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of complacency, of unutterable love, of ecstasy, of tenderness; and all this after a manner of which we can now have no adequate conception, and in a way in which our heart, the thermometer of our feelings, can never serve, till it is "raised incorruptible" and divine. The body may retain its present form, and yet may have additional senses, new faculties, and an enlarged capacity.
In this way we are led to reconcile the apparent discordance in the sacred writings; and, if our interpretation may be accepted, we are furnished with some interesting truths. In support of the opinion advanced, read at your leisure such passages as these :-" God will destroy both the belly and meats," 1 Cor. vi, 13. Destruction is not a term applied to dissolution. "They which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God," Luke xx, 35. We conclude that neither blood, (the element of growth and corruption,) nor flesh fed thereby, shall inherit the kingdom of God, but the glorified body shall be this "vile body" exalted and changed, still however having flesh and bones.
These remarks do all proceed, as you perceive, on the assumption that the body of Jesus Christ, when he appeared to his disciples, was his body of glory. But, to establish our argument, we must clear that point from objection. An objection to this belief has been imagined on these grounds: 1. The risen Saviour ate of the honey-comb, and, therefore, his could not then have been a spiritual body. 2. His body had no visible glory to the disciples going to Emmaus, though by the apostle it is called a "glorious body." 3. His appearances and disappearances were wholly miraculous; and how can matter pass through the substance of a door?
1. In reply, we refer to Gen. xviii, 8, where it is said that Jehovah, in the likeness of a traveller, visited Abraham, along with two angels, who were also disguised as wayfaring men, and that they did eat or seemed to eat. 2. Whether Christ had a visible glory, or not, is not to be concluded from Luke xxiv. For the wonder was just as great that the disciples did not recognise him as that they did not perceive a glory around his person. But the matter is easily explained. "Their eyes were holden that they should not know him.". Scripture says nothing about the form or appearance of the risen Saviour, and, therefore, nothing can be argued one way or the other. 3. As to his vanishing out of sight, we observe, that we do not know all the properties of matter. Perhaps he only opened and shut the door so swiftly that the eye could not perceive the action. How quick our motion might be, if we were not tied down by gravitation, and obstructed by the air, we know not, nor is it possible for us to determine.
It could not have been the "natural body" of our Lord with which he appeared to the eleven, but must have been his spiritual body, as may be argued from his words to Thomas,-"Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless but believing." This he said, alluding to the avowed incredulity of that disciple, who had said, "Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe." Now what particularly bears on our subject is this consideration, that the side of the Saviour was open, the wound unclosed, after his rising from the dead. But how is it possible for any other than a "spiritual body" to exist with a large opening from without into the heart? And such an
opening there must have been, for Thomas is invited to thrust his hand into the Saviour's side. And there is no retreating from the obvious conclusion. If you say, the appearances were miraculous, we make the concession. If you add, his was not a real, but only an apparent humanity on this occasion, we charge home upon you a contradiction of Scripture. We add farther, how could blood exist, sufficient for the purposes of life, in a body, the cavity of whose heart was divided, whose chest had an opening large enough to admit a hand without injury to the individual. If, lastly, you say, the Saviour's body on that occasion was neither a mortal body, nor a mere appearance, nor was it the likeness of our resurrection body, but only an assumed body, we ask you to read his own words "It is I myself," Luke xxiv, 39. And again,1 Cor. xv, 42-44, the apostle says, "So is the resurrection of the dead; it is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption; it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body." Again he says, 1 Cor. xv, 20, "Now is Christ become the first-fruits of them that slept." Do not the first-fruits necessarily resemble the harvest. As Christ rose, so shall the believer rise, with an incorruptible and spiritual body, a body of beauty and glory. From all these considerations we are imboldened in our conclusions, and, without attempting to force them upon others, we rejoice to entertain them ourselves, as conveying to us some faint ideas of a body freed from disease, from every moral and every natural pollution.
Scripture allows us to make some farther inferences on the subject of this change. What is vile in this body shall be done away. 1. It shall be incapable of
disease or pain. "The inhabitants say not, I am sick. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more, neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat, but the Lamb that is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them beside fountains of living waters, and shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." 1
2. It shall never be polluted by being the instrument of sinful passion, for the inhabitants of that country are, we believe, incapable of sin. Anger shall not redden the cheek, or quiver the lip, or flash from the eye-ball, or lower in its curtain. The tongue, now so "unruly," shall never be the messenger of aught but peace and praise. The law of kindness shall be graven on the lips, a law never to be repealed. The hand shall be for the embrace of kindness alone; the fist of wickedness shall smite no more. Unholy desire shall not merely be subdued, it shall no longer be felt, and that not only because temptation is wanting, but because the principle of evil is gone. What is the vigour of youth, or the glow of beauty, or the play of health, or the full pulse of strength, when debased by sin? But sin hath no passport to enter within the gates of the city. "For there shall in no wise enter thereinto any thing that worketh an abomination, or maketh a lie."
3. Again, nothing that defileth is allowed an entrance. Incorruption and immortality are there. They are purity itself. They die no more. The inhabitants neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God. They are strangers to fatigue, appetite, and human passion.
4. Lastly, of this change to take place on the bodies of such as shall be found faithful unto death, we read, it shall be one, the fashion of which shall be according to Christ's glorious body. The likeness of Christ's
glorious body is a subject on which we are furnished with no information. The truth is, the evangelists seem to have known little on the subject. The appearances, though frequent, were suddenly vouchsafed, and as suddenly withdrawn. The manner of the Saviour, in his intercourse with his beloved followers after his resurrection, was entirely altered from what it had been before. There was a deep reserve, an awful distance. John did not then lie in the bosom of his Lord, though he was the beloved disciple, as he had been wont to do. What he says in the 21st chapter of his gospel, ver. 20, refers to what took place on occasion of the institution of "the Lord's supper." To this awful reserve and dignified retirement may probably be ascribed his conduct toward Mary. (See John xx, 11, et seq.) "But Mary stood, weeping, she turned herself and saw Jesus standing; Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brethren (condescending expression!) and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, to my God and your God." Dr. Clarke explains it thus: "Do not stop to embrace me, for I am not immediately to ascend on high; rather haste and tell my disciples, I am risen from the dead." I presume to think, however, there was in the expression a gentle repulse of the familiarity now no longer to be permitted.
What we have already asserted as to the inability of the evangelists to speak distinctly on the subject of the form and nature of Christ's resurrection body, may be gathered from their silence on that point; and it might also be inferred from that semblance of mystery which there was about his rare and rapid appearances. To their eye his body was clothed, although his seamless garment had been appropriated by the soldiers, and his