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Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 132

TO REV. T. W. MEDHURST

LONDON, September 22, 1855.

MY DEAR BROTHER, —

Since your departure, I have been meditating upon the pleasure of being the means of sending you to so excellent a scene of preparation for the ministry, and in prayer to God I have sought every blessing upon you, for I love you very much. Oh, how I desire to see you a holy and successful minister of Jesus! I need not bid you work at your studies; I am sure you will; but be sure to live near to God, and hold very much intercourse with Jesus.

I have been thinking that, when you are gone out into the vineyard I must find another to be my dearly beloved Timothy, just as you are.

Now I find it no easy task to get money, and I have been thinking I must get friends to give me a good set of books, which I shall not give you, but keep for those who may come after; so that, by degrees, I shall get together a good Theological Library for young students in years to come.

If I were rich, I would give you all; but, as I have to bear all the brunt of the battle, and am alone responsible, I think I must get the books to be always used in future. Those you will purchase to-day are yours to keep; Mr. Bagster’s books must be mine; and I have just written to a friend to buy me Matthew Henry, which shall soon be at your disposal, and be mine in the same way. You see, I am looking forward.

Believe me,

Ever your very loving friend,

C. H. SPURGEON.

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Duty of Preparing for the Future World: The Last Judgment: Book Eight- Chapter 3

Book Eighth

CHAPTER III.

THE LAST JUDGMENT.

IN THE LAST DAY JESUS CHRIST WILL COME TO JUDGE THE WORLD; AND HAVING ASSEMBLED ALL MEN BEFORE HIM, WILL PASS SENTENCE ON THEM ACCORDING TO THEIR WORKS.[1]

Natural religion leads us to expect future retribution; and of course some sort of judgment, by which that retribution will be awarded. Even the heathen mythology had its judges, Æacus, Minos, and Rhadamanthus, by whom the dead had their place and condition assigned to them in the other world. But the doctrine of a public, general judgment, is peculiar to revelation. This teaches, that, besides the judgment passed on each individual when he leaves this world, there will be a final judgment, in which all men will stand at the judgment seat of Christ, and receive their final sentence from his lips. “God hath appointed a day, in which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom he hath ordained.”[2] “It is appointed unto all men once to die, and after this the judgment.”[3]

As the condition of each soul will be determined, when it leaves the body, another judgment may, to our finite minds, appear to be unnecessary; but the wisdom of God has determined otherwise. All the reasons for this divine appointment, we cannot presume to understand; but we are able to conceive of some important advantages which may arise from a general judgment.

The general judgment will publicly and impressively vindicate the ways of God, in the view of all intelligent beings. The mystery of the divine administration will then be fully unfolded; the wisdom and righteousness of all God’s dispensations will then be made apparent; the justice of the sentences then pronounced will be rendered perfectly clear; and, on every creature, as he leaves the tribunal, to go to the place assigned him, an impression will have been made, which will last throughout eternity. It is for the glory of God, that his perfections should thus be displayed, in the view of his intelligent creatures; and the remembrance of this great day will constitute an important element in the happiness or misery to which each individual will be adjudged.

The general judgment will be honorable to Jesus Christ. It is called “the day of Christ.”[4] When Jesus stood, as an arraigned malefactor, before the Jewish council, he claimed, in their presence, to be the Christ, and he referred to this day as the time when his claim would be acknowledged. This will be the day of Christ, the day when every knee shall bow to him,[5] and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.[6]

The general judgment will extend to the bodies of men. The previous judgment, at the death of each individual, affects the spirit only. But men are to be judged according to the deeds done in the body, and it is fit that they should be judged in the body, and especially inasmuch as the body is to participate in the final retribution.

