our endeavours become unsatisfactory even to our-| Spirit in the work and struggle through which selves. This miserable struggle cannot be main- we have to go. And I take upon me to say, that tained long. Although nothing but persevering all experience is in favour of this plan, in preferin it could save us, we do not persevere. Finding ence to that of a gradual reform; in favour of it, not ease, but difficulty increased, and increasing both with respect to practicability, and with te difficulty, men give up the cause; that is, they try spect to ease and happiness. We do not pretend to settle themselves into soine mode of thinking but that a conflict with desire must be supported; which may quiet their consciences and their fears. that great resolution is necessary; yet we teach They fall back to their sins: and when they find that the pain of the effort is lessened by this their consciences easier, they think their guilt less; method, as far as it can be lessened at all. Passions whereas it is only their conscience that is become denied, firmly denied and resisted, and not kept more insensible; their reasoning more treacherous up by occasional indulgences, lose their power of and deceitful! The danger is what it was, or tormenting. Habits, absolutely and totally disgreater; the guilt is so too. Would to God we used, lose their hold. It is the nature of man. could say, that gradual reforms were frequently i They then leave us at liberty to seek and to find successful; They are what men often attempt; happiness elsewhere, in better things; to enjoy they are, alas ! what men usually fail in. as well as to practise virtue; to draw comfort from

It is painful to seem to discourage endeavours religion; to dwell upon its hopes; to pursue its of any kind after amendment; but it is necessary duties; to acquire a love, a taste, and relish for to advertise men of their danger. If one method its exercises and meditations. of going about an important work be imposing in One very general cause of entanglement in expectation, and yet in truth likely to end in ruin; habits of sin is the connexion which they have can any thing be more necessary than to set forth with our way of life, with our business, with the this danger and this consequence plainly? This objects that are continually thrown in our way, is precisely the case with gradual reforms. They with the practices and usages which prevail in the do not very much alarm our passions: they soothe company we keep. Every condition of life has our consciences. They do not alarm our passions, its particular temptation. And not only so, but because the absolute rupture is not to come yet. when we have fallen into evil habits, these habits We are not yet entirely and totally to bid adieu so mix themselves with our method of life, return to our pleasures and indulgences, never to enjoy so upon us at their usual times and places, and or return to them any more. We only have in occurrence of objects, that it becomes very dificult view to wean and withdraw ourselves from them to break the habit, without a general change of by degrees; and this is not so harsh and formida- our whole system. Now I say, whenever this is ble a resolution as the other. Yet it soothes our a man's case, that he cannot shake off his sins consciences. It presents the semblance and ap- without giving up his way of life, he must give pearance of repenting and reforming. It confesses up that also, let it cost what it will; for it is in our sense of sin and danger. It takes up the pur- truth no other sacrifice than what our Saviour pose, it would fain encourage us with the hope, himself in the strongest terms enjoins, when he of delivering ourselves from this condition. But bids his disciples to pluck out a right eye, or cut what is the result? Feeding in the mean time and off a right hand (that is, surrender whatever is fomenting those passions which are to be con- most dear or valuable to them,) that they be not trolled and resisted ; adding, by every instance of cast with all their members into hell fire. If a giving way to them, fresh force and strength to trade or business cannot be followed without habits which are to be broken off, our constancy giving into practices which conscience does not is subdued before our work is accomplished. We approve, we must relinquish the trade or business continue yielding to the importunity of temptation. itself

. If it cannot be followed without bringing We have gained nothing by our miserable endea- us into the way of temptation to intemperance, vour, but the mortification of defeat. Our sins more than we can withstand, or in fact do withare still repeated. The state of our salvation is stand, we must also relinquish it, and turn ourwhere it was. Oh! it is a laborious, a difficult, a selves to some safer course. If the company we painful work to shake off sin; to change the keep, the conversation we hear, the objects that course of a sinful life; to quit gratifications to surround us, tend to draw us, and do in fact draw which we have been accustomed, because we per- us, into debauchery and licentiousness, we must ceive them to be unlawful gratifications; and to fly from the place, the company, and the objects, find satisfaction in others which are innocent no matter with what reluctance we do so, or what and virtuous. If in one thing more than another loss and inconvenience we suffer by doing it. we stand in need of God's holy succour and This may appear to be a hard lesson: it is, neverassistance, of the aid and influence of his blessed theless, what right reason dictates, and what, as Spirit upon our souls, it is in the work of reform- hath already been observed, our Saviour himself ation. But can we reasonably expect it, whilst enjoins, in terms made as strong and forcible as we are not sincere ? And I say again, that the he could make them. plan of gradual reformation is in contradiction to Sometimes men are led by prudential motives, principle, and so far insincere. Is there not rea- or by motives of mere inclination, to change their son to believe that this may in some measure employment, their habitation, or their station of account for the failure of these resolutions ? life. These occasions afford excellent and invalua

