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Full text of "The saints' encouragement to diligence in Christ's service : with motives and means to Christian activity ; to which is added as an example to prove the point handled, the death-bed experiences of Mrs. B"

BV 4630 .J3 1833 
Janeway, James, 16367-1674 
The saints' encouragement i 
diligence in Christ s 






In keeping of them there is great reward, Psal. xix. 11. 



PUBLISHED A. D. 1673. 


Imtituted 1799. 





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The author of this Treatise is so well 
known in London, and his former published 
labours are deservedly so well esteemed, 
that might my own opinion herein carry 
it, this office of mine should be omitted as 
unnecessary. He or his writings need not 
my commendation, and I should think that 
few readers should be so much stranger to 
him as to need it. But when it must 
be so, I take it for an honourable and 
pleasant work to recommend persons and 
things which are so laudable, as to reflect a 
praise upon him that praiseth them. God 
hath blessed the author with a humble, a 
serious, a peaceable, and an industrious spirit : 
his heart is set on the work of God, and the 
winning of souls. It is a great praise to him, 
that he is none of those who by pride, faction, 

A 3 


there is any hope of life. And many of God's 
faithful servants, by the decays of nature, do 
glorify God more by patience, than by acti- 
vity of mind or tongue ; and can only exercise 
repentance, faith, and love, by saying, " God 
be merciful to me a sinner; " and, " Lord Jesus, 
receive my spirit;" and, "Come, Lord Jesus, 
come quickly ; O that I may see, and in the 
heavenly society in perfect love, have glo- 
rious communion with my God." Reader, do 
but taste thyself, what is in this Treatise, by 
a serious perusal, and thou wilt need no more 
the invitation of 

Thy unworthy fellow- servant, 


Sept. 5, 1673. 




I AM under many obligations to improve 
my talent to the utmost for you, next to God : 
it is for your service I live; you have my 
thoughts, you have my cares, you have my 
prayers, you have my tears, you have my love, 
my joy ; for you I am mlling to spend and be 
spent. I have now been labouring amongst 
you, with some perils, with much weakness, 
and sensible decays of nature, for about six 
years ; and now feeling my body declining, 
and being persuaded that I must ere long put 
off this tabernacle, I thought it meet as long 
as I am in this tabernacle to stir you up by 


putting you in remembrance : moreover, I will 
endeavour that you may be able after my 
decease to have the great things of religion 
always in remembrance. To this end I was 
ready to close with the request of those that 
desired the addition of this Sermon, now en- 
larged, to the Life and Death of my precious 
Brother : and I have added also the Death- 
bed Experiences of one amongst yourselves, 
which several of you were eye and ear wit- 
nesses of; so that having such precedents to 
draw, and such motives to quicken you, you 
might (by the influence of the Spirit, and the 
stiiTing up the gift and graces of God within 
you) be enabled to run and not be weary, to 
walk and not be faint, and to mount up with 
wings like eagles, till you rest in Christ's 
bosom. I have oft thought that unbelief and 
laziness do ruin most souls : I have therefore 
endeavoured in these two * examples to de- 
monstrate the reality of invisibles, and to 
fortify you against unbelief. I might also put 
you in mind of the holy lives and joyful deaths 
of the most of those which the Lord hath 

* The Life and Death of my Brother, and Mrs. B.'s Death- 
bed Experiences. 


removed from us. Have not your ears heard 
their triumphant praises ? did you not see how 
undauntedly they looked death in the face ? 
could you not witness the beauty of religion 
in their deportment upon a death-bed ? And 
dare any of you question whether it be worth 
the while to be religious .? can any of you think 
diligence in soul affairs lost labour } can any 
room yet be left for unbelief.? One would 
think that they who have seen what we have 
seen, should judge it madness to doubt about 
the great truths of religion ; but yet woful 
experience tells us, for all this, that the faith 
of most is but like a grain of mustard seed ; 
and om' frequent departing from God demon- 
strates too clearly, that we have too much of 
the evil heart of unbelief in us. O, my dear 
brethren, that you and I had better learnt the 
art of living by faith. O Lord, help our un- 
belief! More faith would make us lift up 
Christ in the world at another rate than most 
church-members do. Oh that precious grace ! 
Brethren, let us labour to increase in faith ; 
and' then heart purity would increase, all grace 
would abound, and your fear would decrease, 
and your comforts greatly flow in. It is not 


for nothing that tlie scripture speaks of joy 
unspeakable in believing. Oh, how fain would 
I, that you and I may quit ourselves like them 
which do indeed believe ! The great prevail- 
ing of unbelief makes me larger, the great 
danger, the more instant upon this subject; 
and I know, that such of you as are well 
acquainted w^th your own hearts will judge 
that I have not without good reason spoken 
what T have. Oh that your noble and gene- 
rous faith might, for the future, prove that I 
have neither preached nor written in vain. 

The other sin that brings so many souls to 
poverty, misery, and eternal distress, is lazi- 
ness and spiritual sloth. Though God hath 
placed so active a soul within us ; though it 
hath the greatest advantages for action, the 
highest motives ; though it cannot be unac- 
quainted with the shame and hazard that 
indifference in these affairs doth expose men 
to ; yet how strangely dull, inactive, and care- 
less are the most ! how do they sleep, eat, and 
trifle, whilst their great work lieth by, or is 
done by the halves ! That I might cure if not 
prevent this dismal lethargy, I have presented 
to your constant view the life and death of an 


active christian ; and as you like his comforts 
in death, so answer his activity in your lives. 
And that I might, if possible, drive the nail to 
the head, I made a further improvement of it, 
by handling that excellent scripture, " For so 
an entrance shall be ministered unto you abund- 
antly into the everlasting kingdom of our 
Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ," 2 Pet. i. 11. 
I now present that to your eye which lately 
sounded in your ears, that it may have the 
deeper impression upon your hearts and lives • 
and the i30werful influence may be seen by the 
world; that they may glorify your Father 
which is in heaven, and say, " God is in you 
of a truth." I shall desire this of you, as my 
dying request^ that you would often read this 
book for my sake, and practise it for your own 
sake. Brethren, time is short, our work, our 
Master, our wages, are great, and, not to mince 
the matter, we have yet done little; God 
knows, too little, little to what we should, little 
to what we might, little to what others have 
done, and nothing to what Christ hath done 
for us ; nothing to what reward we look for, 
and nothing to what God deserves ; I had 
almost said, nothing to what saints and angels 


in heaven do. Well, now at last let us mend 
our pace ; instead of creeping let us run ; 
instead of sleeping, and dreaming, let us 
awake, and work diligently. In a word, 
instead of being formal, slight, and lazy, let 
us be spiritual, serious, and active. Begin in 
your hearts, and fall to work ardently there ; 
turn out vain thoughts, away with every 
*' weight, and the sin that doth so easily beset 
you," and rob you of your strength, your 
evidences, your peace, and wound your con- 
science, or leave you half dead. *' Keep your 
hearts with all diligence, for from thence are 
the issues of life and death." Be much in 
your closets, and act gi-ace nobly in secret 
duty ; then wrestle, and let not God go with- 
out a blessing ! Oh, take heed of forgetting, 
or being careless and slight in secret duties ! 
Let me tell you, the chief part of religion is 
an internal thing, and if you fail here, the 
whole of your profession signifieth little. Then 
be active in your families; remember that 
con-upt nature which was derived from you 
begins to be active betimes : the devil and 
wicked ones will be industrious to poison 
and murder your children and servants ; and 


your utmost diligence is too little, considering 
what is hazarded. 

Then be active in your places for God, 
shine in a crooked and perverse generation : 
be meek, pitiful, wise, faithful, zealous, con- 
stant : forget not me in your earnest prayers, 
that I may have a thousand times more love 
to God and souls, and that I may have more 
grace, more gifts, more success. And, bre- 
thren, I would preach while I live, when I 
die, and when I am dead ; for this cause I 
leave these lines to teach you when I am 
silent in the dust. That you and I may finish 
our course with joy, and have a sweet meeting 
in another world, is the prayer of yours in the 
sweetest bonds, 


Aug. 26, 1673. 

B 2 



For so an kntranch shall be ministered unio you abundantly into 


—2 Pet. i. 11, 

Preface .......... v 

Dedication ■••...... ix 

The introduction .... ... 1 

The division of the text, and the opening of the words . . . 4 

The doctrine proposed, namely. 

That they which use their utmost diligence in the things of God all their 
days, shall at the last have an abundant entrance ministered to them 
into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

The method of handling the doctrine. 

I. To inquire, What diligence it is that is required as a condition 

of this promise. 
II. What is implied in that abundant entrance. 

III. The proof of the doctrine. 

IV. How this is ministered unto the saints. 
V. The reasons of the point. 

/VI. Objections answered. 

VII. The application of all . 8 

I. What kind of diligence it is that is required as the qualification of . 
this promise ; answered negatively and positively. 

Negatively 1. It is not a mere external diligence . . " 8 

2. Nor a partial diligence ..... 9 

B 3 



3. Nor a temporary diligence . . . . . .10 

4. Nor a meritorious diligence . . . . . .10 

But Positively there is required, 

1. An internal as well as external diligence . . . .11 

2. It must be a scriptural and commanded diligence . . .12 

3. It is the utmost diligence . . . . .13 

4. A constant diligence . . . . . .14 

5. This diligence must be accompanied with profound humility . 16 

II. The second thing proposed to be inquired into is, What is implied in 
that abundant entrance which shall be administered to this dili- 
gent saint at last. 

1. It implies a sensible renovation of their natures, by which they 
feel a sweet con-naturality to divine things . . . .18 

2. It implies a sense of the pardon of all their sins . . .21 

3. It implies peace with God . . . . . . 'Z2 

4. It implies a being lifted above fears of death . . .22 

5. It implies more clear and distinct apprehensions of spiritual and 
invisible objects ........ 24 

6. A full well-grounded assurance of proprietorship . . .21 

7. The Spirit witnessing with his spirit that be is a child of God, aod 
filling him with joy unspeakable . . . . 26 

III. The doctrine is proved 

IV. Inquiry is made how this abundant entrance is ministered into 

the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ . 35 

1. God doth it by shutting out whatsoever may interrupt the joyful 
passage of the believer into glory . . . . .35 

2. By opening what might sweeten his way . . . .36 

3. By sending in provisions to feed upon in the way . . .41 

4. By sending out his messengers to comfort, direct, and guide them 
home . ....... 42 

5. The blessed Trinity gives them a welcome to glory . 43 

V. Some reasons of the doctrine are given. 



1. Because of God's promise . . . . .46 

2. Because by this God's glory is advanced . . - . 48 

3. That he may encourage the diligent christian to go on courageous 

ly, and expect greater things from God in another world . . 4i» 

VI. Objections are answered. 

ObJ. 1. Many wicked men live and die in peace. 

Ans. This is answered . . . . . . .50 

Obj. 2. The great confidence and assurance of the wicked. 
A)is. By showing the difference between the peace of the diligent chris- 
tian and the wicked. 

1 . It differs in its original . , . . . . .51 

2. In its effects ........ 53 

3. In its nature ........ 54 

4 In its duration . . . . . . . .55 

OLj. 3. Some diligent christians may die without this great encourage- 
ment. ......... 56 

Ans. 1. A more general answer. 
Ans. 2. A more particular answer. 

1. It may be his diligence did principally reach to externals and not 

. internals ......... 57 

2. It may be he doth not acquaint you with what he doth feel, and 
that upon good considerations . . . . .58 

3. When he comes to the entrance itself then all clouds and fears 
vanish ......... 59 

The Application. 

ITsc 1. This justifieth the greatest activity and constancy of saints . 59 
Tse 2. Of terror to the active and diligent sinner . . .62 

Use 3. By way of examination ...... 73 

Use 4. By way of exhortation, directed first to saints, then to sinners. 

First, To saints, to mend their diligence, and to continue it to the end 79 
Motives. 1 . Consider the frequency, earnesbicss, and solemnity of the 

command ........ 79 

2. Consider what examples you have to quicken your diligence . 81 



3. Consider who it is you work for ..... 86 

4. Consider the nature of the work . . . . .86 

5. Consider what wages you are like to have in this world . . 87 

6. Consider what the reward of diligence will be in another world . 87 
The second part of the exhortation directed to sinners, to put them 

upon being diligent for their souls and God . . . .94 

Motives. 1 . Consider how greatly it doth concern you . . 98 

2. All your labour is lost till you fall to this work in good earnest . 99 

3. Consider what others have got by their diligence . . . 100 

4. Consider how long and how earnestly you have been put upon 
this diligence ........ 100 

Directions. 1. First put away whatsoever may hinder you in your 
work ......... 101 

2. Be sure the ground-work be laid well . . . .102 

3. Improve Christ's Ufe and death . . . . .103 

4. Be earnest for the Spirit . . . . . .103 

5. Be frequently communing with yourself, and labour to act grace 

in every duty . . . . . . . .104 

6. Improve all ordinances and providences, for this end . . 104 

7. Maintain a constant holy sohcitude about your soul . . 105 

8. Meditate upon the eye of God, and the excellency and reaUty of 
invisibles , . . . . . . .105 

9. Look much into the scriptures . . . .105 

10. Think much of the grave, judgment, and eternity . . 106 

An account of some of the Death-bed Experiences of Mrs. B. . . 107 


For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abun- 
dantly INTO THE everlasting KINGDOM OF OUR LURD 

AND Saviour Jesus Christ. 2 Pet. i. 11. 

The ministers of Christ have two great em- 
ployments lying upon their hands. The first is, 
the conversion of sinners ; and the second is, the 
edification of saints. Now the apostle Peter 
seems with great vigour to carry on both these 
designs; having formerly preached to the Jews, 
and that with no small success, he is not a little 
concerned for their strengthening, progress, and 
consolation. That vineyard which the Lord had 
by him planted with noble plants, he desired to 
see well watered and yielding ripe and much fruit. 
He was not ignorant of Satan's activity, man's 
negligence, and the dismal effects of both. He 
knew well enough that many seemed to begin well 
that did riot end so ; that some which looked as if 
they were bound for heaven, made shipwreck of 


all before they came to the harbour, that many ran 
well awhile that never came to the prize, and that 
not a few which were judged to beg-in in the Spirit, 
did end in the flesh. To this end, he doth what 
he can to countermine the designs of hell, by 
confirming and encouraging those which were al- 
ready brought to yield subjection to the yoke of 
Christ. It is life to faithful preachers to see their 
people stand fast : it is no small grief to a father to 
see his child stunted or pining under a consumption ; 
surely, it is a far greater trouble to a minister of 
Christ to see his hearers, that seemed sometime 
lively, active, and thriving, to apostatize, decay, 
and to prove but the skeletons of christians ! 

The apostle, that he might hinder this declining, 
labours with all his might to put them upon 
spiritual progress; he would fain have them run 
so as to obtain, trade so as to get the true riches, 
the Pearl of great price, and to fight so as to 
conquer. He knew well enough that many were 
called and few chosen, and that several of those 
which are not far from the kingdom of heaven, 
will never come there, and that it will be but a 
sorry comfort to be almost saved ; for them that 
are altogether damned, to be once fair for heaven 
and now in hell, to be called a friend, and dealt 
with as an enemy, he cannot bear the thoughts of 
their eternal miscarriage. How doth he lay about 


him both by preaching and writing to put them 
upon the securing their everlasting concerns, and 
not to leave the matters of the greatest conse- 
quence in the world at the greatest uncertainty 
and hazard! How many persuasions doth he use! 
how many powerful and affectionate exhortations 
doth he give them ! and how doth he back all with 
the most cogent motives and considerations 
imaginable ! O how fain would poor ministers 
have all the people saved ! how loth are they to 
leave them before they see them in the arms of 
Christ ! how unwilling to have any miscarry ! 

In the verses preceding, the apostle had been 
telling the christians he wrote to, that it was not 
enough for them to escape from the pollutions of 
the world : negative holiness is a poor evidence for 
positive happiness. Saints must be pure, and 
show the beauties of Christ and holiness in an im- 
pure and filthy generation in which they live. 
The name and credit of being christians ought not 
to serve their turns without the nature, reality, and 
sincerity : nay, true grace itself ought not to con- 
tfciit a saint, but he should strive after the life, 
spirit, and power of godliness. We should be en- 
deavouring after higher degrees of grace, and still 
forgetting what is behind, and pressing forward 
towards the mark, for the prize of the high calling 
of God in Christ Jesus ; which, if we do, our 


labour shall not be in vain in the Lord. The par- 
ticular arguments which he backs his exhortation 
with here, are these : 

First, That they should not be unfruitful in the 
knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, 
ver. 8. 

Secondly, From the ill consequence of their not 
endeavouring to make some progress, it will appear 
that they never had life in the root, if there be no 
such spiritual shootings out and fruit in the 
branches. He that lacketh these things is blind, 
and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that 
he was purged from his old sins, ver. 9. 

Thirdly, He puts them upon spiritual progress, 
from their making their calling and election sure 
by this means. 

Fourthly, By this diligence and progress they 
should be sure never to fall so as sinners and hypo- 
crites do ; that is, they shall not deliberately and 
ordinarily fall into foul and scandalous sins ; nor at 
all fall finally into apostacyand damnation, ver. 10. 

Fifthly, By this holy diligence and activity in 
grace, they should finish their course with joy, and 
so an abundant entrance should be ministered to 
them abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of 
our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, ver. 1 1 . 

These words are a gracious promise to diligent 
christians ; in which take notice of. 


I. The promise. 

II. The condition of the promise. 

I. The promise itself; in which you may observe, 

1. The substance. 

2. The circumstances which increase and set 
forth the glory of the promise. 

For the substance of the promise ; it is an en- 
trance into the kingdom of Christ. 

For the circumstances which do so livelily set 
forth the greatness and glory of this promise, we 
observe, 1. This kingdom is no small one, it is the 
kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 
2. The security of it; it shall be. 3. Another 
circumstance which doth heighten this mercy, is 
the persons to whom it is given ; unto you. 4. 
Another thing that maketh the mercy great, with a 
witness, is the eternity of it ; the everlasting king- 
dom. 5. The manner of the conveyance of all 
this in a triumphant glorious manner, with great 
state and joy going before ; the entrance into hea- 
ven shall be ministered to them abundantly. 

II. We have the condition of the promise, implied 
in that word ; " So :" which bids you look back 
to the foregoing verses, and by comparing them, 
you will find this to be the condition of the promise. 

1. True godliness. 

2. The utmost diligence and activity in the ways 
of God. 

6 THE saints' encouragement. 

3. And perseverance in so doing. 

I shall speak a little by way of explication of 
the words, and then raise the doctrine which I in- 
tend to handle. 

" So :" That is, in giving all diligence to add 
one degree of grace to another, and labouring 
constantly to make your calling and election sure; 
in so doing, you shall have this promise made 

" An entrance: " A way into glory shall be plain, 
the door of heaven shall be set wide open, all 
hinderances shall be removed, you shall have no- 
thing to interrupt your peace, your fears shall be 
blown quite over, enemies silenced ; all mountains 
shall be levelled, and you shall see by the eye of 
faith the gates of the New Jerusalem open to you. 

^' Shall be administered : " Though it be future, 
yet it is certain ; wait awhile and the joyful mes- 
senger will come ; you shall have a seasonable 
deliverance at death, you shallhave life; the Father 
shall embrace you as children, the Son own you as 
his bride, the Spirit delight in you as his habita- 
tion and temple, and the angels shall stand ready 
to convey your souls to glory. 

*' Unto you:" You that have been slighted by 
the world shall be prized of God ; you that the 
wicked world thought not worthy to live, Christ 
thinks the world not worthy of you. You that 


judged yourselves not to deserve the least mercy, 
God shall give you the highest and greatest. All 
of you that are thus diligent in the service of God, 
shall be faithfully rewarded by him ; unto you, 
and none but you, shall this grace and favour be 
given ; when the careless, luke-warm professors 
shall have the door shut against them, it shall be 
opened to you. 

