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, Pben Chrifl, whtis ouyhfc, Jball appear, th:n yc alfo appear with him in glory. When 1 Was feparated by the miferies of the late unhappy war , l£urftnot fix in any other Congregation, but lived in a military unpleafing'ftate, left I Jhould foreftal my return to you , for whom I took^ my felf referved. And that which is difficult through the ^eaknefs and incapacity of unlearned men, will be far beter cleared by a rational explication, then by a bare Canon.
yet be a help to your falvation ; the Lord hath forced me quite be fide my o Wn resolution, to Write this Treatife, and leave it in your hands. \Divina co'fitcmplar Cf ■ ventm in tcr m minis maneto 5 Loquc/e'qua funt Spiritus, & ft poffibile e(l nihil aliud Ne Pair is no. So Abraham^L^arm^t thief that was crucified with Chrift, &c.
bended knees of my foul \ I offer up my thanks to the merciful God Who bath fetched up, both me and it, as from the grave, for your fer- vice : Who* reverfed the fentence ofprefent death, which by the ableft 1at he might force me to do you a more laflingjervice,whsch elft 1 had never been li\eto have attempted! But when we (hall be brough to the Well- head, and united clofe to the overflowing Fountain, we (hall then thirft no more, becaufe we (hall be empty no more. */• 5- God hateth all were it not for this end where- to'it leads us. Se- condly, how this joy is faid to be full of Glory, and therefore mud needs be a beginning of the Glory. And I defire the Lord to perfwadethe hearts of fome ofhischoiceft fervants in thefe times, whom he hath beft furnillied for fuch a work, to undertake the compleat handling of it.
That God do 1 heartily blefs andmagnifiejtobe hathrefcuedmefrom the many dangers offouryeers war,. War, and after fo muny tedious nights and dales, and fa many doleful fights and tidings, hath returned me, and many of your f elves, andre- prived Hi till now toferve him in peace ! \ Nother Rule is this, That is ever better or beft, which x\maketh the owner or po TCel Tor himfelf better or beft. Surely if thofe bleffed Souls did not abound in their bin* fednefs,chey would never fo abound in Bleffing, are Honour,and Glory ,and Praife to God, would never accompany common mercies; All thofe Allelujas are not fure the language of needy men. Nor could the Saints reafonably attempt fuch em- ployment-, nor yet undergo fo heavy fur Terings, were it not for this defirable end. S0 do the beginnings, foretafts,eat- nefts & feals. In mortali Ergo in carne plane mertali fecundum cutpam, fed & vitali fecundum Gratiam. Thirdly, How immediately upon this there follows Receiving the end of their Faith, the Sal- vation of the foul. Andldoubtnot but fome poor Chriftians amongft us, who have little to boaft of appearing without, have often the/e foretafts in their fouls. Will he give them the firft fruits, and not the crop ? To perfwade them to which, I will here annex firft fome confiderations,which alfo are the Reafons of this brief attempt of my own; and may alfo ferve topetfwade all Miniftets,tobeftow a little more pains fn a fcafonable grounding their hearers in this fo great and needful a point* by a more fre- quent and clear difcovery of the Verity of this Scripture, (though fome that know not what they fay may celt them that it is need- lefsj i.
It is no wonder therefore, if J be too abrupt in the beginning, feeing I then intended but the length of a Sermon or two : LMuch lefsmay you Wonder^ if the whole be very imperfetl, feeing it was written as it Were, with one foot in the grave, by a man that Was betwixt living and dead, that wanted fir ength of nature to quicken Invention or Ajfe Hion, and had no Booh^but his Bible, while the chief part Was fmfhed ; nor had any minde of humane ornaments, if he had been furnifhed. clos, nunc A' poflatas n( m flrosjit Gloria eos cbligent, quia Veritate non fojfunt : Nu/quamfa- alius profici tur quamin cajlris rebe Uiu, ubi ipfum ti Te illi Cj promereri \pril I Doubtlefs the Gofpel (hould be preacht to them ; anc though we have not the gift of miracles to convince them of the truth, as the Apoftles had, yet we have arguments demonftra- tive and clear, or elfe our preaching to them would be vain, we having nothing left but bare affirmations. 23, To fie on Chrifts right and left hand in his Kingdom (hall be given to them for whom it is prepared. And whom he thus predejlinateth y them heglorifieth. Who can bereave his people of that Reft which is defigned them by Gods eternal purpofe ? What difference is there betwixt buying liberty to the prifoner,and buying the prifoner to liberty? Andbecaufe I find that moft temptations are refolved into this, and that there is fo much unbelief even in true Believers, and that the truth and , S 4 ftrength 192 The Saints everlafting Reft. But if I (hould here enter upon that task[to prove Scripture to be the infallible word of God]I (hould make too broad a digref- fion, and fet upon a work as large as the main, for whofc fake I (hould undertake it : Neither am I infenfible of how great diffi- cattia ditn Js Deum noffe & eftendere, a pr'mordio rnfccnlum cmfu fpiritu Viv'mo'wundatos^uo pnedieamt Veumunicumeffe, qui univerfacondiderit^ui ^mmmhummo^uxmt,^Jed& operum edit. Yet left the tempted Chriftian (hould have no relief nor any Ar- gument at hand againft the temptation, I will here lay down fome few : not intending it as a full Refolution of that great Queftion; but is a competent help to the weak, that have not time or ability to read larger volumns.
But^ O howf Weet is this Providence now to my review \ which fo happily forced me to that work^ of Meditation, Which J had formerly found fo profitable to my foul \ and Jhe wed me more mercy in depriving me of other helps , then I Was a Ware of! A Nother Rule is this, That is Beft, which not onely fupplieth XV neceffiry, but affordeth abundance. Though I have all along confirmed fuffiriently by teftimony of Scripture what I have faid, yet I will here briefly add thus much more, That the Scripture doth clearly affert this Truth in thefe fix ways. It affirms, That this reft is fore-ordained for the Saints, and the Saints alfo fore-otdained to it. o* Eye hath notfeen y nor ear heardyior heart conceived what God hath prepared for them that love him : which I conceive muft be meant of thefe preparations in heaven; for thofe on earth are both feen and conceived,or elfe how are they enjoyed ? And themfelves are called Veflels of mercy,before prepared unto glory, fow.9.23. betwixt buying life to a condemned malefaclor, and buying him to life . Or betwixt purchafing Reconciliation to an enemy, and } purchafing an enemy to Reconciliation? Thefe abfurdities may not be charged on an ordinary man, much lefs on the faithful and Righ- teous God. And I the rather am induced to it, be- caufe the fuccefs of all the reft that I have written depends upon this.