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disease or pain. "The inhabitants say not, I am sick. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more, neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat, but the Lamb that is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them beside fountains of living waters, and shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” 1
2. It shall never be polluted by being the instrument of sinful passion, for the inhabitants of that country are, we believe, incapable of sin. Anger shall not redden the cheek, or quiver the lip, or flash from the eye-ball, or lower in its curtain. The tongue, now so "unruly," shall never be the messenger of aught but peace and praise. The law of kindness shall be graven on the lips, a law never to be repealed. The hand shall be for the embrace of kindness alone; the fist of wickedness shall smite no more. Unholy desire shall not merely be subdued, it shall no longer be felt, and that not only because temptation is wanting, but because the principle of evil is gone. What is the vigour of youth, or the glow of beauty, or the play of health, or the full pulse of strength, when debased by sin? But sin hath no passport to enter within the gates of the city. "For there shall in no wise enter thereinto any thing that worketh an abomination, or maketh a lie.”
3. Again, nothing that defileth is allowed an entrance. Incorruption and immortality are there. They are purity itself. They die no more. The inhabitants neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God. They are strangers to fatigue, appetite, and human passion.
4. Lastly, of this change to take place on the bodies of such as shall be found faithful unto death, we read, it shall be one, the fashion of which shall be according to Christ's glorious body. The likeness of Christ's
glorious body is a subject on which we are furnished with no information. The truth is, the evangelists seem to have known little on the subject. The appearances, though frequent, were suddenly vouchsafed, and as suddenly withdrawn. The manner of the Saviour, in his intercourse with his beloved followers after his resurrection, was entirely altered from what it had been before. There was a deep reserve, an awful distance. John did not then lie in the bosom of his Lord, though he was the beloved disciple, as he had been wont to do. What he says in the 21st chapter of his gospel, ver. 20, refers to what took place on occasion of the institution of "the Lord's supper." To this awful reserve and dignified retirement may probably be ascribed his conduct toward Mary. (See John xx, 11, et seq.) "But Mary stood, weeping, she turned herself and saw Jesus standing; Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brethren (condescending expression !) and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, to my God and your God." Dr. Clarke explains it thus: "Do not stop to embrace me, for I am not immediately to ascend on high; rather haste and tell my disciples, I am risen from the dead." I presume to think, however, there was in the expression a gentle repulse of the familiarity now no longer to be permitted.
What we have already asserted as to the inability of the evangelists to speak distinctly on the subject of the form and nature of Christ's resurrection body, may be gathered from their silence on that point; and it might also be inferred from that semblance of mystery which there was about his rare and rapid appearances. To their eye his body was clothed, although his seamless garment had been appropriated by the soldiers, and his
grave-clothes were left folded in one part of the tomb, and the napkin in another; circumstances which, besides proving that his departure from the dwelling-place of the dead was calm and deliberate, and indicated any thing rather than haste and fear, do also show that he had no vestment of earthly fabric upon him. He had parted with every thing corruptible.
Of his glorified body we know it could issue from a guarded tomb, enter within a closed door, walk upon the water, ascend into the air: its appearance was not natural, but by miracle. It needed no food, moved at pleasure, required no rest, and yet was that very body which hung on the cross, for it bore the marks of the nails and the spear. It is madness to attempt being wise above what is written. Enough is made known to satisfy us that Christ actually rose with that body which Joseph and Nicodemus embalmed and entombed, and to assure us that He who himself rose triumphant over death and the grave, hath power over both; he "hath the keys of death and hades ;" and will raise us also from the sleep of death. And when we shall awake up after his likeness, we shall be satisfied with it. Nothing shall be left us to wish. "When Christ shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Meanwhile it doth not appear what we shall be."
Now of what we have said, this is the sum. This very body of dust shall rise again, but a change shall pass upon it. It shall still be a body of sense, but not of sensuality, having organs and members, and, of course, having objects suited to those organs, in the new earth wherein dwelleth no unrighteousness, but having nothing corruptible or defiling, or even in any way debasing the excellence of its glory. Perhaps
there shall be new senses of body, of far higher character than are those already familiar to us, and nobler objects on which to operate. But all shall be spiritual, heavenly, and divine:
"The creatures all shall lead to thee,
We have now to consider,
III. The agent of this wondrous change. It is our "Lord Jesus Christ," who shall accomplish it, "according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself." When we hear of any great or important operation to be performed, and learn what are the materials employed, and what are the results anticipated, we naturally inquire into the character of the agent, and calculate the probability of his success from what he has already done. From the character and works of Christ we have every desirable ground of confidence. He is set before us as the Creator of the universe. Nature began her existence at the motion of his will. "He spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast." "All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made." Resurrection is as much within the reach of omnipotence as creation. To create any thing is, humanly speaking, an impossibility; and the difficulty of conceiving of it lies not in the extent, but in the fact of creation. The wonder is, not that so much has been created, but that any thing should be made out of nothing. When a thing is inconceivably beyond the reach of human power, there can be to us neither measure nor degree. A thing cannot be more or less impossible. All things that are so at all, are equally so. To him that believes that every thing was made
out of nothing by "the Word," it cannot be incredible that he should raise the dead.
Again, as he hath the power, he hath also given the promise. "I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." He hath, moreover, condescended to give the proof and the pledge. During his incarnation, (and the apostle would seem to refer us to what then took place,) he opened the eyes of the blind, unstopped the ears of the deaf, enabled the lame to walk, and the dumb to speak; he removed the diseases of the afflicted, expelled demons from the possessed, and that whether the parties were present or absent, with or without external sign. He multiplied a few loaves and fishes so that thousands were satisfied. He suspended the power of gravitation, so that the waves of a lake were like marble beneath his feet. He rebuked the storm, and it was abashed to silence. He made himself invisible, and was alone in the midst of a multitude. "Why (then) should it be thought a thing incredible that he should raise the dead?"
'Nay more, he did resuscitate many. To the inquiry of the Baptist," Art thou the Christ?" he replied, "The dead are raised;" although the context does not mention an instance of the kind, probably for the same reason that the case of Lazarus was suppressed until the time when John wrote his gospel; the parties might be living; and the evangelist says, chap. xxi, 25, “There are many other things that Jesus did." There are, however, upon record the following cases: 1. That of the little maid, who had just expired, Mark v, 41. 2. That of the widow's son, who was being carried out of the gate of Nain for sepulture. And 3. There was the case of Lazarus, who had lain in the grave four