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the Spirit of the Lord unto the soul. I rejoice at thy word, says the Psalmist, as one that findeth great poil, Pfal. cxix 162. Yet it is but an imperfect discovery we have of it while here. How ravilling then will it be, to see the opening of the whole treasure, hid in that field! they shall also be let into the understanding of the works of God. The beauty in the works of creation and providence will then be set in a due light. Natural knowledge will be brought to perfection by the light of glory. The web of providence concerning the church, and all men whatsoever, will then be cut out, and laid before the eyes of the faints, and it will appear a inott beautiful mixture; fo as they shall say together, on the view of it, he hath done all things well. But, in a special manner, the work of redemption thall be the eternal won. der of the saints, and they will admire and praise the glorious contrivance for ever. Then thall they get a fully.ow of its suitableness to the divine perfections, and to the case of finners': and clearly read the covenant, that paft betwixt the Father and the Son, from all eternity, touching their salvation. They shall for ever wonder and praise, and praise and wonder at the mysteries of wisdom and love, goodness and holine's, mercy and justice, appearing in the glorious device. Their souls shall be eternally satisfied with the fight of God himself, and of their election by the Father, their redemption by the Son, and application thereof to them by the Holy Spirit.
2. The saints in beaven shall enjoy God in Christ by experimen. tal knowledge, which is, when the object itself is given and poslefsed. This is the participation of the divine goodness in full measure; which is the perfection of the will, and utmolt term thereof. The Lamb Shall lead them unto living fountains of waters, Rev. vii. 17. There are no other but God binlelt, the fountain of living waters, who will fully and freely communicate himself unto them. He will pour out of his goodness eternally into their souls: and then shall they have a most lively sentation, in the innermoft part of their souls, of all that goodness they heard of, and believed to be in him; and of what they see in him by the light of glory. This will be an everlasting practical exposition of that word, which men and angels cannot fufficiently unfold, to wit, God himself thall--be their God, Rev xi. 3. God will communicate himself unto them fully: they will no more be fit to taste of the streams of divine goodness in ordinances, as they were wont, but shall drink at the fountain-head. They will be no more entertained with fips and drops, but filled wish all the fulness of God. And this will be the entertainment of every faint: for though in created things, what is given to one, is withheld from another; yet an infinite good can fully communicate itself to all, and fill all.' These who are heirs of God, the great beritage, shall then enter into a full possession of their inheritances: and the Lord will open his treasures of goodness unto them, that their enjoyment miy be full. They shall not be flinted to any
measure: but the enjoyment shall go as far as their enlarged capa. cities can reach. As a narrow vefél cannot contain the ocean, so neither can the infinite creature comprehend an infinite good: but no measure shali be set to the enjoyment, but what arisech from the capacity of the creature. So that, alihough there be degrees of glory, yet all shall be filled, and have what they can hold; tho' some would be capable to hold more than others, there will be no want to any of them, all shall be fully satisfied, and perfectly bles. sed in the full enjoyment of divine goodness, according to their enlarged capacities. As when bottles of different sizes are filled, some contain more, others less; yet all of them have what they can contain. The glorified fhall have all, in God, for the satisfaction of all their desires. No created thing can afford satisfaction to all our desires : clothes may warın us, but they cannot feed us; the light is comfortable, but cannot nourish us. Bui in God we shall have all our desires, and we shall desire nothing without him. They shall be the happy ones, that desire nothing but what is truly desirable; and withal have all they desire. God will be all in all to the saints: he will be their life, health, riches, honour, peace, and all good things. He will communicate himself freely to them: the door of acceis to him shall never be shut again, for one moment. They may, wben they will, take of the fruits of the tree of life, for they will find it on each fide the river, Rev. xxii. 2. There will be no vail betwixt God and them, to be drawn afide; but his fulness shall ever stand open to them. No door to knock at,
in heaven; no asking to go before receiving; the Lord will allow his people an unrestrained familiarity with himself there.
