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In the first chapter, from the fourth to the twelfth verse, the apostle is treating of the doctrine of election, both with respect to the act itself, the end, and means conducing thereto. 1. The act, he tells us, was God’s free choice of some (verse 4, 5, 11). 2. The end was God’s glory in their salvation (verse 6, 14). 3. The means conducing to that end was Jesus Christ himself — “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (verse 7). This done, he treateth of the subjection of the Ephesians to the faith, as it was held forth to them in the Word of the truth of the gospel, as also of their being sealed by the Holy Spirit of God unto the day of redemption (verse 12-14).
Moreover, he telleth them how he gave thanks to God for them, making mention of them in his prayers, even that he would make them see “what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead,” etc. (verse 15-20).
And lest the Ephesians, at the hearing of these their so many privileges, should forget how little they deserved them, he tells them that in time past they were dead in trespasses and sins, and that then they walked in them “according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” ( Ephesians 2:2,3).
Having thus called them back to the remembrance of themselves — to wit, what they were in their state of unregeneracy, he proceedeth to show them that their first quickening was by the resurrection of Christ their Head, in whom they before were chosen, and that by him they were already set down in heavenly places, (verse 5, 6); inserting, by the way, the true cause of all this blessedness, with what else should be by us enjoyed in another world; and that is, the love and grace of God: “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ [by grace ye are saved].”
These last words seen to be the apostle’s conclusion rightly drawn from the premises; as who should say, If you Ephesians were indeed dead in trespasses and sins; if indeed you were by nature the children of wrath, even as others, then you deserve no more than others. f2 Again, if God hath chosen you, if God hath justified and saved you by his Christ, and left others as good as you by nature to perish in their sins, then the true cause of this your blessed condition is, the free grace of God.
The method that I shall choose to discourse upon these words shall be this — I will propound certain questions upon the words, and direct particular answers to them; in which answers I hope I shall answer also, somewhat at least, the expectation of the godly and conscientious reader, and so shall draw towards a conclusion.
THE QUESTIONS ARE — I. What is it to be saved ?
Now the reason why I propound these five questions upon the words, it is, because the words themselves admit them; the first three are grounded upon the several phrases in the text, and the two last are to make way for demonstration of the whole. QUESTION. I. — WHAT IS IT TO BE SAVED?
This question supposeth that there is such a thing as damnation due to man for sin; for to save supposeth the person to be saved to be at present in a sad condition; saving, to him that is not lost, signifies nothing, neither is it anything in itself. “To save, to redeem, to deliver,” are in the general terms equivalent, and they do all of them suppose us to be in a state of thraldom and misery; therefore this word “saved,” in the sense that the apostle here doth use it, is a word of great worth, forasmuch as the miseries from which we are saved is the misery of all most dreadful.
The miseries from which they that shall be saved shall by their salvation be delivered, are dreadful; they are no less than sin, the curse of God, and flames of hell for ever. What more abominable than sin? What more insupportable than the dreadful wrath of an angry God? And what more fearful than the bottomless pit of hell? I say, what more fearful than to be tormented there for ever with the devil and his angels? Now, to “save,” according to my text, is to deliver the sinner from these, with all things else that attend them. And although sinners may think that it is no hard matter to answer this question, yet I must tell you there is no man, that can feelingly know what it is to be saved, that knoweth not experimentally something of the dread of these three things, as is evident, because all others do even by their practice count it a thing of no great concern, when yet it is of all other of the highest concern among men; “For what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” ( Matthew 16:26).
But, I say, if this word “saved” concludeth our deliverance from sin, how can he tell what it is to be saved that hath not in his conscience groaned under the burden of sin? yea, it is impossible else that he should ever cry out with all his heart, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” — that is, do to be saved ( Acts 2:37). The man that hath no sores or aches cannot know the virtue of the salve; I mean, not know it from his own experience, and therefore cannot prize, nor have that esteem of it, as he that hath received cure thereby. Clap a plaster to a well place, and that maketh not its virtue to appear; neither can he to whose flesh it is so applied, by that application understand its worth. Sinners, you, I mean, that are not wounded with guilt, and oppressed with the burden of sin, you cannot — I will say it again — you cannot know, in this senseless condition of yours, what it is to be saved.
Again; this word “saved,” as I said, concludeth deliverance from the wrath of God. How, then, can he tell what it is to be saved that hath not felt the burden of the wrath of God? He — he that is astonished with, and that trembleth at, the wrath of God — he knows best what it is to be saved ( Acts 16:29).
