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should ever be uneasy under the want of earthly good things, who may be sure, they shall inherit all things at length.
VIII. Albeit there is no material Temple therein, no mediate serving of God in the use of ordinances, as here on earth; yet, as for this kingdom, « The Lord God Al. mighty, and the Lamb, are the temple of it," Rev. xxi. 22. As the temple was the glory of Canaan, so will the celestial temple be the glory of heaven. The saints shall be brought in thither as a royal Priesthood, to dwell in the house of the Lord for ever: for Jesus Christ will then make every saint a pillar in the temple of God, and he shall go no more out (Rev. iii. 12.) as the Priests and Levites did in their courses go out of the material temple. There the saints shall have the cloud of glory, the divine presence, with most intimate, uninterrupted communion with God: there they shall have Jesus Christ as the true ark, wherein the fiery law shall be for ever hid from their eyes : and the mercy-seat, from which nothing shall be breathed, but everlasting peace and good will towards them : the cherubims, the society of holy angels who shall join with them in eternal admiration of the mystery of Christ, the golden candlestick, with its seven lamps ; for the glory of God doth lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof, Rey. xxi. 23. The incense-altar, in the intercession of Christ, who ever liveth to make intercession for them, (Heb. vii. 25.) eternally exhibiting the merits of his death and sufferings, and efficaciously willing for ever, that these whom the Father hath given him, be with him ; and the shew-bread table, in the perpetual feast, they shall bave together, in the enjoyment of God. This leads me more particularly to consider, foam
IX. The society in this kingdom. What would royal power and authority, ensigns of royalty, richest treasures, and all other advantages of a kingdom avail without comfortable society? Some crowned heads have made but a sorry life through the want of it; their palaces have been but unto them as prisons, and their badges of honour, as chains on a prisoner; while hated of all, they had none they could trust in, or whom they could have comfortable fellowship with. But the chief part of heaven's happiness, lies in the blessed society the saints shall have there. For clearing of which, consider these few things :
First, The society of the saints, among themselvesy will be no small part of heaven's happiness. The communion of saints on earth, is highly prized by all those who are travelling through the world unto Zion ; and companions in sin can never have such true pleasure and delight in one another, as sometime the Lord's people have in pray. ing together, and conversing about these things, which the world is a stranger to. Here the saints are but few in company, at best; and some of them are so posted, as they seem to themselves to dwell alone; having no access to such, as they could freely unbosom themselves to, in the matter of their spiritual case. They sigh and say, « Wo is me, for I am as when they have gathered the summer-fruits- there is no cluster to eat the good man is perished out of the carth,” Mic. vii. 1, 2. But in the general assembly of the first-born in heaven, none of all the saints, who ever were, or will be on the earth, shall be missing. They will be all of them together in one place, all possess one kingdom, and all sit down together to the marriage-supper of the Lamb. Here the best of the saints want not their sinful imperfections, making their society less comfortable ; but there they shall be perfect, without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, Eph. v. 27. And all natural, as well as sinful imperfections, are then done away ; « They shall shine as the brightness of the firmament,” Dan. xii. 3.
There we will see Adam and Eve in the heavenly paradise, freely eating of the tree of life ; Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,and all the holy patriarchs, no more wandering from land to land, but come to their everlasting rest ; all the prophets feeding their eyes on the glory of Him, of whose coming they prophesied ; the twelve Apostles of the Lamb, sitting on their twelve thrones ; all the holy mar. tyrs in their long white robes, with their crowns on their heads; the godly kings advanced to a kingdom which cannot be moved ; and them that turn many to righteous, ness, shining as the stars for ever and ever. There will we see our godly friends, relations and acquaintances, pile lars in the temple of God, to go no more out from us. And it is more than probable, that the saints will know one another in heaven; that, at least, they will know their friends, relatives, and these they were acquainted with on earth, and such as have been most.eminent in the church; bowbeit that knowledge will be purged from all earthly thoughts and affections. This seems to be included in that perfection of happiness, to which the saints shall be advanced there. If Adam knew who and what Eve was at first sight, when the Lord God brought her to him, Gen. ii. 23, 24. why should one question, but husbands and wives, parents and children, will know each other in glory? If the Thessalonians, converted by Paul's ministry, shall be his crown of rejoicing, in the presence on our Lord Jesus Christ, at his coming, 1 Thess. ii. 19. why may not one conclude, that ministers shall know their people, and people their ministers in heaven ? And if the disciples, on the mount of transfiguration, knew Moses, and Elias, whom they had never seen before (Matth. xvii. 19.) we have ground to think, we shall know them too, and such as they, when we come to heaven. The communion of saints shall be most intimate there; they shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven, Matth. viii. 11. Lazarus was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom, Luke xvi. 23. which denotes most intimate and familiar society. And though diversity of tongues shall cease, (1 Cor. xiii. 8.) I make no question, but there will be an use of speech in heaven; and that the saints will glorify God in their bodies there, as well as in their spirits, speaking forth his praises with an audible voice. (As for the language, we shall understand what it is, when we come thither.) When Paul was caught up to the third heaven, the seat of the blessed, he heard there unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter, 2 Cor. xii. 4. Moses and Elias, on the mount with Christ, talked with him, Matth. xvii. 3. and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem, Luke ix. 31.
