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We have looked then at cities as places of security, of resort and concourse, of business, of pleasure; and, yet, in every case, we have uniformly found that, Here we have no continuing city." We, my brethren, have wants for the soul and eternity which no material perishable city can supply. The soul is a spiritual principle; and, therefore, nothing but spiritual things can satisfy its cravings. A man may bury himself in business till he has not leisure to think whether he has a soul; he may plunge into sensuality till it is hard to see in what he surpasses the beasts that perish; he may run the whole round of gaiety, try every vanity under the suu, drink deep of the cup of pleasure, and, in the midst of all, “There is no peace," no true and solid peace, "saith my GOD, to the wicked." There will be a secret dissatisfaction, a frequent remorse, the aching head and the aching heart, the conscious shame, the dread of death and the hour of judgment. Man has a soul, and that soul must have peace with GOD in order to be happy. Man is guilty and he must have pardon; he is unholy and must have a new nature; he has spiritual appetites which nought but spiritual food can satisfy. Man is also an immortal creature, and therefore nothing earthly present or transitory can fill his soul. If he were to live only in this world he might say, if he would, "Let us eat, drink, and be merry, for to-morrow we die." But now, with eternity before him, and that eternity one of joy or misery, according to his principles and habits acquired here, nothing can give him solid satisfaction but that which ministers to his eternal welfare. You would smile at the folly of the child who should barter a piece of gold for a paltry toy; you pity Esau who sold his birth-right'

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for a mess of pottage; what think you of a man who barters the joys of an inheritance in heaven for the toys, the trifles, the vanities, and the sensualities of this present passing world? Yet this is your own case if any among you are not acting on the conviction, that" Here we have no continuing city."

But if you know any thing of the minds of the Apostles and the first Christians, then you know and feel this is not your rest, for it is polluted. The world treats you with coldness and indifference; no state honours, as it ought, your Lord; you are strangers and pilgrims on earth as all your fathers in the Christian life have been before you; you are like Noah's dove, who flew to and fro and found no rest for the sole of her foot, till she came back to the ark for refuge.

Come, then, with me to our second part; and here have I promised to bring you good tidings-I announce to you the Gospel of Christ. There has been, I know, none of this in my first part, for there was none in my subject; there are no good tidings for those who expect to find their continuing city here.

We go on to observe, then, that THERE IS A CONTINUING CITY TO COME, AND WE, BRETHREN, ARE TO SEEK IT. There is a continuing city; we can find none here, but there is one in heaven; heaven itself is that continuing city. And by this I uuderstand not a material city like our earthly cities, with walls and towers and temples and streets. Such expressions when found in scripture in regard to heaven are figurative, and are used in condescension to our infirmities. You read of its "walls;" these denote the power and the omnipotence of GOD encompassing the redeemed. Its foundations" refer to the depths of the divine counselsthe firm union of infinite wisdom, love, and power, which lie as the ground-work of the covenant of grace made with us in Jesus Christ. We read of the "light" which fills that glorious city; but it is to denote to us the brightness of the presence of GOD: "for the glory of GoD doth lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof." It has no temples like

earthly cities, for there is the living temple of Christ's body. The “ precious stones" we read of as adorning the heavenly city, intimate the transparent lustre, the moral beauty, the richness, the brightness, the holy joys, the clear view of divine things, the perception of the glorious perfections of GOD, which are the portion of all those who are counted worthy to see that good land.

Earthly cities, we said, are places of security but heaven is a place of continual security. There no thief can break in and steal; there no foe can ever scale the jasper wall; no sorrow, no sickness, no suffering, no death, and, above all, no sin and no Go round tempter can enter there. about our Zion; mark well her bulwarks; see the truth, the might, the glory of the Triune GOD, combined for its security: once safely there, you are safe for eternity. Earthly cities meanwhile may decay, generations may come and go, aye the whole world may be dissolved; yet the redeemed in heaven are secure from every danger.

angels, and Christ himself, for your
companions in eternity.

