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TEXT. 36 Thou fool! that, which thou sowest, is not quickened, except it
die. 37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that
shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some
other grain. 38 But God giveth it a body, as it hath pleased him, and to every
seed his own body. 39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh
of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another
of birds. 40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the
glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is
another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon,
and another glory of the stars; for one star differeth from another star in glory.
PARAPHRASE. they have now?" Thou fool! does not daily experience teach thee, that the seed, which thou sowest, cor
rupts and dies, before it springs up and lives again! 37 That, which thou sowest, is the bare grain, of wheat, or
barley, or the like; but the body, which it has, when it 38 rises up, is different from the seed that is sown. For
it is not the seed that rises up again, but a quite different body, such as God has thought fit to give it, viz.
a plant, of a particular shape and size, which God has 59 appointed to each sort of seed. And so, likewise, it is
in animals; there are different kinds of fleshl: for the flesh of men is of one kind: the flesh of cattle is of another kind;. that of fish is different from them both; and
the flesh of birds is of a peculiar sort, different from 40 them all. To look yet farther into the difference of
bodies, there be both heavenly and earthly bodies; but
the beauty and excellency of the heavenly bodies is of 41 one kind, and that of earthly bodies of another. The
NOTE. 39 i The scope of the place makes it evident, that by “hesh," St. Paul here means bodies, viz. that God has given to the several sorts of animals, bodies, in shape, texture, and organization, very different one from another, as he hath thought good ; and so he can give to men, at the resurrection, bodies of very different constitutions and qualities from those they had before.
TEXT. 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corrup
tion, it is raised in incorruption;
sun, moon, and stars have each of them their particular
beauty and brightness, and one star differs from another 42 in glory. And so shall the resurrection of the dead
42 k “ The resurrection of the dead," here spoken of, is not the resurrection of all mankind, in common : but only the resurrection of the just. This will be evident to any one, who observes, that St. Paul, having, ver. 22, declared that all men shall be made alive again, tells the corinthians, ver. 23, That it shall not be all at once, but at several distances of time. First of all, Christ rose; afterwards, next in order to him, the saints should all be raised, which resurrection of the just is that which he treats, and gives an account of, to the end of this discourse and chapter; and so never comes to the resurrection of the wicked, which was to be the third and last in order: so that from the 230 verse, to the end of the chapter, all that he says of the resurrection, is a description only of the resurrection of the just, though he calls it here, by the general name of the resurrection of the dead. That this is so, there is so inuch evidence, that there is scarce a verse, from the 41st to the end, that does not evince it.
First, What in this resurrection is raised, St. Paul assures us, ver. 43, is raised in glory; but the wicked are not raised in glory.
Secondly, He says, we," speaking in the name of all, that shall be then raised, shall bear the image of the heavenly Adam, ver. 4), which cannot belong to the wicked. « We” shall all be changed, that, by putting on incorruptibility and immortality, death may be swallowed up of victory, which God giveth us, through our Lord Jesus Christ, ver. 51, 52, 53, 54, 57, which can. not likewise belong to the damned. And therefore 6i we," and " us," must be understood to be spoken, in the name of the dead, that are Christ's, who are to be raised by themselves, before the rest of mankind.
Thirdly, He says, ver. 52, that when the dead are raised, they, who are alive, shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye. Now, that these dead, are only the dead in Christ, which shall rise first, and shall be caught in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, is plain from 1 Thess. iv. 16, 17.
Fourthly, He teaches, ver. 54, that, by this corruptible's putting on incorruption, is brought to pass the saying, thai, “Death is swallowed up of victory." But I think, nobody will say, that the wicked have victory over death: yet that, according to the apostle, here belongs to all those, whose corruptible bodies have put on incorruption ; which, therefore, must be only those, that rise the second in order. From whence it is clear, that their resurrection alone, is that which is here mentioned and described.
Fifthly, A farther proof whereof is, ver. 56, 57, in that their sins being taken away, the sting, whereby death kills is taken away. And hence St. Paul says, God has given “us” the victory, which is the same “ us," or "
we, who should bear the image of the heavenly Adam, ver. 49.
And the same " we," who should “all“ be changed, ver. 51, 52. All which places can, therefore, belong to none, but those, who are Christ's, who shall be raised by themselves, the second in order, before the rest of the dead.
NOTE. It is very remarkable what St. Paul says, in the 51st verse, “ We shall not all
sleep, but we shall all be changed, in the twinkling of an eye.” The reason he gives for it, ver. 53, is, because this corruptible thing must put on incora ruption, and this mortal thing must put on immortality. How? Why, by putting off flesh and blood, by an instantaneous change, because, as he tells us, ver. 50, flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; and therefore, to fit believers for that kingdom, those who are alive at Christ's coming, shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye; and those, that are in their graves, shall be changed likewise, at the instant of their being raised; and so all the whole collection of saints, all the members of Christ's body, shall be put into a stale of incorruptibility, ver. 52, in a new sort of bodies. Taking the resurrection, here spoken of, to be the resurrection of all the dead, promiscuously, St. Paul's reasoning in this place can hardly be understood. But, upon a supposition, that he here describes the resurrection of the just only, that resurrection, which, as he says, ver. 23, is to be the next after Christ's, and separate from the rest, there is nothing can be more plain, natural, and easy, than St. Paul's reasoning; and it stands thus: “ Men alive are flesh and blood; the dead in the “ graves are but the remains of corrupted flesh and blood; but flesh and blood “ cannot inherit the kingdom of God, neither corruption inherit incorruption, “ i.e. immortality: therefore, to make all those who are Christ's, capable to “ enter into his eternal kingdom of life, as well those of them, who are alive, « as those of them, who are raised from the dead, shall, in the twinkling of
an eye, be all changed, and their corruptible shall put on incorruption, and " their mortal shall put on immortality: and thus God gives them the victory “ over death, through their Lord Jesus Christ.” This is, in short, St. Paul's arguing here, and the account he gives of the resurrection of the blessed. But how the wicked, who are afterwards to be restored to life, were to be raised, and what was to become of them, he here says nothing, as not being to his present purpose, which was to assure the corinthians, by the resurrection of Christ, of a happy resurrection to believers, and thereby to encourage them to continue stedfast in the faith, which had such a reward. That this was his design, may be seen by the beginning of his discourse, ver. 12—21, and by the conclusion, ver. 58, in these words: “ Wherefore, my beloved brethren, be " ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord: foras... “ much as ye know, that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” Which words show, that what he had been speaking of, in the immediately preceding verses, viz. their being changed, and their putting on incorruption and immortality, and their having thereby the victory, through Jesus Christ, was what belonged solely to the saints, as a reward to those who remained stedfast, and abounded in the work of the Lord.
