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Kingdom, for its Widenefs, So may it bear the title of a City, for its Fairness. For* to hear of a Vast Kingdom , suggests the unpleafing Ideas of many Desart and Rude places in it; many craggy Mountains, rough Valleys, wild Forests, Rocky Precipices , Boggs and Wasts, fit only for the Possession of Savage Beasts: But because the BleJJ'ednefs above can admit of nothing that in the least shall be offensive or In con- venient, therefore the Holy Ghost in Scripture sets it forth, under the Similitude of a most beautiful City. And tho' it be Extended sar and wide, as a Kingdom; Yet does the whole shine and glitter, as a most frequented and most Opulent City. . For in Cities, (especially the Capital and greater, ) are to be seen.all the finest and brightest Objects , to please and amaze the Spectators ; Adorned Churches, stately Palaces, pleasant Gardens, large Courts, a multitude of rich Houses, noble Streets, Fountains, Pillars, Pyramids, Obelisks , Theatres, Towers, Treasuries, and. Repositories of all Good things, for the Use and Comfort of Life.
O what would be the Beauty of Italy, were it clear'd of all the barren and desolate Places; So that the whole Nation all over should shine like Rome : Not as now it is; But as under Augustus; who found it of Brick, and made it of Marble! And how D z splensplendid had been the Holy Land of old, If the whole .had made that Figure which Jerusalem did , before destroyed by the Romans j as Josef bus describes it, The Wonder of the World, for Magnificence , and every thing in it, to Entertain and Ravish the Sense!
O then, what is that Jerusalem above, the City of the great King, which takes up all the Kingdom of Heavenj and makes that Kingdom of all Kingdoms, so Refulgent every where, as if the whole were but one sweet and Glorious City .'No where Void, no where Deformed, no where Horrid,Squalid,or Unpolifht.' Such, most assuredly,is the Heavenly City that no one can in earnest think any thinga greeably of it, but he must be Enflamd with Longings after it: And none so Longs for it, but above all things in the World, still he will Seek it, * and never rest, till he find it.
Hear how the elder Tobit sings its Praise, Chap. 13. 11, 16,17,18. All generations shall praise thee with great Joy. For Jerusalem (liall he built up with Sapbires, and Emeralds, and precious Stones: Thy Walls and Battlement/, and Towers with pure Gold: And the Street shall be pa.v'd with Beril, and Carbunc'e, and. stones of Ophir. All her streets fit all fay, Allelujah. And they shall praise him, saying, Blesjed be God, that hath Exalted thee for ever. With whom St. John joins in Consort, Rev. 21. 18, 19, 21. The Building of the Wall of the City was of Jaspar, and the City was sure Gold, like to clear Glass: and the Foundations of the Wall of the City were garnish'd with all manner of precious Stones V And the Twelve Gates were twelve Pearls: and every several.Gate was of one Pearl. And the Street of the City was sure Gold.
Tho' we take not all this in the Letter,. as if the new Jerusalem were to be seen adorn'd with just such Gold and precious Stones,' as this Earth affords: Yet after this manner is it exprest, That we might conceive the Heaveniy City to be so much more Excellent than any Earthly, as Gold is better than Clay, Pearls than Pebbles, Stars than Lamps, the Sun than Torches, Earth than Heaven, and God the Eternal Maker, than any mortal Builder. But because we are (a little beyond,) to describe the Beauty of all its Parts, we'll here add no more.
Of the Concord and Peace of. the City of God.
ANother Reason why trie Kingdom of God is call'd a City may be this,' BeD 3 cause
cause a Kingdom containing even an infinite number of divers Countries,Tongues, Manners, Laws, distinct from one another , .Many of the same Kingdom never See one another; much lels are they, in any common Correspondence or intimate Friendship, joined together. But in a City the Members are all of the same Language; and have all the same Laws, Customs, and Manners. Therefore, it bears the name both of a Kingdom and a City; Because the Inhabitants of the Heavenly Kingdom, tho'never so many and Innumerable , (Angels and Men,,) Yet are they all Fellow-Citizens, unanimously knit together, and Governed by one only Law of Lave, All there, of one Heart and of one Soul. And because Charity is the most opposite to Hatred and Envy, Broils and Discord , Brawling and Contention ,Therefore, from that holy City are forever banisht all Spight and Malice, Wrath and Quarrels, and whatever is Injurious to the closest Unity , the most cordial Agreement, and perfect Friendship. There Charity Reigns , and with it, Righteousness, and Peacej and Joy in the Holy Ghost.
Soon after the Creation, There was War in Heaven, between Michael and the Dragon; But the- Arch-Angel and his happy Colkgues, who stood in the Truth, and kept Faith and Loyalty to their Lord, „ .. obtained obtained a glorious Victory over the Dram gon and his cursed Confederates; Who (Lifted up with Pride,) Revolted from the great Lord of all. And the Dragon, that old Serpent who is called the Devil and Satan, that seduceth all the World, was cast into the Earth. Rev. 12. 9. And from thenceforward , the holy City Jerusalem was Compact together; And nothing but Peace within her Walls and Borders ., No noise of the Trumpet sounding to Bactel ever any more there to be heard..
What therefore more sweet and Happy than this City j .where all dwell together in such harmonious Unity! They who. to their cost and smart, Experience the Plague of War and Plunder and Slaughter; Sacrilege, Sword, and Fire, can tell how to Admire and Predicate, to Extol and cry up the sweet Blessings and heavenly Delights of Peace. But beside the dreadful Calamities of public Wars, Who in his City, or his own House , has .not found the Bitterness and Curse of Animosities* Jars, and Feuds, among such as arc ready to Tear and devour, and -even Eat up one another ?' And O how vexatious and * full of Trouble is the Life , To Cohabit 1 and converse with men of rugged and '. boisterous Manners , of hot and Turbur 'lent Spirits, that can put a perverse 'Inttrr 'pretation, even upon the kindest Intention*-, D 4 'and