« 上一頁繼續 »
its highest Pomp of Thrones and Crowns--- Ye that sit upon the former, and wear the latter, hide your diminished heads, and blush at your pageantry, when you think of this true glory which is prepared for those who shall inherit the kingdom of God!
But we must proceed a little farther in considering the circumstances of this heavenly glory, to which we are called to aspire. And it consists not only in the Perfection to which we ourselves shall be advanced; but in the place, the company and the employ, to which we shall be admitted---even unto Mount Zion, the city of the living God---the Heavenly Jerusalem ---the company of the innumerable Hosts of Angels; the delightful employment of rising and mix. ing, and joining in their Songs of Praise; in the instruction to be derived from their conversation, whose Faculties are enlarged beyond our present Comprehension; who are filled with the Knowledge of great and wonderful Things; each of them happy in Himself, and rejoicing in the Happiness of each other!...
If, therefore, Love and Friendship complete; if Rest and Peace undisturbed; if Treasure and Riches which cannot decay; if Power and Dominion secure from every Foe---if these can constitute a happy society, with the everlasting God, and Jesus the Mediator of the new Covenant, and the blessed Spirit of grace, ruling at the head of all, and supplying and diffusing new irradiations of love and goodness, and perfection without measure, to all eternity--if this be Happiness---But I am lost in the contemplation and description of its immensity--in the joy to be derived from the vision of God, the displays of his love, the fellowship of spirits so highly exalted, the raptures of converse and union, with intelligences so perfect and enlarged---so full of all that is great and good and heavenly, having the whole works of God, and all the ways and wonders of his Providence which we now so little understand, as the everlasting objects of their investigation and praise !
“ The works of the Lord are great, sought out “ of all them that have pleasure therein. How ma" nifold are his works..-in wisdom hath he made “ them all!” “ This is the language of good men, " even in this world.” But how small a portion of his
ways and works, do we now understand? In the blessed World above, it will not be so. Here indeed we may examine a little corner of this little speck of earth; we may strive hardly to analize a plant, a flower, an animated substance, and think to explain the laws of vegetable and animal motion. assist our dim Sight to view some Planets and Stars, which we call distant, and that traverse a small portion of universal Space; but all that fills the immeasurable Tracts beyond, lies hid from our keenest Search!
Yet still if that little, which is subjected to our limited view, appears so great, so beautiful, and wonderfully grand and harmonius to an inquisitive mind; with what rapture shall we be filled, when with faculties more enlarged, we shall be enabled to survey all the works of God, to have for our instructors and associates, the angels that have surrounded his throne from the morning of the creation; to teach us on
what the foundations of the earth were laid; from whence are the springs of the sea, and the treasures of Snow and Hail; what kindles the Lightning's blaze, and gives the Thunder its loud and solemn voice; to count all the Stars and all the Suns and Planets that fill infinite space; to understand the Laws by which they are balanced and suspended, and guided in their unerring revolutions; and, when understanding this, to sing with those morning angels of Joy, as they did at the first creation, as we behold world after world filled with happiness; to take the Harp in company with those that have overcome, and join in the song of Moses, the servant of God, and song of the Lamb---“ Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord “ God Almighty! Just and true are thy ways, thou “ King of kings.
My Christian Brethren! Candidates for eternity! leave me not yet---Stretch your imaginations still forward to greater objects, and a more ample field. If such be the joy in contemplating God's works as in a glass, by reflected vision, what must it be to contemplate and draw near to himself, when we shall be permitted and enabled to look on his resplendent countenance, to behold him as he is, and to see even as we are seen? What will it be to rise from the contemplation of created and material worlds, to the world of Spirits, the history of their achievements, and all the changes, revolutions and improvements of their condition?---But on this subject I dare not venture a further sentiment, that might draw us from the contemplation of that final happiness, purchased for us through the blood of our Redeemer---the con
summation of which happiness will consist in the pure vision and enjoyment of God himself; who, if he is so good,“ to those whose hearts are perfect to“ wards him on this earth, that his eyes run to and
fro, to make himself strong for them; if he with“ holds no good thing from those that love him in this “ world; if he openeth his hand, and satisfieth the “ desire of every thing that liveth,” even where Sin is mixed with our best services; how great will be the happiness to see and feel His Goodness, when we are exalted into His Presence; to taste of His Love flowing freely, when there is no Sin to come between our Souls and His gracious Countenance...“ When “ we are brought fully to understand and taste the “ depth of the Riches, both of His Wisdom and
Knowledge, and also of His Goodness and long
Suffering; who brought us out of the mire and clay " of our Sins; who set our feet upon the Rock of His “ Promises; and ordered our Goings, and comforted
us on our Way, until he brought us into His own “ holy Presence?”
My Brethren, I now come to a conclusion of this important subject, with an affectionate sense of the kind attention with which you have favoured me, through a series of discourses, leading to firm consolation, amidst all the Changes and Chances of this mortal life, which the Apostle holds forth to us in the last verse of our luminous Text.
Let me, then, exhort you, to dwell often in the meditations of those Joys, which I have endeavoured to describe; and whilst our eyes are thus lifted towards Heaven and Glory, all that would fetter and bind us down to the vain enjoyment of this world will disappear---Let us bear our view constantly forward to that time when, washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb, we shall stand before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his Temple; when our happiness shall be complete and with out end; ” when we shall neither Hunger nor Thirst any more; neither shall the Sun light on us nor any Heat; for the Lamb which is in the midst of the Throne, shall Feed us, and shall Conduct us to living fountains of Waters, and God shall wipe all Tcars from our Eyes”--i With the prospect, and sure hope of those Joys before uş, may we not each of us for himself say, even in this world...
“ What aileth thee, O my soul, that thou art " Fear-strucken and astonished, at the thoughts of " leaving this Earth, and of being manumitted into “perpetual Bliss---Hast thou ever seen a Prisoner, *6 when the Jail gates were unlocked, who would be “ content to sit in his Fetters, rather than be enfran6. chised into Freedom? Hast thou ever seen a ma“riner, approaching the Shore amidst Tempest and “ Storms, who would launch forth again into the “perilous Main, rather than strike sail, and joyfully "enter into a safe Harbour?”
Thus may we commune with ourselves, even in this world. But supposing ourselves safely translated from its narrow precincts, and caught up to be forever with the Lord; how triumphantly will our gratulations and acldress then sun?