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heard in the city of his God confirms "the Minister of the Sanctuary," will his diligence and animates his hope. unfold to his church the mysteries He takes the experience of others, and which have perplexed them; when we proceeds upon the supposition that it gather together what is gorgeous, and may be made his own. And it is made precious, and beautiful, in the visible his own. Through faith the same won- creation, and crowd it into the imders are wrought. Through prayer the agery wherewith we delineate the final same mercies are obtained. The same home of the saints; when we take the promises are accomplished, the same sun from the firmament, that the Lord assistances communicated, the same God may shine there, and remove all victories achieved. And as the man re- temples from the city, that the Almembers how his spirit glowed at the mighty may be its Sanctuary, and hush mention of noble things done on behalf all human minstrelsy, that the immense of the righteous; how the records of tide of song may roll from thousand good men's lives soothed him, and times ten thousand voices—we speak cheered him, and excited him ; how only the words of truth and soberness, their prayers taught him to be a sup- though we have not compassed the pliant, and their praises moved him to greatness, nor depicted the loveliness, be hopeful; how they seemed to have of the portion which awaits the discilived for his instruction, and died for ples of Christ. If there be one passage his comfort-and then as he feels, how, of Scripture which we may venture to through treading the same path, and put into the lips of redeemed men in trusting in the same Mediator, he has glory, it is our text; in this instance, already obtained a measure, and may we may be confident that the change expect a yet larger, of the blessings from earth to heaven will not have made wherewith they were blessed of their the language of the one unsuited to God -oh, his language will be that of the other. Oh, as the shining company our text; and he will join, heart and take the circuit of the celestial city; soul, with those who are confessing, as they "walk about Zion, and go round
as we have heard, so have we seen, about her," telling the towers thereof, in the city of our God."
marking well her bulwarks, and conThere will be a yet finer use of these sidering her palaces; who can doubt words: they shall be woven into a no. that they say one to another, "as we bler than the noblest earthly chant. have heard, so have we seen in the ciAre we deceiving men, are we mere- ty of our God ?" We heard that here ly sketching ideal pictures, to whose the wicked cease from troubling," beauty and brilliancy there is nothing and now we behold the deep rich correspondent in future realities, when calm. We heard that here we should we expatiate on the glories of heaven, be with the Lord, and now we see him and task imagination to build its pal- face to face. We heard that here we aces, and portray its inhabitants? Yes, should know, and now the ample page in one sense we deceive them: they of universal truth is open to our inare but ideal pictures which we draw. spection. We heard that here, with What human pencil can delineate the crown on the head, and the harp in scenes in which God manifests his lhe hand, we should execute the will
, presence? What human coloring emu- and hymn the praises, of our God, and late the effulgence which issues from now we wear the diadem, and wake the his throne ? But we deceive them only melody. They can take to themselves through inability to rise sufficiently the words which the dying leader Johigh; we exhaust imagination, but not shua used of the Israelites, "not one the thousandth part is told. They are thing hath failed of all the good deceived, only if they think we tell things which the Lord our God them all, if they take the pictures spake concerning us; all are come to which we draw as perfect representa pass, and not one thing bath failed tions of the majesty of the future. thereof."
When we speak to them of the deep Shall it be said of any amongst our. and permanent repose of heaven; when selves, that they heard of heaven, but we enlarge on the manifestations of made no effort to behold it? Is there Deity; when we declare that Christ, as one who can be indifferent to the an
nouncement of its glories, one who can ven. God is summoning you. Angels feel utterly careless whether he ever are summoning you. The myriads who prove for himself, that there has been have gone before are summoning you. no deceit, no exaggeration, but that it We are surrounded by a "great cloud is indeed a surpassingly fair land which of witnesses.” The battlements of the is to be everlastingly the home of sky seem thronged with those who those who believe in the Redeemer ?' have fought the good fight of faith. Everlastingly the home—for we must They bend down from the eminence, not overlook the concluding words of and bid us ascend, through the one our text, "God will establish it for Mediator, to the same lofty dwelling. ever.” The walls of that city shall They shall not call in vain. We know never decay; the lustres of that city their voices, as they sweep by us soshall never grow dim; the melodies of lemnly and sweetly. And we think, that city shall never be hushed. And and we trust, that there will not be is it of a city such as this that any one one of you who will leave the sanctuof us can be indifferent whether or no ary without some such reflection and he be finally an inhabitant? We will prayer as this-I have heard of heaven, not believe it. The old and the young, I have been told of its splendors and the rich and the poor, all must be ready of its happiness; grant, gracious and to bind themselves by a solemn vow, eternal Father, that I fail not at last to that they will "seek first the kingdom be associated with those who shall reof God, and his righteousness.” It is joicingly exclaim, " as we have heard, not the voice of a solitary and weak so have we seen, in the city of the fellow-man which now tells you of hea- 'Lord of Hosts.”
