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Reflections on our Resurrection from the Dead.
391 ness, and fin not; for some these; and fin not in supporting or countenancing Sect. 29. have not the Knowledge of Doctrines, fo subversive of the Christian Faith GoD : I speak this to your and Hope ; for some are still ignorant of GOD, 1 CoXV.
and with the abused Light of Christianity know
cultivate so many vain Subtlcties, which tend rather to corrupt, than to exalt and perfect your Minds.
IMPROV E M E N T.
ELL may we rejoice, to see the Doctrine of our own Resur
rection so closely connected, in the Sacred Writings, and elpecially in this excellent Discourse of St. Paul, with that of our blessed Ver. 12,-16. Redeemer; as that they should be declared to stand, or to fall together. For Christ is assuredly risen from the Dead, and become the First-fruits of Ver. 20. them that sleep. He hath repaired, to all his fpiritual Seed, the Damage that Adam brought upon his Descendants; yea, he is become to them the Ver. 21,-23. Author of a far nobler Life, than the Posterity of Adam loft by him.
Let us meditate with unutterable Joy on the Exaltation of our glori- Ver. 24, 26. fied Head, of our gracious Sovereign, who has conquered Death himself, and will make us Partakers of his Victory. He hath received from his Father, Glory, Honour, and Dominion; and be shall reign till his Conquest be universal, and compleat, and till Death be not only stripped of its Trophies, but rendered subfervient to his Triumphs; shall reign, till all ħis Purposes for his Father's Glory, and his own, be finally accomplished.
But oh, who can express the Joy and Glory of that Day! when Christ Ver. 27. shall give up the Kingdom to the Father, and present unto him all its faithful Subjects transformed into his own Image; a beautiful and splendid Church indeed, for ever to be the Object of the Divine Complacence, for ever to dwell in the Divine Presence, in a State of the greatest Nearness to God, who shall then be all in all. Well may the Expectation of Ver. 28. this illustrious Period chear the Christian under his greatest Extremities, and make him of all Men the most happy, when otherwise, on Account of his Sufferings in the Flesh, he might seem of all Men the most mifera- Ver. 29. ble. Well may this his rejoicing in Christ Jesus, that facred Oath, which this persecuted and distressed Apostle, with fo sublime a Spirit, here uses, encourage him to go on, tho' he be daily dying; tho' he were daily Ver. 31.
392 But fome will say, How are the Dead raised up Sect. 29. to encounter the most favage of Mankind, and Death itself in its mof
dreadful Forms. Well may this Knowledge of GOD, of his gracious Ver. 32, 34. Purposes, and of his exalted Son, awaken. us to Righteousness... welle may
it deliver us from the Bondage of Sin.
Let us retain these noble Principles.of Doctrine and Action, and guardi against those evil Communications, those sceptical and licentious Notions, which would corrupt our Spirits, which.would, enervate every generoust Spark, which the Gospel kindles up into a Flame, and by bounding out : Views within the narrow, Circle of Mortal Life, would degrade us from the Anticipations of Angelical Felicity, to the Pursuits of brutal Gratification.
The Apostle answers Objections against the Resurrection
drawn from our not being able to conceive of the particular. Manner in which it fall be effe&ted.; and concludes with urging it, as à noble Incentive to the greatest Steadiness and Zeal in. Religion. i.Cor. XV. 35, to the Endi
1 CORINTHIANS XV. 35:
1 CÒRINTHIANS XV: 353 HAVE thus endeavoured to confirm your BUT fome Man will * Cor. xv.
Faith, and establish your Hope, in the great raised up? And with what: and glorious Doctrine of a Resurrection ; but.Some Body do they come.?. one will perbaps be ready petulantly to object, and say, How are the Dead raised up, when their Bodies are quite diffolved, and the Particles, of, which they consisted, scattered abroad, and per.. haps become Parts of other Bodies; and if they are raised, with what. [Kind of] - Bodies do they come out of their Graves, and what Alteration is . made in their. Constitution, and Organization, to fit. them for a future Life, in so many Respects.. different from this?
Thou thoughtless Creature,, who perhaps prideft. 36 Thou Fooly: ikiwe thyself in the Sagacity of this Objection, as if.it
which were some mighty Effort of Penetration, how ealily mightest thou find an Answer to it from
1 Cor. XV.
The Apostle' illuftrates this by Seed for in the Earth. 393 which thou foweft is not what paffes every Day in the Works of Nature ? Sect. 30. quickened;. except ít dies". That Seed which thou fowest in thy Field, is not quickened to new Life and Verdure, except it
36. pear to die (a): Before it springs up to the future Vegetable, whatever it be, it is macerated, de
cayed, and at Length consumed in the Earth. 37. And that which thou And [as fur] that which thou fowest, thour fowest 37 fowest, thou fowest not that not the Body, which mall be produced from that Body that shall be, but bare Grain, it may chance of Seed which is committed to the Ground, but bare Wheat, or of some other Grain, perhaps of wheat, or of any other Kind
of (Grain,] in which there is no Appearance of
by certain Laws of Vegetation, with which thou
rent; and much more beautiful.
