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النشر الإلكتروني

We will consider,

1. THE RESURRECTION ITSELF,

2. ITS CERTAIN APPROACH,

3. ITS UNIVERSAL EXTENT,

4. ITS DECISIVE RESULTS,

5. ITS PRACTICAL IMPROVEMENT.

1. THE RESURRECTION ITSELF. They that are in the graves shall hear his voice and shall come forth.

We notice the body raised, the voice calling it forth, the coming forth.

1. THE BODY RAISED.

Our Lord is here speaking of the resurrection of the body. Properly speaking the soul never dies; it is the body only that is mingled with the dust, and laid in the grave, and the same body shall be raised. If it were another body, it would not be a resurrection but a new creation. Job's testimony on this point is very clear. Though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God, whom I shall see for myself and mine eyes shall behold and not another. (Job xix. 26.) Our identical body, once laid in the grave, shall be raised up. The souls of the wicked are in present torment; a torment that has a fearful expectation of the future, and a torment that will be amazingly aggravated, when the body in which they sinned shall rise

again, with all the tremendous recollection and revival of past sins, to be the inlet of a sorer punishment, to be reunited to the soul, for the final condemnation of both. O may you all be delivered from this woe!

The souls of the righteous are on the other hand in present blessedness, with a joyful anticipation of an increased bliss. They are described as absent from the body and present with the Lord. (2 Cor. v. 6.) Our Lord, from that declaration of God to Moses, long after the death of the Patriarchs, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, (Matt. xxii. 32,) takes occasion to shew that they were then living, for he is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living, for all live to him; and seeing that he is the God not merely of the soul, but of the whole person, he also shews from the same passage the resurrection of the dead, and therefore that the body shall be raised from its state of death.. Incalculably will their joy be enhanced when their poor vile body, ransomed from the power of the grave, and redeemed from death, shall be raised incorruptible and glorious, with every capacity to serve God perfectly and for ever. May you all enter into this joy!

2. THE VOICE CALLING IT FORTH :—

Shall hear his voice.

The resurrection of the body seems to be

attended with some apparently insurmountable difficulties. Some bodies have been consumed to ashes, and the ashes scattered over the surface of the earth. Others have been devoured by wild beasts, and have become a part of their substance, and others again have been the food of their fellow men. From these difficulties, the Sadducees of old denied the resurrection of the dead. Like modern infidels they insinuate impossibilities against clear revelation. Our Saviour meets all such cavils, Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God. (Matt. xxii. 29.) We assert then from the word of God that the same body shall rise again. How is this possible? To man even an adequate conception is impossible. But look at what calls them forth-the voice of Christ, the voice of the Son of God, the voice of the Creator of all things, the voice of God over all blessed for ever. (Rom. ix. 5.) That voice said, Let there be light, and there was light. (Gen. i. 3.) That voice said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature-and it was so. (Gen. i. 24.) That voice said, Let us make man, and man was created. (Gen. i. 26.) Oh, the unutterable power of that Divine Redeemer whom an unbelieving world slights, scoffs at, and scorns! It will not be so in that great day, but as when at the tomb of Lazarus, the voice, Lazarus, come forth, (John xi. 43,) penetrated every bone, every muscle, and

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every nerve of the decaying body, and he that was dead came forth, so when the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel and with the trump of God-proclaiming, “All ye that are in the graves, come forth;" the energy of that voice will break through every obstacle, search the inmost recesses of every receptacle of the dead, bring together every part, and reanimate the whole; not one grave shall retain its tenant, or refuse obedience to the almighty and all-pervading summons.

Talk any of difficulties? all creation furnishes you with emblems and illustrations. Every fresh day, with its new light and heat and varied blessings is a resurrection from the darkness of the night. Every verdant spring, with all its freshness and life and luxuriance, is a resurrection from the frost, the torpor and the death of winter. Every harvest which we see waving in the fields is a resurrection of the seed corn buried, dead, and quickened again. Innumerable insects floating in the air, were once apparently inanimate substances, but they have risen again to life and activity. It is idle to talk of difficulties to him to whom nothing is impossible; and why, it may well be asked, "why should it be thought incredible that God should raise the dead," whose word has assured us that he will? If a watchmaker can take a watch to pieces, and again put

together the parts as they lie before him, the Creator of all may well reconstruct the human frame which by death he has for a season separated, and the parts of which, wherever they are, all lie before him.

O brethren, what a shout will that be which reechoes through creation, and reaches and rouses the slumbering dust! How will it sound to us? Will it be a voice full of woe, or a voice full of joy? it depends on your present state. O fly to Christ now, confess him now, if you would hear that sound without alarm; if you would welcome that voice as a voice of joy.

3. THE COMING FORTH.

We have an emblematical representation of this in the valley which was full of bones: (Ezek. xxxvii. 1-10,) these at the word of the Lord came together, and the sinews and the flesh were brought upon them, and the breath came into them, and they lived an exceeding great army.

But it is not one valley, but every place shall give up the dead there contained. In Daniel it is asserted, They that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake. (Dan. xii. 2.) In the description of that day it is said, (Rev. xx. 13,) The sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them.

Curiosity may here ask a thousand questions; how are the dead raised up, and with what body do

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