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resurrection. The prophet was carried in his vision to a valley (the earth) full of dry bones. He was ordered to “ prophecy upon these bones,” and to say unto them, “ye dry bones, hear the word of the «s Lord. I will cause breath to enter into you, and
ye shall live; and I will lay. finezes upon you, and " will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with
skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live : " and ye,” even ye, whether righteous or wicked, *** Thall know I AM THE LORD.” And the prophet further tells us, that, while he was prophesying to the dry bones, there was a “noise and a shaking,” to denote the convulsions of nature at the returrection, " and the bones came together, bone to his bone, " and the fincws, and the flesh, came upon them, " and the skin covered them above; but there was no “ breath in them." And he is now again “ordered to
prophecy unto the breath, and say, Come from the “ four winds (the four fpirits of God ruling the “whole earth), O BREATH, and breathe upon these “Jain (these dead bones, now bodies covered with "linews, flesh, and skin), that they may live. And “ the breath came into them, and they lived, and " stood upon their feet, an exceeding great arny." And God tells the prophet expressly, that ", there “ bones are the whole houfe of Itrael;" meaning the whole church of God, whether Jews or Gentiles, reformed by Christ, and now united in one whole house, under the dominion of the Son of God, as it would be easy to show, from the fubfequent part of this prophetic chapter.
From the prophecies of the old, thus only briefly mentioned, let us pass to those of the New Testament, on the same great doctrinal truth. Here it is taught and impressed on the minds of the true believers, in more than thirty places. I shall, however, lay before the Chriftian reader a few of them only,
referring referring to others in a note. Christ expreffly tells the Jews, when they fought to slay him *, “ Marvel " not at this ; for the hour is coming, in the which all “ that are dead in the graves shall hear his voice and " come forth, they that have done good unto the “ resurrection of life, and they that have done evil ૯૮
unto the resurrection of damnation." Again, to the Sadducees, who attempted to ensnare him with a question, he says, “ As touching the dead, “ that they rise, have ye not read in the Book of “ Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, lay"sing, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of “ Isaac, and the God of Jacob? He is not the God « of the dead, but of the living." And again, when Martha seemed to doubt his power to raise her brother Lazarus from the dead, Christ said to her,
" I “ am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth “ in me, though he were dead (temporally), yet << fhalt he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth “ in me, shall never die :” meaning " the second
which will be the punishment of the wicked, when he shall judge the world. This truth was not only thus delivered by Christ himself, to all the apostles, but preached by them as an essential article of the Christian faith. St. Paul is so clear and copious, that I shall only take notice of what he says upon
the subject. In his Epistle to the Thessalonians, he says, S“ If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even « so them also which sleep in Jesus (who shall have “ died in faith in Chrift, and thereby found favour “ with God) will God bring with him. For this " we say unto you, by the word of the Lord, that “ we which are alive, and remain at the coming of “ the Lord (meaning those that shall live on the “ earth when he shall come to reign, although they
* John, v. 28, 29. #John, xi. 25, 26.
+ Mark, xii. 26. $ Thesi, iv. 14, 15, 16, 17.
« shall not die a natural death), shall not prevent “ them that are asleep” that are under a temporal death, from rising afterwards at the great day of judgment. “ For,” says he further, “ the Lord shall “ descend from heaven with a fhout, with the voice “ of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and " the dead in Christ shall rise first;" that is, when he shall come to reign upon earth : but that this first resurrection shall not prevent a future resurrection of the dead who shall not come with Christ, at the last awful day, when he fhall come, after he has reigned, to judge all mankind. “ Then (referring to the first “resurrection of the dead) we which are alive and “ remain (all those who are alive and remain on 6 earth, and have believed in Christ at his second
coming) shall be caught up with them (the saints " that had come with him) in the clouds, to meet the " Lord in the air; and fo fhall we ever be with the “ Lord.” In his Epistle to the Corinthians he is yet more explicit and copious upon this great doctrinal truth, of the resurrection of the dead. He represents it as the leading principle of the Gospel of Christ, in which all true believers place their faith and hope. “ For,” says he, * “ if in this life only we have hope “ in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” He then, by a great variety of arguments, asserts this great truth. He tells us, ofhus Since by man came “ death, by man came also the resurrection of the “ dead. For as in Adam (by Adam's transgression) " all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. That *" Christ must rèign until he hath put all " enemies under his feet, even death itself." He then passes to the resurrection of the dead. To those who may doubt respecting it, he says, || “ Thou fool, " that which thou sowest, is not quickened except it
1 Cor. xv. 18, Ibid. xy. 26.
+ Ibid. 21, 22.
“ die; and that which thou fowest, thou sowest not
that body that shall be, but bare grain; but God
giveth it a body, and to every feed its own body:" that *« flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption;" and therefore, that although" we
(meaning the human race) Thall not all feep (dic a natural death, for some are to be alive even at the
day of judgment), yet we shall all (both the living . and the dead) be changed; in-a moment, in the twin
kling of an cye, at the laft trump; for the trumpet “shall found, and the dead dhall be raised incorrupti
ble, and we shall be changed" (from our corrupted terrestrial bodies into spiritual, incorruptible, and never dying bodies), in order that Christ may reward those that have loved the truth, and feared God, through faith in his Golpel, with eternal life; and punish the reprobates, who shall have died in their infidelity, with everlafting mifery, or the second condemnation and death., So when this corruptible
shall have put on incorruption, and this inortal shall es have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written-Death is swallowed up in yictory:t" and, lastly, that then shalt they; who shall be made alive and redeemed through the BLESSED AND ETERNAL SON OF GOD, with thankfgiving
and praise, exclaim in rapturous ecstacy, “O DEATH, Where is thy fing? O grave, where is thy victory?
Thus much, from the doctrine of the prophets, apostles, and of Christ himself, respecting his coming to judge the world, the laft resurrection, and his triumph over all his enemies, even death and the grave. I have thought it not an improper introduction to what St. John says upon the same subject :
for it not only confirms the truths of his prophecy, but will affist us in understanding it. Having foretold the deftruction of the world, and with it all the race of Adam, he proceeds to the immediate confequences of that awful event: for, during the agonies and convulsions of expiring nature, he tells us, *" And the sea gave up her dead;" &c. ; that is, as I humbly apprehend, in this dreadful convulsion, the particles of matter of which the dead bodies confifted, when in the grave, thall be separated and loosened from those particles of the earth which had been destined to other purposes; and being thus separated, thofe which had formed the dead bodies Thall be gathered together by the almighty fiat of that God, who not only created them out of nothing, but " made the heavens and earth, and the sea and “ fountains of waters ;” and thus gathered together, those which had been bones shall become bones; and those which had been finews, finews; and flesh, flesh; and those which had been skin, shall be fkin; and the bodies of the race of Adam being thus formed a Yecond time, the fame Almighty power which breathed the breath of life into the dead bodies of our firft parents, shall breathe into them the breath of life, however difperfed, “ that they may live" again in their mortal bodies, according to the literal sense of the prophetic parable of the dry bones, I have before cited from Ezekiel . Thus risen from the grave, and thus reanimated, according to St. Paul, their bodies fnall be changed from their mortal, and yet corrupted fiate, into a state of immortality, incorruption, and a life which shall never end. In this state, the prophet tells us he faw.the fall and great ftand before God;” and in this ftate, according to St. Matthewş, “the Son of Man shall come, in
* Ver. 13.