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the Spirit of the Lord into the soul I rejoice at thy word, says the Psalmist, as one that finueth great poil, Pfal. cxix 162. Yet it is but an imperfect discovery we have of it while here. How ravishing then will it be, to see the opening of the whole treasure, hid in that field! they thall also be let into the understanding of the works of God. The beauty in the works of creation and providence will then be set in a due light. Natural knowledge will be brought to perfection by the light of glory. The web of providence concerning the church, and all men whatsoever, will then be cut out, and laid before the eyes of the faints, and it will appear a inott beautiful mixture; so as they shall say together, on the view of it, he hath done all things well. But, in a special manner, the work of redemption thall be the eternal won. der of the saints, and they will admire and praise the glorious contrivance for ever. Then thall they get a tull view of its suitableness to the divine perfections, and to the case of finners': and clearly read the covenant, that past betwixt the Father and the Son, from all eternity, touching their salvation. They Mall for ever wonder and praise, and praise and wonder at the mysteries of wisdom and love, goodness and holiness, mercy and justice, appearing in the glorious device. Their souls Mall be eternally satisfied with the Fight of God himself, and of cheir elećtion by the Father, their re. demption by the Son, and application thereof to them by the Holy Spirit.'
2. The saints in heaven Mall enjoy God in Chrilt by experimen. tal knowledge, which is, when the object itf If is given aod poslefsed. This is the participation of the divine goodness in full measure; which is the perfection of the will, and utmolt term thereof. The Lamb Mall lead them unto living fountains of waters, Rev. vii. 17. These are no other but God hinielt, the fountain of living waters, who will fully and freely communicate himself unto them. He will pour out of his goodness eternally into their souls: and then shall they have a most lively sentation, in the innermost part of their fouls, of all that goodness they heard of, and believed to be in him; and of what they see in him by the light of glory. This will be an everlasting practical exposition of that word, which men and angels)
cannot fufficiently unfold, to, wit, God himself shall--be their God, * Rev. xi. 3. God will communicare himself unto them fully: they will no more be fit to taste of the streams of divine goodness in
ordinances, as they were wont, but shall drink at the fountain-head. • They will be no more entertained with fips and drops, but filled
with all the fulaess of God. And this will be the entertainment of every faint; for though in created things, what is given to one, is withheld from another; yet an infinite good can fully communicate itself to all, and fill all.' These who are heirs of God, the great beritage, ihall then enter into a full possession of their inheritances: and the Lord will open his treasures of goodness unto them, that their enjoyment miy be full. They shall not be finted to any
measure: but the enjoyment Mall go as far as their enlarged capa. cities can reach. As a narrow vele) cannot contain the ocean, fo neither can the infinite creature comprehend an infinite good : but no measure shali be set to the enjoyment, but what arisech from the capacity of the creature, So that, ali hough there be degrees of glory, yer all shall be filled, and have what they can hold; tho' some would be capable to hold more than others, there will be no want to any of them, all shall be fully satisfied, and perfe&tly bles. sed in the full enjoyment of divine goodness, according to their enlarged capacities. As when bottles of different sizes are filled, some contain more, others less; yet all of them have what they can contain. The glorified shall have all, in God, for the satisfaction of all their defires. No created thing can afford satisfaction to all our defires : clothes may warın us, but they cannot feed us ; the light is comfortable, but cannot nourish us. Bui in God we shall have all our desires, and we shall desire nothing without him. They shall be the happy ones, that desire nothing but what is truly desirable; and withal have all they desire. God will be all in all to the saints; he will be their life, health, riches, honour, peace, and all good things. He will communicate himself freely to them: the door of accels to him shall never be shut again, for one moment. They may, wben they will, take of the fruits of the tree of life, for they will find it on each fide the river, Rev. xxii. 2. There will be no vail betwixt God and them, to be drawn afide; but his ful. ness hall ever stand open to them. No door to knock at, in heaven; no asking to go before receiving; the Lord will allow his people an unreltrained familiarity with himself there.
