Edmondson Scripture Views of the Heavenly World presents us with 19 “views of heaven”, what is in heaven, what is not in heaven, etc.
Edmondson Scripture Views of the Heavenly World
SCRIPTURE VIEWS THE HEAVENLY WORLD.
BY J. EDMONDSON, A. M.
Let sickness blast and death devour,
If heaven must recompense our pains, Perish the grass, and fade the flower, If firm the word of God rernains.
REV. SAMUEL WESLEY.
REVISED BY THE EDITOR.
NEW – YORK: PUBLISHED BY G. LANE & 100:B. TIPPETT, FOR THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, 00 MULBERRY – STREET
JOSEPIT LONG KING, PRINTLR.
CONTENTS of Pink SCRIPTURE VIEWS THE HEAVENLY WORLD.
View 1:- There is a Heavenly World.
View 2:— Scripture Names of Heaven.. 33
View 3:— God is present in Heaven…. 45
View 4:- The Presence of Jesus in Heaven..
View 5:— No Sufferings in Heaven… 66
View 6:- No Death in Heaven… 77
View 7:- No Night in Heaven… 87
View 8:— No War in Heaven…
View 9:- Heaven is a Holy Place..
View 10:— Heaven is a Happy Place… 117
View 11:— Heaven is a Glorious Place.. 127
View 12:— Happy Employments in Heaven. 137
View 13:— Extensive Knowledge in Heaven · 147
View 14:- We shall know each other in Heaven 158
View 15:— Many Ranks and Orders in Glory. 168
View 16:- The Religion of Heaven is Love. 178
View 17:— The Resurrection Body in Heaven 188
View 18:— The Pleasures of Heaven are pure 198
View 19:— The Wicked are shut out of Heaven 208
View 20:- – Heaven is eternal…. 218
THE IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL is a subject of vast importance to man. If it can be proved, he is placed in awful circumstances; if it cannot, he will live and die in painful doubt and uncertainty. Many books have been written, by ingenious men, on a future state; but those writers, who have followed no other guide than that of human reason, have left the subject in the dark, and their readers in a state of perplexing doubt and fear. Reason is a precious gift of God, and, when used with sobriety, is a blessing of in calculable value; but its powers are confined within the narrow circle of visible objects, beyond which it cannot pass, without the aid of divine revelation.. In the following observations we state, in few words, the probability of the soul ‘s immortality, on the evidence of reason; and then prove its certainty on the evidence of divine revelation. All that reason can affirm
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is, “ It may be so; ” but the infallible oracles of God assure us, “ It shall be so. ”
The immateriality of the soul, if it can be proved, is a probable proof of its immortality.
On this subject we make the following observations: Every thing that exists, in the heavens and the earth, is either matter or mind; but these, in all their essential properties, are widely different. The principal properties of matter are figure, weight, extension, and colour; and the principal properties of mind are thought and will, love and hatred, joy and grief, hope and fear. And the qualities of these principles are so opposite, that they cannot be mixed, or be long to each other. Who would venture to say, that mere matter thinks or chooses, loves or hates, joys or grieves, hopes or fears? And would it not be equally absurd to say, that mind has figure, weight, extension, or colour? Matter may be round or square, light or heavy, red or yellow; but it is self – evident, that it cannot either think, or will, or joy, or grieve. Matter and spirit may be mysteriously united, as in the com position of man, but they are, and ever must be, totally distinct; for the one is material,
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and the other is immaterial; the one is a visible object, but the other was never seen by mortal eye.
Matter is divisible to an amazing extent; but mind is one and indivisible. It has various properties; but it is not made up of parts. Hence we may infer, that it remains the same, after its separation from the body, as it was before: except that its communications with the visible world are at an end, when it is separated from those organs through which it had those communications. But will not the invisible world open to its view, when the visible world disappears? And may not the thinking principle, which is still in active operation, range freely on subjects suited to its nature and quality? It may mix with other spirits; have free communications with them; and be susceptible either of pleasure or pain in its own lot. These things we state as probabilities; but we cannot go any further without the aid of divine revelation.
But it may be objected, by the advocates of materialism, that brute creatures think. We do not deny it: and, for aught we know to the contrary, they may live in a future state. Eminent divines, who were sound in
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the faith, have been of this opinion. Among these, it may be sufficient to name the ingenious Dr. Hildrop, and the venerable John Wesley. But if the brute creation live after death, it will be in a state and place exactly suited to their inferior capacities. It has been supposed that they will be annihilated; but that must be left to God. He only can destroy what he has made. To make some thing out of nothing, is an exclusive work of omnipotence; and to make that nothing which is something requires an exertion of the same almighty power. This remark will apply to a grain of sand as well as to a seraph; for nothing can cease to be, without the will and power of Almighty God. Matter may change its form, and spirit its state and condition, but both remain in existence as long as it pleaseth the Creator of all things. And as annihilation is unknown in this world, we may conclude, on the principle of analogy, that it will never take place in the next.
