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Parts should be no Impediment to his
Resurrection; but that in his Flesh, that S*TM'
Flesh which should be eaten of Worms, „
he should fee God, that he should fee him for himself, and that his own Eyes should behold him, and not another.
A Noble Confession of Faith! which may put to the Blush those Christians who deny this great Article of Job's Creed, relying too much on their own uncertain Reasonings, and over-looking the plainest Testimonies of Revelation. For the fame Places of Scripture which inform us that there will be a Resurrection, do strongly and evidently prove the Resurrection of that very Flesh with which we are cloath'd in this Life.
St. Paul represents the Resurrection of Christ as the Example and Pattern of our Resurrection. Now whether our Lord rose in ,the same Body which was fastned to the Cross, and which the Soldier pierced with a Spear, no Christian can question, who knows that unbelieving 'Thomas law in his Hands the Print of the Nails, and put his Finger into the Print
R 4 of
of the Nails, and thrust his Hand into
If these Bodies rife not, how then shall those Scriptures be verified which expressly affirm, That they who sleep in the Dust of the Earth shall awake; That all who are in the Graves shall hear the Voice of the Son of Man, and shall come forth; That the Sea shall give up the Dead which are in it, and Death and the Grave shall deliver up the Dead which are in them? But what Dead shall the Sea and the Grave deliver up, unless those which were committed to them? .And what other Dead were committed to them, than those Bodies which were pnee alive? The Qualities and Properties of our Bodies shall indeed be wonderfully changed, but the Substance of them shall be the same; for we are not told, that other Bodies shall be prepared for us,
but but on the contrary, that this corruptible —
must put on Incorruption; and this mor- 5^**
tal, must put on Immortality: And '_
again, that God shall change our vile Body, that it may be fashioned like unto Christ's glorious Body.
And indeed the Nature of a Resurrection plainly requires that these very Bodies which dye, should be restor'd to Life. For the Soul never dyeth, but survives even during its Seperation from the Body, and is therefore incapable of a Resurrection. The Body only, that Body alone, which fell, can properly be said to rise again. If a new Body were to be made, which before was not, that would be a Creation or a Formation, but not a Resurrection.
The End of the Resurrection is, that all may appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ, that every one may receive the Things done in the Body, according to that he hath done. And does it not seem most congruous to Divine justice, that that. Body which hath concurr'd with and assisted the Soul in the Performance mance of good or bad Actions, mould
S!?LM- share with it in the Reward or Punishment of those Actions? For what Reason is there, that that Body which hath been worn out in the Pursuit and Practice of Virtue should go unrewarded, and another which hath not labour'd therein should receive the Recompence of it? And how much less Reason is there that a Body which never was defil'd with Sin, should be united to a sinful Soul, in order to endure with it inexpressible and everlasting Torments, whilst that which finn'd is permitted to remain in a State of Insensibility and Indolence?
St. Paul hath taught us, that the Bodies of the Saints are the holy Temples of God, in which he vouchsafes to dwell; And can we think that God will suffer his own Temples to lie for ever in the Dust? Is it not rather credible, that the Almighty Architect will one Day rear them up again?
O N this Account it was, that the Christians in the first Ages of the Church paid great Honours to the Bodies and
MonuMonuments of those who dy'd for or inthe Lord j as knowing that their dead Carcases both had been, and should here-. after be God's living Temples, and that the Glory of them, when rebuilt, mould be greater than that which they had before they fell. It is well known, that in all the antient Churches the Resurrection of the Flesh made one principal Article of their Creed. And the Church ofAquileia in Italy us'd in the Repetition of their Creed to declare, that they believ'd the Resurrection of this Flesh; being firmly perswaded that not only their Souls, but those very Bodies which they carried about them here, Ihould, by the mighty Operation of God, be made Partakers of that Life and Immortality, which were brought to Light thro' the Gospel. However therefore this Doctrine may be ridicul'd by the Wits of a prophane and blaspheming Age, I will never be ashamed of that Confession of Faith in which the Primitive Christians gloried, and which Job was so far from being asham'd of, that he desir'd it might