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262 KNOWLEDGE OF ONE ANOTHER Inight be able at last to present them, and to pro sent them perfect in Christ Jesus. Now what St. Paul appeared to look for as to the general continuance, or rather revival, of our k owledge of each other after death, every man who strives like St. Paul, to attain to the resurrection of the dead, may expect, as well as he

Having discoursed thus far concerning the arti. cle of the doctrine itself; I will now proceed to enforce such practical reflections, as result from it. Now it is necessary or you to obserye, that all, which is here produced from Scripture, concerning the resurrection of the dead, relates solely to the resurrection of the just. It is of them only, that St. Paul speaks in the fifteenth chapter of the Corinthians. It is of the body of him, who is accepted in Christ, that the apostle de clares, “that it is sown in dishonour, but raised in glory : sown in weakuess, raised in power." Likewise, when he speaks, in another place, d “ Christ changing our vile bodies that they may be like his glorious body :" it is of the bodies a Christ's saints alone, of whom this is said. This point is, I think, agreed upon amongst learned men, and is indeed very plain. In like manner, in the passage of the text, and, I think, it will be found true of every other, in which mankind knowing one another in a future life is implied, the implication extends only to those, who ale received amongst the blessed. Whom was SL Paul to know ? even those, whom he was to pre sent perfect in Christ Jesus. Concerning the reprobate and rejected, whether they will not be banished from the presence of God, and from all their former relations: whether they will not be lost, as to all happiness of their own, so to the knowledge of those, who knew them in this mor tal state, we have from Scripture no assurance or intimation whatever. One thing seems to follow with probability from the nature of the things namely, that, if the wicked be known to one ano other in a state of perdition, their knowledge will only serve to aggravate their misery.

IN A FUTURE STATE. 263 What then is the inference from all this? do we seek, do we covet earnestly to be restored to the society of those, who were once near and dear to us, and who are gone before? it is only by leading godly lives, that we can hope to have this wish accomplished. Should we prefer, to all de lights, to all pleasures in the world, the satisfaction of meeting again, in happiness and peace, those whose presence, whilst they were amongst us, made up the comfort and enjoyment of our lives? it must be, by giving up our sins, by par. ting with our criminal delights and guilty pursuits, that we can ever expect to attain this satisfaction. Is there a great difference between the thought of losing those we love for ever; of ta. king at their deaths or our own an eternal fare well, never to see them more, and the reflection that we are about to be separated, for a few years at the longest, to be united with them in a new and better state of mutual existence? is there, I say, a difference to the heart of man between these two things and does it not call upon us to strive with redoubled endeavours, that the case truly may tum out so! The more and more we reflect upon the difference between the conse

these two thience to the Mexistence as in a new

quences of a lewd, unthinking, careless, profane,
dishonest life; and a life of religion, sobriety, se.
riousness, good actions and good principles, the
more we shall see the madness and stupidity of
the one, and the true solid wisdom of the other.
This is one of the distinctions. If we go on in our
sins, we are not to expect to awaken to a joyful
meeting with our friends and relatives and dear
connexions. If we turn away from our sins, and
take up religion in earnest, we may. My breth-
ren, religion disarms even death. It disarmas it
of that, which is its bitterness and its sting, the
power of dividing those, who are dear to one an-
other. But this blessing, like every blessing

which it promises, is only to the just and good, to
thing the penitent and reformed, to those, who are

touchard at the best with a sense of its impon

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What then is the inference from all this? do we seek, do we covet earnestly to be restored to

the society of those, who were once near and dear 1 to us, and who are gone before? it is only by lead.

ing godly lives, that we can hope to have this wish accomplished. Should we prefer, to all de. lights, to all pleasures in the world, the satisfac

tion of meeting again, in happiness and peace, I those whose presence, whilst they were amongst ** us, made up the comfort and enjoyment of our e$ lives? it must be, by giving up our sins, by par.

