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thief on the cross. Doubtless there are exceptions in particular cases, but this does not, in a general point of view, destroy the force of the argument. We have an exact parallel, it is believed in our Lord's teaching, Matt. 25, where he rewards the righteous for acts of charity and benevolence. But when did that converted thief feed and clothe Christ's disciples?
3. The scriptures do explicitly teach the resurrection of the same body: 1 Cor. 15th, “So is the resurrection of the dead; it (the body) is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body,” &c. It is the same body still, though with different qualities. Again, “ We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed." "The dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” Again, St. Paul says: Phil. iii, 21, “Christ shall change our vile bodies,” &c. He speaks of the bodies we now have and declares they shall be changed. Surely, such expressions denote the same body, or we know not their meaning. But to this reasoning it is objected, that "It attains no valuable purpose to confine the resurrection to the same atoms of matter, for if the same soul be united to any mass of the same sort of substance, there is sufficient provision for every thing that regards the happiness or misery of the rising dead.” This objection is a mere begging of the question, and has no foundation in scripture or reason; and as an offset, it is sug. gested, that as the moral character of an action depends on the motives by which it originated, and hence, as in the performance of human actions, the body could have no responsibility, why not dispense with the resurrection altogether? It is objected again, that by the simi. litude of wheat dying in the ground, the apostle shows, that the matter in the resurrection body will be different from that which was laid in the grave. He says: “ Thou
sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain." But the apostle does not, by this argument, attempt to prove, that in no degree do the same particles of matter in the old, enter into the composition of the new body. He rather confirms the opposite doctrine, from the fact, that, more or less, the same particles that composed the old grain of wheat, do enter into the composition of the new. Now, the writer does not suppose that all the particles of matter that may have belonged to the human body during the present life, will belong to the resurrection body. He rather repudiates that theory. The objector, to whom the apostle addressed himself in the use of this figure, evidently denied the resurrection of the body, on the ground of its mysteriousness; and the apostle's argument goes to prove, that the same power that effects the reproduction of grain after its own likeness, can raise from the slumbers of the grave, the same substance that composed man's mortal body to a state of immortality, and fashion it after Christ's glorious body.
Another objection is, that it is impossible that in the resurrection each body should receive those particles, and those only, which were connected with the same soul in the present life; for when bodies turn to dust, this dust or earth grows up in vegetation, and becomes grass or plants; cattle eat the plants, and men feed on the cattle, and thus the particles of one man's body become parts of other bodies; and this is more obvious among cannibals. Surely, those who urge this objection do err, not knowing the scriptures nor the power of God. It can not be incredible to any one who believes in the omnipotence of Jehovah, that the same power which has produced an almost infinite variety of plants, trees and blossoms, with every possible shade of color, of animals, birds, fishes and reptiles, adapted to every variety of climate, and that has kept the genus and
species distinct and separate, with very little variation from year to year, from generation to generation, and from age to age, should be able to call forth distinctly, and without confusion or amalgamation, from the slum, bers of the grave, the appropriate particles to identify the human body in the resurrection state,