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doctrine, which human reason of itself never glanced at, commends itself to our reason, now that it is revealed: that is, it may be shown to be correspondent to those notions of the perfect equity of the Deity, which reason teaches. The whole of every human being, both body and soul, has been concerned in all the good or the evil done in this life. And although the body has been no more than the servant or instrument of the soul, yet it may serve to illustrate the goodness of God on the one hand, and the strictness of his justice on the other, when even that which was instrumental to good or evil, is connected with the proper agent, in glory or in dishonour.

As to the possibility of a resurrection, none can refuse to admit that Almighty power, by which matter was formed out of nothing at first, and by which our bodies were organized and animated before their dissolution, can reorganize and reanimate them anew, after they shall have been dissolved. There is one analogy in proof and illustration of this, constantly occurring in nature, which is noticed in Scripture, first by our Lord himself, and afterwards by the Apostle Paul. It is, that grain, after it is sown, perishes utterly, before a new growth arises. Speaking of his own death and resurrection, our Lord says, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” Paul, speaking of the general resurrection, goes more at length into the illustration. Attend to the following passage, 1 Cor. xv. 35–44: “But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? 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 of some other grain: but God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: it is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body"

The question has often been asked on this subject, how can the same particles of matter which compose the bodies that die, belong, in all cases, to the bodies which shall be raised? Human bodies, it is said, turn to dust, and are converted into vegetables, on which other human beings feed; or they are devoured by beasts, which furnish food for man; or they are sometimes devoured even by men themselves. Hence it must happen that certain portions or particles of matter, must have belonged to two different bodies, perhaps even to a hundred; and how, it is demanded, can each of these bodies severally claim those portions which have belonged to all equally? Is the thing not an absolute impossibility? We readily admit that it is, and have with design stated the objection in all its force; because it is sometimes represented as very formidable, although in reality there is no weight in it at all. We call a tree the same tree, when it is ten years old, and when it is a hundred; and a man the same man, when he is twenty, and when he is fourscore. Yet, probably, neither the tree nor the man, has, at the latter period, half the identical particles of matter, of the former period. Some parts, however, are probably never entirely changed. The Scripture no where says that the same numerical particles of matter which are deposited in the grave, shall belong to the body that shall rise. Without this, as the illustrations I have mentioned sufficiently show, it may be truly said that the same body rises. Some essential parts of the body that died will rise; enough, when united to the conscious spirit, to denominate it, in the usual acceptation of language, the same body. And this is all that any passage of Scripture requires, to satisfy its full import.

The matter of which our bodies are composed will, it is manifest, undergo a wonderful transformation. “ It is sown a natural body: it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.” This spiritual body, as the apostle denominates it, will not be subject to the laws of the natural body. It will subsist without material sustenance. It will need no supplies or repairs. It will be incorruptible and indestructible; capable of pleasures, or of pains, which our bodies, at present, could not endure. It will plainly not be subject to the usual laws of gravitation; which probably is a part of what the apostle intends, by calling it a spiritual body. The laws of matter, and all those which are called the laws of nature, are nothing more, as I have shown you, than another phrase for the appointment and will of God. He can change, suspend, or alter those laws, at pleasure; and in some respects, he certainly will do so, in regard to the bodies both of saints and sinners, at the resurrection.

The difference between the natural and the spiritual body, has a most beautiful illustration, in a very common process of nature; which I have sometimes thought that the great Author of nature, might have appointed on purpose to illustrate this very truth. A large part of the insect tribes, are, in one period of their existence, unsightly, inactive, or crawling reptiles. In another period of their existence, they are among the most beautiful and active beings in the animal creation. Myriads of torpid moths and worins, during winter, sleep in the earth, or are frozen on its surface; but in a few revolving weeks they are transformed, and assume bodies which shine in all the colours of the rainbow, and wing their flight through every region of the air. The transition of man, from the natural to the spiritual, or glorified state, is scarcely greater or more wonderful. The soul, like the vital principle of the insect, never dies, and at the resurrec

tion, “God giveth it a body as it pleaseth him.” ACcustom yourselves, my young friends, to observe and trace these analogies between the appearances of nature and the truths of revelation. The employment is pleasing, and it tends to piety.

Thus have I led you to consider, at some length, the general subject of the resurrection, because it does not occur again, in the compendious system of theology contained in our Catechism. The remainder of the lecture will be employed in discussing, more closely, the particular points presented in the answer before us.

" At the resurrection believers shall be raised up in glory.The Scriptures inform us, that “the dead in Christ shall rise first;" and that they shall come forth out of their graves with unspeakable joy. This precedence in the resurrection, and the unutterable joy with which the souls and the bodies of the saints shall be united, will be one glorious distinction which they will possess over the wicked; who will rise after them, with ineffable distress and horror.

But when it is said that believers shall be raised up in glory, there is no doubt a reference to the nature of those incorruptible, active, powerful, and spiritual bodies, with which they shall rise, and of which we have already taken some general notice; but the special reference is to the resemblance which these bodies will bear to the glorified body of their Redeemer. It is expressly and particularly stated in Scripture, in regard to true believers, that Christ “shall change their vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able to subdue all things unto himself.” The glorified body of believers, resembling that which their Lord has carried into heaven, will not only be in itself beautiful and splendid, but subject to no weariness or weakness: it will be capable of bearing an eternal weight of glory; of serving God without intermission day and night in his temple above; and of an activity and energy which shall not hinder, but help, all the exercises and exertions of the soul.

The next clause of the answer before us states, that believers “shall be openly acknowledged and acquitted in the day of judgment.” The day of judgment will immediately succeed to the resurrection. Of this day I have spoken generally, in a former lecture; and do not mean again to go into a particular description of the circumstances of it, further than is necessary to illustrate the answer before us. It will be a day of unutterable vengeance and terror to the wicked; but a day of complete redemption and of holy joy and triumph to the righteous. They shall then be “openly acknowledged and acquitted.” That is, Christ shall then openly, before the assembled universe, own or acknowledge these for his chosen people, the blessed of his Father, for whom the kingdom of heaven is prepared.

In like manner he shall acquit them; that is, he will not only vindicate them from all the calumnies, slanders, and aspersions, which have been cast upon them in this world, and “bring forth their righteousness as the light, and their judgment as the noon-day;" but he will publish a declarative pardon of all their sins; for it is one thing to forgive, and another to publish that forgiveness. In this life, when believers, on their union with Christ, are justified, they are indeed acquitted before God, from all the demands of the law: but as to men, this is done secretly; it is unknown to them; the whole transaction is out of the view of the world; nay, it is sometimes not known even to believers themselves. But at the day of judgment, there shall be an open declaration, before God, angels, and men, pronounced in the most public and solemn manner, that each of these believers is justified by God: that he has acquitted them from the sentence of condemnation; that for the righteousness' sake of Christ, they are accepted as righteous in his sight, and are entitled to an eternity of happiness. This will be done for the greater display of the grace and glory of God; for the greater comfort and honour of the saints; and for the greater shame and confusion of their enemies, and the enemies of God. To afford a suitable occa

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