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The saints everlasting rest, or, A treatise of the blessed state of the saints in their enjoyment of God in glory wherein is shewed its excellency and certainty, the misery of those that lose it, the way to attain it, and assurance of it, and how to live in the continual delightful forecasts of it and now published by Richard Baxter ...
Baxter, Richard, 1615-1691.; Herbert, George, 1593-1633.
Wing B1383; ESTC R17757
thou walk without thy strength how long dost thou think thou art like to endure SECT IX 7. COnsider It is he that hath his conversation in heauen who is the profitable Christian to all about him with him you may take sweet counsel and go up to the celestial House of God When a man is in a strange Countrey far from home how glad is he of the company of one of his own Nation how delightful is it to them to talk of their Countrey of their acquaintance and the âââairs of their home why with a heavenly Christian thou maist have such discourse for he hath been there in the Spirit and can tell thee of the Glory and Rest above VVhat pleasant discourse was it to Joseph to talk with his Brethren in a strange Land and to enquire of his Father and his brother Benjamin Is it not so to a Christian to talk with his Brethren that have been above and enquire after his Father and Christ his Lord when a worldling will talk of nothing but the world and a Politician of nothing but the affairs of the State and a meer Scholar of Humane learning and a common Professor of Duties and of Christians the Heavenly man will be speaking of Heaven and the strange Glory which his Faith hath seen and our speedy and blessed meeting there I confess to discourse with able men of clear Understandings and piercing Wits about the controverted difficulties in Religion yea about some Criticisms in Languages and Sciences is both pleasant and profitable but nothing to this Heavenly discourse of a Beleever O how refreshing and savory are his expressions how his words do peirce and melt the heart how they transform the hearers into other men that they think they are in Heaven all the while How doth his Doctrine drop as the Rain and his Speech distil as the gentle Dew as the small Rain upon the tender Herb and as the showers upon the Grass while his tongue is expressing the Name of the Lord and ascribing greatness to his God Deut. 32.2 3. Is not his feeling sweet discourse of Heaven even like that box of precious oyntment which being opened to pour on the head of Christ doth fill the house with the pleasure of its perfume All that are neer may be refreshed by it His words are like the precious oyntment on Aarons head that ran down upon his beard and the skirts of his Garments Even like the dew of Hermon and as the dew that descendeth from the Celestial Mount Zion where the Lord hath commanded the blessing even life for evermore Psal. 133.3 This is the man who is as Job When the Candle of God did shine upon his head and when by his light he walked through darkness When the secret of God was upon his Tabernacle and when the Almighty was yet with him Then the ear that heard him did bless him and the eye that saw him gave witness to him Job 29.3 4 5 11. Happy the people that have a Heavenly Minister Happy the children and servants that have a Heavenly Father or Master Happy the man that hath Heavenly Associates if they have but hearts to know their happiness This is the Companion who will watch over thy ways who will strengthen thee when thou art weak who will chear thee when thou art drooping and comfort thee with the same comforts wherewith he hath been so often comforted himself 2 Cor. 1.4 This is he that will be blowing at the spark of thy Spiritual Life and always drawing thy soul to God and will be saying to thee as the Samaritan woman Come and see one that hath told me all that ever I did one that hath ravished my heart with his beauty one that hath loved our souls to the death Is not this the Christ Is not the knowledg of God and Him Eternal life Is not it the glory of the Saints to see his Glory If thou come to this mans house and sit at his Table he will feast thy soul with the dainties of Heaven thou shalt meet with a better then Plato's Philosophical feast even a taste of that feast of fat things Of wines on the lees of fat things full of marrow of wine on the lees well refined Isai. 25.6 That thy soul may be satisfied as with marrow and fatness and thou maist praise the Lord with joyful lips Psal 63.5 If thou travel with this man on the way he will be directing and quickning thee in thy Journey to Heaven If thou be buying or selling or trading with him in the world he will be counselling thee to lay out for the inestimable Treasure If thou wrong him he can pardon thee remembring that Christ hath not onely pardoned greater offences to him but will also give him this unvaluable portion If thou be angry he is meek considering the meekness of his heavenly Pattern or if he fall out with thee he