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shaken in mind, or be troubled; neither by spirit, nor by word; nor by letter; as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. He then assures them, that there will be first a falling away; and describes the man of sin, with the abominations which have since appeared in the church of Rome. In what he says in this passage, he evidently refers the Thessalonians to his first epistle to them, and probably to our present text, and endeavors to guard them against a misapprehension of his meaning.

It was proper that the apostle should use the term we, when speaking of those whò should live long after his departure, for he wrote under the direction of the spirit; and could not make any misuse of terms. The people of God resemble each other in so many particulars; and are so essentially one, by their union with Christ, that he might well consider himself as embodied with a future generation; and he might use this mode of expression, as best adapted to describe those whom he intended. If he was viewed as one of them, then they were to be viewed as such as would bear a resemblance to him. This mode of expression also, betokened his ardent affection for those unborn brethren of himself, and of the Lord, for we are disposed to couple ourselves with all in whose welfare we take a deep interest.

With respect to those of the Lord's people who shall be here alive when he shall come to awake the dead, as they are to be taken up to heaven, and incorporated with the pure society of that holy world, it is evident, that something very important must take place to qualify them; something equivalent to what they experience, who die in the Lord. Of this the apostle speaks in his first epistle to the Corinthians, where he treats so largely of the resurrection. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep; but we shall all be changed; In a inoment; in the twinkling of an eye; at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised, incorruptible and we shall be changed. Every one can see, that the gross body will need such an entire transformation as will remove all that is mortal, and corruptible, belonging to it; and it is equally certain, that the soul, though renewed, and partially sanctified, must be



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made very different from what it ever is, while a tenant of a house of clay.

The strongest language that is suitable with respect to any body of christians in the present world is, that they are Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit, in the bond of peace; and the very language employed, supposes the case to be a doubtful one; and one attended with much imperfection. Whoever considers the discipline exercised in churches in general; or the need which there is of discipline, must be sensible, that the real disciples of Christ may be compared to grain before it is fanned; or to gold before it is refined; so that much must be done before they can be incorporated as members of that society which nothing ever disturbs. The contension was so sharp between Paul and Barnabas upon a certain occasion, that they separated. It is no uncommon thing for professors of religion to speak half in the speech of Ashidod, and to be so at variance one with another, that they cannot come to the same sacramental table, nor even keep up the ordinary friendly intercourse of life. If I cannot partake of the most solemn and endearing ordinance with my brother, if I cannot go to his house, nor welcome him to mine; can I meet him in heaven, until that sin is done away from my heart which is now my only obstacle? From what we read; and from what we see; it is evident, that a change is necessary, and a radical, and thorough one, in the nature of man; and that no one can go from this world to heaven, either through the valley of the shadow of death, or translated as Elijah was, without being puritied from the defilement of sin, in every part and completely.

The saints of every description, are to be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. Both Daniel and John make mention of clouds, in their description of the coming of the Lord; and, probably, because clouds will increase the awful majesty of the scene. I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of man, come with the clouds of heaven; and came to the Ancient of days; and they brought him near before him. Behold! he cometh with clouds and every eye shall see him. It is not for us to assign the reason why the place of meeting should be

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the air, rather than the earth. To know that it is the Lord's plasure that it shariki??o sa, is enough for us to know. Gladly wiibis piecule listen to, ard obey, his voice when lie shall -?), come up liber, The assurance, that they shall be forevor with the Lord, will be received with the highest pessible transport.

In this world, the intercourse between believers and their Lord is much iitriupteu, so that they hare frequent occasion to say, Way siandesi thou afir oft, O God; why Hiidest thou thyself in times of trouble! Restore unto me the joys of thy salvation! Every one acquainted with the christian life knows, that it is far from being unitoim. Sin upon the soul is like a dark clutid upon ine sun; and there is much sin in God's people to darken their prospects, and to keep them from beholding the bright face of the Sun of righteousness. St. John speaking oi' this matter says, If we say, that we have fellowship with him, and waik in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth. As nothing but sin can separate God's people from God; and as sin can have no place in heaven; so the people of God will be with himn forever.

