The above definition of man is not harmonious with the teaching of Scripture; nor is it the definition of death. Gods Word regards man, not as a spirit temporarily incarnate, but as a composite being made up of body, soul, and [with an animating] spirit,* the separation of which is temporary, abnormal, a terror to man himself, and a punishment inflicted by God. Life is the harmonious working of the three; death is their decomposition into two.** Death, Scripture regards as a temporary dissolution (2 Cor. 5: 1), an unclothing (5: 4), a taking down of the tent (2 Pet. 1: 13, 14), a departure (Phil. 1: 23; 2 Tim. 4: 6). So Resurrection is the becoming incorruptible (1 Cor. 15: 42, 53, 54); a re-clothing (2 Cor. 5: 4); a building again (John 2: 19-22); a return (John 5: 28, 29) - that is, of the body. Death is a punishment for primal sin (Gen. 2: 17; Rom. 5: 12). To say there is no death is to repeat the serpents falsehood: Thou shalt not surely die. The soul is incarcerated in Hades,*** and the body sees corruption; thus, not until the time of Resurrection is Death robbed of its sting, and Hades vanquished, (1 Cor. 15: 54, 55).
* Job 27: 3; Luke 8: 55; Jas. 2:26.
** At the time of death, the soul descends into the underworld of Hades/ Sheol (Acts 2: 27; Psa. 16: 10), and the body returns to dust (Gen. 2: 7).
Hades is a known locality. It is mentioned in other passages in the New
Testament: Matt. 11: 23; 16: 18; Lk. 10: 15; Acts 2: 31; Rev. 1: 18; 6: 8; 20: 13, 14. It is the place to which our Lord went at
death. Hades and the grave are not
synonymous; the former is in the heart of the earth
(Matt. 12: 40); the latter is the burial
place of our bodies. Hades includes the
* * *
Do your best to came to me quickly, for Demas, because he loved this world [or age], has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done. You too should be on your guard against him because he strongly opposed our message: (2 Tim. 4: 9, 14, N.I.V.)
What message? As the context clearly shows: that there is a righteous Judge, who will award a crown of righteous, to Paul on that day and to all who have longed for his [Christs] appearing : (verse 8).
What were these false teachings, - [doctrines, which had become so prevalent in the Church at that time, and which may well have contributed toward the need for saints of God to be judged as, one approved (unto God, A.V.), and not in accordance with any of mans false teachings] - which destroy the faith of some. 2 Tim. 2: 15?
Here are a few of the false teachings:-
(1) That God will not punish any who are regenerate and disobedient; and that if we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, we have nothing to lose, because we are justified by faith and redeemed by the precious blood of Christ! Heb. 10: 26. cf. 2 Tim. 2: 12b, 13; Col. 3: 25; Gal. 5: 21; Eph. 5: 5.
(3) That all who are regenerate will receive a crown; and the Holy Spirits warnings and conditional promises for overcomers in the church, are nothing more than idle threats for nominal Christians and false professors, who know or understand nothing about the gospel of the grace of God! Rev. chs. 2 & 3; 1 Cor. 5: 12, 13.
What false teaching appears to be responsible for the Spiritualism In Our Churches? That (1) the Resurrection of the Dead takes place at the time of Death and not when Christ returns; (2) that the spirit is the person; and (3) the soul has no need to wait in the underworld of Hades for the decomposed, unredeemed, immortal body: and finally, (4) the Holy Scriptures have nothing to say about a Resurrection of reward! Luke 20: 35; Luke 14: 14; Heb. 11: 35; Rev. 20: 4-6!
Such is the state of Christs apostate Church today, with its denial of Scriptural truths and deep-rooted attachment to Spiritualism: and Pauls words of warning have now been literally fulfilled:-
Avoid godless chatter because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus WHO HAVE WANDERED AWAY FROM THE TRUTH. THEY SAY THAT THE RESURRECTION HAS ALREADY TAKEN PLACE, AND THEY DESTROY THE FAITH OF SOME: (2 Tim. 16-18).
The Doctrine of Beatification*
* Beatification is defined as: A Popes act of making a person supremely happy in heaven.
What Scriptural basis do we have for believing the Roman Catholic Churchs doctrine of beatification?* NONE.
The following is a newspaper account of this practice by the Roman Catholic Church: but it is not as damaging to the truth and the faith as the false teaching of Protestantism!*
* Eschatological teaching would be greatly simplified if it were able to take that for granted - [i.e., the common belief that the Christian enters into his final glory at death.] Assuming that to be a final statement of truth, then it would disqualify several important Christian doctrines. The Second Advent of our Lord would be one of them: [See John 14: 2, 3] Why should it be necessary for Him to come back and take you [His disciples] to be with me that you [they] also may be where I am (John 14: 3, N.I.V.), if His people go to Him in the final sense of death? The New Testament doctrine of the Resurrection of the Christian Dead, when the Lord shall so come, would be redundant if we were able to say of all departed saints that the resurrection has already taken place. It would not be the first time in the Christian era that such a disastrous thing has been taught (2 Tim. 2: 18).
Consider for a moment the evidence of this mistaken [and mainly Protestant] conception, in those well-known lines of Charles Wesley as follows: Come, let us join our friends above, who have received the prize Let all the saints terrestrial sing with those in glory gone. Judge for yourself as to whether the perfect poet was also a perfect theologian, by an enquiry like this: Is the prize received in the hymn, the same as the one anticipated by the Apostle Paul in Phil. 3: 10-14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus? If so, then there would be this difference between the inspired Apostle and Wesley the former expected it in the out-resurrection out from the dead, (Greek) which he sought diligently to attain and the latter at the time of his death. It is one thing to sing: Around the throne of God in Heaven, thousands of children stand, but quite another thing to prove it from the Holy Scriptures.
The remains of a Victorian Cardinal tipped to become the first English saint for more than a generation are to be moved from a rural cemetery to a grand urban church.
After months of wrangling over a 19th century law which forbids the transfer of bodies from graves to church tombs, the Government has agreed to allow Cardinal John Newman to be exhumed.
The Ministry of Justice will grant a licence from today - the 118th anniversary of his death in 1890 - to let undertakers move his remains from a cemetery in Rednal, Worcestershire, to a special resting place of honour at Birmingham Oratory.
It is a victory for the
The Roman Catholic Church is close to attributing a miracle to Newman and he is expected in December to be beatified - the last step before canonisation.
The miracle concerns 60-year-old Jack Sullivan, a deacon from
A second miracle is needed for Newmans cause to progress to canonization when he would be declared a saint. If that were to happen, he would become the first Englishman to be a saint since 1970.
Newman was born in
He also made 56 crossings to and from
As a tribute to his extraordinary devotion, Pope Leo XIII made the unprecedented gesture of making him, an ordinary priest, a Cardinal when he was 78. He died from pneumonia 11 years later.
The date of the exhumation is a secret but will take place before Newmans beatification. Undertakers will open the coffin at the graveside and Newmans corpse, wearing the vestments of a Catholic priest, will be photographed.
It will then be taken to a morgue where Catholic officials from
Newmans remains will be transferred to a new coffin that will go on show to the public before being placed in a marble sarcophagus at Birmingham Oratory.
The exhumation was applied
for in April, at the request of the
Peter Jennings, who led the negotiation on behalf of the Archdiocese of Birmingham, said yesterday: The Ministry of Justice has recognised the importance of Newman as a national figure and as a figure of great importance to the country, the Church and to dialogue between faiths.*
* Let us now go a step further with John 14: 2:-
Jesus said to His disciples: I go to prepare a place for you. That place is in my Fathers house. The rooms inside the house, of course, are the residential abiding places for resurrected souls - (that is, souls released from the underworld of Hades, and reunited to their bodies). In the experience of Death the soul is separated from the spirit and body; and in the disembodied state divided one from another, doubtless by the angels, who bear the souls of the saints to the paradise below; while the souls of the lost, go to another place within Hades, (Luke 16: 19-31). From there, both saved and lost must await their call to resurrection, (Rev. 20: 4-6).
