Edward M. (Edward McKendree) Bounds.

The resurrection online

. (page 1 of 7)
Online LibraryEdward M. (Edward McKendree) BoundsThe resurrection → online text (page 1 of 7)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


3 3433 06825194 5





Washington, Ga.

O that Christ would remove the covering,
draw aside the curtain of time, and rend the
heavens and come down! O that shadows and
night were gone, and that the day would break,
that He who feedeth among the lilies would
cry to his heavenly trumpeters, '■'■Make ready!
let us go dow7t and fold together the four cor-
ners of the world, and marry the Bride.'"* —
Samuel Rutherford.


Nashville, Tenn. ; Dallas, Tex.

Publishing House of the M. E. Church, South

Smith & Lamar, Agents


THENEV^/ vr oT^



j^J i


Copyright, 1907


This encourageth all drooping spirits; this sustain-
eth all fainting hearts; this stveeteneth all present
miseries; this lighteneth all heavy burdens; this en-
courageth in all dangers; this supporteth in all calam-
ities — Pearson, on the Creed.



It is frequently asserted that the old rea-
soning on the evidences of Christianity, or
of such a fact as that of the resurrection,
will no longer answer in view of modern
objections. It might have done, they say,
fifty years ago, but the higher criticism has
given a new aspect to the whole matter.
Paley and Lardner did very well against
the more shallow infidels of their day, but
there has arisen a race of unbelieving Ana-
kim far surpassing Hume and Voltaire.
The defender of the Scriptures needs new
armor to meet them. German rationalism
has rendered all the old arguments obsolete.
This is repeated continually. By sheer
reiteration, often without the attempt to
give a particle of evidence, the impression
is produced, especially on the minds of the
young, that there has somehow arisen some

The Resurrection,

new and terrible form of doubt, some most
formidable difficulty unknown to other
times and unassailable by any former argu-
ments. It is an undefined specter. It is
everywhere haunting our modern literature,
though taking no precise form. It is the
shadowy presence of some new enemy nev-
er clearly seen, but who has rendered un-
availing, it is said, all former tactics, wheth-
er of assault or defense. In defending
Christianity, if it can be defended, we must
take a new start and succeed on grounds
differing altogether from the old.

Now this is all an impudent falsehood.
We say it unhesitatingly. There is no new
difficulty, or any so surpassing former diffi-
culties as to be entitled to the name. There
is no substantial objection to the Gospels,
or to the Bible generally, that has not been
known to scholarly and thinking men for
more than a thousand years. Some aspects
of Bible authorship have been changed;
some ecclesiastical writings have been pro-
nounced spurious, though very few that
had not always been suspected; some new

The Resurrection,

various readings have been discovered, but

in no respects, except in the most unessen-
tial points, have they changed the general
aspect even of the critical field, much less
that great argument, remaining the same
from age to age because built on the un-
changing foundations of our deeply investi-
gated human nature. There is, in short,
no vital, no essential difficulty, no one go-
ing to the root of the great debate, that
was not as familiar to the learned men of
the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries as
it is to the best scholars now.

Equally unfounded are the ignorant as-
sertions, so often and so flippantly made, in
respect to what science has done or is going
to do. Owe modern investigations have
furnished no stronger objections to the doc-
trine of the resurrection of the body than
such as were familiar to Celsus, or even to
the Corinthian sophist whom Paul seems
to have had in view and who so confidently
asked: "With what body do they come?"
All that need be contended for is that it
remains just where it was. The modem

The Resurrection.

infidel has here no advantage over the an-
cient unbeliever. We may safely defy any
man to show w^herein the position of the
argument has, in this respect, undergone
any essential change.

Tayler Lewis.

Introduction to Nott's "Sermons on the Resurrection of
Jesus Christ."


The remembrance that our risen Lord ivas the
veritable first fruits of them that sleft^ that as he rose
■zve shall rise, tvill always fress on us the thought
that the nature of his resurrection body must involve
somethings at any rate, remotely analogous to the
nature of the future bodies of his glorified servants. —
Bishop Ellicott.

