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creation is wrought in the soul: the mind is enlightened, and made alive to God, by faith in Christ Jesus. There are new and spiritual faculties created in the new man, to know, believe, and enjoy God in Christ.
The regenerated person is translated out of the state, and from the power of darkness, into the kingdom of God's dear Son; the renewed person is called into fellowship with God, and with his Son Jesus Christ. Thus he is manifested to be a child of God, and an heir of glory; he is actually passed from death unto life; he believes on Christ, to the saving of his soul; he hath everlasting life; he is the temple of the living God; a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed; the Spirit of God and of glory resteth upon him; the Holy Ghost dwells in him, as the earnest of glory, and gives him, at seasons, real believing views of it, and fills his soul with the real foretastes and joys thereof; which are so many evidences to him of his personal interest in Christ, and of his meetness for heaven. The Lord the Spirit, by these inward spiritual feelings and perceptions, brings the believer in Christ Jesus to desire and long for the full enjoyment of the blessings of immortality and eternal glory.
Tins is a brief account of the work produced by the almighty energy of the Holy Ghost in regeneration, and what he performs and produces in the soul born again. As it respects the state into which the regenerate are brought, it is a state of justification unto life, pardon, salvation, and free access to God's throne of grace. The believer's state, before God, is a state of perfect acceptance in the beloved: the God of all grace hath called him into his eternal glory, by Christ Jesus, so that it is but for him to put off the body by death, and thus to drop the body of sin and death, and he is immediately absent from it, and present with the Lord.
The apostle, in the chapter from whence 1 have read my text, speaks of the expectation, assurance, and desire of heavenly glory, wrought in the minds of saints by the Spirit of the living God. In his own, and wi the name of all believers, he says, " For we know, that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." In which words, in their coherence, and following connection to the fourth verse of this chapter, we have a glorious proof, that the souls of believers do, immediately at death, pass into a state of glory. This truth is here made use of, to comfort the believer against the fear of death. The earnest desires God has implanted in the minds of the regenerate, are a demonstration that such a state is ordained by the Lord God, for his beloved ones. Their being prepared for it, and that by the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, is their constant meetness for this most blessed state. Their fervent desires, that their life of grace which they now express, in living a life of faith on the Son of God, might be swallowed up in an heavenly and eternal life of glory, is the reason why they, as saints, and the beloved of God, desire to have their bodies dissolved by death, that they might depart from them, and be with Christ, which is far better.
This subject being truly great and sublime, I will aim to survey the verses which go before my text, and are properly belonging to it. Then I will set before you, the state of glory and blessedness which the souls of God's elect, believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, enter immediately upon, on their departure from the body at death, under proper heads and divisions, for the clearer understanding of the same; and in these several sections, will endeavour to open and express the essence of what follows our text, to the end of the ninth verse. By this course, I apprehend, I shall be helped to unite the whole subject, and give a proper view of it, according to its revealed connection. May the Lord the Spirit inspire my mind, and guide me into a clear, spiritual, and right knowledge of the subject before me, that I may so explain this portion of scripture, as may reflect light on your minds, comfort to your hearts, and excite your longings after heaven, glory, and a blessed immortality.
The subject before us, concerns the state of glory; and these scriptures, to be explained, concern that state. The apostle writes, if I may so say, a preface to it, which is contained in the thirteenth verse of the foregoing chapter, and with these words; "We believe, and therefore speak." Those articles of our most holy faith, believed and spoken of by the apostle, and primitive believers, and expressed by them with the utmost confidence, were such as respected the resurrection of the body, and the glory of the soul immediately upon the dissolution of the body. The first is expressed thus, "Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus, shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you." The design of this and the following verses is to comfort believers, against all sorts of afflictions; and to arm them against the fears of death, by suggesting to them the idea of an exceeding eternal weight of glory, which the souls of the elect partake of in their separate state, and which they will enjoy both in body and soul iu the resurrection state, at the last day. He says, verse 15. " For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might, through the thanksgiving of many, redound to the glory of God."
The incarnation, obedience, death, and resurrection of Christ, are all for the sake of God's elect. The ministry of the apostles, and gospel ministers, their gifts, graces, experiences, reproaches, temptations, afflictions, and persecutions, are also for their benefit: the good of saints and churches, and the glory of God, are hereby promoted. It is hereby that the abundant grace, held forth in their ministrations, may be farther displayed in supporting them under their troubles, and delivering them out of them, for such displays of God's goodness and faithfulness, in being to them, under all these exercises, what he hath promised to be, " redound to the glory of God." As such valuable ends were answered* by the apostles, ministers, and churches, bearing various sufferings and afflictions, for Christ's sake, and the preaching the gospel, for the good of the churches, and the glory of God; the apostle adds, " For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." The renewal of the inward man, by the gracious operations of the Holy Ghost, day by day, the knowledge and inward "evidence they had of it in their own souls in the increase of light, grace, and joy, this kept them from fainting, or stopping in their christian