Heaven Collection BV4831 .B4 1765

74 THE CHARACTER OF THOSE thirsty, poor and contrite. It is a delight to a soldier, or traveller, to look back on his escapes when they are over ; and for a saint in heaven to look back on his sins and sorrows upon earth, his fears and tears, his enemies and dangers, his wants and calamities, must make his joy more joyful. Therefore the blessed in praising the Lamb, mention his redeeming them out of every nation, and kindred, and tongue ; and so out of their misery, and wants, and sins, and making them kings and priests to God. But if they had had nothing but content and rest on earth, what room would there have been for these rejoicings here- after ? § 16. Besides, we are not capable of rest upon earth. Can a soul that is so weak in grace, so prone to sin, so nearly joined to such a neighbour as this flesh, have full content and rest in such a case ? What is soul-rest, but our freedom from sin, and imperfec- tions, and enemies? And can the soul have rest that is pestered with all these, and that continually ! Why do Christians so often cry out in the language of Paul, O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me? (e) What makes them press towards the mark, and run that they may obtain, and strive to enter in, if they are capable of rest in their present condition ? And our bodies are incapable, as well as our souls. They are not now those sun-like bodies which they shall be, when this corruptible bath put on incorruption, and this mortal put on immortality. They are our prisons, and our burdens ; so full of infirmities and defects, that we are fain to spend most of our time in repair- ing them, and supplying their continual wants. Is it possible that an immortal soul should have rest in such a distempered noisome habitation ? Surely these sick- ly, weary, loathsome bodies, must be refined, before they can be capable of enjoying rest. The objects we here enjoy are insufficient to afford us rest ? Alas ! what is there in all the world to give us rest ? They that have most of it, have the greatest burden.* (c) Rom. vii. 24.