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apology. A determined resolution to persist in iniquity can be the offspring only of a distempered brain. God forbid that either of these should be the situation of any in this assembly.. Amen!

190

SERMON VIII.

On the Resurrection of the Body.

JOB, CHAP. 19, VER. 26.

“Though after my skin, worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.”

MAN dieth, and where is he? He descendeth into the narrow house, and we behold him no more. The immaterial part which is indivisible and indestructible, being separated from the body, passes into regions unknown, where it is no longer the subject of observation; where its destiny, its state, and its operations are concealed from our view, The other component part of man, the body, we can trace a little farther. We see it deposited in the earth, it there decays, in a few years it mingles with the common mass of matter, from which ere long it cannot be distinguished. With this account of the matter, the great multitude of men are satisfied, they return, without any further inquiry, to their ordinary professions; their companions are forgotten, and they heedlessly pass on till the same fate approaches themselves.

But the busy spirit of curiosity would pursue a little farther the destiny of our race, and is unwilling to resign it to oblivion, or nonexistence. On this subject, happily, we are not left without principles on which to proceed.

A careful consideration of the nature and principles of the human soul, of the character of the Supreme Being, and of the events of life, afford indisputable evidence, that, the spiritual part of man, after its separation from the material, continues to exist the subject of a nioral government, in another state of being. Thus far reason goes, what she teaches, revelation confirms, elucidates, renders more explicit, and adds moreover, many things unknown before. With regard to the body, reason adds nothing to the testimony of the senses, but leaves it in a state of perpetual union with its kindred dust. Revelation leads forward our views; it teaches us that, though a man die, he shall live again ; that, after the sleep of a long night, he shall awake in the morning of the resurrection ; that, after a certain period

of disorganization and separate existence, the body shall be re-organized, and re-united to the soul by which it was formerly animated.

But reason, though incapable of giving any information, and incompetent to form a judgment on this subject, yet, with an effrontery unaccountable, scruples not to propose its objections. The resurrection of the body is miraculous and impossible. The generations of men go down in succession to the dust, but none ever return. Since the Fathers fell asleep all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. “ How are the “ dead raised, and with what body shall they “ come?” How shall all those particles which are, perhaps, scattered through the four

quarters of the globe, or that have entered into the composition of two or more different bodies, be collected again, and restored each to its proper owner, so as to preserve personal identity? To all who impertinently propose these and similar difficulties we reply with our Lord, that, they err not attending to the course of nature, not considering the power of God, not knowing the scriptures of truth.

1. The cavillers against the doctrine of the resurrection of the body, do not attend to the

course of nature. For though the course of nature does not actually present us with the phenomenon of the clods of the valley rising to life and motion, yet every year and every day, exhibits numberless changes similar to that which will be produced by the resurrection of the body. I do not here allude to that fabulous bird from whose ashes a new creature of the same species is said to be produced, or to the curious, but well authenticated, fact of the various kinds of serpents who, annually, deposit their external covering and appear in the spring in a new but exactly similar form, -I chiefly allude to what happens in the vegetable creation, where the analogy is most perfect and beautiful. The tree, or shrub, which in winter is stript of its leaves, and is to all appearance dead, in spring indicates the symptoms of returning life, and again puts forth its leaves and blossoms. Even though cut down, the root will sprout again, and arise to new life under the same form. In the beautiful and poetical language of Job, “There “ is hope of a tree if it be cut down, that it “ will sprout again, and that the tender branch " thereof will not cease. Though the root " thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock

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