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into one gracious purpose of mercy, which was most perfectly wise in all its combinations: now we believe that "all things work together for good ;" then we shall see how this end was accomplished by events, which, at the time, put us to so much grief, and involved us in so much surprize. Delightful, most delightful will it be, to retrace our winding and often gloomy course, and discern at each change and turning the reason of the occurrence, and the wisdom of God: delightful will it be, to discern the influence which all our temporal circumstances, all our disappointments, losses, and perplexities, had upon our permanent and celestial happiness. How much of divine wisdom, power, goodness, and faithfulness, will our short and humble history present; and what rapturous fervour will the discovery give to the song of praise which we shall utter before the throne of God and the Lamb.
Revelation, as containing the scheme of human redemption by Jesus Christ, will be another object of our study, and source of knowledge. The Bible is given to make God known; and one page of the Bible, yea one verse, makes known more of God than all the volume of nature. But, after all, how little do we know of God, of his essence, of his tri-une mode of subsistence, of his natural perfections, of his moral attributes? What an unfathomable mystery is Deity! In what a pavilion of darkness does Jehovah dwell! Who, by searching, can find out God? In heaven we shall know him, for we shall see him face to face; we shall behold his glory, and see him as he is. We shall have as perfect an acquaintance with the divine character, as a finite mind can attain
to; and in this one object, shall find employment and bliss through eternity. We shall never exhaust Eternity is necessary to study that
which is infinite.
We shall there comprehend, so far as it can be done by a finite mind, the complex person of Jesus Christ. We cannot now understand this; " "great is the mystery of Godliness,-God manifest in the flesh;" but what we know not now, we shall know hereafter. Then will the cross be seen, as the central point of the divine administration, bright with ten thousand glories, and sending out its beams to the extremity of the moral system. The ruin of the world by its federal connexion with Adam; the election of the Jews, and the long abandonment of the Gentiles; the slow advance of Christianity to its millennial reign and triumph; the bearing of redemption upon other orders of beings beside man; the difficulties which hang like impenetrable clouds upon the doctrines of personal election, regeneration, perseverance, the freedom of the will viewed in connexion with divine prescience and predestination ;-all, all will be laid open to the view of glorified saints in heaven. Everything in the Scriptures, which is now dark, shall be made light. A reconciling point shall be found for every seeming contradiction, and the faith and patience of the saints be rewarded, for having received the truth on the credit of him who spoke it without demanding to. see before they believed.
Such shall be the sources of knowledge in heaven. O the bliss of eternally drinking in knowledge from such fountains!
We may now consider THE ADVANTAGES which the heavenly state will possess for the acquisition of knowledge.
The soul will there be perfect in holiness, and thus the understanding will be delivered from the disturbing and bewildering influence of sin. In our present state of imperfection, the depravity of our nature contracts and misdirects our judgment: the corruptions of the heart send up a mist, which veils the lustre of truth, and conceals its extent and glory from the mind. The judgment cannot now see spiritual objects in all their range, and order, and beauty, because of sin. But in heaven this contracting and darkening influence will cease for ever. No evil bias, no sinful prejudice, will ever warp the judgment: no disease of the soul will dim its eye or enfeeble its power. With eagle pinion it will soar to the fountain of radiance, and with eagle vision bear the full blaze of its glory. The natural faculty of the mind will then attain to its full maturity of strength. The mind is here in its infancy; there it will come to its age. Even the intellects of the greatest geniuses, while on earth, are but human. minds in childhood, as we have already considered, and their most prodigious efforts but as infantine exercises. Here they only tried their powers: but in heaven the mind will put forth to their full extent all those wondrous faculties which are now shut up and compressed in our nature, for want of room and opportunity to expand. In heaven, we shall not be diverted and called off from the pursuit of truth by the inferior interests of the body: the soul will not be prevented from making excursions into the
regions of light, by the cares, wants, and anxieties, which abound in this state of being, but will be left at leisure to pursue her sublime researches. She will have nothing to hinder the acquirement and enjoyment of knowledge. To crown all, heaven is an eternal state, and everlasting ages will be afforded through which the glorified mind will carry on its pursuits. Were the term of human life again protracted to the antediluvian age, what vast attainments would be made by us all in the discovery of truth! What, then, must it be to have eternity through which to grow in knowledge?
We might notice the CHARACTERS of our knowledge. It will be perfect: by which we are not to understand that it will be as complete as the nature of things admits of, for we should then possess a comprehension equal to that of God. We cannot perfectly know everything as it may be known: our ideas of many things must be limited, especially those which relate to the divine nature. By perfection, we mean freedom from error: our knowledge will be free from all admixture of doubt, suspense, and fallacy; our attainments will be bounded only by our capacity; there will, perhaps, be a gradation of mind in heaven, no less obviously marked than that which exists on earth: but all capacities will be filled.
Our knowledge will doubtless be progressive. Increase of ideas is, perhaps, in the case of a creature, essential to felicity. We now find more pleasure in receiving a new and important truth, than we experience in all we before possessed. A state in which there remains nothing more to be known,
conveys not an idea of happiness so vividly as that where the delight of discovering something new is ever added to the joy of contemplating so much that is old. What a view of heaven!-An eternal advance in the most important knowledge; an everlasting accumulation of ideas; an interminable progression in truth. In the march of the mind through intellectual and moral perfection, there is no period set: this perfection of the just is for ever carrying -is carrying on, but shall never come to a close. God shall behold his creation for ever beautifying in his eyes, for ever drawing near to himself, yet still infinitely distant from him, the fountain of allgoodness. There is not in religion a more joyful or triumphant consideration than this perpetual progress which the soul makes in the perfection of its nature, without ever arriving at its ultimate period. Here truth has the advantage of fable. No fiction, however bold, presents to us a conception so elevating and astonishing as this interminable line of heavenly excellence. To look upon the glorified spirit, as going on from strength to strength, adding virtue to virtue, and knowledge to knowledge; making approaches to goodness which is infinite; for ever adorning the heavens with new beauties, and brightening in the splendours of moral glory through the ages of eternity;-has something in it so transcendent, as to satisfy the most unbounded ambition of an immortal spirit. Christian! does not thy heart glow at the thought that there is a time marked out in the annals of heaven, when thou shalt be what the angels now are; when thou shalt shine with that glory in which principalities now