תמונות בעמוד

Joy, complaincst for Want of Joy, longest for Joy } thou then shalt have sull Joy* as much as thou canst hold, and more than ever thou thoughteft on, or thy Heart desired. In the mean Time walk caresully, watch constantly, and then let God measure out to thee thy Times and Degrees of Joy. It may be he keeps them till thou hast more Need. Thou hadst better lore thy Comfort than thy Safety. If thou shouldst die sull of Fears and Sorrows, it will be but a Moment, and they are all gone, and concluded in Joy inconceivable. As the Jay of the Hypocrite^ so the Fears of the Upright, are but for a Moment. God's Anger endureth but a Moment; in bis Favour is Life; JVeeping may endure for a Night, but soy cometh in the Mornng(f). O blessed Morning! Poorl humble, drooping Soul, how would it sill t'hee with Joy now* if a Voice from Heaven should tell thee of the Love of God, the Pardon of thy Sin?, and assure thee of thy Part in these Joys? What then will thy Joy he, when thy actual Possession shall convince thee of thy Title, and thou shalt be in Heaven before thou

art well awaie?

§ 14. And it is not thy Joy only; it is a mutual soy, as well as a mutual Love. Is there Joy in Heaven at thy Conversion, and will there be none at thy Glorification? Will not the Angels welcome thee

thither, and congratulate thy fase Arrival? Yea,

it is the Joy of Jesus Christ; for now he hath the End of his Undertaking, Labour, Sufferings Dying, when we have our Joys; when he is glorified in his Saints, and admired in all them that believe (g); when he fees of the Travel of his Soul, and is fatisfed(h). This is Christ's Harvest, when he shall reap the Fruit of his Labours; and it will not repent him concerning his


(() Job xx. 5. Pstlm xxx. 5, (g) 1 TUds. i. io, if'

I (h) lUi.Iii. 11. . .;•j

Sufserings, but he will rejoice over his purchased Inheritance, and his People will rejoice in him.

Yea, the Father himself puts on joy too, in our Joy. As we grieve his Spirit(i), and weary him with our Iniquities(Ic); so is he rejoiced in our Good. O how quickly does he now spy a returning Prodigal, even afar off? How does he run and meet him? And with what Companion does he fall on bis Neck, and kiss him, and put on him the bst Robe, and a Ring en his Band, and Shoes on his Feet, and kills the fatted Calf to tat and be merry (1). This is indeed a happy Meetirg; but nothing to the Embracing and Joy of that last and great Meeting. Yea more; asG'xl doth mutually love and ;oy, so He makes this His Rest, as it is our Rest. What an eternal Sabbatifm, when the Work of Redemption, Sanctifkation, Preservation, Glorification, is all sinished, and persected sorever! Tbs £«i'4 thy God it the Midll of the? is nughty. He will save, He will r (j a: re over thec with Joy, He lu'ul rest m his Love, He iviU jiy over thee with Singing^m), . Well may w: then rejoice in our God with Joy, and rest in our Love, and joy in him with Singing.

§ 15. Axas! my searsul Heart scarce dares proceed. Methinks I hear the Almighty's Voice saying lo me, Hn>a is this that darkeneth Counsel by. Words without Knowledge(n)? But pardon thy Servant, O Lord. I have not pried into unrevealed Things. I bewail that my Apprehensions are so dul', my Thoughts so mean, my Affections so stupid, and my Expressions so low, and uisbeieeming such a Glory. I have on]y heard by the Hearing of the Ear; oh, let thy Servant fee thte, and possess these Joys; and then shall I have more suitable Conceptions, and shall give thee fuller renounce all these Impersections. / have uttered that I understood not, Things too wonderful fir me, which I knciu uot(o). Yet / believed, and therefore have I fpoien(p). What, Lord, canst thou expect from Dust but Levity? or from Corruption, but Desilement? Though the Weakness and Irreverence be the Fruit of my own Corruption, yet the Fire is from thine Altar, and the Work of thy commanding. I looked not info thy Ark, nor put forth my Hand unto it, without thee. IVaJk away these Stains also in the Blcodof the Lamb. Impersect, or none, must be thy Service here. O take thy Son's Excuse, the Spirit is willing, but the FUJI) is weak (q).

fbiy i I shall abhor my present Self, and disclaim and renounce

Pi', iy. 30. (k) lsa. xliii. 24. (1) Luke xy. 20—2j,

iSyli. iii. 1*. (a) Job xxxviii. z.

(o) Job x'ii. 3, r, 6. (p) 2 Cor. iv. 13.

(?) Matt, xxvi. 41.



The great Preparatives to the Saint's Rest.

§ 1. The Happiness of Chiistians in having a Way open into Paradise. There are siur Tl.ivgs zuhich principally prepare the Way to enter into it; § 2, 3. particularly, (i) The glorious Appearing of Christ \ §4. (2) The general Resurrection; % 5—8. (3) The last judgment; § Q, 10. and (4.) The Saint's Coronation; § II. Tianfltion to the Sulject of the next Chapter;

§i.nr>HE Paflage ofParadise is not nowso blocked X up, as when the Law and Curse reigned. Wheresore finding, belovedChristians, anew and living Way consecrated for us, thro* the Vail, that is to say\ the Flesh of Christy by uhich we may with Boldness enter into the Holiest, I shall draw near with fuller Assurances: And finding the flaming Sword removed, shall look again into the Paradise of our God: And because I know that this is no forbidden Fruit, and withall that it is good for Food, and pleasant to the spiritual Eyes, and a Tree to be desired to make one truly wife and happy; I shall, thro' the Assistance of the Spirit, take and eat thereof myself, and give to you, according to my Power, that you may eat. The Porch of this Temple is exceeding glorious, and the Gate of it is called Beautiful. Here are fourThings, as tie sour Corners of this Porch. Here is the most glorious


(a) Heb. x. 19, 20, «2,

Coming and Appearance of the Son of God;that great Work of'Jesus Christ in raising our Bodies from the Dust, and uniting them again to the Soul;the publick and solemn Process at their Judgment, where they shall first themselves be acquitted and justified, and then with Christ judge the World;together with their solemn Coronation, and receiving the Kingdom.

§2. (i) Tlie most glorious Ciming and Appearance of the Son cf Gcd may well be reckoned into his People's Glory. For their Sake he came into the World, suffered, died, rose, ascended, ami sor their Sake it is that he will return. To this End will Christ come again, to receive his People unto himself, that where he is, there tliey may be also (b). The Bridegroom's Departure was not upon Divorce. He did not leave us with a Purpose to return no more. He hath left Pledges enough to assure us of the contrary. Wenave his Word, his many Promises, his Sacraments, which Jhew forth his Death till he come (c); and his Spirit, to direct, sanctify, and comsort, till he return. We have frequent Tokens of Love from him, to shew us, he sorgets not his Promise, nos us. We daily behold the Forerunners of his Coming, soretold by himself. We see the Fig-Tree put' teth forth Leaves, and theresore know that Summer is' Wgb(d). Tho' the riotous World Jay, my Lord delayeth his Coming (e); yet let the Saints /i// up their Heads, for their Redemption draweth nigh(f). Alas, Fellow-Christians, what should we do, if our Lord should not return? What a Case are we here left in? What? leave us in the Midjl of Wolves (g), and Among Lions{h), a Generation cf Vipers{Y), and here sorget us? Did he buy us so dear, and then leave

. us'

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« הקודםהמשך »