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appearances of God, the advantages of faith, the promotion of the spiritual kingdom of Christ, and the greater mercies of the gospel, as to themselves and others.

2. They took too great a share of the honour to themselves, being more affected to see what great things they were made the instruments to accomplish, than what honour did thereby accrue to God and benefit to man; and thus, while they arrogate too much to themselves, and withal too much overlook those higher, greater mercies, to which all their miracles were' but. means, they deservedly fall under Christ's reproof; and he is employed in the cure of their diseased joys, by amputation of the superfluities, and rectifying the irregularities, and supplying the defects, lest Satan should take possession of their souls, by carnality, selfishness, and pride, when they thought they had conquered him, by dispossessing him of men's bodies.

Ill. By this you may understand what joy it is that Christ alloweth and commandeth them.

1. As to themselves, to kill their pride, and to increase their kindly joy and thankfulness, and to advance their estimation of the riches of the gospel, and rectify their judgment of the work and kingdom of their Lord, he calls them to mind that higher mercy, which is worthy of their greatest joy. An interest in heaven is another kind of mercy than healing the sick, or casting out devils here on earth.

2. In reference to his honour, he would have them first look at the greatest of his gifts, and not forget the glory which he finally intends them, while they are taken up with these wonders in the way; for his greatest honour ariseth from his greatest mercies.

3. As to the degrees of their rejoicing, he would not have them give the greater share to the lesser mercy, but to rejoice so much more in their heavenly interest; as that all other joy should be as none in comparison of it: so that this “Rejoice not in this,” &c. is as much as if he had said, 'Let your rejoicing in this power over the devils be as nothing in comparison of your rejoicing that your names are written in heaven. Just as he forbiddeth care and labour for these earthly things, when he saith, “ Care not what ye shall eat,” &c. ; (Matt. vi. 25 ;) “Labour not for the meat that perisheth, but for that which endureth to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you." (John vi. 27.) Our care and labour for earthly things must be nothing, in comparison of the care and labour we are at for hea

ven: and so our joy, in the greatest of these outward mercies, should be as nothing, in comparison of our joy in higher things.

4. As to the nature and order of the thing, he alloweth them no joy in this, or any temporal or created thing whatsoever, but as it proceedeth from God, and tendeth to him as our ultimate end. We must not rejoice in our victories over Satan, or any other enemy, for itself, and as our end, but as it is a means to the glory of God and men's salvation. In all which, it is evident that Christ doth but regulate and advance their joy, and calleth them first to rejoice in that which is their end and all, and animateth all their lower mercies; he then alloweth and requireth them to rejoice, even in this, which he seemed to forbid them to rejoice in, viz., that the devils were subject to them, so they do it in due subordination to its end.

The only difficulty in the preceptive part of the text is, what is meant here by the “Writing of their names in heaven." In a word, the meaning is, that they are “ fellow citizens of the saints, and of the household of God;" and having a room among the saints on earth, have a title to the celestial glory. As in some well-ordered cities there were rolls kept of the names of all the citizens, or freemen, as distinet from all the inferior, more servile, sort of subjects ; and as muster-rolls are kept of the listed soldiers of the army, so all that are saints are enrolled citizens of heaven, that is, are the heirs of the heavenly felicity.

We are decreed to this state before the foundations of the world; we are redeemed to it by the death of Christ; but we are not actually entered into it till we are sanétified by the Holy Ghost, and heartily engaged to God the Father, Son, and Spirit, in the holy covenant.

The doctrine of the text is contained in this propositionTo have our names written in heaven is the greatest mercy, and first, and chiefly, and only for itself to be rejoiced in ; which so puts the estimate on all inferior mercies, that further than they refer to this they are not to be the matter of our joy.

Though we had seen the devils subjected to our ministration, departing from the possessed when we command them in the name of Christ, and the bodies of the afflicted miraculously relieved ; yet all this were not, comparatively, to be rejoiced in, not as separated from our title to the heavenly glory. When I have, first, given you the reasons of the prohibition

Rejoice not in this,” and then of the command But ra

ther rejoice,” &c. you may, by fuller satisfaction about the sense and truth of the proposition, be better prepared for the further application.

I. “Rejoice not,” though the devils themselves were subject to you, further than as this refers to heaven; 1. Because all these common mercies may possibly consist with the present misery of the persons that receive them. A man may be the slave of the devil, as to his soul, when he is casting him out of another man's body. He may be conquered by his own concu., piscence, that hath triumphed over many an enemy. These times have showed it, to our grief, that heresy, and pride, and ambition, and self-conceit, may conquer those that have been famous for their conquests. He

may

be a slave to himself that is the master of another.

And what I say of the instance in my text, you may, upon a parity or superiority of reason, all along give me leave to apply to the great occasion of the day, it being a matter of much greater glory to conquer infernal powers than mortal enemies, and to have the devils subject to us than men.

