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umbrage to us of a divine determination, that less gentle 5. When we find any excellent persons, in our world, methods are fitter for us. And God's holy will be done! attain far and high towards the perfection of the heavenly
It is now obvious to any considering person, that many state; it ought to be a great encouragement to us, and is very useful reflections might be made upon the text and an obligation to aspire to some light pitch. We see it is the occasion together. I shall shut up this present dis- not an impossible, or an impracticable thing; and should course with these that follow.
disdain to crawl now as worms, when we are to soar as 1. It ought to be most remote from us to confine, in our angels. narrow thoughts, sincere religion and godliness to a party, &. We ought hereupon to acknowledge and adore the distinguished by little things and most extra-essential munificence and power of Divine grace, that it should dethereto. Take we that great apostle's document, I per- sign the making of such abjects as we, fit to be associated ceive God is no respecter of persons; and what he said of with such an assembly, the innumerable company of vations, may not we as aptly say that of all such parties? angels, and the spirits of the just made perfect; and will They that fear God, and work righteousness, are accepted not fail to effect it, if we comply with the apt methods of him, Acis x.
appointed for that blessed purpose. Let us once learn to reckon substantial godliness a 7. When such ascend, and are taken ap from us, that greater thing, than the using or not using this or that cere- God had eminently prepared for translation, we should mony. And account that faith, mercy, judgment, and the take great care lest we unduly regret it. That we do not love of God, are not to be past over for as little things, as envy heaven its own, to which they are more akin than to the titbing of mint, annise, and cummin. I believe there our earth; and which had a greater right in them, than are few in the world, if they cast their eyes about them, we could pretend. but might truly say (what I thank God, I have often 1 8. We should look upon funeral solemnities for sucb, thought that all of our parties that hold the substantials of with more prospect than retrospect, and consider them as religion, I have know some of far greater value than my- directing our eye less downward to our own forsaken self. Let the being a good Christian, signify more with world, than upwards to the celestial regions and inhabitus than to belong to a so o r so shaped, or ants. To such, to die is to be born; they die only out of figured church.
our mean world, and are born into a most glorious one. A noted writer,i among the ancients, brings in one, say. Their funerals should be celebrations of their ascent, and ing, by way of exprobration to Christians, There is So- an exulting joy should therefore, in that case, not be quite crates, the prince of wisdom, if any among you be so great, banished from funeral sorrows, but be allowed to mingle let them imitate him, if they can. What persuasion among therewith, as sunbeams glittering in a cloud. When the us can produce a greater example, than we have been now greatest person was leaving this world, that ever lived in it, considering; or more worthy the imitation even of private he says, 'If you loved me, you would rejoice that I say, Christians ?
I go to the Father. We should bear our part in the jors 2. The spirits of the just on earth are in a great propin- of heaven, upon this occasion, if we relate to it. And quity and have a near alliance to heaven. They are not when we are told, there is joy there, among the angels of there to have the first foundations laid of their blessed God, for the conversion of such, who are thereby but prestate, but are only to be made perfect. They have in them pared to come to their assembly; we may conclude there here the first principles, the elements of their final bless is much more for their glorification, when they are folly edness; heaven in little, as the acorn contains the tree, or come, and joined to it. Funeral solemnities are very dull the embryo the man.
