صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

iture blessings, and the way in which God fits and as up his children for the family above.

Wherever the Gospel is preached, there, to a larger maller extent, these blessings are imparted to those

faithfully hear it. But we have hitherto only coursed of blessings given in this life: let us look ward a little. Blessed are they that do his commandnts, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may ter in through the gates into the city. Rev. xxii, 14. What then are the happy results of faithful hearing, as ey regard eternal life? Let us look at it only in one oint-the PERFECT KNowledge oF GOD WHICH WE SHALL THERE ATTAIN. Now, under the clearest iscourses of the ministry, and the fullest privileges of he Gospel, we see through a glass darkly, but then, face o face: now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known. There is a veil of flesh between us and the world of spirits; there is a body of sin and death that intercepts our view, and obscures our prospect, and hinders our full knowledge. True it is, we have the cheering light of God's holy word; (an inestimable advantage) a light to our feet, and a lamp to our paths, to guide us safe in the way to heaven., Christians are like men travelling along a high road in the night, with a sufficient light in their hands to guide them through to their home; but they can see little or nothing of the beauties and glories of the country through which they pass; the most splendid landscape may be spread before them; the hills, and dales, and rivers, and woods may enrich the scene with diversified beauty; the most curious, and delicate plants and flowers may adorn the whole, and yet the pilgrim be either unconscious of it, or unable to discern it. But, bye and bye, the night will pass away, the morning of the resurrection will

[ocr errors]

come, and then, O then! what tongue can of the enraptured emotions of the faithful servant of Dist, discovering infinite beauties, where he was ready think all was gloom and dreariness; magnificence al glory bursting on his ravished sight, beyond al ba conceptions! What heart can imagine the blesser result, which will assuredly succeed to our now walking by faith, when the veil is removed, and the glories light of life shines upon us, and we behold that heavenly country, of which it is said, there shall be no nigh there, and they need no candle, neither light of the six: for the Lord God giveth them light, and they shall reig for ever and ever!

Invisible things are now discovered to us, not as they are in themselves, but by visible things. We see some thing of the excellence of God in the various titles by which he reveals himself. We hear of him as ou Father and our Portion, our Shield, and our exceeding great Reward. We are told that Christ is our Prophet. our Priest, and our King; and that we are to view hin as the Sun of Righteousness, the Light of the World, and the Bread of Life. The Blessed Spirit is represented to us as a Comforter and Sanctifier, as Purifying Fire, and Refreshing and Living Water. Through these figures, some faint but most important ideas of the everglorious Jehovah are conveyed to our understanding. Spiritual things are thus discerned by us, through the emblem of natural things; they are now only objects of faith, and are therefore seen afar off and obscurely. 0 how infinitely superior then will be that knowledge of which it is now said, It doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is—we shall know even as also we are known.

Now God is training up his children in the school of 23 world, for their heavenly and enduring state. The n of the deepest wisdom, and of the most enlarged ellect, must say, (as Solomon did) while here, I am t a little child—I speak as a child-I understand as child-I think as a child. But our manhood will HEN have come. We shall cease from human tuition. e shall rest in God. O how cheering is the thought at multitudes of names that now divide the church, nd are made leaders of opposite parties, will, it may e well hoped, spend a blessed eternity together, every listinction lost in magnifying but one name-God, our Saviour. All those knotty and difficult questions which now distract the church, will then be fully and for ever answered. It will no more be difficult to reconcile the grace of God and the freedom of men; the sincere invitations of his word, and the final destruction of the wicked; his foreknowledge of their ruin, and that ruin wholly brought on them by their own fault. It will then be distinctly and clearly seen that God was, in all his dealings, infinitely and supremely full of wisdom, truth, and holiness; altogether just, of unbounded mercy and unparalleled love; in short, righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.

Then shall we see face to face. Hence we shall have a clear, familiar, and intimate knowledge of God, making as great a difference as the knowledge which we have of a person only by report, and that which we have of him by personally seeing him and conversing with him from day to day. Only there will be this delightful difference. We cannot become intimately acquainted with the best of human beings, without discovering something of remaining corruption; but the more we see and fully know our God, the more we

shall discover unexpected and perfect excellence, without one defect or blemish. Now, no man can see his jeee and live. Exod. xxiii, 10. We see through a glass (di EGOTTgou, through a mirror) darkly, (ev aiyuati inc enigma) with much obscurity. We know God by faith we see him in emblems and figures. Hereafter the dim mirror will be no longer needed, for we shall see and know, and enjoy God in a higher way than now can imagine, for we shall know even as we are known. Not that the creature can know the Creator to the sam extent as the Creator knows him; but in the same mode of knowledge, and as intimately, sensibly, perceptibly as now we know our fellow-creatures.

and

and

O cheering thought! this is life eternal, that the might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Chris whom thou hast sent. John xvii, 3. Then his perfec tions and divine glory will all be clearly illustrated fully displayed. It was the prayer of Moses, Shew #: thy glory! and, though he could not while in the flesh behold it, yet God made his goodness to pass before him and, hid in the cleft of the rock, he saw the back parts of Jehovah, even his glorious character in forgiving sin, and yet retaining perfect justice. Exod. xxxiv, 6, 7 What Moses, on the mount and hid in the rock, could only partially see, we shall in heaven ever behold. The wonderful harmony and surpassing excellence of the divine perfections will then be fully revealed. There his providences will all be solved. He told Peter, What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shall know hereafter. John xiii, 7. Infinite goodness and truth will be seen in all those Dispensations that are now difficult and gloomy: why one lost a dear and only child, another the wife of his bosom when most needed for his family, another was disappointed of his most cher

ed hope, another was removed from a scene of great efulness, a pious minister cut off, the candlestick moved from churches, and the wicked for a season iumphant. The tenderest mercy, and the most invioble faithfulness, will be discerned in the heaviest trials nd sorrows, even as the brightest rainbow may somemes be seen on the darkest cloud. The wisdom of od in all his doings, will be fully established and ustified, and universally acknowledged. Now the vicked cast many a reproach against their Maker, and ie forbears to execute judgment, and his servants often cannot discern his ways. We cannot tell all the reasons for which evil is permitted and the wicked prosper; though in his word we see enough to lead every believer. to rest with fullest confidence in the goodness and righteousness of God. But then there will be an infinitely higher knowledge. The beautiful language of Isaiah will all be realised-The Sun shall be no more thy light by day, neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee; but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. Thy sun skall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself; for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.

O happy day! O happy people that know the joyful sound; they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance! O happy result of faithful hearing! Christian reader ! let us seek this happiness, as the one great object of our worthy and incessant pursuit.

Are you desirous of this happiness, and yet utterly uncertain and doubtful about your interest in it? Have you examined yourself, and still are unable to discover what is your character? or, rather, fearful, that you

« السابقةمتابعة »