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be unreasonable to consider as a certainty what I have only yet been stating as probable, namely, that when here speaking of the judgment-seat, he is expressly referring to the great white seat, before which the dead shall be judged, every man according to his works,-as he does in 2 Cor. v. 10; of which in its place.
$ 8. Of Evidence furnished by the Epistles to the
The first Epistle to the Corinthians, supposed by Critics to have been written in the year 56 or 57, exhibits, in the 15th Chapter, an evidence of its posteriority to the Apocalypse, so conclusive, that it must appear, when pointed out, very surprising that Critics could possibly have missed the sense of the Apostle.
In the Apocalypse the future time is divided into periods marked out by Trumpets, under the sounding of each of which, respectively, certain events are predicted. In Ch. x. 6. 7 we are taught that time shall continue only to the days of the voice of the seventh Angel, or the last of these seven trumpets: and, in Ch. xi. 15-18, that when the sedenth angel sounds, then is come the time of the dead that they should be judged; and that the saints shall then be rewarded. In the
20th Chapter this reward is explained as being connected with a resurrection from the dead : “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first " resurrection."
Some of the Corinthians had misunderstood, and misapplied, the things thus taught respecting “the Resurrection,”-probably taking the expression as something figurative, and saying, “there is no [real or literal] resurrection.” The Apostle first corrects their mistaken views, showing that, at Christ's coming, the resurrection of believers shall be as true and real as was the resurrection of Christ himself, who was “ the first fruits;" and that, when this shall be, " then cometh the end,” (as taught in the Apocalypse): after stating this he dwells on the subject, answers questions which some might put, respecting the manner of the resurrection, and the body to be given to the dead, and in ver. 51, 52 addresses them thus : '“ Behold I show you a "secret ; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be
changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, "at THE LAST TRUMPET; for the trum" pet shall sound ; and the dead shall be raised in“corruptible : and we shall be changed.”
The Apostle, by the manner of his expression, when he introduces the Trumpet, shows that, so far as respects it, he was speaking of something with which they were already acquainted; for
he not only introduces the term “ last,” but also employs the article- τη εσχάτη σάλπιγγι, «THE “ last trumpet ;” and no trumpet had previously been mentioned in the Epistle. The mystery then, or secret, of which he speaks, respects, not the trumpet, but the sudden change to be passed on the saints who shall be alive at Christ's second coming. They shall then undergo a change similar to that which the dead have experienced or shall experience, with this difference only, that it shall be, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. The mention of the trumpet is merely casual, to point out to the Corinthians the period at which this shall take place :-it shall be, at THE LAST TRUMPET. Had they not, before, heard of “the “ last trumpet,” Paul's reference to it, with the Article, would have been unintelligible: but I shall rather question the judgment of those persons who ascribe barbarisms to the inspired Apostle, than believe that he writes nonsense. The trumpet of which he speaks is THE LAST of the Apocalyptic trumpets; for in the text quoted, we have “the trumpet"_"the last trumpet"
-“ the sounding of the last trumpet”-an explanation of a secret respecting an event that is to take place at the last trumpet.” What farther identity would the most obtuse mind require, as demonstrative of the source whence the Apostle draws his argument as to the period of the
change of which he speaks ? I venture to say more:—Those who can look at such passages and yet question the source, must be but little acquainted with the modes of quotation used by the Apostolical and evangelical writers.-" The “LAST trumpet,” is anexpression without meaning but as taken in relation to prior trumpets. The change of which the Apostle speaks was not to take place at the sounding of the First trumpet, or of any of the first six trumpets; but at the sounding of the seventh, ---THE LAST TRUMPET mentioned in the Apocalypse. To explain this passage in the Epistle to the Corinthians, as some have done, by “a great noise, to be made “ at Christ's descent, called the trumpet of “God," and to tell us that, “after the righteous “are raised, the trumpet shall sound A SECOND
TIME ; on which account it is called here the last trumpet, during the sounding of which, the
righteous who are alive on the earth, shall be “ changed,” is to darken counsel by words ovid of knowledge. It is to give us pure unmixed nonsense, (for even very good scholars sometimes fall into this) instead of words that are in themselves so plain as to need, one would think, no explanation whatever.
The first Epistle having been written later than the Apocalypse, of course so must the second, which was still later. The direct allusions to
the Revelation in the second, are not, however, numerous. The 10th verse of Ch. v., “We “must all appear before THE JUDGMENT-SEAT of “ Christ, that every one may receive the things done “in his body, according to what he hath done, whether
good or bad,”—has evidently a reference to the GREAT WHITE SEAT of him from whose face the heaven and the earth flee away, when the dead, small and great, shall be judged by the things written in the books, every man according to his works. Rev. xx. 11, 13. In this passage, as in Rom. xiv. 10, he employs for the Apóvos of the Revelations a term importing in itself the use to which the seat is applied, and also with the article-Toll Bńcatos; and, besides employing the article, he points out the principle on which the judgment will proceed, in such a manner as to inform those to whom he writes, respecting the contents of the books out of which the dead are to be judged, -namely, that they record what every one hath done in the body, WHETHER GOOD OR
In 2 Cor. xi, 15, speaking of false Apostles, deceitful workers-ministers of Satan transformed as the ministers of righteousness—he says, their end shall be, xatà td xpya aútov, “ according to “ their works;" which words are a verbal quotation from Rev. xx. 12 and 13, and therefore may be held as establishing the fact that, in ch. v. 10