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Jesus, who is the propitiation for my sins,) whenever it shall please thee to put forth thy hand to deliver me from all my troubles, and the dark night of present afflictions. I am as heartily disposed to relinquish the filthy rags of my own righteousness, and to leave this mantle of the flesh behind, as were Elijah, or Bartimeus, to leare theirs, that so I might ascend, as in a chariot of fire, to the heavenly state, and dwell with Jesus, who is the light and glory of it. I am not concerned that I must quit this earthly tabernacle ; for thou hast made me meet for the inheritance of the saints in light. Let my body return to the earth as it was, since I have hope, through grace, my spirit (that better, that immortal part) will return to my God, who gave it. I doubt not its gracious reception with thee, my Saviour, since thon bast promised a crown of rest and life to all who are faithful unto death, and continue persevering
in thy faith and sear. The rewards of immortality are · sure to such as íight under t'iy banner against sin, Sa
tan, and the world. Through thy power and favour I have already vanquished these enemies of my salvation, and have now no other to contend with, but the last enemy, death; and by thy grace, I hope here to con
I quer. Strengthen me, O Lord, by thy Holy Spirit, hereunto, and give me clear views of, and an easy passage unto thy eternal kingdom and glory.. O my God! I trust in iliy fatherly goodness, and unchangeable affection, logether with the precious promises thou hast made, and the near relation thou hast taken me in unto Thysell: thy faithfulness stands fast forevermore ; and thou hast said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee, send thy good angels at the hour of death, and give them chars to carry my departing spirit to the realms of light, and introduce me into the heavenly kingdom, where I shall see thy salvation in its glory. I long to be with thice in thy heavenly Jerusalem, to enter thine holy sanctuary, and to join with the blessed society who minister before thy throne. I feel the effects of thy grace iu the separation of my affections from the world, and the fixing of my thoughts and hopes on thee, my God; receive me into thy magnificent palace, admit me to dwell in thy presence, and to behold the face of my glorified Redeemer. Speak, O Lord, to my soul, in language answerable to its longings; and in the time of my departure, let me hear these comfortable words, This day shalt thou be with me in paradise. I am sensible, that in thy presence there is joy, peace, and happiness, in perfection; I have already the foretastes of heavenly pleasure; and am persuaded they exceed all we can say or think. I see, as it were, the heavens opened, and my Lord Jesus ready to embrace me. Into thy hands ( commit my spirit, for thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth! Amen.
The eleventh Consolation. The glorious resurrection
of our bodies.
WHEN God created the angels, he made them of a nature altogether spiritual and heavenly, and that hath no affinity with matter. I know very well, that these blessed spirits have sometimes appeared in human bodies, as to the ancient patriarchs. But those were bodies formed by God after an extraordinary and miraculous manner; nor were the angels in them, as the human soul is in the body which it informs and animates, but only as the pilot is in the ship which he governs. Therefore, as soon as they had accomplished the work about which they were en ployed by God, they left those bodies without the least prejudice, as the pilot goes out of the ship, when he hath brought it to the desired haven. All the happiness of these glorious spirits consists in this, that God hath confirmed them in his grace and love, and hath admitted them for ever to the contemplation of his face. It is not so with our souls; for although they are of a spiritual and heavenly nature, God hath not created them to be alone and separate from all matter, but to live in the pleasing company of these elemental bodies, which he hath fashioned in the most wonderful manner. When he creates an human soul, and conveys it into an organized body, it is not that it should be there as water in a vessel, or as a king in his palace; it lives not there as an assisting form, or as the external cause of the body's operations; but it is united to it by a much stricter union, and serves as an essential form. It is the principle of our life, the internal cause of motion, sense and understanding So that, properly speaking, man is neither of a pure spiritual nature, as the celestial intelligences, nor a simple body, as the sun and stars. Therefore, if our soul desires to depart out of this earthly tabernacle, it is not out of any hatred that we bear to it, considered in itself, and in its own nature: For no man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it, Eph. v. 29; but by accident, and because of the vanity and corruption to which sin hath made us subject, Rom. viii, we desire to depart, to go to a place where righteousness and true holiness reign, and to be with the Lord Jesus Christ, and to dwell in his presence, Phil. i. It is therefore a self-evident truth, that unless the body partakes of the same happiness as the soul, man cannot be said to be absolutely and perfectly happy. I confess, it is a great joy for us to know, that when our earthly house of this tabernacle is dissolved, we shall be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven, 2 Cor. v. whither we shall go to behold the face of the Father of lights. But this holy joy is dashed with sorrow, this heavenly sweetness is mingled with bitterness, when we consider the lamentable estate of our poor body, abandoned to the earth, and to worms; for it must be a most hateful sight to see that body rotting, and turning to ashes, that was not only our pavilion, our palace, but also a dear loved part of us. Therefore that our joy may be perfect and full, we must comfort ourselves with this sweet and pleasing reflection, that the ruin and desolation which sve deplore will not be for ever ; but that,
we as our body is pulled down by death, it shall one day be rebuilt by the resurrection.
This is one of the noblest and most excellent mysteries of the Christian religion, and one of its most glorious advantages. The wisdom of the world, with all its boasted lights, and the beathen philosophy, with all its rare subtilties, could never attain to the knowledge of this saving and comfortable doctrine. Accordingly we find, that St. Paul, when he stood in the midst of Marshill, and preached to the learned Athenians, was beard with admiration, until he began to speak of the resurrection of the dead; but as soon as he opened his mouth upon that subject, they mocked him, Acts xvii. 32.
But notwithstanding, human reason cannot perceive this glorious mystery, while it remains in the profound darkness of natural ignorance; yet as soon as it is enlightened with the light of grace, it discovers all its rich beauties, and acknowledges the justice and necessity of it.
First. Since rewards and punishments ought to bear a proportion to him who punishes and rewards, we must of necessity believe the resurrection of the body, other
wise the pains of the one could not be extreme, nor the happiness of the other absolute and perfect.
Secondly.. As, when a person is executed for high treason, men are wont to fasten to the gibbet, or to burn in the fire, the arms or instruments, with which he had assaulted or offended his prince; in the same manner, the bodies of the wicked and profane, and, in a word of all those that commit treason against God's divine Majesty, ought to be punished with their souls eternally in hell-fire, because they have been the instruments employed in offending their Creator.
Thirdly. The body is not only the instrument which the wicked man makes us of to offend against God, but it is also the spur and goad which hurries him on to sin; for its humours irritate, inflame, and excite him to evil actions. For example, its sanguine copstitution makes him luxurious, and inclines him to all the filthiness of the flesh; its cholor drives him to violence and fury; and its melancholy prompts him to the nost horrid and diabolical crimes. So that if the adviser and encourager of any notorious villany is to be punished as well as the actor, it belongs to God's justice to inflict upon the body, as well as upon the soul, eternal punishments.
Fourthly. To every thing there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven, Eccl. iii. 1. As the bodies of the wicked and reprobate have received their good things, and their pleasure in this life, so they must receive their pains and torments in that which is to come, Luke xvi. 25.
Fifthly. But to consider those reasons which have a relation to the faithful, and which are the pillars and foundation of our faith and hope, Jesus Christ is no less