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Even whilst the saints are imperfect on earth, they can cry, Here am I, send me, Isa. vi. 8. How much more ready thall they be then, when all their fetters are knocked off!
4. They shall be as the angels in their chearful and unwearied execution of the will of God : fo the angels are, and so fhall the saints be. The fpirit shall be then more willing, and the flesh shall be no more weak, as it is now; for when it is raised again, it shall be in power, 1 Cor. xv. 43. More things of this nature inight be added, but I pass lightly over them, because, although they are true, yet they are not principally looked at in this text; therefore I come to the second thing, wherein the glorified saints shall be like unto the angels : and that is,
2. In their way of living. They shall be like the angels, i.e. (saith one truly) living like the angels. How is that? Our Saviour tells us, Neither marrying, nor being given in marriage. It is added presently, in Luke xx. 36. For neither can they die any more.
If there be no dying, there will be no need of propagation ; if no need of propagation, then why should they marry ? The angels are single, and know no other conjunction, but with God in a spiritual manner : no more Shall the saints. But what great matter is that to be like the angels in? What perfection is that? Many saints, yea and finners too upon earth, are fo like the angels; nay, and the devils too. Therefore
you must know that our Saviour, under this phrase of not marrying, &c. doth comprehend all manner of creature-converse, all kind of living upon, and delighting in the creature, by a fynechdoche
of the part, as is ordinary in Scripture. I have not given upon usury, faith the prophet, yet the people curse me, fer. xv. 10. i. e. I have had no dealing in the world, no negotiation. By one kind he understands the whole, Ezek. xxv. 41. where, by eating their fruits, and drinking their milk, is understood the poffeffing of all that was theirs ; and, in many other places, the spirit of God uses this tropical way of speaking.
The angels of God, neither marry, nor are given in marriage, i. é. they live not upon any created good, delight not in any created comfort, but live intirely upon God, converse with him, are everlastingly beholding his glory, and delighting themselves in him : Thus shall the glorified saints
Their bodies shall not need, or use created supplies, food, physick, raiment, &c. which things, in this animal state, they stand in need of, Matt, vi. 32. But that is not all; for their souls shall not any longer defire, or hanker after any created thing; but (as the angels) shall be poflefed of God, filled with the fulness of God; all the powers and faculties of them, perfectly refined and spiritualized, abstracted from all created things, eternally rejoicing and delighting themselves in the contemplation and participation of the supream and infinite good : For during this earthly and imperfect state, not only the bodies of good men feed upon, and are sustained by the creatures in common with other men, but even their souls taste too much of worldly contentments, and drink too deep of earthly pleasures, and creature-comforts : Even the most refined fouls upon earth, though they do not properly feed
live for ever.
upon any thing below God, yet do oft dip the end of their rod in this honey that lies upon the earth (with Jonathan) do cast an unchaste eye upon their earthly enjoyments, and delight in them in a way too gross and unfpiritual; having abstracted them from God, and loving them with a distinct love. But in the resurrection, it shall not be fo: For the holy fouls fhall be perfectly conformed to the holy God, Ihall feed upon him singly, live upon him entirely, be wrapped up in him wholly, and be fatisfied in him solely and everlastingly; and so fhall they be equal to the angels. The creature, although it doth not fill any truly sanctified soul upon earth, yet it hath some room there ; but then it shall be perfectly cast out, and the soul shall be filled with all the fulness of God. The creature is now much in some godly souls, and something in all of them ; but then it shall be nothing at all to them, or in them. But God fhall be all in all, all things in all of them, as the way of the saints living, and their glorified ftate is described, i Cor. xv. 28. that God may be all in all. They shall inherit all things. But how is that? Why, see the explication of it in the following words, God will be their God, Rev. xxi. 7
He that overcometh Jhall inherit all things, and I will be his God. God shall be unto them instead of all things. In that state there shall be no need of sun or moon, Rev. xxi. 23. by which excellent and useful creatures, the whole creation seems to be understood; for they that shall live above the sun and moon, shall certainly live above all things that are below these. But how then? Why it follows, The glory of God fall enlighten them, and the Lamb fhall be their light. So Rev. xxii. 5. And there shall be no night there, and they need no candle, neither light of the sun ; for the Lord giveth them light. All happiness is derived into them from God; and therefore there shall be no night, no want of any creature-comfort to them, neither shall they desire any thing more of the creature, whether small or great, whether candle or fun. For explication of this their blefled life, let me allude to that of our Saviour, Luke xii. 24. The fowls of the heaven neither fow nor reap, yet God feedeth them. So the saints of heaven neither wat or desire any created good, so they feed up, on God, the supreme and infinite good. And again, verse 27. The lillies neither toil nor spin, and yet Solomon, in all his glory, was not arayed like one of these. These blessed souls have no respect at all to things terrene and created, yet are they so filled and adorned with the glory of the infinite Majesty, that Solomon, in all his glory, was a filthy and ragged thing in comparison of them. In a word, the state of the glorified faints and angels is set out by our Saviour in the same manner, by one and the fame description, and that is, the seeing of God. The life of angels is called a continual beholding of the face of God, Matt. xviii. 10. and the state of the faints glory and happiness is also a seeing of God, Matt. v. 8. Heb. xii. 14. Rev. xxii. 4. They shall see his face, and his name shall be in their foreheads. Now this phrase, the seeing of God, applied both to the saints and angels, doth place their happiness in God alone, excluding the creature ; and it doth import the fulness, and clearness, and certainty of that their bliss.
Thus I have shewed you in what sense (though I am not able to shew you in what degree) the glorified saints shall be like the angels of God in heaven. - Their way of living, viz. upon the blerfed God alone, shall be the same with that of the holy angels.
Application. From the discovery of the future state of the saints, I find myself filled with indignation.
1. Reproof. Against the carnal conceits that many
Christians have of heaven. Christians do I call them! Nay, herein they seem rather Mahometans, who place heaven in the full and lasting enjoyment of all creature-comforts ; nay, indeed, of sinful and abominable pleasures, as one may read in their Alcoran. It may be few Christians are altogether fo fenfual, but sure I am the far greater fort of Christians (so called) are very gross and carnal; at least, very low in their conceits of the state of future happiness. Heaven is a word as little understood as holiness; and that, I am sure, is the greatest mystery in the world. It would be tedious to run through the particular various apprehensions of men in this matter, and indeed impossible to know them. The common sort of people understand either just nothing by heaven but a glorious name; or at best, but a freedom from bodily torment. As nothing of hell affects them, but that dreadful word fire ; so nothing of heaven, but the comfortable word reft, or safety. Others, it may be, think there is something positive in heaven and they dream of an honourable, easy, pleasant life, free from fuch kind of toils, labours, pains, persecutions, re