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zarus, Jesus tarried two days in the pressed frankly her belief in a general place where the message had found him. resurrection; but she seemed not to asHe loved Lazarus, and Martha and Mary sociate this resurrection with Jesus as his sisters. It must then have been the a cause and an agent. The Redeemer, dictate of affection that he should hast- therefore, gathers, as it were, the geneen to the distressed family as soon as ral resurrection into Himself; and, as informed of their affliction. But had he though asserting that all men shall inreached Bethany before Lazarus expir- deed rise, but only through mysterious ed, or soon after the catastrophe had union with himself, he declares, not occurred, we may readily see that the that he will effect the resurrection, sumsame objection might have been urged moning by his voice the tenantry from against the miracle of restoration, as in the sepulchres, but that he is Himself the other instances in which the grave that resurrection: "I am the resurrechad been deprived of its prey. There tion and the life.” would not have been incontrovertible Now it were beside our purpose to proof of actual death ; and neither, follow further the narrative of the raistherefore, would there have been in ing of Lazarus. We have shown you controvertible proof that Jesus was how the words of our text are intro" the prince of life.” Acts, 3 : 15. But, duced, and we shall find, that, when deby so delaying his journey that he ar- tached from the context, they furnish rived not at Bethany until Lazarus had material of thought amply sufficient been four days dead, Christ cut off all for a single discourse. occasion of cavil, and, rendering it un- It seems to us, that, in claiming such deniable that the soul had been sepa- titles as those which are to come unrated from the body, rendered it equally der review, Christ declared himself the undeniable, when he had wrought the cause and the origin of the immortality miracle, that he possessed the power of our bodies and souls. In announcing of re-uniting the two.
himself as "the resurrection,” he must As Jesus approached Bethany, he was be considered as stating that he alone met by Martha, who seems to have en- effects the wondrous result of the cortertained some indistinct apprehension ruptible putting on incorruption. In that his prevalence with God, if not his announcing himself as "the life," he own might, rendered possible, even then, equally states that he endows the spirit the restoration of her brother. "I know with its happiness, yea, rather with its that, even now, whatsoever thou wilt existence through eternity. If Christ ask of God, God will give it thee.” had only termed himself" the resurrecThis drew from Jesus the saying, "thy tion," we might have considered him brother shall rise again." The resur- as referring merely to the body-asrection of the body was, at this time, serting it to be a consequence on his an article of the national creed, being work of mediation that the dust of ages confessed by the great mass of the Jews, shall again quicken into life. But when though denied by the Sadducees. Hence He terms himself also "the lise,” we Martha had no difficulty in assenting to cannot but suppose a reference to the what Jesus declared; though she plain- immortality of the soul, so that this ly implied that she both wished and noble and sublime fact is, in some way, loped something more on behalf of her associated with the achievements of brother. "I know that he shall rise redemption. again in the resurrection, at the last We are accustomed, indeed, to think day.” And now it was, that, in order to that the immortality of the soul is inobtain a precise declaration of faith in dependent on the atonement; so that, his power, Jesus addressed Martha in although had there been no redemption the words of our text, words of an ex- there would have been no resurrection, traordinary beauty and solemnity, put the principle within us would have reby the church into the mouth of the mained unquenched, subsisting forever, minister, as he meets the sorrowing and for ever accessible to pain and penband who bear a brother, or a sister, to alty. We shall not pause to examine the long home appointed for our race. the justice or injustice of the opinion. Jesus said unto her, "I am the resur- We shall only remark that the existrection and the life.” Martha had ex-lence of the soul is, undoubtedly, as de
pendent upon God as that of the body; rection is, in the very strictest sense, a that no spirit, except Deity himself