Earthly cities, we also said, are places of business; but heaven is a place of continual occupation, as well as of delight, for rest. Does this seem a paradox? They do rest from sin, from anxiety, from sorrow, from temptation; they rest not day nor night, praising and blessing GOD. We are to become, we are told, like unto the angels; and we know that they are full of fervour and obedience, never weary in well doing, never tired of holy worship.



Earthly cities, we also observed, are frequented for pleasure; but heaven is the proper, the indigenous, In thy presence the native land. is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for ever more.' Whatever pleasure may here be found in loving GOD and obeying his commands, will there be found a thousand The pleasures of fold increased. heaven are pure, yet delightful. If the hope of heaven is a pleasure here, what will be the reality? If the communion of saints on earth, though they have infirmities and corruptions, is so refreshing, what must be their communion with each other and the Lord in glory? Heaven is pre-eminently the reign of spirituality and immortality. GOD is a spirit, and can make all the spirits around him partakers of spiritual pleasure. He only is immortal, yet he deigns to give immortality to all whom he This is admits into his presence. called "a continuing city," for it is a place of continuing security, resort, occupation, and pleasure; full of all that can satisfy a spiritual and immortal being.

It is also a continuing city "to come." We have it now in promise from a faithful Gop; we have it in many a cheering hope of joyful expectation: even here on earth our citizenship and conversation may inhabit it; yet, in its fullest enjoyment it is ever, till we close our eyes on this world, it is ever a city "to come." "We walk by faith, and not by sight;" and here is a great difference between a worldly-minded man and a true believer. The worldly

Earthly cities, we said, are places of resort and concourse, men of all nations flock there: but heaven is a place of continual resort; there the tribes of the Lord go up from all quarters of the globe; many go,--a few chosen ones in every age, and in some ages (GOD grant that it may be so in ours!) great numbers are persuaded to go up and possess the land; but none come away. It is like the sea, into which great rivers flow, and yet it never overflows. So heaven is continually being filled with inhabitants; never full till the whole number of the elect, a number known only to GOD, is complete. Therefore there is yet room; room for many, room for you. If all of you would but faithfully go to Christ, he would in no wise cast out one individual; and at the last day, we know, there shall be a great multitude that no man can number of all nations, kindreds, people, and tongues. And you that love good company, mind that you go to heaven: you shall have good Christians for your companions in going; you shall have saints, and

minded man has his good things now -his purple and fine linen, his sumptuous fare, his gaities, his vanities, his pleasures; these are his good things, his portion in this life. The true believer, whatever he may have here, has always some better thing to come. His present portion, poor as it may be at times, is far better to a spiritual mind, than the other man's; his crust of bread with the hope of heaven is better than any of this world's dainties without that hope; yet his best and purest joys here, have always to be followed by higher and purer joys hereafter.

And how know we that there is such a continuing city to come? We know it from the best of all authorities-that of the word of GOD who cannot lie. We have a description of that continuing city marked down in the Bible; we have the way that leads to it faithfully pointed out; we hear of those who are already there. What has become, think you, of apostles, of martyrs, of confessors, of saints, of our fathers, of the last generation? Are they not all, as many as were truly Christ's, denizens and inhabitants of the heavenly city? Men seem to doubt whether there is any heaven, any hell, any future state, and any GOD. Men do not act so in other things. The merchant believes that there is many a city which he has never seen, and he acts accordingly. There are many moral truths which men believe with the mind, though from their very nature they cannot be demonstrated to the eye. Heaven is a spiritual place, and can only be seen with the spiritual eye; flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of GOD. "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." But to the eye of faith it is as clear, that heaven is a city to come, as any object in this place is clear to the natural eye at noon-day. I have no more doubt, that there is a heaven to come, than I doubt my own existence at this moment.

