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sot consist in seeding, and cloathing, and pleasing it; but in getting it united to Christ, and made the temple of the Holy Ghost: in using it for God, and dedicating it to God.

I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies living sacrifices to God, which is your reasonable service, Rom. xii. 1. The soul should look upon the body as a wise parent upon a rebellious or wanton child, that would, if left to itself, quickly bring itself to the gallows; the father looks on him with compassion and melting bowels, and saith, with the rod in his hand, and tears in his eyes, "My child, my "naughty, disobedient, headstrong child, 1 resolve to chastise "thee severely, I love thee too well to suffer thee to be ruin"ed, if my care or correction may prevent it." So should our souls evidence their love to, and care over their own rebellious flesh. It is cruelty, not love or pity, to indulge them to their own destruction.

Except you have gracious fouls, you shall never have glorified bodies: except your fouls be united with Christ, the happiness of your bodies as well as your fouls, is lost to all eternity. Know you not that the everlasting condition of your bodies follows, and depends on the interest your fouls now get in Christ? Oh that this sad truth might fink deep into all our considerations this day; that if your bodies be snares to your fouls, and your souls. be now regardless of the future state of themselves, and them; assuredly they will have a bitter parting at death, a terrible meeting again at the resurrection, and horrid reflections upon each other, naturally charging their ruin upon each other to all eternity. Whilst they that are in Christ, part in hope, meet with joy, and blels God for each other for evermore.

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2 Pet. i. 13, 14. Tea, I think it'mcet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up, by putting you in remembrance.

JCnovting that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jefus Christ hath she-wed me.

AT the tenth verse of this chapter, the apostle sums up his foregoing precepts and exhortations in one great and most important duty, the " making sure of their calling and e*' lection." This exhortation he enforceth on them by a most solemn apd weighty motive, ver; n. " Even an abundant. entrance into the everlasting kingdom." No work of greater necessity or difficulty, than to make sure our salvation, to argn" ment more forcible and prevalent, than an easy and free entrance; into glory at death, an m^eamrm, a sweet and comfortable dissolution, to enter the port of glory before the wind, with our full lading of comfort, peace, and joy in believing, pur sails full, and our streamers flying: Oh! how much better is this, than to ly wind-bound, I mean heart-bound, at the harbour's mouth! toiled up and down with sears, doubts, and manifold temptations, making many a board to setch the harbour; for so much is signified in his figurative and allusive expression, ver: n.

And for their encouragement in this great and difficult work* he engageth himself by promise to give rtiem all the assistance he can, whilst God should continue his lise; and knowing that would be but a little while, he resolves to use his utmost endeavour to secure these things in their memories after his death, that they might not die with him. This is the general scope and order of the words.

Wherein more particularly we have,

1. His exemplary industry and diligence in his ministerial work.

2. The consideration stimulating and provoking him thereunto.

1. His exemplary industry and diligence in his ministerial work. In which two things are remarkable, viz. (1.) Th* quality of his work, which was * to stir them up, by putting them m remembrance, to keep the heavenly flame of love and zeal lively upon the altar of their hearts. He well knew what a sleepy disease the best Christians are troubled with, and therefore he had need to be stirring them up, and awaking them to Hheir duty. (2.) The constancy of his work: as long as lam in this tabernacle; i. e. as long as I live in this world. The body is here called a tabernacle, in respect of its moveablenefs and frailty, and in opposition to that house made without hands, eternal in the heavens. And it is observable how he limits and bounds his scrviceableness to them, by his commoration in his tabernacle or body, as well knowing after death he could be no longer useful to them or any others in this world. Death puts an end to all our ministerial usefulness: but till that time he judged it meet! and becoming him, to be aiding and assisting their saith: our life and labour must end together.

2. We have here the motive, or consideration, stimulating and

* Aisyiif«t, signifies to raise up, or awake, i. e. your minds. whick are, as it were, sleepy or slumbering, and dull, 6c. Potts Jynopjis^ provoking him to this diligence; "knowing that I must short•• ly put off this tabernacle, even as the Lord Jesus Christ hath ** lhewed me." In which words he gives an account of, (1.) The specdiness; (2.) necessity; (3.) voluntariness of his death, and the way and means by which he knew it. All these mull be confidered singly and apart, and thenvalued all together, as they amount to a weighty argument or motive to excite him to diligence in his duty. rily for the church's service, full of spiritual excellencies, all 'which in a short time would be taken away from them by death: I say, upon all these accounts, he could not but judge it meet to be stirriog them up, and every way striving to be as useful a» he could. Hence the note will be,

(1.) He reflects upon the speediness or near approach of his death. "I must [•{• shortly] put off this my tabernacle;" which is a form of speech of the same importance with that of Paul, 2 Tim. iv 6. " The time of my departure is at hand," my time in the body is almost at an end.

(2.) The necessity of his death: It is not I may, but I must put off this my tabernacle; yea, I must put it off shortly; for so the Lord hath shewed him: Christ had signified it expresly to him, John xxi. iS, 19. And beside this, most expositors think this clause resers to some special vision or revthtion which Peter had of the time and manner of his own death : so that besides the natural necessity, or the ineyitableness of his death by the law of nature, he was certified of it by special revelation. We have here also,

(3.) The voluntariness of his death; for voluntariness is consistent enough with the necessity of the event. I must put off, or lay down my tabernacle; he faith not, 1 must be torn, or rent by violence from it, but I must depofe, or lay it down. % Camero will have the word here used for death, properly to signify the laying down of one's garments: he made no more of putting off his body than his garment.