you know, is not the same Kind of Flesh, but the
(a) Except it die.] To this it hath been objected, “ that if the Seed, die, it never bears. « Fruit.” But it is certain, that the Seed in general does consume away in the Ground, tho' a little Germen, or Bud, which makes a Part of it, springs up into new Life, and is fed by the Death and Corruption of the rest. So that these wise Philosophers of our own talk just as foolishly as the Corinthian Freethinkers, whom they vindicate. See John
(b) Its own proper Body.] The Apoflle seems more directly to speak of that, as its proper Body, which is peculiar to that Species of Grain ; yet undoubtedly each Ear has a peculiar Reference to one Individual, as its proper Seed, in such a Manner, as another of the same Species has not; and what follows plainly suits such a View. God is said to give it this Body as he pleafes, because we know not how it is produced ; and the Apostle's leading Thought is, " that it is abfurd to argue against a Resurrection on a Principle, which is fo « palpably false, as that must be, which supposes us to understand all the Process of the 66 Divine Works." 16. Cattle.) So zdrow v signifies ; but it seems to be put for Beasts in general. VOL. IV.
D d d
394 I bere will be different Degrees of Glory at the Refurretion:
Form, Qualities, and Manner of being fubfifted. ~ [There are also celestial Bodies, and terrestrial Bo 40 There are also
celestial xCor. XV. dies ; but the Glory of the celestial
, and the terrestrial : But the Glory of the
Bodies, and Bodies terres 40.
trial, are apparently different, and the brightest celestial is one, and the Lustre the latter can have, is but a faint Reflec- Glory of the terrestrial is antion of what is received from the former. And other.
even in the Glory of the celestial Bodies there is 41 also a wonderful Variety: There is one superior
41 There is one Glory and incomparable Glory of the Sun, which often of the Sun, and anothier Glo
ry of the Moon, and another Thines with a Lustre scarce to be endured ; and Glory of the Stars; for ane another reflected and milder Glory of the Moon ; Star, differeth from another and another Glory of the Stars, which, as they Star in Glory. appear to us, are far inferior to either of the two great Luminaries. And again, [one] Star differ6th from [another] Star in Glory (d), according to their respective Magnitudes, in Reference to which they are ranged by Astronomers under different Classes. So [shall be] also the Resurrection of the pious re&tion of the Dead. It is
42 So also is the RefurDead (Č) Another Kind of Glory shall appear, sown in Corruption, it is than 'human Nature has known in its purest State, raised in Incorruption : in any Beauty of Form, or Ornaments of Dress. There shall indeed, as I intimated but now, be some Difference in the Degree of that Glory, correspondent to the different Excellencies in the Characters of good Men, on whom it is to pass : But all shall experience a most illustrious and happy Change; so that it may be said concerning the Body of them all in general, it is sown, or committed, like Seed, to the Ground in Corruption, just ready to putrify, and thro' various Forms of Putrefaction to be reduced to the Duft: But it is raised in Incorruption, so that no Accident, or
(d)_ And one Star differeth, &c.] It is in the Original yap, that is, for ; but I conclude that Particle is here used only as a Copulative ; elfe we must suppose the Apostle to argue more philosophically, than he probably intended, and to assert that the Sun and Moon were Stars. He plainly fpeaks of the Lustre which these celestial Luminarjes exhibit to us, not of what they have in themselves, without any Regard to their Aspeds on us.
() The Resurrection of the pious Dead.] Of them it is evident the Apo Ale here speaks, and not of the Dead in general. Compare Verses, 23, 43, 49 and 57, with 1 Thef
. iv. 16, 17, and Verfe :54. St. Paul, (Phil. iii. 2.) and our Lord, (Matt. xxii. 30. Luke XX. 35.) mean the same Thing bythe Resurrection
All infinitely transcending the present State of human Nature. 395
Disorder whatfoever shall be able to diffolve it Sect. 30. 43 It is fown in Disho. again, or to threaten it in the least Degree. It hour, it is raised in Glory: is forn in Dishonour in a poor conteinptible State, 1 Cor., XV. is raised in Power : and under a Kind of Infamy, put upon it by the
43 Execution of God's first Sentence against Sin : But it is raised in Glory (f ), every Part and Trace of the Curse being abolished, and itself being formed in such a Manner, as to make it
appear that the King of Heaven delights to honour the happy Spirit, on which he bestows such'a Dress. It is fown in Weakness, absolutely incapable of any, even the lowest Degree of Action; or Sensation, and deprived of those limited Abilities which it possessed in this its mortal Life : But it is raised in Power, endowed with almost ange
lick Degrees of Strength, Vigour, and Activity:
Superiority to the mean Gratifications of this im-
as that in Comparison they may be called Spirits.
of) It is raised in Glory.) Some think this refers to the Garment of Light, which the Body fhall put on at the Resurrection; on which Dr. Whitby nás a remarkable Note here; (Compare Mat. xvii. 2. Afts ix. 3. Rev. i. 14, 15. Dan: xii. 3: Wild. j: 7: Mat, xiii; 43. and Mark ix. 3.) and which he thinks remarkable to illustrate the Matter ex. aduerfo.
(3) Made a living Soul.] This is a Quotation from Moses; and there seems to be a peculiar Emphasis in the Original
, which I know not how to preserve in the Tranflatin, in the Preference of taxen .to fuxixor, in the former Verse, as distinguished 'rom dvoupazinoy ; , and refers to such a Difference between foxn, the animal Soul, and averace, the rational Spirit,