First, then, whosoever thou art that wouldest try this title to thy heavenly glory, thou mayest try it by this: if the
design of thy life be to glorify God, and promote their heavenly interest, then thou art one of those that are entitled to the heavenly inheritance; if thou drivest a trade for heaven, and if that the obtaining of heaven be the principal part of thy care and business, and the great design that thou drivest at in all thy actions, then by this thou mayest try thy title to heaven. Apply now this home to thy soul, what trade and design art thou now driving in the world? Is it thy main business here to promote thy temporal or thine eternal state? Art thou more striving more after earth or heaven? If thy design here be after riches, honor, or greatness in the world; and makest all thy actions subservient to thy design, then though art none of those that have a title to heaven. But if it be the business of thy life, and the trade that thou drivest in the world to advance God’s glory, and thine eternal salvation, and dost care for no more of this world, than may tend to promote God’s glory, and thine eternal happiness; then thou mayest safely conclude that thy name is written in heaven, and that thou hast an interest in that kingdom. It is the grand mistake of thousands of souls everywhere, that they pretend to seek after the kingdom of heaven, but they seek it only by the by, and their main design in the world is somewhat else, as to grow rich, or great, or honourable here. They do not make it their principal business, and their great design to secure their title to heaven; but they look upon heaven only as a reserve for them, when they can enjoy the world no longer. And therefore they will have some glances, and some faint endeavors that way; but if ever we will enter into heaven, we must first of all seek God’s kingdom and his righteousness, Matthew 6:33. Luke 12:31.
John Gaspine, from a sermon preached at Ashpriors, Somerset, before the great ejection in 1662, Farewell Sermons, Solid Ground Christian Books, 2011.