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by which God uses to bind his bargain, that true joy in this world shall flow into the joy of heaven, as a river flows into the sea ; this joy shall not be put out in death, and a new joy kindled in me in heaven; but as my soul, as soon as it is out of my body, is in heaven, and does not stay for the possession of heaven, nor for the fruition of the sight of God, till it be ascended through air, and fire, and moon, and sun, and planets and firmament, to that place which we conceive to be heaven, but without the thousandth part of a minute's stop, as soon as it issues, is in a glorious light, which is heaven, (for all the way to heaven is heaven; and as those angels, which came from heaven hither, bring heaven with them, and are in heaven here, so that soul that goes to heaven, meets heaven here; and as those angels do not divest heaven by coming, so these souls invest heaven, in their going.) As my soul shall not go towards heaven, but go by heaven to heaven, to the heaven of heavens, so the true joy of a good soul in this world is the very joy of heaven ; and we go thither, not that being without joy, we might have joy infused into us, but that as Christ says, Our joy might be fulls, perfected, sealed with an everlastingness ; for, as he promises, That no man shall take our joy from us, so neither shall death itself take it away, nor so much as interrupt it, or discontinue it, but as in the face of death, when he lays hold upon me, and in the face of the devil, when he attempts me, I shall see the face of God, (for every thing shall be a glass, to reflect God upon me) so in the agonies of death, in the anguish of that dissolution, in the sorrows of that valediction, in the irreversibleness of that transmigration, I shall have a joy, which shall no more evaporate, than my soul shall evaporate, a joy, that shall pass up, and put on a more glorious garment above, and be joy superinvested in glory. Amen.
53 John xvi. 24.
THE THIRD OF MY PREBEND SERMONS UPON MY FIVE Psalms.
PREACHED AT ST. PAUL'S, NOVEMBER 5, 1626.
Psalm cxiv, 10.
And all the upright in heart shall glory.
I llave had occasion to tell you more than once before, that our predecessors, in the institution of the service of this church, have declared such a reverence and such a devotion to this particular book of Scripture, the Psalms, as that by distributing the hundred and fifty Psalms (of which number the body of this book consists) into thirty portions, (of which number the body of our church consists) and assigning to every one of those thirty persons, his five Psalms, to be said by him every day, every day God receives from us howsoever we be divided from one another in place, the sacrifice of praise, in the whole book of Psalms. And, though we may be absent from this choir, yet wheresoever dispersed, we make up a choir in this service, of saying over all the Psalms every day. This sixty-fourth Psalm, is the third of my five. And when, (according to the obligation which I had laid upon myself, to handle in this place some portion of every one of these my five Psalms) in handling of those words, of the Psalm immediately before this, in the seventh verse, (Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings I will rejoice) I told you, that the next world, heaven, was (as this world is) divided into two hemispheres, and that the two hemispheres of heaven, were joy and glory (for in those two notions of joy and glory is heaven often represented unto us) as in those words which we handled then, we sailed about the first hemisphere, that of joy, (In the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice) so, in these which I have read to you now, our voyage lies about the hemisphere of glory, for, All the upright in heart shall glory. As we said then of joy, we say of glory now; there is an inchoative joy here, though the consummative joy be reserved for heaven; so is there also such a taste, such an inchoation of glory in this life. And as no man shall come to the joys of heaven, that hath no joy in this world, (for there is no peace of conscience without this joy) so no man shall come to the glory of heaven, that hath not a holy ambition of this glory in this world; for this glory which we speak of, is the evidence, and the reflection of the glory from above; for the glory of God shines through godly men, and we receive a beam and a tincture of that glory of God, when we have the approbation, and testimony, and good opinion, and good words of good men ; which is the glory of our text, as far as this world is capable of glory. All the upright in heart shall glory, that is, they shall be celebrated and encouraged with the glory and praise of good men here, and they shall be rewarded with everlasting glory in heaven.
