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O turn these fears into strong desires, and this loathness to die, into longings after thee ! While I must be absent from thee, let my soul as heartily groan under thine absence, as my pained body doth under its want of health : and let not these groans be counterfeit or constrained, but let them come from a longing, loving heart, unfeignedly judging it best to depart and be with Christ: and if I have any more time to spend on earth, let me live without the world in thee, as I have some time lived without thee in the world. O suffer me not to spend, at a distance from thee, another day of this my pilgrimage! While I have a thought to think, let me not forget thee; while I have a tongue to move, let me not cease to speak of thee with delight; while I have a breath to breathe, let me breathe after thee; while I have a knee to bend, let it bow daily at thy footstool; and when by sickness thou confinest me to my couch, do thou make my bed, and number my pains, and put all my tears into thy bottle. And as when my spirit groaned for my sins, the flesh would not second it, but desired that which my spirit did abhor; so now, when my flesh does groan under its pains, let not my spirit second it, but suffer the flesh to groan alone, and let me desire that day which my flesh abhorreth, that my friends may not with so much sorrow wait for the departure of my soul, as my soul with joy shall wait for its own departure; and then let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be as his, even a removal to that glory which shall never end. Send forth thy convoy of angels for my departed soul, and let them convey it among the perfect spirits of the just; and when my friends are weeping over my grave, let my spirit be at rest with thee, and when my corpse shall lie there rotting in the dark, let my soul be in the inheritance of the saints in light. And O thou that numberest the very hairs of my head, do thou number all the days that my body shall lie in the dust; and thou that writest all my members in thy book, do thou keep an account of all my scattered bones; and hasten, O my Saviour, the time of thy return; send forth thine angels, and let that dreadful joyful trumpet sound. Delay not, lest the living give up their hopes. Delay not, lest earth should grow like hell, and lest thy church by division be crumbled all to dust, and dissolved by being resolved into individual units. Delay not, lest thine enemies get advantage of thy flock, and lest pride and hypocrisy, and sensuality, and unbelief should prevail against thy little remnant, and share among them thy whole inheritance, and when thou comest thou find not faith on the earth. Delay not, lest the grave should boast of victory; and having learned rebellion of its guest, should plead prescription, and refuse to deliver thee up thy due. 0 hasten the great resurrection day! when thy command shall go forth, and none shall disobey ;-when the earth and sea shall yield up their hostages, and all that sleep in the grave shall awake;—when the seed that thou sowest corruptible shall come forth incorruptible; and graves that received but rottenness, and retained but dust, shall return thee glorious stars and suns. Therefore do I lay down my carcase in the dust, entrusting it, not to the grave, but to thee; therefore my flesh shall rest in hope, till thou raise it to the possession of the everlasting rest.

Return, O Lord, how long! Olet thy kingdom come! Thy desolate bride says, Come. Thy Spirit within her says, Come, who teaches her thus to pray with groanings after thee, which cannot be uttered. The whole creation says, Come, waiting to be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God. Thou thyself hast said, Surely I come quickly. Amen, even so come, Lord Jesus.

CONCLUSION.

Thus I have given thee my best advice for the attainment and maintenance of an heavenly conversation. The manner is imperfect, and too much mine own; but for the main matter, I venture to say, I received it from God. From him I deliver it to thee, and his charge I lay upon thee, that thou entertain and practise it. If thou canst not do it methodically and fully, yet do it as thou canst ;-only be sure thou do it seriously and frequently. If thou wilt believe a man that has made some small trial of it, thou wilt find it will make thee another man. It will elevate thy soul, and clear thy understanding, and polish thy conversation, and leave a pleasant savour upon thy heart; so that thy own experience will make thee confess, that one hour thus spent will more effectually revive thee, than many employed in bare external duties; and a day spent in these contemplations will afford thee more happiness than all the glory and riches of the earth. Be acquainted with this work, and thou wilt in some degree, be acquainted with God. Thy joys will be spiritual, and prevalent, and lasting, according to the nature of their blessed object. Thou wilt have comfort in life and comfort in death. When thou hast neither wealth nor health, nor the pleasures of this world, yet wilt thou have comfort, comfort without the presence or help of any friend, without a minister, without a book. When all means are denied thee, or taken from thee, yet mayest thou have vigorous, substantial comfort. Thy graces will be mighty, and active, and victorious; and the daily joy which is thus brought from heaven will be thy strength. Thou wilt be as one that stands on the top of an exceeding high mountain : he looks down on the world as if it were quite below him.

How small do the fields, and woods, and countries appear to him! Cities and towns seem but little spots. Thus wilt thou look on all things here below. The greatest princes will appear to thee but as grasshoppers; and the busy, contentious, covetous world, but as a heap of ants. Men's threatenings will be no terror to thee; nor the honours of this world any enticement. Temptations will be more harmless, as having lost their strength, and afflictions less grievous, as having lost their sting; while on the other hand, every mercy will be better known and better relished.

Reader, it is under God in thine own choice now, whether thou wilt live this blessed life or not; and whether all this pains which I have taken for thee, shall prosper or be lost. O man! What hast thou to mind but God and heaven? Art thou not almost out of this world already? Dost thou not look every day, when one disease or other will send away thy soul ? Does not the bier stand ready to carry thee to the grave? O where, then, should thy heart be now but in heaven? Didst thou but know what a dread. ful thing it is to have a strange and doubtful thought of heaven when a man lies dying, it would surely rouse thee up. And what other thought but strange can that man have, who never, till then, thought seriously of heaven? Every man's first thoughts are strange about all things. Familiarity and acquaintance come not in a moment, but are the consequence of custom and frequent converse: and strangeness naturally raises dread, as familiarity does delight. Alas, how little do many godly persons differ from the world, either in their comforts or their willingness to die! And all because they live so strange to the place and fountain of their comforts. Except by a little verbal, or other outside duties, or talking of controversies and doctrines of religion, or forbearing the practice of some sins, how little do the most of the religious world differ from other men, when God hath prepared so vast a difference hereafter! If a word of heaven fall in now and then in their conference, alas, how slight is it, and customary, and heartless! And if their prayers or preaching have heavenly expressions, they usually are fetched from their mere invention, or memory, or books, and not from the experience or feeling of their hearts. O what a life might men live, if they were but willing and diligent! God would have our joys to be far more than our sorrows; yea,

he would have us to have no sorrow, but what tendeth to joy; and no more than our sins have made necessary for our good. How much do those Christians wrong God and themselves, that either make their thoughts of God the inlet of their sorrows, or let these offered joys lie by, neglected or forgotten!

My Christian friends, I have here lined you out a heavenly precious work: would you but do it, it would make you happy indeed. To delight in God, is the work of angels, and the contrary is the work of devils. If God would persuade you now to make conscience of this duty, and help you in it by the blessed influence of his Spirit, you would not change your lives with the greatest prince on earth. But I am afraid, if I may judge of your hearts by the backwardness of my own, that it will prove a hard thing to persuade you to the work, and that much of my labour will be lost. Pardon my jealousy: it is raised upon too many and sad experiments. What say you? Do you resolve on this heavenly course or no? Will you

let

go all your sinful fleshly pleasures, and daily seek after these higher delights? I pray thee, reader, here shut the book, and consider of it; and resolve on the duty before thou go

further. Let thy family perceive, let thy neighbours perceive, let thy conscience perceive, yea, let God perceive it, that thou art a man who hast thy daily conversation in heaven. God hath now offered to be thy daily delight; and wilt thou neglect or refuse it. What! refuse delight! and especially such delight! If I had proposed to you a course of melancholy and fear, and sorrow, you might have demurred about it. But take heed what thou dost; refuse this, and you refuse all. Thou must have heavenly delights, or none that are

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