The general judgment will suitably mark the final victory over all God’s enemies. Among men, days of triumph have been observed, when wars have terminated, and victory has been attained. In the great day of the Lord, all the enemies of God will have been subdued; the kingdom, which, as rebels against him, they have seized and claimed, will have been fully restored; and universal peace and order will have been established in Jehovah’s empire. At this day of triumph, it is suitable that all creatures should be present, to do honor to the victory, and to him by whom it has been achieved.

The judge on the last day will be Jesus Christ, the same who was condemned at the bar of Caiaphas and of Pilate. How changed the scene! They who then condemned him to death, will now tremble before him, and be condemned by him to death eternal. “The Father has committed all judgment to the Son.”[7] The transactions of the great day will form a part of his mediatorial administration. Having undertaken to restore order to God’s empire, in which the rebellion of the human race had broken out, and having assumed the office of Mediator for this purpose, it will be proper, in this office, to complete the work; and therefore Christ the Mediator will be the Judge in the last great day: “We must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.”[8]

At the day of judgment Christ will make his second coming. This coming is frequently spoken of in the Holy Scriptures. He instituted the Lord’s supper, to be observed until he come.[9] Believers are described as looking for his appearing.[10] As men look for a beloved friend who has gone away, leaving a promise of return; so believers in Christ look for the return of their Lord, who has promised, “I come quickly;”[11] and they pray, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”[12] He came, formerly, with sin; not sin of his own, but the sin of his people, which the Lord laid on him. Having fully expiated this by his death, he will come, the second time, without sin unto salvation.[13] On this great and terrible day, Christ will come to the salvation of his people, and will, at the same time, take vengeance on them that know not God, and obey not the gospel. In a subordinate sense, he is said to come, when he displays his power, either in the deliverance of his people, or in the destruction of his enemies. But all these times are over-

looked in the, computation, when, with reference to his appearing for judgment, it is said, “he will come the second time.” This will be the great day of deliverance and of wrath. There are other comings mentioned in Scripture, not included in this computation, which are only preparatory and subordinate.

An impression has often prevailed among the followers of Christ, that his second coming was near at hand. This impression, when soberly entertained, has a salutary influence. Compared with the eternity which is to follow, the interval until the day of judgment is exceedingly short; and but a very little part of this short interval is included in the life of any one individual; whose preparation for judgment must be completed before he is called away by death. It is therefore true concerning every one, that the time is short,[14] and that the Judge standeth before the door.[15] But the expectation that Christ’s coming will be so hastened as not to leave time for the fulfilment of prophecy, or for the measure of duty and suffering to which he has appointed us, is of injurious tendency. An erroneous impression on this subject had so disquieted the minds of the Thessalonian Christians, that Paul thought it necessary, in his second epistle to them, to free them from its influence: “Be not shaken in mind, or troubled, as that the day of Christ is at hand.”[16] It may be that they had mistaken his design, when, in his first epistle to them, he said, “We which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall not prevent them which are asleep.”[17] They may have understood him to intimate, by his use of the word “we,” that he expected to be alive and remain when Christ should appear. He may have used this word as including himself, in interest, in the number of those who will be alive at the second coming; or he may intimate that believers of each successive generation should regard themselves as placed, for the time, on the watch-tower, to look for the coming of Christ, and that, compared with those who had fallen asleep, all who at any time are alive and remain, should regard themselves, though looking for his coming, as having no advantage to prevent [go before, or get the start of] those that are asleep. Whatever may have been Paul’s design in using this mode of speech, it is clear, from his second epistle, that he did not mean to make the impression that the coming of Christ was so near at hand. He stated explicitly, that the day will not come, “unless there be a falling away first, and the man of sin be revealed.”[18] It was necessary that time should be allowed for the Romish apostasy. So now, there are various prophecies remaining to be fulfilled; as, the calling of the Gentiles, the conversion of the Jews, and the millennial state of the Church. All these must be, accomplished before the coming of Christ; and, while these prophecies remain unfulfilled, believers should not permit themselves to be troubled in mind by those who would persuade them that the end of the world is just at hand.

