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On the Festival of All Saints.

On the Festival of All Saints.

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Published by glennpease

BY REV. THEODORE DEHON, D. D.


Revelations vii. 9, 13—18.

BY REV. THEODORE DEHON, D. D.


Revelations vii. 9, 13—18.

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 16, 2014
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O THE FESTIVAL OF ALL SAITS. BY REV. THEODORE DEHO, D. D.Revelations vii. 9, 13—18. After this I beheld, and lo, a great rmdtitude, which no man coidd number, of all nations, and kindreds, and peojile, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands. —And one of the ciders ansivered, saying unto me, What are these iphich are arrayed in white robes ? and whence came they ? And I said unto him, Sir, thou hiowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them tvhite in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple : and he that sitteth on the throne shall dtvell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fount fiins of waters: and God shall wipe aivay all tears from their eyes. Heaven, aud the occupations of those who have passed the boundaries of our sight, and entered upon its glorious scenes, are objects in the highest degree interesting to the contemplative mind. Thither have gone the Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles and Martyrs, whose instructions we value, and whose memories we revere. There rest, we trust, the spirits of the Christian friends, whom we shall see here no more. Thither ascended the Great Benefactor, whose merits 152 O THE FESTIVAL OF ALL SAITS. and favour are our choicest treasure. And there we expect, when this vain world shall vanish, to find
 
the consummation of our faith and hopes, our virtue and joy. On these accounts, the region and em- ployments of the blest will generally excite in the serious a lively curiosity. If it be chastened with a sense of the feebleness of our powers, and a sub- mission to the wisdom of God, this curiosity is laudable ; and when we think of the worthy cha- racters who are gone from this state, can hardly be suppressed. As the festival of All Saints, which recalls our at- tention to the labours and rewards of the departed servants of the Most High, coincides, to-day, with the Sabbath, we may, with peculiar propriety, make it the object of the present discourse. Upon this sublime subject, I know no better guide for your meditations, than that vision of the Church trium- phant of which the text is a conspicuous part. It will furnish us with as just ideas of the situation and blessedness of the Saints, as our finite and encum- bered minds can receive, and will lead to reflections adapted to the season, and to the circumstances of many of my hearers. And, in the first place, it is pleasing to observe, that the Saints are *' a great multitude of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues." Every benevolent mind, which has any concern for the wel- fare of mankind, any gratitude to their Redeemer, and any just conception of the glory that shall be revealed, must be ardently desirous that the par- takers of the heavenly gift should not be few in number. The good man puts up no prayer more earnest and sincere, than * that it may please God to have mercy upon all men.' To know how many shall have mansions in the Father's house, is not how- ever permitted us. We are taught by the reply
 
O THE FESTIVAL OF ALL SAITS. 153 which Christ once made to the inquiry, that it is not our present business. The way is clearly defined, in which we may secure to ourselves the happiness of being of the number : and to rejoice our philanthropy, and delight us with the triumphs of our Lord, we are assured that His redemption shall not be an un- fruitful work, but that, through it, there shall be many sons brought into glory. In their high state of bliss, the Saints want not the refined pleasure of having many to enjoy with them their delightful existence. The worthy of every past age are col- lected into their ' goodly company.' The faithful of every future generation shall swell their numbers and their joy. For St. John, in his vision, *' beheld, and, lo, a great multitude which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb." And a greater than John, even the Lamb Himself, has as- sured us that *' they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God^." In unfolding the scenes of heavenly vision, the sacred writers are obliged, by the poverty of human language, and the confined state of our minds, to borrow analogies from this visible world, and repre- sent things which surpass our comprehension, by those things with which we are familiarly acquainted. Hence, the introduction of the sublime and interest- ing scenery, which charms our minds, as we pass from the number of the Saints to the description, which the Evangelist has given us, of their condition. They stand "before the throne," and ** before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands." White is the emblem of innocence. Spot- less purity enters into the very idea of it. And, by * Luke xiii. 29.

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