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o the most ancient of the Greek writers, " you see the supreme powers feated in s the heavens, and incompaffed with in
ferior Deities, among whom the Muses are represented as singing incessantly
about his throne. Who does not here • see the main strokes and outlines of this I great truth we are fpeaking of? The
fame doctrine is shadowed out in many
other heathen authors, tho' at the same s time, like several other revealed truths,
dashed and adulterated with a mixture
of fables and human inventions. But i to pass over the notions of the Greeks
and Romans, those more enlightened parts of the Pagan world, we find there is scarce a people among the late difcovered nations who are not trained up in an opinion, that heaven is the habi
tation of the divinity whom they wor• ship. .
. As in Solomon's temple there was the San&tum Santorum, in which a visible glory appeared among the figures of the Cherubims, and into which none but the high-priest himself was permitted to enter, after having made an atonement for the sins of the people ; so if we consider the whole creation as one great temple, there is in it this
* Holy of Holies, into which the high-priest
of our salvation entered, and took his place among Angels and Archangels,
after having made a propitiation for the < sins of mankind.
" With how much skill must the throne
of God be erected ? With what glorisous designs is that habitation beauti' fied, 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, 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 spi' fit cannot but be transported 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. Be- . • bold even to the moon, and it shineth not ;
yea the stars are not pure in his fight. * The light of the sun, and all the glories • of che world in which we live, are but
as weak and sickly glimmerings, or ra
ther darkness itself, in comparison of I those splendors which incompass the <throne of God..
. As the glory of this place is tranfcen- D • dent beyond imagination, so probably " is the extent of it. There is light be
hind light, and glory within glory. • How far that space may reach, in which
God thus appears in perfect majesty, " we cannot poffibly conceive. Tho' it • is not infinite, 'it may be indefinite ; and
though not immeasurable in itself, ic "may be so with regard to any created
eye or imagination. If he has made these lower regions of matter so incon.
ceiveably wide and magnificent for the * habitation of mortal and perishable Bee
ings, how great may we suppose the courts of his house to be, where he makes his residence in a more especial • manner, and displays himself in the ful'ness of his glory, among an innumerable . company of Angels, and Spirits of just * men made perfect ?
. This is certain, that our imaginations cannot be raised too high, when "we think on a place where Omnipo
tence and Omniscience have so signal.. • ly exerted themselves, because that they
« are able to produce a Scené infinitely - more great and glorious than what we « are able to imagine. It is not impor'sible but at the confummation of all
things, thefe outward apartments of na
ture, which are now suited to those ? Beings who inhabit them, may be ta• ken 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 mor.
qality, and cleared of their imperfec
tións: For fo the fcripturé feems to in«timate when it speaks of new heavens. . and of a new earth, wherein dwelleth « righteousnefs.
. I have only considered this glorious < place, with regard to the fight and ima. • gination, though it is highly probable
that our other senses may here likewise:
enjoy their highest gratifications. There i is nothing which more ravishes and trans< ports the foul, than harmony; and we s have great reason to believe, from the < descriptions of this place in Holy Scrip6 ture, that this is one of the entertain(ments of it. And if the soul of man
can be so wonderfully affected with & those strains of music, which human 6. art is capable of producing, how much
6 more will it be raised and elevated by
thofe, in which is exerted the whole e power of harmony! The senses are fa
culties of the human foul, though they
cannot be employed, during this our « vital union, without proper instruments ő in the body. Why therefore should i we exclude the satisfaction of these
faculties, which we find by experience 6 are inlets of great pleasure to the soul,
from anong those entertainments which
are to make up our happiness hereafi ter? Why should we suppose that our c hearing and seeing will not be gratified 6 with those objects which are most a: į greeable to them, and which they can« not meet with in these lower regions i of nature ; objects, which neither eye į bath feen nor ear beard, nor can it enter
é into the heart of man to conceive? I knew ..Å man in Christ (says St. Paul, speaking
• of himself) above fourteen years ago (whe(ther in the body, I cannot tell, or whether • out of the body, I cannot tell : God know
eth) such a one caught up to the third heai ven. And I knew such a man, (whether c in the body, or out of the body, I cannot i tell: God knoweth) bow that he was caught
up into paradise, and beard unspeakable words, which it is not posible for a man to