melancholy shows, without such references forwards, and 3. The just in this world are of the church in heaven. upwards. With how different a temper of mind would two They are come to the general assembly, the church of the persons have been the spectators of Jacob's funeral, ibe first-born, &c. All sincere Christians, whether in heaven one of whom should have looked no further than the or earth, (as hath been noted,) make but one family, Eph. Canaanites or Egyptians did, who would only say, Some iii. 15. Good God! can our little differences, here, set great person is dead; but the other, by divine illumination, us at greater distance than heaven and earth! The obser- is enabled to apprehend, This dust here mingles with the vation is worth considering of that wise and noble person ; earth of this land, to presignify this people, of whom he " It will be found a matter of great moment and use, to de- was the head, must possess it. Yea, moreover, here the fine what, and of what latitude, those points are, which great God will fix his residence and throne ; upon such a discorporate men from the body of the church And mount shall be the palace of the supreme King. Here, if any think this hath been done, now long ago, let them after great mutations and revolutions, and great destructions seriously consider with what sincerity and moderation the both of the Egyptians and Canaanites, shall this people same hath been performed,” &c. And if it had not have a long succession of princes and rulers that shall be been done with diie sincerity, and moderation in his days, of themselves. And all this but as representing a King it is much to be doubted whether it have since. In the and kingdom that shall rule, and spread over all the earth, mean time it is to be considered, that what differenceth and reach up at length into heaven. Canaan shall be a any thing, constitutes it; and if a church (of whatsoever holy land. Unto Sion's King shall tributary princes bring denomination) be constituted in its superstructure (though their gifts, out of Egypt, and Ethiopia stretch out her hands; its foundation be good) of hay, and stubble, of things that and all pations serve him. His empire shall confine with can belong to no church, as a church, it must some time the universe, and all power be given him both in heaven or other suffer loss: and though the builders be saved, it and earth. With what a large and raised mind would must be by a more penetrative, than an imagined, purga- such a one have beheld this funeral! What better Canaan, tory-fire.
than we now behold, we shall have in this world, God 4. Angels must have kind propensions towards men, knows! And we should be the less solicitous to know especially good men, in this world, knowing these are of intermediate things, when we are so fully ascertained of the same society and church with them; though the Divine the glorious end of all things. And let us reflect upon the wisdom hath not judged it suitable to our present state. solemn pomp of that late mournful assembly, that lamentof probation, there should be an open and common inter- I ed our queen's departure out of our world, comparing i course between them and us. 'Tis however a great incon- with the transcended magnificence of that triumph gruity we should have strange, uncouth, shy, frightful, or assembly, into which she is received above. unfrequent thoughts of them in the mean time. i Min. Fel.
k Lord Viscount Verul. Adv. of Learn. lit e.
THE GOOD MAN'S DESIRE
OF BEING ABSENT FROM THE BODY, AND PRESENT WITH THE LORD:
A FUNERAL SER MON,
ON THE DEATH OF
MRS. MARGARET BAXTER.
TO THE VERY REVEREND MR. RICHARD BAXTER.
SIR, WHEN you assigned unto me that part, not of forming a memorial for your excellent deceased consort, (which is reserved to the fittest hand,) but of instructing the people upon the occasion of her decease; this text of Scripture occurring also to my thoughts, (which I reckoned might sufficiently agree with the design you generally recommended to me, though I am sensible how little the prosecution did so,) it put me upon considering with how great disadvantage we set ourselves, at any time, to reason against bodily inclination; the great antagonist we have to contend against, in all our ministerial labours! An attempt which, if a higher power set not in with us, looks like the opposing of our faint breath to the steady course of a mighty river! ..
I have often thought of Cicero's wonder, " That since we consist of a mind, and a body, the skill of curing and preserving the body is so admired, as to have been thought a divine invention; that which refers to the mind is neither so desired, before it be found out, nor so cultivated afterwards, nor is approved and acceptable to so many: yea is even to the most, suspected, and hateful!"
Even the tyrant Phalaris tells one, in an epistle, (though by way of menace, that whereas a good physician may cure a distempered body, death is the only physician for a distempered mind. It works not indeed a universal cure. But of such on whom it may, how few are there that count not the remedy worse than the disease! Yet how many thousands are there, that for greater hoped bodily advantages, afterwards, endure much more pain and trouble than there is in dying!
We are a mysterious sort of creatures! Yet I acknowledge the wisdom of God is great and admirable, in planting in our natures so strong a love of this bodily life, without which the best would be more impatient of living on earth, so long as God thinks it requisite they should ; and to the worst, death would not be a sufficiently formidable punishment; and consequently human laws and justice would be, in great part, eluded.
