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brother, now she sees him as he is, in all the splendour of his glory, in all the wonders of his God-man person, in all the treasures of his glory kingdom, in all the royal state of his majestic throne, and the perfection of his reign, in all the honour and glory his Father raised him to, and in all the achieved glory and triumph of his victorious conquest over all the powers of sin, earth, death, and hell. But, alas! what can we say of the felicity of a glorified spirit, wrapt in the vision of manifested mystery, and swallowed up in the disclosures of omnipotent greatness! If but a glimpse of his gracious countenance makes our cup run over, and darkens for ever all the glory of this world from our view, what must be the ravished feeling of the full vision of his face, in which her happy soul is absorbed for ever!
She has entered into full possession of her incorruptible and glorious inheritance; not an acre of ground, or a mansion of brick and wood, but all that world of bliss and glory, to share in unsearchable riches, to possess all the communicable fulness of the great I AM; gone in to possess all that love ordained, all that was given her as an heir of God, to share the all spiritual blessings given in Christ before the world began—all that the power of God could produce to make her eternity happy: to speak comprehensively, Jehovah himself is the portion of his people. He hath made himself over by oath and covenant to be the inheritance of his saints for ever; nothingshort of this would satisfy a soul he has quickened to life everlasting; when he can embrace the Lord as his God his felicity is complete ; " my beloved is mine, and I am his." To be heir of a vast inheritance, and have the title-deeds in possession, is very gratifying, (as we by faith have), but to enter upon it, and inherit the fulness, is their blissful lot; we can only distantly guess at her rapturous joy in embracing all the fulness of the triune God as her special property and endless treasure. Even heaven as a place must be a rich inheritance; it is the kingdom state of our Lord, where he is adored in perfection, manifests forth his glory, where all his retinue of angels and hloodredeemed saints follow him whithersoever he goeth. It is called the inheritance of the saints in light, the heavenly Canaan, the paradise of God, where the saints dwell in perfection. The overcomers inherit all things, have gone into the possession of all the glory, fulness, blessedness, perfection, dignity, and honour that God has given them as heirs, as his beloved ones, as his adopted sons and daughters, to inherit for ever. "Enter thou into the joy of the Lord." To speak comprehensively of it, it is life eternal in perfect felicity, is seeing him as he is, is being like him.
She is perfectly delivered from the inbeing of sin ; the root of all her misery is destroyed, the spring of corruption is for ever dried up, the cursed thing is for ever annihilated; she is for ever emancipated from the filthy dunghill, and raised above the reach of its contagious and deathly influence ; no sinful thought ever crosses her holy breast, no evil desire ever steals upon her happy soul, no sinful thought breaks in upon the sacred adorer of divine Majesty, no guilt breaks in upon her joys, no peevish thought makes miserable her blissful spirit, no unbelieving heart can rob her of her endless peace, nothing enters that blissful world that defileth: this vile inmate clave to her till she reached Jordan"s brink, but it sunk in the river to rise no more for ever. 0 the jubilee moment, when her happy spirit was freed from the deadly plague of sin, when she dropt the body of this death, with all its tremendous effects. What a transition! The long wished-for change arrived, thousands of prayers answered in a moment, and all the desires of the heaven-born soul consummated; death to her redeemed spirit was the outlet of all misery, and the inlet of all felicity.
She has left the field of battle, and is now harboured in the land of eternal peace, where as a conqueror she waves the palm of victory. The scene of conflict is ended; no fiery darts pierce her heart, and burn up the vitals of her joy now ; no insinuation of ihe devil racks her soul, nor can an evil thought be ejected into her perfect mind; no enemy in ambush terrifies her, nor can his roarings now fill her with dismay.
"Beyond the reach of all her foes,
She is delivered from this present evil world; from all the evil that is in it; from all the craft, dishonesty, filthy conversation, and vile practices of it; from all the cares, oppressions, and miseries attaching to it; from all the hatred, contempt, slander, and persecution of it; from all the domestic sorrows, infirmities, afflictions, and distressing circumstances of it. She has left the world of sin and death, the place overspread with woe, where the whole creation groaneth under the direful effects of man's transgression. What a relief—what a deliverance to be lifted out of this present evil world, into the realms of pure and everlasting felicity!
