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resume its just empire, the body shall be invested with its proper glory, shall descend into its subordinate station; shall feel its highest gratification in becoming the ministering servant of intelligence, of rectitude, of benignity.
That we may not seem all this while to have been retailing a fond man's dream, we recur to the history of the wonderful changes which the bodies of some men have already undergone, and from which we may conclude what future changes, through the almighty power of God, the human frame is capable of undergoing “ By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death: and was not found, because God had translated him :" his body, without being resolved into its principles, without tasting death, was quickened into newness of life, and entered into the kingdom of heaven without passing through the grave.
Moses subsisted for forty days together in the mount with God, and neither did eat nor drink. On his discent, the skin of his face shone so as to dazzle the eyes of the beholder, and to render the interposition of a veil necessary. At the age of one hundred and twenty years, “his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.” After a lapse of fifteen centuries, he revisited our earth in a glorious form, to do homage on the mount of transfiguration. Elijah, undismayed, mounts on fiery wheels to meet his God. His body, in an instant of time, acquires the power of resisting, of repelling the flame, or becomes assimilated to it, and burns unconsumed. The three children of the captivity, fall down bound in the midst of the burning fiery furnace, but arise and walk through the flames uninjured. Paul is “ caught up to the third heaven," carried out of himself, transported into Paradise, and made to hear “ unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter."
But even those illustrious instances “ have no glory, by reason of the glory that excelleth." The glory to be conferred on every believer's vile body is, that it
“ shall be fashioned like unto his glorious body according to the working, whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” Let us, therefore, take our ideas of the future “ exceeding and eternal weight of glory," from what we know it was in him. What must have been the majesty of his person, and the dignity of his deportment when he expelled the profaners of the temple, and they answered him never a word? With what energy and eloquence must he have expressed himself when a multitude under the influence of violent prejudice against him, overcome by force of truth, exclaimed, “ Never man spake like this man.'
Behold him in the midst of the sea ; the yielding waves become a pavement of adamant under his feet. He spake the word, and the wind ceases to rage, and the tempest subsides into a calm. Moses endured, supported a fast of forty days and forty nights in communion with God; Jesus underwent a similar period of abstinence in the wilderness, being tempted of the devil. Mark that band of ruf fians, assembled to apprehend him in the garden : they are lost to decency, lost to shame, they are ready to rush upon their prey: He arrays himself in mildness, he simply demands,“ whom seek ye ?” They instantly feel how awful goodness is, they shrink from the lustre of his eye. When with native, irresistible majesty he meets the inquiry, “ I am he," they went backward, and fell to the ground.
Such was the glory of that sacred body while as yet it had not invested itself with immortality; while as yet it was liable to pain, and sorrow, and death. But he displayed an anticipated view, even in a state of humiliation, of that splendour which he could assume and lay down at pleasure. On Tabor his whole form was altered; “his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.” This however was to undergo an eclipse. The Scripture must be fulfill
ed which saith, “ His visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men.” But after the resurrection from the dead, this occasional and transient glory, became permanent and immutable. Behold, he bursts asunder the bars of the grave. On the third day he raises up again the temple which the hands of wicked men had destroyed. Earth and heaven feel and acknowledge a present Deity.
The sons of light descend from their thrones to announce his revival, to minister at his feet. The solid globe is thrown into convulsions. “ There was a great earthquake : for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow and for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.” Early in the morning of the first day, he appears unto Mary, but “ her eyes are holden that she shall not see him;" she supposes him to be the gardener, and in the bitterness of her soul exclaims : « Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.” In the twinkling of an eye, his voice, his appearance changes, and as his lips pronounce, in their well known accent, the name of Mary, he stands confessed to the astonished mourner as her Lord and her God.
At a more advanced period of that same day, we behold him on the road which leadeth from Jerusalem to Emmaus, on which he found two of his disciples, “ talking together of all these things which had happened.” He joins himself to them, as they walked on their way in sadness. He enters into con. versation with them; he expounds to them the Scriptures concerning himself. They are deeply affected, they are edified, their hearts burn within them, as he talks with them by the way, and while he opens to them the Scriptures. But all the while his body is
His side pre
concealed under a veil through which their eyes cannot pierce. In a moment the veil is withdrawn, as he blesses the bread, breaks it, and gives it to them ; they recognize their much lamented, greatly beloved master, he has resumed his form, and in an instant disappears : Their eyes were opened, and they knew him ; and he vanished out of their sight,
In the evening of that memorable first day of the week, the eleven and their companions being assembled to worship, and the doors carefully shut for fear of the Jews, lo, he is in the midst of them, speaking and dispensing peace.
And yet it is the same body which was crucified. It bears the print of the nails which pierced his hands and his feet. sents the scar of the wound inflicted by the soldier's spear. But that celestial body is no longer subject to the laws of matter. Walls of stone can neither exclude nor confine a spiritual substance. Gates and bars have no power of coercion ; they are passed without being opened. Behold the first-fruits of them that sleep. Behold the proof, the pledge, the model of the resurrection from the dead. Behold the glory which awaits all the redeemed of the Lord, in that day when he maketh up his jewels.
Let us take one glimpse more of the Saviour's glorified body. See, he leads out his wandering, delighted train as far as to Bethany, “ seen of above five hundred brethren at once;" he lifts up his hands and blesses them; " and it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into
Into this blessed image, Believer in Christ Jesus, thou art going to be transformed, That feeble body which sometimes can with difficulty creep to the house of prayer, to a communion table, “ shall mount up with wings as eagles,” shall behold the stars under its feet, shall
range through unbounded space, shall ascend into the heaven of heavens, shall associ. ate with the cherubim and with the seraphim, with VoL, IV.
the bodies and spirits of just men made perfect, “shall with open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, be changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the spirit of the Lord.” Such, christian, is the end of thy faith, the salvation of the soul, the redemption of the body from the grave. Such is the fruit of the love of God, the effect of Christ's death, the operation of the Holy Spirit. “ Beloved, now are we the sons of God; and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him ; for we shall see him as he is.”
The apostle suggests another very interesting idea on the subject of the resurrection. The children of the resurrection shall all be glorious, but the glory of all is not the same : for as in the natural world, there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds ;" as there are bodies celestial and bodies terrestrial, each invested with its peculiar and appropriate glory and excellency,
“ there is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead.” Next to the uniformity and regularity which pervade the system of the universe, the diversity and variety of the productions of nature, and of the ways of Providence claim our attention and excite our admiration. To this diversity the field and the forest, the fragrant earth and the starry heavens are indebted for all their beauty. Hence the brute creation derives utility and importance, and human society its being and comfort. Under the addition of another orb similar to that which illumes and animates the world, nature would be oppressed, and mourn, and expire. Withdraw that single little moon, that speck in creation, that mere attendant minister on our globe, and what a blank is left in the system, what myriads are rendered comfortless, how the harmony is destroy