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how would you be able to conquer the much greater difficulties, which would attend discourse, " if I told you of heavenly things;" that is to say, if I speak to you of those things, which are passing, or which will pass in heaven, in a totally different state and stage of existence, amongst natures and beings unlike yours? The truth seems to be, that the human understanding, constituted as it is, though fitted for the purposes for which we want it, that is, though capable of receiving the instruction and knowledge, which are necessary for our conduct and the discharge of our duty, has a native original incapacity for the reception of any distinct knowledge of our future condition. The reason is, that all our conceptions and ideas are drawn from experience (not perhaps all immediately from experience, but experience lies at the bottom of them all,) and no language, no information, no instruction can do more for us, than teach us the relation of the ideas which we have. Therefore, so far as we can judge, no words whatever that could have been used, no account or description that could have been written down, would have been able to convey to us a conception of our future state, constituted as our inderstandings now are. I am far from saying, hat it was not in the power of God, by immediite inspiration, to have struck light and ideas into jur minds, of which naturally we have no coneeption. I am far from saying, that he could not, by an act of his power, have assumed a human being, or the soul of a human being, into heaven, and have shewn to him or it, the nature and the glories of that kingdom: but it is evident, that, unless the whole order of our present world be changed, such revelations as these must be rare ;

be limited to very extraordinary persons and traordinary occasions. And even then, nect to others, it is to be observed, that

ry modes of communication by speech 15 are inadequate to the transmitting of owledge or information of this sort, and

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from a cause, which has already been noticed, namely, that language deals only with the ideas which we have ; that these ideas are all founded in experience; that probably, most probably indeed, the things of the next world are very remote from any experience which we have in this; the consequence of which is, that, though the inspired person might himself possess this supernatural knowledge, he could not impart it to any other person not in like manner inspired. When therefore, the nature and constitution of the human understanding is considered, it can excite no surprise, it ought to excite no complaint, it is no fair objection to Christianity, that“ it doth not yet appear what we shall be.” I do not say that the imperfection of our understanding forbids it (for in strictness of speech, that is not imperfect, which answers the purpose designed by it,) but the present constitution of our understanding forbids it.

“ It doth not yet appear,” saith the apostle, what we shall be, bat this we know, that when he shall appear, we shall be like him.” As if he had said, “ though we be far from understanding the subject either accurately or clearly, or from having conceptions and notions adequate to the truth and reality of the case, yet we know something: this, for instance, we know, that, “ when he shall appear,

we shall be like him.” The best commentary upon this last sentence of St. John's text may be drawn from the words of St. Paul. His words state the same proposition more fully, when he tells us (Phil. iii. 21.) that “Christ shall change our vile body, that it may be like his glorious body.” From the two passages together, we may lay down the following points; first, that we shall have bodies. One apostle informs us, that we shall be like him; the other, that our vile body shall be like his glorious body : therefore we shall have bodies. Secondly, that these bodies shall be greatlý changed from what they are at present. If we had had nothing but St. John's text to have gone upon, this would have been implied. “When

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versal. St. Paul's words in the 15th chapter of the Corinthians are, “ we shall all be changed." I do however admit, that this whole chapter of St. Paul's relates only to those, who shall be saved ; of no others did he intend to speak. This, I think, has been satisfactorily made out; but the argument is too long to enter upon at present. If so, the expression of the apostle, "we shall all be changed,” proves only that we who are saved, who are admissible into his kingdom, shall be changed. Secondly, the change will be instantaneous. So St. Paul describes it; “ in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, the dead shall be raised incorruptible ;' and therefore their nature must have undergone the change. Thirdly, it will be very great. No change which we experience or see, can bear any assignable proportion to it in degree or importance. It is this corruptible putting on incorruption; it is this mortal putting on immortality. Now it has often been made a question, whether, after so great a change, the bodies, with which we shall be clothed, are to be deemed new bodies, or the same bodies under a new form. This is a question, which has often been agitated; but the truth is, it is of no moment or importance. We continue the same to all intents and purposes, so long as we are sensible and conscious that we are so. In this life our bodies are continually changing. Much, no doubt, and greatly, is the body of every human being changed from his birth to his maturity: yet, because we are nevertheless sensible of what we are, sensible to ourselves that we are the same, we are in reality the same. Alterations, in the size or form of our visible persons, make no change in that respect. Nor would they, if they were much greater, as in some animals they are; or even if they were toual. Vast, therefore, as that change must be, or rather, as the difference must be, between our present and our future bodies, as to their subitance, their nature, or their form, it will not hin. der us from remaining the same, any more than

en 2014 our bodies undergo in this

remaining the same. We eves that we are the same; and *d this knowledgeor conscious

* with from the grave, whatever but with which we be clothed.

wwwties go one step farther, when they Lah we shall be like Christ himself; and has lÄchess will consist in a resemblance to wc body. Now of the glorified body of

ad that we know is this. At the transfigu. im won the mount, the three apostles saw the with our Lord in a very different state from whary state.

" He was transfigured before listing and his face did shine as the sun, and his wwwdit was white as the light.” St. Luke de. bahwinde it thus : “ The fashion of his countenance w stered, and his raiment was white and glistAmy and bebold there talked with him two *** who appeared in glory.” Then he adds,

at the apostles, when they awaked, saw his wry.” Now I consider this transaction, as a spe. vien of the change of which a glorified body is

veptible. St. Stephen, at his martyrdom, saw he glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right

ad of God. St. Paul at his conversion saw a ght from heaven, above the brightness of the ut, shining round about him: and in this light

hrist then was. These instances, like the forHer; only shew the changes and the appearances * which a glorified body is susceptible, not the

in or condition, in which it must necessarily * found, or must always continue. You will obe that it was necessary that the body of our

is transfiguration, at his appearance after

tion, at his ascension into heaven, at lee to Stephen, should preserve a re

his human person upon earth, be. y that resemblance alone he could be

disciples, at least by any means of aturally belonging to them in that

But this was not always necessary,

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