Secondly, The saints will have the society of all the holy angels there. An innumerable company of angels shall be companions to them in their glorified state. Happy were the shepherds who heard the song of the heavenly host, when Christ was born ; but thrice happy they, who shall join their voices with theirs, in the choir of saints and angels in heaven, when he shall be glorified in all, who shati be about hina there. Then shall we be
brought acquainted with the blessed spirits, who never sinned. How bright will these morning-stars shine in the holy place ! they were ministering spirits to the heirs of salvation loved them for their Lord and Master's sake; encamped round about them, to preserve them from danger; how joyfully will they welcome them to their everlasting habitations; and rejoice to see them come at length to their kingdom, as the tutor doth in the prosperity of
his pupils! The saints shall be no more afraid of them, . as sometime they were wont to be; they shall then have
put off mortality, and infirmities of the flesh, and be themselves, as the angels of God, fit to entertain communion and fellowship with these shining ones. And both being brought under one head, the Lord Jesus Christ; they join in the praises of God, and of the Lamb, « Saying, with a loud voice, Worthy is, the Lamb that was slain," &c. Rev. v. 11. 12. Whether the angels shall (as some .think) assume airy bodies, that they inay be seen by the bodily eyes of the saints, and be in nearer capacity to converse with them, I know not; but as they want not ways of converse amongst themselves, we have reason to think, that conversation betwixt them and the saints, shall not be for ever blocked up.
Lastly, They shall have society with the Lord himself in heaven, glorious communion with God and Christ, which is the perfection of happiness. I chuse to speak of communion with God, and the man Christ together ; because as we derive our grace from the Lamb, so we will derive our glory from him too; the man Christ being (if I may be allowed the expression) the centre of the divine glory in heaven, from whence it is diffused unto all the saints. This seems to be taught us by these scriptures, which express heaven's happiness by being with Christ. Luke xxiii. 43. « This day shalt thou be with me in paradise." John xxvii. 24. « Father, I will that these also, whom thou hast given me, be with me.” (And remarkable to this purpose is what follows that they may behold my glory.) 1 Thess. iv. 17. “ So shall we ever be with the Lord,” viz. the Lord Christ, whom we shall meet in the air. This also seems to be the import of these scriptures, wherein God and the Lamb, the slain Saviour, are jointly spoken of, in the
point of the happiness of the saints in heaven, Rev. vii. 17. “ For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne, shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters : and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." Chap. xxi. 3. « Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them,” viz. as in a tahernacle, (so the word signifies) that is, in the flesh of Christ, (compare John i. 14. and 22.) “ The Lord God Almighty, and the Lamb are the temple of it." Here lies the chief happiness of the saints in heaven, that without which they could never be happy, though lodged in that glorious place, and blessed with the society of angels there. What I will venture to say of it, shall be com, prised in three things.
18t, The saints in heaven shall have the glorious présence of God, and of the I.amb; “God himself shall be with them," Rev. xxi. 3. and they shall be ever with the Lord. God is every where present, in respect of his essence; the saints militant have his special gracious presence : but in heaven they have his glorious presence. There they are brought near to the throne of the great King, and stand before him, where he shews his inconceivable glory. There they have the tabernacle of God, on which the cloud of glory rests, the all-glorious human nature of Christ, wherein the fulness of the Godhead dwells, not veiled as in the days of his humiliation, but shining through that blessed flesh (that all the saints may behold his glory) and making that body more glorious than a thousand suns; so that the city has no need of the sun, nor of the moon, but the glory of God doth lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof, (properly, the candle thereof) Rev. xxi. 23. i, e. The Lamb is the luminary, or lumi. pous body, which gives light to the city, as the sunand moon now give light to the world, or as a candle lightens a darkroom ; and the light proceeding from that glorious lumimary, for the city is the glory of God. Sometime that candle burnt very dim, it was hid under a bushel, in the time of his humiliation ; but that, now and then, it darted out some rays of this light, which dazzled the eyes of the spectators ; but now it is set on high, in the city of God, where it shines, and shall shine for ever, in perfection of glory. It was sometimes laid aside, as a stone disallowed