** Abundantly:" You shall have no ordinary 
privileges ; you shall go triumphing to glory : 
while less active christians come with a great deal 
of hazard to their port, you shall come richly 
laden with graces and comforts top and top-gallant 
into the harbour. 

*' Into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and 
Saviour Jesus Christ." You shall not need fear 
the leaving the body, because it must lie in the 
dust ; but glory, in that you shall leave the dung- 
hill to sit in the throne ; the house of clay, to go 
to the palace of God ; a prison, to go to a king- 
dom ; and that not a mean one, but a glorious 
one, such as Christ enjoys, that which he hath 
purchased for and settled you in; and you need 
not fear that the greatness, and riches, and glory 
of it should expose it to hazard as is usual here 
below. Be of good cheer, you shall enjoy it as 
long as Christ doth, it shall never be taken away 
from you, it cannot be wasted, impoverished, or 
c 2 


lost ; neither shall you be taken from it by death ; 
but your happiness shall run parallel with eternity; 
as long as Christ lives you shall not die, as long 
as he is happy you cannot be miserable ; and till 
God have lost his power and faithfulness, and 
Christ his love, and eternity become short, 
you shall enjoy that rest, glory, and happi- 

The doctrine which I shall speak to from these 
words, is this : 

Doct. That they which use their utmost 

DOM OF OUR Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

In the handling of this doctrine I shall follow 
this method. I shall inquire, 

I. What kind of diligence it is that is required. 

II. What is implied in that abundant entrance. 

III. I shall prove it. 

IV. How this is ministered unto the saints. 

V. I shall give some reasons of the point. 

VI. I shall answer objections. 

VII. I shall make some improvement of all. 

I. I shall inquire what kind of diligence it is, 
that is required as the qualification of this pro- 

Negatively, I. It is not a mere external dili- 


gence that will give one a sufficient title to this 
promise. How many are there who spread out 
their hands and make many prayers ! how many 
that add fasting to their prayers, and that seem to 
take some pleasure in the ordinances of God, and 
seem as well pleased to hear the word as to hear 
the sweetest music, or to be present when a set of 
viols in concert are well handled ; yet for all this, 
shall he be put off, with " Depart, I know you 
not;" and this shall they have at God's hands, to 
lie down in shame ! It is possible to seek and not 
find, to run and never come to the prize, and fight 
and yet never to conquer. O how many wear 
Christ's livery, and say they do him service, that 
shall receive no wages, but sorrow and misery ! 
Isa. i. 11, 15. Isa. Iviii. 2. Ezek. xxxiii. 31, 32. 
Luke xiii. 24. Matt. vii. 21. 

2. Neither will partial diligence have such a re- 
ward. How common a thing is it for men to pick 
and choose in the service of this great Master ! 
Such and such duties as are easy, and call for no 
great pains or self-denial, and may carry a great 
deal of credit and repute with them, such they will 
perform. If to go to church twice upon the Lord's 
day, and to read a chapter at night, and deal 
honestly and justly by their neighbours ; if to for- 
bear fornication and drunkenness will secure them, 
then a great many more would go to heaven than 
c 3 

10 THE saints' encouragement. 

are ever likely to come there, Mai. i. 9. Matt. 
xxiii. 23. Luke xviii. 11. 

3. Neither will diligence for awhile, which after 
a little heat ends in slightness, formality, and 
apostacy, be found that which will have such en- 
couragement at death, and at last be crowned with 
glory. Are there not too many of those which at 
first are very forward professors, and seem to be 
greatly in love with Christ, and zealous for religion 
in its power ; but alas, how doth their righteous- 
ness vanish like the morning dew ! Do they not 
quickly forget their first love ? yea, some of them 
wliich were ready to pull out their eyes for the 
ministers of Christ, after a while are ready to pull 
out their ministers' eyes ! It was a strange altera- 
tion in the Jews, to hear them one day crying 
" Hosannah," and the next, " Crucify him, 
crucify him;" one while justifying the Lord Christ, 
and another while condemning him. But yet this 
is that which we see acted over and over again too 
often in the world ; but let not such expect the 
commendation of their Master. Do they not 
put Christ again to open shame ? and with what 
face then can such look for glory from him ? 
Matt. xiii. 19—21. Hos. vi. 4. Gal. iii. 1, 3. 
Heb. vi. 6. x. 29, 38. 

4. Nor must any one expect by his own works 
lo earn such wages. If we could weep and pray 

THE saints' encouragement. 11 

all our days ; if we never be at rest day nor night, 
but be constantly pouring out our soul to God, 
and be engaged every moment in either divine 
meditation, reading, hearing, spiritual conference, 
receiving the sacrament, and divine exercise, yet 
let not such look for heaven as matter of debt and 
merit. The confident and proud Pharisee is more 
like to meet with a repulse than the humble publi- 
can. There is not one saint in earth that can, by 
all that he can do, make expiation for one vain 
thought, much less deserve a dignity so unspeak- 
able as a crown of glory. Nay, there is not one 
saint in heaven that can say, This is the kingdom 
that my holiness and diligence hath procured : it 
is the rich that are like to be sent empty away. 
Those who justify themselves, and are pure in 
their own eyes, and say they are rich, and in- 
creased in goods, and have need of nothing, may 
find, when it is too late to remedy it, that they 
are poor, and need every thing ; and instead of 
peace, may have their hopes and confidences at 
death swept down. Gal. ii. 16. Rom. iii. 20. 
Eph. ii. 9. Rom. x. 3. Rev. iii. 17. Prov. xxx. 

But, next, 1 shall show you positively what dili- 
gence it is that shall be sure of such a reward. 

1. It is an internal as well as an external dili- 
gence. God is a Spirit, and they that worship 

12 THE saints' encouragement. 

him must worship him in spirit and in truth. God 
requireth truth in the inward parts ; the under- 
standing must admire him, as well as the tongue 
speak of him; the will must be for him, and 
choose him a-s the ultimate happiness of the soul, 
as well as the knee bow to him ; the heart must 
love him, as well as the lips praise him, or else he 
looks upon the man as one that mocks ; prayer is 
hypocrisy without the heart. In a word, all re- 
ligion is but a compliment, a cheat, a lie, except 
the soul be engaged for God. And if the soul be 
in good earnest, and the mind be willing, God 
calls that a perfect man; and you may mark this 
perfect man, and behold this upright one, for the 
end of that man will be peace. His beginning 
may be tears, his middle wars, scars, and wounds ; 
but the day is his, and he shall come off bravely 
with flying colours, and his General's commenda- 
tions ; a triumphant conquest and an eternal 
jubilee shall be that man's portion. Sincerity 
never wants a reward : uprightness and God's 
presence go together, John iv. 24. Psal. li. 6. 
Gal. vi. 7. Hos. xi. 12. 1 Chron. xxviii. 9. Psal. 
xxxvii. 37. cxl. 13. 

2. It must be a scriptural and commanded 
diligence. He that is diligent in service without 
his master's warrant, may, instead of a reward, 
have that cutting question put to him, '' Who 

THE saints' encouragement. 13 

hath required these things at your hand V 
Nothing is acceptable to the Lord, but what he 
liath prescribed. We are never likely to be re- 
warded for any thing but what God hath com- 
manded. " Lord, what wilt thou have mc to do ?" 
is still the language of the faithful servant. What- 
soever hath God's institution upon it, is not to be 
disputed but obeyed. The faithful servant's eye is 
still to the rule, and he judgeth it folly to be wise 
above that which is written, and little less than 
blasphemy to teach God what laws he must rule 
and govern his subjects by. This is that he saith 
to himself and others, *'To the law and to the 
testimony." The precepts of God are sweet to 
him ; these he reads, these he meditates upon, 
and these he desires to practise. He dares not 
for his soul clip or mar the Great King's coin ; 
his desire is to have respect to all God's commands, 
and none else, Deut. iv. 2. Jer. vii. 31. 1 Sam. 
XV. 22. Psal. cxix. 6, 20. 

3. It is the utmost diligence that is required, 
" So we shall have this entrance abundantly 
ministered into the everlasting kingdom of our 
Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." God is a Re- 
warder of them that diligently seek ; wjiat 
we do we must do with all possible diligence. All 
the faculties of our soul must be engaged with all 
Uieir might for God. He disparages God, Christ, 

14 THE saints' encouragement, 

and heaven, who looks upon them as matters to be 
minded by the by. He must not look to have 
the crown that doth not strive for it. It is not for 
nothing that Christianity is set out often in scrip- 
ture, by such expressions as intimate the greatest 
diligence, fervour, resolution : and those who 
thus seek shall find, those who thus run shall 
obtain, those who thus fight shall triumph. Re- 
member this, christians, that if ever you intend to 
finish your course with joy, and to leave this world 
honourably, you must set to your work in good earn- 
est. Our God, souls, heaven, and eternity are 
not things to be trifled with. Heaven and glory, 
nay, the peace of God in this world, will abun- 
dantly make amends for the utmost diligence 
in all the duties of religion, and the utmost affec- 
tion too, Heb. xi. 6. Matt. vi. 33. Luke xiii. 
24, 25. Matt. xi. 12. 1 Tim. vi. 12. Eccl. 
ix. 10. 

4. There must be a constant diligence if ever 
we intend to come off at last with comfort. AVe 
have our Master's eye constantly upon us, his ears 
are alway open to hear us, his hand is never 
weary of helping of us. Our engagements and 
relations to God are constant, our wages run on 
constantly, our souls are always in hazard while 
their great enemy keeps the field. Our advocate 
is always making intercession, and he that is not 

THE saints' encouragement. 15 

constant in his service, doth not well consider 
what comforts he loseth, what dangers he exposeth 
himself to ; and that it may be interpreted that he 
doth begin to demur whether it be worth his while 
to go on, and whether invisibles be not fancies, 
and religion a cheat, and a course of sin to be 
preferred before a life of holiness. Remember the 
promise is to him that overcometh ; " He that 
endureth to the end shall be saved ;" he that is 
faithful to the death will be crowned with a crown 
of hfe. 

O what a pity it is that any should be so foolish 
as to set out in the road to Zion, and yet tire be- 
fore they are at their journey's end ! How sad a 
thing is it any should begin well and end ill ; that 
so many lovely blossoms should fall before they 
come to perfection ! O why do not men and 
women take that counsel which Christ giveth us 1 
Why do they not sit down and consider what the 
charges of religion may amount to, what self-de- 
nial, mortification, watchfulness, and diligence, 
what scoffs and reproaches, what losses and suffer- 
ings it may cost them before they come to that 
blessed rest, the bosom of Jesus? Man, never 
take upon thee the profession of religion, except 
thou art resolved to go through with it. Never 
expose thyself to the scorn of the world for the 
name, and to the contempt of God for want of the 

16 THE saints' encouragement. 

power, of goclliiiess. Would you have a short 
happiness ? Can you be contented with a finite 
glory ? Are you willing that that word eternal 
should be left out of the lease of the saints' inherit- 
ance ? They which expect everlasting rest here- 
after, must be constant in their work here. As 
" everlasting" is a significant word in the cove- 
nant that God makes with man, so constant is a 
word that must not be left out in man's articles of 
service with God; and if by patient continuance 
in well doing they seek for glory, and honour, and 
immortality, they shall not miss of the fruit of 
their hopes and labours, eternal life, Rom. ii. 7. 
Psal. cxix. 112. Matt, x, 22. Heb. vi. 11, 
12. Isa. xlix. 23. Col. i. 22, 23. 1 Chron. 
xxviii. 7. 

5. This diligence must be accompanied with 
profound humility. Pride is a fly that will spoil 
the sweetest ointment. When we have done all, 
we must say and think that we are unprofitable 
servants ; and look upon it as little less than a 
wonder of grace that such poor sorry performances 
are not rejected with the greatest contempt, and 
that God doth not say unto us, What hast thou to 
do to take my name into thy mouth ? and adore 
that mercy that will give a look to such vile 
worms. When David is most like a man after 
God's own heart, he sits down and wonders that God 

THE saints' encouragement. 17 

should have any regard to him. Then went king 
David in, and sat before the Lord, and he said, 
" Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, 
that thou hast brought me hitherto," 2 Sam. vii. 
18. And, " Who am I, and what is my people, 
that we should be able to offer so willingly after 
this sort? for all things come of thee, and of 
thine own have we given thee," 1. Chron. xxix. 
14. When Paul is at his highest, he is still making 
humble reflections upon God's admirable and 
stupendous grace, and his own unworthiness and 
vileness. And though sometimes he speaks of 
what he did, yet there was a kind of necessity for 
it, and he always puts the crown upon the head of 
grace. If he do any thing, it is not he but Christ ; 
if he labour more abundantly, and suffer above 
measure, and be succeeded more than all the 
apostles, he will not glory in it, but still grace 
shall carry away the praise and honour of all, 
Luke xvii. 10. Job ix. 2, 3. Gal. ii. 20. 1 Tim. i. 
14. 1 Cor. XV. 10. Phil. iii. 8, 9. 

And thus you see I have showed you what 
diligence it is that so glorious a reward is promised 
to, as an abundant entrance into the everlasting 
kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 
It is not a mere external diligence, nor a partial 
diligence, nor a temporary diligence, nor a proud 
meritorious diligence, that this promise is made to ; 


18 THE saints' encouragement. 

but an internal, spiritual, scriptural diligence. It 
is the utmost diligence, wherein the whole soul and 
the whole body is engaged for God ; and that 
with the utmost intenseness and fervour of spirit : 
and this for a constancy as to an habitual incHna- 
tion and suitableness to it, and after all attributing 
the reward not to debt and our merit, but pure 
grace, and counting our own righteousness as 
filthy rags, and desiring to be found, not having 
our own righteousness, which is of the law, but the 
righteousness of Christ, which is by faith. 

II. What is implied in that abundant entrance 
which shall be ministered to this diligent saint at last. 

It speaks no ordinary kindness, his privilege 
shall not be that of common believers ; not a 
mere safe arrival to glory, though that alone would 
infinitely recompense the greatest diligence, zeal, 
and constancy of the highest saint that ever 
breathed, nay, it speaks not only such a state 
wherein they have good hopes through grace, and 
their hopes are far greater than their fears ; but 
something higher than all this. As, 

1. It implieth a sensible renovation of their 
natures, by which they feel their hearts wrought 
up to a sweet con-naturalness to divine things. 
How do they feel their thoughts going out with 
freedom after spiritual matters ! how suitable is 
it now to them to act for God, to design him in 


all tilings ! how much of spirituality in their dis- 
course ! even all they do hath a savour of religion 
in it. O what warmth and life is there in all their 
performances ! they fill up every duty, every re- 
lation, every action with grace ; and though a 
vein of religion run through all they do, yet it is 
not forced, except you will call the power of a 
new nature, a force ; and the constraining in- 
fluence of love to Christ, a violence. Now the 
man is able to say from, his ovv'n experience, that 
the commands of Christ are not grievous, nor his 
yoke heavy : he now knows what it means to 
have the law of God written in his heart, and from 
an inward vital principle to act with freedom, de- 
light, and constancy for God. The chains are now 
in a great measure knocked off, and his soul is set 
at liberty, and now he is able to run and not be 
weary, to walk and not to faint, and to mount up 
with wings like an eagle. He now feels what it 
is to love the Lord with all his heart, and soul, and 
strength, and might; and he is able to make his ap- 
peal to Him that knoweth all things, that he 
knows that' he loveth him : and now it is no diffi- 
cult thing for him to deny himself to do or suffer 
anything for God. How warm is his love, and 
what a flame is there in his affections to God ! 
how strong is his faith ! how lively his hope I how 
great his patience ! how high, regular, and constant 
D 2 

20 THE saints' encouragement. 

is his zeal ! with what meekness, and sweetness, 
and charity doth he carry it to all men ; but 
especially to them which are of the household of 
faith I In a word, how soberly, righteously, and 
godly doth the man demean himself; and how 
great a conformity is there in him to the great 
rule, the word, the great pattern, the Lord Christ, 
and his own great hopes, a life of perfect holiness 
and happiness, in a blessed eternity ! And is all 
this a small matter? this saint seemeth now to 
look a little like the child of such a Father as 
God ; the subject of such a King as Christ ; the 
spouse of that glorious and incomparable Bride- 
groom, the Prince of peace. And now he is able 
to say, Come, and I will tell you what God hath 
done for my soul. This Captain hath made his 
enemies to flee. Now sin hath no dominion over 
him, and he doth no more question the truth of his 
grace, than he doth his own being. O blessed 
state ! how evenly, cheerfully, and honourably 
must such a one walk. This is the first thing 
that is implied in that abundant entrance that 
shall be ministered to the diligent saint ; he shall 
feel his heart suited to God in a far greater measure 
than before ; and this is an excellent preparative 
for glory : by this he is made meet for an inherit- 
ance among the saints, Psal. cxix. 16, 35. xix. 
10. Isa. Ixiv. 5. Prov. iii. 17. 1 John v. 3. 

THE saints' encouragement. 21 

2. It implies a lively sense of the pardon of all 
his sins ; he hath heard the Lord Christ, as it were, 
whispering that word in his ear, ^' Son, be of good 
cheer, thy sins are forgiven." He knows through 
grace that he hath repented and believed, and he 
doth not at all question, but that his sins are 
blotted out; and this cannot but be a time of re- 
freshing to his soul. Time was that his sins did 
stare him in the face, and the iniquity of his heels 
did compass him about. Time was that he was 
under the arrests of justice, conscience did appre- 
hend and lay chains upon him, and many indict- 
ments were brought in against him ; but his great 
Advocate hath quashed the indictment ; bis Surety 
hath paid the debts, and all the demands of justice 
are satisfied ; and now, who can lay any thing to 
the charge of this person ? it is Christ that justifi- 
eth, who can condemn ? And is not this a desirable 
state ? What would some poor debtors give to be 
clear of their creditors ! what would some guilty 
sinners give for an assurance of forgiveness ! what 
more welcome to the malefactor than a pardon ? 
"■ Blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputeth 
not his sin ! Blessed is he whose iniquity is forgiven." 
Now he has no fear of hell ; that fire is quenched by 
the blood of Christ ; he is now sure he shall be de- 
livered from the wrath to come, Heb.viii. 12. Actsiii. 
19. Psal. xxxii. 1, 2. Jam. v. 15. Rom. viii. 33, 34. 
D 3 

22 THE saints' ElS-COURAGEMENT. 

3. It implieth, as a consequence of the former, 
peace with God ; " Being justified by faith we have 
peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ," 
Rom. V. 1. Now God is no longer an enemy, but 
a friend ; nay, a God in covenant, a Father : and 
what a privilege this is, is beyond the tongue of an 
angel to express ; so that now the soul may cry 
out with just admiration with the apostle, " Be- 
hold what manner of love the Father hath bestow- 
ed upon us, that we should be called the sons of 
God : now are we the sons of God, and it doth 
not yet appear what we shall be ; but we know 
that when he shall appear, we shall be like him, 
for we si] all see him as he is." Children of God ! 
Lord, what a word is that! Is not the Lord ashamed 
to be their Father ? Surely if he be their Father, 
they shall not want: he will feed, clothe, provide 
for, and portion them. " If children, then heirs, 
heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ," 2 Cor. 
vi. 16, 18. 1 John iii. 1,2. Rom. viii. 14. Heb. 
xii. 7. Psal. xxv. 10. xxiii. 1. 

