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Full text of "Heaven upon earth; or, Jesus the best friend of man. With history of the Janeway family by F.A. Cox"

•• i 




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REV. F. A, COX, D,D., LL,0., 













EEV. F. A. COX, D.D. LL.D. 

The family of the Janeways is greatly distinguished in the 
annals of nonconformity for the number of its members who 
were devoted to the Christian ministry. Nearly all of them 
were eminent on account of their piety, zeal, and usefulness; 
and though we have reason to regret the scantiness of the ma- 
terials which furnish information respecting their lives and 
habits, enough has been spared by time to supply a few interest- 
ing details, and to suggest important lessons to posterity. Of 
such men the fragments should be gathered, that nothing be lost. 

The father of the more celebrated individuals, to wliom we 
refer, was William Janeway, originally of Lilloy, in Hertford- 
shire, but aftei-wards a resident in the village of Aspeden, or, 
as it is now called, Harpenden, to which place he removed 
about the year 1644. At length he became minister of Kel- 
sliall, where, after a severe spiritual conflict, he died in holy 
triumph, leaving a widow and eleven children. As we have 
not the means of tracing the particulars of liis life and labours, 
a valuable page from the record of his dying hours, in the 
biography of his son John, may be introduced with advan- 
tage, and will be appreciated by the pious reader. Being 
under dark apprehensions of mind in his last illness, he 
expressed himself in the following manner to his son : — 
" Oh, John ! this passing into eternity is a great thing; this 
dying is a solemn business, and enough to make any onu's heart 
ftche, that hath nut his pardon Healed and his evidences for 


heaven clp.ir. And truly, son, 1 am under no small fears as to 
my own estate for another world. Oh that God would clear 
his love ! Oh that I could say cheerfully, I can die ; and upon 
good grounds be able to look death in the face, and venture 
upon eternity with well-grounded peace and comfort !" His 
son, after making a suitable reply, which, however, did not re- 
store his peace, retired to solitar'y prayer, earnestly imploring 
that his beloved father might be filled with joy in believing, 
as a token for good in leaving the world. These Interces- 
sions were manifestly heard and answered by a very bright 
beam of the divine countenance. Upon returning to his father, 
the son inquix-ed how he felt himself. No answer was given ; 
but the departing saint, though little subject to such emotions, 
wept for a long time, in an extraordinary manner, till at last 
he broke forth in the language of impassioned exultation — " Oh., 
son! now it is come, it is come, it is come. I bless God I can 
die : the Spirit of God hath witnessed with my spirit that I am 
his child. Now I can look upon God as my dear Father, and 
Christ as my Redeemer: I can now say. This is my Friend, 
and this is my Beloved! My heart is full; it is brim full; I 
can hold no more. I know now what that sentence means, 
' The peace of God which passeth understanding.' I know now 
what that white stone is, whereon a new name is written, which 
none know but they who have it. And that fit of weeping 
which you saw me in w^as a fit of overpowering love and joy, 
so great, that I could not for my heart contain myself; neither 
can I express what glorious discoveries God hath made of 
himself unto me. And had that joy been greater, I question 
whether I could have borne it, and whether it would not have 
separated soul and body. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all 
that is within me bless his holy name, that hath pardoned all 
my sins, and sealed the pardon. He hath healed my wounds, 
and caused the bones which he had broken to rejoice. O help 
me to bless the Lord ! He hath put a new song into my mouth. 

bless the Lord for his infinite goodness and mercy ! Oh, now 

1 can die ! it is nothing; I bless God I can die. I desire to be 
dissolved, and to be with Christ." 

The eldest son was also named William Janoway. He was 
admitted to the university of Cambridge about 1650, and in all 
probability succeeded his father at Kelshall, as he resided there, 


j.nd was a preacher, in 1G.)7. He does not appear to have pos- 
t;essed the rectory ; if he did, it was only for a short time. 

John Jan?way, the next brother, was a most remarkable 
man. A tolerably fidl account of his life, and the circumstances 
of his death, written by his brother James, was some years 
ago republished, with a preface by the Rev. Robert Kail. Ho 
was born October 27, 1G33, at Lilley, and was successively edu- 
cated at Paul's School, Eton College, and King's College, Cam- 
bridge, of which he afterwards became a fellow. His reputa- 
tion was so great at the period of Ins admission, though only 
seventeen years of age, that the electors contended for the 
lionour of being his patron. Greatly advanced, however, as 
he was in literature, and equally distinguished for the modesty 
and courteousness of his deportment, the crowning excellence 
of his character, decided rehgion, was not attruned till the fol- 
lowing year. " The Lord was pleased," says his fraternal bio- 
graplier, " sweetly to unlock his he.art, by the exemplary life 
and heavenly and powerful discourse of a young man in the 
college, whose heart God had inflamed with love to his soul. 
He quickly made an attempt upon this hopeful young man, and 
the Spirit of God did set home his counsels with such power, 
th.at they proved effectual for his awakening, being accom- 
panied with the preaching of those two famous worthies, Dr. 
Hill and Dr. Arrowsmith, together with the reading of several 
parts of Mr. Baxter's " Saints' Everlasting Rest." 

No sooner did he become converted to God than he mani- 
fested the deepest interest in the spiritual condition of his 
bretlu-en and friends, speaking and writing to them in terms of 
extraordinary urgency and power. As a fellow of a college, 
he used his utmost cftbi-ts to promote religion in the minds of 
all with whom he came in contact, and over whom ho could 
exert the influence of a natural or official superiority. One 
who was intimately acquainted with him was accustomed to 
say that he was like deep waters that were most still — a man 
of hidden excellency. 

Upon the recommendation of the provost of his college, ho 
oni'agod for a time in the service of a family as private tutor, 
but ill health compelled him to relinquish his situation, and he 
retired to live in the country with his mother and brother. 
Many ai^prchensions were entertained that he would not live; 


but not only did he enjoy a perfect peace himself, he was the 
consoler and instructor of others around him, and of some at 
a distance, by his fervent pen, winged with holy words and 
heavenly pleadings. After he had in some measure recovered, 
the author of the following treatise states his renewed earnest- 
ness in the discharge of every duty, especially prayer and medi- 
tation. " His time," says he, " for that was commonly in the 
evening, when he usually walked into the field, if the weather 
would permit; if not, he retired into the church, or any empty 
solitary room, where (observing his constant practice, that, if 
possible, I might be acquainted with the reason of his retired- 
ness) I once hid myself, that I might take the more exact 
notice of the intercourse that I judged was kept up between 
him and God. But, oh! what a spectacle did I see! Surely a 
man walking with God, conversing intimately with his Maker, 
and maintaining a holy familiarity with the great Jehovah. 
Methought I saw one talking with God; — methought I saw a 
spiritual merchant in a heavenly exchange, driving a rich 
trade for the treasures of another world. Oh, what a glorious 
sight it was ! Methinks 1 see him still. How sweetly did his 
face shine ! Oh, with what a lovely countenance did he walk 
up and down ; his lips going, his body oft reaching up, as if he 
would have taken his flight into heaven ! His looks, smiles, 
and every motion spake him to be upon the very confines of 
glory. Oh, had one but known what he was then feeding on ! 
Sure he had meat to eat which the world knew not of! Did 
we but know how welcome God made him when he brought 
him into his banqueting-house. That which one might easily 
perceive his heart to be most fixed upon, was the infinite love of 
God in Christ to the poor lost sons and daughters of Adam. 
What else meant his high expressions 1 What else did his own 
words to a dear friend signify, but an extraordinary sense of 
the freeness, fulness, and duration of that love ? To use his 
own words : — * God,' said he, ' holds mine eyes most upon his 
goodness, and the promises which are most sure and firm in 
Christ. His love to us is greater, surer, fuller, than ours to 
ourselves. For when we loved ourselves so as to destroy our- 
selves, he loved us so as to save us.' " 

At the age of twenty-two, he devoted himself to the 
Christian ministry; a work for which he was eminently (juali- 


fied, not only by his intellectual attainments, but more espe- 
cially by the depth of his religious experience, and the ardour 
of his love for souls. It is remarkable, however, that he lived 
to preach only two sermons, the subject of which was — both 
being from the same text — ou communion with God. But in 
reality, almost every day was with him a Sabbath, and every 
conversation a sermon. The intensity of his sympathy with 
the spiritual condition of others, and the moral courage which 
impelled him onward in the path of duty and devotedness, were 
such, that he never hesitated to avow whatever he deemed 
right, or to rebuko whatever he considered wrong. He ex- 
hibited those extremes of excellence in character which, to 
men of the world, appear paradoxical, but which Christianity 
is fully capable of displaying in perfection; the 'amb-like grace 
of humility, with the lion-like virtue of fearlessness. 

That dreadful scourge of humanity, consumption, which had 
been long insidiously undennining his constitution, at length 
brought him to the grave in June 1657, at the early age of 
twenty-tl'.ree. His last sickness brought out in rich and beau- 
tiful manifestation those heavenly gi-aces that adorned his 
character. His death-bed was a field of triumjih; and as his 
ardent soul approached eternity, it seemed to catch the splen- 
dours of the invisible world, and reflect their glories around 
the dark valley, and upon every spectator of the rapturous 
scene. Never, perhaps, was piety more exalted, or victory 
over death more complete. He could not rein in the unwont- 
ed vehemence of his aflcctions and joy as his race was tei'- 
miuaiing, and the chariot wheels seemed, as it were, to bun* 
for tlio goal. 

" When one came to Aisit him,* and told him that he hoped 
it might i>loase God to raise him again, and that he had seen 
many a weaker man restored to health, and that lived many 
ft good year after: ' And do you think to please me,' said he, 
"by such discourse as this? No, friend, you are mucli mis- 
taken in ine, if you think that the thoughts of life, and honlth, 
and the world, are ])leasing to me. The world hath quite lost 
its excellency in my judgment. Oh, how contemptible a thing 
is it in all its glory, compared with the glory of that invisible 
■World which I now live in the sight of ! And as for lite, Cl.i'ist 
• The quotations are from liis brother James's narrutive. 


is mj' life, health, and strength; and I know I shall have 
duother kind of life when 1 leave this. I tell you it would in- 
comparably more please me, if you should say to me, Yoa 
are no man of this world: you cannot possibly hold out long: 
before to-morrow you will be in eternity. I tell you I do so 
long to be with Chi-ist, that I could be content to be cut in 
pieces, and to be put to the most exquisite torments, so I might 
but die and be with Christ. Oh, how sweet is Jesus ! Come 
Lord Jesus, come quickly. Death, do thy worst! Death hath 
lost its terribleness. Death; it is nothing. I say, death is 
nothing, through grace, to me. I can as easily die as shut 
my eyes, or turn my head and sleep: I long to be with Christ: 
1 long ;o die.' 

<» * • " I verily believe that it exceeds the highest rhetoric 
to set out to the life what this heavenly creature did then de- 
liver. I say again, I want words to speak, and so did he, for he 
said things unutterable; but yet, so much he spake, as justly 
drew the admiration of all that saw him; and 1 heard an old ex- 
pei'ieuced Christian minister say it again and again, that he 
never saw, nor read, nor heard, the like. Neither could we ever 
expect to see the glories of heaven more demonstrated to sense 
in this woi"ld. He talked as if he had been in the third heavens." 

After introducing several impassioned expressions and sen- 
tences, the biographer proceeds: — "About eight-and-forty 
hours before his death, his eyes were dim, and his eight much 
failed; his jaws shock and trembled, and his feet were cold, 
and all the symptoms of death were upon him, and his extreme 
parts were already almost dead and senseless; and yet, even 
then, his joys were, if possible, greater still. He had so 
many fits of joy unspeakable, that he seemed to be in one 
continued act of seraphic love and praise. He spake like one 
that was just entering into the gates of the new Jerusalem; 
the greatest part of him was now in heaven ; not a word dropped 
Irom his mouth but it breathed Christ and heaven. what 
encouragements did he give to them which did stand by, to 
fnllow hard after God, and to follow Christ in a humble, be- 
lieving, zealous course of life, and adding all diligence to make 
their calling and election sure, and that when they also should 
fiud that they should lutve a glorious passage into a blessed 
eternity ! 


• • • "One rare passage I canuot omit, which was this: 
t!.:it when miuisters or Clu'istians came to him, he would beg 
of them to spend all the time they had with hiin in praise. 
'O help me to praise God; I have now nothing else to do, 
ivom tiiis time to eternity, but to praise and love God. I have 
v.hat my soul desires upon earth. I cannot tell what to pray 
lor, but what I have graciously given in. The wants that are 
capable of supplying in this world are supplied. 1 want but 
one tiling, and that is, a speedy litt to heaven. I expect no 
more here, 1 cannot desire more, I cannot hear more. Oh, 
praise, praise, praise that infinite, boundless love, that hath, to 
a wonder, looked upon my soul, and done more for me than 
tliousands of his dear children. Oil, bless the Lord, my 
soul, and all that is within me, bless his Jioly name. Oh, help 
me, help me, my friends, to praise and admire him that 
liatli done such astonishing wonders for my soul; he hath par- 
doned all my sins, he hath filled me with his goodness, he hath 
given me grace and glory, and uo good thing hath he with- 
held from me.' 

"' Come, help me with praises, all that's little; come, help 
me, ye glorious and mighty angels, who are so well skilled 
in tliis heavenly work of praise ! Praise liim, ail ye creatures 
upon the earth; let everything that hath being help me to 
praise him ! Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah ! Praise is now 
ray work, ami I shall be eugagtd in that sweet employment 
for ever. Bring the Bible; turn to David's Psalms, and let 
us sing a psalm of praise. Come, let us lift up our voice in 
tlie praise of the ilost lligh;l with you as long as my breath 
dotli last, and when I h.^ve none, I shall do it better.' " 

He took leave of the several members of his family, one by 
one, iu affectionate addresses. " Then," adils his brother and 
biograplier, " that godly minister came to give him his last 
\"isit, and to do the office of an inferior angel — to help to con- 
vey liis blessed soul to glory, wlio was now even upon Mount 
Pisgah, and had a full sight of that goodly land at a little 
distance. When this minister spoke to him, his heart was in 
a mighty flame of love and joy, which drew tears of joy from 
tliat precious minister, being almost amazed to licar a man 
iuht a-dying talk as if he hud been with Jesus, and come ircim 
the immediate presence of God. Oh, the smiles that were tlitu 


in his face, and the unspeakable joy that was in his heart ! 
One might have read grace and glory in such a man's counte- 
nance. Oh, the praise, the triumphant praises, that he put up ! 
And every one must speak praise about him, or else they did 
make some jar in his harmony. And indeed most did, as well 
as they could, help him in praise ; so that I never heard nor 
knew any more praise given to God in one room than in his 

■' A little before he died, in the prayer, or rather praises, 
he was so wrapt up with admiration and joy, that he could 
scarce forbear shouting for joy. In the conclusion of the 
duty, with abundance of faith and fervency, he said aloud. 
Amen, amen !" 

After contemplating such a scene of elevation and rapture, 
it is not easy at once to descend to the commonplaces of chro- 
nological detail, or a scanty memorial of kindred worth; but 
the next brother, James, the recorder of these affecting scenes, 
was himself a large partaker of the character of him on whose 
excellence he expatiates, and greatly assimilated in the joys 
and triumphs of his departure. Passing his name for a mo- 
ment, we will refer to the next in order, Abraham Janeway. 
He was a preacher in London, previous to the period of the 
plague; but being of a contemplative turn of mind, which 
somewhat unfitted him for very active or public exertions, he 
retired with his wife to live with his mother or mother-in-law 
at Buntingford, in Huntingdonshire. His Presbyterian prin- 
ciples, however, being notorious, he was seized by Justice 
Crouch, under a pretence of friendship ; but having made his 
escape from the grasp of the persecutor, he s'lnk under the 
family complaint of consumption, in September 1665. "Though 
he died that very week in which the plague was at the highest, 
(thei'e being no fewer than 7165 persons who died of the sick- 
ness in that one week,) yet he did not die of that distemper, 
for which his brother and other relations were vei-y thankful, 
Mr. Vincent says of him, ' He was a righteous person, a right- 
eous minister, a dear brother, taken away in tlie flower of his 
years. He was a merciful man, and sho''.ed great pity and 
compassion to souls; was earnest with them to leave their 
sins and close with Christ. He spent himself, and hasteneil 
hiso.vn death, to keep others from perishing everlastingly. 


lie was an upright man, a true-heavted Natlianael, and one- of 
very promising hopes for very considerable usefulness.' "* 

Joseph Janeway was the youngest of the fraternal band, and 
a Conformist. In this only, we believe, did he essentially 
difTer from the rest. It is a striking fact that all of tlieni 
were consumptive, all died under the age of forty, and all were 
pious men. 

James Janeway, to whom we cursorily referred as next in 
chronological order to John, and an account of whom we re- 
served, as being more especially connected with the present 
publication, was born at Lilley. He became a student in 
Christ-church, Oxford, in 10'55, where he took the degrees in 
arts in due time. At the close of his pursuits in the univer- 
sity, he went to reside in his mother's house at VVindsoi-, 
and devoted himself to private tuition. It is probable he had 
no benefice, but, as a Nonconformist, was silenced by the act 
of 1662. During the plague he was indefatigable in preaching 
the gospel, but escaped the contagion. As soon as he sup- 
posed the persecuting spirit of the age allowed, a chapel, or 
meeting-house as it was then termed, was erected for him in 
Jamaica Row, Rotherhithe. It was, however, pulled down 
by the soldiers; but the people built another on the same spot 
upon a larger scale. He had numerous and respectable 
audiences, and was the honoured instrument of effecting a 
great reformation in the neighbourhood. t 

Tlie high pai'ty, being exceedingly exasperated at his popu- 
larity and success, made several attempts on his life. On one 
occasion, as he was walking along the wall at Rotherhithe, 
he had a narrow escape from a shot. The bullet went through 
his hat, but inflicted no personal injury. At another time, 
the soldiers broke into his meeting-house, exclaiming, as tliey 
))ressod through the crowd, "Down with liini! down with 
him !" Tiioy jumped upon a form or bench, with the view of 
pulling him out of the pulpit, but providciilially the bench 

• Calamy's continuation of liis iiccouiit of Ijcctcd .Ministers. Tlic \U'v. 
Nathaniicl Vincent refeiTed to, iiroaclied liis funcnil scnnon, wliicli is jmli- 
ll.slifd at tlio end of a tract, entitled, "God's Terrible Voiec in the City." 

t Tliiscon(,'ie«iition j.Tii<liiidly declined diiiln;; many years, till scarcely 
any hearers were left. This indnced the new jiastor, Dr. Khixnian, to re- 
RJirn In 178", when the pcoi)le dispersed. Sec Wilson's Ui.sf. and .\iiti(i. of 
Lii^onling ChurJics, vol. 4. 



gave way. The confusion which ensued afforded an oppor- 
tunity of escape; for some of his friends threw a coloured coat 
over him, and put a white hat on his liead. The mob, how- 
ever, probably misled as to his person by the clever decep-tion, 
seized upon one of his people, Mr. Kentish, and carried him 
away to the Marshalsea prison, where he was confined for a 
considerable time. It is supposed this was Mr. Richard 
Kentish, who had been ejected from St. Katherine's, in the 
Tower.* A farther attempt was made to secure him when 
engaged in preaching at a gardener's house. The troopei's, 
having dismounted, rushed into the premises, but he had time 
to throw himself upon the ground, where his friends, inter- 
cepting the soldiei's, concealed him so effectually from them, 
by covering him with cabbage-leave;, that he again escaped. 
He died in the prime of life, on March 16th, 1674, in the thirty- 
eighth year of his age, and was buried in St. Mary's Church, 
Aldermanbury, near his father .t 

The Rev. Nathanael Vincent, before mentioned, who ap- 
pears to have been intimately acquainted with the Janeway 
family, preached a funeral sermon for him, entitled, " The 
Saint's Triumph over the last Enemy;" to which he prefixed 
an address to the congregation, expressive of the highest esti- 
mate of his character. "Oh," he exclaims, "what a friend 
did you lose when yom' pastor was snatched from you ! You 
were as dear as his own soul ! How did he pray, and weep, and 
preach, and labour, and all to this end, that you might be sin- 
cere convei'ts, and work out your own salvation. Very few 
could match my brother Janeway in zeal, in compassion, in 
holy activity, in affection, in sincerity. He sought not yours, 
but you, and desired ten thousand times more to gain souls 
than ought beside. He endeavoured to debase the world in 
your esteem, and it was low in his own; he strived to raise 
your affections heavenward, and there was his heart and trea- 
sure. Christ he loved, in Christ he believed; Christ he preach- 

♦ Palmer's Noncon. Sremorial. 

t It is porliaijs scarcely worth -niiUe, even in a note, to cite the charac- 
teristic scurrility of Anthony Wood; yet it is insfractive. "He set up a 
conventicle," says he, "at Redrift, near London, where, to the time of his 
death, he was much resorted to by those of his persuasion, and admired 
(IS a forward and preciims young man, especially by those of the femala 
Sex." Wood's Ath. Oxon. 


el, Clirist he commended. And liinv did lie rojuice when any 
tiiat before rejected the Lord Jesus were persuaded to give 
tiieir consents to him." The discourse itself is throughout an 
excellent specimen of Puritanic simplicity and power. It dis- 
plays, moreover, a great deal of ingenuity. At the close of it 
he enters into considerable detail respecting his character and 
the circumstances of his death, the fidelity of which we can- 
iKjt question. These sketches are fraught with an interest 
that will more than justify their transcription. 

" AV'hat 1 have to say concerning my dear deceased brother, 
I shall speak in this order. I shall tell you wherein the Lord 
made him to excel in his lifetime, and what his carriage was 
at his dejiarture. 

" For the fii-st there are those following particulars very 

"1. Great was the sweetness of his natural temper and dis- 
position. And his excellence of nature was very much 
heightened and ennobled by the grace of God. He was far 
from morosencss and bitterness of spirit; candour was to be 
discerned in his very countenance, and by conversing with 
him it was much more apparent; and in his kindness and affa 
bility, and proneness to oblige, he had a design of good uj)Oi 
souls, for he knew he could not uku'c oblige any than to en- 
deavour their eternal welfare. 

" 2. He made it his business to be religious. He practised 
himself what he preached to others, and was a follower of 
Christ, as ho exhorted others to follow him His works were 
good as well as his words; and oh, how oft and seriously did 
ho lift up his soul to God, desii'ing nothing more than to be a 
man and pastor after the heart of the Lord ! 

" ;>. Jle was a serious mourner for the decays of godliness in 
thi.i bauLsliding age. How would lie mention the old Puritan 
strictness and circumspection, and bewail the excesses nnd 
licentiousness of professors ! 

" 4. His heart was inflamed icilh lore to Chri.ft. And thougli 
his affections were so strong and vehement, yet they wure 
fclill aspiring higher. His expressions sometimes showed un- 
usual ra[)tur<'s and eestacics of love. He would beg tliat ho 
might (Mjual I'aiil oi John, nay, tlie very serajihinis, in loving, 
that he niiglit be sick and die of love. Blessed soul, tlmu 


luist now tliy fill ! Thou lovest thy Lord uow, and enjoye; t 
this love to the uttermost of thy capacity ! 

" 5. His howcls of compassion yearned toicards immortal 
sotds. He knew the worth of his own, and the souls of others ; 
and as he was acquainted with the value of souls, so he was 
sensible of their danger. How earnestly would he warn them 
to flee from future wrath! How eagerly and sweetly would he 
woo them to give their consents to be espoused to Christ ! 
How admirably would he expostulate with them concerning 
their egregious folly in refusing! He pitied the souls of all, — 
old and young ; nay, he was deeply concerned for little chil 
dren : witness those books which he styles tolxns for them. 

" 6 Jle laboured abundantly, spending himself in his Master''s 
worlc. If he had wrought less, he might in all probability have 
lived longer; but he chose rather, like the candle, to consume, 
that he might give light to others. He preached, he visited, 
lie catechised; he was instant in season, out of season; and 
truly the i.orfl honoured him exceedingly in making him in- 
strumental lo convej't the profane, to strengthen the weak in 
grace, to ^jieak comfortable and healing words to the dis- 
tressed and wounded in their spirits. 

" 7 Ht was a man mighty in p/raj/er. There was an ele- 
gant (ei<i(|aent?) fiuency in his expression, both when ho 
prayed and preached; but, oh, the spiritual and heavenly mat- 
ter was most to be admired. Augustine tells us of a certain 
person who prayed as if he would expirare orando — breathe 
out his very soul and life in prayer, and adds, quas tuorum 
preces si non has exandis. What supplications will be preva- 
lent if not such as these l This may be applied to my brother 
Janeway. He was a mighty wrestler with God, and would 
not be put off without a blessing. 

" 8. Jle was much for unity and love. Though, accordirg 
as it was foretold, love is grown so cold in most, it was warm 
in him. He followed peace as well as holiness, and was of a 
most yielding spirit, ready, as far as he might, to comply wiih 
any, rather than a breach should be or be contiinied. 

" 9. Jle abounded in ivorks of charity, having seriously poii- 
dered that saying of our Lord, 'It is more blessed to give 
I'laii to receive.' As he was liberal in imparting the treasure 
of the gospel, so of his own substance which God bad given 


li'm. It was his constant course, whatever he received, to £;ive 
two shilHngs in the pound, that is, the tenth, unto good uses. 
He endeavoured to persuade otliers to bo charitable. Tlie 
widows and the fatherless had a great interest in his compas- 
sions, and may well bewail his departui-e, by whom now tiiey 
can be no more relieved. 

" ](). Which crowned all his other excellences, he teas ex- 
ceeding hmnUe. He was much in praising, admiring, and 
adoring God, and had very low thoughts of himself, and in 
honour prelerred oth.ers before himself. He would say he 
was the least of ministers, less than the least of all saints. 

" In these particulars you have something of his character, 
but the half has not been told you; yet enough has been said 
to make you sensible how heavy the stroke was which took him 
away. The loss of him is not only his relations' loss, but 
Redi-iff's (Rothcrhithe's) loss, London's loss, England's loss, 
the church's loss; for he was of such a pubhc spirit tliat all 
are like to miss hini, 

" in the next ^jlace, I am to speak of his carriage at his 

" He had a great conflict with Satan somcwhile before his 
leaving the world ; and truly 1 do not wonder that the devil 
should butt"et him who had with such vigour and success en- 
deavoured to overthrow his kingdom. To prei)arc him for 
the encounter, the Lord at first did shine upon his soul, and 
gave him some assurance that heaven was his inheritance. 
But afterwards there intervened a cloud, and Satan's chain 
was lengtliened. That liou roared upon him, and endeavour- 
ed to disturb his peace. Tiie great thing he blamed himself 
for was liis aptness to slubber over private duties, since he 
\va.s so much engaged iu public work. The accuser of the 
brethren wa-s very fierce in his accusations, and so far pre- 
vailed, that Mr. Janoway cried out, / am at ivjinite uncertain 
tieis as to my future state. I thour/ht I Juid been sincere, but 
Satan tells viel /u^re been a hypocrite; and then added, WluU- 
ever you do, do not dally in reli'jion; it is only rjodiiness in 
the power of it that can strengthen against tlic fear of death. 
Satan would not yet give over, but having begun fr) batter 
his faith, gives a fresh assault; then, with a monrnlul voice, 
be cried out, Eternity t Eternilyt Ele)~nityl Infuiilel Infinite/ 


Infinite 1 Everlast'mf) I Everlasting! Everlasting! A relation 
that stood by added, An eternity of glory! To which he re- 
plied, Of horror I of horror! unspeahable horror ! 

" This was, his conflict, and truly it was a sore one. But 
after this blackest darkness followed the break of day. Satan 
prevailed so far, that he might be the more remarkably foiled, 
for the God of peace did 'tread the evil one under his feet * 
The Comforter, even the Spirit of Truth, did visit him, an.l 
bare witness with his spirit that he was a child of God, ami 
helped him to discern and look back upon the uprightness of 
his heart with satisfaction. 

" Not long before he died, he blessed God for the assurance 
of his love, and said. He could now as easily die as shut /<«> 
eyes; and added, Mere am I longing to be silent in t?ie dust, 
und enjoying Christ in glory. I long to he in the arms of Jesus. 
It is not worth while to loeep for me. Then, remembering how 
busy the devil had been about him, he was exceeding thank- 
ful to God for his goodness in rebuking him. 

" Afterwards, he brake forth, sayinj^, though so v.-eak, with a 
loud voice, Arr„cn! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! and desired others 
to join with him; which they not presently doing, he added, 
James Janeway is the only singe): He was quickly seized upon 
with another rapture of jnj', and thus expressed it. Millions of 
praises to the most high Jcliovah ! Heaven and earth praise him ! 
Ye m,ountains and hills praise him ! All his hosts praise him I 
A II ye saints bless liim, who hath visited us in our low estate, 
and redeemed us unto himself! All must be ascribed to free 
grace, from the beginning to tlie end. 

" Then he begged of God that he would bless his people, and 
take away animosities and names of division from among them. 
These were the last words which he was heard to speak 

" Thus triumphantly he went to glory. Thus an abundant 
entrance was administered to him into the everlasting kingdom ! 
But if his joy and praises were such before he was got quite 
thither, when he was actually come within heaven's gate, and 
first saw the Loi'd face to face, oh, who can conceive his joy 
and wonder!" 

To some pei-sons it may seem mysterious that so eminent a 
servant of Jesus Chi-ist should have been so agonized, as the 


preN-ious account represents him to have been, with appre- 
hensions of an a\\-ful eternity, and with suspicions of his own 
suicerity in religion. But all Christians are more or less sub- 
jected to the temptations of Satan, and often the more exalted 
the character, the more severe is the trial. In general this 
may have a tendency to produce beneficial searchings of heart, 
and to perfect piety, by inducing watchfulness, increasing 
diUgence and prayer. It is part of that parental discipline by 
which our heavenly Father trains his children for heaven, and 
detaches their too deeply rooted affections from the soil of 
eai-th. Rough is the instinmient indeed,, but kind the purpose, 
that plucks them up, for their predestined transplantation to 
a better place and more congenial skies. And they learn not 
to repine, and not to mistake his gracious deahngs, when they 
realize the effects in their happy experience. Consistently 
with the same principle in the divine proceedings, he suffers 
Satan to molest, in some instances, their dying hours — it may 
be, to exterminate some latent evil, to subdue yet unex- 
tinguished pride, to conquer some -'^If-seeking passion, or to 
give an intensity of feeling to the hour of final triumph, which 
shall clear the mind of every past apprehension, every recent 
consideration, and tend to the confii-mation of religion in sur 
viving friends and a distant posterity. 

But we have not uufrequently to encounter an objection of 
a different kuid, when the world, or even professing Christians 
insinuate tlie charge of enthusiasm against the sublime ardour 
of an impassioned religion. On this subject we may quote 
the observations of a distinguished writer, in his brief preface 
to the modem edition of John Janeway's life, as equally appli 
cable to the closing scene of James, as just narrated. " I am 
aware that some will object to the stram of devout ecstacy 
which characterizes the sentiments and language of Mr. Jane- 
way in his dying moments; but I am persuaded they will meet 
with nothing, however ecstatic and elevated, but what corre- 
sponds to the dictates of Scripture and the aualogyof faith. 
He who recollects that the Scriptures speak of a peace which 
passeth all understanding, and of a joy unspeakable and full 
of (jlor-ij, will not be offended at the lively expressions of those 
contained in this narrative; ho will bo more disposed to lament 
the low state of his own religious feeling, than to suspect the 


propriety of sentiments the most rational and scriptural, merely 
because they rise to a pitch that he has never reached. The 
sacred oracles afford no countenance to the supposition that 
devotional feelings are to be condemned as visionary and en 
thusiastic, merely on account of their intenseness and elevation: 
provided they be of a riglit kind, and spring from legitimate 
sources, they never teach us to expect they can be carried too 
far. David danced before the Lord with all his might, and 
wljen he was reproaclied for degrading himself in the eyes of 
the people, by indulging these transports, he replied, " If this 
be to be vile, I will yet maJce myself more vile." That the ob- 
jects which interest the heart in religion are infinitely more 
durable and important than all others, will not be disputed ; 
and why should it be deemed iri'ational to be affected by them 
in a degree somewhat suitable to their value, especially in the 
near prospect of their full and perfect possession? Why should 
it be deemed strange or irrational for a dying saint, who haa 
spent his life in the pui-suit of immortal good, to feel an un- 
speakable ecstacy at fir/'!ng he has just touched the goal, 
finished his course, and in a few moments is to be crowned 
with life everlasting? While he dwells on the inconceiveablj 
glorious prospect before him, and feels himself lost in wondei 
and gratitude, and almost oppressed viith a sense of his un 
utterable obligations to the love of his Creator and Redeemer 
nothing can be more natural and proper than his sentiment? 
and conduct. AVhile the Scriptures retain their rank as the 
only rule of faith and practice; while there are those who feel 
the power of true religion, such death-bed scenes as Mr. Jane- 
way's will be contemplated with veneration and delight. It 
affords no inconsiderable confirmation of the truth of Chris- 
tianity, that the most celebrated sages of Pagan antiquity, 
whose last moments have been exhibited with inimitable pro- 
priety and beauty, present nothing similar nor equal, nothing 
of that singular combination of humility and devotion, that 
self -renouncing greatness, in which the creature appears an- 
nihilated, and God all in all 

" Let me be permitted, however, to observe, that ihe ex- 
perience of Mr. Janeway in his last moments, while it de- 
velopes the native tendency of Christianity, is not to be con- 
sidered as a standard to ordinary Christians. He affords a 


fjtvat cxaini)le of what is aftainaLle in religion, and not of 
what is indisj)ensably necessary to salvation. Thousands die 
in the Lord, who are not indulged with the privilege of dying 
in triumph. Ilis extraordinary diligence in the whole of his 
Christian cai-eer, his tenderness of conscience, his constant 
vigilance, his vehement hunger and thirst after righteousness, 
met with a signal reward, intended, probably, not more for 
his own personal advantage, than as a persuasion to others to 
walk in his steps. As he was incessantly solicitous to improve 
ilis graces, jmrify his principles, and perfect holiness Lu the 
fear of the Lord, no \\onder he was favoured with an abun- 
dant entrance into the joy of his Lord. He which soiveth 
sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which sowcth 
bountifully shall reap also lountifully."* 

Of the vai'ious publications issued by Mr. Janeway,t the 
most celebrated ai'e the " Token for Children," and " Heaven 
upon Earth." The former obtained a wide circulation during 
the ai>thor's lifetime, and has ever since continued to interest 
and benefit our juvenile population. With the latter we ha^e 
now more immediate concern, as being republished in the 
present volume. It is not free from the defects which charac- 
terize the wTitings of that age; but though somewhat quaint, 
inmiethodical, and prolix, it is replete with sterling sense and 
powerful appeal. Few pious persons can read it without 
benefit; and could the irreligious be persuaded to peruse its 
pages, we should anticipate a happy result. He who could 
have written thus must have been an excelleut Christian and 
a sound divine. 

It appears from the epistle to the readei', that the events 
which most deeply impressed Mr. Janeway's mind, and were 
the immediate occasion of his composing this treatise, were the 

• Robert Hall. 

t 1. Heaven upon Earth. 2. Token for CliUdren; in two parts. 3. Deatli 
Unstiui«; u Kiuierul Sermon for Thomas Mouslcy, an Apotliceary. 4. In- 
visihle lieahtics, demonstrated in the lioly Life and Death of Mr. Jolin Jane- 
way, li;":!. 5. Tlie Saints' EncouraRement to Dillgenec in Christ's Service, 
KiTS. C. Let'aey to his Friends ; containing '27 famous Instances of God's 
]irovldence in and aliout sea dan^'ers and deliverances, 1674. 7. Saints' 
Memorials, 1(J71. 8. Tlie Duties of Musters and Servants; u Sermon in 
su])plement to .Morning Exercises, 1G74. 9. Man's last End ; a I'uneral 
Sermon on I's. Ixxxiv. 8, lG7i;. 10. The Murderer punished and pardoned ; 
\,ith tile Life and Death uf T. Savai;e. 


Plague and the Great Fire of London. The former took place 
in 1665; the latter in the autumn of 1666. These domestic 
incidents were accompanied by others of a calamitous nature, 
affecting the social condition of the people, and the political 
welfare of the empire. Seldom, mdeed, have the clouds 
gathered more thickly over the land, or burst in more alarm- 
ing tempests. Political misrule, ecclesiastical oppression, and 
court profligacy, darkened the whole scene; while Providence 
spoke in accents of thunder to a nation that seemed to be 
doomed to destruction. 

The times of Charles the Second were replete with mani- 
fold evidences of the great mistake of the Restoration, Avhile 
the Church of God, though at first filled with dismay, soon 
found occasion to display the sublimity of her character, in 
consequence of the Act of Uniformity in 1C62. Never was 
there a severer attack upon conscience, and never a nobler 
victory achieved, without a battle or a sword. Persecution 
issued her edict, and Christianity went forth armed with glory 
and honour, in the persons of her two thousand self-denying 
heroes, who, like their renowned predecessors, " rejoiced that 
they were counted worthy to suffer shame for the name of 

Some time afterwards, the Conventicle Act was passed, by 
which the Nonconformists were prohibited from attending any 
places of worship excepting those of the established religion, 
without incurring, by a graduated scale of punishment, various 
and monstrous penalties. The execution of this edict having been 
committed to the King's forces, as well as the civil authorities, 
the prisons soon became crowded with the victims of fanaticid 
intolerance and military despotism. In Scotland, its atrocious 
oppressiveness chiefly affected the Presbyterians. " Invigora- 
ted," says an able historian, " by the Scotch Conventicle Act, 
Archbishop Sharp ' drove very violently,' establishing what 
proved to be a high commission court, — one of the worst 
tyrannies cast down by the civil war, — and persecuting his 
former brethren of the kirk without pity, and without calcula- 
tion of the personal danger he was thereby incui'ring. The 
aspiring churchman, not satisfied with his immense and uncon- 
stitutional ecclesiastical powers, attempted to get himself made 
the head of the law in Scotland; and though he failed in this, 


his creature, the Lord Rothes, was made Chancellor; and 
Rothes browbeat the magistrates and lawyers, and twisted the 
law as Sharp thought fit. The prisons in Scotland were soon 
crammed hke those of England, the prisonci-s meeting witli 
still worse usage. Sometimes they were fined, and the younger 
sort whipped about the streets. Troops were quartered through- 
out the country to force the people to respect the bishops, tiio 
liturgy, and the new-imposed Episcopalian preachers. These 
troops were commanded by Sir James Turner, ' who was na- 
turally fierce, but he was mad when he was drunk, and that 
was very often.' He scoured the country, and received such 
lists as the new ministers brought him of those who would not 
go to church, and use the Book of Common Prayer; and then, 
without any proof or legal conviction, he fined them according 
to tlieir substance or his own caprice, and sent soldiers to live 
upon them till the fines were paid."* 

At this crisis a Dutch war commenced, in consequence of 
the seizure of some of their settlements on the coast of Africa. 
The commercial jealousy of the merchants of England, the 
mercenary spirit of the king, and the pride of the people, con- 
spired to stimulate this hostility ; supplies were voted, and 
ficets prepared. But this direful moment of a nation's fury 
was signalised by a nation's humiliation; for what has been 
emphatically termed the Plague of London broke out, by which 
calamity thousands and tens of thousands perished. Thus 
were the circumstances analngous to those of Greece, when, 
about four hundred and thirty years before the Christian era, 
a plague raged at Athens, the most dreadful perhaps recorded 
in history, while the Peloponnesians, under the command of 
Archidamus, laid waste the surrounding tcn-itory. 

It appears from authentic documents, that the plague was 
imported from Holland, the prohibition of parliament to intro- 
duce merchandise from that then infected country havinf been 
in some instances disregarded. The evil was small in its com- 
mencement, but rapid in its diffusion. At the close of 1664, 
two or three persons died suddetdy in Westminster, and upon 
examination, it proved to have been occasioned by this fearful 
malady. Many of their neighbours, seized with alami, in- 
bUmtly removed into the city; but ins'ead of escaping from 
* I'ict. IliBt. of England, voL iii. p. 091. 


tlie calamit}', carried it with them, and multiplied its hnrrorss 
by spreading it on every hand. Though somewhat cliecked 
for a season by measures taken to prevent intercommunication 
as far as possible, and by the severities of a hard winter, it 
re-appeared in the middle of February 1665, when it was a 
second time checked; but in the ensuing April, it broke out 
with renew'ed power and malignity. A very large proportion 
of the houses in the city were sluit up, having this deprecating 
inscription, in conspicuous letters, on their walls, " The Lord 
have mercy upon us !" But the plague-monster heeded not 
these precautions, or these ominous tablets; on the contrary, he 
continued to slay his thousands, and achieved his direful con- 
quests by the pent-up air generating the contagion, or impart- 
ing to it an unwonted intensity of destructive strength. While 
many perished, others, forcing their way out in utter despair, 
spread abroad the virus, and scattered mischief, misery, and 
death wherever they flew. At the height of the disorder, the 
carts moved about, creaking and rumbling through every part 
of the metropolis, with each its melancholy tinkling death-bell, 
while the grave-diggers uttered, in sepulchral tone, — " Bring 
out your dead !" Where the feet of many generations had 
multitudinously and joyouslj' pressed the ground, for business, 
for mirth, or the thousand purposes of life, the grass grew in 
the untrodden street; the clergy forsook their pulpits, and 
desolation and ghastly horror sat enthroned amidst the mean- 
ings of living agony, and the awful silence of the piled-up 
monumental dead. All men became naturally anxious to 
escape from this region of woe; merchants and owners of 
ships sought a refuge on board their respective vessels in the 
river, at Greenwich, Woolwich, and other places, while others 
rushed to distant parts of the country, to find a secure asylum. 
It is observable that while the pulpits of the regular clergy 
were vacated, and their usual sphere of labours entirely aban 
doned, the pei-secuted Nonconformists re-entered the very . 
churches from which they had been driven, and, inspired with 
the love of souls, hesitated not to face the formidable danger 
and to administer spiritual instruction to the sick and dying. 
" Knowing the terrors of the Lord," they sought even then 
"to persuade men;" and with a moral heroism that brightly 
displayed the chai'acter of true Christianity, they stood in the 


very territories of the pale mouarch with his spectral terrcr.>, 
to exhibit the Ci'oss and proclaim the great salvation. 

At this very moment, incredible as it may seem, the Kino- 
of Eufrland, havinir with his minions removed to Oxford from 
dread of the plague, not only continued his dissolute course of 
life, but devised, with the aid of his court, clergy, and par- 
liament, another scheme of vengeance against the very men 
who had been expelled from their benefices, and were now 
acting as the ministering angels of heaven's beneficence to 
the perishing subjects of the realm, by enacting the Five Mile 
Act, the object of which was to mal;c it penal for any Non- 
confoi-mist minister to teach in a school, or come within five 
miles (except as a traveller) of any city, borough^ or corporate 
town, or any place whatever in which he had preached or 
taught since the passing of the Act of Uniformity, unless he 
had previously taken the oath of non-residence. Not satisfied 
with this, a bill was bi-ought into the House of Commons, for 
imposing the oath of non-resistance upon the whole nation, 
which tlie Oxford parliament would have passed, but for the 
I'cmarkable circumstance of Peregrine Bcrtrie being that 
moi-ning only introduced into the House by his brother, made 
Earl of Lindsay, and Sir Thomas Osborne, then created Lord 
Ti'easurer Dauby, who gave their votes against it: thus, as it 
has been said, *' tliree voices had the merit of saving their 
country from the greatest ignominy that could have befallen 
it — that of riveting as well as forging its own chains." la 
reference to this melancholy state of affairs, Baxter exclaims, 
" So little did the sense of God's terrible judgments, or of the 
necessities of many hundred thousand ignorant souls, or the 
groans of tiie poor people for the teaching which they had 
lost, or the fear of the great and final reckoning, afl'ect the 
hearts of tlic prelatists, or stop them in tlieir way." 

The Dutch war was not only prolonged, at tliis crisis, but 
attended by a new calamity to England, the junction of the 
Erench with their enemies. Fleets were prepared on either 
side, ami met in iiostile array. The Duke of Albemarle and 
Prince Itupert were the British commanders, and the cele- 
brated Do lliiyter and Van Troiiip headed tiie antagonist force. 
A fiea-light ensued of four days; one of the most memor;i!)Ic 
engagements in Engli.sh history. Two circumstances sulU- 


cientiy elucidate the madness of the individuals in those na- 
tional struggles. When, on the third morning, the English  possible 
even for the greatest genius to attain to any considerable ele- 
vation, before the shadows of the last evening overtake him. 
But since everything is fully known, and known at once, by 
the Divine mind, it cannot be more difficult, consequently is 
not less probable, that all the separate points in universal 
nature should be carefully observed, all the movements and 
changes that spring from material combinations, and all the 
proceedings of intelligent beings should be regulated, than 
that any one point is seen, any one movement ordered, any 
one proceeding directed. It is no greater exertion of mind to 
Omniscience to superintend each subdivision, of existence 
than to direct the whole ; nor can any confusion arise from 
such an observance to perjjlex an Infinite Intelligence. 

Unquestionably too, an equal necessity is apparent in either 
case. General harmony must result from particular order : 
the machine cannot produce the expected result, unless the 
intermediate movements are correct ; the chorus will not be 
complete if the separate parts be ill adjusted, or any one be 
entirely omitted. Supposing a general pi-ovidence to super- 
intend the universe at large in such a manner as to effect the 
happiest final issue, such a termination can only be secured 
by "making all things work together" for the ultimate 
"good." Disarrangement in the least thing must be pre- 
vented, or tlie mighty thread of events would soon become 
entangled, and disastrous consequences ensue ; but such mis- 
cliief can only be avoided by the unsleeping vigilance of an 
all-seeing eye, watching the minutest circumstance, and the 
pei-petual control of an omnipotent arm, regulating the most 
insij^nificant event. Wd are therefore compelled to the con- 
clusion that eitlier God is in all things, or tlicre is no God. 

It may be said that this or that evil results immediately 
from the folly, incautlon, or passion of an individual, as we 
see in tracing the origin of the i)lague and conflagration in 
1666. It may be said — and analogous qucstif)nings are fre- 
•luontly indulged — if some careless man in Holland, evading 
law and seeking to gratify his mercenary s[)irit, had not con- 
trived to transmit infected gooJs to London, the plague would 


not have existed ; if something iiiflammatoi-y had not canght 
in the baker's premises, perhaps by a puff of air upon a spark 
or an incipient flame, tlie great fire would not have happened: 
be it so ; admit tliese suppositions, and the consequences they 
imply ; we maintain there is nothing in them fairly to impugn 
the doctrine of providential superintendence, which is the 
doctrine of divine foresight and moral government. 

The Supreme Intelligence must necessarily know the future 
actions of men, the train of causes- which lead to them, and 
the manner- in which their passions, with their seemingly con- • 
tingent effects, will, under all imaginable circumstances, ope- 
rate. That which to the view of a finite mind'is futm-e, is to 
the infinite one perfectly and fully present ; since past, pre- 
sent, and future, are terms expressive simply of our ignorance 
or imperfection of knowledge : and this supposition does by no 
means interfere with the freedom of human action ; for tlie 
nature of an action as morally good or bad, or only neutr 1, 
can suffer no alteration through being foreknown. 

There is besides no difficulty in the supposition, that men 
may betplaced in the world successively in such situations in 
point of time, connexions, and other circumstances, that their 
whole conduct may coincide with the minutest arrangements 
of that foresight which is attributable to the Deity, and that 
order which 'he has established. It is i-easonable to imagine 
this without supposing any infringement of human liberty, 
oecause the very carelessness of human inconsideration, and 
the very excesses of the passions may be made to subserve 
the purposes of God, as well as the diversified capacities, rank, 
possessions, and influence of individuals ;. so that there may 
be good instead of evil, even in what we deem simply evil, by 
the counter-workings of unthought-of agencies, still specially 
designed, — as the very, plague of London itself became the 
means of calling into operation a ministerial instrumentality, 
not otherwise likely, or perhaps possible, to have been em- 
ployed, which, in the conversion of many souls, produced 
results the most glorious, and having their far-reaching 
influences beyond all calculation into eternity. Thus, as the 
contrary movements of a machine, though confusing to the 
eye of an unskilled spectator, are prepared for by the con- 
triver to promote the ultimate effect so each material change ; 


or, if you will, accidental occurrence, every action, with all its 
tendencies and consequences, every passion, with all its irre- 
gularities, constitute together the several parts of a complex 
but harmonious system. It may be assumed, therefore, as 
essential to the perfection of the great economy of the universe, 
that, while every person, in every age, is fulfilling, or aiming to 
fulfil, his own wishes, the mind that rules over all is limiting 
to its proper sphere the exertions of the individual by invisi- 
ble agencies, without interfering with his volitions ; and every 
particular aim and effort is so ordered, as to render its occur- 
rence an indispensable link in the chain of events. 

The suggestions of reason are substantiated by the declara- 
tions of Scripture. The whole volume is, in fact, a history o:' 
providence, unfolding its evidences and charactei-istics in the 
phenomena of nature and the afl'airs of the church — in the 
walking pestilence, the exterminating war, the prevailing 
prayer, the progression of things in revolving ages. The 
doctrine of providence — a providence at once powerful, bound- 
less, and gracious — has been written in the arrested sun of 
Gibeon and the awe-stricken moon of the valley of Ajalon, in 
the bright stars that fought against Sisera, in the commis- 
sioned stone that flew from the sling of David to the head 
of the giant of Pliilistia, in the edicts that dismissed Vashti 
and called Esther to the court of Ahasuerus, in multiplied 
and ever-multiplying events, great and small, and espe- 
cially and above all, in the birth, hfe, death, and triumphs of 
Him in whom was revealed the great mystery of ages and the 
mercy of Heaven. This providence is represented in the 
dream of Jacob, in the wheels of Ezekiel, in the language 
alike of the Old Testament and the New ; and, with its atten- 
dant constellations of grace and promise, is the pole-star of 
the believer across the deeps of life, till he obtain "an abundant 
entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and 
Saviour Jesus Christ." 







"Acquaint now tliyself with liim, and T3e at peace; thereby good shall come 
unto thee."— Job xxii. 21. 

They wlio have improved their experience of things by 
wisdom, and gathered up the value of man's life, by compai-- 
ing his desire with his enjoyments, his troubles and sorrows 
with his content and joy, have concluded the Avorth of the 
life of man to be beiownothing; they liave drawn a black line 
upon the whole, and shut up all in darkness. Thus Jacob 
of old, in the account which he gives of his life to Pharaoh, 
Gen. xlvii. 9; Job v. 7; and also Solomon, who had an ex- 
traordinary measure of wisdom by divine di.'^pensation, who 
had a large spirit like the sand of the sea-shore, he gave him- 
self groat liberty in trying what that .good under the sun 
for the sons of men was, Eccl. ii. 1. When he had taken 
a taste of all the world's contents, yet he finds a bitterness 
mixed in all delights, which abideth no longer than the 
pleasure, vcr. 1], 17. And whosoever shall enter into himself, 
and feel the workings of his own mind, shall be able to read 
over the transcript of the same in his own conscience. Who 
is he among the sons of men, tliat in his natural life liath 
attained to a state wherein he was alilc to say. Hero I will 
stay, it is now well with me, I desire no addition to my pre- 
sent condition? If there be any sudi, I dare inulortakc to 
jirovc liim unacquainted with himself. Where now shall I 
fasten the blame of tiiis universal evil? Shall we fall out 
with our life, as a tiling not worth the having ? Shall wo 

38 HEAVEN UPON earth; OR, 

shrink into our former nothing, and cast up our being and 
iife into the hands of God, as that out of which we gathered 
notliing but bitterness and disquiet ? Far be tliis from us ; 
this were to justify that evil and wicked servant, who said 
of God, that "he knew he was a hard Master, reaping where 
he had not so■^^Tl, and gathering Avhere he had not strawed." 
This would be to accuse God of having made us to an un- 
avoidable necessity of misery. How then comes it to pass, 
that we are all held fast in this common calamity ? It is 
from thyself, man, it is from thyself; this evil is because 
of our falling from God. It is a righteous thing with God, 
that when man departed from him, he should reap the fruit 
of his own doings ; and indeed it is impossible for a creature 
of our composure and constitution, but to feel itself dissatis- 
fied with allworldlymaterial employments, and tofind trouble 
and disquiet in itself, while it is deprived of its true good. 
If we would have a true account of our disquiet and dissatia- 
fe,ction,this is it. God made man, of all the works of his hands, 
to be the nearest to himself, and hath fitted his principles 
for a higher life than that which hath the things of this 
world for its object; but man hath made liimself like the 
beasts that perish. We have given our souls into captivity 
to our bodies, or rather, we are fallen from our union with 
God, and are gathered up into ourselves, and become deprived 
of a sufficiency in separation from God; then it must needs 
be, that we, being gone down into a lower state than that 
which we were made to, should find nothing but dissatisfac- 
tion and emptiness : here we are by nature, and liitherto we 
have brought ourselves by forsaking God. 

^Now the great inquiry will be, what remedy there is for 
this our woful condition ; is there any Avay whereby we 
may be delivered from this misery 1 If there be, what way 
is it ? These words wliich I have chosen to speak to, do 
contain the answer to tliis inquiry. 

"Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace; thereby 
good shall come unto thee." This is the counsel of one of 
Job's three friends to him in the time of his gi-eat affliction. 
You have heard of the affliction of Job, and how his three 
friends came to relieve liim with their counsel; but the 


devil, who had a commission from God to try his utmost 
with Job, yet sparing his life, made use of his friends, who 
are to he a comfort in the hour of adversity, to be a great 
means of his disquiet, so that he cries out of them, " Mise- 
rable comforters are ye all," ch. xvi. 2. And the great way 
of their troubling him was, by misapplying, by making false 
application of true principles. In their discourses there are 
many excellent truths ; yet, by their hard construing, and 
ungrounded condemning of him, they by God are reproved, 
as not having spoken the thing that was right, ch. xlii. 7 ; yet 
in many tilings their counsel was suitable and seasonable ; 
of which sort the words in the text may be accounted. In 
tills chapter Eliphaz had been inquiring into the cause of 
Job's gi-eat affliction ; and holding this for an undeniable 
principle, that the righteous God, being the gi-eat disposer of 
affliction, did bring this evil upon him because of his sin, he 
measured the greatness of his sins by the gi'eatness of afflic- 
tions; he made account, because God's hand was gone forth 
in an extraordinary manner against Job, therefore there was 
some extraordinary guilt upon him: "And thou sayest, 
How doth God judge through the dark clouds?" ver. 5, 1.3. 
Thus we have this apprehension of Job, as one under gi-eat 
affliction because of -his great sins; and the text is Eliphaz's 
counsel to Job under this character; and so is suitable 
advice to those that are under sickness or great afflictions, 
and that are under the guilt of great sin. 

"Acquaint thyself with him, and be at peace ; thereby good 
shall come unto thee." The words are a doctrine for the soul 
under a sense of its lost condition, with a promise very 
comfortable upon the embracing thereof 

The doctrine is, "Acquaint thyself with him, and be at 

The promise, "Thereby good shall come unto thee." 

These words, " Be at peace," may be referred either to the 
former, as an addition to the doctrine, " Be at peace;" that 
is, keep yourselves in a quiet submission to the hand of 
God ; or to the latter ; and so, " Be at peace," is as much as, 
" Peace shall be to thee." 

In the doctrine we are to consider the act and object. 


The act, Acquaint. 
The object is God. 


So that the doctrine is, to enter into acquaintance with 
God. This proposition stands forth to the view of every eye, 
and it is the duty of man to be acquainted v/ith God. 

Now the first thing that is before us to inquire after, is, 
what this acquaintance wth God is. 

Secondly, To evidence and clear it to be the duty of man 
to acquaint himself with God. Acquaintance with God 
implies several things. 

1. It signifies a full and determinate knowledge of this 
truth, that there is a God, and so to know him, as to his 
natm-e, distinct from all other beings. 

There is a three-fold knowledge of God. 

1. A rational. 

2. A natural. 

3. A supernatural. 

First, There is a rational knowledge of God, which i.-^ 
a clear discovery of an almighty, all-sufficient Cause of all 
things, which is attained by a reasonable discussing power 
of the soul, which argueth from things that are visible and 
sensible to an invisible and self-principled Cause of all things. 
Man found himself brought into the world furnished vvltli 
an innumerable variety of creatm-es, and none of these 
having power to make itself; we see likewise such an accu- 
rate order in every particular creature, and in all the crea- 
tures one with another, that we cannot but see clearly that 
there is a supreme almighty Cause of all things, who hath 
by his power brought forth all things into being ; who is 
likewise the most wise Agent, who, by his unsearchaljlc 
wisdom, hath curiously framed every creatiu-e, and by his 
wonderful counsel hath set them in such an order, that they 
all serve one another, till at length they all meet in man, as 
in the common centre. 

Secondly, There is a natural knowledge of God, which 
is the inward touch and mental sensation of a supreme 
righteous Judge, to whose trial we feel ourselves under an 


imavoidable bond, in doing good and evil. This is that 
which is commonly called conscience ; this a man finds in 
himself, if at any time he have committed any seci'et sin 
whatsoever, which none in the world knows but himself, he 
feels it to be a pressure upon his spu'it, as being under the 
examination of a power superior to himself. Now tliis is 
nothing else but a secret impression that God hath made oi 
himself upon the minds of men, by which man is bound to 
stand before the tribunal of God. These two ways of 
knowing God were very clear to man in his perfect state, but 
since the fall of man they are much weakened and decayed. 

Thirdly, There is a supernatural way whereby we come 
to know God, which hath repaired our loss by Adam's sin, 
iiiid that is Ijy God's extraordinary revelation of liimself in 
]iis holy Scriptures: by these we may come to have a more 
clear, distinct knowledge of God, both that he is, and what 
he is. To these three ways of letting the knowledge of God 
into the soul, three mental acts of the soul do answer. 

First, A rational discourse, by which we find out God by 
the creatures. 

Secondly, An inward sensation, which feels God as just in 
good and evil. 

The third mental act is faith, which for its foundation hatli 
the word of God. 

There is a fourth way of knowing God, which is by experi- 
ment ; which is when God manifests himself to his peculiar 
ones, and lets out the knowledge of himself to thcu' souls ; 
as wlien the sun breaks forth with a bright shining in a 
cloudy day : but this belongcth rather to another head. 

Thus you see tlie first thing employed in tliis acquaintance 
with God, which is the lowest. 

Yet how many are there tliat have little acquaintance 
with God in tliese signs! May we not come to many who 
profess they know God, ami yet among all theu" thoughts 
they have had few or none to satisfy themselves concerning 
]>im ? IIow gross arc tlie apprelicnsions of some concerning 
God ! Some men resist and stifle that natural knowledge 
tliat they have of God, such as those, Rom. i. 28 ; they did 


not like to retain God in their knowledge, and God gave them 
over to a reprobate mind, or a mind void of judgment, as the 
word signifies. Others have lived all then* days upon the 
bounty and goodness of God, and yet have not been led by 
the streams to the fountain from which all hath flowed. 
Others can busy themselves all their time in other things, 
and little inquire into the word of God, by which they may 
be led to the knowledge of him. But woe to those on whom 
the fury of the Lord shall be poured out, because they know 
not God, Jer. x. 25. 

2. Acquaintance with God implies frequent access unto 
God. We do not usually reckon ourselves acquainted with 
any person, by a bare knowledge that such a person there 
is, and that we are able to give some general description of 
him ; but when we say we are acquainted with any, it is 
understood that we have been in such a one's compan^r, we 
have come to him, and been with him : such is our acquain- 
tance to be with God. 

Under this head I shall speak. 

First, Of that separation that is of the soul from &tx/. 

Secondly, Of the return of the soul to God. 

Thirdly, Of the abiding of the soul with God. 

First, Of the separation and distance of the soul from God. 
That corrupted estate in wliich eveiy man conies into the 
world, is a state of separation from God. This distance is 
not to be understood as a physical natural distance, for so 
God is near to every one of us by his omnipresence, and by 
his infinite power, sustaining us in our being and actions. 
" Though he be not far fi-om every one of us : for in him we 
live, and move, and have om- being," Acts xvii. 27, 28. But 
this is to be understood. 

First, Of a moral separation from God. There is a great 
strangeness between our souls and God : we reckon ourselves 
to have little to do with him, and to be very remotely 
concerned in him, we reckon that God takes very little regard 
of us, we look upon God as far fi-om us, and we think God 
looks upon us as at a gi'eat distance; we love not God, and 
think that God loves not us. 

Secondly, This separation may be understood of a judicia^ 


distance, cat which God hath set sinful man from himself. 
Man is kept out from God, as being unfit to approach to 
him in his sinfulness and impurities, and that is cither in 
this life, in which condition every one is, till he be made 
nigh by Christ, and set before the Father without sin in him ; 
till they are born again of the Spirit, and justified and 
sanctified by Christ : " Ye that sometimes were afar off, 
were made near bj^ the blood of Christ," Eph. ii. 13. Here this 
judicial separation is the execution of that terrible sentence, 
" Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, jn-epared 
for the devil and his angels," Matt. xxv. 41. Thus ye see the 
distance at which man is from God, wliich is not pliysical, 
but either moral or judicial. 

Secondly, When we are thus separated from God, if we 
will be acquainted with him, there is required a returning 
to God. Acquaintance doth necessarily imply a union. 
Now where there was a former separation and distance, there 
is required a motion to compliance, and a return either in 
both parties, or in one at least : so that before ever we can 
be acquainted with God, there must be a forsaking our for- 
mer distance, the separation must be removed. Now God 
hath done what could be conceived, and beyond what could 
be expected, towards the reducing of us to a union with 
himself; whereas, he might justly have thrust us away from 
liim for ever, and never have given us liberty to come near 
liim more, as being so filtby by sin, that his lioliness cannot 
endure us, yet he hath freely set open a door of hope for our 
return. He did not come thus nigh to angels when they fell, 
but they were turned away from him, and are bound in 
chains of darkness to the judgment of the great day; it is 
impossible for them to return any more. And so it would 
have been for us, had not God made it possible by an act of 
free love; and he liath likewise revealed his willingness to 
receive us if w^e return, yea, his earnest desire: " Tui"n ye, 
why will ye die?" Yea, his rejoicing in our return, as a 
father rejoiccth to receive a prodigal son that hath departed 
from him. But that God should go farther, to close witli us 
while we retain our impuiilies and remain at a distance 
fi'om liim, it is impossible, because of the unchangcableness 


and simplicity of his nature, and because of the purity and 
exactness of his holiness ; it must therefore necessarily fol- 
low that a yielding and return must be on our parts, or else 
there is no possibility of compliance between God and us, 
after that we have forsaken him by sin. And this is most 
righteous and equal, for man did forsake God, God did not 
forsake man ; man made the difference, man ran away from 
God. God follows man as far as his holiness and unchange- 
able nature will permit him ; he calls to us to return, he is 
ready to meet and embrace us in the arms of his love, and 
to receive us into acquaintance with himself, as the father 
in the parable met his prodigal son, Luke xv. 20, " He saw 
him afar off, and had compassion on him, and ran, and fell on 
his neck, and kissed him." Herein have we shadowed out to 
Tis the great readiness of God to receive returning sinful man •, 
but as the prodigal son must return to his father, so man 
must return to God. Now it is sin that separates between 
us and God, and keeps good things from us : " Your iniquities 
have separated between you and your God, and your sins 
have hid his face from you," Isa. lix. 2. Therefore, while 
we cleave to om* sins, we are separated from God ; till we 
are separated from our sins, we cannot be united to God. 
Thus ye see our separation from God, and our necessity of 
returning to God, before there can be any acquaintance 
with him. 

Thirdly, To our acquaintance with God is required an 
abiding with God. We reckon not ourselves acquainted 
with any person upon the first meeting, or when there hath 
passed but a word or two between us, but it is supposed to 
acquaintance, that we have made a considerable stay with 
him, and have had frequent access to him. Thus it is 
between God and us ; we must not only come to Mm but 
abide with him, or else we shall never be acquainted with 
him : " If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples," 
John viii. 31. So I say, if you retm-n to God, and continue 
with God, then shall ye be acquainted with him indeed. 
Acquaintance signifies not a bare act, but a state or habit. 
Now this is the difference between an act and a state ; that 
an act is passing and is gone, but a state signifies an abiding 


and continuance. There may he a drawing nigli to God, 
without abiding and continuing with God, upon some deep 
conviction, or strange providence, or eminent danger ; as it is 
said, " In tlieir affliction they \nll seek me early," yet they 
may soon forget and forsake God. Tliis is but a seeming and 
partial approaching to God, a drawing nigh in appearance, 
when the heart is far from God ; but that approaching to God 
which makes acquaintance with God, is abiding with him. 
Those that are acquainted with a spiritual hfe know these 
things what they are, and that they are the greatest realities 
in the world ; they know that sometimes there is a gi'eater 
nearness of their souls to God ; they are sensible of the ap- 
proaches of their heart to God, and of the withdrawing 
of their souls from God ; they know what it is for the soul 
to feel the approaches of God, and his smiles fill their souls 
with un.s])eakable comfort ; and to feel God withdrawing 
from the soul, this clouds their joy and makes them go 
mourning. They can tell you at such a time they were 
l)rought unto his banqueting house, and his banner over 
them was love. They can tell you at such a time Christ 
came into his garden to eat his pleasant fruits; at such a 
time they heard the voice of their beloved, saying, " Open to 
me, my sister, my spouse, my love, my dove, my undefiled." 
And when the soul hath neglected this knock of Christ to 
open to him, that then he hath Avithdrawn ; " I opened to 
my beloved, but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and 
was gone." These things are the experiences of a precious 
child of God, which I fear are little felt and little known 
amongst us; but where these things are not there is no 
acquaintance with God. For, 

First, They do know him. 

Secondly, They draw nigh to him, thej' have near access 
to him. 

Thirdly, They have intunate converse with him. This is 
another tiling required to acquaintance. We are not said to 
he acquainted with any person, unless we have had intimate 
convei-se with him. We may be next neighbours, and yet 
have no accjuaintance, unless our conversation hath l)eeu 
mutual. So it is between God and us ; there may be a 


nigliness between the soul and God, and yet no acquaintance 
between the soul and God. We are nigh to God in our de- 
pendence upon him, we are near to God by his immediate 
providence and sustentation of us, and by his omnipotence. 
There is a nearness to God by way of dedication. As God 
set apart the children of Israel to be a people near unto 
himself, so the visible church of God is nearer to hun 
than those that are not of the church. There is a near- 
ness of dedication among us by baptism. But all this may 
be without acquaintance. There is, therefore, required to 
our acquaintance with God, an intimate converse with God. 
We have great converse with those who are of tlie family 
or society with us : now such is our acquaintance with God, 
as those wlio are of his family. God is called the Father of 
the families of all the earth ; and the visible church is reck- 
oned as God's family : but in a great family there may be 
little acquaintance with those persons which be of remote 
employments ; but to acquaintance with God there must be 
such a relation as implies familiar converse. This intimacy 
that the people of God have to him is expressed by the 
nearest relations in Scripture: as, Abraham is called the 
friend of God : Jehoshaphat prays unto God, and saith, " Art 
not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of 
tills land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of 
Abraham thy friend for everl" 2 Chron. xx. 7. "And the 
Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh to 
his friend," Exod. xxxiii. 11. " Henceforth I call you not 
servants; for the servant knoweth not what his Lord 
doeth : but I have called you friends ; for all things that I 
have heard of my Father I have made known unto you," 
John XV. 15. Now hy friendis commonly understood a state 
of converse and society one with another. And this inti- 
macy is expressed likewise by the relation of husband and 
wife : " For thy Maker is thy husband," Isa. liv. 5. " Then 
shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband ; for 
then was it better with me than now," Hos. ii. 7. By 
husband there is meant God. And the whole Book of 
the Canticles is a relation of the mutual converse betwixt 
God and liis people, betwixt Christ and liis church, under 


the relation of a bridegi-oom and his spouse. Now what 
converse more intimate than between husband and wife 1 
such is that between a soul acquainted with God. Again, 
this is shadowed out to us under the relation of a father and 
his children : " Behold what manner of love the Father hath 
bestowed upon us, that we should be called liis sons ! " 1 John 
iii. 1. And the Holy Spirit is given to be tlie spirit of 
adoption in the hearts of God's people : " Ye Lave received 
the spirit of adoption, whereby ye cry, AbSa, Father. The 
Spu'it itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are 
the cliildren of God," Rom. viii. 15, 16. What is signiiied 
by this relation, but a nigh union and intimate converse be- 
tween the soul and God ? And this is necessary to our ac- 
(iuaintance with God, even intimate converse with God. By 
this I mean a nearness of employment, when the objects of 
our employments are the same, then are we said to converse 
with God, when we are employed about those things where- 
in God is most. When there is, as it were, a mutual com- 
merce and trading between the soul and God ; man giving 
himself up to God, and God giving himself out to man ; 
man taking up the interest of God, and God undertaking 
for the interest of man ; these and such like actings are the 
c-onverse which the soul liath witli God. I speak of things 
which the men of the world are not acquainted with; but 
those that are acquainted with God know these things, 
and upon the mention of them, their hearts leap within 
them. As face answereth to face in a glass, so experience 
answereth these things. When this string is struck, their 
hearts do harmonize ; as when a lute string is stmck, the 
other strings of nighest concord with it move also. But 
these things are a mystery to the world, and they say, as 
those of Christ's word, " We know not what he saith." And 
it is no wonder, for tlicy are the actings of a divine life, to 
which all are naturally dead, till they arc raised to newness 
of life l)y tlie quickening of tlie Si)irit of God. But I proceed 
to show what is me.ant by this acfpiaintance with God. 

Fourthly, To this acquaintance with God there is re- 
quired a mutual commiiuicatioM. Where tlier(! is .acquaint- 
ance between man and man, there hath been a mutual inur- 


change of conference and discourses. Thus when the soul 
is acquainted with God, there is an interchange of conference 
between God and the soul. The soul openeth its wants, 
breathes out its complaints, spreadeth its necessities before 
God ; God openeth the treasures of his love in his Son, the 
rich mines of his precious promises, and the secrets of his 
good will to the soul. Thus, Ps. xxv. 14, " The secret of 
the Lord is with tliem that fear him, and he will show them 
his covenant." " The Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham 
the thing that I do?" Gen. xviii. 17. Those that are friends 
and acquaintance, they will let out their thoughts and pur- 
poses one to another, and they give out themselves mutu- 
ally into communion one with another. Thus Christ knocks 
at the door of the soul : " Behold, I stand at the door and 
knock : if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will 
come in and sup with him, and he with me," Rev. iii. 20. 
Here is Christ offering himself to the soul, and the soul is 
to entertain him : at another time the soul goes to God, 
and God entertains it ; God hath promised that he will open : 
" Knock, and it shall be opened unto you," Matt. vii. 7 ; 
and to him that knocks it shj-il be opened. Thore are fre- 
quent actions among those that are acquainted, an-^ by 
these are expressed to us the acquaintance of the soul with 

Now, the communications that are between the soul and 
God are exceeding transcending all communications that 
are lietwoen men's acquaintance. Men may communicate 
tlieir thoughts, their estates, their assistance to one another ; 
but they cannot communicate their life, nor their nature, 
nor their likeness ; but such communications there are be- 
tween God and the soul that is acquainted with him. All 
being is a communication from God, the first Being : nay, the 
several degrees of being have several commimications from 
God, some greater and some lesser ; spiritual beings have a 
liigher communication than natural ; but God's highest com- 
munications have been to man in that mystical union of the 
divine nature to the human nature in Christ, and next in 
the mystical union of the sons of God to Christ, and in him 
to the Father. Thus Christ is said to live in us. " I live," 


saith Paul ; "yet not I, but Christ liveth in me," Gal. ii. 20. 
Thus Christ prays the Father for his children, that they 
may be one, " as thou Father art in me, and I in thee ; that 
they may be one in us," John xvii. 11, 21 ; " Whosoever shall 
confess tliat Jesus is the Son of (rod, God dwelleth in him, 
and he in God. He that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God," 
1 John iv. 15, 16. We are said to be " i^artakers of the divine 
nature," 2 Pet. i. 4. This expression implies high com- 
munication of God to man. Again, there are high acts of 
cumniunication from man to God, (for though God receives 
not from man, yet man is to act as giving out himself to 
God ;) such as to give up the will to God's will. As that of 
Eli : " It is the Lord, let him do what seemeth him good." 
And that of David : " If he tluis say, I have no delight in 
thee ; behold, here am I, let him do with me as seemeth 
good unto him," 2 Sam. xv. 26. 

Another act of high communication of a man's self to 
God, is parting with present enjoyments for future hopes, 
in confidence of God's promise. Thus the spirit of God 
works in the children of God a readiness to forsake fixtlier or 
mother, and brethren and sisters, and life itself, for the cause 
of God. Thus John Baptist was willing to become nothing, 
tliat Christ might l)ocomc all, to be cast down, that Christ 
might Ijc lifted up ; John iii. 30, " lie must increase, but I 
must decrease." Thus Abraham gives his Isaac to die when 
Gi)(l calls for liini. Tlius Closes esteemed the reproach of 
Clirist greater riches than the treasures of Egypt, Ileb. xi. 
26. Paul counted not liis life dear for Clirist, Acts xx. 24. 
These have been the actings of the souls of those that liave 
been acquainted with God, and such workings as these are 
the feeling of a child of God. 

I have showed you four things which are requisite to ac- 
quaintance with God, 

First, Knowledge of God. 

Secondly, Access to him. 

Thirdly, Converse with liim. 

Fourthly, Communication to him, and from him. 

Fifthly, Thero is likewise re(iuired to accjuaintance, a 
loving compliance. Amongst men acquaintance imidies 


affection. And so it is between God and man. Never any 
soul vs^as acquainted with God, that did not love God ; and 
such a soul is an enemy to God ; therefore, very few are 
acquainted with God ; but all that are not acquainted with 
God are enemies to God. If we should come to a person 
that is not acquainted with God, and say, Thou art an 
enemy to God ; this would seem a heavy imputation : but I 
speak it fi-eely ; thou, whosoever thou ai-t, that art not ac- 
quainted with God, thou art an enemy to God ; for thou art 
still as thou wert born: but we are all enemies to God 
according to our corrupt nature, and abide enemies till we 
come to be acquainted with God. Love to God, and ac- 
quaintance with God go together, are heightened liy.one 
another. First, God lets into the soul by his Spirit a partial- 
discovery of himself, and by this with the working of hi5 
Spu-it, he incHnes the heart in love to him. Then on the 
first working of the soul towards God, he lets in a clear 
light, whereby he draweth the soul to a further degree of 
love. A clear place for this, Eph. iii. 17-20, "And that 
being rooted and gi'ounded in love, ye may be able to com- 
prehend with all saints, Avhat is the length, and breadth, 
and depth, and height ; and to know the love of God, which 
pisseth knowledge: that ye might be filled Avith all the 
fulness of God." The love of God fits the soul to com- 
prehend the glorious discoveries of God ; and the discoveries 
of God doth heighten our love to God. Acquaintance with 
God makes us like unto God ; as in 1 Jobn iii. 2, " We shall see 
him as he is." And our likeness to God, as it makes us the 
delight of God, so it makes us delight in God ; for the cause 
of complacency and love is a likeness between the lover and 
beloved. G(xl doth not love us with a love of complacency, 
tiU we are like him, nor do we love God, till we are made 
like God, Now our beholding God, and being acquainted 
with him, is a great way to our being made like God : "We 
all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the 
Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, 
even as by the Spirit of the Lord," 2 Cor. iii. 18. Thus you 
see that love is likewise required to our acquaintance with 
God ; without it no acquaintance. 

JBSPS the best friend of 5IA>f. 51 

."^I have in the first part spoken of the nature, of acquaint- 
nVioe with God in five particulars. There must be, 
r'First, A knowledge of God. 
' i Secondly, Nigh access to God. 

Thirdly, Familiar converse A^th God. 

Fourthly, IMutual communication between us and God. 

Fiftlilv, An affectionate love towards God. 

