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diately, is a more excellent sort of knowledge These things reviewed, being partly mentioned than this by similitudes, names, and notions, before, assuring me that I shall have actual inwhich our learning now consists in, and is but tellect in my separated state, the region, with an art acquired by many acts and use.
the objects, but above all the holy scriptures, If the sun were, as the heathens thought it, will tell me as much as it is meet that I should an intellectual animal, and its emitted rays were here know what it is that I shall intuitively unvitally visive, and when one of those rays were derstand. The apostle doth distinguish our received by prepared seminal matter, as in knowing in part and knowing perfectly, knowing insects, it became the soul of an inferior animal ; as a child, and as a man, knowing darkly and in this case the said ray would operate in that enigmatically as in a glass, and knowing face to insect or animal but according to the capacity face as we are known. The great question is, of the recipient matter; whereas the sun itself, when this time of perfection is ? Whether be by all its emitted rays, would see all things in- mean at death, or at the resurrection. If Dri tellectually, and with delight; and when that Hammond's observation hold that árásaris in insect were dead, that ray would be what it was, scripture, when, the flesh or body, is not joined an intellectual, intuitive emanation. Though the with it, signifies that life which the soul enters soul in flesh do not know itself, how it shall be upon immediately after our death, and so that united to Christ, and to all other holy souls, and the soul hath that, after living, which is signified to God himself, nor how near, or just of what by the very word which we translate resurrecsort that union will be, yet united it will be ; and tion, then it will lead men to think that there is therefore will participate accordingly of the uni- less difference between man's state, at his first versal light of understanding to which it is departure, and at his last resurrection, than most united. The soul now as it is, or operates in think, even than Calvin himself thought. But the foot or hand, doth not understand, but only the difference between our first and last state of as it is, and operates in the head : and yet the after-life, or resurrection, cannot be now dissame soul which is in the hand, understands in tinctly known. What difference there is now the head ; and the soul operates not so selfishly between Enoch, Elias, and those who rose at or dividedly in the hand, as to repine there be- Christ's resurrection, and the rest of the saints, cause it understands not there ; but it is quiet even the spirits of the perfected just, and whether in that it understands in the head, and performs the first have as much greater glory than the .ts due operation in the hand. But this diversity rest, as it is conceived that we shall have at the of operations seems to be from the organs and resurrection above that which immediately folbody's use or need: but souls dismissed from lows death, what mortal man can tell? I am the body seem to be as all eye, or intuitive light. past doubt that, “Flesh and blood,' formally Therefore though it might content us to say that so called, and not only as sinful, shall not our head sees all things, and we are united to inherit the kingdom of God, but that our dahim, yet we may say further, that we ourselves tural bodies shall be made spiritual bodies: and shall see God, and all things that are meet for how a spiritual body differs from a spirit or soul, us to see.
I pretend not well to understand, but must stay Seeing it is most certain that the superior till God, by experience or fuller light, inform glorious regions are full of blessed spirits, who me. But surely the difference is not like to be see God and one another, having much more so great, as that a soul in flesh shall know in perfect operations than we have, whose effects part, and a soul in a spiritual body shall know we mortals find here below, why should I that perfectly, and a soul between both shall not know find an intellectual nature in myself, make any at all. If it be perfection which we shall have in doubt of my more perfect operations when I am our spiritual body, it is likely that we are nearer dismissed hence, being satisfied that a soul to that perfection, in knowledge and felicity, will not lose its simple essence. Either those while we are between both, than when we are in superior spirits have ethereal bodies to act in, the flesh. or are such themselves, or not: if they are or Surely a soul that, even Solomon saith goes have such, why should I doubt of the like, and upward, and to God that gave it, is more likely think that my substance or vehicle will not be to know God, than that which is terminated in according to the region of my abode ? If not, flesh, and operates according to its capacity and why should I think that my departed soul may state: and a soul that is with Christ, is more likely not know or see without an ethereal body or to know Christ, and the Father in him, than that vehicle, as well as all those worlds of spirits. which is present with the body, and absent from What less can the promise of being speaker's mind, and of the matter spoken of. As with him signify ?
