Imatges de pàgina
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brought to God, and has found the salvation purchased by his Redeemer. But then we see he becomes sound in his mind, and the evidence of his salvation is given in his conduct—we see that this is not hypocritical, because he is living in the way in which God would have him to live. The words, we add, spoil its meaning-add nothing of force to it; and we had better be as simple as we can in the terms that express the salvation of the soul.

Now, my friends, we must be converted, not according to this or that definition of this or that church's catechism ; we must be converted as God says it—we must have our minds and hearts turned unto him from evil; and in this turning is always implied a change of the heart, of its purposes, its feelings, its resolutions, its propensities : the whole man is turned to God—“ Old things are passed away, and all things have become new ;" and in this sense the man is a new creature, who is in Christ Jesus.

The man turns to God with all his heart, under a deep sense of his sin and sinfulness, and believes in Jesus Christ who died for him; for Peter, in the context, is preaching about Jesus, and showing that this was the key-stone of Christianity; and we take up the same thing-we cannot come to God but through Jesus. And I doubt, my friends, notwithstanding all that the vain young lady said of the wondrous powers of her reason, we should never feel one penitential pang, if the Spirit did not bring it into the soul ; and when we feel our hearts truly sorry for sin, we know that the Spirit of God is at work upon us.

We must, then, come to God through Christ Jesus. This register is still in my eye: in reference to many of you, I seem to see the black register in so many bosoms; and I am sure there is not a single heart that may not be saved from it : it may be blotted out before you leave this chapel ; and I

God it may be so! I say, Almighty Jesus cancel it, and let none of them take the black list away with them? Let every one repent and be converted, and be enabled to lay hold on the hope set before them in the Gospel.





• But some man will say, how are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come forth?" 1 CORINTHIANS,

xv. 35.

The Christian religion opens to the pious mind, the most sublime, and noble subjects of contemplation. Among these, the resurrection has a high claim on our attention. It is one of the main pillars that supports the fair fabric of Christianity. With it, the veligion of the bible stands or falls. But there were some in the Christian Church, as early as the days of St. Paul, who denied the resurrection of the body, and taught, that when we die, we shall sink into an eternal slumber. And even at the present day, there are whole sects, who take upon themselves the name of Christians, that advocate the same sentiment. This was among other controversies that agitated the Corinthian Church. St. Paul takes up the subject, and in a most masterly manner, proves, that there will be a general resurrection.

I. 1. We shall show that there will be a resurrection of the body. This may be argued from the analogy of nature. . sinks behind the western hills, but it is to rise again with greater splendor in the morning. When winter approaches, the trees throw off their foliage.

Nature is disrobed of her livery of green; the earth is bound in adamantine chains of frost; insects lie dormant ; beasts retire to their dens; birds take their flight to more friendly climates; the earth is covered with a white mantle of snow, and the north winds rudely whistle around our dwellings. Nature suffers a temporary death.

But when the spring arrives, the earth is warmed by the cheering influence of the sun ; nature decks herself in living green; creation smiles with beauty ; the voice of the turtle is heard in our land, and the time of the singing of birds is come ; every object is full of animation.

Thus we see a resurrection continually taking place before our eyes.

If God, by his watchful providence, quickens creation into life, after it

The sun

has suffered a temporary death or suspension of its vital powers, reasoning from analogy, may we not fairly conclude it is probable God will raise the dead from the silent slumbers of the tomb ?

2. The resurrection of the dead may be proved from the resurrection of Christ. That Christ was apprehended, condemned, and nailed to the cross, in the presence of a large concourse of friends and enemies, is not denied by Infidels themselves. And when it was ascertained he was dead, a soldier pierced him in his side, and there came out blood and water, a circumstance which proves the spear pierced the pericardium, and penetrated the heart. Had he not already been dead, this wound must have proved mortal. Then Joseph, of Arimathea, by the permission of Pilate took down the body of Jesus, embalmed it in aromatics, and laid it in a new tomb. But as though Providence designed his triumph over the power of death should be as complete as possible, · The chief priests and scribes came together unto Pilate, saying, sir, we remember this deceiver said while he was yet alive, after three days I shall arise again—command, therefore, that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night and steal him away, and say unto the people, he is risen from the dead, so the last error shall be worse than the first. Pilate said unto them, ye have a watch, go, make it as sure as you can; so they went and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone and setting a watch. But as the morning of the third day began to dawn on the world, one of the heavenly inhabitants, stretched out his golden pinions, and flew swift to the hill of Calvary. His countenance was as the

