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fon, and thereby destroyed the Power of Death,
the Proof of this. For there is not any one Text in the New Testament, where Immortal Life signifies any thing else, but the state of the Resurrection. And this is the Force of our Saviour's Argument, whereby he proves the Resurrection of the Dead. Now that the Dead are raised, even Moses Ibewed at the Bush, when be called the Lord, the God of Abraham, and the God of Ifaac, and the God of Jacob : For be is not the God of the Dead, but of the Living; for all live to him, Luke 20. 37, 38. Some think, that our Saviour's Argument proves no more, but that the Souls of good Men live after Death, not that their Bodies shall be raised again from the Dead : Which is very strange, when our Saviour expresly alledges it to prove, that the Dead arise ; and the Difpute, as I observed before, was not about the Immortality of the Soul, but the Resurrection of the Body. When our Saviour proves that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who were dead, shall rise again, because God is not the
God of the Dead, but of the Living; Can living here lignify those who are dead, and live only in a State of Death? What then do the Dead and Death signify? How do Dead and Living, and Life and Death, differ, if both fignify the State of separate Souls, which yet are constantly oppos'd to each other in Scripture? So our Saviour tells us, I am be that liveth and was dead, and behold I am alive for evermore. Where his being dead signifies the separation of his Soul and Body, and his living signifies the re-union of them at his Resurrection, when he reassumed his Body Immortal and Glorious, never to part with it more, Revelations 1. 18. And thus we muft understand our Saviour's Argument, if we will make any thing of it. The Dead rise, that is, those, who are now in a State of Separation, who have left their Bodies in the Grave, shall rise again with their Bodies into Immortal Life. And this our Saviour proves, because God owns himself to be the God of such good Men, who are dead: Their God, that is, their Father, their Preferver, their Benefactor, their exceeding great reward, who will bestow all Blessings on them. But God is not all this visibly to good Men, while they want their Bodies, which are necessary to compleat and perfect their Happi. ness. But then he will appear to be their God, when he shall restore them to Life again, and cloath them with Immortaland Glorious Bodies; For he is the Ged of the Living. And if it be objected, why then does God call himfelf the God of thefe good Men, while they are in the State of Death? Our Saviour answers, All live to him. They are not extinct, but are as happy as a State of Separacion will admit, and their Life is fafe in God's Hands, who in his own good time will certainly restore them to Life again. And therefore he is their God now, and will appear in a more glorious manner to be their God then. This is a plain and sensible Argument, and, I doubt not, is the true Meaning of our Saviour in this place. And this may satisfy us what is meant by Living, and by Life and Immortality. Whatever Persuasion the World had of the Immortality of the Soul, that alone is not the Gorpel Life and Immortality, which signifies such a perfect State of Life, as results from the blessed Reunion of Soul and Body.
The Gospel Promises of Life and Ima
Aving thus clear'd the way, I
consider how this Life and Immortality is brought to Light by the Gospel.
Now there are two things commonly insisted on to this Purpose, which are of great Weight and Moment; tho',I think, as commonly stated, they fall very short of that full Evidence which the Gospel gives us. And they are, First, the exprefs Promises of Life and Immortality: And, Secondly, the visible Confirmation of all these Promises by the Resurrection of Christ from the Dead. First, The express Promises of immortal Life.
. That there are such Promises contained in the Gospel, is too plain to need a Proof. Our Saviour upon all Ởccasions promises eternal Life to all his sincere Disciples, and threatens Hypo
crites, and Infidels, and incorrigible Sinners, with eternal Punishment. Thus our Saviour declares the Will of his Father: God so loved the World, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him jould not perish, but have everlasting Life. This is the Will of the Father, which hath sent me; that of all that he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day; and this is the Will of him that sent me, that every one that seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may
have everlasting Life, and I will raise him up at the last day, John 6. 39, 40. I am the Refurrection and the Life, be that believeth in me, though he be dead yet shall he live; and be that liveth and believeth in me shall never die, John 11. 25. This is Life eternal, to know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent, John 17. 3. All those Promises which so frequently occur, of the Kingdom of Heaven, of
seeing God, of glorious Bodies at the Resurrection, that the Righteous shall hine forth like the Sun in the Kingdom of their Father, give us as great an Assurance of this as the exprefs Word and Promise of God can give us. Let us then consider the nature of this Evidence, which, First, is a new sort of Evidence, which the World never had before: And, Secondly, That we can have no Evidence of Life and Immortality, in the Gospel Notion of it, without a Promise : And, Thirdly, it exceeds all other sort of Evidence which the World ever had before.
As for the First, I need say little of it; for no Man pretends that the World had any express Promise of immortal Life before the Revelation of the Gospel. The Men of Reason, who think Natural Reason sufficient for all the
Purposes Purposes of Religion ; reject all Revelation, and consequently all Divine Promises, which can be known only by Revelation. And tho' as I have shewn you, there are very strong Presumptions in the Jewish Law of another and a better Life after this, and such as gave good Men a very firm Belief of it, yet it is certain there are no express Promises of Life and Immortality in the Old Testament ; for they might easily be shewn, if there were any there. And our Saviour himself in his dispute with the Sadducees alledges no such Promises, but argues only by consequence, from God's owning himself to be the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob. And therefore this is a new kind of Evidence, which the World never had before. And what the Advantage of this is, will appear, if we consider,
Secondly, That we can have no certain Evidence of Life and Immortality, in the Gospel Notion of it, without a Promise. Gospel Life and Immortality is the Resurrection of the Dead; and 'tis certain there can be no natural Proof or Evidence of the Resurrection, because there is no natural Reason or natural Cause of it. If the Dead rise again, it is owing wholly to the good Will and Pleasure of God, and it is entirely the effect of a Divine Power, not of natural Causes. And therefore we can know nothing of it, nor have
any other Evidence for it, but only by Revelation. If God declare his Will, that he will raise the Dead, this is a good Reason to believe it; but there is no Reason for it antecedent to the Divine Will, which can be known only by Revelation. There may be some natural Reasons given to prove the Immortality of the Soul, that it does not die with the Body, but survives and P 2