« PreviousContinue »
fore you. The day which will disclose the secrets of all hearts; bring to light the hidden things of darkness; and, in the disclosure of their secret sins, as well as open crimes, before an assembled universe, overwhelm the wicked with dismay, will, in unfolding all your secret virtues and good deeds, your exertions in the cause of benevolence, your pious labours and beneficence in advancing the kingdom of your Redeemer, be to you a day of triumphant rejoicing. Then "shall you have praise of God." For then you look for the Saviour,
VI. To award to you the immortal joys of his heavenly kingdom.-Joys that will be the consummation of all the holy joys which you have here experienced, and infinitely more than compensate you for all the sorrows which you have here endured. The exercise of the powers of your glorified bodies and purified souls, on every object in its most exalted state, that can gratify them; on the counsels, the works, and the dispensations of God; on the holy saints and angelic beings, with whom you will be for ever associated; and especially on the glory of the Godhead, manifested in the glorified human nature of Jesus Christ, will fill you with the highest bliss which your nature, in its full perfection, is capable of receiving or enjoying. And this bliss will be for ever-No alloy, no change, no termination. This is the bliss, to award which you look for the Saviour. You look for him, for
he hath said" Lo, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give to every man according as his work shall be "." Your works, quickened by his Spirit, guided and animated by faith in him, have been those of purity and righteousness; and your reward, through his abundant and unmerited mercy, will be that of glory and felicity for ever. Often contrast, Christians, the imperfection of the best joys of the world; the alloy that, through the infirmity and corruption of nature, here tarnishes even that bliss of communion with your God and Saviour, which the world can neither give nor take away; with the exalted and unalloyed happiness, which will be your portion, when your Saviour, pronouncing you "blessed of his Father" calls you to " inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world ;" and more and more aspire after this blissful consummation; more and more have
your hearts there fixed, where these true joys are to be found;" and more and more live as the citizens of that Heaven, from whence you look for the Saviour to exalt you to perfect bliss, both in body and soul, in his eternal and everlasting glory.
It is then, Christians, your inestimable privilege to look for the Saviour with the holiest hopes and the liveliest joy. For he will raise
Rev. xxii. 12.
your bodies from the corruption of the grave, and clothe them with incorruptible glory. He will bring your souls from the place of the departed, where in joy and hope they have abode, and unite them with your glorified bodies. From the guilt and punishment of your sins, which you have confessed and renounced, he will publicly absolve you. Your integrity, which suspicion may have tarnished or malice assailed, he will vindicate before men and angels. Your good works he will proclaim before the assembled universe, as the evidences of the sincerity of your faith in him, and the pledges of your qualification for that blessedness to which he will exalt you. And this blessedness will be, the enjoyment of the bliss of his heavenly kingdom, of the perfection of felicity in body and soul.
To enjoy these exalted hopes, who is there that would not live a life of faith and of holiness? Who is there that would deem too great the sacrifices, too rigorous the exactions, too severe the requisitions, too strict the obedience, which are necessary to the indulgence of the holy triumphs with which the Christian looks for his Saviour? Who is there that, in the exercise of lively faith, thus looking for his Saviour, would not rise above the world in holy superiority to its trials, and in the comparative contempt of its highest pleasures? Alas! there are those whose sensual tempers, whose ungodly lives, whose devoted
ness to the world evidence that the heaven from which they ought to look for the Saviour, and the glorious triumphs with which they might look for his coming, occupies little of their thoughts and none of their affections. Alas! they must look for him-but to pronounce their eternal condemnation!
[A WHIT-SUNDAY SERMON.]
JOHN XV. 26.
But when the Comforter is come.
AND, my brethren, the Comforter has come. A religion whose Author was, to human appearance, an obscure Nazarene, who suffered as a malefactor; whose founders were contemned fishermen; and which in its spirit and its precepts is opposed to all the prejudices and corrupt passions of our nature, could not have been propagated in the world by human artifice. It must owe its establishment to the supernatural power of its humble founders. Our assembling then this day in this holy temple, enjoying the hopes and the consolations and the triumphs of this religion, proves that the divine "Comforter," by whose miraculous aid twelve obscure Galileans achieved the conversion of the world, has