The next thing should be to show that man is to be ac- 
quainted with God ; but we will first take a review of these 
tilings. We have taken these things into our undei-stand- 
ings ; now let us set our hearts to these tilings, for in these 
things is the life of rehgion. If there be acquaintance Avith 
God, then gi'oss wickedness drops off, as scales fi-om an ulce- 
rated body, when the constitution of the body is mended. 
In acquaintance with God will be your only true comfort 
in this life ; and the perfection of it is the very happiness 
of heaven. Let us then behold, till our hearts earnestly 
desire, till our souls be dra\\Ti out after acquaintance with 
G,Od. If God be to be knoAA-n, to be approached unto, to be 
cohverscd with by me, will he communicate himself to me, 
:ind I mvsclf to liim? Oh that he would love me, that I 
might love him! Oh, blessed are they that know him, as 
they are known of him ! It is good for me to dj-a\y nigh to 
him. " A day in his coiu-t is better than a thousand else- 
where. My soul longeth, yea, fainteth for the pourts of the 
Lord. My heart and my flesh crietli out for the living 
God." Oh that I were received into converse with God I 
that I might hear his voice, and see his countenance, 
for his voice is sweet, and his countenance comely ! Oh that 
I might communicate myself to God, and that he wcnild give 
himself to me! Oh that I might love him! tliat I were 
sick of love! that I might die in love! that I might lose 
myself in his love, as a small drop in the unfathoniless 
depth of Ills love! that I might dwell in tlie eternal love of 
him ! Tbis is acquaintance with God. 

" Acquahit now therefore thyself with God, and be at 
peace ; so .shall good come unto thee." We now jtrocecd to 
tlie next tiling, which is to evidence it to be tlie duty of 
man to acquaint himself with God. Tiiis then ia that into 


which the whole Scripture runs, as into a common channel. 
The Scriptures are a discovery of God's proceedings with 
man under a double covenant, and tliis is the great design 
of God in both covenants. The firet covenant was, " That 
while man did remain in obedience to God, God would give 
man free and intimate acquaintance with liimself.' But if 
man became disobedient, then he should be dispossessed of 
an interest in God, and of communion with him ; which 
was that death threatened upon the eating the forbidden 
fruit. The death of tlie body is its being separated from the 
soul, but the death of the soul is in separation from God. 
Now immediately upon Adam's transgression, man becomes 
unacquainted with God ; so that upon the hearing of the 
voice of the Lord, " they hid themselves from tlie presence 
of the Lord, among the trees of the garden." What a woful 
case is man naturally in ! He hath lost his acquaintance 
Avith God, and was in a way, never, never to recover it : 
upon God's approach he flees. And such is the nature of all 
sin, it puts a man into a disposition to greater sins. Every 
departure from God inclines towards a greater. In the 
fir^t covenant this is the whole of it ; it is both a command 
to keep nigh to God, and a promise of God's being nigh to 
them, and a threatening of God's putting them away far 
fi-om him, man breaking the first covenant. Tlie immedi- 
ate effect of it was the sin of fleeing from God, quite con- 
trary to that acquaintance. Instead of then- former appre- 
liensions of God, they seem to have forgotten his omnipre- 
sence ; instead of peace with God, they have nothing but 
dread and torment in the thoughts of God ; instead of draw- 
ing nigh to God, they run away from him ; instead of con- 
verse with God, they choose never to have to do with him 
more ; instead of giving themselves up to God, they, if it 
had been possible, would have hid themselves fi-om God. 
Acquaintance with God is the sum of the first covenant ; 
unacquaintance with God is the misery of the breach of the 
covenant. Tliis is likewise the gi-eat design and 'purpose of 
God in the second covenant. The second covenant is this : 
When God beheld man in a miserable condition, by reason 
of the breach of the first covenant, in the unsearchable 


riches of his goodness, according to the eternal purpose of his 
good will towards man, he made an agreement with his Son 
to send him amongst a generation of sinful men, that if lie 
would undertake to bring them back into acquaintance 
witli the Father, he was willing and ready to receive them 
again into acquaintance with him ; the Son, being the ex- 
press image of his Father's will and person, hath the same 
good will to man with the Father, and is ready to close with 
his Father's proposals; and so enters into a covenant with 
the Father to satisfy divine justice, and to take away sin, 
and to take away the middle wall of separation, to recover 
a chosen generation, and to bring them back again to God. 
Tlius he became the head of another covenant between God 
and man. And as the first covenant was made with Adam 
f T him and his seed, so the second covenant is made with 
Jesus Christ for him and his seed. Because the first cove- 
nant was broken in Adam, therefore the second covenant 
was put into surer hands ; into the hands of the Son, the 
second Adam, the Lord from heaven. Now I say that the great 
design and jiurpose of this second covenant is in reference to 
man's acquaintance with God, is clear. This is held forth to 
us in that parable of the lost sheep, Luke xv. 4, 5, " When 
tlie shcjihcrd had lost one slieep, he leaves the flock and 
seeks for that which was lost." So when man was lost by 
sin, Jesus Christ leaves all, to recover and fetch home that 
wliich was lost. " We are all gone astray like lost sheep," as 
Ihivid saith of himself, Ps. cxix. 176. "Christ is come to seek 
and to save that which was lost." " But now in Clirist Jesus 
they who sometimes were afar off are made nigh by the 
blood of Christ ; for he is our peace who hath made botli 
one," Luke xix. 10; Eph. ii. 13, 14. In ver. 12 is a descrij)- 
tion of our state without Christ, " being aliens from the 
commonwealth of Israel, being strangers from the covenant 
of promise, and having no hope and without God in tlie 
world." Tliis is a description of our unacquaintance with 
God. But Christ makes up the breach, and that by a 
double act. 

First, By covenant with the Father, to make man fit for 
e 'Uimunion with him. 


Secondly, His giving man assurance that the Father ■vnll 
receive him upon his return. 

This then is the great design in all those glorious accom- 
plishments of Christ ; for this he left his Father's bosom, 
that he might bring us into acquaintance with the Father ; 
for this end did he who thought it no robbery to be equal 
with the Father, make himself of no reputation, and took 
upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the like- 
ness of man ; and being found in fasliion of a man, he hum- 
bled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the 
death of the cross, that he might bring man into a re-union 
with God ; for this end did Christ live a wearisome trouble' 
some life among a company of rebels and enemies, as if a 
man should live among toads and serpents. So that he cried 
out, as weary of any longer abiding with them, " 0, faithless 
generation ! How long shall I be with you 1 How long shall 
I suffer you 1 " For this did he make himself an offering 
for sin, that by taking away sin, he might bring men to 
God. This is the great purpose of Christ in all his offices. 
Ye have heard of the three offices of the JMediator, that he 
is a Priest, a Prophet, and a King. This is the end of the 
priestly office. The purpose of Christ's offering \\p him- 
self a sacrilice was, by satisfying the justice of God, to 
make way for sinners' return to God. This is the end of 
liis prophetical office, to lead men into knowledge and ac- 
quaintance with God. This is the end of his kinglj' office ; 
that governing them, and ruling their hearts by his Spirit, 
he might effectually bring men to God, to acquaintance witli 
him. Now, then, since this is the great design of God in his 
great dispensation towards man, to keep man in acquaintance 
with himself, and to reduce him when he had lost it ; doth 
it not concern us to do our part for the bringing to pass 
this gi-eat Avork? Shall God lose his end in making us, and 
in setting man in the world every way furnished for his ser- 
vice 1 and shall God lose his end in sending his Son to re- 
ceive us, v,dien we had forsaken him? Sliall Christ leave 
his Father's bosom to bring us home to the Father, and shall 
we refuse to return 1 Shall he pour out his soul an otfenng 
fur sin, that he might make way for our access to God, 


" That we who were far oflf might be made nigh by tlie 
blood of Clirist?" and shall we frustrate all by our refusing 
to go to him? Shall Christ come and offer us his help and 
direction to come to the Father, and shall we abide still 
strangers ? Shall the King's Son come into our cottages to 
invite us to dwell with his Father at court, and shall we 
shut the door upon him, esteeming our cottages better than 
his palace ? 

Secondly, It is the duty of man to acquaint himself with 
God, because therein is the improvement of his highest 
excellency. Every one acknowledgeth an excellency in man, 
above all the rest of this lower world. Now what is this 
excellency of man ? Is it not that he is made in a capacity 
of knowing God, and enjoying God, and having communion 
with God ? This is the height of his glory. " Thus saith the 
Lord, Let not tlie wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the 
mighty man glory in his might, nor the rich man in his 
riches; but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he 
understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord that 
exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in 
the earth, fur in these things I delight, saith the Lord," 
Jer. ix. 23, 24. Ye see here wherein man is to srlorv, for 
which he may value himself as truly glorious. In his under- 
standing and knowing of God, man standeth above the rest 
of the creatures, intliat he is a rational intellectual agent. 
This is part of the image of God, even knowledge, " which 
is renewed in knowledge after the image of Iiim that created 
him," Col. iii. 10. The nigher anytliing rcscmblcth God, 
the greater is the excellency of that thing : now in this we 
resemble God more than anj' other crcatui-e, in tliat we are 
knowing understanding agents; and the highest improve- 
ment of tbis excellency of man is in the knowledge of God 
and acquaintance with God: "The si)mt of a man is the 
c;indle of tlie Lord," Prov. xx. 27; that is, it is a light set 
up in tlie soul, to direct the soul to a discovery of God. 
This is the highest improvement of our gi-eatest excellency, 
and this is tbe excellency of man above other creatures: 
tliis is that wbereby one man excels anotlicr. Who are 
those whose names are as precious ointment poured furth i 


who are those which have obtained a good report 1 Are not 
they those who \\TBre most acquainted with God ? Enoch is 
said to walk with God ; an expression which signifies inti- 
mate acquaintance with God ; and therefore was " translated 
that he should not see death." And Noah, whose family 
alone was preserved when God destroyed the old world by 
water, he was said to walk with God, Gen. vi. 9. Among 
all the sons of men he kept close to God ; and God took care 
of him alone. Abraham, who was the father of the faithful, 
he was called the friend of God. Moses, who was the medi- 
ator of the old covenant, he was said to " speak with God 
face to face, as a man speaketh to his friend." I might 
make mention of many more, who were the excellent ones 
of the earth ; because they did delight in God, and God 
delighted in them. " They that feared the Lord spake often 
one to another; and the Lord hearkened and heard: and the 
book of remembrance was written for them that fear the 
Lord, and that thought upon his name: And they shall be 
mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in the day when I make up 
my jewels," Mai. iii. 16, 17. Ye see how God accounts of 
those that are of his acquaintance, that met together and 
spake of God, and that thought upon his name ; he reckons 
them amongst his jewels, his pecuUar treasure. Such hon- 
our have all those that are acquainted with God. Ye see 
then the excellency of man above all the rest of the other 
creatures. Now if man fail in this which is his highest ex- 
cellency, he will become the vilest of creatures. Everything, 
if it fail in its chiefest end and purpose, and highest excel- 
lency, becomes base and of no account. " If salt lose its sa- 
vour," saith our Saviour, " it is good for nothing." If man 
have lost his acquaintance with God, he is henceforth good 
for nothing. The mind of man is his eye, by which he is to 
behold God ; now if tliis eye be blind, if the light be dark- 
ness, how great is that darkness ! The Jews, in Ezek. xv. 3, 
are likened to a vine, which, if it be barren, is good for no 
use : "Shall wood be taken thereof for any work V It is fit 
for notliing but to burn. So it is in man, his great use and 
excellency is his acquaintance with God : now if he fails in 
tills, he is good for nothing. Yerily, man is a base, vile, 


worthless tiling, without acquaintance with God. None are 
less esteemed among men than they that want wisdom to 
converse among men. None are less esteemed before God 
than they that know him not, that have not acquaintance 
with him, to converse with him. Ye see Avherein the excel- 
lency and worth of man consisteth, and that if there be a 
deformity where ought to be our chiefest beauty, the whole 
is accounted as a deformed piece. It concerns us then to 
look that we keep our glory unspotted, our excellency in its 
due value ; that we do not degrade ourselves below what God 
liath placed us in. If we are not acquainted with God, our 
souls serve us to little purpose : it is causing the soul [the 
prince] to go on foot, and to serve the body, wliich should 
be as servant ; it is to let the candle of the Lord bui'n out in 

Thirdly, Another enforcement of this duty of acquaintance 
with Gml, is this : If we refuse acquaintance with God, it is 
a slighting the greatest of all the mercies that God bestows. 
Favours are to be valued, either by their proper excellencies, 
or according to the good will of him that bestows them ; 
both these ways this is to be accounted the greatest of mer- 
cies. In God's giving us leave to be acquainted with him, 
he gives out himself to be known, to be loved, to be con- 
versed with, to be enjoyed. "What greater gift can God give 
than himself i God is the portion of his people, he is the 
greatest portion, the surest, the most suitable, and the only 
durable portion. Thus they that know him esteem him. 
" My flesh and my heart faileth ; but God is the strength of 
my heart, and my portion for ever," Ps. ixxiii. 2(5; "The 
Lord is the portion of mine inheritance: the lines are fallen 
to me in pleasant pla(;es ; yea, I have a goodly heritage," 
Ps. xvi. 5, 6. " Blessed are the people that are in such a 
case ; yea, blessed are the people whose God is the Lord." 
No greater mercy can be bestowed upon any people, family, 
or person, than this, for God to dwell among them. If we 
value this mercy according to the excellency and worth of 
that which is bestowed, it is the greatest; if we value 't 
according to the good will of him that gives it, it will appear 
likewise to be the gi'eatest favour. The greatness of the good 


will of God in giving himself to be our acquaintance, is 
evident in the nature of the gift. A man may give his estate 
to them to whom his love is not very large, but he never 
gives liimself but upon strong affection. God gives abun- 
dantly to all the works of his hands ; he causeth the sun to 
shine upon tlie evil and upon the good, and the rain to 
descend upon the just and the unjust ; but it cannot be con- 
ceived that he should give himself to be a portion, a friend, 
father, husband, but in abundance of love. "Whosoever 
therefore shall refuse acquaintance with God, slighteth the 
greatest favoiu" that ever God did bestow upon man. Noav 
consider what a high charge this is ; to abuse such a kindness 
from God is an act of the greatest vileness. David was 
never so provoked as when the King of Ammon abused his 
kindness in his ambassadors, after hi6 father's death. And 
God is highly jirovoked when his greatest mercies, bestowed 
in the greatest love, are rejected and cast away. What could 
God give more and better than himself? And how heavy 
will this imputation be ! These are those that look upon 
God as not worth being acquainted with. Let us therefore 
consider how we shall be able to stand to these accusations. 
Shall we riot be speechless when these things shall be 
charged upon us 1 Shall we not be confounded when we 
stand to the trial of Him to whom we had offered these 
great indignities ? How shall we escape if we neglect so 
great salvation, so gi-eat a mercy. 

Fourthly, It concerns us to acquaint om-selves with God, 
for without it we are in a necessity of sin and misery. 

1. The soul unacquainted with God is in a necessity of 
sinning: "Having their understanding darkened, alienated 
from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, 
because of the blindness of their hearts," Eph. iv. 18. For 
want of acquaintance with God, ever}' thought and imagi- 
nation of their heart is evil contmually. " There is none 
righteous, no not one. There is none that understands, 
there is none that seeketh after God," Rom. iii. 10, 11. 
Not understanding, nor seeking after God, is the necessary 
cause tliat there is none docth good. The soul of man is an 
uctive being, which is continually in motion ; if it be not in 


•motion to God and in God, it A\-ill be in motion from God. 
llence it is that the prayer of the wicked is an abomination: 
that which goes for prayer, God abhors, because they are not 
acquainted with him : " The ox knoweth his owner, and tlie 
ass his master's crib, but Israel doth not know me," Isa. i, 3. 
To this, saith he, "your incense is abomination unto me, 
the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I 
cannot away with ; it is iniquity, even yom* solemn meet- 
ings." ver. 13, 14. Now the reason why there is a necessity of 
sin without acquaintance with God, is, because whatsoever 
is not done with a good heart is not good : " A good man, 
out of the good treasure of his heart, bringeth forth good 
fruit ; and an evil man, out of the evil treasure of his heart, 
bringeth forth evil fruit : for of the abundance of the heart 
his moutli speaketli," Luke vi. 45. As an evil tree cannot 
Ining forth good fruit, so an evil heart cannot bring forth a 
good action. Now witliout knowledge the heart is not good. 
"' That tlie soul be without knowledge, it is not good," Prov. 
xix. 2. And there is no knowledge like the knowledge of 
God, and acquaintance with him, to make the heart good : 
" Because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of 
God in the land ; therefore by swearing, and lying, and kill- 
ing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out," 
Hosea iv. 1, 2. Tlius, want of knowledge of God and ac- 
quaintance witli God, we may plainly see, is the necessary 
cause of sin. Now there is no greater evil on this side hell, 
than tliat of a necessity of sinning. Those of whom it is 
said " they cannot cease from sinning," are called "cursed 
children," 2 Pet. ii. 14. lie that chooseth any sin rather 
than affliction, doth it through the blindness of his mind. 
This is laid as a heavy accusation : " For this liast thou 
chosen rather than affliction," Job xxxvi. 21. To choose 
iniquity rather than affliction is the greatest folly imaginable. 
It is one great jiart of the misery of liell, that they never 
cciise from sinning ; and this is the greatest misery on earth, 
our being so much under the power of sin. I appeal to any 
gracious soul that hath the feeling of the burden of sin ; wliat 
is its gi'cat troulile and sorrow i Is it not because of sin I 
What are his secret moans to God ? Is it nut the sense ot 


coiTuiition ? " wretched man that I am ! who shall deliver 
me from the body of this death 1 " saith Paul, Rom. vii. 24. 
He had been complaining of the mass of corruption that did 
still press hard upon him, and in the strong workings of his 
spirit against it, he calls it the body of death. It was as 
grievous to him as if he had been bound to a stinking rotten 
carcass. How wretched then is the state of every soul 
unacquainted with God ; who can do nothing but sin, be- 
cause they want the right rule of action, a right pattern of 
imitation, a right principle for action, a right object for 
action, a right end for action, the only assistance of action. 
It concerns us then, as we make any difference between good 
and evil, if we have any i-^fspect unto holiness and purity 
before sin and iniquity, to see to get acquaintance with God ; 
because without acquaintance with God, we are in a woful 
necessity of sinning. 

2. Without acquaintance with God we are in a necessity 
of misery. Indeed sin is a great misery ; and to be in a 
necessity of sinning is part of the necessity of misery. But 
besides that, there is a necessity of misery of another kind. 
What is the great employment of men unacquainted with 
God ? " Men labour in the very fire, and weary themselves 
for very vanity," Hab. ii. 13. Tliis was the misery of men, 
because they know not God. But in ver. 14 there is a pro- 
mise of better days: " When the earth shall be filled with tlie 
knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the 
sea." Then, and not till then, will there be a deliverance 
from labouring in the tire when there is the knowledge of 
God. The reason of it is, because true satisfaction and 
.peace cannot be till our desires and enjoj'ments are alike ; 
and this cannot be till the soul is acquainted with God ; for 
nothing can fill up the desires of the soul but God. The soul 
of man is mighty spacious, so that it cannot be filled with 
the world ; and while it feels an emptiness, it still cries out 
for more, and cannot be filled till it be filled with the 
fulness of God, Eph. iii. 19. The prodigal son had nothing 
but husks to feed upon, when he was gone from his fatlier's 
house ; he would fain have filled his belly with the husks, 
bat could not; they were not food for the soul. When we 


are departed from God, we liave notliinp; to feed on but the 
world, and we would fill our souls with the world, but 
cannot; for it is not food for the soul. Acf|uaintance with 
(Jod is the food of the soul : " I have esteemed the words of 
his mouth more than my necessary food," Job xxiii. 12. 
So that a soul that is not acquainted with God is famished 
for want of food ; " 3Iy soul tliirsteth for (Jod, for the living 
God : when shall I come and appear before God ? " Ps. xlii. 2. 
David was acquainted with God, but for want of an actual 
enjoyment, how doth he here breathe out the trouble of 
his spirit ! "As the hart panteth after the water brooks, to 
panteth my soul after thee, God," ver. 1. The soul is 
still panting. "Some pant after the dust of the earth," 
Amos ii. 7. These were of the serpent's seed, whose curse 
from God was, " Dust shalt thou eat : " Init the seed of Christ, 
they pant for God, and they that pant after God shall be 
tilled with the fulness of God: but he that panteth after 
anything besides God will never tind any fulness: he will 
feed as upon the dust of the earth. And ^vhat can follow 
but dissatisfaction and misery? Acquaintance with God is 
the only way to be freed from a necessity of sin and misery. 
Fifthly, Acquaintancewith God is the dutyof man, because 
God Iiimself doth acquaint himself with man. Shall the 
king seek after acquaintance with the meanest of his 
subjects, and he refuse acijuaintance with his sovereign? 
Shall God acquaint himself with man, and shall not man ac- 
(piaint himself with God? It is expected among men, that 
the inferior should seek for acquaintance with the superior, 
and not the superioi- to the inferior; but yet God, out of his 
AS onderful love, hath souglit first to man for acquaintance. 
Thus, Prov. viii. 31 , it is said concerning the Son of God, who 
is meant iiy tlie Eternal AVisdom uf the Father, that lie 
"rejoiced in the liabitable parts of the earth, and his delight 
was with th(! sons of men." If God thus delights in converse 
and acipiiiintunce with the sons of men, how much more 
onght nu'ii to njoicc in converse and ac(iuaintance with God! 
God saitli, "1 uni fiminl of tluiii that souglit me not," Isa. 
Ixv. 1. All nun were (K']i;irtc(l iVom (Jod, ami not a man 
that did seek after God; tliere is none that understands or 


seeks after God, yet God is found of tliem. The good Shep- 
herd seeks his lost sheep, before the slieep sought liiin. 
When the soul is asleep, it hears the voice of its Beloved 
that knocks, saying, "Open to me, my sister, my love, 
my dove, my undetiled," Cant. v. 2. Christ saith to the re- 
volting cliurch, that he was ready to si)ue tliem out of liis 
mouth. "Behold I stand at the door and knock : if any man 
will hear me, and open the door, I will come in and sup with 
him, and he with me," Rev. iii. 20. "Thou hast ascended 
on high, thou hast led captivity captive : thou hast received 
gifts for men ; yea, for the rebellious also, that the Lord God 
might dwell among them," Ps. Ixviii. 18. Is it not becoming, 
then, that man should open when God knocks ? He seeks 
to dwell among the rebellious ; is it not iit that man should 
enter into acquaintance with God, when God doth thus ac- 
quaint himself Avith man 1 Thus I have opened to you the 
nature of acquaintance with God, and evidenced it to be the 
duty of man to acquaint himself with God ; let us now make 
some improvements of tliis truth. 


First, Is there to he an acquaintance between the soul and 
God ? Let us then stand and wonder at the great condescen- 
sion of God ! This may surprise our souls with an ecstacy 
of admiration, that God should dwell with man ; that the 
mighty Jehovah should have such respect to the work of 
his hands. "Who is like imto the Lord, who dwelleth on 
high, who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in 
heaven and in earth?" Ps. cxiii. 5, 6. The Psalmist ad- 
mired God, that he humbled himself to behold things that 
&re in heaven ; and how much more then is he to be admired 
that he humbled himself to acquaint himself with man? 
Let us then be filled with a^lmiration, that God should take 
US so nigh unto himself. As, Ps. viii. 4, " AVhat is man, 
that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou 
shouldst visit him ?" And Job vii. 17, 18, " What is man, that 
thou shouldst magnify him 1 and that thou shouldst set thy 
heart upon him? and that thou shouldst visit him every 
morning?" Man in the pride of his heart seeth no such 


great matte*-.' in it, Init a humble soul is filled witli astouibh- 
ment. " Thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth 
eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in tlie high and holy 
place, with him also that is of a contrite and huml)lc spirit, 
to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the lieart 
of the contrite ones," Isa. Ivii. 15. Oh, saith the humble soul, 
will the Lord have respect unto such a vile worm as I am? 
Will the Lord acquaint himself with such a sinful wretch 
as I am ? "Will the Lord open his arms, his bosom, his heart 
to me? Shall such a loathsome creature as I find favour in 
his eyes? In Ezek. xvi. 1-5, we have a relation of the wonder- 
ful condescension of God to man, who is there resembled to 
a wretched infant cast out in the day of its birth in its blood 
and filthiness, no eye pitying it ; such loathsome creatures 
are we before God, and yet when he passed by, and saw us 
polluted in our blood, he said unto us, Live. It is doubled, 
because of the strength of its nature; it was "the time of 
love," ver. 8. Tliis was love indeed, that God should 
take a filthly wretched thing, and spread his skirts over it, 
and cover its nakedness, and swear unto it, and enter into a 
covenant with it, and make it his ; that is, that he should 
espouse this loathsome thing to himself, that he Avould bu 
a liusiiand to it ; this is love unfiithomable, love incon- 
ceivable, self-principle love ; this is the love of God to man, 
for God is love. Oh the depth of the riclies of the bounty ami 
goodness of God ! How is liis love wonderful, and his grace 
■past finding out ! How do you find and feel your hearts 
afl'ccted upon tlie report of these things? Do you not see 
matter of admiration, and cause of wonder i Are you not 
as it were launched forth into an ocean of goodness, where 
you can sec no shore, nor feel no bottom 1 Ye may make a 
judgment of yourselves by the motions and afiections that 
ye feel in yourselves at the mention of this. For tluis Christ 
judged of the faith of the centurion that said unto him, 
"Lord, I am not wortliy tbat thou sliouldst come under my 
roof. "When Jesus heard tliis, he marvelled, and said to them 
that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so gi-eat 
faith, no, not in Israel," ]Matt. viii. 8, 10. If, then, you feel 
not your souls mightil}^ affected with this condescension of 


God, say tliiis unto your souls, What aileth thee, my 
soul, tliat thou art no more afit'ected Avith the goodness of 
God 1 Art thou dead, that thou canst not feel 1 Or art thou 
blind, that thou canst not see thyself compassed about with 
astonishing goodness ? Behold the King of glory descending 
from the habitation of his majesty, and coming to visit thee ! 
nearest not thou his voice, saying, "Open to me, my sister: 
behold, I stand at the door and knock. Lift ujj yourselves, 

ye gates, and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors, that the 
King of glory may come in. Behold, my soul, how he 
waits still \\hile thou hast refused to open to him ! Oh the 
wonder of his goodness ! Oh the condescension of his love, 
to visit me, to sue unto me, to wait upon me, to be acquaint- 
ed with me ! Thus work up your souls into an astonish- 
ment at the condescension of God. 

USE p. 

Secondly, Is there to be acquaintance between the soul 
and God? Then let us learn to make a right judgment of 
our own excellency; let us judge of ourselves as too high 
and noble to converse with this base and beggarly world. 

1 am of a nobler original than to debase myself to such 
mean things. I am the offspring of God, and shall I acquaint 
myself ^^•ith earth l I am of the family of God, and shall I 
converse with Satan ? Is there bread enough in my Father's 
house, and shall I perish for hunger ? Lift up thyself, 
my soul, shake off the entanglements of the flesh, break out 
of that bondage of the devil, trample upon the glory of the 
world, and scorn to let out thy precious desires upon dung 
and dross ; get the moon under thy feet, clothe thyself with 
the sun, put on the Sun of righteousness, come into the 
palace of God, and acquaint thyself with him ; for this is 
thy glory, this is thy excellency. You precious ones, who 
can call God Father, and the Son Brother, who have fellow- 
ship with the Father and the Son, who may have commu- 
nion with the Holy Ghost, what do you lying among the 
pots 1 What do you raking in dunghills ? What do you 
conversing with the world ? Have a holy scorn of these 
things as below the dignity of yom- souls: know your 


worth ; esteem yourselves as of more value than all these 
lower treasures. This is your glory and your excellency, 
tliat ye are of God's acquaintance, that ye are sons of God, 
heirs of God, and jdint heirs with Christ, that ye under- 
stand and know God. 

There are two things wherein most men are mistaken. 

First, In the nature of pride. Some look upon that only 
as pride which manifesteth itself in costly ai)parei anil 
bodily ornaments beyond the degree and rank of the person. 
Some look no farther than the carriage of one man towards 
another. Now favourably consider with me, that the great- 
est pride in the world is man's imdue esteem of himself 
toward God ; and this is in the heart of every one by nature. 
Every one l)y nature doth lift iip himself against God, goes 
about to dethrone God, and to crown liiinself: everyone 
takes counsel in liis heart against the Lord, saying, *•' Let us 
break his bands asunder, and cast his cords from us." This 
is the voice of every one that dares wilfully to sin : " We 
will not have God to rule over us." Yet this is the work- 
ing of the pride of a man against God, to thrust God out of 
the throne of his majesty, and to set himself in. Fur what 
is God's glory and respect among his creatures ? Is it not 
this ; that he being the beginning and Author of all, should 
lie likewise the end of all '. And this is the very ])urpose of 
God in making man, tliat having received himself from 
God, he shoukl have what he might freely give up to God ; 
so that all man is, and all that he hath, is to be oft'ered 
to God, as the euil and centre of all. Now a sinning crea- 
ture brings God luidcr to serve him, to ]irovide fur him. 
Now though this pride of man against God l)e n(»t so mncli 
taken notice of, yet it is the very daring sin of the world. 
It is indeed to be wondered at, that ever creature did cast 
out the first thoughts of such an attempt. Now consider 
liow Sir man'.s pride is from his true excellency m his union 
with God. We are therefore to distinguish between that 
liigh esteem tiiat man is to have of himself, and pride. For 
man to look u])on liimself as a noble being, and of rank 
above all the natnral world, it is not jiride, for thus he is 
(being a spiritual understanding agent) in a capacity of 

G6 iiEAVF,:,' rroN E.vntn ; or, 

being acquainted with God, of being unitetl to God, and as I 
may say, of exchanging himself witli God. 

Secondly, Another mistake of most men is, concerning 
their dignity and excellency, and in the rnle and measure 
of their excellency. Most measure their dignity by the 
advantage which they have over others in this world : as 
some in their power and authority ; some in their friends 
and relations ; some in their riches and estates ; some in 
their wisdom and faculties; some in their strength and 
power. And what more universal evil is there than this, 
for every one into something or otiier to lift himself up in 
his own esteem, and in his thoughts to tread upon others, 
as something inferior to himself? But men lie blinded in 
then- own delusions, not considering what is the true excel- 
lency of man; nor know the right rule by which man's 
worth is to be judged of. The way for us to judge rightly 
concerning ourselves, is to see how we stand towards God. 
God is the perfection of excellency ; and the nigher we are 
to God, the gTcater is our excellency. This is the greatness 
of a nation, to be nigh to God. " What nation is there so 
great, which hath God so nigh unto theml" Dent. iv. 7. 
And Amos viii. 7, God is called the excellency of Jacob. 
God sweareth not by anything below himself; therefore 
God is here meant. God is called. the Glory of his people. 
" The Lord shall be to tliee an everlasting light, and thy 
God thy glory," Isa. Ix. 19. Now God is the glory of those 
that are acquainted with liira. 

First, By virtue of the relation wherein God stands 
towards them. An intimate relation to those that are per- 
sons of dignity and wortli doth communicate worth and 
dignity to those who arc so related to them. Thus the son of 
a mean man is not so highly valued and esteemed as the 
son of a prince. David reckoned it to be a great thing to 
be son-in-law to a king : " Who am I, and what is my life, 
or my father's family in Israel, that I should be son-in-law 
to the kingf i Sam. xviii. 18. Thus are we to reckon it 
onr dignity and excellency to be in nigh relation to God, 
to be sons of God, to lie heirs of God, and to be the friends 
of God; wliat greater honour than this, to be in such 


a nigh relation to the God of glory ? Now the excellency 
that we have from this relation ariseth from the excellency 
of that act which is the fuiinJatiun of this relation, and that 
is our being born of God, as we are sons, John i. 12, 13. 
God marrying us to himself, as he is oiu- Husband ; " Turn, 
backsliding childi'en, saith the Lord, fur I am married 
unto you," Jer. iii. 14. God takes us into fellowship and 
communion and acquaintance with himself, as he makes us 
his friends and his acquaintance. This act of God doth 
instamp a wurth and excellency upon man, as the impres- 
sion of the king's seal upon wax, and makes it of value. It 
is spoken as the glory of the servants of God. Those that 
follow the Lamb, '' thej- shall see his foce, and his name 
shall be in their foreheads," Rev. xxii. 4 ; that is, God hath 
chosen, and, as it were, marked them out for his own : and 
this marking them and owning them sets a high dignity 
upon them, such as secures them from the curse that is to 
be upon all besides ; as. Rev. ix. 4, they aro commanded to 
liurt none " but tlnjse who have not the seal of God on their 
foreheads." This relation of the soul to God gives the soul 
an excellency, as it doth interest the soul in the glory and 
excellency of God himself; they are God's, and God is 
theirs; " I will dwell in them, and walk with them, and I 
will be their God, and they shall be my peo])le," 2 Cor. vi. 
1 G. lie argues, from the dignity of this i-elation, that they 
should count themselves too good to converse with the 
world ; " AVherefure, come out from among them, and be ye 
separate, saith the Loi-d, and touch not the unclean thing; 
and I will receive you, and be a Father unto you, and ye 
shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord," ver. 17. 
Thus you see the dignity that is upon the soul by its 
acquaintance with God. Our relation to God in our acquaint- 
ance with him, doth ennoble ns, lift us above the world, 
make us that we are too good fir tlie company of those that 
are not acquainted with God. It is then no j^ride in us thus 
to esteem ourselves, to have high thoughts of ourselves, 
because of that acquaintance which our souls are to have 
with God. It is jiride to think too highly of ourselves; 
but it is sobriety to think of ourselves according to that 

6S ^EAVE^' utoN eartu ; or, 

actixiaintance which we have with God. " I say, through 
the grace of God given to me, to every man that is among 
you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to 
think ; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to 
every man the measure of faith," Rom. xii. 3. Here the 
apostle commands them to measure the esteem which they 
have of themselves by tiie measure of faith which they 
have from God ; because by faith they come to be valued 
excellent in the eye of God. So likewise we are to measure 
our esteem which we have of ourselves by the measure of 
our acquaintance which we have with God ; because by ac- 
quaintance with him, wc come to be truly excellent. And 
while we do thus, we shall not think more highly of our- 
selves than we ought to think: for while we account our- 
selves excellent because of our acquaintance with Gud, we, 
in lifting up ourselves, magnify God ; and while we thus 
glory, we glory in the Lord, 1 Gor. i. 31. But now herein 
we are to beware of two things. 

First, That we distinguish carefully between our capacity 
of being acquainted with God, and our being actually ac- 
quainted Avith him; for our, capacity, or being so as that we 
may be acquainted with God, is of no worth, unless we be 
actually acquainted with him. We are in a remote capacity 
naturally as men, and we are in a more nigh capacity by 
the mercy and covenant of God ; but this adds no true worth 
to the soul, without the actual acquaintance of the soul 
with God. Yea, man is the worse for this, if he be A\'ithout 
the other; for if man, being made lit for enjoyment of God 
and communion with him, and never attain to an enjoy- 
ment of him, he becomes more vile than those things whose 
nature is inferior, if they attain to the jjerfection of that 
nature. And it is like to fare worse with man, if he fall 
short of the glory of God, because he was capalile of the 
glory of God, than with beasts which are not cajmble of it. 
And again, in regard of that more nigh capacity wherein 
we are by Jesus Christ of acquaintance with God, if we 
are not really acquainted with God, we shall thereby 
not only have no addition of excellency, but thereby we 
shall be more vile and miseralile: and therefore those 


who through the mercy of God have been iii the visible 
cliurch, and have heard of the good will of God to man 
tlirougli Christ, and know that God is ready to entertain 
them into acqnaintance with himself ; if they shali fall short 
of this, their condemnation will be greater tlian that of those 
who never heard of God's invitation and liis gTace in Jesns 
Christ. If we therefore shall glory in onr capacity of being 
of the acquaintance of God, and neglect to be really ac- 
quainted with liim, we do but as the Jews of old, a\ ho cried 
out, " The temple of the Lord arc these," Jer. vii. 4. And 
tlie nigher we are to God, if we do not come to a thorough 
closure with him, the uigher we are to the stroke of his 
wrath : as the nigher any is to a musket-shot, the greater 
will the force of it be upon Irim. Distinguish, therefore, 
^between our capacity of being acquainted \\ ith God, and 
oiu' actual acquaintance with him. 

Secondly, ^^'o must Ijeware lest in our esteem of ourselves 
we lay the foundation of our glory in ourselves. There is 
tliat in every one's corrupt nature which doth provoke him 
toit: so that I dare boldly say that there is not a man in 
liis corrupt natural state who doth not, some v.-ay or other, 
lift up himself in his own esteem for something of his own. 
And we ;ire apt to make eveiy spiritual excellency to be 
matter for ]>ride and self-conceitedness. We do not sufli- 
ciently eye (Jod as the fountain, the author, the foundation, 
the rule, and pattern of all our excellency. Such is the way 
wherein God receiveth man to acquaintance with himself, 
that he might hide pride from his eyes, and that no flesh 
might glory in his presence, 1 Cor. i. 29. If Ave therefore 
lay the foundation of our glory in oureelves, and please our- 
selves in the sparks that we have kindled, we shall glory in 
our shame, and lie down in sorrow. Tliis high esteem which 
tre are to have of ourselves, because of our acquaintance 
with God, doth not at all contradict that precious grace 
of humility, but they rather heli) forward one another; for 
the more any esteems himself, because of that relation 
which he hath to God, the less is the esteem of himself, be- 
cause of anything of his own; the more A\e make God the 
matti-r of our gloi v. tlie less do wc glory in ourselves; the 


more we a,pprehen(l of oui' excellency being from God, the 
less account do we make of all other seeming excellencies. 
When the light of the sun ariseth, then all star-light dis- 

First, All dignity we have seems to arise from that rela- 
tion which we have to God in acquaintance with him. 

Secondly, By acquaintance with God, we come to have 
an absolute positive dignity, which is real in our persons, 
yet still depending upon God. As by our union with Christ, 
we come to have a righteousness imputed, which is our jus- 
titication, and a righteousness likewise inherent, which is 
our sanctification ; so, by our acquaintance Avith God, we 
have a dignity, as it were, imputed by our relation to God, 
and a dignity real, which is that excellency whereby we 
are made absolutely better. By acquaintance with God we 
come to be like God ; and the image of God in us is the 
greatest excellency that we are capable of. When Moses 
had been forty days in the mount with God, his face did 
shine with such a brightness, that the people could not 
behold him: so those that converee with God retain a 
lustre which shines in their converse with men. The image 
or picture of any worthy person is esteemed by them that 
esteem the person, and this esteem of it is from a relation 
which it hath to that person ; but now the children of any 
person whom we love, being a lively image of their father's 
person, have another value upon them, having not only a 
relation worthy, because of their resemblance in the out- 
ward lineament, but a real participation of nature and dis- 
position, which they receive from their father : so there is 
an excellency in those that are acquainted with God, not 
only as being in relation to him, but as receiving, and being 
partakers of the divine nature. As children learn to i)ro- 
nounce their words according to the pronunciation of the 
mother or nurse with whom they converse, (as every one 
is apt to be formed imto the manner and disposition of 
the company wherein they most usually are ;) thus those 
who converse with God become in some measure like unto 
God; and this is positive personal excellency which those 
have which converse with God. Thus the Apostle John 


urgetli concerning tliat perfection of glory and excellencj', 
vhich lu'rcafter is to be upon those that are the sons of 
God: "But it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but 
we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him, 
for we shall see him as he is." In heaven we shall be like 
God, because we shall see God; and on earth, those that 
converse with God shall in some measure be like God, ac- 
cording to their measure of acquaintance with him. And 
so Paul argues concerning this present life : " But we all, 
with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the 
Lord, are changed into the same image, fi"om glory to glory, 
even as by the Spirit of the Lord," 2 Cor. iii. 18. Here we 
see clearly, that beholding the glory of the Lord doth change 
into the same image of God, and likewise that this image 
of God only is the glory of man ; for that is meant by " from 
glory to gloiy ;" that is, from one degree of glorious simili- 
tude to another degree of glorious resemblance and likeness 
to God. Thus ye have seen that the excellency of man 
consistetli in his acquaintance with God ; and that, by the 
virtue of his relation to God, he hath an iminitcd excellency; 
and an exct'llcncy by his propriety in God, in whom is all 
excellency: and that by his converse with God, and ac- 
quaintance with him, he becomes really like God, which is 
liis inherent excellency. Let us then reckon of ourselves 
as those who liave their dignity and excellency from God, 
and in this let us glory, that we know God, and are ac- 
quainted with God. This is the second use of this proi^o- 


First, If man ought to be acquainted with God, then let 
us all inquire into ourselves, whether we are acquainted with 
him or no. Let us every one turn into our own bosoms, and 
r.'Ai. ourselves this question; Thou hast heard, my soul, 
tliat which is thy great duty, that wliicli is the very end of 
thy creation and thy redemption, and that the highest per- 
fection of tbv noblest facultv consists in knowini; God, and 
being ac(iuainted with him, which cont;iins a nigh uuion to 
him, and intiniute conveiiie with him, and mutual comniuu- 


ion to God, and from God, and radicated unmovcable love to 
God ; these are excellent things, my soul : what is thy 
case ? Art thou one of those precious ones, who converse 
oft with God, and talk oft of God, whom ho will make up 
with his jewels 1 Or art thou onp of those wretched crea- 
tures, who are alienated from the life of God by reason of 
the ignorance that is in them 1 Or art thou one of those who, 
having been sometimes afar off, are now made nigh to God 
by the blood of Christ, and so are led into fellowship and 
communion with the Father and the Son by the Spirit ? 
Or art thou one of those who look upon God afar off, and 
whom God looks upon afar off] I beseech you, every one 
of you, deal seriously and accurately with yourselves in 
this inquiry ; for it is most certain that most men in the 
world, yea, in the visible cliurcli, are not acquainted with 
God. Thus it hath been in all generations from the begin- 
ning of the world, and thus it is at this day : the people of 
God have been like a little flock of sheep, while the rest are 
like locusts, covering the whole face of the earth. The peo- 
ple of God have still complained that they are but as the 
gleaning of the vintage, and as two or three olive-berries in 
the top of the utmost branches, when the rest have been 
gathered. The visible church of God, in respect of the rest 
of the world, how small a part is it ! In the visible church 
how few live up to their religion, by any considerable pro- 
fession I How little difi'erence is there between most among 
lis, and heathens ! And of those that profess, and lay claim 
to something beyond others among whom they live, how 
many betray their profession by their wicked practice and 
worldly conversation ! So that when we have made inquiry, 
there will remain very few of tliose that are really acquaint- 
ed with God ; it concerns us then to be very diligent in in- 
quiring, what is our case ? — how we stand towards God. 

Secondly, I shall be the more earnest in i^ressing you 
upon a diligent search into what acquaintance you have 
gotten with God, because I know that those that have least 
acquaintance with God are most apt to neglect this inquiry. 
It may be, a tender soul that hath been much with God will 
be ready upon the first hint to enter into the secrets of Ins 


own heart, to look over liis evidences, to call to niiiul, When 
have I drawn nigh to God? When have I conversed with 
God ? When have I communion with God ? Ilath my life 
l)een a walking with God ? Have I dwelt with God, and 
made my abode with hiin ? Thus the soul that makes high 
account of its acquaintance with God will be trung and ex- 
amining itself; and it may be, upun its more awakened 
signs of its sometimes departing from God, or feeling some 
present strangeness, it will be apt to conclude of itself. Surely 
I am none of those precious ones whose life is a converse 
with God. But the common generation of the world, oh, 
how hardly will they be brought to asi themselves this 
((uestiun, whether they are of the acquaintance of God or no ! 
How often have they been urged with a great ami vehement 
affection upon trial, how their souls stand towards God ! 
andhithert(^ they have neglected it. I\Iany are so inconsid- 
erate as to think what is spoken is nothing to them : they 
come and sit in the congregation, but their hearts are out 
of reach, out of the shot of the word ; so they go away, and 
the word to them is as if it had Udt been. Many are so 
light and vain, and frothy in their si>irits, as that the streams 
will almost as soon return to their fountain, as they will be 
persuaded to turn in and inquire into their own souls. In all 
naturally there is an averseness to come to the light, that 
their works and hearts may be manifested. If I should 
come to you one by one, and beseech you Avith the greatest 
earnestness wherewith I were able, when you go from tho 
congregation to take opportunity to go in secret, and enter 
upon trial with your hearts, and ask yourselves thoroughly 
this question, and let them not alone till you have a clear 
determinate answer, whether you are in a state of acquain- 
tance with God ; I fear you would go, one to his pleasui-es, 
another to thi« vanity, and another to this covetousness, and 
iihnost all of you neglect this work of so great concernment. 
Let me thenfore urge you with all earnestness, that you will 
not account it a small matter, whether you be acquainted 
with God or not; and so mglect this trial of yourselves: 
but bring up your liearts roundly to the examination, yield 
not to their umcasouablc withdrawings, force them to an- 


Mvcv. If you make any account of the charge of God, if yo u 
make any account of the excellency of man, if you wouUl 
not lose the 'highest privilege of the creature, if you haVe 
any esteem of the life of heaven, know yourselves in this, 
whether you are in a state of acquaintance with God, and be 
serious and diligent in this inquiry. 

Thii'dly, Because men are so exceeding apt to he mistaken, 
and to misapprehend concerr.'ing themselves, that they are 
in a state of acquaintance with God, while they are mere 
strangers unto him ; such as those whom our Saviour speaks 
of, IMatt. vii. 22, 23, " Many will say to me in that day. Lord 
Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name ? and in thy name 
have cast out devils 1 and in thy name done many wonder- 
ful works 1 " and then he will profess unto them, " I never 
knew you : depart from me, ye workers of iniquity." They 
take it for granted, that because of such privileges, and gifts, 
and common graces which they had, therefore they were well 
acquainted with Christ ; but our Saviour answereth, " I never 
knew you ;" that is, I never had any acquaintance with you. 
Such are those who are resembled to us by five fooUsh 
virgins. Matt. xxv. 11, 12. The five foolish virgins come wheri 
the door is shut, and say, " Lord, Lord, open unto us ;" but he 
answereth, "Verily I say unto you, I know you not;" that 
is, never had acquaintance with you : you never knew me 
in the time of your life, and I will not know you now : you 
were ashamed to own me before men, and I will be ashamed 
to own you before my Father. Men are so apt to be mista- 
ken in judgment of themselves, that they think themselves 
rich and increasing with goods, and to have need of nothing, 
when they are wretched, miserable, and poor, and blind, 
and naked. And this made David to cry out, after he had 
been trying himself, " Search me, God, and know my 
heart ; try me, and know my thoughts ; and see if there be 
any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting," 
Ps. cxxxix. 23, 24. This unaptness in us to make a right 
judgment of oirrselves in our relation to God, ariseth, 

First, From that deep root of self-love that is in us by 
nature, whereby we are apt to apprehend well of ourselves, 
and please ourselves with a good conceit of ourselves, though 


vre are never so bad. And such is the nature of this affec- 
tion, that it l)linds our eyes, and prejudices the mind, that 
it cannot make a ri<:;ht judgment. As aftection in some pa- 
rents to then' chilch'cn makes them reckon that which is a 
blemish to be a beauty in their cliilihx'U; so dotli inordin- 
ate self-love work in men, in the judgment of tliemselves. 
Men, wlien they judge themselves, look into a flattering 
glass, which presents them in greater beauty than that which 
is their own. 

Secondly, We judge amiss of ourselves, because we take 
not a right rule fur our judgments, as those of whom Paul 
speaks, 2 Cor. x. 12: "Some commend themselves: but 
they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing 
themselves witli themselves, are not wise." If we take our- 
selves to be the rule and measure, tl\en we cannot discern 
our own crookedness and irregularness. 

Thirdly, We judge amiss of ourselves, because of the de- 
ceitfulness of our hearts. " The heart is deceitful above all 
things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jcr. xvii. 
9. Gross wickedness is apparent to the purblind eye ; but 
v/here there is an abstaining from gross outward sins, there 
arc special workings of corruption, such as pi-ide, self-love, 
distrust of God, and love of the- world; any of which shut 
up tlie soul against God, as with bolts and bars; and these 
lying inward are not discerned. Other accounts may be 
given of the imaptness to make a due judgment of our- 
selves. It concerns us, therefore, to be exact in o)ir trial, 
and trust not to a sudden answer; for we arc ready to make 
a short work of it, and to save ourselves tbe labour, ami to 
sit down with charitable thoughts of ourselves. Wliatso- 
ever answer, therefore, our hearts give us, let us sec cleared, 
and have such reason for it, that wc may know how to \n-o- 
cecd with ourselves, upon a right judgment of ourselves. 
The chief work of trial in this particular acquaintance with 
God will be from those ])articulars wlierein I o])ened tin- 
nature of the fioul's acquaintance with God. Let us, there- 
fore, take those heads, and our own experience of ourselves, 
and by a rational deduction, let us fni<l out our own estate. 

As thus : 1. Those that arc acquainted with God arc brouglit 


nigh to God. Wlieroas sometimes there was a strangeness 
and remoteness, a vast separation, now the partition is taken 
out of the way, and I am made one in Christ. I have taken 
God to be my portion and my Father ; I have been a pro- 
digal, and have departed from him; but I, tinding myself 
lost and undone, and that nothing could satisfy my soul in 
the world, therefore I resolved I would return to my Father's 
house, and try if he would receive me again into his fimiily. 
And so I have done: I have cast oif my old converse with 
the world and with corruption; I have broken my league 
with hell, and have entered into a covenant with the Father, 
through his Son Jesus Christ ; therefore I may comfortably 
conclude that I am now in a state of acquaintance with 

But if, in the inquiry into myself, I find not these things, 
if I find that now I am as in former days ; I have felt no 
such change in myself, and that all things are with me as 
they were of old ; I never was sensible of any loss in myself; 
I never knew what strangeness and nighness to God meant ; 
I never understood what union with God and distance from 
God was ; this signifies ill, it is a symptom of a bad state, 
of a state of unacquaintance with God. 

2. So again, for our converse with God. He that is ac- 
quainted with God hath had his converse with God, he 
hath d\velt with God, and God with him ; he hath supped 
with Christ, and Christ with him ; his great business and 
employment hath been nigh God, in those things wherein is 
most of God. If I find my soul much conversing with God, 
oft sending out breathings to heaven, oft casting my eye 
towards God ; if I find the great work of my mind to be 
with God, my great business lies in heaven, my treasure is 
laid up there, and my thoughts, and desires, and joys, and 
delights, and meditations are there ; I may comfortably con- 
clude that I am in some measure acquainted with God. 
But if, in the inquiry into myself, I find that I have my 
whole converse with the world, that I can alford no time 
for prayer to God in my family and in secret; if I find all 
the day long my cares, and desires, and thoughts, run out 
most naturally and fully without control towards the things 


of tlie world, or that I will mind myself in a natural carnal 
way, and mind not the things of God ; this signifies to me 
my unacquaintance with God, and it will be an unground- 
ed presumption in me to reckon myself any other than a 
stranger to him. 

3. So for communion and fellowship, wliich is in acquaint- 
ance. Those that are intimately acquainted, their com- 
munion in the way of discourse is very frequent, in making 
known their thoughts and apprehensions, their fears anc? 
wants ; their minds are open one to another, and that which 
is tlie propriety of one is by their acquaintance communi- 
cated to the use of both. If, then, I can find, in reviewing 
the workings of my soul, that there hath been this sight of 
lieaven, this spiritual communion lietween my soul and God; 
that my heart hath been open to God ; that I have gone to 
God when my heart hath been burdened with sorrow, I have 
discharged it into the bosom of God, as into the bosom of a 
friend ; that in my doubts I have betaken myself to him, 
expecting comfort from him ; that upon hearing his voice, 
I have opened to him, and upon my opening he hath come 
in with smiles of love, and given me tokens of his favour ; 
these things signify a state of acquaintance with God. But 
if I know not what it is to have given up my soul to God, 
to be his, and to have taken God to bo mine ; if I have had 
experience of receiving nothing else from God, but a par- 
taking of the things of the world ; if I have not been wont 
to communicate the workings of my mind to God, it be- 
tokeneth my unacquaintance with God. 

4. And again, for that friendly working of love and affec- 
tion in the soul towards God. Those that are in a state of 
acquaintance are supposed to comply with each other in 
kindness, and love, and good will, and aHection. If, then, 
I can, upon search into myself, find that God hath the high- 
est room in my affections, that my heart is his, that his 
love is prevailing with me above the love of all things be- 
sides, and that I love those that are his beloved for his sake, 
then I liuve in me a sign of real acquaintance with God ; 
for love is the very quintessence of acquamtance : but if, in 
the search into the workini^s of my mind, I can i'nid no 


Buch friendly compliance, but that God was still thwarting 
and crossing my designs, that I should tind myself better 
content if there were no God, and that those workings of 
my mind that are about God are sour, harsh, and tearing 
upon my spirit ; then it is to be feared that I have no ac- 
quaintance with God. 

And hast thou made an impartial inquiry into thy state? 
And how stand things between thy soul and God ? Art thou 
acquainted with hjm, or art thou not ? Consider seriously, 
O sinners, that this is one of the weightiest questions in the 
V'orld ; and if this question were but well resolved, it would 
put an end to a thousand other questions. He that can say 
of God and Christ, This is my Beloved, and this is my Friend, 
he need not very solicitously aslc, what news ? He hath 
heard good news from heaven, wliich will easily balance all ; 
come what will come, he need not much pass, as long as 
there stands that one text in the Bible, that " all shall work 
together for good to them that love God." He hath no 
cause to go a-begging to the world, and to say, " Who will 
shoAv me any good ? " As long as the Lord hath shined upon 
him with the light of his countenance, he need not com- 
plain. What shall I do? I have lost this or that dear friend; 
when he hath found Inm who can make up all with one 
look, whom he can never lose. In a word, he need not ask, 
How shall I do to live ? and what shall I eat, and what 
shall I drink, and wherewithal shall I be clothed ? so long 
as he kno\vs that he hath a noble Friend, who will ease him 
of all his care, and never see him want. Well then, hast 
thou answered this great question or not ? Or wilt thou do 
\s'ith thy conscience as Felix, put it off", and say thou wilt 
liear of these matters at some more convenient season ? 
and I wonder when that more convenient season will be ; 
and why not now, I pray ? What season more fit than the 
present ? I am sure God saith, " Now is the acceptable time ;" 
and do you know better than he ? What hast thou to do that 
is more necessary ? Speak out, I pray. Is the following of thy 
pleasures ? Is the serving of Satan ? Is the damning of thy 
soul more necessary than the saving of it ? Is the life and 
dtath of a soul uuthin^^ ? Ave everlaiting glory and misery 


small mattei's ? Is the love or hatred of thy God so incou- 
Biderable a thing ? Awake, sinner, wliat meanest thou ? 
Arise speedily, and look ahout thee, man. Consider seriously, 
as thou vainest thy soul, what best becomes a sinner in thy 
condition. What answer shall I return to my Master ? 
Are not these tilings worth the thinking of '? Shall I say 
f )r all this, that thou art not at leisure to look after an 
interest in his fiivour, or anytliing that tends to it I Shall 
I tell him that thou hast something of greater weight and 
higher importance to trouble your head with? And do you 
in sober sadness think so ? For j-ou make account that ex- 
cuse is sufficient? I pray, then, make use of it yourself; for 
I dare not. When God shall come to ask you, wliy you did 
no more vigorously mind the getting acquaintance witli 
himself, tell him then, if you tliink that answer Avill serve 
your turn, that you were not at leisure, you had such urgent 
occasions which took up the whole of your time, such and 
Buch a friend yuu had, who sent for you to the tavern, and 
you could not possibly come when he invited you ; tell him, 
if you believe that plea will hold water, that you would havo 
been glad to have come upon his invitation, but that you 
were taken up witli such good old friends, t'ue world, tho 
flesh, and the devil. How do you think such an answer 
will be taken? You may think to put us off with sucli 
kind ()f reasons as this : Imt do you hope Ijy this answer 
to satisfy your Judge ? Believe it, sinner, God will not 
thus be put off. Wherefore I do again, with all the earnest- 
ness I can for my soul, renew my suit to thee, that tliou 
Would.-it act like a man in liis wits; make some serious 
in([uiry into the state and condition of thy soul. And 
consider, for the Lord's sjike, again and again, before you 
send me away thus, wliat errand I come to you on. It 
is to treat with you about a rieli match for thy poor undone 
Boul: therefore consider well what you do belbre you mako 
light of this liiisiness, and know when you aie well oHi-red ; 
believe it, God will not long send after you in this manner, 
and you are not like every tlay to have such proffers ; divine 
patience and goodness will not always plead at this rate with 
j'ouj God will ere l-jii;;; say, Let thc;n alui;c ; the Lojd will 


ere lung speak to scornful sinners in such language that 
will make their ears to tingle ; he will despise and slight 
as well as they : and who is like to have the worst of it at 
last. I leave to any rational man to judge? The time is 
coming, when your ungodl^^ hearts shall ache to see Ilini 
whom you might have had for your Husband ; when you 
shall have him for your Judge, whom you might have had 
for your Advocate. And though we could not get you to he 
willing to be acquainted with him, no, not so much as to 
have any serious thoughts about it, or to make any inquiry 
after him, to inform yourself concerning him; yet you shall 
have him for your enemy whether you will or no. But, oh, 
let us not part thus I let me, a man like thyself, reason the 
case a little more with thee. Come, tell me, poor ignorant 
creature, thou that still standest demurring, and sayest. 
Shall I, shall I '? what evil is there in thy God, that thou 
shouldst be thus hardly brought so much as to discourse 
this business with thy own soul 1 What is the reason that 
thou scarce thinkest it worth thy while to trouble thy head 
about anything that doth concern yoiir interest in his love? 
Thou that mindest his love so little, tell me, what dost 
thou think had become of thee long before this, if God 
had regarded thee as little as thou dost hhn 1 What wouldst 
thou have done, had the Lord said to any disease, the 
least of his messengers. Fetch that rebel before me, that 
values not my favour ; he shall know what my anger is, 
seeing he will not prize my love. Oh, what a lamentable 
case hadst thou been in had God but done by thee as thou 
hast by him ? Acquaintance -with God ! Methinks sinful 
man should stand and wonder at such a word ; methinks he 
should be even surprised with an ecstacy of admiration, and 
eay. And will God indeed be acquainted with such a worm, 
such a dead dog, such a rebel as I ? " Lord, what is man 
that thou art mindful of him : or the son of man, that 
thou shoiildst make such an otter to himi" One would 
think thou shouldst no more dispute the matter than Esther 
did, when that great monarch made her liis queen. Were 
it but in sensible things, that nothing near such an oflt'er 
were madoj (which is impossible,) man would tliink the very 


questioning ia such a case a stmiige folly. One would think 
that every one of God's enemies that have been in open re- 
bellion against him, and are utterly unable to make their part 
good against him, ■when they hear of such terms of mercy 
from their Prince, who hath all their lives in his hand, 
should rejoice at this news, and say, "IIow beautiful are the 
feet of them who bring such tidings!" IIow did Benha- 
dad look, when instead of a halter he had a coach ! when 
instead of Rebel, he heard, Brother! Whatever we may 
think of these things, David thought it high time for him 
to bid such a messenger welcome, and to open his heart for 
the receiving his God. Hear what he saith to his own heart 
and others : " Lift up your heads, yc gates ; and be ye 
lifted up, ye everlasting doors ; and the King of glory shall 
come in," Ps. xxiv. 7. And because the door of men's hearts 
is locked, and barred, and bolted, and men are in a deep 
sleep, and will not hear the knocking that is at the gate, 
though it be loud, though it be a King ; therefore David 
knocks again, " Lift up your heads, ye gates, and be yo 
lifted uj), ye everlasting doors." Why, what haste, saith 
the sinner ? What haste ? Why, here's the King at your 
gates ; and that not an ordinary king neither ; he is a glorious 
King, that will honour you so far, if youoi)en quickly, as to 
lodge within, to take up his a])ode in your house, to dwell 
with you. But the soul for all this doth not yet open, but 
stands still (uiestioning, as if it were an enemy ratbei- tliau 
a friend that stood there, and asks, '' Who is this King of 
glory?" Who? He answers again, " It is the Lord of 
liosts;" IIo that if you will not open ([uickly and thankfully 
too, can easily pull your huuscdown about your ears; lie is 
the Lord of hosts, that King who hath amiglity army always 
at his command, who stands ready for their commission, and 
then you should know who it is you might have had for 3'our 
friend ; " Lift up, therefore, your heads, U ye gates." Open 
quickly, ye that liad rather liave God for your friend than 
for your enemy. Uh, why should not tiic soul of every 
sinner cry out, Lord, the door is locked, and thou liast tho 
key ; I have been trying what 1 can do, Ijut tlu; wards are so 
rusty tliat I cannot [wssibly turn the key. But, Lord, 


lliro'.v the door oft the liiiiges, anything in the world, so 
thou wilt but come in and dwell here. Come, mighty 
God, break through doors of iron, and bars of brass, and 
make way for thyself by thy love and power. Come, Lord, 
and make thyself welcome ; all that I have is at thy service : 
Oh lit my soul to entertain thee ! But where is the sinner 
that is in this note? How seldom do poor creatures desire 
God's company, or bewail his absence ! Where almost are 
the men and women to be found, that do in good earncbt 
long to be acquainted with God ? Men are naturally 
strangers to God, and it is a wonderful difHcult thing to 
persuade men to enter into so much as a serious deliberate 
consideration of these things. Though it be so infinitely for 
their intei-est ; though the God that made them, out of pity 
to their souls, desire it; though he send his ambassadors in 
his name to beseech them to be reconciled unto God, against 
wh.om they have l^ecn in open arms; though in infinite 
mercy he persuade them to lay down their Aveapons, and pro- 
mise them free and general pardon, and to receive tliem into 
favour, and to forget and forgive ; y(?t wlicre is the sinner 
almost to be found that with any thankfulness doth close 
with these tenders? Now it being a business of such infi- 
nite coiiccrnment, audit being the very Avork and business 
of a minister of Christ to bring God and man into union, to 
get man acquainted with God, I shall, in the next i^lace, labour 
to enforce this exhortation upon the hearts of sinners, and 
do what I possibly can to prevail with them that are as yet 
strangers, to get acquainted with God, that they may have 
peace, and that thereby good might come unto them. 


Once more, poor sinnei-, that God who can in a moment 
stop thy breath and scud thee into hell, doth offer to be 
friends with thee. If thou wilt come upon his invitation, 
well and good, thou art a happy man for ever ; if not, thou 
wilt rue the day that ever thou wert born : yet, through 
mercy, tlie m.atter is not gone so far, but that thou mayest, if 
thou wilt now at last in good earnest hinnlile thyself to him, 
be received into favour. Behold, a pardon, mercy and grace. 

JESU'o TUE Bi:riT FIUE.M) OF MAX. f^3 

Ftaiul astonislied, yc heavens, at tlu's infinite condescen- 
sion ! Wonder, ye angels, and pry into tliis kindness ! 
Was there ever such condescension, love, and goodness heard 
of 1 If thou didst l)ut understand, stupid sinner, what an 
offer is made to thee, thou couklst not l)ut adore that good- 
ness that can pardon and forget such offences, and receive 
such a creature into favour ; thou wouhlst also cry out -witli 
as great admiration as ho did, What manner of love ! you 
would think it a mercy not paralleled, a kindness never to be 
forgotten, a proposal by no means to be refused. Now that 
I may, if possible, jivevail with some that are yet afar off, to 
come near, I shall enforce this exhortation with many power- 
ful motives, the least of which (were men but well in their 
wits as to si)uitual matters, Avere the world not to a wonder 
fools, in the grciit affairs of their souls and eternity) might 
easily prevail. Oh that I might prevail ! Oh that some might 
be pci-suaded ! Oh that God would put life and power into 
these words, that they might prove effectual to the intended 
ends ! Oh that some rebellious sinner might be made to close 
with the most advantageous offers that ever were, or could be 
made to creatures in our condition ! 


The first head of motives that I shall insist upon to enforce 
this exhortation, shall be taken from the nature of the Per- 
Bon that I would have you ac([iuunted with. Consider well 
what kind of Fiiend you are like to have of him ; and if, after 
you have avcU weighed what I shall (with God's leave) say, 
you can fintl out any one in heaven or in earth that will be 
a better friend to you, and stand you in more stead ; if in all 
the world you bring one that deserves better at your hands, 
and is more worthy of your choicest love and aci|uaintancc; 
if I bid you to your loss, wliy then, let me bear the name of 
a cheater for ever. And if after trial, through trial, and in- 
timate acquaintance, you find yourself deceived, and that it 
was not worth the? while to give yourself so nnich troul)le, 
why then let nic Ik; branded to etrrnity, for the veriest liar 
and impostor in the world. For my part, I envy not men 
theii- hajipineks: but I wish, witli all my heart, that men 


•would do that which may be most for their interest. It was 
the counsel of Epictetus, none of the weakest men, though 
a heathen : " Make choice of that which is really most ex- 
cellent ; and if there be a friend to be found better than thy 
God, the first thing thou dost, get an interest in him." But 
consider whether there be not a contradiction in the terms. 
Better than the best. It's perfect nonsense. I know it's im- 
possible for any one that hath right apprehensions of God 
to undervalue him. Wherefore it is a grand piece of religion, 
! to have clear apprehensions of God ; such can't but believe 
him to be infinitely lovely, ^vise, and powerful, and to be 
obeyed in all things; and all the reason in the world to 
acquiesce in his v/ill, who is so good and so wise ; such will 
jilace happiness in nothing below liis favour. Wherefore 
I think Plutarch was not mistaken, who affirmed that 
"'man's life was given him of God, only to get the knowledge 
of God." But I shall be a little more particular iu speaking 
to the excellent qualifications of Him whom I would fain 
get every poor sinner acquainted with. 

First, He is the most loving and kind Friend. Poor igno- 
rant creatiu"es that are strangers to him, talk at a mad rate 
concerning liim ; those that know him not will be speak- 
ing bad and thinking worse of him ; but, oh, did they Ijut 
know what God is to thein that are acquainted Avith him ; 
had they but conversed with him themselves ; did they but 
see what entertainment he gives ; had they but been in his 
company, and experienced what some have experienced ; had 
they but lieheld how affectionately he embraces them who 
come to him ; they would quickly say that it was a false re- 
port, and wicked scandal, that the devil and the world, 
which know not God, had raised of him; they would soon 
cry out, that they would not for a world but that they had 
been at his house, and that they have cause to bless God for 
the day that ever they knew such and such who brought 
them a-cquainted with such a Friend ; they will never, while 
they live, for the future, believe anything that is spoken 
against God or Christ, let who will speak it. Is this the 
God they had such hard thoughts of ? Is this the kind- 
ness that they did so slight? Is this the Friend that they 


were so loath to come to 1 And thus ingenuous souls will 
even be ashamed that they should ever harbour such low 
thoughts of Ilim whom now to their comfort they have found 
beyond apprehension kind. Believe it, sirs, you cannot con- 
ceive what a Friend you shall have of God, would you but 
be persuaded to enter into covenant with him, to be his, 
wholly his. I tell you, many that sometimes thought and did 
as you do now, that is, set light by Christ and hate God, and 
see no loveliness in him, are now quite of another mind ; they 
would not for ten thousand worlds quit their interest in 
him. Oh, who dare say that he is a hard Master ? Who 
that knows him will say that he is an unkind Friend ? Oil, 
what do poor creatures all, that they do entertain such harsh 
sour thoughts of God ? What, do they think that there is 
nothing in that scripture, Ps. xxxi. 19, "Oh, how great is thy 
goodness which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee !" 
Doth the Psalmist speak too largely ? Doth he say more 
than he and others could prove? Ask him, and he will tell 
you in ver. 21, that he blesseth God. These were things he 
could speak to, from his own personal experience ; and many 
thousands as well as he, to whom the Lord had showed his 
marvellous kindness, and therefore he doth very passionately 
plead with the people of God to love him, and more highly 
to express their sense of his goodness, that tiie world might 
be encouraged also to have good thoughts of him. What 
nation under heaven can .say they have not tasted of his 
goodness I "All the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord," 
Ps. xxxiii, 5. Read over Ps. cxlv., and let us hear then what 
you have to say against God. Some indeed may speak of the 
niiglit of God's terrible acts; some that have despised his 
love have felt liis power and justice ; us f(jr these we cannot 
think them competent judges in this case ; they will not, it 
may be, commend God's goodness: yet even they cannot, 
will not, condemn God of injustice, but exclaim against them- 
selves fin* their unspeakalde folly in slighting his kindness 
when it was tendered to them. But as f(jr otiiers, ask them, 
and they will declare the goodness of God, they will abun- 
dantly utter the memory of his great goochiess, and sing of 
his righteousness. Do but try, poor sinners, do but try ; come 


a little nearer, and believe your own experience ; and if, after 
a thorough knowledge of God, and a real acqijaintance with 
him, you can say that his favour is not to 1:»e sought after, 
his love not worth the desiring ; why, then, I have done, I 
have no more to say. I am sure, if God were as the devil 
ai'id the world represent him to be ; in so many thousands 
of years, among so many thousands and millions that have 
been accjuainted with him, and entertained by him, some of 
them would have complained before this ; we should at one 
time or other have heard something against him. Now I 
challenge all the world to produce me but an experienced 
solid saint, that when he acted like himself, and after he had 
been in the company of God, and had been feasted by him, 
could saj' that he kept a short house ; especially, could we 
l)ut inquire of those that sit down at his table, and are 
always in his presence ; vidiich of them all have a word to 
say against liim ? But of that more hereafter. No, no, it is 
in sinners themselves, there lies the fault ; they believe the 
malicious lather of lies, they easily ciedit the inexperienced 
ignorant \vorld : and how little reason you have to believe 
so malicious enemies before the word of truth, I leave your- 
selves to determine. Oh, why will you take up a standard 
against yoiu- Creator so easily 1 Why will you receive such 
gTeat things, wherein your eternal welfare is concerned, upon 
trust 1 Do such search diligently, turn over the Bible, con- 
sult the experiences of wiser men, and see whether things 
be not as I tell you. And how doth the matter stand now, 
poor heart? What, must the devil be believed before God? 
What, is God a hard blaster still 1 Of all the creatures in 
the world, some of you have little reason to say so. Hast 
thou not been fed, clothed, and delivered a thousand times 
by him? Who is it tha,t provided so richly for you? Who 
filled your barns ? Who restored your health at such and 
such a time, when the doctor gave you over? Was that one 
of his unkindncsses ? Are these the things for which you 
slif^ht him ? God himself makes a challenge in Jer. ii. 5-S : 
" What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they 
are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and 
become vain? Neither said they, Where is the God that brought 


\is out of the land of E.i^ypt, and led us tlirout^li the wilder- 
ness ; through a land of deserts and pits, through a land of 
drought, and of the shadow of death, where no man dwelt ? 
And I hrought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit 
thereof, and the goodness thereof ; and yet you know not me, 
saith the Lord." Was there ever such ingratitude heard of ! 
" Pass ye over the isles of Chittim, and send unto Kedar, 
and consider diligently, and sec if there be such a thing. 
Hath a nation changed their gods 1 but my people hath 
changed their glory forthat Avhich doth not profit," ver. 10, 11. 
And what sayest thou, ungrateful Israel ? Have the 
heathens more reason to cleave to their idols 1 Arc the 
pagans more beholden to their stocks and stones than 
thou art to the living Crod 1 And now, what hast tlnui 
gut by all this? Ilast thou increased thy riches? Are 
thy barns more full of corn? Are there ever the more 
cattle in thy pastures? Are thy presses more full of 
grapes? Art thou not now grown poor? Is not the heaven 
become as jjrass, and the earth as iron? Do not tliy cattle 
groan for want of food? Are not thy vines and fields grown 
l)arrcn? Why, you may thank yourselves for all this; you 
did not know when you were well. Return, therefore, 
backsliding Israel, and thou shalt know the difference be- 
tween my service and the service of devils, Jcr. iii. 12, &u\ 
Let me therefore again ]dead with thee, God-despising 
sinner. If for all this thou wilt not he persuaded, let nio 
expostulate the case with thee, as God did with Israel. 
Did not God bring thee into a world every way furnished 
for thy use? Hath he not subjected the creatures of the 
world to thee ? Who waters thy fields out of his treasuries ? 
Who opens the clods of the earth, and sends thee out of his 
storehouse provisions year by year? What would rpiiekly 
Ijecoine of tlieo, if thou hadst not a fresli sui^ily from him 
every year, nay. every moment? Oh, is this his unkindness 
for which thouhatest him I And is it for this that thou hast 
such .sour thoughts of him? And if all this were too little, 
he would do greater things than these. I lath he not sent 
liis Son out of his bosom? Dotli he not offer thee heaven 
and glory? What canst thou in reason ask, that is good for 


tliee, that lie would deny tliee, if thou wouldst but be ac- 
quainted with him ? And if this be an unkind Friend, I do 
not know who is kind : if this be not love, I know not what 
is. What could he have done more to express his love to 
the world than he hath done ? Isa. xliv. Ask David what 
he thinks of God ; he was well acquainted with him ; he dwelt 
in his house, and by his good will would be never out of his 
more immediate presence and company: inquire, I pray, what 
he found amiss in him '? That you may know his mind 
the better, he hath left it upon record in more than one or 
two places, what a Friend he hath had of God. " The lines 
are fallen to me in pleasant places ; yea, I have a goodly 
heritage," Ps. xvi. 6. Why, what is that you boast of 
so much, David ? Have not others had kingdoms as well 
as you ? No, that's not the thing ; a crown is one of the least 
jewels in my cabinet: "The Lord is the portion of mine 
inheritance, and of my cup," ver. 5. So in Ps. xxiii., quite 
through. Nay, doth he not sometimes come out and beckon 
to the poor, beggarly, starved Avorld, to come and eat their 
fill of the same dish ? " taste and see that the Lord is good," 
Ps. xxxiv. 8. If you will give any credit to his word, he 
will tell you, " No friend like to God." " Whom have I in 
heaven but thee 1 and there is none upon earth that I de- 
sire besides thee. My flesh and my heart fiiileth : but God 
is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. For, 
lo, they that are far from thee shall perish : thou hast de- 
stroyed all them that go a-whoring from thee. But it is 
good for me to draw near to God," Ps. Ixxiii. 25-28. Let 
others think or do as they please, as for him, he values the 
light of God's countenance above corn and wine and oil, 
Ps. iv. 6, 7. And what sayest thou now, poor creature? 
Art thou still of the same mind ? Wilt thou kave God for 
thy God and friend, or no ? Is he good and kind, or not ? Is 
his favour worth the desiring and seeking after? " Under- 
stand, oh ye brutish among the people ; and ye fools, when 
will ye be wise ?" Ps xciv. 8. If God himself may not be be- 
lieved, if David his servant may not be credited, hear what 
one of your brethren — a heathen, I mean — saith in this case. 
I shall translate his words into English. They arc as fol' 


lows : — " The goodness and providence of God to man is so 
great, that if he were well in his wits, lie would do nothing 
publicly or ]>rivately but praise God and speak well of his 
name." (Ar. Epic. 1. i. c. 16.) Doth it not become man, Avhile 
he is ploughing, and digging, and eating, &c., to be singing, 
'■' Great is that God who hath given us land to till, instru- 
ments to work with ! Great is that God who hath given us 
hands and feet, and other members ; above all, that he hath 
given us an understanding soul!" And seeing most men 
are blind in these things, is it not fit that some that are 
more wise and able should publicly praise God for all these 
things? And now I am a lame old man, but partaker of 
reason, God is to be praised by me ; this is my Avork, and 
this I will do, and I will not leave this station as long as I 
live ; and I wish that all the world would join with me in 
singing a song of thankfulness to tliis good God. Hear 
what a testimony he gives of the goodness of God ! Hark 
how he invites you to join in that sweet consort of singing 
praises to yom- Maker ! Hark at what a rate he talks, that 
never read a Bible, or heard of a Christ, or knew what this 
acquaintance with God that I am speaking of meant; how 
bravely doth he set out the goodness of God ! What say 
you ? Will you yet be persuaded to think well of God ? Me- 
thiiiks I am loath to see my good ]\Iaster thus slighted and 
undervalued. ^Icthinks it grieves me to see thee too, so 
foolishly to refuse such an offer. I shall conclude what I 
have to say ui>on this head, with another nohil)le expression 
of the same divine and God-admiring Stoic. (Idem. c. G.) 
" If men would study the nature of things, and had but 
grateful minds, they might see cause sutUcient to praise 
God from every creature in the world." It is not therefore 
Itecausc God hath no goodness or beauty in him, that men 
do not more earnestly desire acquaintance with him ; but 
because their eyes are shut, or tliey look ujion him through 
a wrong jirospective. This is the first ([ualiiication of this 
Friend, which may commend his acquaintance to you, that 
he is the most loving and good Friend. 

Secondli/, lie is a most comfortable Friend. It is a vulgar 
and yet u dangerous error, which the devil would faiii keep 

90 ht:avf.N' r^^>^- earth; or, 

lip the credit of, that a reb'gious life is a sad, melancholy, 
pensive life ; and that, upon our acquaintance ^\'ith G<jd, we 
must bid an everlasting farewell to joy, pleasure, and com- 
forts. And is it true that a Christian's life is so uncom- 
fortable a life? What, then, doth David mean to take his 
harp so oft in his hand? What makes him so frequently to 
warble out those melodious notes ? How seldom is his viol 
out of tune ? Why is he so oft singing and rejoicing ? Read 
the last Psalms at your leisure, and then tell me whether 
that be the language of a sad, mournful, melancholy man. 
Do you never hear him speak of God, liis exceeding joy ? 
Doth he not tell God plainly sometimes, that he can scarce 
relish anything but that which comes from his table? 
Nothing else can comfort him. Hence it is, in Psal. 
cxix. 70, 77, that he puts up this earnest request to God : 
" Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort." 
As for his part he could take comfort in nothing below that, 
and that was it that the Lord had graciously promised to 
feed his servant with, as long as he lived ; whereupon he 
ui-ges God with his jn'omise, " According to thy word unto 
thy servant." And that none might think this to be only 
God's common kindness that he means, he adds, " Let thy 
tender mercies come unto me, that I may live." God's 
common mercies would not serve his tuni, that was a dish 
that the world fed upon as well as he ; if he might not have 
these sweet dainties, peculiar, spiritual, fatherly mercies, he 
could not live, he should even pine away for hunger. 
Wherefore he saith, a little after, that his soul did even faint 
for God's salvation. And the soul that hath not a full meal 
here ; oh, how is it raised ! How doth it cry. Roast meat ! 
" The King hath brought me into his chamljers," Cant. i. 4. 
And what had you there ? Nay, that 's more than the soul can 
express ; only this she can say, " The taste of that mercy she 
hopes to keep in her mouth for ever ; she shall remember 
liis love more than wine." Nay, so comfortaljle a Friend 
is God, that those who have an interest in liim can rejoice 
in such times, when others would be weeping and wringing 
their hands. God's company is so refreshing, that it turns 
a prisou into a palace j it hrlugs joy and pleasure into Sk 


ilungeon. Stand fortli, ye suffering saints, and speak your 
expei-iences ! Tlie world objects to your state as a sad state, 
and they think you liave good reason to accuse God, and i£ 
any have anything to say against the comfortableness of a 
religious life and this Friend, it is you. Well then, will you 
promise, sinners, to stand to the judgment of the gi-eatcst 
suli'erers ? We will inquire of them that have been sawn 
a.sunder, tormented, roasted for God's sake. Look into that 
little " Book of j\[artyr.s," and you shall find as uncomfort- 
able as their state Mas, yet they would not accept of deliver- 
ance ; none of them all that would open his mouth against 
this Friend for all this. What say you, Paul and Silas, 
now your backs are raw, and your feet arc in the stocks I 
Tlieir singing speaks significantly enough for them that 
they were not over-sad ; and they are so busy in crying 
Hallelujahs, that they can't attend to give an answer to so 
sorry a question. What say the martyrs out of the tlames ? 
Doth not their love burn as hot then as ever? Did ever 
any of them, from Abel to the least that sufi'cred in Christ's 
cause, say that God was an uncomfortable Friend '] Do not 
all the children of wisdom, from first to last, justify wisdom, 
and say, that " Iier ways are ways of pleasantness, and all 
her i^aths peace ? " Of those that have God for their Friend, 
and know it, bring me any of them all that complains of 
God. How doth he come and cheer them up when all the 
World is against them! John xvi. 3:5. What made that 
holy man in Ps. xxiii. say, " Though I walk through the val- 
ley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil?" AVhat not 
fear then ? Why, what friend is it that keeps up yoiu- spirits, 
that bears you company in that black and dismal region ? lie 
will soon tell you God wus with him, and in those slij)pcry 
ways he leaned upon his staff, and these were the cordials 
thiit kept his heart from fainting. I challenge all tlie gal- 
lants in the world, out of all their merry jovial club.s, to find 
such a company of mei-rj" cheerful creatures as the friends 
of God are. It is not the company of God, l)ut the want of 
it, that makes sad. Alas, you know not what their comlorts 
be, an«l strangers intermeddle not with theirjoy. You think 
tliey cuu't b« merry whcu their couateuauce ia so siuvo j but 


they are sure you can't be tnily merry when you smile with 
a curse upon your souls. They know that he spoke that 
sentence who could not l)e mistaken, " Even in laughter the 
heart is sorrowful, and the end of that mirth is heaviness," 
Prov. xiv. 13. Then call your roaring, and your singing, 
and laughter, mirth : hut the Spirit of God calls it madness, 
Eccl. ii. 2. When a carnal man's heart is ready to die with- 
in him, and, with Nabal, to become like a stone, how 
cheerfully then can those look that have God for their 
Friend ! Which of the valiant ones of the world can out- 
face death, look joyfully into eternity ? Which of them can 
hug a faggot, embrace the flames 1 This the saint can do, 
and more too ; for he can look infinite Justice in the face 
with a cheerful heart ; he can hear of hell with joy and 
thankfulness ; he can think of the day of judgment with 
great delight and comfort. I again challenge all the world 
to produce one out of all their merry companies, one that 
can do all this. Come, muster up all your jovial blades to- 
gether ; call for your harps and viols ; add what you will to 
make the concert complete; bring in your richest wines: 
come, lay j^our heads together, and study what may still add 
to your comfort. Well, is it done 1 Now, come away, sinner, 
this night thy soul must appear before God. Well now, 
what say you, man? What, doth your courage fail you? 
Now call for your merry companions, and let them cheer 
thy heart. Now call for a cup, a whore ; never be daunted, 
man. Shall one of thy courage quail, that could make a 
mock at the threatenings of the almighty God? What, so 
boon and jolly but now, and now down in the mouth! 
Here 's a sudden change indeed ! Where are thy merry 
companions, I say again ? AH fled ? Where are thy darling 
pleasures 1 Have all forsaken thee ? Why shouldst thou 
be dejected; there's a poor man in rags that's smiling? 
What, art thou quite bereft of all comfort ? What 's the 
matter, man ? What 's the matter ? There 's a question 
with all my heart, to ask a man that must appear befoi*e 
God to-morrow morning. Well then, it seems your heart 
misgives you. What then did you mean to talk of joys and 
jjleasuves 1 Are they all come to tliis ? Why, there stands 


one tli<at now hath his heart as full of comfort as ever it can 
hold ; and the very thoughts of eternity, which do so daunt 
your soul, raise his. And Avould you know the reason 1 He 
knows he is goingto his Friend ; nay, his Friend bears him com- 
pany through that dirty lane. Behold how good and how 
pleasant a thing it is for God and the soul to dwell together 
in unity ! This 'tis to have God for a Friend. "Oh, blessed is 
the soul that is in such a case ; yea, blessed is the soul whose 
Ood is the Lord," Ps. cxliv. 15. Nay, David when he seemed 
to be somewhat out of tune, leaves this upon record as un- 
doubted truth : " Truly God is good to Israel, even to such 
as are of a clean heart," Ps. Ixxiii. 1. Let the devil and 
his instruments say what tliey will to the contrary, I will 
never lielieve them ; I have said it before, and I see no reason 
.to reverse my sentence; "Truly God is good." Though 
sometimes he may hide his face for a Avhile, yet he doth that 
in faithfulness andlove; there is kindness in his very scourges, 
and love bound up in his rods; he is good to Israel: do but 
mark it first or last: "The true Israelite in whom there is 
no guile shall l)e refreshed liy this Saviour." The Israelite 
that wrestles with tears with God, and values his love above 
the whole world, that will not be put oft" without his Father's 
blessing, shall have it with a witness : "He shall reap in joy, 
tlioiigli he may at present sow in tears. Even to such as are 
of a clean heart." The false-hearted hypocrite, indeed, that 
gives God only his tongue and lip, cap and knee, but reserves 
his heart and love for sin and the world, that luith much 
of compliment, but nothing of affection anil reality; why, let 
such a one never expect, while in such a state, to taste those 
reviving comforts that I have been treating of; while he 
drives siicli a trade, he must nut expect much of God's com- 
pany ; but of that hereafter. What a charge doth God give 
to his ministers to keep up the spirits of his jieople: "Com- 
fort ye, comfort ye, my people," saitli their God ; "speak yo 
cumfortaldy to Jerusiilem." It's a gross mistake to think 
that Ood loves to see his peoi)le drooping ami hanging down 
their heads; no, no, lie counts it his honour to have his 
sen'ants cliecrful. Oh why tlien slionid any of the ])recii)U3 
sons and daughters of Zion walk up and down, as if their 



J'riend's company were not sufTicicnt to solace them, even la 
the loAvest state that a child of God can be conceived to he 
in ! While you think God is honoured by you, you can't 
imagine what wrong you do him. The world stands by and 
looks upon you, the devil bids them look on still, and asks 
them how they like such a dumpish life and the service ot 
such a Master, all whose servants and friends lead such a 
doleful life. Stay, hold there, Satan ! that's a lie, and a loud 
one too ; there are and have been thousands of God's chil- 
dren that have lived as it were in the suburbs of heaven, 
while they have been upon earth; many thousands there 
have been that have spent their days in true solid joy and 
peace ; many that have gone from one heaven of comfort 
liere, to another of glory and comfort in that other world. 
As I said before, so I say again. It is not the company of God, 
hut the want of it, makes him sad whom j'ou see so; besides, 
let me tell you, tears and joy are no way inconsistent. It may 
be, also, those tears, that sad countenance maybe for thy sake, 
sinner. When he sees what comfort thou despisest, and 
knows what a God, what a Friend thou refusest, he can't but 
weep; it's no rarity for the people of God, in the midst of their 
spiritual enjoyments, to pity poor foolish sinners, that slight 
those things which they know to be so refreshing. Thus 
David did when his heart Avas solaced with the love of 
God ; when his soul was ready to be over-burdened, over- 
powered with the abundant in-comes of God's kindness; 
lie can't but with grief and pity think of their state, who 
have nothing to live upon but husks, whilst he feeds thus 
high. Oh let my soul be but acquainted with God ; let 
me but taste more of those true comforts, drink of that 
river of pleasures that is at his right hand, and then I could 
spare these lower sensual pleasures ; then I could scarce envy 
the most merry ranting blades their comforts ; I will not 
say but then I should with sorrow think of their wants. 
It was spoken by Galeacius Caraxiola, one that sometimes 
had none of the least shares of worldly enjoyments, and 
might have had more, could he have dispensed with the 
absence of this Friend, could he but have been wiling to 
have wanted those spiritual comforts : " Let liim perish that 


values not one liour's communion ^vitll God, and tlie com- 
forts of a divine life, above a.11 the pleasures and comforts 
that tlie earth can afford." Give me such comforts, sucli a 
Friend, whose smiles may refresh me upon a deathbed, 
whose presence may revive me when nothing else can. 
Naturalists tell us of a bird called Charadius, tliat, being 
bruught into the room where any one lieth sick, if he look 
upon the sick person with a fixed eye, he recovereth ; but if 
he turn away his eyes, the person dies. It is true, I am 
sure, of this Friend, in whuse favour is life, and in whose 
frowns there is death. (Ar. Epic. 1. xiii. c. 24.) " Can you 
help mo to such a friend" (may all say with as good reason 
Rs he) " that can keep me from all fears ?" Oh for such a 
friend ! This is instead of all pleasures to me, to think that 
God is my Father, and to know that I have loved and 
obeyed him to the utmost of my power, not only in Avords, 
but in deeds; this, this is the pleasure; here is a Friend in- 
deed. Now, what do you say to all this ? Is God to be de- 
sired ? Is his acquaintance to be sought after ? Can such a 
Friend be too much valued ? The truth of it is, I would not 
give a rush for any of your comforts which come not from 
a sense of our interest in Christ, and which have not a solid 
foundation, Scripture consolations. It is not he that smiles, 
but he that can look up to God as his, and look into his soul, 
and see things there in a good composure, and kept in a 
cheerful subjection to his Maker and Redeemer: this, tliis 
is the state, liere dwell joys and comforts that deserve such 
a name. This lower region sometimes is stormy, Init al)ove 
there is a constant calm. (Sen.) And is God still to be 
sliglitcd ? Are liis favours, is his acquaintance little worth ? 
I know you can't be an enemy to comfort and joys. AVhy, 
lot me tell you, liere is the well of consolation, here is the 
fountain, and all other joys which are drawn out of the 
cisterns will erelong be dry. Come away, tlierefore, poor 
Boul, and do not refuse such joys as all the carnal world 
cannot parallel for their hearts. And this is the next mo- 
tive, taken from the consideration of the nature of this 
Friend, whom I would persuade you to get acquainted with. 
• First, lie is a loving and kind Friend. 


Secondly, lie is the most cheering', comforting Friend. 

Thirdly, lie is the most able and powerful Friend. lie 
hath all power in his hand ; and as long as he is but thy 
Friend, whoever is thy foe, thou shalt never be ovei-powered, 
never be crushed. Thou mayst challenge all the devils in 
hell, and all his instruments upon earth to do their worst ; 
God is on thy side; thou needst not fear. Thou art in 
thyself a poor, weak creature, easily conquered and broken 
by a thousand enemies ; but if thou hast a God to fly to, 
thou mayst sing as well as those did, Isa. xxvi. 1, "We 
have a strong city ; salvation will God appoint for walls and 
bulwarks." No wonder, then, if every wise man think it 
abundantly worth his while to secure this great privilege 
to himself, that God may be his Friend. This is his best 
hold, his one thing necessary. " One thing have I desired 
of the Lord, that will I seek after ; that I may dwell in the 
house of God all the days of my life, to behold the beauty 
of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple," Ps. xxvii. 4. 

Sin, the world, and the devil, may tempt a sinner, but 
they can never guard him from the power of tliis great and 
almighty God. 

And now, you that are contented to live as without God 
in the world, let me request you to consider: 

Canst thou spread out the heavens as a curtain, or cover 
the sun with darkness ? Canst thou call to the lightnings ? 
and will they answer thee, and say. Here we are ? Shouldst 
thou speak to that hastychampion, and command him to 
stand still one quarter of an hoiu-, would he obey thee? If 
these things be too much, why dost thou boast ? thou art 
but a worm, Alas, poor sinner, when this great God ap- 
pears in judgment, thou art not able to deal with a fly or a 

Oh, then, is it not good prudence for all the sons of men 
to come and agree quickly with this adversary, while he i3 
in the v.'ay ? for whoever goes on in an enmity and rebellion 
against this Lord of heaven and earth shall not prosper^ 
and be sure his sin shall find him out. 

And this is another qualification of this Friend, whom I 
would commend to your acquaintance : lie is an able Friend. 


1. He is the most kind and loving Friend. 

2, He is the most comfortable Friend. 

li. He is the most able and powei-fid Friend. 

4. lie is the most active Friend. He commands his to 
be diligent and industrious, always abounding in the work 
of tlie Lord. Surely he will not be slow. 

If the inanimate creatin-e, such as the sun, resolvetli as 
a strong man to run his race ; how active, then, must the 
Jlaker of that sun be ! If he command you not to deal with 
a slack hand, surely he himself will not deal with a slack 
liand. Should you behold this Friend of yours riding upon 
the wings of the wind, and making the clouds his chariot, 
Avould you not say, Oh, how swift, oh, how active is tlxis 
glorious Friend of mine ! Tlie feet of this beloved One are as 
lands' feet, for tlie good of his friends. Yea, his very eyes 
run to and fro through the whole world ; for their good he 
keeps constant watcli and ward about them, and he that 
can injure any of his out of his sight shall go xmpunished, 
Isa. xxvii. '.i. 

The Lord speaks this under the metai>hor of a vineyard. 
And ddtli this great Ilusliandman neglect his vineyard? 
]->otli lie not ilig, manure, and stone it, and keep out the 
wild boar and foxes ? Doth he not prune it, and tend it 
c'liarily? I the Lord do keep it night and day; none shall 
c-duie into it to gather the fruit of it without my leave. I 
will water it every moment. So that you see what jjains 
God takes for Ins. Do you believe this Friend sits in heaven, 
and looks down njxm tlie earth for nothing? Be not de*- 
ceived, siruier, tliou wilt not Ijc persuaded to get recon- 
ciliation witli tliis great and holy ]\Iaje.sty. "Tlie Lord is 
not slack concerning his coming, as some account slackness." 
Let his .stay be never .so long, when he comes to judge the 
world, it will be before the sinner looks for him. Indeed 
there is nothing that a wicked man more i)leasetli himself 
with, tlian the thoughts that it will be a long time ])efore 
Gotland lie meet; but he little considers that a thousand 
years are but as one day compared to the days of etemity. 
Now, by faith, these things are made real to the considerate 
Christian; and as for the huiijjlying of his wants, he knows 


if he comes at midniglit to borrow bread of liim, lie will not 
])iit you ofF witli this excuse, that he is a-bed, and cannot 
rise from liis chiklren ; but will ju'esently helji, making their 
necessity his own opportunity to give them what shall be 
convenient for them ; as knowing, that, let the wind sit in 
what corner it will, it shall lit theu* sails, and bring them 
nearer the harbour. 

The world's frieuds are infinitely below this Friend. One 
hath chosen silver and gold, and a great estate, and such a 
one in the world's calender may be written down for one of 
the wisest in his choice. Well, let us see now what tliis 
Friend can do for you. Your body is on the rack, your hands 
are weak, your legs tremble, your stomach fails, your sleep 
departs from you. Where is now your friend? Call for 
him speedily. Come, let us now see if he be a friend indeed. 
Let us see it. Can he give you one hour's sleep ? Can he 
help you to one moment's rest 1 Can he give you no refresh- 
ment, no help ? Take him ; lay hiui by you on your bed. 
Oh, it is so heavy, I cannot endure it. Laj' it in your 
bosom. Oh, I cannot breathe for it : take it away, take it 
away; it will not do. Why, sir, do you know what you 
say? It is your old friend, which you valued above 
God himself; it is a bag of gold. I know it, I know it; 
it presses me down ; it is so heavy, I cannot bear it ; away 
with it, away with it. And is this the friend you prized 
so very highly 1 Is this all the kindness that he hatli for 
you now? Is this all the help he can give you at such 
a time, when a friend should stand one in some stead ? 
Were you not told as much long ago, how you should be 
served at last ? 

5. He is the most humble and condescending Friend. He 
doth not scorn to be acquainted with the meanest: the 
beggar may be as welcome to him as the prince : the poor 
and rich are all one to him : he takes as much notice of Job 
on the dunghill as David on the throne : he knows any of 
his friends in rags as well as in silks ; in sheep-skins and 
goat-skins as well as in scarlet and fine linen. 

Look u]i, poor creature, and see wliat a privilege thou 
hast. God liimsclf, the King of glory, is willing to be ac- 


quainteJ with tliee. What sayest thou to this ? Doth not 
thy heart leap within tliee for joy, when you consider the 
infinite goodness of God, tliat reveals these things to babes, 
" which are liid from the wise and prudent : even so, Father, 
for it hath seemed good in thy eyes." That is a strong ex- 
pression ; yet lie spoke it that cannot lie. Tlierefore, you 
humble ones, that value the favour of this Friend, hear and 
read it, and make the best of it : it is yours ; feed upon it : 
it is a sweet bit indeed : " Thus saith the Lord, Heaven is 
my throne, and earth is my footstool : where is the house 
that 3'ou will build me ? and where is the place of my rest ? 
For all those things hath mine hand made, and all tlioso 
things have been, saitli the Lord:. but to this man will I 
look, even to him tluit is poor and of a contrite spirit, and 
trerableth at my word," Isa. Ixvi. 1, 2. I shall have occasion 
hereafter a little to open these words xmder another head ; 
wherefore I sliall now but name it. Oh, what encourage- 
ment is here for the most despicable creature in the world, 
tliat may be as happy in the acquaintance with God, as the 
mightiest lord in tlie world. Here is One that will not be 
ashamed to own thee, when others will take little notice of 
thee. Tliou thinkcst these things strange, it may be, and 
so they lie indeed ; but yet not more strange than true. It 
doth not a little engage the affections of the meanest rank, 
if a person of quality do but give them a kind look ; especi- 
ally if they may have freedom of access to him. Oh wha,t 
a jirivilege they count it, for such a one to undertake the 
whole management of a poor man's affairs ; for him to come 
to his liouse, and to look into his cupboard, and to take care 
of siii)plying all his wants, and coming frci[uently to him, 
unil supping with hiiii, ami being with liini, and to make great 
provision for liim, as if he were a prince; where is such a 
thing as tliis lieard of? Ent if such a tiling were, it were 
a liglit matter in comparison of wjiat I am speaking of. 
Wliere do we read of a great king's sending ambassador 
after amba.ssador to a poor beggar? What liistoiy doth 
record such a story as this, that a gi'eat monarcli should 
make earnest snit for many years together to a worth- 
less slave, that he tau hang when lie will, that liatli not a 

lllO HEAYEX rro\ EARTH; OR, 

rag to her back, to make her his queen: this is rare indeed, 
this is heyond precedent among men ; but yet it is that 
wliich the great God doth not disdain to do ; nay, let me 
tell thee, whosoever thou art, remaining in a state of nature, 
that readest these lines, that at this very time God is doing 
no less than all this comes to for thee ; and I, in the name 
of mj^ great Master, do come to expostulate the case with 
thee. That God that gave thee thy breath, and can take it 
away as soon as he pleaseth ; that God that made heaven 
and earth, to Avhom all the nations of the earth are but as 
the drop of a bucket to the vast ocean, who holdeth the sea 
in the hollow of his hands, who weigheth tl)e mountains in 
scales, and the hills in a balance ; that God that hath no less 
than a heaven to reward with, and a hell and everlasting 
flames to punish A\ith ; He it is that doth by me beseech 
thee to be reconciled unto him ; He it is that would be your 
Friend, yoiu- Acquaintance. unheard-of mercy ! infinite 
and unparalleled condescension ! I have often thought there 
are two great astonishing Avonders in the world. The one 
is God's infinite mercy and condescension to rebellious apos- 
tatized man ; and the other is man's insensibility and in- 
gratitude ; that there needs such a stir and so many 
words to pt-rsuade him to close with tins wonder of kind- 
ness, and that so very few should be prevailed with. See 
this set forth to the life in Ezek. xvi. ; Isa. i. 2, 3. "The 
Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above 
the heavens. Who is like unto the Lord our God, 
who dwelleth on higli, who humbleth himself to behold 
the things that are in heaven and in the earth ! He 
raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and liftetli the^ 
needy out of the dunghill, that he may sit with princes," 
&c. Ps. cxiii. 4-8. The Psalmist, therefore, had no small 
reason to cry out Avith admii-ation, "What is man, that 
thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou 
visitest him V Ps. viii.-4. " What is man, that thou takest 
knowledge of him 1 or the son of man, that thou makest 
account of him?" Ps. cxliv. 3. "What is man, that thou 
shonldst magnify him ? and that thou shouldst set thy heart 
upon him ? and that thou shouldst visit hini every niorningy 


and try him every nioineutf' Job vii. 17, 18. Behold his 
majesty, and yet how he stoops! Kahum i. ; Ps. xviii. ; Job 
xxxvii. xxxviii. xxxix. ; Isa. xl, "Tliougli the Lord l)e iiigli, 
yet hatli he respect unto the lowly : but the proud he know- 
cth afar off"," Ps. cxxxviii. C. That which Seneca the 
jnoralist sj)eaks of wisdom may be said of God : (Epist. Ixi.) 
*'It is lawful to come to him without rich attire and great 
attendance. Come naked, and you shall be as kindly enter- 
tained as if you did shine in cloth of gold, and were be- 
sparkled with diamonds. lie will not give fi-eer access to 
the rich than the poor, neither doth he value a strong health- 
ful jierson ])ef(irc a sick and crazy one, a beautiful and well- 
trinimcd gallant before a cankered, old, deformed creature." 
Thus far Seneca and the Scriptures speak the same language. 
Keither Jol)'s ])oils nor Lazavus's sores made Cod keep ever 
tlie fartlicr off' from them. I knew one all of a cleave with 
the small-i)ox, whom this Friend came to visit, and in that 
condition, how many kisses had that sweet creature from 
God! Oh, it WDuld do one's heart good to have such a 
Friend! And this is the next qualification of this Friend, 
which may commend him to thy acquaintance, be thou 
ever so vile and sinful in tliy own eyes: Such as thyself ho 
Jiath made welcome ; and upon his word, wilt thou but come 
away speedily, thou shalt 1)e welcome too. 

6. He is the most faithful Friend. Wlicre is the man 
that can tax liim with the least unfaithfulness? Who is 
the man tiiat can say that he ever forsook any of his in their 
greatest exigency ? He liath been trusted more than once 
with more than the world is worth a thousand times over; 
and they who trusted him most never accused, never 
thought their choicest jewels, their whole estate, could bo 
left in safer hands ; his j.romise and liis performance have 
kept tine ; he never failed his in the Icastjinnctilioor circuni- 
f^tiuice of tinu!. Ask AJiraiiani, wlio was one of God's friends. 
God tells him that liis seed shall inlu rit Canaan, and that 
Ihey shall be strangers in a land that was not tlieirs, four 
Inindred years; and did lie not, at tlieexiiiringof that tinu', 
though it was at midnight almost, bring tlicm out of Egy]it'< 
God keej)s his time with them to a minute. Ask Joshua 


whether he did not live to see this promise made good? 
Inquire of David, and he -will tell you again, that no Friend 
is so trusty. The unfaithfulness is on man's side; there, 
indeed, there, I say, is many an unhandsome thing done, 
and yet for all God doth not (as you shall hear hereafter) 
presently break with them. If they forget that they are 
children, he will not forget that he is their Father, If God 
should have done thus by them, many thousands of them 
that arenowin glory liad been somewhere else. He promiseth 
indeed great things imto his friend ; but does he not as he 
saith, if not in the very thing, yet in that which is better ? 
and who would account himself wronged, if one that promis- 
ed him ten pounds in silver should in the stead of it give 
him ten thousand pounds in gold and jewels 1 I believe such 
a one would not be thought to be worse than his word, nor 
the person to whom he made this promise count himself in- 
jured. And this God doth frequently, did men but under- 
stand the worth of what God pays them with. It may be God 
doth not clothe them in silks and satins, (neither do I know 
that he ever promised to do so,) but yet he clothes them 
with the righteousness of Christ, and bestows those glorious 
robes upon them, in which they look more trim and neat 
than in cloths of gold ; he hath made him such a suit that 
is the handsomer for the much wearing ; he may eat and 
drink, sleep and work in it, and keep it on his back day and 
night, and it shall not 1)e wrinkled ; it is the better for use. 
He is a faithful Friend; and none that ever had to do with 
him can say anything to the contrary. He never forgot any 
business that any of his friends desired him to do for them ; 
he never neglected it, or did it by halves. Where did any 
of them come to him to reveal some secret loathsome dis- 
tempev to him, that he reproached them with it ? To which 
of them did he promise a heaven, and put them off with this 
world? When this Pilot undertakes to steer their course, 
their vessel shall never split upon the rock, run upon 
the sands, or spring a leak, so as to sink in the seas. To be 
sure. He will see them safe in their harbour. (Ar. Epist. 
xxvii.) He was no Christian; yet I suppose none -will deny 
but he spake*good divinity, v,ho said, " If a man will choose 


God for Ills Friend, he shall travel securely through a wilder- 
ness that hath many Leasts of prey in it; he shall pass safely 
through this world ; for he only is safe that hatli God for 
his Guide." Doth he not speak a little like David himself, 
Ps.xxxvii. 23, who never expected to come to glory, except he 
were guided l)y his counsel? Now, if a poor heathen could 
say thus, and see good reason to trust God, and admire his 
faithfulness as he doth frequently; (and so doth Seneca, 
justifying God's faithfulness in all his dealings with the best 
men in all their sufterings, and the prosperity of the wicked;) 
what then shall the heavenly Christian say, who hath ex- 
perienced so much of God's faithfulness in answering his 
prayers, infuliilling his promises, and supplying all his exi- 
gences! David will tell you as much, and justify God in 
his most severe dispensations towards him : " In very faith- 
fulness hast thou aillicted me," Ps. cxix. T5. In our earthly 
and bodily atfairs, we should never count that Physician 
faithful thi).t v/ill not rather open a vein, or put liis patient to 
exquisite torture, to save his life, than let him die easily. 
We believe a father may whip his stubborn ciiild with more 
love than let him alone. To prevent the axe or halter with 
a rod, is no cruelty. " Faithful are the wounds of a friend," 
Prov. xxvii. 6". It was not for nothing that the Psalmist 
stuck so close to God ; he had a little experience of the 
unfaithfulness of other friends: "Ilis lovers and his friends 
stood aloof from his sores, and his kinsmen stood afar off," 
Ps. xxxviii. 9, 11. May not a great many com])lain a& 
well as Job, that their "brethren have dealt deceitfully as 
a brook, and as the stream of brooks they pass away'<" 
Job vi. LI. A friend may forget one, a brother may dis- 
own one, father and mother may oast one oii', but lu;re's a 
Friend that sticks closer than all. Nay, he is a better Friend 
to his than they arc to themselves. When they loved them- 
selves so little as to undo themselves, he hjved them so well 
as to save then\ ; when tliey loved themselves so as to poison 
themselves, he loved them so as to give them a powerful 
antidote; when thoy, like children, would have the knife, he 
takes it out of their hands, kst they should cut their fingers; 
vhcn they are so careless as to tiurfeit themselves, he is so 


faithful as to keep tliem sliort. and diet them; and all this 
I hope they that understand themselves will not call un- 
kindness or infidelity. David had in his time some friends 
that made no bones of hazarding their lives for him ; some 
of them were -willing to quench his thirst, though with their 
blood ; and yet, for all that, in all his life he never met with 
so faithful a fiiend as his God. " Lord of hosts, who is a 
strong Lord like unto thee, or to thy faithfulness round about 
thee ?" Ps. Ixxxix. 8. He had rather trust his God than any 
of them all. God is a real true faithful Friend ; he tells us 
things as they are ; he doth not speak more of things than 
the nature of them doth require ; he doth not tell the best, 
and hide the worst; he doth not speak all of heaven, and 
notliing of suffering ; but saith plainly, all that will live 
godly in Christ Jesus must suffer persecution. And Christ 
saith, those that will be his disciples must take up their 
cross and follow him ; and that through many tribulations 
they must enter into the kingdom of heaven. He speaks 
of sowing in tears as well as reaping in joy; of affliction as 
well as glory. And when he speaks of the glory of another 
world, he doth not too highly advance his excellency. When 
he speaks of his wrath, or hell, or sin, he doth not make 
them gi-eater evils tlian tliey be. The Lord is faithful in 
all his dealings, and that they who love him know right 
well. Whatsoever doth happen to the world doth hap- 
pen justly and faithfully; and so, if thou wilt but well ob- 
serve, thou shalt find. And what sayest thou after all 
this? thou who hast tried many and many a friend, so 
called, antl hast by sad experience first or last found them 
all unfaithful, and art almost ready to say of all men, that 
they are liars, and that truth and reality are rarities ; thou 
thinkest there is scarce a man upon the earth to be trusted. 
And wilt thou never be afraid of such a friend 1 Wilt thou 
at last be wise, and be acquainted with a Friend that never 
proved unfaithful ? Behold such a one that would be glad 
with all his heart to entertain you, would you but forsake 
your old treacherous acquaintance ! Here, here is one that 
never fiiils, nor forsakes those that put their trust in him. 
The heavens shall depart, and the hills be removed out of 


their places, but his faithfulness, his love shall never depart 
from his ; and wilt thou not think such a Friend, after all 
this, worth the having ? Come, come, never stand fi-etting 
thy heart out with discontents; men will be men, that is, 
unfiiithful, as long as the world lasts. Do you expect, as 
long as sin reigns in men's souls, as long as Satan doth so 
much act therein, that they should furget to be selfish, co- 
vetous, deceitful ? But now God will always be like him- 
Belf, a God faithful, true, holy, just ; and if any one in heaven 
or in earth can condemn God justly of the least unfaithful- 
ness, my mouth shall soon be stopped. In this thing I con- 
fess myself to be of Antoninus's mind, who said, " If there 
be a God, as there is most certainly, why, that God must 
necessarily be most faithful, most wise, most good ; but if 
there be no God, it is not worth the wliile to live in a 
world in which there is nothing but sin, confusion, disorder, 
and no hopes of a redress ; the excellence of oui* being, our 
reason, would make our misery more exquisite, and our lives 
less desirable." But, blessed be God, it is not come to that 
pass, that we should need question the being of a God ; for 
as one saith wisely, '' Thou hast far more reason to question 
thy own being than God's." Now I say again, methinks he 
that had been so oft i>erplcxod with many unfaitliful, un- 
worthy carriages from them whom he called friends, should 
1)6 at last persuaded to try what this one Friend would do 
for him. Oh, what abundance of sorrow would it prevent, 
if men would but trust God more, and men less ! This, this 
is the Friend, sick and well, rich and pofir, living and dying, 
always the same. Make sure of this Friend, and thou art 
safe; thy all is then in safe and fiiithfiil hands. 

7. He is a rich Friend: "The eaiih is the Lord's, and 
the fulness thereof: the cattle upon a thousand hills is liis." 
He it is that hath the absolute disposal of crowns and scep- 
tres ; he it is that can easily raise all his favourites to a high 
estate. If the world and all its glory can do his any good ; if 
kingdoms and vast dominions can advantage them ; he can, 
with bettor reason than Satan did to Christ, say, "All this is 
mine, and if thou wilt love me and worship me, I will give 
you as much of it as will do you good ;" and who would ac» 

106 /lEAVEN CPON EAll'i'lI ; Oil, 

count it a kindness to be given that which will do one hurt ? 
But these are but toys and trifles in comparison of what God 
hath to bestow upon his friends. Lift up thine eyes, and 
behold those glittering stars ; look upon that stately canopy 
that hangs over thy head. Why, all this is nothing almost 
to the glory which shall be revealed ; there is far greater 
disproportion between it and what we see and enjoy at the 
best here below, than there is between the footstool and the 
crown. Oh, could you but by faith draw the curtain and 
see what is within ! Oh, did you but know what is behind 
those hangings which you sec wrought so curiously, the 
work of his fingers! Oh, that is the place, there is a 
house indeed, there is a palace, couldst thou but by faith and 
meditation take a view of it ; could you but make a voyage 
into that far country, and see that city of God, and discourse 
with the inhabitants of the New Jerusalem, what discove- 
ries should you then have of the riches, state, and grandeur 
of that Prince's court ; shouldst thou but see those treasuries 
opened, and know the worth of God's jewels, thou wouldst 
wonder -what men and women meant, that they should need 
so much persuading to be acquainted with Him that had 
such tilings to bestow ; you would judge him worse than 
mad who should not joyfully embrace any overtures of this 
nature ; in a word, they would reckon that person besotted 
that should not, ^vith all possible gratitude, close with such 
kind of proposals. Come along, therefore, with me, poor 
soui, thou that art not worth a groat, and hast never a 
friend that can or Avill give you anything to speak of; 
come along Avitli ine, and take a short prospect of the 
territories of this mighty Monarch; let us get up to Mount 
Pisgah, and make a survey of that goodly land ; let us take 
a turn or two in the courts of his palace ; consider well the 
pleasantness of this seat, how rarely it is accommodated, 
the richness of the furniture, the nobleness of the inhabitants, 
the sweetness of that harmony that sounds night and day 
in that temple, the inconceivable costliness, riches, glory, 
and excellency of everything. Do but look a little about 
thee. Are not thine eyes even dazzled at the sight 1 Do 
you see what building that is, whose walls are jasper, and 


the city is all of pure gold, like unto clear glass, and tlio 
foundation of the walls of that city are garnished with ali^ 
manner of i)recious stones ? Rev. xxi., &c. And what think 
you now? Where is the prince upon earth tliat ever was 
master of such an estate 1 What arc his attendants 1 The 
mciiuost of those that stand in his presence is no less than 
a king; the least of his servants is more rich and glorious 
tluui the mightiest potentate that ever trode upon earthly 
mould, that was a stranger to God. This God doth not 
grudge to give that which is more worth than a thousand 
kingdoms to iiis darlings. I might tell also at what a rate 
they live who are fed always at his table, and what dainty 
dishes they feed upon ; I might speak of their clothing 
and robes: all which speak the riches of that Lord who 
maintains his servants so highly. Eut ■what am I doing 1 
Can I grasp the heavens in my arms, or take up the sea in 
the hollow of my hands? Can I measure the heaven of 
heavens, or weigh the mountains in scales, or the hills in 
a balance ? Could I do all and a thousand times more, yet I 
could not give you account of the estate of Him who would 
be your Friend, your Husband: at the best, I can but give 
you a superficial gross relation of it ; and when I have said 
all that I can speak, and all the men in the world, with 
all their tongues, have spoken too ; nay, let angels with 
tiieir heavenly rhetoric do what they can to set out the 
glory of his kingdom ; I say, when all this is done, you 
must remember ;ill falls short fif what it is, and that since 
the beginning of the world men have not heard, neither can 
it enter into the heart of man to conceive what God is worth, 
what a Friend you may have of him, if you will but speedily 
1)C arquninted with him. Ilis kingdom hath no l)ounds, and 
his dominions reach farther than both the Indies. The 
small love-tokens that he sends now and then to his be- 
loved into a far conntry are of infinitely nmre value lliaii all 
the lockets of diamonds and riciiest jiearls and jewels in the 
world, Prov. viii. Behold how merrily llel)ecca looks upon 
a sorry jewel or two presented by Elie/er from his master! 
How soon is her heart conquered ! Antl why should wc not 
be more taken with thiiij^js of far greater worth i What is 


all this? As much fis nothing witli you! Methinks your 
hearts should be all on a fire. Methinks you should quickly 
say, Oh that I could hut see him ! Who will bring me ac- 
quainted with him ? he shall have my heart, my dearest 
love. Methinks, should I ask you the same question that 
they did Rel)ecca, Wilt thou go along with me to such a 
Friend I you should readily, without any further dispute, 
say, Yea, with all my heart, and think long to be up and 
going. Why then do you talk of a year, a month longer 2 
Oh, what makes poor creatures stand waiting so long 
for an answer ? Do you ever expect a better offer ? Do 
you look to advance yourselves somewhere else ? Can you 
look for a better, a richer match l Go then and search out 
among all thy lovers which make suit to thee, which of 
them can feed you with such costly viands, which of them 
can clothe you in such royal apparel ! Which of them can 
make you such a jointm-o? Consider wisely and speedily, 
that I may turn to the right hand or the left. What sayest 
thou ? Canst thou, amongst them all, better thyself 1 Is 
there any one like Him 'I Is there any of the sons of the 
mighty comparable to Ilim '] Are any of the kings or great 
ones of the earth able to make you such an offer ? or should 
they, can any of them make it good 1 What, have you yet 
resolved upon the point or not ? What is it you stand for I 
I pray, do you question the truth of what I speak ? Do you 
make account I speak of the highest, and make the best of 
all things 1 Why, then, let me tell you further, I have not, 
I cannot tell you the half of what you will find to be true, 
if you would come to be thoroughly resolved, or of what 
yon will believe hereafter, to your sorrow, if you still I'cfuse 
him. And I must further add to what I have said before, 
that whatever riches God possesses, he will jointiu'e you in, as 
soon as you shall in good earnest be willing to accept him 
for your Friend ; all that I can speak of, and more too, you 
may call your own. Ask, and it shall l)e given M^ithout 
prescribing how much more than you can ask or think shall 
be given you. Your Lord and Husltaud is not so niggardly 
as Ahasucrus, who said, '" What is thy request, and what is 
thy petition, Queen Fsther, and it shall be given tliec, to 


the half of my kingdom?" But God saith, What is thj' 
request, and what is thy petition, poor soul, and it shall be 
granted, to the whole of my kingdom ? "What is it thou 
wautest 1 what attendants dost thou lack to wait upon thee 
to my court ? Are they prophets, apostles, mini.':ters, an- 
gels, they shall he given! Eph. iv. 11. Do but try him; 
he bids you ask, and you shall have. Let me give you this 
one memento. Ask like one that hath to do with a rich 
king, who hates to do anything below himself. Remember 
it is he that delights to give like a God ; widen, therefore, 
thy desires as large as heaven ; be bold, and speak a great 
word, and I warrant thee thou shalt not be denied. Tell God, 
that seeing, in his infinite goodness and condescension, lie 
has been pleased to give thee leave to ask without restraint, 
thou dost humbly request his Son for thy Lord and Husband, 
himself fur thy Father, God, and Friend, his kingilom for 
thy dowry, the righteousness of his Son for thy orna- 
ment, clothing, and beauty, the comforts of his Spirit, and 
abundance of his grace to bear thy charges handsomely, 
till thou comest to his liouse. This is high indeed ! but 
thy gi-eat and noble Lord loves dearly to hear such co- 
vetous petitioners, who will be put off with nothing 
but such great things. When do any of these go sad 
from his court ? When do any of the seed of Jacob seek 
his face in vain? This, this is the generation of thriv- 
ing ones, who seek for life, immortality, and glory; who 
seek thy face, God of Jacob. And now what do you say ? 
Will you believe all this ? Dare you take my word ? I am 
persuaded none of you all think I dare tell you a lie, and do 
you any wrong; but for all that, I dojidt desire you .should 
take my word, nor the word of any man living in a thing 
that concerns eternity; but take His word who cannot lie. 
" Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches .and 
righteousness. ]\Iy fruit is better than gold, yea, than 
fine gold ; and my revenue than choice silver," Prov. viii. 
IH, 19. The wise man tells us, that "wealth makes 
many friends," chap. xix. 4 ; and that " many will entreat 
the favour of the prince; and that every one is a friend 
to him that gives gifts," vcr. ('>. If tliia might he in spiri- 


110 n^AVEN UPON EARTH ; oil, 

tuals, I should not fear but that I shoukl prevail with all 
luy hearers to seek tlie frieudsliip of God; if their real in- 
terest did weigh with them, if true riches and wealth could 
win their atiections, if the most substantial good things 
might signify anything, if solid reasons might bias them, 
I should not fear going away without them. But alas, alas, 
how little power have all these things with the sensual 
world ! What are men and women turned to ! What sots 
and brutes are they in the concerns of their souls and the 
affairs of that other world ! Men run up and down hunting 
after good things, and have taken a false scent ; they hope 
to catch that at last which they will feed upon, and satisfy 
themselves with. I tell thee, man who askest, Who will 
show us any good? here, here it is. lliches thou meanest? 
Well then, let it be so ; and if I do not prove that what I 
offer thee from my great Master is a thousand times more 
worth thy seeking than gold or silver, and better coin than 
that which bore Ca?sar's stamp upon it, tlien say you were 
cheated. Thou tellest over thy monies very fast, methinks ; 
but are you sure all that is gold which doth so glitter? Is 
all that current silver ? Will it go in another country ? Is 
it not possible but that you may be mistaken? Here, here 
is the gold that is tried ; it will go anywhere. Here is One 
that will give you, will you but desire earnestly his acquain- 
tance, such ti'casure that will not perish, such silver that 
hath not tin, such gold that hath no dross, such true riches 
that cannot be taken away from you. Ask that saint who 
looks so merrily, who lives so bravely, how he got his estate, 
and how he came to be so rich all of a sudden ; he will soon 
tell you how, and where his treasure lies, and yet not fear 
being robbed. He hath of late been acquainted with a 
Friend that hath given him that which makes him esteem 
himself more worth than if he were possessed of ten times 
more than ever Alexander or Csesar was. A friend of Cyrus, in 
Xenophon, being asked where his treasure was, which made 
him think so highly of himself, his answer was, Where Cy- 
rns his friend was. A Christian may with much better rea- 
son and cheerfulness, if asked where his riches and estate 
lies, answer, Where God his Friend is. Ask the f oarcst of 


them that are acquainted -with GuJ, tlie weakest of all his 
diilJrcu, what they will sell their portion for, and what you 
shall give them to resign up all their interest in God, to 
quit theu- claim to this inheritance. Would they not all be 
of Paul's mind, and even scorn the motion, and count the 
g\oTy of a thousand worlds but as dung and dross in compa,- 
rison of the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus 
their Lord ? Pliil. iii. 8. Nay, hear what one says that was 
far less acquainted with God than any of them whom I have 
been speaking of, when he talks of such kind of bargain as 
this. (Epict.) " Offer me a kingdom, and you offer me to 
my loss." For, saitli tlic same author, in another place, 
" A good man may look up to lieaven as the seat of his 
Friend, and not four want." Inquire of David what portion 
God gave liim, and he will soon answer you : A goodly 
]>ortion indeed; and that he gave him no less than himself, 
and that the lines are fallen to him in pleasant places, and 
that he liath a goodly heritage, Ps. xvi. 5, 6. And therefore he 
counts himself richer than if he had all his enemies in chains, 
and their royalties at his disjiosal; he takes himself to be 
a far happier man than if he were al)solute monarch of the 
imiverse, and were to give laws to the inferior world; he 
reckons himself now as well to pass and better too than 
Adam, when he was sole landlord of the world. It was truly 
spoken of somebody, I do not well remember who : " He that 
hath rich friends must not look upon himself as poor." Oil 
then that you would be indeed friends to yourselves, and 
have respect to your own real interests ! And what, will 
not this mighty and powerful argument, which weighs as 
much as a thousand others, jirevail ? And do you still say, 
■\Vliat ])rorit will there be in serving the Lonl, and what ad- 
Vantage shall I get if I be acquainted with liim ? To what 
account will it return? I again answer. To a veiy good ac- 
count every way. Try but this trade with the wise mer- 
chant, an<l you shall soon feid tlie benefit of it. " Conceive 
to thyself mountains of gold and rocks of diamonds, and to 
this a vast iinmeasurablo tract of ground, land of inheritance, 
the most feitilo soil in the world, bringing in such a Imrden 
evoy year tluit shall trouble the owner to reap it : imaaiuo 


his pasture as gi-eat as his arable, and all clothed with thou- 
sands of cattle, small and great, and none of tliem barren 
neither; suppose his barns and storehouses could never be 
emptied, and his presses should ])urst -out every year with 
new wine." Again, " Let the merchant store his cellars ^y\ti\ 
the most pure oil, and furnish him with such rich spices as 
the Queen of Sheba brought to Solomon ; sujrpose he were 
in-ovided with all the exquisite rarities that tlie air, sea, or 
earth can afltord, yet for all this he were a beggar, in compa- 
rison of one that hath God for his Friend: such a one pos- 
sesseth him that possesseth all things." (Bolton.) Well then, 
be persuaded at last to be wise. I remember the moralist 
(Sen. Epist. vi.) brings in one acting like a wise man, and a 
good proficient in philosophy, who begins to be a friend to 
himself. And this is that that I am pleading with yon for. 
If I came to rob you all of hopes of happiness, and to bid you 
give away all that you have or expect, and to turn mendicants ; 
if I came to persuade you to espouse a beggarly interest, and 
to match yourself so as that you should be sure to be undone, 
I should not wonder if, after I had spoken much, I shoidd 
prevail but little. But when it is sucli a cause tiiat I am 
pleading, wlien it is for your own unspeakable advantage, 
when it is riches, true riches that I would have you hjok 
after, an estate tliat I would have you mind, which may 
be had for the looking after, have I not cause to admire 
what need a man should hav<^ to use so many words ? Had 
you money to spare, and could J tell you of a brave purchase, 
tliat you might have an exce'lent pennyworth, I am per- 
suaded I should not be very Xinwelcome. Could I tell you 
of a vast estate that you might have, upon the matter for 
accejiting or looking after, 1 believe I need not spend ten 
years in earnest ])egging and entreating you to look after 
such a tiling. Sliould I oifer to In-ing you to tlie place and 
person of wliom you might buy it, should I not soon have 
your company? Should not your necessaries be quickly 
made ready for such a journey? Would you not be up be- 
times in the morning? Nay, would you not travel all 
night, and think it no folly nor madness, both to lose some 
rest, and to take some pains, so you might come to possess 


what I speak of] Nay, were there but a possibility of ob- 
taining it, at least a probabilitj', I persuade myself you 
ivould not fail to look after it the very first thing you did, 
I am ready to think you would neither spare for pains nor 
costs, so that, after all, you might but make sure of enjoying 
it. Why, what then is the matter, that I can do no more 
in the business that I am about ? I am sure I biing you 
tidings of a better bargain, a braver purehase, and surer 
inheritance, and what need I then spend so much time in 
arguing with you ? Good Lord ! what mean people 1 Are 
they out of their wits, and quite beside themselves? What, 
is a feather better than a crown, brass than gold ? Is a 
glass to be i)referrcd before a diamond, finite enjoyments 
before everlasting riches, darkness before light, the world 
before God? Oh, how is man sunk below himself! What 
hath sin made men and women? If this be not folly and 
madness, what is ? Such may go for wise men in the world's 
account that make such choices ; and it id possible a man in 
bedlam may say his neigliliour that tore all his hair 
from off his head is well in his wits. Oh that this should 
1)0 tlie condition of the fur greater part of the world ! And 
what meanest thou, my soul, that thou art no more af- 
fected to see such vast multitudes of brain-sick frantic sin- 
ners, tliat make light of tlie tender of the gosi)el, that take 
tliem for their enemies who would do their utmost to mako 
tlic^n hai)i)y for over? I must profess I am even ashamed 
of my own heart, tliat I do not mingle my words with teai-s ; 
tliat I should speak for God and souls vvith so indiH'erent a 
spirit. Well, now you have heard of a great matcli, by 
whicli you may l)e made for ever; arc you, for all this, of 
tlic f-ame mind you were 1 Well, tlu-n, comjilain not if you 
be a beggar, llemenihcr liow you were olt'ered ; remcml)er 
you might have been worth more tluin a world. Ob tliat 
inconsiderate souls did Init know, and indeed know, what 
an oliur this is! <Jh that they would not carelessly under- 
value such a ]>rop()sal ! Oh, what shall I do ? How sliall I 
persuade you? What arguments will prev.ail? thou 
great and mighty God, give men and women but a sjiiritual 
uuderstanding of tliesc things, make them deeply a^jpre- 


hensive of their excellency and reality, and then I should 
soon have them with thankfulness complying with these 
tenders which thou commandest me to make unto them. 
Oh when shall it once he ! How long shall the devil and 
an unbelieving heart undo so many millions ? How long 
shall Satan triumph over souls, and cheat them thus miser- 
ably of their all ] Oh pity, pity, dear Lord, the besotted 
foolish world, and give me more compassion to souls, that I 
may, with incomparaldy greater earnestness and tenderness, 
plead thy cause with them, and resolve to give them no 
rest, till I have persuaded some of them in good earnest to 
look after the great and weighty affairs of eternity, and the 
making sure of their Friend. 

8. lie is a sympathizing Friend. It goes to his heart 
(with reverence be it spoken) when any injuries are done to 
any of his; when his friends are wronged, it touches him to 
the quick. He is tender of them, as of the apple of his eye. 
Again, " He that despiseth you despiseth me." Never was 
tender-hearted mother more pitiful over her only child, than 
God is to them who love him ; never was any friend so 
much concerned for another as God for his. What else 
mean those high expressions of pity in Isa. Ixiii. 9, " In all 
their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his pre- 
sence saved them : in his love and in his pity he redeemed 
them ; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of 
old ?" It was not once or twice tliat God did so by tliem ; 
but in all their afflictions he was afflicted ; which was not 
expressed in some cold formal words, such as these ; Alas, 
poor creatures, they are quite undone, their enemies are 
very barbarous : but he showed it in real demonstration, by 
saving them by the angel of his presence. A verbal kind- 
ness costs little and helps little. But suppose his friends 
are carried captive, are they not quite out of the reach of 
his help? No, his love, pity, and power will find them 
out in a)iy place under heaven ; and if they be slaves, he 
will redeem them, though he give kingdoms and nations 
for their ivansom. In his love and in liis pity he redeemed 
them ; and when, 1iy lianl usage, they are grown so weak 
and feeble that they can scarce go or creep, why, he will 


carry thorn iu his iirins, and hear tliein. Ami thus he did 
of old ; and his aft'octions are rather greater tlian lesser now 
than they were then. The motlier can be weary of carrying 
a, dirty screaming chikl ; she thinks it less trouljle to wliip 
him, or to let him He till he hath cried himself weary; she 
is loath to lug such a troublesome thing up and down all 
the day long. But yet, such is the tenderness of this Father, 
that he carries his all tlie day long, though they be so heavy, 
60 unquiet, so dirty. But of that presently. How oft do 
you read of strange pity in the book of the Judges, when 
tliey had, by their own folly, more than once brought them- 
selves into calamity; how do his bowels yearn over them; 
and when any of his are groaning under any trials or temp- 
tations, what sending and running is there! How many 
cordials arc jn-epared for them ! What calling to this ser- 
vant and that servant to attend them with all the care that 
may be, and to comfort them in this state ! And in case 
of abuse, how dotli he show his love to them ! If you 
should ask Pharaoh, he would tell you that God's friends 
are edgetools. Why else doth the Lord lay about him 
with so much indignation, when they arc opi)resscd; nay, 
for tlieir siikes he rebukes kings, saying, "Touch nut mine 
anointed, and do my ])rophets no harm;" if they do, be it 
at tiieir peril. How did he bear the aillictions of his people 
Israel in Egypt ! Did he stand still as if he were uncon- 
cerned ] Did he shut his eyes and not see ? Or did he stop 
liis ears to their cries? No, no, he sees the sutierings of 
liis in Egypt, and that l)oth enemies and friends too shall 
know, the one to their comfort, and the other to their 
cost, E.\od. iii. 7. How doth ho awaken for their help, and 
gird on his sword-upou liis tliigli, and march out with fury! 
How doth he clothe himself with vengeance as with a robe, 
and brandish his glittering sword, and sheathe it in the liearts 
of his and their enemies ! Wherefore is it that God hath 
so many controversies with Edom, Ammoii, and Amalek ? 
Why doth lie muster ujt his forces with violence against 
Babylon? Wiiose (piarrel doth lie engage in ? What ujis 
the ground of that war.' If you read overall the indict- 
ments that are before this great Judge, you will lind (his a 

116 HEAVEN tPON earth; OR, 

common one, their hatred of his people ; and this, to be sure, 
he will not put up with. And that which puts an accent 
•upon all this, is the unworthy carriage of most of them to- 
wards him all this while. But of that under the next head, 
which is this. 

9. lie is the most patient Friend, Never any one in the 
world could have digested such affronts, borne such indigni- 
ties, as God hath many a time, and even from the best of 
those that he takes into this intimacy with himself. Had 
it not been for this covenant of friendship, Judah and 
Ephi'aim too had been soon unpeopled ; as for them, they 
soon forgot their covenant, yet for all that, God remembers 
his : though Ephraim forgot to be a child, yet God cannot for- 
get to be a Father. Read that text, and wonder, Hos. xi. 7, 
" And my people are bent to backsliding from me : though 
they called them to the most High, none at all would exalt 
him." Though they had many compassionate prophets that 
called after them day and night, when they saw them turn- 
ing their backs upon God, yet they were not minded. Who 
now would conceive that God should ever think a thought 
of kindness towards them more ? Yet hear what God saith, 
" How shall I give thee up, Ephraim ? how shall I deliver 
thee, Israel 1 how shall I make thee as Admali ? how shall 
I set thee as Zeboim ? Mine heart is turned within me, my 
rcpentings are kindled together. I will not execute the fierce- 
ness of mine anger : I will not return to destroy Ephraim : 
for I am God, and not man ; the Holy One in the midst of 
thee : and I will not enter into the city," vcr. 8, 9. Well, now 
tell me if ever there was such a compassionate, meek, pa- 
tient Friend. Ephraim was up in open arms against his 
JMaker ; he did rebel most unworthily against his good Lord 
and Friend, to whom he was bound by infinite engagements. 
Ephraim had quite cast oft' God, and he will have nothing 
to do with him ; and Judah is not far inferior to his trea- 
cherous brother; and what will God do ? One would think, 
as I said before, he should ease himself quickly of such false 
friends; one would think that, after such unfaithfulness, he 
should for ever banish them his court ; one would soon con- 
ceive that he should think of disinheriting sugh rebellious 


cliildi'cn ; for this was not the first, second, nor tliird time 
that they had served God thus. Who then could imagine that 
he should ever trouble himself with them any more? Should 
one not look every day when he should qu^te cast them oft'? 
Why, God seems sometimes to threaten as much, and seems 
ever and anon to act towards them as if he would never 
look upon them more while the world stands. Go, saitii 
God, to your idols, let them save you ! What do you come 
to me for? You have refused to have me for your God. 
Go, cry to your gods, and let them deliver you. Thus he 
seems to turn away his face ; yet, for all that, see how soon 
he forgets his displeasure. Ephraim is his child, his dear 
child, and he cannot l)ut pity him ; and "how shall I give 
thee up, Ephraiin," &:c. How hardly is God brought so 
much as to chastise his children ; he never corrects them 
but when there is an absolute need of it. Ask the church 
under the rod, and she cannot but say as much. " For 
though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion accord- 
ing to the multitude of his mercies. For he doth not afflict 
willingly, nor grieve the children of men," Lam. iii. 32, 33. 
lie calls judgment his work, his strange work: and when 
lie doth correct his stubborn children, how doth he many 
times give them a lash and a kiss, a frov.n and a smile ! Oh, 
what would have become of the holiest men living, if God 
should ujjon every provocation have broken with them. If 
God should mark iniquities, oh, who should stand? Which 
of the fallen sons of Adam hath not abused his high kind- 
ness? and yet for all (hat, bow is his patience and goodness 
exercised towards them ! Well might the Psalmist make 
that the burden of one of his songs, " Oh that men would 
jiraise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works 
towards the children of men ;" and that of another, " For 
his mercy cndurcth for ever." What created being could 
have l)orne the thousandth jiart of tiiat from any hand that 
God doth every day from his dearest children I What 
peevishness and unfriendly (juarrelling, what murmuring 
and re()iirmg, doth he bear evi'U tVi>m them for whom ho 
hatii done .such great things I How strangely do they carry 
theinselves ! How seldom and conii>limental in their visits 

118 HEAVEX UPON earth; OR, 

of liim ! IIow cold and formal in tlieir addresses to him ! 
How frequently are they conversing with his basest ene- 
mies ! How much treachery and underhand dealing doth 
he find in them ! Yet for all this, how great are his kind- 
nesses, and how open are his arms, upon their acknowledg- 
ment, to receive them again I Little do we think what un- 
klndness the Lord overlooks ; nor indeed, except we knew 
what it was to be infinite in holiness, could we in any Avay 
conceive how infinite his patience is. " Many times did he 
deliver them ; but they provoked him with their counsel, 
and were brought low for their iniquity. Nevertheless he 
regarded their affliction, Avhen he heard their cry : and he 
remembered for them his covenant," &c., Ps. cvi. 43-45. 
Here, here is patience, here is love and goodness with a 
Avitness ! What prince under heaven would trust a reliel 
that hath been in arms a hundred times against him, and 
that at the best doth serve him with so little delight i 
What friend would continue his familiarity and kindness 
there, where he hath found abundance of falseness ? And 
who but thou, God, is so merciful and gracious, long- 
suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth s As for the 
trouble that any of his meet with, most commonly they 
may thank themselves for it ; and it is always sent them in 
kindness : there is none of them all but may say. This is 
my iniquity, this is the fruit of my backsliding, this I have 
got by my estrangement from God. 

10. He is an honoura1)le Friend, and to be acquainted with 
him is the highest honour in the world. This word honour 
sounds great in the ear of this proud world. AVhat a running 
and catching to get a little of it ! How do many undervalue 
their lives, and make nothing to hazard their blood for a lit- 
tle of what men call honour ! Some prize it above riches and 
wealth, and care not almost at Avhat rate they purchase it ; 
and yd in the meanwhile they are farthest from that \vhich 
they so greedily ilesire, and ihcy run away from that which 
they seem to pursue. Poor ignorant man is fearfully mis- 
taken ; he calls that his honour which degrades him, and 
takes that for his glory which is his sliame. How is lie 
pleased with that AA'hich, when he hath, he neither aees nor 


foels, ami scarce knows what it is ! (Epict.) What is it, 
man, that thou losest thy sleep for? What is it that thou 
art at so much charge to huy 1 that rather than you will 
want it, estate, blood, life, and soul, and all must go for iti 
Knight, lord, earl, &c., -worsliipful, right-worshipful, honour- 
able, excellent, gracious, are big words, and make a great 
noise; but is this the true honour? will these words, with- 
out the thing, do a man so much good I a man, I said, and 
so doth God say too, and death will make the biggest of them 
all know as mucli ere it be long, for all those big words. 
What if his l)reath stink that speaks these words, and his 
that hears them be not much sweeter? (Antoninus.) Is it 
such an honour to have a company of fools to call him wise, 
that, may be, is like tlu^nselves? Is it worth a soul, to have 
it said when I am in hell. There lived a bi-avc gentleman, 
that kept a noble house and brave table ; his cellar was al- 
ways open ; one might come when one would, and drink as 
long as one could stand, and never hear, A\'hy do you so ? 
and be always welcome ; tliat is, in plain English, where a 
man might be encouraged to damn his soul. There lived a 
noble gallant person who bid defiance to the Almighty, that 
had courage enough to go to hell merrily, tliat had a de- 
sire to carry as many along with him as might be ; damning, 
swearing, cursmg was their language ; eating, drinking, sleep- 
ing, whoring, and persecuting the people of God, their busi- 
ness. And are these your honourable pei-sons? Nay, go 
liigher, to bustle up and down in cloth of gold, with a vast 
retinue, to have men on this side and that side, bowing and 
cringing; and is tiiis such a business? Is it wurth tlie while 
to keep up such a stir about that wliich a wise man may 
want, and a fool have? (Anton.) Will tiio.se names, tliat 
grandeur and state, tiiose high titles, render you more ac- 
••eptable to God? Will they procure for you a freer access 
into tiie ])rescnce of that great King? Will tliose great 
words scare death ? Will he say, when lie conus to your 
houso, Tills is a pei-son of ([iiality, I must not Ijc so bold as 
to come near him i Will your lionour procure you a jirotec- 
tion from t!ic arrests of this serg'jjint ? Wliere is tlie liouour- 
ablc personage, the gentleman, kniglit, lord, king, or mon- 


arch, that hath lived a thousand years ? (Lucian.) Are the 
worms afraid to gnaw thy heart ? Will thy flesh never put- 
refy ? Will your servants, or your master either, honour 
you in hell? And is this all that you keep such a stir 
for, that can do you no good in the grave or in another 
world 1 Can tliat ])e better worth than heaven, than God ? 
Oh that we might hut know wliat it is, that great thing is, 
which is preferred before Christ and everlasting glory I 
Again, I ask what is it that the grandees of the world do so 
much idolize? Is it to be called Avise, great, and noble? 
But wliat if the wise God call such a one a fool? (Epict.) 
What if he know neither himself, nor his God, nor his inter- 
est ? Ilath he much greater reason to boast than a feather, 
that somebody will sny it is heavy ? or dung, that the SAvine 
saith it is sweet ? (Juven.) What profit is it for a man to be 
made great for betraying his countiy, and flattering a tyrant 
\\ho yesterday v/as the son of a stage-plaj'er, and to-morrow 
shall be shorter by the head? What good will it do a 
l^eggar that is ready to be starved, to be told that he is a 
prince, a brave fellow, worth some thousands by the year? 
But would you know which is the ready way to true lion- 
our? I tell you it consists not in the favour of them that 
must die like yourselves, and, l)cfore that few years be over, 
must stand but upon even ground AAith the meanest ; it con- 
sists not in the sorry acclamations of them who measure a 
man's worth by his estate and their dependence upon him ; 
it consists not in the praise of them Avhose commendations 
some wise men have counted a discredit. But he hath 
showed thee, man, v>-hat is truly honourable ; to do justly, 
to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy Gud, Micah vi. 
8. To bear relation to God as a Father, and to carry them- 
selves as his children, to be a servant and friend of God; 
this, this is honourable, truly honourable ; this is the height, 
the top of the creature's preferment. To converse Avith, 
and delight in his Maker; to love, admire, and rejoice in 
God, and to love God, to take complacency in the soul ; this 
is something indeed, this is honour; a Avise man Avould not 
grudge to venture his estate, his blood, his all for this. 
And hoAV feAv of the gallants of the Avorld understand the 


natui'e of this honour ? IIow do most of them account that 
wliich is the only true luidge of nobility, a term of disgrace; 
and that which speaks a person liighly honourable, and to 
have brave blood running in his veins, to be low, sordid, and 
much honeath them; as if it were below a creature to serve 
]iis j\Iaker, and a pitiful proferment to be advanced to 
glor\\ Oh that men of parts and learning, that persons of 
quality, should be so much mistaken ! Oh what 's become 
of their reason ? Is it an honour, a preferment, for a man 
to become a brute? We are ready to inty madmen, and 
to laugh at fools ; but whether there be not more reason to 
bemoan the condition of most of the honourable persons in 
the world, I leave CIn-ist and Christians to judge. Well then, 
will you be informed, after all this, by Ilim who hath all pre- 
ferments and honours in his gift? I mean the great King; 
and lie will tell you tliat glory and honour are in his pre- 
sence, 1 Cliron. xvi. 27. iNIan's only honour and true dignity 
lie in his nearness and acquaintance with God. A i)racti- 
cal knowledge of his iNIaker is the creature's greatest prefer- 
ment. David was of the mind, that it was none of tlie low- 
est honours to be God's servant, Ps. Ixxxiv. It is upon the 
account of Israel's near relation to God, that Moses reckons 
them the liap]iiest, the most honourable people in the world. 
Because Goil had avouclied them to l>e his jjcculiar ])eoi)le, 
therefore they might well be said to be high above all tlio 
nations which God had made, in praise, in name, and in 
lionour, L)eut. xxvi. 18, li). And upon this account might 
a wise man have liis dioice, whether he will wear a crown 
and be a 8tra,nger to God, or rags, and be one cf his nearest 
servants. He will not stand long. before he determine the 
case; he will soon answer witli liiir., that he had rather 
lie a doorkeeper in the house of God, than dwell in the ta- 
bcniaeles of wickedness. If men's actions may speak their 
judgments, most of the gallants of tlie world are of a far 
din'erent opinion. But, oh let me dwell for ever in his house, 
and stand always in his jiresence ; happy are they that see 
his face, liiqijiy are they tliat behold his beauty. This, this 
is man's crown, this is bis highest lioiioiir and dignity; for 
Ood to be mindful of man, and for his Maker to visit liim ; 


this sets him l)ut little below the aiip,els, this crowiis him 
with glory and honour, Ps. viii, 4, 5. This is that which puts 
a true personal wtirth upon any one ; and therefore the 
Psalmist thinks those the excellent persons, in ■whom is his 
delight. Upon this account the Scripture saith, " The right- 
eous man, who is in covenant with God, is more excellent 
than his neighbour." The purblind world, they judge alto- 
gether by the outward garb ; they see the face, the rich aj)- 
parel ; they see the estate, but they see not that inward ex- 
cellency and beauty that may be under but a mean habit ; 
they are ready to despise the noble worthies of the world, 
such as can look upon kingdoms as small things in compa- 
rison of what they have an interest in, who can call God 
Father, and Christ Brother. Have you never heard of a 
king in mean apparel, of a prince without his robes upon 
liis back, or his crown upon his head 1 and will you say that 
therefore he was but a common person ? lint those hea- 
venly creatures that have a more spiritual refined sense, 
that understand something of things and persons, are quite 
of another mind ; they can look upon great ones in the 
midst of their gallantry, without a Friend in heaven, as mean 
persons that have no interest to speak of; and many of them, 
for all their greatness, to be in a far worse condition than 
dogs and toads. They can also look upon a poor despised 
Baint, a contemned Christian, though, to carnal eyes, he should 
look as if he could scarce speak sense, to be a favourite of 
Heaven, a person of quality ; such a one as this the heavenly- 
minded values as the son of a king, a citizen of Zion, one of the 
royal race, one of that glorious retinue that stand always in 
the presence of God to serve him, the least of whom are 
kings and priests to their great Lord : liy faith he sees their 
crown, and looks upon that royal diadem wliich shall ere- 
long be put upon their princely heads, Piev. i. 6. This 
was the great preferment they sougjit, this was the honour 
they most desired ; as for the world and all its glory, tliey 
can well spare it for those thai shall never be advanced to 
any higher dignity, to any better jireferment. As for the 
saint, as contemptible as he looks, he hath higher designs, 
nobler tilings, greater honours in his eye j and if that which 


the world so admires were the highest glory that a rational 
creature were cajiahle of, tlio toj) of man's ]>refernient, why, 
then he could li>ok upon l)rutos themselves as liis equals, ex- 
cept in this, that their pleasures are more certain, and their 
miseries less understood. 

It is storied of Constuntine and Valeutinian, two Roman 
emperors, that they suhscribed themselves Vassellos Cliristi, 
the vassals of Christ; and that Numa Pompilius esteemed 
it a higher honour to he a friend of God than a lord of men. 
Consider, poor sinner, consider wliat honours you slight, 
what preferments you refuse, what dignity you undervalue, 
wlien you make light of acquaintance with God. Had that 
brave Stoic, Epictetus I mean, known God in Christ, he 
would mucli more have wondered at the inconsiderateness 
of them who make nothing of being related to God as a 
J''atiier; he would much more have ])itie<l them who 
cleave to their lower, meaner kindred beast, wlio had rather 
be like swine than God, and rather be com])anions to their 
servants than their Maker. Seems it to you but a liglit 
matter to be a King's son ] Is it but a small matter, think 
jou, to call God Father? Is it nothing to be born to a 
crown immortal that fadeth not away? This is honour, 
this is ])refermeut worth the having, worth the looking after, 
worth tlie venturing one's life for. Tiiis is true nobility, to 
stand tluis nearly related to Him before whom the angels 
veil their glorious faces, and at whose feet the four-and- 
twenty elders lay their crowjis. The Queen of Sheba 
thought Solomon's servants happy, who stood always in his 
jiresence and heard his Misdom ; but what would she have 
Kiid, had slie but known the honour and glory of this 
Prince! Oh, blessed are those that stand always in thy 
j)resence! God, blessed are thy servants; blessed are 
those wlio see thy glory and hear tliy wisdom ; blessed 
.are they that may have five access to thee. Oh let me 
liave tliis jirefermcnt, though I live like Job at his lowest, 
and die like La/.aius. Let others sue for the favour of 
•princes; let them make the best of wliat the world can 
give; let them desire that wliieli liuth been dangerous to 
• more than Uiunanj I lio^.e I should never envy them, 


might I but have more frequent and intimate converse with 
God, may I be but acquainted with liim. Oh may I have 
but a heart more to admire, love, and delight in him, and 
serve him with tlie strength and intenseness of my soul 
while I am here, and stand for ever in his presence, and be- 
hold his glorious fiice with joy hereafter. my soul, Avhat 
meanest thou, that thou still speakest so faintly and coldly 
of such infinitely glorious things 1 Why doth not a new 
life animate thee at the very mention of these things ? Hast 
thou not far more cause to raise up thy desponding spirits 
with cheerfulness, than old Jacob, when his son Joseph, who 
was lord of that land, sent for him into Egypt? Thy Fa- 
ther, my soul, thy Brother is Lord, not of Egypt, not of 
Goshen, but of Eden, of Zion ; he is the King of that glori- 
ous city, the new Jerusalem; heaven is liis 'throne, and 
earth is his footstool, and yet behold the waggons that he 
hath sent for thee ! Behold the provision that he hath sent 
to maintain thee comfortably in tliy journey from Egypt to 
Canaan ! Is not this enough ? my soul, awake, up and 
see him before thou diest. Behold, he is coming, the Bride- 
groom is coming, Joseph is coming, to meet tliee with a 
gallant train, in a glorious equipage. It is but yet a little 
while, and thy Husband will come and fetch thee in royal 
state, attended with a numberless retinue of saints and an- 
gels. Oh, hadst thou but an eye to behold their chariots 
and horsemen coming upon the mountains. He is coming, 
he is coming; he will be here quickly; he will hot tarry; 
he is at the door. Contemplate sometimes on these things, 
and a little antedate that glory by spiritual meditation. 
Do but think what a brave sight that will be to see the 
mountains covered with chariots of lire and horses of fire, 
when the heavens shall bow before thy Friend, and the 
earth shall melt at his presence, and yet thy heart not faint 
within thee ; when the King shall come in the clouds to 
fetch his friends to his own house, where they shall dwell 
for ever. This honour have all the saints. 

11. He is a suitable Friend. It is suitableness that 
sweetens society. I can easily believe a poor country pea- 
sant can take as much content in the c^mi^any of a poor 


man like hinibelf, as in the society of a prince ; an unlearned 
cuuntryman is no way fit to converse with courtiers and 
statesmen ; the vastuess of the distance would so much 
swallow his mind, and the unsuitableness of his spirit to 
such company takes off that content which otherwise he 
might enjoy. But yet in spirituals, though the distance 
between God and man be beyond a possibility of our con- 
ception, and the disjjroportion infinite, yet the soul of man, 
being immediately from God, and spiritual, like God, and 
having a divine new nature infused into it by the spirit of 
regeneration, it finds an infinite suitableness, pleasure, and 
content in the enjoyment of God's presence; and it is not 
sunk, but raised, by a union, converse, and society with its 
Maker. The truth of it is, did man but understand his owix 
original aright, he would think it infinitely below his noble 
parentage to converse with, and have intimate delightful 
society with any but God and those who bear the same re- 
lation to God witli liimself, or. to bring poor strangers ac- 
quauited with liim as well as themselves. There is not a 
match upon earth fit for the soul of man to be matched to. 
But in that other country there is a Match indeed every way 
suitable ; a Spirit for a spirit ; an everlasting God for an ever- 
lasting soul ; a precious Jesus for a precious soul ; a holy God 
for those whom he hath made holy like himself; and that 
is none of the least of man's happiness, tliat notwithstanding 
that infinite distance that is naturally between him and his 
God, yet that, God should make in his creature such noble 
dispositions, and sucli divine qualifications, that there should 
be the greatest suitableness in the worUl between God and 
the soul, and the soul and God, and they both take wonder- 
ful content in the enjoyment of one another. This is in 
part here, but completed in glory. Tliis we may find often 
in Scripture expressed in the nearest relations and dearest 
affections. Hence God is said to bo a Father, and they liia 
children; a Husband, and they his spouse. Now wbat 
greater suitableness can tliere be tliau between father and 
childron, husljand and wife I God is also said to delight ill 
them, and they in him; to rejoice in their company, and 
tlii')' ill llioj iUl'l how coul'l tills be, t\\w]^>i theie were i^ 

1-26 111;AVEX IPON EARTH ; OK, 

suitableness in tliem one to another. Their wills are suited ; 
what God wills, they will ; and what God loves, they love; 
and so what they love, as his friends, God loves ; one doth not 
' thwart and contradict the other. Oh how sweet then must 
• the company, the communion, of such friends be 1 Oh were 
,our hearts as they should be ! Were we more like God, we 
should quickly experience, to the unspeakable joy of our 
.souls, how suitable a Friend he is to a soul : we should soon 
' iind, that as clay and stones are unsuitable food for the body, 
so the Avorld is unsuitable food for the soul to feed on, and 
that it is God alone that can fill and satisfy the vast desires 
of it. Oh, I say again, were we but as we came out of our 
Maker's hands, or, rather, were we trimmed up in our eldest 
Brother's robes, and brought into the immediate presence 
of this great King ; were we set before that glorious throne, 
where the infinite brightness of his majesty shines, so that 
the angels themselves veil their faces before him ; yet for 
all tliat, we should not long stand silent, as if the place 
aridrcoinpany were unsuitable to us ; it would not be long 
•befofe' we should carry it as those that were nearly related, 
and had intimate acquaintance with Him who sits upon the 
throne. Oh the unspeakable sweetness that will be in the 
enjoyment of His company I no tediousness, no irksomeness 
at all upon our spu'its. We shall quickly understand our 
work, our privilege. Oh infinite goodness! Oh boimdless 
love ! Oh let me be always solacing my soul in the con- 
templation of these things ! Oh let the very thoughts of 
them be a heaven upon earth to my soul ! But here, oh 
here's the grief; while we are here in a strange country, 
there is something — (in all the poor fallen children of Adam, 
nay, in those of them that are recovered, and by grace 
brought into re-union with God) — there is, I say, something 
in God unsuitable to them, and in them unsuitable to God; 
and this, oh this makes our lives so uncomfortable: but 
converse with God will wear oft" a gi-eat deal of that. When 
thou comest to lay off thy rags, and to put off thy old suit, 3.5; 
and to put on that new one that is making for thee, I mean .,'1 
after death; when thou comest to glory, thou uilt find the.Q.^ 
ease strangely altered with thee. In heaven there will be 


a pci-fect harmony, suitableness, and agreement between 
God and thee for ever; and thou wilt take infinite com- 
placency and delight iu him, and he in thee. And thus 
shalt thou spend eternity in iiicunceivable joy, delight, and 
pleasures. This is heaven, a perfect suitableness to God, 
and enjoying him for ever. Oh when, when, when shall it 
once be ? " Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly ;" come, blessed 
Father, by thy Spirit, and burn up what is unlike thee ! 
Oh create a greater suitableness between my soul and thee. 
Oh come thou down to me, or take me up to thee ! Oh, 
could we but talk with one of those happy creatures that 
hath been in the very presence of God in glory, and should 
we ask him, whether he were not weaiy of the same work, 
of the same company, the same place ; what answer do you 
think he would make you ? "No more weary than a man 
ui)on the rack but just before would be of perfect ease ; no 
more than a healthful hungrj^ man is of eating; no more 
weary than the sun is of running, than the fire of ascend- 
ing, or a stone falling towards the centre. (Sen. Epist. x.) 
I know not where I had rather he than with Him. I was 
once upon earth as you are now, and now I am in heaven ; 
and in neither <>i Ijoth these places can I find one that I can 
t;ike more delight iu than God. I must say as he, Ps. Ixxiii. 
25, 'Whom have I in heaven but thcel and there is none 
upon earth that I desire besides thee.' I cannot desire a 
better employment than a delightful constant attending 
11] ion my God. Can I have bettor company than such a 
Father I C'an a greater happiness be conceived than eternal 
glory ? a pleasanter place than heaven ? That which I can 
speak, you cannot hear; and could you, though in this per- 
fect glorj', I cannot express what you will find and feel 
when you come hither. Oh had I but known as much as I 
do now, when I was in your condition upon earfh, I should 
with incomi>arably greater earnestness have sought after 
acipiaintancc with God than I did. ' In his presence is 
fulness of joy, at his right hand are pleasures for evermore.' 
Now I feel, now I know it. I thought one smile sweet 
upon earth, but now I see and feel infinitely more. What 
you enjoy uyw is a bh'.dow iu comparison of what you will 


enjoy hereafter. Oh, what do you mean, that you prize 
his favour no more, that you get no more intimate acquaint- 
ance with him ? What do you mean that you are so un- 
willing to come to this place of joy? Oh, were you but 
possessed of what I speak of, you would say what I say ; 
you would never he weary of praising and serving him; 
you would never wish yourself out of his presence, and think 
it not possible to be in more suitable society." Is it so, 
my soull What then doest thou here? Make haste, 
my soul, stay no longer here below, but know thy privilege, 
understand where thy comforts are. 

12. He is a wise Friend. All the men and women in the 
world have great mighty attairs to manage, and they want 
skill, wisdom, and discretion for the right management of 
these things ; they arc wofuUy averse to their great busi- 
ness ; they are Avise to do evil ; but in spirituals they are 
become stupid, sottish fools ; and as to the carrying on of 
their great work, they do it with the greatest imprudence in 
the world ; and they will most certainly for ever undo 
themselves, except One that is wiser than themselves under- 
take to help them. All things go backward with them, 
and they laboiu* in the very lire whilst they act without 
God ; and it is impossible it should lie otherwise as long as 
there is such a disproportion between man's business and his 
spirit. Man is carnal, and his work is spiritual. Would an 
ignorant poor creature, that is but one remove above a beast, 
be iit to manage the great matters of government 1 How 
ridiculously would he behave himself in a chair of state! 
How strangely would an unlearned man bungle, should he 
go about to solve one of the profoimd demonstrations of 
mathematics ! But a natural man is far more imskilful 
than any of these, as to the carrying on of that great 
emi^loyment that he hath to look after, while he is on this 
Bide eternity ; his business is to serve his Maker, but what 
pitiful work doth he make of it ! Man is made for an ever- 
lasting state ; he is sent into this world to provide for 
another : a good, a happiness there is, which he is to look 
after ; he ouce had a fail* estate, but he hath spent and lost 
jt all, aijd he is to tsee to the recovering of it again. He 


liath beon in arms against his lawful sovereign, and Ijcen 
guilty of the highest treason, and thereby hath forfeited his 
life, his soul ; now he hath his pardon to sue out, and how 
doth he go to work in this one thing? To mention no 
more, why, he goes to beg a pardon armed cap-a-pie and 
with his sword drawn ; he comes to ask pardon for one treason, 
and he is found acting another. Lord, have mercy upon 
me, and give me leave to break tliy laws, is the sum of all 
his prayers. He talks of heaven, and yet makes all the 
haste he can to h.ell. lie is told he is out of the way, but 
he laughs at hini that tells him so; and that's his best. 
Sometimes he rages, and desires with all speed to remove 
him that would set him in the road to Zion. He calls for 
a hatchet to cut down the bough upon which he stands. 
And this is your man of wisdom ! The man is under sail 
in the midst of rocks and sands ; and if he would but look, 
lie might see many doleful spectacles, to the tops of masts, 
shipwrecked souls I mean ; and though the pilots tell him 
of the danger, yet he says he will never believe but that it 
is the best and safest road to the harbour, and so on he goes 
as if he were sure he would not miscarry ; and all this 
while he will not be persuaded but that he acts very Avisely; 
he judgeth it one of his greatest comforts, that he runs to 
misery without any hinderance ; and how can it otherwise 
be, except men wore spiritually wise? And who can teach 
man this wisdom ? V/Iid sliall instruct him? Who shall 
help him, now his aflaira are upon the matter almost despe- 
rate ? Why, if thou wilt but hoar, bore is Oni; that will yet 
undertake tliy sole cause, if thou wilt be advised by him ; 
for this is he who will set all to right. And oh, how doth 
he call after you ! how willing to give you his advice ! how 
desirous to assist vou ! "Wisdom crieth without; she 
uttereth her voice in the streets : she crioth in the chief 
place of concourse, in the openings of the gates ; in the city 
she uttereth her words, saying, How long, ye simi)lo ones, 
will ye love simplicity ? and the scorners deliglit in their 
scorning, and fools hate knowledge? Turn you at my reproof : 
behold, I will pour* out my Sjiirit upon you, I will mako 
known my words unto you," I'rov. i. i2U-23. And will you 

130 HiiAVj'IX UPON fiARTIt; OR, 

set at naught all his counsels, and have none of his reproofs ? 
Will you rather be ruined than be beholden to him for 
advice. Let me put in one word. If this wise Counsellor be 
not for you, he will be against you ; and if you find any 
that can order your sad affairs more to your advantage, I 
pray make use of him ; but if you will be inled by him, you 
cannot miscarry, though you are in an ill condition ; though 
you be quite broken, yet he will give you such a stock as 
that you may set up again, and such directions as that you 
cannot but thrive, if you will but follow them. It is he 
that teacheth his spiritual frugality, not to part with that 
for a trifle which will be a rich commodity erelong ; it is he 
who persuades us to make the best use of everything ; it is 
he that teacheth fools more true wisdom than the great 
politicians of the Avorld ; though the world judge them 
weak, yet they have wit enough to make a good bar- 
gain, to value heaven before hell, to fly from everlasting 
burnings. They are wise enough to know what is for their 
real advantage, and what not. This is he that I would 
bring thee "acquainted with. It is he who giveth his so much 
understanding, as to know the true worth of things, and the 
difference between good and evil, finite and infinite, time 
and eternity. Who is it that David goes to for counsel, 
when his politic enemies combine against him? Where 
doth he advise 1 Who brings him out of all his intricacies 1 
Is it not He that I am persuading you to go to, who was 
never outwitted, who can easily turn the counsel of Ahith- 
ophel into foolishness 1 It is he who can infatuate the great 
sages of the world, and make them weaker than children in 
their counsels. And this is he who will be a constant Coun- 
sellor to all those that are his friends, his acquaintance. 
Sen'^ca,Epist.xli.lxxxi., gives excellent counsel indeed, which 
if we will precisely follow, oui' matters cannot but succeed. 
"Art thou never in any straits? Are all thy affairs carried 
on with so much prudence, both as to time and eternity, that 
thou standest in no need of advice 1 Art thou sure that this 
will always be thy condition 1 If not, why then wilt thou 
not be persuaded to strike in here?" Why, if you will 
believe them who to their comfort have tried Him again 


and again, it isj-our unspeakable interest and wisdom to get 
God for your Friend, and then wliatsoever you do shall pros- 
per by his advice ; a poor Christian can outwit all the policy 
of hell, and show himself more wise than those who call 
him fool and count him mad. David durst trust none else 
to guide him ; but with His conduct he doth not fear but that 
he shall come safe to his journey's end : " Thou slialt ftuide 
me by thy counsels, and bring me to thy glory," Ps. Ixxiii. 
24. And again, he saith, by the help 5f this Counsellor 
he was wiser than his teachers, Ps. cxix. 99. Hear, there- 
fore, wliat you had best do, as matters stand with you, 
"I liave taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee 
in right paths. When thou goest, thy steps shall not be 
sti-aitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumljje," 
Prov. iv. 11, 12. " Because the foolishness of God is wiser than 
men," 1 Cor. i. 25. That which looks most contemptible, if 
thoroughly understood, will be found to have more depth ia 
it tlian the wisest men of the world can reach. To choose 
such a Friend, this is wisdom, this is prudence. The godly 
man knows that he hath a gi-eat cause to be decided erelong, 
and that it will be no lost labour to make the Judge his 
Friend. Well, what say you, sinners ? Is this considerable 
that I do now ]iropound, or is it not? Can you plead your 
own cause, can yon clear your title to glory without him ? 
If not, be well advised before you slight such a motion as I 
now make to you. 

i;}. He is an immortal Friend. Ay, that's a friend in- 
deed. If one friend cuuid be sure to live just as long as 
the other ; and were friends sure never to want the advice, 
comfort, society, and help of one another, it would not a 
little advance tlie worth of a friend. But where is such a 
one to be found ? What histories can give lis an account of 
such amities? Let jjcrsons be united in ever so close a 
union, conjoined in the fastest knot that nature can tie, yet 
death will first or last dissolve it. 8o that sometimes I 
have been almost of this mind, as to all worldly friends, 
considering tliem abstmct from God, (for grace in any friend 
dotii unspcakaldy sweeten the relation, and such a relation 
will not die ;) if we compare the shortness and uncertainty 


of posscssint^, and tlie bitterness in losinp;, witli tlic sweet- 
ness of enjoying, tliat it is somewhat diliicult to resolve, 
whether such shortlived comforts are wortli the looking 
after. Not but that I think a friend, a true friend, a great 
mercy, and much to be desired ; but really, if our aftections 
be not for God's sake, if our love be not regulated by reli- 
gion, I can easily believe that the bitterness in losing doth 
overbalance the pleasure of enjoying. And who would 
much trouble himself to get that with care vv-hich must be 
possessed Avith fears, and will be parted with with tears ? 
All worldly enjoyments will serve us thus. When we ex- 
pect most from them, and please ourselves to think what 
content we enjoy in them, ten to one, if God love us, but 
that he either imbitters or takes away that comfurt from us. 
One saith I had a dear husband, such a one as never woman 
had, l)ut he is dead, I have lost him. Another saith, I had 
a jn-ecious child, a brother, but he is gone. And everybody 
■will be in this note first or last. And if the case be thus, 
•who would be so foolish as to let out the strength of his soul 
upon that which he may soon be deprived of 1 But here is 
a Friend, whom you need not fear over-loving, nor losing; a 
never-dying Friend, one that will be sure to outlive you. 
" Say of what you will, that it is mortal, and you have 
disgraced it enough. For how can that be of any great worth 
which can die, and, Avhen I have most need of it, I maj' 
want; but this cannot be said of God ; he only is immortal, 
and not subject to changes. As for the favour of princes and 
great ones, at the best, it is but an imcertainty : for, it may 
be, all thy hopes are bound xvp in his life, and that hour 
which puts an end to his days puts a period to thy com- 
fort." (Ar. Ep. 1. iii. c. 22.) But it is another kind of fi lend 
that I would have you acquainted with. Oh why do Chris- 
tians dote upon that which is so shortlived? Make but 
choice of this Friend, and you shall never say of him, He is 
dead, I have lost him. WJierefore, " put not your trust in the 
son of man, in M'hom there is no help. His breath goeth 
forth, he rcturneth to his earth ; in that very day his 
thoughts perish. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob 
for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God, which mad<» 


heaven and earth," &.C., Ps. cxlvi. 3-6, that God who is calli'd 
the Living God. 

14. He is a present Friend, a Friend that is always in all 
places. Man's condition may possibly l^e sucli as that he may 
be deprived of the company of his dearest worldly relations ; 
he may be sequestered from the society of his most helpful 
and necessary friends. How oft have the dear children of 
God been clapt up in dungeons, not only from the sight, but 
from the knowledge of their more affectionate acquaintance ! 
It is no unusual thing for them to be Imnished from their 
native country. Wives and children, among savage men 
and beasts, have no man to make their complaints to, but 
such as will increase their sorrows. How frequently may 
they be in such a condition, as that tliey may not see, 
hear, nor speak to any friend ! What bolts and bars, what 
walls and guards, to keep them from them, who if they 
could not free them from, yet might in some measure alle- 
viate their misery! But now God is such a Friend, who 
cannot, who will not, be kept out from his by walls of brass 
or barsof iron ; he will findout his friendsin the darkest holes, 
and bear them company there in spite of all the powers of 
hell. Oh ! how reviving are his visits ! What cordials doth 
he bring along with him ! This is that which makes the peo- 
jile of God so very cheerful, when their enemies make ac- 
count their condition is such as that it had no mixture of 
joy or comfort in it. Was that a prison or heaven where 
those martyrs were singing Hallelujah'? Was that a time 
to be so merry, when all tlie world disowned them, wlien they 
were loaded witli reproaches, and irons, and chains, counted 
the troublei"s of the nation, madmen, heretics I The case is 
clear: the sight of this Friend makes them forget their 
scorns, and think their chains gold, and their i)rison lil)erty. 
Ifc was God that spake it, and he hath been found to be as 
p(X)d as his word. " Thus saith the Lord that created thee, 
Jacob, and he that formed thee, Israel, Fear not: for I 
liavc redeemed thee, I have eaUed thee by ti>y name; thou 
art mine. When thou passcst through the waters, I will be 
with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow 
thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou ^halt not 

134 nEAVEX upox earth ; or, 

be burnt ; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee," Is. xliii. 
1, 2. Who was he who bore the three children company in 
the fiery furnace? Who was he who went into the lions' 
den to visit Daniel ? Who brought Paul alive to the shore 
when the ship in which he went was wrecked 1 Was it not 
this Friend that I am now speaking of? I niiglit be large 
in reciting the miraculous preservations which God hatli 
vouchsafed to his, which is a manifest token of his pre- 
sence ; when none can come near, he will not be far off. 
In the greatest extremities, when none durst own them, 
then God reckons it time for him to show himself. It 
was not for nothing that the Psalmist could speak so 
cheerfully when others were quaking, Ps. xlvi. 1, &c. 
What was it that bore up his spirits, when there v.-ere such 
dreadful commotions? What refuge hath he to shelter 
himself under in time of such calamity ? In what doth his 
strength lie, that he is so confident ? Whence doth he ex- 
pect a supply, that he holds it out so bravely, when his ene- 
mies are so numerous, and his fiiends so scarce? Why, 
David hath his invisible Friends, as well as visible enemies. 
Ask him, and he will tell you, that God is his refuge and 
strength, and he is his confidence, and he will come in 
when he hath the greatest need ; he will be a very present 
help in trouble. And that is the reason that David will 
not fear, though the storm were far greater than ever yet 
he was in ; though the earth ■were removed, and the moun- 
tains were cast into the midst of the sea ; though the foun- 
dations of the earth were shaken; though the sea should 
roar and threaten the earth with, another deluge, he can 
sleep as securely as a person little concerned ; and this he 
can speak, not only for himself, but for the whole city of 
God ; God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved. 
The saint hath a Friend that will bear him company in all 
places, in all dangers, and in his company he need not be 
afraid. Let the' least child that God hath give but one cry, 
and he will soon awake. It cannot but be so from the spi- 
rituality of his nature, the immensity of his being, and the 
infiniteness of his love. It was orthodox divinity and doc- 
trine that Ar. Epictetus, 1. ii. c. 14, preached (though but a 


heatlicn.) when he siii.l tluit '" the first lesson that became 
a wise man to learn, was, that there was a God, and then, 
that nothing in the world could he concealed from him, and 
that he knew not only our outward actions, but our most 
secret workings, our closest curtain-business ; and not only 
so, but even our thoughts, projects, and principles: which 
speaks him everywhere, and consequently ready at hand to 
help his friends at a dead lift." '' Wherefore," saith the 
same author, idem. 1. iii. c. 22, " think not that thou art 
alone when thou art in thy chamber, in tin' bed, when thy 
curtains are drawn, when thou art locked up in a prison, 
ever so dark, under ground ; if thou art good, thou shalt 
liave two companions in spite of the malice of all thy ene- 
mies, a good conscience and thy God." This made that 
brave moralist dare his enemies to do their worst, to ex- 
clude his friends from him. " Can," said he, " any man be 
banished out of the world ? Wheresoever you sertd me, 
there will be the sun, moon, and stars ; but if not, God is 
there, I am sure, with whom I may talk, to whom I may 
pray; he will bear me company, though all the rest of my 
friends be kept from me. Anil as long as you cannot banisli 
me from God, nor keep him from me, I shall reckon mj'self 
at liberty; and should I be sent out of this world into 
another, even there I should lind my Friend; and he will 
scarce complain that he is removed from a jdace where 
almost all are his enemies, to a place where all are his 
friends." One would have thought these poor heathens 
liad been reading Ps. cxxxix. Do you liear, Christians, 
what l;inguage those fore-mentioned jiersons speak / And 
shall these that never had the thousandth part of that ad- 
vantage for the knowledge of God, speak and act thus, and 
shall Christians have such low tlioughts of God I Because 
we do not see God, shall we therefore not believe that he is 
l>resent everywhere ? lie that denies God's own presence, 
liad ujion the matter as good deny his being; for were it 
nut su, how could he judge the world with justice ^ how 
could all things be sustained by liis power] God takes this 
as a very high indignity, that any should in the least ques- 
tion this glorious attribute. "Am I a God at hand, and 


not a God afar ofr ? Can any hide himself in secret places 
that I shall not see him ? saitli the Lord: do not I fill hea- 
ven and earth? saith the Lord," Jer. xxiii. 23, 24. And 
is not this a Friend worth the having, who will he snre not 
to be absent when you have need of him ? The Ancked 
indeed say, How doth God know, and can he see through 
the thick clouds ? and therefore they sin with confidence, 
and oppress the friends of God without any fear ; they hope 
God doth not lichold, they think Omniscience knows not. I 
wish there were not something too like this sometimes in 
the thoughts of God's people too ; but let mc only leave 
that one Scripture with the first sort : " He that planted 
the ear, shall he not hear ? He that formed the eye, shall 
he not see ? He that teacheth man knowledge, shall he not 
knowl The Lord knoweth," &c., Ps. xciv. 9-11. As for 
the desponding Christian that begins to think God is out 
of the reach of his prayers, let me ask thee, thou of little 
faith, when did God ever absent himself from his in a time 
of need i When was he quite out of the hearing of their 
cry? 1 know indeed he may hide himself; yet then he is 
near them also, to try their love and hear their voice ; for 
God loves to hear his children cry : earthly parents may 
correct their children for crying, but God chastiseth his 
children usually for their silence. When he seems farthest 
off, he is but behind the curtain, he is there where he with 
pleasure sees how earnestly his children look up and down 
for him ; and then when they are ready to sit down weep- 
ing, as if they had lost their Father ; when they think they 
are quite forgot, and their enemies begin to triumph, and 
to ask, where now is your God 1 then he lets both friends 
and foes know that he is near. And what say you to all 
this, you that as yet are strangers to God ? Have you got- 
ten such a Friend as he is, that v,-ill always be at your 
elbow, that can and will come to help you when other 
friends are far enough off, whether man will or no 1 Have 
you got such a friend ? If not, why then will you not now 
accept of his acquaintance who will be such a Friend to all 
that love him ? No good man is without the company of 
God; he walks with God, he talks with God, he eats with 


God, he drinks with God, and is entertained by him, and he 
sleeps in his arras. God is witli him in his shop, in the 
road, at liome and abroad ; and Avho can miscarry that hath 
so helpful a Companion always with him 1 When thy bur- 
dens are too heavy, do but complain, and he will either take 
them oti" thy back, or ])ut under his own shoulders, and help 
thee to go away lightly with them ; he will assist thee ia 
bLx troubles, and in seven he will give thee help. 

IS. He is a soul-Friend. Soul-friends are the best friends. 
As soul-aftairs are the mightiest affairs, so those that give 
us the greatest help in those matters ought to be valued. 
God is the great soul-Friend. Expect not to find him a Friend 
to thy lust. This scares the wicked from him, who would l)e 
glad to be acquainted with God, if he would gratify their lusts, 
and please their wicked humours, and give them eternal hap- 
piness after a life of wickedness ; that is, would un-God him- 
self for their sikes. But hold there, man ; you shall sooner 
see the sun black, and have lire cold, and tiud a heaven in 
liell, than have God a friend to your sin. God doth not 
l»romise to furnish all his acquaintance with itrovision for 
their f^ensuality; he will not put a knife into thy hands to 
stab himself, or to cut thy own throat. There are too many 
of such friends in the world; and men are generally so 
foolish as to count them friends who deserve another 
name; these arc they who heli) men to hell, and show 
them the shortest cut to eternal misery, and this must 
go for a special khidness. Sure men and women will 
scarce be always of this mind. INlust poison in a gilded 
cup go for a corilial, and a kiss, though with a dagger, be 
taken for true love ? Seneca had more wit than to reckon 
such among benefactors, lie that can teach me the way 
to true haiipiness, he that ciin help me to adorn, dress, 
and trim my soul ; he l)y whose instructions I shall be 
more in love with virtue, and oiit of love with sin ; ho 
by whose directions I may 1)0 aciiuainted with myseif, 
and made truly to value that which is really most excel- 
hiit, this shall be my friend, this shall be my compa- 
nion. And where arc such friends to be found? How few 
of VUviii in till! world! ]h> nut mobt thu.t ^v under th:vt 


sweet name of friends do one another the greatest uuklnd- 
ness that can be imagined ? How do they encourage one 
another in an evil way ? Prov. i. ; Ps. ii. How do men tug 
and pull to get one another apace into damnation ! and if 
the world may be judges, none must go for a friend but he 
that would do me most mischief; none must be counted an 
enemy but he that desires to do me the most real kind- 
nesses. This sound^ strangely. Yet for all that, did it lie 
in my way, I could easily prove it. Yet I must confidently 
affirm, that every one's experience, first or last, will say as 
much. Something of this I have taken notice of in my 
conversing with dying men. I remember, once more parti- 
cularly, being by a poor creature that was just going into 
another world ; one of his old friends looked in to see him, 
at the sight of which person he gnashed his teeth, and 
could not endure him in the room, but cried out, This was 
he that brought me to this ; I may thank him, or I had 
not been in so sad a condition upon a death-bed. But this 
by the by : open enemies are better than such friends. I 
say again, do not expect to have God such a fi'iend. God 
loves his too well to let them undo themselves ; he knows 
the worth of souls ; and pities them that would part with 
their souls for a trifle ; and therefore he tells men plainly 
that which may be really prejudicial to the health of their 
souls ; he cannot but let them know what is food and what is 
poison. What else is the meaning of those vehement ex- 
postulations ? Whj' doth he send so many messengers one 
after another ? To what purpose else doth he tender such 
promises, such encouragements? Be it known, therefore, 
unto thee, man, if thou understandest the worth of thy 
own soul, and wouldst have that soul of thine to do well 
for ever, and wouldst have a Friend for thy soul, that there 
is but one such Friend to be foimd in the whole world, 
and that is God. Oh, hast thou no regard at all for thy . 
precious and immortal soul ? Dost thou never think of 
that excellent thing within thee? Dost thou not care 
though thy soul starve, be naked, and miserable for ever ? 
Is it nothing to thee, that thy soul hath not so much as a 
shelter to hide itself under, when a dreadful ttorm sliall 

ji;sus THE UKST friexi> uf ma.v. 139 

rise, and death shall turn it out of its old tenement] Dost 
thou not l)elieve that it must have a being somewhere for 
ever, and that either in everlasting glory or eternal burn- 
ings ? And are these small matters with you I What, ^n]l 
you for all this take no care in the Avorld about these grand 
affairs ? Had a special friend conmiitted but a dog to thee 
to take care of, you would have thought yourself engaged, 
in gratitude and honour, to have suited your care of him to 
your respect for the person from whom you had him. (Epict.) 
" But dost thou not know, man, that thy God hath com- 
mitted a soul t(j thy care, and iiath told thee what thou 
shalt do to preserve the life and health of this thy soul, 
tliat it may be in good plight when he shall call for it ] He 
duth tell tliee what is its most natural food, and Avhat is not 
wliolesome. He tells thee what thou shalt do to have that soul 
within thee everlastingly happy." And is all this of so little 
conse(iuence, as to go in at one ear and out at the other? 
Are these things to be inditierent in ? If man's soul were 
like the soul of a beast, the case were altered ; if, when his 
In-eatli went out of his body, tliere were an end of him, 
the matter were the less considerable. If he had ever a 
friend in another world, that could do as much for him as 
God can do, I should have little to say in this liusiness. 
But since this is impossible, liow can I l:)ear to see thee 
neglect the making sure of such a Friend > How can a 
Christian with any patience think, that those that he lives 
with and dearly loves sliould miss sucli a Friend, with- 
out whom tlieir souls nmst be everlastingly miserable. If 
it were only for your bodies or estates. I should scarce use 
so many words, neitlier, I lielieve, need I ; but when it is for 
your souls and eternity, wlio can be silent? Once more, 
consider what a Friend thou mayst have; it is a Friend for 
thy soul. Alas, man, it is thy soul, thy precious soul, tliat 
lies at stake; tliat spirit within thee, whicli is more wortli 
tlian a world ; it is that wliich is in hazard, and here is a 
Friend that offers thee to make that soul of tliine hapjiy for 
ever. Thy soul hath abundance of enemies. Some would 
debase it; others would rob thee of it; others would clai> up 
ft liasty match between that noble creature and a s.rvant, 

140 HEAVEN UPON earth; or, 

t!ie workl, I mean. And there are very few that have any 
true kindness for it ; and tliou knowest not the worth of 
that jewel, tliy soul : but here, here 's a Friend; if thou wilt 
but leave it with hini, he will take care of it ; it shall not 
be marted away for nothing. Here 's one will do that fur 
its security, honour, and happiness, that all the world be- 
sides cannot do. If, therefore, thou hast any love for thy 
poor soul ; if thou settest any price upon that precious thing 
Avithin thee ; in a word, if thou w- ouldst havQ thy soul do 
well in another world, oh strike in here, close with these 
tenders, listen to the counsel of Him who offers you the best 
advice in the world. He, he it is that now otters thee that 
thou canst never value enough; he it is that will feed, 
olothe, and portion that soul of thine, and after that marry 
thee to his only Son ; by which match you will be made 
fur ever. Oh, did men and women but know what a soul 
is : did they imagine Avliat a dreadful miscarriage that of a 
soul is ; did they but in any measure understand the things of 
their peace ; could they but conceive what God could and 
would do for their souls, I need spend Init little time in 
persuading them to conunit their souls to him, to be ac- 
([uainted with him, who will be sure to take special care of 
their souls, that they may do well, whatever is neglected. 
Oh could you but see, did you but know what a sad taking 
they are in that go into the other world with a poor, naked 
soul, and know nobody in the world there, and have never 
a friend that doth take any notice of them, you would then 
think I spoke what I do with reason enough, and that my 
words were too short, and my expostulations too faint, in a 
matter of such concernment. sinners, I tell you, nay, 
God tells you, soul-matters are the greatest matters in the 
world. I am sure Christ thought so, or else he would not 
have been at so much cost about them; those that are in 
their wits and understand themselves know as much 
too, and so will you, ere a few ytiars, it may be hours, be 
]jast. Those .that now speak contem])tuously of all this, 
when they have been but one quarter uf an hour in another 
world, wUl say as I do, that a soul-friend is the only friend, 
mi ih^t soul-coucerns are the great concerns; things of 


weight ami moment indeed; and that It would have quhted 
tlie.cost to have taken some pains to liave looked out for 
such a one tliat could liave stood the soul in some stead in 
that other world ; and that, above all, it would have been 
no folly nor madness to liave accepted of the kindness of one 
that desired earnestly to be ac(iuainted with them, and to do 
their soul a good turn. Oh that they had but been so con- 
siderate as to have embraced such a motion when it was 
offered! And this brings me to the next qualification of 
this Friend. 

16. He is a necessary Friend. There is an absolute 
necessity of being acquainted with him. It is possible for 
a man that hath very few friends upon earth to live as 
happily as he that hath many. Multitude of acquaintance, 
such as they are, may contriliute much to a man's care and 
sorrow. And as for most friends, such as are commonly so 
called, it is better to have their room than their company. 
A man may live without the acquaintance of nobles; he 
may be as free, cheerful, and rich, without the knowledge of 
such as them. One may live holily, and die joyfully, and 
may be liappy for ever, though he never saw the face of a 
prince, though he was never at court, though lie lived and 
died a stranger to all ^^•orldly friends. One may be disowned 
by his father, hated l)y his mother, slighted by all his 
relations, and have never a friend under the sun that will 
own him, and yet for all that be in a state of truer felicity 
than those that arc daily attended with troops of visitors, 
whose gates are seldom shut, whose houses are never empty; 
but amongst all that comes, God never comes to them, as for 
his company they are strangers to it ; this man I may write 
miseraide for all his great and many friends. And him that 
hath the conq.any of God in acquaintance with his lledeemer 
I'll call happy, though lie liave never a friend in the world 
])csides. Multitudes of friends seldom add much to our 
coinfnts, but always to our cares. A man may go to hell 
for all his great acquaintance with men; but it's impossible, 
if we are greatly acquainted with God, to miss heaven. 
When men are unkind, if God be kind, it 's well balanced ; 
but if God frown, whose smiles can cum fort ^ I may b3 



happy though I may l>e very little in man's favour; but 
it's impossible to be happy witliout God's favoiir. To be a 
stranger to God is to bo a stranger to peace, joy, heaven. Oh 
it's sad being without God! If I should declare the judg- 
ment of most in the world, at least if their practice may speak 
for them, they see very little need of acquaintance with God. 
They do not write must upon the things of religion. They 
must eat, they must drink, they must sleep, and if they want 
any of these things, they count themselves in a sad condition. 
But further, they miist riot, they must be drunk, they must 
whore, they must have what their lust calls for, let it be 
what it Avill, they must get into the favour of such and 
such a great person whose displeasure they have incurred; 
these are things that the world say must be ; they are 
reckoned among the necessary things : but they do not say 
they must have a Christ, they must be reconciled to God, 
they must deny themselves, they must seek iirst the king- 
dom of heaven ; no, these are indifferent things amongst 
them, these are things minded by the by, if not matter of 
scorn and jesting ; these the world thinks unnecessary things. 
It 's necessary their flesh should be pleased ; it 's necessary 
the devil should be obeyed ; it 's necessary they and theii-s 
should be somebody in the world: these are matters of 
weight ; for these they think it worth the while to toil and 
moil, to ride early and late, and to lose their sleep, and 
tliink they can never do too much ; and all this while they 
see no need at all of getting a friend for their souls, no need 
at all of knowing, loving, and delighting in God. Well, 
seeing the case is thus, seeing it is no great matter whether 
you know God, or be known of him ; be not then troubled 
at the day of judgment, if God look upon you as a stranger, 
then be not grieved (seeing the knowledge of God is nothing 
with you) if God say he knows you not ; if God's presence 
be no such material thing, complain not then for the want 
of it ; be content, if you can, to hear him say, " Depart, I 
know you not." Oh, but shall I thus leave you, poor igno- 
I'ant sinner ? Consider, for the Lord's sake, for thj^ soul's 
sake, whether it be a necessary thing to avoid everlasting 
bmniing?. Is it a necessary thing to be saved? Is eternal 

JESUS TTir crsT rniENT of max. 143 

plory ami ]u';ivcn nocessaiy? Dare you say tlicse are un- 
necessary things? If these he necessary, then I am sure 
God and Clirist are necessary: "For this is life eternal, to 
know God, and him whom he hath sent, Jesus Christ." Oh 
how will the case be altered erelong, witii the God-hating 
and Christ-despising world ? When they shall be quite 
despoiled of all that which they jirizcd above the knowledge 
of God, when all their friends shall appear to be enemies, 
when all their hopes shall be swept down like a spider's 
web, oh, will they not then be of this mind, that it was 
no such slight matter that I was so earnest with them about; 
that acquaintance with God was no such unnecessary thing 
as they took it to l)e; and that there Avas more need of 
getting an interest in Clirist than of running to a jdayhouse 
or a whore-house I IIow will they rend the skies with their 
fruitless wishes ! How will the mountains echo with their 
doleful lamentations ! Oh that God would but knoAv them ! 
Oh that they might not hear that vrord, Depart ! But 
seeing all that to little ])ur])ose, how then will they exclaim 
against themselves ! Oh that they should be such fools; 
that they should be so madly Ijcsotted as to neglect the 
looking after acquaintance with God ! Time was that God 
would have had them to come to him ; he called after them, 
and sent fur them again and again, but they would none of 
•liis company; they desired not the knowledge of tlie jNIost 
High; they said to him. Depart from us: and now they 
have what tlicy then desired; now they see that t]u> 
ministers had cause enough lo say what they did, and a 
thousand times more. As troublesome aS it was to licar of 
licll, it 's worse to feel it. They see now mvst is for tlio 
soul, and not the body. Oh tliat men and Avomen would 
be now as serious in their judgments about these things as 
•they will be shortly! Consider, () man, that as little as 
thou niindest these tilings, these arc the only things that 
arc necessary. Thuu must have a God fur thy Friend, a 
Clirist for thy Saviour, to save thee from thy sins, or else 
• tliou must be damned, or else tliou must be cui-scd for ever. 
Thou mayst lie racked upon thy bed of sickness, where 
none can help thco; thou mayst rot in a stinking dungeon, 

144 HEAVEN tJPON earth; OR, 

wlieve no man can relieve tliee ; thou mayst he roasted in 
the flames, and yet for all this be a happy man. Worldly 
ease, pleasure, health, riches, are none of those absolutely 
necessary things. A man may go to hell, and have them all ; 
and a man may go to heaven, and want them. Thou mayst 
have eternal rest in another life, though thou hast scarce a 
day of ease in this. One may be a favourite with God, 
though as miserable as Job. But what will you say of that 
man that hath not a God to go to ? This, this is the miser- 
able man, with a witness ! Oh that, seeing men's lives are 
so short, they would wisely husband their precious time in 
minding nothing but necessary things ! Oh that unneces- 
saries might be cut off"! When I am about to imdertake a 
business, let me ask my soul this question : my soul, is 
this a business of absolute necessity 1 Hast thou not some- 
thing of greater importance that is yet undone 1 We enter not 
into the lists for honour, where it is no great matter whether 
we conquer or no ; Ave persuade not men'to busy themselves 
about toys ; we are not so importunate about a thing of no- 
thing. No, sirs, as uimecessary as you .think these things 
we speak of are, erelong you will say as much as we do, 
and more too; you'll shortly find that it was as much as 
your life and happiness was worth that lay at stake. These 
are things we must mind you of, or else we hazard our 
souls ; and they are things that you must mind also, or else 
you hazard yours. I want significant words enough to ex- 
])ress the weight and importance of these things. Oh that 
what is wanting of that nature might be supplied with 
tears, groans, and compassions! I am, through mercy, 
ashamed of my own heart, (oh that I were more so !) that I 
should speak of such serious matters so slightly. It is not 
now a time to jest, my soul, when thou art to discourse 
with miserable men and women, who refuse their happi- 
ness, and dote upon their misery. Thou art now about a 
work that concerns souls and their eternal state. Tell me, 
dear friends, do you in sober sadness believe that you have 
immortal souls ? Do you indeed know that your souls are 
naturally enemies to God ? and that, if you be not recon- 
ciled to God, you must be dealt with as enemies? Do 

JESUS THE BEST I'lUEXii oi' MA.V. 145 

you really believe all this 1 Do you believe what a dread- 
ful thing it is to look such an Enemy in the face, when he 
shall sit in judgment? Further, do you believe what it is 
to lie down in devouring flames, and to dwell with ever- 
lasting burnings ? Do you not think it a fearful thing to 
fall into the hands of the living God ? And if you do not, 
let me tell you, you are worse than mad. If you do believe 
all this, why, then, let me ask you again, whether you con- 
ceive it unnecessary to use tlie utmost care and diligence 
to get acquainted with Him who can deliver you from the 
wrath to come ? friends ! I call you so, and I believe 
most of you love me dearly. Oh that you would do me 
one kindness-, I should count it the greatest kindness that 
you can do me. Wliy, what is that you say! Why, it is 
but to pity your own souls, and to mind that one thing 
necessary, and to ]iity them that are mourning for your dry 
eyes and hard hearts. What say you to all this ? If you 
have anything to say against the necessity of these things, 
I am ready to plead the case with you. Well, if it be not 
necessary to know God and Christ, and lay in provision for 
eternity, what then is necessary I If»it he not necessary tw 
serve, love, and delight in Him who can deliver from ever- 
lasting death, and reward Avith everlasting life, what then 
is? Once more, for your souls' sakes, consider what you 
do, when you vigorously pursue worldly things, and look 
upon the favour and displeasure of God as small things. 
Oh, wTite not these things down amongst the superfluous 
tilings which are to be minded liy the by. Remember tliis, 
that it is very possible for a man to be exceeding holy, and 
yet to 1)0 altogether miknown to the world ; liut it is alto- 
gether impossible to be truly hapi)y, and yet unacquainted 
with God. 

17. He is a tried Friend. Thousands and millions can 
from their own experiences say all tliis wjiich I have said of 
him, and much more; but I shall pass this over at present, 
having hintetl it already; and because it may be I may touch 
ui)on something of the same nature hen.iftcr. 

\H. He is an everlasting Fricml. 1 siiall he but brief in 
sjieaking to this hend, because what has been spoken of tills 


fell under that of his immortality. Nevertheless, it is iiossibla 
to conceive God immortal in himself, and yet, by reason 
of man's default, his kindness to him to be finite ; so it was 
in respect of the angels that fell from him. But now, Messed 
be free grace, man stands upon surer ground than ever he 
did; the children of God have a firmer bottom by far than 
Adam had when he was in paradise ; his state is more secure, 
being once united to God in Christ, than that of the angels 
of heaven in their first creation. Fur, that their state was 
mutable, is de facto proved. But now, blessed be rich 
goodness, if we can but make sure of reconciliation with God, 
again it is impossible for us to miscarry. God hath sworn, 
and he will perform it, that the heirs of glory might have 
the more strong consolation: "For this is as the waters of 
Noah unto me : for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah 
should no more go over the earth ; so have I sworn that I 
would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee. For the 
mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed ; but my 
kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the 
covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath 
mercy on thee," Isa. liv. 9, 10. God's children need not 
fear disinheriting. His gifts and callings are without re- 
pentance. If God loved us while we were enemies, how 
much more, being reconciled, will he continue Ms love 
to us! Once a child of God, and a child of God for ever; 
once in favour, and never out of it again. "Who shall 
separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or 
distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, 
or sword 1 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, 
shall be able to separate us froni the love of God, which 
is in Christ Jesus our Lord," Rom. viii. 35, 39. Who San 
pluck us out of the arms of the Almiglity ? W"ho or what is 
that wliich can alienate our Father's ati'ections from us ? If 
the promise of God, which saith, I Avill never leave nor for- 
sake you, be valid ; if his oath l)ind him ; if the blood of 
Christ continue always to be satisfactory ; if his mediation 
can prevail ; if the nature of God be unchangeable ; we arc 
well enough, avc are safe, if this be but clear that we are 
really reconciled to Gud; if wc be ac(|uaiati'Lf vith hnii. 

JJiSOS TUB BilST FiaKNl> Oi' JtAX. 147 

we are kept h.y the miglity power of God tlivough faith unto 
salvation. If tlicy had been of us, saith the apostle, no douht 
they would have continued with us. It is possible indeed, 
yea, common for men to prutcnd love to God, and to seem 
to have a true friendship for him, and yet not to be truly so. 
To have a name to live, and to live, are two things. It is 
not unusual to bear God company (as I may say) abroad, and 
yet at home to liave somebody that they have a greater 
kindness for. It is common to go along with God (if I may 
so call it) in the external actions of religion, and yet to de- 
sert him at hist, Isa. Iviii. 1, 2, 3 ; 3Iatt. vii. 21. There are 
many tluit seem to bid fair for heaven, and if cap and knee 
will do, God shall have that; they will give him the husk 
and sliell, that they may keep the kernel for one that they 
love better. Thousands there are of such persons in the 
world; and these profess abundance of kindness for God; 
they come oft to his house, and sit down there, and make as 
if they were his friends and his acquaintance ; and some of 
God's servants, by a mistake, may bid them welcome ; but 
yet for all this they may be strangers ; only they have heard 
of God, and can talk of him, and it may be, have given liim 
many transient visits, but yet they want the real properties 
of friends : they never knew what it was to be brought nigh 
to the Father by the Son ; to have a sense of their lost stato 
and estrangement from God,, and under a sense of this, 
to make earnest inquiry after him ; they never knew what 
it was to converse with Go<l, to have an intimate acquaint- 
ance with him ; to be sending out the breathing of their souls 
after him, and to be unsatisfied without him ; they took up 
a trade of lifeless duties, and that was all. As for the life 
and power of religion, they never luulerstood it: communion 
with God they lieard oft of, but never understood what it 
meant ; they never savoured and relished the things of God, 
nor with any suitableness or complacency engaged in his 
service: and as for those more secret actings of religion; — 
to take up the interest of God, to design his glory, to bo 
deeply concerned for his honour, observing their aH'eetions, 
aM<l the workings of their hearts in duty, to take notice of 
finswcrs of prayers, or to look after their ^letitions when 



they are out of tlieir mouths ; they know not wliat these 
things are. So that from hence it appears that God and 
they were never really acquainted. No wonder then that they 
do forsake God, and are forsaken of him. The building might 
look neat, and the house seem to be strong; but because it was 
builtuponthesands,itneednot seem strange if itfall when the 
winds rise and the waves beat against it : but I say it, and 
say it again, the house that is built upon a rock will not, 
cannot fall : if a man be really united to God in Christ, and 
the Avork of grace thoroughly wrought upon liim, it is im- 
possible that God should forsake such a one. God cannot 
but be true, though man be false ; he cannot but value the 
satisfaction and intercession of his Son ; he cannot foi-get 
his own nature : " Can a woman foi-get her sucking child, 
that she should not Iiave compassion on the son of her 
womb ? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. 
Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands ; 
thy walls are continually before me," Isa. xlix. 15, 16. I 
do not say but that God may suspend the refreshing intima- 
tions of his love ; naj^, he may quite hide his face, and his 
dearest ones may look ujion themselves as free among the 
dead ; they may reckon themselves such as have no acquain- 
tance with God, and yet for all this be exceeding dear to 
God: this is cleared by every day's experience. Nay, I 
may say, I believe that there are very few of them who 
know what God's presence, smiles, and love is, but know in 
some measure what it is to have his face hid, to walk in the 
dark, and to see no light. It is no unusual thing for a child 
of God to question his state, to fear whether all that he ever 
did were not in hypocrisy and formality. Have not the best 
been made sometimes to question (especially upon some 
notable fall) whether what they did formerly did not pro- 
ceed from mere common grace or some less spiritual prin- 
ciple than the life of grace and a divine nature within 
them. Were there ever any of the sons of Adam whom rich 
mercy hath plucked as iirebrands out of the lire, to whom 
the Lord hath showed his marvellous kindness and love in 
Christ, that have kept tlieir watch ;^o exactly, tliat have 
walked so closely with (Jud, so as never to have the least 


frown from him ? Were there ever any that lived all their 
days mider a constant lively sense of their interest in divine 
everlasting love] If there be, they have fared better than 
Job did; they enjoyed more than ever Ileman or David 
did. A child of God may oft he in a sad state, but yet he 
is always in a safe state: the purpose of God stands tirni. 
Though for a small moment he seem to forsake them, yet 
with everlasting mercies will he gather them, Isa. liv. 7. Oh, 
everlasting ! That 's a sweet word indeed in the saint's ear ; 
he would not that one word should have been out of the 
Bible, left out of the jironiise, for a world. If thou be 
once truly acquainted with God, thy state is as safe, tliy 
condition as sure, as if thou wert already in heaven. God 
may and will chastise his with rods, l)ut his loving-kindness 
he will never remove from them, his mercy endures for 
ever. All that God gives to his friends and acquaintance, 
that is spiritual, is, like himself, everlasting. God is not like 
short-si)irite(l man, every moment changing, one day doting 
upon an object, and the next day hating it as much. An 
earthly prince may one moment set his favourite at his 
table, and the next command that he should be hanged, 
liut fiir be it from the uncliangeablc God that he should do 
thus. As for the great ones of the world, it hath been 
counted by some, and those none of the weakest, no small 
I)iece of policy to keep out i»f their knowledge : their tavours 
are so dearly bought, their kindness so uncertain, their dis- 
pleasure so dangeroire, and yet so easily procured. But 
here it is far otherwise. It is God, and God alone, that is 
an everlasting Friend, in wIkjsb presence there is fulness of 
joy, and pleasure for evermore. Oh these everlasting thinjis 
are great tlungs ! An everlasting Friend, and everlasting 
inlieritance, everlasting glory, everlasting joy, everlasting 
life, and everlasting death, they arc matters of weight ! Oh, 
why should not our very souls be overpowered with the 
very thoughts of such things! Oh this unbelief, this unbe- 

19. lie is One that is willing and desirous (o lie acquaint- 
ed with you. What I have saiil iieforc had signified little 
to us, were it not for tbi-,. It i;- a mi'^ery, and iij (jun:f )rt, to 


hear and know the great things wliich we must go without. 
But this is that which puts life into all those powerful mo- 
tives which I handled before. God is the most loving, most 
strong, and rich Friend, and withal he hath in him a sweet 
inclination to be acquainted with us. The terms that he 
offers are the most reasonable in the world. This, this is 
the comfort of all the pour fallen sons and daughters of 
Adam ; that though they have run away from God, though 
they have left their Father's house, and turned prodigals ; 
yet their tender-hearted compassionate Father is ready to 
receive them again ; his arms are open, he meets them while 
they are yet a great way off j he runs to them, and tails upon 
their neck, and kisses them, and expresses the greatest 
kindness to them, and joy for their return. imparalleled 
love I infinite goodness ! God hath expressed this, his will- 
ingness to receive poor lost sinners, abundantly throughout 
all the Scripture. If God had not been willing to have been 
friends again with man, what needed he to have given him- 
self the trouble of parting with his dearest Son, and sending 
him into the world to manage this great work of reconciling 
man to himself ] Why else was that precious blood shed ? 
And to what purpose should he send so many iirophets, 
apostles, and ministers, for so many hundreds of years, ris- 
ing up early, and sitting up late? Why are they com- 
manded to cry aloud, to use so much earnestness, to compel 
poor wandering strangers to come to his house, but that he 
might be acquainted with them'? Can any one conceive 
that he should do all this without the least design of kind- 
ness 1 If all that God hath done to the reconciling man to 
himself, doth not speak his willingness to be reconciled to 
them, what can ] Isa. v. 4. Nay, so willing is he to receive 
them, notwithstanding all their backslidings, that he teach- 
eth them how they may address themselves to him most ac- 
ceptably ; he puts words into their mouths which they may 
use with good success when they come before him, Hos. xiv. 
1, 2, 4. Nay, that sinners may be more confirmed in their 
expectation of his favour, he hath most solennily swoni 
that " he delights nut in the death of sinners, but had ra-» 
ther that the^ should return a,nd live." Wherefore else ia 


it that we are so straitlj' commanded, as ^vc will answer 
the neglect upon our peril before God at that terrible day, 
that we preach the word in season and out of seasun ? To 
what purpose should Paul expose himself to so many- 
hazards both by sea and laud ? "Why should he teach this 
doctrine of reconciliation night and day with tears ? - Doth 
lie not tell you that he did all this by divine dispensa- 
tion, and that it was as much as his soul was worth to 
waive this work ? And doth not all this speak God's willing- 
ness to be friends again with man ? Could not he have 
sent legions of angels, with flaming swords in their hands, 
wlien he sent his Son, and thousands of prophets, apostles, 
ministers, and teachers? Might he not have proclaimed 
war against them for ever, when lie followed them with the 
ambassadors of peace I If he had had no thoughts of agree- 
ment with them, could he not have spoken to them in 
thunder and lightning, with fire and brimstone, as well as 
in tlie still voice of the Gospel ? He could, if he had pleased, 
Iiave made them to have known the breach of his covenant, 
by giving them up to the Avill of their cruel enemies. God 
could as easily have cut off a whole world of us, as we can 
crush a moth, and easier too. But he is willing to show 
forth the richness of his patience and goodness, that thereby 
sinners might be brought to repentance. How doth God 
further exj)ress his willingness to receive returning sinners, 
by engaging them by many temporal favours! ^Yho pre- 
sei-vcd that tender creature in the womb, and brought it out 
of those dark chambers into light ] Who kept that helpless 
infant after it was in the world ? Whose llax and wool do 
we wear upon our backs ? To whom is it that we are be- 
holden for every crumb we eat, and eveiy drop we drink? 
Who spreads our table for us, and makes our cups to over- 
flow ? Who brouL;]it us from the brink of the grave, when 
we had received tlie sentence from our doctor and our dis- 
ca.se] And what is the language of all these mercies, but, 
" Return, O backsliding sinner, for in me is thy helii found ?" 
Love, delight in, and l>c acquainted with Him from whom 
thou hast received so many kindnesses. If thou wouldst 
tt'.cept of Him for tliy Lord, Ihuband, and Friend, who hath 


sent thee these tokens, thou shalt have other favours than 
these. Is not this the meaning of all the common mercies 
that we daily receive from him ] Why was not thy breath 
stopt with an oath in thy mouth ? Why is it that so many 
thousands that were born since thyself, are gone to their 
eternal state, when thou art still standing? What hast 
thou done to engage God more than others, that worms 
should not be feeding on thee, when thou art feeding upon 
the fat and sweet ? What is the English of all this 1 What 
are all these droves of mercies which God sends to thee, but 
to cool thy enmity against him, and to make thee, who art 
marching out in thy warlike furniture, to meet him vdth 
tears of joy and friendly embraces? Is not Love the Giver 
written upon all his tokens? What means his frequent 
visiting of thee but desire of acquaintance with thee ? Had 
he had no desire at all to know you, and to be known of 
you, do you think he ^vould have called so often and so 
kindly at your door ? Would he have stood knocking with 
so much patience, and have spoken to you so lovingly, if he 
desired still to be a stranger to you ? Is this like one that 
desires your ruin ? Did God never plead with thee by his 
ministers, and urge the same argument that I do now ? Did 
you never hear of such kind of expostulations as these? 
Why wilt thou go on to despise thy God, and to refuse his 
love ? What reason hast thou to harbour such hard thoughts 
of him ? Doth he deserve such unkindness at your hands ? 
How long, ye simple ones, will you love simplicity ? Why 
will you make light of that you cannot possibly overv^alue, 
the favour of God, and acquaintance with your Maker ? How 
often have you grieved his Spirit by your unworthy con- 
tempts! How many times have you given him cause to 
complain of your unhandsome usage, when he in very pity 
and compassion came to visit you ! He hath reason to say 
now, as of old, "Hear, heavens; and give ear, earth: 
for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up 
children, and they have rebelled against me," Isa. i. 2. " Do 
ye thus requite the Lord, foolish people and unwise ? is 
not he thy Father that hath bought thee ? hath he not made 
thee, and established thee?"' Deut. xxxii. 6. " that they 


were wise I" " Be thou instructed, Jerusalem, lest my soul 
depart from thee," Jer. vi. 8. Is not this the voice of 
mercy? Have not these been expostulations of the mighty 
God with his rebellious creatures'? and yet how do they 
stand it out all this while, as if God were like to get so 
much by their acquaintance ! Return, foolish sinner ; if 
thou makest anything of salvation and damnation, if thou 
valuest everlasting glory, if thou thinkest the commands, 
threatenings, and promises of the Almighty to be minded, 
come away, and make no delay. Oh, why wilt thou go on 
thus madly to undo thyself? Come away, poor soul, for all 
this, it is not yet quite too late, thy glass is not yet quite 
run, thy soul is not yet fully fixed in its unchangeable state. 
Once more I make such an offer to thee, as I am sure none 
but a madman will refuse ; such an offer as none of the 
kings and lords of the world can make. The great and 
mighty ^Monarch of heaven tenders thee an alliance with 
himself; he sees how far thou art spent, how poor and 
low thou hast brought thyself by a dangerous and long war 
against thy Maker ; he foresees what a condition thou wilt 
be in after a few more merry hours, except thou repent and 
turn. Wherefore, in compassion to thy precious soul, he 
hath commanded us to follow thee, and not to let thee be 
at quiet till thou hast given us a promise that thou wilt 
return and humble thyself to thy God ; and what, shall we 
still lose our lab(iur ? shall all tliis come to nothing? 
prodigy of unkindness ! (.) wiiuder of patience ! Thou hast 
slighted the friendship of thy God ; thou hast set light 
by Christ, and undervalued heaven and eternity for ten, 
twenty, thirty years already ; and yet the Lord sends us 
once more in his name to ask you whether you are willing 
to have God for your Friend ! God liath not yet said, " Cut 
liim down, bind him hand and foot, and cast him into that 
lake that burns for ever. Bring those mine enemies, that 
would not that I should reign over them, and slay them be- 
fore my face." God hath not yet spoken that dreadful word, 
Depart. Oh, what is it tliou stuyest for? What is it that 
makes this business to hang so long ? What lover is it that 
doth 80 long hold back thy heart? What is the matter, 

1.54 nrAVEN trrox F.AUTn; on, 

t!i Lt wo can no more speedily and efTectnally mnnage this 
great affair ? Vv hat is it that tliou dost prefer before God / 
Wliat is it that thon tliinkest more worthy of thy warmest 
hwe than Christ ? What is that great thing that thou stickest 
not to venture thy soul for ? Act like a man that is rational 
and not beside himself. If the world be God, if earth be 
better tlian Christ, then choose that ; if Clirist be God, then 
choose him. How long will you stand halting betw-een two ? 
Love that which will last longest ; be acquainted with him 
that is willing and able to do most for thee. Is the world 
worth more now than it was in David's time, when he pre- 
ferred the favour of God before thousands of gold and silver ? 
Is the price of it raised? Can it bribe death, and stop the 
mouth of divine justice, and procure thee a real respect in 
another world? Go, chaffer, and sec what bargain tliou 
canst make ; tell God that thou wilt give him thousands 
for thy brother's life, and as much more for the lengthening 
tlie lease of thy own to eternitj'. What dotli God say? Is 
tlie bargain made? Is it not enough ? Why, add a world 
to it ; will that do ? If it will not do this, if this pitrchase 
be too great for thy purse, then go lower ; can all thou hast 
keep thee from fears, get thee a stomach, procure thee ease, 
rectify thy constitution; will it do this, or will it not? If 
not, why shouldst thou value that which can do so little 
for thee, before that which can do .all things for thee? Be 
persuaded at last to bo wise. What is God like to get by 
your love, or lose by your liatred ? What liave you to boast 
of? What excellencies to set you out? What portion to 
advance you, tjiat you stand thus upon your terms ? Come, 
Itt 's hear a little what it is thou thinkest so highly of thy- 
self for. I am sure your over-great beauty c.ymot com- 
mend yoii ; for a blackamoor may with better reason brag 
of comeliness, than sucli a deformed loathsome creature can 
of beauty. I am siu-e your helpfulness will not speak for 
you; foi- thou art a cra/.y, decrepit, sickly creature, tluit 
'Will cost God move to cui-e tlian thou art worth a thou- 
sand times. It cannot be for thy estate that thou art so 
nuu'li desired, for all thy gold is adulterated, thy jewels 
5;Qur.ierfeit. tixy ail forfeited ; uvA what is it then that tho'd 


hast yet to boast of ? Come and set it before us, that we may 
acknowleJiie our mistakes. Are the clothes upon thy back 
(as hue as thou art) thy oavu ? Is the food that tl\ou eatest 
paid for 1 And is tliis the creature that must be wooed with. 
60 much earnestness 1 Behold, all ye inhai)itants of the 

world, and admire ! Hear, heavens ! this is that (I 

want a name to call her by) who thinks it below her to be 
matched with Christ, and aa undervaluing to be acquainted 
%vith her Maker, and a shame to have God for her Father! 
From the crown of tlie head to the sole of the foot, tliere is 
nothing but w'ounds, and bruises, and putrefied sores ; and 
nmning pla'j;ue-sorcs that are broken, ai% her greatest 
beauty: and here's a thing to be beloved with all my heart! 
JBzek. xvi. Whosoever thou art tliat readest these lines, this 
was once thy condition ; in these ornaments he found thee ; 
■when God came to ask thy heart, this was thy dress, though 
tliou art thus highlj' advanced. And such were some of 
j'ou; but ye are washed, but ye are cleansed. 

And after all this, sinner, art thou still as stout and 
proud as ever? Is Christ so willing as bring thee to his Fa- 
ther? Is he willing to clothe thee from head to foot with 
glorious robes, such a dress as may become thee in the pre- 
4<ence of a king? Doth he offer to lead thee in his hands 
to his o\\Ti palace? Is God so willing and desirous to be 
yuur Father, and Christ to be your Husband ? Are all the 
jiiinisters of Christ so willing to do their utmost to biing this 
jiiatcli to perfection? Sliall they li(> at you day and night, 
to give your consent, and ti> be willing; and are you still 
imwilling? Well, if all this signify little, and you miss 
Christ at ]a«;t, and lie not acquainted with God after all, 
remember it was your own doing.s, and that you thought 
it greater wisdom to many the servant than tlie Master, to 
obey the rebel rather than your loving Prince. Ilemenilier 
you prefciTcd darkness before light, hell liufnre lieaven. I 
cull he.'iven and eartii to record this day, that I liave set 
life aiul death before you, and ynii stand as if it were so 
diflicult a mutter to resolve which was the best. This 
.Bounds strangely, and every one will bo ready to \vr'\ic fool 
upon tluit UKiu'b forchwid that ucta thus. Hold, man, bu 

ir-C HEAVEN tJl'ON EAnTIl ; OR, 

not too ready to jmss thy censure before thou lookcst within 
thee ! Dost thou see an absolute need of Christ 1 Dost 
tliou adore his infinite love and kindness ? Dost thou give 
up thyself to him for thy Lord, and receive him for better 
for worse, come on it what will 1 Or dost thou not rather 
spend thy thoughts, and let out thy affections upon the 
t'anities and pleasures of this world 1 Dost thou not love 
fatlier and mother, wife and children, brethren and sisters, 
house and lands, more than him 1 Why, if this be the 
case, I must say that thou art one of the fools that lovest 
death and hatest life; tliou callest that folly in another 
which in thyself thou countest wisdom. I Avonder who it 
is that you strive to please all this while ! Is not the hand 
cf Joab in all this ? Hath not Satan been deep in retarding 
this match 1 Hath not he a design to marry thee to some 
painted lust, though he undo thee for ever 1 And must he 
be pleased rather than God 1 Is it more necessary to gratify 
him that never yet intended to do any of the sons of Adam 
any kindness, rather than their best friends 1 Come away 
for shame, and let us lose our breath no longer; and let 
that time we spend in pleading with you for God, be 
spent in singing with you and praising God for you, and 
congratulating your happy acquaintance witli God, and your 
matching to his only Son. 

20. But because man is so wedded to the world, and 
dotes upon his lust, that all the arguments that we can use 
are most commonly unsuccessful, I shall add one more upon 
this sort of motives drawn from the qualifications of Him 
whom I would fain have you acquainted with, and that 
shall take in all that can be said on this head, and that is 
this : Consider that he is altogether lovely ; he is made up of 
love, goodness, and all excellencies ; and whatsoever plea- 
sure, delight, and content you find in the creatiu-e, it is 
trancendently in him. He is the Chiefest of ten tliousands. 
Ask of tliem that by faith have seen him ; inquire of the 
spouse in the Canticles, and ask her what is her Beloved 
more than another beloved, what there is in God and 
Christ moro than in the world ? and she will almost wonder 
tliat any one that is rational should ask so foolish a question. 


She thinks you might with as much judgment and reason 
have asked what there is in lieaven more desirable than in 
liell I wliat there is in case more tlian in torments ? in gold 
aiul jewels more than in druss I in a living, healthful, beautiful 
creature, more than in a stinking rotten carcass ] Did you 
but see his face, you would soon think there were something 
in him more than in another. Could you but see his eye, 
your heart would be in a flame. Did you but understand what 
it is to be brought into his banqueting-house, you would say- 
that they arc neither fools nor madmen that can find in their 
hearts to scorn the beauties and glories of this world in com- 
parison of one look or smile from God ; and believe that his 
love was better than wine, to be j)referred infinitely before 
the greatest worldly pleasures, and think that the virgins had 
reason enough to love him, Cant. i. 3. How high doth the 
church run in his commendations ! How doth she endeav- 
our to set him out to the life, that every one may admire his 
excellencies, and be taken with his beauties, as well as her- 
self! Neither doth she fear to lose liim by this, nor indeed 
is unwilling that others should fall in love with him as well 
as she, Cant. v. 9, &c. She liegins first with his face ; it is 
white and ruddy, the most exact beauty; so that she must 
be blind that is not taken with him ; and so she goes on as 
well as she can to set hini out ; but he is so infinitely above 
her commendations, that she wants words to exi)ress herself, 
tiierefore she speaks one great one: "He is altogether lovely;" 
and if you will not believe, come and see. Do but look upon 
liim by faitii and meditation, contemplate his beauties, and 
then, if you have anything yet to olijcct, if, after you have 
had a true siglit of him, and have well weighed all, you do 
not find that there is in him iniinitcly more than I can tell 
you, why then let me Itear the blame for ever. 

Well, now let us gather up all these things together; and 
if a multitude of arguments, and if weight and reason, if 
veliemence and eanu'stness may prevail, 1 should have some 
good hopes that 1 sliould not want success in this work, nor 
you of the acquaintance witli God and everlasting glory. 
Therefore I .say again, if kindness and love i)e taking, who 
«0 sweet and ohliging as he { If comfort, joy, and jdeasure 


be desiralile, ulio is there, when the soul is surrounded with 
a multitude of perplexities, that can so much delight, refresh, 
and raise it ? If power, glory, and majesty, if ability to de- 
fend from injuries and revenge wrongs, might signify any- 
thing with poor shiftless creatures, who is there that ever 
yet prevailed against himi "Who ever contended with Ood, 
and prospered 1 If vigour, activity, and care in all the affairs 
of his friends, can entice the dull helpless sinner to receive 
him, who will take more care for, and do more for them 
than he ] If his humility may engage us ; if freedom of ac- 
cess, notwithstanding that infinite distance that is between 
us and him, signify anything as to the commending of him 
to our aciiuaintance ; where can a poor beggar be more wel- 
come than at the house of this mighty Prince 1 Can fiiith- 
fulness in the greatest strait raise the esteem of a friend 1 
Who ever yet trusted him that was deceived? Are riches 
and wealth taking ] Who is there that can give a kingdom 
for a portion, a love-token, and give everlasting glory and 
heaven for a jointure, but God I Doth pity in misery, sym- 
pathy in suffering, compassion in distress, endear and com- 
mend a friend 1 who is more tender-hearted than he? 
Are honours and preferments such great things 1 Who is 
he who will make all his favourites kings and priests, 
and set them upon thrones, and reward, and commend 
them before the whole world 1 Is suitableness a considera- 
ble qualification to make up this match ? Who so suitable 
for the soul, a spirit, as God, a Spirit? Who can satisfy its 
vast and infinite desires but Infinity itself? Have poor 
simple creatures, that have quite undone themselves by their 
folly and indiscretion, need of a wise counsellor, to wind 
them out of their sad intricacies ? Who is there among the 
profound politicians and grave sages of the world, to be com- 
pared unto him ? Doth a dying man that hath a never- 
dying soul, that is t > pass speedily into an eternal state. 
lack an ever-dying and immortal Friend, that may stand him 
in some stead, when all his relations are dead and rotten* 
Is not God immortal? Are not friends sometimes farthest 
off from one when one hath most need of them ? Is not he 
then a Fiicnd highly to bo prized, who can, who will never 


be absent? Doth not God fill heaven and earth? What 
think you of a soul-Friend ? Is not such a one worth the 
looking after, who takes care that your soul shall not mis- 
carry ? Who ever did more for souls than Christ ? Will it 
not be true prudence to make sure of such a Friend as we 
must have for our Friend, or we are miserable for ever ? 
And where is such a one to be found but He that hath the 
keys of heaven and hell l Wliich is most considerable, time, 
or'eteruity ? And whom shall I most value ? him who pro- 
miseth present pleasures, that are lost as soon as felt, or 
Him who will l)estow everlasting favours I And are there 
not at God's right hand pleasures for evermore? If the 
trial and experience of so many milHons may speak his 
commendation, will not all that ever knew God say. Truly, 
God is good to Israel. Will God's willingness, desire, and 
earnestness prevail with you to come to him ? What is the 
substance of the whole Bible ? Doth not almost every chap- 
ter speak the desire that God hath tol)e reconciled to man? 
If the i>erfectioii of all excellencies meeting in one can ren- 
der him amiable, how can He be slighted who is altogether 
lovely ? And what say you now ? Are you resolved, or are 
you iiot? Shall the infinite IMajesty of heaven condescend 
to offer himself to be loved and embraced by sinful dust ? 
Shall God say, I will be thy Father ! and shall not the sin- 
ner say, I would l)e thy child ! Wliy should not the heart 
of every apostate rebelli(jus traitor that hath forfeited estate, 
life, and soul, leap r.t such good news, and say, Will God for 
all this lay aside the controversy, antl conclude a peace i 
Will he receive the rebel to mercy? Will he open his 
doors to his prodigal ? And is there yet any liope ? Is it 
possible that such sins as niine should be forgiven? Can it 
be conceived that such a creature as I should be embraced ? 
What! look upon me! Will Go<l indeed take me into fa- 
vour ? Yes, thee ! Behold lie calls thee, he ofTcrs thee his 
Son, a kingdom, a crown ; behold the Father nu'cts, lio 
makes baste to meet his returning prodigal. Behold, tho 
King hath sent to invite thee to the feast: nay, he will 
give thee his only Son in marriage, the wedding-garment 
U wade rtady, thu Bridegroom is coiuln";;, '-he v, hceb of ii.j 

160 HEAVK-X CrOX EAlITil; OR, 

cliariot run apace, the friends of the Bridegroom are come 
to Ind you make ready: up, deck yourself, put on your glo- 
rious apparel, make haste, make haste, ye virgins ; yom- com- 
panions are ready ; all stay for you ; the Bridegroom is at 
the door. Behold, he is at the door ; and Avill you still let 
liim knock ? What ! Father, Ilushand, a kingdom ! What 
words are these ? \Vilt thou, mighty Jehovah, be ray 
Father? Wilt thou, blessed Jesus, be my Husband? 
Shall I have a kingdom 1 What ! me a child, a spouse for 
the King of glory, an heir of glory ! Grace ! Grace ! Amen ! 
Hallelujah! Be it to thy servants according to thy word! 
But who are we, and what is our father's house, that thou 
hast brought us hitlierto? And now, Lord God, what 
shall thy servant say unto thee? For we are silenced with 
wonder, and must sit down ■\^ ith astonishment ; for we can- 
not utter the least tittle of thy praises. What meaneth the 
height of this strange love ? Oh ! that the God of heaven and 
earth should condescend to enter into covenant with his dust, 
and to take into his bosom the viperous brood, that have 
often spit their venom in his face ! We are not worthy to 
be as the handmaids, to wash the feet of the servants of our 
Lord ; how much less to be thy sons and heirs, and to be 
made partakers of all those blessed liberties and privileges 
Avhich tliou hast settled upon us ! But for thy goodness' 
sake, and according to thy own heart, hast thou done all 
these great things, "f^veu so, Fatlier, because so it seemed 
good in thy sight. Wherefore thou art great, God, for 
there is none like thcc, neither is there any God besides 
tliee ; and wliat nation on earth is like thy people, whom 
God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make 
him a name, and to do for them great things and terrible? 
For thou hast coniirmed them to thyself, to be a people unto 
thee for ever, and thou. Lord, art become their God. Wonder, 
heavens, and be moved, earth, at this great thing I For, 
behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell 
with them, and they shall be his people ; and God liimself shall 
be withthem,and be their God." Be astonished andravished 
with wonder ; for the iniinite breach is made up, the oflender 
ia received, and God and man are reconciled, aud a covenant 


of peace entered, and heaven and earth are agreed upon the 
terms, and liavo struck then- hands, and scaled the hiden- 
tures ! liappy conclusion ! blessed conjunction ! Shall 
the stars dwell with the dust ? or the wide-distant poles be 
brought to mutual embraces and cohaliitation ? But here 
the distance of the terms is infinitely greater. Rejoice, 
angels! shout, scraphims! all the friends of the Bride- 
groom and bride i-repare an epithalamium : lie ready with 
the marriage-song ! Lo, here is the wonder of wonders ! 
For Jehovah hath betrothed liimself for ever to his hopeless 
captives, and owns the marriage before all the world ; and is 
become one with us, and Ave with him. lie hath bequeathed 
to us the precious things of the earth beneath, with the ful- 
ness thereof; and hath kept back nothing from us. And 
now, Lord, thou art that God, and thy words be true, and 
thou liast i»romiscd this goodness unto thy servants, and 
hast left us nothing to ask at thy hands, but Avhat thou 
hast already freely gi-antcd. Only the word which thou 
hast spoken concerning thy servants, estalilish it for ever, 
and do as thou hast said, and let thy name be magnified for 
ever, saying "The Lord of hosts, he is the God of Israel. Amen. 
Hallelujah." And how do you like this music, ye the 
lost sons and daughters of Adam .' llow do you relish 
these dainties ! Y»'hat do you think of this match i Some, 
you see, have been so wise as, with the gi-catest gi-atitude 
they can for their souls, to close with those happy oficrs of 
grace. You hear how 1)ravely such and such have I)estowed 
themselves, and now they are made for ever. And what 
do you say to the same proposals? Have they so much 
reiison to bless the day that ever such a motion was made? 
Have they cause to rejoice for ever f(n' those bli'ssed over- 
tures ? and are they all to be slighted by you ? Will Christ 
be worse to you than them? Is heaven and liapi)iness less 
necessary for you than them? Will the loss of a soul 1)0 
more inconsideralile to you than it would liave been to them ] 
Will not heaven, Christ, and glory, I)e as well worth your 
aeceptance as theirs ? What, are you willing to be shut out 
when the Bridegroom comes to fetch his spouse home? 
Can you Itear it, to sec such a3 you thought your inferiors 

162 kkAtkn' upo^• EAUTtt; or, 

advanced, and j'ourself despised 1 What sliall I say 1 What 
words shall I use 1 What shall I do to prevail 1 Oh that 
I could pity you a thousand times more than I do ! Oh 
that my eyes might weep in secret for thy folly ! Oh that 
you also might do as some have done before you ! though, 
indeed, they be but few that be so wise. Oh that you 
would also bestow yoiu" heart upon Christ ! Give him your 
heart-love, or he will have your heart-blood. Do not make 
yourself miserable to please any living. Do not slight 
Christ, because most do so ; go not Avith them to hell for com- 
pany. But that, if it be possible, I might persuade you, I 
shall add some more motives, to prevail with you to get 
acquainted with God ; which, I am certain, will either work 
those blessed effects, or rise up against you to the aggrava- 
tion of your confusion, in tluit gi-eat and terrible day. 


The next head of motives which I shall insist upon, for 
the enforcing of this duty of acquainting yom-selves with 
God, I shall take from the glorious effect of this acquain- 
tance Avith God. 

