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our tears, one stream! and our desires, one prayer! But now all our praises shall make up one melody; all our churches, one church; and all ourselves, one body; for we shall be all one in Christ, even as he and the Father are one.(k) Tis true, we must be careful not to look for that in the saints which is alone in Christ. But if the fore-thought of sitting down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven,(t) may be our lawful joy; how much more the real sight, and actual possession! It cannot choose but be comfortable to think of that day, when we shall join with Moses in his song, with David in his psalms of praise, and with all the redeemed in the song of the Lamb for ever;(m) when we shall see Enoch walking with God;(n) Noah enjoying the end of his singularity; Joseph of his integrity; Job of his patience; Hezekiah of his uprightness; and all the saints the end of their faith.(p) Not only our old acquaintance, but all the saints, of all ages, whose faces in the flesh we never saw, we shall there both know and comfortably enjoy. Yea, angels, as well as saints, will be our blessed acquaintance. Those, who now are willingly our ministering spirits,(p) will willingly then be our companions in joy. They, who had such joy in heaven for our conversion.(q) will gladly rejoice with us in our glorification. Then we shall truly say, as David, "I am a companion of all them that fear thee '"(f) when we are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and unto an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first-born, who are written in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant.^) Tis a singular excellence of heavenly rest, that we "are fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God."(*)

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§ 7. (5) As another property of our rest, we shall derive its joys immediately from God. Now we have nothing at all immediately, but at the second or third hand, or how many, who knows? From the earth, from man, from sun and moon, from the ministration of angels, and from the Spirit, and Christ.— Though, in the hand of angels, the stream savours not of the imperfection of sinners, yet it does of the imperfection of creatures; and as it comes from man, it savours of both. How quick and pierciug is the word in itself!(«) yet many times it never enters, being managed by a feeble arm. What weight and worth is there in every passage of the blessed gospel! Enough, one would think, to enter and pierce the dullest soul, and wholly possess its thoughts and affections; and yet how oft does it fall as water upon a stone! The things of God which we handle are divine; but our manner of handling is human. There is little we touch, but we leave the print of our fingers behind. If God speaks the word himself, it will be a piercing, melting word indeed. The Christian now knows by experience, that his most immediate joys are hits sweetest joys; which have least of man, and are most directly from the Spirit. Christians, who are much in secret prayer and contemplation, are men of the greatest life and joy; because they have all more im mediately from God himself. Not that we should cast off hearing, reading, and conference, or neglect any ordinance of God; but to live above them, while we use them, is the way of a Christian. There is joy in these remote receivings; but the fulness of joy is in God's immediate presence.(«;) We shall then have light without a candle, and perpetual day without the sun; " for the city hath no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it; for the glory of God enlightens it, and the Lamb is the light thereof: there shall be no night there, and they need no candle, neither light; for the Lord God giveth them light, and they shall reign for ever and ever."(#) We shall then

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have enlightened understandings without scripture, and be governed without a written law; for the Lord will perfect his law in our hearts, and we shall be all perfecdy taught of God. We shall have joy, which we drew not from the promises, nor fetched home by faith or hope. We shall have communion without sacraments; without this fruit of the vine, when Christ shall drink it new with us in his Fathers kingdom,(y) and refresh us with the comforting wine of immediate enjoyment. To have necessities, but no supply, is the case of them in hell. To have necessities supplied by means of the creatures, is the case of us on earth. To have necessity supplied immediately from God, is the case of the saints in heaven. To have no necessity at all, is the prerogative of God himself.

§ 8. (6) A farther excellence of this rest is, that it will be seasonable. He that expects the fruit of his vineyard at the season,(z) and makes his people "like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season,"(a) will also give them the crown in his season. He that will have a word of joy spoken in season to him that is weary,(b) will surely cause the time of joy to appear in the fit test season. They who "are not weary in well doing, shall, if they faint not, Teap in due season."(c) If God "giveth rain" even to his enemies, "both the former and the latter, in his season, and reserveththe appointed weeks of harvest, and covenants that there shall be day and night in their season ;"(<£) then surely the glorious harvest of the saints shall not miss its season. Doubtless he that would not stay a day longer than his promise, but brought Israel out of Egypt on the self-same day when the four hundred and thirty years were expired,(e) neither will he fail of one day or hour of the fittest season for his

