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teaching upon this whole subject. The one seems to require this view of simultaneous resurrection, the other favors the view which, in the article referred to, we speak of as admissible, and perhaps preferableOur correspondent admits the principle of progressive resurrection, as true of mankind at large. The church is the first fruits; Such passages as Rev. xiv, 1-4, xx, 4-6 imply that among these first fruits some sheaves are ripened before others. The undefiled virgins, the martyrs faithful unto death, are seen as the first to enter into life and glory. The same thing is implied in the exanastasis of Phil, iii, 11. It was not merely a resurrection from the dead for which the apostle was striving so earnestly ; all saints are assured of that. It was an outresurrection from among the dead. The phrase seems to imply priority in time as well as rank. In like manner he speaks of a crown of righteousness laid up for him, as one who had fought through his battle to victory; whose sacrifice of self 011 the altar of Christ's service was now awaiting completion in the "offering up '' for which he was ready. And such a crown, he says, awaits "all who love his appearing" a phrase which certainly does not describe at all the Christianity of our day. His language in 2d Cor. v. also accords with this anticipation of im mediate reward.
The problem therefore is to bring these apparently diverse teach, ings into harmony. For our own part we see no objections to falling back upon the supposition, that there was progress in the apostle's spiritual discernment of these mysteries. Upon several points revel atiou with even the apostles was progressive. In St. Paul's epistle to the Thessalouians he writes as if he expected the day of the Lord to come in his own lifetime. In the second epistle he declares that the mystery of iniquity must first be consummated. So it may be that, while in this first-written of his epistles—1st Thessalouians—he viewed the resurrection of the saints as a simultaneous event, he was afterwards more fully taught to discern a necessity for it, and so to present it, as in the later epistle from which we have quoted, as eclectic and progressive. Por, as is well known, the epistles to the Thessalonians are acknowledged as having preceded by several years those to the Corinthians, while that to the Philippians, and the second epistle to Timothy, were written while he was a prisoner at Rome.
A friend writes to us in criticism of that expression in the prayer at the close of the last number, by which "all who are baptized in the name of Thy Son Jesus Christ" are prayed for as if they all belonged to His mystical body. But this expression adapts itself to whatever view of the Church the one who uses it may hold. The term "baptized into Christ" in Scripture usually implies spiritual baptism. "For by one spirit are we all baptized into one body." If our friend therefore insists that only the regenerate compose the body, which is no doubt true, she can still use this prayer. ,
But on any view, it is proper to assume that all the outwardly bap. tized are presumptively Christians. It is not our prerogative to discriminate. God alone is judge. And just as godly men in Israel prayed continually for the whole nation as God's chosen people, although they were by no means all regenerate, so we surely may now pray for the whole company of God's professing people.
This correspondent objects also to our "dogma of one denomination' and asks: "Which one would you select?" Our reply is "neither." The sin of denominationalism would certainly not be cured by more of it. Our view all along has been that, in the present divided state of the Church, no existing division can possess either the life or the truth of Christ in completeness. Each one however may have something to contribute to the final perfection. What we have been principally contending against is the self-satisfied complacency with which Christians regard the present state of things, as if there were no sin involved in these separations; as if it were wrong in Paul's day to say '' I am of Paul and I of Cephas, and I of Christ, and right in our day " to say "I am of Wesley, and I am of Calvin, and I of Luther, and I of Christ." With equal emphases we ask: "Is Christ then divided?
Our correspondent refers to the frequent union meetings and efforts of our day to prove that the existing denominations are in reality one. We rejoice with her in these evidences that the rising tide of unity among Christians is overleaping denominational barriers; but after all how much of true confession of the sin and ignorance that lies at the bottom of these divisions does one hear at these meetings? How few are the earnest prayers that God would lead us out of this confusion into that light where we shall see all things in His light. When Christians go away from these meetings back into their own denominational lines they do not work there as if "the concern of one was the concern of all." And they certainly do not succeed, by these transient movements, in convincing the world that they are one. We have it from the Master's own words, that until this oneness is realized as the very principle upon which the church is constituted, and by which alone it can be made efficient, the world will not, either at home or abroad, be brought to know Him as its Lord and Savior.
