Baxter - BV4831 84 F3 1830

t66 CHARACTER OF THOSE FOR {Chap. 4. ter." If Paul had not expected to enjoy Christ till the resurrection, why should he be in a strait, or desire to de- part ? Nay, should he not have been loath to depart upon the very same grounds ? For while he was in the flesh he enjoyed something of Christ. Plain enough is that of Christ to the thief " To-day shalt thou be with me in pa- radise." In the parable of Dives and Lazarus, it seems unlikely Christ would so evidently intimate and suppose the soul's happiness or misery presently after death, ifthere were no such matter. Our Lord's argument for the resur- rection supposes, that, " God being not the God of the dead, but of the living," therefore Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were then living in the soul. If the " blessedness of the dead that die in the Lord" were only in resting in the grave, then a beast or a stone were as blessed; nay, it were evidently a curse, and not a blessing. For was not life a great mercy ? Was it not a greater mercy to serve God and to do good; to enjoy all the comforts of life, the fellowship of saints, the comfort of ordinances, and much of Christ in all, than to lie rotting in the grave ? There- fore some further blessedness is there promised. How else is it said, " We are come to the spirits of just men made perfect ?" Surely, at the resurrection, the body will be made perfect as well as the spirit. The Scriptures tell us, that Enoch and Elias are taken up already. And shall we think they possess that glory alone ? Did not Peter, James, and John, see Moses alsowith Christ on the mount? yet the Scripture saith, Moses died. And is it likely that Christ deluded their senses, in showing them Moses, if he should not partake ofthat glory till the resurrection ? And is not that of Stephen as plain as we can desire ? " Lord Jesus,receive my spirit." Surely, if the Lord receive it, it is neither asleep, nor dead, nor annihilated ; but it is where he is, and beholds his glory. That of the wise man is of the same import : " The spirit shall return unto God who gave it." Why are we said to "have eternal life;" and that to "know God is life eternal ;" and that a believer " on the Son bath everlastinglife ?" Or how is " the king- dom of God within us ?" If there be as great an interrup- tion of our life as till the resurrection, this is no eternal life, nor everlasting kingdom. " The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah" are spoken of as suffering the vengeance of