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him, with any hopes of Vtclety. And il
the Building of a Tower without a greai
stock of Money, and the Engaging ii
Battel against a potent Enemy without;
mighty Army, are things not only ver;
Difficult, but quite Impracticable;, Ho\
much harder will it be, to Accomplish bot
these Enterprizœs at once ? And yet bot
of 'em is he oblig'd to Perform,, who woul
win and secure to himself the Kingdom 1
Heaven. For both the Tower must 1
built that reaches up to Heaven; I mea
she Good Works, which are the Way to th
Kingdom , and the Dispositions to fit up
Candidate for it: And he must also.Fig
with many and mighty Opposers, even t!
whole Pqffi of unclean, malicious Spiri
that set themselves, with all their Powt
and their Instruments to Obstruct the Bui
Of this we find a very proper Adumb tion in the Children of Israel, desirous Re-edify Jerusalem, after it had been I molisht by the Chaldeans: Yet so Intern ed by the Heathen round about 'em% W ring with 'em, that they were fain to H and Fight both together. Eir. 4. 4. Enemy iveÆned their bands, and Troubled in Building. And Neh. 4. 17^. They Builded on the Wall, and they that bore Bur a with those that Laded, Every one, with on his hands -wrought in the Work, and with ether. hand held a Weapon. From all which we'may Infer, That the Heavenly King, dom is not to be Won without many fore Conflicts,. and very hard Struggle, by them that are Wedded to Earthly things, and have not learned to Tame the Carnal Concupiscence at home, nor to Fight with the Invisible Antagonists abroad.
But whoever will give 'emselves (by the Grace of God J to the study and acquisition of Christian Perfection, ( as far as 'tis Attainable j) net..in an Oscitant dreaming manner, but with attentive Minds ponder the words of -Christ, 'and endeavour to
• follow the steps of him and his Saints; 'and use that holy Violence, not only to
* strive against Flefli and Blood that hinder j 'But also Strive with God in Prayer, for 'that Grace which will promote and Per( sect theDesignj They shall by degrees find the Way widened, and the Gates opened, their Strength Augmented, and their Enemies diminisht; And thro' the manifestation of God's Love, and further communication of his Grace, shall begin to reckon the Burthen Light, and the Take Easyj and perceive that Promise, //*. 4.31. accomplifllt in themselves , They who Trust in the Lord shad renew their Strength; To run, and not be Weary, To Walk, and not Faint: and be able to fay with the royal Prophet, Tsal. 119. 3*.. I wM run the way of thy Commands with an Enlarged heart, ThuSj Thus, to many it has not been found Heavy and Tedious, but short and Delicious, to spend even whole Nights, as well as Days, in the Religious Service, And so,' St. Augustine came to declare, How delightful it was to him, To want those carnal Delights, which once he thought there was no Living without: i. e. When he came to Relish the Sweets of Divine Love, and the Joys of Internal Heavenly Contemplation. Let none then here Despond , and Faint in their Minds; but hope in the Help of the most High and Almighty; who, as he Made us for Himself, also Draws us to Himself: And will grant us that highest Favour, To sit down in his Kingdom, thro' the Merits of his Son; as he has been pleas'd to Remember us in our Lowest State, and Redeem us, at the Expence of hisi?/<W.
Do not Deject thy self then, O Christian Soul, with the Difficulties of the Way; but Confide in the Lord, who would not Invite thee to Seek first his Kingdom, If he were not Ready to Enable thee with his Assistance. But with a Greatness and Fortitude of Mind, Set upon this heavenly Expedition, where's no room for Demurring or Hesitation. For if there be a great Work to be done, There's also a most glorious Reward to be Won. And if mighty are the. Enemies that make Opposition, Stronger is the Power of his Arm, who Calls and Girds thee to the
Combat. And where so many of all Ages, Sexes, and Qualities have gone before thee, thro' this Way to the Kingdom, Why must not thou (following their Steps,; also reach happily to the same blessed End? For they were not of Stone or Iron ; but of. the same Flesh and Blood, and as Frail, as Thy self. Therefore, 'twas not thro' their own Ability; but going forth in the Strength of the Lord Almighty: And be thou never so Infirm thy self, yet why may'st thou not Succeed alike, Trusting in the Name of the Lord, and staying thy self upon thy God? Cast thy self upon him (faith St. Aug,) and he will not leave thee to Miscarry. So depending -with an Humble Confidence, Thou jhalt find his Favour and Assistance. For. God is Faithful, and cannot Deny himself. But Two things here he does require of thee; The one, that thou firmly Resolve to prefer the Glory of God , and the Salvation of thy Soul, above all Considerations else in the World: The other, that thou Confide not in thy own Wit or Strength, but in his Omnipotence and infinite Love. And thus doing, Thou shalt find the Crooked made Strait, and the Rough places Plain, Isa. 40. 4. Yea , thou shalt serve the Lord with Gladness; and, as Psal. 138. f. Sing in the Ways of the Lord, because great is the Glory of the Lord.
0/ the Saints Eternal Felicity $ Under the Tattle of
The CITY OF GOD.
Of the Beauty of'God's City.
LortoUs things are spoken of thee thou City of God, Psal. 87. 3. Therefore has. it been my Ambition, by. the help of Meditation, (tho' as but thro' a Glass darkly J to see thy GloAnd what first here offers it self to be considers,' is why the Saint's Felicity, which holy Scripture calls the Kingdom of God, should also be called the Cits of God 1 . The First Reason of which I take to be this; Because, as it goes by the name of a