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the mediator, must be asked of the Father for his sake. I cannot now stay to tell you in particular what belongeth to the one, and what unto the other.

III. That man hath a spirit as well as a body; of which more anon.

IV. That this spirit dieth not with the body (unless you will call a mere separation a dying.)

V. That Christ doth receive the spirits of his saints when they are separated from the body.

VI. That a dying Christian may confidently and comfortably commend his spirit to Christ, to be received of him.

VII. That prayer in general, and this prayer in special, “That Christ will receive our departing souls,' is a most suitable conclusion of all the actions of a Christian's life.

The first and second of these doctrines, offered us by this text, I shall pass by.

The third is not questioned by any that knoweth himself to be a man : but that we may understand it, and the rest, we must consider what the word “spirit” doth here signify. By “spirit,” here can be meant nothing but the rational soul, which is the principal constitutive part of the man. For though the word do sometimes signify the wind or breath, and sometimes the moral and intellectual qualifications, and have divers other senses, I need not stay to prove that it is not here so taken. Stephen prayeth not to Christ to receive his breath, his graces, or the Holy Ghost, but to receive his rational, immortal soul.

It is not only the soul, but God himself, that is called “a. Spirit :" and though the name be fetched from lower things, that is because that we have no adequate positive conception of God or spirits, so we can have no adequate proper names for them, but must take up with borrowed names, as answerable to our notions.

Sometimes the word spirit (as Heb. iv. 12, &c.) is distinguished from the soul; and then it either signifieth the superior faculties in the same soul, or the same soul as elevated by grace.

Do you ask, "What is the soul ?' You may also ask, “What a man is ?'

And it is pity that a man should not know what a man is. It is our intellectual nature, containing also the sensitive and vegetative. The principal or first act, by which we live, and feel, and understand, and freely will. The acts tell you what the faculties or powers are, and so what the soul is. If you know what intellection, or reason and free-will are, you may know what it is to have a spiritual nature, essentially containing the power of reasoning and willing. It is thy soul by which thou art thinking and asking what a soul is; and as he that reasoneth to prove that man hath no reason, doth prove that he hath reason by reasoning against it; so he that reasoneth to prove that he hath no soul, doth thereby prove that he hath a reasonable (though abused) soul.

Yet there are some so blind as to question whether they have souls, because they see them not; whereas if they could see them with eyes of flesh they were no souls, for spirits are invisible. They see not the air or wind, and yet they know that air or wind there is. They see not God or angels, and yet they are fools indeed if they doubt whether there be a God and angels. If they see not their eyes, yet they know that they have eyes, because with those eyes they see other things. And if they know not directly and intuitively that they have rational souls, they might know it by their knowing other things, which without such. souls cannot be known. It is just with God that those that live as carnally, and brutishly, and negligently, as if they had no souls to use or care for, should at last be given up to question whether they have souls, or no.

O woful fall ! depraved nature ! O miserable men, that have so far departed from God, as to deny both themselves and God! or to question whether God be God, and man be man. Return to God, and thou wilt come to thyself. Forget not, man, thy noble nature, thy chiefest part : think not that thou art only shell, because thou seest not through the shell. It is souls that converse by the bodies while they are in flesh. It is thy soul that I am speaking to, and thy soul that understandeth me. When thy soul is gone I will speak to thee no more. soul that is the workmanship of God by an immediate or special way of fabrication. “The souls which I have made.” (Isa. lvii. 16.) “ He breathed into man the breath of life, and he became a living soul.” (Gen, ii. 7.) It is thy soul that is said to be made after God's image; in that thou art ennobled with a capacious understanding and free-will; and it is thy soul that is the imimediate subject of his moral image, even spiritual wisdom, righteousness, and holiness. God hath not hands, and feet, and other members, as thy body hath. How noble a nature is that which is capable of knowing not only all things in the world, (in its measure), but God himself, and the things of the world that is to come ; and capable of loving and enjoying God, and of

It is thy

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seeking and serving him in order to that enjoyment! Christ thought not basely of a soul that redeemed souls at such a price, when he made his soul an offering for sin. (Isa. liii. 10.) Were it not for our immortal souls would God ever honour us with such relations to him as to be his children? (For he is first the Father of spirits, (Heb. xii. 9,) and then the Father of saints.) Should we be called the spouse and the members of Christ? would he be at so much cost upon us ? should angels attend us as ministering spirits, if we had not spirits fit to minister to God? Would the Spirit of God himself dwell in us, and quicken, and beautify us with his grace? should a world of creatures (whose corporeal substance seems as excellent as ours) attend and serve us, if we were but an ingenious sort of brutes, and had not rational, immortal souls ? Should such store of mercies be provided for us? should ministers be provided to preach, and pray, and labour for us, if we had not souls to save or lose? “ They watch for your souls as they that must give account.” (Heb. xiii, 17.) Why should they preach in season and out of season, and suffer so much to perform their work, but that they know that “ He that winneth souls is wise," (Prov. xi. 30,) and that “He which converteth the sinner from the error of his


doth save a soul from death, and hide a multitude of sins.” (Jam, v. 20.) The devil himself may tell you the worth of souls when he compasseth the earth, (Job i. 7,) and goeth about night and day to deceive them, and devour them, (1 Peter v. 8,) and yet can he make you believe that they are so worthless as to be abused to the basest drudgery, to be poisoned with sin and sensuality, to be ventured for a thing of nought ?

