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mongst other Infirmities, the first step into the unseen World, delivers us. As soon as we are there, and during the Separate Estate, farewel all Infirmities, of or from Sense ; for farewel Sense'it self, all its Organs being laid aside for that Present Estate.
A second sort of Hinderances to Perfection, are Penal Infirmities; all fuch bodily Infelicities, which befal us as the Punishment of our Sins; Faintness, Feebleness, Decay of Spirits, Pains, Diseases, and other Indifpositions, by which the Body becomes unfit and unable to hold pace with the Soul, or to serve and concur in its Actions. Oftentimes a Mąn cannot eat a Meal, but he is unfit for the Duties of his common or Christian Calling. The supplying the Necessities of Nature,
( Animam quoque pregravat, Atque affigit bumi Divina particulam aura. ) Loads the Soul, and fastens to Earth that part of the Divine Nature. Not to mention here the Perplexities of Mens particular Affairs; our almost incredible Crossing and Thwarting one another, and diverse otherways preying mutually upon Time and Life, and wasting one anothers good Hours. Verily the Impediments of Perfection, which arise from our outward Circumstances, Conditions, and both lawful and necessary Employments of Life, are almost innumerable But of these, the separate State rids us also: Yea, and of a more troublesom sort of Evils which (however Spiritual) we may justly,
reckon reckon 'amongst the Penal Infirmisies of our Mortal State ; namely, Doubts and Fears, both as to our present and future Condition. We see not in our felves perhaps, that Sanctity we desire; we feel not always that Strength of Faith, that Warmth of Love, that fitrance of Hope, with which we remember God
sometimes to have favoured us. On the con5. trary, we find a great Dulness on our Spio rits, which we are apt to account Hardness i of Heart; and we cannot mourn with such
Tenderness over our Sins, as we have done. Hereupon we doubt of the Sincerity or Sufficiency of our Repentance : We fear our selves to be of the Number of those Temporary Proselytes, whom our Lord designed by the Stony Ground ( Matth. 13.) such who belicve
and rejoyce in Hope, only for a time. Again, In revolving in our Minds our former Falls, and
the Strength of our Corruptions still, we arei apt to entertain such Melancholly and Desponding Thoughts in Spirituals, as were those of David's in another Case, I shall one day perish by the Hand of Saui. These are Grounds of great Sadness and Sore lets to Christian Perfection. But when once Christ
shall have deliver'd us from the Burden of 1 Corruption, we fhall immediately find our Ĉ selves at Ease and Rest, in a State of Safety
and Security from all Dangers, and past not only sinning, but the Fear of it. All these,
and any other like molesting Anxieties, the i separate Estate sets us above.
3. The last fort of Hindrances I shall mention, are, the Interruptions and Disturbances the Soul receives from the Senses; it can .scarce be determined, whether our Eyes and Ears give us more Aslistance towards taking in of Knowledge, than Hindrances many times in digesting those imperfect Notices they take in, and in pursuing our Notions and Contemplations: How frequently comes it to pass, that having set our selves, I will not say to study, but even to pray, or to meditate on Heavenly and Divine Things, some untoward, unseasonable Object is cast in by Sense, which turns off Thought, and diverts the Soul clearly from its purpose; stops and checks it in its Motion, and quite puts it out of its Road; and either scatters or strikes dead all happy Cogitation and Devotion.
Now of all these and the like Numberless Infelicities, Intanglements and Incumbrances, is the Spirit divested in its separate Estate. And being thus set free,
II. It soon arrives at a Perfection of its rational Faculty, which immediately becomes furnilh'd with the most agreeable and felicitating Habits.
1. As to the Understanding. It cannot be by us, in our prefenţ State conceived, what speedy and valt Progress the Soul will make in Knowledge, when it shall be thus enfranchised and set at liberty. Nothing in that state can hinder its discursive Powers, that it should not from one Truth known, immedi. ately infer many others; or rather (uno in
tuitu ) behold an endless Train of Conse-
But it is to be considered, the Spirits of
Prov. 30.3. ledge of the Holy. (The insight into that Body, and Variety of Truths, which made them wise unto Salvation.) And from such plenteous Stock of Principles, how infinite will soon be the Inferences! At least how vaftly various the Improvenients, which such Minds, advanced now into the Sphere of Intelligences, will make, draw, and accumulate? And besides the Stock of Knowledge, they carry hence with them, what Numbers of new Objects will entertain them in that World of Spirits ? The innumerable Company of Angels; the general Asembly, and Church of the First born : ( Patriarchs and Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs, and Confessors) But above these, God the Judge of all, and Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant : Dear Jesus! Who loved us, and Redeemed us with his Blood; ( that long’d for Spectacle ) his glorious Person, shall then the Eyes of our Soul behold. We shall also then know what that Spirit is, which has dwelt in our Hearts, and fanctified us : And we shall have an intellecłual Vision of the Ancient of Days, the Eternal and Almighty Father. We shall then see clearly through all the Riddles and Mysteries of our Faith. Nay, Faith shall be
no more, because Sight shall be in its room. Truly, when I deeply think on these thingsj it seems to me worth ones labour to Die, meerly to be able to frame, but one direct and proper Conception what God is; of whose Essence here we can, for the main, only frame fome negative Notions, that is, rather say what he is not, than what he is : But one Minute of Eternity, (pardon the Expression) will then inform us more, than all Ages of Time have here done. The Lumen Gloria, which inquisitive Wits have talked of, but the deepest Heads seem not to know what here to make of, will indeed foon shew us a new Universe of Wonders. Thus briefly as to the Perfection of the Onderstanding
II. As to the.Will, That shall then perfealy follow the Condnct of this Raised and Heavenly enlightped Judgment : That Mall no longer dispute its Di&tates, or in the least hang back. Indeed it will be wholly transform'd into Love; into the Love of God, and Christ, and Angels, and Saints; and amongst the last, even of the Saints too that are on Earth. There will be no desire of any other things, but what are enjoy’d, unless it be of a Re union to the old Friend, its fallen Body, and the gathering together, or compleating the number of the Faithful. The separate Spirit may perhaps, nay must in course of Nature, earnestly delire to be cloathed upon with