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cry for the returning of the Holy Ghost as ior life, as appre- | always be accompanied with prayer. It must be praying, hending themselves lost if he return not, there is yet hope supplicating hope. It is suitable to your case, if you hope in this case. And it is by no means in the world to be to pray; and never hope without prayer. When we are thought of, that such are to abandon all hope; for that is exhoried to take to ourselves the “helmet," which we are to make devils of themselves above ground, and to create told " is the hope of salvation," it is presently subjoined, to themselves a present hell on this side hell. You are "praying always with all prayer and supplication," Eph. within the reach of the Gospel while you are on this side vi. 17. with 1 Cor. v. 8. These must be conjunct; if we of the infernal regions; and it is a Gospel of grace, crying hope, we must continue to pray. Give yourselves to prayer, to you, Return,-return. These are they to whom I had to all prayer and supplication, otherwise we do (as much reference in that word defeats; do not let your hope be as possible) blast all our hope, and it can never be a destroyed by the defeats you have met with. But then, helmet to us; it will betray our head, not cover it, not pro
2. There is another sort that I had a more distinct refer- tect it. ence to in my thoughts, in using the word delays, in this 2. Deep humility. Join deep humility with your hope. direction, Take heed lest defeatments and delays destroy Let it be humble hope. Such a one should "put his your hope. Now that of delays I meant in reference to mouth in the dust, if there might be any hope," Lam. iii. such as have sat long under the Gospel, even to a grown 29. And, age, and never have found any good effect by it ; ii bath 3. Self-loathing. Join with it self-loathing, self-abhorwrought no change, made no impression. There may be rence; not only of yourselves as mean creatures, but as many such, that were never vicious persons at all, never vile and odious; and yet hope, join hope with that selfgrossly vicious; but then they have lived in a place where abasing temper, self-loathing of the publican: then will some exercises of religion were a fashionable thing. They your sense be, (as his,) “God be merciful to me a sinner, have had religion enough to carry them to a sermon on the who it is said at last went away justified and accepted. If Lord's day in some Christian assembly, and perhaps to you be fair in your own eyes, if your sense be that of the engage in somewhat of family duties; perhaps so, but they Laodicean church, “I am rich, and increased in goods, have sat with mere formality the greatest part of a life- and have need of nothing, and do not know that you are time, under the Gospel, and never felt any real good by it, wretched, and miserable, and blind, and naked;" you have never expected any, never designed any; but come to a no place in you for that hope that will do you any good; church, or a meeting-house, and spend an hour or two but such self-reviling thoughts, “If I were perfect, yet with the rest, in solemn attendances upon the worship of would I not know my own soul, I would despise my life;" God, and never look after it more, (it may be,) till the week how well doth hope do in such'a tempered spirit as this! come about again. All their business is driving designs for How suitable a soil is this for that heavenly hope to grow this earth; "They mind earthly things," as ihe apostle's and flourish in! And, character is of them, of whom also he saith, “their end is 4. Watchfulness. Join to your hope watchfulness and destruction,” Phil. iii. 18, 19. What it was to have their vigilancy. Watchfulness may respect both God and yoursouls turned to God, to come to a solemn closure with selves. Watchfulness respecting God is exercised in conChrist as their Redeemer and Lord, or to exercise them- tinual looking towards him; when shall that happy time selves into inward heart-godliness in any kind, they know come? when shall any beam of light descend? when shall not what belongs to it. It may be, they are just and up- any influence of grace flow in? Watchfulness respecting right in their dealings with those with whom they have to yourselves is exercised in watching over a treacherous do; and they reckon that their justice towards men must heart; and know, that whenever you are to design such a expiate all their injustice towards God, their neglect of thing, as your own salvation, and so accordingly to hope him, their slighting him, their casting him out of their for it, a main, and principal, and immediate object of your thoughts, out of their fear, and out of their desires. · hope must be, that you shall be saved from yourselves;
This seems to be a very sad case, that a man should and thereupon indeed, it is a most self-contradicting hope, have lived all his days under the Gospel, and it hath never to hope I shall be saved, without hoping that sin shall be made any impression on bin as yet: the Spirit of God hath overcome. I shall gain the conquest at last over predominot as yet sensibly breathed, so as, at least, to beget any nating corrupt inclinations, whether more grossly sensual permanent and abiding effect; here hath been a long de ones, or whether avaricious ones, or ambitious ones, and ferring, a long delaying of taking hold of these souls to the like; for do not you know, that our Lord Jesus Christ purpose; and it may be, now their long delay may make hath therefore his name of Jesus, a Saviour, because he such persons think, No, there is no change to be hoped for, was to save his people from their sins: and do you think nothing to be expected, none to be looked for; I have sat you shall be saved, without being saved from yourselves, so long, so many years, ten, twenty, or thirty, it may be,) your sinful selves? This is to hope you shall be saved forty years, under the Gospel, under such a ministry, and without salvation; this is to hope with such a hope, as never hath there been any such effect wrought upon me, wherewith you shall tear a thing from itself, to hope you and I do not think there ever will.