Oh! sirs, have you such immortal souls, and will you sell them for a lust, for a beastly pleasure, for liberty to glut your flesh, or for the price that Judas sold his Lord for? Is thy soul no more worth than honour, or wealth, or foolish mirth? Is thy soul so base as not to be worth the care and labour of a holy life? Is the world worth all thy care and labour, and shall less be called too much ado, when it is for thy precious soul? Alas ! one would think by the careless, fleshly lives of many, that they remember not that they have souls. Have they not need, in the depth of their security, in the height of their ambition, and inthe heat of fleshly lusts, to have a monitor to call to them, 'Remember that thou art a inan, and that thou hast a soul to save or lose?' What thinkest thou of thy negligence and carnal life, when thou readest that so holy a man as Paul must keep under

his body, and bring it into subjection, lest he should be a castaway after all his labours. (1 Cor. ix. 25–27.) Oh, live not as if the flesh were the man, and its pleasure your felicity, but live as those that have spirits to take care of.

Doct. IV. The spirit of man doth survive the body; it dieth not with it. It is not annihilated; it is not resolved into the essence of some common element of souls, where it loseth its specific form and name. It was still the spirit of Stephen that was received by Christ: it sleepeth not. To confute the dream of those that talk of the sleeping of souls, or any lethargic, unintelligent, or inactive state, of so excellent, capacious, and active a nature, were but to dispute with sleeping men. When we say it is immortal, we mean not that it, or any creature, hath in itself a self-supporting or self-preserving sufficiency; or that they are necessary beings, and not contingent; or primitive beings, and not derived from another by creation, We know that all the world would turn to nothing in a moment if God did but withdraw his preserving and upholding influence, and but suspend that will that doth continue them. He need not exert any positive will or act for their destruction or annihilation. Though ejusdem est annihilare, cujus est creare; none can annihilate but God; yet it is by a positive, efficient act of will that he createth : and by a mere cessation of the act of his preserving will he can annihilate. I mean not by any change in him, but by willing the continuance of the creature but till such a period; but yet he that will perpetuate the spirit of man, hath given it a nature (as he hath done the angels) fit to be perpetuated. A nature not guilty of composition and elementary materiality, which might subject it to corruption. So that as there is an aptitude in iron, or silver, or gold, to continue longer than grass, or flowers, or flesh; and a reason of its duration may be given a natura rei, from that aptitude in subordination to the will of God; so there is such an aptitude in the nature of the soul to be immortal, which God maketh use of to the accomplishment of his, will for its actual perpetuity.

The heathenish Socinians, that deny the immortality of the soul, (yea, worse than heathenish, for most heathens, do maintain it,) must deny it to Christ himself, as well as to his members; for he used the like recommendation of his soul to his Father when he was on the cross, as Stephen doth here to him. If “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit,”' be words that prove not the

surviving of the spirit of Stephen; then, “ Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit,” will not prove the surviving of the Spirit of Christ. And, then, what do these infidels make of Christ, who also deny his Deity; and, consequently, make him nothing but a corpse, when his body was in the grave? How then did he make good his promise to the penitent malefactor? “This day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” But he that said “Because I live, ye shall live also," (John xiv. 19,) did live in the Spirit, while he was put to death in the flesh; (1 Peter iii. 18;) and receiveth the spirits of his servants unto life eternal, while their flesh is rotting in the grave. This very text is so clear for this, if there were no other, it might end the controversy with all that believe the holy Scriptures.

I confess there is a sleep of souls, a metaphorical sleep in sin and in security, or else the drowsy opinions of these infidels had never found entertainment in the world; a sleep so deep that the voice of God, in the threatenings of his word, and the alarm of his judgments, and the thunder of his warnings by his most serious ministers, prevail not to awaken the most: so dead a sleep possesseth the most of the ungodly world, that they can quietly sin in the sight of God, at the entrance upon eternity, at the doors of hell, and the calls of God do not awaken them : so dead a sleep, that Scripture justly calls them dead : (Eph. ii. l, 5:) and ministers may well call them dead, for alas, it is not our voice that can awake thein; they are as dead to us : we draw back the curtains to let in the light, and show them that judgment is at hand, and use those true but terrible arguments from wrath and hell, which we are afraid should too much frighten many tender hearers, and yet they sleep on; and our loudest calls, our tears, and our entreaties, cannot awaken them. We cry to them in the name of the Lord, “Awake, thou that sleepest, arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.” (Eph. v. 14.) This moral sleep and death of souls, which is the forerunner of everlasting death in misery, we cannot deny. But after death even this sleep shall cease; and God will awaken them with his vengeance, that would not be awaked by his grace. Then, sinner, sleep under the thoughts of sin and God's displeasure if thou canst. There is no sleeping soul in hell; there are none that are past feeling. The mortal stroke that layeth thy flesh to sleep in the dust, lets out a guilty soul into a world where there is no sleeping ; where there is a light irresistible, and a terror and torment, that will keep them

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