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HEAVEN AN ENDLESS HOME.
377 , cares, and sighings for ever fled away. “Violence
no more be heard in their land, wasting nor destruction jin their borders; but they shall call their walls Salvation,
their gates Praise. The sun shall be no more their light * * day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto Fuen: but the Lord shall be unto them an everlasting light, to their God their glory. Their sun shall no more go down; -2, S. CE cher shall their moon withdraw itself: for the Lord shall 1 Dzere their everlasting light, and the days of their mourning shall le ended."o Before them all is glorious. Before them 11: atches one immense eternal day of bliss. They see no end,
par y fear no ill. How brightly shines the sun of their happiposss ! how happily glide on the infinite ages of their felicity! 2. Go forward in thought myriads of numberless ages. Ima
ae years as countless as the blades of grass that cover the F ound, or as the drops that fill the ocean, to have passed mon vay. Then look again at the inhabitants of heaven; their
ay is still bright. No cloud has darkened its glory in the ta omense duration that has passed. Their happiness is still
I ndiminished. No transient pain has brought a momentary 7s aterruption of their felicity, in all the mighty periods that
re gone. For no moment, during all those countless ages, 12 jas the stain of imperfection polluted them. No ruffling 23 passion has ever been felt within their peaceful breasts. The "De light of God's countenance has never been withdrawn. No PE foes without, no fears or corruptions within, have disturbed
the sweet composure of their happy spirits. Through periods
so long, that, compared with them, time and all its ages is Du the twinkling of an eye, the unruffled day of heaven has
glided blissfully along. Nor do they mourn its departure; - eternal day is not shortened ; eternal felicity is not lessened.
The immense and amazing prospect of everlasting life still stretches before their view, as bright, as fair, as gladdening, and as long as ever. Happy conquerors ! Imagination fails, and cannot reach their blessedness, nor comprehend what it is to be enjoying heaven.
The eternal God is their Father, and they are for ever with the Lord. But, O! what no heart can conceive, no imagination comprehend, you, my brother, or my sister, may enjoy. Be thou faithful unto death, and that eternal day
(0) Isa. 1x. 18–20.
HEAVEN NOT DISTANT. will cheer your soul with infinite delight; and raise your raptures to heights of infinite felicity; while you look back to the stormy scenes of time, to the day of danger and conflict, to the solemnities of death and judgment, and exult that these are for ever finished ; that redeeming love has fixed you safe in heaven; and that now vast, boundless, joyful eternity, will be to you one long, immense, infinite scene of unmingled tranquillity, praise, and pleasure, in the presence of God and of the Lamb. O what is life in the view of this happiness! What its cares, pleasures, pains, but shadows lighter than vanity! O what is redeeming love, that opens to your soul these triumphant prospects!
$ 28. Soon will all the glories of these bright scenes dawn upon the faithful soul. Though eternal day will never end, eternal day will soon begin. When the husbandman commits his seed to the ground, a few wintry days revolve, a few bright suns shine, a few moons wax and wane, and the harvest comes, and the ripened crop is gathered into the garner. So fast comes the harvest of eternity. The Christian's happiest days are hastening him forward to its solemn scenes, and the sad and gloomy days of darkness are carrying him as fast to the world where gloomy seasons and distressing days are unknown for ever. The Christian's state in this world is like that of a mariner pursuing a long voyage, yet tending to his native land. Month after month, all he beholds is the ocean and the sky. When within a day's sail of home, he still sees nothing but sea and sky: the unvarying prospect is the same as it was months before; yet his situation is very different; then he was far from harbour, now a few hours will bring him there. So the Christian hastening to heaven, sees no more of that happy home than he did when entering his course, yet he is nearer every hour. He is drawing apace fo the harbour, though he sees it not, and in a little while will enter there.
$ 29. If grace has made you a partaker of the hope of that felicity, draw comfort from that hope; anticipate that heaven. When meditation leads your contemplations beyond the narrow bounds of time, then think, Am I to walk those heavenly fields ? Am I to dwell in those regions of light? Then what is this world to me? Am I, born as it were but yesterday, and hastening to a grave, to live in glory when sun and stars,
HEAVEN TO BE KEPT IN VIEW. 379 with all their glory, shall expire? Am I, unmoved, to behold “ the wreck of nature and the crush of worlds," to see, without regret, the bright lights of heaven sink into eternal darkness; and then shall I, amid the blest inhabitants of heaven, rejoice that my day of glory and happiness will never, never end? Then shall I, with all the blood-bought nations of the saved, walk in the light of the heavenly city, and dwell before the throne of God? Rise then, my soul, rise to thy blissful home. There place thy treasures; there lay up thy store ; there fix thy love; there hope to praise thy Saviour and thy Lord ; and wait and watch, till he shall call thee home.
