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meet again in a joyful deliverance from the grave; in a new and never ceasing happiness, in the presence and society of one another.
The hour is coming, in the 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.
THESE words are so important, that if
Jesus Christ had never delivered any other, if he had come into the world and pronounced only this simple declaration, and proved the truth and certainty of it by the miracles which he wrought, he would have left enough to have guided his followers to
everlasting happiness: he would have done more towards making mankind virtuous and happy, than all the teachers and all the wisdom that ever appeared upon earth, had done before him. We should each and every one of us have owed more to him for this single piece of intelligence, than we owe to our parents, our dearest friend, or the best benefactor we have. This text is the poor man's creed. It is his religion : it is to be imprinted upon
his heart: it is what the most simple can understand : it is what, when understood and believed, excels all the knowledge and learning in the universe: it is what we are to carry about with us in our thoughts : daily remember and daily reflect upon : remember not only at church, not only in our devotions, or in our set meditations, but in our business, our pleasures, in whatever we intend, plan, or execute, whatever we think about, or whatever we set about; remember, that “ they that have done good shall come unto the resurrection of life; they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation."
Reflect what great things this short sentence contains. It teaches us, beyond contradiction, that all does not end here: that our happiness or misery is not over at our death : that a new state of things will begin with every one of us, and that in a short time. This point I say, our Saviour proves beyond contradiction: and how does he prove it? By healing the sick, by restoring sight to the blind, by raising the dead, by various astonishing and incontestible miracles; and above all, by coming himself to life again, after being three days dead and buried, he proved that God Almighty was with him ; that he came from God: that he knew what passed in the other world; that he had God's own authority to say and promise this to mankind. Upon the faith and trust of this promise, we know that we shall rise again ; all are equally assured of it, from the highest to the lowest. Wise and learned men thought indeed the same thing before; they concluded it to be so from probable argument and reasonings; but this was
not like having it, as we have it from God himself; or, what is just the same thing, from the mouth of a person, to whom God
witness by signs and wonders, and mighty deeds. They were far short of our certainty, who did study it the deepest. There were but few who could study or comprehend it at all. Blessed be God, we are all informed, we are all, from the most learned to the most ignorant, made sure and certain of it.
Having then this great doctrine secured, that we shall all come again into a new world and a new life, the next great point, which every serious mind will turn to, the second grand question to be asked, is, who are to be happy, and who will be miserable in that other state? The text satisfies us completely upon this head. You ask, who shall come to the resurrection of life? The text replies, they that have done good. Observe well, and never forget this answer. It is not the wise, the learned, the great, the honoured, the professor of this or that doctrine, the member of this church, or the maintainer of that article of faith, but