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to have remarked, "Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God." The observation tended immediately to bring up to the mind of the Saviour the blessed gospel of that very kingdom; so often represented by the Jewish prophets under the figures of bread, and of a feast; and of which the Jews had been invited to partake, both by Christ himself, and by his apostles. This gospel he set forth in the parable before us under the figure of a great supper.

Before we proceed to a direct consideration of the parable, it will be proper for us to attend to a certain part of the context, which, in common with many other passages of the sacred writings, has, as we conceive, been grossly misapplied. We refer to the saying of Jesus to those whom he directed to call the poor, the maimed, the lame and the blind, when they made a feast, instead of their rich neighbors. To induce them to comply with this advice, he assured them that they should be blessed in so doing; for although the poor could not recompense them, they should be "recompensed at the resurrection of the just." From this it has been supposed, that Jesus meant to teach the doctrine of recompense in the future state for the actions of this life. Before we yield implicit credence to such an application of these words, let us inquire what real evidence they afford of the doctrine they are supposed to substantiate. Well then, it is said, "thou shalt be recompensed at the RESURRECTION of the just." And does not this mean, says the inquirer, that they shall be recompensed after the bringing up of the body from the grave, in what is commonly called the future life? We answer, the words prove no such thing. If that notion be correct, it is not proved by these words. All the dependance of

those who take the common view, is placed on the word "resurrection." If that word had not been there, no person ever would have thought of the usual application. For instance, suppose it had been said, thou shalt be recompensed at the deliverance of the just, would any person, from that circumstance, have inferred the fact of a recompense in the future state? No, surely. It is plain then that the sole stress is laid on the word resurrection; and the recompense is referred to the future state because it is said it will be given at the resurrection of the just. Now in order to have it certain that the words in question substantiate absolutely the doctrine of recompense in the future state for the conduct of men here on earth, it should be indisputable that the Greck word anastasis here rendered resurrection, signifies in this instance, the bringing up of the body from the grave, or the quickening of man into life after his natural death. But is it indisputable that this is the signification of the word in the instance before us? It is not-it is very far from being indisputable. In substantiating what we here say, we do not mean to furnish the reader with any other than orthodox authority.


The Greek word anastasis, generally translated resurrection, is derived, according to Parkhurst, from the verb anisemi, which signifies to rise. He gives the word two shades of signification: 1st. "A standing on the feet again, or rising, as opposed to falling. 2d. "A rising or resurrection of the body from the grave." Thus then, according to the author, the word anastasis has two meanings, or rather applications. Rising, in opposition to falling, and rising, that is from the dead. Now it is a question of the highest importance, in regard to the passage under consideration, in which of these

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senses the word resurrection occurs? And as we have shown that this word does not necessarily signify restoration to life after natural death, it is clear that the passage of itself alone, is no proof whatsoever of the doctrine of recompense in the future state of existence. Dr. Campbell, one of the most judicious critics that ever lived, says "the word anastasis, or rather the phrase anastasis ton nekron, is indeed the common term, by which the resurrection, properly so called, is denominated in the New Testament; yet this is neither the only, nor the primitive import of the word anastasis. It denotes simply being raised from inactivity to action, or from obscurity to eminence, or a return to such a state, after an interruption. The verb anistemi has the like latitude of signification; and both words are used in this extent by the writers of the New Testament as well as by the LXX. Agreeably therefore to the original import, rising from a seat is properly termed anastasis, so is awaking out of sleep, or promotion from an inferior condition." Here the Dr. assures us, that the common application of the word anastasis is not its only sense.2 In regard to the words, "shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just," the argument in favor of recompense in the future state for the actions of this life, is founded upon them precisely as though that were its only sense. But the Dr. says, that is so far from being the only, it is not the

1 See note on Matt. xxii : 23.

2 The same writer says, in Dis. vi: p. ii. Sec. 23-" Another mistake about the import of scriptural terins, is in the sense which has been given to the word" anastasis." They confine it by a use derived merely from modern European tongues to that renovation which we call the reunion of the soul and body, and which is to take place at the last day. I have shown in another place, that this is not always the sense of the term in the New Testament.

primitive sense of the word. "It denotes simply being raised from inactivity to action, or from obscurity to eminence, or a return to such a state after an interruption.

To show that the criticisms of Parkhurst and Campbell are well founded, let us refer to the manner in which the word anastasis is employed in the scriptures. It occurs most frequently in application to that renovation which is to take place after natural death. But we sometimes find it in its primitive sense, signifying a resurrection from inactivity to action, or from obscurity to eminence. See Lamen. iii. 62. "The lips of those that rose up against me, and their device against me all the day." Here the word in the Septuagint which is rendered rose up, is the same which occurs in the passage under consideration-" thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just :" they cannot now recompense thee; but thou shalt be recompensed when they are raised from inactivity to action, from obscurity to eminence, or when they return to such a state after interruption. See also Zeph. iii. 8. Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey." Here the instance is precisely the same as in the last quoted passage. Luke ii. 34. These are the words of Simeon concerning Jesus Christ. "Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel." The same word occurs in this passage. And what resurrection is referred to? Not resurrection from death in the literal sense, but a resurrection from a depressed condition. There can be no question of this. And is not this the sense in which Jesus is called "the resurrection and the life?" "He that believeth in me," said Jesus, "though he were dead, yet shall he live." He shall be


raised from a state of inactivity to action, from obscurity to eminence, from moral death to moral life.

By the help of these criticisms we arrive, we think, at the true sense of the word before us. Jesus was directing the people when they made feasts, to be careful not to forget the poor; "call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind." He anticipates the objection of the Pharisees, who would say, but if I do this, how shall I be recompensed? He assures them they shall not lose their recompense; for although the poor could not recompense them, yet when these poor were raised from inactivity to action, from obscurity to eminence, or returned to such a state after an interruption, then they should be recompensed. The meaning is plain. What Jesus spoke here is true as a general principle, besides perhaps being peculiarly applicable to the age in which he lived. The followers of Jesus then were poor, they were in a depressed condition. To encourage others to receive and treat them with kindness, he frequently declared that they should not lose their reward. If they gave his disciples a cup of cold water, he would receive it as done unto himself. In Mark ix. 41-48, where Jesus is speaking of the distinction that was to be made between his followers, and his enemies, at the time of his coming to destroy the Jewish state, he says. "For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye beloug to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward." At this time the Christians were to be exalted, raised from a low condition. Jesus bade them, when they saw the signs of the destruction of Jerusalem begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh,' Luke xxi. 28. This was

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