Flavel, Fountain of Life, File 39.
( ...continued from File 38)
Sermon 39. Wherein the Resurrection of CHRIST, with its influences 
upon the Saints Resurrection, is clearly opened, and comfortably 
applied, being the first Step of his Exaltation. 
Matth. 28: 6. 
He is not here; for he is risen, as he said: come, see the place 
where the Lord lay. 
    We have finished the doctrine of Christ's humiliation, wherein 
the Sun of righteousness appeared to you, as a setting sun, gone out 
of sight; but as the sun when it is gone down to us, begins a new 
day in another part of the world, so Christ, having finished his 
course, and sock in this world, rises again, and that, in order to 
the acting, another glorious part of his work in the world above. In 
his death, he was upon the matter totally eclipsed, but in his 
resurrection, he began to recover his light and glory again. God 
never intended that the darling of his soul should be lost in 
obscure sepulchre. An angel descends from heaven, to roll away the 
stone, and, with it, the reproach of his death; and to be the 
heavenly herald, to proclaim his resurrection to the two Mary's, 
whose love to Christ had, at this time, drawn them to visit the 
sepulchre, where they lately left him. 
    At this time (the Lord being newly risen) the keepers were 
trembling, and become as dead men. So great was the terrible majesty 
and awful solemnity attending Christ's resurrection; but, to 
encourage these good souls, the angel prevents them with these good 
tidings; "He is not here; for he is risen, as he said: come, see the 
place where the Lord lay:" q. d. Be not troubled, though you have 
not the end you came for, one sight more of your dear, though dead 
Jesus; yet you have not lost your labour; for, to your eternal 
comfort, I tell you, "he is risen, as he said." And to put it out of 
doubt, come hither and satisfy yourselves, "See the place where the 
Lord lay." 
    In which words arts we have both a declaration and confirmation 
of the resurrection of Christ from the dead. 
    First. A declaration of it by the angels, both negatively and 
affirmatively. Negatively, He is not here. Here. indeed you laid 
him, here you left him, and here you thought to find him as you left 
him; but you are happily mistaken, He is not here. However, this 
giving them no satisfaction, so he might continue dead still, 
thought removed to another place, as indeed they suspected he was, 
John 20: 13. therefore his resurrection is declared positively and 
affirmatively; He is risen; "egerte", the word imports, the active 
power or self-quickening principle, by which Christ raised himself 
from the state of the dead. Which Luke takes notice of also, Acts 1: 
3 where he saith, He shewed, or presented, himself alive after his 
passion. It was the divine nature, or Godhead of Christ, which 
revived and raised the manhood. 
    Secondly, Here is also a plain confirmation of Christ's 
resurrection, and that, first, From Christ's own prediction, He is 
risen, as he said. He foretold that which I declare to be now 
fulfilled. Let it not therefore seem incredible to you. Secondly, by 
their own sight, "Come, see the place where the Lord lay." The grave 
has lost its guest; it is now empty; death has lost its prey. It 
received, but could not retain him, "Come, see the place where the 
Lord lay." Thus the resurrection of Christ is declared, and 
confirmed. Hence our observation is, 
    Doct. That our Lord Jesus Christ, by the almighty power of his 
    own Godhead, revived, and rose from the dead; to the terror and 
    consternation of his enemies, and the unspeakable consolation 
    of believers. 
    That our Lord Jesus Christ, though laid, was not lost in the 
grave; but the third day revived and rose again, is a truth 
confirmed to us by many infallible proofs, as Luke witnesseth, Acts 
1: 3. We have testimonies of it, both from heaven and earth, and 
both infallible. From heaven, we have the testimony of angels, and 
to the testimony of an angel all credit is due; for angels are holy 
creatures, and cannot deceive us. The angel tells the two Mary's, in 
the text, "He is risen." We have testimonies of it from men, holy 
men, who were eye-witnesses of this truth, to whom he showed himself 
alive by the space of forty days after his resurrection, by no less 
than nine solemn apparitions to them. Sometimes five hundred 
brethren saw him at once, 1 Cor. 15: 6. These were holy persons, who 
durst not deceive, and who confirmed their testimony with their 
blood. So that no point of religion is of more confessed truth, and 
infallible certainty than this before us. 