is soon reconciled when he remembreth that in heaven you must be everlasting friends This is the Christian of the right stamp this is the servant that is like his Lord these be the innocent that save the Iland and all about them are the better where they dwell O Sirs I fear the men I have described are very rare even among the Religious but were it not for our own shameful negligence such men we might all be What Families what Towns what Commonwealths what Churches should we have if they were but composed of such men but that is more desirable then hopeful till we come to that Land which hath no other inhabitants save what are incomparably beyond this Alas how empty are the speeches and how unprofitable the society of all other sorts of Christians in comparison of these A man might perceive by his Divine Song and high Expressions Deut. 32. and 33. that Moses had been oft with God and that God had shewed him part of his Glory Who could have composed such spiritual Psalms and poured out praises as David did but a man after Gods own heart and a man that was neer the heart of God and no doubt had God also neer his heart Who could have preached such spiritual Doctrine and dived into the precious mysteries of Salvation as Paul did but one who had been called with a light from heaven and had been rapt up into the third heavens in the Spirit and there had seen the unutterable things If a man should come down from heaven amongst us who had lived in the possession of that blessed State how would men be desirous to see or hear him and all the Countrey far and neer would leave their business and crowd about him happy would he think himself that could get a sight of him how would men long to hear what reports he would make of the other world and what he had seen and what the blessed there enjoy would they not think this man the best companion and his discourse to be of all most profitable Why sirs Every true
he will have us live by faith and not by sight Oh fellow Christians what a day will that be when we who have been kept prisoners by sin by sinners by the grave shall be fetcht out by the Lord himself When Christ shall come from heaven to plead with his enemies and set his Captives free It will not be such a Coming as his first was in meanness and poverty and contempt He will not come to be spit upon and buffeted and scorned and crucified again He will not come oh careless world to be slighted and neglected by you any more And yet that coming which was necessarily in Infirmity and Reproach for our sakes wanted not its Glory If the Angels of heaven must be the messengers of that Coming as being tydings of Joy to all people And the Heavenly Hoast must go before or accompany for the Celebration of his Nativity and must praise God with that solemnity Glory to God in the Highest and on Earth Peace Good will towards men Oh then with what shoutings will Angels and Saints at that day proclaim Glory to God and Peace and Good will toward men If the stars of heaven must lead men from Remote parts of the world to come to worship a child in a manger how will the Glory of his next appearing constrain all the world to acknowledg his Soveraignty If the King of Israel riding on an Ass be entertained into Jerusalem with Hossana's Blessed be the King that comes in the Name of the Lord Peace in Heaven and Glory in the Highest Oh with what Proclamations of blessings Peace and Glory will he come toward the New Jerusalem If when he was in the form of a Servant they cry out What manner of man is this that both wind and sea obey him What will they say when they shall see him Coming in his Glory and the Heavens and the Earth obey him Then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in Heaven and then shall all the Tribes of the Earth mourn and they shall see the Son of man coming in the Clouds of Heaven with Power and great Glory Oh Christians it was comfortable to you to hear from him to believe in him and hope for him What will it be thus to see him The promise of his coming and our deliverance was comfortable What will it be to see him with all the Glorious attendance of his Angels come in person to deliver us The mighty God the Lord hath spoken and called the Earth from the Rising of the Sun to the going down thereof Out of Sion the perfection of Beauty God hath shined Our God shall come and shall not keep silence A fire shall devour before him and it shall be very tempestuous round about him He shall call to the Heavens from above and to the Earth that he may judg his people Gather my Saints together to me those that have made a Covenant with me by Sacrifice and the Heavens shall declare his Righteousness for God is Judg himself Sclah Psal. 50. from vers 1. to 6. This Coming of Christ is frequently mentioned in the Promises as the great Support of his peoples spirits till then And when ever the Apostles would quicken âo duty or comfort and encourage to patient waiting they usually do it by mentioning Christs Coming Why then do we not usâ more this cordial consideration when ever we want support and comfort To think and speak of that Day with Horror doth well beseem the impenitent Sinner but ill the beleeving Saint Such may be the voyce of a Beleever but it 's not the voyce of Faith Christians what do we beleeve and hope and wait for but to see that Day This is Pauls encouragement to moderation to Rejoycing in the Lord alway The Lord is at hand Phil. 4.4 5. It is to all them that Love his Appearing that the Lord the Righteous Judg shall give the Crown of Righteousness at that Day 2 Tim. 4.8 Dost thou so long to have him come into thy Soul with comfort and life and takest thy self but for a forlorn Orphan while he seemeth absent And dost thou not much more long for that Coming which shall perfect thy Life and Joy and Glory Dost thou so rejoyce after some short and slender enjoyment of him in thy heart Oh how wilt thou then Rejoyce How full of Joy was that Blessed Martyr Mr Glover with the Discovery of Christ to his Soul after long doubting and waiting in sorrows so that he cryes out He is come He is come If thou have but a dear friend returned that hath been far and long absent how do all run out to meet him with Joy Oh saith the Childe My Father is come saith the Wife My Husband is come And shall not we when we behold our Lord in his majesty returning cry out He is come He is come Shall the wicked with unconceiveable horror behold him and cry out Oh yonder is he whose blood we neglected whose Grace we resisted whose counsels we refused whose Government we cast off And shall not then the Saints with unconceiveable gladness cry out Oh yonder is he whose Blood redeemed us whose Spirit cleansed us whose Law did Govern us Yonder comes he in whom we trusted and now we see he hath not deceived our Trust He for whom we long waited and now we see we have not waited in vain Oh cursed Corruption that would have had us turn to the world and present things and give up our hopes and say Why should we wait for the Lord any Longer Now we see that Blessed are all they that wait for him Beleeve it fellow Christians this Day is not far off For yet a little while and he that comes will come and will not tarry And though the unbeleeving world and the unbelief of thy heart may say as those Atheistical Scoffers Where is the Promise of his Coming Do not all things continue as they were from the beginning of the Creation Yet let us know The Lord is not slack of his Promise as some men count slackness One day is with him as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day I have thought on it many a time as a small Emblem of that day when I have seen our prevailing Army drawing towards the Towns and Castles of the Enemy Oh with what glad hearts do all the poor prisoners within hear the news and behold our approach How do they run up to their prison windows and thence behold us with Joy How glad are they at the roaâing report of that Cannon which is the Enemies terror How do they clap each other on the back and cry Deliverance Deliverance While in the mean time the late insulting scorning cruel Enemies begin to speak them fair and beg their favor But all in vain for they are not at the dispose of Prisoners but of the General Their fair usage may make their conditions somewhat the more easie but yet they
the goats on the left and so on as you may read in the Text. But why tremblest thou Oh humble gracious Soul Cannot the enemies and slighters of Christ be foretold their doom but Thou must quake Do I make sad the Soul that God would not have sad Doth not thy Lord know his own sheep who have heard his voyce and followed him He that would not lose the family of one Noah in a common deluge when him onely he had found faithful in all the earth He that would not over-look one Lot in Sodom nay that could do nothing till he were forth Will he forget thee at that day Thy Lord knoweth now to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust to the day of Judgment to be punished He knoweth how to make the same day the greatest for terror to his foes and yet the greatest for joy to his people He ever intended it for the great distinguishing and separating day wherein both Love and Fury should be manifested to the highest Oh then let the Heavens rejoyce the Sea the Earth the Floods the Hills for the Lord cometh to judg the Earth With Righteousness shall he judg the World and the People with Equity But especially let Sion hear and be glad and her children rejoyce For when God ariseth to judgment it is to save the meek of the Earth They have judged and condemned themselves many a day in heart-breaking confession and therefore shall not be judged to condemnation by the Lord For there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit And who shall lay any thing to the charge of Gods Elect Shall the Law Why whatsoever the Law saith it saith to them that are under the Law but we are not under the Law but under Grace For the Law of the Spirit of life which is in Christ Jesus hath