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cabin: suppose he stopped not in his folly till he himself sunk with the vessel: you can see the madness of this: but suppose the greater part of the crew were pursuing the same sort of conduct, some in one way and some in another, but all regardless of the coming shipwreck, you justly say, it is incredible, such a thing never happened.
Look abroad in the world: what are men doing? They are painting the cabin while the ship is sinking. Look into your own life,-what is it? The wisest plan that ends merely in this world's glory, is like some petty ornament put in the cabin of a sinking vessel. Nor is this all. carries a sting beyond the grave. in time, is the hell of eternity. time receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and thou art tormented.
A satisfied lust
Thou in thy life
O my brethren, I feel myself the lethargic, the palsying, the deadening effect of this world's good, and long therefore to rouse myself as well as to awaken you. It is affecting to see how naturally we all tend to fill and satisfy our souls with the poor dirt of the perishing things of this world, instead of rising on eagle's wings to the ennobling and sublime things of eternity; but death is coming, and it will shew us what is temporal, and what is eternal, in a way beyond deception.
It will strip us bare of all temporal things. It will pull off from us friends and relations, revenues and titles, honours and riches, and plea
Things but of one character will follow us to another world, even those things which are not seen and are eternal.
II. THE THINGS NOT SEEN.
The things which are not seen are eternal.. Here also we will consider, the objects intended, and their enduring character,
1. THE OBJECTS INTENDED.
Things which are not seen.
The Apostle means all those spiritual things with which as immortal beings we are chiefly concerned.
The God with whom we have to do: in whom we live, move, and have our being: who is a Spirit, and whom no human eye has seen. Yet is he about our path and about our bed, and spies out all our ways; his judgment of us is to us every thing his favour better than life, and his frown worse than death. His being and existence, as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, three persons in one God, is one of those great realities that are
The angelic hosts that surround his throne, and fly to execute his errands, who are ministering spirits ministering to the heirs of salvation
and our future companions in the glory above, also are among the great realities not seen by the eye of flesh.
Again, the accursed angels with their apostate chief, who goes about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, (1 Peter v. 8.) and who works in the children of disobedience, however much the wicked may ridicule his fearful power, and deny his very existence, yet the Bible account is true; he does exist, and his existence and of legions under him, are among those realities which, though not seen, have the existence and fatal influence which the Bible ascribes to them.
The soul of man, as distinct from the body, is spiritual and immaterial, and therefore invisible. Man sees the body and can kill the body; the soul he sees not, it is beyond his reach, impervious to all external attack, and imperishable.
All that relates to this immortal soul, those graces and dispositions which are the fruits of the Divine Spirit, the work of faith, the patience of hope and labour of love, in which grace enables the Christian to abound, though man sees not the secret principles, God does, and they survive the death of the body, and are like seed that grows and flourishes in the harvest of futurity. Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord; for they rest from their labours, and their works do follow them. (Rev. xiv. 13.)
And on the other hand all those sins in which the wicked delight, follow them also as a seed of a miserable futurity. Much would they wish to be free from the recollection; but the sin of lying follows the liar, and the sin of thieving follows the thief, and add to the bitter anguish of their ruin.
But more especially the great realities of hell and heaven-the regions of future woe-the realms of endless bliss-the lake that burns with fire and brimstone; and the paradise of eternal joy and glory-where is the pure river of water of life clear as crystal (Rev. xxii. 1.)—and the tree of life and the throne of God and the Lamb, and no more curse, and fulness of joy, and pleasures for evermore, these are the things not seen on which our eye should be fixed. For mark
2. THEIR ENDURING CHARACTER.
What an authoritative stamp is here? A piece of paper may be of little worth in itself, but let the paper have the signature and the stamp of the Bank of England, and it may be worth thousands or millions of property. Now there is this stamp of eternity put on all things not seen which we have brought before you; and this gives them an importance which language fails to express.
God is the eternal, immortal, invisible, and only wise God. He is properly from everlasting
to everlasting, without beginning as well as without end. Angels and fallen spirits and human beings have had a beginning, but they have no end of their existence, and their varied works affect their eternal condition, evil works terminating in endless woe, and good works in future and eternal bliss.
Not to enter however too largely on these things, mark only the eternity of the regions of future woe and bliss.
The unseen regions of future woe have the stamp of eternity upon them; this is their peculiar characteristic. Under whatever term you find these miserable regions mentioned in the scripture, a note of eternity is in some part or other affixed to the description. It is called by that most fearful of all terms,-the wrath of God: (Eph. v. 6.) but then it has this tremendous addition, it is called an abiding wrath, and the wrath to come. He that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him, (John iii. 36.) Flee from the wrath to come. It is compared to a worm feeding on us, the perpetual gnawing of a guilty conscience; but then it is a worm that never dies. (Mark ix. 44.) It is at other times described as a fire (Isaiah lxvi. 34.) a furnace of fire, (Matt. xiii. 42.) a lake of fire, (Rev. xix. 20.) but it is a fire that never shall be quenched, (Mark ix. 44.) and is called everlasting fire pre