shall be saved without being saved. If ever you are to be Oh! take heed, lest the having any such work upon you saved, you are to be saved from yourselves; and therefore, deferred so long, do destroy hope that ever such work shall yourselves are to be the great object of your watchfulness, be done; for then again, all is lost if you be hopeless; if your continual vigilancy; watching over yourselves, as there be not a vital hope and expectation, from time to your worst and most dangerous enemy. I am to fear hell time, in such and such a word, that some good may be from myself, death from myself, a curse from myself; and done in my soul, that I may hear somewhat that I may lest I be a continual spring of all misery and wo to myself, feel, that the word may yet drop that may have life in it, there must be a continual watchfulness over ourselves, lo that may have power in it. If you do not hope for this, if repress all ebullitions of corrupt nature at the first. Oh you do not expect such a thing, you are, as much as you this lustful heart ! this proud heart! this ambitious heart! can, putting yourselves quite out of the way of being saved, this sensual heart! A severe self-inspection into, and watchor having the reasonable hope of it; for still I must say, fulness over ourselves, is that which must be in conjunction you are not to expect a new Gospel, that God will save you with hope. Watch and hope, be sober and hope to the end. without those necessary pre-requisites to salvation, without That spiritual sobriety carries vigilancy in it, a continual repentance, without faith, without conversion, and without watchfulness over yourselves. And again, sanctification. And therefore in the last place,
5. Patience. This hope must be accompanied with paDirection 12. That which I would lastly add, by way tience. Doth not the context tell you so? “We are saved of direction to this sort of persons, is, that you would see by hope, but hope that is seen is not hope: but if we hope to it, that though hope in these cases must not be thrown for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it." away, that yet it be qualified with such concomitants as God is not bound to your time, he hath not come in yet; are proper and suitable in such a case. They are such as suppose he do not strike that stroke upon your heart this these; I will but name them, that the next time my dis-day, that is necessary to your being saved. Why hope that course may directly respect ihe other case, that of perse- he will the next day, or the next after that: “If we hope verance.
for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it." 1. Prayer. Your hope in such a case as this must |“ Blessed is he that watcheth at the doors,” that waiteth at the posts of wisdom's gates ; " for he that findeth me, late creatures; saith the soul, I own myself to be such a findeth life, and shall obtain favour from the Lord," Prov. one; I am miserable, and lost for ever, if I do not return viü. 34. 35. I have not met with him that is to be the to God, and if God accept me not. I have hope I shall: life of my soul yet; but I will wait, I will miss no oppor- I have hope he will. And so the soul is (as it were) betunity, I will be always at the posts of wisdom's door, I gotten to God, even by the power of hope ; and being remay find him at last, who will be the life of my soul; and conciled, the great remaining expectation is, of being saved, there all my hopes and all my concernments are involved of being brought to a safe and happy stale at last. Hope and wrapt up together. And in the last place,
runs through the course of such a converted, regenerate 6. Diligence. You must join diligence with hope; an soul, even to the attainment of its end, which is actual industrious, laborious diligence. It must be a working, salvation. operative hope, like that of the husbandman, who plough-! And whereas the Gospel is the great and stated means eih in hope, and soweth in hope, that he may be partaker by which souls are both begotten unto God, and enabled of his hope, as the apostle's allusion is; so must you, as to adhere and cleave to him, even to the end; where that to this spiritual husbandry in which you must be engaged, Gospel hath long been, there is great reason to think that you must strive in hope, and labour in hope. And if God hath much such work to do; many such blessed effects yours be not a hope that will put you upon striving and to bring about upon souls; and that much such work is labouring, it is a dead hope, a useless hope; and such as done: that with us, God hath touched many souls, turned can contribute nothing to your salvation. And so I have many hearts, implanted that new and divine principle in done with those directions that are requisite as to the for- many, that will certainly end at last in eternal life. It is not mer sort, the unregenerate and unconverted; the next will to be thought (or at least one would be very loth to think respect the other sort, and their case, to wit, that of con- or inagine such a thing) that a bright and blissful henven verts, so as to influence their perseverance unto salvation should have been opened among us, so long, so continu
ally, by the Gospel, whose design it is to bring life and immortality to light, that we, amidst all the impurities, and darkness, and wretchedness, of this our present state,
should have such a glorious prospect given us, and set beSERMON XXV.*
fore our eyes; heaven opened in all the glories of it; (as in the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ it is ;) and that we,
after all this, should agree in it as our common sense and Rom. viii. 24.
sentiment, that it is better always to dwell in this dunWe are seved by hope.
geon, so as to have no aspirings, no hope, directed upward, towards that glorious state of things; one would be loth
(I say) to admit such an apprehension as this; that this The order of discourse upon this subject hath brought should be our common sentiment, that it is better to dwell ne now at length to say somewhat, by way of direc- in a dungeon always, than amidst all that divine light and tion, to those, who, being regenerate, and turned to God, glory above, whither we are called, and whereupon the are on their way towards him. That the principle of hope, hope of our calling doth finally terminate; yea, and though which doth more especially belong to their regenerate state, we know that dungeon is to fall upon us ere it be long, may be improved by them, to their cheerful and more com- and that they who have affected that dwelling, must cerfortable progress through the whole of their course and way tainly be overwhelmed with its ruin. It is meet for us to lo their end. We having spoken by way of direction to a judge that there are sundry, whose soals God bath, by the former sort, and to a former case, to wit, to direct how power of his Gospel animated by his Spirit, possessed with hope may be improved, in order to conversion and rege- another sense. neration itself: nor am I solicitous, that the course I have And if there be many such, or any such, that are looktaken upon this subject hath obliged me to be long uponing higher, that have their expectations and hopes placed it; for I both consider the great importance of the subject, upon some other sorts of things, things of a higher excelwhich I cannot but know, as you, any of you, may, and lency and value than this lower creation can afford; the must, when you seriously bethink yourselves of it. And greatest care imaginable then must be had, that their hope also, I know not that any have purposely and designedly be kept alive in strength and vigour; if it fail, if it should treated upon this subject; that is, to show the necessary languish, if it were possible it should, and it were ever so influence of hope upon the whole business of a Christian's certain, that it should never expire and fail; yet means life, from first to last, from the beginning of it till it end in must be used, that it may not, but (I say) if it should eternal life.
fail, (and the dread ought to be upon our spirits, that it I shall repeal nothing of what hath been said by way of may not fail, that it may never fail,) then are such poor direction, in reference to the former case, to wit, to persons creatures ingulfed again, sunk in, and swallowed up by yet unregenerate, what improvement is to be made of hope the spirit of this world, and so exposed, and left to be in order to their regeneration, and their being born of God; involved with it in its fearful ruin. That it may not be so, to which nothing is more plain, than that it would never and because it shall not be so with those that do peculiarly be, but as even then they begin to have hope God-ward. belong to God, and are the children of the kingdom, beBut my present and remaining business is to show the gotten to the eternal heavenly inheritance, all endeavours continual influence that hope may be improved unto for a must be used that hope may be preserved and kept alive in Christian's progress, to help on those that are regenerate, them. And in order to it,pray take these following directions. and born to God, in their way to him. That so, upon the Direction 1. See that your spirits be deeply and seriously whole matter, you may see the new creature, it is from engaged, and taken up in the meditation of that glorious first to last a creature (as it were) made up of hope ; its state of things which you profess finally to hope for, and very make and constitution are suited to the state which which you expect should be your eternal state. See (I it is successively made for. In this present state, while its say) that your spirits be deeply exercised in the meditation great supports do lie in unseen and expected good things, of that glorious state of things. The way to keep hope There cannot but be a continual exercise of hope necessary alive, is to keep its glorious, blessed object in view. The from first to last; but in the other state, hope naturally hope of the greatest things imaginable can never live, or be turns into joy; when the things that were before matter of infuential in any of us, if we do not preserve the rememexpectation, are now come to be the matter of actual frui- | brance, and have not the actual thoughts of them. If there tion. In the mean time, its make and frame suit it to the be such a thing as the habit of hope yet left, it will be a present state of its case. That whereas, such as were be- languishing thing, and afford us no support: it will be as fore strangers and aliens to God, in a state of apostacy from dead within us, if we have not frequent views of that glorihim, they begin to be prompted and stirred up to look after ous object of it; if we do not look towards that object, lake God; as soon as any such instinct is put into them, it is it in its comprehension, and compass even the whole state put into them in a way of hope.
