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tations are to make Beneficial Impreffions upon us, the more ftrialy are we obliged to the Exercife of them.
The Circumstances of the Resurrect:an do not want to be recommended by the Ornaments of Eloquence; but are in themselves fuch, that, if they are: but Attended to, they will fo effe&tually strike upon the mind, as to add very much to that Influence, which the Belief of this Article should have upon us. It feems scarce poflible, that we should not be strongly Affected with the serious thoughts of that great and terrible day of the Lord, when we shall see Him, who * took upon him the form of a fervant, that he might Redeem us, + com ing in the clouds, with power and great glory; when we shall fee Him, who was treated with the utmost scorn and ignominy by men upon earth, Attended and Honoured by all the Angels of Heaven; when every particular person, by the Divine power Raised from the dead, will distinctly hear the found of the lat
* Philip. ii. 7.
+ Matt. xxiv. 30.
trumpets trumpet, fome Signal voice, fummoning all Mankind, from the uttermost parts of the earth, to the place of Judgment."
Thus in the Holy Scriptures, is that Wonderful Scene proposed to our Medi‘tations, which will one day be presented to our View. And whosoever is so Profligate, or so Thoughtlefs, that he does either Explode, or Neglect the consideration of what God hath thus graciously Reveald, for our Advantage, concerning the Circumstances of the Resurrection, may justly dread the Consequence of it. - II. Secondly therefore, and more particularly; A stedfast Belief of this Article should be the foundation of great Fear and Terrour in Habitual sinners. God Almighty, who gives Being to all things, Capable of happiness, to the end that they may be happy, according to their several Capacities, will Raise Wicked men at the last day, with a Design to make them Miserable. And how Severe must Their torments be, who have so highly provoked God, Infinite in Goodness, that
: he will Restore them to life for this very purpose, that he may Torment them.
Men of the worst lives are sometimes so Vain, as well as Impatient under AfAlictions, that they do freely wish for - Death; as if That would Skreen them -- from the Vengeance of God, which will
but Expose them to it, or, That put a Period to their Sorrows, which is but indeed the Beginning of them. They must not hope for shelter or security from the
Grave; which is no more than the Pri· son, where they will be confined for a
time, and then brought out to Condemnation and Punishment. And in the state of Separation, their Souls will be tortured with excessive Misery, and particularly, with the Fearful expectation of that time, when they shall again, with the utmost Reluctancy and Aversion, be united to their Bodies; that their Sufferings, not yet Complete, though already Intolerable, may be made Equal to those sins, which the fear of suffering could not prevent.
Fear is indeed an Uneasy passion; but that Uneasiness should be readily Em
braced and Indulged, when the Fear of misery is the means of Avoiding it. And. though this be not so Generous and Excellent a principle of obedience, as the Love of God; yet our Blessed Saviour and St. Paul have proposed it, as an Engaging motive. And wheresoever Reformation of life is One effect of it, the Love of God will certainly be Another. Thus may a due apprehension of Danger become the cause of Safety, Fear be turn'd into Hope, and Sorrow into Joy. . III. Thirdly, Those who are sincerely Religious should look forward to the Resurrection, as the fountain of Patience and Comfort under all Calamities, and of Resolution and Constancy under the most Difficult duties that Religion enjoyns. For the Worst circumstances in the Wilderness will easily be dispensed with, if the Promised land is but kept in view. The Heaviest afflictions, that the Body sustains here, will appear Light when put into the Balance with its Future Glory. Self-denial will be less troublesome, when attended with cer
certain hopes of the Enjoyments that fole low. And 'tis a sufficient encouragement to Mortification, that it is the means of being Raised to eternal Life. Those may very well be Indefatigable in all the duties of Religion, who are Refresh'd with a Constant and Lively sense of that place, where they shall not only rest from their labours, but receive the Inestimable Reward of them. · IV. Fourthly therefore and Lastly, Since we shall certainly be raised from Death, we should not propose to our felves happiness in this life, as the End of our obedience. Indeed in the Old Testament, wherein a Future state is but Obscurely reveald, Temporal blessings are very frequently proposed, as an encouragement to the obfervance of God's Commands; but in the Gospel, wherein Life and Immortality are brought to light, they are very feldom mention'd, and are never to be the Principal motive to Religion; unless it can be Imagin'd, that our Hopes and Desires may Terminate in that, which we are forbid to Love. For thus