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angels, for his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom and his dominion shall see no end.
The argument drawn from the passages, "for he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet," &c., by Universalists, that all mankind shall be converted and reconciled to God, become holy and happy, is a mere assumption, and is based upon a false construction of language and a perversion of the Apostle's meaning. For if, the phrase, “ put all enemies under his feet,” must necessarily mean conversion and reconciliation with God, to become holy and happy; then death, the last enemy that shall be destroyed, shall also be converted and reconciled, for he is as much an enemy as any thing else. Yet none would contend for this, for it is obviously preposterous. The fact is, that the language can never be made naturally to mean, conversion and reconciliation with God, and be descriptive of the saints of God, prepared to enter heaven and sing its new song; but it is rather a graphic sketch of enemies vanquished by the triumphal car of the Victor, bound and carried away into captivity. Christ shall make his enemies his footstool, but his saints shall reign with him in his kingdom, as kings and priests, forever and ever. Those beneath the feet of Christ designate the wicked, who would n'ot submit to God, therefore they are crushed by force and power, and will be vanished from the presence of God and the glory of his power, as exiles in the “ blackness of darkness forever.” Let no reader delude himself with the idea, that if not converted in time, he will be among the number, who shall be subdued under the feet of Christ, therefore equally entitled to holiness and heaven. For the wicked shall not only be beneath the feet, that is, the conquering power of Christ, but they shall also be as ashes, beneath the feet of the saints. This doom will be awful in the extreme. Beware! flee to Christ and become an humble, willing sub
ject of his kingdom, and wait not for the resurrection and its connecting events, to do the work for you! Now you may be sure and have a hope like an anchor to the soul; but then you will be disappointed and ruined.
6. How the dead will be raised, and the nature of the bodies raised. These were important inquiries, and the apostle replies to them in regular order. To the first, how the dead are raised, he replies in verses 36–38, and illustrates it by the growth and production of grain. It is just as probable, yea possible, that the dead will be raişed, as it is, that a seed of grain, falling into the ground, will decompose and die, but afterwards will put forth a stalk and yield seed after its kind. This latter is a matter of observation and is undeniable; and yet the resurrection of the dead has no more improbability and mysteriousness connected with it, than the reproduction of grain. The one is a known fact, and brought about by regular and the efficient laws of nature, notwithstanding God has given to each kind of grain a body, stalk, leaves, kernel, head and chaff, as it has pleased him, and to each kind that which is peculiar to itself; the other, how the dead are raised, is based upon the authority of God, and for aught we know, carried forward by the operation of laws equally regular and efficient, and is therefore infallibly certain of consummation. He that doubts the growth of grain is foolish, and he that is sufficiently inconsiderate and unwise to reject the possibility of the resurrection from the dead, betrays his ignorance and want of confidence in God and his power.
The particles of matter which formed the seed sown, will not constitute the seed and stalk produced, yet they spring directly from the seed sown and dying in the earth, and there is sufficient sameness, in order to call the grain, the same kind of grain including like particles of matter, though not the same matter. So the dead shall be raised by the. power of God, and to every one he will give his own body -to the saint the body which belongs to him and fits him for the employment of heaven; and to the sinner the body belonging to him and fitted for perdition.
The apostle gives an exposition of the nature of the bodies raised in verses 39–50. Here he wishes to showthat there will be no wider variation in the bodies raised from those in this world than there now exists in time and space; still all are bodies. They may be different in kind and organization on earth, some obscure and others glorious; yet they are such bodies as the Lord has pleased to give. So the bodies raised from the empire of death may be changed and organized upon different principles, yet they remain the same bodies. This, he illustrates by saying, “All flesh is not the same flesh”-men, beasts, birds and fishes have different flesh, yet all is flesh. The different basis of organization does not make one flesh and another something else. There are also different bodies ; some celestial, like the sun, moon and stars; and others terrestrial, like mountains, trees, rocks and flowers—but the glory of all bodies varies, of those on earth, and of those in the azure skies. So it will be in the resurrection. The resurrection of the dead will be analogous to the springing up of the grain ; and the nature of their bodies, may be compared to the different degrees of splendor and magnificence of bodies, on the earth, and in the sky.
In verses 42-44, he directly expresses the nature of the change of the bodies in the resurrection from what they were while on earth. The body is sown in corruption ; but this body is raised in incorruption, and no more liable to sickness, death and putrefaction; it is sown in dishonor, being loathsome in death, and an offensive, putrid mass in the grave; but it is raised in honor, beauty and glory-excellence and perfection will adorn it: it is sown in weakness, liable to derangement and prostration ; but it shall be raised in power, free from fatigue and lassitude; it is sown a natural body, and raised a spiritual body. “ There is a natural body and there is spiritual body.” It is apparent to all, that there is a natural body, and it is equally certain that there is a spiritual, though not proven by the same evidences and clearness, yet based on divine authority. The meaning and difference of the phrases, a natural and spiritual body. They are placed in contrast, and must convey an opposite sentiment. The term natural embraces the peculiar organization, the relations and conditions of the body, which fit it for this world and answer its destiny on earth ; while the term spiritual means, that the body will be released from every feature and relation necessary and peculiar to its existence on earth, and unfitting it for the employment and service of heaven. The spiritual body does not mean something the opposite of matter, for we cannot affirm a body of a pure spirit-spirits have no bodies—and the apostle has all along been proving that the same body which was sown, shall be raised; therefore the spiritual body must be matter, and matter organized, but upon such principles as shall preclude the mere animal nature in man, which is an appendage to the body peculiar to the earth. The natural body is adapted to the condition and operations of this gross earth, while the spiritual body is endowed with capacities and a nature peculiar to heaven, and like the glorified body of Christ.
The nature and origin of a natural body and of a spiritual, the apostle farther illustrates and amplifies in verses 45— 49. Adam was possessed of a natural body, endowed with animal life, relations and affections, and dependent on food to replenish the waste of his body on earth-so far as his earthly body was concerned, it must derive its support from the earth. But Christ had a glorified body, spiritual, and
the source of quickening and support within itself, and not dependent on foreign aid and support. The body we derive from the first man, is like his, weak, sickly, subject to pain, distress and death ; but the body we shall get from Christ by the resurrection, will be like the body of Christ, for he shall “ change our vile body and fashion it like unto his glorious body," no more dependent on the gross materials of earth for support and continued existence; for the mainspring of life shall be located in its organization. Such a body is desirable, therefore, the saints of God anxiously await the second coming of the Lord of glory, and the redemption of the body. Their soul was made holy, and redeemed in time by faith in Christ, and now the body awaits the regenerating efficacy of the power of God, exercised in view of the atonement. This is certain to the saints; just as infallible as that they once possessed bodies like Adam, weak, liable to decay and corruption. They shall also have bodies like the glorified body of Christ.
God is not only able to raise the dead, to change their bodies after passing through the ordeal of the grave, to organize them upon a different basis fitted for that world ; but it is absolutely indispensable that the bodies of the saints should be different from what they now are. “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God;" such fragile, corruptible and mortal bodies as believers have in this world, are unfit for and cannot be admitted into that world, where sickness, decay disease and putrefaction are never known. That which is in itself corruptible can never be adapted to a state of existence, relations and employments, where all is incorruptible. ! The dead are prepared for their existence, while those who are living, praying and waiting for the coming of the Lord, are changed in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump. The bodies of the living and dead shall have the