of things, that we expect and hope for as our final and God hath a design in hand to restore and recover apos- eternal state.
Preached October, 18th, 1691.
I pray, let us labour, not only to realize but to fami- | baser and meaner inhabitants; it is but a very little, inconliarize to ourselves the unseen world. It is a shame that siderable part, incomparison of the ample and spacious we should be called Christians, and that our thoughts regions of the incircling heavens above, that seem all apshould be taken up chiefly, and principally, about things propriated to the heirs of the eternal kingdom. And then, that are seen. Christian hope lies beyond and above 2. When you are laying before your eyes the object of those things; we forfeit our names while we confine our your hope, that that may be lively and strong in you; thoughts so much to that which is present and sensible. consider too the numerous multitude of the inhabitants of If in this life only we have hope in Christ, as Christians, those glorious regions, or, to speak collectively, of that we make ourselves the most miserable of creatures; we region of glory. It is true, in this little inconsiderable are made up of contradictions, we are in a continual war world of ours, we find the inhabitants are generally very with ourselves, we do not act and carry so consistently numerous; (as there will be more occasion to speak bye with ourselves as other men do, who do not pretend to and bye;) but, alas, what is this little perishable thing, this Christianity; we are more miserable than they
world of ours,) to the universe ? And it is a very unreaAnd, that I may the more fruitfully enlarge upon this, sonable foolish thought to think the nobler parts of the creaas that without our hope is a languid and insignificant tion of God to be less destitute of inhabitants than our thing, and in a direct way to be reduced to nothing; let earth is. Do but turn up a clod of earth, and you see me desire you to give compass and scope to your thoughts every little clod inhabited with somewhat or other that about the invisible world, and the expected siate of things, hath life in it, little insects and animalcula that have life in which is to be the great and final object of your hope. them. It is a foolish thought to think that the nobler parts The context, which hath so immediate reference thereunto, of the creation of God should be less full of inhabitants, would afford you very great help for the managing and though still meaner the nearer this earth; but if you directing your thoughts in the contemplation of the invisi- ascend higher, you are to suppose all filled with living in. ble state. You see it is spoken of a little before the text, habitants; and (as we have reason to apprehend) with under the notion of glory; a glorious state, a state of glory, creatures innocent and upright with God, angel-like crea“I reckon that the sufferings of the present time are not tures. worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be reveal- It is true many angels fell, many, if you consider them ed in us," verse 18. And that glory is spoken of under abstractedly; but take them comparatively, and we have no the notion of an inheritance. They that are the regene- reason to think but that they were a very small part of the rate sons of God, and now actually under the govern- host of heaven, in comparison with them that stood, and ment of the Divine Spirit which begot them unto God; retained their integrity; and if the upper regions be rethey that are so children, are also heirs, “heirs of God, and plenished with innocent creatures, full of the love of God, joint heirs with Christ,” verse 17. “That aster having suf- and of the knowledge of God, and who stand in absolute fered awhile with him, they may be also glorified together devotedness to him ; then you must consider the blessed with him." As to the invisible world, (that happy part society, the society of the blessed, to be a most numerous of it, where "the heirs of God, and joint heirs with thing. The innumerable company of angels, and the Christ,” have their eternal concernments lying,) that happy spirits of men made perfect; so that the angels that have part of it is to be looked upon as a region of glory, all glory. fallen, and the apostate sons of men that shall not be reAnd that you may give latitude and scope to your thoughts covered, and that finally persist in enmity against all the about this, which is the very hope of your calling, the final methods of reconciliation, though they will be numerous, hope of it, I pray consider such things as these more par- yet a little inconsiderable number they must be, in compaticularly concerning it. Considerations to enforce this rison of all those glorious creatures that inhabit the more first direction.
