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2. The Saints' Rest is the most happy state his God, and his soul, and not cry, I am undone ? of a Christian ; or it is the perfect endless enjoy- | The reason why so few obtain this rest, is, they ment of God by the perfected saints, according will not be convinced, that they are, in point of to the measure of their capacity, to which their title, distant from it; and, in point of practice, souls arrive at death, and both soul and body contrary to it. Who ever sought for that, which most fully after the resurrection and final judg- he knew not he had lost ? “ They that be whole ment. According to this definition of the Saints' need not a physician, but they that are sick.”— Rest, a larger account of its nature will be given The influence of a superior moving cause is also in this Chapter; of its preparatives, Chap. II.; supposed; else we shall all stand still, and not its excellencies, Chap. III. ; and Chap. IV. the move toward our rest. If God move us not, we persons for whom it is designed. Farther to cannot move. It is a most necessary part of our illustrate the subject, some description will be Christian wisdom, to keep our subordination to given, Chap. V. of their misery who lose this God, and dependence on him. “ We are not rest; and Chap. VI. who also lose the enjoyments sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of of time, and suffer the torments of hell. Next ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God.” “Withwill be showed, Chap. VII. the necessity of out me,” says Christ, "ye can do nothing.”—It diligently seeking this rest; Chap. VIII. how our is next supposed, that they who seek this rest, title to it may be discerned ; Chap. IX. that they have an inward principle of spiritual life. God who discern their title to it should help those does not move men like stones, but he endows that cannot; and Chap. X. that this rest is not them with life, not to enable them to move withto be expected on earth. It will then be proper out him, but in subordination to himself the first to consider, Chap. XI. the importance of a -And farther, this rest supposes such an heavenly life upon earth; Chap. XII. how to actual tendency of soul towards it, as is regular live a heavenly life upon earth ; Chap. XIII. the and constant, earnest and laborious. He that nature of heavenly contemplation, with the time, hides his talent shall receive the wages of a place, and temper fittest for it ; Chap. XIV. what slothful servant. Christ is the door, the only use heavenly contemplation makes of considera- way to this rest. “But strait is the gate, and tion, affections, soliloquy, and prayer ; and like. narrow is the way,” and we must strive, if we wise, Chap. XV. how heavenly contemplation will enter, for “many will seek to enter in, and may be assisted by sensible objects, and guarded shall not be able;” which implies, that “the kingagainst a treacherous heart. Heavenly contem- dom of heaven suffereth violence.” Nor will it plation will be exemplified, Chap. XVI. and the bring us to the end of the saints, if we begin in whole work concluded.
the spirit, and end in the flesh. He only “ that -3. There are some things necessarily pre-sup- endureth to the end shall be saved.” And never posed in the nature of this rest; as, for instance did a soul obtain rest with God, whose desire -that mortal men are the persons seeking it. was not set upon him above all things else in the For angels and glorified spirits have it already, world. “Where your treasure is, there will your and the devils and damned are past hope. That heart be also.” The remainder of our old nature they choose God only for their end and happi- will much weaken and interrupt these desires, but ness. He that takes any thing else for his happi- never overcome them. And considering the opness, is out of the way the first step.—That they are position to our desires, from the contrary princidistant from this end. This is the woful case of ples in our nature, and from the weakness of our all mankind since the fall. When Christ comes graces, together with our continued distance from with regenerating grace, he finds no man sitting the end, our tendency to that end must be laboristill, but all posting to eternal ruin, and making ous, and with all our might.-All these things haste towards hell; till, by conviction, he first are pre-supposed, in order to a Christian's obbrings them to a stand, and then, by conversion, taining an interest in heavenly rest. turns their hearts and lives sincerely to himself. 4. Now we have ascended these steps into the