How, then, can he tell what it is to be saved that never was sensible of the sorrows of the one, nor distressed with the pains of the other? The Psalmist says, “The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the name of the Lord” — (mark, then ), “then called I upon the name of the Lord; O Lord, I beseech thee, deliver my soul,” — then , in my distress.
When he knew what it was to be saved, then he called, because, I say, then he knew what it was to be saved ( Psalm 18:4,5; <19B603> Psalm 116:3,4). I say, this is the man, and this only, that knows what it is to be saved. And this is evident, as is manifest by the little regard that the rest have to saving, or the little dread they have of damnation. Where is he that seeks and groans for salvation? I say, where is he that hath taken his flight for salvation, because of the dread of the wrath to come? “O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” ( Matthew 3:7).
Alas! do not the most set light by salvation? — as for sin, how do they love it, embrace it, please themselves with it, hide it still within their mouth, and keep it close under their tongue. Besides, for the wrath of God, they feel it not, they fly not from it; and for hell, it is become a doubt to many if there be any, and a mock to those whose doubt is resolved by atheism.
But to come to the question — What is it to be saved ? To be saved may either respect salvation in the whole of it, or salvation in the parts of it, or both. I think this text respecteth both — to wit, salvation completing, and salvation completed; for “to save” is a work of many steps; or, to be as plain as possible, “to save” is a work that hath its beginning before the world began, and shall not be completed before it is ended. First , then, we may be said to be saved in the purpose of God before the world began. The apostle saith that “he saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began” ( 2 Timothy 1:9).
This is the beginning of salvation, and according to this beginning all things concur and fall out in conclusion — “He hath saved us according to his eternal purpose, which he purposed in Christ Jesus.” God in thus saving may be said to save us by determining to make those means effectual for the blessed completing of our salvation; and hence we are said “to be chosen in Christ to salvation.” And again, that he hath in that choice given us that grace that shall complete our salvation. Yea, the text is very full, “He hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ, according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world” ( Ephesians 1:3,4). Second. As we may be said to be saved in the purpose of God before the foundation of the world, so we may be said to be saved before we are converted, or called to Christ. And hence “saved” is put before “called;” “he hath saved us, and called us;” he saith not, he hath called us, and saved us; but he puts saving before calling ( 2 Timothy 1:9). So again, we are said to be “preserved in Christ and called;” he saith not, called and preserved ( Jude 1:1). And therefore God saith again, “I will pardon them whom I reserve” — that is, as Paul expounds it, those whom I have “elected and kept,” and this part of salvation is accomplished through the forbearance of God ( Jeremiah 50:20; Romans 11:4,5). God beareth with is own elect, for Christ’s sake, all the time of their unregeneracy, until the time comes which he hath appointed for their conversion. The sins that we stood guilty of before conversion, had the judgment due to them been executed upon us, we had not now been in the world to partake of a heavenly calling. But the judgment due to them hath been by the patience of God prevented, and we saved all the time of our ungodly and unconverted state, from that death, and those many hells, that for our sins we deserved at the hands of God.
And here lies the reason that long life is granted to the elect before conversion, and that all the sins they commit and all the judgments they deserve, cannot drive them out of the world before conversion. Manasseh, you know, was a great sinner, and for the trespass which he committed he was driven from his own land, and carried to Babylon; but kill him they could not, though his sins had deserved death ten thousand times. But what was the reason? Why, he was not yet called; God had chosen him in Christ, and laid up in him a stock of grace, which must be given to Manasseh before he dies; therefore Manasseh must be convinced, converted, and saved. That legion of devils that was in the possessed, with all the sins which he had committed in the time of his unregeneracy, could not take away his life before his conversion ( Mark 5). How many times was that poor creature, as we may easily conjecture, assaulted for his life by the devils that were in him, yet could they not kill him, yea, though his dwelling was near the sea-side, and the devils had power to drive him too, yet could they not drive him further than the mountains that were by the sea- side; yea, they could help him often to break his chains and fetters, and could also make him as mad as a bedlam, they could also prevail with him to separate from men, and cut himself with stones, but kill him they could not, drown him they could not; he was saved to be called; he was, notwithstanding all this, preserved in Christ, and called. As it is said of the young lad in the gospel, he was by the devil cast oft into the fire, and oft into the water, to destroy him, but it could not be; even so hath he served others, but they must be “saved to be called” ( Mark 9:22). How many deaths have some been delivered from and saved out of before conversion! Some have fallen into rivers, some into wells, some into the sea, some into the hands of men; yea, they have been justly arraigned and condemned, as the thief upon the cross, but must not die before they have been converted. They were preserved in Christ, and called.
Called Christian, how many times have thy sins laid thee upon a sick- bed, and, to thine and others’ thinking, at the very mouth of the grave? yet God said concerning thee, Let him live, for he is not yet converted.BEHOLD, therefore, that the elect are saved before they are called. “God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins,” hath preserved us in Christ, and called us ( Ephesians 2:4,5).
Now this “saving” of us arises from six causes. 1. God hath chosen us unto salvation, and therefore will not frustrate his own purposes ( Thessalonians 5:9). 2. God hath given us to Christ; and his gift, as well as his calling, is without repentance ( Romans 11:29; John 6:37). 3.
Christ hath purchased us with his blood ( Romans 5:8,9). 4. They are, by God, counted in Christ before they are converted ( Ephesians 1:3,4). 5. They are ordained before conversion to eternal life; yea, to be called, to be justified, to be glorified, and therefore all this must come upon them ( Romans 8:29,30). 6. For all this, he hath also appointed them their portion and measure of grace, and that before the world began; therefore, that they may partake of all these privileges, they are saved and called, preserved in Christ, and called. Third. To be saved is to be brought to, and helped to lay hold on, Jesus Christ by faith. And this is called saving by grace through faith. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God” ( Ephesians 2:8). 1. They must be brought unto Christ, yea, drawn unto him; for “no man,” saith Christ, “can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him” ( John 6:44).
Men, even the elect, have too many infirmities to come to Christ without help from heaven; inviting will not do. “As they called them, so they went from them,” therefore he “drew them with cords” ( Hosea 11:2,4). 2. As they must be brought to, so they must be helped to lay hold on Christ by faith; for as coming to Christ, so faith, is not in our own power; therefore we are said to be raised up with him “through the faith of the operation of God.” And again, we are said to believe, “according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead” ( Colossians 2:12; Ephesians 1:19,20). Now we are said to be saved by faith, because by faith we lay hold of, venture upon, and put on Jesus Christ for life. For life, I say, because God having made him the Savior, hath given him life to communicate to sinners, and the life that he communicates to them is the merit of his flesh and blood, which whoso eateth and drinketh by faith, hath eternal life, because that flesh and blood hath merit in it sufficient to obtain the favor of God. Yea, it hath done so [since] that day it was offered through the eternal Spirit a sacrifice of a sweet-smelling savor to him; wherefore God imputeth the righteousness of Christ to him that believeth in him, by which righteousness he is personally justified, and saved from that just judgment of the law that was due unto him ( John 5:26, John 6:53-58; Ephesians 4:32; Ephesians 5:2; Romans 4:23-25). “Saved by faith.” For although salvation beginneth in God’s purpose, and comes to us through Christ’s righteousness, yet is not faith exempted from having a hand in saving of us. Not that it meriteth aught, but is given by God to those which he saveth, that thereby they may embrace and put on that Christ by whose righteousness they must be saved. Wherefore this faith is that which here distinguisheth them that shall be saved from them that shall be damned. Hence it is said, “He that believeth not, shall be damned;” and hence again it is that the believers are called “the children, the heirs, and the blessed with faithful Abraham;” that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe ( Galatians 3:6-9,26; Romans 4:13,14).
And here let Christians warily distinguish betwixt the meritorious and the instrumental cause of their justification. Christ, with what he hath done and suffered, is the meritorious cause of our justification; therefore he is said to be made to us of God, “wisdom and righteousness;” and we are said to be “justified by his blood, and saved from wrath through him,” for it was his life and blood that were the price of our redemption ( Corinthians 1:30; Romans 5:9,10). “Redeemed,” says Peter, “not with corruptible things, as silver and gold,” alluding to the redemption of money under the law, “but with the precious blood of Christ.” Thou art, therefore, as I have said, to make Christ Jesus the object of thy faith for justification; for by his righteousness thy sins must be covered from the sight of the justice of the law. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” “For he shall save his people from their sins” ( Acts 16:31; Matthew 1:21). Fourth. To be saved is to be preserved in the faith to the end. “He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” ( Matthew 24:13).
