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ignorance, to glorious light-from shameful pollution, to white robes—from mournful prayers, to joyful praises from a dark grave, to a celestial paradise from comforts in time, to endless eternity.
O what a change doth death make! We mortals cannot conceive of it. Study that text, 2 Cor. iv. 17, 18, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." See what diminutives are in the one, and superlatives in the other; affliction in the one, glory in the other; lightness in the one, weight in the other; for a moment in the one, eternal in the other, and a far more and exceeding weight of glory. O what an emphasis there is in the expression! the apostle seems in great want of words to set off the glories above; so shall we be in our highest conceptions. quickly lose ourselves in this contemplation; Christ and heaven admit no hyperbole. Let not your spirits droop, “ He that shall come, will come, and will not tarry; and when he comes, his reward is with him, and work before him.” * “ The dead in Christ shall rise first; and they which are alive, and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” +-Amen. So be it.
* Isa. xl. 10.
+ 1 Thess. iv. 16-18.
MEETNESS FOR HEAVEN,
Some Brief Meditations
ON THE TWELFTH VERSE, IN THE FIRST CHAPTER OF THE
EPISTLE TO THE COLOSSIANS,
INTENDED FOR A FUNERAL LEGACY.
To my dearly beloved Hearers, Friends and Neighbours, and others that will be at the cost to buy, or take the pains to read this small Treatise.
DEARLY BELOVED, A DESIRE after happiness is so engraven on the nature of man, that it was never made a question whether he was desirous of being happy or not. This needs no proof; all are agreed in this as the end of a rational agent; and therefore at last, Felicity was accounted a goddess among the Romans, and St. Augustine tells us, that Lucullus built her a temple; only he wonders that the Romans who were worshippers of so many gods, had not given divine honours to Felicity sooner; which alone would have sufficed instead of all the rest of their deities, which he reckons up, aud saith at last of Numa, that having chosen so many gods and goddesses, it is strange he neglected this. But though they at last had got a notion of felicity, yet having no true piety, that veneration ended in the greatest misery and infelicity; nothing but wars ensued.*
This indeed is the case : all men would be happy, but few know the due object and true means leading to happiness. It is possible, (as the same Father saith there) to find a man that is unwilling to be made king; but none that is loth to be made happy.t Indeed most men blunder in the dark, and few find the thing they seek. The same Father tells us, I that Varro in his book on Philosophy, who had diligently searched out the various opinions of men respecting the chief good, reduceth
* Vid. Aug. de Civit. Dei, lib. 4. cap. 23.