THE GENERAL RESURRECTION AND JUDGMENT
Marvel not at this; for the hour is coming in which all that are in the graves shall 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."--St. John, 5:28, 29.
You will at once perceive that these regard of those effects, which borrowwords of our Savior are not to be un. ed its imagery from death and a resurderstood without a reference to those rection. This surprised and displeased by which they are preceded. They his hearers. They could not undershow that surprise was both felt and stand how the word of Christ could expressed at something which he had possess such a power as he had claimjust said ; for they are a direction to ed; and they perhaps even doubted his audience not to marvel, or wonder, whether the new creation of which he at what he had affirmed, seeing that he spake, the quickening of souls " dead had to state what was yet more aston- in trespasses and sins,” ever took ishing. If you examine the context of place. the passage, you will find that our It was to meet these feelings, which Lord had been speaking of the effects he perceived stirring in their minds, which should follow upon belief of his that Christ proceeded to address them word, and that he had used language in in the words of our text. "Marvel not
at this.” As though he had said, you And when we reach this conclusion, are staggered at what I have declared, we are at a point from which to view fancying it incredible, or, at least, far with great amazement the resurrection beyond my power. But I have a yet of the body. So long as a divine intermore wonderful thing of which to tell ference is limited to the soul, we may you, a thing that shall be done by be said to be prepared, at least in a demyself, though requiring still greater gree, for whatever can be told us of its might. You are amazed that I should greatness and disinterestedness. We speak of raising those who are morally attach a dignity to the soul, which, dead; but "marvel not at this; for the though it could not, after there had hour is coming, in which all that are been sin, establish any claim to the in the graves shall hear my voice.” succors of God, seems to make it, if
This appears to us the true account not to be expected, yet not to be wonof our Lord's reasoning. The resur- dered at, that it was not abandoned to rection of the body, the calling from degradation and ruin. The soul is so the graves those who had long slum- much more nearly of the same nature bered therein, is represented as a more with God than the body, that a spiriwonderful thing than what had just ex- tual resurrection appears a thousandcited the amazement of the Jews. And fold more likely than a corporeal. And thus the passage sets, as we think, the you are to observe that there is nothing resurrection of the body under a most in the nature of the case, to make it imposing point of view, making it the clear to us, that, if the soul were regreat prodigy in God's dealings with deemed, so also must be the body. The our race. That there is nothing else to ordinary current of thought and feelmarvel at, in comparison of the re- ing may almost be said to be against surrection of the dead-this seems to the redemption of the body. The body us the assertion of Christ, and such as. is felt to be an incumbrance to the soul, sertion demands a most careful consi- hindering it in its noblest occupations, deration. Of course, independently on and contributing nothing to its most this assertion, there is a great deal in elevated pleasure. So far from the soul the passage which affords material for being incapable of happiness, if deprofitable meditation, seeing that the tached from the body, it is actually its whole business of the last audit is union with the body, which, to all apsummarily, but strikingly, described. pearance, detains it from happiness; so The remarkable feature, however, of that, in its finest and loftiest musings, the text is undoubtedly that of its mak- its exclamation often is, "O that I had ing the resurrection of the body the wings like a dove, for then would I flee first of all marvels; and it is, therefore, away and be at rest!” Even now the to the illustration of this that we shall soul is often able to rise above the body, give our chief care, though not to the to detach itself, for a while, from matexclusion of the more general truths ter, and to soar into regions which it aflirmed by our Lord.
