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Jewish doctrine transformed under the influence of the Christ idea. Indeed, the resurrection is made to depend on the fact that Christ was raised, who is represented as the first fruits. Death had come into the world through the sin of Adam, but through Christ has entered into humanity a new principle of life which is the earnest of the rezurrection the victory over death to those at least who believe on him.15 In the resurrection the spirit is to be clothed upon not with the old body of common, perishable material, but with a certain wondrous, incorruptible, spiritual body "a bright envelope fitted for a tabernacle to the glorified soul.” “ There is a spiritual body," exclaims the Apostle with sublime confidence. But whence was this ethereal house of the resurrected soul to be derived ? Its germ is contained in the old body which is deposited in the earth, as the germ of the harvest is in the grain which is sown. " It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual
In this grand conception of a spiritual body in the resurrection Judaism is surpassed and Paul becomes the teacher of his nation. But the Jewish influence remains. The doctrine of his people impresses itself upon the creed of the
15" As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive" (1 Cor. xv. 22). The force of the Apostle's argument depends, of course, on an assumed analogy between the resurrection of Christ and that of men. And that Paul conceived of Christ's resurrection as spiritual, i.e., into a " spiritual body," is quite probable. He mentions the appearance of Christ to the twelve and to others after his resurrection, as precisely similar to tho manifestation to himselt on the way to Damascus, The “spiritualization" of the words above quoted, and their context, it may be remarked in passing, 80 as to make them convey the notion of moral or spiritual life and death, is wholly without exegetical support. It is a return to the old gnostic allegorizing, and should have the countenance of none who have regard for the integrity of the Scriptures and for exegesis as a scienre.
16 Paul's conception of the process by which the spiritual body was to be evolved out of the natural, has received no definite expression in bis writings. His doctrine may perhaps be traced to the ancient Jewish idea of an indwelling germ in the old body out of which the resurrection body was supposed to spring. The Jews are said to have supposed it to consist of a certain bone which they called Luz. Sometimes he seems to ascribe the origin of the spiritual body to the creative power of God, sometimes to the indwelling spiritual Christ-principle and life; while again he seeks to make it intelligible by comparison with the germinating process in nature (1 Cor. xv. 38, 45; Romans viii, 13).
Christian apostle. There is still a first resurrection for the righteous; yet no longer for the righteous under the law, but for those who have believed on the Christ. There are orders (ráypata) in the resurrection. After Christ, the first fruits, comes the order of those who are “ Christ's at his coming" (1 Cor. xv. 23). “The dead in Christ shall rise first” (1 Thess. iv. 16). The second resurrection is left to be in ferred.
Another remnant of the Jewish doctrine of the resurrection which adheres to the Pauline view is the connection of this event with the revelation of the Messianic glory and victory. We have seen that the Jews expected the resurrection of the righteous at the advent of the Messiah. To Paul and the other Jews who had accepted Christ as the Messiah of their nation, the true Advent was yet in the future. A Messiah who had appeared in humiliation and died in shame17 had not to their apprehension fulfilled the true Messianic mission; had not realized their true ideal ; nor satisfied the glowing propliecies of seers and poets. At the period, then, of this second coming of the Lord in power did Paul and his fellow believe ers place the resurrection of the dead (the Christian dead at least) who were to rise up out of sheol and be clothed upon with incorruptible spiritual bodies, while those of their number who should be still alive were to be “ changed," or to assume like glorious bodies. 18 Then, when the corruptible
17 * Unto the Jews a stumbling-block." Even to Christian Jews more of a stumblingblock than they themselves knew; as is manifest in how much allegorizing of Scripture, in what " earnest expectation," in what imagined "groaning of the creation," in what longing for the opening of the heavens and the revelation of the glory of the Son of man!
18 “ Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed" (1 Cor. xv. 51. 52). “We which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thess. iv. 15-18).
It should be said that the author of Acts represents Paul as saying especially that there will be a resurrection both of the just and the unjust. This doctrine is also that the Book of Revelation, which places an interval of one thousand years between the two resurrections (xx. 4, 5).
should have put on incorruption and the mortal immortality, would the victory over death be achieved, the triumph of the second Adam over the first complete! That this consumma. tion was expected in the life-time of the apostles is a conclusion which one cannot exegetically dispute with success, however one may dogmatically protest against it.
