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I shall here introduce, as prefatory to the first chapter of Genesis, the following elucidation of that part of the 15th chapter of the first Epistle to the Corinthians, relating to that subject.
Verse 35. "But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?
36. "Thou fool! that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die.
37. "And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain.
38. "But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.
39. "All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.
40. "There are also CELESTIAL BODIES, and bodies terrestrial: but the GLORY of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
41. "There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars : for one star differeth from another star in glory.”
The above, according to common apprehension,
relates, that there really are celestial bodies in heaven, and with different degrees of glory; the highest degree of SUPEREMINENCE may therefore be among them.
And at the following verse it is again repeated, with apparent solicitude, that there is a natural and also a spiritual body.
Verse 44. "It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. THERE IS A NATURAL BODY, AND
THERE IS A SPIRITUAL BODY."
Being thus informed, how can we pretend to say, that the Deity has not a spiritual and celestial body? person is particularly mentioned by St. Paul, in Hebrews, chap. i.
Verse 1. "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
2. "Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the world;
3. "Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding
all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
4. "Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they."
Here our Saviour's degree of glory is descriptively and familiarly shown to be superior to that of the angels, who are at the same time mentioned as of the community of heaven.
In all the missions which angels have performed upon earth, they are, according to Scripture mention, represented as in the human form, nor has there ever been any intimation that they were of any other form. When our Saviour ascended from this earth to return to heaven and sit on the right hand of God, it was in the form of man; and we are told that in like manner he will return again. It is our Saviour likewise that says, "If thine eye offend thee, pluck it out; it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than havingtwo eyes to be cast into hell:" from which we may infer, that those of the resurrection who are, accord
ing to what he says in St. Luke, worthy to enter into heaven, will do so in their human form. But St. Paul's information leaves us without hesitation to conclude that in heaven there are celestial BODIES, with different degrees of glory: and from that statement it is natural to suppose that there is a superior among them.
Genesis, chap. i. verse 26. “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.
27. "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him."
An image of likeness is a corporeal resemblance of some one that can be seen; but to the human eye a mind or spirit is imperceptible, and an omnipotent mind is beyond our comprehension; it seems, therefore, that from humility alone, we should be inclined rather to suppose, from the above verses, that we were made after God's celestial form, than after the manner of his holy and omnipotent mind. An image made after the likeness of any human creature has only an outline, and superficial resemblance; it has no pretensions to life, inward mechanism, or sameness of substance; it is merely a partial and
unfinished copy. Seeing, then, in how many instances an image (the given emblem) falls short of the living person it represents, does it not follow that our terrestrial forms may also, in many instances, differ from the great celestial prototype in question? But the beginning only of this verse showed us that we had an image-like resemblance to God, while the latter part proceeds with the additional information, that male and female created he them. And that it is progressive and additional information concerning the formation of man, may be inferred, if it is not confirmed, by our Saviour's mention, Luke xx. that "in heaven they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like unto the angels; neither can they die any more." Thus we are shown that the spiritual body cannot die, therefore in heaven there is no want of successors; but in the flesh they die, and different sexes were necessary for the replenishment of the new earth; we are therefore, secondly, informed that male and female created he them; and, thirdly, the account of man's creation is completed in the next chapter at the 7th verse, where it is shown how life and soul were imparted to the terrestrial image: