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to Nature in this painful Search after Life and Happiness. The numberless Instances of Mortality which we hear and see, the' Remains of those who left the World Ages before we came into it, and are still mouldering in their Tombs, is undeniable Evidence that Death destroys this compound Being which we call Man. How to revive this Union Nature knows not; and as for those who make the Spirits of Men in the divided State to be perfect Men, they seem to have got a Conclusion without consulting. the Premises.
Look now into the Gospel: There you will find every reasonable Hope of Nature, nay every reasonable Suspicion of Nature, cleared up and confirmed) every Difficulty answered and removed. Do the present Circumstances of the World lead you to suspect that God could never be Author of such corrupt and wretched Creatures as .Men now are? Your Suspicions are just and wellfounded: God made Man upright, but thro* the Temptation of the Devil Sin entered, and Death and Destruction followed after..
Do you suspect, from the Success of Virtue and Vice in this World, that the Providence of God does not interpose to protect the Righteous from Violence, or to punish
the the Wicked? The Suspicion is not without Ground. God leaves his best Servants here to be tried oftentimes with Affliction and Sorrow, and permits the Wicked to flourish and abound. The Call of the Gospel is not to Honour and Riches here, but to take up our Cross and follow Christ.
Do you judge, from comparing the present State of the Worl,d with the natural Notion you have of God, and of bis Justice and Goodness, that there must needs be another State in which Justice shall take place? You reason right; and the Gospel confirms the Judgment. God has appointed a Day to judge the World in Righteousness: Then thoso who mourn shall rejoice, those who, weep, shall laugh, and the persecuted and, afflicted Servants of God shall be Heirs, of his Kingdom.
Have, you sometimes Misgivings of Mind? Are you tempted to mistrust this Judgment, when you see the Difficulties which surround it on every Sjde; some which affect, the Soul in its separate State, some which, affect the Body in its. State of. Corruption and Dissolution? Look to. the,; Gospel: There these Difficulties are accounted for; and you need; no longer puzzle yourself with dark Questions concerning the State, Condition, and G 4. Nature Nature of separate Spirits, or concerning the Body, however to Appearance lost and destroyed; for the Body and Soul shall- once more meet to part no more, but to be happy for ever. In this Cass e the Learned cannot doubt, and the Ignorant may be sure, that 'tis the Man, the very Man himself, who shall rise again: For an Union of the same Soul and Body is as certainly the Restoration of the Man, as the dividing them was the Destruction,
Would you know who it is that gives this Assurance? 'Tis One who is able to make good his Word; One who. loved you so well as to die for you; yet One too great to be held a Prisoner in the Grave: No; he rose with Triumph and Glory, the first-born from the Dead, and. will, in like manner call from the Dust of the Earth all those who put their Trust and Confidence in him.
But who is this, you'll say, who was subject to Death, and yet had Power over Death? How could so much Weakness and so much Strength meet together? That God has the Power of Life, we know > but then he cannot die: That Man is mortal, we know; but then he cannot give Life.
Consider; does this Difficulty deserve an Answer, or does it not? Our blessed Saviour
lived among us in a low and poor Condition, exposed to much Ill-treatment from his jealous Countrymen: When he fell into their Power, their Rage knew no Bounds: They reviled him, insulted him, mocked him, scourged him, and at last nailed him to a Cross, where by a shameful and wretched Death he finished a Life of Sorrow and Affliction. Did we know no more of him than this, upon what Ground could we pretend to hope that he will be able to save us from the Power of Death? We might say with the Disciples, We trusted this had been he who should have saved Israel; but he is dead, he is gone, and all our Hopes are buried in his Grave.
If you think this ought to be answered, and that the Faith of a Christian cannot be a reasonable Faith, unless it be enabled to account for this seeming Contradiction; I beseech you then never more complain of the Gospel for furnishing an Answer to this great Objection, for removing this Stumblingblock out of the Way of our Faith. He was a Man, and therefore he died: He was the Son of God, and therefore he rose from the Dead, and will give Life to all his true Disciples. He it was who formed this World and all Things in it, and for the sake of