Scripture asserts, to the contradiction of the Spiritualist, that the body which was dissolved is to come together again, and be re-united with the soul, (John 5: 28, 29). Christs resurrection is a type of ours, (2 Cor. 4: 14; Phil. 3: 21). The wounded body, that lay in Josephs tomb, left it empty on the resurrection morning, still marked and scarred, (Luke 24: 3). It was a body of flesh and bones, such as a spirit does not possess, (Luke 24: 39). The body which we now have, is cast as seed into the earth, and, after a lapse of time, possibly many ages, springs up - (at the time of Resurrection) a spiritual body, (1 Cor. 15: 43, 44). The moment of casting into the ground need not be, by many ages, the moment of up-springing. The moment of death is not the moment of resurrection.* Thomas knew that the imprinted body of the risen Lord Jesus was that which had been laid in the sepulchre; the same, yet now suited to new purposes; eating (Luke 24: 43), yet capable of visibility or invisibility at choice, (Luke 24: 31, 36). The chrysalis is the source of the butterfly; yet how different! So shall it be when corruption has put on incorruption, the mortal immortality. Jesus Christ has taken the manhood into God. He redeemed man, and so will present regenerate, body, soul and spirit, to His Father (1 Thess. 5: 23). Not unclothing to die, but clothing on for eternal life in the Age to come; this is the Christians hope ** (2 Cor. 5: 4; Luke 20: 35). On the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which is the earnest of our own, rests our faith; and the Spiritualist denies it. His body has not indeed been raised;** were it so, our faith were futile, our sin unforgiven, (1 Cor. 15: 14).
* Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some: (2 Tim. 2: 17, 18).
** I have the same hope in God as these men, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. So I strive always to keep my conscious clear before God and man. It is concerning the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you today: (Acts 24: 15, 21). I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain [i.e., gain by effort] to the [select] resurrection [out] from the dead: (Phil. 3: 10, 11). Those who are considered worthy of taking part in that age [presumably the Millennium] and in the resurrection [out] from the dead (Greek) can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are Gods children, since they are children of the resurrection: (Luke 20: 35, 36, N.I.V.).
ETERNAL SUFFERING OF THE WICKED
LIFE AND DEATH & DEATH OF CHRIST
An obstacle, hardly to be surmounted by an English reader, besets the enquiry into the Scriptural meaning of life and death. For there are four Greek words of different significations which are translated life.
We may omit to notice particularly one of these, as it does not touch upon our enquiry. The one passage referred to is Rev. 13: 15.
Of the three remaining words - 1. One signifies life as a matter of duration. Plutarch wrote his life. 2. One designates life in our usual sense, as in the phrases, animal life, vegetable life. This is called also life intensive. In the Greek it is named zoee. 3. One designates a portion of mans nature. It is called in Greek psochee.
It is necessary, then, to consider the Scriptural account of mans nature, in order to take a clear and true view of this. Scripture describes man as made up of three parts: body, soul, and spirit*: 1 Thess. 5: 23.
[* NOTE. The spirit here is that animating spirit which is from God; and always returns to God at the time of death, (Luke 23: 46; Acts 7: 59).
(1) As the body without the spirit is dead (Jas. 2: 26).
(2) Luke 8: 55: Her spirit returned and she (the dead girl) at once stood up.
(3) In his (the Lords) hand is the life of every creature and the breath (or spirit R.V.) of all mankind: Job. 12: 10.
(4) As long as I have life within me, the breath (spirit A.V.) of God in my nostrils.. Job. 27: 3).
(5) If he [God] gather unto himself his spirit and his breath; all flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again to unto dust: (34: 14, 15).
(6) Eccl. 3: 21; His spirit came again and he revived (Judges 15: 19), etc.]
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Here they are given in reverse order:-
1. The body of man was first created. The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul: Gen. 2: 7. There was first the breathless form; then man became a living creature [soul], after Gods inbreathing of the spirit.
2. The soul of man is a part of his internal nature which he possesses in common with other animals. They too are described as living souls [creatures]: Gen. 1: 20-24; Rev. 8: 9; 16: 3. It is that part of man in which reside the animal passions and appetites, hunger, thirst, love, joy, pride, fear, and so on. Prov. 27: 7; Eccl. 6: 7; Matt. 6: 25; Luke 12: 22; Rev. 18: 14; Lev. 7: 18, 20, 25; Prov. 23: 2; Hab. 2: 4; Acts 2: 43; Josh. 9: 24; Heb. 12: 3; Jer. 31: 25; Judges 18: 25; Lev. 25: 15, 43; Sam. 21: 5; John 12: 27; 2 Pet. 2: 8; Ex. 15: 9; Gen. 34: 3, 8; Matt. 26: 38; Luke 2: 35; Acts 14: 2; 1 Sam. 1: 10.
It is supposed to be reached by the thrust of the sword: Jer. 4: 10. It is assumed to be the agent in sin: Lev. 4: 2, 27; 5: 2; 7: 21. An oath binds the soul with a bond: Num. 30: 2-13; Lev, 5: 4.
It is a part superior to the body; the prime mover in the man. Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat drink, be merry. But God said unto him: Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: Luke 12: 19, 20. And again, If any (says Jesus) come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own soul also, he cannot be my disciple: Luke 14: 26. Our translators here render the Greek word life, but wrongly. Of course the soul, in Scripture phrase, is not to be regarded as equivalent to a mans spirit, or spiritual welfare; which is with us now its usual signification.
It is capable of being seen after death. I saw under the altar the souls of the slain: Rev. 6: 9; 20: 4. So the rich man could see Abraham and Lazarus: Luke 16. So Saul and the witch beheld Samuel: 1 Sam. 28. It departs from the body at [the time of] death: Gen. 35:18; 1 Kings 17: 21; Jer. 15: 9. In this last case it is translated the ghost (spirit).
While it abides in the body the man is alive. It was created at first to enjoy the world in which man was set. But now, to give ones self up, as do the men of the world, whether as traveller, musician, poet, painter, or in other ways, to the enjoyment of the things of this world is to constitute ones self a soulish man; to use the Scriptural expression.
3. The third division of human nature is THE SPIRIT in Greek, Pnooma. This belongs to all men, converted and unconverted alike. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? 1 Cor. 2: 11. Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit. 2 Cor. 7: 1. Then shall his spirit change, (Heb.) and he shall pass over, and offend, imputing this his power unto his God: Hab. 1: 11. The Lord formeth the spirit of man within him: Zach. 12: 1; Dan. 5: 20; Gen, 41: 38; Mal. 2: 16; Jas. 4: 5; Job. 32: 8, 18; Is. 42: 5; Ezek. 13: 3; 18: 31. Thus Jehovah is called, the God of the spirits of all flesh: Num. 16: 22; 27: 16; Heb. 12: 9. It would almost seem from this expression, and from Eccl. 3: 19-21, that the beasts may possess a spirit.
The spirit is, however, the part
in man which is connected with worship.
God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the Gospel of His Son: Rom. 1: 9.
Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit: Gal. 6: 18; Philem.
my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I
seek thee early: Is. 26: 9; 57: 15; 66: 2;
Ps. 11:10. Renew a right spirit within me: Ezek. 11: 19; 36: 26; 37: 14; Ps. 32: 2; 34: 18 Matt. 5:
3; Luke 1: 47; 1 Pet. 3: 4; Acts 18:25; Rom. 12: 11; 1 Cor.
16: 18. He
who is joined to the Lord is one spirit: 1
He who will trust the Scripture account of the fall, will find, that Conscience is the new faculty which man stole, against the commands of God, by eating the forbidden fruit: Gen. 2: 2, 5, 17; 3: 4-7. Hence the first assertion of his dread acquisition is given by God after the transgression Behold the man is become like one of us to know good and evil: Gen. 3: 22.