And the same Divine wisdom is not less admirable, in providing there should so generally be so much of mutual love, as doth obtain among near friends and relatives; for thereby their cohabitation and mutual offices towards each other are made more pleasant and easy; which is a great compensation for the concomitant evil, that by the same love their parting with one another cannot but be rendered grievous.
But for you, who live so much upon the borders, and in the pleasant view of the other state : the one separation is, I doubt not, much easier to your sense, and the other to your fore-thoughts, than they are with the most. A perfect indifferency towards this present bodily state and life, is, in mine eyes, a most covetable thing, and my daily aim; wherein I entreat your prayers may assist
Your most respectful, though most unworthy
and hope of the Gospel,
of the Gospens
2 CORINTHIANS V. 8.
WE ARE CONFIDENT, I SAY, AND WILLING RATHER TO BE ABSENT FROM THE BODY, AND TO BE PRESENT WITH THE LORD.
The solemn face of this assembly seems to tell me, that] (as I hope you design) what so instructive an occasion you already know the present, special occasion of it; and shall (of itself, or as it may be improved) serve to teach us. that I scarce need to tell any of you, that our worthy, ho- It doth of itself most obviously teach the common docunoured friend, Mrs. Baxter, is dead. You have ('tis like ment, that we, who are of the same make and mould, must most of you) often met her in this place, when her pleased all die too. And our own prudence should hereupon adlooks were wont to show what delight she took to have vance one step further, and apprehend it a most covetable many share in those great advantages, wherein she had a thing, that the temper of our minds might comply with more peculiar interest; you are now to meet her here no this unalterable state of our case; and that we be in a more, but are met yourselves to lament together, that our disposition, since we must die, to die willingly, and with world hath lost so desirable an inhabitant; and to learn our own consent. Nothing can be more irrational, or un
happy, than to be engaged in a continual quarrel with ne- | my heart is glad, my glory rejoices, my flesh also shall rest cessity, which will prevail, and be too hard for us at last. in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in sheol, the No course is so wise in itself, or good for us, as to be re- state of the dead, nor suffer thine Holy One to see corrup. conciled to what we cannot avoid; to bear a facile yield- tion, but wilt show me the path of life; and no matter ing mind towards a determination, which admits of no re- though it lie through the dark shady vale, it leads however peal.
into that blessed presence of thine (the same with that in And the subject, now to be insisted on, may help us to the text) where is fulness of joy; and unto that right-hand improve the sad occasion to this very important purpose ; (that high and honourable station where are pleasures for and show us that dying, which cannot be willed for itself, evermore. Both these, the apostle's courage and fortitude, may be joined with somewhat else which may, and ought and his complacency or well-pleasedness, have express reto be so; and in that conjunction become the object of a ference to the state of death, or of being absent from the rational and most complacential willingness. A subject body. The one respects it as a formidable (but superable) recommended to me (though not the special text) by one, evil, the other as a desirable and most delectable good. than whom I know no man that was better able to make But both have reference to it in its concomitancy, or tena fit choice; as (in the presen: case) none could have that dency, viz. as absence from the body should be accomparight to choose. I cannot stay to discuss and open the nied (or be immediately followed) with being present with most fruitful, pleasant series of discourse, in the foregoing the Lord. The sense therefore of the whole verse may be verses, though there will be occasion to reflect somewhat fitly expressed thus :That it is the genuine temper of holy upon it by and by; but, in the text, the apostle asserts two souls, not only to venture with confidence upon the state things concerning the temper of his spirit, in reference to of absence, or separation from the body; but to choose it death: His confidence, and complacency, Bappoquev, kal év with great complacency and gladness, that they may be doko Juev.
