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not be thrown down." Now he points to an Destroy this temple." Let it be observed, edifice infinitely more sacred. From both that this is simply a prediction or supposition, the first and second houses built on mount and not a precept, equivalent to, ye will deZion the glory had long since departed. The stroy this temple, or though ye should desensible tokens of the divine presence were stroy this temple. It is a mode of expression withdrawn. The holy oracle was no longer that frequently occurs in Scripture. Thus consulted by Urim and Thummim. But in in the Old Testament, Joseph says to his Him, who was the only glory of the second brethren, " this do, and live," that is, do this house, "dwelled all the fulness of the Godhead and ye shall live. Thus God speaks to Mobodily," and the destruction of this temple ses," Get thee up into this mountain, and he thus predicts as a sign not to the men of die in the mount whither thou goest up, and that generation only, but to all ages, even be gathered unto thy people," meaning evito the end of the world. From the very na- dently, thou shalt die in the mount, and shalt ture of prophecy, a vail must be drawn be- be gathered unto thy people. Thus, Isajah tween the prediction and the event. "Hope viii. 10, "Take counsel together, and it that is seen is not hope," and "faith is the shall come to naught; speak the word, and substance of things hoped for, the evidence it shall not stand:" that is, though ye take of things not seen." Christ indulges not counsel together, and though ye speak the those unbelievers with an immediate display word. And in the New Testament, the of his miraculous power, in support of his word of Christ to Judas, "that thou dost, do pretensions to the character of a prophet, quickly," cannot be considered as a comwhich they could easily have explained away, mand to accomplish his plan of treachery, or misinterpreted; but he refers them to a but merely as an intimation that he was sign shortly to be exhibited, which should be seen through, and that under the impulse of at once the exact accomplishment of a well- a diabolic spirit, he was hurrying on to comknown prediction, and the greatest miracle mit that dreadful enormity. Thus Paul exthat can possibly exist. That the miscon-horts, "Be angry and sin not;" surely not ception of the Jews was perverse and affected as if he meant to encourage violent transis evident from this, that when they had ac- ports of wrath, but in the event of a man's tually fulfilled the part of the prediction giving way to a fit of passion, the apostle which depended on themselves, by destroy- means to guard him against excessive ining that sacred temple, we find them labour- dulgence in it, by restricting its duration to ing under the most dreadful apprehension the going down of the sun. This early nothat Jesus would accomplish the other part, tice did Jesus give, not to his disciples only, which depended on him, and they employ but to all who came to worship in the temple, every precaution which terror could suggest," of his decease which he should accomplish to prevent and defeat it. "The chief priests at Jerusalem;" that it should be effected by and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, the hand of violence, not by decay, but by saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command, therefore, that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first." And when the astonished watch came into the city, and made report to their employers of "all the things that were done," did it produce conviction? No, it only filled them with mortification, and kindled rage. "The chief priests, when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, saying, say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. And if this come to the governor's ears, we will persuade him, and secure you." To what purpose then, ask for a sign? They resist and reject the most illustrious, which, with reverence be it spoken, God himself could give, thereby approving the truth of what Jesus on another occasion said, "If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead."
destruction, and that his own countrymen should be the perpetrators of it. This declaration was frequently repeated, and became plainer and plainer, till the fact justified every particular of the prediction.
This temple." Our blessed Lord in this place and elsewhere denominates his body a temple, as declaratory of his superiority to the lofty pile on mount Zion, even in its greatest glory, much more in its then degraded, defiled state. "I say unto you," addressing himself to the Pharisees," that in this place is one greater than the temple," because Deity resided continually and inseparably in him, as the Jews believed he did in that which was built by Solomon, in answer to that petition; "O Lord my God, hearken unto the cry and to the prayer which thy servant prayeth before thee to-day: that thine eyes may be opened toward this house night and day, even toward the place of which thou hast said, My name shall be there;" according as it was foretold by Moses near five centuries before: "Then there shall be a place which the Lord your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there." Josephus informs us that not only did the answer
to Solomon's prayer imply a real and sensible thee. But he answered and said unto them, residence of Deity, but that it was the uni- an evil and adulterous generation seeketh versal belief of the Jews and of the strangers who visited Jerusalem, that there was an ingress of God into the temple, and a habitation in it; and, in another place, that God descended and pitched his tabernacle there. The Jews themselves, however, admitted, that whatever glory these expressions might signify was now departed. To restore that glory, and to bestow it on the second temple in more abundant measure than the first ever possessed, was the end of Christ's mission; and in him was the prediction fulfilled: "The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts." He was that oracle by whose answers all light and truth were emitted; the true Schechinah who had the spirit without measure; he was anointed with the "oil of gladness above his fellows," and thus in all respects greater than the temple. That temple, says he, which you have defiled I have cleansed: and this temple of my body which you are going to destroy, I will raise up again.
When this prediction was verified by the matter of fact, that fact became the foundation of one of the distinguishing doctrines of the gospel, the resurrection of the dead. Jesus early taught and frequently repeated it, that it might be clearly understood and carefully remembered. The impostor is at pains to conceal his purpose till it is ripe for execution. He fears prevention, and therefore endeavours to take you by surprise. The thief gives no warning of his approach, but comes upon men while they sleep. The true prophet discloses his design, prepares, forewarns, puts the person who doubts or disbe lieves upon his guard, bids defiance to prevention. His own resurrection, and the doctrine of a general resurrection which is founded upon it, were not barely hinted at, or declared in obscure and equivocal terms. They were not the casual topic, and for once only, of private conversation with his disciples. No, this was a leading, a commanding object, presented continually to view, placed in the strongest light, announced with equal fairness and simplicity to friends and to enemies. "And Jesus going up to Jerusalem, took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them, behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him; and the third day he shall rise again." He declares the same truth thus openly in the court of the temple. He repeats it in the presence and hearing of the multitude, "when the people were gathered thick together, then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from
after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly, so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." The Sadducees, opponents still more virulent than the Pharisees, perfectly understood him as meaning on the basis of his own, to establish the belief of a resurrection of the body; for they argue with him on the subject, and frame a case which they supposed would reduce the author of the doctrine to an absurdity. This afforded our Lord an opportunity of showing that the doctrine in dispute was actually an article in their own creed, as being the disciples of Moses. Thus it runs through the whole of divine Revelation. The fathers beyond the flood lived and died in this faith. The dust of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob thus rested and rests in hope. It is indeed more clearly stated under the Gospel dispensation, and the ground of it is more fully demonstrated, that is, the dawning light of the morning gradually brightened into the perfect day.
“In three days I will raise it up." This is an explicit declaration of his own inherent Deity, for God alone has the right and the power over life and death. An angel may be the delegated instrument in executing the sentence of divine justice, by taking away life; as in the case of the first-born of Egypt, of those who fell by the pestilence, to the number of seventy thousand, for the offence of David in numbering the people, and of the hundred, fourscore, and five thousand smitten in one night, in the camp of the Assyrians. But we no where find the power of quickening the dead delegated to a created being. Man has the desperate power of destroying his own body, but there it ends, and the disembodied spirit ceases from all power to repair the awful violence which it has committed. Man cannot by a mere act of his will even lay down his life, any more than he can reanimate the breathless clay. It is the incommunicable prerogative of him who has life in himself, to dispose of it at pleasure. This prerogative Jesus Christ claims and exercises. "For as the Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth them: even so the Son quickeneth whom he will." In the case of his own death, it was an act of sovereign, almighty power. "Jesus said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost," while as yet the principle of natural life was strong within him, thus demonstrating that his assertion concerning himself was founded in truth: "I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself: I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again." And on this power over his
own life, he founds his right of dispensing | tiles be fulfilled. And there shall be signs life and death to others. And this is the in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; Father's will which hath sent me, that of all and upon the earth distress of nations, with which he hath given me I should lose nothing, perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; but should raise it up again at the last day. men's hearts failing them for fear, and for And this is the will of him that sent me, that looking after those things which are coming every one which seeth the Son, and believ- on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall eth on him, may have everlasting life: and I be shaken. Verily I say unto you, this gewill raise him up at the last day. Whether neration shall not pass away till all be fultherefore it is said that "Christ was raised filled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, up from the dead by the glory of the Father," but my words shall not pass away." or that he himself raised up the temple of his body, one and the same source of life, one controlling, irresistible will, and one supreme efficient power are displayed.
"Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? It has been already shown that this was a wilful misapprehension and it exhibits a humiliating view of the power of prejudice. Something may be made of a stupid child, if he be disposed to exert the poor faculties which he possesses, but obstinacy sets discipline at defiance. It is possible to assist weak eyes, but what can be done for the man who wilfully shuts them, or who madly plucks them out? To enter with commentators, into discussion respecting the period of the temple's rebuilding, is foreign to our purpose. What is it to us how long time was employed in the work, by what prince or princes it was carried on, and what was its comparative magnificence, with relation to the first temple, and to other structures of a similar kind? But it is of high importance to know, that the prediction of Christ concerning it, already quoted, was exactly fulfilled, about forty years afterward; when Jerusalem was besieged and taken by the emperor Titus, was pillaged and burnt, the temple completely destroyed, upwards of one million and one hundred thousand of the Jews destroyed by famine and the sword, ninety-seven thousand taken prisoners, the whole nation expatriated and dispersed; and that the state of the temple from the year of Christ 70, down to the present 1802, and of this scattered, degraded, yet providentially supported and distinguished people, at this day, are a standing evidence of the truth and certainty of the things wherein we have been instructed. He is faithful and true who promises and who threatens. "When ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gen
"When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them." Words as they are spoken, and events as they pass, frequently make a slight impression, but when recalled and fixed by some striking correspondent circumstance, they rush on the mind like a torrent, and we wonder at our own preceding carelessness and inattention. Had the disciples been men quick of apprehension, and of easy belief, the fabrication of a cunningly devised fable might have been suspected: but they were persons of a simplicity of character that sometimes bordered on stupidity; they were "slow of heart to believe," they often misunderstood their master; they were of all mankind the most unfit to plan and to support imposture. When Jesus spake of destroying and of raising up again the temple of his body, the Jews wilfully perverted his meaning, and his disciples seem hardly to have marked his words. The greatest of miracles must be performed to subdue the incredulity of the one, and to rouse the attention of the other. In both we contemplate the wrath and the weakness of man ministering to the glory of God. It was meet that the mouth of malignity should be stopped, and that the truth, as it is in Jesus, should be taught to the world by men whose own ignorance had been instructed, whose doubts had been removed, whose faith had been established. "We still have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power, may be of God, and not of us."
The resurrection of Christ from the dead, therefore, so clearly predicted, and so exactly accomplished, supplies the Christian world, in every age, with the firmest basis of faith, and with the purest source of hope and joy. The apostle of the Gentiles, once the most violent opposer of the fact, and of the doctrine founded upon it, thus collects the evidence: "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day, according to the scriptures; and that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: after that he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apos
tles. And last of all he was seen of me also as of one born out of due time." Paul's reasoning upon the subject is conclusive and satisfactory; it meets the human heart in all its desires and expectations. We resign ourselves to the stroke of death with composure. We bury our dead out of our sight, without bidding them a final farewell, because "the flesh also shall rest in hope." "For if we believe that Jesus died, and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him." "This corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on iminortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, death is swallowed up in victory."
The importance of this doctrine, in the scale of Christianity, will warrant our following up the article of our Lord's history which we have been reviewing, to its more remote effects and consequences. This will accordingly form the substance of the following Lecture.
office bearing testimony to Christ's prophetic character, and to the foundation on which it rested. "Nicodemus, a pharisee and ruler of the Jews, came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him." But the sacred historian subjoins a reflection most humiliating to human nature; for it implies that the understanding may be enlightened, and the conscience perfectly convinced, and yet the heart remain corrupted and malignant. "Many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did." But the Searcher of hearts discerned under a sound belief, a dangerous, an unsubdued perversity of disposition in which he could not confide. "But Jesus did not commit himself unto them." In this Christ acted as a pattern to his disciples, and conformed himself to the doctrine which he taught them. "Beware of men: be ye wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." There is an excess of caution unworthy of a noble and generous mind, which damps exertion and poisons society. But there is also an excess of confidence which puts the candid and sincere in the power of the crafty and designing. True wisdom safely conducts its possessor through the channel which divides them. "A prudent man," says Solomon, "foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself, but the simple pass on, and are punished."
