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health, and all conveniences, will be better understood in heaven than the most holy and thankful Christian bere understandeth them.
VIII. And it will be some addition to my future happiness, that I shall then be much better acquainted with myself; both with my nature, and with my sin and grace. I shall then better know the nature of a soul, and its formal faculties (three in one): I shall know the nature and way of its operations, and how far its acts are simple, or compound, or organical. I shall know how far memory, fancy, and sense, internal and external, belong to the rational soul, and whether the sensitive and rational are two or one; and what senses will perish, and what not. I shall know how the soul doth act upon itself, and what acts it hath that are not felt in sleep, in apoplexies, and in the womb.*
I shall know how far the soul is receptive, and what the causa finalis doth to it; and what each object is to the constitution or production of the act; yea, and what an act is, and what a habit ; and how a soul, acting or habited, differeth from itself not acting or habited ; and how its acts are many, and yet but one; or its faculties at least. Many other such difficulties will all be solved, which now philosophers contend about in the dark, and pass but under doubtful conjectures; or, at least, are known to very few.
And I shall know how God's Spirit operateth on souls; and how it is sent from Christ's human nature to work on man; and whether grace be properly, or only metaphorically, called a nature (a new nature, a divine nature) in us. I shall know what free-will is, and how man's will can be the first determiner of any act of its own in specie morali (good or evil) without being such a causa prima, as none but God can be: and so how far free acts are necessitated or not. I shall know what power the intellect hath on the will, and the will on the intellect; and what power the sense and fancy hath on either; and what any intellectus agens, doth ; whether it be to our intellec
! tion as the sun is to our sight. I shall know what is meant by the
* A large page of philosophical difficulties, growing out of the inquiries of “Science falsely so called," is here omitted. What is retained is a sufficient specimen. -Ep.
degrees of acts and habits in the soul; and whether there be divers degrees of substantiality, or of the virtus vel facultas formalis of several souls : I shall know better the difference of habits called acquired and infused ; and what common grace is, and what it doth; and what nature can do of itself, or by common grace, without that which is proper to the justified; and how far any degrees of grace are lost.
I shall know what measure of grace I had myself; and how far I was mistaken in myself; and what acts were sincere; and how much that was not sound was mixed; and what was of myself and sin.
I shall know much more of my sins than here I ever knew, the number and the greatness of them; that so I may know, with greatest thankfulness and love, how much I am beholden to pardoning and healing grace.
Yea, I shall know more of my body, as it was the habitation of my soul, or the organical matter on which unitedly it worked. I shall know how far it helped or hindered me; and what were all those obscure diseases, that puzzled all the physicians, and myself; and how marvellously God sustained, preserved, and oft delivered me; and what of my actions was to be imputed to the body, and what of them to the soul.
IX. And every fellow-creature, which I am concerned to know, I shall know far better than now I do, both things and persons: the good and bad, the sincere and the hypocrites, will be there discerned: and many an action that here went for honorable, covered or colored with wit or worldly advantages, or false pretences, will then be found to be odious and unjust : and wickedness will be flattered or extenuated no more: and many a good and holy work which false men, through wickedness and worldly interest, reproached as some odious crime, will there be justified, honored, and rewarded. All sciences are there perfect, without our ambiguous terms, or imperfect axioms, and rules of art.
X. And, lastly, I shall better know from what enemies, what sins, what dangers, I was here delivered : what contrivances and malicious endeavors of Satan and his instruments God defeated; how many snares I escaped : and I shall better know how great my deliverance is by Christ from the wrath to come. Though we shall not know hell by painful sense, we shall know it so far as is necessary to fill us with gratitude to our Redeemer : yea, we shall know much of it far better than the damned spirits that feel it. For we shall know, by sweet and full fruition, what the joy and blessedness is which they have lost : when they have no such kind of knowledge.
All this knowledge will be thus advanced to my glorified soul beyond what I can here conceive in flesh : and is it not then far better to be with Christ?
IV. The constitutive reasons from the state of my will. . Sect. 1. But it is the will that is to the soul what the heart is to the body : as it is the prime seat of morality, so is it the chief seat of felicity. My greatest evil is there ; and my greatest subjective good will be there. Satan did most against it, and God will do most for it. And will it not be better to be with Christ than here?
1. It will not there be tied to a body of cross interessts and inclinations, which is now the greatest snare and enemy to my soul; which is still drawing my love, and care, and fears, and sorrows, 10 and for itself, and turning them from my bighest interest. How great a deliverance will it be to be freed from the temptations, and the inordinate love, and cares, and fears for this corruptible flesh?
