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gospel for the first time. The heathen may have heard of the existence after death of the immaterial spirit within him; but he thinks of that principle as something impalpable and unearthly, that he has never yet seen, and that is scarce the same with himself. He may have heard even that after death he should still have a body. He may have been taught, as many an idolatrous creed teaches its votaries, that the soul shall pass after death into other bodies of the higher or the lower orders of being. But this doctrine of the transmigration of souls cannot take the same hold on his mind as does the scriptural truth, teaching him the resurrection of the existing body. The thoughts of the man, his fears, his hopes, and his plans have had reference chiefly to the body. Bring him to look upon it as possible, that this, the material frame-work in which he has enjoyed or suffered, by which he has labored and acquired, which he has clothed and fed, and in which he has sinned-this body, which in most of his thoughts, has been regarded as the whole of himself, is to live again beyond the grave, and he is startled. Talk to him of the inward man of the soul, and he listens, as if you spoke of a stranger. But bring your statements home to the outward man of his body, and he feels that it is he himself, who is to be happy or to be wretched in that eternity of which you tell him. Hence a living missionary, in his first religious instructions to the king of a heathen tribe in South Africa, found him indifferent and callous to all his statements of the gospel, until this truth was announced. It aroused in the barbarian chief the wildest emotions, and excited an undisguised alarm. He had been a warrior, and had lifted up his spear against multitudes slain in battle. He asked, in amazement, if these his foes should all live. And the assurance that they should arise, filled him with perplexity and dismay, such as he could not conceal. He could not abide the thought. A long slumbering conscience had been pierced through all its coverings. Well do such incidents illustrate the fact, that He who gave the gospel knew what was in man, and infused into the leaven of his own word those elements that are mightiest to work upon all the powers of man's soul, and to penetrate with their influence the whole mass of human society. And in our announcement of that gospel, we do well to adhere to the scriptural pattern given us by the Author of the gospel. Many of the other doctrines of Christianity are almost insensibly modified, in our mode of presenting them, by the natural religion which intimates, if it does not establish, these or similar truths. But the doctrine of the resurrection of the body is not a doctrine of natural religion. It is purely a doctrine of revelation, and becomes known to us merely from the living oracles of Scripture. And as man's reason did not discover it, it is not for man's reason to alter or amend the doctrine according to his caprices and prejudices.
In what glorious and terrific imagery does the Scripture before us array the scenes of the resurrection. In the heavens, thronged by angels in all their glory, is seen the descending throne. Upon it, in
his own and his Father's glory, sits the Son of Man, the crucified Nazarene, now the judge of quick and dead. Before him the material heavens are rolled together as a scroll, and the elements melt with fervent heat. The creation cannot abide the dread presence of its Creator," from whose face the earth and the heavens fled away;" and yet they cannot escape it: "and there was found no place for them." His bare word had accomplished the miracle of creation, and now by a kindred act of power, his mere glance shakes the world, and awes it into preparation for the judgment. The old heathen talked of their "cloud-compelling Jove," whose eye gathered all the storms of the skies. But how mean is all this to the scriptural imagery of a world-compelling Christ. The trumpet sounds. The earth shakes with inward commotions. Its dead-its ancient dead-all the buried of forgotten tribes, and of antediluvian times, are coming; more numerous than the hosts ever mustered by earthly captain to the battle, yet all their numbers infuse into them no courage in meeting their Judge. They have no thought of resisting His power. Whatever the gods in whom they trusted once, they feel now the presence, and await the fiat of the one true God, Maker and Judge of heaven and earth. The patriarchs, who lived when the world was young, and the coming generations to be born long after our death, who shall have lived when that world had grown old, shall, with us, stand before the judgment seat. From this tribunal there lies no appeal, and of the sentence now to be uttered there can be no reversal, and no revision.
