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innocence; and married people are mindful of the vows they made before God, and live in peace and godliness ;-If parents bring up their children in the fear of God, and honestly provide for their necessary support ;-If masters take care that their servants live as becomes Christians, and treat them as such with humanity and justice; and servants are faithful in what belongs to their place and trust;—If men of trade and business act uprightly, without taking advantage of the necessities or ignorance of those with whom they deal;— If such as are in affliction do patiently submit to the chastisement of the Lord; and such as are in prosperity be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God;— If such as are ignorant are desirous, to learn their duty, and thankful to those that are willing to instruct them;-If they that are in authority consider that they are in the place of God, and resolve to govern with justice and integrity, and their subjects yield them due obedience without defrauding them of their tribute; And lastly, if pastors, mindful of the great account they must give, are solicitous for the good of their flock, and these are ready to follow their godly admonitions. These are all instances of that holiness which God has commanded, which he is pleased with, and which he will reward, provided they are performed in obedience to his laws.
Every man, therefore, that has this hope, (of seeing God in peace,) must purify himself even
If death overtakes any of us before this is done, we are ruined for ever.
as he is pure.
Every man who wishes well to his own soul, cannot but be very thoughtful when he considers these things.
Let us not stifle such thoughts; they are certainly from the good Spirit of God :-let us therefore dwell upon them; let usimprove them to our great advantage.
Let such as have arrived to any degree of holiness, bless God for it, and beg of him the grace
perseverance. Let such as are yet unconverted, beg of God the grace of conversion: it is the only thing they ought to pray for, and it is the only favour God will grant them; and he will certainly grant it to every one who asks it sincerely. And it is this very thing which will be the condemnation of all such as die unconverted:- That God called them to holiness,—that he put them into the way of attaining it—that they might have had all necessary assistance for asking, and heaven and happiness for their pains, and yet they continue insensible, and die without hopes of mercy. , May God awaken all such as have it
in their power to work out their salvation with a salutary fear of what must come hereafter! And
may every soul of us consider of what moment it is to know whether we are like to be justified or condemned, when we shall appear before God; there being no truth more certain than this, which therefore I would leave upon your minds—That whoever lives without holiness. will die without any reasonable hopes of mercy. May God Almighty set this home upon hearts, for the Lord Christ's sake.
To whom, &c.
ΑΝΑΣΤΑΣΙΣ. . THE RESURRECTION; OR, THE
REWARD OF HOLINESS.
LUKE XX. 34, 35, 36.
JESUS ANSWERING, SAID UNTO THEM, THE CHILDREN OF THIS WORLD MARRY, AND ARE GIVEN IN MARRIAGE: BUT THEY WHICH SHALL BE ACCOUNTED WORTHY TO OBTAIN THAT WORLD, AND THE RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD, NEI THER MARRY, NOR ARE GIVEN IN MARRIAGE: NEITHER CAN THEY DIE ANY MORE: FOR THEY ARE EQUAL UNTO THE ANGELS, AND ARE THE CHILDREN OF GOD, BEING THE CHILDREN OF THE RESURRECTION.
VHESE Sadducees did, in every deed, argue
like themselves; that is, like men who did not believe a resurrection.
Whether our Lord's answer convinced them of their error, or how far their prejudices might excuse them before God, is not material for us to know; especially since this point is now put out of all manner of doubt amongst Christians, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord from the dead. But this is very material to be observed, that their error proceeded from their not knowing the scriptures.
This was their great crime: they would not believe a future state, because they could not answer all the objections that the wanton wit of man could invent against such a state. The truth is, they were very fond of every thing that
• See Job xix. 26. Isaiah XXV. 8. Matt. xxv. 34. John xi. 26. Rom. viii. 18. 1 Cor. v.7; xv. 19, 42-45, 56. 2 Cor. v. 1. Eph, i. 18. 1 Pet. i. 3. 1 Jobo iii. 2. Rev. IX. 14.
might confirm them in their unbelief, and neglected the scriptures, which alone could have given them a sure account of what they doubted.
And thus it will always be, where people will not believe the word of God, when it is not agreeable to their own weak reasonings.
However, we are no losers by these people's infidelity and curiosity; for in convincing them of their error, our Lord has made known one of the most important and comfortable truths; namely, That at the general resurrection, such as have behaved themselves worthily in this life shall become immortal as the angels; that instead of a natural or animal body, which stands in need of food and air to support it, they shall have a spiritual body which will need neither ; that in that state there will be no need of marriage to preserve their kind, for they shall never die, but shall continue in the presence of God, in a state of perfect happiness for ever.
And let us not imagine, that there was no need of such a revelation as this to encourage us to do what God expects from us, in order to our happiness. They that know any thing of themselves, know
well with what difficulty we are brought even to think of another life: but to love it better than this; to deny a present pleasure for one that is to come; to suffer here, in hopes of being rewarded hereafter; there was an absolute necessity that the reward should be very great, and very certain; and so it is: They which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, shall be equal unto the angels; that is, after death they shall be happy and imniortal as they.
And who is it that affirms this? No less a person than the Son of God; whom God sent from heaven on purpose to make known to us this, amongst other things, That men may be much happier in the next world, than they can possibly be in this, if it be not their own fault; particularly he assures them, that after the resurrection they shall never die any more; their inheritance shall be for ever; they shall receive a crown of glory, that fadeth not away.
It is true, these are general expressions; but the apostle tells us why the happiness of the next life is not described more particularly:*
-Eye (saith he) hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man to conceive, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him; that is, It is utterly impossible so to describe or to compare the state of the life to come to any thing we see, or hear, so as to be able to comprehend it. For this, we must either believe God's word, or continue unbelievers to our own great loss.
We are to live here by faith, not by sight; that is, we must order our conversation not by what we see, or can understand, in this world, but by what we believe and expect in the next.
But then, that Christians may not be charged with being too easy.of belief, in expecting an happiness which they are never like to enjov, God has been pleased to give us the utmost proof that men in reason can desire, that all the glorious things that are spoken of the city of God, the habitation of the blessed, are certainly
• 1 Cor. ii. 9.