The chapter concludes with an ascrip
This passover afforded occasion of working various other public miracles, which are not enumerated in the sacred record, but which attracted attention, and produced conviction in the minds of many who saw and heard him. He was now at the metropolis of the country, and at the season of universal resort to Jerusalem. Of the multitudes who flocked thither to celebrate the feast of pass-tion to Christ of one of the incommunicable over, very many must have been in the habit of searching the scriptures, and were, with Simeon, "waiting for the consolation of Israel," and with Anna the prophetess, "looking for redemption in Jerusalem." Persons of this description must have been forcibly impressed with the personal appearance of Jesus Christ, with the singularity of his manner and address, with the gravity and dignity of his deportment, with the authority which he exercised in teaching and reproving. His zeal in the purgation of the temple, and the sign which he proposed as the evidence of his mission, must have been noticed and felt. When these proofs of an extraordinary character were accompanied and supported by a display of miraculous powers, the effect must have been what the evangelist relates: "When he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast-day, many believed in his name when they saw the miracles which he did." Nor was this impression confined to vulgar minds, for we presently find a man high in rank and
attributes of Deity, the knowledge of the thoughts of men: "He knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man." Of this he had given an illustrious instance in the case of Nathanael, whose character he clearly discerned before any personal intercourse had taken place: "Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig-tree, I saw thee." Here it is reduced to a general proposition of high moment. "The Father hath committed all judgment unto the Son" and he is qualified for the discharge of this all-important office, by a perfect knowledge not only of the actions of a man's life, but of the motives from which he acted, and of the end at which he aimed. May it be engraved on the living table of our heart, that God "hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead."
HISTORY OF JESUS CHRIST.
AFTER ADMINISTERING THE LORD'S SUPPER.
But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened except it die. And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat or of some other grain: but God giveth is a body as it hath pleased Him, and to every seed his own body. All flesh is not the same flesh but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead: s sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power: it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.-1 CORINTHIANS xv. 35–44.
himself shall wipe away all tears from all eyes.
ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come," an event which involves in itself the fate of angels and of men; an event which shall exhibit the grandest display of the divine power and wisdom, of justice, goodness, and truth; an event which is at once the object of just terror, and the purest source of joy. One, and that not the least interesting, consideration connected with the prospect of that "great and notable day of the Lord," is that which constitutes the subject of the apostle's reasoning in the passage which has been now read, namely, the resurrection of the dead. The ground of belief respecting this is the truth and certainty of Christ's resurrection, on the third day after his pas sion, conformably to frequently repeated, well-known, and minutely particular predictions respecting this illustrious event. These were the subject of the preceding Lecture. "Jesus and the resurrection," were the great theme of Paul's preaching at learned Athens, and of his epistles to the churches, particularly to the Corinthians, in this chapter. This is the sure foundation which God hath laid in Zion, and lo, What a structure is Providence rearing upon it!
To him who believes in the life and immortality which are brought to light by the gospel; to him who has the witness of death Previous to the breaking of bread, in conevery day presented to his eyes, and who memoration of our Saviour's dying love to feels it continually in his own frame, can it perishing sinners, we were led to meditate ever be unseasonable or unprofitable to hear on the final consummation which the ordiof the ground of his holy faith, of his glori-nance has directly in view. "As often as ous privileges, of his exalted hope? Does the worldling ever tire in calculating his gains, and of reckoning over his hoard? Is the eager heir ever cloyed in contemplating his fair and ample expected inheritance? When were the praises, the reported successes, wisdom, and virtue of a darling child, a burden on the listening ear of parental affection? When was the eye fatigued in surveying the beautiful and majestic fabric of nature, or turned away from it with disgust? Wherefore, then, should it be apprehended that the disciple of Jesus, who has fled for refuge to the hope set before him, whose brightest prospects open beyond the grave, who is rejoicing in the promise of his Master's coming "the second time, without sin, unto salvation;" wherefore suppose that such a person could say, "What a weariness is it!" when the preacher's theme is the complete restoration of man's fallen nature, the resurrection of the body, the perfect resemblance of all the members of Christ to the glorious head, the final and unfading triumph of redeeming love? No, well-pleased you withdraw from the pursuit of temporal pleasure and profit, from surveying the kingdoms of this world and the glory of them, from contemplating even the more The apostle introduces an unbeliever caglorious wonders of the starry heavens, to villing at the doctrine of the resurrection, expatiate over the blissful regions of Ema- and triumphantly demanding, as one defying nuel's land, to drink of "the pure river of the all possibility of reply, "How are the dead water of life," to eat of the fruit of the tree raised up? and with what body do they of life, to feast on the promise of "new hea- come?" Grasping at mere phantoms of worldvens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth ly hope, credulous as children in admitting righteousness," where there is no more death, "the unreal mockery" of a heated imaginawhere the curse is not known, where God | tion, men doubt and disbelieve only when