Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

wisdom and love divine, growing more like the great original, and be fulfilling his intentions, and the order of our existence both in earth and heaven. With these views, I now proceed, by divine aid, to meditate upon the wonderful power of God in creating both the body and the soul of man. I will first treat of the body, because this is most familiar, and some think the psalmist meant nothing more. But, as the word of God, and man also, hath a soul as well as a body, the latter uniformly derived from the former, and the soul lasts incomparably longest. I shall therefore endeavour, by the divine assistance, to act the part of the spiritual and the natural anatomist,“ rightly and evangelically dividing the word of truth.

With respect to the body of flesh and blood, skin, bones, tendons, veins, arteries, and sinews, this we know, is a most curious and wonderful machine, constructed by infinite skill, and preserved by infinite power. Every vessel, nerve. fibre, ligature, and membrane, performs its proper and respective part, and contributes to the harmony, simplicity, and perfection of the whole. If we want to analyse and comprehend minutely the interior causes of every physical operation in this fabric, the reflection of Job recurs, and puts us to silent awe, and prostrate adoration, and with profound humility, it may be for ever said,

“ Canst thou, by searching, find out God? Canst thou find out the Almighty, to perfection.” Therefore, a brief description can but be given by the most consummate anatomist; and a more brief one still, ought to be expected, in a theological discourse. And, how mercifully intended it is, that we feel, move, and act with all freedom, and a perfect insensibility to the organization of the bodily system! For, otherwise, we should be afraid to speak, or move at all, lest we should put some little thing therein out of order.'

Now, the human form is arranged according to the form of heaven. Many, various, and innumerable are the component parts of relative use and subordination. Man is so created, that, as to his body, he is a little world. All the arcana of the world of nature being therein reposited: for, whatsoever of arcanum there is in the aether and its modifications, this is reposited in the ears ; and whatsoever invi

man.

sible thing flows and acts in the air, this is in the organ of smell, where it is perceived; and whatsoever invisible thing flows and acts in the waters and fluids, this is in the organ of tatse; also the very changes of state are in the sense of touch throughout. The most perfect of all forms is the hu

It is qualified to perform the most important uses, and is an image and likeness of the adorable Saviour of mankind. Therefore, it is fearfully and wonderfully made. For it is most exquisitely formed, and usefully adapted for the world, state, and sphere in which we now stand. The laws of nature are regular and infallible ; for nature is the established termination and ultimate subsistence of the divine operations. All diseases and defects are from hell; and health, life, activity, peace, and delight are from the Lord alone. But secondly, let us proceed to the contemplation of the soul, the better and eternal principle of man, for man is a twofold and composite being, spiritual and natural, as generally acknowledged, and as generally or superficially understood and believed ; though there are some few wiser and better than all the rest, called Socinians, Materialists, Necessitarians, Philosophers, Deists, and Atheists, who openly deny this. He lives in two worlds, the spiritual and the natural. The soul flows into the body, and not on the contrary, for the affections of the mind appear in the countenance, the thoughts flow into the speech, and the will and understanding into the actions'; therefore, it is according to this influence, and the connection thereby effected, that man lives, speaks, and acts. The body depends, therefore, entirely upon the soul for existence and power; for how plain is it to see, if we are so disposed, that the material body can neither see natural objects norspiritual subjects, and that it is no more than a vehicle organ, or medium of life and operation for the soul here below! but extremely intimate and astonishing is this union. The body, like a faithful servant, instantly obeys its master, the soul, and what an attachment there is between them, though short at longest, during their continuance together! for alas, the body must shortly die and return to its dust, and the immortal spirit unto God, who gave

it! It imperceptibly grows up to maturity, and imperceptibly declines towards the grave, and although the expansion of the mind is gradual also, and its faculties frequently seem to be impaired by old age; yet this superior recipient of life from God can never be extinguished, for it is spiritual, voluntary, and intellectual: It is the breath of the eternal God, an emanation from divinity itself, and quite distinct, separate. and independent with respect to the body. Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither can corruption inherit incorruption, but the precious soul, (whose redemption is therefore also called precious.) is capable of ascending upwards to its divine parent, in conjunction with him ,and a glorified, full. and perfect resemblance of him. Who can measure the human will and the understanding? who can compute the number or extent of our acquisitions “either in natural or divine science? The soul is not subject to the limitations of time and space, though more substantial than the body, and though circumscribed, frequently as to her power of action in the ultimates, on many occasions while here below. If the body bears the cha

« AnteriorContinuar »