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regards to him, how different are his words! "Car a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet my people have forgotten me, days without number." Ah! vile ingratitude. Is not this the sin which Isaiah so solemnly calls both heaven and earth to witness against? "Hear, O heavens! and give ear, O earth! for the Lord hath spoken. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib; but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider." O brethren give not God cause to expostulate thus with you; but rather admire his minding of you, and let this draw your mind again to him, and say as Job, “What is man that thou shouldst magnify him, and that thou shouldst set thy heart upon him, and that thou shouldst visit him every morning, and try him every moment ?" Let thy soul ascend to God, and visit him every morning, and let thy heart be towards him every moment.

XI. Consider, should not our interest in heaven, and our relation to it, continually keep our hearts upon it? Why, there our Father keeps his court; and accordingly in our prayers we call him "Our Father which art in heaven." Ah! ungracious children, that can be so taken up with things here below, as to be unmindful of such a Father! There too is Christ our head, our husband, our life; and shall we not look towards him, till we come and see him face to face? There are multitudes of our elder brethren, many of them our friends and our ancient acquaintance, whose society in the flesh we so much delighted in, and whose departure hence we so much lamented. And is this no attraction to thy thoughts? If they were within thy reach on earth, thou wouldst go and visit them, and why wilt thou not oftener visit them in spirit, and rejoice to think of thy meeting them there again? "Socrates rejoiced," said Bullinger, " that he should die, because he believed he would see Homer, and Hesiod, and other illustrious men; how much more do I rejoice, who am sure to see Christ my Saviour, the eternal son of God, in his assumed flesh; and, likewise, so many holy and excellent men, the

patriarchs and prophets, the apostles and martyrs." Moreover, our house and home is above; for "we know that if the earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." Why then do we look no oftener towards it, and groan not more earnestly, "desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven?" We are strangers here, and that is our country: we are heirs, and that is our inheritance, even "an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for us." We are here in continual distress and want, and there lies our substance, even that "better and more enduring substance." Yea, the very hope of our souls is there; all our hope of relief from our distresses; all our hope of happiness; all this hope is laid up for us in heaven. Why, beloved Christians, have we so much interest, and yet so few thoughts there? Why have we so near relation, and so little affection? Does it become us to be delighted with the company of strangers, so as to forget our Father, and our Lord? or to be so well pleased with those that hate and grieve us, as to forget our best and dearest friends? or to be so enraptured with toys and trifles, as to forget our inheritance and our treasure? O, that we could mind our own inheritance, and value it but half as much as it deserves!

Lastly, Consider there is nothing else worth setting our hearts upon. If God have them not, who or what shall have them? If thou mind not thy everlasting rest, what wilt thou mind? Hast thou found out some other God, or heaven? or something that will serve thee instead of rest? Hast thou found on earth an eternal happiness? Ah sinner! trust not to thy discoveries; boast not of thy gain, till experience bid thee boast, or rather take up with the experience of thy forefathers, who are now in the dust, and who found that all on earth was vanity and vexation of spirit. I would advise thee not to make experiments at so dear a rate, as all those do that seek after happiness, here below; lest, when the substance is lost, thou

find, when it is too late, that thou didst catch but a shadow. I would wish thee not to trouble thyself in looking for that which is not on earth, lest thou learn thy experience with the loss of thy soul, which thou mightest have learned on easier terms, even by the warnings of God in his word, and by the loss of thousands of souls before thee.

Thus I have given thee various arguments to consider of, and if it may be, to persuade thee to an heavenly life. I now entreat thee to review them. Read them deliberately, and read them again, and then tell me, Are they reason or are they not? Are these considerations weighty, or are they not? Are these arguments convincing, or are they not? Have I proved it thy duty, and of absolute necessity, to keep thy heart on things above, or have I not? I have now a few plain directions to give you, to help you in performing this great work; but alas! it is in vain to mention them, unless you be willing to put them in practice. What sayest thou, reader? Art thou willing, or art thou not? Wilt thou obey, if I show thee the way of thy duty? However, I will set them down, and offer them to thee, and may the Lord persuade thy heart to the work!



