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earth a heaven, if their root* were cut up and eradicated from man's nature, this shall fit him for the New Heaven and the New Earth wherein dwelleth righteousness.
But to return from this digression, we have shown wherein the body and the mental powers that belong to man are injured by the taint of Original Sin, and wherein and how it is possible that this may be improved by the casting away, at the gate of the Returrection, of those deficiencies.
And this should sufficiently show that this “ Body,” made by God as part of the whole nature, “which is in his image," is not of man to be despised, is not to be looked at with Cynic scorn or Stoic contempt, not as a "mere envelope of the soul,” a “garment coarse and filthy, that we wear only of necessity;"nor yet in the Platonic style of thought, as “our tomb, the sepulchre of the soul ;" still less with the brute indifference that looks upon it as it would look upon the carcase of a beast, dead and cast out. But that it is the “ corporeal” which, the dross being refined away, shall become and be the Spiritual, remaining yet the same, but purified; it is the mortal which, raised up by the Life of God, shall be the immortal; the Body now crude and imperfect, full of flaws and weaknesses, that shall then be holy and upright and pure and perfect-a plant now buried and hidden darkly in the earth of this present life, that shall shoot up yet into the realms of upper day.
This is a point of Morality which we would have men see, and learn, and feel, and act upon; for we have seen and know that to despise the Body, to look upon it merely with indifference and contempt, as brutal, or our “brute part," as men have said who thought themselves wise--this easily leads to evil: but reverence and respect to our bodily frame, and that of our fellows, this is of itself moral.
Let the man be supposed to look upon the body of man because of its similarity of function, to be no more than that of a Brute,show me such a man, and if he be a non-professor, I will show you one who has low, and mean, and filthy thoughts and words,and by this very thing, if he is young, is likely to be seduced into vice --if he be a religious man, he is one who has a tendency to sensuality, and is coarse, and hard-minded, and unaffectionate. But he who takes the other view, and reverences the body as, even though fallen, still part of a nature “made in the image of God,” his tendencies shall be entirely the other way. And as the conclusion of these remarks, I say it is a great moral principle and precept, “ Reverence the Body," a dictate which nature herself utters with no faint voice, and which revelation explains and elucidates.
* The doctrine of the Church unquestionably is, that even in the regenerate Original Sin remains, although its Stain is blotted out, its Guilt removed. This the Church holds in opposition to the Romanist doctrine, that by regeneration, all men are put again in the same position as Adam was in Paradise. Query-if so, why then do the baptized die ?
But this principle that the “body of man, although fallen from its original state, and so infected with the weaknesses that we have specified, is still not a body the same as those of the beasts, but something altogether different;" as the Apostle says, “there is one flesh of man and another flesh of beasts:"*--this principle we say, that the Body is thus to be reverenced, we shall not leave to these proofs only, but we shall seek a higher and loftier reason, one that concerns all humanity, and that gilds it with exceeding and abundant glory.
And this is, that as a fact and truth, the Eternal Word, the Son of the Father, he who from eternity was “the manifestation of his glory, the express image of his person,'
" " dwelling in light unapproachable,” the Word who “was in the beginning,” and “was with God, and was God," "by whom all things were made," “in whom was life and that life the light of men”-“HE was made flesh, and dwelt among us."
This is the grand and glorious truth that makes the Body of man, even as it is fallen and imperfect, a glory, not a shame; a thing to be reverenced and respected, to be thought of with honour and tenderness of feeling.
This, the fact that the “Everliving Word” of God assumed to himself really and truly, a body, the same as that each of us possesses; this is the great mystery of godliness, “ God manifest in the flesh.”
And see! how wonderful it is. Here is a babe--new-born, upon its mother's knee and that babe, with its undeveloped mind, its speechless tongue, its soft and tender body, with no knowledge, no experience; this is “God of the whole earth !" its Maker and King! “God of God! light of light! very God of very God!" and all the natural feeblenesses, and weaknesses, and miseries, and distresses of childhood--these are his! God, born a child! and the Natural Body,--this he has assumed and bears !
* 1 Cor. xv. 39.
The Body of the child, the Animal Mind, the Spirit-all these God the Word has assumed ! and unto them inseparably and eternally he is united! This is a great wonder.
And surely that Body, that Soul, those Mental Powers, made originally in God's image, and which God assumed, these cannot be in themselves essentially evil; they must be good
good, though fallen.” The Body which the Eternal Word assumed, this is not to be scorned, or despised, or looked upon as brutish, but held in all reverence.
