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2d. Respecting the human family, is it universal?
3d. Are all raised at one time?
4th. "With what body do they come ?" 5th. Are we to consider physical operations, though exercised by divine power, ever to be made the exclusive cause of moral effects?
The best answers we can give to these questions, from scripture and the analogy of things, will, no doubt, comprise the most correct knowledge we can, at present, obtain on the subject.
By the resurrection of the dead, we are undoubtedly to understand, the renewal of the same persons to life, who had ceased to live. To suppose, in the life to come, any thing different from this, would be to account something different from the natural import of a resurrection. If a new race of intelligent beings spring to life in what we account the resurrection, distinct from the present, and not at all from the composition of the present, how could they be called the children of the resurrection, in any sense different from us, on account of our original creation? What would theirs be but an original creation as ours was? No other that we can conceive. To this subject I conclude our fourth scripture alludes, which says; "He that raised up Christ from the dead, shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." Second. Respecting the universali
the resurrection, the scriptures are express. Such are the following: "Marvel not at this ; for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth." "And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust." "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."
In the sentiment here exhibited, the christian church of all denominations is happy in being united. And in this union we find one of the most important articles of the christian faith. We hope for life beyond the grave, and in revelation we find the assurance of our hope. Brightening prospect! hopeful assurance! how cheering to the mind! how animating to the soul, that God's vast intelligent creation shall eternally live! Live,not in everlasting death, but in eternal life, in the unalterable love and holiness of the great Creator.
Third. The question now comes before us, are all mankind raised at one time? This may not be considered a question of equal importance with some others; but is worthy of examination in connexion with our subject. The scriptures before us, if they be not ex. press on the subject, certainly seem to favor the idea, that we are not to look for the resurrection of all at one period or point of time.
When Christ exhorts the rich to call the poor, the maimed, the lame, and the blind to their feasts, saying, they cannot recompense, he observes, those that call them shall be recom pensed at the resurrection of the just. If there be but one resurrection, being recompensed at the resurrection of the just, describes nothing different from being recompensed at the resurrection, which renders the phrase, of the just, useless. This construction is not according to our Savior's diction in general. Conciseness and meaning are the usual characteristics of his style. Had he said, recompensed at the resurrection,' or 'recompensed at the resurrection of the just and unjust,' we could not have inferred but one resurrection; but when he said, 'the resurrection of the just,' it seems to imply that there would be a time, when there would be a resurrection of the just only. Although Christ's words plainly favor this idea, yet it is just to remark, they are not to be considered as absolute proof. They do not contradict a universal resurrection at one time; but the closing words of the sentence, as before observed, could not, in that case, convey any distinct meaning.
In our second scripture, we have an allusion, that appears equally as strong as the one we have been considering. "But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage." It appears to be a natural inference
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. er." 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