The like use, of the like, though shorter discourse of the resurrection, where in he describes only that of the blessed, he makes to the thessalonians, 1 Thess. iv. 13—18, which he concludes thus: “ Wherefore comfort one ancther with “ these words."
Nor is it, in this place alone, that St. Paul calls the resurrection of the just, by the general name, of the resurrection of the dead. He does the saine, Phil. iii. 11, where he speaks of liis sufferings, and of his endeavours, “ if by
any means he might attain unto the resurrection of the dead :" whereby, he cannot mean the resurrection of the dead in general; which, since he has de clared in this very chapter, ver. 22, all mer, both good and bad, shall as certainly partake of, as that they shall die, there need no endeavours to attain to it. Our Saviour, likewise, speaks of the resurrection of the just, in the same general terms of the resurrection, Matt. xxii. 30. “ And the resurrection from * the dead,” Luke xx. 35, by which is meant only the resurrection of the just, as is plain from the context,
TEXT. 43 It is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory: it is sown in weak
ness, it is raised in power. 4+ It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is
a natural budy, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, The first man, Adam, was made a living
soul, the last Adain was made a quickening spirit. 46 Howbeit, that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is
natural; and afterward, that which is spiritual.
be: that, which is sown in this world', and comes to
die, is a poor, weak, contemptible, corruptible thing: 43 When it is raised again, it shall be powerful, glorious, 44 and incorruptible. The body, we have here, surpasses
not the animal nature. At the resurrection, it shall be
spiritual. There are both animal and spiritual" bo45 dies. And so it is written, “ The first man Adam was
“made a living soul,” i.e. made of an animal constitution, endowed with an animal life; the second Adam
was made of a spiritual constitution, with a power to 46 give life to others. Howbeit, the spiritual was not
first, but the animal; and afterwards the spiritual.
NOTES. 42 i The time that man is in this world, affixed to this earth, is, his being sown; and not when being dead, he is put in the grave, as is evident from St. Paul's own words. For dead things are not sown; seeds are sown, being alive, and die not, until after they are sown. Besides, he that will attentively consider what follows, will find reason, from St. Paul's arguing, to understand him so.
44 * Ebua fugiròn, which in our Bit is translated, “a natural body," should, I think, more suitably to the propriety of the Greek, and more conformably to the apostle's meaning, be translated “ an animal body:" for that, which St. Paul is doing here, is to show, that as we have animal bodies now, (which we derived from Adam) endowed with an animal life, which, unless supported with a constant supply of food and air, will fail and perish, and at last, do what we can, will dissolve and come to an end; so, at the resurrection, we shall have from Christ, the second Adam, “spiritual bodies,” which shall have an essential and natural, inseparable life in them, which shall continue and subsist perpetually of itself, without the help of meat and drink, or air, or any such foreign support; without decay, or any tendency to a dissolution: of which our Saviour speaking, Luke xx. 35, says, “ They who shall be accounted “ worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead,” cannot die any more; for they are equal to the angels, i.e. of an angelical nature and constitution. 1 Vid. Phil. iii. 21. VOL. VIII.
TEXT. 47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord
fruin heaven. 48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the
heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49 And, as we bave borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear
the image of the heavenly. 50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the
kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we
shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump, (for
the trumpet shall sound;) and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
PARAPHRASE. 47 The first man was of the earth, made up of dust, or
earthy particles: the secund man is the Lord from hea48 ven. Those who have no higher an extraction, than
barely from the earthy man, they, like hiin, have barely an animal life and constitution : but those, who are re
generate, and born of the heavenly seed, are, as he that 49 is heavenly, spiritual and immortal. And as in the ani
mal, corruptible, mortal state, we were born in, we have been like him, that was earthy; so also shall we, who, at the resurrection, partake of a spiritual life from Christ, be made like him, the Lord from heaven, heavenly, i.e. live, as the spirits in heaven do, without the need of food, or nourishment, to support it, and without infirmities,
decay and death, enjoying a fixed, stable, unfleeting life. 50 This I say to you, brethren, to satisfy those that ask,
“ with what bodies the dead shall come?" that we shall not at the resurrection have such bodies as we have now: for flesh and blood cannot enter into the kingdom, which the saints shall inherit in heaven; nor are such fleeting,
corruptible things as our present bodies are, fitted to that 51 state of immutable incorruptibility. To which let me
add, what has not been hitherto discovered, viz. that we 52 shall not all die, but we shall all be changed, In a mo
ment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the sounding of the last trumpet; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall rise: and as many of us, believers, as are then