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have place; in this presence-chamber then is the message which we have we shall be privileged to stand. And heard of him, and declare unto you, who can fail to perceive that there is that God is light, and in him is no darkhereby indicated an amazing change as ness at all.” And therefore God, in to the mode of acquiring knowledge? some ineffable way, is to communicate I am no longer to be taught through himself to the soul. There will probaany intermediate agency. I am no lon- bly be a communication of ideas:* God ger to be taught through laborious pro- will substitute his ideas, great, noble, cesses of study and research. I am to luminous, for our own, contracted, conbehold God, so far as the Creator can fused, obscure; and we shall become be beheld by a creature. I am to learn like him, in our measure, though par. from actual inspection, the mind hav- ticipating his knowledge. There will ing the powers of the eye, so that be a communication of excellences: the understanding shall gather in the God will so vividly impress his image magnificence of truth, with the same upon us, that we shall be holy even as facility as the organ of sense the beau- he is holy. There will be a communities of a landscape. There will be no cation of happiness: God will cause distance between ourselves and the ob us to be happy in the very way in jects of contemplation, no turning away which he is happy himself, making of the mind from what is worthy its at- what constitutes his felicity to contention; but so strong will be our prostitute ours, so that we shall be like pensity to truth, and so immediate our him in the sources or springs of enperceptions, that we shall be always joyment. All this seems included in gazing on some one of its mighty de- the saying that the Lord God is to velopements, and be no more liable to give us light. And though we feel that mistake or misapprehension than the we are but laboring to describe, by all man whose eye is his informant, and this accumulation of expression, what who has to believe only what he be- must be experienced before it can be holds.

understood, we may yet hope that you " They need no 'candle.” Creation, have caught something of the grandeur with all thy bright wonders, I ask no of the thought, that God himself is to longer the torch with which thou hast be to us hereafter what the sun in the furnished me in my searchings after firmament is to us here. We wish you God: God himself is before me; and to give, if possible, something of defiwhat further need can I have of thine niteness to the thought, by observing aids ? Ordinances of grace, at which I what an enlargement it supposes of all have here trimmed the lamp of faith, the powers of our nature; for now it ye are no longer requisite; faith itself would consume us to be brought into is lost in vision, and I want not the intimate intercourse with God; we instrumentality through which it was must have the sun, we must have the kept burning. Even the mediatorial candle ; our faculties are not adapted office, through which is now derived to the living in his presence, where whatever most tends to illuminate the there is no veil upon his lustres. Hence understanding and warm the heart, will we have in the figurative sketch of our no longer be needed: Christ, who is text, in the part which makes God the emphatically " the Sun of righteous source of all illumination, as well as ness," is to "deliver up the kingdom in that which asserts the absence of to God, even the Father;" its designs night, a representation of man as nobly being all completed, its ends all an elevated amongst orders of being, and swered; for when we stand face to of the sublimest knowledge as thrown face with God, what further use will open to his search. Man is elevated ; there be for those channels through for he has passed from the ordinances which we have now to seek access and institutions of an introductory

"They need no candle,” nay, they state, to the open vision and free comneed not even " the light of the sun. munion of spirits who never sullied "The Lord God giveth them light;" is their immortality. The sublimest knownot this to say that the Lord God giv- ledge is made accessible ; for with God eth them himself ? for you

will remember what is affirmed by St. John, " This

* Saurin.

