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or deformities, in the children of the resurrection. What members are now defective or deformed, will then be restored to their perfect being and beauty; for, if the universal death of all parts be rescinded by the resurrection, how much more the partial death of any single member? as Tertullian speaks; and from thenceforth they are free from the law of mortality; "they can die no more;" Luke xx. 35, 36. Thus shall they be improved by their resurrection,
5. To conclude: Christ's body was raised from the dead to be glorified and crowned with honour. Oh! it was a joyful day to bim; and so will the resurrection of the saints be to them—the day of the gladness of their hearts. It will be said to them in that moroing, “ Awake, and sing, ye that dwell in the dust,” Isa. xxvi. 19. O how comfortable will be the meeting betwixt the glorified soul and its new-raised body. Much more comfortable than that of Jacob and Joseph, after twenty years' absence, Gen. xlvi. 29. or that of David with Jonathan, when he came out of the cave to him, 1 Sam. xx. 41. or that of the father of the prodigal with his son, who “was dead, and is alive; was lost, and is found.”
The morning of the great day will be ushered in, not by the cheerful twilight spread over the mountains; but the awful approach of that intense splendour, surrounded by which the Son of God will descend. A new and terrible light will appear in midbeaven, and advancing towards the earth, will diffuse such a morning over all its regions, as the universe has never beheld, and will never behold again.
At this momentous period the trumpet of God will sound. The archangel will call to the dead, and awaken them from the long sleep in which they have been buried; the earth and the ocean will give up the dead which are in them; the regions of death, and the world of departed spirits, will give up the dead which are in them; every grave will open, its dust be re-animated, and living forms be seen rising from its dark chambers over all the surface of the globe. Those wbo are still alive will also undergo, substantially,
the same great change, and both will be invested with bodies incorruptible and immortal. The globe will be re-peopled in a moment, and the whole family of Adam, with their progenitor at their head, will stand up together. This vast assembly will be divided into two great classes the righteous and the wicked: the former will rise to the resurrection of life, and the latter will rise to the resurrection of damnation.
Christ will now be seen descending from heaven, in the glory of bis Father, in his own peculiar glory, and with all his holy angels; his eyes as a flame of fire, his countenance as the sun shining in his strength, and his voice as the sound of many waters, will fill all virtuous beings with wonder, awe, and delight, and all sinful ones with amazement and horror.
Around bim, with supreme veneration and transport, the innumerable company of angels will send a shout of triumph to the distant regions of the universe, and the happy millions of the righteous re-echo from this world the joyful acclaination. To meet him, bis faithful followers will be caught up by divine power and their own instinctive energy, and rise as an immense cloud through the air, to be placed in open distinguished honour at his right hand; they were not ashamed of bim in this world, and he will thus gloriously prove that he is not ashamed of them in the day of trial: here they publicly and stedfastly confessed bim before men as their Saviour; there he will confess them before the universe as his chosen, faithful, and beloved followers.
Wben the throne of judgment is set, and the books opened, the wicked will be summoned to his left hand, as a public proof of his indignation against their guilty character: 10 their view, as well as to that of the righteous, will rise up in clear remembrance, with unerring discernment, and in the most rapid succession, all the events of their earthly being. The sins of both; the proffers of mercy made in the gospel, the unbelief and impenitence of the wicked, will now be set in order before their eyes, with a clear and comprehensive glance of thought. Sinners will behold the past picture of life drawn only in black, with no bright and luminous strokes to relieve the distressed eye. The righteous, on the con
trary, will see their sins washed away in the blood of Christ, their souls sanctified by the Spirit of grace, and their services accepted as well done, because they were rendered with a spirit of sincere obedience, and with faith in the Redeemer. To the righteous he will say, Come, ye blessed of my Father,
, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. When the trial is ended, and the final allotments of angels and men are determined, flaming fire from the presence of the Judge will kindle this great world with an universal conflagration. From this scene of destruction the Judge, together with all his happy followers, will ascend to the beaven of heavens.
The wicked, at the same time, will descend to the regions of woe, and begin to pursue the melancholy journey of their future being, iu an unceasing course of sin and sorrow for ever.