    And blessed be God it is so. For if it were not, then were the 
"gospel in vain," 1 Cor. 15: 14. seeing it hangs the whole weight of 
our faith, hope, and salvation, upon Christ as risen from the dead. 
If this were not so, then could the holy, and divinely inspired 
apostles be found false witnesses, 1 Cor. 15: 15. For they all, with 
one mouth, constantly, and to the death affirmed it. If Christ be 
not risen, then are believers yet in their sins," 1 Cor. 15: 17. For 
our justification is truly ascribed to the resurrection of Christ, 
Rom. 4: 25. Whilst Christ was dying, and continued in the state of 
the dead, the price of our redemption was all that while but in 
paying, the payment was completed, when he revived and rose again. 
Therefore for Christ to have continued always in the state of the 
dead, had been never to have completely satisfied; hence the whole 
force and weight of our justifications depends upon his 
resurrection. Nay, had not Christ risen, "the dead had perished," 1 
Cor. 15: 17. Even the dead who died in the faith of Christ, and of 
whose salvation there now remains no ground to doubt. Moreover, 
    Had he not revived and risen from the dead, how could all the 
types that prefigured it have been satisfied? Surely they must have 
stood as insignificant things in the scriptures; and so must all the 
predictions of his resurrection, by which it was so plainly 
foretold. See Matth. 12: 40. Luke 24: 46. Psal. 16: 10. 1 Cor. 15: 
    To conclude. Had he not risen from the dead, how could he have 
been installed in that glory whereof he is now possessed in heaven, 
and which was promised him before the world was, upon the account of 
his death and sufferings? "For to this end Christ both died, and 
rose and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and 
living," Rom. 14: 9. And that, in this state of dominion and 
glorious advancement, he might powerfully apply the virtues and 
benefits of his blood to us, which else had been as a precious 
cordial spilt upon the ground. 
    So then, there remains no doubt at all of the certainty of 
Christ's resurrection; it was so, and upon all accounts it must 
needs be so; for you see how great a weight the scriptures hang upon 
this nail. And blessed be God it is a nail fastened in a sure place. 
I need spend no more words to confirm it; but rather choose to 
explain and open the nature and manner of his resurrection, which I 
shall do by shewing you four or five properties of it. And the first 
is this, 
    First, Christ rose from the dead with awful majesty. So you 
find it in Mat. 28: 2, 3, 4. "And behold there was a great 
earthquake; for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and 
came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His 
countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow. And 
for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men." 
Human infirmity was not able to bear such heavenly majesty as 
attended the business of that morning. Nature sank under it. This 
earthquake was, as one calls it, triumpale signum: a sign of 
triumph, or token of victory, given by Christ, not only to the 
keepers, and the neighbouring city, but to the whole world, that he 
had overcome death in its own dominions, and, like a conqueror, 
lifted up his head above all his enemies. So when the Lord fought 
from heaven for his people, and gave them a glorious, though but 
temporal deliverance, see how the prophetess drives on the triumph 
in that rhetorical song, Judg. 5: 4, 5. Alluding to the most awful 
appearance of God, at the giving of the law. "Lord, when thou went 
out of Seir, when thou marchedst out of the field of Edom, the earth 
trembled, and the heavens dropped, the clouds also dropped water. 
The mountains melted from before the Lord, even that Sinai from 
before the Lord God of Israel." Our Lord Jesus went out of the 
grave, in like manner, and marched out of that bloody field with a 
pomp and majesty becoming so great a conqueror. 
    Secondly, And to increase the splendour of that day, and drive 
on the triumph, his resurrection was attended with the resurrection 
of many of the saints; who had slept in their graves till then, anrd 
then were awakened and raised to attend the Lord at his rising. So 
you read, Mat. 27: 52, 53. "And the graves were opened, and many 
bodies of the saints, which slept, arose, and came out of the 
graves, after his resurrection; and went into the holy city and 
appeared unto many." This wonder was designed, both to adorn the 
resurrection of Christ, and to give a specimen or pledge of our 
resurrection; which also is to be in the virtue of his. This indeed 
was the resurrection of saints and none but saints, the resurrection 
of many saints, yet it was but a special resurrection, intended only 
to show what God will one day do for all his saints. And for the 
present, to give testimony of Christ's resurrection from the dead. 
