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glorious body "." Does not this description explain the nature of the bodies we shall assume?
A. We know not the nature of Christ's glorified body, consequently we cannot derive from that comparison any accurate knowledge of our own future glory.
At the same time, the pious followers of our Lord Jesus are animated, strengthened, and filled with holy rapture at the assurance, that if they truly and zealously serve Christ on earth, they will partake with him in the like glorified state in heaven, be that state and condition what
Q. Will all persons who have ever lived; and will all succeeding generations of men; ascend into the heavens with glorified bodies, such as St. Paul mentions?
A. St. Paul we believe spake only of the good and faithful, of the elect in Christ, and we have no authority for supposing that the wicked will be clothed upon with glorified bodies, like unto Christ*.
Q. Still you believe that the wicked will inherit bodies suitable to their state of existence after the resurrection?
A. Certainly. And further we believe, that they will be sensible of the identity of such
bodies. And in that consciousness, perhaps, part of their punishment in another world will be made to consist.
It is necessary we should suppose that the same persons who have sinned here will suffer hereafter, to satisfy the justice of God. The correctness of the punishment, and the acknowledgment of the just judgment of God by the condemned sinner, depend upon his feeling and knowing that he it was, who by transgression incurred the penalty of sin.
Q. What feelings naturally arise in our minds from a consideration of the truths contained in this Article?
A. First, An anxious wish that we may deserve the approbation of our Almighty Father, and be partakers of a joyful resurrection to glory in the heavens.
Secondly, A feeling of dread lest by our frailty and unworthiness in yielding to the temptations which encompass us, we fall short of attaining unto the prize of our high calling, and become numbered with the transgressors.
Thirdly, A deep sense of admiration at the goodness of God, who hath placed within our power, and shown us the way to attain, through the promises of the Gospel, such unutterable felicity.
Fourthly, Gratitude to God, who spared not
his own Son, but freely gave him to suffer in our stead, that he might be the first born from the dead, and the first fruits of the resurrection!
Fifthly, A lively sense of the wisdom and power of God, who can call from the four corners of the globe the scattered atoms which form the bodies of men, and reunite them so as to form the selfsame persons.
Sixthly, Comfort under affliction. When the companions of our youth, when our friends, relations, or children, are snatched from us by the hand of death, how beyond measure consoling is it to think, that there is a resurrection from the grave, when all the family of Christ shall meet again, never more to part.
Q. ON what promises of Scripture do you build your hopes of everlasting life?
A. Holy Writ is too full on this subject to admit of our enumerating all the passages which convey this blessed assurance; we will however select a few of them. "Every one," says Christ, "who hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands for my name's sake, shall receive an hundred fold, and shall inherit everlasting life." "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life"." "He that soweth to the Spirit, shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." "The kingdom of the Lord
a Matt. xix. 29. Luke xviii. 30.
b John iii. 16.
c Gal. vi. 8.
is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion endureth throughout all generations "."
Q. These quotations from Scripture prove the resurrection of the good and virtuous; of the faithful followers of Christ, to everlasting life. But will the disobedient and the wicked also inherit eternity?
A. We believe so: but theirs will be an existence very different from that of the saints In life. 66 Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth," says the Prophet Daniel, "shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt '." "It is better for thee," saith our Saviour, "to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into everlasting fire." Again he says, "The wicked shall go away into everlasting punishment"." St. Paul also testifies that "the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in
d Psalm cxlv. 13. Dan. vii. 27. 2 Pet. i. 2.
Bishop Newton remarks on this passage, that many is used in the same sense as in Romans v. 15, where it signifies all. The words of St. Paul are οι πολλοι and τους πολλους, which require to be translated "the many," i. e. the multitude; the bulk of mankind ; the same as οι παντες and τους παντας•
'Dan. xii. 2.
h Matt. xxv. 46.
Matt. xviii. 8.