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interposed and a Savior was promised. This Savior, in some future time, was to appear, and redeem sinners by his own death. On the ground of the atonement which he should make, the offenders were respited, pardon was offered, repentance was accepted, and the promise of immortality renewed.

The dispensation of grace was, at first, but imperfectly discovered. Enough was revealed to be a foundation of hope; but not so much as would satisfy the desires of the conscious offenders. Who the Savior is that shall one day appear-at what time he will come-how he will effect the deliverance of sinners-what blessings he will procure for them, they can but imperfectly learn from so general a declaration as this, "The seed of the woman shall break the head of the serpent."

But, from time to time, God wrought something new to inform their minds and confirm their hopes. The patriarchal revelations cast great light on this scheme of divine grace. The Jewish dispensation improved and brightened preceding revelations. The ministry of the prophets brought to the world new and glorious discoveries. In the fulness of the ⚫ time appointed the Savior came.


Now God performed a new thing-such a thing as neither saints nor angels had seen before. "Without controversy great is the mystery of Godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached unto gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.' The glorious Son of God descended from heaven, assumed a human body, dwelt on earth, conversed with men, wrought wonders before their eyes, lived in most perfect innocence, displayed the highest virtue, endured the contradictions of sinners, suffered death as a criminal, miraculously rose from the dead, visibly ascended into heaven, and was made

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head over all principalities and powers. There he intercedes for them who come to God in his namethere he sends down spiritual influences on believing souls thence, in some future period, he will come to judge the world.

After his ascension, the plan of grace was more clearly illustrated, and more extensively displayed by the ministry of his apostles, unto whom this authority was given," that they should preach among the gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world had been hidden in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ; to the intent that now unto principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God."

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This plan is still receiving new light from the dispensations of providence. Every age witnesses to the truth of the gospel in the fulfilment of the prophecies which it contains. The changes and revolutions in kingdoms, states and empires, are preparing the way for the glorious reign of truth, and the long and extensive prosperity of the church,

The day is coming when he, who sits on the throne, will make such mighty alterations in the state of the church and of the world, that both may be called new. This happy renovation the prophet Isaiah describes under the figure of a new heaven and a new earth, "Behold," says the Almighty, "I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing and her people a joy." That this is a description of the glorious state of the church in this world, is manifest from the words which follow, "I will rejoice in Jerusalem and in my people, and the voice of

weeping shall no more be heard in her. They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them. As the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the works of their hands. They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth for trouble, for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them." This is plainly a description of people living on earth-not of spirits dwelling in heaven.

From this and other representations, which the sacred writers give, of the new state of the church, we learn, that in that happy period, there will be general peace, perfect security and great plenty in the world that all nations will receive and profess the gospel-that its influence on the hearts and lives of mankind will be much superior to its influence in any preceding age, and that this state of things will be of long duration,

But this new state of the church will be only preparatory to a state still more glorious-the state described in this chapter of the revelation where my text is, and in the next following.

The descriptive language of the prophets, especially of Isaiah, is exceedingly bold and strong. In representing the happy state of the church on earth, he anticipates its more glorious state in heaven. Saint John, in describing the heavenly world, could find no language more expressive-no figures more sublime, than those, which Isaiah had applied to the former occasion; he therefore takes the same phrases and images and applies them to the church in heaven. That by the new heaven and the new earth in this chapter is intended the state of the church in the world above, after the judgment, is evident from the order of the book of the revelation. The principal part of the book is occupied in detailing the corrup:

tions which should attend, the calamities which should befal, and the protections which should distinguish the church of God for a long course of time. In the twentieth chapter, John describes the renovation of the church on earth, and her consequent security and happiness, under the figure of Satan's being bound, and the martyrs raised from the dead to reign with Christ a thousand years. At the close of this period, he says, Satan will be loosed, and will go forth and deceive the nations, and will gather them together from all quarters to make war on the saints. This is a figurative representation of a great apostacy from the true religion, and of the return of the spirit of persecution. The next foretels the signal destruction of these enemies of the church by some remarkable interposition of divine power. Immediately upon this event, he introduces the general judgment of the world; after which follows, in this chapter, the description of the new heavens and the new earth. So that the renovation of all things, mentioned in our text, must intend that glorious state of things which follows the general judgment of the world.

There is, indeed, a similarity between the church on earth and the church in heaven. The apostle speaks of the whole family in heaven and earth. Both are under the same head even Christ, and both are employed in the worship and service of God. Love is the bond of union among the members of the church above, and this ought ever to unite the members of the church below. Religion, in its general nature, is the same among the saints in heaven and on earth. But still there is in many particular respects, a vast difference between these two condi tions and characters of the church-a difference so great, that in the new Jerusalem, in the holy city, God says, "I make all things new."

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1. The church in heaven will be new in respect of the number of its members.

The churches which we see on earth are little societies formed here and there for the service of God. In heaven there will be nations of them who are saved. In the general assembly above, there will be collected all the saints-all the true believers, who have lived on earth from the days of Adam, and who will live to the consummation of all things. These will be a great multitude, which no man can number; and with these will be united an innu. merable company of angels.

A spacious temple crowded with devout and hum. ble worshippers elevates, expands and solemnizes the mind. How majestic the scene, when saints and angels, in multitudes without number-in throngs beyond conception, shall assemble together in heav en-shall fill its immense and glorious courts-shall press around the throne of God to pay him their humble devotions,

Here we meet in little temples made with hands. In the heavenly Jerusalem there is no temple; for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. When we come into a place sequestered for the worship of God, we feel our minds impressed with the idea, that God, in some eminent and peculiar sense, is there. But in heaven the glory of God will be every where conspicuous, and every mind will feel itself embraced with his presence and filled with his influence. There will be no need of temples dedicated to his worship: Heaven will be all temple, and every soul will be all devotion,

2. We now dwell in earthly bodies. The flesh cramps the efforts of our mental powers, impedes the ascent of our spiritual affections and chills the ardor of our kindling devotions. But flesh and blood will not inherit the kingdom of God. All things there

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