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curious than useful, it is my intention to wave. I shall confine myself to what is plainly expressed, because I wish rather to profit than to amuse my hearers. The principal subject before us, is the resurrection of the dead, in the most pleasing view of it; . for my text speaks only of those, who shall change the mortal and corruptible, for incorruption and immortality.
I. The introduction, Bebold I few you a mystery. • II. What we are taught to expect. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. · III. The suddenness of the event. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.
IV. The grand preceding signal. The trumpet shall found.
1. The apostle apprizes the Corinthians, that he is about to shew them a mystery. As the word mystery has been treated with no small contempt, I shall embrace this occafion of offering you a fort explanation of it, as it is ased in the scriptures. We are allowed to say, that there are mysteries in nature, and, perhaps, we may be allowed to speak of mysteries in providence; but though an apostle assures us, that Great is the mystery
of godliness *, many persons will scarcely bear the application of the word to religion. And a late ingenious writer, who has many admirers in the present day, has ventured to affirm, in print, that where mystery begins, religion ends. If the frequency of the case did not, in fome degree, abate our wonder, this might seem almost a mystery, that any persons, who profess to believe the scripture, should so openly and flatly contradict, what the scripture expressly and repeatedly declares. Or that while, as men of reason and philophy, they are forced to acknowledge a mystery in every part of creation, and must confess it beyond their ability, to explain the growth of a blade of grass ; they should, in opposition to all the rules of analogy, conclude, that the gospel, the most important concern of man, and which is commended to us, as the most eminent display of the wisdom and power of God, is the only subject so level to our apprehensions, as to be obvious, at first sight, to the most careless and superficial observers. That great numbers of people are very far from being accurate and diligent in their religious enquiries, is too evident to be denied. How often do we meet with persons of sense, who talk with propriety on philosophical, political, or commercial subjects, and yet, when they speak of religion, discover such gross ignorance, as would be shameful in a child of ten years old, and amounts to a full proof, that they have not thought it worth their while to acquire, even a flight knowledge of its first principles. Can we even conceive the posfibility of a divine revelation, that should have nothing in it mysterious, to persons of this character ?
* Tim. ii. 16.
A mystery, according to the notation of the Greek word, signifies, a secret. And all the peculiar truths of the gospel, may justly be styled myiteries, or secrets, for two reasons.
1. Because the discovery of them is beyond the reach of fallen man, and they neither would, or could, have been known, without a revelation from God. This is eminently true of the Resurrection. The light of nature, which we often hear so highly commended, may afford some faint glimmerings of a future state, but gives no intimation of a resurrection. The men of wisdom at Athens, the Stoic and Epicurean philoso
intworks, who differed = widely in most parts E r seir respective schemes, united in de
com g this sentiment, and contemptuously ha d the apostle Paul a babbler *, for preach
Sanit. But this secret is to us made known. - je be inarid we are assured, not only, that the Lord adamy receive, to himself, the departing fpirits
then iis people, but that he will give comeren 1. adment concerning their dust, and, in
Con time, raise their vile bodies, to a cone dinine mmity with his own glorious body. in itaril. Because, though they are revealed ex
fsly in the scripture, such is the groffEccording :-S www Is of our conceptions, and the strength of
ir prejudices, that the truths of revelation, e still unintelligible to us, without a far
her revelation of their true sense to the terico, aind, by the influence of his holy Spirit.
Otherwise, how can the secret of the Lord key se restrained to those who fear him f, when 1, the book, which contains it, is open to all ;
and the literal and grammatical meaning of the words, is in the possession of many who fear him not ?
Books in the arts and sciences, may be said to be full of mysteries, to those who have * Acts xvii. 18.
Pl. xxv. 14.
not a suitable capacity and taste for them ; or who do not apply themselves to study them with diligence, and patiently submit to learn, gradually, one thing after another. If you put a treatise on the mathematics, or a system of music, into the hands of a plowman or labourer, you will not be surprized to find, that he cannot understand a single page. Shall the works of a Sir Isaac Newton, or of
fon, while another peruses them with admi. ration and delight? Shall these require a certain turn of mind, and a close attention? And can it be reasonably supposed, that the Bible is the only book, that requires no peculiar disposition, or degree of application, to be understood; though it is designed to
God * ? In one respect, indeed, there is an encouraging difference. Divine truths lie, thus far, equally open to all; that though none can learn them, unless they are taught of God; yet, all, who are sensible of their own weakness, may expect his teaching, if they humbly seek it by prayer. Many people are, perhaps, incapable of being ma* i Cor. ii. 10.