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showed him, which should be his own possession ! The things contained in heavenly rest are such as these ;-a ceasing from means of grace;-a perfect freedom from all evils ;-the highest degree of the saints' personal perfection, both of body and soul; the nearest enjoyment of God the chief good ;—and, a sweet and constant action of all the powers of body and soul in this enjoyment of God.
$ 5. (1) One thing contained in heavenly rest, is, the ceasing from means of grace. When we have obtained the haven, we have done sailing. When the workman receives his wages, it is implied he has done his work. When we are at our journey's end, we have done with the way. Whether prophecies, they shall fail; whether tongues, they shall cease ; whether knowledge, it also, so far as it had the nature of means, shall vanish away.(1) There shall be no more prayer, because no more necessity, but the full enjoyment of what we prayed for: neither shall we need to fast and weep, and watch any more, being out of the reach of sin and temptations. Preaching is done; the ministry of man ceaseth; sacraments become useless; the labourers are called in, because the harvest is gathered, the tares burned, and the work finished; the unregenerate past hope, and the saints past fear, for ever.
9 6. (2) There is in heavenly rest a perfect freedom from all evils; all the evils that accompanied us through our course, and which necessarily follow our absence from the chief good : besides our freedom from those eternal flames, and restless iniseries, which the neglecters of Christ and grace must remedilessly endure; a woeful inheritance, which, both by birth and actual merit, was due to us as well as to them! In heaven there is nothing that defileth, or is unclean : all that remains without. (m) And doubtless there is not such a thing as grief and sorrow known there: nor is there such a thing as a pale face, a languid body, feeble joints, unable infancy, decrepit age,
(1) i Cor. xii. 8.
(m) Rev. xxi. 27. xxii. 15.
pecrant humours, painful or pining sickness, griping fears, consuming cares, nor whatsoever deserves the name of evil. “ We did weep and lament when the world did rejoice; but our sorrow is turned into joy, and our joy shall no man take from us.” (n)
§ 7. (3) Another ingredient of this rest, is, the highest degree of the saint's personal perfection, both of body and soul. Were the glory ever so great, and themselves not made capable of it, by a personal perfection suitable thereto, it would be little to them. “ Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”(0) For the eye of flesh is not capable of seeing them, nor this ear of hearing them, nor this heart of understanding them: But there the eye, and ear, and heart, are made capable; else how do they enjoy them! The more perfect the sight is, the more delightful the beautiful object. The more perfect the appetite, the sweeter the food. The more musical the ear, the more pleasant the melody. The more perfect the soul, the more joyous those joys, and the more glorious to us is that glory.
$ 8. (4) The principal part of this rest, is our nearest enjoyment of God the chief good. And here, reader, wonder not if I be at a loss; and if my apprehensions receive but little of that which is in my expressions. If it did not appear, to the beloved disciple, what we shall be, but only in general, that when Christ shall appear we shall be like him, (p) no wonder if I Ķnow so little. When I know so little of God, I cannot much know what it is to enjoy him. If I know so little of spirits, how little of the Father of spirits, or the state of my own soul, when advanced to the enjoyment of him! I stand and look upon a heap of ants, and see them all with one view; they know not me, my being, nature, or thoughts, though I am their fellow-creature: how little then must we know of the great Creator, though he with one view clearly beholds
(n) John xvi. 20, 22. (0) 1 Cor. ii. 9. (9) 1 Juhn iii. 2.
