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How Christ has given us the Vic
tory over Death.
[Preached on Easter-Day.]
1. COR. XV. 56, 57.
Strength of Sin is the Law; But
Proceed now to the third and SERM. last Thing I proposed, which
X. was to show how Christ gives us the Victory over Death,
which is the last enemy to be destroyed, i Cor. xv. 26. Death is either na
Ser M. tural and temporal, which is the Death X.
of the body; or eternal, which is the Death and the Destruction of the Soul In the Old Testament, Death generally signifies that temporal Death, which is the dissolution of the body; tho' when it is threatened as the punishment of Sin, it præfigures and includes in it eternalDeath. Which is also sometimes expressly threatned even in the Old Testament; thus Ezek. xviii. 26. When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquities, and dieth in them, for his iniquity that he hath done shall be die; the manner of expression is very
observable: If he repent not of his iniquity but dieth in it, then for the iniquity that he hath done shall he die. In the New Testament, Death, when 'tis threatened to Sinners, signifies almost always eternal Death; the Gospel containing, as a more clear discovery of life and immortality, so also a more express revelation of the wrath of God from Heaven, against all unrighteousness and ungodliness of men. Now over both these kinds of Death, Death
temporal and eternal, Christ gives us the SERM. victory, or delivers us from the pow
X. er of them : The power of temporal Death is universal, as the punishment threatened to Adam's transgression was extensive; and the deliverance from it shall be also universal ; For as in Adam all die, all are be
come subject to mortality; even so in e Christ Mall all be made alive, i Cor. xv.
22. Eternal Death is the punishment of unrepented Sin, and from This all those who repent and obey the Gospel, shall be delivered by Christ.
I SHALL consider ist the victory that Christ gives us over temporal
and for the clearer explaining the nature of this victory, shall indeavour to show ift, That there shall be a resurrection of the body, and 2dly, in what manner the body shall be raised.
1/t,That there shall be a resurrection of i the body. That the soul should survive the
dissolution of the body, and be capable of receiving in a future State the rewards or punishments due to the good or evil it had done in this life, was clearly enough deducible from the light of nature,
Ser M. proved by undeniable reasonings: But that X.
the body should be again formed out of the dust, and reunited to the Soul, from which it was separated by Death, was a Doctrine, which as it could not be proved merely by reason and argument, so the Philosophers, who pretended to be the great masters of reason, looked upon
it as the most impossible thing in nature. Some of them reckoned it among those things, which they thought were not in the power even of their Gods themselves to effect; and we read of certain Philosophers, A&t. xvii. 18. who incountered St Paul, and when they heard of the resurrection, they mock'd him, saying, that he seemed to be a setter forth of strange Gods, because be preached unto them Jesus and the Refurre&tion. Yet is there nothing in any
wife impoffible, or contrary to reason, in this grcat Mystery: For why should it be thought a thing imposible that God should raise the dead? Why should it be more impoffible for God to gather together the dispersed parts of a corrupted body, and reanite them to their former Soul, than to
create matter at first out of nothing, and Sermi : then form it into a humane body, and
X. breath into it the breath of life? Why should any man be so weak as to imagine, that he, who at the creation separated the confused mass of matter into fo ferent sorts of bodies, cannot with the same ease at the general Resurrection separate again the same confused matter, and assign to each particular body its own parts ? If it is not difficult for him to number the Stars of Heaven and call them all by their names; it can be no difficulty to him to keep an exact account of all our scattered parts; and to recollect and reunite them when he pleases. 'Twas not therefore because the thing is in itself at all impossible, but only because the manner of it is a mystery not discoverable barely by the light of nature, that the Heathen World was utterly ignorant of the Resurrection from the dead.
The proof therefore of this great truth must be founded in Revelation, and sought for only in the Holy Scriptures. And here it must be confessed, that the Jews had not