– This end, and its excellency, is supposed to outward court, may we look within the vail ? be known, and seriously intended. An unknown May we show what this rest contains, as well as good moves not to desire or endeavour. And what it pre-supposés ? Alas, how little know I not only a distance from this rest, but the true of that glory! The glimpse which Paul had, conknowledge of this distance, is also supposed. tained what could not, or must not, be uttered. They that never yet knew they were without Had he spoken the things of heaven in the lanGod, and in the way to hell, did never yet know guage of heaven, and none understood that lanthe way to heaven. Can a man find he hath lost guage, what the better? The Lord reveal to me what I may reveal to you! The Lord open some decrepit age, peccant humours, painful or pining light, and show both you and me our inheritance! sickness, griping fears, consuming cares, nor Not as to Balaam only, whose eyes were opened whatsoever deserves the name of evil. We did to see the goodliness of Jacob's tents, and Israel's weep and lament when the world did rejoice; tabernacles, where he had no portion, and from but our sorrow is turned into joy, and our joy whence must come his own destruction! Not as shall no man take from us. to Moses, who had only a discovery, instead of 7. (3.) Another ingredient of this rest is, the possession, and saw the land which he never en- highest degree of the saints' personal perfection, tered! But as the pearl was revealed to the both of body and soul. Were the glory ever so merchant in the gospel, who rested not till he great, and themselves not made capable of it, by had sold all he had, and bought it! And as a personal perfection suitable thereto, it would be heaven was opened to the blessed Stephen, which little to them. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, he was shortly to enter, and the glory showed him neither have entered into the heart of man, the which should be his own possession !- The things things which God hath prepared for them that contained in heavenly rest are such as these ;- love him." For the eye of Aesh is not capable of a ceasing from means of grace ;—a perfect free- seeing them, nor this ear of hearing them, nor dom from all evils ;—the highest degree of the this heart of understanding them: but there the saints' personal perfection, both of body and eye, and ear, and heart are made capable ; soul ;—the nearest enjoyment of God the chief else how do they enjoy them?
The more pergood;—and a sweet and constant action of all the fect the sight is, the more delightful the beautiful powers of body and soul in this enjoyment of object. The more perfect the appetite, the God.
sweeter the food. The more musical the ear, the 3. (1.) One thing contained in heavenly rest more pleasant the melody. The more perfect is, the ceasing from means of grace. When we the soul, the more joyous those joys, and the have obtained the haven, we have done sailing. more glorious to us is that glory. When the workman receives his wages, it is im- 8. (4.) The principal part of this rest, is our plied he has done his work. When we are at nearest enjoyment of God the chief good. Aud our journey's end, we have done with the way. here, reader, wonder not if I be at a loss; and " Whether prophecies, they shall fail; whether if my apprehensions receive but little of that tongues, they shall cease; whether knowledge, which is in my expressions. If it did not appear, it also," so far as it had the nature of means, to the beloved disciple, what we shall be, but “shall vanish away." There shall be no more only in general, “ that when Christ shall appear, prayer, because no more necessity, but the full we shall be like him," no wonder if I know enjoyment of what we prayed for: neither shall little. When I know so little of God, I cannot we need to fast and weep, and watch any more, much know what it is to enjoy him. If I know being out of the reach of sin and temptations. so little of spirits, how little of the Father of Preaching is done ; the ministry of man ceaseth ; spirits, or the state of my own soul, when adsacraments become useless ; the labourers are vanced to the enjoyment of him? I stand and called in, because the harvest is gathered, the look upon a heap of ants, and see them all with tares burned, and the work finished; the unre- one view; they know not me, my being, nature, generate past hope, and the saints past fear, for or thoughts, though I am their fellow-creature:
how little then must we know of the great Crea6. (2.) There is in heavenly rest a perfect free-tor, though he with one view clearly beholds us dom from all evils. All the evils that accom- all? A glimpse the saints behold, as in a glass ; panied us through our course, and which neces- which makes us capable of some poor, dark apsarily follow our absence from the chief good ; prehensions of what we shall behold in glory. besides our freedom from those eternal flames, If I could tell a worldling what the holiness and and restless miseries, which the neglecters of spiritual joys of the saints on earth are, he canChrist and grace must remedilessly endure; a not know; for grace cannot be clearly known woful inheritance, which, both by birth, and ac- without grace: how much less could he conceive tual merit, was due to us, as well as to them. it, should I tell him of this glory? But to the In heaven there is nothing that defileth or is un- saints I may be somewhat more encouraged to clean. All that remains without. And doubt- speak; for grace gives them a dark knowledge less there is not such a thing as grief and sorrow and slight taste