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testimony which they held,” cried, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge, and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” when it was said unto them, that "they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also, and their brethren that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” (Rev. vi. 9, 10.) At the sounding of the seventh trumpet, Christ takes his kingdom and reigns; “and the nations were angry; and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great.” This time of the dead is manifestly their resurrection, or the Giresurrection of the just;" and their reward is, that they receive their glorified bodies, live and reign with Christ: for on the binding of Satan, and the destruction of the bestial or Roman Empire, “the * souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast,” &c.; they "lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years, but the rest of the dead lived not again until a thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection," -η αναςασις η πρατη.
The article is twice significantly used, and the passage may be rendered, “This is the resurrection the
firsi.” “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power.'
(Rev. xx. 6.)
The living of the saints, and the living of the rest of the dead, in this passage, must obviously intend living in the same way, or the character of the resurrection is similar: in both cases it is bodily; for in this sense alone is any resurrection common to the saints and the rest of the dead, or mankind in general-thus bin Adam all die,” and thus truly in, or by Christ, “shall all be made alive." In a spiritual sense, those who live and reign were already crisen with Christ,” and alive unto God,” by faith; and in that sense the rest of the dead, whose bodies are raised at the end of the thousand years, will never live at all: they were dead already in their souls, and will receive their bodies only to be placed under the power of "the second death." As the Psalmist speaks of the wicked, (Psalm xlix.): “Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning (i. e. of the first resurrection); and their beauty shall consume away in the grave from their dwelling; but God will redeem my soul (or me) from the power of the
The word tuxen (psyche) in the (LXX.) Greek version of the Old Testament means dead body in the following places: Leviticus xxii. 4; Numb. v. 2-vi. 6-x. 11, 13; Haggai ii. 14; Numb. ix. 6; Lev. xxi. 1.
grave, for he shall receive me"—that is, at the second coming of Christ, who says to his disciples, “I will come again and receive you to myself, that where I am, ye may be also.” (John xiv. 3.) The same distinction is put between the just and the unjust, between God's people and their oppressors, in Isaiah xxvi. 14—19. Of the one it is said, “Dead, they shall not live; deceased, they shall not rise:” of the other, “Thy dead shall live; my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust; for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out her dead.” And this takes place at the second advent, for it follows, “The Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth;" when, according to Malachi, chap. iv., "all the proud, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch: but unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in his wings, and ye shall go forth and grow up as calves of the stall; and ye shall tread down the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet.” And this again, by the context, is at the coming and appearance of Christ; for "who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth?” (chap. iii. 2.) The first resurrection is thus one of the first distinctions which will be put "between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not."
It was the great consolation of the early suffering Church. “Comfort one another with these words," concludes the passage in 1 Thess. iv. 14, where the doctrine of the first resurrection is most plainly intimated, and put upon the same ground of faith as the resurrection of Christ himself; where the distinction is drawn between soul and body, and their reunion in the persons of the risen saints is declared: the soul is said to sleep in Jesus, and this God will bring with him; but the bodies of the saints are dead in Christ. The souls are waiting for “the adoption, to wit, the redemption of the body.” The prayer of the Apostle is, that your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:” «for if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus, will God bring with him;" (verse 14); "and the dead in Christ shall rise first.” The bodies of the saints shall rise in an order of priority, more distinctly marked in other passages of sacred Scripture, and by the Apostle in 1 Cor. xv., which treats largely of the resurrection of the body as connected with the resurrection of Christ; of
whom the spiritual resurrection of the soul in this life from the death of 'sin cannot be predicated at all.
With reference to the literal resurrection of the body, a distinct succession is declared. “By man came death; by man also the resurrection from the dead:” “as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive,”-that is, receive their bodies-all; but all are not made alive in their souls: some, in that sense, are "twice dead.” But "every man" as to the resurrection of the body) "IN HIS OWN ORDER: Christ the first-fruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming" "expressio unius est exclusio alterius." Therefore it might be inferred from this declaration, that “the rest of the dead (bodies) lived not again,” or were not raised at that time. And the time when they shall live again, or be raised, is distinctly marked out, when this part of the mystery is more fully revealed by Jesus Christ himself. St. Paul says, “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: for this corruptible (that is, the body) must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” These expressions must relate to the body "dead in Christ,” to be raised at his coming; and not to the soul which sleeps in Jesus: for they that sleep in Jesus when "absent from the body, and present with the Lord,” have already, in that sense, put on both incorruption and immortality: they are already "born of incorruptible seed, by the word of God, which liveth for ever;" they are already "passed from death unto life:" and they, who are thus walive, and remain” till the coming of Christ, will be changed as soon as the “dead in Christ,” and asleep in Jesus are reunited in body and soul. This is that celestial body, like unto the glorious body of Christ, the image of the heavenly Adam, which every member of the invisible church will bear; and of which he may say, with David, “I shall behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied when I awake with thy likeness."
“The second Adam is a quickening spirit” as to the body, of which St. Paul is here speaking; and in another place he says, “If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead, shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." (Rom. viii. 11.) And this will be, as appears by the same chapter, at the “manifestation of the sons of God;" at "the redemption of the body;" when the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption, unto the glorious liberty of the children of God.” But the children of God”
are called by our Lord, as observed before, "the children of the resurrection,” in a peculiar sense: (Luke xx. 36.) for “when they shall rise from the dead, they are as the angels;" wszyzano (Mark xii. 25.) “neither can they die any more, for they are equal to the angels," 1seggero (Luke xx. 36.) This honour have all his saints, but, above all, those who have suffered for the testimony of Jesus. “If so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together:" "these light afflictions work out a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory:" "one star differeth from another star in glory, so also is the resurrection of the dead.” “Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake"-"and they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars, for ever and ever.” (Daniel xii. 2, 3.) A beam of this glory seems to have fallen on the face of the proto-martyr Stephen: “All that sat in the council, looking steadfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel: and whe, looking up steadfastly into heaven, saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.” (Acts vii. 55.) And so will all the "congregation of saints," when the “Son of Man shall come in the glory of his Father with his holy angels;" when every Israelite indeed, shall, with Nathanael, see "heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”
The first resurrection is thus immediately connected with the appearance, and kingdom, and coming of Christ "with all his saints;" when "he shall change their vile body (or the body of humiliation, owjee TNS TATUYO.Ws) that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body,” (Phil. iii. 21-comp. ver. 10, 11:) “when he will present them faultless before his presence with exceeding joy," (Jude 24;) “holy, and unblameable, and unreproveable in his sight,” (Col. i. 22:) when they who are already risen in spirit with Christ, and are seeking those things that are above, shall also appear with him in glory: when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” (Acts iii. 19.) The expression in our translation of this passage falls far short of the original word, and seems only its secondary sense: if there be meaning in language, it signifies the times, or seasons, of RE-ANIMATION, restoration of the soul to the body; according to all analogy of diction. If
arde-seres means resurrection, ave-tugas implies re-animation.* If this be so, the meaning of the expressions in Rev. xx. 4-6, is plain enough, and cleared at once from all objections raised against the doctrine so clearly maintained by the context. Because
* "Avd tugev, dicuntur (inquit Eustathius) quæ animam reducunt, ut contra Totoxuv, animam efilare, aveture, idem quod reanimo.” (vide Steph. Lex.)
St. John speaks of the souls, it may be suggested it does not follow that the bodies were raised at that time, but at the last and general resurrection. But, let it be observed, they that lived were they that were beheaded, who had not received the mark of the beast on their forehead or hands. These are all bodily signs; and as the martrys had glorified Christ in their “bodies terrestrial,” so now they are glorified by Christ with “bodies celestial.” St. John says, “I saw thrones, and they sat on them.”. The bodies were beheaded, but now they lived; their souls were reunited to them: this is the time of their re-animation, for the soul is the life of the body.*
“The souls of the righteous," being in the hand of God," and their life hidden with Christ," could not properly be said to live again out of the body, in any sense, or to be reanimated at all. In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die; but in the time of their visitation they shall shine, and run to and fro, like sparks among the stubble: they shall judge the nations, and have dominion over the people, and their Lord shall reign for ever. “We fools accounted his life madness, and his end to be without honour: how is he numbered among the children of God, and his lot is among the saints.” Then the righteous that is dead shall condemn the ungodly that is living. “Blessed are the dead that die in in the Lord." “Blessed is he that hath part in the FIRST RESURRECTION. Blessed is he that watcheth.”+
The general resurrection appears to take place before "the white throne and Him that sat on it," at the expiration of the thousand years; when death and hell give up their dead (Rev. xx. 11, 15): which is the last judgment according to works, and is thus distinguished in the parallel account, Matt. xxv. 30; where the second advent is set forth under the figure of the nobleman who cometh, after his departure for a season, to take account of his servants; when the unprofitable servant is cast alive into outer darkness; as the false prophet in the Revelation is, at the same period, cast alive into the lake of fire. The different statements seem to shew, that the living
* "Hoc potissimum cogitasse arbitror illos, qui animam, fuxn vocitarunt, quod hæc quoties adest corpori, causa est illi vivendi, respirandi, et refrigerandi vim exhibet, et cum desierit quod refrigerat dissolvitur corpus, et interit --unde tuxnv nominasse videntur quasi avatuxor, respirando, refrigerans.” (Dialog. Plat. in Cratyllo.)
For a clear and practical view of this interesting subject, the reader is referred to "The Nature of the First Resurrection, and the Character and Privileges of those that shall partake of it: with an Appendix, containing Extracts from the works of Bishop Newton and Mr. Mede: by a Spiritual Watchman. The Sermon is here recommended, not only for its own sake, bnt on account of the judicious selection of authorities annexed to it. "Veteres duplicem resurrectionem credebant, unam particularem justorum in adventu Messiæ, alteram generaliorem in fine mundi.” (Hulsii Theol. Jud.)