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. Join v. 28. Marvel not at this: For the Hour is coming, in the which ak that are
in the Graves, Mall hear his Woice : Ver. 29. And shall come forih, they that have done Good, unto the
Refurrielion of Life ; and they ihat have done Evil, unto the refurre&tion of Damnation. THESE words are part of the defence our Lord Jesus Chrift
1 makes for himself, when persecuted by the Jews for curing the impotent man, and ordering him to carry away his bed on the Sabbath; and for vindicating his conduct, when accused by them of having thereby profaned that day. On this occasion he profesTech himself not only Lord of the Sabbath, but also Lord of life and death; declaring in the words of the text, the resurrection of the dead to be brought to pass by his powers This he introduceth with these words, as with a solemn preface: Minrull not at this: i. e, at this strange discourse of mine, do not wonder to hear me, whose appear. ance is so very mean in your eyes, talk at this rate: for the day is coming, in which the dead Mall be raised by my power
Oblcrve in this text, (1.) The doctrine of the resurrection asserted, All that are in the graves Mull hear his vaici, and Mall come firth. The dead bodies, which are reduced in duft, hall revive, and evidence life by hearing and moving. (2) The Author of it, Jesus Christ, the Son of mun, ver. 27. The dead fhall hear his voice, and be raised thereby. (3) The number that Mall be raised : All that are in the graves: ie all the dead bodies of men, howsoever differently dif. posed of, as it were, in different kinds of graves ; or all the dead, good or bad. They are not all buried in graves, properly so called ; some are burnt to alhes, some drowned, and buried in the bellies of filies; yea, fome devoured by man eaters, called Cannibals : but? wherefoever the matter or substance, of which the body was composed, : is to be found, thence they shall come forth. (4.) The great distinction that fall be made betwixt the godly and the wicked They shall indeed both rise again in th• refurrection. None of the godly will be mifling: though perhaps they either had no burial, or a very obscure one ; and all the wicked thall come forth; their vaulted tombs thall hold them no longer than the voice is uttered, But the former shall have a joyful relurrection to life, whilst the latter have a dreadful reliurrection to darnution. Lastly, The set time of this great event:
(3 , the dead bodies of kinds of graves pi
there is an hour or certain fixed period of time, appointed of God for
:.. In discoursing of this subject, I shall first thew the certainty of the
the New Testament, Jairu's daughter, (Mark v. 41.) and Dorcas, - (Acts,ix. 40) were both raised to life, when lat ly dead; the widow's
son in Nain, when they were carrying him out to bury hin, Luke 1 vii. 11,15. And Lizarus, when stinking in the grave, John xi. 39, 44. B. Can men make curious, glasses out of aihes, reduce flowers into
alhes, and raise them again out of these ashes, restoring them to their 1' former beauty; and cannot the great Creator, who made all things of
nothing, raise man's body, after it is reduced into dust? If it be objected, How can men's bodies be raifed up aguin afier they are difflved sita dufi, and the ashes of many generations are mirgleil tagether? Scripture and not reason furnish the answer ; With men it is impoffi. ble, but not with God. It is absurd for men to deny that God can do a thing, because they fee not how it may be done. How small a portion do we know of his ways! how absolutely incapable are we of concciving diitinctly of the extent of almighty power, and much more of comprehending its actings, and the method of procedure ! I question not, i . Ji 2
but many illiterate men are as great infidels to many chymical experi. ments, as some learned men are to the doctrine of the resurrection : and as these lait are ready to deride the former, so the Lord will have thm in derisi n What a myst-ry was it to the Iridi-ns, that the European could, by a piece of paper converse together, at the distance of some hundreds of wilés? And how much were they attonithed to see them with their guns, produce iis it were thunder and lightning in a moment, and at pleaiure kill men afar off? Shall fome mn do such things as are wonders in the eyes of others, because they cannot comprehend them: and thall men confine the infinite power of God within the narrow boundaries of their own thallow capacities, in a matter no. ways conírary to reason? An inferior nature has but a very imperfect conception of the power of a fiiperior. Brutes do not conceive of the actings of rea'on in men; and men have but lame notions of the power
of angels: how lame and inadequate a conception, then, muit a finite | nature have of the power of that which is infiniti! tho' we cannot
conceive how God acts, yet we ought to believe he cun do above what we can think or can conceive of.