But it will be asked of us, what better plan ble opportunities for correcting and breaking off have we to offer? We answer, to break off our any vicious habits which we may have contracted. sins at once. This is properly to deny ungod- It is when many associations, which give strength liness and worldly lusts. This is truly to do, to a sinful habít, are interrupted and dissolved by what, according to the apostle, the grace of God the change which has taken place, that we can teaches us to do. Acting thus, we may pray, we best resolve to conquer the sin, and set out upon may humbly hope for che assistance of God'sla new course and a new life. The man who

does not take advantage of such opportunities

SERMON XXXIII. when they arise, has not the salvation of his soul at heart: nevertheless, they are not to be waited THIS LIFE A STATE OF PROBATION. for.

But to those sudden changes which we recom- It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that mend, will it be objected that they are seldom I might learn thy statutes.—Psalm cxix. 71. lasting? Is this the fact ? Are they more liable to fail

, than attempts to change gradually? I Of the various views under which human life think not. And there is always this difference has been considered, no one seems so reasonable between them. A sudden change is sincere at as that which regards it as a state of probation ; the time; a gradual change never is such truly meaning, by a state of probation, a state calculated and properly: and this is a momentous distinc- for trying us, and calculated for improving us. A tion. In every view, and in every allowance, and state of complete enjoyment and happiness it cerin every plea of human frailty, we must distin- tainly is not. The hopes, the spirits, and the guish between what is consistent with sincerity, inexperience of young men and young women and what is not. And in these two methods of are apt, and very willing, to see it in this light. setting about a reformation, by reason of their dif- To them life is full of entertainment; their relish ferent character in this respect, the first may, is high; their expectations unbounded: for a very though with fear and humility, expect the help of few years it is possible, and I think barely possiGod's aiding Spirit, the other hardly can. For ble, that they may go on without check or interwhilst, not by surprise and unpremeditatedly, we ruption; but they will be cured of this delusion. fall into casual sins, but whilst, by plan and upon Pain and sorrow, disease and infirmity, accident system, we allow ourselves in licenses, which, and disappointment, losses and distress, will soon though not so many or so great as before, are meet them in their acquaintance, their families, or still, whenever they are indulged, so many known their persons. The hard-hearted for their own, sins; whilst, in a word, though we imagine our- the tender for others' wo, will always find and selves to be in a progress of amendment, we yet feel enough at least to convince them, that this deliberately continue to sin, our endeavours are so world was not made for a scene of perpetual gayety corrupted, I will not say by imperfection, but by or uninterrupted enjoyment. insincerity, that we can hardly hope to call down Still less can we believe that it was made for a upon them the blessing of Almighiy God. place of misery: so much otherwise, that misery

Reformation is never impossible ; not, in a strict is in no instance the end or object of contrivancé. sense, can it be said to be doubtful. Nothing is, We are surrounded by contrivance and design. properly speaking, doubtful, which it is in a man's A human body is a cluster of contrivances. So power to accomplish; nothing is doubtful to us, is the body of every animal; so is the structure of bat what is placed out of the reach of our will, or every plant; so is even the vilest weed that grows depends upon causes which we cannot influence; upon the road-side. Contrivances, therefore, and this is not the case with reformation from sin infinite in number, infinite also in variety, are all On the other hand, if we look to experience, we directed to beneficial purposes, and, in a vast pluare compelled, though with grief of heart, to con- rality of instances, execuie their purpose. In our fess that the danger is very great of a man, who own bodies only reflect how many thousand things is engaged in a course of sin, never reforming must go right for us to be an hour at ease. Yet from his sin at all. Oh! let this danger be known. at all times multitudes are so; and are so without Let it stand, like a flaming sword, to turn us aside being sensible how great a thing it is: Too much from the road to vice. Let it offer itself in its or too little of sensibility, or of action, in any one full magnitude. Let it strike, as it ought, the of the almost numberless organs, or of any part souls of those who are upon the brink, perhaps, of the numberless organs, by which life is susof their whole future fate;" who are tempted; and tained, may be productive of extreme anguish or who are deliberating about entering upon some of lasting infirmity. A particle, smaller than an course of sin.

