« הקודםהמשך »
2. Be not earthly minded;
Page 244 3. Beware of the Company of the Ungodly; 246 4. Be not jatisfied with mere Notions in Religion; 248 5. Take Heed f a proud Spirit,
249 6. And as thful Spirit;
251 7. Nor rest in the Preparatives to a heavenly Life. 254 II. Practice the Duties which will promote this Life: 255 1. Esteem Heaven the only Treasure and Happiness; 256 2. Labour to know your Interest in it,
ib. 3. And how near it is;
258 4. Frequently and seriously talk of it;
259 5. Strive in every Duty to raise your Heart nearer to it;
260 6. To the same Purpose improve every Object and Event;
262 7. Be much in the angelical Work of Praise; 263 8. Maintain believing Thoughts of God's infinite Love;
264 9. Observe and cherish the Motions of God's Spirit; 265 io. Ťake due Care of your bodily Health.
266 CHA P. XIII. The Nature of heavenly
Contemplation, with the Time, Place, and Temper fittest for it. The Duty itself recommended to the Reader.
268 This Duty defined and illustrated.
269 The Time fittest for this Duty is ftated, frequent, -273
and seasonable, every Day, particularly Lord's
275 especially when in a devout Temper, or an afflicted State,
277 or in the Views of Death.
278 The Place fittest for this Duty, is the most retired.
280 The Temper fittest for this Duty, is,
281 1. IV ben our Minds are most clear of the World,
282 2. And most folemn and serious.
283 CH AP.
CHAP. XIV. What Use heavenly Contemplation makes of Constderation, Affections, Soliloquy, and Prayer.
Page The Reader is invited to heavenly Centemplation, 285 To that End Confideration is recommended. 286 Next, the E xercise of the Affections, particularly · 289 1. Love,
290 2. Defires
293 Že Hope,
295 4. Courage or Boldness,
298 5. And Joy.
299 These Affections need not always be exercised in this Order, nor all at one Time:
303 Soliloquy and Prayer are also useful in heavenly Contemplation.
304 CHA P. XV: Heavenly Contemplation assisted by sensible Objects,
and guarded against a treacherous Heart. The Difficulty of maintaining a lively Impresion of heavenly Things.
307 Sensible Objects may afif heavenly Contemplation; I, If we draw strong Suppositions from Senfe ;s: 2. If Objects of Sense and Faith are compared.
310 To guard heavenly Contemplation against a treache
rous Heart, consider, h. The Heart's Backwardness to this Duty,
324 2. It's trifling in it,
326 3. It's wandering from it,
327 4. And It's tuo abruptly putting an End to it.
CHAP. XVI. Heavenly Contemplation exemplified, and the whole
and Discoveries of a spiritual and eternal Happiness. and Glory, he finds not Faith in Man to believe it. As the poor Man, that would not believe any one had fuch a Sum as an hundred Pounds, it was so far above what himself poffefred; so Men will hardly now believe there is such a Happiness as once they had, much less as Christ hath now procured. When God would give the Ifrarites his Sabbaths of Rest, in a Land of Relt, he had more ado to make them believe it, than to overcome their Enemies, and procure it for them. And when they had it, only as a small Intimation and Earnest of an incomparably more glorious Reft thro' Chrift, they yet believe no more than they posess, but fay, with the Glutton at the Feast, Sure there's no cther Heaven but this. Or, if they expect more by the Mefliah, it is only the Increase of their earthly Felicity. The Apostle bestows most of this Epifile against this Disfemper, and clearly and largely proves, that the End of all Ceremonies and Shadows, is to direct them to Jesus Christ the Substance; and that the Rift of Sabbaths, and Canaan, should teach them to look for a farther Rest, which indeed is their Happiness. My Text is his Conclusion, after divers Arguments; a Conclusion, which contains the Ground of all the Believer's Comfort, the End of all his Duty and Sufferings, the Life and Sum of all GospelPromises and Christian Privileges. What more welcome to Men, under personal Affii&tions, tireing Duties, Successions of Sufferings, than Rest? It is not our Comfort cnly, but our Stability. Our Livelinets in all Duties, our enduring Tribulatióil, our honouring of God, the Vigor of our Love, Thankfulness, and all our Graces; yea, the very Peing of our Religion and Christianity, depend on the believing fericus Thoughts of our Rest. And now, Reasley, whatrres thou art, young or old, rich or poor, I intreat