noble parts of God's creation : and it would make a man's 1. Contemplate the vast amplitude of that glorious re- hope revive, and spring, and flourish mightily in him, to gion, where you (if you be regenerate, and born of God, think of being ere long one of that vast and numerous asand heirs of the celestial kingdom) are to have your ever- sembly, that blessed glorious assembly, the innumerable lasting abode. Think (I say) seriously and often of the company of angels, and the spirits of just men made pervast amplitude of it, thai you may give scope and room to fect. And, your thoughts; it is mean to be confined in our apprehen- 3. Consider, again, the high and admirable perfection of sions of things to this little spot of our earth, wherein we these blessed creatures, of whom you are to be one; their breathe; think if you were ascending from it, if you were bodily perfections, (which are not nothing,) and their menascended but a little way, into how vastly larger and tal spiritual perfections, which are incomparably more, are more spacious and roomy a region do you come but by a to be considered. As to the former, the words immediately little ascent! but if you were ascended as high as our vor- foregoing the text, do directly cast back our thoughts upon tex, as the utmost confines of this vortex of ours, to which them, upon those perfections that are more properly corpothis earth, and the sun, and the moon, and other planets do real, and that belong to the body: not only they, (that is, belong; how inconsiderable a point is all this earth, in the rest of the creation,) but ourselves also, which have recomparison of that vortex to which all these do belong ? ceived the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan But if you were beyond that, beyond that circuit and those within ourselves, waiting (which carries hope in it as you confines within which all this planetary region is limited ; do well know) for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of then how vastly spacious are all the supernal heavens our bodies ; for we are saved by hope. We that now above the regions in which the sun, and moon, and other dwell in these bodies so cumbersome, so tiresome, that are planets, do move! So as we are even lost in the thoughts such an annoyance to us, and so great a depression to us; whither we should then go : and it is pleasant to be so we are hoping, hoping for a time and state of things when lost.
these bodies are to have an entire, complete redemption And to consider how despicable a nothing this earth of from every thing which is gravanimous and burthensome to ours is in comparison ; so as it may be lost, it may be con- them, and by which they are gravanimous to our spirits, to sumed, and burnt up, and that it is an insignificant thing ourselves; and it is by the hope of this, that we are saved. to the universe; no more than the burning of one single Here we are depressed and sunk very low; these bodies little cottage would be in a vast empire, containing two are prisons and dungeons to us; they are so, but we are hundred and twenty-seven provinces as Ahasuerus's did; saved by that hope of the day of our redemption; the reone that is an heir of heaven, and of the inheritance of the demption of our bodies, which is also the day of our adopcaints in light, when he thinks of the burning of this world, tion, or solemn adoption. may say, What is it to me? my concernments lie not here, I have told you upon this occasion formerly, of a double it is a despicable, inconsiderable trifle; it is no more loss adoption among the Romans, private and public. It is the to the creation and no more loss to me, than the dropping public adoption that is here referred to." In the private, of a hair, one single hair. Labour to aggrandize to your every good soul is adopted when it is regenerate; but the selves so much as this comes to, of the object of your hope; / public adoption, or the manifestation of the sons of God, to wit, to consider the vast amplitude of the region of (as it is afterwards called,) it is referred unto that day when glory; we must think with ourselves, that as to what doth all are to be visibly invested with their glorious bodies, more subside in this creation is baser and meaner fitter for I conformed to the glorious body of our Lord Jesus Christ. To have such an agility of body as that it shall never be dead in Christ are first raised and caught up into the clouds, a clog; such refined spirits that will never cloud our and do meet their Redeemer in the air, then are they ever thoughts, that will never obstruct the notions of the soul. with the Lord, (1 Thess. iv. 16, 17.) never out of his comAnd that shall be, with respect of aptitude to speedy mo- pany, though their company be so vastly numerous and tion, so little cumbersome, that, as Austin's celebrated ex- great; for he is the head of all principalities and powers, pression is, ubi voluerit animus, ibi protinus erit corpus; the head of all things to the church; and yet he must be wheresoever the mind wills or wishes to be, there the body every where present to every one, for they are all to be ever shall be in a moment. Its motions, and (for ought we with the Lord. And when so much is plainly enough exknow its texture, (as that of the sun-beams,) gliding as pressed and declared to us, we need never trouble ourselves quick as a thought, this way or that; and (for ought we to think how it shall be; he that we know to have done so know) as fine; it being very easy to make the grossest great things already, can easily add to this all the rest ; earth as fine as the purest ether, to him that made all things make himself present to those vastly numerous, innumeout of nothing; and since chemistry performs a great deal rable myriads of glorious creatures, that do every where this way by human art, much more may divine.
