Imatges de pÓgina
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the tune; then perhaps we shall be able fully and easily to apprehend the beauty, or where respect is to be had to thousands of different ratios at once to make up the harmony. Such kind of beauties, when fully perceived, are far the sweetest.

[188] Heuren. The best, most beautiful, and most perfect way that we have of expressing a sweet concord of mind to each other is by music. When I would form in my mind ideas of a society in the bighest degree happy, I tbink of them as expressing their love, their joy, and the inward concord, and harmony, and spiritnal beauty of their souls, by sireetly singing to cach other. But if in heaven minds will have an immediate view of one apother's dispositions without any such intermediate expression, how much sweeter will it be! But to me it is probable that the glorified saints, after they liave again received their bodies, will have ways of expressing the concord of their minds by some other emanations than sounds, of which we cannot conceive, that will be vastly more proportionate, harmonious, and delightful than the nature of sounds is capable of; and the music they will make will be in a measure capable of modulations in an infinitely more nice, exact, and fine proportion than our gross airs, and with organs as much more adapted to such proportions.

[95] Happiness of heaven. When the body enjoys the persections of health and strength, the motions of the animal spirits are not only brisk and free, but also harmonious; there is a regular proportion in the motion from all parts of the body that begets delight in the soul, and makes the body feel pleasantly all overGod has so excellently contrived the nerves and parts of the human body. But few men since the fall, especially since the flood, have health to so great a perfection as to have much of this harmonious motion. When it is enjoyed, one whose nature is not very much vitiated and depraved, is very much assisted thereby in every exercise of body or mind; and it fits one for the contenplation of more exalted and spiritual excellencies and harmonies, as music does. But we need not doubt but this harmony will be in its proportion in the bodies of the saints after the resurrection, and that as every part of the bodies of the wicked shall be excruciated with intolerable pain, so every part of the saints' refined bodies shall be as full of pleasure as ihey can hold, and that this will not take the mind off from, but prompt and help it in, spiritual delight, to which even the delight of their spiritual bodies shall be but a shadow.

[198] Happiness. How soon do earthly lovers come to an end of their discoveries of each other's beauty! how soon do they see all that is to be seen! Are they united as near as possible, and have communion as intimate as possible? How soon do they come to the most endearing expressions of love that it is possible

to give, so that no new ways can be invented, given, or received. And how happy is that love in which there is an eternal progress in all those things wherein new beauties are continually discovered, and more and more loveliness, and in which we shall for ever increase in beauty ourselves; where we shall be more capable of finding out and giving, and shall receive more and more endearing expressions of love for ever; our union will become more close, and communion more intimate!

[206] Heaven. In heaven it is the direct reverse of what it is on earth, for there by length of time things become more and more youthful, that is, more vigorous, active, tender, and beautiful.

[263] Heaven. If the saints after the resurrection shall see by light, and speak and hear by sounds, it is probable that the medium will be infinitely finer, and more adapted to a distant and exact representation, so that a small vibration in sound, though the undulations may proportionally decrease according to the distance from their rise or fountain, yet may be conveyed infinitely farther with exactness before they begin to be confused and lost through the sluggishness of the medium, or through the bulk, the roughness, or tenaciousness of the particles, and the conveyance may likewise be with far greater swiftness. The organs also will be immensely more exquisitely perceptive, so that perhaps a vibration a thousand times less than can now be perceived by the ear, may be distinctly and easily perceived by them; and yet the organs may be far more able to bear a very strong vibration than ours in this state ; and through niceness of the organ they shall be able to distinguish in the greatest multitude of sounds according to their distance and direction, more exactly by the ear than we do visible objects by the eye; and we know not how far they may clearly bear one another's discourses. So the eye may be so much more sensible, and the medium of vision (the rays) so much more exquisite, that for aught we know they may distinctly see the beauty of one another's countenances and smiles, and hold a delightful and most intimate conversation at a thousand miles distance.

The light of the heavenly regions shall be the brightness of glorified bodies, and especially in the countenance, but chiefly that of the man Christ Jesus, and the glory of God, if there shall be any visible appearance representing the presence of the Deity. The light of the face of Christ will, for the abovementioned cause, be an infinitely more excellent and delightful sort of refulgence than the light of this world. The brightness of the saints shall far excel that; but the splendour of the Sun of Righteousness shall be immensely more sweet and glorious, except that the light of the bodies of the saints shall be some way or other a communication of the light of Christ, and then the difference will be raVOL. VIII.

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ther in degree than in kind of brightness, as the light which is reflected from a lily is the same light, but less bright than that of the sun. This world is pleasant to us because the light is sweel, and the sensation is pleasant to the mind; how delightful a place then is heaven with its light, so much more fine, more harmonious, more bright, but yet easy and pleasant to behold! Vide Note on Rev. xxi. 11. Vide Nos. 721, 95, 182.

