tices, &c.. -are all done away, annihilated, and gone: the creature is changed, and bears the image of Christ. Hence, Paul says, "And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." 1 Cor. 15: 49. By these facts we learn that all in. the earthy image of Adam die, and that the same all (in the resurrection) will be made alive in the heavenly image of Christ. Consequently, all that can be understood by 66 every man in his own order," is, merely, every man in his own time (or class), and in his own identity. "Christ the first fruits," —that is, Christ as the first fruits of the resurrection, rose first in his own time, and own individual being; "afterward they that are Christ's at his coming," — that is, when Christ comes to raise the dead, all will then be made alive in Him, but every one in his own identity, or as himself, in his own individual being. Hence, in verse 38, "God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body." We think the expression, "But every man in his own order," applies with the same force to those who die, as to those who are made alive. "For as in Adam all die,”—that is, not collectively and simultaneously, but every one in his own time and identity, as himself. Thus we die as ourselves, and we shall be made alive as ourselves, and in the time classed or set off.

But supposing our objector should urge his theory, what would the result then be? He says, if one dies a sinner, he will be raised a sinner, &c. Now, admitting this self-contradictory theory to be carried out, and the result would be this: every sinner (having died as such), from the period of mother Eve down to the resurrec tion morn, must be called up from their tombs with the same characters, propensitics, appetites, and passions which they possessed when they went down to their graves. And how is this? Why, sinners, liars, extortioners, thieves, drunkards, murderers, and all as such, must be made alive in Christ; forming parts and parcels of that one body, of which Christ is the head. What kind of a body such would be, and what would be the result, we leave for our opponents to determine.

Should we admit that any in the resurrection would be raised in any other condition than alive in Christ, new creatures, fitted for holiness and happiness in him, we destroy, not only the utility, but every object of the resurrection. The apparent and only object of the resurrection is, to immortalize and happify the ransomed world

of sentient beings, to carry out God's original design, and perfect the work of his own hands. Who will deny the original purpose of God, in ultimately imparting a share of his own perfections to his creatures? He hath said, "I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure." Isa. 46: 9, 10. To say that this purpose and pleasure of God will fail is infidelity. To say that God designed a happy end for one, and misery as an end for another, is still worse. See James 3: 17, "The wisdom that is from above. . . . is without partiality and without hypocrisy." Ps. 145: 9, "The Lord is good to all; and his tender mercies are over all his works." And should we contend that the creature himself, or any other being in the universe of God, will frustrate or defeat his pleasurable purpose and designed end, it would be blasphemous. God is one infinite, holy, undivided being. All wisdom, power, and goodness, are his, and Love is his nature. Man can effect his physical and moral good, by obeying the laws which God has established to govern those principles. But there are no means by which the creature can effect his own resurrection or immortal condition. This exclusively and only belongs to God. It is not only his prerogative to accomplish it, but his word, his nature, and his oath, bind him to effect it for his creatures. Amen.

A belief of anything short of universal holiness and happiness in the resurrection state would not only dishonor God, but it must destroy all happiness and consolation in the creature. None can rejoice in that faith which tells of an introduction of feeling, sentient beings into a state of unending woe, pain, and death! And much less could they rejoice when they reflect that such end is the result of this unasked-for existence, and the pleasure of God declared from the beginning! Yet it is a fact which cannot be denied, that the end of man (whatever it may be) is, and will be such, and such only, as God designed, even from the beginning. But, as we have already seen that the purposes of God are good, that the end is life in Christ, we find no reason for mourning or lamenting the purposes of God; but we rejoice "that his counsel will stand, and he will do all his pleasure."

Our hopes of future life are based upon the fact that Christ has

[ocr errors]

risen from the dead, and is declared to effect the resurrection of man. Paul, after asserting that, "as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive;" and after declaring that Jesus must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet, and destroyed death, the last enemy; and that, "when all things shall be subdued to Christ, then shall the Son also himself be subject to him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all," he treats more directly of the nature and consequences of the resurrection; and, after speaking of the different glories of the sun, moon, and stars, says, So, also, is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption: it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power: it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body." 1 Cor. 15; 42-44. He further says, "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law: but thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ." Verses 53-57. Here is our victory, and the foundation of our hopes. The apostle has here given a lively description of the closing scene of Christ's mission on earth. summation of God's eternal purpose; the fulness of times, he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth, even in him." Then all who have died in Adam will be made alive in Christ. Then shall the "creation itself be delivered from the bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the children of God." Then sin and death will be forever destroyed; tears shall be wiped from all faces; sorrow and sighing shall have a perpetual end; and the ransomed world shall sing, "Blessing and honor, glory and power, unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, forever and ever."

This will be the final con"that in the dispensation of

We have noticed those passages which we think have an impor tant bearing upon the subject of the resurrection. It may be supposed, by some, that we have omitted passages that have an immediate connection with the subject; and, by others, that John 5: 29, speaks

of a resurrection, which ought to have been noticed. But to the last we reply, that Christ had no allusion to a literal resurrection in this text. In verse 25, he speaks of a death in which the unbelieving Jews were involved; and, in the 28th verse, he represents those, thus involved, as being "in the graves;" verse 29, that they "shall come forth, they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil, unto the resurrec tion of damnation." The time alluded to is the time of Jerusa lem's sad catastrophe. See Daniel 12: 1-3, and Matt. 24: 21, also, 16:27, 28, all of which speak of, and identify the time here referred to. The resurrection is a figurative one, showing the waking up, and calling forth, from the moral graves of sin and rebellion, that nation and people to a sense of what they were, and where they were. See Ezek. 37: 12, 13, "Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves." In Dan. 12: 2, it is said that they shall awake from the dust of the earth, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." In the text it is said, "And they shall come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation." Let it here be borne in mind, that they all come forth, in this rising, the one who has done good, unto life; the other, who has done evil, unto damnation. Here they receive in proportion to their merit or demerit. The hour was then coming, and soon did it overtake them even in that generation. Matt. 16: 28. The word anastasin, here rendered resur rection, simply signifies the act of rising from a sitting or reclining posture, from a seat or the ground, a rising up, a starting up, &c. See Donnegan's Lexicon. The word is here applied to the calling forth of the Jews from a state of lethargy and moral death, as we have before shown. See on the judgment, and other places in this work.

[ocr errors]






Ps. 95: 7,8. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness.

Heb. 3: 8, 9. Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: when your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.

Deut. 32: 35. To me belongeth vengeance and recompense; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.

Zech. 14: 9. And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one.

Zech. 2: 10, 11. Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord. And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto thee.

Isa. 49 8. Thus saith the Lord, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people.

2 Cor. 6: 3. (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succored thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

John 16: 26. At that day ye shall ask in my name; and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you.

« VorigeDoorgaan »