The Resurrection And Its Concomitants -- By: E. Russell

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 017:68 (Oct 1860)
Article: The Resurrection And Its Concomitants
Author: E. Russell

The Resurrection And Its Concomitants1

Rev. E. Russell

The discourse that fell from the lips of the great teacher of the Gentiles on Mars Hill at Athens, has never failed in power to excite thought and feeling in the human mind, and awaken discussion in every age. In the production of this effect, all the circumstances of time, place, the subject-matter of what was uttered, the character of the speaker and of those who listened, unite to secure. He stood in the midst of the city that was the “eye of Greece,” and has been the

school of the world. He spoke from the place, where the voice of the orator had so often —

“Shook the arsenal and fulmined over Greece
To Macedon and Artaxerxes’ throne.”

He stood in the presence of an immense assembly, in the midst of Grecian temples, surrounded on every hand with the creations of Grecian art, and taste, and learning, and sketched, in bold and graphic outlines, the theme of redemption by Christ. The records of oratory supply nothing that is a parallel in dignity, and grandeur, and interest, with what was here uttered. Into this discourse, the grand features of essential truth were condensed; and the image had more power to stir emotion and thought, than all the wonders of Grecian architecture, statuary, or painting. The audience to which it was addressed, the place where it was delivered, and the massive truth which it embodies, conspire to make it a monument that will stand beautiful, attractive, and sublime long after the last fragments of the Parthenon shall have crumbled back to dust. The audience, the most cultivated and intelligent, doubtless, in the then known world, listened to the speaker with apparent attention and respect till the resurrection of the dead was affirmed. The assembly then became restive, the discourse itself was suspended, and a further hearing at the great forum of Attic eloquence, was denied. To an Athenian, the doctrine of a future state of existence was familiar. It was to him no new thing. The doctrine of re-

tribution was not for the first time, in the year of our Lord fifty-two, learned by him on Mars Hill. The Athenian believed and he had been taught to believe, from the days of Homer and Solomon, by all the poets, philosophers, and orators of his country, that there was a scene of future and endless happiness, or of misery in reserve for every man in that world, to which death would introduce him. But the doctrine of the resurrection of the body and of the reunion of soul and body in that future world, was, for the philosophical Athenian, too absurd to be beli...

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