THE JUDGMENT OF THE DEAD.
mind. He is truly "unskilful in the word of righteousness," and incapable of digesting "the strong meat" of the mystery of the Christ, which, in the pre-apostolic generations, was not made known to the sons of men as Paul and his companions taught it (Eph. iii. 4–5): for "strong meat belongeth to them who are perfect (τελειων); to those who, by reason of use ,have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." But they who would make a merit of not pretending to understand the prophets, yet presumptuously mete out to others, who can read them with intelligence, condemnation and repudiation, are not only the sickliest of mortals, but well-nigh to the fate of thorns crackling under a pot.
But some, while they confess that there will be resurrection, in the same breath in which they pray you to "have patience with them, because they are thick-headed," boisterously and positively assert that on the dust of dead ones awakening to life, they spring forth from their graves incorruptible and immortal; so that, manifestly, according to them, Paul was not treating of body, but simply of incorporeal dust, when he says, "this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality!" This corruptible incorporeal dust must put on incorruption. But this cannot be the apostle's meaning; for the dust, instead of being corruptible, has resisted corruption for thousands of years, as in the case of Abel, Abraham, Daniel, and so forth; it would, therefore, be superfluous to put on a quality it already has. No; Paul was speaking of body, not of incorporeal dust. It is, therefore, necessary that the dust be first formed into body in the grave; so that body being evolved, there may be body to "put on" what may be appointed for it.
Paul's saying, "This corruptible must put on incorruption," though it may, and does, apply to living bodies existing at the resurrection, which will be changed, or quickened, without tasting death, cannot apply to bodies living contemporary with him; for those bodies, instead of putting on incorruption, put off everything, ran rapidly into corruption, and ceased to be bodies at all. His argument clearly assumes the existence of a body waiting to "put on incorruption and immortality," when the fiat of its Creator shall be declared. This body, which springs forth from the ground, "as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth" (Is. lxi. 11), is, doubtless, the body he styles "a natural body," in comparison with another body, which he terms "spiritual body." He gives "the first man Adam," before he sinned, as the type of the one; and "the last Adam," when made "a quickening spirit," the type of the other. "The first man is out of the earth, of dust,