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" and the King of glory shall come in the knowledge of it thrives best in a pracWho is the King of glory? The Lord, tical course. Laying out here is a means the Lord of hosts, he is the King of of gathering in; an hearty endeavour to glory The same divine presence, that do good, and to communicate, is one of veiled in a golden cloud, filled of old the the greatest helps to our proficiency. So temple of Solomon—the same which in that by this means you are likely to bethe likeness of flesh entered the temple come more able pastors of the church, of Zerubbabel and of Herod. He, who than private studies alone can make you. now in his influences, by his Spirit, is Particularly it will be an excellent means with his disciples always, even unto the to help you in preaching ; for when you end of the world.
are well acquainted with your people's Receive these influences, brethren, in cases, you will know what to preach the temple of your souls. Behold he, upon. An hour's conversation will furthe Messiah, stands at the door of his nish you with as much matter as an hour's living temple, the heart of man, and study. As he will be the best physician knocks. He might force his way, but and lawyer, so he will be the best divine, he does not; he treats you as willing be- who adds practice and experience proporings—he knocks. Open unto him, and tionable to his studies; whereas that man though in even the humblest mansions, will prove an useless drone, who refuses in the breast of the poorest disciple, with God's service all his life, under a prereference to outward splendours, he will tence of preparing for it; and let men's condescend to come in unto you; and the souls pass on to perdition, while he prechurch, the spiritual temple of the living tends to be studying how to recover them, God, and each integral part of that church, or getting more ability to help and save as a wing, a chamber, one of the many them.-Barter. mansions of that temple, will be like the spouse of the King of glory, all glorious within. Prepare to sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, let the Spirit of God Let not my sermons be the children dwell in you, and this self-dedication, of my brain, but the travail of my soul, this spiritual worship, will be a far better that I may serve my God with my spirit in consecration, than wealth, and pride, and the gospel of his Son ; and as a true vessel pagan magnificence, could furnish forth of the sanctuary, have within me a savour with the cattle on a thousand hills, yea, of that water of life which I pour out to with rivers of wine and oil.
others. It is a doleful thing to fall into hell from under the pulpit. But, oh! how dreadful is it to drop thither out of it!
Doth not my heart tremble to think, that Methinks I would willingly exchange it is possible for me, like the unbelieving all the other knowledge I have, for one spies, to coast the heavenly Canaan, to glimpse more of God and the life to come. commend it to others, and yet never to Now, by frequent serious conversation possess it myself! that whilst I preach about everlasting things, by diligently to others, I myself may be a cast-away! instructing and catechising your people, Lord, let me exalt thee in my heart, as you will gain more of this kind of know- my chiefest good; in my life, as mine ledge, than can be gained by other means; utmost end ; and preach so effectually to and thus you will really grow wiser than my own soul, and to others, that I may those who spend their time in any other both save myself, and them that hear me, way. As theology is a practical science, Swinnock.
INTERCOURSE WITH THE PEOPLE.
THE CHRISTIAN'S DUT Y.
BY THE REV. JOSEPH E. BEAUMONT.
“ Seek those things that are above."-Col. iii. 1.
While irrational creatures, by the con- , life with importance, by calling us to constitution of their nature, are concerned sider its relationship to that state of rest only for the present moment, it is incum- and blessedness in heaven, which is the bent on man to consider his relationship ultimate design of the Almighty concernto a future world, and to prepare for and ing his rational offspring; a state in anticipate its enjoyments, as being those which the human mind will be carried to only which are adapted to his wide-rang- the highest pitch of improvement, and in ing capacity and interminable existence. which all the might of the human facul
The reality of a future and superior ties, thus improved, will find appropriate state has been clearly revealed to us—not and delightful exercise. How fitted is to supply matter and occasion of curious the revelation of such a state to awaken and idle speculation—but to influence our the attention and enkindle the desire of conduct and affections, our life and con- every living thing that is heir to immorversation; to throw a sacred and immor- tality! And how effectually were the tal radiance over this present scene of our first Christians encouraged by it, to enbeing, through which men too generally dure all that trial of cruel mocking and pass without thought, and from which scourging, bonds and imprisonment, torthey retire without hope.