I said before, what penury, and yet redundancy As to the kind of knowledge, how excellent of words, have we? Of how various and unand more satisfactory a way will that of intuition certain signification ? Changed by custom, or or intellectual sense be than is our present way arbitrary design : sometimes by the vulgar use, of abstraction, similitudes, and signs : what abun- and sometimes by learned men, that being condance of time, thoughts, and labour doth it cost scious of the defectiveness of the speaking art, us now to learn our grammar, our rhetoric, and are still tampering, and attempting to amend it. our logic ; to learn our wordy rules and axioms, Some men speak obscurely on purpose, to raise in metaphysics, physics, &c. When we have in their readers a conceit of their subtle and learned them all, if all can be learned, how little sublime conceptions. He that understands things the nearer are many to the knowing of the sig- most clearly, and speaks them most plainly, nified realities ! We often get but a set of words which are the parts of true learning, shall have to play with, to take up our time, and divert us much ado to get the matter out of dark and from the matter: even as carnal men use the bewildering uncertainties, and to make others creatures which signify God, and are made to understand both it and him. lead them up to him, to intangle them, and be Hence come the greatest part of the contenthe greatest and most pernicious diversion of tions of the world, which are hottest among men their souls from God; so do too many learned that most pretend to wordy knowledge : as in men do by their knowledge. They use it as men traffic and converse, the more men and business do cards, romances, and plays, to delight their we have to do with, usually the more quarrels fancies ; but they know less of the things that and differences we have ; so the more of this are worth their knowing, than many unlearned wordy learning, instead of realities, men pretend persons do, as I said before. Had not much of the to, the more disputes and controversies they Athenian learning been then a mere game, for make; and the instruments of knowledge prove men to play away their precious time at, and to the instruments of error and contention. Alas, grow proud of, while they were ignorant of sav- how many applauded volumes are the snares and ing realities, Christ and his apostles had not so troublers of the world! How great a part of our much neglected it as they did, nor Paul so much libraries are vain janglings, and strife of words, warned men to take heed of being deceived by and traps for the more ingenuous sort, that will that vain kind of philosophy ; in which he seems not be taken with cards and dice, robbing us of to me to have greater respect to the universal our time, destroying our love, depressing our esteemed Athenian arts, than, as Dr Hammond minds, that should ascend to God, and diverting thought, to the mere Gnostic pretensions. them from the great and holy things which should
This poor, dreaming, signal artificial know- be the matter of our thoughts and joys; and fillledge is costly, uncertain, contentious, and un- ing the church with sects and strife, while every satisfactory, in comparison of intuitive know- one strives for the pre-eminence of his wit and ledge.
notions, and few strive for holy love, unity, and It is costly, as to the hard labour and pre- good works. cious time, which must be laid out for it, as All this while, alas, too many learned men do aforesaid ; we grow old in getting us horses, but lick the outside of the glass, and leave the boots, and spurs, for our journey, and it is well wine within untasted. To know God, Christ, if we begin it at the last : like a man that would heaven, and holiness, gives the soul a nourishstudy the new found planets, and the shape of ing and strengthening kind of pleasure, like that Saturn and Jupiter's satellites, and the milky of the appetite in its food : but this game at way, &c. and he spends his whole life in getting words is but a knowing of images, signs, and him the best tubes or telescopes, and never uses shadows, and so is but an image and shadow of them to his ends : or like one that instead of true knowledge: it is not that grace which learning to write spends his life in getting Austin's definition saith, 'no one makes ill use of,' the best ink, paper, and pens: or rather like one but it is that which the sanctified use well, and that learns to write and print exactly, and not the unsanctified are puffed up by, and use to the to understand what any of his words signify. opposition of truth, the ostentation of a foolish Men take their spectacles instead of eyes. wit, and the deceit of their own souls. If it be
When this learning is got, how uncertain are sanctified knowledge, it is but mediate in order we whether the words have no ambiguity ? to our knowledge of things thus signified : it Whether they give us the true notice of the is the real good which contents and beatifies, though the notions may be a subordinate recrea- | fully follow on to know the Lord, do find usually tion. Intuition feasts on these realities. such increase of light, not of vain notions, but
As to the objects of this intuition, their excel- of quickening and comforting knowledge of God lency will be the excellency of our knowledge. as greatly encourages them, and draws them still I. I shall know God better. II. I shall know on to seek for more. It is very pleasant here to the universe better. III. I shall know Christ increase in holy knowledge, though it usually better. IV. I shall know the church, his body, bring an increase of malignant opposition, and better with the holy angels. V. I shall better so of sorrows to the flesh. know the methods and perfection of the scrip- The pleasure that the mind hath in common ture, and all God's word and will. VI. I shall knowledge, brings men through a great deal of know the methods and sense of disposing provi. labour to attain it: how many years travel over dence better. VII. I shall know the divine land and sea do some men take, to see and know benefits, which are the fruits of love, better. more of this lower world ? Though it is little VIII. I shall know myself better. IX. I shall that they bring home, but more acquaintance better know every fellow-creature which I am with sin, vanity, and vexation. How many more concerned to know. X. And I shall better know years do thousands spend in the reading multiall that evil, sin, Satan, and misery, from which tudes of tedious volumes, that they may know I am delivered.
