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Difficulties on the Subject of the analogy of his actual proceedings both Resurrection.
in the ordinary course of nature and Maidstone, Feb. 12, 1815. by miracle ; and further, that he can SIR,
receive no assistance whatever, from VOUGH I by no means wish secondary means, all created exist
to Credo (p. 25,] in his purpose of ob- otherwise, existing only as the pure viating the difficulties alleged by your effect of his power; and consequently Cambridge correspondent, in what being entirely at his disposal either to he conceives to be a more satisfactory preserve, remove or restore at his manner than I was enabled to do; pleasure. This was the leading subyet justice to myself, and the cause ject of our discussion, or at least I have espoused, requires that I should which I undertook to discuss; as I correct a palpable mis-statement which perfectly coincided with him in opinoccurs at the commencement of his ion, that the hypothesis of Dr. Watts, letter, and which appears and influ- concerning. “ an indestructible germ ences his remarks throughout. He of matter, being the nucleus of the sets out with the phrase “physiolo- regenerated man, is altogether a gragical correspondence" as descriptive tuitous supposition." of the Letter of Cantabrigiensis, and The question between us, therefore, consequently of the subject for our instead of being of a physiological namutual consideration. He also states, ture, and relating to the probability that the leading difficulty to be con- of a resurrection, by any such seconsidered was, whether if a man dies dary means as Credo appears to have wholly, a resurrection is within the in contemplation, was wholly theolobounds of probability. The difficulty gical, or relative to what was possible which he has not very judiciously as the pure result of the divine enersevered, is thus ingenuously and suc- gies. cinctly stated by Cantabrigiensis him- Whatever Credo may be about to self : " If I die wholly a resurrection do in his next letter by way of more appears scar
carcely within the bounds effectually clearing up the difficulties of possibility. There may be a new of Cantabrigiensis, he has hitherto creation, but can the regenerated be done very little except misrepresenting be myself? If there be nothing to ing and distorting his expressions, constitute my individuality but the and making heavy complaints against will and power of the Creator, I seem me, for not answering him by such reduced to the absurdity of thinking arguments as he deems most cogent. that my consciousness may be confer. In No. 1, of his remarks, he twice rered on any number of created forms." peats his misrepresention of the lead. Thus it clearly appears that he felt ing difficulty; and then complains of doubts concerning the possibility of a me for replying directly to it, instead resurrection by the energy of the of wandering into other topics. He is Creator alone, independent of some displeased with the length of my arsecondary means, such as the “ pre- gument, and that it is metaphysical. servation of consciousness" in the in. The first of these inconveniences he terval between death and the resur- has himself sufficiently remedied, rection. He suspected that a com- though so much. at the expense of plete resurrection or restoration of vi- perspicuity and sense, particularly at tal existence after it had wholly ceased the closing sentence of his abridgment to be, involved some absurdity, and (1), that I should much rather he had consequently was not an object even left it to speak for itself in its original, of infinite power. To this difficulty uninviting condition.*
The reason I undertook to reply, by shewing that why it could not be physical has been it is equally in the power of the Cre- explained; it necessarily relates wholator to restore life and consciousness as it was originally to impart, preserve and withdraw those blessings : and • Excited in the second paragraph, that it is sufficiently agreeable to the Vol. viü. p. 734, should bave been exerted!
Difficulties on the Subject of the Resurrection.
199 ly to the Creator and the human mind; even going to prove any one of his acyet I had hoped that the illustrations cusations. He complains that my an. derived from the familiar phænomena swer is vague ; yet according to his of sleep and dormancy, would have own account, it constantly applies to rendered it sufficiently intelligible. the point in view; viz. a resurrection The affirmative of the question with by the power and will of the Creator which it concludes is the point which alone. was to be determined, being the an- Credo makes various complaints of swer to Cantabrigiensis's chief diffi- my observations in proof that the reculty, and Credo, though with rather surrection of Christ is adapted to conan ill grace, appears to admit that it firm and establish the doctrine of the is perfectly easy;
resurrection of our race to a state of The second head of his remarks immortality ; and particularly that commences with a sad distortion of some of my quotations are irrelevant, sense contained in the concluding sen- and others want evidence of my havtence of the above quotation from Cau- ing justly applied them. Now the tabrigiensis. It by no means follows, principal question here is, whether that because the whole creation is the Christ, notwithstanding bis various entire production of Jehovah, the pure appearances in his former body, which effect of his power, therefore it must surely was the most satisfactory, if be a part of his substance. His at- not the only mode in which he could tributes are all resolvable into infi- manifest himself to men remaining in nite power, wisdom and goodness; the flesh, did not in reality come out and creation is the effect, not a part of his sepulchre, and usually continue of those attributes. They are the after his resurrection in a state of incause, this in all its parts and modifi- visibility; or in which he could vot cations, whether material or discern- when present be discerned by our ible by our senses or not, is the ef. eyes or any of our senses. For if Jefect. They constitute the one indivi. sus rose to a state of invisibility, it is sible Jehovah, or self-subsisting God, evident that his body must suddenly who is necessarily from everlasting to have sustained a greater and more ineverlasting, without variableness, or explicable change than any to which shadow of a turning. This subsists our bodies are subjected in the course only as the result of his energies, and of nature, by the circumstance of his may therefore be altered, withdrawn sudden invisibility alone; and if in or renewed at his pleasure. Though this state he received life and con. Credo terms this the next difficulty of sciousness in great perfection, the Cantabrigiensis, it is in reality only single event of his resurrection must an illustration of the preceding affir. have been more extraordinary, as bemation ; shewing his reasons for sis- ing compounded of more miracles than pecting that a resurrection in case of will attend the similar resurrection of total death " is scarcely within the mankind after their bodies have been bounds of possibility ;" viz. that the dissipated and rendered invisible by supposition appears to lead to absurd a process of nature.— I observe then consequences. Here again I am com- 1st. That if he had come visibly out plained of for referring
to the creative of the sepulchre his appearance would. power of God, instead of alleging have been the chief object to attract proofs from nature. Now had I mere- the attention of the watchmen who ly referred to creative power, with. were stationed at its entrance for the out shewing that there was no ab- express purpose of securing his body. surdity in the doctrine of a complete But though the appearance of an anresurrection of the same individuals gel from heaven, a sight of which in number, as in every other respect, they could have no expectation, and by its sole energies, there would have his rolling away the stone from the been just ground for complaint. But sepulchre were distinctly observed though Credo has charged me with by them, yet no intimation whatever an argument going to prove an impos- is given of their seeing Jesus. He sibility, and also with “ cutting the must therefore have been miracuknot," and yet “ labouring," which lously concealed from their view ; for two last accusations are not very com- had they seen him, the mention of patible with each other ;-he has not this sight would have formed the prohimself advanced a single argument minent feature in their narrative. %.
The next direct proof of his change his disciples, is the express doctrive into a state of invisibility was pre- of the Apostle Paul. (See Cor. xv. sented to the two disciples, with whom 31-53, particularly verses 42, 44 and he joined company in their way from 50.) Now the change from a dead, Jerusalem to Emmaus ; from whose animal, corruptible body, to a living, sight at supper, after an interesting spiritual, incorruptible one, being far intercourse for a considerable time, greater and more inconceivable than he disappeared. 3. The same even- any changes which can happen to ing “the doors being shut," he was material bodies in the course of nafound standing in the midst of the ture, it is evident that the sameness apostles, after such an inexplicable of the renewed being could not demanner, that though they were pre- pend on any sameness of materials in viously convinced that he was alive, the composition of his body. It must they now imagined that they saw on- depend wholly on the restoration of ly the spirit or apparition of a dead life and consciousness by that power
