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This is the appointed wages of ungodliness; this is the end of wicked ways; this is it that sinners chose, because they would not live to God! this they preferred, or ventured on, before a holy, heavenly life! and this is it that believers are labouring to escape in all their holy care and diligence ! It is an infinite value that is put upon the blood of Christ, the promises of God, the ordinances and means of grace, and grace itself, and the poorest duties of the poorest saints, because they are for an infinite, eternal glory. No mercy is small that tastes of heaven (as all doth or should do to the believer). No action is low that aims at heaven. And O how lively should the resolutions and courage of those men be, that are travelling, fighting, and watching for eternity! How full should be their comforts, that are fetched from the foresight of infinite eternal comforts! As all things will presently be swallowed up in eternity, so methinks the present apprehension of eternity should now swallow up all things else in the soul.

Object. But (saith the unbeliever) if God have made man for eternity, it is a wonder that there are no more lively impressions of so infinite a thing upon the souls of all! Our sense of it is so small, that it makes me doubt whether we are made for it.'

Answ. Consider, 1. That benumbedness, and sleep, and death, is the very state of an unholy soul! Hast thou cast thyself into a sleepy, senseless disease, and wilt thou argue thence against eternity? This is as if the blind should conclude that there is no sun, or that the eye of man was not made to see it, because he hath no sight himself! or as if you should think that man hath not any life or feeling, because your palsied limbs do not feel! or that the stomach was not made for meat, because the stomachs of the sick abhor it!

2. And for believers, 1. You may see by their lives that they have some apprehensions of eternity: why else do they differ from you, and deny themselves, and displease the world and the flesh itself? Why do they set their hearts above, if they have not lively thoughts of an eternity ?

2. But if you ask me, Why their apprehensions are not a thousand times more lively about so infinite a thing ; I

; answer, 1. Their apprehensions must be suitable to their state. Our state here is a state of imperfection; and so will our apprehensions be; but a perfect state will have perfect apprehensions. It is no proof that the infant in the womb is not made to come into this world, and see the sun, and converse with men, because he hath no apprehensions of it. Our state here is a conjunction of the soul to a frail distempered body; and so near a conjunction that the actions of the soul must have great dependance on the body; and therefore our apprehensions are limited by its frailty ; and the soul can go no higher than the capacity of the body will allow : 2. And our apprehensions now are fitted to our use and benefit: we are now believers, and must live by faith; and therefore must be beholders, and live by sense. If eternity were open to men's natural sight, or we had here as clear and lively apprehensions of it, as those have that are there, then it were no thanks, no praise to us to be believers, or to obey, and live as saints ! And then God should not govern man, as man, here in the way, by a law, but as a beast by sense, or as the glorified that have possession. Where there are perfect apprehensions of God and glory, there will be also perfect love, and joy, and praise, and consequently perfect happiness; and this were to make earth and heaven, the way and the end, to be all

Perfect apprehensions are kept for a perfect state of happiness. But here it is well if we have such apprehensions as are fitted to the use of travellers and soldiers, as will carry us on, and prevail against the difficulties of

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you had never been in London, you could not have any such clear apprehensions of the place, as those that see it have; and yet your imperfect apprehensions might be sufficient to make you take a journey thither, and you may come as safely and certainly to it, as if you had seen it. Moreover, the body, the brain, which the soul in apprehending now makes use of, cannot bear such apprehensions as are suitable to the thousandth part of the greatness of the object, without distraction. The smallest eye may see the sun ; but the greatest cannot endure to gaze upon its glory ; much less if it were at the nearest approach. It is a mercy of mercies to give us such apprehensions of eternity, as are meet for passengers to bring us thither; and it is part of our mercy that those apprehensions are not so great as to distract and overwhelm 'us.

4. Lastly, The eternity of God must teach the soul con

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tentedness and patience under all labours, changes, sufferings and dangers that are here below. Believing soul, draw near; look seriously on eternity, and try whether it will not make such impressions as these upon thee. Art thou weary of labours, either of the mind or body? Is not eternity long enough for thy rest? Canst thou not afford to work out the daylight of this life, when thou must rest with Christ to all eternity ? Canst thou not run with patience so short a race, when thou lookest to so long a rest? Canst thou not watch one hour with Christ, that must reign with him to all eternity ? Dost thou begin to shrink at sufferings for Christ, when thou must be in glory with him for ever? How short is the suffering ? how long is the reward ? Dost thou begin to think hardly of the dealing of the Lord, because his people are here afflicted, and made the scorn and byword of the world? Why, is not eternity long enough for God to shew his love and bounty to his people in? Is not the day at hand, when Lazarus and the rich worldling both must hear, “But now he is comforted, and thou art tormented?”. (Luke xvi. 25.) Did not that now come time enough which was the entrance of eternity ? “Even Jesus,

