« AnteriorContinuar »
a. The world we have been hearing of, we will all see at length; and see it not asar osf, but being in it. We might be the less concerned about it, if we were never to go there; but thither we must all go. And it maywell apologize for our insisting so much on it, that we are to be inhabitants there, eternal inhabitants there. It must be infatuation to be thoughtless or unbelieving about it.
3-. It will not be long ere we will be there. We have but a hand-breadth of days to pass, and then we are there; our age, which is as nothing before the Lord, being once run through,we pass into that other world. Our lise here is but a short preface to a long eternity; a skip from the womb to the grave, and we have made considerable progress in it already. And we are not far from the entrance of the passage into the other world, and in a little we will be in one of the parts of it, join the inhabitants thereof, and be settled in the state of.it
4. We know not how soon we may be there. The journey to the other world is not alike long to all. It is but a short journey the longest of it, but God brings some there by a short cut, and they are at the end when they think there is a great part of the way before them.
Lajlly, A happy part there will never be reached without serious thoughts about it, and a sirm faith of it. Secondly, Improve the believed report of the other world suitably. If there is really another world, a world to come, and such as from the Lord's word it has been reported of to you; without controversyit is a matter of the greatest concern to us, and ought to influence our whole lise. And it is not a true faith of it, that does not influence our conduct accordingly. Now if we would improve it suitably,
First, Improve it to a speedy choice of the way to
the happy part of it, and entering upon it without
delay. We are all going to the other world; but as
R 3 there there are two very distant parts of it, so there are two as really different ways thereto, vix. the broad way, and the narrow way, Matth. vii. 13, 14. If you take the broad way, it will have a miserable ending; if the narrow, a happy ending. Therefore choose well speedily, and enter on the happy way without delay. And,
1. Choose and enter speedily into the personal way, the Lord Jesus Christ, John xiv. 6. Unite with him by faith, Eph. iii. 17. -He is Lord of the other world, and heir of all things; match with him, and heaven shall be your dowery. The keys of hell and death hang at his girdle; but them that come unlo him he will in no wise cast out. Here is the sure bargain for eternity. Enter personally into the covenant of grace, by believing on Christ.
2. Choose and enter speedily on the real way, the way of holiness, Isa. xxxv. 8. For "without holiness no man shall see the Lord," Heb. xii. 14. If ye mind the holy city in the other world, ye must be holy in ail conversation. If ye hold the way of looseness and licentiousness, profanity, or formality, it will undoubtedly land you in the unclean place in the other world. As ye sow ye will reap.
Second/y, Improve it to a lowering of your esteem of this present world, and weaning your hearts from it,i Johnii. 13. A right view of the other world would make this with all its gaudy show little in our eyes.
1. Seek not your portion in.it. Leave that to those who have no expectation of the treasure in heaven; make the best of it they can, they will make a sorry portion of it, Psal. xvii. 14, 1^. Take ye that advice, if ye be wise, Mat. vi. 33. "Seek ye sirst the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these thirgs shall be added unto you." Let the riches, honours, and pleasures of the other world be the great conquest you are set for; and the things of a present Use only a by-hand work.
2. Set not your heart upon it, but use it passingly, 1 Cor. vii. 29,—31. Carry yourselves not as natives, but as pilgrims and strangers in it. ,What a folly would it be for the traveller, to let his heart go out on the conveniences of the inn,, which he is quickly to leave; on the pleasant places by the way, where he is but passing?
3. Do not value yourselves upon your possessions in it, and your expectations from it. The former are very precarious, which he may soon be deprived
• of; the latter very uncertain, wherein ye are fair to be disappointed. The world's mountains in expectation, often dwindle into molehilis of enjoyment. But value yourselves, according to the possessions and expectations from the other world.
"Thirdly, Improve it to a Christian bearing of your afflictions with patience, Luke xxi. 19. Jam. v. 7.. If we observe well, we will see that many times it is a falling into asflicting circumstances in this world, that makes us look sirst aster the other world; and the fame is what makes people look to it again, aster prosperity has made them forget it. And having belie vingly looked into the other world, when we look back again to our afflictions, we will be the more able to bear them patiently. For,
1. We will thereby sind them to be comparatively light burdens. That which makes our afflictions so very heavy, and us so uneasy under them, is the weighing them in the balance with other things of this world; our. sorrow and others joy, our poverty and others wealth, our wants and others enjoy mei.ts; that is the devil's rack, which he aims to put the afflicted on, that they may be made to murmur, spurn, rage, and quarrel. But lay them in the balance with the other world's joys and sorrows, they will be light ts a seather, 2 Cor. iv, 17, 18.
2. We will sind them thereby to be short also, ib. The afflicted are ready to cry out, their trouble never
ends, ends, they can see no outgate. Why, but because they look not to the other world, a view of which would soon make them see they are mistaken. Job iii. 17. "There the wicked eease from troubling; and there the weary be at rest." What are our afflictions here of the longest continuance,but like the inconveniencies a traveller meets with on the road? If he is going to his father's house, he easily digests it, knowing that he will be easy there; if they be carrying him away to prison, he easily digests it, seeing that it will be worse with him. In both cases he bears it, knowing • he is not to stay with them.
3. We will thereby see ourselves the more nearly allied to the saints in glory in the other world, by companionship in tribulation. Where are they in the other world, that had their good things in this world, and where are they that had their evil things? Luke xvi. 25. If ye look through the upper part of that world, there ye will see the man of sorrows, the man of God's right hand there, and all his happy attendants persons that came out of great tribulations, Rev. vii. 14.; the fore tried Abraham, the burdened man Moses, the afflicted David, the persecuted Paul, the mournful Heman, &-c. If ye look to the lower part of it, there ye will see those that spent their days in wealth, and in a moment went down to the grave, Job xxi. 13. in a merry jovial lise; the dancing Herodias, the rich glutton that fared delicioufly every day, &-c. A serious look of this fort to the other world, would make us embrace our cross, and fay, Lord, let me not taste of the dainties of the wicked, nor get my heaven here.
Lastly, We will thereby see ourselves a sitting and squaring for heaven. Stones to be laid in the temple above must be cut and hewed before they come there Afflictions are God's hewing tools, whereby he smooths people for that building; and rough and hard stones we are, that take much hewing. Instruments
of our afflictions are but the hands he employs for smoothing the stones for his building.
Lqstly, Improve it to suitable endeavours to prepare for that other world. If ye prepare not for it, ye do not believe the report of it. And,
1. Labour to be habitually prepared for it. Get out", of your natural state, into the state of grace; live no longer without the bond of the covenant,but personally enter into it, by believing on Christ. Ye must be converted, ye must be born again, and become new creatures.'
2. Labour to reach actual preparation for the other world, being always ready to go into it at a call. Let your thoughts dwell much-upon it; carry yourselves as strangers in this world, let there be no standing controversy betwixt God and you; and timely dispatch your generation work, and watch and wait till your change come. Consider what you have heard of the other world, and lay it to heart.
The Great Care And Concern Now, That Our Souls Be Not Gathered With Sinners In The Other World, Considered And Improved.
The substance of some Sermons preached at Etterick, in the year 1729.
Psalm xxvi. 19.
"\T7HOEVER believes and considers the doctrine of TM * the other world, must needs improve it to a horror of the state of the ungodly there, on the one hand, and a desire of the state of the godly on the other. He cannot miss to join the Psalmist in this text,