4. This abundant entrance implieth yet further, 
a being loosed from all fears of death, and a 
triumphant looking into the grave, and beyond it 
into eternity. How easy a thing is it now to die ! 
how confidently can the man meet the King of 
terrors ! Death hath now lost his sting, tlie grave 
its darkness and horror : and the believer can now 

THE saints' encovragement. 23 

say with courage and joy, " Now, Death, do thy 
work as soon as thou wilt ; my soul is ready for 
its flight, through mercy my work is not now to 
do; I can speak it from my heart, ' O Death, 
where is thy sting? O Grave, where is tliy vic- 
tory V " He is able to speak in the language of 
that blessed saint; " Now let thy servant depart 
in peace ; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation." 
Death is now a friend, and not an enemy. '' O 
how I long," saith this faithful one, *' to see that 
which most dread !" When he is in health, he 
thinks with joy of sickness ; when he is sick, he 
could be very well contented to be more sick ; 
when heart, and flesh, and all fail, he knows that 
God will not fail him, but is his portion for ever. 
He can speak of his winding-sheet, and burial, and 
rottenness, as a harmless rest which will renew his 
strength, as knowing that these vile bodies shall 
be like unto the glorious body of the Lord 
Christ. He is glad at heart to see the symptoms 
of his dissolution, and he goes into eternity with 
as much content and satisfaction, as the betrothed 
virgin goes to her marriage, or the labourer to 
receive his wages, or the victorious soldier into the 
presence of his prince. And what can make that 
man miserable who is lifted up above the fears of 
death, and desires of life ; who can think of 
death, judgment, and eternity joyfully? 1 Cor. 

24 THE saints' encouragement. 

XV. 55. Luke ii. 29. 2 Cor. v. 1—4. PhiL 
i. 23. 

5. Another thing that is implied in this abun- 
dant entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our 
Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, is this ; a more 
clear, distinct apprehension of spiritual and in- 
visible objects, and a more sensible experience of 
the reality of gospel mysteries. How low and 
childish are the conceptions, that a child of God 
hath of God and all his attributes, of Christ and 
all his offices and relations, when he is in his 
infancy and minority, to what he hath when he 
comes to this spiritual manhood ! He now looks 
with Stephen's eyes, he " beholds the glory of 
God, and the Lord Christ sitting at the right hand 
of God." He sometimes saw, as it were, darkly ; 
but now with open face beholding as in a glass 
the glory of the Lord, he is changed into the same 
image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of 
tlie Lord. How admirably doth the man now 
discourse of heaven, as if he had some of Paul's 
visions ! how highly doth he extol that goodly 
land, as if he stood upon the top of Pisgah ! hov/ 
excellently doth he set forth the beauties of Christ, 
as if he had been upon the mount, and had seen 
him transfigured, or had lain on his bosom ! 1 Cor. 
xiii. 11.2 Cor. iii. 18. 2 Tim. ii. 7. Prov. xxviii. 5. 

6. Another thing that makes his passage into 


eternity more glorious, is a lively, full, well- 
grounded assurance of liis interest in the eternal 
inheritance : all that I have said had been but a 
fancy, a delusion, a misery, without proprietorship; 
and proprietorship that is not known loseth its 
sweetness. But to understand the things that are 
graciously given, and upon good grounds to be 
able to sayj " All this is mine;" to speak what 
David did, and to be able to make it good, " The 
Lord is my portion ;" to call God Father, and 
Christ Redeemer, and heaven his inheritance ; and 
to be able to show the evidences of all, and to 
clear one's claim ; O that is the rich heir indeed ! 
How doth such a one rejoice when he reads his 
Father's will and testament, in which so glorious 
an estate is given to and settled upon him for 
ever ! when he seriously considers what a doleful 
undone condition most are in ! and what a differ- 
ence grace hath made between him and them, 
when he contemplates what he hath in hand, and 
what in reversion, and how well all is secured, 
upon the promise and oath of the Most High, the 
unchangeable nature of God, the death of the 
testator, so that earth and hell cannot rob, cheat, 
or wrong him, and heaven will not ! When he 
considers seriously the greatness, the nearness, the 
certainty, and the eternity of his glory ; how can 
it fail to bring a little heaven unto his soul, and 

26 THE saints' encouragement. 

even antedate the glories of that future world, as 
much as man is capable of bearing them in this 
mortal state, Heb. x. 22. Cant. ii. 16. Psal. xvi. 
5. 1 John iii. 2, 19, 21. iv. 13. Psal. Ixxiii. 25, 26. 
2 Tim. iv. 8. 

7. And to make the glory, yet if possible, still 
far greater upon earth, and that the saints may 
have " an abundant entrance into the everlasting 
kintcdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ;" 
it is required, that the Spirit should witness with 
his spirit, that he is a child of God, and fill him 
with joy unspeakable, and full of glory. And 
this is the very highest pitch on this side glory ; 
this is the earnest of the inheritance ; this is little 
less than a draught of those rivers, and that foun- 
tain of pleasure, '' which is at the right hand of 
God for evermore." Now the man is a Httle able 
to tell you what that " white stone " means, and 
that " new name" which no one knows, save he 
that hath it ; he is, as it were, lifted up into the 
third heaven, and sees and hears things unutter- 
able. Now his affections are too big to be clothed 
with words ; he loves, he rejoices, he admires, he 
adores God, and he is in such a spiritual strait be- 
tween God's service here, and glory above, that he 
scarce knows what to do. Sometimes he is so full 
of praise, that he cannot be at leisure to do any 
thing, but praise and magnify that rich grace which 


hath done such wonders for him, that hath looked 
upon so vile a creature, and taken him into his 
bosom. '' O what is man, that God should be 
mindful of him, and the son of man that he should 
visit him ?" And then he turns himself to God, and 
breaks forth into hallelujahs, " Blessing, and 
honour, and glory, and praise be to him that sits 
upon the throne, and to the Lamb for ever and 
ever." And again, he saith, ''Hallelujah;" 
" What shall I render to the Lord for all his good- 
ness? ten thousand praises to the King of saints for 
his incomparable kindness to a poor worm ! 
Who am I, that the Lord should deal thus familiarly 
with me ? why me. Lord, why me, and pass by 
thousands ? even so. Father, for it seemeth good in 
thine eyes. O the glory, the transcendent, the 
excellent glory that I feel ! O what a sight do I 
see ! ' Sure this is no ether than the gate of 
heaven ;' sure I am now in the suburbs of the 
New Jerusalem ! Love and praise is now my 
business. ' O magnify the Lord with me ; come, 
let us exalt his name together, let us make his 
praise glorious ; let us shout for joy, and triumph 
in his goodness. Come all ye inhabitants of the 
world, and praise him ; let every thing that hath 
breath praise him ; let the mountains and hills 
praise him ; let the seas praise him, and the floods 
clap their hands.' Come, let us rejoice together, 

28 THE saints' encouragement. 

the Lord hath found his poor prodigal, the Father 
has fallen upon his neck and kissed him ; and his 
kisses are like heaven, and his love worth ten 
worlds. Come, help me to love and praise him ; 
come, help me, O ye mighty angels, you under- 
stand and are well skilled in this work ; let all 
praise him, all is too little ; and if ten heavens of 
angels, and ten thousand worlds of saints should 
all praise him, it would be infinitely short of that 
glory and praise which is due to his name. Well, 
I am contented to be overcome ; I am enraptured, 
and yet I am willing to be so : the love, the beauty, 
the riches of that incomparable, royal, glorious 
One, makes all the crowns of the world dirt ; 
their beauties, deformity, their excellency, a 
shadow, a bubble, nothing. I am overpowered ; 
that far more exceeding and eternal weight of 
glory begins to rest upon my head. O take time 
away, O how I long for eternity, and then I could 
bear that weight better. I want nothing now but 
an actual and eternal possession ; ' Come, Lord 
Jesus, come quickly; mine eyes have seen thy sal- 
vation, now let thy servant depart in peace.' But 
yet I am not so hasty, but that I am heartily will- 
ing to stay tliy leisure ; if thou hast any doing or 
suffering work, any thing that may promote thy 
glory, and the interest of thy Son, Lord, send me. 
I am ready ; only bear thy poor creature company. 

THE saints' encouragement. 29 

and according to thy word, be with thy servant, 
and I am wiOing ; come reproaches, scoffs, bands, 
scourgings, racks, all is nothing ; I count not my 
life dear, so I may serve this Master. I can do 
all things, but it is all from grace, thanks be to 
Christ who strengthens me : if he should withdraw, 
I should be as faint and weak as another man. 
Christ is my all, and to him will I give all glory, 
praise, love, and obedience." 

Thus the soul is so straitened, that it cannot tell 
what to do ; it is taken up with God, his glory 
and praise ; and yet his honour upon earth, and 
the miserable state of poor besotted sinners, must 
not be forgotten. With what pity and bowels 
doth this saint look down upon the frantic world ! 
with what affection doth he bem.oan their madness, 
who make nothing of all this glory, who can scorn 
this joy, as if it were but the effect of a distemper- 
ed fancy 1 " O " saith he, " that you did but 
know what I know, and see with my eyes ! O 
that I could but tell you what I feel and experi- 
ence ! I will venture my salvation upon it, that the 
joys of the Holy Ghost are infinitely more sweet 
than those carnal delights, which you are so much 
taken up with. O do but try, * O taste and see 
how good the Lord is.' And if upon a thorough 
trial, you do not find it better than I can express, 
and you repent your choice, then say that the 


bible was false, that saints are mistaken, and re- 
ligion is a cheat ; but till you have tried what a 
life of holiness is, do not condemn it ; till you 
know what excellency there is in God and Christ, 
do not reject them ; till you understand what the 
peace of God is, do not laugh at it, as if it were a 
fancy. O come, look upon a dying man and 
wonder ; I challenge you amongst all your gal- 
lant champions to bring one that can look death 
in the face with such joy. I challenge all your 
sensual epicures to tell me what pleasures are to 
be compared to what a believer sometimes is feast- 
ed with." Then he falls upon them with earnest- 
ness, and pleads with them for their poor souls' 
sake, not so foolishly to undervalue that which is 
of such unspeakable worth. " O why wmU you 
die ? what do you mean to feed like swine, when 
you may be feasted with the children ? what do 
you think will be the end of your carnal pleasures, 
will they end in such triumphant joys ?" And so 
he speaks a good word for God ; and if in such 
a blessed state one can be sad, and a man within 
sight of heaven can be grieved, he is troubled that 
every body doth not love, admire, and serve God 
at the same or a better rate, than himself. And 
thus he continues waiting and longing, and yet 
patiently looking for his Master's coming ; and 
when he cometh, O how w^elcome is he I how 


cheerfully and joyfully doth he resign his spirit ! 
how confidently doth he appear before God as one 
that he was no stranger to ! Never did child after 
some absence in a far country more gladly come 
to his father's house, never did loving wife enter- 
tain her tender husband with more content ; never 
did loyal subject come into his prince's presence 
with more pleasure, than this precious soul doth 
go to God ! Eph. i. 13, 14. iv. 30. 1 Pet. 
i. 8. Isa. Ixi. 10. Cant. i. 4. ii. 3. Psal. Ixiii. 
3. Heb. vi. 18. Psal. v. 12. John xiv. 18. Isa. 
li. 12. 

And thus I have showed you w^hat this abundant 
entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord 
and Saviour Jesus Christ doth imply. It implies 
a sensible renovation of their natures and a 
sw^eet suitableness to God, a lively sense of the 
pardon of all our sins, and a peace with God, a 
being lifted above fears, a more clear and distinct 
apprehension of invisibles, as to their reality and 
excellency, and a well-grounded assurance of our 
proprietorship and interest in the great things of 
another world, and of the nearness of the posses- 
sion and the eternity of enjoyment, and the Spirit 
sealing up the soul to the day of redemption, and 
filling it with joy unspeakable, and full of glory. 
And is it now worth the while to be a christian ? 
Is the labour in vain, and the pains without some 
E 2 

32 THE saints' encouragement. 

fruit ? Blessed are the people that are in such a 
case ; yea, blessed are the people whose God is 
the Lord. 

III. The next thing I promised to do, was, to 
demonstrate and prove, that the saint who is thus 
diligent, as I mentioned, shall have such a glorious 
entrance ministered to him, into the everlasting 
kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 
What doth the scripture prove more fully, " Say 
to the righteous, It shall be well with them ; for 
they shall eat the fruit of their doings," Isa. iii. 10 
And will God expose the reputation of his 
prophets, and command them to speak that in his 
name, which he will not see made good to a tittle ? 
'' He that hath my commandments, and keepeth 
them, he it is that loveth me ; and he that loveth 
me shall be loved of my Father ; and I will love 
him, and manifest myself unto him," John xiv. 21. 
" Great peace have they that love thy law, and 
nothing shall offend them," Psal. cxix. 165. 
" Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither 
have entered into the heart of man, the things 
which God hath prepared for them that love 
him," 1 Cor. ii. 9. "Mark the perfect man, and 
behold the upright ; for the end of that man is 
peace," Psal. xxxvii. 37. Multitudes of scrip- 
tures speak the same thing, and that which God 
hath spoken, saints have experienced : ask David 


whether God hath ever been worse than his word, 
and he will tell you " Truly, God is good unto 
Israel ; even to them that are of an upright heart," 
Psal. Ixxiii. 1. And upon this account, he is still 
calling upon all to love, trust, and obey him, and 
tells them, however he might sometimes be under 
a temptation and mistake, yet that it is good for 
him to draw nigh to God, ver. 28. Upon this ac- 
count, he calls to all to bless and magnify the 
Lord with him, Psal. xxxiv. 3. What is it makes 
Paul to long to be dissolved ? What causeth him 
to speak of death as an innocent, harmless thing ? 
Whence is it that that good old saint saith, " Now 
let thy servant depart in peace," but because 
" his eyes had seen his salvation?" Are there 
not many thousands of the people of God that 
have been able to subscribe to these truths ? It 
may be they were sometimes sowing in tears, but 
when the harvest of death came, they reaped a 
crop of consolation. What else meant their joys 
and praise in sickness, pains, death ? There are 
a great many, as well as David, who could say, 
that God was their exceeding joy, Psal. xliii. 4. 
'^ Weeping may endure for a night, but joy 
cometh in the morning," Psal. xxx. 5. It is the 
duty and privilege of the saints of God to rejoice 
and shout for joy, Psal. xxxii. 11, And how can 
they fail to rejoice when God is theirs ? and if 
E 3 

34 THE saints' excouragemext. 

God be for them, who can be against them ? This, 
this is that which hath made the people of God 
even burst out into praises, when some carnal 
people did even wonder how they could hold from 
cursing. "■ Come," saith one, " and I will tell 
you what God hath done for my soul." " Thanks 
be to God for his unspeakable gift," saith another. 
^' O blessed be God for a Christ and a pardon; I 
would not now be to live for a world. O how 
glad am I, that death is so near ; but why should 
I talk of death, it is too harsh a word, I shall rest, 
I shall sleep in the bosom of the Lord, I shall not 
die but live." " O," saith another, " if this be 
dying, dying is sweet!" " Welcome the will of 
God," saith another : and how many of the dili- 
gent servants of Christ could as willingly lie down 
in their graves as in their beds. Sirs, have none 
of you been eye and ear witnesses of such things 
as these ? did you never see one that hath re- 
ceived the sentence of death from his doctor, as 
cheerfully as the condemned malefactor hath a 
reprieve or pardon ? Did you never hear one that 
had but little breath, spending of it in singing and 
praise ? if you have not, I thank God I have more 
than once or twice. And doth not all this prove, 
that the diligent shall have his reward ; and that 
the active saint shall have an abundant entrance 
into glory. Surely if it hath been so frequently 


promised, and so often experienced, there is little 
reason why any one should doubt but it shall be 
so still. God's arm is not weakened, his affection 
to holiness is not abated, neither is his treasure in 
the least lessened ; what he hath done he will do, 
and we may with very good reason argue from past 
experience to future expectations. 

IV. I come to inquire how this abundant 
entrance is ministered into the everlasting king- 
dom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

1. God doth it by shutting out whatsoever may 
interrupt the joyful and triumphant passage of the 
believer to his glorious rest. All the mountains 
shall be levelled, and crooked things made 
straight. Whatsoever may hinder his smooth and 
easy progress, is in a great measure removed ; the 
mountains of sins are cast into the depth of the 
sea, his iniquities are done away as a cloud, and 
his transgressions as a thick cloud. Sin's power 
is quite weakened, and it lies now gasping ready 
to fetch its last breath. The conscience is fully 
pacified, the demands of the law are satisfied, the 
blood of Christ hath quite cleared the score, the 
surety hath received an acquittance, Christ's re- 
surrection and ascension to glory was his full dis- 
charge, and he hath given an acquittance also to 
the sinner, and promised to secure him for ever 
against all the creditors, and to keep off all arrests. 


Now he need not fear, Satan is silenced, the great 
accuser hath done his worst, and now he is cast 
out, and who can lay any thing to the charge of 
this elect one ? it is Christ that justifies, who can 
condemn ? Rom. viii. 34. Time was when the poor 
debtor durst scarce look out of doors for fear of 
arrest ; he was in continual fear of being appre- 
hended, imprisoned, arraigned, cast, condemned, 
and executed ; but he is now secured against all, 
'' There is no condemnation to them which are in 
Christ Jesus," Rom. viii. 1. He is now a free 
man, and therefore a glad man ; now he can 
walk amongst bones and skulls without any dread ; 
the grave hath now lost its horror; it is now but 
a close chamber to sleep securely in till the wed- 
ding clothes are quite made, and the mansion- 
house ready, and the bridegroom and retinue 
shall come to awaken him, Isa. xliv. 22. Col. 
ii. 14, 15. Gal. iii. 13. Rom. v. 19. iv. 25. 
2 Cor. V. 19, 21. Heb. x. 11, 12, 14, 18—22. 
viii. 12. 

2. God doth minister to the diligent saints an 
entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord 
and Saviour Jesus Christ, as by shutting out and 
removing what might hinder their joyful passage, 
so by opening what might hasten and sweeten 
their way. He opens his book, and lets them see 
their names written there ; he opens the promises. 

