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they have attained, and with them adore the riches, the exceeding riches of that grace which has not only answered their highest and brightest expectation, but has done exceeding abundantly above all that they could ask or think. For, ah! little could they think, while resident on earth, that a nature so fallen and corrupt as theirs could ever rise to such a height of glory as that to which they have. so happily attained.
In company with the bright array by whom she has been greeted upon the borders of the empyreal world, the blissful spirit now pursues her course to that still more sacred and divine enclosure which contains the unveiled effulgence, and is the seat of unbounded empire. As she is advancing towards it, the enchanting and romantic scenes which are every where opening before her, surpassing all that the most vivid or poetic imagination could conceive, afford the most exquisite gratification to her. And although infinitely more lovely and sublime than those of earth, they are not altogether dissimilar to them. [Note p.] For,
"What if earth
Be but the shadow of heaven, and things therein Each to other like, more than on earth is thought?"
Hence the shining fields and crystal rills that murmur through them; the rushing streams and living fountains; the vine-clad hills and palm-bearing plains; the bowers of bliss and variegated woodlands; with other diversities of hill and dale, which it hath not entered into the heart of man to conceive, teeming as they do with life, covered as they are with the richest verdure, and surrounded as they are with the purest ether, thrill the spirit with delight, as these scenes of ethereal beauty and enchantment are successively opening to her view.
And now, having reached the foot of that mighty hill upon which the city of God is built, and having long since been disencumbered of her mortal garments, the blissful spirit easily ascends it; but, ere she reaches its bright and dazzling summit, is met by another band of holy beings to welcome her arrival. So that what with the sight of these exalted
creatures, what with the glory which is bursting upon her from the habitation of her God, and what with the songs and the music she hears within, she seems to be in heaven before she enters it: being swallowed up with the and with hearing their melo
sight of angels,
And having now come up to
the gates of the city, there is written over it
in letters of gold,
Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city."
* Pilgrim's Progress.
THE ENTRANCE; OR, THE SPIRIT IN GLORY EVERLASTING.
THE blissful spirit having been conducted by a numerous band of holy creatures from the borders of the Empyreal World to the yet higher abode of God, is immediately introduced to those who watch before its gates, as a ransomed spirit from this fallen world; and accordingly receives an abundant entrance. sooner are the everlasting doors opened to her reception, than amidst the acclamation of ten thousand times ten thousand voices,
"Loud as from numbers without number,-sweet As from blest voices uttering joy,"
she enters into glory; the choir of cherubim singing, as she enters, the high praises of their God, and adoring him for one more addition to that already vast and blissful multitude who have washed their robes and have made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Now the emotions of a spirit from this lower earth, on entering that high and holy place which contains the unveiled effulgence, and where Jehovah's face is always seen,—and that not by surrounding seraphs only, but by all the pure and blissful beings who dwell within it,must be beyond the power of language to describe. For, oh! if it hath not entered into the heart of man to conceive the things which God has prepared for them that love him, it cannot be in the power of spirits burdened, as are ours, with material bodies, to form a conception at all adequate or distinct of the many splendours and bright effulgences of the scene, where all these things will be realized and enjoyed; much less to describe in human words the feelings and sensations with which they will be contemplated by a spirit who, from the darkness that is around us, has entered that abode of light. The glory which, bursting from the eternal throne, is pouring brightness through the holy habitation, in connexion with the solid and substantial splendour with which it is adorned, while it raises her admiration to the highest pitch of which it is susceptible,