, can consequence on redemption. Had not be necessarily, and inherently, immor- Christ undertaken the suretyship of our tal; and that, if it should please the race, there would never have come a Almighty to put an arrest on those mo- time when the dead shall be raised. If mentary outgoings of life which flow there had been no interposition on befrom himself, and permeate the uni- half of the fallen, whatever had become verse, he would instantly once more be of the souls of men, their bodies must alone in infinity, and one vast bankrupt- have remained under the tyranny of ey of being overspread all the provin- death. The original curse was a curse ces of creation. There seems no rea- of death on the whole man. And it son, if we may thus speak, in the nature cannot be argued that the curse of of things, why the soul should not die. the body's death could allow, so long Her life is a derived and dependent as unrepealed, the body's resurrection. life; and that which is derived and de. So that we may lay it down as pendent may, of course, cease to be, undisputed truth, that Christ Jesus at the will of the author and upholder. achieved man's resurrection. He was, And it is far beyond us to ascertain emphatically, the Author of man's rewhat term of being would have been surrection. Without Christ, and apart assigned to the soul, had there arisen from that redemption of our nature do champion and surety of the fallen. which he wrought out by obedience We throw ourselves into a region of and suffering, there would have been speculation, across which there runs no no resurrection. It is just because the discernible pathway, when we inquire Eternal Son took our nature into union whether there would have been an an- with his own, and endured therein the nihilation, supposing there had not been curse provoked by disobedience, that a redemption of man. We can only a time is yet to arrive when the buried say, that the soul has not, and cannot generations shall throw off the disbare, any more than the body, the honors of corruption. sources of vitality in herself. We can, But we are ready to allow that the therefore, see the possibility, if not proving Christ the cause, or the author prove the certainty, that it is only of the resurrection, is not, in strict because " the word was made flesh, truth, the proving him that resurrecJohn, 1:14, and struggled for us and tion itself. There must be some broad died, that the human spirit is unquench- sense in which it holds good that the able, and that the principle, which dis- resurrection of Christ was the resurrectinguishes us from the brutes, shall re- tion of all men; otherwise it would be tain everlastingly its strength and its hard to vindicate the thorough accumajesty
racy of our text. And if you call to But without travelling into specula- mind the statement of St. Paul, "since tire questions, we wish to take our text by man came death, by man came also as a revelation, or announcement, of the resurrection of the dead," 1 Cor. the immortality of the soul; and to ex- 15 : 21, you will perceive that the reamine how, by joining the terms, resur- surrection came by Christ, in exactly rection and life, Christ made up what the same manner as death had come by was wanting in the calculations of na- Adam. Now we know that death came tural religion, when turned on deter- by Adam as the representative of humining this grand article of faith. man nature; and we, therefore, infer
Now with this as our chief object that the resurrection came by Christ of discourse, we shall endeavor, in the as the representative of human nature. first place, to show briefly the accuracy Retaining always his divine personality, with which Christ may be designated the second person of the Trinity took "the Resurrection.” We shall tben, our nature into union with his own; in the second place, attempt to prove, and in all his obedience, and in all his that the resurrection of the body is a suffering, occupied this nature in the great element in the demonstration of character, and with the properties, of a the life,” the immortality of the soul. head. When he obeyed, it was the na
We begin by reminding you of a fact, ture, and not a human person which not easily overlooked, that the resur- obeyed. When he suffered, it was the nature, and not a human person which even thought must always fail to do suffered. So that, when he died, he justice! The first Adam just laid the died as our head; and when he rose, blighting hand of disobedience on the he arose also as our head. And thus root of human nature, and the countkeeping up the alleged parallel between less millions of shoots, which were to Adam and Christ-as every man dies spring up and cover the earth, were because concerned in the disobedience stricken with corruption, and could of the one, so he rises because included grow only to wither and decay. The sein the ransom of the other. Human na. cond Adam nurtured the root in righteture having been crucified, and buried, ousness, and watered it with blood. and raised in Jesus, all who partake of And, lo! a vivifying sap went up into this nature partake ‘of it in the state every, the most distant branch; and into which it has been brought by a over this sap death wields no power; Mediator, a state of rescue from the for the sap goes down with the branch power of the grave, and not of a con- into the bosom of the earth, and, at tinuance in its dark dishonors. The God's appointed time, shall quicken it nature had most literally died in Adam, afresh, and cause it to arise indestrucand this nature did as literally revive tible through eternity. It would be in Christ. Christ carried it through all quite inconsistent with the resurrection its scenes of trial, and toil, and temp- of the nature and this it is, you obtation, up to the closing scene of an- serve, which makes Christ "the Resurguish and death; and then he went rection"-that any individual, partakdown in it into the chambers of its ing that nature, should continue for lonely slumbers; and there he brake ever cased up in the sepulchre. And into shivers the chain which bound it if there never moved upon this earth and kept it motionless; and he brought beings who gave ear to the tidings of it triumphantly back, the mortal immor- salvation; if the successive generations talized, the decaying imperishable, and of mankind, without a lonely exception, "I am the Resurrection was then the laughed to scorn the proffers of mercy proclamation to a wondering universe. and forgiveness; still this desperate
