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of justification, or acceptaree with Gd; and in point of fanctification too. Every one in w:10m chefe characters are found, has a title to heaven, according to the word. It is convenient and profitable to mark fuch texts for this special ule, as they occur, while you read the fcriprures, or hear fermons. The marks of a regenerate state thus fixed; in the next place, inpartially learch and try your own hearts th-stby, as in te light of Gox, with dependi nce on hinn for fpiritual discerning, tha ye mav kiow whea ther they be in you or not. And when ye find thein, for in the conclufion deliberately and distinct y; namely, hit therefore you are regenerate, and have a viide to heaven. Thus you may gather evidences, Burbe Care to have r. cuurle to Gid in Chrilt by earneft prayer, frihe teftimony of the Spirit, wh le office is to bear witness with our fpi: it, that we are th children of God, Rom. viii
, 16. M rover, carefully obterve the course and mihid of Providence toward you; and likewise how your loul is affected under the same, in the various steps chereof: compare both with scripruredoctrines, promises, threarnings, and examples: fi fhall ye perceive, if the Lord deals with you as he useth 10 do unto those that love his nume : and if you be going forth by the footsteps of the flock, this may fford you comfortable evidence. Walk tennerly and circum. spectly; and the Lord will manifest himself to you, according to his pro n:fe, John xiv. 21. “He chat hain my coin, ndments and " keepeth them, he is is that l. veih me: and he that loveth me, " Mall be loved of my Fath: r: and I will love him, and will mani" felt myself to him.” But it is in vain to thisik on successful selfexamination, if ye be loose and irregular in your convertation.
Lastly, Dispatch the work of your day and generation with speed and dil gence. David, after he had served 'his own generation' by the will of God, fill on feep, Acts xlii. 36 God has a lored us çer'ain pieces of work of this k.nd, which ought to be disiarched before The time of working be over
Ecclef, ix. 10
* Whitfoever thy " hand finde h tu do, do it with thy might: for these is n work. “ nur knwledge, nor wilcom in the grave, whither thua guest.” Gal. vi. 10 "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good “ unto all men, e pecially unto them who are of the houkuld of “ faith.” If a paflenger, after he is got on fh pbiard, and the thip is
geti'ng und:r fail remember that he has om ted to d fpatch a piece of nec=ffary business when he was on ise, it must needs be uneasy to him; even lo refledion in a dying h. ur. upon neglected seasons, and loft opportunities, cannot fail to us quiet a Chritian. Wherefore whatever is incumbent upon thee io do for God's honour, and the good of others; either as the duty of thy ftation, or by special opportunity put into thy hand, perform is feaforably, if thou wouldit die comfortably.
JOHN v. 28. Marvel not at this: For the Hour is coming, in the which all that are
in the Graves, shall hear his woice : Ver. 29. And shall come forth, they that have done Good, unto the Refurrection of Life; and they that have done Evil, unto the resurrention of Damnation.
HESE words are part of the defence our Lord Jesus Christ
the impotent man, and ordering him to carry away his bed on the Sabbath; and for vindicating his conduct, when accused by them of having thereby profaned that day. On this occasion he professeth himself not only Lord of the Sabbath, but also Lord of life and death; declaring in the words of the text, the resurrection of the dead to be brought to pass by his power. This he introduceth with these words, as with a solenn preface: Mnrvel not at this: j. e, at this strange discourse of mine: do not wonder to hear me, whose appearance is so very mean in your eyes, talk at this rate: for the day is coming, in which the dead shall be raised by my power.