ting with our criminal delights and guilty purFCI suits, that we can ever expect to attain this satis1, r faction. Is there a great difference between the lis thought of losing those we love for ever; of ta. te king at their deaths or our own an eternal fare. body well, never to see them more, and the reflection - apose that we are about to be separated, for a few years E, be at the longest, to be united with them in a new

in and better state of mutual existence? is there, I berp say, a difference to the heart of man between at the these two things ? and does it not call upon us to e bore strive with redoubled enıleavours, that the case aid truly may turn out so? The more and more we it het reflect upon the difference, between the conse- quences of a lewd, unthinking, careless, profane, it wi dishonest life; and a life of religion, sobriety, semet riousness, good actions and good principles, the imply more we shall see the madness and stupidity of u be the one, and the true solid wisdom of the other. 3 This is one of the distinctions. If we go on in our

sins, we are not to expect to awaken to a joyful the meeting with our friends and relatives and dear ne connexions. If we turn away from our sins, and OEM take up religion in earnest, we may. My breth2016 ren, religion disarms even death. It disarms it 01 of that, which is its bitterness and its sting, the

power of dividing those, who are dear to one an-
other. But this blessing, like every blessing
which it promises, is only to the just and good
the penitent and reformed, to those,
touched at the heart with a sense of it

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THE GENERAL RESURRECTION. 265 pleasures, in whatever we intend, plan, or execute, whatever we think about, or whatever we set about; remember, that they that have done good shall come unto the resurrection of life: they that have done evil unto the resurrection of

in aces will begin our death: the happiness or
proves bertime. This every one of a new state

264 THE GENERAL RESURRECTION. tance: who know thoroughly and experimentally, who feel, in their in ward mindand consciences, that religion is the only course that can end well; that can bring either them or theirs to the presence of God, blessed for evermore; that can cause them, after the toils of life and struggle of death are over, to meet again in a joyful deliver ance from the grave; in a new and never-ceasing happiness, in the presence and society of one ko other.

SERMON XXXV.

THE GENERAL RESURNECTION. The hour is coming in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that havo done good, unto the resur rection of life, and they that have done evil, w to the resurrection of damnation.- John v. 28,5

THESE words are so important, that if Jesu Christ had never delivered any other, if he come into the world and pronounced only to simple declaration, and proved the truth and cer tainty of it by the miracles which he wrought, would have left enough to have guided his follow ers to everlasting happiness : he would have done the same more towards making mankind virtuous and hap py, than all the teachers and ail the wisdom, ever appeared upon earth, had done before hun We should each and every one of us have once more to him for this single piece of intelligence than we owe to our parents, our dearest friend or the best benefactor we have. This text is the poor man's creed. It is his religion: it is to imprinted upon his memory and upon his hea it is what the most simple can understand:

bod, we are all what, when understood and believed, excels. Certain of the knowledge and learning in the universe. Havin what we are to carry about with us in our though daily remember and daily retlect upon: rem ber not only at church, not only in our devo or in our set meditations, but in our business,

Reflect what great things this short sentence contains. It teaches us, beyond contradiction, that all does not end here: that our happiness or misery is not over at our death: that a new state of things will begin with every one of us, and that in a short time. This point, I say, our Saviour proves beyond contradiction; and how does he prove it? by healing the sick, by restoring sight to the blind, by raising the dead, by various astonishing and incontestible miracles; and, above all, by coming himself to life again, after being three days dead and buried, he proved, that God Al. mighty was with him; that he came from God; that he knew what passed in the other world; that he had God's own authority to say and promise this to mankind. Upon the faith and trust of this promise, we know that we shall rise again; all are equally assured of it, from the highest to the lowest. Wise and learned men thought indeed the same thing before; they concluded it to be so from probable argument and reasonings; but this was not like having it, as we have it, from God himself; or, what is just the same thing, from the mouth of a person, to whom God gave witness by signs and wonders, and mighty deeds. They were far short of our certainty, who did study it the deepest. There were but few, who could study or comprehend it at all. Blessed be God, we are all informed, we are all, from the

most learned to the inost ignorant, made sure and il Having then this great doctrine secured, that Wichs we shall all come again into a new world and a

few life, the next great point, which every seri. ous mind will turn to the second grand question to be asked, is, who are to be happy, and tho will

pleasures, in whatever we intend, plan, or exe. cute, whatever we think about, or whatever we set about; remember, that “they that have done good shall come unto the resurrection of life :

they that have done evil unto the resurrection of i damnation.”

