Chap.  3. - 'The EXCELLENCIES of the Saints' Rest.'

  1. It is the purchased possession; 
  2. It is a free gift; 
  3. It is peculiar to saints; 
  4. It is an association with saints and angels; 
  5. It derives its joys immediately from God himself; 
  6. It will be seasonable; 
  7. It will be suitable; 
  8. It will be perfect, without sin and suffering; 
  9. It will be everlasting.

Let us draw a little nearer, and see what further excellencies this rest affords. The Lord hide us in the clefts of the rock, and cover us with the hands of indulgent grace — while we approach to take this view.

1. It is a most singular honor of the saints' rest, to be called the purchased possession; that is, the fruit of the blood of the Son of God; yes, the chief fruit, the end and perfection of all the fruits and efficacy of that blood. 

Greater love than this, there is not — to lay down the life of the lover. And to have this our Redeemer ever before our eyes, and the liveliest sense and freshest remembrance of that dying, bleeding love, still upon our souls! How will it fill our souls with perpetual joy, to think thatin the streams of this blood — we have swum through the violence of the world, the snares of Satan, the seductions of flesh, the curse of the law, the wrath of an offended God, the accusations of a guilty conscience, and the vexing doubts and fears of an unbelieving heart — and are arrived safely at the presence of God!

Now he cries to us, "Is it nothing to you, all you that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow!" And we scarcely regard the mournful voice — scarcely turn aside to view the wounds. But then our perfected souls will feel, and flame in love — for his dying love. With what astonishing apprehensions will redeemed saints everlastingly behold their blessed Redeemer — the purchaser, and the price, together with the possession! Neither will the view of his wounds of love renew our wounds of sorrow. He, whose first words after his resurrection were to a great sinner, "Woman, why do you weep?" knows how to raise love and joy, without any cloud of sorrow or storm of tears.

If anything we enjoy was purchased with the life of our dearest friend — how highly would we value it! If a dying friend delivers us but a token of his love — how carefully do we preserve it, and still remember him when we behold it, as if his own name were written on it! And will not, then, the death and blood of our Lordeverlastingly sweeten our possessed glory? As we write down the price which our goods cost us; so, on our righteousness and glory write down the price: The precious blood of Christ! His sufferings were to satisfy the justice that required blood, and to bear what was due to sinners, and so to restore them to the life they lost, and the happiness from which they fell. The work of Christ's redemption so well pleased the Father, that he gave him power to advance his chosen people, and give them the glory which was given to himself; and all this "according to his good pleasure and the counsel of his own will."

2. Another pearl in the saints' diadem is, that it is a free gift

These two, purchased and free, are the chains of gold which make up the wreaths for the tops of the pillars in the temple of God. It was dear to Christ — but free to us. When Christ was to buy, silver and gold were worth nothing; prayers and tears could not suffice, nor anything below his blood; but our buying is receiving; we have it freely, without money and without price. A thankful acceptance of a free acquittance is no paying of the debt. Here is all free; if the Father freely gives the Son, and the Son freely pays the debt; and if God freely accepts that way of payment, when he might have required it of the principal; and if both Father and Son freely offer us the purchased life on our cordial acceptance; and if they freely send the Spirit to enable us to accept; what is here, then, which is not free?

O the everlasting admiration that must surprise the saints to think of this freeness! "What did the Lord see in me, that he should judge me fit for such a state? That I, who was but a poor, diseased, despised wretch — should be clad in the brightness of this glory! That I, a creeping worm — should be advanced to this high dignity! That I, who was but lately groaning, weeping, dying — should now be as full of joy as my heart can hold! Yes, should be taken from the grave where I was decaying, and from the dust and darkness where I seemed forgotten — and be here set before his throne! That should be taken, with Mordecai, from captivity, and be set next unto the king; and with Daniel from the den, to be made ruler of princes and provinces! Who can fathom unmeasurable love?"

If worthiness were our condition for admittance — we might sit down and weep, with John, because no man was found worthy. But "the Lion of the tribe of Judah" is worthy, and has prevailed; and by that title we must hold the inheritance. We shall offer there the offering that David refused — even praise for that which cost us nothing. Christ has dearly bought — yet freely gives.

