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obstruct their re-entrance into a state of grace and holiness. For without this, be well assured, that we shall have no benefit in his death and passion. For he did not die to tolerate sin and wickedness, nor did he rise again to justify the ungodly : But he died and rose again for the discharge of those sinners only, who repent of their sins, and obey his holy laws. So that the mercies of this day, and the benefit of that Sacrament, if we do not crucify all our lusts, kill and mortify our most beloved vices, will only serve to enhance our guilt and increase qar çondemnation.
3dly.. If Christ be risen from the dead, then anay we be assured that we shall rise also: for this is what he has promised us, and what lich has promised he is able to perform ; since he who could do what jis greatest, can certainly do what is Icast: He who could give life to himself, to his
own dead body, can likewise give it to the bodies of others : He who was loosed from the pains of death, because it was impossible that he should be holden of it,
will be able also to ransom us from the power of the graye.
And now, how should this consideration comfort us for the loss of our departed friends, that they are not perished, but only, fallen, asļeep, in order to be again awakened with great glory and perfection. How again should the assurance of our own resurrection arm us against the fears of death ? How willing should it make us to lay down our heads in the dust ; since after the victory, which the great Çaptain of our salvation has obtained for us, we may venture to look death in the face with the exulting language of Scripture, Rejoice not against home,: 0 mine enemy;, when I fall, I 1 shall arise ; when I sit in darkness, the
Lord shall be a light unto me; Though I moulder into dust, though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God, in this flesh and this very body, which is now
united to my soul.”. The hour is coming, in which all that are in the
graves shall hear the voice of the Son of Man,
and shall come forth: The trump of God shall no sooner sound, than the scattered particles of our corrupted bodies shall be gathered together, from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven, and the same body which was laid in the dust, shall again start up into life. But then it shall be made much more glorious and perfect : It is sown in corruption, it shall be raised in incorruption : it is now liable to pain, and sickness, and death, but when raised, it shall die no more ; it shall be for ever young, and healthful, and as immortal as the soul itself. It is sown in dishonour, it shall be raised in glory : it is now vile and corruptible, subject to deformity and disease ; but it shall be raised all-glorious and beautiful ; it shall shine as the sun, and shall be fashioned as the glorious body of our blessed Saviour. It is sown in weakness, it shall be raised in power : it is now weak and im- . potent, wearied out by fatigue and labour, or bowed down by age and infirmity, but it shall be raised vigorous and active, having all its faculties enlarged with new
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degrees of strength and power.
sown a natural body, but it shall be “ raised a spiritual body:" These bodies of ours, which are now kept from perish: ing by constant supplies of air and nou. rishment, and which often weigh down the natural activity of our minds, shall then have a principle of life within themselves, by which they will subsist, without the aid of foreign supports. In a word, they shall be so refined, and made so subservient to the operations of our better and nobler part, that they shall greatly contribute to the making our ideas more lively, our sensations more acute, and every faculty of our souls more vigorous and extensive. Such a glorious scene of things has the religion of Jesus laid
open, and his resurrection from the dead assured
What remains then, but that we approach that holy table, in obedience to the commands of our dying Master, with hearts overflowing with gratitude for all the mercies of our redemption; and more VOL. IV.
partiparticularly, because we are this day commemorating the resurrection of our Lord, which has sealed and confirmed to us all the rest, and which if it had never happened, our preaching would be vain, and your faith also vain. Let us be firmly resolved never to forsake or be ashamed of, never to be laughed or terrified out of the profession of that religion, which God has publicly owned to be his, by this, and so many other stupendous miracles. But, above all, let us take care to adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour by all the graces and virtues of a godly and Christian life. If we do but receive the blessed Sacrament with such holy resolutions as these, together with a hearty sorrow for our past transgressions, we shall assuredly find from it both rest and comfort to our souls ; and every time we thus receive it, it will give us a certain earnest and foretaste of those transcendent delights, which we shall one day enjoy in the mansions of the blessed, where all tears shall be wiped from our eyes, and sorrow and pain shall flee