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that they are all blotted out and cancelled by the merits of Christ. Whatever conscience may do, God, even in this respect, is a greater and higher Judge than our heart.
“ Who shall lay any thing to the charge “ of God's elect?” &c. e
xxix. That hostility which once subsisted betwixt God and you is now removed, and happily exchanged for the most delightful intercourse of mutual friendship. “ For I will not contend for ever," saith God, “ nei“ther will I be always wroth; for the spirit should “ fail before me, and the souls which I have made.--. “ I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead “ him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his “ mourners.”£ You may now approach the throne of grace with all filial freedom, and with confidence pour out all the sorrows and all the joys of your heart into the bosom of God, as a most indulgent Father. He is liberal in the manifestation of his kindness. To his ministers he gives the following commission : “ Com“ fort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God,” &c.s And he himself speaks to the soul by the secret whisper of his Spirit: “ Thou shalt be called Hephzi-bah, my delight;
And as the bridegroom rejoiceth “ over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.”h “ As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I com
i xxx. All these felicities, however, are but an earnest of those eternal blessings to which they whose sins are forgiven on account of the infinitely meritorious righteousness of Christ, have a title no less valid, than if
« fort you.”
e Rom. viii. 33, 31.
* Is. lvii. 16, 18.
they had never been guilty of any offence, and had in their own persons rendered the most perfect obedience to the law. “ Where sin abounded, grace did much “ more abound; that as sin hath reigned unto death, “ even so might grace reign through righteousness un“ to eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord.”j
į Rom. v. 20, 21.
ON THE RESURRECTION OF THE BODY,
AND THE LIFE EVERLASTING.
1. In the sacred records I find thrce kinds of ResurRECTION mentioned; of which we may call one Civil, a second SPIRITUAL, and the third, the Resurrection of the Body
11. A deliverance from any dreadful calamity and peril, or a restoration from a miserable to a more prosperous state, may be styled a Civil Resurrection; for as a calamitous condition is called death, so a happy one is termed life. A resurrection of this sort may be experienced, either by individuals, or by an entire society or state. We have an instance of the former in David; “ O Lord, thou hast brought up my soul from “ the grave; thou hast kept me alive, that I should “ not go down to the pit:"_In Hezekiah ; “So wilt “thou recover me, and make me to live:"b-And in Paul; “ God who raiseth the dead, who delivered us “ from so great a death, and doth deliver ; in whom we
“ trust that he will yet deliver us.”c A free constitution, under a just and legitimate magistrate, whom the Israelites were accustomed to call “ the breath of their “ nostrils,”!—is the life of a State. The loss of a free government, is death; its restoration, is a resurrection. To this may be referred the following expression in Hosea :-"He hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath “ smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days “ will he revive us, in the third day he will raise us up, “ and we shall live in his sight.”. The thirty-seventh Chapter of Ezekiel, too, is particularly worthy of notice. We have there a long and elegant allegory, setting forth the deplorable condition of Israel during the Babylonish captivity under the emblem of “ an open val
ley, covered with dry bones,” and their happy restoration under the similitude of a resurrection. That passage, however, is also to be viewed as affording a type and a pledge of the general resurrection.
III. The SPIRITUAL Resurrection, is the raising of men from the death of sin to the life of God. This, again, is the resurrection, either of individuals, or of the Church at large. Of the former, we read in the following words: “ Verily, verily, I say unto you, The “ hour is coming, and now is, when the dead,” that is, the dead in sin, “shall hear the voice of the Son of God,” to wit, the preaching of the Gospel, accompanied with the quickening energy of the Spirit of Christ," and
they that hear," that receive the Gospel with the obedience of faith, “shall live.” Such a resurrection is ascribed to the Church at large, when she is blessed with a remarkable increase of spiritual life, as well with
c 2 Cor. i. 9, 10.
d Lam. iv. 20. • Hos. vi. 1, 2. f John v. 25. See also Eph. ii. 5. Col. ii. 12. iii, 1,
regard to the number of her living members, as with respect to the gifts of Divine grace with which they are enriched,-knowledge, holiness, joy, peace, and the like. Hence Paul informs us, that the receiving of the Jews will be to the Church as “ life from the dead.": And the nature of the life which the Church is then to enjoy, is explained by Isaiah.h
iv. The Resurrection of the BODY, is the raising to life of the same body which death had dissolved, by reuniting the soul to it. To this the following things are necessary. 1. The conservation in the hand of God, of the particles into which the dead body was resolved. 2. The conservation of the soul also, to be re-united to the body in due time. 3. The re-formation of the same body from those very particles of which it formerly consisted, and the preparation of it to be a suitable habitation for the soul. 4. The renewed union of the soul with the body thus prepared. 5. The life of the whole compound being, resulting from that union.
v. This resurrection of the body is that great mystery of Christianity, without which the Gospel is vain, and our faith and hope are vain, and the consolation of those who have undergone the severest sufferings for Christ, is either small indeed, or no consolation at all. Justly does Tertullian begin his book on the Resur. rection of the body with the following words: “ The “ Resurrection of the dead, is the support of Chris* tians.”* An article of our faith, therefore, so sublime and momentous, must be examined with the greatest attention. In treating it, we may observe the follow
Resurrectio mortuorum, fiducia Christianorum. & Rom. xi. 15.
h Ch. lix. 21. Ix. . i 1 Cor. xv. 13-19. VOL. II.