Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

course the body cannot possibly leave its evils behind it in the grave, but must arise with them, while its attached corruptions form a material part of its future misery! These are the persons who, according to our text, even as to their polluted bodies, arise to skame and everlasting contempt. A prospect of this, one would think, were not men lost to all conviction of futurity, would convince the thoughtless sinner of the necessity of Aying to the arms of Jesus for pardon and for life. But,

4. The different state of the bodies of the righteous and of the wicked, at the first and the second resurrection, however serious to contemplate, is but as a shadow when compared with the state of their SOULS. On this let us indulge some short reflections.

The souls of the godly, when absent from the body, are said to be present with the Lord. No word can be found to express the swift transition; swifter than an eagle cutteth the air, or the eye-lid performs its motion. From our Lord's address to the penitent thief upon the cross, we are taught to believe that the soul, immediately on its dismission, is with Jesus in Paradise. And from the last state of the pious beggar who lay at the rich man's gate, we learn that his soul was carried by Angels into Abraham's bosom. Both which design a state of •repose and blessedness; the soul grasping as much of the vision and the presence of God as its disembodied state can admit. Stili its happiness is incomplete. As body and soul were formed for each other, both purchased by the blood of Jesus, and both made the temple of the Holy Ghost in time, there must of necessity be a re-union in order to Christ's full possession of them, and of their being glorified in eternity. This re-union is to take place on the morning of the resurrection. Like as in the vision of Ezekiel, the body will be raised in perfection; then the breath, the life, the soul, will enter. From the bosom of the Father the soul will wing its way to claim its native risen body; both conformed to the bright image of Jesus, and by him presented to the Father as his bride, with exceeding great glory. How inconceivably grand must that presentation be!

How vast a contrast the resurrection of the wicked ! Their spirits are brought forward from their separate state of misery, to claim their vile bodies, in order for final judgment. The rich man died and was buried ; and in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments. And it is declared, at the second resurrection, death and hell shall give up the dead which are in them. Justice requires this union of body and soul, in order for judgment, as both had been companions, and agents to each other, in transgression. But who can describe the pangs of spirit on the sight and claim of that body it once inhabited, the members and powers of which were made instruments of unrighteousness, and must now be repossessed in misery, to part no more? These views, founded upon the unerring testimony of Scripture, cannot fail to make the deepest and most solemn impression upon every conscious mind. However, with the Bible in our hand, we are unavoidably led to take one step farther into the solemn scenes of futurity; and,

5. Learn the final issue both of good and bad, as consequent upon their resurrection. This will take place in the order, and with the same solemn scenes which our Lord himself hath described in the twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew. From the assembled world the Lord will separate the righteous from the wicked; the one to be placed on his right hand, the other on the left. The

words of our text will be verified; everlasting life will be the portion of some; shame and everlasting contempt will be the covering of others. This is the hour predicted by our Lord Jesus, when all that are in their graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation. Eternal life or death closes the scene! What pen is able to describe the felicity of the one, or the misery of the other? Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right ? May we not then exclaim, Just and true are thy ways, thou king of saints! Great and marvellous are thy works, O Lord God Almighty; who shall not fear before thee?

For a few moments let us review the whole subject, collecting the difference between the two resurrections, The righteous shall arise a thousand years before 'the ungodly. Jesus, as the bridegroom shall awake his bride from the slumber of death to enjoy his embraces; but he shall raise the wicked by the hand of justice, to stand in judgment. The bodies of the saints shall be raised in honour and glory; the disobedient shall come forth in corruption. The souls of the redeemed shall come forth from the blissful mansions of the Father, to receive their glorified bodies to greater felicity; the souls of the wicked come forth from the recess of darkness to enter their vile bodies, for completeness in sorrow. The final issue of the redeemed is a crown of life, the unbea lieving to endure the second death. Solemn subject !

Let us then, in sincerity, ask ourselves under which of these resurrections we shall appear? What hope resides in our breast, that Jesus hath redeemed us to God by his blood, and will raise us up from death to

[ocr errors]

honour and glory? As we are in life, so we shall be in death; as we appear at the throne of grace, so shall we stand in the last day. Never let us rest until we are satisfied of our hope in Christ, and of an interest in the Father's love! It is our life, it is our all!

Let the subject of the first resurrection reconcile us to death, and aid our souls to wait for the coming of our Lord. How charming the view which it affords us of the wisdom, the power, and the glory of the Redeemer! Christian, remember that the blessed Saviour who glorified his grace in separating you from the practice of iniquity and the company of the ungodly, will glorify his wisdom and power in separating your dust in the grave from the corruption of the wicked, and bring you forth to shine as the stars in his kingdom! If this truth alone was received with due weight upon the heart, what an astonishing influence would it have upon our whole life and conversation! Under such impressions let each of us sincerely resolve with Job, All the days of my appointed time will I wait until my change come.

O may I pant for God in each desire,
And with strong faith increase the holy fire!
Stretch out my soul in hope, and grasp the prize
Which in ETERNITY's deep bosom lies!
At the GREAT DAY of recompense behold,
Devoid of fear, the sacred book unfold;
Then wafted upwards to the blissful seat,
From age to age my grateful song repeat;
My light, my life, my God, my Saviour see,
And rival Angels in the praise of THEE.

YOUNG..

HUMILITY.

1 PETER V. 5.
Be clothed with Humility.

Come, sweet humility, celestial grace!

And let me feel thy gentle reign within ;
Thou well becom'st a wretched fallen race,
Whose lives are forfeited by sin.

R. A.

PRIDE entailed ruin on the fallen angels ;, and the same vile temper prompted our first parents to desire to be as gods, knowing good and evil. Thus, from the ear. liest period of time, the fountain of pride was open, and like an overflowing stream, has found its way into all orders and degrees of mankind. Astonishing indeed! that God should expel those rebellious spirits from heaven, and consign them to regions of darkness, and yet deter. mine to stain the pride of man, in a way that should save the soul, clothe it with humility, and prepare it to dwell in his blissful presence for ever! That all who ' now hear me are by nature born into the world with this principle of pride, is too evident to admit of contradiction. In the heart, temper, and life, it shows itself against God and man in numberless formas. The habits of education may either curb or cultivate this passion; but it is God alone who can kill it in its root, and clothe us with humility. I purpose, therefore, in this Lecture, to explain to you how God is pleased to perform this interesting work, and then enforce the exhortation of Pricr--Be clothed with humility.

« AnteriorContinuar »