Sermon XXIV


1 Thess. iv. 17.

Then we 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 be ever with the Lord.

In this epistle, our apostle (according to his manner in all his epistles) first establishes those to whom he writes, in those matters of faith, in which he had formerly instructed them; and then,

rectifies them in matter of manners, of holiness of life, and the ways and fruits of sanctification. In this last part of this chapter, he involves, he wraps up both together; a fundamental point, the resurrection of the dead, and then, an instruction for manners -'arising out of that, that they mourn not intemperately for the dead, as they do, saith he, which have no hope of seeing them again, who are gone. For we know, that they which are gone, are gone but into another room of the same house, (this world, and the next, do but make up God a house) they are gone but into another pew of the same church, (the militant and the triumphant do but make up God a church.) If we believe that Jesus died, and rose again (says our apostle') even so, them also, which sleep in Jesus, will God bring with him: with him; for, howsoever they have lain ingloriously in the dust all this while, all this while they have been with God, and he shall bring them with him. But the Thessalonians were not so hard in believing the resurrection, as curious in inquiring the order of the resurrection. And as among the Corinthians some inquired de modo, How are the dead raised, and with what body do they come*? So among the Thessalonians some inquired, de ordine, in what order, for precedency, shall the last scene of this last act of man, be transacted? What difference between them that were dead thousands of years before, and them whom Christ shall find alive at his second coming I Them the apostle satisfies; We that are alive, shall not prevent them that are asleep, we shall not enter into heaven before them; The dead in Christ shall first rise, says he; and then, (then enters our text) Then we 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 be ever with the Lord.

Then. When? This then in our text, is an apprehensive, and a comprehensive word. It reaches to, and lays hold upon that which the apostle says before the text, in the fifteenth and sixteenth verses. Then, when the dead in Christ are first risen, and risen by Christ's coming down from heaven, in clamour, in a shout, in the voice of the archangel, and in the trumpet of God, then, when that is done, We that are alive, and remain, shall be

wrought upon, and all being joined in one body, they, and -we together, shall be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we be ever with the Lord. So that, in these words we shall have three things to consider, which will constitute three parts in this exercise. First, the raising of those that were dead before; secondly, the changing of them who are alive then; and lastly, our union in our exaltation, and possession of the kingdom of God, we, together with them, shall be caught up.

Neither of these three parts will be swallowed down in a generality; there must pass a mastication, a re-division into more particular branches upon them all. For, in the first, which the first word of our text, then, induces, which is the raising of them who were dead before, we shall consider first, that the dead are not forgotten, though they have dwelt long in the house of forgetfnlness, nor lost, though they have lain long in the dust of dispersion, nor neglected, nor deferred, that others might be preferred before them, which shall be alive then, for, says the apostle, We shall not prevent them, but they shall rise first; how shall they rise? For that is also a second consideration, induced by our first word, then, then when they shall be raised in virtute Christi, in the power of Christ, for, says the text, The Lord himself shall descend from heaven to raise them. And how shall he exercise, how shall he execute, and declare his power in their raising? It shall be in clamour, with a shout, and in the voice of the archangel, and the trumpet of God. And in these three branches, that the dead shall rise first, that they shall rise in the power of Christ, that that power shall be thus expressed, In a shout, in the voice of the archangel, in the trumpet of God, we shall determine that first part. When that is done, and done so, we shall be wrought upon, We that are alive and remain then; where we shall first see, that some shall be alive, and remain then, when Christ comes, and then consider their state and condition, how they being then clothed with bodies of corruption shall be capable of that present entrance into glory; and in that disquisition we shall end our second part. And then, in our third and last part, the glorious union of these two armies, those which were dead, and those which are alive, we shall consider

first, that here is no mention at all, of any resurrection of the wicked, but only of them that sleep in Christ; they shall rise; and then, those that are to partake of this glory, are thus proceeded with; They are caught up; caught up in the clouds; exalted into the air; there to meet the Lord; and so to be with the Lord for ever. We shall be, and be with the Lord, and be with the Lord for ever; which are blessed and glorious gradations, if we may have tune to insist upon them; which we may best hope for this day of all others; for, this day, we have two days in one. This day both God's sons arose; the sun of his firmament, and the Son of his bosom. And if one sun do set upon us, the other will stay, as long as our devotion last. God went not from Abraham, till Abraham had no more to say3; no more will Christ from us.

First then, for our first branch of our first part, the rising of the dead, the first man that was laid in the dust of the earth, Abel, loses nothing by lying so long there; he loses nothing, that men of later ages gain; for, if we live to the coming of Christ to judgment, we shall not prevent them, we shall have no precedency of them, that were dead ages before. No man is superannuated in the grave, that he is too old to enter into heaven, where the Master of the house is The ancient of days. No man is bedrid with age in the grave, that he cannot rise. It is not with God, as it is with man; we do, but God does not forget the dead; and, as long as God is with them, they are with him. As he puts all thy tears into his bottles*, so he puts all the grains of thy dust into his cabinet, and the winds that scatter, the waters that wash them "away, carry them not out of his sight. He remembers that we are but dusti; but dust then when we lie in the grave; and yet he remembers us. But his memory goes farther than so, He remembers that we are but dust alive, at our best; They die, says David, and they return to their own dust0. It is not an entering into a new state, when they die, but a returning to their old, They return to dust; and it is not to that dust which is cast upon them, in the grave, (for that may be another man's dust) but to that dust which they carried about

them in their bodies, They return, and to dust, and to their own dust.

Nor is dust so inglorious a thing, but that God gives a dignity to dust, when he admits it into comparison to express the multiplication, the accumulation of his blessings upon Abraham, / will make thy seed as the dust of the earth7 ,• not for weakness, but for infiniteness; and so, to the same purpose of expressing greatness, Balaam uses this metaphor of dust, Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel"? Neither does Abraham think it any diminution to lie in the dust of the earth, when he is dead, for he professes that he walks in the dust of the earth, in himself whilst he is alive, / have taken upon me to speak to the Lord, being but dust". And when David seems to fear the dust of death, (Lighten mine eyes, lest they sleep the sleep of death10) it is not that he suspects any detriment to himself by death, that he shall be the worse for dying, but that God may lose of his glory, when (as he adds there) the enemy shall say, We have prevailed against him. For, as in the Primitive church, those that seem prayers for the dead, at funerals, are, indeed, but thanksgivings to God, in their behalf that are departed; so, as often as David expresses himself in that pathetical manner, Awake, 0 Lord, why sleepest thou? arise, and cast us not off for ever11, it is a thanksgiving that he hath not, and a prayer that he would not forget them. When he says, Will God be favourable no more1"? he means, I am sure he will. Is his mercy clean gone for ever? Doth his promise fail for ever? Hath God forgot to be gracious? Hath he shut up his mercy in anger; all these imply a kind of confidence that he hath not.