To be such a conqueror of men or devils is no sure proof of the pardon of sin, the favour of God, and saving of your souls. Alas ! how many, called valiant, are the basest cowards in the warfare that their everlasting life dependeth on? How

that are renowned for their victories by men, are wretches despised and abhorred by the Lord ? What Christian so poor and despicable in the world that would change his state with a Catiline or Sejanus, yea, with a Cæsar or Alexander, if he might? Could you see the inside of a glittering gallant, or an adored prince, that is a stranger to the life of faith, what a sad disparity would you see? The vermin of the most filthy lusts continually crawling in the soul, while the body is set out by the most exquisite ornaments that pride can invent, and their purses can procure, for the increasing of their esteem in the eyes of such as judge of souls by the colour and cover of the bodies. To see the same man sumptuously feasted, attended, honoured, magnified by men, and at the same time dead in sin, unacquainted with the life and comforts of believers, and under the curse and condemnation of the law of God, would tell you that such a wretch is far from the state in which a reasonable man is allowed to rejoice. There are not more naked leprous souls in the world, than some that are covered with a silken, laced, painted case: nor any more poor and sordid, than such as

many

abound with earthly riches. And for such a one to rejoice is as unseemly as for a man to glory that his gangrened foot hath a handsome shoe ; or that his diseased, pained flesh doth suffer in the fashion; or that his wounds and ulcers are searched with a silver instrument. God seeth the rottenness and filth that is within these painted sepulchres, and therefore judgeth not of them as the ignorant spectator, that seeth no further than the smoothed, polished, gilded outside. And therefore we find his language of such to differ so much from the language of the world. He calls those poor, and miserable, and blind, and naked, and foolish, and mad, and dead, and cursed, that perhaps hear nothing lower from the world than honourable, worshipful, rich, and wise; and men are admiring them, while God is loathing them: and men are applauding them, while God condemneth them. And hence it is that the servants of the Lord do lament the case of those that worldlings count most happy. What Paul speaks of those“ whose God is their belly, whose glory is their shame, and who mind earthly things,” he doth it weeping ; (Phil. iii. 18, 19 ;) when a frantic sensualist would have derided his compassionate tears, and bid him keep them for himself.

2. Rejoice not in these outward common things comparatively, or for themsevles, because they are not only consistent with most deplorable misery, but also are the strong and ordinary means of making men miserable, and fixing them in it, and increasing it. Many that have seemed humble, fruitful, flourishing, and steadfast, while they dwelt in the vallies of a mean, a low, afflicted state, have proved sun- burnt, weatherbeaten sinners, apostates, proud, vain glorious and barren, when they have removed their habitations to the mountains of prosperity. Alas! we find it hard enough to be serious, faithful Christians, under the less and ordinary temptations of a poor, or mean, or suffering condition. And I should rejoice if I were but to pass to heaven as a cainel must pass through a needle's eye. We have difficulties enough already, unless our wisdom, strength, and courage, were greater to encounter them ; and shall we rejoice if these difficulties be increased to impossibilities, (as with men,) leaving us no hope but that human impossibilities are conquerable by Divine Omnipotency. (Luke xviii. 27.) Is it not hard enough to have a lowly mind in a low condition ; but much more in a high. To despise the world when the world despiseth us. To walk in heaven when faith is not interrupted by the noise or shows of the distracted actors

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of these bedlam tragedies. And to converse with our everlasting company, when we are freest from these crowds and tumults. And shall we rejoice that we, who already stumble at straw, have rocks of offence and mountains of difficulty cast before us? How few are advanced to higher measures of faith and holiness by their advancements in the world ? For the most part, if they seemed to have something of plain honesty and fidelity before, when they come to be advanced, it is drowned in carnal policies, self-love, and hypocritical dissimulation. And if they seemed before to be huinble and heavenly, and to live to God, and to his interest and service, how strangely doth prosperity and dignity transform them, and make them forget their former apprehensions, their convictions, purposes, and vows, yea,

their God, their happiness, and themselves. And should we not be very cautelous how we rejoice in an air that few men have their health in ? and in a diet how sweet soever, that corrupts

and kills the most that use it ? in the tables that prove snares, and the sumptuous houses that are traps to the inhabitants ?

3. Rejoice not in these common things, for they are but such as are often made the devil's tools to do his work by, and are used against the Lord that gave them, to the hinderance of the gospel, and injury of the church of Christ. While men are low, and live by faith, they do good with the little which they have ; and have the blessing of the will, (when they are unable for the deed,) and of hearts disposed to do good if they had opportunity; when usually those that are lifted up, having more of power, and less of will, do less when they might and should do more; and use their talents to aggravate their sin and condem. nation; to further piety, or charity, they have power without will; but to hinder it, they have both power and will. And while the poor of the world, that are rich only in faith, would help on the work of God, and cannot, (by the great assistances which the great might give,) and the rich and honourable can and will not, but can and will promote the interest of the flesh, you may easily see the case of the church, how sure it is to know the adversity, and how much of our expectation must be from God, and how little from

any

of the sons of men. Is it as common for one that is very rich to part with all to follow Christ for the hopes of heaven, as it is for one that hath not much in the world, to part with ? Is it as common for one that hath many thousands a year, to cast all his substance into the treasury, as for a widow to do it that hath but two mites? (Luke xxi. 2.)

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