present with the Lord. First, His confidence, or his courage and fortitude, “We Body, we are not here to understand so generally, as if are confident, I say." He had said it before, ver. 6. We are he affected, or counted upon a perpetual final state of sealways confident; and assigned the cause, Knowing that paration from any body at all. No, the temper of his spirit while we are present in the body we are absent from the had nothing in it so undutiful, or unnatural; no such reLord. And declared the kind of that knowledge, (viz. luctation, or disposition to contend against the common lot which he had of that presence of the Lord, whereof he was of man, the law of human nature, and the comely order deprived, by being present in the body,) that is, that it was which the Author of our beings, and of all nature, hath the knowledge of faith, not of sight, ver. 7. Now here he settled in the universe; that whereas one sort of creatures, adds, We are confident, I say. It notes a deliberate cou that have life, should be wholly contined to terrestrial borage, and the fixedness of it; that it was not a sudden fit, dies; another, quite exempt from them; ours should be a a passion soon over. He had said above, Baplowites TÁVTOTE, middle nature, between the angelical and the bratal. So We are confident at all times; it was his habitual temper. as we should, with the former, partake of intellectual, imAnd here the ingemination signifies increase, as if he had mortal spirit; and a mortal body made up and organized saiit, We grow more and more bold, and adventurous, of earthly materials, with the latter : which yet we might while we consider the state of our case, and what we suffer also depose, and reassume, changed and refined from terby our presence in the body. Sense of injury or damage rene dross. The apostle's temper hath in it nothing of reheightens, and adds an edge unto true valour. We would bellion, or regret against this most apt and congruous or. venture upon a thousand deaths, if the matter were left der and constitution; he had no impatient proud resententirely to our own option, rather than be thus withheld ment of that gradual debasement and inferiority that, in any longer from the presence of our blessed Lord; a thing this respect, we are made a little lower than the angels. whereof nothing but duty to him could make us patient. When Porphyry tells us, in the life of Plotinus, that be We are not destitute of the fortitude to enable us even to blushed as often as he thought of his being a body, it was rush upon death, without more ado, if he did say the word ; agreeable enough to his notion of the pre-existence of the but as yet hc bids us stay, and his supreme and holy will soul; i. e. if it were true, that the original state of human must in all things determine ours. Therefore 'tis imme- spirits was the same with that of angels, (which this is no diately subjoined, in the midst of this high transport, ver. fit season to dispute against,) and that by their own fault, 9. Wherefore we labour, that whether present or absent, some way or other, they lapsed and slid down into grosser we might be accepted of him, or well-pleasing to him matter, and were caught into vital union with it, there was (čvapcsou durû civai.) We less mind the pleasing ourselves, just cause of shame indeed. Apuleius's transformation than him. We are indifferent to life or death, being in the (which many of you know what it means) if it had been body, or out of it, in comparison of that; his pleasure is real, was not more ignominious. more to us than either. Here the highest fortitude yields But it appears the apostle affected not a state, wherein and submits itself, otherwise, and for his own part, and as he should be simply naked, or unclothed of any body at to what concerned his own inclination singly, and in the all; for he longs to be clothed upon with his heavenly divided sense, the apostle to his confidence doth,
house, ver. 2. And whereas he tells us, ver. 4. that Secondly, Add complacency. We are better pleased which he groaned for, was not to be unclothed, but clothed (ivdoroquer valov.) This is a distinct thing, (a valiant man upon; that being unclothed, doth not mean the act, but the will venture upon wounds and death, but is not pleased state, i. e. that he did not covet or aspire to a perpetual with them,) but in reference lo so excellent an object, and final state of being naked, or without any body at all. occasion, they must mingle, and the latter runs into the For so he speaks, ver. 3. If so be (as we read) that being former. "We are willing rather (as we read it) to be ab- clothed, we shall not be found naked. The particle size sent from the body, and present with the Lord. The word admits to be read, since that, inasmuch as, for truly; and which we read willing, signifies to approve or like well, so the 2d and 3d 'verses will be connected thas; In this, not a merely judicious, but complacential approbation; thé (ver. 2.) i. e. for this, viz. for this cause, as er often signifies word, whence comes the čvdokia often ascribed to God in casualty (not in this house, for tourw and ouia will not Scripture, which signifies the high satisfaction he lakes in agree,) we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with all his purposes and determinations. The ivdoxia Ocahuaros, our house which is from heaven, i.e. óf heaven, or suitable Ephes. 