And, as it is in that resurrection of which David speaks most literally in those places, (that is, the resurrection from the calamities and oppressions of this world) so is it in the resurrrection from the dust of the grave too; Thou hast brought me to the dust of the grave; but, be not thou far from me1"; that is, When thou shalt bring me to the dust of the grave, thou wilt not be far from me. And, when he says, (in appearance) by way of expostulation,

7 Gen. xiii. 16. 8 Numb, xxiii. 10. 9 Gen. xviii. 27. 10 Psal. xiii. 1. 11 Psal. xLiv. 23. 18 Psal. Lxxvii. 7. 18 Psal. xxii. 15,19.

and jealousy, and suspicion, Will God show wonders to the dead? shall the dead arise and praise him? shall his loving kindness be declared in the grave, or his faithfulness in destruction"? All these passionate interrogatories, and vehement expostulations may safely be resolved into these doctrinal propositions. Yes, God will show wonders to the dead, the dead shall rise and praise him, his loving kindness shall be declared in the grave, and his faithfulness in destruction. For, God will not forget the congregation of his poor for ever". The poor of this world, are our poor; God's poor are they that lie in the dust, the dust of the grave, the dead; of whom God had a greater congregation under ground, than of the living upon the face of the earth; and God will not forget the congregation of his poor for ever. Finitus est eorum pulvis; that which we translate, Their extortioner is at an end1°, their oppressor is at an end, is in St. Hierome, Their dust is at an end; that is, there comes a time, when the dust of the grave shall oppress them no longer. When? Truly, that time is virtually, and in an infallibility come already; as those other words of the same prophet, may admit an accommodation in the person of Christ, Thy dead men shall live11; When? Together with my dead body they shall rise. Consider, by occasion of those words, a promise, long before Christ's resurrection, that all they which slept in Christ should rise in him, with my dead body they shall rise; and then consider the performance of this promise in the apostle, Consurrexerunt, Together with Christ, all that slept in him1", (nay, all that fell asleep since he waked, all that died since he rose) did arise. Virtually, and infallibly they did. And, for the actual accomplishment of this resurrection in every individual person, they that were laid in the grave in the first ages, lose no time. For there is no time of entering into heaven, till the Lord come to fetch us; and then, they that are dead, shall be so far from being pretermitted, as that they shall first be raised before anything be done upon us. But how shall they be raised, by what power? (for that is a second consideration induced also by this first word of our text, Then, when the Lord shall have

descended from heaven to raise them; then when they are raised in virtute Christi, in the virtue and power of Christ.

Then, (says our blessed Saviour, speaking of the resurrection) then, shall the righteous shine forth as the sun1"; and wheresover we are called the sun, compared, assimilated to the sun, Christ is our zodiak; in him we move, from the beginning to the end of the circle. And therefore, as the last point of our circle, our resurrection determines in him, in Christ; so, the first point of our circle, our first adoption began in him, in Christ too. And, if I were adopted in Christ, (in Christ who is a redeemer of sinners) I was adopted in the condition, and in the consideration of a sinner, and such a sinner as should, as would lay hold upon Christ, this Redeemer. Christ is the Resurrection; so Christ is the Adoption; if there be a resurrection in him, there were some dead before; if there be an adoption in him, there are some sinners before. The first look that God casts upon us, is in Christ, and therefore the first consideration that he takes of us, is, as we are sinners; he adopts none but penitent sinners, he reproves none but impenitent sinners. In him also the dead are raised; that is, in that power which he was raised by, the power of God. For still that phrase is ingeminated, iterated, multiplied, Suscitavit Deus, suscitatus a Deo, God raised Christ from the dead, and Christ was raised from the dead by GodTM. And when it was said by the angel to the M'omen, Surrexit, He is risen (risen of himself, as the word sounds) and when by those two which went with Christ to Emmaus, it is said at their return to Jerusalem, to the eleven apostles, Surrexit vere, He is risen indeed*1 (risen of himself, as the word sounds) yet that phrase and expression, He is risen, if there were no more in it, but that expression, and that phrase, would not conclude Christ's rising to have been in virtute propria, in his own power. For, of Dorcas who was raised from the dead, it is said, Resedit, She sat up**, and of Lazarus, Prodiit, He came forth"; and yet, these actions thus ascribed to themselves, were done in virtute aliena, in the power of another. Christ's resurrection was not so, in virtute aliena, in the power of another, if you consider his whole person, God and Man, but it was aliena

19 Matt. xiii. 43. 80 Matt, xxviii. 6. 11 Luke xxiv. 34.

88 Acts ix. 40. 43 John xi.

a filio Mariw; Christ as the Son of Mary rose not by his own power. It was by his own; but his own, because he Was God, as well as man. Nor could all the magic in the world have raised him sooner, than that by his power, (his, as God) he (that is, that person, God and man) was pleased to rise. So sits he now at the right hand of his Father in heaven; nor can all the consecrations of the Roman priests either remove him from thence, or multiply him to a bodily being anywhere else, till his time of coming to judgment, come. Then, and not till then, The Lord himself shall descend from heaven, in clamour, says the text, in a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God, which circumstances constitute our third, and last branch of this first part, The dead shall rise first, they shall rise in the power of Christ, (therefore Christ is God; for Christ himself rose in the power of God) and that power shall be thus declared, In a shout, in, the voice of the archangel, in the trumpet of God.

The dead hear not thunder, nor feel they an earthquake. If the cannon batter that church walls, in which they lie buried, it wakes not them; nor does it shake or affect them, if that dust, which they are, be thrown out; but yet there is a voice, which the dead shall hear; The dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, (says the Son of God himself) and they that hear shall live**; and that is the voice of our text. It is here called a clamour, a vociferation, a shout, and varied by our translators, and expositors, according to the origination of the word, to be clamor hortatorious, and suasorius, and jussorius, A voice that carries with it a penetration, (all shall hear it) and a persuasion, (all shall believe it, and be glad of it) and a power, a command, (all shall obey it.) Since that voice at the creation, Fiat, Let there be a world, was never heard such a voice as this, Surgite mortui, Arise ye dead. That was spoken to that that was merely nothing, and this to them, who in themselves shall have no co-operation, no concurrence to the hearing or answering this voice.

