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The glorified body of Christ, which is undoubtedly carried to the highest perfection of which matter is capable, is the pattern after which the bodies of the saints will be formed. He shall change our vile bodies, that they may be fashioned like unto his glorious body. The bodies of the just, thus completely repaired and highly improved, will be fit mansions for their immortal spirits to inhabit. Being thus rescued from the powerful grasp of Death, - being raised transcendently superior to all ihe disbonours of the dus', death, as to the Christian, is completely destroyed. But again, • If the body, in union with the soul, shall enjoy for ever the perfect felicity of Heaven, of which Death had so long deprived them, then we-must acknowlege that death is vanquished, completely and eternally vanquished.
The bodies of the righteous, in union with their souls, shall receive the sentence of the divine approbation ; after which, we are told, they shall go away into life eternal; and so they shall be ever with the Lord. Then those very bodies, over which death exerted such power as to detain for ages in the manuions of the tomb, shall, jointly with the souls, be blessed with that fulness of joy which the divine presence imparts, and participate of those streams of pleasure that flow at his right hand for evermore. Then the breast that was wont to heave with penitential sighs, and from which happiness bad long been exiled, shall swell with celestial joys! The tongues that had for many generations been bound in the silence of death, shall shout forth the praises of the Lamb! Those eyes which had long been vailed by the grave against the blissful scenes above, shall behold the King in his beauty, and all the surpassing glories of Heaven! In short, every organ, every member shall be employed in the most noble services, and constituted avenues of immortal pleasures for ever and ever! The former things are passed away, and the days of their mourning are ended!
Rejoice, rejoice, ye children of immortality! your greatest and last enemy, Death, shall be eternally destroyed! Your bodies may fall, for a season, beneath his power; but be assured, as be has no right, so he will not be permitted to detain them for ever in the grave. They shall be wrenched from his mortiferous grasp, and all-gloriously improved and fitted for participating the joys of the world above : -- they shall be raised Thus will Jesus, by his conquering power, “swallow up death in victory!
Let all the friends of Jesus be exhorted to take the comfort of this doctrine! Let it dissipate all your fears, and inspire you with courage for your conflict with this last foe! Let it disperse every cloud, and brighten up your prospects of a glorious resurrection and happy immortality! Live by the faith of the Son of God; - especially, let his death be the basis on which you ground all your hopes, and you shall never be disappointed.
that every and consti member
Remember, the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion, with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads : they shall obtain joy and gladness ; ard sorrow and sighing shall for ever flee away. To cheer your spirits, now anticipate the songs of final victory, secured through the blood of the Lamb, 0), Death! where is thy sting? · O, grave! where is thy victory ? The sting of Death is sin, and The strength of sin is the law; but, thanks be unto God, who giveth us the victory, through Jesus Christ our Lord.'
ON LOW SPIRITS.
Ir has been frequently observerl, That nervous complaints are much more prevalent now than formerly in this country. Increasing wealth, as multiplying the artificial gratifications of life, and deducting from the necessity of corporeal exertion, may be as. . signed as the general occasion of this unfavourable change; but to see how this universal calise operates in particular cases, and may be most effectually counteracted, are the objects of the present Essay.
Low spirits originate in the boily, in the mind, or in both. That a weak relaxed habit of body is a source of frequent and painful depressions to some, is too evident to require formal proof. They inlaerit, from their parents, an enfeebled constitution, sus. ceptible of every impression from external changes. Not the mountain oak, but the trembling aspin is emblematic of their feelings and frame: but imprudent or vicious indulgence will produce similar effects with constitutional debility. Indolence enervates the whole mass, especially when accompanied with the unrestrained gratifications of a plentiful table. He who will doze away tén or more hours upon his bed, confine himsil in a warm room thronigh the greater part of his short day, and pamper an appetite unused to restraint, must expect an inpost levied on his animal spirits, far more rigorous and grinding liian all the taxes of the nation together.
Low spirits are sometimes occasioned by the state and feelings of the mind. The frequent recurrence of violent passions ; thoughts overstrained with needless anxieties and worldly cares ; dwelling too long and too minutely on the dark side of divine dispensations, regardles of the all-comprehending wisdom and infinite compassions of God; the conscience burdened with the guilt of wiliul sin, -- sin condemned by the judgment, but cherished in the heart; superstitious misconceptions of the character and requirements of our Maker, Governor, and Judge: fears of approaclring death, succeedling judgment, and eternal torrents : , - these, cach, or all of these, may prove the fruitful sources of painfal and inexpressible depression.
Both body and mind may contribute largely to the effect now described. Their impressions are mutual : they act and re-act on each other; and, in many cases, it may be impossible exactly to ascertain the proportion of their respective influence.
Now, there are many false methods of cure for low spirits : methods which invariably aggravate the disease, or induce another, more alarmingly dangerous. These operate as opiates, whose favourable influence is momentary, but whose abiding effects are pernicious. They are like Job's friends, physicians of no value ; and, under their regimen, the drooping patient grows worse and worse. Such are,
1. Gay companions. These are adepts in banishing from their giddy circle every thing like serious religion. God is not in all their thoughts, nor his venerable name upon their tongues, unless under the ebullitions of passion, the fippancy of wit, or the vacancy of rational discourse. The faces of these triflers af. fect a perpetual, bui, in reality, a hollow smile. Themselves the subjects of chagrin and vanity, how can they administer relief to thu mind torn with anxiety and sinking in dismay? Alas! miserable comforters are they all; and unbappy is that soul that seeks a cure in their society!'