We trench not, in the smallest de- and unvarying infidelity would have no gree, on the special privileges of the effect on the resurrection of the species. godly, when we assert that there is a The bond of flesh is not to be rent by link which unites Christ with every in- any of the acts of the most daring redividual of the vast family of man, and bellion. And in virtue of this union, that, in virtue of this link, the graves sure as that the Mediator rose, sure as of the earth shall, at the last day, be that he shall return and sit, in awful rifled of their tenantry. The assertion pomp, on the judgment-seat, so sure is that of St. Paul: "Forasmuch then is it that the earth shall yet heave as the children are partakers of flesh at every pore; and that, even had it and blood, he also himself likewise took received in deposit the bodies of none part of the same, that through death save the unrighteous and the infidel, it he might destroy him that had the would give up the dust with a most power of death.” Heb. 2 : 14. So that faithful accuracy; so that the buried the Redeemer made himself bone of our would arise, imperishable in bone and bone, and flesh of our flesh; and he sinew; and the despisers of Christ, bethus united himself with every dweller ing of one flesh with him, must share upon the globe; and, as a consequence in the resurrection of that Aesh, though, on such union, that which he wrought not being of one spirit, they shall have out for his own flesh, he wrought out no part in its glorification. for all flesh; making, at one and the You see, then, that Christ is more same time, and by one and the same than the efficient cause of the resurrecact, his own immortal, and that of all tion; that he is the resurrection : "I immortal. He was then, literally, "the am the Resurrection.” And we cannot Resurrection.” His resurrection was quit this portion of our subject without the resurrection of the nature, and the again striving to impress upon you the resurrection of the nature was the re- augustness and sublimity of the ascersurrection of all men. Oh, it is an tained fact. The untold myriads of our amazing contemplation, one to which lineage rose in the resurrection of the new Head of our race. Never, oh never, compounded with truth, and much seewould the sheeted reliques of mankind bleness in the notions entertained of have walked forth from the vaults and spiritual subsistence, it was a great trithe charch-yards; never from the val- umph on the part of the soul, that she ley and the mountain would there have did at all shake off the trammels of started the millions who have fallen in flesh, and, soaring upwards, snatch the battle-tug ; never would the giant- something like proof of her own high caverns of the unfathomed ocean have destinies. yielded up the multitudes who were We believe that amongst those who swept from the earth when its wicked- enjoyed not the advantages of revelaness grew desperate, or whom strand- tion there was no suspicion of a resured navies have bequeathed to the guar. rection, but there was, at least, a surdianship of the deep; never would the mise of life. We say a surmise of life. dislocated and decomposed body have For if you examine carefully the limit shaken off its dishonors, and stood out to which unaided discovery might be in strength and in syminetry, bone pushed, you will find cause to think coming again to bone, and sinews bind- that a shrewd guess, or a brilliant coning them, and skin covering them—had jecture, is the highest attainment of not He, who so occupied the nature natural religion. That mere matter can that he could act for the race, descend- never have consciousness; that mere ed, in his prowess and his purity, into matter can never feel; that, by no conthe chambers of death, and scattering stitution and adjustment of its atoms, the seeds of a new existence through- can mere matter become capable of out their far-spreading ranges, aban- acts of understanding and reason; we doned them to gloom and silence till a can have no hesitation in saying that fixed and on-coming day; appointing these are self-evident truths of which that then the seeds should certainly no candid mind will ask a demonstragerminate into a rich harvest of undy- tion. The mind is its own witness that ing bodies, and the walls of the cham- it is something more than matter. And bers, falling flat at the trumpet-blast of when men have thus proved themselves judgment, disclose the swarming ar- in part immaterial, they have made a mies of the buried marching onward to long advance towards proving themthe "great white throne.” Rev. 20: 11. selves immortal. They have ascertain
But we shall not dwell longer on the ed, at least, the existence of a princifact that Christ Jesus is "the Resur- ple, which, not being matter, will not rection.” Our second topic of dis- necessarily be affected by the dissolucourse presents most of difficulty; and tion of matter. And having once deterwe shall, therefore, give it the remain- mined that there is a portion of man der of our time.