They were seen, and known of many in the city, who doubtless never 
thought to have seen them any more in this world. To enquire 
curiously, as some do, who they were, what discourse they had with 
those to whom they appeared, and what became of them afterwards, is 
a vain thing. God has cast a vail of silence and secrecy upon these 
things, that we might content ourselves with the written word, and 
he that "will not believe Moses and the prophets, neither will he 
believe though one rise from the dead", as these saints did. 
    Thirdly, As Christ rose from the dead with those satellites or 
at pendants, who accompanied him at his resurrection; so it was by 
the power of his own Godhead that he quickened and raised him self; 
and by the virtue of his resurrection were they raised also, who 
accompanied him. It was not the angel who rolled back the stone that 
revived him in the sepulchre, but he resumed his own life; so he 
tells us, John 10: 18. "I lay down my life that I may take it 
again." Hence 1 Pet. 3: 18. He is said to be put to death in the 
flesh, but quickened by the Spirit, i.e. by the power of his 
Godhead, or divine nature, which is opposed there to flesh, or his 
human nature. By the eternal Spirit he offered himself up to God, 
when he died, Heb. 9: 14. i.e. by his own Godhead, not the third 
person in the Trinity, for then it could not have been ascribed to 
him as his own act, that he offered up himself. And by the same 
Spirit he was quickened again. 
    And, therefore, the apostle well observes, Rom. 1: 4. "That he 
was declared to be the Son of God with power, by his resurrection 
from the dead." Now if he had been raised by the power of the 
Father, or Spirit only, and not by his own, how could he be declared 
by his resurrection to be the Son of God? What more had appeared in 
him than in others? For others are raised by the power of God, if 
that were all. So that in this respect also it was a marvellous 
resurrection. Never any did, or shall rise as Christ rose by a 
self-quickening principle. For though many dead saints rose at that 
time also, yet it was by the virtue of Christ's resurrection that 
their graves were opened, and their bodies quickened. In which 
respect he saith, John 11: 25. when he raised dead Lazarus, "I am 
the resurrection and the life," i.e. the principle of life and 
quickening, by which the dead saints are raised. 
    Fourthly, And therefore it may be truly affirmed, that though 
some dead saints are raised to life before the resurrection of 
Christ, yet that Christ is "the first-born from the dead," as he is 
called, Col. 1: 18. For though Lazarus and others were raised, yet 
not by themselves, but by Christ. It was by his virtue and power, 
not their own. And though they were raised to life, yet they died 
again. Death recovered them again, but Christ dies no more. "Death 
has no dominion over him." He was the first that opened the womb of 
the earth, the first-born from the dead, that in all things he might 
have the pre-eminence. 
    Fifthly, But lastly, Christ rose as a public or common person. 
"As the first fruits of them that slept," 1 Cor. 15: 20. I desire 
this may be well understood; for upon this account it is that our 
resurrection is secured to us by the resurrection of Christ; and not 
a resurrection only, but a blessed and happy one, for the 
first-fruits both assured and sanctified the whole crop or harvest. 
    Now that Christ did rise, as a public person, representing and 
comprehending all the elect, who were called the children of the 
resurrection, is plain from Eph. 2: 6. where we are said to be risen 
with, or in him. So that, as we are said to die in Adam, (who also 
was a common person) as the branches die in the death of the root; 
so we are said to be raised from death in Christ, who is the head, 
root, and representative, of all his elect seed. And why is he 
called the firstborn, and first begotten frown the dead, but with 
respect to the whole number of the elect, that are to be born from 
the dead in their time and order also and as sure as the whole 
harvest follows the first fruits, so shall the general resurrection 
of the saints to life eternal follow this birth of the first-born 
from the dead. 
    It shall surely follow it I say, and that not only as a 
consequent follows an antecedent, but as an effect follows its 
proper cause. Now there is a three-fold casualty, or influence that 
Christ's resurrection has upon the saints resurrection, of which it 
is at once the meritorious, efficient, and exemplary cause. 