[264] Spirits separate. Though we do not certainly know that separate spirits can properly be said to be in any place; seeing that a spirit cannot be said to be in place at all, only with respect to the immediate mutual operation there is between that and body; now we know not whether there be any such mutual operation with regard to separate spirits, whether or no there be any immediate excitation of any corporealideas, or any other way than as they see them in minds that are united to bodies, or remember them as formerly excited in themselves; I say, though we do not certainly know this, yet it does not seem probable that their manner of existence and receiving ideas shall be so exceedingly different from what it is here, and from the church on earth, with whom they are of the same family, and so exceedingly aliene from what it will be after the resurrection, so exceedingly different from the existence of the man Christ Jesus, their headl, so exceedingly aliene from Enoch and Elijah, some of their number, and who are now of the same glorified society. Doubtless they are not more so than the angels who never were united to bodies; but it seems to me very improbable that there should be no corporeal world with respect to the angels who have so much to do with the church on earth, and who shall be conversant with the saints after the resurrection, and with whom they shall be conversant: I therefore cannot think that as soon as a spirit leaves a body, the corporeal world is annihilated with regard to it, but that corporeal ideas are excited in them by some law. Why is Christ's body made glorious now in heaven, if there are none in heaven to behold his glory, or if separate spirits do not perceive the beauty of bodies?

[272] ITappiness of heaven. It is not only for want of sufficient accurateness, strength, and comprehension of mind that from the motion of any one particular atom we cannot tell whether that ever has been that now is, in the whole extent of the creation, as to quantity of matter, figure, bulk, motion, distance, and every thing that ever shall be.

[371] Resurrection. The addition of happiness and glory made to the saints at the resurrection, it seems to me evident by the current of the Bible when it tells of those things, will be exceeding great. It is the Marriage of the Lamb and the Church; the state of things then is the state of perfection ; all the state of the church before, both in earth and in heaven, is a growing state. Indeed, the spirits of just men made perfect will be perfectly free from sin and sorrow: will have inexpressible, inconceivable happiness and perfect contentment. But yet part of their happiness will consist in hope of what is to come. They will have as much happiness as they will desire in their existing state, because they will choose to have the addition at that time, and in that order, which God has designed; it will be every way most pleasing, and and satisfying, and contenting to them that it should be so. Their having of perfect happiness does not exclude all increase, nor does it exclude all hope, for we do not know but they will increase in happiness for ever. The souls of the saints may now have as much happiness as they, while separate, desire; and such happiness as so answers their nature in its present state, as to exclude all sort of uneasiness and disquietude; and yet part of that happiness, part of that sweet rest and contenting joy, consists in the sight of what is future. They do not desire that that addition should be now, they know that it will be most beautiful, most for God's glory, most for their own happiness, and most for the glory of the church, and every way most desirable, that it should be in God's order.

But the more properly perfect and consummate state of God's people of the church will be after the resurrection; and the whole is now only growing and preparing for that state: all things that are now done in the world, are but preparations for it.

The accession of happiness will consist partly in these things :

1. Then the saints will be in their natural state of union with bodies, glorious bodies, bodies perfectly fitted for the uses of a holy glorified soul.

2. Then the body of Christ will be perfect, the church will be complete; all the parts of it in being; no part of it under sin or affliction; all the parts of it in a perfect state; all the parts of it together no longer mixed with ungodly men : then the church will be as a bride adorned for her husband, therefore the church will exceedingly rejoice.

3. Then the Mediator will have fully accomplished his work ; will have destroyed, and will triumph over all his enemies. Then Christ will fully have obtained his reward; then shall he have perfected the full design that was upon his heart from all eternity, and then Jesus Christ will rejoice, and his members must needs rejoice with him.

4. Then God will have obtained the end of all his great works that he had been doing from the beginning; then all the deep designs of God will be unfolded in their events; then the wisdom of his niarvellous contrivances in his bidden, intricate, and inexplicable works will appear, the ends being obtained; then God's glory will more abundantly appear in his works, his works being perfect ; this will cause a great accession of happiness to the saints who behold it; then God will fully have glorified himself, and glorified his Son, and his elect ; then he will see that all is very good, and will rejoice in his own works, which will be the joy of all heaven. God will rest and be refreshed; and thenceforward will the inhabitants keep an eternal sabbath, such an one as all foregoing sabbaths were but shadows of.

5. Then God will make more abundant manifestations of his glory, and of the glory of his Son, and will pour forth more plentifully of his Spirit, and will male answerable additions to the glory of the saints, such as will be becoming the commencement of the ultimate and most perfect state of things, and as will become such a joyful occasion as the finishing of all things and the marriage of the Lamb. Then also the glory of the angels will receive proportional additions; for the evil angels are then to have the consummation of their reward. So that the good angels will have the consummation of their reward. This will be the day of Christ's triumph, and the day will last for ever. This will be the wedding-day between Christ and the Church, and this wedding-day will last for ever; the feast, and pomp, and entertainments, and holy mirth, and joys of the wedding will be continued to all eternity.

[372] Heaven. It seems to be quite a wrong notion of the happiness of heaven that it is in that manner unchangeable, that it admits not of new joys upon new occasions. The scriptures tell us that there is joy in heaven, and among the angels of God, upon the conversion of one sinner; and why not among the saints? And if there be new joy upon such an occasion, how great joy have they upon the conversion of nations, and the spiritual prosperity of the whole church on earth! It seems to me evident that the church in heaven have received new joys from time to time upon new occasions, ever since the first saint went to heaven; their joy is continually increased as they see the purposes of God's grace unfolded in his wondrous providences towards his church. Their happiness is increased as their number increases; as it will be greatly for the happiness of the body of Christ to be completed as it will be at the resur-rection, so it is increasing as the body grows towards perfection. The coming of Christ Jesus, I believe, made an exceedingly great addition to the happiness of the saints of the Old Testament, who were in heaven; and especially was the day of his ascension a joyful day among them. Then Abraham and David, and holy men that lived under the Old Testament, "received the promise,” which was matter of such joyful expectation to them when on earth. When Christ arose, many bodies

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