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can be, were to attempt a wisdom beyond will be ground to walk upon; or scenes of Scripture: but to assert that this has been, luxuriance to delight the corporeal senses ; and therefore may be, is to keep most strictly or the kindly intercourse of friends talking and modestly within the limits of the record. | familiarly, and by articulate converse to For, we there read, that God framed an ap-gether; or, in short, any thing that has the paratus of materialism, which, on his own least resemblance to a local territory, filled surveying, he pronounced to be all very with various accommodations, and peopled good, and the leading features of which may over its whole extent by creatures formed still be recognised among the things and the like ourselves-having bodies such as we substances that are around us—and that he now wear, and faculties of perception, and created man with the bodily organs and thought, and mutual communication, such as senses which we now wear--and placed we now exercise. The common imagination him under the very canopy that is over our that we have of paradise on the other side heads--and spread around him a scenery, or death, is, that of a lofty aerial region, perhaps lovelier in its tints, and more smiling where the inmates float in ether, or are and serene in the whole aspect of it, but cer- mysteriously suspended upon nothingtainly made up, in the main, of the same where all the warm and sensible accompaobjects that still compose the prospect of niments which give such an expression of our visible contemplations—and there, work - strength, and life, and colouring, to our ing with his hands in a garden, and with present habitation, are attenuated into a trees on every side of him, and even with sort of spiritual element, that is meagre, animals sporting at his feet, was this inha- and imperceptible, and utterly uninviting bitant of earth, in the midst of all those to the eye of mortals here below-where earthly and familiar accompaniments, in every vestige of materialism is done away, full possession of the best immunities of a and nothing left but certain unearthly citizen of heaven-sharing in the delight of scenes that have no power of allurement, angels, and while he gazed on the very and certain unearthly ecstacies, with which beauties which we ourselves gaze upon, re- it is felt impossible to sympathize. The joicing in them most as the tokens of a pre- holders of this imagination forget all the sent and presiding Deity. It were venturing while, that really there is no essential conon the region of conjecture to affirm, whe- nection between materialism and sin—that ther, if Adam had not fallen, the earth that the world which we now inhabit, had all we now tread upon, would have been the the amplitude and solidity of its present everlasting abode of him and his posterity. I materialism, before sin entered into itBut certain it is, that man, at the first, had that God so far, on that account, from lookfor his place this world, and, at the same ing slightly upon it, after it had received time, for his privilege, an unclouded fel- the last touch of his creating hand, reviewlowship with God, and, for his prospect, an ed the earth, and the waters, and the firmaimmortality, which death was neither to ment, and all the green herbage, with the intercept nor put an end to. He was ter- living creatures, and the man whom he had restrial in respect of condition, and yet raised in dominion over them, and he saw celestial in respect both of character and every thing that he had made, and behold enjoyment. His eye looked outwardly on it was all very good. They forget that on a landscape of earth, while his heart breath- the birth of materialism, when it stood out ed upwardly in the love of heaven. And in the freshness of those glories which the though he trode the solid platform of our great Architect of Nature had impressed world, and was compassed about with its upon it, that then the morning stars sang horizon--still was he within the circle of together, and all the sons of God shouted God's favoured creation, and took his place for joy." They forget the appeals that are among the freemen and the denizens of the made every where in the Bible to this magreat spiritual commonwealth.
terial workmanship and how, from the This may serve to rectify an imagina- face of these visible heavens, and the garnition of which we think that all must be ture of this earth that we tread upon, the conscious--as if the grossness of material- | greatness and the goodness of God are reism was only for those who had degenerated flected on the view of his worshippers. No, into the grossness of sin; and that, when a my brethren, the object of the administraspiritualizing process had purged away all tion we sit under, is to extirpate sin, but it our corruption, then, by the stepping-stones is not to sweep away materialism. By the of a death and a resurrection, we should convulsions of the last day, it may be be borne away to some ethereal region, shaken, and broken down from its present where sense, and body, and all in the shape arrangements, and thrown into such fitral either of audible sound, or of tangible sub- agitations, as that the whole of its existing stance. were unknown. And hence that | frame-work shall fall to pieces, and by a heat strangeness of impression which is felt by so fervent as to melt its most solid elements, you, should the supposition be offered, that may it be utterly dissolved. And thus may in the place of eternal blessedness there the earth again become without form, and
void, but without one particle of its sub-that ere the immaterial soul of man has stance going into annihilation. Out of the reached the ultimate glory and blessedness ruins of this second chaos, may another which are designed for it, it must return heaven and another earth be made to arise; and knock at that very grave where lie the and a new materialism, with other aspects mouldered remains of the body which it of magnificence and beauty, emerge from wore--and there inquisition must be made the wreck of this mighty transformation ; for the flesh, and the sinews, and the bones, and the world be peopled as before, with which the power of corruption has perhaps the varieties of material loveliness, and for centuries before, assimilated to the earth space be again lighted up into a firmament that is around them-and there, the minute of material splendour.
