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better, because God hath prospered you, you must then be conscious that you have laboured honestly in your vocation; and you will go on as you have begun, in hope of farther prosperity from the same divine assistance. Thus your labour will become a work of faith; you will persevere as seeing him that is invisible ; you will remember, that the eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good : that the greatest prudence, without him, will turn into foolishness, and the greatest industry will be labour in vain. There is nothing like this sense of God's allseeing eye, to make men honest, and keep them so. The bad man and the good differ chiefly in this respect, that the former thinks of nothing but the world, and the gain he can make of his craft by any manner of means; the other works under a continual sense of God's presence. He feels himself under a daily obligation to behave so as to ensure that prosperity, which is the gift of God; if he loses that, he loses his all; for he knows that wealth is but a snare to those who forget God, and think they can do as well without him as other men do with him. But if he believes, that all he has is from God, then he may apply to himself that pro
mise of the Old and New Testament, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee. In all the labours and trials of our life, may those gracious words be ever sounding in our ears I will never leave thee nor forsake thee! By shewing how nigh God is to us, they will keep us nigh unto him, in the observation of his laws, the frequenting of his worship, the receiving of his sacraments, the reading of his word : and he who takes this way of qualifying himself for any society upon earth, shall be company for saints and angels in the society of heaven.
AS TOUCHING THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD, HAVE YE NOT READ THAT WHICH WAS SPOKEN
TO YOU BY GOD, SAYING, I AM THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, THE GOD OF ISAAC, AND THE GOD OF JACOB? GOD IS NOT THE GOD OF THE DEAD, BUT OF THE LIVING. MATT. XXII. 31, 32.
THE resurrection of the dead was a doc
trine generally received among the Jews, and the expectation of it had supported all the faithful from the fall of Adam. That there were some in Judea who did not believe it, appears from the case before us; but these were not Jews; they were conceited philosoplizing heretics, who had departed from the
SER. XII. religion of their forefathers, and were declared by our blessed Saviour to be ignorant of the scripture, and of the power of God: so their example is of no more weight against the general persuasion of the Jews, than that of our modern arians, socinians, quakers, and such like, against the faitli of the gospel, and the general sense of the Christian world. If we listen to such people as these, our gospel has no atonement, our Saviour no divinity of person, our nature no need of the assistances of divine grace. In short, Christianity will be no Christianity, if bad men, who pretend to teach it, are allowed to be of any authority. We shall remain under the like uncertainty, if we ask Sadducees and Herodians, who had fallen into gross secularity, and were little better than our deists, what was the faith of the Jews under the law of Moses? Those of the Jews must have learned better, fo whom our Saviour appealed, when he said, Search the scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life; not only the promises of this world, but of the world to come. And the same must be admitted, where he asserted against the Samaritans, that salvation, (meaning spiritual and eternal salvation) was of the Jews. John v. 29. and iv. 22.
That the resurrection of the dead was commonly believed amongst them, appears from many examples. When our Lord told Murtha (speaking of Lazarus) that her brother should rise again, “I know,” said she “ that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” She, therefore, had no doubt about this doctrine, although not so inquisitive as Mary in subjects of divinity. St. Paul's words are much more remarkable, as being of much greater extent and application : " For the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain." Now, if we refer backwards to his trial before king Agrippa, we shall see that this hope, which it seems was the hope of Israel, that is, of the church of the Jews at large, was the hope of the resurrection. “I stand, and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers; unto which promise, our twelve tribes, instantly serving God dayand night, hope to come; for which hope's sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews. Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead ?” This, 'then, was the express object of their hope: and why? not because they had learned it of one another, till it grew into a national persuasion; but because it was pro