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pel includes the desires and the to every nation and kindred and designs, the exertions and enjoy- tongue and people," proclaimed ments of the ever blessed God, in with a loud voice the doctrines respect to bimself and his creat- and duties, which compose the ures; in respect to heaven, earth foundation of natural and revealed and hell; and in respect to what- religion. This angel says, “ Fear ever exists in the universe from God and give glory to him; for eternity to eternity. Now, to the hour of bis judgment is come : whom shall be ascribed the pur- and worship him, that made heavpose of redemption with its eter. en and earth, and the sea, and the nal and infinite connections and con- fountains of waters.” According sequences? Who has made all to the everlasting gospel, fear, things? and who has made all glory and worship are to be given things for himself? And has he no to God by the nations and families system of conduct? Is it scriptur- of the earth. And they are to be al, is it rational, is it possible, to given to him, on account of his believe that God according to the supreme agency in the creation of everlasting gospel, bas a supreme all things. The whole system of regard to himself in all things ? and the gospel exhibits the supreme yet, that he has not decreed all agency of God, in the creation and things? If a single fact can be government of all things, accordknown, and if a single truth can be ing to the eternal purpose of relearned by rational creatures, it is demption through Jesus Christ.in fact true, that God has decreed It is absurd to suppose that God all things. There is not a more ra- formed this purpose in the countional, or a more scriptural senti- cil of his own will, unless he were ment in the whole system of na- able and willing to accomplish it. tural and revealed religion, than But he cannot accomplish it, only the doctrine of divine decrees.- by his own supreme agency. If The everlasting gospel is the eter- we understand the origin, the nanal purpose of God, according to ture and effects of the gospel, we the counsel of his own will, by shall be obliged to admit, that God which for his own glory he hath is the supreme cause of all things. foreordained whatsoever comes The supreme object of God in the
purpose of redemption must influ3. If the gospel be the eternal ence the whole system of his consystem of divine conduct, then, ac- duct. From this object he cannot cording to the gospel, God causes de viate in a single instance, unless all things by bis supreme agency. he turn from himself and renounce The angel, whom John saw 6 fly his glory forever. His supreme in the midst of heaven, having the object disposes and obliges God to everlasting gospel to preach unto cause whatever is best, and to them, that dwell on the earth, and prevent whatever is not best in its
eternal connections and
is more fully and clearly taught quences. God is the only being, in the scriptures, than the docwho can know, and who can do trine, that God is the supreme what is best. And bis knowledge cause of all things. Moses says, and power enable and oblige him “In the beginning God created the to do what is best, and to work all heaven and the earth.” Job says things after the counsel of his own of God, “He is in one mind and will, which is perfect and infinite who can turn him ? and what his in wisdom and goodness. The gos- soul desireth, even that he dopel exhibits the supreme agency eth.” The Psalmist says, “Whatof God, throughout the universe, soever the Lord pleased, that did in the greatest brightness and he in heaven and in earth, in the beauty. If God be glorious, his seas and all deep places.” Sologospel is glorious. And if his gos- mon says, “ The Lord bath made pel is glorious, it is for the glory all things for himself; yea, even of his great name, that he should the wicked for the day of evil.” perfectly accomplish his eternal By Isaiah God says, “I am the purpose, which he purposed in Lord and there is none else. I Christ Jesus. The glorious gos. form the light and create darkpel of the ever blessed God, there- ness; I make peace and create fore, affords abundant and decisive evil; I, the Lord, do all these evidence, that be creates and things." The Lord Jesus Christ causes, by his supreme agency, said to his disciples, “ Are not two whatever exists in the universe. sparrows sold for a farthing ? and If the everlasting gospel be a ra- one of them shall not fall on the tional system, it must agree with ground, without your Father."-the perfections of the everlasting And the apostle says, by the Holy God. And it is one of the plain- Spirit, God 66 worketh all things est and strongest dictates of rea- after the counsel of his own will." son, that God is the creator, pre. It is, then, as certain and as eviserver, governor and proprietor of dent, that God causes all things, all things, and that he causes, by by his own supreme agency, as it his holy and supreme agency,
is that God exists. The everlastwhatever comes into existence ing gospel, therefore, teaches us from eternity to eternity. This to believe, and warrants us to say, sentiment respecting the univer- what the apostle says, in respect sal agency of God agrees with to Godm. For, of him and through his natural and moral perfections, bim and to him are all things: to with his purposes and conduct, whom be glory forever, Amen." with his law and gospel, and with
JUDAH whatever exists in the universe. Nor is there, a single truth, that
THE UNION OF CHRISTIANS IN HEAVEN.
