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THE SAINT's EVERLASTIN G REST ó OIL A TREATISE ON THE BLESSED STATE OF- THE SAINTS, IN TIIEIB. ENJOYMENT OF GOD IN HEAVEN. ALSO, A CALL TO THE UNCONVERTED, Written by the Rev. Richard Baxter, TO WHICH ARE ADDED, A SERIOUS ADDRESS TO PENI TENTS, BY THE REY. JOHN FLETCHER. Also, ALLEINE's ALARM. MR. BAXTER'S EPITAPH. Farewell, vain World, as thou hast been to me, Dust and a shadow, those I leave with thee; The unseen vital substance, I commit To him that's Substance, Life, Light, Love to it, The leaves and fruit are dropp'd for soil and seed, Heaven's heirs to generate to heal and feed ; Them also thou wilt flatter and molest, But shalt not keep from Everlasting Rest. Newcastle upon Tyne : PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY MACKENZIE AND DENT, ST. NICHOLAS' CHURCH -YARD.
PREFACE.. R. RICHARD BAXTER, the author of the Saint's Rest, so well known to the world by this, and many other excellent and useful writings, was a learned, laborious, and eminently holy divine, of the 17th cen- tury. He was born near Shrewsbury, in 1615, and died at London, in 1691. His ministry in an unsettled state, was for many years employed with great and extensive success, both in London, and in several parts of the country ; but he was no where fixed so long, or with such entire sa- tisfaction to himself, and apparent advantage to others, as at Kidderminster. His abode there was indeed in- terrupted partly by his bad health, but chiefly by the calamities of a civil war, yet in the whole it amount- ed to sixteen years; nor was it by any means the result of his own choice, or that of the inhabitants of Kidderminster, that he never settled there again, af- ter his going from thence in 1660. Before his com- ing thither, the place was overrun with ignorance and profaneness but, by the divine blessing on his wise and faithful cultivation, the fruits of righteousness sprung up in rich abundance. He at first found but a single instance or two of daily family prayer in a whole street, and, at his going away, but one family or two could be found in some streets that continued to neglect it. And on Lord's day, instead of the open profanation to which they had been so long. accus-
1V PREFACE. tomed, a person, in passing through the town, in the° intervals of public worship, might overhear hundreds of families engaged in singing psalms, reading the scriptures,- and other good books, or such sermons as they had wrote down, while they heard them from the pulpit. His care of the souls committed to his charge, and the success of his labours among them, were truly remarkable ; for the number of his stated communicants rose to six hundred, of whom he himself declared, there were not twelve concerning . ing whose sincere piety he had not reason to enter- tain good hopes. Blessed be God, the religious spi- rit which was thus happily introduced, is yet to be traced in the town and neighbourhood in some de- gree: (® that it were in a greater!) and in proportion as that spirit remains, the name of Mr. Baxter continues in the most honourable and affectionate rémembrance. As a writer, he has the approbation of some of his greatest contemporaries, who best knew him, and were under no temptations to be partial in his favour. Dr. Barrow said, " His practical writings were never mend- " ed, and his controversial ones seldom confuted." With a view to his casuistical writings, the honourable Robert Boyle, esq. declared, " He was the fittest man " of his age for a casuist, because he feared no man's " displeasure, nor hoped for any man's preferment." Bishop Wilkins observed of him, " That he had "cultivated every subject he had handled; that if he " had lived in the primitive times, he would have "been one of the fathers of the church; and that it " was enough for one age to produce such a person as " Mr. Baxter." Archbishop Usher bad such high thoughts of him, that by his earnest importunity he put him upon writing several of his practical discour- ses, particularly that celebrated piece, his Call to the Unconverted. Mr. Manton, as - be freely expressed it, " thought Mr. Baxter came nearer the apostolical " writings than any man in the age." And it is both As a preacher, and a writer, that 1)r. Bates considers him, when in his funeral sermon for him he says, " In his
PREFACE. V " sermons there was a rare union of arguments and «motives, to convince the mind, and gain the heart. " All the fountains of reason and persuasion were open " to the discerning eye. There was no resisting the "force of his discourses, without denying reason and "divine revelation. He had a marvellous facility "and copiousness in speaking. There was a noble "negligence in his style, for his great mind could " not stoop to the affected eloquence of words ; he "despised flashy oratory; but his expressions were clear and powerful, so convincing the understand- ing, so entering into the soul, so engaging the affec- " tions, that those were as deaf as adders, who were "not charmed by so wise a charmer. He was ani- "mated with the Holy Spirit, and breathed celestial " fire, to inspire heat and life into dead sinners, and "to melt the obdurate in their frozen tombs. His "books, for their number, (which it seems were more " than one hundred and twenty,) and variety of mat- " ter in them, make a library. They contain a trea- " sure of controversial, casuistical, and practical divi- nity. His books of