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thou wouldst not part with it for a world, and that thou justly accountest all earthly delights but mere vexations, to that alone : “Whom have I in heaven but thee? And what do I desire on earth in comparison of thee ? ” Psa. lxxiii. 25. Balaam could say, how truly soever,) “I shall, see him, but not now; I shall behold him, but not nigh,” Numb. xxiv. 17 : but, Lord, I see thee even now; I behold thee so nigh me, that I live in thee, and would rather die than live without thee. I see thee, though weakly and dimly, yet truly and really. I see thee as my God, allsufficient; as my powerful Creator, my merciful Redeemer, my gracious Comforter. I see thee, the living God, the Father of lights, the God of spirits, dwelling in light inaccessible, animating, filling, comprehending this glorious world ; and do awfully adore thine infiniteness. Neither do I look at thee with a trembling astonishment, as some dreadful stranger, or terrible avenger; but I behold thy majesty so graciously complying with my wretchedness, that thou admittest me to a blessed union with thee. I take thee at thy word, O dear Saviour, even that sweet word of supplication, which thou wert pleased to utter to thy coeternal Father, immediately before thy meritori. ous passion : “I pray not for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they may be one in us. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved
them, as thou hast loved me,” John xvii. 20—23. I know thou couldst not but be heard in all that thou prayedst, and therefore I take what thou suedst for as done. Lord, I do believe in thee; unite thou me to thee, make me one spirit with thee, l Cor. vi. 17. It is no presumption to sue and hope for what thou hast prayed for, and promised to perform. O make me, according to the ca. pability of my weak humanity, “partaker of thy Divine nature,” 2 Pet. i. 4. Vouchsafe to allow me, even me, poor wretched soul, to say of thee, “I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine," Cant. vi. 3. And by virtue of this indissoluble union, why shouldst thou not, O my soul, find thyself endowed with a blessed participation of that heavenly life and glory, which is in and with him! In that thou art united to thy body, thou impartest to it vegetation, sense, motion ; and givest it a share in the exercise of all thy noble faculties. How much more entire and beneficial is the spiritual union of thy God and thee! Alas, that bond of natural conjunction is easily dissolved by ten thousand ways of death; this heavenly knot is so fast tied, that all the powers of hell cannot unloose it; and the blessings communicated to thee by this Divine match, are so much more excellent, as the infinite Giver of them is above thy meanness. Lo, now thou art actually interested in all that thy God is, or hath ; his kingdom is thine, his glory is thine, to all eternity.
XII. And what now can follow, O my soul, upon the apprehension of thus enjoying the presence of thy God, and the vision of so blessed an object, and thy union with him, and participation
of him, but a sensible ravishment of spirit, with a joy unspeakable and full of glory! Heretofore, if some great friend should have brought me to the court, and having showed me the splendour and magnificence of that seat of majesty, should have brought me into the sight of his royal person; and should have procured me not only a familiar conference with him, but the entire affection of a favourite; and from thence there should have been heaped upon me titles of honour and large revenues, and (yet higher) an addition of princely dignity: how should I have been transported with the sense of so eminent an advance. ment! How great and happy should I have seemed, not more in others' eyes than in my own! What big thoughts had hereupon swollen up my heart in the days of my vanity! But, alas, what poor things are these in comparison of those heavenly promotions! I might have been brought into the stateliest court of this world, and have been honoured not only with the presence, but the highest favours of the best and greatest of kings, and yet have been most miserable. Yea, which of these monarchs, that have the command and dispensation of all greatness, can secure himself from the saddest infelicities ? But these spiritual prerogatives are above the reach of all possible miseries, and can, and do put thee (in some degree) into an unfailing possession, both real and personal, of eternal blessedness. I cannot wonder that Peter, when, with the other two disciples upon Mount Tabor, he saw the glorious transfiguration of my Saviour, was out of himself for the time, and knew not what he said, Mark ix. 6; Luke ix. 33. Yet, as not thinking himself and his partners any other ways concerned than in the sight of so heavenly a vision, he mentions only three tabernacles ; for Christ, Moses, Elias-none for themselves. It was enough for him, if without-doors he might be still blessed with such a prospect. But how had he been rapt from himself, if he had found himself taken into the society of this wondrous transformation, and interested in the communion of this glory!
Thy renovation and the power of thy faith, O my soul, puts thee into that happy condition ; thou art spiritually transfigured into the similitude of thy blessed Saviour, Rom. xii. 2; shining with his righteousness and holiness, Eph. iv. 24; so as he is glorified in thee, and thou in him, John xvii. 10. Glorified, not in the fulness of that perfection which will be, but in the pledge and earnest of what shall and must be hereafter. Oh, then, with what unspeakable joy and jubilation dost thou entertain thy happiness! How canst thou contain thyself any longer within these bounds of my flesh, when thou feelest thyself thus initiated into glory? Art thou in heaven, and knowest it not? Knowest thou not, that he who is within the entry or behind the screen, is as truly within the house, as he that walks in the hall or sits in the parlour? And canst thou pretend to be within the verge of heaven, and not rejoice? What is it that makes heaven, but joy and felicity? Thy very thought cannot separate these two, no more than it can sever the sun and light; for both these are equally the originals and fountains of light and joy; from whence they both flow, and in which both are
complete. There is no light which is not derived from the sun; no true joy but from heaven: as therefore the nearer to the body of the sun, the more light and heat, so the nearer to heaven, the more excess of joy. And certainly, O my soul, there is nothing but infidelity can keep thee from an exuberance of joy and delight, in the apprehension of heaven.
Can the weary traveller, after he hath measured many tedious miles, and passed many dangers both by sea and land, and felt the harsh entertainments of a stranger, fail to rejoice on drawing near, in his return, to a rich and pleasant home! Can the ward, after a hard pupilage, fail to rejoice that the day is coming wherein he shall freely enjoy all his lordly revenues and royalties? Can a Joseph fail to find himself inwardly rejoicing, when, out of the dungeon, he shall be called up, not to liberty only, but to honour; and shall be arrayed with a vesture of fine linen, and graced with Pharaoh's ring and chain, and set in his second chariot, and in the next chair to the throne of Egypt? And canst thou apprehend thyself now approaching to the glory of the heaven of heavens, a place and state of such infinite contentment and happiness, and not be ecstasied with joy? There, there shalt thou, O my soul, enjoy a perfect rest from all thy toils, cares, and fears ; there shalt thou find a true vital life, free from all the encumbrances of thy miserable pilgrimage; free from the dangers of either sins or temptations ; free from all anxiety and distraction ; free from all sorrow, pain, and perturbation; free from all the possibility of change or death : a life, wherein there is nothing but pure and per