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in this life only we had hope, we were of all men most miserable." (1 Cor. xv. 19.)

(iii.) Then the chiefest and greatest encouragements to undergo sufferings and losses for God's sake were taken away.-Why did Moses refuse the honours of Pharaoh's court, and choose to suffer afflictions with the people of God, but because he had his eye to "the recompence of the reward?" (Heb. xi. 25, 26.) Why did Paul endure such conflicts, but for the hope of life and immortality which the gospel had brought to light? (2 Tim. i. 10, 12.) And well might he ask, what it would advantage him that he fought with beasts at Ephesus, if the dead rise not to eternal happiness. (1 Cor. xv. 32.) Might not, then, the suffering saints repent, when they come to die, that they had been so imprudent and unwise, to endure so much, and lose so much; and say, they have been losers by obeying God, and by their holy walking; for there is no happiness after death to be hoped for? "Wherefore I do repent that I did not take my pleasures while I might." But did you ever hear a serious, godly man, when dying, utter such words? But on the contrary on their dying beds [they] do grieve and groan, mourn and lament, that they have been no more holy and obedient; and in suffering times, if they had gold as dust, they would count it all as dross; and if they had a thousand lives, they would lose them all to keep in the favour of God, and to gain the crown of everlasting life.

(iv.) Then would the flood-gates of sin and profaneness be plucked up, to let-in an inundation of all manner of gross abominations.—For if men will not be affrighted from their sin with all the threatenings of the sorest pains of hell, nor allured to leave them with all the promises of the sweetest pleasures of heaven; if they were sure there were no torments of hell to be adjudged to, nor glory in heaven to be rewarded by; they would run with greater greediness to the commission of the worst of sins that the devil should tempt them, or their wicked hearts incline them, to.

QUESTION II. How should we eye eternity, or look at unseen, eternal things?

They are said to be "unseen," as they are not the objects of our external sense; for in this sense they are not to be seen: but we must look at eternal things that are unseen with an eye that also is unseen; and the several things denoted by "the eyes" in scripture, will give some light to see with what eyes we must look at unseen, eternal things; namely, with an eye of knowledge, faith, love, desire, hope. Our looking at eternal things comprehends these acts of the soul:



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1. It includes a sure and certain knowledge of them.—As things not understood are said to be " hid from our eyes; so, what we know we are said to see:" "I sought in mine heart to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good for the sons of men." (Eccles. ii. 3.) Taking away of knowledge is called "the putting out of the eyes; (Num. xvi. 14;) and the enlightening [of] the mind, "the opening of the eyes." (Acts xxvi. 18.) And "looking" is put for certain

knowing, (Job. xiii. 27; 1 Peter i. 12,) and expressed by "seeing." (Acts vii. 34.) So that the looking at and eyeing of eternal things with the eyes of the understanding, includes,

(1.) The bending of the mind to study them; as, when a man would look at any object, he bends his head, and turns his eyes, that


(2.) The binding of the mind to them; as a man, when he looks earnestly at any thing, fixeth his eye upon it.

(3.) The exercise of the mind thus bent and bound to eternal things; that it is often thinking on the unseen, eternal God, Christ, heaven, and the life to come.

2. This looking is by an eye of faith.-Looking is believing: "Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live." (Num. xxi. 8.) The object and the act are both expounded by Christ: "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life." (John iii. 14, 15.)

3. This looking is with an eye of love.-Though in philosophy the affections, as well as the will, are blind powers; yet in divinity "the


are put for the affections: "Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not?" (Prov. xxiii. 5.) And "the eye of the Lord" denotes his love; (Psalm xxxiii. 18;) and believers, that "love" the coming of the unseen Saviour, (2 Tim. iv. 8,) are said to "look for" it. (Phil. iii. 20.) Ubi amor, ibi oculus: “ We love to look at what we


4. This looking is with an eye of desire.-Which is expressed by "the eye: ""That ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes." (Num. xv. 39.) 7 - "Every thing desirable in thine eyes." (1 Kings xx. 6.) "If I have withheld the poor from their desire, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail." (Job xxxi. 16.) The eye is an index of the desires of the heart.