Upon the consideration of the whole matter, the speedinesi of his death which he knew to be at hand; the necessity of it, that when it came he must be gone from, and could be no more useful to them; and his own inclination to be with Christ in a better state, being as willing to be gone, as a weary traveller to be at home; he judged it meet, or becoming him, as he was called of Christ to feed his sheep, as he was gifted extraordina

• f Tajeim brevi suturum. Every Christian knows not the time of his death, as Peter did by special revelation.—'—But though we know it -not by a word spoken to us in particular, we know it by a word written for all in common, Eccl. ix. 5. " The living know that »• they must die."

1 He calls it a putting off or laying down, thereby signifying his willingness to die for Christ. Pool.

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Doct. How strong soever the assertions and inclinations offouls are to the fleshly tabernacles they now live in, yet they must put them of-, and that speedily.

The point lies very plain before us in the (1.)Thecertain- scriptures. That is a remarkable expression ty of death, Job we have in Job xvi. 22. "When a sew years xvi. 22. "* are come, I (hall gothe way whence I shall

"not return." In tin Hebrew it is, j| " When "the years of number, or my numbred years are come? years "so numbred, that they are circumscribed in a very short period "of time." When those sew years are past, then I must go to my long home, my everlasting abode, never more to return to this world: "The way whence I (hall not return;" elsewhere called "the way of all flesh," Jolh. xxiii. 15. and "the way of "all the earth," 1 Kings ii. 2.

"There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain "the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death, and "there is no discharge in that war," Eccl. viii. 8. By spirit understand the natural spirit, or breath of lise, which, as I (hewed before, connects or ties the soul and body together. This spirit no man can retain in the day of death. We can (as one speaks) as well stop the chariot of the sun when posting to night, and chafe away the shadows of the evening, as escape this hour of darkness that is coming upon us *. A man may escape the wars by pleading privilege of years, or weakness of body, or the king's protection, or by sending another in his room; but in this war the press is so strict, that it admits no dispensation; young or old, weak or strong, willing or unwilling, all is one, into the field we must go, and look that last and most dreadful enemy in the face. It is in vain to think ofsending another in our room, for noman dieth by proxy; or to think of compounding with death, as thole self-deluded fools did, Isa. xxviii. 15. who thought they had been discharged of the debt by seeing the serjeant: No, no: there is no discharge in that war. Nihil prodest ora concludere, et vis am

(I Amir.iimtri (i.e.) qui numerati s<int adeo ut Irevissmi p:ri. eds circumscripti.

* No diligence avoids, no happiness subdues, and no power orer* comes death, fays Seneca.

fugiehtetn tetiriere, faith Hieroin on that text: Let us shut our months never so close, struggle against death never so bard, there is no more retaining the spirit, than a woman can retain the fruit of her womb, when the full time of her deliverance is come. Suppose a man were sitting upon a throne of majesty, surrounded with armed guards, or in the midst of a college of expert and learned physicians, death will pass all these guards to deliver thee the fatal message: Neither can arts help thee, when natiiie itself gives thee up.

The law of mortality binds all, good and bad, young and old, the most useful and desirable saints, whom the world can worst spare, as well as uselels and undesirable sinners, Rom. viii. 10. "And if Christ (or though Christ) be in you, the body is dead *' because of sin." Peter himself must put off his tabernacle, for they are but tabernacles, frail and moveablc frames, not built for continuance; these will drop off from our souls, as the shells fall off from the bird in the nest; be our earthly tabernacles never so strong or pleasant, we must depose them, and that shortly; our lease in them (2.) The speedineft will quickly expire, we have but a short of death. The scripterra. James iv. T4. like a thin mist in the tures borrow nut,v morning, which the son presently dissipates; pkors from all the this is a metaphor chosen from the air: elements to this You have one from the land, where the purpofe. swift post runs, Job ix. 25. So doth our lise from stage to stage, till its journey be finished ; and a third from the waters, there fail the swift ships, Job ix. 26. which weighing anchor, and putting into the sea, continually lessm .the land, till at last they have quite lost sight of it: from the fire, Psal. Iviii. 4. The lives of men are as soon extinct as a blaze made with dry thorns, which is almost as soon out as in. Thus you fee how the Spirit of God. hath borrowed metaphors from all the elements of nature, to shadow forth the brevity, and frailty of that lise we now live in these tabernacles: so that we may fay as one did before us, Nescio an dicenda sit vita mortalis, an vitalis mers; 1 know not which to call it, a mortal lise, or a living death.

The continuance of these our tabernacles or bodies is short, whether we consider them absolutely, or comparatively.

1. Absolutely. If they should stand 70 or 80 years, which is the longest duration, Psal. xc. 10. how soon will that time run out? What are years that are past but as a dream that is vanished, or as the waters that are past away I it is infuxu contiVol. HI. I i

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