adapted for the soaring away from the We wish to take our text as an an- ruins of matter, let attention be given nouncement of the immortality of the to the scrutiny of this portion, and it soul, and to examine how, by joining will be found so capable of noble perthe terms resurrection and life, Christ formances, so fitted for the contemplasupplied what was wanting in the cal- tion of things spiritual and divine, that culations of natural religion. Now we it shall commend itself to the inquirer hold no terms with those, who, through as destined to the attainments of a lofan overwrought zeal for the honor of tier existence. So that we are certain the Gospel, would depreciate the strug- upon the point that man might prove glings after knowledge which charac- himself in part immaterial, and, there. terized the days preceding Christianity. fore, capable of existence when sepaThere arose, at times, men, gifted above rate from matter. And we are persuadtheir fellows, who threw themselves ed yet further, that, having shown himboldly into the surrounding darkness, sell capable of a future existence, he and brought out sparklings of truth might also show himself capable of an which they showed to a wondering, yet immortal; there being ample reason on doubting, world. Thus the immortali- the side of the opinion, that the princity of the soul was certainly held by ple, which could survive at all, might sundry of the ancient philosophers. go on surviving for ever. And though there might be much error Now this is a brief outline of the ar
gument which might be pursued for the iliary to natural, and, confirming all its soul's immortality. Man might reason discoveries of man's capacity of imup from matter as insensible to himself mortality, removed all doubts as to his as sensible. He might conclude, that, destinies being everlasting. And thus since what is wholly material can ne- it were fair to contend, that, up to the ver think, he himself, as being able to coming of Christ, man had done nothink, must be, in part, immaterial. thing more than carry himself to the And the moment he has made out the border-line of eternity; and that there point of an immaterial principle actu- he stood, a disembodied spirit, full of ating matter, he may bring to bear a the amazing consciousness, that, if pervast assemblage of proofs, derived alike mitted to spring into the unbounded from the aspirings of this principle and expanse, he should never be mastered the attributes of God, all confirmatory by the immensity of Right; but hamof the notion, that the immaterial shall pered, all the while, by the suspicion survive when the material has been that there might go out against him worn down and sepulchred.
a decree of the Omnipotent, binding But we think that when a man had down the wings of the soul, and forreasoned up to a capacity of immor- bidding this expiation over the for ever tality, he would have reached the fur- and for ever of Godhead. So that the thest possible point. We think that Gospel, though it taught not man that natural religion could just show him he might be, assuredly did teach him that he might live for ever, but cer- that he should be immortal. It brought tainly not that he would live for ever. him not the first tidings of an immateHe might have been brought into a rial principle, but, certainly, it first inpersuasion that the principle within formed him that nothing should interhim was not necessarily subject to fere with the immaterial becoming the death. But he could not have assured eternal. himself that God would not consign Now you will observe that it has this principle to death. It is one thing been the object of these remarks, to to prove a principle capable of immor- prove that natural religion did much, tality, and quite another to prove that and at the same time left much undone, God will allow it to be immortal. And in regard to the disclosures of a future if man had brought into the account state to man. We have striven, therethe misdoings of his life ; if he had re- fore, to show you a point up to which membered how grievously he had per- discovery might be pushed without aid mitted the immaterial to be the slave from revelation, but at which, if not of the material, giving no homage to thus assisted, it must come necessarily Timele the ethereal and magnificent principle, to a stand. And now, if you would but binding it basely down within the bring these statements into connection frame-work of flesh ; why, we may sup- with our text, we may again say that pose there would have come upon him natural religion had a surmise of life, the fear, we had almost said the hope, but no suspicion of a resurrection, that that, by an act of omnipotence, God'if Christ had only said "I am the life, would terminate the existence of that he would have left in darkness and per. which might have been everlasting, and, plexity the question of the soul's imsending a cankerworm into the long- mortality; but that by combining two dishonored germ, forbid the soul to titles, by calling himself "the resurshoot upwards a plant of immortality. rection and the life," he removed the
So that we again say that a capacity, difficulties from that question, and but not a certainty of immortality, brought to light the immortality. We would be, probably, the highest discor- wish you to be clear on this great point. ery arrived at by natural religion. And We shall, therefore, examine how najust here it was that the Gospel came tural religion came to be deficient, and in, and bringing man tidings from the how the statement of our text supplied Father of spirits, informed him of the what was wanting: irrevocable appointment that the soul, Now we sce no better method of prolike the Deity of which it is the spark, secuting this inquiry, than the putting shall go not out and wax not dim. Re-one's self into the position of a nan vealed religion approached as the aux-l who has no guidance but that of natu