Reflect what great things this short sentence xe contains. It teaches us, beyond contradiction,

that all does not end here: that our happiness or misery is not over at our death: that a new state of things will begin with every one of us, and that in a short time. This point, I say, our Saviour proves beyond contradiction; and how does he prove it? by healing the sick, by restoring sight to the blind, by raising the dead, by various astonishing and incontestible miracles; and, above all,

by coming himself to life again, after being three ridaydead and buried, he proved, that God AlThe mighty was with him; that he came from God; w that he knew what passed in the other world;

that he had God's own authority to say and promise this to mankind. Upon the faith and trust of this promise, we know that we shall rise again i all are equally assured of it, from the highest to the lowest. Wise and learned men thought indeed the same thing before; they concluded it to be so from probable argument and reasonings; but this was not like having it, as we have it, from God himself; or, what is just the same thing, from the mouth of a person, to whom God gave witness by signs and wonders, and mighty deeds. They were far short of our certainty, who did study it the deepest. There were but few, who could study or comprehend it at all. Blessed be God, we are all informed, we are all, from the most learned to the most ignorant, made sure and certain of it.

Haring then this great doctrine secured, that we shall all come again into a new world and a flew life, the next great point, which every seri. Qus mind will turn to, the second grand question to be asked, is, who are to be happy, and who will

N

THE GENERAL RESURRECTION. 267
to disobey what he knew to be the will and com-
mand of his Creator, by committing mischief,
and doing wrong and injury to his fellow-crea.

tures.

his own she can but compus What evil and harm

266 THE GENERAL RESURRECTION. be miserable in that other state? The text satisfies us completely upon this head. You ask, who shall come to the resurrection of life? The test replies, they that have done good. Observe well, and never forget this answer. It is not the wise, the learned, the great, the honoured, the profes sor of this or that doctrine, the member of this church, or the maintainer of that article of faith; but he that doeth good; he, of whatever quality or condition, who strives honestly to make his of service to those about him; to be useful in calling, and to his generation; to his family, his neighbourhood, and, according to his abiy to his country and to mankind; “ be that do you good.” All the rest, without this, goes for nour ing, though he understand the things of religion ever so well; or believe ever so rightly: thouz, he cry, Lord, Lord : be he ever so constant .. devout in his prayers; or talk ever so much, . so well, or so earnestly for religion ; unless her good ; unless his actions, and dealings, and benar jour come up to his knowledge and his discours correspond with his outwar profession and do lief, it will avail him nothing; be is not the ma to whom Jesus Christ hath promised in the tex that he shall come to the resurrection of The issue of lite and death is put upon our cou duct and behaviour ; that is made the test we al to be tried by.

Again : when we read in Scripture, when. know from positive and undoubted authority, misery and destruction, ruin, torment, and a nation are reserved for some, it is surely the natural, the most interesting of all inquirte, know for whom. The text tells us, “fort that have done evil.”

Here, let the timorous conscience take cours age. It is not any man's errors, or ignoran his want of understanding, or education, or ty, that will be laid to his charge at the con judgment; or that will bring him into dans of the damnation, which the gospel threatenka is having done evil; baying wiffally gone ab

Let the bold and presumptuous sinner hear this
text with fear and tiembling. Let him, who cares
not what misery he occasions, what evil and harm
he does, if he can but compass his purpose, carry
his own end, or serve his wicked lusts and plea.
sures; let him, I say, be given to understand,
what he has to look for;" he that doeth evil
shall come to the resurrection of damnation ;"
this is absolute, final, and peremptory; here is no
exception, no excuse, no respect of persons, or
condition.

They, that have done good, shall come again
unto the resurrection of life. But, alas! I hear
you say, what good can I do? my means and my
opportunities are too small and straitened to
think of doing good. You do not sufficiently re.
flect, what doing good is. You are apt to confine
the notion of it to giving to others, and giving libe-
rally. This, no doubt, is right and meritorious ;
butit is certainly not in every man's power; com-
paratively speaking, it is, indeed, in the power
of very few. But doing good is of a much more
general nature; and is in a greater and less de-
gree practicable by all; for, whenever we make
one human creature happier, or better than he
would have been without our help, then we de
good ; and, when we do this from a proper mo.

he most

tive, that is with a sense and desire of pleasing God by doing it, then we do good in the true sense of the text, and of God's gracious promise. Now let every one, in particular, reflect, whether, in this sense, he has not some good in his power; some within his own doors, to his family, his chile dren, his kindred; by his labour, his authority, his example, by bringing them up, and keeping them in the way of passing their lives honestly, and quietly, and usefully. What good more inportant, more practicable than this is ? Agarith,

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