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PREFACE.

It seems scarcely possible for a mind which is at all serious and reflecting, to be without its moments of excursive meditation upon the subject of the following pages.

To such a mind it is hoped that the attempt, feebly as it may be executed, to describe a class of feelings somewhat peculiar, and a state of things as yet "unseen," will not be altogether unacceptable.

The doctrine of another and happier world being universally admitted by the

good of every church and denomination, it has appeared to the Author of high importance (knowing as he does the many vague and ineffective ideas which not a few sincere believers in it are in the habit of entertaining), that something like a definite and consistent form should be given to their meditations upon this delightful theme. To attempt this has been his object in the short series which he has written upon it. And, although, in the language of a modern writer, “failure in such an attempt is more or less inevitable," yet, as he afterwards adds, "It may be better to contemplate the great subject, and assist others to contemplate it, even thus imperfectly, than not at all."

It is upon this principle the Author has ventured his thoughts upon a theme of such surpassing interest; and he has ventured them upon a conviction that as the stream of time is rapidly bearing us from this earthly scene to that which is invisible,

the serious mind will gladly avail itself of any information upon it, however small, which the matured reflections of others are able to communicate. Nor is he without the hope, that, if what he has written should fall into the hand of those who have been hitherto indifferent as to another state, it may become instrumental in exciting the attention of at least some amongst them, and of leading them to a thoughtful contemplation of that, which, though now invisible, may in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, burst upon them.

As regards the advantages of contemplating that high and blissful state of being which the Scriptures so explicitly exhibit as the ultimate destiny of the righteous, they cannot but be great and numerous; such a contemplation, when habitual, must necessarily have a very refining influence upon the mind—must elevate it above all that is low and gro

velling-must fortify it against the sharpest shocks of adversity, and must give to it that calmness, cheerfulness, and spirituality, which, as they unostentatiously discover themselves in the life and conduct, must have a most powerful influence upon the circle in which we move; apart from which, by habitually fixing the thoughts upon a happier world, the receding of the present will not to us be that occasion of regret which it is to many whose hearts are fixed exclusively upon it. ther when called to suffer the loss of our possessions in it shall we be overwhelmed with sorrow, but shall bear it with that enlightened and cheerful resignation which must almost invariably result from the conviction, that "in heaven" we have "a more enduring substance."

Nei

The Author having concluded the series which he intended upon the heavenly state, now commits them to the blessing of Him without whom nothing is good, no

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