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*' we shall drink and be satisfied out of the rivers "that flow by the Throne of God, whose Waters are "pure as Chrystal, and shall eat the Fruit of the "Tree of Life, whose Leaves heal the nations."* Some there are likewise, whose whole lives are devoted to the pursuit of what they call Pleasure; now, to draw their attention---the Happiness of Heaven, is called " Pleasures for evermore, nay Rivers of Pleasure; which do not cloy the taste, enfeeble the Body, unnerve the very Soul, and generally terminate in Poverty, Shame, Disease and Death; but the pleasures of Heaven, when we shall have put on Immortality, instead of weakening and wearying the Powers of the Soul, more and more inspire it with renewed Vigour, exalting it to the Strength of Angels, and a Taste for Happiness, as boundless and sublime as are the employments in which we shall be engaged, and the objects with which we shall be forever surrounded. \ The sons of Adam are as busy as he himself was, in shaking the boughs and scrambling for the fruit, of what is considered as the tree of Happiness and Pleasure; but in Heaven we shall be led to stand by the Tree of Life, to taste of its fruits forever and ever.
4. There are others again who, in this life, consider poiver and dominion and worldly grandeur, as the Supreme Happiness.
To them also, the bliss of Heaven is represented as Glory, Honour, Power and Dominion eternal. "The upright shall have dominion Over the wicked "in the morning of the resurrection—in that ever"lasting Kingdom which Christ shall establish, "wherein they only who are rich in faith shall be "the joyous heirs." No outward enemy shall ever be able to rob or despoil the righteous of this honour and dominion; to which they shall be exalted, with the angels on high4, in subordination to the King of kings, to execute his high commands, and to be his ministers of love, through the infinite bounds of his creation. We shall then have true glory and dominion; eclipsing, beyond comparison, all the little pageantry of what we call glory here. For we shall receive from Christ himself, a Crown of Life, and Diadem of Glory. The veil of our present weakness and ignorance, shall be taken away: we shall behold with open face, and in beatific Vision, the glory of the living God; and not only behold, but be changed into the image of Him, and advanced from glory to glory, through endless durationl
* Rev. Ch. xxii. Ver. 1, 2.
t See a fine passage in Cuttwortb'i intellectual System, which led to this thought.
VOL. I. A a
Oh, ravishing thought! Do not our Souls exult within us, and enlarge themselves as ready to burst beyond the bounds of this mortal scene, and to grasp the happy moment, when we shall spring from this earth like a bed of new-blown flowers, and shaking off the dross and lumber of the flesh, have our outward part clothed upon anew, with Glory, Honour and Immortality; and not only this outward clothing, but clothed upon within, by the glories of the Son of God.
Let us then dismiss from our mind, the Tinsel Splendor of earthly glory, from its lowest Dregs to 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 \ve 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. We may 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-—i\\& con