« PředchozíPokračovat »
• mong Angels and Archangels, after having made a propitiation for the fins of mankind.
With how much skill must the throne of God « be erected ? With what glorious designs is that " habitation beautified, which is contrived and built
by him who inspired Hiram with wisdom? How
great must be the majesty of that place, where • the whole art of creation has been employed, 6 and where God has chosen to Thew himself in the • most magnificent manner? What must be the • architecture of infinite power under the direction
of infinite wisdom? A spirit cannot but be trans• ported after an ineffable manner with the sight of · those objects, which were made to affect him by • that Being who knows the inward frame of a • soul, and how to please and ravish it in all its ' most secret powers and faculties. It is to this
majestic presence of God, we may apply those • beautiful expressions in holy writ: Behold even to * the moon, and it shineth, net; yea the stars are not
pure in his fight. The light of the fun, and all • the glories of the world in which we live, are * but as weak and fickly glimmerings, or rather dark(ness itself, in comparison of those splendours
which encompass the throne of God. • As the glory of this place is transcendent beyond imagination, so probably is the extent of * it. There is light behind light, and glory within
glory. How far that space may reach, in which - God thus appears in perfect majesty, we cannot
poffibly conceive. Though it is not infinite, it
may be indefinite ; and though not immeasurable ' in itself, it may be so with regard to any created
eye or imagination. If he has made these lower
regions of matter so inconceivably wide and mag• nificent for the habitation of mortal and perisha- ble beings, how great may we suppose the courts
of his house to be, where he makes his residence ' in a more especial manner, and displays himVOL. VIII.
self in the fulness of his glory, among an innu- merable company of angels, and spirits of juft
men made perfect ?
• This is certain, that our imaginations cannot 6 be raised too high, when we think on a place 16 where omnipotence and omniscience have fo fig
nally exerted themselves, because that they are wt able to produce a scene infinitely more great and
glorious than what we are able to imagine. It is not impossible but at the consummation of all
things, these outward apartments of nature, \ which are now suited to those beings who inhabit
them, may be taken in and added to that glorious place of which I am here speaking ; and by that means made a proper habitation for beings who are exempt from inortality, and cleared of their
imperfections : For fo the Scripture seems to in- timate, when it speaks of new heavens and of a
new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. • I have only considered this glorious place with regard to the fight and imagination, though it is • highly probable that our other senses may here s likewise enjoy their highest gratifications. There ' is nothing which more ravishes and transports
the foul, than harmony ; and we have great rea' fon to believe, from the descriptions of this place
in holy fcripture, that this is one of the entertainments of it.
And if the soul of man can be so wonderfully affected with those strains of music, • which human art is capable of producing, how
much more will it be raised and elevated by those, • in which is exerted the whole power of harmony! • The senses are faculties of the human soul, tho'
they cannot be employed, during this our vital 'union, without proper instruments in the body. Why therefore should we exclude the fatisfaction
of thele faculties, which we find by experience are inlets of great pleasure to the foul, from among those entertainments which are to make
up our happiness hereafter? Why should we . fuppofe that our hearing and seeing will not be • gratified with those objects which are most agree• able to them, and which they cannot meet with • in these lower regions of nature ; objects, which ! neither eye hath feen nor ear heard, nor can it en
ter into the heart of man to conceive! I knew a
man in Christ' (says St. Paul speaking of himself) • above fourteen years ago (whether in the body, I
cannot tell, or whether out of the body I cannot tell :
God knoweth) such a one caught up to the third • heaven.' And I knew such a man (whether in " the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell : God.' • knoweth) how that he was caught up into paradise, ' and heard unspeakable words, which it is not posible for a man to utter. By this is meant that what
he heard was so infinitely different from any thing & which he had heard in this world, that it was im
poffible to express it in such words, as might con· vey a notion of it to his hearers:
natural for us to take delight in enquiries concerning any foreign country, where we are some time or other to make our abode ; and
as we all hope to be admitted into this glorious * place, it is both a laudable and useful curiosity,
a what informations we can of it, while we make use of revelation for our guide. When • these everlasting doors shall be open to us, we
may be sure that the pleasures and beauties of this place will infinitely transcend our present hopes and expectations, and that the glorious appearance of the throne of God will rise infinite.
ly beyond whatever we are able to conceive of it. "We might here entertain ourselves with many
other speculations on this subject, from those fe• veral hints which we find of it in the Holy Scriptures ;
as whether there may not be different • manfions and apartments of glory, to beings of * different natures; whether as they excel one ano
• It is
• ther in perfection, they are not admitted nearer « to the throne of the Almighty, and enjoy greato • er manifestations of his presence ; whether there
are not folemn times and occasions, when all the · multitude of heaven celebrate the presence of their Maker in more extraordinary forms of • praise and adoration ; as Adam, though he had • continued in a state of innocence, would, in the • opinion of our divines, have kept holy the Sab. • bath Day, in a more particular manner than any • other of the seven. . These, and the like fpecula• tions, we may very innocently indulge, so long
as we make use of them to inspire us with a • defire of becoming inhabitants of this delightful place.
I have in this, and in two foregoing letters, • treated on the most serious subject that can em
ploy the mind of man, the Omnipresence of the < Deity; a subject which, if possible, should never
depart from our meditations. We have confi. • dered the Divine Being, as he inhabits infinitude,
as he dwells among his works, as he is present
to the inind of man, and as he discovers himself a in a more glorious manner among the regions of • the blest. Such a confideration should be kept < awake in us at all times, and in all places, and
poffefs our minds with a perpetual awe and reverence.
It should be interroven with all our thoughts and perceptions, and become one with • the consciousness of our own being. It is not to o be reflected on in the coldness of philosophy, but
ought to fink us into the lowest prostration before him, who is so astonishingly great, wonderful, and holy.'
MONDAY, AUGUST 16.
Sunt bona, funt quædam mediocria, funt mala plura Quæ legis
MART. Epig. xvii. 1. 1. : Some good, more bad, fome neither one nor
t'other. Am at present fitting with a heap of letters be
fore me, which I have received under the cha. racter of SPECTATOR; I have complaints from lovers, schemes from projectors, scandal from la. dies, congratulations, compliments, and advice in abundance.
I have not been thus long an author, to be infenfible of the natural fondness every person must have for their own productions ; -and I begin to think I have treated my correspondents a little too uncivilly in stringing them all together on a file, and letting them lie fo long unregarded. I shall therefore, for the future, think myself at least obliged : to take notice of such letters as I receive, and may poffibly do it at the end of every month. :
In the mean time, I intend my prefent paper as a fhort answer to most of those which have been already sent me...::
The public however is not to expect I should let: them into all my secrets; and though I appear abstruse to most people, it is sufficient if I am understood by my particular correspondents.
My well-wisher Van Nath is very arch, but not quite enough fo to appear in princ.
Pbiladelphus will, in a little tine, see his query fully answered, by a treatise which is now in the prels.
It was very improper at that time to comply with Mr. G...