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arguments, which are but means to the knowledge of things, is its first employment, and that, alas ! which multitudes of learned men do take up with : but it is the illumination of God that must give us an effectual acquaintance with the things spiritual and invisible, which these notions signify, and to which our organical knowledge is but a means.
Sect, 28. To sum up all, that our hopes of heaven have a certain ground appeareth, I. From nature: II. From grace: III. From other works of gracious providence.
I. From the nature of man: 1. Made capable of it. 2. Obliged, even by the law of nature, to seek it before all. 3. Naturally desiring perfection, 1. Habitual : 2. Active : And, 3. Objective.
2. And from the nature of God. 1. As good and communicative. 2. As holy and righteous. 3. As wise; making none of his works in vain.
Sect. 29. II. From grace, 1. Purchasing it. 2. Declaring it by a messenger from heaven, both by word, and by Christ's own (and others') resurrection. 3. Promising it. 4. Sealing that promise by miracles there. 5. And by the work of sanctification, to the end of the world.
Sect. 30. III. By subordinate providence. 1. God's actual governing the world by the hopes and fears of another life. 2. The many helps which he giveth us for a heavenly life, and for attaining it (which are not vain). 3. Specially the ministration of angels, and their love to us, and communion with us. 4. And, by accident, devils themselves convince us. 1. By the nature of their temptations. 2. By apparitions, and haunting houses. 3. By witches. 4. By possessions; which though it be but a satanical operation on the body, yet is so extraordinary an operation, that it differeth from the more usual, as (if I may so compare them) God's Spirit's operations on the saints, that are called his dwelling in them, or possessing them, are different from his lower operations on others.
Sect. 1. II. Having proved that faith and hope have a certain, future happiness to expect, the text directeth me next to consider why it is described by “ being with Christ ;" viz. I. What is included in our being with Christ.” 11. That we shall be with him. III, Why we shall be with him.
Sect. 2. To be with Christ, includeth, 1. Presence. 2. Union. 3. Communion, or participation of felicity with him.
Sect. 3. 1. Quest. Is it Christ's godhead, or his human soul, or his human body, that we shall be present with, and united to, or all ? Answ. It is all, but variously.
Sect. 4. 1. We shall be present with the divine nature of Christ. Quest. But are we not always so ?
And are not all creatures so? Answ. Yes, as his essence comprehendeth all place and beings; but not as it is operative, and manifested in and by his glory. Christ directeth our hearts and tongues to pray "Our Father, which art in heaven :" and yet he knew that all place is in and with God; because it is in heaven that he gloriously operateth and shineth forth to holy souls : even as man's soul is eminently said to be in the head, because it understandeth and reasoneth in the head, and not in the foot, or hand, though it be also there. And as we look a man in the face when we talk to him, so we look up to heaven when we pray to God. God who is, and operateth as, the root of nature, in all the works of creation, (for in him, we live, and move, and are,) and by the way of grace in all the gracious, doth operate, and is, by the works and splendour of his glory, eminently in heaven : by which glory, therefore, we must mean some created glory : for his essence hath no inequality.
Sect. 5, 2. We shall be present with the human nature of Christ, both soul and body: but here our present narrow thoughts must not too boldly presume to resolve the difficulties which, to a distinct understanding of this, should be overcome: for we must not here expect any more than a dark and general knowledge of them : as, 1. What is the formal difference between Christ's glorified body, and his flesh on earth? 2. Where Christ's glorified body is, and how far it extendeth. 3. Wherein the soul and the glorified body differ, seeing it is called a spiritual body: these things are beyond our present reach.
Sect. 6. ). For what conceptions can we have of a spiritual body, save that it is pure, incorruptible, invisible to mortal eyes, and fitted to the most perfect state of the soul? How near the nature of it is to a spirit, (and so to the soul,) and how far they agree, or differ, in substance, extensiveness, divisibility, or activity, little do we know.
Sect. 7. 2. Nor do we know where and how far Christ's body is present by extent. The sun is commonly taken for a body, and its motive, illuminative, and calefactive beams, are, by the most probable philosophy, taken to be a real emanant part of its substance, and so that it is essentially as extensive as those beams; that is, it at once filleth all our air, and toucheth the surface of the earth; and how much further it extendeth we cannot tell. And what difference there is between Christ's glorified body and the sun, in purity, splendour, extent, or excellency of nature, little do poor mortals know: and so of the rest.
Sect. 8. Let no man, therefore, cavil, and say, 'How can a whole world of glorified bodies be all present with the one body of Christ, when each must possess its proper room?' for, as the body of the solar beams, and the extensive air, are so compresent, as that none can discern the difference of the places which they possess, and a world of bodies are present with them both, so may all our bodies be with Christ's body, and that without any real confusion.