• the author and perfecter of our faith, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God! Consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds." (Heb. xii. 2, 3.) Dost thou grudge at the prosperity of the wicked, and prevalency of the church's enemies? Look then unto eternity, and bethink thee whether that be not long enough, for the saints to reign, and the wicked to be tormented. Wouldst thou have them in hell before their time? Dost thou begin to doubt of the coming of Christ, or the truth of his promises, because he doth so long de.lay? O what is a thousand years to eternity! Is there not yet time enough before thee, for Christ to inake good all his promises in? Were not those disciples sharply but justly rebuked as “fools and slow of heart to believe,” that

“ when their Lord had been but two days dead, were unbelievingly saying, “We hoped thuis had been he that should have redeemed Israel ?” O remember, Christian, in all thy darkness and ignorance of the difficult passages of Scrip

VOL. XIII.

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ture, or of Providence, that the things that are chained to eternity, cannot be perfectly understood by him that standeth in an inch of time : but when eternity comes, thou shalt understand them. Remember when things seem crooked in this world, and the best are lowest, and the worst are highest, that éternity is long enough to set all straight. Remember when sinners crow and triumph, that eternity is long enough for their complaints. In thy poverty, and pain, and longest afflictions, remember that eternity is long enough for thy relief. If thy sorrow be long, and thy comforts short, remember that eternity is long enough for thy joys. Cannot we be content to take up short in this life, when we believe eternity ? Dost thou stagger at the length or strength of thy temptations? and art thou ready to draw back and venture upon sin? Why, what temptation can there be, that should not be lighter than a feather, if eternity be put against it in the scales ? In a word, if there be any man that escapeth the foolish seductions of this world, and useth it as not abusing it, and hath all his worldly accommodations as if he had none, it is he that fixeth his eye upon eternity, and seeth that the fashion of these lower things doth pass away. (1 Cor. vii. 29–31.) No man can be ignorant of the necessity and worth of a holy life, that discerneth that the eternal God is the end of it. The right apprehensions of God's eternity (supposing him our end, which is further to be manifested in its place), is a most powerful antidote against all sin, and a most powerful composer of a distempered mind, and a most powerful means to keep up all the powers of the soul in a resolute, vigorous, cheerful motion to the eternal God, for whom and by whom it was created.

CHAP. VI. 5. The next attribute of God, that is to make its impress on us, is, that he is a Spirit. In this one are these three especially comprehended : 1. That he is simple, and not material or compounded as bodies are : 2. That he is invisible, and not to be seen as bodies are : 3. That he is immortal and incorruptible, and not subject to death or change, as bodies are.

1. As Simplicity signifieth unity, in opposition to multiplicity, we have spoken of it before. As it is opposite to

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all materiality, mixture or composition, we are now to speak of it: And the believing thoughts of God's immateriality and simplicity, should have these three effects upon the soul. 1. It should do much to win the heart to God, and cause it to close with him as its felicity ; because as he hath no matter or mixture, so he hath nothing but pure and perfect goodness, and therefore there is nothing in him to discourage the soul. The creatures have evil in them with their good, and by contrary qualities do hurt us when they help us, and displease us when they please us; but in God there is nothing but infinite goodness. And should not the soul adhere to him, where it is sure to find nothing but simple, pure, and unmixed good? The creatures are all liable to some exceptions : in one thing they help us, but in another they hinder us; in one thing they are suitable to us, and in another thing unsuitable ! But God is liable to no exceptions. This will for ever confound the ungodly that give not up themselves unto him: they did even for a thing of naught forsake that God that was purely and simply good, and against whom they had no exceptions. Had there been any thing in God to discourage the soul, or which his most malicious enemy could blame, the ungodly soul had some excuse. But this will stop all the mouths of the condemned, that they had nothing to say against the Lord, and yet they had no mind to him, no hearts for him, in comparison of the vain, vexatious creatures.

2. The Simplicity of God should make us know the imperfection and vanity of all the creatures that are compounded things; and so should help to alienate us from them. Our friends have in them perhaps much holiness, but mixed with much sin. They may have much knowledge; but mixed with much ignorance. Their humility is mixed with pride ; their meekness with some passions, their love with selfishness, and a small matter will cause them to distaste us: they may be much for God; but withal they may do much against him. They help the church; but through their weakness they may lamentably detract or wrong it: they are able to help us but in part; and willing but in part; and they have usually interests of their own, that are inconsistent with ours. We have no commodity, but hath its discommodity: our houses, our families, our neighbours, our callings, our cattle, our land, our countries,

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