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state, under the power and guilt of sin; not only so, but such as are dead in Christ, or for his sake are lost and perished; and even such saints as were alive, must be the most unhappy and miserable of all mortals. But it is a clear case and point that Christ is risen, and saints will also be raised; which the apostle argues from Christ's being the first fruits of those which are fallen asleep in him: his resurrection secures their's. He then shews, that as Adam was a covenant head to all his posterity, and all his posterity die in consequence of their union to him; so Christ is the covenant-head of all his saints, and they shall be quickened from the grave of death by him; "For as death came by Adam, so life came by Christ." If any objected to this saying, Why did not the saints, who were dead before the resurrection of Christ, rise from the dead when he did, or quickly after? he tells such, that there is an order observed, agreeably to the first-fruits and lump. Christ, the first-fruits, is first, and then they that believe in him. Their resurrection will not he till his second coming. It is then that all the elect will be gathered in, and raised, and presented to the Father, compleat in soul and body, and all rule and authority among men will .cease. In the mean while, Christ must reign until all enemies are subject to him, the last of which is death; which, when effected, then he, as mediator, will give up his kingdom, with an account of it, to the Father, who deputed him to his office, that God in all his persons, as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, may be all in all. Then he further proceeds with his subject concerning the resurrection, by shewing the sufferings of the saints, to be an argument to prove it; and their martyrdoms, (figuratively expressed under the notion of a baptism) were in the faith of it. Now their sufferings, and being continually in jeopardy for their lives, and the apostle himself liable to die daily, for the sake of Christ, and the gospel: all this would have been absurd, if there were no resurrection of the dead. And the denial of this doctrine, would likewise have a pernicious tendency on the lives and conversations of men.
The apostle in pursuing his discourse, answers objections, and removes obstacles formed in the minds of a cavilling unbeliever and denier of this most important truth.
By what falls under our observation, and is evident to our eyes and senses, he illustrates the resurrection of the body from the grave of death. He observes, that grain sown in the earth, first dies, before it is quickened/and that it does not spring up, and bear grain, as it was sown', but in a different form and 6hape, with additional circumstances greatly to its advantage; and has a body given to it according to the good pleasure of God, and suitable to the nature of the seed: so, in like manner, the body first dies, and then is raised in a different form, or with different qualities, by the power and according to the will of God. Then he illustrates the difference of the body, when sown in the grave, and when raised from thence, by the difference of flesh in men, beasts, and birds, which, though all flesh, differ from each other; and so will the flesh of the body, in the resurrection, differ from the flesh with which it is now clothed.
He gives a further illustration of this, by the difference there is in the heavenly and earthly bodies in the sun, moon, and stars, and how one star differeth from another star in glory. All which similes, acommodated to this subject, serve to shew the difference there will be in the bodies of the saints, at the resurrection, from what they now are, and will be by death; which, when it has done its office on them, they are sown in weakness, (for a dead body is perfect weakness;) yet, at the resurrection of the just, they will be raised in power: they are sown in the grave in corruption; they are raised out of it in incorruption: they are sown, when committed to the dust, in dishonour; they are raised from it in glory: they are sown in the grave, natural bodies ; they will be raised spiritual bodies: and that the risen bodies of saints will be spiritual, the apostle proves, by comparing Adam and Christ together: the one had a natural body, the other had a spiritual body, after his resurrection; the order of which the apostle gives. The natural body of Adam, was before the spiritual body of Christ.
These general outlines of the preliminaries going before my text and subject, I have borrowed from Dr. Gill: and thus being brought to my text, I will recite it, ver. 47, 48, 49. "The 6rst man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also which are heavenly: and as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly."
Thus the apostle, having laid a foundation in the person, life, death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, for an eternal triumph over sin, the world, satan, death, and hell; and the certainty of our resurrection from the grave of death in due season, viz. at the second appearing of our divine Jesus; he proposes to our minds in the text, truths full of unspeakable consolation: in them we have the following particulars.
First. We have here Adam and Christ compared together: the one, the head of nature, the other, the head of grace. And their original is pointed out: the one is of earth, the other is from heaven. "The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven."
Secondly. We have the offspring of tiie one, and the other, which are different: the offspring of the first Adam are earthy, like him; the offspring of the second Adam are heavenly, as he was, and will have a body, like his. "As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy; and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly."
Thirdly. That as the offspring bore the image of the first man, from whom they naturally descended, by having a natural body like his; so the offspring of the second Adam, the Lord from heaven, shall bear his image by having a spiritual body, fashioned like unto his glorious body. " For as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly."
These are the particulars into which the text naturally divides itself: and may the Lord, the Spirit, inspire my mind, and give me so scripturally to understand the subject before us, that 1 may set it before you, to Christ's praise, and to your spiritual profit, aud exceeding joy.
I am, first, according to the plan laid down, to consider, Christ and Adam, as compared together: the one, the head of nature; the other, the head of grace; with their original, which is here pointed out. "The first man is of the