made us free from the Law of sin and death Or shall Conscience Why we were long ago justified by faith and so have peace with God and have our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and the Spirit bearing witness with our spirits that we are the children of God It is God that justifieth who shall condemn If our Judg condemn us not who shall He that said to the Adulterous woman Hath no man condemned thee neither do I condemn thee He will say to us more faithfully then Peter to him Though all men deny thee or condemn thee I will not Thou hast confessed me before men and I will confess thee before my Father and the Angels of Heaven He whose first coming was not to condemn the world but that the world through him might be saved I am sure intends not his second coming to condemn his people but that they through him might be saved He hath given us Eternal Life in Charter and Title already yea and partly in possession and will he after that condemn us When he gave us the knowledg of his Father and himself he gave us Eternal Life And he hath verily told us That he that heareth his word and beleeveth on him that sent him hath everlasting life and shall not come into condemnation but is passed from death to life Indeed if our Judg were our enemy as he is to the world then we might well fear If the Devil were our Judg or the Ungodly were our Judg then we should be condemned as Hypocrites as Heretiques as Schisinatiques as proud or covetous or what not But our Judg is Christ who dyed yea rather who is risen again and maketh request for us For all power is given him in Heaven and in Earth and all things delivered into his hands and the Father hath given him authority to execute judgment also because he is the Son of man For though God judg the world yet the Father immediately without his Vicegerent Christ judgeth no man but hath committed all judgment to the Son that all men should honor the Son even as they honor the Father Oh what inexpressible joy may this afford to a Beleever That our Dear Lord who loveth our Souls and whom our Souls love shall be our Judg Will a man fear to be judged by his dearest friend By a Brother By a Father Or a Wife by her own Husband Christian Did he come down and suffer and weep and bleed and dye for thee and will he now condemn thee Was he judged and condemned and executed in thy stead and now will he condemn thee himself Did he make a Bath of his blood for thy sins and a garment of his own Righteousness for thy nakedness and will he now open them to thy shame Is he the undertaker for thy Salvation and will he be against thee Hath it cost him so dear to save thee and will he now himself destroy thee Hath he done the most of the work already in Redeeming Regenerating and Sanctifying Justifying preserving and perfecting thee and will he now undo all again Nay hath he begun and will he not finish Hath he interceded so long for thee to the Father and will he cast thee away himself If all these be likely then fear and then rejoyce not Oh what an unreasonable sin is unbelief that will charge our Lord with such unmercifulness and absurdities Well then fellow Christians let the terror of that day be never so great surely our Lord can mean no ill to us in all Let it make the Devils tremble and the wicked tremble but it shall make us to leap for Joy Let Satan accuse us we have our answer at hand our surety hath discharged the debt If he have not fulfilled the Law then let us be charged as breakers of it If he have not suffered then let us suffer but if he have we are free Nay our Lord will make answer for us himself These are mine and shall be made up with my Jewels for their transgressions was I stricken and cut off from the earth for them was I bruised and put to grief my Soul was made an offering for their sin and I bore their transgressions They are my seed and the travel of my Soul I have healed them by my stripes I have justified them by my knowledg They are my sheep who shall take them out of my hands Yea though the humble Soul be ready to speak against it self Lord when did we see thee hungry and feed thee c. yet will not Christ do so This is the day of the Beleevers full Justification They were before made just and esteemed Just and by Faith justified in Law and this evidenced to their consciences But now they shall both by Apology be maintained Just and by Sentence pronounced Just actually by the lively voyce of the Judg himself which is the most perfect Justification Their Justification by Faith is a giving them Title in Law to that Apology and Absolving
