The Two Resurrections

J. N. Darby.

<10023E> 355

The doctrine of two resurrections — a first and a second — has been treated of occasionally, in connection with the coming of the Lord, in more than one of the papers on that subject. But its importance, and the way in which unscriptural views on it mislead the mind as to the gospel itself, seem to me to call for a distinct paper on the point. The doctrine of a first resurrection does connect itself with the truth of our complete salvation in Christ, the part we have with Himself in glory and blessing, and with His coming again; and this will appear in the following lines; but my object now is to give the scriptural view of this particular subject.

Are there two resurrections? and what is their true character? There are two resurrections, entirely distinct in character and in epoch. The whole character of the resurrection of the saints is totally distinct from that of the resurrection of the wicked.

We are predestinated to be conformed to the image of God's Son that He may be the firstborn among many brethren. This is the full result of God's purpose as to us. This is evidently in our resurrection state. Hence we are raised in glory. Upon the face of it this shews that our resurrection is in its nature wholly distinct from that of the wicked, who are yet to be judged. It is, as to our present state, the full result of redemption, in which the wicked have no part whatever, but quite the contrary. It is not what leads to the decision of the state we are to be in by a judgment to be pronounced, but our being, by the power of God, in the state which the unspeakable grace of redemption has made ours. This single point at once shews the great importance of this question.

The resurrection of the saint is not a preliminary to a judgment which is to decide the state he is to be in, but the putting him into the state in which he is like Christ and in which he is to be for ever in the Father's house with Him; power introducing him into that condition which redemption has obtained for him. Let my reader weigh for a moment the vast importance of this truth, incontrovertible if we acknowledge the authority of scripture. We are raised in glory. Let him see what a seal it sets on the efficacy of redemption and on the nature of our association with Christ in life. We have life in Christ, life from Him risen. So complete is our redemption and the efficacy of Christ's work, that the power which calls us out of the grave is used only to put us into actual glorious conformity to Christ glorified, who is our life. It is evident that this can have no application to, but is in the completest contrast with, the resurrection of the wicked.

356 A common resurrection, of which the result is afterwards to be proved by judgment, is entirely contrary to scripture — a tradition, deep-rooted in the Church's habits of thinking perhaps, but which has no foundation in scripture. And this will soon be found to affect the whole character of the gospel and the present condition of the soul under its influence. The resurrection of the saint is not a resurrection to an uncertain or even an unascertained result in judgment, but is itself the result of redemption, a resurrection in glory.

If we look at another aspect of the resurrection of the saints, we shall find this amply confirmed. We read in Romans 8, "If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." The resurrection of the saint is the effect and consequence of the Holy Spirit's dwelling in him. As Jesus was raised from the dead by Him whose Spirit dwells in us, and in the power of that Spirit (as we read in Peter), we also shall be raised by (or, as some read, on account of) that Spirit which dwells in us. It is equally clear that this can have no reference to the wicked. The nature of our resurrection is different. It is the result of that Spirit's being in us, which is the witness already that there is no condemnation for us, that we are in Christ and Christ in us. That which has saved us, that which has made us walk in holiness, in newness of life as sons of God, has its result in what demonstrates fully whose and what we are. Just as Christ was declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness by resurrection of the dead, so we, through Him in blessing walking in that Spirit here, are by His power manifested in resurrection in full result as sons of God. The children of God being the children of the resurrection.

I will now shew from scripture that while the resurrection of the wicked is distinctly taught, the resurrection of the just is always distinguished and never confounded with it. It would be confounding a state which is the result of redemption and the act of grace in power which brings that result about, with a state in which the result of man's sin is to be carried out by judgment; because in each case divine power works to call the dead out of their graves. It is this confusion which has the effect of throwing such obscurity on the gospel itself by which we have a part, and through faith by the Holy Ghost know we have a part in the effect of that redemption. There shall be a resurrection both of the just and of the unjust. That is clearly laid down. They that have done evil will come forth out of their graves to the resurrection of judgment.* This itself marks a peculiar character of resurrection for the wicked, but I do not pursue their case any farther: my special object is the resurrection of the saints. Suffice it to say the wicked will be raised and raised for judgment. I will now first of all take 1 Corinthians 15 as the fullest scriptural expression of the subject, and then 1 Thessalonians 4 as giving some very precise details.

