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I shall close with a word of use of what has been said. Bestir yourselves, then, to seek after the continuing city. Are there not many among us, who have neither right to, nor evidence for heaven; who live here as if this were their rest, as if they were never to remove; who, if death were to seize them this day, know not where they would lodge through the long night of eternity.

Consider the motive in the text: "we have no continuing city here." We must continue for ever, but not here. Were we to die like the beasts, we might live as they do; but we have never-dying souls. O consider well, that you must remove, that you may seek in time a continuing city. Death is posting on. Our life is but a vapour, a shadow, a nothing. The grave we must visit, there is no

continuance here.

4. The properties of this seeking. How must we seek, if we would succeed? This is a necessary question, for our Lord tells us, 'many will seek to enter in, and shall not be able ;" and Paul tells us, "that a man is not crowned unless he strive lawfully." There may be much seeking to little purpose.

Many

1. They that rightly seek the continuing city, seek it laboriously. "They labour to enter into that rest." They must not only open their mouths as beggars, but ply their hands as workmen seeking their daily bread, who earn it with the sweat of their brow. "We must seek it as silver, and search for it as for hid treasures." would be fed like the fowls, who neither sow nor gather into barns; and be clothed like the lilies, who neither toil nor spin. They would receive heaven if it would fall down into their mouths, but cannot think of working for it. They have something else to do. It is true, our labour and pains will not bring us there; but there is no getting there without it, Prov. xxi. 25. For consider, the several notions of the way to heaven, all importing true labour. We must work; yea, "work out our own salvation," or otherwise we lose what we have done. It is as the work of the husbandman, which is not easy. "Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy, break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you." It is the running of a race that requires patience and much eagerness, "for we must press toward the mark, and so run that we may obtain." We must wrestle and fight for it, for heaven hath a strait gate, and cannot be entered with ease. We must strive to enter, yea press into it, and take it by violence. We must put forth our utmost strength, as those who are agonising, Luke xiii. 24, and at last overcome, Rev. iii. 12. These are the metaphors by which the Christian's exercises are described, and they certainly denote real labour.

Consider also the types of the way to heaven. Many a weary step, and many a bloody battle had the Israelites, ere they could settle themselves in Canaan. Jerusalem stood on a hill, and was surrounded with hills; many a weary step had some of them to take ere they won it, 2 Sam. v. 6; and when they came there, they had the hill of God to ascend, even Mount Moriah, where the temple stood, hence that Psal. xxiv. 3-6.

Besides, slothfulness is the pathway to hell, Prov. xiii. 14, and xx. 4. The sluggard is an unprofitable servant to himself and his master. For an idler to get heaven, is a sort of contradiction. Heaven is a reward, and therefore supposeth working. Heaven is rest, a keeping of a sabbath, and therefore supposeth previous toil.

2. Voluntarily. "The Lord meeteth him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness." When men do nothing in religion but by compulsion, they cannot succeed. God's people are a willing people, and he cares not for compelled prayers, or forced endeavours, when the hands go without the heart. Men naturally are enemies to heaven; and till heaven be in their heart instead of the world, they will never seek it to purpose.

3. Diligently. "The soul of the diligent shall be made fat." We will lose it, if we seek it not diligently. "By much slothfulness the building decayeth." Men are busy for the world; the devil is busy to keep us out of heaven, and shall not we seek it diligently. But most men are of Pharaoh's principle, that religion is only a work for them that have nothing else to do, hence no diligence among them.

4. Vigorously. It is not easily got. this city. It is requisite we summon together all the powers of our souls, "and whatsoever our hand findeth to do, do it with all our might." The iron is blunt, therefore we must exert the more force. Fervency in seeking, is necessary to make it effectual. It is the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man that availeth much.

We are commanded to ask, to seek, to knock.
Faint attacks will not break open the gates of

5. Resolutely, as Jacob for the blessing. We seek what we cannot want, and therefore must steel our foreheads, and run through difficulties. "Skin for skin, all that a man hath, will he give for his life." The people that hearing of the Anakims, their hearts failed, were obliged to turn back into the wilderness. They that mind for this city, "must have their feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace," that they may go forward through the rugged way.

6. Constantly. "We must be stedfast and immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord." We must not seek only by

fits and starts; that makes our seeking uneasy.

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Hot and cold fits

are signs of a distempered body. This work is for term of life; no man putting his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." "The just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him." Deserters are shamefully punished, while prisoners of war are treated with respect.

7. Seek it quickly, without delay, for we know not how soon our sun may go down. "We must work the works of him that sent us, while it is day; the night cometh, when no man can work." Your glass is running. If your time be done, before your interest in heaven be secured, it will be a heavy case. Hell is replenished with those that resolved to be better afterwards.

