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IN the next place is the Consideration Sum. of Christ our Great High-Priest, the Me- XVIdiator of the New Covenant; who gave himself for us, that by the DocJrine and Example of his Life, and by the Mfrit and Influence of his Death, he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify to himself a peculiar People zealous of good works: Who is now sat down on the right hand of the Throne of God in the heavenly places, to intercede for all those that truly and effectually repent: And who, at the end of the World, unto all them who with patient continuance in well-doing look for him, shall appear the second time, without Sin, unto Salvation.
The next part of this Contemplation, tending to make us hunger and thirst after Righteousness, by having at present our Conversation in Heaven; is the consideration of the Company, by whom that region of Happiness is possess'd. The Society of Good Angels, who never departed |rom their first estate; and of Good Men, who by true Repentance are returned unto it. The Society of Holy Angels, who, Vol. V. Bb 2 going
S E R. M. going in and out before the Throne of God, XVI- do always behold the Face of our Father >
*-/"v"SJ even the Father, of whom the -whole Family in Heaven and Earth is named: And the Society of Holy Men, who, having washed their Robes in the Blood of the Lamb, are by Him presented faultless before the Presence of bis Father's Glory with exceeding soy.
The last part of this Contemplation, is the consideration of the Happiness of this State itself, with regard to Ourselves. And in This refpeff indeed, it doth not yet appear what we /hall be: But we know, that when he shall appear, we stall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. At present we see only, as through a glass, darkly j For Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entred into the Heart of Man to conceive, the things that God has prepared for them that love him: But Then, we fiallsee face to face j and know, even as we are known, I Cor. xiii. 12. In general only, This we are Now assured of, and a sufficient employment it is for our Meditations upon This Head j that the Happiness of Heaven, tho' the particular!f S E Rm. 6F it are not yet revealed, is a Great and exceeding Weight of Glory; to which the Apostle reckons, that nothing in ft&« ^vy^w/ World is worthy to be compared, 2 Cor. iv. 17 j that'tis a Kingdom, which cannot be moved; a 'treasure, which neither moth nor rujl doth corrupt, and to which Thieves do not break through and jleal: that'tis a Happiness pure and unmixt; For all tears Jhall then be wiped from our Eyes; and there so all be no more Death, neither sorrow nor crying; neither Jhall there be any more Pain; for the former things are pafj'ed away: Lastly, that 'tis an injoyment which will satisfy all our Des res, an imployment which will improve to the utmost all our Faculties; and, which is the Crown of all, will continue for ever; being, as St Peter expresses it, an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and which fadeth not away, I conclude This Head, with the words of^rMf. a most excellent Writer of our own: "O Tlllotlon"blessed Time, saith he, when Mortality "(hall be swallowed up of Life, and Death "and Sorrow ihall be no more;--when we Bb 3 "shall
Seim.« shall be eased of all our Pains, and reXVI. « solved of all our Doubts, and be purged "from all our Sins, and be freed from all "our Fears, and be happy beyond all our "Hopes, and have all this Happiness se"cured to us beyond the Power of Time "and Change!" Let every man who lives in the Practice of Any known Vice, consider seriously with himself, how for one morsel of meat he sells this Birthright.
This is the first thing implyed in the Phrase of having our Conversation in Heaven; meditating frequently and seriously upon the Happiness of 'That State.
zdly; Having our Conversation in Heaven, signifies, not only meditating upon the Happiness of that State, but practically and effectually setting our Hearts and Affections thereon. Speculative Meditations within our own Minds, or moving Discourses and fine Descriptions to Others, are of no Use; unless the things meditated upon by us, or described to us, affect our Hearts, and operate in their influence upon our Lives and Actions, as Realities and nor as Imaginations. The Persons
Opposite Opposite to those whose conversation is in S E R M. Heaven, (as they are described in the ~X^, Verse before my Text) are those whose God is their Belly, who mind earthly things, ver. 19. By way of contraries therefore, they whose conversation is in Heaven, are Those only who mind, (not who can imagine or describe, but who mind,) that js, who in earnest attend to, as to their proper and most important Concern, the things which are in Heaven. Rom. viii. 5. They that are aster the Flejh, do mind the things of the.Flejh; and they that are after the Spirit, do mind the things of the Spirit. The meaning is; As worldly and corrupt Minds, are much more concerned about their Temporal, than about their eternal Affairs j so, on the contrary, Persons truly religious, though they by no means negleB the Concerns of this present Life, yet they are really more sollicitous, they are more rejoiced or grieved, at the Prospect of their Eternal, than of their Temporal State. This is what St Paul exhorts us to, Col. iii. 1. If ye be risen with Christ, feck those things which are above, where B b 4 Christ