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LECT. are of the same fort with those spoken of
by Christ in the gospel, let the dead bury their dead; of whom the former are the dead in spirit, and the latter the dead in nature. The word death has the like sense in the sentence which was pronounced on man in paradise, in the day thou eatest thou shalt die: and there are numberless passages of the Old Testament, in which the words life and 'death do not signify the natural, bụt the spiritual life and death. I know not how to understand,'but by admitting both a natural and a spiritual refurrection ; those other words of Christ, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall bear the voice of the Son of God; for certainly, the resurrection which now is must be that figurative resurrection spoken of by the prophet and apostle; and the margin of our bibles accordingly refers us to such passages as speak of a quickening unto grace. I cannot but understand the raising of Lazarus from the putrid state of death, as a sign that the same power should revive men who had been long dead in trespasses and fins, and seemed to be past
grace; as was the case with the whole LECT, heathen world,
In the railing of the widow's son at the city of Nain, we have a lesson of this kind worthy of our confideration. "A dead man was carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and much people of the city was with her.” This was a funeral of some pomp, and so we may suppose the young man was a conliderable person. Thus, alas, do we see many sons of the church, in the prime of life, in their best days, who seem to know no more that Jesus Christ is near to them, than if they were stretched out upon a bier. Such examples are too often found in low life; but they are much more common among young men of station and fortune; too many of whom are totally insensible to the things of God; lifeless and ftupid at prayer; and as indifferent to the word of God from a reader of a preacher of it, as if they did not hear one word that is spoken, and had no concern with that other world, to which, young as they are,
LECT. time is in the mean while carrying them
out; though they may seem to move slowly on, as is the custom in a funeral. Nothing less than that same power which raises the dead can awaken fuch to hear that voice which is daily calling unto them in the words of the gospel, Young man, I say unto thee arise: hear now the voice of him that haih pity upon thee, and calls thee to rise and be saved; because thou wilt soon be forced to hear that other voice, which shall bid thee rise from the earth to be judged for thy sins,
The cure of fin in all its symptoms and effe As is signified by other like miraculous works; such as the deliverance of the body from bondage and imprisonment, from uncleanness, from weakness, lamenefs, deafness, poison, and madness, or the poileffion of the devil; all which are so fulfilled in the deliverance of the soul from sin, that the prophets seem rather to have predicted the salvation of which the miracles were signs, than the miracles themselves : that is, they seem to have predicted the mi
racles rather in the spiritual sense than the LECT. natural. Thus where lsaiah * describes the conversion of the Gentiles as a blossoming of roses in a defert, and a sound of joy and finging in a lonely wilderness; it follows, that the ey's of the blind Mall be opened, the eurs of the deaf shall be unstopped, the lame man mail leap as a hart, the tongue of the dumb Mall ping, &c. all of which expresfions must be applied to the souls of men; for if we understand any of them literally of the body, we shall make the passage inconsistent with itself; or, to make it uniform, we must suppose, that the gospel should be revealed to multiply flowers in a wilderness. Therefore, the inference is easy; that the works of giving light to the blind, opening the ears of the deaf, &c. though certainly to be performed by our Saviour in the letter, were to be no more than signs of the salvation foretold by the prophet.
The misery of man under fin, is like the bondage of an imprisoned captive ; and the liberty of those who are made free by * Chap. xxxv.
LECT. the Son of God under the gospel, is like
that of a person miraculously brought out of prison. As such the prophet speaks of it, in a passage which our Saviour has applied to his own ministry. “ The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek, he hath sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives.”. Who are these captiyes? Did Jesus Christ come to publish a goaldelivery to debtors and felons ? by no means : but he delivers those who are appointed unto death, and are tied and bound with tbe chain of their fins : and to give an assurance of it to all men, he miraculously opened the doors of a dungeon, and delivered his seryants from their bonds. When this happened to Peter, he supposed it to be a vision: when the Lord thus turned his captivity, he was like unto them that dream; but he came to himself, and considered the thing; and seeing farther into the wisdom of God than we do, he probably considered the whole as a scenical representation of that deliverance, which