{*In John 5 in the English version it is "damnation." This surely it will be, but the word is judgment. Much as we have to be thankful for, in general, in the English version, it is well it should be remembered that their avowed practice was, when the same word occurred often in a sentence, to translate it by different ones. Thus in John 5:22, 24, 27, 29, we have "judgment," "condemnation," "judgment," "damnation." In all it is the same word, κρίσις "judgment;" a special way of shewing Christ's authority. Every one will feel the importance of this on only reading the passage.}

357 The tenor of 1 Corinthians 15 applies only to believers, and more than that distinctly states that they only will rise when Christ comes. The resurrection described is the resurrection of the saints. "It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption; it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory." This clearly applies only to believers. The resurrection he is speaking of applies to believers only. So it is said, "Death is swallowed up in victory." It is that act of power which causes us to bear the image of the heavenly (vers. 42, 43, 49, 54). Nothing can be clearer than that it is a description of the resurrection of the saints. But more than this, the order of the resurrection is formally spoken of, and the wicked left out; and more than that (verses 20 and onward), "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept." Christ is not the firstfruits of the wicked adjudged to condemnation. But further, "Every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then they that are Christ's at his coming." That is, when the order of resurrection is specifically declared, those only who are Christ's are declared to rise at His coming, those of whom He is the firstfruits. The end comes afterwards, "when he shall have delivered up the kingdom." That is, we have a distinct revelation of the order of the resurrection, in which we are taught that those that are Christ's will rise when He comes, those of whom He is the firstfruits, who are to bear His image.

358 This is fully confirmed in the book of Revelation (chap. 20), where we learn that at the end, when the wicked dead, who had not part in the first resurrection, are to stand before the throne, and the books are opened, and they are judged out of the things written in them, Christ does not come at all. One sits on the great white throne, and heaven and earth flee away from before His face. That is, He does not come at all.

Turn now to 1 Thessalonians 4 where, again, we have direct instruction on the point. "The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout … and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." The changed saints are associated with the raised to go and meet the Lord and be for ever with Him, as in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52; but it is only the dead in Christ, or living saints changed. Grace and faith had made the separation and make it, not judgment. Jesus comes to fetch them to be with Him for ever; and when He does that, He changes the body of their humiliation and fashions it like the body of His glory. (Phil. 3.) It is quite certain all this applies to the saints only, the wicked have no part in this resurrection.

Such then is the formal doctrine of the word; namely, that grace makes the separation here between the wicked and believers, and that Christ at His coming raises the just to have a part with Him.

Remark how (in 1 Cor. 15) the saints are associated with Christ. If we are not raised, Christ is not, says the apostle and insists on it. We are so connected that you cannot separate the two cases. If He is not raised, we are in our sins; clearly shewing that if He is, we are not. In the Adam all die; in the Christ all are made alive. Those connected with each of the two heads and the heads themselves have respectively the same portion. Christ is the firstfruits of those that are fallen asleep. As is the heavenly, such are the heavenly; and we shall bear the image of the heavenly. All this teaches, not a mixing up saints and unjust for judgment to distinguish, but the blessed truth of the association of the saints with Christ, and apart from the wicked.

Do the other passages which speak of this subject confirm this, or do they shew that some fallacies have entered into our minds, and that these passages do not teach this, however plain they may seem? All other passages fully confirm the doctrine, that there is a distinct resurrection of the just. "Thou shalt be recompensed," says the Lord, "at the resurrection of the just." There is such a thing as a distinctive resurrection of the just (Luke 14:14). Again (Luke 20:35), "but they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage: neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels, and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection." Here some are counted worthy to obtain a resurrection from the dead, in which they are as angels, and proved to be the children of God because they belong to it and it to them. If all were raised together, this could not be true. There is a resurrection which belongs to the children of God only, and proves they are such.

359 John 5 is equally clear. Two great means are there set before us of the glory of the Son: quickening with the Father, and judging alone. The two are not confounded. The judgment is to compel all to honour Him. But in which am I to be? They that have heard His word and believed on Him that sent Him are quickened; they have everlasting life; they shall not come into judgment,* but are passed from death unto life. Christ already quickened souls as Son of God. They were not to marvel at this, for the time was coming when all in their graves should hear His voice, they that have done good coming forth to the resurrection of life, they that have done evil to the resurrection of judgment:* resurrections thus distinct in their character and nature, one being for judgment, the other for life, completing as to the body what had been already done for the soul. The word hour is alleged here to shew it is at the same time. This is comparatively of little moment compared with the saints being raised apart as already accepted, and now glorified, the wicked being raised for judgment by themselves.

