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between God and man, was "all in all:" but now, being made perfect through his mediation, and made partakers of his glory, and having been exalted to sit on his throne, his interposition, as Mediator between two, is no longer needed; they are presented to GOD as GOD,-FATHER, SON, and SPIRIT, three persons but one essence; for this is the ONLY GOD. And though the manifestation of Deity, from the very economy of that Divine Being, is still in the person of the SoN, yet an actual manifestation of the Godhead is made. The God-man does not only, as such, manifest his own glory, but he manifests the glory of the Deity, as the essential image of the invisible God. His saints behold, not only the glory which God hath given to him as God-man, but they behold in him the glory of the Father, as he is the everlasting Son, the Light of Light, and very God of very God, who is in the bosom of the Father, and maketh manifestation of the Divine Presence, and communicates to all created nature the energizing of the Holy Spirit. Thus, to them who are glorified with Christ, God is all in all; and they are themselves manifested to the world below, as joint heirs with Christ in his kingdom, partakers of his kingly and of his priestly characters.
Such I believe to be the meaning of the delivery of the kingdom to the Father, and of the subjection of the Son himself, and of God's being all in all where formerly Christ was all in all.
The apostle proceeds with his revelation respecting the resurrection of the dead; and he argues, in the twenty-ninth and following verses, from the sufferings and imminent danger to which Christians in general, and the preachers of the Gospel in particular, were exposed in this world; that nothing but this glorious hope of
everlasting life in the world to come could make the hope of a Christian a reasonable hope. In the thirtyfifth verse he meets a difficulty, which human ignorance had suggested, about the resurrection of the dead, as taught in the church of Christ :
35. But some man will say, How are the dead,” or, "How can the dead be raised up? in what body do they come?"
"The apostle here," as Dr. Macknight observes, " mentions two questions which were put by the philosophers, for the purpose of overthrowing the doctrine of the resurrection." The first," How is it possible that the dead can be raised up?" the second, if it be a thing possible, "With what kind of body do they come out of the grave?" The first part of this question the apostle rebuts as a foolish and ignorant question. Was any thing too hard for God? Had they not before their eyes, continually, operations of nature, which were analogous to the resurrection of the body?
36. "Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened except it die."
Does not every herb and plant around you spring to life from a seed, or body, that has died and rotted in the ground? Where you commit the seed to the soil, something from it, though vastly unlike it in form, springs up into life you know not how; but the wonderful operation is continually wrought before your eyes. Why, then, should it be thought a thing incredible that God should raise the dead?
"And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body
that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat or of some other grain. But God giveth it a body as it has pleased him, and to every seed its own body."
That which man commits to the earth is barely a grain of corn, of wheat for instance; he puts not into the ground the future plant, as it afterwards grows in all its beauty, the blade, and stalk, and ear. This is the body which God gives it, when he causes it to spring up from the soil; and he gives different kinds of bodies to different seeds, for there are a great variety, and each sort has a body given it of a kind peculiar to itself. The language here used implies, indeed, that there is something in the seed that does not die or suffer an extinction of being; but this is not what is called its body; the principle of vegetable life survives, but it loses its body; that dies and decays in the soil. God gives it a new body, and a very different body, in which the same vegetable life reappears on the surface of the soil. So it is with respect to the dead of human kind, which you inter in the ground: you know that their bodies die and return to their dust; but still a living principle survives, of which the same God who causes the grass to spring, has the keeping; and which he will quicken and raise up at the last day in a new and very different body-a body peculiar to risen saints, "as it hath pleased him."
Whether this vital principle be, alone, the separated spirit that angels carry to Paradise, or whether there be a vital principle besides heaped in the dust of the earth which cannot vegetate till that spirit is reunited to it, is immaterial to the truth of the illustration. Whatever is necessary to the identity of the man is preserved. There is, however, a sense in which it is not "that body" which rotted in the soil, or which the
waters drowned, the fire consumed, or on which the birds of the air and the beasts of the field were fed. "God giveth it a body," formed according to his pleasure: and though the man is the same, as to his consciousness and essential being, yet he comes in a body of a very different kind from that in which he was formerly seen before hi death.
But why, proceeds the apostle, should this create a difficulty? What a wonderful variety of bodies and material substances are there in nature!
39." All flesh is not the same flesh :"
There are even varieties here:
"But there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial; but the glory"—" the beauty and excellency”—" of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another." The beauty, and excellency, and appropriate nature of these celestial bodies differ also among themselves. "There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars;
moreover,"—" one star differeth So also is the resurrection of the
The dead are raised, indeed, in the bodies that God, according to his pleasure, will give them, but in bodies very different from what they had before; as different as one animal is from another; as different, in its nature, as the stars which shine in the heavens are from the substances found upon the surface of the earth, or in its entrails. As different is this body from the former in its beauty, in its excellency, in its peculiar functions and adaptation of parts, as the sun is different from the moon, the moon from the stars; and as they again are different
one from another-the planets from the fixed stars. Manifold are the works of God! The resurrection-body of his saints is one of his creations, and it is of a nature peculiar to itself, and has its peculiar glories.
The difference between the body that now is, which may be compared to the bare grain which is committed to the earth, and that body which shall be, which God will give to the dead, may be thus further specified :"It is sown in corruption," a body hastening to decay; "it is raised in incorruption," a body that cannot fade or be destroyed; "it is sown in dishonour," an abominable carcase that must be put out of sight; " it is raised in glory," shining in splendour and majesty; "it is sown in weakness," a poor, helpless, lifeless corpse, on which the worms may prey with impunity; "it is raised in power," the risen saints are to be mighty in power and are to exercise dominion; "it is sown a natural" or "animal body," differing not, in many respects, from the bodies of other animals, composed of flesh, and blood, and bones, and sinews; " it is raised a spiritual body," what a spiritual body is doth not appear as yet; we can only say what it is not: it is not an animal substance, like our present bodies, nourished from the fruits of the earth. There is" a natural" or "animal body," and there is " a spiritual body." We are to keep this distinction in view, that we mistake not the nature of the Christian's hope respecting the resurrection of his body, as though the term body could only be applied to such animal frames as we now inhabit. 1
"By an animal body, the Greek commentators understood a body, to the animation of which the presence of an animal soul is necessary; and by a spiritual
body, a body of so fine a contexture that it will be supported merely by the presence of our rational spirit."-MACKNIGHT.