Besides the principles of which we con-
sist and the actions which flow from us,
the consideration of the things without
us and the natural course of variations in
the creature will render the resurrection
yet more highly probable. Every space of
twenty-four hours teacheth thus much in
which there is always a revolution amount-
ing to a resurrection. The day dies into
night and is buried in silence and dark-
ness; on the next morning it appeareth
again and reviveth, opening the grave of
darkness, rising from the dead of night.
This is a diurnal resurrection. As the day
dies into the night, so does the summer


The Resurrection,

into winter; the sap is said to descend into
the root, and there it hes buried in the
ground; the earth is covered with snow or
crusted with frost, and becomes a general
sepulcher. When the spring appeareth, all
begin to rise ; the plants and flowers peep
out of their graves, revive, and grow and
flourish. This is the annual resurrection.
The corn by which we live and for want
of which we perish with famine is, not-
withstanding, cast upon the earth and bur-
ied in the ground with a design that it
may be corrupted and, being corrupted, may
revive and multiply; our bodies are fed by
this constant experiment, and we continue
this life by a constant succession of resur-
rections. Thus all things are repaired by
corrupting, are preserved by perishing, and
revived by dying ; and can we think that
man, the lord of all these things which thus
die and revive for him, should be detained
in death, never to live again? Is it imag-
inable that God should thus restore all
things to man, and not restore man to him-
self ? If there were no other consideration


The Resurrection.

but the principles of human nature, of the
liberty and remunerability of human actions
and of the natural revolutions and resurrec-
tions of other creatures, it were abundantly
sufficient to render the resurrection of our
bodies highly probable. — Pearson on the



Even the most illustrious \ske;ptic\ has no better end
than that of displaying his fovjers in confounding and
darkening iruthy and the happiest efforts of vjhose
skepticism cannot be more leniently described than as
brilliant feats of mental debauchery.

Sir James Mackintosh.

The whole system of Jesus Christ is
based on the immortaUty of the man. It is
not the philosophical idea or guesses of the
immortality of the soul, but the immortal-
ity of the man. The whole man, in his
dual or triune nature, is to live forever.
The spirit or higher department defies
death ; the body is to come out of the ruins
and prison house of death and be raised to
life. Man immortal; the whole man, soul,
body, spirit, immortal — this is the key-
stone and keynote of the redemption by
Christ. The deathless nature of the soul
has been taught in the philosophies of
earth, pagan and Christian, but the resur-
rection of the body is distinctively a Chris-


The Resurrection.

tian doctrine. It belongs to the revelation
of God's Word. It is found in the Bible,
and nowhere else. Nature may have
echoes, analogies, figures; but nowhere is
the doctrine fully asserted, fully assured,
but in the Scriptures which contain the re-
vealed will of God.

This doctrine of the resurrection of the
body is not a mere inference from Bible
statement. It is the statement itself, the
key of its arch, the corner stone of its
foundation. It is not a rich afterthought
of the gospel, but coordinate "Jesus and
the resurrection" are the gospel.

Faith can make no appeal to reason or
the fitness of things; its appeal is to the
Word of God, and whatever is therein re-
vealed faith accepts as true. Faith accepts
the Bible as the word and will of God and
rests upon its truth without question and
without other evidence.

Faith accepts the Word of God as indu-
bitable evidence of any fact, and rejoices in
the fact as true because God asserts it in
his Word. Many of the facts revealed to

The Resurrection.

us in the Bible receive the credence of our
reason as fit and proper things. Others ex-
tend beyond the range of reason, and it has
neither vision nor analogy to measure them.

The resurrection of the human body, its
coming back into life from the ravages,
decay, and oblivion of the grave, is one of
these supernatural facts. It has been the
anxious and tearful question of the ages:
"Can the dead live? Is there strength any-
where to vanquish death ? Is there any hope
of victory over the grave?" Reason has
neither answer to the question nor hope
for the questioner. Analogy starts some
faint light, but this goes out amid the in-
creasing night of the tomb.

