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e happy as to be with you, yet this is my daily Com
fort, you are my Brethren and Fellow-Members “ in Chrift, and therefore your Joys are my Joys, " and your Glory by this near Relation is my Glory; o especially while I believe in the fame Chrift, and « hold fat the fame Faith and Obedience, by which « you were thus dignified, and rejoice in Spirit with « you, and congratulate your Happiness in my daily « Meditations."
$ 17. MOREOVER, our House and Home is above. For we know, that if our earthly House of this Tabernacle were dissolved, we have a Building of God, an House not made with Hands, eternal in the Heavens. Why do we then look no oftener towards it, and groan earnestly, defiring to be cleathed upon with our House which is from Heaven (h)? If our" Home were far meaner, sure we should remember it, because it is our Home. If you were but banished into a strange Land, how frequently would your Thoughts be at Home. And why is it not thus with us in Respect of Heaven? Is not that more truly and properly our Home, where we must take up our everlasting Abode, than this, which we are every Hour expecting to be feparated from, and to see no more? We are Strangers, and that is our Country. We are Heirs, and that is our Inheritance; even an Inheritance incora ruptible, and unde filed, and that fadeth not away, rer served in Heaven for us(i). We are here in continual Distress, and Want, and there lies our SubItance; even a better and an enduring Substance (k). Yea, the very Hope of our Souls is there; all our
ope of Relief from our Distresses; all our Hope of lappiness, when here we are miserable; all this Hope laid up for us in Heaven (1). Why, beloved Christi
(h) 2 Cor. v. 1, 2,
(i) 1 Pet. 1. 4.
If Satan fhould take thee up to the Mountain of Temptation, and fnew thee all the Kingdoms of the World, and the Glory of them; he could thew thee nothing that is worthy thy Thoughts, much less to be preferred before thy Rest. Indeed, so far as Duty and Neceflity require it, we must be content to mind the Things below; but who is he that contains himself within the Compass of those Limits! And yet if we ever so diligently contract our Cares and Thoughts, we shall find the least to be bitter and burthensome. Christian, see the Emptiness of all these Things, and the Preciousness of the Things above. If thy Thoughts hould, like the laborious Bee, go over the World from Flower to Flower, from Creature to Creature, they would bring no Honey or Sweetness home, fave what they gathered from their Relations to Eternity. Though every Truth of God is precious, and ought to be defended; yet even all'our Study of Truth should be still in Reference to our Reft: For the Observation is too true, that the Lovers of Controverfies in Religion, have never been warmed with one Spark of the Love of God. And as for minding the Affairs of Church and State; so far as they illustrate the Providence of God, and tend to the settling of the Gospel, and the Government of Christ, and consequently to the saving our own Souls, and those of our Posterity, they are well-worth our diligent Observation; but these are only their Relations to Eternity. Even all our Deal
ings in the World, our Buying and Selling, our Eat-ing and Drinking, our Building and Marrying, our Peace and War, so far as they relate not to the Life to come, but tend only to the pleasing of the Flesh, are not worthy the frequent Thoughts of a Christian, And now doth not thy Conscience fay, that there is nothing but Heaven, and the Way to it, that is worth thy minding?
$ 19. Now, Reader, are these Confiderations weighty, or not? Have I proved it thy Duty to keep thy Heart on Things above, or have I not? If thoi fay, not; I am confident thou contradictest thy own Conscience. If thou acknowledge thyself convinced of the Duty; that very Tongue of thine shall condemn thee, and that Confession be pleaded againft thee, if thou wilfully neglecteft such a confessed Duty: Be thoroughly willing, and the Work is more than half done. I have now a few plain Directions to give you for your Help in this great Work; but, alas! it is in vain to mention them, except you be willing to put them in Practice. However, I will propose them to thee, and may the Lord persuade thy Heart to the Work!
CH A P. XII. Directions how to live a heavenly Life
upon Earth. istas
1. (I) Hinderances to a heavenly Life must be avoided; 7
piness; § 11, 12. (2) labour to know your Interef .; in it; $ 13. (3) and how near it is; - $ 14. (4)
frequently and seriously talk of it; $ 15. (5) endedTour in every Duty to raise your Affections nearer to it; $ 16. (6) to the fame Purpose-improve every Object and Event; $ 17, 18. (7) be much in the argelia Work of Praise; 19. (8) pobless your souls with believing Thoughts of the infinite Love of God; $ 20. (9) carefully observe and cherish the Motions of the Spirit of God; § 21. (10) nor even neglect the due
Care of your bodily Health. $1. A S thou valuest the Comforts of a heavenly
A Conversation, I must here charge thee from God, ---to avoid carefully fome dangerous Hinderances; and then faithfully and diligently to practice fuch Duties as will opecially alift thee in attaining t; abia