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wards it, acknowledging themselves to ove all ynto the Lamb that was nain, and redeemned them with his blood! and to this agrees what John faw, Rev.viii.9, 10.
A great o multitude stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, ! clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands : and • cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which • firteth upon the throne, and upto the Lamb.'
(2.) They shall lee God, Matth. v. 8. They will be happy in seeing the Father, Son and holy Ghost (nor with their bodily eyes, in respect of which God is invisible i Tim. i. 17. but) with the eyes of their understanding; being bleft with the most perfect, full,and clear knowledge of God and divine things, which the creature is capable of, This is called the beatifick vision, and is the perfection of the understanding, the utmost term thereof. It is but an obscure delineation of the glory of God, that mortals can have on earth; a fight, as it were of his back part, Exod. xxxiii. 23. But there they will see his face, Rev. xxii. 4. They Thall see him in the fuloefs of his glory, and behold him fixedly; whereas it is but a paffing view they can have of him here, Exod. xxxiv. 6. There is a valt difference be. twixt the light of a king in his night clothes, quickly palling by us; and a fixed leisure view of him fitting on his throne in his royal robes, his crown on his head, and his sceptre ia his hand: fuch a difference will there be, between the greatel manifestation of God tbat ever a faint had on earth; 2nd the display of his glory that shall be seen in heaven, There the faints mall eternally, without interruption, feed their eyes upon him, and be ever viewing his glorious perfections. And as their bodily eyes shall be strengthned and
fitted, to behold the glorious majelly of the man, Christ: as eagles gaze on the fun, without being blinded thereby; so their minds shall have such an elevation, as will fit them to see God in his glory; their capacities shall be enlarged, according to the measure in which he shall be pleased to communícate himself unto them for their compleat happiness.
This blissful fight of God, being quite above our present capacities, we mult needs be much in the dark about it. But it feems to be fomothing else, than the right of that glory, which we will fee with our bodily eyes, in the saints and in the man Chrift, or any other splendor or refulgence
from the Godhead whatsoever : for no created thing can be our chiet good and happiness, nor fully fatisły our souls; and it is plain, that these things are somewhat different from Gidh'n felt. Therefore I conceive, that the souls of the fainis thall see God himself: so the scriptures teach us, that we shall fee face to face, and know even as we ore known, 1 Cor. xiii. 12. And that we shall see him as he is, I Joha ji. 2. Howbeit the faints can never have an adequate conception of God; they cannot comprehend that which is io. finite. Thły may touch the mountain, but cannot graspit in their arms. They cannot with one glance of their eye, behold what grows on every side : but the divine perfections will be an unbounded field, in which the glorified shall walk eternally, seeing more and more of God: lince they can dever come to the end of that which is infinite. They may bring their veffels to this ocean every moment, and fill them with new waters. What a ravishing fight would it be, to fce all the perfections, and lovely qualities, that are scattered here and there among the creatures, gathered together into cne ! but even such a sight would be infinitely below this blit:ful light the faints shall have in heaven. For they shall 1ce God, in whom all these perfections fhall eminently ap. pear, with infinitely more ; whereof there is no veftige to be found in the creature. In him sha! they fee every thing desirable, and nothing but what is defirable.
Then shall they be perfectly satisfied, as to the love of God towards them, which they are now ready to question op every turn. They will be no more fet to persuade them. selves of it, by marks, signs, and testimonies: they will have an intuitive knowledge of it. They shall (with the profoundeft reverence be it spoken) look into the heart of God, and there lee the love he bore to them from all eter. nity, and the love and good-will he will bear to them for
The glorified shall bave a molt clear and distinet understanding of divine truths, tor in his light we ihall see light, Piał. xxxvi. 9; The light of glory will be a compleat commentary on the Bible, and lose all the haid and knotty questions in divinity. There is no joy on earth, comparable to that which arifeth from the discovery of truth; no discovery of truth comparable to the discovery of fcripiure=1781h, made by the Spirit of the Lord unto the fou!. 'I rejoice at thy word, says the Plalmist, as one that findeth great spoil,' Pial. cxix. 162. Yet it is but an imperfect discovery we have of it while here. How ravishing then will it be, to see the opening of the whole treasure, hid in that field! they shall also be let into the understanding of the works of God. The beauiy in the works of creation and providence will then be set in a due light. Natural know'. ledge will be brought to perfection by the light of glory. The web of providence, concerning the church, and all men whatsoever, will then be cut out, and laid before the eyes of the faints, and it will appear a most beautilul mixture; so as they shall say together, on the view of it, he hath done all things well. But, in a special manner, the work of redemption shall be the eternal wonder of the faints, and they will admire and praise the gloricus contrivance for ever. Then shall they get a full view of its suitablene's to the divise perfections, and to the case of finners: and clear. ly read the covenant, that pait betwixt the father and the Son, from all eternity, touching their falvation. They fhall for ever wonder and praise, and praise and wonder at the mysteries of wisdom and love, goodness and holinets, mercy and justice, appearing in the gloricus device. Their fouls Mall be eternally satisfied with the sight of God hini. felf, and of their election by the Father, their redemptica by the Son, and application thereof to them by the Holy Spirit.