Dr. Dwight. “ They that are in their graves shall hear his voice.” The voice of the Son of God here probably means the sound of the archangel's trumpet, which is called his voice, because sounded by his orders, and attended with his all-quickening power. This all-awakening eall to the tenants of the grave, we frequently find foretold in scripture; I shall refer you to two plain passages. Behold, says St. Paul, I show you a mystery; an important and astonishing secret; we shall not all sleep, that is, mankind will not all be sleeping in death when that day comes; there will be a generation then alive upon earth, and though they cannot have a proper resurrection, yet they shall pass through a change equivalent to it. We shall all be changed, says he, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound-it shall give the alarm; and no sooner is the awful clangor heard, than all the living shall be transforined into immortals! We who are then alive shall be changed; this is all the difference—they shall be raised, and we shall be changed. The dead in Christ shall rise first; that is, before the living shall be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and when they are risen, and the living transformed, they shall ascend together to the place of judgment,
O what a surprise will this be to a thoughtless world! Should this alarm burst over our heads this moment, into what a terror
would it strike many bere. Such will be the terror, such the consterbation, when it actually comes to pass !
The dust that was once alive and formed a human body, whether it flies in the air, floats on the ocean, or vegetates on earth, shall hear the new-creating fiat. Wherever the fragments of the bomar frame are scattered, this all-penetrating call shall reach and speak them into life. We may consider this voice as a summons, not only to dead bodies to rise, but to the souls that once animated them, to appear and be re-united to them, whether in heaven or bell. To the grave the call will be-Arise, ye dead, and come to judgment! To heaven-Ye spirits of just men made perfect, descend to the world whence you originally came, and assume your new-formed bodies ! To hell-Come forth, and appear, ye damned ghosts, ye prisoners of darkness, and be again united to the bodies in wbich you once sinned, that in them you may now suffer.
Thus will this summons spread through every corner of the universe, and heaven, earth, and hell, with all their inhabitants, shall hear and obey ; devils, as well as the sinners of our race, will tremble at the sound; for now they know they can plead no more as they once did—“ Torment us not before the time;" for the time is come, and they must mingle with the prisoners at the bar.
And now, when all that are in their graves hear this all-quickening voice, they sball come forth. Now methinks I see, I hear, the earth heaving, charnel-bouses rattling, tombs bursting, graves opening ; now the nations under ground begin to stir; there is a noise and shaking among the dry bones; the dust is all alive and in motion, and the globe breaks and trembles, as with an earthquake, wbilst tbis vast army is working its way through and bursting into life; the ruins of human bodies are scattered far and wide, and have passed through many and surprising transformations, a limb in one country and another in another; here the head and there the trunk, and the ocean rolling between. Pompey slain in Africa, bis body is left there, bis bead carried to Rome; multitudes have sunk in a watery grave, been swallowed up by the monsters of the deep, and transformed into part of their flesh. Multitudes have mouldered into dust, and this dust has been blown about with the wind, and
washed away with water; not a particle that was essential to one human body has been lost; and as to those particles that were not essential, they are not necessary to the identity of the body, or of the person, and therefore we need not think they will be raised again. The omniscient God knows how to collect, distinguish, and compound all those scattered and mingled seeds of our mortal bodies.
Then, my brethren, your dust and mine shall be re-animated and re-organized; and though, after our skin, worms destroy this body, yet in our flesh shall we see God. And what a vast improvement will the frail nature of man then receive! Our bodies will then be substantially the same, but bow different in qualities, in strength, in agility, in capacities for pleasure or pain, in beauty or deformity, in glory or terror, according to the moral character of the persons to wbom tbey belong. Matter, we know, is capable of prodigious alterations and refinements, and there it will appear in the bighest perfection. The bodies of the saints will be formed glorious and incorruptible, without the seeds of sickness and death. The glorified body of Christ, which is undoubtedly carried to the highest perfection that matter is capable of, will be the pattern after which they sball be formed.
How vast the change, how mighty the improvement, from the present state! It was sown in corruption, it shall be raised in incorruption; it was sown in dishonour, it shall be raised in glory; it was sown in weakness, it shall be raised in power. Then will the body be able to bear up under the exceeding great and eternal weight of glory; it will no longer be a clog or an incombrance to the soul, but a proper instrument and assistant in all the exalted services and enjoyments of the heavenly state. The heart, that was once broken with sorrows, shall now be bound up for ever, and overflow, with immortal pleasures; those very eyes, that were wont to run down with tears, and behold many a tragical sight, shall now behold the King in bis beauty, and shall behold the Saviour, whom unseen they loved, and all the glories of heaven, and God shall wipe away all their tears. All the senses, which were once avenues of pain, shall now be inlets of the most exalted pleasures. In