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the resurrection, could we conjecture what was St. Paul's reasoning, as found in Acts xxiv. 25, concerning a judgment to come? Can we put any rational construction on a variety of passages, which have been considered in these Lectures? The scriptures must be consistent in all their parts; or else they cannot contain the revealed will of God.
"Behold," says the Apostle, "I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed." Our natural sleep is a very happy figure to represent death; and awaking from sleep, to represent the resurrection. The Apostle, therefore, in this and some other passages, calls death sleep. To what he alluded by the pronoun we, may be attended with more difficulty. I think he must either have the whole human race in view, from the first man Adam to the latest offspring of his progeny, and refer to the liv ing of that period when he says, "We shall not all sleep; or else to the believers of different ages, to the time of the resurrection. If it could be thought, he expected a previous resurrection of believers, he might allude to these, when he said, "We which are alive, and remain." When he said, "We shall all be changed," he clearly embraced the whole human family, or at least all those that come forth to the resurrection of life. He could not suppose that he himself, or any of his brethren then living, would continue in this life until the resurrection. He elsewhere as
sures us, he knew that the time of his depar ture was at hand.
I am inclined to think that from the first verse to the end of the chapter we are now considering, St. Paul is describing the peculiar favors connected with the resurrection of the just, as likewise in our 7th scripture, found in his first Epistle to the Thessalonians. In both these he seems to consider the believers of different ages in one common union and society. In this manner he addresses them by the use of the term we. "We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed." "Then we which are alive and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds."
Various are the figures which the works of nature afford, to typify the resurrection. Night being a figure of death, it follows that the morning represents the resurrection. 'Then the birds of the air resume their music, and man from his slumber, the usual employments of life. Then activity, industry, and sociability are seen in a vast variety of beings, that inhabit this spot of the Creator's great dominion.
Winter is another figure of death. Then are the trees stripped of their verdure, and bound in frost, cease from growth and beauty. The fructifying earth produces nothing of the vast variety, which she exhibits in the vernal and summer seasons. But spring is a pattern of the resurrection. Many animals, before torpid, leave their wintry retirements, an
resume the busy exploits of life. The trees, released from frost, exhibit life and grandeur. The earth yields her increase, and teems with the joy of the myriads of her new born sons.
Sleep is likewise a figure of death, and an awakening from sleep, of the resurrection. In sound sleep our thoughts and consciousness are suspended. In awaking from sleep they are immediately restored.
Thus we see the works of nature do not deny us the tokens of the resurrection; but to revelation, we are mostly indebted for the assurance of the doctrine. Jesus says, "I am the resurrection and the life be that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live."
1 "Seasons, and months, and weeks, and days,
2 "But O may our harmonious tongues,
3 The earth once bound in frosty chains,
OF THE HUMAN RACE.
4 So shall our souls their vernal hail,
5 The darksome night, a gloomy scene,
6. But when our night of sin and death
Delivered December 25,
THE SALVATION OF ALL MEN NECESSA-
MAT. v. 17, 18.
Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one For jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
ROMANS xiii. 8, 10.
Owe no man any thing, but to love one another; for be that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
A law of commandments always presupposes legislative authority, and subjects proper to be made amenable to the dictates of its own power. In these subjects, the existence of moral powers are understood; that is, an ability to obey or disobey. Without such ability the law could be of no use. neither prevent injury, ner promote virtue. It It could follows then, that if men be governed by a law of necessity, that a law of commandments, wherever it opposes that law of necessity, would be unjust; because it requires, where there is no ability to perform. In human