delight in his presence, and cannot but externally do so. So as that these bodies that we are afterwards to inhabit, And to this also, the context here refers us, still leading are said to be from heaven, the terrestrial to be all gone; us to the final object of our hope; they are to be the heirs for in this we groan, “ earnestly desiring to be clothed upon of the eternal glory, as their inheritance; they are to be with our house that is from heaven,” Cor. v. 2. All of joint heirs with Christ," they are to inherit with Christ, a piece with heaven, contempered unto heaven, the earthly "and, after having suffered with him, are to be glorified house of this tabernacle, changed into such a one.
together with him," verse 17; after we have suffered awhile; 2. And it is very material, and seems to be glanced at in he and we having been suffering together, he and we shall that which is said by our Saviour; “The righteons shall be glorified together. And to the same purpose is that shine as the sun, in the kingdom of their Father," Matt. admirable contexture of discourse, 2 Cor. v. from the bexiii. 43. The sun in the firmament is (as it were the re- ginning of the chapter to the 8th verse; but I cannot stay semblance of a glorified body, and how near it may be of to run it over with you. Take notice, I pray you, what you the same materials we cannot tell, all our earth being re- find there, in that 8th verse; we are confident, (saith he,) fined into so pure and celestial a matter. And,
and willing rather to be absent from the body, (this terres3. And then, if you consider again the spiritual and trial body,) not any body at all not altogether to be unmental perfections (which is incomparably a great thing) of clothed, but to be clothed upon; this terrestrial body being the happy members of this glorious, blessed, numerous reformed, refined, clarified into another thing: for that body society. There you must understand his knowledge in we are now in, this terrestrial body, we covet rather to be perfection, his holiness in perfection, and his love in perfec- absent from it, and to be present with the Lord. According tion. It cannot be expected that in this subject, I could to that, Phil. i. 23. I desire rather to be " dissolved and stay to dilate upon every one; but it is a great thing to be with Christ, which is far better." We are to be in his think of the matter of our own hope in this: I hope to be presence, and to have him present among us, as soon as one of them, I hope to be such a creature, inhabiting such we are loose from this base, mean thing, this vile body that a mind, in such a body, to be one of those Isangeloi, (as we are now linked and clogged with. And the expressions they are called,) angel's fellows, equal to the angels of God: are very observable, that are used in the mentioned place, Oh! that we shonld have such things as these in view, and 2 Cor. v. The words used, signify to be peopled with, or obvious to our thoughts, and yet have no thoughts about un peopled or dispeopled fim. The expression of being them, or few thoughts about them! Live with minds (as it present with the Lord, do... atimate the Lord our blessed were) confined to this earth, and continually grovelling in Redeemer to be the heal, he president of that dispeopled the dust of it! This is mean, this is dishonourable to our sort of people, whose di jlling is not with flesh; they do Father, who hath begotten us to a lively hope of a glorious not inhabit and dwell ... uch bodies as those are, in which inheritance; and it is most injurious to ourselves. To we now dwell; anc . long (saith he) to be dispeopled think that I shall have a mind, a spirit, ere it be long, (as from this bodily so.. _f people; and to be taken into the mean and abject a thing as I now am,) all (as it were) communion of that eople that dwell out of such bodies composed and made up of knowledge, and of purity, and with the Lord; to be peopled with that people, of which of love ; what a glorious thing is that! And that I shall he is the immédiate, visible, giorious head; there I long have a spirit inhabiting a body, (since I was made to join to be. I would fain be absent from this body. I desire it with a body,) that shall be no hinderance, no burthensome rather, I choose it as a more desirable thing, to be disthing to me, no tedious, irksome companion to all eternity. peopled from this bodied sort of people; and to be peopled And again,