THE saints' E^XOURAGEMEXT. 37 

and lets them read what he hath given them there. 
All the great and precious promises are to them 
Yea and Amen, truly fulfilled and fulfilling ; the 
great records of heaven are unsealed to him ; 
and he is made to understand that God had a 
design of kindness upon him before the foundations 
of the world ; he beholds the very arms and 
bosom of the Father opened ready to embrace 
him, he hears a sweet voice as it were sounding in 
his ear, Come, my child, enter into thy chamber and 
hide thyself, till my indignation be over, Isa. xxvi. 
20. His eyes are now opened, and he is anointed 
with spiritual eye-salve, and his understanding is 
enlightened wonderfully : he hath reason, faith, 
the word, the Spirit to give him light. Methinks 
he looks like a king in his triumphant chariot go- 
ing his progress. How pleasant is his journey I 
now which w^ay soever he looks, he sees matter of 
joy and praise, and that which doth make his 
passage glorious : if he look backward, he re- 
members with comfort the battles that hav^e been 
fought under his valiant Captain ; he beholds the 
Egyptians dead upon the shore, he sees Sihon king 
of the Amorites and Og the king of Bashan sub- 
dued : he is now almost come out of the wilderness, 
now he is out of danger of the lions, bears, and 
serpents ; he sees the field quite cleared, except 
here and there a gasping enemy that lieth bleeding 

38 THE saints' encouragement. 

of his mortal wounds ; and he can now say, as 
Paul, " I have fought the good fight, I have 
finished my course, I have kept the faith ; hence- 
forth there is laid up for me a crown of righteous- 
ness, which the Lord the righteous Judge shall 
give me at that day ; and not to me only, but unto 
all them also that love his appearing," 2 Tim. iv. 7, 
8. O how sweet a thing is it to remember the years 
of the right hand of the Most High ! ^' At such a 
place the Lord first began in mercy to take hold 
of me ; at another he came in with seasonable 
supplies, and there he wooed me, and after a while 
he got my heart ! O I would not for a world 
that the work were undone ; it was the best day's 
work that I ever made since I was born ; then, 
then Christ betrothed me to himself, and since that 
I have been fed richly, and strengthened greatly, 
and in some measure been enabled to walk before 
the Lord in integrity and uprightness of heart." 
And then he looks inward, and there he sees the 
glorious workmanship of God, the image of 
Christ upon every faculty of the soul, every room 
richly furnished by the great King, since he came 
to dwell with him ; and now his body and soul is 
employed for nobler use than before ; and he be- 
liolds grace in the inward parts ; there are faith, love, 
joy, hope, he is all glorious within like the temple 
of the Holy Ghost. He looks upward, and be- 

THE saints' excouragemext. 39 

hold, there is the glorious habitation of his Father; 
there is his treasure, estate ; there is liis Lord and 
dear Redeemer ; there are all his true friends, or 
there they will be ere long. He looks forward, 
and lo, a cloud of witnesses that are running be- 
fore him ; he looks beyond the grave into a 
blessed eternity, and it is no small pleasure to 
him to think, that this vile body shall be made 
like unto the glorious body of the Lord Jesus 
Christ ; it doth not a little comfort him to know 
that this mortal shall put on immortality, and this 
corruptible shall put on incorruption, and death 
shall be swallowed up of victory. Yea, the very 
thoughts of the dissolution of this world are de- 
lightful to him : with what comfort doth he 
meditate upon that approaching day, when the 
earth shall burn like an oven, and the elements 
shall melt with fervent heat, and the graves shall 
be opened, and the earth and sea shall give up their 
dead, and the angels shall gather the elect from 
the four quarters of the earth ; and how triumpli- 
antly shall they meet the Lord in the clouds ; and 
what a brave shout will all the sons of God give, 
when they shall see that glorious beautiful One ! 
And that day they see not very far off, they do 
with joy behold his harbingers coming to make 
ready for his appearance. It puts life into his 
duties, and quickens his hope to see Christ, as it 


were, onward on his journey to fetch him ; and he 
thinks of judgment with the greatest content of 
all, when all the attributes of God shall be so 
much glorified, Christ so admired and completely- 
enjoyed, and himself fully acquitted and fixed in 
unspeakable glory. And then he looks round 
about him, and beholds most of the world in a 
miserable, Christless, and almost hopeless state ; 
except a miracle of mercy speedily convert them, 
they are as surely damned, as God is happy. 
And wdio made me to differ ? O admirable grace ! 
Hallelujah, blessed and for ever blessed be God, 
that looked upon such a one, when he passed by 
thousands ! And then he looks downward, and 
there he sees by faith, millions in that dreadful 
prison, and the door shut upon them, and himself 
at liberty, and the door of God's house, the gates 
of the New Jerusalem, the bosom of Christ open 
to him : and how can all this fail to administer 
abundance of consolation to this man? Can such 
a one as this is be sad ? Is it possible for him to 
keep his heart from love, joy, and light, and his 
tongue from praises ? And thus God dotli minister 
an abundant entrance to the diligent saint, by 
opening his own arms, and the believer's eyes, 
and showing him such things are even unutterably 
excellent, infinitely desirable, eternally glorious, 
Psal. XXV. 14. Rev. iii. 7. 2 Cor. iii. 18. Ephes. i. 

THE saints' excouragement. 41 

18. 1 John V. 20. Eph. iii. 16—19. Rom. vi. 5, 
6, 14. 

3. A saint's journey home is made more com- 
fortable, and his entrance to that city more sweet, 
his journey more pleasant, by the admirable pro- 
Msions that are laid him in, to feed upon in the 
road. Believe it, sirs, a saint hath rare fare, 
gallant cheer, and rich diet, and all at free cost ; 
he is feasted all the day long ; he is brought oft 
into the banqueting-house, and hath the rarest, 
the costliest, the wholesomest diet, that which is 
most hearty and strengthening, that which is most 
dainty and pleasant, and the greatest variety, 
and nothing is wanting that may make his state 
happy, except a full enjoyment of glory itself. 
The Lord gives him all the experiences of his 
power and goodness to his churches in former ages 
to feed his hopes on ; nay, many choice provi- 
dences, many answers of prayers, many foretastes 
of glory, many ordinances, especially that great 
one of the Lord's supper, in which Christ and 
all his benefits are served up in a royal dish to 
refresh and feast, the faith, hope, and love of the 
saints. And that which sweetens all, is this ; he 
knows that all this is but a little, to what he shall 
shortly live upon when he comes to the marriage- 
supper ; then he shall always be feasted and never 
surfeited. And besides all this, he hath the sweet 


42 THE saints' encouragement. 

and refresliing incomes of the Spirit, filling him 
with such true pleasure, that he can easily spare 
the most sumptuous banquet the noblest feast, 
and highest worldly delights, as infinitely short of 
one hour's treatment in his great Friend's chamber. 
And if this be his entertainment in the inn, what 
shall he have at the court ? if this heavenly manna 
be his food in the wilderness, at what a rate is he 
like to live when he comes into Canaan ? if this 
be the provision of the way, what is that of the 
country ? Isa. xxv. 6. Prov. ix. 2. Cant. ii. 4. 
Psal. xxiii. 1, &c. John vi. 55. Psal. Ixxiv. 14. 

4. That his entrance may be abundantly glo- 
rious, God doth send out his blessed messengers 
and servants to guide and direct him ; and to 
comfort and encourage him, and to lead him safely 
and joyfully to his palace. Sometimes God sends 
a word, and guides him by his counsel, till he 
hath brought him to glory ; at another time, 
his ministers are sent to do the work of inferior 
angels, to preach glad tidings of great joy, to 
open the treasures of Divine love to him, and to 
show him Christ, righteousness, and their justifi- 
cation ; the righteousness that is imparted to 
them, and their sanctification, their royal robes, 
and the bridegroom, and to help to dress them, 
for glory ; sometimes the saints and fellow-chris- 
tians are sent out to visit and congratulate his 


nearness to the kingdom ; and to send him off 
with a shout of praises into a happy eternity, and 
to complete all, to express his love yet further, 
the great King sends his own attendants and 
chariot, the blessed angels to bring their precious 
souls, as soon as ever they leave those mansions 
of clay, into his own blessed presence; and O how 
glad of this office ! how sweetly do those minis- 
tering spirits warble out their praises at their 
marriage and coronation, who were so glad at 
their conversion! Isa. xxx. 21. Job xxxiii. 23. 
Luke xvi. 22. 

5. To make their entrance most magnificent 
and triumphant, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, 
the blessed Trinity, are ready to give them a wel- 
come to glory. Now that which was in the eternal 
counsels is come to pass ; if the Father loved 
them when they were crying and praying, if he 
did not despise their broken spirit, if grace im- 
perfect was so great a delight to him, what is it 
to hear his children praising, to see them come 
safe and sound to his house, and to look upon his 
own image in some perfection and beauty, to see 
his look like himself, and full of love, joy, and 
beauty, to see the spouse of his only Son arrived 
safe to the harbour, and the fruit of his purchase 
and love ; surely this must be a sight well pleasing 
to the Father. And as for the Son, without con- 
F 2 

44 THE saints' encouragement. 

troversy, he is not a little pleased to behold his 
royal bride in her princely attire, all glorious and 
lovely by the beauty and jewels that he adorned 
her with. Surely the first word of salutation will 
be, Come, thou blessed of my Father, and beloved 
of the Son, inherit the kingdom prepared for thee 
before the world had a being. Methinks when I 
read the history of Isaac's going out into the field 
to meet Rebecca, when I observe their kind greet- 
ing, and how cheerfully and gladly he led her into 
his tent, and how thoroughly his mother's death is 
forgot, and her room well filled by his wife, it puts 
me a little in mind of the far greater love and 
kindness of the Prince of peace to his Rebecca ; 
he did not only send his servant to woo and get 
her heart, but he came himself, and would not be 
satisfied, whatever it cost him, till he had got her 
love; his prayers, pains, blood, nothing is too good 
for her, though so mean, poor, deformed ; he 
mends all by his love, and makes her rich, beauti- 
ful, and strong, and sees of the travail of his soul, 
and is satisfied ; how much more when she hath 
loyally followed his commands, and loved him 
above heaven and earth, and is brought like a 
queen into his presence, will he meet her with 
gladness, and carry her into his court and royal 
palace, and there rejoice over her for ever ! He 
now sees that his poverty hath made his wife ricli, 


liis emptiness filled her, his death given her 

And what a sweet blast doth the blessed Spirit 
breathe upon him ! and how doth he in a moment 
ripen all his graces and comforts ! and without 
doubt, if the Spirit be grieved when he is rejected, 
he is pleased when received, and his work is 
brought to perfection. But, alas, I am here at a 
stand, it doth not yet appear what will be then, 
but God will do far abundantly above what we 
can think ; and therefore I have warrant to speak 
so high as I do. 

I might add the glorious saints that have long 
since possessed that blessed inheritance, that 
through many tribulations are come to rest, how 
glad will they be to see them come safe also ! 
they are not a little pleased that one more is 
brought to serve God more highly and honour- 
ably, and to help them to praise him, and make 
the concert yet more full and complete. If Aaron 
were glad at heart to go out and meet with Moses 
when he came to deliver the poor Israelites out 
of their bondage, how glad will Moses, Elias, 
Paul, and millions more of saints, be to see the 
Israelite and perfect conqueror come within 
the walls of the glorious Zion, free from all 
his former slaveries, and in a state of glorious 
liberty with the Son of God, 1 John ii. 28. Matt. 
E 3 

46 THE saints' encouragement. 

XXV. 34, 46. Heb. xii. 22, 23. Matt. xxv. 23. 
xvi. 27. 

Thus I have despatched the fourth thing that I 
promised to speak to, and that was to show yon 
how this entrance is ministered abundantly into 
the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour 
Jesus Christ. It is done by shutting out and remov- 
ing whatsoever may any way obstruct their com- 
fortable passage ; and by opening their way, and 
making it plain, and showing them beforehand 
what might contribute to the delightfulness of 
their journey; and by laying them in on the road 
full, rich, dainty provision, and all at free cost ; and 
by sending out messengers, especially his minis- 
ters and angels, to make their passage more com- 
fortable, sure, and honourable ; and lastly, by a 
welcome to glory by God the Father, Son, and 
Holy Ghost, saints and angels ; and if this be not 
*' an abundant entrance," I know not what is or 
can be. 

V. I come now to give you some reasons why 
the diligent saint shall be thus rewarded. 

1. God hath promised it to them. He hath 
said, that their labour shall not be in vain ; and 
that in keeping the commands of God there shall 
be a great reward, and that he is a Rewarder of 
them that diligently seek him. Is it not His pro- 
mise, who cannot be worse than his word, that " the 

THE saints' excouragemext. 47 

righteous shall be glad in the Lord ; and all the 
upright in heart shall glory," Psal. Ixiv. 10. If a 
cup of cold water shall in no wise lose its reward, 
shall he that gives body, and soul, and estate, and 
every thing to God, lose his ? Hath not Christ 
more than once promised great things to his dili- 
gent servants, that patiently continue in well 
doing ? ''To him that overcometh, I will give to 
eat of the tree of life," Rev. ii. 7. .*' He shall not 
be hurt of the second death," ver. 11. *' I will 
give him to eat of the hidden manna, and a white 
stone, &c. and a crown of life," ver. 17. " He 
that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in 
white raiment, and I will not blot out his name 
out of the book of life ; but I will confess his 
name before my Father, and before his angels," 
Rev. iii. 5. " Him that overcometh, will I make 
a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go 
no more out ; and I will write upon him the name 
of my God, and the name of the city of my God^ 
the New Jerusalem which cometh down from 
heaven, from my God, and my new name," ver. 
12. ''To him that overcometh, will I grant to sit 
down with me on my throne, as I overcame and 
am set down with my Father on his throne," ver. 
21. " If ye love me keep my commandments: 
and I will pray the Father, and he shall give you 
another Comforter, that he may abide with you for 

48 THE saints' encouragement. 

ever," John xiv. 15, 16. ''And whatsoever we 
ask, we receive of him ; because we keep his 
commandments, and do those things that are 
pleasing in his sight. He that keepeth his com- 
mandments dvvelleth in him, and he in him," 
1 John iii. 22, 24. " The work of righteousness 
shall be peace, and the effect of righteousness, 
quietness, and assurance for ever," Isa. xxxii. 17. 
I shall add but one promise more, '' They that 
wait on the Lord shall renew their strength ; they 
shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall 
run and not be weary, and they shall walk and 
not faint, Isa. xl. 31. 

2. Another reason why the diligent saint shall 
have " an entrance ministered abundantly into the 
everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour," 
is, because of his own glory, which is the more 
advanced. What a mighty revenue of praise 
and love doth God receive by manifesting so much 
of his love in this world to his poor saints ! How 
clearly doth he demonstrate the reality and excel- 
lency of invisibles by it ! how much of his good- 
ness and faithfulness is thereby discovered ! how 
doth it vindicate his omniscience, his purity, and 
spirituality ! what a miglity conviction of his 
being to the wicked and atheistical world ! What 
clearer proof can there be to sense of the justice 
of God, and of the vast difference that he will 

THE saints' encouragement. 49 

make between them that fear, love, and diligently 
serve him, and them that set light by his counsels, 
undervalue his commands, and despise his rewards 
or threats? Heb. vi. 10. Mai. iii. 18. compared 
with iv. 1, 2. 

3. The last reason that I shall now give (though 
more might be added) is, that he may encourage 
the diligent, and make them go on resolvedly 
without fainting, and expect yet greater things, 
and raise their hopes yet higher still, and make 
the lazy to mend their pace ; and all to say, 
" Verily there is a reward for the righteous : 
verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth," 
Psal. Iviii. 11. And that it is not in vain to serve 
the Lord, the Lord will have his people to have a 
word to answer the scoffer, who asks him \vhat he 
gets by all his prayers, and tears, and preciseness. 
When his soul is solaced, he saith, " This is the 
joy that I prayed for, this the riches, the food that 
I laboured for, this is the God in whom I have 
trusted ; and if the earnest penny be so great, 
what is the full sum ? Fall on therefore, O my 
soul, and despise the scorns of fools, keep thy eye 
upon the recompence of the reward," Heb. x. 23. 
Isa. XXV. 9. Psal. xliv. 8. Jer. iv. 2. Isa. xlv. 

VI. I come now to answer some objections, 
which may seem to contradict this truth, wliich 


liatli been so largely proved : and the first objec- 
tion is this. 

Obj. 1. Do not many wicked men live and 
die in peace? doth not David complain, "That 
there are no bands in their death : that they are 
not in trouble as other men?" Psal. Ixxiii. 4. 
Doth not Job speak almost at the same rate ? Job 
xxi. 7. What privilege then hath a saint above a 
sinner ? what advantage hath the diligent believer 
more than the sluggard ? and what benefit and 
profit the industrious Christian more than the for- 
mal hypocrite ? and what difference is there be- 
tween their peace ? and how cometh it to pass, 
that some of them which live like devils, die like 
lambs ? 

I answer. What you call peace deserves not 
such a sweet name ; for '' there is no peace, saith 
my God, to the wicked ; " but it is carnal confi- 
dence and presumption ; and they are so far from 
this true peace, that is akin to heaven, that there 
is but a step between them and the state of the 
damned, and they owe all their peace to their ig- 
norance and hardness of heart, and searedness of 
conscience. O did they but know what a case 
they are in, they would soon cry out with amaze- 
ment. What shall we do to be saved ? and be so 
far from being displeased with the minister that 
jogs them, and saith, '' Awake, sleeper, what 


meanest thou," that they would wonder that he is 
no more earnest and loud in his cry, and more 
pitiful in his endeavours to bring them out of that 
dreadful letharg-y and stupidness, that he now 
perceives them to lie under. And who would 
desire such a rest as a lethargy, swoon, or apoplexy 
brings ? who would reckon he sleeps securely, 
when he lieth in the devil's cradle ? who that un- 
derstands himself would have a peace, that he 
must be beholden to a league with hell for ? Isa. 
Ivii. 21. 1 Tim. iv. 2. Ephes. iv. 18, 19. Isa. 
xxviii. 15. 

Obj. 2. But I have heard these men speak of 
their hopes and confidence in the Lord, and bless 
God for their assurance of the pardon of their sins ; 
and ask them if they have made their peace with 
God, and they will answer, that they thank God, 
that's a work is not now to do ; I pray therefore 
show us the difference between these two sorts of 
men, which seem to be very unlike one another in 
their lives. 

There is as much difference between their peace, 
as there is between light and darkness, heaven and 
hell, something and nothing. 

1 . They differ in their original and foundation : 
the rise of the peace of a saint is from the promise, 
his comforts are scripture consolations ; he finds 
that rich grace hath wrought in him the condition 

52 THE saints' encouragement. 

of the promise, and upon a serious debate with his 
own spirit, and thorough discoursing the matter 
with his own heart, it brings in this witness for 
him, that he hath had a discovery of his poor, 
lost, undone state, that he hath in some measure 
been convinced of sin and misery, that he hath 
been convinced of his own utter inability to save 
himself, that he hath seen an absolute necessity 
of Christ, an infinite fulness and excellency in 
him, that he hath been enabled to receive him 
upon his own terms, and to resign up all to him, 
that he hath been made to leave sin, as to the love 
and liking of it, and to be affectionately willing 
to take God the Father for the ultimate happiness 
and portion of his soul, God the Son for the only 
way to the Father, and his Redeemer, God the 
Holy Ghost to enlighten, sanctify, and comfort 
Iiim, and to endeavour to give up his whole man, 
body and soul, to the obedience of his whole will, 
with the utmost intentness of spirit, with delibe- 
ration, judgment, and resolution to stand by this 
choice, by the strength of God, for ever. And 
this he hath frequently found upon inquiry, to be 
the constant frame of his spirit ; and therefore 
the scripture pronouncing such blessed, he is 
liumbly bold to own what grace hath done for 
him. Now this man's hopes and confidence have 
a good foundation, it is built upon the foundation 

THE saints' encouragement, 53 

of prophets and apostles, Jesus Christ being the 
chief corner-stone ; it is a peace of God's appro- 
bation, of God's signing and sealing. 

But now on the other side, the peace which the 
hypocrite hath is built upon the sand, he hath not 
one promise that he can rationally lay any claim 
to ; nay, the whole word of God assaults him, 
and tells him how vain his confidence is ; and 
that if, for all this, he will speak peace to himself, 
that he must try shortly whether he can make it 
good, when conscience, scripture, law and gospel, 
God and man, appear in the field against him. 
In a word, the cause of his peace is ignorance, 
hardness, deadness. The god of this world hath 
blinded his eyes : God is author of the saint's peace, 
and the devil of the sinner's. Matt. vii. 24, &c. 
Phil. iv. 7. Luke xi. 21. Rom. xv. 4. 

2. They differ in their concomitants and effects. 
The saint hath always these things accompanying 
his comforts ; admiration of God's pardoning 
grace, and wonder that there should be such a 
thing as mercy for him; magnifying of the blessed 
Jesus, who was the great manager of that great 
affair, the peace between God and his soul; a holy, 
thankful, fruitful life; a humble judging of him- 
self, and a pitying of others : when the Spirit hath 
grafted true peace in the soul, these are the fruits 
which if bears. But is it thus with the formal 

54 THE saints' encouragement. 

hypocrite; judge, I pray, rightly, and see what 
fruits his peace brings forth : are they not the 
grapes of Sodom and the fruits of Gomorrah? 
doth he indeed admire and adore the patience of 
God towards him ? doth he not rather make bold 
with God, and turn his grace into wantonness ? 
How little doth he esteem his omniscience, power, 
spirituality, purity ! how far is he from sanctifying 
the Lord in his heart, and making him his fear 
and dread ! how vilely doth he undervalue and 
prostitute his holy name, using it only in an oath, 
or when he taketh it into his filthy mouth without 
any reverence or sense of his excellency ! And as 
for Christ, he makes light of him, and prefers every 
cursed lust, any vile companion, yea, the dirt he 
treads on, shall I say more, the devil himself, 
before him. What else is the meaning of his ser- 
vice, activity, and constancy to carry on the inte- 
rest of hell, and the unsuitableness, contempt, and 
opposition that he makes against the advancing of 
the interest of the Lord Christ ? I need say no 
more. In a word, for all his peace with God, he 
is at war with his nature, laws, Son, Spirit, ser- 
vice ; and yet how foolishly doth he boast of peace, 
comfort, hopes, and justify himself and censure 
his betters ! James iii. 18. Gal. v. 19, &c. Deut. 
xxxu. 32. 

