waters in swooning 
fits, the divine presence is uncomfortable to us. They who 
prder pamal sweets before acquaintance with God, cannot with 
peace and joy think of appearing before him. O how unwel- 
come is death to such-! ^' for then the Spirit returns to God that 
gave It." 

vi. Let us* strengthen our belief of the blessed state after death. 
Divine truths lose their influence and efficacy when they are not 
steadfastly believed. '^ Faith is the substance of things not seen, 
and the evidence or conviction of things hoped for." Heb. 11. 1. 
The Spirit confirms our faith, not by a pure physical act, but by 
convincing reason of the irutii of the gospel. The life of Christ 
so glorious in holiness, his doctrine so becoming the wisdom 
and other excellent attributes of the Deity ; his miracles so great^ 
numerous, open, and beneficial, not merely to surprise the spec- 
tators with astonishment, but to touch their hearts ; his death 
foretold by the prophets, and exactly agreeing in all the circum- 
stances of the predictions ; his resurrection the most noble ope- 
ration of the divine power, are the strongest prooft that what 
he has revealed as the counsel of God for our redemption, and 
the prepairations of glory for the saints in heaven, are divine 
truths. And the efficacy of the Spirit of Christ in sanctifying 
his disciples in all ages, is a continual and as satisfying an argu- 
ment that the gospel is derived from God the fountain of truths 
as extraordinary miracles. For holiness is as inseparable a pro- 


petty of the divine nature as omnipotence, and the sanctificaftioa 
of the soul as divine an effect as the resurrection of the body. 
Now in the gospel God enters into covenant with obedient be- 
lievers, '^ to be their God," a title and relation, that supposing 
them the most happy here, all the enjoyments of this world 
cannot fulfil. This covenant is not dissolved by death, for he 
uses this style after the death of his faithfiil servants : and from 
henee it follows they are partakers of his glory and joys in the 
next life. For the honour of his veracity is most dear to him. 
The psalmist dechures that he has <' magnified his word above all 
his name." No perfections of his nature are more sacred and 
inviolable than his truth. The foundations of nature shall be 
overturned, and the most solid parts of the creation destroyed, 
but his promises shall be completely, accomplished. We are 
assured by his infallible authority, that ^' there remains a rest 
for the people of God." And ^^ he that receives this testimony, 
sets to his seal that God is true ;" honours the truUi of God's 
word, and binds himself more firmly to his service, and is en- 
couraged to leave this sensible world for that which is infinitely 
better. Our confidence and patieiioe in welldoing, and in sufifer- 
ing the utmost evil to nature, is firom the pregnant apprehen- 
sions of the reality of eternal things. '^ We know," saith the 
q>ostle, ^^ if our earthly tabernacle be dissolved, we have a 
building not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." 2 Cor. 
5, 1. This fortified him against the terrors of death. When 
^' Stephen saw the heavens open, and the Son of God ready to 
receive him," with' what courage and constancy did he encoun- 
ter the bloody rage of his murderers ? Faith supplies the want 
of vision, it pierces the clouds, opens a window in heaven, sees 
the crowns of righteousness prepared for the saints, and sweetens 
the bitterest passage to it. But if our faith be weak and waver- 
ings our courage will decline in the needful hour. It is with 
christians in their last passage from earth to heaven, as with 
Saint Peter walking upon the waters to Christ : whilst his iaith 
was firm in Christ, he went upon the waves as on the firm land; 
but upon the rising of a storm his faith sunk into fear, and he 
sunk in the waters ; till our Saviour upon his earnest prayer, 
*' Lord, save me," took hold of him, and raised him with that 
compassionate reproof, '^ O thou of little faith, wherefore didst 
thou doubt?" 


ON BBATB* d03 

The last use is^ to excite the saints to die with that courage 
and cheerfttbess ^^ as becomes the gospel of Christ/' The en* 
couragement of Joshu^t to the Israelites against the giants that 
terrified them from entering into the land of Canaan, the type 
of heaveii, ^^ be not afraid of them, they are bread for us»" we 
shall obtain an easy conquest over them, is applicable to this 
purpose : do not fear dei^ the enemy that interposes between 
us and the true Canaan ; for our conflict shall be the means of 
our victory, and triumphant possession of the holy and blessed 
land above. This is very honourable to our Redeemer, and 
recommends godliness to the judgment, affeptions, and practice 
of others. St. Basil * teUs aS a custom to anoint the tops of 
doves wings with some fragrant liquor, that mixing in company 
with other doves, they might by the scent allure them to* follow 
to the dove-houses. Thus when holy persons live and die with 
peaceful joy, those that converse with them, are drawn by that 
fragrance of paradise to apply themselves to serious religion. 

It is the apostle's consolatory advice to believers, '^ not to be 
sorrowful for those that sleep in JESUS^ as those that are with- 
out hope.*' 1 Theas. 4. 

When Jacob saw his beloved son's coat rent and stained with 
blood) he abandoned himself to desperate sorrow, and continued 
mourning for his death, when Joseph was advanced in authority 
and dignity next to Pharaoh in the kingdom of Egypt. Thus 
when we see the garment of mortality rent by diseases, we 
noum for departed saints, as if death had absolutely destroyed 
them, when their souls are reigning in glory. This immode- 
rate sorrow is a heathenish passion, suitable to their ignorance 
of the future happy state, but very unbecoming the plenary as- 
surance the gospel affords us of it. Indeed for the wicked to die 
vrith fears md palpitations of heart, to be surrounded with im- 
pendent honors, when such a precipice and depth of misery is 
before them, is very just and reasonable ; but for the saints to die 
uncomfortably under inordinate fears, is a disparagement to the 
^< blessed hope" established upon ^' the revelation of life and im 
mortality by the gospel." 

Now in three things I shall propound the duty of dying 

• EpSst. Jul. 


1. To submit to the divine pleasure with resigned spirits, as 
to the means, the manner, and time of death. God has a so- 
vereign right and dominion over us. The present life is his most 
free favour, and he ipay justly resume it when he pleases. His 
will should be the first and last rule of ours. Whether he gently 
untwines the band of life, or violently breaks it, we must pla- 
cidly without reluctance yield up ourselves. By what means 
soever death comes, all second causes are moved by an in^pres- 
sion from abo^'e, in what age of life soever ; all our times are 
appointed by the divine counsel : and a saint ought with that 
readiness and meek submission to receive it, as if he heard an 
express voice from heaven caMing him to God, and say in his 
heart with Samuel, " here I am, thou didst call me.'' This is 
the last act of our obedience, and very pleasing to God. We 
read of the marvellous * consent of Abraham and his son Isaac, 
the father to offer up his son, and the son his life, (that were 
both the gifts of God) in compliance with the divine command, 
and from heaven he declared his high approbation of it. *' This 
is to make a virtue of necessity, and turn nature into grace.'* 
But discontent and reluctancy, as if our lives were our own, and 
taken from us unjustly or unseasonably, is rebellious unthankful- 
ness, unbecoming a creature, much more a true christian, who 
exchanges a perishing life for that which is eternal. 

2. To receive death not only with patience, but earnest de- 
sires to be with Christ. I know death is naturally unwelcome. 
Our Saviour tells St. Peter, '^ when thou art old, another shall 
bind thee, and lead thee where thou wouldst not," John 21. 41. 
signifying his martyrdom. The circumstance *' when thou art 
old" is remarkable, f &nd intimates the natural unwillingness to 
die, when there was little time to live. But his rational sancti- 
fied will was superior and prevalent. The universal desire of the 
saints is to be happy in the presence of God : for the divine na- 
ture communicated to them is intelligent, and inclining towards 
Its chief good : and if the obtaining it were not by ^^ being un- 

* lite exertt gladturo, ille c!r?iceia, ano voto uoft dcTollooe ; sub (aoto 
aoa dicam humaDitatis, sed potlus naCarae ipsliu metu, lasti suoL 

^ SecQtos a cor pore volebat esse cam Christo, sed si sferi posset prster 
mortis molestiam. Nolens ad earn venit, sed nolens earn Yicif. ^ug* Trmci^ 
123. in Joan. ^ 


dothed^.biKt clothed npon" by an immediate tianslttion to hea- 
yen, bow willingly would they leave this world ? But there is a 
bitterness in death that makes it unpleasant; and many holy 
souls that desire the glorious liberty in heaven, yet are loath to 
leave their prison. Now there are so many arguments to make 
the saints desiroua of dying, that methinks since life is chiefly 
valued and dear to them, as it is the way to heaven, when they 
are come to that blessed end, it should not be longer desirable. 
What is this lower world that chains us so fast ? It is the devil's 
circuit wherein he ranges, seeking ^^ whom he may devour ;*' 
it is the theatre of contentions. The low aspire to rise ; the ex- 
alted fear to fall : the poor envy the rich, and the rich despise 
the poor. It is a foreign countiy to the saints, and as piigrims 
and stfangecs, they are liable to reproaches, injuries, and hard 
dealings from the wicked, the natives of the ear th» What is the 
present momentary life that so enamours us ?• ' It is surrounded 
with temptations, oppressed with fears, ardent with irregular de« 
sires, and continually spent in vanity or vexation.. In adversity 
it is depressed and melancholy ; in prosperity foolish and proud. 
It is a real infelicity under the deceitful appearance of felicity. 
But above all other motives, the evil of sia from which we can 
not be clearly exempted here, should render death desirable. 
The best suffer internal divisions between <^ the law of the fleshy 
and the law of the mind/' as Rebecca felt the twins, Esau and 
Jacob, repugnant in her womb. How hard is it to be ooatinu- 
ally watching the heart that corruptions do not break out, and 
the senses that temptations do not break in ? How difficult to 
order the affections, to raise what is drooping, and suppress 
what is rebellious ? For they are like the people of whom the 
historian speaks, qui nee totam servUutem pati posmnt, nee to- 
tarn UbertiUem. How many enemies of our salvation are lodged 
in our own bosoms ? The falls of the saints give sad evidence 
of this. If the body were unspotted from the wodd, as in the 
creation of man, there might be a just plea of oux unwillingness 
to part with it ; but since it is the incentive and instrument of 
sin, we should desire to be dissolved^ that we might be perfectly 
holy. Death is the final remedy of all the temporal andspiritud 
evils to which we are liable here« And the love of Christ should 
make us willing to part with all the endearments oS this life, 
nay desirous to enter into the celestial paradise, though we must 
vol, iiu u 


pass under the angers sword^ the stroke of death, to come into 
his presence. He infinitely desei-ves our lore, for we owe our 
salvaUon and eternal glory to the merit of his humiliation^ and 
the power of his exaltation. With what earnest aflbctiohs did 
St. Paul desire '^ to be dissolved and to be with Christ ?" Phil. 
1. Love gave wings of fire to his soul, ardent desires mounting 
to heaven. How valiant were the martyrs in ^stpressing acts of 
iove to Christ ? How boldly did they encounter death that in- 
terposed between them and the sight of his glory P Their love 
was hotter than the flames that cctisumed them. They as wil- 
lingly left their bodies, as Elias let fall his mantle to ascend to 
heaven. And hoW does it Upbraid the coldness of our love, that 
we are so contented to be hetie, absent firom our Saviour. That 
the tnoles of the earth, who nev^r saw the light of the son, and 
feed on bitter roots, are pleased in their dark reoeptacles, is no 
wonder ; but if birds that are refreshed with his cheetiul beams, 
and feed on sweet fruits, should willingly be confined in cavenn 
of the earth, it were unnaturally strange. Thus for Pagans (and 
those who are so in heart, though different in profession) that 
are so short-sighted and depraved, that they only perceive and 
affiect present sensible things, fi>r them to be unwilling to die is 
no wonder ; for then all that is valuable and delightful to them 
is lost for ever : but for those who are enlightened by the reve- 
lation of God so clearly eonceitifng the state of glory, txni have 
tasted the goodness of the Lord, and know the inoomparabk 
differencie between the mean and frail felicity het«, and the iiies*> 
timable immutable felicity hereafter, for them to be unwilling to 
leave this world for that which is infinitely belter, is astonishing. 
Such was the love of our Saviour> that his personal glory tn hea- 
ven did not fully content him, without the saints partaking of it 
with him : << Father, I will that those whom thou hast given me^ 
be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory.'' John 
17. If our hearts do not answer his, it is a sad indication that 
we have not an interest in him : for the application of his merits 
is always joined with the imitation of his virtues, and the reflec^ 
tion of his love. The lovers of Christ will join with the inflamed 
spouse, *^ draw us, and we will run after thee:** Cant. 1. O 
loosen our affections from this world, that we may readily ascend 
to thee : they will renew the sighs of holy David in his httiish* 
ment, " O when shall we come and appear befiwe God !** 

CBAF. vm^ ^ UlAfff. 9^ 

Lastly. To cKe ivkh tbanScsgiving and joy. Ft is usual M coirt- 
pare this life to a Toy&ge : the sferiptor^ is thetHait that de* 
scribes iSie coasts we must pass^ siad the ro^ks tve iMst avoid; 
fiutk is the compass that dlre^tt the' ecfurae "we mhsk 4teer ; Ibve 
is the rudder that gov«ims the ttotion tit the slJip $ hope fills the 
sails. Now what passenger does not rejoice sEt the discovery of 
his country where his esitate alhd heart «^ and meireM the near 
appmach tk> the port where hte-^ to Ittid ? b nol tieaveh the 
eoantry of the saints? Is not their birth from d[ioye>' ahd their 
tendency to their' original f And ts hot the bl^stf^ bosom of 
Christ tMeif port? O what jbyfiil ihisnksgivings: are due to Clod, 
wlien'by hi§ SpiiiC and pfrovtdeb^, they hifcve happily finished 
their voyage through such ^ dangerous seas^ and are ei»m!ng 
mto the land of the Imng ? How joyftil was to Noah the coming 
of tlie'»dove with an olive branch, to show him the deltige was 
assMiaged, and tlie time was come of tiis freedom frbm the tron'- 
btesome company of animals, aiid Krfiih the straitnc^ ahd dark- 
ness of the ark, to go forth and possess the world?'- nbw joyfiil 
i»hOa1d death b^ to a saint, that comes lik^ the dov^ in the 
•efvenhig, to assure him the deluge- of misery is ceased, ati^ the 
time is come of his enlargement from the body,' his* 'deliverance 
*om die wretched sinftil society here, and his possessing the di- 
vine world ? Holy souls are immediately transported by thfe 
angels to Christ, .and by him presented to his Father, without 
*' spot or wrinkle,'' complete in holitiess, and prepared for com- 
munion with him in glory. How joyfnlty are they lifeceived into 
fieaven by our Saviour and 'the blessed spirits? they are the re- 
>ward of his sufferings, the precidus and dear purchase of his 
filood. The angels that rejoice at* the conversiwi of a sinner, 
'do much more at the glorification of a saint: tod the* ^* church 
trf the first-bom** who have before us entered into glory, have It 
new accession of joy, when their younger brethren arrive to the 
undefiled immortal inheritance. And is it not very becoming 
believers joyfiilly to ascend to the seat rf blessedness, to the 
happy sodety that ittepires mutual joys for ever? For our en-? 
couragement there are numerous instances of believers that have 
with peace and joy, though in various degrees, passed through 
" the dark valley to the inheritance of light/* Some have died 

« Qttandiu is talo hto, t«mdlo inter naalragla. 
V 2 


with move joy than . they liTed, and triumphed orer the last 
.enemy with the vocal praises of God : * othefs vrith silent ailee- 
ticms have quietly oommepded their spirits bto his hand. Some 
have inward refreshiugs and support; others exuberant joys and 
.ravishments, as if the light of glory shined into them, or the 
veil of flesh were drawn^ and their spirits were present with the 
invisible world* Some of the maiiyrs in their cruellest suflferings 
felt such impressions cf confidence and alacrity, that as in the 
house of Lapiech there were accorded at the same time two dis- 
cordant callings by the two brothers ; Jubal the inventor of the 
harp and organ, and Tubal-Caiu the first artificer in brass and 
iron,. Gen. 4. the one practised on instroments of music, 
breathing hannoni<ms sounds and melodies; thfe other used 
hammers and anvils, making noise and tumult: so in some per- 
sons, whilst the heaviest strokes fell on their bodies, their souls 
were ravished with the sweetest joy and esniltation. Indeed it is 
not thus always with the saints : for though sin be pardoned, yet 
the apprehensions of guilt may remain. When a stream is dis- 
turbed, it does i^ot truly represent the object : when the afliec- 
.tions are disordered, the mind does not judge aright of a chris- 
tian's sUte. A serpent may hiss when it has lost its sting. 
Death may terrify when it cannot hurt us. I doubt not but 
some excellent saints have been in anxieties to the last, till their 
fears were dispelled by the actual fruition of blessedntas. As the 
sun sometimes sets in dark clouds, and rises in a glorious horizon. 
We read our evidences for heaven by the light of God's counte- 
nance : his image is made visible in our souls by the illustration 
of his Spirit : and he exercises prerogative in the dispensation 
of his comforts. It is bis pleasure to bestow extraordinary favouis 
on some» and deny them to otliers that are as holy. But every 
penitent believer has just cause of joy in death : for Jesus Christ 
has reconciled God, destroyed satan, and conquered death : and 
the last day of his life is tlie first of his glory. 

* AccitQs Aiini «d 14 mlracoll, videre exttlUoien U morte komioesii & 

Insultaiitem murti, Bern, 26. Serm> in Cant* 


Acts xvii. 31. 

Because li« bath appoioted a day* lo the which he will judge the world 
in righteousness, by thai man whom he hath ordained : whereof he hath given 
assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised htm from the dead. 


The eoherenee of the text epeaed. The detemlnlng a iVm^ aad the detigo- 
atioe of the petabo to judge the world are exprttsed, God U king of the 
world by creation. The two principal parU of his soTereignty. are giving 
laws to role his snlyects, and to pass final judgment according to those 
laws. Hit emential attributes qualify hln for the czerclie of gotemmeat. 
Tlie Son of God oalted to the human aatare, it witely appointed to judge 
men. The quality of this office requires no lets person, upon the account 
of its superlative dignity, mud immense difficulty. It is the reward of his 
tofferlDgt. The day of Judgment is ttyled the great day In sc<vera1 re- 
ipectt. To detae the paitlcuiar time It beyond the knowledge M may 
mere creature. 

^AINT Paul had this title of honour emineDtly conferred upon 
himy the apostle of the Gentiles : this oflSce he performed with 
peisevering diligence^ difliising ^^ the light of life to those that 
aat in darkness, and in the shadow of death.'' In this chapter 
we have recorded the sabstanoe of his sermon to the Athenians ; 
wherein his admirable zeal and prudence are remarkable, in the 
matter and order of his discourse, to convince and persuade them 
to receive the saving truth of the gospel. He first lays down the 
principles of natural religion, to prepare them for the more leasy 

u 3 


belief of aupematural revealed religion. The depravation of the 
minds of men was in no instance more prodigious than in their 
vilifying conceits of the Deity: they attributed his name and ho-> 
nour to various idok, and ascribed to him dieir own figure, and, 
which was infinitely more unworthy and dishonourable^ their 
own passions and vices. They adored their own vain imagina- 
tions. The idols of their hearts were erected on their altars. 
Venus was a goddess^ because impure love reigned in their breast* 
Bacchus had religious rites, because sensual pleasures, as sweet 
as wine, intoxicated their spirits. These errors, as gross as im- 
pious, were universal : the philosophers themselves were not ex- 
empted fitmi the contagion. The apostle therefore makes use 
of the clearest arguments, to give authority to the plain conspi* 
ring voice of nature, that had so long in vain recalled them from 
idolatry to the worship of the only true fiod. He therefore de- 
clares that the divine Maker of ail things, *' the Father of spi- 
rits, could not be represeatad by corporeal and corruptible 
things,'* ver. 29. but was to be acknowledged and adored in a 
manner becoming his spiritual and infinite perfections. That 
*' he made aH nations of one blood,'* ver. 26. though distin- 
guished in their habitations and times, that they might seek and 
aerve the one unitereal Creator. And though the pagan world 
for many ages had lived in an unnatural oblivion of God, and he 
aeemed unconcerned for their violation of his laws, yet it was not 
from the defect of jasliee, but the direction <of h» wisdom, that 
his patience was so long extended to them, find this he proves 
by the new and most express declaration of his will : ^^ But now 
be commfluded aU men «very where to repent; becaase he bath 
appdnted a day, in which he w9l judge the worid in righteoas.^ 
ness, by the man whom he hath ordained : whereof he hath given 
assurance to all men, in that he raised him firom the dead/' 

In the wordi, the eternal counsels of God are revealed in two 
great thinga. 

Pint The determining a time wherein he %rill righteousiy 
judge the world : '< He hath appointed a day." 
• Seeondly. The designation of the person by whom he will per- 
form that eariaent pait of eoverdgnty : <' by Jesus Christ, whom 
he hath raised firom the dew!.'* 

In order to the handling of the mwn point, it is requisite to 
premiK briefly aame proposifeioDa. 


L That God is the uaiversal m^marcb of the worlds wd ha# 
nwftem^ fuithority to govern reaiooable creatures, antecedent t^ 
Ihdr etectioa and consent. The psalmist calls to the heathenS| 
''Know ye tfai|t the Lord is Ood/' PsaU lOQ. 3. that it, thf 
Tno$t ^orious heing, and absolute sovereign ; '^ for it is he that 
made us, and not we ourselves/^ He formed all things by hi* 
almighty goodness, and is king by creation, 

2. The two principal and necessary parts of his sovereignty 
are, to give laws for the ruling of his subjects, and to pass final 
judgment upon them for their obedience or disconformity to his 
precepts* Mere natural iigents are regulated by a wise estab* 
iiahoient, that is the law of their creation. The sun and stars 
are moved aeeording to the just points of their compass. Th^ 
angels are under a law in heaven, ^< and obey his command- 
mei^." The human nature of Christ, though advanced to. the 
highest capacity of a creature, ^* yet received a law." And this 
whole work upon earth for our salvation, was an act of obedience 
to the will of God. If a prince out of affection to his friend will 
leave bis own dominions, and live privately with him in a foreign 
country, he must be subject to the laws of that place. Indeed it 
is not conceivable that a creature should be without a law } for 
this is to make it supreme and independent s supreme, in not being 
liable to a superior power to confiqe and order it; independent, as 
to its being wi operations $ for dependance necessarily infers sub^ 
jeetian. There is a visible connexion between those titles ; ^<The 
JLord Is our judge, the Lord is our Lawgiver, the Lord is our King.'' 
Ian. 33. 22. And sometimes in scripture his sovereignty is intima^ 
tedin the title of judge : thus in that humbly expostulation of Abra^ 
hmk for Sodom ; ^^ Shall not the Judge of all the vi^ld do right ?'' 
He addresses his request to God under that titl^ to soften hip 
power, and incline his elemeucy to aave the wicked for their sakes 
who were comparatively righteous, that is, iimoeent '^ of their 
crying sins,'' 

3. As his right to govern and judge the world is natural, sp 
we his attributes, his wisdom, holiness, justice and power^ thf|t 
qualify iuid fender him most worthy t» exercise this government. 
These are finite separable qualilies in angels or men, but essen- 
tial perfections to the Deity. It is more rational tp conceive 
that things may be eongeaicd by the heat of fire, or turned black 
by whiteness, than that the least aet of injustice can be dene by 

V 4 


<he righteous Lord. The apostle rejects with extreme detesCft- 
tion, the blasphemous charge of unrighteousness in Go<Pfl pro- 
ceedings : <^ Is God unrigbteoos that taketh vengeance ? God 
iorbid : for then how ahall God judge the world ?'' RomrS. 5^ 
& He may as soon renounce his nature, and cease to be God, 
fer as such he is necessarily Judge of the world, as violate his 
own perfections in his judicial proceedings with us. 

4. God being invisible in his own nature, hadi most wisely 
jordained 4Jie last judgment of the world to be transacted by a 
visible person ; because men are to be judged, and the whole 
process •of judgment witli them, will be for things done in the 
body* The person appointed for this great work, is Jesus Christ 
the Son of God united *to the Imman nature. ^* The Father 
judgeth no man," John 5. 22. not as if he -deBcended from the 
throne, and divested himself of his supremacy, but not immedi- 
iktely ; ^ but hath committed all judgment to the Son/' And it 
fellows, << As the Fadier hath life in himself, so hath he given to 
the Son to have life in himself: and hal^ given him aulhority to 
execute judgment -also, because tie is the Son of Man f ver. 26, 
HJ. that is, ia the <}ualfty fff Mediator, for the reward of his suf- 
ferings. The qtmlity of this oAoe requires no less person for the 
discharge of it, than f he Sen of God. 

{ 1 .) Upon the account of its superlative dignity. No mere 
ureature is capable of such a glorious eommission. To pass a 
sovereign sentence upon angels and men, is a royalty reserved for 
God himself. We read that '< no man in heaven or earth was 
able to open the sealed book of his eternal counsels, as unseavch- 
^e as deep,'' Rev. 5. only Jesus Christ, who was in the ^ Bo- 
som i<rf the Father," the seat of his counsels and compassions, 
•and was aequainted with ail his glorious secrets, could unfold the 
0Mler of ^he divine decrees about the church. And if no creature 
was worthy to be admitted into God's counsel, much less to be 
taken into hii throne. The eternal Son, " the express image of 
his person," is alone fit to be authoriaed repvesentative in judg- 
naent* Our Saviour declares that the Father invested the Soa 
with this rq^ power, that '< all men should honour^ the Son,'' 
John 5. 23. with the same religions revcsence, and supreme 
adoration, '^ns they honour the Father." 

(2.) Upon the aeeount of the immense diffieuky no meve 
ereatuce is able to diaehMge iu To judge the worlds inckidca 

OHAP. !• BmUiAL SVPnUSVT. 919 

two Ohingi: K To pass a rigfateom and irrevocable judgment 
upon men for ail things done in this \\k. 2. The aetual exeeu«- 
tioo of the sentence. And for thb no less than infinite wisdom, 
and infinite power are necessary. If a select number of angeb 
of the highest order were deputed^ yet they could not manage 
the judicial trial of one man: for besides the immmerable acts 
and omissions in one life, the seerets of the heart, from whence 
die guilt or goodness of moral actions is principally deriTed, are 
not open to them. He alone that discerns all things, can require 
an account of all. 

. (3.) The Son of Man is inTcsted with this high office as the 
reward of his sufferings. We must distinguish between the es* 
aential and economieal power of Christ. The Son of God, con- 
sidered in his divine nature, has an original power of judgment 
ecpial with the Father; but coosideTed as Mediator, has a power 
by delegation* In the quality of the Son of Man, he is inferior 
^in diguit)' to the Father. The apostle declares this in that scal^ 
ot subordination of the creatures to beKevers, and of believefs to 
Christ, and of Christ to God ; ^ AH things are yours, and you 
are Christ's, and Christ is God's.^ And observing the beautifid 
order that arises from the superiority and dependance between 
things, he saith, ^' The head of every man is Christ, and the 
head of the -woman ia the man, and the head of Xhrist is God/^ 
>Iow this jpower by commission was conferred upon him as the 
reward of his sufferings. The apostle expressly declares it, that 
Christ << being in the fomn of God," without any usarpatioil 
tniiy equal to him in divine perfections and majesty, ^< humbled 
himself, and became obedient to the death of the cross* Where- 
fore God bath highly exalted him, and given him a name abova 
every name : that at the name of Jesus every knee shouM bow, 
of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the 
earth ; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ h 
Lord, to the glory of God the Father/' His victorious suflerings 
are the titles to his traunphs ; his being so ignominioosiy de* 
fvessed and condenmed by men, is the just reason of his ad- 
vancement to judge the worid* 

5* There ia a day appointed wherein the Son of Man win 
Appear in sensible glory, and exereise his judicial power upon 
ADgds and asen* He ia now ^ seated at the right hand of the 
Afiyesty on higfa^"' and the odestaal apheres are under hia feet : 

9U BiMKAt jv^Guam. chap, u 

fuuv^i^I ntfeore fiaeh tbc power of his sceptre : be reigns m the 
beerts of the sainte by hia word and Spirit, and lettiaioB tbrf fvsry 
of his enemies in what degree be pleases : but still bis sennnta 
are in distrfas, and his rebellioiis enemies insolently break bia 
laws $ and the curtains of heaven conceal his glory inmi us s 
therefore a tiaae is prefixed when in the fisoe of the world he will 
make an eternal difference by the rewards and ponishmenta, 
between the righteous and the wicked, and his government shall 
have its complete and glorious issue. This is styled the ** Judg^ 
ment of the great day." 

(1.) With respect to the appearance of the Judge. When the 
law waa gi^ea from Mount Sinai, the mountain was oorered with 
fire, and the ¥oiee of God ae loud as thunder proclaimed it from 
the midst of the flames, so that the whole army of the Israelitea 
was prostrate on the plain, struck with a sacred Iwrrar, and al^ 
moat dead at the amaaing si^ts and sounds. From hence it is 
said, that ^^ in his ri^t hand was a fiery bw.'' And if the Law* 
giver f^peared in such terrible maieaty at the proclaiming the 
Uw, how mudi more when be shall come to revenge the trana- 
gressions of it? It is set forth in scripture in the most lofty and 
Ha^gnificent expressions : ^^ He shall come in his Father's gkiry, 
•nd his owti glory, and the gloty of the angels.'' Luke 9. 26. 
A devourmg fire shall go before him, to oonsume aU the woriis 
of the universe* He shall descend firom the higfaest heaveiM, 
glorious in the attendance of innumerable angels, but more in his 
own m^esty, and sit on a '^ radiant throne high above all/' 

(20 It is great with respect to the appearance of those who 
nre to be judged : all the apostate angels, and the universal pro- 
geny of Adam. The bowels of the earth, and the bottom of the 
fiea, and all the elements shall give up the dead. The mighty 
angels, the winged minisiters of justice, shall fly to all parts, and 
attach the widced to bring them as miserable prisoners befhie 
that high tribunal. And those blessed powerful spirits shall con- 
gregate the righteous, to present them at his right hand. 

(3.) It is great with respect to what shall be then done : he 
aball perform the most glorious and consuunnate aet of his regal 
cffice ; after a righteous trial, prononnce judgment, upon which 
the etemal^ destiny of the wodd depends. And immediatdy the 
saints shall ascend with him to the everlasting mansions of glory, 
^od the wicked shall be ewaflotaad up m the fl^ gulph (or ^er. 


To define the particular time when this shall be accomplished, 
it beyond the knowledge of the angels of highest dignity. It is 
inUr arcana imperu, among the secrets of the kingdom of hea- 
ven. It is observable that God has revealed the times precisely 
wherein some great events shoaM oome to pass ; after how many 
years the Israehtes should be freed ftt>m Egyptian bondage; after 
what space of time they should be restored from the captivity of 
BabykMi ; when the Messiah should die for the expiatimi of sin : 
but there is no designation by certain characters of the particular 
day, nor year, nor age in any prophecy, of our Saviour's coming 
to judgment. And of this «d acoount may be given. The spe- 
cial end of those predictions was, that those who lived to see 
their accomplishment, notwithstanding the seeming impossibili- 
tieSf might believe the truth and power of God to fulfil the reve- 
bilkii of his purposes for the time to oome. But at the last day, 
all the promises and threatenings wiH be fiilfilled, nothing will 
remain to be the object of futh ; and consequently it was super- 
AuNM to declare the certain time, since the exact aecompUsb- 
ment of it according to the prediction, will neither be osefid t0 
confirm believers, or convert infidels. 

Lastly, The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most convin* 
ctttg and eommanding evidence of this doctrine, that he shall 
judge the world. For he was charged with Uasphemy deserving 
4t death for this testimony : ^^ I say unto you, hereafter shall 
you see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power, and 
coming in the clouds of heaven." Mat. 2t>. 64. He dedicated 
martyrdom in Ids own suflMngs. Now God in raising him firom 
the dead, e<mfirmed the truth of his testimony by that visible 
miracle, and the belief of it converted the world to ehristiantty. 



God will righteously jnd^e the world by Jetiu Chrlit The rightcouimi of 
God*« jadicl&l proeeedingt will »ppeftr by cootideriof the cqaity of the 
law, the rule of judgmeat. The law of oature considered in Itt precepts 
and penalties. The precepts are such as become the Creator to five, ud 
the reasonable creature to receive. An answer to the olgection» that the 
law being pare and perfect , and nan in a frail state, It Koems hard to nw 
^uire perfect obedience from bim^ and condemn him for fallings^ The law 
of faith considered. Oor innocence being lost, repentance is alloired. 
Sincere obedience is accepted, where perfection is wanting. Unfeigned 
faith in the Redeemer is the condition of onr jostification and glorifict- 
tion. The not complying with the gospeWtermt of salvation, proceeds 
from the perrene wills of i 

X Will now proceed to illustrate and prove the main point, 
ivbich is this : . 

That God toill judge the world in righteousness by Jesus 

The Mediator, who shall be Judge in the union of both na- 
turesy considered as the Son of God, is essentially holy and righ- 
teous ; and considered as the Son of Man, was ** holy, hannleas, 
nndefiled, and separate from sinners/' In him all virtues shined 
in their absolute purity : and who is so worthy and qualified to 
reward holiness and punish wickedness as ^< the htdy One of 
God?*' It is said of him, <^Thou hast loved righteousness, and 
hated iniquity, therefore thy God hath anointed thee with oil of 
gladness above thy fellows," Heb. 1. 9. consecrated him to the 
regal office, and enriched his human nature with endowments 
suitable to it. It was prophesied of him, " The Spirit of the 
Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understand- 
ing, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge, 
and of the fear of the Lord ; and shall make him of quick under- 
standing in the fear of the Lord : and he shall not judge after the 
sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears; 
but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with 
jequity." Ua. 1 1. 2, 3, 4. Human judgments ate often unrigh- 
teous, from vicious respects and affections that pervert the will, 


or fair appearances that deedye the understanding : by gifts or 
guile^ innocence is cast, and guilt acquitted ; but the Judge of 
the world is infleicible to partiality, and all things <^are entirely 
open to his sight/' In the act of judgment he is represented 
''sitting on a white throne^'' Rev. 20. IL th^ emblem of un- 
spotted holiness. 

The righteousness of God's judicial proceecfings will appear^ 
by considering three things. 

