Strickersville, Pa., Feb. 10, 1849.
BROTHER BEEBE: – I find that the subject of the Resurrection will occasionally find its way into the Signs, and I have no objection that it should; it is a subject of vast importance in the economy of salvation, and cannot be too closely studied. I find the objections to the resurrection, (at least all that I have seen) are founded on human philosophy. Now as we do not pretend to account for it on this principle, we will not at this time attempt to answer the objections drawn from that source; we look on this as a subject of exclusive revelation, and we are therefore bound to look to revelation alone for its support. A few facts have presented themselves to my mind which I will communicate, and
First. It is clear from the good old book, that Christ was set up from everlasting, as the Mediator between God and his elect; for we have not the least evidence of his being the Mediator for any other.
Second. To accomplish his mediatorial work, it was necessary that he should become incarnate, “Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of his people. Faithful to God in magnifying the law and making it honorable, and merciful to his elect, in redeeming them from under its curse.
Third. It is evident that Jesus suffered death, not in appearance, but in reality; and it is equally true that his death was vicarious. He hath delivered us from the curse, being made a curse for us. Again, he hath borne our sins in his own body on the tree.
Fourth. And a glorious fact it is, that he arose from the dead in that identical body which was buried – a body composed of flesh and bones. “Handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have.” True, he did not see corruption, neither was it necessary that he should; it was necessarily a part of his official mediatorial work; all of this was fully accomplished without it. His death was indispensable. Salvation could not be accomplished without it. His resurrection was absolutely necessary; all that he had done in his life and death would have been negatory without it; but to see corruption was not requisite; and the scripture must be fulfilled which had said that he should not see corruption. Nor is it necessary that his people shall see corruption, to prepare them for glory; if it were, then all would have to see corruption, which will not be the case; for we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, &c. But although they which are alive at the second advent of Christ, shall not see corruption, they shall experience a change equally, with those who have seen corruption. By the way, it is not the corruption of the body that will prepare it for glory; for if it were, the bodies of the wicked would be prepared for that condition – a conclusion we can not admit: that change will be produced by something else.
Fifth. He ascended to heaven in the same body that arose from the tomb. He certainly did appear to his disciples in that same body. One of them said, “except I shall in his hands the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” Not long after he had made this assertion, an opportunity was afforded to make the experiment; but when Christ called on him to put his finger in the prints of the nails, and thrust his hand into his side, this sight was enough, without going farther; and Christ said unto him, “Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed; Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet believed.” Because thou seest what? Why, the prints of the nails, and the place of the spear, for it is evident from the conversation that passed between them, that these very marks were shown to Thomas. We then assume it as a fact, that he ascended to heaven in the identical body in which he suffered death, arose from the dead, and in which he appeared to his disciples after his resurrection, and until is shall be clearly disproven by plain scripture testimony, I shall never surrender it.
Sixth. That the glorious body of Christ is the pattern after which the bodies of the saints shall be fashioned. “For our conversation is in heaven, from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like his glorious body according to the working whereby he is able to subdue all things unto himself.”
Thus we see that the saints will be like him, that is, Christ in the resurrection – that whatever constitutes his glorious body, will constitute the glorious body of his saints.
These few facts, I think, contain true divinity, and I am inclined to believe that there is nothing in them at war with sound logic. What is logic? It is the art of using our reason properly, &c., to assist us in our search after truth, by conducting us to correct conclusions, &c.
One mode of argument is termed Syllogism: suppose we should try to (?) something of the kind by it; in doing which, we will assume as our major proposition, that God, being infinite in power, is able to execute all his purposes. – But it is evident from the bible that he has purposed the resurrection of the bodies of the saints at the second coming of Christ, – therefore the resurrection of the bodies of the saints at the second advent of Christ, is certain.
I add no more; but remain yours in hope of a glorious resurrection.
Signs of the Times.
Volume 17, No. 4.
February 15, 1849
Meaning no disrespect to Elder Barton, I do have a question that I hope you the reader will stop and ponder to yourself. It is said in the above article a few times that it was the “identical body” that was raised from the grave and yet at the same time he calls it a “glorious body”. So, obviously it had been changed in some way and therefore can it truly be the “identical” body? – Tom