tures and death, to which they were callIt is recorded of Socrates, that he ed for righteousness' sake! And what brought men down from heaven to earth; will so detach our hearts from the low and that is, he drew the attention of men from sordid vanities of earth ; what will so the study and contemplation of the hea- guard us from its intoxicating and pollutvenly bodies, to the consideration of the ing pleasures; what will so sustain and nature and end of man, the duties and re-exhilarate us, amidst its keen and varied lations of men in this life. Socrates, sorrows; and, in short, what will so enatherefore, was said to have brought down ble us to possess our souls in patience philosophy from heaven to earth. But of under all that we have to do, and all that Jesus Christ it may be said, that he we have to suffer, in this the house of our brings us from earth to heaven; he teaches pilgrimage, as the continual thought, the us a divine philosophy; raises man from bright prospect, the well-assured hope of things seen, and temporal, and earthly, to the glories that are at God's right hand ? things spiritual, heavenly, and eternal. Hence the inspired writers are constantly He hath entered the heavenly places, and directing our thoughts to heaven; instructwe are invited and entreated to follow. ing and exhorting us to elevate our affecThere is no subject to which the Scrip- tions to the things that are above. Listen tures more frequently solicit our attention to the entreaty of the apostle in the words than this. They constantly stamp this ! of the text: “Seek," — with impressive Vol. 1.-15
and affectionate solemnity and earnestness / Man, by searching, cannot find out he calls upon us to "seek those things God or heaven ; by his own penetration that are above.” Our remarks shall turn and unaided sagacity, he can neither find on,
out what God is, nor where he dwells; I. The things themselves to which neither his true nature, nor the palace in reference is here made ;
which he unveils his beauty and glory. II. The conduct enjoined in relation to Life and immortality are brought to light, them; and,
but only by Christ Jesus in the gospel. III. The motives which should impel From this source alone we derive all our us to this conduct.
just and appropriate, all our pure and inI. THE SUBLIME OBJECT TO WHICH THE fluential conceptions, on this momentous EXHORTATION OF THE APOSTLE RELATES. and lofty theme. By “ the things above" we understand Owing to the thick veil that sin and the future blessedness, perfection, and mortality have spread over our mind, we glory of believers in heaven. In this ex- know, even with the revelation that planation, we are supported by the latter God has graciously favoured us, little part of the verse and of the sentence in in comparison of what is to be known. which the words of the text lie. “ Seek Such is the darkening, and debasing, and those things that are above," " where," debilitating influence of the clouds and adds the apostle, “ Christ sitteth at the fogs of earth, and sense, and sin which right hand of God.” Now, at the right now envelope us, that of heaven, its duhand of God, as the sixteenth Psalm ties and exercises, its felicities and glories, teaches, are transcendent joys and eternal “we know but in part." Besides, so pleasures. " At thy right hand,” ex- much has not been revealed as to gratify claims the devout prophet, " there is ful- the entire of our curiosity, or satisfy the ness of joy and pleasures for evermore.” whole of our anxious wishes and desires These, then, are the things above, even in relation to the future and celestial state those which are at God's right hand, the of man. The fact itself of the heavenly mighty joys, the august exercises, the blessedness of saints is abundantly clear; transporting pleasures, of an eternal but wherein consists the blessedness, of heaven.
how many parts it is composed, what Men's views differ concerning future, various ingredients enter into it, what is as they differ on the nature of present its length, and breadth, and height; what happiness, and on the way and means of mind can fully conceive, what tongue attaining that which is future. Some adequately declare ? Yet sufficient is think of it merely as a continuation of made known to answer the merciful pur. being, from which is excluded all pain, poses of our Father in heaven, and to and want, and sorrow; a mere negative meet the pressing and affecting necessiheaven. Some regard it as consisting in ties of his human offspring, whilst jourthe active and uninterrupted exercise of neying on through the shadows and wil. their present senses and faculties; the dernesses of earth and time: and heaven full and free indulgence of their present and eternity themselves must disclose the tastes and affinities, inclinations and de- rest. Yes, happily for us, enough may sires, habits and pursuits; a Mohamme- be seen through the interposing cloud to dan heaven. Others, stretching some awaken regard, to stimulate attention, to what further, place it in an extension of kindle desire, to rouse our criminal and all their pleasurable faculties, perceptions, destructive apathy; enough to throw the and sensibilities, with a vast angmenta- stillness of a solemn awe over our minds tion of new means of gratification and en- in the midst of the gayest and busiest joyment. All our real knowledge of it is scenes of this world, and to start, and gathered from Scripture; and whatever is quicken, and sustain us in a career of not drawn from revelation, or is at vari- new, and upward, and holy conduct. ance with its testimony on this subject, The eye of faith beholds the land afar is not to be regarded.
off, sees the King in his beauty, and gazes
on the glories of the new Jerusalem. | out a sigh, without an imperfection, and How gracious and condescending are without intermission; where hymns of many of the aspects in which the Scrip- praise, hallelujahs of salvation, and hotures exhibit the heaven of the believer. sannahs of redemption, uttered by blest It is held forth to our view as a banquet, voices without number, ever sound before where our souls shall be satisfied for ever- the throne. As a temple ; bright with the more: the beauties of Jehovah's face, the divine glory, filled with the divine premysteries of divine grace, the riches of sence, streaming with divine beauty, and redeeming love, communion with God and peopled with shining monuments of the Lamb, fellowship with the infinite divine goodness, mercy, and
grace. Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, being the In further contemplating the celestial heavenly fulness on which we shall feed. blessedness of believers, let us very As a paradise; a garden of fruits and briefly notice, flowers, on which our spiritual natures 1. The perfection of character they shall and gracious tastes will be regaled, exhibit in heaven.- We shall then, indeed, through one ever-verdant spring and partake of God's nature; be holy as he is golden summer; a paradise where lurks holy, awake up with his likeness, and so no serpent to destroy, and where fruits be fully satisfied. It is impossible for and flowers shall never fade and droop, sin or sinners to enter there. All that is nor drop and die. As an inheritance; but above is holy, all that are above are holy. then an inheritance that is incorruptible, The throne is holy; the temple is holy; undefiled, and that fadeth not away, the the services are holy; the songs are holy; inheritance of the saints in light. As a the inhabitants are holy. There is no kingdom ; whose immunities, felicities, imperfection above. In one'sense Chrisand glories are splendid and vast, perma- tians are perfect now, and here they are nent and real, quite overwhelming indeed perfect in kind; but which of all them is to our present feeble imaginings. As a there that does not lament his short-comcountry; over whose wide regions we ings, his errors, that does not feel himself shall traverse in all the might of our surrounded with manifold infirmities. untried faculties, and in all the glow of God's salvation now experienced is a new and heaven-born energies, discover- salvation from sin, so that it has not doing and gathering fresh harvests of intel- minion over us. We now have fellowligence, satisfaction, and delight. As a ship with the Father and the Son, and cily; whose walls are burnished gold, therefore walk in the light; and, if faithwhose pavement is jasper, sardonyx, and ful to the grace, and light, and means, onyx; through which flows the river of that are imparted, sin not. But still life; the inhabitants of which hunger no there are many frailties in us, many things more, thirst no more, sicken no more, in our character, which are positive imweep no more, die no more : a city, where perfections ; there is much that God has there is no need of the sun by day, in to pity; but in heaven there shall be nowhich there is no night at all, and of thing which God will have to pity ; on the which the Lord God Almighty is the contrary, he will admire us—feel perfect light, and the Lamb