{>eople's glory. When we have had in this world a ong night of darkness, will not the day of breaking, and the rising of the Sun of righteousness, be then seasonable? When we have passed a long and tedious

(y) Matt. xxvi. 29. (z) Mark 2. (a) Psal. i. 3. (6) 1^ i. 4. (c) Gal. vi. 9. (rf) Jer. v. 24. xxxiii. 20. (e) Exod. xii. 40, 41. journey, through no small dangers, is not home then seasonable? When we have had a long and perilous war, and received many a wound, would not a peace with victory be seasonable? Men live in a continual weariness, especially the saints, who are most weary of that which the world cannot feel. Some weary of a blind mind; some, of a hard heart; some, of their daily doubts and fears; some, of the want of spiritual joys; and some, of the sense of God's wrath. And when a poor Christian hath desired, and prayed, and waited for deliverance many years, is it not then seasonable? We grudge that we do not find a Canaan in the wilderness; or the songs of Sion in a strange land; that we have not a harbour in the main ocean, nor our rest in the heat of the day, nor heaven before we leave the earth: and would not all this be very unseasonable?

§ 9. (7) As this rest will be seasonable, so it will be suitable. The new nature of the saints doth suit their spirits to this rest. Indeed their holiness is nothing else but a spark taken from this element, and by the Spirit of Christ kindled in their hearts; the flame whereof, mindful of its own divine original, ever tends to the place from whence it comes. Temporal crowns and kingdoms could not make a rest for saints. As they were not redeemed with so low a price,(/) neither are they endued with so low a nature. As God will have from them a spiritual worship, suited to his own spiritual being, he will provide them a spiritual rest, suitable to their spiritual nature. The knowledge of God and his Christ, a delightful complacency in that mutual love, an everlasting rejoicing in the enjoyment of our God, with a perpetual singing of his high praises; this is a heaven for a saint. Then we shall live in our own element.—We are now as the fish in a vessel of water, only so much as will keep them alive: but what is that to the ocean? We have a little air let into us, to afford us breathing: but what is that to the sweet and fresh gales upon Mount Sion? We have a beam of the sun to lighten our darkness, and a wafm ray to keep us from freezing: but then we shaH live

„ (/) 1 Peter i. 18

in its light, and be revived by its heat for ever.—As the nature of saints are, such are their desires; and it is the desire of our ruined nature which this rest is suited to. Whilst our desires remain corrupted and misguided, it is a far greater mercy to deny them, yea, to destroy them, than to satisfy them: but those which are spiritual are of his own planting, and he will surely water them, and give the increase.—He quickened our hunger and thirst for righteousness, that he might make us happy in a full satisfaction.—Christian, this is a rest after thy own heart; it contains all that thy heart can wish: that which thou longest, prayest, labourest for, there thou shalt find it all. Thou hadst rather have God in Christ, than all the world? There thou shalt have him. What wouldst thou not give for assurance of his love? There thou shalt have assurance without suspicion. Desire what thou canst, and ask what thou wilt, as a Christian, and it shall be given thee, not only to half of the kingdom, but to the enjoyment both of kingdom and King. This is a life of desire and prayer, but that; is a life of satisfaction and enjoyment. This rest is very suitable to the saints' necessities also, as well as to their natures and desires. It contains whatsoever they truly wanted; not supplying them with gross created comforts, which, like Saul's armour on David, are more burden than benefit. It was Christ and perfect holiness which they most needed, and with these shall they be supplied.

§ 10. (8) Still more, this rest will be absolutely perfect. We shall then have joy without sorrow, and rest without weariness. There is no mixture of corruption with our graces, nor of suffering with our comfort.—There are none of those waves in that harbour, which now so toss us up and down. To-day we are well, to-morrow sick; to-day in esteem, to morrow in disgrace; to-day we have friends, to-morrow none; nay, we have wine and vinegar in the same cup. "If revelations raise us to the third heaven, the messenger of Satan must presently buffet us, and the thorn in the flesh fetch us down."(^) But there is none

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