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"with Him on his throne, even as he over66 came, and is set down with his Father on "his throne. They then behold his face "in righteousness, and are satisfied with "his likeness. They see, even as they are 66 seen, and know, even as they are known*.' The felicity thence arising, is unalloyed with apprehension or pain; it is pure and perfect; and not only pure and perfect; but, ravishing thought! it is eternal. Unlike our present giddy joys, which are often but the raptures of an hour stolen from sorrow, this is an enjoyment of endless duration. The heavens shall pass away, the elements shall melt with fervent heat, and this great globe itself, with all its works, shall be dissolved; but the felicity of the righteous shall then be but just commencing. And when millions of ages have elapsed, and when ten thousand times ten thousand millions more have gone, it shall have suffered no diminution, but rather be found to have been ever on the increase,fairer, brighter, nobler than at the beginning. O! blessed Eternity! when faith can draw aside the veil and look into thee, what scenes rise to the astonished eye! We be
* Rev. iii. 21. Ps. xvii. 15. 1 Cor. xiii. 12.
hold joy above joy, and glory above glory, till the imagination is overcome with the view;-is lost in the boundless contemplation.
This is "eternal life," and when we consider what we now are, do we sometimes fear that it is too great; too angelic, for us to enjoy? Does it seem a life to which it is, almost, incredible, that mortals will be raised ?—a gift too transcendent for sinners such as we are, ever to receive? We are indeed, unworthy even of our present life, and deserving only of punishment, but from what we know of God, we have reason to believe that his gifts are not proportioned to our deserts, but to his own boundless munificence. Great and glorious then, as the gift of eternal life is, and unworthy as we are to receive it, it is, surely, not too great and glorious to be conferred by divine, infinite goodness.-But the difference between what the Christian now is on earth, and what he may expect to be in heaven, has something analogous to it in the amazing difference of the states which he has passed through already. How great the difference between what he was, when a child, and what he was before being born!
How great, again, the difference between mere childhood, and full maturity! He who once had no existence, passes into what scarcely deserves the name; he became a helpless, unthinking, mere breathing infant, and he is, now, a wise, benevolent, and righteous man ;-bearing the image of God, and partaking of the nature of Jesus Christ. Let us duly consider the greatness of this change, and we shall be prepared to admit, as a doctrine consonant to reason, the reality of an unspeakably superior state, into which he shall be introduced by his last change, when he shall be delivered from all sin and sorrow; when he shall be made perfect; when he shall dwell with God; when this corruptible shall have "put on incorruption, and this mortal im"mortality." But this is a doctrine, not only consonant to reason; but confirmed by well attested Revelation. The Holy Spirit hath declared, that "the gift of God "is eternal life."-and" eternal life" is said to be what God, who cannot lie, pro→ mised before the world began.-" Father! "(said Jesus,) I will that they also, whom "thou hast given me, be with me, where I
am, that they may behold my glory, which
"thou hast given me." They then, (the Scriptures assure us,) enter into fulness of joy, receive a kingdom which cannot be moved—an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away.
SECONDLY, after examining what this exceeding great and precious gift of God includes, let us next consider whence it originates. It is evidently the effect of grace, and not the reward of merit. It originates from pure and disinterested love. It is styled "the gift of God;" but were it, in any degree, the reward of merit, it would partake of the nature, not of a gift, but of a debt. That it is wholly of grace, appears, whether we consider the gift itself, or Him who bestows it, or the persons on whom it is bestowed, or the express declarations of Scripture on the subject.
Let us consider the gift itself. It is "eternal life;" the glory and immortality of the heavens. Now, what man living can have a title to this? We enjoy even our animal life by mere favour. It is because God's tender mercies fail not, that we are not consumed. From what then, but
pure favour, but unmerited and infinite mercy, can we receive what is incomparably more excellent,-spiritual and eternal life -the life of angels,-the highest and noblest life with which a creature can be inspired?
Let us think also of Him who bestows this gift. It is God; He who is eternally independent and glorious, and the source whence all being flows. Now, who can merit from God? Can any creature "be "profitable" to his Creator? Can his goodness extend unto him? For the air we breathe, for every good disposition we feel, for every hope, for every present and temporal enjoyment, we are all debtors to the unsearchable riches of His grace. But besides having temporal enjoyment, we are also, if Christians, the heirs of "eternal "life."
And what are we, to whom this wondrous grace is shown ?-Sinful dust, and ashes traitors to God, and enemies to him by wicked works! Now, if God "chargeth even his
angels with folly," and if "the heavens are "not clean in his sight," what is man, "man