what others knew before them. Printers and 1. Aquinas, and many others, took it for the booksellers live by our desire of knowledge. chief natural proof of the souls immortality, that What soul then on earth can possibly conceive man, by nature, desires not only to know effects how great a pleasure it will be for a glorified and second causes, but to rise up to the know- soul to see the Lord ? Though I cannot now ledge of the first cause ; and therefore was made conceive what that intuition of God himself will for such knowledge in the state of his perfection: be, and whether it will not be a glorious kind of but grace hath much more of this desire than concluding or abstract knowledge; whether the nature. Not that we must not be content to be glory which we shall see be only a created apwithout a great deal of knowledge, which would pearance of God, or be his very essence, it satisbe unmeet for us, useless, troublesome, or dan- fies me that it will be as perfect a knowledge as gerous to us; nor must we aspire to that which is fit for me to desire ; and I shall then desire is above our capacity; and to know the un- no more than is fit: and what it is I shall then searchable things of God: but not to know God know by itself, for it is not otherwise to be is to know nothing, and to have an understand clearly known. All the pleasure that I shall ing worse than none. I presume not to pry into have in heaven in knowing any of the works of the secret of the Almighty, nor to pretend to God, will be in my beholding God himself, his know more of God than indeed I do ; but that being, bis vital power and action, his wisdom, I might know more of his glorious perfections, and his love and goodness in those works: for of his will, love, and ways, with that knowledge he is the life and glory of them all. • Blessed which is eternal life? Blessed be that love that are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.' sent the Son of God from heaven to reveal him II. Doubtless it will be no small part of my to us in the gospel as he hath done: but all that delight, to see and know God's perfect works, I hear the same words, and believe them, have not mean, the universe itself; I cannot say that I the same degree of light or faith. If an angel shall have so large a capacity as to comprehend from heaven came down on earth to tell us all all the world, or know it perfectly, and with an of God that we would know, and might lawfully adequate knowledge : but I shall know it in such desire and ask him, who would not turn his back perfection as is suitable to my capacity. It is on libraries, universities, and learned men, to go exceedingly pleasant to know the least particles and discourse with such a messenger? What of the works of God: with what diligence and travel should I think too far? What cost too delight have men endeavoured to anatomize a great for one hour's talk with such a messenger? body, yea, a small part of one, and to know and But we must have here but such intimations as describe poor worms and insects, plants and will exercise faith, and excite desire, and try us minerals ? No man ever yet perfectly knew under the temptations of the world and flesh : the least of them all; no herbalist or physician the glorious light is the reward of the victory ever yet knew the nature and uses of any one obtained by the conduct of the light of grace. herb with an adequate koowledge: with what dre God in great mercy even here begins the reward: light and diligence are physical researches car. they that are true to the initial light, and faith-ried on in the world, though still we are all but groping in the dark, and ignorant of many by him, will not be the least of my felicity, for things for one that we know, and therefore know in him are hid all the treasures of wisdom. To no one perfectly, because we are ignorant of the know the mystery of his eternal Godhead, in the rest. But if indeed we were above our dream- second person, and his created nature, and the ing, erroneous hypotheses, and saw the nature of union of these, and to see God's wonderful deevery creature, even in sea and land, this little sign and work of grace in him laid open to spot of God's creation, and the appendages of our clearest view, ( what beatifying