« AnteriorContinuar »
gloriously distinguished from the other in its union with, and virtue from, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. “Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise : awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust.” Isa. xxvi. 19. And as in 1 Cor. xv. 23, " Christ the first-fruits, afterward they that are Christ's at his coming:
The propriety of this is much insisted on by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He called this the resurrection of life, as being the very same with the resurrection of his own body—the fulness of the harvest, of which that was the first-fruits : whereas, he called the other the resurrection of damnation, it having no union, or relation to his own resurrection, and having nothing of its virtue, but being altogether a different thing. One is by an influence, as the dew upon herbs or seeds in the ground, causing them to grow, Isa. xxvi. 19; the other, by a sovereign power, like that which raised up man from the dust at first.
Our Lord distinguisheth this as the resurrection of the just ; and those that obtain it, as the children of the resurrection. What a peculiar endearing phrase! He that knew the worth of this resurrection and the privilege of obtaining it, said, “ When thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, and thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee; for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.” Luke xiv. 13, 14.
How all-important and glorious does he describe this privilege, Luke xx. 35, 36. “But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, [the world to come the new heavens and new
earth,] neither marry, nor are given in marriage. Neither can they die any more; for they are equal unto the angels, and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection :" yea, they shall be above the angels; for it is
promised, that, in the millennium, they shall be priests of God, and of Christ, and shall reign with him as his bride and queen.
What then is this world, what is life, what is reproach, what are sufferings, what is the loss of all things, compared with this ? Paul judged well to forsake all things, to endure all things; and even to forget all— losses and labors, and perils, and pains--as mere trifles of no account, if by any means he might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
Do some of us hope for this blessedness? Are we striving to be the children of the resurrection? O how great is this object! This is glory! substantial glory! a weight of glory! Who among us shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection of life? “ We, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless ;” and so may obtain that world and the resurrection from the dead.
Every man that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself: he will keep his body under; and, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, he will press toward the mark for the prize of this high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
This I believe, esteem, and only desire to
obtain. And having this hope, and this only, my mind and affections require daily, as their aliment of life, the evidence of its truth, and that I shall obtain that world and the resurrection from the dead.
And whilst I rejoice in this hope, and acknowledge my indebtedness to its influence, I cannot forget my companions in the same pursuit. Beloved, never faint, be of good courage, you are running for more than an angel's prize.
And who will be our company in this heavenly race? O ye ruined children of men, who are perishing with a perishing world! we long for you all. In the name of Jesus Christ, who is the resurrection and the life, and the Lord of the world to come, we invite you all to be our companions, in self-denial, in labor, in suffering, and in patience; if by any means we may attain unto the resurrection of the dead, that blessed hope, at the glorious appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ.
THE BATTLE OF THAT GREAT DAY OF
For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.--Isaiah lxiii. 4.
VENGEANCE and grace are glorious attributes of the Lord : he claims them as his unalienable rights, saying, my mercy—my grace ; and, vengeance is mine—to me belongeth vengeance, and recompense.
These properties of Jehovah, bright in them. selves, gloriously set off and brighten each other: therefore, infinite wisdom, in concerting a plan for the display of divine perfections, ordained that these should be displayed together; and that the day of vengeance and the year of the redeemed should bear the same date—the day of vengeance beginning and opening the year of the redeemed.
When, therefore, the earth was corrupt before God, and filled with violence; and the church was reduced to one family, and that undoubtedly in the utmost hazard of being destroyed-surrounded by a world of ravening wolves; the day
of vengeance slumbered not—the flood swept away the world of the ungodly; but an ark was prepared—a year of the redeemed came-and God wrought great salvation for his little church.
And when the Lord saw the affliction of his people in Egypt, and came down to deliver them, he came also to judge that nation, which had afflicted them; it was equally his errand to punish the Egyptians and to save Israel. Vengeance and mercy-destruction and salvation-were in his heart; and were each displayed in the infliction of plagues upon the Egyptians, from which Israel were exempted, and in the slaughter of the first-born, whilst the houses of Israel were passed over. Each was gloriously magnified in the overthrow of Pharaoh and his host in the sea, whilst Israel, in the same path, safely passed through; and each was sweetly celebrated, in one song, on the triumphant shore--The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation-Pharaoh and his host hath he cast into the sea—thy right hand, O Lord, hath dashed in pieces the enemy.
Also, when the iniquity of the Amorites was full, and the Lord went forth, with his sword drawn in his hand, to consume and destroy them from off the face of the earth; even then, he marched before his chosen tribes, to find them a place of rest-great and goodly cities which they builded not--houses full of all good things which they filled not wells of water which they digged not--vineyards and olive-trees which they planted not-a land flowing with milk and honey.
Judah had long groaned in captivity in Babylon; their loins were filled with pain, they were