The spirit of man is closely conjoined with his soul; so much so, that the Hebrews speak of the dividing between soul and spirit, as one of the astonishing powers of the Word of God: Heb. 4: 12. At death they both depart to to Hadees, strictly united. This is proved, by the circumstance, that Scripture speaks of death indifferently; sometimes as being the departure of the soul, sometimes of the spirit. It speaks in like manner of the restoration to life as being due to the return, either of the spirit, or of the soul. But Jesus, when he had cried (shouted) again with a loud voice, dismissed his spirit, (Greek): Matt. 26: 50. Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit. And having said this, he gave up the ghost, (breathed his last): Luke 23: 47. He said, It is finished, and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost, (spirit): John 19: 30. The body without the spirit is dead: Jas. 2: 26. Jesus in spirit, went and preached to the spirits in prison: 1 Pet. 3: 19; Luke 8: 55;
Acts 7: 59; Jud. 15: 19; Ecel. 12: 7; Heb. 12: 23; Ps. 31: 5; Job. 34: 14, 15. On the other hand, Jesus gave His soul a ransom for many: Matt. 20: 28. Thou wilt not leave my soul in Hadees: Acts 2: 27, 31. This night thy soul shall be required of thee: Luke 12: 20. Trouble not yourselves; for his soul (Eutychus) is in him: Acts 20: 10; Rev. 6: 9; 20: 4. As her soul (Rachels) was in departing, (for she died,) she called his name Ben-oni: Gen. 35: 18. Let this childs soul come into him again. The soul of the child came unto him again, and he revived: 1 Kings 17: 21, 22.
The spirit is as superior to the soul, as the soul is to the body. The first man, Adam, was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening (life-giving) spirit: 1 Cor. 15: 45; Matt. 6: 25. The body is but the clothing; the soul is the man. The body is but the tent or house; the soul and spirit are the tenant: 2 Cor. 5: 1-4.
For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: if so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.
2 Pet. 1: 13. Scripture speaks of the dead as man does. It came to pass in those days, that she (Doreas) was sick and died; whom, when they had washed, they laid in an upper chamber. The disciples send for Peter. And all the widows stood by her weeping, and showing coats and garments which Dorcas used to make (Greek) when she was with them. But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed, and turning him to the body, said, Tabitha, arise! And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up: Acts 9: 37-40.
Hence, Scripture speaks of two men as being found in each person : the INWARD MAN, and the OUTER MAN.
Though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day: 2 Cor. 4: 16. That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man: Eph. 3: 16; 4: 20-25; 1 Pet. 3: 4; Rom. 7: 22, 23; 8: 10.
Jesus, as a perfect man, combined in Himself these three parts of the manhood. And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth: Matt. 26: 59. My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: 26: 38. Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: Luke 23: 46.
2. ZOER Life.
We come now to consider more particularly the second of the Greek words, which is translated LIFE.
Natural life means, according to Dr. Johnson, The union and co-operation of soul and body; animation, as opposed to an inanimate state. Or, we may say, that human life is the state which results from the union of the three parts of man, spirit, soul, and body.
Life differs manifestly from bare existence. Chairs and tables exist, but have no life. Yet some of the Annihilationists overlook, or tread underfoot this so obvious difference.
(1.) With them (the orthodox) the death of man is a certain condition of existence, or life: Constable. Rainbow for 1869, P. 507.
(2.) Death is spoken of in Scripture not as a condition of existence, or life, but as the direct opposite of existence, or life: P. 511.
(3) According to the third opinion, punishment is eternal, but it consists in eternal death, that is, the loss of eternal life or existence: Constables Restitution, p. 5.
(4.) He had one clear, well understood sense for death, the loss of life and being: p. 14. (Also Rainbow for 1869, pp. 409, 511.)
the differences are so great between the two Greek words,* where these are not
kept in view, answerable mistakes arise.
Scripture ever maintains these differences. (1.) It speaks of the soul as a part of man
laid down as a ransom, and taken up again: John 10:
15; Matt. 5: 20, 28. It speaks of
seeking the soul, meaning thereby, attempting
to kill a person: Matt. 2: 20;
*Psoochee and Zoee.
It uses the expressions - a mans loving or hating his own soul, or the soul of another: John 12: 26; Acts 20: 24; Rev. 12: 11; Dent. 13: 6; 1 Sam. 18: 1, 3.
(2.) But it speaks of life (zoee) as a state or condition which may be entered into, obtained, inherited, hid or brought to light, reaped, promised, hoped for, bestowed; a state to which we may be led on: Matt. 18: 8, 9; 19: 16, 17, 29; 7: 14; 2 Tim. 1: 10; Rom. 2: 7; Gal. 6: 8; Col. 3: 3; 1 John 2: 25; Tit. 1: 2; 3: 7. When all things abound to a man, his life is not one of his possessions: Luke 12: 15. (Greek.) But his soul is. Life is to be enjoyed in the age to come: Mark 10: 30. But the soul is possessed now. Life is to be sought from Christ; but not our soul: John 5: 40; 10: 10, 28. Life is Christs gift to His elect: the soul is possessed by the lost as well as by the saved: John 17: 2. We are said to pass, on believing, from one state of the soul and spirit - death, to another state - life: John 5: 24; 1 John 3: 14.
Sometimes the two words occur together in the same sentence, and then their difference is clearly seen.* The hater of his soul in this world shall keep it unto eternal life: John 12: 25. Wherefore is life given to the bitter of soul? Job 3: 20, My soul is weary of my life: Job 10: 1. Which holdeth our soul in life: Ps. 66: 9. Wisdom and discretion shall be life to thy soul: Prov. 3: 22; Luke 12: 15.
* Hence Scripture often speaks of the extreme brevity of life. But never does it so speak of the soul of man.
In the writings of the opponents there are several misinterpretations arising from the disregard of this distinction. Thus Messrs. White and Constable speak of the soul as meaning animal life.
There are many passages of the New Testament which allow of no interpretation, but the one here maintained. Thus John 12: 25; He that loveth his life shall lose IT, and he that hateth his life [in this world, - omitted,] shall keep it unto life eternal. Here the life which a man shall lose hereafter, if he save it on earth by avoiding martyrdom, is that natural life which he sought so to preserve. The life which he shall keep for life eternal is the life which he lost for Christs sake here - that is, his life as a human being. - Whites Life in Christ, p. 24.
In this passage of John, the Psoochee is still the soul. The soul is a part of mans nature: tis the basis of life; but the soul is not life. The departure of the animal soul produces indeed the loss of life on earth; but the soul is not life. On the restoration of the soul to the body the faithful disciple shall find life: but the soul differs from the life it imparts. The faithful servant of Christ keeps his soul unto eternal life; here evidently the soul and life differ. The magnetic needle is the basis of safe navigation; but the needle is one thing, the navigation is another. The soul is the cause; the life is but the effect.
Life (zoee) differs from the soul (psoochee) as the movement of a clock differs from the pendulum. The pendulum is a part of the clock, and necessary to its going. But it is not the movement of the clock. The animal soul is necessary to animal existence; but it differs from it as a cause from an effect.
Again Mr. Constable says:-
There is another Greek word, Psyche constantly* translated [and wrongly] life in the New Testament. In passages where this word can only mean animal life, (m.i.) such as we share with the lower creation, this life, it is expressly declared shall be lost hereafter by the ungodly. (m. i.)** In Matthew 10: 39, our Lord declares, He that findeth his life shall lose it, and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. What is this life which the fearful and the unbelieving prolonged by their denial of Christ, and which martyrs lost by their confession of Christ? It is, and can he nothing but animal existence. It is the life which the good and the bad have in common. It is that which both alike value and would prolong, but which the one are content to lose and do lose for Christ, and which the other will not lose for His sake. That which these latter here prolonged for a little while, the Lord of life tells them they shall lose in the future retribution - that is, they shall cease to, exist. - Restitution, p. 18.
* Very far from always: Matt. 10: 28; 11: 29; 12: 18; 16: 26, etc. ** (m.i.), means My Italics.
This paragraph is wrong on three essential points.
