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Enoch carried into heaven the earthly tabernacle in which his spirit dwelt at the hour of his departure from this world. Elijah, with the body which passed over Jordan, was borne aloft, leaving only his mantle to his faithful follower, Elisha. Those who have been laid in their graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and live. He who is our resurrection and our life, was quickened in the same body which the benevolent Joseph had laid in his own tomb. That body saw no corruption, and it still retained the impressions of the nails, and of the spear wherewith cruelty had torn the flesh of our crucified Saviour. They, too, who shall live on earth, when the last trumpet shall announce the end of time, will carry with them into their eternal rest, the bodies in which they shall have heard that solemn sound.
Nor can the existence of cannibals, or the uses to which the component atoms of the bodies of the dead, may have been in the mean put, prevent Jehovah from the execution of his declared purpose of raising all the dead to life.
Voyagers and travellers love the marvellous. Philosophers are equally prone to give credit to strange accounts. There is no nation under heaven, which eat, as ordinary food, human flesh. Revenge or necessity may have occasionally driven miserable man to devour a morsel of the body of his brother. The confusion of parts which this produces, must be very small. Every particle of body is not essential to it. If another has accidentally swallowed a drop of my blood, can we not still be distinguished? The faint and thirsty soldier has drunk the blood of a wounded companion on the field of battle, and both have recovered perfect health. Are they not still two distinct persons ? And shall not God, at the resurrection, distinguish the body of one from that of another? Disguise this objection as you will, it is founded upon a limitation of the divine attributes.
Shall the objections to the doctrine of the resurrection of the body, be rested upon the several uses to which its inanimate particles may be put between death and the resurrection? The wisdom of God in this ought rather to be admired. So long as every particle is directed by omniscience, no difficulty can arise from the uses which they may be made to answer. God arranges all the atoms of matter in the universe with more ease than we can combine the letters of the alphabet, or distinguish the gold from the silver in our coffer. He watches over the revolutions of a single particle, as well as over the changes itt of a great empire. In the multitude of uses which the elements answer, they are not lost, nor disqualified from appearing again in their original form. Light enters into the constitution of vegetables. It is again exhaled, and becomes an ingredient of the vital air. It is restored, in the process of combustion, to its original brightness, and illuminates our habitations. And shall not that God who di. rects its course, collect and re-animate the bodies of the saints, purchased by the Redeemer, and predestinated to shine in heaven with perpetual glory? Should even all the particles of matter which exist upon the surface of the globe, after all the numerous uses in which they have been cmployed, be necessary to the re-organization of the bodies of men, it would only be an additional illustration of the principle, that infinite wisdom has done nothing in vain.
(To be continued.)
FOR THE CHRISTIAN's MAGAZINE,
Letter from Mrs. Harriet Backus.
Canaan, Dec. 20, 1801. I RECEIVED your letter in October, at a time when ill health prevented my answering it by the only opportunity I have had to convey a letter. Your own heart would not let you accuse me of neglect from · motives of indifference, I am certain ; and you have charitably accounted for my silence. To hear that you are, or was really anxious, my dear friend, for your eternal welfare, created a sensation, that at once both pleased and pained me. I have myself felt too sensibly the horrors of an awakened conscience, to feel any joy at the reflection of such misery in others; but as I view a sense of our lost, undone situation, both by nature and practice, a necessary prelude to salvation, I am ever glad to hear that any of the slumbering creation to which I belong, are awaking from a sleep, that, if continued, will prove the sleep of eternal death.
. My dear S— you apply to a poor, stupid, ignorant sinner for direction, or advice, in things of eternal moment. I can only refer you for solid help, to those immutable counsels which, in di. vine mercy, are revealed in the blessed volume of inspiration. Those truths, my dear — , have stood the tests of all ages, though the cavils of deists, the shafts of infidels, and the satire of wicked men, have ever been pointed against them. And they will stand, when time is done, and nature is no more: for the finger of God, the pencil of the Almighty, has engraven them, and vain are the efforts of impiety. But from the perusal of this book arises your perplexity. " Great is the mystery of godli
ness; and as the heavens are high above the earth, God's ways are higher than our ways, and his thoughts, than cur thoughts." We must be particularly careful how we allow infidelity or skepticism to take root in our hearts, for they are a soil more natural to the growth of evil, than of good. I believe, that all the
ways of God to man are not only perfectly justifiable, but perfectly wise, just, and good : still there are mysteries I cannot develope. Conscience whispers, I am a worm of the dust ; and God is the Almighty, the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end of wisdom. And shall I scrutinize, shall I scan, or dare to judge between him and his works ? Trembling with 'astonishment, I bow, I believe, adore, and worship; blessing his holy name for the hope, through faith in Christ, that when this “mortal shall put on immortality,” and this renovated nature is enlarged in capacity to receive the truths as they exist, I shall behold him face to face, listen to the wonders that shall be revealed, when “ the lamb, who alone is worthy to break the seals,” shall take the book, and to the whole collected universe, while all shout loud hosannas, unfold these mysteries of ages.
My dear S, it is of the utmost importance, that we give heed, and take these things into consideration : for shortly afi else will fail us but these. We must look with the clearness of faith, and the dispassionate eye of reason. Faith, however, is the only assistant in dispelling the clouds of doubt and uncertainty that lie betwixt time and vast eternity ; it carries us above the perplexities of life; it is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen. Oh! I had rather have one hour of the humble Christian's faith, than all the syllogisms of the most learned metaphysicians. We are warned not to pry into things beyond our depth, for “secret things belong to God.” There is enough revealed for us to know and practise.“ Hear, and your
souls shall live ; keep my commandments and inherit eternal life,” is the language of Scripture. Let the Creator of worlds, my dear friend, still keep the key of mysteries, and let us glorify his name, and thank him, that of plain and easy truths he is so very bountiful.
The difficulty in your mind seems to be, why a God of infinite perfections did not create all to everlasting happiness. Have we not more reason, my dear to inquire, Why any? Let us look at our creation ; was it not after the image of our maker? And at our apostasy ; was it not our sin, our fault, and ours alone? Then at the wonders of redemption; that wonder of heaven and angels; and is not the wonder greater, why any should be saved ; why one soul should be snatched from death as a brand from the burning, and quenched in the blood of God himself, than that any should be lost? If we would wonder, the mercy of God is theme sufficient to employ us through time and through eternity. Let us be careful, then, my beloved friend, that we grieve not the holy Spirit, by “replying against God. rejoice, that he doeth what he will with his own :" for there is our only hope. The sovereign mercy of Jehovah is all that can save us from perdition. Let us fear, love, and “serve him all our days; then go dwell for ever near him, see his face, and sing his praise.”
That you and I, with the whole Israel of God, may be kept by his power, through faith unto salvation, is the prayer of, &c.
An extract of a Letter.
Pittsfield, Jan. 13, 1801.
All things are ordered right, my beloved friend ; and however our little plans of anticipated enjoy