for his sun, into what depths can he plicitly asserted. Whatever may be penetrate, and not find fresh truths ? the attainments of the just man whilst with God as his temple, along what on earth, he sees only, according to aisle of the stupendous edifice can he the words already quoted, " through a pass, and not collect from every co- glass, darkly.” How much of what he lumn, and every arch, majestic disco- acknowledges as truth is profoundly veries? where can he stand, and not mysterious! what difficulties throng hear the pervading spirit of the sanc- great portions of Scripture ! how dark tuary breathing out secrets which he the dispensations of Providence! what had vainly striven to explore, and won- subject for implicit faith in the workders which he had not dared to con- ings of God's moral government! With jecture ? And thus, if it be a blessed St. Paul he is often forced to exclaim, thing to know that hereafter, set free when musing on the Almighty and his from all the trainings of an elementary dealings, "how unsearchable are his dispensation, we shall take our place, in judgments, and his ways past finding the beauty and might of our manhood, out." But he has yet to pass into a amongst the nobles of creation; that, scene of greater light, and to read, in gifted with capacities, and privileged the opened volume of God's purposes, with opportunities, for deriving from the explanation of difficulties, the wisimmediate contact with Deity acquain- dom of appoint.nents, the nice propor. tance with all that is illustrious in the tions of truth. And assuredly do we universe, we shall no longer need those believe that then shall there break on means and agencies, whether of nature him mighty and ever-amplifying views or grace, which, whilst they strengthen of all that is august in the nature of and inform, prove us not made perfect God, and wonderful in his works. Then -yea, if it be a blessed thing to know shall the divine attributes rise before this, it is also a blessed thing to hear him, unsearchable indeed and unlimitthat there shall be no candle, no sun, ed, but ever discovering more of their in the heavenly Jerusalem. The sub- stupendousness, their beauty, their stitution of God himself for every pre- harmony. Then shall the mystic fisent source of light, is among the most gures of prophecy, which here have energetic representations of a change, crossed his path only as the shadows which lifts man into dignity, and gives of far-off events, take each its place in the heights and depths to his survey; accomplished plans, schemed and willand I feel therefore, that, so far as the ed by the everlasting mind. Then shall ripening of our powers is concerned, or redemption throw open before him its the moral splendor of our heritage, or untravelled amplitude, and allow of the freedom of our expatiations, de his tracing those unnumbered ramificascription has well nigh exhausted itself tions which the cross, erected on this in the announcement of the Evangelist, globe, may possibly be sending to all that the inhabitants of the new Jerusa- the outskirts of immensity. Then shall lem "need no candle, neither light of the several occurrences of his life, the the sun; for the Lord God giveth them dark things and the bright which che. light."

