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into sections, which, through the unhappy influence of prejudice and party spirit, are too often disposed to keep at a distance, and to look at each other with unbecoming jealousy, will meet in the kingdom of the Redeemer, and exult in the consciousness of a general union, which will never be dissolved by death, or debased by the imperfections and sins of this mortal state. The remembrance of tender relations, sanctified by religion, and cemented by love to God, will increase the felicity, and improve the characters of those between whom they existed,and awaken in their bosoms feelings of special interest towards one another. To meet after the gloom and the bitterness of the final parting, and that in the full possession of life—to advance together from the bar to the throne of God, amidst the acclamations of angels and redeemed men, and encompassed by the splendid manifestations of Deity--to call to mind the dangers, conflicts, and temptations of their past experience, and to compare them with the security and unalloyed joy of their glorified condition—oh! this will be a junction, accompanied by circumstances peculiarly fitted to produce an ecstacy of delight, which human language is inadequate to describe, and which it must be reserved for eternity to disclose. These reflections are not to be ranked rather amongst the agreeable visions of fancy than with the intimations of sober truth, and the deductions of reason, guided by the certain principles embodied in the charter of our privileges. Admitting that the righteous will meet in a future world, and that their consciousness will be unimpaired, we are justified in receiving them as representations which have their foundation in the nature of things. And if the perpetuation of christian friendship must of necessity be attended with such an augmentation of joy and virtue, we are warranted to infer that its perpetuity will be secured by Jehovah, who has engaged to "give grace and glory, and to withhold no good thing from those who walk uprightly.” But to place the matter beyond all reasonable doubt, it will suffice to observe, that these views of the ultimate union of the righteous harmonize with the more direct evidence supplied by the written testimony. The joy into which the good and faithful servant is to be introduced on the day of retribution, will, we are assured on unquestionable authority, be similar in its nature, though inconceivably inferior, as it respects degree, to the felicity which the Saviour will experience when “ he sees of the travail of his soul, and is abundantly satisfied.” And the great apostle of the Gentiles expresses himself on this subject in terms which cannot be misunderstood. To the language which he employs, in reference to the presentation of his converts before the throne on the day of judgment, we have already adverted, as affording evidence of the special interest which he expected to take in them as his spiritua children and companions on earth. But what, according to his own statement, did he suppose would be the nature or source of the peculiar feel, ings to be produced by the anticipated interview? He evidently conceived that these feelings would spring from the satisfaction of witnessing, in their condition, the fall and accumulated fruit of his holy zeal in the service of Christ. He looked forward to the realization of this pure and exalted pleasure in the knowledge of their eternal happiness, as that which would constitute no small part of his reward, while he felt, at the same time, the force of his own declaration ;-~" Neither is he that planteth any thing, nor he that watereth, but God that giveth the increase.” And the expectation served not a little to kindle and maintain in his own bosom, somewhat of the burning zeal which consumed his divine Master; "who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Nay, in the prospective view of eternity, every consideration appeared sometimes to vanish from his mind, but the salvation of those to whom he published the word of life ; and of this he speaks, as though it would constitute the substance of all his honour, and of all his felicity on the day of the Lord. “ For what,"
exclaims he to the Thessalonians, “is our hope or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming ? For ye are our glory and joy."
Thus, then, the expectation of reunion amongst christian friends, harmonizes, in a beautiful manner, with the tendency of religion, to unite and inspire them with the desire of continued intercourse—with its general character—as a restorative system, which is pledged to raise them to the possession of whatever is really valuable to usand with the nature and source of that felicity, which consists in the sublime satisfactions of christian charity, and which, as the scriptures hold it out as a constituent and important part of the final reward of the faithful steward, demands the future knowledge of existing relations, and the perpetuity of the sacred pleasures which may now accompany them.
On the whole, we conceive, it appears that the hope of reunion, which revelation thus encourages, contributes much to the harmony of the christian religion, and constitutes not one of the least interesting of those many links which connect its discoveries together, and combine them into one beautiful and perfect system of truth.
THE FINAL MEETING AND FUTURE FRIENDSHIP OF THE
If we regard man merely as an inhabitant of the present world, almost every thing that enters into his condition wears an aspect of insignificance, and presents much to our notice that renders him truly an object of commiseration. His chief importance and happiness, both in a personal and relative view, are prospective, and can only be understood and realized by those who have acquired the habit—so indispensable to the comfort, integrity, and elevation of the mind of looking supremely at the things which are unseen and eternal. All that now belongs to the christian is to be considered as existing only in the germ.
“This is the bud of being, the dim dawn,