L The equity of his law, the rule of the great and final judg- 

II. The evidence of the facts and matter, which shall be pro- 
duced as the reason of judgment. 

III. The impartiality of the sentence. 

I. The equity of the law which shall be the rule of the last 
judgment* This will appear by considering i. the law of nature, 
and the law of faith, in their precepts and ii. the penalties an- 
nexed to enforce the observation of them. 

i. The law of nature, which is the rule of man's duty, will be 
the rule of judgment: for '^without the law there is no trans- 
gression;'' and consequently a person is unaccountable for his 
jurtions. This law is composed of such rules as are most beco- 
ming, the wise and gracious Cre^or to give, and the reasonri>le 
creature to receive and obey : for they entirely agree and con* 
centre in his glory, and the good of his subjects. The apostle 
adorns the law with the most esccellent elegy ; <' it is holy, just; 
and good." Rom. 7. 12. Holy, as it enjoins all acto of piety 
to God : the adoration' of his majesty resulting from his inex- 
pressible divine perfections, the imitation of his purity, a reliance 
on his goodness, a resignation to his most wise providence, and 
a dutiful obedience tb his will. Such a sense of our dependance 
and subjection to God, is the proper character of the reasonable 
creature, as dignified above inanimate and mere sensitive beings. 
'< The law » just," as it directs us how to demean ourselves iu 
our various relations. Justice is the cement of societies, without 
which they disband and fall into cottfiision. And the sum of the 
law b virtually comprised in one rule, '< To do to others as we 
would they should do ta us," dian which nothing is more equaL 
It is good to man that keeps it, commanding nothii^ but what 
is in6uential upon his well-being here and Sof ever. It does not 
infringe bis true freedom^ bi^ allows him unstnined delights^ and 

3lS XTJOLKAL 9vt^awaat. €Hxr« n* 

wjoins wlJat n properto advuioe and secure hit digniejr, Mciljr 
and peilecfiifm* It foiMb every thing that defike and dcbaaea 
Um, and canses a degenemtioii from his native exceBencj. if 
tve preBciiid in our tbo^gliti tJbe aacred anchority of the Lawgt«- 
ver» all the precqtts of the hiw for Aor anoral goodness deserve 
our esteem and choice^ and entire observation. The sanctified 
mind approves them univerully. ^I esteem all thy precepts 
concerning all things to be right,'' saidi holy David, Ptai. 1 19. 
128. Nay, in the vridted there is an mtelk^taal aasenl to the 
goodness of the law, though the corrupt will doth not erabfvce 
it : there are some indinataons and wishes to obey it, but control- 
led by vicious desires. It is said of die convinced sinner, ''^ Thorn 
knowest his will, and a pp t uve s t the dungs dmt are aiore excel- 
Jeslt/' Rom. 2. 18« 

It may be objected, that the law being pure, and man in a 
frail state, surrounded with imnmierable temptations, to require 
perfect obedience from him, and condemn him for his fiuHngs, 
aeelns hard. The law lays a restraint upon all the senses, and 
forbids all fleshly lusts : diis may be easy to separate Souls, hut 
for men to live in the body, as if they were out of It, to be 
always vigilant against the insinualioos or sttacks of sin, is im* 
polwMe. Thus the carnal mind is apt with some colour, to tre« 
dnce the righteousness of God's gcnrernment. But it will be 
clearly vindicated, by considering ; 

. (1.) The law supposes man in a state of integrity, ftiniiriied 
with sufiident power to comply with every precept, though free 
tp bll bom his duty and happiness. To command absolute im* 
possibiUties, is tynmnical, and utterly inconsistent with the na- 
ture of the blessed God. 

(2.) The first man wiUhity transgressed the law, and lost his 
holiness : and nature being pdsoned in die fountain, is corrupt ift 
all die desoendanin from hfan. Matikhd was jtistly d^;raded in 
vebdiious Adam, and is destitute of spiritoid strength to petfertti 
Idl that the law reqjuires. 

(S.) This disslbliity is vicious and oulpabte, and can be no 
presence agaamt the righu of the Lawgiver. A natural disability 
irom the vMk of requisite feeiddte is a just ^Keuse. b is no 
UmiH that a man caKmot stop the sun, as Joshua did; nor cahn a 
tkftipest, ss our Saviour ^d t^ bis word. But the dtsaMtity that 
<srises from a depnived dispoiidon) lenders a peison more guilty. 

CHAF. lu nniNAL JVMmmn^ 319 

And Ail » the presoit cfee. The will W mm ii diaJriMiBnt 
ftnd perverse^ and as soon at it caaexnrciae election) eboobes evil; 
and by custom in sin becomes more hardened and obstinaitak 
And fiom hence the prophft diargts the contamaoioos Jetvs ; 
^' Behold, their ear is uncifonmcised, and thef eamult hearken/' 
Jer. 6« 10. Were they incapafaih of hearing the dhriae com* 
mands? No ; ** but the irbrd of die Lord waa lo them a tn* 
jitoachy they had no delist ki it.'' And oer Saviour upbraida 
the jdiariaeea^ ^^ H6w ctei ye beliere, which rceei^ Iwnoar one 
oFanodier^ andaeek ndttte honour Ikat cornea from God only P'^ 
John 5* 44. They wero in high Tepniatkn ibr their -holiness^ 
which made it impossible for them io a htttnble penitent manner 
to aubniit t6 taur Sb^Hout. In shdrt, the primary end of the law 
was the happintas of man in the performance c€ hit duty ; and 
Iris first sin> tad comequent irapotetioe tn ftrifil it> was by his 
own fitnlt. Ab the obliquity of a line cannot be ascribed to thfe 
atratghl rale, but to the error of the hand that draws it« And 
from hene^ it is.elear^ that if God shoold with a terrible einet^ 
ness reqikire of men unsmning obedience upon the pain of dam« 
nation, he could ntt be ta^d with narightsoihsness* 

2» But God hta been pleased to mitigate and allay the seve- 
rity of the law by the gospel ; ao that akhougli the kmt breach 
. of it makes a peieon an offender and obnoKums to judgment, yet 
the law of faith propounds such merciful conditions to the gnilty^ 
that tpoe the perfbrmanoe of thefn, tfaey may plead dieir paidon 
aealed with the Ueod of thehr Redeemer, and shall be saved and 
crowned in the day of judgment. We are comnmnded '^ so ta 
epeak and do, as they that shall be judged by the law of Hbcrty/' 
Jam. 2. 12. Thns the gospel is etyfed, in that it freea the wn« 
aiiienee, thinigh not from the obedience^ yet from the tenon and 
vDademnitien of the law; for there waa liat the-ieast aignifica«* 
tion of mercy by it. Bat in the gospd, ^'die grabe of God moat 
illustriomly appean. 

(1.) In that wben our innocence was loat, there may be a ra- 
a o vt rtaen of the sinner by vqpentanoe, to Which the pfeaary paiw 
don of sm is assured : <' Wash ye, mal^ ye clean, put away the evil 
'of yonr doings from before mine eyes: ceaaa to do evil, and learn 
to do well, aaith the Lord : and though your sina be aa scarlet, 
4liey 'shall be white aa snow; thoagh diey be lad like crhnson, 
ehey shall be white like wooL'' ba. 1, 16^ IT, 18« God wiU 

390 itavufJKL jvwnaan. cni^, n. 

not pardon thcne wImi fetgite and flatter 'tfaemnfawB ia their 
sh» ; *^ but those who confess and fixsake tham^ shall find 
mercy/' ^ 

(2.) Sincerity of obedience is aceepted where perfection is 
wanting. When a person with consent of heart and serious en- 
deavours strives to obey the holy will of God^ without the excep- 
tion of any known duty, or the inddgence of any sin, <' God will 
spare him, as a fadier spares his son that serves him/* Mai. 3. 
17* It is not so much the matter as the allowance that makei 
sin deadly* Where there is guile in the heart, it will be severdy 
jmputed. It is not according to some particular acts of sin, bat 
the tenor of the life, that the state of men wiU he decided. 

(3.) Unfeigned fisidi in the Lord Jesus, that is snch a belief ef 
the truth and goodness of his promises, as induees us ^ to re- 
ceive him as our Prinee and Saviour;" as purifies the c^nseience, 
the heart and life, will bet us from hell, and entitle us to hes- 
ven, according to the covenant of grace. In short, the finsl le- 
•solution of a man's trial and case will be this ; either he has per- 
formed the gracious conditions of the gospel, and he shall ^ be 
saved ;" or rejected them, and he shall << be damned." 

If it be objected, that the terms of evangelical justificadoo^ 
though in themseWes oomparatively e»iy, yet are of impossible 
perfonnanoe to men in their natural sinfal state. The ansa^ is 

That although the <^ natural man be dead in am,"^ wickeat 
spiritual strei^th to resolve and perfiMrm his duty, and holy best 
<rf desires to it ; and nothing is aKve m him but his corrupt ps»- 
sions, that are like worms generated m a carcass ; yet by the 
grace that is offered in the gospel, he may^ be enabled to peiforoi 
the conditions of it: far in this the gospel excels the law, the 
law discovers rin, but affords no degrees of snperaatiiral power to 
subdue it, and direets ta ho means for the expiation of its gailt 
As *' the fire in the bush" discovered the thorns without coosu* 
wing them. Bnt the sanctifying Spirit, the true spring of ^ life 
and power," 2 Tim. 1. 7* is the eoiwomitant of the gospel, as 
St. Peter dedares, <^ Witt^the (Reaching 66 the gospel the Holy 
Ghost was sent down from heaven." 1 Pet. 1. 12. And the 
Spirit by ilhimmating,. preventing, and exdting grace assists mea 
to repent and believe ; and is pronrised in rich and liberal sop* 
plies to all that humbly and ardently pray for it» Ttus ow 

CHAP* n. mvKSAL JUMiusim 921: 

Savioar aamres toiu by a moet tenda* and endearing compati-' 
eon : '^ if ye that are evil, know how to give good thingB to your 
children ; how much more sbtdl your heavenly Father give the 
Holy Spirit to those that ask it ?" Luke 1 1. 13. 

From hcBce it follows, that it is from the perverseness of the 
irilt, and the lov% of sui, that mtn do not obey the gospel. For 
the Holy Spirit never withdraws his gracious assistance, till ^^ re* 
sisted, grieved, and quenched, by them/' It will be no excuse, 
that divine grace is not conferred in the same eminent degree 
upon some as upon others that are converted : .for the impeni* 
tent shall not be condemned for want of that singular powerful 
grace that was the privilege of the elect, but for ^' receiving in 
vain'' that measure of common grace that they had. If he that 
received *' one talent" had faithfully improved it, he had been 
. rewarded with more ; but upon the slothful and ungrateful neg- 
lect of his duty, he was justly deprived of it, and cast into a 
dungeon of horror, the emblem of helK The sentence of the 
law has its full force upon impenitent sinners, with intolerable 
aggravations for neglecting the salvation of the gospel. 

Concerning the heathens, the scripture declares, 

1st. That although the law published by Moses was not com- 
municated to them, yet there was a silent, though less perfect 
impression of it in their hearts. The law of nature in the fun- 
damental precepts of religion, and society, and temperance, 
was better known than obeyed by them. Therefore the apostle 
indicts them for atrocious crimes, Rom, 1. 26, 27. such as na- 
tural conscience, consenting with the law of God, severely for- 
bids upon the pain of damnation. Thus it is said of the hea- 
thens, <' who knowing the judgment of God, that they which 
commit such things are worthy of death ; not only commit the 
same, but have pleasure in them that do them." Rom. 1. 32. 
And at the last day, " as many as have sinned without the law, 
as delivered to the Jews, shall be judged and perish, not ac- 
Qording to the law of Moses," Rom. 2. but the law of natere 
that obliged them to do good, and restrain themselves from 
evil ; of which the counterpart was not totally deleted in their 

2dly. Although the revelation of Christ in his person, ofiSce 
and benefits, ia not by the preaching of the gospel (that ia ne-' 
oessary for the '* begetting of faith") extended to all nations ; 



yet the grace of the Redeemer is so fiar universal, that upon his 
account the indulgent proTidence of God invited the heathens 
to repentance. His renewed benefits that sweetened their lives, 
Rom. 2. 4. and his powerful patience in forbearing so long to 
cut them off, when their impurities and impieties were so pro- 
voking, was a testimony of his inclination to clemency upon their 
reformation. Acts 14. 17. And for their abusing his favours, 
and resisting the methods of his goodness, they will be inexcu- 
sable to themselves, and their condemnatioa righteous to their 
own consciences* 


EterDal death is wisely and justly ordained to be the puoishmeot of sio. It 
is the wisdom of tlie Law^ver to appoint such a panishmeni as might orer* 
poise all temptations to break the law* It is just to make a proportion 
between the quality of the offence, and the degrees of punisbmeoL Sto ii 
a contempt of God*s majesty that Is truly infiaite. The obligations of 
reasonable creatures to the Creator, extremely increase the guilt of bid. 
The meanness of the motives that induce men to sin, ag^ravat^s the offence. 
The deipising of eternal life, and ihe choosing the pleasures of sio, with 
hell in its retinue, makes the pnnishoient to be justly inflicted on them. 
The obstinate and incurable lusts of men, justly make them objects of re- 
venging justice f off ever. 

li. W E are next to consider Ihe sanction of the law that en- 
forces obedience ; and it will appear that God is not extreme, 
but wisely and justly ordained eternal death to be the punish* 
ment of sin. 

Tills will appear by considering, 

L The end of the sanction is to preserve the authority of the 
law ill its iiill vigour, to render it most solenmaad awful^ and 
consequently it is the wisdom of the Lawgiver to ordaifi a punish^ 


ment so heavy, as to overpoise all temptations that might other- 
wise induce the subjects to transgress its precepts. 

Therefore to Adam, the first and second death was threatened 
upon his disobedience ; and fear, as a sentinel, was planted in 
his breast, that no guilty thought, no irregular desire, no de- 
ceitful suggestion ishould enter to break the tables of the law 
deposited therein. Now since, notwithstanding the threatening, 
man was so easily seduced by the insinuations of the tempter to 
break the law, and disorder the government of God in the worlds 
it is evident that such a restraint was not over vigorous to secure 
his obedience. I shall not iosist on what is sadly visible since 
the first apostacy, that there is in mankind such a prodigious 
propensity to sensual things, that without the fear of helJ, no 
arguments are strong enough to prevent the bold violation of the 
divine law. 

2. It is consented to by common reason, that there ought to 
be a proportion between the quality of the offence, and the de^ 
grees of the punishment. * Justice takes the scales into its hand 
befofe it takes the sword. Now. sin against God 18 of such an 
immense guilt, that an eternal punishment is but equivalent to it. 
This will appear by considering, 

(1.) The perfections of the Lawgiver who is ittfinitely above 
us. One act of sin is rebellion against <7od, and includes in it 
the contempt of his majesty, before whom the highest angels 
<' cover their faces" with rovenence and adoration, as unworthy 
Co behold his glory ; and ^^'Cover their feet," as unworthy that he 
should behold them, Isa. 6. 2, 3. the contradictioa of his holi" 
tiess that is his peouliar glory ; the denial of his omniscience and 
omnipresence, as if he were confined to the superior worlds Job 
22. I4« and busy in regulating the harmonious order of the^tara, 
and did not 4&oem and observe what is done below ^ the defi- 
ance of his eternal power, and ** provoking him to jealousy, as if 
we were stronger than he." 

(2.) If we consider the obligations of the reasonable creatures 
to obey his commands, the guilt of sin rises prodigiously. They 
were made by his power, with this special character of excellency, 
accofdingto his hnage : they were happy in his love : they were 
endowed with intellectual faculties cap^le to understand and 

* AdflU regvlA peccattt, qa» imbdm irrocet vqaas. Hwfit, 
X 2 


consider their obligations to their botintifiil Lord. From benee 
it appears that sin is the most unnatural rebeUion against God, 
and in it there is a concurrence of impiety, ingratitude^ perfidi- 
ousness, and whatever may enhance a crime to an excess of 

{3.} The meanness of the motives that induce men to prefer 
the pleasing their dqpraved appetites before obedience to his sa* 
cred m\U extremely aggravates the offence. Of this* we have a 
convincing instance in the first sin committed upon earth. De- 
oritful curiosity, flattering pride, a secret pleasuM of acting ac* 
cording to his will, joined with the low attractive* of sense, 
blinded and transported Adam to eat the mortal fruit, against 
the express command of God. And ever since, the .vanbhing 
shadows of honour, or gain, or. pleasure, are the only persuasives 
to sin. And what can be more provoking, than for a trifle to 
transgress the law of God, and equally despise bis favour and 
displeasure? Can any punishment less than eternal, expiate 
such impieties ? The rules of human jietice may discover to us 
the equity of the divine justice. It is ordained by the wisest 
states, that many crimes which may be done in a few minutes, 
shall be punished with death, and the offender be deprived of .his 
natural life for ever. And is it not most just that trfsason against 
the <' great and immortal King," should be revenged with ever- 
lasting death ? 

(4.) That which £uther clean the divine justice. in punishing 
sin with hell, is this, that God by his infallible promise assnici 
us, that all who sincerely and uniformly obey him, shall be re» 
warded with heaven for ever: a blessedness most worthy the 
greatness and love of the eternal God to bestow on his servante : 
a blessedness that surpasses- our most compceliensive thoughta. 
Now if everlastii^ glory be despised, what remains but endleaa 
misery to be the sinner's portion ? The consequence is remedi*- 
less. If sin with an eternal hell in its retinue be chosen and emi- 
braced, is it not equal that the rational creature should inherit 
his own choice? How just is it that those who are the slaves cf 
the devil, and maintain his party here, should have, their, reoom- 
pence with him for ever ? That those who ^ now ^ay to tke 
Almighty, depart from us, we desire not the knowledge of thy 
ways," should hear the dreadful ^' depart from me into everlasting 
fire?" As there will be no vain boasting in. heaven^ where the 

€BAP« Iin BTBRNAI. JCr]96MBNT. 825 

reward is the gift of pure bounty ; so there witt be no righteons 
complaint i^aiiist God in heli^ where the punishment is inflicted 
by powerful justice. He that voluntarily sins^ by consequence 
chooses the punishment due to it. 

(5.) The estimation of an offence is taken from the disposition 
of him that does it. Wlien it is done with pleasure and obsti* 
nacy^ there is no place for favour. Now final impenitence alone 
makes sin actuiJIy and eternally damning to the sinner. Those 
that, notwithstanding all gracious means^ live continually in 
rebellion against God ; those that impenitently die in their sins; 
those that desire to live here for ever^ that they might enjoy 
their sweet sins ; those that are so hardened and naturalized in 
their vices^ that if they were revived and brought again into this 
world of temptations, would certainly return to the pleasures of 
sin ; * is it not righteous fliat their incorrigible obstinacy should 
be punished for ever? Is it not just that those who would con* 
tinue under the ^'dominion of sin," should forfeit all their claim 
to the cRvine mercy? For if we consider them as unrepentant 
and irreclaimable from their wickedness, there are in them the 
just provocations and true causes of God's final rejection and 
hatred : and if we considei^ God as revealed in his word and 
works, his essential properties, wisdom> purity, justice, necessa- 
rily work upon such objects in such a manner. How zealous an 
indignation did the Son of God express against the obdurato 
Pharisees? ** You serpents, you generation of vipers, how 
should you escape the damnation of hell ?'' Mat. 23. 33. They 
in despite of all his miracles, the equal expressions c^ his good- 
Aeas and power, resisted his authority,, blasphemed his person, 
and slighted his salvation. Now though other sins are of an in- 
ferior nature, and weaker evidence^ yet obstinacy added to them, 
makes a person unworthy and incapable of mercy. From hence 
the misery of the damned is without redemption, without hope, 
widioot idlay for ever. 

« Pttflft ioqiialitat Hon nude gpectanda at io pooderibus & memoris, ted 
•spcnio prop Mi|o« & ? oto ij«s qui dcliquit. Gr^L 

X S 



The evideoee of facU prodsead aa tbe reason of jndgnitni. All liav ^^c* 
Iber secret or openly visible, ihall be brou|;ht to jiMlgment. Sios of ooiis- 
Bion and comailMion. All tb>- aggravations and circumstances of sin. The 
manner of this jodicial proceedini; is by opening tbe books. The books of 
Hie law and fospel sballbo aofolfled in all their precepts* aad nen't lires 
compared w tb theni« Tbe omoisi'ienoe of God will give cooi^inclog evi- 
dence of men*s works. The booic of conscience shall be opened, and ac- 
cuse or excuse men. Satan irill be a principal accuser. The wicked will 
aorase one another. The saints of God will give trttlmonj afalost Iha 
wicked. Tbe impartiality of (he senteo^ will make tbe diviae justice 
conspicQoiis. There will be no distinction of persons in that judgment. 
There will be a distinction of causes. Every man shall be judged accord- 
ing to the tenour of his good works, and the desert of his bad, Tbe bar. 
veat shall be answerable to the sowing of the seedp both ia kind and 

II. 1. Shall now proceed to consider the evidence of the 
facts that is produced as the reason of that judgment. 

The temper of divine justice is very ohservable in the parti- 
cular judgments recorded in scripture, tn the first process of 
justice on earth, we read that God made the inquiry of Adam, 
'* hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that 
thou shouldst not eat?" Gen. 3. II. and by palpable evidence 
convinced him before he condemned him. Thus before the 
fiery vengeance upon the wicked cities^ the memory of which 
will never be extinguished, the Lord said to Abraham, << because 
the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin 
is grievous, I will go down now, and see whether they have done 
according to the cry of it that is come up .unto me," Gen. 18. 
20, 21. viz. whether they were so numerously and excessively 
wicked ; ** if not, I will know.*' God is pleased to incaroate 
himself in man's expression, to declare more sensibly to us, that 
he never punishes with precipitation, but after an equal trial of 
the cause. Thus we read of that profane king of Babylon, Bel- 
shazzar, <^ that he was weighed in the balance, and found want- 
ing," Dan. 5. 27. before he was sentenced to be deprived of his 

CHAP# IV. BtSRNAli. JVt^GJifBSt. 327 

kingdom and life. And the destruction of the antichristian 
•tate is attended with solemn hallelujahs for the righteousness of 
that judgment, Rev. ID. 2, 3. And in the last day the righte<* 
ousness of God's proceedings shall be universally manifest and 
magnified. It is therefore called *' the day of the revelation of 
the righteous judgment of God.*' Rom. 2. 5. Now in order to 
this, the scripture informs us, that all the works of men shatt be 
brought into judgment, " even every secret thing, whether good 
or evil.'^ Eccles. 12. ult. And the apostle saith, *' that we must 
all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may 
receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath 
done, whether it be good or bad/' 2 Cor. 5. 10. 

All sins, whether secret or open and visible, shall be accounted 
for. Those sins that have been acted in the most secret retire- 
ment, so that no eye of man could take cognizance of them ; 
sins concealed from the eye of the day, the light of the sun, and 
from the eye of nighty the light of a candle, shall then be made 
mamfesl. Nay, the sins of the thoughts and affections, of which 
salan could not accuse men, when the inward fire of lust or 
malice is not discovered by the least smoke or sparkles, by no 
expressions, all those shall be brought to judgment : ^^ God will 
judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ." Rom. 2. 16. 

The sins of omission of our duty that are so numerous, from 
carelessness and diversions, from slothfiilness and delays^ and 
that now so little affect us ; for we are more sensible of what we 
do, than of what we have not done ; the guilt of all these shall 
then be heavily charged on the conscience of the sinner. ^^ I 
was an hungry, and you gave me no meat ; ^I was tbicsty, and 
you gave me no drink," was the accusation of the reprobates 
firom the Judge himself. '' To him who knoweth to do good, 
and doeth it not, to him it is a sitt.'* James 4. The neglect of 
improving all the means, advantages, and opportunities of doing 
or receiving good, will be a great part of that judgment. The 
Lord called his servants to an account for the talents committed 
to their trust, and required profit in proportion to their number 
and worth. 

All sins ot commission in youth and age, whether '^ gross sen* 
suality, as lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, ban* 
quetings, and abominable idolatries, and all excess of riot, shtill 
he accounted for to him who is ready to judge the quick and the 

X 4 


dead,^ 1 Pet. 4. 5. or aicts of unrigliteXMiMeM td (Abers. <* He 
that doeth wrong, ehall receive according to the wrong be has 
done." Col. 3. 25. And sins of a lesser gttilt, for which the 
most are not touched with grief or shame^ shall then be prodoced 
in judgment. Ail the sins of oor words, so easily committed, 
and not so easily observed, shall then be called to a heavy re-* 
membrance. The Judge himself tells us; ^ I say unto yon, 
that every idle word that men shall ftpeak, they shall give ae» 
count thereof in the day of judgment.'' Matt« 12* And if vain 
words, the signs and immediate effects of a vain mind, AtH 
sadly increase our accounts, how much more all the conleiitioiM, 
fierce and revengeful words ; the detracting, (Use, eontumelkma 
and injurious words ; the impure, filthy and contagious words; 
the profane, blasphemous and impious words, that ^^ tow from 
the evil treasure of the heart ?" O their dbeadful number and 
oppressing weight ! 

And all the aggravations and circumstances of men's «ns» 
that raise their guilt to such fearful haghts, shall be enumerated 
in order to judgment. For thus it was foretold ; ** behold, the 
LfOrd comes with ten thousand of his saints, to execute judgment 
upon all, and to convince all that aire ungodly mnong them, of 
all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed } 
and all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken 
against him/' Jude 14, 15. And all the good works of the 
saints shall then be remembered, even to the least work of pietj^ 
the ^^ giving of two mites to the treasury of the temple," Luke 
21. 3, 4. and the least works of charity, the ** giving a cup ef 
Cold water to a disciple," Matt. 10. 42. upon the account of his 
relation to Christ* All theur secret graces and duties shall then 
be rewarded. 

The manner of this judicial evidenee is set forth to us in scrips 
ture, by the '^ opening the books '/' congruously to proceedti^ 
in human judgment, wherein the information and charge is pro- 
duced from writings for the conviction of the accused. Thus if 
was represented to St. John in a vision ; *M S4w the dead, small 
and great, stand before God; and the books were opened, and 
the dead were judged out of the things that Were writtea in the 
books, according to-their works." Ret. 20, 12. 

1. The books of the law and gospel shall then be opened in 
all the injunctions and prohibitions, mid our lives compared with 

Aem. Oof Stemm tdd tbe Jew% «< clo not tUdc ihut I wQI 
accuse you to my Father; there is one that accuteth yeu, even 
Mo8«9 in whom yoa trust: not the fkT9(m, but the law of 
Moses/' John 5, 4a. And he denounced against those that re* 
ject the gospel ; <' the word that I havB spokra^ the same shsR 
judge them in tbe last day/' John 12. 48. The law is the ex« 
act transcript of God's sacred will^ the natural and immutable 
rule of righteousness ; it is pure, forbids aU sin^ and enjoiiis 
universal holiness ; it is spiritual, requires not only a conformity 
in words and actions, but inward saiietity in mind and heart t 
lor the soul is the principal part of man, entirely open to God*4 
eye, tbe maker and judge of it. And the most enlightened 
saints have but an impeifeet knowledge of it here. This made 
hdy Datid, after bis meditation upon its purity and perfection; 
to cry but in an agony, '^ who can understand his errors I cleanse 
thou me from secret sins." PsaL 19. This, when opened in its 
spiritual • and comprehensive nature, by a wise and zealous 
preacher, dwts a light into the conscience, and discovers many 
secret sins, that like so many serpents were still and quiet in the 
dark ; but upon the sudden breaking in of the light, fly upon the 
sinner, and torment him with thor mortal stings* But when the 
Lawgiver himself shldl expound the law in its full extent and 
perfection, with respect to all the duties it commands, and sins 
it forbids, how guilty will men appear ? how unable to answer 
one artiele ot a thousand charged upon them P 

2. The omniscience of God will give most convincing evidence 
of all our works : '< all things are naked and open to his eyes^ 
with whom we have to do in judgment.'' Heb. 4. 13. The 
psalmist declares the infinite perspicacity of his sight : .^ the 
darkness hides not from thee, but the night shines as the day."* 
PsaL 139. As his Hght and transcendent brightness is invisible 
to us, 1 Tim. 6. 16. so our thickest darkness is visible to him. 
We cannot see things in the night, because it hinders tbe recep^ 
tion of the rays, that insinuate into tbe eyes, and cause sight i 
but the eyes of our Judge are like a ^' flame of fire^" Rev. 1. 14. 
dispeliiog all darkness. From his throne in heaven, his piercing 
eye sees through aU the concealments of men's sins. <^ Thou 
hast set our iniquities before thee, and our secret sins in the light 
of thy countenance." Psal. 90. 8. He discovered the sacrilege 
of Achaoj the lie of Gehazi, the deceit of Ananias. Saul's disf* 


obedience in sparing the Amalekites devoted to deetniction, 1 
Sam. 15. 21. had the colourable pretence of piety, and, as a 
sacrifice, was laid on the akar. And David's murder of Uriah 
was imputed to the chance of war as a sufficient excuse, 2 Sam. 
11.25. Bat though they might have deceived others, they 
could not deceive God^ He is intimately present with the aouls 
of men, that are unsearchable to the most discerning angeb of 
light, and knows all their most secret designs and desires, the 
deepest seeds of th&r actions. He alone has exact scales to 
'^ weigh the spirits of men,'' all the principles,^ aims and affec- 
tions that are inseparable from their works. The pharisees, in 
whom pride was the first property, and hypocrisy a second nature^ 
could not with all their saintly shows impose on our Saviour ; 
^^ for he knew what was in man," Matt. 23. 14. He discovered 
their alms to he not the effect of charity but ostentation, Matt. &. 
2. and their specious acts of devotion to be a train to surprise 
some rich prey. Matt. 23. 14. 

And tbis divine knowledge of men and their aetions, is in 
order to judgment. Thus the wise kii^ declares, ^ doth not he 
that ponders the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy 
soul^ doth not he know it ? and shall not he render to every man 
according to his works ^" Prov. 24. 12. And God himself tes- 
tifies, ** I the Locd search the heart, even to give to every man 
according to his works." Jer. 17* 10. For this reason he is said 
to keep a register of men's sins. Thus he. speaks of the impure 
idolatries of the Jews; <^ behokl, it is written before me," Isa. 
65. 6. to signify his exact and actual knowledge, '* I will not 
keep silence, but will recompense, even reoompense into their 
bosoms." And at the day of judgment he will declare his know- 
ledge of their sins before all, and the most secret shall be made 
evident^ as if written in their foreheads in the most plain and 
legible characters. 

And all the goodness of the asints shall then be revealed by the 
Judge. * Their greatest excellencies are invisible to the eyes of 
men : the sanctity of their aims and affections, which gives life 
and value to all the acts of obedience-; their secret duties^ 
wherein the sincerity and ardency of their souls is most expres- 

* O si nobis ani mam boni viri liceret inspicere, quam pulchram faciem, 
quam lauctam, quam ex ma^ifico, placidoque rol^eutera videreaun! Scuec* 

CHAP. IT. mayAL jub«iibkt. 331 

sed, sxe only known to God. And tuch is the eseedlent humility 
<yf the saints^ that the more they are enriched, and abound with 
the gracious influences of the Spirit, the less they discover to the 
ivorhl ; as the celestial bodies, when in nearest conjunction with 
the sun, and most filled with his light, are least in appearance 
to the inhabitants of the earth. But there is a ^^ book of re- 
membrance before him, for them that feared the Lord, and 
thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the 
Lord- of Hosts, in the day when I makeup my jewels: and 1 
Mall spare them as a roan spares his son that serves him.'' Mai. 
8. 16, 17. 

' 3. The conscience of every man shall then be opened, and 
'^ give an accusing or excusing testimony of all things ;" Rom. 2. 
15, 16. for these acts of conscience in the present life, have a 
final respect to God's tribunal. And though the accounts are so 
vast, there shall be an exact agreement between the books of 
God's omniscience and of conscience in the '^ day of judgment/' 
Now indeed the conscience of man, though never so inquisitive 
and diligent in examining and revising his ways, ia unable to 
take a just account of his sins. As one that would tell the first 
iqppearing stars in the evening, before he can reckon them, 
others appear and confound his memory with their number : so 
when conscience is seriously intent in reflecting upon itself, be- 
fore it can reckon up the sins committed agunst one command, 
innumerable others appear. This made the psalmist, upon the 
survey of his actions, break forth in amazement and perplexity; 
f^ Mine iniquities are more than the hairs upon my head, there- 
fore my heart fails me." Psal. 40. 12. But it will be one of the 
miracles of that day, to enlarge the view of conscience to all their 
aios. Now the records of conscience are often obliterated, and the 
•ins written. therein are foi^tten ; but then they shall appear in 
so clear an impression,* that the wicked shall be inexcusable to 
themselves, and conscience subscribes their condemnation. And 
O the formidable spectacle, when conscience enlightened by a 
beam from fieaven, shall present to a sinner in one view the sins 
of his whole life I Now conscience is a notary in every man's 
bosom ; and though it is not always vocal, yet writes down their 
actions. *< The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, and 
with a point of a diamond it is graven upon the tables of the 
heart/' Jer. 17* K But then it shall be compelled to give a 

332 . OTBRiNAA JU9eM«MT» ^APk.IT. 

fiiU chaige agiiatt the guilty. Of thh vfe hwe ma iaUCUe pre- 
9ag^ in this world, wheii comcieftee mms the ptrint agMmt the 
breast of a sinner, and enfor6ds the tongue, by a secret instigap- 
tion, to aecose the person. And this infonotiatioa of consctenoe 
at the last will make the sinner speechless : for the book of ao* 
counts with divine justice, was always in his own keeping ; «od 
whatever is recorded . there, was written with his own hand* 
And how will those hardened sinners thai now kick against the 
pricks of conscience, be aUe to repel its strong and quick aocu* 
sations before that terrible tribunal ? 

4. Other numerous witnesses will appear to finish the proceaa 
of that day. Not as if God that knows all things, wants infor- 
mation, but for the public coniriction of the wicked. 

Satan will then bring in a bloody charge against Ibem. Such 
is his malignity, that he is a complainer of God to man, aad by 
calumniating the blessed Creator, seduced our first parents ; and 
he is the accuser of men to God. He is styled the ^^ aocuser of 
the brethren before^ God day and night." Rev. Sometimes fiJsdy^ 
as when he taxed Job, that his piety was men^nary ; and often 
truly, to provoke t^e divine displeasure* But though hb 
cliarge be just against them as sinners, yet as pemtent sinuers 
they are absolved by the Judge upon the throne of graoe« This 
we have represented to the pr«qpbet Zechary, '^ Joshua the high 
priest, a type of the church, standing before the angel of the 
L<Mrd, and satan standiiig at his right hand to accuse him;" 
Zech. 3. 1, 2, 3. for that was the phice of aocuseis. But Christ 
the blessed reccmciler interposed ; ^' And the Lord said to satan, 
the Lord rebuke thee, O satan, even the Lotd that hath cboseii 
Jerusalem, rebuke thee."' But he will principally act the part of 
an accuser at the last judgment. This is intimirted in.diat fear* 
fill imprecation, '' Let satan stand at his right hand : when he is 
judged, let him be condemned." Psal. 109. 6, 7* He is now 
an active watchful spirit, whose diligence is equal to his mahce, 
and by glittering snares, or violent temptations, draws men to 
sin. But then he will be their most bitter accuse, not from aeat 
of justice, but pure malignity. Then he will aggravate their 
crimes by the most killing circumstances, though in accusing 
them he indites himself^ their sins beh^ usually done^by his so- 

And the wicked themselves will accuse one anoth»« In thisi 

ceAF. iv» jrmiKAL h^^qukht* S33 

world feUow-simwra usually conceal one another's wickedness, 
IMtraioed by their OMm obnoiriousness. But then all that have 
boen jointly engaged in the commission of sin, will impeach each 
other. The vohiptuous sinners that have excited one another to 
hict or luxury ; << Come let us take our fill of love till the morn- 
ing.'' Prov. 7. 18. <' Come i wiU fetch wine, and we will fiH 
onmehes with strong drink ; for to-morrow diall be as to*day, 
and much more abundant." Isa. 56. 12. All the charming 
companions and ass&eiates will with fierceness charge one ano- 
ther. And the malicious cruel sinners that say, ** Come let us 
lay wait lor blood, let us swallow them up quick as the grave,'* 
Prov. 1. will* then, like enraged fiiries, fly upon one another. 
In idl sins of combination, the fnferibr instruments will accuse 
their directors for their pernicious counsel, and the directors will 
accuse the instruments for tlieir wicked compliance. 