1. 5. is certainly no tautology, but speaks how per to heaven (i denotes here, as often, the matter whereof a fectly and pleasingly he agrees, and (as it were) consents thing is formed and made,) a body made up of a heavenly with himself, in all that ever he had resolved on. This material; or (which is all one) an earthly body refined, and rather, says the apostle, is our évdokia, the thing that would | iransformed into such an one. And then he subjoins the please us best, and wherein we should most highly satisfy reason why his desire is so conditioned, and limited, or runs ourselves. It would not be the matter of our submission only in this particular current, to have not no body at all, only, or whereto we could yield, when we cannot help it; but only not such a body. He wishes to have a body but of our highest joy and pleasure. According as we find made more habile, and commodious, and fitter for the it was with the Psalmist, (Psalm xvi.) in the same case, uses of a glorified soul; (which hath its own more in(which though it had a further meaning in reference toward clothing peculiar to itself, in respect whereof that of Christ, had a true meaning as to himself also,) Therefore such a body would be an additional one, a superin vestilure,
as the word drevdúcaobai imports ;) his desire is thus limit-, while that remains in a due temper, it cannot by any art ed and modified for this reason." Inasmuch as, being thus or power free itself! It can by any act of the will move a clothed, we shall not be found naked, ver. 3. or without hand, or foot, or the whole body; but cannot move from any body at all; which the law of our creation admits us it one inch. If it move hither and thither, or by a leap not to effect, or aspire unto. And therefore in qualifying upward to ascend a little, the body still follows; it cannot our desire thus, we shall contain ourselves within our own shake or throw it cff. We cannot take ourselves out; by bounds, and not offer any thing whereof humanity is, by any allowable means we cannot, nor by any at all (that are the Creator's pleasure and constitution, incapable. There- at least within mere human power) as long as the temperfore he inculcates the same thing over again. We groan ament lasts. While that remains, we cannot go; if that not to be unclothed, but only to be clothed upon ; ver. 4. fail, we cannot sley ; hough there be so many open avewhere that unclothed (the thing he desired not) must sig- nues, (could we suppose any material bounds to hem in, nify the state and not the act only, is evident; in that be- or exclude a spiri, we cannot go out or in at pleasure. A ing clothed (the thing which he did desire) must plainly wonderful thing and I wonder we no more wonder at be so understood. For was it only an entrance into glory our own make and frame in this respect, that we do not, he desired, and not continuance in a glorified state ? Nor with reverent submissive adoration, discern and confess can this being unclothed much less refer as an act to the how far we are outvitted and overpowered by our wise present' clothing of this earthly body, as if it were our be- and great Creator; that we not only cannot undo his work ing divested of that which he intended in this 4th verse, as upon us in this respet, but that we cannot so much as unthe thing be desired not, for then the 4th verse would con-. derstand it. What so much akin are a mind and a piece tradict this 8th, where he tells us he did desire it. The of earth, a clod and a thought, that they should be thus meaning then is, that he did not desire to be exempted from affixed to one another; or that there should be such a wearing a body, or to be without any at all; he did only thing in nature as thinking clay! But hereupon, what adcovet to be absent from this body (gross and terrene as vantage hath this balv upon the soul and spirit! In the nanow it was) that he might be present with the Lord, with tural union is grounded a moral one, of love and affection; which he found being in such a body, and in the several which (on the soul's part) draws and binds it down with accompanying circumstances of this bodily state, to be in- mighty efficacy. consistent. Wherefore it was a terrestrial body (the earth Again, how mysterious and ineffable is the union of the ly house of this tabernacle, as 'tis ver. 1.) which he was Lord and the soul; and how more highly venerable, as now better pleased to quit upon this account.