Let me invite your thought to her complete and absolute salvation from all she had merited as a sinner against God, solely arising from her eternal election-interest in the Father's sovereign love, the gracious interpositions and infinite clemency of the Lord Jesus, and the distinguishing love and almighty work of Jehovah the Spirit, the result of the good will and joint agency of the trinity in unity. Her desert was the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone, but she is now faultless before the throne; her crimes would have sunk her to the bottomless pit, but she is now on the summit of bliss; the merit of her transgression would have consigned her to utter darkness, but she is now elevated to that glorious world where the essential glory of God is the everlasting light of it; had she been left under the curse, she had sunk for ever under the wrath of God, and gone into everlasting punishment; but now her soul is baptized in bliss, and all the pleasures of eternal life in the divine presence; if she had had her due, she would have been turned into hell, where the worm dieth not, where there is weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth; but she is elevated to a throne in glory, basking in the beams of unclouded day, and engulphed in the felicity of a manifested God; if justice had sought its right at her hand, she had been suffering the vengeance of eternal fire; but being an object of divine love, and covered in the rights of a finished redemption, she is sweeping the lyre of holy gratitude to him who bought her soul from endless ruin. Instead of sinking in the roarings of perdition, she is exalted to the melody of paradise; she who might justly have sunk in the yawning abyss, ranks among the adoring hosts who are pouring eternal praises at his feet; instead of sinking in the gloom of eternal night, she is beholding the meridian blaze of a glorified Redeemer; instead of falling into the hands of the living God as an in ful Judge, she is folded in the bosom of manifested Majesty, and dwells in the heart of infinite love: had she died without an interest in Christ, we must have said, "The smoke of her torment ascendeth up for ever and ever:" but we can truly say of her, as we sung over her mortal part when consigned to the grave,—
"She liv'd a debtor to his grace,
Therefore we are privileged to sing. She is drinking of the rivers of God's pleasures for evermore. Oh! what a debtor to sovereign, independent grace, that laid hold of her, and passed millions by; she might have been left to sink in irremediable ruin without injustice. But Oh the wonders of infinite love ! she is within the glorified enclosure, casting the crown of her bliss at the feet of the Eternal, and for ever rolling along the endless song, "To him that hath loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and made us kings and priests unto God. To him be glory."
Thus, my dear brother, your loss is her eternal gain. Her being ushered into all the glory of the eternal world, sheds a lustre on the thick gloom that surrounds you, and bends the will to the all-wise dispensation of our unerring Father, and gracious God. Her being unclad of her corruptible clay,"distance has given place to uninterrupted communion, darkness to the brilliancy of eternal noon-day, poverty to unknown treasures of wealth, conflict to eternal triumph; the chilling damps of the wilderness to ever-burning affections, wandering thoughts to an everlasting fixture on the centre of bliss, a life mingled with sorrow to unceasing joy; there holiness universally reigns, light without a shade, worship in full perfection, glory fills every faculty of the soul, and God is all and in all. The Lord abundantly bless and overrule this stripping dispensation, fill up the vacuum with his all-satisfying presence, have you under his especial keeping the remnant of your days, direct you in all your future footsteps, and when you come to put off the tabernacle, grant you an abundant entrance into his everlasting kingdom.
So prays your soul and body's well wisher,
In Zion's unalterable Beloved,
Golden Square. April2*, 1830. E. M.
(For the Spiritual Magazine.J
Having read, Mr. Editor, with attention, the respective communications of your correspondents, W. A. M. and Terio, the latter of whom has been stating many objections to the sentiments of the former, without once attempting; to disprove those assertions which are so obnoxious to his mind; and seeing several statements in your Miscellany for this month, from Terio, which appear to me inconsistent 'with our only rule and article of faith—the bible,' 1 feel constrained to offer a few remarks on the same, for the perusal of vour readers, leaving W. A. M. to answer the paper for himself and the church of Christ, whose articles of faith Terio seems to undermine.