If it were only for nothing, and without our merit — the wonder would be great; but it is moreover against our merit, and against our long endeavoring our own ruin. What an astonishing thought it will be, to think of the immeasurable difference between our deservings — and receivings! between the state we should have been in — and the state we are in! to look down upon Hell, and see the vast difference from that to which we are adopted! What pangs of love will it cause within us to think, "Yonder was the place that sin would have brought me to — but this is it that Christ has brought me to! Yonder death was the wages of my sin — but this eternal life is the gift of God, through Jesus Christ my Lord. Who made me to differ? Would I not have now been in those flames — if I had had my own way, and been left alone to my own will? Would I not have lingered in Sodom until the flames had seized on me — if God had not in mercy brought me out?"

Doubtless this will be our everlasting admiration — that so rich a crown should fit the head of so vile a sinner; that such high advancement, and such long unfruitfulness and unkindness — can be the state of the same person; and that such vile rebellions can conclude in such most precious joys! But no thanks to us, nor to any of our duties and labors, much less to our neglects and laziness! We know to whom the praise is due, and must be given forever.

Indeed, to this very end, it was that infinite wisdom cast the whole design of man's salvation into this mold of purchases and freeness — that the love and joy of man might be perfected, and the honor of grace most highly advanced; that the thought of merit might neither cloud the one nor obstruct the other; and that on these two hinges the gate of Heaven might turn. So then let DESERVED be written on the door of Hell; but on the door of Heaven, THE FREE GIFT!

3. This rest is peculiar to saints: it belongs to them alone — and not to others. 

If all Egypt had been light, the Israelites would not have had the less; but to enjoy that light alone, while their neighbors lived in thick darkness — must make them more sensible of their privilege. Distinguishing mercy affects more than any mercy. If Pharaoh had passed as safely as Israel, the Red Sea would have been less remembered. If the rest of the world had not been drowned, and the rest of Sodom and Gomorrah not burned — the saving of Noah would have been no wonder, nor Lot's deliverance so much talked of. When one is enlightened — and another left in darkness; one reformed — and another enslaved by his lust; it makes the saints cry out, "Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself unto us — and not unto the world?"

When the prophet is sent to one widow only, out of all that were in Israel, and to cleanse one Naaman out of all the lepers — the mercy is more observable. That will surely be a day of immense feeling on both sides, when there shall be two in one bed, and two in the field — the one taken and the other left. The saints shall look down upon the burning lake, and in the sense of their own happiness, and in the approbation of God's just proceedings — they shall rejoice and sing, "You are righteous, O Lord, because you have judged thus!"

4. But though this rest be peculiar to the saints — yet it is common to ALL the saints; for it is an association of blessed spirits, both saints and angels: a corporation of perfected saints, whereof Christ is the head: the communion of saints completed. 

As we have been together in the labor, duty, danger and distress — so shall we be in the great recompense and deliverance! As we have been scorned and despised together — so shall we be owned and honored together. We who have gone through the day of sadness together — shall enjoy together that day of gladness together. Those who have been with us in persecution and in prison — shall be with us also in that place of consolation.

How oft have our groans made, as it were, one sound! our tears one stream! and our desires one prayer! But now all our praises shall make up one melody; all our churches — one church; and all ourselves — one body; for we shall be all one in Christ, even as he and the Father are one. It is true, we must be careful not to look for that in the saints, which is alone in Christ. But if the forethought of sitting down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of Heaven, may be our lawful joy; how much more the real sight and actual possession! It cannot but be comfortable to think of that day, when we shall join with Moses in his song, withDavid in his psalms of praise, and with all the redeemed in the song of the Lamb forever; when we shall see . . .

  • Enoch walking with God; 
  • Noah enjoying the end of his singularity; 
  • Joseph of his integrity; 
  • Job of his patience; 
  • Hezekiah of his uprightness and
  • all the saints the end of their faith.

