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composed spirit, and commit ourselves to his defence, with a rational decorum and religious dignity.

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VII. The doctrine of an immediate resurrection-body, upon the diffolution of this, together with an admission into the presence of the one Lord ;. has an apt tendency to inspire us with a love and veneration of him, and will preserve our caution and circumspection. There is but a thin, precarious partition between us. the next flying moment may remove the distance, and bring us into the presence. Stephen saw this would be the case. and St. Luke kindly informs us of his deportment, the better to instruct and direct our own, in the departing hour : Lord Jesus receive my Spirit, into thy hands I commend it; whom I know to be appointed of God, the resurrection and the life, and who has the keys of bell and of death. Dread and dismay should not hover about the 'pillow of the dying christian, because blessed are the dead that die in the Lord, from henceforth fais the Spirit, for they reft from their labours, and their works do follow with them. Ta

τα δε εργα αυτων ακολουθει μετ' αυτων. their works' do ac

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company them. They carry with them the fruits and effects of heavenly wisdom, in the graces

and virtues of their minds. They have the testimony of their own consciences, that in fimplicity and godly sincerity they have had their conversation in the world, and not according to the wisdom of the flesh, or the lead of its lufts. and because their hearts do not condemn them, therefore have they confidence towards God. they look and wait for their Lord's coming; and have their loins girt and their lights burning : fully prepared to receive his orders, of a final dismission from these labours of mortality. a like expectation did undoubtedly support the martyrs, under their endurance of pain, and conflict with anguish and torture. And there is surely in it, a relief and succour, not so easily imagined in the tardy scheme of sleeping for ages,

VIII. The extravagance of superstition, either in the departments of Papists or Protestants, is exposed in our interpretation. How extremely filly and ridiculous the visits made to sepulchres ? the crowded devotions frentickly paid at the tomb of this, and of the other faint; who have no more resi

dence

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dence there, than they can be fuppofed to have in the center of the globe, or on fome of the rocks in the moon. Their bodies, however pious they had been, are resolved into common dust, and, we think, bave no more for ever any concern with their spirits. which ever way this be considered, pore vertue cannot be in their bones, than may be found in the bones of

any nimal. If they were real fajots, and are introduced into the presence of their Lord they must abhor the mad reverence paid to their vile and contemptible duft.

And though it is faid, an honest Papist will confefs

, if you deny, an intermediate state, there will be an end of qur worship, even. of the Virgin Mary. And indeed the whole Popis doctrine of purgatory, masses for the dead, adoration of saints, worship of images, limbus patrum, infantum and all the senseless trumpery, which depend on the doctrine of an intermediate fiate." - Yet all this trumpery will have full as little countenance from the scheme of interpretation contended for, as it can have from the sleeping hypothesis. for.we discern, that the whole Gospel is a perfect itranger

to

a Peckard's observations, p. 27.

to an after-state of purgation, the fate of the dead is final. the good and the bad, have between them a gulph unpaffable, an absolute fixednels of condition, as is evident from the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. from the definitive sentence of the judge. from the very nature of the sinner and the faint : be that is holy will be holy still. and be that is filthy will be filthy Nill. And although the papist would plead, i Cor. iii. 15. but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire : there is no sure ground for his confia dence ; since that docs manifestly affirm, the man's total destruction. as may be seen by comparing ver. 17. he shall be saved, yet fo as by fire : is the same thing as to say, be mall be destroyed.

Purgatory has no foundation any where, but in the cunning of the priest, and in the credulity of the ignorant people. a deplorable proof of the depravity begat by fuperftition. It is a contrivance to gain money for masses to be said for fouls. when, with as much reason and success, they might employ these forcerers, to pray their Souls back again into their bodies. — It is difficult to say, whether the wickedness of the priests, or the weakness

and

and stupidity of the people, be more deplorable.

The protefant should correct himself, in all the superstition he has indulged about the future condition of his body. vast numbers imagine, some greater security will arise, from having their bodies placed in the cemetries, and by the bodies of good persons. whether in the church-yard, the church, or near the communion-table. And much stress is laid on the funeral obsequies and folemnities. All the while, we have no season, either to desire or expect a farther connexion with the corruptible, mortal, natural body. which we seldom quit, but under some shocking distemper, and with the strongest marks of its vile condition.

And yet, there confeffedly will be a dea cency due to the human body. Some deference should be shewn, by the very disposition of humanity, to the mortal bodies of our deceased fellow.creatures. All nations have agreed in this, and at all times. And such distinction is properly paid to the human body, as it ferves to keep alive and invigorate fome of the most useful, social principles in the breast of man. The reverence

shewn,

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