First, Terio asks for scripture proof for the assertion, 'that God permits men to sin, in order to punish them for it, that his judgment may be the more signally displayed;' and I suppose (yea! it is evident, from what follows) that Terio thinks it cannot be given, by his declaration, • This is*not the language of Jehovah.' Has Terio forgotten that " the potter has power over the clay of the same lump, to make one vessel to honour, and another to dishonour ?" or will he dispute his right, or his will, in so doing? Surely not the latter, seeing he would come to scripture truth for confirmation; and as all things are to be brought to the word and the testimony of God for confirmation, before the church of Christ hath any warrant for believing them, let me refer your correspondent to a passage or two of Jehovah's word, which I think full to the purpose of confirmation on this point. And first, we find in Rom. i. 28. the apostle (speaking of the abominations of men's hearts) says, "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind;" which plainly shews that Jehovah gave up these gentile sinners to the hardness of their own hearts, "to work iniquity with greediness." But perhaps it may be said that this was on account of their enormous crimes, which called for the vengeance of God; in answer to which 1 would refer to the apostle's description of mankind universally, in the third chapter of the same epistle, and say, there is no difference in the hearts of men naturally, for all are concluded under sin, both Jews and Gentiles, "for there is none righteous, no, not one;" and that the sovereign purpose of Jehovah in reprobation, as well as electing love, may be seen, his will is revealed concerning Jacob and Esau, before they had committed any transgression, saying, "Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated :" in which we see his divine permission of sin, and his judgments on account of it, all brought to the one great centre of his own sovereign will. Another passage we find in 1 Pet. ii. 8. where the apostle, speaking of the person and work of Christ, says, that he is made "a stone of stumbling, and rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient; whereunto also they were appointed:" from whence it appears that the sovereign decrees of Jehovah had given them over to the guilt of their own carnal hearts; or as the apostle Jude expresses the subject, " men who were before ordained to this condemnation,"—that they should creep into the church unawares, that they, through the ungodliness of their minds, should turn the grace of God into lasciviousness, and that they should deny the only Lord God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ. Now the question arising from the declarations of Jehovah's sovereignty is this, (and the question is that which belongs to believers) for what purpose are they thus appointed or ordained of God? let the Holy Ghost, by the apostle, give the answer: "And for this purpose God shall send them strong,delusions, that they should believe a lie; that they all may be damned who believe not the truth, but have pleasure in unrighteousness," 2 Thess. ii. 11, 12. The subject is indeed awful, but it is equally true, and consequently believers are bound to embrace it, being the "language of Jehovah;" now if we examine th;s declaration from Jehovah, we find, first, that sinners are deluded; secondly, their delusions are said to be sent from God; and thirdly, the purpose of God in thus acting toward sinners.
That the eyes of the mind are blinded, and the carnal heart stupified to all spiritual objects and enjoyments, is a fact which none can disprove. "The whole head is sick, and the whole heart is faint; from the sole of the foot unto the crown of the head there is no soundness, but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores." The heart of man presents a scene of sin, guilt, and death, insomuch that no trace is to be found therein of the divine image of Jehovah, but all presents one awful picture of the image of Satan stamped thereupon ; and such is the principle of corruption ingrafted in the carnal mind, that there remains no power or will to perform spiritual services, because it is under the dominion of the prince of the power of the air, whose servants we are, and whose service only we perform, until the influence of divine life is imparted from above, whereby the sinner is translated from the image of Satan into the divine and glorious likeness of our dear Saviour Jesus Christ. That Adam was created in his likeness, is a divine truth, but that he soon lost it is equally true; and had the church of Christ had no grace standing in her great Head before she had a standing in Adam, she must have continued under the influence of sin and delusion, until it had been consummated in everlasting woe, because sin having once entered the heart, nothing short of the eternal act of Jehovah could restore the sinner, and "bring life and immortality to light." Nor is it at all to be wondered that the mind is thus blind and ignorant, for sin is in itself a system of delusion, which blinds the mind, casts a veil over the eyes of the understanding, bewilders the soul, and leaves the subject thereof in a labyrinth of wretchedness and woe; but while we view the effects of sin on the minds of all men, we are not to view the matter as an accidental circumstance, but as the effect of the sovereign purpose of Jehovah.
Now, that sinners are deluded, or the eyes of their minds blinded by God, is a truth much objected to in the present day; and the reason ill obvious, but because the pride of the carnal mind cannot submit to