1. The first effect of this acquaintance with God is, that 
it makes the soul humble, and consequently fits the soul for 
greater communications from God still, and to do God the 
greater service ; l)ut of that particular afterwards. Ac- 
quaintance with God makes the soul humble. When God 
comes into the soul, he brings such a glorious light along 
with him, that he makes the soul to see, not only his beauty, 
but its own deformity. " The entrance of thy words givetli 
light : it giveth understanding to the simple," Ps. cxix. 130. 
Before the soul was acquainted with the word of God, and 
by that had some discoveries of God made to it out of the 
word, why, it was in the dark, and saw nothing at all of its 
own vileness ; it took no notice of that sink, that hell that 
was within it, considered not its own treason against the Lord 
of heaven and earth, and the dangerous hazards that it run 
every moment upon that account ; but the soul thought very 
well of its own state, it flattered itself in its own iniquity ; 
the man thinks he is rich and increased in goods, and Iiath 

jrsrs rnv. ee^t F:urNr> op man*. 1G3 

need of iiotliing; hut when he comes to hjok into liis purse, 
to open his treasury, aiul to tell over all his gold and silver 
in the light, Nvhy then, he perceives a sad mistake: all 
Ills silver is dross, and tlie best riches that he hath is but 
dung. When the light comes in, he sees the darkness of 
his understanding, the perverseness of his will, the disorder- 
liness of his affections, the distemper of the whole soul. He 
before took himself for a beautiful creature, but, by this light 
and this glass, he sees his beauty is great deformity; he be- 
holds heaps of lusts crawling up and down, which before lay 
undiscerned, and then that man that reckoned himself so 
happy, cries out, " Oh wretched man that I am, who shall 
deliver me ? What shall I do to be siivcd I I am undone, 
undone ! IIow shall I live I Where shall I dwell for ever?" 
Time was that the man admired what the ministers ailed 
to keep such a stir aliout sin, but now he wonders that they 
are no more earnest in their preaching of it down. It was 
a little while ago that he thought himself whole, but now 
he feels himself sick to the very heart, wounded, feinting, 
and ready to die ; he made full account that he was pure, 
but now he cries out, Unclean, miclean ! It was not long 
since he said with indignation. Am I blind also? But now 
lie cries out, and will not be silenced. Have mercy upon me, 
Jesus, thou Son of David, and grant that 1 may receive my 
sight ! His language is much altered ; he cannot say. Was 
ever such a sinner as I jjardoned I Will such a prodigal 
ever 1)6 received ( Shall such foul offences as mine be for- 
given? If God .should hjok upon me, and give me a Christ, 
and pity me, and cast his skirts over me, while I lie in my 
blood ; if the Lord should look njjon mo, it would be such 
a wonder that all that ever heard of it may justly admire. 
Now the man who thought himself the best of saints, 
believes liimself as bad as the worst of sinners ! When a 
man begins to be ae([uainted Avith God, he I)egins also to 
know himself. He that saw no need of washing l)y Clirist, 
would now have hands, feet, head, and heart, all washed. 
He that thought himself sometimes far enough from liell, 
now begins to wonder that lie di<l not fall into it; and 
althougli there be a Bwect alteration in him for the better, 


and saints begin to deliglit very mnt-li in lilni, yet he 
wonders that any one should see anythino; in him that 
shoiikl cause any affection in them towards him, much more 
to inflame their hearts in such vehement love to him ; if he 
hear of any reproaches that are cast upon hira, he is ready 
to say with that wise Stoic, Epictetus, " If he had known 
me better, he would have spoken much worse of me." If 
any praise him, he judgeth that it proceeds from their ig- 
uorance of his weakness, rather than from any knowledge 
of his worth ; and if he hear any such language, he is ready 
to tremble for fear of his own lieart, and cries out, "Not unto 
me, not unto me, but unto his name be the pi-aise : yet not 
I, but Christ who dwelleth in me." Thus it is with one 
that begins to have some saving knowledge of God ; and tlie 
nearer he comes to God, the farther he goes from himself; 
the more he sees of him and his righteousness, the less he 
sees of his own ; the more he is exalted, the more he de- 
baseth himself; like those four-and-twenty elders, he lays 
his croAvn at the feet of God. Tlius it was with Job, when 
God, as I may say, stood at a great distance from him : he 
is ready to speak a little too highly ; he stands much upon 
his own righteousness; he stitfly justifieth himself; but 
when the holy God comes a little nearer to him, when he 
throws off that dark cloud with which he has mantled him- 
self, and when he caused that glorious brightness to break 
forth upon Job, and made him see a glance of his holiness, 
wisdom, and justice, then how is he even ashamed and 
confounded witliin himself, that he should ever stand so 
much upon his own justification! " I have heard of thee 
by the hearing of the car ; but now mine eye seeth thee : 
wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes," 
Job xlii. 5, 6. When he comes to be better acquainted with 
God, how strangely is his note changed ; and I might say, 
when he Avas thus abased, ho\v speedily doth God raise him 
to a wonder ! A man may hear of God twenty years toge- 
ther, and yet never abhor himself Avith dust and ashes, 
never see any vileness that is in his nature, never be brought 
off from his own righteousness, never admire that he is kept 
out of hell! Oh, but wIumi he comes to see God, and to be 


acquainted with him, how cloth ho cry out of himself as 
unworthy to Ijreathe in tiie iiir, as deserving nothing but 
Avrath ! Tlien he had not a word to say fur the goodness of 
his own heart ; now he can say with astonishment, Gh infi- 
nite jtatience ! Oh immeasurable goodness ! Oh the dejiths of 
God's love! He must be merciful indeed that can pardon 
such sins ! Tliat must be goodness indeed that can be so good 
to me ! That is love with a witness, that can embrace such a 
loathsome monster I What was it that made Aliraham call 
himself dust and ashes] What made David say he was a 
wcii-m and no man ? What made Isaiah speak so debasingly 
of himself? Why, these were the friends of God ; they had 
visions of that holy One. When is it that the people of 
God are most ingenuous in their confessions? When do 
they most freely pour out their souls before God 1 When 
is it that they most readily open their sores, and desire that 
they should be searched, but when this great Chirurgeon 
comes to their chambers? Those who before were whole, 
are now sick, full of piagiie-sores, head and heart sick, dan- 
gerously sick, and no whole part in them ; they can say 
more against themselves now than ever the minister could ; 
they can aggravate their sins, and lay loads upon them- 
selves ; and tliey .'^ce themselves vile, and even are ready to 
wonder that the earth did not open and swallow tliem up 
before this ; they admire that God should endure them so 
long, and think it no small miracle that they were not 
crushed in the egg, that they were not cast from the dark- 
ness of the womb to the darkness of hell. Now they can 
cry out of original sin, and the indisposition of their souls 
to anything that is good, and inclination to that which is 
bad. They say, as well as iJavid, that they were " born in 
Bin, and in initpiity did their mother conceive them." They 
think eventhing too good for them, all mercy on this side 
everlasting misery. They count every bit tliey eat, and 
every droj) they drink, more than they deserve. They think 
themselves imworthy of the least of God's mercies, Gen. 
xxxii. ]0, Others «a_)/ thanksgiving:;, but they /te' them; 
others S'li/ ctjnfessions, but they J'td them. It is one thing 
for a man to .speak of his own unworthiness, and another 

IGG iii;avf.n upox eautii; en, 

thing to lie imder tlie sense of it. Tlie heart and tongue 
are two distinct members. The heart may speak tliat wliich 
the tongue cannot utter, and tlie tongue may utter that 
■\vhicli the heart never felt. But a man that is brought 
into acquaintance with God speaks what he experiences, or 
rather his experience is greater than what he speaks ; so 
that he doth not dissemble with God when he confesseth 
liis sin before him. They lay themselves as low as hell ; 
this is hiimilit}'^, and this is an eft'ect of acquaintance Avitli 
God. Hence it is that Paul saith of himself, " Unto me, who 
am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that 
I should preacli among the Gentiles the unsearchaljle riches 
of Christ ; and to make all men see what is the fellowship," 
&c., Eph. iii. 8, &c. He wants words to express God's great- 
ness, and his own smallness. Now, what was it that made 
Paul sjieak and think thus of himself? There Avas a time 
Avhen Paul would have spit in any one's face that should 
have spoken as much against him as he did against himself. 
What is it that hath wrought such a strange alteration in 
tliis great Rablii, and made him so little? Why, this ac- 
quaintance with God, the sight of Christ, was the thing that 
laid this proud Pharisee in the dust, and made him blind 
also. Mark this ; always the more heavenly any man is, 
the more humble, Exod. iii. 11; 2 Sam. vii. 18. If I should 
appeal to the experiences of saints, and ask them when they 
had the lowest thoughts of themselves, would they not say, 
Avhen they were nearest God? Now, would you walk hum- 
bly, you must walk with your God ; would you see more of 
your own deformity, why then, you must labour to see more 
of his holiness, more of his beauty. Contraries set near one 
another appear more visible. 

2. Another excellent effect of acquaintance with God is, 
that it will make a man fall upon sin in good earnest. 
When the soul sees how infinitely good God is, it cannot 
but see an unspeakable evil in sin, which is so directly con- 
trary to him. When the soul hath really entered into a 
league with God, it presently bids defiance to all his ene- 
mies ; when he begins to be at peace with God, he presently 
commenccth a war against his adversaries. Friendship 

JESUS Tiin nrsT r;.iKNi) of jian. \C.7 

with God makes enmity against Satun. Tliat wliiili for- 
merly the man rolled under his tongue as a sweet morsel, 
is now like gall and wornnvood to him. He that sometimes 
did commit inicjuity with greediness can now say that it is 
the gi-eatest folly and madness in the world ; he knows 
that it is an evil and a hitter thing, as sweet as it tasted 
when his palate was distemi>ered ; he that gloried in his 
wickedness now accounts it the greatest shame in the world, 
and hates the garments which are bespotted with the flesh, 
which sometimes he took for beautiful raiments. The 
burned child dreads the lire. Sin hath cost his friend dear, 
and him dear too. The child cannot love that knife which 
stab])ed his father. lie knows how sweet God is, and how 
much he hates sin, and that if he would have God's com- 
jiaiiy, he must bid an everlasting farewell to his dearest be- 
loved sin ; and therefore, rather than he will offend so dear 
a Friend, he will hew Agag in jiieces before the Lord ; be 
will as soon cut off one hand with the other, and be pulled 
liml) from lindj, as again draw liis sword against his cove- 
nanted Friend, and again venture into the field in the 
cause that sometimes he did so deeply engage body and soul 
in. He that thought befoic that it was no great matter to 
damn, curse, and tear; lail a trick of youth to whore, and 
no hann to <lo what one had a mind to; to eat and drink, 
and talk, and sleep as one lists, to give one's lusts whatso- 
ever they called for; he that could once make a mock of sin, 
and sleep securely u]ion the top of a mast, and thought it a 
piece of gallantry to dare the Almighty, and was ready to 
laugh at them who durst not be so ].rodigal of their souls 
as himself; the case is now wonderfully altered with him : 
he nuw sees the luirlot stript naked; be bidiolds how loath- 
some the whore is, now her \K\\]\i is washed off; sin and hell 
are alike to him; tem]>t him to folly, and he will soon answer 
>in Joseph's language, "How shall I do this gi-eat wickedness, 
and sin against God J" He that sometimes thought sin the 
only pleasure, and looked upon the devil and the worlil as 
the only friends, now sees his dangerous mistake, and bless- 
eth God that his eyes are o])ened liefore he comes into another 
world ; he knows now that holiness is the only pleasure, and 

108 iiKAVKX rro:: rARTii; or, 

<jO(1 is the only I'l'iciul, and sin and the world are as mortal 
enemies as the devil himself; he believes that if he venture 
upon sin, he must venture upon the displeasure of liis Friend, 
whose favour he sets more store by than all the delights 
tinder heaven, and whose loving-kindness he judgeth to be 
better than life itself. When the soul is once acquainted 
■with God, how strangely are its apprehensions of things 
altered ! Now he calls things and persons hj their right 
name ; good he calls good, and evil evil ; whereas before he. 
called evil good, and good evil, and put light for darkness^ 
and darkness for light. He now believes that the zealous 
compassionate ministers who spoke so much against sin, had 
reason enough to have said ten times as much as they did; 
lie sees that it was not for nothing tliat they were so earnest 
Avith him ; he hath tasted the gall, wormwood, and poison 
that is in sin ; he plainly sees what is the great makebait 
between God and man ; lie hath now the wit to understand 
what it is that hath kept good things so long from him. 
Tell him now of a revel, a whore; he had as lief thou shouldst 
persuade him to part with his strength and lilu'rty,and grind 
in a mill ; he reckons you might as rationally desire him to 
leap into a bottomless pit, to take up his everlasting lodging 
in a bed of flames, and to make light of damnation. Let 
men and devils use what arguments thej^ will to prevail 
with him now to close with temptations, he is sure he hath 
a stronger against tlieni; he hath a sensible argument within, 
which will answer all. If they had ten thousand times as 
many more than they can produce, the love of Christ makes 
him abhor the motion ; God is my Friend dashes all. Shall 
such a one as 1 lake up arms against God 1 Shall I that 
have found him so infinitely good? shall I that have 
experienced the faithfulness of this Friend to me, be so 
infinitely imgrateful, as to be thus abominaljly unfaith- 
ful to him"? Shall I that have forfeited my life and. 
soul, and instead of hell have received heaven, instead 
of damnation, salvation ; shall I, instead of thankfulness, 
again rebel 1 Because the grace of God abounds, shall sin 
abound 1 God forbid. To argue fi'om mercy to sin is the 
devil's logic : to argue from mercy to duty is true Christian- 


ity. One that is acquainted Avitli God can expostulate the 
case with his own soul, and say, "What meanest thou, my 
soul, to stand parleying with Satan ? Hast thou known 
what that hath cost thee already? Look back to Eden. 
Who was it that dispossessed thy grandfather of that brave 
seat? What did Eve get by discoursing with such a chea- 
ter I Have you not lost enough already, but you must be 
venturing still ? Was it nothing for God, of a Friend, to be- 
come a Stranger and Enemy I Was it so slight a matter to 
lie divested of all that glory tliat once thou didst shine in, 
that now again, after thou art brought into some favour, 
thou must be tampering with that gamester who had liked 
to have robbed thee of all? Art thou talking of re- 
turning again into Egj'pt? What, hast thou so soon for- 
gotten the iron and the clay 1 Is this all the thanks that 
you give the Lord for his unspeakable mercy? Doth he 
that hath done such things for you deserve no better at your 
hands? Is tliis your kindness to your Friend? What was 
it, my soul, that that undone creature said unto thee ( 
Did he say. It is a little one, and thy soul shall live ? What, 
did he ask a few merry hours, that I should spare myself, 
that I should not be righteous overmuch ? Did he so ? A 
sj)ccial friend ! I thank you for nothing ! And why didst 
tliou not answer the tempter, as Solomon did Bathshel>a, 
when slie asked a small tiling (as she thought) for Ailonijah? 
" And why dost thou not ask the kingdom also ?" And why 
did not Satan ask thee to part with heaven, and tliy inter- 
est in Clu-ist, and those fevours? As the Lord livetli, as 
small a request as thou thinkest his was, that word was 
spoken against thy life, thy soul. A virtuous man, or as 
the Stoic Antoninus calls him, " one tliat hat!i God for his 
Friend, when temptations are presented, reaienil)i;rs w!io 
lie is, and how he stands related to God, and how little 
grateful such an action would ])e to his Friend." Andtlius 
lio doth resist tlie tenqitation witli a great deal of gallantry, 
when he reniembeiH liimself. Nay, sometimes temptations 
to sin do make grace more to aliound : the water wliich was 
intendeil to cool divine love, proves oil, and makes that noble 
flame to burn more vehcnantly, Cant. viii. (j, 7. lie desires 

170 HEAVEN UrO.\ EAUTII ; 015, 

to exercise tliat grace which is contrary to the vice which 
he is tempted to with more than ordinary vigour. He 
stands hke a rock in the midst of the sea unshaken ; he is 
steadfast and immoveable, like a pillar in the temple of his 
God. He is much of the same mind, in that point, Avith 
that brave heathen, who spake thus to himself when temp- 
tation was strong : " Deliberate man ; yield not rashly ; 'tis a 
great work that lies upon thy hands, 'tis a divine work, 'tis 
for a kingdom, the kingdom of God." (Ar. Epict. 1. ii. c. 18.) 
Now remember thy God, let 's see what thy love to thy God 
is ; remember his presence ; he beholds how thou standest 
deliberating whether thou shouldst fight for him or against 
him. For shame ! show not thyself so basely disingenuous. 
Remember what thy God, thy Friend, did for thee at such 
and such a time. Remember how kindly you were enter- 
tained by him the last time you were at his house. Whose 
sword is it that you wear by your side ? Who gave you it 1 
Did not God give it to you to fight against his enemies I 
And will you draw it against himself ? Remember from 
whence you had all that you do enjoy ; and can you find in 
your heart to take God's mercies, gold, silver, and food, and 
bestow them all upon that which he hates? Will you 
quarter and keep in pay, with God's coin, his greatest enemy ? 
And if you feel your heart still staggering, and scarce 
able to keep its ground, then remember God stands by, 
Christ looks on, and sees how gallantly any champion of liis 
will demean himself on his quarrel ; and that there is not 
a more lovely sight ujion tlie earth than to behold one of 
his friends rather venturing his life than he will bear that 
the least indignity or affi'ont should be put ujion his God ! Oh 
happy are they that can always act as in the sight of God ! 
And if the soul can have but a constant fresh sense of its 
relation to God and his eye, it is impossible but that it 
should hate sin, which is so directly opposite to him. 
Happy are those who by the thoughts of God are enraged 
against sin ! Is it not enough, saith that heavenly soul that 
is acquainted with God, that I have done such and such 
things against God, when I knew him not, but that I should 
again cnsage against him after I have been obliged by a, 


thousand mercies, after I liavo tasted and seen how good the 
Lord is I Is it a light matter that I did so long after light 
against him then 'I And shall I noAV renew my rehellions, 
■when I have had so much experience of the folly and mad- 
ness of such a war, where I shall be as surely conquered as • 
I draw ray sword? And hath God kejjt me bj^ a miracle of 
mercy out of hell, and after I had nm out so wretchedly, 
and undone myself, set me up again, after I had played the 
prodigal, received me again into favour? And shall I after 
all deal thus basely by him I No, I '11 die a thousand deaths 
before I will willingly yield to anything that may be in the 
least offensive to Him whom my soul hath such an intinite 
reason to love above the whole world. The knowledge of 
God's sei-vice, and Satan's too, makes a soul distinguish. 
He that knows what it is to be made free by Christ, al)lu)rs 
liis old master ; he rcmcmljers full well the great hardship 
that he then underwent, when he had nothing to live upon 
but husks; he calls to mind the clay and mortar, he can- 
not forget the cruel vassalage that he served under; garlic 
and onions were his dainties; and truly he cannot desire to 
leave his manna for such kind of food ; he is not in love 
with the whip and scourge ; he doth not dote upon the fet- 
ters, or the iron which went into his soul ; but he is glad 
with all his heart to be free from those taskmasters who 
made him serve with rigour; he hath no mind tu irturn 
to his old work. ]\ly meaning in all this is: he that was a 
servant and a drudge of Satan's, and a slave to his lust, 
when he once comes to taste the sweetness of siiiritual lib- 
erty, to be made free by Christ, he hath no desire again to 
be enslaved, but ilotli, with the greatest detestation, reject 
all the proposjils and promises that the devil makes, to bring 
this business about ; he knows Satan too well to love his 
service; he reniendjcis that all bis j),"iy was jiromises, and 
no more; he remembers that he fed him with ]>(iis.iii, 
and made him <!() that which bad like to break his bones, 
and undo him for ever; he sees what Satan's designs were; 
and w liat had become of him quickly, if he had gone on 
in his service ; he believes chains to be chains, though 
U^vy Ic oi g'i!d; believes that puiLOji v.ill kill him, ihoui^h 


it may be sweet in the mouth; he liath now such a sensd 
of the evil and baseness of sin, as being so infinitely loath- 
some to God, that he hates it with a perfect hatred ; he 
hath a will in some measure conformed to the will of God ; 
and what liis Friend the Lord loves, he cannot hate, and 
where his God hates he cannot love. " Do not I hate them, 

Lord, that hate thee 1 and am not I grieved wth those 
that rise up agamst thee 1 I hate them ^y\il\ perfect hatred ; 

1 count them mine enemies," Ps. cxxxix. 21, 22. Now, 
what is it that stirs the Psalmist's choler so much? Vfhy, 
he had been working upon his own heart, in the former 
part of the psalm, the doctrine of God's omniscience and 
goodness, and liy meditation upon this subject, he was 
brought under a lively sense of the greatness of divine kind- 
ness ; and while his heart did thus muse, the fire burnt, his 
soul was in a flame against sin : " How precious are thy 
thoughts unto me, God!" ver. 17. Oh, when the soul, 
liath sweet thoughts of God, it will have sour thoughts of 
sin. When the soul loves God dearly, it cannot choose but 
hate sin entu-ely. None behold such deformity in sin as 
those who behold most beauty in God. Hence it is that 
some of the people of God have (nay all of them that are 
really acquainted mth God are of the same mind) counted 
it more desirable to leap into the flames than to venture upon 
a knoAvn sin. It was no untruth in the absolute position, 
though falsely applied by Job's friend, that it is a great 
wickedness to choose the least sin before the greatest suffer- 
ing, Job xxxvi. 21. What was it that made Paul so weary 
of himself ? What ijurden was it that made his back to ache I 
What pains causeth those bitter groans ? Rom. vii. Was it 
not sin 1 And why did not Paul groan before as well as 
then ? Was it because he then had no sin at all, or less sin 
than when he made that bitter complaint ] No such matter ; 
but because he had then less acquaintance with God. But 
now he is become acquainted Avith God, the more he doth 
abhor lumself for sin. He now knows better than he did ; his 
eyes are opened, and he sees sin in its colours, and he looks 
upon it as so great an evil that he doth want words to 
express the odious nature of it; theiefore, becaus'j he can- 

JESTTiJ T.'in nE?T t'r.lEXD 01" MAN'. 173 

not find ii worse word, lie calls sin by its own name, sinful 
sin ; wliicdi he thonght a more significant epithet than if ho 
had called it devilish sin. What makes the children of 
God to he so weary of this world, and so desirous to be 
iipon the wing ? Why, it is because of better acquaintance 
elsewhere. They know that then they shall put off that 
carrion that now they carry about with them, sin I mean, 
v.'hich, like a dead carcass bound to a living, doth now stink 
so abominably in their nostrils ; they know that tlien they 
shall have a sweeter smell, and themselves also smell more 
savoury in the nostrils of God ; they know that poverty 
shall be swallowed up with riches, want with fulness, sin 
with holiness, misery with happiness ; they have an inheri- 
tance, a city wherein dwelleth righteousness, and nothing that 
is unclean shall enter into it ; and when they come thitlier 
they know the case will be altered with them, and that 
though now they bear about with them a body of death and 
sin, yet then they shall have a body as pure, as bright, 
and glorious as the sini ; thej' shall be presented by Christ 
to the Father without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing. 
Each knows that as long as he is thus sullied by his sin, his 
great Friend will not take so much jilcasure in his company. 
Isaac and Ishmael, the ark and dagon, God and sin cannot 
dwell in the same heart; therefore he desires to have less of 
sins (•omi>aiiy that he may have more of God's ; none of sin's 
u-onipany, that he may have always God's company. Observe 
that constantly in your ovm experience and others', those 
who walk most close with (Jod are most tender as to the 
matter of sin ; and those who are less in converse with God 
are more bold in venturing ujion sin, and after it is com- 
mitted they have less regret. What is the reason that one 
cun swallow anything almost, and ;uioth('r is afraid of tlie 
least apjieanince of evil I he hates the garment spotted with 
the flesh ; he is as fearful of clothing himself with wicked- 
ness as of putting on the garments of one that hath hail the 
leprosy or j)lague upon him ; ho hates vain thoughts, because 
he loves God and his laws, Ps. cxix. 104, 113. 

3. Another glorious effect of acquaintance with God is, 
tliat it makes one to have very low and undeiTaluing 

174 ITEAVF.:) UPON EAUTU; 01!, 

thoughts of the world. V> hen tlie sahit hatli been, with 
Paul, raised up to the tliird lieaven, when he hatli had some 
intimate converse with God, he can look the world into 
almost nothing ; nay, if it stand in competition with Christ, 
he counts it but as dung and dross in comparison of the 
excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus his Lord, Pliil. 
iii. 8 ; he can then set a liighcr value xipon the light of God's 
countenance than upon corn, and wine, and oil. It is because 
that i)Oor creatures know no better, that they dote so much 
upon the world. Did thej' Init know what it is to have on© 
look of love from G(jd, were they but acquainted with the 
gloiy of another world, they would soon disrelish everything 
else ; nothing vrill dovni \\'ith them who have been feasted 
in God's house but those royal dainties. Taste tlie world who 
will, saith the saint, give me but more grace, more of Christ's 
company ; let me but maintain an intimate familiarity with 
God ; let me be but better acquainted with him, and be 
more frequently refreshed v.'ith his smiles; this is all tliat I 
desire upon earth ; this is all that I expect to make my happi- 
ness complete in heaven. " Whom have I in lieaven but thee ] 
and there is none upon earth that I can desire besides thee." 
It was not without good reason that the Psalmist prizes the 
commands of God above gold and silver. It was no mistake 
in Solomon to count wisdom more excellent than tlie 
finest gold, and more precious than rubies. That spiritual 
merchant knevv' what he did v,hen he sold all that he had 
for that pearl of great price ; he was sm-e he should be no 
loser by such a bargain. Bring me a heavenly creatm-e that 
hath had a view by faith of the gloiy of God's countenance, 
that hath been in his company, that hath been brought into 
his banqueting-house ; such a one I am coniident can easily 
spare that which most keep such a fearful stn about ; he can 
spare the world for them who are Hke to have no better 
portion. Give liim but more of those spiritual pleasures 
wliicli he hath had in communion with God, and he desires no 
more. lie can now speak it, and speak it in good earnest, that 
there is no comparison between this world and another ; he 
can now call this world a shadow, and the glory of it grass, 
and ^n-ite vanity, emptiness, and vexation upon itg be-iiutiful 


face, aiii-l contemu all its smiles and frowns, and look upon 
its greatest lovers as persons that deserve to be pitied rather 
than envied, whose portion is so small, whose happiness is 
so short, and whose misery and mistake are so great and dis- 
mal. It is a common thing for men to declaim against the 
world, and to say it is but a little muck ; it is no unusual 
thing for its gi-eatest lovers to speak against it, and say that 
it is that which i>asseth away ; but yet for all that they 
pursue it more than heaven, and are more earnest for it 
than the salvation of their souls, and more troubled at tho 
thought of parting v/ith it than at the thought of their 
parting witli God ; and tlie loss of it troubles them more 
than if we tell them of the loss of their souls. Such 
as these will not say but that God is infinitely more 
to be loved tlian the wliole world ; but yet if the world 
and God stand in competition, they stand not long dis- 
puting which must give place ; the world hath the upper- 
most room in tlio heart. But whence is this mistake? 
IIow comes tlie servant to ride, and the jMaster to go on 
footi Why is the world preferred before God? Why, 
hence it is man knows not God, he is not acquainted 
with lus excellency ; the world is sensible, he sees it, he 
feels it, he tastes it. And so he doth not the things that 
are invisible. And no wonder, then, that sense bears 
the sway; tlie man wants faith to realize invisil)les; he 
wants senses s[iiritually exercised. But now ho that knows 
God, and is acquainted with spiritual things, hath quite 
another apprehension of the world ; and that not only 
from faitli, l)ut sometimes from a spiritual sense, and he can 
say that divine pleasures, riches, and enjoyments do as sen- 
sibly refrcsli liim, yea, abundantly more than ever tho world 
did. And when lie hath been newly tiikinga walk in tliat 
heavenly jiaradiHc, he looks hack upon this world witli grief 
and indignation, that he should ever love the world with his 
heart, when there was One that did infinitely more deserve 
his love, wlien there was a Gud, Christ, and holiness to be 
loved ; tliat he should be such a cliild, sucli a fool as to run 
after buttcrilics, quarrel f;)r a feather, liunt for a shadow, 
while God, <'hnHt, i>.\-A gl iry, ih'.K great Mdntn.r.c."'-, lay by 

17G . KEAVEN* t'foN' CAnf II ; ou. 

inire_,nnk'(I. Xo\v he j^nuli^v::, tliat ;uiytliin;i,' tlioiud liaVJ* 
liis love but his God ; Ids dearest relations, if they stand in 
God's waj', must be run over, despised, hated. That whioli 
the men of the world fight, and kill, and spare not to damn 
their souls for, he sees now to be a pitiful worthless thing, 
which cannot defer death a moment, nor stand him in any 
stead in another world. He is all for that coin which will 
go current in another country ; and if he be but rich in pro- 
mises, rich in spiritual relations, rich in gi'ace, he takes him- 
self for no unhappy man ; let the world speak or think what 
they will of him, he doth not much pass upon it ; he be- 
lieves that he is but a pilgi-im and stranger here, and if he 
meet with no great kindness, it is but that which he exi^ected. 
The truth of it is, he is almost afraid of the smiles of the 
world, not being ignorant of this, that whom it kisses, it in- 
tends to betray ; he cannot be over-fond of that which in 
all probability will keep God and him at a greater dis- 
tance, and make his passage to glory next to impossible. 
He reckons that it is better being rich in grace than rich in 
l^urse ; and that he avIio lays up for his body, and provides 
not for his soul, is the greatest fool in the world. Tell such 
a one as Moses of riches, honours, and preferments; he 
thinks them but poor sorry things for a man of Israel to be 
taken with, and he will rather see them in the dirt, than part 
company with his suflt'ering brethren, much less with God. 
It is storied of Anaxagoras, that he seemed to be veiy little 
concerned when liis country was in a flame ; upon which, 
being taxed hy some, he made this reply, " There is none of 
you all care more for your country than I do for mine," 
pointing with his finger up to heaven. Thus it is Avith the 
people of God ; let others talk of riches and honours ; but 
there is none of them all do value true riches as tliey do. 
But here is the difference : one thinks he hath riches when 
he hath the command of a great deal of gold and silver ; the 
other knows he hath riches when he hath Christ and 
grace, and can have good returns out of that other world. 
And which of these is the wisest will erelong be seen. 
One looks upon heaven and glory as a shadow, a fable, 
}\nd the things of this world as the only realities j the othey 

JKSUG 7::r iii:..;T rrar:.D of ^:A^^ 177 

looks upon heaven, God, and eternity, as the greatest reali- 
ties, and most worthy of his highest vahiation, and the things 
of this wurUl as flying sliadows, ■which cannot iill the arms 
of him that doth embrace them. And under this apin-ehen- 
eion and sense of things, no marvel that he doth prefer the 
substance before the sliadow. lie believes with that wor- 
thy, that he was born for other things than to eat and drink, 
and sleej), or to take his pleasure, or to get an estate ; he 
knows that the business in this world is to provide for an- 
other, to get his peace made with God, to contemplate heaven, 
and to get thither ; and therefore you must not count it 
strange that such a person as this is somewhat cold and re- 
miss in his carrying on of hnvcr designs ; he knows that the 
di2ij)ropoi"tiun between finite ami infniite, time and eternity, 
is no such inconsiderable one as the most count upon. 
Again, he hath more tlian once exi)erienced this, that 
the very joys and comforts that are to be had in the en- 
joying of communion with God, even in this world, are 
unspeakably more intense and refreshing than the highest 
sensual pleasures in the world. One that is acquainted 
with God will take the word of his Friend for true, which 
word tells him that whatsoever is presented to his sense, 
the world and all that is therein, must erelong be burnt 
up ; whercui)on he thinks it no imjjrudence at all to hazard 
present enjoyments for futiu-e hopes, no folly to look after 
something that will bear the flame. He thinks it scarce 
worth the wliile to be born to ])ossess, if it were a whole 
world, except he were sure of having something after it that 
were better than what he met with here; he had rather 
liavc one smile from his Friend than thous.auils of gold and 
silver; he would not for a world have his jiortiou here, 
though it be never so large a one : lie had rather by far be 
with Lazarus ujion adungliill thansitwith Dives in a chair of 
state, Iieforc the richest fare tliat tlie sea, or air, or earth 
could allord bini; he would not change coiulitions with 
those wlio enjoy the most of tln^ things of this world ; ho 
can thankfully want that wliicb most comnioidy makes its 
possessors niiseraijie. Ob, could you I)ut talk with a man 
that lives iu heaven w liilc he is upon cartli, and could you 

178 HEAVEN UPON earth; or, 

but see aiul licai- liow much he shghts that which you adore ! 
Give me neitlier poverty nor riches, but food convenient for 
me, is the highest that he dare pray for. He had rather live 
in a smoking cottage, and have God for liis companion, than 
dwell in the greatest i)alace, and have the devil for his 
neighbour, counsellor, and master. When a man hath been 
in heaven by contemplation, though his body be upon the 
earth, yet the l)est part of him, his affection, his love, joy, 
and heart, is still there. " One that doth converse with God 
here is indeed that earthly lump, his body is below; but 
could yoii see his thoughts, could you look into his heart, 
and see the inward actings of his soul, you should see the 
man out of the world discoursing with. God ; he sticks close 
to the company of his Friend : he is like the sunbeams, which, 
though they reach the earth, yet still aljide there from 
whence they are sent, and are most intensely hot nearest 
the fountain, the sun." (Sen. Ep. xli.) So the soul and 
thoughts of a child of God, they may, nay, they cannot but 
glance upon the world ; but his most vigorous spiritual act- 
ings are towards God, and the heat of his atfections are 
abundantly more remiss and cold when they beat upon 
earthly objects. He that knows what it is to have the com- 
pany of God is almost ready to wonder how any one can be 
content with anything belo^v God ; and as for himself, he 
takes himself for little better than a i)risoner, while his soul 
is pent up in a body ^\•hicll is so unwieldy as to all spiritual 
employments, till it be refined by the grave. He would not 
dwell here for ever, for a world, though he might enjoy 
more content than ever any since the fall did. A soul ac- 
quainted with God is a noble creature indeed; he scorns 
petty low things ; he thinks no estate big enough for him, but 
that which is inlinite ; he looks upon himself as a citizen of 
no mean city, a denizen of Zion, a freeman of the New Je- 
rusalem, one of the royal society, over which Christ, that 
King of glory, is the President ; his inheritance is greater 
than that which the sun compasseth in its com'sc. Oil 
when, saith such a one, shall I leave these cities of Cabul, 
and dwell with the King at Jerusalem? Oh when shall 
my soul be safely at-ked i Vh when ijIuiH I be upon tlio 

JESu^i Tin:; uest fkilnd of max, 179 

wing for heaven ? Oh wlicn shall I k-ave this hoJy there 
whence it first came ? "NN'hcn shall I go out of this cell, this 
cage? Oh that I were once safe in heaven! Oh that I 
were in the immediate presence of God, and might stand for 
ever before him, and have his blessed society for ever and 
ever! Neither am I quite without him ; but how little, oh 
how little is it that I now enjoy ! Oh when shall I enter 
into the possession of that better, longer life ? I stay and 
long for that separating, or rather uniting liour, Avhich will 
separate my soul from my body, from my dross, but per- 
fectly unite me to God. Look then, my soul, upon all 
that thou secst l)elow but as so many inns and resting- 
places for a pilgrim to take some little refreshment in, and 
then to ]je gone. That day, my fearful soul, which thou 
sometimes fearest as my last, is the birthday of eternity. 
Oh what mean we to love <mv ])risons, fetters, burdens? 
Why are we so much pleased with our miseries, and afraid 
of our happiness? Oh this unbelief ! Oh were Christians 
hut more in the company of God by faith and meditation, 
they would look uj'on God as great, and the world as a 
very small thing, lie that knows God to be great, sees 
everything below him little. It is an infallible argument 
of a divine and excellent soul, and one that hath acquaint- 
ance with God, when he can judge all beneath God as low, 
b«;rdid, base, and utterly unworthy of the respect of his soul, 
4. Another glorious elTect of acquaintance with Gotl is, 
that it will ease us of ull sorrows, or cure all sorrows. As 
Koon as any one hath but a saving knowledge of Christ, he is 
in such a condition as that he need not trouble his head with 
care, nor his heart with fear ; no more than a ricli heir that 
hath a tender-hearted, loving, wise father, need trouldo 
liimself what he shall do for bread and clothing: as long 
as the great cause of fear is taken away, so long he is well 
enough. As for those that are unacipiaiuted with God, 
tiu'V either are always afraid, or have cause always to bo 
afraid : but as for a child of God, that t;criptnre buoys up his 
soul under the mightiest ways of fear: "There is no con- 
<lemnation to them whieh are in (Jhrist Jesus," Koni. viii. 1. 
lie that is in covenant with God may in this world uuder^y 

ISO iiE.vvi:.\ c^o^• eaktu ; or, 

some petty injuries, some insurrection maybe made against 
him ; but this is his comfort, he is sure never to be quite 
overpowered, never to be iinall^^ conquered. Oh the dis- 
quietments and fears that strangers and enemies are com- 
passed with, or will be ! And oh the joys, the security, the 
true security that some have ! at Avliat a rate do they live, 
and how bravely do they die ! " Mark the perfect, and be- 
hold the upright man ; for the end of that man is peace." 
This was touched upon before, when I opened the nature 
and qualifications of this Friend, and therefore I need say 
the less here ; yet it Ijeing the great inquiry of the wisest, 
how they may l)e sheltered from this storm, what they 
shall do to be cured of these heart-qualms, how they may 
be freed from fears, I shall not altogetlier pass it over in 
this place. I cannot but encourage poor strangers, as they 
value the truest comforts, as they would be free from fear 
and trembling when the foundations of the earth shall be 
shaken, when the mountains shall tremble, and melt at the 
presence of God, the mighty God of Jacob, when the hea- 
ven shall be rolled together as a scroll, and be all of a 
flame. Make sure of this Friend. It is impossible that one 
that hath such a One for his Friend should be much daunt- 
ed. When he hears of wars, and rumours of wars, when 
the pestilence rages, when there are dreadful earthquakes 
in sundry places, and such distress of nations and perplex- 
ities, that the stoutest heart shall sink that hath not this to 
support, then a child of God may lift up his head with 
comfort, because his redemption draweth near. Tlicre is a 
vast difference between a godly man and a wicked, as to 
their atfections, fears, joys, desires, hopes. The godly 
thinks long for that which the wicked wishes with all 
liis heart might never be, — the day of judgment. The 
righteous man is even delighted with the forethoughts of 
that, the thoughts of which doth put a damp upon all the 
comforts of the ungodly; he rejoiceth in that which makes 
his neighbour tremble. As for death, a gracious heart that 
hath kept his \vatch, and maintained a sweet and constant 
correspondence witli God, and hath had his heart in heaven, 
and can look upon tlic great Jehovah as his Friend, cannQt 


be very much aflVightcd at his approach ; he is not much 
appalled, when he looks out at the window, and sees this 
messenger making liaste to his house ; and when he knocks 
at his door, he dares let him in, and can heartily bid him 
welcome; he understands whence he comes, and what his 
errand is ; and though he look somewhat grimly, yet as 
long as he comes to conduct him to his Friend's house, he 
can dispense with that : lie hath more reason to speak so 
than he who said, "Let me make haste away to my 
country ; there are my excellent ancestors, there dwell my 
noble relations, there is the constant residence of my dearest 
friends." (Plotinus.) "Oh happy will that day be when 
I shall come into that glorious assembly, when I shall have 
better company than Homer, Orpheus, Socrates, Cato, when 
1 shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the 
j)alace of their P^riend and mine ! happy day, when I shall 
come to my Father's house, to that general assembly, the 
church of the first-born, to an innumerable company of angels, 
to Jesus, the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the spirits 
of just men made perfect!" (TuU.) A man's knowledge 
of other things may add to his fears, and make his miseries 
greater; but the more knowledge we have of God, the less 
our fears and sorrows must needs be: and when our know- 
ledge <jf God is perfect, all our fears and smu'ows shall Ijc for 
ever blown over. I cannot omit a brave speech of that noble 
Stoic which comes to my mind : " If the acquaintance and 
favour of Cicsar can keei) y(ni (as you are made to believe) 
from some fears, how much rather to have God for your Fa- 
ther and Friend ! How little cause have such to be afraid at 
anytime of any thing; death itself is not evil tnafricMidof (bid : 
he may say, Come, let us go ([uiekly to our Father's bouse; 
our Father calls us." (Ar. Epict. 1. i. c. 7.) And doth this 
."^eem a small matter to you? I'elieve it, when you come to 
die, you will be of an(jthcr mind then: you will think that 
it is a cordial worth any money, that will raise your sjiirits 
at such a time, and make you, with a smiling countenance, 
Jiass into an everlasting state. It is but a folly to expect 
tiiat an\ tiling in tlie W(jrid sliould ilo this for us but the 
knowledge of our iutervjt in G Md. It is possible indeed t-Q 



pet some stiipifyiug- intoxicating stuff, that makes a man 
die like a beast, Avithout any great horror ; the devil's shop 
Avill furnish poor dying creatures -with enough of that ; nay, 
he is glad if he can keep men asleep till death awaken them ; 
but miserable is that man who is beholden to the devil for 
his cordials ; miserable is he who has nothing to keep him 
from a hell upon earth but his own ignorance and the 
devil's word. I promise j'ou, 'tis none of the most joyful 
spectacles to an enlightened soul, to look upon one that 
lived wickedly and died peaceably. You would think that a 
poor man that is going to execution had little cause to 
smile, though he should ride to the gallows upon an easy- 
going horse, or in a coach. The s\vine is usually very still, 
when the butcher is making preparation to plunge the knife 
in his throat. It is no unusual thing for a vile unsanc- 
tified sinner to leap with a mad confidence into eternity; 
but he alone hath a solid peace who hath God for his Friend. 
This is the only man tliat hath just cause to sing for joy 
when his soul is going into another world. It was none of 
the worst counsel Avhich he gave, whosoever he was, who 
said, that it doth highly concern us seriously to think of ter- 
rible things, which we must most certainh^ see erelong, and 
to lay in such provision as may make us fit to grapple with 
them when they come. Oh for that which will keep us 
from crying out hereafter, What shall I do ^ woe is me! I 
am undone ! Were it so that there were such rare ex- 
traction to be made as would certainly prolong our lives 
as long as we Avould, and make us always cheerful, what 
striving would there be to get such a receipt ! Oh, how 
would the great ones bring out their bags to purchase it at 
any rate ! How willing would they mortgage all their 
hinds, part with their richest jewels to Imy it ! and yet how 
little will they expend for that which, if they had, would 
prove far more effectual ! Oh, wuukl men and women but 
understand themselves, and mind their business, what sweet 
lives might they lead ! what a calm might there be constantly 
upon their spirits ! How cheerfully might they live, and 
how joyfully might they die ! TuUy saith that he and 
many otheis had been gatherhig the most powerful lierljg 


tliat they could find to cure all fears ; " but," saith he, " I 
know not what is the mutter, the disease is still stronger 
than the remedy." And dost thou not know, Tully, 
what's the matter? Why then, I will tell thee. One prin- 
cipal ingredient was loft out, viz., laith in the blood of Christ, 
and union with God by virtue of that blood. lie that is by 
Clirist brought to be ac'(|uainted with God need not mucli 
fear griefs, sorrows, and such tilings as Christ was acquainted 
with for him: he luitli unstinged death, and sweetened the 
grave : all his troubles are now but as physic, the poison of 
them is corrected ; though the pill be bitter, yet it is of his 
Friend's composing, and therefore he may take it without 
any turning away of bis head. ''Show me a man," said 
old Ei)ictetus, " that is happy truly in his life, and liap])y 
in his death, happy in his health and in his sickness; happy 
when poor, scurned. tormented, and banished ; in a wurd, 
liappy in all conditions." Oh that I could but talk with such 
a man ! Oh that I could see such a spectacle ! Such a one as 
my eyes never yet beheld I AVliy, I will tell thee the reason 
of it, E]iictetus, it is because thou never sawest a Christian, 
one that was ac(iuainted with God ; for let me tell the world, 
through grace I have seen such a sight, and do believe it to 
be the most lovely sight on this side heaven. I have seen 
one smiling vv'lien his jaws have been falling, and eye-strings 
breaking; rejoicing, when most about him were weeping, 
jind accounting it a higli act of patience to Ijc willing to 
live. And how do you like such a condition 1 Is it better 
to lie tiuivering, .shaking, and groaning, or rejoicing, and 
praising, and admiring free grace, and setting forth the 
riches of God's love and goodness? Which of these would 
you choose? lean easily Imlieve tliat few are so bad but 
that they could be contented, a.s well as Bahiam, to die the 
death of tlie righteous, and to have their latter end like his. 
Butwould you die joyfully? Wby t]ien,youmubt live liolily; 
get acipiainted with God, and then this may be your state. 
I remember Seneca speaks of one Pacuvius, who, wlien he 
was drunk, cried out, ''Be/5ajKa — I have been alive," very 
merrily. But bad be well understood biniseit^ be would have 
thought he liu'.l had much better reason to liave cried out,'' I 


am dead, 1 am dead." Lut, Iiowever, what he said unground- 
edly and wickedly, a child of God may easily and thankfully 
say ; when he is going to his last sleep, he may with joy and 
cheerfulness say, I have lived, and, through grace, I have kept 
a fair correspondence with my God, my Friend, with whom 
I am now going to dwell for ever. Do not think, therefore, 
that I come to take away your comforts and joys, when I 
come to persuade you to get acquaintance with God ; no 
such matter, I would have you learn to rejoice, hut yet I 
would that that joy should be born from above, that the founda- 
tion of it should be the knowledge of your interest in God's 
love. Other joys may make you have a smiling countenance, 
but they do not raise and fill the soul ; for I must tell you, 
I am far from thinking that every one that laughs is joyful 
and Avithout fears, (iive me a man that knows that God is 
his portion, and heaven his inheritance, that knows with 
Avliat Friend, and in what a hai)py state he shall live after 
death ; this, this is the cheerful man : such a one as this 
can overlook momentary sorrows ; he imderstands full well 
that the case will be quickly altered with him ; and the 
thoughts of eternal happiness do swallow up his temporal 
miseries. Tell one of God's acquaintance of poverty, he 
values it not, as long as he knows he hath a brave estate that 
cannot be confiscated, riches that none can take from him, 
a treasure that thieves cannot break throiigh to, and steal. 
As for all worldly things, he knows that Ijcfore a fe\.' years 
are over he must part with them for ever ; he is of that 
man's mind, who, having a considerable sum of money and 
precious jewels hid in his saddle, and a little odd money in 
his pocket, was set upon by thieves ; who readily went to his 
pocket, and took what was there, and looked no further. 
Now the man, escaping clear with his main treasure, is so 
joyful that he takes no notice of what was stolen from him. 
Thus a child of God, if he lose his estate, his liberty, and all 
his outward enjoyments, counts all these but inconsiderable, 
as long as his soul is safe, his great treasure is out of their 
reach. Tell him of torments, racks, flames, or what the policy 
of hell can invent, he is not ignorant of this, that the more 
he suHers foj' Christ's sake, the greater cause he hath to re- 

JKS^a TitK iJEST fntEXT) nr MAV. 185 

joicc, to be cxcoi'din[;- i^lad, for gi-eat sliall ha Iiis reward in 
lieaven^ and wliile they add to liis sufferings, thoy add to his 
glory; and though against tlieir will, wliilo tliey would in- 
jure ]xim, they do him the greatest kindness; this light 
affliction works for him a far more exceeding and eternal 
>veight of glory. As long as his torments want that dread- 
ful epithet, eternal, he doth not much pass ; the thoughts of 
God"s love makes man's hatred inconsiderable. Oh howsweet 
are the thoughts of liis Friend, when his enemies are most 
Litter ! Blessed be God, as for those intolerable torments, 
lie knows it's beyond man's power, and far from God'swill to 
inflict them uj)!)!! him, and so long he cares not much. All 
other tortures are but a tlea-bitc to the pains of hell and 
an enraged conscience ; he can almost dare the world and 
the devil to do their worst, as being confident of this, that as 
long as he is dear to God, his soul is out of their reach. 
Threaten him with banishment, he remembers that he hath 
a Friend that will find him out, and bear him company 
wheresoever he is. Tell him of the barbarous unkindness 
and treachery of former friends ; he reads that his betters 
have been worse handled by their pretended friends ; above 
all, this cheers him, to think that all his friends will not serve 
him so ; he hath one Friend that will never forsake him, ne- 
ver be unfaithful to him. Now, bring a wicked man upon 
earth, that is without his sorrows ; I know there is none, no, 
not one ; there is none of them all, 1)ut if he were within the 
bight of those devouring flames, would tremble. Those that 
liave wickedness enough to dare God, will not have courage 
enough to look him in the face when he shall appear in 
llaming fire to execute vengeance u\Hm the imgodly ; he that 
will not now be troubled at the doing of wickedness, will be 
troubled hereafter at the suffering for it. Let sinners say 
what they will, I am sure they cannot be long without fears, 
to behold Christ and his dear servants c(jming together in 
the clouds, with millions of mighty angels, to judge tlie world; 
I am confident it will be such an amazing sight as cannot 
clioose but cool their courage, and make the stoutest heart 
of them all to ache; I am S'Ure that as light as they mako 
of damnation i\ml God's displeasure, that tlic day ia coming 

18G iiKAVEX rroN eaetii ; or, 

when they will believe it was no such cowardice to be afraid 
of an angry God, to fly from the wrath to come, and to run 
away from so formidable an enemy as sin ; so that it is clear 
that a Avicked man vvill hrst or last be a fearful man ; a 
'•Magor missakib — Fear on every side," shall be his name. 
But now he that doth exceedingly fear to offend God need not 
exceedingly fear anything else ; and he that fears not God 
hath cause enough to fear everything. Oh sirs, it's a brave 
thing to be aljle to take death cheerfuilj^ by the hand, and. 
to \\ol\. with him joyfully into another world ; and this, I say 
again, a man acquainted with God may do ; he hath this to 
comfort him, death doth more properly give him life than take 
it away from him, and as soon as he is dead his sin shall 
die too, and his grace live and act without control ; then he 
shall live a life of joy, a life of perfect holiness, such a life 
as saints and angels live, such a life as Christ lives, the life 
of God, a life without death, an everlasting life ; and why 
then should lie be aft-aid of dying 1 As for his old companion 
tJie body, it is gone to rest, and will erelong be awakened, 
and rise from its bed more vigorous, and fit for those noble 
employments in which it must Ije engaged for ever. And 
soul and body shall meet with more comfort than now they 
part with pain, when the body shall be in another kind of 
dress than nov,- it wears, and that also shall in some respects 
be like the soul, agile, holy, and immortal. This is such a man 
that I can call happy, and so erelong will those that now 
scornand persecute him call him too. Blessed is he that in his 
life is holy and cheerful, but most cheerful and perfect at his 
death. This is the happy poi-tion of God's acquaintance^ 
this is the heritage of the friends of the Bridegroom. I have 
I'ead of a Avise man that would commend and be thankful 
for everything, because he was sure a Friend of his had the 
management of everytliing, whose imderstanding was infin- 
ite, and whose wisdom was unsearchable, wlio could and 
would work his own honour and his friends' comforts out 
of everything, yea, though seemingly evil ; for the greater 
the evil seems to be, the greater will be the real kindness 
wliich makes so much good out of it. Oh, but I have lately 
logt riiany of my most near and jjrecions relations ! If thou 

JF.3US tut; best FSirXD OF MAX. 187 

art one of (Joel's friend-;, lot me tell t'nee fur thy comfort, 
you will meet them at your Friend's house, when you come 
thither. It was no unsuitable advice that he gave to his 
friend Lucilius, to cheer him up after the loss of a dear 
friend : '' Let us considjr, my dear Lucilius, that we our- 
selves should he glad to be in that place, and to enjoy that 
company, which you are so sad that your friend is gone to ; 
an<l he that you say is lost, is not so, but happy before you." 
■\Ye do not judge rightly of things. Well then, would you 
know what a man is ? A\'ould you pass a true estimate of 
him, and understand his worth and value ? Why then, con- 
sider the man without his riches, lay aside his honours, take 
away all his externals from him ; nay, further, let us see the 
mail naked out of Ids body, and h.ow doth the soul look 1 Is 
it now rich, beautiful, joyful '. Can it stand confidently be- 
fore God ? Doth it appear cheerfully in the presence of its 
Maker? Why, this is something; it matters not much 
whether his Iiody were fed with i>ulse or dainties, clothed 
with rags or scarlet; it matters not whether his soul went 
out of his movith or at a wound, whether he died in a bed 
of d(jwn or in Hames. Mcthinks by this time you shoidd 
be ready to think that religion is an excellent tldng, that 
God's acquaintance is desirable, and that no life is like the 
life of a Christian, all whose sorrows end in joys, whose mis- 
eries make him more hai)py, whose shame for Christ will 
make for his glory; in a word, whose death lirings him into 
life. " This is the generation of them that seek thee, that 
seek thy face, Jacob." 

r>. AuMther etiect ofacqiiaintance with God is, that it \vill 
make us honour him more highly. Here familiarity is far 
from l)rccding contempt. Those tliat are strangers to God 
see not his worth and excellency, they honour him not, but 
tlu'V have tlie most vile, low, contemptible thoughts of tiie 
infinitely glorious majesty, and they think anything will 
Ferv(? his tnrii ; they make more bidd witii him than they 
would do witii a man like themselves ; they put him oil with 
the leavings of the world; when they have been feeding 
their lusts, and serving their jdeasurcs, and gratifying the 
devil all the 'lay Ivug, tien they c.-nc between sleep and 

18S ttEArnx rroN EAnTn; OR, 

awake, and ].rctc;i(l a ;j,tc:ii deal (if love to hini, and anger 
w itli themselves fur their sin, whereas God knows they do 
but play the hypocrites in all they do, and mean nothing 
that they say : lip-devotion, knee-religion God shall have, 
and hut a little of that too, and that pitiful stuiF that 
they present hinr with they think God is very much be- 
holden to them for. As for the sanctifying the Lord God 
in their hearts; as for inward heart-love, as for high priz- 
ings and admi rings of God ; as for a real honouring of God, 
and worshipping of him in spirit and in truth, it is that 
which they understand not ; and as for those who do, they 
laugh at them, as if they were guilty of the greatest folly 
in tiie world. But now he who converseth with God beholds 
such a beauty, excellency, majesty, and glory in him, that 
it is ready quite to swallow up his soul ; he speaks much of 
God, but yet he thinks more ; he wonders that a God of 
such iniinite goodness should be no more loved, that a God 
of such infinite greatness, justice, and holiness, should be no 
more feared, that a God of such imspeakable power should 
be no more obeyed ; and while he remembers his own con- 
tempt of God in former times, and the too mean thoughts 
that he hath at present of him, he doth even stand as- 
tonished to think that he should be on this side the state of 
the damned. He that before thought everything too much 
for God, now thinks nothing enough for him. The man is 
strangely changed by his new acquaintance, so that he may 
not improperly be called a new man, all things are new 
with him. In honour to this new guest, he hath got on 
new clothes, he is clad with righteousness as with a garment ; 
new food, it is his meat and drink to do the will of his 
Father which is in heaven ; new drink, wine on the lees, 
well relined ; he draws all out of those wells of consolation, 
the promises : he hath new thoughts, words, and actions ; 
God, invisibles, and all the things of faith are now substances 
with him. Now the threats or promises of a God are not 
counted small matters ; heaven, hell, and eternity, go for 
the greatest realities, liecause God saith they are such. Sq, 
he tiiat sometimes lived without God in the world, had no 
respect at all to his glory, but valued himself and his most 


Iv'.sc lust, .111(1 the devil himself, before God, doth now re- 
spect Hod's glory in all that he doth; he ventures upon 
nothing deliberately, but what may please him ; religion 
runs tlirough all he doth; he eats, he drinks, and sleeps, 
and cloihes himself, he prays, he works, he recreates him- 
self, \\iUi a design for God. The grand project he still is 
carrying on, is the honour of God. lie will undertake 
nothing of importance before he consult with his Friend 
and hath his advice and direction. Whatsoever he hath 
that is worth anything, lie sends it to this Friend, he pre- 
sents him with his first fruits, he sacrificeth his male, the 
best of his flock ; desires that his Friend may be always at 
his house, and that he maj' have the best entertainment 
that he can possibly give; and ho is ashamed at the best, 
that he can make him no more welcome whom he so highly 
honours ; he is grieved that his entertainment is no better ; 
he would fain give God his first and last thoughts, his 
warmest affections ; he would gladly have the strength and 
vigour of body and soul spent in his service ; he studies how 
to improve all mercies and enjoyments for God, to take hold 
of all opportunities that he possibly can, and to make the 
best of them for the promoting that gi-and design which he 
liath on foot, his honour; he thinks not wife and children, 
houses and lands, liody, soul, and all that he c;tn make in 
the world, too good for him. Whatever temptations he con- 
quers, whatsoever sin he slays, whatsoever piece of gallantry 
or prowess he hath ilonc in his inroads upon Satan's kingdom, 
he gives the honour of all to the valour, conduct, and assist- 
ance of this liis nolile Ally and Friend. He sets the crown 
of the King of Amnion, like Joab, ujion the head of this 
King David. He hatli sucli a high esteem for God, that he 
thinks nothing well done but wlun it is done exactly as 
he would have it; he thinks e\ cry tiling then best, when it 
is done according to God's will ; and he counts it no small 
weakness to be unwilling that inlinite wisdom rather than 
folly shonlil have tiie managing of all the attiiirs of the world. 
He desires to maintain. Kjuick and lively sense of the divino 
mujesty upon his soul, and that he may here and liereafter 
give him, as hehuth infinite cause, all honour, glory, and praise, 


190 HEAVEN urox EAr.TH ; OR, 

6. Another effect of this ac(juaintance Avith God is this: 
it would put abundance of life and vigour into the soul ; it 
would, as it were, oil the wheels, and set them a-running. 
There are none in the world that act at so liigh a rate as 
those do who are most acquainted with God. Oh, how in- 
defatigable are they in their pains ! With what earnestness 
and faith do they pray, as if they saw the glorious God be- 
fore them, and were talking with him ! With what rever- 
ence, seriousness, and delight do tliey read, meditate, and 
hear the word, and do all that they do! They know in 
some measure what it is to present their bodies and souls as 
a living sacrifice to God through Christ ; they understand 
what it means to be fervent in spirit, serving the Lord, 
^uch a man will not serve God with what cost him notliing ; 
kneeling down, and saying a few formal words before God 
in the evening, repeating the Lord's prayer, and the creed, 
and the ten commandments, between sleeping and waking, 
doing nobody any wrong, and the like, is not enough to 
serve his turn ; his conscience will not be thus put off'; but 
he labours with all his might to stir up his soul to lay hold 
upon God ; he is not content to go off" from his knees with- 
out his Father's blessing. This is the friend and acquaint- 
ance of God ; this is the brave Israelite, that spiritual prince, 
that will not let God go till he hath jirevailed with him. 
He doth not go to his work as if he cared not whether he 
worked or no ; he is not sick of the service of God, but he 
rejoices and works righteoxisness ; his work is his pleasure, 
and he goes on merrily with his business. Those that are 
intimately acquainted with God are not so cold, faint, and 
dull in the service of God as others be. Such a one as 
knows God very well, and hath been oft made Avelcome by 
him, why, he comes with a great deal of confidence, and 
knocks at God's door, and, for his part, lie will not go away, 
though the door be not presently opened ; but he continues 
knocking, because he is sure that his Friend is within ; he 
knows that he is never from home, and that he can never 
come unseasonably to him. He comes to prayer as if he 
were going to storm heaven, he gets spiritual things by 
violence j he comes to duty as to fight for a crown j he is 


ashamed to oHer the lame and the hlind to God, hut lie 
chooseth for him the best in liis flock; he desires to improve 
his interest in God to the height; this favourite of heaven 
comes frequently to the King to beg some great thing or 
other; and he is sure that his Friend will deny him nothing 
tliat it is not a greater kindness to deny than give ; lie 
knows that his King hath a large purse, and as large a heart, 
and he is not ^\•illing to lose such excellent things that are 
to be had for the asking for; he is not ignorant that spiritual 
tilings are worth the seeking for, and therefore he will seek, 
and seek earnestly ; he hath tried more than once, and he 
remembers to his joy, that wonderful things are to be had, 
if we will but take pains for them, and prefer our petitions, 
or rather get them preferred by that great Master of requests 
the Lord Jesus Christ, and follow our business closely, that 
it cannot possilily miscarry, let it be what it will ; the com- 
fort in enjoying will abundantly pay all the charges we can 
l)c at in seeking ; therefore he lays about him as one that is 
in good earnest ; the confidence that he hath in the good 
will of God, puts life into all his petitions. A jioor creature 
that very rarely enjoys any communion with God, that is 
very little or not at all acquainted with him, is ready to 
take up witli a few formal compliincntal performances; he 
is weary of his work before he hath well begun it; he is 
quickly out of breath; but now, one that is very well ac- 
f|uainted with God is not so ;;()oii weary of his company; 
it may be, he may be somewhat cold when he sets out, but 
when he hath gone a few turns with his Friend, his blood 
grows waira ; he is sometimes so taken up with God in 
duty, that he can .scarce tell when to have done. Oh, ho 
thinks it is good being tliere ! Oh, it was a sweet sea.son! 
Tiiese are the actings and experiences of some noble souls. 
I liavc heard some Christians say, that Iiail not (Jod made 
it their duty to follow tiicir c'll lings, they coukl be glad 
with all tliiir hearts to do nothing else, day or night, but 
hoar the niy.steries of God's love in Christ opened, read, 
]:ray, meditate, and be immediately engaged in the service 
of God! Sure .something is the matter with these persons 
more than ordinary, that their palate should be so spiritual- 


ized, as that it is their food, their wine, their dainties, to be 
actually employed in the great acts of religion. The more 
any one is acquainted with God, the more delight he takes 
in the ordinances of God ; as one of God's children, he de- 
sires the sincere milk of the word. Before he was acquainted 
with God, he found it far otherwise ; then nothing almost 
would down with him, the pure word could not he relished, 
except it was adulterated with flourishes of human wit. 
He had very little appetite to good wholesome food, his 
stomach Avas ready to turn at it, except it were so cooked, 
and sauced, and set out, that an imderstanding man could 
scarce tell what to make of it. "What do you say to this, 
you that are so faint and cold in what you do in tlie ser- 
vice of God 1 Come a little nearer, get better acquainted 
with God, and you shall find such entertainment from liim, 
that you will scarce he pble to keep long from his house ; 
get oft into his company, and you shall feel your soul 
strengthened with new spirits, animated with a strange life, 
heat, and warmth. You will not complain that the Sabbath 
is the longest day in the week; you will not say, "What a 
weariness IK it I when will the new mouns and sabbaths be 
at an end?" But you would think long till the Salibath- 
day come, and when it is come, the pleasure that you take 
in the work of that day woiild make yon think it the shortest 
day, and gone too soon : and when you have spent it in the 
most diligent attendance upon God, you would wish it were 
to begin again, or that you were to begin such a Sabbath 
as would never have un end. This is the condition of one 
that is very intimately acquainted with God ; his nearness to 
his Master makes him follow his work, and he knows he 
shall lose nothing by it; something will Le coming in ever 
and anon, which wll more than quit his cost ; so that when 
God calls, he is at hand, and readily answers, " Speak, Lord, 
for thy servant heareth." When God hath any message, 
any hot service to do, he accounts it his great honour to be 
employed in it, and saith, " Here I am, send me." I believe 
he that spoke it (Ar. Ep. 1. c. 9) might be a little confident, 
when he said, " Lay what thou wilt upon me, God, I have 
power to btar it; it tluvU nut be my burden, but my orna 


ment." Yet I am persuaded one that is acquainted with God 
can say it, and say it again in good earnest, " Lord, what wilt 
thou have me to do 1 Wilt thou have nie to preach for tiiee, 
to run through fire and water for thee, to die for thee, to 
go or come ? Lord, do but bear me company, and give me 
fctrength, and it shall be done. I can do all things through 
Clu-ist that strengtheneth me." This is one of God's cham- 
jiions ; he watches, he keeps upon his guard, he fights stoutly, 
he stands his ground, in everything he demeans himself gal- 
lantly, he quits himself like a soldier of Christ; and that 
which makes him thus valiant, is because he is so near his 
Captain. Ask P^pictetus what made Socrates do as he did, 
and he will tell you, " It was because he was a friend of 
God, his sei-vant, and partaker of his kingdom." (L. iii. c. 22.) 
This is strange language from a heathen ; but had he known 
what it was to live under the most lively sense of God's 
love, to have had such intimate converse with him as some 
Christians have had, what would he have said ? As for the 
saint that keeps close to God, he keeps close to duty ; his 
work is to serve, love, and praise God : this is his business, 
both by himself and with othei-s. 

7. Another exceilent effect of this acquaintance with God 
is, it will make a man patient under all the dispensations of 
God's providence, in all conditions to be content, in quiet- 
ness to possess his spirit. Accpiaintance witli God will make 
liim be at peace, not to open his mouth against Gud, what- 
soever lie lays upon him. What was it that kept such a 
calm in Paul's heart, when there was such a constant storm 
wltliout him ? Was it not his sense of his interest in God's 
love? Thoiigli ail tlie world were his enemies, yet as long 
as Clirist was his Friend, he doth not care ; though men 
and devils be against him, yet if God 1)e for him, he passeth 
not much upon it: though men be never so nnjubt, yet 
God will never be so, that's his comfort. It's a small mat- 
ter for him to be judged with man's judgment, as long as 
he is sure that God will acquit him; he knows that justice 
itself will do liim no wrong, iMi'iuitc goodness could not be 
unkind, and tliat wisdom itself could work glorious ettects 
out of those things which the world call evil; if he do 

194 HEAVEN UPON earth; or, 

receive evil at the liands of God, he is confident he deserves 
more ; if it be good, and but a little, he is thankful, because 
he deserved none at all. Let the worst come to the worst, 
if all the devils in hell, and all Satan's instruments upon earth 
should combine against him, as long as he is sure of the 
love of God, and that none of them all can pluck him out 
of the arms of the Almighty, he is not very much concerned; 
heaven will make amends for all : whatsoever he suffers, 
it is nothing to the displeasure of a God, it is nothing to 
everlasting burnings. He believes that if his persecutors 
knew what he knows, they would as soon eat fire as do as 
they do ; therefore he rather ])ities them than is angry with 
them, as seeing that their day is coming. How seldom 
have you either Paul or Silas complaining of their suffer- 
ings ! how rarely bemoaning their condition ! And what 
is it that makes them so patient? What have they to 
sweeten such bitter draughts ? Why, God loves them ; and 
so long, they do not much care though others hate them. 
Man's frowns cannot sink a soul to hell, nor his favour 
make one happy for ever. It is but a little while, and all 
tears shall be Avipcd away from their eyes. The kindness 
and faithfulness of God are enough to make a man hold up his 
liead cheerfully when all the world is against him. When the 
most spiritual Christians do complain, it is more of them- 
selves than of their persecutors. Oh my unbelieving heart ! 
Oh that I should love God no more ! Oh that my heart 
should be no more taken up with the great things of eternity ! 
This is the condition in which those that are most spiritual 
are, in poverty, imprisonment, banishment, and all those 
things which most call dreadful. When they come to a man 
that is much in communion with God, they find him patient, 
meek, and calm ; these are not the things wluch put him 
upon the rack ; God is his Friend, and that answers all. 

8. Another glorious effect of acquaintance Avith God is, 
that it will make all our enjoyments doubly sweet. He 
liath what he hath in love ; he need not be afraid of poison 
in any of those dainties which come from liis dearest Friend's 
table ; he may eat his meat witli a joyful heart, and not 
tremble for fear of the reckoning at last; what he enjoys is 


freely given liim ; all his dishes luwe this brave sauce, they . 
are seasoned with love, and come out of the hand of a 
Father. He that is the great Proprietor hath given him 
leave to use those things, and hath promised also to give 
liim better things than these. He knows that this is not 
his portion, that this is notliing to what he shall possess ; 
it is no small comfort to him to think that he shall never 
want anything that is needful for him ; or that if he be 
brought into some exigencies, he hath a Friend that he can 
go to when he will, and be heartily welcome ; he hath a 
portion, an estate, in another countiy that can never be 
spent, though he live at never so high a rate ; and the 
more he spends upon it, the greater it is ; he hath a key to 
that storehouse which can never be emptied, he hath an 
interest in Him in whom all fulness doth dwell : his Friend 
is noble, let him but " ask, and he shall have, seek, and he 
shall find, knock, and it shall be opened unto him." God 
is so free that he takes care of all his creatures ; yea, so 
great is liis royal bounty, that it duth largely provide for 
his enemies I And shall his friends, his children, starve ? 
Hath he not fed them in ancient days ? When his people 
were in the wilderness ho sent them their diet from his 
own house, lie fed them with angels' food. Eut if this 
should not be, if he kept them short, that maybe done with 
as great kindness to them a.s the former: fasting may fatten 
the soul more than feasting doth the body; and this makes 
all welcome. K he have a great deal, he rejoiceth to think 
that he shall have more still one day, if he have but a 
little, he is satisfied ; and so his con<lition is made more 
comfortable to him than the greatest enjoyments of the 
wicked are to them. 

9. .\iiother ett'ect of this acquaintance with God is, that it 
will make a man wise. He that, liefore he was acquainted 
with God, had not the wit to know liis friends from liis 
foes, by his C(jnverse with God is made more wise than the 
great sages and graml jiolilicians of tiie worbl. Upon liis 
acquaintance with God, he is soon able to know right from 
wrong, to distingvii>h lietwccn good and evil. He hath now 
the wi.sdom tu look after the salvation of his soul, to seek 

1D6 ■ flEAYEN UPON uarth; or, 

the kingdom of heaven in the first place, and not to be 
laughed and jeered into heU. He is so wise, that he doth 
outwit the devil himself; he doth get so much wisdom by 
his acquaintance with God, that God will reveal many of 
his great secrets to him. I know one myself that was little 
different from those who are commonly called naturals, 
whom, when the Lord had wonderfully wrought upon, and 
brought near to himself, after his converse and acquaintance 
^vith God, his very natural understanding was exceedingly 
refined, and afterward he became more discreet, and fit to 
manage worldly affairs. But, however this be, I am sure 
the knowledge of God gives understanding to the simple. 
"A good understanding have they who love the Lord: 
and the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." Con- 
verse with men of wisdom doth not a little improve a man : 
but converse with tlie wise God makes a strange alteration 
indeed, they are made wise unto salvation. Of such as these 
David thought it best to make his privy council. These are 
the persons that are the fittest to advise with in businesses 
of the greatest importance in the world ; they have learned 
the art of managing the affairs of greatest concernment with 
the greatest care and prudence. I know the wise world 
iisually looks upon such persons as the veriest fools living. 
To converse with God, to take all possible care to make 
their calling and election sure, to do wliat they can to be 
happy for ever, passes with it for a riiliculous thing, and 
inore than needs. But it is no great matter, they will 
not be beat from the work thus ; tliey should be fools in- 
deed, if such things as these should make them turn their 
backs upon God ; they will not be jeered out of heaven, they 
pass not upon man's censures. He is wise that God calls 
so, and he will be found a fool whom God saith is so. As 
for the man that is acquainted with God, all his actions 
speak him a man of prudence, one that hath a deep reach 
with him ; he is a man of an excellent foresight ; he sees 
the clouds gathering a great way offj the storm before it 
riseth, and he hides himself; in him are hid the treasures of 
wisdom ; he makes no foolish choice ; he is a child of wis- 
dom; he doth in some measure understand himself, and 


knows where his interest lies, and is faithful to it ; he makes 
no foolish bargains, when he parts with dung for diamonds, 
hrass for gold, earth for heaven, sin for holiness, present 
short-lived pleasures for sure and everlasting delights, the 
devil for God. How say you, ye mad gallants, that look 
upon the saint as a fool, and religion as a ridiculous thing'? 
Are these such foolish actings? Is it so indiscreet a choice 
to prefer heaven before hell ? If this be to be a fool, I wish 
I were more such a fool ; if this be so contemptible a thing, 
oh that I may yet be more vile I Let me say further, as 
gi-eat a folly as it is, there are none of you all hut erelong 
will wish you had been such fools. A few years v/ill make 
you all of another mind, when you see wliat those that you 
counted fools have got, and what you with your wisdom 
have lost; then let 'shear you calling them fools for choosing 
Christ for their portion, and yourself wise for despising 
liim, and choosing this present world for your portion. 
Now, it is their l)eing acquainted with God that hath made 
them thus wise ; time was that they were as very fools as 
any in the world, till they fell into God's comimny, and 
ever since that, they have acted with a great deal more 
prudence: their being much in God's company hath much 
imin-ovcd them. They may thank God for all that skill 
that they have attained to, for he it is that taught them ; 
lie is always at their elbow to direct them ; when they are 
about to be cheated, lie whispers them in the ear, lets them 
understand the fraud ; and when God speaks, they listen to 
his C(jun.iel. It was no falsehood wliich Seneca spake (though 
he understood not the meaning of this doctrine of recon- 
ciliation) in the commendation of wisdom. "Wisdom," 
Baith he, "is a great, spacious thing; it instructs lis botli in 
divine and human things, it teachcth a man how to demean 
himself in relation to things past, present, and to come: it 
informs him about tilings that are fading, and things that 
ai-e lasting; and liy it he knows how to jiut a true estimate 
and value on both : this leanis one the difference between 
time and eternity." Thus far Seneca. Ihit wlicre is this 
wisdom to lie found ? Not in Aristotle or Plato's writings: 
the gnmd zutixims of this wisdom were little understood in 


tlie Peripatetic or Stoic schools; flesh and blood, human 
Avisdom improved to the height, reveal not these things to 
us. Where then is this wisdom to be found ? and where 
is the place of understanding ? ]Man knows not the price 
of it naturally. " The depth saith, It is not in me ; it cannot 
be got for silver, &c. Destruction and death say, We have 
heard the fame thereof with our ears." There is talk of 
wisdom in hell ; there they can say what reports were made 
to them of the excellencies of Christ, and how earnestly 
they were offered to be instructed in the ways of wisdom. 
But in hell there is no Avisdom, though a Avorld of them, 
■which by their wisdom knew not God, be there. Where, 
then, is wisdom? God understands the way of it, and he 
teacheth man wisdom, and those that will come to him and 
sid^mit to his instructions, may learn : the lesson is short, 
yet learnt but by few. He tells man, that to fear and love 
his Maker, and to be brought into union, friendship, and 
acquaintance with God, that is wisdom ; and to depart from 
iniquity, that is understanding, Job xxviii. 12, &c. 

10. Another effect of this acquaintance with God is, it 
will make a man rich. As soon as any one is acquainted 
with God, he is set in a thriving way. I\lan at the iirst had 
his estate in his own hands, and he kept up his trade for a 
little time, and but for a little time ; for though his stock 
was great, yet meeting with the serpent, that great cheater, 
he was miserably oven-eached, and so sadly impaired in his 
spiritual estate, that he broke presently; and had not Jesus 
Christ stepped in and bailed him, and been his Surety, he 
would soon have had all his creditors upon his back, and 
have l^een laid up in that dismal prison, till he should have 
paid the utmost farthing; but through the kindness of 
Christ, the grand Creditor had patience, and offers to make 
xq) tile business, and to compound upon better terms than 
the sinner could possibly expect. Christ undertakes to heal 
the infinite breach, to bring God and man acquainted, and 
to set him up again in case he will but accept of the gracious 
terms of agreement ; and thus undone man, that was before 
in a beggarly condition, upon his return to God, is set in a 
better way than ever; God, liis Friend, now takes such order 


for him, that he shall be sure never to break again ; he will 
be his Casli-kceper, he Avill have the ovei-sight of all, he will 
teach him such an art, that he shall be sure to get by every- 
thing that he trades in; he shall gain by his losses, grow 
rich by his poverty, and drive the best trade, it may be, when 
lie is forced to shut his shop-doors, I mean in a time of 
violent persecution. Whatsoever losses or crosses come, he 
is sure he shall never be undone as long as his Friend hath 
so great a bank ; he hath a key, and he can go to an infinite 
treasury when he pleaseth, and fetch out supplies for any 
exigencies or occasions ; and when all those that made such 
a great show in the world, and that were taken for mer- 
chants that were exceeding well to pass, shall be proclaimed 
bankrupts, and be found not worth a farthing, and be car- 
ried to prison for debt, then he hath money in his purse, 
coin that will go current in any country. In the meantime, 
though he be thuught to be worth nothing, to drive but a 
pitiful poor trade, yet, when he comes to die, and when an 
exact inventory is taken of all that he is worth, he is found 
worth thousands: and no wonder, when he hath such a 
Partner, who will be sure to see that his business shall be 
managed to the best advantage, and that he shall never be 
out of purse : upon this account, the man cannot choose but 
thrive ; he will have something to show for his gains, when 
others have nothing. When the rich ones of the world 
shall be begging a drop of water, he is at the fountain. If 
you would t;ik(! a survey of that man's estate that is ac- 
quainted with God, you must lift up your eyes to those 
everlasting hills, you must look east, west, north, and south; 
all this is his, things present, and things to come; mount 
up to the top of Carmel ; your sight is too short, you see not 
tlie Iniudrcdtli part of his inheritance ; all this is nothing: 
he hath a brave estate in another country ; he is rich in 
bills and bond'^; when he comes to age, he will have no 
man know what falls to him. And whence hath he all this 
Jvealth / Hath lie not got every penny of it since he was 
ac(iuainted with God? But I shall bo but brief upon this 
liead, because I have handled what miglit have fallen in 
here before ; Init the world laughs when 1 speak at this rate, 


and tliinks that I am much mistaken. Godly men rich ! 
That's strange! What, rich, Avith scarcely clotlies to their 
back I rich, and fare so hardly ! rich, and possess nothing! 
This is strange wealth. I grant it is ; it is so, fur their estate 
is in invisibles ; it is not he that possesseth much, but he 
that wants little, that is rich. Will you call nothing riches 
but gold and silver, and houses and lands 1 Are virtue, grace, 
holiness, no riches 1 And will you call these little because 
he hath not so much trouble and vexation with his estate 
as some have 1 Are heaven, glory, the everlasting enjoyment 
of God nothing? Is the possessing that which is more 
worth than a thousand worlds, no riches ? If to have all 
things that are good for them ; if to have more than their 
hearts can conceive ; if to be filled with all spiritual plenty 
be counted poverty ; let me be thus poor, rather than enjoy 
the revenue of all the princes and great ones of the world. 
And what do you think of this, you that are worth never a 
penny 1 Are you desirous to have a great estate ? You that 
go backward, and get nothing, would you be set in such a 
way as that you may be sure never to oreak 1 Why then, 
get acquainted with God, and you cannot but grow rich. 

