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the air, rather than the earth. To know that it is the Lord's pleasure that it should be so, is enough for us to know. Gladly will his people listen to, and obey, his voice when he shall say, Come up hither. The assurance, that they shall be forever with the Lord, will be received with the highest possible transport.

In this world, the intercourse between believers and their Lord is much interrupted, so that they have frequent occasion to say, Why standest thou afar off, O God; why hidest 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 uniform. Sin upon the soul is like a dark cloud upon the 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 of this matter says, If we say, that we have fellowship with him, and walk 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 him forever.

We may be disposed curiously to inquire, what will be the business in heaven, and how the inhabitants can find employment, through the endless ages of eternity. The scene will there be, doubtless, quite a new one. The occupations 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 idle 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 angels? In 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 kings, and priests, unto God. If they shall be engaged in contemplating 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



powers. An infinite subject can never be exausted. 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 pleasIf 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 own case. 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

suffer we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us. If our hearts are still alive to all the things which charm the natural man, and in an equal degree; our hope, if we entertain one, is only a delusion, and the sooner we rid ourselves of it, the better will it be.

The passage which we are attending to, brings not into view the condition of the wicked. But they will rise in their order, though it will be to shame, and everlasting contempt. Are we not interested in the consideration of their sad case? May it not be our own; and can we be unconcerned, when things of infinite importance are at stake! Shall sufferings that must have a speedy termination, be regarded with horror; and shall the endless sufferings of a hopeless world, be passed over with a slight notice! This is commonly the case; but what infatuation does it betoken. It may however, be thought, if not said, as it was said in the days of Ezekiel, The vision that he seeth is for many days to come; and he prophesieth of the times that are far off. How far off the coming of the Lord may be when he shall come to raise the dead, and to judge the world, is known only to himself. But as the day of death will settle every thing in relation to our condition, it is essentially the same as if upon that day, the Lord should actually make his appearance in the clouds of heaven. Now, can any one say that that day is far distant, when life, at the longest, is but a vapor, and a dream? Let each one ask himself, as Pharaoh asked Jacob, How old art thou; and measuring the time which may belong to life, by that which is actually passed, let a fair estimate be formed. Were this to be our practice, should we not soon be disposed to say, Arise, let us go hence.




And I entreat thee also, true yoke-fellow, help those women which labored with me in the gospel.

WHEN God has a work to be done, he can raise up men to do it, and furnish them with qualifications; and he can cause the efforts of the most violent opposers to further his own designs.

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Saul of Tarsus appeared very unlikely to become a christian and an apostle, when he was a blasphemer, a persecutor, and injurious; and Philippi, where this same man, afterwards engaged in the best cause, was so shamefully treated, appeared a very unpromising spot, when he first visited it, upon which to erect a flourishing christian church. But all this, we know was brought about in due time. That power which removed the scales from the eyes of the blind persecutor, implanted a holy zeal in the heart where furious passions had been accustomed to reign; and the same power, by converting Lydia, the jailer, and others, formed a company to advocate the truth, where Satan had maintained almost undisturbed authority. His Philippian brethren were so regular in their conduct, and evidenced so strongly their sincerity, that St. Paul was greatly comforted on their account, and gave thanks to God upon every remembrance of them.

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