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u wake, fome to everlasting life, and some to shame “ and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise, “ Thall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and " they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars “ for ever and ever.” As this paffage contains a direct and plain assertion of the resurrection of the body, and of life everlasting ; so, according to the known rules of interpretation, it is by this more particular passage that we must explain the more general expressions of the same prophet, in the forecited 7th chapter, y 18. where he tells us, that the saints of the Most High should poffefs the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. It is remarkable, that in both these passages the prophet makes use of the strongest expressions imaginable to signify perpetuity in the strictest sense, for ever and ever.
In ll. xxv. 8. after a magnificent promise, of God's enlightening and feasting all nations, which feasting must relate to the full satisfaction resulting from the bleffings of God's covenant, it is said, “ He will swallow up death in victory, and the “ Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces :" and though these words may relate, not only to the actual bestowing of a blessed resurrection at the last day, but also to the clear revelation of it by the gospel; this does not weaken the argument from this text, for a state of future blessedness, where death and forrow shall be abolished for ever ; without the hope of which blessedness there can be no true fpiritual feasting, or full satisfaction, given to an immortal soul. Whereas this promise of immortality is expressed by way of threatening against death, it serves to give light to another threatening of the same kind in Hosea xiii. 14. “ I will rinsom " them from the power of the grave : I will re" deem them from death : () death, I will be thy " plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction ; re
pentance shall be hid from mine eyes :" where, seeing the fame general truth, the abolishing of
death, is repeated four or five times in so strong and emphatic expressions, it is a proof that the words are to be understood in the highest sense ; which is at the same time the most literal sense they are capable of, and the most agreeable to parallel scriptures, particularly to those already cited.
Though Pfal. xvi. 9. 10. is applied peculiarly to the Messiah, yet if we consider even the prophetical doctrine concerning the relations between him and his people, he being their representative, their hufband, and their parent *, there is a connection between his resurrection and theirs : and accordingly it is said, 11. xxvi. 19.“ Thy dead men thall live, " together with my dead body shall they arise : a“ wake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy “dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall " cast out the dead :” where it is evident, that men are represented as attaining to a most joyful resurrection from the dead; and that by virtue of the resurrection of the dead body of some extraordinary person ; who, by the best rules of interpretation, can be no other than the Messiah, who by saving men from sin, it behoved him to save them from death; which, according to the Old Testament as well as the New, is the fruit of sin.
The passages that have been mentioned, where the resurrection of the body is expressed by awaking out of sleep, and out of the dust, serve to give light to some other passages which are perhaps of themfelves more obscurc; as Psal. xvii. 14. 15. where the psalmist distinguishes himself from those whose portion is only in this life, which must be the case of all men, setting aside the hopes of immortality; and adds, “ As for me, I will behold thy face in
righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, " with thy likeness.” And Pfal. xlix. where the pfalmist, after telling us, v 6.7. &c. that men who trust in riches, cannot be redeemed or ransomed from death by their riches, so as to live for ever ; he insinuates, that those who trust not in riches, but in God, have a more glorious prospect of futurity; and says triumphantly, y 15.
See If, liii. ; Pfal, xlv. lxxxix. ; II. lix, 21.
" But God " will redeem my foul from the power of the
grave, for he fall receive me ;" and thence in. fers an exhortation against envying wicked rich men, because when they die they can carry nothing away; which exhortation can have no conceivable coneca tion with that from which it is inferred, namely, the redemption of the ptalaiilt's own soul from the power of the grave, without supposing that as to himself death would not deprive him of all. And accor.iingly, v 14. speaking of the death of foolish and wicked men, he tells us, that “ the upright " thall bave dominion over them in the morning;" which, considering the foregoing words, mult naturally relate to a very remarkable morning after death. It deserves particular attention, that whereas these various expressions appear very obscure, considering the great importance of what is supposed to be the subject of them, there is previous advertisement given in the introduction of the psalm, which has a very peculiar solemnity in it, that the chief subject-matter of it is both of very great importance, and yet to be delivered in dark fayings.
As to passages which speak not directly of the resurrection of the body, but in general of future blessedness : In Pfal. lxxiii. 24. the pfalmift fays, " Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and after“ ward receive me to glory.” It is the scope of the plalm, to thew the justice of the divine administration, notwithstanding the temporal afflictions of the righteous, and the prosperity of the wicked, not only for a part of their life, but sometimes to their very death, it being observed y 4. that there are no bands in their death; which thews, that the desolation mentioned as in a peculiar manner the
end of the wicked, ý 17. 19. cannot be meant, or at leait cannot be restricted to any temporal trouble, or death itself, the common end of all, but must relate to a juit punishment after death : all which evidently favours the common interpretation of the words," and afterwards receive me to glory,” as meant of heaven. And this is still farther confirined, by more expressions than one, in the following context; as,
" Whom have I in heaven but thee?" Ý 25.; and, “ Thou art my portion for ever,” y 26.; especially when this interest in God as his everlasts ing portion is considered as part of the answer to a former objection, “ That he had cleansed his heart " and hands in vain,” because of his great afflictions in this life ; and also as a relief from the ground of dejection mentioned in the words preceding this claim of interest in God for ever, viz.“ My heart " and fleth faileth."
In If. lvii. 1. 2. the righteous are represented as blessed in their death, not only because they are taken from the evils of this life, but because they enter into a state of peace and rest; which reit is not described by inactivity, but is supposed only to be a rest from labour and trouble ; seeing they who enter into that rest are said to walk in their uprightness, which evidently denotes activity in holiness *
In considering some of the many instructions in the Old Testament, which, without so direct assertion of the doctrine of immortality, contain principles whence that doctrine may by necessary consequence be deduced, it is of particular use to have in view fome patterns of that kind of reasoning in the discourses of Christ and his a; ostles; and particularly Christ's arguinent against the Sadducees,
See more arguments, such as those taken from the translation of Enoch and Elijah, and from the writings of Solomon, in books which treat more fully of this subject. See Pl. lxxxiv. at the end. L
taken from the books of Moses, to which these peoples regard is faid to have been in a great meafure confined. It is a remarkable excellency of that arguinent, that it is founded on a general principle, which is not only of evident certainty, but also of evident importance in practice, for guarding against misapprehentions of God; namely, That when God makes strong declarations of great love and favour to any, which is neceffarily implied in his calling himleif their God in a peculiar manner), fuch declarations muit not be supposed to resemble the empty expreilions of love and regard too oft used among men, but must imply God's bestowing on his favourites a happiness worthy of himself, a happiness durable and complete, including deliverance in due time from all the fruits of sin, and consequently from bodily death itself. If people have an interest in God as their God, the most evident confequence of this may justly be expressed in the words of the pfalmist, Pfal. Ixxxiv. II, that God will withhold no good thing from them, but will give them grace and glory. Much to this purpose is the apostle's reaioning, Heb. xi. 16. they is desire a bet
ter country, that is an heavenly: wherefore God " is not alhamed to be called their God; for he “ bath prepared for them a city:" implying, that it would argue dishonourable thoughts of God, to suppose that he lliould make fo magnificent and ample declarations of love ari good-will to any perfons, as his special friends and favourites, if all this should have no more confiderable effects than what take place in this momentary life, and all should end in the total destruction of the very being of those favourites in a little time, by annihilation, after they had shared much less in the enjoyments of this life than many of God's adversaries. But, on the other hand, God's preparing such a city and country, that is, an heavenly, thews, that his favotirs to his people are every way worthy of him