{*κρίσις "judgment," "condemnation," "damnation" (see previous note) are all the same word here in Greek: it means judgment, and not condemnation, nor damnation; that is κατάκριμα.}

But there is no ground for the remark that αὤρα merely means an epoch. There is one of quickening to have a part with Christ, another in which judgment will be executed. The former has certainly lasted 1800 years and more, and comprises two distinct states, Christ on earth, and Christ in heaven. An argument has a poor foundation which rests upon a word in verse 28 meaning a single and same moment, which in verse 25 certainly means 1800 years and more. A Concordance will shew there is no force in it at all. In chapter 6:39-40, 44, 54, all confirms this; it is a promise of that which is the completing the blessing of eternal life. It would be of little import to insist on raising a person up at the last day as a sure proof of favour and eternal life, if the wickedest man going was raised just in the same way, both having their case to be settled by judgment.

360 It is well here to notice in passing, that the notion of Christ's coming at the end of the world is an unscriptural idea. At the judgment of the dead, which is at the end of the world (the last enemy who is to be destroyed then meeting his end also), Christ does not come at all; He sits on the great white throne, and heaven and earth flee away from before His face, and the dead stand before God, and the books are opened. This is not coming back to earth.

In the same way the end of this world (in Matthew 13 and other places) is not of this globe when it is consumed, but of this age or dispensation; a perfectly well-known phrase among the Jews who spoke of the olam-hazeh, this world or age, and the olam-havo, the age to come, the latter being the time of Messiah's reign. Now "the last day" alludes to this; he will be raised up when Christ comes and puts an end to this age — αἰών (aion). It certainly is not the end of the world; Christ could not give the glory then, when He spoke; but when He takes His kingdom, He will raise them up, and they will reign with Him. 1 Corinthian 15 I have already considered.

In Philippians we find the same truth confirmed: "If by any means I may attain to the resurrection from the dead:" a very useless effort again, if the wickedest unbeliever would be equally there; there was nothing to attain to. If the saints were to be raised separately in glory, then indeed it was worthy of his earnest desire. And in the Greek this passage has a force which the English does not give it. The apostle has invented a Greek word to express this distinct resurrection —  ἐξανάστασις (exanastasis) — a rising out from among others. That is what he sought to attain to. Christ, the object of perfect divine favour, had arisen out from among others, the firstfruits; and Paul, he looked to have part in the blessed harvest when Christ will come from heaven, as he expresses it at the end of the chapter, "from whence we expect the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change our vile body that it may be conformed to his glorious body." How evident it is that the mind of the Spirit dwells on a resurrection which belongs to the saints, in which the wicked have no part. In the commonest truths this appears: we are "waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of the body." The deliverance of the body from the power of death could have no such expression if a common resurrection to judgment was in the apostle's mind — was a christian thought. How would it then be "the adoption?" Death indeed then for us will be swallowed up in victory.

361 1 Thessalonians we have already examined. The dead in Christ rise, the living are changed, and both together go up to meet the Lord in the air, and so are ever with the Lord: a statement which needs no comment as to the exclusion of the wicked.

I would only add that as this and 1 Corinthians 15 speak very distinctly of the resurrection of the saints as taking place at the coming of the Lord, those passages which speak of His coming for the saints confirm in the distinctest way the same truth. Thus, "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself, that where I am there ye may be also." Christ comes and takes His own up to Himself. That this excludes the wicked from such a process, there is no need to say.

So, in the end of Hebrews 9, "as it is appointed to men once to die (χεῖται, it is their lot), and after that the judgment, so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and to them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation." Here again salvation and looking for Him exclude the unbeliever. And remark, that this is in contrast with (the natural portion of fallen man) death and judgment. The more familiar we are with the New Testament, the more we shall see how Christ and the believer are associated by the Holy Ghost. So that life and resurrection belong to both, they have a like part in it: only that it is in Him divinely, and by right of course; in us through grace. Their trust was in God that raises the dead; they knew that He which raised up Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and present us with all saints; that if our earthly house of this tabernacle be destroyed, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. They looked that mortality might be swallowed up of life. God had wrought them for that, and given them the earnest of the Spirit, so that they were always confident.

