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in regeneration, is a well of living water, springing up into everlasting life, and issues in it; and the Spirit of God, in his operations on the souls of men, works them up for that self-same thing, eternal glory and happiness; and of which his indwelling also in them, is the earnest and pledge; for he is said to be given as an earnest, and to be the earnest of :he inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased passession; that is, until the purchased ones are redeemed from mortality, death, and the glave; and therefoic as sure as they have the earnesto they shall enjoy the inheritance, which is eternal life, John iv, 14. 2 Cor. v. 5. Eph. ii. 14. - 7. From the present experiences of the saints, from those foretastes they sometimes have of future glory and happiness; like the Israelites, they have some clusters of Canaan’s grapes, some of the fruits of the good land hy the way, as a specimen and pledge of what they shall enjoy when they come into that better country; they now receive the first fruits of the Spirit, which encourage them to hope for the glorious harvest of the adoption of children : they now, at times, have communion with God in private, and also in public, in his house and ordinances, when they are as the gate and suburbs of heaven to them; and so, by inward felt experience know, from what they find in themselves, that there is something better, and more excellent for them in heaven. 8. From the desires of the saints after future happiness. They choose to be with Christ, as more eligible than to be here; they desire to be clothed upon, with their house from heaven, and are willing rather to be absent from the body, that they may be present with the Lord, and press towards the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ, Phil. i. 23. and iii. 14. 2 Cor. v. 2• And now those desires in the hearts of the saints, are not formed by the Spirit of God in vain. – 9. From the assurance of it some of the saints have had, both of the Old and of the New Testament; the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and others, all died in the faith of the better country they were seeks ing, and were desirous of; the psalmist Asaph expresses his strong faith of it, that God would receive him to glory; and the apostle Paul, in his own name, and in the name of other christians, says, we know, we are well assured, that we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, Psal. Ixxiii. 24. 2 Cor. v. 1. - 10. This happiness is begun already in this life; in regeneration men pass from the death of sin, into a life of grace; and a life of grace, is the life of glory begun; he that believes in Christ hath everlasting life: is possessed of it in part, and has the earnest and the beginning of it; eternal life is founded in, and begins with the knowledge of God and Christ, John v. 24. - Lastly, There are instances of saiuts already in heaven, and some in their bodies, as well as in their souls, as Enoch and Elijah ; and, as it is highly probable, the saints that arose at Christ's resurrection, and went with him to heaven: and as as sure as they are there, all the rest of the saints will. I go on to consider, : II. The names, phrases, and epithets, used of this happiness; which may serve to convey to us some ideas of the nature of il.
1. The names by which it is called; both as a place and as a state. As a place, -- 1. It is called heaven; for there this happiness lies, which is called the reward in heaven, the liope laid up in heaven, the inheritance reserved in heaven, and often the kingdom of heaven; and which is no other than the third heaven, where is the throne of God, whither Christ in human nature is gone, and there received, and is the habitation of the holy angels, 2. It goes by the name of paradise, in allusion to the garden of Eden, a place of pleasure and delight, Luke xxiii. 43. in the midst of which, Christ, the tree of life, stands, laden with all manner of precious fruit, for the solace and delight of the blessed inhabitants; and where are fulness of joy, and pleasures for evermore, Rev.ii. 7.
