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3. The next circumstance I shall notice is, that the Scrip. tures particularize some one resurrection by certain phrases, added for the sake of eminence. For example: “the resurrection of life;"{ _"The poor cannot recompense thee, but thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just;"5—“They accepted not deliverance that they might obtain a better resur

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the 16th and 17th verses are an explanatory amplification. 'We who are alive and remain,' says the Apostle, 'shall not PREVENT,' that is, shall not anticipate, or take precedence, or get the start of them that are asleep: for the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall first rise; then-what? a thousand years after the wicked shall rise? Not at all:— then, we who are alive and remain shall be caught up TOGETHER WITH THEM,'(this is the explanation of their not preventing or anticipating them,) 'to meet the Lord in the air:and so shall we ever be with ihe Lord.'— The living saints, at the Lord's coming, shall await the rising of those that are dead, and all shall then ascend together. Such is the Apostle's own explanation of his own language." P.513.

The chief circumstance which I complain of in this exposition is, that Dr. Wardlaw, after stating "that it requires only the reading of the entire passage,' &c. limits the entire of the passage to the previous verse, instead of beginning at the 13th verse; and thus he wrests the passage from its real context. The Apostle's object is evidently to prevent the Thessalonians from sorrowing for the dead, as though they had no hope of seeing them again: not, as the Doctor would have us inser, to correct erroneous notions of their getting the start or precedency of the dead. (See a further exposition of this text at page 56 of my last Essay.) Secondly, I would ask, How it is consistent with showing, that there is to be no precedency in the resurrection, to expound this passage, as if, after all, the dead are to get the start of those remaining in the flesh? Thirdly, if"the living saints, at the Lord's coming, shall await the rising of those that are dead, and all shall then ascend together;" how are we to understand the Apostle, when he says, "them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him?" "This is their de-scent, not their as-cent. The same is expressed in Zechariah;—"The Lord my God shall come and all the saints with thee:" and also in Jude;—"Behold the Lord cometh with myriads of his saints.” Fourthly, I have an observation to make upon the words—"to meet the Lord in the air.' The word used in the original is ATANTNOIS—not the verb, but a noun; and literally is “caught up into the air to the meeting of the Lord.” The word ATAUTNOIS occurs in three other places in the New Testament, and invariably signifies a meeting for the purpose of receiving and welcoming the individual and to escort him back. Thus it is in Maithew xxv. where the ten virgins are first said to go forth and meet the bridegroom, (v. 1,) and then are surprised in their slumber by the cry, "Go ye out to meet him." (v. 6.) It occurs the third time in Acts xxviii. 15:—"And from thence, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us, (ELS ANHYTHON rpesv) as far as Appii Forum and the three taverns, whom when Paul saw, he thanked God and took courage. And when we came to Rome,” &c. It is evident here, that they met Paul, not to stay with him at the three taverns, but to continue with him by going back with him. And the whole context in Thessalonians seems to require, that we explain it of the saints going out to welcome the Lord in the air: not to continue in the air with him; but to accompany him on his visit here, and therefore to return with him. For unless the saints return with Christ, the wicked must also be caught up for that judgment, which the anti-millennarians always suppose happens at the same time with this event. I may add here, in defence of this view of ATANTNOLS, that, on referring to Schleusner, I find he interprets it—"cum quis alteri obviam procedit (vel rapitur) ad eum excipiendum.

rection." Now what can this better resurrection, this resurrection of life, this resurrection of the just mean, but something eminently distinguished from the resurrection of the wicked? Yea, such an emphasis is generally laid upon this one, that we might with more reason conclude against any resurrection of the wicked at all, than against a resurrection of believers separate and distinct from it. Thus our Lord says of the risen saints, “that they are the children of God, being the children of THE resurrection." In John's Gospel he three times declares it to be the special privilege of a believer, “that he will raise him up at the last day;"j but the single circumstance, that he should be raised at the last day, would cease to be a distinction, were the wicked to be raised at the same time. A similar argument may be raised on a passage in St. Paul's Epistle to the Philippians,k where he says, that he sought to know the fellowship of Christ's sufferings, &c. “if by any means he might attain unto the resurrection of the dead:"* for St. Paul knew well, and had declared, that there should be a resurrection both of the just and unjust:' it could not therefore be merely a resurrection that he was so earnest about; but the resurrection—the resurrection

of the just.

The Old Testament also affords us evidence of this doctrine. The angel Gabriel informs Daniel, “Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake.”+ This is to be at that

h Heb. xi. 35. Luke xx. 36. jJohn vi. 39, 40, 44. k Phil. iii. 11. 1 Acts xxiv. 15.

* Phil. iii. 11. It is not unimportant to notice, that the Greek word used in this instance by St. Paul, for the resurrection unto which he was so desirous to attain, is not dresagis, the usual phrase employed; but a&urusasis--Tuvsgavasari Twv vexpav—implying, as some argue, the resurrection of a part out of many dead

So far as emphasis is laid on the peculiar use of the word in this one place, I must confess I attach no peculiar importance to it; not seeing why the preposition sx should imply a partial resurrection when attached to dvasaris, more than when used separately. We meet with it in connexion with the resurrection in every possible position, that is consistent with grammar: e. g. in composition, esnyasaris, as in the text;-detached from aviscous yet before and governing it, as in Acts xxvi. 23, where it is spoken of Christ, who was FOTOS EL avasdows verpw; and in Luke xx. 25, and in other places, savescous Ex vexpwr. In all which places there does appear to me a special signification intended; viz. that in them mention is made, not of the abstract doctrine of a resurrection of dead ones, (avesadis vexpav.) nor merely of a resurrection from death; but Ek vexpwv, from or out of dead ones, leaving therefore dead ones behind.

ones.

+ Dan. xii. 2. Since writing this an able writer in the Investigator, under the signature of Edinensis, has thrown great light on the latter part of this text, as it stands in our English version, viz. "some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." He says-"These many (adverting to the former part of the verse) are the saints; and the next clause ought, we think, to be thus understood and rendered:—These (raised ones) are destined to everlasting life: and the others (the ol 2017 CL of John) to shame and everlasting

contempt." Afterwards he adds in a note, that the Jewish Rabbi Saadias Gaon takes the same view in his commentary, interpreting the passage thus: "This is the resurrection of the dead of Israel, whose lot is to eternal lise; but those who do not awake, they are the destroyed of the Lord, who go down to the habitation beneath, that is Gehenna, and shall be an abhorrence to all flesh."Investigator, Vol. iii. p. 8.

time when the archangel Michael is to stand up for the deliverance of the people of Israel—the same archangel, I apprehend, at whose voice the Lord descends: and it is important to observe, that all those commentators who oppose the Millennarian view do nevertheless place the restoration or conversion of the Jews at the beginning of the Millennium. And to Daniel himself was promised, that he should rest and stand in his lot at the end of the days;m viz. at the end of a period of 1335 years, the beginning of which had just been specified to him; and as all confess, that at the end of that time the Millennium begins, therefore again the resurrection must be at the beginning of the Millennium. Ezekiel also assured the pious Jews who were at Babylon in his day, that the Lord would fulfil his promise to them, by opening their graves and bringing them into the land of Israel. Isaiah seems to refer to this period, and to have had the same personal assurance, when he says of the wicked, “They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise:" and then of the just, “Thy dead men shall live—together with 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 the dead.'

»n For we have seen that the wicked are to rise and live again: when Isaiah therefore says they shall not, it must be understood as signifying, not at the morning of that great and glorious day, which is with the Lord as a thousand years: but at the end of it: even as David says in the xlixth Psalm;“Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them, and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling. But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave,

It will be perceived, that I haye not in this essay made use of a great testimony to the doctrine in question in Revelation XX. 4–6. My reason for omitting it is, that the opponents of the views which I advocate commonly direct their chief attacks against this text, and indeed sometimes entirely confine themselves to the consideration of this one passage, as if the whole of the controversy hinged upon it; whereas I am per

&c."

m Acts xxiv. 13. n Isa. xxvi. 14. o vv. 14, 15. * Ezek. xxxvii, 12-14. Such is the general interpretation of this passage by the Rabbins.

suaded, that the doctrine of the first resurrection may be decidedly proved, were this text entirely taken from us. At the same time I am sensible, that the Scriptures which I have brought forward derive increased light from this passage in the Revelation; as also that this passage derives a light from them, and is in great measure inexplicable without them: for it is the nature of the Oracles of God mutually to reflect on each other. Much undue advantage has also been yielded to the assailants of this truth, from the circumstance of Millennarians themselves resorting to it, as if it were their principal strong hold: a mode of proceeding, in reference to the doctrine they maintain, which has always to me appeared injudicious. I hope, if spared, to enter at some future opportunity into a full discussion of this passage: at present however I will only touch upon one single point; which is important, as connected with the general structure of the Apocalypse; and which has not received that attention from the generality of expositors which it deserves. “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit, and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. And I saw thrones, and they that sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw 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, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the First Resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years."

Now it is much disputed, whether this description is to be understood figuratively or literally. This however does not appear to me to be the proper question; and I again lament, that some of the advocates of Millennarian doctrine, by thus taking up the subject, have given their opponents another advantage. I am persuaded, that it is a passage which is both figurative and symbolical, and that it cannot be successfully defended on the ground of a strictly literal interpretation. But admitting it to be figurative, the question which then presents itself for discussion is-What is intended to be signified by this figure? To which I answer, that the thing signified is, in the plainest and most literal sense, -THE FIRST RESURRECTION.

I maintain that the words, " This is the first Resurrection," are expository, and intended to be literally understood; which, I think, may be clearly demonstrated.

In order to prove this I observe, that the Apocalypse is figurative throughout; with the exception, that there are incidental passages of a literal character, such as are necessarily interwoven with all prophecies, and without which they could have no definite meaning or application: and with the further exception also—that there is disposed throughout the Book a complete series of explanatory indices, which, like buoys and lighthouses at sea, are intended to afford us special intimation of our bearings. I will instance some, and terminate with the passage in question, marking what I consider to be literal expository matter in italic letters.

“The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches.—Chap. i. 20.

"There were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.—iv. 5.

“In the midst of the elders stood a Lamb, as it had been slain, having seven horns, and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God.-v. 8. See also Zechariah iii. 9, and iv. 16.

“The four and twenly elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of saints." -v. 8.

“What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?These are they which came out of THE great tribulation, c."*-vii. 13—16.

“And I will give power unto my two witnesses, &c." These are the two olive trees and the two candlesticks, standing before the God of the earth."-xi. 3, 4. See also Zechariah iv. 2, 3, & 11-14.

"Their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiri!ually is called Sodom and Egypt, 8c."-xi. 8.

“I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the dragon, beast, and false prophet.-For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, foc.” –xvii. 13, 14.

“The ten horns which thou sawest-are ten kings.-xvii. 12.

“The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, multitudes, and nations, and tongues.-xvii. 15.

* The article exists in the original, and is important to be noticed, seeing that some refer it to the great tribulation spoken of by Daniel and the other prophets.

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