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try-what hope of his future career-when we see him bestowing his thoughts and his affections upon domestic pleasures, pledging himself to the duties and responsibilities, and cares and embar rassments of a family, before he has been fully trained for his holy warfare-before he has earned a single comfort by noble self-sacrifice--before he has gained the least assurance that he can command bread or shelter for a second life? What respect can we entertain for the youthful candidate-what hopes for the church he is to serve when we see him reversing the rule and order of our Lord, and seeking first how he may please her whom he hath chosen beforehand to be his wife, and how he may provide for her and for himself the comforts and elegancies which sensual habits and the opinions of the world have rendered necessary?—and when we see him afterward holding back from the ministry of the Word-holding back, not from vows, but from the keeping of them-holding back from instant service, leaving breaches unfilled, because there is, in a worldly view, little honor and little profit in the post which implores his succor? Can we say of such that they are conformed to the pattern of their Master, Christ? Is it true of them that "they are not of the world, even as Christ was not of the world?" They may boast of Apostolic succession, but are they of the true Apostolic stamp? Are they moulded after the fashion of those first preachers of righteousness who took their conception and measure of the Christian ministry fresh from the life of its Divine Founder?-those holy men who willingly suffered the loss of all things, and counted them but dross, that they might win Christ-who counted not their lives dear unto them in the fulfilment of their ministrywho combined the hardness and severity of John the Baptist with the glowing love, the meekness and gentleness of the Lord that bought them--are these effeminate, grovelling, sensual, selfseeking, and self-indulgent, recreant soldiers of the Cross, fit to be numbered among those noble martyrs and confessors, or to be considered as in any respect of the same spirit? If the Christian ministry is, in itself, the noblest, the sublimest work to which mortal man can be called, where is the dignity, where is the heroism of it, when prosecuted in the temper I have exposed? A ministry so perverted and abused, is of all things most base and ignoble. O, degenerated age! O, abused and afflicted Church when those who come to serve at her altars, come in the hope and with the design of uniting the service of God with the service of Mammon !
BY REV. JONATHAN BRACE,
PASTOR OF THE FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, MILFORD, CONN.
THE RESURRECTION OF THE BODY.
"Marvel not at this: for 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.”JOHN V. 28, 29.
THESE are the words of our Lord Jesus Christ. Having announced to the Jews that he, as the Son of God, performed the works of God-had all judgment committed unto him, and had life in himself, everlasting life, which it was in his power to confer upon those who believed on him-they were filled with astonishment. Perceiving this, either from his knowledge of what was in man, or from what he saw in their countenances, he proceeded to add still greater things, and uttered the stupendous announcement of the text, "Marvel not at this: for 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." As if he had said: Let not what I have spoken thrill you with so much wonder; for though death, ravaging in every age, has filled the globe and ocean with his spoils, I have a key to the caverns where he hides his victims; and at my voice these caverns shall open and render up their prey, who shall come forth-some to rise and shout, and some to sink and wail forever!
The doctrine of the resurrection was one peculiarly dear to the primitive saints. They dwelt upon it with more frequency and interest than Christians of the present day are wont to do. The expectation that their weary, earthy bodies, would spring pure and immortal from the tomb, supported them in all times of persecution, and comforted them in all seasons of tribulation. So animating was this doctrine to them, that their heathen and infidel enemies did all in their power to disprove it, and when they could not disprove it, did all in their power to prevent it from taking effect. Hence in some instances, hewing the bodies of the saints in pieces, they cast them into rapidly rushing rivers, in hopes that they would be thus so mutilated and scattered as to make the future re-union of the several parts impossible. The resurrection of the body is indeed a doctrine which faith alone can grasp, and appropriate to the strengthening of high and holy purposes in the soul. Hence there are not wanting those who have utterly disbelieved it-more who have doubted it, and still others, Christians, even, who from vague ideas respecting it, fail to derive from it that comfort and profit which an intelligent, hearty persuasion of it is designed to impart. "Why should it be thought incredible that God should raise the dead?" exclaims the Apostle; and yet to multitudes the assertion that he will do so, is viewed, as in the very nature of things, false.
In discoursing upon the resurrection of the body, I observe—
First: That it is POSSIBLE.
