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heard,” yet do they look down with wonder and astonishment to these abodes of suffering and mortality, and pry, with the deepest interest, into the workings of that marvellous scheme which has brought “glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, and good-will to men.” And whilst their mighty intel. lects are so intensely engaged in scrutinizing the mysteries of redemption, they experience a measure of sacred pleasure when they see one of the inhabitants of the earth brought under the influence of saving grace, higher than that which seems to be produced by the contemplation of the material frame-work of the universe, or of any thing that is taking place throughout its illimitable extent:--" There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” And if we add to all this the de. scriptions which are given, particularly in the book of the Revelation, of the exercises in which angels and redeemed men are occupied in the heavenly state, it will, perhaps, be admitted, that it is not without reason we assign the highest place to the work of human redemption, among the subjects which shall engage their attention ; and that it is one which will never occupy a secondary place in their estimation, or fail to yield them fresh enjoyments through the revolving cycles of eternity.

In this stage of their existence, they know little more than a few of the doctrines more immediately connected with their personal interest in it; and even these are, in many instances, and to a great extent,

rendered obscure in consequence of the prejudices generated by the state of their minds, and the circumstances in which they are placed. But of many

others they know nothing more than that they are contained in the scriptures, and that it is their duty to believe them on the authority of inspiration. They are unable either to comprehend or explain them. What do they know, for instance, of the origin of moral evil, or of the transmission of the principles of depravity from Adam to his remotest posterity? What do they know about the mode of the Holy Spirit's operation in conversion and sanctification, or of the way in which Satan finds access to their minds? And how can they understand, so as to be able fully to reconcile the doctrine respecting the free agency of man and the eternal

purpose of God to save the elect ? Concerning all these they are, at present, constrained to exclaim, “ O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgements, and his ways past finding out !" But if these are inexplicable, what shall we say of the union of the divine with the human nature in the person of Jesus Christ? Or, of the union of three persons in the one glorious Godhead? Some of these subjects are so pro. found that the highest created intelligences in heaven will never, perhaps, be able fully to comprehend them. They will for ever remain among the deep things of God. But it may not be so with respect to them all. There is reason to believe that the redeemed, when they are made perfect in body and mind, will be able

to comprehend many things which are, at present, incomprehensible to them; and that the discoveries which they will make will inconceivably increase their happiness, and greatly tend to stimulate them in their profound investigations. So little, indeed, do they know at present, that it may be said they will but begin their inquiries when they enter heaven. And, as they advance, more splendid glories will be unfolded; yet will the subject still be new, and still more deeply interesting.

Besides, from the obscure hints contained in the scriptures upon the subject, it would not, perhaps, be too much to affirm, that redeemed men in the heavenly state will be able to penetrate the thick gloom of everlasting night in which the condemned are enveloped, to behold their sufferings and misery. And, surely, it is not difficult to conceive how the contemplation of their own deserts, and the circumstances in which they might have been placed, will increase their gratitude, and make them meditate with a livelier interest upon the distinguishing love which fixed upon them as its unworthy objects. The beings who shall be seen in the dark abodes of perdition, writhing under the inexpressible agonies of despair, were once like themselves; possessed of intellectual faculties equal to their own; and were invited to participate of the joys of heaven as well as they. But what are they now? They are slaves of all the passions which disturb and pollute the soul; implacable enemies of truth and holiness and love; degraded outcasts from the blessed presence of God; companions of devils; and the victims of the worm that shall never die. What a spectacle to the universe! and what a contrast to what they themselves are! They resemble both in mind and body the glorions person who sits upon the throne. They are raised to glory, honour, and immortality, and the transformation which has taken place upon them, as well as their elevation to these seats of bliss, will exhibit to angels and principalities and powers in heavenly places, the manifold wisdom of God.

But the contemplation of these subjects will be enlivened by devotional exercises of a social nature. They shall “serve God day and night in his temple." The services of a temple are of a spiritual kind, and those who perform them have access to the presence of the Deity who dwells in it. In the temple at Jerusalem, where, for a time, the shekinah appeared, the offering of sacrifice and of supplication formed the principal part of the service. But no one except the high priest was allowed to enter into the most holy place, where the symbol of the divine presence was ; and even he but once in the year.

Had he drawn aside the veil, and presumed to step within the hallowed enclosure at any other time, he would have died. In the celestial temple, however, where Jehovah displays all his glory, and into which all his servants have free access, sacrifice and supplication will not be any longer necessary. They will give place to everlasting praise. In that exercise redeemed men will take a conspicuous part, and express the rapturous feelings of their minds in the language of the new song :

." Thou art worthy; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation, and hast made us unto our God kings and priests.” And whilst their elevated strains shall rise as the sound of many waters, the multitudes of angels with whom they shall be associated, will join the sacred song, and exclaim :-“ Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.” What employment can be more delightful than that! Or, what can be more becoming in creatures who owe such a debt of gratitude to the great Being whom they worship!

The feelings which give rise to adoration and praise are in themselves pleasing in the highest degree; and we might as well attempt to separate light from the rays of the sun, as to separate happiness from the experience of them. That being the case, what inconceivable joy must attend the full expression of such feelings in the loud hallelujahs of heaven! The power of harmony to transport the soul is generally felt; and if the strains which can be raised on earth, by human instrumentality, are capable of producing such effects, with what raptures will the redeemed

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