Observe in this text, (1.) The doctrine of the resurrection asserted, All that are in the graves Mall hear his vaice, and shall come forth. The dead bodies, which are reduced to duft, shall revive, and evidence life by hearing and moving. (2) The Author of it, Jesus Christ, the Son of mun, ver. 27. The dead shall hear his voice, and be raifed thereby. (3) The nunber that Ihall be raised : All that are in the graves: ic all the dead bodies of men, howsoever differently difposed of, as it were, in different kinds of graves ; or all the dead, good or bad. They are not all buried in graves, properly so called ; fome are burnt to alhes, some drowned, and buried in the bellies of fishes; yea, fome devoured by man-eaters, callca Cannibals : but wherefoever the matter or substance, of which the body was composed, is to be found, thence they shall come forth. (4.) The great distincti
. on that fall be made betwixt the godly and the wicked
They shall indeed borh rise again in th: resurrection. None of the godly will be milling: though perhaps they either had no burial, or a very obscure one ; and all the wicked shall coine forth; their vaulted tombs shall hold them no longer than the voice is uttered, But the former shall have a joyful resurrection to life, whilst the latter have a dreadful resurrection to damnation. Lastly, The fet time of this great event:
there is an hour or certain fixed period of time, appointed of God for it. We are not told when that hour will be, but that it is coming : for this, among other reasons, that we may always be ready.
DOCTRINE. There Joall be a Resurrection of the Dead. In discoursing of this subject, I shall first thew the certainty of the resurrection ; next, I Mall inquire into the nature of it; and lastly, make some practical improvement of the whole.
1. In thewing the certuiniy of the resurrection, I Mall evince, (1.) That God can raise the dead. And, (2.) That he will do it; which are the two grounds or topics laid down by Christ himself, when disputing with the Sadduc 'es, Matth xxii. 29. - Jesus answered " and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor " the power of God.”
Fiift, Seeing God is almighty, surely he can raise the dead. We have instances of this powerful work of God, both in the Old and New Testament. The son of the widow in Sarípti, was raised from the dead, 1 Kings xvii 22. The Shunamite's son, 2 Kings iv 35. And the man casi into the fepulchre of. Elisha, chap. xii. 21. In which we inay observe a gradation, the second of these miraculaus events being more illustrious than the first, and the third than the second.
The fi ft of these persons was raised when he was but newly dead; the prophet El juh who raised him, being present at his decease. The Second, when he had lain dead a considerable time; namely, while his mother, travelled from Shunem to mount Carmel, (reckoned about the distance of lixteen miles) and returned from thence to her house with Eisha, who raised him. The lift, not till they were burying him, and the corpse was cast into the prophet's grave. In like manner in the New Testament, fairu's daughter, (Mark y. 41.) and Dorcas, (Ats, ix. 40 ) were both raised to life, when lat ly dead; the widow's son in Nain, when they were carrying him out to bury him, Luke vii. 11, 15. And Lazarus, when stinking in the grave, John xi. 39, 44.
Can men make curious glasses out of aihes, reduce flowers into ashes, and raise them again out of these ashes, restoring them to their former beauty; and cannot the great Creator, who made all things of nothing, raise man's body, after it is reduced into dust? If it be objected, How can mori's bodies be raised up aguin af.er they are difflved ita dufi, ind the ashes of many generations are mirglei t.gether? Scripture and nct reason furnish the answer ; With men it is impoffible, but not with God. It is absurd for men to deny that God thing, because they fee not how it may be done. How small a portion do we know of his ways ! how absolutely incapable are we of conceiving diitinctly of the extent of almighty power, and much more of comprehending its actings, and the method of procedure! I question not, 1 i 2
but many illiterate men are as great infidels to many chymical experiments, as some learned men are to the doctrine of the resurrection : and as these fait are ready to deride the former, so the Lord will have thim in derifin What a myft-ry was it to the Iridi. ns, that the European could, ly a piece of paper converse together, at the distance of some hundreds of wilés? And how much were they astonished to see them with their guns, produce is it were thunder and lightning in a moment, and at plealure kill men afar off? Shall fome m-n do such things as are wonders in the eyes of others, because they cannot comprehend them: and thall men contine the infinite power of God within the narrow boundaries of their own thallow capacities, in a matter noways contrary to reason? An inferior nature has but a very imperfect conception of the power of a firperior. Brutes do not conceive of the actings of rea'on in men; and men have but lame notions of the power
of angels: how lame and inadequate a conception, then, mult a finite , nature have of the power of that which is infinite! tho’ we cannot conceive how God acts, yet we ought to believe he cun do above what we can think or can conceive ut.
