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deemed, and in the augmented glory and blessedness of God. And what must not such a world as heaven tell us, in respect to the reasons of all the great events in the universe of things ! Why does evil exist? Could it have been prevented ? If so, why was it not prevented? Why is there a world of punishment? Why are not all zen holy and happy ? Queries like these are much agitated here. How delightful to know, that they will soon be settled, and brethren in the common salvation will disagree no more about them! Heaven mil solve these mysteries. It is a world of light. In this point of FEB. can we not realize, even here, somewhat of its blessedness :
3. In that world we shall enjoy intimate communion with holy nad eralted beings like ourselves. No matter if we cannot now coderstand the medium of this intercourse. It will be as much more perfect than our present communion with one another, as beaven is higher than earth. The pure interchange of love here, how delightful! The domestic affections when sustained by virtue, how deep a fountain of joy! But above, there will be one family, and among all the members of it there will be inutual offices of love, (for we shall not be inactive there,) mutual instruction, mutual endeavors to advance each other's elevation in the scale of intelligence, holiness, and happiness. It is a sublime thought, that there we shall love all the saints so perfectly, that our gratitude for their salvation will be as strong, probably, as for our own; for we shall there love them in the same degree that We love ourselves. How delightful an emotion is gratitude even for our own mercies ! What will it be when our gratitude embraces all the myriads of the redeemed ! The mind sinks under the thought. But something of the blessedness of that world, as inferred from this fact, can be realized here.
4. There is also direct communion of soul with God. Even here, in the present life, there is such a thing. It is not fanaticism. The bible reveals it. Thousands and thousands have enjoyed it. * The light of God's countenance” denotes not merely that we commune with him, but that he also communes with us; giving us, by the influence of his Spirit, the sweet peace of feeling that he loves us. Now, if it be so here, what will it be hereafter? Though we shall never be able to look directly on the unveiled essence of God, yet that happy sense of his favor, some foretastes of which are enjoyed here, will become in another world a thousand times more intimate and endearing. We shall not merely pour out our souls before him ; we shall also receive from him the enrapturing tokens of his perfect approbation and love. O, what mingled emotions of awe, of admiration, of thankfulness, of devoted attachment, will these awaken! And as we approach the throne of the crucified and risen Redeemer, and look on him whom we have pierced, how shall we love, and wonder, and praise, in
ecstasies before unknown! Is this visionary? No, it is trut) truth in the nature of things; plain, undoubted, necessary trut The apocalyptic representations on this subject are not more su lime, and delightful to the imagination, than accordant with tl nature and necessity of the case. The holiness and the oblig tions of the redeemed, must create the blessedness of heaven.
5. The saved will be making eternal progress in their blesse ness. There will not only be the sense that their blessedness w never have an end,--though how great the idea !—but there w also be eternal expansion in knowledge, and capacity for enjo ment. Though this is not matter of direct revelation, yet it seen certain from the nature of the mind, and from what takes plac in this world. Here, increasing knowledge imparts increasin power to the faculties; they are enabled to take a wider range to embrace a continually expanding circle of objects, and course to drink in a larger measure of happiness. Compare, i this respect, the mind of Newton as employed in settling and de fining some of the great principles of physical science, with th earlier operations of the same mind in its school-boy exercises, in the first dawn of its powers. Now, if there is such an expansio of the intellect here, we are forbidden to suppose aught else but tha this expansion will continue, and be ever growing, in the world 1 come. How glorious an idea! And does it not aid us in under standing the blessedness of that world? Does it not serve to giv reality to the delightful pictures of the sacred writers, touching tha blessedness?
Such are some of the distinct views, (low, indeed, and imper fect,) which we could wish to have had Mr. Philip set before those o his readers who might plead, that the indefiniteness of heavenly joys was a sufficient reason for neglecting to contemplate them. In taking such views as the foregoing, the mind might be greatly aide by means of the positive institutions of the gospel, particularly the Lord's Supper. “This do in remembrance of me,” is a highly significant injunction of our dying Lord. Memory, in such a scene, may greatly assist our conceptions of the future. It is pre-eminently at the foot of the cross, and with the symbols of the crucifixion before us, that we are made to realize the joys within the vail, and to anticipate the glory to be revealed. Nor is there any thing wild or fanciful in this. The thing wanted is a stronger faith, a deeper sense of eternal things. But where shall this state of mind be obtained so effectually as in the sanctuary, on the sabbath, and under all the hallowed influences of the sacramental ordinance ? Other and more private means are, indeed, not to be neglected; such as the reading of the scriptures, meditation and secret pray
But, to a truly devout mind, the most impressive, the most solemn, the most efficacious mode, of contemplating the future
world, is through the medium of communing at the Lord's table. There we feel ourselves within a hallowed circle of objects: the world is shut out: things unseen and eternal, (brought nigh by sensible signs,) exert their best influence upon the soul. And when we reflect, at the table of Christ, that possibly some of our little band are celebrating their last communion on earth, preparatory to their being introduced to the marriage supper of the Lamb, how much does that thought tend to realize heaven to us, to annihilate the seeming distance, and to bring us up to the very threshold of the eternal temple! On this subject Mr. P. has the blowing affecting remark
Well; our last sacrament will come: it may come soon! And, bould we know it to be our last, we shall feel it to be very solemn. We shall feel, as if light from eternity were the covering of the table ; as is a hand from eternity set out and served the sacred emblems ; as da coice from eternity uttered the welcome, “ Eat, О friends : drink, O beloved;" as if echoes from eternity repeated the closing hymn,
'Tis done; the great transaction's done!"' p. 141. And now will our serious readers allow us, in conclusion, to suggest a thought or two directly to them, growing out of our subject, and designed to give it a specific application to themselves. We need, dear brethren, the influence of the future world to keep us right, and help us in our trials. The power of sensible objects to draw us off from God, is well known. We Deed something to counteract it, and carry us above it. And where shall we find what we all so much need? We have no such independent strength of principle, as to be able to resist the torrent of the world's influence, without the aid of eternal things. These God has revealed and set before us for this purpose, that they night be for our strength and support. True, they are as yet within the vail ;" but they are not the less, on that account, relities; and faith can penetrate that vail, and bring back encourzgement and joy to our hearts, from the things which lie within it. Our duties and our trials require such aid. The spirit of the age requires it. Much needs to be done for Christ before “ all people ball serve him," and in order to the bringing about of that end. Besides, are we really candidates for the eternal world, and is that sorld to be to us the world of glory? How ought we to be living ? What spirit ought we to cherish? What line of conduct ought we to pursue? 0, there is a fitness in our looking forward and conemplating our home and our inheritance on high. How strange
be incongruity of being candidates for heaven, and yet, in the premailing views of our minds and feelings of our hearts, cleaving to le earth! Let us do away this strange incongruity. If our path
here lies heavenward, if our hopes terminate and center on i blessed world, let us strive to catch more of its spirit here, show by a holy congeniality of character, and an habitual sense our happy lot, that our faith on earth is the faith of life, and hopes on earth are the sure earnests of immortality.
