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Plant so far produced and forwarded, that whenever it shall be removed to a more favourable Clime, it may Spring up and flourish in immortal Life: and that it will do so, must be the strongest Motive and Incitement for us thus to labour chearfully in our Lord's Vineyard; to be stedfast and unmoveable, always abounding in his Work, forasmuch as we know that our Labour shall not be in vain. Our Title to this Immortality is now so sure, that we are oft spoken of as if we were already in possession of it". We are said to have already passed from Death to Lifed. We are taught to consider this our temporary Diffolution as no Death, in the original true Sense of the Word"; since we can have no apprehension that it will leave us under the Bondage of Corruption, and in the Blackness of Darkness for ever ; but are assured, on the contrary, that it leads us to the glorious Liberty of the Children of God, to an Inheritance incorruptible, and that fadeth not away, reserved in Heaven for us.
Thus is Mortality swallowed up of Life; and we henceforth are said not to die', but seep, as Christ pronounces of those two whom he raiseds, and as • See Benson on : 70.3.14.
the intermediate State of every Christian is described by his Apostlesh: Nay, in his proof of the general Resurrection, he declares of all the Faithful, that they ever live to God, as being still in Covenant with him, from whom Death itself cannot separate them k; nor is the Interval between that and the Resurrection of any more account with God, than it is of real Import to themselves, as we have seen.
Thus though in the fight of the Unwise we seem to die, — yet is our Hope full of Immortality, and our Departure and Dismission from this mortal State becomes our Entrance and Admitljon into it. Well therefore may we now fay with the Psalmist', Return unto thy Reft, O my Soul, for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee. I will lay me down in peace, and sleep, 'till I awake in the Morning, of the Resurrection. We
with the good Apostle chearfully commit our Souls into the hand of our faithful Creator ; who, we are persuaded, is able to keep that which is committed unto him against that Day. Whải a mild and unterrifying thing must Death be in such a View as this?' 'Tis nothing, we see, in the Scripture-account; nor are we ever bid to fear or prepare for it, (as is observed by a pious Writer m;) but to look and watch for", and hasten unto that coming of the Day of the Lord", which it directly introduces, and which is therefore said to be at hand!, to draw nigh, and present our Judge even at the
h 1 Cor.15.18,20. Thell 4.13, 14.-5. 10. v. fupra, i Luk, 20.38.
* Rom. 8. 38, 39. i Pf. 116.7. m Mr. Taylor on Rom. p.355.
Matt.24.42, &c. 25.13. Mark 13. 33, &c.
Door 4. There is nothing in the former that can be terrible, to such as have learned to conceive it right, and are ready to abide its Consequences. The Pains that may attend it are uncertain, oft far from being equal to those we undergo on other Occasions; never to be compared with what must be endured after it, if we have not already taken out its Sting by mortifying and fubduing that which first occasioned it, and which still arms it with its greatest and most deadly Terrors. If we have but taken care to be of the number of those, to whom these great and precious Promises belong; if we have an Interest in, an eager Expectation of them, we shall be so far from dreada ing and declining, that we cannot avoid often dwelling on, and ever delighting in the Prospect of that, which infallibly conveys us to the Substance and Completion of them. 'Till we have done this, indeed we are, and ought to be, in a State of Bondage to this King of Terrors. Nor can we ever so far get the better of them, as to behold our Change in an agreeable Light, or bear the Reflection on it with any tolerable Quiet and Composure of Mind: it will yet fill our Cup with Bitterness, make our whole Life melancholy, and its End Confusion and Dismay.
9 Jam.5.7,8,9. The hour is coming, and now is; 10.5.25. Though some of these, and the like Passages, may more inmediately relate to Christ's first coming to Judgment at the destruction of Jerusalem, as some learned Men suppose ; [see Mr.Fortin's Remarks on Eccl. Hift. V.1. p.49, 50.) yet are they no less applicable to his second Coming in the sense abovementioned, whereof the former has been generally considered as a Type, and both are usually described in the same terms. Matt. 24. 29, &c.
Seeing then that the all-wise Creator of the World has for so many good Ends been pleased to put it under the Dominion of Death, and the allmerciful Redeemer hath so fully done his part to qualify this seemingly most dreadful Dispensation, and convert it into the greatest real Blessing, by making it a proper Passage to, and Preparation for an infinitely nobler and more perfect State; Let us be persuaded to do our Parts likewise, that these gracious Ends may be obtained in us; and by consequence, that this necessary means to them may be ever reflected on with Joy, and not with Grief: Nay, that the Thought of this may serve, as it is intended, to the Mitigation of all other Griefs, and to the Improvement and the Consummation of our Joys; whilst we are ever looking for, and longing after that blessed Hope, and the glorious Appearance of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Chrift.
Now unto the same God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
, who according to bis abundant Mercy bath begotten us again unto a lively Hope by the Refurrection of Jesus Christ from the Dead, to him be all Might, Majesty and Dominion, both now and for evermore,