It will be a scene of solemn interest, not only as the meeting of man with his Redeemer and Judge, but from the meeting of mankind together. The scriptural accounts of the judgment represent it as an occasion when we shall know ourselves at least. From their descriptions of that day, as a day of disclosures, when the secrets of all hearts shall be made manifest, they seem also to imply that we shall know others, and be known by them. Without our consciousness of our own identity, there could evidently be no sense of guilt; and without our knowledge of the identity of our fellow sinners, it seems to us, there could be no disclosures, such as the Bible predicts. Man then, in that gathering, will not only know himself, and know his God, but he will know his race. And this, to the sinner, will add inconceivably to the terrors of that assembling. The ungodly will meet there the righteous, who warned him in vain, and all whose warnings are about to be verified. Long forgotten emotions, and privileges undervalued and misimproved, will flash upon the memory, as the eye glances on the face of some dead friend, with whom those feelings and opportunities were associated. The unconverted child of the Sabbath schools shall face his faithful teacher; and parents and children, pastors and people, all the connexions which death had for a time sundered, shall there recognise each other. It will be to some a fearful meeting, as they encounter there for the first time those whose death they had occasioned. The murderer will confront
his victim. Cain and Abel, who have been, perhaps, parted from each other since the hour when the fratricide fled from the scene of his crime, and the body of his brother lay breathless in the dust, will now meet again. The body which sunk beneath that murderous blow, dealt by a brother's hand, and the hand which inflicted that blow, will be there, gathered again from the indiscriminate dust over which the world has trodden for scores of centuries. But if it be fearful to meet thus, any on whom we may have brought temporal death, how much more may the scene be dreaded, by those who have occasioned the spiritual death of others, as the scene of their meeting with the proselytes and admirers, whose souls they aided in ruining forever. It will be sad for Caiaphas to meet the innocent Messiah whom he adjudged to death, though it was but the death of the body; but it would seem almost equally sad for the Jewish High Priest to face there his kindred and friends, whose unbelief his arguments sealed, and whose impenitence his example served to render obdurate and final, for upon them he will have brought the death of the soul. The meetings of the resurrection will form, then, no small portion of its terrors. This is the truth, upon which we would chiefly insist, from the part of Scripture now before us. We have considered, generally, the resurrection of the dead. Let us proceed next to consider the dead of the sea, who are in our text distinguished from the rest of the dead; and thence let us pass to the effects of their re-union with the rest of mankind, who ended their mortal career elsewhere than on the deep. Our remaining divisions will be, therefore,
II. The sea giving up its dead.
III. The meeting of the dead, so given up of the sea, with the dead of the land.
II. The sea will be found thickly peopled with the mortal remains of mankind. In the earlier ages of the world, when the relations of the various nations to each other were generally those of bitter hostility, and the ties of a common brotherhood were little felt, the sea, in consequence of their comparative ignorance of navigation, served as a barrier, parting the tribes of opposite shores, who might else have met only for mutual slaughter, ending in extermination. Now that a more peaceful spirit prevails, the sea, which once served to preserve, by dividing the nations, has, in the progress of art and discovery, become the channel of easier intercourse, and the medium of uniting the nations. It is the great highway of traffic, a highway on which the builder cannot encroach, and no monarch possesses the power of closing the path, or engrossing the travel. Thus continually traversed, the ocean has become, to many of its adventurous voyagers, the place of burial. But it has been also the scene of battle, as well as the highway of commerce. Upon it have been decided many of those conflicts which determined the dynasty or the race, to whom for a time should be committed the empire of the world. It was on the sea, in the fight of
Salamis, that the fleets of Greece and Persia contended, whether the despotism and wealth of the East should extend their widening sway over the freedom and arts of the West. It was in the sea-fight of Actium, that the imperial power of Rome, then claiming dominion over the world, was assured to Augustus and his successors, and the way was prepared for the universal peace that reigned at our Savior's birth. On this element was fought the battle of Lepanto, where the right-arm of the Ottoman was broken. And, as we come down to our own times, the fights of Aboukir, Trafalgar, and Navarino, all contests upon the sea, were battles affecting in no slight degree the destinies of all Europe, and the civilized world. All these have served to gorge the deep with the carcases of men. It has had, again, its shipwrecks. Though man may talk of his power to bridle the elements, and of the triumphs of art, compelling all nature to do his work, yet there are scenes on the sea in which he feels his proper impotence. And when God lets loose his winds, and calls up his billows, man becomes sensible of his dependence. How many in all ages, since commerce first began her voyages of profit or discovery, have perished in the waters, foundering in the midnight storm, driven on the unsuspected rocks, engulphed by the whirlpool, or dashed by winds against some iron-bound coast. Even in our own times, with all our improvements in the art of navigation, and with all the expenditures that are incurred to increase the mariner's security, it has been calculated by some, that each year one thousand ships are lost