    First, The resurrection of Christ is a meritorious cause of the 
saints resurrection, as it completed his satisfaction, and finished 
his payment, and so our justification is properly assigned to it, as 
before was noted from Rom. 4: 25. This his resurrection was the 
receiving of the acquittance, the cancelling of the bond. And had 
not this been done, we had still been in our sins, as he speaks, 1 
Cor. 15: 7. and so our guilt had been still a bar to our happy 
resurrection. But now, the price being paid in his death, which 
payment was finished when he revived; and the discharge then 
received for us, now there is nothing lies in bar against our 
resurrect lion to eternal life. 
    Secondly, As it is the meritorious cause of our resurrection, 
so it s the efficient cause of it also. For when the time shall come 
that the saints shall rise out of the dust, they shall be raised by 
Christ, as their head, in whom the effective principle of their life 
is. "Your life is hid with Christ in God," as it is Col. 3:3. As 
when a man awakes out of his sleep, "the animal spirits seated in 
the brain, being set at liberty by the digestion of those vapours 
that bound them up, do play freely through every part and member of 
the body;" so Christ, the believers mystical head, being quickened, 
the spirit of life, which is in him, shall be diffused through all 
his members to quicken them also in the morning of the resurrection. 
Hence the warm animating dew of Christ's resurrection is said to be 
to our bodies, as the dew of the morning is to the withered, 
languishing plants, which revive by it, Isa. 26: 19. "Thy dew is as 
the dew of herbs;" and then it follows, "the earth shall cast forth 
her dead." So that by the same faith we put Christ's resurrection 
into the promises, we may put the believer's resurrection into the 
conclusion. And therefore, the apostle makes them convertibles, 
reasoning forward, from Christ's to ours; and back again from ours 
to his, 1 Cor. 15: 12, 13. Which is also the sense of that 
scripture, Rom. 8: 10, 11. "And if Christ be in you, the body indeed 
is dead because of sin; but the spirit is life because of 
righteousness." i.e. Though you are really united to Christ by the 
Spirit, yet your bodies must die as well as other men's; but your 
souls shall be presently, upon your dissolution, swallowed up in 
life. And then it follows, verse 11. "But if the Spirit of him that 
raised up Jesus from the dead, dwell in you; he that raised up 
Christ from the dead, shall also quicken your mortal bodies, by his 
Spirit that dwelleth in you," i.e. though your bodies must die, yet 
they shall live again in the resurrection; and that by virtue of the 
Spirit of Christ which dwelleth in you, and is the bond of your 
mystical union with him your head. You shall not be raised as others 
are, by a mere word of power, but by the Spirit of life dwelling in 
Christ your head, which is a choice prerogative indeed. 
    Thirdly, Christ's resurrection is not only the meritorious and 
efficient cause, but it is also the exemplary cause or pattern of 
our resurrection. "He being the first and best, is therefore the 
pattern and measure of all the rest." So you read, Phil. 3: 21. "Who 
shall change our vile body that it may be fashioned like unto his 
glorious body." Now the conformity of our resurrection to Christ's 
stands in the following particulars. Christ's body was raised 
substantially the same; so will ours. His body was raised first; so 
will ours be raised before the rest of the dead. His body was 
wonderfully improved by the resurrection; so will ours. His body was 
raised to be glorified; and so will ours. 
    First, Christ's body was raised substantially the same that it 
was before; and so will ours. Not another, but the same body. Upon 
this very reason the apostle uses that identical expression, 1 Cor. 
15: 53. "This corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal, 
immortality." Pointing, as it were, to his own body when he spake 
it; the same body, I say, and that not only specifically the same, 
(for indeed no other species of flesh is so privileged) but the same 
numerically, that very body, not a new or another body in its stead. 
So that it shall be both the what it was, and the who it was. And 
indeed to deny this is to deny the resurrection itself. For should 
God prepare another body to be raised in stead of this, it would not 
be a resurrection, but a creation; for non resurrectio dici poterit, 
ubi non resurgit quod cecidit. That cannot be called a resurrection, 
where one thing falls and another risers, as Gregory long since 
pertinently observed. 
    Secondly, His body was raised, not by a word of power from the 
Father, but by his own Spirit. So will ours. Indeed the power of God 
shall go forth to unburrough sinners, and fetch them forcibly out of 
their graves; but the resurrection of the saints is to be effected 
another way; as I opened but now to you. Even by his Spirit which 
now dwelleth in them. That very Spirit of Christ which effected 
their spiritual resurrection from sin, shall effect their corporal 
resurrection also from the grave. 