of Life and the naked to be cloathed from above for the children to come to their Fathers house and the dis-joyned members to be conjoyned with their Head me thinks this should be seldom unseasonable When the Atheistical world began to insult and question the Truth of Scripture promises and ask us Where is now your God where is your long lookt for glory where is the promise of your Lords coming O how seasonable then to convince these unbelievers to silence these scoffers to comfort the dejected waiting believer will the appearing of our Lord be we are oft grudging now that we have not a great share of comforts that our deliverances are not more speedy and eminent that the world prospers more then we that our prayers are not presently answered not considering that our portion is kept to a fitter season that these are not always Winter fruits but when Summer comes we shall have our Harvest We grudg that we do not finde a Canaan in the VVilderness or cities of Rest in Noahs Ark and the songs of Sion in a strange Land that we have not a harbor in the main Ocean or finde not our home in the middle way and are not crowned in the midst of the fight have not our Rest in the heat of the day and have not our inheritance before we are at age and have not Heaven before we leave the Earth and would not all this be very unreasonable I confess in regard of the Churches service the removing of the Saints may sometimes appear to us unseasonable therefore doth God use it as a Judgment and therefore the Church hath ever prayed hard before they would part with them and greatly laid to heart their loss Therefore are the great mournings at the Saint departures and the sad hearts that accompany them to their graves but this is not especially for the departed but for themselves and their children as Christ bid the weeping women Therefore also it is that the Saints in danger of death have oft begged for their lives with that Argument What profit is there in my blood when I go down to the Pit Psal. 30.9 Wilt thou shew wonders to the dead shall the dead arise and praise thee shall thy loving kindness be declared in the grave or thy faithfulness in destruction shall thy wonders be known in the dark and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness Psal. 88.10 for in death there is no remembrance of thee in the grave who shall give thee thanks Psal. 6.5 And this was it that brought Paul to a streight because he knew it was better for the church that he should remain here I must confess it is one of my saddest thoughts to reckon up the useful instruments when God hath lately called out of his Vineyard when the Loyterers are many and the Harvest great and very many Congregations desolate and the people as sheep without shepherds and yet the laborers called from their work especially when a door of Liberty and opportunity is open we cannot but lament so sore a judgment and think the removal in regard of the Church unseasonable I know I speak but your own thoughts and you are too ready to over-run me in application I fear you are too sensible of what I speak and therefore am loath to stir in your sore I perceive you in the posture of the Ephesian Elders and had rather abate the violence of your passions our applications are quicker about our sufferings then our sins and we will quicklier say This loss is mine then This fault is mine But O consider my dear friends hath God any need of such a worme as I cannot he a 1000 wayes supply your wants you know when your case was worse and yet he provided Hath he work to do and will he not finde instruments And though you see not for the present where they should be had they are never the further off for that Where was the world before the creation and where was the promised seed when Isaac lay on the Altar Where was the Land of Promise when Israels burden was increased or when all the old stock save only two were consumed in the Wilderness Where was Davids Kingdom when he was hunted in the Wilderness or the Glory of Christs Kingdom when he was in the Grave or when he first sent his 12. Apostles How suddenly did the number of Labourers encrease immediately upon the Reformation by Luther and how soon were the rooms of those filled up whom the rage of the papists had sacrificed in the flames Have you not lately seen so many difficulties overcome and so many improbable works accomplished that might silence unbelief one would think for ever But if all this do not quiet you for sorrow and discontent are unruly passions yet at least remember this suppose the worst you fear should happen yet shall it be well with all the Saints your own turnes will shortly come and we shall all be hous'd with Christ together where you will want your Ministers and friends no more And for the poor world which is left behind whose unregenerate state causeth your grief why consider shall man pretend to be more merciful then God Hath not he more interest then we both in the Church and in the world and more bowels of compassion to commiserate their distress There is a season for Judgment as well as for mercy and if he will have the most of men to perish for their sin and to suffer the eternal tormenting flames must we question his goodness or manifest our dislike of the severity of his judgments I confess we cannot but bleed over our desolate congregations and that it ill beseems us to make light of Gods indignation but yet we should as Aaron when his