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as a garment...... Behold, these are II. His enjoyment of the beathe ungodly, who prosper in the tific vision; world ; they increase in riches. III. His participation of the Di. Verily I have cleansed my heart in vine likeness; and, vain, and washed my hands in inno- IV. His complete and everlasting cency: for all the day have I been satisfaction. plagued, and chastened every morn- In directing our attention to these ing." Such was the temptation of highly interesting subjects, let us the perplexed Psalmist : but scarce. implore the aid of “ the Father of ly had the words escaped his lips, mercies, and the God of all comwhen he recalled them, with this fort,” that our meditations may striking observation; “ If I say, I prove at once consolatory and inwill speak thus, I should offend structive! against the generation of thy chil- I. We are to consider, first, the dren... When I thought to know believer's resurrection from the sleep this, it was too painful for me; until of death: “ When I awake." It I went into the sanctuary of God. is not uncommon with the sacred Then understood I their end." In writers to speak of death as the like manner David had been taught "sleep" of the body. Of David in God's sanctuary, and by God's himself it is said, that “he slept Spirit, the superior blessedness of with his fathers." “ Our friend the righteous, notwithstanding all Lazarus sleepeth,” said our Lord. their earthly calamities; and was There appears to be a peculiar proled to set his affections on “ things priety in this figure, as conveying, above, and not on things which be by implication, the blessed doctrine on the earth.” Therefore he adds, of “the resurrection.” Sleep imin the words of the text, contrasting plies the continuance of existence, his own case with that of the pros- and the possibility of being again perous wicked, “As for me, I will roused into action. Thus is it with behold thy face in righteousness: the sleep of death. The soul conI shall be satisfied, when I awake, tinues to exist, though the body with thy likeness." This was the ceases to act or feel, though it even consideration which gave him com- moulder into dust. And how striking fort, even the “ glory which shall an image of the resurrection is the be revealed.” He envied not the awaking of an individual from his power which the stroke of death nightly repose! From a state of must terminate; nor the wealth darkness, he emerges into light ; which can accompany us only to from a state of insensibility, to anithe grave. His ambition and his mation, exertion, and activity. He desire were to dwell for ever with rises possessed not only of the same God, in the temple not made with faculties as those with which he lay hands, eternal in the heavens ; “ to down to sleep, but of those faculties behold the fair beauty of the Lord,” renovated and strengthened. He and to rejoice everlastingly in his lay down exhausted, wearied, faint presence. And as it was his desire, -he rises invigorated and refreshed. so was it also his confident hope. Nor is this image more correct in He speaks as one who knew in itself, than comforting in the con. whom he had believed; and as one siderations which it suggests to the persuaded that he was able to keep real Christian. Why should he so that which he had committed unto much dread the dissolution of his him against the great day.
earthly frame? Is it not exhausted His words suggest to us four, with labour, and enfeebled by sorprincipal topics for our conside- row? It is unfit, in its present ration :
state, to endure the effulgence of I. The believer's resurrection from the light of heaven, or participate the sleep of death;
in the unending joys which are at
God's right hand. It must, there- “they shall be,” in that respect, fore, undergo a considerable change. “as the angels of God." “ Flesh and blood cannot inherit II. But what is the glory to which the kingdom of God; neither doth the believer shall awake? The ancorruption inherit incorruption." swer to this inquiry will form the Grieve not at its temporary repose second subject which we proposed in the cold chamber of the tomb : to consider. He shall awake to be. it shall not always lie thus dor. hold the beatific vision of God. “As mant; but ere long shall arise to for me, I shall behold thy face in newness of life. The hour cometh righteousness.” when all that are in the graves shall To explain a subject so sublime hear the voice of the Son of Man, as this, with any measure of fulness and shall come forth. Then shall and correctness, is beyond the mortality be swallowed up of life. power of man. For " no man hath It affords, also, many cheering seen God at any time.”