with them, to make one amongst them, who do people the 4. Consider about this state, the universal harmony that glorious regions above, which are peopled with another must hereupon be in all this glorious, blessed society, as sort of inhabitants, and with them do I covet and hope to vastly numerous and extensive as it is through the spa-dwell, and long to dwell. And then, cious heavens, those regions of light and bliss; come 6. Consider too the Divine presence universally repienwherever one will, the same order universally obtaining ishing all. for in that everlasting state God is himself to be every where; all animated by one and the same spirit; | immediately all in all; and so all to be universally transfor they "that sow to the Spirit, shall of the Spirit reap formed into the image of that bright glory, which shines life everlasting," Gal. vi. 8. That immense almighty upon them from his blessed face, and all to inhabit that Spirit (as the living creature in the wheels)acting in every one and the same Divine presence, where there is fulness mind, be they ever so numerous, and never so vastly ex- of joy, and where there are "pleasures for evermore," tended through the regions of light and bliss; all ever- Psalm xvi. last verse. Oh! for such mean creatures as lastingly under the dominion of the same blessed, almigh-we, to have such a thing in hope, to make one in that gloty, and omnipresent Spirit; so that there is here among rious, celestial community, among whom, the blessed eterthem, wheresoever they be, not one dissentient thought; nal God shall, by immediate communication, be all in all all have the same sentiment, the same mind, the same in- to every one! Every soul as full of God as it can hold, and clination, and all centre in one and the same design: no be made capable of beholding unspeakably more, than we jarring, no lisagreement, no darkness, no obscurity, no can now so much as conceive of; for the design is in our error, muca more no animosity, having the least place in present state, (and very much by the influence of hope,) any member of that glorious society. And again, here to have us refining, and be made more capacious and
5. Consider the glorious visible residence of our great larger vessels of glory. They that are to be vessels of Redeemer among them, who can render himself every mercy first, are to be vessels of glory afterwards; here where present, and every where appearing in conspicuous | they are to be gradually greatened and enlarged, (and very glory. How grateful and entertaining a thought must that much by the influence of hope,) in order to their being be to them, who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, more receptive vessels, that they may hold more, and be that they are to be for ever with the Lord, when that happy capable of larger and fuller communications from that season comes, that the Lord descends with a shout, with immense fulness, that filleth all in all. And hereupon, the voice of the archangel and the trump of God; and the 7. Consider the high satisfaction that every one of those blessed creatures must have in himself, for there is to be a diminution from it, to eternity. Therefore there is an imglory revealed in us (as a little above the text.) The possibility, an utter impossibility, that ever there should be context is full of accounts of the final object of our hopes, a cessation. and gives us frequent occasion to consider what it imports, And that is one direction to this purpose, to keep alive and carries with id; “I reckon that the sufferings of this this hope, contemplate much, and as distinctly, and with present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory as clear and formed thoughts as you can, the glorious obihat sbe, te cealed in us." Every one of these glorious ject of it, the final and eternal state; and be ashamed of creatures is to be glorious within. As it is said of the I having such things in view, and of having so few. so unfre. king's daughter, the spouse of Christ, “She is all glorious quent, and dull, and sluggish thoughts about such things. within," Psalm xlv." She will be perfectly so; for he gave himself for his church, to sanctify it and to cleanse it, and to present it a glorious church, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing," Ephes. v. 25, 26, 27. And
SERMON XXVI.* sanctification is implied to be the very beginning of that glory, the foundation of it. That glory consists in perfect sanctification. He gave himself for it, to sanctify and
Rom. vii. 24. make it a glorious church; every one of it is then a glo rious creature, and eternally glorious, by glory revealed
We are saved by hope. in the Divine image shining in him, in perfect and consummate glory. That image which stands all in know But now go on with the further directions that are to be ledge, ani holiness, in the greatest amiableness, loveli- given for the mentioned end. ness, and love that is possible.