Some suppose that the coming of Christ, and the resurrection of the righteous dead, will precede the millennium, and that the resurrection of the wicked will be at the end of the thousand years. This opinion, according to which the reign of Christ will be personal, is founded chiefly on Rev. xx. 4, 5: “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.” In carefully examining this passage, we may observe that the first resurrection here mentioned does not include all the righteous dead, but only the martyrs; and that it is not a resurrection of their bodies, but of their souls: “I saw the souls of them, and they lived,” &c. Making due allowance for the boldly figurative language employed in this prophetical book, we way understand this passage to mean, that generations of holy men will arise, at the time here referred to, who will so much resemble the ancient martyrs in zeal and devotion to the service of God, that it will be as if the souls of these martyrs had returned in new bodies. So Elijah reappeared, in the person of John the Baptist; not literally, but in the figurative sense in which we may interpret the passage before us; which, so understood, teaches a spiritual, and not a personal reign of Christ. It is true that Paul says, “the dead in Christ shall rise first:”[19] but the meaning of this is, that the dead in Christ shall rise before the living saints shall be changed. The interval, however, he represents to be exceedingly short: “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”[20] Whether the wicked dead will be raised at the precise moment at which the righteous dead will be raised, we are not expressly informed; but, from the representations of the scene which are given in the Scriptures, we may infer that one voice, one trumpet will call forth all the dead, and that one hour[21] will suffice for the resurrection of all. In one and the same day,[22] the great day of the Lord, he will be revealed in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God; and will come, to be glorified in his saints, and admired of all them that believe.[23]

The place of the final judgment will be on earth. Here Jesus was humbled, condemned, and crucified; and here he will be glorified, and sit in judgment over all the world. When he ascended from the earth, it was foretold that he would return as he had ascended.[24] A cloud received him out of the sight of his disciples,[25] who were gazing after him as he went up; and, on his return, he will be soon coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.[26] A multitude of angels and the spirits of the just will attend him. The bodies of his saints, called forth from their graves, will rise to meet him in the air, and reunited with their spirits, will appear before him. The living saints will be changed and form a part of the company at his right hand. The wicked dead will be raised, and will stand on the left hand of the Judge. On what part of the earth the Saviour way choose to fix the throne of judgment, we are not informed, nor is it a matter of any moment. Why Sinai was selected for the giving of the law, Calvary for the crucifixion, and Olivet for the ascension, we know not. It is enough for us to know, that he will come, and that we must appear before him.

In the description of the great day, contained in the book of Revelation, it is said, that the Judge will be seated on a great white throne, and that the books will be opened; and that another book will be opened, which is the book of life: and the dead will be judged out of the things which are written according to their works.[27] The representation is doubtless figurative, but we may learn from it that the decisions will be made in perfect justice; and that the acquittal of the righteous will be an act of grace. Their names will be found in the Lamb’s book of life. They will be accepted in that day, because they belong to Christ, and in proof of their attachment to him, their work and labor of love in his cause, and towards his people, will be brought into remembrance.[28]

In the transactions of this great day, notwithstanding the greatness of the multitude that will be assembled, no individual will feel himself lost in the immense throng, or concealed from the view of the omniscient Judge. Every one will be brought to judgment, as if he were the only creature present, and every one will give account of himself, and receive sentence for himself with as much discrimination and perfection of justice, as if the judge were wholly absorbed in the consideration of his single case. So rapidly do our minds move, even now while bound to our sluggish bodies, that we can review our past history in a few moments, and judge and condemn ourselves before God. With a rapidity beyond our present conception, the deeds, words, and thoughts of our whole lives will pass in review before us on that day, and we shall realize that the eye of God is fixed on each particular with as thorough knowledge of it, as if that deed, word, or thought, were the only one on which he sat in judgment. How can we bear a scrutiny so severe, a knowledge so perfect? How shall we abide a judgment so strict? Who shall be able to stand?

[1] Rev. xx. 11, 12; Acts xvii. 30, 31; Eccl. xi. 9; xii. 14; Matt. xii. 36; 1 Pet. iv. 4, 5; 2 Cor. v. 10.

[2] Acts xvii. 31.

[3] Heb. ix. 27.

[4] Phil. i. 6; 2 Thess. ii. 2.

[5] Rom. xiv. 11.

[6] Phil. ii. 11.

[7] John v. 22.

[8] Rom. xiv. 10.

[9] 1 Cor. xi. 26.

[10] Heb. ix. 28.

[11] Rev. xxii. 12.

[12] Rev. xxii. 20.

[13] Heb. ix. 28.

[14] 1 Cor. vii. 29.

[15] James v. 9.

[16] 2 Thess. ii, 2.

[17] 1 Thess. iv. 15.

[18] 2 Thess. ii. 3.

[19] 1 Thess. iv. 16.

[20] 1 Cor. xv. 52.

[21] John v. 25.

[22] Acts xvii. 31.

[23] 2 Thess. i. 8-10.

[24] Acts i. 11.

[25] Acts i. 9.

[26] Matt. xxiv. 30; Rev. i. 7.

[27] Rev. xx. 11, 12.

[28] Matt. xxv. 34-40.

John L. Dagg- Manual of Theology

A much more numerous class of passages, which also differ considerably from those already noticed, require our attention, namely those which delineate the ups and downs of the Christian life

Ere leaving this branch of our many-sided subject, a much more numerous class of passages, which also differ considerably from those already noticed, require our attention, namely those which delineate the ups and downs of the Christian life. Many of them are set forth in plain and literal terms, others in highly figurative or typical language. Still others are concealed behind historical transactions which were Divinely designed to shadow forth the trials and temptations, the backslidings and falls, the conflicts and chastenings, the hopes and disappointments, the revivings and recoverings of saints in this era. We have left these until the last, not because they are of lesser importance, but because they require a Divinely taught and mature expositor to deal with them. They call for one who is well acquainted with his own heart, both with the workings of corruption and the operations of grace therein, as well as one with a considerable knowledge of God’s “ways,” if he is to trace out the different experiences of His people as they are reflected in the Scriptures. It is comparatively easy to bring out the spiritual meaning of, say, Exodus 15:23-25, or of Psalm 23; but it is harder (though necessary) to do so with Psalm 38:9, 10; 63:1, 2; 107:17-20; Proverbs 24:30-34; Isaiah 17:10, 11; and Hosea 2:14, 15.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

The second and third reason why men will not come to Christ

The next reason is, because men do not like Christ’s way of saying them. One says, “I do not like it because he makes me holy; I cannot drink or swear if he saves me.” Another says, “It requires me to be so precise and puritanical, and I like a little more license.” Another does not like it because it is so humbling; he does not like it because the “gate of heaven” is not quite high enough for his head, and he does not like stooping. That is the chief reason ye will not come to Christ, because ye cannot get to him with your heads straight up in the air; for Christ makes you stoop when you come. Another does not like it to be grace from first to last. “Oh!” he says, “If I might have a little honor.” But when he hears it is all Christ or no Christ, a whole Christ or no Christ, he says, “I shall not come,” and turns on his heel and goes away. Ah! proud sinners, ye will not come unto Christ. Ah! ignorant sinners ye will not come unto Christ, because ye know nothing of him; and that is the third reason.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “Freewill- A Slave,” A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, December 2, 1855

There is no want of power in God to cast wicked men into hell at any moment

Their foot shall slide in due time (Deut. Xxxii. 35).

The observation from the words that I would now insist upon is this. “There is nothing that keeps wicked men at any one moment out of hell, but the mere pleasure of God.” By the mere pleasure of God, I mean his sovereign pleasure, his arbitrary will, restrained by no obligation, hindered by no manner of difficulty, any more than if nothing else but God’s mere will had in the least degree, or in any respect whatsoever, any hand in the preservation of wicked men one moment.

The truth of this observation may appear by the following considerations.

1. There is no want of power in God to cast wicked men into hell at any moment. Men’s hands cannot be strong when God rises up. The strongest have no power to resist him, nor can any deliver out of his hands.—He is not only able to cast wicked men into hell, but he can most easily do it. Sometimes an earthly prince meets with a great deal of difficulty to subdue a rebel, who has found means to fortify himself, and has made himself strong by the numbers of his followers. But it is not so with God. There is no fortress that is any defence from the power of God. Though hand join in hand, and vast multitudes of God’s enemies combine and associate themselves, they are easily broken in pieces. They are as great heaps of light chaff before the whirlwind; or large quantities of dry stubble before devouring flames. We find it easy to tread on and crush a worm that we see crawling on the earth; so it is easy for us to cut or singe a slender thread that any thing hangs by: thus easy is it for God, when he pleases, to cast his enemies down to hell.

Jonathan Edwards- Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God

Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 131

TO REV. T. W. MEDHURST

75, DOVER ROAD, August 7, 1854.

MY DEAR SIR,—

Your letters have given me great joy. I trust I see in you the marks of a son of God, and I earnestly pray that you may have the evidence within that you are born of God.

There is no reason why you should not be baptized. “If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.” Think very seriously of it, for it is a solemn matter. Count the cost. You are now about to be buried to the world, and you may well say, “What manner of persons ought we to be in all holy conversation and godliness.”

The friends who were with you in the days of your carnal pleasure will strive to entice you from Christ; but I pray that the grace of God may be mightily manifest in you, keeping you steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. I should like to see you on Thursday evening, after six o’clock, in the vestry.

I am,

Yours faithfully,

C. H. SPURGEON.

Duty of Preparing for the Future World: Resurrection: Book Eight- Chapter 2

Book Eighth

CHAPTER II.

RESURRECTION.

THE BODIES OF ALL WHO DIE, WILL BE RAISED FROM THE DEAD, AND RE-UNITED TO THEIR SPIRITS, FOR THE JUDGMENT OF THE GREAT DAY.[1]

Philosophy and natural religion may attain to an obscure discovery of the soul’s immortality; but we should have remained ignorant concerning the resurrection of the body, if we had not been instructed by divine revelation. From God’s book we learn that the body is redeemed,[2] as well as the soul; and that the body shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption. That no doubt may remain on the subject, the body which is to be raised again, is described as the corruptible, the vile body, the body deposited in the grave:[3] “This corruptible shall put on incorruption.”[4] “Who shall change this vile body.”[5] “All that are in their graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth.”[6] Paul urges not to use the members of the body for sinful purposes, because the body is the temple of the Holy Ghost;[7] and, with reference to the same body he says, “If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead, shall also quicken your mortal bodies, by his Spirit that dwelt in you.”[8] No doubt can remain that the Scriptures teach the resurrection of the mortal body, the body that dies, and enters the grave.

The resurrection of the body is not only taught in the Scriptures, but it is exemplified in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The fact that he was raised from the dead, is testified by many witnesses, who saw him, and conversed, and ate and drank with him, after his resurrection; and who confirmed the truth of their testimony by astonishing miracles and sufferings. On this grand fact the truth of Christianity depends; and therefore the doctrine of the resurrection is fundamental and vital to the Christian system. If it is not true, Christ is not risen; and, if Christ is not risen, Paul admits “our preaching is vain, and your faith is vain, and we are found false witnesses of God.”[9]

As the resurrection is a desirable privilege to the just, only, it is treated of, in some passages of Scripture, as if it appertained to them exclusively: but other passages teach that it will be universal: “There shall be a resurrection of the just and of the unjust.”[10] “All that are in their graves shall hear his voice, and come forth, they that have done good to the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil to the resurrection of damnation.”[11] The only exception to its universality will be in the case of those who still be found alive at Christ’s second coming. Concerning these, Paul has taught us that they will undergo a change[12] equivalent to that which they pass through who shall have died and risen again. Their case, therefore, is virtually no exception to the general rule: “It is appointed unto all men once to die.”[13] “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”[14]

The power by which the dead are raised, is God’s. To the Sadducees, who erred respecting the resurrection, the Saviour said, “Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God.”[15] It is a work which nothing short of omnipotence could accomplish. The Son of God is represented as the immediate agent, “Who shall change our vile body, that it only be fashioned like unto his own glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”[16] Even when he was on earth, weak and despised, he claimed this power: “The hour is coming when all that are in their graves shall hear his voice [the voice of the Son of God], and shall come forth.”[17] At his command, who said, “Lazarus, come forth,” the dead shall quit their graves, and assemble at his tribunal: and the power which he will manifest, in bringing them before him, will demonstrate his right to judge them.

The resurrection, though it will require the same power that created the world out of nothing, will not be another creation. The glorified body will not be created out of nothing, but will be formed out of the vile and mortal body which the spirit once inhabited: “Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned,” &c.[18] The same body of Jesus which was nailed to the cross and laid in the tomb, was raised from the dead, and was seen by the disciples ascending from Mount Olivet. It had been transfigured on Mount Tabor, and rendered glorious in the view of the disciples who were present; and now it is crowned with glory and honor, in the presence of all the celestial hosts. It is now the “glorious body,” into the likeness of which he will fashion our vile bodies, when he fits them to inhabit the mansions that he has prepared.

How the “vile body” will be changed, we know not. We are under no obligation to suppose that all the gross matter of which it consists, will be included in the glorious body into which it will be fashioned. The corruptible body is perpetually losing, in the daily waste which it undergoes, the atoms of matter which compose it, and having their place supplied by other atoms, received from the nourishment taken in to supply the waste. The nails are pared away, and the hair shorn off; and other growth succeeds, to take the place of that which is lost. The bones, muscles, and all other parts of the body, undergo a change as real, though not so apparent, and as unceasing. The fluid parts of the body change more rapidly; and the solid parts are absorbed and renewed by the deposit of other matter, in the processes of nutrition and assimilation. It is not necessary to suppose that all the matter thus lost, during a life of fourscore years, will be gathered again. The identity of the body during life did not imply an identity of the atoms composing it: and much less is an identity of atoms necessary to be preserved, when it is changed into the glorious. Paul’s teaching on this point is explicit: “Thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain; but God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him.”[19] What is deposited in the ground, is bare grain; but the body which God giveth consists of the blade, the ear, and the full corn in the ear. The body deposited, dies; that is, it is decomposed, and ceases to be the bare grain deposited. Part of its matter is lost, and part enters into the composition of the new plant, and God adds other matter, constructing such a body as pleases him. Such is the illustration which this inspired writer gives of the process by which the dead will be raised; and we are certainly freed by it from the obligation of regarding a philosophical identity of atoms, as necessary to be preserved in the resurrection of the dead.

Yet, let us observe the relation which the glorious body has to the vile body. It is not another body, but the vile body changed. In Paul’s illustration, he says: “God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.”[20] So, every man who rises from the grave, will come forth with his own body. However changed, he will recognise himself, and will be recognised by others, as the same. When wheat, rye, barley, and other grains, are sown in the ground, a grain of each may be deposited in the same bed; and when they spring up together, though all have bodies differing from the bare grain that was sown, they differ also from each other. Every seed has “his own body;” and it may be determined with certainty which is the wheat, which the rye, which the barley, &c. The illustration is doubtless incomplete: but the wisdom of inspiration has given it, to assist our conceptions of this mysterious subject; and our faith, without presuming to be wise above that which is written, should thankfully receive the instruction graciously imparted.

What will be the form and the properties of the glorified body, it is impossible for us to know. Even the beloved disciple who lay on the bosom of Jesus did not claim to know this:- “Beloved, it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when he

shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”[21] It ought to satisfy us that we shall be fashioned like the glorious body of Christ. But though this general information ought to be sufficient, the Scriptures, while they do not attempt to describe a glorified body, have given us some information respecting it.

It is incorruptible. Our bodies here undergo perpetual decay and perpetual renewal; and they finally suffer decomposition, and return to dust. The glorified body will suffer no decomposition, no waste, and, therefore, will not need renewal. The process of nutrition by food, and the organs of digestion, will not be needed. “Meats are for the belly, and the belly for meats; but God shall destroy both it and them.”[22] The glorified body will be adapted to all the purposes for which it will be used; but, as our mode of life will be entirely different, corresponding changes will be made in the members and organs, to adapt the body to the mode of life into which it enters.

It will be spiritual. Paul affirms this. He says, “It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.”[23] What a spiritual body is, we are unable to say. We shall not be pure or uncompounded spirit, as God is; for we shall have a “body,” which God cannot be said to have. But that body will be “spiritual,” as distinguished from the natural or grossly material bodies that we now possess. It will be freed from the inactivity, the ponderableness that now binds us to the earth; and will be fitted for swift motion, similar to that of which angelic spirits are capable.

It is immortal. “Now this mortal must put on immortality.”[24] As there will be no need to supply a daily waste in each individual body, or to preserve it from corruption, so there will be no need to supply a waste of the race by death. “They neither marry, nor are given in marriage; neither can they die any more; for they are equal unto the angels.”[25] In a state of being so different from the present, we shall need bodies of far different construction and properties; and, from the likeness which we are to bear to the angels, we may infer that our spiritual bodies will resemble, to some extent the spirituality of these holy and immortal beings. The true and perfect pattern to which we shall be conformed, is the glorious body of the Redeemer, who, though once dead, now liveth for ever, and who will give us to share his own immortality. “Because I live, ye shall live also.”[26]

With what body the wicked will come, and to what likeness they will be conformed, the Scriptures do not tell us. As they will be raised, to stand in the judgment, and receive the sentence under which they will suffer everlasting punishment, in the fire prepared for the devil and his angels; we may conclude that, both in body and spirit, they will be fitted and capacitated for the everlasting endurance of the torments inflicted. We know that their bodies will not be “glorious,” for their resurrection will be “unto shame and everlasting contempt.”[27] Conjecture, on points which revelation has not enlightened, must be unprofitable.

[1] John v. 28, 29; Dan. xii. 2; Job xix. 25-27; Ps. xvii. 15; Acts iv. 2; xxiv. 15; xxvi. 8; Rom. viii. 11; 1 Cor. xv. 12-54; 1 Thess. iv. 14-17; Rev. xx. 6, 12, 13.

[2] 1 Cor. vi. 20

[3] John v. 28.

[4] 1 Cor. xv. 53.

[5] Phil. iii. 21.

[6] John v. 28.

[7] 1 Cor. vi. 19.

[8] Rom. viii. 11.

[9] 1 Cor. xv. 14, 15.

[10] Acts xxiv. 15.

[11] John v. 28, 29.

[12] 1 Cor. xv. 52.

[13] Heb. ix.27.

[14] 1 Cor. xv. 22.

[15] Matt. xxii. 29.

[16] Phil. iii. 21.

[17] John v. 28.

[18] Phil. iii. 21.

[19] 1 Cor. xv. 37, 38.

[20] 1 Cor. xv. 38.

[21] 1 John iii. 2.

[22] 1 Cor. vi. 13.

[23] 1 Cor. xv. 44.

[24] 1 Cor. xv. 53.

[25] Luke xx. 35, 36.

[26] John xiv. 19.

[27] Dan. xii. 2.

John L. Dagg- Manual of Theology