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A HEAVEN FROM THE HUMAN RACE.
Supremely happy in Himself alone,
THERE is one great end to which all the dispensations of the Divine Providence tend perpetually, and where every line, however dark or bending, in the life of man, meets and converges to a common centre. It is the production of a heaven from the human race. This must be. We are created immortal, we are introduced into this world without our being consulted, and with a thousand peculiarities and hereditary evils which we are no more accountable for than for the face we
The design of God, therefore, in its highest aim, can be no other than the blessing and glory of every individual in some station of use and dignity in the heavens. Whatever, then, pertains to the security of that destiny, (for it is to be wrought out by our own co-operative freedom) we may rest assured is the chief regard of the Divine Providence. In other words, it may be said that the Divine Providence, in all that it does, regards the infinite and the eternal. Necessarily so, because of man's immortal nature, and his connection with the infinite and the eternal. It is our salvation; it is our
immortal welfare ; it is the filling, in eternity, of that office or occupation for which every man and woman is designed, for which we are specially guarded through all this dubious and changing scene of time. Thus, it is not for the outward, but for the inward; not for the material, but for the spiritual, in all cases, that the order of providence is steadily pursued. This is the reason why we do not more clearly see the great truth of providence, in many dark and apparently untoward cases. It is comparatively easy for the mere naturalist to demonstrate the necessity and goodness of physical disorders, — the convulsions of the globe, “ the pestilence that walketh in darkness, and the destruction that wasteth at noonday ;” though he would shed a flood of more marvellous light upon the subject by the adoption of the spiritual theory. But it is not so easy to show from results, and from actual experience, the like necessity and goodness in evils which afflict humanity in many other ways. The reason is, their results lay out of sight, hidden in eternity, and in man's spiritual nature. But the great point is, that inasmuch as there is such an eternity, and a God who rules through all, it is a necessary consequence it is a truth demonstrable and clear as mathematics, that all that transpires in time and in nature must have a bearing and reference to that end; or in other words, as the System of Nature (so to call it) is not so superficial as the mere naturalist would make it, as it has a great interior, even a spiritual-natural, which concerns men's souls for eternity, so God can have no other reference, in all the outward and temporary, but that which ultimately pertains to the inward and eternal. Just the same as a man builds a house, not for the outside, but for the internal conveniences. Were it not so, it would represent God as working for the merest moiety of his creation, and as absurdly as he who should construct a delicate and intricate machine, the chief value and effect of which depended upon its interior arrangements, and yet spend all his time and supervision in taking care of the case that enclosed it.
The application of this truth is of peculiar value in many dark and bewildering circumstances of life, and especially in states of depression and discouragement. There is no obscurity about the principles of the subject; all the difficulty lies in the individual cases, the connections of which we cannot see, and the particulars of which are many times hard to bear. Thus there are cases of individual experience sometimes, characterized by a constant succession of rebuffs and disappointments, of the most trying and afflicting nature; a constant thwarting of all the plans, and the crossing of all the chief endeavors, for a series of years, and perhaps for a lifetime. What a flood of light does the principle in question throw upon such cases ! And what consolation may the stricken soul here find! The truth is, we know not frequently our own good, nor do we conceive of our own mission, nor what we are now being trained for. And yet it is clear that every man and woman must have a mission — must be fitted to perform some uses in the universal Kingdom of God, which no other being can perform so well. If we fail of it in time, it is in reserve for us in eternity. How extensive and wonderful does the subject thus become! And how little do we reflect upon the places and offices to which we are destined in the heavens, after all this checkered and limited scene of time! For the angels have employments, more complicated and more varied than man, and it is the ultimate end of the Divine Providence to advance us to the rank and office of angels.
Now, therefore, we are watched over for that end. From the time we first draw our infant breath, yea, and before that, in the germ and embryo of our pre-existence, and through that to birth into this natural world, and to the last gasp of old mortality, and to eternity beyond it, there is a constant, unfailing providence by the Lord, and by angels and spirits from Him, to make this our calling and election sure. There is no subject, therefore, so all-embracing and interesting to the individual as this. It is not to overlook at all, the affairs of the
world, but to invest those affairs with a seven-fold importance. For the heavens and the earth are so connected, that what is best for earth is invariably best for heaven, though not frequently as we are apt to consider it. Good institutions, reformed practices, a redeemed, and purified, and happy world, are mainly valuable for the production of a better heaven. Heaven is suffering now, comparatively, and the intermediate world of spirits is immensely degraded, from the imperfections, impuricies, and degradations of earth. The earth also partakes of the reflux, and is weighed down beneath its power.
The tion between all is what is essential to be most highly preserved.
By a Heaven from the human race, we mean an orderly, organized, societary Man;- the Grand, or Universal Man, which corresponds in all respects to the individual man or angel. Heaven is supremely Human. It must have its head, its feet, its various external and internal parts, and all the functions which correspond precisely to the orderly, regenerated, human being. As the whole is made up of all the parts, and as one man is the whole in miniature, so the whole heaven, being made up of individual men, must, in the perfection of its organization, present to the creator one Grand, Harmonic, Societary Man, emblem and outbirth of his own infinite Manhood, and corresponding to the church or Body of which the apostle speaks, having the head and all the members, in mutual order, reciprocation, and blessing. And the happiness of heaven is increased in proportion to the numbers of heaven. more, the merrier,” is a proverb which rises up and becomes invested with transcendent sublimity in application to this theme of the immortals. It is indeed a wonderful and mighty contemplation. Too vast, too pure, almost, for mortals to indulge in, but the reality of which is not beyond the Divine Creative Goodness to bestow.
And heaven, too, is of infinite variety. Its infinite harmony is only possible to exist by the greatest multiplicity of genius,