us all! A glimpse the saints behold as in a glass, (g) which makes us capable of some poor dark apprehensions of what we shall behold in glory. If I should tell a worldling what the holiness and spiritual joys of the saints on earth are, he cannot know; for grace cannot be clearly known without grace; how much less could he conceive it, should I tell him of this glory? But to the saints I may be somewhat more encouraged to speak; for grace gives them a dark knowledge and slight taste of glory. If men and angels should study to speak the blessedness of that state in one word, what could they say beyond this, that it is the nearest enjoyment of God! O the full joys offered to a believer in that one sentence of Christ, Father, I will that those whom thou hast given me be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory which thou hast given me.(r) Every word is full of life and joy. If the queen of Sheba had cause to say of Solomon's glory, Happy are thy men, hapny are thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom ;(s) then sure they that stand continually before God, and see his glory, and the glory of the Lamb, are more happy. To them will Christ “ give to eat of the tree of life; and to eat of the hidden manna; yea, he will make them pillars in the temple of God, and they shall go no more out; and he will write upon them the name of his God, and the name of the city of his God, which is New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from his God, and he will write upon them his new name;" yea, more, if more may be, “ he will grant them
to sit with him on his throne.” These are they “ who ·came out of great tribulation, and have washed their . robes, and have made them white in the blood of the Lamb: therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple, and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. The Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them to living fountains of water; and God shall wipe away all tears from their
(9) Cor. üi 18.
(v) Joho xyii. 24.
(s) 1 Kings x 3.
eyes."(0) O blind deceived world, can you show us such a glory? This is the city of our God, where “ the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. The glory of God shall lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And there shall be no more curse; but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him, and they shall see his face, and his name shall be in their forehead. These sayings are faithful and true, and the things which must shortly be done." (u) And now we say, as Mephibosheth, Let the world take all, forasmuch as our Lord will come in peace.(w) “ Rejoice therefore in the Lord, O ye righteous, and say with his servant David, The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance; the lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage. I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth; my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine holy one to see corruption. Thou wilt shew me the path of life; in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (a) What presumption would it have been, once to have thought or spoke of such a thing, if God had not spoken it before us! I durst not have thought of the saint's preferment in this life, as scripture sets it forth, had it not been the express truth of God. How indecent to talk of being sons of God-speaking to him-having fellowship with him-dwelling in him, and he in us : (y) if this had not been God's own language! How much less durst we have once thought of shining forth as the sun-of being joint-heirs with Christ-of judge ing the world of sitting on Christ's throne of being.
(t) Rev. č. 7–17. iii. 12-21. vii. 14, 15—17. (u) Rev. 21. 3.24. xxi. 3,4-6. («) 2 Sam. xix, 30. (x) Psalm xvi. 5,6-8-1l. Xxxi. 1. (y) 1 John is. 1. Gen. xvii. 27. 1 John i. 3. iy. 16.,
one in him and the father ;(2) if we had not all this from the mouth, and under the hand, of God! But “ hath he said, and shall he not do it? Hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?”(a) Yes, as the Lord God is true, thus shall it be done to the man whom Christ delighteth to honour.(6) Be of good cheer, Christian; the time is near, when God and thou shalt be near, and as near as thou canst well desire.— Thou shalt dwell in his family. Is that enough? It is better to be a door-keeper in the house of God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.(c) Thou shalt ever stand before him, about his throne, in the room with him, in his presence-chamber. Wouldst thou yet be nearer? Thou shalt be his child, and he thy father; thou shalt be an heir of his kingdom; yea, more, the spouse of his Son. And what inore canst thou desire? Thou shalt be a member of the body of his Son; he shall be thy head: thou shalt be one with him, who is one with the Father; as he himself hath desired for thee of his Father " that they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: and the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one; I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” (d)
$ 9. (5) We must add, that this rest contains a sweet and constant action of all the powers of the soul and body in this enjoyment of God. It is not the rest of a stone, which ceaseth from all motion when it attains the centre. This body shall be so changed, that it shall no more be flesh and blood, which, cannot inherit the kingdom of God; but a spiritual body. “ We sow not that body that shall be; but God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.”(e) If grace makes a Christian differ so much
(2) Matt. xiii. 43. Rom. viii. 17. i Cor. vi. 2. Rev. ii. 21. John xvi. 21. (a) Numb. xxiii. 19. (6) Esther vi. 11. (c) Psa. Ixxiv. 10. (d) John xvii. 21–23. (e) i Cor. xv. 37, 38, 44-50.