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your first letter, and say of it, “This is all I ask for, and my point is gained.” What point?—That the second appearance is still future. And how gained ?--Neither your question nor my answer decide any thing on the subject. Yours very respectfully,
To the Editor of the Biblical Inquirer. SIR, -As the present publication is intended for the investigation of truths of the highest importance, it becomes us, as fallible students, to avoid, if possible, all personal allusions and partialities, so as not to give offence. Allow me then to make a few brief remarks on W. A.'s reply to me, which appeared, at the same moment, in your fourth number. He states, that "the term carnal reasoning is only ascribed to Martha in common with her countrymen, who, it is well known, held the tradition of a general resurrection.” Now it is certain, “The Sadducees say, There is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit; but the Pharisees confess both.” And Paul saith, “ I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee, of the hope of the resurrection of the dead I am called in question.” And again, " And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust."
It appears clear, that Martha's faith was not common with her countrymen” the Sadducees, but common with that of Paul and the Pharisees, who it seems were right in their faith on the resurrection, according to the witness of Paul. Therefore I would put it to W. A. if he did not assume too much in charging Martha with ignorance or error in her knowledge of the resurrection. One thing is certain, the Lord did not do it. She knew that her brother would rise again in the resurrection at the last day. This was correct; for Christ had often taught this, or else how was she to know it? “I will raise him up at the last day."
In the fifth of John, we find our Lord had performed a miraculous cure on an impotent man, which drew forth the malice of the Jews; but he told them, they should see greater things than healing the sick, and giving sight to the blind, &c. that they might marvel. And Jesus, to show his power and authority saith, “For the Father loveth the Son and showeth him all things himself doeth; and he will show him greater things than these, that ye may marvel. For, as the Father raiseth the dead and quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth whom he will,—that all men should honour the Son even as they honour the Father.” Then Jesus says unto them, “ Verily, verily, I say unto you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead thall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live." This indeed would be something for the unbelieving Jews to marvel at, which subsequently was the fact; as, among others, Lazarus heard his voice and came forth, fulfilling that declaration, “ The hour that now is. But this is not all; for there is something more marvellous still. “ Marvel not at this ; for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall bear his voice and shall come forth : they that have done good,” while they were living, "unto the resurrection of life ; and they that have done evil,” while they were living, “unto the resurrection of damnation.” This, I presume, is the resurrection and the last day.
I have seen the work referred to by W. A. on “The Last Days ; " but am not certain that any thing is said there on the last day, or the resurrection of the dead. The “last days” is, without doubt, the last communication of God's will to man. “ Last of all he sent his Son."
Hath, in these last days, spoken unto us by his Son.” W. A. says, “ The mistake, into which W. B. has fallen,-is his mode of interpreting the phrase, “ the last days,” or “the last day.” W. A. will be kind enough to read my letter again; for I said nothing about the “last days,” neither did I interpret the phrase, “ last day ; but simply cited a few texts to show, that the resurrection was at “the last day.” We are agreed as to the commencement of the last days; but when did God cease to speak by his Son ? Did he cease to speak when Jerusalem was destroyed ? and, if so, how does God speak now? Have we any other voice now than that which was heard in the days of the apostles? If not, the last days are not yet ended ; and the same voice, which said then, “He that believeth shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be condemned,” saith still, “ He that believeth on me, though he die, yet shall he live,”—he shall be raised up at the last day.
Again, to return to Martha, W. A. thinks she did not know what the Lord had taught in the fifth and sixth of John, “or why should our Lord question her belief of his statement ?” But our Lord did not question her belief as to the resurrection of the last day; but rather, to show her, that resurrection power, as well as all other power both in heaven and in earth, was given unto him, “ He saith unto her, Believest thou this ?” It may be presumed, that Martha did not know the extent of his power, nor that her brother would that day be raised from the dead. There is nothing in all this transaction to justify the idea of Martha being ignorant of the doctrine of the resurrection, or of her“ carnally reasoning on the subject.
W. A. refers me to 1 Cor. xv. 51, 57, and says, “The nature of the resurrection is set forth in that glorious change from death in Adam to life in Christ, where W. B will perceive nothiug concerning dead bodies ; and which, it is to be hoped, will furnish a sufficient answer to his question as to what I believe will be raised.” Now, I confess, this is very unsatisfactory ; for wherein is the answer to the question? That the resurrection of the dead in Christ is life in Christ, no one doubts : but the church of God had life in Christ prior to the destruction of Jerusalem, John v. 54, John iii. 14, Eph. ii. 1, 5, 6 ; and this life Paul calls “a life of faith,” which is built on the promise of eternal life," or another state of existence. W. A. considers this resurrection to have taken place in the year 70. Still the question returns, what was thus raised ? He does not believe it was dead bodies. Be it so. Was it dead persons ? for I prefer this to dead bodies of flesh, blood, and bones; but surely something must be raised. “The DEAD shall be raised": that is, dead persons, whether just er unjust. Now look at David, and see what is said of him, Acts ii. 34. “For David is not ascended into the heavens”; and, by the term David, we include his entire person. Well: he is not ascended; where then is he? The context informs us: “the Patriarch David, he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day." Here then lies David, he with whom God had made an everlasting covenant, he is both dead and buried. I leave W. A. to think of this.
