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which, though immediately referring to the return of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity, may be considered as a striking intimation of a general resurrection. When he prophesied, at the command of God, « The bones came together, bone to his bone; the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them from above: breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.
2. The resurrection of our Lord affords a certain proof of a general resurrection. The apostle Paul urged this argument to the Corinthians : 66 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen."
There is such a connection between his resurrection, and the resurrection of the dead, that he who denies the one must deny the other. " For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” He rose from the dead by his own power. "I lay down my life (said he) that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again.” Hence we may reasonably infer that he has
over death and the grave. Had death conquered him, it would have conquered all the human race; but he has the dominion; nor is there any power either in death grave
that can withstand him. Let us rejoice in the resurrection of our Lord, and let us cast away, our gloomy fears of death and the grave! The grave may detain us a while; but Jesus will come and set us free. But let it be our constant care that we may die in a state of purity: ; for only such shall rise to glory.
3. The general resurrection is positively asserted in a vast number of in the old testament and in the new. Daniel, by the spirit of prophecy, foretold the resurrection of the dead. His words are as clear and express as words can be :
Many of them that sleep, in the dust shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." Our Saviour expresses the same thing in clear and appropriate language: "Marvel not at this; for the hour is coming in the which all that are in their graves shall hear his voice, and come forth; they that have done good unto a resurrection of life, and they that have done evil to a resurrection of damnation.” The apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians expressly upon this subject ; and nothing can be more
satisfactory than his account of the resurrection. He says, “The trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised. John, in the apocalyptic vision, “saw the dead small and great stand before God and the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and hell delivered the dead which were in them.” From these passages, and
others which might be quoted, it is evident that we must either admit of a general resurrection, or give up the authority of the bible. Many
Many objections may be raised against this important doctrine ; nor, indeed, is there any other doctrine against which the roit and wickedness of man may not raise objections. Doctor B-y was of opinion that there is no matter in the universe, and consequently that man has no body. Doctor P-y. thought there was nothing but matter, and consequently that there is no immortal spirit in man. Between them, they robbed man both of his body and his soul. Had those two great men placed less dependence upon their intellectual powers, and more upon
" the sure word of prophecy," the world would not have been troubled with the painful and dangerous disputes which they set on foot.-Let us now:
II. ANSWER SOME OBJECTIONS AGAINST THE RESURRECTION.
The principal objections may be reduced to two : Some think it unnecessary-and others impossible.
1. By some it is deemed unnecessary. They argue that “it is not necessary to secure existence, as separate spirits can live without the body: and that it is not necessary on the plan of rewards and punishments, as men may be either rewarded or punished without the body.”. Suppose we admit this, it does not follow either that that kind of existence can be conti nued which evidently was designed for man from the beginning, or that he can be rewarded or punished in a suitable way without a body. The creatures of God are innumerable, and each kind has a peculiar state in which its being admits of perfection. A separate state must be a very imperfect state to man. The soul of man is peculiarly fitted for a material body, through the medium of which God will both punish the wicked and reward the righteous. An union of soul and body in a state of purity, will be the perfection of man in heaven; nór can the sad. effects of sin be done away without such an union. The resurrection of bad men will
Tender them far more capable of suffering “ the vengeance of eternal fire” than they can be in a separate state ; and on that account the resurrection will prove to them a dreadful event.
To deny a resurrection, in the literal sense, we are forced to explain away the obvious meaning of the holy scriptures; like Hymenius, who said the resurrection was past, and thereby destroyed the faith of some, The scriptures, by artful criticism, may be made to mean any thing and every thing that designing men may please ; and there can be no certainty in them, if they are not, like other writings, to be understood in their plain grammatical sense.
Our bodies will undergo a great change at the resurrection, whereby they will be fitted for that world in which we shall live for ever. The apostle Paul describes the resurrection-body of the saints under four heads. It will be incorruptible ; no more subject to decay or dissolution: it will be glorious; free from all defect, deformity, and dishonour: it will be strong to enjoy and to do the will of God: and it will be spiritual; refined and pure, light and agile. The resurrection-body of the wicked will be incorruptible, and strong; but neither spiritual nor glorious.