Page:Anastasis A Treatise on the Judgment of the Dead.pdf/16

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AT THE APPEARING OF CHRIST.

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cesses and principles, which He employs as figures to illustrate His teaching in the word. Thus, in regard to corporeal regeneration, in the process of developing an immortal being from the dust of sheol, the terms expressive of the stages of what may be styled the spiritual gestation are conformed to the phenomena pertaining to the natural. The same fact obtains in relation to moral regeneration, which must precede in probation, the corporeal in the resurrection state. In the moral process "the New Man" is "begotten," or conceived, when the sinner perceives "the truth as it is in Jesus"; and he is "quickened" unto a new and independent life, when the truth works in him to will and to do the good pleasure of Deity. If he stop short of the quickening in moral or in corporeal gestation, he is a mere abortion; but, if in the moral, the process is matured in a "faith that works by love and purifies the heart," the immersed believer is addressed in these words, to wit: "And you hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins … He hath quickened you together with Christ" (Ephes. ii. 1, 5). It will be perceived by the thoughtful, that there is necessarily a marked interval between the moral conception and the quickening of the dead in sin. An unquickened intelligent sinner is a theorist—a speculator in divine thoughts, which have no moral influence over him; while a quickened sinner has become circumcised of heart and ears, "the workmanship of Deity," "created by knowledge after His own image" (Eph. ii. 10; Col. iii. 10).

The moral gestatory order of development, I have said, is in strict conformity with the law of nature. According to this, quickening usually occurs about eighteen weeks after conception. During this interval, the bearer has no direct consciousness of the embryo forming within; but when quickening occurs, the attention is strongly excited. Now, the English law recognises the cause of the phenomena of quickening to be, the acquisition of a life by which the fœtus might live independent of its bearer. This idea is probably correct; and certainly exact enough to illustrate the phenomena of the moral and corporeal generation of "the new man which, after Deity, is created in righteousness and holiness of the truth" (Eph. iv. 24). The matrix of this new being is "the heart" of the sinner. "The word of the kingdom" is the incorruptible seed sown into his heart. For some time, he has no direct consciousness that a new creature is forming within him. In process of time, however, his attention is strongly excited, and he perceives that he carries within him new ideas, aspirations, and feelings, to which, before he began to read and study the Word, he was an entire stranger. These are a new creation; and, if they do not prove abortive, will ultimate in the development of the incorruptible and immortal man: for this