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confused. He waits, in the exercise of faith and patience of hope, for fuller, clearer, more direct discoveries. He waits the hour when his spiritual vision shall be strengthened, and he shall stand amid the unveiled glories of the Eternal. Then what may now appear like conflicting attributes, shall all be seen harmoniously blending. What the mind now strives in vain to grasp and reconcile shall there be made plain. From the inconsistency, injustice, and cruelty with which the wicked have reproached the Eternal, God's character shall there be seen perfectly clear. In his perfections, as well as in his ways, it will be apparent 10 an admiring universe, that mercy and truth meet together, righteousness and peace
embrace each other. We may imagine for a moment, how different must be the conceptions which are formed of God by the holy seraph who dwells in his immediate presence, and those formed by the Christian now far away from that blissful sight, with limited faculties, in this dark, dreary world. Although both may be honorable to the divine perfections, yet how much more distinct, enlarged, transporting—how much more like the reality must be the thoughts of an angel, than ours. Yet among that holy company the believer shall be numbered, and in that resplendent light he too shall look upon God; and he “shall be satisfied.” Now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face, now we know in part, but then we shall know, even as also we are known." An angel's place, an angel's sight, an angel's knowledge, shall all enkindle an angel's fervor: and glory, and honor, and thanksgivings, 10 Him who sitteth upon the throne, shall be the saint's undying song. There may indeed he new and different discoveries, and endless illustrations of the divine attributes occurring, as he travels on in eternity, which will increase the believer's admiration; but the first opening view of the heavenly world will satisfy him fully respecting God's perfection; and all doubt and difficulty will be forever at an end. It will then appear all brightness.
3rd. I observe, the Christian shall be satisfied respecting God's providential dealings with him in this world. We are furnished in some cases with a triumphant argument, from the actual providence of God, to vindicate his character and prove
purposes. Yet after all, we find ourselves often in circumstances where we are saddened by doubts and fears, and pressed with difficulties. We feel unable to trace the design of God, or connect his dealings towards us with any wise and good purpose or gracious end. We are placed in a labyrinth where all around us is enclosed in deep obscurity, and even the light is as darkness. We are forced to walk by faith: and amidst scenes of perplexity and peril faith sometimes staggers at the promise and faithfulness of God. This is undoubtedly to be attributed to our ignorance and corruption, and not
to any real incongruity in God's doings; as we sometimes clearly observe when God sees fit to lift the cloud and discover his purpose and its accomplishment. But in not a few cases the mystery is suffered to lie, and the difficulty for the full trial of our faith, is perhaps increased rather than removed. Each effort to solve it only involves us in greater obscurity, and we are obliged to be contented with the Savior's assurance, What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter."
Christian, do these remarks find no verification in your experience? Does their truth meet no response in your breast? Look back to the past, not to renew painful emotions, but that faith may carry you forward with steadier wings and loftier flight. That dark cloud of worldly sorrow that settled upon your fairest prospects—that storm of adversity that blasted your joys, that hurried away your riches, that blighted your reputation, or destroyed your earthly hopes--have you learned its purpose ? The stroke of Providence that ravished from your sight the wife you tenderly loved, or hurried the child of your fondest hopes prematurely, and perhaps in afflictive circumstances, to the grave; the dispensation that has placed friends far from you and your acquaintance into darkness, —was it not painfully obscure? Or that affliction that has come near your own person, that has touched you with disease and deprived you of enjoyment—that has caused days of weariness and nights of sorrow,do you ask why it is thus ?—why these and a thousand such providences? Perhaps you may, perhaps you may not, understand it in this world. Perhaps you may soon see the way in which God leads you, and its wisdom. But if not here, yet from a more elevated station, with strengthened vision, and in a clearer sky, you shall look abroad and know, and under: stand, and admire it all. What is now dark, will then be light, and you “shall be satisfied," and an humble faith may surely confide in God's wisdom and goodness until the great revealing day.
4th. The believer shall be perfectly satisfied with the conduct of God's grace-with all that spiritual course, by which he has been led, and whose issue will then be seen to be a world of permanent and perfect happiness. Not less difficult of comprehension many times are the ways of God in his spiritual than in his providential dealings. With an ulter abhorrence of sin, he yet permits it to remain in his children, and even suffers them to fall under its influence, and wander into paths of transgression. With a hatred of evil and love of holiness implanted in their hearts, he leaves them to the power of outward temptation and inward corruption. Amidst the darkest and most dreary scenes of earthly trial, and in the very hour of painful struggle with a carnal heart, he gives them to feel spiritual desertion--to endure, in perils and fears, a night of cheerless, starless desolation, in which no voice speaks gladners, no
sound, "peace, be still," breaks from the throne to calm the swelling waves. Deep calleth unto deep. A long dreary way is to be passed. while the heavenly guide seems to be withdrawn. Ah! by the trae Christian, who has had experience of divine things, this description will be recognized, not as the picture of fancy, but as a fearful reality. Yes! though the worldly-minded may regard it with derison, the believer, who desires, because he knows what it is, to walk in the light of God's countenance, often feels this sad reverse. There is such a thing as spiritual communing with an unseen God, and deprived of this the sin. cere Christian walks in darkness and sees no light: Creation wears her most attractive smile in vain.