Wherefore, let the bodies of men be laid in the grave; let them rot there, and be resolved into the-most minute particles: or let them be burnt, and the ashes calt in o rivers, or thrown up into the air, to be scattered by the wind: let the dust of a thousand generations beining. led, and the streams of the dead bodies wander to and fro in the air : let birds or wild beasts eat the dead bodies, or the fishes of the sea de. vour them, fo that the parts of human bodies, thus deitroyed, pass i. to fubftantial parts of birds, beasts, or fithes; or what is more than that, let man-eaters, who theinselves mult die, and rile again, devour human bodies; and let others devour ini m again: and then let our modern Saúducer's propose the queltion in thele cale; as the ancient Sadoucies did, in the case of the woman, i ho had been married to severi husbands successively, Marth. xxii. 8. We antiver, as our bles. fed Lord and Saviour did, ver. 26. Ye voerr, not knowing the firip.ures, nor the price of God. We believe God to be omni/ciiint and omnipant: infinite in knowledge and in p wir: and hence, agreeable to the dictates of reason we conclude the possibility of the refurrection, even in the *cales supposed. • Material things may change their forins and Mapes, may be resolved into the principles of which ihey are forined: but they are not annihi. lated, or reduced to nothing; nor can they be fo, by any created power. God is omniscient his unde standing is in nitt: therefore he knows all things whatsoever; what they ari at any time, what they are and where they are to be found. Though the country-man, who comes into the apothecary's shop, cannot find out the drug he wants; yet the apothecary himself knows what he has in his thop, whence it came, and where it is to be found. And in a mingle of many different seeds, the expert gardener can diftinguish betwixt feed and leed. Why then inay not onniscience distinguilh betwist duft and dufi? Can he who
State Head III. The Possibility of the Resurrection. r. 253 cal experife knows all things to perfection be liable to any iniltake about his own urrector creatures? Wboso believes an i:finite unde standing inust needs own, cultish that no mass of dust is so jumbled together, but God perfe&ly comthat the prehends, and infallibly knows how the most minute particle, and every e disease one of them, is to be marched. And therefore, he knows where the niheda particles of each dead body are; whether in the earth, fea, or air, how ighond confused soever they ly. And particularly, he knows where to find => doit the primitive substance of the man-eater; howsoever evaporated or .. 2:00: reduced, as it were into air or vapour. by sweat or perspiration : and d wat how to separate the parts of the body that was eaien, from the body exter of the eater, howsoever incorporate, or made one body with it: and mperkt fo understands, not only how, but wh-nce, he is to bring back the prie eo mitive fubitance of the man-cater to ts proper place; and also to le. e poi teh parate. froni the man eater's body, that part of the devoured body af which goes into its Subitance, and is indeed but a very small part of it. : on It is certain the bodies of inen, as of all other animals, or living crea-». watne tures, are in a continual flux: they grow, and are suitained by daily
food; so small a pirt whereof becomes nourishment, that the most part Chemp is evacuate. And it is reckoned that, at least, as much of the food is them evacuate insenfibly by perspiration, as is voided by other perceptible Er, to ways. Yea, the nourishing part of the food, when asimilate, and Demio thereby becoine a part of the body, is evacuate by perspiration through che: the pores of the skin, and again supplied by the use of the food: yet
the body is still reckoned one, and the same body. Whence we may past conclude, that it is not effential to the resurrection of the body, that Fit every particle of the matter, which at any time was part of a human din body thould be restored to it, when it is raised up from death to life. Jet Were it so, the bodies of men would become of so huge a lize, that 21. d they would bear no resemblance of the persons. It is fufficient to des": triedo noninate it ihe 1 me body that died, when it is risen again; if the body urb: that is railed. be formed in its former proportions of the same particles
of inatter, which at any time were its constituent parts, howsoever it. in l be refined: (likeas we reckon it is the finame body that was pined dick away by long lickness, which becomes fat and fair again after recovery.
Now to this infinite unde standing join infinite power, whereby he is.
able in fubdue all hi g, unts himself; and this glorious great work pole appears most reaso:jable. If omniscience discover every little particle
of dust, where it is, and how it is to be matched; cannot omnipotence We bring thein, and join them together in their order? Can the watch
hop maker take u:) the several pieces of a watch, lying in a confused heap -, before hi:n, and let each in its proper place; and cannot God put the me human body into order, ofter its dissolution! Did he speak this world
into being out of nothing; and can he not form man's body out of its Frau pre-existent matter? If he calleth those things, which be not, as though
ie they were'; surely he can call things that are dissolved, to be as they w there were before the compound was resolved into its parts and principles:
Wherefore, God can raise the dead. And, “Why thould it be thought
« a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead? Acts xxvi. 8. i
Secprdly, God will do it. He not only can do it; but he certainly will do i!, because he has laid it. Our text is very Full to this pure pote, All that are in cheir graves shall hear his voice: and shall “ c me forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of & life, and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of “ damnation.” There words relate co, and are an explanatiou of, .that pari of Daniel's prophecy, Dam. xii. 2. “And many of them that fleep in the dust of the earth Thull awake, lome to everlasting life, and tone to Thaine and everlasting contempi." The which appears to have been calculate to confront the doctrine of the Sadducces; which the Holy Ghost knew was to be at a great height, in the Jewish church, under the persecution of Antiochus. There are many other sexis in the Od and New Teliaments that might here be adduced; 'luch as Acts xxiv. 15. “And have hope towards God, fi which they themlelves also allow, that there shall be a refurrec. * tion of the dead, of the just anal unjust." And Job x'X. 26, 27. 6 Ind though after my skin worms ucftroy this body, yet in my 66 flesh thall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and ining eyes “ fhall behold, and nor another; though my reins be corfained “ within me.” But I need not multiply testimonies, in a matter so clearly and frequently taught in facred seripture. Or Lord and Saviour himielt proves ir, against the Sadducces, in that re, markable text, Luke xx. 37, 38. Now that the dead are railed, ® even Mofes (hewed at the bush, when he callecha the Lord, the “ the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of " Jacıb; For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for ' alt live unto him." These holy patriarchs were now dead: ne. verthelefs, the Lord JEAOVAA is called their God, namely, in virtue of the covenant of grace, and in the sense thereot; in which sense, the phrase comprehends all Il Dedness, as chat, which by the.cuve. nani, is secured to them who are in it, Heb. xi. 16. "God is not * ashamed to be called their God: for he hach prpared for them 6 a city." He is not cailed the God of their fouls only; but their God, the God of their perfons, fouls and bodies; ine which, by virtue of his truth aiid faithtulness, must have its full effect; now it cannot have its full effect on the dead, who, in as far as they are dead, are far from all hilsfjeuness; but onth-living, who alone are capable of it; cherefore, since God is (till called their God, they are living in respect of God, although their bodies are yet in the grave; for in refpect of him, why by his power can restore them to life, and in his covenant has declared his will and purpose fo to do, and whole promile cannot fail, they all are to be reckoned to live: 'and, con. listent with the covenant, their death is but a feep, out of which, in virtue of the same covenant, securing all bli sedness to their per: fars, che'r whole man, they must and shall ceriainly be awakened.