A godlie and diuine Meditation of the ioies of the celestiall pa∣ra dise, to be vsed at conuenient times in the church, that is, either before, or after publike seruice: for to that all men present ought to be attentiue.
O My soule, let vs returne to the hea∣uenlie citie, wherin we be registred, & made free citizens. For like as we be fellowe-citizens of the Saints, and houshold-meanie of God; and like as we be the heires of God, and coheires with Christ: so let vs a lit∣tle consider the happie roialtie of our citie, so far foorth as it is possible for vs to consider it. Let vs saie with the Prophet, O how glorious things are spoken of thee thou citie of God! For thou art the dwelling place of all them that reioice, the ioie of the whole earth is founded vpon thee. There is not in thee anie age, nor miserie of age: there is not in thee anie maimed person, anie lame man, anie crooke backe, nor anie mishapen bodie. For all be growne vp to per∣fect men, after the full measure of the age of Christ.
What blesseder thing can there be, than such a life; where there is no feare of pouertie, nor weakenesse of diseases? No man is harmed there, no man is displea∣sed there, no man enuieth there. There is no burning of couetousnesse, no desire of meate, no ambitious su∣ing for honour and authoritie. There is no dread of di∣uell, no snares of feends, no feare of hell fire. There is no death, neither of bodie nor of soule: but pleasant life assured of immortalitie. Then shall there be no mi∣series, then shall there be no debates: but all things shall be at agreemeut, bicause all the Saints shall agree in one. Peace and mirth hold all things togither, all things are there calme and quiet.
There the seuen lamps of Gods spirits are still bur∣ning, before the throne of God: and there is continu∣all Page 449 light, not such as is now heere, but so much the brighter, as it is much happier. For as we read, that citie shall need no sunne, nor moone, nor light artificiall, because the Lord almightie shall shine in it; and the Lambe, as a lampe, shall be the light of it; where the Saints and wise Uirgins shall shine as the stars, for euer without end: and such as haue taught manie in the waie of righteousnesse, shall be as the brightnesse of the skie. Where there shall be no night, no darke∣nesse, no meeting of clouds, no painfulnesse of heate or cold: but there shall be such a temperatnesse as neuer eie hath seene, eare heard, nor hart of anie man concei∣ued. There shall be no companie, sauing onlie of them that are accounted woorthie to enioie the same, whose names are written in the booke of life.
But yet it is far aboue all these things, to be in fel∣lowship with the companies of Angels, Archangels, and all the heauenlie Powers, to behold the Patri∣archs and Prophets, to see the Euangelists and Apo∣stles, to woonder at the hosts of Martyrs and Confes∣sors, to view the companies of Uirgins, and to see all the Saints; yea and also to see our owne parents and kindred. Glorious are these things, O my soule; but much more glorious is it to behold the present counte∣tenance of God.
O happie plesantnesse; O plesant happinesse, to see the Saints, to be with the Saints, and to be a Saint! Yea, a passing excellent glorie shall it be, when we shall see God in himselfe; and when we shall both see, and haue him in our selues for euer and euer, of whom we shall neuer haue seene ynough.
O my soule, let vs thinke vpon this, I saie, with a diligent mind; let vs long after this with our whole hart, let vs sigh hartilie, desire earnestlie, and wish continuallie, that we may soone come vnto them, vnto that citie aboue, whereof so glorious things are spo∣ken, Page 450 and wherein is the habitation of all that reioice,