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takers with the soul in good and evil actions, it is just that they should be partakers also in rewards and punishments. This argument holds good both with respect to the righteous and the wicked. We cannot think that God gave bodies to the holy martyrs, only to endure inexpressible tortures and miseries to death for the sake of Christ, and then to perish for ever. Does God require services of the body, and will he not reward those services ? It cannot be ima. gined that the souls of believers should be glorified and not their bodies. They have served God with their bodies, which have been instruments of holiness. Their eyes have flowed with tears for sin, their hands have relieved tho poor, their tongues have celebrated God's praises; there. fore justice and equity require that their bodies should be crowned as well as their souls; and how can that be, unless the same identical bodies are raised from the dead? And as the same body that served him well will be rewarded, so also the same body that sinned will be punished. For a just God will never punish a body that never was connected with the first Adam, nor was guilty of actual transgression. The identity of the raised body appears also from the pattern ; such a body as Christ had in the resurrection and ascension shall the saints have; " for our vile body shall be made like his glorious body." Phil. 3:21. Now, the body in which Christ rose, was the same body which was assumed of the virgin, which was nailed to the cross, and laid in the grave; and with the same body he entered into heaven, and there remaineth the same; according to the substance, that was here upon earth, only changed in qualities. So our body remains the same in substance, only freed from the pollutions, and endowed with glorious qualities fit for the heavenly state. As the decays and separations of our bodies do not make them cease to be the same bodies we bring with us into the world; $0 neither does the change they undergo by death, vor the
glorious qualities wherewith they are endowed when raised again, make them other bodies, for substance, than they
$13. The bodies of the righteous will be invested with unspeakable glory. The greatness of this glorious change is inconceivable and indescribable. But although “it doth not yet appear what we shall be, yet we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” 1 John, 3 : 2 ; for he shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body.'' Phil. 3:21. Of this wonderful change the apostle has given us an epitome in the following manner: Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump, for the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruption must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the say, ing that is written, death is swallowed up in victory." I Cor. 15:51-54. In the morning of the resurrection, all desormity and imperfections will be left in the grave.
During the persecution in the reign of Queen Mary, a lame and a blind man being brought to the stake to be burned to death, the former threw away his crutch, and addressing his fellow-sufferer, said, " Be of good comfort, my brother, for my lord of London is our good physician; he will heal us both shortly, thee of thy blindness, and me of my lameness.” They shall also be freed from all the necessities of nature : “ They shall hunger and thirst no more.” Rev. 7:16. Moses on the mount was so filled with the glory of God that he needed not the recruits of nature; how much more will the bodies of the saints be filled with the glory and felicity of heaven when raised from the dead, re-united with their perfect souls, and introduced into the presence of Jesus, to dwell with him for ever! “ Then shall the righteous shine forth like the sun.” Matt. 13:43. I will now proceed to show,
$ 14. That the resurrection of the dead will be general and universal. All that are in their graves, whether godly or ungodly, whether just or unjust, shall be raised up I am aware, my dear Benjamin, that although our people believe a resurrection from the dead, as I have shown by one of their fundamental articles of faith, yet there is a great variety of opinions amongst the Rabbins with re. spect to the extent of the resurrection. Some
Some suppose that the pious Israelites will be raised at the coming of the Messiah, and the rest of the nations at the end of the world. According to some, the pious will rise to be rewarded, and the wicked to be punished; but those who have been neither pious nor wicked will not be raised at all. Some expect all Israelites to be raised, except those who disbelieve a resurrection, deny the divine authority of the law, or become epicureans. Others extend the privilege to the pious among the Gentiles, who observe the precepts which the Rabbins say were given to the sons of Noah. But none of the Rabbins allow the resurrection to include all mankind. Buxtorf. Synag. Jud. c. 3. p. 31-35. Huls. Theol. Jud. p. 173. Hoorn peck contra Jud. p.
But the sacred Scriptures put the subject beyond all doubt. The Lord Jesus Christ himself has taught its universality. · For the hour is coming, in which all that are in their graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life ; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damna. tion.” John, 5 : 28, 29. The apostle also declared, that " there should be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust." Acts, 24: 15. And John, in the Re.
relation, saith, " And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead tvere judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” Rev. 20 : 13. The earth and the sea are God's stewards, with whom he has intrust. ed the bodies of men, and when he shall call them to give him an account of their stewardship, they will faithfully discharge their trust, and not one shall be left behind.
§ 15. With respect to the author of the resurrection, I scarcely need to inform you that it is the work of God. He only who could create the world out of nothing, is able to raise the dead out of their graves. Yet it will be proper to observe that this work is ascribed to each of the persons in the blessed Trinity : to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as will appear from the following passages: "For as the Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth whom he will." John, 5:21, 27-29. “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our 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 hi:nself." Phil. 3 : 20, 21. “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in
Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies, by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” Rom. 8:11. As the resurrection of Christ is ascribed to the Father, so also the resurrection of the dead : And God hath both raised
the Lord, and will raise up us also." 1 Cor. 6: 14. 2 Cor. 4: 14.
Christ is "the resurrection and the life;" i. e. the author of the resurrection to life. He is the Prince of life, has the keys of hell and death in his hands; at whose all-powerful and commanding voice, all that are in the graves shall come forth. Christ Jesus is able to perform this glorious work. He formed the universe with all its rich variety. John, 1:3. Col. 1 : 16, 17. He formed the body of man out of the dust of the earth, Gen. 2:7; and surely the same power which originally formed man's body, can raise it again. Acts, 26 : 8. He has already conquered the world, John, 16 : 33; and has triumphed over Satan, Col. 2 : 14, 15; and also over death and the grave, Rom. 1:4; and he shall finally complete the destruction of both. Hosea, 13 : 14. 1 Cor. 15 : 52–54. His power, therefore, is equal to this grand design, and we are assured that he will do it. John, 5:28, 29.
God the Holy Ghost has a joint concern with the Father and the Son in this amazing work. The bodies as well as the souls of saints are united to Christ; by virtue of which union the Spirit of Christ dwells in them; not in their souls only, but in their bodies also." What! know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you ?" Now, as the union between Christ and his people is not dissolved by death, so neither does the Spirit of God forsake the dead bodies of the saints, or neglect to take care of them; the dust of the saints is under his peculiar care and guardianship; and at the last day, the spirit of life from God shall enter into them, and they shall live and stand upon their feet. Ezek. 37.
§ 16. The design of the resurrection, my dear Benjamin, is worthy of God; it will greatly display the glory of his perfections; it will advance the bappiness of the saints, and make way for the just punishment of the wick
But, as the resurrection of the dead is inseparably connected with the general judgment and its consequences, the subject of the following letter, I shall close with a few observations.
$ 17. After the proofs produced from the Old Testament of the resurrection of the dead, we should think it almost incredible, my dear Benjamin, that a learned divine should