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death disturb the quiet of thy mind, shake thy faith and confidence in God, or drive thee from hope, that anchor of the soul both sure and steadfast, since fixed in heaven, where Jesus as the forerunner is for thee entered. Comfort thyself with the words of Holy Job, I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. And though, after my skin, worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another, though my reins be consumed within me, Job xix. 25, 26, 27. And with the words of St. Paul, we look for the Saviour from heaven, even the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things to himself, Phil. iii. 20, 21.
PRAYER AND MEDITATION, Of a true Believer, prepared to leave this world, and has hope in a glorious resurrection to eternal felicity.
O INFINITE and everlasting Saviour, thou son of God! by whom all things were created, and without whom was not any thing made that was made ; thou hast not only formed our spirits, and fashioned our bodies, but when both were miserably lost, corrupted and ruined by sin, hast redeemed us by thy blood, and renewed us by thy spirit and grace. The frail body is but an earthen vessel ; yet thou hast furnished it with a peculiar treasure, ordained it to be the temple of the Holy Ghost, an habitation of God through the Spirit, and will make it meet to partake with the soul, of the eternal happiness of thy heavenly kingdom. I find my natural strength failing, and the body to be dying daily, and am persuaded it soon will return to the dust ; but this is my comfort, while the outward frame suffers decays, the inward man is renewed day by day; and though the body falls by death, and in dishonour, thou wilt raise it up again in glory. Difficult as this may seem to sense, it cannot be so to thee my Lord and my God; for all power is thine in heaven and on earth, and thou raisest and quickenest whom thou wilt: out of the dust thou formedst the human body, at the beginning ; and though by death it be reduced to its former state, thou art able of its dust to form it again at the end of time. Thou, O Lord, hast created my soul and infused it into the body; and though they are separated by death for a season, thou wilt command them together again and render that union happy for ever.
O glorious Prince of life; thou hast encountered the enemy death, overcome the king of terrors, disarmed and stripped him of his terrible array. Thou hast submitted to the stroke of death to answer the most valuable ends; but are returned to life, livest for ever, and hast the keys of hell and of death ; who openest and none can shut, hast power to kill and make alive at thy pleasure. Thou, O Jesus, art the resurrection and the life, art able and willing to deliver this body from the power of death, to awake the sleeping dust with the sound of the arch-angel's trumpet, according to thy word. I hope to see the glorious day when thou wilt appear in triumph, attended with holy angels, proclaiming liberty to all thy captives under the power of death, and restoring to them all spiritual and eternal blessings which they had forfeited by sin. Earth and sea shall readily surrender their dead, in obedience to thy commands. O omnipotent Word, that brought the heavens and the earth into being! Thou wilt cause thy voice to be heard in the grave, the dead shall hear it, and march out to meet thee at thy judgment-seat. Then shall we arise, not wrapt in our grave-clothes, (as Lazarus heretofore,) nor with any relics of infirmity about us : but with bodies perfect, glo
rious, and abundantly beautiful, fashioned like unto thy
This corruptible shall put on incorruption, this mortal shall put on immortality, and inherit eternal life. Sure I am, my Redeemer will come in the clouds of heaven, and mine eyes shall behold him in bis glory.– With these ears shall I hear the awful sound of the angel's trumpet, and the songs of the blessed attendants of Christat his coming ; with my tongue I hope to praise him ; with my (now) dying arms to embrace my Saviour; and with my feet to follow him complete in person, to his heavenly kingdom.
O Lord, I am ready to leave the world, my departure is nigh at hand; flesh and heart are failing me, and death stands waiting for his commission to strike the fatal blow; but notwithstanding all the difficulties and objections thatignorance and unbelief are ready to start, I am persuaded I shall rise again from the grave, to behold thy Majesty, and to share in thy glory. Amen
The twelfth Consolation. The destruction of death
and the eternal and most happy life which we shall enjoy both in soul and body after the resurrection.
HAVING treated thus largely of the happiness prepared for our souls at their departure out of this life, and of the glorious resurrection promised to our bodies, when Jesus Christ shall come down from heaven in bis glory to judge the quick and the dead; it shall seem that we have nothing more to say, but as Moses, after he had made the ark of shittim-wood, and had overlaid it with pure gold, made upon it a crown of gold round about it, Exod. xxv ; in the same manner having represented to you the incorruption and future glory of the body, which may be looked upon as a sacred ark; where God will inhabit for ever; and having shown you, that by his almighty and gracious power, it shall become, more incorruptible than shittim-wood, and more glorious than pure gold ; I will now, by God's assistance, make upon it a crown more precious than the finest gold, and richer than all the jewels in the world ; that is, to crown this work, and to make it as complete as I can, I intend to draw as perfect a picture as my infirmities will give me leave, of eternal glory and happiness which we hope to enjoy both in soul and body, after the resurrection. But, first, it will be necessary, that I should say something of the entire and final destruction of all our enemies, and that I should shew you our triumphant conquest over death.
When Jesus Christ shall come to judge the world in righteousness, Acts xvii. 31; he shall sit upon a glorious and most splendid throne, of which Solomon's magnificent throne was but a shadow and an imperfect type: He shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the. four winds, from one end of heaven to the other, Matth. xxiv. The sight of this glorious Saviour shall then fill as with an unspeakable joy, and cause us to cry out with an holy rapture, Lo, this is our God, we have waited for him, and he will save us; this is the Lord, we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation, Isa. xxv. 9. But all the kindreds of the earth, when they shall behold this triumphant King coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory, shall lament and smite their breasts in despair, and say to the mountains and rucks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the
wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of his wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand ? Rev. vi. 16, 17.
Then the Lord shall bring to light the bidden things of darkness, and shall make manifest the counsels of the heart, with all its most secret devices, 1 Cor. iv. 5. The books shall be opened, not only those of our own guilty consciences, where Satan's image and deed shall affright us, but also those wherein God himself hath written with his own finger, all our actions, words, and most hidden thoughts; and according to the record of these books shall all men be judged. This is what St. John tells us in the 20th chapter of the Revelations : I saw, (saith he) a great whitė throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heavens fled away, and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened; and another book was opened, wbich is the book of life; and the dead were judged out of those things wbich were written in the books, according to their works. With whom St. Paul agrees: We must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad, 2 Cor. v. 10.
There are three sorts of persons who shall appear before this glorious tribunal. First. Such as never had any other tutor but nature, and who have been acquainted with no other works of God, but those of his creation and providence, in which, nevertheless, he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, Acts xiv. 17. Secondly. Such as have been partakers of his revealed will, who have been taught by the law what works are pleasing or displeasing to God; who have likewise heard