Daily cherish the thoughts of that felicity, and strive, and pray, by meditation, to check unreasonable attachment to This dying world; to sit loose to all below; and to live as one who hopes ere long to live in heaven. Why are not the followers of the Lamb more eager for their rest ? Does the sailor, tost by storms, long once more to reach his home? the child desire manhood ? the sick man, health ? the tradesman pant for riches ? the prisoner for liberty ? the condemned for pardon ? and should not you desire the blessedness you seek? Is heaven indeed the object of your choice, and your wished-for home, why not more eager for it? How unreasonable to love a dangerous journey more than a peaceful rest! a boisterous ocean more than the safe and pleasant harbour ! Who loves the ship that wafts him over raging waters, more than the country where all who are dearest to him dwell ? Who loves the horse on which he rides, or the carriage in which he travels, more than the dear home, where he rests in peace ? Alas, such is their attachment to this world, who are the heirs of a better. We profess to take heaven for our home; we know that all, and more than all, that recommends our earthly dwellings, is found in the eternal mansions; friends that should be the dearest, and to whom we are most dear;—the surest refuge; the securest rest ;—and yet how often have we little familiarity with that better country! How much ado has God to get us home! Ah, stupified hearts! to love a journey, a toilsome, a dangerous journey, more than an everlasting home, whence toils and dangers are banished for ever. Watch against this dangerous, this guilty fondness for the present state. Think much of heaven. If your home 380
CONCLUDING ADDRESS. is there, your heart must be there. You would not think much of the affection of a friend, who might forget you at the moment of parting, and think of you no more till you met again. We should not value a person's professed fond. ness for his family or home, who could travel days and weeks without thinking of them; nor can we think much of their attachment to heaven, who go days and weeks without having their thoughts and affections rising thither. Watch against that too common sin, much forgetfulness of a better world.
$30. He who has thus, in the preceding pages, endeavoured to help you in your spiritual pilgrimage, is now about to lay down his pen; yet before he lays it down, probably for ever, let him once more say to you, Go onward, looking to Jesus, and keeping God and heaven in view. Then, ere long, when summoned hence, you may depart in peace, and say, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." Farewell, vain world! Farewell, scenes of transient fondness and dissolving affection! Farewell, world of real grief, but fancied pleasures ! Farewell, sin, and, with sin, farewell to sorrow! But welcome, bright and blessed immortality! Welcome the scenes of indissoluble love! Welcome the mansions in my Father's house! Welcome the kingdom of my redeeming Lord! the dwelling of joy, the crown of glory! Few and evil have been the days of the years of my pilgrimage, but now those few and evil days have come to their end; and I enter an eternity, where days, and weeks, and months, and years, have no place, but all is one eternal day. Happy are they, who, being washed in the blood of the Lamb, ascend at the end of life's short pilgrimage to that endless rest. Happy they, whose blessedness it is, that the holy Saviour prepares heaven for them, and them for heaven. May this be your happiness, who have now been reading these pages! When neglecters of the gospel, in overwhelming sadness, exclaim, The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved when those who have slighted the Saviour's love, vainly shrinking from the eternal Judge's wrath, say, “ To the mountains and rocks, ADDRESS TO THE IRRELIGIOUS. 381 Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb”--then, and through eternity, may you, with ransomed millions, unite in the sweet and everlasting anthem, “ Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever."
$ 31. Probably some who may glance over the preceding pages are destitute of an interest in all the blessings there described. Is this the case with you, whose eyes are now fixed upon this little book? Are you a careless profligate ? an open scoffer? or an almost Christian? If either be the case, let me beseech you to reflect on your dreadful condition. Whatever you are, if you are not a humble follower of the Saviour, your state is fearful in the extreme. In those blessings, that have been described as the Christian's portion, you have no share. God is not your reconciled Father ; Jesus Christ is not your Shepherd; heaven is not your home. As sure as the Scriptures are true, you are an heir of death, a slave of Satan, a child of wrath, an enemy of God, a traveller to hell. Every moment you are on the brink of destruction. There is only the breath in your nostrils between you and hell; and nothing is wanting to sink you there but God's command. A cold, an accident, or almost any trifle, may be sufficient to cut your thread of life, and plunge you in eternal despair. There is no wide gulf between you and the torments of eternal fire, the howlings of accursed spirits, and the horrors of damnation. The place of misery is your own place: you are ready for it. Your sins are all un pardoned-wrath follows you-hell is waiting to receive you. Death, your dread foe, is drawing nigh. Your last moment, your last comfort, are approaching. In Christ you have no interest. For you his death is vain. In heaven you have no inheritance. There is a blessed heaven, but not for you. Unhappy creature ! you may trifle with this warning, but trifling will not alter your condition, or save your ruined soul. You may laugh or scoff at fervent piety, but will you laugh in the sad world of misery? When lost for ever; when before you is eternal night; when millions of years of misery will not lessen your wretchedness, nor seas of tears efface one guilty stain ; when the world is gone, and every pleasure gone, and your soul lost, eternally lost: then what will you think of a slighted