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should hear his voice and live, he now means the carnal state of carnal minds by the graves from which the dead were to come forth.
That the word graves is used figuratively in scripture we learn from the 37th of Ezekiel, where the prophet represents the return of the captivity of Israel from the countries where they had been scattered, first by the resurrection of the dry bones in the valley of vision,-and secondly, by bringing them out of their .graves. And here we may remark, that there would be the same propriety in understanding the prophet to mean a figurative resurrection by the dry bones representing the return of Israel's captivity ; but when he speaks of bringing them out of their graves, to mean their resurrection from their literal graves into an immortal state, as there is in explaining our text and context in the usual way.
There is a passage in the 12th of Daniel, which commentators very justly consider a parallel passage with our text; it reads as follows: “ And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people, and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth, shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” It seems reasonable to suppose, that as Jesus came to fulfil the law and the prophets, he had his eye on this passage in Daniel when he spake the words of our text; and that he meant by those who were in the graves the same as Daniel meant by those who were asleep in the dust of the earth; and by those, who should come forth to the resurrection of life, he meant the same as Daniel did by those who should awake from the dust of the earth to everlasting life; and by those who should come forth to the resurrection of condemnation, the same as Daniel meant by those, who should come forth unto shame and everlasting contempt.
Will the hearer now say that all this may be, and that both Daniel and the Saviour were speaking of the resurrection of mankind to a state of immortal happiness and misery in a future world ? To this we reply
, when Jesus spoke to his disciples of the destruction of Jerusalem, and of the calamities which should shortly come on the Jews, he uses the words of Daniel nearly verbatim when he speaks of the time of trouble. By this circumstance we are instructed that both Daniel and the Saviour spake of the same time, and of the same events, and that that time was when Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans.
The true meaning of the words of Jesus and of the passage in Daniel appears to be this : those Jews who sistened to the mild voice of the gospel, proclaimed by Christ and his Apostles, came forth from spiritual death to the life of faith in the new covenant; but those Jews, who rejected the doctrine of salvation, crucified the Saviour, and persecuted his apostles, were those who had done evil, and they were roused from the dormant state in which they lay, as in a covenant of death and a refuge of lies, by the voice of judgment, and come forth to the resurrection of that condemnation which is so particularly pointed out in the 24th and 25th chapters of Matthew ; and which was illustrated in our lecture on that subject.
That the resurrection under consideration is not a resurrection from this mortal to an immortal state, may be made to appear by comparing the account of it with the account given of the resurrection into a state of immortality, which we find in several
and which were noticed in our last lecture.
In the account of the resurrection noticed in our text, some are raised to life and some to condemnation; and this account we have seen agrees so well with the testimony quoted from Daniel, that no doubt remains that the Saviour and the prophet spake of the same event. But can we make St. Paul's account of the resurrection of all mankind into an immortal state agree with these several testimonies so as to be satisfied
that the apostle was treating on the same subject of which Daniel and the Saviour treated ?
Jesus says: that they that have done good shall come forth to the resurrection of life, and they toat have done evil to the resurrection of damnation, Daniel says: " And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall come forth, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. St.
“ As in Adam all die even so in Christ sball all be made alive.” And he is particular in stating the constitution which all men will receive in the resurrection of which he speaks. It is spiritual, incorruptible, immortal, and glorious, it is the image of the Lord from heaven. He makes no distinction. He says nothing of the good works of some and the evil works of others. His testimony is, in fact, directly against any distinction or difference in that immortal state. All are made alive in Christ; and as this life is spiritual, incorruptible and immortal, this testimony agrees with the testimony of Jesus to the Sadducees on the same subject of the resurrection, in which he says, that in the resurrection they are the children of God, equal unto the angels, and can die no more.
In his debate with the Sadducees, Jesus gave no intimation that any would rise from the dead to a state of condemnation, but was particular in saying that all live unto God.
In our present light of this subject, we can plainly see, that by supposing that Jesus spake in our text of the same subject of which he spake in his reply to the Sadducees, we make him contradict himself. And by supposing that our text is a testimony of the same event of which St. Paul spake in his argument on the resurrection in the 15th of the first of Corinthians, we set the testimony of Jesus and St. Paul at an irreconcilable variance.
Our present subject may be represented by supposing, that a traveller returns to this town from the state of Vermont, and informs us that in consequence of a disturbance among the convicts in the State prison, the prisoners were all brought out under sufficient
guards, to be examined and tried for their conduct. This trial, our traveller informs us, finally terminated in the solitary confinement of a large number of the leaders of the disturbance, but in the liberation from prison of many who were found to be meritorious in iheir conduct in endeavoring to suppress and prevent the wicked designs of the others.
This traveller being a man of respectable standing in society, and of undoubted reputation, no one is disposed to doubt the truth of the testimony which he he has given on this subject. Not long after having this information in the way here related, our traveller returns from a tour through New Hampshire, and informs us that the new governor in that state has seen cause to set all the prisoners in the state at liberty, and that he was an eye witness of the fact. For want of proper caution some of us now confound the two reports, and think that these several relations are con cerning what took place relative to the prisoners in Vermont.
In this way we should make the testimony of our traveller destroy itself and the veracity of its author. And yet his whole testimony in both cases, when understood according to the different subjects related, and the proper distinctions preserved according to the plainest sense of the several accounts given, all appears clear and without the least contradiction.
By applying, in an indiscriminate manner, those passages of scripture which specially belong to the temporal, mutable state of man in this life, and those which speak of an immortal state, all to the future existence of mankind, the greatest absurdities have been supported by the scriptures. In the same way the dispute between those who contend for salvation by the agency of the creature, and those who maintain that works are out of the question relative to salvation has been protracted for ages in the christian church. And yet if the passages of scripture, which are quoted on both sides of the argument were applied to their respective subjects there would be no room for dispute or occasion for any difference of sentim nt.
For instance, the account we have of the judgment in the 25th of Matthew proceeds according to the works of those who are judged; and those who are welcome to the kingdom, are justified according to their works, and those who are sentenced to punishment are so condemned according to their conduct. Now as this passage is applied to the eternal state of the unseen world by both parties in the dispute just named, those who rest the final justification of the creature on his works seem to have a decided advantage in the dispute. And it is all in vain for the opposer to try to reconcile this passage with his notion of justifying the creature to everlasting life in the eternal world without any reference to his good works in this world. This he will not attempt to do: but in order to do away the force of this judgment, he quotes some passages which speak of grace to the exclusion of works; such as the following; “ Who hath saved us and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, . Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us. By grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. Not of works lest any man should boast. Now to him that worketh the reward is not reckoned of grace but of debt; but to him that worketh not but believeth on him who justifieth the ungodly, bis faith is counted unto him for righteousness.” As it is perfectly evident that these passages, on the very face of them, were designed to set forth the
grace and salvation of God in a way to exclude the works of the saved as the ground of such salvation, the argument now fairly turns in favor of the other side ; for here are more passages than the one brought in favor of the contrary side.
What is the next thing to be done? Does he who predicates salvation on works undertake to show that the
passages last quoted do not indicate the fact for which they are adduced ? No, for this would be labor lost: it would be as easy to prove that these passages mean nothing. What then does he do? 'He