1. As to the persons. It is not spoken of the ungodly, but to the twelve disciples: 10: 1. The parallel passages are also spoken to believers: Matt. 16: 25, 26; Mark 8: 35; Luke 9: 24; 17: 33; John 12: 22-25. This error makes void both premises and conclusion. For the believer will not be reduced to non-existence.
2. In regard of the sense of psoochee. It is an essential part of mens nature; it does not mean animal existence. It is indeed possessed by the brutes, as well as by man; but in them too it is not life, but an essential part of their being, as eternal as in man: Rom. 7: 19-23. The Saviours meaning is more clearly seen in Matthew 16: 25-28, because there He has more fully expressed himself.
Whosoever wishes to save his (animal) soul shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his (animal) soul for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he gain the whole world, but be fined (Greek) his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and then shall He reward each according to his works.
Our translators in the twenty-fifth verse render the word life; in the twenty-sixth, soul - to the production of confusion in the English readers mind. Jesus is really speaking throughout of the same essential part of mans nature. What shall a MAN (that being of body and soul) be a gainer, if he be fined his soul? He has laid up (suppose) great riches, and won great palaces and estates on earth. But when Jesus comes, the man is sentenced to leave his body on earth, and his soul is to depart to Hadees. His possessions are in this world above; but the soul the part that should enjoy them - is below. Take away from a man the soul, and what becomes of life?
Translate the same word by soul all through the passage, and then it is certain that the losing of the soul is not its non-existence. For it is spoken of the [regenerate] believer, and to him eternal life is secure.
3. The writer is wrong in regard of the loss and of the gain supposed by our Lord. This life, (Mr. Constable supposes) this animal existence - shall be lost by the unfaithful in the future retribution they shall cease to exist. Jesus is speaking of the retribution at His coming and of His millennial kingdom; not of eternal life. His meaning is explained beautifully by the fuller statements of the Apocalypse concerning that period. I saw the souls of those beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God. ... and they lived and reigned with the Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not* until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: Rev. 20: 4-6.
* Again, omitted by the critical editions.
The saints were beheaded for Christ: there is the loss of the soul, in the Scripture sense. Body and soul were severed by martyrdom; and John saw the soul separated from the body. But the martyrs came to life; for their souls re-entered their bodies; and they reigned a thousand years with Christ. Here is the lost soul found! The rest of the dead lived not. Does that mean that they ceased absolutely to exist? By no means! Their souls existed in Hadees, whence they come forth at the judgment of the dead: Rev. 20: 13. But though their souls existed, they lived not; for their souls during the millennium were not united in resurrection to their bodies.
In short, Jesus is here threatening [regenerate] believers who refuse to become martyrs for Him [if and] when duty calls, with exclusion from the reign of the thousand years; and proposing to those who so suffer the enjoyment of that blessed period. So it is written again of the persons constituting the mystic Manchild, who is to rule all the nations. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their soul unto death: Rev. 12: 5, 11. Hence they are promoted to reign [during the millennium] with the Christ. As saith also another passage, If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him: if we deny Him, He also will deny us: 2 Tim. 2: 12; Rom. 7: 17.
Mr. White speaks of the judicial extinction of life in hell, p. 12; of mens miserably losing their lives in hell, p. 29; of the destruction of human life, p. 32. Now I cannot find any passages in the New Testament which would convey such a sense. If Mr. White takes life in the usual English sense, (zoee,) I say boldly, there are no such passages in the New Testament. If by life, and lives, he means the classical and New Testament sense of the soul (psoochee) then there is no such expression as extinction of the soul. The destruction of the soul is simply the undoing of its well being and happiness; as is shown elsewhere.
The expression - which is a sort of watchword with our opponents Life in Christ only* - derives its popularity from its ambiguity.
* I know of but two passages where the phrase occurs (1) The gift of God is eternal life in (Greek) Jesus Christ our Lord: Rom. 6: 23. This occurs in the chapter which speaks of the believers immersion into Christ. Hence he is treated of as in Christ, and possessed of more than endless existence in Him: Eph. 2: 6, 7. But this rite of baptism is peculiar to our dispensation, even as the privileges are, which it betokens. Here too the word life is joined with eternal. The men of law were baptized into Moses, and were therefore in Moses, and not in Christ: 1 Cor. 10: 1, 2. (2) The other passage is 2 Tim. 1: 1, 1. Paul an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus. But this speaks of the promise of life in Christ as being peculiar to the apostleship - and not the privilege of other dispensations.
Life in Christ only! What do you mean by it? What kind of life do you intend?
For there are three different kinds of life.
1. Life physical, enjoyed by the good and evil alike: 1 Cor. 15: 19; 1 Tim. 4: 8.
2. Life spiritual, the life of the spirit of man toward God: a state in which the favour of God is resting upon the man. This life is already begun in the believer: John 5: 24; 17: 2, 3. Mans natural state is one of spiritual death.
3. Life eternal, or endless blissful existence in [after] resurrection: John 6: 53, 54; Rom. 8: 23; John 3: 36; Matt. 19: 16, 17; 1 John 5: 11-13.
Which then of these lives do you mean?
And what kind of union do you mean by in Christ?
1. A mans natural union with Christ, as possessing the same flesh with himself? or -
2. Spiritual union, by the regeneration of the Holy Ghost? He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit.*
As God is omnipresent and all sustaining, the existence of all creatures is only in Him. For in Him we live, and move, and have our being: Acts 16: 28.
But this supposes no union with God, much less with Christ. Natural life is possessed alike by angels and devils. The patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, together with the saved under the law, possessed natural and spiritual life, and will enjoy eternal life, although they never were in Christ; never were members of His body. Those lost before Christ and under the Gospel will have enjoyed natural life, and will have endless physical existence; being out of Christ, however, in a spiritual sense. They will exist for ever, because of natural union with Him; since they are possessed of the same nature. For as in Adam all die; even so in the Christ shall all be made alive: 1 Cor. 15: 22. This is afterwards explained ver. 26. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. Death is ended for all, at the close of the Saviours reign of the thousand years, by resurrection: Rev. 20: 11. Men stand and are judged before His throne. They can after that die no more; for deaths power is ended. Hence their eternal existence in hell [the lake of fire].
Hence the phrase Life in Christ only - is quite misleading.
1. Endless existence will belong to angels and to devils, who are not in Christ in any sense.
2. Endless existence will belong to the lost of mankind; who are in Christ only in a physical sense.
3. Eternal life will be enjoyed by the saved of the Old Testament; though they we not in Christ spiritually.
4. Eternal life will be enjoyed by believers of the Church who are in Christ spiritually, as members of the Risen Redeemer, through the regeneration of the Holy Ghost.
It will be observed, that I attribute endless existence to the lost; eternal life to the saved alone. I do so because Scripture applies the expression eternal life, to the saved alone. For while we in English use life in the sense of bare existence, the Scripture means by life, and specially by eternal life in its New Testament sense, eternal bliss. It is evident that Scripture means by life as spoken of the believer, more than bare physical existence. For it speaks of life, and of eternal life toward God, as already begun. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son, shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him: John 3: 36. Spiritual life toward God and its joys are already begun. But the unbeliever, though possessed of physical existence already, shall not see bliss, but shall find the vengeance of God ever on him.
Again, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you: John 6: 53; 8: 12. Now this was spoken to those already enjoying physical existence. It is certain, therefore, that the word tells of a higher or spiritual life, in which they had no part.
Again, All that are in the graves shall hear His voice, (that of Jesus) and shall come forth; they that have done good to the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation: John 5: 28, 29. Here the resurrection of life cannot mean the resurrection of existence; for both parties rise to existence. The resurrection of life, then, means resurrection to bliss, and the resurrection of damnation, resurrection to misery. So ver. 24, 26; and 7: 58. Also 2 Tim. 1: 10.