We may be disposed curiousiy to inquire, what will be the businces in heaven, and low the inhabitants can find employment, through the endless ages of eternity. The scenc will there le, doubtless, quite a new one. pations of this world, will have no place in that world, where there can be no loss, and where no gain will be counted any thing, but gain in holiness. The Bible furnishes us with information sufficient to raise our hopes; but with nothing to gratify our ide curiosity.

With reference to the day of judgment, the apostle Paul addresses to the Corinthians these inquiries; Do ye not know, that the saints shall judge the world? Know ye not that we shall judge angre's? 1.. some way the saints will partake in that solemn transaction which will decide the condition of mankind, individually, and of those apostate angels who will be doomed to outer darkness, and endless woe; and they are represented as kugs, and p:iests, unto God. they shall be encaged in contempting the name, the character, the works, and ways of God, they will never be idle, but always have a subject sufficient to exercise all their

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powers. An infinite subject can never be exausted. A review of life, in all its scenes and circumstances, with all the evils attending it, and all the deliverances experienced in it, will never become tedious, but afford continual pleas

If all have not the same things to think of that Paul and Manasseh will have; all the redeemed will consider themselves as redeemed from all iniquity; and the more sensible they are, that they have been children of wrath the more sensible they will be of their obligations to him who has made them the children of his grace. It is impossible that there should be any place in this world so busy as heaven is, where as there is no night, so there is no cessation from business; and where all the business is the adoration, and praise of God.

We have now traced our subject through its various parts and will bring it to a close with a few reflections. What an august exhibition must that be, when those things shall be realized which are spoken of in this passage of scripture! Many go to the theatre that they may behold the actors on the stage, and be entertained with their performances. Many are attracted with the pomp of war; with the sight of armies, and fleets; or stand gazing to see a vessel navigate the air, and carry men far above the world. Great as any of these things may be, in themselves considered, what are they, when compared with things infinitely greater! The psalmist has given us a most sublime account of what the apostle describes in our text. Our God shall come,

and shall not keep silence; a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him. If we couple these two representations, we have the whole picture; and nothing can bear any comparison to the pomp, and solemnity of it; for in it we have the fire; the tempest, the arch angel's voice; the trump of God; and God himself; with all his holy angels, as his attendants. Those grand displays which are made among men, are witnessed by but a few, compared with the whole of mankind; but every eye shall see the Lord, descending, and see the majestic and triumphant manner in which he shall come.

If the Lord will collect all his saints, both the living, and the dead, and convey them safely to his kingdom above,


where they shall be forever with him, and employed forever in his praise; this consideration must have amazing influence with those who can feel the weight of it, to animate them in their work, and to bear them up under the burdens, and discouragements, of life. When we can say, Here is the faith of the saints, we can add, Here is the patience of the saints. What are those light afflictions which are but for a moment, with respect to those for whom they work a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory! If we may be forever with the Lord, when this short life is ended, of what consequence is it whether we spend this short life in a palace or a dungeon? Duty does not require us to expose ourselves unnecessarily to evils; but to bear them submissively, when they cannot be avoided. Nothing can inspire us with submission but that hope which is as an anchor to the soul, sure, and steadfast, and if we can hear our Divine Savior say, Be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven; we shall see, that It is good that a man should both hope, and quietly watch, for the salvation of the Lord. Let us however not deceive ourselves, in judging of our

As we may be baptised with water without being baptised with the Holy Ghost; so we may have a visible standing among God's people, without being the people of God. It is those who are dead in Christ, and those who are so much like St. Paul, that in his description of them he reckons himself in their number, that will be received by their Lord, when he shall come to gather his children into the place which he has prepared for them, in the mansions of his heavenly Father.

As we shall probably die much as we live, it is of importance that we diligently inquire, whether we have any reason to think, that the world has been crucified unto us, and we unto the world. That we cannot serve two masters is plain from our Savior's declaration, and sufficiently plain from the nature of the case. If this world has not lost much of its attraction in our view of it, it is because we have never opened our eyes upon the glories of a brighter world. Our calculation should be according to the following passage of the apostle; It is a faithful saying; For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him; If we

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