knowledge all, o, what a delightful spectacle would it be! would this be! All dark texts concerning his How much more to see the whole creation, yea, person, his office, and his works, will then be or one system of the globes, and to know their expounded and fully understood: all those strange union and communion, and to behold their beau- and difficult things which were the great exerteous symmetry, and to hear them in concord and cise and honour of faith, will then be plain : melodious harmony praising the glory of their difficulties will no more be Satan's advantage to great, wise, amiable Creator ; this were a delec- tempt us to unbelief or doubting. The sight of table sight indeed! I shall have as much of this the glory of my Lord will be my glory. If Paul as I shall be capable of: the wonders and glories had not then attained to perfection in the knowof the works of God, shall wrap up my soul, in ledge of Christ, and the power of his resurrection, admiring, joyful praise for ever. Though here it but was pressing forward to reach that crown in be but little of God's works that we know, I have the life to come, which he calls the resurrection great reason to think that it will be far other of the dead,' such as I must not expect here to wise there. 1. Because the state of perfection attain it; but when that which is perfect is come, must far excel our dark and infant state of im- this imperfect knowledge of faith will be done perfection : we have now desires after such a away, as childish knowledge is in manly: the knowledge : "his works are great, sought out of glass and riddle shall be laid aside, when we them that have pleasure therein. These desires shall see face to face, and shall know as we are being of God, shall not be frustrated. 2. Because known,' as to our sight and knowledge of Christ there will be proportionable parts of our perfec- and his triumphant body: for I dare not apply tion ; and therefore as our love to God and his that phrase to the sight and knowledge of the works will be there perfected, so will be our divine essence ; nor yet deny it. knowledge. 3. Because we shall know God him- If now though we see not Christ, yet believ. self as much as we are capable, and therefore we ing we love him, and rejoice in him with unshall know his works in him, or by a subordinate speakable glorying joy : what love and joy will knowledge, the less being in the greater. 4. Be the everlasting sight of our blessed Head excite cause God hath made his works to be known to there in the souls of all the glorified. his glory: but it is little that is here known of IV. I shall better, O much better, know the them by mortals ; therefore they are known by heavenly Jerusalem, the triumphant church, the them in heaven, who are fitted to improve that blessed angels and glorified saints : as my love knowledge to his praise.
to them, so my knowledge of them, will not be If Christ, who is the wisdom of God, will the least part of my heavenly delight. As teach me the true philosophy, how to love God, strangely as I now look upward to that world, and live here in all well-pleasing unto him, I because I cannot see it with these eyes, it shall shall quickly in heaven be a perfect philosopher ; be my well known everlasting habitation. O and experience will tell me, that the surest way what a sight, what a joyful sight, will death to be truly learned, and know the wonderful show me by drawing aside the vail! Or rather works of God, was to know, love, and serve the the Lord of life by turning death to my advangreat Creator, and in him we shall have all, and tage! When I am there at home, I shall no without him we know nothing, and have nothing more think with confusion, fear, or doubting, of at all.
that blessed place or state. My fears, which now Satan tempted Christ by showing him the come from the smallness of my faith, will end when kingdoms and glory of the world, and promising faith is turned into vision. As I now know the them all to him if he would have worshipped several rooms in my house, and houses in the him : but God will show me more than Satan street, and streets in the city, so shall I then could show, and give me more of that which is know the many mansions which Christ hath said best, than Satan could give.