11. Another glorious effect of acquaintance with God is, 
that it makes a man like God, which is the top of the crea- 
ture's honour. Company is of an assimilating nature. He 
that before was unholy, and like the devil, by conversion to 
God, and converse with him, is made holy like God. He 
that before was cruel, fiery, unmerciful, by his acquaintance 
with God is made kind, meek, and lovely. He that in 
his natm'al state was a nonconformist to the laws of his 
Maker, when he is well studied in this point, is the stiffest 
conformist; he sticks close to the righteous canons of the 
holy God, and will not by his good will turn to the right 
hand or to the left. He that was sometimes very unlike 
God, when he is brought nigh unto him, his countenance is 
changed, his featm-es are altered, and the lineaments of 
God's image appear very lively in his face ; and the more he 
is in God's company, and the older he grows, the more he 
gTows hkc him. Oh how doth such a one shine ! What a 
majesty, glory, and beauty i» there m his face ! The oftener 


he comes to God, the more he is taken with his excellency, 
the more he labours to imitate him. He studies what God 
is ; and as far as his nature is capable of it in this life, he 
desires to be like him. If God be true and faithful, he dare 
not be false, but ho will hate the way of lying; if God be 
free and bountiful, he thinks it verj' ill becomes one of his 
children to hide his face fi-om his own flesh, to shut up his 
bowels, to be void of natural affection. If jjurity be so emi- 
nent in God, he knows that imi)urity would not be com- 
mendable in himself. In a word, he desires in eveiything 
to carry himself as one whose highest ambition is to speak, 
act, and think as one that would be like God. It was 
bravely spoken of him, (Sen. Ep. xxxvii.,) especially if we 
consider wliat the man was, who told his friend that called 
him to heaven, in compendivm, " To get as much happiness 
as this place, this soul, while in this body, is capable of; 
that is, to get God for his Friend, to be like him." This is 
a short cut to glory, a soul carried to heaven, or heaven 
brought down to the soul. A full antl perfect conformity 
and likeness to God is the very glory of glory ; and a par- 
tial conformity to him upon earth is an unspeakable honour 
in this life. Oh, were men and women l)etter accpiainted with 
God, they would sparkle and shine in their generation, so 
that their enemies should be forced to say that a saint is 
another kind of creature than a sensual sinner. Oh, why 
stand you then so far oli' from God ? Come nearer him, and 
the rays of his glorious image will reflect from your lives. 
Be acquainted with him, and you shall l)e like hiui; keep 
much in his compjuiy by faith, secret prayer, and medita- 
tion, and yuu will be more holy, divine, and spiritual. 

12. The last effect of thisac(iuaintancc with God which I 
shall name is this, it will make a man better, far more ex- 
cellent in all states and relations; all his friends will h;ivo 
the better life with him, the whole family, it may be, where 
he dwells, will fare the better for him. If he l)e a child, ho 
is mon^ dutiful to his jiarents thau he was wliile he was 
unacciuaiutcd with (iod. If lie be a servant, lie i.s more 
diligent ami faithful than before ; he serves not with eye- 
bervice, but iloth what he doth with singleness of heart, as 


unto the Lord. If he be a master, it makes him more 
exemplary, and makes him take care that his household 
should serve the Lord ; he had rather his servants should 
make bold with him than God, he is concerned for the hon- 
our of God in his family, as much as liis own. If he be a 
father, he is careful to bring up his children for God ; he is 
more spiritual in his affections to them, and desirous to 
leave them God for their Father, Friend, Portion. As he is 
a neighbour, he follows peace with all men, and holiness, 
because he hath seen God. How sweet and amiable doth 
acquaintance with God make a man ! how ready to heal 
divisions ! how full of goodness and charity ! how ready 
to do good unto all, but especially to those that be of the 
household of faith ! how compassionate and tender-hearted ! 
how ready to provoke others to love and good works : so 
tliat the whole parish lives the quieter, all the poor fare the 
better, all the neighbourhood, some way or other, is behold- 
en to him. One tliat knows God himself doth what he can 
to get others acquainted with God too. How sweetly doth 
he commend the way of wisdom ! With what earnestness 
and pity doth he plead with sinners, and labour to teach 
transgressors the paths of God, that sinners may l)e con- 
verted unto him ! How doth he set l^efore them the neces- 
sity of a cliange, the danger of their present state, and the 
excellent qualities of this Friend tliat he would bring them 
acquainted with ; telling them that time was that he also 
■v\as as they are, and thought his condition as safe as they do 
theirs ; but that it pleased the Lord by his word to open liis 
eyes, and to reveal to him the need that he had of Christ, and 
to enable him to accept of him, and to prize him above the 
whole world. In all conditions and relations, he commends 
religion, and shows that godliness, where it is in the power 
and life of it, is a brave thing, which makes so great an 
alteration in a man for the better. If he be sick, he rejoiceth, 
and thinks cheerfully of death, the grave, and eternity ; and 
in this state demeans himself so, that standers-by cannot 
but be convinced of the reality of invisibles, and to think, 
surely there is something more tlian ordinary in acquaintance 
A\ith God, which makes men so undaunted, and with m 


iniicli gallantry to meet death ; surely their condition is bet- 
ter than ours, or else they could never be so joyful at such 
a time as this is. Then he tells of the use of a Christ, the 
benefit of a Kedeemer in a dying hour, and how infinitely 
it is for their interest in time to provide for eternity. If 
he be well, he desires to improve his health for God, and to 
serve his Maker with the strength of body and soul. If he 
be poor, he shows a pattern of patience, meekness, thank- 
fulness, and lets the world understand that godliness with 
content is great gain ; if he be rich, he desires to be rich in 
good works also, and to trade with such trifles as gold and 
silver, for rich commodities, as grace, peace, and glory, with 
the things of this world for the things of another; to lay up 
fur himself treasure which neither moth can corrupt, nor 
thieves break through and steal, and to make to himself a 
friend of the imrighteous mammon ; to be a faithful steward 
of those talents that his great Lord and Master hath com- 
mitted to his trust: he shows how great a good it is to 1)e 
great and good too. This is the man who doth adorn tlie 
Gospel; this is the Christian who doth credit his profcssicm; 
this it is to be intimately acquainted with God! Oh how 
useful might men ami women be in their generations, were 
they but more in God's company ! Oh what a savour would 
there be of their graces in the place where they live ! How 
would poor cnaturiv'-, that receive good by their holy coun- 
sels and suita])le lives, bless God for the day that ever they 
were born, and adore that goodness whicli lirought them 
near sucii and such a one, liy whose means God hath brought 
them out of the vassalage and captivity of Satan, and by 
■whose help they have got acquainted with a Friend that is 
moro worth to them than a world ; for one that hath God 
for his Friend cannot but desire that others also should 
have an interest in biiu ; ho knows how ill it will go with 
them that know not (iod, and tliis makes him do what 
he can to bring God and man acquainted; he would 
make those that are good better, and those that are bad 
good? If those that he convcises with, or stands related 
to, are enemies, he lets thena know that a Christian can 
love them dearly whose sin he hates entirely, and that a 


child of God can pity them that have no pity at all for him. 
I might add, how oft are a great many wicked ones spared 
fi'om temporal judgments, for the sake of the righteous 
that are amongst them. 


The next head of motives to enforce this exiiortation 
might be taken from the danger of not being acquainted 
with Grod. If you could live securely without God, and be 
in a safe condition though you still remained a stranger to 
him, the business then were not so very considerable ; if you 
could find any in heaven that could do as much for you as 
God can, I should not be so earnest with you to get an in- 
terest in his favour ; if you could by any means possible be 
everlastingly happy any other way ; if without this Friend 
get to heaven, and without liis alliance avoid utter ruin, I 
should have had the less reason to use so much importunity; 
I might then possibly have spared myself the trouble of 
speaking these things, and you the trouble of hearing them. 
But when I see and know that it is as much as your life 
and soul are worth, to slight and undervalue the motions 
that I am now making to you in Clirist's stead, how can I 
with any faithfulness and love to yoiu" souls hold my peace? 
How can I stand looking upon men and women that are 
about to murder their own souls, and forbear crying out? 
How can I endure seeing poor creatures nmning with all tlie 
speed they can to that dismal place from whence there is 
no redemption, and not endeavour to stop them? Would 
you have me so cruel to your souls, as not to tell that which 
doth infinitely concern their well-being? for, let me tell 
you, God will not stand neuter ; he will be either for you 
or against you ; he is the Lord of hosts, and he will fight on 
one side or other. Now, see to your matters, as the nature 
of them doth require. What do you think of having a God 
against you ? If God be against you, who will be for you ? 
"Tlierc is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked." The 
safest condition you can bo in, while God is your enemy, is 
sadly hazardous ; such a one hangs by a twined thread over 
everlasting llame^; he stands upon the brink of that bot- 


tomless pit, and one shove, one slip, sends liim going fur 
ever; he stands \ipon a pinnacle, which one little blast may 
blow him off and then v>-here is the man to all eternity? 
If he fall thence, there is no rising again ; if he once go into 
that other world, there is no recovery of liim, if one would 
give a world to bring him back again. I say it again, if 
God be not your Friend, he will be yom- enemy: and what 
do you think of such an enemy ? It is but a word, a look 
and they fall. Let me tell you, that except you speedily 
humble vourselves, vou shall iind that we do not make the 
danger greater than it is : " according to his fear, so is his 
wrath." You may know soon enough to your cost, what the 
displeasure of a God is, how dreadful his arrows, how sharp 
his sword. Not a man of them shall escape that will not 
accept of peace upon his terms, and that quickly too. Oh 
that will be a sad day, when God shall say, " Bring them 
out and slay them before my face." If God be your enemy, 
who do you tliink will be your friend ? To which of the 
saints and angels will you fl}' ] Where will you go for 
shelter against the storm of that terrible One I What ar- 
mour will defend you against the dint of his weapons? 
What in the world can stand that man in any stead that 
hath such an adversary, especially when he comes to give 
his dehnitive sentence against him for high treason ? Dives 
may say, Father; and Abmham, Son : but what comfort, for 
all that, had the miserable child from his holy father? 
Doth he not, instead of cooling liis tongue with a drop of 
water, lay more burning coals upon it, and if it be possible, 
make the heat of it greater ? " 8<jn, remember that thou in 
i]iy lifetime hadst thy good things." Thus Abraham, by 
])utting him in mind what his condition was, makes him with 
the greater sorrow to feel what it is. The memory of former 
joys under present sorrows makes them sting the more. 
Well then, if you would not hereafter rellect witii an aching 
lieart upon your lost enjoyments, think with a serious ami 
thankful heart of the jiresent otters, that you inny in eternity 
reflect with joy ujjon your short sorrows in time. If you 
will not be ac(iLainteil with God, you shall be acquainted 
with the devil, and know whose company is best by wofuli 



experience. If yoii will not believe his word, you shall feel 
his sword. If liis kindness and goodness will not melt you, 
his power and justice shall break you ; for he that now is so 
patient will erelong roar like a lion, and tear in pieces, 
and there shall be none to deliver; he will break his stub- 
born enemies with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces 
like a potter's vessel. Those that will not know his love 
shall know something else ; I will not say what, for it is 
inexpressible. But only this remember: it is such a God 
that you will have to deal with, before whom the mountains 
quake, and the hills remove out of their places, before whom 
'the great tyrants of the world have fallen ; and shall you 
stand? Where are all those giants? Where are the inha- 
bitants of the old world"? What is become of Nimrod, that 
mighty hunter, and all his fellows ? Where are all those 
daring sinners that scorned to accept of a pardon, mercy, and 
• peace, and that had the coiu'age to grapple with Omnii^otency 
itself? Who got the day ? AVho had the Avorst of it at last ? 
And art thou stronger than they ? Is thy power greater, 
thy understanding deeper, thy allies more considerable 
than theirs? A fly may be too hard for Pharaoh; but 
•Pharaoh can never be too hard for God. .Because judgment 
is not speedily executed against thee, thou thinkest there- 
fore, it may be, it is because God cannot deal with thee, and 

■ upon this account thy heart is fully set in thee to do wick- 
edly ; but know thou, for all this, that God will bring tliee 

•to judgment. Consider this, that as fair as it seems to be 

■ now, the winds may rise, the clouds may gather of a sudden, 
the heavens may be overcast iii a moment ; and what will 
you do then? When heaven and earth shall be in a flame, 
then you will be scraping acquaintance with God ; then 

' you will be glad to be owned by him ; then you would will- 
•ingly Christ should take notice of j-ou, and say, " You blessed 

■ of my Father ;" then you will stand at the door and knock, 
-and cry, and pray, and plead, and say, "Lord, Lord, have I 

not been oft at tliy house? have I not eat at thy table, 
-and taught in thy name in our streets?" And yet thou 
shalt be dismissed with this short and sharp answer, "De- 
part, I know you not," IIow do you like such an answer 


8S this is? How \vill j-ou take it, when you stand begging 
at the door for one crumb of mercy, one drop of Christ's 
blood, ti) be sent away with a bitter scorn and denial, or 
else to be answered with silence? Whereas you were in- 
vited to the feast as well as those that went in, and you 
Would not licar, though God sent messenger after messenger 
to fetch you ; you thought your oxen better company than 
your Clod ; you took more pleasure in your dogs than in 
the hunting after those nobler things. What do you think 
of such expostulations as these? What replies can you 
make to these accusations ? Erelong you will thid these 
things realities ; erelong all your friends will be dead and 
gone ; and if they would help you, they cannot ; your estate 
will be consumed, your houses will all be burnt ; all your 
attendants, except care and fear, will shortly forsake you; 
your gold and silver will not erelong be worth a rush ; and 
■what will you do then ? nay, the greatest friends that you 
liad will become your enemies. Little do you tliink, as 
kind as they seem to be, what your good fellows, the world 
and the devil, will do against you. Little do you think how 
false your fi-icnds will prove when it conus to that, that 
they see that all is going. Then tliey also will helj) for- 
ward your ruin. Those that you durst have trusted your 
life with, will accuse you and help to cast you. Those who 
t-ncouraged to sin will witness against you for sin ; your 
good fellows, your confederates in wickedness, your dear 
friends, that you loved more than God, that you did not 
spare to venture your life and soul for; oh! it will make 
your heart ache to see such come in against you, whom you 
thought loved you so dearly ! Oh ! to have a wife, a child, a 
liusband, an old friend, to come before the Judge, and to 
make known such things as you hoi)ed had been Ijuried for 
ever ! It will make your ears tingle, to hear one crying out, 
Lord, if it had not been for him, 1 had turned and repented ; 
it's owing to him that I am in this woful condition ; I was 
resolved many a time and oft to seek after anotlier world, 
and to provide for my soul, but he would not let me alone ; 
when I began to be serious, he laughed and jeered me, and 
would never beat fjuiet till he had made mc aa bud an liiniself ; 


he carried me from the alehouse to the tavern, from thence 
to a playhouse, from a playhouse to a whorehouse, from 
thence to the liighway, from thence to the gaol, from the gaol 
to the gallows, and from thence I came liither ; and I may 
thank him for all this. Oh how will men look when they 
see the hest friends that they had come in thus against 
them ! This 'tis to trust to faithless friends ; this 'tis to 
make light of acquaintance with God. Your gold and sil- 
ver will be a witness against you, and will eat your flesh as 
with a canker; your children, relations good and bad, will 
speak bitter things against you ; your own family will curse 
you, and say, Lord, we never heard anything of God, except 
in an oath, from his mouth ; we never heard anything of re- 
ligion, except it were in derision of it, inhis family; and those 
of us that were a little serious, and began to think of our souls, 
he would snub and browbeat, and never give us a kind look 
till we did as he did. Nay, the devil, who now doth so much 
flatter sinners, and make them beheve that he is so much their 
friend, will then show himself; he will then be as cruel as 
he now seems kind ; he that now tempts to sin so impetuously, 
will hereafter accuse for sin violently, and torment for siu 
immercifuUy. The people of God, who weep over sinners, 
and pi-ay for them, and Avish them well Avith their souls, 
will then see justice executed upon their nearest relations 
without the least sorrow ; nay, they also will come in against 
them too, and say, Lord, I told them of this woful day. O 
Lord, thou knowest I forewarned them of that which is now 
come to pass, I pleaded with them with all the compassion 
that I could, and they scorned my pity, they would not 
pity themselves, but made light of that glory which they 
are going from, and of that hell they are going to ; and now, 
Lord, thou art just and righteous, that thou hast thus 
judged them. This will be the language of those that are 
your best friends; the people of God will be your ene- 
mies one day, if you will not now mind the making of 
your peace with God ; they must and will be on God's side 
against all the world ; they must and will take part with 
their Friend, and clear Ixim when he judges, and justify him 
when he condemns you. Oil that you who are now strangers to 


God would Init consider of these tilings ! Oh that you would 
but think what this battle may be, where the combatants 
are so unequal ! Stand still, sun, in the valley of Ajalon, 
till the Lord have avenged him of his enemies ! Muster 
yourselves, ye stars, and light in your courses against 
those miserable sinners that have waged a war against 
their ]Maker ; plant your mighty cannons, shoot down huge 
hailstones, arrows of tire, and hot thunderbolts ! Oh ! how 
do the wounded fall ! How many are the slain of the Lord, 
multitudes in the Valley of Decision, for the day of the Lord 
is terrible. Behold God's enemies falling by thousands, be- 
hold the garments rolling in bluod, hear the prancing of his 
terrible ones, the mountains are covered with horses and 
chariots of fire. God's soldiers iiin from one place to an- 
other with their flaming swords in their hands, armed with 
the justice of God, jealousy, power, and indignation ! Oh 
the dreadful slaughter that is made ! IMillions, millions fall ; 
they are not able to stand ; not one of them can lift up his 
hand ; their hearts fail them ; paleness and trembling hath 
seized upon the stoutest of them all. The bow of the Lord is 
strong : from the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, 
the bow of the Lord turneth not back, the sword of the Al- 
mighty returns not empty. How do the mighty ones fall in 
the midst of this battle ! A hot battle indeed, in which none 
escape ! AVho is he that cometh from Edom, with dyed gar- 
ments from Bozrali ? He that is glorious in his apparel, and 
travelling in the greatness of his strength, the Lord of hosts is 
his name. "Wlicrefore art thou red in thya]iparel,and thygar- 
nients like him that treadetli the wine-fat? 1 have ti-odden the 
winepress alone, and of the peoj)le there was none vnth me. 
For I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my 
fun,', ami their bluod shall be sprinkled upon my garments, 
and I will stain all my raiment ; for the day of vengeance is 
in my heart, and the year of my redemption is come. And 
I will tread down the ])cople in mine anger, and make them 
drunk in my fury; and 1 will bring down their strength to 
the earth : the liand of the Lord shall be kno^vn, the power 
of the mi'^hty Jehovah shall be felt, and his indignation to- 
wards his enemi','S. For behold he will come with fire and 


with chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger witli 
fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire : for by fire and' 
by his sword will he plead with aU flesh: and the slain of 
the Lord shall be many, and the saints shall go forth and 
look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed 
against me. For their A\orm shall not die, neither shall 
their fire be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrhig unto 
all flesh. Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire, and 
brimstone, and a horvil)le tempest. Tliis shall be the por- 
tion of their cup ! Tbis it is to fight against God ! Tliis it 
is to defy the Lord of hosts ! This it is to refuse a peace that 
would have been so unspeakably advantageous ! To speak 
a little plainer, this is all that sinners are like to get by 
their standing it out against the tenders of grace and mercy. 
And are you still desirous to engage in tliis di-eadful war ] 
Will you still bid defiance to the xilmighty, and make no- 
thing of such things as you have heard of? Is the loss of 
your blood, the loss of yom- soul, your utter undoing for 
ever, no great matter vnih you ? Well then, go on, bold 
sinnei-, arm thyself cap-a-pie, gird thy sword upon thy 
tliigh, get thy shield and buckler ready, prepare to meet thy 
God. Go up, thou valiant warrior, and let's see thy valour, 
behold thy enemy hath taken the field ; go up and look thy 
God in the face if thou dai-est ; come, show tbyself a mark 
for God, and turn not thy back like a coward, venture upon 
the mouth of the cannon. Rusli upon the tliick bosses of 
God's buckler, if you long to perisli everlastingly. You 
have heard wliat the war will cost you ; and as you like it 
now, do. And what, do you laugh at all this ? Well, then, 
go on, but be it upon your peril, your blood be upon your 
o\\'n soul. As for me I could not have said much more 
than I have to dissuade you from this desperate enterprise ; 
I foresee what a case you will bo in, when you are in 
the heat of the battle, and I desire to weep in secret for 
thee, as one that will most certainly be undone, if thou dost 
not speedily alter thy mind ; wherefore my loins are filled 
with pain, pangs have taken hold upon me as the pangs of 
a woman that travailleth, I am bowed down at the thoughts 
of thy misery, I am dismayed at the seeing of thy destruc- 


tion. The sinner ventures fur all this ! He is marched 
into the field! Set a watchman; let him declare what he 
seeth. Who meets that furious wretch? A lion, a lion 
roareth ; he is torn in pieces, and none can save him ; he is 
gone, he is gone ! He is gone for ever ! And who may the 
madman thank for all this? Who could help it? He 
would venture, though ho was told as much. Well then, 
see what's like to liefuU the enemies of God. You hear 
what is like to l)e the condition of all them that will not be 
acquainted with God. First or last, you likewise may be- 
hold what a case you yourself shall be in ere it be long, 
except you do speedily repent of your folly, and meet your 
adversary in the way, and humble yourself before the mighty 
Jehovah. Speak quickly ! What will you do ? Turn, or 
burn ; repent, or die ! Yet you do but hear, you do not 
feel ; but thousands and millions feel what the displeasure 
of God is, what the breach of his covenant is, and what 
the effects of a war with the Lord of hosts are. Oh, be 
wise by their falls ; let their destruction be your instruction ; 
take heed what you do, lest you be the next that God shall 
deal with as an enemy. As yet God offers to be friends 
with you ; but wliether God will do as much to-morrow as 
he doth to-day, I do not know. I tell you but so ; it is hard 
putting it to the venture. Remember you had large proffers 
of grace and pardon made to you ; God hath sent us to let 
you know his will and pleasure, and we demand of you 
from him to give us your answer speedily. And what, can-» 
not you yet resolve ? Is it so difficult a business to deter- 
mine what to fix upon ? foolish people and unwise ! 
unspeakable madness ! How just must their condemnation 
needs l)e, who are offered salvation so often, and refuse it ! 
who arc so oft told of damnation, anil yet run into it I in a 
word, who might have God for their Friend, and had rather 
liave him for their Enemy ! 

4. The next heail of motives by which I miglit enforce 
this duty of acquaintance witli God, may l)e taken from 
the examples of them who made all the friends they can get 
acf]uainted with God. Behold a cloud of witnesses, who 
(lo all with one consent bpeak high in the commendation of 


till' friend whom I am persuading you all that I can to 
be acquainted with. Are you wise' than all your neighbours? 
is the ignorant objection of some that would take it very 
heinously if we should call them fools, when we put them 
upon a serious diligence in pursuit of the best things. Why, 
let me retort this objection upon themselves. Are you 
wiser than Enoch and Noah 1 Have you more understand- 
ing than Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob ? Have you more wit 
than David? Are you wiser than Heman, Daniel, and 
many others of those brave worthies who were the wonders 
of the world, the nonsuches of their age, and a pattern to 
future generations? This was the greatest piece of their 
wisdom, to walk with God ; tliis was the best of their policy, 
to get so potent an Ally ; this spake them to be men of a 
deeper reach and a larger understanding than others, be- 
cause they made it their business to get acquainted with 
God, and thus to make their interest as large as heaven, 
and their peace and prosperity as sure as the oath of a God 
could make it. Do you think that all these men were 
mistaken ? Did their %\'isdom lie only in a prudent manage- 
ment of their worldly affairs to the best advantage 1 What, 
then, did they mean, some of them, by leaving all that they 
had so cheerfully upon the command of God ? Dare you 
Bay that they prized the favour of God at too high a rate ? 
As for their parts, they thought they could not value such 
a friend as God too much. What else was the meaning of 
their longing, panting, and breathing after him? Why 
else are they so glad of his comimny, his presence ? How 
loath were they to do anything that might be in the least 
displeasing to him ! What bitter moans did they make, if 
he did but withdraw a while, if he did but a little absent 
himself from them ! How wonderfully desirous were they 
of enjoying communion with him ! How earnest to live in 
his house for ever ! Dare you say that they were all fools 
and madmen fur refusing the embraces of this present world, 
for sUghting its smiles, and undervaluing its gi'catest kind- 
nesses, and choosing that favour of God, though with the 
scorns and reproaches of the world, rather than to hazard 
Iiis anger, whose wrath burns to the bottom of hell? B^^ 


hold, what a glorious company, as these stand upon i\Iount 
Zlon with harps in their hands, -with those hundred 
and' forty and four thousand, and the Lamb, with an in- 
numcraljle multitude of all nations, people, and languages ! 
Why, all these were uf the friends and acquaintances 
of God, or else they had never had those crowns, robes, 
and palms in their hands. Now, why should not our souls 
be as dear to us as theirs were to them 1 Will not heaven 
be as good for us as them ? Is it not as needful for 
us to get a Friend of God, as themi Will not God do as 
much for us as them, if we will but do as they did, walk 
with him ? The truth of it is, the number of them who are 
saved is but few, in comparison of the multitudes of them 
who know not God, and go the broad way ; yet, for all that, 
take them absolutely, they are abundance ; so many that 
the Scripture saith they are innumerable. Do but read over 
the history of some of their lives, turn over the holy records, 
look sometimes into those sacred chronicles, and behold how 
cheerfully they served God, how actively they followed the 
Lamb wheresoever he went, through thick and thin. Hear 
what their language is now they arc got home safe, now 
Christ hath brought them to glory, and they are at their 
Friend's house. What do they talk of ? What is their dis- 
course about I Do they complain what a sad journey they 
liad of it through a howling wilderness, after they had passed 
the Red Sea, through a thousand sorrows and trials? Do 
they say, now they are at their journey's end, that they 
are weary, and wish they had never taken so long and tedi- 
ous a journey 1 Do they not rather speak the quite contrary, 
ami that if it were to go again, they would do it with far 
more speed and cheerfulness than they did ? Listen ! hark ! 
methinks I hear them from tlie walls of the new .Jerusalem 
crying out, Come away, come away; fall on bravely; follow 
your business gallantly )nit a little while longer, and the 
city is your own ; futcli y.uir scaling-ladders, run up apace, 
iiiDUnt the ramparts, fear notliing, though the devil play his 
artillery upon you; yet it is but powder; lie shall never 
give you a mortal wound; resist him and lu- will fly, and 
tiie field is yours; tlie spoil, the crown, the honour will pay 

214 HEAVEN UPON earth; 01?, 

for your pains, blood, and danger. Fall on, brave soiils, fall 
on; the more valiant you be, the more safe you are. Me- 
thinks I hear those noble saints encouraging you to get ac- 
quaintance with God, and saying to you that are yet afar 
off. Come near. Come away, poor souls, come away ; what 
do you mean thus to delay ? Oh, little do you think what 
a Friend we now lind of God ; it was but a little, a very 
little that was told us of the excellency of Christ and the 
glories of this place, to what we experience ; it Avas no false 
report that we heard, when we w^ere upon earth, of the hap- 
piness of heaven. Oh ! here is a prize worth the running for ; 
a kingdom, a crown worth the lighting for, an estate worth 
the looking after. We have not now our stint ; we are not 
dieted with those spiritual dainties ; we have not now and 
then a sip, a draught, a bit in a corner, but we are at the 
fountain, we are daily feasted with infinite pleasures, our 
hearts are full, brim-full, they run over, we swim in an 
ocean of spiritual enjoyments ; these things are beyond your 
capacity now to understand. Were we to live upon earth 
again, and did we know what we do now know, we should 
ever pine with our earnest longing for God, the living 
God, to be in his immediate presence, and to be at that 
angelical work of praising, serving, and loving him for ever. 
Wherefore, brethren, let us encourage one another. " Come, 
let us go up to the house of the Lord ; his dwelling is in 
Salem, his palace is upon Moimt Zion." Why should not 
we go on as merrily in the paths of wisdom, as the wicked 
in the road of hell? How do the devil's champions en- 
courage and hearten one another up ! How do they laugh, 
sing, and roar, as if their life were the only life ! For shame ! 
let's tell them they lie in their teeth. Who have the best 
company, they or we 1 The patriarchs and prophets, the 
apostles and thousands of martyrs are gone singing before ; 
some of our dear relations, fathers, brethren, and sisters, are 
newly welcomed by Christ to his Father's house ; and they 
are blessing that rich mercy that hath conducted them to 
such a place, to such a Friend. We have many thousands 
of saints militant that are going along with us as fast as 
they can, and God himself will bear u§ company ; and why 


do we yet linger ? Oh that we were upon the wing ! Oh 
that our souls were like the chariots of Aminadab ! Oh that 
the Lord would strentrthen poor short-winded creatures ! Oh 
that we could run and not be weary, and walk and not faint ! 
Oh that we might have now and then a hearty meal, and 
that in the strength of them we could travel to the mount 
of God ! Oh that that acquaintance might now be happilj' 
begun, wliicii may never have an cud I Oh that God would 
visit us oft, and get into our heai-ts ! Oh that lie that gave 
those wortbies in former times so much grace, would pour 
out of the same gi-ace in abundance upon our souls 1 Oh 
that he would shed abroad his love in our hearts ! Oh that 
we could maintain a constant intercourse with him here, 
till we came to a perfect enjoyment of him in glory here- 
after ! Oh that we may see tRy face, thy blessed face, by 
fiiith ! Oh that thou wouldst cause thy glory to pass before 
us ! Oh tliat thy marvellous loving-kindness might be 
made known to a company of poor creatures of us, whose 
desire is to fear thee, who would fain love thee with the 
strength of our souls ! Oh blessed are they that love thee, 
that are l)clovcd l)y thee ! 

5. I miglit also insist upon another head of motives, which 
is named in the text, which is this : " Acquaint now thyself 
with him, and thou shalt be at peace." Though there be 
notliing but war on every side, you shall have peace. This 
]>eace of God, whatsoever you may think of it, is unspeak- 
aldy advantageous ; the benefits that would accrue to a soul 
upon tliis ])cace are infinite. It is a peace that passeth all 
understanding. When we have this peace concluded, we 
may drive a brave trade, without disturbance, for the richest 
commodities. If we are thus acquainted with God, we 
shall have such a peace as that we may laugh at the shak- 
ing of the spear, and not be much disturljed when we hear 
of dreadful things abroad in the world. He that is ac- 
quainted with God may safely venture up and down, he 
hath God's pas.s, a strong man-of-war for his convoy; he 
hath such powerful allies, that he need not fear; as long 
as he is at peace with God, he is sure not to be quite over- 
pome by man. lie is at peace with liimself ; when the air 


echoes with drums and trumpets, and the roaring of guns, a 
music that pleaseth the devil's ear, he may still rejoice, 
because he hath a bird within, which sings sweetly ; there 
is a harmony between his will and God's, a harmony be- 
tween his heart and his mouth. This is no such contemp- 
tible thing ; and if you knew what a wounded spirit, a fire 
in the bosom is, you would say so. This peace that such 
a one hath, is a well-grounded peace ; not such a peace as 
is built upon ignorance and hardness of heart, but such a 
one as results from the sense of the pardon of sin, and recon- 
ciliation with God, through the blood of Clirist : that blood of 
Christ hath washed his conscience fi-om dead works. Sins he 
had, and hath, but some of them he sees lying dead, like the 
Egyptians upon tlie shore, others striving for life, with, a 
death's wo\ind upon them ; and though he have enemies 
still living, yet they are such as shall never have the abso- 
lute dominion over him. As long as the great quarrel be- 
tween him and God is at an end, all is well enough ; the law 
hath nothing against him, all his accusers are silenced ; 
Christ hath fulfilled and satisfied the law for him ; the great 
Creator hath given a full and general acquittance ; all debts 
are discharged for him ; and therefore the man hath little 
reason to trouble liis head much with cares and fears. Now 
he may go up and down anywhere, and not fear the sergeant ; 
liis noble Surety hath paid that vast debt, he hath laid 
down the ten thousand talents upon the nail, so that the 
man is at peace with God. lie is also at peace with all the 
creatures in the world, from the glorious angels that are in 
heaven, to the meanest insect or plant ; they are so far 
from doing him any real harm, that they all are servants to 
tlie friends of God, they all stand ready to oppose their 
enemies ; and those of them that are moi-tal are ready to 
lay down their lives for one that stands thus related to God. 
For wlien any enter into covenant with God, God also 
makes a covenant for them with the beasts of the field. 
Great peace have they that love God's law, and nothing 
shall otfeud them ; such are at peace with death and the 
grave. We read of some profane monsters that made a 
covenant with death, and were at an agreement with heU ; 


but this covenant will soon be broken, because he that hath 
the keys of death and hell, the power of life and death 
never subscribed to the articles of their agreement. But 
now the godly man hath a Friend that hath made a covenant 
for him, a lirm covenant with death and hell, so that none 
of them shall ever do him the least wrong. As for death, 
Christ hath taken out its sting; as for the grave, Christ hath 
spiced and seasoned it, its power is mastered, its terrible- 
ness is taken away. It's now no prison ; Christ hath opened 
the doors of it; and now it is but a chamber of repose, a 
bed to rest in ; and he that hath already opened this door, 
when it was bolted, barred, and double-locked, can and will 
erelong open it again, and awaken his from their sleep ; and 
is this inconsiderable ? Is not such a i)cace as this is desir- 
able ] Who that is well in his wits would not be glad to be 
in so secure a condition as this peace will put him in ? And 
who are like to have the benefit of this peace but the friends 
of God I Oh, therefore, if you value your own peace, if you 
would be undisturbed from storms without and heart- 
quakes within, if you would have all the creatures in 
lieaven and earth at peace with you, if you would have 
death unstung, and the grave a chamber and not a prison, 
why then, get acquainted with God, and you shall be at 

G. The next head of motives I might take from these 
words, "Thereby good shall come unto you." "Acquaint 
yourself with him, and be at peace ; and thereby good shall 
come unto you." But I shall here be but brief. Think of 
what you will that is good for you, and if you are acquainted 
with Go<l, you shall have it fur asking for, or that which is 
far better than that whicli you desire: for the Lord God 
is a sun and a shield ; he will give grace and glory, and no 
good tiling will he withhold from them who walk uprightly ; 
that is, from those that arc acquainted with him. All his 
ways are mercy and truth to such as be in covenant with 
him, and all shall work together for good to them that love 
him. Enlarge thy desires as wide as the heavens, request 
what you will, a^k never so much, and you shall have it; 
and what would you have more ? If it be the good of profit 


that you desire, what greater gain than godliness 1 Who 
can give such rewards to his servants as God ? Who will 
give greater portions to his children than this Father ? Who 
is like to thrive better than he wlio hath such a vast stock, 
such a great trade, such quick and great returns, and, above 
all, such a Partner? Oh that those that are all for profit 
and gain, that cry out. What advantage shall it be to me if 
I serve God ? and what proiit to me, if I am acquainted with 
liim ? — oh that siich would but do that wliich will be most 
for their ])rofit ! I would desire no more of them than this. 
Oh that they would but try what a gainful trade religion 
in its power is ! The greatest merchants that ever walked 
the exchange, if they l)e not acquainted with God, and have 
not Christ for their Factor, are but pedlers to the saints. One 
that is acquainted with God gets niore in one hour, in one 
prayer, at one sermon, in one meditation, than all the rich 
men of the world are worth, put all their estates together. 
One receives his peace, the other his pounds ; the one hath, 
by way of return, a great deal of troublesome lumber, the 
other his box of precious pearls, and a jewel of an infinite 
value. Oh ! little doth the laborious worldling think what 
poor and small gains his are, when he gets most, to what 
this spiritual merchant gets ; he would not sell what he gets 
sometimes in one morning for all the riches of both the 
Indies. He trades in such commodities that will not suffer 
damage upon the sea. His vessel is light and strong ; the 
master of it never made a losing voyage. All his Avares 
are invaluable ; and though his ship be in many a dreadful 
storm, though sometimes she be becalmed, though it be 
long before she returns; yet as long as she hath such 
provisions ^vithin, such a Pilot, such anchors, she cannot 
miscarry ; she will come into the harbour richly laden. 
The world will not beUeve this; but I am sure there is never 
a man breathing, but will sooner say, that no gain is like 
the gain of Christ and glory. One return from Heaven, 
one answer of prayer, one smile from God, one look of 
love, the head of one Goliah, the death of one sin, one 
soul brought home to Christ, one drooping soul comforted, 
is a greater mercy (for all the ignorant world make nothing 


of such things as these) than to be invested -with tlie great- 
est honours, than to be possessed of all the riches, than to 
enjoy all the pleasures that the whole world can afford. 
But oh, were men's ej-es opened, were men within sight of 
those devouring flames, then they would believe that a 
Christ was worth the having, grace a pearl that cannot be 
overvalued, and that no trade was comj)arable to a spiritual 
merchant, no art like that by which one may turn every- 
thing into gold. But if it be the good of pleasure you look 
more after, can there be greater pleasures than those which 
are in the presence of God ? Can there be any greater plea- 
sures than to rejoice in God, and to be made welcome by 
him, than to drink flagons of that excellent liquor which is 
better than wine ? Can there be better music than to hear 
so manj' millions of sweet voices singing hallelujahs? Oh, 
there's a concert ! There's melody indeed! If you desire 
that other good, the good of honesty, a rare accomplishment, 
perfection of grace, purity of soul; wherewithal shall a 
young man choose his v.ays, but by taking heed thereto, 
according to His word ? V/ell then, lay all these motives to- 
gether, and let us see whether they will any whit i)revail. 
If the nature of the Person with whom I would fain have 
you acquainted, if all these admirable qualities that are in 
him (if I may so call them) may signify anything; if all 
those glorious effects of acquaintance with God weigh any- 
thing with you, one would think by this time you should be 
well resolved. If the danger of not being acquainted with 
God may make you afraid of standing it out; if good or 
evil, if peace or war, if life or death, if all this be as much 
as nothing, what then is something? If the frequent 
pleading of mercy, if the blood of Christ have any voice, if 
the expostulations of his ambassadors may be heard, why 
should you not then be persuaded ? If all this will not 
TTiDVc you, what can we say more? If we could show you 
heaven, and the glories of another world, could we let you 
see the fiice of Christ, could we any \v;iy in the world reach 
your hearts, and jjcrsuade you by any means to mind the 
things of eternal peace, we would do it with all our hearts. 
If we were sure to get you with us, and to bring you ac- 

220 HEAVEIf CPOX EAU'rn ; OR, 

(luainted with God, wc could willingly come begging on our 
liare knees to you, and beseech you to be reconciled to God. 
We see that dismal day coming, and are grieved to think 
what a sad taking you will be in then ; we know the case 
will then be altered with them who will not be persuaded 
to be reconciled to God. Uh what a woful condition will 
they be in, who have heard or read these sermons, and yet 
for all that would not mind the looking after acquaintance 
Avith God ! How will such wish that they had never been 
born, or that they had their being in some of the dark savage 
corners of the Avorld, where they might never have heard of 
the doctrine of reconciliation, being acquainted with God, 
and union with Christ, peace with their otlended Maker, 
rather than, having heard of these things, to make light 
of them ! Oh, to hear of such a Friend, and to have 
him for an Enemy ; to hear of peace, and to choose war ; 
to hear of heaven, and go to hell; this is sad indeed. 
It would have been far better for such that they had never 
known the ways of God, than, after they had known them, 
to go in the ways of folly. Oh that men and women had 
but such serious thoughts of these things as they will have 
erelong ! Oh that they would but believe heaven, and hell, 
and eternity to be such realities, as shortly they will ! Oh 
that men's hearts were but affected with things, as they 
will be when their souls are just a-going, or a little after 
they are in another world ! But, oh the miserable condi- 
tion of the world ! Oh the lamentable state of professors, 
that make no more of the favour or displeasure of God! 
Nay, may I not say, oh the folly of the children of God 
themselves, that are no more in God's company, when they 
know they may be so welcome, when they have tasted so 
oft of his kindness, when they were made so much of the 
last time that they gave him a visit ! Are not men in a 
deep sleep, that they do not hear? Are they not blind, 
that they do not see 1 Arc they not ignorant, foolish, and 
mad, that they do not understand their interest any better] 
It is not without good reason that the Spirit of God doth so 
oft cry out upon sinners for their folly ; the Scriptm-e saitli 
not in vain, that " tlierc is none that hath understanding, 


no, not one." No wonder that they who have but half a 
cure see men like trees; that those who never had a 
thorough work do not prize Christ. Oh that those who 
have been brought nigh by gi-ace, who were sometimes afar 
off, that such shuuld be so much strangers ; for those that 
have mot with such kind entertainment at his house, for 
these to keep off so, to come so seldom ; for them who have 
fed so liigh at the King's table, to fall to their trash, their 
husks; this is a shame indeed, as if the devil kept a better 
liouse than God. Christians, doth God deserve this at your 
hands i How unkindly do you think he takes this from 
you ! What will the world say '? Look how his own ac- 
quaintance despise him ! How will the devil insult ! Oh 
how do the hearts of your fellow-Christians ache, to see 
how strange youi* carriage is ! How do they tremble to 
tliink, what if that hne house be built uj)on the sands ! 
Christians, you who seldom or complimentally visit God, 
betliiuk yourselves well what you do, when you begin to 
Ije cold in your affections to this Friend ; remember from 
\\ hence you are fallen, and repent, and do your first works ; 
remember what entertainment you have sometimes had at 
God's house ; forget not all his kindnesses ; of all the crea- 
tures in the world, you have no cause to carry yourselves 
so towards God. I tell you again, the world stands by and 
looks on, to see what there is in you more than in others ; 
tli( y UKirk your lives more than you are aware of, it may 
be. ^^ herefore, look to yourselves, take lieed how you carry 
yourselves before them. Oh, why should they see your 
faces pale, when you may feed so highly / Oh, show them 
by your countenance that you feed upon wliole-some food ! 
(Jh let your breath smell sweet, let your discourse Ijo more 
savoury of the things of God ! Labour to maintain a sweet, 
constant, uninterrupted intercourse with God, to walk witli 
jiim. Ob, Httle do you think wliat you lose by your coming 
so seldom to tiiis Friend. I appeal to your own exj>erience. 
Was not that disli you eat last at liis table sweet I And 
what, flo you tliiuk tliat God doth not still keej) as good a 
lioubc as lie diil i i>o you believe tliat lie lialh spent ail 
liis best wines i Can that fountain ever be emptied ? Is 



there not l)read and good cheer enough in your Father's 
house 1 Believe it, God hath other kind of entertainments, 
richer cheer, better fare still to make you welcome with, if 
you would not be so strange, if you would but come oftener 
to him. As for Christians, methinks I need not use so 
many Avords to persuade you, methinks you that know how 
sweet his company is should desire to be never out of it. 
Christians, I tell you plainly, if you ever expect true peace 
in your life, and true joy and comfort at death, it's your 
only way to keep close to God ; visit him oft l\v secret prayer 
and other kind of duties, and then you shall ever and anon 
meet with that which will sweeten your greatest diligence, 
and abundantly make amends for your pains. Knock at 
his door, ask for him, and resolve to stay till he comes ; 
though he come not at the first, second, or third knocking, 
yet I am sure he is within, and will come at last, if you 
w'ill but wait; and when you have once again met with 
him, oh let him not go, but tell him seriously that you can- 
not bear his absence ; he shall be your God and Friend, 
living and dying ; death itself shall not part you. Go also 
and tell your friends you have found Him whom your soul 
loves, that you have met with Jesus, and see if you can 
get them too to come out and see him ; bid them taste and 
see how good the Lord is ; commend him all you can to 
your poor Christless friends. But you are not the persons 
that I intended to speak to, only thus a little by the by, 
that I maj'^ a little warni my o\\n heart and yours in this 
great duty of maintaining an intimate close converse and 
acquaintance with God. But my business is to go out into 
the highways and hedges, and to invite poor wandering 
strangers that have nothing to live upon themselves, and 
that do not know what a noble open house God keeps, that 
never tasted of his kindness in Christ, to come to tliis royal 
least, and to eat their lill of such food as they can never eat 
too much of, never be surfeited with. " Unto you, men, 
I call ; and my voice is to the sons of men. ye simple, 
understand wisdom ; and, ye fools, be ye of an understand- 
ing heart," Prov. viii. 4, o. " Hear, ye deaf, and see, 
Mind; let the dead hear the voice of God, and live." Then 


hear wliat 1 huve been speaking of. I have almost done my 
message. Consider well of these things, as you tender the 
displeasm-e of God, as you value your souls ; be serious ; re- 
member what it is that I have been discoursing to you 
about ; read it over again, and study it ; read and pray, pray 
and read, and turn this exhortation into j)rayer ; take witlx 
you words, and say, Oh that this might be the sermon that 
might bring me acquainted with God ! Oh that this might 
be tlie man that might bring me to some knowledge of Christ 1 
Oh that this might be the happy day wherein a match, 
may be concluded between my soul and tlie precious Jesus ! 
But alas, alas, where are the hearts that are thus smitten ? 
Where are the souls that are any wliit taken with this in- 
finite beauty ? How few liavc any real love or good will 
for Christ I Oh, who hath believed our report, and to whom 
is the arm of the Lord revealed? Though I and many 
hundreds more have been pleading thus with sinners ; though 
some of the ambassadors of peace weep l)ittorly, that their 
message is no more kindly entertained ; though their public 
preaching be followed with private prayers and secret groans; 
though they expostulate the case with poor refractory crea- 
tures, witli all the earnestness that they can for their lives ; 
though we use the most powerful arguments that we can, 
and deliver them with all the vehemeney, seriousness, and 
compassion that we can for our souls ; yet how are the 
greatest part of our hearers unconcerned ! Is not a great 
part of our auditory as stujjid and senseless as the vei-y 
Btoncs they tread on ? The more is our sorrow. We fear, as 
to the most of them that hear us, what we speak is lost. 
It may be they may be a little atlectcd just at the hearing, or 
for jui hour or two ; l)ut, oh that these truths might have 
a lively and abiding imjiression on meirs hearts! I fear — 
oh that they were causeless fears! — I fear tliat most of you 
that have heard f)f these things will go away, and (luickly 
forget what weighty things you have heard ; perliajis some 
of you may sjiy, Tlie man w;i.s very earnest, and some of his 
expressions were piercing. friends, I hope it is not your 
commendation that I desire ! Oh that I mav, with a sindc 
heart, respect God'a glory! I say again, I would not be 


pleased with your praise, nor would I fear your dispraise ; 
it 's your souls I want ; and may I Init manage my great 
work in this successfully, and see you acquainted with God, 
before I leave you for ever, I hope I should be contented to 
be trod in the dirt. Oh that my heart may not deceive me ! 
Oh that my compassion to your souls were greater, a thou- 
sand times greater ! Oil that I could never speak to you 
of such things as these without tears ! I must again and 
again profess I am ashamed of my heart, that it is no more 
sensible of these v/eighty affairs ! But, mighty and glo- 
rious God, if thou pleasest, thou canst out of the mouth of a 
babe and suckling ordain strength ! Oh that thou wouldst 
make the worm Jacob to thrash mountains ! Oh that thou 
wouldst make use of the most unworthy and weakest instru- 
ment, in that honourable service of bringing home some 
souls to thyself! Oh, if but any one soul, if but one soul 
that was estranged from God, might by these lines be brought 
acquainted with him, if I might prevail with any other 
stubborn enemy to lay down his weapons, and be friends 
with him, I sh(nild think my pains Avell bestowed ; though 
(if that will make you to regard it ever the more) this work 
hath cost me many an hour's study, and it hath been inter- 
rupted with many bodily distempers, groans and sorrows, 
fears and sighs. Yet if, after all my travail, I may hear of 
any children born of God ; if I may meet but one soul the 
better for it, by it brought to glory, I shall have abundant 
cause to bless my God, and to rejoice that my labour hath 
not been in vain in the Lord. But if I might have more, 
I should have still more cause to adore intinite goodness 
and rich grace ! my dear friends ! precious and im- 
mortal souls ! What shall I say to you 1 What shall I do 
for you ? Oh did you but know how hardly I fetch my breath 
at this time ; did you l)ut sec what a crazy creature he is 
that writes to you ; did you but know how faint he hath 
been sometimes in speaking to you, you would go nigh to 
pity him. Oh pity yourselves ! Oh pity your own souls, 
that erelong must be turned naked out of your bodies, and 
hear the cxposlulations of a dying man, who would gladly 
live with yuu in everlasting glory, aud zneut you ail among 


the frieiuls of the Bridegroom ; who longs to see you among 
the sons of God, in that great meeting, when the Father sliall 
send his servants the angels to fetch all his children home 
to his own house ! Oh pity your souls, and let not all my 
pains be lost, trample not under your feet the blood of the 
covenant, neither count it a common thing: remember 
that the slighting of Christ is a dangerous thmg ; the loss 
of his favour, and the loss of your soul, must go together ! 
Oil, how shall I leave you ! How shall I part with you ! 
Shall I go before my work is done ? What shall I say 
more 1 What arguments shall I further make use of? Oh 
that I knew what to saj', that I might prevail ! And are 
you still resolved to put me off with frivolous excuses? 
Can you put off your consciences thus? Are you still con- 
tented to be aliens and strangers? If you are, know this, 
that I must leave these lines to bear witness against you ; 
remember this, that you were told of these things again and 
again. Those that can forget sermons here shall remember 
them hereafter ? If you be not the better for this discourse, 
you will curse the day that ever you heard it; it will be a 
cutting reflection, when, another day, you shall say to your 
own soul, At such a time, such a one did beseech me in 
Christ's stead to ])e reconciled to God, and I would not: 
wretched man that I was! I made nothing of all the oflers 
of grace and mercy, I made little accmint of these intoler- 
able torments which now make me gnash my teeth ! Hear, 
unhappy creature, that art yet alive; be not thou i)ast 
liope ! Oh that thou mayest see thy sad state before it be 
quite past remedy ! Oh let me take up a lamentation for 
thee, as one whose condition is beyond expression deplor- 
able ! Oh that I could speak as afVectionately to you as one 
did lately, wlio spent bis strength and life amongst you all, 
viz., that I can neither eat nor drink, nor sleep quietly, 
whilst I tbiiik of the danger that precious souls run every 
moment, while they are unacquainted with God ! Oh that 
mine eyes were waters, and my head a fountain of tears, 
that I might weep day and nigbt for poor Christless crea- 
tures, that laugh and arc as cheerful as if no danger were near 
them ; whertus that dismal day approaches apace, u hereia 

226 HEAVEN UPON EAR-ril ; OR, ■ 

they must bid an everlasting farewell to all their pleasures, 
and lie down for ever under the scalding wrath of an angry 
God! Oh stand astonished, heavens, and wonder, 
earth! Here's a man that had rather be a beast than a 
man, a devil than a saint, that prefers hell before heaven, 
that loves death and hates life ; here 's a man that makes 
nothing of going to hell; damnation is a thing that he jests 
with; 'tis but damning, he saith. But damning! Is that 
so light a thing — a thing to be laughed at ! Well, if that 
damning be nothing, never complain of it, when you feel it. 
If it be nothing, never groan and bite your tongue, nor 
gnash your teeth for it. If heaven, and your soul, the 
favour of God, eternal happiness, be such small matters, 
never complain for the loss of them. Well then, belike 
you are pleased very well with your choice, and you do 
choose rather to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a moment, 
than the pleasures of holiness, which last for ever. There 
stands a sinner that hears all this, and frets and foameth at 
the hearing of it ; it 's a torture to his soul to be within the 
sound of such truths ! Why, act like one in his wits. If the 
liearing of hell and damnation be so troublesome, what will 
the feeling of it be,thinkest thou ? But that I may, if possible, 
prevail, I shall leave a few serious questions with you, which I 
charge you, in the presence of God, seriously to consider, 
and to give a wise answer to them. 

Quest. 1. Are those things which you have heard, true, 
or are tlicj' not ? Doth not the Scriptures speak the same 
things which I do ? Dare you say that the Word of Truth 
is false 1 Do but open the Bible, dip where you will ; what 
is that you read there 1 Is it not something that hath a ten- 
dency to what I have been teaching 1 Oh that you would 
but give yourselves the trouble of searching the Scriptures, 
to see whether these things are so ! To what pm-pose, do you 
tliink, sill )uld we spend our breath ? To what jnirpose should 
we follow you with such exhortations, if we had not soine 
grounds for what we say ? If there be no such thing in the 
word of God, why then do you not say so 1 Why do you not 
show us it, if there be such a place that saith there is no 
need of repentance, that man's condition is safe enough al- 


ready, and tluit, lu' may do well enough, tlioiigh he be never 
reconciled to God ? Do you think that we take delight in 
vexing men and women ? Do you conceive that it pleaseth 
us to displease you, and to get your hatred? Do you not 
believe that a great many of us, if it might consist with 
God's honour and your welfare, had not far rather be ex- 
cused ? Can any man imagine that so many thousands of 
prophets, apostles, and ministers, in such distant ages, and 
in such distant places, should all agree in this, to impose a 
falsity upon the world I Would any man be so mad as to in- 
vent such things as these, which are so conti'ary to men's 
dispositions, if he had not abundant warrant from God him- 
self? Is it possil)le that men should make such complaints, 
and shed so many tears, and be in such agonies about these 
things, if there were nothing at all in them ? Are all the 
experiences of so many thousands of saints but mere fancies 1 
Speak, Christian, speak. What do you say to this? Are all 
thy joys, thy answers of prayers, those sweet dishes that 
thou hast sometimes fed upon, but dreams ? Doth not thy 
very blood stir in thee, at the very putting such a question 
to thee ? Canst thou not say that thou hast seen, that thou 
liast felt, and that thou hast known undoubtedly, that spiri- 
tual things are realities, the greatest realities in the world, 
and that thou hast been as much affected with them as ever 
tlujii wert with the things of sense ? Let me, the meanest of 
ten thou.sand, tell the stiffest atheist in the world, that I have 
seen these things so realized, that I shall sooner believe that 
1 am turned to a stone, or am dead, than believe that 
spirituals arc nullities and fancies. I am confident, if there 
be any credit to be given to both eyes and ears, then these 
things are true; and had you seen but wliat I have seen in 
dying saints, and heard what I have heard, you would 
easily have been convinced that there is something in 
comnuniion with God, something in spiritual joys. I am 
sure, if there be any truth in the Scriptures, if the word 
of God be true, if Christ ami the apostles were not all mis- 
taken, then tliesc things are true. If I sliould tell you 
a business tl'at <li<l concern your house, or your children, or 
body, or any worldly thing whatever, upon my owu per* 


sonal knowledge, would you not readily assent to what I 
say? I am persuaded you would be far from, suspecting 
the truth of what I affirmed. I am ready to think that 
there is none of you all that think that I dare tell you that 
which is false. Oh then, why will you not believe me in a 
business of far greater consequence 1 And if you ask me, to 

what purpose I spend so much time for notliing ? Wliat 

need I speak at this rate ? What, will I make infidels of 
you all ? What, do I think that you are such atheists, as 
not to believe that the word of God is true? Well then, 
you yourselves are witnesses that the word of God is true, 
and that you do believe all that is contained in it ; and by 
rational inferences deduced from it. I shall therefore take 
it for granted that you give your assent to these things, if 
you be Christians in profession ; your very name speaks as 
much. Now, my next question shall be this : — 

Quest. 2. Are these things of weight and importance, or 
are they not ? You hear that they are matters that con- 
cern your eternal life or death, soul affairs; and a,re not 
these matters of the greatest consequence ? If acquaintance 
Vfith God, the happiness or misery of a soul, your making 
or undoing for ever, be inconsiderable things, what then are 
great things ? Is it a matter of gi-eater importance to lose 
the sight of a lascivious jilay ? Is it an affair of greater 
weight to have the frowns of a wanton mistress, or the 
frown of a God ? You said even now, that the word of 
God was true; if you will stand to that, I desire no more. 
How is it written ? Read a verse or two ; turn to Matthew 
V. 20, " Except your righteousness exceed the righteousness 
of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter into 
the kingdom of heaven ;" and John iii. 3, " Except a man 
be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." And 
God will pour out his wrath upon the heathen, and upon 
the families that call not upon his name. Doth not the 
Scripture say that is the one thing necessary? Are not 
these things called by the Lord Christ the Aveightier 
things? Matt, xxiii. 23. I hope you will not say that God 
is mistaken, and that the Scripture speaks more of these 
piatters than needs. What, are you gone from your word 


SO soon ? Did not you say tliat the word of God was true, 
and are you now of anotlier mind, because you find tliat it 
requires more strictness than you are willing to submit to ? 
But are you ashamed of tluit, and are you convinced of this 
also, tliat the doctrines of reconciliation, acquaintance, and 
peace with God, are attairs of the higliest importance in the 
world ? And do you indeed believe this 'i and will you 
stand to it ? Well then, my next question shall be this : — • 
Quest. 3. What do you mean then, to mind such tilings 
as you acknowledge to be most unquestionaI)ly true, and of 
the greatest consequence, with so much indifference and 
coldness] What reason have you then for your strange 
neglect in your prosecution of them 1 What say they are 
the greatest things in the world ] and will you say they are 
least to be looked after ? Is it any prudence and wisdom 
to be very serious about trifles, and to trifle about the most 
serious things I Are heaven, the love of God, and the like, 
by your own confession, the most weighty, and will you 
make light of them 1 Oh, folly and hypocrisy! Out of thy 
own mouth thou shalt be condemned. Dost tliou know that 
heaven and hell are before thee ? Dost thou know that the 
one is unspeakably glorious, and the other unspeakably 
<lrea<lfiil? and yet, for all this, dost thou stand demurring 
^^hich of these thou shouldst choose I And darest thou for 
all this venture on in a way which leads to the region of 
eternal darkness? And though tliose that know the way 
bi'tter than you, and see you ride on so hastily and merrily, 
call after you with earnestness, yet do you still turn your 
back upon them 1 Consider wliether you act in these afliiirs 
like one that is well in bis wits. Is God the best Friend in 
the wurld, and yet his kindness least to be regarded / j\lan, 
what hast tliou to say for thyself? Oli what brutes, and 
how irrational are men in their spiritual matters! How do 
they contradict themselves! IIow do they say one thing, 
and do theijuite contrary! Oh let me, in a word or two, renew 
my expostulation with them who are bjath to be accounted 
fools! What reason liiive you to undervalne the favour nf 
God as you do { What reason liave you thns foolishly to 
■•.ast away yourselves, and to slight acquaintance with your 


Maker? Let me plead ■with yoii in the language of a 
reverend divine (Richard Baxter) of onr own. Look up 
yonr best and strongest reasons ; and if you see a man put 
his hand into the fire till it burn off, you'll marvel at it. 
But this is a thing that a man may have reason for, as 
Bishop Cranmer had, when he burnt off his hand for sub- 
Bcribing to popery. If you see a man cut off a leg or an 
arm, it's a sad sight; but this is a thing that a man may 
have good reason for, as many a man doth it to save his 
life. If you see a man give his body to be burnt to ashes, 
and to be tormented with strappadoes and racks, and refuse 
deliverance when it is offered : this is a hard case to flesh 
and blood ; but this a man may have good reason for, as you 
see in Heb. xi. 33-38, and as many a hundred martyrs have 
done. But for a man to forsake tlie Lord that made him, 
for a man to run into the fire of hell when he is told of it 
and entreated to turn that he might be saved, tliis is a 
thing that can have no reason in it, that is reason indeed, 
to justify or excuse it. For heaven will paj^ for the loss of 
anything that we can lose to get it, or for any labom- that 
we bestow for it ; but nothing can pay for the loss of heaven. 
Read on in Mr. Baxter's "Call to the Unconverted," page 
169. Do you still believe the word of God to be true, and 
the things contained in it to be the most weighty, and yet 
will you still pass them over, as if there were nothing at all 
in them ? 

Quest. 4. My next question tliat I shall propound to you, 
and desire your serious and speedy answer to, is this : Do 
you believe than you can find a better friend than God? 
Can you mend yourself anywhere else ? Is there in heaven 
or earth any that can do as much for you as God can ? Is 
there any one that can take you off when you come to he 
accused of high treason against the King of heaven, and to 
be arraigned before that just Judge? Have you got that 
which will quit your cost in getting it, and countervail 
the loss of a soul ? What is it that still hath an interest in 
your heart, that is thought to be an equal competitor with 
God for your dearest love ? If it be indeed that which will 
shield you from the arrests of death and the wrath of the 


Almighty; if it be that wliich can slielter you from the 
storm of liis displeasure ; if it be that wliich ^vill do you as 
much gijod as heaven, and make you as liappy as God can ; 
Avhy then, I have little to say ; make your best of it. But 
consider well what you do first ; be sure that you be not 
mistaken ; have not many thought as you think, and found 
their mistake when it was too late 1 

Quest. 5. Do you think that this world will last always 
with you ] Do you not believe that erelong yo\i must die, 
and your soul appear before God, and Ijy him be sentenced 
to its everlasting state ? Where is all the glory of those great 
monarchs who despised God and oppressed his people ? What 
is become of all their pomp ] Which of them that flourished 
three tiiousand years ago stand alive now in glory 1 And are 
you better than they 1 Shall the worms which have made a 
])rey of them, spare you ? Is Death more favouraljle now-a- 
(lays than he was before ? Is not the world still, as it was, 
but vanity ? Is not all Hesh still but grass, and the beauty 
of it as a flower that is cut down and withereth suddenly ] 
Well then, this being granted, tliat nothing is more certain 
than death, and that it is appointed for all men once to die, 
would you not then be glad of something that will stand you 
in stead after deatli, a Friend in another world ? Why, then, 
•lo you not speedily get acquainted with Ilini who alone can 
befriend vou in that dreadful hour? 

Quest. 6. What do you think will become of you, if, after 
all tliis, you go on in your old ways] Wliat will become of 
you, d(j you think, if you should die without the knowledge 
of God? What hopes liave you of life in peace, if you bid 
di'tiance to the Lord of life, and contemn the Prince of peace? 
How shall you escajie if you neglect so great salvation? 
What do you think that those who once, as you do now, 
sliglited Christ, and never looked after reconciliation with 
are now doing in another world ? What would you do in 
this case / — should one come to you either out of heaven or 
out of hell, how wonderfully do you think you should be 
jifiected with the narration which lie would give you of 
the atVairs of the invisible world I Why then will you not 
now be aliected \s ith what wc say ] for assiu'c yoursclvea, 


whatever you may think, our testimony is as true, and hath 
a better foundation of credit, than if one should tell you he 
came from the dead, and speak to you of these things. 

Quest. 7. Another question I would propound to you is 
this: Are you willing to bear the displeasure of God? Can 
you undergo the weight of that wrath which made His back 
to ache who was mighty to do and suffer ? Can you with 
any patience hear that dreadful word pronounced by the 
mouth of that Judge who will see to the execution of his 
sentence, "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting tor- 
ment ; depart from me, ye workers of iniquity ; for I know 
you not V Can you endure without any trouble that scal- 
ding hot wrath which is abundantly more painful than fii-e 
and brimstone, more intolerable than to be shut up in a 
burning fiery furnace, or to be boiled in a caldron of melted 
lead, or whatsoever torments the wit of men or devils can 
invent 1 Can you with any patience bear the stone, gout, 
toothach, colic, or some such distempers of body which last 
hut for a while 1 Oh, how long do you think the time when 
you are in that condition ! How do you toss and tumble I 
What lamentable moans do you make ! Do not you think 
you cannot be too much pitied in that condition ? How then 
will you be able to lie down in those torments, the least drop 
of which is abundantly more painful than the greatest tor- 
ment that ever you felt in your life? If these seem dreadful to 
you, why do you not go the way to avoid them ? which is 
by getting an interest in Him who hath the keys of hell at 
his girdle ; for there is no condemnation to them that are 
in Christ Jesus, to them that are brought into a state of 
reconciliation and acquaintance with God by his Son, our 

Quest. 8. Are you contented to lose everlasting happiness ? 
Can you willingly see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and 
a great many fi-om all the quarters of the world, sit down in 
the kingdom of heaven, and yourself cast out ? How do 
you like to have those whom you scorned to look upon, 
set at the table at the feast, and yourself shut out with the 
dogs ? Would you not be glad to have a word of comfort 
spoken to you, when your soul is just taking its leave of 


your body 1 Would you not be glad, then, to be conveyed by 
the blessed angels into the presence of God, and to be croAvn- 
ed witli an immortal and glorious crown ? "Would it do you 
any harm to be jjcrfect in lioliness and hapiiiness when you 
die ? Would you not be glad to be saved when others shall 
be damned ? In a word, do you not desire to be rejoicing 
and ])raising God in endless pleasures, \vhen others shall be 
weeping and cursing God in endless torments 1 Why then 
do not you live the lives of the righteous, if you would die 
their deatlis, and have your latter end like theirs? If you 
would be glorious and liappy fur ever, why do you not en- 
deavour to be holy and spiritual in time ? if you would have 
God your Friend in another world, what do you mean that 
you labour no more to be acquainted with him in this world? 
Quest. 9. How Avould you take it at any man's hands, 
to be served as you sei-ve God? Suppose you should 
take up a poor child that came to your door to beg, 
that had scarce a rag to cover his nakedness, or a morsel 
of bread to put into his mouth, and nowhere to hide his 
liead ; sujijiose you should strip tliis ])0or beggar of his rags, 
and clothe him in very good apparel, and take him into 
your own house, and take as much care of hira as if he were 
your ovvii child ; suppose, after this, you should bid him do 
you some small piece of service, and he instead of it should 
say. Command your man, and do your work yourself; and 
instea<l of answering your kindness, should ofter you the 
(greatest abuse in the world, and afterwards conspire with a 
company of rogues to rob and nuirderyou — liow would you 
like this? Should you think that such a fellow as this 
did not deserve a lialter rather than your favour? But 
now, if after this you should send after tliis ungrateful 
WTetch, and tell him that you are m illing to forget all that 
is past, and to receive him into the greatest favour, and 
never to cast his former wickedness in his teeth ; how would 
you take it at his bands, if hesh(»uld stand, I know not how 
long, disputing whether he should accept of your kindness or 
no, whether he should choose the gaol and gallows, or your 
Iiousc ? IJut if, after all tbis,you should send messenger after 
messenger, and ufler to give him all that you have in the 


world, and to bestow your only daughter upon him, and to 
•settle presently a great estate iipon liim with her, how would 
you take it if this vile luigrateful beggar should put you ott"a 
great while together with some poor excuse or other 1 How 
would you like it if he should make light of your offers, and 
tell you he thanks you for nothing, and should undervalue 
your kindness 1 Would you not soon resolve not to trouble 
yourself anj^ longer with such an unthankful monster? 
Would you not let him take his course, and not much pity 
him, if he afterwards see the difierence between a father's 
house and a gaol, between liberty and a prison, between riches, 
glory, and pleasure, and poverty, dishonour, and sorrows ? 
Would j'^ou not bid him never expect kindness more at your 
hands ; but, seeing he would not be ruled, to take whatfollowsl 
What do you say 1 Would you not do thus ? I am persuaded 
you would. But should I unriddle this parable, who do you 
think would be condemned ? Your own mouth would ac- 
cuse you, and you would be your own judge. Thou art 
that man that hast dealt thus disingenuously with God ; 
thou art that l)eggar to whom the Lord hath shown much 
kindness, and ofl'ered more ; he hath sent messenger after 
messenger, and at last he hath sent his Son to invite thee 
to liis own house, aiid he oifers to make thee as happy as 
heaven, glory, and happiness itself can do ; and thou 
standest still demurring, adding one delay to another, and 
art fiir from that gi'atefiil and speedy compliance which the 
nature of the thing doth require ; and, instead of coming at 
God's call, and thankfully owning his marvellous kind- 
ness, how basely dost thou prefer thy company, thy lust, 
before him, and ofler the most intolerable afionts to his 
majesty, and make nothing of his unparalleled goodness, 
and continuest in open rebellion against him ! What, then, 
liast thou to say for thyself, why God should not, with a 
just abhorrence, cast thee off for ever? But now. that God 
should still otl'er thee as high as ever, and (instead of doing 
as I have said, and as thou thyself would have done in case 
of a less contemjit) still follow thee Avith such a gracious 
proposal as this is, that I now make unto thee ; is it not a 
miracle of mercy, a prodigy of kindness ? 


Quest. 10. And now, what will you do'? Will you still, 
for all this, go on in your contempt of God? Will you still 
refuse to know him, and never mind acquaintance with him ? 
Will you still be indifferent whether you have God for your 
Friend or your Enemy 1 Now you have been tendered such 
a match, will you make another choice 1 will you bestow 
your heart somewhere else? And when you have done 
that, dare you stand to your choice? and say that you have 
done very wisely in refusing God, and in embracing this 
I)resent world I Will you maintain it at the day of judg- 
ment, that you have done well to refuse acquaintance with 
himself, and to run the hazard of his displeasure ? But you 
wiW not, you say, trouble your head with such melancholy 
fancies as these are ; they are enough to put a man beside 
his wits ; you lioi)e to do as well as others, and, so long, you 
care not. Well then, it seems you are resolved; though, 
lot me tell you, if you are contented to fare as most shall 
fare at last, you must be contented to be damned ; for the 
Scripture is exceeding clear in this, that the number of 
those that go to heaven is a very small number ; and if you 
will not take my word for it, (for indeed I would not that you 
should take my word, nor any man's breathing, without war- 
rant from God's word, in things of so high a nature,) look into 
the Scripture, and, at your leisure, ponder a while upon these 
following texts: Luke xiii. 23, 24, "Then said one unto 
him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto 
llicm, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say 
unto you, Avill seek to enter in, and shall not be able;" 
i\latt. XX. t(j, " Many arc called, but few are chosen;" and 
Luke xii. 32. Christ .saith his Hock is a little Hock. And 
tlie church complains of the fewness of her number in this 
language: "Woe is me! for I am as when they have gathered 
tilt- .suMiuuM- fruits," Micah vii. 1. I might bcaj) up al)un- 
dance of Scriptures of the same nature, all wbi(-h speak 
tills to us, that it is not so common a thing to go to heaven 
as most ])eople reckon upon. Ihit yet if you be resolved, 
come what will come, not to change your mind ; if, after so 
many warnings and ])leadings, you still continue of this 
judgment; I must speak u dreadful word. Your blood be 


upon yoiii' own soul. I luive blown the trumpet; I have 
clone what in me lies to convince thee of thy dangerous 
state, while thou art a stranger to God, and to bring thee 
to a speedy acquaintance with liim ; but thou hast, after 
many and many a tender, given in this answer, that as for 
God, thou dost not desire to be acquainted with him ; as for 
youi" matching with his Son, it's that which thou carest 
not for hearing of, except thou mightst have his estate with- 
out his sovereignty ; thou wilt not have him for thy Hus- 
band, except he will let thee do as thou list, and run a- 
Avhoring from him when thou pleasest; thou wilt not have 
heaven, except thou mayst have it without holiness ; and 
as for the invitations of God, thou still makest light of them ; 
neither ])romises nor threatenings signify much with thee. 
Well then, when you find l^y woful experience what you 
have done, know whom you must lay all the blame on. I call 
heaven and earth to record, and you yourselves are witnesses, 
that I have, with all the pity and earnestness that I could 
for my soul, told you of these great things : but you think 
the flattering otters that the devil makes more advantageous 
than those which God makes, and his service to be pre- 
ferred before the service of Christ, and the friendship of the 
world to be esteemed before the friendship of God ; and the 
pleasures of sin, which are but for a season, you value 
before those rivers of pleasures which are at the right 
hand of God for evermore. Now, if you continue in this 
mind, blame not me if you miscarry for ever; you must, 
wliether you will or no, stand to your choice. Do not say 
that you were not told of these things ; this is not the first 
time l)y many, but it may be the last that you may ever hear, 
for ought that I know. Remember you were once well 
ottered. Do you think that God will al\^'ays bear with such 
unworthy abuses 1 Shall God's justice never be righted? 
Yes, yes ; be not deceived ; slighted kindnesses will cost dear 
at last. What have you yet to say for yourself? Do you 
think that I mean you any hui-t by all this, except you 
count salvation a wrong, and kindness itself an injury ? But 
if all this will not do, go then and make the best thou canst 
of all thy fricnd.-i ; let us see how well and how long they 


■will entertain tliee. Ere a few days, it may be, shall be at an 
end, we sliall hear how yoix like your choice; when thej 
sliall turn you out of doors, and tell you plainly, they can 
do nothing for you, you must shift as well as you can ; as 
for them, they cannot provide for themselves, much less for 
you. And then let's see who hath made the best choice, 
he that is acquainted with God, and hath chosen him for his 
Friend, or he that hath taken the world for his friend. Let's 
see which will do most for their friends when a time of trial 
comes. When heaven and earth are all in a tlame, when 
the trumpet is sounding, when the Judge and hi»attendants, 
Christ and all his holy angels, arc coming, when the prisons, 
the graves, arc opened, and the prisoners are brouglit forth, 
then let's see who will have the most cheerful countenance, 
— he that holdctli up his hand at the bar, or they that sit 
upon the bench with the Judge : for know ye not that the 
saints, the friends of the Judge, shall sit with him when he 
judgeth the world ? We shall know, when the storm riseth, 
whose house was I)cst, — that which was built u])on the sand, 
or that which was built upon the rock. Oh that people 
were now of the same mind that they will be of at the day 
of judgment! Oh that they would consider, that if they 
will not now be at leisure to think of these things, they 
shall be at leisure to repent of them hereafter ! Do not talk 
of scorns, and reproaches, and suficring ; wliat, do you think 
tliat heaven will not make amends for all that? Which is 
most to be feared, the scorns of (iod, or the scorns of men? 
A\ liich will do you most hurt, man's contempt, or God's? 
Where is tlie man that will 1)C laughed out of a great estate ? 
Because a fo(jl saitli tliat a jewel is not worth the taking up, 
will you therefore never stoop to take it up? The truth of 
it is, if you intend to make anythingof your profession, you 
must be willing to be counted a fool and a madman; but 
you nmst reniendx-r it is by tliose tliat are so themselves. 
Oh, be not afi'righted from your duty by the talk of the rab- 
ble! If the thing be evil, let the voice of it scare you; 
but if it be good, let not the fear of them who are very in- 
competent judges in such a case divert you from it. Do you 
tliink that such po-jr excuses will be taken at the day of 

238 REAVEN UPON earth; or, ■ 

judgment ? What, do you intend to say to God then : " Lord, 
I would have laboured to have known thee, I would have 
taken some care of my soul, and I would have taken some 
pains about the things of eternity, but that I saw that al- 
most every one that did with any seriousness look after 
such matters were scorned and laughed at. When I had 
got into the company of those that were godly, and I had 
half a mind to go with them to heaven, then my friends 
fell a-jeering me, and asked me whether I meant to be made 
to undo myself, to turn Puritan and fanatic ? " Do you, I say, 
believe that such a plea will stop the mouth of the Judge, 
and keep him from pronouncing the sentence against you ] 
Will this hold the hands of justice? Will the thoughts of 
this quench or cool the dreadful flames ? Be better advised. 
Oh be better advised, for your soul's sake, and consider how 
such creatures will befool themselves, who would upon 
such a trifle part with heaven ! that would be laughed 
out of glory, and jeered into liell ! Is your mind yet al- 
tered ? Have you any thoughts or resolutions to look after 
your soul and acquaintance with God l Are there none of 
you all that ask by this time. What shall I do to be ac- 
quainted with God ? Are there none of you that J^egin to 
think that it is high time to look out for a Friend in a time 
of need 1 Have I all this time been beating the air, and la- 
bouring in vain ? Shall I leave you all as I found you ? God 
forbid. Methinks I hear some poor souls crying out by this 
time. Oh that I had but sucli a Friend that would bring me 
acquainted with God ! Oh tliat I had but a saving know- 
ledge of Jesus Christ ! Oh that I did but understand what 
it means to have communion with the Father and the Son, 
through the Spirit ! I see myself undone and lost for ever, 
except I have an interest in this Friend. Oh, who will 
bring me to him? How shall I get acquainted with him? 
Oh that's sweet language! That's a very good question, 
*' What shall I do to be saved ? " But do you speak in sober 
badness? Do you speak in jest or in earnest? If any one 
would give you advice and direction, would you follow it in 
spite of all the opposition of hell ? What do you say ? Will 
you labour to keep exactly to those directions that shall be 


given ? If you will, I do not question but that you and God 
will be acquainted before you die. But, oh let ine not take 
a great deal of pains, and all to little purpose, as to you ; 
do not now serve me as the Jews did Jeremiah — come and 
ask counsel of God, and take the devil's. But in hopes that 
some poor souls may in good earnest desire directions with 
an intent to follow them, I shall give them as follows. 