Now they are in part made partakers of the divine nature; but " then they shall perfectly partake of it; that is to say, God will
cominynicate to them his own image, make all his goodness not only pass before them, but pass into them, and stamp the image of all his own perfections upon them, so far as the creature is capable to receive the same ; from whence shall result a perfect likeness to him, in all things in or about them, which completes the happiness of the creature. And this is what the Pfalmift seems to have had in view, Pral. xvii. 15. I ball be satisfied when I awake, with thy likeness; the perfection of God's inage, following upon the beatie fick vision. And so says John, 1 John ni 2. We mall be like him ; for we mall fee him as he is. Hence there shall be a molt close and in. timate union betwixt God and the saines; God shall be in then, and they in God, in the way of a molt glorious and perfect union; for
then shall they dwell in love inade perfect. God is love, and he that 5. dwelleth in love, dwelleih in God, and God in bim, John iv. 16. How
will the saints knit with God, and he with them; when he shall see nothing in them but his own image; when their love shall arrive ac its perfection, no nature, but the divine nature, being left in them, and all imperfection swallowed up in that glorious transfor.
fong of the heavenly holt, when Christ was born: but thrice happy, they, who Mall join their voices with theirs, in ghe choir of saints and angels in heaven, when he mall be, glorified in all, who shall be about him there. Then hall we'be brought acquainted with the bleffed fpirits, who never finned. How bright will these morning-Ilars fhine in the holy place! they were ministring spirits to the heirs of Talvation, loved them for cheir Lord and Master's fake; encamped round about them, to preserve them from danger; how joyfully will they welcome them to their everlasting habitations; and rejoice to see them come at length to their kingdom, as the tutor doch in the prosperity of his pupils! The faints shall be no more afraid of them, as sometime they were wont to be: they shall then have put' off mortality, and infirmides of the flesh, and be themselves, as the an. gels of God, fit to entertain communion and fellowship with these thining ones. And, both being brought under one head, the Lord Jesus Christ; they shall join in the praises of God, and of the Lamb, saying, with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was pain, &c. Rev. v. 11, 12. Whether the angels shall (as some think) assume airy bodies, that they may be seen by the badily eyes of the saints, and be in nearer capacity to converse with them, I know not: but as they want not ways of converse amongst themselves, we have reason to think, that conversation, betwixt them and the saints, shall not be for ever block-'. ed up:
Lasly, They shall have society with the Lord himself in heaven, glorious communion with God and Christ, which is the perfection of happiness. I chuse to speak of communion with God, and the man Christ together; because as we derive out grace from the Lamb, so we will derive our glory from him too; the man Christ being (if I may be allowed the expression) the centre of the divine glory in heaven, from whence it is diffused unto all the saints. This seems to be taught us by these scriptures, which express heaven's happiness by being with Chrift, Luke xxiii. 43. This day shalt thou be with me in paradise, John xxvii. 24. Father I will that these also, whom thou hast given me, be with me. (And remarkable to this purpose is what follows, that they may behold my glory.) I' Thess.iv.17. So shall we ever be with the Lord, to wit, the Lord Christ, whom we fall meet in the air. This also seems to be the import of these scriptures, wherein God and the Lamb, the Ilain Saviour, are jointly spoken of, in the point of the happiness of the saints in heaven, Rev. vii. 17. “ For the Lamb which is in the midst 6 of the throne, shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living foun. 1 56 tains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes," Chap.xxi. 3. “Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will 56. dwell with thein,” to wit, as in a tabernacle, (so the word signifies) that is, in the flesh of Christ, (compare John i. 14. and ver. 22.) 6. The Lord God Almighty, and the Lainb are the temple of it." Here lies the chief happiness of the saints in heaven, that without which they could never be happy, though lodged in that glorious
all than a tho but th: glitibec
place, and blessed with the society of angels there. What I will ven. ture to say of it, thall be comprised in three things.
ift, The saints in heaven shall have the glorious presence of God, and of the Lamb: God himself shall be with them, Rev. xxi. 3. And they shall ever be with the Lord. God is every where present, in refpect of his essence; the saints inilitant have his special gracious presence: but in heaven they have his glorious presence. There they are brought near to the throne of the great King, and stand before him, where he lhews his inconceivable glory. There they have the tabermacle of God, on which the cloud of glory rests, the all glorious human nature of Christ, wherein the fulness of the Godhead dwells, not vailed as in the days of his humiliation, but thining through that blessed flesh, (that all the faints may behold his glory) and making that body more glorious than a thousand suns: so that the city has no need of the sun, nor of the moon, but th: glory of God doth lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof, (properly, the candle thereof) Rev. xxi. 23. i. e. The Lamb is the luminary, or luininous body, which gives light to the city; as the sun and moon now give light to the world, or as a candle lightens a dark room: and the light proceeding from that glorious luminary, for the city is the glory of God. Sometime that candle burnt very dim, it was hid under a buihel, in the tiine of his humiliation; but that, now and then, it darted out some rays of this light, which dazzled the eyes of the spectators: but now it is set on high, in the city of God, where it shines, and shall shine for ever, in perfection of glory. It was sometimes laid aside, as a stone disallowed of the build. ers: but now it is, and for ever will be, the light or luminary of that city; and that, like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone clear as crystal, ver. 11.
