« PreviousContinue »
11–13. cxv. 17. “ the dead praise not Jehovah.” xxxix. 13. " before I go hence, and be no more." cxlvi. 2. “while I live will I praise Jehovah.” Certainly if he had believed that his soul would survive, and be received immediately into heaven, he would have abstained from all such remonstrances, as one who was shortly to take his flight where he might praise God unceasingly. It appears that the belief of Peter respecting David was the same as David's belief respecting himself ; Acts ii. 29. 34. “ let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day .... for David is not ascended into the heavens.” Again, it is evident that Hezekiah fully believed that he should die entirely, where he lamentsthat it is impossible to praise God in the grave. Isai. xxxviii
. 18, 19. "for the grave cannot praise thee; death cannot celebrate thee; they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth : the living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day.”. God himself bears testimony to the same truth. Isai. lvii. 1, 2. “the righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart; and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come : he shall enter into peace ; they shall rest in their beds." Jer. xxxi. 15. compared with Matt. ii. 18. “Rachel weeping for her children, refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.” Thus also Daniel, ch. xii. 2. “ many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake. It is on the same principle that Christ himself proves God to be a God of the living, Luke xx. 37. &c. arguing from their future resurrection ; for if they were then living, it would not necessarily follow from his argument that there would be a resurrection of the body: hence, he says, John xi. 25. "I am the resurrection and the life.” Accordingly he declares expressly, that there is not even a place appointed for the abode of the saints in heaven, till the resurrection : John xiv. 2, 3. “I go to prepare a place for you: and if I go
and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself ; that where I am, there ye may be also.” There is no sufficient reason for interpreting this of the body; it is clear therefore that it was spoken, and should be understood, of the reception of the soul and spirit conjointly with the body into heaven, and that not till the coming of the Lord. So
likewise Luke xx. 35. Acts vii. 60. “when he had said this, he fell asleep.” xxiii. 6. “the hope and resurrection of the
dead;" that is, the hope of the resurrection, which was the De only hope the apostle professed to entertain. Thus also xxiv.
21. xxvi. 6—8. 1 Cor. xv. 17-19. “if Christ be not raised (which resurrection took place for the very purpose that man kind might likewise rise again) then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ, are perished;" whence it appears that there were only two alternatives, one of which must ensue ; either they must rise again, or perish : for “if in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable ;" which again indicates that we must either believe in the resurrection, or have our hope in this life only. v. 29, 30. “if the dead rise not at all, why stand we in jeopardy every hour ?” v. 32. "let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die ;” that is, die altogether, for otherwise the argument would have no force. In the verses which follow, from v. 42. to v. 50. the reasoning proceeds on the supposition that there are only two states, the mortal and the immortal, death and resurrection; not a word is said of any intermediate condition. Nay, Paul himself affirms that the crown of righteousness which was laid up
for him was not to be received before that last day. 2 Tim. iv. 8. "henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day, and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” If a crown were laid up for the apostle, it follows that it was not to be received immediately after death. At what time then was it to be received ? At the same time when it was to be conferred on the rest of the saints, that is, not till the appearance of Christ in glory. Philipp. ii. 16.
that I may rejoice in the day of Christ.” iii. 11. “if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” V. 20, 21. “our conversation is in heaven, from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ; who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body.” Our conversation therefore is in heaven, not where we are now dwelling, but in that place from whence we look for the coming of the Saviour, who shall conduct us thither. Luke xx. 35, 36. “they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, Sc. .... for they are equal unto the
angels.... being the children of the resurrection,"—that is, when they finally become such ; whence it follows, that previous to the resurrection they are not admitted to that heavenly world. Thus far proof has been given of the death of the whole
But Iest recourse should be had to the sophistical distinction, that although the whole man dies, it does not therefore follow that the whole of man should die, I proceed to give similar proof with regard to each of the parts, the body, the spirit, and the soul, according to the division above stated.