Moreover, when the Holy Ghost speaks of life as a thing, of the future provided for the Lords beloved ones, it means blissful existence, and not solely existence. Thus in the case of our Lords resurrection, Peter applies to Him the 16th Psalm. Thou wilt not leave my soul in Hadees, neither wilt thou sffer thine Holy One to see corruption. How does it proceed? Thou wilt show me the path of life; in thy presence is fulness of joy, at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore: Psa. 16: 11. The path of life, then, is not the path of existence, but of bliss. So Paul speaks of partaking of the joys of the millennial day in resurrection, as the reigning in life: Rom. 5: 17. And that the eternal portion of the redeemed is more than bare existence is proved by the Apocalypse, whose book of life, tree of life, water of life, crown of life, tell of bliss: Rev. 22: 1-5.
Of this Archbishop Trench also is a witness. He observes that life often sets out the highest blessedness of the creature: Synonyms, p. 106. For life is connected with holiness throughout Scripture; as sin is with death. Whatever truly lives, does so because sin has never found place in it, or having found place for a time, has been expelled from it again. So soon as ever this is felt and understood, zoee at once assumes the profoundest moral significance; it becomes the fittest expression for the very highest blessedness. ibid.
Robinson in his New Testament
Lexicon says of zoee, that it means Life, i.e. a happy life, welfare, happiness. Again,
In the Christian sense of eternal life, i.e., that life of bliss and glory in
So Webster in his English Dictionary, under Life, gives - as its 21st and 22nd senses:-
21. Supreme felicity, quoting in proof, Rom. 8: 6.
22. Eternal happiness in heaven, Rom. 5.
But this is so plain that even opponents confess it.
Mr. Maude writes thus:-
It is of course fully admitted, that when the Scriptures speak of the eternal life of the righteous, they do not intend merely endless existence; but as Mr. Dohney has well observed Although the life that is promised to them that believe eternal life - is something unutterably more than protracted and interminable continuity of existence, yet this continuity of being must be an essential and fundamental element: Rainbow, 1869, p. 122.
So Mr. White:-
On our side there is no denial of the self-evident fact, that the term life, as used in Scripture to describe the present and future states of regenerate men, does include the associated ideas of holiness and happiness, (m.i.) arising from a new relation to God; a spiritual resurrection resulting from redemption: Rom. 6: 4. No one ought to affirm, that the bare idea of existence is all that the term includes: Rainbow, 1870, p. 281.
But if so, then our opponents are often guilty of abuse of the terms, speaking as if we taught, that the wicked possessed eternal life in hell! Here are some specimens.
1. Mr. Maude:-
Hence was formed the plausible and general accepted view, that not only was future punishment eternal, but that it also consisted in eternal life spent in eternal pain: Rainbow.. 1869, p. 118.
2. Rev. H. Constable:-
The first known holder of the theory of eternal life for the reprobate, was probably the author of the writings known under the title of Clementina, and falsely attributed to Clemens Romanus: ibid., p. 166.
Hence we ever find the advocates of eternal life in hell, when they speak at all freely on the subject, using the phraseology of this fifteenth chapter of the first of Corinthians, of the lost in hell: p. 356.
3. Rev. W. Burgh:-
The popular creed does unequivocally assert, that the unbeliever and the damned have eternal life, and are immortal: that immortality or life eternal is just the one thing of all others which man does not owe to Christ. Christ our Life,p.3. The popular creed teaching that man has eternal life by nature: p. 20.
4. Dr. Leask:-
If man, as man, is simply a natural being, a mortal being, the doctrine of an immortal life in hell cannot possibly be true: P. 482. This is the stronghold of those who believe that the everlasting punishment of the wicked is life in hell: p. 483.
I beg, therefore, that any who controvert orthodox views on this point, will never use expressions so unscriptural, and calculated to prejudice the argument. Now this question of the sense of life in Scripture penetrates deeply into the argument before us. Passages have been cited from Mr. Constables writings, showing that he makes life and existence equivalent.
Mr. Taunton follows in the same strain:-
We believe that life in connexion with the Gospel in the Word of God means life, or a perpetuation of the existence of the creature man: Six Lectures, p. 30.
Life in relation to the Gospel and to eternity means an eternal existence: p. 31.
The popular notion maintains, that life means eternal happiness, and that death means eternal misery: ibid.
Once grant this, that life is but existence; and that death is the cessation of existence; and their cause is won. But we do not so grant. We see a train of fallacies in their argument.
Life in Scripture means existence. Eternal life means endless existence. But eternal life is only in Christ. Therefore those who are out of Christ will have no eternal existence; that is, at some point of time they will cease to be.
The argument, as so given, falsely assumes, that life in the Hebrew and Greek of Scripture means just what the word does in English. Here is one fallacy. Next we show, that eternal life, in Scripture means endless physical existence in happiness and holiness. But when once this is proved, the argument of our opponents is null. There may be, then, endless physical existence without happiness or holiness.
But the other principle which, in the statement of opponents argument, I have put in italics, is also unsound. Eternal life is only in Christ.
There will be eternal life or endless bliss for some not in Christ: that is, for elect angels; and for the saved of the Law, who were under Moses, and not in Christ. Hence there may well be eternal existence without happiness or holiness, for those not in Christ. So that when once the statement, Life in Christ only, is disentangled of ambiguity, and is shown to affirm, as necessary to the argument of opponents Eternal physical existence belongs only to those spiritually united to Jesus Christ as members of His body; it is untrue.
So also Scripture recognizes different kinds of life, which may be, and which are, possessed apart, the one from the other. There is physical existence possessed by those - whose spiritual existence is evil. And of these the Lord Jesus says, that they have not life: and will not come to Him to obtain it: John 5: 24, 40; 6: 53; 10: 10. Spiritual life in Christ is endless bliss begun: but there is a sense in which we who believe are waiting for eternal life.
I turn now to make some observations on Mr. Whites Reply to Dr. Angus and others, in the June Rainbow for 1870, p. 280. He says:-
An impression generally prevails, that the life spoken of by the apostle John (zoee) does not include the idea of existence, which is always pre-supposed, (m.i.) but signifies only a moral condition of holy happiness in God, carrying with it the result of heavenly and eternal joy, which is termed spiritual life.
Again, p. 281
Our position is only, that this idea of existence is included in the meaning, is fundamental to it, the moral ideas associated with it, having this physical conception of eternal conscious, being (in opposition to death or destruction) as their basis.
Now who they are that affirm that eternal life does not include the idea of eternal existence in a physical sense, I know not. For myself I suppose, that physical eternal existence is included in the Scriptural idea, and in the expression eternal life. Indeed, I can regard Mr. W.s first statement on this point only as a contradiction. If existence be supposed, how can the idea be excluded? The happiness of a man, whether for time or for eternity, cannot be conceived of, without the implied condition of his conscious existence. How eternal existence should be presupposed, and yet not supposed to run current through eternity, I cannot understand. I look upon it as a contradiction in terms. Where are the men who would so overturn their cause?
Eternal physical existence is necessary to endless holiness and happiness. Assuredly! But may there not be endless physical existence without holiness and happiness? Can any prove that endless existence without eternal happiness is impossible? There is eternal bliss for the man who is spiritually united to Jesus. But does it follow, that if he possesses not this eternal existence in holiness and bliss, he cannot have existence at all! He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. Eternal bliss is in Christ. But the threat to the man of this dispensation who is out of Christ is not non-existence, but that he shall not taste of bliss, and that the wrath of God abides on him. Here is endless existence in misery. There is the clearest possible distinction between the existence of a thing, and its welfare.
We come now to the second part of the enquiry -
WHAT IS DEATH?
And here I first give the views of opponents, before proceeding to point out their errors.
We believe that life, in connection with the Gospel in the Word of God, means life, or a perpetuation of the existence of the creature man; and that death means death, or an extinction of the existence of the creature man: p. 30 (m.i)
The English reader need only turn to his English Dictionary to see that the primary sense of all the above terms [death, slaughter, destruction, &c.] is significant of the loss of existence. - Restitution, p. 16.
