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Desire to Be Present With Christ

Desire to Be Present With Christ

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Published by glennpease

2 Cor. v. 8.

We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent
from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

2 Cor. v. 8.

We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent
from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 20, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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DESIRE TO BE PRESET WITH CHRISTBY HERY KOLLOCK, D. D,2 Cor. v. 8.We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absentfrom the body, and to be present with the Lord.Such were the feelings, such the temper of soulwhich distinguished the great apostle of the Gentiles.United to the world by a mortal body, and united tothe Lord by a fervent love, he felt attractions fromopposite objects; he found in his soul desires thatcontended with each other. On the one hand, na-ture wished a prolongation of life, recoiled from thestroke of death, and shuddered when it fixed itsview upon corruption and the grave. On the otherhand, faith lifted the curtain which hangs over thefuture world, pointed to the eternity of being, theconsummation of holiness, the perfection of joy,which are reserved for Christians in the Jerusalemon high, and dissipated the gloom of the grave, byshowing that it is the path to heaven, the gate of glory.On the one hand, nature spread all the pleasuresof earth before him, and, with persuasive accents.MISCELLAEOUS. 7 Jurged him to fix his ultimate desires upon them, toenjoy them, and be at rest. But on the other hand,faith presented to his view the ravishing, the ineffablebeauties of Immanuel ; beauties, from the clearvision and full enjoyment of which he was separatedby this interposing wall of clay : and bade him sigh
and groan, and long for a deliverance from thesefetters of flesh, which held his soul in thraldom, andprevented it from mounting and winging its flight tothe bosom of its Redeemer.The apostle deliberately listens to these oppositepleadings of nature and of faith; calmly weighs theforce of the motives which each presents to him :places side by side the pleasures of earth and thehigh raptures which flow from an intimate commu-nion with Jesus in heaven ; the terrors of death andthat vast weight of glory which it confers upon theChristian; and, whilst the pleasures of earth and theterrors of death shrivel into insignificance, vanishinto nothing before the overpowering lustre of celes*tial joys, he cries out, " We are confident and willingrather to be absent from the body, and to be presentwith the Lord." Fortified by strength from on high," we are confident" (&xf ? ef,c«i») and ready with an holycourage to endure the combat with the king of ter-rors, rather than continue at this painful distancefrom the Saviour whom we love. Earth has no joysto make us wish to stay : for " we are willing" weare well pleased and desirous, as the original wordis often translated, (tvfoKovpn) rather to be absentfrom this world of sin and pain, and this body of flesh, and to be admitted to the immediate and satis-fying presence of the Lord. This is our desire,springing not from a blind impulse of passion ; notfrom a contempt or hatred of the body, or a disdain-7b 3ERMO JLXX1X,ful aversion to this present state ; not from an indis-position to perform the duties or undergo the trialswhich God appoints to us on earth ; not from a muti-nous rebellion against his disposals ; but from a coolconsideration, an enlightened judgment. This is
our desire ; and nothing but an acquiescence in thewill of God, a submission to the disposals of his pro-vidence, and a wish to please him, could make uscontented to remain below.Such is the spirit and import of these words.They were uttered, it is true, by an apostle; byone who was elevated above the rank of ordinaryChristians, and called to the performance of dutiesin which we are not required to engage. But ne-vertheless, my brethren, it is equally true, that themotives which led Paul to form this particular de-sire were not derived from his apostolic office, butwere such as are common to him and all believers ;the reasons which led him thus to determine aresuch as ought to affect us as much as they did him.Though therefore we are not bound to imitate everyaction and cultivate every feeling of Paul, becausesome of his actions and feelings were appropriate tothe apostleship, yet still we are bound to imitateand cultivate the sentiments expressed in the text,because they are sentiments which he uttered, notin the character of an apostle, but in that of a Chris-tian; and vital Christianity is the same in kindthrough all ages, and in all stations. We are, there-fore, authorized to lay down the following proposi-tion ; to prove, defend, and apply which, shall bethe sole object of the present discourse.Proposition. It is the duty of every Christian to cul-tivate an ardent, yet submissive wish, to be separated fromthe body, that he may be with Christ.MISCELLAEOUS. 77I am sensible, my brethren, that this will appeara strange doctrine to many who call themselvesChristians. There are many who suppose that they

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