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and the resurrection after, this thousand years, are both figuraiive resurrections, and in various points to be contrasted with the literal and true resurrection, is a proposition which we think can be fully sustained. This we undertake, however, at this time because of a somewhat popular misapplication of the whole passage in its principal bearings upon that resurrection, true and proper, which is to follow upon the second coming of our Lord. But we shall make the contrast of the premillennial resurrection with the resurrection accompanying the second advent, the subject of a special essay.
THE COMING OF THE LORD_No. IV.
TION OF THE SOULS OF MARTYRS AND CONFESSORS CONTRASTED.
That we may be understood in this antithesis, or contrast between the literal and the figurative resurrection, we shall call the former the resurrection of the body, and the latter the premillennial resurrection.
1st. Before we advance into this subject, while in the portico we shall define a literal and a figurative resurrection. We have the literal and the figurative in things natural, moral, and religious. There are two births, circumcisions, baptisms, marriages, deaths, burials; and why should there not be two resurrections?
Nicodemus was a great literalist when he asked, How can a grown man be born againl As great literalists, perhaps, may they be found who take "the first resurrection" mentioned in the 20th of the apocalyptic visions, to be a literal one. But is yet too soon to decide. We first examine, then decide.
We have a minute account of a figurative resurrection of the house of Israel by the Prophet Ezekiel. The Lord "opened the graves" and raised from the valley of “dry bones" a living and puissant army. That was a figurative resurrection. In baptism we are both buried and raised with Christ-planted in the similitude of his death, to be raised in the similitude of his resurrection,
The restoration of Israel in Rom. xi. is by Paul called “life from the dead." "Since you have been raised with Christ, ascend in your affections,” is a part of the beautiful imagery of Paul to the Cologsians. If there were two Elijahs, one llteral and one figurative, we need not wonder that there should be two resurrectionsa figurative and a literal one. Now in the book of types and symbols the presumption is in favor of a metaphorical resurrection, unless something be
When any cause is almost or altogether dead, whether it be good or bad, should it soddenly and unexpectedly revive, we would with Paul think of “life from the dead," or with John call it a resurrection. Nay, it may yet appear that John has a first and a second figurative resurrection-one before and one after his thousand years; for if, after a long prostrate, dispirited, and ineffectual profession of the faith, a great and unprecedented revival should take place, and a Prophet should call it a resurrection, might he not, at the end of that great revival or resurrection of the good spirits of the olden time, when an opposite class began to rise into power, think of another resurrection, which in contrast he would naturally call a second resurrection? This John virtually does by calling one of them a first resurrection; and by afterwards speaking of the “rest OF THE DEAD" living again, Whether I have got the true secret of interpreting the 20th of the Apocalypse, the following antithesis may in part demonstrate. We shall only add that while a literal resurrection has respect to the body dead and buried, a figurative resurrection in the Christian religion will indicate not bodies, but souls quickened, animated, and elevated by the Spirit of God. And that as in the same treatise John speaks of the death, and of “the spirit of life” reanimating and elevating to heaven the two witnesses, the presumption is that he is as figurative in the 20th as he was in the 14th chapter of his scenetic and symbolic representations.
1st. The resurrection of the body is only a resurrection of the body; whereas the premillennial resurrection is a resurrection of souls, and not of bodies. “I saw the souls of the beheaded,” says John, “and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. This is the first resurrection.” Now of the body Paul says, 'It is sown a natural body and raised a spiritual body-it is sown a corruptible body and raised an incorruptible. The premillennial resurrection is a raising of souls, while the resurrection which immediately follows the appearance of the Lord, is a raising of bodies.
2d. The resurrection of the body is general—the premillennial is special.
“All that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth.” “There shall be a resurrection of the just and unjust.”These, with other passages of the same significance, apply to the resurrection of the dead, as all admit. But in the account of the
pre. millennial resurrection only some will participate in it: for, says John, “I saw the souls of them beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and whosoever had not worshipped the beast nor his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads or
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in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”
3d. The resurrection of the body will be accompanied with the transformation of all the living saints-the premillennial will not.
No one pretends that all the living saints will be changed when the first resurrection (as it is called) transpires; and no one can deny that Paul says both the living saints shall be changed and the dead raised, and both ascend together to meet the Lord in the air.
4th. The participants of the resurrection of the saints will live and reign forever; while the participants of the premillenniul resurrection are only to live and reign one thousand years.
I need not prove that the phrase, "we shall be ever with the Lord," applies to the subjects of the "resurrection of the just,” nor need I prove that the limitation of the life and triumphs of the saints to one thousand years, precludes the idea of its being an eternal life and endless reign. If I promise a person a lease of an estate for 10 or 20 years, it is by common consent understood that those years expired, his lease and occupancy terminated with that period. Now as it is said they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years, it must be understood that that being transpired, the life and reign with Christ are necessarily completed.
5th. The resurrection of the body, its transformation and that of the earth, are almost coincident events; while the premillennial resurrection is neither accompanied nor succeeded with any such transformations; nay, it is to be succeeded by another resurrection of the souls of the wieked, called the rest of the dead."
“The rest of the dead lived not again till the thousand years were expired." Now as the phrase, “they lived a thousand years," intimates that in that sense and state they lived no more than a thousand years; so the phrase, “the rest of the dead lived not again till the thousand years were expired,” intimates that as soon as the thousand years were expired they lived again. And, no doubt, this their life was like that of their predecessors—their spirits lived after the thousand years, as the spirits of the just lived during the thousand years. It was a resurrection of wicked souls, as the first resurrection was of
in the field again, and encamp against the saints. And this, too, before the final consummation. For after this second spiritual resurrection, the souls under Satan, “who live and reign with him," go out to deceive the nations—to gather Gog and Magog to battle against the saints-a host as numerous as the sand of the sea.
6th. The resurrection of the dead immediately precedes the destruction of the last enemy; but the premillenntal resurrection leaves not only Saton, but death in the field, to gain new triumphs, more than one thousand years after its consummation.
So far from Death, the last enemy, being destroyed before the Millennium-so far from Satan being forever crushed by the first resurrection, it is intimated that he will be loosed, and that he will deceive the nations and raise a war against the saints even after the thousand years shall have been fulfilled. Can any one reconcile this with Paul's affirmation while expatiating on the resurrection of the dead? “Death, the last enemy, shall be destroyed.” “Death is swallowed up for ever.” “Grave, where now thy victory!"
7th. It was before shown that the final conflagration and the new creation of a heaven and earth more congenial with the new bodies of the saints, will immediately accompany the resurrection of the body; while the premillennial resurrection indicates a residence on the present earth for a thousand years after it is burned up!
These seven specifications of antitheses between the literal and figurative resurrections, may suffice for the present. There are other points that have occurred to us besides these; but these, we presume, incontrovertibly show that the Lord cannot possibly come in person before the Millennium; and that with me, at present, is all that I wish to establish. The events that do accompany, and those that must, according to the very plainest oracles, precede his personal return, are such as forbid any one well read, or profoundly attentive to the subject, to believe or teach the personal coming of the Lord, or a literal resurrection of any portion of the saints, before the Millennium,
The views given by the “Reformed Clergyman,” some back, on the most prominent points, are amply corroborated and trated in some of the latest works, both from the American
about the year 1843: Boston, 1840;" and "The coming of the Messiah in glory and majesty, by Juan Josafat ben Ezra, a converted Jew: Dublin, 1833.” While something in debt to all, I am addicted to call no man Father or Master, save the Great teacher himself. Still I would have my readers to know that I endeavor to keep up with the times, and that I am one of those who read both sides of all important questions.
CONVERSATIONS AT THE CARLTON HOUSE.
No. XV. The 12th and 13th chapters of Genesis being read, Olympas called upon Reuben for a description of the Promised Land.
Reuben. It lay between the Mediterranean sea and the mountains of Arabia, and extends from Egypt to Phenicia. It is bounded on the east by the mountains of Arabia; to the south, by the wilderness of Paran, Idumea, and Egypt; to the west, by the Mediterranean, called in Hebrew the Great Sea; and to the north, by the mountains of Libanus. Its length from the city of Dan, since called Cesarea Philippi, which stands at the foot of these mountains, to Beersheba, is about seventy leagues, or 210 miles; and its breadth from the Mediterranean sea to the eastern border, in some places 30 leagues, or 90 miles. This country, though small, lying in the very midst of the then known world, was chosen by God wherein to work the redemption of mankind. It was first called the Land of Canaan, from Canaan the son of Ham, whose posterity possessed it. Afterwards it was called Pales. tine, from the people, whom the Hebrews called Philistines, and the Greeks and Romans corruptly Palestines, who inhabited the sea coasts, and were first known to them; the Land of Promise, from God's promise to Abraham of giving it to him;—the Land of Israel, from the Israelites, who afterward possessed it;—the Land of Judah, or Judea, from the tribe of Judah, the most considerable of the twelve tribes, and the only one that remained after the Captivity;—and lastly, the Holy Land, from being the scene of the birth, miracles, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Olympas. It is well repeated, and I presume you have traced these lines accurately upon the map. How many names had this land according to the descrption and history which you have heard?
William. No less than six-Canaan, Palestine, Land of Israel, Land of Judea, Land of Promise, and the Holy Land.