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fect freedom from sin which will distinguish all the redeemed in common with their spotless Saviour. Sin has been the burden of the Christian through the whole of his earthly pilgrimage ; but resting on the promise of his faithful Saviour, he knows he will be ultimately rescued from its power. Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it, that he might sanctify, and cleanse it, and present it to himself, a glorious church, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing Now, the object of his death will be accomplished in the perfect holiness of his people. No sinful act will ever mar their lovely characters,-no impure thought or affection disturb the serenity of their breasts. As Jesus is holy, so will they reflect the bright lustre of his face.
Christians will also resemble Christ in the fervent and unceasing affection of their hearts. The inbabitants of that blessed world will vie with each other in love toward the great Supreme, and one unbroken cord of attachment will bind together the vast fraternity of the redeemed, who will know no other feeling than that of pure and ardent affection.
They will also resemble their Divine Lord in happiness, glory, and immortality. No disappointment, sorrow or pain will cast a moment's shade upon the mind. With capacities enlarged for their exalted state, they will drink in satisfying streams from the exhaustless fountain of life and joy. Honor will be put upon them as the sons of God. With crowns of glory on their heads, palms of victory in their hands, and hallelujahs upon their lips, they will follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. His glory they will behold,-his praises celebrate day and night for ever.
The ground of this assimilation. “We shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” Our likeness to Christ will result from our sight of him. Intercourse produces resemblance. We often see this illustrated in the intercourse of friends. Persons enjoying frequent intercourse and mutually attached will gradually acquire a conformity in sentiments, feelings, and habits. Their souls will come to possess oneness of feeling and character. Thus, too, the communion of Christians with their blessed Redeemer produces a correspondence in the principles, feelings, and thoughts of the soul. Even in this world this effect is partially apparent. The believer, by living near to Christ, beholding by faith his adorable charms, praying to him in secret, reading his word, and meditating upon his endearing worth, -rises by degrees towards the same excellence. “Beholding as in a glass the glory of God, they are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” But when the saints shall be exalted to the immediate presence of God; when at the revelation of Jesus Christ, they shall see him, not through a glass darkly but face to face, and maintain intimate and uninterrupted communion with him, they will be fully like him, as far as the creature can resemble the infinitely glorious Creator.
What the precise nature of that sight is which the saints shall have of God, in heaven, we know not. We have reason to believe, however, that they will see the glorified body of their Saviour; and, as on earth the Lord Jesus is the medium of God's manifestations and blessings to his people, it is not improbable, that the peculiar discoveries of his glory in heaven will be made through the person of his Son, whom we shall see for ourselves, through the organs of our refined and glorified bodies. But beside this view of God through the bodily organs, there will be discoveries of the Divine perfections to the mind, which will elevate and transport it with sentiments of sublime and holy adoration.
And this sight will be transforming. If the face of Moses shone with a brightness that could not be looked upon, when he came down from the presence of God on Mount Sinai, how will the souls of the redeemed reflect the beams of that face which they shall bebold when standing before the throne of glory! The infinite purity of God will beget a correspondent purity in them. The effulgent beams of Divine Love will fill them with unquenchable and perfect affection. The vision of God's smiling face will dry up every tear of sorrow, and conform the soul to him in happiness as well as holiness; while the presence of the ever-living Redeemer, who is the tree of life, in the midst of the garden, will give immortality to every joy, and secure to each of heaven's inhabitants the priceless boon of Everlasting Life.
1. Let Christians admire the grace of God in elevating them to this dignity, and these precious hopes. The sons of God! distinguishing title. This is the new name, written upon the white stone given to him that overcometh, which no man knoweth saving him that receiveth it. Happy they, who, in tracing the features of their character, can discern the evidences of their sonship. Let them look at the relationship in all the enjoyments it insures, the hopes it awakens, the honors to which it exalts, and then with admiring gratitude exclaim with the apostle, “Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” What manner of love! How free, how unmerited, how expensive! Upon us who were violating his laws, despising his mercy, and rejecting his Son, that we should be called the sons of God. It would be suprising condescension in an earthly Prince, to take a child of obscure and poor parentage and call it his own; but that the Almighty Sovereign of the Universe should take his enemies and make them his
children ; that he should rescue them from the devouring gulf of ruin and make them the heirs of life, is compassion and grace worthy of Him who is love itself. When we consider that in doing this he must part with his only begotten and dearly beloved Son; that he must leave heaven to make room for us ; that he must be sacrificed that we might be saved ; that he must become a servant and a curse that we might be the children of the King, -we are lost in wonder, love, and praise.
