תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

3. Wc mult love them with a peculiar love ; even better than we love the godly upon carth : because they are better, and liker unto God, and love him more, and are more beloved by him.

4. We must specially rejoyce that God is glorified in and by them; and look often to them as the more illuftrious representers of the Diviac Perfcions, than any of the Saints on Euth.

5. We must greatly rejoyce in their own felicity and glory: cven as if it wete our own. If we did see with our cycs our old car friend, as Lacorn in Abraham's bosome, triumphing now in the glory of the blessed, we could not chufc but be daily very glad on their behalf; to fee and think, o what felicity do my friends enjoy! And faith Chould make it in fome measure to you, as if you saw it,

6. We must have a grateful forse in our minds of their love to 106 ; and muft give God thanks for his Angels miniftrations for us. For doubtlefs, as they are witer and better than my of our friends on earth; so they have a better, a purcr and diviner kind of Love to us, than these below have. And the Angels disdain not to bc Chrifts servants for our good ; yea for our salvation, Heb. 1.14. For, are obey not all miniftring pirits, fent forth to minister for then, wobo mal be boirs of salvation, Matth. 18.10. Their Angels alssies bebold tbe face of my fao sber in Heaven, Pfal. 34. 7. Ibe Angel of the Lordcamperb round about them ibat fear bim, and deliveretb rbom, Pfal. 91. 11. He Mall give bi Angels obarge over tber, to keep tbrein d thy waies. They shall bear thee up in ibeir bands, left sbou daß I by foot againft oftone, Luke 15.10. Tbere is jy ir tbe presence of tbe Angels of God cyer one finner that repentetb, Luke 16.22. The beggar dyed and was carryed by Angels into Abrabens bofome. Though the great Love is that of God our Creator, Redcomer and San&ifier, and our cliefeft gratitude is due to him ; even for the benefit which we have by any of his creatures ; yet love and mentaltbankfulness is due to the rational oreatures which are his voluntary inftruments ; because they do what they do our of real love to w; otherwise we fhould owe thankfulacfs to Abne, either bencfa&tor, friend or parents. 7. And our belicving converse with the bleffcd fpirits, muft

make

make us carnchly defire to be like bem; even to be as like them here as possibly we may, and to be witb rbem, that we may be perfe& as they are perfect. We must fong to be near God, as they are, and to know him, and love him, as they do ; and this holy ambition is well pleasing to God : Though we must not desire to be as God, wc muft dcfire to know and love bim perfräly.

8. And hence we mult proceed to a sober imitation of them as they are now employed in Heaven: Nor in thosc particulars wherein their case and ours differ (as to thank God for that conqueft which they have made, and that glory which they do possess,&c.) But in all thosc duties, which in fomc degrec, belong to us as well as them.'

For inftance, Ask what kind of Religiod is Nkelt to chat which is in Heaven? Is it Audying bare words and difpuring about things unprofitable,or conrending and quarrelling about precedency, pschemincncc or domination? Or is it not rather the cleareft knowledge, and the ferventest Love of God, and all his holy oncs, and the fullest content, delight and reft of the foul in God, and the higher praises and thanksgivings, with the readieft and chcarfullad obedience.

And what kind of Religious performances are most cxcellent which wc mult principally intend? Groans, and tears, and pcnitcnt confesfions, and moans, art very suitable to our present Aare, while we have fin and fuffering: But surely they ure dutics of the lower rank : For Heaven more aboundech with praises and thanksgiving; and therefore wc muâ labour to be fitter for them, and morc abundant in them; not cafting off any needful bumiliations, and penitent complaints; but growing as falt as we can above the neceffary of them, by conquering chc fin which is the coufe.

So ask, what is it that would make the Churcb on Eartben bt likcht to that part which is in Heaven? 18 it driving what Pastors shall be greatest, or have procedèncy, or be called gracious Lords os Binefadors Lake 22. 24,25,26. 1 Pet.5. 3,4,56 Or is it in making the Aick of Chrid, to dread the fecular power of the Shepherds, and tremble before them, as they do before the Wolf? Or is it in a proud conccit of the peoples power to ordain their Paftors, and to rule them and simpelvis

by

by a wajar vota? Or in a fupercilious condemning i members of Christ, and a proud contempt of others as too unholy for our communion, when we never had. sutbority to try or judge them? Is it in the multitude of Sc&sand divifions ; cvery one laying, Our party, and our way is beft? Surely all this is unlike to Heaven: kr is rather in the Wisdom, and Holiness and Unity of all the members: When they all know God, cspecially in his Love and Goodnels, and when they feivedtly dave him, and chearfully and univerfilly obey him; and when they love cach other favently, and with a purchcart, and without divifions do hold the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace; and with one heart, and mind, and mouth, do glorific God and our Redeemes. Leaving ebat Church- Judgment to the Pastor's :which Chrift hath put into beir hands; and leaving Gods part of Judgment unto bimself. - This is to be like to our beavenly exemplar, and co do Gods Wil on Early as it is done in Heaven, Ephef. 4. 2, 3,4,11,12;16.;.?.6.1

