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And upon this account, O what Obligation hare we to be Thankful to our God j That thro' the Redemption now wrought by the Death of his own .Sow, Instead of the Earthly Paradise, RaviJh'J scorn us by the Envy of the Devil, we have obtain'd a Heavenly; which is by infinite Degrees more BlejJeJ.' And that we may not be found the most htfrattful to so gracious a Delirerer, nor the worst of Enemies to our Selves, O may we set our Hearts, and Exert all our Might, to get an Entrance into this Heavenly Paradise ,. by such a lively Faith, and humble Hope, and unfeigned Love, and all Good 'Works ,. as are the sure and ready Way,
* to that most Sweet and Joyful Seat of 'all the finest Entertainments, all the
* highest Satisfactions, and most Exquisite 'Delights.
Comparing loth the Goods of the World, and of the Earthly Paradise, with th%\ Goods of the Heavenly Paradise only.
TO proceed farther; Compare we now all the Goods of the; World, and of the Paradise on Earth in a Lum$ together,
set over against the Goods of this Heaven* ly Paradise alone; And see, whether are to be preferr'd.. In order to which, suppose - we all the Wealth and Empire and Pleasure and Honour of Solomon, and all such like, as are counted the Happiest Men upon Earth, That it could without any Trouble be Got," and without any Fear be Kept: Yea, that the same most Happy Men should never Sin nor Die: Vet so, that possibly they Migbtboth Sin, ariihD«; This supposed, I am bold to affirm, That the sole Goods of that Paradise above, would far out-weigh the Goods of this World, and of the Eartbfy Paradise conjunct. Which from hence I do infer -, Because all those Goods can never Jill the Mind of Man, nor at all satisfy his Desire ; Seeing his Heart is Receptive, and capable of an Infinite Good; And the most promising Matters here are at best but Curt and Finite. That therefore of S. Aug. still holds Good, Lord thou bast Made m for Thee; and our Heart will for ever he Unquiet, till it Center and Rest in Thee. To which purpose that in Psal. 17. last ver. 1 snail be satisfy ed, when I awake with thy Likeness. Never before* And as long as the Heart is Restless, it will be Wretched. And if so; be sure, not Blessed. But the Heavenly Paradise has that in it, C this prime Excellence,) To satisfy the Soul, and put a full Period to all us Disquiet. For what will he have to Defire, that shall be Like to God himself} Because he shall See him afheisl O what can he Wish more, that shall Reign with God% and be over all his Goods ; Co-heir with his Christ, and Heir of all things? Unless any durst imagine, God himself to have the. Uneasy Mind, or to be defective in Bliss, which is no more Possible, than that he should cease to be God.
Yet sarther ;These Goods of the World: and earthly Paradise, whatever, or how great soever they might be, yet for this* very Reason, That they may be .£«/£, do. appear to be no Perfect Goods, nor ever. able to Satisfy and quiet the Mind of Man » And consequently, not to make him Happy and Blessed. Whereas the Goods of the Heavenly Paradise are every way Perfect, and so Firm and'stable, as never to be Lost, ot^ataW Diminish1 d; For the Saints once fix'd in those most Happy Seats, can neither Die nor Sin: And so, are most Secure of their Everlasting Bliss.
O may we, then, Open the eyes of ous Minds* seriously to Weigh with our selves, of what infinite Moment it is, to get into that most Blessed State, of which we shall never be Disfojftfi. For here, we treat of the Main matter of all: And not only. about some Minute and Perishing things* Let us. therefore, now Bethink. our selves, so as to prevent the most Irreparable Damage. As he, who is the Wisdom of God, offers it to our most serious Consideration. 'Mat. 16.26. What is a man profited, if he 'Jhall Gain the whole World, and Ltje hit * own Soul? Have whatever else we can possibly Compass, If we mils of the Blessed End, for which we were Made; we cannot but be the most Miserable for
Comparing the Price ef Paradise with Paradise itself.
IN the last place, Compare we the Trier, wherewith Paradise was Purchas'd by our Lord, and wherewith it must also be 1 obtained by our selves, with the Greatness and Excellence of Paradise it self. Our Lord Redeemer, with the Price of his own Blood, bought for us that Heavenly Paradise, which, by the Artifice and Malice of the Devil, was purloin'd and fnatch'd from us i Not for himself to Enter upon it, but only that we might be Debarred of it. Thus did he Seduce our first Parents into his RebiSim; that he might have 'em Partners sen in his Cmijmjmtin*. Therefore was our Lord himself pleas d to personate the Wife Merchants Mat. I}. 46. Who gave tl l that he ha*, to gain the Pearl ef great Trite; (even the Kingdom of Heaven J net with Corruptible things , as Silver and Geld, but. with bis own most precious Blood, 1 Pet. 1.19. Thus, at the same time, has he Bought both Paradise and us together. For we were Captives, that had Lost it by our Sins: And he Redeeming us from Satan's Thraldom of Sin, makes us also the Sons of God, and Heirs of the Heavenly Inheritance. Which gives us a most Convincing Proof,/ of what high Consideration is this Paradise, that the Wisdom of God thought it worth such an Infinite Price.
For should but any Intelligent wealthy Merchant here with us, think fit to Buy a precious Pearl at the Expence even of all his Substance; none would ever doubt but it must needs be a very Eminent and singular Good, that could hardly find a Price, which should be Worth it; Or else he would never so Venture for it. And would we but make use of any judicious Recolleftion here, Of what infinite Worth should we reckon the Kingdom of Heaven, which the Son of God Incarnate, not only with all Labour and Dolour, for Thirty Years; But at Last, with the Expence of his most precious Bhod, thought sit to Purchase?