atom in a sun-beam, may, in a wrong place, bo Let also the perception and convincement of the occasion of the loss of limbs, of senses, or of this danger sink deep into the hearts of all who life. Yet under all this continual jeopardy, this are in such a situation, as that they must either momentary liability to danger and disorder, we reform or perish. They have it in their power, are preserved. It is not possible, therefore, that and it must be now their only hope, by strong and this state could be designed as a state of misery, firm exertion, to make themselves an exception to because the great tendency of the designs which the general lot of habitual sinners. It must be an we see in the universe, is to counteract, to prevent, exception. If they leave things to their course, to guard against it. We know enough of nature they will share the fate in which they see others, to be assured, that misery, universal, irremediable, involved in guilt like themselves, end their lives. inexhaustible misery, was in the Creator's power It is only by a most strenuous effort they can if he had willed it. Forasmuch, therefore, as rescue themselves from it. We apprise them, the result is so much otherwise, we are certain that their best hope is in a sudden and complete that no such purpose dwelt in divine mind. change, sincerely begun, faithfully persisted in; But since, amidst much happiness, and amidst broken, it is possible, by human frailty, but never contrivances for happiness, so far as we can changed into a different plan, never declining into judge, (and of many we can judge,) misery, and a compromised, partial, gradual reform; on the very considerable portions of it do exist, it becomes contrary, resumed with the same sincerity as that a natural inquiry, to what end this mixture of with which it set out, and with a force of resolu- good and evil is properly adapted? And I think tion, and an earnestness of prayer, increased in the Scriptures place before us, not only the true, proportion to the clearer view they have acquired (for, if we believe the Scriptures, we must believe of their danger and of their want.

it to be that,) but the most rational and satisfac

tory answer which can be given to the inquiry; and our tongues with praise. This is easy; this namely, that it is intended for a state of trial and is delightful. None but they who are sunk in probation. For it appears to me capable of proof, sensuality, sottishness, and stupefaction, or whose both that no state but one, which contained in it understandings are dissipated by frivolous puran admixture of good and evil, would be suited to suits ; none but the most giddy and insensible can this purpose ; and also that our present state, as be destitute of these sentiments. But this is not well in its general plan as in its particular proper- the trial or the proof. It is in the chambers of ties, serves this purpose with peculiar proprieiy. sickness; under the stroke of affliction; amida

A state, totally incapable of misery, could not the pinchings of want, the groans of pain, the be a state of probation. It would not be a state in pressures of infirmity; in grief, in misfortune ; which virtue or vice could even be exercised at all through gloom and horror-that it will be seen -I mean that large class of virtues and vices, whether we hold fast our hope, our confidence, which we comprehend under the name of social our trust in God; whether this hope and condduties. The existence of these depends upon the dence be able to produce in us resignation, acexistence of misery as well as of happiness in the quiescence, and submission. And as those dispo world, and of different degrees of both; because sitions, which perhaps form the comparative pertheir very nature and difference consists in pro- fection of our moral nature, could not have been moting or preventing, in augmenting or diminish- exercised in a world of unmixed gratification, so ing, in causing, aggravating, or relieving the neither would they have found their proper office wants, sufferings, and distresses of our fellow or object in a state of strict and evident retribucreatures. Compassion, charity, humanity, bene- tion; that is, in which we had no sufferings to volence, and even justice, could have no place in submit to, but what were evidently and manifestthe world, if there were not human conditions to ly the punishment of our sins. A mere submisexcite them; objects and sufferings upon which sion to punishment, evidently and plainly such, they might operate ; misery, as well as happiness, would not have constituted, at least would very which might be affected by them.

