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fying the flesh, with its affections and lusts; it is our dying to this world, and living to God; and when we are dead to this world, the fear of leaving this world is over. For what should a man do in this world, who is dead to it? When we are alive to God, nothing can be so desirable as to go to Him ; for here we live to God only by faith and hope, but that is the proper place for this divine life where God dwells. So that, in short, a life of faith, as it is our victory over this world, so it is our victory over death too ; it disarms it of all its fears and terrors; it raises our hearts so much above this world, that we are very well pleased to get rid of these bodies which keep us here, and to leave them in the grave, in the hope of a blessed resurrection.
Death is not dreadful to one who has made his whole life a preparation for it.
The best preparation for the final act“ to die in the Lord," is continually to "live in the Lord.”
The greatness of those things that follow death makes all that goes before it sink into nothing.
Religion tells man that there is much greater good prepared for him than eating, drinking, and dressing ; that it is yet invisible, being too glorious for the apprehension of flesh and blood, but reserved for him to enter upon as soon as this short life is over ; where, in a new body, formed to an angelic likeness, he will dwell in the light and glory of God to all eternity.
If in this fallen world, which is so soon to be destroyed, there are so many objects to entertain and delight, so many provisions for my happiness and enjoyment, what must be the bliss of that heavenly country which will be for ever my resting-place and home? Since the Almighty has so liberally furnished the short and changeable scene of this life, what pleasures must there be at His right hand for evermore, and with what longing expectation should I look forward to the moment that will admit me to a share of them !
It is the Christian's duty to dwell much more on the thought of future blessedness than most
If ever the Apostle's steps began to flag, the radiant diadem before him gave new vigour to his heart, and we know how at the close of his career the vision became more vivid and entrancing: “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crówn of glory!”
Let the thought of heaven calm you, and ennoble you, and give you cheerfulness to endure. Let us think much of future rest deep as summer midnight, yet full of life and form as summer sunshine—the Sabbath of eternity. think of that marvellous career of sublime oc
cupation which shall belong to the spirits of just men made perfect.
The state of heaven may well be called the state of life; because it is the state of the highest activity, wherein all our faculties act with unspeakable vigour, are freed from all that weight of sin and matter that here continually clog and encumber them, and entertained with such agreeable objects, as perpetually employ and exercise them to the utmost of their strength and activity: where infinite truth and infinite goodness being always in our view and prospect, will continually draw forth our understandings, wills, and affections, in the most rapturous contemplation, fruition, and embracement of that all-glorious object in which we behold them; so that we shall not only act suitably to the genius of our rational nature, but in every act shall exert our utmost activity, and know, and love, and rejoice, and delight as much as ever we are able. Wherefore since in that blessed state we shall be all life and spirit and wing; since all our rational faculties shall be most incessantly and vigorously employed about the most agreeable and consentaneous objects, we being converted, as it were, into pure acts of knowledge, and love, and joy, and satisfaction: our state and condition may be very well expressed by life, which is a most vigorous principle of activity. So that as life is the most inestimable jewel we have, as it is the root of all our sense and pleasure, and the principle of all our activity, it most properly expresses the infinite value, pleasure, and activity
of that blissful state which God has prepared to reward our obedience.
Dr. John Scott.
God has revealed to us that heaven includes these six things:
1. Perfect freedom from evil and misery. 2. The most intimate enjoyment of Himself.
3. The most enduring fruition of our glorified Saviour.
4. The most delightful conversation with angels and glorified saints.
5. The infinite glory and delightfulness of the place wherein all these felicities are to be enjoyed
6. The endless duration of this most happy and blessed state.
The souls of good men (in heaven) being freed from the encumbrances of flesh and blood, from the importunities of their bodily passions and appetites, and the temptations of sensuality that here continually solicit them, shall no longer be liable to those irregularities of affection that disturb the tranquillity of their minds here; and their actions and affections being always regulated by their reason, their consciences shall be no longer bestormed with the terrors and affrightments which nothing but the sense of guilt can suggest to them, but enjoy perpetual calm and serenity; and being thus freed from all evils and disquietude, both from within and from without, they shall be at perfect ease, and for ever enjoy most undisturbed repose. Oh, blessed day, when I shall take my leave of sin and misery for ever, and go to those calm and blissful regions, whence sighs, and tears, and sorrows, and pains are banished for evermore!
Everlasting life includes a most delightful conversation and society with angels and glorified spirits. For when we come to the “city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem,” the Apostle tells us what our society will be, viz.
an innumerable company of angels, and the general assembly and Church of the firstborn, God the Judge of all, and the spirits of just men made perfect, and Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant.' What glorious society is here; society in which there is nothing intermingled but what is heavenly and divine ; it being altogether composed of the best, and wisest, and noblest beings in the world! Ibid.
"After death the just shall obtain that kingdom which is called Paradise, and there enjoy the beatifical vision.” This is the paradise of the whole creation, the most fruitful and delightful region within all this boundless space of the world. Nor, indeed, can it be imagined to be otherwise, it being the imperial court which the great Monarch of the world has chosen for His special residence, and which He has prepared to receive and lodge the glorified human nature of His own eternal Son, and to entertain His friends and favourites for ever. For if these out-rooms of the world are so royal and magnificent, how infinitely splendid must we needs