תמונות בעמוד

from what he was, as to say, I am not the man I was; how much more will glory make us differ! As much as a body spiritual, above the sun in glory, exceeds these frail, poisome, diseased, lumps of flesh, so far shall our senses exceed those we now possess. Doubtless as God advanceth our senses, and enlargeth our capacity, so will he advance the happiness of those senses, and fill up with himself all that capacity. Certainly the body should not be raised up, and continued, if it should not share in the glory. As it hath shared in the obedience and sufferings, so shall it also in the blessedness. As Christ bought the whole man, so shall the whole partake of the everlasting benefits of the purchase. O blessed employment of a glorified body, to stand before the throne of God and the Lamb, and to sound forth for ever, “ Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and power. Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing; for thou 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. Alleluia, salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God. Alleluia, for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.” O Christians ! this is the blessed rest; a rest, as it were, without rest; “ For they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” (f) And if the body shall be thus employed, oh, how shall the soul be taken up! As its powers and capacities are greatest, so its actions are strongest, and its enjoyments sweetest. As the bodily senses have their proper actions, whereby they receive and enjoy their objects, so does the soul in its own action enjoy its own object, by knowing, remembering, loving, and delightful joying. This is the soul's enjoyment. By these eyes it sees, and by these arms it embraces.

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) Rev. iv. 11. v. 9, 10, 12. xix. 1, 6. iv. 8.

10. Knowledge of itself is very desirable. As far as the rational soul exceeds the sensitive, so far the delights of a philosopher, in discovering the secrets of nature, and knowing the mystery of science, exceed the delights of the glutton, the drunkard, the unclean, and of all voluptuous sensualists whatsoever. So excellent is all truth. What then is their delight who know the God of truth? How noble a faculty of the soul is the understanding! It can compass the earth; it can measure the sun, moon, stars, and heaven; it can foreknow each eclipse to a minute many years before. But this is the top of all its excellency, that it can know God, who is infinite, who made all these; a little here, and more, much more, hereafter. O the wisdom and goodness of our blessed Lord! He hath created the understanding with a vatural bias and inclination to truth, as its object; and to the prime truth, as its prime object. Christian, when after a long gazing heaven-ward, thou hast got a glimpse of Christ, dost thou not sometimes seem to have been with Paul in the third heaven, whether in the body or out, and to have seen what is unutterable:(g) Art thou not, with Peter, ready to say, “ Master, it is good to be here!(h) O that I might dwell in this mount! O that I might ever see what I now see!” Didst thou never look so long upon the Sun of righteousness, till thine eyes were dazzled with his astonishing glory? And Inhalte wir Imam El did not the splendour of it make all things below seem black and dark to thee? Especially in the day of suffering for Christ, when he usually appears most manifestly to his people, didst thou never see one walking in the midst of the fiery furnace with thee like the Son of God? (0) Believe me, Christians; vea, believe God; you that have known most of God in Christ here, it is as nothing to what you shall know; it scarce, in comparison of that, deserves to be called knowledge.--For as these bodies, so that knowledge, must cease, that a more perfect may succeed. “Knowledge shall vanish away. For we know in part: but

(g) 2 Cor. xii. 2-4.

(h) Mark is. 5.

(1) Dan. iii. 25.

when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known.”(k) Marvel not therefore, Christian, how it can be life eternal to know God and Jesus Christ.() To enjoy God and Christ, is eternal life; and the soul's enjoying is in knowing. They that savour only of earth, and consult with flesh, think it a poor happiness to know God. “But we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness; and we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding that we may know him that is true; and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life."(m)