Not only our old acquaintances — but all the saints of all ages, whose faces we never saw — we shall there both know and comfortably enjoy. Yes, angels as well as saints will be our blessed acquaintance. Those who now are willingly our ministering spirits — will willingly then be our companions in joy. They who had such joy in Heaven for our conversion — will gladly rejoice with us in our glorification. Then we shall truly say, as David: I am a companion of all those who fear you; when "we are come unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels; to the general assembly and church of the first-born, who are written in Heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant!" It is a singular excellence of heavenly rest, that we are "fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God."

5. As another property of our rest, we shall derive its joys immediately from God

Now we have nothing at all immediately from God — but at the second or third hand; or how many, who knows? From the earth, from man, from sun and moon, from the ministration of angels, and from the Spirit, and Christ. Though, in the hand of angels, the stream savors not of the imperfection of sinners — yet it does of the imperfection of creatures. And as it comes from man, it savors of both. How quick and piercing is the word in itself! yet many times it never enters, being managed by a feeble arm. What weight and worth is there in every passage of the blessed Gospel! enough, one would think, to enter and pierce the dullest soul, and wholly possess its thoughts and affections; and yet how often does it fall as water upon a stone! The things of God which we handle, are divine; but our manner of handling is human. There is little we touch — but we leave the print of our fingers behind.

If God speaks the word himself — it will be a piercing, melting word indeed. The Christian now knows, by experience, that his most immediate joys are his sweetest joys; which have least of man, and are most directly from the Spirit. Christians who are much in secret prayer and contemplation, are men of greatest life and joy; because they have all more immediately from God himself. Not that we should cast off hearing, reading, and conference, or neglect any ordinance of God; but to liveabove them while we use them, is the way of a Christian.

There is joy in these remote receivings; but the fullness of joy is in God's immediate presence. We shall then have light without a candle, and perpetual day without the sun for "the city has no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it; for the glory of God enlightens it, and the Lamb is the light thereof; there shall be no night there, and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; and they shall reign forever and ever."

We shall then have enlightened understandings without Scripture, and be governed without a written law; for the Lord will perfect his law in our hearts — and we shall be all perfectly taught of God. We shall have joy, which we drew not from the promises, nor fetched home by faith or hope. We shall have communion with God without ordinances, without this fruit of the vine, when Christ shall drink it new with us in his Father's kingdom, and refresh us with the comforting wine ofimmediate enjoyment.

  • To have necessities, but no supply — is the state of those in Hell.
  • To have necessity supplied by means of creatures — is the state of us on earth.
  • To have necessity supplied immediately from God — is the state of the saints in Heaven.
  • To have no necessity at all — is the prerogative of God himself.

6. A further excellence of this rest is, that it will be seasonable. 

He who expects the fruit of his vineyard at the season, and makes his people "like a tree planted by the rivers of water, which brings forth his fruit in his season," will also give them the crown in season. He who will have a word of joy spoken in season to him that is weary — will surely cause the time of joy to appear in the fittest season. Those who are not weary in well-doing, shall, if they faint not — reap in due season. If God gives rain even to his enemies, both the former and the latter in its season, and reserves the appointed weeks of harvest, and covenants that there shall be day and night in their season; then surely the glorious harvest of the saints shall not miss its season.

Doubtless, he who would not stay a day longer than his promise — but brought Israel out of Egypt on the self-same day when the four hundred and thirty years expired — neither will he fail of one day or hour of the fittest season for his people's glory. When we have had in this world a long night of darkness — will not the day breaking and the rising of the Sun of Righteousness be then seasonable? When we have passed a long and tedious journey through great dangers — is not homethen seasonable? When we have had a long and perilous war, and received many a wound — would not a peace, with victory, be seasonable?

Men live in a continual weariness; especially the saints, who are most weary of that which the world cannot feel: 

  • some weary of a blind mind;
  • some of a hard heart; 
  • some of their daily doubts and fears; 
  • some of the lack of spiritual joys; and 
  • some of the sense of God's wrath.