The power of this voice is exalted in that it is said to be the voice of the archangel. Though legions of angels, millions of angels shall be employed about the resurrection, to re collect their scattered dust, and re-compact their ruined bodies, yet those

"John v. 25.

bodies so re-compact, shall not be able to hear a voice. They shall be then but such bodies, as they were when they were laid down in the grave, when, though they were entire bodies, they could not hear the voice of the mourner. But this voice of the archangel shall enable them to hear; the archangel shall re-infuse the several souls into their bodies, and so they shall hear that voice, Surgite mortui, Arise ye that were dead, and they shall arise. And here we are eased of that disputation, whether there be many archangels, or no, for, if there be but one, yet this in our text, is he, for, it is not said, In the voice of An archangel, but of The archangel; if not the only, yet he who comprehends them all, and in whom they all consistChrist Jesus.

And then, the power of this voice is exalted to the highest in the last word, that it is, Tuba Dei, The trumpet of God. For, that is an Hebraism, and in that language, it constitutes a superlative, to add the name of God to anything. As in Saul's case, when David surprised him, in his dead sleep, it is said, that Sopor Domino, The sleep of the Lord was upon him1", that is, the heaviest, the deadest sleep that could be imagined, so here, The trumpet of God is the loudest voice that we could conceive God to speak in.

All these pieces, that it is In clamore, In a cry, in a shout, that it is In the voice of the archangel, that it is In the trumpet of God, make up this conclusion, That all resurrections from the dead, must be from the voice of God, and from his loud voice; it must be so, even in thy first resurrection, thy resurrection from sin, by grace here; here, thou needest the voice of God, and his loud voice. And therefore, though thou think thou hear sometimes God's sibilations, (as the prophet Zechary speaks) God's soft and whispering voice, (inward remorses of thine own; and motions of the Spirit of God to thy spirit) yet think not thy spiritual resurrection accomplished, till, in this place, thou hear his loud voice; till thou hear Christ descending from heaven, (as the text says) that is, working in his church; till thou hear him, In clamore, In this cry, in this shout, in this voice of penetration, of persuasion, of power, that is, till thou feel in thyself in this place a liquefaction, a colliquation, a melting of thy bowels under the

16 Coloss. i. 16. » 2 Sam. xxvi. 12.

commination of the judgments of God upon thy sin, and the application of his mercy to thy repentance.

And then, this thou must hear In voce archangeli, In the voice of the archangel. St. John in the beginning of the Revelation, calls every governor of a church an angel. And much respect and reverence, much faith, and credit behoves it thee to give to thine angel, to the pastor of that church, in which God hath given thee thy station; for, he is thine angel, thy tutelar, thy guardian angel. Men shall seek the law at the mouth of the priest, says God in Malachi"; (of that priest that is set over him) For, the lips of the priest, (of every priest, to whom the souls of others are committed) should preserve knowledge, should be able to instruct and rectify his flock, Quia angelus Domini exercituum, Because every such priest is the angel of the Lord of Hosts. Hearken thou therefore, to that angel, thine angel. But here thou art directed above thine angel to the archangel. Now, not the governor of any particular church, but he Who hath purchased the whole church with his blood", He who only is head of the whole church **, Christ Jesus, is this archangel; hear him. It is the voice of the archangel, (that is, the true and sincere word of God) that must raise thee from the death of sin, to the life of grace. If therefore any angel differ from the archangel, and preach other than the true and sincere word of God, Anathema, says the apostle30, Let that angel be accursed. And take thou heed of over-affecting, over-valuing the gifts of any man so, as that thou take the voice of an angel, for the voice of the archangel, anything that that man says, for the word of God.

Yet thou must hear this voice of the archangel in the trumpet of God. The trumpet of God is his loudest instrument; and his loudest instrument is his public ordinance in the church; prayer, preaching, and sacraments; hear him in these, in all these ; come not to hear him in the sermon alone, but come to him in prayer, and in the sacrament too. For, except the voice come in the trumpet of God, (that is, in the public ordinance of his church) thou canst not know it to be the voice of the archangel. Pretended services of God, in schismatical conventicles, are not in the trumpet of God, and therefore not the voice of the archangel,

and so, not the means ordained for thy spiritual resurrection. And, as our last resurrection from the grave, is rooted in the personal resurrection of Christ, {For, if Christ be not raised from the dead, we are yet in our sins31, says the apostle;) But why so? (Because, to deliver us from sin, Christ was to destroy all our enemies: now the last enemy is death; and last time that death and Christ met, upon the cross, death overcame him, and therefore, except he be risen from the power of death, we are yet in our sins) as we root our last resurrection in the person of Christ, so do we our first resurrection in him, in his word, exhibited in his ordinance, for, that is the voice of the archangel in the trumpet of God. And as the apostle says here, This we say unto you, by the word of the Lord8*, that thus the last resurrection shall be accomplished by Christ himself, so, this we say to you, by the word of the Lord, (by the harmony of all the Scriptures) thus, and no other way, by the pure word of God, delivered and applied by his public ordinance, by hearing, and believing, and practising, under the seals of the church, the sacraments, is your first resurrection from sin, by grace, accomplished. So have you then those three branches, which constitute our first part; that they are dead before us, shall not be prevented by us, but they shall rise first; that they shall be raised by the power of Christ, that is, the power of God in Christ; that that power, working to their resurrection, shall be declared in a mighty voice, the voice of the archangel, in the trumpet of God. And then, then when they were formerly dead, are first raised, and raised by this power, and this power thus declared, then shall we, who shall be then alive and remain, be wrought upon; which is our second, and our next general part.