atoms must be re-assembled into a structure Were our place of everlasting blessed that bears upon it the form and the lineaness so purely spiritual as it is commonly ments, and the general aspect of a manimagined, then the soul of man, after, at and the soul passes into this material death, having quitted his body, would quit frame-work, which is hereaster to be its it conclusively. That mass of materialism lodging-place for ever-and that, not as its with which it is associated upon earth, and prison, but as its pleasant and befitting hawhich many regard as a load and an in-bitation—not to be trammelled, as some cumbrance, would have leave to putrefy in would have it, in a hold of materialism, the grave without being revisited by super- but to be therein equipped for the services natural power, or raised again out of the of eternity--to walk embodied among the inanimate dust into which it had resolved. bowers of our second paradise-to stand If the body be indeed a clog and a con- embodied in the presence of our God. finement to the spirit, instead of its commo- There will, it is true, be a change of dious tenement, then would the spirit feel personal constitution between a good man lightened by the departure it had made, before his death, and a good man after his and expatiate in all the buoyancy of its resurrection--not, however, that he will be emancipated powers, over a scene of en- set free from his body, but that he will be largement. And this is, doubtless, the pre- set free from the corrupt principle that vailing imagination. But why, then, after is in his body-not the materialism by having made its escape from such a thral- which he is now surrounded will be done dom, should it ever recur to the prison-house away, but that the taint of evil by which of its old materialism, if a prison-house it this materialism is now pervaded, will be really be. Why should the disengaged done away. Could this be effected without spirit again be fastened to the drag of that dying, then death would be no longer an grosser and heavier substance, which many essential stepping-stone to paradise. But think has only the effect of weighing down it would appear of the moral virus which its activity, and infusing into the pure has been transmitted downwards from element of mind an ingredient which serves Adam, and is now spread abroad over the to cloud and to enfeeble it. In other words, / whole human family-it would appear, what is the use of a day of resurrection, that to get rid of this, the old fabric must if the union which then takes place is to be taken down, and reared anew; and that, deaden, or to reduce all those energies that not of other materials, but of its own maare commonly ascribed to the living prin- terials, only delivered of all impurity, as if ciple, in a state of separation ? But, as a by a refining process in the sepulchre. It proof of some metaphysical delusion upon is thus, that what is “ sown in weakness, this subject, the product, perhaps, of a is raised in power”-and for this purpose, wrong though fashionable philosophy, it it is not necessary to get quit of materialwould appear, that to embody the spirit is ism, but to get quit of sin, and to purge not the stepping-stone to its degradation, materialism of its malady. It is thus that but to its preferment. The last day will be the dead shall come forth incorruptiblea day of triumph to the righteous--because and those, we are told, who are alive at the day of the re-entrance of the spirit to this great catastrophe, shall suddenly and its much-loved abode, where its faculties, mysteriously be changed. While we are so far from being shut up into captivity, compassed about with these vile bodies, as will find their free and kindred develope- the Apostle emphatically terms them, evil ment in such material organs as are suited is present, and it is well, if through the to them. The fact of the resurrection working of the Spirit of grace, evil does not proves, that, with man at least, the state of prevail. To keep this besetting enemy in a disembodied spirit, is a state of unnatural check, is the task and the trial of our Chrisviolence and that the resurrection of his tianity on earth--and it is the detaching of body is an essential step to the highest per- this poisonous ingredient which constitutes section of which he is susceptible. And it that for which the believer is represented is indeed an homage to that materialism, as groaning earnestly, even the redemption which many are for expunging from the of the body that he now wears, and which future state of the universe altogether- will then be transformed into the likeness of Christ's glorified body. And this will that we have said, to keep within the limits of be his heaven, that he will serve God with the record, and to offer no other remarks than out a struggle, and in a full gale of spiritual those which may fitly be suggested by the delight--because with the full concurrence circumstance, that a new earth is to be creof all the feelings and all the faculties of ated, as well as a new heavens for the future his regenerated nature. Before