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sinned. And whence did he draw those bitter waters? Was it not from the spring of love which poured itself upon him when he did this? Wilful, premeditated sin is, of course, a hindrance. To go and mean to sin afterwards, would be sinful exceedingly. But to go and pray for grace to resist sin, and yet through weakness after all to sin, this is only what all must do, until the burden of the flesh is taken from them, and they reach that blessed region where sin shall never be. And, further, we then receive grace that we may not sin afterwards. We then obtain strength to resist both sin in general, and that sin especially against which we then particularly pray.
There are other reasons, but no reason is good. I tell you plainly, my beloved brethren, there is no excuse. It would be pleasanter to me to do as the false prophets of old did, who prophesied “smooth things” to their people, and sung in their ears the pleasant music of a soothing song. If I thought only of my own pleasure, I would rather leave you to your slumbers, and to that false security in which many rest until they sleep that sleep from which there is no awakening; but I must speak the truth. I stand here to tell you, in my Master's name, the truth which will save you if received and condemn you if rejected. I ask those of you who never come to the Lord's table to “ do this.” I ask those who seldom come to “do this” oftener. I tell you that it is a plain duty, resting upon a clear command. I assure you that if it is a great duty it is a greater blessing. I beseech you, for Christ's sake, to remember often that surpassing love of Him Who died upon the Cross for you, and Who said the night before He died, " Do this in remembrance of Me."
THE TWO BODIES.
1 CORINTHIANS XV, 44.
“ There is a natural body and there is a spiritual body."
ERE is a plain statement which every man at
once may understand. There are two kinds of bodies. There is the natural body and there is the spiritual body. There is the body which comes to us from our father Adam, in which we are born according to the flesh, in which we live here during our life on earth, which dies and is buried in the grave, returning again to the dust from which it was created. There is also the body, of which the seed was sown when we were born again, which is derived from Jesus Christ, which is created in us by the Holy Spirit, and in which, if we are faithful unto death and do not destroy its existence by sin, we shall live in Heaven and see the vision of God. There is the body which comes to us by nature and has animal life, and there is the body which is grafted upon that body by the Holy Spirit and is given to us by grace. This is St. Paul's assertion. And the terms in which the assertion is made are so express and clear that it is not possible to doubt their meaniug. Speaking of man’s body he says that there are two bodies, the
body natural and the body spiritual. The one is as certain as the other. If there be the natural body there is also the spiritual body. A truth so plain as this must be well worthy of our notice. Let us consider more particularly what this truth is.
I. Man is a rational being made up of two parts, the one of which we call his body, the other his soul. The soul is invisible; it has no form; we cannot see it, or measure it, or describe it by any outward characters, for it belongs to the world unseen. How it comes to a man we know not. Whether it comes direct from God, created expressly and anew for the body in which it is to dwell, or whether it is in any way derived from those to whom the body owes its birth, or how it comes, we do not know certainly. But we know that a man's body comes to him from Adam and Eve. Our first parents were the father and the mother of all who live. Our bodies are part of the stream which has flowed from them as its first spring and primal source. The spring gushed out of the dust of Eden, some six thousand years ago, and is now a vast river running throughout the whole earth.
And these bodies of ours, thus coming down to us from Adam, to whom we are linked as by a long chain of many generations, are natural bodies. They have only animal life. They belong to the course of nature. They follow the order of nature. They exist by the laws of nature. They are visible; we see them. They have shape and form; we can describe them. They have weight and substance; we can measure them. They are wonderful, but yet, to some extent, intelligible things; we can study their anatomy; we can examine their construction; we can learn their constitution; we can know a little of the laws by which they discharge their functions and live. We can treat them as we treat any other object in the world of nature. We can trace them from their first beginnings of life, through all the stages of their progress and development, until they reach the end at which they all at last arrive. We can analyze the laws by which their regular action is directed, and we can mark their eccentricities and irregularities of action; bringing them in many ways beneath our notice and observation, dealing with them in a great measure as with any other material substance which man can handle and describe. Our natural body is part of this created world in which God has placed us, and we know its nature as we know the natures of other things which live.
And that which is most noticeable and most remarkable, more especially when we compare it with the other body, is the fact that it is subject to decay. The natural body is a body of death. Its existence is of short duration. When it lasts longest it does not last above an hundred years. There are those who die before they are born. There are multitudes who fall in early infancy. Some escape the first dangers, and perish before the next which meet them in days of childhood. Others drop off in youth, others in the vigour of manhood. Some fall in the prime of life, some in the autumn, and the rest in winter when the snow falls upon their heads. Life has but a feeble hold upon the natural body, and clings to it but as light to a candle, which a puff of air puts out. The life of the natural body is really nothing else but a journey to the tomb. The seeds of death are sown in it from the first moments of existence, by the all-poisoning influences of sin. Pain, and weakness, and sickness, and decay attend upon our path at intervals, from the days of childhood; coming and going, now one and now the other, till at last, if we live long, they all come together, and lay us in our coffin, and carry us to our last resting-place in the long and narrow grave. Die we must. “In Adam all die.” These bodies of ours, which Adam has transmitted to us, are heirs of Adam's curse. There is no escape. Death has no mercy. Millions upon millions have lived, are living now, and shall live yet; but none of all can escape the inevitable punishment. All have sinned and all must die. Such is the natural body..
II. The spiritual body is very different, and we know what is revealed regarding it. It is believed in and perceived by faith. It is not mere spirit without body,-a body that is no body; it is a spiritual body. It has flesh and bones. “Handle Me, and see,” said our Lord after His resurrection. “Handle Me, and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see Me have." It is a body, but it is different from the natural body; it is a spiritual body.
It is like our Lord's risen body. Before He died and rose He showed at times that there was that in His body which made it different from the bodies of other men. For He walked upon the waters, He passed invisibly through crowds of persons, He was transfigured for a short space into a glory dazzling beyond the light of suns. But after He rose He showed that He was “ a quickening spirit," and that the body in which He now is is filled with all the powers of an endless life. His body came out of the tomb while yet the stone was on it. It went in and out by closed doors. It