practical divinity have been " effectual for more numerous conversions of sinners " to God, than any printed in our time ; and, while "the church remains on earth, will be of continual " efficacy to recover lost souls. There is a vigorous "pulse in them, that keeps the reader awake and at- " tentive." To these testimonies may not be impro- perly added that of the editors of his Practical Works, in four folio volumes; in the Preface to which they say, "Perhaps there are are no writings among us that "have more of a true Christian spirit, a greater mix- " ture of judgment and affection, a greater tendency "to revive pure and undefiled religion, that have " been more esteemed abroad, or more blessed at home "for the awakening the secure, instructing the igno- rant, confirming the wavering, comforting the de- " jetted, recovering the profane, or improving such " as are truly serious, than the practical works of this "author." Such were the apprehensions of eminent persons, who were well acquainted with Mr. Baxter
vi PREFACE. and his writings. It is therefore the less remarkable that Mr. Addison, from an accidental and very im- perfect acquaintance, but with his usual pleasantness and candour, should mention the following inci- dént : "1 once met with a page of Mr. Baxter "Upon the perusal of it I conceived so good an idea "of the author's piety, that I bought the whole " book. Whatever other causes might concur, it must chiefly be ascribed to Mr. Baxter's distinguished reputation as a preacher and a writer, that presently after the Restoration he was appointed one of the chaplains in ordinary to king Charles II. and preached once before him in that capacity; as also he had an offer made him by the lord chancellor Clarendon, of the bishopric of Hereford, which, in a respectful letter to his lordship,.. he saw proper to decline. The Saint's Rest is deservedly esteemed one of the most valuable parts of his practical works. He wrote it when he was far from home, without any books to consult but his Bible, and in such an ill state of health, . as to be in continual expectation of death for many months ; and therefore, merely for his own use, he fixt his thoughts on this heavenly subject, " which (says he) bath more benefited me than all the studies of my life." At this time he could be little more than thirty years old. He afterwards preached over the subject in his weekly lecture at Kidderminster, and in 1656 he published it and indeed it appears to have been the first that ever he published of all his practical writings. Of this book Dr. Bates says, " It "was written by him when languishing in the sus- "pence of life and death, but has the signatures of his "holy, vigorous mind. To allure our desires, he un- " veils the sanctuary above, and discovers the glories "and joys of the blessed in the divine presence, by a "light so strong and lively, that all the glittering va " pities of this world vanish in that comparison, and "a sincere believer will despise them, as one of mature " age does the toys and baubles of children. To ex- " cite our fears, he removes the screen, and makes the
PREFACE. v i i •* everlasting fire of hell so visible, and represents the tormenting passions of the damned in those dreadful “ colours, that, if duly considered, would check and “ controul the unbridled licentious appetites of the “ most sensual wretches.” ver H sa e l a ly ve i n m ly p r o e r s ta t n is t a an su d b i je n c te t, re in sti i n ts g, ow an n d na a t t ur t e he so s u amni e time so truly engaging and delightful, as sufficiently accounts for the great acceptance which this book has met with ; and partly also for the uncommon blessing i wn h g ic t h he h su as bje a c tt t e , n b d o e t d h f Mro r m . B th a e x p te u r l ’s pit m a a n n d ne th r e o p f re t s r s e . a—t Por where are the operations -of divine grace more reasonably to be expected, or where have they in fact been more frequently discerned, than in concurrence with the best adapted means ? ' And should it appear, that persons of distinguishing judgment and piety; h si a o v n e s t e o xp t r h e e ssl h y ea a r s in cr g ib o e r d r t e h a e d i i r ng fir t s h t e r i e m lig p i o o r u t s an i t m s p e r n e t s iments contained in this book; or, after a long series of years, have found it both the counterpart and the improvement of their own divine life, will not this be thought a considerable recommendation of the book itself? Among the instances of persons that dated their true conversion from hearing the sermons on the Saint’s Rest, when Mr. Baxter first preached them, was the Rev. Tho. Doolittle, M. A. who was a native of Kidderminster, and at that time a scholar, about s w e a v r e d n s te s e e n nt ye t a o rs P o e l md; br wok ho e m ha M ll, r. in Ba C x a te m r b h r i i mdg s e e , lf w a h ft e e r r e s h i e ty t , oo h k e whi a s s d u eg p r o e n e. tri B al efo as re a h n is a g tt o o i r n n g ey to ’s th cl e er u k n , iv a e n r d under that character being ordered by his master to write something on the Lord’s day, he obeyed with great reluctance, and the next day returned home, s w e i l t f h to an an e y ar t n h e in st g d a e s s t i h re e t e h m a p t l h o e ymm e i n g t h o t f n l o if t e a , p b p u ly t s h e i r mv ing Christ in the ministry of the gospel. His praise is yet in the churches, for his pious and useful labours, as a minister, a tutor, and a writer.
Viii PREFACE. In the life of the Rev. Mr. John Janeway, fellow of King's College, Cambridge, who died in 1657, we are told, that his conversion was in a great .measure, occasioned by his reading several parts of the Saint's Rest. And in a letter which he afterwards wrote to a near relative, speaking with a more immediate re- ference to that part of the book which treats of hea- venly contemplation, he says, " There is a duty, " which, if it were exercised, would dispel all cause of "melancholy ; I mean heavenly meditation, and con " templation of the things which true Christian reli- "gion tends to. If we did but walk closely with God "one hour, in a day in this duty, oh what influence "would it have upon the whole day besides, and, " duly performed, upon the whole life! This duty, with its usefulness, manner, and directions, I knew "in some measure before, but had it more pressed " upon me by Mr. Baxter's Saint's Everlasting Rest, "[a book] that can scarce be over- valued, for which I " have cause for ever to bless God" This excellent young minister's life is worth reading, were it only to see how delightfully he was engaged in heavenly con- templation, according to the directions in the Saint's Rest. It was the example of heavenly contemplation, at the close of this book, which the Rev. Mr. Joseph Allein, of Taunton, so frequently quoted in conversa- tion, with this solemn introduction, "Most divinely "says that man of God, holy Mr. Baxter." Dr. Bates, in his dedication of his funeral sermon for Mr. Baxter to Sir Henry Ashurst, Bart. tells that religious gentleman, and most distinguished friend and executor of Mr. Baxter, " He was most worthy "of your highest esteem and love; for the first im- " pressions of heaven upon your soul were in read- " ing his invaluable book of the Saint's Everlasting " Rest." In the life of the Rev. Mr. Matthew Henry, we have the following character given us of Robert War- burton, Esq. of Grange, the son of the eminently re- ligious Judge Warburton, and father of Mr. Matthew
PREFACE. iñ Henry's second wife. "Ile was a gentleman that "greatly affected retirement and privacy, especially ".in the latter part of his life ; the Bible, and Mr. " Baxter's Saint's Everlasting Rest, used to lie daily " before him on the table in his parlour ; he spent the " greatest part of his time in reading and prayer." In the life of that honourable and most religious knight; Sir Nathaniel Barnardiston, we are told, that " he was constant in secret prayer and reading the " scriptures ; afterwards he read other choice authors: "but not long before his death, he took singular de- "light to read Mr. Baxter's Saints Everlasting Rest, "and Preparations thereunto; which was esteemed a " gracious event of Divine Providence, sending it as "a guide to bring him more speedily and directly to " that rest." Besides persons of eminence, to whom this book has been precious and profitable, we have an instance, in the Rev. Mr. Janeway's Tokens for Children, of a little boy, whose piety was so discovered and promo- ted by reading it, as the most delightful book to him next the Bible, that the thoughts of everlasting rest seemed, even while he continued in health, to swallow up all other thoughts ; and he lived in a constant preparation for it, and looked more like one that was ripe for glory, than an inhabitant of this lower world. And when he was in the sickness of which he died before he was twelve years, old, he said, " I pray, let " me have Mr. Baxter's book, that I may read a little " more of eternity, before I go into it. Nor is it less observable, that Mr. Baxter himself, taking notice in a paper found in his study after his death, what numbers of persons were converted by reading his Call to the Unconverted, accounts of which he had received by letter every week, expressly adds, "'Phis little book [the Call to the Unconverted] God " bath blessed with unexpected success, beyond all "that I have written, except the Saint's Rest." With an evident reference to this book, and even during the life of the author, the pious Mr. Flavel affection- ately says, "Mr. Baxter is almost in heaven; living 1 B
X PREFACE. "in the daily views, and cheerful expectation, of the " Saint's everlasting Rest with God ; and is left for a " little while among us, as a great example of the life " of faith." And Mr. Baxter himself says, in his pre- face to his Treatise of Self= denial, ".I must say, that "of all the books which I have written, I pursue none " so often for the use of my own soul in its daily work "as my Life of Faith, this of Self-denial, and the last " part of the Saint's Rest." On the whole, it is not without good reason that Dr. Calamy remarks con- cerning it, " This is a book, for which multitudes will "have cause to bless God for ever." . This excellent and useful book now appears in the form of an abridgment, and therefore it is presumed will be the more likely, under a divine blessing, to diffuse its salutary influence among those that would otherwise have wanted opportunity or inclination to read over the large volume. In reducing it to this small size, I have been very desirous to do justice to the author, and at the same time to promote the plea - sure and profit of the serious reader. And, I hope, those ends are, in some measure, answered ; chiefly by dropping things of a digressive, controversial, or metaphysical _ nature ; together with prefaces, dedica- tions, and various allusions to some peculiar circum- stances of the last age: and particularly by throwing several chapters into one, that the number of' them may better correspond with the size of the volume; and sometimes by altering the form, but not the sense, of a period, for the sake of brevity; and when an Obsolete phrase occurred, changing it for one more common and intelligible. I should never have thought of attempting this work, if it had not been suggested ana urged by others; and by some very respectable names, of whose learning, judgment, and piety, I forbear to avail myself. However defective this per- formance may appear, the labour of it (if it may be called a labour) has been I bless God, one of 'the most delightful labours of my life.Certainly the thoughts of éverlasting rest may be as delightful to souls in the present day,. as they have ever been to those of past
PREFACE. xi generations. I am sure such thoughts are as absolute- ly necessary now ; nor are temptations to neglect them, either fewer or weaker now than formerly. The worth of everlasting rest is not felt, because it is not considered ; it is forgotten, because a thousand trifles are preferred before it. But were the divine reason- ings of this book duly attended to, (and oh that the Spirit and grace of a Redeemer may make them so !) then an age of vanity would become serious ; minds enervated by sensuality, would soon resume the strength of reason, and display the excellence of Christianity; the delusive names of pleasure would, be blotted out, by the glorious reality of heavenly joy upon' earth; every station and relation in life would be filled up by the propriety and dignity of serious religion ; every member of society would then effectually contribute to the beauty and happiness of the whole ; and every soul would be ready for life or death, for one world or another, in a well - grounded and cheerful persuasion of having secured a title to that rest which reinaineth to the people of God.
CONTENTS. BAXTER'S SAINT'S EVERLASTING REST. page Chap. I. The Introduction to the Work, with some Ac- count of the Nature of the Saint's Rest . . . 13 Chap. II. The great Preparatives to the Saint's Rest . 32 Chap. III. The Excellencies of the Saint's Rest . . . . 42 Chap. IV. The Character of the Persons for whom this Rest is designed . . . . . . . 60 Chap. V. The Misery of those who lose the Saint's Rest . 79 Chap. VI. The Misery of those who, besides losing the Saint's Rest, lose the Enjoyment of Time, and suffer the Torments of Hell . 94 Chap. VII. The Necesssity of diligently seeking the Saint's Rest . . . . 110 Chap. VIII. How to discern our Title to the Saint's Rest . 132 Chap. IX. The Duty of the People of God to excite others to seek this Rest . . 154 Chap. X. The Saint's Rest is not to be expected upon Earth 176 Chap. XI. Importance of leading a heavenly life upon Earth 198 Chap. XII. Directions how to lead a heavenly life upon Earth 219 Chap. XIII. The Nature of heavenly Contemplation; with the Time, Place, and Temper, fittest for it . . 241 Chap. XI V. , What use heavenly Contemplation makes of Consideration, Affections, Soliloquy, and Prayer . 255 Chap. XV. Heavenly Contemplation assisted by sensible Objects, and, guarded against a treacherous Heart . 273 Chap. XVI. Heavenly Contemplation exemplified and the whole Work concluded . . . . . . , . , . 291 A CALL TO THE UNCONVERTED, 319, Preface 321. Doctrine I. 327. Use, 331. Doctrine II. 345. Doctrine III. 350. Doctrine IV. 353. Use, 354. Doctrine V. 357. Doctrine VI. 336. Use, 368. Doctrine VII. 376 Use, 380. Directions to Sinners, 396. The Conclusion, 461. FLETCHER'S SERIOUS ADDRESS TO THE TRUE PENITENT, 469. ALLIEN'S ALARM TO THE UNCONVERTED, 517 BAXTER'S FIFTY REASONS, 541
THE SAINT'S EVERLASTING REST. "THERE REMAINETH THEREFORE A REST 'TO THE PEOPLE .OF GOD," Heb. iv. 9. CHAP. I. The Introduction to the Work, with some Account bf the Nature of the Saint's Rest. 1. The important design of the apostle in the text, to which the author earnestly bespeaks the attention of the reader. 2. The saint's rest defined, with a general plan of the work. § 3. What this rest presupposes. § 4. The author's humble sense of his inability fully to shew what this rest contains. § 5. It contains (1) A ceasing from means of grace; § 6. (2) A perfect freedom from all evils; § 7. (3) The highest degree of the saint's personal 'perfection, both in body and soul ; § 8 (4) The nearest enjoyment of God the chief good; § 9-14 (5) A sweet and constant action of all the powers of soul and body in this enjoyment of God; as, fir instance, bodily sense, knowledge, memory, love, joy, together with a mutual love and joy. § 15. The author's humble reflection on the defi- ciency of this account. S 1. IT was not only our interest in God, and actual enjoyment of him, which' was lost in Adam's fall, but all spiritual knowledge of him, and true dis- position towards such a felicity. When the Son of God comes with recovering grace, and discoveries of a spiritual and eternal happiness and glory, he finds not faith in man to believe it. As the poor man that would not- believe any one had such a sum as a hundred pounds, it was so far above what himself possessed; so men will hardly now believe there is such a happiness as once they had, much less as Christ
14 THE NATURE OF hath now procured. When God would give the Israel- ites his sabbaths of rest, in a land of rest, he had more ado to make them believe it, than to overcome their enemies, and procure it for them. And when they had it, only as a small intimation and earnest of an incomparably more glorious rest through Christ, they yet believe no more than they possess, but say, with the glutton at the feast, Sure there is no other heaven but this! Or if they expect more by the Messiah, it is only the increase of their earthly felicity. The apos- tle bestows most of this epistle against this distemper, and clearly and largely proves, that the end of all ce- remonies and shadows, is to direct them to Jesus Christ the substance ; and that the rest of sabbaths, and Canaan, should teach them to look for a farther rest, which is indeed their happiness. My text is his conclusion after divers arguments ; a conclusion which contains the ground of all the believer's comfort, the end of all his duty and sufferings; the life and sum of all gospel promises and Christian privile- ges. What more welcome to men under personal afflictions, tiring duties, successions of sufferings, than rest? It is not our comfort only, but our stability. Our liveliness in all duties, our enduring tribulation, our honouring of God, the vigour of our love, thank- fulness, and all our graces, yea, the very being of our religion and Christianity, depend on the believing serious thoughts of our rest. And now, reader, what- ever thou art, young or old, rich or poor, I entreat thee, and charge thee, in the name of thy Lord, who will Shortly call thee to a reckoning, and judge thee to thy everlasting unchangeable state, that thou give not these things the reading only, and so dismiss them with a bare approbation ; but that thou set upon this work, and take God in Christ for thy only rest, and fix thy heart Upon him above all. May the living God, who is the portion and rest of his, saints, make these our carnal minds so spiritual, and our earthly hearts so heavenly, that loving him, and delighting in him, may lie the work of our lives; and that neither
THE SAINT'S REST. 15 I that write, nor you that read, this book, may ever be turned from this path of life ; " lest a promise being left us of entering into his rest, we should come short of it," through our own unbelief or negligence.(a) § 2. The saint's rest is, the most happy state of a Christian ; or it is, the perfect endless enjoyment of God by the perfected saints, according to the measure of their capacity, to which their souls arrive at death ; and both soul and body must fully after the resurrec- tion and final judgment. According to this definition of the saint's rest, a larger account of its nature will be given in this chapter ; of its preparatives, chap. ü. its excellencies, chap. iii ; and chap. iv. the persons for whom it is designed. Farther to illustrate this subject, some description will be given, chap. v. of their misery who lose this rest ; and chap. vi. who also lose the enjoyment of time, and suffer the torments of hell: next will be shewed, chap. vii. the necessity of diligently seeking this rest; chap. viii. how our title to it may be discerned ; chap. ix. that they who dis- cern their title to it should help those that cannot; and chap. x. that this rest is not to be expected on earth. It will then be proper to consider, chap. xi.. the importance of a heavenly life upon earth, chap. xii. how to live an heavenly life upon earth ; chap. xiii. the nature of heavenly contemplation, with the time, place, and temper, fittest for it; chap. xiv. what use heavenly contemplation makes of considerations, affec- tions, soliloquy, and prayer ; and likewise, chap. xv. how heavenly contemplation may be assisted by sensi- ble objects, and guarded against a treacherous heart. Heavenly contemplation will be exemplified, chap. xvi. and the whole work concluded. 3. There are some things necessarily presup. posed in the nature of this rest; as, for instance, that mortal men are the persons seeking it. For angels and glorified spirits have it already, and the devils and damned are past hope: That they choose God only for their end and happiness. He that takes any thing else, for his happiness, is out of the way the first (a) Heb. iv: L.
I6 TIIE NATURE OF. step. That they are distant from his end. This is the woeful case of all mankind since the fall. When Christ comes with regenerating grace, he finds no man sitting still, but all posting to eternal ruin, and making haste towards hall.; till, by conviction, he first brings them to a stand, and then by conversion, turns their hearts and lives sincerely to himself. This end, and its excellency, is supposed to be known, and seriously intended. An unknown good moves not to desire or endeavour. And not only a distance from this rest, but the true knowledge of this distance, is also supposed. They that never yet knew they were without God, and in the way to hell, did never yet know the way to heaven. Can a man find he bath lost his God, and his soul, and not cry, I am undone? The reason why so few obtain this rest is, they will not be convinced that they are in point of title, distant from it, and in point of practice con- trary to it. Whoever sought for that which he knew not he had lost ? "They that be whole need not a phy- sian, but they that are sick.(b) The influence of a superior moving cause is also supposed : else we shall all stand still, and not move toward our rest. If God move us not we cannot move. It is a most necessary part of our Christian. wisdom, to keep our subordination to God, and dependence on him. " We are not sufficient of . ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God. "(c) Without me, says Christ, ye can do nothing.(d) It is next sup- posed, that they who seek this rest, have an inward principle ofspiritual life. God does not not move menlike stones, but he endows them with life, not to enable them to move without hirn, but in subordination to himself, the first mover. And, farther, this rest supposes such an actual tendency of soul towards it, as is regular and constant, earnest and laborious. He that hides his talents shall receive the wages of a slothful servant. Christ is the door the only way to this rest. " But strait is the gate and narrow is the way ; "(e) and we (b) Matt. ix. 12. (e) 2 Cor. iii. '5. (d) John xv. 5. (e) Matt. vii. 13.
THE SAINT'S REST. 17 must strive if we will enter, for many will seek to en- ter in, and shall not be able :(1) which implies, that the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence.(g) Nor will it bring us to the end of the saints, if we begin in the spirit and end in the flesh" h) He only that endureth to the end shall be saved.(i) And never did a soul obtain rest with -God, whose desire was not set upon him above all things else in the world. ' Where your trea- sure is, there will your heart be also.(k) The remain- der of our old nature will much weaken and interrupt these desires, but never overcome them. And consi- dering the opposition to our desires, from the contrary principles in our nature, and from the weakness of our graces, together with our continued distance from the end, our tendency to that end must be laborious, and with all our might. All these things are presup- posed, in order to a Christian's obtaining an interest in heavenly rest. 1 4. Now we have ascended these steps into the outward court, may we look within the veil ? May we show what this rest contains, as well as what it presupposes ?Alas, how little know I of that glory ! The glimpse which Paul had, contained what could not, or must not., be uttered. Had he spoke the things of heaven in the language of heaven, and none un- derstood that language, what the better ? The Lord reveal to me what I may reveal to you! The Lord open some light, and shew both you and me our in- heritance ! Not as to Balaarn only, whose eyes were open to see the goodliness of Jacob's tents, and Israel's tabernacles, where he had no portion, and from whence must come his own destruction ! not as to Moses, who had only a discovery, instead of posses- sion, and saw the land which he never entered ! But as the pearl was revealed to the merchant in the Gos- pel, who rested not till he had sold all he had, and bought it ! And as heaven was opened to blessed Stephen, which he was shortly to enter, and the glory (f) Luke xii. 24. (g) Matt. xi. 12. (h) Gal, iii. 3. (i) Matt. xxiv.13. (k) Matt. vi. 21 1 C
18 THE NATURE Olj showed him, which should be his own possession ! The things contained in heavenly rest are such as these ; a ceasing from means of grace ; a perfect freedom from all evils ; the highest degree of the saints' personal perfection, both of body and soul ; the nearest enjoyment of God the chief good ; --and, a sweet and constant action of all the powers of body and soul in this enjoyment of God. 5. (1) One thing contained in heavenly rest, is, the ceasing from means of grace. When we have Ob- tained the haven, we have done sailing. When the workman receives his wages, it is implied he has done his work. When we are at our journey's end, we have done with the way. " Whether prophesies, they shall fail ; whether tongues, they shall cease; whether knowledge, it also, so far as it had the nature of means, shall vanish away. "(i) There shall be no more prayer, because no more necessity, but the full enjoyment of what we prayed for : neither shall we need to fast and weep, and watch any more, being out of the reach of sin and temptations. Preaching is done; the ministry of man ceaseth ; sacraments become useless ; the labourers are called in, because the har- vest is gathered, the tares burned, and the work finished ; the unregenerate past hope, and the saints past fear, for ever. 6. ( .2) There is in heavenly rest a perfect free - dorn from all evils ; all the evils that accompanied us through our course, and which necessarily follow our absence from the chief good : besides our freedom from those eternal flames, and restless miseries, which the neglectors of Christ and grace must remedilessly endure ; a woeful" inheritance, which, both by birth and actual merit, was due to us as well as to them 1 In heaven there is nothing that defileth, or is unclean : all that remains without.(rn) And doubtless there is not such a thing as grief and sorrow known there nor is there such a thing as a pale face, a languid body, feeble joints, unable infancy, decrepit age, (l) 1 Cor. xiii. 8. (m) Rev. xxi. 27. xxii. 15.
THE SAINT'S REST. 19 peccant humours, painful or pining sickness, griping fears, consuming cares, nor whatsoever deserves the name of evil. " We did weep and lament when the world did rejoice; but our sorrow is turned into joy, and our joy shall no man take from us. "(n) § 7. (3) Another ingredient of this rest, is, the highest degree of the saint's personal perfection, both of body and soul. Were the glory ever so great, and themselves not made capable of it, by a personal per- fection suitable thereto, it would be little to them. " Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. "(o) For the eye of flesh is not capable of seeing them, nor this ear of hearing them, nor this heart, of understanding them : But there the eye, the ear, and heart, are made capable ; else how do they enjoy them ! The more perfect the sight is, the more delightful the beautiful object. The more perfect the appetite, the sweeter the food. The more musical the ear, the more pleasant the melody. The more perfect the soul, the more joyous those joys, and the more glorious to us is that glory. § 8. (4) The principal part of this rest, is our nearest enjoyment of God the chief good. And here, reader, wonder not if I be at a loss ; and if my appre- hensions receive but little of that which is in my ex- pressions. If ' it did not appear,' to the beloved disciple, what we shall be,' but only in general, that when Christ shall appear we shall be like him,'(p) no wonder if I know so little. When I know so little of God, I can- not much know what it is to enjoy him. If I know so little of spirits, how little of the Father of spirits, on the state of my own soul, when advanced to the enjoyment of him ! I stand and look upon a heap. of ants, and see them all with one view ; they know not me, my being, nature, or thoughts, though I am their fellow - creature : how little then must we know of the great Creator, though he with one view clearly beholds (n) John xvi. 20, 22. (o) 1 Cor. ii. 9. (p) 1 John iii. .
20 THE NATURE or us all. A glimpse the saints ' behold as in a glass,'(q) which makes us capable of some poor dark apprehen- sions of what we shall behold in glory. If I should tell a worldling what the holiness and spiritual joys of the saints on earth are, he cannot know ; for grace cannot be clearly known without grace ; how much less could he conceive it, should I tell him of this glory ? But to the saints I may be somewhat more en- couraged to speak ; for grace gives them a dark know- ledge and slight taste of glory. If men and angels should study to speak the blessedness of that state in one word, what could they say beyond this, that it is the nearest enjoyment of God. O the full joys offered to a believer in that one sentence of Christ, ' Father, I will that those whom thou hast given me be with me where I am, that they,may behold my glory which thou hast given me.'(r) Every word is full of life and joy. If the queen of Sheba had cause to say of Solomon's glory, ' Happy are thy men, happy are thy servants, which stand con- tinually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom ;'(s) then sure they that stand continually before God, and see his glory, and the glory of the Lamb, are more happy. To them will Christ " give to eat of the tree of life ; and to eat of the hidden manna ; yea, he will make them pillars in the temple of God, and they shall go no more out ; and he will write upon them the name of his God, and the name of the city of his God, which is New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from his God, and he will write upon them his new name ;" yea, more, if more may be, " he will grant them to sit with him on his throne." These are they °' who came out" of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and have made them white in the blood of the Lamb : therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple, and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. `The Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them to living fountains of water ; and God shall wipe away all tears from their (q) 2 Cor. iii. 18. (r) John xvii. 24. (s) 1 Kings x. 3.
THE SAINT'S REST. 21 eyes. "(t) O blind deceived world, can you show us such a glory ? This is the city of our God, where "the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. The glory of God shall lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And there shall be no more curse but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his ser- vants shall serve him, and they shall see his face, and his name shall be in their forehead. These sayings are faithful and true, and the things which must shortly be done. "(u) And now we say, as Mephibosheth, Let the world " take all, forasmuch as our Lord will come in peace." (w) " Rejoice therefore in the Lord, O ye righteous, and say with his servant David, The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance ; the lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heri- tage. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. There- fore is my heart glad, and my glory rejoiceth ; my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine holy one to see corruption. Thou wilt shew me the path of life : in thy presence is fulness of joy ; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.(,) What pre- sumption would it have been, once to have thought or spoke of such a thing, if God had not spoken it before us! I durst not have thought of the saint's pre- ferment in this life, as scripture sets it forth, had it not been the express truth of God. How indecent to talk of being sons of God - speaking to him having fellowship with him dwelling in him, and he in us ; (y) if this had not been God's own language. How much less durst we have once thought of shining forth as the sun of being joint -heirs with Christ of judg- ing the world of sitting on Christ's throne of being (t) Rev. ii. 7 - -17. iii. 12 -- -21. vii.. 14, 15--17. (u) Rev. 21. 3 - - -24. xxi. 3, 4 -6, (w) 2 Sam. xix. 30. (x) Psalm xvi. 5, 6. --- 8---11. xxxi. 1. (y) 1 John iii. 1. Gen. xvii. 27. 1 John i. 3. iv. 16.
22 THE NATURE OF one in him and the Father ;(z) if we had not all this from the mouth, and únder the hand, of God ! But " hath he said, and shall he not do it ? Hath he spo- ken, and shall he not make it good ? "(a) Yes, as the Lord God is true, thus shall it be done to the man whom Christ delighteth to honour.(b) Be of good cheer, Christian ; the time is near, when God and thou shalt be near, and as near as thou canst well de- sire. Thou shalt dwell in his family. Is that enough? It is better to be a door- keeper in the house of God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.(c) Thou shalt ever stand before him, about his throne, in the room with him, in his presence chamber. ZNouldst thou yet be nearer ? Thou shalt be his child, and he thy father ; thou shalt be an heir of his kingdom ; yea, moré, the spouse of his Son. And what more canst thou desire ? Thou shalt be a member of the body of his Son ; he shall be thy head : thou shalt be one with him, who is one with the Father ; as he himself bath desired for thee of his Father, " that they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us ; and the glory which thou gayest me I have given them ; that they may be one, even as we are one ; I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one ; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me."(d) 9. (5) We must add, that this rest,contains a sweet and constant action of all the powers of the soul and body in this enjoyment of God. It is not the rest of a stone, which ceaseth from all motion when it attains the centre. This body shall be so changed, that it shall no more be flesh and blood, which cannot inherit the kingdom of God ; but a spiritual body. " We sow not that body that shall be ;- but God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. "(e) If grace makes a Christian differ so much (z) Matt. xiii. 53. Rom. viii. 17. 1 Cor. vi. 2. Rev. iii. 621. John xvii. 21. (a) Numb. xxiii. 19. (b) Esther vi. 11. (e) Psa. lxxiv. 10. (d) John xvii. 21 ---23. , (e) 1 Cor. xv. 37, 38, 44-50,
THE SAINT'S REST. 23 from what he was, as to say, I am not the man I was; how much more will glory make us differ ! As much as a body spiritual, above the sun in glory exceeds these frail noisome, diseased, lumps of flesh, so far shall our senses exceed those we now possess. Doubt- less as God advanceth our senses, and enlargeth our capacity, so will he advance the happiness of those senses, and fill up with himself all that capacity: Certainly the body should not be raised up, and con- tinued, if it should not share in the glory. As it hath shared in the obedience and sufferings, so shall it also in the blessedness. As Christ bought the whole man, so shall the whole partake of the ever- lasting benefits of the purchase. O blessed employ- ment of a glorified body, to stand before the throne of God and the Lamb, and to sound forth for ever, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honour and power. Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing; for thou hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation, and hast made us unto our God kings and priests. Alleluia, salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God. Alleluia, for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth." O Christians! this is the bles- sed rest ; a rest, as it were, without rest ; " For they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come. "(f) And if the body shall be thus employed,, oh, how shall the soul be taken up ! As its powers and capacities are greatest, so its actions are strongest, and its enjoyments sweetest. As the bodily senses have their proper actions, whereby they receive and enjoy their objects, so does the soul in its own action enjoy its own object, by knowing, remembering, loving, and delightful joying. This is the soul's en- joyment. By these eyes it sees, and by these arms it embraces. (f') Rev. iv. 11. v. 9, 10, 12. xix. 1, 6. iv. 8a
24 THE NATURE OF 10. Knowledge of itself is very desirable. As far as the rational soul exceeds the sensitive, so far the delights of a philosopher, in discovering the secrets of nature, and knowing the mystery of science, exceed the delights of the glutton, the drunkard, the unclean, and of all voluptuous sensualities whatsoever. So ex- cellent is all truth. What ,hen is their delight who know the God of truth ? How noble a faculty of the soul is the understanding ! It can compass the earth; it can measure the s n, moon, stars, and heaven ; it can foreknow each eclipse to a minute many years be- fore. But this is the top of all its excellency, that it can know God, who is infinite, who made all these ; a little here, and more, much more, hereafter. O the wisdom and goodness of our blessed Lord ! He bath created the understanding with a natural bias and in- clination to truth, as its object and to the prime truth;. as its prime object. Christian, when after a long gaz- ing heaven-ward, thou hast got a glimpse of Christ, . dost thou not sometimes seem to have been with Paul in the third heaven, whether in the body or out, and to have seen what is unutterable ?(g) Art thou not with Peter, ready to say, " Master, it is good to be here ! "(h) O that I might dwell in this mount! O that I might ever see what I now see ! Didst thou never look so long upon the Sun of righteousness, till thine eyes were dazzled with his astonishing glory? And did not the splendour of it make all things below seem black and dark to thee ? Especially in the day of suf- fering for Christ, when he usually appears most ma- nifestly to his people, didst thou never "see one walking in the midst of the fiery furnace" with thee "like the Son of God ?"(i) Believe me, Christians; yea, believeGod; you that have known most of God in Christ bere, it is as nothing to what you shall know ; it scarce, in comparison of that, deserves to be called know- ledge. For as these bodies, so that knowledge, must cease, that a more perfect may succeed. " Know- ledge shall vanish away. For we know in part : but (g) 2 Cor. xii. e-4. (h) Mark ix, 5. (i) Dan. iii. °5.
TAE SAINT'S REST. 25 when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child ; but when I became a man, I put away child- ish things. For now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known. "(k) Marvel not therefore, Christian, how it can be "life eternal to know God and Jesus Christ.(/) To enjoy God and Christ, is eternal life ; and the soul's enjoying is in knowing. They that savour only of earth, and con- sult with flesh, think it a poor happiness to know God. "But we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness; and we know that the Son of God is cone, and hath given us an under- standing that we may know him that is true; and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life."(m) 11. The memory will not be idle, or useless, in this blessed work. From that height the saint can . look behind him, and before him. And to compare past with present things, must needs raise in the bless- ed soul an inconceivable esteem and sense of its con- dition. To stand on that mount, whence he can see the wilderness and Canaan both at once; to stand in heaven and look back on earth, and weigh them to- gether in the balance of a comparing sense and judg- ment, how must it needs transport the soul, and make it cry out, Is this the purchase that cost so dear as the blood of Christ ? No wonder. O blessed price ! and thrice blessed love, that invented and condescended! Is this the end of believing? Is this the end of the Spirit's workings? Have the galés of grace blown me into such an harbour ") Is it hither that Christ hath allured my soul? O blessed way, and thrice blessed end? Is this the glory which the scriptures spoke of, and ministers preached of so much ? I see the gospel is indeed good tidings, even tidings of peace and good things, tidings of great joy to all nations ! Is my (k) I Cor. xiii. 8.-12. (l) John xvii. S. (m) 1 John v. 19, £0> 1 D
6 .111E NATURE OF mourning, my fasting, my sad humblings, my heavy walking, come to this ? Is my praying, watching, fearing to offend, come to this ! Are all my afflictions, Satan's temptations, the world's scorns and jeers, come to this ? O vile nature, that resisted so much, and so long, such a blessing ! Unworthy soul, is this the place thou comest so unwillingly to? Was duty wearisome? Was the world too good to lose? Didst thou stick at leaving all, denying all, and suffering any thing, for this ? Wast thou loth to die, to come to this ? O false heart, thou hast almost betrayed me to eternal flames, and lost me this glory ! Art thou not ashamed, my soul, that ever thou didst question that love that brought thee hither? that thou vast jealous, of the faithfulness of the Lord ? that thou suspectedst his love, when thou shouldst only bave suspected thyself? that ever thou didst quench a motion of his Spirit? and that thou shouldst misin- terpret those providences, and repine at those ways, which have Such an end? Now thou art sufficiently convinced, that thy Redeemer was saving thee, as well when he crossed thy desires, as when he granted them; when he broke thy heart, as when he bound it up. No thanks to thee, unworthy self, for this received crown ; but to Jehovah, and the Lamb, be glory for ever. 4 12. But oh ! the full, the near, the sweet en- . joyment, is that of love. "God is love, and he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him. "(n) Now the poor soul complains, " Oh that I could love Christ more !" Then thou canst not choose but love. him. Now thou knowest little of his amiableness, and therefore lovest little: then thine eyes will affect thy heart, and the continual viewing of that perfect beauty will keep thee in continual transports of love. Christians, doth it now stir up your love, to remem- ber all the experiences of his. love ? Doth not kind- ness melt you, and the sunshine of divine goodness warm your frozen hearts! What will it it do then, (n) John iv. 16.
THE SAINT'S REST. when you shall live in love, and have all in him, who is all ? Surely love is both work and wages. What a high favour that God will give us leave to love him ! that he will be embraced by those who have embraced w.lust and sin before him ! but more than this, he return- eth love for love; nay, a thousand times more. Christian, thou wilt then be brimful of love ; yet, love as much as thou canst, thou shalt be ten thousand times more beloved. Were the arms of the Son of God open upon the cross, and an open passage made to his heart by the spear, and will not arms and heart be open to thee in glory ? Did he begin to love be- fore- thou lovedst, and will he not continue now ? Did he love thee, an enemy ? thee, a sinner? thee, Who even loathedst thyself? and own thee, when thou didst disclaim thyself? And will he not now immeasureably love thee, a son ? thee, a perfect saint? thee, who returnest some love for love? He that in love wept over the old Jerusalem when near its ruin, with what love will he rejoice over the new Jerusalem in her glory! Christian, believe this, and think on it ; thou shalt be eternally embraced in the arms of that Love, which was from everlasting, and will extend to everlasting ;of that Love, which brought the Son of God's love from heaven to earth, from earth to the cross, from the cross to the grave, from the grave to glory ;that Love, which was weary, hungry, tempted, scorned, scourged, buffeted, spit upon, crucified, pierced ; which did fast, . pray, teach, heal, weep, sweat, bleed, die ; --that Love will eternally embrace thee. When perfect created love, and most perfect untreated love, meet together, it will not be like Joseph and his brethren, who lay upon one ano- ther's necks weeping; it will be loving and rejoicing, not loving and sorrowing ; yet it will make Satan's court ring with the news, that Joseph's brethren are come, that the *saint's are arrived rafe in the bosom of Christ, out of the reach of hell for ever. Nor is there any such love as David's and Jonathan's breathing out its last and sad lamentations fbr a forced .separation. Know this, believer, to thy everlasting comfort, thatallisonlibrary.regent-college.edu