When the apostle says here, Nos qui minimus, We that are alive, and remain, would he not be thought to speak this of himself, and the Thessalonians to whom he writes? Do not the words import that? That he, and they should live till Christ's coming to judgment? Some certainly had taken him so; but he complains that he was mistaken; We beseech you brethren, be not soon shaken in mind, nor troubled, by word or letter, as from us, that the day of the Lord is at hand33; so at hand, as that we 31 1 Cor. xv. 17. 31!Ver. l6. 33 2 Thes. ii. 2.

determine it in our days, in our life. So that the apostle speaks here, but hypothetically; he does but put a case, that if it should be God's pleasure to continue them in the world, till the coming of his Son Christ Jesus, thus and thus they should be proceeded withal; for, thus and thus shall they be proceeded with, says he, that shall then be alive. Our blessed Saviour hath such a manner of speech, of an ambiguous sense, in St. Matthew, That there were some standing there, that should not taste of death, till they saw the Son of man coming in his kingdom"*. And this might give them just occasion to think, that that kingdom into which the judgment shall enter us, was at hand; for, the words which Christ spoke immediately before those, were evidently, undeniably spoken of that last, and everlasting kingdom of glory, The Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father, with his angels, &c. Then follows, Some standing here shall live to see this. And yet Christ did not speak this of that last kingdom of glory; but either he spoke it of that manifestation of that kingdom which was showed to some of them, to Peter, and James, and John, in the transfiguration of Christ, (for the transfiguration was a representation of the kingdom of glory) or else he spoke it of that inchoation of the kingdom of glory, which shined out in the kingdom of grace, which all the apostles lived to see, in the personal coming of the Holy Ghost, and in his powerful working in the conversion of nations in their lifetime.

And this is an inexpressible comfort to us, that our blessed Saviour thus mingles his kingdoms, that he makes' the kingdom of grace, and the kingdom of glory, all one; the church, and heaven, all one; and assures us, that if we see him in this his glass, in his ordinance, in his kingdom of grace, we have already begun to see him face to face, in his kingdom of glory; if we see him sicuti manifestatur, as he looks in his word, and sacraments, in his kingdom of grace, we have begun to see him, sicuti est, as he is, in his essence, in the kingdom of glory; and when we pray, Thy kingdom come, and mean but the kingdom of grace, he gives us more than we ask, an inchoative comprehension of the kingdom of glory, in this life. This is his inexpressible mercy, that he mingles his kingdoms, and where he gives one, gives both.

34 Matt. xvi. 28.

So is there also a fair beam of comfort exhibited to us in this text, that the number reserved for that kingdom of glory, is no small number. For though David said, The Lord looked doien from heaven, and saw not one that did good, no not one36, (there it is less than a few) though when the times had better means to be better, when Christ preached personally upon the earth, when one centurion had but replied to Christ, Sir, you need not trouble yourself to go to my house, if you do but say the word here, my servant will be well, Christ said in his behalf, Verily I have not found so great faith, no not in Israel3"; when Christ makes so much of this single grain of mustard-seed, this little faith, as to prefer it before all the faith of Israel, surely faith went very low in Israel at that time; nay, when Christ himself says, speaking of his last coming, after so many ages' preaching of the Gospel, When the Son of man comes, shall he find faith upon earth31, any faith, we have I say, a blessed beam of comfort shining out of this text, that it is no small number that is reserved for that kingdom; for, whether the apostle speak this of himself and the Thessalonians, or of others, he speaks not as of a few, but that by Christ's having preached the narrowness of the way, and the straitness of the gate, our holy industry and endeavour is so much exalted, (which was Christ's principal end in taking those metaphors of narrow ways, and strait gates, not to make any man suspect an impossibility of entering, but to be the more industrious and endeavorous in seeking it) that as he hath sent workmen in plenty, abundant preaching, so he shall return a plentiful harvest, a glorious addition to his kingdom, both of those which slept in him before, and of those which shall be then alive, fit, all together, to be caught up in the clouds to meet him, and be with him for ever; for these two armies imply no small number. Now, of the condition of these men, who shall be then alive, and how being clothed in bodies of corruption, they become capable of the glory of this text, in our first distribution, we proposed that for a particular consideration, and the other branch of this second part, and to that, in that order, we are come now. I scarce know a place of Scripture, more diversely read, and

Psal. xiv. 2.

Matt. viii. 10.

37 Luke xviii. 8.

consequently more variously interpreted than that place, which should most enlighten us, in this consideration presently under our hands; which is that place to the Corinthians, We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed33. The apostle professes there to deliver us a mystery, (Behold, I show you a mystery) but translators and expositors have multiplied mystical clouds upon the words. St. Chrysostom reads these words as we do, Non dormiemus, We shall not all sleep, but thereupon he argues, and concludes, that we shall not all die. The common reading of the ancients is contrary to that, Omnes dormiemus, sed non, &c. We shall all sleep, but we shall not all be changed. The vulgate edition in the Roman church differs from both, and as much from the original, as from either, Omnes resurgemus, We shall all rise again, but we shall not all be changed. St. Hierome examines the two readings, and then leaves the reader to his choice, as a thing indifferent. St. Augustine doth so too, and concludes wque Catholicos esse, that they are as good Catholics that read it the one way, as the other. But howsoever, that which St. Chrysostom collects upon his reading, may not be maintained. He reads as we do; and without all doubt aright, We shall not all sleep; but what then I Therefore shall we not all die? To sleep there, is to rest in the grave, to continue in the state of the dead, and so we shall not all sleep, not continue in the state of the dead. But yet, Statutum est, says the apostle, as verily as Christ was once offered to bear our sins, so verily is it appointed to every man once to die'3'3; and, as verily as by one man, sin entered into the world, and death by sin, so verily death passed upon all men, for that all men have sinned*"; so the apostle institutes the comparison, so he constitutes the doctrine, in those two places of Scripture, as verily as Christ died for all, all shall die, as verily as every man sins, every man shall die.

In that change then, which we who are then alive, shall receive, (for though we shall not all sleep, we shall all be changed) we shall have a present dissolution of body and soul, and that is truly a death, and a present redintegration of the same body and the same soul, and that is truly a resurrection; we shall die, and be alive again,

before another could consider that we were dead; but yet this shall not be done in an absolute instant; some succession of time, though undiscernible there is. It shall be done in raptu, in a rapture; but even in a rapture there is a motion, a transition from one to another place. It shall be done says he, In ictu oculi, In the twinkling of an eye; but even in the twinkling of an eye, there is a shutting of the eyelids, and an opening of them again; neither of these is done in an absolute instant, but requires some succession of time. The apostle, in the resurrection in our text, constitutes a prius, something to be done first, and something after; first those that were dead in Christ shall rise first, and then, then when that is done, after that, not all at once, we that are alive shall be wrought upon, we shall be changed, our change comes after their rising; so in our change there is a priu s too, first we shall be dissolved, (so we die) and then we shall be re-compact, (so we rise again.) This is the difference, they that sleep in the grave, put off, and depart with the very substance of the body, it is no longer flesh, but dust, they that are changed at the last day, put off, and depart with, only the qualities of the body, as mortality and corruption; it is still the same body, without resolving into dust, but the first step that it makes, is into glory.

