CCXCVIII. The Future Life.

REV. xxii. 3, 4. “His servants shall serve Him: and they shall see His face.”

THE great cardinal doctrine which sums up the hopes and
assurances of faith, is the doctrine of a future life as re-
vealed in the Gospel.
I. This doctrine may be broken into three parts.
1. Our own consciousness assures us of personal identity.
The man recognises the unity that binds him to his child-
hood. He may wander far, but he drags at each remove
a lengthening chain. Lord Macaulay tells of Warren
Hastings, when a child of seven, dreaming of a scheme
never abandoned through all his life, of recovering the
estate that had belonged to his father.
2. The next great factor is spirituality. Our personality
is spiritual in nature.
3. The third portion is our belief in individual immor-
tality, the evidence for which is twofold: the anticipations
of man, and the revelation of God.
II. Consider the reasons which justify us in looking
forward to the life of eternity as a life in which the fullest
activities of a transfigured soul avail themselves of the
heightened and multiplied resources of a glorified body.
1. Our bodies will be glorified, and it is a fair inference
that our lives will be glorified in proportion.
2. The resurrection of Christ proves that we carry
through the gates of death the perfection of every quality,
capacity, and faculty we have possessed in the present life.
3. We may expect that eternity will furnish us with
just those duties which the discipline of this life has trained
us to discharge.
III. The church life finds its consummation in the know-
ledge and worship of God; in that beatific vision which is
the highest term of the promises of Scripture; the grand
hope and object of the saintly life in every age.
Even in this life the worship of the sanctuary is the
most direct preparation for heaven.
John Hannah, D.D.

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