Page images

to overcome the evil of their hearts, to subdue every unholy affection, to bring every thought into subjection to Christ, know by real experience the various miseries which flow from our unruly passions and headstrong lusts. They have felt the unceasing conflict which must be maintained with the world without, and corruption within ; they have felt the humiliating and painful conviction that “many sins do easily beset them;" and that “when they would do good, evil is present with them.” Now there will be nothing of this in heaven. They which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world shall no longer mourn over the deceitfulness and corruption of their own hearts, nor dread the temptations of a sinful and enslaving world, nor fear the power of “ the adversary," who is here on the watch to destroy.

“ The soul from sin for ever free,
Shall mourn its power no more ;
But cloth’d in spotless purity,
Redeeming love adore.”

The children of the resurrection are also equal unto the angels, in the society which they will be permitted to enjoy. Like them, they stand in the presence of God, and serve him day and night in his temple. “He that sitteth upon the throne shall dwell among them;" He shall be their God, and they shall be his children; and in this intimate relationship, and holy communion, they shall for ever dwell with “ the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,” “in whose presence is fulness of joy, and at whose right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”

They shall also be with the Son of God, the blessed Redeemer, who has now gone to prepare a place for them in the mansions of his Father's house, and who has promised to come again and take them to himself, that where he is there they may be also. There, in the presence of “ Jesus, the Mediator of the new covenant,” they shall be permitted to

see his glory,” “the glory which he had with the Father before the world was,” This

thought cheered the Apostle Paul, who longed “ to depart and be with Christ;” and he holds it up as an encouragement to all Christians to be faithful unto death, that “when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall they also appear with him in glory ;"_" and so shall they ever be with the Lord ;” and “the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and lead them unto living fountains of waters.”

Those who are made “meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light,” shall also be permitted to enjoy the society of “an innumerable company of angels,” those “ministering spirits,” who are now “sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.” With Cherubim and Seraphim, and all the company of heaven, they shall unite in singing praises '“ unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.”

And further," " those who are accounted

worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead,” will be permitted to associate with Patriarchs and Prophets, and Apostles, and all “ the spirits of just men made perfect.” They shall be admitted to "the general assembly and church of the first born, whose names are written in heaven;" a great multitude, which no man can number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues ;" all those, from righteous Abel, to the last of the redeemed, who “ have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”

Such is the society, and such the blessedness, of the saints in light. With God the Judge and Father of all, and with Jesus Christ his Son, our Mediator and Redeemer, and with the Holy Ghost, the Comforter and Sanctifier, and with blessed angels, and glorified spirits of just men, shall they spend an eternity of unmingled bliss ; “they shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more, neither shall the sun light

upon them, nor any heat. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away."*

* Rev, vii. 16. xxi. 4.

« PreviousContinue »