" He considerations to the afflicted mourn. dwelleth in light which no er, bereaved of bis pious relatives, can approach unto; whom no man or of “the friend that sticketb hath seen, or can see." closer than a brother." “ The maid There is a sense, then, in which is not dead, but sleepeth.” “ Thy we shall behold God hereafter, in brother Lazarus shall rise again.' which we cannot behold him now. “I would not have you to be igno- He will manifest himself to his rant, brethren, concerning them assembled saints in some very pewhich are asleep, that ye sorrow culiar and extraordinary manner. not even as others which have no - They shall see him," as it were, hope. For if we believe that Jesus “ face to face." They shall dwell died, and rose again, even so them in his immediate presence, and bealso which sleep in Jesus will God hold his glory.
“ Blessed,” says bring with him."
our Lord, «
in heart, In one respect the image holds for they shall see God." “I know," not good. In our present existence, says the patriarch Job, that my the alternations of sleep and reani- Redeemer liveth, and that he shall mation are frequent. If we awake, stand at the latter day upon the it is but to sleep again. Many earth : and though, after my skin, hours cannot elapse ere the wearied worms destroy this body, yet in my body needs again to be prostrated flesh shall I see God: whom I shall in the emblem of death. But not see for myself, and mine eyes beso shall be the awakening of the hold, and not another." resurrection morn. A day will then What a glorious consequence this, begin, such as shall never end : a of awaking from the sleep of day of endless activity, and yet of death, clothed in the garments of ceaseless repose; for there shall be righteousness! He shall see God ! no fatigue nor disquietude in the be shall behold his smiling counteworld of glory. It is emphatically nance.
nance. Here he can catch but an said, “There shall be no night obscure, imperfect, and momentary there." There will be no necessity glimpse; there the vision will be for slumber; and, therefore, the cir- clear, perfect, and unchanging. cumstances favourable to it shall Then will the believer know even exist no longer. Oh, what a glo- as he is known. He will not sperious awakening, to sleep no more culate, but stand assured. The for ever! « There shall be no more treasures of heavenly wisdom shall death." The prospect of a second be opened to his purged eye. The dissolution, even at the expiration perfections of Jehovah shall be more of millions of centuries, would mar fully comprehended—the plan of the bliss of heaven. “ But they redemption, the everlasting love of shall die no more," says our Lord; the Father, and the unsearchable
riches of Christ, shall be revealed cast their crowns before the throne, to him as things seen, felt, and saying, “ Thou art worthy, O Lord, understood.
to receive glory, and honour, and But “to behold the face of God," power. Worthy is the Lamb that implies a residence in his celestial was, slain to receive power, and abode—“the city of the great riches, and wisdom, and strength, King.". The description which St. and honour, and glory, and blessJohn gives us, in the book of the ing." “ The communion of saints," Revelation, of “the New Jerusa- imperfectly as it exists in this world, lem," may serve, in some degree, is replete with comfort; but what to assist our efforts in picturing to will be the satisfaction which it shall our imagination the sacred splen- yield, when we shall indeed “ come dour, and ineffable magnificence, of unto Mount Zion, and unto the city God's more immediate dwelling. of the living God, the heavenly Jeplace. “ He carried me away,” rusalem; and to an innumerable comsays the Evangelist, “ in the Spirit, pany of angels; to the general assemto a great and high mountain, and bly and church of the first-born, shewed me that great city, the holy which are written in heaven ; and Jerusalem, descending out of hea. to God, the Judge of all; and to the ven from God, having the glory of spirits of just men made perfect; God; and her light was like unto and to Jesus, the Mediator of the a stone most precious, even like a new covenant." Oh who can describe jasper stone, clear as crystal. And the ecstatic bliss which such an inthe city had no need of the sun, tercourse shall ensure! Who can neither of the moon, to shine in it; form even an adequate conception for the glory of the Lord did lighten of the joy which such sympathies it, and the Lamb was the light shall yield, when the unity of the thereof." A city implies numerous Spirit, and the bond of peace, shall inhabitants. But there never yet be perfect and indissoluble! Then existed a city whose population can shall “ the ransomed of the Lord rebe compared with the ten thousand turn, and come to Zion with songs times ten thousand, and thousands and everlasting joy upon their of thousands, who shall dwell for heads: they shall obtain joy and ever with the Lord. It has been gladness; and sorrow and sighing peopling from the death of righteous shall flee away.” “God shall dwell Abel until this day, and shall go with them, and they shall be his on increasing in its numbers till the people ; and God himself shall be final consummation of all things. with thein."