But perseverance is absolutely necessary to the complete saving of the soul, because he that falleth short of the state that they that are saved are possessed of, as saved, cannot arrive to that saved state. He that goeth to sea with a purpose to arrive at Spain, cannot arrive there if he be drowned by the way; wherefore perseverance is absolutely necessary to the saving of the soul, and therefore it is included in the complete saving of us — “Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end” ( Isaiah 45:17).
But, as I said, this part of salvation dependeth not upon human power, but upon him that hath begun a good work in us ( Philippians 1:6). This part, therefore, of our salvation is great, and calleth for no less than the power of God for our help to perform it, as will be easily granted by all those that consider — 1. That all the power and policy, malice and rage, of the devils and hell itself are against us. Any man that understandeth this will conclude that to be saved is no small thing. The devil is called a god, a prince, a lion, a roaring lion; it is said that he hath death and the power of it, etc. But what can a poor creature, whose habitation is in flesh, do against a god, a prince, a roaring lion, and the power of death itself? Our perseverance, therefore, lieth in the power of God; “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” 2. All the world is against him that shall be saved. But what is one poor creature to all the world, especially if you consider that with the world is terror, fear, power, majesty, laws, jails, gibbets, hangings, burnings, drownings, starvings, banishments, and a thousand kinds of deaths? ( John 5:4,5; John 16:33). 3. Add to this, that all the corruption’s that dwell in our flesh are against us, and that not only in their nature and being, but they lust against us, and war against us, to “bring us into captivity to the law of sin and death” ( Galatians 5:17; 1 Peter 2:11; Romans 7:23). 4. All the delusions in the world are against them that shall be saved, many of which are so cunningly woven, so plausibly handled, so rarely f5 polished with Scripture and reason, that it is ten thousand wonders that the elect are not swallowed up with them; and swallowed up they would be, were they not elect, and was not God himself engaged, either by power to keep them from falling, or by grace to pardon if they fall, and to lift them up again ( Matthew 24:24; Ephesians 4:14; Romans 3:12). 5. Every fall of the saved is against the salvation of his soul; but a Christian once fallen riseth not but as helped by Omnipotent power — “O Israel, thou hast fallen by thine iniquity,” “but in me is thy help,” says God ( Hosea 13:9; Hosea 14:1; Psalm 37:23).
Christians, were you awake, here would be matter of wonder to you, to see a man assaulted with all the power of hell, and yet to come off a conqueror! Is it not a wonder to see a poor creature, who in himself is weaker than the moth, to stand against and overcome all devils, all the world, all his lusts and corruption’s? ( Job 4:19). Or if he fall, is it not a wonder to see him, when devils and guilt are upon him, to rise again, stand upon his feet again, walk with God again, and persevere after all this in the faith and holiness of the gospel? He that knows himself, wonders; he that knows temptation, wonders; he that knows what falls and guilt mean, wonders; indeed, perseverance is a wonderful thing, and is managed by the power of God; for he only “is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy” ( Jude 1:24).
Those of the children of Israel that went from Egypt, and entered the land of Canaan, how came they thither? Why, the text says, that “as an eagle spreadeth abroad her wings, so the Lord alone did lead them.” And again, “he bore them, and carried them all the days of old” ( Deuteronomy 32:11,12; Isaiah 63:9). David also tells us that mercy and goodness should follow him all the days of his life, and so he should dwell in the house of the Lord for ever ( Psalm 23:6). Fifth. To be saved calls for more than all this; he that is saved, must, when this world can hold him no longer, have a safe- conduct to heaven, for that is the place where they that are saved must to the full enjoy their salvation. This heaven is called “the end of our faith,” because it is that which faith looks at; as Peter says, “Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” And again, “But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul” ( 1 Peter 1:9; Hebrews 10:39). For, as I said, heaven is the place for the saved to enjoy their salvation in, with that perfect gladness that is not attainable here. Here we are saved by faith and hope of glory; but there, we that are saved shall enjoy the end of our faith and hope, even the salvation of our souls. There is “Mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem, the general assembly and church of the firstborn;” there is the “innumerable company of angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect;” there is “God the judge of all, and Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant;” there shall our soul have as much of heaven as it is capable of enjoying, and that without intermission; wherefore, when we come there we shall be saved indeed! But now for a poor creature to be brought hither, this is the life of the point. But how shall I come hither? there are heights and depths to hinder ( Romans 8:38,39).