3. It is represented as a place of light; it is called the light of life; the inheritance of the saints in light; and needs no natural nor artificial light to illuminate it; where God and the Lamb are the light of it, and the angels of light dwell, Rev. xxi. 23. – 4. It is signified by an house to dwell in; an house not made with the hands of men, but is a building of God; in which there are inany mansions, room enough for the many sons the great Captain of salvation will bring to glory, who is gone before them, to prepare them for them; even in his Father's house, John xiv. 2. - 5. It is said to be a city, a city of God's preparing, of which he is the builder and maker, and which has foundations firm and strong, and so is a continuing and lasting one, Heb. xi. 10, 16. and of this city the saints are now citizens ; Our conversation, rwv TO FONT-PUR, CIT citizenship, is in heaven, Phil. iii. 20. – 6. It is called, the better country, Hebxi. 16. better than this world, or any country in it; beiter than the good land beyond Jordan, Canaan, the type of it: it is the land that is very far off, even in the highest heavens; the land of uprightness, where there is nothing but perfect purity and integrity, and where only upright persons dwell, Isai. xxxiii. 17. And as a state, it is sometimes called, — 1. An inheritance, Acts xx. 32. and elsewhere, in allusion to the land of Canaan, distributed by lot for an inheritance to the children of Israel; or in allusion to inheritances among men, which are not acquired and purchased by them; but are bequeathed, or coine to thein by relations, and are transınicted from father to son; and so the heavenly glory is not obtained by the works of men, or is a purchase of theirs; but is le. queathed to them by their heavenly Father, and coines to thein by his will and testament, upon, by, and through the death of the testator, Jesus Christ, Heb. ix. 15, 16, - 2. A kingdom, often called the kingdom of God, and the kingdom of heaven, of which the saints are heirs; and they are now stiled kinys and princes, being possessed of the kingdom of grace, as they will be of the kingdom of glory; to which they are called, and which is prepared for them from the foundation of the world, and which it is their Father's good pleasure to give them, Mark xxy. 34. - 3. A crown; a crown of righteousness and life, a crown of glory, that fades not away, an incorruptibie one ;
which serves to set forth the grandeur of this state, 2 Tim. iv. 8. 1 Cor. ix. 25.-4. It is expressed by glory itself, Psal. Ixxxiv. 11, as being exceeding glorious, beyond
oll conception and expression'; it is said to be a weight of glory, 2 Cor. iv. 17. in allusion to the ponderous crowns of princes; it will lie in beholding the glory of Christ, and in having a glory revealed in the saints, and in having a glory upon them, both in soul and body. -- 5. It has the name of peace, into which good men enter at death, there being nothing in this siate to ruffle and distury, but all tranquil, sereno, and calm; no sin within, nor sinful inen without: no sorrow and affliction; no pricking brier, nor grieving thorn, throughout the land. 6. It is signified by a rest, which reinains for the people of Gud, after this toilsvine life is over, Heb. iv. 9. in allusion to the land of Canaan, á land of rest to the Israelites, after their weary travels in the wilderness; or to the Sabbath, the day of rest, this state being all day,' and all Sabbath; a complete rest of brdy and soul, from all labours, troubles, and enemies whatever. -7. It is called the joy of the Lord, into which Christ's faithful servants will be invited to enter, Matt. xxv. 21, 23. a joy that can never be taken away from them, a fulness of joy, a joy unspeakable and full of glory:
11. There are various phrases also by which this happy state is expressed, and epithets used of it, which shew the happiness of it; as by being in Abraham's bosom ; 'and siiting down as at a table and a feast, with him and others, expressive of the blessed comınunion of the saints, Luke xvi. 22. but more especially by being with Christ, and sitting with him on his throne, Phil. i. 23. Rev. iii. 21. and by being fed, and led by him, to fountains of living waters, Rev. vii. 17. The various epithets of this state, besides what have been given, are worthy of notice. It is, as yet, an unseen happiness; it consists of things not scen at present; and which faith and hope are only concerned with; and saints have only some glimpse of it, which encourages to wait for it, 2 Cor. iv. 18. Heb. xi. 1. It is future, it is yet to come; a glory that shall be revealed; grace that is to be brought at the revelation of Christ, and does not yet appear what it shall be: it is beyond all compare; the wealth and riches, the glories and grandeur of this world, are trifles to it; yea, the sufferings of the saints, their purest serviccs, are not worthy to be compared with it, Rom. vii. 18. it is an enduring substance, a never-fading inhieritance; a crown of glory that fades not away; the glory of this would passeth away; but this glory will never pass away: but of the eternity of it more hereafter. I proceed to shew,
