THE JUDGMENT OF THE DEAD.
and then at the time appointed, He reverses the operation, in sending forth His spirit for their renewal (Ps. civ. 29–30). This is the formative or recreative power of resurrection. The gases and the dust might all be mechanically and intimately combined; but no image and likeness of a previous entity would result. The power of the life-word, intelligently operative, is indispensable. This power sent forth by Deity, and applied by Jesus (2 Cor. iv. 14), in its application, secretly and silently, as in the combination and formation of like elements into dew, will synthesize the gases and the dust of sheol, and from "the sides of the pit, wherein no water is," and where no forms exist, this formative power will evolve living men and women, who shall come forth from the land of darkness, where the light is as darkness (Job x. 21–22), like dew "from the womb of the dawn." He, by whom this power is applied, may well be styled "the Wonderful, the Counsellor, the Mighty Power, the Father of Eternity." What an astonishing evolution of living substantial intelligences out of a few invisible elemental principles of nature! It cannot be said that they are created out of nothing, any more than such a creation could be affirmed of the dew. The crude materials abound in sheol, where they would continue eternally in a formless condition, irrespective of their natural affinities. These would never evolve them into previously existing men and women; still less would their elemental affinities, however strong, reproduce beings of remote antiquity, with their consciousness of self in as lively exercise as though they had only had a wink of sleep! Nothing but the wisdom and power of Omnipotence definitively applied, can accomplish so extraordinary a result. The Sadducees utterly denied that such a thing was either probable or possible; but, as Jesus said, "they erred, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of the Deity." If they had understood Moses and the Prophets, and had had any appreciation of the power by which all things had been created, and were sustained, they would have been preserved from the fatal error of denying a resurrection. It is this ignorance of the Scriptures in their signification, that is the source of all the errors so variously and widely prevalent respecting resurrection. Few have any rational conception of the process by which living, previously-existing, self-conscious, intelligent forms, are evolved from a few gaseous and earthly particles; and almost as few understand the nature of the forms, or living images, produced; and the doctrinal principles upon which, when reproduced, they attain to their full and final development. Though Pharisaic in word, the religious world universally is practically Sadducean. Its creeds confess a resurrection of all the dead; while those who have received them implicitly from their ancestors, hold the dogma