of glory. If men and angels known there: nor is there such a thing as a pale should study to speak the blessedness of that face, a languid body, feeble joints, unable infancy, state in one word, what could they say beyond this, that it is the nearest enjoyment of God?, sence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there O the full joys offered to a believer in that one are pleasures for evermore.' What presumption sentence of Christ, · Father, I will that those would it have been, once to have thought or spowhom thou hast given me be with me where I ken of such a thing, if God had not spoken it beam, that they may behold my glory which thou fore us? I durst not have thought of the saints' hast given me ! Every word is full of life and preferment in this life, as Scripture sets it forth, joy. If the queen of Sheba had cause to say of had it not been the express truth of God. How Solomon's glory, 'Happy are thy men, happy indecent to talk of being sons of God-speaking are these thy servants, who stand continually be- to him—having fellowship with him—dwelling in fore thee, and hear thy wisdom;' then sure they him, and he in us, if this had not been God's own that stand continually before God, and see his language; how much less durst we have once glory, and the glory of the Lamb, are more than thought of shining forth as the sun-of being happy. To them will Christ give to eat of the joint heirs with Christ—of judging the worldtree of life, and to eat of the hidden manna : yea, of sitting on Christ's throne-of being one in him he will make them pillars in the temple of God, and and the Father, if we had not all this from the they shall go no more out; and he will write mouth, and under the hand of God? But hath upon them the name of his God, and the naine he said, and shall he not do it? Hath he spoken, of the city of his God, which is New Jerusalem, and shall he not make it good ? Yes, as the Lord which cometh down out of heaven from his God, God is true, thus shall it be done to the man and he will write upon them his new name; yea, whom Christ delighteth to honour. Be of good more, if more may be, he will grant them to sit cheer, Christian, the time is near, when God and with him on his throne. * These are they who thou shalt be near, and as near as thou canst well came out of great tribulation, and have washed desire. Thou shalt dwell in his family. Is that treir robes, and made them white in the blood of enough ? • It is better to be a door-keeper in the the Lamb: therefore are they before the throne house of God, than to dwell in the tents of of God, and serve him day and night in his wickedness.' Thou shalt ever stand before him, temple, and he that sitteth on the throne shall about his throne, in the room with him, in his dwell among them. The Lamb which is in the presence-chamber. Wouldst thou yet be nearer? midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall Thou shalt be his child, and he thy Father; thou lead them unto living fountains of water; and shalt be an heir of his kingdom; yea, more, the God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.' spouse of his Son. And what more canst thou O blind, deceived world! Can you show us such desire? Thou shalt be a member of the body of a glory? This is the city of our God, where his Son; he shall be thy Head ; thou shalt be one the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will with him, who is one with the Father, as he himdwell with them and they shall be his people, and self hath desired for thee of his father, that God himself shall be with them, and be their God. they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, The glory of God shall lighten it, and the Lamb and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; is the light thereof. And there shall be no more and the glory which thou gavest me, I have curse; but the throne of God and of the Lamb given them, that they may be one, even as we shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him, are one; I in them and thou in me, that they may and they shall see his face, and his name shall be be made perfect in one, and that the world may in their foreheads. These sayings are faithful and know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them true, and the things which must shortly be done. as thou hast loved me.' And now we say, as Mephibosheth, · Let the 9. (5.) We must add, that this rest contains a world take all, for as much as our Lord will come sweet and constant action of all the powers of in peace.' Rejoice, therefore, in the Lord, O ye the soul and body in this enjoyment of God. It righteous, and say, with his servant David, “ The is not the rest of a stone, which ceaseth from all Lord is the portion of mine inheritance: the lines motion when it attains the centre. This body are fallen unto me in pleasant places ; yea, I have a shall be so changed, that it shall no more be flesh goodly heritage. I have set the Lord always and blood, which cannot inherit the kingdom of before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall God; but a spiritual body. We saw not that