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this, the interest of your souls, and of your bodies, SERM. - « the things which are not seen, and are eternal,"CXCV. F. and “ the things which are seen, and are but tem

“ poral," a holy, and heavenly, and virtuous life,
and a sensual and sinful course, “ choose the better
5 part,” stick to that which is the true and lasting
interest; prefer heaven before earth, and the care of
your souls, to that of your bodies, things eternal, to
things temporal, and a holy and virtuous life which
leads to heaven, to those sinful and vicious practices,
which will sink men into perdition. For that this
also the apostle means by « things on the earth,"
sinful lusts and practices, seems very probable, from
what follows, at ver. 5.“ Mortify therefore your
" members which are upon the earth.”

II. Let us consider the object of this act, what it
is that we are to seek and set our affections upon; and

that is “ the things which are above.”
- I. The glorious God and FATHER, of all, and

his blessed and eternal Son our LORD JESUS -
CHRIST, and the Holy SPIRIT of God;
these are the great objects of our contemplation and
adoration. And then the holy angels, and “ the
“ spirits of just men inade perfect,” who are examples
to us, of doing the will of God here on earth, as it
is done by them in heaven.

2. The blessed state and condition which we aspire after in the next life, with all the joys and glories of it, “ such as eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nei"ther have entred into the heart of man.” ..

3. The dispositions to be acquired, and the actions and duties to be performed by us, as necessary qualifications and means for the obtaining of this happiness, and bringing us to the possession of it; all these Vol. X.

are

SERM.« above,” and “ set your affections on things above." cxcv. Secondly, the arguments by which the apostle

Urgeth and presseth this exhortation. « If ye be " risen with CHRIST, seek the things which are cc above;” and “ seek the things which are above, " where CHRIST fitteth at the right hand of 6 God.” So that my work will be,

First, to fhew the nature of the duty, to which we are exhorted. And,

Secondly, the force of the arguments, which are used to persuade us to it. · First, for the nature of the duty to which we are exhorted; and it is expressed both affirmatively and negatively.

1. Affirmatively; and the apostle useth two several expressions. « Seek the things which are « above ;” and, « set your affections on things " above.”

2. Negatively; " and not on things on the earth." And this seems to be added, not only to explain and ascertain the object, and to add vehemence and earnestness to the exhortation ; but likewise to set off the excellency of the object, by way of opposition and comparison. « On the things that are « above ; and not upon those” pitiful and inferior " things, which are upon the earth.” And like. wise to shew the inconsistency of these, and the impossibility of seeking and setting our affections upon both in an intense degree. For that would be to have two chief ends, “ to love God and mam« mon; to serve two masters.” which our SAVIour hath told us is impossible. But this I shall use afterwards, as an argument to enforce the exhortation.

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To explain the nature of this duty, I fall confi- SERM. der the act, and the object.

cxcv. 1. For the act, here are two words used to express it,

TETTE and ppovtīte, “ seek and set your affections;" and in these two words, these four things seem to be comprehended ; an act of our understandings about these things; the ardency of our affections ; and the activity of our endeavours in the pursuit of them; and a clear preference of the things which are above, to the things of the earth, when they come in competition. For these two words do comprehend, not only the power of our understandings, and wills, and affections, and an earnest attention and application of mind to these things ; but the activity of our endeavours about them.

1. Here is implied an act of our understandings, that we should mind and think upon these things, that we should often consider them, and meditate upon them; that heaven should be much in our thoughts, and the glory and excellency of that state, which we hope to attain to, and by what ways and means we may come to be made partakers of that bleffed inheritance.

2. It implies likewise an act of our affections ; that we heartily love and desire the things that are above, with that ardency and vehemency of affection, which is proportionable to the worth and excellency of them. And both these are included in the word @poveite, which is sometimes translated “ to mind,” sometimes " to set our affections upon a thing."

3. Activity and industry in the prosecution of these things, if by any means we may atrain then. And this is implied in the word 2nTEīta, “ seek the “ things which are above.” When we know there

are

SERM. are such treasures in heaven, so great a reward laid cxcv. up for good men, “joys so unspeakable and full of

"s glory,” and when our understandings have dwelt so long upon these things, as to work upon our affections, these, like so many springs of motion, will set our endeavours on work, for the obtaining of what we so much love and desire, and will make 'us inquisitive, with the young man in the gospel, “ what good thing we shall do, that we may inhe“ rit eternal life;" by what means we may best fecure our title to heaven and happiness; and very industrious to acquire those qualities and dispositions, which will fit us for heaven, and the blessed sight and enjoyment of God; nay, by which we may begin this happy state here, by our conversation in heaven, whilst we are sojourning here below, as “ pilgrims and strangers in the earth.”

4. It implies a clear preference of the things above, to the things of the earth, when they come in competition. And in this sense the word opovsīm is observed to be used in good authors, for taking part with, and adhering to one side, when two parties or interests come in competition. And indeed this phrase and form of speech, when the thing is expreffed affirmatively and negatively, is very often used by way of comparison, when two things come in competition. “ Lay not up for yourselves “ treasures upon earth : but lay up for yourselves “ treasures in heaven. Labour not for the meat that - perisieth ; but for that which endureth to eter“ nal life.” So here : « set your affections on " things above, not on things on the earth.” When heaven and earth come in competition, the happiness of the next life, and the enjoyments of

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this, the interest of your souls, and of your bodies, SERM: " the things which are not seen, and are eternal," CXCV. and “ the things which are seen, and are but tem. « poral," a holy, and heavenly, and virtuous life, and a sensual and sinful course, “ choose the better “ part,” stick to that which is the true and lasting interest ; prefer heaven before earth, and the care of your souls, to that of your bodies, things eternal, to things temporal, and a holy and virtuous life which leads to heaven, to those sinful and vicious practices, which will sink men into perdition. For that this also the apostle means by “ things on the earth,” sinful lusts and practices, seems very probable, from what follows, at ver. 5.“ Mortify therefore your “ members which are upon the earth.”

II. Let us consider the object of this act, what it is that we are to seek and set our affections upon; and that is “ the things which are above."

I. The glorious God and Father of all, and his blessed and eternal Son our LORD JESUS CHRIST, and the Holy Spirit of God; these are the great objects of our contemplation and adoration. And then the holy angels, and “ the “ spirits of just men made perfect,” who are examples to us, of doing the will of God here on earth, as it is done by them in heaven.

2. The blessed state and condition which we aspire, after in the next life, with all the joys and glories of it, “ such as eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nei, " ther have entred into the heart of man.”

3. The dispositions to be acquired, and the actions and duties to be performed by us, as necessary qualifications and means for the obtaining of this happiness, and bringing us to the possession of it; all these Vol. X.

R

are

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