There is often a great stress laid on these words in Luke xxi. 22, “For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.” The all things, in this text, refer entirely to the Jews and Jerusalem, which has received its complete fulfilment; but has no reference whatever 'to th fulfilment of these things Paul speaks of in Ephes. ii. 7, “That, in the ages to come," long after the scattering of the Jews," he might show the exceeding riches of his grace," &c. And again, in Heb. ii. 5," For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world, or economy to come, of which we speak”; which show plainly the all things belong to that, and that only, of which our Lord was speaking, which was the overthrow of Jerusalem.
One remark more, that is, on the word translated “rising again” in Luke i. 34. The original word is anastasis, which literally means a standing up again, and which may be applied to a person rising up from sleep, &c. but, as I cannot boast of a Greek education, I am content to stand corrected in this matter. W. A. asks, “what was raised in Luke ii. 34. ?. was it bodies, which had literally fallen down, and were literally dead ?” The “rising again” here, as well as in many other places, has to do with PERSONS, and this resurrection is not complete until that which is mortal shall put on immortality; and does the term mortal apply to any thing but man? Then mortal man, really and personally,—not in purpose, not before he has personal existence,-must put on immortality: that is, believers only will have this blessing.
W. B. October 1844,
P. S. In my statement in p. 58, “whenerer this last day takes place, then is the time of the resurrection,"—it should have been added "OF THE DEAD"; for this is the point under consideration; and it is the resurrection of the dead for which I contend, and not simply a standing up again, as in the case of a person fallen down, and then rising up again.
To the Editor of the Biblical Inquirer. Sir-I am obliged by your placing before me another letter from W. B., which he modestly terms a few brief remarks” on my reply to him in your fourth number. This will, as on the former occasion, account for both letters appearing at the same time; and, that I may occupy as little of your valuable time and space as possible, I will confine myself to the consideration of such parts as appear most deserving attention; for, to enter into all the particulars, would only prove a vain repetition of what has already appeared.
When I observed, that Martha held the tradition of the resurrection in common with her countrymen, I meant the Jews generally; but let her be a Pharisee in particular, and then let us see how Paul, who was one also, sustained that character previous to his conversion, and how he regarded it after that event. Ile distinctly tells us both in Phil. iii. 4–11. The truth is, the belief in a resurrection is a general subject, in which Paul might agree with the Pharisees without adopting their peculiar views of it; just as I and W. B. agree and differ. In like manner, they had their peculiar views of the Messiah; but it does not follow, that they were correct, much less that Paul adopted them. And, as to Martha's faith, of which W. B. appears so tenacious, we perceive its deficiency in our Lord's reproof, when he said to her, “Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things : but one thing is needful; and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” But, admitting that Martha was all that W. B. could wish to have her, we find charges of carnal reasoning brought against greater characters than she : for instance, Peter, whom our Lord rebuked by saying, “ Get thee behind me Satan; and the disciples proceeding to Emmaus, by “O fools and slow of heart to believe,” &c. If W. B. had bestowed more attention on this subject, he would have observed a greater difference than he suspects between the Pharisees and the apostle. The doctrine of the Pharisees, so far as it went, which however was a very little way, was right; and Paul allowably availed himself of it, to secure his personal safety; (Acts, xiii. 6.) but, when pleading before Felix, he added a circumstance which the Pharisees denied. Josephus, who was himself a Pharisee, informs is, that, according to the doctrine of his sect, “ the souls of good men only are removed into other bodies; but that the souls of bad men are subject to eternal punishment." See Wars of the Jews, B. ii. Ch. viii. § 14, and Whiston's note. Here there is an essential difference, as Paul asserted a resurrection “ both of the just and unjust.” Acts, xxiv. 16.* It is indeed improbable that the Pharisees would have agreed with Paul on any one point, as he was generally accused of heresy ; (Acts, xxiv. 26.) and it is my firm belief, on Scripture authority, that was solely because he contended for the doctrine, as declared by the Lord himself,—I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE,—that he and his fellow-apostles were persecuted : for, depend on it, had they preached according to Martha's belief, they might have done su unmolested. But we see distinctly what they could not endure, Jesus, coupled with the resurrection. They are inseparably connected; and what God has joined, no man might put asunder.
