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hours, and enables him to renew his spiritual life with increased vigour and activity.

Such, in a few words, is the benefit and blessing of sleep, which has heretofore been regarded merely as a refreshment of the body, after the fatigues and labours of the day; but is now seen and acknowledged to be one of the most important means of preserving man from the destruction which he would otherwise bring upon himself, and of promoting the final regeneration, the great end of all the mercies he receives. How then should our gratitude rise up in incense to him, who endued us with such excellent faculties, as liberty of the will and rationality of the understanding ! and when these are in any wise disturbed, either by abuse or otherwise, reinstates us in the full possession of all that is necessary to secure our eternal welfare!

In conclusion, let us adore that divine goodness, wisdom, and power, which, on the formation of intelligent beings, like ourselves, liable to degenerate, and to pervert the order for which we were originally intended, has so wonderfully provided the means of our recovery from every lapse or injury that the imperfection of our nature, as finite creatures, has unhappily subjected us to.

Let us acknowledge with the psalmist, that "every man at his best state is altogether vanity” (Ps. xxxix. 5); yea “lighter than vanity”(Ps. Ixii. 9); that of ourselves we are incapable of averting the many dangers to which we are exposed, both when sleeping and waking; and that all our comfort, security, and peace, are solely derived from the Lord; from Him, who has promised never to leave us without his powerful protection, but in all our states of trial, affliction, and danger, as well as of triumph over our secret and open enemies, still regards us as his beloved children, for whom in mercy he provides sleep for the body, and sleep for the spirit, that, after reposing in the arms of his love, we may at length awake in his likeness and behold his glory.

Now to the one eternal, omnipotent, and adorable God of the universe, even Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, honour, and dominion, for ever and ever. Amen.

Note on atmospheric air,mentioned in this Sermon, second

paragraph of p. 142. It is remarkable that the greatest proportion of the atmospheric air, viz., 77 parts in the 100, consists of nitrogen, a gas, which if taken alone into the lungs, is immediately destructive of human life; but being tempered with a small proportion of oxygen, or vital air, viz. 22 parts in 100, with 1 per cent. of carbonic acid gas, it becomes a medium exactly adapted to the preservation of human life. Man could not long continue his natural existence, were he to breathe nothing but vital air: this would speedily exhaust his powers of respiration, and his life would then be extinguished; his frame, as at present constituted, being ill adapted to sustain so pure a flame. So again, were his lungs to be inflated with nothing but nitrogen, or other destructive gas, it would be impossible for him to survive at all.

The case is the same with respect to the life of his spirit. As the atmospheric air of the natural world consists of a vital and a destructive principle, mixed in certain proportions, and adapted to the state and temperament of his body, so the atmospheric air of the spiritual world, especially of the world of spirits (or the intermediate state between heaven and hell, which is the proper residence of man's spirit whilst living in the body), in like manner consists of a vital and a destructive principle, mixed also in perhaps similar proportions, and adapted to the state and temperament of his spirit. The vital principle here alluded to is no other than dirine truth, called also in the Scriptures, spirit, wind, or air, as in Gen. i. 2; Ps. civ. 30; John vi. 63; Rev. xi. 11 : and the destructive principle is no other than falsehoods in a certain way, adjoined to the vital principle, and called in the Scriptures an east wind, a rough wind, or a whirlwind, as in Gen. xli. 6; Isa. xxvi. 18; xxvii. 8; Jer. v. 13; Hos. viii. 7 ; xii. 1; xiii. 15; Micah ii. 11; Heb. iii. 14. It is probable that, while man is undergoing the process of regeneration, the proportion between the vital and the destructive principle in the spiritual air which he then breathes, is gradually changed, until perhaps the two principles become nearly balanced (see Arc. Cæl. n. 1270 at the end). But when after death, he is elevated either into the first, or second, or third heaven, it is reasonable to conclude, that the constituent principles of the heavenly atmosphere, which he will then freely respire, will be found to be of a pre-eminent quality altogether, arising not only from the difference of their relative proportions, but also from their superior and transcendant purity. On the other hand, it is no less reasonable to infer, that the wicked and unregenerate, with whom the destructive principle has always preponderated over the vital, will, after their departure from the natural world, gradually divest themselves of the power of maintaining that relation between the two principles, which formerly subsisted in the respira- . tion of their spirits. And at length, when the vital principle is nearly extinguished in them, and no more of it remains than barely to continue them in existence, as human beings, in a state of utter degradation, they will become lasting monuments of vice and folly, being for ever opposed to all that is heavenly and divine.

