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that all men, whether good or bad, will rise at the same instant, in the twinkling of an eye, but the just will rise in honour and the bad in dishonour. But others say, that the order mentioned by the apostle is not only of dignity, but also of time. lst. Because the resurrection of Christ, which is mentioned by St. Paul, differs from the resurrection of those whom He has redeemed by His sacred blood, not only in order of dignity, but also of time.

2ndly. Because the destruction of the enemy death, which is effected by the general resurrection, is mentioned by the apostle as the last thing, after Christ shall have brought to nought all principality, and power, and virtue, and after He shall have put all His enemies under His feet. This, their assertion, is confirmed by the authority of St. John, Chrysostom, and Theophilact, who say that at the coming of Christ the just will rise before the wicked, not only in order of dignity, but also of time; because, they say, the just will have to go forward to meet the Lord Jesus in the air, which will not be granted to the wicked. 1

3rdly. The same apostle, in his first letter to the Thessalonians, whilst speaking of those who shall rise when the Lord shall appear in the clouds of heaven, mentions only such as have slept in Christ, which means the elect. “We would not have you ignorant, brethren,” says he,

concerning them that are asleep, that you be not sorrowful even as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them who have slept through Jesus will

See Cornel. Alap. Comment. in 1 Epist. ad Thessal. God bring with Him. For this we say unto you in the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall not prevent them who have slept, for the Lord Himself shall come down from heaven with commandment, and with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead who are in Christ shall rise first.” 1

cap. ii.

4thly. Again, the apostle, writing to the Philippians, thus speaks of himself in reference to the resurrection from the dead : “I count all things to be but loss for the excellent knowledge of Jesus Christ my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things and count them but as dung, that I may gain Christ. .... That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable to His death. If by any means I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.2 The resurrection here mentioned by St. Paul is a particular blessing which he hopes to attain by the merits of Christ, and by rendering his life conformable to that of Jesus; it cannot therefore mean the general resurrection, in which the wicked also will have part, but only that of the just who will rise to immortal glory. On the subject of this resurrection the apostle thus writes to the Colossians : If you be risen with Christ, seek the things that are above: where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God; mind the things that are above, not the things that are upon the earth. are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ shall appear, who is your life, then you also shall appear with Him in glory." 11 Thess. iv. 12-15.

Philip. iii. 3 Coloss. iii.

For you

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5thly. The evangelists Matthew and Mark agree in declaring that Christ, as soon as He shall come, will send His angels to gather His elect; but make no allusion to the resurrection of the wicked. “ He shall send His angels,” says St. Matthew, " with a trumpet and a great voice, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of the heavens to the utmost bounds of them.'


“ And then He shall send His angels," says St. Mark, “and shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.". By comparing these passages with that of St. Paul to the Thessalonians quoted above, it will be found that they only differ in this, that whilst the apostle calls those who shall rise at the coming of Christ the dead who are in Christ, the dead who have slept in Jesus, our Lord calls them His elect.

6thly. Our Blessed Lord gave the following answer to the Sadducees respecting the resurrection of the dead : “ The children of this world marry and are given in marriage, but they that shall be accounted worthy of that age and of the resurrection from the dead, shall neither marry nor be married. Neither can they die any more: for they are equal to the argels, and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.' Whoever considers attentively these words will easily perceive that they relate to a particular resurrection, in which the elect only have part; for they speak only of such as shall be accounted worthy of the resurrection from the

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2 Mark xii. 27.

Matt. xxiv. 31.

3 Luke xx. 34-36.


dead, and who shall be the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.

7thly. In the sixth chapter of the Gospel of St. John, Christ expressly mentions a particular resurrection, in which those only will take part who have believed in Him, who are worthy of eternal life, who have worthily eaten His flesh, and drank His blood. « This is the will of the Father who sent Me," says He, “ that of all that He hath given Me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again in the last day. And this is the will of My Father that sent Me: that every one who seeth the Son, and believeth in Him, may have life everlasting, and I will raise him in the last day. No man can come to Me, except the Father who hath sent Me draw him, and I will raise him up in the last day. He that eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood hath everlasting life, and I will raise him up in the last day.” 1

8thly. Our Blessed Lord thus speaks, in St. Luke : “ When thou makest a feast call the poor, the maimed, the lame, and the blind; and thou shalt be blessed, because they have not wherewith to make thee recompense; for recompense shall be made thee at the resurrection of the just.?

9thly. St. John, in the Apocalypse, after declaring the binding of Satan, and his confinement in the bottomless pit lest he should hurt any more the nations, thus continues : “And I saw seats: and they sat upon them: and judgment was given unto them: and the souls of them that were beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the Word of God, and who had not adored the beast

" John vi. 39, 40, 44, 55.

2 Luke xiv. 13, 14.

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nor his image, nor received his character on their foreheads or in their hands, and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. The rest of the dead lived not till the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection. In these the second death hath no power : but they shall be priests of God and of Christ: and they shall reign with Him a thousand years."

St. John here distinctly mentions a first resurrection, in which those only have part who are called blessed. In this resurrection those will rise that were beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, namely, the martyrs of Jesus; as these have borne testimony to Christ and to His Gospel by the shedding of their blood, so they will rise to reign with Christ on thrones of immortal glory. Then will be entirely fulfilled what the same apostle declares in the sixth chapter respecting the prayers of the martyrs to the throne of God, asking vengeance on their enemies. “I saw," says he, “under the altar, the souls of them that were slain for the Word of God, and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord (holy and true), dost Thou not judge and revenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white

· The image of the beast mentioned by St. John, is no other than the second beast which he saw coming out of the earth, and means those worldly powers which, by their opposition to Christ and to his Church, tread on the footsteps of the Antichrist and his kingdom, - figured by the first beast. To this class belong especially all the heretical powers which usurp to themselves the authority which exclusively belongs to the Church of Christ.

Apoc. xx. 4–6.


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