And when a poor Christian has desired, and prayed, and waited for deliverance many years — is it not then seasonable? We lament that we do not find a Canaan in the wilderness, or the songs of Zion in a strange land; that we have not a harbor in the main ocean, nor our rest in the heat of the day, nor Heaven before we leave the earth — and would not all this be very unseasonable?

7. As this rest will be seasonable, so it will be suitable. 

The new nature of the saints, suits their spirits to this rest. Indeed, their holiness is nothing else but a sparktaken from this element, and by the Spirit of Christ kindled in their hearts: the flame whereof, mindful of its own divine original, ever tends to the place from whence it comes.

Temporal crowns and kingdoms could not make a rest for saints. As they were not redeemed with so low a price, neither are they endued with so low a nature. As God will have from them a spiritual worship, suited to his own spiritual being — he will provide them a spiritual rest, suitable to their spiritual nature. The knowledge of God and his Christ, a delightful satisfaction in that mutual love, an everlasting rejoicing in the enjoyment of our God, with a perpetual singing of his high praises — this is Heaven for a saint.

Then we shall live in our own element. We are now as the fish in a vessel of water, only so much as will keep them alive; but what is that, compared to the ocean? We have a little air let in to us, to afford us breathing; but what is that, compared to the sweet and fresh gales upon mount Zion? We have a beam of the sun to enlighten our darkness, and a warm ray to keep us from freezing; but then we shall live in its light, and be revived by its heat forever.

As are the natures of the saints, such are their desires; and it is the desires of our renewed nature to which this rest is suited. While our desires remain corrupted and misguided, it is a far greater mercy to deny them, yes, to destroy them — than to satisfy them. But those desires which are spiritual — are of his own planting, and he will surely water them, and give the increase. He quickened our hunger and thirst for righteousness, that he might make us happy in a full satisfaction.

Christian, this is a rest after your own heart! It contains all that your heart can wish; that which you long, pray, labor for — there you shall find it all. You had rather have God in Christ, than all the world; there you shall have him! What would you not give for assurance of his love? There you shall have assurance without suspicion. Desire what you can, and ask what you will, as a Christian — and it shall be given you, not only to half of the kingdom — but to the enjoyment both of kingdom and King! This present life is a life of desire and prayer — but Heaven is a life of satisfaction and enjoyment.

This rest is very suitable to the saints' necessities also, as well as to their natures and desires. It contains whatever they truly need; not supplying them with coarse, created comforts — which, like Saul's armor on David, are more burden than benefit. It was Christ and perfect holiness which they most needed — and with these shall they be supplied.

8. Still more, this rest will be absolutely perfect

We shall then have joy without sorrow, and rest without weariness. There is no mixture of corruption with our graces, nor of suffering with our comfort. There are none of those waves in that harbor, which now so toss us up and down. Today we are well — tomorrow sick; today in esteem — tomorrow in disgrace; today we have friends — tomorrow none; nay, we have wine and vinegar in the same cup! If revelations raise us to the third Heaven — the messenger of Satan must presently buffet us, and the thorn in the flesh fetch us down. But there is none of this inconstancy in Heaven. If perfect lovecasts out fear, then perfect joy must cast out sorrow, and perfect happiness exclude all the relics of misery. We shall there rest from all the evil of sin and of suffering.

Heaven excludes nothing more directly than sin, whether of nature or of act. "There shall never enter anything that defiles, neither whatever works abomination, or makes a lie." What need Christ at all to have died — if Heaven could have contained imperfect souls? "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil." His blood and Spirit have not done all this — only to leave us, after all, defiled. "What communion has light with darkness? and what concord has Christ with Belial?"

Christian, if you are once in Heaven — you shall sin no more. Is not this glad news to you, who have prayed and watched against it so long? I know, if it were offered to your choice, you would rather choose to be freed from sin, than have all the world. You shall have your desire! That hard heart, those vile thoughts which accompanied you to every duty — shall be left behind forever. Your understanding shall never more be troubled with darkness. All dark Scriptures shall be made plain; all seeming contradictions reconciled. The poorest Christian is there a more perfect theologian than any here. O that happy day, when error shall vanish forever! when our understanding shall be filled with God himself, whose light will leave no darkness in us! His face shall be the Scripture where we shall read the truth.