are in his Father's house. Words now give me III. That in heaven I shall better know Jesus so poor, imperfect a conception of the world and Christ, and all the mystery of our redemption things which I never saw, as that sometimes I can scarcely tell whether the joy of my faith, or and holy, though weak and blemished, companthe trouble of my dark apprehensions, be the ion been to me here on earth! And how lovely greater : but when I shall see the place and per- have God's graces in such, though sullied, apsons, the glory which I heard of, that will be the peared to me! O then what a sight will it be delightful, satisfying, and possessing kind of when we shall see the millions of souls that shine knowledge. If Nehemiah and the godly Jews in perfect wisdom and holiness with Christ! To made so great a matter of seeing the walls of see a garden that hath some beautiful flowers in Jerusalem repaired, and others of the imperfect it, is something : but if you saw whole fields and rebuilding of the temple, O what a joyful sight countries shining with them, it would be a glory, to me will the heavenly Jerusalem then be! The though fading, to the earth. A well-built city most glorious sight will be at the great marriage is a more pleasant sight than a single house; and day of the Lamb, when • Christ shall come to be a navy than a ship; and an army than one man. glorified in his saints, and admired in all them If this poor, low world did all consist of wise, that now believe. But the next to that will be just, and holy persons, O what an orderly, lovely the day of my particular deliverance, when I world would it be! If one kingdom consisted, shall come to Christ, and see the saints admiring (prince, magistrates, pastors, and people,) all of him in glory.
such, what a blessed kingdom would that be! If I were of the opinion of those Greek fathers, The plague of wicked men's deceits, falsewho thought that stars were angels, or had in- hoods, oppressions, and iniquities, may help to tellectual souls, (matters unknown to us,) I should make us sensible of this. It would be a great love them as my guardians, and take it to be yet temptation to us to be loth to die, and leave such more of my concern to be advanced to the fuller a country, were it not that the more the beauty knowledge of them. But seeing I know that of goodness appears, the more the state of perangels love us, and by office attend and keep fection is desired. It is pleasant to me to pray us, and rejoice at our good, and at our repen- in hope as Christ hath commanded me, that earth tance, and, which is far more, are more holy and may be made liker unto heaven, which now is excellent creatures than we are; it is therefore become so like to hell : but when I shall see my comfort to think that I shall better know the society perfected, in number, in holiness, in them, and live in near and perpetual acquain- glory, in heavenly employment, the joyful praises tance and communion with them, a more sensible of Jehovah, the glory of God and the Lamb and sweet communion than we can have with shining on them, and God rejoicing over them them here. Devils are aerial, and near to this as his delight, and myself partaking of the same, dark and sinful world, and more often appear to that will be the truly blessed day! And why men than angels : but the angels affect not such doth my soul, imprisoned in flesh, no more dedescending appearances, till love and obedience sire it? to their Lord make it pleasing to them. There- V. I shall better understand all the word of fore we have but little knowledge, even of those God: the matter, and the method of it; though that know, love, and keep us : but when we come I shall not have that use for it as I have now in home to their nearest society and converse, to this life of faith, yet I shall see more of God's know them will be sweet and joyful knowledge. wisdom and his goodness, his love, mercy, and For they are more excellent creatures than the justice appearing in it, than ever man on earth most glorious that are here below the intellectual could do! As the creatures, so the scriptures, nature : they are full of light, and full of love to are perfectly known only by perfect spirits. I God and man. Had God bid me pray to them, shall then know now to solve all doubts, and reI would not have refused it, but taken it for my concile all seeming contradictions, and to exhonour : but seeing he hath not, I will do that pound the hardest prophecies: that light will which he hath bid me, even love them, and re- show me the admirable methods of those sacred joice in my relation to the innumerable company words, where dark minds now suspect confusion! of them, in the city of the living God, the How evident and clear then will every thing apheavenly Jerusalem, and long to know and love pear to me! Like a small print when the light them more ; expecting ere long to bear my part comes in, which I could not read in the glimmerin the praises of God and of the Lamb, in the ing twilight. How easily shall I then confute same choir where they are the precentors. the cavils of all our present unbelievers! How
That I shall know the spirits of the perfected joyfully shall I praise that God and Saviour, just, and be of their communion, will be no small that gave his church so clear a light to guide addition to my joy. How sweet hath one wise them through this darksome world, and so sure