Now transfer this to the spiritual resurrection of thy soul by grace, here. Here, grace works not that resurrection upon thy soul, in an absolute instant. And therefore suspect not God's gracious purpose upon thee, if thou beest not presently, thoroughly recovered. God could have made all the world in one day, and so have come sooner to his Sabbath, his rest; but he wrought more, to give us an example of labour, and of patience, in attending his leisure in our second creation, this resurrection from sin, as we did in our first creation, when we were not made till the sixth day. But remember too, that the last resurrection, from death, is to be transacted quickly, speedily; and in thy first, thy spiritual resurrection from sin, make haste. The last is to be done In raptu, In a rapture; let this rapture in the first resurrection be, to tear thyself from that company and conversation that leads thee into temptation. The last is to be done In ictu oculi, In the twinkling of an eye; let that, in thy first resurrection be, the shutting of thine eyes from looking upon things in things, upon creatures in creatures, upon beauty in that face that misleads thee, or upon honour in that place that possesses thee; and let the opening of thine eyes be, to look upon God in every object, to represent to thyself the beauty of his holiness, and the honour of his service in every action. And in this rapture, and in this twinkling of an eye, will thy resurrection soon, though not suddenly, speedily, though not instantly be accomplished. And if God take thee out of the world, before thou think it thoroughly accomplished, yet he shall call thine inchoation, consummation, thine endeavour, performance, and thy desire, effect. For all God's works are entire, and done in him, at once, and perfect as soon as begun; and this spiritual resurrection is his work, and therefore quickened even in the conception, and born even in the quickening, and grown up even in the birth, that is, perfected in the eyes of God, as soon as it is seriously intended in our heart. And farther we carry not your consideration upon those two branches which constitute our second part, that some shall be alive at Christ's coming, that they that are alive, shall receive such a change, as shall be a true death, and a true resurrection, and so shall be caught up into the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and so be with the Lord for ever; which are the circumstances of our third, and last part.

In this last part, we proposed it for the first consideration, that the apostle determines the consideration of the resurrection in those two, them, and us, They that slept in Christ, and We that expect the coming of Christ. Of any resurrection of the wicked, here is no mention. Not that there is not one; but that the resurrection of the wicked conduced not to the apostle's purpose, which was to minister comfort in the loss of the dead, because they were to come again, and to meet the Lord, and to be with him for ever; whereas, in the resurrection of the wicked, who are only to rise, that they may fall lower, there is no argument of comfort. And therefore our Saviour Christ determines his commission in that, This is the Father's will that sent me, that of all which he hath given me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day*1. This was his not losing, if it were

41 John vi, 39.

raised again; but, he hath only them in charge to raise at the last day, whom the Father had given him; given him so, as that they were to be with him for ever; for others he never mentions.

And upon this, much, very much depends. For this forbearing to mention the resurrection of the wicked with the righteous, gave occasion to many in the primitive church, to imagine a twofold, a former and a later resurrection; which was furthered by their mistaking of those words in St. John, Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection"; which words, being intended of the resurrection from sin, by grace, in this life, the Chiliasts, the Millenarians, interpreted of this resurrection in our text, that at Christ's coming, the righteous should rise, and live a thousand years, (as St. John says) in all temporal abundances, with Christ here, in recompense of those temporal calamities, and oppressions, which here they had suffered; and then, after those thousand years, so spent with Christ, in temporal abundances, should follow the resurrection of the wicked; and then the wicked, and the righteous, should be disposed and distributed and settled in those mansions, in which they should remain for ever. And of this error, (as very many of the fathers persisted in it to the end) St. Augustine himself had a touch, and a tincture, at beginning. And this error, St. Hierome also, (though truly, I think, St. Hierome was never touched with it himself) out of a reverence to those many, and great men, that were, Irenseus, Tertullian, Lactantius, and the rest, would never call an heresy, nor an error, nor by any sharper name, than au opinion, which is no word of heavy detestation.

And as those blessed fathers of tender bowels, enlarged themselves in this distribution, and apportioning the mercy of God, that it consisted best with the nature of his mercy, that as his saints had suffered temporal calamities in this world, in this world they should be recompensed with temporal abundances, so did they enlarge this mercy farther, and carry it even to the Gentiles, to the Pagans that had no knowledge of Christ in any established church. You shall not find a Trismegistus, a Numa Pompilius, a Plato, a Socrates, for whose salvation you shall not find some father, or some ancient and reverend author, an advocate. In

48 Rev. xx, 6.

which liberality of God's mercy, those tender fathers proceed partly upon that rule, that in Trismegistus, and in the rest, they find evident impressions, and testimonies, that they knew the Son of God, and knew the Trinity; and then, say they, Why should not these good men, believing a Trinity, be saved? And partly they go upon that rule, which goes through so many of the fathers, Facienti quod in se est, That to that man who does as much as he can, by the light of nature, God never denies grace; and then, say they, Why should not these men that do so bo saved? And, upon this ground, St. Dionysius the Areopagite says, That from the beginning of the world, God hath called some men of all nations, and of all sorts, by the ministry of angels, though not by the ministry of the church. To me, to whom God hath revealed his Son, in a Gospel, by a church, there can be no way of salvation, but by applying that Son of God, by that Gospel, in that church. Nor is there any other foundation for any, nor other name by which any can be saved, but the name of Jesus. But how this foundation is presented, and how this name of Jesus is notified to them, amongst whom there is no Gospel preached, no church established, I am not curious in inquiring. I know God can be as merciful as those tender fathers present him to be; and I would be as charitable as they are. And therefore humbly embracing that manifestation of his Son, which he hath afforded me, I leave God to his unsearchable ways of working upon others, without farther inquisition.