Many a godly man here, in his mistaken zeal, has been the means of deceiving and perverting his brethren, and, when he sees his own error, cannot tell how to undeceive them. But there we shall join in one truth, as being one in Him who is the truth.

We shall also rest from all the sin of our will, affections, and acts. We shall no more retain this rebelling principle, which is still drawing us from God acts. We shall no more be oppressed with the power of our corruptions, nor vexed with their presence: no pride, passion, slothfulness, insensibility, shall enter with us; no strangeness to God, and the things of God; no coldness of affections, nor imperfection in our love; no inconstant walking, nor grieving of the Spirit; no scandalous action, nor unholy conversation. We shall rest from all these forever! Then shall our will correspond to the divine will, as face answers face in a looking-glass, and from which, as our law and rule, we shall never swerve. "For he who is entered into his rest, he also has ceased from his own works, as God did from his."

Our sufferings were but the consequences of our sinning — and in Heaven they both shall cease together!

We shall rest from all our doubts of God's love. It shall no more be said that "doubts are like the thistle, a bad weed — but growing in good ground." They shall now be fully weeded out, and trouble the gracious soul no more. We shall hear that kind of language no more: "What shall I do to know my state? How shall I know that God is my Father? that my heart is upright? that my conversion is true? that faith is sincere? I am afraid my sins are unpardoned; that all I do is hypocrisy; that God will reject me; that he does not hear my prayers." All this is there turned into praise.

We shall rest from all sense of God's displeasure. Hell shall not be mixed with Heaven. At times the gracious soul remembered God — and was troubled; complained — and was overwhelmed, and refused to be comforted; divine wrath lay hard upon him, and God afflicted him with all his waves. But that blessed day shall convince us, that though God hid his face from us for a moment — yet with everlasting kindness will he have mercy on us.

We shall rest from all the temptations of Satan. What a grief is it to a Christian, though he yields not to the temptation — yet to be solicited to deny his Lord! What a torment to have such horrid suggestions made to his soul! such blasphemous ideas presented to his imagination! sometimes . . . 

  • cruel thoughts of God, 
  • undervaluing thoughts of Christ, 
  • unbelieving thoughts of Scripture, 
  • or injurious thoughts of Providence!

To be tempted sometimes . . .

  • to turn to present things, 
  • to play with the baits of sin, and 
  • venture on the delights of flesh, 
  • and sometimes on atheism itself!

Especially when we know the treachery of our own hearts — as ready as tinder to take fire as soon as one of those sparks shall fall upon them!

Satan has power here to tempt us in the wilderness — but he enters not the holy city; he may set us on a pinnacle of the temple in the earthly Jerusalem — but the New Jerusalem he may not approach; he may take us up into an exceeding high mountain — but the mount Zion he cannot ascend; and if he could, all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, would be a despised bait to the soul possessed of the kingdom of our Lord! No, it is in vain for Satan to offer one temptation more.

All our temptations from the world and the flesh shall also cease. Oh the hourly dangers that we here walk in! Every sense and member is a snare; every creature, every mercy, and every duty is a snare to us. We can scarcely open our eyes, but we are in danger . . .

  • of envying those above us, 
  • or despising those below us; 
  • of coveting the honors and riches of some,
  • or beholding the rags and beggary of others with pride and unmercifulness!
    • If we see beauty — it is a bait to lust; 
    • if deformity — it is a bait to loathing and disdain.
  • How soon do slanderous reports, vain jests, wanton speeches — creep into the heart! How constant and strong a watch does our appetite require!
  • Have we loveliness and beauty? What fuel for pride!
  • Are we deformed? What an occasion of repining!
  • Have we strength of reason and gifts of learning? O how prone to be puffed up, hunt after applause, and despise our brethren!
  • Are we unlearned? How apt then to despise what we have not!
  • Are we in places of authority? How strong is the temptation to abuse our trust, make our will our law, and mold all the enjoyments of others by the rules and model of our own interest and policy!
  • Are we inferiors? How prone to envy others' pre-eminence, and bring their actions to the bar of our judgment!
  • Are we rich — and not too much exalted?
  • Are we poor — and not discontented?
  • Are we not lazy in our duties, or make a Christ of them?

