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or proprietor of them, but rather a steward intrusted with themy till the Lord require an account of them; and then it must de liver up all it hath received, even to a person. Rev. xx. 11, 12. “ And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God: “ And the books were opened; and another book was opened, “ which is the book of life; and the dead were judged out of “ those things which were written in the book, according to “ their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were « in it."
The doctrine of the refurrection of the body, is a doctrine full of singular consolations to believers, 1 Cor. xv. and most clearly asserted in Scripture, Acts xxvi. 8. Job xix. 25. 1 Cor. xv. &c. And it is well for us this point is fo plainly revealed; because as it is a most comfortable truth to the people of God, so there is scarce any truth that lies under more prejudice, as to sense or reason, and is more difficult to receive, than this is. The Epicures and Stoics laughed Paul to scorn when he preached it to them, Acts xvii. 32. The Familifts and Quakers at this day reject it as a fable. The Socinians say the same body shall not rife, but an ærial body. And, indeed, if men set up reason as the only judge of supernatural things, it is incredible to think, that a body should be restored, that hath been burnt to ashes, and those aihes scattered in the wind; as history tells us was frequently done by the bodies of the faints in Dioclefian's reign! or when drowned in the sea, and there devoured by several fishes, and those again devoured by others. But yet this is not to be objected to the almighty power of God, that gave them their first being : difficulties and impossibilities are for men, but not for him. “ Why should it be thought a thing “ incredible with you, that God thould raise the dead?” Acts xxvi. 8.
REFLECTION. And must I rise again, where ever my body falls at death? Then, Lord, how am I concerned to get union with Chrift while I live? By virtue thereof only, my resurrection can be made comfortable, and blessed to me. Ah ! let my body lie where it will, in earth or fea; let my bones be scattered, and flesh devoured by worms or fith, I know thou canst, and wilt re-unite my scattered parts; and in this body I must stand before thine awful tribunal, to receive according to what I have done therein, 2 Cor. v. 10. Thou that commandest me to stand forth among the noblest rank of creatures, when I had no being, and fawest my substance, being yet imperfect, canik as easily reduce me to that being again.
What though reason vote it impoílible, and sense incredible ? Though all these difficulties and incumbrances grow upon my faith, yet I know my body is not loft for ever; the sound of thy last and dreadful trumpet, shall awaken me; and thy mighty power, to which all things are possible, fhall bring me before thy bar.
O Lord, I know that I shall stand in that great affembly at the last day, when multitudes, multitudes, even all the fons and daughters of Adam, fhall appear together. O if I die Chriftless, it were good for me that there were no resurrections for then those eyes that have been windows of luft, must behold Christ the Judge, not as a Redeemer, but as a Revenger. That
tongue that hath vented so much of the filthiness of my heart, will then be struck speechless before him; and this filesh which I fo pampered and provided for, condemned to everlasting flames. O my God, let me make sure work for such a
, day! if I now get real union with thy Son, I shall awake with finging out of the duft; and then, as thou saidt to Jacob, fo to
down into the sea, or grave, Gen. xlvi. 3, 4. “ Fear not to go down into the deep; for I will surely bring “ thee up again.”
me, when I
The P O E M.
T should not seem incredible to thee,
That God should raise the dead in Teas that be:
CHA P. XXXI.
sea room enough, they are not much dismayed: but if they find themselves near the ihore, they look upon their condition as very dangerous: the fight of the shore is to them (as Solomon speaks of the morning in another cafe) like the shadow of death, if not able to weather it. For one ship swallowed up in the ocean, many perish upon the coast.
APPLICATION. The greatest straits and difficulties that many faints meet with in all their lives, is when they come nearest to heaven, and have almost finished their course. Heaven, indeed, is a glorious place, the spacious, and royal mansion of the great king ; but difficilia quae pulchra ; it hath a strait and narrow entrance, Luke xiii. 24. O the difficulty of arriving there! how many hard tugs in duty, what earnest contention and ftriving, even to an agony! as that word imports, Luke xiii. 24. Multitudes put forth, and by profeífion are bound for this fair haven : but of the multitudes that put out, how few do arrive there ? A man may set out by a glorious profession, with much refolution, and continue long therein; he may offer very fair for it, and not be far from the kingdom of God, and yet not be able to enter at the laft, Mat. vii. 22.
