« AnteriorContinuar »
but up6n the most Important occasions too. For 'tis notorious, that some men, who have embraced Errours inconsistent with Happiness it self, have Immoveably adhered to them; though they did not want sufficient means of Conviction. And this is partly owing to Obstinacy in some, and to Arrogancy in others; but in all Chiefly to a Disingenuous fear of being exposed to Shame for Retracting those Principles, which 'tis their utmost Dishonour to Retain.
Though the ResurreBion be a most Glorious^priviledge, and the Expectation of it the greatest Comfort in this life, because 'tis the foundation of our Complete felicity in that which is to come, and though Humane nature Abhorreth"':' a Final dissolution, and every reflection upon it is beyond- expression Disagreeable and Frightful; yet when the Sadducees have once taken upon them to Determine and Declare, that there is no ResurreBion, they resolve to persist in their In- fidelity, and Reject all evidence of that . doctrine, which a due sense of their own Interest should have engaged them to Re
certfe with Approbation and Joy'. And since they were so Wedded to this mistake that they could not bear the thoughts of Discarding it, 'twas natural for them to contrive the best means they could of Depreciating the contrary Truth, which deserved their highest Esteem. They therefore proposed a Case to our Saviour> which, they thought, could never be resolved to their Disadvantage. But Vain were their hopes of producing a Good reason in defence of so Bad a cause. Their objection did only expose their own Ignorance, and give our Blejsed Lord an occasion of displaying his Divine Knowledge. He taught them, from the Different circumstances of men in This and a Future State, that the Instance, which they urged, did neither Interfere with the Resurrection, nor any way Relate to it. And having so removed what the)? thought a great Difficulty, he pressed them, in the words of the Text, with an Argument in vindication of the Articley which they Denied, taken from the writings of Moses, whish they Believed*
In treating of this Subject, I shall endeavour to evince the Certainty of the ResurreBion of the Body, and that
I. F i R s T, By a Direct proof of it, from
II. S £ c o N D L Y, by the solution of some
I. Under the first head of discourse, wherein the ResurreBion of the Body is to be proved from Holy Scripture, it will be Necessary in the first place fully to examine the Importance of the words in my Text, before they will pass for a satisfactory evidence of this Article; because they are attended with a Difficulty, which hath been thought Insuperable, and they have therefore been accounted for by such an Interpretation as does Invalidate our Saviours Argument, and represent it as Insufficient to prove the ResurreBion of the-Body. *Tis urged, that is this Reason of our Saviour, that God is not the God of the dead, but of the living, did' DireBly prove the ResurreBion on of the Body, it would prove, that the Bodies of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were raised to life again, at or before the time, when God spake unto Moses, and called himself their God; but this we do not believe: And therefore 'tis added, that we ought not to suppose, that it was the Intention of our Saviour Direfily and Immediately to prove the RessurreBion of the Body, but only a future slate.
But there will be no occasion thus to give up our Saviour s Argument, if these two Observations concerning it be True,
First, That he did intend thereby to prove the Ressurre&ion of the Body, and
Secondly, That supposing it to be such a Proof, it will not from this supposition follow, that the Bodies of these Holy men were raised to life again, at or before the time, when God declared himself to be their God.
The first Observation to be made good is, That our Blessed Saviour intended by this Argument to prove the ResurreBion of the Body. And in opposition to this 'tis asserted, that uvdsounq, concerning which the Sadducees propose the question, on, v. 28. and Olvolsoutiq tm vexguv, which Christ undertakes to demon/irate, v. 31. do not peculiarly signify the ResurreBion of the Body, but another life, besides and after this, a continuing or being kept alive by God, after departure out of this life: In vindication of which'tis further alledged, that dvxscxo-is, according to the literal notion of the word, is the Re-subsftence of men, denoting as well the Immortality and continuance of the Soul in a state of separation, as the Re-union of the Body to it.
But this very Interpretation it self does Overthrow that Opinion, which 'tis brought to Defend. For Re-subsijlence cannot signify the Continuance of a Being, though in a Different state from that, in which it did subsist before; but does properly denote that Subsistence, which is Restored after some Interruption or Intermission of it; and is therefore no way applicable to the separate state of the Soul, whose Subsistence hath never been Discontinued at all. To this it may be added, that dvdrcurt$, whether Absolutely taken, or in conjunction with