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complaint be heard. All nature would S ER M. assume a different aspect. Cheerfulness would be seen on every countenance. Paradise would return. The wildernefs would smile; the desert rejoice and blossom as the rose.--Now such are the effects which the presence of the God of love must produce on the inhabitants above. Beholding his glory, they are changed into the same image. In that temple of eternal love, which his presence has hallowed and consecrated, no sound but the voice of harmony is ever heard; no appearances ever present themselves but .. those of peace and joy.
Thus, considering God under these two illustrious characters which are given of him in fcripture, as Light, and as Love, it follows that in his prefence there must be fulness of joy. But I am far from saying that the few imperfect hints I have now given, exhaust, or even approach to, the sum of those pleasures for evermore which are at God's right hand. Ten thousand pleasures
SER M. are there, which now we have neither
faculties to comprehend, nor powers to enjoy. Behind that mysterious cloud, which covers the habitation of eternity, the view of mortals cannot penetrate. Content with our humble and distant situation, we must as yet remain. Faith can only look to those glories from afar. In patient silence, it must wait, trust, and adore.
Supposing the ideas which I have set before you, in this discourse, to be no more than the speculations of a contemplative mind, such as were wont of old to be indulged by the philosophers of the Platonic school, still they would deserve attention, on account of their tendency to purify and elevate the mind. But when they are considered in connection with a revelation, which, upon grounds the most unquestionable, we believe to be divine, they are entitled to command, not attention only, but reverence and faith.--They present to us such high expectations as are sufficient to determine every reasonable man to the
choice of virtue; to support him un- SER M, der all its present discouragements, and to comfort him in the hour of death. Justly may they excite in our hearts that ardent aspiration of the Pfalmift: My soul thirfteth for God, for the living God; O when shall I come and appear before him! -But, with this with in our hearts, never, I beseech you, let us forget what was set forth in the first part of this discourse; that, in order to arrive at the presence of God, the path of life must previously be Thewn to us by him, and that in this path we must persevere to the end. These two things cannot be disjoined, a virtuous life and a happy eternity. Who Mall ascend unto the bill of the Lord ? and who fall stand in his holy place ? He only who hath clean hands and a pure heart. Between a corrupted heart and the God of light and love, there never can be any connection. But of this we may rest assured, that the path of piety and virtue, pursued with a firm and
SE R M. constant spirit, will, in the end, through VII.
the merits of our blessed-Redeemer, bring us to that presence, where is fulness of joy, and where are pleasures for evermore,
On Curiosity concerning the AF-:.
FAIRS of others.
John xxi. 21, 22.
Peter seeing him, saith to Jesus, Lord, and.
what shall this man do? Jesus faith unto
THESE words occurred in a confe- SERM.
1 rence which our Lord held with VIII. Simon Peter, after his resurrection from the dead. Conscious of the disgrace which he had incurred by his late denial of his Master, Peter must at this time have appeared before him with shame. Our Lord, after a tacit re