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great army; whether we suppose it to be a parable or a history, to relate to the last resurrection or not, implies yet a possibility of such a resurrection, and yields a lively resemblance thereof: but more plainly do many instances of particular resurrections, for the confirmation of our faith recorded in scripture; Women, saith the author to the Hebrews, re-Heb. xi. 35. ceived their dead by resurrection ; relating to the i Kings widow of Sarepta's child, who by Elias's prayer did revive; and the Shunamite's child raised by Elisha : 2 Kings iv.
36. to which might be added the man, who being let down into Elisha's sepulchre, and touching the bones 2 Kings of that prophet, did revive and stand upon his feet : and in the New Testament we have likewise divers examples of persons by our Saviour raised and restored from death to life, Jairus's daughter, the young man of Nain, Lazarus, (who had been four John xi. 39. days dead, in which time bodies come to putrify and smell,) and more remarkably it is said in St. Matthew's Gospel, that at our Saviour's death many Matt. xxvii. tombs were opened, and many bodies of saints 52, 53. that had departed rose, and coming out of the tombs (after our Saviour's resurrection) entered into the holy city, and did appear to many, (or publicly;) a clear and full experiment of a mira- rois roaculous resurrection, like to that we believe: but above all, our Saviour's resurrection may confirm our faith herein, it being designed to that purpose, TíoTiv Tapasywu nãowy, God holding forth, saith St. Acts xvii. Paul, a convincing argument to all of the resur- 32. rection, (and other appendant verities taught in the gospel,) raising him up from the dead: And if I Cor. xv. Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, "2. how say some that there is no resurrection of
the dead ? how can any man deny that to be possible which is so really exemplified ? Nay, how can we doubt that we shall follow, when we see him
going before, as the Captain of life, as our forerun1 Cor. xv. ner, as the firstfruits of them that sleep, and first
Heb. ii. 10. vi. 20.
20, 23. Col. i. 18.
born from the dead, as that second Adam, whom it is congruous that we should all conform to in the restitution of our nature, as we did to the first Adam in the decay thereof; that we should live by him, as we died by the other; and bear the image of the heavenly immortal man, as we did that of the earthly and mortal one? Neither (as not impossible so) can this resurrection be shewed improbable, or implausible, but rather very consonant to the reason of the thing. Man, according to original design and frame, doth consist of soul and body ; those parts have a natural relation, an aptitude, and an appetite (it seems by their unwillingness to part) to cohabit, communicate, and cooperate with each other : many actions very proper to man's nature cannot be performed without their conjunctions, concurrence, many capacities of joy and comfort (with their contraries) result thence: the separation of them we see how violent and repugnant it is to nature; and we are taught that it is penal, and a consequent of sin; and therefore cannot be good and perfect. No wonder then, that God designing to restore man to his ancient integrity, and more, (to a higher perfection,) to reward him with all the felicity his nature is capable of, (on one hand, I mean; as on the other hand to punish and afflict him, according to his demerit,) should raise the body, and rejoin it to the soul, that it might contribute its natural subserviency to such enjoyments and sufferings respectively: not
to omit the congruity in justice, that the bodies which did partake in works of obedience and holiness, or of disobedience and profaneness, (which, in St. Paul's language, were either slaves to impurity and iniquity, or servants of righteousness unto sanc- Rom.vi.19. tification,) should also partake in suitable recom- Apol. &c. penses ; that the body which endured grievous pains for righteousness should enjoy comfortable refreshments; that which wallowed in unlawful pleasures should undergo just torments.
I omit (the time so requiring) many considerations pertinent to this purpose; I shall only add, what we further learn in scripture (which also the reason of the thing would teach us) concerning this point, that as the bodies of men shall be raised the same in substance, so they shall be much altered in quality : for whereas, according to their present temper and frame, our bodies are frail and weak, apt by every small impression upon them to be broken or impaired, needing continual reparation, and, notwithstanding all means used to preserve them, growing to decay and dissolution; and whereas they are destined, after their resurrection, to a continual abiding in joy or pain, it is necessary they should be so changed, as that they may be fit, without decay, to enjoy those everlasting comforts; able, without dissolution, to undergo those endless pains : and particularly, further, whereas the body here doth clog the soul, doth excite troublesome passions, doth incline to sensual desire, doth require much care to preserve and please it; such things being inconsistent with, or prejudicial to, that state of spiritual rest and joy which good men are destined to; a
change must needs be made therein, preventive of 1 Cor. xv. such inconveniences; For, as St. Paul saith, flesh
and blood (a body so brittle and passable, so apt to
be affected by, so addicted to, sensible goods) cannot 1 Cor. xv. enter into the kingdom of God; nor can corruption
inherit incorruption ; but this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality; the dead must be raised incorruptible ; there must be a very sudden mutation, (so St. Paul in several places expressly tells us,) a metamorphosis into a resemblance with Christ's glory; a transfi
guration of our vile body into conformity with his 1 Thess. iv.glorious body : Our body is sown in corruption, it 2 Cor. iii. shall be raised in incorruption; it is sown in dis
honour, raised in glory; sown in weakness, raised Vid...Cor. in power; sown a natural body, raised a spiritual.
But so much concerning the resurrection : I proceed to that which follows thereupon.
Phil. jii. 21. xv. 42, 43, 44.
Heb. vi. 2.
Life everlasting. THE immediate consequent of the resurrection, common to just and unjust, is (as we have it in the catalogue of fundamental doctrines, set down by the Apostle to the Hebrews) kpipa aiávov, that judgment
or doom, by which the eternal state of every person is 2 Cor.v.10. determined ; accordingly every man must bear the
things done in the body, according to what he hath done, whether it be good or evil. Now this state, generally taken, (as respecting both the righteous and blessed, the wicked and miserable,) as it doth suppose a perpetual duration in being and sense, so it may be called everlasting life ; although life (as being commonly apprehended a principal good, and
all men having naturally a strong desire to preserve it, with reference also perhaps to the phrases used vid. Deut. under the law, wherein continuance in life is proposed as a reward to the obedient, and death threatened to transgressors) is used to denote peculiarly the blessed state; as death (the most extreme of legal punishments, and most abominable to nature) is also used to signify the condition of the damned; the resurrection of life, and resurrection of damna- John V. 29. tion ; everlasting life, and everlasting punishment, 43. (shame and everlasting contempt,) being opposed ; Phil. ii. 11. although, I say, life be commonly thus taken, (as is Luke xx. also the resurrection sometimes for that which belongs only to the righteous, transmitting them into happiness,) yet the reason of the thing requires, that here we understand it generally, so as to comprehend both states, (both being matters of faith equally necessary, as it were, and of like fundamental consequence;) both yielding both the highest encouragements to a good, and determents from a bad life: for, as on the one hand, what can excite us more to the performance of duty, than so happy a state; a state of highest dignity and glory, of sweetest comfort and joy; Ps. xvi. 1). of joy full in measure, pure in quality, perpetual in duration, perfect in all respects to the utmost capacity of our nature; wherein all our parts and faculties shall be raised to their highest pitch of perfection, our bodies become free from all corruptibility and decay, all weakness and disease, all grossness, un- 1 Cor. xv. wieldiness, defilement, and deformity, shall be ren-2Cor.iii. 18. dered incorruptible, glorious, and spiritual; our souls in their nature perfected, in their inclinations rectified, in their appetites satisfied; the understanding 1 Cor. xiii.
Phil, jii. 21.