Page images

same Spirit, who with all the fulness of his gifts is in Christ as in the fountain, he will in the same manner produce similar effects upon you, as well by his mighty power, as by virtue of that sanctification with which you are blessed. Sanctification is the resurrection of the soul, and must necessarily be followed by the resurrection of the body; for indeed even in the present life the body is a partaker of the blessing of sanctification, receives its sacred seals, and exhibits its excellent fruits.

xv. Having now, we think, sufficiently established the truth of the resurrection, let us proceed to consider WHAT body is to rise again, and in what MANNER the resurrection will be effected. To us it appears indubitable from the Scriptures, that the same bodies which we now have are to rise again ; to wit, the same in substance, but endowed with qualities widely different. Let us demonstrate each of these assertions.

XVI. That the SAME BODIES are to be restored to us, is manifest from the very term resurrection. For, according to the definition of Damascenus, what else is the resurrection* than " a second standing, an erection, “ of that which hath fallen.”+ It is not the soul, besides, which rises again; for the soul doth not fall or die: nor is it properly and directly the man: but it is that part of our nature which is called the flesh, that is, the body, which in the present state is animal and mortal. The body only, therefore, is called Ttupce, a carcase, or a dead body fallen to the ground, because it is only the body which mittei, falleth. Accordingly, as we have seen above, Paul says, " he shall also “ quicken your mortal bodies.";

+ Δευτέρα το πιπτοκότος στασις. į Rom. vüi. 11.

• 'Αναστασις.

XVII. The Scriptures, too, supply other express testimonies to the same effect. “In my flesh,” said Job, “ shall I see God, whom I shall see for myself, and “ mine eyes shall behold, and not another.”k And Paul affirms, that the same body shall be raised, which is sown in corruption, in dishonour, and in weakness, and sown a natural body; and that “this corruptible,” which we now carry about, “ must put on incorrup“ tion.” He tells us, in fine, that Christ "shall change “our vile body,"m—the same body, to wit, which lay in

the grave."

xvii. We have a specimen of this in them that were raised from the dead by the Prophets, our Lord, and the Apostles. Were bodies created out of nothing, or brought down from heaven, for those persons ? Or were not the same bodies restored, which death had formerly removed ? " Many bodies of the saints which slept “ arose.” And what are these but beginnings and specimens of that which God will one day accomplish

upon us ?

xix. The same thing is evident from the resemblance which our resurrection bears to Christ's. “As we have “ borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the “ image of the heavenly.”p That Christ's resurrection is the pattern of our's, who can doubt ?! Most cercertainly, however, Christ did not assume a different and an ascititious or supplementary body, nor did he represent himself as clothed with a new body brought down from heaven; but he brought back from the sepulchre his own proper body, which he showed to his disciples, bearing the print of the wounds he had received,—and which was carried up into heaven."

Job xix. 26, 27.
m Philip. iii. 21.
• Mat. xxvii. 52.
4 Rom. vi. 11. viii. 11.

| 1 Cor. xv. 42, 43, 44, 53, 54.
n John v. 28.
p i Cor. xv. 49.

xx, Christ will judge alike the quick and the dead. But in what body will the quick appear before the tribunal of Christ? In the samé body, doubtless, which till then they had carried about, but, as the Apostle informs us, changed by the power of God.” Why then should not the dead also resume their own bodies, that the condition of all may be the same, since the Scripture nowhere intimates, that the condition of those who shall be then living is to excel that of believers who have slept in Jesus? To imagine with regard to those men who shall be found living in the day of the Lord, that new bodies will miraculously descend from the upper regions, and be superinduced like garments on their original and proper bodies, in order to swallow up their mortality, to consume the entire matter of them, and remain themselves in their room,what is this but to entertain an idle and presumptuous, I dare not say a pleasant, dream ?

xxi. In fine, the justice of God, and the manner of his judicial procedure, require, that as well the living as the dead appear before him in the very same bodies. The actions to be judged are attributed, not to the body apart, nor to the soul as separate from the body, but to the whole person, consisting of body and soul. It is necessary, therefore, that the same body, as well as the same soul, be brought into judgment, that sentence may be pronounced on the actions of the whole person. Were not this to be done, the consequence would be, that, in the distribution both of punishments and of rewards, a great confusion, unworthy of the di

1 John xx. 27.

: 1 Cor. xv. 51.

vine administration, would take place. In respect to punishments ;-bodies which were subservient to sinful passions, being finally reduced to dust, would not be punished according to their desert; since punishment doth not consist in mere annihilation, but in eternal torments in the lake of fire and brimstone. On the other hand, bodies which are quite adventitious, and which have merited no evil, would be joined to ungodly souls, and most unjustly and cruelly participate in their miseries and plagues. The same disorder would ensue in regard to rewards. Those bodies which have ministered to the soul in fastings, prayers, praises, and other exercises of godliness, whose members have been presented as instruments of righteousness, and which, in some instances, have endured incredible tortures for the sake of Christ and religion, would remain altogether unrewarded, being either annihilated or dissipated into their own elements, and, in short, placed in the same state with the bodies of the wicked. The crown of righteousness would be conferred, at the same time, on other bodies, which had never approved themselves to God, either by works of faith, or exercises of holiness, or by a cheerful submission to sufferings for Christ's sake. These things are diametrically opposite to the justice of God, and to the uniform doctrine of Scripture.“ Always bearing about in the body,” says the Apostle Paul, “ the dying of the Lord Jesus, that “ the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our “ mortal body." And when he concludes a long discussion relative to the resurrection of the dead, by exhorting the Corinthians to stedfastness, and constancy, and abounding always in the work of the Lord, he en

' 2 Cor. iv. 10. comp. 2 Thes. i. 4, 5, 6.

forces his exhortation by adding, that their “ labour “ shall not be in vain in the Lord.” But their labour would be entirely in vain, so far as their bodies are concerned, if these remained in dust and putrefaction, and other bodies were formed in their stead, to enjoy a reward obtained by labour in which they had no share. 81

XXII. A considerable difficulty, I will not dissemble, arises from the barbarity of those, who, by feeding on human bodies, have changed part of them into their own substance. How can the same flesh, after having belonged to different men, rise again in different individuals, to be punished in some, and to be rewarded in others? What will become of the flesh which has been thus devoured? Whose will it be at the resurrection? Will it belong to the man that has devoured it, to whom it pertained last? Were this the case, it would necessarily follow, that the person devoured would be mutilated as to that part of himself, and that this part would undergo the punishment due to cruel and barbarous men. Or, will it be restored to the person devoured, to whom it originally belonged ? If so, the cannibal would be denuded of part of his body, which, although it deserved to be severely tormented, will perhaps be glorified in the body of the other.

XXIII. But in fact this objection discovers a preposterous curiosity, and an immoderate love of refinement; which, however, it is not impossible to repress by satisfactory arguments. Even although we could find nothing more particular to say in reply, is it fit that we should bring forward our reason, so feeble, so diseased, sn cnveloped in thick darkness, and so defiled by nu

u 1 Cor. xv. 58. si See NOTE LXXXI.

« PreviousContinue »