There are but two questions to quicken
and satisfy faith in the resurrection of the
body. These questions are of promise and
ability : Has God promised to raise the body
from the dead? Is he able to perform his
promise in this respect? The body is a
distinct, a very important part of the man.
It is the part seen, known, handled, de-
scribed as the man, the organ, the outlet,

The Resurrection.

through which the man comes into contact,
sympathy, and action with the world around.
A part, an all-important, indispensable part,
of the man, the body belongs to the man, is
an original, organic part of the man, evi-
dent and conspicuous — will this body rise
from the dead where it has been laid amid
tears and heart-breaking farewells? Its
death is a fact distinct and clearly outlined.
"Will it live again?" is the passionate ques-
tion of love and longing.

The heathen world sighed out their up-
braidings, emptiness, and despair. The
flowers, said they, die by the chill of win-
ter, but spring's warm breath brings them
to life again. The day declines into dark-
ness and night, but rises again into the full
day ; suns set, but come again full-orbed out
of the eclipse of their setting ; moons wane,
but wax into fullness and brightness again ;
but their loved ones leave them, eclipsed
and lost in the darkness of death, but no
spring, no morn, no rising ever brings
them again.

Christianity hushes these sighs, fills this

The Resurrection.

emptiness, lifts this despair. She Hghts the
darkness of the grave with the morning
star of hope, and sheds the luster of the
resurrection day upon the night of the
tomb. Faith asks of unbelief, of doubt
and despair: "Why should it be thought a
thing incredible with you that God should
raise the dead? Is anything too hard for
God?" She declares: "All that sleep in
their graves shall hear the voice of the Son
of God and shall come forth."

Faith puts the brightness of an immortal
hope amid our graveyard griefs; writes on
every tombstone, *'l am the resurrection
and the life ;" calls aloud to every mourner,
"Thy dead shall live." Christianity is not
agnosticism, but faith, assurance, knowl-
edge; not negative, but positive. *'I be-
lieve in the resurrection of the body," is a
fundamental and enduring item of her

Christianity is not rationalism, but faith
in God's revelation. A conspicuous, all-
important item in that revelation is the res-
urrection of the body.


Present and future are alike bound up in our belief
of our Lord's resurrection and ascension ; and dreary
indeed must this present bc^ and gloomy and clouded
that future^ if our belief tJi our risen and ascended
Lord be uncertain, partial, precarious.

Bishop Ellicott.

To the front, as the soHd foundation for
the resurrection of the body, is the resur-
rection of Jesus Christ. His resurrection
opens the doors of the grave and lets in
Hght and creates hope. "Go tell his disci-
ples that he is risen." This angel an-
nouncement carries assurance and bright-
ness to all earth's realms of doubt and

"The resurrection of Christ is the cause
of our resurrection," as Pearson on the
Creed says, "by a double causality as an
efficient and an exemplary cause — as an effi-
cient cause in regard that our Saviour by
and upon his resurrection hath obtained
% 17

The Resurrecfiofio

power and right to raise all the dead, 'For
as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall
all be made alive ;' as an exemplary cause in
regard that all the saints of God shall rise
after the similitude and in conformity to
the resurrection of Christ, *For if we have
been planted together in the likeness of his
death, we shall be also in the likeness of
his resurrection.' He shall change our vile
bodies that they may be fashioned like unto
his glorious body. As we have borne the
image of the earthy, we may bear the image
of the heavenly. This is the great hope of
the Christian that Christ rising from the
dead hath obtained the power and is become
the pattern of his resurrection." Thy dead
shall live; my dead bodies shall arise.
Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust,
for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and
the earth shall cast forth her dead.

The Scriptures link these two facts to-
gether, the resurrection of Jesus Christ
from the dead and the resurrection of man's
body from the grave. The dire results of
his failing to rise, the gloom and wreck of

The Resurrection.

an unrisen Christ is not too strongly put by
an inspired writer: "Now if Christ be
preached that he rose from the dead, how
say some among you that there is no res-
urrection of the dead? But if there be no
resurrection of the dead, then is Christ
not risen: and if Christ be not risen, then
is our preaching vain, and your faith is also
vain. Yea, and we are found false wit-
nesses of God ; because we have testified of
God that he raised up Christ: whom he
raised not up, if so be that the dead rise
not. For if the dead rise not, then is not
Christ raised: and if Christ be not raised,
your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
Then they also which are fallen asleep in
Christ are perished. If in this life only we
have hope in Christ, we are of all men most
miserable. But now is Christ risen from
the dead, and become the first fruits of them
that slept. For since by man came death,
by man came also the resurrection of the
dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in
Christ shall all be made alive. But every
man in his own order : Christ the first fruits ;


The Resurrection.

afterwards they that are Christ's at his com-

Paul puts it strongly again: "For if we
believe that Jesus died and rose again, even
so them also that sleep in Jesus will God
bring with him. 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. And
God hath both raised up the Lord, and will
also raise up us by his own power. Know-
ing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus
shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall
present us with you."

The Scriptures bear ample and contin-
uous evidence that the faith of the resur-
rection of the body lies in the faith tliat
Jesus Christ died and rose again. If his
flesh rotted in the sepulcher of Joseph, then
our hope of coming out of the grave rots
also; if his body went to the dust of Pales-
tine, then our faith, fancied faith and
vaunted hope, of the resurrection is as
pulseless and dead as dust.

The Resurrection.

All the simple and invincible proofs of
the resurrection of Jesus Christ are con-
firmations deep, true, eternal as Holy Writ
that our bodies, at the call of Jesus Christ,
shall roll off the reproach and break the
iron chains of death.

The resurrection of Jesus is the great af-
firming and cementing fact. By it he was de-
clared to be the Son of God with power ; it is
the fitting and necessary complement to his
advent and crucifixion ; it binds into a com-
plete whole all the facts of his wondrous
life and puts the seal of truth on them ; the
keystone of the sacred arch, the crown of
the system, the miracle of all miracles. It
saves his crucifixion from scorn; it puts
divinity and glory on the cross. The res-
urrection of Jesus Christ was necessary to
establish the truth of his mission and put
the stamp of all-conquering power on his
gospel. His death met the law, conciliated
divine justice; his resurrection sent the
proclamation of liberty through all the
realms of the dead and led the conqueror
Death in chains.


The Resurrection.

The most casual reader of the New Tes-
tament can scarcely fail to see the com-
manding position the resurrection of Christ
holds in Christianity. It is the creator of
its new and brighter hopes, of its richer
and stronger faith, of its deeper and more
exalted experience. It is the salient point
of New Testament preaching. *'J^sus and
the resurrection" summarized the subject
of their sermonizing. Without this to them
there was nothing but gloom and despair.
If Christ, says the apostle, be not risen,
then is our preaching vain, our faith vain,
we are perjured as false witnesses for God,
we are yet in our sins, our dead in Christ
have perished hopelessly, and we are of all
men most miserable. All these dire results
are predicated of us if Christ be not risen.
But the apostle arrests all these appalling
consequences, and throws a flood of light
and hope and life over the scene by this
restatement and reassurance: "But now
is Christ risen from the dead, and become
the first fruits of them that slept." The res-
urrection of Christ reanimates our hopes of

The Resurrection.

heaven and fixes them as sure as its foun-
dations of adamant, and as precious and
beautiful as its jeweled walls.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the
birth of a new, glorious, immortal life on
the realms of the midnight of death, the
rising of the new sun on the terrors of
darkness and night. It is the opening of a
bright and noble highway to heaven where
everything had been closed and sealed and
every hope withered. Peter's rapturous ac-
claim is not the transport of impulse, but it
is born of the most glorious and divine fact
— a fact as solid and enduring as the granite
of heaven, as enrapturing as the bliss and
beauty of heaven.

The resurrection of Christ not only lifts
darkness and dread from the tomb, but also
spans the abyss which separates us from
our loved dead, and puts into us the
strength and hope of a glorious reunion in
the very face of a separation the most pain-
ful, disastrous, and despairing.

The resurrection of Jesus both assures
and patterns our resurrection; the two are

The Resurrection,

conjoined. The nonresurrection of the
body relegates Jesus back to his grave, and
seals it as forever dead. Peter's trium-
phant shout plants the flower of immor-
tality and life on every tombstone v/here
faith had wrought its wondrous work.