But, lastly, there is a continuing city to come, and we brethren, are to

be seeking it. "We seek one to come." The Apostle could use such hopeful language of the majority of Christians of his day; the majority were faithfully seeking heaven, the nominal professors and the hypocrites were the exceptions. But are you all seeking a city to come? I beg your deepest attention to this point; it may help and encourage you, if you are indeed seeking it; it may help to convince those who are not seeking that heavenly city. If we are seeking that city to come, we are made, through God's grace, deeply sensible of the vanity of the world, the instability of earthly things; we have been led to feel that the world is a scene of danger to our souls; we have discovered our state as sinners guilty before God, and our need of a Saviour such as Jesus Christ. If, seeking heaven, we have come to Jesus Christ, and humbly sought forgiveness, reconciliation, and salvation, through his merits--if we have done this in real earnest, in real sincerity of soul, GOD, who knows all hearts, is our faithful witness; we have fled for refuge to the cross, we have come to Christ as the way of truth and life. If seeking aright the heavenly city, you have discovered that "no man cometh to the Father but by Christ:" the presence of the unpardoned sinner would defile heaven, but nothing that defileth can enter that holy place; therefore sin must be pardoned, if you, a sinner, are saved; but there is no way in which sin once committed can be pardoned of God, but through the mediation of Christ. If you fancy there is some other mode, you may try it, I was going to say, but I would not advise it. It were a bold thing to go and knock at heaven's gate, and say, 'I come in my own name, I demand admittance into heaven as my personal right." It were a daring enterprise to force your way into heaven contrary to God's express word and his declared will. That infidel was a bold, though he was an ignorant man, who said, 'I want no mercy, I want nothing but justice from God.' But, if seeking aright the heavenly city, you have discovered that Jesus Christ in his

person, work, sufferings, merits, grace, and mercy, is your only, yet sufficient way of access.

But even more is required. It is not enough to know the way to the city you must also have set out in it, if you would ever reach that city. When you set out on a journey you not only thought and talked of it, made your plans, enquired the road; but on a certain day you rose up early, you laid aside other engagements, you fairly set out. But have you done as much for heaven? You have surely sometimes thought of heaven, sometimes talked of GoD, made some plan, enquired something about the road. Now has there been a certain day in your history-it is not necessary that you should know the very day, it is necessary that you should have done the very thing-has there been a time when you have said, "I will arise and go to my Father." Have you awoke from the sleep of sin, become deeply anxious for your soul, actually and truly come to Christ, set out under his faithful guidance for heaven? Has there been a time in your history-now do consider and enquire of yourselves has there been a time when like Lydia, of whom we heard this morning, the Lord opened your heart, that you attended to the word of God; or, like the jailor at Philippi, when you were brought to him and cried with trembling, "What must I do to be saved?" or, like the dying thief, when he looked at the crucified Saviour and said, "Lord, remember me, now thou art come into thy kingdom." Has the poor publican's prayer ever been the prayer of your heart-"GOD be merciful to me, a sinner?" Have you, like St. Paul, at his conversion, been brought to enquire of Jesus, "Who art thou, Lord?"-what is thy name, thy character, thy will, thy claims on me? Have you asked his other question "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" Have angels cause to say of you as they said of him-"Behold, he prayeth? Have you, with Mary, sat down to learn at the feet of Jesus, and "chosen that good part which shall never be taken from you?" My friends, your Bibles will furnish these

and many like examples and marks of true conversion, evidences of a sincere and right seeking of the heavenly city.


But yet, once more, if seeking the continuing city aright, there is farther, a growing affection for its king, love for its citizens, and a desire to be safely there. When the Jews came up year by year to Jerusalem, much of their talk by the way was about the royal city, the temple, the sacrifices, and the worshippers. Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem!" So, if you are pilgrims in the road to heaven, your thoughts and affections will often travel thither faster than your weary feet can follow. You will think much of the King of kings there sitting in his glory, and Christ the living temple, more wonderful than the temple of Solomon in all its splendour; the sacrifice once made-the Lamb as he was slain, there appearing on the throne; and the worshippers, the chorus of angels and the spirits of the just men made perfect, ever singing "Hallelujah, for the Lord GoD omnipotent reigns." Already my brethren, if you mean to be there, your affections are set on heavenly things, you have one main object to pursuit: this one thing you do. You do other things subordinately, but this one thing supremely. Your life, your desires, your prayers, all agree in saying in your name, and for you, 'Here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come.'


