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in light, no more than his dwelling in hea ven; and by the departed faints being in light, no more is understood than that they are gone to God in heaven. But, that light and glory in which God dwells, and which renders him invisible and inacceffible, muft be in its nature eternal,
What other than immortal glory could be that throne, feen by the elders of Ifrael, when they went up with Mofes into the mount of God; which they defcribed to be, as it were a paved work of a Sapphire ftone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness? Or that feen by Ifaiah, upon which the Lord was fitting. high and lifted up?
What but effential, eternal glory, was that adorable vision, opened to Ezekiel, of the living creatures, the wheels, and the firmanent and throne; the defcription of which he calls the likeness of the glory of God; and at the fight of which he fell upon his face? Or that of Daniel, of the throne on which the Ancient of Days did fit; which he describes. to be as the fiery flame, and his wheels burning fire? What was that bright cloud which overshadowed the difciples in the mount of transfiguration, and the brightness which they then faw upon the countenance and raiment of the Lord? The evangelift fays, behold, a voice out of the cloud, which faid, this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleafed; hear ye him but Peter, relating the fame glorious fcene, fays, He received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came fuch a voice to him from the excellent Glory, This is my
beloved Son, in whom I am well pleafed. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. This cloud then was Heaven; excellent Glory; glory uncreated, tranfcendent and di
And what, alfo, was that great white throne, which John faw, upon which was feated the judge of all? That this throne belongs efTentially to the word of God, and is of the eternal fubflance, is evident; for, whilft the carth and heaven were feen to flee away, and there was found no place for them; this Hands, and fupports fill the administration of eternal judgment.
The inheritance of the faints in light is called an eternal inheritance: and Paul fays to the Corinthians, we ftrive for an incorrup table crown; and again, to Timothy, Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteoufnels, which the Lord, the righteous Judge fhall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them that love his appearing.— James fays, Bleed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried he shall reteive a crown of life, which the Lord hath promifed to them that love him: and Peter ftyles it a crown of glory that fadeth not away. This is that eternal intereft, fo often called a kingdom and city, which is prepared for the faithful, and was given to them in Chrift Jefus before the world was: on which account they are called bleffed of the Father, and God is not ashamed to be called their God. Thefe, Lurely, are eternal things.
Wherefore, faith the Apostle, We look not at the things which are feen, but at the things which are unfeen: for the things which are feen are temporal; but the things which are not feen are eternal.
3. The eternal Heaven confists of distinct parts.
As the Heaven of God exifts in the eternal operation of the divine principle: according to theory, it must be conceived of as being a world, and to have a frame and real form, according to the nature of the divine will; all which glory is contained in the effential word of God.
And to this, again, agree the fcriptures. The pattern fhewed in the mount, had dif tinct parts, and was a certain form and fraine, according to which Mofes was commanded. to make all things in his divine economy: which, as we have noticed, was a pattern of heavenly and eternal things; thofe things, therefore, muft themfelves have diftinct parts, and be a molt glorious form and frame of eternal workmanship. This pattern, upon a great icale, was threefold, and fhewed three diftinct parts; and the fame device unfolded in numberlefs views of the whole wonderful ftructure.
The glory of the God of Ifrael, which the elders with Mofes faw in the mount Horeb, is in like manner defcribed as with a form, and as having the fame diftinct parts and threefold glory: firit, a giory like as to a ground; or, as it were a paved work of a fapphire ftone: fecondly, a glory in likeness as to an expanfe;
or, as it were the body of Heaven in his clears nefs and thirdly, a glory that was above and filled all.
The word of the Lord came expressly unto Ezekiel, in the vifion he faw by the river Chebar; and the description he gives of it bears the fame impreffion and likeness; it had a form, and the fame diftinct parts and threefold glory; the view here given of the cherubim, wheels, &c. whofe running and returning, emitted glory the most powerful, like a flath of lightning; is wonderfully expreffive of that part of the divine will exhibited in the fervice work of our Lord Jefus Chrift: And that, given of the Spirit, in obedience to which the living creatures and wheels went, and the voice from the firmament that was over them, when they flood, or had done the work they were fent to do, accords, exactly, with the will of the Father, which fent forth Chrift into the world, and which announced him as his beloved Son; and alfo, the view which we have, as of a throne, and of one in appearance as a man above upon it, agrees perfectly with the state of Chrift's exaltation.
It will be understood, that I only hint at the truth contained in these vifions; they are views of a whole world, and each one contains a full fyftem. In this of Ezekiel there was a fire, or a glory infoiding itfelf, and a wheel in the middle of a wheel. But it may be seen that ever appearance fhewed the fame device, and that the whole is comprifed in the divine principle, or will of God, contained in the doctrine of Christ.
Daniel, alfo, defcribes this effential glory of God, diftinctly, and as being threefold:First, his garment was white as fnow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool.-It is obferved, that the difciples allude to this defeription, in fpeaking of the glory of Chrift in the mount of transfiguration, that his raiment became shining, exceeding white as fnow; fo as no fuller on earth can white them: Secondly, his throne was like the fiery flame: and, thirdly, his wheels as burning fire.The order of the defcription here is reverfed. It appears, therefore, both from the divine theory, and the teftimony of the scriptures, that in our heavenly Father's house are many manfions.
4 The heaven of God is a realm and do
The institution of Christ, or the setting up of a king, implies a throne and kingdom; and as, according to theory, the Lord Chrift was fet up from everlasting, we are led to contemplate a realm and government of eter nal glory.
And to this, moreover, agree the fcriptures; From everlasting to everlasting, thou art God, Pfalm xc.-God is a name of authority, and implies the exercise of power and government. Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlafting, Pfalm xciii. i. e. he is king from everlafting.-Whofe kingdom is an everlafting kingdom, Daniel vii. 27.
That eminent divine, Dr. Thomas Goodwin, remarking upon the word potentate, in the Doxology, 1 Tim. vi. 15, obferved, that