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company, the general assembly of the first born, Heb.
All the saints that from the beginning to the end of the world shall have lived in any part of the earth, will be altogether there, an innumerable multitude of the redeemed, all shining ones. And fince they are in a state of perfection, I wonder bow it can be questioned, but they will know one another, their friends and aquaintance on earth, and get new acquaintance and knowledge of those at least that have been most eminent in the church on earth; or how the use of speech and conversation among them can be doubted.
(2.) They will have the society of the holy angels there, Heb. xii. 22. They will be no more afraid of angels, when they themselves are become their equals,
36. But they will join them in the heavenly choir, singing their Hallelujahs. And whether angels shall assume airy bodies for conversing with the saints or not, there is no reason to think that they will be in a place with the angels, and yet incapable of converting with them.
(3.) They will have the society of the man Christ there, i Theff. iv..
.. 17: “ So shall we ever be with the Lord.” They will see him with their bodily eyes, who loved them, and gave limfelf for them : they will see that very body that was for them crucified without the gates of Jerusalem. They will see him there shining in inconceivable glory, as their Lord, Saviour, and Redeemer; and compass his throne for ever with songs of salvation.
Lastly, They will have the presence and full ena joyment of God in Christ there, Rev. xxi. 7. “ He that overcometh shall inherit all things, and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” Here is the highest pinnacle of the saints happiness in heaven ; with. out this they cannot be happy completely, no not in heaven; and in the full enjoyment of him, they will be so happy, thatit is impossible they can delire more for
the satisfying of them. For he is an ocean of unbounded perfection. It lies in two things.
[1.] They will enjoy God in Chrift, by fight of the divine glory, to the complete fatisfying of their understanding, Matth. v. 8.“ Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." The fight they will have of the divine glory is a full and clear knowledge cf God, to the utmoft of their enlarged capacities, as by feeing face to face, Rev. xxii. 4. i Cor. xiii. 12. What heart can conceive the happiness of being freely let into the view of the infinite divine perfe&tions! Men have a mighty fatisfaction in the fight of taking objects, as a curious garden,' a fplendid palace; but we are swallowed up when we think of being let into the view of the infinite divine perfections, where there must be something always new.
[2.] They will enjoy God in Chrift, by experience of the divine goodness, to the complete satisfying of their will, Rev. vii. 16, 17. “ They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any mort;for the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne, fhall feed them, and fall lead them unto living fountains of waters." There is an all-fulness of goodness in God, an inexhaustible fountain of it, and they shall have an unrestrained participation of it, Pfal. xxxvi. 8, 9. “ They fhall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life; in thy light shall we see light.”. Rev, xxi. 3. “Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himfelf shall be with them, and be their God." He will make of his goodness to flow into them for ever, and there shall be nothing to hinder them from all of it they can defire. And it is impossible they can defire any thing beyond it.
4thly, They will have a fulness of joy there, Psal xvi. 11. Rivers of pleasures run in Immanuel's land.'
Joy unspeakable shall fill their hearts for ever, and appear in the countenances, where never again thall the least cloud of sorrows sit down. Now is the lowing time of tears, but then is the reaping time of joy; and that harvest wherein they bring back their Theayes rejoicing, will never be over.
sthly, All their happiness, joy, and glory, they will have eternally through Christ, as the great mean of communication betwixt God and them, Rev. xxi. 23. “ And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it; for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof." They will continue for ever members of Christ, and members as members must needs live by communication with the head. So that the immediate enjoyment of God in heaven, is to be understood only in opposition to the intervening of outward means.
6thly, There will be degrees of glory among them, I Cor. xv. 41, 42. “ There is one glory of the fun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead." The reward will be according to, though not for their works; and they who have glorified God most by suffering or acting for him, will be the more highly advanced in glory by him, Luke xix. 17. 19. Howbeit all of them will have what they can hold, the least as well as the greatest, as when bottles of different sizes are filled.
7thly, They shall be perfectly sure, that this their happy state shall last for ever. They know it now by faith in the word, how can they doubt of it then in a state of perfection? Their having any doubt of it could not but breed some anxiety, inconsistent with perfect happiness.
Lastly, Then shall the chief, laft, or farthest end of man, be reached. And that is the glory of God, for
which end they are made completely happy, in the full enjoyment of God, Prov. xvi. 4. Rom. xi. ult. So being made perfe&ly happy, they will answer that end in glorifying God, by loving, praising, and serving him perfedly, to all eternity, Psal. lxxxvi. 12, 13. • I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore. For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.” Rev. vii. 9, 10.“ After this I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, frood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which fitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.” Ver. 15.“ Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he that fitteth on the throne shall dwell
among them.” Chap. xxii. 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.
Inf. 1. Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. He is the best of masters, whatever hardships his servants be put to here. Heaven will make amends for all.
2. They who are truly godly do best consult not only the welfare of their souls, but of their bodies too. The
way of faith and holiness is the way to reach the cure of all maladies at length; it is the way to get a found body, with all the advantages of strength, comelinefs, liveliness, c.
Lastly, The faith of this should arm believers against the terror of death and the grave. Why not melt down the old crazy vefsel, to be new shaped ? .
SECONDLY, Let us next view the state of men, foul and body, in hell. Having viewed the state of
men after the resurrection in the happy part of the other world, we must now consider the state of men after the resurrection in the regions of horror in the other world. An awful subject !
An awful fubject! but neceffary. That part of mankind that shall justly be doomed to that part of the other world, will be absolutely miferable there. Concerning which these following things may be considered.
1. They will be totally and finally separated from God there, excommunicated from his presence, Mat. xxv. 41. Now they say to God, “ Depart from us," while he is following them with mercy and offers of peace; then they will be wholly and for ever put away. And this is the punishment of loss. There are these fix things in it,
(1.) They will have no part in the habitation of the juft, Matth. viii. 11. 12. They will have no footing in the better country, no seat in the mansions of glory. They will lofe heaven, the seat of the blef. sed; and while the godly are taken within the city, they cannot enter the gates, but must lodge without for ever, Rev. xxii. 15.
(2.) They will be excommunicated from the presence of the faints, and have no share in the happy fociety. They cared not for their company here, if it was not to serve a turn; and there they fhall be freely parted for ever. The company of the righteous being gone into the marriage, the door is bolted againft them, that they cannot get in, no not if it were to lie among their feet, Mat. xxv.10.
(3.) They will be excluded from the presence of the holy angels. They will have at the resurrection a terrible meeting with them, Matt. xiii. 49. and a more dreadful parting with them, ver. 50. never to meet again. It is another kind of angels with whom they must eternally lodge.
(4.) They will be locally separated from the man Christ. They shall never come into the place where