Page images

state of being, - the society of angels, and the friendship of God? It is a “pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and the Lamb,” which, like a mirror, reflects the moral glories of the Supreme in more illustrious forms than all the seas and skies in the universe.

3. This subject furnishes us with a delightful idea of a future state.

During his abode in the present world, the believer cannot enjoy complete deliverance from evil. He is constantly employed in watching against it: he resists it by his daily prayers; he wrestles against it by his determined and unceasing opposition; and when, by the assistance of Divine grace, he succeeds in subduing a powerful corruption, how sincerely does he exult! The hero's triumph may be louder, but it is not so noble; it may excite higher and more glowing sympathy, but his victory is not so important, nor will it have a bearing on ages so distant. Still, however, the believer cannot, on this side the grave, realize all his wishes : he must die, in order to enjoy the full answer to his prayers. In heaven he will attain the glorious elevation which he now so ardently seeks, --not in a long series of years,—not after the lapse of many ages, but immediately on his arrival in the eternal world. There, he will never pray to be delivered from evil. He shall feel that he has obtained a complete deliverance. Never more shall he say,—“O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me?-Where is God my Maker? - Othat I knew where I might find him !” His happy spirit, emancipated from sin and grief, temptation and care, shall enjoy a perfect conformity to the holy image of the Son of God, and all the rich satisfactions which it often longed for with unutterable breathings. The day is indeed at hand in which the Christian's prayer will be fully answered. It shall be answered to a degree of which, at present, he has no conception : for his deliverance from evil supposes his possession of all good, as the absence of darkness supposes the presence of light. Here, he prays to be delivered from the curse of sin; there, he will experience all the blessedness which is connected with unspotted purity. Here, he prays to be preserved from the dominion of sin; there, he shall feel as though there were no such thing as sin in the universe. Here, he prays against the wiles of Satan; there, he shall not only be utterly free from his allurements and accusations, and terrors, but shall dwell with those lovely spirits who will aid him in his Divine contemplations, and in all his attempts to advance in knowledge and in holy delight. Here, he prays to be delivered from unbelief, and doubt, and the fear of death ; but then he shall have escaped these formidable evils :-“His sun shall no more go down, neither shall his moon withdraw itself: for the Lord shall be his everlasting Light, and the days of his mourning shall be ended.'

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]


MATTHEW, vi. 13.

Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the

glory, for ever.

[ocr errors]

We have arrived at a period in the history of the church, in which a passage of this kind cannot fail to excite peculiar interest; because it recognises that spiritual authority which Jehovah will maintain over all the nations of the earth, and the establishment of his universal sovereignty. It might be imagined, that this doxology alludes merely to the preservation of the natural world, or to that vast superintendence which is exercised by Divine Providence over the affairs of mankind. Either, or both of these ideas may be included; yet, it is

« PreviousContinue »