The astonishing intellectual powers of the human soul, in the present state of things, afford a probable proof of its immortality. · We are aware that the most vigorous human intellects, when compared with
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heavenly intelligences, are extremely limited; but the extensive knowledge of man in languages, arts, and sciences, is truly astonishing. He converses with men of all nations, in all the languages of earth; he is acquaint ed with all the productions of the natural world; he surveys the heavens, marks their beauty and order, and calculates their motions with surprising exactness. By the aid of mechanical powers, which he has discovered, he builds palaces and cities. He knows how to guide a ship thousands of miles through the trackless ocean; and is acquainted with the tides and currents of every sea. By the wonderful discoveries which he has made, air, water, and fire are pressed into his service; and by the art of printing, all his discoveries are communicated to distant nations. And can we sup pose that a being of such powers and capacities will perish in death?
But the moral properties of the human soul afford a still stronger proof of its immortality.” – Ideas of good and evil, right and wrong, are planted in the human heart. And there is in good men, what might be in all, a continual cleaving, and approximation, to the#14 (p. 10)
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Deity. When sin is committed, it is. followed by a sense of guilt, and a fear of punishment; except in those hardened sinners who have debased themselves by a long course of disobedience. All these principles, when carefully cultivated, are accompanied with ardent longings after immortality; and they prove that man is connected with a higher order of beings than those who are around him here; and that he is designed for a higher state than that in which he now stands. For we perceive nothing of this kind among the inferior creatures of our world. They are not, nor ever will be, capable of knowing moral good and evil: much less of knowing the God who made them. And will man, with his superior powers, die for ever?..
The perfections of God, which are acknowledged by all wise and good men, render it highly probable that the soul of man is immortal.
That the Author of our existence is infinitely wise, cannot be called in question: but if the noble intellectual powers of man perish in death, how doth that wisdom appear? Did he create these powers in vain? The beasts attain their perfection in a short #15 (p. 11)
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time, and beyond that they never pass; but man advances higher and higher, without reaching that perfection of which he is capable. Why, then, has Infinite Wisdom endowed him with these powers, and why is he made capable of perpetual improvement, if he is not designed to live in a future state? That God is able to preserve him in being, if he will, cannot be denied. And is it not reasonable to suppose that the Almighty, who created man at first, will prolong his existence beyond the short period of this mortal life? If the existence of the wise and good be a blessing, which will not be denied, would not their utter extinction be a reflection on the goodness of God? Is he a God of love? And can he suffer those who adore him to sink into a state of eternal oblivion? Will the Father of good men suffer his be loved children to die for ever? His goodness now appears in ten thousand instances; but will it cease at death? Will he no longer remember the work of his hands, and the objects of his love? But the justice of God cannot be vindicated, if all men perish in death: for, then, good men would lose their reward, and sinners would escape deserved punishment.
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· But many, who have disbelieved the immortality of the soul, have denied the glorious perfections of God. This will apply to some of the heathen philosophers; it may be applied to some of our deists; and to all who profess atheism. Man, in their opinion, was made by chance; he lives by chance; and he will perish by chance. If there be no God, there is no immortal soul, and no hereafter. If the thinking principle in man can be accounted for by the mere accidental union and arrangement of a certain portion of matter, the whole universe may be accounted for on the same principle; and then there would be an end, in the reasoning of the infidel materialist, of the invisible God, and of every idea of a future state. If our souls be nothing but matter, and if they finally perish in death, we may give our selves up to gloomy melancholy and black despair; but let us take courage, for none deny the immortality of the soul but those who are ignorant of God and his adorable perfections.
We dare not lay much stress on the appearance of ghosts and apparitions; but if there be any truth in man, departed spirits have been seen: and one instance of this
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kind, well established, proves a future state and an invisible world.
It must be allowed, that wicked and de signing men have forged many lies on the subject of ghosts and apparitions; and that many well – meaning persons, of weak intellects, have been greatly deceived; but neither the one nor the other proves that there never was a supernatural appearance in our world. There are some well – attested facts, that cannot be denied by any thinking man; because the witnesses, who were competent to judge, were persons of high character, who would not report a falsehood. Allow that one account in ten thousand is true, or, if that be too much, allow that there has been one true account of an apparition since the world began, and the world of spirits is proved by that single instance.
And it would be strange to suppose either that all men, in all ages and nations, who have professed to have seen and conversed with departed spirits, have been impostors; or that those who have given credit to their reports have been deceived. It is easy to laugh, to mock, and to deride; but it would be a hard task to disprove all that has been reported on this subject by men of establish
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ed reputation. One reason why men laugh at these accounts is, the wide spread of infidelity; and this is more to be dreaded than that weak credulity which receives reports without careful examination; but both the one and the other should be carefully avoided.
The immortality of the soul has been generally believed by men of all ages and nations, whether barbarous or civilized.