III. The parts of this happiness, or wherein it will consist.
1. In a freedom from all evils, both of soul and body; from all evils that affect the soul. - From the evil of evils, sin which is exceeding evil in itself, and the cause of all evil : but in this happy state there will be an entire deliverance from it; even, - 1. From all temptations to it, either from within or from without; glorified saints will have nothing within and about themselves, no sinful lust in their hears to tempt, entice and draw them away, as low; their souls being the spirits of just men made perfect; nothing in or about their bodies to incline and lead to sin, which are now vile, and have a world of iniquity in them; but then 'made like the glorious body' of Christ : not will they have any fram without to solicit thein to sin; nor Satan, for he is cast out of heaven, and has noi, nor never will havc, place there any more, nor wicked men, whose evil communications now are very ensnaring and corrupting; but these will have no standing in the congregation of the righteous. — 2. Froin the dominion of sin; it has not an entire dominion over the saints now, much less will it have any
in heaven; nor will any attempts be made to bring them into captivity to it; nor will they be in any danger of it. - 3. From the commission of it, and so froin guilt through it: now none live without it, and daily need to have their garinents washed in the blood of the Lamb; fresh guilt arises in their consciences, which must be removed the same way: but the saints will now be impeccable, not capable of sinning, as Adam was in innocence, and the angels before their confirmation; since the foriner sinned, and so did many of the latter. Yea, 4. The saints in heaven will be free from the very being of sin; now it has a place, and dwells and operates in thein; but then the Canaanite will be no more in the lanıl. - 5. They will be rid of an evil heart of unbelief, and be no more distressed with doubts and fears: now unbelief is a sin that easily besets tliem; and without are fightings, and within are fears; but then, as there will be no occasion to say to themselves, Why art thou cast down, O my soul? so neither will they hear such a rebuke, Wherefore didst thou doubt, thou of little faith! - From the evil one, Satan, and his temptations. Adam was not free from him in the garden of Eden; but saints will be in the paradise above: now he goes about like a roaring lion, terrifying and distressing ; but then they will be out of the reach of his hideous noise, and where his fiery darts will never penetrate : he will be bound, and cast into the bottomless pit, during the saints reign with Christ a thousand years; and though when they are ended he will be lei loose for a little while, yet he will be taken up again, and cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where he will remain for ever, and never more be able to give the least molestation and disturbance. — From evil men; whether prophane sinners, with whose ungodly conversation they shall be no more vexed; as Lot, David, Isaiah, and other saints have been here: or violent persecutors, who here oppress them, and distress them, in person, in name, in body and estate ; but now will cease from troubling thein, nor being able to do them the least hurt nor give them the least uneasiness: or hypocrites in Zion; there will be no more tares ainong the wheat, nor goats among the sheep, nor foolish virgins among the wise; they that offend, and do iniquity, will be gathered out of the kingdom of Christ.
This happiness will consist in a freedom from all bodily evils; or which affect the outward circumstances. No more penury, nor straitness, as to external things; no more want of food, of drink, and of clothing, which is somotiines now the lot of saints; they will hunger and thirst no more! there will be no more racking pains, nor loathsome diseases, no more sickness; no more death: nor will shey, be any more subject to disappointinents froin friends or others; nor to losses in the business of life; nor to loss of friends and relations by death ; nor to any thing that may mar their joy and pleasure.
11. This happy state will consist in the enjoyment of all that is good. — 1. Ia the enjoyment of God hinself, who is the chief good, who is the portion of his people now, and will be their portion for evermore; in enjoying coininunion with him, Father, Son, and Spirit, in the highest perfection, and without any interruption, and to all eternity; in the beatific vision of him, in beholding him as he is ; not his nature and essence, só as to comprehend it; but they shall see hiin so as to have clearer, fuller, and more distinct apprehensions of his perfections and glory; especially as shining in and through Christ, the brightness of his glory, and the express in.ge of his person -- 2. In being with Christ, and be. holding his glory, the glory of his divine Person, with the eyes of their understanding, being more operied and enlarged; and the glory of his human nature with the eyes of their body; they shall see him in the fish crowned with glory and honour, who was crowned with thorns, spit upon, buffeted, crucified, pierced, and wounded for thein. -- 3. In having the company and society of angels, and of one another. They will now be come, in the fullest sense, to an innumerable company of angels ; and will converse with them, and join them in adoring the divine perfections, and blessing and praising God and the Lamb; they will then sit down with Abra!ain, Isaac, and Jacob, and other patriarchs, with the prophets, apostles, and all the saints in the kingdom of heaven; they will have communion with each other, though not in the same way and manner as now, in the use of ordinances, of which there will be then no need; yet there will be a social worship, in which they will be jointly concerned ; in sir ging hallelujalıs, and in ascriptions of blessings, glory, and praise, to the sacred and eternal Three. They will converse and discourse with each other abour divine, spiritual, and heavenly things; in what language it is not easy to say; though tongues will cease, the multiplicity of languages now used, that jargon introduced at Babel or since; though some think every one will speak in his own language the wonderful things of God; but this is not probable, since then mutual converse would not be general; yet it is reasonable to suppose, some one language will be used to employ the tongue; some have thought of the Hebrew language spoke in paradise, and by patriarchs, prophets, &c. but perhaps it may be a language more pure, more perfect, more elegant, and more refined, than ever was spoken by men on earih. It is also highly probable the saints will know one another personally; whic! seems necessary to their perfect happiness, though they will know no inan after the flesha : all natural relations, and civil connections will now cease; and whether it will give any peculiar and superior pleasure, to see a relation or friend in this happy state, more than to see another saint, is a question not now to be resolved; as it will give no uneasiness that any relation or friend is inissing there, which would mar their happiness. To all which may be added, the communion of the saints will be with the