The sea then has its dead. And when the trump is blown, the archangel's summons to the judgment, the sea shall give up these its long buried treasures. The gold and the jewels it has accumulated, the "buried argosies," with all their rich freight which it has swallowed up, will be permitted to slumber unreclaimed; but no relic that has formed part of the corpse of a child of Adam will be left unclaimed or unsurrendered in that hour. The invalid, who, in quest of health, embarked on the sea, and perished on the voyage, committed to the deep with the solemn ceremonies of religion,-the pirate, flung into the waves from a deck which he had made slippery with blood,the emigrant's child, whose corpse its weeping parents surrendered to the deep on their way to a land of strangers, the whaler, going down quick into death midst his adventurous employment, the wretched slave, perishing amid the horrors of the Middle Passage, the sailor, dropt from the yard-arm in some midnight gale, the wrecked, and the dead in battle, all will arise at that summons. The mariners of all times, who have died on their loved element, those who rowed in the galleys of Tyre or Carthage, or manned the swift ships of Tarshish, will be there, together with the dead of our own days. The idolater, who sunk from some Chinese junk while invoking his graven images; and the missionary of the cross, who, like Coke, perished on his way to preach the gospel to the heathen, or who, like Chamberlain, compelled to return from the field of missionary toil, with shattered
health, and all wearied and spent with labors for Christ, has expired on his homeward way-all, all shall be there. As these shall re-appear from the entombing waters, will their coming have no effect upon the multitudes who died on the shore, and whose bodies also the cemeteries and sepulchres of earth shall on that day have restored? We have thus reached the last division of our subject.
III. The meeting of the dead of the sea with the dead of the land.
1. There must be, then, in this resurrection from the sea, much to awaken feeling in the others of the risen dead, from this, if from no other cause: these, the dead of the sea, will be the kindred and near connexions of those who died upon the land. Among those whom the waters shall in that day have restored, will be some who quitted home expecting a speedy return, and for whose coming attached kindred and friends looked long, but looked in vain. The exact mode, and scene, and hour of their deaths have remained until that day unknown to the rest of mankind. And can it be, without feeling, that these will be seen again by those who loved them, and who through weary years longed for their return, still feeding "the hope that keeps alive despair?" The dead of ocean will be the children and pupils, again, of the dead of the land. Their moral character may have been formed, and their eternal interests affected, less by their later associates on the deep, than by the earlier instructions they received on shore. They may have exhibited on the deck and in the forecastle only the examples they witnessed in the nursery, and the tempers they cherished, and the habits they formed in the home. When these are restored, they are restored to witness for or against their parents, and the associates of their childhood and youth. These last may have died on shore, but by their influence on the mariner, they have transmitted their own spirit and moral character over the wide waste of waters, to remote and barbarous shores. It cannot, in the very nature of the human soul, its memory, its affections, and its conscience remaining what they now are, it cannot but be a scene of solemn interest, when the dead of the land shall behold their kindred dead of the sea.
2. Let it be remembered, again, that a very large proportion of those who have thus perished on the ocean, will appear to have perished in the service of the landsman. The mariner will appear very generally, we say, to have found his watery grave while in the service of those dwelling upon shore. Some in voyages of discovery, despatched on a mission to enlarge the bounds of human knowledge, or to discover new routes for commercial enterprize, and new marts for traffic. Thus perished the French navigator La Peyrouse, whose fate was to the men of the last generation so long the occasion of anxious speculation. Still greater numbers have perished in the service of commerce. The looms and forges of Britain could not continue to work, and famine would stalk through her cities, did not her ships bear abroad the manufactures