9. And we must also look back to the examples of their lives, while they were on earth, and see wherein they are to be imitated as che imitators of Jesus Chrifta which way went they to Heaven before usta

DE DOC 10. Ladly, We muft give Godtbanks on their behalf ; for making them so perfeet, and bringiog them fo near him, and saving them from fin, and Saron, and the world, and bringing them safe to Heaven, through so many temptations, difficulties and sufferings : For making them such intruments of his glory, in their times, and the wing his glory upon them. and to them in the Heavens? For making them such blessings to the world in their generations, and for giving us in them fuch patterns of faith, obedience and paticngc; and making them so great cocouragements to us, who may the more bold ly follow

them in faith, duty and fufferings, who have cong quered all, and fped fo well. For, Ohcwing cus: by faith their present ftare of glory with Christ, for our confirmation and confolation.. Thus far, in all these ten particulars, we must have a heavenly conversation with the glorified by Faith, in

Dirca. 8. Consider next sberein your imitation of tbe *ample of their lives on earth confiftesb. And it is 1. Not in committing any of their fins, nor

indulging

indulging any such weaknesses in our [elves, as any of them were guilty of. 2. Nor in cxtenuating a fin, or thinking ever the better of it, because it was theirs. 3. Nor in doing as they did in exempted cases, wherein ibeir Law and ours difered (as in the marriage of Adams children, in the Jews Polygamy, &c. 4. Nor in imitating them in things indifferent, or accidental, that were never intcoded for imitation, nor donc as morally good or cvil. 5. Nor in pretending to, or expecting of their cxtraordinary Rcyclations, Inspirations, or Miracles. 6. Nor in pretending the high attainments of the more cxcellent, to be the neceifay measure of all that shall be saved, or the Rule of our Church-Communion : Our imitation of them conllech in no fuch things as these.

But it confiftech in there.'

1. That you fix upon the fame ultimate Ends as they did. That you aim at the limc Glory of God, and chuke the same cvcrlafing felicity.

2. That you chusc the fame Guide and Captain of your falvation; the Game Mediator becween God and min ; the fainc Teacher and Ruler of the Church, and the fans facrifice for fin, and Interceffor with the Father.

3. That you believe the fame Gospel, and build upon the finne Promises, and live by the fame Rule, the Word of God.

4. That you obey the same Spirit, and trust co the fame San&ifier, and Comforter, and Illuminater, to illuminate, fan&ific and comfort your souls.

5. That you cxercise all the fame graces of Faith, Hope, Love, Repentance, Obedience, Parience, as they did.

6. That you live upon the faune Truths, and be moved by the fame Motives as they lived upon, and were moved by.

7. That you avoid the same fins as they avoided, and sce what they fçared, and Aed from, and made conscience of, that you may do the same.

8. That you chufe and use the same kind of company, helps and means of grace (so far as yours and theirs are the fame) as they have done: And think not to find a nearer, og another way to thac ftate of happiness which they are come 16, Pbil . 3. 16. Walk by the fame Rule, and mind the fame e bings Ecce

and

and if in any Ebing ye be aber wise minded, God Asal reveal even t bin unsay:. If any preach another Gospel, les bim be accurred, Gol. 1.7, 8. Markıbem wbicb caufe divifions and ffences con trory: to iba dodrine wbicl you bave learned, and avoid them, Rom. 16.07. Heb. 6. 11. Wc defire that every one of you do Share the same diligence, to the full alwrance of bope to sbe end, i but you benar forkful bus followers of them, &c.

9. That you avoid, sefift, and overcome the came tempra: tions, as they did, who now uc crowned.

10. That you bear the same cross, and exercisc she same faith, and hope, and patience, upto the end, i Pet. 4.1. Arm your felves. Dois la tbe fame mind, óf.

Io brief, this is the true imitation of the Saints. Dirca. 9 Never suffer your life of fenfe to engage you so deeply in sensible converse pitb men on carib, as to forget your beavenly relations and society; but live as men that unfcignedly belicvc, that you have a more high, and noble converfc cvery day to mind.

If you arc Believers indccd, let your faith go along with the fouls of your departed friends, into glory: And if you have forgot them by an unfriendly negligence, rencw your acquain: tance with them. Think not that those only that live on carth, ac fit for our convers, and our comfort': Will you converse with nong buc ignorant, Celilo,worldly linners? Arc you more contemptuous of the heavenly, inhabitants,than the Gentleman in hell torments was, Luke 16.26, 27. that thought ont from the dead, though it had been but a beggar, would have been reverenced even by his sensual brethren

on earth, fo far as to have perswaded them unto lavirg Repentance. I toll you, a dead mans skal is oft-rimss a more profitable companion, chan molt that you shall convci le with in the common world. The duft of your departed friends, and the clay ihat corps are turned inco, is a good medicine for those eyes that árc blinded with the duft of worldly vanities. Much more fhould you keep your acquaintauce with the foul, which may, for all the distance, be perhaps more useful to you, than it was in the ficth. Alas, how carnally, and coldly, or seldom, do moft Profeflors look at their Brethren, and at the Angelical hofs that are above. They long for our converfion, and

mind

[ocr errors]
« הקודםהמשך »