imperfectly have constituted the disposition which Nor would, in my opinion, the purposes of trial we speak of, the true resignation of a Christian. be sufficiently provided for, by a state in which It seems, therefore, to be argued, with very happiness and misery regularly followed virtue great probability, from the general economy of and vice; I mean, in which there was no happi- things around us, that our present state was ness, but what was merited by virtue ; no misery meant for a state of probation; because positively but what was brought on by vice. Such a state it contains that admixture of good and evil which would be a state of retribution, not a state of pro- ought to be found in such a state to make it anbation. It may be our state hereafter; it may be swer its purpose—the production, exercise, and a better state; but it is not a state of probation, it improvement of virtue ; and, because negatively, is not the state through which it is fitting we it could not be intended either for a state of abso should pass before we enter into the other ; for lute happiness, or a state of absolute misery, nei when we speak of a state of probation, we speak ther of which it is. of a state in which the character may both be put We may now also observe in what manner to the proof, and also its good qualities be confirm- many of the evils of life are adjusted to this partied and strengthened, if not formed and produced, cular end, and how also they are contrived to by having occasions presented in which they may soften and alleviate themselves and one another. be called forth and required. Now, beside that, It will be enough at present, if I can point out the social qualities which have been mentioned how far this is the case in the two instances, which, would be very limited in their exercise, if there of all others, the most nearly and seriously affect was no evil in the world but what was plainly a us—death and disease. The events of life and punishment, (for though we might pity, and even death are so disposed, as to beget, in all reflecting that would be greatly checked, we could not ac- minds, a constant watchfulness. What I say tually succour or relieve, without disturbing the unto you I say unto all, watch." Hold yourselves execution, or arresting, as it were, the hand of in a constant state of preparation. "Be ready, for

justice ;) beside this difficulty, there is another you know not when your Lord cometh." Had class of most important duties which would be in there been assigned to our lives a certain age or a great measure excluded. They are the severest, period, to which all, or alınost all, were sure of the sublimest, perhaps the most meritorious, of arriving: in the younger part, that is to say, in which we are capable; I mean patience and com- nine tenths of the whole of mankind, there would posure under distress, pain, and affliction; a have been such an absolute security as would steadfast keeping up of our confidence in God, have produced, it is much to be feared the utmost and our dependence upon his final goodness, even neglect of duty, of religion, of God, of themselves; at the time that every thing present is discourag- whilst the remaining part would have been too ing and adverse; and, what is no less difficult to much overcome with the certainty of their fate, retain, a cordial desire for the happiness and com- would have too much resembled the condition ef fort of others, even then, when we are deprived of those who have before their eyes a fixed and ap our own. I say, that the possession of this tem- pointed day of execution. The same consequence per is almost the perfection of our nature. But it would have ensued if death had followed anv is then only possessed, when it is put to the trial: known rule whatever. It would have produced tried at all, it could not have been in a life made security in one part of the species, and despair in up only of pleasure and gratification. Few things another. The first would have been in the highare easier than to perceive, to feel, to acknowledge, est degree dangerous to the character; the second, to extol the goodness of God, the bounty of Pro- insupportable to the spirits. The same observa vidence, the beauties of nature, when all things tion we are entitled to repeat concerning the two go well; when our health, our spirits, our circum- cases of sudden death, and of death brought on stances, conspire to fill our hearts with gladness, I by long disease. If sudden deaths never occurred, those who found themselves free from disease Many virtues are not only proved but produced would be in perfect safety; they would regard by trials: they have properly no existence withthemselves as out of the reach of danger. With out them. “ We glory," saith St. Paul, "in triall apprehensions they would lose all seriousness bulation also, knowing that tribulation worketh and all restraint : and those persons who the most patience, and patience experience, and experience want to be checked and to be awakened to a sense hope." of the consequences of virtue and vice, the strong, But of sickness we may likewise remark, how the healthy, and the active, would be without the wonderfully it reconciles us to the thoughts, the greatest of all checks, that which arises from the expectation, and the approach of death; and how constant liability of being called to judgment. If this becomes, in the hand of Providence, an exthere were no sudden deaths, the most awful ample of one evil being made to correct another. warning which mortals can receive would be lost: Without question, the difference is wide between That consideration which carries the mind the the sensations of a person who is condemned 10 most forcibly to religion, which convinces us that die by violence, and of one who is brought gradually it is indeed our proper concern, namely, the pre- to his end by the progress of disease; and this difcariousness of our present condition, would be ference sickness produces. To the Christian done away. On the other hand, if sudden deaths whose mind is not harrowed up by the memory of were too frequent, human life might become too unrepented guilt, the calm and gentle approach perilous: there would not be stability and depend of his dissolution has nothing in it terrible. In ence either

upon our own lives or the lives of that sacred custody in which they that sleep in those with whom we were connected, sufficient Christ will be preserved, he sees a rest from pain to carry on the regular offices of human society. and weariness, from trouble and distress: GraIn this respect, therefore, we see much wisdom. dually withdrawn from the cares and interests of Supposing death to be appointed as the mode the world ; more and more weaned from the plea(and some mode there must be) of passing from sures of the body, and feeling the weight and presone state of existence to another, the manner in sure of its intirmities, he may be brought almost which it is made to happen, conduces to the pur- to desire with St. Paul to be no longer absent poses of warning and admonition, without over- from Christ; knowing, as he did, and as he asthrowing the conduct of human affairs.

