Fifthly, Dwell much in the meditation of Heaven; this will heavenlize your spirit: 'Twas this made the Apostles persons of such heavenly spirits; they did often look to things above. 1 Cor. 4.18. While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. No affliction could discourage them from owning and professing Christ; nor earthly comforts allure their desires and delights from Christ; and that which so strongly guarded their hearts from either of these dangers, was a firm persuasion of an interest in future glory, and a diligent observing eye upon this glory: a levelling look at this mark does wonderfully raise the heart towards it, and put in a new spirit and life into the soul, strongly engaging all its attempts towards the enjoyment of it: Frequent contemplations of Heaven do much wean the heart from this Earth. If thou remembrest thou art not of this world, earthly things shall only be admitted into the Court of the Temple, not into the heart, which is the Holy of Holies, [Anthony Burgess] on 17. John. How contemptibly did those Worthies of old look on this world, when once they got sights of Heaven! Heb. 11, They counted themselves strangers and pilgrims on the Earth; were not mindful of their own Country; went out from it; would no more return to it; sought an heavenly Country; were persuaded of those great and glorious things above, and embraced them; laid hold of them by faith: and made after them: and that which did so powerfully work over their spirits to these things above, was their believing sights of them. V. 13. These all died in the faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off; that, the things promised, (viz.) heavenly things, of which Canaan was a type. So [David] Pareus refers the participles here to the things signified of the promise, that heavenly Country which they only desired. Things nearest Heaven (saith one [Thomas Adams]) take least care of the Earth: The Fowls of the Air neither plow nor sow. The glory of the world seems little to one that dwells much on the believing views of Heaven. 'Tis said of Fulgentius, That when he beheld the splendour and joy of Rome, the glory of the Roman nobility, the triumphant pomp of King Theodorick, he was so far from being taken with it, that it raised up his desires after heavenly joys the more, saying, How beautiful may the Celestial Jerusalem be, when [terrestrial] Rome so glittereth! If such honour be given to lovers of vanity, what glory shall be imparted to the Saints, who are lovers and followers of truth! Serious thoughts of Heaven will inflame desires after it: Our conversation is in Heaven (saith Paul) whence also we look for the Saviour, who shall change our vile bodies into the likeness of his glorious body. Phil. 3.20. We wait, hope for, and expect Heaven, to be where this blessed Country is; the breadth and length of which we now look into by faith. If your thoughts be much on Heaven, your longings will be much for Heaven. I have read of one being in his journey towards Jerusalem, though he saw famous Cities in his way, and met with many friendly entertainments; yet would often say, I must not stay here this is not Jerusalem: So will thy heart say (if thou conversest much in Heaven now) when thou meetest with the most desirable comforts of this life; yet this is not Heaven; my affections must not stay here. Allow time every day to take some turns in the upper world, and to get thy heart held in the galleries above; where are the sweetest delicacies, and most delighting views to take thy heart, and sublimate thy affections to these pure and eternal things?
Thomas Watson, A Body of Practical Divinity, p. 448:
1. Are we heavenly in our Contemplations? Do our Thoughts run upon this Kingdom? Do we get sometimes upon Mount Pisgah; and take a Prospect of Glory? Thoughts are as Travellers: Most of David's Thoughts travelled Heaven's Road, Psalm 139.17. Are our Minds heavenliz'd? Psalm 4812. Walk about Zion, tell the Towers thereof, mark ye well her Bulwarks. Do we walk into the heavenly Mount, and see what a Glorious situation it is? Do we tell the Towers of that Kingdom? While a Christian fixeth his Thoughts on God and Glory, he doth as it were tread upon the Borders of the heavenly Kingdom, and he peeps within the Vail: As Moses, who had a sight of Canaan, tho' he did not enter into it; so the heavenly Christian hath a sight of Heaven, tho he be not yet entered into it.