this is a sacred mystery! And who would not admire at And I say it is the genuine temper of a holy soul to be their proud disdainful folly, that while they cannot explain like-minded, not their constant, explicit, discernible sense. the union between the soul and body, are ready to jeer at We must allow for accidents, (as we shall note afterwards) their just, humble, and modest ignorance, that call this but when they are themselves and in their right mind, and other a mystical union ? or, because they know not what so far as the holy divine life doth prevail in them, this is to make of it, would make nothing, and will not allow their temper.
there should be any such thing, or would have it be next And now, that I may more fully open this matter to you, to nothing. Hare those words no sense belonging to them, I shall,
or not a great sense, (1 Cor. vi. 17.) But he that is joined I. Endeavour to unfold, somewhat more distinctly, the unto the Lord, is one spirit? And, upon this supernatustate of the case, in reference whereto good and holy souls ral union also (be it what it will) methinks the binding are thus affected.
and drawing power of love should not be less! II. Shall show you what is their true and genuine tem- 2. We must conceive in our minds as distinctly as we per, or how it is that they stand affected, in reference 10 can, the peculiar adjuncts of each of these more principal that case.
terms; i. e. on the part of the body first, we are to consider III. Shall discover, how agreeable this temper is to the a sensible, a grossly corporeal world, to which this body general frame and complexion of a holy soul.
doth connaturalize us, and whereto we are attempered by And then make such reflections upon the whole, as may our being in the body, and living this bodily life. This be more especially useful to ourselves.
body, while we live in it, is the terminus uniens, the mediI. We are to take, as much as we can, a distinct view um, the unitive bond between us and it. In this world we and state of the case. We see the apostle speaks by way find ourselves encompassed with objects that are suitable, of comparison, čudokoðuev pâldov, we are willing rather. We grateful, and entertaining to our bodily senses, and the seare therefore to consider (that we may comprehend clearly veral principles, perceptions, and appetites that belong to the true state of this case) what the things are which he the bodily life: and these things familiarize and habituate compares; and between which his mind might be suppo us to this world, and make us, as it were, one with it. sed, as it were, to have been before (at least in order of na- There is, particularly, a bodily people, as is intimated in ture before) in some suspense, till at last it come so com- the text, ihat we are associated with by our being in the placentially to incline, and be determined this one way. body. The words čvonuñoar and ironuñoa., in this verse, (and Take the account of the whole case in these particulars. I the same are used verse the 6th and 9th,) signify there is
1. There are here two principal terms, between which such a people of which we are, and from which we would the motion and inclination of such a mind lies, from the be dissociated; čvonuos is civis, incola, or indigena, an inone to the other. The Lord,' and the body. Both do as habitant, or native, among this or that people; as ekonpos is it were attract and draw (or are apt to do) two several ways. peregrinus, one that lives abroad and is severed from the The Lord strongly draws on the one hand, and the body people he belonged unto. The apostle considers himself, hangs on, and holds, and draws in as strongly to itself as while in the body, as living among such a sort of people it can, on the other. The body as having us present in it. as dwell in bodies, a like sort of people to himself; and And how ? not locally only, but in the way of vital union would be no longer a home-dweller with these, but travel and communion with it. And that shows how we are to away from them, to join and be a dweller with another understand being present with the Lord too, not by a mere people. local presence, but of a' more intimate vital union and For also, on the other hand, he considers, with the Lord, commerce. Where, as in the union between the soul and an invisible world, where he resides; and an incorporeal body, the more excellent communicates life, the other re-people, he presides over. So that the case here is, are we ceives it; so it must be here. Though now the Lord is willing to be dispeopled from this bodily sort of people, present thus, in some measure, (which this attraction sup- and peopled with that incorporeal sort, the world, and poses,) yet speaking comparatively,that presence is absence, community of spirits ? in respect to what we are to look for hereafter. Both these 3. It is further to be considered in this case, that we are unions are very mysterious, and both infer very strong and related both ways, related to the body, and related to the powerful drawing, or holding together of the things so Lord; to the one people, and the other, the one claims an united.