death, sin accommodation of the righteous. We have is only repressed---after the resurrection, no desire to push the speculation beyond all sin will be exterminated. Here he has what is written, but it were, at the same to maintain the combat, with a tendency to time, well, that in all our representations of evil still lodging in his heart, and working the immortal state, there was just the same a perverse movement among his inclina- force of colouring, and the same vivacity tions; but after his warfare in this world of scenic exhibition that there is in the New is accomplished, he will no longer be so Testament. The imagination of a total thwarted--and he will set him down in an- and diametric opposition between the reother world, with the repose and the tri- gion of sense and the region of spirituality, umph of victory for his everlasting reward. certainly tends to abate the interest with The great constitutional plague of his na- which we might otherwise look to the perture will no longer trouble him; and there spective that is on the other side of the will be the charm of a genial affinity be- grave; and to deaden all those sympathies tween the purity of his heart, and the that we else might have with the joys and purity of the element he breathes in. Still the exercises of the blest in paradise. To it will not be the purity of spirit escaped rectify this, it is not necessary to enter on from materialisin, but of spirit translated the particularities of heavena topic on into a materialism that has been clarified which the Bible is certainly most sparing of evil. It will not be the purity of souls and reserved in its communications. But unclothed as at death, but the purity of a great step is gained simply by dissolving souls that have again been clothed upon at the alliance that exists in the minds of many the resurrection.
between the two ideas of sin and materialBut the highest homage that we know ofism; or proving, that when once sin is done to materialism, is that which God, manifest away, it consists with all we know of God's in the flesh, has rendered to it. That He, administration, that materialism shall be the Divinity, should have wrapt his unfa- perpetuated in the full bloom and vigour thomable essence in one of its coverings, of immortality. It altogether holds out a and expatiated amongst us in the palpable warmer and more alluring picture of the form and structure of a man; and that he elysium that awaits us, when told, that there, should have chosen such a tenement, not as will be beauty to delight the eye; and music a temporary abode, but should have borne to regale the ear; and the comfort that it with him to the place which he now.oc-springs from all the charities of intercourse cupies, and where he is now employed in between man and man, holding converse preparing the mansions of his followers; as they do on earth, and gladdening each that he should have entered within the vail, other with the benignant smiles that play and be now seated at the right hand of the on the human countenance, or the accents Father, with the very body which was of kindness that fall in soft and soothing marked by the nails upon his cross, and melody from the human voice. There is wherewith he ate and drank after his resur- | much of the innocent, and much of the inrection---that he who repelled the imagina- spiring, and much to affect and elevate the tion of his disciples, as if they had seen a heart, in the scenes and the contemplations spirit, by bidding them handle him and see, of materialism-and we do hail the inforand subjecting to their familiar touch the mation of our text, that after the dissolution flesh and the bones that encompassed him; of its present frame-work, it will again be that he should now be throned in universal / varied and decked out anew in all the graces supremacy, and wielding the whole power of of its unfading verdure, and of its ulheaven and earth, have every knee to bow bounded variety--that in addition to our diat his name, and every tongue to consess, rect and personal view of the Deity, when and yet all to the glory of God the Father--- he comes down to tabernacle with men, we that humanity, that substantial and embo- shall also have the reflection of him in a died humanity, should thus be exalted, and lovely mirror of his own workmanship; a voice of adoration from every creature, and that instead of being transported to be lifted up to the Lamb for ever and ever--- some abode of dimness and of mystery, so does this look like the abolition of materi- | remote from human experience, as to be bealism, aster the present system of it is de- yond all comprehension, we shall walk for stroyed; or does it not rather prove, that ever in a land replenished with those sentransplanted into another system, it will be sible delights, and those sensible glories, preferred to celestial honours, and prolonged which, we doubt not, will lie most prosusely in immortality throughout all ages ? scattered over the new heavens and the
It has been our careful endeavour, in all new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.”