Neither did those tender fathers then, (much less the school after) consist in carrying this overflowing, and inexhaustible mercy of God, upon his saints, after their resurrection, in temporal abundances, nor upon the Gentiles, who had no solemn, nor clear knowledge of Christ, (which is magnificare misericordiam", To magnify, to extend, to stretch the mercy of God) but, Mirificant misericordiam", (as David also speaks) they stretch this mercy miraculously, for they carry this mercy even to hell itself. For first, for the angels that fell in heaven, from the time that they committed their first sin, to the time that they were cast down into hell, they whom we call the more subtle part of the school, say, that in ilia morula, during that space, between their

43 Psal. cxxxviii. 2, ** PsaL xvii. 7

falling into their sin, and their expulsion from heaven, the angels might have repented, and been restored, for, so long, say they, those angels were but in statu viatorum, in the state and condition of persons as yet upon their way, (as all men are, as long as they are alive) and not in termino, in their last, and determined station. And that which is so often cited out of Damascene, concerning the fall of angels, Quod hominibus mors est, angelis casus, That as death works upon man, and concludes him, and makes him impenitible for ever, so works the fall upon the angels, and concludes them for ever too, they interpret to have been intended by Damascene, not of the angels' fall in heaven, but their fall from heaven; for, till then, they were not, say they, in, termino, in their last state, and, so, not imperiitible. And those ancients, which expound that battle in heaven45, between Michael and the dragon, and their several angels, to have been fought at that time, after their fall, and between Lucifer's rebellion, and his expulsion, (as the ancients abound much in that sense of that place) argue rationally, that that battle, (what kind of battle soever it were) must necessarily have spent some time. They conceive it to have been a battle of disputation, of argumentation, of persuasion; and that those good angels which are so glad of our conversion, would have been infinitely glad to have reduced their rebellious brethren to their obedience. And, during that time, (which could not be a sudden instant) they were not inadeptivi gratiw, incapable of repentance, and of mercy. St. Cyril comes towards it, comes near it; nay, if it be well observed, goes beyond it; of God's longanimity and patience toward man, (says he) we have in part spoken; Quanta ille angelis condonaverit, nescimus; How great transgressions he hath forgiven in the angels, we know not; only this we know, says he, Solus qui peccare non possit Jesus est, There is none impeccable, none that cannot sin, man nor angel, but only Christ Jesus.

Nay after the expulsion of the angels, not only after their fall in heaven, but their fall from heaven, many of the ancients seem loath to exclude all ways of God's mercy, even from hell itself. Be statu moti, sed non irremediabiliter moti, says Origen, The angels are fallen, fallen even into hell, but not so irrecoverably

45 Rev. xii.

fallen, Ut iustitutionibus honor um angelorum non possint restitui, But that by the counsel and labour of the good angels, they may be restored again. Origen is thought to be single, singular in this doctrine, but he is not. Even St. Ambrose, interpreting that place, that St. Paul says He was made a minister of the Gospel, to the intent that the wisdom of God might, by the church, be made known to powers and principalities*", interprets it of fallen angels; that they, the fallen angels, might receive benefit by the preaching of the Gospel in the church. Prudentius says not so, but this he does say, that upon this day, when our blessed Saviour arose from hell, Pwnarum celebres sub Styge feriw, and, suppliciis viitibus, nec fervent solito flumina sidphure, Some relaxation, some ease in their torments, at some time, some very good men have imagined, even in hell. And more than that; they have not absolutely cried down (for, so much it deserves) that fable of Trajan; That after that emperor had been some time in hell, yet, upon the prayers of Pope Gregory, he was removed to heaven. Nay, more than that; (for that was but of one man) but an author of our age47, and much esteemed in the Roman church, delivers as his own opinion, (and thinks he hath the subtler part of the school on his side) that that, which is so often said,/r<w» hell there is no redemption, is only to be understood of them, whom God sends to hell, as to their last place; to them, certainly there is no redemption. But, says he, God may send souls of the heathen, who had not the benefit of any Christian church, and yet were good moral men, to burn out certain errors, or ignorances, or sins in hell, and then remove them to heaven; for, so long time, they are but viatores, they are but in their way, and not concluded.

Beloved, that we might have something in the balance to weigh down the cruelty, and the petulancy, and the pertinacity of those men, who in these later times have so attenuated the mercy of God, as that they have almost brought it to nothing, (for there is no mercy where there is no misery, and they place all mercy to have been given at once, and that, before man was fallen into misery by sin, or before man was made) and have pronounced, that God never meant to show mercy to all them,

46 Eph. iii. 10. 47 Collius de animabus Pagauorum L i. c. xiii. fo. 48.

nor but to a very few of them, to whom he pretended to offer it, that we might have something in the balance to weigh against these unmerciful men, I have staid thus long upon these overmerciful men, that have carried mercy upon the saints of God, in temporal abundances after the resurrection, and upon the heathen who never heard Gospel preached, and upon the angels fallen in heaven, and upon those angels fallen from heaven into hell, and upon the souls of men there, not only in the ease of their torments, but in their translation from thence to heaven. That so our later men might see, that the ancients thought God so far from beginning at hate, (that God should first, for his glory, hate some, and then make them that he might execute his hate upon them) as that they thought God implacable, inexorable, irreconcilable to none; therefore to these unmerciful, have we opposed these over-merciful men.

But yet, to them we must say, NumquidDeus indiget mendacio vestro, utpro eo loquamini dolos"? Shall we lie for God, or speak deceitfully for him? deceive your souls, with over-extending his mercy? we may derive mercy from hell, though we carry not mercy to hell. Gehenna non solum eorum, qui puniendi, causa facta, sed et eorum, qui salvandi**; Hell was not only made for their sakes, who were to suffer in it, but for theirs, who were to be warned by it; and so there is mercy in hell. Cooperatur regno, says St. Chrysostom, elegantly, Hell hath a co-operation with heaven, it works upon us, in the advancement of our salvation, as well as heaven; Nec swvitiw res est, sed miser icordiw, Hell is not a monument of God's cruelty, but of his mercy, Et nisifuisset intentata gehenna in gehennam omnes cecidissemus, If we were not told of hell, we should all fall into hell; and, so there is mercy in hell. And therefore, says the same father, out of an unspeakable wisdom, and fatherly care, (as fathers will speak loudest to their children, and look angerliest, and make the greatest rods, when they intend not the severest incorrection) Christus sapius gehennam comminatus est, quam regnum pollicitus, Christ in his Gospel, hath oftener threatened us with hell, than promised us heaven. We are bound to praise God, says he, as much for driving Adam out of Paradise, as for placing him there, Et agere gratias tam 48 Job xiii. 7. 49 Origen.

