Imágenes de páginas

body, is a motion of perfection, the other of corruption. This is of choice and virtue ; the other of necessity : this is the study of philosophy, the death of saints ; the other the death of beasts. The minds of those that are heavenly, they run before and take excursions, and do return, and do anticipate future glory ; they get a foretaste of heaven, they take a view of Canaan, that they are afterwards to enter into. But they who live to pamper the flesh, as the epicures do, they know not what to do when they come to die, they are fearfully at a loss. O my soul, my companion ; now that thou art to leave this body, what will become of thee? whither wilt thou go? in consideration whereof he resolved well, that being over busily employed in the world, for all the former part of his life, begins at last to take eternity into consideration, and thus he doth conclude with himself; that between the hurliburly and confusions of that time, the busy employment of this troublesome world and the state of eternity, it is fit there should be some time of leisure, for confideration, and preparation.

I have given you an account of the five particulars I propos’d to speak to ; and have declared to you in what sense, our conversation may be said to be in heaven.



Our conversation is in HEAV EN.

PHIL. iij. 20. For our conversation is in heaven, from whence also we

look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.


Ut these are too general, for such a point as this is, that concerns practice; and it is a rule

with us, that universals and generals do not áffect. A man's cafe may be condemned in th: notion while the person takes no notice of it at all, nor looks upon himself as much concerned one way or other : I say universals and generals do not tcach any one ; therefore I propose to shew the particulars of a heavenly conversation. Of what matters a heavenly conversation doth consist, and I have chosen to instance in six particularz.

First, It requires a juft difefleem of the world, a contempt of it, in comparison and competition.

Secondly, It requires a fubduing and a mortifying of fleflly and inordinate lusts and affections.

Thirdly, It requires patient enduring of evils, which befall us in our course of life.

Fourthly, It depends upon self-denial, and renouncing of our own wills, fo far as they stand in competition with, or rise up in opposition against God's

Fifthly, Fifthly, It doth require sublime cogitations, and noble apprehensions.

Şixthly, It requires purity of mind, and sincere in tention.

Those eagle eyed philosophers the Platonists, they were very sensible, tho' not acquainted with revelation by scripture, as we are concerning Adam's apostacy, and how evil brake in, yet these men were sensible of a decay, that human nature was lapsed, that the soul of man could not mount up aloft, that 'twas deplumed, had lost its feathers, so that it could not foar aloft ; thus the soul of man grovels below, and doth not foar aloft by meditation and contem. plation as they imagined it should. They also tell us, that men are become heavy behind, that though they have an inclination in their souls, and a tena dency upwards, yet they are presently born down by body. Now in this case, those philosophers, tho' they never had any divine revelation, yet I say in this case, they propose for man's recovery, two things.

First, They proposed the study of the mathemaa ticks : for in that study, men abstract from matter, they never concern themselves either with meum or tuum, but in all their common enquiries, they separate from matter; for they do only contemplate and {peculate upon the ideas, and form of things : thus they propose to take men off from matter, and to subtilize mens parts, and to raise them to more noble and generous apprehensions.

Secondly, They propos'd another way, which was more theological and divine : and this they call


[ocr errors]

Cioral purgation. By it they did understand, the freeing the soul of man from all base loves, from all impotent and ungovernable pasfions : for by affection to these lower things, we come to be funk down,

and then we are glewed, and tied to them, we are ·buried, and brought down again from the contemplation of God and heavenly things ; and not only so, but our minds are contaminated, and defiled by those things.

These noble philosophers proposed, and it is admirable to imagine and a man would wonder where fome of thele men had some of those notions ; for we do imagine that St. John took not any of his forms of words, froin the Platonifts. Now it is marvelous if they, by natural light, should in the use of reason understand the fall, and decay of human nature; and speak so excellently, in order to the resto. ration, and recovery of it; and yet we should flatter ourselves, and be sensible of no lameness, who have farther direction. But to speak to thofe fix particulars.

First, Contempt of the world; I mean the vain pomps and glory of the world. I do not mean the world of God's creation, the world which God hath appointed us to live, and to act in ;

that subservient to 'eternity : but I mean the world in St. John's sense, the wicked world; and in this sense, if any man love the world, the love of the father is not in him. And he tells us what things the world consists of, the lufts of the flesh, the lusts of the dyes, and the pride of the life. Now these earthly things, they cloy and surfeit us ; they do not satisfy us, for we foon have enough of them. If a man be

[ocr errors][merged small]


may be di,

hungry, he doth eat to satisfy nature, and more is a burden : if a man be thirsty, he takes pleasure in drinking, till his thrift be quenched, but if he drink more, he lays up provision for rheums and many stempers. Senfual delights, thro' their grosiness, do stupify and benumb, for they do glutinize and pitch us, they do glue us like bird-lime; whereas heavenly joys, do amplify, and enlarge, and yet subtilize, yea fpiritualize our faculties. There cannot lodge any generous heaven-born affections in that foul, where the love of the world rules; persons of gross apprehensions are not fit to 'entertain noble and refined truths. Earlhly affections employ themselves in brutish, and sensual pleasures. How grofs, low and dull were his apprehensions, who when our Saviour represented divine things by a worldly scheme, presently replies, can a man enter into his mother's womb, and be born a second time ! He whose mind is in heaven, is loose to the world ; and in regard of his heart and affection, he is above the world ; he is served by it, he doth not serve it. It is observa able in the representation that is made, Rev. xii. I. concerning the christian church, the christian church is represented by a woman clothed with the fun, having the moon under her feet; the moon is the planet that ruies here below; this same woman hath power over the world, and the concernments thereof; the is clothed with the fun. That's the first particular : this heavenly mindedness doth depend upon contempt and meon esteem of the things of the world ; absolute contempt of the world so far as degenerated, and a mean esteem of the world, if it come in competition, &c.


« AnteriorContinuar »