interest in us, and so doth the other. We have many earthly There is no greater mystery in nature, than the union alliances, 'tis true, and we have many heavenly; we are between the soul and the body. That a mind and spirit related to both worlds, and have affairs lying in both. And should be so tied and linked with a clod of clay, ihat, now what mighty pleadings might the case admit, on the
one hand, and the other? Were the body, apart, capable, we are sure can have no design or inclination to deceive of pleading for itself, to this effect it must bespeak the soul : us. There are many mansions, saith he, in my Father's " I am thy body, I was made and formed for thee, and, house, as good accommodations, as suitable society (and someway, by thee. Thou hast so long inhabited and dwelt sufficiently numerous, which the many mansions implies) with me, and in me. Thou art my soul, my life, my strength; to be sure as any you have met with here. Faith is, in if thou be absent, I am a carcase and fall to dirt; and thou this case, to serve us instead of eyes, it is the substance of wilt be a maimed thing, and scarce thy whole self.” But things hoped for, the evidence of the things not seen; though it cannot dictate, and do not uiter such words, na- (Heb. xi. I.) as we have the notion of a country where we ture doth itself plead more strongly than words can have not been, by the description of a person whom we
And again, how much more potently, might the Lord can trust, and that we think' intends not to abuse us by plead for his having the soul more dosely united and in- forgeries, and false representations. In reference to this timately conversant with himself! « Thou art one of the country, we walk and guide ourselves by sight, in our souls I have loved and chosen, which were given to me, converses, and affairs wherein we have to do with it; as and for which I offered up my own pul. I have visited to that other, by faith; as, ver. 7. 'tis implied. thee in thy low and abjeci state ; said to thee in thy blood, 5. Yet further it is to be considered, that this body, and Live; have inspired thee with a hearenly, sacred, divine this bodily people and world, have the present possession life, the root and seminal principle & a perfect, glorious, 1 of us. And though the spiritualized mind do as it were step eternal life. Let this body drop, which hath been long thy forth, and place itself between both, when it is to make iis burden ! let it fall and die, it matters pot Yet since thou choice ; yet the objects of the one sort are much nearer, lovest it, I will restore it thee again, pure and glorious, like the other are far distant, and much more remote. mine own. I am the resurrection and the life; he that be- 6. That it cannot but be apprehended, that though the lieveth in me, though he were deac, yet shall he live, one sort of things hath the faster hold, the other sort are John xi. 25. Never fear to venture thyself with me, nor things of greater value; the one hath the more entire preto commit thy body to my after-care."
