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salvation of the Lord. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. I will sit alone, and keep silence, because I have borne it upon me. I will put my mouth in the dust, if so be there

may

be hope. For the Lord will not cast off for ever; but though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion, according to the multitude of his mercies.' Though I languish and die, yet will I hope; for he has said, •The righteous hath hope in his death. Though I must lie down in dust and darkness, yet shall my flesh rest in hope. If I had to satisfy divine justice for my sins, there had then been no hope ; but Christ has made atonement for our transgressions, and has brought in a better hope, by which we may now draw nigh to God; therefore will I turn to this stronghold, as a prisoner of hope.'

4. The next affection to be exercised is COURAGE Or BOLDNESS. When you have thus mounted on the wings of love, desire, and hope, go on, and think further thus with yourselves, “ And will God indeed dwell with men ? And is there such a glory within the reach of hope? O why do I not then lay hold

Where is the cheerful vigour of my spirit? Why do I not run with speed the race that is set before me? Why do I not set upon mine enemies on every side, and valiantly break through all resistance, and take the kingdom by force? What should dismay me? Is God with me, or against me in the work ? Will Christ stand by me, or will he not? If it were a way of sin that leads to death, then I might expect that God would resist me, and stand in my way with the drawn sword of his displeasure, or at least overtake me to my grief at last. But is he against the obeying of his own commands? Is perfect goodness opposed to any thing but evil? Does he bid me seek, and will he not assist me in it? Does he urge me to work, and will he after all be against me in it?

It cannot be. O blessed rest ! O glorious state! Who would sell thee for dreams and shadows? Who would be enticed or affrighted from thee? Who would not strive, and fight, and watch, and run, and

upon it ?

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that with violence, even to the last breath, if he may but hope at last to obtain thee? Surely none but those that know thee not, and believe not thy glory.” Thus you see with what kind of meditations you may excite your courage,

and raise

your

resolutions. 5. The last affection to be exercised is Joy. This is the end of all the others; love, desire, hope and courage, all tend to the raising of our joy.

Well, then, by this time, if thou hast managed well the former work, thou art got within view of thy rest; thou believest the truth of it; thou art convinced of the excellency of it; thou art fallen in love with it; thou longest after it; thou hopest for it, and thou art resolved courageously to venture all for obtaining it. But is there in this any work for joy? What! is it nothing to have a deed of gift of eternal life from God

Is it nothing to live in daily expectation of entering the kingdom? Is not my assurance of being soon glorified, a ground of inexpressible joy? Is it no delight to the heir of a kingdom to think of what he must hereafter possess, though at present he differ little from a servant ? Am I not commanded to 6 rejoice in the hope of the glory of God ?"

“ It is the Father's good pleasure to give thee the kingdom." Seest thou this astonishing glory above thee? Why, all this is thy own inheritance. This crown is thine, these pleasures are thine, this company, this beauteous place is thine, all are thine, because thou art Christ's, and Christ is God's. When thou wast united to him, thou hadst all this with him.

Thus take thy heart into the land of promise. Show it the pleasant hills, and fruitful valleys; show it the clusters of grapes which thou hast gathered, and by these convince it that it is a blessed land, flowing with something better than milk and honey. Enter the gates of the holy city, traverse the streets of the new Jerusalem, walk about Sion, go round about her, tell the towers thereof, mark well her bulwarks, consider her palaces. See, it has “the glory of God, and her light is like unto a stone most precious; and it hath a wall great and high; and it hath twelve gates, and at

304 THE FACULTIES EXERCISED IN CONTEMPLATION.

the gates twelve angels; and the building of the wall is of jasper, and the city is of pure gold, like unto clear glass; and the foundation of the wall is garnished with all manner of precious stones; and the twelve gates are twelve pearls; every several gate is of one pearl, and the street of the city is pure gold, as it were transparent glass; and there is no temple therein, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city hath no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it, for the glory of God doth lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof, and the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it; and the kings of the earth shall bring their glory and honour unto it; and the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day, for there shall be no night there.” What sayest thou to all this? This is thy rest, O my soul; this shall be the place of thy everlasting habitation.