We have only to open our dictionaries, no matter in what language, in order to find that, invariably, the primary meaning attached to death is non-existence. - Rainbow, 1869, p. 409.
We thus see, that Scripture speaks of death in exactly the same way that it is spoken of in common life - not as a condition of existence or life, but as the direct opposite of existence or life, - p. 511, ibid.
The primary meaning of death among mankind was loss of existence. - p. 409.
The death therefore which Adam was threatened with in case of disobedience, and which he actually incurred, was death in the proper and ordinary acceptation of the word that is, the absolute termination of that creaturely existence which God at his creation had conferred upon him. -Rainbow, 1862, p. 262.
It may indeed be said that this His resurrection from the dead and living again as man is equally against the sentence He bore being literal death - a ceasing for ever to live. - p. 14.
These writers then plead, that death means the absolute end of existence. We deny it.
If you doubt it, open your dictionary at the word death, and you will see. - p, 411.
By all means! What, then, says Johnson? His first Meaning is -
2. The extinction of life; the departure of the soul from the body.
Mr. Constable gives the first of these two statements: why did he omit the second? Both together make up the first meaning.
What is Dr. Johnsons third?
3. The state of the dead.
What is his tenth?
10. [In theology] Damnation: eternal torments.
Johnson, then, does not teach, that death means absolutely non-existence. He speaks of the state of the dead. They exist, then!
What says Webster? -
1. That state of a being, animal, or vegetable, but more particularly of an animal, in which there is total and permanent cessation of all the vital functions; when the organs have not only ceased to act, but have lost the susceptibility of renewed action.
2. The state of the dead; as the gates of Death: Job, 38.
9. In theology, perpetual separation from God, and eternal torments; called the Second Death: Rev. 2.
10. Separation or alienation of the soul from God; a being under the dominion of sin, and destitute of grace or divine life; called spiritual death.
Webster, then, does not teach, that death means absolute non-existence, any more than Johnson. Nor does Dr. Ogilvie, whose account resembles greatly the preceding ones.
What say Liddell and Scott of the corresponding word in Greek?
Death, whether natural or violent. Death by judgment of court, - execution.
What says Robinson? -
Death, the extinction of life, naturally, or by violence. (a) Genr. and of natural death. (b) spoken of a violent death. (c) Hebrew Maveth and Septuagint Thanatos often have the sense of destruction, perdition, misery, implying both physical death and exclusion from the presence and favour of God, in consequence of sin and disobedience.
What says Riddle, in his Latin Dictionary?
Not one, then, of these dictionaries gives verdict for the appellant. And now I ask, Can you find me, in any language, a dictionary which declares that death means primarily, absolute, non-existence? The dictionaries we see teach the contrary to the theory, that death is non-existence. But they suggest an important distinction; one which furnishes a clue to unravel the intricacies of the subject.
Death must be regarded - if we would be clear in our thoughts, from two points of view:-
1. Death as the point of transit.
2. Death as the state.
1. Death is properly and primarily spoken of the movement of the soul out of the body, which takes place at a certain definite instant. It is thus spoken of in the New Testament. He was at the point of death: John 4: 47. My little daughter lieth at the point of death: Mark 5: 23; Matt. 9: 18; John 19: 30. And this is the primary view given by Johnson and Webster.
Death as the act of transit, is called in the New Testament an end. He was there until the end of Herod. But when Herod was ended - (Greek) Matt. 2: 15, 19. But does not that prove that death is non-existence? By no means! Scripture speaks as we do of a mans coming to his end. But neither it nor we mean anything but a relative end - an end to animal life, to the play of the heart, the breath of the nostrils. Hence while the Holy Spirit speaks of Davids end Let me freely speak to you of the patriarch David, that he both ended and was buried: Acts 2: 29. The apostle goes on to teach, that Davids soul is left in Hadees. But the soul is the man. David exists therefore: his end is only an end relatively to this earthly life and the body.
(2) Death as the act is a dissolution; not absolute, but partial. If our earthly house of the tent were dissolved, we have a building from God, an house not made with hands eternal in the heavens: 2 Cor. 5: 1. Man is dissolved at death, when he is divided into body, on the one hand; and soul and spirit on the other - severed from the body.
(3) Death as the transit is a departure. So we speak of the dead as deceased, or departed. Having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ, which is far better: Phil. 1: 23, 24. The time of my departure is at an end: 2 Tim. 4: 6.
(4) Death as the moment of departure is an unclothing: Cor. 5: 2-9.
Now all these views of death suppose, that after the moment of death there comes the state of death. For I am arguing with those who admit the existence of the soul after death. Then the ideas of death are relative, not absolute. A mans end is only his end in relation to this world: he is still existing elsewhere. There is an end here: but there is a beginning in another place. The tent is taken down; but the tenant has removed elsewhere. The man has departed only: he exists still: he is gone to Hadees. The clothed one is disembodied; but the slipping off his clothing leaves him still in existence. Let it be once granted, that soul (and spirit) exist after death, and then death is in no case absolutely non-existence. Life has ceased: but life and existence are two different things. Is life a state? So is death! Death proper is the act of passing from the one to the other. The act precedes the state, and introduces it. The parts of man abide after the moment of death. Does the body cease to exist the instant the soul has departed? It is no longer the living body; but it is the corpse. Does not the corpse exist? Does not the soul? Does not the spirit? Are not the two latter conscious still? Does not Scripture speak of the living and the dead? and Jesus as Lord of both? Rom. 14: 9. Are they not both to be judged? Does not Scripture describe created beings as falling into three divisions? That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow of (those) in heaven, and (those) on earth, and (those), undr the earth? Phil. 2: 10; Rev. 5: 3, 13; Acts, 10: 42; Rom. 10: 7. Then death as the state of the dead is in all cases a condition of existence.
Mr. Constable says:-
Let our readers mark Mr. Strongs assertion, that Death nowhere in the word of God, means non-existence. He could not say that death nowhere means non-existence, for we have only to open our dictionaries, no matter in what language, in order to find that invariably the primary meaning attached to death is non-existence. - Rainbow, 1869, p. 409.
We have tested this assertion, and find that in no language does death mean non-existence. Johnson tells us that death is the extinction of life, and we agree: but he adds, that it is also the departure of the soul from the body. If, then, the soul exists after its departure, how can death as the state be non-existence? For observe, this saying death is non-existence, refers to death as the state; or the mans condition after the soul has departed.
Mr. Constable proceeds to say, that Mr. Jukes -
Correctly defines the death of the body to be its being turned to dust. - Rainbow, 306. Will Mr. Jukes tell us what kind of existence the body has when it is turned to dust?
I should think Mr. Jukes too wise by far to mean to give as a definition of death, the bodys turning to dust. If he should do so, I beg to refuse my assent. I answer, then, the enquiry,- What kind of existence has the body the moment after death? - A material, an organized existence. What kind of existence has it after it has turned to dust? - A material existence! Observe, - we are now engaged upon death as the state, - its secondary meaning.
Its material atoms, indeed, are not philosophically annihilated; but we presume Mr. Jukes will allow, that the body which has died has ceased to exist, (m.i.) or to possess life or existence of any kind beyond any other clod of earth.
The body which has died has ceased to exist.
Ask the undertaker, ask the sexton, if a dead body has ceased to exist! Are their trades and employments engaged about a non-entity? But Mr. C. may reply, I mean relatively - it has no better existence than that of the clod of earth.
Well then, please to add to your saying, - that death is non-existence - this, that you do not mean absolute, but only relative, non-existence; and then the neck of the theory is broken. But even with that addition, I demur. There is another obvious fault. The dead body does not possess life or existence of any kind beyond any other clod of earth. Life or existence! Are they the same thing? May there not be existence without life? Why do you put them side by side as if equivalent? The dead body is no more than any other clod. Again I refuse assent. Of what time are you speaking? Of the state which ensues the moment after death? If so, I deny it. Ask the surgical operator! Does he not find the recent corpse an organized body, which is able to teach him the structure of the living man? Could he learn that from a clod of the field? After death new processes do indeed come into play, which, after weeks, or months, or years, so corrupt the corpse, that its original structure is lost. But what even then? Does not the clod exist? The clod never had life; the body had. But after the body has parted with life, can it part with material existence?
This is what we mean by death: this is the common meaning of death: this is one of the deaths mentioned in the Word of God; and by this death even Mr. Jukes is forced to confess, is meant the loss of life or existence; and we have then, Mr. Jakes himself confessing, that death sometimes in the Word of God means non-existence, and does not always mean a certain condition of existence!
From what I know of him, I should guess Mr. J. would laugh at any such supposed confession; and would wonder how any intelligent man could make such statements, and imagine that he was proving victorious in the controversy. He would point out some great gaps in the argument. As -
(1) That death, even as the state, or condition of existence, would never by him be defined as a turning to dust.
(2) That to confound together life and existence evinces strange want of discrimination.
(3) That even the clod and the corpse have material existence, and cannot part with it.
(4) That the loss of life is not loss of existence. Each part of man exists after death. The soul has spiritual existence in Hadees; the body has material existence on earth. How then can any say, that death is non-existence? or that death as the state is no condition of existence?
Mr. C. again affirms, that death always signifies the non-existence of that which is said to have died. This I again deny.
Mr. C. declares that Mr. J. had misunderstood his meaning, in saying that death was non-existence. He did not mean by it the non-existence of the entire man, body, soul, and spirit. Any one would have naturally, so understood his unlimited assertions. Death is never a condition of existence. The primary meaning attached to death is non-existence. It had the simple, unmixed sense of loss of existence. The primary meaning of death among mankind was non-existence: p. 409. Now non-existence, where no limitation is specified, is absolute non-existence - a mans entirely ceasing to be. Then the phrase must in this case be limited. It is not absolute, but relative non-existence. Even the expression is not when applied to the departed means only is not on earth: Gen. 37: 30-35; 42: 13, 32-36; Matt. 2: 18; Jer. 31: 16, 17; Rev. 17: 8, 11; 20: 10.
Mr. C. continues. -
When the body dies, all we say is, that the body dies: we do not say that another part of man dies: his soul or spirit may survive; we have not, then, affirmed their death.
Scripture never, that I can find, says - The body dies. It speaks of the mans death, for death affects the whole man. The men which Moses sent to search the land even those men died by the plagues: Num. 14: 36, 37. And Aaron died there in the top of the mount: Num. 20: 28. And Samuel died; and all the Israelites were gathered together, and lamented him, and buried him: 1 Sam. 25: 1.
Now Mr. C. says, that death has the simple, unmixed sense of loss of existence, in reference to whatever it is applied. Is that true? It makes God assert, that Samuel ceased to exist. Samuel means the entire man, body, soul, and spirit. If he now admits that the soul and spirit exist after death, I am glad to hear it; but his previous assertions implied the contrary.
Scripture speaking of the souls dying. Let my soul die the death of the righteous, says Balaam, (marg.) Num. 23: 10. And Samson said, Let my soul die with the Philistines: (marg.) Judges 16: 30. But death has the simple, unmixed sense of loss of existence. The soul of Samson, then, and of Balaam, have ceased to exist!
But again, suppose we say, The body dies. Do we mean that the body ceases to exist? Do you not admit that the material particles exist? Well, and is not material existence, existence? Do not all these cases suppose that death is a condition of existence?
It is not true, then, that whenever Scripture speaks of death, it affirms the non-existence of that which is said to be dead. No: it is not true in any instance whatever, whether relating to persons, bodies, souls, or spirits.
Mr. C. does not believe that spiritual death imports any agency of God. Adams sin was his own act. True. But was there no abiding state of spiritual death after that act? Did not God draw off from man, as truly as man did from God? Does not this apply also to Adams posterity?
Mr. C. supposes that Adam must have known what death meant before he sinned. I doubt it. He must have seen animals die. Geologists say so. I refuse geoligists theories, while I accept their facts. If death implied an after state of existence, God must have explained this to man, or be unjust. Not proved; not granted.
Beasts cease to exist at death. Not granted; not proved; not true: Rom. 8: 21.
What did the threatening of death to Adam import? Solely cessation of existence.
What! no punishment after death?
No. It is at the same time denied, that it [mans existence after death ] is any part of the waqes of sin, or of the sentence which Christ died to expiate: Burgh, p. 15.
How happens it, then, that men do exist and suffer in Hadees after death, and up to judgment?
That is the result of redemption by Christ.
How do you prove that? There is no proof. But we have proof against it: Heb. 9: 27, 28. And as it is appointed unto men ONCE to die, but AFTER THIS the judgment, so the Christ was once ofered to bear the sins of many. This asserts then, - That physical death is not the end of the consequences of sin. There is after it judgment to come for the souls now in Hadees. Suffering begins after death, though that suffering is before judgment. The souls of men as sinners are to pass through this. They are in Hadees, reserved for judgment as known malefactors, the exact amount of their dues not settled till the day of resurrection; imprisoned till then in the felons cell. The resurrection whereto men as men are destined, is the resurrection of judgment. This is seen and carried out in Rev. 20: 11-15.
Death, in the case of men in general, as in the case of Christ, can occur but once. It is the portal to judgment. And that judgment is eternal, settling the place of the man [in the lake of fire] for ever: Heb. 6: 2. After judgment there is no death possible, in the sense of quitting existence. The sentence once uttered, once begun to be received, abides evermore.
But Scripture speaks of the Second Death as then to be suffered by the lost. And that means, that they are to cease to exist, destroyed by the fire of wrath.
speaks of the Second Death as the prepared abode of the lost, in which they are to find their heritage for ever, even as the saved find theirs in the
After death there is not non-existence, but judgment and in the meanwhile reservation in custody, till the culprit is set at the bar. This supposes the culprits continual existence, in order to his being arraigned and sentenced.
Ah, but that is the effect of redemption. Where is it said so? It is here taught, as being the lot of men who are sinners by birth and practice. The same thing was represented in a figure in the sacrifices for sin. Death was not all. After sin had been laid on the head of the offering, the creature was killed. But that was by no means the conclusion of the matter. After death, began the stripping off the skin, the hewing in pieces, the burning on the fire. And so Jesus represents God as greatly to be feared, because, After he hath killed, he can cast into hell [Gehenna]: Luke 12: 5. The worst part of the sinners doom begins after death [and resurrection].
Death is destroyed, as soon as all men are raised by Christ and set before the throne, ere the casting into Gehenna is begun: 1 Cor. 15: 26; Rev. 22: 15.
We enquire into the nature of man.
According to Mr. Jukes, Man is spirit and has body; according to Scripture; Man is body, and has spirit or soul. The original man is body alone; and the body, even after it has received the breath of life, is regarded in Scripture as the true representation of the man. - Rainbow, 1869, p. 509.
The original man is body alone - By no means! For Adam was not a dead body; and the body without the spirit is dead: Jas. 2: 26. Let us make man in our image, and let them have dominion. Was that true of the lifeless clay? Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth and subdue it. Could that be said of the body without the soul? The body, even after the spirit has entered, is regarded in Scripture as the true representation of the man. Not so! God, to humble Adam, reminds him of his lower part, and of its original, when he is passing sentence. But has Scripture told us naught about man and his nature since the worlds opening day? We say on the contrary The soul is the man. Mr. Constable owns it is the nobler part. Then the nobler part rules and from his nobler part man takes his description. We that are in this tabernacle do groan: 2 Cor. 5: 4. Which is the right expression The house possesses the master? or, The master possesses the house? The soul is the man. Wonderful that one should have to prove that to a believer in the Bible! It is, however, easy enough; there is only in this case what the French call the embarrassment of riches.
Jacob says I will go down into Hadees (Heb.) for my son in mourning: Gen. 37: 35. What was the I there? Jacobs soul. Whom shall I bring thee up? says the witch to Saul. Bring me up Samuel. And Samuel said to Saul, why hast thou disquieted me to bring me up? What is the Samuel here? His body? Nay, but his soul! or spirit, if you please: 1 Sam. 28.