Now they are in part made partakers of the divine nature: but then they shall perfeâly partake of it; that is to say, God will cominynicate to them his own image, make all his goodness not only pass before them, but pass into them, and stamp the image of all his own perfections upon them, so far as the creature is capable to receive the same, from whence shall result a perfect likeness to him, in all things in or about then, which completes the happiness of the creature. And this is what the Pfalmift seems to have had in view, Pfal. xvii. 15. I ball be satisfied when I awake, with thy likeness; the perfection of God's iipage, following upon the beatie fick vision. And fo says John, John ili 2. We shall be like him ; for we shall see him as he is. Hence there thall be a molt close and intimate union betwixt God and the sainis: God Mall be in them, and they in God, in the way of a molt glorious and perfect union; for then shall they dwell in love inade perfect. God is love, and he that dwelleth in love, dwelleih in God, and God in him, 1 John iv. 16. How will the faints knit with God, and he with thein; when he shall see nothing in them but his own image; when their love shall arrive at its perfection, no nature, but the divine nature, being left in them, and all imperfection swallowed up in that glorious transfor.
mation into the likeness of God! their love to the Lord being purged from the dross of self-love, fall be most pure; so as they will love nothing but God, and in God. It shall be no more faint and lan. guishing, but burn like coals of juniper. It will be a light without dark cls, a flaming fire without smoak. As the live coal, when all the moisture is gone out of it, is all fire; so will the faints be all love, when they come to the full enjoyment of God in heaven, by intuitive and experimental knowledge of him, by fight and full participation of the divine goodness.
Lastly, From this glorious presence and enjoyment shall arise an 'unspeakable joy, which the saints thall be filled with. In thy presence is fulness of joy, Psal. xvi. If. The faints sometimes enjoy God in the world, when their eyes being held, that they cannot perceive it, they have not the comfort of the enjoyment; but then, all mistakes being removed, they shall not only enjoy God, but rest in the enjoyment with inexpreffible joy and satisfaction. The desire of earthly things breeds torment, and the enjoyment of them often ends in loathing. But though the glorified saints shall ever desire more and more of God, their desires shall not be mixt with the least anxiety, since the fulness of the Godhead stands always open to them; therefore they shall hunger no more, they fhall not have the leaft uneasiness, in their eternal appetite after the hidden manna: neither Mall continued enjoyment breed loathing; they shall never think they have too much; therefore it is added, neither shall the fun light on them, nor any heal, Rev, vii. 16. The enjoyment of God and che Lamb will be ever freth and new to them, through the agès of eternity: for they shall drink of living fountains of waters, where new waters are continually springing up in abundance, ver. 17. They shall eat of the tree of life, which, for variety, affords twelve manner of fruits, and there always new and freh, for it yields, every month, Rev. xxii. 2. Their joy thall be pure and unmixed, without any dregs of sorrow: not flight and momentary, but solid and everlasting, without interruption. They will enter inte joy, Matth. xxv. 21. Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord. The expreffion is somewhat unusual, and brings me in mind of that word of cor suffering Redeemer, Mark xiv. 34. My soul is exceeding forrowful unto death. His foul was beset with forrows, as the word, there used, will bear, the floods of forrow went round about him, encompassing him on every hand; whishersoever he turned his eyes, forrow was before him; it fprang in upon them from heaven, earth, and hell, all at once; thus was he entered into forrow, and therefore faith, Pfal. Ixix. 2. I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. Now wherefore all this, but that his own might enter into joy? Joy Sometimes enters into us now, with much ado to get accels, while we are compassed with forrows: but then joy thall not only enter into us, but we ihall enter into it, and swim for ever in an ocean of joy: where we will see nothing but joy, whithersoever we turn
our eyes. The presence and enjoyment of God and the Lamb will satisfy us with pleasures for evermore: and the glory of our louls and bodies, arising from thence, will afford us everla!ling delight. The spirit of heaviness, how closely foever it cleaves to any of he faines now, shall drop off chen: their weeping shall be rurned into songs of joy, and bottles of tears fhall fie in rivers of pleasures. Happy they who now fow in tears, which shall spring up in joy, in heaven, and bow their heads there with a weight of glory upon them.
Thus far of the society in this kingdom of the saints.
