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SERMON X.

How Chrift has given us the Victory over Death.

[Preached on Eafter-Day.]

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1. COR. XV. 56, 57.

The Sting of Death is Sin, and the
Strength of Sin is the Law; But
Thanks be to God which giveth us the
Victory, through our Lord Jefus Chrift.

Proceed now to the third and SER M. last Thing I proposed, which X. was to show how Chrift gives us the Victory over Death, which is the last enemy to be deftroyed, 1 Cor. xv. 26. Death is either na

tural

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SER M. tural and temporal, which is the Death of the body; or eternal, which is the Death and the Destruction of the Soul In the Old Teftament, Death generally fignifies that temporal Death, which is the diffolution of the body; tho' when it is threatened as the punishment of Sin, it præfigures and includes in it eternal Death. Which is also sometimes expressly threatned even in the Old Teftament; thus Ezek. xviii. 26. When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquities, and dieth in them, for his iniquity that he hath done fhall he die; the manner of expreffion is very obfervable: If he repent not of his iniquity but dieth in it, then for the iniquity that he hath done fhall he die. In the New Teftament, Death, when 'tis threatened to Sinners, fignifies almost always eternal Death; the Gofpel containing, as a more clear discovery of life and immortality, fo also a more express revelation of the wrath of God from Heaven, against all unrighteousness and ungodlinefs of men. Now over both these kinds of Death, Death

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temporal and eternal, Chrift gives us the SER M. victory, or delivers us from the power of them: The power of temporal Death is univerfal, as the punishment threatened to Adam's tranfgreffion was extensive; and 1. the deliverance from it fhall be alfo univerfal; For as in Adam all die, all are become fubject to mortality; even fo in Chrift fhall all be made alive, 1 Cor. xv. 22. Eternal Death is the punishment of unrepented Sin, and from This all those who repent and obey the Gospel, shall be delivered by Christ.

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I SHALL confider 1ft the victory that Chrift gives us over temporal Death; and for the clearer explaining the nature of this victory, fhall indeavour to fhow 1ft, That there shall be a refurrection of the body, and 2dly, in what manner the body shall be raised.

Ift,THAT there fhall be a refurrection of the body. That the foul fhould furvive the diffolution of the body, and be capable of receiving in a future State the rewards or punishments due to the good or evil it had done in this life, was clearly enough deducible from the light of nature, and P 4 proved

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SER M. proved by undeniable reasonings: But that the body should be again formed out of the duft, and reunited to the Soul, from which it was separated by Death, was a Doctrine, which as it could not be proved merely by reason and argument, fo the Philofophers, who pretended to be the great masters of reason, looked upon it as the most impoffible thing in nature. Some of them reckoned it among those things, which they thought were not in the power even of their Gods themselves to effect; and we read of certain Philosophers, A&t. xvii. 18. who incountered St Paul, and when they heard of the refurrection, they mock'd him, faying, that he feemed to be a fetter forth of strange Gods, because he preached unto them Jefus and the Refurrection. Yet is there nothing in any wife impoffible, or contrary to reason, in this great Mystery: For why should it be thought a thing impoffible that God should raife the dead? Why should it be more impoffible for God to gather together the dif perfed parts of a corrupted body, and reunite them to their former Soul, than to

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create matter at firft out of nothing, and SER M. then form it into a humane body, and X. breath into it the breath of life? Why fhould any man man be fo weak as to imagine, that he, who at the creation separated the confused mass of matter into fo many different forts of bodies, cannot with the same ease at the general Refurrection feparate again the fame confufed matter, and affign to each particular body its own parts? If it is not difficult for him to number the Stars of Heaven and call them all by their names; it can be no difficulty to him to keep an exact account of all our scattered parts; and to recollect and reunite them when he pleases. 'Twas not therefore because the thing is in itself at all impoffible, but only because the manner of it is a mystery not discoverable barely by the light of nature, that the Heathen World was utterly ignorant of the Refurrection from the dead. The proof therefore of this great truth must be founded in Revelation, and fought for only in the Holy Scriptures. And here it must be confeffed, that the Jews had not a clear

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