First, then, as to the body, no one doubts that it suffers privation of life. Nor will the same be less evident as regards the spirit, if it be allowed that the spirit, according to the doctrine laid down in the seventh chapter, has no participation in the divine nature, but is purely human ; and that no reason can be assigned, why, if God has sentenced to death the whole of man that sinned, the spirit, which is the part principally offending, should be alone exempt from the appointed punishment; especially since previous to the entrance of sin into the world, all parts of man were alike immortal ; and that since that time, in pursuance of God's denunciation, all have become equally subject to death. But
8........ Yet one doubt
Paradise Lost, X. 782. When Milton wrote Il Penseroso, his opinions respecting the soul seem to have been different. He there summons the spirit of Plato to unfold the mystery of the separate state in which he supposed it to exist after death.
Il Penseroso, 88
to come to the proofs. The Preacher himself, the wisest of men, expressly denies that the spirit is exempt from death : ü. 18–20. " as the beast dieth, so dieth the man; yea, they have all one breath. ... all go unto one place.” And in the twenty-first verse, he condemns the ignorance of those who venture to affirm that the way of the spirits of men and of beasts after death is different: “who knoweth the spirit of man (an sursum ascendat), whether it goeth upward ?!!! Psal. cxlvi. 4. “his breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.” Now the thoughts are in the mind and the spirit, not in the body; and if they perish, we must conclude that the mind and spirit undergo the same fate as the body.” 1 Cor. v. 5. that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus :" the apostle does
“in the day of death,” but “in the day of the Lord.” Lastly, there is abundant testimony to prove that the soul (whether we understand by this term the whole human composition, or whether it is to be considered as synonymous with the spirit) is subject to death, natural as well as violent. Numb. xxiii. 10. “let me (anima mea, Lat. Vulg.) die the death of the righteous.” Such are the words of Balaam, who, though not the most upright of prophets, yet in this instance uttered the words which the Lord put into his mouth ; v. 9. Job. xxxiii. 18. “he keepeth back his soul from the pit.” xxxiv. 14. “they (anima eorum, Lat. Vulg.) die in youth.” Psal. xxii. 20. “deliver my soul from the sword.” lxxviii. 50. “ he spared not their soul from death.”' lxxxix. 48. “shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave ?” xviv. 17. “my soul had almost dwelt in silence.” Hence man himself, when dead, is spoken of under the name of the soul; Lev. xix. 28. Hebr. and xxi. 1, 11. “neither shall he
go any dead body'' (soul, Hebr.) Isai. xxxviii. 17. “ thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption.” The just and sufficient reason assigned above for the death of the soul, is the same which is given by God himself; Ezek. xviii. 20. “ the soul that sinpeth, it shall die :" and therefore, on the
9 Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upwardą? Authorized Transl. See Bp. Bull's Discourse on the Subsistence of the Soul of Man after Death.
His supposition is, that the words are spoken by an Epicurean (if he may be allowed so to call him by an anticipation) who is deriding the notion of the soul's immortality,
testimony of the prophet and the apostle, as well as of Christ himself, the soul even of Christ was for a short time subject unto death on account of our sins : Psal. xvi. 10. compared with Acts ï. 27, 28, 31. “his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.” Matt. xxvi. 38. “my soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.” Nor do we anywhere read that the souls assemble, or are summoned to judgment, from heaven or from hell, but that they are all called out of the tomb, or at least that they were previously in the state of the dead. John v. 28, 29. “the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth.”
In this passage those who rise again, those who hear, those who come forth, are all described as being ir the graves, the righteous as well as the wicked.
1 Cor. xv. 52. “the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised.” 1 Thess. iv. 13-17. “but I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope: for if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him: for this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep ; for the Lord himself shall descend, &c... and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain, shall be caught up together with them into the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lond." They were asleep; whereas the lifeless body does not sleep, unless inanimate matter can be said to sleep. That ye sorrow not, even as others which has no hope,—but why should they sorrow and have no hope, if they believed that their souls would be in a state of salvation and happiness even before the resurrection, whatever might become of the body? The rest of the world, indeed, who had no hope, might with reason despair concerning the soul as well as the body, because they did not believe in the resurrection : and therefore it is to the resurrection that St. Paul directs the hope of all believers. Them which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him ; that is, to heaven from the grave. We which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. But there would have been no reason to fear lest the survivors should prevent