    Thirdly, His body was raised first, he had in this, as well as 
in other things, the pre-eminence; so shall the saints, in respect 
of the wicked, have the pre-eminence in the resurrection, 1 Thess. 
4: 16 "The dead in Christ shall rise first." They are to attend the 
Lord at his coming, and will be brought forth sooner than the rest 
of the world, to attend on that service. As the sheriff; with his 
men, goes forth to meet the judge, before the gaoler brings forth 
his prisoners. 
    Fourthly, Christ's body was marvellously improved by the 
resurrection, and so will ours. It fell in weakness, but was raised 
in power; no more capable of sorrows, pains and dishonours. In like 
manner our bodies are "sown in weakness, but raised in strength, 
sown in dishonour, raised in glory. Sown natural bodies, raised 
spiritual bodies," as the apostle speaks, 1 Cor. 15: 43, 44. 
Spiritual bodies, not properly, but analogically. No distemper hang 
about glorified bodies, nor are they henceforth subject to any of 
those natural necessities, to which they are now tied. There are no 
flaw, defects, or deformities, in the children of the resurrection. 
What members are now defective or deformed, will then be restored to 
their perfect being and beauty; "for, if the universal death of all 
parts be rescinded by the resurrection, how much more the partial 
death of any single member?" or as Tertullian speaks, and from 
thenceforth they are free from the law of mortality, "They can die 
no more," Luke 20: 35, 36. Thus shall they be improved by their 
    Fifthly, To conclude, Christ's body was raised from the dead to 
be glorified and crowned with honour. Oh it was a joyful day to him; 
and so will the resurrection of the saints be to them, the day of 
the gladness of their hearts. It will be said to them in that 
morning, "Awake, and sing, ye that dwell in the dust," as Isa. 26: 
19. O how comfortable will be the meeting betwixt the glorified 
soul, and its new raised body. Much more comfortable than that of 
Jacob's and Joseph's, after twenty years absence, Gen. 46: 29. Or 
that of David's with Jonathan, when he came out of the cave to him, 
1 Sam. 20: 41. Or that of the father of the prodigal with his son, 
who "was dead, and is alive, was lost, and is found." As he speaks, 
Luke 15: And there are three things will make it so. 
    First, The gratifications of the soul, by the satisfaction of 
its natural appetite of union with its own body. For even glorified 
souls in heaven have such an appetition and desire of reunion. In 
deed, the angels, who are pure spirits, as they never had union 
with, so they have no inclination to matter; but souls are otherwise 
tempered and disposed. We are all sensible of its affection to the 
body now, in its compounded state, we feel the tender care it has 
for the body, the sympathy with it, and lothness to be separated 
from it. It is said, 2 Cor. 5: 6. "to be at home in the body." And 
had not God implanted such an inclination to this its tabernacle in 
it, it would not have paid that due respect it owes the body while 
it inhabited in it, nor have regarded what became of it when it left 
it. This inclination remains still with it in heaven, it reckons not 
itself completely happy till its old dear companion and partner be 
with it, and in that sense some understand those words, Job 14: 14. 
"All the days of my appointed time," i.e. of the time appointed for 
my body to remain in the grave, will I wait till my change (viz. 
that which will be made by the resurrection) come; for it is 
manifest enough he speaks there of the resurrection. Now, when this 
its inclination to its own body, its longings and hankerings after 
it, are gratified with a sight and enjoyment of it again, oh what a 
comfortable meeting will this make it! especially if we consider, 
    Secondly, The excellent temper and state in which they shall 
meet each other. For, as the body shall be raised with all the 
improvements and endowments imaginable, which may render it amiable, 
and every way desirable, so the soul comes down immediately from God 
out of heaven, shining in its holiness and glory. It comes perfumed 
out of those ivory palaces, with a strong scent of heaven upon it. 
