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EDITED BY REV. AUSTIN DICKINSON, NEW-YORK.
NO. 101.-OCTOBER, 1834.
CONTENTS.—"The Beatific Vision ;” by Rev. Thomas E. VERMILYE, of
West Springfield, Mass. "The Guilt of Unbelief; by Rev. Thomas E. VERMILYE.
NEW.YORK: PUBLISHED BY J. S. TAYLOR, THEOLOGICAL AND SUNDAY SCHOOL BOOKSELLER,
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Upwards of fisly clergymen, of five Christian denominations, and belonging to sixteen different states, most of whom are well known to the public as authors, have allowed the Editor to expect from them Sermons for this work; among whom are the following :
Rev. Dr. Richards, Professor in the Theological Seminary at Auburn ; Rev. Dr. Proudfit, Salem; Rev. Drs. Tucker and Beman, Troy ; Rev. Dr. Sprague, Albany ; Rev. Drs. Milnor, Mathews, Spring, Woodbridge, and De Witt, N. York City ; Rev. Drs. Alexander and Miller, Professors in Princeton Theological Seminary ; Rev. Professor M'Clelland, Rutgers College, New Jersey ; Rev. Drs. Green, M'Dowell, and Bedell, Philadelphia ; Rev. Dr. Bishop, Presi. dent of Miami University, Ohio ; Rev. Di. Fitch, Professor of Divinity, Yale College; Rev. Asahel Netlleton, Killingworth, Con.; Rev. Dr. Wayland, President of Brown University ; Right Rev. Bp. Griswold, Salem, Mass.; Rer. Dr. Griffin, President of Williams College ; Rev. Dr. Humphrey, President of Amherst College, Ms.; Rev. Dr. Beecher, Cincinnati ; Rev. Professors Porter, Woods, Stuart, Skinner, and Emerson, of Andover Theological Seminary; Rer. Dr. Fisk, President of the Wesleyan University, Middletown, Ct.; Rev. Daniel A. Clark, Bennington, Vt.; Rev. Dr. Bates, President of Middlebury College; Rev. Dr. Matthews, Hanover Theological Seminary, Indiana ; Rev. Dr. Barler, Union Theological Seminary, Va.; Rev. Dr. Tyler, Portland, Me.; Rev. Dr. Lord, President of Dartmouth College ; Rev. Dr. Church, Pelham, N.H.; Rev. Dr. Leland, Charleston, S. C.; Rev. Dr. Coffin, President of E. Tennessee College ; Rev. Professor Halsey, Western Theological Seminary ; Rev. Drs. Perkins, and Hawes, Hartford, C.; Rev. Dr. Cuyler, Poughkeepsie, N. Y.; Rev. President Wheeler, Vermont University.
Psalm xvii. 15.--I shall be satisfied when I awake with thy likeness,
It is the peculiar glory of the gospel, that by it " life and immortality are brought to light." By it, and by it alone, is a future existence freed from the obscurity which else had rested upon it, and presented before the mind invested with circumstances of deepest interest, as the object of hope or fear, desire or dread. To the sinner it is declared to be a state of awful retributions; whilst to the Christian it is a world of light, purity, and joy. Of nothing may he have more complete assurance than of that "eternal life which God promised before the world was." In this particular, then, the holy oracles are graciously adapted to bring to the believer necessary support and inexhaustible comfort. There are seasons of perplexity, and temptation, und sorrow, to which he is here subject; during which how cheering, how animating, to be able to look within the vail—to pass these scenes of conflicts—and by faith to antici. pate the hour of his enlargement-to survey the inheritance in the skies -to enjoy something of its bliss—to know that whatever be his trials here, he shall be satisfied when he awakes with the Divine likeness.
This psalm was written by David amid feelings of sadness, arising from the persecution of his enemies. He devoutly breathes forth his complaints, implores divine protection, and, in conclusion, fortifies his mind with the resolution still to walk with God, and cheess his heart with the prospect of the glory that was in reserve.
The phrases employed are beautifully expressive. “To awake,” by the sacred writers, is frequently used as in the passage before us, with reference to the resurrection, “ Man lieth down and riseth not again till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake nor be raised out of their graves."
VOL. 9-No. 5.
