« Prev § 64. (2.) Of the Resurrection of the Dead. Next »

§ 64. (2.) Of the Resurrection of the Dead.

The separation of the body and soul, which is occasioned by death, is not one of permanent continuance, but the time will come, as we are most positively assured in the Word of God, in which God will awaken the body and reunite it with the soul that belonged to it before death. [1] This will be, in substance, the same body with which the soul was united in this life, but endowed with new attributes, adapted to the nature of the circumstances then existing. [2] But, just as the condition of souls after death is different, according as they were godless or godly in this life, so will also the bodies of those who are raised receive different attributes, according as a happy or a miserable life is their portion. [3]

[1] BR. (367): “Just as the soul of man survives after death, so also the body which has been destroyed by death will rise again and be restored to life, as is most clear from the Scriptures (Job 19:26; Is. 26:19; Dan. 12:2; John 5:28; 11:23; 1 Cor. 15:12; 1 Thess. 4:16); but this certainly cannot be discovered from natural reason, although not opposed to it. When Scripture reveals the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, then reason, which recognizes God as the avenger of crimes and rewarder of the good, discovers that it is rather harmonious with itself than opposed to it, that the bodies, the instruments of good and evil deeds, should be raised for participation in punishments or rewards. And, although reason does not discover how bodies, the same in number as were resolved into ashes can be raised again; yet, so far from showing its impossibility by an invincible argument, it is compelled rather to leave this to divine power.”

HOLL. (1245): “The resurrection of the dead consists formally (a) in the reproduction or restoration of the same body which had perished by death, out of its atoms or particles which had been scattered thence and dispersed; (b) in the reunion of the same with the soul.”

[2] QUEN. (IV, 582): “The subject of the resurrection is the entire man that had previously died and been reduced to ashes. The subject from which, is the body, the same in number and essence as we have borne in this life, and as had perished through death (Job 19:26; Is. 26:19; Ps. 34:21; Rom. 8:11; 1 Cor. 15:53; 2 Cor. 5:4; Phil. 3:21), yet clothed with new and spiritual qualities (1 Cor. 15:42). (Observe: The body which will rise 641again will be spiritual, not as to substance, but as to qualities and endowments.)” Of these new attributes, HOLL. (1243): “The bodies which we bear about with us in this life differ from the risen bodies not with respect to substance, but (1) with respect to duration: the former are subject to corruption, and perish; the latter are free from corruption, and always endure; (2) with respect to outward form: the former become unsightly, colorless, offensive corpses; the latter will be glorious, brilliant, most beautiful; (3) with respect to vigor: the former are sown into the earth, feeble and destitute of sense and motion; the latter will be active, vigorous, abounding in extraordinary senses, subject to no defect; (4) with respect to activity and endurance: the former are subject to generation, nutrition, growth, local progress, and feel the need of food, drink, marriage; the latter will be entirely at leisure for spiritual actions, and will not need nourishment or conjugal intercourse.”