Not that God has made these things our snares; but through our own corruption, they become so to us. Our own selves are the greatest snares to ourselves! But this is our comfort: our rest will free us from all of these! As Satan has no entrance there, so he has nothing to serve his malice; but all things there shall join with us in the high praises of our great Deliverer.

As we rest from the temptations — so shall we rest from the abuses and persecutions of the world. The prayers of the souls under the altar will then be answered, and God will avenge their blood on those who dwell on the earth. This is the time for crowning with thorns; that, for crowning with glory. Now, "all who will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution;" then, those who suffered with him — shall be glorified with him. Now, we must be hated by all men for Christ's sake; then, Christ will be admired in his saints, who were thus hated.

We are here made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men! As the filth of the world, and the offscouring of all things — men separate us from their company, and reproach us, and cast out our names as evil; but we shall then be as much gazed at for our glory, and they will be shut out of the church of the saints, and separated from us, whether they will or not. We can now scarce pray in our families, or sing praises to God — but our voice is a vexation to them: how must it torment them, then, to see us praising and rejoicing — while they are howling and lamenting!

You, brethren, who can now attempt no work of God without losing the love of the world, consider, you shall have none in Heaven, but those who will further your work, and join heart and voice with you in your everlasting joy and praise. Until then, possess you your souls in patience. Bind all reproaches as a crown to your heads. Esteem them greater riches than the world's treasures. "It is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to those who trouble you; and to you who are troubled — rest with Christ."

We shall then rest from all our sad divisions and unChristian quarrels with one another. How lovingly do thousands live together in Heaven — who lived at varianceupon earth! There is no contention, because there is none of this pride, ignorance, or other corruption. There is no plotting to strengthen our party, nor deep designing against our brethren. If there be sorrow or shame in Heaven — we shall then be both sorry and ashamed to remember all this ugly conduct on earth; as Joseph's brethren were ashamed when they remembered their former unkind usage of him. Is it not enough that all the world is against us — but we must also be against one another? O happy days of persecution — which drove us together in love, whom the sunshine of liberty and prosperity crumbles into dust by our contentions! O happy day of the saints' rest in glory — when, as there is one God, one Christ, one Spirit — so we shall have one heart, one church, one employment forever!

We shall then rest from viewing our loved ones sufferings. The church on earth is a mere hospital!

  • Some groaning under a dark understanding
  • some under an insensible heart
  • some anguishing under unfruitful weakness
  • some bleeding for miscarriages and wilfulness
  • some crying out of their poverty
  • some groaning under pains and infirmities, and 
  • some bewailing a whole catalogue of calamities.

But a far greater grief it is, to see our dearest and most intimate friends turned aside from the truth of Christ, continuing their neglect of Christ and their souls, and nothing will awaken them out of their security: to look on an ungodly father or mother, brother or sister, wife or husband, child or friend — and think how certainly they shall be in Hell forever, if they die in their present unregenerated state; to think of the Gospel departing, poor souls left willingly dark and destitute, and blowing out the light that should guide them to salvation! Our day of rest, will free us from all this, and the days of mourning shall be ended. Then your people, O Lord, shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of your planting, the work of your hands; that you may be glorified.

Then we shall rest from all our own personal sufferings. This may seem a small thing to those who live in ease and prosperity; but to the daily afflicted soul — it makes the thoughts of Heaven delightful. O the dying life we now live! as full of sufferings as of days and hours! Our Redeemer leaves this measure of misery upon us, to make us know for what we are indebted, to remind us of what we would else forget, to be serviceable to his wise and gracious designs, and advantageous to our full and final recovery.

