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it hath not entered into the heart of man to conceive; yet they seem to throw some feeble rays of light upon them, and to offer some foundation, on which the mind, exhausted by its efforts to conceive them, can rest.-Look round thee then, O man! who thinkest that the dead cannot be raised from the dust and from that profound oblivion, in which they seem to be for ever lost; and does not all nature teach thee important lessons, and present thee with impressive images of the future resurrection of the just? Behold the new creation, which every vernal season produces, when all the glories of the year are seen to spring, if I may speak so, from the tomb of winter. These images, indeed, are only imperfect illustrations, adapted to the weakness of our senses, of that great object of faith: the only solid and immoveable foundation of a Christian's hope is, the infallible promise of the spirit of truth. But now is Christ risen and become the first fruits of them that sleep. The time is coming when all they who are in their graves shall hear the voice of the Son of Man, and shall come forth, they that have done well, to the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil, to the resurrection of damnation,

Another objection against the doctrine, is drawn from the ills and inconveniences, to which the soul is subjected by its union with the body in the present life. This sluggish and unwieldy. mass of matter, is supposed to be rather the prison than the helpful companion of the active spirit; to cloud and darken the clearness of its perceptions, and to oppress and enchain the activity of its powers. Although this should be true of the present gross and disordered bodies, which we inhabit, yet such is the nature and order of human spirits, that it is only by being united to some corporeal organized system, that they can receive any ideas. And at the resurrection of the just, all that is gross, all that is disordered, all that is impure, shall be forever separated from the bodies of the saints, raised to immortal life; and their powers, their activity, and glory, shall correspond with the exalted rank which the soul shall hold in the scale of being in her celestial state. Do you ask, then, if they can be the same bodies that we inhabited here, which shall assume such a different and glorious appearance? Yes, truly! do we not continually behold the

same elements capable of receiving the most various forms? What resemblance is there between those beautiful and active tribes which fill the air with their harmony, and the lifeless egg from which they have sprung? Do not the same elements compose the unsightly clay, which we trample beneath our feet, and the resplendent diamond, which glitters in the crowns of princes: the lightning, which, in its destructive course, rends oaks and rocks to pieces; and the mild and glorious rays of the sun, that give life, and health, and beauty to the whole universe? Accordingly, the apostle hath said, all flesh is not the same in its outward form and visible appearance: There is one flesh of men, and another of beasts. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another of the stars, though all proceeding from the same light. Not less difference, O believers! may we expect to find between our present tenements of clay, which, at death, return to their original dust, and those celestial temples, in which the glorified spirit shall dwell for ever. Raised to heaven by the power and love of the Redeemer, to inhabit those glorious worlds of light above, this corporeal system will be conformed in beauty and perfection to its immortal habitations.This mortal shall put on immortality. Sown in weakness, it shall be raised in power; sown in dishonour, it shall be raised in glory ; sown a natural or gross and animal body, it shall be raised a spiritual body; that is, a body infinitely refined and purified from the dregs of matter, and possessing at once both the rapid energy and the imperishable nature of spirit. It shall there-be invested with new powers, and be fitted with new organs adapted to its celestial state; and having attained its highest perfection, shall shine with undecaying lustre in the kingdom of God.

The doctrine of the resurrection of the body, therefore, as it is explicitly taught in the holy Scriptures, so it contains nothing which violates reason, and which is not even supported and rendered credible by the course of nature.

Let us then, in the next place, take a brief review of the importance of this doctrine. I mean not merely the doctrine of the immortality of the soul, but that of the resurrection of the body, and its immortal existence in re-union with the soul.

In the first place, it meets in the best possible manner, our ideas and hopes of happiness.

Spirits there may be, of a superiour order, which have no connexion with any material system, and are not dependant for their knowledge or their enjoyments, on any sensible organs. But of their modes of existence, and their sources of happiness, we can frame no conception. All our ideas, and all our pleasures, come to us through the medium of sense and our spirits are of such an order, as has been before remarked, that their knowledge, their felicity, their perfection, depend on their connexion in some way with a corporeal system. Every thing connects us with the body, every thing attaches us to the body. Even the severest afflictions, the keenest pains, do not quench in the soul, this strong and inextinguishable love of its companion; unless guilt, by creating despair, has first induced a dread of future existence. Hence the apostle has said; we, who are in this tabernacle, do groan, being burthened, not that we would be unclothed; not that it is the object of these anxious wishes to be disembodied, but clothed upon with our house, which is from heaven; with that celestial, that regenerated body, which shall be freed from all the pains and imperfections of this mortal flesh, and which is only our present nature exalted to its ultimate perfection and glory. The earnest expectation of the creature, continues the same apostle, waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God, at the resurrection of the just. The whole creation graneth: even those, who have received the most precious gifts of the Spirit, groan within themselves, waiting for the redemption of the BODY. What, indeed, would be the pleasure of existence to the soul, if we could suppose it, conscious of existence, deprived of the action and the aid of the senses, which are at present the only inlets of its knowledge, and the chief sources of its enjoyments?

