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after its Dissolution it should survive, Whe. ther it was to be cloath'd with Air or some finer Body, and fly about the Earth at its will, or retire to some happy Fields and pleasant Gardens, or inhabit fome Star, or what ever other Place or Office the Fancys of the Poets or Philosophers ever assign'd the Soul after Death, that was ftill altogether uncertain and in the dark.

Nay the Jews themselves, the peculiar People of God, distinguish'd from the rest of Mankind by a more immediate Revelation, and a Law given 'em from Heaven written by the Finger of God himself, seem to have had but a very imperfect & faint Apprehenfion of this future Life and Immortality, which our Saviour first brought to Light. Indeed some few of the Best and Wiseft among 'em had learn'd from Scripture, That the Soul of Man should afcend into the hands of God that gave it ; But the generality were so wholly taken up with the temporal Blessings and worldly Goods, that were the only Rewards that their Law promis d to the Performers of it; that they refted there, and had no further Prospect of a Blessed Immortality. But then as for a Life of the Body after Death, that that also could be rais d and so glorify'd as to be Immortal, that the scatter'd Particles of all that Duft, which for so many thousand Years has made


up so many Millions of Men, into whatsoever Shapes or Forms fince converted, whether in Earth, or Air, or Sea, or Fire, should be again united and compose distinctly and severally each the same Body, which it did before, and from thenceforth become no longer subject to Change, Corruption, or Mortality; This, I say, was such a Mystery, as no wonder that it never so much as enter'd into the most speculative Brain of all the Philosophers, nor so much as by any får diftant or doubtful beam difcover'd itself. No, this glorious Exaltation of our Nature was resery'd from all Ages by our Saviour, that He might declare it firit Himself, and give both the first Experimental Proof and Example of it in Himself

. Being then thus rais'd above whatever Dignity our Nature was ever thought, or could be conceiv'd, capable of; thus freed from that anxious Torment of Mind, which for ever would have accompany'd the dark Notions, which the World before had of a Future State, thus rescu'd from the Slavish Fears that debas'd our Spirits, afferted into Liberty from the Power of Death, a Way shewn Us to the same Place whither our Saviour Christ is gone before; can we do less in gratitude to this Captain of our Salvation than to strive to follow him, to rise with him, and seek those things that are



above? Can we do less than endeavour with the most intense Zeal and fervent Devotion to entertain the Memory of this great Victory of our Lord's? Especially at and about the time of that great Festival instituted for that Purpose, This chiefeft of all the Church's Festivals; This that St Chryfoftom calls, εορτίω ου γης μόνον αλλά και ovegvãv, a Festival celebrated not on Earth only, but in the Higheft Heavens. For, as that Holy Father goes on, if there be Joy in Heaven for the Conversion of one Sinner only, How much greater the Exultation for the whole Race of Mankind being snatch'd out of the Hands of Satan and Death? and what more proper or seasonable Meditation can we entertain, than to admire and adore the Glory and the Divine Might of our Saviour triumphing, in their own Kingdoms, over all the Baffied Powers of Death and Hell, breaking asunder its strongest Bars, and, as the true Samson, of whom the other was but a Type and Shadow, bearing away the very Gates of it, and opening from thence a Passage for all Mankind to Life and Immortality. For tho we dare not presume, as some of the Church of Rome have done, to give a punctual Journal of our Saviour's Infernal Expedition, nor follow him thro' all the gloomy Manfions of Hell, describing all its Territories


and Dominions, thro' which he made his Victorious Progress, as exactly as if we had taken an actual Survey and Map of them; yet we may with Assurance enough take up a Triumphal Song and Hymn of Praise, to receive and welcome him in his miraculous Return from those dismal Regions of Darkness; being by Divine Authority certify'd, that He there by Death bad overcome Him that had the Power of Death, that is the Devil. And what should more enflame us with the moft ardent Expression of Love and Gratitude, than to contemplate further, that this cruel Conflict, this difficult Exploit, and laborious Warfare, consummated in Entire and Everlasting Victory, was undertaken not for Himself, who was Immortal, God blessed for Ever, but for Us wretched Men that were Dead? Every way Dead, Dead in our Sins, and for them deservedly given Up for ever to the second Death; to the Power of Hell and tormenting Spirits, had not the Seed of the Woman thus crush'd the Serpent's Head, and no longer left any Sting to Death, or Victory to the Grave. How cautious then should we be of offending against such unexampled Goodness, how fearful of committing any thing that may make us unworthy of this great Salvation, fo dearly purchas'd for usz how apprehensive of the dreadful Conse


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euences and destructive Nature of Sin, how full of Devout Hatred and stedfast Resolution against that, which as it involv'd all Mankind in that deplorable State from which no, Power less than that of the Son of God could have rescu'd them, so if again Entertain'd aud Cherish'd can still as to our part defeat all the advantages of Christs Glorious Victory, and plunge us yet deeper than we were, whence there are neither Hopes nor Possibility of a new. Redemption! How should the Confideration of what Wonders have been wrought for Us, engage us with all our Powers and Facul tys both of Body and Soul to endeavour to live up

to the most Holy Rules of our Lord, knowing that tho' he is Risen and Afcended, it is but in Order to come again in Glory to Judge that World whose Resurrection he atcheiv’d? For what will all these noble Contemplations of the greatness of these his Victorys for us signify, what Consolation will it be to know that when we put off this troublesom Flesh we shall not sleep Eternally, but rise and behold the Glory of our Lord coming with Thousands of Angels in the Clouds? nay rather what Confusion, what Terror, what insupportable Dread must it create, if reflecting upon our selves we find that we are so ill prepard for the Lords second Coming, that it had


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