The Fourth Ʋse.
AND that rebukes even such as are truly godly, many that yet do fail exceeding much in this thing: Oh! their Conversations are too low, are too earthly; If they would examine their hearts strictly they can∣not say, that their Conversations are in heaven, I am a stranger upon earth, saith David. But many may say, that they are strangers in heaven. Whereas earth should be the place of our pilgrimage, and heaven our home; but it's quite otherwaies, heaven is rather the place where most professors are strangers, and earth is the place of their ha∣bitation, they cast up a thought now and then to heaven, as now and then men will cast up their eyes and look upon heaven, but where's your heart? where's the great wor∣kings of your spirits? It's a speech of the Lord, saith he, Heaven is my Throne, and Earth is my Foot-stool: Spiritual Page 239 things they are to be look'd upon as the good things, as the Throne of God, & those earthly things only as the things of Gods foot-stool: but now, How many are there that have Earth their throne and Heaven their foot-stool! that is, Heavenly things are made subordinate to earthly things; Oh! this should not be in any of those that professe them∣selves to be Christians, none of the Saints should satisfie themselves in any life but this, to be able to say, I blesse God, my Conversation is in Heaven, though God let me live upon the earth, yet my conversation is in Heaven. What an unworthy thing it is for one that doth professe to have his portion and his inheritance in Heaven, yet to have the heart so mingled here with the earth; In Gen 45. 20. saith Joseph in sending for his father, Regard not your stuffe, for the good of all the land of Egypt is yours. Regard not the stuff, do not let it grieve you to forsake your stuff, leave all your lumber behind you, for all the good things of Egypt are yours. Oh what a shameful thing is it, that Christians should regard their stuff so much as they do, that hope to have the good things, not of Egypt, but of Heaven its self to be theirs! Surely if we have seen the things of Heaven, one would think that all the things of the earth should be dar∣kened in our eyes: 2 Cor. 3. 10. That which was glorious (saies the text) had no glory in comparison of the greater glory. That Scripture I confesse, is spoken in comparing of the Law and the Gospel, there was a glory in the delivering of the Law, but that had no glory in comparison of the greater glory, that is, in comparison of the Gospel; for in the Gospel we behold as in a glasse with open face the glory of God, and are changed into the same image, as from glory to glory: But we may apply it thus; As the things of the earth that were glorious before in your eyes, yet in comparison of the greater glory, should not at all be glorious; though be∣fore conversion these things were glorious, & grant it, that there is some kind of glory upon the things of this world, that they are gilded and varnish't over, but in comparison of the greater glory they are not glorious at all, though they Page 240 that never saw any thing else as glorious but the things of the world, yet thou that hast seen the greater glory shouldst not account these things glorious: Oh therefore Christi∣ans, lift up your hearts to Henven, and let your Conversa∣tions be in Heaven: Though God hath so ordered it, that you must live here a while and must be content, for indeed to some Christians that have their Conversations in Hea∣ven, it's a great part of their self-denial, and of their sub∣jection to God, to be willing to live upon the earth, and to stay from Heaven till Gods time come; This is a riddle and a mystery to many, that it should be a part of our Salvation, Obedience, yea, of Self-denial, though they had Crowns of Glory, though they were Kings and Princes here in this world, to be willing to stay here. We might come to attain this, if our Conversations were in Heaven, and our hearts there. As we reade of Daniel, though God so ordered it, that he could not live at Jerusalem where the Temple was, yet he would open his window towards Jerusalem, he would ever be looking that way. And so, though God hath so ordered it, that we cannot come yet to live in this Heavenly Jerusalem bodily, and in that full way as here∣after we expect to do, yet we should open our window, our eyes, and the doors of our hearts should be open to∣wards Heaven. I remember I have read of Edward the First King of England, that had a mighty mind to go to Jerusa∣lem, but because he could not go, for death prevented him, he gave charge to his Son to carry his heart thither. And so it should be with us, we should endeavour to have our hearts there, and to have as much of Heaven as we can though we cannot be there our selves in nature: Every creature hath put into it by the God of nature an instinct to move to its proper place; as now, because the pro∣per place of fire is above, there is an instinct of nature in fire to ascend to its proper place. And the proper place of earth is below, and therefore it will fall down to the Center! a heavie thing that hath much earth in it, though it breaks its self to pieces yet it will fall down towards its Page 241 Center: and so it will be with a Christian, though he break himself to pieces, whatsoever he suffers, yet he hath an instinct to carry him to his proper place; fire because its proper place is above, if it be kept down by violence, what a mighty power there is in fire to make way for its self that it may get up, that's the very reason of the mighty force that there is in Guns, because there is fire in the pouder that is kept in, when the pouder is once fir'd, because the fire would get up above, therefore it breaks with violence, and if it cannot have vent to get out, it breaks any thing in the world for it must out, that it may get up to it's own place; and so it should be with a Christian, there should be a strong impetiousness to get up to his own place; that would be an evidence indeed that Heaven is thy proper place: Oh Christians lift up your hearts, and let your Con∣versations be in Heaven.