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Head and King of their Society, there is from the highest to the lowest a most exact and regular Subordination of Members, they do every one perform their Parts and Duties towards everyone, in all those different Stations of Glory they are placed in, and consequently do submit and condescend to each other, according as they are of a Superiour or inferiour Class and Order. So that if when we go from hence into the other world, we carry a long with us a submissive and condescending Fraine of Spirit, we shall be trained up, and predisposed to live under the blessed Hierarchy of Heaven ; to yield a chearful Conformity to the Laws and Customs of it; and to render all the Honours to those above, and all the Condescensions to those beneath us in Glory, which the Statutes of that Heavenly Regiment do require ; doing whereof we shall all of us enjoy.a nioft unspeakable Content, and Felicity. For though in the Kingdom of Heaven, as well as the Kingdoms of the Earth, there are numberless Degrees of Advancement, and Dignity, and one Star there, as well as here, differeth from another Star in Glory; yet so freely, and chearfully do they all condescend and submit to each other, in these their respective differences of Rank and Station, that in the widest Distances of their State, and Degrees of Glory, they all maintain the dearest Intimacies and Familiarities with each other; and neither those that are Superiour are either envied for their Height, or contemned for their Familiarity ; nor those that are. Inferiour depised for their Meanness, or oppressed for their Weakness. For in that blessed State,every one being best pleased with what best becomes him, it is every ones Joy to behave himself towards every one as best becomes the Rank and Degree he is placed in ; and those that are above, do glory in condescending to those that are below them, and those that are below, do triumph in submitting to those that are above them; and thus in all those Differences of Glory and Dignity between them, they alternately reverence their Superiours, and condescend to their Inferiours, with the same unforced Freedom and Alacrity, and so do eternally converse with one another (notwithstanding all their Distances) with the greatest Freedom, and most endearing Familiarity.


And thus I have endeavoured to give you an account of the first sort of Means, by which Heaven the great End of a Christian is to be obtained; viz. the proximate and immediate ones, which comprehend the Practice of all those Virtues, which as Rational Creatures related to God and one another we stand eternally obliged to; and shewed how they are all of them essential Parts of the Christian Life, and how Heaven it self consists in the Perfection of them.

So that upon the whole, the best Definition I can give of the State of Heaven is this, That it is the everlasting, perfect Exercise of all those Humane, Divine and Social Virtues, which as Kational Animals, related to God, and all his Rational Creation, we are indispensably and everlastingly obliged to. And therefore fince the only natural way, by which we can acquire and perfect these Vertues is Use and Practice, it hence necessarily follows that the Practice of them is the only direct


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and immediate Means, by which that Heavenly State is to be purchased and obtained.


Wherein for a Conclusion of this Chapter some Mo

tives and Considerations are proposed to perswade men to the Practice of these Heavenly Virtues.

It having been largely fewn in the foregoing Sections, ihat the Practice of all those Virtues which are included in the Heavenly part of the Christian Life tends directly towards the heavenly State, and naturally grows up into it ; I shall now brii fly conclude this Argument with some Motives to persuade men to the Practice of them. And these I thall deduce,

1. From the Suitableness of them to our present State and Relation,

2. From the Dignity.
3. From the Freedom.
4. From the Pleasure.
5. From the Eafé, and
6. And lastly, from the Necessity of them.

I. Thereföre let us consider the Suitablenes of these Virtues to our present State and Relation. For in our Baptisni, wherein we gave up our Names to Christ, we become Denizons and Freemen of Heaven, and were received into a Covenant that upon Performance of our part of it actually intituled us to all its blessed Priviledges and Immunities. So that in that sacred Solemnity of our Initiation into the Christian Covenant, we contracted a 'Itrid Alliance with the blessed Peo


ple of Heaven, and became their Brethren and Fellow-Citizens. For so the Apostle tells us, Ephef. ii. 19. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreiners, but fellow-citizens with the Saints, and of the houshold of God; and the houshold of God consists of the whole Congregation of the Saints, whether militant upon Earth, or triumphant in Heaven. For so, Eph. iii. 15. it is called the whole family of heaven and earth. So that we are Confederates with them in the fanie Covenant, even that by which they hold all the Joys and Glories they are possessed of; and if we will do as they have done, that is, perform the Conditions of it, we shall be Co-habitants with them in the fame Glory. We are adopted Children of the same Father with them, Members of the same Family, Co-heirs of the Promise of the same Glory, Brethren of the same Confraternity and Corporation ; and all the difference between them and us is only this, that we are abroad, and they at home; we are on this, and they on tother side Fordan; we in the Acqueft, and they in the Posleffion of the heavenly Canaan ; to which we are intitled as well as they, and that by the same Grant from the supreme Proprietor. So that by calling our selves Christians, we do in other words call our selves Brethren, Co-heirs, and Fellow-Citizens with the blessed Inhabitants of Heaven. And what can be more suitable to such a Profession, than for us to live as they do, in the continued Practice of all these heavenly Virtues ? And what a shame will it be for us, that are by Profession their Brethren, not to copy and imitate their Behaviour ; that we who are below Stairs in the same


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House and Family should abandon our selves to Sensuality and Devilishines, whilst our blessed Kindred above are entertaining themselves with those heavenly Pleasures which result from the perfect Exercise of all heavenly Virtue; that we should be neglecting, provoking, and blaspheming God, whilst they are contemplating and admiring, loving and praising, imitating and obeying him ; that we mould by cheating and defrauding, exoying and despising, maligning and embroiling one another, whilst they are conversing together with the greatest Freedom and Integrity, with the most obliging Respects and Condescensions and in the strictest Unity and dearest Friendship? What a vile Reproach are our wicked lives to the Conversation of these our FellowCitizens above? for while we profess our selves their Brethren,those who understand no better will be prone to suspect that they live as we do, and how would such a Suspicion tempt an honest Heathen to renounce Heaven, as the Indian King did, when he was told that the bloudy Spaniards went thither; and rather chuse to go down to the darkest He! than to a Heaven that is peopled with such Diabolical Company? So that by our wicked and un-saint-like Lives, we take an effectual Course to bring Heaven it self into Disgrace, and to cast such a Slander on its blessed Inhabitants, as may justly expose them to the Scorn and Hatred of all those honest Minds that know them no otherwise than by us their unworthy and degenerate Fellow-Citizens; and could those blessed Spirits look down from their Thrones of Bliss, and see what a Company of wretched Christians there are that claim Kindred with them, they would doubtless


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