2. The faints in heaven shall enjoy God in Christ by ex. perimental knowledge, which is, when the object itself is given and poffeffed. This is the participation of the divir 2 goodness in full measure; which is the perfection of the will, and utmost term thereof. The Lamb fhall lead them unio Jivirg fountains of waters, Rev. vii. 17. These are other but God himself, the fountain of living wate:s, who will fully and freely communicate himselt unto them. Fe will ponr out of his goodness éternally into their fouls :a6:1 then shall they have a most lively sensation, in the innermost part of their souls, of all that goodness they heard of, and believed to be in him; and of what they fee in him by the light of glory. This will be an everlasting practical ex. polition of that word, which men and angels cannot lutt. çiently unfold, to wit, God himseli fali-be their Go,
Rev. xi. 3. God will communicate bimself unto them fully: they will no more be set to talle of the fireams of divine goodnefs in ordinances, as they were wont, but faall drink at the fountain head. They will be no more entertained with sips and drops, but filled with all the fulness of God. And this will be the entertainment of every faint; for though in created things, what is given to one, is withheld from another; yet an infinite good can fully commá. nicate itself to all, and fill all. These who are heirs of God, the great heritage, sall then enter into a full poffeffion of their inheritances : and the Lord will open bis treasures of goodness unto them, that their enjoyment may be full.
They shall not be flinted to any measure: but the enjoyment shall go as far as their enlarged capacities can reach. As a narrow vessel cannot contain the ocean, so oeither can the infioite creature comprehend an infinite good : but do measure shall be set to the enjoyment, but what ariseth from the capacity of the creature. So that, although there bedegrees of glory, yet all Mall be filled, and have what they can hold; though some would be unable to hold more than others, there will be no wint to any of them, all shall be fully satisfied, and perfealy blessed in the full enjoyment of divine goodness, according to their enlarged capacities. As when bottles of different Gzes are filled, some contain more, others lefs ;
; yet all of them have what they can contain, The glorified thall have all, in God, for the satisfaction of all their desires, No created thing can afford fatisfaction to all our desires : clothes may warm us, but they cannot feed us; the light is comfortable, but cannot nourish us. But in God we fhall have all our defires, and we shall defire pothing without him. They shall be the happy ones, that defire nothing but what is truly defirable; and withal bare all they desire, God will be all in all to the faints: he will be their: Ife, health, riches, honour, peace, and all good things. He will communicate himself freely to them: the door of access to him shall never be that again, from one moment. They nay, when they will, take of the fruits of the tree of life, for they will find it on each fide the river, Rev. xxii. 2. There will be no vail betwixt God and them, to be drawn aside ; but his fulness fhall.ever and open to them. No door to kaock at, in heaven; 'do: asking to go
before receiving; the Lord will allow his people an unre. trained familiarity with himself there.
Now they are in part made partakers of the divine nature; but then they shall perfectly partake of it; that is to say, God will communicare to them his own image, make all. his goodness not only pass before them, but pass into them, and stamp the image of all his own perfections upon them so far as the creature is capable to receive the same; from whence ihall result a perfedt likeness to him, in all things in or about them, which completes the happiness of the crea:ture. And this is wbat the Psalmist seems to have had in view Pfal. xvii, 15. I Mall be fatisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness; the perfection of God's image, following upon the beatific vision. And so says Jonn, 1 John iii, 2. We shall be like him; fer we shall see him as he is. Hence there fhall be a moft close and intimate union betwixt God and the faints : God shall be in them, and they in God, in the way of a most glorious and perfect union ; for then shall they dwell in love made perfect God is love, and be that dwelleth in love, dwellesh in God, and God in him, 1 John iv. 16. How will the faiots knit with God, and he with them; : when he shall fee nothing in them but his own image ; when their love shall'arrive at its perfection, no nature, but the divine nature, being left in them, and all imperfection swallowed up in that glorious transformation into the likenefs of God! their love to the Lord being purged from the dross of feif love, shall be molt pure; so as they will love pothing but God, and in God. It shall be no more faint and Janguishing, but burn like coals of juniper. It will be a light without darkness; 'a flaming fire without smoak. As the live coal, when allahe moisture is gone out of it, is all fire ; so will the saints be all love, when they come to the full enjoyment of God in heaven, by intuitive and experimental knowledge of him, by fight and full participation of the divine goodoess.
Lastly, From this glorious presence and enjoyment fhallarise an unspeakable jiny, which the faints shall be filled with. In thy presence is fulness of joy, Pfal. xvi. 11 The saints sometimes enjoy God in the world, when their eyes being held, that they cannot perceive it, they have not the com. fort of the enjoyment; but then, all mistakes being remo