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COMMUNION OF SAINTS IN A BETTER WORLD. 203
Is there no shelter to be found,
Is there no sure, no certain stay,
Turn to the world that may be thine,
Then shall the storms that rend thy breast
And thou received a welcome guest
COMMUNION OF SAINTS IN A BETTER WORLD.
As we have been together in the labour, duty, danger, and distress, so shall we be in the great recompense and deliverance. As we have been scorned and despised, so shall we be owned and honoured together. We who have gone through the day of sadness, shall enjoy together that day of gladness and triumph.
Those who have been with us in persecution and in prison, shall be with us also in the palace of consolation. How oft have our groans made, as it were, one sound; our tears, one stream; and our desires, one prayer! But now all our praises shall
make up one melody, all our churches one church, and all ourselves one body; for we shall be one in Christ, even as he and the Father are one.
THE BLISS OF HEAVEN.
REDEEMED spirits abide at the source of all felicity, and enjoy inconceivable pleasures. They are completely released from all sins and sufferings, from all temptations and sorrows. Moral evil, with all its attendants, is eternally banished from those bright abodes; for the people who dwell there are all perfectly righteous; nor shall any of the inhabitants of that land say, "I am sick." Their garments are always white; their harps are always tuned. Being with Christ, according to his promise, they behold his glory, and are delighted with his beauty,
Now the immortal spirit is invigorated in all its powers, enlarged in all its faculties, on purpose to render it capable of taking in more copious views, and of receiving abundantly larger emanations of divine love, than it could possibly before enjoy. They have now traced up the streams to the eternal fountain; the beams to the very sun of love. With adoring hearts and ravished eyes, with animated devotion, and notes divinely sweet, they join the heavenly choir in that seraphic hymn, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of Hosts! Heaven and earth are full of his glory! How inconceivable the pleasure! How divine the joy!
And all their sublime felicity is permanent. The infinite God is their portion, and their "exceeding
great reward." Their happiness, therefore, is durable as the divine perfections they adore and enjoy. The limits of their capacities will be for ever enlarging, and for ever receiving greater measures of glory. For the Deity is an infinite source of blessedness; and finite vessels may be for ever expanding, and for ever filling, in that ocean of all-sufficiency.
THE LAND OF THE BLEST.
O, WHEN the hours of life are past,
Their way to heaven was pure from sin,
There, parted hearts again shall meet,
There, angels will unite their prayers
No storms shall ride the troubled air;
For there the God of mercy sheds
W. O. B. PEABODY,
BENEFIT OF AFFLICTION.
AFFLICTIONS are God's most effectual means to keep us from losing our way to our heavenly rest. Without this hedge of thorns on the right hand and on the left, we should scarcely keep in the way to heaven. If there be but one gap open, how ready are we to find it, and turn out at it! When we grow wanton, or worldly, or proud, how doth sickness, or other affliction, reduce us! Every Christian, as well as Luther, may call affliction one of his best schoolmasters, and with David may say, "Before I was afflicted, I went astray; but now have I kept thy word." Many thousand recovered sinners may cry, "O healthful sickness! O comfortable sorrows! O gainful losses! O enriching poverty! O blessed day that ever I was afflicted!" Not only the green pastures and still waters, but the rod and staff, they comfort us. Though the Word and Spirit do the main work, yet suffering so unbolts the door of the heart, that the Word hath easier entrance.
THE PILGRIM ENTERING INTO REST.
"THOU shalt rest and stand in thy lot at the end of thy days." Christian Pilgrim! You shall soon
reach the city of habitation; and then the wanderings of the wilderness, its solitude, its tempests, its privations, shall be forgotten; or, if they are remembered, remembered to make the communion of the heavenly Jerusalem, its perpetual sunshine, its fullness of joy, the more enrapturing. When Joseph's two sons were presented to his father, the old man said, "I had not thought to see thy face, and lo! God hath showed me thy seed." Similar to his, will be the feelings of good men in heaven. I often thought it very doubtful if ever I should arrive at paradise; but thou hast brought me to glory, and a happiness which it never entered into my heart to conceive. I thought I should be blessed indeed, if but admitted within its gates, and in the portion adjudged to one who was less than the least of all saints; but thou hast set me among the princes, of the people, and from the threshold where I wished to kneel, thou hast called me to thy throne.
OBJECTS OF CHRISTIAN HOPE.
THE perfect and everlasting happiness of heaven, is an object of a righteous man's hope in death. He hopes to drop all his sins, and their attendant train of sorrows, behind him; and to be perfectly holy, and consequently happy, for ever. He hopes to see his God and Saviour, and to spend a happy eternity in society with him, and in his service. He hopes to join the company of angels, and of his fellow-saints of the human race. He hopes to improve in knowledge, in holiness, and in capacities for action and enjovment, in an endless