II. But though a paradise of sense, it will soul, and spirit, and body, under the presidnot be a paradise of sensuality. Though not ing authority of heaven's principles. so unlike the present world as many appre- This will make plain to you how it is that hend it, there will be one point of total dis- it could be said in the New Testament, that similarity betwixt them. It is not the entire the “kingdom of heaven was at hand"substitution of spirit for matter, that will and how, in that book, its place is marked distinguish the future economy from the out, not by locally pointing to any quarter, present. But it will be the entire substitu- and saying, Lo here, or lo there, but by the tion of righteousness for sin. It is this which simple affirmation that the kingdom of heasignalizes the Christian from the Mahome-ven is within you—and how, in defining tan paradise-not that sense, and substance, what it was that constituted the kingdom and splendid imagery, and the glories of a of heaven, there is an enumeration, not of visible creation seen with bodily eyes are such circumstances as make up an outward excluded from it, but that all which is vile condition, but of such feelings and qualities in principle, or voluptuous in impurity, will as make up a character, even righteousness, be uuerly excluded from it. There will be and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost-and a firm earth, as we have at present, and a how the ushering in of the new dispensaheaven stretched over it, as we have at pre- tion is held equivalent to the introduction sent; and it is not by the absence of these, of this kingdom into the world-all making but by the absence of sin, that the abodes of it evident, that if the purity and the princiimmortality will be characterized. There ples of heaven begin to take effect upon our will both be heavens and earth, it would heart, what is essentially heaven begins with appear, in the next great administration- us, even in this world ; that instead of asand with this speciality to mark it from cending to some upper region, for the purthe present one, that it will be a heavens pose of entering it, it may descend upon us, and earth, “wherein dwelleth righteous and make an actual entrance of itself into ness."
our bosoms; and that so far, therefore, from Now, though the first topic of information that remote and inaccessible thing which that we educed from the text, may be re- many do regard it, it may, through the ingarded as not very practical, yet the second fluence of the word which is nigh unto you, topic on which I now insist, is most emi- , and of the Spirit that is given to prayer, be nently so. Were it the great characteristic Ilighted up in the inner man of an individual of that spirituality which is to obtain in a upon earth, whose person may even here, future heaven, that it was a spirituality of exemplify its graces, and whose soul may essence, then occupying and pervading the even here realizea measure ofits enjoyments. place from which materialism has been And hence one great purpose of the inswept away, we could not, by any possible carnation of our Saviour. He caine down method, approximate the condition we are amongst us in the full perfection of heaven's in at present to the condition we are to character, and has made us sce, that it is a hold everlastingly. We cannot etherealize character which may be embodied. All its the matter that is around us-neither can we virtues were, in his case, infused into a corattenuate pur own bodies, nor bring down porcal frame-work, and the substance of the slightest degree of such a heaven to the these lower regions was taken into intimate earth that we now inhabit. But when we and abiding association with the spirit of are told that materialism is to be kept up, the higher. The ingredient which is heaand that the spirituality of our future state venly, admits of being united with the in lies not in the kind of substance which is to gredient which is earthly--so that we, who, compose its frame-work, but in the charac- by nature are of the earth, and earthly, ter of those who people it—this puts, is not could we catch of that pure and celestial the fulness of heaven, at least a foretaste of element which made the man Christ Jesus heaven, within our reach. We have not to to differ from all other men, then might we strain at a thing so impracticable, as that too be formed into that character by which of diluting the material economy which is it is that the members of the family above without us; we have only to reform the differ from the outcast family beneath. moral economy that is within us. We are Now, it is expressly said of him, that he is now walking on a terrestrial surface, not set before us as an example; and we are remore compact, perhaps, than the one wequired to look to that living exhibition of shall hereaster walk upon; and are now him, where all the graces of the upper wearing terrestrial bodies, not firmer and sanctuary are beheld as in a picture; and more solid, perhaps, than those we shall instead of an abstract, we have in his his. hereafter wear. It is not by working any tory a familiar representation of such worth, change upon them that we could realize, to and picty, and excellence, as could they an extent, our future heaven. And this is only be stamped upon our own persons, and simply done by opening the door of our borne along with us to the place where he heart for the influx of heaven's affections- now dwelleth-instead of being shunned as by bringing the whole man, as made up of aliens, we should be welcomed and recog