In these words we propose to you but two parts; first, the disposition of the persons, Omnes recti corde, All the upright in heart, and then, the retribution upon these persons, gloriabuntur, They shall glory, or, (as it is in the Vulgate, and well) laudabuntur, they shall be celebrated, they shall be praised. In the first, the qualification of the persons, we shall pass by these steps; first, that God in his punishments and rewardings proposes to himself persons, persons already made, and qualified. God does not begin at a retribution, nor begin at a condemnation, before he have persons, persons fit to be rewarded, persons fit to be condemed. God did not first make a heaven and a hell, and after think of making man, that he might have some persons to put in them; but first for his glory he made man, and for those, who by a good use of his grace preserved their state, heaven, and for those, who by their own fault fell, he made hell. First, he proposed persons, persons in being; and then, for the persons, as his delight is for the most part to do, in this text he expresses it; which is, rather to insist upon the rewards, which the good shall receive, than upon the condemnation and judgments of the wicked. If he could choose, that is, if his own glory, and the edification of his children would bare it, he would not speak at all of judgments, or of those persons that draw necessary judgments upon themselves, but he would exercise our contemplation wholly upon his mercy, and upon persons qualified and prepared for his gracious retributions. So he does here ; he speaks not at all of perverse,
and froward, and sinister, and oblique men, men incapable of his retributions, but only of persons disposed, ordained, prepared for them.
And, in the qualification of these persons, he proposes first a rectitude, a directness, an uprightness ; declinations downward, deviations
wrong hand, squint-eyed, men, splay-footed men, left-handed men, (in a spiritual sense) he meddles not withal. They must be direct, and upright; and then, Upright in heart; for to be good to ill ends, (as in many cases a man may be) God accepts not, regards not. But let him be a person thus qualified, upright; upright because he loves uprightness, Upright in heart; and then he is infallibly embraced, and enwrapped in that general rule, and proposition, that admits no exception, Omnes recti corde, all the upright in heart shall be partakers of this retribution: and in these branches we shall determine our first part ; first, that God proposes to himself persons; persons thus and thus qualified; he begins at them. Secondly, that God had rather dwell himself, and propose to us the consideration of good persons, than bad, of his mercies, than his judgments, for he mentions no other here, but persons capable of his retributions; and then, the goodness that God considers, is rectitude, and rectitude in the root, in the heart; and from that root grows that spreading universality, that infallibility, omnes, all such are sure of the reward.
And then, in our second part, in the reward itself, though it be delivered here in the whole bar, in the ingot, in the wedge, in bullion, in one single word, gloriabuntur, laudabuntur, They shall glory, yet it admits this mintage, and coining, and issuing in lesser pieces, that first we consider the thing itself, the metal in which God rewards us, glory, praise; and then, since God's promise is fastened upon that, (we shall be praised) as we may lawfully seek the praise of good men, so must we also willingly afford praise to good men, and to good actions. And then, since we find this retribution fixed in the future, (we shall be praised, we shall be in glory) there arises this consolation, that though we have it not yet, yet we shall have it, though we be in dishonour, and contempt, and under a cloud, of which we see no end ourselves, yet there is a determined future in God, which shall be made present, we shall overcome this contempt, and gloriabimur, and laudabimur, we shall glory, we shall be celebrated ; in which future, the consolation is thus much farther exalted, that it is an everlasting future; the glory, and praise, the approbation, and acclamation, which we shall receive from good men, here, shall flow out and continue, to the Hosannas in heaven, in the mouth of saints, and angels, and to the Euge bone serce, Well done, good and faithful serrant', in the mouth of God himself.
First then, God proposes to himself, (in his rewards and retributions) persons; persons disposed and qualified. Not disposed by nature, without use of grace; that is flat and full Pelagianism; not disposed by preventing grace, without use of subsequent grace, by antecedent and anticipant, without concomitant and auxiliant grace; that is semi-Pelagianism. But persons obsequious to his grace, when it comes, and persons industrious and ambitious of more and more grace, and husbanding his grace well all the way, such persons God proposes to himself. God does not only read his own works, nor is he only delighted with that which he hath writ himself, with his own eternal decrees in heaven, but he loves also to read our books too, our histories which we compose in our lives and actions, and as his delight is to be with the sons of men', so his study is in this library, to know what we do. St. Paul says, That God made him a minister of the Gospel, to preach to the Gentiles, to the intent that the angels might know the manifold wisdom of God by the church"; that is, by that that was done in the church. The angels saw God; did they not see these things in God? No; for, These things were hid in God, says the apostle there; and the angels see no more in God, than God reveals unto them; and these things of the church, God reserved to a future, and to an experimental knowledge, to be known then when they were done in the church. So there are decrees in God, but they are hid in God; to this purpose
and intendment, and in this sense, hid from God himself, that God accepts or condemns man secundum allegata et probata, according to the evidence that arises from us, and not according to those records that are hid in himself. Our actions and his
Matt. xxv, 21.
2 Prov, viii. 31.
* Ephes. iii. 7.