2. The subject furnishes rich consolation in trial. A child of God-an heir of glory! What peace and comfort belong to such
His is the privilege of crying, Abba Father! and regarding each affliction as the expression of covenant love,- for whom the Lord loves he rebukes and chastens. Afflictions are the tokens of his sonship, and designed to promote his sanctification. Ere long the end of his trials will be accomplished. The gold will be so far purified from the dross of corruption, su burnished and lustred by the hand of the Divine Refiner, that it will reflect, as a mirror, the image of the Saviour. Having completed the work of grace, he will remove its subject from earth to heaven, and place it among the vessels of glory in the upper sanctuary. In that glorious residence of the King, perfect purity and blessedness forever reign. There the saints shall enjoy the beatific vision of the Lamb. “God himself shall be with them, and be their God; and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes."
3. Having this hope, let the children of God purify themselves even as he is pure. Ever bear in mind, brethren, your Divine relationship, and walk worthy of your holy calling. In all the intercourse of life, carry in your hearts warm affections, a lively image of the blessed God: dwell upon his glory, his kindness, bis love and then carefully refrain from doing anything unworthy of such a Father. “Be blameless, and harmless, the sons of God without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.”
THE REVEALING PROCESS. ** There is notbing covered that shall no: be revealed ; neither bid that shall
not be known,'-LUKE, 12 : 2. THERE is a tendency in things everywhere to manifest their natures, and make themselves known. Seeds that are buried, seek the light; shells deep in the sea grope their way to the shore : the processes of nature are to bring things to the surface, as if that which is underground could not be kept in the dark; even the hóary rocks are laid bare to the eye, and what was once the centre of the earth is soon the top of its mountains. The working of things is to work all things oat. There is a kind of natural resurrection going on all the while, as if time and material forces were taking off all coverings, . and laying all foundations bare.
What is true in matter has certainly its counterpart in mind. Human character, notwithstanding all efforts to keep itself back, also tends to development ; what is not seen at once is found out in a life-time. The strong passions of the soul, like smothered fires or hidden springs, at last burst their way through, and become known. Hence, men that live long together, as a general thing, fairly estimate one another; the evolutions of time with the trials of life, draw the character forth, and make it manifest.
There is certainly going on around us in the operations of nature and in the unfolding of events, a revealing process, as if creation and Providence had determined to let light into all dark places, and at last uncover human hearts. This
, we suppose, is the general idea taught in the text. “There is nothing hid' which shall uot be revealed," was a proverb among the Jews. Once the Saviour used these words, to encourage the disciples, when their instructions were despised aud their principles rejected." Fear not.” he says, “ that which is whispered in secret shall be proclaimed from the house-top." The religion you preach shall spread and triumph, though now trodden under foot, and hiding in the caves; and though now persecuted and calumniated, your purposes and principles shall at last be vindicated before the universe.
* Preached during the Session of the Criminal Courts, at Lenox, Mass.
Another time when he used the words, was that referred to in the text. The Pharasees stood before him, surrounded by the multitule. They had shown themselves both deceitful and wicked ; they had done great wrong, and knew that they had, and yet claimed to be the chosen of the Lord. They endeavored to hide their real deformity under a fair exterior, and succeeded so well, that the Saviour said, " They are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them.” Then began he to announce the doctrine of a revelation at a future day, when things should appear as they are, and to say unto his disciples, “ Beware ye, for there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed.” He pointed their minds not only to the general idea of a development and resurrection of things concealed, but he speaks with a pointedness and particularity which implied that the minutest acts and all of them should be revealed, to the last item, and without the possibility of any obscuration. The words are, “ There is notHING hid which shall not be revealed ;--that which is spoken in the ear in the closet, shall be proclaimed upon the house-tops." It is as if he had said : the whole past history of each mind, with all the deeds done in the body, shall at some time be made to pass before itself and the universe ; and it is to the illustration and enforcement of this idea that we now ask your attention, vis : That the minutest exercises and acts of each mind, unless forgiven, will, at some time, be clearly and fully displayed.
1. There are revealing processes going on in the world around us, and under circumstances which make it exceedingly probable that, in the world to come, they will continue to go on with accelerated and overwhelming power.
There are revealing processes going on in the world around us. Events are ordered by Providence in this life, as if they were designed to bring hidden things to light. One fact often discloses a great deal, when brought into connection with another fact, which, when it stood br itself, told nothing. The ancient kings of the East were aware of this, when they sent messages from one to another on business which they wished to be kept secret from all but themselves. The message was written upon a piece of parchment, but so written that it could not be deciphered unless first