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Thirdly, Men's thoughts shall then be brought into judgment. The Judge will "make manifest the counsels of the hearts." 1 Cor. iv. 5. Thoughts go free from man's judgment, but not from the judgment of the heart-searching God, who knows men's thoughts, without the help of signs to discern them by. The secret springs of men's actions will then be brought to light; and the sins, that never came further than the heart, will then be laid open. O what a figure will man's corrupt nature make, when his inside is turned out, and all his speculative impurities are exposed! The rottenness that is in many a whited sepulchre, the speculative filthiness and wantonness, murder and malignity, now lurking in the hearts of men, as in the chambers of imagery, will then be discovered; and what was good in the hearts of any, shall no more lie concealed. If it was in their hearts to build a house to the Lord, they shall hear that" they did well that it was in their hearts."
Then shall the Judge pronounce that blessed sentence on the saints: "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." Matt. xxv. 24. It is most probable, the man Christ Jesus will pronounce it with an audible voice; which not only all the saints, but all the wicked likewise, shall hear and understand.
The Judge shall pronounce the sentence of damnation on all the ungodly multitude. "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels." Fearful doom! and that from the same mouth, from whence proceeded the sentence of absolution before! It was an aggravation of the misery of the Jews, when their city was destroyed, that they were ruined by one who was accounted the darling of the world. O! what an aggravation of the misery of the wicked will it be, that He shall pronounce this sentence also! To hear the curse from Mount Zion, must needs be terrible; to be damned by Him who came to save sinners, must be double damnation! But thus it shall be. The Lamb of God shall roar as a lion against them; he shall excommunicate, and cast them out of his presence for ever, by a sentence from the throne, saying, "Depart from me, ye cursed." He shall adjudge them to everlasting fire,
and the society of devils, for evermore. And this sentence, also, we suppose, shall be pronounced with an audible voice, by the man Christ. And all the saints shall say, "Hallelujah! true and righteous are his judgments!"
Lastly, Sentence being passed on both parties, then follows the execution of the same. "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal." The damned shall get no reprieve, but go to their place without delay; they shall be driven from the judgment-seat into hell; and the saints shall enter into the King's palace, (Ps. lxv. 15) namely, into heaven, the seat of the blessed. Boston.
"Christian" having now passed the ordeal of his examination before the Judge of all the world, and having heard a long catalogue of crimes charged upon him; he sees, on the one hand, Justice demanding his blood; but on the other he sees Mercy pointing to the inscription over the judgment-seat-Redemption THROUGH MY BLOOD. Justice is satisfied, and "Christian" is acquitted. Let the verdict now be recorded in the annals of the court of heaven-Pardoned through my Blood, And now, O happy happy Christian! hear the remainder of thy sentence; and thrice happy are the ears that shall ever hear it-Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
Of this kingdom we can form but very imperfect ideas, none having come back to tell us what they have seen. Tell us, then, O ye happy saints, who are already in possession of heaven, tell us what are your natures, what your character, what your pleasures, and what your employments.
Tell me what thou seest.
I see, the Christian cried, an heaven and earth,
I see, descending from the throne of God,
No house of prayer; in every heart is built
generous and potential, that no pain
Or ailment, but there finds its ready cure:
"And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.
And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;
The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.
And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl; and the street of the city was of pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
And I saw no temple therein; for the Lord God Almighty, and the Lamb, are the temple of it.
And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it; for the glory of God did lighten it, and the lamb is the light thereof.
And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie; but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life."
Rev. xxi. 10, 19–23. 27.
In every constellation we behold,
These phrases literally point to some celestial situation superlatively eminent. Both prophetic and evangelical writers pourtray the state of the blessed in strains of the sublimest eloquence. The
power of language is exhausted in gathering together, on this interesting theme, all that is great and glorious, in art and nature. To convey, in adequate terms, some conception of the heavenly excellence, no epithets are too strong, no colours too vivid, no metaphors too emphatical. It is called Canaan, which was the glory of all lands. The New Jerusalem, from the metropolis of Judea, which was then, in the opinion of the natives at least, the most famous in the world. The temple, in allusion to that of the Jews, where the symbols of the Divine glory were visibly displayed; and the holy of holies, into which none but the high-priest was permitted to enter, and where daily intercession was solemnly made for the people. It bears, also, the more familiar name of a housea house of many mansions-our father's house-a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens; a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God; an inheritance undefiled, a throne of glory, a crown of righteousness, and the Paradise of God. These characters, of such pre-eminent distinction, suggest this important and consolatory truth, that the ultimate rewards of the good are competent alike to all the desires of the human heart, and that our natural taste for excellence of all kinds, both material and spiritual, shall, in the happy regions of immortality, be equally gratified.
Heaven is certainly described in very grand and sublime language. It is called an inheritance, a paradise, a kingdom, a sacred palace of many bright mansions. We read of white robes, and crowns, and thrones, and golden harps; yet though these figurative expressions convey bright ideas, they are not the best ideas of heaven. The immediate and glorious presence of our gracious Lord and Redeemer, gives the felicity of the saints above its peculiar character and chief excellency: to this, ancient patriarchs and prophets, apostles, and Christians of every age, have directed their eyes, as the great object of their hopes, and the summit of their de sires. Job says, "I know that my Redeemer liveth, and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God." David exclaims, "Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth I desire besides thee, My heart and my