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profecution of earthly defigns. O what bustling is here for the world, and for provifions for futurity, when as far lefs would ferve the turn! We need not victual a fhip to cross the channel to France, as if he were bound to the Indies. Most mens provifions, at least their cares and thoughts, are far beyond the preparations of their abode in this world. The folly of this, Chrift difcovers in that parable, Luke xii. 19. and on this very account gives him the title of a fool, who provided for years, many years; when poor foul, he had not one night to enjoy those provifions.

Oh the multitude of thoughts and cares this world needlefly devours! We keep ourfelves in fuch a continual hurry and crowd of cares, thoughts and employments about the concerns of the body, that we can find little time to be alone, communing with our own hearts about our great concernments in eternity. It is with many of us, in respect of our souls, and their great interests, as it is with a man that is deep in thoughts about some subject that wholly fwallows him up, he feeth not what he feeth, nor heareth what he heareth of any other matter: his eyes feem to look upon this or that, but it is all one as if he did not. So it was with Archimedes, who was fo intent in drawing his mathematical schemes, that though all the city was in an alarm, the enemy had taken it by ftorm, the streets filled with dreadful cries, and dead bodies, the foldiers came into his particular houfe, nay, entred his very study, and plucked him by the fleeve, before he took any notice of it: even fo many mens hearts are fo profoundly immerfed, and drowned in earthly cares, thoughts, projects, or pleasures, that death must come to their very houses, yea, and pull them by the fleeve, and tell them its errand, before they will begin to awake, and come to a serious confideration of things more important.

Inference 5. If we must fhortly put off thefe tabernacles, then the groaning and mourning time of all believers is but fhort: how heavy foever their burden be, yet they fball carry it but a little way. It is faid, 2 Cor. v. 4. "We that are in this ta"bernacle do groan, being burdened." Good fouls, in this state, are every where groaning under heavy preffures. Their burdens are of two forts, fympathetical, whereby they grieve with, and on the account of others, and fo every true member of the church of God ought to fympathize, both with God, Pfal. cxxxix. 21. "Am not I grieved with them that rise up against thee?" Pfal. xlii. 10. "It is as with a fword in their bones;" and with the people of God, Zeph. iii. 18. forrowful for the folemn affembly; fo 2 Cor. xi. 29. "Who is offended, and I burn not?”

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And indeed, it is an argument of rich, as well as true grace, that we can, and do heartily mourn with, and for the interekt and people of God, though our own lot in the world, as Nehemiah's, be never fo comfortable. Or, elfe our burdens are idiopathetical, i. e. fuch as we bear upon our own proper account and fcore. And where is the Chriftian that hath not his own burden, yea, many burdens on him at once? Some groan under the burden of fin, Rom. viii. 24. Scarce one day are the tears off from fome eye-lids on this account. And who groans not under the burden of affliction, either inward upon the foul, Prov. xviii. 14. Job vi. 1, 2, 3, or outward upon the body, state, relations, &c. Thefe things make the people of God a burden to themfelves, Job vii. 20, 21. Yea, under these burdens they would fink, did not the Lord fuftain them, Pfal. 1v. 22.

But God will put a speedy and final end to all these things. When you put off this tabernacle, you put off with it all thofe burdens, inward and outward. The foul prefently feels a great load off its shoulders; it fhall never groan more, God fhall thenceforth wipe away all tears from their eyes: for why are those burdens now permitted, and impofed by the Lord upon you, but (1.) To prevent fin, Hof. ii. 6. They are your clogs, to keep you from straying. (2.) To purge out fin, Ifa. xxvii. 9. (3.) To make you long more for heaven, and the reft to come. But all thefe ends are accomplished in that day you put off your tabernacles, for then fin is gone, and reft is come.

Infer. 6. Muft you shortly put off thofe tabernacles? Then fpare them not whilst you have them, but employ them for God with all diligence. Shortly they fhall be ufelefs to you, yea, meat for worms; now they may be ferviceable, and their fervice is their honour: you received them not for fuch low ends as you employ them for. See 1 Cor. vi. 20. "Glorify God in "your fouls and bodies, which are his :" You expect to have them glorious bodies one day; Oh then let them be serviceable bodies now! Be not fond of them to that degree many are, who chufe rather to have them eaten out with ruft, than worn out with fervice. It is your prefent honour to be active, and will be your fingular comfort another day. What greater comfort, when you come to put them off at death, than this, that you have employed them faithfully for God.

Infer. 7. Look beyond this embodied state, and learn to live

**Ambrofe faid of Valentinian, No man was ever fuch a fervant to his master, as Valentinian's body was to his foul.

now as you hope to live fhortly; begin to be what you expect to be. You know the time is at hand, that you shall five above all bodily concernments and employments, the foul shall be a drudge to the body no more. You shall be as the angels, Mat. xxii. 30. not marrying, nor giving in marriage, which is, by a fynechdache, put for all carnal employments and enjoyments; eat no more, drink no more, sleep no more, buy and fell no more. Now fuit yourselves as much as your state and the duties of religion will fuffer you, to that state before-hand. The sum of what I am at is in 1 Cor. vii. 29, 30. Be in all your relations as if you had none. Look on those things, as if already they were not, which shortly must be none of yours; and both acquaint and accuftom your thoughts to the life of feparation from the body, which you must shortly leave. Which brings me home to the next point, viz. The condition of human fouls in the fate of feparation.

Και τον εύμασι δικαίων τετελειωμένων. to the fpirits of juft men made perfect.

Heb. xii. 23.



