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should be miserable, amidst all the splendours of the new Jerusalem.

7. Finally, these pleasures, this glorious life, will be without decay and without end. They They are not like the enjoyments of earth, which require to be perpetually varied that they may not displease by their uniformity. Here we can never be weary, since there is no defect in the objects enjoyed, no weakness in the faculties enjoying. Here there is no alternate succession of trouble and joy, no mixture of good and evil; there is no change, except by the augmentation of bliss. And as there is no decay, so neither is there any end. The blessed are not pained by reflecting that these enjoyments can be torn from them, but triumphing in the security of the divine promises, they confidently exclaim, "This God is our God for ever and ever!" This thought redoubles their joys, and consummates their felicity.

Thus, my brethren, I have endeavoured to give you an imperfect description of "the inheritance of the saints in light." But I must say with Job, "I have uttered what I understood not; things too wonderful for me which I knew not:" for the future delights must transcend the most elevated conceptions that man can have of them in this dark commencement of his existence, incomparably more than the highecstasy, of which our nature is here susceptible, exceeds the dull, the undistinguishable perceptions of the infant in the womb. Yet forgive me, O God, that I have degraded these glories by my unworthy representation of them; and grant, that, hereafter enjoying them, we may, from our own experience, form more suitable conceptions of them.

In reviewing this subject, let us,

1. Inquire whether we are prepared for this feli

city; whether at the hour of dissolution we shall enter into "the joy of our Lord," or, for ever banished from it, and lying in torments, shall see it only "afar off," and behold it only with envy, with rage, and self-reproach. This question may easily be decided, if we will be faithful in the examination of our hearts and lives. The Saviour who has purchased heaven for us, and who confers the crown of immortality, has plainly taught us who are the persons who alone shall dwell with him in glory. They are those, who having felt that they were wretched and undone, have fled to his cross for pardon, and to his Spirit for power to resist sin; have given themselves up to him in an everlasting covenant, and have accepted him as their Saviour and their king; have · chosen God and heaven and holiness as their portion, and have laid up their best treasure and their dearest hopes there, "where Jesus is, at God's right hand;" have mourned over their remaining imperfections, and have prayed, and longed, and laboured for complete holiness. If when you die, this be not your character, so sure as God is true, you must be excluded from these joys, and all your sanguine hopes of heaven be for ever blasted. Notwithstanding the infinite mercy of God and the boundless merits of Jesus, no unsanctified soul shall ever be admitted into the new Jerusalem. Strictly then try yourselves: dream not away your lives in carnal security; be not satisfied till you have evidence derived from that word of God by which you shall be judged, of your preparation for heaven; evidence that will uphold your sinking spirit when contending with the last enemy, and that will brighten as you approach the light of eternity; evidence that will stand the scrutiny of that holy tribunal

where God will search deep into our souls, and where the mere name of a Christian will not be considered as constituting Christianity.

2. We should be deeply humbled for our insensibility to blessings so immense, for the feebleness of our desires and longings for this felicity. We should naturally suppose that when such high joys were proposed to our hopes and expectations, the children of men would delight to lift the curtain which covers futurity, and gaze on the eternity of being, the consummation of holiness, the perfection of bliss, reserved for the pious; that believers especially, would perpetually groan to be delivered from these fetters of flesh, which hold their souls in thraldom, and prevent them from mounting and winging their flight to the bosom of their Redeemer. But, alas! when we look around us in the world, how few do we perceive with these feelings and disposition! Almost all men regard this world as their country, and consider themselves as inhabitants, not pilgrims in it; they had rather be in the body than with the Lord; and the presence of the Saviour, that presence which constitutes heaven, is the object of their dread. Ah! is this the disposition of a Christian? Were these the feelings of a Paul, while panting for celestial joys, he cries, "I desire to depart and to be with Christ, which is far better:" of a Peter, when with so much delight he tells the churches, "I must shortly put off this tabernacle, even as the Lord Jesus hath showed me:" of a John, who so joyfully responds to the Saviour, telling him, "I come quickly: even so, Amen, come Lord Jesus!" Let us imitate these holy men; let us study to acquire such a temper as will induce us to view



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life as a subject of patience and resignation, and death as a cause of triumph and joy. let us cultivate those feelings so forcibly expressed by St. Augustine: O joy most exquisite, most excellent, most comprehensive; above which, in comparison of which, beside which, there is no joy! when shall I enter into thee, and behold my God that dwelleth in thee! what is it that detains me from him whom my soul loveth? How long shall it be said to my eager heart, Wait, wait patiently? And now, O Lord, what do I wish and wait for? surely it is for my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; surely it is for thy coming to the marriage, that thou mayest admit me to the bride-chamber. Come quickly, Lord, and do not tarry; come and unlock our prison-doors, that thy released may walk before thee with a perfect heart; come, my light, my Redeemer, and set my soul at liberty, that I may give thanks unto thy holy name. How long shall I continue tossed on the waves of this mortal life, separated from thee!" Ah! my brethren, can you who are contented with earth, who long not for a better portion, suppose that you will dwell with these men from whom your temper is so discordant?

3. This subject is full of consolation for the believer. However severe may be your sufferings on earth, heaven will abundantly compensate you for them: fear not then the cross, since it will be suc

ceeded by the crown. "If ye suffer with the Redeemer, ye shall also be glorified together." Ask those who are already received to the embraces of their Saviour, whether it is not better to experience affliction upon earth for the sake of Jesus, and then to dwell in heaven with him in endless joys, than to

enjoy the vain delights of sinners, and to descend into everlasting despair. Ask the martyrs, whether they regret that they submitted to all the tortures which the most ingenious cruelty could devise, rather than forsake their Lord. Ah! could we have but a single view of the redeemed, we should no longer hesitate to "follow the Lamb whithersoever he leadeth;" did we keep fresh upon our hearts the joys of heaven, we should smile in every sorrow, we should exult in death; and seeing the gloom of the grave dissipated by a light from heaven, we should regard it only as the path to immortality, the gate of glory.

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