sons were slain hold our peace and be silent because it is the Lords doing And say as David If I and his people shall finde favor in the eyes of the Lord he will bring me again and shew me them and his Habitation But if he thus say I have no delight in thee behold here am I let him do with me as seemeth good unto him I conclude then that whatsoever it is to those that are left behinde yet the Saints departure to themselves is usually seasonable I say usually because I know that a very Saint may have a death in some respect unseasonable though it do translate him into this Rest. He may dye in Judgment as good Josiah he may die for his sin For the abuse of the Sacrament many were weak and sickly and many fallen asleep even of those who were thus Judged and chastened by God that they might not be condemned with the world He may die by the hand of publike Justice or die in a way of publike scandal He may die in a weak degree of grace and consequently have a less degree of glory He may die in smaller improvements of his talents and so be Ruler but
this in Heaven Our eyes shall then be filled no more nor our hearts pierced with such lights as at Worcester Edg-hil Newbury Nantwich Montgomery Horn Castle York Naseby Langport c. We shall then have the conquest without the calamity Mine eyes shall never more behold the Earth covered with the carkasses of the slain Our black Ribbands and mourning Attire will then be turned into the white Robes and Garments of gladness O how hardly can my heart now hold when I think of such and such and such a dear Christian Friend slain or departed O how glad must the same heart needs be when I see them all alive and glorified But a far greater grief it is to our Spirits to see the spiritual miseries of our Brethren To see such a one with whom we took sweet councel and who zealously joyned with us in Gods worship to be now fallen off to sensuality turned drunkard worldling or a persecutor of the Saints And these trying times have given us too large occasion for such sorrows To see our dearest and most intimate friends to be turned aside from the Truth of Christ and that either in or neer the Foundation and to be raging confident in the grossest Errors To see many neer us in the flesh continue their neglect of Christ and their souls and nothing will waken them out of their security To look an ungodly Father or Mother Brother or Sister in the face To look on a carnal Wife or Husband or Childe or Friend And to think how certainly they shall be in Hell for ever if they die in their present unregenerate estate O what continual dolors do all these sad sights and thoughts fill our hearts with from day to day And will it not be a blessed day when we shall rest from all these what Christian now is not in Pauls case and cannot speak in his Language 2 Cor. 11.28 29. Besides those things that are without that which cometh upon me daily the care of all the Churches Who is weak and I am not weak who is offended and I burn not What heart is not wounded to think on Germanies long desolations O the learned Universities The flourishing Churches there that now are left desolate Look on Englands four yeers blood a flourishing Land almost made ruined hear but the common voyce in most Cities Towns and Countreys through the Land and judg whether here be no cause of sorrow Especially look but to the sad effects and mens spirits grown more out of order when a most wonderful Reformation by such wonderful means might have been well expected And is not this cause of astonishing sorrows Look to Scotland look to Ireland look almost every where and tell me what you see Blessed that approaching day when our eyes shall behold no more such sights nor our ears hear any more such tidings How many hundred Pamphlets are Printed full of almost nothing but the common calamities So that its become a gainful trade to divulge the news of our Brethrens sufferings And the fears for the future that possessed our hearts were worse then all that we saw or suffered O the tidings that run from Edghil fight of York fight c. How many a face did they make pale and how many a heart did they astonish nay have not many died with the fears of that which if they had lived they had neither suffered nor seen It s said of Melancthon That the miseries of the Church made him almost neglect the death of his most beloved Children to think of the Gospel departing the Glory taken from Israel our Sun setting at Noon day poor souls left willingly dark and destitute and with great pains and hazard blowing out the Light that should guide them to salvation What sad thoughts must these be To think of Christ removing his Family taking away both worship and worshippers and to leave the Land to the rage of the merciless These were sad thoughts Who could then have taken the Harp in hand or sung the pleasant Songs of Zion But blessed be the Lord who hath frustrated our fears and who will hasten that rejoycing day when Sion shall be exalted above the Mountains and her Gates