Suppose the poor Christian is now upon a sick-bed, beset with a thousand fears, and ten thousand at the end of that; sick-bed fears! and they are sometimes dreadful ones; fears that are begotten by the review of the sin, perhaps, of forty years’ profession; fears that are begotten by dreadful and fearful suggestions of the devil, the sight of death, and the grave, and it may be of hell itself; fears that are begotten by the withdrawing and silence of God and Christ, and by, it may be, the appearance of the devil himself; some of these made David cry, “O spare me” a little, “that I may recover strength before I go hence, and be no more” ( Psalm 39:13) “The sorrows of death,” said he, “compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me; I found trouble and sorrow” ( <19B603> Psalm 116:3).
These things, in another place, he calls the bands that the godly have in their death, and the plagues that others are not aware of. “They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men” ( Psalm 73:9).
But now, out of all these, the Lord will save his people; not one sin, nor fear, nor devil shall hinder; nor the grave nor hell disappoint thee. But how must this be? Why, thou must have a safe-conduct to heaven? What conduct? A conduct of angels: “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” ( Hebrews 1:14).
These angels, therefore, are not to fail them that are the saved; but must, as commissioned of God, come down from heaven to do this office for them; they must come, I say, and take the care and charge of our soul, to conduct it safely into Abraham’s bosom. It is not our meanness in the world, nor our weakness of faith, that shall hinder this; nor shall the loathsomeness of our diseases make these delicate spirits shy of taking this charge upon them. Lazarus the beggar found this a truth; a beggar so despised of the rich glutton that he was not suffered to come within his gate; a beggar full of sores and noisome putrefaction; yet, behold, when he dies, the angels come from heaven to fetch him thither: “And it came to pass that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom” ( Luke 16:22).
True, sick-bed temptations are ofttimes the most violent, because then the devil plays his last game with us, he is never to assault us more; besides, perhaps God suffereth it thus to be, that the entering into heaven may be the sweeter, and ring of this salvation the louder! O it is a blessed thing for God to be our God and our guide even unto death, and then for his angels to conduct us safely to glory; this is saving indeed. And he shall save Israel “out of all his troubles;” out of sick-bed troubles as well as others ( Psalm 25:22; Psalm 34:6; Psalm 48:14). Sixth . To be saved, to be perfectly saved, calls for more than all this; the godly are not perfectly saved when their soul is possessed of heaven.
True, their spirit is made perfect, and hath as much of heaven as at present it can hold, but man, consisting of body and soul, cannot be said to be perfectly saved so long as but part of him is in the heavens; his body is the price of the blood of Christ as well as his spirit; his body is the temple of God, and a member of the body, and of the flesh, and of the bones of Christ; he cannot, then, be completely saved until the time of the resurrection of the dead ( 1 Corinthians 6:13-19; Ephesians 5:30).
Wherefore, when Christ shall come the second time, then will he save the body from all those things that at present make it incapable of the heavens. “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who shall change” this “our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body” ( Philippians 3:20,21). O what a great deal of good God hath put into this little word “saved”! We shall not see all the good that God hath put into this word “saved” until the Lord Jesus comes to raise the dead. “It doth not yet appear what we shall be” ( 1 John 3:2).
But till it appears what we shall be, we cannot see the bottom of this word “saved.” True, we have the earnest of what we shall be, we have the Spirit of God, “which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession” ( Ephesians 1:14).
The possession is our body — it is called “a purchased possession,” because it is the price of blood; now the redemption of this purchased possession is the raising of it out of the grave, which raising is called the redemption of our body ( Romans 8:23). And when this vile body is made like unto his glorious body, and this body and soul together possessed of the heavens, then shall we be every way saved.
There are three things from which this body must be saved — 1. There is that sinful filth and vileness that yet dwells in it, under which we groan earnestly all our days ( 2 Corinthians 5:1-3). 2. There is mortality, that subjecteth us to age, sickness, aches, pains, diseases, and death. 3. And there is the grave and death itself, for death is the last enemy that is to be destroyed. “So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory” ( 1 Corinthians 15:54).
So then, when this comes to pass, then we shall be saved; then will salvation, in all the parts of it, meet together in our glory; then we shall be every way saved — saved in God’s decree, saved in Christ’s undertakings, saved by faith, saved in perseverance, saved in soul, and in body and soul together in the heavens, saved perfectly, everlastingly, gloriously. [Of the state of our body and soul in heaven .] Before I conclude my answer to the first question, I would discourse a little of the state of our body and soul in heaven, when we shall enjoy this blessed state of salvation. First. Of the soul ; it will then be filled in all the faculties of it with as much bliss and glory as ever it can hold. 1. The understanding shall then be perfect in knowledge — “Now we know but in part;” we know God, Christ, heaven, and glory, but in part; “but when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away” ( 1 Corinthians 13:10).