362 The cold doctrine of a resurrection common to all, to go and to be judged, furnishes no such thoughts. When Christ comes to judge even the living on this earth, when He finds them eating, drinking, buying, selling, &c. (which is clearly not the great white throne,* and seems to have been almost forgotten), all scripture declares that the saints shall appear with Him. "Jehovah thy God shall come, and all the saints with thee." "The Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints." "When he shall appear, we also shall appear with him in glory." "The armies which were in heaven followed him, clothed in white linen," and "they which are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful." The angels will surely come, but some of these passages do not and cannot apply to angels. We shall appear with Him in glory. Hence, before any judgment of Christ whatever, even of the living, the saints have been raised and are with Him. Them that sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him, as we have seen in 1 Thessalonians 4, where there follows the account of how they get there so as so to come. It is this complete association with Christ which gives such blessedness to the doctrine of a distinct resurrection of saints.

{*Then only the dead appear.}

We are not only saved through Christ, but blessed and glorified with Him — like Him the firstborn among many brethren. Hence the resurrection was the testimony as well as the hope of the apostles and of saints, as we find them in scripture. It is plainly taught we are happy meanwhile: the thief on the cross, 2 Corinthians 5, Philippians 1, Stephen, all testify plainly in fact and doctrine to this; but full conformity to Jesus (and that is our hope) is not when we are dead and our spirits with Him, but when we are raised and glorified as He is, like Him and seeing Him as He is.

It will be seen that I have treated the subject on the general ground of the universal teaching of scripture, what it makes of the resurrection of the saints, how it associates them with Christ in it. The resurrection of the wicked (though distinctly revealed, and that it is for judgment) is simply stated and never expatiated on; whereas the resurrection of the saints is largely treated, and as one exclusively theirs, distinct in nature, principle, object, and time.

I am not aware of the resurrection of the wicked being spoken of directly (though constantly assumed elsewhere), save in Paul's address to Felix, and in John 5, until we come to the Revelation, to which I now turn. There thrones of judgment are seen, and those that sat on them, among whom we find those that have been beheaded for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus, and those* who had not worshipped the beast; judgment is given to them, and they lived and reigned with Christ. These compose the first resurrection. And remark, Christ is now come; heaven being opened, the marriage of the Lamb is come, His bride made ready, the beast judged. I am not now speaking of the exact moment of resurrection in the order of these events among themselves, which is not spoken of here at all, but of the epoch at which all this takes place. Babylon is judged of God, the marriage of the Lamb come, so that His whole bride is there, and the beast destroyed by Christ, King of kings, Lord of lords, the armies which accompany Him being clearly the saints; for they are in their white robes, and (as expressed in chapter 17) "they that are with Him are called and chosen, and faithful," the first epithet being wholly inapplicable to the angels. When the whole Church then is complete, the saints will be raised and sit on thrones, those who have been beheaded for the word of God amongst them; so that a resurrection of principles is really nonsense. It is those who were beheaded for their principles; nor does Christ marry principles, but (according to the scripture figure) the Church. It is a statement which regards persons: "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection." Is that principles? "On such the second death hath no power; but they shall be priests of God and of Christ." Who ever heard of principles being priests? Something may be made figuratively of principles reigning, but being priests! And note who are kings and priests; and in this very same book we read, "He hath loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and made us kings and priests to God and his Father." Has Christ washed His own principles from their sins? Those whom He has washed He has made kings and priests, and here they live and are priests, and reign with Him. As promised, if we suffer with Him, we shall reign with Him.

{*It is a second distinct class — καὶ οἲτινεσ.}

363 Further, we read "the rest of the dead," &c. Were there some other principles which did not live again? When had they died? There is no real resurrection of the dead here at all, if the first be not one; for the others are the rest of people alike dead. It is really absurd to apply "the rest of the dead" to principles, and consequently equally absurd to apply it to those of whom they were the rest. Consequently they were in each case dead men, and in each case the resurrection of such is spoken of. In a word, the promised reign of blessing and peace on the earth will be accompanied by a resurrection of the saints, and the judgment of the wicked on the earth.

364 And to this the testimony of Isaiah bears striking witness. In Isaiah 25 we read, "The branch of the terrible ones shall be brought low; and he will destroy in this mountain (Zion, Jerusalem) the face of the covering cast over all peoples, and the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory." Here you have judgment — the blessing in Jerusalem reaching out to taking the darkness from all nations — and, with both, that which the apostle expressly declares to be accomplished in the resurrection of the saints. "Then shall come to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory." To a mind subject to scripture, and not trusting to tradition or its own reasonings, the point, it seems to me, must be as clear as scripture can make it. Indeed, if that were of any value, for two hundred years the Church believed it. Worldliness and heresies grew in exact proportion to, and by the means of, the decline of this truth, as the Lord had said it would in the case of the evil servants.

