CHAP. XVIII. An Heavenly Conversation will make Suffering easie.
HEavenly Conversation, it will make all sufferings to be very easie, it will be nothing to suffer any thing you meet withall in this world, if your Conversations be in Heaven: All revilings, and reproaches, and wrongs, they will be nothing, if you get but a Heavenly Conversation, you will contemn all these things that the men of the world think to be such great matters: Men that have conversed in Heaven, never will be much offended for any sufferings: 2 Cor. 4. 17. For our light afflictions which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory: While we look not at the things which are seen, but at things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. All but light afflictions, Why? for our eye is above all these things. And it's a notable pas∣sage that in the Gospel, if you examine the place of Christs transfiguration upon the mount, there Christ shewed his glory unto some Disciples, that he carried with him; and this is that that I would note from it, do but observe in the story who were the Disciples that Christ carried with him to see his glory, they were, Peter, James, and John; now af∣terwards if you compare that story with the story of Christ being in his Agony, which was presently after; where his Page 248 soul was heavie unto death, when he was to be betraied, and to be crucified the next day, and fell groveling upon the earth, & sweat clodders of blood through the anguish that was upon his spirit, & cried out, Oh Lord! If it be possible let this cup pass from me. Here's a great deal of difference between Christ in his Agony, and upon the mount in his Transfigu∣ration; and observe, that Christ would have none of his Disciples see him in his Agony, but Peter, James, and John, only those three that saw him in his transfiguration upon the mount in his glory.
The note from hence is, That those that can converse much with Christ in glory, can converse with Christ in Heaven, can see Hea∣ven, they may be permitted to see Christ in his Agony and it will do them no hurt. But now, for the other Disciples that did not see Christ in his Glory, if they had seen Christ in his Agony, it might have offended them, Is this our Lord and Master that is in such a fearful Agony at this time? Oh! it would have offended them; but now, the other that saw him glorified, it offended them not; Well, though he be in an agony now, yet we know him to be a glorious Savi∣or, and we will beleeve and trust in him still. So, if we can converse with God in glory upon the mount, what ever agony we see Christ in afterwards we shall be able to bear it: when Stephen had the stones ratling about his ears, yet when he saw the Heavens opened it was nothing to him then, he fell asleep, he rejoyced in the expectation of Hea∣ven. And if you reade in the Book of Martyrs, ever when they came to their sufferings you may see how they did re∣joyce, when they did think of Heaven, and remember eter∣nal life. Saith one woman to her child that was going to be burnt, when as the people thought she would have rung her hands, and made great lamentations to have seen her child stepping into the flames, she said nothing but this, Remember eternal life my son. Oh! conversing with Heaven makes all sufferings in the world nothing.