nised as seemly companions for the inmates. It is thus that heaven may be established of that place of holiness. And, in truth, the upon earth, and the petition of our Lord's great work of Christ's disciples upon earth, prayer be fulfilled, “Thy kingdom come." is a constant and busy process of assimila- This petition receives its best explanation tion to their Master who is in heaven. And from the one which follows: “Thy will be we live under a special economy, that has done on earth as it is done in heaven.". It been set up for the express purpose of help- just requires a similarity of habit and chaing it forward. It is for this, in particular, racter in the two places, to make out a simithat the Spirit is provided. We are changed | larity of enjoyment. Let us attend, then, to into the image of the Lord, even by the the way in which the services of the upper Spirit of the Lord. Nursed out of this ful- sanctuary are rendered- not in the spirit of ness, we grow up unto the stature of perfect legality, for this gendereth to bondage; but men in Christ Jesus—and instead of heaven in the spirit of love, which gendereth to the being a remote and mysterious unknown, beatitude of the affections rejoicing in their heaven is brought near to us by the simple best and most favourite indulgence. They expedient of inspiring us where we now do not work there, for the purpose of makstand, with its love, and its purity, and its ing out the conditions of a bargain. They sacredness. We learn from Christ, that the do not act agreeably to the pleasure of God, heavenly graces are all of them compatible in order to obtain the gratification of any with the wear of an earthly body, and the distinct will or distinct pleasure of their circumstances of an earthly habitation. It own, in return for it. Their will is, in fact, is not said in how many of its features the identical with the will of God. There is a new earth will differ from, or be like unto perfect unison of taste and of inclination, the present one-but we, by turning from between the creature and the Creator. They our iniquities unto Christ, push forward the are in their element, when they are feeling resemblance of the one to the other, in the righteously, and doing righteously. Obeonly feature that is specified, even that dience is not drudgery, but delight to them; “therein dwelleth righteousness."
and as much as there is of the congenial And had we only the character, of hea- between animal nature, and the food that is ven, we should not be long of feeling what suitable to it, so much is there of the conthat is which essentially makes the comfort genial between the moral nature of heaven, of heaven. “ Thou lovest righteousness, and and its sacred employments and services. hatest iniquity; therefore, God, thy God, Let the will of God, then, be done here, as hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness, it is done there, and not only will character above thy fellows." Let us but love the and conduct be the same here as there, but righteousness which he loves, and hate the they will also resemble each other in the iniquity which he hateth, and this, of itself, style, though not in the degree of their would so soften and attune the mechanism blessedness. The happiness of heaven will of our moral nature, that in all the move- be exemplified upon earth, along with the ments of it, there should be joy. It is not virtue of heaven-for, in truth, the main sufficiently adverted to, that the happiness ingredient of that happiness is not given of heaven lies simply and essentially in the them in payment for work; but it lies in the well-going machinery of a well-conditioned love they bear to the work itself. A man is soul-and that according to its measure, it never happier than when employed in that is the same in kind with the happiness of which he likes best. This is all a question God, who liveth for ever in bliss ineffable, of taste; but should such a taste be given as because he is unchangeable in being good, to make it a man's meat and drink to do the and upright, and holy. There may be audi- will of his father, then is he in perfect ble music in heaven, but its chief delight readiness for being carried upwards to heawill be in the music of well-poised affections, ven, and placed beside the pure river of and of principles in full and consenting har- water of life, that proceedeth out of the mony with the laws of eternal rectitude. throne of God and of the Lamb. This is the
There may be visions of loveliness there, way in which you may make a heaven upon but it will be the loveliness of virtue, as seen earth, not by heaping your reluctant offers directly in God, and as reflected back again at the shrine of legality, but by serving God in family likeness from all his children-it because you love him; and doing his will, will be this that shall give its purest and because you delight to do him honour. sweetest transports to the soul. In a word, And here we may remark, that the only the main reward of paradise, is spiritual joy possible conveyance for this new principle -and that, springing at once from the love into the heart, is the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the possession of spiritual excellence. —that in no other way, than through the It is such a joy as sin extinguishes on the acceptance of its free pardon, sealed by the moment of its entering the soul; and such a blood of an atonement, which exalts the jov as is again restored to the soul, and that | Lawgiver, can the soul of man be both immediately on its being restored to righ-emancipated from the fear of terror, and teousness.
I solemnized into the fear of humble and holy