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fared, have filled their divine worship with images, pictures, and music, to represent unto themse

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reason of sin; but they are unmeet for it, and incapable of any advantage by it. All men indeed think themselves fit enough for glory (what should hinder them ?) if they could attain it; but it is because they know not what it is. Men shall not be clothed with glory, as it were, whether they will or no.

It is to be received in that exercise of the fa. culties of their souls which such persons have no ability for. Music hath no pleasure in it, unto them that cannot hear; nor the most beautiful colours unto them that cannot see. It would be no benefit unto a fish to take him from the bottom of the ocean, filled with cold and darkness, and to place him under the beams of the sun.

For he is no way meet to receive any refreshment thereby. Heaven itself would not be more advantageous unto persons not renewed by the Spirit of grace in this life.

Hence the apostle gives thanks unto the Father, who hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light;' Col. i. 12. Indeed, the beginning here, and the fulness of glory hereafter, are communicated unto believers by an almighty act of the will and grace of God. But yet he hath ordained ways and means whereby they may be made meet receptive subjects of the glory so to be communicated unto them. That this way and means is by the beholding of the glory of Christ by faith, shall be fully declared in our progress. This therefore should excite us unto this duty; for all our present glory consists in our preparation for future glory.

2. No man can by faith take a real view of this glory, but virtue will proceed from it in a transforming power, to 'change him into the same image;' 2 Cor. iii. 18. How this is done, and how we become like unto Christ, by beholding his glory, shall be fully declared in our progress.

3. The constant contemplation of the glory of Christ, will give rest, satisfaction, and complacency unto the souls of them who are exercised therein. Our minds are apt to be filled with a multitude of perplexed thoughts; fears, cares, dangers, distresses, passions, and lusts, do make various impressions on the minds of men, filling them with disorder, darkness, and confusion. But where the soul is fixed in its thoughts and contemplations on this glorious object, it will be brought into, and kept in, a holy, serene, spiritual frame. For 'to be spiritually minded is life and with them in the days of his flesh, that they'89®

ctures, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Fathe At of that and truth ;' John i. 14. And we may inquiy

that which glory of Christ, which they so saw, and ave; because obtained a prospect of it? For 1. It Aselves; nor do his outward condition, as we behold Arst-fruits in their of the kings and potentates of tb one, and not otherself of no reputation, but being hrist by faith here in walked in the condition of sed conceptions of our cular grandeur of his pret

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And twom this exercise of faith, doth love unto Christ prin

But the file and power of faith are most eminently acted. his vi

if not solely, arise and spring. If therefore we demor

sure we have faith in its vigour, or love in its power, giving ar

rast, complacency, and satisfaction, unto our own souls, we
herein would I die; hereon would I dwell in my thoughts
elsewhere they will not be found. Herein would I live;

are to seek for them in the diligent discharge of this duty;
and affections, to the withering and consumption of all the
painted beauties of this world, unto the crucifying all
things here below, until they become unto me a dead and
deformed thing, no way meet for affectionate embraces.
For these, and the like reasons, I shall first inquire into

beholding of the glory of Christ in this world by faith ;
and therein endeavour to lead the souls of them that be-
lieve, into the more retired walks of faith, love, and holy
meditation, whereby the king is held in his galleries ;'
Cant. vii. 5.

But because there is no benefit in, nor advantage by, the contemplation of this sacred truth, but what consists in an improvement of the practice of the duty declared in it, namely, the constant beholding of the glory of Christ by faith; I shall, for the promotion of it, premise some few advantages which we may have thereby.

1. We shall hereby be made fit and meet for heaven. Every man is not so, who desires it, and hopes for it. For some are not only unworthy of it, and excluded from it, by

our

reason of sin; but they are unmeet for it, and incapable of any advantage by it. All men indeed think themselves fit enough for glory (what should hinder them ?) if they could attain it; but it is because they know not what it is. Men zhall not be clothed with glory, as it were, whether they will or no. It is to be received in that exercise of the faculties of their souls which such persons have no ability for. Music hath no pleasure in it, unto them that cannot hear; nor the most beautiful colours unto them that cannot see. It would be no benefit unto a fish to take him from the bottom of the ocean, filled with cold and darkness, and to place him under the beams of the sun.

For he is no way meet to receive any refreshment thereby. Heaven itself would not be more advantageous unto persons not renewed by the Spirit of grace in this life.

Hence the apostle gives 'thanks unto the Father, who hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light;' Col. i. 12. Indeed, the beginning here, and the fulness of glory hereafter, are communicated unto believers by an almighty act of the will and grace of God. But yet he hath ordained ways and means whereby they may be made meet receptive subjects of the glory so to be communicated unto them. That this way and means is by the beholding of the glory of Christ by faith, shall be fully declared in our progress. This therefore should excite us unto this duty; for all our present glory consists in our preparation for future glory.

2. No man can by faith take a real view of this glory, but virtue will proceed from it in a transforming power, to 'change him into the same image;'2 Cor. iii. 18. How this is done, and how we become like unto Christ, by beholding his glory, shall be fully declared in our progress.

3. The constant contemplation of the glory of Christ, will give rest, satisfaction, and complacency unto the souls of them who are exercised therein. Our minds are apt to be filled with a multitude of perplexed thoughts; fears, cares, dangers, distresses, passions, and lusts, do make various impressions on the minds of men, filling them with disorder, darkness, and confusion. But where the soul is fixed in its thoughts and contemplations on this glorious object, it will be brought into, and kept in, a holy, serene, spiritual frame. For 'to be spiritually minded is life and peace. And this it doth, by taking off our hearts, from all undue regard unto all things below, in comparison of the great worth, beauty, and glory, of what we are conversant withal. See Phil. iii. 7-11. A defect herein makes many of us strangers unto a heavenly life; and to live beneath the spiritual refreshments and satisfactions that the gospel doth tender unto us.

4. The sight of the glory of Christ, is the spring and cause of our everlasting blessedness. "We shall be ever with the Lord;' 1 Thess. iv, 17. Or, .be with Christ, which is best of all;' Phil. i. 23. For there shall we behold his glory;' John xvii. 24. and by seeing him as he is, we shall be made like him ;' 1 John iii. 2. which is our everlasting blessedness.

The enjoyment of God by sight, is commonly called, the beatifical vision; and it is the sole fountain of all the actings of our souls in the state of blessedness, which the old philosophers knew nothing of; neither do we know distinctly what they are, or what is this sight of God. Howbeit, this we know, that God in his immense essence is invisible unto our corporeal eyes, and will be so to eternity; as also incomprehensible unto our minds. For nothing can perfectly comprehend that which is infinite, but what is itself infinite. Wherefore, the blessed and blessing sight which we shall have of God, will be always in the face of Jesus Christ.' Therein will that manifestation of the glory of God in his infinite perfections, and all their blessed operations, so shine into our souls, as shall immediately fill us with peace, rest, and glory.

These things we here admire, but cannot comprehend. We know not well what we say, when we speak of them : yet is there in true believers a foresight, and foretaste of this glorious condition. There enters sometimes, by the word and Spirit into their hearts, such a sense of the uncreated glory of God, shining forth in Christ, as affects and satiates their souls with ineffable joy. Hence ariseth that

peace of God, which is above all understanding, keeping our hearts and minds through Jesus Christ;' Phil. iv. 7. • Christ,' in believers, 'the hope of glory,' gives them to taste of the first-fruits of it; yea, sometimes to bathe their souls in the fountain of life, and to drink of the rivers of pleasure that are at his right hand. Where any are utterly unacquainted

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