Sect. 9. 2. Besides presence with Christ, there will be such an union as we cannot now distinctly know. A political, relative union is past doubt, such as subjects have in one kingdom with their king; but little know we how much more. We
e see that there is a wonderful, corporeal continuity, or contract, among the material works of God; and the more spiritual, pure, and noble, the more inclination each nature hath to union. Every plant on earth hath an union with the whole earth in which it liveth; they are the real parts of it. And what natural conjunction our bodies shall have to Christ's, and what influence from it, is past our knowledge. Though his similitudes in John xv, and vi., and Eph. V., and Cor. xii., seem to extend far, yet being but similitudes, we cannot fully know how far.
Sect. 10. The same, variatis variandis, we may say of our union with Christ's human soul. Seeing souls are more inclinable to union than bodies, when we see all vegetables to be united parts of one earth, and yet to have each one its proper individuating form and matter, we cannot, though animals seem to walk more disjunct, imagine that there is no kind of union or conjunction of invisible souls; though they retain their several substances and forms: nor yet that our bodies shall have a nearer union with Christ's body than our souls with his soul. But the nature, manner, and measure of it, we know not.
Sect. 11. Farbe it from us to think that Christ's glorified, spiritual body, is such in forms, parts, and dimensions, as his earthly body was. That it hath hands, feet, brains, heart, stomach, liver, intestines, as on earth: or, that it is such a com
pound of earth, water, and air, as here it was, and of such confined extent: for then, as his disciples and a few Jews only were present with him, and all the world besides were absent, and had none of his company, so it would be in heaven. But it is such as not only Paul, but all true believers in the world, from the creation to the end, shall be with Christ, and see his glory: and though inequality of fitness, or degrees of holiness, will make an inequality of glory, no man can prove an inequality, by local distance, from Christ; or, if such there be, for it is beyond our reach, yet none in heaven are at such a distance from him as not to enjoy the felicity of his presence.
Sect. 12. Therefore, when we dispute against them that hold transubstantiation, and the ubiquity of Christ's body, we do assuredly conclude that sense is judge, whether there be real bread and wine present, or not; but it is no judge, whether Christ's spiritual body be present or not, no more than whether an angel be present. And we conclude that Christ's body is not infinite, or immense, as is his godhead; but what are its dimensions, limits, or extent, and where it is absent, far be it from us to determine, when we cannot tell how far the sun extendeth its secondary substance, or emanant beams; nor well what locality is as to Christ's soul, or any spirit, if to a spiritual body.
Sect. 13. Their fear is vain and carnal, who are afraid lest their union with Christ, or one another, will be too near; even lest thereby they lose their individuation, as rivers that fall into the sea, or extinguished candles, whose fire is after but a sunbeam, or part of the common element of fire in the air, or as the vegetative spirits which, in autumn, retire from the leaves into the branches and trunk of the tree. I have proved before, that our individuation, or numerical existence, ceaseth not; and that no union is to be feared, were it never so sure, which destroyeth not the being, or formal powers, or action of the soul; and that it is the great radical disease of selfishness, and want of holy love to God and our Saviour, and one another, which causeth these unreasonable fears, even that selfishness which now maketh men so partially desirous of their own wills and pleasure in comparison of God's, and their own felicity in comparison of others, and which maketh them so easily bear God's injuries, and the sufferings of a thousand others, in comparison of their
But he that put a great desire of the body's preservation into the soul, while it is its form, will abate that desire when the time of separation is come, because there is then no use for it till the resurrection ; else it would be a torment to the soul.
Sect. 14. 3. And as we shall have union, so also communion, with the divine and human nature of Christ respectively; both as they will be the objects of our soul's most noble and constant acts, and as they will be the fountain or communicative cause of our receptions.
Sect. 15. 1. We find now that our various faculties have various objects, suitable to their natures. The objects of sense are things sensible, and the objects of imagination things imaginable, and the objects of intellection things intelligible, and the objects of the will things amiable. The eye, which is a nobler sense than some others, hath light for its object, which, to other senses, is none: and so of the rest. Therefore we have cause to suppose, that as far as our glorified souls and our spiritual, glorified bodies will differ, so far Christ's glorified soul and body will, respectively, be their several objects; and beholding the glory of both will be part of our glory.
Sect. 16. Yet is it not hence to be gathered, that the separated soul, before the resurrection, shall not have Christ's glorified body for its objects; for the objects of the body are also the objects of the soul, or, to speak more properly, the objects of sense are also the objects of intellection and will, though all the objects of the intellect and will are not objects of sense. The separated soul can know Christ's glorified body, though our present bodies cannot see a soul. But how much our spiritual bodies will excel in capacity and activity these passive bodies, that have so much earth and water, we cannot tell.
Sect. 17. And though now our souls are as a candle in a lantern, and must have extrinsic objects admitted by the senses before they can be understood, yet it followeth not that therefore a separated soul cannot know such objects : 1. Because it now knoweth them abstractively, per species, because its act of ratiocination is compound as to the cause (soul and body). But it will then know such things intuitively, as now it can do itself, when then the lantern is cast by. 2. And whatever
of late, that have given themselves the title of ingenious, have said to the contrary, we have little reason to think that the sensitive faculty is not an essential, inseparable power of the same soul that is intellectual, and that sensation ceaseth to separated souls, however the modes of it may cease with their several uses