Yea, and many of those who are fincere in their profeffion, and do arrive at last, yet come to heaven (as I may say) by the gates of hell; and put in, as a poor weather-beaten veffelcomes into the harbour, more like a wreck than a ship, neither mast nor fail left. The righteous themselves are scarcely saved, (i.e.) they are saved with very much difficulty. They have not all an abundant entrance, as the apostle speaks, 2 Pet.j. 11.
• Some persons (as * one well notes) are afar off, Eph. ii. 23. 'fi.e.) touched with no care of religion : fome come near, • but never enter, as semi-converts. See Matth. xii. 34. • Others enter, but with great difficulty, they are saved as by • fire, 1 Cor. iii. 13. Make an hard shift. But then there
some that go in with full fail before the wind, and have ' an abundant entrance: they gotriumphing out of the world."
* Manton on Jude. p. 119.
Ah ! when we come into the narrow channel, at the
very point of entrance into life, the soul is chen in the most serious frame; all things look with a new face; conscience scans our evidence most critically; then, also, Satan falls upon us, and makes his forest assaults, and batteries. It is the last encounter; if they escape him now, they are gode out of his reach for ever : and if he cannot hinder their falvation, yet if he can but cloud their evening, and make thed ġo groaning and howling out of the world, he reaches another end by it, even to confirm and prejudice the wicked, and weaken the hands of others that are lookiog towards religion.
REFLECTION. If this be so, how inevitable is my perdition, may the careless foul fay? If they that strive fo much, and go so far, yet perilh at last ; and if the righteous themelves are scarcely saved, then where shall such an uogodly creature as I appear? O Lord ! if they that have made religion their business, and have been many years pursuing a work of mortification, have gone mourning after the Lord Jesus, and walked humbly with God; yet if some of these have such an hard tug at last, then what will become of such a vain, fensual, careless, flesh-pleasing wretch as I have been ?
Again, Do saints fiod it fo (trait an entrance? Then, though I have well-grounded hopes of safe arrival at last; yet let me look to it, that I do not increase the difficulty. Ah! they are the things that are now done, or omitted, that put conscience into luch an agony theo ; for theo it comes to review the life with the most serious eye. O let me not stick my death bed full of thoros, against I come to lie down upon it. O that I may turn to the wall, in that hour, as Hezekiah did, 2 Kings xx. 2, 3. aod say, “ Remember now, O Lord, how I have walked “ before thee in truth, and with a perfect heart," doc.
The PO E M.
The glorious shore, salvation being nigh:
Thoughts now arise, fears multiply apace;.
As thips out of a form, por fail, nor malt:
CH A P. XXXII.
tedious and dangerous voyage, they defcry land, and fee the defired haven before them? Then they turn out of their Toathed cabios, and come upon open deck with much joy. Pfal. cvii. 30." Then they are glad, because they be quiet : So he
briogeth them to their defired haven.” Now they can reflect, with comfort, upon the many dangers they have paft, Olim haec meminisse juvabit ; it is sweet to recount ibem.
APPLICATION. But what a transcendent joy, yea, ravishing, will over-run the hearts of faints, when, after fo many conflicts, temptations, and afilictions, they arrive in glory, and are harboured in heaven, where they shall rest for ever! 2 Thefl. i. 7. The fcripture faith, “ They shall fing the song of Moses, and of the “ Lamb," Rev. xv. 3. The fong of Moses was a triumphant long, composed for the celebration of that glorious deliverance at the red sea. The faints are now fluctuatiog upon a trouble. fome and tempestuous fea; their hearts fometimes ready to fiok, and dic within them, at the apprehension of so many and great