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closet would be entered with a more heartfelt preparation, as if we really understood that we were entering into the immediate presence of him, whom angel and cherubim reverence and adore. The motto to be written on our hearts, and continually remembered is this, “ Thou God seest me." An impression like this should be carried about with us every moment. It would imply the influence of the powers of another world, and effectually shade the glories of the present one.
It would deaden our affections to its vanities, and yet quicken their relish for the things that are above.
3. Let us again be instructed from the subject, to prepare for an introduction into the society and the worship of the heavenly host.
We have already, more than once, reminded you in the course of our remarks, that a great part of that heavenly host are the spirits of the redeemed from amongst men, who are now made perfect in the presence of God. But their preparation itself for the Divine presence was begun und carried on in this world. They considered this to be the design of all the religious privileges with which they were favoured ; and in the enjoyment of which, they went from strength to strength, expecting eventually to appear before God. So must it be with us. The journey to heaven, and the preparation for the worship of heaven must be begun on earth. The hymns of the land of Canaan are first to be lisped on this side the Jordan, if ever by us they are to be more sweetly chanted in the land of rest. Let this be an admonition to the people of God to be more diligent in the improvement of the means of grace, and to delight more in the worship of the earthly sanctuary. And ought it not to be an admonition to all to think of eternity? Here, if ever, our preparation for eternity must be made ; and for this purpose we are favoured with line upon line, with sabbath succeeding sabbath, could we but see it our happiness to improve them. Be assured that the sun of this world has yet to set for ever. The lamp of the gospel too, which shines in the sanctuary, has soon to be withdrawn. The world of nature itself shall dissolve, and that which is, be no more. One thing only will then be found important--a preparation for the judgment-seat. And here I may just in conclusion remind you, that as the angelic part of the heavenly host, graced the triumph of the ascending Saviour ; so we are told that at the second coming of our Lord, these same intelligences are to add to the solemnity of the scene.
66 The Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him.” “The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and the trump of God.” In the splendid, yet awful anticipation which the prophet Daniel had of this day, he says" I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool : his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued, and came forth from before him : thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him : the judgment was set, and the books were opened.” Who can think of this, or read its description unconcerned ? It has all to do with the fate of our world, and the destiny of ourselves. O! to be prepared for the coming of that ancient One-to be looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the Great God, even our Saviour Jesus Christ ; that when he comes it
our's to be found accepted of Him, and to mingle with the numbers, and to share in the happiness of the heavenly host. Amen.
THE PILGRIMAGE OF THE TRUE CHURCH THROUGH THE
Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well : the rain also filleth the pools. They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God.
There may have been something in our recent notice of the employments of heaven to refresh our mind and animate our hopes; but let us not forget that we ourselves are yet in the wilderness. It was not until the Sardisic church was proved and disciplined that they were advanced to the glories of the celestial world. It is therefore fitting that we go back again, to mark some of the stages of the church's pilgrimage across the territory of her trials, that we may gather from the subject the lessons both of diligence and of gratitude. In this beautiful psalm we are told of the strong affection of the author of it for the sanctuary and the worship of God. “How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even
fainteth for the courts of the Lord : my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.” The name of the writer is not prefixed to the psalm, but it is generally supposed that David composed it when expelled from Jerusalem, in consequence of the rebellion of his son Absalom. The strains of holy piety which pervade every line of the composition, remind us very much of other parts of the writings of that individual : though on the other hand there are some, who suppose it to have been written by one of the Levites in the days of Hezekiah, when prevented by the Assyrian army from appearing, as was customary, in the temple. But be this as it might, it is for us to notice the import of the psalm itself, as setting forth the delight of the faithful, in all ages of the world, in the worship of God, and their affection for the services of the sanctuary. There were certain priests and Levites, who continually dwelt at the temple ; and the psalmist in the fourth verse speaks of the blessedness of such. “Blessed,” says he, “are they that dwell in thy house, they will be still praising thee;"--and then to show the happiness of all whose hearts are right with God, it is further said Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee ; in whose heart are the ways of them, who, in passing through the valley of Baca, make it a well;"—that isthat the individual was happy; whoever he might be, who, relying on the Divine guidance and protection, went up according to the command of God three times in the year to the solemn feasts, which were held at Jerusalem ; or if unable to accomplish the journey by reason of affliction, or some other necessary cause, was nevertheless by the affection of his mind one of those, whose hearts were more in the high-way leading to the house of God, than at their