Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

66

mortal existence. If he guides them in peace and safety through the storms and tempests of this lower world, it is that they may arrive at last “at a city of ha6

bitation,” a place of rest where they shall for ever dwell. If he graciously vouchsafes to be their God and their guide uuto death, he will likewise be their portion for evermore.

66 Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel,” says the Psalmist, “ and afterward receive me to glory.”

It is to this latter part of the subject that I propose to call your

attention in the following discourse.—May God be with us by his Spirit, while I endeavour to show what is implied in that glory into which the Lord will receive his people, after he has led and conducted them through the present life.

I need not take up your time to show, that by

glory” here must certainly be meant the happiness of the saints in a future state. There is no expression more frequently employed by the sacred writers, in speaking of the happiness of heaven, than the one now under consideration. “ I reckon,” saith the apostle, “ that the

6 sufferings of this present time are not “ worthy to be compared with that glory 66 that shall hereafter be revealed :" “For our light affliction, which is but “ for a moment, worketh for us a far “ more exceeding and eternal weight of

glory.” Nay, so peculiarly descriptive is this epithet of the heavenly state, that when, in condescension to our weak conceptions, heaven is represented under images borrowed from external objects, this is generally added to ennoble our conceptions, and to teach us that it is a happiness infinitely superior to the highest objects of ambition among men. Thus, Is heaven compared to a crown ? it is a crown of glory! Is it a kingdom ? it is a kingdom of glory! Is it an inheritance ? it is a rich and glorious inheritance !

Let us consider, therefore, what may be implied in the description of heaven, or why the happiness of the saints in a future state is called “ glory.”— The word denotes honour, dignity, and bliss of the highest kind, and most permanent, nay, eternal in respect of duration, and may justly be applied to ex

press the happiness of the saints in the coming world, on account of the place, the company, the services, and the enjoyments of heaven.

First, The Place. Heaven may be represented by the term “ glory," because it is a glorious place.

66 It is a house not made with hands, “ eternal in the heavens; a city which “ hath no foundations, whose builder and 66 maker is God.” It is called the habitation of his Holiness,—the throne of his Majesty," the place where his Ho“ nour dwelleth.” We are not to suppose, indeed, that the great and eternal God is, or can be, confined to any place. The heaven of heavens cannot contain him. He filleth heaven and earth with his presence; and is

every moment with all his works, in all parts of his dominions, throughout the boundless regions of the universe, pervading, supporting, and directing the whole.

But we are taught to conceive of heaven, as a place where the great Jehovah is pleased to manifest himself in a peculiar manner, and to

P

Our

display the most transcendent and visible glory.

As in Solomon's temple there was the Holy of Holies, in which a visible glory appeared among the figures of the Cherubims, and into which none but 'the High Priest was permitted to enter, after having made atonement for the sins of the people; so, if we consider the whole creation as one vast temple, there is in it this Holy of Holies, into which the High Priest of salvation entered, after having made a propitiation for the sins of men.

Much of the glory of God appears even in this lower world. 66 The hea“ vens declare his glory, and the firma- ment sheweth his handiwork. Day unto

day uttereth speech ; night unto night “ teacheth knowledge of God.”—“ The “ invisible things of God are clearly “ seen, being understood by the things “ that are made, even his eternal power “ and godhead.” But if the place termed in Scripture his “ footstool” be thus glorious, how much more so must the throne of his Majesty be? If this earth which we inhabit, defiled as it is with sin, and groaning under the weight of man's cor

ruption, nay, of a curse for his sake, exhibit to a careful observer such evident marks of the most consummate wisdom and design,—what must be the majesty of that place, where the whole art of creation has been employed, and where God has chosen to shew himself in the most magnificent manner to the view of all its blessed inhabitants ?

The descriptions given of it in Scripture, particularly by John in the Book of Revelation, although clothed wholly in metaphorical language, and drawn from sensible and material objects, yet are fitted to inspire the most sublime ideas of the place, which it is possible for the human mind to conceive. I saw," says John, “ the holy city, the new Jerusalem, co

ming down from God out of heaven, “ prepared as a bride adorned for her “ husband; having the glory of God; 6 and her light was like unto a stone “ most precious, even like a jasper stone, “ clear as crystal,--and had great “ and high, and had twelve gates; and “ at the gates twelve angels; and names 6 written thereon, which are the names 66 of the twelve tribes of the children of

66

a wall

« ZurückWeiter »