X. In the last place, The kingdom fall endure for ever. As every thing in it is eternal, so che faints Thall have an undoubted certainty and full affurance of the eternal duration of the fame. This is a necessary ingredient in perfect happiness : for the least uncertainty, as to the continuance of any good with one, is not without some fear, anxiety and torment; and therefore is utterly incunfiltent with perfect happiness. But the glorified shall never have tear, nor cause of fear, of any loss: they shall be ever with the Lord, i Thell. iv. 17. They shall all attain the full-perfwasion,
that nothing thall be able to separate them from the love of God; i nor from the full enjoyment of him, for ever. The inheriranée
reserved in heaven is incorruptible; it hath no principle of corruption in itself, to make it liable to decay, but endures for evermore: It is undefiled: nothing from without can mar its beauty, nor is there any thing in itself to offend those who enjoy it: And therefore it fadeth not away; but ever remains in its native lustre, and primitive beauty, 1 Pet. i 4. Hitherto of the nature of the kingdum of heaven.
SECONDLY, Proceed we now to speak of the admission of the faints into this their kingdom; where I shall briefly touch upon two things, (1 ) The formnal admission, in the call unto them from the Judge, to come to their kingdoin' (2.) The quality in which they are admitted and introduced to it.
1. Their admission, the rext fews to be by a voice froin' the throne; the King calling to them from the throne, before angels and
men, to come to cheir kingdom. Come and go are but thore words: but they will be such as will afford matter of thought to all mankind, through the ages of eternity; since upon the one depends everlasting happinels, and upon the other ever!afting misery. Now our Lord bids the worst of finners, who hear the gospel,
Come : : but the most part will not come unto him. Some few, whose · hearts are touched by his Spirit, do embrace the call, and their
souls within them say, Behold, we come unto thee : they give themselves to the Lord, forsake the world and their lusts for him; they bear his yoke, and caft it not off, no noc in the heat of the day, wben the weight of it (perhaps) makes them sweat the blood out of their bodies. Behold the fools! faith the carnal world, whither
are they going? But say a little, V foolish world! Erom the same mouth, whence they had the call they are now following, another call shall come which will make amends for all, Come, ye bl fled of my Father, inherit the heaven.
The faints shall find an expreffible sweetness in this call, to come. (1.) Hereby Jesus Chrilt Mews his defire of their society in the upper house, that they may be ever with him there. Thus he will open bis heart unto them, as sometimes he did to his father con. cerning them, saying, Father, I will that they be with me, where I am, John xvii. 24. Now the travel of his foul hands before the throne, not only the fouls, but the bodies he has redeemed: and they must come, for he must be compleatly satisfied. (2.) Hereby they are folemnly invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. They were invited to the lower table, by the voice of the servants, and the secret workings of the Spirit within them; and they caine, and did partake of the fealt of divine communications in the lower house: but Jesus Christ in person shall invite them, before all the world, to the higher table. (3.) By this he admits them into the manfions of glory. The keys of heaven hang at the girdle of our royal Mediatori All power in heaven is given to him, (Mat. xxvii. 18.), and none get in chither, but whom he admits. When they were living on earth, with the rest of the world, he opened the
everlasting doors of their hearts, entred into them himself, and ! Aut them again; so as sin could never re-enter, to reign there as
formerly: and now he opens heaven's doors to them, draws his dores into the ark, and thus them in there; so as the law, death and hell, can never get them out again. The saints in this life were Still labouring to enter into that reft: but Satan was always pulling them back, their corruprion always drawing them down; in so much that they have sometimes beca left to hang by a hair of a promise, (if I may be allowed the expreslion) not without fears of falling into the lake of fire: but now Chriít gives the word for their admission; they are brought in, and put beyond all hazard, Lasily, Thus he speaks to them, as the person introducing them ina to the kingdom, into the presence-chamber of the Great King, and unto the throne. Jesus Cerist is the Great Secretary of heaven, whose it is to bring the saints into the gracious presence of God: and to whom alone it belongs to bring them into the glorious presence of God in heaven. Truly heaven would be a Itrange place to them, if Jesus was not there: but the Son will introduce his brethren into his Father's kingdom; they shall go in with him to the marriage, Matth. xxv. 10.
II. Let us consider in what quality they are introduced by him.
First, He brings them in as the blessed of his Father : fo runs the call from he throne, Cone ye bleljed of my Father, &c. It is Christ's Father's house they are to come into; therefore he puts them ii? mind, that they are blessed of his Father; dear to the Father, as