And aH the holy servants of God, who by their instructions, 
eounseis, admonitions, examples, have endeavoured to make the 
world better ; especiaHy those who by their place and relation 
were more concerned, and more zealously and compassionately 
urged and persuaded those under their care to reform their Kves, 
end save their souls, will give a heavy testimony agunst them. 
Indeed the very presence of the saints will upbraid the wicked, 
for their resisting all the warning, melting entreaties, all the 
grove and serious reproofs, all the tender earnest expostulations, 
that were ineffeetual by the hardness of their hearts. 

Briefly, the scripture attributes to the signs and circumstances 
of men's sins, a vocal evidence against them. Thus the prophet 
speaking of the house built by rapine and extortion, <^The 
stones of the wall cr}', and the beams answer them," Hab. 2. 
11. and with concurrent testimony accuse the unrighteous build- 
er. And St. James declares, that ^^ the wi^ges of the hireling, 
kept back by fraud, cry against the oppressor. And the rust of 
gold and silver tueailured-up,-isa vdtness against* the covetous." 
Jam. 5. 3, 4. And this by the recc^nitkm of conscience wilTbe 
ft memorial agaftist them hereafter. 

To what the scripture speaks of this kind of evidence of men's 
sins, I shall add a useful representation framed by a heathen, to 
signify' that wickedness, how secretly soever committed, shall be 
brought to light in judgment. He tells us, " That the soul of a 
Yery guilty wretch was after death arraigned before one of the 


severe judges below. And at his trial, because lus atrocioua 
crimes were done in secret, he stood upon his defence, denying 
all. The judge commanded his lamp to be produced, that was 
an eye witness of his wickedness. The lamp appeared, and being 
demanded what it knew of him ? answered with a sigh, would I 
had been conscious of nothing, for even now the remembrance 
of his villanies nudces me to tremble : I wish my light had been 
extinguished, that the oil that maintuned it had quenched it 
But I burnt with disdain, and cast about some sparks to (ire his 
impure bed ; and was grieved that my little flame was so weak 
as not to consume it. I said within myself, if the son saw these 
villanies, it would be eclipsed, and leave the worid in darkness. 
But I now perc^ve why I was constrained to give light to him, 
that being a secret spy of his uodeanness, his thefts and credo 
ties, I might reveal them." But we that are enlightened by 
faith, and know that God is omnipnesent, and that whate?er sin 
is done, thcnigh in the deepest and darkest recess, is manifest to 
htm, *■ have no need of Lucian's lamp to make our judge to be 
feared by us. The impartiality of the sentence will meke the 
justice of God conspicuous before the whole world. This con- 
sists in two things. 1. There will be no distinelioii of peisoos. 
2. There will be a distinction of causes in that judgment; and 
according to their nature, the sentence will pass upon all. 

1. There will be no distinctiott of persons. In human coarts 
the judges sometimes extend and am)4ify, sometimes contract or 
smother the evidence, and are more rigorous or favourable in 
their sentence, as they are biassed towards the persons before 
them. But the Righteous Judge of the worid is inci4)able of 
being inclined to favour or severity upon such base motives. 
This is frequently declared in scripture, to possess us with his 
fear. ^' If ye call upon the Father, who without respect of per- 
sons judges according to every man's work, pass the time of your 
sojoummghere in fear.'' 1 Pet. 1. 17. No spiritual privileges 
upon which men are so apt to presume, viz. that they are mem- 
bers cS the reformed church, that they are enriched vrith excel- 
l^t gifts, that they enjoy the ordinances in their purest adminis- 

* Ipse tiofieiidus est in pablico, Ipse in secreto. Lacersa ardeC ? videl u, 
Lacerna eztincta est ? videt te. In cubile intras ? videl te. In corde versa- 
rifl ? Tidet te. Ipsum time. 


tration^ will ay^I them without real holiness in their hearts and 
lives. The being united to societies of the most glorious profes* 
sion, of strictest purity, and sublime devotion, does no more prove 
one to be a real saint, than the being of an eminent company of 
merchants proves one to be a rich citizen. '^ Those that bow 
the knee and not the heart in faithful reverence, that give the 
empty title of Lord to Christ, without the tribute of obedience, 
will be rejected by him. Many shall say at the day of judgment. 
Lord, Lord, we have prophesied in thy name, and done many 
wonderous works." Mat. 7. 22. ^< Then will the Judge say, I 
know you not ; depart from me ye workers of iniquity." No 
degrees of civil greatness will be of any moment and advantage 
in that day. Saint John testifies, ^' I saw the dead, small and 
great, stand before God," in an equal line, to receive their trial. 
King$i shall then be divested of their imperial titles, of their crowns 
and sceptres, and their robes of state, and only be accompanied 
with their works. Of this we have an undoubted proof, in that 
they are no more exempted from the common law of dying- than 
the meanest slave. Death, that rugged officer, arrests them 
without ceremony, and summons tliem to appear before that tri- 
bunal. The royal purple could not protect Herod from being 
devoured by worms. The apostle speaks indefinitely in the fore- 
cited place ; " He that does wrong, shall receive for the wrong 
he has done ; and there is no respect of persons." Col. 3. ult. 
No circumstantial accidents can derive pure worth, or truly de- 
base persons, but inherent qualities, and actions that flow from 
them : and aocordingly, <^ the high and holy God" will accept 
or disapprove them. What St. Paul observes of the saving grace 
of the gospel being, indifferently offered to all, is applicable in 
this «ase. He tells us, ^^ Inhere is neither Greek nor Jew, Bar- 
barian nor Scythian, Bond nor Free," Col. 3. 11. are preferred 
or excluded upon a carnal account, but that all may equally par- 
take of the spiritual blessings. Thus the difference of nations 
will be no privilege or prejudice to any in the day of. judgment. 
The most rude and contemptible shall have as fair and equal a 
trials as the most polite and civilized : the ignorant Barbarians 
as the learned Grecians, that so much boasted of their vain ex- 
cellencies above them : the negroes in Africa as the people of 
Europe ; for they have the same relation to God their Maker, 
and as truly bear the impression of God stamped upon the hu- 


man nature in the creation, and therefore oommon to the whole 
species of mankind. An image may be fashioned in ebony us 
. well as in ivory. Briefly, all men are equally subject to his laws^ 
and shall be equally accountable for their actions. ^ The rich 
and the poor shall then meet together, without distinction^ be- 
fore God the Maker and Judge of them all/' 

2. There shall be a distinction of causes, and every man be 
judged '' according to his works," the tenor of good works, and 
the desert of bad. The apostle assures us^ ^' That whatsoever a 
man sows, that shall he reap : he that soweth to the ilesh^ shall 
of the flesh reap corruption ; bnt he that soweth to the Spirit, 
shall of the Spirit reap life everiasting." Gal. 6« 7, 8« The 
harvest shall be according to the seed both in kind and mea- 

<^ Those who by patient continuance in welldoing, seek for 
glory, and honour, and immortality, shall obtain eternal life.'* 
Rom* 2. 7. Indeed, *^ eternal life is the gifl: of infinite bounty/' 
Rom. 6. ttlt. nay oS ^'pure raercy,^* Jude 21.'atid mercy ex- 
cludes merit. It is said of the blessed martyrs, who contended 
for the truth and purity of the gospel to the death, that '^ thdr 
robes were washed white in the blood of the Lamb,'' Rev. 7. 14. 
not in their own blood. Their right to heaven was from the ap- 
plication of his merits to them. But the reward is di^nsed 
from God according to the evangelical law ; not only as a mag* 
nificettt prince, but as ^^a Righteous Judge." All those to 
whom the gospel promises eternal life, shall infallibly obtain it, 
and none that the gospel exdudes. Those who were sensible of 
their sins, and cordially forsaking them, did humbly and entirely 
depend upon the grace of God, through the blessed reconciler 
and Saviour, shall be justified and glorified. Then the Judge 
will disoem between unfeigned faith and vain presumption, and 
will justify the futh of the saints by the genuine fruits of it, 
'^ the godliness^ righteousness, and sobriety of their lives," and a 
victorious perseverance in then duty, notwithstanding all the 
pleasing temptations or tortures to withdraw them firom iu 
Thus the apostle expresses his humble confidence; ^\l have 
fought the good fight, I have finished my course ; henceforth 
there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness^ which God the 
Righteous Judge will give me at that day, and not only to me, 
but to all that love his appearance." 2 Tim. 4. 5, 8. We read 


in the description of the last judgment; that ^'the book of life 
^as opened : the names of all that were written in heaven^'' 
Rev. 20. 12. shall then be declared, that it may appear they are 
^< saved by grace/' For it was his most free pleasure to select 
some from the common mass of perdition, who were naturally as 
guilty and corrupted as others, and to predestinate them to eter- 
nal glory, and effectual persevering grace to prepare them for it. 
*^ The saints are created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which 
God hath before ordained, that they should walk in them.'' 
And the new creation is as undeserved and entire an effect of 
God's love as the first was. But it is said, <^That every man 
was judged according to his works." For eternal election docs 
not entitle a person immediately to heaven, but according to the 
order established in the gospel. Thus the King at the last day 
speaks to the.elect ; ** Come, ye' blessed of my Father, inherit 
the kingdom prepared f6r you before the foundation of the 
world : for I was hungry, and ye fed me ; naked, and ye clothed 
me."' Mat. 25, 34, 35. 

And according as the saints have excelled- in ftdblitv and zeal 
in God's service, they shall be rewarded with a more excellent 
glory. The stars of the supreme heaven are of a different bright- 
ness and greatness, as the stars of the visible firmament. Indeed 
all are perfectly happy, withowt * jealousy that any is equal or 
^peribr to them in that kingdom. But God will crown hi« own 
grooes as the samts have improved them. Our Saviour valued 
th£ widow's two mite^, as transcending all the magnificent gifts 
of others, because of the degrees of love in the giver. There 
was a richer mine of affection in her heart, gold of a more noble 
rein, more pure and precious than all their riches. This was of 
greater price in God's account, who weighs the spirits in his 
balance. God >' will accept and reward according to what a 
man has, tod not according to what he has not." 2 Cor. 8. 
12. He that improves but *wo talents with his best skill and 
diligence, shall have a greater reward than another that had ten 
talents, and "was remiss and less careful to employ them for his 
master's' proftt. The rule will be exactly observed, '^ He that 

* Plus amani tllad regnam In quo noo tiiaeiit habere consortcs. Jwg. dt 
Civii. D«i. 

VOL. III. y 


SOWS bottntifully, fthall reap l>ountifully > and he thai sows spar 
ringly, shall reap- sparingly." 

And if God wiU be thus impaitial in rewarding the ^nts, 
much more tn punishing the wicked. For the remaneratioii 
of oar duty is the effect of his most free favour ; but the reeom- 
pences of sin are due^ and decreed by justioe, in number, we^ht, 
and measure. The severity of the sentence will be in proportion, 
as men's sins have been^ more numerous and heinous. Although 
all the damned shall be equally miserable in despair, ail broken 
on an endless wheel, yet the degrees of their torment are differ- 
ent. Sins of ignorance are extenuated in comparison of lebei- 
lious sins against knowledge. The first are like a senrant's 
dashing against his master in the dark, the other like the inso- 
lent striking him in the light : and as they incdr great guilt, wiU 
expose to great punishment. Accordingly our Saviour predicts, 
*^ That the servant which knew his Lord's will, and prepared not 
himself, neither did acoording to hi^ will, ^hall be beaten with 
many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things 
worthy of stripes,, shall be beaten with few stripes.^' Luke 12. 
47, 48. Inactive knowledge is worse than ignorance. For this 
reason the case of heathens will be more tolerable than that of the 
Jews : for though some natural principles were strong and quick 
in their minds, that made them sensible of their duty and dan- 
ger, yet they were not so clear and perfect as the law delivered 
by Moses. Those sins that were infirmities in a pagan, were 
presumptuous in a Jew, And the case of the Jews will be more 
tolerable than of disobedient ehristiuis, who enjoy the gospel less 
charged with ceremonies,. and more abundant in grace than the 
Mosaical dispensation. Those that have set before them the 
life of Christ, the model of all perfection, that are excited by 
such loud calls " to flee from the wrath to come,'' and yet are 
deaf and regardless to the commands, nay to the melting invita- 
tions and precious promises of the gospel, shall have a more in- 
tolerable judgment than the most guilty sinners, even the So- 
domites and Sidonians that were strangers to it. Tlbe precious 
blood of the Son of God despised, induces a crimson guilt. 
And as sins are committed with pride and pleasure, with eager 
appetite and obstinacy, the revenge of justice will be more heavy 
upon persons. 


More particularly, siiis of consequence, whereby othei^ are 
drawn to sin, will heighten the guilt, and the retribution of jus^ 
tice will be to every man <^ according to his ways, and according 
to the firuit of his doings/' ler^ t?. 10. 

This will principally concern superiors in eminency of place, 
whose dignity has always a concomitant proportion of duty. 
Their vicious actions are aeamples, and their cncamples more 
powerful rules than their laws, and give countenance to others to 
sin licentiously. They "sin with a high hand," and involve the 
ruin of innumerable pei^ons that depend upon them : as the dra- 
gon in the revelation, whose fall from heaven drew a train of les- 
ser stars with him. And all inferior magistrates, who by per- 
sonal commission, or partial connivance, encourage and harden 
others in sin, and by their power discountenance serious reli- 
gion, and obstruct the progress of it, heap up damiuHtion to 

And the ministers of the word, who are obliged to '^ watch 
for the souls of men ;" and should, like the heavens, by their 
light, influence and motion, their doctrine and lives| guide and 
quicken others hi the ways of holiness ; if by their neglect and 
wickedness others are lost for ever, their account will be most 
heavy and undoing. 

Of this number are those, who by their unholy cooveraatioii 
weaken the authority and efficacy of the word, and more suc- 
cessfully persuade men to do evil, than by their preaching to do 
well : for we are apt to take deeper impression through the eye 
than thftNigh the ear, and to follow the physician's practice ra- 
ther than his counsel. These " perish not akine in their iniqui- 
ty.'' And such who are unfaithful dispensers of the treasures of 
their Lord, and by loose doctrines corrupt the minds of men, to 
fancy a mercy in God derogatory to hii holiness, that although 
they live indulgently in sin, they may obtain an easy pardim and 
happiness at last : and such who employ tlieir high commission 
for low and base ends r those who instead of " preaching Jesus 
Christ, and him crucified,'' the pure and saving truths derived 
from the fountain of the gospel, entertain their hearers with 
flashy conceits, and studied vanities, to give a relish to curiosity, 
and to have the applause (rf fods, and obscure the native mti* 
jesty of the word, enervate its force, and render it powerless to 
conscience. * 

Y 2 

340 STSBVAL JUDSMSirr. cup. iv« 

And those who spend llictr zeal in things of no monent to 
salvation, and let fly bitter invectires against those that dissent 
from them in unconcerning matters, by which they baiden 
atheistical scomers in vilifying the office of the ministry as t 
carnal inven^n, set up and nsed for secular ends ; and indilce 
others to place religion in formalities, and slight colours of it, as 
if conformity to needless rites would exdude the defects of sub- 
stastial holiness. 

• It is observed in the ChaMee paraphrase, when God was io- 
quiring of Cain concerning Abel, that he chai^^es him, ** The 
voice of thy brother's blood cries unto me :*' as if Cain were s 
murderer, not of a single man only, but of a numeroos race that 
might have descended irom his brother. Thus a wicked minii- 
ter will be charged, not only for murdering himself, but as manv 
precious souls as might have been converted and saved,' if he had 
faithfully performed his duty. 

And parents that should instil tiie principles of godliness into 
their children in their early age, and season their minds with the 
knowledge of the divine laws, to i^gnhte their lives, and make 
them sensible cyf their obligations to obey them ; that shaidd re- 
commend religion to their aflbctions by an holy and hesvenlj 
conversation, if by the neglect of their duty thw children aie 
exposed as a prey to the tempter, and ruined for ever, it will en- 
hance their last reckoning, and increase the score of their guilli 
beyond expression. 

* And masters of families, imd all others- that have authority sod 
advantage to pneserve or reform irom evil those that-ive cooiBut- 
ted to their care, and to instruct and command them to do what 
is pleasmg to Crod, and profitable to their sduls, will be sadly 
accountable far those that perish by their neglect. 

In short, we see by common exf)erience, that company and 
mutual consent is a usual motive to sin ; and many persons that 
alone would with abhorrence rejeoC some temptations, yet are 
sociably sinAiL Now all those Who by exdtation or example, 
lead others to destruction, «s they are first in sin, will be chief 
in punishment. We read in the parable of the rich Voluptuaiy, 
Luke 16. 28. that h^ng in hell, he desired a messenger might 
be dispatched from the dead to warn his brethren, lest they 
should come to that place of torment. Is there such charity in 

«HAP* IV. snucxAi. JuiiGMsnt. 941 

heli to the souls of others ? * No, that (uroace always bums 
with its proper flames^ there is not a spark of that divine fire 
there : but remembering how guilty he had been of their sins, 
feared that his torments would be increased by their coming 
thither. Society in endlesa sorrows does not divide, but reflect 

Now if damnation for sin be such a misery as is expressed in 
the scripture by the most violent figures, and words of the hea- 
viest signification ; if all the possible tortures suffered here are 
but a lenitive to the preparations of wrath in hell ; how misera- 
ble shall those be, who, as if a single damnation were a light 
matter, do not only commit sin in their own persons, but are in 
combination with satan to corrupt and destroy others, and mul- 
tiply, damnation against themselves ? These '^ treasure up wrath 
against the day of wrath.'' 

Briefly ; The whole process of that day, the arraignment and 
sentepce will be so ordered, the righteousness and reasonableness 
.of the proceedings will be so manifest, as to clear the Judge, and 
confound the guilty. ^' God will be justified in his sentence, and 
overcome when he judgeth." 

* Hon orat pro fratram salote qaft noD tangttnr reprobni, ted pro te ne 
Ipsltts torneDta ex cooBorCIo fratram aitfeatttor. Bray ea. 




An excitation to confirm oar faith of the eternal jo df^ment. Reason sees the 
DeceMity of a fntnre judgment. Divine revelation exiireMly dedarei it. 
Considerations requisite to osake faith effectual. The beUcf of a fatire 
judgment clears the honour of God's governing the world, from the imps- 
tatioo'of unrighteousness, with respect to the prosperity of the wiclifdi 
and the sufferings of the saints. It is a powerful support to the sainti io 
their persecutions. The belief of this is effectual to restrain from lecret 
cins. It is a powerful remedy against the pernicious pleasures of lio. 
The considerstion that the Son of God clothed with our nature shall jodp 
the world, affords great consolation to his people, and is a motive of great 
terror to the wicked. 

III. JL Now come to the application of this great doctrine. 

1. Let us from what has been discoursed of judgment to come, 
be excited to confirm our faith in this great and useful doctrine; 
and by serious and frequent thoughts to apply it to ourselves. 
Some within the church have only a superficial belief of this, as 
a pomt of the religion wherein they were educated ; but carnal 
affections, fear, hof>e, love, and desire, control their assent as to 
its operation upon them. They believe in the general that God 
is the Judge and rewarder of our actions, and in the absence of 
temptation resolve to .obey him : but when a strong trial comes 
from some temporal good or evil that is present, their fidth is 
negligent and inactive to keep them from sin. Now to make 
our faith powerful, we must, 

(I.) Confirm it by convincing arguments, that it may be an 
undoubted assurance, a certain light, directive and persuasive in 
the course of oar lives. Some doctrines of religion that are of 
an incomprehensible nature, and should be received with silent 
adoration for the authority of the revealer, are obstinately con- 
tradicted by some, upon a vain pretence that nothing is to be 
believed that will not endure the rigorous inquisition of reason, 
and be comprehended by our narrow minds : but reason, though 
darkened, sees the necessity of a future judgment. Nature and 
scripture testify there is a God, and that he has a right, and 
power, and will to distribute the rewards of virtue^ and the pe- 


nidties of vice to his subjects. To deny this, is directly against 
the implanted notion of the Deity in the heart of man. There 
is a real difference between moral good and evil, not depending 
upon opinion, but arising from the immutable nature of things, 
and the eternal law of God. Otherwise considered in itself, it 
were no more faulty to murder a parent, than to kill a fly ; nor 
to rob a traveller, than to chase a deer. But the conscience of 
the most profligate wretch would startle at such an assertion. 
The di6(k>sition and admirable order of the world in its various 
parts, and the vicissitude of seasons, declare to the obsenring 
mind, that a most wise, good and powerful God governs and 
preserves all things by his vigorous influence. And can it be 
that the divine providence, so visibly wise and good in regulating 
the course of nature, should be defective towards man, the most 
noble part of the world? And can it be extended to human af- 
fairs, if there be no other than the present state, wherein the 
righteous are afflicted, and the wicked prosper? where sins of 
the deepest stain and the loudest cry are unpunished ; and the 
sublime and truly heroic virtues are unrewarded? nay, where vice 
receives the natural reward of virtue, honour and felicity ; and 
virtue the just wages of vice, disgrace and sufferings? It is 
necessary therefore that there be a future state, and a righteous 
distribution of rewards^ according to the good and evil of men's 
actions here. 

The heathens disguised this terrible truth under the fictions of 
the infernal judges, Minos, and Rhadamanthus, and Eacus. 
And the furies and vultures, and fiery lake, which they thought 
tormented the wicked in the next world, * discover what appre- 
hensions they had of the desert of sm, and the punishment that- 
oertuniy attended it. The guilty would fain be freed from the 
terrcws of it, and strangle conscience, that is bound over to give 
testimony in the day of judgment, that they may sin without 
•cruples. But thoi^ fear be a troublesome and invohintavy 
passion, they cannot totally extinguish the internal sense and 
presages of future judgment : bat as the motions of courage 
came upon Samson at times ; so conscience awakened by sharp 
afOietions, by jsudden dangers, and the approaches of death, 
makes a sad deduction of past sins, and forecasts cruel things : 

* T«8tiaoaium SDlme natoraliter CbristlaDV. Tert. 
Y 4 

S44 BTBRNAL JU»filiBMT« OlAff. V« 

it cites the offender before tlie enlightened tiflranal of heac^ea^ 
aeourges with remorse, and makes him feel even here the strokee 
of hell. Though the sin be secret, and the guilty person power* 
ful, not within the cognizance or reach of human justice, yet 
eonscience has a rack within, and causes pain and anxiety, by 
fearfiil expectations of judgment to come. 

And divine revelation is most e3q>ress in declaring this great 
truth. The light of faith is more clear and certain from the in- 
iUlible word of God, tlian the lig^t of reason. Before the flood, 
Enoch in the early age of the world foretold it; << Behold, the 
Lord cometfa with ten thousand of his saints, to execute judg- 
ment upon all." Jude 14, 15. Solomon under the law repeats 
this doctrine, that ^^ every secret thing shall be brought ifito 
judgment, whether good or evil." Eccl. 12. And God himsetf 
speaks in the sublimest style of majesty, and swears by himself, 
for our firmer belief, <'As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall 
bow to me, and every tongue confess to God,'' Isa. 4d. 2, 3. the 
^lory of his justice. FVom whence the apostle infers, ^^ So then 
every one of us shall give an account to God for himself." Rom. 
14. 10, 11. In the gospel we have distinctly described the per-* 
son of the Judge, the glorious attendants of his coming, and the 
manner of his proceedings in that day. Mat. 13.42,43. & 24« 
30, SI. Now the many predictions in scripture, so visibly ac^ 
complished in the person of Jesus Christ, and by him, give infal- 
lible assurance, that all his promises and threateuings are equally 
certain, and shall be fulfilled. * As sure as our Saviour is come 
m his humble state, and has accomplished the prophecies of hk 
sufferings, he will come in his gloiy to judge the world. 

(2.) That the belief of eternal judgment may be powerfiii m 
our hearts and lives, it must be actuated by fi-equent and serious 
thoughts.. Faith gives life and efficacy to our notions of eteraal 
things, and consideration makes our faith effectual As the na« 
taral life b preserved by the activity of the vital prindples, the 
cireulmtion of the. blood, the drawing of the breath, the motioQ 
of the puke $ so the spiritual life is maintained by the> exercise of 
grace. Theeamai affections dare not appear before reason and 
conscience, when awakened by the serious believing consideratioa 

* An Tcre eztribait Dobis omDia que promuU, & de solo die JadicH noo 
fcfellit? Jitg. 

CBAV. V* WmUMAL ^U]»MBim 845 

of eternal judgment. The evangelists relate, that when our Sa* 
viour was asleep in the ship, a 6udd«i tempest arose that was 
likely to over-set it in the sea: bnt awakened 'by the cry of his 
tfsciples, ^' Lord, save us, we perish ; he presently rebuked the 
wind, and a calm ensued." Thus whilst the habit of faith is 
asleep in the soul, there will be great danger from the concur* 
vent violence of temptations and corruptions; but when it is 
awakened by lively and powerful thoughts^ it does miracles in 
subduing the strongest lusts. It is monstrous and beyond all 
belief, did not sensible experience make it evident, that notwith*- 
stdndiug the minds of men are convinced of the certainty of the 
divine judgment, and the recempenoes that immediately follow^ 
yet their wills remain unconverted, and their affections cdd and 
inactive in their preparations for it : that such numbers who 
have so much Christianity as to believe that an irrevocable doom 
will pass upon the wicked, and so little Christianity, that they 
cannot justly hope to escape from it, yet are so carelesss of their 
duty, nay joyful in their sinful courses, as if judgment were a 
dreadless thing. What is the cause of this prodigious security? 
It is the neglect of considering that <* we must all appear before 
the judgment^seftt of Christ, to receive according to the thinga 
done in the body, whether good or evil." 

The next cause of this stupidity is, that -they put '^the evil 
day" at a remote distance : as the scorners said, '^ The vision is 
s^for many days :" they study to be secure^ and delay their prepa^ 
rttticms, presuming to have time enough before them. Their 
senses and (acuities are so employed abroad in the world, that 
they have neither leisure nor desire to think seriously of it. 
Their hearts are <o ravished with dreams of sensuality, and en- 
^•ged in terrene affairs, that they are very averse from exercising 
Cheir minds upon sueh displeasing objects. 

Vain men J how willingly do they deceive themselves ? The 
Judge himself declares, << Behold^ I come quickly : his throne is 
like a fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire ;" an emblem 
ct his swift coming to judgment. Can they be assured of lifi» 
one hour .^ The day of death is equivalent to the day of judg- 
ment: for immediately after there is a final decision of men's 
atates for ever. 

I have read of an excellent preacher, that in a sermon descri- 
bed the last judgment in all its te/ror^ with such ardent expres- 


aioDs, and those aoimated with rach an affecting voice, Ruch an 
inflamed countenance and action, that hia beams broke forth 
into passionate cries, as if the Judge himself bad been present to 
pass the final sentence upon them. In the height of their 
commotion, the preacher bid them stop their tears and passions, 
for he had one thing more to add, the most afflicting and asto- 
nishing consideration of all the rest, that within less than a 
quarter of an hour, the memory and regard of that which so 
transported them would vanish, and their affections return to 
carnal objects in tlieir usual manner* 

The neglect of consideration makes even the doctrine of judg- 
ment to come to be without efficacy. It is necessary tberefOTe 
that the belief of this be so firmly seated in the heart as ita 
throne, that it may command the thoughts to be very attentive 
to it, and may have regal power over our wills and affections^ 
that our lives may be ordered according to its rules* 

2. The consideration of eternal judgment will vindicate the 
proceedings of divine providence, and the honour of God's go- 
verning this world, from the imputation of unrightemisaess. God 
is provoked every day, yet spares the wicked, and heaps an 
abundance of favours on them* His patience and goodness they 
profanely abuse, and become more obdurate and inflexible. They 
are apt to blaspheme the excellency of his nature in their hearts, 
Psal. 14. 1. thinking that he is ignorant or careless, impotent or 
unjust. They implicitly deny his providence and judgment, that 
he docs not observe their sins, and will not require an account 
for them : or else they interpret his permission to be an approba^ 
tion of their sins. ** These things hast thou done, and I kept 
silence ; thou thoughtest I was such an one as thyself." Psal. 
50. Thus the heathens transplanted the vices of earth to hea- 
ven, and represented their gods to be sensual, jealous, fiirioua as 
men, and accordingly expect an easy absolution for their sins. 
Or else the distance of judgment to come so hardens them, that 
they hear God's thunder with less fear, than boys do their squibs 
*and crackers. ^^ Because sentence against an evil work is not 
speedily executed, therefore the hearts of the sons of men are 
fdlly set in them to do evil.^' Eccles. S. 2. But how desperate 
^ the madness of sinners? God now ^< seems to wink at their 
sins,'* Acts 17. 30. but hath appointed a day of accounts. He 
suffers them to live in prosperity, '^ but they are reserved to the 


day of judgment to be putiiahed/' 2 Pet. 2. 4. and poMiblj 
sooner : for sometimes they are cut off by visible vengeance, to 
convince the world that the. Supreme Judge does not *^ bear the 
tword in vain." But though it is delayed for a time, yet he de- 
clares, that " their sins are laid up in store with him, and seal- 
ed up among his treasures. To him belongs vengeance and re- 
eompence/* Deut. 32* 34. He is a mild Judge now, and Jiis 
clemency suspends their punishAient ; but justice will not forget 
it, Amos 8. 7. He threatens the secure sinner, << I will reprove 
thee, and set thy sins in order before thine eyes/' Psal* 50. 21. 
How will the scomfol obstinate sinner change complexion, and 
tremble, when an army of sins more terrible than so many, furies 
shall be ranged in battle, and with fiery darts wound his naked 
soul ? How will the stubborn atheist, that pleases himself with 
vain imaginations of the eternity of the world, and the mortality 
of the soul, be confounded when he feels the truth of scripture 
threateuings to his eternal sorrow ? then all their railleries will 
be turned into lamentations. It is not for * want of power that 
.God spares the wicked, but because they are always in his hands, 
and he can make them as miserable as they are sinfol when he 
pleases. It is not through the neglect of justice, but for most 
wise and holy reasons, as shall appear in the last day, when a 
decisive irreversible judgment shall be pronounced, and immedi- 
ately inflicted upon them before the world. When an f actor at 
Athens spoke with admiration of riches, as the most valuabU ac- 
quisition, and of the felicity of rich men ; the pecyle were in an 
Aiproar at the immorality of the speech, and were ready to chase 
him ftom the stage. But the poet himself appeared, and desi- 
red them to stop their fury till they saw the catastrophe, X ^^'^ 
wretched end of that sordid miser. Thus We are apt to accuse 
the ways of God when the wicked flourish ; but we should stop 
our tumultuous thoughts, for their end will absolve divine provi- 

• Can babest in pstcstete ?iiidistom,'n«vsU4U tesere patientlsB. Qh 
IprMS. dc kou* Patient 

t '^ XP^'^' 8«f/«/Mt xoXXifov /SpoTOif, &c. 

X Cam hi aof iMimJ fcnui in Trasoedia Euripidii pronantiati etsent, to* 
im popaluB ad ejiciendum & actorum & carmen coniarrexU nno impeto : do- 
nee Euripides In medium protUult petens at ezpccUtrent, vldereotque qaea 
admirator aari ezUnm fscereC 5«we* Bpi$t> 115. 


^eoee front ait imdue reflectumt upcn the aoeooiit of thdr tem* 
floral happiiicss* 

And the soutid belief of thu will rectify all mittakiiig appre* 
hensions, and dear all perpfenn^ appea r ances about the sufler* 
i^gs of the righteous here. 

Indeed if we consider the holiest men as thev are smners, their 
afflictions aee so far from blemishing the justice of God, tluit 
they are the signs of his mercy : for all is a fitvour on this side 
hell to those that desenre it. David, an excellent saint, ae- 
jLnowledgeth the righfeeoosness of- God's judgment with req)eot 
to himself. But when the saints suffer for a righteous cause; 
and as the psalmist expresses it, ^ For thy sake are we killed all 
the day kmg, and are counted as sheep for the slaughter/' Psal. 
44. there is not a visible eonespowleney between the providence 
of God in his governing the world, and the unchangeable rules of 
justice, that those who do evil should sufler evil, and those who 
do well should be happy. As the apostle speaks to the peisecu- 
ted christians, ^' It is a righteous thing with God to recompense 
tribulation to them that trouUe you, and to you who are latra- 
bled rest with us.'' 2 Thess. 6. 7« Now there is a day coming 
when the persecutors shall be punished, and the samts be re* 
watded for all their sufferings, and the distribution of reeoinpen^ 
ces shall be in the presence of the world, for the glory of divine 
justice. For the distinction that is made between men at deaA 
is private and particular, and not sufficient for the honour of 
God's government. But at the last day all men that have lived 
in several successions of ages shdl appear, and justice have a 
solemn process and triumph before angels and men. As some 
excellent piece that is to be exposed to public view> is eove^ 
with a traverse, to prevent the disturbance in the working, and 
the discovery of the work till brought to such perfection as wiR 
surprise vrith wonder those that see it : so God is pleased to co^ 
ver his proceeding for a time 3 but in the last day there vrill be 
^^ such a revelation of the righteous judgment of God," Rom. 2. 
7. that those who now doubt, or complain of his justice, shall 
admire and adore it. 

3. The belief of this doctrine, as it vindicates divine provi- 
dence, so it is powerful to comfort the saints under persecutions 
for righteousness sake 3 especially when innocence is wounded 
with slanderous darts,, and calumnies are joined with empties. 

QflAP^ V. . I^JtaBiAi^ HJX^QUEST^ S49. 

