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& promise to support them till they came to life | tians know how much they wrong God and eternal! How joyfully shall I bless him that themselves, and how much they lose by the diby that immortal seed regenerated me to the ininutive, poor thoughts which they have of God's hopes of glory, and that ruled me by so holy and mercies. Ingratitude is a grievous misery to the just a law !
sinner, as gratitude is a very pleasant work. VI. In that world of light I shall better un- Many a thousand mercies we now receive, which derstand God's present and past works of pro- we greatly undervalue. But when I come to the vidence, by which he orders the matters of this state and work of perfect gratitude, I shall have world : the wisdom and goodness of them is a more perfect knowledge of all the mercies little understood in little parcels ; it is the which ever I received in my life, and which my union and harmony of all the parts which shows neighbours, friends, God's church and the world, the beauty of them, when the single parcels seem did ever receive: for though the thing be past, deformed, or are not understood. . No one can the use of it is not past. Mercies remembered see the whole together but God, and they that must be the matter of our everlasting thanks : see it in the light of his celestial glory : it is a we cannot be perfectly thankful for them, withprospect of that end, by which we have here any out a perfect knowledge of them. The worth of true understanding of such parcels as we see. a Christ, and all his grace, the work of the gosThen I shall know clearly why, or to what use, pel, the worth of our church privileges, and all God prospered the wicked, and tried the right God's ordinances, the worth of our books, friends, eous by so many afflictions : I shall know why helps of our life and health, and all convenienhe set up the ungodly, and put the humble under ces, will be better understood in heaven than their feet; why he permitted so much ignorance, the most holy and thankful Christian here unungodliness, pride, lust, oppression, persecution, derstands them. falsehood, deceit, and other sins in the world. I VIII. It will be some addition to my future shall know why the faithful are so few; and why happiness, that I shall then be much better acso many kingdoms of the world are left in hea- quainted with myself; both with my nature, and thenism, Mahometanism and infidelity. The with my sin and grace. I shall then better strange permissions which now so puzzle me, and know the nature of a soul, and its faculties, are the matter of my astonishment, shall all be three in one. I shall know the nature and way then as clear as day, I shall know why God of its operations, and how far its acts are simple, disposed of me as he did through all my life; or compound. I shall know how far memory, and why I suffered what I did, and how many fancy, and sense internal and external belong to great deliverances I had, which I understood not the rational soul, and whether the sensitive and here ; and how they were accomplished. All our rational are two or one ; and what senses will mis-interpretations of God's works and permis- perish, and what not. I shall know how the sions, will be then rectified : all our controversies soul doth act upon itself, and what acts it hath about them, which Satan hath made so great ad- that are not felt in sleep, in apoplexies, and in vantage of, by a pretended zeal for some truths the womb. I shall know whether the vegetative of God, will then be reconciled, and at an end : nature be any thing else than fire ; and whether all the works of divine providence from the be- it be of the same essence with the soul, sensitive ginning of the world, will then appear a most de- or rational. I shall know how far the soul is lectable, beauteous frame.
receptive, and what the final cause doth to it. VII. Among all these works, I shall specially and what each object is to the constitution or know more, the nature and excellency of God's production of the act; yea, and what an act is, mercies, and gifts of love, which here we too and what a habit ; and how a soul acting or unthankfully undervalued and made light of : the habited differs from itself not acting or habited ; special works of love should be the matter of our and how its acts are many and yet but one ; or most constant, sweet, and serious thoughts, and its faculties at least. Many other such difficulthe fuel of our constant love and gratitude: the ties will all be solved, which now philosophers lively sense of love and mercy, makes lively contend about in the dark, and pass but under Christians, abounding in love to God, and mercy doubtful conjectures ; or at least are known to to others : but the enemy of God and man most very few. labours to obscure, diminish, and disgrace God's I shall know how God's Spirit operates on love and mercies to us, or to make us disrelish souls ; and how it is sent from Christ's human them, that they may be unfruitful as to their nature to work on man; and whether grace be excellent ends and uses. Little do most Chris. properly, or only metaphorically, called a nature
(a new nature, a divine nature) in us. I shall (mies, what sins, what dangers, I was here delive know what freewill is, and how man's will can ered : what contrivances and malicious endeabe the first determiner of any act of its own in vours of Satan and his instruments God defeated: a moral view, good or evil, without being such a how many snares I escaped : and I shall better first cause, as none but God can be: and so how know how great my deliverance is by Christ far free acts are necessitated or not. I shall know from the wrath to come. Though we shall not what power the intellect hath on the will, and know hell by painful sense, we shall know it so the will on the intellect; and what power the far as is necessary to fill us with gratitude to our sense and fancy hath on either; and what any Redeemer: yea, we shall know much of it far agent of intellect doth : whether it be to our in- better than the damned spirits that feel it. For tellect as the sun is to our sight. I shall know we shall know by sweet and full fruition what what is meant by the degrees of acts and habits the joy and blessedness is which they have lost; in the soul ; and whether there be divers degrees when they have no such kind of knowledge of substantiality, or of the virtue or former power of it. of several souls. I shall know better the differ- All this knowledge will be thus advanced to ence of habits called acquired and infused ; and my glorified soul beyond what I can here conwhat common grace is, and what it doth ; and ceive in flesh : and is it not then far better to what nature can do of itself or by common grace, be with Christ? without that which is proper to the justified ; and how far any degrees of grace are lost.
SECTION IV.- REASONS FROM THE CONSTITUTION I shall know what measure of grace I had OF THE WILL,—THAT IT IS FAR BETTER TO BE myself; and how far I was mistaken in myself; and what acts were sincere ; and how much that was not found was mixed; and what was of my- But it is the will that is to the soul, what the self and sin.
heart is to the body: as it is the prime seat of I shall know much more of my sin than here morality, so is it the chief seat of felicity. My I ever knew, the number and the greatness of greatest evil is there ; and my greatest subjecthem; that so I may know with greatest thank- tive good will be there. Satan did most against fulness and love, how much I am beholden to it, and God will do most for it. Will it not be pardoning and healing grace.
better to be with Christ than here? Yea, I shall know more of my body, as it It will not there be tied to a body of cross was the habitation of my soul, or the organi- interests and inclinations, which is now the cal matter on which unitedly it worked. I shall greatest snare and enemy to my soul : which is know how far it helped or hindered me; and still drawing my love, care, fears, and sorrows, what were all those obscure diseases that puzzled to and for itself, and turning them from my high. all the physicians, and myself ; and how marvel- est interest. How great a deliverance will it be lously God sustained, preserved, and often di- to be freed from the temptations, and the inorlivered me; and what of my actions was to be dinate love, cares, and fears for this corruptible imputed to the body, and what of them to the flesh ? soul.
My will shall not there be tempted by a world IX. Every fellow-creature, which I am con- of inferior good, which is the bait and provision cerned to know, I shall know far better than now for the flesh, where meat, sleep, and possessions, I do, both things and persons: the good and bad, house, lands, and friends, are all become my the sincere and the hypocrites, will be there dis- snares and danger: God's mercies will not be cerned: and many an action that here went for made there the tempter's instruments. I shall honourable, covered or coloured with wit or not there have the flatteries or frowns, promises worldly advantages, or false pretences, will then or threatenings of the tyrants of the world, to be found to be odious and unjust: and wicked-tempt me: bad company will not infect me, nor ness will be flattered or extenuated no more : divert me: the errors of good men will not se. and
many a good and holy work which false men, duce me, nor reputation or reverence of the through wickedness and worldly interest, re-wise, learned, or religious, draw me to imitate proached as some odious crime, will there be them in
sin. justified, honoured, and rewarded : all sciences I shall there have none of Satan's solicitations, are there perfect, without our ambiguous terms to pervert my will: he will not have that ador imperfect axioms and rules of art.
vantage by my sense and fancy, nor that access X. Lastly, I shall better know from what ene-Junto me, as now he hath. But of this I spake before.
My will shall there be better than here. There all moral good is primarily in the will. Then will be nothing in it that is displeasing to God: there can be no matter of disquiet in me, but all no sinful inclination, habit or act: nothing to will be in perfect peace ; for all that is like God strive against God's Spirit; nor grudge at any will be pleasing both to God and me: no oppoword or work of God: po principles of enmity sition will remain. or rebellion left. There will be nothing that is How
and sweet then will all my obedience against the good of others; no inclinations to be, when I shall perfectly will it, without any injury, or any thing that is against my neigh- reluctancy or averseness ? All will be my very bours, or the common good. There will be no- pleasure that I do. thing in it that is cross to itself; no more war Seeing my will shall be the same with the striving in me; not a law in my mind, and a will of God, it follows that it shall never be fruslaw in my members, that are contrary to each trated, but I shall have all whatsoever I would other : no contrariety between sense and reason, have, and shall be and do whatsoever I would nor between the sensitive appetite and the ra- be and do, for I shall desire nothing but what tional: all will be at unity and peace within. God wills; and God's will shall certainly be
Christ will have finished his cure on my will : done. I shall have as much love and joy as I the work of sanctification will be perfect: my would bave. I shall be as happy as I would be, will shall there, by union and communion, be and desire nothing for others but it shall be made conformable to the will of Christ, and so done. Indeed if God's will were there unknown unto the Father's will. This must needs be to me, I might ignorantly go against it, as I do meant, whatever more, in the prayer of Christ, here: but there before I will or desire any thing, where he prays, 'that they may be one, as thou I shall know whether it be God's will or not, Father art in me, and I in thee, that they may be so that I shall never wish any thing which shall one in us, that they may be one, even as we are not be accomplished. As it is God's perfection one.' The will of Christ, and of the Father, to have his will alway done, though all his laws will be my will, that is, I shall love and will the be not obeyed, so my perfection shall consist in same that God loves and wills (in the measure this likeness unto God, that my will shall be of a creature, infinitely below him :) and how still fulfilled. Then Christ's promises will be percan the will of man have greater honour, than to fectly performed, “whatsoever ye ask the Father be the same with the will of God? Assimila- in my name, he will give it you.'—* Ye shall ask tion to a king among us poor mortals, goes for what you will, and it shall be done unto you. honour : assimilation to angels, is much more: While their will was the same with the will of that we shall be like or equal to angels, is a high Christ: but he saith not that it shall all be given part of the blessed's praise: but how much more us here. We ask for perfection, and we shall is it to be thus far like to God ? Indeed God's have it, but not here. image, and the divine in us here, can be no less Yea, my will itself shall be my fruition, for than this similitude to God's will in the degree it shall not be the will of one in need—a desire that we have it: but alas, that degree is so very of what I want, for I shall want nothing: therelow, as that we can hardly tell whether our si- fore it is said that we shall thirst no more. But militude or our dissimilitude be the more; I it will be a complacency in what I possess,
and mean, whether our wills are for more that God in this also my perfection will be the image of wills, or against more. O how many thousand God's perfection. Not but that all creatures still wishes and desires have we had, which are receive from God, and in that sense may be said against the will of God! But there we shall to need, in that they have nothing of themselves, have the full impression of God's will upon our but all by gift and communication from him. But wills, as face answers face in a glass, or as the being still and full possessors, they cannot prowax answers the seal: as the finger on the out- perly be said to want. Complacency in that which side answers to the motion of the clock within, we possess, is love and pleasure in one act; and 80, in all things which belong to our duty and indeed, pleasure and love are the same thing : to perfection, we shall answer the will of God. As love anything, is to have that thing to be pleasing the echo answers the voice, defectively, but to my mind. Even when it is wanted, it is thought truly without contradiction or discord, so will on as a pleasing thing, and therefore desired; our wills be as the echo of God's will. Then I so that the desiring act of the will is but a am sure there will be nothing in my will but second act occasioned by want, and followgood ; for God wills no evil. This will be vir- ing the first act, which is complacency or simple tually all obedience ; for all sin is voluntary, and love. I desire it because I love it. Rightly
therefore is the will itself called love ; for in the himself, that is, most amiable, and the nature of first act, love, will, and rational appetite, are all man's will is to love good as good. Could we words of the same signification. My will there- love God with a love that is adequate to the obfore must needs be perpetually full of perfect ject, we should be God ourselves, which is imjoy, when enjoying love and pleasure will be possible: none but God can adequately know my will itself. Thus shall I have in me the spring God or love him. In God's love to himself, both of living waters, and the Comforter will then the act and object are infinite, and indeed are perfectly do his work, when my constant will both one, there being not that formally which itself shall be comfort. Well therefore is glory we know by the name of act and object; but said to be the perfection of sanctifying grace, act and object are our analogical, inadequate when this grace is the beginning of that love conceptions of that act of God which is his esand joy which glory is the perfection of; and sence. But in our love to God the act is finite, perfection is the Spirit's work.
and infinitely below the object : yea, the object, It will be much of my felicity that my will which in reality is itself infinite, yet proximately, shall be confirmed and fixed in this conformity as the known existence is the object of our love, to the will of God, and holy love will be its na- is finite there. It is the conception or idea of ture. Now, both understanding and will are so God in the intellect, which is the proper and lamentably mutable, that further than God pro- nearest object of the will, and this is as in a mises to uphold us, we know not one day what glass, a shadow ; even the finite little shadow of we shall think, judge, or will, the next. But an infinite Being. The same infinite good is a when love is as a fixed nature in us, we shall be felicity to divers persons in divers degrees, acstill the same, adhering to amiable goodness. cording as they diversely love him, and are rewithout intermission or cessation. It will be as ceptive of his love. easy to us to love God and holiness, as it is to God, who is infinitely good in himself, will be the hungry and thirsty to love meat and drink, that most suitable good to me, and meetest for or to the proud, to love praise or domination ; the dearest embracements of my will. He hath yea, or to any man to love his life. We shall all in himself that I need or can desire: there is be no more weary of loving, than the sun is of no room, nothing above him, or beyond him, or shining, or than the hungry is of feasting, or a without him, for love to cleave to: though below friend of friendly love and converse. Nay, the him the creature, though not being without him, comparison is quite too low ; for all creatures is loved without him, by the deception of the here have a fading vanity which wearies the mind. satiated or failing appetite ; but tnere is no such He is willing to be loved by me; he disdains thing in heaven. As from the nature of that not my love. He might have refused to be emact, so much more from the nature of the object, braced by such affections, as have so often and my love will appear to be my happiness. sinfully polluted themselves by embracing vanity
God himself will be the full and everlasting and iniquity. As persons of state, and stately object of any love. He that could but under-cleanliness, will not be touched by filthy hands, stand as well as those in heaven do, what this much less let dogs leap on them, which come word signifies, to love God, and be beloved of from wallowing in the mire, so God might have him, would say, that there needs no other des driven me away from the happiness of loving cription of perfect happiness. Perfect joyful him, and have denied me the leave for so high coinplacency in God is the heaven which I de- a work. But he commands my love, and makes sire and hope for. This is my felicity, and much it my greatest duty; he invites and intreats me, more. As I am the agent of love to God, and as if he were a gainer by my happiness; he seeks the object of God's love to me, it is my felicity: to me to seek to him, and as he is the first, so as God is the ultimate object of my love, and is he the most earnest suitor. He is far readier the agent of his love to me (that is, of the effects to receive my love, than I am to give it him. of it,) so it is unspeakably more high and excel. All the compassionate invitations which I have lent than to be my felicity. Love is the concur- had from him here, by his word and mercies, rence of the will of God and man, and as it is assure me, that he will there receive me readily. God's part or interest, efficiently or objectively, He that so valued my poor cold imperfect love it is infinitely more excellent than as it is iny to him on earth, will not reject my perfect love part and interest.
in heaven. He that made it the great work of In God there is all that love can desire for its his Spirit to effect it, will not refuse it when it is full, everlasting feast. He is infinitely good in made perfect by himself.
He is near to me, and not a distant God out | heavenly society be? Of this I spake before, of my reach, and so unsuitable to my love. Blind viz. of knowing them. unbelievers may
dream that he is far off, but he Think here, O my soul, how sweet a state is as near us, even now, as we are to ourselves. unto thee it will be to love the Lord Jesus thy He is not far from any of us, for in him we live, glorified Head, with perfect love! When the and move, and have our being. The light of the glory of God which shines in him, will feast thy sun is not so near my eyes, as God will be for love with full and everlasting pleasure, the highever to my mind. When he would sanctify us est created perfection of power, wisdom, and to love him, he brings us nigh to him in Christ. goodness, refulgent in him, will not give leave As we love ourselves easily as being, as they to thy love to cease, or intermit, or abate its say, the nearest to ourselves ; so we shall as fervour. When thou shalt see in the glorified easily love God as ourselves, when we see that church the precious fruits of Christ's redemphe is as near us as we are to ourselves, as well tion, grace, and love, this also will feed thy love as that he is infinitely more amiable in him- to him, from whoin this heavenly glory comes ; self.
and when thou shalt feel thyself possessed of perBecause of the natural inequality between the fect happiness, by his love to thee, will not this creature and the Creator, he hath provided such also do its part ? Yea, the remembrance of all his means to demonstrate to us his nearness, as are former love ; what he did for thee, and what he necessary to the exercise of our love. We shall did in thee here on earth : how he called thee see his glory, and taste his love, in our glorified with an holy calling ; how he washed thee in his Mediator, and in the glory of the church and blood from all thy sins; how he kindled in thee world. God will condescend to show himself those desires which tended to that perfect glory; to us according to our capacities of beholding how he renewed thy nature; how he instructed, him. Here we see him in his works and word, guided, and preserved thee from thy childhood ; and there we shall see him in the glory of all and how many and how great sins, enemies, his perfect works.
dangers, and sufferings, he saved thee from; all Under God as I shall see, so I shall delight this wiil constrain thee for ever to love him. fully love the glorious perfection of the universe; Thus, though he give the kingdom to the Father, even the image of God in all the world; as my as ceasing his mediatory, healing, saving work love will be my delight, so I shall love best, that of acquisition, he will be to thee the mediator of which is best, and most delight in it. The whole fruition. God in him will be accessible, and conis better than any part ; and there is a peculiar descend to a suitable communion with us. As beauty and excellency in the whole world, as Christ is thy life, radically and efficiently, as he perfectly harmonious, which is not to be found is the giver of grace and spirit of love, so he will in any part, no, not in Christ himself, as man, be objectively thy life as he is lovely, and it will nor in his church.
be formally thy life to love him, and God in him, The marvellous inclination that all things have for ever. to union, even the inanimates might persuade Think also, O my soul, how delectable it will me, if I felt it not certainly in myself, that it is be to love, as well as to know, those angels that most credible that man also shall have the like most fervently love the Lord ! They will be inclination, and such as is agreeable to the nature lovely to thee as they have loved thee, and more of his faculties : therefore our love and delight as they have been lovers and benefactors to the in all things, is that uniting inclination in church and to mankind; but far more as they man.
are so many refulgent stars, which continually I shall have a special love to the holy society, move, shine, and burn in purest love to their the triumphant universal church, consisting of Creator. O blessed difference between that Christ, angels, and saints, as they are specially amiable society of holy spirits, and this dark, amiable in the image and glory of God. God mad, distracted, wicked world! Here devils tempt himself loves them more than his inferior works; me within, and devils incarnate persecute me that is, his essence, which is love, and hath no without: blaspheming of God, reviling godlidegrees or change, doth send for fuller streams ness, deriding the sacred scriptures, and sacred of good upon them, or makes them better and exercises, malignant slandering of the servants happier than the rest ; and my love will imitate of God, hating, persecuting, silencing, and saythe love of God, in my capacity. If societies ing all manner of evil falsely of them, for their on earth, more holy and wise than others, though righteousness' sake, while such crimes are preimperfectly, are very amiable, what then will the tended, as they once falsely charged on Christ