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men's works; but he will publicly scrutinize them to show to the universe the justice of his administration and the rectitude of his whole procedure.
Nor is that arrangement in any way opposed, in its spirit or tendency, to the doctrine of salvation by grace. For, when God bestows a reward
his people, it is not a meritorious compensation for their labours, nor anything to which they have a legal claim ; it is a superadded gift, exhibited as an encouragement to activity and conferred as a mark of his approbation. And those who receive the greatest reward will most deeply feel their eternal obligations to divine mercy and redeeming love; and they will be loudest in the song of praise which shall resound for ever in the heavenly temple. With sentiments of adoring gratitude and the profoundest humility they
Unto him that loved us, and washed as from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to bim be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” All the redeemed will trace their salvation to one common source; and like so many stars irradiated by the sun, they will, each in his appropriate orbit and with different degrees of lustre, revolve round the great centre through an eternal duration.
ON THE PREPARATIVES REQUISITE TO THE ENJOYMENT
OF THE HAPPINESS OF THE FUTURE STATE.
Those who have considered the subject with any measure of attention, will scarcely need to be reminded, that the pleasures and pursuits of the heavenly state, however pure and elevated, cannot be enjoyed by men who are under the uncontrolled influence of evil passions. There is nothing in it suited to their nature ; and their principles and habits and feelings are such, that they could have no intercourse with beings who are perfectly holy.
This painful and humiliating fact renders it indispensable, tha tthey should undergo a radical change of heart. A partial one which might rectify the grosser parts of the conduct, and some of the more erroneous sentiments of the mind, would not cure the evil ; nor could it qualify the subject of it for the exercises in which redeemed men shall engage in the next stage of their existence. The individual must be quickened to a new life; his lost capacity for spiritual improvement must be restored ; and as soon as it is restored, the soul exhibits an upward tendency; and it constantly aspires after complete resemblance to the character of God himself. From that moment
the process of preparation for the enjoyment of future felicity begins; and as the principle of spiritual life gains strength, the individual grows in fitness for the society and employments of the heavenly state. The elements of that life are infused into the soul by the Holy Spirit when he opens the mind to receive the truth, and it must be fostered and brought to maturity by the same Almighty Agent.
This, however, is but a very general statement of the subject. It will be requisite, therefore, to illustrate it somewhat more fully; for the change of which I have been speaking is but the germ of the principles and feelings and habits which constitute the christian character.
First, The first and most important of these, is love to God.
The influence of that holy principle is felt immediately after the truth is believed ; and it may be defined to be, a supreme regard for him and a holy admiration of the excellencies of his character. It is not a selfish principle produced by the experience of the goodness which he has manifested in an endless variety of ways to his creatures, it is an emotion which springs from the contemplation of his attributes ; and although it may, in some circumstances, and to a certain extent, be modified by the experience of his goodness, it does not depend upon his goodness alone for its existence. That could not give rise to an emotion so pure as it is felt to be ; an emo. tion in virtue of which the gifts are considered to be the minor things, and which makes the individual who feels it, value them chiefly as they indicate the dispositions and gracious designs of the Giver. It is in a great measure through them, indeed, that our knowledge of him is obtained ; and however valuable the gifts may be in themselves, and however well they may be fitted to bring happiness to those on whom they are conferred, supreme love to the Giver must be felt before they can be properly appreciated, or the pleasure enjoyed wbich they are fitted to yield. It is therefore, of necessity, disinterested in its nature ; and it terminates upon him as the only object worthy of supreme regard—as the fountain of all good.
That was the great, the predominating passion in the mind of man while he remained in the state in which he was created. It constituted the principle of the divine life in his soul ; it was the main-spring of his obedience and the chief element of his happiness. While he was governed by it and felt its benign influence, his mind naturally tended towards God as the source of all his enjoyment, and he had kindred feelings with other and higher orders of beings in whose nature it subsisted in perfection.
That principle, however, was destroyed when he committed the first act of transgression, and one which gave a contrary tendency to all the affections and desires of the soul occupied its place. The change which took place in the state of his mind, and which
is indicated by the phrase “ spiritual death,” did not consist in the destruction of any of his powers; it consisted in giving them a wrong direction, and in imparting to them an impulse in that direction which no human agency could counteract. When that was done all the emotions resulting from their proper exercise were completely destroyed; and though his faculties as an intelligent being were unimpairedexcept in as far as prejudice and a body weakened by the effects of sin may be supposed to impair themhe became unfit for spiritual exercises and indisposed to all the pursuits from which he formerly derived his enjoyment. The principle of spiritual life was extinguished ; love to God resigned its control over the operations and desires of his mind; and he became a depraved, miserable being. He then shunned the presence of his Maker ; he could not approach him with confidence; and he felt in his heart the ranklings of an enmity which, though it had not then developed itself in all its forms, prevented the delightful intercourse with God which he previously enjoyed.
That was not the result of a penal infliction singly --for though he had been permitted to remain in the place where he spent the days of his innocence and held uninterrupted converse with his Maker, the state of his mind would have been the same—it was the necessary result of his own voluntary act; a result which must have been felt and manifested in any locality, and in any circumstances in which he