If you would be acquainted with God, labour to get a 
thorough sense of your great estrangement from him, and 
of the danger of such an estrangement. This is what makes 
people so well contented with their condition, because they 
see no great evil or danger in it. IMen are ready to think 
very well of their condition, although they be enemies to 
God, and no friends to Christ. Enemies to God ! They scorn 
your words, though all this while they express the greatest 
contempt of him conceivable : though they regard neither 
his commands, threatenings, nor promises ; though they value 
the company of a dnmijard, a whore, liefore the company of 
God ; though they do all that they can against God, love 
nothing that he loves ; though they side with God's great- 
est enemies, yet they abhor to l^e thoiight to be any other 
than well-wishers to Christ, and tlie friends and servants of 
God ; though they never come near God, yet tiiey take it 
very ill if they be not reckoned amongst his acquaintance 
ajid s])ecial friends. Where are the professors living almost 
that do not count it a high piece of uncharitableness, if 
one do not canonize them among the saints, though they live 
more like brutes? How heinously do they take it, if any 
one do l)ut question their state ! Tlvey ignorant of God ! 
they enemies to the cross of Clu'ist! they blind! they un- 
converted ! ^\ iio is tiiat niiin w lio dare quosiion their con- 
dition? Tlicy hojie to fare .-is well as any ])recise Puritan of 
them all; they will hope to be saved. Say what you will tben, 
you shall never beat them out of their trust in God. And 
though, in faithfulness to their souls, we beg of them to 
make a more diligent inquiry into the state of their souls, 
because wc kuu\\- tliivt the heart ia so deceitful, and wc Imva 

240 SEAVEJf UPON fiAnttt ; Oft, 

very great cause to suspect that tliey know not God ; yet 
they will go on very cheerfully with this contidence, until 
Christ himself show them their mistake, and tell them plainly 
that he knows them not, and that he never accounted them 
any of his Friends. But now, did men but thoroughly im- 
derstand their natural estrangement from God ; were they 
but indeed sensible of the vileness of their hearts ; did they 
but take notice of the rebellions and treasons that are with- 
in, the case would be tar otherwise with them than it is. 
Oh, this, this is the reason why so many millions of professors 
miscarry everlastingly, and never come to desire the friend- 
ship of God, because they never believed that they were any 
otherwise than friends ; they do not suspect themselves at 
all, but think that they are rich and increased in goods, and 
have need of nothing, whereas the Lord knows, and Christians 
know too, that they are poor, and blind, and naked. But 
now, when men begin to ])e thoroughly sensible of this enmity 
that is in their natures against God ; when they see what 
mutinies and rebellions there are in them against their most 
gracious Lord and King ; and when they are made to un- 
derstand the consequences of this war, then how sensibly 
do they cry out. What shall they do? Was there evei* 
any poor wretched creatures in worse condition than them- 
selves? Was ever any one's heart worse than theirs? 
Are there any out of hell that are such monsters of sin 
as they are? Oh, what shall they do? They see the 
fire kindled, and themselves hanging over everlasting burn- 
ings : now all the world for Chiist ; they believe now that 
God and man are not equals ; that there is no contending 
with the Almighty : Who can stand before his indignation ? 
And when they see God's sword drawn, and the point of it 
set against their heart; when they behold the terrors of the 
Lord setting themselves in array against them, and them- 
selves like to lose all, then how welcome would the news of 
a parley be ! How glad would they be then to liear of a 
pardon? Then down go their weapons; they will sooner 
come before God with a halter alxiut their necks than a 
sword by their sides; they ■will fight now with no other 
weapons but ^ears and jn-ayers: as for their armour, they 


break it in pieces, and lay it at the feet of tlieu' offemled 
rrincc ; and, oh! if tho}- might but have any hopes of pardon, 
it would revive their heai-ts ; if they might have but a look 
of kindness from God, it would be a greater comfort to them 
than all the world besides could afford them. To whom can 
a skilful physician l)e more welcome than to the sick? 
Christ came to seek the lost, and such as these Ave are sent 
to encourage : but tUl the soul comes to this pass, Christ is 
not valued at all by it. If sinners be not made thus to 
undei-stand themselves, why, though we should plead with 
ever so much earnestness Avith them, we do but beat the 
air; all that we can say signifies very little. The man 
thinks his great work is done, though his hands have been 
all thiij while in his bosom ; he is far onwards in his jour- 
ney to heaven, though he never set one step out of liis own 
doors ; he hath an interest in God, and is very well ac(|uaint- 
ed with him, and hath an assured confidence of his condi- 
tion, tliat he shall be hai)i)y, though he have not one 
drachm of grace, lie is a good churchman, he hath sat at 
the Lord's table, and the like. But, oh how many are there 
who shall see and know that it is more than i)ossible to 
come oft before God, and to compliment him much, and to 
sit oft at his table, and yet not to lie any of his peculiar 
friends and special acquaintance! Now, it c\i:V you would 
make anything of religion, and be made highly to prize 
God's favour, and to be really acquainted with him, you 
nuist laljour to understand your distance from him, and the 
inconceivable hazard that you run wliile you arc in a state 
of separation from God ; that there is but one step l)etween 
you and tlie state of the danni('(l ; for what would become 
of you, if God should say to you, Tiiis night tliy soul shall 
be required of you ? IIow easily can God in a moment stop 
your l)reath, and send your soid and l)ody into tliat lake 
tliat burns for ever ami ever! An.; is it not then time for 
you to look about you? Oli tliis ignorance of ourselves, 
liow doth it expose us ! He was not a whit mistaken who 
said that " tlic not knowing of ourselves was one of the 
chiefest causes of our sin ami misery, and that the considera- 
tion of the state of the soul, and the thorougli luiderstandinij 


its ilcpraveiiicuts, -was the beginning of wisdom; for its 
weakness being well known, a man will not afterwards trust 
it iu the determination of the greatest things; but man 
will be desu-ous to consult that great oracle, the will of his 
jMaker ; and finding his old guide is blind, and hath often 
missed him, thereupon he is the readier to be acquainted 
with such a one who may direct him in the way to true 
happiness." (Ar. Epict. 1. i. c. 26.) If you would, therefore, be 
acquainted with God, you must get well acquainted with 
yourselves : you will, upon the knowledge of yourself, be 
afraid of yourself. He was none of the weakest men Avho 
said that " a true sense of folly is no small sign of some 
j)roficiency in wisdom." Look unto thyself, man, search 
every corner, behold what abundance of armour there is in 
such and such a dark cellar ; but is this armour strong 
enough to encounter a God ^^•ithal ? Canst thou with these 
fig-leaves defend thyself against the aiTOws of the Almighty? 
Behold what a condition thou art in, if thou stirrest a step 
farther! Yield speedily, and throw down thine arms, or 
thou art a dead man. Do you know this ? Do you really 
believe this? Is it possible] What, beheve that your 
treason is found out, and that you are within a little of 
executiun ; and yet not tremble, and yet not seek nor desire 
a pardon! When a man thoroughly understands how 
things stand between him and God, and how unable he is 
to carry on a war against him, he will speedily cast about 
how he may conclude a peace upon any terms. As soon as 
Benhadad knew what a condition his army was in, when he 
saw the crowns of his thirty kings shaken, and his warlike 
captains cut in pieces, or to tremlde, and be like women ; 
when, instead of a mighty army of gallant warriors in 
martial order, behaving themselves bravely in the field, he 
saw theh- carcasses upon heaps, their garments rolled in 
blood, the shields of his mighty ones cast away, and liimself 
wofully deserted, how speedily doth he send away liis 
servants, with ropes about their necks, to beg" peace upon 
any terms ! When the Gibeonites heard what dangerous 
fighting it wag against Joshua, they were not long before 
they made means to make a covenant with liim. So the 


soul, when it doth seriously consider wliat a sad condition it 
is in while it continues in rebellion against God — its im- 
possibility to stand it out long-, and utter inability to con- 
quer him; when it perceives the designs of Satan, who 
first caused this ditt'erence between the soul and God, and 
hath still instigated and stirred it up to persecute with all 
the violence that niiglit be; I say, when the soul sees this 
before it is quite too late, oh how doth it bewail its condi- 
tion, how doth it cry out, wretched man that I am, who 
shall deliver nic ! Oh what will become of me if I still 
make war against God ! And as for flying, whither shall I 
fly from his presence, and where shall I hide myself out of 
his sight? And how shall 1 look Him in the face whom I 
have thus desperately and ungratefully opposed ? Can such 
a traitor as I possibly expect any mercy ; if the Lord should 
look ujion me, and not immediately cast me into hell, it 
would hn a miracle of patience. And thus the man that 
begins a little U> understand himself, speaks to himself; 
and after that, he, with Ephraim, sniites upm his thigh, and 
bemoans his condition exceedingly. Oh that he should 
ever take up arms against his gracious Prince ! Oh what 
shall become of him 1 Well, I have heard that the God of 
heaven is a merciful King, I will go and cast myself at his 
feet; if I perish, I perish. If I contume in this rebellion, 
there is no hope ; if I fly, there is no escaping ; and if I 
yield, 1 can Init perish ! Oh sad, sad is my condition ! Woe 
and alas, what shall I do in these dreadful perplexities'? 
IJut why do I stay liere ? The avenger of blood follows 
after me apace. ^Vell, I will go to my God, through Christ, 
and I have heard that this is the only way, and that there 
is not the least hope in the world, any other way, to get 
a pardon, to escape the wrath to couu'. Oh that the 
jirecious and merciful Jesus would pity me ami stand 
my Friend now, if ever! Oh that he would speak a 
good word for me ! " Have mercy upon rac, Jesus, tliou Son 
of David, have nuury upon me!" Oil make peace for mo 
by tliy blood; if thou wilt, thou canst do more with a word 
8i)eaking tiian all llie .saints and angels in the world ; if 
ever any poor creature in the world hud need of mercy, thou 

244 HEAVEN UPON earth; OR, 

have I, Oh ! mercy, mercy, mercy, for thy blood's sake ! 
But because I shall speak to this under another dh-ection, 
I shall be the briefer. Now, when a man is at this pass, he 
is in a fair way for peace ; but as long as a man is igno- 
rant of all this, he is quite in another. Note, He will never 
buckle, and therefore he shall be broken. Tlierefore, con- 
sider well your condition, observe the acting of your own 
soul ; if you be one of the friends and acquaintances of God, 
•what means your breaking and hating of his spiritual laws ? 
What's the reason, if you love God, that you can take no 
delight at all in his company, no pleasure in liis sabbaths ? 
If you are a friend of God, how is it you come no oftener to 
his house, when he dwells so near you ? Why do you knock 
no oftener at his door 1 Why are you so rare in your visits ? 
Is this your kindness ? Is this like a friend ? How comes 
it to pass that there are so many arms found hid in your 
house? What are they all for? What is the meaning of 
all those meetings that you give to God's enemies ? What 
do all those whisperings, plots, and projects signify ? Is this 
friendship ? Can you mean aiiy good by all this ? What do 
you say of your condition 1 Do you ever complain, and that 
feelingly, of your enmity against God 1 Did you ever observe 
what a desperate wicked spirit you have against your Maker ; 
and were you ever made sensible of the danger of such a 
state, and ashamed and grieved to the very soul that you 
should ever engage against so good a God 1 Why then, I am 
confident you cannot but cry out with all the strength and 
earnestness of your soul for a jieace, you cannot but desire to 
meet with your Adversary quickly, while he is in the way. 
But if you see nothing at all of the treachery and baseness 
that is in your heart, search, and search again ; it's your ignor- 
ance and blindness, and not the goodness of your state, that 
makes you know nothing liy yourself. What, are you better 
than David? He was so jealous of his oM'n heart, tliat he 
dared not trust to his own examination of it, but he desires 
the great Heart-searcher to help him in this work. Are you 
more excellent than Paul after his conversion? Had he 
more reason to complain of laimself than you have ? Oh, be 
at leisui'e to look within and get David's caudle and lantern 


to go into those dark corners of your soul with it, and, it may 
be, you may sec that witliin which may make your heart 
ache, and your joints quiver, and your spirits faint within 
you. Paul was sometimes as confident as you : he took no 
notice of the enmity that was within against God, though he 
•was as full of it as an asp is of poison ; yet before he became 
acquainted with God, the case was altered with him; he 
was of another mind wlien tliat light shone about him, and 
he cried out, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do]" lie 
now thinks it is "hard kicking against the pricks," danger- 
ous opposing God, and persecuting Christ in any part of his 
members ; and he desires nothing in the world so much as 
to be reconciled to God, and to have huu for Ids Friend whom 
before he fought against as an Enemy. 


My next direction to those who would be acquainted 
with God, shall be this : Get an humljle heart, which is the 
consequent of the former. God will exalt none to this high 
lionour of being his friends, but such as have low thouglits 
of themselves. The liumble are the persons that he will 
raise ; these are they that he will converse most with ; these 
are the great favourites of lieaven whom God doth delight 
to honour : " The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a bro- 
ken heart ; and saveth such as lie of a contrite spirit," Ps. 
xxxiv. 18. God is nigli unto them, (witli reverence be it spo- 
ken.) God takes so mucli complacency in the company of 
such, that he cannot endure to have them far from him ; 
lie must liave tliem always nigh to liim, always under his 
eyes: as for these broken ones, he will be sure not to leave 
them long, not to go far from tliem, but will be ready at hand 
to set their bones, to bind up their wounds to keep them 
from festering. It may be he may i)ut them to much pain 
before he brings the cure to perfection, l)ut it is to prevent 
future aches. He is a foolish cruel chirurgeon, who, for fear 
of i)utting his jiatient to some pain, never scaroheth tlie 
wound, but skins it over ])resently: and a wise man will 
not tliink him unmerciful that puts liim to exquisite i>ain, 
BO he make a thorough cure of it. Thus God doth by lijs 


patients sometimes, when the nature of their distemper calls 
for it. But, however, he will be sure not to be out of the 
way when they want him most. It 's possible they may look 
upon themselves as forgotten by God, they may not know 
their Physician wlien he is by them, and they may take 
their Friend for an enemy ; they may think God far ott' when 
he is near; but when their eyes are opened, and their dis- 
temper is pretty well worn off, they will, with shame and 
thankfulness, acknowledge their error ; nay, they do from 
their souls confess tliat they do not deserve the least look 
of kindness from God, but to be counted strangers and ene- 
mies ; but God will let them know that he loves to act like 
himself, that is, like a God of love, mercy, and goodness ; 
and that they are the. persons that he hatli set his heart upon; 
he will have them in his bosom, never leave tliem nor for- 
sake them ; and though these contrite ones many times look 
upon themselves as lost, yet God will save them, and they 
shall sing a song of thankfulness amongst his delivered ones. 
Again, The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit : " a broken 
and a contrite heart, God, thou wilt not despise, Ps. li. 
17. The proud sinner may bring his stalled oxen, multi- 
tudes of rams and sheep, and his rivers of oil, and yet all 
tliis wliile not be accepted. There is another kind of sacri- 
fice that would be ten thousand times more acceptable to 
God. We read that sacrifices have been despised, prayers, 
long prayers, liave been rejected ; sabbaths, new moons, and 
solemn assemblies the Lord hath sometimes abhorred ; but 
we never read tliat he despised the sacrifice of an humble 
lieart, the prayers of such always have an answer one Avay 
or other; their poor performances, their chatterings and 
mournings, are sweet melody and powerful rhetoric in God's 
car. Who are the men that have most of God's company ? 
Who are they whom he dotli most frequently visit ? Are 
they not such as look upon themselves as the chiefest of sin- 
ners? These are they Avho are rapt up into the tliird 
heaven. None Imve so much of heaven upon earth as those 
tliat wonder that the earth doth not swallow them up, and 
that they are not in hell. But oh, saith the humble soul, 
God is the high and mighty God, and infinite in his holiness 

JESOS TflE BEST FlllENli Ul" MA.V. 247 

and justice ; how then can such a creature as I ever expect 
that he should so much as cast his eyes upon me ? Yes, 
Bweet soul, such is the infinite condescension and goodness 
of Gud, that he will sooner look upon thee than another. 
And if you cannot credit my words, hear what he speaks 
himself: "Thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabit- 
eth eternity, whose name is Holy ; I dwell in the high and 
holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humhle 
spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the 
heart of the contrite ones," Isa. Ivii. 15. The thoughts of 
God's majesty, eternity, and hohness may, and with good 
reason too, awe that soul that hath low thoughts of itself. 
Every sinner hath cause enough to cry out with astonish- 
ment, Will God look upon such a vile sinful \vretch as I am ] 
Will he that is infinite in holiness take any notice of mo, 
except to show his displeasure against me ? ^SHiat shall I 
do ] Sure such a creature as I cannot without a miracle have 
a smile from God. God may indeed look upon me in his 
WTath, and vex me in his sore displeasure; God may justly 
look me into hell ; but that he should look upon me in 
kindness, or take any special notice of me in love, that 
would be a wonder indeed. What, God dwell with me ! 
Ye.s, with thee, if thou hast but high thoughts of him, and 
low thoughts of thyself ; the meaner thou thinkest of thy- 
fcelf, the greater worth he sees in thee. God will not only 
look upon thee, nor will he only knockat thy door, and call 
ut thy house, or give thee a transitory visit, but he will 
come and dwell with thee. Now, dwelling speaks a con- 
tinued abode with one ; and thus God will continue with the 
liunible ; never remove from them, for any considerable 
time, till eternity hath an end, till himself and the soul 
cease to l»e, which will be never. God will not be a stran- 
ger to humble souls, but he will come to them, and bring 
that along with him that shall make him and them wel- 
come too. God never conies to his frien<ls but he brings 
good cheer along with him. When the soul gives God the 
best entcrtjiinnu-nt, it is all at his cost — his bread, his fat- 
lings, his wine, his oil, his cordials, his rich dainties. Where 
God cornea he will keep a noble house, aud there shall be 


mirth and rich cheer in good store. " Thus saith the Lord, 
The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool : 
where is the house that ye build unto me? and where 
is the place of my rest 1 For all those things hath mine 
hand made, and all those things hath been, saith the Lord : 
but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor, and of 
a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my Avord," Isa. Ixvi. 1, 2. 
God seems to have low thoughts of heaven itself in com- 
parison of an humble soul. This is the palace where this great 
King will keep his court, this is the place of his rest. God 
is not so much delighted and pleased in any of his brave 
seats as in this of an humble heart : here he dwelleth most 
commonly; this was the great purchase of his own Son; 
this was the masterpiece of his power and goodness ; this 
was the project of infinite wisdom and counsel. "What 
shall I do to be saved ]" is a language that makes hell in a 
rage, and heaven to rejoice. God is never so well pleased 
as Avhen he beholds the beauty of Ids o\vn grace shining in 
a poor, lost, self-debasing creature. The spouse is adorned 
with humility when Christ gives her that visit, Cant. i. 4. God 
hath far more kindness for one that lies under a sense of his 
own vileness, that thinks himself imwortliy to tread upon 
God's earth, or to breathe in his air, than for the most con- 
fident-righteous Pharisee in the world. Such an humble 
soul will be much in admiring God, and will set a high 
price upon liis kindness. A look, a smile, a visit ! Oh, how 
welcome are they to those poor trembling ones ! Where- 
fore God doth with frequency and love visit them ; he knows 
that he never can be unwelcome to sucli ; they will count 
it the highest honour, that the Most High should come in to 
them in their low condition. Wherefore, if you desire to 
have any intimate acquaintance with God, laboiir to be 
more and more sensible of your own unworthiness, study 
your heart and nature well, and be more curious in the ob- 
servance of the baseness and treachery of your own soul ; 
endeavour to have as mean thoughts of yourself as Paul had, 
who did not stick to call himself the chiefest of sinners. 
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you; 
he that is little in his own eye is great in God's. When was 


it that Jacolj mot with God, Init wlion lie had lipnn humh- 
ling himself ? as you may read at your leisure, Cen. xxxii. 
TJiere is many a professor that holds out many a year in a 
course of external performances, and yet never knows what 
it is to have any intimate ac([uaintance or converse with 
God : whereas I am persuaded, if the husiness were thor- 
oughly examined, it would be found that they were never made 
deeply sensible of their undone state out of Christ, never uri- 
derstood the desperate depravedness of their hearts and na- 
ture ; that they never lay imder any lively sense of their 
separation from, and enmity against, God, and they were 
never brought off from their own righteousness, and saw 
themselves poor, beggarly, starved creatures ; and in this 
condition came to buy wine and milk without money and 
without i)rice. But this humility is an excellent graoe, it 
makes the soul fit for the richest enjoyments of God, and to 
do God the gi-eatest service. Were it possible that God 
should converse much with a proud man, he would make a 
strange use of it ; he would steal God's crown, and jjut it 
upon his own head ; but God would not endure proutl an- 
gels near him, and can it be expected tliat he should take 
jtioud men in their places? The more any one grows in 
grace and acciuaintance with God, the more he sees his own 
unworthiness, the more lie admires free grace. Why me, 
Lord ? why me 1 will be the language of those wlio converse 
with God: and while they are tims admiring God, and lay- 
ing themselves low, he comes again with his soul-ravishing 
kindnesses ; and thus by humility they are more acquaint- 
eil nith (Jo<l, and biiiig more acquainted with God, they are 
made more hunil)le; and the one increaseth the other. Thus 
the liunihle soul is raised higher and higher, till he come to 
an eternal p.^ssession of God in the higliest jicavens. When 
an huiiiidc saint lives, as it were, iu heaven upon earth, lie 
scarce thinks liimself worthy to live upon the earth. When 
any one speaks well of him, and admires the grace of God 
in iiini, h.e lo :)k.s upon himself as an unprotitai>le servant, 
und lie durjt not assume the least gloiy to himself: >i'ot 
imi.o mc, not unto me, Init unto tlic Lord be the praise- 
given, Who am 1, poor wretch? Oil did you but know 


what a heart I have, did j-oii but see the ■workings of my 
thoughts, could you but tell how things are, indeed you 
would rather admire God's patience than man's excellency ! 
This he speaks, not that he is worse than others, but because 
he hath a more spiritual sense of his state than others have. 
Neither doth he speak thus in proud policj^, thinking to make 
others have a better esteem of him for his humility, but 
he doth really feel the pressure of that filthiness of sin 
which makes him thus groan out these complaints. The 
reason why God doth converse most with the humble, is be- 
cause they -will be most thankful, and most fruitful, and 
make the wisest improvement of his favours. Wherefore, if 
you value the comfort of a spiritual life, if you desire com- 
munion with God, if you would have a heaven upon earth, 
endeavour to get an humble heart. To walk humbly and 
to v/alk with God go together 


If you would be acquainted with God, you must visit 
him often, be much at his liouse, knock at his door many 
times in a day, and resolve to continue knocking till he 
open ; and if he do not come presently, wait for him ; you 
would do as much for your prince, and, it may be, to a 
meaner person. We cannot expect to be acquainted with 
them that we will not come near. It is to no purpose for 
that man to speak of acquaintance witli God, who never 
speaks to him, comes to liim, or inquires after him. Neither 
will a slight visit or two, in a transitory complimental man- 
ner, serve the turn ; a man may do this, and yet not be said 
to be acquainted with God. A stranger may come once to 
your liouse who was never there before, and never intends 
to come again ; and I believe you ^x\\l scarce write such a 
one down amongst your special friends and intimate acquaint- 
ance. So in spirituals : for acquaintance and converse with 
God are no such slight things as the world commonly takes 
them to be. If you would make anything of this great 
work of getting acquaintance with God, you must not jest 
in it, you must give God many solemn and set visits, and 
carry yourself with all the observance and respect to hiu^ 


that you can for your soul. This is that wliich keeps many 
thousands strangers from the life of grace and intimate 
acquaintance with God, because they know not what those 
more peculiar visits of God mean; they understand not 
vdi&t it is to draw nigh to God in secret ; they come not to 
him with those more spiritual acts of religion ; they piay, it 
may be, in their families, and, it may be, that but seldom, 
(l)ut, by the way, never let such jiretend to the knowledge 
of God, who call not upon him in their families,) but what 
they do, it is but in a poor formal perfunctory manner, be- 
tween sleep and awake ; and will you call this acquaintance 
with God I Will you call this an act of adoration and 
spiritual worsliip 1 Is it to bow down a while before God, 
and to read and speak a few words, and there's an end? 
Their work is over, their task is done, and they are glad of 
it. I'ut now, such as these do not come into God's cham-' 
bei-s ; they come to his house, as I may so say, but they re- 
gard not whether he be at home, wliether they speak to 
God, and have an answer from God or no. They call indeed, 
but desire not much to be heard ; they knock, but are not very 
careful to stay till the door be opened. But alas, alas, such 
as these cannot tell what it is to enjoy communion with 
God. They have got, it may be, into some course of external 
performances, by reason of the example of their superiors, 
education, or by being under the sound of the gospel, and 
from some fi>rce that natural conscience doth put upon 
them^ which will not be content except something be done. 
But such as these may not be said to visit God in that man- 
ner tiiut I would persuade them to who would be ac- 
quainted with God ; for all this they stand a great way off 
from God, and may be termed strangers and foreigners. 
How seldom are they upon their knees in secret! How 
rare a thing is it for liiem, with Isaac, to go into the field to 
meditate ! They visit their farms, they visit their flocks, 
they visit their swine, they go often to visit their sottish 
drunken comi)ainons, whilst God and Christ, their Bil)le. their 
closet, their hearts, are forgotten, and seldom or never visited. 
And is this true kindness to one's self? Is it any wisdom 
to slight such a Friend as God would be to us, and to make 


SO mucli of such son'y companions? Oh stupid and dull 
souls ! Oh what do we mean, so strangely to forget our- 
selves ! For who is like to get by it, God or we, when we 
come and feed at his table, and spend upon his cost ? Oh, 
little do people think what they might enjoy, would they 
purposely set themselves to meet with God, and go to his 
house with a strong resolution not to come away fi'om him 
till they have seen him, or heard from him. Now the great 
duties in which the soul may be said to visit God in, and in 
which God doth many times give out much of himself to 
the soul, are these : — 

1. Solemn meditation. 

2. Secret prayer. 

3. Fasting. 

4. Commujiity of experiences, and communion with the 

5. The Lord's supper. 

First, Meditation. When the soul doth fix itself upon the 
thoughts of some spiritual and divine object, such as the 
love of God in Christ, the glory of another world, &c., this 
is, as it were, going out to meet the Lord, and to take a walk 
with our Beloved ; this is the getting up to Mount Pisgah, 
to take a survey of that goodly land. When the soul doth, 
as it were, bathe itself in the contemplation of Christ's 
beauty, and labours to enamoiir itself more and more 
with his love, and to throw itself, as I may so say, into 
that ocean of divine goodness, it will scarce leave till it be 
wound up to the highest pitch of admiration of that infinite 
boundless love which should do such giuriuus things for so 
rebellious and unthankful a wretch as that is. Oh, what 
manner of love is this ! Oh that I were sick of love ! Oh 
that I might die sick of love ! Oh that I were once in the 
embraces of my dearest Lord and Husband! Oh that I 
could do nothing else day and night, but ])raise, love, and 
admire this infinite boundless love ! And did Christ indeed 
offer up his life for my sin ? Did he not think his precious 
heart-blood too dear for me ? And shall I think my heart- 
love too dear for him? What, for me. Lord, who am the 
clUefest of sinners ! Here, here is kindness with a witness ! 


Stand still, O my soul, and .idniire; stand looking npon this 
lovely sight till thou art all on tire. These are pure flames, 
liere thou needest not to fear to exceed ; widen thy desires, 
let thy affections run without control. JMore tire still; 
blow hard, it doth yet but smoke. Oh for some coals from 
the altar ! Oh for more tire, more fuel ! Oh that my heart 
were vehemently inflamed in the strongest love to Him who 
still deserves a thousand times more! Help me, all ye 
angels, to bless and adore His marvellous loving-kindness. 
Christ is a Friend to publicans and sinners indeed, or such 
a one as I had never been on this side of hell. Oh love, 
love, love ! What shall I render unto the Lord ? Oh that 
men would bless the Lord for his goodness, and for his won- 
derful works to the children of men ! Oh, what meanest 
thou, my soul, that thou art yet so cold ! Av.-ake, awake, 
psaltery and harp ! 1 myself will awake and praise, admire 
and love thee, my God, whose love to my soul is beyond 
expression. And thus, while the soul is musing, the fire 
begins to hurn ; while the spouse is thinking of her glorious 
Husband, he knocks at the door, she draws the latch, and 
he comes in, smelling of myrrh, aloes, and cassia; he conies 
and kisses the soul with the kisses of his lips ; his love is 
better than wine ; he conns and takes tbc soul into his arms. 
Oh the sweet pleasure of diviiie love, infinitely transcending 
all carnal aflections! Oh tlie joy that is at this meeting, 
far surpassing Innnan ap])rohension! Oh the sweet enter- 
tainnaent that Clod and the soul give each other at such a 
time ! I ajipeal to the experience of those that have been 
much exercised in this great duty of meditation ; if they 
Jiave been in good earnest in the work, I am confident they 
can .say something to this ]ioint. What sayest thou, O 
Christian, who art used to imitate Isa.ac? Didst thou never 
meet with another guess companion than Reliekah / As he 
met with a wife, so liast thou met with thy Husband? 
Wlien thou hast been in the field, or closet, at this work, 
hath not Christ then taken you by the hand, and led you 
into his garden, and made you to tjuste of his jileasaut fruits? 
Hath he not brought you into his banqueting-housc, and 
brought out some of his choicest dainties I Are not those 



■flagons more full of spirit, more cordial find refreshing than 
wine 1 Oh, little do anj- but those who have tried it think 
AS"hat a life they might lead, if they would with seriousness 
engage iii this duty ! Speak, ye gracious ones, that make 
conscience of this soul-ravishing duty ; speak, I beseech yoxi, 
and do not smother the kindnesses of God to you ; speak, 
and let him have the praise. It may be, by your venturing 
your experience, hundreds may be encouraged to set upon 
the same work, and hundreds may also have the same ex- 
periences. What do you say? Have you not found the 
benefit of this duty 1 Did you never find meditation a sweet 
work 1 Was it worth your while or no to sequester your- 
selves a while from the world to talk with your Beloved 1 
Did you ever repent you of your labour, and think your 
time lost ? And have you not been able to say, that at 
puch and such a time, when you were in the moinit, that 
it was good being there ? Could you not have been almost 
content to have left the dearest relations, and to have quitted 
your interest in all creature-comforts, so you might have 
Irad fuller enjoyments of God? Could you not have been 
contented to pass from contemplation to vision and fruition? 
^Vhy, speak then, for the Lord's sake, and for the sake of 
precious souls, and keep not such a thing as this is in ; let 
your unexperienced neighbours know what a soul-ravishing 
and soul-raising duty meditation is. Let me ask you who 
I'oad these lines, did you ever try what there was in this 
duty of meditation ? I suppose, if you converse much with 
such books as sj)eak of communion with God, you cannot 
but desire something of it, and I am persuaded you have 
sometimes wept since you began to read this book, to think 
how little you experience ; I believe you would be glad, with 
all your soul, to know what it is to be acquainted with God, 
and to have such a Friend as I have been speaking of. 
Why, let me ask you again, did you ever try Avhat medita- 
tion is ? (You may read much of the excellency of this duty, 
and directions about it, in ilr. Baxter's " Saints' Everlasting 
Rest.") Did you ever get out of the world, and intensely 
fix your heart and thoughts upon any of the glorious attri- 
butes of God? Did you ever set before your eyes his love 


in Chririt ? If not, oli try and fall to this v/oik seriously 
and speedily, and you shall soon find the sweetness of it ; 
you will soon say that you lost many a good meeting, many 
a dainty bit for want of going for it. A carnal worldly 
heart, I must confess, may possibly spoil this duty, as all 
others, and grow formal in it, and be weary of it, and cast 
it off, (though, let me put in this : I believe it's marvellous 
rare for a hypocrite to have anything to do in such a secret 
duty as this is,) but if they were true to the interest of their 
own souls in the management of this work, I am confident 
they would be every day more and more in lore with this 
duty. For I am persuaded that when the soul is in good 
earnest, nay, I can speak it positively, there is no duty doth 
so much raise and warm the soul ; there is no duty wherein 
the people of God enjoy his sweet company more than in 
this. This opens the treasures of God's kindness ; this takes 
his love-tokens, and presents them to the view of the soul ; 
this unlocks the cabinets, and fetches out those precious 
jewels; by this the soul doth, as it were, talk with its Be- 
loved ; and in this Christ doth, as it v/ere, take the soul by 
the hand, and lead it into his palace, and shows it all those 
glorious things which it shall sliortly have in its possession 
for ever. And how can this choose but engage the, soul to 
express its gratitude to the height in answer to such love? 
And when the soul is in this frame, Christ will not be be- 
hindhand with her, no love shall be lost between them. If 
the spouse walk out to look for her Beloved, she shall find 
liim before she hath done. 

Second, Another duty l)y which the soul doth visit God 
in a special manner, is secret ju'ayer; by tliis the soul knocks, 
and God is quick of hearing, and none of his friends 
shall wait without doors so long as to catch cold. By this 
the soul dotli, as it were, storm heaven ; by this it gets into 
the presence-chanil)cr, and jjresents its requests. In this 
duty a Christian doth, a.s it were, return the key of heaven's 
doors, and l)y this he unlocks the door of his own soul ; and 
BO there is free access on both sides ; the soul visits God, and 
God visits the soul, and this creates an intimacy. The poor 
wounded crcutiu'c opcxia Lis wouiids, and thcu the {jrcat 


Pliysiciau comes with the hahn of Gileail. When Jacob is 
thus weeping and praying alone, lie n^eets witli God, he 
meets a blessing, he wrestles, he conquers. This duty of 
secret prayer, and that other of meditation, are two fattening 
duties, by which the souls of believers come to God's table, 
and eat and drink of strengthening food ; and for want of 
these, many poor souls are thin. Oh why do Christians, Avhy 
do professors maintain no fairer correspondence with God in 
such duties wherein he doth manifest himself more than 
ordinarily to the soul ? The reason of this may be because 
God accounts himself more highly honoured, and more truly 
loved by them who are much in these, than by others. 
By this a man doth, as it were, honour the goodness of God, 
in that it shows it worth the while to steal out of the world, 
and to leave the best company on earth to go to God. He 
honom'S the truth of God, by being earnest for what God 
hath promised, though it be unseen ; he honours the omni- 
sciency of God, by contenting himself with his eye and his 
ear alone ; he sanctities his omnipresence, by believing that 
his God can hear him, and be with him into what corner 
soever he creeps. I might be large in speaking of the 
excellencies of this dut}', but I refer it rather to another place. 
But I would not be mistaken in what I have delivered, as if 
I would b}' this exclude &mily prayer ; no, far be it from 
me; for God in this doth many times exceedingly refresh 
his. But because a man cannot possibly judge so well of 
liimself by public prayer, as he can by secret ; and hypo- 
crisy and pride do not usually so much attend secret duty 
as more public; it's possible in more public duty, that a 
man may be much raised, and be very warm and high in 
his expressions, and ahnost ravish the hearts of his hearers, 
whereas he may be all that while acted only by a proud 
lieart, and, for aught I know, the devil himself may help a 
man thus to pray sometimes. This I am confident of, he is 
not afraid of such prayers as these, which tend so much to 
the hardening of a sinner, and make him believe that his 
heart is warmed with communion with God, when, as it is 
possible, it is nothing but a secret self-pleasing, that those 
that joined with liini uiight think Vfiy Uishly of liini; as ouq 


that was passing spiritual in his performances. Oh the 
heart of man is deep and desperately full of deceit! But 
now, there is none of this temptation in secret closet prayer, 
and tliere a soul may be more particular in its complaints 
and petitions, more earnest in pleading with God, and may 
use sucli expostulations, postures, and gestures, such inter- 
missions and groanings, such ]iauses as would be very unfit 
for more public duty. Wherefore I lay somewhat the more 
stress upon this duty of secret prayer. But this I say again, 
where one of them is practised conscientiously, the other 
will not be neglected. I might add the practice and ex- 
perience of God's children to enforce this duty. David woidd 
never have been at it so oft at midnight, if he liad got nothing 
at all by it. Peter would scarce have forgot to eat when 
he was hungry, except he had met with a bit in a corner to 
stay his stomach. 

Third, Fasting, especially private fasting, is another duty 
wliereiu God meets the soul and the soul visits God. This 
is, as it were, execution-day, the day when the soul brings 
out all the enemies of God to be crucified ; this is the day 
wherein tlie idols are searched for, brought out, and buried, 
or ground to powder; and these are things wliich God will 
come to see with much delight. By this the soul is, as it 
were, adorned, her deformities done away, and she is trim- 
med uj) to meet her Buloved. When a saint fasts from sin, 
and abstains fi-cm sensual jilcasures, then it is many times 
feasted by God and refreshed with sj)iritual enjoyments. 

Foiu'tli, Anotlier season wherein God meets the soul, and 
the soul is visited by God is, when Christians are met to- 
gether to communicate e\i)eriences, or to discourse together 
altont tlie great things of God. What thougli most of the 
world are ashanu'd to own religion wiien it is out of fasiiion ! 
Wliat though but few dare meet togetlier to speak of God's 
fondness, and to praisi? Iiini an<l call u\»n\ his name ! Why, 
Clirist says, thougli tiiere I>c but tw(j or three of them, lio 
will make tlie nundjer one the more, he will be in the midst 
of them. And though they tlare but wlusper, it may be, 
and their nu'ctings to oliserve God and do good to one 
another m.iy be prohibited l)y the public nnigistrate, and 

2jS heaven upon earth ; or/ 

consequently what they do in this kind must be done in a 
great deal of hazard, yet the people of God stand not long 
disputing, they know what to do in this case ; yet they 
would be wise in it too. Not to dare the magistrate, and to 
do what they do to confront the authority, but in the up- 
rightness of their souls they desire to meet together to wor- 
ship God according to his own will. Yet for all this, though 
they manage their business with never so much secrecy, 
God will take notice of them ; he hearkens and hears, and a 
book of remembrance is written for them that call oft upon 
his name, and God will make them up among liis jewels. 
But I shall have occasion to speak of something to this pur- 
pose afterwards, and therefore I uass it over the more 

Another time wherein the Lord is pleased to discover 
much intimacy and endeared affection to his people, is in 
the sacrament of the Lord's supper. This is the great jiass- 
over; and it cannot be un\velcome news to the poor Israelites, 
to hear of redemption from worse than Egyptian bondage, 
instead of being burdened with barlmrous task-masters, to 
be made free, rich, and honourable, and to see the strength 
of the enemy laid in the dust. It is not for nothing that 
this passover is to be had in everlasting remembrance. If 
I should appeal to the people of God that have kept this 
solemn feast, and ask them how their hearts \vere afif'ected, 
do they not all bow their heads and hearts, and adore that 
goodness that should save, feed, and feast them, and punish, 
kill, and damn others 1 Are there not thousands that can 
tell you, that Christ's flesh is bread indeed, and his blood 
drink indeed ? No j^rovision so great, no banquet so sweet, 
so noble ; no entertainment comparable to that which the 
princely Jesus givcth to his spouse in that ordinance ! The 
King brings her into the banqueting-house, and his banner 
over her is love ; she is then made to understand that the 
kisses of liis lips do breathe life, and that his visits at sucli 
a time usually leave behind them more special testimonies 
of tlie largeness of his heart, the loveliness of his nature, 
and of his matcliless excellency. Speak, Christian, what 
dost thou say to tliis 1 Canst thou not subscril^e to this ? 


Art tlioii not able to say, that then thou hast tasted and 
seen 1 Couldst thoii not then go out and invite all the poor 
starved hungiy souls in the world, to come, and see, and 
taste ? Art thou not aljle to say. Come, and I will tell you 
what Christ hath done for my soul 1 Let me ask that saint 
who hatli been feasted many a time and oft, what he 
thought of his entertainment. Were you not made wel- 
come i Was not the joy of the Lord your strength 1 Was 
not the provision that the world entertains its fiiends with, 
but mean, coarse, unsavoury, compared witli it ? Which was 
best, — the husk, or the bread and fiitted calf, th">, garlic 
and onions, or the manna, the milk and honey ? 'Tis not 
without cause that the faces of some do shine ; their looks 
speak tlieir face none of the nieancst, and their activitj' is 
not a disparagement to their Keeper. In(|uire further, and 
you shall be informed, if their experience be not too big 
to be clothed in wortls, how oft have some of Christ's 
favourites, after tliey have dined ■with their Loi-d, l)een led 
forth into the garden to walk ; and, oh the delightful shades 
that they have sat under! At another time, Christ, not 
Satan, hutli carried tliem, as it were, in his arms and bosom, 
and set them upon the piiniacle of tlie temple, not to make 
them giddy, and hazard their ffill, but to let them under- 
stand how uiucli he had preferred them before others, 
and as long as they are upon that great Corner-stone, no 
storms can shake, in Christ's arms no fear of falling. At 
another time, the soul liath been carried into the mount of 
iOod, and there it hath seen Christ transhgured, and beheld 
so much brightness, glory, and jnajesty in him, that hath 
reflected a glory u[)on itself, and even transiigiu-ed the soul, 
that it's scarce like itself, and tliere it could siy, It's good 
being here ; and then Christ hath bid tlie soul lift up its 
eyes and look iij) to the heavens, look roimd from one side 
to the other, and look heyond the visible heavens, by faitii, 
to the seat of the l)lessed. Well, all this is thine, to tlico 
will I give it, I i)urcha.sed it, I have ])aid for it, and 'tis 
thine; and live like one that is worth nioii; tli;in a woild; 
live up to your estate; expect that shortly I should i-ct 
you in liie possession of all. And aa for thti Vtorld, 


look down upon that; if it be M-orth the accepting, so 
much of it as is good for thee thou shalt have also. Oh, did 
weak Christians but know wliat strength, joy, and comfort 
this ordinance doth afford, I believe they would not be so 
hardly persuaded to come when tliey are invited ! Did they 
but understand how sweet, how wholesome, how dainty the 
dishes are which wisdom prepares ; could they but conceive 
what satisfaction and fuhiess there is for the empty, wliat joy 
and solace for the mourning and disconsolate, wliat strength 
and quickening for the weak, I am ready to think that they 
woidd scarce be so long absent from the Lord's table. But 
think not that every one that sits down is made so welcome, 
or that Christ gives his dainties to strangers or enemies; 
many may come and receive, and not only feed upon a piece 
of bread, and drink two or three spoonfuls of wine; and 
really, if this were all the provision that a saint were to have, 
it were scarce Avorth so solemn an invitation. It's possible 
to come thither to eat and drink yom- own damnation, and, 
instead of an affectionate treatment, to be chsmissed with a 
" Friend, how comest thou liither, not having on the wed- 
ding-garment ]" Yet the sensible, hungry, burdened souls, 
notwithstanding all their fears, may come, nay, they must, 
and it's little less than giving assent to Satan's calumnies, 
which he raiseth against Christ and his ways, to forbear; it's 
too ungrateful a contempt of one of the excellent cordials 
which the great Physician hath provided for the recovering 
and strengthening of his poor swooning patients ; and, in a 
word, it's too like being foolislily fond of our sin and sorrow, 
when we refuse tlie comfortalde appointment wliich the 
goodness and wisdom of a Father, the h)vc and tenderness 
of a Husband, and the sweetness of the Holy Spirit, doth so 
freely offer, persuade, and connnand. The Spirit saith. 
Come, and the Eridegroom saith. Come, and wliy should not 
he that is athirst come thankfully, humldy, speedily ? Well 
now, poor weary soul, what liast thou to say against the 
excellency of rest '? Poor sick soul, wliat fault canst thou find 
with ease, health, and strength '? Poor guilty soul, that look- 
est upon tliyself as next to condemned, what harm would a 
pardon, and the public seaUng of it, do thee ? Who ANOuld 


think that man hunpy that had rather cat ashes tlian 
hread ? Who would j udge that person thh-sty that had rather 
drink gall, tears, and wormwood, than the clear refreshing 
streams that come from that rock, the Lord Christ] WiU 
you never hclieve that Christ invites you? Look into thf 
note that he hath sent out his sei-vants with. Whose name 
do I read there ? Who are the persons that arc invited ? Of 
what rank and quality ? Arc they the great ones of the 
worl 1 I Are they the learned ? Are they the proud and 
self-conceited Pharisees ] Why, I find none of these in the 
writing. Who are they, then, that may come with confi- 
dence to draw water out of these wells of consolation ] The 
poor in spirit, the hungry, the sick, the wounded, the lost ; 
these are pools of Bethesda, where the angels of the covenant 
do oft descend and move the waters ; and where is it fitter 
for the impotent to lie, than there where they cannot 
miss of a doctor, a visit, or cure ? What do you think of this, 
poor heart? Are they hut flourishes? Do I speak, or doth 
Christ ? And if he say it, who can disannul it I Will he, can 
he be worse than his word ] I know he is usually better, 
but never short of his promise. Will you credit the expe- 
riences of Christians? Have they not seen, have they not 
known, have they not felt, yea, have not all their spiritual 
senses been exercised and refi-eshed at that time when the 
King hath been at his taljle? One is ready to say, If ever 
I ccmld have left the world at a minute's warning, and have 
stept immediately into eternity, it was then when mine 
eyes beheld the King in liis beauty, when he held out his 
golden Hcei)tre unto me, and took me into his embraces. 
Yea, when the ministers of Christ presented me with the 
jewels and bracelets, and asked me whether I would i;o 
with tlicm to Clirist, my soul ma<le a speedy and thaiildiil 
reply. My heart and love are his, and his will 1 be for ever. 
Oh that I were once safe is his arms! Oh that I might 
live with him, and never part ! Oh, when shall it be I 
Come, Lord .Ies\is, come quickly. I remember I have heard 
it reported of tliat reverend and holy man of Uod, JMr. 
AUeine, (who lived at as high a rate as most on this side pcr- 
ffcti( n and ylory,) that he was, before he died, in very rare 


seraphic raptures of joy and love, so that he could not choose 
but burst out into unusual expressions of praise, such as 
these : " Ten thousand praises to the King of saints for the 
freeness and riches of his grace to ray poor soul ; let every 
corner of heaven ring with hallelujahs ; let all the angels 
help me to praise tlie incomparable, lovely, and glorious 
Jesus ! Oh the joys that he feasts my soul with ! Who 
would not be Christ's servant! Never did I feel such 
transcendent, pure, divine joys, except at the Lord's table ; 
and then indeed I have been oft so raised in spirit, that my 
nature, except sustained by a miracle, could scarce bear a 
greater weight of comfort. Oh the imspeakable, vast, satis- 
fying pleasures that Christ in that ordinance doth afford 
some of his sometimes !" I have heard another dear brother 
say, that for some years together, he scarce ever failed of 
some notable token of love at that great ordinance. But I 
would not, instead of comforting and encouraging the poor 
saint, bring him into greater fears and dcspondings. Judge 
not, therefore, that this is the portion of all God's children, 
nor of any, at all times to have such large discoveries as 
these. Heaven is reserved for heaven ; some have a single 
mess, some a double, some live times more than their breth- 
ren. Let all be thankful if the great Joseph, instead of a 
prison, give a feast, and in it make himself known to us to 
be our Brother ; let us love him, admire his condescension, 
and be ready to wonder that he doth so much for us, rather 
than repine that he doth more for others. If thou hast 
some drawings, and longings, and mournings after Christ, 
and a deep sense of thy hardness, unbelief, and worldliness, 
be thankful ; it may be this is more wholesome entertain- 
ment, and fitter for the present temper and constitution of 
thy soul, tlian those flagons of wine ; j^erhaps they would 
fly up into thy head, and make thee giddy, proud, and 
wanton. If thou be but Avell wrought, poor, and hungry, 
thou wilt he thankful for a little ; and a crumb that falls 
from the table to a humble soul, is l)etter entertainment 
than it knows it deserves, or could, without a miracle of 
kindness, have expected. ]\Iistake me not, as if I would 
liave Christians sit down satisfied with little or no comfort 


at that ordinance ; no, 'tis quite another desigii that I am 
carrying on ; 'tis only a liint to quell ingratitude ; my great 
work at present is to quicken diligence in preparation, and 
to raise the saint's valuation of that ordinance, and his ex- 
pectations from Christ in it. I say again, Christ usually 
proportions Ids entertainment to the diligent, faithful, 
humble preparations of the soul to meet him ; they that 
trim their lamps, and have oil in them, are most like to 
meet that Bridegi-oom with joy; he that hath on the wed- 
ding gai'ment cannot miss of a welcome, and the good and 
faithful servant is most likely to have the jMaster's com- 
mendation, and to enter into liis joy. But more or less, 
every sincere soul, at one time or another, will meet with 
refreshment at that supper ; and amongst all the rare dishes 
that are served up, no question but some will be suitable, 
(if not all) to a hungry, spiritual stomach. I can scarce 
leave this sweet sulyect. The time draws nigh, and the ser- 
vants are sent out to invite, and thou, my soul, art one 
of the g\iests that are bidden. Hark, methinks I hear a 
royal proclamation, "Whosoever is atliirst, let him come 
and drink of the waters of life freely." Methinks the silver 
trumpet of the gospel and divine love sounds a jubilee. 
jMethinks the air echoes with a strange hai-mony, somewhat 
like tluit, Luke ii. 14, " Glory to God in the highest, and on 
earth peace, good will toward men." Do not tlie very 
heavens ring with these blessed words, A Saviour ! a Saviour ! 
a mighty Redeemer ! a jiardon ! a jjardon ! liberty ! liberty ! 
a glorious lil)erty! And again tlie congregations of the 
saints and redeemed ones cry, Hallelujah! hallelujaii ! lialle- 
lujah ! I ha<l thought to have done, but the feast is so 
sweet, I must fall on again. Here is jio surfeiting, the 
more I feed, the more hungry; and yet tiio more satis- 
fied, the more delighted. Here is nothing but fulness; 
sweetness and love may lie written upon every dish ; 
the royal, nol)le, everlasting l)ouuty may be jjroclaimed be- 
fore every course. All the dismal bonds are thrown in and 
cancelled; all our debts forgiven and ])uid ; the great Surety 
shows the aciiuittance long hineo granted in the court of 
Iicaven, now it's given iu to the court of conscience. The 

264 HEAVEN UPUX KAUTll ; Oil, 

bloody war is concluded by a happy and firm peace : God 
is no longer a Judge, an Enemy, but now the soul hears 
such words. Friend, Father, Husband. The challenges of 
law, conscience, and Satan, are now silenced, the indictments 
against the soul are all quashed ; the soul may now walk at 
liberty, and fear no arrest. Who can lay anything to the 
cliarge of God's elect / It is Christ that justifies, who can 
condemn ? Christ says it, swears it, seals it ; it cannot but 
be true. Why art thou then cast down, poor soul, and Avhy 
art thuu disquieted ? Christ hath made a blessed exchange 
with thee, he hath drank the bitter cup, and oilers thee the 
sweet, which is spiced with grace and love ; Christ hath 
purchased the crown for thee, and taken the cross to him- 
self; he took the rags, and gives thee the robes ; he became 
poor that thou mayst become rich ; he emptied himself that 
thou mayst be hlled; he was esteemed as nothing, that 
thou mightest from worse than nothing possess all things; 
and what now remains, but that, with the greatest gratitude, 
thou acccptest of Christ's offer, whensoever he invites thee to 
his table I What doth better become thee, than the fullest 
acceptance of the highest kindness, and a grateful closure 
with all the overtures of divine goodness? Oh happy are 
the people that are admitted to this intimacy ! Happy are 
the souls that know the worth, the use of this ordinance, 
and make it their business wisely to improve it. Oh what 
an opportunity have such of Christ here ! What ref^uest 
may they not then have granted ! And wdien Christ is 
giving, what will he, what can he deny them wlio have his 
heart already I I have been the more large in this, because 
it was the particular request of one of my Itrethren, a reve- 
rend minister, that in the next edition I would not forget 
that ordinance in Aviiich God usually doth most signally 
discover his love to his people. 


If 3'ou would get acquaintance with God, get Christ 
along M-itk you, when you go to God. You are like to speed 
no way so soon as this way ; nay, let me say, all that I have 
said before signifies nothing at all without this. There is 

3V.9VS Tnr. EEST Fr.TrXD OF MAN'. 265 

no name undor lieavcMi by ■which we can bo saved l)iit by 
the name ot Christ ; and wliosoever comes to tlie Fatlier by 
him, he will in no wise cast out. God cannot deny his own 
Son anythinti, l;e can never forgot that ureat undertaking of 
his, by wliich lie gloriiied his Father's intinite justice and 
infinite love, and did him more honour than all the saints 
and angels in the world. His Son, the Lord Christ, hatli 
such an interest m his Father, that he can as soon despise 
liis own honour as refuse any request that is presented 
to him by his Son. If Christ come unto him, and say, Fa- 
ther, here is a poor sinner that I have undertaken for, and 
that flew to me for i-cfuge, look upon him fur luy sake ; why, 
tlie Father's arms are presently open ; he will not reject his 
Son's petitions. The truth of it is, this is the gi-eatest cause 
of the miscarriages of poor creatures, that go about to do that 
themselves, and by themselves, which they can never do alone. 
They go to God all alone, and no wonder than they meet 
with a frown ; for there is no name under heaven by wliich 
a man can be saved but by the name of Christ; and out of 
Christ, God is a consuming fire ; and tliere is but one Me- 
diator, the j\hiii Christ Jesus ; and there is but one Advo- 
cate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. Tliat 
which Joseph said of Hcnjamiu, (lod saith of Christ, Except 
you l)ring Benjamiu along with you, you shall not see my 
face ; P^xcept you bring Christ along with you, you shall not 
see my face. There is a notable story which is comiiKJiily 
by divines applied to our p»*esent purpose, and that not 
without good reason : it is concerning a law among the 
Molossians, where whosoever came to the king with his son 
in his arms should l)e accepted into favour, iet his fault be 
what it might. So let a ni.iu be what he will before, yet if 
]\e come to' God in Christ, lu; cannot be thrust away. Oh 
tberefurc, if thou wouldst have any cduntenance from God, 
beg for a Christ to ))ear thee ciinipany into tlic presence of 
God. I will tell you this fur your cumtort. Christ hath a 
loving design in his lieart to do sucii oliiccs of kindness for 
poor malefactors that understand something f)f their danger. 
If you see yourself lost for want of I'econciliation with God, 
Christ stands ready to lead yyu inty \m Fiithcr'a house. Oh 

2G6 HEAVEN rrPON earth; OR, 

did you but know how willing lie is to bring undone lost 
penitents to God, it would make your heart leap within you 
for joy. Behold how oft he asks after you. What doth that 
sinner mean to ruin himself? I would vdih all my heart 
bring liim out of all those j^erplexities, and undertake to 
make God and him friends, if he would be but ruled by me ; 
and iqjon this account he sends up and down many lum- 
dreds of his ministers to tell sinners as much, that they may 
not be undone everlastingly. Doth not wisdom call 1 Doth 
not Christ plead the case, and expostulate with sinners? 
And who would not, that hath any understanding at all of 
his state out of Christ, with all possible thankfulness be en- 
couraged to accejit of his kindness ? Christ hath done as 
much as tliis comes to already for many millions, and his 
Father never said to him, Sen, why do you trouble yourself 
and me with so many of these wretched creatures ? let them 
alone to take their course. Where did God ever express 
himself in this manner ? Did he ever take it unkindly that 
his Son should every day bring such guests to his house, and 
be continually begging one boon or other for them, or put- 
ting lip some petitions upon their account, or pleading with 
his Father for them when they do offend 1 Is God dis- 
pleased at such work as this ? Is he not as willing to I'e- 
ceive such as his Son is to luring them ? and both Father 
and Son more willing to save the sinner than he is to be 
saved ? Oh kindness ! Christ loves the sinner better than he 
loves himself! And as I said before, so I say again, the Fa- 
ther doth not grudge anything that Christ gives or doth for 
poor sinners. The righteousness of Christ is that wedding- 
garment in which we may sit at the King's table, and are 
welcome ; these are the robes of our elder Brother, in which 
we cannot miss of our Father's blessing. Oh how many 
]ioor creatures have walked in the dark many years, because 
they have n<jt been brought off from themselves, but have 
sought that by themselves which is to be sought only by 
Christ ; because they have looked for that in the law which 
is to be found only in the gospel ! And no wonder their busi- 
ness went on so slowly, when they went the rpiite contrary 
way to work. When any come ta God without Cluist, they 


come, like Simon Magus, with their own mouoy in their 
hand to buy a great commodity, wliich is not to be pur- 
chased with such kind of coin. If you come to God through 
Christ, you may come with bohhiess to the throne of grace ; 
but if you come without him, you do Imt come with mad- 
ness upon the point of the flaming sword. 


If you would be acquainted with God, come much where 
he is wont to be, fi-equent his house, lie always at the doora 
of wisdom, engage much in his ordinances. This was that 
course which David took when he wanted God's company; 
away he goes to the house of God ; and, oh what earnestness 
doth he use, when the doors of tlie Lord's taberracle were 
shut, to get them open again ! ^'V hat moans doth he make, 
when he was for some time sequestered by hie enemies 
from the enjoyment of God in his public ordinances ! " As 
the hart jjants after the water-brooks, so did his soul pant 
after God, the Uving God." Uli, when should he appear be- 
fore him 1 When should he again behold the out-goings of 
God in his sanctuaiy, as sometimes lie had 1 " How amiable 
are thy tabernacles," saith he, " Lord God of hosts ! 
And one thing have I desired, and that will I seek after, 
that I may dwell in thy house, and see thee, and inquire 
in thy tabernacle," Ps. xlii. ; Ps. xlviii. ; Ps. xxvii. 4. He 
tliought God was like to be found nowhere so soon as 
at liis own house ; he was sure he was never from home. 
l)avid can never forget what usage and entertainment he 
was wont to have there, and that this great Friend was 
used to have a standing tat)le, an oj)eu house ; and that when 
his guests were set, he would come and bid them welcome: 
" liat, friends, drink, yea, drink abundantly, beloved." 
Sec tlien that you get into that part of God's house where 
lie doth most fi-equently come. Get imder the most power- 
ful ministry. Oh hear the word with all the reverence, at- 
tention, and affection that you can for your soul ! Miss not 
any o])portunities that God jiuts into your hand, lest that 
should be the time in which you might liave met with God. 
Lie at the pool uf Bethesda, uud wait for the moving of thd 


waters. Set yourselves in the liouse of God, and romemljcr, 
though you see not God, that he is always present in all 
places, but lie is there more especially present, where liis 
people meet together to attend upon him in his own ordi- 
nances. Wherefore, when you come to hear the word, set 
yourself as in the presence of God, and hear as for your life 
and soul. " Set your hearts unto all the Avords which I tes- 
tify among you this day ; for it is not a vain thing for you, 
it is your life," Dent, xxxii. 46, 47. " Hearken diligently 
unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul de- 
light itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me ; 
hear, and your soul shall live : and I will make an everlast- 
ing covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David," Isa. 
Iv. 2, 3. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear what the 
mighty Jehovah is speaking to his soul. Wherefore I say 
it again. Set youi'self as in the very immediate presence of 
God ; and when you hear a word that you are very nearly 
concerned in, put up such a short ejaculation as this: Now 
Lord, strike this hard heart of mine ; now Lord, come in, I 
beseech thee ; oh that this word might be the key which 
might open my heart for the King of glory to come in ! Oh 
C(3mraand thy loving-kindnestj this day to break into my 
soul! Oh th^it this might be the day in which salva- 
tion might come unto my house ! Oh that this might be 
tlie man that might be my spiritual father, that this 
might be the messenger, one among a thousand, that may 
bring me good tidings ! Oh that this might be the sen- 
tence, that this might be the hour of love ! Oh that this 
]night be the day that I may have in everlasting remem- 
brance ! Oh that I might presently, without any more de- 
lay, set out for Canaan ! Cry out, with as much earnestness 
as that poor man did who brought his possessed child be- 
fore Christ, Lord, I have brought my unbelieving heart 
before thee to cure ; it exposes me a thousand times to un- 
speakable hazards ; but, Loi'd, if thou wilt but speak the 
word, it shall be dispossessed : I would believe ; Lord, help 
my iinbelief. I have brought my hard heart before thee ; 
Lord, soften it, and let me not go from time to time with 
thesje dreadful diseases hanging about me, to infect and uu- 


rio myself ami others. Oh melt me, Lord, melt me, and 
let me liave such a look from thee as Peter once had, which 
made him go out and weep hitterly ! But I shall speak a 
little more of this nature under another direction. 


If you would 1)0 acquainted with Ood, you must get 
acijuaintcd with sunic of liis friends; and they will do all 
tliey can, and be glad of it too, to hcl]) you to be acquainted 
with him ; they will not spare to give you their utmost assist- 
ance in this great Imsiness. And when they shall hear you 
asking what you shall do to know God, they are glad at 
their heart, and will not be at quiet till they have got you 
home with them to their Fatlier's house; they watch for 
your soul, and no greater joy than to help forward such a 
work as this, than to be employed any way in the service of 
your souls. They are glad when they hear any saying. Let 
us go to. the house of the Lord, and asking the way to Zion 
with their faces thitlicrward. Oh ! Christian society, good 
comjjany, is of exceeding use ; one good servant in a house, 
the whole family may fare the better for him. Laban and 
Potiphar, tliough ignorant enough in spirituals, could not 
but ob.serve this, that the L(;rd Ijlessed their families for the 
sake of one godly sei-vant. I do not speak this only with 
respect to teinjxjrals, because of that diligence and faithful- 
ness in their places that religion will put them upon ; but 
with respect to si)irituals: they will be drojjping something 
that may tend to tlie awakening and convincing of their 
sleepy, uubelieviug, ignornnt companions ; they have an 
inward princii)lc which puis them upon communicating 
what gi-dce they have received ; they know, the more they 
impart tootlier.s, the more they shall have themselves; they 
have a comjiassion fin' souls, and wouM fain have as many 
as they can along with them to heaven ; they will b(! teach- 
ing little children to pray, and instilling something, that the 
Vciy l)abus may set forth God's praises, and they will be 
pleading witii God for tliein. But this only by the bj'. 
Now, if those tliat are gracious enrjeavour what tliey can to 
bring in those that are open enemies, how much more will 


thej' be ready to give all the help they can to yon that 
earnestly desire it ! Now, when any one comes to this pass, 
that he sees a difference between the godly and the wicked, 
and to say that the righteous is more excellent tlian his 
neighbour, and to liave an earnest desire to associate him- 
self with them, it is a very great sign that God hath an 
intention to do such a soul good. Wherefore, if you would 
be brought to the knowledge of God, go speedily to them 
that know liim well ; and they will tell you great things of 
him, and how they came first acquainted with him, and how 
this acquaintance hath been kept ; they will tell you where 
they first met him, they will give you to understand that 
at such and such a time, when they little thought of God, 
they were strangely brought acquainted with him. When 
they came (out of fashion or curiosity, oi to laugh at Iiiin 
that taught them, or it may be to pick some quarrel with 
him) to hear such a man, they were made to see what they 
never took any great notice of before, that they were in an 
undone condition by nature, and that except Christ would 
pity them, there was no remedy, but to hell they must go ; 
whereas before they thought themselves as safe as could be. 
But then they saw that it was no light matter to be out of 
Christ, and aliens from the commonwealth of Israel. After 
this they were made to understand sometliing of Christ's 
undertaking for poor lost sinners, and they heard of his 
exceeding willingness to receive the chiefest of sinners ; and 
that then they began to see an excellency in his love and 
goodness, and to be somewhat move taken with the kind- 
ness of Christ than ever they were before, and they felt 
some longings after the precious Jesus: oh that they 
had but a Christ for tlieir souls ! And that after this they 
were, by the Spirit of God, in some measure enabled to cast 
themselves at the feet of Christ for merc^', and that upon 
his own tei-ms, knoA\ing that if mercy came nut that way to 
them, tliey must sink for ever ; and that upon tliis act of 
recumbency, after they liad for some time waited upon God 
in the way of his ordinances, they began to taste and relish 
the things of God, and at last they met hiui whom their 
Kouls loved. Inquire of them, I say, and they will talk 


thus to yon, and tell you also that there was a time wherein 
they were foolish, disobedient, and unto every good work 
rejirobate, and miserably neglectful of their souls ; that they 
did not at all niind their eternal welfare, but made light of 
Christ, made a mock of sin, and made nothing of eternal 
damnation. And they will direct and encourage you also. 
Let me tell you, they have an interest in God, and their 
prayers for you Tuay be more advantageous than you are 
aware of. Yet I a\ ould not that you should make Christs 
of the saints, nor forget what is the work of the Mediator 
alone. Saints are to be valued, but Christ is to be valued 
infinitely more. Get acquainted ^\^th some warm, rare, ex- 
l)erienced Christian, and make him j'our bosom fi'iend, and 
observe him, and you shall see much of the beauty of reli- 
gion shining in him, and you shall see how cheerfully and com- 
forfaI)lyhe walks; now ask him what Iris practice is, and go 
you and do likewise. Have a care of harbouring ill thoughts 
of the people of God, or, for the sake of one hypocrite, of 
censuring a thousand sincere Christians. Judge you whetlier 
this be just and equal doing. How would you like it, if one 
that bears some relation to you shoidd do some vile abomina- 
ble thing, and bring him.self to an untimely end, and people 
should say the whole family is like him, though it 
may be you are grieved to the very heart that such a thing 
should be done by any in the world, much more by any 
tliat bears any kind of relation to yourself? I tell you, an 
contemptibly as the world speaks of the godly, they are not 
sucli odious creatures as they arc rejjresented to be. The 
saints are not troulilers, 1)iit peace-makers; they love to 
make peace between man and man, ami, what in them lies, 
also l)etween God and man. Your converse with such as 
fear the Lord will make you like them, at least they will 
endeavour as much. He sjioke no untruth who said that 
"company is of an assimihitiiig natnre. A living coal laid 
to a heap of dead ones may kindle them all ; but they are 
more like, except it be blown up, to put the live one quite 
ont." (Ar. Kpict. 1. iii. c. 16.) " Therefore," saith the same 
author, "}'oii must be very cautious of your company." It 
is Btoried of yoci-atos, that he had a rare art of making his 


familiar fricntls of lils miml. Some active Clivlstians take 
great pains to make their familiars of Christ's mind. " He 
that walketh with wise men shall be Avise: Imt a com- 
panion of fools shall he destroyed," Prov. xiii. 20. " The 
tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the 
wicked is little worth. The lips of the righteous feed many : 
but fools die for want of A\isdom. The lips of the righteous 
know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked 
speaketh frowardness," Prov. x. 20, 21, 32. Such as these 
■will do what they can to make you out of love with sin, 
and in love with God. Such as these will, from their own 
experience, be setting forth the goodness of God, and tell 
you that which may stand you in stead as long as you live ; 
it may be they may tell you, that when God began first to 
work upon their soul, he was pleased to make use of the 
particular application, and the spiritual conversation of such 
a Christian relation ; and when God came in with comfort, 
and spake peace, such a one led them to such a promise, 
which was like a cordial to their fainting soul. When they 
were abroad, (they will tell you,) and were necessitated to 
tl^e company of them who were strangers to the life of re- 
ligion, and were at such a time troubled with horrible 
temptations, that they were in a wilderness-condition, and 
thought that never any that walked heavenward could be 
in the like state ; but now, when they got acquainted with 
the people of God, they found, that as face answered face 
in a glass, so then- experience and the experience of many 
of the dear children of God were exactly alike ; and that 
that which they thought none in the world could parallel, 
they find that most of the Christians they meet with 
know as well as themselves, and at the first hearing, are 
able to go on with the story before them; so that they 
have sometimes wondered how any one living should know 
their hearts and thoughts so well, to whom they did not 
communicate them. I think it not altogether impertinent 
here to insert an observation of mine own. I remember, 
when I was once speaking concerning*the duty of Christians 
in relation to their unconverted friends, and urging them 
up«n doing what they could for God and souls, in the 


places where God hath set them: in speaking- to this suh- 
ject, I said, that there was not the meanest Christian but 
might be an instrument of the conversion of a souh Upon 
this, I rehearsed a couple of experiences that I liad of two 
persons, strangers one to tlio other, who gave tliis account 
of their conversion ; they were upon the matter both ahke, 
and therefore I shall tell but one of them, which take as 
follows : There was a poor, civil, yet very carnal creature, 
a servant in a religious family, who did from liis soul abhor 
the spiritual conversation of those in the family, insomuch 
that he was resolved to run away from his service, he was 
so weary of such doings. But one night, hearing a strange 
sound somewhere, he arose out of his bed, and went to 
listen what was the matter : upon Avhich, he heard one dis- 
tinctly praying on the other side of the wall ; he, still heark- 
ening, heard one praying very earnestly for him, (who did 
not know but that he might be asleep,) and oi)ening the 
condition of his soul so particularly, and with so much ten- 
derness, that he was wonderfully awakened, to think that 
one that he hated should so much lova him and jiity liis 
soul, and to consider Ikjw it was possible any one in tlie 
world should know his thoughts so well as that person did 
who prayed for him. Upon this he began to be very much 
stiirtled to think of his condition, concluding thus. Surely 
I am in a lamental)lo state, and they see it, or else they 
would never do as they do ; they ai'c j)raying for ]ne when 
I am asleej), tliey love mo when I hate them. Upon this 
the man was very much troubled, and Ins trouble daily 
increased, till he was forced to open his condition to the 
l)erson who liad been ])raying for him, who was a i)oor 
maid-servant: ujion which the work of regeneration was 
carried on vei-y sweetly, and the man became an excellent 
C'ln-istian ; whereas the instrument that God used in this 
great work was but a poor servant. Now, when 1 rehearsed 
tliis thing, wliicli was the condition of two, as I said bifnre, 
a third person stood by, (whom I never saw in my life be- 
fore,) who fell a-sweating for trouble that any of his friends 
Bliould tell such a thing of him to me, and thought I had 
meant liimself in all the particulars, tliougli I heard not a 

274 HEAVEN irPOX EAKTH ; Olt, 

word of the man before in my life. Tliis l)y tlie by. I 
could not but hint this for the encouragement of parents to 
get their children into fiimilies that are really religious, and 
to encourage all to associate themselves to such as fear the 
Lord. You see by what liath been spoken, that acquaint- 
ance with the people of God may be of great use for the 
bringing the soul acquainted with God. 


If you would be acquainted with God, entertain all the 
messengers that he sends to you kindly. When God calls, 
answer, and when he sends any of his servants to you, bid 
them welcome ; let the feet of those who biing glad tidings 
be beautiful in your eye ; do not think much if tliey deal 
plainly and i-oundly with you ; know that it is out of love 
to your souls, (God is their witness ;) they see that your 
condition requires it, and that a man in your state is not to 
be jested with. The Lord knows that they take little 
pleasure in grieving people ; they do it that you may rejoice 
for ever ; they Avatch for your souls, and therefore you must 
account them worthy of double honour. Eut of all the 
messengers that God sends, have the greatest care of dealing 
unkindly with and grieving his Spirit; when you have any 
motions upon your soul by the Spirit, labour to cherish 
them with all the care and tenderness that you can : turn 
not convictions away with, I am not at leisure ; or, I vAW 
hear you of these things when I have a more convenient 
season : but as soon as you find your heart begin to relent, 
cry out unto tlie Lord, and say, Lord, I beseech thee, 
carry on thy work effectually \i\>on my soul. Oh that I 
may have thorough Avork ! Oh let not these convictions 
wear off from my soul, till they end in a real conversion ! 
Oh let me not prove but a half-Christian ! Anything in 
the world. Lord, so that I may but be made a Christian in 
good earnest ! Oh let me not return with the dog to his 
vomit, and with the sow that is washed to her wallowing in 
the mire ! Deliver me, God, from sinning away these 
things, and getting into a cold world, and from shaking off 
all, lest I prove worse than ever, and my latter end be more 

JESrS T1[E r,F..>T FRIEXl) OP XfAN'. *2 1 it 

!nIseral)lo than my lioi^iuuiui;-. Laboui- to he voiy cmious 
in tlie taking notice of Ood's absence or presence ; and when 
yon find your soul raised in any duty, and your lieart some- 
what drawn out after God, then ho sure to own God's good- 
ness, and bless the Lord for it ; record his kindness, forget 
not his mercy, pass not over sucli great things in silence. 
Little do men tliink what a hazard they run when they 
quench the motions of God's Spirit. You may read in Cant. 
V. how dearly tlie spouse had like to have paid for such an 
Uiikindness. What, shall God send his Spirit to visit you? 
Shall the infinite Majesty so far condescend as to knock at 
yom- door, and will not you open ] "Why then, you may 
thank yom-selves if he never knock more. But if you will 
now open to him, he will come in to you, and sup with you, 
and you shall sup with him. 


Seek his acquaintance most earnestly, if you would have 
it. Oh, wliy do mi'U and women jest with matters of the 
greatest weight and importance in the world! What do 
])eople mean, to play with their souls, the wrath of God, and 
damnation ! sinners, have you nothing else to play with '( 
lio lower matters to s\nn-t a\ ith 1 Believe it, sirs, heaven 
and glorj' are not got with sitting still with oui* hands in 
our pockets. We think it worth the while to rise early, 
and to sit up late, to get an earthly estate ; we count it no 
foolish thing fir a man to be very diligent about his worldly 
alVaii's. The ]ioor countryman ]iloughs and sows, harrows, 
weeds, reaps, inns, thraslu's, and a great deal more, liefore 
he can eat his bread ; and shall wc look for a rich croj), and 
do notliing at all but eat, and drink, and sleep? Is this tlie 
way to be rich ? Is this the \\ay to be hajipy for ever? If 
you intend to do anytlnnn' in religion to any purjiose, you 
must buckle to your business at another guess rate than 
most of the jirofissors of the world <lo: you must take as 
much jiains about your souls as men do about tiieir bodies 
or estates. Is there any comparison between tlie soul and 
the body, between a worldly estate and n heavenly inheri- 
tance? Ilath a man more reason to loolc after tricking up 


liis l)ody that must die, or look after tlie ailorning of liis 
eoul that must live somewhere for ever? Which are mat- 
ters of tlie greatest consequence, eating and drinking, pam- 
]3ering the flesh, and taking our pleasure ; or looking after 
life, salvation, and eternal joy? Do you tliink that the 
scripture saith in vain, that "we must strive to enter in at 
the strait gate f ' Is it a hare seeking that will sei've the 
turn? Will a "Lord, have mercy upon me," and howing 
the knee, do as well as the greatest seriousness and dili- 
gence in the world? Do you think that God will he ])ut 
off witli the skin and garhage instead of sacrifice, with tlie 
shell instead of the kernel, with chaff instead of the com? 
Doth not Christ say, that " Many shall seek to enter in, 
and shall not be able ?" Oh, why do not lazy professors 
read the scriptures -with trenihling? Let all those that are 
angry with us for putting them upon making religion their 
business, and using all diligence "to make their calling 
and election sure," read that one scripture over again, 
" Strive to enter in at the strait gate : for many, I say unto 
you, will seek to enter in, and sluiU nut be aljlc," Luke xiii. 
i24. It was Christ who spoke that word. If we tell you of 
the danger of a formal religion, you will soon fall upon us 
as enemies to your peace, and those who impose too much 
strictness upon you. We therefore do here produce our 
commission for what we say ; or rather, -vve desire you but to 
read yourselves what Oln-ist spoke, as toucliing this matter. 
Oh ! it n.iight jnstly make a Christian's heail ache, to think 
how many tliousands of proi^essors will be disowned by Christ 
in that day, who will make many fair pleas for themselves, 
and pretend a great deal of acquaintance with him. Con- 
sider, I beseech you, here is no fear of excess ; never any 
man in the world that was too solicitous al^out his salva- 
ti(m, never any man took too much pains for heaven. 
Awake, sleeper, what meanest thou? Arise, and call 
Tipon thy God ! If you make anything of the loss of a soui, 
look about you ; if you think the ^^ rath to come consider- 
able, be serious ; if you would not be burnt by the fire of 
his indignation, you must take hold of his strength and 
make pence with him, and God will 1»e at jicace with you. 