$ 11. The memory will not be idle, or useless, in this blessed work. From that height the saint can look behind him, and before him. And to compare past with present things, must needs raise in the bless, ed soul an inconceivable esteem and sense of its condition. To stand on that mount, whence he can see the wilderness and Canaan, both at once; to stand in heaven and look back on earth, and weigh them together in the balance of a comparing sense and judgment, how must it needs transport the soul, and make it cry out, Is this the purchase that cost so dear as the blood of Christ? No wonder. O blessed price! and thrice blessed love, that invented and condescended! Is this the end of believing? Is this the end of the Spirit's workings? Have the gales of grace blown me into such a harbour? Is it hither that Christ hath allured my soul? O blessed way, and thrice blessed end? Is this the glory which the scriptures spoke of, and ministers preached of so much? I see the gospel is indeed good tidings, even tidings of peace and good things, tidings of great joy to all nations! Is my ik) 1 Cor. xiii. 8–12. (l) John xvii. 3. (m) 1 John v. 19, 20. mourning, my fasting, my sad humblings, my heavy walking, come to this? Is my praying, watching, fearing to offend, come to this! Are all my afflictions, Satan's temptations, the world's scorns and jeers, come to this? -0 vile nature, that resisted so much, and so long, such a blessing! Unworthy soul, is this the place thou comest so unwillingly to? Was duty wearisome? Was the world too good to lose? Didst thou stick at leaving all, denying all, and suffering any thing, for this? Wast thou loth to die, to come to this? O false heart, thou hast almost betrayed me to eternal flames, and lost me this glory! Art thou not ashamed, my soul, that ever thou didst question that love that brought thee hither? that thou wast jealous of the faithfulness of the Lord? that thou suspectedst his love, when thou shouldest only have suspected thyself? that ever thou didst quench a motion of his Spirit? and that thou shouldest misinterpret those providences, and repine at those ways, which have such an end ? Now thou art sufficiently convinced, that thy Redeemer was saving thee, as well when he crossed thy desires, as when he granted them; when he broke thy heart, as when he bound it up. No thanks to thee, unworthy self, for this received crown; but to Jehovah, and the Lamb, be glory for ever.

$ 12. But oh! the full, the near, the sweet enjoyment, is that of love. God is love, and he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him.(n) Now the poor soul complains, “ Oh that I could love Christ more!" Then thou canst not choose but love him. Now thou knowest little of his amiableness, and therefore lovest little: then thine eyes will affect thy heart, and the continual viewing of that perfect beauty will keep thee in continual transports of love. Christians, doth it now stir up your love, to remember all the experiences of his love? Doth not kindness meit you, and the sunshine of divine goodness warm your frozen hearts! What will it do then,

Now st more thou

(n) 1 John iv. 16.

when you shall live in love, and have all in him, who is all? Surely love is both work and wages. What a high favour that God will give us leave to love him! that he will be embraced by those who have embraced lust and sin before him! but more than this, he returneth love for love; nay, a thousand times more.Christian, thou wilt then be brimful of love ; yet, love as much as thou canst, thou shalt be ten thousand times more beloved. Were the arms of the Son of God open upon the cross, and an open passage made to his heart by the spear; and will not arms and heart be open to thee in glory? Did he begin to love before thou lovedst, and will he not continue now? Did he love thee, an enemy? thee, a sinner? thee, who even loathedst thyself? and own thee, when thou didst disclaim thyself? And will he not now immeasurably love thee, a son ? thee, a perfect saint? thee, who returnest some love for love? He that in love wept over the old Jerusalem when near its ruin, with what love will he rejoice over the new Jerusalem in her glory! Christian, believe this, and think on it; thou shalt be eternally embraced in the arms of that Love, which was from everlasting, and will extend to everlasting ;-of that Love, which brought the Son of God's love from heaven to earth, from earth to the cross, from the cross to the grave, from the grave to glory;—that Love, which was weary, hungry, tempted, scorned, scourged, buffeted, spit upon, crucified, pierced; which did fast, pray, teach, heal, weep, sweat, bleed, die;—that Love will eternally embrace thee. When perfect created love, and most perfect uncreated love, meet together, it will not be like Joseph and his brethren, who lay upon one another's necks weeping; it will be loving and rejoicing, not loving and sorrowing: yet it will make Satan's court ring with the news, that Joseph's brethren are come, that the saints are arrived safe in the bosom of Christ, out of the reach of hell for ever. Nor is there any such love as David's and Jonathan's breathing out its last and sad lamentations for a forced separation. Know this, believer, to thy everlasting comfort, that

ep, sweat hei which did fods buffeted, spit,

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