ART. V.-MEMOIRS OF Rev. GEORGE WHITEFIELD. Memoirs of Rev. George Whitefield: By John Gillies. D. D. Revised :
corrected, with large additions and improvements; to which is appended, extensive collection of his Sermons and other writings. New-Haven; W) more & Buckingham and H. Mansfield; 1034.
On the list of those whose lives and labors adorned the chur of Christ during the eighteenth century, no name can be fou more deserving of grateful recollection, than that of GEORI WHITEFIELD. His incredible exertions and unparaleled succes form an era in the history of evangelical religion ; bis preachir gave the first impulse to that progressive revival of genuine piet which has now been going on in England for nearly a century while his name will never cease to be associated, in this country with the most glorious work of grace ever enjoyed by the Ameri can churches.
Yet, among all the worthies of the past age, no man, we ventur to say, has been so unfortunate in his biographer, as Whitefield A well written life of such a man, a moral portrait drawn by one of a kindred spirit, who had enjoyed a personal intimacy with it subject, and could, therefore, unfold to us the secret of his wonderful influence over the minds of others, and the causes which united to form his remarkable character ;—such a legacy, inberited from some of his cotemporaries, would have been an invaluable treasure to the church. We hardly know of a subject finer in its adaptation for those nice and delicate touches which evince an accurate discrimination of character, and develop the manner in which the chords of human sympathy are wrought upon, and the heart is reached, than a careful analysis of the life and labors of this most successful servant of Christ. It would be an admirable study for every minister of the gospel, and is intimately connected with the great subject of revivals of religion at the present day.
But, unhappily, we have have no such memorial of Whitefield. Among all who might have attempted to give us such a work, no one could be found, perhaps, who was less qualified for the undertaking, than Dr. Gillies, bis actual biographer. As a record of facts, a mere compilation of portions of his journals and letters, with some additional remarks on his character and labors, it is not without its value. But there is a lamentable want of clear arrangement, and of any attempt to illustrate the great principles
of Whitefield's preaching and intercourse with others, and the saracter and circumstance of the age on which he was called to ut. In addition to this, the style of Dr. Gillies is dry and feeble; and we do not, therefore, wonder that the volume, notwithstanding the claims of such a man as Whitefield on public notice, has sunk away into neglect; and that so little is known of him, even among the descendants of those who listened with rapture and breathless attention to his thrilling eloquence.
But, since we must submit for the present to the want of a new and original life of Whitefield, we rejoice that an improved edizion of Dr. Gillies' memoirs is now offered to the christian public. Some important additions, besides the sermons now for the first time connected with the life, have been made to the former work. The most valuable of these are in notes and observations, accompanying an edition of the memoirs by a Mr. Seymour of Philadelphia, in 1812; besides a number of pages derived from Southey's life of Wesley, and Jay's life of Winter; the latter of which supplies several striking facts, which are intimately connected with the development of character in this extraordinary man. The present edition is much enhanced in value, by the partial advance which has been made, in supplying the defects of the original work. This was all that was intended by the editor of the volume. Nothing like a new and original work was contemplated; and it is, accordingly, just what it professes to be, a modi. fication, merely, of the original work of Dr. Gillies. We should ourselves bave preferred an entirely new work, derived from all the authentic sources at command, incorporating an accurate selection from his journals, letters, and other writings, with a particular reference to an exhibition of the most striking points of his character, and the claims which Whitefield has upon the admiration and gratitude of men. But as this seems not to be hoped for at present, we embrace with pleasure the opportunity of pointing our readers to the volume before us; and we would urge upon the friends of evangelical religion, especially, and of revivals of religion, a careful contemplation of the life and labors of such a man. We had hoped, before this time, to have seen a work forthcoming from the English press, entitled “ the Life and times of Whitefield,” by Robert Philip, of Maberly Chapel, from whom, to judge from some of his writings, already before the christian pablic, we may expect a volume of more than ordinary interest. Materials
, we doubt not, do somewhere exist, for a life of Whitefield, characterized by a closer attention to the great principles of illustrative biography, than is found in the present work; but, neglected as the undertaking has been for so long a time, we almost Tespair of ever seeing such a portraiture as we could wish, of the greatest preacher in the English language.