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the organ of expression to the mind and heart, and it is in ministering to them that its satisfaction is found. But there each member of the body in the service of God finds a sphere worthy of itself, in which, as it prostrates itself before the Eternal, it breathes forth the convictions of the mind and the affections of the heart.
But underlying all, it is there that the liberty of man is found as the will is surrendered up to God . . . There, where temptation is unknown, it is the law of their life to obey God and to know that it is the height of man's dignity and happiness, in action, word, and thought, to lose himself in God. Oh the blessed rest of God's service when once the veil is lifted and we are with God in heaven!
Brothers, it is towards such a life we are pressing, a life where humanity shall be beautified with the beauty of God, a life where humanity shall be glorified with the glory that is reflected on it from the everlasting Light. It is
a life in which the powers of humanity are perfectly developed, and, thus developed, are fully satisfied; a life the very instinct of which is the service of God, where temptation is unknown and weariness no more besets our path; a life of one unending day, of one unclouded happiness, of one unceasing joy. Who would not sacrifice all that time and sense can offer to such a life as this? Who would not bid a long farewell to the miserable vanities and the perishable prizes of earth, to lay hold on a life so grand and so ennobling?
G. BODY, "THE LIFE OF JUSTIFICATION."
Now of the result of that great overthrow, the new heavens and new earth which are to come forth at God's command from the ruins of the old, what have we to say? But little, for God has told us but little. "It doth not yet appear what we shall be." It could not yet appear. The mortal cannot comprehend immortality, nor the corruptible conceive of incorruption. The language which foretells these changes becomes
Beside the Waters of Comfort.
accordingly mystic and symbolical. The vision of a city whose gates are precious stones and whose streets are gold, that needs not the light of the sun nor the moon, through whose streets flows a mystic river by whose banks grows a mystic tree of life-what does it tell us save that the language which men speak on earth has no words in which it were possible to reveal the joys of heaven? Nay, even those words which seem most intelligible, those which tell us rather what we shall not be than what we shall be—that there shall be no sin, naught that defileth, no curse; that sorrow and sighing shall flee away, and God himself wipe away all tears from all eyes-even these, when we ponder on them, seem full of mystery; for with the vanishing away of all that is evil it seems to us there must also vanish much that is good. There are many of the noblest elements of goodness that seem impossible save as existing in antagonism to evil. To say there shall be no evil in the world seems to be equivalent to saying there shall be no pity, no mercy, no benevolence, no fortitude,
no courage, no self-sacrifice, that is, it seems to say that, though this life be our preparation for another, yet that some of the very chiefest of the lessons we shall have learned here shall be useless there. All this may serve to show us that a condition of pure and unmixed good, of which we talk so familiarly, is really quite as inconceivable as, perhaps more so than, one of unmixed evil, and that heaven is quite as great a mystery as hell.
One thought, however, respecting our future life we can with some distinctness grasp; it is the one suggested in our text (Psa. 9: 6), namely, that it must be a state of infinite progress; a life not, as we too often think of it, of progress arrested, a life in which humanity, once and once for all perfected, has before it only an eternity of virtuous repose; but rather one of intense and incessant activity. The promise of eternal life necessarily implies this, for life is something more than mere existence. Life, in its truest meaning, is the highest and happiest manner of being; it is existence, with every
power of our nature in its fullest, freest exercise. Whatever falls short of this, whatever checks or restrains any one faculty of our nature, whatever of weariness or weakness there be in us, comes from the imperfection of our life, comes from its invasion in some measure by its great antagonist, death. And so we call it “this mortal life." This life, whose every breath, whose every movement, is one-half death-for such a life rest is essential, because the waste of it is incessant. But the very idea of a perfect life, that knows no strife with death, that needs to defend itself against no destruction, to repair no waste, implies, not eternal repose, but eternal activity. It means the existence of a spiritual, intelligent, immortal creature, whose whole being, whose every power and faculty, lives, intensely lives, in the glorious activity in which perpetual service and perpetual rest are one. "They rest, saith the Spirit, from their labors." And yet "they cease not day or night," proclaiming by all the unwearied actings of their glorified natures, saying, with the eternal hymn