the glory. As a complacency and satisfaction in us. We palace ; where dwells the Lord our right- shall be free from wrinkles and spots; eousness, the King in his beauty dis- have no fadings, or faintings, or blemplayed—his beauty of holiest love; in the ishes, but shall be without any such thing. eternal sunshine of whose countenance In heaven are the spirits of just men made bask and exult the host that worship at perfect. On earth how oft we have to his feet. As a building; that has God lament the wanderings of our mind, the for its maker, immortality for its walls, irregular emotions of our physical frame, and eternity for its day. As a sanctuary; the faintness of our desires, the coldness where the thrice-holy divinity, enshrined of our love. Oh! the thought, that I in our own nature in the person of Im- shall“ attain,”-that I shall“ be perfect,” manuel, is worshipped and adored, with-| --that there will be nothing in me unwor
thy to my God, or unlike my Redeemer, strike our minds at all, and probably or unsuited to the pavilions of immortal never enter the imagination of most men, beauty and glory! “ Him that overcometh even among Christians. Yet if we read will I make a pillar in the temple of my the Scriptures with attention, and believe God, and he shall go no more out; and I what we read, we must clearly discern will write upon him my new name.” that both the number and the variety are
2. The exercises in which they shall be immense. The inhabitants of heaven engaged.—Ease, it is commonly thought, serve God day and night in his temple. is necessary to repose—to complete and The services of those who in this life fill uninterrupted repose; and heaven itself is up their duty, are certainly very numerimagined by many to be a scene of inac. ous; and are so entirely varied, that no tivity, a region of utter quiescency. But two actions among them all are alike. analogy and revelation are against this How multiplied then must be the actions sentiment. Ease is not real happiness, involved in a service which night never it is not even an ingredient in happiness. interrupts; of a mind and a body which This kind of heaven-one thus charac- are never wearied, and of an existence terized and composed-would be death which knows no end! That they are rather than life; it would be exemption endlessly varied is unanswerably evident from pain rather than positive bliss. An- from the consideration, that no two beings gels, those natives of heaven, those mi- in the creation, and no two events in the nisters of God's presence, not only know providence of God have been found exbut do his pleasure. And are we not actly alike. Variety is a standing law of taught to pray that our divine Father's created existence and providential dispenwill may be done on earth, even as angels sation, and throughout eternity will be do it in heaven? The Scriptures have the great means of disclosing to the intelevery where spoken of the employments, ligent universe the glorious thoughts and as well as of the happiness of heaven, in purposes treasured up from everlasting in the most exalted terms. Let us not for the omniscient mind. Instead, therefore, get that to act in the service of God, and of being a tame, dull, monotonous, spiritto communicate good to others, consti- less existence, immortal life is a state of tutes, according to the Scriptures, one intense energy, vast design, and vigorous vast and glorious division of celestial action, in which to know and to love, to blessedness. Both of what we are to be, do and to enjoy, will form a combination and what we are to do, many things are of dignity, glory, and happiness, transsaid of a highly interesting nature ; and cending every earthly conception. All from these, when we compare them with this, also, will expand, and rise, and imdiligence and attention, a great multitude prove for ever. of other things, deeply interesting, may This view may tend to moderate the be derived by irresistible inference. For surprise and the sorrow, that seize and instance; those who obtain immortal life possess the common mind at the early are said, by our Saviour, to be equal or deaths of eminent Christians, and zealous, like to angels. This one declaration and laborious, and gifted, and successful opens to us a wide field of inquiry and young ministers. They are snatched conclusion; and assures us, that whatever away from the most active and important angels are or do, or are exhibited as being services, and we are apt to think that or doing in the Scriptures, we also shall they are gone into darkness and silence, substantially be or do. But the things and have sunk into torpor and inactivity: which angels do, together with their at- but could we trace their fight, and aistributes and circumstances, are, as exhi- cern the lofty, and energetic, and valuable bited to us in the Scriptures, very numer- exercises in which their freed spirits are ous and very great; and these irresistibly now occupied in some of the bright fields infer others which are great and numer- of eternity, the wide regions of their aus also. The number and variety of Maker's universe, and their Redeemer's events which make up our system, hardly heaven, our wonder at their departure