shall be open day and night and the glory of the Gentiles be brought into it and the Nation and Kingdom that will not serve her shall perish When the sons of them that afflicted her shall come bending unto her and all they that despised her shall bow themselves down at the soles of her feet and they shall call her The City of the Lord the Sion of the holy One of Israel When her people also shall be all Righteous even the Work of Gods hands the Branch of his planting who shall inherit the Land for ever that he may be glorified When that voice shall sound forth Rejoyce with Jerusalem and be glad with her all ye that love her Rejoyce for joy with her all ye that mourn for her That ye may suck and be satisfied with the brests of her consolation that ye may milk out and be delighted with the abundance of her glory Thus shall we Rest from our participation of our Brethrens sufferings SECT XVI 8. WE shall Rest also from all our own personal sufferings whether natural and ordinary or extraordinary from the afflicting hand of God And though this may seem a small thing to those that live in continual ease and abound in all kinde of prosperity yet me thinks to the daily afflicted soul it should make the fore-thoughts of Heaven delightful And I think we shall meet with few of the Saints but will say That this is their own case O the dying life that we now live As full of sufferings as of days and hours We are the Carkasses that all Calamities prey upon As various as they are each one will have a snatch at us and be sure to devour a morsel of our comforts When we bait our Bulls and Bears we do but represent our own condition whose lives are consumed under such assaults and spent in succession of fresh encounters All Creatures have an enmity against us ever since we made the Lord of all our enemy And though we are reconciled by the blood of the Covenant and the price is paid for our full deliverance yet our Redeemer sees it fit to leave this measure of misery upon us to make us know for what we are beholden and to minde us of what we would else forget to be serviceable to his wise and gracious designes and advantagious to our full and final Recovery He hath sent us as Lambs among Wolves and sure there is little Rest to be expected As all our Senses are the inlets of sin so are they become the inlets of our sorrow Grief creeps in at our eyes at our ears and almost every where It seiseth upon our head our hearts our flesh our Spirits and what part doth escape it Fears do devour us and
darken our Delights as the Frosts do nip the tender Buds Cares do consume us and feed upon our Spirits as the scorching Sun doth wither the delicate Flowers Or if any Saint or Stoick have fortified his inwards against these yet is he naked still without and if he be wiser then to create his own sorrows yet shall he be sure to feel his share he shall produce them as the meritorious if not as the efficient cause What tender pieces are these dusty bodies what brittle Glasses do we bear about us and how many thousand dangers are they hurried through and how hardly cured if once crackt O the multitudes of slender Veins of tender Membranes Nerves Fibres Muscles Arteries and all subject to Obstructions Exesions Tensions Contractions Resolutions Ruptures or one thing or other to cause their Grief Every one a fit subject for pain and fit to communicate that pain to the whole What noble part is there that suffereth its pain or ruine alone whatever it is to the sound and healthful methinks to such as my self this Rest should be acceptable who in ten or twelve yeers time have scarce had a whole day free from some dolor O the weary nights and days O the unserviceable languishing weakness O the restless working vapors O the tedious nauseous medicines besides the daily expectations of worse and will it not be desireable to Rest from all these There will then be no crying out O my Head O my Stomack or O my Sides or O my Bowels No no sin and flesh and dust and pain will be all left behinde together O what would we not give now for a little ease much more for a perfect cure how then should we value that perfect freedom If we have some mixed comforts here they are scarce enough to sweeten our crosses or if we have some short and smiling intermissions it is scarce time enough to breathe us in and to prepare our tacklings for the next storm If one wave pass by another succeeds And if the night be over and the day come yet will it soon be night again Some mens Feavers are continual and some intermittent some have Tertians and some Quartans but more or less all have their fits O the blessed tranquillity of that Region where there is nothing but sweet continued Peace No succession of Joy there because no intermission Our lives will be but one Joy as our time will be changed into one Eternity O healthful place where none are sick O fortunate Land where all are Kings O place most holy where ãâã are Priests How free a State where none are servants save to their supream Monarch