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their eyes," standing before the throne of God and the Lamb in white robes and palms in their hands, crying with a loud voice, Salvation to God that sitteth upon the throne and to the Lamb, for ever and ever ! What delight will it afford to renew the sweet counsel we have taken together, to recount the toils of combat and the labour of the way, and to approach, not the house, but the throne of God in company, in order to join in the symphonies of heavenly voices, and lose ourselves amid the splendours and fruitions of the beatific vision!
To that state all the pious on earth are tending; and if there is a law from whose operation none are exempt, which irresistibly conveys their bodies to darkness and to dust, there is another not less certain or less powerful which conducts their spirits to the abodes of bliss, to the bosom of their Father and their God. The wheels of nature are not made to roll backward; every thing presses on towards eternity; from the birth of time an impetuous current has set in, which bears all the sons of men towards that interminable ocean. Meanwhile heaven is attracting to itself whatever is congenial to its nature, is enriching itself by the spoils of earth, and collecting within its capacious bosom whatever is pure, permanent, and divine, leaving nothing for the last fire to consume but the objects and the slaves of concupiscence; while every thing which grace has prepared and beautified shall be gathered and selected from the ruins of the world to adorn that eternal city which hath no need of the sun neither of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God doth enlighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. Let us obey the voice that calls us thither; let us seek the things that are above, and no longer cleave to a world which must shortly perish, and which we must shortly quit, while we neglect to prepare for that in which we are invited to dwell for ever. Let us follow in the track of those holy men who together with your beloved and faithful pastor have taught us by their voice and encouraged us by their example, that, laying aside every weight and the sin that most easily besets us, we may run with patience the race that is set before us. While every thing within us and around us reminds us of the approach of death, and concurs to teach us that this is not our rest, let us hasten our preparations for another world, and earnestly implore that grace which alone can put an end to that fatal war which our desires have too long waged with our destiny. When these move in the same direction, and that which the will of heaven renders unavoidable shall become our choice, all things will be ours; life will be divested of its vanity, and death of its terrors. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought we to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting to the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens, being on fire, shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless, we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which dwelleth righteousness.
THE CHRISTIAN DISPENSATION.
We are happy to be able to address you on the present occasion. We have many and great thanks to render to our common God and Father, for preserving us through another year, and permitting us once more to assemble ourselves together. We have too often experienced your candour and good-will to doubt of your bearing with us while we exhort you with all earnestness and sincerity.
You will remember, brethren, the dignity of the dispensation under which you live; that it is not the institution of man, but the wise and gracious plan of God to make you happy. With this view he raised up the people of the Jews, kept them distinct from all others, and gave them such a portion of knowledge as might, in due time, prepare for the display of the gospel. With this view a succession of priests was kept up, the eye of prophecy was enlightened, and the hand of Omnipotence stretched forth. After thus preparing the way, our great Redeemer himself appeared upon the earth, lived in humiliation and sorrow, and died in agony and disgrace. During the time of his personal ministry he had every attestation of Deity in his favour, and the power of God was often exerted in a most signal manner. After his ascension, a larger measure of knowledge and power was given to his disciples than had been afforded them before. They asserted his character, and affirmed that he had risen from the dead, in the very place in which he had been crucified. They were endued with a miraculous skill in tongues, for the very purpose of spreading the gospel through the different parts of the world; and with what success they did it, and how, in the face of danger and of death, they maintained their cause, while many of them perished in their sufferings, is well known, and will draw tears of admiration and gratitude from all succeeding ages.
When we see the Saviour descending from heaven as a witness for God, and behold his sufferings and death, we cannot help being astonished at so stupendous a scene, and inquiring into the purpose it was intended to accomplish. One, among many other great ends which are answered by it, is the removing the ignorance and error in which we are by nature involved, and giving us the knowledge of God, and our true happiness. If there be a moral governor of the world, it must
be of great importance to know upon what terms we stand with him,
This you will perceive is a case entirely to the point; for disorder and sin have entered into the world. It is evident things are turned out of their natural and original channel-that they are not what they have been, nor what they ought to be. Men have corrupted their way. A change so singular in the creation-a situation so striking, and so little to be apprehended under the government of a holy and perfect Being, naturally leads us to look for a revolution in the dispensations of Providence. In such a state, some new and awful interposition of the Divine hand might well be expected. There is something, at the