3. The saint's joys and comforts differ in their 

THE saints' encouragement. 55 

very nature ; the saint's joys are spiritual, the 
hypocrite's carnal and sensual ; the saint's rational, 
the formalist's brutish, and against both scripture 
and reason : the saint's joys are solid, great, and 
glorious, the hypocrite's are frothy, small, and 
shameful, Deut. xxix. 19. Eccl. ii. 2. Jam. iii. 15. 
Jude 19. 

4. Their comforts differ in their growth and 
continuance. The believer's comforts were a great 
while under the clouds of fear, and that Divine 
seed was long sown before it grew up to such a 
harvest ; and although he be still reaping, yet a 
fresh harvest is still growing, and he shall never 
make an end of gathering them in ; his peace and 
comforts grow stronger and stronger, as troubles, 
and sickness, and trials come upon him, and at 
death they are greatest of all ; for then he enters 
into his Master's joy, and enjoys his peace till the 
Almighty hath lost his power, which will last till 
the infinite riches of heaven's glory are spent, and 
eternity is at an end. As for the hypocrite, his 
peace is short-lived ; at the furthest death will 
put an end to it, and then you shall see what is 
become of all his peace, joy, hopes ; when instead 
of comfort he shall lie down in shame, and awake 
in eternal horror. And who would desire such 
deceitful joys, that, ere a man is aware, leave him 
in everlasting torments ? I have been the longer 
G 2 

56 THE saints' excouragement. 

in the answering of this objection, because it is 
common, and millions of those that bear the name 
of Christ are cheated and eternally mined with 
such a false peace. And what sayest thou that 
readest these lines, which of these two is thy 
peace ? Lay down the book, and consider, and let 
not thy heart be quiet till thou understand what 
foundation its quiet rest is built upon. Tell it 
that many times it is a sign that the strong man 
armed hath got possession, when all things are in 
peace. Ask thy soul, whether it ever understood 
its natural enmity against God, whether that be 
in any measure laid down. Art thou reconciled 
to the holy nature, laws, and service of God ? and 
hast thou commenced an irreconcilable war 
against sin ? is Christ thy Captain, the Spirit thy 
Assistant ? and who usually carries the field, the 
flesh or Spirit ? O be not contented till you have 
a good account given in from conscience and ex- 
perience in this great affair ; for it is a matter of 
life or death, and a business of the highest conse- 
quence imaginable ; and till this witness be well 
settled, I will not give a rush for all thy comforts, 
peace, and hopes, Job viii. 13. Isa. xxxiii. 14. Job 
XX. 5. Prov. xiv. 32. Isa. xxxv. 10. 

Obj. 3. But for all that hath been said con- 
cerning the abundant entrance that the diligent 
saint shall have into the everlasting kingdom of 

THE saints' excouragement, 57 

our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, experience 
tells us, that many a diligent saint goes off without 
any comfort, and their sun sets in a cloud. 

I grant this may be sometimes. God may for 
reasons best known to his wisdom, conceal his 
love from his dear children, till they see it cleared 
beyond doubt. Christ himself, when he was just 
a dying, w-as under a desertion, and cried out in 
great bitterness of spirit, " My God, my God, 
why hast thou forsaken me ? " Therefore I will 
not, I cannot lay it down as a universal, infallible 
rule, that all saints in this life shall have such un- 
speakable joys, such rich consolation. But yet 
this is God's usual way, and he bids us mark it, 
and count upon it, '' the end of the upright shall 
be peace." And now^ I shall more directly answer. 

1. It may be the person that you judged so 
diligent, was not so ; it may be his diligence 
reached principally to his external actions. The 
greatest work of a saint is an invisible work, and, 
it may be, here might be a great failure; it may be, 
though he was diligent in hearing, frequent in 
discoursing, constant in duty, yet for all that he 
might want much of that faith, and love, and spirit- 
uality, and importunity, and watchfulness in duty 
that is required ; and no wonder then at all if the 
poor man have his comfort to seek ; for in these 
things lieth the life, activity, and beauty of 
G 3 

58 THE saints' encouragemext. 

Christianity. I am persuaded that it is a great rarity 
for one that is much exercised in these vital acts of 
religion to want the evidence of his reality and 
sincerity, except it be merely for the further trial 
and exercise of his grace; and then it is but for a 
while usually, and then the Lord comes in with 
the greater comfort, and the consolations of Christ 
are then the more sweet. I must also except per- 
sons under the power of melancholy ; and yet even 
such usually have some considerable discoveries 
of Divine love before they die. We must also dis- 
tinguish between diseases ; if the disease disturb the 
fancy, and interrupt the clear use of the under- 
standing, you must remember that it is the disease, 
and not the man speaks then ; and therefore be 
sure you censure neither the person nor religion 
in such a case. 

2. It may be the man may experience more 
than he thinks fit to acquaint you or any one else 
with. Do you know what intercourse is carried 
on between a dying saint and a living God ? it may 
be he hath not breath to speak, or words to express 
what he feels or enjoys ; it may be he doth not at 
present judge that he is bound to tell every body 
what he knows or feels ; it may be he may be 
silent for fear of discouraging other saints, that 
have not the same comfort that he hath ; it may 
be he is afraid of being thought too highly of, and 

THE saints' encouragement. 59 

that Christ should lose what is his due , it may be, 
if it Vv'ere to some judicious saints or minister, he 
might speak more freely than to you. 

3. When he comes to entrance, then all clouds 
vanish, all fears are removed ; and what tongue 
can speak the joys that such a soul feels ? As 
soon as ever the door is opened for the soul to go 
out, angels stand ready to receive it, and heaven's 
gates are open to let it in, and Christ's arms to 
embrace it ; and can that soul which enjoys a 
Christ in glory, want any thing to make his hap- 
piness complete ? And this every diligent saint 
doth most certainly do. When they leave this world 
they have a welcome to a better ; then all tears are 
wiped away from their eyes ; and wlien they are 
in heaven, the first moment's glory will make them 
forget the greatest sorrows that were antecedent 
to it. 

VII. I am now come to make some improve- 
ment of what hath been delivered. 

Use 1. If the diligent saints shall have such 
** an abundant entrance ministered unto them into 
the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour 
Jesus Christ," then this justifies their greatest 
seriousness, activity, and constancy in the ways of 

Sirs, You need wonder no longer why the be- 
liever doth so much, but rather that he doth not a 

60 THE saints' encouragement. 

thousand times more. Blame his exactness no 
longer ; remember it is for eternity : call not his 
preciseness folly, till you can prove that the king- 
dom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is 
worth nothing. Say not that they are foolish, 
unreasonable men, till you can make it appear, 
that they have made a losing bargain by parting 
with all to buy the pearl of great price. Never 
term them mad men, till you can make good your 
charge. When you see their crowns upon their 
heads, then cry out upon them for fools for striv- 
ing to' win it, if you can ! When you see their 
triumphant joys upon a death-bed, and hear their 
praises, and see tTieir smiling when others would 
be quaking, then deride their diligence as needless ! 
When you see the lazy hypocrite rejected, and 
the faithful owned, rewarded, glorified, and God 
calling them wise, then call them fools I Stay but 
a while, and you shall see the fire they made such 
haste to escape from. Let us reason the case a 
little with this wise man, that laughs at holiness 
as a low, needless, unprofitable business. Is it 
a piece of folly to get the greatest riches, the 
highest honours, to take the sweetest and safest 
pleasures? is getting of a kingdom in your judg- 
ment such a mad thing ? is conquering enemies, 
obtaining the most glorious victories, a foolish 
thing ? What will you say, that an everlasting 

THE saints' encouragement. 61 

inheritance is no riches ? is the being in the pre- 
sence of God, and having his ear and heart, hand 
and glory, no honour ? are the consolations of 
the Spirit, the joys of heaven, and the pleasures 
that are at God's right hand for ever, nothing ? is 
freedom from all misery, and possessing all hap- 
piness, nothing ? if life and death, heaven and hell, 
be all nothing, what is something? If the mer- 
chant always make a good voyage, and hath still 
a sure, a saving, a gainful return, you shall scarce 
jeer him out of his trade ; if the malefactor or 
debtor have got his life, pardon, and liberty, you 
shall scarce make him believe that he was a fool 
for accepting it ; neither will the diligent and 
active saint be disheartened from following the 
trade, which hath brought in such a vast and in- 
credible return, and is like to bring him in more 
and more still. His debts are all paid, and his 
pardon sealed, and he is in a state of glorious 
liberty ; and having tasted the sweetness of it, 
that man shall have somewhat to do that should 
persuade him to return to his prison, and to fall 
in love with his fetters. O what do you mean, 
O ye deluded and bewitched sinners, that you are 
not contented to go on madly to hell, but you 
must scoff at all for fools, that are not as despe- 
rately mad as yourselves ! If you count everlasting- 
condemnation but a light business, because you 

62 THE saints' encouragemekt. 

are blind, and see not how great that wrath, how 
intolerable the torment, and yet how unavoidable 
and eternal, blame not those whose eyes are en- 
lightened, to see all this, if they venture not. And 
on the other hand, if God, glory, and eternity be 
little things in your judgment, blame not those 
who understand them better, if they count them 
weighty. And stay till you know what heaven 
and hell mean, before you call men madmen and 
fools for securing the one and avoiding the other. 

Cliristians, be not in the least disheartened, but 
rather quickened ; quit you like men, be strong ; 
behold the crown, win it, and wear it ; let nothing 
discourage you ; methinks that far more exceeding 
and eternal weight of glory should make all 
hinderances insignificant that stand in the way of 
getting or keeping it, Isa. lix. 15. 1 Pet. iv. 4. 
Isa. liv. 17. 

Use 2. If the diligent saint shall have a glori- 
ous " entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our 
Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ," what shall the ac- 
tive sinner have, that doth evil with both hands, 
that draws iniquity as it were with cart-ropes ; 
whose heart is full of wickedness, and who takes 
pleasure in impiety ; to whom it is meat and drink 
to oppose the will of God ; whose inward part is 
very wickedness, and whose mind is fully set upon 
it, — come what will, on he will go in spite of warn- 

THE saints' encouragement. 63 

ings, in spite of entreaties, in spite of judgments ; — 
that care nothing for all ; whose throat is an open 
sepulchre, whose mouth is full of cursing, bitter- 
ness, blasphemy ; who is posting on to destruction, 
as if he feared to come too late ; who hath stifled 
and seared his conscience, and broke through all 
that hath stood in his way ; who is unwearied, 
laborious, and constant to the devil, though he hath 
had but a pitiful requital for his pains ? — surely if 
the saint shall have a glorious entrance into the 
kingdom of Christ, the sinner shall have a dismal 
entrance into the everlasting kingdom of darkness. 
Whatsoever might sweeten his condition formerly 
shall then imbitter it ; his comforts shall be shut 
out; his great estate brings him in a poor revenue 
of joys, to think how many thousands he had, and 
that all cannot purchase him one moment's ease ; 
the sweetness of his estate is turned into bitterness, 
when he is forced to have leisure, now in spite of 
his heart, to sit down and consider what a poor, 
insignificant, unprofitable thing he ventured his 
soul for. His old companions are now shut out, 
he could be glad at heart to bid them farewell to 
eternity : this is all the poor help of his friends, 
that they stand by bewailing his departure, and 
not one of them can speak one word of comfort to 
him without hazard to its own. It is but sorry 
relief to him to look upon this and that person. 

64 THE saints' encouragement. 

and to think I must either part company for ever, 
or meet at the dreadful place of execution. It 
may be the faithful minister may be shut out, lest 
he should tell him plainly what his case is. O 
what a sad case must the sinner be in ! all help and 
hope is shut out, and instead of plays, friends, 
pleasures, (all which he must take his leave of for 
ever,) he beholds a dreadful door opened, and in 
come God's Serjeants to apprehend him, and no 
bail can be taken. And when the door is once 
open, O what a flock of unwelcome guests come 
in ! Now conscience will give him a visit whether 
he will or no, and tell him such a story as makes 
his heart ache : then how doth the guilty sinner 
tremble ! The indictment the law brings in is 
black, the witnesses many and clear, and the 
sinner is condemned for his life and soul for eter- 
nity. His sins stare him in the face, and wrath 
and vengeance are just ready to seize him ; he feels 
now that sin and hell, which he made so light of, 
are no jesting things. Which way soever the 
man looks, he sees nothing but horror, misery, 
ruin. If he look backward, what hath he left to 
comfort him, but the sad remembrance of his past 
enjoyment, for which he must now give an exact 
account ? and sin and pleasure in the review upon 
a death-bed is another kind of thing than it was 
in the committing:. 

THE saints' encouragement. 65 

Now farewell fine houses and gardens, farewell 
hawking and hunting, farewell taverns, plays, 
vicious company. And if he look forwards, 
what doth he behold that can yield him any great 
content ? One of the most desirable and pleasantest 
sights that he sees before him, is the grave, and if 
that were all, it were well, though he were buried 
in a dunghill. I will not say, how dismal that 
dark vault is to him, that was all for his liberty, 
and w^ont to take his rest on down, and stretch 
himself upon a bed of ivory ; for him that was 
wont to fare deliciously every day, to be food 
for vermin ; for him, that had his constant at- 
tendants about him, to have none but a few worms 
to w^ait on him : but pain, sickness, death, corrup- 
tion, are the least of those evils that he sees before 
him : the prison were not so dreadful, were it not 
for the Judge, assizes, and execution. O how 
dreadful a sight must it be to see the dreadful lake 
burning with fire and brimstone, into which he 
must be cast ! how strange a prospect to see, in- 
stead of flattering attendants, the devils ready to 
seize upon his trembling soul, and hell opening 
its mouth ready to receive him, and to shut the 
door of hope and mercy upon him for ever ! to 
look up and see an angry God, who is able to 
pass that irreversible and terrible sentence upon 
him, " Depart, thou cursed ;" and to see Christ 


66 THE saints' excouragement. 

accusing him, while he pleads for and acquits those 
whom he hated and persecuted ; and to look round 
about, and to see none that hath one word to 
speak for him, none to pacify the Judge, divert or 
prolong the sentence or execution, none to mitigate 
his torments ! Will the sinner then make a laugh- 
ing business of damnation ? will God's judging his 
soul be a small matter then ? will the precise and 
diligent saint be then called or esteemed a fool, a 
madman ? will not the thoughts of these things 
upon a death-bed cool the sinner's courage ? 

And what hath he now to bear up his sinking 
spirits ? what is there to support him from crying 
out in horror and despair ? what is it that can 
make a man in this case lift up his head with any 
comfort or content? what remains now but a 
fearful expectation of fiery indignation ? And 
hath not this man some of the sparks of hell flung 
into his conscience ? doth not the never-dying 
worm begin to gnaw ? is not the fire already 
kindled that shall never be quenched ? And what 
provisions are now laid in to live upon ? what must 
be his food, what his drink, what his clothing, his 
inheritance, his lodging, his employment, his com- 
panions ? must he not feed upon the fruit of his 
own folly ? must he not drink of the cup of God's 
wrath ? must he not lodge in a bed of flames ? 
shall not his employment be to reap the crop of 

THE saints' encouragement. 67 

sorrows for ever which he sowed in time ? are not 
the devils and damned like to be his companions 
for ever ? 

And whilst the poor despised believer, who 
dreaded the place of torment, and who thought 
the wrath to come no light matter, is escaped, and 
is landed safe in eternal glory, and is blessing, 
and loving, and enjoying of God in unspeakable 
and eternal glory, he must lie under the weight 
of Divine wrath, and must not have one drop to 
cool his flaming; tono;ue. And wlien saints are 
welcomed to glory, what a greeting is he like to 
have when he comes into the society of lost spirits ! 
O how will they curse the day that ever they had 
a being, that ever they saw one another ! how 
will they rue their folly that ever they should en- 
courage one another to venture upon such intoler- 
able torments, that they should purchase the short 
pleasures of sin with such sorrows ! O that ever 
men who had reasonable souls should be so be- 
witched ! but now, will they or will they not, 
bear it they must. 

They that would not give themselves time and 
leisure to think of these things when they might 
have been prevented, must now take eternity to 
repent, and consider what they have done, and 
what they have undone, what they have lost, and 
what they have found. And O how doth the 
H 2 

68 THE sai:nts' encouragemext. 

thoughts of that unchangeable state sink the 
sinner ! If after millions of millions of ages he 
were to have the least hopes, respite, or ease, it 
were comparatively tolerable I But O that for 
ever, that eternity, that, that is the cutting 
word ! 

And what dost thou say to all this, O thou care- 
less unconverted sinner ? is sin and pleasure still 
as desirable as ever ? is it worth the while for a 
quarter of an hour's gratifying one's lust to run 
the hazard of all these miseries ? can you still find 
in your heart to make a mock of sin ? is judg- 
ment, damnation, hell, still nothing ? art thou 
willing to venture for all this ? shall nothing but 
feeling make thee be wise and believe that there 
is a hell ? Come, reason the case with me, and 
do not madly cast away your soul, and lose heaven 
for nothing. Are these things indeed so incon- 
siderable as that they do not deserve a serious 
tliought? have you matters of greater concern to 
trouble your head with ? I pray you do me the 
kindness, and yourself the right, to produce some 
of those weighty things that are of such vast im- 
portance, as that the salvation of a soul must be 
neglected for them. What is it that is more necessary 
than holiness ? Come, speak like a man of reason : 
is it the entertainment of a friend ? is it the 
company of your vicious connexions ? is it the 

THE saints' encouragement. 69 

getting of a good place in a play-house ? are these 
the matters of importance ? is it feasting, drinking, 
or other carnal indulgences ? is ruining your soul 
more necessary than the saving of it ? must these 
stand in competition with Christ's holiness and 
glory ? dare you vindicate and justify this before 
the great Judge at that day ? Will it be a suffi- 
cient plea to say, Lord, I was not at leisure to 
serve thee, I had so much work to do for the devil 
that I had no time? or will this excuse be signifi- 
cant, when the Judge shall say. Sinner, what reason 
hadst thou to slight my laws, to despise my Son, 
and refuse life and happiness ? Dare you answer, 
and say, I had my lusts to gratify, the world to 
look after, and I thought never to have seen this 
day ? And wilt thou still, for all this, put it to the 
venture, will you after such warnings go on ? 
For your soul's sake, consider how you shall 
answer in the day of God, when holiness and 
justice shall sit on the bench : O ask thy soul what 
it means, call it to the bar, judge and condemn 
thy folly, and for your life venture no longer at 
your careless rate, lest you repent too late, and 
cry out upon a death-bed with amazement, " How 
shall Ido to appear before the terrible Judge? how 
shall I bear his wrath, and how shall I avoid his 
indignation ?" 

Once more, debate the thing soberly, it is not 
11 3 

70 THE saints' encouragement. 

yet too late, and I can scarce let thee go till I see 
thee in a better mind. You have read what con- 
dition a diligent saint is like to be in when he comes 
to die, and what entertainment he is like to meet 
with in another world ; and you have heard what 
the lazy formalist or diligent sinner is like to 
meet with when he comes to die. Come, man, now, 
and make a wise and speedy choice ; which- of 
these conditions is most desirable, which would 
you be in when you come to die ? I know you 
would die the death of the righteous, and wish 
yourlatter endmay belikehis. Oman, why should 
not his life be as desirable as his death ? what is 
there in his life that should make thee loth to 
imitate it ? what art thou afraid of in his practice, 
tliat thou art so unwilling to follow it ? Is it 
lioliness that thou dreadest so much ? why, if that 
be the thing, it must be confessed, that without it 
there is no seeing of God : but would holiness 
disparage or undo thee that thou art so afraid of 
it ? will holiness make thee miserable ? then how 
comes God who is perfect in holiness to be so in 
happiness ? how come saints and angels above to 
be so blessed? is not holiness and a conformity 
to God the greatest part of their happiness ? and 
how came that triumphant saint by his comforts, 
but by a discovery of the glorious image of God 
upon his soul ? The more holiness, the more 

THE saints' encouragement. 71 

pleasure and joy. It is Satan and the ignorant 
world that would persuade you, that when you 
come to be truly religious, you must take leave of 
your joys. 

