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Good Words 1860
"Good Words" concerning the Better Country


No. V.

"I shall be satisfied, when I awake, in thy likeness."— Psalm xvii. 15.

"Whilst I see Thy love to me,
Every object teems with joy;
Here, oh may I walk with Thee,
Then into Thy presence die!

"Thee to praise, and Thee to know,
Constitute my bliss below;
Thee to see, and Thee to love,
Constitute my bliss above."

TOPLADY.

What a glorious awaking, after earth's unquiet dream! With God! Like God!

Happiness has well been defined to be "the coincidence of the finite will with the Infinite." [Harris.] On earth that coincidence is never perfect. There are disturbing forces m the moral atmosphere tempting the soul ever and anon, like some wandering planet, to break loose from the sphere of the Divine favour, and pursue a devious and erratic orbit. Strange, indeed, that, despite of lessons constantly enforced, it should cling so fondly to the delusion that there are elements of heart-satisfying happiness independent of God. Vain thought! Even when the objects on which the affections are lavished seem the purest and noblest, there is ever a consciousness of unsated longings, yearnings after something better, which earth cannot give. In this chase after happiness a point may be reached, but not the point. In grasping the imaginary good, it is but a shadow. It appeared, in approaching, fair and captivating. It proved, in reality, a piece of fairy frostwork ; on touching it, it fell.

But in Heaven the coincidence will be complete. Man's will and love will there be entirely subordinate to the will and love of God. The lineaments of the divine image, erased and effaced at the fall, will be there again imprinted. There will be no competing affection to alienate from the great source of happiness, no vacuum requiring aught else to fill it. The rills will be unneeded in the presence of the great Fountain-Head—Him who is ''essential love, essential goodness, essential glory." "Lord," says Augustine, "Thou hast made us for Thee, and our heart is unquiet until it reposeth in Thee!" Those immortal powers and energies and affections made for God, will then repose for ever in God; He will fill His saints with the affluence of His own life and love. There will be nothing more to be desired or longed for; and the rejoicing soul, gazing around on the floods of the excellent glory, will be able to say, ''I am satisfied!"

"Once I dreamed," says Payson, "of being-transported to heaven; and being surprised to find myself so calm and tranquil in the midst of my happiness, I inquired the cause. The reply was, When you were on earth, you resembled a bottle but partly filled with water, which was agitated by the least motion—now you are like the same bottle filled to the brim, which cannot be disturbed. "Yes! then every soul will become a temple, and its distinguishing glory will be that of Solomon's on the day of consecration—"the house was filled with the glory of the Lord!" Other and minor sources of glory and happiness there may be. There may be the waving of incense, sounds of sweet melody, the high praises of God chanted by a mighty multitude which no man can number, and the lofty companionship of cherubim and seraphim; but the believer's pre-eminent dignity and blessedness will consist in his own soul becoming a consecrated shrine for the mystic Shekinah — ''God dwelling in him, and he in God."

Reader! whatever be the Divine dealings and discipline in fitting thee for such a Heaven, and such a likeness, submit to them. To employ a well-known but beautiful illustration:—The refining of silver is not complete until the refiner beholds his own image reflected brightly in the fused metal. And if He who calls Himself ''a Refiner of silver" keep thee long in the crucible, subject thee for long to the furnace, it is only that every grain and speck of alloy may be purged away, and that in Heaven thou mayest awake rejoicing, and "satisfied" in "His likeness."

What a glorious, what a strange transformation! Who would recognise the spirit that is now chafed and buffeted with temptation and sin, corruption and iniquity, then made resplendent with the image of a holy God! As the shapeless, unseemly root of the flower or plant struggling amid rubbish and stones and cheerless darkness, after fastening its fibres in the soil, sends up a graceful stalk, efflorescing in loveliness and beauty, its leaves waving in the sunlight, and filling the summer air with their fragrance; — so will it be with the soul.

It is here sown in corruption. It fastens its roots in a world dark and cheerless, by reason of sin. Its immortal fibres are nursed and disciplined amid trials and sorrows, difficulties and perplexities. It is soiled and degraded with the corruptible elements through which it has to fight its upward way. But there is a glorious summer-time at hand, when the root thus nurtured shall burst its mortal coil, and its leaves and blossoms shall not only be bathed in the loveliness of Heaven, but their every tint will be resplendent with a glory reflected from the Great Source of all light and joy.


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