And thus it re-enters its body, and animates it again. But, 
    Thirdly, And principally, that wherein the chief joy of this 
meeting consists, is the end for which the glorified soul comes down 
to quicken and repossess it, namely, to meet the Lord, and ever to 
be with the Lord. To receive a full reward for all the labours and 
services it performed to God in this world. This must needs make 
that day, a day of triumph and exaltation. It comes out of the 
grave, as Joseph out of his prison, to be advanced to the highest 
honour. O do but imagine what an ecstasy of joy, and ravishing 
pleasure it will be, for a soul thus to resume its own body, and say 
as it were, unto it, come away, my dear, my ancient friend, who 
servedst and sufferedst with me in the world; come along with me to 
meet the Lord, in whose presence I have been ever since I parted 
with thee. Now thy bountiful Lord has remembered thee also, and the 
day of thy glorification is come. Surely it will be a joyful 
awaking. For, do but imagine, what a joy it is for dear friends to 
meet after long separation, how do they use to give demonstrations 
of their love and delight in each other, by embraces, kisses, tears, 
&c. Or frame but to yourselves a notion of perfect health, when a 
sprightly vivacity runs through every part, and the spirits do, as 
it were, dance before us, when we go about any business as 
especially to such a business as the business of that day will be, 
to receive a crown, and a kingdom. Do but imagine then what a sun 
shine morning this will be, and how the gains and agonies, cold 
sweats, and bitter groans at parting will be recompensed by the joy 
of such a meeting? 
    And thus I have shewed you the certainty of Christ's 
resurrection, the nature and properties of it, the threefold 
influence it has on the saints resurrection, and the conformity of 
ours unto his in these five respects. His body rose substantially 
the same, so shall ours; his body was raised by the Spirit, so shall 
ours. Not by the Godhead of Christ as his was, but by the Spirit, 
who is the bond of our union with Christ. He was raised as the first 
begotten from the dead, so the dead in Christ shall rise first. His 
body was improved by the resurrection, so shall ours. From the 
consideration of all which, 
    Inference 1. We infer, that if Christ was thus raised from the 
dead, then death is fairly overcome, and swallowed up in victory: 
were it not so, it had never let Christ escape out of the grave. The 
prey of the terrible had never been thus rescued out of its paws. 
Death is a dreadful enemy, it defies all the sons and daughters of 
Adam. None durst cope with this king of terrors but Christ, and he, 
by dying, went into the very den of this dragon, fought with it, and 
foiled it in the grave, its own territories and dominions, and came 
off a conqueror. For, as the apostle speaks, Acts 2: 24. "It was 
impossible it should hold or detain him." Never did death meet with 
its over match before it met with Christ, and he conquering it for 
us, and in our names, rising as our representative, now every single 
saint triumphs over it as a vanquished enemy, 1 Cor. 15: 55. "O 
death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? Thanks be 
to God, who has given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 
Thus, like Joshua, they set the foot of faith upon the neck of that 
king, and, with an holy scorn, deride its power. "O death, where is 
thy sting?" If it be objected that it is said, 1 Cor. 15: 26. "The 
last enemy that is to be destroyed is death." And if so, then it 
should seem the victory is not yet achieved, and so we do but boast 
before the victory; it is at hand to reply that the victory over 
death, obtained by Christ's resurrection, is twofold, either 
personal and incomplete, or general and complete. He actually 
overcame it at his resurrection, in his own person, perfectly and 
virtually for us, as our head; but at the general resurrection of 
the saints (which his resurrection, as the first-fruits, assures 
them of) then it will be utterly vanquished and destroyed. Till 
then, it will exercise some little power over the bodies of the 
saints, in which respect it is called the last enemy. For sin, the 
chief enemy that let it in, that was conquered utterly and 
eradicated when they died; but death holds their bodies in the grave 
till the coming of Christ, and then it is utterly to be vanquished. 
For after that they can die no more, 1 Cor. 15: 54. "And then shall 
be brought to pass that saying that is written, Death is swallowed 
up in victory." Then, and not till shell, will that conquest be 
fully completed in our persons, though it be already so in Christ's; 
now incompletely in ours, and then completely and fully for ever. 
For the same word which signifies victory does also signify 
perpetuity, and in this place a final or perpetual conquest. And, 
indeed, now it smites only with its dart, not with its sting, and 
that but the believer's body only, and the body but for a time 
remains under it neither. So that there is no reason why a believer 
should stand in a slavish fear of it. 
