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and rejoiced in his grace, and they now delight to see him face to face in his glory. They have seen him vested with his commission of mercy, they have heard and received his message of goodness and love, and they cannot but rejoice to see him coming to fulfil his last promises. They have cheerfully subjected themselves to his government here on earth, they have followed him in paths of holiness through the wilderness of this world, and what remains but that they be publicly acknowledged by Jesus the Judge of all, and follow him up to the place of blessedness which he hath prepared for them.
Perhaps some of these holy ones in the days of the Aesh, were banished from the cities and the societies of men for the sake of Christ, they were driven out from their native towns, and forced to seek a shelter in solitary dens and caves among rocks and mountains, to wander through deserts in sheepskins and goat-skins, destilute, afflicted, tormented." Heb. xi. 31. They made the clefts of the rock and caverns of the earth their refuge from the face of their cruel persecutors :' the mountains and rocks sheltered them from the wrath of princes, and the dark grottoes of the earth, and the dens of wild beasts concealed them from the rage of men, from the sword of the mighty ; but now the scene is gloriously changed, the niartyrs and holy confessors awaking from their graves, exult and triumph in the smiles of their Judge, and receive public honours before the whole creation of God. They behold the infinite consternation of haughty tyrants, and persecuting princes, of proud generals and bloody captains in that day: they hear them “call to the rocks and mountains to hide them from the face of him that sits upon the throne and the Lamb.” The authority and regal honour of the emperors of the carth hath long slept in the dust, but it is lost there for ever; their glory shall not awake nor arise with them : behold the mighty sinners who have been the enemies of Christ, or negligent of his salvation, how tbey creep affrighted out of their shattered marbles, and leave all that pomp and pride of death in ruins, to appear before God with shame and everlasting contempt. The men of arms, the captains and sons of valour, whose swords lay under their heads with their trophies and titles spread around them, shall raise their heads up from the dust with utmost affright and anguish of spirit: their courage fails them before the face of Jesus the Lord and Judge of the whole creation They would fly to the common refuge of slaves, they shrink into the holes of the rocks, and call to the mountains to screen and protect them : and every bond man, and every free man who have not known nor loved God and Christ, are plunged into extremest distress ; but the humble Christian is serene and joyful, and lifts up his head with courage and delight in the midst of these scenes of astonishment and dismay.
He is come, he is come, saith the saint, even that Lord Jesus whom I have seen, whom I have known and loved in the days of my mortal life, whom I have long waited for in the dust of death; he is come to reward all my labours, to wipe away all
my sorrows, to finish my faith and turn it into sight, to fulfil all my hopes and his own promises ; he is come to deliver me for ever from all my enemies, and to bear me to the place which he has prepared for those that love him and long for his appearance.
O blessed be the God of grace who hath convinced me of the sins of my nature, and the sins of my life in the days of my flesh ; who hath discovered to me the danger of a guilty and sinful state, hath shewn me the commission of mercy in the hands of his Son, bath pointed me to the Lamb of God who was offered as a sacrifice to take away the sins of men, and hath inclined me to receive him in all hig divine characters and offices, and to follow the Captain of my salvation through all the labours and dangers of life. I have trusted him, I have loved him, I have endeavoured, though under many frailties, to honour and obey him, and I can now behold his face without terror ; while the mighty men of the earth tremble with amazement and call to the rocks and mountains to hide them from his face, I rejoice to see him in his robes of judgment, for he is come to pronounce me righteous in the face of men and angels, to declare me a good and faithful servant before the whole creation, to set the crown of victory on my head, to take me to heaven with him that " where he is I
No NIGHT IN HEAVEN.
Rev. xxii. 25.
And there shall be no night there.
ENGTH of night and overspreading darkness
in the winter season, carries so many inconveniences with it, that it is generally esteemed a most uncomfortable part of our time. Though night and day necessarily succeed each other all the year, by the wise appointment of God in the course of nature, by means of the revolution of the heavenly bodies, or rather of this earthly globe, yet the nignt season is neither so delightful nor so useful a part of life as the duration of day-light. It is the voice of all nature as well as the word of Solomon, light is sweet, and a pleasant thing to enjoy the sun-beams. Light gives a glory and beauty to every thing that is visible, and shews the face of nature in its most agreeable colours ; but night, as it covers all the visible world with one dark and undistinguishing veil, is less pleasing to all the animal parts of the creation. Therefore as hell and the place of pu
punishment is called utter darkness in scripture, so heaven is represented as a mansion of glory, as the inheritance of the saints in light : and this light is constant without interruption, and everlasting or without end. So my text expresses it," there shall be no night there.”
Let it be observed, that in the language of the holy writers, light is often ascribed to intellectual beings, and is used as a metaphor to imply knowledge and holiness, and joy. Knowledge as the beauty and excellency of the mind, holiness as the best regulation of the will, and joy as the harmony of our best affections in the possession of what we love: and in opposition to these, ignorance, iniquity and sorrow, are represented by the metaphor of darkness. Then we are in darkness in a spiritual sense, when the understanding is beclouded or led into mistake, or when the will is perverted or turned away from God and holiness, or when the most uncomfortable affections prevail in the soul. I might cite particular texts of scripture to exemplify all this. And when it is said, there shall be no night in heaven, it may be very well applyed in the spiritual sense ; there shall be no errors or mistakes amongst the blessed, no such ignorance as to lead them astray, or to make them uneasy ; the will shall never be turned aside from its pursuit of holiness and obedience to God ; nor shall the affections ever be ruffled with any thing that may administer grief and pain. Clear and unerring knowledge, unspotted holiness, and everlasting joy shall be the portion of all the inhabitants of the upper world. These are common mere subjects of discourse. : But I chuse rather at present to consider this word NIGHT in its literal sense, and shall endeavour to represent part of the blessedness of the heavenly state under the special description of it.
« There is no night there."