Mpmeotifig them a» worthy of imblic hatred. It was one of 

the 8ubtile artifiees of Julian the apostate, to xnii^le the imaget 
of the heathen gods with those of the emperors, that die doing 
reverenee (as the ch^stians were oonmiaBded) to all together^ 
night imply tf dereliction and ren.ouncing of their religion, and 
their simplicity aeem impiety : or if, jealovs of .slipping from their 
prefiBSBioa, Aey tefiised to do it, they might seem to deny the 
eaqpressions of hononr due to their emperors, and be imputed ito 
suffer not as ehristian martyrs, but a* rebels. But the believing 
ocm^deratien of God's righteous judgment will mak^ them de* 
spise the oensoMS and repvoaches ^ mali6ioiisa dversaries« 'f With 
me," sabh-tfae apostle, 'Mt is a very smtdl thing that I sbouM 
be indgfidrhy mUn's judgtent $ he that* jndgeth nie is die Ix)rd/' 
1 Cor, 4i fi. Ttie soberest censure was of ho more weight, com** 
pared with the' approbation ^f ;<Sod, than thfe lightest feather 
that flies in the air, put in the .scales ag^nst the globe of the 
earth. * :Tiw assuranoe of a righteoufl 6attse, and it .rfghteoils 
Judge, wtll pwa s ct f e te ihward and joyful, tranquillity of seid 
in the midst of sUfthe.st^nns of reproach «nd seAndaleustrnpn* 
tations ; like the calmness of a haven wbsn the sea is tempesto** 
Ims wilhotttw Aiid'this will feetify belicfvers to bear #ith an 
iBvineiUci ' courage all the vtoieoo^'.that is offered to them for 
their fidditfjrrto.Godk AU the wrongs and injmies' they endure; 
shim be tedieesad'wifch mflnite advahtage. The extremest evils 
to which th^yrarlt expdsed <or -CMst, araiilce thetshasiolB of fire 
sentfrom G^ not to consunke but eozulnct Eiias m triumph 
into'the fairest iieaven^ €rod will give diem pveseat support^ 
inward codsciatiohs, and a futwe erevn. . Thei^ ia^an^a^spointed 
day wbrn oppradsed itaoeenee: shail obtain the noUsst victory, 
end disgraced godUhtisB the ntoab pubHc '^and higfie^.* honour. 
<< The Mth of Milcere christians diall be found to praise and 
gtory.'^ IrPet. 1. 7« They may suffer onier die i3TOnay of tira^, 
but ahall . re^' fat the kingdom df eternity. The belief of diis, 
when firmly radBesAedin the-faeart^^' so posreriul as to make 
them ^^ glnry in the sharpest tribnlations,'' and joyfUiy triumph 
over satah, with his .perverted malignant vrorM*- Cantanio 
nmtpitixr a^uk. Batatas, the sin, and a. great part of the 

• Iolcrju4!c<m Jiistm, & csniciesUera tsam, nsH timere nlil csoBa» 


troable of the siunts, arises frmn their weakness of faith, and not 
]Nitiently waiting for the day of the Lord. When heavy persecn- 
tions and great distresses are continued by the restless adversa* 
lies, they are apt, through impatience and instability of mind, 
to be full of sorrowful complaints that God delays their particular 
ddiveranee. And as sometimes the clock outruns the motion of 
Ae sun, that is the true meamire of time ; so their hasty desires 
prevent the eternal counsel of his will, that has determined tbie 
period of the miseries of his people, and of the prosperity of the 
wicked in the fittest time. And that he suspends his gloriom 
coming to judge the world in righteousness, diseoaragelh weaker 
christians, and makes them ready to faint *< in the day of adver^ 
sity. But the Lord is not slack in performing his promise, as 
men count slackness/' 2 Pet. 3. 9. There is not the least reason 
to question his fiddity and power, or to suspect his kwe and re- 
membrance of his people. And as the stars of heaven enlighten 
the earth, but the can<Hes on earth, cannot enlighten the hea- 
vens : so the wisdom cS God's counsel and providence shoidd di* 
rect us patiently to expect his appointed time, but our glimmering 
reason cannot direct him. 

4. The serious bcKef of future judgment is the most effectual 
restraint from secret sins. Men are apt to encourage themselres 
in evil upon the account of secrecy ; it is die usual tinder of 
temptations* If solitude and silence, if the darkness efthe night, 
or any disguises may conceal their wickedness fh>m human eyes, 
they are bo^d and secure as to God. The psahnist declarea what 
is the mvfagfd principle Uiat actuates them, what is the language 
of their hearts: '' all the workers of iniquity bdtet themselves; 
they say, the Lord shall not see, neither shall the God of Jaeob 
veipird it." Psal. 94. 5, 6. But O the brotish felly irfmen, to 
think, because they do not see God, that he does not see them. 
As if one should shut his eyes in the fece of the sun, and do 
some foul abominable, thing, thinking himsdf to be unseen, be* 
cause he sees tio person. How vain is the impure diligence of 
the adulterer, the cnfty diligence of the deceiver, the solicitooa 
diligence of other sinnere to hide things from the Judge <rf all ? 
<< Shall not God search it out, for he knows the very aecrets of 
the heart ?" What a confounding discovery will be made of 
secret wickedness at the last day ? Here obscurity is the mask 
of shame that conceals it from the world. Or if only childras 


and fools tbat^re not capable to judge of the indecency and tur- 
pitude of actions, be spectators, men are not touched with 
shame for foul things. But then their wickedness shall be dis- 
played before God, the holy angels and saints. The actual be« 
lief of this would deprive satan of one of his greatest advantages^ 
and be a blessed preservative from many sins that allure the con« 
sent by the temptation of secrecy. A considering christian will 
reject them with indignation, saying with Joseph, ^^ how can I 
do this great wickedness, and sin against God ?*' The sins undis* 
covered and unpunished by temporal tribunals, shall then receive 
a just recompence. 

5. The remembrance of that strict judgment is the most na- 
tural and powerful remedy against sensual temptations that so 
easily insinuate and engage the hearts of men. St. Peter reck- 
oning up the heathens' sins, <^ lasctviousness, lusts, excess of wine, 
revellings,'' and '< abominable idolatries" tells the christians, 
" that the Gentiles thoi^ht it strange that they did not run with 
them to the same excess of riot." 1 Pet. 4. 3, 4. As the disci- 
ples when our Saviotir walked upon the waters, thought he bad 
beien a spirit, judging that no real body could tread on them 
without sinking : thus men are apt to think it impossible to re- 
strain their carnal appetites when allured by pleasing objects. 
But the belief of the terrors of ^ the Lord will damp the sensual 
afectioos when most strongly ittelioed to forbidden tMngs, and 
extinguirii delight in sin : for delight and fear are inconsistent. 
Therefore the wise preacher gives this counsel, <^ rejoice, O 
young man, in thy youth, and let thy heart cheer thee in the 
days of thy youth, and walk hi the ways of thy heart, and sight 
of thine eyes : but know thou for all these things God will. bring 
thee to jodgment/' Eocles. 11. Thfs will change the iq>pre- 
hensioDs of the mind, and alter the taste of the appetite, and 
make the<me8t enticing and sTresistible lusts the objects of our 
greatest detestation. 

6. The consideration that the Son of God, clothed with our 
nature, shall ju<%e the world, '< affords strong consolation" to 
his people, and is a motive of great t^ror to the tricked. How 
eon^brtable is it to his people that he who loved them above hisr 
life^ and was their Redeemer on the cross, shall be their Judge 
«o the throne ? <^ He is the same Jesus Christ, yesterday, to- 
day> and for ever ;" the same indulgent Saviour in the exaltation 

352 BnUUiAI. /UPCMBNI^ €HAF. ▼» 

of his glory, as ^hen under sufferings, veproadi aad Aaa». He 
is described in that glorious appearance, by the coBJunct titlei 
oi his majesty and power, <« the Great God," Tit* 2. 12, 13. 
and of his compas^on and mercy, ^^ pur Savidur,'' to signify bb 
ability and a£fection to make them happy* When he conies with 
a heavenly train of angels to jui^;m«nt, he will be as tender of 
his servants, as when he suffered for thsm in his humble state. 
He that paid their debt, and seakd their pardon with his own 
blood, will certamiy publish the acquittance. How is it possible 
he should coodetun those for whom he died, and who appear 
with the impressions of his reconciling blood upon them ? How 
levivii^ is it that Christ, whose glory was the end and perfection 
of thdr lives, Phil. 1. shall dispose their stales forever? that 
he, who esteems every act of their charity and kindness done to 
^is servants as done to himself, shalldispettse the blessed reward? 
<< Then the King will say td them placed on his righthsad, 
come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared 
for you from the foundation of the world/' Matt. 25. the 
transports of jdy to hea* thdae weeds from his Ufe«b|»athiag lipsl 
The prophet breaks forth' ittttui'^ecstacyy <^ how 'beautiful arethd 
feet of the messengers of j3ence, those that bring glad tidings of 
salvation ! but how kntich more beautiful is the'&ee of the Author 
of our peace and salvation t" O how full ef sorenity, and cle- 
mency, and ^oiry! Thie^ eaipedtalie|n of this makes themlan^ 
guish with impatience for his conung. Though the preparatioos 
of that day are so dreadful, when ■*' the aun shall be darkened, 
and the moon: turned int6 blbod," A0t8.2. and the stars fail like 
leaves in autnmn, yfat it is styhd a ^' day of refreshnsent*' to the 

- But how dreadfril will his comib^. in' majesty to judgment be 
Co th^ wicked! * <^They shall see him ivhom theyhaare piereed/' 
and with bitlter kMeatatioa^refloeinbef the indignitiea.eftredts 
him. What excuses can they alledge, why tliey'did'abt beliere 
and obey iht gospel ? • Our Saviour revealed high'mystevies, but 
confirmed them with great miracle. He requiied! strict holi- 
ness, but offered divine geaee to enable men to do his wiiL 
^ He poured forth his l^irit upon them,'^ but their! hearts were 

« Vldetlft wlneTE qa« intfltitliff agawcUit latoc quoit piipo|>l»tii, ^asaisw 
fppertof, ftprppter ToyapvtnBeit, Dccio4fttreTolau(ii. ^f^» 


Bs hard as rock^, and as barren as the sands. Then he will re* 
proach them for their insolent contempt of all the perfections of 
his divine nature, and the bleeding sufferings of his human na- 
ture to reconcile them to God : for their undervaluing ** neglect 
of the great salvation," so dearly purchased, and so freely and 
earnestly offered to them : for their obstinacy, that the purple 
streams that flowed from his crucified body, that all the sorrows 
and agonies of his soul were not effectual persuasives to make 
them forsake their sins : for their ^' preferring the bramble to 
reign over them," satan the destroyer of souls, and ungrateful 
^^ rejecting the true vine," the blessed Saviour, who by so many 
miraculous mercies solicited tbetr love, and deserved their ser- 
vice ; this will make the sentence as just as terrible, and the 
more terrible because just* This will exasperate the anguish^ 
that the gospel shall be a ^^ savour of death to them ;" and the 
blessed Redeemer pronounce them ^^ cursed," and dispatch them 
<< to everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and bis angels for 
ever." The judgment of the Redeemer will be more heavy than 
tbatpf the Creator. For all the riches of his goodness which 
they despised, shall be the measure of their guilt and woes. 
All the means of grace used for their conversion, but frustrated 
by their perverseness, shall be charged upon their score. What 
consternation will seize the wicked, when ten thousand accusers 
shall rise up in judgment against them, and not one advocate 
appear for their defence? Satan will be ready to aggravate their 
sins above his own : for although the superior excellence of his 
nature and state did heighten his obligation, and consequently 
his disobedience to his Creator, and that he sinned of himself, 
derived a guilt upon him exceeding that of man's original sin, 
who was seduced to his ruin ; yet in that justice was so quick 
and severe, that the angels after their sin were immediately ex- 
pelled from their blessed habitation, no space of repentance was 
allowed ; and no mediator interposed to obtain terms of recon- 
ciliation with the incensed Deity, their doom was final and irre- 
vocable : but after our rebellious sin, the Son of God, such was 
his immortal love^ was willing to be mortal to redeem sinful 
men, and fireely offered himself a sacrifice to atone the divine 
displeasure : and a day cf grace and long-sufferance was granted, 
and many compassionate invitations were sent from heaven to 

vol. III. z 

354 STBRNAl JUDOMSirr. ' CHAP. V, 

•often their stony hearts : bat they neglecfced and despised the 
grace of the gospel, and wiUiiUy excluded themaelTCs from mercy. 
In this respect tiiey are more guilty than the faUen aogeb ; and 
justice will revenge the abuse of mercy. Do they hope to soften 
the Judge by submissions and deprecations ? Alas ! he will be 
inflexible to all their prayers and tears. The Lamb will be then 
a lion armed with terrors for their destruction. Or can they 
appeal to a higher court to mitigate or reverse the sentence ? 
No, his authority is supreme, and confirmed by the immutable 
oath of God. Or, do they think to resist the execution of the 
sentence ? Desperate folly I The angeb, notwithstanding their 
numbers and strength, could not for a moment escape his re- 
venging hand. The whole world of sinners is of no more force 
against his wrath, than the light dust against a whirlwind, or 
dry stubble against devouring fice. Or do they think, by a stub- 
bom spirit, to endure it ? Self-deceiving wretches ! If the cor- 
rection of his children here, though allayed, and for their 
amendment, make *^ their beauty and strengh consume away as 
a moth," how insupportable will the vengeance be on his obsti- 
nate enemies ? ^< Who knows the power of his anger ?" Who 
oan sound the depths of his displeasure ? ^ 



The consideration of eternal judgment ihould poweifally move os to prepare 
for it. Roles of onr acceptance in that day. Unfeigned faith io the Lord 
Jesns is absotately necessary for our acceptance. The pardon of our sins, 
and the rewarding our services, is npoa the account of our Savtour^s meri* 
torious obedience and sufferings. Sincere and uniform obedience vrill be 
only accepted of onr Judge. The frequent trial of conscience prepares 
us for the last judgment. This leads to repentance for past sins, and pre- 
serves from sins afterwards. The improving of onr talents will malce the 
last jndgment comfortable. The zealous maintaining the truth and cause 
of Christ, will be rewarded in the last judgment. A beneficent love to the 
afflicted saints shall then be rewarded An ezchation to watch and pray» 
that we may with comfort appear before the everlasting Judge. 

*]. jL he consideration of eternal judgment should be a power- 
ful incentive to prepare ourselves for it. The affair is infinitely 
serious, for it concerns our salvation or damnation for ever. 
Yet the pleasures and business of the world fasten men in secu- 
rity, and hinder the entire application of their minds to prepare 
for their last account. It is an awful caution of our Saviour to 
his disciples, *' take heed lest at any time your hearts be over- 
charged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and cares of this life, 
and so that day come upon you unawares : for as a snare shall it 
come on all them that dwell on the face of the earth.'' A dis* 
solute voluptuous course of life is joined with a brutish neglect 
of God and the soul: and the indulging the carnal appetite, 
though not in such enormous excesses as the profane are guilty 
of> alienates the minds of men from due considering their spiri- 
tual state, and lessens the preventive fear that makes us serious 
and diligent '^ to be found of God in peace." And others are so 
involved in secular business, that they are not at leisure to regard 
the ^^ one thing necessary :" their minds are so overshadowed 
with the cares of the present world, they cannot take a ;'ight 
aspect of tlie world to come. The flood broke in upon the old 
world whilst they ^' were eating and drinking, marrying and 
grvisg in marriage, buying and sellings" and destroyed them all, 

z 2 


The last fire will devour this world in the same wretched inco- 
gitancy, and stupid neglect to prepare themselves for judgment. 
*' As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the 
Son of man." It is a divine and solemn warning, ** Behold, I 
c-imc as a thief in the night : blessed is he that watcheth and 
keepeth his garments, lest he be found naked,'* without the robe 
of holiness, and be exposed to confounding shame in tliat day. 
When secure and careless sinners shall say, " peace and safety, 
sudden destruction will come upon them, as travail upon a womaa 
with child," as surprisingly, as irresistibly ; " and thev shall not 
escape.'* Rut the ** wise foresee the evil," and esteem it th'^ir 
incomparable interest to secure the favour of the Supreme Judge. 
It is the inference the apostle makes from the certainty of our 
appearing before the Righteous Judge, *^ wherefore we labour, 
that whether present or absent," in this or the next life, " we 
may be accepted of him.'* 2 Cor. 5. 9. This was his great de- 
sign, his chief care, his duty and his glory : never did any per- 
son more ardently aspire, and ambitiously endeavour for the ob- 
taining a kingdom, than he did to secure his own acceptance 
with the Lord, in order to this, I will lay down the rules ol our 
acceptance in that day, and conclude the argument. 

First. Unfeigned faith in the Lord Jesus is absolutely neces- 
sary, that we may be accepted. This is such a belief of bis all- 
sufficient merits, and his merciftil inclination to save us, that 
the guilty and self-condemned sinner entirely consents to the 
terms of the gospel, as well as to the privileges of it, with a re- 
liance upon his merits, and a resolution to obey his precepts. 
He is a " Priest on a throne, a Prince, and a Saviour," and so 
must be acknowledged and received. Upon this condition his 
righteousness is freely imputed to us for our justification unto life, 
without which we must perish in our sins. For, 

(I.) The best saints are guilty, and deeply obnoxious to the 
law, and the judgment of God is invariably according to truth ; 
so that appearing in their sins, they will be cast for ever. God's 
tribunal, like that of the severe Roman judge, is reorum scopu- 
lusy a rock that dashes in pieces all the guilty that come to it. 
Therefore the psalmist so earnestly deprecates ; '' enter not into 
judgment with thy ser\'ant, O Lord ; for in thy sight shall no 
man living be justified." And the apostle, though a transcend- 
ent saint, divests himself of his own righteousness, that he may 


be entirely covered with the righteousness of Christ ; and re- 
nounces all things^ that ^^ he may be found in him as his surety" 
in that day of accounts, and obtain pardon by virtue of his satis- 
faction for sin. We cannot perfectly obey the commands, nor 
appease the displeasure of Ood : but the expiatory sacrifice of 
Christ propitiates the divine justice* This alone can make us 
stand ill judgment before the '* fiery law," and ^^ the fiery tribu- 
nal," and the ^^ Judge who is a consuming fire," to all the guilty 
that appear in their sins before him. The blood of the Mediator 
has sprinkled the throne of God in heaven ; and our consciences 
being sprinkled with it by an unfeigned faith, we may appear 
before God the judge of all with a humble confidence, and 
enter into the holy of holies, the celestial sanctuary, with joy* 

(2.) Not only the pardon of our sins, but the acceptance and 
rewarding of our services with eternal glory, is upon the account 
of our Saviour's complete righteousness. There are defilements 
in the persons, and defects in the works of the saints. Their 
most holy and fervent prayers are perfumed by the incense of 
his intercession, and so become gratefiil to God, Rev. 8. d* 
Our best virtues are mixed and shadowed with imperfections $ 
but in him all graces were conspicuous in their consummate de- 
grees. Our obedience, supposing it perfect, is of no desert: 
'' when we have done all, we are unprofitable servants :" but his 
obedience was infinitely meritorious by the union of the Deity 
with his human nature, and is the foundation of the excellent 
reward. Not that his merits derive a value to our works to 
make them worthy of eternal glory : as some noble mineral in- 
fused into water, that is in itself without taste or efficacy, gives 
it a medicinal tincture and virtue ; for this is impossible, since 
the infinite dignity of his person, and his most perfect habitual 
aiid actual holiness, that are the fountains and reasons of his 
merits, are incommunicable to our persons and works. But the 
active and passive obedience^of Christ is so satisfactory and meri- 
torious, that God is pleased graciously to reward with the crown 
of life the mean services of those who are by a lively and purify- 
ing faith united to him. 

Secondly. Sincere obedience, that is a uniform and entire re- 
spect to all the commands of God, will alone be accepted in that 
day : for his authority runs through all, and binds them on the 
conscience. David had this testimony from God himseli^ that 

z 3 


he '^ was a man after his own hearty that fulfilled all hit will/' 
And St. John refers the decision of our state to this, << if our 
hearts condemn us'' of any allowed sin of omission or commis- 
sion, much more ^' God will, who is greater than our hearts, 
and knows all things." 1 John ^. 20, 21. But if the illuminated 
tender conscience doth not condemn us of insincerity, '^ we have 
confidence towards God," that he will spare and accept us not« 
withstanding our frailties, and give free and safe access into his 
presence. The lives of many are chequered with a strange dis- 
parity, they are restrained from some sins of apparent odious- 
ness, but indulgent to others ; they are strict in some duties, but 
loose and slack in others, as if they hoped by way of commuta- 
tion to be accepted of God ; to expiate their deKnquencies in 
one kind by supererogating in another. Some are painted pha- 
risees in the duties of the first table, very exact in the fbrmalittes 
of outward devotions, but gross publicans in the duties of the 
second; cardess of justice and ^equity, and charity to men; 
others are in appearance strictly moral in the discharge of their 
duties to men, and negligent of their obligations to God. But 
partial obedience can never endure the trial of conscience, much 
less of God. For what is the weak light of our minds, to the 
pure eyes of his glory? It will make us liable to inward rebuke 
now, and to open confiision at the last. St. Paul's *' rejoidng 
was fit>m the testimony of his conscience, that in simplicity and 
godly sincerity he hacfhis conversation in the world/' 2 Cor. 1. 
12. And; as he expresses it in another place, it was his << daily 
exercise to have a conscience void of offence towards God, and 
towards men.'' Though our conquest of sin be not complete, 
yet our resolution and endeavours must be to mortify it in every 
kind. Though our obedience has not the perfection of degrees, 
we must be equally regarding the divine law. If there be any 
secret favoured sin, either of omission or commission, it will 
render our petitions unacceptable at the throne of grace, and 
our persons at the throne of judgment ; '^ if I regard iniquity in 
my heart, the Lord will not hear my prayer." The law requires 
the performance of our duty without abatement, or denounceth 
the penalty without allay or mitigation : the gospel has not re* 
laxed the strictness of the law as it is the rule of life, but as it 
was the condition of obtaining life. Sincere obedience is accep- 
ted by that graciouB con^nant, where the legal perfection k 


wanting ; but that is indispeasably required of alL I may illus- 
trate this by a passage of Alexander the Great, who being de- 
wous to learn geometry, applied himself to a skilful instructor 
iu it. But his warlike disposition made him more capable to 
cooquer, than to measure the earth ; so that tired with the first 
propositions, he desired his master to make the scheme more 
ckaar and plain, and easy tQ him. * To whom the master re- 
plied, that the theorems of that science were equally difficult to. 
all, and required the same attention of mind to understand them. 
Thus the gospel of mercy requires of all sincere sanctification, 
and serious endeavours to perfect holiness in the fear of God, 
and without this none sbdl be exempted from condemnation. 

To the sincerity of ob^ienoe, I shaU add. a more restrained 
notion of it as respecting religion. The duties of piety consist of 
an otttwwrd and inward part ; and the one without the other, is 
but as a carcass without a sickening souL Now there will be 
an exquisite anatomy of the heart in that judgment, a discovery 
of ail the principles and motives by which men were actuated ; 
«nd then he that is a saint inwardly, ^* in the spirit,'' who with 
pure aims and hdy affeotions hath served God, shall have ^^ praise 
of him.'' And those who have used God to enjoy the world, 
that have assumed pretences of piety for secular ends, shall be 
reproved. This will be a cause of wonder in that day, that 
many ^^ who are highly esteemed by men'' as excellent sainta^ 
^< shall be an abomination tb God." That in the broad way to 
hell thomsands go thither is sad beyond expression, but not 
etran^ at all : but that in the path of heaven any should 4^cend 
to bell, is astonishing. That those who live without God in the 
world, in the profane neglect of his worship, in a dissolute dis* 
orderly course, should fall under condemnation, is believed of all: 
but that those who have ^>peared zealous in religion, shall be at 
last rgecCed, is contrary tomniversal expectation. And not only 
the gross hypocrite that deceives others, but he that deceives 
himaelf by the external practice of holy duties^ without corre- 
qiondent lively affections ; that prays with that coldness as if he 
bad no desire to be heard, and hears with that carelessness as if 
he had no desire to be sanctified by the word, and is conversant 

* Cat pnsceptor s U to, in^Qit, omoibos eadea nut «q«e dtfllcUla. Sm, 

Z 4 

360 . STfiANAl. SVDGMMVr, eHAP« VI* 

tn other parts of divine service in that slight manner, as if he had 
ho design to be saved, shall by a convincing upbraiding light see 
his wickedness, in dishonouring that God whom he pretended 
to worship, and neglecting his 6oul. When the upright as pute 
gold shall be more radiant by the fire, the insincere like repro- 
bate silver shall not endure that severe trial. 

Thirdly. The frequent discussion of conscience, and reviewing 
our ways, is necessary in order to our comfortable appearing be^ 
fore our Judge. This is a duty of constant revolution : for while 
vi'e are in flesh, the best saints, notwithstanding all their vigi- 
lance, and diligence, are overtaken by surprisal, and sometimes 
overborne by strong temptations ; and it is more necessary to beg 
for daily pardon, than for our daily bread. Under the law, if 
any one had by touching a dead body contracted undeanness, he 
was to wash his clothes in the evening, and not to lie down in 
his undeanness. This was typical of our duty, that we should 
wash away our sinful defilements every day in the pariiying foun- 
tain of Christ's blood, ** that is set open for sin and for undean- 
ness.'' And the method of the gospel to obtain the grant of 
pardon, and our comfortable sense, and the blessed effisets of it 
is this, there must be a moumfiil sight, and serious acknowledg- 
ment of our daily sins, and a judging ourselves by the domestical 
tribunal in our breasts as worthy of condemnation. For though 
we cannot satisfy divine justice for the least sin, we must glorify 
it ; and with humility and fervency desire that God would gra- 
ciously forgive our renewed sins, with unfeigned resolutk»ns and 
care against them for the future. Thus we are Co sue out our 
pardon for sins committed every day. And whereas many errors 
in regard of our frailty, and their fineness, do slip from us, we 
ahouM with contrite spirits implore the divine majesty ^* to cleanse 
us from our secret sins,'' Psal. 19. 12. such as through ignorance 
or inadvertency escape from our observation. If we are obliged 
to be reconciled to an offended or offending brother before the 
night, and ^^ the sun must not go down upon our wrath," much 
more to be reconciled to an offended God, that his displeasure 
may be atoned. The morning and evening sacrifice was a figure 
of the constant use of Christ's merits and mediation for us. The 
secure neglect of renewing our repentance for our renewed sins, 
deprives us of the comforts of the covenant, and will make the 
thoughts of judgment as heavy as mountains upon the cousdence, 


when it is awakened out of its slumber. But when the 8our« 
accounts are kept clear with heaven every day, O what a blessed 
rest does the penitent believer enjoy in the favour of God ! O the 
divine calm of conscience, when our debts are cancelled in the 
book of God's remembrance! l( we should be unexpectedly 
summoned to appear <^ before the Judge of all/' the sight of our 
sins will rather excite thankful affections, and joyful praises of 
God for his mere}', that . he hath pardoned them, than fearful 
despairing thoughts of hie mercy, that he will not pardon them* , 

And as this considering our ways leads to repentance, and is a 
lemedy for past sins, so it is a powerfiil preservative from sin af- 
terwards. For as. in war the greatest care is to fortify the weak- 
est part of a besieged town, and make it impregnable ; so a 
christian, by the experience of his infirmity and danger, will be 
more wise and wary, more circumspect and resolved against 
those sins whereby he has been often foiled, to prevent the daily 
incursion^ and sudden sttrrq»tion by tliem* And according tO' 
the degrees of our innocence^ we have confidence of acceptance 
with God in judgment. 

Fourthly. Let us improve with a wise and singular diligence 
the talents committed to our trust : for in that day we shall be 
responsible for all that we have received. All the blessings we 
possess, whether natural, our hfe, our faculties^ our endowments, 
* our health and strength ; or civil, honour and dignity, riches and 
reputation ; or spiritual, the gospel in its light and power, the 
graces and assistance of the Holy Ghost, as they are gifts from 
God's love, so they are talents to be employed for hi? glory. We 
are stewards, not proprietaries : for the supreme Lord does not 
relinquish his right in our blessings, that we may dispose pf them 
4at our own pleasure, but hath prescribed rules for our using them 
in order to his glory* our own good, and the benefit of others. 
And it is sad to consider that usually those who enjoy the great- 
est gifts, render the least acknowledgments, and the most abun- 
dant in favours are most barren in thankjpulness. Time, that 
invaluable treasure, that is due to God and the soul, the price 
of which arises from the work of salvation to be done in it, how 
is it squandered away ? Conscience would blush at the serious 
reflection, that every day so much is spent in the business of the 
world, or pleasures, and so little redeemed for communion with 
the holy God : that as in the prophetic dream the lean kine de- 

362 nXftMAt JUDGMSKT. CB/lT. VI. 

voored the fat, so tmcooceming vanities take up that time that 
should he employed for our last and blessed end. While time is 
miserably wasted, the aool lies a bleeding to everlasting death. 
More particularly, we shall be accountaUe for all the days of ^' the 
Son of Man" that we have seen, aU the special seasons of grace: 
these we should improve for our eternal advantage, Co prepare us 
for the divine presence above. But alas, the Lord's day that is 
consecrated for the immediate service of God, and should be en- 
tirely spent in it, and in things that have a necessary subordina- 
tion to it, yet ndther the enforcement of duty, nor incitations of 
love prevail upon the most, conscientiously to employ it in spi- 
ritual afiairs. If they afford their presence at the public wor- 
ship, it is thought enough } and as if thb rest of the <hy was ui- 
sanctified time, they waste it either in coraplimental visits, or 
secular business, in recreations, or things impertinent to their 

Riches are an excellent kistrament of ddng good : gold is the 
most precious and extensive metal, and by a marvellous art an 
ounce may be beaten out into some hundred leaves : but it is a 
more happy art by giving it, to enridi our own aouls, and supply 
the necessities of many others. But great estates are often used 
to foment men's' vicious guilty afiectioas, pride, and sensuality ^ 
and it is called * greatness and magnificence to waste them in 
sumptuous vanities* I instance in these talents, because they 
are usually abused to the dishonour of the donor. If the slotb- 
fal servant that hid his single talent in a napkin, and returned it 
without advantage to his Lord, was '< cast into outer darkness, 
where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth ;" a fearfiil image 
of what wiil befial all unprofitable persons : how severe will their 
accounts be who lavish out timr numerous talents to gratify tbeii 
carnal appetites, and betray the blessings of God to his enemy 
the devil? Only the wise and good servant, that with prudent 
tHmtrivance, and zealous endeavours, improves his talents, sbsll 
from die gracious Lord, in whom are all attractives and remune- 
ratives of our service, receive an excdlent reward. 

Fifthly. Another rule of our acceptance at the last day is, that 
we must with courage and ^eal maintain in our rank and places 
the cause of Christ. For thus he declares expessly, << Whosc^ 

• NttUts ▼itiifl dessiit pretiosa Domioa. PUn, Ub, 73. 


ever shall confess me before men, him also will I confess before 
my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me 
before men, him also will I deny before my Father which is in 
heaven.** Mat. 10. 33, 34. When the truth, purity, and power 
of religion, in doctrine, worship and practice, is discountenanced 
and overborn, our Saviour commands, and will reward our un- 
discouraged visible constancy in it. He will not only reign in 
our hearts, but he honoured with our lips, and in our conversa* 
tions. Rom. 10. We usurp the title of christians, unless we 
adhere to our duty in despite of all opposition. The tempta- 
tions that usually withdraw men from confessing and glorifying 
Christ, are such as work upon the passioits of fear and shame. 
And the consideration of the last judgment will fortify us against 

(1.) Sometimes religion exposes the professors of it to the loss 
of all temporal enjoyments, and of life itself. And when the 
honour of our Saviour requires such a service of us, when that 
confirmation is necessary to recommend divine truth to the belief 
and affections of others, when our cheerfiil and courageous exam- 
ple in suffering would animate those that are fearful to constancy 
and confession, then from cowardice to withdraw our testimony, 
is to betray him again. Wlien our duty is attended with ex- 
treme dangers, then the sincerity and perfection of our love to 
Christ is brought to the strictest trial. As true carbuncles are 
discovered in Ac night, for the darkness redoubles their splen- 
dour ; so the fidelity of christians is evident in persecutions, that 
inflame and excite thbir zeal to magnify the name of Christ in 
the sight of the world. " There is no fear in love, but perfect 
love casts out fear.*' 1 John 4. 18. But fearfulness hinders the 
expressing acts of love to Christ, and betrays to apostacy. For 
as every passion is a perturbation, so especially carnal fear, that 
blinds and disturbs the mind, and hinders the serious considera- 
tion of the reasons of our duty, and those motives to persevere in 
It, that are the fountains of our strength. From hence the ti- 
morous are often treacheroas, and faith lies buried under the cold 
pale ashes of fear. Now the irregularity of this passion is best 
cured by directing it to the most powerful object. As the rod of 
Moses swallowed up the rods of the magicians ; so a stronger 
fear will subdue that which is in a weaker degree. Our Saviour 
therefore threatens those that for the fear of men {^ who can 


but kill the body") dare not own and defend his troth and cause, 
that he will renounce them before his Father in the great day, 
the immediate consequence of which will be the '' destruction of 
body and soul in hell." Mat. 10. 31, 32, 33. If earthly po- 
tentates had a jurisdiction over heaven, if men were to be tried 
by their laws at the last day, if their power extended to eternity, 
they might exact unlimited obedience to their wills ; but consci* 
ence is a more desirable friend and terrible enemy than Cesar ; 
and all temporal tribunals are subordinate and accountable to 
the supreme and eternal : there is *^ one Lawgiver and Judge, 
who is able to save, and to destroy for ever." It is the worst 
perdition to secure ourselves by the neglect of our duty, when we 
ought to perish for the glory of our Saviour. ^^ He that saves 
his life, shall lose it/' 

(2.) Shame wounds deeper the breasts of some than violence. 
Zedekiah would rather expose his kingdom and life to the fiiry 
of the Chaldean armies, than be himself exposed as an object of 
derision by surrendering it. And satan, who understands the 
temper of men's spirits, suits his temptations accordingly. The 
purity and holiness of religion, expressed in the actions of the 
saints, is by the scurrilous reflections and bitter sarcasms of pro- 
fane persons made contemptible. This is as foolish and malici- 
ous, as if a slave should reproach the son of a king, that he was 
like his father in his countenance and actions : for by how much 
the resemblance of God's holiness appears with more evidence 
and eminence in their lives, their divine relation is more certunly 
and justly to be acknowledged. Yet bow many are ashamed ot 
this glory ? And zeal to vindicate the honour of religion is tra- 
duced and vilified, either as the effect of designing faction, or of 
the indiscretion and rashness of a weak judgment and strong 
passions. In every age the faithhil servants of God are by scorn- 
ful titles despised : ^^ We are accounted,*' saith the apostle, ** the 
off-scouring of the world." 1 Cor. 4. 17. But a generous 
christian looks upon disgrace for the sake of Christ as his ho- 
nour. The apostles ^^ rejoiced that they were accounted worthy 
to suffer shame for his name." Acts 5. 41. It is said of the 
baptist, <^ He was not that light, but came to bear witness of 
that light :" intimating as if that were the next degree of dig- 
nity to it. And our Saviour, speaking of the proofis of bis divine 
mission, reckons up the witnesses of such dignity, that it is not 


possible for sacred ambition to aspire to higher honour, than 
to be in conjunction with them : ^* they are John the baptist, 
his miracles, his Father, and the scriptures/* John 5. 33^ 36^ 
37, 39. 

Let us appeal then firom the light depraved fancies of carnal 
meuj to the wise and faithful judgment and authority of the Son 
of God. He will at the last day, in the presence of his Father 
and all the court of heaven, give an incomparable crown to all 
that have despised shame for his sake. But those vile spirits, 
whose courage of straw is quelled by vain opinion, and the re- 
proaches of fools, and have deserted the cause of Christ, shall 
then be clothed with confusion : for this we are assured by our 
Judge, that ^' whosoever shall be ashamed of me and my word;^ 
in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him also shall the Son 
of Man be ashamed when he cometh in the gloiy of his Father^ 
with the holy angels." Mark 8. 38. If the unnatural brothers 
were astonished when the governor of Egypt told them, '' I am 
Joseph, whom ye sold ;" how much more will false christian?^ 
when the Lord of glory shall tell them, I am Jesus, whom for 
base shame ye denied? How will it confound those abject 
wretches to be a spectacle of abhorrence and scorn before that 
universal glorious confluence ? They would choose rather to be 
covered under the ruins of the world. If we value and desire 
the approbation of the King of angels, if we fear a final rejection 
from him, to obtain the one and avoid the other, we must en- 
tirely adhere to his interest, without any respect to the eyes and 
esteem of the perverse deceived world. 

