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Christ at once, was surely the gain to which St. Paul aspired. "Whether we wake, or sleep, we should live together with him." Sleep is the softened expression of a good man's death. To wake or sleep signifies to live or die. Those who are asleep in Christ in this sense, do live together with him in their souls, and shall live with him in their bodies when raised from the dead. There is a soul in man which man cannot kill. Abraham's bosom is figuratively represented as an immediate transition to happiness. "I am the God of Abraham," &c. See also the case of the thief on the cross *. "Absent from the body,

present with the Lord 5."

Testimonies from argument. The admirable author of the analogy of natural and revealed religion observes; first, that "the same individuals should exist in degrees of life and perception, with capacities of action, of enjoyment, and suffering, in one period of their being, greatly different from those appointed them in another period of it; resemble the changes of worms into flies, and the enlargement of their capacities, and entering into a new world with new accommodations. Therefore, we may exist hereafter in situations as different from the present, as the change from infancy to age, from the egg to the animal. Secondly, that we have these capacities before death, is a presumption that we shall retain them through,

11 Thess. v. 10.

4 Luke xxiii. 43.

2 Matt. x. 28.

3 Luke xvi. 22. 5 2 Cor. v. 8.

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and after death. Our posthumous life, whatever there

may

be in it additional to our present, yet may not be beginning anew; but going on. Death may, in some sort, and in some respects, answer to our birth, which is not a suspension of the faculties which we had before it, or a total change of the state of life in which we existed when in the womb; but a continuation of both with such and such great alterations. Death may immediately in the natural course of things, put us into a higher and more enlarged state of life, as our birth does; a state in which our capacities, and sphere of perception, and action, may be greater than at present."-"Our present powers and capacities of reason, memory, and affection, do not depend upon our gross body, in the manner in which perception by our organs of sense does, so they do not appear to depend upon it at all in any such manner as to give ground to think, that the dissolution of the body will be the destruction of our present powers of reflection, as it will of our powers of sensation, or to give ground to conclude, even that it will be a suspension of the former."-"That the powers of the soul can subsist without the intervention of the limbs of the body, is evident from the reflection and perception which remain in the living subject, even when deprived of every instrumental part'.'

This is strongly illustrated by the dying declara

1 Bp. Butler's Analogy.

tion of the pious and eminent physician, Boerhaave. "In a private conversation he took occasion to tell his friend what had been, during his illness, the chief subject of his thoughts. He had never doubted the spiritual and immaterial nature of the soul; but declared that he had lately had a kind of experimental certainty of the distinction between corporeal and thinking substances, which mere reason and philosophy cannot afford; and opportunities of contemplating the wonderful and inexplicable union of soul and body, which nothing but long sickness can give. This, he illustrated by the effects which the infirmities of his body had upon his faculties, which yet they did not so oppress or vanquish, but his soul was always master of itself, and always resigned to the pleasure of its Maker."-Dr. Samuel Johnson's Life of Boerhaave.

The sum of all is this. "In the world we walk and live by faith;-in the state of separation we shall live by hope;-and in the resurrection we shall live by an eternal charity. Here we see God as in a glass, darkly; in the separation we shall behold him, but still afar off; and after the resurrection we shall see him face to face. In this life, we are warriors; in the separation, we are conquerors; but we shall not triumph till after the resurrection." Bishop Jeremy Taylor'.

1 See this subject discussed in Dr. Watts' "Essay toward the Proof of a Separate State ;" and also in "Testimonies in Proof of the Separate Existence of the Soul, in a state of self-consciousness between Death

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Though I think the doctrine of the separate state of souls to be of much importance in Christianity, and that the denial of it carries great inconveniences, and weakens the motive to virtue and piety by putting all manner of rewards and punishments to such a distance as the general resurrection, yet I dare not contend for it as a matter of such absolute necessity that a man cannot be a Christian without it." Dr. Isaac Watts.

"We know little of the state of departed souls, because such knowledge is not necessary to a good life. Reason deserts us at the brink of the grave, and can give no further intelligence. Revelation is not wholly silent. There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth; and surely this joy is not incommunicable to souls disentangled from the body, and made angels.

"Let hope therefore dictate, what revelation does not confute, that the union of souls may still remain; and that we who are struggling with sin, sorrow, and infirmities, may have our part in the attention and kindness of those who have finished their course, and are now receiving their reward.

These are the great occasions which force the mind to take refuge in religion; when we have no help in ourselves, what can remain but that we look up to a higher and a greater power? and to what hope may

and the Resurrection. By the Rev. Thomas Huntingford, M.A. Vicar of Kimpsford, Gloucestershire." 1829.

we not raise our eyes and hearts, when we consider that the greatest power is the best?

"Surely there is no man, who thus afflicted, does not seek succour in the Gospel which has brought life and immortality to light. Real alleviation of the loss of friends, and rational tranquillity in the prospect of our own dissolution, can be received only from the promises of him in whose hands are life and death, and from the assurance of another and a better state, in which all tears will be wiped from the eyes, and the whole soul shall be filled with joy 1."

1

XIX.-The value of the soul.

WHEN we consider the grand arrangement of the Almighty, if I may be permitted to use the expression, in the formation of a human soul, spiritually endowed, and consider it in union with a material body, whose mechanism is of surpassing wonder and beauty; when we reflect that the former is supplied with pure intellect, and is capable of apprehending, in some degree, the secrets both of the visible and invisible world; the latter, possessing the capability of administering to every necessary want, comfort, or pleasure of the being thus wonderfully created, can

1 Dr. Samuel Johnson's Idler, No. 41.

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