Yes; upon the same principle by which a worldly mind, deprived of the object of ardent love and desire is rendered miserable, the Christian, in an evil hour, losing signt of the object of his supreme regard, is completely wretched. Yet even such sorrows and trials will serve but to sweeten the heavenly rest: their tend. ency and effect hiere, as observed in many instances, is to wran the affections from the world, and sanctify the heart. This at all times is unquestionably their design, and thus God's goodness is vindicated; and what respecting them remains doubtful shall hereafter be satisfactorily revealed. When it shall be seen that they have conduced to his preparation for heaven, that every pain and erery tear was necessary, that but for these, as the means which God appointed, he might have failed of the prize of his high calling, at least that his place had not been so elevated, his crown not so resplendanımshall not the believer be satisfied ? Shall he wish, shall he say, it were better that he had suffered one sorrow or endured one hour of darkness less ?
Once more; I add--the believer shall be perfectly satisfied with that world upon which he shall enter, and with all iis arrangements. It shall be a world of pure and endless felicity:--it shall be heaven, with whatever of true joy we are in the habit of connecting with that name; aye, it concentrates much more of the riches of glory, than our feeble minds can at present grasp, or our loftiest imaginings conceive. " Eye hath not seen, por ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." The most glowing language, therefore, on this subject must be entirely inadequate. The humble believer shall ere long ascend the mount of God. He shall move among a holy company of redeemed ones, who have come out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Holy angels, too, are his companions; and with bis Savior he converses; upon God, glorious in holiness, he looks with the eye of earnest admiration. And these scenes of surpassing glory and beauty-this heavenly companionship, shall be his eternal portion. Surely, he shall be satisfied, fully satisfied, when he awakes with the din vine likeness.
And now, my brethren, let us, in conclusior, endeavor to gather up these thoughts and apply them to some useful end. How elevating the prospect of the true believer. Heaven an eternal heaven is the inherit. ance which lies before him. When a few more days or years are num. bered, he shall have passed his sojouru, he shall go the way whence he shall not return. But to him the assurance is, that he shall enjoy the glorious presence and the blessed image of God---mingling forever with the countless millions of pure spirits who surround the throne. Oh! how enlivening, how animating the thought !-When taith can grasp firmly the sure word of promise, and looking up to those eternal heights where the Deity resides, can say, "here is my portion and my home,” the Christian may well sustain the few delaying hours that keep him from that blessed rest. He can sustain them by thoughts “ of his reversion in the skies." Ah! my brethren, of these prospective glories, the reward of faith, how often are we forgetful! Hɔw little do we live as if we were pilgrims here below, expecting soon to hear the summons, " Come up hither."
Again, with what patience and womission should we endure God's will, and in all circumstances, how dilligently should we strive to promote his glory. This shall be our business through eternity: shall we dot then be active now? O, my soul, be thou devoted here" for great is your reward in heaven.”
And what, indeed, are the obstacles which oppose? How small, in reality, the difficulties which cause us so much pain. If we could but regard them in the light of heaven; if we could carry them upward, and look at them in God's presence, even here we should be satisfied. Let as attempi for one moment thus to riew them. Ascend, with me, Christian brother, to the upper world. Place yourself, in imagination, as a glorified spirit amidst the splendors of the holy city,---cast your eye around, and what do
behold ? “ Ye are come to the Mount Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels." Cast your eye back over your path through this world, view its dark passages, its perplexities, its trials, its woes; and look upon the valley of the shadow of death, from which you'shrunk with dread. What caused you pain is there illustrated by heavenly light; and from that glorious elevation is there aught in the retrospect with which you are dissatisfied ? Has not God meant it all for good ?-even your light affliction which is but for a moment ? Be then submissive here; learn to adore God's ways You shall be satisfied when you awake with the divine likeness.
And, my inpenitent hearers, in that future world to which you haste, you too will be satisfied, though now you resist and rebel! Amidst the burning brightness which shall be poured around, you will not be able to question the dealings of God, or find fault with his ways towards you. Bitter as will be the portion of your cup, you will confess, every tongue will confess, that God is righteous, holy, just, and good. You will be satisfied that your condemnation is just, that you have abused eternal love, that your portion in hell is all deserved. But how awful the thought! Can your heart endure it? O, escape for thy life. Make God your refuge. Throw yourself upon his infinite mercy in Christ Jesus. For though he is love, and now waits to be gracious, yet "upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup."
BY REV. THOMAS E. VERMILYE.
THE GUILT OF UNBELIEF.
John xvi. 9.–Of sin, because they believe not on me. This chapter contains a portion of our Lord's valedictory address to his disciples, and the tenderand touching petitions he uttered forthem before his final agony. He encourages their desponding spirits by the promise of the Holy Spirit the Comforter, and instructs them in the nature and necessity of his offices. For the consoling promise of this divine agent there appeared an obvious necessity. The Savior had announced that the ties of sacred fellowship which united them were about to be broken: their Mas. ter was to be taken away from them-his instructions and intercourse with them were to cease. He therefore imparts to them brighter hopes
and cheers them with better promises. “I will not leave you comfort• less. I will send the Holy Spirit unto you”—and by his influences, he
declares, the world shall “be reprored of sin, of righteousness and of judgment." Perhaps the declaration received its fulfilment primarily, in those wonderful attestations which the Holy Spirit gave to the character, divine mission and atonement of Christ, by the miraculous gifts shed up on the apostles and primitive disciples; these were manifest tokens of the