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create a sacred pleasure in happy souls above to learn the wonders of Divine skill exerted and shining in their own formation, and in the curious workmanship of those bodily engines in which they once dwelt and acted.

How numerous

Then let them descend to herbs and plants. are all the products of earth upon her green surface, and all within her dark bowels! All the vegetable and the mineral kingdoms ! How many centuries would all these entertain a heavenly inquirer!

The worlds of air, and the worlds of water, the planetary and the starry worlds, are still new objects rich with curiosities; these are all monuments of Divine wisdom, and fit subjects for the contemplation of the blessed. Nor can we be supposed to have for ever done with them all when we leave this body; and that for two reasons: one is, because God has never yet received the honour due to His wisdom and power, displayed in the material creation, from the hands or tongues of men; and the other is, because the spirits of the just shall be joined to bodies again, and then they shall certainly have necessary converse with God's material works and worlds; though, perhaps, they have more acquaintance with them now in their separate state than we are apprised of.

And besides all these material works of God, what an unknown variety of other wonders belong to the world of pure spirits, which lie hid from us, and are utterly concealed behind the veil of flesh and blood! What are their natures, and the reach of their powers! What ranks and orders they are distributed into! What are their governments, their several employments, the different customs and manners of life in the various and most extensive regions of that intellectual world! What are their messages to our earth, or the other habitable globes, and what capacities they are endowed with to move or influence animate or inanimate bodies! All these, and a thousand more of the like nature, are made known, doubtless,

PROGRESS IN HEAVEN.

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to the inhabitants of heaven. These are things that belong to the provinces of light and immortality, but many of them are mysteries to us who dwell in these tabernacles; they lie far beyond our ken, and are wrapt up in sacred darkness, that we can hardly do so much as shoot a guess at them.

Now, can we suppose that the meanest spirit in heaven has a full and entire survey of all these innumerable works of God, from the first moment of its entrance thither, throughout all the ages of immortality, without the change of one idea, or the possibility of any improvement. This would be to give a sort of omniscience to every happy spirit, which is more than is generally allowed to the man Christ Jesus. And if there be such a thing as degrees of glory among the saints above, we may be well assured that the lowest rank of blessed spirits is not advanced to this amazing degree.

Is there no new thing, neither under nor above the sun, that God can entertain any of his children with in the upper world, throughout the infinite extent of all future ages? Are they all made at once so much like God as to know all things? Or if each of them have their stinted size of knowledge, and their limited number of ideas, at their first release from the body, then they are everlastingly cut off from all the surprises of pleasure that arise from new thoughts, and new scenes, and new discoveries. Does every saint in heaven read God's great volume of nature through and through the first hour it arrives there? Or is each spirit confined to a certain number of leaves, and bound eternally to learn nothing new, but to review perpetually his own limited lesson? Dares he not, or can he not, turn over another leaf, and read his Creator's name in it, and adore His wisdom in new wonders of contrivance ? These things are improbable to such a high degree, that I dare almost pronounce them untrue.

The book of providence is another volume wherein God writes His name too. Has every single saint such a vast and

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infinite length of foreknowledge given him, at his first admission into glory, that he knows beforehand all the future scenes of providence, and the wonders which God shall work in the upper and lower worlds? I thought the "Lion of the tribe of Judah, the root and the offspring of David," had been the only person in heaven or earth that was "worthy to take the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof" (Rev. v. 5). Surely the meanest of the saints does not foreknow all those great and important counsels of God, which our Lord Jesus Christ is intrusted with. And yet we may venture to say, that the spirits of the just in heaven shall know those great and important events that relate to the Church on earth, as they arise in successive seasons, that they may give to God, and to his Son Jesus Christ, revenues of due honour upon this account, as I shall prove immediately.

And indeed if the limits of their knowledge in heaven were so fixed at their first entrance there, that they could never be acquainted with any of these successive providences of God afterwards, we here on earth have a great advantage above them, who see daily the accomplishment of His Divine counsels, and adore the wonders of His wisdom and His love; and from this daily increase of knowledge, we take our share in the growing joys and blessings of Zion.

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