Here must I lodge, here must I live, here must I praise, here must I love, and be beloved. I shall shortly be one of this heavenly choir ; I shall then be better skilled in the music. Among this blessed company I shall take my place. My voice shall join to make up the melody. My tears will then be wiped away; my groans exchanged for songs of praise; my cottage of clay will be exchanged for this palace, and my prison dress for these splendid robes. My corrupt flesh shall be put off, and a sun-like spiritual body put on: for “ the former things shall have passed away.“Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God.” There trouble and lamentation cease, and the voice of sorrow is not heard. When the wise men saw but the star of Christ, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. But I shall shortly see the star of Jacob, even him who is the bright and morning star. If the women returned from the sepulchre with great joy, when they but heard he was risen from the dead, what joy shall I feel when I shall see him not only risen, but reigning in glory, and myself raised to a blessed communion with him? Then shall we have 6 beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and

the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness," when he has made Zion “an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations."

CHAPTER VII.

HELFS FOR EXCITING THE AFFECTIONS IN HEAVENLY

CONTEMPLATION.

I PROCEED to show you what helps you should use, to make your meditations of heaven more quickening, and more influential. This is the chief thing at which I aim, that you may not content yourselves simply with cogitation, but may have a lively sense of all upon your hearts. This you will find the most difficult part of the work. It is easier barely to think of heaven a whole day, than to be lively and affectionate in these thoughts one quarter of an hour. Let us, therefore, yet a little further consider what may be done, to make your thoughts of heaven affecting, elevating thoughts.

Here therefore you must understand, that the simple work of faith has many disadvantages with us, in comparison of the work of sense. Faith is imperfect, for we are renewed but in part; it meets with a world of resistance, and being supernatural, is ever prone to decline and to languish, unless it is continually renewed and excited; but sense is natural, and therefore continues while nature continues. The objects of faith are far distant; we must go as far as heaven for our joys; but the objects of sense are near at hand. It is no easy matter to rejoice at that which we never saw, nor ever knew the man that did see it; and this upon a mere promise which is written in the Bible; but to rejoice in that which we see and feel, in that of which we have possession already, this is not difficult. Well then, what should be done in such a case ? Why surely it will be a point of spiritual prudence, and a

singular help to the furthering of the work of faith, to call in our senses to its assistance. If we can make friends of these enemies, and make them instruments of raising us to God, which are the usual means of drawing us from him, I think we shall perform a very excellent work. Surely it is both possible and lawful, yea and necessary too, to do something in this way; for God would not have given us either our senses themselves, or their usual objects, if they might not be serviceable to his own praise, and helps to raise us to the apprehension of higher things. To assist thee in thy meditations, attend, therefore, to the rules following:

I. When thou settest thyself to meditate on the joys of heaven, think on them boldly as Scripture has expressed them; bring down thy conceptions to the reach of sense. When we attempt to think of God and glory in proper conceptions without such helps, we are lost, and have nothing to fix our thoughts upon. Put Christ therefore no farther from you, than he has put himself, lest the Divine nature be again inaccessible. Think of Christ as in our own nature glorified ; think of your fellow saints as men made perfect; think of the city as the Spirit has expressed it. Draw as strong suppositions as thou canst from thy senses for the helping of thy affections. It is lawful to suppose we see for the present, that which God has in prophecies revealed, and which we shall ere long really see in more unspeakable brightness. Suppose thyself now beholding the city of God; and that thou hadst been companion with John in his survey of its glory; and hadst seen the thrones, the Majesty, the heavenly hosts, the shining splendour which he saw : suppose thou hadst been his fellowtraveller into the celestial kingdom, and that thou hadst seen the saints clothed in white robes, with palms of victory in their hands: suppose thou hadst heard the song of Moses and of the Lamb; or didst even now hear them praising and glorifying the living God. If thou hadst indeed beheld all these things, in what a rapture wouldst thou be! And the

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