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The Future Blessedness of the Righteous.

The Future Blessedness of the Righteous.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 11, 2013
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THE FUTURE BLESSEDESS OF THE RIGHTEOUS.REV. SAMUEL D. WADDY, D. D.REV. xiv. 13.This Book of Revelation is daily becoming moreinteresting and more important. Whatever mysterymay hang about its prophecies, and prevent theiraccurate interpretation^ it is unquestioned that theprophecies refer to the last times ; that this Book contains the predictions of those events^ connectedwith the Church and the world, which shall concludeour moral history, and usher in the realities of aneternal state. And there is little doubt that themarked and unmistakable fulfilment of these pro-phecies will be among the most important means of producing that general belief in the Word of Q-od,? This Sermon was preached in the City Boad Chapel,London, on Sunday Evening, February 5th, 1854, on theoccasion of the decease of Mrs Anne Mason, the wife of theBev. John Mason, and was soon afterwards committed to thepress for private circulation among her Mends. The Bio-graphical Sketch which followed it is omitted, as beingscarcely suited to the object of the present volimie.FUTURE BLESSEDESS OF THE RIGHTEOUS. 257and in His universal government, which will lead tothe overthrow of error and idolatry, and to that uni-veraal subjugation of the nations of the world toChrist which is the great subject of this prophecy.Confessedly mysterious as are the prophecies of thisBook, there is no mystery in its admonitions andinstructions : these are remarkably plain and forci-ble. While the doctrine of future rewards and
punishments is presented to us in more frequentand solemn declarations of its truth, and in moredefinite statement of its details, than in any othersection of the Book of God, it is a part of the gos-pel by which ^ life and immortality ' are eminently* brought to light/The subject of our contemplation is the futureblessedness of the righteous : and to this I wouldparticularly direct your attention, after briefly ex-plaining some of the expressions in the text.A verbal difficulty, and perhaps the only one, isfound in the term ' henceforth.' ' Blessed are thedead which die in the Lord, from henceforth : Tea,saith the Spirit, that they may rest from theirlabours.' Some have attempted to meet this diffi-culty by supposing, that the term ' henceforth ' is tobe applied only to a part of the declaration which iscontained in the text. Some suppose it to havereference to the testimony; that the testimony isfrom henceforth, — from this time the Spirit so de-clares. We cannot imasrine the term ^ henceforth 'to have reference to the general declarations of thetext, in any sense which would imply that the right-eous had not been blessed until that time. Theblessedness of the righteous is one of the old doc-17258 SERMOS.trines of the Sacred Scriptures, and frequently re-peated from their very commencement ; a doctrinewhich our Lord had taught distinctly in the hearingof St John ; and which St John, in connection with
the other disciples, had been commissioned to preach,long before this Revelation had been given to him.We have, in the words of the text, one of those par-ticular applications of a great general principle, of which numerous instances are found in the SacredScriptures. Although the general doctrine of theblessedness of the righteous had been previouslytaught, and therefore was not to be considered as amatter dating from that particular period j yet therewas a peculiar appropriateness in the application of this doctrine to the times to which this term ' hence-forth ' refers.The visions of this and of the former chapterdoubtless refer to some period of very great andalarming persecution ; to the last persecution (as itis generally supposed) previous to the overthrow of the spiritual Babylon, as announced in the context, — when Satan shall rage, ' having great wrath, be-cause he knoweth that he hath but a short time.*That St John refers to this persecution, I think,will be evident, if we consider the extreme strait-ness and difficulty in which he here represents theChristians as being placed. In the 15th, 16th, and17th verses of the 13th chapter, it is said, — ' And hehad power to give life unto the image of the beast,that the image of the beast should both speak, andcause that as many as would not worship the imageof the beast should be killed. And he caused all,both small and ^reat, rich and poor, free and bond.FUTURE BLESSEDESS OF THE RIGHTEOUS. 259to receive a mark in their right hand, or in theirforeheads : and that no man might buy or sell^ savehe that had the mark^ or the name of the beast^ orthe number of his name/ In the first place, theywho had not this number of the beast, and had not

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