Sixthly. A cordial beneficent love to the saints, is a requisite 
qualification of our acceptance in the day of judgment. <^ Then 
shall the King say to them on his right hand. Come ye blessed 
of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the 
foundation of the world. For I was an hungered, and ye gave 
me meat ; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink ; I was a strai^;er^ 
and ye took me in ; naked, and ye clothed me ; I was sicky and 
ye visited me.; I was in prison, and ye came unto me." Mat. 
25. 34, 35 j 36. The union and endearments betwixt Christ and 
his people, are mutual and reflexive ; as they are extremely ten- 
der of his glory, so he is concerned in all that is done to them. 
And though the perfection of love consists more in the affection 


of the heart than in outward offices, yet our Saviour most con- 
gruously produces in judgment the conspicuous effects of love to 
theniy the supplying their wants, allaying their sorrows, owning 
them when obscured and depressed by afflictions, and injuriously 
treated by others. This love of service that is directed and ex- 
ercised towards the saints for the image of God shining in them^ 
because they are the children of God, and members of Christ, 
and therefore extended to all in whom the reason of that love 
appears, shall be gloriously rewarded ; for he interprets what it 
done upon his account to those who are his own by so many 
dear titles, as done to himself. And what is more becoming his 
excellent goodness, than to reward the works of mercy with sa- 
ying mercy? But those who when Christ presents himself to 
them in his poor distressed members, and solieits their assist- 
ance, to protect them from injuries, to refresh their sorrows, to 
support them in their exigencies ; those that have ability, but 
want affection to do them good, and incompassiona^ly neglect 
the suffering saints, shall be sentenced to be tormented with the 
apostate angek for ever. What indignity is it to the Son of 
God, that those for whom he shed his most predous bloody 
should be in less value and regard with many, than the dogs and 
horses maintuned for their pleasure? And if those on the left 
hand shall be condemned to eternal fire for the coldness of their 
love ; how terrible will the judgment be of those that from the 
heat of their enmity outrageously persecute the servants of Christ 
for his sake, in their persons, estates, reputations, that with a 
worse than barbarous inhumanity seek their ruin ? Is there any 
sin of a more mortal gailt ? The infernal furnace is seven-fold 
heated for the punishing such wickedness. 

To conclude this argument ; let us observe the command 61 
our Saviour, <'To watch and pray always, that we may be 
counted worthy to stand before the Son of Man/' These are 
duties of universal influence into our lives, the one prevents care- 
kasness, the other vain confidence in ourselves : and the consi- 
deration of judgment to come, is the greatest motive to them, 
and the first principle of holiness. This should work more pow- 
erful in us, considering the day of death is equivaknt to the day 
of judgment to every person ; for then a particular sentence de- 
cisive and irrevocable passes, that shall be pubiidied at the last 


day. Methinks the terrors of the Icprd should engage our souls 
aad senses to a continual preparation for his coming. It is re* 
presented so as to afiect the eye, and keep it vigilant, ^^ Behold, 
the Lord conies with ten thousand of his saints, to execute judg- 
ment upon all," Jude 15. Behold, he comes in the clouds, and 
every eye shall see him," Rev. 1. 9. And to call thenar, and 
make it attentive ; ^^ The Lord himself shall descend from hea- 
ven with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump ol 
God." 1 Thess. 4. 16. How circumspect should we be in all 
our ways, since every action shall be reviewed by our Judge? 
St. Peter strongly infers from the dissolution^ of the world, as a 
most cogent argument, that we should be exactly and universally 
holy: ^^ Seeing then all these things shall be dissolved, what 
manner of persons ought we to be in all holy conversation and 
godliness?" 1 Pet. 3. 11, 12. But the consideration of the 
eternal judgment immediately succeeding the destruction of the 
nvorld ; O how powerful should it be upon conscience and the 
afTections, to regulate the whole course of our lives with a final 
respect to God's tribunal ! 

In short, that which we read of the success of the apostles 
preaching to the Athenians upon the present subject, the immor- 
tality of the soul, comprised in the resurrection of the body and 
future judgment, is the same in all times and places. '^ And 
when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked ; 
and others said, we will hear thee again of this matter ; and 
others believed." Acts 17. 32, 34. There are three differences 
of the hearers of this doctrine of so great importance : some de- 
ride it as an extravagant fancy ; some believe it, and yield up 
themselves entirely in obedience to it ; others do not absolutely 
reject it as the first, nor accept it as the second, but have a con- 
jecture, or slight superficial opinion of it, or a speculative assent 
as to a history of things that do not concern them, and defer the 
serious consideration and applying of it to themselves. And ai 
this third sort (O grief!) are the most of those who are christians 
in name. They delay till death the solemn reflecting upon the 
final judgment, and the inevitable consequence of it, a blessed or 
miserable estate for ever. And whereas the apostle, who had 
infiallible assurance of God's love, did with a holy severity and 
self-denial abstain from all carnal complacencies that might ha- 


xard the never-fading crown ; ^^ I keep under my body, and bring 
it into subjection, lest by any means when I have preached to 
others, I should be a cast-away." 1 Cor. 19. 27. * Yet the most 
live and die in a secure state, without a preparation to appear 
before the presence ot his glory. 

* Vae miserls nobis qai de clectione nostra nollan adbac dei Tocm 
eofpnoTimns, ft jam in otio qnasi de lefiirHate torpenvs. Greg. UK 9. 


PSAL. XVJ. 11. 

Thou wilt show ;Be the path of life: In tby.pr^fcnce U fulaess of Joy, «l 
ihy risht hand there ace pleasures for eTermore. 


T^e Saylottr of men wm before and under (he law by ▼arions predictions 
and types desSeribed, to prepare the world for bit reception with faith and 
obedfeaee. lo this psalm, a mixture of history and prophecy. The words 
of the text applied by the apostle to Christ's resurrection and ascension* 
and glory in heaven. The divine presence is the supreme and eternal 
feliVlty of the saints in heaven. The glory of the place considered. The 
luippiuess of heaven illustrated by sensible representations. 

JL HE divine wisdom and goodness vras pleased^ before and du- 
ring the legBi dispensation, by various predietiotis and types to 
delineate the person of our Redeemer, and the work of redemp* 
tion^ to prepare the minds of men for his reception at his coming 
into the world. All the evangelical prophecies recorded in the 
Old Testament, as dispersed rays, are conspicuously united in 
hioij ^^ the Sun of Ri^teousness ;" and as in a curious piece of 
Moeaic work^ each stone acoonfing to its natural vein and colour 
is ao exactly disposed, and with that proportion joined to ano- 
ther^ Chat the lively figure of the human body results from the 
Ci^mposure ; so hy variety of types, the entire image of our fiavi* 
our*8 life is represented from his first appearing on earthy to his 
aaoeDding to heaven. 

VOL. in. A a 


Now the due comparing and observing the harmonious agree* 
ment between the prophecies and types of the Old Testament, 
and the history of the New, is a powerfiil means to produce and 
establish a true lively faith in the blessed Jesus as the promised 
Messiah : for it is an infallible argument of the divine provi- 
dence, in disposing times and things so, as the oracle should be 
verified in the event, and the mysterious figures substantially ex- 
hibited in the manifestation of the Son of God. It is true, his 
miracles raised admiration, and argued the concurrence of power 
truly divine : for the exercise of an absolute dominion over the 
order of nature, is ^ royalty reserved to God ; but that his mira- 
culous operations were foretold, added more authority to his per- 
son, and efficacy to his- doctrine. Therefore our Saviour himself, 
ill answer to the public question sent from John the baptist, 
whether he were the expected Saviour of the world, commanded 
the messengers to tell him what they heard and saw, " The 
blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are 
cleansed, the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up," Matt. 11. 
Which healing miracles were foretold by the prophet Isaiah, Isa. 
35. as the clear and distinguishing characters of the Messiah 
from all seducers, when he should come. The fulfilling God's 
word by the works of Christ, of which there was sensible evi- 
dence, was an irrefiituble testimony that Ms niiraeles were tree, 
and performed for the confirmation of the truth. 

Now of all the chosen saints that foretold the coming of 
Christ, the new Imw of gcaee, . and the new kingdom of glory, 
that he should reveal and establish: * of all that represented 
him in various paiticularities, coaceming his person and offices, 
there was not a DOi^re illustrious type than David, that by pro- 
phetical words, and by prophetiad actions did so clearly describe 

In this pealm composed by him, thare is a mii^ture of histoiy 
and prophecy ; 90me things in the literal and immediate sense 
referring to David : '^ I have set the Lord always before me ; 
because he is at my right hand, I shsdl not be moved." Our 
being at God's right hatid, implies th^ highest honour i his beiqg 
at our right, hand, implies present and sure protection and de- 
fence. And of this David had the infallible pnmiise of God to 

* Illorsm hABiosoi non taatua Uag;iim led & vita pr^phetka fulC Jag* 

CMiLff. I. ON HBAVBN, 371 

secure his hope^ notwithstanding all his unrighteous and impla- 
cable enemies. But the following verses are applicable to Da- 
vid, but in a lower sense, and by a remote metaphor^ and have 
their literal and principal accomplishment in our Saviour. ^^ Thou 
wilt not leave my soul in hell ;*^ that is, in the state of the dead ; 
" nor sirffer thy holy One to see corruption :" that is, the body 
of our Saviour should be exempted from the corrupting power cf 
the grave, and restored the third day to life. In this propriety 
and perfection of sense, the prophecy is applied by St. Peter to 
our Saviour's alone : for David died, *^ and saw corruption," 
Acts 2: 27, 29. and his body still remains under the dominion 
of death. And this last verse, " Thou wilt show me the path of 
life ; in thy presence is fulness of joy, at thy right hand are 
pleasures for evermore ;" is applied by the apostle to Christ, his 
resurrection, ascension to heaven, '^and sitting at the right 
hand of the Majesty on high. Thou wilt show me the path of 
life;" that is, introduce him into the kingdom of glory, and by 
experimental fruition make him partaker of it : ** In thy pre- 
sence is fulness of joy, at thy right hand are pleasures for ever- 

In these words the causes and excellencies of the heavenly life 
are expressed. The causes, are the glorious presence of God, 
and the intimate application of hi^ presence, and discover}' of his 
peculiar love to the saints. This our blessed Saviour had respect 
to> as the complete reward of his sufferings : '^ Thou shalt make 
me full of joy with thy countenance." And' his right hand im- 
plies his bounty that dispenses, and his power that secures our 
happiness. The excellencies of it, are "fulness of joy, and plea- 
sures for evermore." 

From the words I shall observe one proposition. 

The enjoyment of the divine presence in heaven, is the su- 
preme and everlasting felicity of the saints, and 

In discoursing of this point, I will consider; — The place 
wherein the divine presence is gloriously revealed ; — Show that 
the enjoyment of the divine presence is the supreme felicity of 
the saints; — and lastly. Prove that the felicity shall be ever- 

I. The place wherein the divine presence is revealed. It is 
consistent with the divine immensity, to be differently present i;i 
some places. The essential presence of God is the same every 

A a 2 

872 0S UfiAVJUi. I^BikF. f. 

where ; -the influxive declarative presence of God it ipedal, uA 
otherwise in one place than another. He is more excellently 
present in the living temples^ his saints on earth, by the gracious 
|uad eminent operations of his Spirit, than he is in the rest of the 
world : be is most excellently present in heaven, by the clearest 
manifestation, and the express characters and effects of the di- 
vine perfections. 

This inferior world is framed with exquirite order; "The 
e^rth is full of the glory of the Lord f yet it is but the, sediment 
of the creation, the habitation of birds and beasts, nay of rebel- 
lious sinners : and by this we may raise our thoughts to con- 
ceive something of the glorious sanctuary of life, and blessedness 
/above.. It is called the *' heaven of heavens,'' which is the 
highest comparison to instruct and astonish us with the ampli« 
tude and glory of the place. It is a place becoming the majesty 
of God, the image of his immensity. Our Saviour assares us, 

In his Father's house are many viansions," to receive the in- 
numerable company of glorified saints* It is called ^'the excel- 
lent glory," 2 Pet. 1. 17. 

The shining firmament, with all the luminaries that adorn it, 
9re but the firontispiece to the highest heaven. AU the lustre of 
diamonds, the fire of carbuncles and rubies, the. brightness of 
pearls are dead in comparison of* its glory. '^ It is the throne of 
the God of glory," wherein his majesty is revealed in the most 
illustrious manner. For pleasantness it is called paradise, in al- 
lusion to the delightful garden planted by the hands of God him- 
self for Adam, his favoniite, whilst innocent. There is "the 
tree of life." There are rivers of pleasure springing fi-om the 
divine presence. '^ It is called the inheritance of the saints in 
light ;" to signify the glory andjoy of the place : for light has 
splendour, and conciliates cheerfiilness, and is a fit emblem of 
both. As on the contrary, hell is described by *^ the blackness 
of darkness for ever," to sigpify the sjiduess jsLoi despair of the 
damned ; and because in that centre of misery, a perpetual night 
and invincible darkness increases the horror of lost souls. 

Heaven for stability is called ^^ ^ city that has foundations, 
whose builder and maker is God." The present world is like a 
tent or tabernacle set up for a tim$, whilst the church is passing 
through the wilderness : but heaven is the '^ City of the living 
God," the place of his happy residence, the seat of his eternal 


empire. The visible world, with all ita perishing idols, shall 
shortly faU, this beautiful scene shall be abolished : but the su- 
preme heaven is above this sphere of mutability,, wherein all bo- 
dies compounded of the. jarring elements are continually chai>- 
ging and dissolving : it is truly called ^' a kingdom that cannot 
be shaken.'^ Briefly, the wide maker has framed it correspon- 
dently to the end for which it was designed : it is the seat of his 
Majesty, his sacred temple wherein he difiiises the richest beams 
of his goodness and glory, and his chosen servants see and praise 
his adorable excellencies for eret^ 

II. I will endeavour to show that the enjoyment of the divine 
presence in heaven, is the supreme felicity of the saints. 

To make this supernatural blessedness more easy and intelli- 
gible to us^ the scripture de&cribes it by sensible representations. 
For while the soul is clothed with fTesh, fancy has such a domi- 
iiion, that we* conceive of nothing but by eomparisons and images 
taken from material things. It is therefore set forth by a 
** Marriage-Feast," Rev. 17. 7. to signify the joy' and glory of 
the saints above. But to prevent all gross conceits, we are in- 
structed, that the bodies of the'saints shall be spiritual, not ca- 
pable of hunger or thirst, nor consequently of any refreshment 
that is caused by the satisfaction of those appetites* The ob- 
jects' of the most noble senses, seeing and hearing, the pleasure 
of which is mixed with reason, and not common to the brutes, 
are more frequently made use of to reconcile the 'blessed and 
heavenly state to the proportion of our minds. Thus^metimes 
the saints above are *^ represented on thrones, and with crowns 
on their heads : sometimes clothed in white, with palms in their 
hands : sometimes singing songs of triumph to him that sits on 
the throne." But the real felicity of the saints infinitely exceeds 
all those faint metaphors. The apostle^ to whom the admirable 
revelation was exhibited of the Bufferings of the church, and the 
victorious issue out of them in the successive ages of the world, 
telU us, '' it does not appear what the saints shall be in heaven. 
The things that God has- prepared for those that love him," are 
fiu* more above the highest ascent of ouv thoughts, than the 
marriage-feast of a king exceeds in splendour and magnificence, 
the imagination of one that hto always lived in an obscure vil- 
lage, that never saw any ornaments of state, nor tasted wine in 

A a 3 

374 ON HEAVEN. CHAP. 11^ 

his life. We can think of those things but according to the po- 
verty of our understandings. But so much we know as is able 
to sweeten all the bitterness^ and render insipid all the sweetnesa 
of this world. 



IVhatever is reqaiBite to our complote blessedness^ is enjomed in hcftTfo* 
There is an rxemptioD from all erils. Sin and all the penal conseqvescrs 
are abolished io beayen. The concurrence of all positive excellencies Is 
enjoyed there. The body is revived to a glorious life. The sonl lives In 
rommuoion with God. The excellence of the object, and vifour of the 
act! op upcm it, the principal ingredients of happiacss. 

JL HIS will appear by considering that whatever is requisite to 
constitute the complete blessedness of man, is fully enjoyed in 
the divine presence. 

i* An exemption from all evils is the first condition of perfect 
blessedness. The sentence of the wise Solon is true, 

Dicique beatus 

Ante oUtum nemo mpremaque Junera debet. 

No man can be called happy whilst in this valley of tears. There 
are so many natural calamities, so many casual, which no human 
mind can foresee or prevent, that one may be less miserable than 
another, but none perfectly happy here. But upon the entrance 
into heaven, all those evils, that by their number, variety or 
weight, disquiet and oppress us here, are at an end. 

Sin, of all evils, the worst and most hateftil, shall be abolished, 
and all temptations that surround us and endanger our inno- 
cence, shall cease. Here the best men Jament the weakness of 

CRAP. It; ^ ON BSAVBN* 37^ 

the flesh, a»d sometimes the vioknt assaults of spiriinal enemies^ 
St. Paul himself breaks forth into a mournful complaint, '^ O 
wretched man that I am, who shall ddiver me from this body of 
death !'' And when harassed by the buffets of satan, renews his 
most earnest addresses to God to be freed from them.. Here our 
purity i» not absoloCe, we must be always cleansing ourselves 
from the reliques of that deep defilement that cleaves to oar na- 
ture. Here our peaee is preserved with the sword in our hand, 
by a continual warfare against satan and the worldl But in 
heaven no ignorance darkens the mind, no passions rebel against 
the sanctified will, no inherent pollution renuuns. " The church 
is without spot or wriukle, or any such thing :" and dl tempta- 
tions shall then cease. The tempter was cast out of heaven^ and 
none of his poisoned arron^ can reach that purified eonipany. 
Glorious Hberty ! here ardently desired, but fully enjoyed by the 
saints above. And as sin, so all the penal tonsequences of it are 
quite taken away. The present life is a continual disease, and some- 
times attended with that sharp sense, that death is desired as a 
remedy, and accepted as a benefit. And though the saints have 
reviving cordials, yet their joys are mixed with sorrows, nay caused 
by sorrows. The tears of repentance are their sweetest refireshment* 
Here the living stones are cut and wounded, and made fit by suf- 
ferings for a temple unto God in the New Jerusalem* But as in 
building of Solomon's temple^ the noise of a hammer was not 
heard, for all the parts were framed before with that exact design 
and correspondence, that they firmly c6mbined together ; they 
were hewn in another place, and nothing remained but the putting 
them one upon another, and then as sacred they became inviola* 
ble : so God the wise architect, having prepared the sunts here 
by many cutting afflictions, placea them in the eternal building, 
where no voice of sorrow is heard. Of the innumerable assem- 
bly above, is there any eye that weeps, any breast that sighs,, any 
tongue that tomf^ains, or any appearance of grief? The hear 
venly state is called life, as only worthy of that title. There is 
no infirmity of body, no poverty, no disgrace, no treachery of 
friends, no persecution of enemies. ^^ There is no more death, 
nor sorrow'; nor shall there be any more pain ; for former things 
are passed away. God will wipe away all tears firom the eyes 
of his people/' • Their salvation is complete in all degrees: 

A a 4 

376 c» bbaVxn* chaf*. tu 

]Nire joy is the prifilcge of heayen, unmixed Mirom the punish- 
ment ^ helL 

U. A concunenoe of i all positive exceHescies is requisite t» 
blessedness. And these are to be considered with resfect to the 
entire man. 

1. The body shall be awaked out of its dead sleep, and qntck- 
ened into a glorioos immortal life. The soul and body aie the 
essential parts of man ; and tibough the inequality be great in 
their holy operations, yet their concoune is necessary. Good 
actions are designed by the counsel and resolution of the Spirit, 
but performed by the ministry of the flesh. Every grace expres- 
ses itself in visible actions by the body. In the sorrows of re* 
pentanee it supplies tears ; in religious fasts, its appetites are re- 
strained } in tliaaksgivinga the tongue breaks fiorth into the joyful 
praises of God. All our victories over sensible pleasure and pun 
are obtained by the soul in conjunction with the body. Now it 
is most becoming the* divine goodness, not. to deal so differently, 
that the soul should be everlastingly happy, and the body lost in 
foigediilness ; the one glorified in heaven, the other remain in 
the dust. From their first setting out into the worid to the 
grave, they ran the same race, and shall enjoy the same reward. 
Here the body is the consort of the soul in obedience and suffer- 
ings, hereafter in fruition. When the crown of purity, or paka 
of martyvdom shall be given by the great Judge in the view of 
all, they shall both partake in the honour. The apostle assures 
us, the bodies of the saints shall be revived and refined to a spi- 
ritual and g^riottS perfection. <' Flesh and blood,** the body 
with its terrene qualities, is mutable and mortal, and <^ cannot 
inherit the kingdom of heaven ;** it cannot breathe in so pure an 
air. God tells Mosesy <^ No man can see my face and live :" 
the sight of the divine glory is not consistent with such tempered 
firail tabernacles of flesh. Nay, the body must be fireed from the 
innocent infirmities that were inseparable from Adam in para- 
dise : for '^ he was made a living sou V that is, the soul united 
to the body was the fountain of the natural sensitive life, which 
was in a perpetual flux, the vital heat wasting the radical mois- 
ture, from whence there was a necessity of food and sleep to 
repair the substance and spirits, and preserve bis life in vigour : 
but in the divine world, the body shall be spiritual in its quali- 


ties and tbe priodple of its life ; it shall be supported by the 
supernatural power of the Spirit, without the soppUes of out* 
ward nourishment^ and exempted from all the low operations of 
nature : therefoie our Saviour tells us, <^ the children of the re* 
surrection shall be equal to the angels/' prepared for the enw 
ployment and enjoyments of those blessed spirits. 

And a substantial unfeding glory ^^riU shine in them infinitely 
above the perishing pride of this world, " and the glory of the 
flesh,'' that is but an appearance, like the false colours painted 
on the fathers of a dove, by tbe reflection of. the light, which 
presently vanishes, when the posture is changed, or the light 
withdrawn. Of this we have a sure pledge in the glcnified body 
of Christ, who is the ^^ firstfruits of them that sleep : he shall 
change our vile bodies, that they may be fashioned like to his 
glorious body, acccffding to the working of his power, whereby 
he is able to subdue all things to himself." What can be more 
glorious, than to be conformed to the humanity of the Son of 
God ? This conformity shall be the work of his own hands : 
and when omnipotence interposes, nothing is difficult. The 
rising the body to an immortal state of glory, is as easy to the 
divine power, as the forming it first in the womb. As the sun Ia« 
hours no more in the mines, in the forming gold and silver, the 
most precious and durable metals^ than in the production of a 
short-lived flower. 

2. The supreme happiness of man is in the soul's communion 
with God. This will appear by considering the principal ingre- 
dients of happiness : they are the excellence of the object, and 
the vigour of the actings upon it* The life and blessedness of 
God is to know and love himself according to his infinite perfec- 
tions. And it is the highest happiness of the reasonable crea« 
ture, to know and love God : for he is a spiritual, infinite, un* 
changeable good, and can iully communicate all that is requisite 
to entire blessedness, supply all the wants, and satisfy all the 
wishes of the immortal soul. The understanding and will are 
our most comprehensive faculties, the principles of our most 
eminent operations. To know and to love, are essential to the 
veasonable soul ; and in directing those acts upon God, the rec- 
titude, the perfection and felicity of man consists. As the in- 
tellectual creature by setting its mind and heart upon earthly 
things^ is degraded into a lower order, the thoughts and desires 

378 Cl» HXAVSN. CHAP. ItU 

that are opiritual with scspect to the principle from whence they 
proceed^ are sensual and perishing with respect to their objects : 
so when our noble faculties are exercised in their most lively and 
vigorous perceptions upon the Supreme Good, man is advanced 
to an equality of joy and perfection with the angels. Now in 
heaven, God by Ids most evident and effectual presence, excite$ 
and draws forth all the active powers of the soul in their highest 
degrees I and, sndi is the immensity of his perfections, fills 
their utmost capacity, from whence a divine pleasure, a perpe- 
tual satisfaction springs, a joy that is as unspeakable as it is 



l*he understanding shall be clearly enlightened with the knowledge of God. 
Here (he revelation of God in his works and word is according to oar ca- 
pacitiei. In heaven it is moit glmoWt and oar Iboaltlet are raited and 
refined to receive it. The satore of God, bis deerees and cevjiieb^ his 
providential dispensations are revealed to the blessed. 

X O unfold this more particularly. The understanding shall 
cleariy see the most excellent objects. '^ Now we know but in 
part/' 1 Cor. 13. The naked beauty of divine things is veiled, 
and of impossible discovery : and by natural or accidental weak- 
ness, the mind is not proportionable to sustain that dazzling 
brightness. ^ But when that which is perfect is come, then 
that which is in part shall be done away.'' In that eitlightened 
state, the manifestation of the objects shall dnindantly exceed 
the clearest revealing of them here. And the understanding shah 
be prepared in proportion to take a full view of them. Th»e- 
fore the apostle compares the several period^ of die church in re* 
spect of the degrees of knowledge^ to the several ages of faumaa 

CBAT. Iir. ON BfiAVSN. S79 

life. ^' When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood 
as a child, I thought as a child : but when I became a man, I 
put away childish things/' In children the organs, dther from 
the excess o^ moisture, or their smallness, are indisposed for the 
vigorous exercise of the mind : some strictures of reason appear, 
a presaging sign what will be, but mixed with much obscurity. 
But when the organs are come to their just proportion and tem-( 
perament, the soul displays its strength and activity. 

To explicate this, it is requisite to connder the expressions in 
scripture, that signify the eminent degrees of knowledge in the 
blessed. Our Saviour assures us, that ^^ the pure in heart shall 
see God.'' Sight is the most noble, extensive, and affective 
sense, and therefore fit to notify the clear, sweet and satisfying 
intuition of God in heaven. It is true, the Deity is spiritual, 
and invisible to the eye of the body, infinite, and incomprehen* 
sible to the eye of the soul ;^ but the glorified saints so clearly 
understand the divine perfections, that our present knowledge of 
God, compared to that vision, is but as the seeing of a dark sha- 
dow in a glass, to the immediate view of the living substance 
and person. The discovery of the Deity to us in the present 
State, is by his works and word : and both are imperfect, and 
far inferior to the manifestation in heaven. The absolute fulness 
of perfection that is inseparable from the ' Godhead, is inimitable 
by any creature ; for the perfection of any creature is limited in 
its kind as well as degrees. Therefore God was pleased by va- 
riety of eiftcts and resemblances, to express and represent his 
attributes, that our minds might ascend by those steps to con* 
template those perfections that are in him eminently and beyond 
all comparison. The light of heaven in all its purity and lustre, 
is but a shadow of his unapproachable brightness : all the excel- 
lencies of visible things are but a weak representation of the glory 
of his attributes, like the describing with a coal the beautiful 
colours of the morning : and compared with the immensity of his 
perfections, are like tihe describing in a sheet of paper the vast 
celestial spheres. 

In his Vi^rd there is a more dear and full cfisoovery of his na-* 
ture and will, but aecordipg to our , ciqiacity of receiving. The 
divine attributes in scripture are masked and shadowed under 
sensible comparisons : for no light shineainto our minds here^ 
but through the windows of sense* The intellectual poweis de«; 


pend, as to the first notices of things^ on the lower faculties and 
senses : therefore as Elisha in reviving the Shunamite's child, 
contracted himself to the proportion of the' child^ and '' put his 
mouth upqn his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his 
hands upon his hands ;'' so God is pleased to condescend to our 
ciqiacity, and to adapt the expressions of his majesty to the nar- 
rowness of our imaginations. But in heaven the revelation of 
the Deity is much more glorious : and the mind is elarified from 
those terrene images that flow through the gross cfaanneb of the 
senses. In this present state our purest conceptions of God are 
mixed with dross, and very imperfect ; but there the gold shall 
be separated from the dross, and our conceptions be more pro- 
per and becoming the simplicity and purity of God. Here the 
objects of glory are humbled to the perception of sense : here- 
after, the sensible faculties shall be raised and refined, and made 
the subjects of glory. Now when divine Hght shines with direct 
heams, and the thick curtain of flesh is spiritualized and trans- 
parent, the soul .enjoys the clearest vision of God* The light of 
nature was so defective as to the discovery of God's compassion- 
ate counsels to save the lost world, and the minds of men were 
so darkened from the fiimes of their lust, that that light was but 
the hemisphere ct the night in comparison of the revelation tf 
the gospel : as St. Peter expresses the happy privilege oi chris- 
tians, and their consequent duty, ^< that tbey should show forth 
the praises of him who has called them out of darkness into his 
marvellous light/' And the glorious gospel, compared to the 
revelation of God in heaven, is but as the twilight of the morn- 
ing, wherein the light of the 4ay is checkered with the shadows 
of the night, to the sun in its full lustre. In heaven we shall 
<^see God face to face;'' which signifies the clearest manifesta- 
tion of his glory, and of his favour to the blessed : for the &ce 
is the throne of majesty and beauty, and the crystal wherem the 
affections are conspicuous. Accordingly when Moses < prayed, 
^M beseech thee show me thy glory ;" God answered him, it 
was impossible, *^ for no man could see his face and live/' And 
the form of divine Messing to the people of Israel was, ^' the 
Lord make his face to shine upon thee, and be gracious to 
thee." Whether the immediate essence of God can be seen by 
the intellectual creature, is a question ; but we are sure " in the 
heaven of presence/' God exhibits himself to the blessed in a 


most glorious manner : for according to the degrees of excellency 
an the work, are the impressions and discoveries of the cause. 
Now all gross material things in the low order of nature, are but 
weak resultances from his perfections, in comparison of their 
glorious effects in the divine world. The glories of the place, 
and of the inhabitants the angels and saints, are the most noble 
effects and expressions of the divine attributes. But in a tran- 
scendent manner God exhibits himself in the glorified Mediator. 
He is styled ^' the brightness of his Father's glory, and the ex« 
press image of his person ;" to signify that Gpd, jn the person 
of the incarnate Mediator, is so fully represented to us, that in 
him we have a view of God's unchangeable perfections. This 
appears by the following words, *^ that having purged us from 
our sins, be sat down on the majesty on high :'* for they respect 
the Son of God as united to the human nature, in which he per* 
formed the office of the priesthood, and took possession of his 
kingdom. During bis humble state, though darkened with many 
afflicting circumstances, the divine virtues, wisdom, goodness, 
holiness, power, were so visible in his life, revelations, and mira- 
culous works, that when Philtp with that ardency of affection 
desired the sight of the Fatlier, the only consummate blessedness, 
<< show us the Father, and it suffices ;" he told him, he <^ that 
hath seen me, hath seen the Father." But how brightly do they 
appear in his exaltation ? We shall ^^ see him as he is," in the 
majesty and glory of tbe Son of God. The apostle says, <^ we 
shall know aa we are known :" this we are not to understand 
according to the exactness of tlie expression ; for the sun may 
be as well included in a spark of fire, as God may be compre- 
hended by our finite fiiculties. Beyond the fullest discoveries we 
can receive of the Deity, there remains an entire infinity of per- 
fections, not to be known by the most intelligent spirits : but 
<f as we are known,'' is a note of similitude, not of equality. 
The light of a candle as truly shines as the light of the sun, but 
not with that extent and splendour. We shall have such a per- 
fect knowledge of God, as ouf minds can receive, and our hearts 

We shall then see what we now believe concerning the glorious 
nature of God, his decrees and counsels, his providence and dis- 
pensations. The sublimest doctrine of the christian religion, 
above the disquisition and reach of reason, is that of the sacred 

382 ON HKAVBN. C&aK Iff. 

Trinity, upoa which the whde economy of die gospel depends. 
In assenting to this, faith bows the head and adores. But such 
is the pride of the carnal mind, that it disdains to stoop to divine 
revelation : and the seeming wise philosophers despised the pri- 
mitive christians as captives of a blind belief. But this foul re- 
proach was as unjust as many others wherewiUi they designed to 
disgrace Christianity ; for the humility of faith does not extin* 
gttish or darken the light of reason, but revives and increases it. 
What is more suitable to incorrupt reason, than to believe the 
revelation God affords of his own nature, who cannot deceive us? 
In the state above, where reason is rectified and enlarged, we 
shall understand that from eternity God was sole existing, but 
not solitary ; that the Godhead is not confused in unity, nor di- 
vided in number ; that there is a priority of order, yet no supe- 
riority among the sacred Persons, but they are all equally pos- 
sessed of the same divine excellencies, and the same divine 
empire, and are the object of the same adoration. Our Saviour 
tells his disciples, '^ in that day ye shajl know that I am in the 
Father," that is by unity of essence, and as naturally and ne- 
cessarily God as the Father. This promise immediately refers 
to the time of pouring forth the Holy Ghost upon them after the 
resurrection of our Saviour, but shall be iully accomplished in 

All things of a supernatural order shall be revealed. The 
^^ great mystery of godliness, God manifest in the flesh," the 
union of the high perfections of the divine nature with the inno- 
cent imperfections of the human nature, the contrivance of our 
redemption, wherein there is an harmonious ccmcurrence and 
concord of the principal attributes of the Deity that seemed ir- 
recondleable ; that product of the divine wisdom that is so 
adored by the angels, that astonishes and saves us, shall be uh- 
folded. The divine counsels in governing the worid, the designs, 
the ways, the orders and operations of God's providence shall be 
conspicuous. In some dispensations of God, we discern the eye 
in the top of his sceptre : the wisdom, the rectitude, the equity 
of his providence, is so visible in the defence of the innocent, 
and his justice and power in the punishment of .the gMty^ that 
it may convince the atheists who deny a providence, and causes 
all sincere believers to admire and reverence it. But there arc 
other dispensations, the immediate reasons of which are so eon- 


cealed in the basom of God, that only the Lamb, with whofle 
blood the elect to glory are written in the book of life, can, re- 
veal : why the light of the gospel was never visible to so many 
kingdoms ; ^^ why many are called, and few chosen ;'' the un- 
searchable ways, and incomprehensible judgments of God, which 
St. Paul in an ecstacy admires, which it is not lawful to inquire 
into here, we shall then understand in such a manner, that light 
itself is not more clear. How often are tlie people of God here 
in miserable perplexities ? and say with the prophets, "verily 
thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel the Savi- 
our !" It is true, a steadfast faith in the providence of God^ 
that all that he does, and all that he permits and disposes is best^ 
will quiet their passions, and chattge the tempestuous ocean into 
the pacific sea : but when they are admitted into the council of 
state above, and see the immedial^e reasons of h^ decrees, whaft 
a heavenly wonder, what an exquisite pleasure will .fill their 
minds ? When the original fountains of wisdom, as clear as 
deep, shall be opened, what sweet satisfaction will be shed abroad 
in their spirits P They will see the beauty of providence in dis- 
posing temporal evils in order to their etiernal felicity: that as 
in a curioos picture the darkest tinctures are so, disposed, as to 
give life and grace to the orient, colours; so all the afflictions of 
this state were h\ft shadows or foils, to make tlieir faith^ and 
love, and patience more resplendent, and their reward more ex* 
cellent. What our Saviour said to Peter, is applicable to the 
impenetrable dispensations of providence to us in our mortal 
atat^ : ^^ what I do, thou knowest not now, but shalt know 
hereafter/' Then the arcana impaii^ the secrets of his coun- 
jsels shall be unsealed, and we shall be . able to es^pound the 
perplexing riddle, how '^ out of the eater came meat^ end out 
of the strong came sweetness :" we shall understand that his 
overruling providence is most eminently glorified in extracting 
good out of evil ; " for we sliall know as we are known.'' 



