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happiness of their heaven arose from this circumstance—that they should be assembled together in the hall of their God Woden, and there drink blood out of the skulls of THE ENEMY | So depraved was their idea of the employments of the blest. But, Brethren, it is the exalted privilege of us, their descendants, to be better instructed in the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. To behold, in softened effulgence, the perfections of DEITY; to contemplate the meek and humble Saviour, encircled by his mediatorial glory; to associate with pious relatives and friends, founded on a knowledge of each other, as well as with the virtuous of every description, both Jew and Gentile; to meditate on our own progression in knowledge, in holiness, and in joy— These, FELLow CHRISTIANs, are the sublime exercises by which you will be engaged in Heaven—
URAve, the guardian of our dust,
Every atom of thy trust,
Hark! the Gospel trumpet calls,
But I would not have you ignorant, BRETHREN, (1 Thess. iv. 13.), concerning them that are fallen asleep, that ye may not lament as others do, the heathens, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, we must believe that, in like manner, also, God shall bring with him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you, by the word of the Lord, that we who remain alive at the coming of the Lord, shall not prevent those that are asleep, so as to be glorified before them. For the Lord himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, even with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first, afterward we who are left alive, shall, together with them, be snatched up into the clouds in order to our meeting the Lord in the air, and so shall we be with the Lord for ever. Therefore comfort one another with these words— , “O! who can be sufficiently thankful, (says a truly devotional writer), for the strong consolations which these divine words administer How many drooping hearts have been cheered by them in every age, while successively mourning over THE Pious DEAD ! How often have we ourselves been driven to them, as to a sacred anchor, when our hearts have been overwhelmed within us, and if GoD continue us a few years longer, what repeated occasions may arise of flying to them again | Let us charge it upon our hearts, that we do honour to our holy profession in every circumstance, and particularly in our sor Rows as well as our joys. When Providence is pleased to make such breaches upon us, let us not sorrow as those who have no hope, for our deceased friends or for ourselves.
Surely we cannot doubt the very first and most fundamental article of our faith, the death and resurrection of Jesus, the Son of God; and if we do indeed assuredly believe these, what a blessed train of consequences will they draw after them, and this consequence most apparently, that they who sleep in Jesus shall not finally perish, but shall be brought with him to grace his triumphs. And, O—what a triumph shall that be! Let us now anticipate the joy with which, if TRUE BELIEVERs, we shall then lift up our heads, and SEE our complete salvation drawing nigh. What though we die and moulder in the grave? The saints then alive shall not prevent us, though the last memorial of our names may long have perished from the earth, it shall appear that they are written in HEAVEN. And when the Lord himself descends from heaven with that heart-rending shout, when the trump of God shall sound, his dead shall live—like his dead body shall they revive—they that dwell in the dust shall rise and sing, for his dew is as that falling upon herbs, and the earth shall cast forth its dead! But who can Now conceive the rapture with which so many millions shall start up at once from their beds of dust, all arrayed in robes of glory, and spurning the earth in which they have been so long entombed, and all that is mortal and corruptible shall soar aloft in one joyful company with those who shall then be found alive, to meet the Lord in the air, forming a mighty host, bright as the sun, clear as the moon, and awful as an army of banners; they shall soar to meet their Lord attracted by divine love, and borne on in their flight by an almighty power! We shall ascend to him; we shall be owned by him; we shall be seated near him; for CHRIST, who is our life, shall appear— therefore we shall appear with him in glory ! Nor, shall it be merely the triumph of one day, or of any limited period, how long soever. It is the promise of his FAITHFULNEss and of his LovE, that so we shall EveR be with the Lord. It is a glory that shall never decay, a meeting secure from all danger, from all possibility of future separation! In what circumstances of affliction shall not these consolations be felt What torrent of tears shall they not be able to stop 2 What groans of distressed nature shall they not be sufficient to turn into songs of joy? “Thanks, everlasting, ever new, ever-growing thanks, be to God, who always causeth us to triumph in CHRIST, in the views of such felicity! And let the whole choir of saints, the living and the dead, unite in one joyful AMEN.”