“With thy likeness," denotes the moral image of God renewed in the believer, which consists in knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness. David, therefore, in this passage exults in the thought, that with whatever afflictions he might here be oppressed, the period would arrive, when he should triumph. At the resurrection morn, in the splendors of God's presence, and free from pollution, he should "be satisfied."
I propose to mention some particulars respecting which the Christian, although he may now be perplexed, shall be hereafter satisfied. “Now ve know in part," and consequently can enjoy but in part; hereafter " we shall see as we are seen and know as we are known." Then the believer shall be satisfied
1st. With his own glorified nature: He shall awake with the divine likeness : with a body spiritual and glorified. It is indeed impossible for us at present, to enter fully into the contemplation of this truth with an understanding of all that it includes. And if it were possible for us with "a mind drowned in sense and buried in matter," to comprehend the excellence of the spiritual state, the very thought of the glory which shall be revealed, would be overwhelming. That this mortal shall ever become, in the language of Scripture, partaker of the divine holiness, is an idea which surpasses the efforts of reason to conceive, although it may not exceed the power of that faith which rests on the sure promise of God. "It doth not yet appear,” saith the beloved disciple, “what we shall be; but we know that when Jesus shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is." We must therefore content our: selves with confessedly inadequate ideas on this subject, and live in the exercise of faith, until we awake to the complete perception and enjoy. ment of heavenly realities,
There are some particulars, however, concerning which cheering in. formation is afforded us; sufficient to dispel our doubls, animate our faith, and encourage our diligence.
The glorified nature shall be perfectly freed from sin. That which eauses the true believer his greatest affliction, and which excites in his bosom painful apprehensions lest it should at some moment overcome him, is indwelling corruption. With affections but imperfectly sanctifi. ed, and prone to sin, yet with a principle of holy love existing in his soul, his heart is here the scene of conflict; a warfare of opposing principles and desires.
This embitters his peace and causes poignant grief; except at some favored hour when he seems to rise above all sinsul passions and to enjoy the peculiar presence of God. Such seasons he may have; but more frequently is his soul burdened by the prevalence and power of corruption. But when the last earthly passion shall have died away, when the last remnant of corruption shall have been destroyed, and the last lingering sinful desire is husled in the stillness of the tomb, this corruptible shall put on incorruption, and the elements of a holy nature shall be fully developed. In the upper world no corruptions annoy, no temptations disturb. He has forever bid adieu to sin, and all tears shall be wiped from his eyes.
He shall also be made positively and perfectly holy. All the affections of his soul, which we have no reason to disbelieve he will carry forward with him into heaven, will be purified fully and prepared to move with vigor and delight among their appropriate objects. His perceptions will be quickened; nay we have reason to believe that all the faculties of his intellectual nature, all the affections of the heart, all the sensibilities of the soul, though enlarged beyond our present conceptions, and enstamped with the perfection of holiness, shall exist and exert themselves in the future world. Sin shall be eradicated. Then the intellectual and moral nature shall be exactly fitted for that state which is now the object of intense desire, and upon which at death the believer shall assuredly enter. Having become like God and like his Redeemer in holiness, his gross body being made spiritual, and its sinful passions and appetites all do stroyed, and being thus prepared by grace to stand among the throng of holy ones who surround the throne, must not the believer be fully satisfied ? Here he corries about with him a body of sin and death; there he shall be clothed with undecaying beauty, and mortality shall be swal. lowed up of life. Here he is exposed, his senses are seduced by a world of temptations; but into that place nothing shall enter that defileth. Here he is not only beset by sin, but at a distance from those objects that afford the strongest incentives to duty; there he shall live in the imme. diate presence of such objects, with a nature and capacity adapted for their complete enjoyment.
2d. He shall be satisfied with the character and perfections of God. He shall admire and adore the divine perfections which shall then be fully revealed. I do not intimate that the true Christian, even here, perceives any thing in the character of Jehovah with which he is dissatisfied. So far from this, the divine perfections are here the theme of his loftiest praise. Their manifestations in the works of creation and providence, as far as he can trace and comprehend them, and still more in the won. drous plan of redemption, fill his mind with adoring thoughts, and his heart with the liveliest emotions of gratitude and love. Nor can aught be suggested more congenial with his desires, than that he shall behold more of God, that he may admire and praise him more. views of the divine character, however, are comparatively very limited, and consequently his ideas of God, although at all times honorable to the divine nature, must evidently be quite inadequate, and in some respecte