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tial mortification in some persons while alive, to such a degree as to render them disagreeable to themselves and to those who attend them. But if mankind escape this most distressing condition while living, how soon after they have died, do they become a mass of putrefaction, insomuch that their friends are obliged to hurry them to the grave for the sake of the living. However much beloved before, they now say with Abraham, “Bury my dead out of my sight.” The apostle therefore styles it this vile body. “Who shall change this vile body, and fashion it like unto his glorious body.” But “this corruptible must put on incorruption.” After this change, it shall be spiritual and glorious, and thus fit to be re-united to the soul, and in a complete person enter into the joy of the Lord. “And this mortal must put on immortality.” That body which was subject to disease and death must put on immortality. It will become as immortal as the mind or soul itself. “Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written (Isaiah xxv. 8.) Death is swallowed up in victory.” The resurrection or change of the body will be the destruction of death, because the grave shall deliver up the dead that are in it, and the sea shall give up the dead that are in it, and there shall be no more pain, no more death; for the former things shall all be passed away.
• Let us now close the subject with a few reflections: 1. How sublime and interesting is this doctrine of divine revelation | What a cheering prospect it opens to the believer, when contemplating the dissolution of the body. Though now vile, and subject to disease and death, it shall finally be changed, and fashioned like to Christ's glorious body. What inconceivable joys await the real Christian, in this perfect resurrection state. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” The last trump will sound with sufficient energy to raise the dead. He who has all power in heaven and earth in his hands can easily call the dead from the grave. Of this we have decisive proof in the resurrection of Lazarus. How interesting is this truth to the dying Christian. Supported by its influence, he is enabled to say, “Thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ.” It is interesting also to the living Christian. When he follows his pious, beloved friend to the grave, he rejoices that he shall live again. “Not lost, but gone before,” is his motto, when such are removed from him. 2. For this blessing we are indebted to Christ: “for if we believe that Jesus died and rose again; -even so them also that sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” The resurrection of Christ is a sure pledge of the resurrection of his people. He rose as their Head, and for their justification. Often beset with difficulties and dangers, the believer is ready to say, If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. “But now (he can add) is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept. Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.”
3. How glorious to the saints will be the resurrection day ? This to them will be a morning without clouds. It will be the beginning of a glorious scene, that will never close. They will now enter upon the felicities of that state, and be introduced into that kingdom, prepared for them from the foundation of the world. The Lamb that is in the midst of the throne shall lead them to living fountains of water; and God himself shall dwell with them, and be their God; and all tears shall be wiped away.
4. And lastly, how awful will that day be to unbelievers. They must also rise, but “to the resurrection of damnation.” How unspeakably distressing the condition of those, who shall then be driven to cry to the rocks and mountains, saying, “Fall on us, and hide us from Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb : for the great day of his wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand.”
May the Lord enable such of you as are in a Christless state, to bow to the sceptre of mercy, before it is too late; before the pit shut its mouth upon you, and repentance be finally hidden from your eyes. The Lord grant that ye may find mercy in that day, for Christ's sake. Amen.
PSALM lxv. 2.
THE being and perfections of God are the foundation of all religion and morality. This principal truth is established by every thing around us, and by the common consent of mankind; and is inseparably connected with many other important principles: such as, the creation of all things ; upholding, preserving and governing all things. That Deity had a certain and very important end in view in bringing into existence such a great variety of beings, cannot be doubted. That that end shall infallibly be accomplished ; in order to which, he governs all things, great and small ; the fall of a sparrow, as certainly as the rise and fall of empires. If he did not govern all, his plan might be disappointed. That he hath established in his own mind the means by which his purposes shall be brought to pass. Hence follow other truths: such as, that we are accountable to him ; and that there will come a period, when all mankind shall appear before him, to give an account of the things done in the body. To which I add, that the duties of prayer and thanksgiving also result from this first principle: for if God created and governs all things, it follows, that we are to ask of him the blessings we need, and to praise him for all those that surround us. In this view of things, we learn the dependence that all creation hath on God. To this great source we trace our duties and obligations. The duties in which we are now engaged, arise from it. This David well understood ; hence he begins the psalm with these words: “Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in Zion ; and unto thee shall the vow be performed.” He then adds, “O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come.” The text naturally introduces various considerations, that are suitable to the occasion. David, instead of using any of the common names by which Deity is known in the holy scriptures, addresses him in this endearing language: “O thou that hearest prayer,” and adds, “to thee shall all flesh come ;” that is, in prayer. Let us, on the present occasion, consider,
t Delivered April 7, 1801, being the quarterly day of prayer.
I. The nature, design, and uses of prayer. II. The circumstances that urge us to this duty, and our encouragements to engage in it.
I. The nature, design and uses of prayer.
Prayer is, properly speaking, the language of the heart. Hence Paul speaks of praying with the spirit. And we read of some persons who are said to worship God with their lips, but their hearts are far from him. No prayer can be acceptable to God, unless the heart is engaged in it. The most excellent expressions, accompanied with the greatest apparent fervour, are nothing but solemn mockery, unless the heart be duly exercised. For Jehovah looks at the heart, and