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9 The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.
This post-resurrectional conclusion of the existence of the unjustified, is referable to their not being deemed worthy of quickening by the Righteous Judge. He rejects them as not being fit and proper characters to have incorruptibility and life imparted to them. In His good pleasure, therefore, He leaves them naked, and exposed to shame and contempt (Dan. xii. 2 ; Rev. xvi. 15) : but the wise, who inherit glory (Prov. iii. 35), their lamp shall not be put out thus
(Prov. xiii. 9): they will be quickened.
Their bodies will be perfected, as the body of Jesus was perfected in its ascent to the Father.
Spirit, or power, will be imparted to them without measure ; so that their bodies, conceived in the dust of sheol, and capable of a return thither, will be deprived of that tendency ; and be transformed into the likeness of the glorious body of Jesus, who never will be mistaken
again for the gardener of Gethsemane.
Hence, the transforming operation is the quickening, or impartation of incorruptibility and
life to bodies already endowed with temporal life. The casting of the dead out of the earth only puts them into the position occupied by those who are alive at the advent of Christ. These, not having died, are prepared for transformation. If the advent occurred immediately, it would find them living men and women, waiting to be gathered together to the tribunal of Christ. They will appear there an unquickened assembly, bearing the image of the earthy Adam (1 Cor. xv. 49) ; and in that image, standing before " the last Adam, the quickening spirit " ; that it may be seen if they be worthy, from their account given of themselves, to bear the image of the heavenly.
The fitness of things requires, that all the dead and all the living gathered to the judgment seat of Christ should appear there an unquickened host. All have to appear there in the same nature, or body, and for the same end ; namely, for quickening, or transformation, if worthy ; otherwise, not. What fitness would there be in a mixed assembly ? Certainly, none. The judgment seat is occupied by the quickened and quickening spirits ; and this throne is not set up for the judgment of quickened spirits by the Quickener; but for that of unquickened flesh and blood, whether contemporary with the judgment, or reproduced from sheol for judicial purposes.
MAN IN SOCIETY
BY THE EDITOR.
Man, in the history of his race, presents himself to our notice in two states-the social and the savage. The social is his original condition; the savage, that into which he has sunk as a consequence of licentiousness.
At his formation, Man, who was made male and female, was pronounced "very good;" and appointed to live in society, because it was "not good for him to be alone." The primeval society of Eden was constituted of divine and human elements-of God, the Elohim, man and woman: of God, "whom no man hath seen;" of the Elohim, whom he hath often seen; and of man and woman, the perfection of flesh and blood.
This social state was free and devoid of evil; yet was its liberty not absoute, but restrained and regulated by law. Though "very good" and undefiled by sin, man was not permitted to do as he pleased without restriction. A law was given to him by his Creator, expressive of the divine sovereignty over society, and his position in the social state. Hence, society is a divine institution, originally characterized by intelligence, goodness, law, and liberty.
Woman belonged to man, because she was his own flesh and bone, and given to him of God; and they both belonged to God, because He had formed them for himself. Society, therefore, belongs to God; so that whosoever hath the honour of membership therein is free to do whatever he pleases that is not contrary to the letter and spirit of His law.
This is the liberty God permits in society, which is his. Beyond this man must not go if he would continue in the divine favour. Law is the boundary line between liberty and licentiousness. He that crosses it diabolizes, and takes the first step in the descent, which terminates in the anarchy of the savage state.
From the constitution of society, then, at the foundation of the world, we see that law was an essential element of the social state; and that social liberty is freedom restrained by law. Absolute liberty, or freedom unrestrained by law which defines "order" and "decency," has no place in the divine plan. Man aimed at this. He virtually asserted, that he had a right to do what he pleased with the Tree of Knowledge as with all other trees; but experience at length proved to him that he had no unconditional rights; but a right only to do according to the law. He did as he pleased, and in consequence lost the favour of God, as will all others who pursue a similar course.
The existence of society depending upon the maintenance of law, it behooves all intelligent and wise people to coöperate to that end. If flesh were not sinful, or if all men were wise and good, the knowledge of the requirements of the divine law would be sufficient. They would know and do. But flesh is sinful, very sinful; and all men in society have not intelligence, nor faith sufficient to walk by, nor wisdom, nor a love of order, nor a sense of decency; therefore, a simple knowledge of what God requires in society, or a simple reference to what the law says, is not enough to answer the necessities of the case. Law cannot apply itself, it must, therefore, be placed in the hands of an administration, that lawlessness may be restrained, and decency and order maintained in society.
The savage state is the opposite to the social in every particular. The "philosophy" of the Gentiles, "falsely so called," teaches that the savage is the original condition of man; and that society has grown up out of it as a result of necessity. One who believes the Bible, however, discards this as mere foolishness. Divinely constituted society is the primeval state; and savage life the extreme consequence of a departure from its laws.
It originated in transgression of God's law, or sin, which, before the flood, acquired such force as entirely to corrupt the way of the Lord, and to fill the whole earth with violence. Its career was similar after that catastrophe; and where it was not antagonized by divine interference, but allowed in its fleshly inworking and manifestation to acquire absolute sway in portions of the human race, it reduced them to the condition of the natives of New Holland and the Feejees.
The "liberty" of these aborigines is absolute. They do what is right in their own eyes upon the principles of "liberty and equality" in the abstract. They are without law to God, and know no rule but the necessity of their own lusts. They are nature's freemen, democrats of the largest liberty, who, under the impulse of desire, edify themselves without regard to the sensibilities and wishes of the unfortunates who fall into their hands.
This is the extremity arrived at by the uncontrolled working of that principle called "sin in the flesh." Cannibalism, however, is but the extreme manifestation of that "liberty" contended for by some, which impels them to a gratification of their own selfishness and vanity at the expense of the order and decency of the social state. The latter is sin modified in its display by circumstances, which restrain it by present consequences from murder and theft; but leave it rampant in the manifestation of "hatred, variance, jealousies, wraths, strifes, divisions, sects, envyings," which though thought little of by the carnally-minded, as effectually exclude from the Kingdom of God.