Wherefore, let the bodies of men he laid in the grave; let them rot there, and be relolved into the-most minute particles: or let them be burnt, and the ashes caitinio rivers, or thrown up into the air, to be scattered by the wind : let the dust of a thousand generations be uningled, and the Itreams of the dead bodies wander to and fro in the air : let birds or wild beasts eat the dead bodies, or the fishes of the sea de. vour them, so that the parts of human bodies, thus deitruyed, pals imto substantial parts of birds, bealto, or fithes; or what is more than that, let man-eaters, who themselves mult die, and rise again, devour human bodies; and let others devour ihm again: and then let our modern Saaducer's propose the queltion in thele cales; as the ancient Sadouces did, in the case of the woman, who had been married to seven husbands fucceflively, Math. xxii. 8. We anf ver, as our bles. fed Lord and Saviour did, ver. 26. Ye om, at knowing the firip.ures, nir the power of God. We believe God to be omnilci nt and omnipont: infinite in knowledge and in p wr: and hence, agreeable to the dictates of reason we conclude the paffibility of the refurrection, even in the cales lupiofed.
Material things may change their forms and shapes, may be resolved into the principles of which they are formed: but they are not inihilated, or reduced to nothing ; nor can they be fo, by any created power. God is omniscient his unde standing is infnit: therefore he knows all things whatsoever; what they will at any time, what they are and where they are to be found. Though the country-man, who comes into the apothecary's shop, cannot find out the drug he wants; yet the apothecary him Celf knows what he has in his thop, whence it came, and where it is to be found. And in a mingle of many different feeds, the expert gardener can distinguish betwixt feed and feed. Why then may not onxiscience distinguilh betwixt duft and dusi? Can he who
knows all things to perfection be liable to any iniftake about his own creatures. Wboso believes an infinite unde standing inust needs own, that no mass of duft is so jumbled together, but God perfectly comprehends, and infallibly knows how the most minute particle, and every one of them, is to be matched. And therefore, he knows where the particles of each dead body are; whether in the earth, sea, or air, how confused loever they ly. And particularly, he knows where to find the primitive substance of the man-eater; howsoever evaporated or reduced, as it were into air or vapour. by sweat or perspiration : and how to separate the parts of the body that was ea tn, from the body of the caier, howsoever incorporate, or made one body with it: and fo understands, not only how, but wh-nce, he is to bring back the primitive fubitance of the man-cater to ts proper place: and also to se. parate. from the man eater's body, that part of the devoured body which goes
into its substance, and is indeed but a very small part of it. It is certain the bodies of inen, as of all other animals, or living crea-*. tures, are in a continual flux: they grow, and are sustained by daily food; fo linall a part whereof becomes nourishment, that the most part is evacuate. And it is reckoned that, at least, as much of the food is evacuate insensibly by perspiration, as is voided by other perceptible ways. Yea, the nourithing part of the food, when asimilate, and thereby become a part of the body, is evacuate by perspiration through the pores of the skin, and again supplied by the use of the food: yet the body is still reckoned one, and the same body. Whence we may conclude, that it is not eflential to the resurrection of the body, that every particle of the matter, which at any time was part of a human body thould be restored to it, when it is raised up from death to life. Were it so, the bodies of men would becoine of so huge a size, that they would bear no resemblance of the persons. It is fufficient to denominace it ihe 1 me body that died, when it is risen again; if the body that is raised. be formed in its former proportions of the Jame particles of matter, which at any time were its conitituent parts, howsoever it be retined: (likeas we reckon it is the smame body that was pined away by long lickness, which becomes fat and fair again after recovery.
Now to this infirite unde standing join infinite power, whereby he is able in subdue all hi g, unti himself; and this glorious great work appears most reasonable. If omniscience discover every little particle of duft, where it is, and how it is to be matched; cannot.omnipotence bring the n, and join them together in their order? Can the watchmaker take u;) the several pieces of a watch, lying in a confused heap before hi:n, and set each in its proper place; and cannot God
put the human body into order, ofter its diffolution! Did he speak this world into being out of nothing; and can he not form man's body out of its pre-exiltent matter? If he calletr those things, which be not, as though they were; furely he can call things that are dissolved, to be as they were before the compound was resolved into its parts and principles: Wherefore, God can raise the dead. And, “Why thould it be thought