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To estimate aright, therefore, the will of God in this decree; and the results of this decree in the souls already actually given to Christ; and to estimate aright the future results of this decree in the coming triumph of the gospel, we must add to all the Christians now on earth, all who have ever been upon earth, and every one of whom-not one lost or missing—are now in heaven. And still further, in estimating what the gospel, as the power of God and the wisdom of God unto salvation, can now do, and what it can accomplish for the generations following, we must lift up our heads and behold that great cloud of witnesses who now surround us in heaven, and who, through faith and patient obedience, have inherited all the promises, and are now enjoying that eternal weight of glory, which is so unspeakable, that while here below neither eye saw, nor ear heard, nor did it enter into their hearts to conceive it.
Come, brothers! let us onward;
Night comes without delay,
It is not good to stay.
Take courage and be strong;
We are hasting on to heaven; · Strength for warfare will be given, And glory won ere long.
The pilgrim's path of trial
We do not fear to view;
We know him to be true.
Come, strong in his Almighty grace,
Come, every one with steadfast face! On to Jerusalem!
O brothers, soon is ended
The journey we've begun; Endure a little longer
The race will soon be run. And in the land of rest
In yonder bright eternal home
Where all the Father's loved ones come We shall be safe and blest.
Then, boldly let us venture!
This, this is worth the cost: Though dangers we encounter,
Though every thing is lost, O world! how vain thy call!
We follow him who went before,
We follow, to the eternal shore, Jesus, our all-in-all.
THE FULFILMENT OF THIS DECREE AND OF GOD'S PLAN,
IN THE ESTABLISHMENT OF HIS CHURCH,
From such a survey of the actual working of God's 'decree, and of what has been accomplished under it in ages past, God's will -including both his purpose and his planin the establishment of Zion as the church or kingdom of Christ is made unmistakably plain, and our faith and obedience as indubitably certain. The church of God implies the existence of heathen, and of heathen in remote and distant lands, even to the uttermost parts of the earth. The decree of God in setting up Christ as the king of Zion, evidently presupposes such a fallen and apostate condition of humanity as originates the abominable system of idolatry, with all its defiance of God, and its temporal and everlasting destruction of the well-being of man. And hence the word of God regards sin as rebellion against the government and laws of God. It declares enmity
to God to be the spirit of every natural · heart, and traitorous disloyalty to be the characteristic of the human race under all its manifestations.
It was in full view of all this sad apostasy, that God established his throne in Zion. Here he manifests himself in Christ for the restoration and reconciliation of the world. Here Christ reigns. Here he promulgates God's purposes and plan of mercy, and the way of salvation. Here a welcome reception is given to every returning sinner, who is willing to lay down the weapons of. bis rebellion, and bow to the sceptre of God's rightful dominion. And from Zion go forth the messengers of the King of peace, into every valley, and to every mountain top, preaching the glad tidings, and publishing peace, he that heareth saying, Come, and every man saying unto his neighbour, Know thou the Lord, until all shall know him, and every knee shall bow to him, and every tongue confess that he is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Thy name we hallow, and adore,
May we till that blest palm be won,
THE ADAPTATION OF THE CHURCH TO THE FULFIL
MENT OF GOD'S DECREE. Such is Zion. It is God's appointed instrumentality for the subjugation of a rebellious world; for the overthrow of the kingdom of darkness; for the reconciliation of apostate men; for their restoration to the image and glory of God; and for their translation to that heavenly kingdom, where they shall reign as kings and priests unto God for ever.