Come, friend, it is for your soul and life ; do 
not so easily believe those that never tried what 
religion is, and have no good will for you or God ; 
believe neither the devil nor the world, nor any of 
them all, in a business of such moment ; but 
search and try, and believe that God who cannot 
lie, and that word which so many millions have 
found made good ; believe them that were once 
as foolish as you, and could hardly be brought 
out of that mind, but now they would not for a 
world but they had changed their mind. 

Well, now, man, what sayest thou ? art thou 
resolved immediately to retire into thy chamber ? 
art thou resolved to fall upon thy face before the 
Lord, and not let thy heart be at rest in its sleepy 
carelessness, nor cease to pray to the Lord till he 
hath enlightened thee, till he hath discovered the 
evil of sin, the beauty of Christ, the emptiness of 
the creature, and the fulness of the Creator to 
thee ? If thou art, I will be bold to tell tliee, 
thy labour shall not be in vain ; God will 
quickly hear Ephraim bemoaning of himself, the 
Father's arms and heart will soon be open, 
the prodigal shall, for all this, be welcome. 

72 THE saints' encouragement. 

But if still thou art resolved not to trouble thyself 
with the thoughts of these things, thou wilt not 
hazard the loss of thy lusts and swinish pleasures, 
thou wilt not displease thy friends, thou wilt not 
be laughed at for a fool, but on thou wilt go, and 
do as others do, whatever may come of it, then 
thank yourself if you miss comfort when you come 
to die ; then make the best of your pleasures, gold, 
interest, friends ; let them bribe death, and protect 
you from the arrest, and hold the Serjeant's hands ; 
let them put in bail for you, if they can ; let them 
stand between you, and justice, and your accusers, 
quash the indictment, bribe the Judge, stop the 
sentence or execution, if they can : but let me tell 
thee, none at all can do it, nor dare attempt it : and 
I leave these lines as a standing witness against 
thee, that I gave thee fair warning, and made an 
advantageous offer to thee in the name of God ; 
but thou didst foolislily, obstinately, resolvedly 
reject life, and choose death. Therefore blame 
not Justice if he give you that misery which you 
did choose, and deny you that happiness which 
you did reject. I have done my message, and if 
you will not be prevailed with, who can help it? 
I tell you again, look for it ; for as sure as God 
liveth, you shall find it true, that sin will be bit- 
terness in the end, Mic. vii. 3. Jer. iii. 5. ii. 25. 
Rom. iii. 13, &c. Matt. xxv. 46. compared with 


41, &c. Rev. xiv. 10, 11. Matt. xxii. 13. 
Psal. ix. 7. Luke xvi. 23, 24, &c. Heb. x. 27. 
Isa, xxxiii. 14. 

Use 3. If the dilig-ent saint, and none but he, 
shall have this '' abundant entrance ministered to 
him into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and 
Saviour Jesus Christ," then let us all examine 
whether we be these diligent saints, that we may- 
beforehand know what we are to look for. Well 
now, let us commune with our own hearts, 
and not be satisfied till they bring in a true ac- 

Are we the persons that have made it our busi- 
ness to be religious ? have we worshipped God in 
spirit and in truth ? have our hearts been indeed 
engaged for him ? have we as great a love for him 
as ever we had for the world, or sin, or relations ? 
is this the great care of our lives, and that which 
we seek in the first and chief place, that we may 
be found of him in peace ? have we indeed sought 
to serve God with all our hearts, and strength, and 
might ? have we kept our eye still to the rule, 
and endeavoured to walk according to that rule ? 
hath the word of God been our meditation, de- 
light, practice ? have we stirred up our hearts 
when they began to flag and grow dull, lazy, and 
tired ? Do we act grace in duty, and labour to 
get it stronger and stronger, and corruption weaker 

74 THE saints' encouragement. 

and weaker ? do we keep up our watch and take 
heed to our spirits ? do we feel what a sweet suit- 
ableness to God means ? and that the duties of 
relig-ion are in a manner natural to us, and we are 
never better than when we are more immediately 
engaged in the service of God ? Do we feel our 
wills bowed to the Divine will, and a sweet com- 
posedness of spirit under all God's dispensations ? 
that nothing greatly troubles us but what is dis- 
pleasing unto God ? Do we feel our heart loving, 
delighting, and rejoicing in God ? Is there no- 
thing in the world that we desire so much as a 
greater conformity to God, and a complete enjoy- 
ment of him to all eternity ? Have we a high re- 
spect to all his commands, and an opposition to 
all sin ? Are we ready for all good works, and 
this with intentness, affection, and constancy ? 
Are we always of this mind, and do we not repent 
our choice ? Are we never weary of our Master, 
and his work ? are we contented very well with 
his wages, and time of payment ? Is this indeed 
the habitual frame of our spirits ? and are we re- 
solved in the strength of God thus to continue to 
the end ? and yet do we look up to the righteous- 
ness of Christ, as that alone which we must trust 
to? and do we look upon our own as imperfect, 
filthy, loathsome ? Do we adore that mercy 
which hath found out such an excellent way to 

THE saints' encouragement. 75 

save the honour of all God's attributes, and yet 
to be the life of our souls, and thus attribute elec- 
tion, vocation, justification, adoption, sanctifica- 
tion, and glorification, to pure, free, infinite grace ? 

Why, if this be the frame of our spirits, if this 
be indeed our practice, experience, and resolution, 
why then I can say we are the persons that shall 
have peace in death, joy and life after death, and 
confidence in glory, and eternal happiness in the 
day of judgment ; we are they that shall have 
" an abundant entrance into the everlasting king- 
dom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." 

But alas, alas, where are these noble souls to 
be found ? who is there almost that engages his 
heart to lay hold upon God ? who knows what it 
is to wrestle, strive, run ? O how faint, dull, and 
heavy are we ! how much unsuitableness to God, 
how hard to get to duty, and how little of the 
heart in it ! Where is the man that knows what 
it is to act faith and love, and humility in duty, 
that is truly importunate, active, spiritual, and con- 
tinues so for any time ? How hard a thing do we 
find it to watch with Christ one hour, much more 
to keep up our watch day and night, and to be 
constantly upon our guard ! how few valiant sol- 
diers hath our Captain now ! w^here are those re- 
solute brave souls to be found that quit themselves 
gallantly ? O where is that ancient spirit which 

76 THE saints' encouragement. 

sometimes actuated the children of God ? Do we 
indeed run as if a crown were the prize ? do we 
indeed work as if heaven were the wages ? do we 
in good earnest use that diligence which becomes 
persons who are securing their lives, souls, and an 
everlasting kingdom ? O how basely do we un- 
dervalue that glory by our slightness in seeking, 
carelessness in securing, and folly in hazarding it ! 
Have not the best of us all a great deal of rea- 
son to cry out of our unbelief, stupidness, and 
atheism ? is this all we do for a kingdom ? Will 
not the men of the world rise against us and con- 
demn us, that they should rise up early and lie 
down late, and all to get a little food and raiment, 
or some poor temporal advantage? Will not the 
wicked sinners condemn us, that take so much pains 
to enjoy their pleasures, and gratify their appetites, 
and ruin themselves ? Will not the poor ants re- 
proach us, that labour so industriously to lay in 
provision for a time of need in summer ? O what 
do we mean ? how lazily and unconcernedly do 
we manage a work of the greatest profit, pleasure, 
and necessity ! What ! is the price of that great 
pearl fallen ! is Christ now worth nothing ? hath 
heaven lost its excellency ? can that which some- 
times could not be obtained without all diligence 
be now got with none at all ? Hath Christ now 
abated any thing of that spirituality, activity, and 


vigour, which sometimes he did require of his 
servants ? Can heaven be got upon easier terms 
than he lays down in his w^ord ? is this sleepy, 
luke-warm profession, this cold, formal praying, 
being in an agony ? Is this the contending, striv- 
ing, watching, labouring, that the scripture speaks 
of ? Surely he that speaks of being in labour more 
abundant, of mortifying the deeds of the flesh, of 
walking in the Spirit, meant another thing than 
our heartless, barren, cold duties, which we too 
commonly put off God and our conscience with. 
O with what face can we look for such glorious 
things from God when we do so little for God ? 
It is no wonder at all that most of us live at great 
uncertainties, it is no wonder that we are much in 
the dark, and that our fears are usually as great 
as our hopes. Whom may we thank for all this, 
but our lazy, trifling, careless hearts ? Does tlie 
husbandman expect a good crop at harvest with- 
out ploughing or sowing ? doth the tradesman 
expect an estate should drop into his hands with- 
out his OW'U industry ? doth the soldier expect to 
secure his life, to conquer his enemy, to get his 
commander's commendation and reward by sleep- 
ing ? No more can a professor rationally look for 
such great things as the peace of God, joy in the 
Holy Ghost, and a triumphant entrance into 
the city of God, w^ithout a humble, diligent, 

78 THE saints' encouragement. 

constant respect to the commands of his great 

You cry out for want of comfort, and complain 
that you have not an assurance ; why, let me 
ask you, what do you do towards the procuring of 
this great thing ? do you pray and strive in prayer ? 
do you watch your thoughts, affections, passions ? 
have you any government over your spirits? do 
you live a life of faith ? do you exercise love, 
zeal, meekness, patience, self-denial ? do you live 
above the world ? do you live in heaven in your 
affections, designs, and conversation ? do you 
exercise yourself unto godliness, and make re- 
ligion the great work of your life ? do you keep 
a conscience void of offence towards God and all 
men ? If not, I pray, instead of complaining for 
want of comfort, complain for want of grace ; cry 
out upon your unbelieving, lazy, treacherous, 
worldly heart ; bewail your want of love to God, 
your unsuitableness to spiritual things, your igno- 
rance, your atheism, your want of prizing of Christ. 
Bemoan your unfaithfulness to God, your own 
soul, and others ; bewail your barrenness under 
all the cost and charge of the great Husbandman, 
and turn your complaints into endeavours. Go 
to tlie blood of Christ, beg the Spirit, improve 
ordinances, stir up your lazy hearts, and let them 
not be at quiet in their dull, heavy, unactive 


profession ; Psal. iv. 4. Isa. Ixiv. 7. Jer. xxx. 21. 
Cant. V, 3. Jer. viii. 6. 

Use 4. I shall now come to a word of exhort- 
ation ; and that I shall direct first to saints, and 
then to sinners. 

First, I shall exhort saints. Is ft that the dili- 
gentsaint shall have " an abundant entrance minis- 
tered unto him into the everlasting kingdom of our 
Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ?" then let me hence 
put myself, and you that are believers, upon the 
greatest diligence, activity, and vigour, lest we fall 
short of this glorious privilege. 

Motive 1. Consider how frequently, how ear- 
nestly, and with what solemnity it is commanded 
by God himself. Did you never read, "Get wis- 
dom, get understanding: forget it not ; neither 
decline from the words of my mouth. Forsake 
her not, and she shall preserve thee : love her, and 
she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal 
thing; therefore get wisdom : and with all thy 
getting get understanding," &c. Prov. iv. 5, 6, 7. 
The word " get" is buy in Hebrew ; and it is as 
much as if the Spirit of God had said, You have 
now an open market, and an excellent bargain 
offered ; buy it at any rate, it is worth your money ; 
get it whatever it cost you, though it be prayers, 
tears, and strong cries, though it cost you your 
right hand or right eye, your beloved sin, the 
I 2 

80 THE saints' encouragement. 

mortification of your dearest lust, the exactest watch- 
fulness and self-denial. Nay, though it cost you 
your estate, your liberty, your life, you cannot 
lose by it. Whatever you neglect, neglect not the 
looking after this ; your utmost diligence is well 
bestowed on such a work, the highest price is not 
too much for such a pearl ; if you be wise, get it 
upon any terms in the world. Doth not our 
apostle in the verses foregoing put them upon 
diligence; nay, all diligence? 2 Pet. i. 5, 10. 
Doth not the prophet plead with men with a 
great deal of earnestness about their careless- 
ness in this great affair? Isa. Iv. 2. "Where- 
fore do you spend your money for that which 
is not bread ? and your labour for that which 
satisfieth not ? hearken diligently unto me, and 
eat ye that which is good, and let your soul 
delight itself in fatness." Doth not the Lord 
Christ commend those violent ones that took the 
kingdom of heaven by storm, and put us upon 
the same work ? What else doth he mean by those 
precepts," Labour not for the meat which perisheth, 
but for the meat v^^hich endureth unto everlastins- 
life ?" John vi. 27. And, " Seek first the kingdom 
of heaven, and the righteousness thereof:" and, 
"Strive to enter in at the strait gate," Luke xiii. 24. 
Do not the apostles put us upon the like work ? 
What else is the signification of those words which 

THE saints' encouragement. 81 

are so frequent in their writings, running, wrest- 
ling, contending, fighting ? to what purpose else 
are their cautions ? How many take heeds have 
we ! how often are w^e bid to make sure, to work 
out our salvation with fear and trembling ! to take 
fast hold of instruction ! to hold out ! to endure to 
the end and overcome ! How many scriptures 
might I produce of this nature ! and what do they 
all speak, but the indispensable duty that the 
command of our great Master layeth upon us, to 
use our utmost diligence in matters that concern 
his glory and our eternal welfare ? And shall the 
precepts of God be slighted ? are his commands 
of no authority ? are his laws of no force ? Well 
then, if God be our Father, let us do him that 
honour, as well as ourselves that kindness and 
honour, to obey him. If Christ be indeed our 
Lord, Master, Husband, let us show that we are 
his subjects, servants, and spouse, by our ready 
compliance with his equal, sweet, and holy com- 

2. Consider, as you have many precepts for 
this duty, so you have many precedents to excite 
you. All the true servants of God are labourers ; 
if you could look into all the closets of believers, 
you should see them there wrestling with God 
upon their knees by prayer ; if you could look 
into their hearts, you might see them always in the 
I 3 

82 THE saints' encouragement. 

soldier's posture. Little doth the world think what 
some of them are doing in their spirits, and what 
work is carried on within, while they let their 
hearts run up and down without control. They 
see them eating and drinking, and walking and 
working, and they think by this they are like 
themselves ; but they understand not what food 
their souls live on, what trade their souls drive, 
what pains their souls take for an inheritance for 
ever. Every true saint takes pains and works 
hard ; and would we be called servants, and ex- 
pect wages, and do little or no work ; methinks 
the diligence of some should shame us into greater 
activity. What ! are not our souls as precious as 
theirs ? would not the loss of them be as sad to 
us as them ? will not our grace, peace, and glory 
be as well worth the looking after as theirs ? 

O at what a pitiful rate do some, that we would 
hope have the root of the matter in them, live, 
compared with others ! how humbly, patiently, 
and zealously have some saints walked ! how 
holily did the prophets, apostles, and martyrs live ! 
and was their labour lost ? do we think they did 
too much for heaven ? dare we condemn them as 
too precise, too careful to please God and secure 
heaven ? do not we applaud their zeal, courage, con- 
stancy, and can we commend them without con- 
demning ourselves ? was their activity highly 


lovely and honourable, and is not our neglect 
shameful, who do nothing like them ? why should 
not we do as much as they ? is not the obligation 
as great upon us as them ? is not the Master the 
same, the wages the same ? O what do we mean 
that we are so sleepy, careless, slothful? Did Peter 
and Paul pray as we do ? did David praise and 
love God as we do ? did the primitive saints hear 
sermons with such unconcerned spirits as we do ? 
do we look as if we could cheerfully look into a 
prison and embrace our chains as an ornament ? 
do we act as if we could step cheerfully up a 
ladder to a gibbet, or hug a faggot and stake ? 
O let us look about us, we fall exceedingly short 
of the saints of former days ! O where is that 
spirit that once breathed amongst the people of 
God ? Come, sirs, let us up and be doing, and the 
Lord be with us : we have a cloud of witnesses 
that is gone before us ; they all served their Master 
faithfully while they were here, and now they are 
above they do it better. O now how finely do 
they warble out the praises of the Most High ! 
how warm are their hearts I how lively, cheerful, 
and constant ! O what brave servants hath God 
above ! O that there were some proportion between 
our services here and theirs above ! O that we were 
more naturalized to Divine employments ! O that 
the commands of God were our pleasure ! O that 

84 THE saints' excouragemext. 

God would help, warm, and quicken our graces, 
that we may do his will upon earth as it is done 
by saints and angels in heaven ! 

If such examples be too high, and beyond our 
view and observation, may we not learn sornething 
of our fellow-creatures here below ? doth not God 
send us dull scholars to school to the fowls, beasts, 
insects ? " Go to the ant, thou sluggard ; consider 
her ways, and be wise ; which having no guide, 
overseer, or ruler, providethher meat in the summer, 
and gathereth her food in the harvest," Prov. vi. 
6 — 11. How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? 
when wilt thou arise out of sleep ? doth not the 
diligence of the poor husbandman, mechanic, or 
labourer greatly reproach us ; nay, the racers at 
the Olympic games, the fencers, (the apostle alludes 
to such,) who did all for a poor prize ; their acti- 
vity and curiosity may condemn us ; for they did 
it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incor- 
ruptible ; they were not sure to obtain, but we 
may so run, not as uncertainly, and so fight, not as 
those that beat the air, 1 Cor. ix. 25, 26. O what 
a deal ado there is to get and keep a little of that 
wliich some call riches, whilst the true riches are 
contemned ! Awake, O christian, and look about 
thee ; be as diligent for heaven as the earth, take 
as much pains for eternal glory as men do for 
worldly honour, be as careful about the substance 

THE saints' encouragement. 85 

as they are about tlie shadow, and then when they 
are bewailing their folly, thou wilt be enjoying 
the fruit of thy labour and hopes, unspeakable 

If all these examples signify little, if things on 
earth and lieaven be not regarded, then turn 
thine eye and look down on the diligence of hell. 
Dost thou not see what pains the devil takes to 
deceive, tempt, and ruin thee and others ? and 
will not this continually engage thee to watchful- 
ness ? Dost thou never observe the poor bewitched 
world, and deluded sinner, what rising early, what 
watching, what hazard do they run, and all for 
the gratifying of their lusts, and the pleasing of 
the devil, and the damnation of their own soul ? 
and they do not grudge their pains, nor think 
much of their labour, nor at present repent their 
cost. Fye, christian, fyc ; shall the devil do so 
much for our ruin, and we so little to resist him, 
and save ourselves ? shall sinners think nothing 
too good for their lusts, and we think every thing 
too good for God ? shall they take so much pains 
for hell, and we so little for heaven ? Come, for 
shame, let us up and be doing, and mend our 
pace, and work hard, and be followers of them who 
through faith and patience are inheritors of the 
promise. Heb. xii. 1, &c. vi. 12. 1 Pet. v. 
8. 9. 

86 THE saints' encouragement. 

3. Consider, to make you more diligent, for 
whom it is that you work. Doth not God de- 
serve well at your hands ? is there any in heaven or 
earth, that you have greater reason to serve ? do 
you never consider what obligations you are under, 
who gave you your being, who subjected the crea- 
tures to you, who both defended and kept you all 
your days ? is it not Him whom 1 would have you 
serve with more activity ? Is a dull, grumbling, 
slothful spirit becoming one under such engage- 
ment, from whom are all thy present enjoyments, 
from whom thy future expectations ? And do you 
think that God looks for but a little of you ? 
Are you not called his peculiar people, and should 
not you be zealous of good works ? is not Christ 
your Redeemer, and was that a kindness to be 
forgot and slighted ? O where is gratitude and 
ingenuousness ? 