quered his path, appear equally necesWe would observe to you here, sary, equally merciful; and doubt give though we have partly anticipated the place to adoring reverence, as the prostatement, that the expression, "the blem is cleared up of oppressed righLord God giveth them light," seems to teousness and successful villany. But indicate that our future state, like our it shall not be instantaneous, this reappresent, will be progressive : there is ing down the vast harvest of knowto be a continued communication of ledge, this ingathering of what we may light, or of knowledge, so that the as- call the sheaves of light, seeing that sertion of Solomon, a The path of the "light,” according to the Psalmist, just is as the shining light that shineth" is sown for the righteous.” It must more and more unto the perfect day," continue whilst being continues: for may be as true hereafter as here. This if the mysteries of time were exhaustmight be gathered from what has been ed, and redemption presented no unadvanced under our first head of dis- explored district, God would remain course, but it deserves to be more ex-infinite as at the first, as sublime in his inscrutableness as though ages had not tion, and their harps be swept with a been given to the searching out his bolder hand, and their tongues send wonders. It is said by St. Paul of the forth a mightier chorus. Thus will the love of Christ, and, if of the love, then just proceed from strength to strength; necessarily also of him whose love it knowledge, and love, and holiness, and is, that it'" passeth knowledge." But joy, being always on the increase; and if never to be overtaken, it shall always eternity one glorious morning, with be pursued; and we gather from the the sun ever climbing higher and highexpression of our text, an expression er; one blessed spring-time, and yet which clearly marks progressiveness, rich summer, every plant in full flowthat the just man will continually be er, but every flower the bud of a loveadmitted to richer and richer discove- lier. ries of God and of Christ, so that eter- Ah, my brethren, you will tell us nity will be spent in journeying through that we are but " darkening counsel by that temple, which we have already de- the multitude of words;" that we are scribed as the Almighty himself, from in fact only reiterating the same statewhose innermost shrine, though always ments; and that, in place of describing inapproachable, shall flash, as he ad. heaven, we still leave it to be describvances, the deeper and deeper efful. ed. We plead guilty to the charge: in gence of Deity. Ay, and if knowledge our eagerness to convey to you some be thus progressive, so also shall love idea of heaven, it is likely that we have be, and so also happiness. In giving fallen into repetitions; and we have light, the sun gives also heat. It cannot too lofty thoughts of the future to supbe that the just man should thus travel pose for an instant that our descripinto the perfections of his Creator and tions could be adequate. But pause for Redeemer, and not admire more, and a moment: our great object in attemptadore more, and bound with a greater ing description is to animate you to ecstasy. As fast as obscure things are the seeking possession : admit then illuminated, and difficult made intelli- that description is at fault, and we may gible, and contradictory reconciled, yet urge you by the indescribableness and magnificent unfolded, there will be of heaven. Yes, by the indescribablea fresh falling down before the throne, ness of heaven. What had St. Paul to a fresh_ascription of praise, a fresh say, when he returned from the third burst of rapture. The voice which is heaven, into which he had been mysto be from the first "as the voice of teriously translated ? Nothing, abso. many waters, and as the voice of a lutely nothing : " he heard unspeakable great thunder,” shall grow louder and words, which it is not lawful, or not louder-each manifestation of Deity possible, for a man to utter.” And are adding a new wave to the many wa- you disappointed that the great Aposters, a new peal to the great thunder. ile has nothing to communicate ? He The anthem which is to ascribe wor- gives you the most animating descripthiness for ever and ever to the Lamb, tion, in assuring you that heaven is not though always rushing as a torrent of to be described. It would be but a poor melody, seeing that it is to issue from heaven which such beings as ourselves " ten thousand times ten thousand, and could comprehend or anticipate. Give thousands of thousands:—what an or- me the majestic cloud, the oracular chestra! who would not hear, who veil, the mighty shadows which recede would not swell the roll of this music? as we advance, filling the mind with -shall not be always of equal strength; amazement, but forbidding us to apfor as the Lamb discloses to his church proach and examine what ihey are. I more and more of his amazing achieve- wish to be defeated in every effort to ment, and opens new tracts of the conse- understand futurity. I wish, when I quences of the atonement, and exhibits, have climbed to the highest pinnacle under more endearing and overcoming to which thought can soar, to be com. aspects, the love which moved him, pelled to confess that I have not yet and the sorrows which beset him, and reached the base of the everlasting the triumphs which attended him; we hills. There is something surpassingly believe that the hearts of the redeemed glorious in this baffling of the imagiwill beat with a higher pulse of devo.nation. It is vain that I task myself to conceive of heaven, but it is a noble , dations were garnished with all mantruth that it is vain. That heaven is ner of precious stones,” where pain inconceivable, is the most august, the never enters, and whose temple is the most elevating discovery. It tells me Lord God Almighty, I learn more, and that I have not yet the power for en- I grow more hopeful, and I am more joying heaven: but this is only to tell thronged by the glories of the future, me, that the beholding God " face to when I find St. Paul declaring that he face,” the being " for ever with the had heard unspeakable words. " The Lord,” requires the exaltation of my things which God hath prepared for nature; and I triumph in the assurance them that love him,” are things which that what is reserved for me, presup- the eye hath not seen, nor the ear. poses my vast advancement in the scale heard, nor the human heart conceived: of creation. If we would have sublime but faith and hope may both be strengthnotions of a glorified man, of the sta- ened by this very impossibility of our tion which he occupies, of the facul- forming just ideas of heaven : it is the ties which he possesses, they must be loftiness of the mountain which causes the notions which are gained by inef- it to be lost in the clouds : we may fectual efforts to represent and deline- therefore animate ourselves by the ate: the splendor which dazzles so that thought, that thought itself cannot we cannot look, the immenseness which measure our everlasting portion, and we cannot grasp, the energies for which be all the more cheered when we find there are no terms in human speech, that even description gives no distinct these give our best images of heaven. picture, but that we plunge into darkIf I dare rate one portion of Scripture ness when striving to penetrate all the above another, I prefer the record of meaning of the sayings, " There shall the vision of St. Paul to that of the vi- be no night there, and they need no sions of St. John. Wonderful indeed candle, neither light of the sun; for were the manifestations vouchsafed to the Lord God giveth them light.” the exile in Patmos. The spirit of the But there is yet a clause of the text coldest must glow as the beloved dis- to which we have given no attention, ciple delineates what he saw, the tree though it suggests as noble thoughts as of life, the crystal river, the white any of the preceding, in reference to robed multitude, the glittering city. our everlasting state. "And they shall But the attempt to describe seems to reign for ever and ever "-"they shall assume the possibility of description: be kings for ever and ever.” Wonderand to prove to me that heaven might ful assertion! wonderful, because made be described, would be to prove to me of beings apparently insignificant, bethat its glory was not transcendent, its ings of whom the Psalmist, after surfelicity not unbounded. And therefore veying the magnificence of the heaI am more moved by the silence of St. vens, was forced to exclaim, "Lord, Paul than by the poetry of St. John. what is man, that thou art mindful of The truth is, that St. Paul was more him? or the son of man, that thou vifavored than St. John. St. John re- sitest him ?" Yes, of us, who are by mained on earth: he was not caught nature " children of wrath,” of us, who up into paradise : and the gorgeous are " born to trouble as the sparks fly trains which swept by him in his ec- upwards,” even of us is it said, " They stasy or trance, were so constructed shall be kings for ever and ever.” And and clothed as to be adapted to a hu- you are aware that this is not a solitaman comprehension. But St. Paul saw ry expression, but that the ascription the reality of heaven, not in figure, not of regal power to the saints is common in type, but heaven as it actually is, in Scripture, and especially in the book heaven as it will appear to the righte- of Revelation. Our Lord himself proous, when admitted to behold "the mised to his apostles, that, " in the reKing in his beauty.” And hence it is generation” they should " sit on twelve not strange that St. Paul must be si- thrones, judging the twelve tribes of lent, though St. John had marvel upon Israel." "If we suffer with him," exmarvel to relate. I turn from the one claims St. Paul, in reference to the to the other : and though fascinated by Redeemer, "we shall also reign with the spectacle of a city whose " foun- him." St. John ascribes glory and do