This is a subject of unfeigned III: I observe, in the third place, satisfaction to the Christian. His that at the resurrection from the pleasure in beholding the face of sleep of death; the believer shall God in righteousness, will not be partake of the Divine likeness : diminished, but, on the contrary, * When I awake,” says the Psalmincreased, by the circumstance of ist, “after thy likeness.” millions of holy and happy beings The Christian is, even in this life, sharing with him in the one glorious a “ follower of God," or, as the oriand beatific vision. It will delight ginal signifies, "an imitator of God." him to find himself surrounded by He bears something of his moral myriads of holy brethren, of kin- image-some marks and lineaments dred experience, and kindred joys; of a heavenly origin. He is said, to unite in their praises and halle- indeed, by the Apostle, to be a lujahs, to sing the same song, and “partaker of the Divine nature." to testify of the same deliverance. But, alas! how imperfect is this Most cordially will he add himself resemblance! How indistinct, disto the number of those who shall torted, and obscure are the features:
CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 339. U
which characterize his affinity to his sit at his table, and enjoy his soheavenly Parent! It is not until ciety. So shall they be a
ever with he puts off the garments of mor- the Lord, following the Lamb whitality that his likeness becomes thersoever he goeth.” strong and perfect. Then will his IV. Thus resembling his Divine disembodied spirit ascend to the Master, in body and mind, is it surmansions of the blessed, without prising if, in the fourth place, the any stain of impurity, without the Christian shall be satisfied ? “I remotest tendency to sin any more. shall be satisfied, when I awake,
It is of the resurrection, however, with thy likeness." In nothing will that the Psalmist here speaks. The the contrast be greater between the believer will partake more especially blessedness of earth and heaven, of this resemblance, when mortality than in the complete satisfaction shall be swallowed up of life ; when which the believer shall experience his body, having mouldered into in the latter. In this world there dust, shall be raised again from the cannot be any perfect or enduring grave. Besides a spiritual likeness, satisfaction. Exposed to foes withhe shall awake after the bodily like- out, and fears within, how can the ness of his Saviour. What says Christian repose in peace ? He St. Paul ? “ Our conversation is may, and indeed ought to be rein heaven; from whence also we signed to the dispensations of God's look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus providence ; “yet no chastening for Christ : who shall change our vile the present seemeth to be joyous, body, that it may be fashioned like but grievous.” He cannot feel at unto his glorious body, according home in a state which is liable to to the working whereby he is able continual change, and in which even to subdue all things to him- trouble is his frequent companion. self.” The body shall be raised He cannot feel satisfied with this in incorruption, in glory, and in world as his “abode,” though he power; it shall be no longer " can bless God with a grateful heart natural,” but “a spiritual body;" for the many mercies which he has and as we have born the image of scattered along his path. Still less the first man, namely, the earthy, can he feel perfect satisfaction in we shall also bear the image of this world with reference to his soul. the second man, “the Lord from Continually tempted to transgress, heaven." “ Now are we the sons and often actually transgressing, of God, and it doth not yet appear the Divine commands, how can he what we shall be : but we know be satisfied ? It is not enough to that when Christ shall appear, we feel assured that “the blood of shall be like him ; for we shall see Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin," him as he is." “We shall see him that “there is no condemnation to as he is," that is, as he now exists them that are in Christ Jesus." He in his glorified form ; and “ we shall is anxious to go and sin no more : be like him.” Oh what a trans. he mourns to think of his weakness forming view will it be, when Christ and his folly; he blames and feels “shall come to be glorified in his dissatisfied with himself. saints, and to be admired in all But it shall be otherwise in hea. them that believe!" His people ven. When the believer shall awake shall with rapture hail his approach, up after his Redeemer's likeness, and, gazing with admiring wonder he shall lose all sense of dissatison the glory of his person, shall be faction and disquietude. In that transformed into the same image, blessed world the righteous shall from glory to glory. They shall endure no evil, whether of mind, thus be fitted to dwell with him for body, or estate.
