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any real connexion with such doctrines, and of course never can become a motive to holiness of heart and life. No ; terror of an endless hell produced this, and fear of future misery has become their mainspring of obedience. Hence the necessity of lashing their minds every night of the week with terror to keep them to their duty. But after all that can be done, such fears often wear off, and the
persons return like the dog to his vomit, as ignorant of the grand truths of Christ's death and resurrection and the hope inspired by them, as on the day they professed to be converted. It is so far well, if they do not become twofold more the children of hell than they were before, and greater enemies to the gospel of Christ.
It is a very obvious fact, that in the apostolic age all converts were made by the same doctrine; nor did the apostles ever hold up hell torments to induce men to repent, and turn to God, and do works meet for
repentance. Nor was it any part of their work to publish a set of rules whereby revivals might be got up, or prescribe a course of exercises, by which persons might convert either themselves or others. No, the righteousness which is of faith, spoke a different language, as may be seen, Rom. 10: 6—14. It was what the person believed, which saved him, if he kept it in memory, and in this
way off from glorying in himself, or despising others. His hope, joy and obedience depended on his abiding in the faith he had embraced, and the reason why others did not experience the same effects, was, they still abode in unbelief. The life of a Christian commenced by his faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus, and being baptised in his name, Rom. 6:4–6. Col. 2: 10-14. His justification, peace with God, hope of future glory, and progress in the Christian course, entirely depended on holding fast
the faithful word, Rom. 4: 23—25. 5:1-10. 3: 1931. Acts 13: 30–40. Rom.ch. 6, 8. Phil. 3: 10—21. Rom. 7: 4-6. He could no more make progress in the Christian life, if he lost sight of those grand truths, than a child can in reading, who forgets his alphabet. The love manifested in the death of Christ sweetly constrained to a new life, 2 Cor. 5: 14, 15. It led the person to place his affections on things above, Col. 3: 1–4. Eph. 2:6; and cheerfully to suffer afilictions for the gospel's sake, Heb. 13: 20. 1 Peter 3: 21, 22. 1 Cor. 4:10-18. 15: 19. Acts 23: 6. 24: 1. 26: 8. 28: 20. Col. 1: 27. In short, he who held fast those grand truths continued in his course, and finished it with joy, 2 Tim. 4: 6-9. He who abandoned them gave up the whole of Christianity, and returned to the pleasures of sin for a sea. son, 1 Cor. 15. 2 Tim. 2: 17, 18. 2 Peter 2: 20—22.
To conclude. No fact, since the world began, is attested with such evidence as the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Toit the mind of man is directed for a solid ground of hope beyond the grave, and until fixed on it, he only wanders in idle, endless speculations, ever learning, but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
On the resurrection of Man from the dead.
JOB (14: 14) asks the question, “if a man die shall he live again ?” But why ask such a question if he believed the moment a man died, his soul existed in a future state ? Dr. Good, quoted Essay i. sect. 3, contends that future existence in the book of Job is predicated, not on the immortality of the soul, but the resurrection of the body. Accordingly Job says, in verse 12, “ Man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep."
* If a man dies shall he live again? Is a question human wisdom could never answer in the affirma. tive. All past experience and daily observation answer it in the negative. It is true that several per. sons, under both the Jewish and Christian dispensa. tions, were raised from the dead, but they all died again. They were examples of the power of God, but gave no certainty to man, that he should be raised from death to die no more. This depends entirely on the good pleasure and promise of the author of life, and deists would confer a favor by informing us, how his pleasure respecting this could be known without a divine revelation. No miracle could be better suited to attest a divine revelation than raising a dead person to life. It was a speci. men of the thing promised, altested the truth of the promise, and proved that he who wrought it was from God.
Scripture and facts show, that the hope of a resurrection from the dead formed a broad line of distinction between believers in a divine revelation and all the heathen world. The latter had no hope of this, 1 Thess. 4: 13—18. They deemed it incredible, Acts 23: 6—9. 24: 21. 28: 20. Even the learned Athenians mocked at it, Acts 17. Among the Jews, the sect of the Sadducees denied the resurrection, but the Pharisees believed it, hence when Paul expressed his hope of the resurrection, the two sects were immediately at variance, Acts 23: 6—8. 26: 8. Our Lord imputed the Sadducees' denial of the resurrection to their ignorance of the Scriptures. The doctrine of transmigration, which was considered kind of resurrection, was believed by some in the
days of our Lord, John 9. 1-3. Matt. 14:1, 2. 16: 14. Mark 6: 15, 16. Luke 9: 7, 19. But this, with many other notions, the Jews had learned from their intercourse with the heathen. See Essay i. sect. 3.
We have seen from the preceding Section, that Christianity is founded on the fact, that Christ ros from the dead. This fact was the constant theme of the apostles ; but in connexion with it they preached “ through Jesus Christ the resurrection from the dead," Acts 17: 18, 32. To the hope of this men were be. gotten by the labors of the apostles. They considered all their labors lost, where this hope was not produced; and to all who enjoyed it, it was a constant theme of gratitude, and the most powerful motive to a holy life, 1 Peter 1: 3, 4. 1 John 3: 3. He who abandoned this, abandoned Christianity, 1 Cor. 15. 2 Tim. 2: 18.
In considering the subject of man's resurrection from the dead, an answer to the following questions will embrace the substance of what the Bible says on this subject.
1st, Who is to raise the dead? This is always ascribed in Scripture to the power of God. No man, who believes in his power, can doubt it. Paul declares it is God who raiseth the dead, 2 Cor. 1: 9. But he is to raise the dead by Jesus Christ in the last day, 2 Cor. 4: 14. John 6. Stephen knowing this, commended his spirit or himself to Jesus. Had the Sadducees duly considered the power of God, they would not bave denied the resurrection, for our Lord imputes their denial of it to their ignorance of his power, as well as their ignorance of the Scriptures.
2d. Who are to be raised from the dead? Paul says, Acts 24: 15, “and have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead both of the just and unjust.” Our Lord had said, Luke 14: 14, “ thou shalt
be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.”. But, some it is thought affirmed that the unjust were not to be raised, but were to be blotted forever out of existence; hence, in opposition to this sentiment, Paul declared his faith in the resurrection of the unjust as well as the just. Some now affirm that the wicked are not to be raised. This is just what the heathen world believed concerning all, for they deemed a resurrection of the dead impossible. It has become a popular doctrine among all sects in our day, that Jesus Christ died for all. We hope it will soon come to be as popular, that he rose for just as many as he died, and this was for their justification. It appears to me a strange doctrine, that Cbrist should be the propitiation for the sins of the whole world, yet rise only for a few. Does not Paul plainly intimate that he rose for the justification of all for whose sins he was delivered ? Rom. 4; 25, and is it more certain that in Adam all die, than that in Christ all shall be made alive? 1 Cor. 15. There is only one passage which speaks of the resurrection of the wicked: as our orthodox friends and Mr. Hudson lay great stress on it, in proving their respective views of an endless and limited punishment, we shall here consider it. It is
John 5: 28, 29. “Marvel not at this, for the hour is coming in the which all that are in the graves sball hear his voice, and shall come forth : they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” This passage we have considered very fully in the Universalist Magazine, vol. 7. to which I must refer the reader for many remarks which my limits will not permit me to introduce. Passing over a full examination of the context there given, I would only remark, that this passage occurs in a discourse of our Lord's to the unbelieving Jews,