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mong Angels and Archangels, after having made a propitiation for the fins of mankind.
With how much skill must the throne of God (be erected ? With what glorious designs is that « habitation beautified, which is contrived and built o by him who inspired Hiram with wisdom? How
great must be the majesty of that place, where the • whole art of creation has bcen employed, and where . God has chosen to fhew himself in the most mag(nificent manner? What must be the architecture ( of infinite power under the direction of infinite I wisdom? A spirit cannot but be transported after • an ineffable manner with the sight of those objects, which were made to affect him
by that Being who o knows the inward frame of the soul, and how to
please and ravish it in all its most secret powers and • faculties. It is to this majestic presence of God, • we may apply those beautiful expressions in holy « writ: Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not;
yea the stars are not pure in his fight. The light of the sun, and all the glories of the world in
which we live, are but as weak and fickly glimmer•ings, or rather darkness itself, in comparison of " those splendours which encompass the throne of ( God.
• As the glory of this place is transcendent beyond imagination, fo probably is the extent of it. « 'There is light behind light, and glory within glory. • How far that space may reach, in which God thus • appears in perfect majesty, we cannot possibly con« ceive. Though it is not infinite, it may be inde. • finite; and though not immeasurable in itself, it
may be so with regard to any created eye or ima.
gination. If he has made these lower regions of o matter so inconceivably wide and magnificent for
the habitation of mortal and perishable beings, how
great may we suppofe the courts of this house to « be, where he makes his residence in a more efpe• cial manner, and displays himself in the fulness of VOL. VIII. † I
« his glory, among an innumerable company of angels, and spirits of just men made perfect?
This is certain, that our imaginations cannot be raised too high, when we think on a place where
omnipotence and omniscience bave fo signally ex(erted themselves, because that they are able to pro
duce a scene infinitely more great and glorious than
what we are able to imagine. It is not impossible • but at the consummation of all things, these out(ward apartments of nature, which are now suited " to those beings who inhabit them, may be taken in ( and added to that glorious place of which I am here • speaking; and by that means made a proper habi. "tation for beings who are exempt from mortality, and • cleared of their imperfections : for so the Scripture • seems to intimate, when it fpcaks of new heavens, 6 and of a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteous6 ness.
I have only considered this glorious place with « regard to the fight and imagination, though it is • highly probable that our other senses may here
likewise enjoy their highest gratifications. There o 'is nothing which more ravishes and transports the
foul, than harmony; and we have great reason to s believe, from the descriptions of this place in holy s scripture, that this is one of the entertainments of & it. And if the soul of man can be so wonderfully • affected with those strains of music, which human
art is capable of producing, how much more will < it be raised and elevated by those, in which is ex
erted the whole power of harmony! The senses are "faculties of the human foul, though they cannot . be employed, during this our vital union, without (
proper instruments in the body. Why, therefore,
Thould we exclude the satisfaction of these facul. ities which we find by experience are inlets of
great pleasure to the soul, from among these enterç tainments which are to make up our happiness hereafter? Why should we suppose that our hearing
(and seeing will not be gratified with those objects ( which are molt agreeable to them, and which they ( cannot meet with in these lower regions of nature; • objects, which neither eye hath feen nor ear beard, (nor can it enter into the heart of man to conceive ! • I knew a man in Chrif (says St. Paul, speaking of • himself) above fourteen years ago, (whether in • the body, I cannot tell, or whether out of the body, • I cannot tell : God knoweth) such a one caught up
to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, . (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot « tell: God knoweth ) how that he was caught up • into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which • it is not pojible for a man to utter. By this is
meant, that what he heard was so infinitely different . from any thing which he had heard in this world, • that it was impoflible to express it in such words, as might convey a notion of it to his hearers. • It is very natural for us to take delight in enqui
ries concerning any foreign country where we are, « fome time or other, to make our abode; and as we rall hope to be admitted into this glorious place, it • is both a laudable and useful curiosity, to get what « informations we can of it, while we make use of • revelation for our guide. When these everlasting « doors shall be open to us, we may be sure that the • pleasures and beauties of this place will infinitely • transcend our prefent hopes and expectations, and • that the glorious appearance of the throne of God
will rise infinitely beyond whatever we are able to i conceive of it. We might here entertain ourselves ' with many other speculations on this subject, from " those several hints which we find of it in the Holy " Scriptures; as, whether there may not be different ( manfions and apartments of glory, to beings of • different natures; whether, as they excel one ano'ther in perfection, they are not admitted nearer to ! the throne of the Almighty, and enjoy greater manifestations of his presence; whether there are
• not solemn times and occafions, when all the mul. • titude of heaven celebrate the presence of their • Maker in more extraordinary forms of praise and " adoration; as Adam, though he had continued in • a state of innocence, would, in the opinion of our
divines, have kept holy the Sabbath Day, in a
more particular manner than any other of the se(ven. These, and the like speculations, we may
very innocently indulge, so long as we make use • of them to inspire us with a desire of becoming • inhabitants of this delightful place.
I have in this, and in two foregoing letters, treatred on the most serious subject that can employ the • mind of man, the Omnipresence of the Deity; a ' subject which, if possible, should never depart from • our meditations. We have confidered the Divine • Being, as he inhabits infinitude, as he dwells a'mong his works, as he is present to the mind of
man, and as he discovers himself in a more glori"ous manner among the regions of the blefled. Such o a consideration should be kept awake in us at all ' times, and in all places, and poffess our minds • with a perpetual awe and reverence.
It should be "interwoven with all our thoughts and perceptions, ( and become one with the consciousness of our own • being. It is not to be reflected on in the coldness • of philofophy, but ought to fink us into the lowest • proftration before him, who is so astonishingly
great, wonderful, and holy.'
Sunt bona, funt quedam mediocria, funt mala plura,
MART. Epig. xvii. I. 1.
Am at present sitting with a heap of letters before
me, which I have received under the character of SPECTATOR; I have complaints from lovers, schemes from projectors, scandal from ladies, congratulations, compliments, and advice in abundance.
I have not been thus long an author, to be insenfible of the natural fondness every person must have for their own productions, and I begin to think I have treated my correspondents a little too uncivilly in stringing them all together on a file, and leting them lie so long unregarded. I shall therefore, for the future, think myself at least obliged to take fome notice of such letters as I receive, and may possibly do it at the end of every month.
In the mean time, I intend my present paper as a fhort answer to most of those which have been already sent mę.
The public, however, is not to expect I should let them into all my secrets ; and, though I appear ab. struse to most people, it is sufficient if I am understood by my particular correspondents.
My well-wisher Van Nath is very arch, but 1106 quite enough so to appear in print.
Philadelphus will, in a little time, see his query ful. ly answered, by a treatise which is now in the press.
It was very improper at that time to comply with