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a Distance from us, that it looks like a thin, blue Landskip, next to nothing; and hath not apparent Reality enough in it to raise our Defires and Expectations.
And hence we are commanded to fet our affe tions upon, or as it is in the original, to mind those things that are above, Col. iii. 2. and that by these things above, he means the Enjoyments of Heaven, it's plain from ver. 1. where he exprefly tells us, that by the above in which these things are, he means Heaven, where Chrift fits at the right hand of God. So that the Senfe of the Precept is this, that we should fix in our Minds fuch lively Reprefentations of the Glory and Reality of the Celesti al State, as may raise in our Hearts a longing Defire and earnest Expectation of being made partakers of it. Which Hope and Expectation he elfewhere injoyns us to put on for an Helmet, i. e. for a neceffary Piece of defenfive Armour against the Difficulties and Difcouragements of our Chriftian Warfare, Thef. v. 8. and Heb. vi. 19. this hope which enters into that within the veil, i. e. into Heaven, is faid to be the Anchor of the foul both sure and ftedfaft, i. e. 'tis that which stays and fecures the Soul in the midft of thofe many Storms of Temptation it meets withal in its Voyage to Heaven; and it being fo, we are bid to look to and imitate our Blessed Lord, who for the joy that was fet before him endured the Croß, defpifing the fhame, and is now fat down at the right hand of God, Heb. xii. 2. The meaning of all which is, that we should earnestly indeavour to fix in our minds a vigorous Senfe and Expectation of that immortal Happiness with which God hath promised to crown all that come
off Conquerors from this fpiritual Warfare; that all along as we march we fhould keep Heaven in our Eye, and incourage our felves with the Hope of it to charge through all thofe Difficulties. and Temptations that oppofe us in the way; in a word, that we should frequently awaken in our minds the glorious Thoughts of a bleffed Immortality, and poffefs our felves with a lively Expectation of enjoying it, if we hold out to the
Which is a Duty of a vast Confequence to us in the Course of our fpiritual Warfare. For Heaven being the End and Reward of our Warfare, muft needs be the grand Encouragement thereunto; and confequently if once we lofe Sight of Heaven, and fuffer earthly things to interpofe and eclipfe the Glory and Reality of it, our Courage will never be able to bear up against thofe manifold Temptations that do continually affault us. But whilft we continue under a lively Senfe of that bleffed Recompence of Reward, that will fo fpirit and invigorate our Refolution, that nothing will be able to withstand it ; and all the Terrors and Allurements that Sin can propofe, will be forced to fly before it, and to retreat like fo many impotent Waves that dash against a Rock of Adamant. For while we are under a lively Senfe and Expectance of the Happiness above, we live as it were in the Midway between Heaven and Earth, where we have an open Profpect of the Glories of both, and do. plainly fee how faint and dim these below are in comparison with those above; how they are forced to Sneak and disappear in the presence of thofe eternal Splendors, and to fhrewd their vanquisht
Beauties, as the Stars do when the Sun appears. And whilst we interchangeably turn our eyes from one to t'other,how fruitlefly do the Pleafures, Profits, and Honours below, importune us to abandon the Foys and Glories above, and with what Indignation do we listen to the proposals of fuch a fenfelefs and ridiculous Exchange? And could we but always keep our felves at this stand, we should be fo fortified with the Sight of those happy Regions above, that no Temptation from below would ever be able to approach us; and the fenfe that we are going on to that bleffed State would carry us through all the weary Stages of our Duty with an indefatigable Vigour. For what may a man not do with Heaven in his Eye, with that potent, I had almost faid Omnipotent, Encouragement before him? To pull out a right Eye, to cut off a right hand, to tear a darling Luft from his Heart, even when 'tis wrapt about it, and twisted with its Strings, what an eafie Atchievement is it to a man that hath a Heaven of immortal Glories in his View? The Hope of which is enough to recommend even Racks and Torments, and turn the Flames of Martyrdom into a Bed of Rofes. For 'twas this bleffed Profpect that inabled the good old Martyrs to triumph fo gloriously as they did in the midst of their Sufferings; they knew that a few Moments would put an End to their Miseries, and that when once they had weather'd thofe fhort ftorms, they fhould arrive at a most blessed Harbour, and be crowned at their landing; and that from thence they should look back with infinite Joy and Delight upon the dangerous Sea they had efcaped, and for ever blefs thofe Storms and Winds
that drave them to that happy Port, for as the Author to the Hebrews tells us, they fought a heavenly Country, Heb. xi. 14, 16.
XI. And laftly, To the fuccefsful Progress of our Christian Warfare, it is alfo neceffary that we should live in the frequent ufe of the publick Ordinances and Inftitutions of our Religion; namely, in the religious Obfèrvation of the Lords Day, and in frequent Communion with one another in the Holy Sacrament, both which are of great Ufe to us in the Course & Progress of our fpiritual Warfare. For as for the Lords Day, it is inftituted, and ever fince the Apostles time hath been obferved in the Christian Church, as a Day of publick Worfhip and weekly Thanksgiving for our Saviours Refurrection, in which the great Work of our Rcdemption was confummated. And certainly it must needs be of vast Advantage to be one day in feven fequeftred from the World, and imployed in divine Offices,in folemn Prayers, Praises,and Thanksgivings, and to be obliged to affift and edifie one another by the mutual Example and Union of our Devotions; to hear the Duties of our Religion explained, the Sins against it reprehended, and the Doctrines of it unfolded and reduced to plain and eafie Principles of Practice; what a mighty advantage might we reap from all thefe bleffed Minifteries, if we would but attend to them with that Concern and Serioufneß which the matter of them requires and deferves? Efpecially if when the publick Offices are over, we would not let loose our felves all the rest of the Day, as we too frequently do, to our fecular Cares and Diverfions, and thereby choak thofe good Inftructions we have heard,
heard, and stifle thofe devout and pious Affections which have been raised and excited in us; but instead of fo doing, we would devote at least fome good Portion of it to the Instruction of our Families, and to the private Exercife of our Religion, to Meditation and Prayer, to the Examination of our felves concerning our past Behaviour, and the reinforcing our Refolution to behave our felves better for the future; if, I fay, we would thus fpend our Lords Day, we fhould doubtless find our felves better men for it all the Week after; we fhould go into the World again with much better Affections, and stronger Refolutions, with our Graces more vigorous, and our bad Inclinations more reduced and tamed, and whereas the Jews were to gather Manna enough on their fixth Day, to feed their Bodies on the enfuing Sabbath, we fhould gather Manna enough upon our Sabbath, to feed and strengthen our Souls all the fix days after.
But to this we muft alfo add frequent Communions with one another in the Holy Sacrament, which is an Ordinance inftituted on purpofe by our bleffed Saviour, for the improving and furthering us in our Chriftian Warfare. For befides that herein we have one of the most puiffant Arguments against Sin reprefented by visible Signs to our Senfe, viz. the bloudy Sacrifice of our bleffed Lord to expiate and make Atonement for it; befides that those bleeding Wounds of his which are here reprefented by the breaking of the Bread, and pouring out of the Wine, do proclaim our Sins his Affaffines and Murderers, the thought of which, if we had any ingenuity in us, were enough to