HE particular fcope of this context falls in with the general defign of the whole gofpel, which is to perfuade men to a life of holiness. The matter of the exhortation is moft weighty, and the arguments enforcing it moft powerful: He doth not talk, but difpute; he doth not fay, but prove, that greater, and more powerful engagements unto holiness lie up. on those who live under the gofpel, than upon the people who lived under the law. And thus the argument lies in this con


If God, at the delivering of the law upon mount Sinai, strictly enjoined, and required fo great purity, and holiness in that people, fignified by the ceremonies of two days preparation, the washing of their cloaths, abftinence from conjugal fociety, &c. Exod. xix. 10. much more doth he require, and expect it in us, who are come under a much more excellent, and heavenly dif penfation than theirs was.

To make good the fequel, he compares the legal, and evangelical difpenfations, in many particulars, ver. 18, 10, 20, 21, 22, 23. giving the gofpel the preference throughout the whole comparison.

Hence the privileges of the New Testament-believers are ftated, both negatively, and pofitively.

1. Negatively, By fhewing what we are exempted from. 2. Pofitively, Shewing what we are to come unto. 1. Negatively, What we are exempted, or freed from; ver. 18, 19, 20, 21. “We are not come unto the Mount that might "be touched," &c.

The fum of all is this, that the promulgation of the law was accompanied with amazing dread, and terror. For, after Moses, by command from God, had fanctified the mount, and fet rails about it, that neither prieft nor people, man nor beaft, might touch the very borders of it, left they die; the Lord defcended in fire upon the top of the mountain, the third day in the morning, with most terrible tokens of divine majefty, to wit, with thundrings, lightnings, dark clouds, and the noife of a trumpet, exceeding loud; the mount was covered with smoke, as the smoke of a furnace, and † flames mounting up into the midst of heaven, the whole mountain fhaking, and trembling exceedingly: Out of this horrid tempeft the awful voice of God was heard, all the people in the camp trembling, yea, and Mofes himself quaking for fear.

This was the manner of the law's promulgation: But to fach a terrible difpenfation as this we are not come, which is the negative part of our privilege.

2. He opens the pofitive privileges to which we are come. (1.) "Ye are come (faith he) to mount Sion," not the earthly, but the fpiritual Sion. Mount Sion was the place celebrated above all the world for the worship of God, Pfal. lxxxvi. 7.

All my fprings (faith God) are in thee. There was the temple, the ark of the covenant, the glory of the Lord dwelling between the cherubims. The priests that attended the fervice of God, had their refidence there, as the angels have in heaven, Thither the tribes went up from all quarters of Judah, Pfal. Ixxxiv. as the children of God now do to heaven, from all quar'ters of the world. Judea was the best kingdom in the world; Jerufalem the best city in that kingdom; and Sion the most glorious place in that city. Here Chrift taught his heavenly doctrine; near to it he finished his glorious work of redemptiHence the everlasting gospel went forth into all the world: And, on thefe confiderations, it is put to fignify the gospelchurch, or state in this place, and is therefore called the heavenly Jerufalem, in the following words. We do not come to the literal Sion, nor to thee arthly Jerufalem; but to the gofpel-church,


+ Crebris micat ignibus æther; i, e. The fly fhiaes with fre quent lightnings.

or state, which may be called a heaven upon earth, compared with that literal Jerufalem.


(2.) Ye are come to an innumerable company of angels."] to myriads of angels, a myriad is ten thoufand: but myriads in the plural number, and fet down indefinitely too, may note many millions of angels: And therefore we fitly render it, "to "an innumerable company of angels."

They had the miniftry of angels as well as we, thousands of them miniftred to the Lord in the difpenfation of the law at Sinai, Pial. lxviii. 17. But this notwithstanding, we are come to a much clearer knowledge, both of their prefent ministry for us on earth, Heb. i. 14. and of our fellowship, and equality with them in heaven, Luke xx. 36.

(3.) "Ye are come to the general affembly, and church of "the first-born, whofe names are written (or enrolled) in hea "ven." This alfo greatly commends, and amplifies the pri vileges of the New Teftament-believers; the church of God in former ages was circumfcribed, and shut up within the narrow limits of one fmall kingdom, which was a garden inclosed out of a waste wilderness: But now, by the calling in of the Gentiles, the church is extended far and wide, Eph. iii. 5, 6. It is become a great affembly, comprizing the believers of all nations under heaven; and fo fpeaking of them collectively, it is the general convention, or affembly, which is alfo dignified, and enobled by two illuflrious characters, viz. (1.) That it is the church of the first born, (i. e.) confifting of members dignified, and priviledged above others, as the first-born among the Ifraelities did excel their younger brethren. (2.) That their names are written in heaven, (i. e.) regiftred, or enrolled in God's book, as children, and heirs of the heavenly inheritance, as the first-born in Ifrael were registred in order to the priesthood, Num. iii. 4o,


(4.) Ye are come "to God, the Judge of all."] But why to God the Judge? This feems to fpoil the harmony, and jar with the other parts of the difcourfe. No, no; they are come to God as a righteous Judge, who as fuch, will pardon them, 1 John i. 9. Crown them, 2 Tim. iv. 8. and avenge them on all their oppreffing, and perfecuting enemies. 1 Theff. i. 5, 6, 7.

Mupino ayyar, i, e. Myriads of angels. The Hellenists use the word upadas, i. e. Myriads, without any addition to fignify an innumerable multitude. Grot.

The firft-born of the Ifraelites were registred in an earthly re gifter, but thefe in an heavenly regifer.

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