Parish Papers eBook

Norman Macleod
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 266 pages of information about Parish Papers.
ever possibly separate their character, their joy, or their safety from His atoning death for them on earth, or from His constant life for them in heaven.  It is the Lamb who shall lead them to living fountains of waters; and the Lamb upon the throne who shall still preside over them.  The Lamb shall be the everlasting light of the New Jerusalem; and “Worthy is the Lamb!” will be its ceaseless song of praise.  Beyond this I cannot go.  In vain I endeavour to ascend in thought higher than “God manifest in the flesh,” even to the Triune Jehovah who dwelleth in the unapproachable light of His own unchangeable perfections; and seek to catch a glimpse of that beatific vision which, though begun here in communion with God, is there enjoyed by “the spirits of just men made perfect,” “according to His fulness,” and therefore in a measure which to us passeth all understanding.  But if any real spiritual intercourse with Jehovah is now “joy unspeakable;” if the hunger of the soul to possess more, fails often from its intensity to find utterance for its wants in words, what must it be to dwell in His presence in the full enjoyment of Himself for ever!  There are saints who have experienced this blessedness upon earth to a degree which was almost too much for them to bear; and there are some who have had glories flashed upon them as if snatched from the light beyond, just as the soul was loosening from the ligaments of the body, and preparing itself for flight from the prison-house to its own home—­strange moments when things beyond were seen by the eye closing on the weary world, and overpowering bliss was experienced by the chilling heart.  And if men, sinful men, yea, dying men, can behold such visions of joy even while dwelling in tabernacles of clay that are crumbling around them, what is the measure of that bliss which fills the souls of those redeemed ones at this moment in the temple above, in perfectly knowing and enjoying God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!  May the Lord give us all grace to love on earth such as we may hope to meet in heaven; and if we cannot as yet enjoy the communion of angels, may we seek for, and enjoy, the communion of saints!

V.

OUR ACTIVE LIFE.

It is unnecessary to do more than remind you how labour is essential here to our happiness.  Rest from fatigue is indeed enjoyment; but idleness from want of occupation is punishment.  Nor is this fact a part of our inheritance as sinners.  Fatigue and pain of body from exertion may be so, but not exertion itself.  Perfect and unfallen man, as I have already reminded you, was placed in the garden of Eden “to dress and to keep it.”  And this is what we would expect as the very appointment for a creature made after the image of Him who is ever working, and who has imbued every portion of the universe with the spirit of activity.  For nothing in the world of nature lives for itself alone, but contributes its portion of good to the welfare of the whole.  And man, as he becomes more godlike, rejoices more and more in the dispensation by which he is enabled to be a fellow-worker with his Father, and is glad in being able to give expression by word or deed to what he knows and admires.

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Project Gutenberg
Parish Papers from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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