    Inf. 2. Has Christ, and has his resurrection such a potent and 
comfortable influence into the resurrection of the saints? Then it 
is the duty, and will be the wisdom of the people of God, so to 
govern, dispose, and employ their bodies, as become men and women, 
that understand what glory is prepared form them at the resurrection 
of the just. Particularly, 
    First, Be not fondly tender of them, but employ and use them 
for God here. How many good duties are lost and spoiled by sinful 
indulgence to our bodies? Alas! we are generally more solicitous to 
live long, than to live usefully. How many saints have active, 
vigorous bodies, yet God has little service from them. If your 
bodies were animated by some other souls that love God more than van 
do, and burn with holy zeal to his service, more work would be done 
for God by your bodies in a day, than is now done in a month. To 
have an able, healthy body, and not use it for God, for fear of 
hurting it, is as if one should give you a strong and stately horse, 
upon condition you must not work or ride him. Wherein is the mercy 
of having a body, except it be employed for God? Will not its reward 
at the resurrection be sufficient for all the pains you nor put it 
to in his service? 
    Secondly, See that you preserve the due honour of your bodies. 
"Possess them in sanctification and honour," 1 Thess. 4: 4. O, let 
not these eyes be now defiled with sin, by which you shall see God. 
Those ears be inlets to vanity, which shall hear the Hallelujahs of 
the blessed. God hath designed honour for your bodies, O, make them 
not either the instruments or objects of sin. There are sins against 
the body, 1 Cor. 6: 18. Preserve your bodies from those defilements, 
for they are the temple of God; "If any man defile the temple of 
God, him shall God destroy," 1 Cor. 3: 17. 
    Thirdly, Let not the contentment and accommodation of your 
bodies draw your soul into snares, and bring them under the power of 
temptations to sin. This is a very common case. O how many thousands 
of precious souls perish eternally for the satisfaction of a vile 
body for a moment? Their souls must, because their bodies cannot 
suffer. It is recorded to the immortal honour of these worthies, in 
Heb. 11: 35. "That they accepted not deliverance, that they might 
obtain a better resurrection." They might have had a temporal 
resurrection from death to life, from reproach to honour, from 
poverty to riches, from pains to pleasure; but upon such terms they 
judged it not worth acceptance. They would not expose their souls to 
secure their bodies. They had the same natural affections that other 
men have. They were made of as tender flesh as we are, but such was 
the care they had of their souls, and the hope of a better 
resurrection, that they listened not to the complaints and whinings 
of their bodies. O, that we were all in the same resolutions with 
    Fourthly, With-hold not, upon the pretence of the wants your 
own bodies may be in, that which God and conscience bid you to 
communicate for the refreshment of the saints, whose present 
necessities require your assistance. O, be not too indulgent to your 
own flesh, and cruel to others. Certainly, the consideration of that 
reward which shall be given you at the resurrection, for every act 
of Christian charity, is the greatest spur and incentive in the 
world to it. And to that end it is urged as a motive to charity, 
Luke 14: 13, 14. "When thou makes a feast, call the poor, the 
maimed, the lame, the blind, and thou shalt be blessed; for they 
cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the 
resurrection of the justly". It was the opinion of an eminent 
moderns divines, that no man living, fully understands and believes 
that scripture, Mat. 25: 40. "In as much as you have done it to one 
of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me." How 
few saints would be exposed to daily wants and necessities, if that 
scripture were but fully understood and believed! 
    Inf. 3. Is Christ risen from the dead, and that as a public 
person and representative of believers? How are we all concerned 
then to secure to ourselves an interest in Christ, and consequently 
in this blessed resurrection? What consolation would be left in this 
world, if the hope of the resurrection were taken away? It is this 
blessed hope that must support you under all the troubles of life, 
and in the agonies of death. The securing of a blessed resurrection 
to yourselves, is therefore the most deep concernment you have in 
this world. And it may be secured to yourselves, if, upon serious 
heart-examination, you can discover the following evidences. 