If goodness can quicken obedience, who is bet- 
ter to us than God ? if the Master's eye signify 
any thing, when is it otF us ? if his greatness can 
provoke us, who among the sons of the mighty is 
comparable to him ? as Luke vii. 4. Rev. v. 12. 
Psal. c. 3. xxxvi. 6. Rev. v. 9. 

4. Consider the nature of the work. It is no 
dirty, low, dishonourable service that we are put 
upon, but that which would very well become the 
greatest princes that ever wore a crown. God's 

THE saints' encouragement. 87 

service would ennoble honours, make crowns glo- 
rious, and put a true worth and dignity upon that 
which without it is but a name, a shadow, and 
worse than nothing. What is it that the Lord 
our God doth require of us, but to do justly, to 
love mercy, and walk humbly with our God ? 
What doth he command, but what is an advance- 
ment of our natures, a privilege, an honour ? O 
that w^e did indeed understand our work aright, 
and then we should need but few more motives to 
go about it. Mic. vi. 8. Titus ii. 14. Ezek. xviii. 
29. Psal. cxlvii. 20. 

5. Consider what wages you are like to have in 
this world. In keeping of God's commands there 
is great reward, his work itself is wages. Oh, the 
sweetness, peace, joy that is in hand, especially if 
there be great diligence and fidelity. To have a 
title to a good estate, and to be able to clear it, 
though we be not quite of age, methinks should 
have somewhat of pleasure in it. Turn back, and 
read over again what you have read, and sit down, 
and consider whether there be not enough in it to 
put us upon doing what we do with all our might : 
Psal. xix. 11. Prov. iii. 17. Isa. xxxii. 17. Rom. 
xiv. 17. 

6. Consider what reward diligence is like to 
have in another world. Who can utter the thou- 
sand thousandth part of what a saint is worth ? 

88 THE saints' encouragement. 

The riches, glory, and pleasures of ten thousand 
worlds are all nothing to what a believer shall enjoy, 
as soon as ever he is called home by his Master. 
But I need go no farther than my text ; read it, 
and ponder well every word, " The everlasting 
kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." 
Read them again and again. Do you know what 
the meaning of all those words is ? A kingdom ! 
What will not some do and venture for a king- 
dom? What thoughts, care, counsel, what seek- 
ing for allies, what promises, yea, what rewards to 
those that can help them to get and secure it ? 
what cost too great, what fighting, watching, dili- 
gence, is thought much of ? Invincible difficulties 
are levelled, unspeakable hazards overlooked, 
and I will not say, sometimes the damnation 
of a soul is reckoned a small matter if it stand 
in the way of a crown and kingdom ; but I 
tell you, nay, God tells you, that these kingdoms 
below are poor things to that above. All the 
crowns, and sceptres, and jewels of all the monarchs 
under heaven laid together, are but a heap of 
rubbish compared to that kingdom. Kingdoms 
have their bounds, and the greatest monarchs have 
the limits of their dominion ; their glory may be 
eclipsed by civil or foreign troubles; and a thousand 
occurrences may make that man's heart ache whose 
head is dignified with a crown royal : but it is far 


Otherwise in this kingdom ; it is a kingdom that 
liath no bounds, wliose peace and glory is inter- 
rupted with no wars, famine, plague, fire, or troubles. 
Nothing but glory, pleasure, joy, happiness is 
there, no impurities, divisions, sickness, nothing 
that offends. What joy, triumph, honour, is 
there I and every one that comes there is a king, 
hath his crown. Oh, what a place is that where 
so many millions of kings meet ! Blessed are those 
that are advanced to that honour, and happy are 
those which shall be advanced to that dignity ! 
that, that is preferment indeed, worth praying, 
watching, striving, fighting, venturing all for. Oh, 
the glory, riches, privileges of this kingdom ! 
How sweet and healthful an air is that where none 
shall say, I am sick ! how delightful a place must 
that needs be, where are rivers of pleasures, and 
that infinite fountain of full joy for evermore ! 
No need of watching, guard, fighting ; a complete 
victory hath put an end to all these things ; and 
what remains but the fruit of so glorious a con- 
quest, joy, feasting, and a triumphant jubilee ? 
What hath the saint then to do, but to behold the 
glory of his palace, to view the rarity of his city, 
the New Jerusalem, and to praise, love, and enjoy 
God in unspeakable happiness ? 

But, that which makes this kingdom still more 
desirable, and worthy of the greatest diligence to 

90 THE saints' encouragement. 

get and secure, is, that it is an everlasting 
KINGDOM. Here tlie greatest kings, after a few 
years at most, in spite of power, art, dignity, 
policy, must themselves become subjects to the 
king of terrors, and bow their necks to his sceptre; 
and instead of a stately palace, princely grandeur 
and pomp, instead of a glorious kingdom, must lie 
down in darkness, dwell in the dust, and leave 
nothing behind them, but some poor remembrances 
of their greatness ; which, it may be, a little time 
may quite deface, wear out, devour. But this is 
a kingdom that hath no end, neither shall mortal- 
ity disparage the glory of these kings. Eternity 
may be written upon the gates of their palace, and 
immortality upon the head of every king. After 
ten millions of millions of ages their kingdom 
shall be as glorious as the first day they took the 
possession of it, their comforts as fresh, their bo- 
dies and souls as strong, active, and lively as they 
were when they were first awakened by the resur- 
rection. All that a saint now does or suffers is 
short, but all that he receives and enjoys then will 
be eternal; his life eternal life, his joy everlasting 
joy, his inheritance an eternal inheritance, his 
kingdom, crown, glory, all eternal ; and is not all 
this worth using all diligence for? Shall I, can I 
say more still to quicken industry ? It is the 
kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

THE saints' encouragement. 91 

There we shall have his blessed company, which 
makes heaven more glorious than else it would 
be; there we shall see his face, have his embraces, 
lie in his bosom, and be joint heirs with him for 
ever. Oh, what would not some give to see as 
little of Christ here, as James and John did ! but, 
oh, what a sight will that be to see Him face to 
face who is infinitely more glorious than all cre- 
ated excellences ! But here I am at a stand 

Let faith and meditation go on still till the soul is 
in an ecstasy of admiration and affection : as for 
words, they are infinitely short of the nature of the 
thing And what sayest thou now, O weary la- 
bourer, dost thou not find a new life to animate 
thy soul ? Does not thy heart begin to burn ? Is 
not all this like oil to make the wheels run more 
swiftly ? Canst thou still be lukewarm and indif- 
ferent ? Is there any room left for sloth still ? 
What! dost thou make nothing of Christ, Saviotir, 
kingdom, eternity ? Have all these words of 
weight lost their significancy ? Once more, awake 
for shame, and mend thy pace ; this slow walk 
disparages your faith, your Christ, your kingdom. 
If all this will not prevail with us to make more 
haste, what will ? Lift up thine eyes and look 
before thee ; remember where you are. Is not 
this the vineyard ? and what ! shall we loiter there ? 
Is not this the market-place, and shall we idle 
K 2 


there ? And if such kind of motives have lost their 
efficacy, consider the shortness of your time, the 
greatness of your work, the many hinderances 
that you may meet with, and the unspeakable 
danger of sleeping when such an enemy is at 
your gates. And if yet thou remain sluggish, read 
that one scripture, " Thou wicked and slothful 

servant, -thou oughtest to have put out my 

money to the exchangers ; and then at my coming 
I should have received mine own with usury. 
Take therefore the talent from him, and give it 
unto him that hath ten talents. For unto every 
one that hath shall be given, and he shall have 
abundance : but from him that hath not, shall be 
taken away even that which he hath. And cast 
ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness, 
there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth," 
Matt. XXV. 26—30. Dan. xii. 2. 2 Thess. ii. 16. 
Psal. cxxxiii. 3. xvi. 11. 

And what sayest thou now, O my soul, will 
this dull doing serve the turn still ? have the pre- 
cepts of God no authority ? have so many ex- 
amples and precedents no influence ? can you pos- 
sibly over-do where the relation is so near, and the 
obligation so deep ? doth not the work commend 
itself ? doth it not bring wages along with it ? Is 
a kingdom worth nothing ? Is eternity short ? and 
are Christ and Jesus words of no great power ? 

THE saints' encouragement. 93 

Who now can find in his heart to be so unkind to 
God, and cruel to himself, as to be sluggish still ? 
Give me leave to expostulate the case a little with 
thee, O my soul, for I cannot be satisfied, I will 
not let thee be at quiet, tiU the matter is mended. 
Believers, shall I speak one word more, and reason 
the cause with you ; hath not the Lord opened 
your eyes and given you some sight of the excel- 
lency and reality of invisibles, hath he not given 
you your spiritual senses, was there not a time that 
you could say he was altogether lovely ? How 
sweet once were his commands ! When thou wert 
praying, and weeping, and wrestling, and Christ 
came and wiped thine eyes, and kissed thee, and 
gave thee his blessing, was it not pleasant ? were 
those duties lost ? was that labour in vain ? art 
thou now half in the mind that all was but a 
fancy ? What could the atheists say worse ? what 
can gratify the devil more ? what more provoking 
to your dearest Friend ? Didst thou not then make 
thy boast and tell what God had done for thy 
soul, and invite others to taste and see, and was 
that feast but a dream ? O for shame, belie not 
infinite goodness. Is this your thanks for so un- 
speakable a gift ? doth not your trifling in the things 
of God blaspheme him before the whole world, 
and as it were tell them that you cannot tell, whe- 
ther heaven be not a shadow, or Christ a Master 
K 3 

94 THE saints' encouragement. 

\vorth serving, and religion an employment worth 
engaging in with all one's soul ? I pray, how do 
you think they construe your formality and sloth, 
but thus ? Surely there is no great matter in those 
things that ministers talk so much of, Christ, 
lieaven, holiness ; for if there were, one would 
think that those who pretended to them should 
pursue matters of such consequence with incom- 
parably more seriousness, diligence, and activity. 
O little do we think what wrong our laziness doth 
to the cause of God ! O therefore, for God's sake, 
for your souls' sake, for the sake of the poor world, 
who are in hazard of being hardened in their sins 
by it, let us stir up ourselves, and fall to our great 
work, like men and women that are under the deep 
impressions of the reality, glory, eternity, and 
nearness of that invisible estate ; and that seeing 
such a thing is attainable, cannot take up with any 
thing below " an abundant entrance into the 
everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour 
Jesus Christ." This is all I shall say at present 
with relation to the first part of the exhortation, 
which was directed to the people of God. 

Second, I shall exhort sinners. I now address 
myself to the poor mad world, that are busy 
indeed ; but what is it about, but in ruining 
themselves ? they are diligent indeed, but it is in 
tlie service of a hard master ; they take a great 

THE saints' encouragement. 95 

deal of pains, but it is to little purpose, except 
dishonouring God, and ruining their own and 
others' souls. O ye simple ones, it is to you that 
the mighty Jehovah hath sent me ; to you I 
must cry, and you I must once more warn to 
flee from the wrath to come. Hold, sinner, hold, 
why drivest thou on so furiously? whither art thou 
going so hastily ? What is it you spend your 
time, your thought, and money upon ? what 
wages are you like to have for such work ? will 
this swearing, cursing, sensuality, indeed end in 
everlasting happiness ? is that way ye are running 
in the way to heaven ? is it not the way to death, 
misery, and hell ? Before you step one step 
further, in the name of God, I charge you to stand. 
Be \vell advised what you do ; as the Lord liveth, 
you are a dead man if you go on in that road : 
all that have gone on in it have dearly repented. 
But behold I show you a more excellent way ; and 
my soul for yours, if you keep in that way, if you 
do not come safe to your journey's end, and sup 
nobly at night, and sleep soft and quietly till the 
morning. What say you, will you take my 
counsel, or rather Christ's advice ? You are hard 
at work; I would now have you work that it may 
be worth the while ; I would have you take pains 
for considerable gains ; I would have you labour 
for such wages as may maintain you comfortably. 

96 THE saints' encouragement. 

Have you not heard and read, what the diligent 
and faithful servant shall have, that works with 
all his might in God's vineyard ? his penny will 
be worth all the pounds that the rich worldling 
doth so greedily seek ; his pay will be in such 
coin as hath worth and weight in it, and will go 
current in another world ; his reward will be an 
everlasting crown of glory. And what do you 
say to this poor, deluded sinner ? is there any thing 
in sin better than a kingdom ? Can Satan give 
such an inheritance as heaven ? can he bestow a 
crown of glory upon his servant ? What do you 
think of all that hath been said ? dare you stand 
forth and say that it is a fancy, a cheat, a lie ? 
Speak man, and show yourself a man in what you 
say, and not a stark fool, a brute, a mad-man ; if 
you are well in your senses, I fear not a fair 
debate. If truth itself may be credited, I doubt 
not but I shall have your assent and consent to 
what I have and shall say ; come sinner, stand 
forth, I say, and answer. Dost thou believe that 
there is a God ? is not this God infinitely good, 
holy, and true ? do you indeed believe this ? well, 
and do you believe that his word shall be made 
good to a tittle? that his commands are just? 
that there is a necessity of obeying them ? that 
all his promises shall be fulfilled, and that his 
threaten ings must have execution ? Do you give 

THE saints' encouragement. 97 

your hearty assent to all this ? What ! and go 
on still, or sit down without fear and trembling ? 
Why man, what dost mean ? art thou contented to 
dwell with everlasting burnings ? or is an eternity 
of glory a light matter? is it wisdom, reason to 
prefer dung before jewels, misery before happiness, 
hell before heaven ? Dare you stand by it and 
own it before God and angels, when you see the 
saint's crowns, and the sinner's chains, prison, 
flames, that the sinner's choice is best, and Satan's 
service better than Christ's ? whatsoever you 
think now, I know what note you will then be in. O 
how will you wish in vain that you had but taken as 
much pains for heaven as you did for hell ! O 
that you were but in the case that those glorious 
ones are in ; how will you bless them, and in spite 
of your heart judge them wise, and yourself a 
fool ! and will venture still I Come, sinner, for 
God's sake, for thy soul's sake, turn speedily, and 
use as much diligence to save thy soul, as thou 
didst before to lose it. What is there in sin, and 
Satan, and hell, that thou shouldst be so fond of 
them, and venture so hard, and be at such cost 
and pains for them? Speak, man, what hast thou 
to say in the praise of sin, that thou dost so aftec- 
tionately cleave to it, as if it were thy life, thy joy, 
thy heaven ? What hast thou to speak for the 
honour of thy master the devil, that thou servest 


him so faithfully, diligently, constantly ? I am 
persuaded thou hast not one word to say ; and 
I am sure thou hast no reason in the world on 
thy side, and I am as confident that all thou wilt 
get by them at last will be shame and sorrow. 
Well, now arc you of the same mind still, or will 
you change your master and employment, and 
with all your might serve the Lord ? What do 
you say, will you or no ? Have you any thing to 
object against him or his service ? What harm 
would religion, in its power, do you ? What is 
there in godliness that makes you so much afraid 
of closing with it ? Which of all God's com- 
mands are unreasonable ? What doth he require 
of thee but what is infinitely for thy profit? Is 
there anything in holiness that a wise man need 
be afraid of ? Is to love the Lord our God with 
all our heart and soul, and our neighbour as our- 
selves, so dismal a thing ? Is a life of purity, and 
joy, and communion with God so tedious a thing, 
that one had better venture upon eternal flames 
than such a life ? Once more, I come to know 
what your resolution is in this matter, and to per- 
suade you, if possible, instead of being diligent 
for nothing, to be so for something. And that I 
may prevail, I shall lay before you these following 
considerations briefly. 

1. Consider, sinner, of what vast concern this 

THE saints' encouragement. 99 

matter is that I am dealing with you about. Were 
it a small thing, I should more contentedly bear a 
denial, but it is a business of the greatest import- 
ance in the world : it is your life, the life of your 
soul; it is an inheritance, a kingdom, your com- 
fort, honour, interest, every thing : I say again, it 
is your all ; and what would not a man in his wits 
do to get and secure all ; such an all as all the 
glory of the world is but dung to it ; a glorious 
and eternal happiness : oh that you did but know 
what a proposal I make ! Oh, that you did indeed 
believe, and then I should not need to question 
but that I might spare urging of more motives to 
engage your heart and soul in diligent serving of 
God and securing your soul. 

2. Consider, to how little advantage you labour, 
till you in good earnest .set about this work. Your 
time, pains, and cost is lost ; till then your get- 
tings are inconsiderable. Suppose that (which 
I believe none but a madman expects) you 
could gain the whole world ; and if you lose your 
soul can you boast of your bargain. Consider 
whether it be worth while to rise up early, and lie 
down late, and fill one's head and heart with care, 
and all for a shadow, and that which profits not ; 
when that pains, and those thoughts, if rightly 
expended, might bring in a vast income upon 
which you might live well for ever. O be not so 

100 THE saints' encouragement. 

hasty to run after a butterfly, so eager in the pur- 
suit of vanity, so diligent about that which will 
turn to no account, while Christ, heaven, and 
glory may be had with a great deal less trouble. 

3. Consider what others have got by their dili- 
gence. Inquire of any of all the saints, and ask 
them whetlier praying, hearing, receiving the sacra- 
ment, loving God, believing, hoping, nay watch- 
ing, denying themselves, enduring of affliction, 
bearing of crosses, hath not been more profitable 
to them than the pleasures of sin, which some- 
times they also were such fools as to be taken 
with ? Ask David whether his serving of God, or 
his crown, brought him in the greater revenue ? 
and he will soon answer you, that the light of 
God's countenance is better than mountains of 
gold and silver, than rivers of wine and oil, than 
the greatest increase of corn. Time would fail me 
to mention Enoch, Noah, Elijah, Daniel, Ezekiel, 
Paul, and millions more, what joys, pleasure, 
honours, intimacy with God here, and eternal hap- 
piness hereafter. 

4. Consider what arguments, what entreaties, 
what importunities we use in persuading you. I 
beseech you in Christ's stead, take fast hold of 
wisdom, come into Christ's vineyard. Oh, why 
stand you here all the day idle ? I might add 
many more motives : Oh, consider who it is for 


whom I would have you work ; it is the God that 
feeds you, and can and will make you happy if 
you serve him faithfully; it is for Christ who re- 
deemed you, and will give you a crown of life if 
you diligently follow him till death ; it is for your 
own soul. Oh, consider what great offers are 
made you, and what dreadful damages you will 
sustain if you do not speedily comply. Now God 
is willing to accept of you for his servant and 
child, and promiseth life and heaven for your 
reward. Time is short, it will quickly be too late ; 
the greatest diligence is little enough : what you do, 
do quickly, and do it with all your might : so you 
also may have an abundant entrance, &c. 

I shall conclude all with a few words of direc- 
tion to all, what they should do to get this dili- 
gence, and an " abundant entrance into the ever- 
lasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus 

Direction 1. Put away from you whatsoever 
may hinder your diligence, darken your evidences, 
and make the thoughts of God, death, and judg- 
ment dismal to you. Be sure you cast off your 
works of darkness; let not one sin be entertained 
in your heart with love and liking; take heed of a 
secret beloved sin, beware of unbelief. Take heed 
of being pleased too much with the world and 
carnal delights ; dread sensuality, wicked company 

102 THE saints' encouragement. 

slightness and formality in duty ; have a care of 
letting fall your watch, and Avilful laziness, and 
putting the matters of your soul to the venture. 
There is no running with fetters ; and no working 
in chains and shackles, no coming to this joy 
except these hinderances be removed, never expect 
to come triumphantly to heaven except this direc- 
tion be observed. Nay all your peace, joy, 
and hopes, if you do not take this course, are 
worth nothing, Heb. xii. 1. Isa, Iv. 7. i. 16, 

2. Be sure tlie first and grand work be v/el'l 
laid in deep humility, sound conversion, and a 
heart-change. If the will be really turned from 
sin to God, and your heart in good earnest set for 
him, it is a mighty help to quicken diligence. 
What will such a man think much of ? what pains 
will he be at in searching his heart, in searching 
the scriptures, and in comparing him.self with the 
rule ! O search and try yourself, and do it with 
fear and jealousy ; remember how deceitful your 
heart is, beg of God to try you, and let this be one 
of your constant petitions, Let my heart be sound 
in tliy statutes, that I may never be ashamed. Do 
not easily take it for granted that you are con- 
verted, beg, beg some faithful minister to search 
you to the quick, and remember a godly jealousy 
doth always become you, and that the most con- 


fident are seldom right. Acts iii. 19. ii. 37. Psal. 
cxix. 80. Matt. vii. 24, 25. 