not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my body that shall be, but God giveth it a body as glory rejoiceth ; my flesh also shall rest in hope. it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt body. If grace makes a Christian differ so much thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. from what he was, as to say, I am not the man I Thou wilt show me the path of life; in thy pre- / was ; how much more will glory make us differ? As inuch as a body spiritual, above the sun in our blessed Lord! He hath created the underglory, exceeds these frail, noisome, diseased standing with a natural bias and inclination to lumps of flesh, so far shall our senses exceed truth as its object; and to the prime truth, as its those we now possess. Doubtless as God ad prime object. Christian, when, after long gazing vanceth our senses, and enlargeth our capacity, heavenward, thou hast got a glimpse of Christ, 90 will he advance the happiness of those senses, dost thou not sometimes seem to have been with and fill up with himself all that capacity. Cer-Paul in the third heaven, whether in the body, or tainly the body should not be raised up and con- out, and to have seen what is unutterable? Art tinued, if it should not share in the glory. As thou not, with Peter, ready to say, "Master, it it hath shared in the obedience and sufferings, is good to be here! O that I might dwell in so shall it also in the blessedness. As Christ this mount! O that I might ever see what I bought the whole man, so shall the whole par- now see! Didst thou never look so long upon take of the everlasting benefits of the purchase. the Sun of Righteousness, till thine eyes were O blessed employment of a glorified body! to dazzled with his astonishing glóry? And did stand before the throne of God and the Lamb, not the splendour of it make all things below seem and to sound forth for ever, · Thou art worthy, black and dark to thee? Especially in the day O Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and power. of suffering for Christ, when he usually appears Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive most manifestly to his people, didst thou never power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and see one walking in the midst of the fiery furnace honour, and glory, and blessing; for thou hast with thee, like the Son of God ? Believe me, redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every Christians, yea, believe God, you that have kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; known most of God in Christ here, it is as nothing and hast made us unto our God kings and priests. to what you shall know; it scarce, in comparison Alleluia ; salvation, and glory, and honour, and of that, deserves to be called knowledge. For power, unto the Lord our God. Alleluia, for as these bodies, so that knowledge must cease, the Lord God omnipotent reigneth? O Chris-that a more perfect may succeed. Knowledge tians! this is the blessed rest; a rest as it were, shall vanish away. "For we know in part. But without rest : for “they rest not day and night, when that which is perfect is come, then that saying, Holy, holy, holy Lord God Almighty, which is in part shall be done away. When I who was, and is, and is to come. And if the was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as body shall be thus employed, O, how shall the a child, I thought as a child; but when I became soul be taken up! As its powers and capacities a man, I put away childish things. For now we are greatest, so its actions are strongest, and its see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face; enjoyments sweetest. As the bodily senses have now I know in part, but then shall I know even their proper actions, whereby they receive and as also I am known.' Marvel not, therefore, enjoy their objects, so does the soul in its own Christian, how it can be life eternal, to know actions enjoy its own objects, by knowing, re- God, and Jesus Christ. To enjoy God and mernbering, loving, and delightful joying. This Christ, is eternal life; and the soul's enjoying is is the soul's enjoyment. By these eyes it sees in knowing. They that savour only of earth, and by these arms it embraces.
and consult with flesh, think it a poor happiness 10. Knowledge of itself is very desirable. As to know God. But we know that we are of far as the rational soul exceeds the sensitive, so God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness: far the delights of a philosopher, in discovering and we know that the Son of God is come, and the secrets of nature, and knowing the mystery hath given us an understanding, that we may of sciences, exceed the delights of the glutton, know him that is true; and we are in him that is the drunkard, the unclean, and of all voluptuous true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the sensualists whatsoever. So excellent is all truth. true God, and eternal life.' What, then, is their delight who know the God 11. The memory will not be idle, or useless, in of truth? How noble a faculty of the soul is this blessed work. From that height the saint the understanding?