pro gehenna, quam pro regno, And to give him thanks, as well for hell, as for heaven. For, whether he cauterise or foment, whether he draw blood, or apply cordials, he is the same physician, and seeks but one end, (our spiritual health) by his divers ways. For us, who by this notification of hell, escape hell, We shall not die, but live**; that is, not die so, but that we shall live again: therefore is death called a sleep, (Lazarus sleepeth, says Christ51.) And Camiteria are dormitoria, Churchyards are our beds. And in those beds, and in all other beds of death, (for the dead have their beds in the sea too, and sleep even in the restless motion thereof) the voice of the archangel, and the trumpet of God shall awake them that slept in Christ before, and they and we shall be united in one body; for, as our apostle says here, We shall not prevent them, so he says also, That they shall not be made perfect without us". Though we live to see Christ, we shall not prevent them, though they have attended Christ five thousand years in the grave, they shall not prevent us, but united in one body, Rapiemur, They and we shall be caught, &c.

Rapiemur, We- shall be caught up. This is a true rapture, in which we do nothing ourselves. Our last act towards Christ, is as our first; in the first act of our conversion we do nothing; nothing in this last act, our resurrection, but rapiemur, we are caught. In everything, the more there is left to ourselves, the worse it is done; that that God does entirely, is entirely good. St. Paul had a rapture too; He was caught up into Paradise; but whether in the body, or out of the body, he cannot tell63. We can tell, that this rapture of ours, shall be in body and soul, in the whole man. Man is but a vapour; but a glorious, and a blessed vapour, when he is attracted, and caught up by this sun, the Son of man, the Son of God. 0 what a blessed alleviation possesses that man! and to what a blessed levity, (if without levity we may so speak) to what a cheerful lightness of spirit is he come, that comes newly from confession, and with the seal of absolution upon him! Then, when nothing troubles his conscience, then, when he hath disburdened his soul of all that lay heavy upon it, then, when if his confessor should unjustly reveal it to any other, yet God will never speak of it more to his conscience, nor upbraid him with it,

50 Psal cxviii. 17. 51 John xi. 11. 68 Heb. xi. 39. 53 2 Cor. xii. 4.

not reproach him for it, what a blessed alleviation, what a holy cheerfulness of spirit is that man come to? How much more in the endowments which we shall receive in the rapture of this text, where we do not only divest all sins past, (as in confession) but all possibility of future sins; and put on, not only incorruption, but incorruptibleness; not only impeccancy, but impeccability. And to be invested with this endowment, Rapiemur, We shall be caught up, and Rapiemur in nubibus, We shall be caught up in the clouds.

We take a star to be the thickest, and so the impurest, and ignoblest part of that sphere; and yet, by the illustration of the sun, it becomes a glorious star. Clouds are but the beds, and wombs of distempered and malignant impressions, of vapours, and exhalations, and the furnaces of lightnings and of thunder; yet by the presence of Christ, and his employment, these clouds are made glorious chariots to bring him and his saints together. Those vapours and clouds which David speaks of54, St. Augustine interprets of the ministers of the church; that they are those clouds. Those ministers may have clouds in their understanding and knowledge, (some may be less learned than others) and clouds in their elocution and utterance, (some may have an unacceptable deliverance) and clouds in their aspect and countenance, (some may have an unpleasing presence) and clouds in their respect and maintenance, (some may be oppressed in their fortunes) but still they are such clouds as are sent by Christ to bring thee up to him. And as the children of Israel received direction and benefit, as well by the pillar of cloud, as by the pillar of fireTM, so do the children of God in the church, as well by preachers of inferior gifts, as by higher. In nubibus; Christ does not come in a chariot, and send carts for us. He comes as he went; This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come, in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven5*, say the angels at his ascension. In what manner did they see him go? He was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight61. So he went, so he shall return, so we shall be taken up, In the clouds, to meet him in the air.

The transfiguration of Christ was not acted upon so high a

"PsaL cxxxv. 7. 88 Exod. xiii. 21. 45 Acts i. 11. 47 Luke xxiv. 50.

scene, as this our access to Christ shall be. That hill was not so high, nor so near to the heaven of heavens, as this region of the air Bhall be. Nor was the transfiguration so eminent a manifestation of the glory of Christ, as this his coming in the air to judgment shall be. And yet Peter that Baw but that, desired no more68, but thought it happiness enough to be there, and there to fix their tabernacles. But in this our meeting of Christ in the air, we shall see more than they saw in the transfiguration, and yet be but in the way of seeing more, than we see in the air then; we shall be presently well and vet improving. The king's presence makes a village the court; but he that hath service to do at court, would be glad to find it in a lodgeable and convenient place. I can build a church in my bosom; I can serve God in my heart, and never clothe my prayer in words. God is often said to hear, and answer in the Scriptures, when they to whom he speaks, have said nothing. I can build a church at my bed's side; when I prostate myself in humble prayer there, I do so. I can praise God cheerfully in my chapel, cheerfully in my parish church, as David says, In ecclesiis, plurally, In the congregations6'', In every congregation will I bless the Lord; but yet, I find the highest exaltations, and the noblest elevations of my devotion, when / give thanks in the great congregation, and praise him among much peopleTM, for so methinks, I come nearer and nearer to the communion of saints in heaven. Where it is therefore said that there is no temple, (/ saw no temple in heaven*'>) because all heaven is a temple, And because the Lord God Almighty, and the Lamb, (who fill all heaven) are, (as St. John says there) the temple thereof.

So far towards that, as into the air, this text carries us, Obviam Domino, To meet the Lord. The Lord requires no more, not so much at our hands, as he does for us. When he is come from the right hand of his Father in heaven, into the air to meet us, he is come farther than we are to go from the grave to meet him. But we have met the Lord in many a lower place; in many unclean actions have we met the Lord in our own hearts, and said to ourselves, Surely the Lord is here, and sees us, and (with

58 Matt. xvii. 14. 69 PsaL xxvi. 12. 60 Psal. xxxv. 18. 61 Rev. xxi. 22.

How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against my God"? and yet have proceeded, gone forward in the accomplishment of that sin. But there it was Obviam Jesu, obviam Christo, We met a Jesus, we met a Christ, a God of mercy, who forgave us those sins. Herein in our text, it is Obviam Domino, We must meet the Lord; he invests here no other name but that; he hath laid aside his Christ, and his Jesus, names of mercy, and redemption, and salvation, and comes only in the name of power, The Lord, the judge of quick and dead. In which judgment he shows no mercy; all his mercy is exercised in this life; and he that hath not received his portion of that mercy before his death, shall never receive any. There he judges only by our works, Whom hast thou fed, whom hast thou clothed I Then in judgment we meet the Lord, the Lord of power, and the last time that ever we shall meet a Jesus, a Christ, a God of mercy, is upon our death-bed; but there we shall meet him so, as that when we meet him in another name, The Lord, in the air, yet by the benefit of the former mercy received from Jesus, We shall be with the Lord for ever.

