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Serm. which never yet was paralleled. The subXXV. stance of which he sums up towards the close, n behold I fraer you a mysiery, we shall not all sleep,

but we shall all be changed : For the trumpet Shall found, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

In speaking to these words, I shall crave leave to consider the several particulars con tained in them, in the same order they lie in the text before us. Accordingly,

I. The first thing to be observed is, that in them we have a clear and full account of the hope of Christians; and that too in direct opposition to those, who mind earthly things, who are given up to the pleasures of sense and appetite, who have their minds so taken

up with the things of this life, that all their defires and affections are that way; insomuch that things of another world have lost all force of persuasion and influence upon

them : And are no more the governing principle of their life and actions, than if they were altogether feigned and imaginary.

This sort of people he had described exactly in the foregoing verse, but as for us, says he, we on the contrary look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Chrift. Look for him, (i. e.) have our eye fixed upon him, and our hearts fet

upon his coming. This expectation is our whole dependance, it is our all; it is this alone hath full possession of our hearts, it fills our thoughts, and the main tendency of our whole life and acions is all that way.

And

And now we see the reason of that folem-SERM. nity in this expression of the Apostle's, using XXV, these four names, the Saviour, the Lord, and Jesus, and Christ. Because the text is levelled at such as had but a low contemptible opinion of him, and his Revelations : And the plain import of it is, that that very person called Jesus Christ, so much despised and neglected by such people as he had been describing, we own to be our Saviour, and our Lord: This is the very man we look for. And we depend so entirely upon him, that we live by faith and not by fight. Looking for that joyful day, when be shall come in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.

II. The next thing remarkable in the text is, that debasing epithet, our vile body. The Greek expresseth it much more emphatically by a Hebrew idiom, σώμα της ταπεινώσεως ημών, the body of this low abject condition of

ours, in this life : So that he doth not call it vile only in respect of those many defects and miseries to which it is now subject, but means that it is fo even in its best state, and when it appears to most advantage in the bloom of youth, and greatest gaiety of health and vigour. It is true this amuses us now, because we are acquainted with nothing better ; and it becomes agreeable only by comparison, when we observe the little differences of shape and colour in others, who are in truth only a little less deformed.

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The body was without doubt very

excellent XXV. in its first design, when newly formed; when in God viewed the work of his hands, and we

pleased him; and he could call us good. Yet even in that state of innocence it had imperfections which required a change, before it could be translated up into heaven.

But in the ruin of our nature by the fall, the body sunk into a wretched and despicable condition, subject to numberless diseases and infirmities; insomuch that all our care in this world, is only to supply the several defects of nature; to support this tottering fabrick. To stave off that corruption, which is every

hour us : And when the soul hath left it, it turns all to stench and rottenness; it sends out poison and infection ; and quickly becomes the most loathsome and odious thing in nature.

The Heathen had fo contemptible a notion of the body, that they called it the fepulchre of the soul; they imagined the soul confine to it by way of punishment. The resurrection of it, by way of derision, they called the hope of worms. And looked

upon

the rising again of such a body as this is, to be a nauseous and abominable thought, unworthy of God. What’ says Celsus in Origen, that ever God

should raise fo foul and odious a thing as a · dead carcass!' thus they erred, not knowing the fcriptures, nor the power of God.

III. But thirdly, another thing exprefly aflerted in the text is, that notwithstanding

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ter.

this mighty alteration, it will be the same bo-SERM.
dy still, and not another. And now we see XXV.
the reason why the Apostle used a Hebrew idi-
om on this occasion, namely, the more effec-
tually to prevent and obviate that imagination,
of our having other bodies at the last day, in-
stead of these ; and composed of celestial mat-

Who shall change this body of our pre-
sent low dejected state, (i. e.) the very body
we carry about us, in this vale of misery.

It is here plainly called a change; and left we should mistake, and fancy it a change of one body for another, the original says, it shall be only transformed ; a word always in use where the substance remains, and a thing is changed only in its form and figure : Which is the very thing spoke here at length, for in the original it is, that this body may have the same form or figure with the body of Christ.

The spirit of God foreseeing there would in time arise a sort of men, who should elude the doctrine of the resurrection by this wrong turn; hath thus plainly, and with design been so particular in direct opposition to them; not only in this text, but in all other places where this change is spoke of. Our blessed Saviour, who is the earnest, and standard of our resurrection, rose again before his body was in any degree corrupted ; and it was so literally the fame, that it retained the very marks of the wounds he had received, before the separation of it from the soul.

But

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SERM.

But what is there so contrived even by the XXV. wisdom of God, which the mind of man Wcannot pervert to its own destruction !

IV. And now I come to the fourth and main point of the text, which is a revelation peculiar to Christianity ; namely, that this change of our bodies shall be into the likeness of Christ's glorious body. We are told exprefly in another place, where this change is spoke of, that it doth not yet appear what we hall be. And it is plainly implied, that we are not to hope for any knowledge of this likeness, till the coming of Christ at the last great day, when we shall be actually poffeft of it; so that it is in vain to go about to form

any

notion of it. We have not the least glimpse or idea of that glorified body we shall be like; it is as much out of the reach of all human understanding, as the real perfections of the divinity ; for which reason it is said, that our life is bid with Christ in God.

Here then we are at a full stand, we have gone

the length of our line, we frankly own our ignorance ; and that what is farther incumbent upon us is, with a full trust and confidence in the power and wisdom of God, to wait for such a change as we have no conception of.

And now the matter is thus reduced to a point, by this concession ; are we to yield and

the cause to the disputer of tbis world? No when we seem to give the enemies of revelation all the advantage they could wish, by

acknow

give up

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