Page images
PDF
EPUB

The believer in Christ, being freed from all condemnation, and made alive to God by the power of the Holy Ghost, nothing remains but for him to live to Christ, and go on holding communion with him, all the way to heaven. The saints in the apostolic churches, made partakers of Christ, and his unsearchable, infinite, and eternal riches, might well break forth in praise, and say, “ Praise the Lord, all ye nations, praise him, all ye people: for his merciful kindness is great towards us, and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever. Praise the Lord." Christ, with all the treasures of his love, mercy, and grace, in all the glory and perfection of his work, with all the blessings of his salvation, with his unsearchable riches of grace and glory, are set before poor sippers in the everlasting gospel; and they, by believing, are interested, and possessed of them. May the Lord, the Spirit, shine upon what has been set before you. Amen.

SERMON XXII.

ON THE STATE OF GLORY AND BLESSEDNESS,

WHICH THE SOULS OF GOD'S ELECT, BE-
LIEVERS IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, ENTER
IMMEDIATELY UPON, AT THEIR DEPARTURE
FROM THE BODY, AT DEATH.

2 CORINTHIANS v. 1.

For we know, that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."

IN our reading the gospel of the blessed God, we, so far as favoured with the light and inspiration of the Holy Ghost, are in a measure enabled to ouderstand the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ. Being thus admitted into the knowledge of the Holy Ones, the Holy Father, the Holy Son, and the Holy Spirit, who are Three in One, and One in Three, in the incomprehensible Jebovah, we proceed with pleasure in our perusal of the revealed account given us therein, of the everlasting love Their being prepared for it, and that by the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, is their constant meetness for this most blessed state. Their fervent desires, that their life of grace which they now express, in living a life of faith on the Son of God, might be swallowed up in an heavenly and eternal life of glory, is the reason why they, as saints, and the beloved of God, desire to have their bodies dissolved by death, that they might depart from them, and be with Christ, wbich is far better.

This subject being truly great and sublime, I will aim to survey the verses which go before my text, and are properly belonging to it. Then I will set before you, the state of glory and blesseduess which the souls of God's elect, be. lievers in the Lord Jesus Christ, enter immediately upon, on their departure from the body at death, under proper heads and divisions, for the clearer understanding of the same; and in these several sections, will endeavour to open and express the essence of what follows our text, to the end of the ninth verse. By this course, I apprehend, I shall be helped to unite the whole subject, and give a proper view of it, according to its revealed connection. May the Lord the Spirit inspire my mind, and guide me into a clear, spiritual, and right knowledge of the subject before me, that I may so explain this portion of scripture, as may reflect light on your minds,

They were the objects of the Father's ever. lasting love; he manifested it by choosing them in Christ, before the foundation of the world; in blessing them with all spiritual blessings, in predestinating them to the adoption of childreu, by Jesus Christ, to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made them accepted in the beloved.

Thus the elect were in Christ before the world began; they were brought forth by creation, pure and holy, in Adam their nature head, when he stood the representative of the whole human race. This was their creation state.

They are, by his transgression, in a fallen state, and by their natural birth, and union to, and communion with him, they are dead in trespasses and sins. This is commonly called their state of nature, or their sinful and natural state.

They are redeemed and bought out of this state, by the blood and death of Christ, and are brought out of darkness into God's marvellous light, and translated into the kingdom of God's dear Son, by the energy and grace of the Holy Ghost. This is their regenerate state.

From this state, their next translation is, to the state of glory, where they have a beatific vision of Christ, and are absent from the body, and present with the Lord. This is their glorified state.

When all the elect are effectually called, and brought to a saving knowledge of Christ, and all the ends of his mediation are fully accomplished, in the church militant, then the resurrection will take place, and they will be adınitted into the resurrection state; in which their bodies being raised from the grave of death, and their souls reunited to them, they will bear the image of the heavenly Adain. Their bodies will be made “like unto his glorious body.” The Lord will be with, and in his people for ever: they will be where he is, see him face to face, be like him, in body and soul, and enjoy him with the fullest and utmost capacity and exercise of every spiritual faculty and sense. This will be blessedness beyond all our present conception. And, after Christ and his saints have dwelt in the new heaven and the new earth together, for a thousand years, the state of ultimate glory will take place, in which God will be all in all, in the person of Christ God-man for ever.

Thus the elect pass out of darkness, death, and condemnation, by regeneration, into a state of spiritual life, light, justification, pardon, acceptance, grace, and liberty. They are removed out of this state, to that of glory and blessed. ness, by the violence of death : from this, they are conducted into a glorious state, in which their bodies, disunited from their souls, are again reunited, and they shine, in their souls and bo

« PreviousContinue »