« PreviousContinue »
weakness and corruption, but that which was fown in weakness shall be raised in power, and the mortal shall put on immortality. He fall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned according to the likeness of bis own glorious body. So that his own resurrection is both the pledge, and the pattern of their’s. I have only farther to observe upon this subject at present, that as Adam is the root and head of all mankind, from whence they all derive a sinful and mortal nature ; so Jesus, the second Adam, is the root of a people who are united to him, planted and engrafted in him, by faith. To these the resurrection, considered as a blessing, is to be restrained. There will be a resurrection of the wicked likewise *, but to condemnation, shame and everlasting contempt t. But the connection is close and indissoluble, between Christ the first-fruits, and them that are Christ's, at his coming.
May we be happily prepared for this great event, that when he mall appear we may have confidence in him, and not be ashamed before him I. Happy they who shall then be able to welcome him in the language of the pro* John v. 29. + Dan. xii. 2. f 1 John ii. 28.
for bim, and he will save us; this is the Lord, we have waited for him, we will be glad, and rejoice in bis falvation *. But how awful the contrast of those (many of them once the great, mighty and honourable of the
and in the anguish of their souls, shall call (in vain) to the rocks and mountains, to fall on them and bide them from his presence, faying, The great day of his wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand + ?
* Ifa. xxv. g. – Rev. vi. 16, 17,
S E R M
THE GENERAL RESURRECTION,
1 Cor. xv. 51, 52.
Behold, I shew you a mystery. We shall not
all sleep, but we shall all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump, for the trumpet fall found, and the dead jhall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. A N object in itself great, and which we A know to be so, will appear small to us, if we view it from a distance. The stars, for example, in our view, are but as little specks or points of light; and the tip of a finger, if held very near to the eye, is sufficient to hide from us the whole body of the
sun. Distance of time, has an effect upon us, in its kind, similar to distance of space. It diminishes in our mind the idea of what, we are assured, is, in its own nature, of great magnitude and importance. If any of us were informed that we should certainly die before this day closes, what a sudden and powerful change would take place in our thoughts ? That we all must die, is a truth, of which we are no less certain, than that we are now alive. But because it is possible that we may not die to-day, or to-morrow, or this year, or for several years to come, we are often little more affected by the thoughts of death, than if we expected to live here for ever. In like manner, if you receive the scripture, as a divine revelation, I need offer you no other proof, that there is a day, a great day, approaching, which will put an end to the present state of things, and introduce a state, unchangeable, and eternal. Then the Lord will descend with a fhout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trump of God. The earth, and all its works, will be burnt up. The great Judge will appear, the tribunal be fixed, the books opened, and all the human race must give an account of
themselves to God, and, according to his righteous award, be happy, or miserable, in a degree beyond expression, or conception, and that for ever.
If we were infallibly assured, that this tremendous scene would open upon us tomorrow; or if, while I am speaking, we should be startled with the signs of our Lord's coming in the air, what confusion and alarm would overspread the congregation? Yet, if the scripture be true, the hour is approaching, when we must all be spectators of this folemn event, and parties nearly interested in it. But because it is at a distance, we can hear of it, speak of it, and profess to expect it, with a coolness, almost equal to indifference. May the Lord give us that faith, which is the evidence of things not seen, that while I aim to lead your meditations to the subject of my text, we may be duly impressed by it: and that we may carry from hence such a confideration of our latter end, as may incline our hearts to that which is our true wisdom !
Many curious enquiries and speculations might be started from this passage, but which, because I judge them to be more