TbebletMd efeetof the visloo of God !■ thesaioli. It it prodiiclWo iMd 
Gonwrvfltifo of his gloriouf likeneti. Ilatf'ecU Ihem with tlie moiC boaible 
▼eoeratioji of God'i excelleocie*. It inflanes tbcn with the most ardent 
love of God, and of our SaTiour. 

X Will conrider the blessed elfects of the Tisioa of God in bea- 
ven upon the eaints. Oar Saviour tells us, '' this is life eternal^ 
ft> know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou 
bast sent." The beginning and introduction of our felicity, is by 
a lively faith here^ the consummation of it is by present sight in 

1. From the vision of his glory there wiD be a resultance of his 
likeness impressed on us. <^ We shall be like him, for we shall 
aee him as he is.'' All the perfection and happiness of the saints 
is comprised in that promise. The sun, when the sky is dear 
and serene, forms its image on a cloud tempered to receive it, 
with that orient brightness, that the eye cannot distinguish be- 
tween the copy and the original. Thus the uncreated sun by 
powerful emanations transforms the soul into its likeness^ in that 
divine degree of holiness and felicity, as gloriously resembles God, 
Moses by conversing with God in the mount, and seeing Ms 
back-parts^ returned to the Israelites with such a radiancy in his 
fece, that they could not look on it without a v^K What an 
impnession of glory is in the saints, who see his perfections in 
their infinite lustre ? It is the privilege of christians in this life, 
above the church under the law ; ** they behold . in the gospel as 
in a glass, the glory of the Lord, and are changed into the same 
image, from glory to glory ;" they become more holy and hea- 
venly, more purified and adorned with. his virtues and graces 
Now if the vision of Christ here in a glass^ an eclipsing medium^ 
be so inflttxive upon believers, what an illnstrioos and infellible 
efficacy has the immediate^ ciear^ and permanent view of hia 

CHAP. IV. ON a&iVBN. 865 

glory upon the saints in heaven ? That sight is productive and 
conservative of his image in its purity and perfection for ever. 

2. The divine presence affects the saints with the most hum- 
ble reverence and solemn veneration of God. Tins is an eternal 
respect due from tlie intellectual creature to the Creator, upon 
the account of his infinite and incommunicable excellencies. He 
is distinguished.not only from idds, but from creatures of the 
highest order, by his essential^ supreme and singular name, ** I 
AM." Every kind of being, every spark of life, every, degree of 
perfection is from his efficiency, and depends entirely upon his 
supporting power. The most emineut qualities of the creatures 
are but in show and appearance compared with the reality and 
stability of his glorious nature. In the scripture^ wisdom, hoii^ 
ness, goodness^ power, truth, immortality, are attributed to 
God, with the exchision of all creatures from those prerogatives ; 
they being his essential, infinite and incomparable perfections. 
They are separable qualities in the creatures, like the gilding 
and enameling of baser metal : but in the Deity, they are like 
substantial massy gold. There is a vast distance between 
created beings ', but the distance between a fly, or a worm, and 
mi angel, is nothing to the distance between an archangel and 
God,; there being no comparison between finite and infinite* 
All creatures equally vanish, and disappear as nothing, compared 
to the glorious Creator. As if one from the region of the stars 
should look down upon the ^atth, the mountains and hills with 
the vallies would iqipear ofke flat surface, an equal plain, the 
height and the lowness of the several parts being. indiscernible at 
that immense distance. 

Now iii heaven the divine nuyesty is most visible, and most 
awful and adorable. The sublimest spirits *^ oover their faces'' 
before hb glorious brightness. 'The propt^t Isaiah had a repre* 
sentation of heaven : ^ I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne 
high and lifted up, and his train- filled the temple. Above it 
atood tb^ seraphims : each one had six wings ; with twain he 
Govened his£ace, with twain he covered his feet, with twain he 
did fly. And one cried to another,* fnd said, holy, holy, holy 
Lordpf.h^Rts,,the whole earth is 6^ of his glory." They highly 
honour him^ by the reflectioi|L of his separate and peerless excel-* 
iencies, his ahnighty power, .^is i^ifyiite supremacy * a^d eternal 
empire, in their concert .of praises. 

vot. III. B b 


S. Ill heaven the sunta as perfectly love God, as they know 
him. This is the principal duty of angels and men to the blessed 
Creator for his admirable perfections, and his excellent benefits* 
The evidence of it is so entire, that the reaBonabfe mind cannot 
suspend its assent : for goodness and beauty, the fniit and the 
flower of amiable things, do so recommend them to the under- 
standing and will, that they powerfully allure and engage the 
aflections. Now these are in God in unspeakable degrees of 
eminence.' The prophet breaks out in a rapture, '^ how great is 
his goodness, how great is his beauty !" 

It was a precept of the ceremonial law, that the firstlings of 
the flock, and the first and best fruits of the earth should be 
* offered to God ; not as if the first that opened the belly was more 
valuable in his account than the lest, or the most early fruits in 
the spring more pleasing to him than the later in the autumn ; 
but it was instructive, that our love, the " first-bom of the 
soul, and the beginning of its strength,'' should be consecrated 
to God. 

The love of God is the essential character of a saint, that dis- 
ttnguislies him from the unregenerate. Indeed, it Vi strange 
that God, who is infinitely lovely, and infinitely liberal and be- 
neficent, should not prevail on the hearts of all men ; but if we 
consider the degeneracy of mankind, how their minds are de- 
praved and deceived, and their infections are vitiated, the won- 
der will cease. Carnal men liave not due conceptions of God, 
and wiH not attentively observe his amiable perfections. St. 
John tells us, " he that loveth not, doth not know God." Know- 
ledge is the leading principle in the operations of the souL 
There must be a heavenly eye to '^discover the heavenly beauty, 
before there can be love of it. Now men are in ignorant dark- 
ness, and are defiled in flesh and spirit, and therefore cannot 
love God who is glorious in holiness. Without tesembtatice there 
can be no aflectionate union which is the essence of love. The 
contrariety of dispositions infers a contrariety of affections. Hie 
seri|>ture expresses this in dreadfiil colours : /'the carnal mind is 
enmity against dai : the fKendshtpf* of the wbiU^is enmity with 
God ;" that is, pride, and ct^etommess, and sensuaKty, which 
are the lusts of the carnal mind, and are termiriated upon worldly 
things, are inconsistent witfc the love bf God. The justice of 
God is terrible to the consciences, and his holiness odious to the 

C5AP. IV. ON HSilVXK* 387 

«flbctiod3 of the unrenewed. Till by divirie grace the uuder- 
slanding is enligbtened aud purified to have right apprehevsiotis 
.of God ; till the will and affectioda are eleanaed atid changed ; 
till there be a reaemU^Dce of God's hbly nature, and a con*- 
fprmity to his holy laws, they are not capsbfe of delightful ad- 
)»erhig to him, wbieh is the iitfemal essential property of lore; 

. But thode who are partakers of the divine nature, the holy 
joid heavenly, ^^ taste and see.hoW.good the Lord is:? and ac^ 
cording to the illustrations of the mind^ such are the impressions 
ppon the heart; tlie love of Gbd in their breasts here is like 
ampki^g flax, but in heaven it. is a triimphant flame. God is 
the first fair^ .thp <mginal of all amiable. eHeeUencies^ in whom 
they shine in their unstained lustre and perfection. When he 
iiiUy .feve^ himself^ and displays the richest bieams of his love 
<M)d glory, how transporting and endearing is that sight? Our 
affections that are now scattered on many things, wherein some 
faint reflections of his goodness a(^ear, shall th^ be united in 
one full current to him,. ^^ who is all in all." , In heaven the 
immense treasures .of bis^ grace are r^eaied. That when man 
for his rebellious isin was juatly expelled from paradise, and under 
the sentence of eternal deaths God should not only pardon, but 
prefer U9 to tt^ dignity of his children, and prepare such a glory 
for us,..and us for au^baglory} this will inspire the saints with 
such ardeiit afiiectionS| (hat will make them equal to the angels, 
those pure and everlasting flames of love to God. 

In heaven we shall be with **^ Jesus the Mediator of the new 
covenant, who is seated at the right hand of God.'' And how 
admirable will he iqipear to the sense and soul of every glorified 
saint ? for ^' we shall see the King in his beauty.'^ When our 
Saviour, was upon the holy mount, and one vanishing beam of 
glory appeared in his transfiguration, Peter was so transported at 
the sight, that he forgot the world and himself; how ravishing 
then will the sight of him in his triumphant majesty be, when 
we shall be transfigured ourselves ? Now while believers are in 
the shadows of the earthly state, they *< love their unseen Savi- 
our'' with such intense degrees of affection, as deface all the 
washy colours, all the vain loves of things in this world : but 
when they are admitted into his shining presence, and see him 
in the day of celestial gh>ry, with what an ecstacy of affection 
will they be transported? 

^ Bb 2 

368 ON Btxvvtf. eiup. rr. 

We shall then feel the endeturing obligatiMis our Saviour has 
laid upon ns, who ransomed us with so rich a price, and pur- 
chased for us such an invaluable inheritance. For in pitiportion 
as we shall understand his greatness in himself, we shall hib 
goodness to us. The eternal Son of God descended from the 
heaven of heavens to our lowly earth ; and, which is more, from 
the majesty wherein he there reigned, and was visible to the 
angels ; he became man that he migfat die, to redeem us fitxn 
the most wofiil captivity, from ** death, and the sting of deatk, 
sin, and the strength of sin, the law,'' and oblaiti a blessed life 
and immortality for us, O unexampled' love I << Greater love 
hath no man than this, to lay down his life for his friend :'' and 
what is the life of a sinful man, a vanishing vapour, a life mixed 
with troubles and vexation ? and to lay down this for a friend de- 
servedly dear, is the highest expression of human love : bat for 
the Son of God to lay down his life, a life without sin, and with* 
out end, far immortality was a privilege due to his innocence 
and for enemies, for the worst enemi^, rebels by revoiture from 
obedience to their Creator and King, is a love truly divme, and 
infinitely surpassing, not only the affections, but the '* under^ 
standing and knowledge of all creatures/' Ephes. 3. Bridly, he 
gave his life for us, and gives himself to us, the most exoeUeot 
testimonies of love that we can receive from love itself; and we 
shall love him with all the strength of our glorified spirits. 

CHAf . V. 0U HjSAVBK. S89 


Union with God byknovledgo and love» caoact tb« peifection aod felieity^if 
ibe aaintt« That union briefly unfolded. The pleasure that springi from 
knowledge. In heaven the knowledge of the saints incomparably excels 
the knowledge acquired here. The felicity that flows from the enjoyment 
of Gody that fttlly satisfies the love of the saints. Th« blessed commaBloa 
between tbe saints and Christ In heaven. The love of the ssints is notl 
fully pleased in the glory, of God. 

\J Nf ON with God by knowledge and love, accomplishes the 
perfection and happiness of the saints. The most pernicious 
effect of sin is the separation of the soal from God : and the re- 
storal of ns to happiness, is by reunion with him. This we ob- 
tain by Christ, who is Emanuel in his nature, and by office ; 
who took our flesh, which he offiH'ed as. a sacrifice to God to 
atone his displeasure, and gives his ** Spirit to dwell in us," as a 
permanent active principle, by whose -special operation faith is 
produced in our hearts ; that is, such a belief of his love in re- 
deeming us, as inspires us with a sincere and euperlative love 
to him. And by these vital bands we are -united to him, and 
as his true members, live the same iife with him in grace and 

Now in heaven our union with God is more near and noble, 
more intimate and influential, more inseparable and eternal* 
It is observable in natural causalities, that what is of a more re- 
fined and purer nature, is more active and penetrating, and more 
dosely unites with other things, than what is more gross and 
Hiaterial. Light, which is the purest quality in the world, aeCu- 
aCea all colours, and makes them visible, and actuates the eye, 
and conveys the lively image of the object with shining evidence 
into it. The sun shoots its invisible virtue into the deepest 
mines. Fire is more subtile and pure than water, and will pieree 
into solid metals, which the water cannot soak into. The 
glowing iron seems to be all fire. Now God is the purest Spirit^ 
and of infinite energy, and can unite himself to our spirits moio 

B b 3 


intimately than the closest union between any creatures in the 
world. He unites himself to the understanding by an immectiate 
irradiation, and discovery of his glorious excellencies. *^ In thy 
light/' saith the psalmist, <^we shall see light/' He unites 
himself to the will, by the infusion of his love, and by that draw- 
ing forth our love to him. This union is complete in heaven, 
and most communicative of the divine influences to the sainto, 
and consequently their conformity and fruition of God is in tiie 
highest degrees that created spirits are capable of. This is the 
most desirable and perfect state of reasonable creatures ; for God 
is the ever^ilowing fountain of felicity, the only stable centre of 
the soul, wherein it reposes itself ftwr ever. Accordingly the 
psalmist speaks, '< Return to thy rest^ O my soul, Cor the JLroni 
bath dealt bountifiiUy with thee." 

'M^eti the soul opens its eyes to the clear discoveiies of the 
irat tru^h, in which is no shadow of error, and its inreaat to the 
dear and intimate embraces of the supreme good, in which is no 
mixture c^evil, and beyond which nothing remains to be' known, 
nothing t6 be enjoyed, what a dduge of the purest and swcietest 
pleasures will overflow it ? We cannot ascend in our diougbta 
so high, as to conceive the excess of jdy that attends those ope^ 
rations of the glorified soul upon its proper object. But some* 
thing we may conjecture. 

Those who are possessed with a noble passion for knowledge, 
how do they despise all lower pleasures in oMnparison of it? how 
do they forget themselves, neglect the body, and retire into the 
mind, the highest part of man, and nearest to God ? The bare 
apprehension of such things that by their internal nature have no 
attractive influence upon tlie affections, is pleasant to the mider* 
standing. As the appearance of light, though not attended with 
any other visible beauties, refireshes the eye after long darknesa^ 
so the clear discovery of truths, how abstract soever, that were 
before unknown, is grateful to the intdleetive £eusalty. Thus 
some- have been strangely transported with the pleasures of a 
mathematical demdnstration, when the evidence, not the impor- 
tance, of the thing was so ravishing ; for what is more dry and 
barren of delight than the speculation of figures and numbers ? 
Solon when near his end, and some of his friends that visited 
bim were speaking softly of a point of philosophy, by that sound 
of wisdom was awakened from the sleep of deatl^ that was just 


aeisBing on him ; and opening his eyea^ raising his head to give 
attention, heing asked the reason of it, answered^ * * That when 
I understand what you are discoursing of, I may die/ Such 
was his delight in knowledge, that a little of it made his agony 

But here are many imperfections that lessen this intellectual 
pleasure, which shall cease in heayen. Here the acquisition of 
knowledge is often with the expence of health ; the iiower of the 
spirits, necessary for natural operations, is wasted by intense 
thoughts. How often are the learned sickly? As the flint 
when it is struck, gives not a spark without consuming itself; so 
knowledge is obtained by studies that ^aste our faint sensitive 
faculties* But then odr knowledge shall be a free emanation 
from the spring of truth, without our labour and pains* Here 
we learn by' circuit, and (Useem by comparing things; ignorant 
darkness is dispelled by a gradual sucoession of light : but then 
perfect knowledge shall be infused in a moment. Here, after all 
our labour and toil, how little knowledge do we gain ? Every 
question is a labyrinth, out of which the nimblest and most 
searching minds cannot extricate themselves. How many spe-> « 
cious errors impose upon our understandings ? We look on 
things by false ligbtsi, through deceiving spectacles : but then our 
knowledge shall be certain and complete* There is no forbidden 
tree in the celestial paradise, as no inordinate affection* But 
suppose that all things in the compass of the world were known, 
yet still there would be emptiness and anguish in the mind : for 
the most comprehensive knowledge of things that are insufficient 
to make us happy, cannot afford true satisfaction* But then we 
shall see God in all his excellencies, the supreme object and end, 
the only felicity of the soul. How will the Mght cf his glorious 
perfections in the first moment quench our extreme thirst, and 
fill us with joy and admiration ! It is not as the naked concept 
tion of treasures, that only makes rich in ideas, but that divine 
eight gives a real interest in him* The angek are so ravished 
with the beauties and wonders of his face, that they never divert 
a moment from the contemplation of it* 

The pure love of the stunts to God, is fully satisfied io the 

« Ut €00 iitnd qnicquld est de qao dispatatis perceperoi moriar, FaU 

B b 4 

S92 oy HBAVSN. CHAP. V. 

possession and enjoyment of him, and consequently the greatest 
delight and complacency is shed abroad in their hearts. Love 
considered as an affection of friendship, is always attended with 
two desires ; to be assured of reciprocal lore, and to enjoy the 
conversation of the person beloved, the testimony of his esteem 
and goodwill. This kind of * aflvction seems to be inconsistent 
with that infinite distance that is between God and the creature. 
But though it is disproporttonable to the divine majesty, it is 
proportionable to his goodness. Accordingly our Saviour pro- 
mises, *' He that toves me, shali be loved of my Father, and I 
will love him, and manifest myself unto him :** and to confirm 
our belief of this astdhishing condescension, repeats it, " If a 
man love me, my Father will love him, and we will come to him, 
and make our abode with faim." In the present state, the signs 
ct God's special fiivour are exhibited to his friends. Noif he 
bestows on them the honour of being his sons, the graces and 
comforts of his Spirit, the precious earnests of his love, ^ and 
seal of their redemption.'* But in emineney of degrees, the 
emanation of his love, and the effects of his beneficence, are in- 
comparably more glorious in heaven. Here the saints are 
adopted, there crowned : there he opens all the bright treasures 
of his wisdom, the riches of his goodness, the beauties of his ho- 
liness, the glories of his power, and by the intimate application 
of his presence makes his love most sensible to them. Infinite 
goodness excites and draws forth all the poiwers of the soul, and 
fills the utmost capacity and expansion of the spirit : from hence 
perpetual pleasure and satisfaction spring. O the pure deiighti 
between God and glorified souls ! God looks on them with an 
engaged eye, as his own by many dear titles^ and is ravished with 
the reflex of his own excellencies shining in them. "As the 
bridegroom rejoices over the bride'' (it is the language of the 
divine love) ** so their God rejoices over them. The Lord thy 
God in the midst of thee is mighty ; he will save, he will rejoice 
over thee with joy : he will rest in his love ; he will rejoice over 
thee with singing.*' He is infi/iitely delighted in the communi- 
cation of his goodness to them. And what a blessed rest do they 
find in the complete fruition of his goodness ? AH their desires 
quietly expire in his bosom. What triumphs of joy follow ? 

• AriatoUe, 


Can we iVame a fuller conception of happiness, than to be per- 
fectly loved by the best and most blessed being, and perfectly to 
love him, and to partake of the richest emanations of his <^ Lo- 
ving-kindness, that is far more valuable and desirable than life 

How precious and joyful will the presence of Christ be to the 
saints ? It was his prayer on earth, ** Father, I will that they 
also whom thou hast given me, be with roe where I am, that 
they may behold my glory." When the saints are received into 
the everlasting kingdom, the first object that draws their admi- 
ring regards, is Christ on the throne. Inestimable felicity ! whe- 
ther we consider him as the Son of God, in whose conspicuous 
countenance all the glory of his Father shines ; or as the Saviour 
of men, and the head of the elect, upon a double account : part- 
ly, that ^' he that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his 
blood," after suffering all indignities and cruelties for our sake, 
has received the reward of his meritorious sufferings, the triumph 
of l^is victory, being " glorified with the Father with the glorv 
he had before the world was :" and partly, because every mem- 
ber shall be conformed to him in glory. The sight of the face 
of Moses when radiant, had no transforming efficacy, for the 
light of it was not in him as its spring, but by derivation. But 
the Son of God is light essentially, and the sight of his glory will 
transform us into his likeness. And how dear and joyful is the 
presence of the saints to Christ ? *♦ He then sees of the travail 
of his soul, the fruit of his sharp sufferings and bleeding love, 
and is satisfied." How delightfiil is it to him to see all his spi- 
ritual progeny safely brought to heaven, and made partakers of 
his glory and joy in the everlasting kingdom ? For according 
to the extent of the object, and dearness of the affection, joy 
rises. He will then present them to his Father with infinite 
complacency ; ^< Behold, here am I, and the children whom thou 
hast gi^n me." 

The dearest affections of Christ and the sunts in heaven, are 
mutual and reflexive. In the sacred song, the expressions of 
love, desire, and joy, borrowed from the espousals of Solomon 
and his beloved wife, are, as it were, characters in the bark^ to 
be understood in a spiritual sense, of the mystical marriage of 
Christ and the church. What endearing intercourse is there be- 


tween the most perfect lover, aod his spouse ia^ired with the 
same pure flame ? Here amiable perfections attract his eye and 
he&vt; ^' Thou art all fair, my love, there is no spot in thee," 
Cant. 7* His pTopiiety in the church is his invaluable treasure : 
'' My vineyard which is mine, is ever before me.'' He repeats 
the word ^^ Mine," in the sweetest and most tender manner. 
And the church, with the same harmonious affections, speaks of 
Christ. She contemplates in a soft ecstacy in ever-satisfying 
beauty. *^ My beloved is the chiefest of ten thousand, he is al-* 
together lovely," Cant. 10. 6. She breaks forth in triumph, 
** My beloved is mine, and I am his," Cant. 6. By all their 
expressions of joyful love and uni(xi, we may ascend in our 
thoughts, what are the joys of heaven, where the communion of 
Christ and the church is entire and uninterrupted for ever. If 
faith and love of our unseen Saviour produce ** a joy unspeak- 
able and glorious," as if believers were wrapped up to paradise, 
or paradise descended into them, what will the sight and fruition 
of him ? There is as great a difference in degreesa between the 
joy that flows from the assurance and application of faith, and 
the joy from vision and fiill possession, as between the impres- 
sion of joy the forerunner of Christ felt, when he sprang in the 
womb at the comiqg of our Saviour; and his ravishing joy, 
when he saw Christ, and pointed him out to his disciples, '< Be- 
hold the Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world." 

3. The supreme joy of the saints is for the felicity and g^ory 
of God himself. For as the holy soul feels no more powerful 
motive to love God, than because he is most worthy of it, as he 
is God, a being of infinite excellencies, and therefore to be loved 
above the dearest persons and things, even itself; so the highest 
joy it partakes of is from this consideration, that God is infinitely 
blessed and glorious. For in this the supreme, desire of love b 
accomplished, that the most beloved object is perfectly honouied 
and pleased. In heaven the love of 'the saints to God is in its 
highest perfection, and they see his glory in the most perfect 
manner, which causes a transcendent joy to them. And this is 
one reason why the saints, though shining with unequal degrees 
<tf glory, are equally content. For their most ardent love being 
set on God, that he is pleased to glorify himself by such various 
communications of his goodness, is fiiU satisfi^ction to their de- 


fliiea* Besides^ in those different degrees ot glcny, every one is 
6o content with hia ow% ^ that there is no possible desire of 
being but what he is. 


The cammuDion of the angelt aod laiDts ia heaven affords the purest plc&- 
sure. Love unites them. The allays of love cease there. As love is en- 
larged io its object and dej^rees, iBuch is the delight that resalts from 1t« 
The joy of heavea Ai Trtthont defect sr end. The prodactWe causes of it 
•rent ways eqnal. The ia£o of God always shines tbere> and the eontenn 
platioQ of it is fixed. The constant enjoyment of God io heaven does not 
lessen the delight of the saints. The reasons why the fruition of sensible 
things without change is tedious. All those causes of dissatisfadioo cease 
in heaven. The saints' have as lively a pereeptlon of their happiness for 
aver a* in the beginning of it. 

XN heaven ^'tbe innumerable compaay of angels, and the ge-* 
neral assembly of the church of the first-bom,'' as tiiey receive 
ha|)^es6 from the sight of God, so they communicate the pu- 
rest pleasure to one another. An unfeigned ardent affection 
unites that pure society. Our love is now kindled, either from * 
relation in nature^ or a civil account, or some visible excellencies 
that render a person worthy of our choice and friendship : but in 
heaven the reasons are greater, and the d^g;rees of love incom« 
parably more fervent. All carnal alUenees and respects cease in 
that supernatural state. The apostle tells us, *^ If I have known 
Christ after the flesh, I know him so no more." By the resur- 
ceotion and ascension of Christ he was transported into another 
worldy and had communion with Um as^a heavenly king, without! 

* Sle itaqi habebit donnm aliud alio minns, at hk qnoq} doamn babeat, 
te vellt aaiplins, Jug^ 


low regards to the temporal privilege of conversing with him on 
earth. The spiritual relation is more near and permanent than 
the strictest band of nature. The saints have ail relation to the 
same heavenly Father, and to Jesus Christ the Prince of peace, 
and head of that happy fraternity. The principal motives of 
love here, are the inherent excellencies of a person. Wisdom, 
holiness, goodness, fidelity are mighty attractives, and produce, a 
more worthy affection, a flaore intimate confederacy of souk, 
than propinquity in nature, or any carnal respects. Virtue is 
amiable in an old person, though wrinkled and deformed : vice 
is hateful in a young person, though beautiful. There are clearer 
eyes than those of flesh, a purer light than what is sensible, a 
diviner beauty than what is corporeal, and a nobler love than 
what is sensual. David declares that ^ all his delight was in 
the excellent.*' But there are allays of this spiritual ]oyt here. 

1. There are relics of frailty in the best men on earth, some 
blemishes that render them less amiable when discovered. Here 
their graces are mixed with infirmities, and but ascending to 
glory. Accordingly our love ito them must be regular, and se* 
rene, not clouded with error, mistaking defects for amiaUe quar 
lities. But in heaven, the image of God is complete by the 
union of all the glorious virtues requisite to its perfection. Eve- 
ry saint there exactly agrees with the first exemplar, a divine 
beauty shines in them ever durable, a beauty that darts no con- 
t^ious fire, that is inviolable and can sufibr no injury. The 
apostle tells us, ^' The church shall be glorious in holiness, with- 
out spot or wrinkle/' or any thing that may cast an aspect of 
deformity upon it. 

2. In the present state the least part of the saints' worth is 
visible. Ab the earth is fruitful in plants and flowers, but its 
riches are in mines of precious metals, and the veins of marble 
hidden in its bosom. Tnie grace appears in sensible actions, 
^< but its glory is within." * The sincerity of aims, the purity 
of affections, the impresses of the Spirit on the heart, the inte- 
rior beauties of holiness, are only seen by God. Besides, such ts 

* O si aniravm boni ^ri licf ret inspicere, ex msgnifico placidoq; fol^n- 
tern 1 n»Bae velati ouminii occunu obstnpefacti esfeimis } Senec* 


the htunUttj of eri^ioent saints^ that the more they abound in 
spiritual treasures, the less they show. As the heavenly bodies 
when in nearest eoojimction with the sun, and ftiUest of lights 
make the least appearance to our sight. But all their ecellen- 
eies shall then be in view, << The glory of God shall be revealed 
in them/' And how attractive is the divine likeness to a holy 
eye ? How will it ravish the saints to behold an immortal love* 
liness shining in one another ? Their love is reciprocal, propor^ 
tionable to the cause of it. An equal, constant flame is preser- 
ved by pure materials. Every one is perfectly amiable, and por- 
feetly enamoured with all. How happy is that state of love ? 
The psalmist breaks out in a rapture, '' Behold how good and 
pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity !" Love is 
the beauty and strength of societies, the pleasure of life. How 
excellent is the joy of the blessed, when the prayer of Christ 
shall be accomplished, that they all may be one ; '^ as thou. Father, 
art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us." 
God is absolntdy one in his glorious nature and will, and tbere*- 
fore unalterably happy : and their inviolable union of love b a ray 
of the essential unity between the sacred persons. There are no 
divisions of heart ahd tongues, as in this Babel ; but the most 
perfect and sweetest concord, an eternal agreement in tempofs 
and inclinations. There are no envious comparisons; for love 
that affectively transforms one into another, causes the glory of 
every saint to redound to the joy of all. Every one takes his 
share in the felicity of all, and adds to it. Such is the power of 
that celestial fire wherein they all bum, that it melts and mixes 
souls in such an entire union, that by complacence, and an inti* 
mate joy, the blessedness of all is, as it were, proper to every 
one ; as tf every one were placed in the hearts of all, and all in 
the heart of every one. If in the church of the firstborn chris- 
tians in the earthly Jerusalem, the band of charity was so strict, 
that it is said, the *< Multitude . of believers were of one heart, 
and one soul ;" how much more intimate and mseparable is the 
union of the saints in Jerusalem above, where every one loves 
another as himself? It is recorded of Alexander, that entering 
with Hephestion his fevourite into the pavilion cf the mother of 
Darius, then his prisoner, she bowed to the favourite^ as having 
a greater appearance of majesty, thinking him to be Alexander : 
but advised of her error, she humbly begged his parckm. To 

dM Hffr BB£Vst(t chaf; vl 

whom the gwierotti king replied, * < Ydo did iibc ^, mother, 
this is ako Alextnder/ Such waa their affeetaon, that ariioever 
was taken of them, the other' was taken in him ; the less aseend- 
itig in the grealer, without degrading the greater in the less. 
This is a copy of the holy love of the blessed ; bat with the aaooe 
difference, as between the deseription c( a star with a eoal, and 
its beauty in its proper aspect* And where aH is love, all is de- 
light. The act itself is its own reward. Aa^hat benign and 
pleasant affection is enlaq^ed with respect to the object, and its 
degrees, sach is the eomplacenee and delight that results horn it 
In that blessed society there is a constant receiving and return* 
ing of love and joy. And that double exercise of the saiots, m 
the perfect circle of love, is like the pleasant labour of the bees, 
who all the day are flying to the gardens,* and- retaining to their 
hives, and all their art is in extracting* the purest spirits from 
fragrant flowers, and making sweet honey. O how^ do they re» 
joice and triumph in the h^piness of one another P With what 
an unimaginable tenderness do they erobraeeP What recipaoea- 
tions of endearments are between thenSP O their ravishing 
conversation, and sweet intercourse ! for their presence tog e ther 
in heaven is not a silent showv In thetrmsflgnratioii,' Moaes 
and El!as tfdked with Christ: we may HndentaDKl^'a-ltttte of il^ 
"by the sensible complacence that is among siueere irienda hoe. 
In pure amity ther^ is a threefold union t a union ((f reseniMaBee, 
that is the principle of it ; likeness causes love i a innon of afieo- 
t)on, that is its essence; it is said of Jonathai^, that incompandik 
friend, ^his soul was knit with the soal of l^dvid,«ttd he loved 
htm as his own soul :** theiinim of conversation, that is reqai* 
site to the satisfaction of iev^.' iWhat an entertainment of km 
and joy is there in the presence and disCDMaes.of dear itiondsl 
their mutual aspects, like a chain compeseid of ' spftits^lnniiiaaa 
and active, draw and fasten their soulii to one.abocher :- the* Ml- 
dty of loVeeohsists \ft theii'coiiversation* • Now in-lMsmivwliat^- 
ever is pleaSMit in friendship id< in perfection') iutd^fliiatever ia 
distasteful by men's foHy and weakness isf abdi^ied; With'whnt 
excellent discourses do they entertain 'one mMlierf If Dtmi 
fell such inward-'pleasurefii^m the sen^ of ^tiod^^^fiivcmfs, thmt 
hecouldhot restrain the expression of It, hit 1 i&h4«es tha i 

« Noo errafftf , fflater^nam bfc Alexaod«r' Ht« Cwri, i^-S* 


<^ Come and hear^ all ye that fear the Lord, and I will tell you 
what he has done {or my soul :" certainly in heaven, the blessed 
with overflowing afiections recount the divine benefits ; the ad- 
mirable methods, whereby the life of grace was begun, preserved 
and carried on in the midst of temptations ; the continual suc- 
cession of mercies in the time of their hopes, and the consum- 
mation of all in the time of their enjoyment. How joyfully do 
they concur in their thanksgivings to God for the goodness of 
creation ; in making them reasonable creatures, capable to know^ 
love and enjoy him, when they might have been of the lowest 
order in the whole spheres of beings ) for his compassionate care 
and providence over them in this world, but especially for his 
sovereign and singular mercy in electing them to be vessels oJF 
honour ; for his powerful grace, in rescuing them from the cruel 
and ignominious bondage of sin ; for his most free love, that jus- 
tified them firom all their guilt by the death of his only Son, and 
glorified them with himself. They are never weary in this de- 
lightful exercise, but continually bless him for his *' Mercy that 
endures for ever/' We may judge by the saints here, when they 
are in a fit disposition to praise God, what fervours they feel in 
their united praises of him in heaven. The psalmist in an ec- 
stacy calls to all the parts of the world to join with him : ^^The 
Lord reigns, let the heavens rejoice, and the earth be glad ; let 
the sea roar, let the fields be joyful and all that dwell therein/' 
He desires that nature should be elevated above itself^ that the ' 
dead parts be inspired with life, the insensible feel motions of 
joy, and those that want a voice break forth in praises, to adorn 
the divine triumph. With what life and alacrity will the saints 
in their blessed communion celebrate the object of their love and 
praises f The seraphims about the throne ''cried to one ano- 
ther,'* to express their zeal and joy, in celebrating his eternal 
purity and power, and the glory of his goodness. O the un- 
speakable pleasure of this concert ! when every soul is harmoni- 
ous, and contributes his part to the full music of heaven. O 
could we hear but some ecfio of those songs wherewith the hea- 
ven of heavens resounds, some remains of those voices where- 
with the saints above " triumph in the praises,'* in the solemn 
adoration of the King of spirits, how would it inflame our desires 
to be joined with them ? *' Blessised are those that are in thy 
lionse, they always praise thee." 


IIL The fidneas of joy in heavea is everlastings widioul defect, 
and \rithout end. 

