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less than revelation. Dream not of a heaven into which you may enter, live here as you may. To such as waste the present state, the future will not, cannot, bring happiness. There is no concord between them and that world of purity. A human being, who has lived without God, and without selfimprovement, can no more enjoy heaven, than a mouldering body, lifted from the tomb and placed amidst beautiful prospects, can enjoy the light through its decayed eyes, or feel the balmy air which blows away its dust. Immortality is a glorious doctrine; but not given us for speculation or amusement. Its happiness is to be realized only through our own struggles with ourselves, only through our own reaching forward to new virtue and piety. To be joined with Christ in heaven, we must be joined with him now in spirit, in the conquest of temptation, in charity and well-doing. Immortality should begin here. The seed is now to be sown, which is to expand for ever. “Be not weary then in well-doing ; for in due time we shall reap, if we faint not.”
THE RE-UNION OF PIOUS FRIENDS IN
THE HEAVENLY STATE.
[REV. ROBERT HALL.] HEN the objects of our love are taken from
the scene which they were accustomed to adorn and bless, our chief consolation will undoubt. edly arise from the prospect of soon meeting in a
better world, where those who have been fellowpilgrims in this vale of tears will be associated in the presence of the Saviour never more to part.
If the mere conception of the re-union of good men, in a future state, infused a momentary rapture into the mind of Tully; if an airy speculation (for there is reason to fear it had little hold on his convictions), could inspire him with such delight, what may we be expected to feel, who are assured of such an event by the true sayings of God! How should we rejoice in the prospect, the certainty, rather, of spending a blissful eternity with those whom we loved on earth, of seeing them emerge from the ruins of the tomb, not only uninjured, but refined and perfected, “ with every tear wiped away from their eyes,” standing before the throne of God and the Lamb, “ in white robes, and palms in their hands, crying with a loud voice, Salvation to God, that sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb, for ever and ever!” What delight will it afford to renew the sweet counsel we have taken together, to recount the toils of combat, and the labour of the way, and to approach not the house, but the throne of God, in company, in order to join in the symphonies of heavenly voices, and lose ourselves amidst the splendours and fruitions of the beatific vision !
To that state all the pious on earth are tending ; and if there is a law from the operation of which none are exempt, which irresistibly conveys their bodies to darkness and to dust, there is another, not less certain or less powerful, which conducts their spirits to the abodes of bliss, to the bosom of their Father and their God. The wheels of nature are not made to roll backward ; every thing presses on towards eternity; from the birth of time an impetuous current has set in, which bears all the sons of men towards that interminable ocean. Meanwhile heaven is attracting to itself whatever is congenial to its nature, is enriching itself by the spoils of earth, and collecting within its capacious bosom whatever is pure, permanent, and divine, leaving nothing for the last fire to consume but the objects of corrupt desire, while every thing which grace has prepared and beautified shall be gathered and selected from the ruins of the world ; to adorn that eternal city,“ which hath no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it, for the glory of God doth enlighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof." Let us obey the voice that calls us thither; let us “ seek the things that are above,” and no longer cleave to a world which must shortly perish, and which we must shortly quit, while we neglect to prepare for that in which we are invited to dwell for ever. Let us follow in the track of those holy men, who have taught us by their voice, and encouraged us by their example, “ that laying aside every weight, and the sin that most easily besets us, we may run with patience the race that is set before us.” While every thing within us and around us reminds us of the approach of death, and concurs to teach us that this is not our rest, let us hasten our preparations for another world, and earnestly implore that grace, which alone can put an end to that fatal war which our desires have too long waged with our destiny. When these move in
the same direction, and that which the will of heaven renders unavoidable shall become our choice, all things will be ours; life will be divested of its vanity, and death of its terrors. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought we to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting to the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens, being on fire, shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat. Nevertheless, we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, in which dwelleth righteousness.”
THE RE-UNION OF PIOUS FRIENDS IN
THE HEAVENLY STATE.
[REV. ROBERT ASPLAND.] THE rational and scriptural view of our earthly
state is that of its being an education for heaven; but all its lessons would be thrown away, and be worse than useless, if in heaven, as on earth, man were not to be a companion and a friend. tural sympathies and affections are unerring, and they all point to a future life, as a scene of social usefulness, improvement, and enjoyment, corresponding to our best and noblest wishes, but infinitely beyond our happiest experience. A virtuous family is a type and a pledge of future blissful communion. The law of the Creator that ensures a father's love, a mother's tenderness, is an argument conducted in
Heaven's own form of demonstration and inscribed in Heaven's own indelible characters, that the parent and the child are destined to be to each other for ever a mutual blessing; for were it not so, this wonderful ordination of the Mighty Maker, by which heart answers to heart in the parental and filial relations, would, in some cases, as in that of the breaking-up of these relations as soon as they are formed, be a contrivance without an end, and in all cases a fallacious moral intimation, or rather a complex moral apparatus producing only disappointment.
1. The subject shows the dignity of man as an immortal being, and the dignity of society which will be renewed in heaven, never to be dissolved.
You cannot despise, you cannot but honour, you cannot revere too much a being whom God has destined to live for ever: you cannot estimate lightly, you cannot help regarding with awe that community of human beings which is an example and earnest of future and eternal fellowship.
And to honour man and to revere society, is the first of happy feelings, and the beginning of all virtue.
I tremble most at the contemplation of infidelity when I see that it regards man as a mere collection of organized dust, and the social fabric as composed of a certain number of accidentally associated atoms, soon to be dispersed into their original insignifi
This is a theory neither for the mind nor for the heart of man. Mean and abject in his own estimation must he be that embraces it; and let him possess but the common portion of benevolence, and