When we consider that the bodies of men moulder back to their original dust, and mixing with the earth, convey nourishment to other bodies which the products of the earth support; when we consider further, that these other bodies are devoured by fish and various animals who grow and fatten thereby; it is indeed wonderful how the dust of our bodies thus scattered and incorporated, can be re-gathered and moulded into the same bodies which it before constituted. But "with God, all things are possible;" and to say that this is not possible, is to err, not knowing his knowledge and power. His understanding is infinite, and his energies are omnipotent energies. He who "telleth the number of the stars and calleth them all by their names"-who readeth the very "imaginations of the thoughts of the heart"-who saw" our substance yet being imperfect, and in whose book all our members were written while as yet there was none of them;" must know the several particles of dust into which our bodies moulder, no matter how numerous the changes through which they pass. And he who created a world out of nothing, spoke it into existence at a breath, and kindling suns and systems to wheel and gravitate amidst immensity, hung and keeps them hung upon nothing-surely can arrange the several parts of our tabernacles in the exact figure and order they were before. He
"who called things that be not, as though they were," can call things which have been, and make them as they formerly have been. He who raised from the dead two children, in answer to the prayers of his two prophets, Elijah and Elisha; He who infused warmth and vitality into a dead body, on its being let down into the sepulchre of one of these prophets, and coming in contact with his bones; He who raised Lazarus from the tomb where he had three days lain; and at the yielding up of whose spirit upon the cross, graves were opened and the bodies of sleeping saints arose and appeared unto many; He who has done this, can surely restore our bodies, though turned to ashes and carried hither and thither by the winds, into their original forms. Nor does the vexed question of personal identity, offer any insuperable obstacle. If the waste and supply of our animal frame is not such as to prevent an individual now from being spoken of as the same individual that he was at the time of his birth; if one bloated by excess, is the same individual that he was when no vicious flesh clothed his bones; if an individual who committed a crime years since, is now apprehended as the identical individual, and punished as such; there can be no difficulty in the operation of divine power, to the raising of the bodies of the human race, sufficiently identical for every purpose which their resurrection is to subserve. The resurrection of the disorganized, dissolved primitive body, then, we may say, is possible.
Secondly: It is PROBABLE.
In all the works of God we behold a harmony. They are all disposed to some end, and this end is seen in the orderly beauty of the whole. Jehovah makes nothing in vain. The human body curiously formed, he made to be the house of the soul. He fashioned it most cunningly, to suit the convenience of the spiritual occupant. He designed them to live in the company and fellowship of each other. Might we not, then, expect, since the soul was not created to be alone, and the body was created as its appropriate companion, that if this soul passed into another region to dwell, its companion, though left behind, would ultimately go there likewise? If "no one ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it," why should the Creator of this flesh, who having created it, pronounced it "good," cast it forever aside? We bebold, too, many types of its resurrection in nature. If night reminds us of the grave, the emerging sun reminds us of the resurrection. If we behold winter in the tomb, we see the resurrection in the freshness and bloom of spring. Seeds fall into the ground and die, but it is that they may bear much fruit; and hence they sprout again and flourish. Silkworms, having retired into their own graves, come out again, "as alive from the dead." Such changes, imaging the resurrection, why should not the body of dust, reduced by death, be built again? Why should not this, also, revive from its ashes?
Besides, since the body is connected with the soul in a probationary state, we might properly suppose that it would be in a state of retribution. Mankind have pleased or offended their Maker through the medium of their bodies. It is through them that the soul has received temptations. Corporeal propensities and passions have inflamed and excited the soul, and the soul has either meritoriously resisted them, or been prompted by them to the contraction of guilt. The body and soul, thus sinning or discharging duty together, should be punished or rewarded together; but to be thus punished or rewarded, the body must be raised. Otherwise, the very individuals rewarded or punished, are not the individuals who have been righteous or wicked in the present life. We are now complex beings; have a soul and a body. The soul is not the man, nor is the body the man, but both body and soul united constitute the man. Such, individuals have been in this present existence, this probationary state, and to be such-to be the same individuals in the future state-the two constituent parts of their nature, the material and the immaterial, must be combined.
Moreover, the state of the righteous between death and the resurrection, denominated the intermediate state, is represented as less blessed than it will be subsequently to the resurrection. But why it should be thus, except by a re-union of their souls with their bodies, it would be difficult to say. It is not, however, difficult to conceive how new sources of joy may flow into their souls through the medium of their bodies. Further, Christians are now commanded to "glorify God with their bodies." If they do this here, why not elsewhere? These bodics are called "temples of the Holy Ghost"-His property and residence; is it likely that these temples will be allowed to lie in perpetual ruin and desolation? From these and other considerations, we pronounce the resurrection of the body probable.
Thirdly: It is CERTAIN.
We come now 66 to the law and to the testimony," in accordance with which, if any doctrine speaks, it speaks with clearness, and should speak to conviction. The Bible on this subject is full and explicit. I will quote four passages-two from the Old and two from the New Testament. Says Isaiah (xxvi. 19), "Thy dead men shall live; together with my dead body shall they arise; awake and sing ye that dwell in dust, for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead." Says Daniel (xii. 2), "Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awaken; some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." Exclaims the Apostle (Acts xxiv. 15), "I have hope toward God that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust." And again (1 Thes. iv. 13), "I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren,