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Presents arguments designed to confute the opinion, that all the animal creation, nor any part of them, shall arise from the dead at the last day, to be remunerated for their sufferings and death, suppossd by some to have been occasioned by the sin of Adam.
When from the bursting tombs the righteous dead shall rise,
There are many who have imagined, on account o, the first transgression, that the whole animal world have thereby been subjected to death. And that they may be remunerated for this suffering, it is supposed they shall be raised from the dead at the resurrection , but whether at the time of the first resurrection, or the second. I do not know: the assertors. of this doctrine have not informed us on this point. L Bb*
This opinion is founded chiefly on the 8th chapter to the Romans, from verse 19 to verse 23, inclusive, where it is stated as follows: For the earnest expectation of the CREATURE waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. Verse 19.
That any person should ever have supposed this CREATURE, which waiteth with such anxiety, can be the animals of creation as well as man, is exceedingly strange ; for where is the Scripture, or reason, which can afford ground for belief, that any beast was ever yet anxious for the manifestation of the sons of God, or looked for the coming of Christ as an atonement for sin, or for his kingdom to be set up on earth, which was the thing looked for, and so strongly desired should be manifested by the CREATURE, which is man.'
For the CREATURE was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him, who hath subjected the same in hope. Verse 20. Although the creature man has sinned, and thereby became subjected by the judicial act of God, to the vanity of an evil state, yet we cannot think that Adam, or any other man ever felt willing to be under this bondage of vanity and death; for it is stated that the creature Adam was drove out of Paradise, which strongly implies his unwillingness to go ; but he was compelled to submit, for it was the sentence of his God. Thanks be to Him, although he has wisely made us subject to the consequences of our own folly in this life, by removing us, in a seminal sense, from the tree of life, yet hath he subjected the same creature man in hope, through the promised seed, who is Christ, wno was in due time to be manifested, which is the thing spoken of, and is called the manifestation of the sons of God in the 19lh verse.
Because the creature itself also shall be deliverea from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God. Verse 21. This verse puts the thing still farther from embracing animals in any sense relative to the point; because the delivery there spoken of is to be from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God. What is this liberty of the sons of God, which is said to be from corruption? Is it not the bringing of the soul from darkness to light, as well as finally the body from the grave? Is it not the final sanctification of the soul, which is its fitness for heaven, and entitles his body also to a gloric i s resurrection from the dead? Now what natural beast was ever brought from darkness to light, converted and sanctified? If none, then how can they have a part in this glorious liberty, which is emphatically the privilege of the sons of God, who are finally to be raised from the dead, and is the delivery of the creature man from the bondage of his corruption into life eternal, as it relates both to body and soul.
But if the reader still inclines to believe the animal creation included with the creature man, let him recollect that such a position will give all the praise for the resurrection of animals to the devil; because, it will follow, that if man had not sinned, then beasts, upon that supposition, would not have died, and therefore could not arise from the dead, to be made happy in another life. This last idea, however, is not applicable to the case of man, because sin nor death do not, in any degree, retrench the endless being of roan, aY-' though it has changed the mode of his egress from this to another state.
For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. Verse 22. If this verse is spoken of animals, as well as of man, the question may be asked, in what way the beasts of the field groan and travail in pain as well as man-? because the pain and travail appear to be a labour of the mind, on acccount of the evils entailed upon our race in consequence of the fall, which is styled vanity—of which a beast is not at all conscious; for there is not a shadow of reason to believe any beast ever knew, or in any sense possessed a knowledge that they even exist. It must, therefore, be spoken only of the whole creation of man in every clime, and of every nation, whether Jew or Gentiles; for the Desire of nations has been looked for by Gentiles as well as Jews; therefore this groaning and travail is nothing else but the motions of that light which lighteth every man who is born into the world, exciting the soul to feel after the heeded Deliverance, if happily they may find Him, of which a beast is not capable.
And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the spirit, even we ourselves, groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. Verse 23. In this verse, the Apostle has included the whole Christian church which then existed, as well as the Apostles themselves, who had received the first fruits, or effects of the gospel dispensation, by the operation of the Holy Ghost. I say included them with the rest of mankind in this same groaning, to be delivered from this present evil world, and longing for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of their body and soul from this state of vanity into the glorious liberty of the sons.of God, which they shall possess after the first resurrection.
But if we recieve the sentiment, that animals are included in this general desire to be delivered with the sons of God, then it will follow, that the beasts which perish (says Solomon) are brought, up and put on a level with the rational part of creation in point of privilege respecting a resurrection, and stand equally interested with the Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The sentiment is an error, because it implies an operation of grace to make even a man sensible that his situation might be bettered by a redemption of his body from the evils of this life, and from the dead through Jesus Christ to eternal glory, of which state a beast can have no joyous anticipation, for they have no faith.
Again—if by the term every creature, we are to understand all kinds of animals, and that they therefore must rise from the dead, then we are compelled to believe, that when our Lord said, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature, means that they should preach the gospel to animals as well as men. This is sufficient to confute the sentiment. See Mark, 14, 15.
And he said unto them, go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. But if the opinion is admitted, that beasts shall arise from the dead to life again, then the question may arise, with what body