2. Some fly to fashionable amusements to relieve their care. The card-table, the assembly-room, or the theatre are pleaded for, and recommended as the most rational and innocent expedient to recreate the drooping spirits, and chace away the melancholy of the soul. These are indeed admirably calculated to kill time, and to carry away the mind to the reniotest distance from every thing serious ; but what is there in the transient pleasures of sin that is able to yield solid enjoyment ? Or how can those lying vanities afford living satisfaction, over which we see the finger of God inscribe. The end of these things is death ?
- 3. Others seek ease under the anxieties of life, by a method still more fatal tban those already mentioned, - by resorting to the use of ardent spirits and cordials. These are first taken, under the specious name of necessary medicines. They are repeated in small quantities, from time to time, till they are relished ; and considered by the deluded party as wholesome and necessary. For a season, these murderous extracts procure a suspension of the more urgent symptoms ; but the truce is short and deceitful. they return with redoubled force, and demanding larger supplies. The glass of mixture is superceded by the simple dram, and the hard drinker is formed. The wheels of the vital machine are fired, and the infatuated suicide drops into the grave and Hell*.
* An eminent minister of the gospel, remarkable for his strong and nervous expressions, once called spirituous liquors Distilled Death! Liquid Damnation ! - Ep.
But if these methods of relief are as preposterous as seeking the living among the dead, where then is the more excellent way?
Does lowness of spirits arise from the body? The remedies are plain and simple, viz.
1. Early rising. The good effects of morning air on the ani. mal feelings are incalculable. It braces the nerves, cools the blood, promotes the secretions, and exhilarates the whole frame. Those who take light suppers, retire early to rest, and rise with the dawn, seldom complain of oppressive languor through the day.
2. Plain nourishing food. The arts of cookery are far from being friendly to the substantial enjoyments of man. Highlya seasoned meats, rich sauces, and artificial preparations for the, table, may gratify the fastidious palate ; but must be avoided. by those who prefer the luxury of good spirits to the pleasures of relishing viands.
3. Exercise in the open air. This remedy is easy of attainment to most persons; and, can never be neglected with impunity by those whose case we are now considering. The former part of the day is always to be preferred for this salutary engagement;' but every suitable opportunity should be embraced with avidity for this purpose, by those who wish to secure themselves from nervous depressions.
Does the malady originate more immediately in the mind? The adapted means of relief are,
1. The company of cheerful and intelligent Christians. The cheerfulness of such persons is the result of friendship with God, and a serene and well-ordered mind. Their conversation will lead away the imagination from discouraging and gloomy scenes, and prove a powerful and pleasing stimulus to those exertions of thought which invigorate the faculties of the soul, as athletic exe ercises do the corporeal powers. . 2. Study the word of God.
* Retire and read the Bible to be gay.:.
There truths abound of sov'reign aid to peace!'. This precious book discovers the true origin of every pain and fear that infests the body or the mind of man'; declaring, that he is a sufferer, because a sinner. "Here is revealed the divinely provided and sovereign catholicon for human miseries, - tbe glori. ous redemption of the Son of God. All, however unworthy, are invited to à participation of the saving health of the Mediator. The promises ascertain the success of every believing application for mercy; for Him that cometh,' saith the Friend of sinners, 'I will in nowise cast out.' An intimate acquaintance with the volume of Heaven, guards the mind against superstitious scruples, and a repulsive dread of the Most High, by leading us to,
near to his comes down to use our of God. In the
ON LOW SPIRITS. *. 3. Contemplate the amiable character of God. In the perse. of Immanuel, he comes down to us; and, through Jesus, we draw near to his throne of grace. Here we learn, with the brightest evidence, that God is Love.' He lays aside the thunders of his vengeance, and extends the sceptre of his grace. All his perfections combine to encourage our hope, - to refresh and establish our hearts in the assurance of his favoor. He delights in the relation and conduct of a Parent; informing his feeble and afflicted people, That, “ as a father pitieth his children,''so the Lord pitieth them that fear him: he knoweth our framc, - le remembereth that we are dust.'
4. Cut off the injurious right hand, pluck out the offending right eye. One sin connived at, or partially indulged, will burden an enlightened conscience, depress the spirits, and fill the whole soul with weakness, alarm, and disňay. Till sin, every sin, be heartily abhorred and renounced as an abomination, con.' science will never attest a person's safety or sincerity before God. Happy is the nan who condemneth not himself in that thing, the practice of which he alloweth ; but, by a' cheerful discharge of every known duty, and the crucifixtion of every known sin, la. bours to approve himself unto God as a sincere believer on the Lord Jesus, and to maintain a conscience void of wilful offence towards God and man. '"'
5. Pour out your hearts in repeated, fervent, believing prayer. Fo have an almighty Friend, in whom we may confide, -- an all-, wise Counsellor, to whose direction we may resign ourselves and our affairs, is surely a privilege of supreme importance, amidst the inevitable sorrows of life, or the dark and trying dispensations of God. • Call upon me in the day of trouble,' is the divine command,' and I will deliver thee, 'is the cheering promise. “Ye have not, because ye ask not. Ask and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.? If half that time were spent in sup. plications to the God of all comfort, that is employed in fruitless complainings to fellow-worins, the glooms would soon be dispersed, and the morning of gladness shine around your footsteps !
0. Give all diligence to maķe your calling and election sure. What can furnish so effectual an antidote to the sorrows of time, as the humble assurance that your all is safe for eternity Daily have recourse to the compassionate Redeemer for the application, of his atonement, that your consciences may be purged from guilt, and enjoy peace with God. Look to Jesus for the promised Comforter, by whose agency the love of a reconciled God is shed abroad, and maintained in the heart. Walk humbly with God, as believing, loving, obedient Enoch walked, then shall you be cleyated above yourselves and all your trials, anticipating the enjoyment of those serene regions, where sorrow and I sighing shall flee away!