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judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in the body.' 'For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.' These are but a small portion of the passages which prove the resurrection of the body, although they are more than sufficient to satisfy the humble and faithful enquirer into the testimony of Scripture.
Next to these declaratory annunciations of this great truth, we may turn to several examples of the fact, vouchsafed to the world, both as confirmations of the general word of God, and as especially conclusive on this particular doctrine. Such was the restoration to life of the dead child of the widow of Sarepta, at the prayer of Elijah, wherein we read that' the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived.' Again we find a similar example in the case of the son of the Shunamite, who was raised from the dead, at the prayer of Elisha. A third and very remarkable instance occurs after the death of this great Prophet; for when they were burying a dead man they cast him into the sepulchre of Elisha, and when the man was let down and touched the bones of the Prophet, he revived and stood upon his feet. These three instances under the law, are greatly exceeded by those under the Gospel, in number, and many of them still more in power. First, we have the daughter of the ruler Jairus, raised by the simple command of the Saviour, (Damsel, I say unto thee, arise;' for 'her spirit came again, and straightway she arose.' Again, at the gate of the city called Nain, our Lord meets a funeral procession, carrying to his grave a dead man,' the only son of his mother. And he came and touched the bier, and said, Young man, I say unto thee arise. And he that was dead sat up and began to speak.' Again in the pase of Lazarus, our Lord purposely delays his coming until the body had been buried four days, and then, when corruption had actually made considerable progress, he saith, with a loud voice, 'Lazarus come forth; and he tha*, was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave clothes.' Again, the most astonishing instance of Christ himself, who burst the prison of the grave, and led its captivity captive, and who proved the resurrection of the same body most unquestionably, by saying to his disciples, ' Handle me and see that it is I myself, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have.' Yea still farther to manifest his identity, he condescends to indulge Thomas with the examination of the very wounds which pierced him on the cross. 'Reach hither thy finger and put it into the print of the nails,' saith the gracious Redeemer, 'and reach hither thy hand and thrust it into my side, and be not faithless, but believing.'
To these might be added the resurrection of the saints of which St. Matthew speaks, when, after Christ's resurrection, 'many bodies of the saints which slept, arose, and went into the Holy city and appeared unto many.' These, together with the apostolic instances of Eutychus and Dorcas, the one restored to life by St. Peter, the other by St. Paul, are ample confirmations of the doctrine, exhibiting the very fact by a species of anticipation, as if to furnish to our infirmity every variety of evidence which could reasonably be demanded in support of this important article of the Christian faith.
We have now to consider the objections sometimes adduced against the resurrection of the body, in which, howj ever, the unbeliever usually contents himself with calling it an idea both absurd and impossible. As to its absurdity, it is strange that any man should be so weak as to apply such a term to the doctrine. If it was not absurd in the Deity to supply the soul with a body at first, it surely caanot be absurd to restore to it the same body, exalted and refined at the resurrection. And if it is not absurd to suppose that the soul will be purified and enlarged in her faculties, so as to fit her for a higher and more glorious existence, still less can it be called absurd that the Almighty should change the body in order that it may be a fit companion for such a soul. But enough has been said in answer to an objection which indeed deserves no notice whatever. As to the other cavil, that the resurrection of the same body is impossible, we should really be glad to understand why it is so. Is it supposed impossible because we believe that our bodies will be the same, and yet changed? Does the objector suppose that this proposition contains a contradiction in terms? Why, every work of nature and of art shows that nothing is so common. Look, for example, at the rough stone in the quarry, raise it from its bed, and let the sculptor chisel it into the form of a statue. Is it not the same stone? And yet it is so changed that no man could recognize its old appearance under the polished lineaments of grace and beauty. Look at the dull earth and other minerals in the bowels of the mountain. Let them be raised and manufactured into the colors of the painter; then let the artist work them up into a portrait, and mark the change. It is the same earth—the same dull mineral, but who could discover that sameness in their new form. Now a similar investigation might be carried through the whole business of life, and it would appear as striking in one case as in another. To unite Identity Of Substance With Change' And Improvement Of Form, is the brief character of every human occupation; and shall this be called a contradiction in terms, when applied to the omnipotence of God? Shall man have power to raise the shapeless rock to his own
image, and shall not the Almighty have power to raise the body of man to a height as much superior to its former station? Shall man have power, out of the dust of the earth, to produce a likeness of his own features, and shall not God have power out of the dust of the grave to produce the living likeness of Christ Jesus? Why, what a brainless thing is this philosophy, when it opposes its idle cavils against religious truth, and how correctly does the Apostle characterize such displays of captious and shallow knowledge, when he terms them 'Oppositions of Science,
FALSELY SO CALLED.'
If, however, the doctrine of the resurrection be doubted, on account. of the wondrous magnitude of the effort which it must cost Omnipotence to reproduce so many millions of bodies from the tomb, we would only ask the unbeliever to look at the power which produced those bodies from nothing, and calculate the difference in any way he may think most reasonable. From what did the same Almighty voice call the earth, the sun, the stars, and all the countless myriads of their inhabitants into being? Which is the easier to the great First Cause, to reproduce his creatures out of their own dust, or to create them out of nothing? The progenitor of our race, Adam, was formed of the dust of the earth, and from that time mankind have been propagated and increased on such principles, that death is always producing life. Our food is lifeless, yet it supports life, and the vegetable which is cut from the stem, and the animal which has ceased to breathe, become the actual means, not only of continuing all human existence, but of multiplying it beyond calculation. Is the resurrection more wonderful than this? Let the philosopher search for the future oak in the buried and decaying acorn—let him look for the shining dolphin in the senseless spawn—let him find the piercing glance and powerful wing of the mountain eagle in the quiet enclosure of its parent shell—let him show us the future lightning in the summer cloud—yea let him only discover the colors of the tulip, and the odor of the rose, in the dull soil from which they spring—let him do any of these things, or explain the operation of that power which has produced them all, and then let him seek for the glorified bodies of the righteous in the dust of the grave, then let him talk of difficulties to the God of the Christian's resurrection. Strange, and as melancholy as strange, that men, whose knowledge of the least work of creative power is forced to stop within such narrow and miserable limits, should forget their ignorance, when the highest purposes of the Almighty are unfolded before them. Puerile and contemptible pride of science! which derides the revelation of God on account of its mystery, when it ought to remember that the simplest operation of nature is full of the most inexplicable mystery. Such is the blind presumption of the smatterer, the sciolist, the weak, and vain, and arrogant philosopher; but the true sages of our world, Bacon, Boyle, Locke, Newton, and men of real pre-eminence in wisdom, bowed their heads before the majesty of revelation, and looked ' through nature, up to nature's God.'
4. We turn, however, to the last topic proposed for our consideration, namely, the practical effect which this article of our faith should produce upon us. 'There shall be a resurrection of the dead,' saith our text,' both of the just and of the unjust.' Let us consider both in their order.
And first, the just who live by faith must die, in order that they may be partakers of this resurrection. They must die unto sin—they must die unto folly—they must, as it were, be crucified to the world and the world to them; an(L when the hour arrives, they must willingly lay down their