First Erimus, We shall be, we shall have a being. There is nothing more contrary to God, and his proceedings, than annihilation, to be nothing, do nothing, think nothing. It is not so high a step, to raise the poor out of the dust, and to lift the needy from the dunghill, and set him with princes63; to make a king of a beggar, is not so much, as to make a worm of nothing. Whatsoever God hath made thee since, yet his greatest work upon thee, was, that he made thee; and howsoever he extend his bounty in preferring thee, yet his greatest largeness, is, in preserving thee in thy being. And therefore his own name of Majesty, is Jehovah, which denotes his essence, his being. And it is usefully moved, and safely resolved in the school, that the devil himself cannot deliberately wish himself nothing. Suddenly a man may wish himself nothing, because that seems to deliver him from the sense of his present misery; but deliberately he cannot: because whatsoever a man wishes, must be something better than he hath yet; and whatsoever is better, is not nothing. Nihil contrarium Deo", There is nothing truly

8i Gen. xxxix. 9. 63 Psal. cxiii. 7. 64 Augustine.

contrary to God; to do nothing, is contrary to his working; but contrary to his nature, contrary to his essence there is nothing. For whatsoever is anything, even in that being, and /therefore because it is, hath a conformity to God, and an affinity with God, who is Being, Essence itself, In him we have our being", says the apostle. But here it is more than so; not only In illo, but Gum illo, not only In him, but With him, not only in his providence, but in his presence.

The hypocrite hath a being, and, in God, but it is not with God, Quia cor longe, With his lips he honours God, but removes Ms heart far from him". And God sends him after his heart, that he may keep him at that distance, (as St. Gregory reads and interprets that place of Esay) Bedite prwvaricatores ad cor"1, Return 0 sinners, follow your own heart, and then I am sure you [and I shall never meet. Our Saviour Christ delivers this distance plainly, Discedite a me, Depart from me, ye cursed into everlasting fire"3. Where the first part of the sentence is incomparably the heaviest, the departing worse than the fire; the intenseness of that fire, the air of that brimstone, the anguish of that worm, the discord of that howling, and gnashing of teeth, is no comparable, no considerable part of the torment, in respect of the privation of the sight of God, the banishment from the presence of God, an absolute hopelessness, an utter impossibility of ever coming to that, which sustains the miserable in this world, that though I see no sun here, I shall see the Son of God there. The hypocrite shall not do so; we shall be, and be with him, and be with him for ever; which is the last thing that doth fall under ours, or can fall under any consideration.

Of St. Hierome, St. Augustine says, Qua Hieronymus nescivit, nullus hominum unquam scivit; That that St. Hierome knew not no man ever knew. And St. Cyril, to whom St. Augustine said that, said also to St. Augustine, in magnifying of St. Hierome, That when a Catholic priest disputed with a heretic, and cited a passage of St. Hierome, and the heretic said Hierome lied, instantly he was struck dumb; yet of this last and everlasting joy and glory of heaven, in the fruition of God, St. Hierome

would venture to say nothing, no not then, when he was divested of hie mortal body, dead; for, as soon as he died at Bethlem, he came instantly to Hippo, St. Augustine's bishopric, and though he told him, Hieronymi anima sum, I am the soul of that Hierome, to whom thou art now writing about the joys and glory of heaven, yet he said no more of that, but this, Quid, quwris brevi immitere vasculo totum mare? Canst thou hope to pour the whole sea into a thimble, or to take the whole world into thy hand? And yet that is easier, than to comprehend the joy and the glory of heaven in this life. Nor is there anything, that makes this more incomprehensible, than this semper in our text, the eternity thereof, that we shall be with him for ever. For, this eternity, this everlastingness is not only incomprehensible to us in this life, but even in heaven we can never know it experimentally; and all knowledge in heaven is experimental: as all knowledge in this world is causal, (we know a thing, if we know the cause thereof) so the knowledge in heaven, is effectual, experimental, we know it, because we have found it to be so.

The endowments of the blessed, (those which the school calls Botes beatorum) are ordinarily delivered to be these three, Visio, Dilectio, Fruitio, The sight of God, the love of God, and the fruition, the enjoying, the possessing of God. Now, as no man can know what it is to see God in heaven, but by an experimental and actual seeing of him there, nor what it is to love God there, but by such an actual and experimental love of him, nor what it is to enjoy and possess God, but by an actual enjoying, and an experimental possessing of him, so can no man tell what the eternity, and everlastingness of all these, is, till he have passed through that eternity, and that everlastingness; and that he can never do; for, if it could be passed through, then it were not eternity. How barren a thing is arithmetic! and yet. arithmetic will tell you, how many single grains of sand^ will fill this hollow vault to the firmament. How empty a thing is rhetoric! and yet rhetorip will make absent and remote things present, to your understanding. How weak a thing is poetry! and yet poetry is a counterfeit creation, and makes things that are not, as though they were. How infirm, how impotent are all assistances, if they be put to express this eternity! The best help that I can

assign you, is, to use well jEternum vestrum, Your own eternity; as St. Gregory calls our whole course of this life, JEternum nostrum, Our eternity; ^Equum est, ut qui in wterno, suo peccaverit, in wterno Dei puuiatur, says he; It is but justice, that he that hath sinned out his own eternity, should suffer out God's eternity. So, if you suffer out your own eternity, in submitting yourselves to God, in the whole course of your life, in surrendering your will entirely to his, and glorifying of him in a constant patience, under all your tribulations, It is a righteous thing with God, (says our apostle, in his other Epistle to these Thessalonians) to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you, and to you, that are troubled, rest with u$ee, says he there; with us, who shall be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall be with the Lord for ever. Amen.