5. This looking is with an eye of hope."The eye' 55 is put for hope, Job xi. 20; Lam. iv. 17; 2 Chron. xx. 12; Psalm cxlv. 15; XXV. 15. And things not seen are looked for by hope; (Rom. viii. 24, 25;) and things hoped for are the objects of our looking: "Looking for that blessed hope." (Titus ii. 13.) In short, the sum is as if it had been said, "While we have a certain knowledge of unseen, eternal things, a firm belief of them, fervent love unto them, ardent desires after them, lively hope and patient expectation of them, we faint not in all our tribulations."

Having opened the eyes with which we are to look at eternal things, I proceed to the manner of our looking: there is a looking unto them. (Psalm xxxiv. 5; Micah vii. 7.) There is a looking into them, by studying the nature of them, to know more of the reality, necessity, and dignity of them: "Which things the angels desire to look into." (1 Peter i. 12.) If angels do, men should. There is a looking for them; either as we look for things that we have lost,-look till we find; as the man for his lost sheep, or the woman for her lost silver,

(Luke xv. 4, 8,)—or to look for a thing that is yet to come. (Titus ii. 13; Isai. viii. 17.) And there is a looking at them; which is not an idle gazing at the unseen, eternal world, but a practical, lively, affecting look in this manner following:

1. We should look at eternal things with such an eye of faith, that should presentiate them unto us, though they are yet to come.—Hence faith is said to be "the substance," or "subsistence," "of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Heb. xi. 1.) Faith so looks at things that are far off, that they have a kind of mental, intellectual existence; though absent, as if they were present; being promised, as sure as if they were already possessed. Faith convinceth and assureth the heart of a believer more strongly of the truth of a thing, while it looks to the revelation and testimony of God, than any argument brought forth from natural reason could do; and doth give as firm assent to the certainty and reality of eternal things, (though unseen,) as to any thing [which] he beholdeth with his eyes, or perceiveth by the apprehension of any sense; because our eyes may be deceived, but God neither can deceive, nor be deceived.

Look, then, for instance, at the coming of Christ with such an eye of faith, as if with your bodily eyes you saw him descending from heaven, in flaming fire, with glorious attendance; as if you heard the trumpet sounding, and the cry made, "Arise, ye dead, and come to judgment;" at which command, as if you saw the dead quickened, and peeping out of their graves, to see why they are raised; as if you saw the wicked come forth, fearfully amazed, with vile and filthy bodies, like toads from their holes, with pale and ghastly countenances, with trembling hearts, and their knees for horror knocking one against another, tearing their hair, smiting on their breasts, and crying out, "What is the matter? What meant that loud alarm, that thundering call, that awaked us out of the deep sleep of death?" "O, the Lord is come, the slighted Christ is come!" "Come! how doth he come?" "How? Clothed with vengeance, with fury in his face; and his wrath, like fire, burns before him because of his indignation, the heavens melt over our heads, and the earth burns under our feet, and all is in flames round about us.' "O terrible day! such as this we never saw. O the storms! the storms! O, such burning, scorching storms we never saw nor felt before! We have been sleeping all the night of death; and the morning is come, the day doth dawn. Dawn! O, it is broad day all about. We were wont to wake, and go to work, and go to sin, to swear and lie, to drink and take our pleasure; but now we wake, and must to hell, to pain, and punishment. Now we must go from God to devils, from the only Saviour to eternal torments. O, what day is this? What day? It seems to be rather night than day; for it is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of the trumpet and alarm against us all impenitent sinners; and to us all it will prove the great damnation-day. When our souls and bodies by death

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were separated, it was a sorrowful parting; but this is a sorer meeting."

The body with doleful groans doth strangely greet its re-united soul: "O thou cursed soul! must I be tied to thee again with a faster knot than ever? Death did heretofore part thee and me, but all the pains of hell hereafter cannot do it. Thou wast commander over me, and shouldest have managed thy government better: thou shouldest have used this tongue to call upon thy Maker: thou shouldest have used these ears to have hearkened to the calls of Christ, to the wooings of grace, to the entreaties of mercy; these feet to have carried thee to the means of grace; these hands to have been instruments of good. They were all at thy command: what thou badest them do, they did; and whither thou commandedst them to go, they went. O that I might have lien rotting in my grave! for then I had been at rest. For, though in the grave I had no pleasure, yet there I felt no pain: but since I have been again united to this before-damned soul, I feel intolerable punishment; and I now perceive it is past doubt that it will be eternal."

