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divine works, which once, they thought, were against them. They will then tune their harps to the heavenly song-Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty, just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.
But the most surprizing scene of all, is the glory and felicity of the heavenly state into which they
While they dwell on earth, faith looks up to the superiour world, with high and lively expectation. It meditates with pleasure on the image of heaven drawn in the sacred pages, and anticipates a small portion of the good which is there. It believes that the boldest description of language-yea, the loftiest flight of imagination falls far short of the glorious reality. But when they actually arrive to yonder world, how will they be surprised to find the vast disparity between former conceptions and present enjoyments! When they perceive themselves in the immediate presence of the all glorious Jehovah, in the company of the blessed Jesus, and surrounded by congratulating angels and fellow saints; When they feel themselves discharged from their conflicts with sin and temptation, and freed from every perverse and untowardly motion: When they find every virtuous disposition suddenly rip ened to its proper perfection; their minds expanding to admit new and vast ideas of God and the works of God; and their spiritual affections now purged from the foul dregs of sensuality and worldly care, and rising aloft in the purest and warmest devotion-What will they say?-With what songs will they express the rapture of their joy? They will know the truth of the Apostle's sentiment-a sentiment, which, under severe trials below, they could scarcely realize. I reckon that all the sufferings of the present time, are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed. These VOL. I.
light afflictions, which are but for a moment, work for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Then the great Redeemer will be forever glorified in his saints, and eternally admired in them who believe.
Come then, ye saints, commit all your cares to God. Why your anxiety about the events of time? Why your fears of affliction, poverty and death?— Why fails your courage, when dangers seem to await you?Why sink your spirits, when adverşity presses upon you?-Your God is King of saints. Just and true are his ways-great and mar. vellous are his works. Who shall not fear and glorify his name? Trust your God, and he will sustain you; call on him, and he will hear you; seek him, and he will deliver you in all your troubles, His grace is with you-his providence watches over you-his angels encamp around you. O taste and see that he is good. Blessed is the man who trust eth in him. Fear him, ye his saints; for there is no want to them who fear him.
This troubled scene of things will soon be closed. Glory and joy await you in a purer and brighter world. There you will give praise to God for all his works; yea, for many of those works which now cause anguish and grief.
Let it be your only solicitude to walk worthy of him, who has called you to his kingdom and glory. You have set your faces toward heaven; go on with constancy and courage in the path of righteousness and truth, looking forward e glory which will soon be revealed. Under eve.iction and temptation, maintain your confidence and hope; for light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.
REVELATION xix. 1, 2, 3
And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Allelujah, salvation, and glory, and honour, and pow er, unto the Lord our God. For true and righteous are his judgments, for he hath judged the great whore, which did cor rupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. And again they said, Allelujah; and her smoke rose up forever and ever.
HIS great whore, which corrupted the earth with her fornication, and which, in the 17th chapter, is called Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots, is supposed, by interpreters, to be the Church of Rome. She had been the chief promoter of idolatry and superstition, which, in the language of scripture, are often stiled fornication and adultery. The 18th chapter describes the destruc tions of this idolatrous power, and the general lamentation, which, on that occasion, should be heard among the nations connected with her. But while those nations mourned, the church of God should give thanks, and heaven itself should join in the
praise. In our text the heavenly church is introduced, as uniting with the church on earth, in a hymn of adoration and thanks to the great Ruler of the world, for the happy revolution which he had made in favour of true religion-for the great salvation which he had granted to his suffering servants-and for the righteous punishment which he had inflicted on their implacable enemeis.
We will make some observations on this seraphick hymn which has now been read.
I. The number of the heavenly inhabitants is vastly great. John heard the voice of much people in heaven.
The angels, who kept their first state, are an innumerable company. The saints, who came out of great tribulation, are called a multitude, which no man can number. There are nations of them who are saved.
If in that period of Christianity, when idolatry and superstition most prevailed, and when the violence of persecution obstructed the influence of religion, there were such multitudes brought to glory, How inconceivably great must be the final number of happy beings, when all who were saved before that period, all who have been saved since, and all who shall be saved in the unknown succession of future ages, shall be collected in the heavenly world?
The time marked in the text, is when Babylon the great, or the antichristian church, is totally destroyed. After this Satan is bound a thousand years, pure religion spreads without opposition, the nations walk in the light of God's church, and into it the kings of the earth bring their riches and their glory. If there are much people in heaven at the time pointed out in the vision, how amazing will be the number at the consummation of all things!
It must be pleasing to a benevolent mind to look forward, and contemplate the vast sum of human
happiness, which shall ultimately result from the gospel. When we look around, and see errour and vice abounding-many nations destitute of the gospel-among those who enjoy it, many living in direct opposition to it, and more treating it with utter neglect; we feel a melancholy pity for our fellow sinners, who appear to be in great danger for want of the gospel, or in danger still greater by their abuse of it. But our minds are much relieved in contemplating the brighter side of the scene, which exhibits to our view such numbers of the human race, who shall eventfully become partakers of the offered salvation. Delightful is the thought, that truth will finally prevail against errour, and virtue triumph over vice. God will gather out of his kingdom all things which offend, and them who do iniquity, and will cast them into a furnace of fire; and then the righteous shall shine forth in the kingdom of their Father, numerous as the stars, and glorious as the sun shining in his strength.
II. The people in heaven are much employed in the social exercises of devotion. John heard them calling on one another to "praise God," and ascribe to his name "salvation, honour, glory and power."
The saints on earth are not entire strangers to this employment. They see much of God's glory displayed in his works. They behold bright discoveries of his purity, goodness and wisdom, in his word. They experience the power of his grace, and the riches of his mercy toward themselves. And in the contemplation, their hearts are often warmed with gratitude, and their lips are tuned to praise. But, compared with the heavenly state, this is a scene of darkness, sorrow and sin: Hence prayer, humiliation, repentance and watchfulness, make a great part of their work. In heaven it will be otherwise. Joy and gratitude will fill every soul;