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"walked with God” on earth, and “had this testimony that he pleased God,” and “was translated, that he should not see death." And there is the prophet who ascended on the “chariot of Israel." It is the place where God so manifests himself, and so displays his glory, that he is said to sit on his throne there. Our Saviour, by precept and example, taught us to look up, and to say, “Our Father, who art in heaven.” He “lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father.” Just before he disappeared from the world, he said to his disciples, “I go to my Father," and added, “I will come again, and receive you to myself.” “In my Father's house are many mansions : I go to prepare a place for you.” Where that place is, where heaven is, or by what way we may reach it, we know not. It is not revealed. Yet we doubt not; we fear not.

We know that if we are true to ourselves, and true to our Master, we shall find it; we shall one day be there. Perhaps some ministering angels may be sent to take this soul on their wings, and bear it hone.

Or, perhaps, when “the silver cord is loosed” which binds the soul to the body, its own native attractions, unopposed, may draw it to its source, “the dust returning to the earth as it was, and the spirit to God who gave it.” No longer confined to its house of clay, but lifted by I know not what attractive power, the free spirit, like some returning bird of paradise, will then spread its plumes, and mount upward, higher and higher and higher still, above the sun, above the stars, till it folds its wings and rests its foot by the throne of God.

We shall live in a pleasant place. The same instinctive anticipations, and the same reasonings, which lead us to expect that we shall always live, and live hereafter in some other place than this world, prompt us to regard that place as indescribably pleasant. The savage, the poet, the philosopher, the simplest child of nature, as well as the Christian, all imagine their final dwelling-place as "a land of pure delight.” The beauty, the grandeur, the pleasantness of this world does but help us to conceive, and move us to desire, and encourage us to expect for our eternal residence, some other world far more beautiful, more grand, more pleasant. We may not pretend that this world is destitute of charms, that it has nothing worthy of our admiration and love, or nothing which ought to give us pleasure. It is foolish, it is ungrateful, it is usually hypocritical, to speak of it as really undeserving of our regard. They who are most apt to complain of it, are commonly very reluctant to leave it. But if this world, in which there is so much disorder and sin, and which has evidently been smitten with a curse for sin, is still so attractive, so lovely, so admirable, how much more lovely, how pleasant, how glorious must that world be, in which there is no sin and no curse, into which there never entered, and never will enter, any thing that worketh abomination, or maketh a lie! We turn to the sure word of prophecy. The descriptions of heaven which the Bible gives are full of the most glowing imagery. In one place, it is represented

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as a holy city, a new Jerusalem. The wall of it is jasper, - the city is of pure gold, - the foundations of the wall are garnished with all manner of precious stones, - the gates are pearls, – the streets pure gold,

there is no need of the sun, neither of the moon; the glory of God lightens it, and the Lamb is the light thereof: there is no night there. There is a pure river of water of life, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. There is the tree of life, bearing twelve fruits, yielding her fruit every inonth; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. And as the description goes on, adding image to image, and glory to glory, language cripples under, and we are made to feel that eye hath not seen, nor the heart of man conceived the beauty, the loveliness, the glories of that place which God hath prepared for them that love him.

II. We may observe again, secondly, that when, like our Master, we have overcome the world, we shall still find full employment and pleasant exercise for all our faculties.






It is to worship God, and to invoke his blessing, that we are here assembled together. These walls which have been consecrated to his service, proclaim our acknowledged belief of his existence. The prayers we have just now offered, and the praises we have sung, testify that we regard him as not far from any one of us.

It may be well, therefore, to spend a few moments in contemplation of that providence, which he exercises over the character and condition of men. man's heart deviseth his way; but the Lord directeth his steps.” The deductions of reason, our own observation and experience, the common sense of mankind, and the current language of Scripture unite with this text to teach, that the affairs of men are subject to the watchful and overruling providence of God.

Whether this providence be always exerted directly or indirectly, mediately or immediately, is entirely unimportant to the pious worshipper, and


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foreign to our present purpose. The advocates for either supposition have here no real ground for dis

However probable the doctrine of incessant interposition may appear, there is yet no occasion to contend with those who choose to maintain a different or an opposite opinion. If we were to suppose, that the whole succession of events is only the necessary result of a fixed constitution of nature, — the regular operation of a vast and stupendous machine which God has formed,

we should but more remotely refer it to the same cause. For he who made this machinery, and gave to nature its unerring laws, must have foreseen its various movements, and regulated it with direct reference to the effects which it would hereafter produce. As it respects ourselves, it can be of no practical importance, whether each circumstance of life, each trifling incident that concerns us, is governed by the immediate interposition of our heavenly Father, and moved by his present hand, or whether it results naturally and necessarily from a constitution of things which he wisely and kindly established, in special reference to all that should be, when in the beginning he created the heavens and the earth, and said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of heaven. to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years." It is enough, that we may discover in the successive changes of the world the controlling power and wisdom of him who made it. It is enough for us, that we may believe there is a providence.

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