The soul will give no better salutations to the body: "O cursed flesh! What! alive again? Must I be linked to such a loathsome lump, worse than any carrion? Thou didst rebel against the commands of reason; and thy appetite was pleased, and thy lusts were obeyed; and all the time of life on earth was spent and fooled away in feeding, clothing, and adorning thee: and as I was led away and enticed by thee to live with thee a sensual, flesh-pleasing life, so, formerly sowing to the flesh, now of the flesh we reap that damnation that shall be eternal. For the Judge is come, his throne is set, and all the world is summoned to appear; the separation is made, the books are opened; all on the right hand are acquitted, and called to the possession of an everlasting kingdom; while we are doomed down to eternal torments. Lo! they are going with their blessed, glorious Lord unto eternal glory; and we with cursed devils, like cursed wretches, to everlasting shame and pain, and banishment from God and Christ and saints and angels for ever!”

Look thus believingly on these unseen things, as if you saw all these, and a thousand times more terrible and more joyful, transacted now before your eyes.

2. Look directly at unseen, eternal things.-Many do look indirectly at things eternal, but directly at things temporal; pretending things not seen, intending things that are seen in praying, preaching, and professing, [they] seem to have an eye to God and Christ and heaven; but they look asquint to their worldly profits, credit, and applause. Should [they] pray that they might see God, it is but that they might be "seen of men." (Matt. vi. 5; xxiii. 14.) But this is to look awry, contrary to Solomon's advice: "Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eye-lids look straight before thee." (Prov. iv. 25.)

3. Let unseen, eternal things be the first that you look at.-Do not first look at riches, honours, pleasures; and please yourselves with purposes, after that, to look after God and Christ and the happiness

of heaven, when sickness cometh, and death approacheth; and, when near the end of time, [to] begin to make preparation for eternity. Men spend their days in getting a visible estate, while the unseen, eternal God and glorious Saviour and heaven's happiness are neglected by them; but it would make a considering man to tremble to think what a sight these sinners shall have after death hath closed their eyes; when the separated soul shall see an angry God, a condemning Judge, the gates of heaven shut against it, and itself in everlasting misery.

Unseen, eternal things are first in order of duration; for the invisible God was, when nothing was beside himself: and first in order of dignity; and should have the priority of our thoughts, care, and diligent endeavours: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matt. vi. 33.) When we first take care about eternity, the things of time shall be given to us over and above: but the eternal happiness of heaven shall never be given over and above to those that primarily look at and seek the things of time; for, amongst men, the overplus doth not exceed in worth the things contracted for.

But this damnable preferring [of] things temporal, and cursed postponing [of] things eternal, is the setting of God in the room of the creature, and the creature in the throne of God; as if they would set the heavens where the earth doth stand, and the earth where the heavens are, and so subvert the order of things which God hath appointed to be observed in the nature of things.

4. Look heedfully at eternity.-All the things that are only for time, are toys and trifles: the things for an eternal world are the grand concerns [that] we should narrowly look to in time. The gathering of riches in time-to the getting of grace and an interest in Christ, for the escaping of damnation and obtaining of happiness to eternity-is busy idleness, careful negligence, and laborious sloth. If God, that inhabiteth eternity," (Isai. Ivii. 15,) "looks narrowly unto all" our actions done in time; (Job xiii. 27;) how narrowly should we look to our own, when every one is a step to everlasting happiness or eternal misery! We should look narrowly that we do not walk in the broad way that leads unto the one, but in the narrow that will bring us to the other. (Matt. vii. 13, 14.)

5. Look earnestly, with a longing look, at unseen, eternal things. -Let your hearts be filled with greatest intense desires after them, as one that looks and thinks it long till the desire be accomplished: as "the mother of Sisera looked out at a window, and cried through the lattice, Why is his chariot so long in coming? why tarry the wheels of his chariot?" (Judges v. 28.) "Why doth time make no more haste to be gone and flee away, that, when it is and past, might enter into eternal joys, that never shall be past and gone? Why doth the sun, that, by its alternate presence and absence, is the measure of my nights and days, make no swifter speed in its diurnal motion? If it be as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race,' (Psalm xix. 5,) why doth it



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