by Edward Pearse
This text has been initially updated from EEBO-TCP by Project Puritas (Logan West, with David Jonescue and Alex Sarrouf.) www.puritansearch.org. Further revision and editing done by Monergism. Copyright Monergism via universal text usage permission from the above.
Next to the full and immediate Vision and Fruition of the God of Glory above, the greatest happiness of Souls lies in Union and Communion with Christ here: Nor indeed can we ever attain unto the one without an acquaintance with the other. Now to bring thee into, and build thee up in this Union and Communion with Christ, and thereby to fit and dispose thee for that glorious Vision and Fruition Above, is the principal design of the ensuing Discourse. If thou requirest a reason of the publication hereof, I desire thee to satisfy thyself with this; God in his all-wise and holy Providence, hath seen good now for several months to call the unworthy Author out of his Vineyard, and lodge him in a sick Chamber; and he also seems to be speedily calling him out of this World, and to bring that Night upon him wherein no man can work, wherein nothing is to be done either for God or a Man's Soul, John 9.4. And being never like to do more for Christ on Earth, he was willing, in hopes of advancing his dear Lord's Kingdom, in the drawing of Sinners to him, and building up of Saints in him, & communion with him, to make these poor Contemplations public. God was pleased some few years since to make a more than ordinary use of the preaching of them, many Souls being through his Grace espoused to Christ and more brought nearer to him thereby: and had I not some hopes that he would also, through that same Grace of his, make some use of the reading of them for thy good, and the good of others, I think they had never seen the light: Thy good then, and Christ's Glory in the enlargement of his Kingdom, is the thing aimed at herein, which the good Lord by his Grace accomplish. I am lying daily by the brink of the Grave, waiting upon the Will, and for the Call of my Sovereign Lord; the only reason swaying with me to desire life, next to the more through working out of my own Salvation, is to reveal, and make known Christ to Souls, and to publish the glad Tidings of Peace and Salvation to a lost and sinful World: But if God will make no further use of me that way, his Will be done. I comfort myself with what a holy Man speaks, Sinless glorifying of God, saith he, is better than sinful glorifying of God. His meaning I suppose is, that 'tis better to glorify God in a sinless than in a sinful state: Truly bere we sin in our best Actions; and if we bring a little glory to God, yet woe and alas! how much dishonor do we also bring him? and what iniquities do there cleave to our most holy things? But above we shall glorify him without sinning; we shall love him, praise him, admire him, adore him, delight in him, and ascribe glory to him without the least taint or tincture of sin cleaving thereunto; having not only all tears wiped off our eyes; but which is infinitely, infinitely, infinitely better, all sin purged from our hearts and actions. Farewell, I leave thee and this poor Treatise to the Blessing of Heaven.
Table of Contents
TO THE READER
CHAPTER I - Introduction
CHAPTER II - The Espousal or Marriage-Relation between Christ and Believers opened
CHAPTER III. In which the way and means of the accomplishment of this Espousal or Marriage-relation between Christ and Believers is inquired into, and a general account thereof given.
CHAPTER IV. The Espousal or Marriage-relation between Christ and Believers
CHAPTER V. Acts of Grace, which the Father and Jesus Christ by the Spirit do put forth in us and upon us for the effecting of the Espousals between Christ and us.
CHAPTER VI. Being a Call to and Treaty with Souls, in order to an Espousal between Christ and them.
CHAPTER VII. Which shows what manner of Husband Christ is, and how qualified for the endearing of him to Souls, and rendering him desirable in a Conjugal-Relation.
CHAPTER VIII. Which shows what great things Christ does for all his Spouses.
CHAPTER IX. Which opens a little the heart of Christ, and shows how much he is Jet upon an Espousal with Sinners.
CHAPTER X. Which Directs Souls, and shows them the way, how to Attain unto this sweet and Blessed Espousal with Jesus Christ.