תמונות בעמוד
[subsumed][ocr errors]

have, if we had not, as the Prodigal, been denied the Husks of earthly Pleasure and Profit? We Should never have felt Christ's tender Heart, if we had not felt ourselves weary and heavy laden, hungry and thirfly, poor and contrite. It is a Delight to a Soldier, or Traveller, to look back on his Escapes when they are over: And for a Saint in Heaven to look back on his Sins and Sorrows upon Earth, his Fears and Tears, his Enemies and Dangers, his Wants and Calamities, must make his Joy more joyful. Therefore the Blefied, in praising the Lamb, mention his redeeming them out of every Nation, and Kindred, and Tongue; and so out of their Misery, and Wants, and Sins, and making them Kings and Priests to God. But if they had had nothing but Content and Rest on Earth, what Room would there have been for these Rejoicings hereafter?

$ 16. Besides, we are not capable of Reft upon Earth.- Can a Soul that is so weak in Grace, fo prone to Sin, so nearly joined to such a Neighbour as this Flesh, have full Content and Rest in such a Case? What is Soul. Rest, but our Freedom from Sin, and In perfections, and Enemies? And can the Soul have Rest that is pestered with all there, and that continually? Why do Christians so oft cry out in the Language of Paul, O wretched Man that I am, who hall deliver me (y)? What makes them press towards the Mark, and run that they may obtain, and strive to enter in, if they are capable of Rest in their present Condition? And cur Bodies are incapable, as well as our Souls. They are not now those Sun-like Bodies which they shall be, when this corruptible hath fut on Incorruption, and this mortal put on linmortality,

They are our Prisons, and our Burthens; fo full of Infirmities and Defects, that we are fain to spend

[ocr errors]

(y) Rom. vii. 240

[ocr errors]


Crown to none but the Worthy. And are we fit for the Crown, before we have overcome? Or for the Prize, before we have run the Race? Or to receive our Penny, before we have workt in the Vineyard; Or to be Rulers of Ten Cities, before we have improved our Ten Talents ? Or to enter into the Joy of our Lord, before we have well done, as good and faithful Servants ? God will not alter the Course of Justice, to give you Reft before you have laboured for :he Crown of Glory, till you have overcome - There's Leafon enough why our Reft fhould remain till the Life o come. 'Take Heed then Christian Reader, how thou darest to contrive and care for a Rest on Earth; or to murmur at God for thy Trouble, and Toil, and Wants in the Flesh. Doth thy Poverty weary thee? Thy Sickness? Thy bitter Enemies and unkind Friends! It should be so here. Do the Abominations of the Times, the Sins of Professors, the Hardening of the wicked, all weary thee? It must be so while chou art absent from thy Reft. Do thy Sins, and thy naughty', distempered Heart weary thee? Be thus wearied inore and more. But under all this IV eariness, art thou wil- ting to go to God thy Rejt? And to have thy Warfare

accomplished? And thy Race and Labour ended ? If - not, complain more of thy own Heart, and get it

more weary, till Rest seem more desirable. : $ 17. I have but one. Thing more to add, for the

Close of this Chapter, that the Souls of Believers do en: joy inconceiveable Blefjedness and Glory, even while they remain jeparated from their Bodies. What can be more plain than those Words of Paul? We are always confident, knowing that whilft we are at Home or rather lojourning in the Body, we are absent from the Lord (Fir we walk by Faith, not by Sight).' IVe are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the Body, and to be pre

[ocr errors]
« הקודםהמשך »