sent possession of us, the other, the better right. Thus we And now all the question will be, Which alleges the see the case stated. more considerable things ? and the matter will be estimated, II. We are next to show what the temper is of a holy as the temper of the soul is. An earthly, sordid soul, when soul (i. e. its proper and most genuine temper) in refer. the overture is made to it of such a translation, will be ence to this supposed state of the case. We are willing ready to say, as the Shunamite (2 Kings iv.) did to the rather, or have a more complacential inclination to be upprophet, when he offered to speak for her to the king, (per- peopled from the body, and this bodily sort of people; and haps that her husband might be called to court, and made to be peopled with the Lord, and that sort of incorporeal a great man,) I dwell among my own people, (an answer people, over which he more immediately presides in the that in her case well expressed the true greatness of a con-upper world. He speaks comparatively, as the case retented mind, but in this case nothing more mean,) I am quires, and because all comparison is founded in somewell where I am, and dwell among a people like myself. what absolute; therefore a simple disposition, both ways, So saith the degenerate abject soul, sunk inio a deep obliy- is supposed. Whence then, ion of its own country; Here I dwell a ixed inhabitant 1. This temper is not to despise and hate the body, it of this world, among a corporeal people, where I make imports no disdainful aversion to it, or to this present state. one. And we find how it is with this sort of people, each 2. Nor is it an impetuous precipitant tendency towards one charms another, and they grow familiar, have mutual, the Lord, impatient of delay, mutinous against the divine ties one upon another ,and there is a loathsomeness to part. disposal; or that declines present duty, and catches at the Especially as here, in this lower world, we are variously Bpabriov, the crown and prize, before the prescribed race disposed, and cast into several mutual relations to one an- be run out. · A holy man is at once dutiful and wise: as other; husbands and wives, parents and children, brothers a servant he refuses not the obedience of life, and as a and sisters, all dwelling in bodies alike, cohabiting, eating wise man, embraces the gain of death. and drinking daily, and conversing together. These are 3. But it is considerate, the effect of much foregoing degreat and sensible endearments, by which the minds of liberation, and of a thorough perspection of the case ; men become as it were knit, and united to one another. cidótes, ver. 6. knowing, or considering, that while we are How are men's spirits fixed to their own countries ! Nescio at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord. This qua natale solum dulcedine 'lis by an inexpressible plea- choice is not made blindly and in the dark. sure and sweetness, that the people of one country are as. 4. It is very determinate and full, being made up of the it were linked and held together.
mixture of fortitude and complacency, as was said; the But would not a heavenly, new-born soul say, No, this one whereof copes with the evil, of being severed from the is none of my country, I seek a better, and am here but a body; the other entertains the good of being present with pilgrim and stranger; this is none of my people ? So it the Lord. Therefore this is the sense of a pious soul in was with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, that conversed in the the present case : 9.d. “I do indeed love this body well, and earthly Canaan, but as in a strange country; their mind reckon it a grievous thing to be severed from it, if that being gone towards that other, which they sought. And part of the case be singly considered, and alone by itself; accordingly you find it said of each of them, in their sto but considering it in comparison with the other part, what ry, when they quite left this world, (as also of Moses and is this body to me? What is it as an object of love, in Aaron, afterwards) that they were gathered to their people; comparison of being with the Lord ? What is death to me a people that were more their own. And surely, as God as an object of fear, in comparison of being absent from (who was not ashamed to be called their God) is not the the Lord ? which is a death many thousand times more God of the dead, but of the living; we must understand deadly than the other. . this was not the congregation of the dead, to which these III. The agreeableness of this temper to the general were gathered, otherwise than in a low, relative sense, as frame and complexion of a holy soul as such. Which to us only and our world. Holy men, as they die out of will appear if we consider-1. What sort of frame or imone world, are born into another, to associate with them pression, in the general, that is that doth distinguish a sinthat dwell in light; and be joined to a glorious community cerely pious person from another man.--2. The more emiabove, the general assembly, the innumerable company of nent principles in particular that are constituent of it, and angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect; where do as it were compose and make it up. all love and adore, praise and triumph together.
1. The general frame of a holy soul, as such is natural 4. It is again to be taken into the state of this case, that to it. 'Tis not an artificial thing, a piece of mechanism, we have, one way or other, actual present notices of both a lifeless engine, nor a superficial, an external form, an the states, which both sorts of objects, that. stand in this evanid impression. It is the effect of a creation, (as Scrip competition belong unto. Of the one, by sense and ex ture often speaks,) by which the man become a new creaperience; we so know what it is to live in the body, and ture, and hath a nature peculiar to him, as other creatures in a sensible world, and among a corporeal people : of the have; or of regeneration, by which he is said to be born other, by faith ; by believing as we are told by one that anew. Which forms of speech, whatever they have of dif
* Ambros. de bono mortis.