THE first exhortation which I must here give thee is to avoid some dangerous hinderances which otherwise will keep thee from this work, as they have done many thousand souls before thee. If I show thee briefly where the rocks and gulfs lie; if I erect a mark over every quicksand, I hope thou wilt beware of them. As, therefore, thou valuest the comforts of a heavenly life, I here charge thee before God to avoid most carefully the following impediments.

I. Beware of living in known unmortified sin. O what havoc will this make in thy soul! O, the joys that it has destroyed, the blessed communion with God, that it has interrupted! the ruins that it has made amongst men's graces! but, above all others, it is especially an enemy to this great duty.

O Christian, I desire thee in the fear of God, stay here a little, and search thy heart. Art thou one that has used violence with thy conscience? Art thou a wilful neglecter of known duties, either public, private, or secret? Art thou a slave to thine appetite, in eating or drinking, or to any other commanding sense? Art thou a proud seeker of esteem and honour, a man that must needs have other men's good opinion? Art thou a peevish and passionate person, ready to take fire at every word, or look, or every supposed slighting of thee, or every neglect of compliment or courtesy ? Art thou a knowing deceiver of others in thy dealings? Or one that has set thyself to rise in the world, be the means what they may? If this be thy case, I dare say heaven and thy soul are great strangers: I dare say thou art seldom in heart with God, and there is little hope it will ever be better with thee, as long as thou continuest in these transgressions. Every wilful sin that thou livest in, will be to thy comforts as water to the fire. When thou thinkest to quicken them, this will quench them; when thy heart begins to draw near to God, this will fill thee with doubting, and cover thee with shame. Besides sin utterly indisposes and disables thee for this work. When thou shouldst wind up thy heart to heaven, alas, it is biased another way; it is entangled in the lusts of the flesh, and can no more ascend in divine meditation, than the bird can fly whose wings are clipped, or that is entangled in the snare. If heaven and hell can meet together, and if God can become a lover of sin, then mayst thou live in thy sin, and yet taste of glory, and have a conversation in heaven, though thou cherish thy corruption. If, therefore, thou find thyself guilty, never doubt but that this is the cause which estranges thee from heaven; and

take heed lest it at last keep out thyself, as it now keeps out thy heart.

Resolve then to keep from the occasions of sin, and, as much as possible, out of the way of temptation. The strongest Christian is unsafe among occasions of sin. O what need have we to pray daily, "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil? And shall we pray against occasions of sin, and yet cast ourselves upon them? Christ thought it not unnecessary to say to his disciples, "Remember Lot's wife;" "What I say to one, I say unto all, Watch."

II. Beware of earthly-mindedness. You may easily conceive, that this cannot consist with a heavenly mind. God and mammon, earth and heaven, cannot both have possession of thy heart. If thou be a man that hast fancied to thyself, some content or happiness to be found on earth, and beginnest to taste a sweetness in gain, and to aspire after a fuller and higher estate, believe me, thou art marching with thy back upon Christ, and art posting apace from this heavenly life. Why, the world has that from thee, which God has from the heavenly Christian. When he is blessing himself in his God, and rejoicing in hope of the glory to come, thou art blessing thyself in thy prosperity, and rejoicing in hope of thy thriving on earth. When he is solacing his soul with the views of Christ, of the angels and the saints with whom he shall live for ever, thou art comforting thyself in looking at thy bills and bonds, thy money, thy goods, thy cattle, thy buildings, thy lands; in thinking of the favour of some great ones of the earth, of the pleasure of a plentiful estate, of a larger provision for thy children, and of the advancement of thy family. Dost thou not delight and please thyself with daily rolling these thoughts in thy mind, when a gracious soul should have higher delights? If Christ pronounced him a fool that said, "Soul, take thine ease, thou hast goods laid up for many years," how much more so art thou, who knowing this, yet takest not warning, but in thy heart speakest the same words! Look them over seriously, and tell me what difference there is between

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