Isa. xxA'ii. 5. It is not without cause that the propnet doth 
complain : " There is none that calleth upon thy name, tliat 
stirreth up himself to take hold of tliee," I&a. Ixiv. 7. One 
WDuld tliink that that w-.re strange. What, none call upon his 
name, when so many of them made r,o many prayers, as you 
have it in the first of Isaiah ! "What, did they notliing hut look 
upon one another when they had their solemn assemhlies? 
Did they say nothing to God when they came before himi 
l)id they do nothing at all when they are said to seek him 
daily, when they seemed to delight in his way ? Isa. Iviii. 
Yet, in God's esteem, all this goes for nothing at all, this 
])rayer is no l)rayer, this is only Avording of it with God. 
But prayer is another kind of thing, it is the stm-ing up of 
the soul, and awakening all its streng-th to wrestle with 
God, to lay hold ujjou God, and to prevail with the Almighty. 
And where are such as these to be found 1 who is this that 
engages his heart in the service of God? It is one thing to 
engage the tongue, and another thing to engage the heart. 
Men come to pray \\itli a common spirit, and are many times 
weaiy of the work before they have well begun it ; what they 
do they do lifelessly. They can follow their worldly employ- 
ments with life and delight. They have a male in their tlock, 
hut that's too good for God ; a lame, blind, starved v/eak thing 
must sen-e his turn. And is this the way to have the bless- 
ing? Are such as these like to have any thanks for their 
kindness ] Let them try how any of their friends would take 
such a jjresent. Now, would you have the blessing of ac- 
quaintance with God, you must wrestle for it, and not let 
(iud go witliout it. You must be "fervent in sjjirit, serving 
tlie Lord;" you must "fight tlic good fight of faith, and lay 
hold on eternal life." You must gnvs]) ab(tut Ghriiit, as a 
man that is drowning would giuisp anything that is tbrown 
out to save him ; you must use " all diligence to make yoin* 
<alling and election sure;" you "must work out your salva- 
tion witii fear and tremlding;" you must "seek for wisdom 
as for silver, and search for her as for hidden treasure. Then 
shall you understand the fear of the Lord, and find the 
knowledge of God." What excellent thing is there that is 
{^ot without paiiisl Wh) ever came to he liUCMpiisile curious 

278 itnAvr.x upon earth ; or, 

artist in any skill whatever, that never seiTed an apprentice- 
ship to it, nor at the least gave his mind to it? Where is 
tliere a famous physician that never studied in his life? 
'Who gets a Aactory by sleeping and carelessness ? Who ex- 
pects to have riches drop into his mouth when he goes all 
the Avays that can be to make himself a beggar ? Doth the 
liusbandman look for a good crop without ploughing or sow- 
ing ? Why then should we expect such great things as hea- 
ven, eternal happiness, and the favour of God, without look- 
ing after them ? AYhatsoever the lazy formal professor may 
say, the kingdom of heaven is not obtained thus. There 
must be running, watching, fighting, conquering, holding 
fast, holding out, and all little enough ; it requires all the 
strength of thy soul to engage in this great work; it requires 
some resolution to do such a work as every Christian must 
do, or else his religion signifies little. Further, it calls fur 
some time too; it is not a thing to be minded now and 
tlien, by the by, between sleep and awake, when the devil 
and the world have had as much sen-ice as they call for. 
Were it for your bodies that I am now pleading; were you 
like to get any great matter in the world by following my 
directions ; could you l)e shown a way how to get a great 
estate, honom-s, and long life, I am verily persuaded a few 
■words might prevail much. Why, if you will believe the 
word of God, I am telling you of other kind of things than 
these be, gi-eater matters by far ; and yet how little are men 
and women affected! as if we spoke but in jest always, 
when we spoke about things that did concern souls. How 
little time do men spend in their inquiiy into these things ! 
Ask Epictetus, (Ench. c. G3,) and he will tell you that it is 
a sign of a low soul to bestow much time ujjon the body 
and the thoughts of it, and httle upon the soul ; to be long 
eating, and long drinking, and long a-dressing, and short in 
jjrayer, short in the thoughts of the soul, and short in the ser- 
vice of God ; and that it is a sign of a base degenerate spirit to 
be verj^ curious about toys and inconsiderable trifles, and to be 
neghgent about matters of the gi-eatest importance, to slubber 
over the gi-eat works of religion with the greatest slightness. 
Eemember, man, thy great work is to take care of thy 


soul, to look after a Companion, a Friend for tliy soul, to get 
food and clothing for thy soul, that it famish not with liun- 
ger and cold. To be indifferent in all externals is the great- 
est prudence ; but to be indift'ererit about spirituals and eter- 
nals is the greatest madness. We are all soldiers, and must 
fight in such a war wlierein we must never lay down our 
arms. The favour of God is worth the striving for, it is as 
much as heaven and glory are worth. If your estate or life 
lay at stake, would you not be mlling to use all the interest 
you could to make the Judge your Friend 1 Would you go 
lip and down laugliing as if you had nothing to do 1 Would 
you eat and diink as merrily as ever, and say, It is but dying, 
it is but being a beggar, it is buttlie undoing of my wife and 
children ? Would you not look upon a man tliat should 
argue at this rate to be little better than frantic ? And, I 
praj'', which is most considerable, the death of the body, or 
tlie deatli of the soul ; the loss of a temporal, or the loss of 
an eternal inheritance ? Most men's diligence in temporals 
will condemn their negligence in spirituals. Christ said, 
" Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven, and the righteous- 
ness thereof;" but most men say, I will seek first the earth, 
and the glory thereof; and if God will give me heaven and 
happiness after I liave served the devil and the world as 
long as I can, I shall be contented to have it. No such 
matter; never expect it; God must sooner cease to be than 
to gi-atify you in tliis. Wherefore, do you think, did David 
follow his work so closely ? Why did all those noble worthies 
in the cliurch of old take so much pains 1 Why should they 
not much stick to venture estates and lives too ? WiU you 
condemn them all as guilty of too much curiosity and un- 
necessary jireciscness ? Do you think their labour was in 
vain? Are all those disapjiointed who willingly parted with 
present things for future things? I must tell you, if you 
expect to sit down \\itli AbriiJiam, Isaac, and Jacol) in tlie 
kingdom of heaven, yuu must do as they did. Heaven will 
not be obtained now upon any lower terms than then. 
Your souls are as precious as theirs, and heaven will be as 
well worth your minding as theirs, and God will look upon 
you as well us upon them, if you will value his favoui' aa 

280 nsAVEN UPON earth; OR, 

they did. Never look to liave God give you that which you 
will not thank him for. What do you say after all this ? 
Will you sit down before your work is done ? Open thine 
eyes, and consider what thou hast to do, and then tell me 
if it be not the greatest folly imaginable to be slight in these 
aftau'S. Oh, how canst thou eat, or drink, or sleep, Avhilst 
thou hast such a great work to do which is undone ? Oh, 
give not sleep to thine eyes, or slumber to thine eyelids, 
I at deliver thyself from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird 
from the hand of a fowler ! " Go to the ant, thou sluggard : 
consider her ways, and be wise ; which having no guide, 
overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, 
and gathereth her meat in the harvest." How long wilt 
thou sleep, sluggard 1 When wilt thou arise out of tliy 
sleep ? " Yet a little sleep, a little^slumber, a little folding 
of the hands to sleep : so shall thy poverty come as one that 
travailleth, and thy want as an armed man." And will 
you now labour to get acquaintance with God, as you would 
to get food for yoiu* liody ? Will you endeavour as much to 
make sure of his love, as you would to make sure of a 
jiardon, in case of the forfeiture of your life 1 If so, we 
liave some hopes the work may have some considerable 


If you would be acquainted with God, be much in ex- 
postulating the case with God, in urging those arguments 
which the Scripture doth afford you in such a case. Take 
with you words, and come unto the Lord, and spread your 
requests before him, and say, Lord, thou hast sent thy 
servants the ministers, and hast invited me to come unto 
thee, and thou hast offered peace and reconciliation, and to 
he acquainted with me. God, I desire, from my soul, to 
come upon thy call, and would fain be acquainted with thee. 
I see myself in an undone state while I am a stranger to 
thee. But, Lord, I have a cursed base heart that keeps 
me back from thee, and I cannot tell what in the world to 
do. Lord, I beseech thee, help thy poor creature to come 
unto thee, lead me by the hand, let thy goodness and love 


constrain mc, conquer me by thy kindness; come, Lord, 
into Hiy soul, and li't me see thy face, and look upon thee 
till I am in love witli tlue. Oh why art thou as a stranger 
to me ? Wilt thou forsake me fur ever ? Shall I be one of 
those thuie enemies that shall be slain before thy £ice? 
Shall I be one of those that shall dwell with everlasting 
burnings? Lord, pity, l>ity, pity, for Christ's sake, a 
poor creatin'c that would fain love thee, and be acquainted 
with thee. I am convinced that I nmst be damned witlVout 
thee, and come to thee of myself I cannot. Oh draw me I 
Oh carry me ! Oh compel me, constrain me, make me 
willing in the day of thy power! I cannot get loose, my 
heart is too hard fur me, my lusts are too strong for me, my 
temptations arc too many for me to conquer of myself. O 
Lord, help me. Turn mo, and I shall he turned. Pluck 
my feet out of the snare, or I shall be utterly destroyed for 
ever. Forgive min<- iniijuity, make me a clean heart, make 
me thy servant. Tell God that thou hast heard of his 
goodness and mercy, and that the King of Israel is a merci- 
ful King, and that it is his nature to ])ity. Say to him, Oh, 
I am a poor undone creature, and wilt thou send me away 
without mercy i will the God of grace send me away with- 
out gi-ace ] Hast thou not called me, God 1 Thy ser- 
vants tell me so. Lord, speak, and give me ears to hear ; 

Lord, I am come in upon thy merciful proclamation, and 

1 desire to lay myself at thy feet ; mercy. Lord, mercy upon 
\\hat tenns thou ])k'asest. Didst thou not .say in thy word, 
" IIo, every one that thirsteth, come, and buy wine and milk 
without money and without price?" Have not thy ser- 
vants i)leiided with me to cijine? and hast thou not sent for 
mc? Oh! a blessing, a blessing for me, even for me! O 
my Fallicr, hast thou not a l)lessing fur me? Shall I be 
Bent awny as I came ? Lord, I come at thy word ! Do 
not say unto mc, IJcgom^ out of my sight. I cannot go, I 
will not go. ^Vhitllcr .shall I go from thee, for thou hast 
the words of eternal life? Tliough I cannot say, Be just to 
me a saint, yi-t 1 will say, Be merciful to me a sinner. I'Icad 
the blood of Christ ; you may safely say, that if there be not 
enough in Christ to save you, you do not desire salvatiun : for 


in him there Is all fulness. You may plead your own abso- 
lute necessity. Tell God that if ever poor creature in the 
world had need of mercy, you have ; tell him that you are re- 
solved not to 1)6 content without his love. You may plead 
his promise, in which he hath said that " he will take away 
the heart of stone, and give a heart of flesh ; and that he will 
put his fear in our hearts, and write his laws in our inward 
parts." You may plead also the power of God, whereby he 
is able to subdue all things unto himself; and many such 
like arguments you may iind in many places in the Scri]i- 
ture. But because I have touched upon this before, I shall 
pass this by, 


If you would be acquainted with God, look after it speedily; 
defer not a moment; your enemy is marching on apace; you 
may be surprised ; yoiu* soul is hasting on upon its eternal 
estate ; your glass is almost run ; there are but a few sands 
behind : therefore seek the Lord while he may be found, 
and call upon him while he is near ; erelong it will be too 
late ; wherefore what thou dost, do quickly. What is the 
voice both of Scripture and Providence? Doth not the 
\vord of God say. Now, and commend the present time above 
all. Acquaint jioz<; thyself with him. Remember '«o;(; thy 
Creator. Turn notv unto the Lord. Let a poor heathen 
shame you into greater speed in this necessary work. I 
shall translate his words into English : " How long," saith 
he, " will you defer the looking after the best things ? 
How long will you abuse your reason 1 Have you not heard 
such precepts which you ought to agree to, and wliich 
you seemed very well to like 1 What kind of teacher is it 
that you stay for 1 For whose coming do you defer, liefore 
you will mend and turn? You ai-e come now to years of 
discretion, (if I should say you were not, you would be 
angry ;) if you wiU neglect and delay, and add one delay to 
another, if you will add one put-oti" to another, and make 
one resolution and purpose after another, and set one day 
•after a,nother, in which you will think of these things, con- 
sider that all tliis will do you no good ; for all your resolu- 


tions and promises, for all tliat I sec, you are like to die a com- 
mon man ; therefore now live as a perfect g^-owing man, and 
follow that which is most excellent unalterably. If any- 
thing of difficulty intervene, remember that now is the 
time for you to show what respect you have for your God 
and your soul. Remember the goal is not far oftj and that 
now you must not falter, and that as you demean yourself 
now, it may l)e you may be happy or miserable while you 
have a being." (Epict. En. c. 75.) This is the language of 
that excellent moralist. I add, What is it, sinner, that 
thou stayest for? Is it for the day of judgment? Would 
you be taught by flames the worth of time ? You may 
tlien indeed learn ; but, believe it, your knowledge and learn- 
ing will do you little good; j'ou may then learn what it is 
to be miserable, but you cannot learn how to get out of it ; 
you will know what you have lost, but you will never know 
Low to repair your losses. IIow many thousands of them 
who have set a day in which they would return and 
repent, have set, and set, and set it again, and what with one 
thing or other they could not be at leisure to repent till they 
came to hell ; and there indeed they have leisure enough to 
repent, and they do repent too, if hell-repentance would (b) 
anything. I believe that all that come there do repent and 
believe too, more than they did while they were alive ; but 
then it's too late. They are now in those dreadful flames. 
JNIanyof them thought, it may lie, of rei)entir.g before Ihey 
died as well as you, and did just as you do. Oh that you 
vouM understand yourselves l)efore your state be like theirs ! 
How inhnitely doth it concern you to imi)rove time, and to 
comply with the present tenders of mercy that are made to 
you ; for erelong it may be too late for you too. Oh ! know 
tiiis therefore, that ncjw thy God makes you a gracitnis offer 
of pardon ; and if you refuse now, tliis may be tlie last time, 
this may be the very cast for eternity. God may say before 
to-jnorrow, "This night thy soul sliall I)e ro(|uir('d of thee." 
Goto, tliercfore, you that talk of trading for the great things 
of eternity, I do not know when, thirty or forty years hence. 
Do you not know that your life is but a blast? When your 
breath goes out, of your nostrils, you are not sure that you 

284 HEAVEN UPON earth; or, 

shall draw it in again. What then do you mean to talk of 
delay? Have you not stayed long enough already? Consi- 
der, man, what thou dost. He that saith he will be good 
to-morrow, saith he will he wicked to-day. And what if 
God should say. Thou shalt have the pleasure of sin to-day, 
and the sorrow of sin to-morrow ! Thou shalt be hardened 
to-day, and damned to-morrow ! If your house were on tire, 
you would scarce say, I will go and sleep four or five hours, 
and then I vaW rise and call my neighbours to help to 
quench it. If your child were drowning, you would scarce 
say, I must needs stay till I liave drank a flagon or two 
more, and about half an liour hence it may be, I may go and 
see whether I can get a boat to help him out. If you were 
condemned to die to-morrow, you would scarce say, I will 
have music, and sack, and good company all night, and 
then I will send a messenger, if I can get one to ride a 
hundred miles, to try whether he can get a pardon for me. 
Yet thus, for all the world, dost thou do in the great affairs 
of thy immortal soul, " Oh the folly of man," saith Seneca, 
" who thinks to Ijegin to live, when a thousand to one but 
he will be dead and rotten!" I may say, oh the madness 
of sinners, who make account to be looking after heaven 
then when it's likely their souls may be in hell! Judge 
now whether this be wisdom. Now you think time one of 
the poorest commodities in the world ; it's a very drug which 
lies upon your hand ; a day or two, a week, a year is no 
great matter with you: but believe it, the case will be 
altered with a witness erelong. Seneca wondered when 
he heard some asking one of his friends to spend two or 
three weeks with them, and saw how easily tlie request 
was gi-anted, as if -they asked a,s little as nothing when they 
asked time of him : " Thus," saith he, " one of the most pre- 
cious things in the world is throwTi away as little Avorth." 
"When you come to lie upon your death-bed, we shall have 
you have other thoughts of time : then, a world if you had 
it, for one of those hours that you could not tell how to 
spend. You now study how to rob yourself of your precious 
time ; you invent pastimes, not considering how swiftly time 
flies, and how much you will prize it before long. Oh 


rcmemLev, noliody can give you a moment of that time when 
you want it, tliat j'ou are now so prodigal of. When time 
is past, if you would give a world to recall it, it could not 
be. If you would give thousands for the renewing of tliis 
lease, it would be refused. Therefore, live quickly. jMan's 
time runs away first. " Optima quoeqibce dies miseris mor- 
ialibiis cevi 2^>'i'>ia fi((/it" (Seneca.) And then my author 
comments very bravely upon the whole verse 

I think that i)roverh, though it be an Italian one, is worth 
our rejnembering, " He that will lodge well at night must 
set out betimes in the morning." That whidi keeps us 
from living to-day is the thoughts of living to-morrow, so 
that we lose this day while we expect tlie next. Com- 
iuenius, speaking of the tiger, saith, " That when he hears 
the sound of the trumpet, he tears and l)ites himself." 
This will be the work of the merciless tigers of the world, 
that spend their time (in which they should be providing 
for eternity) in hunting God's people and taking their 
l)Ieasui'es, and, it may be, think to be a little more mild 
before they die ; but of a sudden the trumpet sounds. Away, 
away; and oh, then, what a lamentable taking are they in! 
llow do they wish for time again, or that tlicy had spent 
tliat which they had better ! Wicked men never know the 
worth of time till they come to a death-bed, or a while" 
after. Oh then, they tliat made nothing of spending thirty 
or forty years wouUl lay down all tliey art' worth for one 
year, one month, one day, one hour, but it's then too late. 
Oh how do tliey gnash their teeth! Witli what horror do 
tliey tiiink of past mercies and future miseries! ]\Ien fear 
generally that Death will come sooner than they would have 
him ; they bewail that their lives are sliort at the longest ; 
whereas, if men would wisely husband that time wliicli God 
hath given tliem, it would be long enough. Oh, Iiajjpy is 
tliat man that liatii done his great work before his sun is 
set! Oil f(jolisli men, that coin])]ain of God making their 
lives so short, and comijluin not at all of themselves for 
making them ten times sliorter ! For most men live not at 
all the life of religion, and may be called dead. Others 
have a name to live, and yet are little better than the for- 


irier. Most tliat live spiritually I)egin tlieir life after llu'y 
have been many years dead ; and though we sit and condemn 
others as guilty of great imprudence in these ailairs, yet 
how do we at the same time justify them, by being as pro- 
fusely expensive of precious time as they! Oh, where 's 
the man ahnost to be found that doth improve time to as 
good advantage as lie should 1 Among other symptoms of 
a fool, this is none of the least, '" to be always beginning to 
live." What an unhandsome sight is it to see an old man 
learning his letters ! Oh remember, man, thou hast a great 
work to do ! Oh remember thy precious time runs away 
with an unspeakal)le swiftness ! What do you mean, to sit 
with your hands in your bosom ? Look about thee, sin- 
ner, 'tis not time-a-day for you to be sleeping or playing ; 
rnethinks a man in your condition should be \ip and doing 
with all the diligence that you could for your soul, and 
labouring "to make your calling and election sure." Me- 
thinks we should hear you asking ^^'hat you shall do to gei, 
a pardon for your sins, to get God reconciled to you. Me- 
thinks you should be inquiring wliat you should do to re- 
deem your time, and to spend every moment of it so to the 
best advantage, as that yon may appear cheerfully before 
your Master at night. That I may enforce this weighty 
direction, I shall propound a few serious questions to you. 
!> Quest. 1. Do you think that these things are necessary, or 
are they not ? If they are necessary, why do you not mind 
them speedily ? If tliey are not necessary, do not look after 
them at all. 

Quest. 2. Do you expect to be in a better capacity to look 
after these things hereafter 1 Do you hope for more strengtli 
when you are worn out v.'ith sin and age, M'hen your back 
begins to bend, and your joints to shake I Do you think 
you shall be more at leisure when your work will be much 
increased? Know this, that sin gi'ows upon you daily, it 
jireys upon your vitals. Ho that is not lit to-day will be 
less fit to-morrow. As for leisure, I must confess you may 
have leisure enough in another world to think of these 
things. I3ut I wish you well to consider Avhether it be 
greater wisdom to repent in this world or in another. I 

JESPs Tnr r,r;.?T putexp of m.vx. 287 

would be loath to be repenting in another; it's sad weeping 
indeed there wliere tears shall never be dried np. I have 
told you oft that God saith, To-day, and it is both wickedly 
and foolishly done of man to say, To-moiTow. I must tell 
you but so, that it is a dreadful hazard that every delaying 
sinner doth run. It is a question whether God may not 
deny his grace, stop the preacher's mouth, stop his ears, 
and stop your breath. And where are you then with your 
To-morrow ? Delays in these affairs always cost dear ; they 
have cost many thousands dear already, and if you make 
no more liaste than you have done, they will cost you dear 

Quest. 3. When would you get acquainted with God? — 
when he hath shut up his door? When would you run liis 
race? — when you have lost your legs, or can but creep 
with crutches? Is that the best time to do your work \\x 
when it is next to impossible to do it ? 

Qiiest. 4. Who deserves best at your hands, — the devil, 
tlie world, and the flesh, or God 1 Kesolve me this, I pray. 
Whom do you call your master? Whom have you most 
reason to make haste for? 

Quest. 5. How would you take it, if any of them who 
depend ui)on you should serve you as you serve God ? 

Quest. G. Do you think you can make too much haste? 
Who is afraid of being rich too soon? Although a man 
may with reason good enough be afraid of that which may 
make his happiness far more uncertain, and his miseries 
more intoleral)lo. Who fears to make tuomucli haste \vhen 
his prince sends for him with speed ? Oh that men did 
but know who it is that calls them, and whither they are 
going, and what they have to do, when they come to their 
journey's end ! 

Quest. 7. Arc you sure you shall live till you are an hour 
older? You are strong and healthful, it may be, but did 
you never iiear that such have died with a very little warn- 
ing? Have you never known a man well one hour, and 
dead the next? If you have not, I tell you of one now 
that was very well one monieut and dead the next, myself 
Icing an eyewitness yf it. It's possiblo there may be but 


one small moment between a strong working healthful 
man and a breatliless corpse. 

Que.'tt. 8. What do you think will l)ecome of you, I ask 
again, if you put off till it be too late 1 

Quest. 9. What would you do if you were siire you should 
die, or the day of judgment come before you were a week 
older ] 

Quest. 10. Do you think to get acquainted with God in 
another world, when you do not mind him here'^ Will 
God, think you, own them hereafter that disown him here ? 
Will he know them in heaven who would not know him 
upon the earth? 


If you would be acquainted with God, take heed of those 
tilings which keep God and man at a distance, and make 
the Lord take no pleasure in us. In general, take heed of 
all sin. " Wash you, make you clean ; put away the evil of 
your doings from before mine eyes ; cease to do evil ; learn 
to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the 
fatherless, plead for the wddow. Come now, and let us rea- 
son together, saith the Lord," Is. i. 16-18. You must 
wash your hands in innocence if you intend to compass his 
altar, to sit down at his table. In Ps. ci. David is exceed- 
ing desirous of God's company, and he cries out, "Oh when 
vdlt thou come unto mel" lie thinks long to have a visit 
from his old Friend ; he would gladly walk with him. Now 
wdrat course doth he take to get God's company 1 Why, he 
goes the best way to work in the world. He will set no 
wicked thing before his eyes. He knows it is to no pui-pose 
for him to expect much of God's company, while he doth en- 
tertain his greatest enemies ; therefore he turns them out of 
doors. " I hate," saith he, " the work of them that turn aside ; 
it shall not cleave to me." And that God may dwell with 
liim, and make his house, as well as his heart, a temple for 
himself, he will not suffer a wicked person to live in it ; he 
will have none in his family but such as shall be ready to 
serve God and bid this liis great Friend welcome. 

But more particularly, if you would have much of God'a 


company, and be intimately acquainted ^vith him, take 
lieed more especially of those particular sins which make 
God most estrange himself from us. As, 

1. Take heed of pride. That was the sin which made the 
first breach between the creatm-e and the Creator, the sin 
tliat sunk the angels ; that made God and them, who were 
very good friends once, to l)e bitter enemies ; this hath made 
the breach infinite, the feud everlasting, the wound incur- 
al)le ; and this made the first quarrel between God and 
man. When man thinks himself too good to be but a 
man, he must be a god; he quickly is too bad to be a 
man, he is but one remove from the devil. To be a 
favourite of his Prince is not enough, except he may step 
into the throne; it's therefore high time for his Prince 
to renaove such from his presence to a prison, from the 
court to a dungeon. It was pride that cast Adam out of 
paradise ; and do you think that that sin is now less hateful to 
God, and less dangerous to man than it was iive thousand 
years ago ? Did it then spend all its poison I and can it 
now do no harm ? Do you believe that God will take that 
into his bosom now that formerly he abhorred to look uiion? 
Now sin hath increased its strength and deformity, and 
heightened its enniity against the infinite majesty of the 
holy Jehovah, shall his hatred against it decrease? Will 
he be more willing to accompany proud aspiring reljcls 
now than then I No such matter: God is still as holy as 
ever, and hates all sin, especially pride, as much as ever. 
Do you think that it is for nothing that the word of God 
speaks so much against this sin? Can it be that the Holy 
■ Giiost would say, that " Eveiy one that is proud is an abo- 
mination to the Lord," Prov. xvi. ■'>, except God did indeed 
hate them { Why should God threaten such so much, if 
he took any plea-surc in tlieir .society ? Though hand join 
in hand, yet the proud shall not go unpunislied. Now we 
call tlie j)roiid hai>i)y, but sliail we call tlicm so wlu'U flie 
day of the Lord shall iturn as tire, and all tlie ]H-oud shall 
be as stubble? And the day that cometh ohall lnim lluin 
up, saitii tlie Lord, and it sliail leave them neitiier root 
nor branch. When tlic'Lord shall tread down the wicked, 


and they shall l>c like ashea under his feet. Mai. iii. 15 ; 
iv. 1, 3. There is not one proud man in heathen. 'I am 
sm-e; nor a proud man upon the earth, that shall have 
much of God's acquaintance. And let me say, he that sets 
himself above God, (for that's the pride I mean,) whilst he 
stands in that state, must never expect that God should 
look upon him with any kindness. Heaven and hell will 
as soon be agreed, as God and such a one shall be united. 
The proud now overlook others that are then- bettei», and 
scorn their JMaker ; but shortly they shall be paid in their 
own coin, they shall be scorned too. If all the proud Nim- 
rods, Pharaohs, and Bclshazzars in the world shoidd enter 
into a league, and combine against the Almighty, and say 
they will cast av.ay his cords from them, and that they will 
never debase theu- noble spirit so low as to stoop to h.is 
commands ; yet none of them all shall go unpunished : they 
they shall be like stubble before the devouring flames, 
and like chaff" before a mighty whirlwind: God is not 
afraid of their big looks. Prov. xxi. 4; vi. 17; xv. 25; 
Isa. ii. 12; Luke i. 51 ; James iv. 6. God will clothe him- 
self with vengeance, and the mighty Jehovah will gird his 
Aveapon upon his thigh, and march out in fury and in- 
dignation, and draw his glittering sword, and resist tlie 
proud, and teach them what it is to bid defiance to tlie 
Lord of hosts. We shall soon sec who shall be ui)permoi5t, 
God or they. And when the proud sinner lies conquered 
at his feet, how doth he with infinite scorn look upon him, 
and say. Behold, the man is become like one of us ! This 
'tis for man to attempt the dethroning of the Almighty ! 
But it may be, most may think themselves little concerned 
in that which I now speak ; wherefore I must add tliis one 
word. Be it known unto thee, man, whosoever thou art, that 
thinkest thou hast no pride, I am sm-e thou art one of those 
that are in the black roll, which have proclaimed war against 
heaven ; thou art the man that shall never bt? acquainted 
with God whilst thou art in that mind. It may be thou 
mayst speak peace to thyself Ibr all this, and flatter thyself 
as if God and thou were friends : but, let me tell thee, I conic 
with heavy tidingu hi my month to thee : if thou lurn not 


he will whet liis sword ; lie hath bent his bow, and made it 
ready, he hath preimied for thee the instruments of death ; 
the day of thy calamity is near ; the dreadful Ji-hovah is 
upon his mai-ch ; and if you ask me whether there ])e no 
peace for thee, I answer as Jehu did to Jehoram, What 
peace, haughty sinner, so long as the pride of thy heart 
is so great, and thy rebellions against thy IMakcr so many ! 
There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked. Wherefore, 
as you value your soul, as you tender your everlasting sal- 
vation, and desire to be owned by the Lord in the day of 
your distress, take heed of pride. Go quickly, and humble 
yourself, and make sure your Friend ; labour to pull down 
every high thought and every proud imagination, and 
let your arrogant spirit bow before the mighty God ; there 
is no way will do but this, as you have already heard. You 
must set the cro^\Ti upon the Lord's head, you must lay 
yourself at his feet, and lick the very dust. Your betters 
have dune so l)efore you, and have thought it thuir honour 
to lie at the feet of Christ ; this they looked upon (and with 
good reason too) as the lirst step to preferment. If, there- 
fore, you would be aecpiainted with God, take heed of 

2. Take heed of a worldly mind. ^Yhat concord is there 
between earth and heaven? What agreement between God 
and the world i What delight can his holiness take in him 
who had rather be wallowing in the mud and treading of 
clay than bathing himself in divine contemplation ; that 
thinks it higher preferment to sit by his bags of gold, than 
to stand in the presence of his God ; a greater haj)piness to 
bo rich than to I)e lioly; that had much better be in a fair, 
market, or exchange, gettng money, than witii his God, 
getting pardon, grace, and heaven? How pregnant is tlio 
Scripture of proofs for the evidencing of this truth ! To 
name one or two of a hun<lred : " To lie carnally minded is 
enmity against God: for it is not siiliject to tlie law of God, 
neither indeed can be," Ilom. viii. 7. Wliat do you say 
to this Scripture} Those wiio walk with God live in ti>^ 
world, and yet tluy live aliove the world ; they all look 
fov a city tluit iialli loiindaiioiib, whobe Jhiilder and Makeri 


is God. It was not for nothing that the apoiitle Jolm 
laid so strict a charge upon those whom he wrote to, 
"That they should not love the world, nor the tilings 
of the world. If any man love the world, the love of the 
Father is not in him," 1 John ii. 15. Whence is it that 
so few great ones go to heaven, and that it is next to im- 
possible for such to be saved ? Is it not because they have 
chosen mammon for their friend, rather than God! He 
hath their heart, their love, their tune, their service, and 
they have little to spare for God, and therefore God hath but 
a little happiness, a little heaven, a short glory for them ; 
they shall have but a little of his sweet company, little ac- 
quaintiince with him. Why doth James speak so terribly 
to the rich men, and bid them go and weep and howl] 
Was it not because their riches were like to imdo them ? 
Did the wealthy man in the parable live ever the longer for 
his riches, or fare ever the better for his greatness, when he 
came into another world ? There is no c^uestion but he 
might have more flatteries ; there is no doubt but he hath 
more worldly friends ; but bring me a man upon tlie earth 
that lets his heart without control fly upon the world, 
cleaves to it, and takes it to be his best friend, that knows 
God, that's acquainted with his i\Iaker, that prizeth his 
Redeemer. It ^^■as a wise man who said that it's absolutely 
impossible to mind externals and internals, this world and 
another, with earnestness, at the same time : but it was 
Wisdom itself who said, that " No servant caii sei-ve two 
masters : for either he will hate the one, and love the other ; 
or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye 
cannot sei-ve God and mammon," JNIatt. vi. 24. 

3. Take heed of hypocrisy. Who are the persons that 
God doth denounce his dreadful threatenings against ? Are 
they not such as honour him with their lips, when their 
hearts are far from him I With what abhorrence doth he 
look upon such, and all that they do ! Isa. i. They never 
bring their heart to visit God with, and therefore they liave 
little reason to expect that he should bring his dainties to 
entertain them with. 

4. If you would he acquainted witl) God, take heed of 


being acijiiainted with Avickcd company. We read tliab 
many wicked men have fared the better for the (;ompany o5 
the godly ; Init we scarce ever heard that any godly man 
ever fared the better for being in the company of the wicked, 
except they went on God's en-and amongst them. Tliis is 
clear in the case of Lot, who fii-st lost his goods, and was 
made a cajjtive by being in Sodom ; and though they were 
I'estored to him again for a while, (one would have thought 
that should liave been a fair warning how he came again 
uito such company,) yet because that would not do, a while 
after you may read how dear Lot paid for dwelling in Sodom. 
Poor man ! he lost all that he had, and was fiiin to tly away 
without either flocks or herds, and little more than his 
clothes on his back, and, that which was more sad, to Iciive 
some of his own. dear relations behind him, roasting in those 
dismal flames. Whereas had he never come to Sodom, or, 
upon the sight of their wickedness, speedily left them, it had 
been much itetter with him in many respects. Jehoshai)hat 
fared never the better for joining in affinity with his wicked 
neighbours, it had like to have cost him his life. But were it 
only loss of temporals that a man hazarded by such society, 
the danger were not so considerable ; but the peril is gi-eater 
than this ; for by it they make God stand at a distance ; they 
must never look to have such company and God's company 
both together ; I mean, when they do unnecessarily or de- 
lightfully converse with such. If, therefore, you intend to 
be acquainted with God, you must not have them always 
in your company whom he hates, and who hate him, and 
will labour all they can to cool your ati'ections towards him. 
"Wherefore, be ye not unecjually yoked with unljeru'vers: 
for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteous- 
ness? and what communion liath light with darkness? 
and what concord jiath Christ with Belial ( or what part 
hath he that Ijelicvith with an infKlcl ? and what agree- 
ment hath tlie tcnii>le of Go<l with idols? for ye are the 
temple of the living God; as God hath said, 1 will <h\ill iu 
then), and walk in them; and I wiIll)i'tlu'irGo(i,aii(ltlu\ sluill 
be my iie<iple. ^V hercl'ore come out from among them, and 
be ye separate, saith tlic Lord, and touch not the unclean 

29i heave:;? UPON earth; OE, 

thing ; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto 
yon, and yc shall be my sons and danghters, saith the Lord 
Almighty," 2 Cor. vi. 14-18. Bnt I wonld not here l)e 
mistaken, as if I would commend an ungodly proud separa- 
tion from all that are not j ust of our mind ; or as if a man 
ought to have nothing at all to do with wicked men. No, 
no, every one ought to do what he can in his place for the 
good of souls. Oh that Christians would thus converse more 
with their poor, ignorant, carnal, Christless neighbom-s ! 
Oh that they would thus be more acquainted with the 
wicked, and then they should have never the less of God's 
company, but the more. But it is unnecessary delightfully 
associating ourselves with them that I mean, especially 
such of them that will stifle every spiritual discom-se, and 
divert you fi'om anything that tends to the promoting of the 
interest of religion ; and such as have frequently expressed 
their detestation of the way of holiness, and make but a 
mock at yom- serious counsels, stop their ears to wholesome 
advice, or make some indecent reflections upon the strict 
profession of godliness ; such as labour to make you believe 
that all religion but that which will consist with their 
wickedness is l3ut a fancy. As for such as those, abhor their 
company, fly from them as those that have the plague ; the 
marks of death are upon them, and you may write "' Lord, 
have mercy upon us " upon their doors, but go not in, lest 
you be infected. 

5. If you would be acquainted with God, take heed of 
unbelief. Unljelief will make yoiu* soul depai-t from God, 
and God quite to depart from your soul. This, this is one 
of those dreadful and God-estranging sins which leads on 
whole legions against the Almighty ; this is that bold dar- 
ing sin which gives truth itself the lie, and saith that the 
word of God is false, his promises aiiy, his threatcnings but 
a wind. But know this, sinner, such a wind they be, 
that will rise to a dreadful storm, and tear your strong con- 
fidence up by the roots, and blow it into hell, if you make 
no more of it than you do. 

G. If you would be acquainted with God, beware of sen- 
suality. To be sensual and devilish arc near akin. To be 


lovere of pleasure and haters of God are iisuallj'^ concomi- 
tants ; in a ^vorc^, to fai-e deliciously every day and to 1)e 
despised of God are no strange things. But I waive the 
further prosecution of these things, because they are so 
largely and excellently handled already by so many of our 
brave woiihies. See J\Ir. Baxter's " Saints' Everlasting 
Rest," and Mr. AUeiue's " Vindicise Pietatis." 


If you ■would be acquainted with God, resolvedly and 
freely give up yourself to him, and enter into a most solemn 
covenant with him. And here I shall make bold with tliafc 
reverend author whom Mr. AUchie makes mention of in his 
'• Vindicise Pietatis," iind present }"ou again with that ex- 
cellent foi-m, with tlie preparatories to it, which 1 have lately 
met with in the forementiuned author. After your most 
serious addresses to God, and after a deliberate consideration 
of the terms of this covenant, and after a thorough search 
of your own heart, whether you either have already or can 
now freely make such a closure with God in Christ as you 
have been exliorted to, and when you have composed 
your spirits mto the most serious frame possible, suital.dc to 
a transacti(jn of so higli a nature, lay liold upon the cove- 
nant, and rely upon his promise of giving grace and strengtix 
whereby you may be enabled to i)erform your promise. 
Resolve, in the next place, to l)e faithful ; having engaged 
your hearts, and opened your mouths, and subscril)cd Viith 
your hands to tlic Lord, resolve in his strength never 
to go Ijack. Ami being thus prepared, and some con- 
venient time lieing sit ai)art for tlio ])iirpose, sot upon 
the work, and in the most sol(>mn manner i)Ossil)le, as if' 
the Lord were visibly present before your eyes, fall down 
on youi- knees, and S[)reading forth your hands towjinls 
heaven, open your hearts to tbe Lord in those or tlio like 
words : — 

" most dreadful Go<l, for the passion of thy Son, I bo- 
seocli tlii'f, iieoopt of tby poor proiiig;il, now )irostr;itiiig 
himself at tby door. I liavi; fallon from thee by mini- ini- 
quity, and uni by nature u bou of death, und a thousand- 


fold more the child of hell hj my wicked practice ; but of 
thine infinite grace thou hast promised mercy to me in 
Christ, if I Avill but turn to thee wi'Ji all my heart. There- 
fore, upon the call of the Gospel, I am now come in, and, 
tlu'owing down my weapons, submit myself to thy mercy. 
And because thou requirest, as the condition of my peace 
with thee, that I should put away mine idols, and be at 
defiance with all thine enemies, with whom I acknowledge 
I have wickedly sided against thee ; I here, from the bottom 
of my heart, renounce them all, fi-eely covenanting with 
thee, not to allow myself in any known sin, but conscien- 
tiously to use all the means that I know thou hast pre- 
scribed for the death and utter destruction of all my cor- 
ruptions. And whereas I have formerly inordinately and 
idolatrously let out my affections upon the world, I do here 
resign my heart to thee that madest it ; humbly protesting 
before thy glorious IMajesty, that it is the firm resolution of 
my heart ; and that I do unfeignedly desire grace from thee, 
that when tliou shalt call me hereunto, I may practise this 
my resolution, through tliy assistance, to forsake all that is 
dear unto me in this world, rather than to turn from thee 
to the ways of sin ; and that I will watch against all its 
temptations, whether of prosperity or adversity, lest they 
should withdraw my heart from thee ; beseeching thee also 
to help me against the temptations of Satan, to whose sug- 
gestions I resolve, by thy grace, never to yield myself a ser- 
vant. And because mine own righteousness is but mon- 
strous rags, I renounce all confidence therein, and acknow- 
ledge that I am of myself a hopeless, helpless, undone 
creature, without righteousness or strength. And foras- 
much as thou hast of thy bottomless mercy offered most 
graciously to me, wretched sinner, to be again my God 
through Christ, if I Avould accept of thee, I call heaven antl 
earth to record this daj', that I do here solemnly avouch 
thee for the Lord wy God, and with all possible veneration, 
bowing the neck of my soul under the feet of thy most 
sacred Majesty, I do here take thee, the Lord Jehovali, 
Father, Son, and Holy Ghoat, for my portion and chief 
good, and do give up myself^, body and soul, for thy servant. 


promising ami vowint; to serve tlicc in holiness and right- 
eousness nil the days of my life. 

" And since thou hast appointed the Lord Jesus Cln-ist 
the only means of coming unto thee, I do here, upon the 
hended knees of my soul, accept of him as the only new 
and living way hy which sinners may have access to thee; 
and do here solemnly join myself in a marriage-covenant 
to him. 

" blessed Jesus, I come to thee hungry and hardly be- 
stead, i>oor, and wretched, and miserable, and blind, and 
naked, a most loathsome, polluted wretch, a gnilty, con- 
demned malefactor, unworthy for ever to wash the feet ot 
the servants of my Lord, nnich more to l)e solemnly mar- 
ried to the King of Glory; but since such is thine unpar- 
alleled love, I do here, with all my power, accept thee for 
my Head and Husliand, for better for worse, for richer for 
poorer, for all times and conditions, to love, and honour, 
and obey thee before all others, and this to the death. I 
eml)race thee in all thy offices, I renounce mine own worthi- 
ness, and do here avow thee to be the Lord my righteous- 
ness ; I renounce mine own wisdom, and do here take thee 
for mine only Guide ; I renounce mine own will, and take 
tliy will for my law. 

"And since thou hast told me tliat I must suffer if I will 
reign, I do here covenant with thee, to take my lot as it 
falls witli thee, and, by thy grace assisting, to run uU hazards 
with thee, verily sup]iosing that neither life nor death shall 
part l)et\veen thee and nie. 

"An<l because thou hast been pleased to give me tliy 
lioly law as the rule of my life, and the way in which I 
should walk to thy kingdom, I do liere willingly ]iut my 
neck under thy yoke, ;ind set my shoulders to thy i)urden, 
and subscribing to all thy laws, as holy, just, and true, I 
solemnly take them as tlie ride of my words, thougiits, 
and actions ; jiromising that, tlioiii,di my liesh contra- 
dict and relx'l, yet I will endeavour to order and govi in 
my whole life according to thy direction, and will not 
allow myself in neglect of anything that I know to be my 


"Only becausp, through tlie frailty of my flesh, I am kud- 
ject to many failings, I am bold humbly to protest, that 
unhallowed miscarriages, contrary to the settled bent and re- 
solution of my heart, shall not make void this covenant; 
for so thou hast said. 

"JSTow, Almighty God, Searcher of hearts, thou knowest 
that I make this covenant with thee this day without any 
known guile or reservation, beseeching thee, that if thou 
espiest any flaw or falsehood herein, thou wouldst discover 
it to me, and help me to do it aright. 

"And now, glory Ije to thee, the Father, whom I 
shall be bold, li-oni this day forward, to look upon as my 
God and Father, that ever thou shouldst find out such a 
way for the recovery of undone sinners. Glory be to thee, 

God the Son, who hast loved me, and washed me from 
my sins in thine own blood, and art now become my Saviour 
and Redeemer. Glory be to thee, God the Holy Ghost, 
who, by the finger of thine almighty power, hast turned about 
my heart from sin to God. 

" dreadful Jehovah, the Lord God omnipotent, Father, 
Son, and Holj^ Ghost, thou art now become my covenant- 
Friend, and I, through thine infinite grace, ani become thy 
covenant-servant. Amen. So be it. And the covenant 
which I have made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven." • 


And now my work is done, I must leave you; and who t Iter 

1 shall ever speak to you, or see you, or write to you again 
Avhile the world stands, I know not. jMy body is frail, and 
I am a poor dying man, and before it be long, my moutli will 
be more stopped than it is, and yours too. And therefore 
it's high time for us to look about us. As for my part, I 
have, with all the seriousness that I could for my soul, spokeu 
to you about the great and weighty afi'airs of your souls and 
eternity. I again call heaven and earth to witness that I 
liave set life and death before you ; I have, in the name of 
my great Master, been wooing you to accept of his Son for 
your Lord and Husband j himself for your Godj Father, and 


Fviond. I have told yo\i wliat tlie Lord dotli reqiiiro of 
thorn that would be in covenant with him. I have given you 
a rude description of Him whom I would have you aorjuainted 
with. I have tuld you of some of the glorious effects of 
acquaintance \vith God. I have told you of the danger of 
being a stranger to God. I have told you how tliankfully 
Bome have closed with these otters, and how well they like 
their choice. I have further shown you what a peaceable 
state you shall be in, immediately upon your spiritual al- 
liance with this great and noble Friend. I have told you 
also of some further Ijcnefit and good that will come luito 
you upon your acquaintance with God. I have given you 
to understand how desirous the Lord is, notwithstanding 
all that is past, to forget and forgive, and to receive you 
into favour, if you will in good earnest return to him with 
speed. I have again and again propounded this match to 
you, and told you as much as I could well do in so short a 
time. I have stayed a great while for an answer. I have put 
the business forward all that possibly I could ; because I 
see how foolishly and madly ymu inake light of tho.se ad- 
vantageous offers that are made to you. I have ag;iin an d 
again pleaded with you, as if I were ready to starve, and 
begging an alms of you ; nay, if it had been for my very 
life, I could not have spoken with more earnestness. I 
liavc expostulated the case with you, and asked you several 
weighty que.stions, and you have not, you cannot, answer 
any one of them, but you must condemn yourself, and by 
your own confession, you liave nothing in the world to say 
against the excellency of this Friend. And tlierefore you 
nuist either ejieedily come in upon the invitation, and close 
with those gracious overtures that are made to you, or you 
must, without any reason in tlieworid,(yourself being judge,) 
cast yourself away. And in hopes that all that have lieard 
me will not be so mad as to make light of these things, but 
be a.sking, with some seriousness, that great question, lluw 
shall I do to get ac<iuainted with God / jiow shall I do to 
get a Friend for my soul i wliat shall I do to be saved ? 
I have laid down some directions for those that are un- 
feij^nedly detivous to bo recouciled to God. I huvo told 


til Pin that they must labour to be thoroughly acquainted 
Avith that strangeness and enmity that is in their hearts 
against God, and of the unspeakable danger of their being 
strangers to God. I have further directed them that would 
be acquainted with God to labour to get humble hearts. I 
have advised that they visit him often, if they would be in- 
timately acquainted with him ; and that not in a transitory 
way, but to make a solemn, set visit of it, and to be sure 
that they do not forget to get Christ along with them. I 
counselled them also to be much in those places where he 
is wont to walk, and to get intimately acquainted with 
some of them that know him very well, and will do their 
best to get them to be acquainted with him. I have told 
you that if you would be acquainted with God, you must 
kindly entertain and make much of any messengers that 
come from him to you ; and if men would make sure work, 
I desired them, as tliey loved their souls, that they would ' 
follow this great business with the greatest earnestness and 
seriousness in the world ; and that what they do they 
would do speedily. I informed you what arguments the 
Scripture puts into our mouths, which v.-e may urge, at the 
throne of grace. I entreated you, for your soul's sake, to 
take heed of those things which kept God and man un- 
acquainted ; as, namely, all sin in general, but more par- 
ticularly pride, worldly-mindedness, hypocrisy, delight in 
wicked company, unbelief, and sensuality. Lastly, I direct 
all such as would be at peace with God to give up them- 
selves to him resolvedly and fi'eely in a solemn covenant. 

And have I been beating the air all tliis while ? What 
will ye do after all this? What shall become of all these 
sermons 'l Dare any of you all still be contented to be im- 
acquainted with God 1 Can you be very well satisfied, after 
you have heard of such a Friend, to be a stranger to him ? 
Can any of you look upon your state as safe while God is 
your Enemy 1 Oh, how shall I leave you with hearts full 
of enmity against your jMaker ! Alas, alas, poor hearts ! 
You look very merrily, as bad a condition as you are in ; but 
did you but know how near you are to everlasting burn- 
ings, I believe it would put a damp upon your spirits, and 


spoil yonr mirth. Oh, how sluili I leave that poor sinner 
tliat stands as a person altogether unconcerned, wherca3 
Death stands ready for his connnission, to fetch him away 
before God ! And where are you then ] Oh where are you 
then, if you come l)ofore God as a stranger? Oh what 
shall I do for you? What shall I say to you, to prevail 
with you? Oh, Avhat arguments will persuade you? Oh, 
how shall wc part ? Brethren, my heart's desire is that 
you may all be saved. Oli tliat you may all know, in this 
yoiu- day, the things of your peace ! Oh that I could 
mingle all my words with tears 1 Oh pity, pity, for the 
Lord's sake, ])ity your precious souls ! Oh, come not here 
to ask counsel of God, and then go away, and t^ike tlie 
t'oimsel of the devil. And what, will you yet make light 
of all the tenders of the Gospel? Arc peace, jiardon, recon- 
ciliation, and acquaintance with God still nothing with you ? 
Will you, for all this, take up with a lifeless religion, and 
never mind a more spiritual, intimate converse with God ? 
As the Lord liveth, thou speakest that word ag.ainst the 
life of thy soul. But if thou wilt go on, and despise God, 
who can liel[i it I I have told thee, and told thee again, 
wliat the end of those things will be. Well, once more, I 
ask thee, in the name of God, Wilt thou have God for tliy 
Friend or n<j I that is. Wilt thou love him above all the 
world I Wilt thou accept him for thy Lord and Husband J 
Wilt thou be ruled absolutely by liim I Wilt tliou lay down 
thy weapons, and turn on God's side, and light under his 
banner? Wilt thou have holiness here, and hai)piness 
licreafter? One would think tliis is a question that one 
need not be long resolving. Come, come away, for the Lord's 
pake, for your ])rccious soul's sake; as you would be owned 
at the day of judgment, :ls you would rejoice when most 
of the world shall be filled Avith unspeakable lioiTor and 
])crj)lcxity, as you would not lu'ar that heart-rending 
word from the mouth of the .Judge, " I)ei)art, I know you 
not," come away, I beseech you I Come away! Uh ye, 
my dear friends, the cloud hangs over the worM, and ere- 
long it will fall with a vengeance. Oh, come out of, 
Sodom, linger not, for the Lord's iiake, let-t the dint of tljat' 



storm fall upon you. Fire ! fire ! fire ! A^^'ake ! awake ! 
awake ! The fire is kindled. What meanest tlion, sinner? 
If thou sleepest a little longer in that hed of security, thou 
art a dead man, thou wilt be awakened of horror, when thou 
shalt know thy danger, but not know how to avoid it. And 
do you still stay? Make haste! Oh make haste! Your 
glass is almost out, your time almost spout, and death is 
hastening apace upon you. I speak it again, make haste ! 
come away ! I cannot, I cannot hold my peace ! How can I 
endure to see the ruin of thy soul, and say nothing! Oh 
follow those du-ections which I have given thee out of the 
Scriptiu'e ! Seek the Lord Avhile he may be found, and with 
all possible speed, seriousness, and gratitude, accept of his 
kindness, while you may. Methinks some of your hearts 
seem to be affected ; methinks your countenances speak you 
to have some thoughts of returning ; some of you look like 
persons almost resolved to set upon this great work: oh that 
it may not be almost, but altogether! Speak in such 
language as this to your own souls. What meanest thou, 
my soul, thus to stand disputing 1 Is this a time for thee 
to stand still, as if thou hadst nothing to do ? Hark how 
the King of Glory calls ! Hark how his messengers invite 
thee ! Consider hew long they have stood \vaiting for thee! 
And shall they go away without thee ? foolish licart and 
unwise, wilt thou answer all these gracious otters ^\•itl^ a 
flat denial ? or that which is little better, Avilt thou jiut off 
all God's messengers with some sorry excuses ? Awalre, 
my soiil, and look about thee ! How canst thou refuse when 
mercy calls ? How canst thou deny when kindness itself 
asks, entreats, beseeches thee 1 Awake ! for shame ! up and 
put on thy wedding-garments! Oh tliat this mind might 
lie in thee always ! Oh that thou wert up and ready ! And 
then hajipy were the day wherein thou wert born; then 
happy were the day that ever thou heardst of a Christ, of ac- 
• luaintance with God, and reconciliation with thy Maker. 
Oh then, how glorious shouldst tliou be for ever ! I rejoice 
to see the day of thy marriage coming ; when tliy Lord and 
Husband shall bring thee home in the greatest state, and in 
infinite glory, to his own house, Mhere thou shalt sit like » 


queen for ever and over. Beliokl his harbingers are coming! 
Bchuld how many messengers the Lord liath sent to prepare 
his way ! Awake, Zion, and put on thy l^eautifiil gar- 
ments ! Rise nji, royal bride, and put on thy princely 
robes ! Clothe thee witli the sim, and put the moon under 
thy feet. Go out and meet the King, thy Husl)and. Behold, 
(.) .Jacob, the waggons of Joseph are CDUiing ! Behold, O 
daugliter of Zion, the chariots, the chariots of thy King and 
Husband arc coming! They are coming ! Oh why doth not 
thy liuart leap within thee .' Oh why do not thy spirits even 
faint for gladness ? ^Vhy dost thou not say, It is enough, I 
will go out and meet my Lord before I die ? When will 
tlu! sun Ito up ? Wlien will the day break ! When, oh 
wlien will the shadows tJy away I I will get me up to the 
mountains of myrrli, to the hills of frankincense. I am 
travelling for Zion, my face is towards Jerusalem. Who will 
ascend the holy hill with me ? Who will bear me company to 
my Husband's house I Let us go up to the Lord's house. 
Come away, the sun is risen, the shadows arc flying away*, 
thousands are gone already. Let Barzillai and Chimham, 
f)ld and young too, go along with the King to Jerusalem. 
Come from the liighways and hedges, come witli your wed- 
ding-garments; come (iuickly,and hewill make you welcome. 
Tlie King hath sent to invite us to a feast, a feast of fat things, 
of wines on the lees, well refined. Come, for the table is 
sprcarl, all things are ready, and his servants stay for ns. 
And will Ood entertain such creatures as we are ? And will 
the Lord open his doors to such loathsome beggars ? Will the 
Father receive such prodigals? Ketm-n then unto thy rest, 
O my soul, for the Lord will deal bountifully with thee. 
Who is he that I sec coming in the field i Who is this 
tiiat comes from the wilderness 1 that comes to meet us ? 
Hark! methiiiks I hear the trumpet sounding! Hark! 
What's the matter? How do the mountains echo! How 
doth the air ring again! What noi.se is that which I liiar? 
What glorious train is that which I see? Whence do they 
come, and whither do they go? It is my Master's Son, dear 
soul, thy Lord ami Husband, with his royal attendants. Be- 
Jiold ho comes ! He conies apace ! leaping upou *iio Liib, 


skipping upon ilic mouutains. He is coining ! He is coming! 
lie is even at the door ! Erelong thou shalt sec the moun- 
tains covered with chariots and horses of fire ; the earth will 
tremhle and sha,ke ; the heavens and the earth will be all ou 
a flaming fire ; the King of Glory will come, riding upon 
the Avings of the wind, accompanied v,'ith millions of his 
saints and angels. He is coming, he is at the door ! Go, 
veil thy face ; alight and meet thy Husband. He will bring 
thee into his Father's palace, and thou shalt be his wife, and 
he will love thee for ever ; and thou shalt remember thy 
widowhood no more. Even so, come, Lord Jesus; come 
quickly. Amen. Amen. , 




William Jenkyn, one of the ejected ministers on the 
celebrated English St. Bartholomew's Bay, pi-esents, in the 
incidents of his eventful life, a sultjeet fur biography strik- 
ingly illustrative (jf that remarkable period in the history 
of the Church of Christ in England. His grandfather, 
Williiun Jenkyn of Folkestone, Esquire, was a gentleman 
])ossessed of considerable landed property in Kent, and 
.strongly attached to tlie established system of polity, and to 
Avhat is styled the high cluirch party, of the Church of 
England. lie was jjossessed of considerable influence, from 
]iis wealth and cunnections, and having early designed Ills 
Bon, the father of the subject of our memoir, for some valu- 
at)le church preferment, he sent him to the University of 
Cambridge, to comidetc his studies, and prepare for taking 
orders in the church. 

The young student i)roceeded to the University, prepared 
to fidlow out his father's scheme, and to <(ualify himself for 
a-ssuming the s:icred ofiice of the ministry, witii all its 
solemn responsibilities, from no liigher motive tlian that of 
securing a comfortable maintenance for life. Wlien there, 
liowever, circumstances tnins])ired which produced a re- 
markable change on liis views, and exercised a ])i'rmanent 
inlhience on liis future course of life. ] t was his fortune to 
be led by rrovidunce to attend on the mini.stry of Mr. Per- 
kin.Sj a devout iireachcr in Cambridge, who adhered to tlie 


Puritan Nonconformists. Tlie consequence of this step 
was speedily manifested by a remarkable cliange in his \ie\V3 
on tlie nature and value of religion. He learned to see the 
deep importance of the office of the ministry, which he had 
been so tlioughtlessly seeking to assume, and to take a solemn 
Aaew of the nature of the Christian profession, which he had 
lieretofoi'e regarded as little more than a necessary form of 
qualification for the political and professional status he was 
desirous to acquire. 

He pursued his studies with new energy and zeal, under 
this striking change of views, while his intercourse was al- 
most entirely confined to the despised Nonconformists, 
among whom he had first learned the true nature of the 
Christian profession. 

On his return to Folkestone, at the close of the University 
term, his father was higlily offended on discovering the 
change of views in his son, and after in vain seeking, by 
means of every availal)le argument and threat, to wean him 
from his attachment to the Puritans, and from the religious 
views he had adopted, he at length disinherited him, alien- 
ating from liim nearly all the estate and fortune which lie 
was entitled to succeed to. Young Jenkyn, however, had not 
taken so decided a step without seriously counting the cost ; 
and, "looking for another and a better inheritance," he bade 
farewell to the paternal roof. Retiring to Wethersfield, lie 
there put himself under the guidance and direction of Mr. 
Richard Rogers, an aged Puritan divine, and a near de- 
scendant of John Rogers, the pi-oto-martyr in the Marian 
persecution. It is not our intention, however, to follow out 
minutely the incidents of this good man's life. He dili- 
gently prosecuted his studies at Wethersfield, and, being in 
due time ordained to the office of the ministiy, he was soon 
after appointed as minister of Sudbury, in Suffolk, where, 
says liis biographer. Dr. Calamy, "he was signally useful to 
many, by preaching and catechising, and he adorned all by 
a holy conversation." Soon after his settlement at Sudl)ury, 
he married the grand-daughter of John Rogers, the emi- 
nent martyr already referred to, who so iKibly witnessed a 
good confession, in the first years of " bloody j^Iaiy's" in- 


tolerant reign. Tlie fruit of this union was William Jenkyn, 
the subject of the present biographical sketch, who was born 
at Sudbury in tlie year 1G12. 

' We cannot Ijut view with interest the offspring of such 
parents ; AVilliam Jenkyn was truly the seed of the righteous, 
and his after-life alnindantly proved that the many pro- 
mises of Scripture were fulfilled in him. IJis father died 
while he was still an infant, leaving him to the sole care of 
a pious mother. But on his grandftither learning of the 
death of the son whom he had disinherited, he was filled 
with poignant grief and remorse, and, sending fur his little 
grandson to Folkestone, he promised to undertake the charge 
of his education and future prospects in life, dou1)tlcss with 
the view of reinstating him in the inheritance from which 
liis father had been excluded. The child soon gained on 
liis grandfather's affections, already softened by his regi-et- 
ful remembrances of his lost son, whom he had banished 
from the jiaternal roof. He continued to reside with him 
till the ninth year of his age, receiving, during that time, 
many tokens of the love with which he was regarded ; but 
at the end of that time, his mother, ivho had married a 
second time, became apprehensive of the influence of worldly 
society and example on his young jnind, and fearing the 
want of a religions education, she recalled him home, to 
the great displeasure of his grandfather. 

In liis new sphere, young Jenkyn's attention was speedily 
directed to the acquirement of such knowhilge as was suited 
to his age. He .soon exhibited proofs of very superior 
mental capacity. lie made such ra])id advances in liis 
studies at school, that he was sent, at the age of fourteen, 
to complete his educati<m at the University of Cainliridge. 
" lie pursued his stinlies," says l)v. Calaiuy, in his ''Kou- 
confonnist Memorial," " with great success, and his progress 
in l)iety was as eminent as in learning. His com])any Avas 
earnestly courtcil by .'^onie young wits of the University, 
for liis s])riglitly genius; but perceiving their looseness, lie 
waived an intimacy with them." He continued diligently 
to cultivate the advantages then enjoyed at that eminent 
seat of learning, until lie received from the rnivcrsitv the 

3€)8 LIFE OP fur. nvs. vcuaaxm jrxsYK. 

]ionoiiral)le degree of Master of Arts, and was ordained a 
minister of the Clinrch of England. 

Mr. Jenkyn did not immediately enter on the ivovk of 
the ministry after the completion of his studies at Cam- 
bridge. His prcacdiing, however, appears to have very early 
proved acceptable to his auditors, and soon after his lirst 
appearance in public, he was chosen lecturer of St. Nicholas 
Aeons, London ; and from thence was called to Hithe, near 
Colchester, in Essex, where lie first married. He did not 
long remain at Hithe. The low and marshy ground which 
abounds iu the neighbourhood of that place, and the general 
character of the district, where agues, and other diseases of 
a similar nature, were rendered prevalent by the dampness 
of the soil, so greatly afi'ected his health, as to interfere 
"vvith his usefulness, and at the earnest solicitation of his 
friends in London, he returned to town. Soon after his 
arrival there, he was chosen minister of Christ's Church in 
the city, and some months afterwards he also received the 
appointment of lecturer of St. Ann's, Blackfriars. It was 
the misfortune, however, of this good man to suffer in all 
the great changes of that eventful period, and, while quietly 
pursuing his duties as a faithful minister of the Gospel, to 
be involved in the political changes which then agitated and 
distracted the commonwealth. He continued for a time to 
fulfil tlie double duties which had devolved on him, with 
great diligence and acceptance, till the Parliamentary leaders 
had successfully achieved their triumph over the rash a)id 
headstrong kmg, Charlec I. One of the first steps adopted 
by the Parliament thereafter, was to order a public thanks- 
giving to be observed throughout the kingdom, and as Mr. 
Jenkyn could not reconcile this to his conscience, he was 
soon after suspended from his ministry, and had his bene- 
fice of Christ's Church sequestered. To this he submitted 
without a murmur, withdrawing to a quiet retirement at 
33illericay, in Essex. 

After a time, when he believed the excitement to have 
subsided, lie ventured on returning to London. But the 
sacrifice he had already made from conscientious motives, 
had rendered liiui an object of buspicion to the luea iu 


power. lie was PcizeJ a few months after his return, on 
suspicion of heing coneerned in one of the numerous con- 
spiracies Avliich tlien throatoned tlie government, and wliich 
is known as Love's plot. In consequence of this he -was 
sent a prisoner to the To\ver. There he drew up a petition 
and remonstrance to Parhament, setting forth the wrongs 
and injustice he had suifered, and so strong was the etiect 
produced by his eloquent appeal, that he was not only re- 
leased from prison, but an immediate discharge of the se- 
questration by Avhich he had been ejected from Christ's 
Church was ordered by Parliament. It seems somewhat 
strange that, after such an efiectual interference on his be- 
half, any ditiiculty should have been felt as to his imme- 
diate restoration to his benolice. But such was his mode- 
ration, that finding the government had followed up his 
sequestration by appointing one Mr. Feak in his place, he 
forbore to adopt any means for ejecting the new minister 
from Chrisfs Church. The parishioners, however, were not 
so easily satisfied ; they were warmly attached to him, and 
earnestly desirous for his return to laliour among them, and, 
accordingly; when they found lum disinclined to attempt any 
means for his own restoration to the charge, they establishetl 
a morning lectureship for him, and voluntarily raised a 
liberal subscription to secure his maintenance. Doubtless 
the good man found in tlicse voluntary manifestations of love 
to him, and satisfaction in his ministrations, an abundant 
reward f(jr all that he had suiiered for conscience-sake. 
Meanwhile he resumed his Icctureshij) at Blackfriars, which, 
being in tlie appointment of the people, had been retained 
for him after his ejectment, and, on the death of Dr. Gouge 
soon after, who was the incumbent of the church, IMr. Jen- 
kyn was appointed to succeed him. 

Towards tlie close of the Protectorate, a religions sect 
made its appearance in England under the name of Fifth 
Monarchy Men, and contrived by the cxtravngance of their 
tenets, a'ld the unrcstiained violence of tlR-ir luocecilings, 
both to create much disorder, and to furnish a liandle against 
the Puritan ]>arty and all wlio had shown themselves favour- 
able to religion, however o]iposcd they had been to the ex- 


travagances of such enthusiasts. The distinguishing tenet 
of these men was a belief in the coming of a tifth universal 
monarchy, of which Jesus Clirist was to be the Head, while 
the saints, under his personal sovereignty, should possess 
the earth. Their tenets were incompatible with any fonn 
of government, while they did not hesitate to rise in arms 
to assert their claims. Many of them suffered imprison- 
ment and death after the restoration, on accusation of 
treason, and plots to murder the Duke of York and the 
King ; most of which, however, rested on very insufficient 
evidence. One of the earliest among the London ministers 
who joined these enthusiasts, was Mr. Feak, the successor 
of jMr. Jenkyn, after his ejection from Christ's Church; the 
consequence of which was, that he in his turn became ob- 
noxious to the government, and was removed from his 
charge. The appointment at that time rested with the 
goverjiors of St. Bartholomew's Hospital, who accordingly 
presented Mr. Jenkyn anew to his former charge. Here he 
exercised the office of the ministry to crowded congrega- 
tions, and with eminent success, for some years, until the 
restoration of Charles II. and the publication of the Act of 
Uniformity, when he who had been among the first to 
suffer for his refusal to renounce the allegiance he had con- 
ceived due to Charles I., was equally subjected to pains and 
penalties as a Nonconformist, ou the restoration of his son. 

With the same upright fidelity which he had exhibited 
on every previous trial, he at once resigned his living rather 
than sin against his conscience. " He was not satisfied, 
however," says one of his biographers, " to desist from the 
ministry upon the Act of Uniformity, though he could not 
comply with the terms of it, but still preached in private 
as he had the opportunity. Upon the Oxford Act being 
passed, not being able to take the oath, he retired to his 
own house at Longley, in Hertfordshire, and preached there 
every Ijord's day, where, through the good providence of God 
he met with little disturbance." 

On the issue of the Act of Indulgence in 1671, one of tlie 
few acts of toleration that marked the disgraceful reign of 
Charles II., IMr. Jeiilcyn returned to London, and again 


resumed his labours as a minister of the Gosptl. Ilis re- 
ception by his former parishioners was cliaracterized l:)y the 
same liearty and affectionate welcome, as when he returned 
to them from the dungeons of the Tower. A meeting-house 
was speedily erected fur him in Jewin Street, by their 
imited exertions, and a numerous and attached congregation 
soon gathered around him. As a still further proof of the 
acceptable nature of his labours, he was soon after chosen as 
lecturer at Pinner's Hall, in addition to his ordinary duties 
at the new meeting-huuso 

Tliis pleasing state of things, however, was not of long 
duration. The spirit of persecution was powerful in the 
licentious coiirt of Charles; and none were nior? obnoxious 
to the agents of intolerance than those whose exemplary 
virtues and unobtrusive piety formed a constant, though 
silent rebuke on the lawless vices of those Avho tended ou 
the sovereign. The Indulgence was speedily revoked. 
Charles had in vain striven to accomplish his own ends 
under the name of constitutional forms, but, even as l;is 
father had done, he discovered, when too late, that every 
successive Parliament was less pliable than the one tliat 
liad preceded it, and he dissolved the last of them, which 
had been summoned to meet at Oxford on the 28th of ]\larch 
1G81, after it had sat only a week. From that time Charles 
governed without Parliaments, and after the most arbitrary 
manner ; nor were tlie Nonconformists long without feeling 
the full weight of his desj)o(ic rule. 

After the revocation of the Indulgence, there h:id been so 
far a connivance, that I\Ir. .lenkyu continued to preach 
every Habi)ath in his meeting-honse without being disturbed, 
but, in K'tH-J., a terrible persecution broke (nit. From that 
time lie wascomi'elled to abandon his congregation, and the 
stated services of the Lord's day, contenting himself with 
preaching from place to jdiice where he could do it most 
secretly and (jut of the reach id" the informers, a vile set of 
miscreants, who subsisted on the reward of their treachery in 
betraying the jn-eachcrs to whose meetings they could olitaia 
access. Mr. Jenkyn continued this precarious and most 
harassing system of labour among tlic Nonconfurmists of 


England for a period of two years, dnring the whole of 
v.liich time he esoape<l every search, and successfully avoid- 
ed exciting the notice of those who were actively engaged 
in " haling men and w-omcn to in-ison," for no other 
crime than that of preaching and hearing the truth. But 
at length, on September 2, 16S4, the faithful public labours 
of this devoted sei'vant of Christ, which had been so long 
shackled and hindered in their operations by the persecution 
of the intolerant government that had then succeeded to 
pov>cr, wei'e summarily brought to a close. T.Ir. Jenkyu 
had withdrawn to spend the day in prayer^ along with a 
number of Christian friends, who mourned over the decay 
of piety in the land, and earnestly longed for the enjoyment 
of that social and public worship which was now denied 
them. Among those who had assembled on this occasion, 
were Mr. Reynolds, Ni: Jol n Flavel, and Mr. Keeling, all 
eminent Nonconformist ministers. The place which they 
liad chosen to assemble in, was a secluded upper room, 
■\shere they considered themselves safe from observation 
and danger. Some sj^y, however, had got notice of their 
meeting, and they had not long assembled, when their de- 
votions were interrupted by an alarm of pursuit ; the soldiers 
burst in upon the attiighted assembly, and nothing was 
thought of but instant flight. 

All the ministers who were present at this meeting ef- 
fected their escape, excepting Mr. Jenkyn ; and we owe the 
narrative of his capture to the diary of ]\Ir. Flavel, who was 
near enough, at the time he was seized, to hear the inso- 
lence of the officers and soldiers to him after his ajjprehen- 
sion. From liis account, it appears that the native courtesy 
and gentleness of Mr. Jenkyn had tiiumphed over even the 
natural desire for liis O'svn safety at this trjang moment, and 
to this he owed his capture. When he reached the private 
stair by which the other ministers had escaped, lie observed 
a lady hastening to profit by the same mode of egress, when 
lie immediately drew back, and allowed her to precede him. 
She Avas dressed, according to the fashion of the time, with 
a flowing train, which, from the state of trepidation in which 
she then was, she had not tlie presence of mind to gather 


Tip over lier arm. In consequence of this, the narrow pas- 
sage was impeded, ?.Ir. Jenkyn got entangled with the skirts 
of her robe, and before he could get down the stairs, the sol- 
diers were upon him. 

lie was immediately earned before two aldermen, Sir 
James Edwards and Sir James Smith, who were known to 
be subservient tools to the Court, and by them he was 
treated with extreme rudeness, knowing that such conduct 
would be acceptable to those in power. The well-known 
test, styled the Oxford Oath, was immediately tendered to 
liim, and, on his declining it, he Avas summarily committed 
to Newgate, although he oflered the fine of £40, which the 
law empowei^d them to take, and it was urged for him 
at the time, that such was the state of his health, that the 
air of Newgate would infallildy prove fatal to him. Soon 
after his seclusion in the dungeon of that felon's prison, he 
began to experience the terrible effects he had dreaded, and 
he presented a petition to the King for release, which was 
backed bj- an assurance from his physicians, that his life was 
in danger from his rigorous imi)risonment. But no otiier 
answer could be obtained than this: " JenkjTi shall be a. 
prisoner as long as he lives !" so malignant was the feeling 
entertained against this luunble and unoil'ending minister 
of the Gospel. This declaration was rigorously adhered to 
to the last, for he was not suffered even to go to l^aptize his 
daughter's child, though a large sum was oHered for that 
liberty, with security for his return to prison. So violent, 
indeed, was the s]nvii of persecution that animated his 
captors, tliat the jailors were ordered not to let him pray in 
company with any visitors ; ami even when his daughter 
came to ask his blessing, he was not allowed to pray with 

Soon after his cmirmcmcnt, his health began to ilecline ; 
lint lie continued ail along in tlu; utmost joy and comfort 
of soul, lie said to one of his friends, " What a vast difl'er- 
ence is tliere between this and my first imprisonment ! 
Then 1 was full of doultts and fears, of grief and anguish; 
and well 1 might, for going out of Clod's way and my own 
calling to meddle with thuigs that tlid not belong to me. 


But now, licing found in the way of my duty, in ray Mas- 
ter's business, though I suffer even to bonds, yet I am com- 
forted beyond measure. The Lord sheds abroad his love 
sensibly in my heart. I feel it, I liave the assurance of it." 
Then, tm-ning- to some who were weeping by him, he said, 
" Why weep ye for me 1 Christ lives : he is my Friend ; a 
Friend born for adversity ; a Friend that never dies. Weep 
not for me, but weep for yom-selvcs and for your children." 
He died in Newgate, January 19, 1685, aged 72, having 
been a prisoner there four months ; where, as he said a little 
before his death, a man might be as effectually murdered as 
at Tyburn, A nobleman liaving heard of liis happy re- 
lease, said to the king, " .l\Iay it please your JMajesty, Jenkyn 
has got his liberty." Upon which he asked, with eagerness, 
"Aye, who gave it himi" The nobleman replied, "A 
greater than your Majesty, the King of kings ;" with which 
the King seemed greatly struck, and remained silent. Mr. 
Jenkyn was buried by his friends with great lionour, at 
Bunhill-fields, where ho has atoml)stone, (erected in 1715,) 
with a Latin inscription, which states his liaving been im- 
prisoned in Newgate, and that he died a martjT, in the 52d 
year of his ministry. 

J\Ir. Junkyn's daugliter is described by his biographer ag 
" a high-spirited, though a very worthy and pious woman." 
She justly regarded her father as a martyr to the cause of 
truth and liberty of conscience. On the occasion of his 
funeral, she distributed mourning-rings to liis particular 
friends, on Avliich she had caused this pointed motto to be 
engraved: " iMr. William Jenkyn, murdered in Newgate." 
He is the author of an exposition on the Ei)istlc of Jude, in 
two quarto volumes, now very rare, besides various works 
connected with tlie controversies of the time, one of which 
is written in Latin, and was esteemed, even by his oppo- 
nents, a work of great learning and ability 

THE s^•D. 





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