Lastly, Seek evangelically, that is, in a gospel way. This comprehends seeking, first, from a principle of new life, called the life of Jesus, 2 Cor. iv. 10. Secondly, from a sweet motive of love to God, even the love of Christ constraining us; and thirdly, from a noble end, the glory of God, the honour of the Redeemer, and glory of his grace, and our own salvation. Finally, doing all in borrowed strength; travelling "through the wilderness leaning on our beloved, denying ourselves, rejoicing in Christ Jesus, and having no confidence in the flesh." We shall now,

IV. Shew the reasonableness of the point. And,

1. Why it is the duty of all thus to seek after the continuing city.

1. Because none of us have a continuing city here. Our old tabernacle is ready to fall down about our ears, what then should we be doing, but seeking that building of God. Hence we must remove, is it not then highly reasonable we should seek where we may take up our eternal lodging.

2. It is the command of God, whose commands we are not to dispute, but to obey, "for a son honoureth his father, and a servant his master." Now what is his command? It is, "Strive to enter in at the strait gate." What a cord of love is such a command, where duty and interest are so linked together.

3. Because perfect happiness is only to be found there. That is the place where the soul-satisfying treasure only is to be found. "Lay up for yourselves, then, treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal." You will never be able, by any means, to extract happiness from earthly enjoyments. Solomon had run round the world and viewed all, and what is his report, even vanity of vanities, all is vanity." The very nature of the soul is such, that

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nothing under the sun can satisfy it; yea, the very erect form of the body teacheth us to seek heaven.

4. It is a dreadful contempt of heaven, not to seek it. It was the sin of the Israelites, "that they despised the pleasant land." It is God's mansion house, the land where glory dwells. Not then to be at pains to attain it, is a sin near akin to the sin of the devils, "who kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation." Yea, it is a contempt of the blood of Christ, the price by which heaven was purchased. O sirs, prefer not, in your practice, the world to the glory of heaven. Observe Heb. xii. 14-16. Will men say that they prize heaven, when they will not be at pains to secure their title to it?

Lastly, There is no getting there, without seeking it thus. There is no reaching the treasure of glory without digging for it. "For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." If men must have yet a little sleep and a little slumber, outer darkness will be their waking-place, Luke xiii. 24.

2. Let us shew why it is the practice of the godly. They seek this city,

1. Because they have been convinced that they have no continuing city here. By the Spirit of the Lord, the gracious soul "has seen an end of all perfection;" has got a sight of the vanity and emptiness of created things, and this has turned the soul back again from the broken cisterns, to the fountain of living water. They have seen that excellency in Christ, which has darkened the glory of created things.

2. Because their treasure is in heaven, Matth. vi. 21. If a man's treasure be in his coffers or in his barns, his heart will be there also; if in heaven, his heart will be there. Christ is the believer's treasure, and he is there; an eternal weight of glory is his treasure, and it is also in heaven.

3. Because heaven is the only rest for the godly. The world is the place of their toil and pilgrimage. They have trouble from without and from within, while here; but their rest is remaining for them above, Heb. iv. 9. They say to one another, as Naomi did to her daughters-in-law, "the Lord grant you, that you may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband." Rest is sought by every one, and seeing the godly look not for it here, they must needs be looking for it there.

4. Because this seeking is the native product of a new nature. The old nature carries the man downward, the new nature upwards, toward heaven. Grace is an active principle come from

above into the heart, and carrying the soul up to its own source. Every thing desires its own preservation and perfection, now glory is the best preservative and perfection of grace. It is a fountain that will not be stopped, but will cast up its waters. "It is in them a well of living water, springing up to everlasting life."

APPLICATION. Is it so, that here we have no continuing city? Then we may be

1. Informed and convinced of several particulars.

1. Then we must all die, and be as water spilt on the ground. Here our tent is set down, but not to continue here. The pins of the tent must be loosed, and man must go to his long home. Ere long you shall be arrested within the four posts of a bed, not to come forth, till you be carried to the grave. Death will settle down on your eyelids. The fairest face shall be pale, and the breath shall go, and the body crumble to ashes, for here we have no continuing city.

2. Life in this world is but a short preface to eternity, an inconsiderable point between two vast terms. The world lasted some thousands of years before we were born in it; and how long after we are gone, who knows; but then there is an eternity to succeed. O! that we could so tell our handbreadth of days as to apply our hearts to wisdom.

"Blessed are

3. It is well with them who are gone to heaven. the dead who die in the Lord, from henceforth; yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours." Rest is desirable, they had it not here; they have got it now. Their weary days and nights are now at an end. Sickness and trouble shall be to them no more. Weep not for them, but for yourselves that are yet on the troublesome sea; we are abroad, they are at home.

4. Behold here the vanity of all things below, and the folly of valuing ourselves on account of them. When death comes, we must bid them an eternal farewell, and leave what we have to others; and they to others again, till the fire at the last day consume all. Some have a beautiful tent, others a black and uncomely one; but against night, all are taken down.

5. Their case is to be pitied and not envied, who have their portion in this life. What good did the rich man's treasure do him in hell? Though a man act the part of a king on a stage, if he have nothing when the curtain is drawn and the play ended, he is in a pitiful case. Alas! the world does with many, as with the young man, it brings an eternal eclipse on their souls.

Lastly, See the folly of men who are neglecting to secure their title to heaven. O sirs! we are quickly carried down the stream,

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