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• take joyfully” the sufferings, with which it may please God to visit us, “knowing in ourselves that we have in heaven a better and an enduring substance," 166 a treasure that faileth not, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.”
THE MOURNER COMFORTED. “ Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall find Comfort and joy!” Though flesh and blood rebel
'Gainst heaven-ward thoughts, and the vext spirit swell With anxious tossings, still, the veil behind Of earth-born mists, the faith-directed mind
Sees thron'd in cloudless light the INVISIBLE,
At whose right hand delights in fulness dwell
Drink, as he bids, the bitter cup, and bear
A gleam shall cheer thee, till, safe-harbor'd there, Thou feel how faintly earth's severest ill
May with the weight of heavenly joys compare !
THE CONTEMPLATION OF HEAVEN A CORRECTIVE OF
THE CONTEMPLATION of these things should moreover animate us to subdue in ourselves those earthly passions, and to liberate ourselves from those earthly practices, which are at variance with the character of the blessedness of heaven; which must preclude us from attaining it, and disqualify us for enjoying it if we could attain it.
1 Heb. X. 34.
So saith the Apostle to the Colossians, following up his doctrine concerning the future glorified state of the faithful with the inferential admonition,
Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness which is idolatry; for which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience; in the which ye also walked sometime when ye lived in them."
"1 He alludes to their condition of sinfulness in heathen darkness, from which they had been delivered by the light of the Gospel. And he adds, • But now ye also put off all these ; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of
your mouth.” 2
Let us place before our eyes a man who has been devoted to the pursuits and enjoyments of the world, of sense, and of sin, till the period of his transition from this to another life ; and let us consider him with reference to the condition therein promised to the blessed. That condition will be one of heavenly, of refined, of spiritual delight. 'Their bodies will be fashioned anew, and purified
1 Col. iji. 5-7.
• Ibid ver. 8.
from their corruptible elements, and adapted to the enjoyments of superior natures. Their souls will be sublimed, and exempted from the alloy of a corruptible body, and made capable of seeing God. Their society will be the spirits of other just men made perfect, and the holy angels of God. They will dwell with their Redeemer reinvested with his Father's glory; him, who in his earthly state was purer than the stars; the guiltless, the spotless ; who “knew no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.”] They will abide in the presence of God, , the God of holiness, who is “ of purer eyes than to behold evil, and who cannot look on iniquity,” 2 the 66 Holy, Holy, Holy.” And it will be their employment and their happiness, to contemplate his excellence, to imitate his perfections, to celebrate his praises, to perform his will. And now let me ask, is there any thing in the previous state of the worldly man and the sinner, to fit him for the enjoyment of this condition, and this society, and this presence, and these employments, supposing for a moment that he could be admitted into it ? Rather, is there not every thing to unfit and disqualify him for it ?
For, by what has his earthly state of trial and preparation been distinguished ? A body, which has ever grovelled upon and clung to the earth ; a soul, weighed down by the body, and in love with
11 Pet. ii. 22.
? Hab. i. 13.
sin, associates of the same character as himself, “ earthly, sensual, devilish;”i a heart, which has been ever
going after its covetousness,' 2 and framing schemes of worldly gratification; hands, ever prompt to execute them; feet, ever swift to pursue them; a tongue, ever apt to dilate upon them; neither God, nor Christ, nor heaven, nor heavenly joys, nor heavenly occupations, in all his thoughts :-how utterly uncongenial to heavenly felicity; how thoroughly unfitted, how entirely disqualified, for heaven are properties such as these ! How utterly incapable of enjoying the blessedness of heaven, even if they were to be admitted !-But there they will not be admitted. For “ he that soweth to his flesh, shall of his flesh reap corruption." 3 And the works of the flesh are manifest," says the Apostle : “ of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." 4
THE SINNER DISQUALIFIED FOR HEAVEN. Who, think'st thou, in the courts of heaven reside ?
They, who with malice burn, with envy pine,
Ply the full feast and quaff the midnight wine, Loose pleasure's daughters, and the sons of pride? They who from meek affliction turn aside,
Its plaints unheard; and bow at Mammon's shrine, Moloch's or Bel's; and, blind to truth divine,
James iii. 15. • Gal. vi. 8.
Ezek. xxxiii. 31. * Gal. v. 19, 21,
Neglect God's mercy; and his power deride ?
Man of the world! But ah! let conscience tell,
What part hast thou therein; and ponder well, Yea, ponder well betimes that other place,
And who its tenants, and with whom they dwell.
And lift them up in torments, mid the pains,
Deep curses, loud laments, and penal chaine
Of glory and bliss ; with them, where darkness reigns,
Where the worm dies not, and the fire remains Unquench'd, mid everlasting flames to dwell ! Whose is that lot, thou knowest. God undid
The veil which screens his dreadfulness, that so Man might be warn'd and fear. What pangs are hid
Beneath that lot, those sights and sounds of woe, Thou know'st not yet, nor canst thou. God forbid
Thou e'er by feeling shouldst their anguish know!
THE CONTEMPLATION OF HEAVEN PROMOTES HEAVENLY
BUT, further; whilst we should be animated by the CONTEMPLATION of heavenly things, to the