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of that. blessed State, none but those who are the only and proper Children of the Resurrection. And why is it? What Reason is there that can be given that they should be called the Children of the Resurrection, being counted worthy to partake of the Glory of the World to come; if not to shew the Precedency, as well as the Excellency, which the Saints shall have of the Wicked, when the Upright shall have the Dominion over them in the Morning?
Tenthly, Here is another Text, I shall bring for the Proof of this point; and that is in the i Thell.iv. 16. For the Lord himself fall descend from Heaven with a Shout, with the Voice of the Archangel, and with the Trump of God; and the Dead in Christ shall rise firft.
Now however some interpret this first Resurrection, to be no other in these Words, but the rising of the dead Saints before the changing of the living : Yet I would feign know of such, whether this is all that is intended in the Text, if they say it is, then I desire them to consider a little more upon the Words; and compare them with that parallel Place in i Cor. xv. 51, 52, Behold I bew you a Mystery, we shall not all peep, (that is die) but me fhall be changed, (that is those Saints who shall be found living when Christ comes) 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 sball be changed.
I say let this be well consider'd, by comparing it with the other; and ifit should be granted, that the Dead inChrist rising first, respects their rising before the changing of the living Saints; let us but enquire how long a distance of time we may suppose there I will be between them; whether it will (uponExamiE nation) deferve to be called a first Refurrection ? For i if this should be the meaning of the Words, there € must certainly be some time of Distance, not only he to answer the end, but to specify unto the Saints, I that they do rise first. Now what a Distance here lis, we may consider in this fifteenth of Corinthians, I to be just nothing at all; because the Dead do ha", not arise, until the Lord himself shall come from is : Heaven with a Shout, with the Voice of the
Archangel, and the Trump of God; and then it es it is that the living Saints are changed; as it is : D: expressed with great Plainness in the Texts. We
all not all peep, but we Mall be changed in a MoTrf I ment, in the twinkling of an Eye at the last Trump, si le for the Trumpet shall sound, and the dead fall be ring raised incorruptible, and we (that are living ) ball 'ř be changed. So that it doth undeniably appear
from this, that when the one is raised, then, at į the same time the other are changed, yea both in
to a State of Incorruptibility and Immortality. Yet if some will have a Distance between them, how A little is it, so as that it cannot be perceived, for
wh at time is there in a Moment? And if there be any Distance, this is all that can be conceived of,
and what time can we suppose to be in the twinkIling of an Eye, so as to deserve such a Distinction
of a rising first? Therefore this cannot be the mean
But that which is principally intended by the Holy Ghost, in this Expression is to acquaint the the Children of God, that they shall have the Prece
dency in Respect of Time, as well as the Glory of their Resurrection. For here being nothing
expressed in all this Discourse, concerning the to riling of the Wicked; there might such a Thought as this arise in the Minds of the Saints; But what will become of the Ungodly? will they arise when we do? Or where shall they be at that time? The ApoAtle removes this Scruple out of the way, and latisfies them in these Words, by acquainting of them, that the Dead in Chrift rise first. Anil l0 | İnews, that the Dead in Christ, together with the Living, will be both the one raised, and the other changed, before the Wicked (the rest of the Dead) arise or live again: And this indeed will be luch a long Distance of Time (to wit, à thousand Tears) | as may well deserve to be called å rising first, or a firi Refurre&tion.
But I have not yet done with this ? Text; therefore when the Spirit of God, by the Apostle, had asserted this by the Word of the Lord, that we which are alive, and remain unto the coming of the Lord, hall not prevent them which are asleep, Verse 15. tells us as a Reason why we shall not be prevented in Verse 16. For the Lord himself hall descend from Heaven with a Shout, with the Voice of the Archangel, and with the Trump of God. Herelies the Weight of the Argument, why the living had not prevent, (or hinder) the dead Saints from riling to participate of that Glory, which is to be broug. unto them, at the Revelation of Jesus Chrift: It 18 because the Lord himself will come from Heaven, and bring the Souls of all that seep in Jesus, along with him, as it is in Verse 14. and because he will come with a Shout, such a loud Voice of the Arche angel, and the Trump of God, as will awaken the Bodies, and raise them all up out of their Graves,
o be reunited with their Souls into a perfe&t State f Glory for ever. This is the reason, here I say ies the weight of the Apostles Argument; why we which are alive and remain, shall not prevent them which are asleep. There lies no weight in that Expression (as to this and the dead in Cbrift rise firft. It matters not much, whether the Dead shall be raised, before the living Saints are changed, or whether the Living shall be changed before the dead Saints are raised; or whether they will be both together at one and the same time (as afore) let it be which it will, here is nothing can be drawn from hence, as an Argument to be a let or hindrance in preventing the Bodies of those Saints that sleep in Jesus from rising.
Therefore this Expression, and the Dead in Chrift rise first, stands as it were, intire by it self, as not having that Dependance (as some would have it) upon the foregoing Words. For that Particle and (according to my Apprehension) does shew that these Words are a distinct Branch of it self; pray do but mind it, and the dead in Chrift rise firft. Now : if the Spirit of God had intended to have lain the Argument of the dead Saints not being prevented from rising, to their rising before the Living are changed, and therefore they rise firft, that they may not be prevented ; and so this last Expression of the 16th Verse to be the same, and to have a close Connection with the Words 'foregoing, then..
without Doubt the Apostle would have put in the 5 Word for instead of and; that so the Sense might
run more smooth, as being all of one Piece ; and then we should have read the Words thus, For this me say unto you by tbe Word of the Lord, that
we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the
the Trump of God: Wherefore it is, that they shall .. not be prevented. Then doth the Apostle assert this
Divine Truth; and the Dead in Christ Mall rise
And if so, then we may see how this agrees 'with other Texts of Scripture ; especially the twentieth of the Revelatiin, Verse the fixth; and doth explain to us how long the Saints shall arise (with the Living changed) before the rest of the Dead; to wit, a thousand Years : For on such the recond Death sball have no Power, but they Mall be
Priests of God and Christ, and shall reign with him si a thousand Tears.
Eleventhly and lastly, Let not the Reader then (who hath no Light into this Doctrine) cry this down for a Novelty; this is not a new thing, if Antiquity may be regarded : It is an ancient Truth, as ancient as the Scriptures. Besides both ancient and modern Writers, (whose Works are ftill extant) have writ concerning these Things; as fuftin Martyr, Irenæus, Tertullian, Cyprian, and Origin; together with those of latter Times,