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Norman Macleod
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 266 pages of information about Parish Papers.
the glory of the great Intelligence.  Every active pursuit will swell the tide of gratitude and praise to Him the ceaseless worker, in whom all persons and things “live, move, and have their being;”—­while the loving and holy soul, ever consciously dwelling in Him who is everywhere present, must derive from increasing knowledge of, and communion with the infinite and glorious One, a source of exulting, endless praise—­praise which will be intensified by the sympathy and song of the great minds and great hearts of the “innumerable company of angels,” and of “just men made perfect!” But if in that voiceful temple any one song of praise will, more than any other, issue from a deeper love, or express a deeper joy, that must be the song of the redeemed!  For that is a “new song” never heard before by the angels in the amplitudes of creation, and which the strange race of mankind alone can sing; for there are peculiar notes of joy in that song which they alone can utter; and in their memories alone can echo old notes of sadness that have died away in the far distance.  And what shall be their feelings, what their song, as they gaze backwards on the horrible kingdom of darkness, from whose chains and dungeons they have been delivered; and trace all the mysterious steps by which their merciful and wise Saviour led them safely through danger, temptation, and trial, and through the valley of death, until He bid them welcome with exceeding joy!  What their feelings, what their song, as they look around and contemplate the new scene and the exalted society into which He has brought them, and meet the responsive gaze of radiant saints and of old familiar friends!  What their feelings, and what their song, as they gaze forward, and with “far-stretching views into eternity” see no limit to their “fulness of joy;” knowing that nothing can lessen it, but that everything must increase it through eternal ages;—­that the body can never more suffer pain, or be weakened by decay;—­that the intellect can never more be dimmed by age, nor marred by ignorance;—­that the spirit can never more be darkened by even a passing shadow from the body of sin;—­that the will can never for a moment be mastered, nor even biased by temptation;—­that the heart can never be chilled by unreturned kindness;—­that the blessed society can never be diminished by death, nor divided in spirit, but that, along with saints and angels, all God’s works shall be seen, all His ways known, all His plans and purposes fulfilled, all His commands perfectly obeyed, and Himself perfectly enjoyed for ever and ever!  And then, at what might seem to be the very climax of their joy, to behold Jesus!  And, seeing Him, to remember the lowly home in Bethlehem; the once humble artisan of Nazareth; and the sufferer, “who was despised and rejected of men,” “the man of sorrows, who was acquainted with grief;” and the tempted one, who for forty days was with the devil in the wilderness;—­seeing Him, to remember Gethsemane with its trembling hand
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