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the truth of the eternal Three are engaged in bringing me there. Lead on, thou Spirit of truth, and give me grace to follow, until thou "bring me to thy holy hill and to thy tabernacles."*
*Psalm xliii. 3.
THE CHRISTIAN LEARNING THE SONGS OF HEAVEN ON EARTH.
REV. VII. 14.
66 THESE ARE THEY WHICH CAME OUT OF GREAT TRIBULATION, AND HAVE WASHED THEIR ROBES, AND MADE THEM WHITE IN THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB."
We have already enquired into the doctrine of Scripture respecting the state of the Christian as an heir of heaven, and that doctrine we found to be as follows. The Christian is an heir of God by virtue of his adoption to be a son of God. " If children, then heirs ;" God, as a gracious Father, not only permits his reconciled children to approach his presence and to hold communion with him, but reinstates
them in all their forfeited privileges as heirs. And as their adoption is of grace, so also is their heirship. Heaven is not received as a right meritoriously earned, but an inheritance freely bestowed. And the grounds on which it is bestowed are the merits of Christ. The Christian is
an heir of God," because he is "a joint heir with Christ." Pardon and eternal life go together as "the gifts of God through Jesus Christ our Lord." But the Christian, as an heir of heaven, is not left destitute until the time comes for him to take possession of his inheritance. The Holy Spirit is given him as the seal, earnest, and foretaste of the inheritance. In his gracious influences heaven begins on earth in the believer's heart. He has present "joy and peace in believing," and he "abounds in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost."* The present purity, peace, and joy that he experiences, is not only a foretaste of that blessedness which
* Rom. xv. 13.
the redeemed shall hereafter enjoy, but an earnest to him personally, that he shall one day come into complete possession. What a wonderful position then is that of the Christian, when considered as an heir of heaven! Born from above, yet carrying about with him "a body of sin and death,' bearing within him "the incorruptible seed which liveth and abideth for ever;' * yet daily drawing nearer to corruption and the worm; an heir of glory, but laden with infirmities, disfigured with inconsistencies, perhaps pining in want and pain; yet again cheered with the consolations of God, and dignified with the hope of immortality; he presents a paradox which can only be described in the words of St. Paul," as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold he lives; as chastened, and not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things."† This is the view which we are to take of him † 2 Cor. vi. 9, 10.
* 1 Pet. i. 23.
to-day in accordance with the last words of the dying pastor, "I AM A CHRISTIANWHAT THEN? Why I am an heir of heaven, hastening on to join the full choir of the glorified ones who are singing the Song of Moses and the Lamb, and surely I ought to learn that song on earth." We proceed then to consider the manner in which the Christian learns that song on earth, which he will one day sing without one jarring note in heaven, and this we shall do by marking the contrast which the passage before us presents between the present and future condition of the Christian as an heir of heaven. When one of the elders had enquired of the wondering John, "What are these which are arrayed in white robes, and whence came they?" And when the Apostle had referred his own question back to himself, he thus answered it, "These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." Here he speaks of their former condition