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DISCOURSE XXIV.

THE CURSE ABOLISHED,

REVELATION, xxii. 3, 4.

And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him. And they shall see his face.

On the exclusion of our first parents from Paradise, the Lord God said unto Adam, "Because "thou hast eaten of the tree, of which I command"ed thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed "is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou "eat of it all the days of thy life: thorns also and "thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt "eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of thy "face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust "thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."* And

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* Genesis, iii. 17-19.

unto this hour has this comprehensive malediction its accomplishment.

In consequence of man's offence, the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now; yet in this valley of toil and tears, there is opened a door of hope, by the hand of sovereign mercy, and we are assured, that the creature also shall be delivered from the bondage of an accursed corruption, and an involuntary subjection to vanity and sorrow. Very various and contradictory sentiments have existed as to the nature and extent of that "restitution of all things" which the Scriptures foretel; nor is there any subject of prophecy which opens a more extensive field for amusing and intricate speculation. The happiest conjecture, however, confirms the humiliating fact asserted by Saint Paul in reference to human knowledge. "We "now see through a glass darkly, we know but in part," and of necessity it follows, that we can only prophesy in part. Indeed, our information on the happy changes which shall occur under the immediate reign of Christ on earth during the Millenium, or in reference to the eternal glories of the celestial world, is little more than negative. We know rather what they are not, than what they are. We can specify what shall not be, and rejoice in prospect of that state, when "God shall wipe away "all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no

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"more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither "shall there be any more pain: for the former "things are passed away." And in one word,

there shall be no more curse.

These times and seasons which the Father has put in his own power, it is not for us to know; it is sufficient for us to be informed of the certainty of this happy change; and we are invited, nay, urged to secure by faith and patience, our personal interest in that good land, that unfading inheritance, that Paradise restored.

From the whole of the text read at this time for our improvement, a number of important lessons, and much rich consolation might be drawn; every word is full of meaning; nor can we forbear, although not immediately to our present purpose, noticing that the one eternal throne is that of God and the Lamb; he who is the Lamb slain which appears in the midst of the throne, is also the mighty God who reigneth for ever and ever; but the general object, in this small volume, confines our attention to one solitary view of the subject. Employment was appointed in Paradise; for the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to dress it and keep it: on Adam's transgression he

* Revelation, xxi. 4.

labored as a criminal; and under the Divine malediction in the expected state of eternal repose and happiness when the curse shall be abolished, there the saints, as his servants, shall serve him. Heaven is a place of incessant employment; its inhabitants rest not day or night, praising him that * sitteth on the throne; but their worship never wearies, their service never fatigues. Established holiness, which involves cheerful activity in God's service, is the happiness of elect angels and ransomed men. dolence, the worst, and most contaminating evil on earth, can find no admission in that world, where nothing enters that defileth," there his servants 65 serve him."

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If we speak of the present state of service, by reversing the description, we shall obtain some negative acquaintance with the felicity of just men, when made perfect by the blissful reunion of their spirits and bodies, fashioned like unto his glorious body, who is able by his mighty power to subdue all things to himself.

Our text leads us in the

First place; To notice that the scene of this service shall be as the Paradise of God," there

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The ground was cursed for man's sake; on the spot of this destined and perfect service, there shall be no more curse. All things shall be newly created, and offer an entire contrast to the present state. None of those moral evils, which are the thorns and thistles of society at large, shall be allowed existence. The place where the godly now reside, is full of noxious things, which present continual impediments to their spiritual labors. Our households offer the fullest proof that the soil on which we are to labor-the spot which we are appointed "to dress and keep" for our Creator-suffers under the primeval curse. Barren of all that is good; spontaneously yielding evil, only evil, and that continually; and but slowly and parsimoniously paying for all the toils of moral and religious cultivation. Chiefly, however, are the effects of this comprehensive malediction discovered and bewailed in the stony ground of our own hearts. The thistly curse there is most prevalent; nor can heaven be presented to our view in a more engaging prospect, than as affording, in this respect, a contrast to our present existence. "And there shall be no more a pricking briar unto the house of Israel, nor any grieving thorn."*

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Here every thing connected with our abode renders the most delightful service, for such is the

* Ezekiel, xxviii, 24.

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