2. My will shall not there be tempted by a world of inferior good, which is the bait and provision for the flesh, where meat, and sleep, and possessions, house, lands, and friends, are all become my snares and danger. God's mercies will not be made there the tempter's instruments. I shall not there have the flatteries or frowns, promises or threatenings, of the tyrants of the world to tempt me: bad company
will not infect me, nor divert me : the errors of good men will not seduce me; nor reputation or reverence of the wise, learned, or religious, draw me to imitate them in any sin.
3. I shall there have none of Satan's solicitations, to pervert my will : he will not have that advantage by my sense and fancy, nor that access unto me, as now he hath. But of this I spake before.
Sect. 2. My will shall there be better than here, 1. Negatively because, 1. There will be nothing that is displeasing to God: no sinful inclination, habit, or act: nothing to strive against God's Spirit ; nor
grudge at any word or work of God: no principles of enmity or rebellion left. 2. There will be nothing that is against the good of others : no inclinations to injury, or any thing that is against my neighbor's or the common good. 3. There will be nothing in it that is cross to itsell; no more war or striving in me; not a law in my mind, and a law in my members, that are contrary to each other : no crossness between sense and reason, nor between the sensitive appetite and the rational: all will be at unity and peace within.
Sect. 3. II. Positively Christ will have finished his cure on my will. The work of sanctification will be perfect, and, I. My will shall there, by union and communion, be made conformable to the will of Christ, and so unto the Father's will. This must needs be meant (whatever more) in the prayer of Christ, where he prayeth, “That they may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they may be one in us, that they may be one, even as we are one.” (John xvii. 21, 22.) The will of Christ, and of the Father, will be my will, that is, I shall love and will (dispositively and actually) the same that God loveth and willeth (in the measure of a , creature, infinitely below him.) And if so, 1. How can the will of man have greater honor, than to be the same with the will of God? Assimilation to a king, among us poor mortals, goeth for honor; assimilation to angels is much more. That we shall be like, or equal to, angels, is a high part of the blessed's praise; but how much more is it, to be thus far like to God. Indeed, God's image, and the
. divine nature in us here, can be no less than this similitude to God's will in the degree that we have it. But, alas! that degree is so very low, as that we can hardly tell whether our similitude or dissimilitude be the more;
I mean, whether our wills are for more that God willeth, or against more. Oh, how many thousand wishes and desires have we had, which are against the will of God! But there we shall have the full impression of God's will, upon our wills, as face answereth face in a glass, or as the wax answereth the seal; as the finger on the outside answereth to the motion of the clock within, so, in all things which belong to our duty and perfection, we shall answer the will of God. As the echo answereth the voice, defectively, but Vol. II.
truly, without contradiction or discord, so will our wills be as the echo of God's will.
2. And then I am sure that there will be nothing in my will but good; for God willeth no evil.
3. And this will be virtually all obedience ; for all sin is voluntary, and all moral good is primarily in the will.
4. And then there will be no matter of disquiet in me, but all will be in perfect peace; for all that is like God will be pleasing both to God and me; no troubling crossness will remain.
5. And how easy and sweet then will all my obedience be, when I shall perfectly will it, without any reluctancy or averseness? All will be my very pleasure that I do.
Sect. 4. And seeing my will shall be the same with the will of God, it followeth that it shall never be frustrate, but I shall have all whatsoever I would have, and shall be and do whatsoever I would be and do. For I shall desire nothing but what God willeth, and God's will shall certainly be done. I shall have as much love and joy as I would have; I shall be as happy as I would be; I shall desire nothing for others but it shall be done. Indeed, if God's will were there unknown to me, I might ignorantly go against it, as I do here; but there, before I will or desire any thing, I shall know whether it be God's will or not, so that I shall never wish any thing wbich shall not be accomplished. And as it is God's perfection to have his will always done, (though all his laws be not obeyed,) so my perfection shall consist in this likeness unto God, that my will shall be still fulfilled. And then Christ's promises will be perfectly performed, “ Whatsoever ye ask the Father in my name, he will give it you, Ye shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you.” (John xv. 16, and xvi. 23, and xiv. 13, 14, and xv. 7.) While their will
, was the same with the will of Christ: but he saith not that it shall all be given us here. We ask for perfection, and we shall have it, but not here.
Sect. 5. III. Yea, my will itself shall be my fruition, for it shall not be the will of one in need ; a desire of what I want, for I shall want nothing; therefore, it is said that we shall thirst no more: but it will be a complacency in what I do possess, and in this also my perfec