thee, and charge thee, in the Name of thy Lord, who will shortly call thee to a Reckoning, and judge thee to thy everlasting unchangeable State, that thou give not these Things the Reading only, and so dismiss them with a bare Approbation; but that thou set upo:1 this work, and take God in Christ for thy only Rei, and fix thy Heart upon him above all. Alay the liv ing God, who is the Portion and Rest of his Saints, make these our carnal Minds so spiritual, and our earthly Hearts so heavenly, that loving him, and delighting in him, may be the Work of our Lives; and that neither I that write, nor you that read, this Book, may ever be turned from this Path of Life; left a Promise being left us of entering into his Refl, ve Sr.ould come sort of it, thro' our own Unbelief or Negligence (a)!
§ 2. The Saint's Rest is, “ the most happy State “ of a Christian;” or it is, “ the perfect endless En“joyment of God by the perfected Saints, according " to the Measure of their Capacity, to which their “ Souls arrive at Death, and both Soul and Body “ most fully after the Rcsurrection and final Judga "ment.” According to this Definition of the Saint's Reft, a larger Account of its Nature will be given in this Chapter; of its Preparatives (Clap. 2); its Exceilencies (Chap. 3); and (Chap. 4) the Perfors för whom it is designed. Farther to illustrate the Subject, fome Description will be given (Chap. 5.) of their Misery who lose this Res, and (Chap. 6) who also lo the Enjzyments of Tine, and suffer the Tormerits of Hell. Next will be shewed (Chap. 7) the Neceflily of diligently seeking this Reft; (Clap. 8) how our Tille to it may be discerned; (Chap. 9) that they who discern thair Title to it should help those that cannot; and (Chap 10). that this Ref is not to be expected on Earth. It will lleb, iv, li
then be proper to consider (Chap. 11) the Importance of a heavenly Life upon Earth; (Chap. 12) how to live a heavenly Life upon Earth; (Chap. 13) the Nature of heavenly Contemplation, with the Time, Place, and Temna per fitteft for it; (Chap. 14) what Use heavenly Contemplation makes of Confideration, Affections, Soliloquy'
, and Prayer; and likewife (Chap. 15) how heavenly Contemplation may be affifted by sensible Objeets, and guarded against a treacherous Heart. Heavenly C1templation will be exemplified, (Chap. 16) and the whole Work concluded.
$ 3. There are some Things necesarily presupposed in the Nature of this Reft; as for instance, that mortal Men are the Persons seeking it. For Angels and glorified Spirits have it already, and the Devils and Damned are past Hope.--'That they chule G doru'y for their End and Harfiress
. He that takes any Thing else for his Happiness, is out of the Way the first Step.That they are diflant from this Énd. This is the woeful Case of all Mankind since the Fall. When Christ comes with regenerating Grace, he finds no Man sitting still, but all posting to eternal Ruin, and making hafte towards Hell; till, by Conviction, he first brings them to a Stand, and then, by Conversion, turns their Hearts and Lives fincerely to himself.---This End, and its Excellency, is supposed to be known, and seriously intended. An unknown Good moves not to desire or endeavour.
And not only a Distance from this Rest, but the true Knowledge of this Distance, is also supposed. They that never yet knew they were without God, and in the Way to Hell, did never yet know the Way to Heaven. Can a Man find he hath lost his God, and his Soul, and not cry out, I an undone? The Reason why fo few obtain this Reli, is, they will not be convinced that üvey aic, in Point of Titke, distant from it; and,