« PredošláPokračovať »
the almost total abolition of his worship, ip families and in societies. And this may be also a day of mourning and humiliation when we survey the calamities of war, and the ravages of disease; when we call to remembrance the many thousands of our countrymen who have perished, during the present year, on the shores of the enemy
Let this nation, therefore, as soon as she hath lifted
the voice of thanksgiving for all her unmerited blessings, extend her arms as a suppliant, and intreat the divine forgiveness for her sin. If we would now enter into a holy resolution to serve the Lord ; if we would now resolve to abstain from every public violation of his positive law; to keep his Sabbaths, to repair, at the appointed season, to his holy temples, and to observe his holy worship; they might we expect a continuance of his most gracious favour, and a prolongation of those mercies which we have so solemnly been recounting on this day ;-then might we hope that the Jubilee which we have celebrated, would become an era of new blessings, and be long held in grateful remembrance by the nation,
THE HEAVENLY JUBILEE,
PREACHED ON THE
THURSDAY AFTER THE THANKSGIVING DAY.
Rev. xix. 9.
“ Blessed are they which are call" ed to the marriage supper of the Lamb.”
E ye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither “ have entered into the heart of man, THE
THINGS which God hath prepared for them “ that luve him." . This passage, in the New Testament, descriptive of the heavenly felicity, is derived from the following sublime expressions of the prophet Isaiah ;
“ for, since the beginning of the world, men have not heard
* 1 Cor. ii, 9.
nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen (O God, beside thee !) what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.”
To two of the sons of men, however, it was given, before the canon of scripture had closed, to witness “ what eye hath not seen, nor
ear heard;" namely, to him who was designated by our Lord a CHOSEN VESSEL; and to that favoured servant who was called the BELOVED DISCIPLE. The first was the Apostle Paul, of whom Christ said that he should be
a chosen vessel to him to bear his name be. “ fore the Gentiles :" + The other was the Evangelist John, who is mentioned as “ the
disciple whom Jesus LoVED." I
When the Apostle of the Gentiles was, on a certain occasion, vindicating his divine mission, he noticed the manifestation which had been made to him, " I will come," saith he, u to visions and revelations of the Lord. I « knew a man in Christ, about fourteen years
ago; such an one caught up to the third 6 heaven.”
And I knew such a man, (he uses this form of speech, that he might not say,
in express words, that he had been counted worthy of such an honour) I knew such a man, how that he was “ caught up into PARA“ DISE, and heard unspeakable words, which it * Isa. Ixiv. 4.
+ Acts ix. 15. | John xxi. 20.
(6 is not lawful for a man to utter. Of such an for one will I glory; yet of myself, I will not “ glory." * And this is all that the Apostle was permitted to say of the “ revelations of 66 the Lord.”
It hath been noticed as some argument for the truth of our Saviour's mission, that he only speaks generally of the glory of heaven, and doth not (like those earthly prophets, who have sometimes deluded men) give a particular description of the invisible world. Our Lord knew that no words could convey to the mind of man, the meaning of the things to be spoken of; and that any words might convey false impressions to his imperfect understanding. Nor, it may be, was it fitting, or lawful, as the Apostle expresses it, to open to the view of a profane world, that glory which many might behold with indifference or contempt. Enough hath been said in Scripture, of “ the glory that « shall be revealed,” for the excitement of faith and hope.
The same character belongs to the exprestions of St. Paul, in regard to the heavenly scene which he witnessed. He doth not de. scribe particulars. “ He was caught up into “ paradise," but he only saith, that he heard “UNSPEAKABLE WORDS, which it is not lawful” (or it is not possible) “ for a man to utter.” This
2 Cor. xii. 4.