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" in thy presence is fulness of joy, at thy right « hand there are pleasures for evermore.” Pl.
“ As for me, I will behold thy face in “ righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I “ awake, with thy likeness."
But there seems to be very express mention of a future state in the following passage of the book of Job, ch. xix. 25.
" For I know that my re“ deemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the " latter day upon the earth. And though, after my “ skin, worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh « shall I see God; whom I shall see for myself, " and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; " though my reins be consumed within me.
In the book of Daniel there is still a more express mention of a resurrection, and of the condition of the righteous and of the wicked after it. Dan. xii. 2. “ Many of them that sleep in the 66 dust of the earth shall awake, fome to ever
lasting life, and some to shame and everlasting “ contempt." There seems also to be a particular promise to Daniel of his own resurrection in the concluding words of the book, v. 13. “But go " thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt “ rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.” He was then too old to have any more preferment in this life, and he had all the power that a subject could have.
In the history of the Maccabees, who bravely suffered death rather than abandon their religion, we see the fullest confidence in their expectation of a happy resurrection, especially in what was said by the mother and her seven sons*, at their martyrdom, the particulars of which, being very striking, I shall here quote. 2 Mac. vii. 9. &c. “ And when he,” viz. the second son, was at the “ last gasp, he said, Thou, like a fury, takest us
out of this present life, but the King of the " world shall raise us up, who have died for his “ laws, unto everlasting life.” The third, speaking of his tongue and hands, which they were going to mangle, said, ver. II. “ These I had « from heaven; and for his laws I despise them, “ and from him I hope to receive them again.” The fourth, when he was ready to die, said, ver. 14. “ It is good, being put to death by men, to “ look for hope from God, to be raised up again « by him: as for thee, thou shalt have no re“ furrection to life.” Lastly, the mother exhorted them in her own language, ver. 21. saying, « I cannot tell how ye came into my womb, for “ I neither gave you breath, nor life, neither was, « it I that formed the members of every one of
Though this particular story should be fabulous, it is no less an evidence of the opinion that prevailed among the Jews before the time of our Saviour,
you; but doubtless the Creator of the world, " who formed the generation of man, and found " out the beginning of all things, will also, of his
own mercy, give you breath and life again, as ye now regard not your own selves.”
The manner in which the belief of a resurrection is here expressed, clearly Ihows, that it was no novel doctrine among the Jews of those times, but that they considered themselves as speaking agreeably to the faith of all their ancestors; and it is hard to conceive how they could have been mistaken in this. The doctrine of a resurrection from the dead never occured to any of the heathens, even those who supposed that there might be a future life. It does not seem, therefore, that this general and firm expectation of the Jews, which was peculiar to themselves, and contrary to all present appearances, could have had any other origin than divine revelation, though we have no account when, or to whom, this revelation was made.
This argument, a posteriori, makes it probable, that David, and other writers of the Old Testament, did really refer to the doctrine of a resurrection, and a future life, in those passages to which, without the knowledge of what were the sentiments of the Jews afterwards, we might naturally enough have been led to give a different interpretation. Had there been any new reveN6
Tation of so important a doctrine between the time of David and the Maccabees (as it was a period in which many eminent Jewish prophets flourished) we might naturally expect to have found some particular account of it. But, fuppofing it to have been the univerfal opinion of the patriarchs, founded upon some well-known, though very antient revelation, and never to have been forgotten, or loft fight of, by the pious Ifraelites (though it was quite loft with the rest of the world) we may much better satisfy ourselves with finding so little express mention of it.
With the Pharisees, among the Jews, in our Saviour's time, the expectation of a resurrection was universal ; though it appears that, in some respects, they had a very imperfect idea of it, and the Sadducees altogether denied it. Thus Martha, the fister of Lazarus, says to our Saviour, when he told her that her brother should rise again, John xi. 24. “ I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day;". which evidently shows, that the took the doctrine for granted, without seeming to have learned it from Chrift.
In all the New Testament, we find the greatest possible stress laid upon this doctrine. Christians having no expectations, as the Jews had, from temporal considerations, expected all their reward in a future life. All the recompense they looked for, on account of their fufferings in the cause of truth and righteousness, was at the resurrection of
the juft. This, therefore, is the great fanction of virtue in christianity, which inculcates upon the professors of it, that they are to consider themselves as not of this world, but as citizens of heaven, and only strangers and pilgrims upon earth, in full afsurance that, by patient continuance in well doing, they shall at length, attain to glory, honour, immortality, and eternal life.
We likewise learn, in the gospel, that Christ is appointed both to raise all the dead, and to judge the world at the last day. Addressing himself to the Jews, he says, John vi. 40. “This is the " will of him that sent me, that every one who “ seeth the son, and believeth on him, may have “ everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the " last day.” Speaking to Martha, upon the occasion of the death of Lazarus, he says, “I am “ the resurrection, and the life;" and when he was solemnly adjured by the high priest, at his trial, to say whether he was the Christ, he said, Mark xiv. 62. “ I am, and ye shall see the son of
man sitting on the right hand of power, and “ coming in the clouds of heaven.” Our Lord gives a more particular account of the proceedings of this great day. Matt. xxv. 31.
6 When the " son of man fhall come in his glory, and all the “ holy angels with him, then thall he fit upon " the throne of his glory. And before him shall “ be gathered all nations, and he shall separate