Who can conceive the happiness of the saints, in the presence. chamber of the great King, where he fits in his chair of state, making
his glor; eminently to appear in the man Christ? His gracious prefence makes a mighty change upon the saints in this world : his glo. rious presence in heaven then inust needs screw up their graces to their perfection, and elevate their capacities. The saints do experience, thit the presence of God now with them in his grace, can make a little
heaven of a sort of hell: how great then must the glory of heaven be, | by his presence there in his glory! If a candle, in fonie fort, beauti
fies a cottage or prison, how will the shining sun beautify a palace or paradise! The gracious presence of God made a wilderness lightsom to Mofes, the valley of the shadow of death to David, a fiery furnace to the three children: what a ravishing beauty shall then arise froni the fun of righteousness, shining in his meridian brightness on the street of the city laid with pure gold? This glorious presence of God in heaven will put a glory on the saints themselves. The pleasant garden hath no beauty, when the darkness of the night its down on it; but the shining sun puts a glory on the blackelt mountains: fo these
who are now as bottles in the fmouk, when set in the glorious presence of God, will be glorious both in foul and body.
2dly, The saints in heaven shall have the full enjoyment of God and of the Lamb. This is it that perfectly satisfies the rational creature; and here is the saints everlasting rest. This will make up, all their wants, and fill the delires of their souls, which after all here obtained, still cry, Give give, not without some anxiety; because though they do enjoy God, yet they do not enjoy him fully. As to the way and manner of this enjoyment, our Lord tells us, John xvii. 3. “ This is “ life eternal, that they may know thee the only true God, and os Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent." Now there are two ways, how a desirable object is known most perfectly and satisfyingly; the one'is by sight, the other by experience : sight satisfies the understanding, and experience satisfies the will. Accordingly one may fay, that the saints enjoy God and the Lamb in heaven, (1.) By an intuitive knowledge. (2.) By an experimental knowledge, both of them perfect, I mean, in respect of the capacity of the creature; for otherwise a creature's perfect knowledge of an infinite Being is impossible. The saints below enjoy God, in that knowledge they have of him by report, from his his holy word which they believe; they see him likewise darkly in the glass of ordinances, which do, as it were, represent the bridegroom's picture, or shadow, while he is abfent: they have allosome experimental knowledge of him, they taste that God is good, and that the Lord is grucious. But the faints above thall not need a good report of the King, they shall see himself; therefore faith ceaseth: they will behold his oven face; therefore ordinances are no inoré; there is no need of a glass: they shall drink, and drink abundantly of that whereof they have tasted; and so hope ceaseth, for they are at the utmost bounds of their desires. .; 1. The saints in heaven fall enjoy God and the Lamb, by sight, and that in a most perfect manner, i Cor. xiii, 12. For now we fee through a glass darkly; but then face to face. Here our sight is but mediate, as by a glass, in which we see not things themselves, but the images of things: but there we shall have an immediate view of God and the Lamb. Here our knowledge is but obscure; there it Nall be clear without the least mixture of darkness. The Lord doth now converse with his saints, through the lattesses of ordinances: but then shall they be in the presence-chamber with him. There is a vail now on the glorious face, as to us: but when we come to the upper house, that vail, through which fome rays of beauty are now darted, will be found entirely taken off; and then thall glorious excellencies and perfections, not been in him by mortals, be clearly discovered, for we shall See his face, Rev. xxii. 4. The phrase seems to be borrowed from the honour put on some in the courts of monarchs, to be attendants on the king's person. We read, Jer. liii. 25. of seven men of them that were (Heb. Seers of the king's face, i. e. as we read it) near the king's person. O unspeakable glory! the great King keeps his court in hea.