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$ 6. Absolutely certain.
It is not only a truth which God can make good, but a truth which he cannot but make good. As there must be a day of judgrnent, 2 Cor. 5:10, so there not only may, but there must be a resurrection of the body. But although nature and reason may teach us the possibility and the probability of a resurrection, yet it is divine revelation only that gives us a full assurance of its reality, and a satisfactory account of its nature and properties. Hence, when our Lord reasoned with the Sadducees on the subject, he said, “Ye err, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God." Matt. 22 : 29. We have several proofs of this doctrine in the Old Testament.
$ 7. We have a very remarkable and explicit declaration of the resurrection of the dead in the book of Job, 19 : 25–27 ; "For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth : and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me."
Many sublime and interesting passages in various parts of this book arrest our attention, but this is one of the most dignified and important. It contains a remarkable declaration of faith and hope in a divine Redeemer, and of a triumphant expectation of a resurrection from the dead, to the immediate vision and everlasting enjoyment of God. That Job is not speaking of a temporal deliverance from his present afflictions, is very evident
From the solemn and impressive manner in which these words are introduced. “O that my words were now written! O that they were printed in a book! that they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever!" ver. 23, 24. It was his earnest wish that what he was about to utter might be recorded in the most public and durable manner, not handed down by oral tradition, but wrillen, not on a loose leaf, but in a book ; not on .perishable maierials, but engraven in a rock, and filled out with lead, according to the several methods then in use of registering remarkable transactions: and observe, my dear Benjamin, that God granted and exceeded his desire; for being written in the sacred Scriptures, his words will continue to the end of time, and be made known and useful to multitudes in all ages and nations. Now, such a passionate preface would become no other matter so well, as the great and all-important truth concerning the Redeemer and a future life.
Further, the word Goail, Kinsman, Redeemer, will suit with no person so well as the Messiah, and the spiritual redemption by him. He was promised to be a Redeemer, and Christ the Messiah is said to have redeemed us, and hence the saints on earth and in heaven bless and praise him as their Redeemer. Read carefully the following passages : Isaiah, 49 : 25. 59 : 20. Jer. 31:11. Gal. 3 : 13. Eph. 1:7. 1 Peter, 1 : 18, 19. Luke, 1 : 68-70. Rev. 5:8.
Some of our ancient Rabbins understood the Messiah by the Redeemer. Targum. R. Hackodesh. Aben Ezra. Many of the ancient fathers and most of the modern divines apply it to Christ and the future resurrection.
Besides, it is evident, from several declarations of Job before he uttered this, that all his hope of a temporal recovery was clean gone. See chap. 6:11. 7:7, 8. 10: 20. 16: 22. 17:1, 14, 15; and chap. 19 : 10, 11.
We may therefore consider him as saying, I profess and believe that, through the merits of the Messiah my Redeemer, I shall after death be restored to life, and that the very self-same body shall rise; and that in this my own flesh I shall see God my Redeemer; and these eyes shall behold him, and not another ; i. e. I shall appear in my own
elieve that hall after dehall rise; and, and these in my own
person, and in this individual fleshly body; and though worms shall destroy it, and my reins shall be consumed within me, yet by faith ( am assured of this great and comfortable truth.
$ 8. The Prophet Isaiah also speaks of the future resurrection of the dead in this manner : “ Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.” Isa. 26 : 19. “ It appears from hence,” says Bishop Lowth, " that the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead was at that time a popular and common doctrine; for an image which is assumed, to express or represent any thing in the way of allegory or metaphor, whether poetical or prophet. ical, must be an image commonly known and understood; otherwise it will not answer the purpose for which it is assumed."
This passage is applied by our Rabbins to the resurrection of the dead. Aben Ezra, and Kiinchi in loco, Tal. Bab. Sanhed. fo. 90. 2. There are several other passages of similar import in the Old Testament, some of which are referred to in the New Testament, such as Hosea, 13: 14. Daniel, 12: 2, &c. No wonder, therefore, that the saints under the Old Testament believed the resurrection of the dead. Hence they took especial care about their dead bo. dies and their burial, not merely out of respect to natural order and decency, but to express their faith of the resurrection. Hence saith the apostle, “By faith Joseph gave commandment concerning his bones.” Heb. 11 : 22.
From these passages, and perhaps also from tradition, our people, with the exception of the Sadducees, were fully convinced in the days of our Lord of the resurrection of the body. John, 11:24; Matt. 22 : 29–32.
Hence, saith the apostle, “Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead ?"
Acts, 26 : 8; with you, o king Agrippa, and the rest that I speak to, who are Jews, and believe the Scriptures, and therefore cannot be averse to this doctrine ? On this account also he calls the resurrection “the hope of Israel," Acts, 28 : 20, because it was hoped for by our people, as well as believed.
$ 9. In the New Testament, the resurrection of the dead is taught still more frequently and more explicitly. I will cite but a few passages: “ Marvel not at this; for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the 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 damnation.” John, 5 : 28, 29. “ For we must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." See also the whole of the 15th chap. 1 Corinthians.
$ 10. The resurrection may also be proved from the several instances mentioned in the Old and new Testaments, of persons raised froin the dead. Such as the widow of Sa. repta's son by Elijah; the Shunamite's son by Elisha; tho man in Elisha's sepulchre; Jairus' daughter; the widow's son; Lazarus, and many at the death of Christ.
$11. Another proof of the resurrection of the dead is taken from the resurrection of Christ,
This is Paul's great argument to prove the resurrection of the righteous. “Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection, then is Christ not risen. And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your hope is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ : whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised. And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins." 1 Cor. 15: 12–17. Christ rose as a public person, and as the head of his church; but if the head be risen, all the members must rise also; and therefore he is called “the first fruits of them that sleep,” ver. 20. As the first fruit is a sure evidence that the harvest is coming, so the resurrection of Christ is a sure evidence of the rising of the bodies of the saints. Hence Christ is also called the "second Adam," ver. 21, 22. Now, as in the first Adam all his natural posterity died, not only spiritually but corporeally, so in the second Adam all his spiritual seed must be made alive, both spiritually and corporeally.
§ 12. Having proved the reality of the resurrection, I shall now proceed to point out its nature.
I observe first, that
This is evident from the very name resurrection; for if it were not the same identical body, but a new body, it would be a creation, and not a resurrection. The places from whence the dead will be raised prove the same : “ All that are in the graves shall come forth.” See Dan. 12:2; John, 5 : 28; Rev. 20 : 13. “ They shall come forth." Who? They who are in the graves, i. e. men, with regard to their bodies, the same bodies wherein they lived on earth, and which were laid in the graves." He that raised up Christ from the dead shall quicken your mortal bodies,” Rom. 8:11; so that it is this mortal body which is quickened again ; " for this corruptible must put on incorrup, tion, and this mortal must put on immortality.” 1 Cor. 15:53. Not that another body shall succeed in place of this, but this very body shall be changed, not in substance, but in qualities. The same argument, derived from the justice and the mercy of God, as stated before, proving the necessity of the resurrection of the body, proves also that it must be the same identical body. As our bodies are par,