1. It is undecaying, the productive causes are conservative of 
it, being always equal. Those are the beatific object, and the 
contiDiul fruition of it. Whilst we are here bebw, the Sun of 
Righteousness^ as to our perception and sense, has ascensions 
and declinations, accesses and recesses. And our earth u not so 
purified, but some vi^pours arise that intercept his cheerful re- 
freshing light. From hence there are alternate successions of 
spiritual comforts and sorrows, of doubts and filial confidence in 
the saints. It is a rare favour of heaven, when a humble belie- 
ver in his whole course is so circumspect, as not to provoke God 
to appear displeased against him ; when a christian (as those 
tutelar angels spoken of in the gospel) always behold the face of 
his heavenly Father, and converses with him with a holy liberty. 
And what a torment the *' hiding of God's face" is to a deserted 
soul, only they know who feel it. External troubles are many 
times attended with more consolations to the Spirit, than afflic- 
tions to sense ; but to love God with a transcendent affection, 
and to fear he is our enemy, no punishment exceeds, or is equal 
to it. As his loving-kindness in their esteem is better than life, 
so his displeasure is worse than death. How do they wresUe 
with God by prayers and tears, and offer, as it were, a holy vio- 
lence to the King of heaven, to recover their first serenity of 
mind, the lost peace of heart ? How passionately do they cry 
out with Job in the book of his patience, ^^ O that I was as in 
months past, as in the days when God preserved me ; when his 
candle shined upon my head, and when by his light I walked 
through darkness ; as I was in the days of my youth, when the 
secret of God was upon my tabernacle !" Job 29. 2, 3. And 
sometimes God delays the revealing himself e^'en to his dearest 
ehildren ; not that he does not see their necessities^ and hear 
their prayers, or is so hard that till their extremitiea he is not 
moved with compassion, but for wise and holy reasons : either 
*' that they may not return to folly," if by any presumptuous nn 
they forfeited their peace ; or if they have been careful to please 
him, yet he may deprive them of spiritual comforts fpr a time, to 
keep them humble, and that with an obedient resignation to his 
sovereign pleasure they may wait for. his reviving presence. And 
then joy returns greater than before : for thus Cod usually ren* 

CHAP. Vr. ON HEAVBff. 401 

ders with intet-est what he suspended only for trial. But the 
saints above are for ever enlightened with the vital splendour, 
and dear regards of hh countenance, always enjoy his beamy 
smiles. A continual efiVision of gior)* illustrates heaven and all 
its blessed inhabitants. 

And their contemplation of God is fixed« If the object, though 
extt-aordinarily glorious, were transient, or the eye so weak that 
it could only see it but by glances, the height of joy would not 
be perpetual. But the mind is prepared with supernatural vi- 
gour, to see the brightness of God s face, and by the most atten- 
tive application always converses with that blessed object : so 
that the joy of heaven is never intermitted for a moment. They 
always see, and love, and rejoice, and praise him. 

It is possible a carnal suspicion may arise in some, as if the 
uniform perpetual vision of the same glory might lose its perfect 
delightfulness. For those who seek for happiness in the vanity 
of the ereatures, are always desirous of change, and have their 
judgments so corrupted, that while they languish with a secret 
desire after an unchangeable good, yet they conceive no good as 
desirable, that is not changed. 

But to correct this gross error of fancy, let us a little inquire 
into the causes of dissatisfaction, that make the constant fruition 
of the same thing here to be tedious, 

(1.) Sensible things are of such a limited goodness, that not 
any of them can supply all our present wants, so that it is ne- 
cessary to leave one for another. . And the most of thetn are re- 
medies of our diseased appetites, and if not temperately used, are 
destructive evilsb Eating and drinking are to extinguish hunger 
and thirst, but continued beyond just measure, become nauseous. 
Besides the insufficiency of their objects, the senses themselves 
cannot be satisfied all at once. The ear cannot attend to de- 
lightfiil sounds, and the eye be intent on beautiful colours at 
the same time. The satisfaction of one sense defeats another of 
enjoying its proper good ; therefore the same object is not con- 
stantly pleasant, but the heart is distempered from as many cau- 
ses, as there are desires unaccomplished. Add farther, all things 
tinder the sun afford only a superficial delight, and miserably de- 
ceive the expectations raised of them : and many times there is a 
niixture of some evil in them, that is more offensive than the 
good is delightful. The honey is attended with a sting, so that 

VOL. III. c c 

402 ON HBAVBK. crap: VI. 

often thoae very things vre sigh after through vehement desire, 
when they are obtained, we sigh for grief. Now all these causes 
of dissatisfaction cease in heaven ; * for there is an infinite vari- 
ety in God, and whatever is truly desirable, is eminently enjoyed 
in him. And in his presence all the powers of the soul are 
drawn out in their most pleasant exercise, and always enjoy their 
entire liappiness. The fruition of him exceeds our most raised 
hopes, as much as he is m<n« glorious in himself than in any 
borrowed representations. God will be to us incomparably 
« above what we can ask or think.'* The compass of our 
thoughts, the depth of our desires are imperfect measures of his 
perfections. And as he is a pure good in himself, so he is pre* 
valent over all evil. It is evident therefore, that nothing can 
allay the joys of saints, when they are in God's presence. 

(2.) Novelty is not requisite to ingratiate every good, and 
make it perfectly delightftil. f God is infinitely happy, to whom 
no good was ever new. It is indeed the sauce that gives a deli- 
cious taste to inferior things. For men relish only what is emi- 
nent ; and the good things of this world are so truly mean, that 
they are fain to borrow a show of greatness by comparison with 
a worse estate preceding. But an infinite good produces always 
the same pure equal complete joy, because it arises from its intrin- 
sic perfection, that wants no foil to commend it. The psalmist 
breaks forth, '^ Whom have I in heaven but thee ?" This is no 
vanishing rapture, but a constant joyfiil height of affeetion. 
God, the essential happiness of the saints, is always perfectly 
lovely and delightfiil to them. 

(3.) The glorified saints in every period of their happy state, 
have as lively a perception of it as in the beginning. To make 
this evident, we must consider that the pleasure of novelty 
springs from a quick sense of the opposite terms, between our 
condition in the want of some desired good, and after our ob- 
taining it. Now the mind is more intense on the advantage, 

* Vit» nos tedium tenet timor tnortie, natst omne cotuniom, nee ioplere 
no8 ulia faelicitas pote»C. Caota avtem est, q«od non pervenlnns ad illad 
boDiim immeDsiiin & insoperabile, ubi ncceue cU* cootUtat oobis Tolantaft 
Doslra, quia ultra summum Don est locus. Sen«c £ji. 74. 

t Ej yi ^oVij aVxV ««j, V d\ni irpa^i$ ^ipj If otf. Aio 5 
Oek am /t/ay x«; a'm)^\ x«''?« n 8ov»,V MM. Eth. L 7. c. mil. 


and more strongly affected at first. One newly freed from the 
torments of a sharp disease, feels a greater pleasure than from a 
constant tenon r of health. Those who are raised from a low state 
to eminent dignity, are transported with their first change, but 
in tract of time the remembrance of their mean condition is so 
weakened and spent, that it is like the shadow of a dream, and 
proportionably their joy is lessened. Honours, like perfumes, by 
custom, are less sensible to those that carry them. But the 
saints above always consider and feel the excellent difference be- 
tween their suffering and triumphant state. They never lose 
that ravishing part of felicity, the vivid sense of past evils. Their 
reflections are always as strong on the misery from whence they 
were raised to the pitch of happiness, as in their first glorious 
translation. In what an ecstacy of wonder and pleasure will 
they be, from the fresh memory of what they were, and the joy- 
ful sense what they are ? '^ I was (says the admiring soul) poor, 
blind, and naked ;'' but O miraculous and happy alteration ! I 
Bm full of light, enriched with the treasures of heaven, adorned 
with divine glory. I was under the tyrannous power of satan^ 
*^ but he is bruised under my feet/* I was sentenced to an 
everlasting separation froni the presence of God, my only life and 
joy 9 but now am possessed of my supreme good. O how trans- 
porting is the comparison of these wide and contrary extremes ? 
How beautifiil and pleasant is the day of eternity, after such a 
dark tempestuous night ! How does the remembrance of such 
evils produce a more lively and feeling fruition of such happi- 
ness I how strangely and mightily does " Salvation with eternal 
glory affect the soul !" This gives a sprightly accent to their 
everlasting hallelujahs: this preserves an affectionate heat in 
their thanksgivings to their victorious deliverer. And thus their 
happiness is always the same, and always new. Their pleasure 
is continued in its perfection. 

c e 2 



The ■Hmber of possessors of heaTen cannot lessen Us felicity. The bleaed' 
ae&s of the saints is without end. In the first creation, the happiness of 
angels and men was rontable. The happiness in heaven as unchangeable 
as the loTe of God lo the saints, and the love of the saints Co Md. The 
s»oful folly of men in refusing snch a happiness. Ad excitation lo peek 
this happiness. The original moving cause of conferring this happiness, is 
tlie mercy of God : the meritorious cause, is the obedience and passion of 
Christ. It is impossible for an innocent creature, much more for the fallen 
creature, to deserve any good thing from God. Oar Savionr expiated the 
gnilt of sin, and by the meiili of his obedience purchased the liiagdom of 
heaven for believers. 

X HE number of possessors cannot lessen their felicity. The 
divine presence is an unwasted spring of pleasure, equally iiiU 
and opea to all, and abundantly sufficient to satirfy the imnieD- 
sity of their desires^ Envy reigns in this world, because earthly 
things are so imperfect in their nature, and so peculiar in thev 
possession, that they cannot suffice, nor be enjoyed by all. But 
in heaven none is touched with that base, low passion : for God 
contains all that is precious and desirable in the highest degrees 
of perfection, and all partake of his universal goodness, without 
intercepting one another. In the kingdom of heaven there is n« 
cause for the elder brother to repine at the Father's bounty to 
the younger, nor for the younger to supplant the elder to obtain 
the birthright. <' The heirs of God" are all raised to sovereign 
glory ; and every one enjoys him as entirely and fully as if sdely 
his felicity. God is a good as indivisible as infinite, and not 
diminished by the most liberal communications of himself. We 
may illustrate this by comparing the price of our redemption, 
and the reward. The death of Christ is a universal benefit to 
all the saints, yet it is so applied to every believer for his perfect 
redemption, as if our Saviour in aH his agonies and sufferings 
had no other in his eye and heart, as if all his prayers, his tears, 
his blood were offered up to his Father only for that perscm. 
The common respect of it the apostle declares in those admirable 


wo*d«^ that ngnify such an excess of God's love to us ; -^^ He that 
spared not his own Son^ but delivered him up for us all, how 
^all he not with him also freely give us all things ?*' But to 
imagine that the * propriety of every believer is thereby preju- 
diced, is not only fiEdse, but extremely injurious to the merit and 
dignity, and to the infinite love of Christ. Therefore the same 
apostle tells us, ^^The life which I now live in the ilesh, I live 
by the fiiith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself 
fat me j" as if he were the sole object of Christ's love, the end 
and reward of his sufferings. And this appropriating of it to 
himself, is no pr^udice to the rights of all others. St. John 
describes himself by truly that glorious title, " the disciple whom 
aus loved." Gould he speak this of himself, without the injury 
and indignation of the other disciplee ? Certainly -he might. 
For if we consider that incomprehensible love of Christ, express* 
ed to them all at his last supper, after Judas was' gone forth ; 
** As the Father hath loved me, so I have loved you ;" we may 
easily understand, that every one of them might justly believe 
that he was singularly beloved of Christ. They were all received 
in the heart, though (with John) they did not all lean on the 
breast of their divine master. Thus in heaven God is the uni- 
versal treasure of all the saints, and the peculiar portion of every 
one, not engrossed by possessing, nor wasted by enjoying, f As 
1»y his essence he equally fills the whole world, and every part of 
it ; and by his providence equdly regards all and every particular 
creature : so in heaven he dispenses the riches of his love to all, 
that they cannot desire more, if every one 4>f /them .wfec^ ,tbe Aole 
heir of all .their merits of his Son, aiid enjoyed.him alone for 

The blessedness of the saints, as it is without diminution, so 
H 10 without end : it is complete and continual for ever. This 
makes heaven to be heaven ; the security is as valuable as the 

• Et toUini fte dedU nirivenis, & totiim tingulis. Ac per hoc qatcqaid 
pastiane bOa salvator prsestitit, sicat totmn ei debent noiversi, sic siDgiili i 
nlti qaod prope hoo pla« liogvli quam «Di?erfi» qaod totam aecepcmot il»- 
gttUj qoMtiui vniTcnU StMam, 

f 81 aadiat multltodo sUeni, oon inter le particulatim comminuunt sono§, 
taDquam cibot: sed omne qaod looat ^ omoibas totum eit, ^ tiogaliB lotum. 

C C 3 


felicity. There is no satiety of the present, no solicitiide for the 
future. Were there a .possibility, or the least suspicion of losing 
that happy state, it would cast an aspersion of bitterness upoa 
all their delights ; it would disturb their peaceful fruil^ion, and 
jo}*!!!! tranquillity : as hope in misery allays sorrom', so fear in 
happiness dashes joy : and the more excellent the happiness is, 
the more stinging would be the fear of losing it. '^ But the in* 
heritance reserved in heaven, is immortal, undefiled, and &des 
not away." And the tenure of their possession is infinitely firm, 
by the promise of God, who is tnily immutable, and immutably 
true, and by the divine power, the support of their everlasting 
duration. Our Saviour assures his disciples, ** Because I live, 
ye shall live also : and he lives for evermore/* This blessed pri- 
vilege the saints have by Jesus Christ (who obtained eternal re- 
demption for them) above the grace given to angels and men in 
the first creation. The j&ngels were upon trial of their obedience, 
not in a dctennined state of felicity. The first declination of 
love and subjection, was fatal to theoi. Wofol change ! how 
unlike to themselves in their original purity and glory ! an un- 
paralleled example of the frailty of the creature, and the divine 
severity. Man did stand in paradise fi^r a little while, and had 
a nihious fall with all his progeny. " But the glorified saints sit 
with Christ in heavenly places,'" and enjoy an unchangeable 
happiness, as permanent as the everlasting author of it» and the 
everlasting soul the subject of it. ^* With God is the fountain of 
life/' Who can pluck them out of the bands and bosom of a 
gracious God ? He will never withdraw his love, and they shall 
never forfeit it : for sin is from the perverseness of the will and 
the disorder of the affections, joined with some error of the iniiid. 
But in the light of glory, and iiill enjoyment of God, the under- 
standing is so perfectly illuminated, the wiU and affections so 
exceedingly satisfied, that it is impossible they should apprriiend 
erroneously, or desire irregularly. God is love, and will kindle 
in the saints a pure affection that eternity shall not lessen. In 
the present state, our love is impeifect ; and as fire out of its 
sphere dies away by our neglect to feed it by proper raacerials, 
enamouring considerations of God. But in heaven the uncrea* 
ted sun attracts every eye with the light of his beauty, and in- 
flames every heart with the heat of his love. The glorious pre- 
sence of God is in different respects the .cause Bnd effect of our 


love to him ; for the sight of God is the moat powerful attrac- 
tive to love him, and love fixes the mind upon him. And the 
persevering love of God assures the constant fruition of him : for 
by love the supreme good is possessed and enjoyed. The apostle 
tells tts^ ^' charity never fails,'* and therefore the happiness of 
heaven never fails. They enjoy a better immortality, than the 
tree of life could have preserved in Adam. The revolutions of 
the heavens, and ages, are under their feet, and cannot in the 
least alter or determine their happiness. After the passing of 
millions of years, still an entire eternity remains of their enjoy- 
ing God. O most desirable state ! where blessedness and eter- 
nity are inseparably united. O joyful harmony ! when the full 
chorus of heaven shall sing, " this God is our God for ever and 
ever." This adds an infinite weight to their glory. This re- 
doubles their joys with infinite sweetness and security : for the 
direct pleasure of enjoying God, is attended with the pleasant 
reflection it shall. continue for ever. They repose themselves in 
the coaq>lete fruition of their happiness. God reigns in the 
saints, and they live in him for ever. Eternity crowns and cou^ 
aummates their felicity. 


From what has been discoursed we should, 

1. Consider the woful folly of men in refusing such a happi- 
ness, that by the admirable favour of God is offered to their 
choice. Can there be an expectation, or desire, or capacity in 
man of enjoying a happiness beyond what is infinite and eternal? 
O blind and wretched world I so careless of everlasting felicity. 
Who can behold without compassion and indignation, men vainly 
seeking for happiness where it is not to bcv found, and after in- 
numerable disappointments flying at an impossibility, and neg- 
lect their sovereign and final blessedness ? An error in the first 
inquiry might have some colour of an excuse ; but having been 
so often deceived with painted grapes for the fruits of paradise, 
that men should still s^ for substantial blessedness to fill the 
soul, in vain shows that can only feed the eye, is beyond all de- 
grees of folly. Astonishing madness 1 that God and heaven 
should be despised in comparison of painted trifles. This adds 

c c 4 

408 ^ <Mff «BATSN« CAAP. VII. 

the greatest oontomely to their impiety. What powerfiil ebaim 
obstracta their true judging oi things? What sfMiit of*enor 
possesses them ? Alas, " eternal things are unseen I" not of 
conspicuous moment, and therefore in the carnal balance are 
esteemed light, against temporal things present to theaense. 
" It does not appear what He. shall be :" the veil of the visible 
heavens covers the sanctuary, where JESUS our high* priest is 
entered, and stops the inquiring eye. 

But have we not assurance by the most infallible principles 
of faith, that the Son of God oame down from heaven to live 
with us, and die for us, and that he rose agam to confirm our 
belief in his '< exceeding great and precious promises" concern- 
ing this happinestt in tlie future state ? And do not the most 
evident principles of reason and universal experience prove, that 
this world cannot afford true happiness to us ? How wretchedly 
do we forfeit the prerogative of the reasooable nature, by neg- 
lecting our last and blessed end ? If the mind be darkened, 
that it does not see tlte amiable excellencies of God, ^ die 
will be depraved, that it does not feel their ravishing power ; the 
roan ceases to. be a man, and becomes like the beasts that perish. 
As a blind eye is no longer an eye, being absolutely useless to 
that end for which it was made. And though in this present 
state, men are stupid and unconcerned, yet hereafter their misery 
will awaken them, to discover what is that supreme good where- 
in their perfection and felicity consists. When their felly shall 
be exposed before God, angels, and saints, in what extreme con- 
fusion will they appear before that glorious and immense theatre? 
Our Saviour told the unbelieving Jews, '' There shall be weep- 
ing, and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and 
Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, 
' and you yourselves t»voed out.'* They shall be tortured with 
the desire of happiness without possible satisfaction. It is most 
just that those who err without excuse, should repent withoat 

Let us be seriously excited to apply ourselves with inflamed 
desires, and our utmost diligence to obtain -^tbis unchangeable 
happiness. In order to this, we shall consider the causes of ity 
and the means whereby it is obtained. 

The original moving capse is the pure rich mercy of God tliat 


prepared it for his people, and prepares them for it. The pro* 
curix]^ cause is the meritorious efficacy of Christ's obedience and 
su£ferings. This is expressly declared by the apostle ; <^ the 
wages of sin is death, but the gift of Qod is eternal Ufe, through 
Jesus Christ our Lord." 

i. The designing, the preparation, and actual bestowmg of the 
heavenly glory, is from the mercy of God* This will appear by 

1. ^hat it is absolutely impossible that a mere creature, . 
though perfect, sliould deserve any thing from God : for enjoying 
i^ being and powers of working from his goodness, the product 
of ail is entirely due to him ; and the payment of a debt acquires 
no title to a reward : he is the proprietary and Lord of all by 
creation. Hence it is clear^ that in the order of distributive jus« 
tice nothing can be challenged from him. 

2. Besides, such is the infinite perfection of God in himself, 
that no b^efit can redound to him by the service of the creature. 
^' When you have done all, say you are unprofitable servants, for 
we ha:\'e done but«what we ought to do.'' The neglect of our 
duty justly exposes to punishment ; but the performance of it 
deserves no reward, because no advantage accrues to God by it. 
'' Who. hath first given unto him, and it shall be recompensed 
to him again ?" He challenges all creatures, even of the highest 
order. To ^leak strictly therefcM'e, whea God crowns the angels 
with glory, he gives what is merely his own, and does not ren- 
der what is theirs. If he should leave them in their pure nature, 
er deprive them of theip being, he were no loser, nor injurious 
to them. For what faw Unds him to enrich them with immor- 
tal glory, who are no ways profitable to him, or to preserve that 
being they had from his unexcited goodness ? . No creature can 
give to him, therefore none (an receive from him, by way of va- 
luable consideration. 

3. There is no proportion between tlie best works of men, and 
the excellency of the reward, much less an equivalence. It was 
the just and humble acknowledgment of Jacob to God, " I am 

.^' \^ , less than the least of all thy mercies," those that oomm<»i pro- 
Wjf^ ' videnoe dispenses for the support and refreshment of this tempo- 
^^ ralltfe. But how much less than the glorious excellencies of 
the supernatural divine life, wherein the saints reign with God 
toreverp The most costly^ the most difficult and hazardous 



services, are equally nothing in point of merit, with the giviag 
but << 8 cup of cold water to a disciple ot Christ," there bdng no 
correspondence in value between them and the kingdom of hea- 
ven* The apostle tells ns, << 1 count the sufferings of this pre* 
sent life are not to be compared to the glory that shall be re- 
vealed in ns :" and suffering is more than doing. God rewards 
his faithful servants, not according to the dignity of their works, 
but his own liberality and munificence. As Alexander having 
ordered fifty talents of gold to be given to a gentleman in poverty 
to supply his want : and he surprised with that immense bounty, 
modestly said, ten were enough ; he replied, ' if fif^ are too 
much for you to receive, ten are too little for me to give ; there- 
fore do you receive as poor, I will give as a king." Thus God 
in the dispensing his favours does not respect the meanness of 
our persons or services, but gives to ns as a God. And the 
clearest notion of the Deity is, that he is a being infinite in all 
perfiections, therefore all-sufficient and most willing to make liis 
creatures completely happy. 

4. If a creature perfectly h<dy, that never sinned^ is incapable 
to merit any thing fi'om God, much less can those who are 
hpm in a sinful state, and guilty of innumerable actual trans- 
gressions, pretend to deserve any reward for their works. This 
were presumption inspired by prodigious vanity. For, 

(1.) By his most free grace they are restored in conversion to 
that spiritual power by which they serve him. The chaos was 
not a deader lump before the Spirit of God moved on the £Bce of 
the waters, than the best of men were before the vital influ- 
ences of the Spirit wrought upon them. And for this they are 
so deeply obliged to God, that if a thousand times more for 
his glory were performed, yet they cannot discharge what they 

(2.) The continuance and increase of the powerful supplies of 
grace to the saints, who wen since their holy calling by many 
lapses have justly deserved that God should withdraw his grieved 
Spirit, are new obligations to thankfiilness : and the more grace, 
the less merit. 

(3.) The best works of men are imperfect, aliped with the 
mixtures of infirmities, and not of full weight in the divine ba- 
lance. If God should strictly examine our righteousness, it will 
be found neither pure nor perfect in his eyes^ and without favour 

CBAF, VIU QN H8AVi9r« 411 

4ad indulgence woidd be rejectedw And that which wants par- 
don, cannot deserve praise and glory. ^^ He shows mercy to: 
thousands that love hi», . and keep his commandnientssi" If 
obedience were meritorious, it were strict justice to reward them,. 
The afiostle prays for Onesiplhorusj who bad exposed hioiseif to 
great danger for his love to the gospel ; '^ the Lord grant he 
may find mercy in that day/' The divine mercy gives the 
crown of life to the fmthiul in the day of eternal reoompence. . 
ii. The meritorious cause of our obtaining heaven, is the 
obedienoe of Jesus Christ, comprehending all that he did and 
suffered to reconcile God to us. From him as the Eternal Word 
we have all benefits in the order of nature ; '^ for all things were 
made by him,'' and for him, as the incarnate Word, all good 
things in the order of grace. What we enjoy in time, and expect 
in eternity, is by him. To show what influence his mediation 
has to make us happy, we must consider } 

1. Man by bis rebellion justly forfeited .his happiness^ and the 
law exacts precisely tbe forfeiture. Pure justice requires the 
crime should be punished according to its quality, much less 
will it suffer the guilty to enjoy the favour of God : for sin is not 
to be considered as an offence and injury to a private person, but 
the violation of a law, and a disturbance in the order of govern- 
ment : so that to preserve the honour of governing justice, an 
equivalent reparation was appointed. Till sin was expiated by a 
proper sacrifice, the divine goodness was a sealed spring, and its 
blessed effects restrained from the guilty creature. Now the Son 
of God in our assumed nature offered up himself a sacrifice in 
our stead, to satisfy divine justice, and removed tbe bar, that 
mercy might be glorified in our salvation. The apostle gives 
this account of it ; " we have boldness to enter into the holiest, 
by the blood of Christ, by a new and living way which he hath 
consecrated for us through the veil, that is to sav, his flesh.'' 
Heb. 10. 19, 20, 

2. Such were the most precious merits of his obedience, that 
it was not only sufficient to free the guilty contaminated race of 
mankind firom hell, but to purchase for them the kingdom of 
heaven. If we consider his human nature, all graces were born 
with him, as rays with the sun, and shined in the whole course 
of his life in the excellence of perfection. And the dignity of 

412 ey flBAVBK* CHAP« Tit. 

his divine person derived an immense vahie to all he performed 
as Mediator. One act of his obedience was more honourable to 
God, than all the lives of the saints, the deaths of the martyn, 
and the service of the ang^. God was more pleased in the 
obedience of his beloved Son, than he was provoked hj the re- 
bellion of his servants. Therefore, as the just recompenoe of it, 
he constituted him to be universal Head of the church, supreme 
Judge of the world ; invested htm with divine glory, and with 
power to communicate it to his faithful servants : <' he is the 
Prinoe of life." In short, it is as much upon the account of 
Christ's sufferings that we are glorified, as that we are forgiven. 
The wounds he receive^l in his body, the characters of ignominy, 
and footsteps of death, are the fountains of our glory. His 
abasement is the cause of our exaltation. 

If it be said, this seems to lessen the freeness of this gift. The 
answer is clear: 

This was due to Christ, but undeserved by us. Besides, 
ihe appointmg his Son to be our Mediator in the way of oar 
ransom, was the most glorious work of his goodness^ 


ON HXAVX3I/ 418 


The gospel re<|oireB qualificaliont to all that shall obtain the kingdom of 
heaven. The renovation of man according to the likeness of God, is in- 
dispensably requisite for the ei\joy ing of God, Renewing grace described, 
TIM wisdom and justice of God rehire that mea be sanetifled before 
they are admitted into heaven. Witliout saoctiflcation, there is a moral 
incapacity of enjoying thre beatific vision* 

X H£ means ef our obtaining heaven are to be considered. 
Though the divine goodness be free in its acts, and there can be 
nothing in the creature of merit, or inducement to prevail upon 
God in the nature of a cause, yet he requires qualifications in 
all those who shall enjoy that blessed unchangeable kingdom. 
The apostle expressly declares, ^ it is not of him that wills, nor 
of him that runs, but of God that showeth mercy.'' Rom. 9. 
16. But we must distinguish the eflects of this mercy, which 
are dispensed in that order the gospel lays down. The first 
mercy is the powerful calling the sinner from his corrupt and 
wretched state ; a second mercy is the pardoning his sins ; the 
last and most eminent is the glorifying him in heaven. Now it 
is clear, that in this place '^ the showing mercy," signifies the 
preventing grace of God in conversion ; for in the 18th verse it 
is said, God shows mercy to << whom he will, and whom he will 
he hardens.'' Where it is evident that showing mercy is op- 
posed not to condemning but to hardening ; and consequently 
the intent of the words is this, that divine grace overcomes the 
rebellious will, softens the stiflf and stubborn heart, and makes 
it pliant to. obedience. This flows from his pure good will and 
pleasure, without the least motive from the inclinations or 
endeavours of sinful men. But the other eflkcts of God's mercy 
require conditions in the subjects that receive them : for he 
pardons only penitent bdievers, and glorifies none but perseve- 
ring saints. 

To make this clear, it is worthy' of observation, the gospel 
has several denominations. 1. It is called ^ a law^ a covenant,*' 


and '< a testament/' Rom. 3. 27. It is called <^ the law of faith/' 
and '< the law of the spritual life/^ As a law, it signifies a new 
right that God has most freely established in favour of lost man, 
that commands certain duties, and sets before them eternal life 
as the reward of obedience, and eternal death the punishment of 
disobedience. According to this the trial and decisicMi of men's 
everlasting states shall be, which is the character of a tnie law. 
l*his law of grace is very diflPerent fi'om the law of nature, that 
required entire innocence, and for the least omission, or accu* 
sing act, passed an irrevocable doom upon the offenders ; for 
that strictness and severity is mollified by the gospel, which ac- 
cepts of sincere persevering obedience though imperfect; ac« 
cordingly it is called ** the law of liberty." James 2. But *^ the 
law of faith" is unalt^tdile, and admits of no dispensation 
from the duties required in order to our being everlastingly 

2. The gospel is styled ^' a covenant," and that imports a 
reciprocal engagement between parties for the performance of the 
matter contained in it. The covenant of grace includes the pro- 
mise of pardoning and rewarding mercy on God's part, and the 
conditions on man's, witb respect to which it is to be performed. 
There is an .inviolable dependance between them. He will be 
<' our God," to make us happy, '^ but we must be his people to 
yield unreserved obedience to him." Heb. 9. *' He will be our 
Father, a^id we shall be his sons and daughters ;" but it is upon 
the terms of "purifying ourselves fit>m all pollutions of the flesh 
and spirit," and uitfeigned- endeavours to ^' perfect holiness in 
his fear." 2 Cor. 7. - It is astonishing goodness, that he is 
pleased to eondeseeild to^uch a treaty with follen creatures : by 
a voluntary promise he eikcovfrages th^m ; but though most free 
in making, it is conditional in the performance. The constancy 
of'his holy, nature obliges Urn to fulfil his word, but it is if we 
do not fail on our part by carelessness of our duty. A presumer 
may seal assurance to himsdf, and be deceived in this great 
matter; biit f^ God will not be* mocked." If we prove false 
in the covenant, .he will be foithfiil, and exclude those from 
heaven that were negle^fiil of the conditions to which it is pro- 

8. The goqiiel is styled, «'^ a testamient" sealed in the blood of 
Christ, confinaed by bis death. . The donaticm of eternal his^ 

CHAP. Ylir. OH BMAYEtt. 415 

sings in it, is not ainolate and irrespective, but the hein are 
admitted to the pooseBsion of the inheritance according to the 
will of the rich, liberal, and wiae Testator. There can be no re« 
guiar title or claim made out without performing what is required. 
And this '' is the will of Opd and Christ, our sanctification,'* 
without wUch we cannot enjoy it. 

- Now from hence we may see the admirable agreement be* 
tween these two notionsi that heaveneis a gift, and a rewards 
It is a reward in the order of giving it, not due to the work, but 
from the bounty of the giver. God gives heaven to those that 
iaithfiilly serve him. Qut their service was due to God, of no 
worth in respect of heaven ; so that man's work is no merit, 
and God's reward is a gift. Our everlasting glory must be 
ascribed to his most free grace, as much as the pardon of our 

I shall now proceed to consider, what the gospel declares to 
be indispensably requisite in order to our obtaining heaven : this 
is comprised in the holy change of man's nature, which I will 
briefly uhfold, and show how necessary it is to qualify us for ce- 
lestial glory. 

^ 1 • This holy change is expressed in scripture by the new birth. 
Our Saviour, with a solemn repeated asservation, tells Nicode^ 
mas ; " verily, verily, except a man be bom again, he cannot 
see the kingdom of God." John 3. 3. Sin is natural to man 
from his conception and birth, and infects with its contagion, all 
his faculties. This is fomented and cherished by temptations 
that easily encompass him. The understanding is polluted with 
evil principles, full of strong prejudices, and lofty imaginations 
against the supernatural mysteries of salvation. It is fttll of ig- 
norance and folly, and from hence either rejects them as incre- 
dible, or despises them as impertinent or unprofitable. Hie 
will is depraved and perverse, M\ of unruly and unhallowed af- 
fections. The senses are luxurious and rebelHous. In short, 
man is so viciously and seawally inclined, so << alienated froan the 
life of God," as if he had no diviner part within him, that should 
aspire to a spiritual blessedness, that should regulate and con- 
trol the excess of the inferior i^ppetites. This is the unhappy 
charlicter satan impressed on him in his fall,* and without reno- 
vi^ion upon an infinite account he is incapable of seeing God. 
This renovation consists not in the change of his substance, as 

416 oif RuvxN. CBAP. vni. 

the water was mii^aculoiuly turned into wine at the marriage in 
Cana of Galilee : the same soul with its essential powen, the 
same body with its natural senses, the work cS the Creator, Te- 
mains ; but in the cleansing of his stained nature, in the sancti- 
iying his faculties that are the springs of his actions, the whole 
man is quickened into a divine life, and enabled to act in con- 
formky to it. And of this the new birth is a convenient illus- 
tration. An active prin«ple of holiness is planted in him, that 
springs up into visible actions. The apostle particularly ex* 
presses it in his earnest prayer for the Thessalonians, ^' The very 
God of peace sanctify you wholly, and preserve your whole spi- 
rit, soul and body blameless, till the coming of Jesus Christ." 
Every faculty is renewed, and every grace in&sed that constitutes 
the divine image. The mind is renewed by spiritual l^bt, to 
believe the truth and goodness of unseen things promised, the 
reality and dreadfulness of things threatened in the word of God. 
It sees the truest beauty tn holiness, the highest honour in obe* 
dience to God, feh; greatest equity and excellence in his service. 
The will is renewed by holy love, a purifying flame, and feels 
the attractive virtue of our blessed end before all desirable things 
on earth, and determines to pursue it in the vigorous use of pro- 
per means. The body is made a holy instrument fit for the re- 
newed soul. In siMNTt, the natural man becomes spiritual in his 
perceptions, resolutions and actions. '' AU thinga are become 
new.'' There b a firm assent, an inviolable adherence to those 
most precious objects revealed in the scripture, and a sincere 
chosen constant obedience flows from the renewed faculties. 
And from hence we may distinguish between r^nerating grace, 
and formal hypocrisy in some, and the proficiency of nature and 
power of common grace in others. A hypocrite in religion is 
actuated fi-om without, by mercenary base respects; and his 
conscience being cauterized, handles sacred things without feel- 
ing : a regenerate person is moved by an internal living princi- 
ple, and performs his duties with lively affections. Natural con- 
science under the compulsion of fear, may lay a restraint upon 
the outward acts of sin, without an inward consent to the 
sanctity of the law. Renewing grace cleanses the fountain, and 
the current is pure. It reconciles the afliectimis to the most 
holy commands. *^ I love thy law because it is pure^" saith the 

CHAP; virr. ow'meav^''. 417 

A moHxi pf irtcipfe mdy* hKltfce one to abstain from many shi5, 
and to peHiorm many praSsct^^orthy things in conformity to rea- 
son. But this IS neither sanctifying nor saving ; for it only 
prunes sin a9 if it were a good piant, and' does not root it up ; it 
compounds with iC, and does not destroy it. There may be still 
an imp^ire indulgence to the sectet hxstings of the heart, notwith* 
standing the restraint upon their exercise. And many duties 
may be done on lower motives, without fli^ divine respect to- the 
commands And giory of God. 