For it shall come to pass that in that day ãâã Lord shall give us Rest from our sorrow and our fear and ãâã the haâd bondage wherein we served Isai. 14.3 The poor man shall no more be tired with his incessant labors No more use of Plough or Flail or Sythe or Sicle No stooping of the Servant to the Master or the Tenant to the Landlord No hunger or thirst or cold or nakedness No pinching Frosts nor scorching Heats Our very Beasts who suffered with us shall also be freed from their bondage our selves therefore much more Our faces shall no more be pale or sad our groans and sighes will be done away and God will wipe away all tears from our eyes Revel 7.15 16 17. No more parting of friends asunder nor voyce of Lamentation heard in our dwellings No more breaches nor disproportion in our friendship nor any trouble accompanying our relations No more care of Master for Servants of Parents for Children of Magistrates over Subjects of Ministers over people No more sadness for our Study lost our Preaching lost our Intreaties lost the Tenders of Christs blood lost and our dear Peoples Souls lost No more marrying nor giving in marriage but we shall be as the Angels of God O what room can there be for any evil where the whole is perfectly filled with God Then shall the ransomed of the Lord return and come to Sion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads They shall obtain joy and gladness and sorrow and sighing shall flie away Isai. 35.10 Hold out then a little longer O my soul bear with the infirmities of thine earthly Tabernacle endure that share of sorrows that the love of thy Father shall impose submit to his indignation also because thou had sinned against him it will be thus but a little while the sound of thy Redeemers feet are even at the door and thine own deliverance neerer then many others And thou who hast often cried in the language of the Divine Poet Sorrow was all my soul I scarce beleeved till Grief did tell me roundly that I lived shalt then feel That God and Joy is all thy Soul the fruition of whom with thy freedom from all these sorrows will more sweetly and more feelingly make thee know and to his eternal praise acknowledg That thou livest And thus we shall Rest from all Afflictions SECT XVII 9. WE shall Rest also from all the trouble and pain of Duty The Conscientious Magistrate now ctyes out O the burden that lieth upon me The conscientious parents that know the preciousness of their childrens souls and the constant pains required to their godly education cry out O the burden The conscientious Minister above all when he reads his charge 2 Tim 4.1 and views his patterne Mark 3.20.21 c. Act. 20.18 31. When he hath tryed a while what it is to study and pray and preach according to the weight and Excellency of the work to go from house to house and from neighbor to neighbor and to beseech them night and day with tears and after all to be hated and persecuted for so doing no wonder if he cry out O the burden and be ready ãâã to run away with Jonas and with Jeremy to say I will not make mention of him nor speak any more in his Name For his word is a reproach to us and a derision daily But that he hath made his word as a fire shut up in our bones and heart that we are weary of forbearing and cannot stay Jer. 20.8 9. How long may we study and labor before one soul is brought clear over to Christ And when it is done how soon do the snares of sensuality or error entangle them How many receive the doctrine of delusion before they have time to be built up in the Truth And when Heresies must of necessity arise how few of them do appear approved The first new strange apparation of light doth so amaze them that they think they are in the third Heavens when they are but newly passed from the suburbs of Hell and are presently as confident as if they knew all things when they have not yet half light enough to acquaint them with their ignorance But after 10 or 20 years study they become usually of the same judgment with those they despised
wils this will be a griping thought to their hearts What thinks this wretched creature had I not enemies enough in the world but I must be an enemy to my self God would neither give the devil nor the world so much power over me as to force me to commit the least transgression if I had not consented their temprations had been in vain they could but intice me it was my self that yielded and that did the evil and must I needs lay hands upon mine own soul and imbrew my hands in my own blood who should pitty me who pittied not my self and who brought all this upon mine own head When the enemies of Christ did pull down his Word and Laws his Ministry and Worship the news of it did rejoyce me when they set up dumb or seducing or ungodly Ministers in stead of the faithful Preachers of the Gospel I was glad to have it so when the Minister told me the evil of my ways and the dangerous state that my soul was in I took him for mine enemy and his Preaching did stir up my hatred against him