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not fo formidable as we are apt, by our finful fears, to reprefent them. They may, when God permits them, destroy your bodies, they cannot touch or deftroy your fouls, Mat. x. 28. As to your bodies, no enemy can touch them till there be leave and permiffion given them by God, Job i. 1o. The bodies of the faints, as well as their fouls, are within the line or hedge of Divine Providence: They are fecurely fenced, fometimes mediately by the miniftry of angels, Pfal. xxxiv. 7. and fometimes immediately by his own hand and power, Zech. ii. 5. As to their fouls, whatever power enemies may have upon them, (when divine permission opens a gap in the hedge of providence for them) yet they cannot reach their fouls to hurt them, or deftroy them, but by their own confent. They can destroy our perishing flesh, it is obnoxious to their malice and rage; they cannot reach home to the foul: No fword can cut asunder the band of union between them and Chrift; they would be dreadful enemies indeed if they could do fo. Why then do we tremble and fear at this rate, as if foul and body were at their mercy, and in their power and hand? The fouls of those martyrs were in fafety under the altar in heaven, they were cloathed with white robes, when their bodies were given to be meat to the fowls of heaven, and beafts of the earth. The devil drives but a poor trade by the perfecution of the faints; he tears the nest, but the bird efcapes; he cracks the fbell, but loseth the kernel. Two things make a powerful defenfative against our fears: (1.) That all our enemies are in the hand of providence. (2.) That all providences are fteered by that promise, Rom. viii. 28.
Infer. 9. If fouls be immortal, Then there muft needs be a vaft difference betwixt the afpects and influences of death upon the godly and ungodly.
Oh! if fouls would but seriously confider what an alteration death will make upon their condition, for evil or for good, how ufeful would fuch meditations be to them! (1.) They must be diffeized and turned out of these houfes of clay, and live in a ftate of feparation from them; of this there is an inevitable neceffity, Eccl. viii. 8. It is vain to fay, I am not ready; ready or unready, they muft depart when their leafe is out. It is as vain to fay, I am not willing; for willing or unwilling, they must be gone; there is no hanging back, and begging, Lord, let death take another at this time, and spare me; for no man dies by a proxy. (2.) The time of our fouls departure is at hand, 2 Pet. i. 13, 14. Job. xvi. 22. The moft firm and well built body cau ftand but a few days; but our ruinous tabernacles givę
our fouls warning, that the day of their departure is at hand. The lamp of life is almost burnt down, the glass of time is almost run; yet a few, a very few days and nights more, and then time, nights and days fhall be no more. (3) When that most certain and near-approaching time is come, wonderful alterations will be made on the state of all fouls, godly, and ungodly.
(1.) A marvellous alteration will then be made on the fouls of the godly. For, (1.) No fooner is the dividing stroke given by death, and the parting pull over, but they shall find themfelves in the arms of angels, mounting them through the up-. per regions in a few moments, far above all the afpectable heavens, Luke xvi. 22. The airy region is, indeed, the place where devils inhabit, and have their haunts and walks; but angels are the faints convoy through Satan's territories, from the arms of mourning friends, into the welcome arms of officious and benevolent angels. (2.) From the fight and converfes of men, to the fight of God, Chrift, and the general affembly of bleffed and finlefs fpirits. The foul takes its leave of all men at death, Ifa. Xxxviii. 11. Farewel vain world, with all the mixed and imperfect comforts of it, and welcome the more fweet, fuitable, and fatisfying company of Father, Son, and Spirit, holy angels, and perfected' faints, Heb. xii. 23. (3.) From the bondage of corruption, to perfect liberty, and everlafting freedom; fo much is implied, Heb. xii. 23. "The spirits of just men made perfect.” (4.) From all fears, doubtings, and queftionings of our conditions, and anxious debates of our title to Chrift, to the cleareft, fulleft, and most fatisfying affurance; for what a man fees, how can he doubt of it? (5.) From all burdens of affliction, inward and outward, under which we have groaned all our days, to everlasting reft and eafe, 2 Cor. v. 1, 2, 3. Oh what a blessed change to the righteous muft this be!
(2.) A marvellous change will also be then made upon the fouls of the ungodly, who fhall then part from (1.) Áll their comforts and pleafant enjoyments in the world; for here they had their confolation; Luke xvi. 25. here was all their portion, Pfal. xvii. 14. and, in a moment, find themfelves arrefted and feized by Satan, as God's goaler, hurrying them away to the prifon of hell, I Pet, iii. 19. " there to be referved to the judgment of the great day," Jude 6. (2.) From under the means of grace, life, and falvation, to a ftate perfectly void of all means, inftruments, and opportunities of falvation, John ix. 4. Eccl. ix. 10. never to hear the joyful found of preaching or praying any more; never to hear the wooing voice of the bleffed bridegroom, faying, Come unto me, come unto me, any more.
(3.) From all their vain, ungrounded, prefumptuous hopes of heaven, into abfolute and final defperation of mercy. The very finews and nerves of hope are cut by death, Prov. xiv. 32. "The wicked is driven away in his wickednefs, but the righte66 ous hath hope in his death." These are the great and aftonishing alterations that will be made upon our fouls, after they part with the bodies which they now inhabit. Oh that we, who cannot but be conscious to ourselves that we muft over live our bodies, were more thoughtful of the condition they must enter into, after that feparation which is at hand.
Infer. 10. If our fouls be immortal, then death is neither to be feared by them in heaven, nor hoped for them in hell. The being of fouls never fails, whether they be in a ftate of blessednefs or of misery. "In glory they are ever with the Lord." 1 Thef. iv. 17. There fhall be no death there, Rev. xxi. 4. And in hell, though they fhall wish for death, yet death shall flee from them *. Though there be no fears of annihilation in heaven, yet there may be many wishes for it in hell, but to no purpose; there never will be an end put, either to their being, or to their torments. In this respect no other creatures are ca❤ pable of the mifery that wicked men are capable of: When they die, there is the end of all their mifery; but it is not fo with men. Better therefore had it been for them, if God had created them in the basest, and lowest order and rank of creatures; a dog, a toad, a worm, is better than a man in endless mifery, ever dying, and never dead. And so much of the fouls immortality.
EPH. v. 20). For no man ever yet hated his own flesb; but nourifbeth and cherifbeth it, even as the Lord the church.
HAVING given fome account of the nature and immortality of the foul, we next come, from this text, to discourse of its love and inclination to the body, with which it is united. The scope of the apoftle is, to prefs Chriftians to the exact difcharge of those relative duties they owe to each other; particularly, he here urgeth the mutual duties of husbands and wives, ver. 22. wives to an obedient fubjection, husbands to a tender love of their wives. This exhortation he enforceth from the
* O death thou art fweet to those to whom thou waft formerly bitter They defire thee alone, who did hate thee alone. Auguft.
intimate union, which, by the ordinance of God, is betwixt them, they being now one flesh. And this union he illustrates by comparing it with,
1. The mystical union of Chrith and the church.
2. The natural union of the foul and body.
And from both thefe, as excellent examples and patterns, he, with great ftrength of argument, urgeth the duty of love; ver. 28. "So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies; he "that loveth his wife, loveth himself." Self love is naturally implanted in all men, and it is the rule by which we measure out and dispense our love to others." Thou shalt love thy "neighbour as thyfelf."
This felf-love he opens in this place, by,
(2.) The effects that evidence it.
1. The universality of it. No man ever yet hated his own fefb. By.flesh, understand the body by an usual metonymy of a part for the whole, called flefh. By hating it, understand a fimple hatred, or hatred itself. It is ufual for men to hate the deformities and difeafes of their own bodies, and upon that account to deal with the members of their own bodies as if they hated them; hence it is, they willingly ftretch forth a gangrened leg or arm to be cut off, for the prefervation of the reft: but this is not a fimple hatred of a man's felf, but rather an argument of the strength of the foul's love to the body, that it will be content to endure fo much pain and anguish for its fake. And if the foul be at any time weary of, and willing to part, not with a single member only, but with the whole body, and loaths its union with it any longer, yet it hates it and loaths it not fimply in, and for itself, but because it is fo filled with diseases all over, and loads the foul daily with fo much grief, that how well foever the foul loves it in itself, yet upon fuch fad, terms and conditions it would not be tied to it. This was Job's cafe, Job x. 1. "My foul is weary of my life;" yet not fimply of his life, but of fuch a life, in pain and trouble. Except it be in fuch respects and cafes, no man, faith he, ever yet hated his own flesh; i.e. no man in his right mind, and in the exercife of his reafon and fenfe; for we muft except distracted and delirious men, who know not what they do, as alfo men under the terrors of confcience, when God fuffers it to rage in extremity, as Spira and others, who would have been glad with their own hands to have cut the threed that tied their miserable fouls to their bodies, fuppofing that way, and by that change, to find
fome relief. Either of these cafes forces men to act befide the ftated rule of nature and reason.
2. This love of the foul to the body is further discovered by the effects which evidence it, viz. its nourishing and cherishing the body, pepe za daλжu. These two comprize the necessaries for the body, viz. food and raiment. The first signifies to nourish with proper food; the latter to warm by cloathing, as the word λe is rendered, James ii. 16. to which the Hebrew word answers, Job xxxi. 20. The care and provision of these things for the body evidences the foul's love to it.
Doct. That the fouls of men are strongly inclined, and tenderly affected, towards the bodies in which they now dwell. The foul's love to the body is fo ftrong, natural, and infeparable, that it is made the rule and measure by which we difpenfe and proportion our love to others, Matth. xix. 19. "Thou "fhalt love thy neighbour as thyself." And the apostle, Gal. v. 14. tells us, That the whole law, i. e. the fecond table of the law, is fulfilled, or fummed up in this precept, "Thou
fhalt love thy neighbour as thyfelf." The meaning is not, that all and every one who is our neighbour, must be equally near to us as our own bodies; but it intends, (1.) The fincerity of our love to others, which must be without diffimulation, for we diffemble not in felf-love. (2.) That we be as careful to avoid injuring others, as we would ourselves, Matth. vii. 12. To do by others, or measure to them, as we would have done or measured unto us: for which rule, Severus the Heathen emperor, honoured Christ and Christianity, and caufed it to be written in capital letters of gold. (3.) That we take direction from this principle of felf-love, to measure out our care, love, and refpects to others, according to the different degrees of nearness in which we ftand to them. As, (1.) The wife of our bofom, to whom, by this rule, is due our first care and love, as in the text. (2.) Our children and family, 1 Tim. v. 8. (3.) To all in general, whether we have any bond of natural relation upon them or no; but efpecially thofe to whom we are spiritually related, as Gal. vi. 10. And indeed, as every Christian hath a right to our love and care above other men, fo in fome cafes, we are to exceed this rule of felf-love, by a tranfcendent act of felf-denial for them, 1 John iii. 16. And Paul went higher than that, in a glorious excefs of charity to the community or body of God's people, preferring their falvation not only to his own body, but to his foul alfo, Rom. ix. 3. But to thefe extraordinary cafes we are feldom cal led; and if we be, the gospel furnisheth us with an higher rule