and he was clothed with lightning. He rolled back the stone from the door of the sepulchre and sat upon it, and for fear of him the keepers did tremble and became as dead men. Now his triumph began. He rose ; He rose with all the grandeur of a God, triumphing over Death and Hell. He burst the bars of the tomb; he seized immortal youth, and passed the crystal portals of everlasting light. The watch went immediately into the city and showed these things to the Scribes and Chief Priests. “And when they had taken council, they gave them large money, and said unto them— Say, his disciples came by night and stole him away while we slept." But this report carried its own refutation with it; for how did they know what happened while they were under the dominion of sleep. How did they know but he had actually risen from the dead. Besides, according to the Roman law, it was death for a soldier to be found sleeping at his post; therefore had they suffered themselves to sink, under the dominion of sleep, in such circumstances, they never would have dared to make the confession. Also, if we may judge from the well known character of the Scribes and Pharisees, they would have been among the first to urge an execution of this law. Likewise, how unlikely does it appear, that a few timid disciples, who, when their Lord was apprehended, instantly forsook him and Aed, although then there was no immediate prospect of danger to themselves; should, amidst the thick gloom of mid- night, approach his sepulchre and steal away his body, although they knew it was secured by a guard of Roman soldiers. St. Paul testifies, "He was seen of above five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greatest part remain until this present, but some are fallen asleep.' When we consider the number and character of the enemies of Christianity, and the situation of the disciples of Christ, if St. Paul was a man of ordinary penetration, he never would have made this declaration had it not been true. Had it been false, it would have been the easiest thing in the world to detect the imposition. And when we consider that the most learned and acute philosophers, statesmen, orators, and literary men of every description, were among the most rancorous enemies of Christianity, if the declaration had been untrue, its falsity would certainly have been exposed; the consequence would have been the ruin of the character of the Apostle and the destruction of the cause of Christianity.' But the declaration of the Apostle was never shown us to be untrue—therefore we take it for granted, that it could not be refuted. Besides, it is not the character of imposture to be thus bold, but it seeks to entrench itself behind falsehood, that cannot be easily detected. But if Christ has risen from the dead, we conclude there will be a general resurrection ; says the Apostle, “Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you there is no resurrection of the dead. But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen ; and if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. St. Paul lays down the resurrection of Christ as his premises; on this ground he proceeds, and from this he draws his conclusions. Therefore, if there was a literal resurrection of the body of Christ, there will be a literal resurrection of our bodies; otherwise there is no connexion between his premises and conclusion. Hence the Apostle concludes ; Now has Christ risen from the dead and become the first fruits of them that slept'.


3. Some have already risen from the dead, therefore we conclude all will rise. Enoch and Elijah have been translated, and with the identical bodies which they possessed on earth liave gone up into heaven.

At the crucifixion of Christ the graves were opened, and after his resurrection many bodies of saints that slept arose and came out of their graves, and went into the holy city and appeared unto many. Here we are informed, some of the saints have actually ascended to heaven with their bodies, without passing under the dominion of death, which is equivalent to a resurrection.

Others have actually risen with their triumphant Lord. These are the first fruits, who are to be regarded as a pledge of a future and an abundant harvest.

The resurrection may be proved from the unequivocal declarations of scripture. Says Christ, the time is coming in the which they that are in their graves shall hear the voice of the son of God, and come forth, they that have done well to the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil to the resurrection of damnation. Here our Lord assures us, they that are in the grave shall come forth, and that there shall exist the same distinction of character that now exists, they that have done well and they that have lone evil. And some shall come forth to the resurrection of life, and others to the resurrection of damnation, according to the character they have formed in time. This cannot mean a spiritual resurrection, for none who are partakers of the spiritual resurrection are raised up to damnation, but they are quickened to the enjoynent of spiritual life. To destroy the force of these observations, it has been urged, Christ says, “The time is coming, and now is in which the dead shall hear the voice of the son of God, and hey that hear shall live.' From which it has been argued, this neans a spiritual resurrection, because Christ says, The time now is ;' this conclusion we deny, and maintain it refers to the iteral resurrection of those who are quickened by the power of Christ, when he tabernacled in the flesh, such as Lazarus and oth

From which he takes occasion to observe, he will finally raise all men. Says St. Paul, I have hope in God (which ye yourselves allow) that there shall be a resurrection both of the just and the unjust--that at the resurrection this distinction of character shall not be done away, but mankind shall appear in the same character they formed in time.

II. First ; we proceed to inquire how are the dead raised up? On this subject it is well known different opinions have been entertained by those who believe in the resurrection. there is an indestructable principle in the human system analagous to the germ in the grain, out of which the body will be produced at the resurrection. A passage that stands in close connexion with our text has been most confidently produced to support this sentiment. Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened except it die, and that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat or some other grain. But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.' But we cannot persuade ourselves that the body will be produced out of any such germ. The sentiment the Apostle inculcates is simply this : as the grain is cast into the earth, and the farinacious particles die and form a fine mould which nourishes


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