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drawn from this text, that some would not be accounted worthy to obtain that world of which he spake, nor a resurrection of the description like that which he gave. Any interpretation different from this, would render that part of the text which says, "they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain," entirely useless and unmeaning. It may be asked, if any be accounted unworthy to obtain the future world, how they can ever be raised from the dead? In answer to such a question, let it be remarked, we are not to understand by the phrase, 'that world,' mentioned in the text, eternity, but a certain period, known undoubtedly in the mind of Christ. The original* imports an age or period, and is not the common term used for world. The same word is called course in Eph. ii. 2. "Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world." In the seventh verse of the same chapter it is used in the plural, and called ages.
Besides the two passages which we have now considered, I recollect no others that seem to carry the idea of any different periods concerning the resurrection, unless we consider the account of the first and second resurrec. tion in the 20th chapter of Revelation in the same light. If we consider this account to be of a literal or corporal resurrection, it is full proof of the idea. But in this discourse,
* Aiōn, ævum, seculum.
I shall not insist upon it, though I am inclined to believe its meaning is literal, because we are sensible a great part of that book is written in figurative and allegorical language.
Some suppose, from St. Paul's words in
the 15th of 1st Cor. that the resurrection of all, their emancipation from sin to holiness, and Christ's delivering his kingdom to his Father, are works immediately and insepara bly connected with each other, as in the following language: 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 afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule, and all authority, and pow "It is evident, in Adam all die a spiritual as well as a temporal death. And ac cording to the text, it is as evident that in Christ the cure will be, in every respect, equal to the wound. But is there any necessity, because these are classed together in one verse, of considering them all fulfilled at one time? St. Paul remarks, every man in his own order. If, the resurrection of all be at once, why did he mention any order? At the head of this order, he places Christ, the first fruits, whose resurrection was more than eighteen hundred years ago. Without mentioning any event coming between, his next words are, "afterward they that are his at
his coming," for the fulfilment of which event we still look. Then, we are told, cometh the end-when? When Christ the first fruits are brought, or when they that are his at his coming? I conceive there is no necessity of understanding either of these periods the fixed time, when Christ delivers up his kingdom. The word then* in the 24th verse, in the original, expresses, more definitely, a posterior date than the original in the 23d verse, translated afterward. It ought evidently to have read afterward or after that. The Apostle seems to add the 25th verse, as if posely to guard against the error of synchro, nizing events, that ought to be undersood to be separate. "For he must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet."
The resurrection of Christ the first fruits, and of them that are his at his coming, are events which we consider very distant from each other in point of time; yet they are as closely connected, if not more so, in the sentence that expresses them, as the resurrectiou of them that are Christ's, and his delivering of the kingdom to the Father. This appears plain by reading the text according to the criticism which I have indulged upon it, and which, I trust, is too evident to be disputed. "But every man in his own order; Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ's at
*EITA, postea, deinde, tum.
his coming. After that will be the end" (in licu of then cometh the end) "when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father."
In the fourth place, we will attend to the question, "With what body do they come ?" St. Paul, after addressing us with a boldness that would be indecorous from one of less authority, invites our attention to the field of natyre. "That which thou sowest is not quickened except it die. And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but naked grain, it may chance of wheat or of some other grain. But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body." One would naturally sup pose from the description of the Apostle's, that the present body sown in death arises in a similar manner to wheat or some other grain that is sown; and, as every seed produces its own body, it takes in the resurrection a body of flesh and bones by the power of God, as the physical produce of the original body, which was sown in death. However embarrassed we may be in comparing this idea with what the Apostle has elsewhere expressed, still we know not, that we shall hardly be able to discover any sense to his words, if this be not his meaning. He says, "So also is the resurrection of the dead." Then he adds ; "It is sown in corruption; it is raised in in
corruption 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. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body." Our present bodies are accounted corruptible; and specially so, when sown in death. Grain is made corruptible, when it is sown, and by a quickening power, may it not be said to arise to an incorruptible state? It undoubtedly approaches as near it, as any earthly thing to which is given a resuscitating power. When kept from too much moisture, it retains its virtue and life. It has, likewise, a spirituous property. In this its most perfect state, I think St. Paul meant to represent it as a figure of the spiritual body; and, in its corrupted state, sown in the surface of the earth, a figure of the natural body. Then the grain 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 an animal body,* or a body possessing life, though itself corrup tible; it is raised a spiritual body; that is, a body incorruptible, retaining the spirit and essence of the grain. "So also," says the Apostle, "is the resurrection of the dead." Man is sownt in corruption; he is raised in incorruption he is sown in dishonor; he is
* SOMA PSUCHIKON, corpus animale.
+ The original of these verbs have no nominative case expressed.