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ple and the light of this heavenly city. Or the glory of God and of Christ will be seen and enjoyed without the need of such means as are necessary to the Christian life in this world. The kings and nations of the redeemed bring their glory into this city; or they find here all their glory, all they need, or wish. Never shall night be known there; all need of sleep, all weariness will eternally flee. Every soul will burn with pure seraphic flame of love, and will move in perfect obedience, activity, and perseverance; while nothing can be there which defileth, or maketh a lie, and none but those whose names are in the book of life. Nothing will ever disturb their bliss, or endanger their glories. The wicked have ceased from troubling; and the weary are at rest. Every wish will be accomplished, and the boundless craving of every soul filled in God. Streams of his heavenly love will flow into their souls as from an eternal inexhaustible fountain. Their union and fellowhip with angels will be perfect and most delightful. And their knowledge and fellowship with all the holy family of men, will be perfect and most enrapturing. Their union in songs of praise,

66 When all the chosen race,

Shall meet around the throne,
Shall bless the conduct of his grace,
And make his glories known,"

will constitute a heaven indeed. Their


for ever will be new, and rich; for ever will their holy souls flow forth in acts of purest love and holy praise. “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing. For thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every nation, aud kindred, and tongue, and people, and hast made us unto our God kings and priests, and we shall reign with thee for ever and ever!" Length of time will never abate, but increase their glories. Their powers will enlarge, and will lead them to perceive new glories and wonders in God, in his perfections and works, in his great work of redemption, and all his plan of providence to fulfil and perfect it.

Christians, prepare for that blessed world of glory. Have this world under your feet, and let your hearts and conversation be in heaven. Secure that bliss, and live in

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preparation for it. Pity and pray for the many who prize it not, and are neglecting the great salvation. May a foretaste of that heavenly inheritance make you dead to sin, and to this world ; and ardently desirous of being clothed upon with your house from heaven.



Ver. 1. And he showed me a pure river of the water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and the Lamb.

The description of the heavenly city continues. It is a great beauty and excellency of a city to have a beautiful river rolling through the midst of it. This was the boast and bliss of ancient Babylon. This was one of the glories of the primitive Paradise. It was the finishing glory of the mystical city of God, described in the closing part of the prophecy of Ezekiel,—the name of which city is, “ The Lord is there !"—that it had a river issuing from its sanctuary, which soon becomes deep and large, and from the city takes its direction “ toward the east country, through the desert” of a lost world, carrying healing and life wherever it comes. This is the type of the pure river in our text. In Ezekiel, it blesses the earth in the Millennium ; in our text, it blesses heaven in eternal glory, Relative to its blessing in time, the Psalmist says, "'There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God.” “For there (says the prophet) shall the glorious Lord be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams. The symbolic city of God in the world of glory does by no means lack this blessed accommodation and beauty of a city. We find here the pure river of the water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and the

Lamb! Shall we say, this indicates at least that a mighty stream of holy love is ever flowing in heaven into every soul, aster the well of water, within the saints in this world, shall there have sprung up into everlasting life ! The water of life, obtained by the people of God here, will there become pure, clear as crystal. Says Paul, 6 without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.” The saints will there be pure as God is pure; and this pure life will flow from God alone. As Ezekiel's river issued from under the threshold of God's temple; so this pure river flows from the throne of God and the Lamb. God and the Lamb, then, have one throne! They are one; and salvation in glory flows from this one God. Shall we say, this river of life imbodies the holy love which is founded in the infinite Three in One; and thence flows forth through all the world of glory. This love, undying and untiring love, fills every soul, and nerves the countless throng of glory.

Ver. 2. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the trees were for the healing of the nations.

