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justly and beautifully described as a state of death. This, probably, was the error of Hymeneus and Pbiletus, who said, that the 2 Tim. ii. resurrection is past already. The apostle Paul therefore sets himself to prove at large, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead. He proves it possible, from the resurrection of Christ; a well known and undisputed fact. He proves it certain, from the connection between this fact, and the authority of the apostles to publish his religion; of which this doctrine was so distinguishing and glorious a part; and also from the relation, in which Christ, the last Adam stood to mankind. And as the objections against this doctrine chiefly arose from not understanding its nature, and the circumstances of the new body, he enlarges upon these topicks in the latter part of the chapter ; and concludes it with a divine and most eloquent rapture, describing the glorious resurrection of the saints (of whom alone he there speaks) and triumphing in the prospect of this blissful event ; fo (says he) when this corruptible fhall have put on incorruption, and this mortal jhall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, “ Death is swallowed up in Victory.” The text is a quotation from the prophecies of
Ifai, 25.8. Isaiah, where it is said, He will swallow up
death in victory; and probably refers to the
I. Death may naturally be considered as
pleat victory over it.
1. Death may naturally be considered as an
every one to conflict with, for there is no Eccl. viii. discharge in that war. Death is, by an ele
gant figure, often described in the scriptures,
phatically styled the king of terrors, and said Job xviii. to reign over mankind by one man's offence. Rom. 5. Nature and experience teach us to consider death as an enemy;
for It dissolves the union between foul and body. It dislodges the foul, willing or unwilling; and separates it from its old and dear companion. Providence has wisely implanted in every
human mind a love to the body to which it is united and a tender concern for its health ; insomuch that, no man ever yet Eph.5.29. bated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it. Consequently a separation must be painful. Though good men while in this tabernacle, (this mean precarious building) groan being burdened, yet there is a natural aversion to put it off. Not (says the 2 Cor
. v. apostle) for that we would be unclothed. It would be more agreeable to take the body with us to another world, than go through the pain and terror of dying and have these two bosom friends divorced. This is a circumstance we would be glad to be excused from, especially as it is the consequence and punishment of fin; but death will pull down this structure, which, mean as it is, we are fond of, liaving dwelt in it so long and having been at so much care and pains to keep it
in tolerable repair, and will force the inhabitant to remove.
Again, death destroys the activity and beauty of the body, and turns it into loathsomness
and corruption. Diseases, its forerunners, Job xxxiii. generally consume away the flesh that it can
not be seen, and the bones that were not seen, stick out. At length the comeliness of the body is turned into deformity, and what was an object of delight, becomes a spectacle of horror. The limbs that were sprightly and active, grow stiff and useless: The eyes which sparkled with life and vigor, are sunk and ghastly: The learned brain, in which so many curious traces were lodged, fo
many ideas ranged with the utmost care and retained by close recollection, has lost its exquisite sensibility; and the entertaining and instructive tongue is sealed up in silence. The vitals of the body have lost their pow
The lungs cease to play, and the heart to beat. The silver cord is loosed and the golden bowl broken, the pitcher is broken at the fountain, and the wheel broken at the ciftern. Then we are willing to bury our dead out of our sight; to cast the desire of our eyes into the grave, to mingle with common dust, and lie in dishonour and darkness for ages to come.
Further, Death removes us from our most near and intimate friends, and other earthly comforts.
It dissolves the ties of nature, and the alliances of friendship, and breaks down the pleasing fabrick of happiness, which love had been for many years erecting. The benenevolent heart is ready to take up Hezekiab's mournful complaint, I shall behold man lsaiah no more with the inhabitants of the world.
Further, it breaks of men's thoughts and purposes relating to this world, for the good of their families, neighbourhood, and the publick. The great thoughts of wise and pious men for the glory of God and the advancement of religion perish; and the charitable schemes, which depended on the continuance of their lives, are defeated.
Finally, The little acquaintance we have with the other world, to which death transmits us, increases the fear of a removal bence.
We know so little of our souls and their manner of existence and operation without a body, and there are so many doubts and fears about their eternal condition prevailing in us, that it is no wonder, the thought of quitting the present scene is painful, and death, as it removes us from it, is consider
ed as an enemy.