The christian doctrine of the resurrection, then, corresponds with the dearest hopes and wishes of the human heart. It assists, likewise, the percept ons of faith. We are not now left in total uncertainty and darkness with regard to the nature of our future being. Some conjectures we can frame concerning it, without the hazard of being lost entirely in the unsubstantial re

gions of fancy. A future existence is no longer an inscrutable mystery. Although it offers to our hopes a condition of being inconceivably improved above the present, still we can discern between them some points of resemblance, which present to us ideas on that subject, at once intelligible to reason, and infinitely precious to the human heart.-There, believer! your faculties will be employed as here: but with an activity and vigour inconceivably augmented, in searching into the wonderful works of God; in admiring the order, the beauty, and harmony of the universal system; in adoring, and, with the angels, endeavouring to penetrate the astonishing mysteries of divine grace to man. Blessed and eternal sources of knowledge and of happiness! The faculties which you now feebly exert in the search of truth, in the love and service of your Creator, your Redeemer, and your fellow-men; will be new created in celestial vigour, and raised in a state of undescribable excellence and perfection. All the obstacles to your advancement in knowledge, at present arising from the narrowness of this corporeal sphere, the imperfection of these mortal powers, the inactivity and sluggishness of these gross and earthly organs, will be for ever removed. That carnal and disordered mass, which now renders the body the seat of impure passions, and impedes the holy aspirations of the soul, will be refined and purified. A body of celestial and incorruptible light, a spiritual body, as it is styled by the apostle; that is, a body active and unembarrassed in its movements, like spirit, rapid as imagination and thought, will in heaven be the fit instrument of the glorified soul, in its sublime and blissful em ployments.

From the doctrine of the resurrection of the same body, results another happy anticipation; the future knowledge of our pious friends, with whom we have been connected on earth, the re-union, in the highest felicity, of the same hearts which have been united here in the tenderest affections -Delightful and rave ishing hope! What pictures may imagination frame of friendship renewed in heaven; of the mutual joys of pious friends, who meet on that happy and eternal shore, escaped from all the



ills and dangers of life; of their sweet intercourse, purified from all the passions and weaknesses of the flesh, which disturb the harmony of this world; of the range, they may be permitted to enjoy in society with each other, among the innumerable glories of the heavenly world, to nourish their devotion, and to diversify their happiness; of those flights which they may be allowed to take together into distant provinces of the universal empire of God, to collect the knowledge of nature, or to admire and adore him in the astonishing operations of his hands; or of the rapture, with which, every ray of the Sun of Righteousness will penetrate their hearts, when they turn their faces towards the heavenly Zion, the more immediate residence of the divine glory, to raise their common devotions to the Father of the universe, and to recognise, at the foot of his throne, their mutual and boundless obligations to redeeming love?-But, restraining all unlicensed excursions of fancy; exquisite, and how ineffable must be the felicity springing from a thousand different sources, which you shall enjoy from meeting in those blissful and everlasting habitations, the friends whom you have most tenderly and affectionately loved upon earth. Oh! how is the religion of our everblessed Saviour adapted to the best and most excellent feelings of human nature! How is it fitted to cherish the noblest and sweetest sympathies of the human heart! Away with that cold philosophy, which would destroy these precious consolations! which at death would devote our existence to eternal oblivion, and hopelessly rend asunder those delightful unions, which form the dearest portion of ourselves; the chief joy of our being ?— Yes, christian friends! beloved relatives! though you may be separated by death from those whom you have most loved; although you may often be clothed with the emblems of mourning and grief, which but feebly express the deep affliction which penetrates your hearts, religion points you to a source of divine and eternal consolations. You are separated for a moment, only to be restored to one another in a most blissful and eternal union. A tear, a pang you are allowed to give to nature; but it is the command of the gospel, weep not, as those who have no hope. Jesus Saviour! who art the first fruit of the resurrection from

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