But renew mg grace subjects the sout-fo the nvhole royalty of 
the hw, uniformly inclines it to express obedience to all its pre- 
cepts, becanse they are pure, and derived from the eternal apring 
of puHty« It mortifies concupiscence, and quickens to every 
good worky from a principle of love to God, and in this is distin* 
guiahed from the ttiost i^dhied unregenerate morality^ Id shorty 
there nui^r be a auperiicial tincture of religion from common groe^ 
a transient esteem, vanishing aiffections, and earnest endeavours 
for a tilncPaAer ^mtual things, and' yet a person remain -in a-statA 
of unregeneraey. Btt renewing grace is a permanent solid prin-* 
eipie;, thut niakes a man paKaker of the divine dkture^ and ele- 
vates Mih ab^ himself. 

This h«4y dhiinge is Wrotij^ht by divine power. Our Savioo^ 
Uth Nieodetnus, << ejtoept a man^be born of water and the spi« 
rir> he 0Biitot^tt«er fntiy the klrtgldom of Ood/' The analogy of 
a new birth srigtiifies, that it il entirely the work of the sanctify- 
ing spiHt^ that conveys a principle of life in order to the ftinc- 
tlons'^f it; It is the living imptti^on of God, the' sole efficient 
and extfrnphr of it, the iWit Vcndinlage of the divme vh'tuefif. It 
is expressedi'by tRe new creature. The production of it is attri- 
buted to God's power displajirig itself in a peculiar excellent 
way, evtti in that precipe manner, as in making the world. For 
as in thefiVst ciieiition aU tHitlgb tveremad^origrnally of nothing, 
BO in- the secohd^ the hfabit of |;raceis infased intb the soul that 
was nttertj^void ofit, and in which there was as little prep^- 
timi Mr tnre boHhiJss^, as of nothing to produce this great and re- 
gttliir WoHd. And althoughHhete is not only an absolute priva- 
tion of grace, btit a fierce rcJsistance against it, yet creating in- 
vincible power does as infallflfly' and certainly produce its effect 
in forming the new creature, as- in* makhig the world. From 
henea it appears tha* preventing renewing grace is so entirely the 

VOL. in. D d 

418 Cif HBAVBN. eHAP. 71U« 

work of God, as bis fomiiiig the hanaii body from the dust of 
eartb at ftrst} but with this differeocei the fint creation was done 
without any sense in the subject^ of the efiicieQcy ef the divine 
power in producing it : but in the new creation, man feds the 
vital inBuence of the Spirit, ^>plying itself to all his faculties, 
reforming and enabling them to act according to the quality of 
their nature. 

And by the way, we may observe the admirable grace shcmed 
to man in the renovation of his corrupted nature. In the com- 
position of his being are united a spirit like the angds, and a 
htody like terrestrial animals, by which he partakes <rf the qiiri* 
tual and natural life : but he has peculiar favours conferred upon 
him. For^ whereas his soul sinned with the angels, and his 
body dies with the beasts, yet God is pleased to restore them by 
his glorious power. An angel after sin never repents, and is 
therefore incapable of pardon, and irrecoverably disinherited of 
heaven : a beast after death never revives ; but though man man 
and dies, yet his soul may be renewed by divine grace, and lus 
body shall be raised in an incorruptible glory. 
. 2. Now the indispensable necessity of this h<^ change is evi* 
dent firom the words of our Saviour, for he speaks universally, 
*' except a man be bom again, he cannot see the kiyg^ifHn of 
God." He does not simply dedare that aa unr^eneiate man 
shall not, but with the greatest emphasis, cannot, to s^gntff an 
absolute impossibility of it. The Jews h^hly presumed of the 
privilege of their carnal birth^ they sprang from the pore and 
noble blood of Abraham, God's friend; they had the seal of the 
holy covenant marked in their flesh: and hence it was proverinal 
amongst them, that every Israelite should have a part in the 
world to come. But our Saviour overthrows this vain conodt, 
and tells them, that the supernatural birth entitles to the aoper* 
natural inheritance. Circumcision then, and b^>ti8m now, with* 
out real grace, is an ineffectual sign, of no avail to salvation. In 
the quality of sons, we are heirs of God's kingdom, Rom. 8. 17. 
And that honourable relation we have upon a double aoemnsty by 
adoption and regeneration, Gal. 4. 7. Divine adoption is not 
a mere change of our state, a naked dedaration that one shall be 
dignified with the title of God's Son ; but a bdy nature is always 
infused into the person, whereby he is made like to God ia his 
excellencies. In this it differs from human adoption, that gtvea 

CHAP. yill4 ON HSAVSN* 419 

the name and arms, the hoaoilr and estate of dte adopter to a 
peraoihy without conveying any of his ihteneetoal or moral en- 
dowmenta. Whom God adopts, he. begets to a dime life. Be- 
sides, our Savioar purcbated this Ugh privilege for w : << God 
sent his Son made of a womaa^ under the law, to redeem them 
that were under the law, that \ne might. receive the. adoption of 
90ns:" by union with him we receive the investiture of this dig*, 
nity. ^'.Now whoever is in Christ, is a new creature.'' For the 
quickening spirit-, that is to the soul what the soul is to the body^ 
the principle of life and strength, of beauty and motion, and an 
active purifying faith that is influenlial upon sU other graces, v% 
the band of that vital union : so that as all in Adam are univcN* 
aally corrupt by tbe first birth, all that are in Christ are made 
holy by a new birth. But of this I shidl speak in the next chap- 
ter mora iully^ under a distinct head. Briefly, the spirit of grace- 
that sanctifies^ is the spirit of adoption that seals our right to 
that kingdom^ 

Now tbe reasons why tUs ehange must be in order to our ob<^ 
taining of heaven, are these : 

1. There is an exquisite wisdom shines in all God's works, in 
disposing them for the ends to which they are appointed : and is 
it not mooBtrondy absurd to imagine, he will admit into his pre-* 
•ence and kingdom those that are absolutely unqualified for its 
blessedness, and opposite to its purity ? 

2. His invuriaUe justice excludes for ever all unholy persons 
from heeven* For in the last judgment God will be glorified ae 
a governor, in the distribution of rewards with respect to the 
obedience and disobedience of men. It is worthy of observation^ 
that the actions of Giod on the reasonable creatures are of two 
sorts. Some proceed from bis sovereign good pleasure, of which 
there is no motive or reason in tbe siAjects on which they are 
terminated. Thus by a free and kisuperable decree (when all 
mankind^ lapsed and misanble^ was in his view) h^ cdiose some 
to ber'^vesads of mercyi" ^nifhy. pririlege separated them from 
the rest that finally perish. Now what induceid luin to place a 
singular bive on the elect? There was nothing.ia themlo incUne 
bis compa^sion^ being equally guilty and depraved with the rest 
of the progeny of Adam. This di9i?renpe therrfore. is. to be re- 
eolved into his uHMCountable.and adorable will, as Ule sole cause 
of it., Thm God declares it to behts gkvieus prerogfttive^ ..^^ i 

p d 2 


wiH have mercy an wboni I mil hwe neicy^ and I will hare 
wmpamaa en whom I will have compeesioii/' And this v no 
iiojustjwoepdmeeof peraane: for as a benefactor^ he may 4m^ 
peaae his wwb favenrB as he pleaees* A gift from mere aod srVi- 
tmy haaatf may be bestowed on aome^ and not cm odiera, inth<^ 
out injiistioe. But there are other actions of God for wfawh tbere 
19 an evident reason in men on whom they are tnminated. Thn, 
as the supreme Judge, ^ without respect of penoos," 1 Pet. U 
17. he will judge and reward ** every man aecofding to bis 
works,'* Rom. 2, 16. Acts 26« IS. The evangelical law {as 
wtts touched on bcfom) is thif rule of eternal judgment, and giics 
a right from the gracieus jsreasiseof God M all penitent belitms 
in the kingdom of heaven, and excludes all impeniteui iofideh. 
Diviae jostiee will ilhistriowly appear then, in disthtguisbiBg be- 
Kevms from mbelievers by their woiks, the proper liniits either 
efMtb or infidelity: all thetfaidc efeftdsof disgva«e%calumoies, 
persecutions, that often oppress the most sincere cMstiaM faer^ 
shall not then dariyen their hotiness ; and all the spodoos appear- 
ances of piety, which the most artiikial hypocrites make use of 
to decesve othert, shall not eooeeal their wiekediiess. And sc- 
eordmgly the one shall be afasolved AEid glorified, the othen eon- 
dcmned and punished for ever, hi shorty withovt viohrtiCD of 
his owa righteous estabUshEment in the gospel, God caaoot re- 
ceive the unholy into his gkvty, 1Mb. 12. 14. 
. 9. Besides the legal bat that exckidesuManctifiedpQncmfpom 
the beatific vision of God, there is a moral incapacity. Sappoie 
that justice should allow ommpotente to translate each a sinner 
to heaven, would tlie place make him happy^ Can two incon- 
gfttbui natures delight in one another? The hapfsoew of sense 
18 by an impmasBon of pieaam^ from a smtable diijieet : the bap* 
piness of intellectual beings arises from an endie oaidomiiity of 
dEsposidois. So that miless God leoede from bis holidcsa, whidi 
h absdotely hnpossiUe, or man be pmifrid, and changed into 
his likeness^ thei« can be no sweet oommuniisn between tbem. 
Our Saviour assigns this reason of the • necessity of fegeiiemtioD 
m order to our admi^ion into heaven :. '* that which is bom of 
the flesh, is ftesh; and that which is born of the tpirit, is q»rit. 
According to the quriity of the principle,, svch is^^what proceeds 
from it. The fcah it a eomipt prmciple, and 4ccordiiigly tbe 
natural man is wholly camal in his propenikMis, ^ennioos and 

<»IAP« YUI. ON mEAVSN. 421 

end* The disease is turned into his constitation. He is dead 
to the spiritual life^ to the actions and enjoyments that are pro- 
per to it : nay, there is in him a surviving principle of enmity to 
that life ; not only a mortal coldness to God, but a stiff aversa- 
tion from him, a perpetual resistance and impatience of the di- 
vine presence, that would disturb bis voluptuous enjoyments. 
The exercises of heaven would be as the torments of hell to him, 
while in the midst of those pure joys his inward inclinations ve- 
hemently run into the lowest lees of sensuality. And therefore 
till this contrariety, so deep and predominant in an unholy per- 
son, be removed, <it is utteriy impossible he riiould enjoy God 
"With satifllaction* As it was necessary that God should become 
like man on earth, to purchase that felidty £ar him, so man must 
be like God in heaven befbie he can posa c p o it. HoKnen akne 
prepant meii for celestial happiness ; that is agmnst the corrup- 
tion, and above the perfection of mere nature.' 

I shall now proceed to consider more particularly what is re* 
qnisite in order -to our obtaining of heaven. 


422 OH BlAVBN. CHAP, ra. 


Faith in the Redeemer is iDdtspeDsably required of all that will partake of 
salvation. Heaven must be chosen as odr supreme happiness, and sought 
at our last end. The choice of beaTea mast be sincere, early, firm and 
jCOBstaiit, The siacerity of the choke dtaeoferad by the sealoat nae of 
meani to obtain it. The i iocerity of the choice will regulate oar judcBMnCs 
and affections, with respect to temporal things that are so far good or evil 
to us, as they eondact or divert as from heaven. The sincere choice of 
keavea will make ai aspire to th« higheit degreei of boliaeat we are capa- 
ble of la the preseat s^te^ The y anity pf Ihe bapet of fkp latewam if 
rel^^ioo discovered* 

• Jb AITH in the Redeemer is absolutely required of all thai 
will partake of the salvation purchased by him. '' God so loved 
the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever be- 
lieves in him, should not perish, but have eternal life, John 3. 
16. This is the spirit and substance of the gospel, therefore I 
will briefly unfold it. The Son of God having assumed the hu- 
man nature, and performed what was necessary for the expiation 
of sin, Phil. 2. 8, 9. the Father was so pleased with his obedi- 
ence, that from his lowest state he raised him to divine glory, 
and gave him supreme authority, and all-sufficient power to com^ 
municate that glory to others. Thus our Saviour declares; ** thoii 
hast given him (i. e. the Son) power over all flesh, that he should 
give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him," John 17* 2. 
And he exhorts the people, " labor for that meat that endures 
unto eternal life, which the Son of man shall give unto you, fat 
him hath God the Father sealed." John 6. Now this glorious 
life is not given to all, but only to those who are united to him. 
As Adam, the principle of the carnal corrupt nature, derives guilt 
and death to all his progeny : so Jesus Christ (who is opposed to 
him) the head and prince of the renewed state, communicates 
life and glory to his people. The apostle expresses it, ^^ as in 
Adam all die" (his natural descendants are involved in his con- 
demnation) <^ even so in Christ shall all be made alive/' 1 Cor. 


15. 22. that is, all that are spiritually united to him, shall par- 
take of his glorious resurrection* And St. John tells us, << he 
that hath the Son, hath life ; and he that hath not the Son, hath 
not life, 1 John 5. 12. The having the Son, upon which our 
right to eternal life depends, is believing in him. Faith has a 
principal efficiency in receiving Christ; therefore it is expressed 
by that act, '< but as many as received hiiA, to them gave he 
power to become the Sons of God," John 1. 12. (and conse^ 
quently heirs of glory) to as many ^' as believed on his name.'' 
And Christ is said <' to dwell in our hearts by faith," Ephes. S. 
17* This is not a mere assent to the doctrines of the gospel 
concerning the dimity of his person, that he i^ in so high and 
glorious a relation of being the eternal Son of God, and the infi- 
nite vahie of his merits, whereby he is able to save f 11 that come 
unto God by him, and his merdiul compassionate nature to em- 
brace returning sinners, and the excellency of the benefits pur- 
chased by him, but such a belief as sways the will and affections^ 
to receive hnn upon God's terms for our salvation. Faith is seat- 
ed in the whole soul, in the mind and heart;, and accepts of Christ 
entirely as Prophet, Priest, and King. The parts of the Media- 
toi^s dBce are inseparably connected, and all the effects of them 
are communicated to the same persons. *' Jesus Christ is made 
of God to ^levers, vrisdoro,'' to cure their ignorance and folly; 
*' righteousness," to abolish their guilt; '^ sanctification," to 
renew their natures ; and ** redemption," to free them at last 
from the grave, and bring them to glory, 1 Cor. 1. From henc^ 
it is dear, that the faith which is justifying and saving, includes 
in its nature, a dependance and trust in Christ bs a powerful 
and merciful Mediator, that is able and vrilling to reconcile us to 
God, and make us for ever happy in his favour ; so a sincere re- 
solution of obedience and subjection to all his holy epmmands, 
even to the plucking out of the rieht eye, aqd the cutting off the 
right handp the partinj^ with the most pleasing or profitable sins. 
For the piomises of God that are the rule of faith, make an ofiisr 
of Christ upon these conditions to us : << him hath God exalted 
with his right hand, to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give 
repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. Acts 5. 31. And 
only *' the justified shall be glorified. Rom. 8. Those therefore 
who desire a partial interest in him as a Saviour, out of absoliite 
necessity to escape hell^ and will not out of love subnut to him 

D d 4 


as their prince, ha^e not ^^ that faith that is unfeigned/' mA 
gives a title to eternal life by the promises of the gospel. 

2. We must choose heaven as our supreme happiness, and le* 
gard it as the main end of our lives. Man fell from his duty and 
felicity by preferring sensual pleasure before the favour of God^ 
and became guilty of the greatest disobedieuee and dislionour to 
his Maker^ and is restored by the holy change of. his wHl, the 
setting his affections on a pure spiritual blessedness. This sub- 
liming the willy and turning its love and choice from the crea- 
tures to Gody is the eflfect of divine grace, and wrought in a ra- 
tional way. For man is not moved as artificial engines by foreei 
nor as brutes from necessity, their faculties being determined by 
the outward application of objects : he is not drawn up to heaven 
by such a natural impression, as steel by the loadstone, nor for- 
ced by a violent motion as a stone ascends, but as an under- 
standing free agent, by the direction of the enlightened miiMly 
and the consent of the will, an elective unconstrained bculty. 
And herein the wisdom, goodness and equity of God's transac- 
tions with man appear. His wisdom, in that as he has ordered 
in the whole sphere of nature, that the active powers of every 
creature he drami forth iiuo exercise for their preservation, sol 
^cordingly he is pleased to work in and by them ; so the under- 
standing and will, the principles of operation in man, are to de- 
liberate and choose in order tp his happiness : otherwise the ra- 
tional faculties would be in vain. His goodness and equity, in 
that he sets before them eternal life as the reward of obedience. 
God will be glori&ed by him as a law^giver and a benefactor, and 
has ordained in the gospel that all who choose and diligently seek 
the kingdom of heaven, shall infallibly obtain it, and none be 
deprived of it but for their neglect. The decree of a final state 
of misery, though not in time, yot is consequent in the order of 
causes to the obstiuate reluctancy of sinners against restoring 
grace, and the wilful forsaking their owa mercies. Therefore 
God vindicates the equity of his proceedings with men by theii 
ouTi principles, and with tender pity expostulates, ** why will ye 
die ?" The corrupt will, declining from God, and adhering to 
the creature as its happiness, is tlie true cause of man's ruin. 
This will infinitely clear tJie wisdom and justice, the purity and 
goodness of God from all imputation. 

The choice of heaven for our felicity is primarily to be .deter- 


minedj for it is from the prospect of it that all hdy counsek 4ie« 
rive their life and vigour. As in drawing the picture of a man 
the first work is to delineate the head^ not only as the part that 
in dignity and eminence is above the rest, but as it regulates the 
drawing of the other parts^ and gives a just proportion and cor* 
respondence between them, without which the whole figure be«« 
comes disordered and monstrous. Tims in the moral considera* 
lion of man, that which is primarily to be considered is the sool^ 
and its final felicity, as incomparably more excellent than the 
foody and its pleasures : for this will have a powerfol influence 
upon the whole life, directing tp avoid what is ineQiisistent and 
impertinent, and to do what is conducive to it. 

Now this being a matter of unspeakable importance, I wiU, 

1. ^how what the regular choice of heaven includes^ as to it^ 
qualities and effects. 

ii. Direct how to make this choice. 

iiL Present some power&l motives to excite us to it* 

i. The qualities of this choice .are thre^, 

1. It must be sincere and4X)rdial. 

2. Early, in our first and best days. 

3. Firm and constant. 

1. It must be sincere and cordiaU The most essential and 
active desire in human nature is to happiness ; but there bem 
two kinds of good things presented to the will that solicit the af« 
fections, the pleasures of sense, and spiritual joye, fW>m henee 
it is that that which makes men hajq»y is the object of deotiwi. 
And although there is nothipg more uniform and invblable tlmn 
the natural inclination to happinesss, yet the great distindMi of 
mankind arises from this source, the regular or pervene use ot 
this inelinatiop, the wise or mistaken choice of happiness. Now 
the sincerity of our choice is discovered, when it is dear and en« 
tire, arising from a transcendent esteem pf the favour and enjoy* 
ment of God as our chief good, and absolutely requisite in ns. 
And from hence it is evident that the choice of tme Jiaiqrinas^ 
necessarily includes the despising and rej^iog of tbe.frise hipl 
piness that stands in competition with it. There cannot be two 
reigning principles in the soul : for it cannot vigoioiisly apply H«* 
self to two objects at the same time. Our Saviour has decided 
it, '^ no man can serve two masten ; for either he will hate tho 
one and love the other, or hold to the one and despise the < 

426 ON BUVXlf. CHAP. %Xf 

ye caimoi serve God and mammon/' The masters are irreoon* 
dleable^ and their comms^ds are directly opposite. It was as 
possible to place upon the same altar the ark of God, and the 
idol of the Philistines, as that heaven and the world should com- 
pomd and take equal shares in our affections. Indeed, if the 
conceptions in the mind are but faint and floating of the univer- 
sal satisfying goodness of the object proposed to make us happy, 
the will remains in suspense ; but when it is clearly and strongly 
represented, the heart is drawn entirely to embrace it. Divine 
graee by the illumination of the understanding, purifies and 
changes the depraved wiH, and heals the distempered affections. 
The wise merchant, tbat had a discerning eye, saw reason enough 
to past with all, that he might gain the ^ pearl of price," the 
gmee and glory of the kingdom of heaven* The apostle declares 
his resolute contempt of the concurrence of all the prerogatives 
cither the law or the world could afford him, that he might have 
an interest in Christ, the Recondler and Restorer of man to the 
favour and feUowahip of God. '^ But what things were gain to 
me, those I counted loss for Christ j yea doubtless, I count all 
things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ 
my Lord, for wh<Nn I have suffsred the loss of ail things, and 
do count them but dung, that I might win Christ.'^ The glori- 
otts gospd is the brightest and most pleasant light that ever shone 
upon the world, a revelation of the deepest wisdom and rooet ad* 
mirable love, wherein the combination of God's holy and won- 
derfid osunaeb for our sahration is unfolded ; and accordingly St. 
PanI, with the greatest life of affection, sets forth his vtilue of 
it, and by full and most vilifying expressions, rejects all things 
in comparison of it. 

2. The sincerity of the heavenly chmce, is discovered by a 
sealous observance of the means requisite in order to it. Inani- 
mate things ineline to rest in their centre, the rational intend 
and pursue it. The Messed end^ when valued and respected ae- 
cording to its worth, excites and directs the affections and en- 
deavours in that order and measure as is proportionable to its 
excellency, and the difficulties of obtaining it. There may be a 
naked estimation, and some desires of eternal happiness simply 
considered^ yet the will remahis incomplete and undetermined in 
its choice : for the end in conjunction with the means is pro- 
pounded to us, and the carnal man will not consent to the 

CHAP. IX. ON HBAVBfr: 427 

means. He dislikes the holiness of reh'gion^ and will rather for* 
feit heaven than submit to such strict terms. Though with Ba« 
laam^ in a fit of devotion^ he aavs, *' O that I might die the 
death of the righteous^ and that my last end might belike his;*' 
yet from indulgence to his sensual inclinations, he will not live m 
the righteous. - All his wishes of true happiness are soon stran« 
gled by the predominant love of some vanity. It is said of the 
Israelites, <<they despised the pleasant land/' Psal. 106. 14. not 
absolutely in itself, for it was ''the glory of all lands'' abounding 
with things for the support and delight of man; but considering 
its distance, a wilderness waste and wild interposing, and the 
enemies to be encountered, they did not think it worthy of un* 
dergoing such hazards and difficulties. The land of Canaan was 
a type of heaven, both with respect to its pleasantness, and the 
manner of the Israelites obtaining it. Their title to it was firom 
the rich bounty of God, therefore it is called the '' Land of Pro- 
mise ;" but it was to be possessed by conquest. Thus the celes- 
tial Canaan is the pure gift of God, but the actual enjoyment of 
it is obtained by victorious resistance against the enemies of our 
salvation. And carnal men despise this pleasant land, the pro* 
mise being inseparably joined with precepts of duty and obedi- 
ence, from which they are averse. But he that chooses sincerely, 
is joi^iul and vigorous in the use of mdans for acquiring his most 
desired good. Ardent affections, like Elijah's chariot of fire, 
ravish the soul above this sensible worid, to the place where God 
dweils in glory. 2Seal animates his endeavours, as the motion of 
the heart difliises the spirits into the arteries, to convey life to 
all parts of the body. *' One thing (saith the inflamed psalmist) 
•have 1 desired of the Lord, that will I seek after, that I may 
4weH in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold 
the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple." The 
sensual man is ranging abroad for satisfaction, and shoots all the 
game that crosses his eye ; but'the soul that has a diseovering 
light, and feeling heat of the divine beauty, unites all its desires 
in God, and with affection to an ecstacy, longs for the enjoyment 
of him 5 and the endeavours are in som« proportion to the de- 
sires. Our Saviour tells us, <' That from the days of John the 
baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suflbrs violence, and 
' the violent take it by force." Some previous rays of the Sun of 


Righta>ii$nes8 an^eared in his ministry, and prodiioed aach a 
holy ardency in those convertSj that with all resolutaoti, diligence 
and earnestness, they sooglit to be partakers of the blessednoss 
Tevealed. Lazy desires, easy prosecutions, sluggish attempt^ 
discorer that the heart is not throughly engaged for the spiritiial 
eternal goodL. When the end is truly designed, it will give law 
to the actions. This is visible in carnal woildly men, how saga- 
cious, how solicitous are they to accomplish their ends and ban 
designs? They try all ways, mther by finedissimulatioo, or 
toilsome industry, to obtain their desires. No time is too asnch 
in their gainful affairs, or voluptuous enjoyments. They traas- 
fonn the night to lengthen out the day for their pniit, they v&i 
the day to lengthen out the night for their ^ase and pleasure. 
But, alas, heaiven is only regarded hy ihe bye ; as if the inteUeO" 
tual soul were only •given to dweU with the body on earth, t^ 
place of its banishonent, and direct affurs here below, and not (p 
lead in the way to heaven, the place ot its nativity^ and prepaie 
for another world. The work ^ salvation is foUowed with that 
remiss degree of affection, as if it were a slight matter whether 
performed or neglected. These peKsoas carry their convictioB in 
iheir bosoms ; for th^ are avdent and active to obtain inierier 
and infinitely less concerning ends, but with that oold applica- 
tion mind the superior nobler end of man, that it ia wlio% 
frustrate, which plainly shows it was never seriously intended by 

The sight of worldly men so active and vigilant to proaeoote 
their low designs, should <{uicken us to sed& with greater diK- 
genee and alacrity the kingdom of heaven, and the righteouaness 
thereof. A carnal wretch, urged b^ the sting of a bmtish desiie, 
with what impaticBce doth he pursue '^ the pleasures of sin that 
are but for a season?" An ambitioos persm, with what an m- 
temperate height of passion does he chase a feather? A eovct^ 
ous man, Jiqw greedily does he piprsue the advantages of <^ the 
present world that passes away, and the lusts thereof:'' Ah ! 
how do they upbraid our indifferent deaiies^ our doll delays and 
Isold endeavours, when such a lugh prize is set bef<»e us ? Who 
is able to cQOoeive the ravishing pleasures of the soul when it 
first enters thivw|g)i << the beautiful gate" of the celestial templ^ 
and sees the. glory of the place, and ^^ hears a voiee fnn the 

CHAP. IX* OW fflUVBH* 42& 

tlirone, catet inttf thy maBter'^joy/' to be bappy ^tb him fer 
ever? Tbe serious beKef ci this wiH draw forth all our aetife 
powen in the service of God. 

3. The sincetily of oar heavenly choke declares itself in the 
temper and frame of our hearts^ with rcspeet to aW temped 
tUngs in this world. For our maki and happy end being esta* 
blished, that it consists not in secular richei and honours, and! 
the pleasures of sense, but in the clear vision of God, the bless* 
edness of the Spirk ; it feitow8F that all present things are in oar 
use soliir good or etil^ and to be desired or not, as Ihey are pro*- 
fitable or prejudicial: to oor obtdning salvation, as they conduct 
or divert us from heaven. A' wise christian looks on tempera) 
things not through the glass^ of disordered passions, that are im- 
petuous aiid itnfialtent for what is grateful to them, but with re- 
ference Uk his Ihture happiness. He considers the 6rain of temp- 
tataonsthat attend an exalted eendkion, and desiree such a por- 
tion of these things, aa may redound to the glory of the giver, 
and be improvedfor his own ealvation. This purity of aiiections 
our Saviour teaches us : for in his divine form of prayer, the true 
chreetery of our desires, are set dbwn in an admirabfe order aH 
things we are. t(^ pray ferj. And they respect the end, or the 
' nwans. The end is Che pf^mary object of our desires ; accord- 
idgiy the two first petitions concern our blessed end, as it re- 
apeets God and dursehes; We ffrs^, '« Hallowed be thy name,^ 
Aat is, by the reverence and lidoration of all his sufejects : and, 
^^ Thy kii^om come/' that is, for the mairifestafioir of his eter- 
nal gfory ia the next world, that we may reign With him. The 
ncans.in order to this end are ^of twa sorts. Some conduct to it 
fay themsekesy those are Ae good thmgs desired in tfte third and 
fourth petiiions ; mid seme lead tb it by aocideRt, atiid those are 
the freedom from evits expressed in the last petMon. The good 
things desired, either hat^P a dkiM influence upon our obtaining 
happiness; andk they are etimMcfd up in our unitMal obedtende 
to God's' win; eiqiressed in the third petition, ^ Let thy wift be 
done on eaith, as it isin heaven z*^ or tfiey ktt such as by way 
of s ufae eiv te ncy 'promote our happiness, and thase wer prey for in 
the fourth petition, << Give us this day our daily bread.'' And 
it ia obeewaMe then is bat one petieion far tempord Uesshigs, 
and it is the last in the order of those that concern good things. 
And that single petition is so.restrtuned, that it is evident by its 


teooiir^ ihit eartUy thiiigB are not absohiteljF good to be dcebed 
for theiiiaelTes, but relatively and subordinately to our etemd 
good. Daily bread we must ask of our heavenly Father, the 
iieoessary support of the present life^ without which we cannot 
exercise our internal or external powers and fiMuUicsi in his ser- 
vice ; but not delicacies and abudanoe for the luxurioas ap» 

The difference of conditions in the present world is very great: 
as in Pharaoh's dream, some ears of oem were so full and we^* 
ty, that they bended with their weight; others so thin and 
blasted, that they were as stubble far the fire. Thus some 
abound in all felicities possible in thif life, others are '^chastened 
every morning" under various and cootimial affliotioos. Now 
this infellible principle being planted in the heart, that all pre- 
sent things are to be improved with reelect to our future hap- 
piness, will moderate the affectioBs in |»osperity, so to use the 
world that we may enjoy God^ and make us not only patient, 
but pleased in adversities, as they ane prepa r ato r y for heaven. 

The original of all the sins and mieery of men, * is their per- 
verse abuse of things^ by turning the means into the end, setting 
their affections of love, desire, and joy upon sensible things, as 
their proper happiness, with i ncons i de r ate neglect af the spiritual 
eternal state, to which all other things should be subservient. 
As if one diseased and sickly in a fimrdgti coanlry, that could not 
possibly recover health but in his native air, in his return thither, 
invited by the pleasantness of the ura^ should take up his resi- 
dence in it, and never arrive to his own country. Amoqg the 
West Indians some are f reported to be awift in nmning^ that 
no horae can keq> paoe with them ; and they have a constant 
rule in their diet, to eat of no beast^ or bird or fish that is shm 
in motion, fancying it wonkl tr^isfiise a sluggjislmesB in them. 
The christian life is by the apostle compared to a race, and 
earthly things by an inseparable property of natue load and de- 
press the soul, that it cannot with vigour run the ^ ^ace set be- 
fore it.'* The ^ever therefore who intends '< for the high 
prize of his caUigga" and ia true to his end, frill ^'be temperate 

« Frsi est aaorealici^ rei iakerere pfopter t^^ass^ aCI a«tatt» 4ao4 
la iisum feoerit, ad id quod amai obtiqendma referre. <^sf • de Dut* CMkU 



ia all things.^' Nay^ he will not. only be eircumaiwct, lest ib&f 
ahould check with his great design, but wisely mani^ies them in 
subserviency to it. St* Paul ^^ charges them that are rich in 
this world, to do good, to be rich in good works, ready to distri- 
bute, willing to communicate, laying in store for themselves a 
good foundation against the time to come, that they nay lay hold 
of eternal life/' 1 Tim. 6. 18, 19. 

And the fixed aim at heaven, as onr fidicity, will reeoneiie an 
afiSicted state to us. When temporal evils are eflPeekual means 
to promote our everlastingliappiness; the amiaUeness and excel- 
lency of the end changes their nature, and makes those cdami- 
ties that in themselves. are intolnable, to become light and easy. 
" The poor, the mourners, the peieecuted are blessed now, be- 
eause theirs is the kingdom of heaven.'^ The aposlle, though 
under variety of sharp troubles, yet ex|»esses his sense with that 
mitigation, as but lightly touched with th^m : << as sorrowful, but 
alwfty» rejoicmg.'' From hence he teUs us, thai wiUi unfaanting 
courage he prosecuted his glorious end. ^^ For our light afflic- 
tions that are but for a moment, work fiir us a fur moie exceed- 
ing weight of gkvy.'' Tbis.9srioi]^y believedand considered, 
win make us imdeistand the harmony and consent of the most 
discordant parts of God's providence. This will reeondle the seve- 
rity and roughness of his hand, with the tender compassions of his 
heact towards his servants. Th» will dry up rivers of unprofiu 
Mb tears tlutt flow firom the afflicted, and make the cross of 
Christ a light burden. For their heaviest afflictions aise not only 
conmtent with his love, but the effei^ of it are influential upon 
their hannness. We are now tossed upon the alternate waves of 
time, but it is that we may anrive^at the port» the blessed bosom 
of onr Saviour, and enjoy a peaeefiil calm $ and '^so we shall be 
ever with the Lonl." Words, of infinite sweeUiass t This is the 
eong of our prosperity, and the diann of our advenity : weli 
might the apostle add immediately after^ <^ Therefore omnfort 
one another with these words.'^ 

4. The sincere choice of heaven as our final h^>pine8S, mil 
mtke us aspii^ to the greatest height of hdiness we aie capable 
of in the preset state. For the end has always a peweffld vir- 
tae totraasfiDmi aman into its likeness: and heaven is a state of 
perfiBct conformity to the holy Gm). This diffmnce is otoerva- 
1^ between the understanding and ^e will m their c]ic«ations.: 

4Zt ON HftAT£ir« CHAP. IX. 

the nnderstanding in forming conceptions ef ttiingsr, draws the 
obJMt to itaelf. The wiH is drawn by the object it chooses, and 
is always fashioning and framing the sou! into an entire confer- 
miCy to it. Thus carnal objects,; when popounded as the end of 
a man^ secretty imprint on him their likeness ; his thoughts^ rf- 
ibetions^ and whole eoirversation is carnal. As die psalraisc 
^eaks of the worshippers of idols, '^ they that make them are 
like unto them, so is every one that trusteth in them :" whatever 
we adore and esteem, we are dianged into its image. Idolaters 
are as stupid and senseless, as the idols to which they pay ho- 
mage. Thus when God' is chosen as oar supreme good mnd last 
end, by conversing with htm, the image of his gioriotts holiness 
is derived on the soul, and it becomes godly : the heart is drawn 
by bk attractive excelleiieies, and* die life direeted to him. This 
being apohit of great importance, I shall further pove and illus- 
trate it. There is no deliberating about the degrees of that 
which is loved for itself as our end. More or less may respect 
the means that are valued and used to obtain it, but the love ef 
the end is vast and unlimited. - A physician endeavours to reeo* 
ver his patient to sound and peiftet health, that being the end 
of his art. He that seeks for hon6ur or ricKes, is not content 
wtdi a me<lli<dcrfty of success^ but* drives on his aifeirs to the fell 
period of hi^ desilres. An ardent lover of learning with a mMe 
jealousy strives to exceK others in knowledge. In short, no iMm 
designs and longs for a thing as his happiness, but will use M 
diligence to gain the present and fell possession of it. Theiefere 
it cannot be imagmed that any person sincerely propounds tlie 
enjoyment ef heaven as his end, but love will make htnl' fervent 
and industriotts tiy be as heavenly as is possible here, ffc will 
strive by blessed and glbrions gi'adations, to ascend to the per^