The history of barbarous nations, as far as we have any account of them, affords ample proofs of this fact; and the account which we have of civilized nations proves their general belief of a future state. The poor ignorant negro hopes to return to his native country when death shall have delivered him from the oppressions of his cruel master; and the modern discoveries of travellers and voyagers confirm the fact, that the general belief of immortality prevails, more or less, in every region inhabited by man. The Chinese, and almost all the natives of India, imagine that they shall pass into other bodies, and live in them, after death. The natives of America hope to live for ever in some delightful place with the great Spirit, whom they profess to adore; and this was the opinion of their forefathers
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in distant ages, long before they had any communications with their European oppressors. But how can we account for the wide spread of this opinion? Has it been the voice of conscience? Has it arisen from the earnest longings of man after ‘ immortality? Or has it been derived from ancient tradition? But what was the source of that tradition? Was it not divine revelation? We know not, and, after all we can say, this general belief does not afford certainty; and, had we no other light, we must still grope in the dark.
But divine revelation affords indubitable proofs of the immortality of the soul. Arguments drawn from other sources have some weight; but Scripture argument preponderates.
The boldest infidels will allow that the word of God affirms the immortality of the soul; but they deny its authority, and view it as a mere human compilation. That their views are incorrect, we prove by prophecies and miracles; prophecies which have been fulfilled many hundred years after they were delivered; and miracles which were wrought in open day before thousands of competent witnesses. And, in addition to these evi
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dences, the marks of divinity are stamped on every page of holy writ, in the pure doctrines and holy precepts of prophets, of Jesus, and of his faithful apostles. Wicked men could not have written those books, which faithfully record their ignorance and vileness; and good men, who wrote them, would not have laid claim to inspiration if it had not been a fact.
We are satisfied with this evidence, and rest on the sacred books as on a solid rock; a rock which supports us amid the angry billows of conflicting opinions. Here we are safe; and all our doubts and fears are chased away..
The frequent appearances of beings from the invisible world to patriarchs and prophets, afford a decisive proof that spirits of a high order live in a place unseen by men. Sometimes the Lord himself appeared to them, and conversed with them on subjects of vast importance. He appeared to Adam after his awful apostacy, Gen. 3:8; to Cain and Abel in public worship, Gen. 4:6 – 8; to Noah before the flood, Gen. 6:13; to Abraham, when he was ninety years old and nine, Gen. 17:1; to Moses in the bush,
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Exod. 3:2; to Israel in the cloud and pillar of fire, Exod. 14:19; and to Joshua on the plains of Jericho, Josh. v, 14. Angels appeared to Jacob on his return from Padanaram, Gen. 32; to Elijah, when he slept under a juniper tree, 1 Kings 19:5; to Daniel in the den of lions, Dan. 6:22; and to the prophet Zechariah, Zech. 1:9.
But life and immortality are brought to light, with clearness and absolute certainty, by the gospel of Jesus Christ.
When a thing is brought to light, we are not to understand that it was in total darkness before; but to bring to light is to throw more light upon that which was only seen obscurely, but is now illustrated and made more manifest. The immortality of the soul is the great subject of the gospel; and that to which all other things tend. Jesus came into the world, and died a painful death, that we might live for ever. The Spirit was given to prepare us for a blessed immortal ity. Our sins are forgiven, through Christ, that we may live with God eternally. Jesus rose from the dead, and ascended to heaven, to prepare a place for us; and he has graciously assured us that he will come again,
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and receive us to himself. All the commands of the gospel, and all its precious promises, prove a future state. – The book of Revelation opens the invisible world to our view, and by its light we behold angels and saints before the eternal throne. There we read of souls under the altar, praying to the Lord, whose bodies are in the dust; and there we see the spirits of just men mingling with angels, in all the delightful exercises and enjoyments of that place. * And can we, who are favoured with these views, doubt the immortality of the
* It is no small relief to the pious Christian, amid the painful uncertainty and gloomy vicissitudes of the present state, to hold frequent converse with the heavenly world. Such a light is thrown upon life and immortality by the gospel of Christ, as enables him to fix his meditations upon it with a high degree of satisfaction and joy. He is not seated in those regions of darkness where the inhabit ants are encompassed with ignorance or anxiety. His faith holds communion with invisible realities; his hope enters within the veil. By an extraordinary interposition of divine mercy he is come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God; he holds converse with angelic natures, with the spirits of the just made perfect, with God the judge of all, and with Jesus the mediator of the new covenant. – Crabb ‘s Sermons.
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soul? Read Plato. He reasons well. But read the word, and be satisfied…
Divine revelation in general, and the gospel in particular, open heaven to the eye of faith. Let us then carefully examine those views of the heavenly world which are opened to us in the Scriptures. This is the object of the following pages. The author, who is on the borders of the eternal world, earnestly desires to find his way to heaven; and it would afford him unspeakable plea sure to persuade all his readers to accompany him to that delightful place.
Edmondson Scripture Views of the Heavenly World presents us with 19 "views of heaven", what is in heaven, what is not in heaven, etc.
|Date:||October 10, 2021|