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the loftiness of which, our own admission into paradise will best explain. Imagination itself utterly fails to picture, either the multitude of worshippers, constituting the heavenly host, or the splendour of their appearance, or the sublimity of their ascending hosannas, as the incense of the upper temple; and is compelled therefore to quit the loftiest stretch of its powers, as totally inadequate to bring down, to the feeble grasp of a mortal, the song, either of the cherubim or of the ransomed. That their praise is sublime-loftily sublime—that their worship of the Deity is becoming the Majesty of heaven and earth,—that every one of the heavenly host is engaged in it, neither slumbering instead of praising, nor weary instead of being happy in the exercise, is just as true as that there ie a Deity and a heavenly host. One is the centre of attraction-the others derive their happiness from him. The beams of his countenance irradiate their faces. It is the sight which they see that makes them so lowly. It is the feelings they enjoy that make them so rapturous. But we may further remark here, that their worship is unceasing. The arches of heaven have rung in this way, ever since the first of their creation; and from the time that any ransomed spirit “ returns to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon its head,” that spirit commences then its rapturous shout and its loud hallelujah. “ They worship God day and night in his temple.” Not that there is literally any night in heaven—the expression is designed to represent the character of heaven's worship as unceasing. As dwellers upon earth we rest in the nighttime, but as opposed to this, the employments of heaven are ever going forward. Long before the days of Nehemiah, it was true, that the mighty celestial host surrounded the throne of their Creator, hymning his praises ;-or rather it
is possible, that before the 'blue-arched heavens were stretched forth to canopy our world, these angelic beings and the flaming Seraphim, were acquainted with the Eternal One, and were equally employed in presenting him their adoration and their songs. So when time shall be no more and through every successive period of time, until it be finished, the same mighty spirits, and the spirits of the just made perfect” to accompany them, may all be expected to continue the worship of the skies ; and by doing so, perpetuate their own happiness, in the presence of Him who is the Lord of hosts. Even amid - the wreck of matter and the crush of worlds”-amid the appalling solemnities of a judgment-day, when nature is convulsed, and ready to heave forth her expiring groan,—when graves are opening, and rocks are rending, and sounds tremendous 66 greet the ear,"'--even amid every thing terrific, and every thing sublime, this worship will go forward! What is an attendance upon the Judge, but the expression of angelic and saintly adoration ? And so the destinies of that day being over, how innumerable will the multitude then be, eagerly surrounding the throne! And they shall see the face of God, in whose presence “ there is fulness of joy, and pleasures for evermore.” Such may be something of the nature of the worship of God by the inhabitants of heaven. It is humble, as to their own feelings in the presence of Deity. It is high and lofty, as to the character of their praise, and finally it is unceasing. They go no more out, and are for ever with the Lord. Let us now enquire
III. What the subject may be supposed to suggest for our present instruction. If the heavenly host thus worship God—if they delight in the worship which they present to him, it is what all his rational and intelligent offspring might be expected to observe. We ought to be taught much by the declaration of the text, “ The host of heaven worshipeth Thee.” As we fail in this, we fail in our own happiness ; for it is obvious, that “the chief end of man is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever." None can dare to dispute with him his dominion, or supremacy. Angels are not too proud, or too lofty in intellect, to yield the humblest submission to him. Why then should man be either too proud, or too stubborn? We certainly dispute not the existence of God—we might just as well attempt to dispute our own. I will not suppose here that any of us disputes his existence; but then, if there be such a Being, it is equally obvious that he is worthy of our homage and our adoration. Oh then, think of this God. Think of the God, whom angels, and cherubim, and seraphim surround. Think of this God, whom not only the internal but the external host of heaven worship. The sun is obedient to his mighty Maker's mandate. The moon, that lovely empress of the night, reflects the glory of her Great Creator. The stars, and every star shadow forth his praise. The blue-arched canopy, stretching from the eastern to the western horizon, is the expansive curtain of Him, who rideth upon the wings of the wind, or who shrouds himself with the drapery of the sky, and in whom every tint of the rainbow meets the pencil of the universal Architect. In fact, every thing above us, and all nature around us, on her loftiest mountains, and in her deepest vales—in her wildest romance, or more chastened beauties in her lonely bowers and verdant meadows ;-And the sea-the wide expanded sea, either in its placid surface, or in the majesty of its foaming spray, and as it dashes
the rolling billows with impetuous sweep against the rock ; -in every element of nature, whether on earth, in air, sea, or sky-whether it strike, as with the omnipotence of the thunderbolt, or perform its operations with gentler majesty,—all things tell of and every thing testifies to Him, who alone is God! I have asked you to think of this God. How worthy are his perfections! How amiable his character! How powerful his attributes ! Stooping to converse with creatures that have offended against Him, what is his language ?
66 Come now and let us reason together, saith the Lord ; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” When we view the Almighty in this endearing character, we are reminded again of the provision he has made for the forgiveness of sins, consistently with his Divine purity. That forgiveness flows through the blood of Christ. The angels themselves desire to look into the mysteries of this redemption ; and its wonders unfolding and unfolding with the revolutions of eternity, are to constitute the unfailing attraction of the saints in heaven.
2. The subject presents us with another consideration for our instruction : viz. how humble our worship ought to be, either in the sanctuary, or in the closet. This remark has more especially to do with those who do worship God. Let us then remember that in our best estate on earth, we are far below the purity and holiness of the heavenly host. But these are nevertheless profoundly humble in the presence of God, and in the worship which they present to Him. Now a consciousness of what we are in the Divine sight—that we are less than the least of all things, ought to impress our minds, and by affecting our hearts lead to the deepest humility and abasement of soul. The very consciousness, I say, of what we are ought to have this tendency. But there is another consideration to be taken into the account, that although we stand not as the angels do, in the immediate presence of the Lord of hosts--yet nothing is concealed from his view. He knows the very thoughts of our hearts : and “every thing is open unto the eyes of Him, with whom we have to do.” Every song which is sung in the sanctuary is heard by him. Every prayer which is offered up in the great congregation, and every subject to which you are invited to listen there, has to do with the eye and the ear of Heaven. Nor is this all j for every individual composing that congregation, or any congregation, is instantly inspected by the glance of Omniscience. And then, if we turn from the sanctuary to the closet, we find that however retired we may be from the world, and cut off from its pursuits and its fellowship, it is still the influence of Heaven that surrounds us. It is here where no other being can possibly penetrate, and yet it is here, where the darkest recesses of such a locality are open to Jehovah. “ Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there ; if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea ; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, surely the darkness shall cover me, even the night shall be light about me. For the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.” Were these sentiments, my friends, sufficiently impressed on our minds, it would then be that both the sanctuary and the