It appears, then, from the foregoing considerations, that the resurrection in Christian theology in its several pliases finds no support throughout in the various forms of the biblical doctrine. So far as the former holds to the rising of a material body, with organs similar to the old body, it bears a resemblance to the Old Testament doctrine, but is not in accord with that of the New Testament. A spiritual corporeality in the resurrection, so far as it may be held in Christian theology, agrees completely with the doctrine of Paul. That " spiritualization” of the resurrection which regards it as only the rising of the liberated soul into the immortal life is totally destitute of biblical support, as a doctrine of the resurrection. All the forms of the doctrine in Christian theology fail to agree with the several stages which the evolution of the dogma presents in the Bible in the matter of time when the resurrection is to take place. In the Jewish theology of the Old Testament the resurrection is placed at the advent of the Messiah. In the Jewish-Christian theology of the New Testament it is to occur at the second coming of Christ in his glory. A resurrection yet in the future is noi taught in the Bible, if we are required to draw a conclusion in respect to this doctrine from the totality of its teachings concerning it, and one need scarcely hesitate to say, from any single passage, interpreted according to its connection.
But the Bible teaching respecting the fact of a future life is not dependent upon its revelations concerning the doctrine in question. The resurrection is entirely incidental to the immortality of man, and the belief in it under its various forms has doubtless originated in the natural human conception of the necessity of a corporeality of some kind in any existence of the soul. That such a necessity exists is of
course purely gratuitous. Of the fact of immortality, Christianity does not leave us in doubt. As to the conditions and nature of that existence it has wisely left us in ignorance. There appears, accordingly, to be no reason for confounding in Christian theology the terms immortality and resurrection and claiming biblical authority for this confusion of ideas.
Pres. 0. Cone.
General Laws and Special Providence.
The word Providence which we derive from the Latin word Providentia, is used to express the action, or conduct of God towards the universe which He upholds by His power and regulates by His wisdom. 1 The doctrine of Providence is one of vital importance in Christian Theology. It is so united in our thought and faith with the other essential doctrines of natural and revealed religion, that to remove it would destroy the unity and harmony of the whole system of religious truth. But this is also an ethical and practical question. Without Providence there could be no Divine moral government, and without this responsibility and moral obligation are misnomers. Divine protection for man would be impossible without providence, and the doctrine of prayer and the practice of piety, as parts of the theory and practice of religious worship are meaningless and absurd if God does not govern in the universe. The assurance of prayer, the reward of the good, and the punishment of the wicked demands of the existence of God's special providence in the universe. We need Divine care. Our weak ness, helplessness, dependence, ignorance, sin, and sorrow make God's parental care necessary to our protection, safety, and salvation. Two things are included in our idea of prov
1 Theology by Rev. John Dick. 1 vol. p. 417.
idence, i.e., the preservation and government of the whole material, and spiritual creation. Matter, life, and mind must be under God's control, or there is no providence.
The first argument I shall introduce in proof of the doctrine of special providence is drawn from the infinite perfections of God. God is an infinite spirit. His attributes are spiritual and active. His omnipotent power must sustain and preserve all things. The omniscience of God makes him acquainted with all His creatures, their wants and necessities. As omnipresent He pervades all nature and fills all worlds. His infinite goodness would prompt Him to supply all our wants, defend His creatures from all danger, preserve them from all harm, keep them from all evil, and save them from all sin. These divine perfections as active in the universe make God's special providence over man certain. They could not exist and be exercised without it.
Special providence is evident from the fact of special creation. The fact that God has made the universe is conclusive proof that he can, will, and does take care of it. That which is of sufficient importance for God to create, is of sufficient value for Him to govern and preserve. He is the Creator of all things, the giver of all life, the Father of all Spirits. Creatorship and Fatherhood show that He has the ability, and devolves upon Himself the duty, of governing, preserving and caring for His whole creation. The universe is a unit. The mutual adaptation and wise and just relation of one part to another, reveal divine thought, plan, purpose, and action in every part as well as in the whole. This gives us special creation. There is more intelligence revealed in the formation of the eye, than in the creation of the sun ; in the structure of the ear, lungs and tongue than in the composition of the atmosphere. The creation of a fish is a more wonderful proof of the presence of mind in nature, than the gathering of the waters of all the seas. This reveals special creative acts, and thus presents a basis of, and an argument for Special Providence.
The third argument for Special Providence is derived from