I shall refer to another passage — not because it has anything to say to it, but because it is generally considered to refer to this subject — the parable of the sheep and the goats. Are not (we are asked) all put on the right hand or on the left? The plain answer is, There is nothing about resurrection at all in the passage, nor does it refer to the dead or the raised; but, as is stated in the passage itself, to all the Gentiles or nations. It is the judgment of the quick or living, not of the dead; of the nations on earth, when Christ comes in His glory and sits on the throne of it, and shall gather (as the prophets have declared) all nations together to be judged. Next there are three classes, goats, sheep, and brethren, and not merely two but a third which does not come into judgment, but whom Christ designates as "these my brethren," in speaking to the sheep as well as to the goats. And this leads to another very definite point, which demonstrates that it is not a general judgment. Goats and sheep are judged according as they have treated these brethren who represented Christ. What was done to them was done to Him. Now that is not the ground of a general judgment, and cannot be. As we see in Romans 2, men perished without law; are judged by the law. In fact the vast majority of the heathen (nine-tenths, we may pretty safely say, of all that come into the general judgment) will never have had those who represent Christ before them to raise the question. In a word, the passage does not apply to a general judgment at all, not to those who are raised, but (as it says) to the judgment of the nations.

365 The careful reader will see that all that concerns the testimony among the Jews is unfolded to the end of verse 31 of chapter 24. Then come warnings for Christians in three parables — the good and bad servant, the virgins, and the talents. And then, taking up chapter 24:31, in 25:31, the Lord pursues the judgment of the third class, the Gentiles: all referring to the testimony come in through Him, not to a general judgment on general grounds. People have almost forgotten that there is a judgment of the living as well as of the dead, that God "hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world (the habitable earth) in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained."

The immense importance of the truth we are insisting on, the way it changes the whole tone of our Christianity, will not have escaped the christian reader. Instead of leaving the believer among unbelievers — mixed up with the mass of those who have not Christ, to await together the decision of the day of judgment, as if the saints were not redeemed, saved, and had no special connection with Christ — which changes their position altogether — it brings out distinctly and clearly their connection with Christ, and their disconnection from unbelievers: Christ the firstfruits, they the lump. They have the same kind of resurrection He had, raised out from among the dead, because of their perfect acceptance and the divine favour.

Let me add here that resurrection "from the dead" and "of the dead" are not confounded in scripture. Resurrection of the dead is a great general doctrine that the dead will rise, not be left in the grave. Resurrection from the dead (or, as it might be more clearly expressed, resurrection from among the dead) is taking some out from among others who are left behind, because of the perfect divine favour resting on the first, which does not on the others; so that the former are raised in glory to be with and like Christ for ever. It is evident that this is quite a different thought and truth from a supposed general resurrection to judgment. We are dissociated from the wicked and completely associated with Christ. At the same time it leaves all the great foundation truths of the gospel where they were; and this too is important (heresies do not) — nay, it adds force to them.

366 The value of the atonement, the complete efficacy of redemption, Christ being our life, our having received the Holy Ghost — the value of these things comes out into much fuller relief. That we are risen with Christ, associated and identified with Him, stands out in its full and simple and scriptural force, instead of being practically set aside by mixing us up with the unbelieving mass who have rejected Him and come into judgment. The connection of Christ with His people is clearer, while His divine oneness with the Father, and similar foundation truths, remain at the foundation of all as ever. His humanity shines out clearer than ever through our connection with Him. The immortality of the soul retains all its vital importance, and the happy intermediate state of departed souls of believers is brought out more distinctly. For if the saints are to be subject to a judgment at the end to decide their state, how can they have been in heaven with Christ meanwhile? How take Paul, who has been 1800 years with Christ, to have it decided whether he is to be with Him? Whereas, if the resurrection of the saints is not that, but is the adding a glorified body by Christ's power to a blessed spirit, that is simple enough. The spirit departs and is with Christ, as scripture abundantly and clearly teaches; in due time the body will be raised glorious, and we shall be conformed to the image of the Son, bear His image, and be like Him in glory. To depart and be with Christ is far better; but we await His coming to have a glorious body. The first resurrection from among the dead (the only one which scripture recognizes of saints) associates the affections, the faith, the hope of the Christian, with Christ — the greatest blessing we can have in this world.