And now in conclusion, surely this subject will serve, with God's gracious blessing, to convince you of your true state. Where has been the hearing, where the mind, where the conscience, of him who goes away this evening deluding himself that he is seeking heaven when he is walking in the broad way that leadeth to destruction? Surely the subject must often revert to the thoughts of even the most When you careless amongst us. travel from city to city-when you walk in the fields and look towards the great city-when, as you go to and fro from day to day, you observe its secure and massive buildings when you mix in its crowds, take part in its business, or indulge in its


pleasures, I am persuaded you must often think within yourself" Here we have no continuing city." When you also see the vicissitudes which take place in families, the changes of residence, the bereavements, I am sure you will remember again"Here we have no continuing city." But, if that thought is lodged like an arrow in the heart, remember also you are offered a continuing city to come. Oh! it is a goodly city; Jesus Christ is its foundation; it has a rich provision; a divine Saviour, glorious immunities. Its gates are now open: "When thou, O Lamb of GoD, hadst overcome the sharpness of death, thou didst open the kingdom of heaven to all believers." Believe, therefore, and enter in. Will you not seek --will you not set out in right earnest? The best beginning that a hitherto careless sinner can make, is by retiring presently for half an hour or an hour to serious meditation and prayer. There ask of GOD to bless what you have heard; look back on your past life; and see with sorrow how much more of your anxious thoughts has this world, with its business, pleasures, vanities and sins, had of you than the world to come. Confess all that to GOD-ask for mercy through Christ-plead for it with earnestness of soul, bringing his promises as your encouragement and plea. Yield yourself up to GOD, and entreat him to help you through the things temporal that you finally lose not the things eternal. Then tomorrow arise and renew this earnest seeking; I do not say neglect the honest business of this world, but, I do say, keep it in its proper place; let it not engross the mind, fill the heart, eat up the soul of religion, and leave nothing but the mere skin and bone. Let others seek what they will, let your choice be fixed according to your Saviour's bidding-"Seek you first the kingdom of GOD and his righteousness."

I turn to some, for such I am persuaded there are, who have long been seeking a continuing city to come? And of them, I would ask, Do you now repent of your choice? Would you go back to the world of sin.

Have you any complaint to make of religion's ways? Are they not ways of pleasantness, and are not her paths all peace? Have you aught to say against GOD as though he were an hard master-against Christ, as though he was an ungracious Lordagainst the Holy Spirit, as though he were a stern teacher? Does not even the question we ask you, whether you doubt God's goodness, give pain to every ingenuous mind? Would you not rather say, “I have very much to complain of in myself, much weariness, much perverseness, much ingratitude, much backsliding; but as for GOD his way is perfect, his name is love, his dealings have all been gracious with me, his very chastenings have been full of kindness?" Well then, trust, love, serve him even to the end; press forward in the strength of Christ; persevere through his eternal grace; walk in fellowship and in love towards all your fellow pilgrims; help each other, by prayer, by example, and by sympathy on the way. Encourage those behind youthe young penitent, the little child, the babe in Christ just setting out. Pity and pray for those who seem determined to walk in that other road; whose impious courses, whose vain life, whose idle words you cannot help sometimes hearing; shudder and pass on; pray for them and pursue your way; do them any good you can, be very ready to return good for evil, but go not with them. Yours is the right road, press therefore forward: mind not difficulties and trials; He who has provided that continuing city at the end will give you grace, and strength, and every needful provision by the way: and then at the end (lo! we shall soon be there) Christ is waiting to receive you, and to lead you round with him to survey the continuing city. Then he will turn to you and affectionately say, “This is my Father's home, and my Father is your Father: this is your home; these are the mansions which I went to the cross, and afterwards came to my Father's right hand, to prepare for you: "Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."

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