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ing kindness, and in mercies : I will even' betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the Lord.” (Hos. ii. 19.) We say, " Come, and let us join ourselves unto the Lord in a perpetual covenant, never to be forgotten. We agree to take him for our head and husband; we give our whole selves to the Lord, and vow everlasting fidelity and subjection: and there have been times, when such mtual interchanges of love have passed, that we could with full assurance of faith say, “ My beloved is mine, and I am bis.".

But still, this is at best but a marriage by proxy. The articles, as I said just now, are drawn up and agreed to; they are even signed and sealed : and

; the terms therein stipulated, believers think themselves bound by, and endeavour to conform to. But it is not till you enter in with him to the marriage, that the relation is confirmed, and the union completed. Then, Christians, he will own you before his Father, and before the holy angels, as the Bride, the Lamb's wife. Here this mystical union is shadowed forth, under those similitudes borrowed from nature, which imply the closest possible connection : -- He is represented as the vine; we, as the branches : He, the head; we, the members. But these are nothing to that infinitely astonishing comparison, which Christ himself hath mentioned, in that mysterious prayer of his, which shall then receive its full accomplishment: “ That they all may be one: as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us.” (John xvii. 21.) There is enough in that passage to furnish you with matter for contemplation as long as you live: and

indeed, this is a subject fitter for contemplation than discourse.

2. They shall enter into the joy of their Lord.

Weddings are usually times of mirth and festivity. As the bridegroom rejoiceth over his bride, so will Christ rejoice over the church, his chosen, that he hath brought home to his Father's house. Then there will be joy in heaven, among the angels of God: and nothing less than Christ's own throne, and Christ's own glory shall be thought high enough for these dignified, I had almost said deified worms.

Here, Christians, you may be ready to think that your relation to Christ entitles you to riches and respect among men : but Christ's kingdom is not of this world : his love-tokens are of a spiritual nature; and the peace he gives, is such as the world, in its greatest good-hụmour, cannot give, and, in its greatest fury, cannot take away. Be content to live mean, to fare hard, to be despised and persecuted, now; but “rejoice in hope of the glory of God." In a little time, “ He that shall come will come;" and his reward is with him. Then he will receive you to himself; and he will exalt you, and enrich you, beyond your most sanguine expectatioŋs. Then, he will take off your sackcloth, and gird you with gladness: he will then give you beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. You shall be always near him, and always smiled upon by him. The lamb, which is in the midst of the throne, shall feed you, and lead you to living fountains of waters, and wipe away all tears from your eyes; and delight over you to do you good, with his whole heart, and with his whole soul. This honour have all the saints.- Praise ye the Lord.

III. I observe, that, when Christ and his saints are entered into heaven, there will be neither going out nor coming in, for ever.

1. There shall be no going out, for those that are within.

One would think the door need not be shut for that: surely, none, that are once admitted into that blessed place, can ever be inclined to leave it. If the door were always left open, no temptation, one would imagine, would be able to prevail with any of those blessed inhabitants so much as to let a thought wander outside the gates of the New Jerusalem. And yet we know the angels left their first habitation : holy and happy as they were, and safe, as one would have thought them, so near the throne of God, sin found its way into their hearts, and enticed them to rebellion: so he drove them out. And who, or what, are we, in our most exalted state, if left open to the assaults of principalities and powers, that we should despise a temptation by which angels fell before ?-Be thankful, then, that, as soon as ever you are entered with the Bridegroom, the door will be shut, and your eternal happiness secured. Here, you may have no continuing city; you may be strangers and sojourners on earth, as all your fathers were. Here, you may be foolish enough to forsake your own mercies : sin may put on some pleasing form, and draw you away from God. You may recollect many a time, when you have left the closet, left the sanctuary, left the most sacred ordinances, where you have been wont to behold and enjoy your God and Saviour-you have left them all to follow after lying vanities : and the Father of mercies was obliged to draw you with cords of love, and sometimes to chastise you with the rod of affliction, in order to bring you back to your God and duty.- Again, therefore, I say, Be thankful, that when once you have entered heaven, the door will be shut. Being made pillars in the temple of your God, you shall go no more out. No temptation shall be admitted to entice you: or if it should, it should not be in your power to follow it.

But the door is shut, not so much that there may be no going out for those that are within, as

2. That there might be no coming in for those that are without.

Shy as sinners are now of the company of saints, they will then wish to cast in their lot among them. They will crowd about the door, and endeavour, by all possible methods, to enter with them—but in vain :-They will not now, and they shall not then --the door is shut, and will never, never be opened more! They may cry never so long, and never so loudly, “Lord, Lord, open to us;" but he will answer, Verily I say unto you, I know you not!”.

But I cannot enlarge on this gloomy subject: I will therefore close for the present with the following brief reflections.

1. That there will be a certain and final separation between empty professors and real saints. . Pretenders to religion shall assuredly be cut off from the happiness of those that are real Christians. The

foolish virgins set out with the wise ; and continued with them a good while; but when the Bridegroom came, they parted: the one were admitted, and the other shut out.

" When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory; and before him shall be gathered afl nations; and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.”

2. What a grievous loss will they sustain, who do not thoroughly attend to religion !

When we think on Cain's words; My punishment is greater than I can bear! Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and vagabond in the earth" (Gen. iv. 13;) — and on Balaam's speech; “I shall see him, but not now ;

I shall behold him, but not nigh” (Numb. xxiv. 17;)—and how the Ephesians wept over Paul, because they apprehended they should see his face no more:” (Acts xx. 38.)-I say, it is impossible to think of these and similar circumstances, and not reflect what a dreadful case theirs must be, who shall be shut out from the presenceof God, and all the glorious society of heaven !--To see Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom; and no possibility of passing the fixed fatal gulf !-to see many come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of their Father; and they, who called themselves, and perhaps thought

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