BY JOHN G. WHITTIER.
In the Minister's morning sermon,
He told of the primal fall,
Rested on each and all.
And how of His will and pleasure,
All souls, save a chosen few, Were doomed to eternal torture,
And held in the way thereto.
Yet never, by Faith's unreason,
A saiutlier soul was tried, And never the harsh old lesson
A tender heart belied.
And after the painful service,
On that pleasant, bright first day,
He walked with his little daughter
Sweet in the fresh green meadow
Above him their tinted petals
Around, on the wonderful glory,
'' How good is the lord, who gives us These gifts from His hand, my child.
"Behold in the bloom of the apples,
A hint of the old lost beauty
Then upspake the little maiden,
Treading on snow and pink, "Oh father! these pretty blossoms
Are very wicked I think.
"Had there been no Garden of Eden,
There had never been a fall,
God would have loved us all.
"Hush my child!" the father answered,
'' By his decree man fell; His ways are in clouds and darkness,
But He doeth all things well.
"And the weather by His ordaining
To us cometh good or ill,
We must fear and love Him still."
"Oh, I fear Him !" said the daughter, "And I try to love Him, too;
But I wish he were kind and gentle,
The Minister groaned in spirit,
And wide, wet eyes uplifted
Bowing his head, he pondered,
The words of his little one. Had he erred in his life-long teachings,
Had he wrong to his Master done?
To what grim and dreadful idol
Did his own heart, loving and human,
Ajid lo! from the bloom and greenness,
And the face of his little daughter,
No more as the cloudy terror,
Of Sinai's mount of law,
The vision of God he saw.
And as when, in the clefts of Horeb,
The dread, ineffable glory
Thereafter his hearers noted
And never the message of hatred
And the scoffing tongue was prayerful,
And hearts, as flint aforetime,
Grew soft in his warmth and light.
A. H. W. writes to us from Marlette, Mich, approvingly of the January No., but dissents from our idea of resurrection as spoken of in the first "extract from letters" He says:
The writer speaks of the entire race having a "return to natural life'' No such idea seems to be given in the Gospel. The being "born again" is being born to a spiritual life in a spiritual body. Spiritual or celestial bodies are not natural bodies; and are not subjected to earthly sins. They may therefore undergo correction, discipline, but not probation; they may be "baptised with fire;" they may commit presumptious sins, as did the angels; but have not the earthly senses or greeds.
No man is ever twice a natural man, in any physical sense. All we know upon this subject is that the scripture speaks of bu two orders of life for man, the perishable, (Jas. iv. 14) and the eternal; and of but two types of manhood, the earthly and the heavenly. (1st Cor. xv. 40-50). The earthly is tied to the creature; it may be innocent, as was Adam, but it is not free and sovereign. My reason for believing that all men when raised from the dead are not lifted into the heavenly order is, that there would then be no "resurrection of judgement" The eternal life cannot be put under judgment and restraint. It must be pure and unfettered or it would not be eternalAnd imperfect beings cannot have "spiritual bodies," Satan and evil angels are always represented as bodiless demons. The possession of even an earthly human body is an advance on the scale of Creation. Evil;spirits were eager to go into even- swine. A spiritually embodied being is the highest form of creaturehood. Scripture speaks of no other,,form of spiritual bodies than that which is conformed.;to the glorified manhood of Jesus. A "resurrection of judgment" therefore, must be to"a lower order of life than the eternal, and a lower order of body than the spiritual and heavenly. And as the only other order spoken of is the/'earthly," it seems right to infer that this must be the rank to which those are raised who come under judgment. It is not necessary to conceive of these resurrected masses as all brought back to this planet. There may be other spheres of terrestrial life, in which they undergo that^ discipline which shall test the question of their fitness for eternal life; but this must be the platform of being on which the contest must be made, and the crown of eternal life won. Otherwise there would be but one kind of resurrection, the .resurrection of life, and but one order of risen manhood, "the mage of the heavenly.