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Therefore man must be born again, while the Holy Spirit strives to change the heart by grace, or else remain incorrigible forever, and continue unhappy of course!
OF THE HEAVENLY JERUSALEM. Though we say God filleth immensity, yet that is no argument, why we may not suppose with propriety, that there is some particular place, where the effulgent glory of God is more displayed to the view and admiration of His creatures, than in any other place! Enoch and Elijah were translated; they cannot be every where, of course they must be somewhere. The body of our Lord was finite, of course it does not fill immensity; it is not every where, of course it must be somewhere, from which we may infer a located heaven; and on the other hand, a located Lake of Fire
and brimstone ??
How different those places, and also the states and situations, and dispositions of those inhabi
The hundred and forty and four thousand sang a song which none could learn but they themselves, although there was such a great multitude out of all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, which no man could number, who were redeemed from the Earth by the blood of the Lamb, unto God, and joined in a song of acknowledgment and thanksgiving.
The situations of individuals are different, universally varying from each other in a greater or less degree, which must vary their experience and enjoyments, and of course the degrees of their reward in the other world, which is to be prepared according to the deeds done in their body; and this taken in conjunction with their various talents, and the different dispensations they were under.
Of the millions of different complexions and phisiognomies, no two are exactly alike in the
whole creation. So also experiences varying from the different dispensations will differ in the same universal degree. Different tempers of mind, and natural dispositions of heart. Different states of the body, health and sickness. Different circumstances too, Riches and Poverty. Different periods of existence, long and short life. Different abilities, whether natural or acquired. Different situations, whether in good or bad society. Difference in the opportunity, power, and means of acquiring information, and doing acts of brotherlykindness and charity, or being contined to solitude, as objects of want and distress!
From the nature of such diversity of cases, their rewards must vary beyond description; when it is done in equity, agreeable to the deeds done in the body. Hence the expression, There are many mansions in my Father's house.' So St. Paul, when speaking of the Resurrection, Those who are Christ's at his coming,'- every one in his own order-compares them to the Sun, Moon, and Stars, which differ from each other in glory,' or magnitude.
The smallest difference there, between two saints, will be greater than the greatest difference possibly imaginable upon earth, between the greatest Monarch and the lowest Peasant. And yet the Infant, the smallest CUP, will be perfectly satisfied, being brim-full of the joys of the kingdom of God.
The memory, which is now impaired by the fall, being clogged with a disordered, mortal body, will then be liberated and repaired, being arrived to maturity. Paul compares this life to childhood, and that to manhood, saying, When I was a child, I thought, and understood, and spake as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.' We now see through a glass darkly; and see and know but in part; but when that which is perfect is come, then that
which is in part will be done away, then shall I see as I am seen, and know even as I am known.' The act of praising God then for redemption here in time, proves the retention of the power of recollection; and hence why not see, and know, and recollect our friends again? Seeing that no power of the soul, which is of utility here, will ever be diminished hereafter; but greatly strengthened and enlarged?
Consequently, the longer our stay below, with proper faithfulness, and the greater our conflict in the Christian warfare, when we shall have overcome by the blood of the Lamb; the soul will be the more enlarged and capacitated for a greater enjoyment in the realms abore, Because the greater the trials and conflicts, the greater the deliverance and salvation; which experience must excite proportionate sensations of gratitude.
For God designs His dispensations, whether merciful or afflictive, to prove our obedience, that we may receive a reward at His hand, as Grace, but not of debt, agreeable to our improvement.
Vessels may vary in size, whether a pint, a quart, or gallon; fill them, and each will be per... fectly full, according to its degree; so the Infant will be as perfectly happy as its capacity can admit and enjoy-but those who live to the age of fifteen or twenty years, pass through proportionably more trials, and must feel a heart of gratitude accordingly. If so, then look at the old Soldiers of the Cross; and those who have turned many to righteousness, shall shine as the stars for ever and ever!'
There to see not only the first, oldest, most patient, strongest, meckest and most perfect men of old times; but all the patriarchs, prophets, apostles and martyrs of the Lord, with all who depart this life in His favor, and join the general assembly and church of the first-born: where they obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing
shall flee away, and all tears shall be wiped from all eyes, and peace and joy shall for ever flow!!
There the blessed shall have correct judgment of things, and view the expanded works of God, with admiration and wonder.
Therefore, as God secs and knows what will be best for each and all, and in infinite wisdom, grants or withholds the things of this life, we ought to be resigned to His gracious and wise dispensations, knowing that whatsoever is withheld, is for the best, sceing that no good thing shall be withheld from them who walk uprightly; but all things shall work together for good to them who love the Lord; For as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them who fear Him.'--
For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer; but the face of the Lord is against the wicked.'—‹ And the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation.' Then as trials work patience, and patience experience, and experience hope, and hope maketh not ashamed, because the Love of God is shed abroad in the heart.' Our light affliction which is but for a moment, shall work for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of GLORY!"
For the sufferings of this present world are not worthy to be compared with the joys which shall be revealed: Consequently, by enduring unto the end, in the ways of righteousness,' we shall have all to hope and nothing to fear, for such have the promise of a final salvation; and such, in their last moments, shall be enabled to say with one of old, I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the Faith, and am ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand-henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of glory, which fadeth not away, which God the righteous Judge will give me at that day; and
not only me, but also to all those who love his appearing"
Considering the WAY, the NATURE, the means, the END, accomplished by Creation, Redemption and Salvation-the subject is worthy of God himself! and His creatures ever will have ground and cause of adoration, which never can wax old!!!
From the conviction brought to my rational understanding by the divine evidence in my own sout, I am convinced and fully satisfied of the following things as Facts.
First. There is such a thing as Natural Evil' in the world.
Secondly. That there is such a thing as Moral Evil' also; and
Thirdly. That Natural Evil is the consequence of Moral Evil.'
Fourthly. That the New Birth is not a chimera, but a Divine reality on which hangs the blissful eternity of man.
Fifthly. That Jesus Christ is more than a creature and is the only way to God as the Saviour of men.
Sixthly. That Repentance, Faith and Hope and Love, are experienced by the people of God. Seventhly. That Salvation is of Grace, Man's free will concurring, which is necessary, in order to be justified here, or stand justified hereaf ter. But Man's condemnation is of himself by revolting against God's Moral government.
Eighthly. That the knowledge of pardon is attainable here; the witness first of our own spirit, a consciousness of it; and then the divine evidence, by the operation of his spirit, which witnesseth with our spirit, and gives the confirmation of it-which
Ninthly. Is the kingdom of heaven opened in