minion "unto Him that loved us, and ter his crown, for that of the noblest, washed as from our sins in his own the first, amongst the angels of heaven. blood, and hath made us kings and For no nature has been brought into priests unto God and his Father.” so intimate a relation to the divine as And the famous prophecy of the first the human: God has become man, and resurrection will naturally occur to man therefore, we believe, must stand you, in which it is declared of the nearest to God. It may then be, seewitnesses for the Mediator, that "they "ing that, beyond question, there will lived and reigned with Christ a thou- be order through eternity, a gradation sand years.". Undoubtedly this last of ranks, a distribution of authority, prediction, however interpreted, must that the saints will be as princes in the have reference to the period of the kingdom of God; that through them millennium, during which Christ is to will the Almighty be pleased to carry take visibly on himself the sovereignty on much of his government; and that of the earth, having erected his throne angels, who are "ministering spirits.” on the wreck of all human empire. to them during their moments of proWhat offices the (saints are to have bation, will attend them as their mesthroughout this millennial reign we sengers during their ages of triumph. pretend not to conjecture, much less "Know ye not,” asks St. Paul of the to decide. Suffice it that they are evi- Corinthians, that we shall judge andently to participate the triumph of gels ?" and if we are to sit in assize their Lord, and perhaps to have sway on the evil angels, it may be that we under him, one over ten cities, another shall be invested with royalty over the over five, according to the number and good. improvement of their talents. But it is But let this pass: if not over angels

, not to the millennium that our text re- I can yet see much over which, if I gain fers; we have already said that it re- entrance into heaven, I shall "reign for lates to what will succeed the general ever and ever.” I connect the differjudgment, and, therefore, to that con- ent parts of the verse; and I read in its dition of the redeemed which will be last clause, only differently expressed, final and permanent.

the same promise, or prophecy, which And on what thrones shall we sit in I find in all the rest. I shall reign over heaven? over whom shall we be in the secrets of nature : all the workvested with dominion? Let it be re- manship of God shall be subject to me, membered that the mediatorial king- opening to me its recesses, and admitdom will have terminated. The Son ting me into its marvels. I shall reign himself having become "subject to over the secrets of Providence; my Him that put all things under Him." empire shall gather back the past, and We cannot therefore retain any such anticipate the future; and all the dealsway as the saints may be supposed to ings of my Maker shall range themhave possessed throughout the mil. selves in perfect harmony before my lennium: the whole economy will be view. I shall reign over the secrets of changed; God himself will be "all in grace; the mediatorial work shall be all;" and the affairs of the universe as a province subject to my rule, conwill no longer be transacted through taining no spot in all its spreadings Christ in his glorified humanity. And, which I may not explore. I shall reign nevertheless, "they shall reign, they over myself: I shall be thorough masshall be kings, for ever and ever." ter of myself: no unruly desires, no They shall reign, whilst they serve undisciplined affections: I shall not be, God; they shall be kings, whilst they what an earthly king often is, his own are subjects. We know not whether base slave: no war between the flesh this may be intended to denote that and the spirit, no rebellion of the will, the saints shall have authority, or prin- no struggle of corrupt inclinations; but cipality, over other orders of being. It with all that true royalty, the royalty may be so. I have the highest possible of perfect holiness, I shall serve God thoughts in regard of the future digni- without wavering, and find his service ty of man. I believe not that he will to be sovereignty. be second to any but God. I would Glorious empire! what can animate not change his place, I would not bar.us, if a prospect such as this move us

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