The figure assures us, this pure, this crystal river glides smoothly down the midst of the broad chief street of the heavenly city, and a sufficient part of the street is found on the one side of the river, and on the other; a street coming to the river, on each side of it, and going thus through the city of fifteen hundred miles. At that side of each of these streets, which is next the river (and thus on each side of the river), is a row of trees, called here the tree of life. In these two rows of the tree of life, are found twelve different kinds of delicious fruit; either the whole of which twelve kinds, or one of each kind, is produced once a month ; and thus the fruit is various, yet continual. And the leaves of this tree of life are noted as medicinal; and they are thus either a full remedy against all creature weakness which might otherwise occur; or it is spoken after the limited conceptions of man in his feeble state on earth ; or both. There will be no sin or pain in heaven. But, for aught we know, means of strength and

agility may there be furnished and delightfully improved. So the text seems to hint.

As to the tree of life; there was such a tree in the ancient paradise, which seems to have been designed a sealing pledge of eternal life to Adam, had he continued obedient till the close of his season of probation. This is implied in what is said of that tree, and particularly in the reason given for setting an angel with his flaming sword, to keep the way of the tree of life, “lest Adam should put forth his hand, and eat of the tree of life, and live for ever!" It is then, a sacred seal of living for ever. This seems to be the design of it in God's holy Paradise above. The inhabitants are sealed to certain eternal life by these long and beautiful rows of the tree of lise on the sides of their great street. The infallible pledge is thus abundant, and most common.---adorning the principal street of the heavenly city. What shall we say of its “twelve manner of fruits?" Do they allude to the great variety of the subordinate sources of bliss, in the world of glory? God and the Lamb will be the great and never-failing source of bliss. But no doubt God will there furnish to his rational family subordinate sources of blessedness, in the glories of the place, the variety of employments, and the many displays of his unbounded riches, in the ages of eternity. Every analogy of reasoning assures of this. The rich and most magnificent variety of the descriptions of this city, assures of the fact. And the twelve nianner of fruits, monthly produced, may, and probably do, allude

" And that he may make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, whom he had afore prepared unto glory.” The sources of divine beneficence in heaven will never be exhausted, but will no doubt bear at least twelve manner of fruits every month, in boundless duration. Here is a pledge against satiety, or becoming in any degree cloyed. Their songs will be ever new.

Ver. 3. And there shall be no more curse : but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:

4. And they shall see his face; and his name shalt be in their foreheads.

5. And there shall he no night there ; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun : for the

to it.

Lord God giveth them light : and they shall reign for ever and ever.

Not the least direct effect of the curse on fallen man shall there remain ; while the far greater glories, made by divine grace to result from the curse, will be eternally seen, felt, and enjoyed. The throne of God and the Lamb (identified as the same) will be ever perfectly in view, with lustres and glories as far above present human conception, as heaven is above the earth. And all the inhabitants, servants of the Almighty, will serve him not only in sinless, but in most exalted perfection. " And his servants shall serve him !" viz. God and the Lainb. They, then, are one. And the account seems to indicate that the man Christ Jesus will appear seated on that throne, ever visible in this city; and, as “the fulness of the Godhead bodily dwells in him;" so in this way the invisible God will be seen, and worshipped in the ages of heavenly glory. “ They shall see his face," i. e. the face of God and the Lamb. They will literally behold the face of Christ, and will know and feel that it is the face of God and the Lamb." His name being in their foreheads may have its fulfilment in a countenance (possessed by every one), exclusively heavenly! A countenance beaming with their holy fire of love, and their ineffable glory enjoyed! a countenance which shall thus inform whose they are as effectually as if God's name were inscribed in large capitals upon their foreheads. A most beatific glow of ineffable light from God himself will eternally exclude all need of artificial lights, and of any thing like our natural sun.

It is the power of God which renders artificial lights, and even the sun, luminous : and that almighty power can as easily give the light without any thing like these natural means, -as will be the case in the New Jerusalem. “ God is light.” He is the eternal source of light, natural as well as moral. He can, and it seems he will furnish all the glorious light of the New Jerusalem without any means, but from his own immediate power. There shall be no candle, nor sun; but “the Lord God giveth them light." "And they shall reign for ever and ever.” This seems to be said of the blessed inhabitants, They will reign in a full government of their own spirits and powers in holy and perfect obedience to God. And

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