It can compass the earth : can look behind him, and before him. And to it can measure the sun, moon, stars, and heaven; compare past with present things, must needs it can foreknow each eclipse to a minute, many raise in the blessed soul an inconceivable esteem years before. But this is the top of all its excel- and sense of its condition. To stand on that lency, that it can know God, who is infinite, who mount, whence we can see the wilderness and made all these, a little here, and more, much Canaan, both at once; to stand in heaven, and more hereafter. O the wisdom and goodness of look back on earth, and weigh them together in
the balance of a comparing sense and judgment, | divine goodness warm your frozen hearts ? how must it needs transport the soul, and make What will it do then, when you shall live in love, it cry out, “Is this the purchase that cost so dear and have all in him, who is all ? Surely love is as the blood of Christ? No wonder. O blessed both work and wages. What a high favour, price! and thrice blessed love, that invented, and that God will give us leave to love him! That condescended! Is this the end of believing ? he will be embraced by those, who have embraced Is this the end of the Spirits workings ? Have lust and sin before him! But more than this, he the gales of grace blown me into such a harbour returned love for love; nay, a thousand times Is it hither that Christ hath allured my soul ? O more. Christian, thou wilt then be brim-full of blessed way, and thrice blessed end! Is this the love; yet, love as much as thou canst, thou shalt glory which the Scriptures spoke of, and ministers be ten thousand times more beloved. Were the preached of, so much ? I see the gospel is in- arms of the Son of God open upon deed good tidings, even tidings of peace and an open passage made to his heart by the spear, good things, tidings of great joy to all nations. and will not his arms and heart be open to thee Is my mourning, my fasting, my sad humblings, in glory? Did he begin to love before thou my heavy walking, come to this? Is my pray- lovedst, and will not he continue now? Did he ing, watching, fearing to offend, come to this? love thee, an enemy? Thee, a sinner ? Thee, Are all my afflictions, Satan's temptations, the who even loathedst thyself? and own thee, when world's scorns and jeers, come to this? O vile thou didst disclaim thyself? And will he not nature, that resisted so much, and so long, such now immeasurably love thee, a son? Thee, a a blessing! Unworthy soul, is this the place perfect saint? Thee, who returnedst some love thou camest so unwillingly to ? Was duty weari- for love ? He that in love wept over the old some? Was the world too good to lose? Didst Jerusalem when near to its ruin, with what love thou stick at leaving all, denying all, and suffer- will he rejoice over the new Jerusalem in her ing any thing, for this? Wast thou loath to die, glory? Christian, believe this, and think on it to come to this? O false heart, thou hadst al- _thou shalt be eternally embraced in the arms most betrayed me to eternal flames, and lost me of that love, which was from everlasting and this glory! Art thou not now ashamed, my will extend to everlasting; of that love which soul, that ever thou didst question that love which brought the Son of God's love from heaven to brought thee hither? that thou wast jealous of earth, from earth to the cross, from the cross to the faithfulness of thy Lord ? that thou suspect- the grave, from the grave to glory; that love which edst his love, when thou shouldst only have sus- was weary, hungry, tempted, scorned, scourged, pected thyself ? that ever thou didst quench a buffeted, spit upon, crucified, pierced; which did motion of his Spirit ? and that thou shouldst fast, pray, teach, heal, weep, sweat, bleed, die ;misinterpret those providences, and repine at that love will eternally embrace thee. When perthose ways, which have such an end ? Now fect created love, and most perfect uncreated thou art sufficiently convinced, that thy blessed love, meet together, it will not be like Joseph and Redeemer was saving thee, as well when he his brethren, who lay upon one another's necks crossed thy desires, as when he granted them; weeping; it will be loving and rejoicing, not when he broke thy heart, as when he bound it loving and sorrowing. Yet it will make Satan's up No thanks to thee, unworthy self, for this court ring with the news, that Joseph's brethren received crown; but to Jehovah, and the Lamb, are come, that the saints are arrived safe at the be glory for ever.'
bosom of Christ, out of the reach of hell for ever. 12. But, O! the full, the near, the sweet en- Nor is there any such love as David's and Jonajoyment, is that of love. "God is love; and he than's, breathing out its last into sad lamentathat dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God tions for a forced separation. Know this, bein him.' Now the poor soul complains, • oliever, to thy everlasting comfort, if those arms that I could love Christ more! Then, thou have once embraced thee, neither sin, nor hell, canst not choose but love him. Now thou know- can get thee thence for ever. Thou hadst not est little of his amiableness, and therefore lovest to deal with an inconstant creature, but with little; then, thine eyes will affect thy heart and him with whom is no variableness, nor shadow the continual viewing of that perfect beauty of turning. His love to thee will not be as will keep thee in continual transports of love. thine on earth to him, seldom, and cold, up and Christians, doth it not now stir up your love, down. He that would not cease nor abate his to remember all the experiences of his love? love, for all thine enmity, unkind neglects, and Doth not kindness melt you, and the sunshine of churlish resistances, can he cease to love thee,