As the sincere Christian may very naturally and justly enquire, If this be so, what comes of standing before the judgment seat of Christ? I add a few words on this subject. We have already seen that in John 5 it is positively stated that the believer will not come into judgment (χρίσις), but it remains to enquire what the passages referred to do mean, and to give them their full force. This then is clear from 2 Corinthians 5 and Romans 13, namely, that every one of us shall give an account of himself to God. The result for the wicked is surely the execution of the sentence of condemnation, not the condemnation itself (for he that believeth not is condemned already); but they will receive the things done in the body, cast from before the great white throne into the lake of fire. On this I do not further dwell, solemn and all important as the truth may be, because it is not the subject of our present enquiry. The living (as in Matt. 25, 2 Thess. 1, and Rev. 19), and the dead (Rev. 20) will go into everlasting punishment. But as to the saved also the scripture is plain. We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ, we shall all give an account of ourselves to God. God forbid that one tittle of scripture should be weakened in any way! We are to receive and, through grace, apply it in all its force. We enquire what is the mind of the Spirit in it. It is striking to remark how scripture avoids the word judgment, even when we might expect it, when the saints are included.

367 Now there are two parts of our position as Christians which clear up this question. We stand before God to enjoy Himself in whose presence there is fulness of joy. And besides that God has given to us to have a blessed part in the activities of His love towards others, the full exercise of which clearly connects itself with our own spiritual state. If He is to go out with us, there must be no Achans in the camp. Now as regards our standing before God, we are perfect in Christ: He is my life, my righteousness, as much as Paul's; we are all to be conformed to the image of God's Son; as is the heavenly such are they also that are heavenly. But if we come to spiritual activities, how large the difference! We are all like Christ, all made meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light, all enter into the joy of our Lord: but, besides this, every man will receive his own reward according to his own labour. What has been obtained by Christ for us is the same, being conformed to His own glory in the Father's house with Him. What the Spirit has wrought by us, each man has his own reward for, though all be of grace. The Thessalonians will not be our crown and rejoicing in the day of the Lord Jesus, as they will be Paul's. If we have built hay and wood and stubble, we may be saved but suffer loss. That is one part of the truth. Our acceptance is perfect, and alike for all. We are the righteousness of God in Christ, and God has wrought us all for the glory.

Each will receive distinctively the things done. For the wicked of course that will be punishment and condemnation; for the saints, reward — they are already glorified before they get there, raised in glory, fashioned like Christ's glorious body. But, as it is expressed, "Be thou over ten cities," "Be thou over five," &c. But there is more than this: we shall know as we are known, give an account of ourselves to God, and if so, of everything. There is nothing secret but that it should be made manifest, nor hid but that it should come to light. We shall not have a trace of the nature we sinned in; but if we give an account of ourselves to God, it is clear it must be of everything, or it would not be a true account as to anything. If we know we are in Christ, and all is honestly out before God, this produces no alarm. If my reader feels uneasy about it, he is not dear before God. If he had all fully open before God now, he would not be afraid of having it so then. If he has the best robe on, he will not be ashamed to say what horrid rags he had on before. Ah! if he has not, I understand he must try and palliate and hide them, and his nakedness into the bargain. But we shall give an account of ourselves to God — not be judged. We shall be, as we have seen, in glory already; some will have been for ages with Christ already. But it is a great gain.

368 I look back now and see how the high and holy God has spared and kept and led and hindered me from falling, and lifted me up when I fell; has not withdrawn His eyes from me — not merely wrought a great salvation, but never ceased leading and watching over me, making everything to work for my good — followed my character, circumstances, dangers, difficulties, and ministered needed grace and correction through the intercession of Christ. Am I unwilling to know all this? I believe it now. I can trace it in a thousand cases when I look back; I believe it in every case. Then I shall see it all perfectly. What a scene of grace it will be! Why, I shall delight and adore when I see it all, as I adore and am thankful — oh, how thankful! — for it now. Were it judgment, it must be judgment of all Christ's work set aside, and my condemnation certain. But it is not, and that cannot be. But it is knowing as I am known, and seeing God in all His ways with me. But it has another and a present effect. We are manifested to God. "We shall all appear" should be "We shall all be manifested." Now faith anticipates this, and it has thus a practical sanctifying effect — it keeps us under God's eye. We are, says the apostle, manifested to God (not merely we shall be).

Now this is most important, we all need it; however holy affections may be our highest portion (and they are), we all need our consciences to be in God's sight in passing through this world, according to the judgment He has of things. We are manifested to God. It also stimulates us to persuading men still exposed to the judgment of that day; it makes us careful not to judge others nor put a stumbling-block in their way. These are the consequences the apostle draws from even the terror of the Lord, never the fear of judgment for ourselves who in that day (blessed be God!) shall be perfectly like the Lord Himself. "Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift."