Manton - BX8915 M26 1684 v1

Ver. 24. xxv'h ChajpterófSr. MA T T H Ew: i 7 was prepared for Believers ; God never intended Unbelievers fhould have faéh a Glo- rious Eftáte : Such as love the world, do not prize nor long for this Happinefs, and therefore 'tis fit they fhould never enjoy it ; for though the preparation be a work of abundant Mercy, yet that mercy is fò tempered and limited by his Wifdom and Jufiice, that it will not permit him to give fuch holy things to Dogs, or call Pearl before Swine ;Vo, 'twas prepared to be enjoyed only by Believers and holy ones. 2. For you [ rfonallr and determinatively : This is moll agreeable to ChriftS fcope and fen e, for all the Conditions were alto prepared for them : God did eleEL us to Faith and Holinefs, as well as to eternal Life : Faith is the fruit of EleEli- on, not a caufe ; he did not choofe us becaufe we were holy, or becaufe he did w forefeé that we would be holy, but that we might be holy, Eph. r. 4. That being fanElified and; renewed by the Spirit, we might be placed in the new .7 erufalem : For you in Perron, that is Chrifts meaning. Fourthly, The Antiquity or ancientnefs of this preparation, From the foundation of the world; that is, from all Eternity ; for the Scripture goeth to the highefl point of time unto which we can afcend in our thoughts; fo that d» 414,,z:, figniheth as much as and wlaR,45 I As 'tis exprefly faid, Eph. e. 4. Before the foundation of the world : The Phrafe is ordinary in Scripture, and is as much as to (ày, From all Eternity, or before any time was ; for Gods purpofes are as he is, eternal, and without beginning ; therefore if we fpeak of Gods intention and purpofe, it was before all worlds.. Tlrofe that underhand this, [ For you 11 that is, for perlons fo qualified, will deny the meaning of the Phrafe to be, That die dignities of the Kingdom of Heaven were defigned to be the reward of all the faithful Servants of Jefas Chrift before all worlds ; and they that know the Scriptures, cannot but con- clude that from all Eternity he made choice of us to be juflified, fanElified and glo- rified. The EleEive Love of God is of an ancient handing, even from all Eter- nity, and therefore moll free, there being nothing in the Elea, before they had a being, to move his Love towards them, and this will be the glory of his Grace at that day, that we are invited into that Eflate that was prepared for us long before; and who are we, that the thoughts of God (hould be taken up about us fo long fince ? Tit. 3. 2. Which God that cannot lie premifed before the world began : So 21 im. i. 9. Who Paved af, and called us with an holy Calling, according to his purpofe and Grace which was, given to us in Chrifl before the world began : He Indented then with Chrift, to bring us to what we shall at raft enjoy ; but if any morofèly in- fift upon the Phrafe, becaufe it doth not neceffarily fignifie Eternity, we mull then underhand, that though the Purpofe of God were from everlafling, yet the things defigned and afled by him, they take their beginning in time, or with time, and fo the words muff be underftood, (t.) Of preparing, the place, which fhall be the (late of the Bleffed : The third Heaven is the dwelling place of the Saints, which was framed about the beginning of the Creation ; fo good and gracious was our God, that he did not make Man or Angel, 'till he prepared a place con- venient for them : Or, (a.) To the Promife prefently made upon Adam's fall ; but the former Expofition is more Pimple. Well then, you have heard what Entertainment the faithful Mall have from Chrift at his Coming, fo far as our dull Minds can conceive of it, and with weak and Imperfèfl words can exprefs it to you : Now let us fee what Ufe we may make of all this. V S E 1. Let us be convinced that there is fuch an Egate, and will be fuels a Time, and that there is no true Bleffednefs, but this enjoyment of God in the King - domgf Heaven, that we (hall then have. The World hath been much puzled about difputes of Happinefs, and the way to it : The Philofophers, Tome placed it in Know- ledge, fotne in that Vertue which they knew, force in Pleafure ; Come in this, force in that. Augin out of Varro reckoneth up two hundred eighty fix Opinions about the chief good : They erred thus, becaufe they fought it in fo many things, where- as it confifis in one, The enjoyment of God ; and becaufe they fought it in this World, where all things are mortal and frail, and we can find not one thing that can make us compleatly happy : This difcovery was left for the Scriptures, which teach us, that our Happinefs lyeth in God alone, and that our perfeE enjoyment of him, in Body and Soul, is referved for çbrihs coming, when there is a perfeE Conformity to God, and Communion with him. e Soh. 3. 2. beloved, we are now Z 2 she