Grief enters at every sense, seizes every part and power of flesh and spirit. What noble part is there which suffers its pain or ruin alone? But sin and flesh, dust and pain — will all be left behind together. O the blessed tranquility of that region, where there is nothing but sweet continued peace! O healthful place — where none are sick! O fortunate land — where all are kings! O holy assembly — where all are priests! How free a state — where none are servants, but to their supreme Monarch! The poor man shall no more be tired with his labors. No more hunger or thirst, cold or nakedness — no pinching frosts or scorching heats. Our faces shall no more be pale or sad. No more breaches in friendship, nor parting of friends asunder; no more trouble accompanying our relations, nor voice of lamentation heard in our dwellings. God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes. O my soul, bear with the infirmities of your earthly tabernacle; it will be thus but only a little longer; the sound of your Redeemer's feet is even at the door.

We shall also rest from all the toils of duties. The conscientious magistrate, parent and minister cries out, "O the burden that lies upon me!" Every relation, state, age has variety of duties; so that every conscientious Christian cries out, "O the burden! O my weakness, that makes it burdensome!" But our remaining rest will ease us of the burdens.

Once more, we shall rest from all these troublesome afflictions which necessarily accompany our absence from God. The trouble that is mixed in our desires and hopes, our longings and waitings — shall then cease. We shall no more look into our cabinet — and miss our treasure; into our hearts — and miss our Christ! We shall no more seek him from ordinance to ordinance; but all be concluded in a most blessed and full enjoyment.

9. The last jewel of our crown is, that it will be an everlasting rest. Without this, all would be comparatively nothing. 

The very thought of leaving it, would embitter all our joys. It would be a Hell in Heaven — to even think of eventually losing Heaven; as it would be a kind of Heaven to the damned — had they but hope of eventually escaping.

Mortality is a great hindrance of all sublunary delights. How it spoils our pleasure — to see it dying in our hands! But, O blessed eternity! where our lives are perplexed with no such thoughts, nor our joys interrupted with any such fears! where "we shall be pillars in the temple of God, and go no more out." While we wereservants, we held by lease, and that but for the term of a transitory life; "but the son abides in the house forever."

O my soul, let go your dreams of present pleasure, and loose your hold of earth and flesh. Study frequently, study thoroughly, this one word — eternity. What! live — and never die! rejoice — and ever rejoice!

O happy souls in Hell — should you but escape after millions of ages! O miserable saints in Heaven — should you be dispossessed after the age of a million of worlds! This word, everlasting, contains the perfection of their torment and our glory. O that the sinner would study this word; methinks it would startle him out of his dead sleep! O that the gracious soul would study it; methinks it would revive him in his deepest agony!

"And must I, Lord, thus live forever. Then will I also love forever. Must my joys be immortal — and shall not my thanks be also immortal? Surely, if I shall never lose my glory — so I will never cease your praises. If you will both perfect and perpetuate me and my glory, as I shall be yours, and not my own — so shall my glory be your glory. And as your glory was your ultimate end in my glory, so shall it also be my end — when you have crowned me with that glory which has no end. Unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory, for ever and ever!"

Thus I have endeavored to show you a glimpse of approaching glory. But how short are my expressions of its excellency!

Reader, if you be an humble, sincere believer, and wait with longing and laboring for this rest — you will shortly see and feel the truth of all this. You will then have so high an impression of this blessed state, as will make you pity the ignorance and distance of mortals, and will tell you all that is here said, falls short of the whole truth a thousandfold.

In the mean time, let this much kindle your desires, and quicken your endeavors. Up and be doing — run, and strive, and fight, and hold on: for you have a certain glorious prize before you. God will not mock you; do not mock yourself, nor betray your soul by delaying — and all is your own. What kind of men, do you think, would Christians be in their lives and duties — if they had still this glory fresh in their thoughts? what frame would their spirits be in, if their thoughts of Heaven were lively and believing? Would their hearts be so heavy; their countenances so sad? Or would they have need to take up their comforts from below? Would they be so reluctant to suffer — or so afraid to die? or would they not think every day year, until they enjoy it? May the Lord heal our carnal hearts, lest we "enter not into this rest because of unbelief."