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Remember that he, who is now infinitely kind, will be the inflexible and inexorable Judge of quick and dead, on the last day. Then no excuse will be of avail. We must now give our hearts to him, and live according to his commandments. Be persuaded and urged to do this without delay, because
your lives are as a vapour, and the due season is rapidly hastening, when you and all flesh shall
reap the fruit of your doings. Oh, sow to the Spirit, that you may of the Spirit reap everlasting life! AMEN.
THE ETERNAL INHERITANCE OF
II. CORINTHIANS V. 1-9.
For we know that, if our earthly house of
this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Now he that hath wrought us for the self-same thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight :) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
In the preceding chapter we have an interesting and affecting contrast between the outward trials and inward supports of the apostles.
“ We are troubled on every “ side,” says Paul,“ yet not distressed; we
are perplexed, but not in despair; perse“ cuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but “ not destroyed.” All these trials, he assures the Corinthian believers, and through them other believers, were for their sakes, " that the abundant grace might, through the
thanksgiving of many, redound to the glory of God.”
The supports which they experienced under these, sprung from this great truth, that “ their light afflictions, “ which were but for a moment, should “ work out for them a far more exceeding “and eternal weight of glory; because they " looked not at the things which are seen “ which are temporal; but at the things " which are not seen which are eternal."
As the principle which influenced the conduct of the apostles, was the same with that which
governs all believers, so we find, that the same truth which supported them in their trials, possesses equal power to comfort and strengthen these under all the sufferings, however great and frightful to natural feeling, which their Heavenly Father dispenses to them.
AMictions of every kind, by the tenor of the covenant of grace, are sanctified to the followers of Christ, so as to render them more meet for the heavenly inheritance. On this inheritance, this future good, this exceeding and eternal weight of glory, the apostle dwells with fondness and perseverance in the text, unfolding its nature; the manner in which believers regard it; the ground which they have for expecting it ; and the effects of such expectation upon
their conduct. To these subjects of discussion your attention is solicited on this occasion.
1. We shall illustrate the nature of that exceeding and eternal weight of glory, of which the apostle speaks. This is de scribed in the following parts of the text: “ If our earthly house of this tabernacle “ were dissolved, we have a building of
God, an house not made with hands, “ eternal in the heavens--clothed upon 66 with our house which is from heaven: if
so be that being clothed, we shall not be “ found naked-clothed upon, that morta
lity might be swallowed up of life---ab
sent from the body, and present with the 66 Lord.”
The language used, you observe, is figurative, and some of it obscure. Our body, here called “this tabernacle,” in which our souls reside, is compared to “ an earthly house,” which in time must dissolve, i. e. be destroyed. In contrast to this, mention is made of “a building of God, an house not “ made with hands, eternal in the heavens." As this house must correspond with the constitution of man, it includes in it,
The state of the souls of believers after death, and that of their bodies after the resurrection.