true church of God will finally
be collected and formed into one The redemption of his people society. But they are now greatis the great object of God in the ly dispersed; and in many recreation and government of his spects very different. Some memcreatures. To obtain a correct bers of the church have finished knowledge of this object, it is nec- their labors and trials on earth essary to perceive the character and entered upon that rest, which and condition of his people before remains for the people of God in they are redeemed; and their heaven. Other members have condition and their character been renewed, but are yet imperwhen their redemption shall be fect and afflicted in this state of completed in heaven. On these sin and sorrow. There are other subjects we have abundant instruc- persons, who were given to Christ tion in the holy scriptures. The in the covenant of redemption, scriptures plainly exhibit the that yet live in their native blindcharacter, with which the people ness, enmity and unbelief. In of God are born into the world ; these respects they, who are to and their character after they are be the united members of the Rerenewed, while they remain in deemer's spiritual body, are very this state of trial. And they plain- different. They are also very difly exhibit their character and con- ferent in other respects. They dition, when they shall be collect- greatly differ in their constitutioned and united in the kingdom of al temperament and their temglory. That the people of God poral circumstances. They also are to be so formed in this life, differ in their natural talents and as to be perfectly united in their intellectual acquirements. Nor future and eternal existence, we are they less different in their spirare frequently and plainly taught itual endowments. Some have in the scriptures. The union of been endowed with the spirit christians in heaven engaged the of prophecy and the power of attention and the affections of the miracles. Respecting their serLord Jesus Christ in his noted vices and sufferings in the kingdom prayer before he was betrayed in- of God, some have been endowed to the hands of his enemies. That with one talent, some with two the same subject constantly em- talents and some with five talents. ployed the exertions of the apos- In their moral character, as they tles is evident from their instruct- are born into the world, though ions to christians and christian they are alike, yet being wholly churches, which are recorded in selfish and sinful, they have no their epistles. And it is evident union of sentiment, affection, infrom the whole system of divine terest and enjoyment. That vast truth, that all the members of the number of rational beings, who are
to compose the church of God in eth into me.” To the saints ať heaven and to be perfectly united Corinth the apostle writes, “ He, in one body, as they are to be that is spiritual, judgeth all things.” found from the commencement of And John says to christians, - ye their existence, until they shall be have an unction from the Holy collected in the kingdom of glory, One and know all things.”— are in the greatest variety of the Though the people of God have, most discordant circumstances.-- in this life, a peculiar knowledge They form a perfect chaos. No of divine subjects and do know the two members of the church, which truth, as it is in Jesus, yet they are is to be formed into a society of not“perfectly joined togetherin the perfect order, beauty, love and joy, same mind and in the same judgare alike in any respect, except ment.” Respecting many subjects it be, that they are hateful and they are greatly ignorant and erhate one another; until they are roneous. But in heaven, though renewed by the Holy Spirit. Of their knowledge will be limited such materials the spiritual tem- forever, they will be free from ple of the living God is to be form- darkness, error and delusion, res. ed with such order and unity, that pecting the subjects, on which they he
may walk in it and dwell in it shall form and embrace any sentiwithout the least offence or dis- ment. The apostle says, 6 Now turbance forever. To become we see through a glass darkly ; perfectly harmonious and beauti- but then face to face: now I know ful, all the members of the church, in part; but then shall I know which is the body of Christ, must even as also I am known." The be united, formed and bound to- glory of God, without any veil, gether by the tenderest and strong will shine upon his people in est bonds. Respecting the union heaven. Their attention will be of christians in heaven the follow- turned and fixed upon the same ing remarks may be worthy of objects. And while they behold particular attention.
the same objects, in the pure and 1. All the members of the clear light of heaven, their views church will, in heaven, be united will exactly agree, so far as they in sentiment. In this life the peo- extend. Though the views of ple of God have such a knowledge some persons will be more enlargof divine truth, as is peculiar to ed than the views of other persons, themselves and as agrees with yet there will be no discord in the divine oracles. The Lord Je. their views. So far as they adsus Christ said, “ It is written in vance, they will advance in the the prophets--and they shall all perfect light of truth, and be unitbe taught of God.. Every man, ed in their sentiments. therefore, that hath heard and
2. In heaven the people of God hath learned of the Father, com- will be perfectly united in affection. So far as their peculiar people of God shall be collected character is formed on earth, they in heaven, there will never arise, are of one heart.
They have during their eternal existence, the been renewed by the Holy Spirit. least discordant affection, though And the 66 fruit of the Spirit is their hearts will be tried by evelove.” That pure and holy love, ry object, that can be placed bewhich is the moral perfection of fore their minds. Holy love will the living God, and which he re- fill their hearts. And they will quires of his rational creatures, he dwell in pure and perfect love produces in the hearts of his peo- forever and ever. ple. This love is the essence of 3. All the members of the church their peculiar character, and forms in heaven will be united in intertheir moral excellence and beau- est. Among selfish creatures there ty. In the exercise of holy affec- are as many opposing interests, as tions they love God with supreme there are individuals. For every and ardent love. They repent of one seeks his own. Hence selfish their sins. They believe on the creatures are in a state of enmity Lord Jesus Christ. They delight and contention. Though they are in his doctrines, commands and alike in their moral character, bepromises. They love all objects ing supremely and totally selfish, with impartial affection. And all yet they are perfectly opposed holy beings they love with com- and hostile in their interests.placency. Let any object be plac- That the members of the church ed before the minds of such be- may be perfectly united in interings, as are perfectly holy; and in est, it is necessary no one should view of it the same affections will have any selfish interest; but that arise in all their hearts. Though all should desire and promote the a vast number of very different ob- same objects. No one must seek jects will pass before the minds of any object, whïch all do not dethe saints in heaven, the same sire to have sought. Neither any pure and holy affections will be one, nor any number of the saints excited in the hearts of the innu- in heaven, will seek
any merable multitude. They will be separate interest. Every one will arrayed in the beauty of holiness. .esteem the happiness of the othAnd holiness is the bond of perfec- ers according to its importance.-tion, which unites all holy beings And they will be perfectly united in pure and ardent affection and in their estimation and promotion friendship. Being perfect in love, of the objects, which God has reall the members of the church in garded and pursued in his purheaven will be affected in the poses and exertions. This world same manner by every object they has been in a state of constant enshall perceive. When the mill. mity and violence, on account of ions and millions of the redeemed the conflicting interests of differ