    Evidence 1. First, If you are regenerated creatures, brought 
forth in a new nature to God, for we are "begotten again to a lively 
hope, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." Christ's 
resurrection is the ground work of our hope. And the new birth is 
our title or evidence of our interest in it. So that until our souls 
are partakers of the spiritual resurrection from the death of sin, 
we can have no assurance our bodies shall be partakers of that 
blessed resurrection to life. 
    "Blessed and holy (saith the Spirit), is he that has part in 
the first resurrection, on such the second death has no power," Rev. 
20: 6. Never let unregenerate souls expect a comfortable meeting 
with their bodies again. Rise they shall by God's terrible citation, 
at the sound of the last trump, but not to the same end that the 
saints arise, nor by the same principle. They to whom the spirit is 
now a principle of sanctification, to them he will be the principle 
of a joyful resurrection. See then that you get gracious souls now, 
or never expect glorious bodies then. 
    Evidence. "If you be dead with Christ, you shall live again by 
the life of Christ. If we have been planted together in the likeness 
of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection," 
Rom. 6: 5. "sumfutoi", planted together. Some refer it to believers 
themselves; Jews and Gentiles are planted together in Christ. So 
Erasmus, "Believers grow together like branches upon the same root," 
which should powerfully enforce the great gospel duty of unity among 
themselves. But I would rather understand it, with reference to 
Christ and believers, with whom believers are in other scriptures 
said to suffer together, and be glorified together; to die together, 
and live together; to be crucified together, and buried together; 
all noting the communion they have with Christ, both in his death, 
and in his life. Now, if the power of Christ's death, i.e. the 
mortifying influence of it, have been upon our hearts, killing their 
lusts, deadening their affections, and flattening their appetites to 
the creature, then the power of his life, or resurrection, shall 
come (like the animating dew) upon our dead withered bodies, to 
revive and raise them up to live with him in glory. 
    Evidence 3. If your hearts and affections be now with Christ in 
heaven, your bodies in due time shall be there also, and conformed 
to his glorious body. So you find it, Phil. 3: 20, 21. "For our 
conversation is in heaven, from whence we look for the Saviour, the 
Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change our vile body, that it may be 
fashioned like unto his own glorious body." "The body is here called 
vile, or the body of our vileness." Not as God made it, but as sin 
has marred it. Not absolutely, and in itself, but relatively, and in 
comparison of what it will be in its second edition, at the 
resurrection. Then those scattered bones and dispersed dust, like 
pieces of old broken battered silver, will be new cast, and wrought 
in the best and newest fashion, even like to Christ's glorious body. 
Whereof we have this evidence, that our conversation is already 
heavenly. The temper, frame, and disposition of our souls is already 
so; therefore the frame and temper of our bodies in due time shall 
be so. 
    Evidence 4. If you strive now by any means to attain the 
resurrection of the dead, no doubt but you shall then attain what 
you now strive for. This was Paul's great ambition, "that by any 
means he might attain the resurrection of the dead," Phil. 3: 11. He 
means not simply a resurrection from the dead, for that all men 
shall attain, whether they strive for it or no. But by a metonymy of 
the subject for the adjunct, he intends that complete holiness and 
perfection, which shall attend the state of the resurrection, so it 
is expounded, ver. 12. So then, if God have raised in your hearts a 
vehement desire, and assiduous endeavour after a perfect freedom 
from sin, and full conformity to God, in the beauties of holiness; 
that very love of holiness, your present partings, and tendencies 
after perfection, speak you to be the persons designed for it. 
    Evidence 5. If you are such as do good in your generation. If 
you be fruitful and useful men and women in the world, you shall 
have part in this blessed resurrection, John 5: 28, 29. "All that 
are in the graves shall hear his voice and shall come forth; they 
that have done good unto the resurrection of life." Now it is not 
every act materially good, that entitles a man to this privilege; 
but the same requisites that the schoolmen assign to make a good 
prayer, are also necessary to every good work. The person, matter, 
manner, and end, must be good. Nor is it any single good act, but a 
series and course of holy actions, that is here meant. What a spur 
should this be to us ail, as (indeed the apostle makes it, closing 
up the doctrine of the resurrection, with this solemn exhortation, 1 
Cor. 15: 58. with which I also close mine) "Therefore, my beloved 
brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work 
of the Lord, for as much as ye know that your labour is not in vain 
in the Lord." 
             Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift. 

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