[3] GRH. (XIX, 38): “These very qualities of the revived bodies, by reason of which they are distinguished in this life from animal bodies, must be accurately distinguished form each other. For some are common to all the revived, the wicked as well as the godly, the unbelieving as well as the believing. Such are αφθαρσια και αθανασια, incorruptibility and immortality, because the souls and bodies of the wicked are to be lost (not by being annihilated, but by being tortured) in gehenna, Matt. 10:28; for the worm gnawing them will not die, and the fire burning them will not be quenched (Is. 66:24; Mark 9:44, 46, 48), and therefore their bodies will likewise rise again incorruptible and immortal, never to be separated from the souls, but to be reserved for eternal and never-ending tortures. From this it is also understood that the incorruptibility and immortality in the bodies of the wicked are very different from the incorruptibility and immortality of the godly, both with respect to the rest of the connected qualities, and with respect to the end . . . . But some qualities are peculiar to the godly alone when raised again for everlasting life, which the apostle, 1 Cor. 15, recounts in this order, vs. 43-49; Phil. 3:21. From which it is inferred that the bodies of the godly men raised to life eternal will be not only incorruptible and immortal, but also: (1) glorified, glorious, because they will be clothed, as with a mantle, with ineffable honor, splendor, and glory, and therefore, with divine light, lustre, and brilliancy, Matt. 13:43; Dan. 12:3; 1 Cor. 15:41; (2) powerful, because they will be altogether free from mortal difficulties and former infirmities, pains and diseases, to which they were subject in this life, and therefore, will be 642strong, vigorous, incapable of suffering, agile, subtle, which neither weight nor gravity will be able to prevent from being caught up into the air to meet the Lord, 1 Thess. 4:17; (3) spiritual, not indeed with respect to essence; for they will not be spirits, but spiritual bodies. They will be ισαγγελοι (like the angels), not angels, not equal to, or the same as angels, Matt. 22:30; but, by reason of spiritual qualities, their bodies will no longer be natural bodies [animalia, Vulgate translation, 1 Cor. 15:44, of Gr. ψυχικον], standing in need of food, drink, sleep, and other supports, but spiritual, in which there is no strife of the flesh and spirit, but which are perfectly subjected to the control of the spirit, are entirely ruled by the Holy Ghost, and need no food or other means for their support [CHEMNITZ, De duabus naturis, p. 175: “Bodies in this life are called ψυχικα, not because they are transmuted into soul, or of the same substance with the soul, which is a spiritual substance, but because they are moved to action and governed, not by themselves or their own bodily conditions, properties and faculties, but by the power of the soul. So in the resurrection, the bodies will be πνευματικα, spiritual, not because they will be transmuted into spirit, or be of the same substance with the Holy Spirit, for they will have and retain their nature or bodily substance, as Job says: ‘In my flesh, I shall see God,’ and in the Creed we confess that we believe the resurrection of this flesh. But they will be spiritual, because what the soul is now to the body, the Spirit will be to body and soul. For the body will without means be sustained and preserved by the Spirit. And the body with the soul will be most perfectly subject to the direction and control of the Spirit. For in this life the regenerate are led in things pertaining to God by the Spirit of God, but only partially and imperfectly. In the resurrection, however, both body and soul shall, without any resistance, be perfectly subject to the guidance and control of the Spirit, who will use both bodies and souls of saints, according to His omnipotence, for whatever movements and operations He wishes; and the bodies and souls of saints in glory will use the virtue of the Spirit for all movements and operations the Spirit wishes, and will have no longer psychical, but most perfect spiritual conditions and faculties”]; (4) heavenly, likewise, not with respect to substance but with respect to qualities, because they will shine with heavenly light and glory, will no longer be subject to earthly infirmities, but will be distinguished by their heavenly lustre, and no longer be disfigured, corrupt, imperfect, maimed, and unsightly, but most beautiful, pleasing to the sight, perfect, handsome, and complete in members, etc. An example of these 643qualities is presented to us in the body of Christ, as raised from the dead and placed at the Right Hand of God, to which our body is to be made like. But although the bodies of the wicked and the damned will be incorruptible and immortal, yet they will not be impassible, but will be subject to eternal tortures, and will be adorned by no honor, no glory, no power, no spiritual excellence, but will be marked by perpetual foulness and ignominy, destined to eternal disgrace, and oppressed by infernal darkness. They are vessels made unto dishonor and disgrace, Rom. 9:21; 2 Tim. 2:20. According to the characteristics imparted to those raised from the dead, as the saved or lost, their resurrection is termed: “The resurrection to life, which is peculiar to the godly and true believers, and the resurrection to judgment, which is peculiar to the wicked and unbelieving.”

[A question to which the Dogmaticians give much attention is as to whether the godless will rise by virtue of the merit of Christ. On this, GRH., XIX, 13: “The virtue whereby Christ will raise the godless, properly speaking does not belong to the merit of Christ, but to the divine power, communicated to His human nature by means of the personal union and exaltation to the Right Hand of God. This power extends farther and to more objects than does the merit of Christ, because, by means of this power, Christ also, as man, sustains, rules and governs all things in Heaven and earth, in His general kingdom, called the kingdom of power. The resurrection of the godless pertains rather to His functions as Judge, than as Mediator and Saviour; as may be inferred from the end of the resurrection.”]

« Prev § 64. (2.) Of the Resurrection of the Dead. Next »
Please login or register to save highlights and make annotations
Corrections disabled for this book
Proofing disabled for this book
Printer-friendly version





Advertisements



| Define | Popups: Login | Register | Prev Next | Help |