Direction 2. That we compare with that expected heaHow infinitely satisfying must such a one's own frame, venly state the present state wherein we are ; and with the and the complexion and temper of his own mind, be to blessedness of the one, the wretchedness of the other. For himself, when, through a boundless and immense eternity, if there be any ground for a better hope, there is nothing one shall never have occasion to reflect upon one disor more likely to awaken it, (supposing we have such a ground derly thought, or say I wish that thought had never been before our eyes,) than to have our spirits effectually stung thought; never have occasion to reflect upon one irregular with the sense of the present evils wherewith we are besei, wish! Oh! the holy order and rectitude that will be and with which we are continually infested. If we like within, when every faculty and every power shall be un-l our present state well, there is no place for hope, no room der the dominion of that Almighty Spirit of Divine light for it, or if it can have any place, it can have no effect; and grace; when it shall be as impossible to be the author it will be a very faint, languishing hope, that we shall have of one wrong or misplaced thought, as it would be to any for another state, if we are very well pleased with that of us to be the author of another world, of a world that wherein we are already; and therefore, as to our present should be excentrical to this! What a satisfaction is this, state, we should bethink ourselves, and consider, whether, and must be, when a person shall so everlastingly agree having such a future one in view as hath been represented with himself, as to have no war within him, nothing of re- already, as the ultimate, final object of our hope, we have luctation, nothing of contrariety, against what he knows to reason to take up with that wherein we already are. be equal, and congruous, and fit, and comely: but every And this we are manifestly led to by the coniext, which, thing just as it should be. And then, thereupon,
when the text tells us, “We are saved by hope," doth 8. The mighty complacency that such must take in one conjunctly tell us, what the present state of our case is, in another; the everlasting complacencies that they must a two-fold respect; in respect of this world, in which we take in one another, when they are all alike, not equal; it live; and in respect of these bodies, to which we are now is plain enough there will be different orders; but all alike, confined. The former whereof draws our thoughts to conall of one mind, all of one sentiment, all conspiring in one sider the remoter evils which do beset us; and the latter, and the same design. And then consider,
those nearer and more pressing evils which are closely and 9. The pleasaniness of their perpetual work, wherein continually urgent upon us they are all to be united ; to wit, joyful and everlasting 1. In reference to the state of this world, can we think adoration: every one pleased with another, upon this ac- it a covetable thing, long to continue in such a world as count that he knows him to be pleased with exalting God this, when we have any ground in view, of a better hope, and the Lamb, for ever and ever; when every one knows or the object of a better, represented to us? See how the his fellow to have the same pleasure that he hath in pros- state of the world is represented in what goes before, and tration, in falling down before the throne, in ascribing all which the text refers unto, that is, the creature (this inferior praise, and dominion, and glory, to him that lives for ever creation it must mean) is all subjected unto vanity, and is and ever; the eternal Godhead, Father, Son, and Spirit. all groaning under thé bondage of corruption, and travailWhen the comeliness and equity of the thing recommends ing in pain together, until now. This being the case in itself so fully to every mind, and all agree in one sense, this respect, saith the apostle, “ We are saved by hope." “ Worthy art thou, O Lord, to receive blessing, and power, We are here ingulfed in a world of miseries and sorrows; and dominion, for ever and ever," and all say Amen, ali and all things round about, they are (as it were) in one proclaim their joyful amen. The vast and spacious hea- | degree or another, under a pressure and languor; do not vens continually resounding with this sort of melody, all we behold the creation drooping? This lower world in giving their joyful, grateful amens, to one and the same which we are, may be seen (as it were) hanging the head, thing. And this eternity goes on, never wearisome, never that a languishment is upon all things, the shadow of grievous; because all this employment, and the exercise, is death hovering over all in every part, and yet subjecied so suitable to the complexion of every one's mind, none unto this state in hope; hope being in reference lo the incan ever disagree to it, and all things do conspire and con- animate or irrational part to be understood but objectively. cur to make these associates in bliss, and glory, and ado- It is subjected to this state of things, but in hope ; there raticu the most grateful company to one another. We being a prospect that it shall be redeemed, shall be reexpirence something what pleasure and sweetness there covered, so as to partake of the glorious liberty of the sons is in conversing with such as are wise, and learned, and of God, whose manifestation doth approach. Now, when good, when these things are in conjunction; but when all this world is hoping for a better state of things, shall they are in perfection, in absolute perfection, oh, the not we hope? We that have received the first-fruits of the pleasure that will be taken in being associated with such Spirit, as it afterwards follows: or what? is impurity, ones! Lastly,
misery, and wretchedness, become so much our element, 10. The perfect assurances that all have of the perpetuity that we are content to live still there, whilst all things are of their state, and that there shall never be an end of it. (as it were) expressing a sense round about us, groaning “The light afflictions that are but for a moment work out and travailing; and we pleased, we only pleased, to remain for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;" in such a state as this is? But to look upon the state of it can never lose its weight; there will be no detraction, nothings in this world more particularly,
* Preached October 25th, 1691.