sures us, that "if our carthly house of this taberOf sickness, the moral and religious use will be nacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, acknowledged, and, in fact, is acknowledged, by a house not made with hands, eternal in the heaall who have experienced it; and they who have vens.” not experienced it, own it to be a fit state for the meditations, the offices of religion. The fault, I fear, is, that we refer ourselves too much to that state. We think of these things too little in

SERMON XXXIV. health, because we shall necessarily have to think of them when we come to die. This is a great | THE KNOWLEDGE OF ONE ANOTHER IN A FUTURE fault; but then it confesses, what is undoubtedly true, that the sick-bed and the death-bed shall in. evitably force these reflections upon us. In that Whom we preach, warning every man, and it is right, though it be wrong in waiting till the teaching every man in all wisdom, that we season of actual virtue and actual reformation be may present erery man perfect in Christ Jepast, and when, consequently, the sick-bed and SUS.-Col. i. 28. the death-bed can bring nothing but uncertainty, horror, and despair. But my present subject leads These words have a primary and a secondary me to consider sickness, not so much as a prepa- use. In their first and most obvious view, they ration for death as the trial of our virtues; of vir- express the extreme earnestness and anxiety with tues the most severe, the most arduous, perhaps which the apostle Paul sought the salvation of his the best pleasing to Almighty God; namely, trust converts. To bring men to Jesus Christ, and, and confidence in him under circumstances of dis- when brought, to turn and save them from their couragement and perplexity. To lift up the fee-sins, and to keep them steadfast unto the end in ble hands and the languid eye; to draw and turn the faith and obedience to which they were called, with holy hope to our Creator, when every com- was the whole work of the great apostle's ministry, fort forsakes us, and every help fails; to feel and the desire of his heart, and the labour of his lite: find in him, in his mercies, his promises, in the it was that in which he spent all his time and all works of his providence, and still more in his word, his thought; for the sake of which he travelled and in the revelation of his designs by Jesus from country to country, warning every man, as Christ, such rest and consolation to the soul as to he speaks in the text, and exhorting every man, stifle our complaints and pacify our murmurs; to enduring every hardship and every injury, ready beget in our hearts tranquillity and confidence in at all times to sacrifice his life, and at last actually the place of terror and consternation, and this with sacrificing it, in order to accomplish the great pursimplicity and sincerity, without having, or wish pose of his mission, that he might at the last day ing to have, one human witness to observe or know present his beloved converts perfect in Christ Jeit, -is such a test and trial of faith and hope, of sus. This is the direct scope of the text. But it patience and devotion, as cannot fail of being in is not for this that I have made choice of it. The a very high degree well-pleasing to the Author of last clause of the verse contains within it, indirectour natures, the guardian, the inspector, and the ly and by implication, a doctrine certainly of great rewarder of our virtues. It is true in this instance, personal importance, and, I trust, also of great as it is true in all, that whatever tries our virtue comfort to every man who hears me. The clause strengthens and improves it. Virtue comes out of is this, "That we may present every man perfect the fire purer and brighter than it went into it. I in Christ Jesus :” by which I understand St. Paul



to express his hope and prayer, that at the general and fashion, in nature and substance, that "this judgment of the world, he might present to Christ corruptible shall put on incorruption;" what is the fruits of his ministry, the converts whom he now necessarily mortal and necessarily perishable, had made to his faith and religion, and might pre- shall acquire a fixed and permanent existence. sent them perfect in every good work. And if And this is agreeable to, or rather the same thing this be rightly interpreted, then it affords a mani- as, what our apostle delivers in another epistle, fest and necessary inference, that the saints in a where he teaches us, that "Christ shall change future life will meet and be known again to one our vile body, that it may be like his glorious another; for how, without knowing again his con- body;" a change so great, so stupendous, that he verts in their new and glorified state, could St. Paul justly styles it an act of omnipotence: "accorddesire or expect to present them at the last day? ing,” says he, "to the mighty working, whereby