I am at a loss to comprehend why W. B. should insist on John v. 28, 29, being taken literally more than Ephes. v. 14, Ezek. xxxvii, or Dan. xii. 2. See the explanation in the Biblical Inquirer, p. 4, which W. B. ought to have refuted before he argued as he has done. “The true meaning of the words of Jesus and of the passage in Daniel appears to be this. Those Jews, who listened to the mild voice of the Gospel, proclaimed by Christ and his apostles, came forth from spiritual death to the life of faith in the new covenant; but those Jews, who rejected the doctrine of salvation, crucified the Saviour, and persecuted his apostles, were those who had done evil, and were roused from the dormant state in which they lay, as in a covenant of death and a refuge of lies, by the voice of judgment, and came forth to the resurrection of that condemnation, which is so particularly pointed out in the 24th and 25th chapters of Matthew.” Ballou on the Parables, p. 292. W. B.'s explanation makes final salvation to be, not of grace, but of works.
“The Jewish doctors," as Whitby observes on 1 Tim. iv. 1, “lay this down as a rule, that, wherever we find this phrase, in the last days, we are to understand it of the age or times of the Messiah ;" and, after proving the correctness of this rule by many citations from the Old Testament, he proceeds to show, that the apostles make the same application of it. When therefore Paul says, that God has spoken to us in these last days by his Son, the phrase must be restricted to his personal ministry ; and, if so, the last day is long past. W. B. asks, " when did God cease to speak by his Son ?"-to which I add, when will he cease to speak by him." Christ himself says—"my words shall not pass away." W. B.'s argument therefore proves too much, and so proves nothing; for it fot only proves, that
* The words in the original are avaoTaoi uelletv €0800ai, (anastasin mellein esesthai,) " that there is about to be a resurrection” &c., expressing the
event. But also, though distinctly pointed out in the Biblical Inquirer, p. 7, 8, is wholly overlooked.-Ed.
"the last days are not yet ended,” but that they will never end, and so that the last day will never arrive. He also asks, "Have we any other voice now than that, which was heard in the days of the Apostles ?”-Yes : we have, and always will have, in the Scriptures, the voices of the prophets also; and hence, according to W. B.'s reasoning, we are in the times of both, and both will run on endlessly together. Such are the absurdities involved in a departure from the self-interpretation of Scripture. If W. B. is willing to substitute persons for dead bodies, we ask no
But this substitution appears to be inmediately abandoned, as his idea of dead persons manifestly includes their dead bodies. “Now look," says he, at David, and see what is said of him, Acts ii. 34. - For David is not ascended into the heaven;" and, by the term David, we include his entire person.
Well: he is not ascended; where then is he? The context informs us : “the patriarch David, he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. “ Here then lies David, he with whom God had made an everlasting covenant, he is both dead and buried. I leave W. A. to think of this?” I have thought of it, and it is to me evident, that the apostle's aim was simply to prove that it was Christ, and not David, who ascended into heaven in a bodily shape: and thus to prevent the possibility of the passage, in Psalın xvi. 10, being applied to the literal David ; whom it could in no wise concern, as they had abundant evidence, that he died the death common to all, and that his mortal remains were committed to the earth. But, though David had pot ascended, when the apostle spoke, it does not follow that he did not ascend at the last day. See Bib. Inq: p: 11, last paragraph. Before I quit this part of W. B.'s. letter, I must observe, that he here differs from his favourite Pharisees. He contends for a resurrection of the same body; but they, as we are told by Josephus, asserted the removal of good men into other bodies : an opinion, which, much as I dissent from them, I think the more correct of the two.
W. B. must be unacquainted with Professor Lee's division of prophecy into general and particular, or he could not have so confidently cited, Eph. ii. 7, and Heb. ii. 5, as examples of unfulfilled prophecy. phecy,” the Professor observes, “is that, which proceeds, on certain given principles or data, to instruct, encourage, deter, or to threaten those for whom it has been given. - Particular prophecy is that which foretells such particular events as could not be foreknown by the exertion of any human powers whatever ; and it is afforded for the purpose of giving effect to some religious or moral truth.” Dissert II. p. 216. General prophecy, according to the Professor's definition, is wholly doctrinal, belongs to all time, and does not require any specific chronological fulfilment. The above cited passages accordingly belong to this class, as will be seen more evidently by attending to the doctrines taught in them. The first of them Ephes. ii. 7, informs us, that one design of God, in extending his superabundant favour to the Jewish portion of his Church,—that is, to the election from a people, who, considering their advantages, had sinned beyond all others on the face of the earth,—was its influential operation throughout all future generations. The passage is not predictive, but instructive; it foretells no particular event, but merely teaches in the way of example ; as in the case of their “fathers, ” mentioned in the 1 Cor. x. 6, 11, or of Paul himself, in 1 Tim. i. 16, with many more of the same description. The second, Heb. ii. 5, informs us, that the administration of the present dispensation differs from that of all former ones. Neither of them, therefore, affords the smallest proof of unfulfilled prophecy.
“ General pro