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time, to take a transient view of our prison-house to benefit us, and to learn more effectually yourselves, by contrast, the superiority of the world to come. The language of your Lord is, “ In my Father's house are many mansions : I go to prepare a place for you.” And o! what motives for patience, and gratitude, and love does such a promise supply! What is it, my Christian brethren, to be straitened for a time by the narrowness of our mansion on earth, if such is the habitation purposed for us in heaven? Wait but a little moment, and, though it shall not be granted to you, as to St. John, to see in the flesh the descending vision of the “heavenly city,” it shall be granted to you to behold it in still more favourable circumstances. He saw it indeed; but it was in a trance, and but for a moment, and he awoke to find himse'f a prisoner in the flesh, and an exile in Patmos. But in your case sight will be possession. You shall behold the city of God, to lose sight of it no more: you shall see it, to be welcomed as its citizen and its inhabitant for ever. You shall no sooner plant your foot in its golden streets, than your exile shall either be remembered no longer, or remembered merely to enhance the joys of deliverYour chains shall drop from you,
you walk abroad in all the glorious liberty of the children of God.” 5. But it is added, finally, “ I will write upon him my
In other words, the same divine hand will stamp upon the triumphant servant of the cross the
new name” by which God hath last revealed himself to his creatures; that is, the name of Jesus—the Messiah-the Anointed One—“ the Lord our Righteousness ;" -or, as he is called in that magnificent description of the Son of God, in the nineteenth chapter of this book, the 66 King of kings, and Lord of lords.” Yes, my Christian brethren, as it was customary to engrave on the pillar of worldly triumph the name of the leader under whom the soldier fought and conquered; so the Captain of your salvation, your Guide through all the intricacies of this valley of tears, your Leader in the
great conflict against the corruptions of the heart, the vanity of the world, and the assaults of the powers of darkness, shall stamp his own name on your forehead, and designate you as his children for ever.
The name which has been your "strength and your joy” upon earth, shall be your shield and your glory for ever, And should the same Spirit, who communicated with St. John in that world of light, be asked by some new apostle, admitted, like his predecessor, to catch a glimpse of the glories to be revealed, “Who are those stamped with the name of the Redeemer ?" he shall once more reply, “ These are they who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb; therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he that sitteth on the ne hall dwell among them; they shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more ; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat ; for the Lamb, which is in the midst of the throne, shall lead them unto living fountains of water, and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes."
If the promises made to the church of God are thus lofty and valuable, let us beware of rashly laying claim to them. Carry this conviction, my brethren, habitually along with you, that if heaven is the world where these promises are to be enjoyed, this is the world where a title to them is to be obtained. If that is the region of triumph, this is the field of conflict. If pardon is to be gained through the blood and intercession of the Redeemer, it is to be gained here. If the heart is to be transformed, the temper to be subdued, and the whole man to be subjugated to the will of God, the change must be accomplished here. There is no intermediate world, no border country, measured out by the hand of the great Judge, in which you may shake off the corruption of the flesh and clothe yourself in the vesture of righteousness. Here it is that you must shed the tears of penitence, offer the prayer of faith, wash your sins in the blood of atonement, and acquire the taste, the habits, the qualifications which are to fit
you for the kingdom of God. But if this be true, what apology is to be found for the lives of thousands in society? Why this delay—this consumption of time on the follies and vices of life this lingering upon doubtful ground—this incorporation with the worldthis drowsiness in prayer, in the reading of the Scriptures, and in the use of every means of grace? " Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, that Christ may give thee light.”
And, finally, I would entreat you to call to mind what, as the expectants of this bright reversion and inheritors of these glorious promises, may be expected of you. Is such a mansion,”
,” with all its seats of joy and triumph, prepared for you? Then why these looks and accents of disquietude amid the petty cares and distractions of life? Why this feverish hirst for worldly distinctions? Why this covetous grasp after worldly interests? Why this cowardly and shamefaced profession of the religion of the cross? All this “ savours not of God,” but of man—not of the “ city which hath foundations,” but of this poor, fugitive, sordid, fallen world. You lay claim to the promises of God; let us see that they are not wasted or dishonoured in your hands. You proclaim yourselves children of God; let it be felt that you are “crucified to the world and the world unto you.” Oppose to the seductions of sense, to the follies of life, to those withering chaplets which alone the world can bind around your brow, the present delights of faith and hope, and communion with God and holy obedience to his will, and the future glories and triumphs of the assembly of the redeemed. Already are many “pillars” erected in the “temple of God.” Already does it resound with the hallelujahs of the blessed. Remember your high and solemn vocation. “ If you are risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right-hand of God." Let your conversation be in heaven, from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.
REV. JOHN NEWTON'S LETTERS.
Last night I preached from Job iii. 1-3: “He opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth.” His losses and afflictions would not have made him speak thus, had not the Lord permitted Satan to assault him with no other limitation than not to take his life. When thus left to himself under the enemy's power, the evils of his heart broke out in bitter and rash complaints. The same evils are in my heart, and the simiIar change of circumstances would soon produce the like effects. But, blessed be the Lord, he does not permit Satan to rage so violently against me. Job's case, however, may teach us how precarious outward prosperity is. Let us pray that we may be watchful, and not lean too hard upon creature comforts, for we know not what a day may bring forth. But the same almighty, all-sufficient, compassionate Friend who supported Job, is with us also. The Lord knows our frame, and remembers we are but dust. He will either lay no more upon us than he sees we can bear; or if his wisdom sees fit to increase our burden, he will likewise give us increase of strength according to our day.
And now, as our great High-priest upon the throne, he has an experimental sympathy with his children. He knows what sore temptations mean, for he has felt the same. He pitied Job and bore with him: he pities and will bear with us; it is well for us that his patience and mercy are higher than the heavens. He not only brought Job through all his troubles, but justified him from the unkind suspicions of his friends; did not even mention his former rash wishes, but made his latter end better than his beginning. Then, I suppose, Job did not rue the day of his birth. Lord, enable us to resign ourselves and our all into thy hands; since thou invitest us to cast all our care upon thee, and dost assure us, that thou carest for us ! May we make thy word the ground of our hope, the rule of our conduct
, and thy holy will the measure of our desires ; and wait with faith, hope, and humble submission, for the appointed hour when thou wilt call us to our heavenly home! With this prospect in view, we may bless the Lord for our natural birth, since we have lived to be born again from above, and have thereby a taste (though, alas ! faint) for the worship and company before the throne of glory. When all our sins and sorrows are left below, and earth is exchanged for heaven, what a blessed exchange will that be! I thank the Lord my health is good, though in my 77th year, and under a great and heartfelt trial. I often preach in public, and from house to house, six or seven times a week. I am a wonder to many, and ought to be still more so to myself. 1 Tim. i. 15. Your affectionate and obliged,
MY DEAR FRIEND,
I would praise the Lord for the strength and support he afforded you under your late great trial. It is indeed a great trial to part with our dearest friends at any time: our gracious Lord did not reprove Mary and Martha for weeping when their brother died, but condescended to drop a tear of sympathy with them. He still sympathizes with his people, for he was once a man of sorrows for our sakes : see Heb. iv. 15, 16. However, when the Lord has declared his will by the event, it does not become us to