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ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of the body.
The apostles knowing that they had been raised together with Christ, were often in agony and tears ior the manisestation of the event. And having the art and sagacity of divine physiognomy, discovered the whole visible creation in the same case, and on the same account. They looked in the sace os nature, and saw by her countenance that she was in distress; and that her complaint was, her being pressed into the service of vanity and corruption: and, longed for the resurrection of men, when she should herself also be delivered.
Since the sall and corruption of human nature, the heavens with all her luminaries, and the earth with all its furniture, have been doing little else, but spinning, weaving and cooking, not so much for human wants, as to satisfy exorbitant lusts. The apostles, by the divine sagacity and attention given them, could hear her grudge, and saw indignation in her sace, that her admirable ceconomy and works should be prostituted for such dishonorable purposes. They saw a reluctant
instinct instinct; run through the whole, and a dislike to the service, because of man's irrational conduct. And that all creatures would with one eonsent rise up in vengeance, and sall upon man to his ruin, only, they were with-held by the creator, who subdued and reconciled them to the service This he did by his power and presence on earth especially, entering into the service himself in the prefence of all nature. And to make amends for her service, she had the honor of supplying his wants. He submitted to become dependent upon her, borrowing light from his own fun to see his way, food from the earth, and clothes from the creatures.
He used her gilts with cheerfulness and discretion, for he came eating and drinking; that is, with wisdom and gladness. And she would have been liberal to him, but he declined it, transserring it over unto man. And hereby he tamed and subdued the indignation of the creatures, and reconciled them to the service of man, and promised all nature a glorious state when the sons of God shall be separated from the wicked, and raised from the dead. Then that she should be the drudge of lust and pride no more, but should pass into the liberty of the glory of the sons of God.
He, as it were, spoke to all the creatures, exhorting them to be patient in the service of man. For you see that I myself am in the same; I serve and labor for* man. Do you so too. Do thou, earth, yield crops and plentifully supply him: do you, creatures, obey and bow your necks to him: do ye, heavens, forbear your anger, and let your luminaries shine, and walk in their courses to give light, measure time and make seasons for him, and you shall pals into a condition of grandeur and sublimity sar surpassing what you originally possessed: you shall be the eternal abodes and possessions of wisdom and holiness. Nature can hear his voice, though not ours. When the wind and sea rose up against the disciples and threatened their lives, our Lord rose and spoke to them, and there was a great calm; lor they would be obedient to him, as was observed by those who were present. As if they had said, we did not know that thou wast there, we were not angry with thee, but with them. We will hear thee, but would not have heard them. Thus all nature is obedient to God, and humbled and subjected tb serve, even the vanity of man.
The apostles yet observed her reluctance, and said that she was not willing. She appeared like a woman in labor, with distorted seatures and symptoms of racking pains. This was owing to man's wanton wickedness and abuse of her gifts. Her sace is hereby dissigured , which would otherwise appear much more serene and beautiful, and her operations for our good, more regular and exact. When any nation becomes remarkably intemperate and prosane, the heavens are to be seen evidently out of humour; fun, moon and stars scarce willing to give the seasons, the earth Upon the fret, pining and unwilling to yield her crops. And when God has forsaken any nation, nature will serve them no longer. As soon as he had wholly forsaken the Cananites, she was up in arms against them: the earth sent out her hornets^and drove them into confusion, raving and madness: and heaven joined her, roaring over them, and in her just and dreadful passion, flung X 2 gteat great stones, and stoned them to death.
The apostles could read these things. They saw her in distress, and could hardly contain herself. Yet they could discover traces of beauty and vivacity, so as to give proofs that she was not in despair: she carried indications of a future state of grandeur 'and magnisicence. Her deep sighs and groans were like those of a woman longing for the happy moment of release. For she knew, if I may say so, that she was already in her glorisied condition, the manisestation of which, was with-held, and was therefore in- earnest expectation of the event. For, as we said, all nature died and rose with Christ, and passed into their new and sinal state.
I say, all nature. And so says the apostle, 2 Coiinthians 5. 17. So that if there is in Christ, any new creation, he has passed by the old; behold, he has made new the whole. So this verse ought to be read, according to the Greek and the drift of the discourse. He says above, Christ died and rose UPER Panton, instead of the whole. So that if Christ passed