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Psalm xlv. 10, 11. Hearken, 0 Daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house. So shall the King greatly desire thy beauty : for He is thy Lord, and

worship thou Him." NOMEROUS are the titles of honour, which the Lord, in his Holy Word, delights in bestowing upon His faithful disciples.

When the Israelites had been brought out of the land of Egypt, but before they were introduced into Canaan, their Divine Deliverer, addressing them in their typical character, as representatives of the members of His true spiritual church, says unto them, “Ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation;" and in the Revelation, where the blessings are mentioned which the members of the church derive from their Redeemer God, it is repeatedly stated, among other circumstances of honour, that “ He hath made them kings and priests.

But whatever dignity may thus be seen to belong to the disciples of the Lord, these magnificent titles do not perhaps represent their state in so attractive a light, as is done when they are spoken of in terms which more immediately touch upon their connexion with the Great Author of their mercies. The epithets used to express this connexion, according to its several degrees of nearness, are much varied. Sometimes the members of the church are spoken of as the servants of the Lord ;-as when it is said, “ Praise our God, all ye His servants.And if we consider whom it is that we are required to serve, the honour of being admitted, in this character, to an intercourse with Him, might be considered as high enough to gratify our most lofty aspirations.

However, if we are faithful servants, we are introduced by our Master into higher stations. It is true, that we never shall be tired of bearing that name, and shall, even when advanced to the highest privileges it is possible for us to attain, still regard


ourselves as our Lord's servants, and feel continually more and more delight in His service: but His condescending goodness will elevate us to a higher rank, and call us by more endearing names. As He says in John, “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” As soon as we yield an unreserved obedience

-an obedience that proceeds from a love of the duties we required to perform, “henceforth," saith He, (that is, from this state) “I call you not servants,—but I have called you friends."

Nor is even this all. Not only does He admit us to the privileges of friends, but, upon the same condition of obedience to His commandments, He confers upon us even the rights of consanguinity. When it was told Him in the days of His flesh, " Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee,” He answered, “ My mother and my brethren are these, which hear the Word of God, and do it.” And to complete the circle of relationship, he repeatedly acknowledges such characters as His children; as when it is said, “ To as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name.”

But great and affecting as are these ties of kindred which the Lord is pleased to allow His creatures to claim with Him, there is one which expresses His divine condescension, and the inconceivable extent of His love, in a still more striking and touching manner; and that is, the relationship of husband and wife, which the Lord on various occasions speaks of as subsisting between Himself and His church. All other ties of kindred, however close, still carry with them something of reserve. How strong soever the reciprocal attachment which the relationships of brother, son, and parent, naturally imply, still the parties filling them are always viewed as retaining their complete individuality: though closely bound together by an interchange of kind offices, they always remain two, and never can become one. But in a perfect marriage-union the case is otherwise. The law of this union is, that they become completely one. The union of minds in a real marriage is such, that although continuing to inliabit separate bodies, yet, unconfined by such limitations, they, in their inmost ground, actually become

And it is into a conjunction with His creatures so perfect as this, that the Lord, in His Divine Humanity, deigns to enter. The name of wife, the most tender that language can afford, is bestowed by Him upon His Church : and to all the privileges which such a name implies is the Church, by Him, exalted.

The name of wife, however, it may be observed, is never given

as one.

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