feels to be more its home than this Now we are accustomed to think, earth. And when compelled to return and, doubtless, with justice, that there from so splendid an excursion, there is is an affinity between God and our a sentiment of regret that it must still souls, but nothing of the kind between tabernacle in flesh; and it is conscious God and our bodies. We do not in- of longing for a day when it may finally deed presume to speak of the human abandon its perishable dwelling soul, any more than of the human body, Thus there is nothing of a felt neas having congeniality, or sameness of cessity for the re-union of the soul to nature, with the great first cause, the the body, to guide us in expecting the self-existent Deity. But we may ven- corporeal as well as the spiritual resurture to declare that all the separation rection. We might almost affirm that which there is between the soul and the feeling is all the other way. And the body, is an advance towards the though, through some fine workings of nature of God, so that the soul, inas- reason, or, through attention to lingermuch as it is spiritual, far more nearly ing traces of patriarchal religion, men, resembles the divine Being than the destitute of the light of revelation, have body, inasmuch as it is material reached a persuasion of the soul's im
mortality, never have they formed even link of association with the lowest of a conjecture of the body's resurrec- the brutes, and which natural and retion. They have imaged to themselves vealed theology are alike earnest in the spirit, which they felt burning and removing to the farthest possible disbeating within them, emancipated from tance from the divine nature—the bothraldom, and admitted into a new and dy, whose members are "the instrueternal estate. But they have consign- ments of
of unrighteousness," whose ed the body to the interminable dishon-wants make our feebleness, whose ors of the grave; and never, in the lusts are our tempters, whose infirmiboldest imaginings, whether of their ties our torment-that this ignoble and philosophy or their poetry, have they decaying thing should be cared for by thrown life into the ashes of the sepul- God, who is ineffably more spiritual chre. It is almost the voice of nature, than spirit, so that he designs its re-apthat the soul survives death: the soul pearance in his own immediate pregives its own testimony, and often so sence, what is comparable in its wonimpressively, that a man could as easily derfulness to this ? Prodigy of prodidoubt his present as his future exist- gies, that this corruptible should put ence. But there is no such voice put on incorruption, this mortal immortaforth in regard of the body; no solemn lity. And scribes and pharisees might and mysterious whisperings are heard have listened with amazement, and from its resting place, the echo of a even with incredulity, as the Lord truth which seems syllabled within us, our Redeemer affirmed the effects that bone shall come again to bone, which would be wrought on the soul and sinews bind them, and skin cover through the doctrines and deeds of his them, and breath stir them.
mission. But he had stranger things to And we may safely argue, that, if tell; for he had to speak of the body as the immortality of the soul be an arti- well as of the soul, rising from its rucle of natural theology, but the resur- ins, and gloriously reconstructed. Yes, rection of the body were never even observing how his bearers were surprithought of by the most profound of its sed, because he had spoken of the spidisciples, there can be no feeling in ritually dead as quickened by his word, man that the matter, as well as the spi- he might well say unto them, marvel rit, of which he is composed, must re- not at this,” and give as his reason, appear in another state of being, in or- " for the hour is coming, in which all der either to the possibility or the fe- that are in the graves shall hear my licity of bis existence. So that-for voice.” this is the point to which our remarks Now, throughout this examination tend-we may declare of the resurrec- of the truth, that the resurrection of tion of the body, that it is altogether the body furnishes, in an extraordinary an unexpected fact, one which no exer- degree, cause of wonder and surprise, cise of reason could have led us to we have made no reference to the disconjecture, and for which there is not play of divine power which this resureven that natural longing which might rection must present. We have simply be interpreted into an argument of its enlarged on what may be called the probability. It is not then when God unexpectedness of the event, proving interposes on behalf of the soul, it is this unexpectedness from the inferiorwhen he interposes on behalf of the ity of matter, its utter want of affinity body, that the great cause is given for to Deity, and the feelings of even man amazement. A spark, one might almost himself in regard to its detracting from call it, of himself, an emanation from his dignity and happiness. his own immortality, mighty in its