''Blessed be the God and Father of our
Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his
great mercy begat us again unto a living
hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ
from the dead, unto an inheritance incor-
ruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not
away, reserved in heaven for you, who by
the power of God are guarded through
faith unto a salvation ready to be revealed
in the last time. Wherein ye greatly re-

Hope throws its rich luster over the
night of the tomb and thrills with death-
less joy the heart where the resurrection
of Jesus has been realized. We are to come
out of the grave because Jesus came out
of his grave. Our tombs will be empty of
our bodies because Joseph's new tomb on
the third morn was empty of his body.

The Resurrection.

There is an inevitable, insuperable connec-
tion between the resurrection of Jesus
Christ and the resurrection of our bodies.

The resurrection of Christ is the assur-
ance and type of ours — his body which died,
the same and not another, was raised.
These bodies we now bear, the same ones
we shall put in the grave, will be raised and
fashioned after his glorious body. His res-
urrection takes the tyranny and sting from
death, destroys its fears and vanquishes its
dominion, brings the angels down beside
our grave, plants hope and immortality on
the ruins of that grave. His resurrection
conquers for us a way through the dark do-
main of death; by it corruption puts on in-
corruption, mortality puts on immortality.
Death is swallowed up, the victor's song is
on our dying lips, and death becomes our
coronation day.



Never ivas there an age -when it was more neces-
sary to set forth events that 7iot only imfly but frac-
tically prove the resurrection of the boch\ and that not
only suggest but confirm the teaching of the Church in
reference to the future state which it is the obvious
tendency of the speculations of our own times to ex-
plain awayy to modify^ or to dejiy. — Bishop Ellicott

In the person of Jesus, his acts and
teachings, death holds an essential, con-
spicuous place. It could not be otherwise.
Death holds a commanding and ruinous
reign over the race which Jesus Christ
came to redeem. There could be no re-
demption of man without an invasion of
the realms of death. No sunlight to hu-
manity while the clouds and night of death
hung heavy and dread, no spring bloom
to man while the winter of death swept and
froze with its polar blasts and killing frosts.
The Emancipator must break the thrall
which holds, throttles, and enslaves. Of
his coming and of himself the long-away

The Resurrection.

prophet had declared: "I will ransom them
from the power of the grave : I wall redeem
them from death: O death, I will be thy
plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruc-
tion/' An age frivolous, recklessly tread-
ing on the verge of agnosticism and suicide,
may reck nothing of death, its mystery and
fear ; but a serious age will open its eye and
seriously and prayerfully confront death,
recognize and lament its reign and ruin,
as the king of terrors, the woe and blight
of earth. Jesus Christ came to confront
death, to war on death, to dismantle its
empire, to discrown its king until every one
of Christ's imprisoned ones shall shout:
''Death is swallowed up in victory. O
death, where is thy sting? O grave, where
is thy victory?"

Jesus holds in his own person the death
of death. He boldly declares : ''If a man
keep my saying, he shall never taste
of death." He said in the presence of a
death whose ruthless ravages had desolated
his friendliest home and filled with bitterest
grief his most devoted hearts: "I am the

The Resurrection,

resurrection, and the life : he that beHeveth
in me, though he were dead, yet shall he
live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in
me shall never die." He attested the wealth
and glory of his triumph over death : "1 am
the first and the last, and the living one;
and I was dead, and behold, I am alive for
evermore, and I have the keys of death and
of Hades."

What does Jesus, the great Teacher sent
by God to teach us the great things of God,
say about the rising again of the body from
death? In raising the dead does he not in
action and in plain, unmistakable fact de-
clare his ability to raise the dead and inti-
mate the possibility and encourage the hope
of the resurrection? *'And it came to pass
the day after, that he went into a city called
Nain; and many of his disciples went with
him, and much people. Now when he came
nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there
was a dead man carried out, the only son
of his mother, and she was a widow: and
much people of the city was with her. And
when the Lord saw her, he had compassion

The Resurrection.

on her, and said unto her, Weep not. And
he came and touched the bier: and they
that bare him stood still. And he said,
Young man, I say unto thee. Arise. And
he that was dead sat up, and began to
speak. And he delivered him to his moth-
er. And there came a fear on all : and they
glorified God, saying, That a great prophet
is risen up among us; and. That God hath
visited his people."

1 3 4 5 6 7

Online LibraryEdward M. (Edward McKendree) BoundsThe resurrection → online text (page 1 of 7)