My brethren, this is a doctrine of real conse- he is able to subdue all things to himseli.” Since, quence. That we shall come again to a new life; then, a great alteration will take place in the frame that we shall, by some method or other, be made and constitution of the boxlies with which we shall happy, or be made miserable, in that new state, be raised, from those which we carry with us to according to the deeds done in the body, according the grave, it requires some authority or passage as we have acted and governed ourselves in this of Scripture to prove, that after this change, and world, is a point affirined absolutely and positive in this new state, we shall be known again to one ly, in all shapes, and under every variety of ex- another; that those who know each other on pression, in almost every page of the New Testa- earth, will know each other in heaven. I do al. ment. It is the grand point inculcated from the low, that the general strain of Scripture seems to beginning to the end of that book. But concern- suppose it; that when St. Paul speaks “ of the ing the particular nature of the change we are to spirits of just men made perfect," and of their undergo, and in what is to consist the employ-“coming to the general assembly of saints," it ment and happiness of those blessed spirits which seems to import that we should be known of are received into heaven, our information, even them, and of one another; that when Christ de under the Gospel, is very limited. We own it is clares, " that the secrets of the heart shall be dis

Even St. Paul, who had extraordinary com-closed,” it imports, that they shall be disclosed to munications, confessed, "that in these things we those who were before the witnesses of our acsee through a glass darkly.” But at the same tions. I do also think that it is agreeable to the time that we acknowledge that we know little, we dictates of reason itself to believe, that the same ought to remember, that without Christ we should great God who brings men to life again, will have known nothing. It might not be possible, bring those together whom death has separated. in our own present state, to convey to us, by words, When his power is at work in this great dispenmore clear or explicit conceptions of what will sation, it is very probable that this should be a part hereafter become of us; if possible, it might not of his gracious design. But for a specific text, I be fitting. In that celebrated chapter, the 15th know none which speaks the thing more posi of 1st Corinthians, St. Paul makes an inquisitive tively than this which I have chosen. St. Paul, person ask, " How are the dead raised, and with you see, expected that he should know, and be what body do they come ?" From his answer to known to those his converts; that their relation this q!iestion we are able, I think, to collect thus should subsist and be retained between them; and much clearly and certainly: that at the resurrec-with this hope he laboured and endeavoured, intion we shall have bodies of some sort or other: stantly and incessantly, that he might be able at that they will be totally difierent from, and greatly last to present them, and to present them perfect excelling, our present bodies, though possibly in in Christ Jesus. Now what St. Paul appeared some manner or other proceeding from them, as a to look for as to the general continuance, or rather plant from its seed: that as there exists in nature revival, of our knowledge of each other after a great variety of animal substances; one flesh of death, every man who strives, like St. Paul, to alman, another of beasts, another of birds, another tain to the resurrection of the dead, may expect, of fishes; as there exists also great differences in as well as he. the nature, dignity, and splendour of inanimate Having discoursed thus far concerning the artisubstances, "one glory of ihe sun, another of the cle of the doctrine itself, I will now proceed to moon, another of the stars;” so there subsist, like- enforce such practical reflections as result from it. wise, in the magazines of God Almighty's crea- Now it is necessary for you to observe, that all tion, two very distinct kinds of bodies, (still both which is here produced from Scripture concerning bodies,) a natural body and a spiritual body: that the resurrection of the dead, relates solely to the the natural body is what human beings bear about resurrection of the just. It is of them only that with them now; the spiritual body, far surpassing St. Paul speaks in the 15th chapter of lst Cothe other, what the blessed will be clothed with rinthians. "It is of the body of him, who is accepthereafter. "Flesh and blood,” our apostle teaches, ed in Christ, that the apostle declares, that it is "cannot inherit the kingdom of God;" that is, is sown in dishonour, but raised in glory: sown in by no means suited to that state, is not capable of weakness, raised in power." Likewise, when he it. Yet living men are flesh and blood; the dead speaks, in another place, of "Christ's changing in the graves are the remains of the same : where our vile bodies that they may be like his glorious fore to make all who are Christ's capable of en-i body," it is of the body of Christ's saints alone, tering into his eternal kingdom, and at all fitted of whom this is said. This point is, I think, for it, a great change shall be suddenly wrought. agreed upon amongst learned men, and is indeed As well all the just who shall be alive at the very plain. In like manner, in the passage of the coming of Christ, (whenever that event takes text, and, I think, it will be found true of every place,) as those who shall be raised from the dead, other in which mankind knowing one another in shall, in the twinkling of an eye, be changed a future life is implied, the implication extends Bodies they shall retain still, but so altered in form only to those who are received amongst the

« VorigeDoorgaan »