But we do not know, that, in the powers, mysterious in its wanderings, whole range of things effected by God, sublime in its anticipations, we scarce- there is aught so surprising, regard ly wonder that a spiritual thing like being had only to the power displayed, the soul should engage the carefulness as the resurrection of the body. If you of its Maker, and that, if it sully its will ponder, for a few moments, the brightness, and mar its strength, he facts of a resurrection, you will probashould provide for its final recovery. bly allow that the power which must But the body-matter, which is man's be exerted in order to the final reconstruction of every man's body, is more of none but myself, if it were only in signal than that displayed in any spi- my solitary case that a certain portion ritual renovation, or in any of those of matter had thus to be watched, kept operations which we are able to trace distinct though mingled, and approin the visible universe. You are just to priated to myself whilst belonging to think that this framework of flesh, in others. But try to suppose the same which my soul is now enclosed, will holding good of every human being, of be reduced at death to the dust from Adam, and each member of his countwhich it was taken. I cannot tell where less posterity, and see whether the or what will be my sepulchre—whether resurrection will not utterly confound I shall sleep in one of the quiet church and overburden the mind. To every inyards of my own land, or be exposed dividual in the interminable throng shall on some foreign shore, or fall a prey to his own body be given, a body so litethe beasts of the desert, or seek a tomb rally his own, that it shall be made up, in the depths of the unfathomable wa- to at least a certain extent, of the matters. But an irreversible sentence has ter which composed it whilst he dwelt gone forth-"dust thou art, and unto on this earth. And yet this matter may dust thou shalt return”-and assured- have passed through innumerable chanly, ere many years, and perhaps even ges. 'It may have circulated through ere many days have elapsed, must my the living tribes of many generations; "earthly house of this tabernacle be or it may have been waving in the trees dissolved," rafter from rafter, beam of the forest; or it may have floated on from beam, and the particles, of which the wide waters of the deep. But there it has been curiously compounded, be has been an eye upon it in all its approseparated from each other, and perhaps priations, and in all its transformations ; scattered to the four winds of heaven. so that, just as though it had been inAnd who will pretend to trace the delibly stamped, from the first, with the wanderings, of these particles, into name of the human being to whom it what other substances they may en- should finally belong, it has been unerter, of what other bodies they may ringly reserved for the great day of reform part so as to appear and disap- surrection. Thus myriads upon myripear many times in living shape before ads of atoms-for you may count up the dawn of the great Easter of the till imagination is wearied, and then universe ? There is manifestly the most reckon that you have but one unit of thorough possibility, that the elements the still inapproachable sum-myriads of which my body is composed, may upon myriads of atoms, the dust of have belonged to the bone and flesh of kingdoms, the ashes of all that have successive generations; and that, when lived, are perpetually jostled, and minI shall have passed away and be forgot- gled, and separated, and animated, and ten, they will be again wrought into swept away, and reproduced, and, nethe structure of animated beings. vertheless, not a solitary particle but
And when you think that my body, holds itself ready, at the sound of the at the resurrection, must have at least last trump, to combine itself with a so much of its original matter, as shall multitude of others, in a human body be necessary for the preservation of in which they once met perhaps a thouidentity, for the making me know and sand years before. feel myself the very same being who We frankly own that this appears to sinned, and suffered, and was disciplin- us among the most inscrutable of won. ed on earth, you must allow that no- ders. That God should have produced thing short of infinite knowledge and countless worlds, and that he should power could prevail to the watching, marshal all their motions, as they walk and disentangling, and keeping duly the immensity of his empire-it is an separate, whatever is to be again build amazing contemplation; and the mind ed into a habitation for my spirit, so cannot compass
greatness of a powthat it may be brought together from er which had only to speak and it was the four ends of the earth, detached done, and which hath ever since upfrom other creatures, or extracted from held its own magnificent creation, in other substances. This would be in all the grandeur of its structures
, and deed a wonderful thing, if it were true in all the harmony of its relations. But,