THE JUDGMENT OF THE DEAD.
stand before Deity "sitting thereon: certain books are then opened; "and the dead are judged out of those things which are written in the book, according to their works" (Rev. xx. 11–15). This judicial throne is what Paul terms in Rom. xiv. 10, and 2 Cor. v. 10, "the judgment seat of Christ"; and in writing to the saints therein, he says we must all appear and stand before it. He includes himself among the appearers, and declares that on that occasion, as Jehovah has sworn in Isa. xlv. 23, "every one of us shall give account of himself to Deity": in order that according to the account rendered) "every one may receive the things through the body (δια του σωματος, according to what he hath done, whether good or evil": according to his works, as they may be adjudged good or evil, by the gospel rule. This rule declares that "whatsoever a man sows that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption" (Gal. vi. 8). Now sowing to the flesh is for a saint to live after the flesh; and Paul tells them that "if they live after the flesh, they shall die; but if, through the spirit they mortify the deeds of the body, they shall live" (Rom. viii. 13). Now, this reaping corruption of the flesh, and dying, is receiving "through the body," evil. It cannot be evil received in ordinary death; for this evil is common to all mankind, whether righteous or wicked. No; it is evil received through the body which comes out of the grave; and it is evil inflicted after the Righteous Judge has heard the account rendered, and pronounced His disapproval of it. Saints who have thus sowed to the flesh must come forth corruptible and mortal, or they could not reap corruption of the body. But, it is objected, that these are not the righteous. True; but the righteous appear at the same time and place; and for the same purpose: and the good rendered to them through the body is subsequent to the account given. It is understood, that the good to be rendered through the body is incorruptibility and life—a reaping of the spirit, life everlasting. How could this be reaped, consequent upon an account given and approved, if the saint had incorruptibility and life before he appeared at the tribunal, and before any account were rendered? Clearly, then, he appears in body for judgment; and in one that is neither incorruptible nor deathless: but his historical character being approved, the body upon which that character has been flashed, is perfected; and he lives for evermore. It is proved, then, if testimony can prove anything, that the righteous will be brought to judgment; and receive through the body presented the good the Righteous Judge may be pleased to award.
But the righteous are not only gathered to the judgment of the last day; but the judgment of that day begins with them. "The