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Moral Certainty of the True Christian's Resurrection

Moral Certainty of the True Christian's Resurrection

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Published by glennpease
BY THOMAS ARNOLD, D.D.


1 Corinthians, xv. 18.

Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are
perished.
BY THOMAS ARNOLD, D.D.


1 Corinthians, xv. 18.

Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are
perished.

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Published by: glennpease on Sep 19, 2013
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MORAL CERTAITY OF THE TRUECHRISTIA'S RESURRECTIO.BY THOMAS AROLD, D.D.1 Corinthians, xv. 18.Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ areperished.These seem strange words when taken apart fromwhat goes before and follows them ; and I wishthem to press upon our minds in all their strange-ness. It would be well indeed if they appearednot only strange, but monstrous; the most un-likely, the most impossible thing which our mindscan conceive. If we fully dwelt on them, andwere quite aware of all their monstrousness, thenour faith would stand far surer than it commonlydoes stand, and through that faith we should gainan undoubted victory over all the temptationswith which we now find it so hard to struggle.The Apostle means the words of the text to ex-press what is most shocking and most impossible.140 SERMO XIII.It is the most impossible of all the consequenceswhich would follow if there were no resurrectionof the dead. " If there be no resurrection of thedead, then is Christ not risen. And if Christ be notrisen, our preaching is vain, and your faith is alsovain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that heraised up Christ, whom he raised not up, if so bethat the dead rise not." This is one very shocking
 
and unlikely consequence, that men should befound false witnesses concerning God. For whatmen say concerning God, surely they would saytruly ; they would not dare to speak falsely of Him who is truth itself. But yet some have sodared ; else there would not have been so muchfolly and so much wickedness taught at differenttimes under the name of religion. Again, if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain, ye are yetin your sins. That, too, would be strange andshocking, that men in the honesty of their heartsshould have followed what seemed to them a wayof salvation, and yet should have been disap-pointed. Yet it might have been God's purposeto try their faith for a long season ; and thoughtheir first hope had been disappointed, yet theymight still have learned, before they died, thatthere was another hope which should not fail." But if there be no resurrection, then they alsowho are fallen asleep in Christ are perished." AndSERMO XIII. 141this indeed would be so shocking, that if this weretruth, truth itself would change natures with false-hood; it would be our duty and our best happinessto believe a lie. If they who had lived all theirdays in patience, and self-denial, and love, baddone all this for nothing; if they had set theirhopes upou a fond dream, purifying their hearts,and enkindling their best affections with thethought of Him to whom they were nothing, andwho was nothing to them ; if the only good menin the world should prove to have been the onlyfoolish ones, the only ones who had lived in vain,then, indeed, our language and our very natureseem confounded ; it would be well with us if weand all around us were but the creatures of a
 
dream.ow if this sounds so monstrous even to ouroutward ears, when we have had, perhaps, no ex-perience in the matter ourselves, what, think we,must it be to those who have had experience ; tothose who have lived, and are living, in real dailycommunion with Christ ? Tell them that they arewasting their labour ; that their prayers are offeredto one who cannot hear ; that their hope is fixedon one who died, and is dead still, who canneither save them nor himself; that their dis-cipline of their thoughts and tempers to becomelike Christ is a fond labour which the first accessof a brain fever or of bodilv decav will render for142 SERMO XIII.ever useless ; that the patience and resignation withwhich they suffer under God's hand is nothingbetter or wiser, and will do no more for them, thana spirit of hardness and obstinate pride ; tell them,that the sin which they so fear, the holiness whichthey so desire, will, in fifty years hence, be nobetter and no worse the one than the other ; thatHe, by whose mighty Spirit they have been en-abled to do and bear so much, is no more than aphantom of their own minds ; and see if any in-consistency, any contradiction most revolting to ournatural reason, was ever received with such instant,such overpowering conviction of its falsehood, asthe word which should say to such true servantsof their Lord, that they " who had fallen asleep inChrist were perished."But many of us, who feel our faith to be weak,and whose lives show that it is so, have in theirown case no such argument of experience on which

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