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And at the same Time that he rose, he raised up other Bodies also of Holy Men, to accom“ pany him in his Triumph over Death. ...
But that is not all; He that raised up himself and them, hathi given us his solemn Word and Promise, in as express Terms as is possible, that he will, by the same Power, raise up us also; and exalt us to the fame Glory that he is possess’d of. He hath told us, That he is the Resurrection and the Life: And that whofoever believeth in him, mail not perish, but have everlasting Life: and he will raise him up at the last Day. There cannot be a stronger Proof of any Thing; than our Saviour's Resurrectie on is of the Happiness of good Men in another State. ; Which being fo; How powerful a Means must we needs conclude it to be, for the Reforming the Manners of Mankind, and making them truly Holy and Vertuous?
Since we have thereby such à Demonstration given us of a glorious Immortality to be expected by us; what is it that can be able to hinder or divert us from a serious Pursuit of those Things that lead to it? What could God do more, by way of Motive and Argument, towards the Profelyting the World to Religion and Righteousness, than he hath done, by thus ascertaining our future Happiness, by the Resurrection of his Son Jesus?
. To be certain, that if we seriously apply ourselves to a Life of Piety here, we shall be crowned with cverlasting Felicity hereafter ! To be certain, that if we follow the steps of A a 4
our Blessed Saviour, we shall for ever fhine in the same Glory and Lustre that he now doth at the Right Hand of his Father! To be able positively to say, I know that my Redeemer livet b; and I know, that if I live as he did, I Thall for ever live with him; and tho' it doth not yet appear wbat I fall be, yet this I know, that when he mall appear, I shall be like him! ( what noble Thoughts, what brave Resolutions is this able to inspire us with? What Difficulties shall we be afraid of? What Labours shall we not willingly undertake ? What Temptations shall we not easily vanquish in the Prospect of luch an eternal Crown of Glory, as awaits us, and is secured to us by our Lord Jesus ?
O happy we Christians! that have so clear a Revelation of those Things, which God hath prepared for them that love him; those Things which Eye bath not feen, nor Ear heard, neither did they enter into the Heart of Man! Blessed, for ever blessed be our Lord Jesus Christ, that hath begotten us again to this lively Hope by his Refurrection from the Dead, ;
0! what mighty Encouragements have we to set ourselves against our Sins, and to labour after the Perfection of Vertue, in Comparison of what those have who are ignorant of our Saviour's Resurrection, and who know nothing of the other World, but by the uncertain Conjectures of their natural Reason? • If we had no other Assurance of the Immortality of the Soul, and the Rewards and Punishments of another Life, but what is af
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But admitting their Reasons to be strong and conclusive (as I am far from denying, that the Souls Immortality is demonstrable by the Light of Nature) yet there are generally these Two Inconveniencies in the Arguments they make use of, for the Proof of this Matter, which render them in a great measure ineffectual for the reforming Mens Lives.
Firft, They are generally of so great Subtilty, so Nice, fo Metaphysical, so much above the Reach of ordinary Capacities, that they are useless to the greatest Part of Mankind, who have not Understandings fitted for them. . And, Secondly, They have this Inconvenience likewise, that a Man doth not see the Evidence of them, without actual Attention to a long Train of Propositions ; which Attention, it may be, when a Man most stands in need of their Support, he shall neither have the Leisure nor the Humour to give.
But But now the Christian Method of proving another Life, is quite of another Strain, and wholly free from these Inconveniencies. That Demonstration which Christ hath given us of a glorious Immortality by his Resurrection from the Dead, as it is infinitely certain and conclusive; so it is plain and easy, short and compendious, powerful and operative. No Man chat believes the Matter of fact, can deny the Cogency of it: Men of the meanest Capació ties may apprehend it. Persons in a Crowd of Business, and in the midst of Temptations may attend to it. And it hath this Virtue besides, that it leaves a lasting Impression upon the Spirits of those that do believe and consider it.
Thanks therefore to our Lord Jesus Christ, for this excellent Instrument of Piety, that he hath given us by his Refurrection. Everlasting Praises to his Name, that he hath thus brought Life and Immortality to light by his Gospel. This very Thing alone, was there nothing else to be said for the Christian Revelation, would sufficiently justify both the Gospel itself, and our Lord Jesus the Author of it, to all Mankind; nay, and effectually recommend his Religion above all others that ever were taught, to all Persons, in all Nations of the World. · IV. Fourthly and Lastly, There is still a fur- ! ther Blessing coming to us by our Saviour's Refurrection from the Dead ; and in which, indeed, is chiefly seen and expressed the great Power of it, for the making us Holy and Vita tuous : That is to say, Unto it we do principally owe all that fupernatural Grace and
cf pro Allaistance, by which we are enabled to vanquish Strain is our Corruptions, and to live up to the Precies I cepts of our Religion. ivers As Christ by his Resurrection did oblige us tion't to lead new Lives; as Christ by his Resurrection ando did demonstrate the Truth of the Christian Rex modo ligion, which is wholly in order to our leading N! new Lives ; às by his Resurrection he cleared ming up to us the Certainty of our future State, and auch lo thereby gave us the greatest Motive and Enin a cose couragement to lead new Livés : So, in the last mptati Place, by the fame Resurrection he acquired a vituet Power of conferring Grace, and Strength, and Fron u Influence upon us, by the Virtue of which, od core we are in fact enabled to lead new Lives : + Tefik Though Christ by his Death reconciled us Bit to God, and procured a Pardon of Sin for us ;
ģet the actual Benefit of this Reconciliation, Cho the actual Application of this Pardon, did we dépend upon our Performance of certain Con
ns: which Conditions were, that we should mortify all our evil Affections, and frame our
Lives suitable to the Laws of the Gospel. But Link now the Grace and Power by which we are
enabled to do this, was not the Effect of Christ's
Captivity Captive ; that is, when he had vanbu quished Death, which had vanquished all the
World beforeIt was then, (as the Scripture assures us) and not till then, that he was in a Capacity of giving Gifts unto Men. It was not till he was glorified, as St. John observes, that the Holy Spirit was given.