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for thus we may conceive the apostle addresfing his beloved followers ; “ Bę not shaken “ in mind, nor carried about with every wind “ of doctrine. Hold fast without wavering " the profession of your faith, and especially “ of that inost important article, on which " the truth of the gospel and every promise “ which you cherish of pardon and future
happiness depend, the resurrection of your “ Saviour froin the dead. Regard not these sunrighteous deceivers, who are come among
you, subverting your souls, ministers of “ the prince of darkness transforming them“ selves into apostles of Christ; the chief " of whom, Hymeneus, I am constrained “ to deliver unto Satan, I am compelled to
subject to the penal infli&ion of a mira“.culous and fevere disease, that he may “ learn not to blaspheme ; and that, being “ thus driven by the punishment of the flesh to " a conviction of his guilt, his soul may per“ chance be saved in the day of the Lord (6). “ Christ is risen from the dead. He rose on 16 the third day, according to the Scriptures. “ God did not leave his soul in hell, in the « abode of separate fpirits ; neither did He “ fuffer His Holy One to sec corruption. And “ He is become the first fruits of them that Nept.
(6) 1 Cor. v. 5. - 1 Tim. 1. 20.
"He is the first-born from the dead, that in «al things He might have the pre-eminence. s6 For it pleased the Father that in Him qe fhould all fulness dwell. As by the oblaretion of the first fruits, the divine blessing I was drawn down upon the whole harvest: « so has Christ fanctified all the people of " God, for whose fins He died, for' whose " justification He arose. If
believe that " Jesus died and rose again; believe that them « also which sleep in Jesus will God bring * with Him."
By establishing the fact of the resurrection of Christ, the apostle had provided a conclu. sive answer to every objection which could be urged against the future resurrection of the dead, on whatever principle the objection might be founded. Was the resurrection of the dead pronounced impossible? The reply was at hand.
“ Christ is risen. The same to power which raised Him is able to raise ľ all men.” Was the resurrection described, in the language of profane despisers among the heathen, as an unworthy and undesirable hope? The reply was ready. “ Christ is * rifen. Can that hope be unworthy ; can " that hope be undesirable to men ; which, “ when the Son of God became man, was perfected in Him?"? Was the resurrection 6
represented as an uncertain event? The Christian was prepared to answer, “ Christ is “ risen; and is become the firstfruits of them that "Nept. He, who hath proved Himself to “ be the Son of God by rising from the dead, “ hath declared that all who are in the grave " shall hear his voice and shall come forth.' So deeply however was St. Paul impressed with the importance of the subject, that he labours with extreme earnestness in the remainder of the chapter to confirm and illuftrate the truth of the doctrine that all men shall be raised from the dead; and to explain the blessedness of the change, which shall then be experienced by the righteous.
For since by man came death; by man came alfa the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die ; even so in Christ shall all bemade alive.
Death camé by man: in Adam all die. Adam, transgressing the divine command, by obedience to which he was to hold his happy ftate, was expelled from Paradise, lest by continuing to eat of the tree of life he should live for ever. Barred by the flaming sword of the cherubim from all access to its vivifying fruit, he was abandoned to his natural mortality. His mortal nature descended to his children: from them it has descended to us: from us it shall descend to the latest ge
neration of mankind. So death passed upon
By Adam's transgression every man has been subjected to the sentence, Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
But God is a God of mercy. Where sin abounded, he decreed that grace should much more abound. He decreed that the ruin brought on the human race by the prince of evil spirits who animated the serpent, by Satan, the father of lies, who was thus a murderer from the beginning, should not be without hope and without end. He decreed that by a being of that very nature which the Devil had degraded and subdued; by a descendent, according to the flesh, from those miserable sinners, whom he now triumphantly led cap-, , tive at his will; the loss of man should be regained, the great Enemy should in his turn be vanquished and hurled into perdition. He decreed, that the feed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head. He decreed that, as by man came death, by man should also come the resurrection of the dead : that as in Adam all die, even
so in Christ Mall all be made alive. Chrift undertook the office of mercy and recorciliation. He undertook, though without fin, to be made in the likeness of sinful flesh; to lay down his life on the cross, there to accomplish by his meritorious sufferings
an atonement sufficient for the sins of the whole world ; there openly to triumph over the principalities and powers of darkness; there to destroy the empire of Satan, and to fet free the prisoners of the tomb. I will ransom them, he cried, from the power of the grave : I will redeem them from death. O death! I will be thy plague. O grave! I will be thy defiruction (c). Was the dominion acquired through Adam by death univerfal? So also is the redemption from death purchased by Jesus Christ. There shall be a refurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. The dead, fmall and great, shall stand before God. All that are in the graves fall hear the voice of the Son of God, and fall come forth: they that bave done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation (d).
But every man in his own order. Chrift, tbe first fruits : afterwards, they that are Christ's, at his coming.
The apostle, having evinced, in the preceding verses, the universality of the resurrection both of the righteous and of the wicked, is folicitous to win the hearts no less than the understandings of the Corinthians to a wil
(c) Hof. xiii, 14. (d) Ads, xxiv. 15. Rev. xx. 12. Jolin, v. 25. 28, 29.