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it may suffice to say, that the arguments in favour of both are abundant and incontrovertible.
Assuming it then as an established principle, we shall confine ourselves to reminding our fellow-mourners of the rich consolations it contains for the hours of calamity, bereavement, and death!
“ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, according to his abundant mercy, hath begotten us again to a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away!” Yes, “ there is a spirit in man,” interwoven with the vitals of every human frame—there is a principle, however obscured by the grossness or the debility of its present organs, however torpid or inactive by the pressure of infirmity, however distracted and debased by the opposition of flesh and spirit,—which shall continue stable and immovable when the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the pillars of the earth and its basis shaken, the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll and pass away! Under all these awful, these terrific, and supernatural circumstances, how glorious and consolatory is the thought that the human soul shall be seen fresh, vigorous, and glowing with the glad anticipation of the glory that shall be revealed, soaring far above the wreck of the universe, and uniting for ever with kindred spirits in the realms of eternity!
“ I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, From henceforth blessed are the dead which die in the Lord; even so saith the Spirit, for they rest from their labours." What an infinite value does even this one consideration afford to a rational and immortal spirit, ask those whose dearest friends are dying around them, and themselves passing into eternity!
How precious must that be in the idea of every human being, which involves all the enjoyment and happiness of which he is graciously made capable ! On the soul alone depend all present possession and all future expectation :--the life that now is, and that which is to come; the pleasures of the present, and the anticipations of hope ; the shadows of time, and the realities of eternity, whatever God bestows or man receives.
And this soul is immortal!
“ Immortal ! ages pass’d and nothing gone!
Morn without eve! a race without a goal!
What shall be the modes of our spiritual being in a separate and eternal state it is not necessary
for us to know ; these we must die to learn : but we know from that word which is truth, that when Christ who is our life shall appear, then also those who believe in him and obey him shall be with him to behold his glory.
One thing is clear,-man is “a living soul;” and the volume of inspiration makes known to us all that is necessary for our present encouragement and future hope as to our final destination : “ This mortal shall put on immortality.” “The inspiration of the Almighty giveth understanding." Let us then earnestly pray that our hearts may be opened to receive
the light he is ever willing to impart: let us pray that he who sendeth forth the sun in his might, he who enkindleth the stars of heaven, he who bestoweth natural and intellectual life upon man, let us pray that he would graciously pour spiritual knowledge into our minds, that we may contemplate with joy and consolation the unbounded prospects of futurity! and with the eye of faith unclouded, and hope unwavering, behold the glorious spirits of the redeemed bending in lowly adoration before the throne of the Almighty Father “which was, which is, and which is to come, from everlasting to everlasting.”
But above all other consolations arising from this sublime assurance, is this—that the immaterial principle is destined for the enjoyment of God, its creator and sanctifier. It is in Him and through Him and by Him that we shall taste the eternal felicity of reunion with those we loved on earth. “ Brethren, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that when he who is our life shall appear, we shall be made
like him, for we shall see him as he is and pear
with him in glory.” The redeemed pass before the vision of our faith, and a voice from heaven proclaims, “They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more, neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them to living fountains of waters; and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” Oh! when we contemplate the consoling and delightful subject of our assured resurrection from the grave, when the turf that covers our dead becomes an altar before which we may kneel to commend our own spirits to the Great Being before whom our departed friends live, and whose power will soon reunite the ties He in wisdom has severed awhile, how cheered is the prospect, and how truly may we say, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory ? Thanks be to God who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” The very spirit of consolation breathes in the assurance that our faded forms of mortality shall not be forgotten by our God; that the