4. He again appeared to from which all created existence orithem in precisely the same manner ginates. If therefore from the dead seven days afterwards, Thomas being body of Jesus, an invisible, immortal present, and afforded him exactly person was produced, possessing the those proofs of the reality of his per- essentials of the same intelligent being son, which he had required in his who had previously lived in the comapparent absence. 5. It is evident mon state of humanity; we may safethat he was not usually visible to his ly confide in his assurance that our disciples during the interval between race in general will be restored to his resurrection and ascension, but life in like manner, by the same powthat he occasionally resumed his for- er alone, after that the materials of mer corporeal state, for the purpose which our present bodies are com. of munifesting himself to them. To posed have been wholly dissipated these occasional appearances the apos- and lost. The bodies of mankind in tles constantly appealed as the evi- general are rendered invisible by the dences that he was really risen, and gradual dispersion of their particles ; their narratives uniformly imply that and we may conceive of the possibithough he was occasionally, he was lity of the same identical particles notfuniformly nor generally present in being collected together, so as to form a visible form. Yet his appearing at a body composed of the very same the most suitable junctures, and dis. materials. But how the material bocovering an acquaintance with what dy could be suddenly rendered wholpassed in his apparent absence, prov- lý invisible, and at the same time, the ed that he must have been invisibly same life and consciousness imparted, or mentally present. 6. His ascension which before were so intimately united may justly be considered as a gradual with that body, are two most extraorrepresentation of the change from this dinary facts of which we can find no mortal state to a state of immortality; analogy in nature. They are presenthis body which had just been repre. ed to us in evidence and illustration sented to his disciples, in its usual only of one of these events as applicastate previous to his resurrection, di- ble to our race in general; viz. that minishing in specific gravity as it as- after their material bodies have been cended, till at length, probably both lost by a process with which we are from its height and its tenuity, it dis- well acquainted, renewed life and appeared from their view. 3. From consciousness shall be in like manner this time forward he has remained in imparted. In proportion therefore as a state of invisibility, with only two we are satisfied, that a man like our. recorded exceptions; viz. his appear- selves is now existing in a state so ance to Stephen to encourage this entirely different from this in which first Christian martyr in his dying we remain, as an earnest of our com. moments, and to Saul in effectiog his mon destination, we may regard it conversion to the Christian faith. 8. not only as a direct proof, but a case That there was a very great change in point strikingly illustrative of that effected in the body of Christ at his event. resurrection, from a corruptible to an It is true, indeed, that according incorruptible, from an animal to a to the received ideas, concerning matspiritual state, as there will be of all ter and spirit, these things must ap
pear extremely mysterious ; and the shortly “ put off" his tabernacle ; and
; phrase spiritual body, may seem to Paul, that himself and all Christians express a contradiction. The dis- knew that if their “ earthly house of quisitions of Dr. Priestley have, how. this tabernacle was dissolved,” they ever, thrown great light upon this had a building of God; hence, on subject; but as I conceive he has not this principle of consciousness, that carried his principles in their applica- their mind was inhabiting a tabernation to the doctrine of a resurrection cle of clay, Christians were anxiously to their full extent, I may on a future “ desiring to be clothed upon” with occasion be induced to trouble you their spiritual covering; for they well with some additional remarks.
knew that whilst they were at home Yours very respectfully, in the body, they were absent from
T. P. the Lord. Corresponding with this P. S. In your copy of my former view of the subject he writes, i Cor. letter there is a typographical error xv. 37, “ Thou sowest not that body (T. B. instead of T. P.) in the signa- that shall be;" 98, “ But God giveth ture, which, however, I perceive, has it a body as pleaseth him, and to not misled your correspondent Credo. every seed its own body.". The scrip
ture therefore does not hold man to Sir,
be one and indivisible as regards the (AVING before (p. 25,] stated body and mind; but holds the mind
my reasons for considering the to be the man, and the body to be letter of T. P. not to be an answer to his house, his tabernacle, his clothing. the objections of Cantabrigiensis to If therefore the whole body die, till the Christian's hope of a resurrection it can be shewn that the mind also from the dead, according to my pro. dies, a resurrection cannot be said to mise I now resume the subject with be improbable, but to such as know an intention of proving that the doc- not the power of God, and have not trine of the Resurrection can be so heard of his promises, nor exercise explained, as to be understood and their minds to discern his wonders in believed.
creation, and the reviviscence of all Founded on his objections C. puts nature. this question, “ If the immortality of 2. The next objection made by the soul wants support from scripture Cantabrigiensis is, that a creation is and the restoration of the same body not a resurrection ; and that if a new involves in it a physical contradiction, creation is made from myself
, many how is the preservation of individual such may be made. But if the mind consciousness and the resurrection of is the man, the new clothing of that the same man to be explained, un- mind is only a new creation of the derstood or believed ?" Now the diffi- clothing, but a resurrection of the culty appears to me, not to be in the man. And should that mind be didoctrine itself, but in the manner in vided, then the man would not be which Cantabrigiensis considers the raised. doctrine to be taught, for he“ laments 3. C. next objects to the resurrecthat the scripture evidence is in fa. tion of Jesus, that it is not any evivour of a system which holds man to dence to us, because his body was be one and indivisible and wholly not corrupted or destroyed, as ours mortal ;" and it is on this ground that will be ; but this, like his former obis put his first objection, “ That if jection, falls to the ground, as it reman wholly dies a resurrection does gards the resurrection of the dead not appear to be within the bounds of taught by the apostles ; for they no probability."
where teach the resurrection of the But scripture does not represent body as it now is, but expressly as“ Man to be one and indivisible :" for sert, « Flesh and blood cannot inherit Jesus says, “ Fear not them who kill the kingdom of God;" that the livthe (soma, the fleshly, organized) ing body at the coming of Christ shall body, but are not able to kill the be changed, that this “ corruptible (psuzan, the desirr, sensual) mind, must put on incorruption, and this but ratber fear him who is able to mortal must put on immortality." destroy both mind and body in the We know that Jesus that was raised grave Matt. x. 28. Peter speaks from the dead was the same Jesus as (2 Pet. i. 14,) of knowing that he must was crucified; not only he was conscious of it, but his disciples were also; Too many of the followers of Dr. but we also are assured that his flesh Priestley, in the doctrine of the Maand blood could not inherit the king- terialism of the Mind, reason as though dom of heaven. When he was changed, organization and mind were the same; whether in the tomb or at the time of but nothing can be more distinct : the ascension, is of no consequence; mind from infancy increases in knowthe objection of Cantabrigiensis ceases ledge and maturity to extreme old to bave force, unless he can shew age, always feeling through the whole that the flesh and blood of the body period accumulating evidence by meof Jesus inherited the kingdom of mory of personal identity; whereas God.
the whole of corporeal organization 4. Though the hypothesis of Dr. is so constantly passing away that Watts may be, in part, a supposition though the man recollects the occur. to avoid a difficulty, yet to me it does rences that have happened to him appear that part of that supposition for more than a century past, it is has a very close analogy to the scrip- probable that not one particle of the tures and what we know of nature. matter that constitutes his organizaThe language of the Doctor would tion is of more than ten years' standcertainly have been more correct had ing, and probably has not been one he said “ We must ourselves rise at year a part of him. It is the confoundthe last day for us to receive rewards ing together the actor and the instruand punishments," instead of saying ment that has confused this plain “our bodies must rise.". If the Doctor subject. errs in saying “ there may be, per- Be not alarmed, Sir, I am not gohaps, some original fibres of each hu- ing to revive the now exploded sys. man body,” perhaps he does not err tem of the pre-existence of the human in the continuing sentence, “ some mind, nor of its necessary immortality: stamina vita or primæval seeds of life, neither to bring forward the spectres which may remain through all the nor hobgoblins of past ages to terrify stages of life, death and the grave." the pervous and alarm the fearful. In the present state of things, as Dr. With you, Sir, I believe that the beWatts says, “ If there be any such ginning of life is the commencement, constant and vital atoms, they are and that its earthly termination of exknown to God only." Yet man may istence is a stop to all consciousness conjecture whilst he keeps within till the great Crcator has new clothed the bounds of natural and revealed it with its etherial dress or habitation. evidence.
In the mean time, I trust sufficient All nature makes known a distinc- has been said to prove the scripture tion between body and life, whether resurrection is not improbable or init is in vegetable or animal union : as credible; and that it is a resurrection far as we know, and here man has of that which alone can be called the extensive evidence, all life is a two- man, and that the resurrection of Jefold production; without the anima- sus is and ought to be sufficient evi. ting principle the ovum corrupts, with dence for us to act upon the expectait life is the consequence: that whose tion of our own future resurrectiou. origin is from two may be long com- If any of your correspondents wish bined together ; but as it was at first to carry on this physiological research united, it must necessarily have con- in connexion with scripture evidence nected with it a possibility of separa- and it meets your approbation to per. tion ; but in all living bodies we have mit its continuance, it will give much something more, for we have a con- pleasure to tinual struggle between the energies
CREDO. of the vital principle and the tendency of matter to corruption ; corporeality
Hackney, Feb. 5, 1816. being preserved alone in existence by
THE following does therefore demonstrate that man is not a one indivisible being as it re- a late publication, entitled, “ Letters gards body and mind; but that mind from à Gentleman in the North of is the man, and the body is the or- Scotland,” may not be unacceptable ganic instrument by which the mind to your readers. obtains information and power to act. - Then the ministers of the town
the energies of vitality. Nature itselt Tdemoed criminal, extracted from