Page images


it and demerit, it is proper, that, they should share in the punishment or reward. The soul designs, the body executes.

The senses are the inlet of every idea, and are, consequently, the sources of every temptation. Carnal appetites, affections and desires, deprave the soul, corrupt the mind, and mislead ụs from the path of duty. The heart is the fountain of evil and profane thought, the tongue is the organ by which they are expressed. Thus the members are instruments of iniquity, and therefore in the eye of justice subjects of punishment. But, on the other hand, those members which have been instruments of righteousness, which have been subjected to many sufferings and self-denials in the cause of God, and which have assisted and seconded the soul in the execution of it's virtuous resolutions, and in it's acts of devotion, should not be left unrewarded. “God is not unrighteous to forget “ the body's work and labour of love. From “ those eyes which have poured forth tears of

repentance shall all tears be wiped, and they " shall be blessed with the vision of the Al

mighty. Those hands which have been “ lifted up in prayer, and stretched out to the “poor,

shall hold the palm of victory,and harp



[ocr errors]

of joy. Those feet which have wearied them“ selves in going about to do good, shall stand " in the court of the Lord, and walk in the gar“ den of God, and in the streets of the New Je"rusalem. That flesh which has been chasti. “ sed and mortified, shall be rewarded for what « it has suffered. Nay, the very hairs of our • head are all numbered, how much more the parts

of our bodies. This is my Father's “ will, said our Lord, that of all which he has

given me, I should lose nothing, but raise it up at the last day.”*

Many questions have been proposed concerning the nature and properties of that body which we shall possess after we have risen from the grave-questions which tend more to the gratification of curiosity and to amusement, than to edification and real improvement. Here the scriptures have left us in the dark—it doth not yet appear what we shall be, and let us not attempt to be wise beyond what is written. One thing we know with certainty, that, a great change shall be produced ; ,

and that, though consciousness and personal sameness shall remain, yet, we shall,

Bishop Horne.

Thus says

Now are.

in many respects, be different from what we

the Apostle in his Epistle to the Phillippians, “ we look for the Saviour, " the Lord Jesus Christ from heaven, who “ shall change our vile body, that it may

be - fashioned like unto his glorious body, ac

cording to the working whereby he is able " to subdue all things unto himself.” The fashion of Christ's glorious body was once displayed before the eyes of the three favoured disciples on Mount Tabor. It then lasted but for a short time, but it was exceeding glorious; his face shone like the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And St. John gives us a description of his person still more particular and glorious. “ His garment is white " as snow, and the hairs of his head like the

pure wool : his eyes as a flame of fire, and “ his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burn" ed in a furnace, and his countenance as the sun shineth in his strength.” All earthly images are indeed incapable of conveying a just idea of the objects of heaven. " For the

glory of the celestial is one, and the glory “ of the terrestrial is another." But to be like unto Jesus must imply something very great and excellent, something very different from our present houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, whose strength must be perpetually renewed by sleep and refreshment, whose motions are sluggish and inactive, which are every moment subject to sickness and pain, decay, death and corruption. But, I cannot state the contrast in more striking language than it has already been done by St. Paul. -“ It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incor

ruption—it is sown in dishonour, it is raised “in glory—it is sown in weakness, it is raised “ in power—it is sown a natural body, it is “ raised a spiritual body." I shall only add, that, the same change shall take place in those who are alive at Christ's second coming, as well as in those who have been dead and buried. For, as the same great Apostle says, “ we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be

changed in a moment, in the twinkling of “ an eye, at the last trump.”

“ Wherefore, my beloved brethren, seeing " these our bodies are to become instruments “ of glory hereafter, how ought they to be in“struments of grace here? for grace is the “ dawn of glory, as glory is the meridian of

grace. Seeing we are to have such bodies, what ought our souls to be, for whom such

“ bodies are prepared ? And how ought we to “spend our short moments of probation in

cleansing ourselves from all filthiness of the “flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the “ fear of God.”* In a word, since death is swallowed up of victory, since they who sleep in the dust shall awake, let us ascribe thanks to God who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

* Bishop Horne.


« PreviousContinue »