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earth, or waiting its final change at the appearing of Christ. Such is the doctrine of the future state of the blessed, as taught in Scripture.
The apostle's argument, in the chapter before us, is equally against those who denied the resurrection of the body, as against those who denied the future existence of the soul altogether. It is also against those who taught that the promises of the glorious kingdom could be realized without a resurrection, who taught that “flesh and blood” might" inherit the kingdom of God.”
But in all this important revelation, the apostle touches not upon the condition of those who “ died in their sins," and who come forth to the judgment of the last day: he is speaking of that resurrection of which Christ is the “ first fruits ;" and he teaches its certainty — as to a real resurrection of the dead body - by the fact and by the known circumstances of Christ's resurrection. He was not glorified as a spirit separated from its body: “ his soul was not left in hell, nor did his body see corruption.” It was shown to be the very same body in which he had toiled and suffered in the days of his flesh; the very wounds of the nails and of the spear were seen upon it. For there was this peculiarity in the resurrection of our Lord, that his body, after its resurrection, but before its glorification — before it endured that final change that rendered it a spiritual body- was exhibited to his disciples upon earth. They saw it and they handled it. It had flesh and bones, which a spirit had not. HE even ate in their presence. All this was to show, that as well the same identical body which he took upon him in the womb of the blessed Virgin, and in which he suffered upon the cross, as his human soul, in which he had been for three days existing in the separate state, was to be the
subject of that glory, which was given him” in the eternal counsels of the Deity“ before the foundations of the world were laid.” It is this same glory which he will give to those whom God hath given him, and this glory respects the whole man, both body and soul.
Having shown, in Christ's resurrection, both the truth and the proof of our resurrection — the resurrection
of the body — the apostle proceeds:
20. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept," — or, are fallen asleep."
“ Which are fallen asleep in Christ,” as it is in the eighteenth verse: so that the resurrection treated of in the following verses is that of his people exclusively:
“ For since by man came death,' by man. came' also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."
Conceiving “ the resurrection to life” to be the exclusive subject in this Scripture, I believe the parallel to be, as in the fifth of Romans, between Christ, the federal Head of his people, and Adam, the head of human kind. As the one brought death, so the other brings life; not to the same persons,
many” –“ the all” whom they represented, which, in the one case, was all mankind; in the other, as many as God has given to the Redeemer out of mankind. “ Thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he may give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.” “All that the Father hath given me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me, I will in nowise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will, which hath sent me, that of all that he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one that seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life : and I will raise him up at the last day.”.
23. “ But every man,” or, “ each," “ in his own order : Christ, the first-fruits, afterwards they that are Christ's at his coming; each according to his own proper destination or appointed order: Christ at one time; his people at another."
Christ had already risen ; "the first-fruits of them that slept” in him—" the first-begotten born from the dead," — and they that slept in him would rise on his coming, at his second advent.
· 24. “ Then (cometh] the end," ' — or, “ Then the end [shall be,"] -" when he shall have delivered,"— or, “ will deliver up the kingdom to God, even the Father, when he shall have,”or, “ when he will put down all rule, and all authority, and power. For he must reign until he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death ; "-or rather, with Macknight, “ Death, the last enemy, shall be destroyed;"— “ for he hath, put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted that did put all things under him; and when all things shall be subdued unto him,"— or, “ put in order under him,”—“then shall the Son also himself be subject unto,"— or, “ put in order under him, that God may be all in all."
A difference exists among commentators as to the meaning of this passage. I will state to the reader my conception of it -- arriving at its exposition, after travelling through all the former prophecies that have been delivered on this same subject, and after having bestowed some pains to learn their language.
• John, vi. 37, &c.
1 Το τελος.
I conceive that “the end” in this passage refers, not to the end of the period of the predicted reign of Christ and his saints upon the earth — if that reign, properly speak
, ing, has an end — but, as the term usually applies in prophecy, to the putting an end to the present dispensation of grace and providence, in order to give place to the new dispensation, belonging to which is the reign of Christ and his saints upon earth.
Such was the meaning of “the end,” or “the end of the world,” in our Lord's prophecies, and of the “ time of the end,” in Daniel, and of “ the last days," and similar expressions, universally throughout the Scriptures. “ The delivering up the kingdom to God, even the Father," refers, accordingly, to some transaction that takes place between the Father and the Son at the time of the commencement of Christ's personal reign upon earth :-at its commencement, not at its end, in whatever sense that reign may be said to have an end, when Satan is released, or when the second resurrection and judgment of the wicked dead take place. It will be asked, what kingdom, then, is delivered up, at the era of the second advent, by the Son to the Father, or rather, by the God-man1 to the UNBLENDED DIVINITY ?? I answer, in the words of Dr. Macknight, though not exactly with his views and inferences,—“ His mediatorial kingdom," called, Matt. xxviii. 18, “ all power in heaven and in
“ earth, administered by the Son for the good of his church.” Or, more correctly, that mediatorial kingdom, with respect to his church whom he hath purchased to
himself out of mankind; not with respect to the whole race of Adam, which he will either visit with vengeance or restore. But “ the church of the first-born that are written in heaven,” being now " made one" with God in Christ, * with respect to them the mediatorial charge and dominion ceases ;
a mediator is not of one.” This mediatorial kingdom the Redeemer now possesses, seated at the right hand of the Majesty on high. Virtually, we doubt not, before all time began, he stood before God in the character of Mediator of his people: but we are referred, by the language of Scripture, to a period after his actual assumption of humanity, after his resurrection and ascension, when he is solemnly manifested in this high character, and “ all power in heaven and earth is given into his hand," that he may save to the utmost them that come to God by him, being invited by God “ to sit at his right hand till he should make his enemies his footstool.” And to this agree the words of the twentyfifth verse in the passage before us : for he must reign till he, God, hath put all things under his feet: both passages referring to the one hundred and tenth Psalm :
Thus spake Jehovah to my Lord,
Compare also the second Psalm and the parallel passages.
The "putting down of all rule, and all authority, and power," I refer, accordingly, to the destruction of all the tyrants and oppressors of the church, and of all the
* John, xvii.