ON THE GOOD THINGS OF OUR LORD IN THE LAND OF THE LIVING
Consider first, that the things which are most apt to allure the children of this world, and to draw their affections after them, are honours, riches, and pleasures; but their error is that they seek these things where they are not to be found, and suffer themselves to be imposed upon by false appearances. True honours, true riches, and true pleasures are not to be found in the broad road of the world, nor in the ways of sin; but are to be met with together with all other good things in the land of the living. Here all the inhabitants are advanced to the highest dignity, even to a fellowship with the living God, and a partnership with Jesus Christ in his throne. Here all are most noble and most renowned, most wise and most holy. Here all are of blood-royal, children and heirs of the king of kings. All are kings and queens, crowned for ever with wreaths of immortal glory, and shining far more brightly than the sun. These are honours indeed, and truly worthy of the Christian’s ambition. And all these, O my soul, if thou pleasest, may be thine for ever.
Consider 2ndly, the riches that flow in this happy land of promise, where the inhabitants want nothing, cover nothing, and enjoy all things. This beatitude of the saints is called in Scripture a kingdom; and such a kingdom it is to all those happy souls, for in plenty of all things, wealth, power, greatness, and endless duration, it infinitely exceeds all the kingdoms of the world. It is likened to a treasure of immense value, which all the riches of the world are not worthy to purchase. For the riches of this kingdom are of a far superior kind to all earthly treasures: gold and precious stones are valued no more than dirt here, where the inhabitants have the stars under their feet. The great treasure of the blessed is the eternal possession of God himself with all his riches. And, O my soul, what more can be desired?
Consider 3rdly, that this heavenly land flows also for ever with the milk and honey of pure and immortal delights, pleasures, and joys. For here are all eternally inebriated, according to the Psalmist, ‘with the plenty of God’s house, and are made to drink of the torrent of his pleasures; for here with him is the fountain of life,’ &c., Ps. xxxv. Yea, the great river of the water of life, clear as crystal, which proceeds from the throne of God, and of the Lamb, to water all the streets of the heavenly Jerusalem, having the tree of life growing upon its banks, with all the variety of its excellent fruits, Apoc. xxii. and this same is that torrent of pleasure that eternally flows, (bringing with it all these delicious fruits,) into the souls of God’s servants, quite replenishing them and filling brimful all their powers, senses, and faculties with inconceivable delight. O who would not gladly part with all the satisfactions the world can afford for such immortal pleasures as these!
Conclude to be no longer a slave to worldly toys, vain honours, false riches, and fading pleasures; but to turn away, without loss of time, from this Egypt, that can afford thee nothing but muddy water, incapable to quench thy thirst, and to bend thy course towards thy true country, where thou shalt meet with all thou canst desire, and that for eternity.