But more than this : the Word assumed it not as perfect; all its weaknesses, and deficiencies, and liabilities to temptation were still in the Redeemer's Body,—in the Body of “God, who shed for us his blood,” were all these by which sin has access to us. « So that he was tempted in all things as we, only without sin ;'* and until he had passed through the resurrection gate of the grave, it to him was a “ Natural body," or a “Terrestrial" body. And thus remaining in substance the same, the dross being cleansed away, the weakness having vanished, it became the Spiritual and Celes
So that unto a body having in nature but not in effects the same feebleness, deficiency, weaknesses that our body has, was the Word of God united. Our Bodies, then, we should not despise, or think brutally of for this natural weakness, but rather tenderly, since Christ passed through this life in a body that had the same weak
Again : that body that he assumed of the Virgin Mary, his mother, this same flesh that was born of her was weak and mortal; suffered, and died and was buried; this body of the same humanity as mine, of the same blood, the same flesh, the same bones; this rose with the Word from the grave, a Glorified, Heavenly, Spiritual Body, never dying and perfect, and yet the same that was born of the Virgin. And this Human Nature is thenceforth one with God the Word, two natures, t God and Man forever joined and forming one Christ, seated upon the right hand of the glory of God, upon the eternal throne of heaven.
* He had neither at birth Original Sin, nor during life Actual Sin.
† This is called the Hypostatical or Substantial Union of the two Natures in one Christ forever.
Thou that wouldst despise the body, look to this ;—the “body," the “mind," the Spirit of Man,-Human Nature,-a true man, and at the same time God the Word, is seated upon the throne of Omnipotence! Man is almighty, omniscient, eternal, immortal! The Body of Man, the same as this my body, the same Flesh and the same Blood is exalted into heaven, there to sit for evermore upon the right hand of God.
Should I not, therefore, reverence this my body, seeing that there, in the council chamber of Omnipotence, in the most inmost shrine of the Presence, upon the most shining throne of glory, in the central light and unapproachable depths of God's splendor, there is united to the Word for ever, the Body born in Bethlehem, laid in the manger, the Human Body, that suffered and died, was buried and rose again?
Great, truly, is the glory to me and to my Body that this is so. And, therefore, with all reverence and respect shall I look upon the “Body of man” even as it is, beset with the effects of Original Sin. To others I shall leave the pagan dreams of scorn and contempt for this our earthly frame. And the bodies of the dead, these I shall look at as no carcases, * no cadavres, † but as holy and sacredo shrines from which the spirit has departed again to return; dwellings, that by their frame-work and fashioning, were made after His own image, fitted in their nature to receive and be forever the dwelling of the sanctified spirit.
This is the Christian feeling of reverence to the body. And because of this thought of a human frame made perfect and seated upon the throne of God, because of this thought is it that the aspect of the grave has changed from dreary and blank despair to the calmness of a living hope. Because of this it is that instead of casting out our dead to the birds and the beasts, instead of giving them up to the devouring flame, or of exposing them to the wasting elements as the carcases (caro casa) of dead beasts; with all reverence and tenderness we wash them free from all pollutions; we dress them in the pure raiment of death; we weep over them; we shield them even from the too rude contact of the earth, and we commit them to her bosom in peace and in hope.
* Carcase--caro casa-flesh fallen, or cast away. † Cadavre (French) Caro, data, vermibus, -flesh, food for worms.
These are, as respects the Body, the effects upon our morals of the fact of the Incarnation,--the fact that the Word of God was made flesh and dwelt among us, and is now, together with that Human Nature which he took of his mother, seated on the right hand of God. And therefore should man reverence his Body, and neither scorņ nor despise it, but even in its weakness count it not evil, but good, although injured by Original Sin.
The nature of man has, 1st, a capacity of life through the Word Incarnate;
2d, of receiving His Body and Blood; 3d, of the Indwelling of the Spirit.
The great fact with which we closed our last chapter, while it fully manifests the truth, that the body of man is not of the same kind as the body of the beasts, but an organization wholly different in its nature, inasmuch as it could be united with the Word of God; and these two natures, the Human and Divine, become and be eternally one Christ; while it shows this as a fact, it enables us, upon the strength of that fact, to proceed still further.
Can the Word, eternally begotten of the Father, assume the flesh of man? It can be so. Then as made of God, that Human Nature had, by its constitution, as of God created, this capacity of union with the Word, capacity no other creatod being has. This is a quality of man's nature which is not manifested by mere organization, and yet which evidently exists and distinguishes clearly between his body and that of the beasts.
Human Nature, then, has the capacity in it of eternally being in Christ upon the throne of God as God. It must, then, have a capability of Life everlasting through him. There must be in our nature secretly, and it may be unconsciously to us, a capability and à power of having His Life dwelling in us. There must be in nature as it is, the power whereby the same Holy Ghost that in Christ united the Word with Human Nature, so that both should