Then shall we have perfect and everlasting visions of God, and that blessed one his Son Jesus Christ, a good thought of whom doth sometimes so fill us while in this world, that it causeth “joy unspeakable and full of glory.” 2. Then shall our will and affections be ever in a burning flame of love to God and his Son Jesus Christ; our love here hath ups and downs, but there it shall be always perfect with that perfection which is not possible in this world to be enjoyed. 3. Then will our conscience have that peace and joy that neither tongue nor pen of men or angels can express. 4. Then will our memory be so enlarged to retain all things that happened to us in this world, so that with unspeakable aptness we shall call to mind all God’s providence’s, all Satan’s malice, all our own weaknesses, all the rage of men, and how God made all work together for his glory and our good, to the everlasting ravishing of our hearts. Second. For our body ; it shall be raised in power, in incorruption, a spiritual body and glorious ( 1 Corinthians 15:44). The glory of which is set forth by several things — 1. It is compared to “the brightness of the firmament,” and to the shining of the stars “for ever and ever” ( Daniel 12:3; Corinthians 15:41, 42). 2. It is compared to the shining of the sun — “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear” ( Matthew 13:43). 3. Their state is then to be equally glorious with angels; “But they which shall be counted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage; neither can they die any more, for they are equal unto the angels” ( Luke 20:35,36). 4. It is said that then this our vile body shall be like the glorious body of Jesus Christ ( Philippians 3:20,21; 1 John 3:2,3). 5. And now, when body and soul are thus united, who can imagine what glory they both possess? They will now be both in capacity, without jarring, to serve the Lord with shouting thanksgivings, and with a crown of everlasting joy upon their head. f8 In this world there cannot be that harmony and oneness of body and soul as there will be in heaven. Here the body sometimes sins against the soul, and the soul again vexes and perplexes the body with dreadful apprehensions of the wrath and judgment of God. While we be in this world, the body oft hangs this way, and the soul the quite contrary; but there, in heaven, they shall have that perfect union as never to jar more; but now the glory of the body shall so suit with the glory of the soul, and both so perfectly suit with the heavenly state, that it passeth words and thoughts. Third. Shall I now speak of the place that this saved body and soul shall dwell in? Why, 1. It is a city ( Hebrews 11:16; Ephesians 2:19,22). 2. It is called heaven ( Hebrews 10:34). 3. It is called God’s house ( John 14:1-3). 4. It is called a kingdom ( Luke 12:32). 5. It is called glory ( Colossians 3:4; Hebrews 2:10). 6. It is called paradise ( Revelation 2:7). 7. It is called everlasting habitations ( Luke 16:9). Fourth. Shall I speak of their company ? Why, 1. They shall stand and live in the presence of the glorious God, the Judge of all ( Hebrews 12:23). 2. They shall be with the Lamb, the Lord Jesus. 3. They shall be with an innumerable company of holy angels ( Hebrews 12:22). 4. They shall be with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of heaven ( Luke 13:28). Fifth. Shall I speak of their heavenly raiment ? 1. It is salvation; they shall be clothed with the garment of salvation ( <19D216> Psalm 132:16; 149:4; Isaiah 61:10). 2. This raiment is called white raiment, signifying their clean and innocent state in heaven. “And they,” says Christ, “shall walk with me in white, for they are worthy” ( Revelation 3:4; Revelation 19:8; Isaiah 57:2). 3. It is called glory — “When he shall appear, we shall appear with him in glory” ( Colossians 3:4). 4. They shall also have crowns of righteousness, everlasting joy and glory ( Isaiah 35:10; 2 Timothy 4:8; 1 Peter 5:4). Sixth . Shall I speak of their continuance in this condition ? 1. It is for ever and ever. “And they shall see his face, and his name shall be in their foreheads; and they shall reign for ever and ever” ( Revelation 22:4,5). 2. It is everlasting. “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life” ( John 6:40,47). 3. It is life eternal. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give unto them eternal life” ( John 10:27,28). 4. It is world without end. “But Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation; ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end” ( Isaiah 45:17; Ephesians 3:20,21).
O sinner! what sayest thou? How dost thou like being saved? Doth not thy mouth water? Doth not thy heart twitter at being saved? Why, come then: “The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” ( Revelation 22:17).