“ They shall ever in his heavenly kingdom, to hunger no more, neither thirst any
more; neither shall the sun light« mourner ?" The days of his on them, nor any
heat. For the mourning will have ended. He Lamb which is in the midst of the shall have entered into perfect bliss, throne shall feed them, and shall and there have met his righteous lead them unto living fountains of kindred in the enjoyment of the waters, and God shall wipe away same felicity. Every tear shall be all tears from their eyes. And wiped away, and no remembrance there shall be no more death, nei- of his sorrows remain, except such ther sorrow,
nor crying, neither as shall serve to enhance his present shall there be any more pain." and eternal joys.
View the Christian in whatever Surely, then, the Christian must light we may, he must needs " be be abundantly satisfied, when he satisfied when " he “awakes with shall awake from the sleep of the Divine likeness.” Is he a "pil- death in the likeness of his God grim and a stranger" here below ? and Saviour! Nothing will then He shall then have terminated his be wanting to complete either his wearisome journey, and have reach- anticipations or his wishes. He ed his home. And oh, what a will find in the Divine presence, glorious home! the palace of the “ fulness of joy ;" and at his right great King ! a house not made with hand, “ pleasures for evermore.” hands, eternal in the heavens. “ In I feel it, however, to be my duty my Father's house,” says our Sa- to remind you, that these observaviour, “ are many mansions. If it tions have an exclusive reference were not so, I would have told to the true and faithful disciples you : I go to prepare a place for of Jesus Christ. To all others, the you."-Is he si warrior ?" He results of a resurrection from the shall then have fought the fight, dead will be more awfully distressand kept the faith: he shall then ing than language can describe. I have received his crown! The vigi- will not even attempt to describe lance of the camp, and the perils of thein, but content myself with rethe field, shall all have passed away. minding you that they will be the - Is he a laborious" husbandman? reverse of those which we have His toil shall have ended ;-he shall been contemplating. The contrast have entered into his rest. “ I is frequently adverted to in the inheard a voice from heaven, saying spired volume, and ought to be unto me, Write, Blessed are the familiar to our minds. “ Many of dead which die in the Lord : even them that sleep," says Daniel, “ in so, saith the Spirit; for they rest the dust of the earth shall awake, from their labours, and their works some to everlasting life, and some do follow them.”—Is he an “adopt- to shame and everlasting contempt.” ed child," waiting for his promised “ Thesc," observes our Saviour, inheritance ? He shall then have “shall go away into everlasting survived his non-age, and have re- punishment ; but the righteous ceived his portion-an inheritance into life eternal.” Ah! what disincorruptible and undefiled, and satisfaction will be the portion of that fadeth not away? Is he strug. the ungodly! How will they regling against sin, full of apprehen- proach themselves and each other! sions, and often cast down? He What weeping, and wailing, and shall then have reached the region gnashing of teeth! They will see of peace and felicity, his home, the Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the presence of his God. He needs no kingdom of God, and find themlonger the exercise of a faith so selves excluded for ever! Oh that weak and wavering, or the conso- men were wise, and understood lation of a hope so faint : faith these things, that they would conshall have been lost in sight, and sider their latter end ! hope in fruition. Is he, finally, a