3. Be constantly looking unto Jesus and the 
promises. Improve Christ in all his offices and 
relations : let his life make you more humble, 
meek, self-denying, obedient, zealous, lively, and 
spiritual ; let his death kill sin ; and let his resur- 
rection raise your affections, and set your heart on 
heaven where Christ dwells. Urge his promise, 
whereby he hath engaged to be with his saints to 
the end of tlie world, and to give thera his peace. 
Remember the word upon which he hath made you 
to trust ; a sound faith in Christ and the promises 
would bring in strength and consolation : if we 
lived more upon Christ and less upon ourselves, 
more upon the promises and less upon sense, we 
might have other kind of comforts in life and 
death than most have : Heb. xii. 2. John xiv. 27. 
Rom. XV. 13. 

4. Be earnest for the Spirit. If you ask more 
of it, and with more importunity, you would have 
no denial; you have Christ's advice to encourage 
your endeavours and Ijopes. It is by the Spirit 
the soul is set at liberty; it is by the Spirit that we 
mortify the deeds of the flesh ; it is the Spirit that 
fills us with sighings and groanings unutterable ; 
it is that which fills us with joy unspeakable and 
full of glory. The fruit of the Spirit is joy and 

L 2 

104 THE saints' encouragement. 

peace : O, quench not the Spirit, but be most 
earnest in your prayers for it. Gal. v. 22. Rom. 
viii. 26. 

5. Let not a day pass without serious commun- 
ing with your own hearts. Inquire of your poor 
soul whether there be anything of the acting of 
grace in duty, anything of faith, love, humility, 
zeal ; what answer you have of prayer, what of 
God you enjoy in all ordinances. In all companies 
inquire what progress you make heavenwards, 
and what declinings and backslidings you are 
guilty of, and do not bear with your hearts when 
they begin to be dull, indifferent, and formal. And 
adore Divine goodness if you feel any fresh gales 
and spiritual joys ; be sure you give the glory of 
all to grace, and think still of yourself as a poor 
unprofitable servant. Psal. iv. 4. 2 Cor. xiii. 5. 
Jer. viii. 6. Psal. cxix. 59, 60. 

6. Improve all ordinances, providences, and so- 
cieties for the quickening of your graces, the 
raising your experiences, and bringing you nearer 
to God. There is a divine art and skill, if we 
could learn it, of turning every thing into gold, 
and making ourselves richer by losses, stronger 
by weakness, healthful by sickness, and making 
every gale to fill our sails, and bring us nearer to 
our harbour. Prov. x. 29. Psal. xxv. 10. Rom. 
viii. 28. Isa. xl. 31. 

THE saints' encouragement. 105 

7. Maintain a constant, holy care and solici- 
tude about your soul. Remember tliat to serve 
God and save your soul is your business, and that 
all other things are little or nothing, but as they 
have respect to this. O stir up yourselves with all 
your might in all duties, and count it a madness 
to be careless and slight in anything* that concerns 
God and your souls. Do what you can possibly 
to shake your sloth off; do all with your might 
which relateth directly to God, and your eternal 
state. Psalm cxix. 5. Matt. vi. 33. 

8. Meditate upon the eye of God, the excel- 
lency and reality of invisibles. Is it possible to 
be dull and idle in the presence of such a master 
as we serve ? What made Enoch, Noah, Abraham, 
David, to live at such a rate as they did ? Did not 
faith quicken their obedience, and make unseen 
things present ? did not that show them the glory, 
and assure them of nearness and proprietorship ? 
Oh, let us look to the things that are not seen, and 
less to the things that are seen, and then we shall 
quickly be of Paul's mind, to prefer heaven before 
earth, and ever long to be dissolved, that we may 
be with Christ. 

9. Look often into the scriptures, and dwell 
upon the truths that are there. What precious 
promises are there! who can believe them, and be 
slothful in God's service ? You may with joy 

L 3 

106 THE saints' encouragement. 

draw water out of these wells of consolation : 
Rom. XV, 4. Psalm cxix. 14, 15, 16, &c. xix. 10. 

10. Think much of the grave, judg-ment, and 
eternity. In thus doing, you may be quickened 
in duty, filled with experience, and at last come to 
this blessed privilege, to have ** an abundant en- 
trance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord 
and Saviour Jesus Christ." 

O that none of us might now take up \vith a 
lazy profession, but labour with all our might, to 
arrive to this blessed pitch, to live humbly, holily, 
honourably, and to die triumphantly I 





Mrs. B not long before her last sickness 

was under several hurries and temptations, which 
the Lord was in some measure pleased to help me 
to remove. And no sooner was she under some 
composure in spirit, but the Lord was pleased to 
visit her with a fever, in which he did to admira- 
tion manifest himself to her. I wrote down some 
particulars from her own mouth when I went to 
visit her. 

The first time that I observed anything extraor- 
dinary in her sickness, she cried out with holy 
admiration at God's condescension to her, and 
said, '' I am like little Zaccheus, that have been 
climbing and looking after Christ, and longing to 
see him ; and he hath looked upon me, and come 
to my house, and feasted me; I have supped with 


him, and he with me, and his banner over me was 
love : how sweet are his flagons of love ! I have 
found that his promises are all true and unspeak- 
ably sweet : he hath not said to the seed of Jacob 
Seek my face in vain. Upon him will I wait. I 
am but a blast, a nothing, and yet I have found 
the truth of his love to my soul, and now I know 
I shall live for ever. I have done my work, I 
have fought the good fight ; henceforth there re- 
mains for me a crown incorruptible that fadeth not 
away. Satan desired to sift me, but Christ hath 
prayed for me. If I had not had Christ to fly to, 
and help me now, I had been in a sad condition 
indeed. But blessed be free grace, I know Christ 
loves me dearly, and I love him dearly, but he 
loves most. As long as I have lain here, Christ 
hath not been absent from me one moment, and 
if he seemed to withdraw, it was but a very little, 
and to see how I did value his love and could 
bear his absence." 

Then one speaking concerning the privileges 
of the elect ; she said, " O how blessed are the 
citizens of Zion, but I cannot tell how to lift up 
my heart in the praises of the King of Zion as I 
would ; when I come to the New Jerusalem I shall 
do it better : the people of God will then wonder 
that Christ should do so much for them, when 
they were so poor, and deserved so little. Oh 


admired be his glory ! how doth he now draw me 
with his goodness ! I had thought a low place 
good enough, and too good for me; but God hath 
provided a high place for me, but what it is I can- 
not tell, but that I shall have it I am sure. I am 
in such a condition now, that I cannot say as the 
psalmist. Oh, * spare me that I may recover 
a little strength,' but, Oh take me as soon as 
tljou wilt, for thou hast strengthened me with 
strength in my soul : * I know that my Redeemer 
liveth.' Oh, that all of you that are present did 
but feel what I now through infinite mercy feel ! 
Then she particidarly prayed for me, that God 
w^ould mightily own and encourage me, and then, 
she said, none of your enemies shall prosper. Oh, 
the refreshings ! oh, the refreshings that I now 
feel ! Christ hath been Master, Father, Husband 
unto me ; and indeed what hath not Christ been 
to my soul ? he condescended to furnish the room 
of my heart for his own delight, and mine too." — 
I then spoke more largely of the excellency of 
Christ to her, and of the glory of the invisible 
world that she was going to, at which she cried out, 
'' Oh, I would not have Christ to seek nov/ for a 
world ; if I had my work now to do, I should 
have been trembling instead of rejoicing and 
praising God. God hath made this bed easy to 
me, he hath not left nor forsaken me. If death 


Stands here, Christ stands there, and so long I 
care not ; death hath now lost his sting. Oh, how- 
doth the love of Christ satisfy me every morning ! 
Oh, that sweet sentence, how it rings in my ears, 
* Come ye blessed of my Father.'" 

This sentence was often in her mouth with a 
holy triumph, " Oh, how ready is Christ to pity 
poor creatures !" 

I told her that the Lord had given her that 
white stone, and in that a new name written, which 
none knew but they that had it. She soon burst 
out at this, " I would not nov/ give one farthing 
for a whole world ; unseen things appear real and 
great, and these lower things are now nothing. 
So gracious is the Lord to me, that he doth not 
suffer Satan so much as to tempt me now, he is 
quite chained up. I was sometimes afraid lest 
when the Bridegroom came I should not be ready, 
but rich grace hath blown away my fears. I can, 
through mercy, say I am ready ; come now, Lord, 
as soon as thou wilt, my work is done. He will 
keep them in perfect peace whose hearts are stayed 
upon him. Oh, how rich am 1 1 There is not a 
promise in the whole bible but I can say is mine. 
Oh, blessed be free grace, let Satan pluck and 
pull if he dare, he shall never pluck me out of the 
arms of Christ. * Who shall separate me from the 
love of Christ ? Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all 


that is within me, bless his holy name ! he hath 
pardoned all my sins, and hath loved rae with an 
everlasting love.'" 

After this, I prayed with her ; both in and after 
prayer she seemed to be in the very suburbs of 
heaven, and immediately cried out, ''Oh, how do 
I long ! Oh, how do I long to be with Jesus ! ' In 
my Father's house are many mansions.' Oh, 
Christ hath prepared a place for me ; and it is but 
yet a little while, and he will come and fetch me. 
'Amen. Even so come, Lord Jesus.' He makes 
no tarrying, I will wait his leisure ; becomes, he is 
never absent from me, he stands by me, and 
smiles upon me, and maketh me so long to die ; 
I cannot tell what to do, I do so long to be in his 
arms ! Lord, come ; dear Lord, come as soon as 
thou wilt, I am ready. Oh, come, Lord, and show 
thyself to thy poor saints, quicken their graces. 
Oil, that they may be steady, and be still pressing 
on to the mark of the high calling. My dear Re- 
deemer loves me, and speaks a good word for me, 
and for every one that layeth hold upon him. 

He loveth us first. Lord, give thy love to every 

one here, and let none of these that come to see 
me miss of heaven. 

" Bless the children of thy poor handmaid, and 
give them thy grace, and keep them as thou hast 
kept their poor mother. Thou hast bid me delight 


myself in the Lord ; and thou hast said, I shall have 
the desires of my heart. I do delight in thee, O 
Lord ; and what do I desire more than to please 
thee, to enjoy thee, and to leave thee for a Father 

and portion for my children ? 1 have him whom 

my soul loves, whom my soul deHghts in. My 
dear friends, now Christ is preaching to you by 
poor me the sweetness and excellency that is in 
himself. Oh, who that knows Christ can live 
without him ? Sirs, is not speaking experimentally 

and feelingly of Christ sweet? Sure I have 

not long to be here." 

Then speaking to one of her children, she said, 
"The Lord give thee a double portion of his 

grace. Oh, Christ, he is altogether lovely, he 

is so lovely, that I cannot sufficiently set forth my 
well-beloved : ' My beloved is mine, and I am his.' 
I know God will be a Father to my children ; I 
rest in the faith of it. Oh that my children may 
not have their work to do when they are in this 
condition! Oh, who knows what a terrible thing 
it is to die without a Christ ? but it is sweet to go 
to Jesus ; and if it be so sweet to enjoy Christ, 
how bitter must it be to want him ! Oh, how do I 
long to be dissolved, and to be with Christ ! " 

Then she prayed again excellently well for me, 
and for my special preservation in particular : and 
after prayer, she said, " I have a grant, I know it 


shall not go ill with you ; ' The rod of the wicked 
shall not always rest upon the back of the righte- 
ous.'" Yea, she appointed me a text to preach 
upon at her funeral: " I had fainted, unless I had 
believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the 
land of the living," Psal. xxvii. 13. Being asked 
whether she would have some of a cordial ; she 
answered, " No, no, away with your cordials, Jesus 
Christ is now my only cordial, O how do I long 
to be in his presence : * In his presence is fulness 
of joy, at his right hand are pleasures for ever- 
more. How amiable are thy tabernacles, how 
pleasant is thy dwelling-place, O Lord of hosts, to 
me !' No tongue can disclose what I feel. I can 
say, ' Eye hath not seen, neither hath ear heard, 
nor can it enter into the Jieart of man to conceive 
what Christ hath' bought for me, ' laid up for me,' 
given to m.e." 

All this while she lay smiling and triumphing 
like one that was more than a conqueror 
through Christ that did strengthen her : and 
after a while she turned to me and said, "O 
sir, I am one of those that you shall not be 
ashamed of in the day of judgment ; the Lord 
hath made you a happy instrument to my poor 
soul." Then she quoted many sweet and precious 
promises, such as that, 'Come unto me, ye that are 
weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest/ 


&c. "Oh, what a pattern is this ! all is mine, 
and Christ is mine, and I am his ; life and death, 
all is mine, but all is free grace ; none of all this is 
from any excellency in me more than another ; all 
is pure grace, all is from Christ ; I have given 
away all to Christ, I have referred all to Christ, 

and he hath done all things well for me. While 

I lie here my soul is panting after Christ ; but 
shortly my body shall be at rest from all these 
pains, but my soul shall be in better rest." 

Some did interrupt her in her talking, and de- 
sired that she would let others speak, or compose 
herself to rest. She answered, " If I talked idly, 
you might hinder; but when I speak what my heart 
is full of, why should you hinder me from praising 
my God, and speaking of the faithfulness and 
sweetness of Christ ?" 

Her sight was now taken away, and her face 
seemed somewhat swelled with pain ; yet she did 
not complain in the least of her pain, but said, 
*' It is true, I have not now any great comeliness^ 
but yet Christ loves me, and I shall be as white 
as snow when my Bridegroom presents me to his 
Father." A while after her nurse gave her some- 
thing to drink ; after which she said, " I shall 
shortly drink it new in my Father's kingdom. One 
of Christ's cordials is worth a thousand of these." 

One that was by said, ^' Ah, thirsty soul," when 


she drank, but said she, " Christ hath poured 
water upon my dry and thirsty land, and floods 
upon my wilderness. If a doctor should come 
now to me, and say, '■ What, would you live V 
I would say, I had rather immediately go to 
Christ. I would give all the praise that I am able 
to the Lord for his wonderful kindnesses to me. 
I have begged many a time, and often, that no- 
thing might satisfy me but Christ, and that I 
might not be contented till I had a fulness in 
Christ ; and now I can say, Christ hath answered 
me. I am satisfied with his love ; the desires of 
the faithful shall be granted. I have laid hold 
upon the Lord, like a lion : I have boldly fed 
upon Christ, and I am now like a giant refreshed 
with new wine. He saith. Ask, and you shall 
have, and I am sure I have found him as good as 
his w^ord. No soul seeks but he finds, if he will 
continue seeking ; no soul knocks, but Christ 
is ready to come and open, if he do not bolt him 

One came to see her when her sight was dim or 
left, and she said to her, '' I should be glad to 
see you, but I am contented, I see better things." 
Being in great pain and removed, she said, " I 
am now in the Red sea, and the wilderness, but I 
shall quickly be in the land of Canaan." Then 
she spoke to some that were about her, and 
M 2 


exhorted them : " Begin your work as soon as you 
can, and follow after Christ; though there be a 
little trouble for a while, yet follow him still, 
' his paths will be pleasantness, and his ways 
peace.' If there be anything in the ways of 
Christ that is uneasy, he will shortly remove that. 
Christ hath me under his sweet wings : O that 
the black cypress were over me, Oh that I were 
at rest ! but be patient, O my soul, it is but a 

Then she prayed again for all the church that 
she stood related to, that God would bring them 
all triumphing to glory. *' Oh, friends," said she, 
" look well to the inward part, search every cor- 
ner." When she perceived some to be weeping 
about her, she said, '^ Oh, weep not for me, for 
I rejoice, and Christ rejoiceth in me ; weep for 
yourselves. Oh sirs, begin betimes : there is 
God's early, and man's ; God's is presently, man's 
is at death, or in old age, or distress ; oh, seek 
God now presently, and take this from me, Begin 

with God, and he will end with you. The 

Lord hath had respect unto the low estate of his 
handmaid, therefore my soul doth and shall mag- 
nify him for ever." 

One said. That it was but a little while and 
she would be at rest. She said, '' Oh come, Lord 
Jesus, if it were now, I care not ; come, Lord, 


bring death ; oh, that I could see deatli a com- 
ing ! Christ is mine, and I am his. Come now, 
death, and do thy work. ' My Beloved is the 
chiefest of ten thousand ! ' Oh, he is so lovely ! 
Oh, I see his lovely face by faith. Oh, how he 
smiles ! Oh, my dear Saviour ! 

'' Oil, my dear friends, methinks you should 
beg of God to take me, now you see me thus 
transported with his love. Oh, what a blessed 
saying do I hear, ' Come, thou blessed of my Fa- 
ther ! ' Oh, the blessed which are in the other 
world, they make Christ himself glad to see them, 
he rejoiceth over them ! Friends, my breath is 
even gone, I can not talk any more now." 

But by and by she began again; and said, 
*' But why should I not lay out my largest penny 
whilst I have it to spend — ? The Lord strengthen 
all your graces." It being the Saturday before the 
sacrament, she said, " The Lord be with his guests 
to-morrow, and make them welcome at his table ; 
the Lord walk among them, and dwell in the 
midst of them. — I was afraid I was a hypocrite, but 
now I know I am not ; I am now growing stronger 
and stronger, and so I shall do till I am perfect 
in Christ. ' Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all 
that is within me, bless his holy name.' I shall 
praise him now as long as I have a being." 

It being late, and we being about to depart, she 
M 3 


said, ''Oh, what a blessed meeting shall we 
shortly have ! how shall we rejoice and praise God 
together ! " 

Upon the Lord's day she continued in an admir- 
able frame, more and more blessing and praising 
God : saying, " Oh, that I had but breath to praise 
him." After I had prayed with her, the Lord was 
pleased to give her a little more breath, and she 
quickly spent it for him. And, oh, at what a 
rate did she praise the Lord ! her joys increased 
wonderfully ; and then she said, " Oh, how I long 
to die, but yet I will patiently submit to life." 

Upon monday she began to be in greater pains 
than ordinary, and then she begged that the Lord 
would give her faith and patience, adding, "But 
the will of the Lord be done. Oh, what a case 
were I in, if my work were now to do ! Satan 
would this day have tempted me to impatience, 
but the Lord did rebuke him and strengthen me." 

Upon tuesday she was exceedingly weak, and 
when her speech began to fail her, she said, " My 
heart is as full as it can hold, though I cannot 
now speak it so well : God hath strengthened me, 
or else I could not lie thus. God is good still ; the 
Lord doth condescend to my senses, and deals 
familiarly with his poor handmaid; I live not now 
by faith so much as by sense." 

Being asked how she did, she answered, " God 


is good Still ; all is mine." Then she disowned her 
own righteousness, and attributed all to free grace. 
Then she said to me, *' All the promises are mine, 
and you have helped me to lay a good claim to 

Being asked again, how she did ; she an- 
swered, *' I am in great pain," (and then death 
was upon her,) " but I am willing to He in this pain, 
if it were a twelvemonth, nay, as long as the 
Lord will, so he do but still continue these un- 
speakable joys." These were the last w^ords she 
spoke in my hearing. But after I left her, she 
continued in the same frame till between eleven 
and twelve o'clock at night, and then she judged 
that she heard sweet music, and could not be sa- 
tisfied, but that I must be sent for to hear that 
melody ; but before I could come to her she was 
joined in the glorious concert above. 




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