All the widows stood by him weeping and showing the coats and garments which Doreas made, while she was with them: Acts 9: 39. What is the Dorcas here? Her body! Nay, they had the body still. But Dorcas was away - that is, the soul of Dorcas is Dorcas!
And Jesus said unto him (the penitent robber,) Verily I say
unto thee, to-day shalt thou be with me in paradise: Luke 23: 43. What was the Jesus in
took the souls they had gotten in
We will prove, then, that death, as the state, is a condition of existence.
And how can he deny it, who owns that soul and spirit exist after death? if they exist in a certain place, is it not absolutely certain, that this supposes a condition of existence? And so Mr. Constable cannot speak of man after death without contradicting himself.
Mans spirit, therefore, or soul, as it is generally called, does not cease to exist when the body dies. It enters on its Hadees state, there to assume a new office: p. 509.
In this separate region, and as serving this important office, the separate spirit is looked on as a separate representation of the man to whom it belongs. As the lifeless body is truly the man, so also the living spirit, in whatever condition of life it lives, is in a true, though derived and secondary sense said in scripture to be also the man: 510.
The Hadees state seems to be a state that grew into human knowledge, &c.
Without sin many spirits would never have entered the state of Hadees at all. But in whatever condition it is then preserved, whether one of conscious life or of unconscious sleep, this, its continued existence of which we are assured, does not prevent mans death from being a death of the very same kind as the death of beasts: p. 510.
Is not this manifest self-contradiction? Death is not a condition of existence; and yet he writes of the souls continued existence! Adam was at first the lifeless body, says Mr. Constable. Before the soul was infused into the earthly frame, there lay on the earth the real and proper man. Is it so? How, then, does the stroke of death deprive man of existence? The soul has indeed left the body lifeless; but the lifeless body is the true and proper man! The stroke of death has only brought him back to his original state, ere life was inbreathed. Behold in the corpse, then, not something reduced to non-entity; it is the true and proper man as God created him, ere yet life had entered his frame!
Mr. C. goes on to say - that with him death is the loss of existence to the original and proper man, made of earth, by Gods withdrawing from him of his animating, spirit. We have to do with Adam living; and Adam without a soul was not alive.
Mans death is the same as the beasts! What do you mean by death? The act? or the state?
1. If you mean that the act of the souls withdrawal from the body is of the same kind in both, I agree.
2. If you affirm it of the state, you contradict yourself. For according to you, the beasts lose their existence altogether at death; but the mans soul survives death: p. 507, 510. Unless, then, existence is the same as non-existence, this assertion is untrue.
With them (the orthodox) the death of beasts is their loss of life; with them the death of man is a certain condition of existence or life. The beasts, in dying, lose their being and existence; man, in dying, only alters his manner of existence: p. 507.
Here there is confusion between death as the act, and death as the state. Death is spoken of as the act, in the first member of the contrast; as the state, in the second. Death, as the moment of departure, is the same to both man and beast. But if beasts have no manner of existence after death, and man has; it is certain that man has pre-eminence in death over a beast. To me it seems, that death destroys not the being of either.
But what again of spiritual death? May not that consist with physical life? And is not the man who lies in spiritual death still spiritually existent, though in an evil state? That is, spiritual death is not non-existence in spirit.
speaks of the dead as existing. He is not a God of the dead but of the living; for
all live unto him: Luke 20: 38.
Jesus, in proving resurrection from Gods calling himself the God of Abraham, supposes that God meant by
Abraham the man, as consisting of body, soul, and spirit. Now,
Abraham is divided. His body is in the
Jesus, as the departed spirit [i.e., as a disembodied soul], preached to the departed spirits in prison,
preached even to the dead. And they heard
and accepted his word: 1 Pet. 3; 3: 5. He is himself declared to be the firstborn [out] of the dead: Col.
2: 18; Rev. 1: 5. That supposes,
then, that the dead are in existence still, though it be
existence in secret. Birth [from the place of the dead,]
does not give life: it only manifests pre-existent life. The state of the saved soul in Hadees is one of greater bliss than present life on earth: Phil. 2: 20-21; Luke 23: 43.
Send Lazarus, that he may testify to my five brethren, lest they also Come into THIS PLACCE OF TORMENT: Luke 16: 19-31.
But here I must take heed to my steps. Two writers on different pleas would wrest from us this passage, so favourable to us. Both, indeed, insist, that it is a parable. Would it not be well for those who rest their cause thereupon, to prove it? Does Jesus, does his evangelist so describe it? I know, indeed, it is often so called: but I never saw proof given.
Give us Scripture proof!
One of the two writers declares that the parable is symbolic. Dives is the Jew, feasting sumptuously every day on Gods spiritual riches, as set out in Moses and the prophets. Was he lost, because his soul fed on this spiritual food?
Lazarus is the Gentile full of sores; that is, of the awful transgressions described in Rom. 1. The dogs that licked the sores are Gentile philosophers, poets, and so on. Lazarus dies first, and at once goes into bliss with all his awful trespasses un-cleansed! Christian ministers (angels) introduce him to it! Lazarus is also the Gospel economy.
The rich man dies too; that means the end of the Mosaic economy. So it seems, that the Gospel economy ends before the Mosaic! The rich man lifted up his eyes, in torments after death. Yet somehow he represents the Jews still alive, and full of spiritual unrest! Dives makes two requests; first for relief to himself through Lazarus. Is that what the Jews are doing? Is that what they have been doing these eighteen hundred years past? Have they been saying to the ministers of the Gospel, Come over and help us? Abraham tells this feaster on Moses and the prophets, that the thing is quite impossible; the believer in the Mosaic economy cannot have the smallest consolation from the Gospel. The servants of Christ cannot aid the Jewish inquirer, even if they wish. A great gulf is fixed between them and the inquirer; lest they should attempt to cross over to them with the tidings of life!
Dives then prefers his second request - that warning may be given to his five brethren, who have not yet come to the place of torment. Should it not be, My ten brethren? So many are the lost tribes. But Abraham is stern still. He replies, that Christ is not to go to them; that Moses and the prophets are enough to save them - although indeed Moses and the prophets are dead, for their dispensation is past; and the rich man is himself the Mosaic economy, or Moses and the prophets!
For my part, I prefer the idea that Jesus is speaking of facts to such a mass of absurdities.
Mr. Constable is the other assailant. Jesus, if we will believe him, is not giving a revelation of the state of the dead, He neither approves or disapproves of this popular story which he is uttering. Can any one credit such a statement? It is hard to believe that the writer himself can. Is it any proof that this view of Hadees is false, that it was the received doctrine of our Lords day among the orthodox? It was really Jesus solemn word of warning to the Pharisees, because of their mocking Him. They might be as blameless outwardly as the rich man, and yet be lost because of unbelief in a greater than Moses. This theory is really unbelief, wearing but a very thin veil. For what saith the Scripture? All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 2 Tim. 3: 16. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that WE HAVE SEEN; AND YE RECEIVE NOT OUR WITNESS: John 3: 11. He whom God sent speaketh, the words of God; for God giveth not the spirit by measure unto Him: 34. As my Father hath taught me, I speak these things: 8: 28. I have not spoken of (from) myself: but the Father which sent me, He gave me a commandment what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His commandment is life everlasting; WHATSOEVER I SPEAK, THEREFORE, EVEN AS THE FATHER SAID UNTO ME, SO I SPEAK: 12: 49, 50. But this shows how contrary to the Scripture are the doctrines I am opposing. It will be necessary by any and every means to silence more and more of Scripture testimony. Will not my brethren be prevailed upon to desist from this unholy crusade? Have men too much fear of God?
We consider next the subject of spiritual death. Do these writers views hold good there? Far from it. There is such a thing as spiritual death. Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead: Matt. 8: 22. You he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins: Eph. 1: 1.
Mr. Jukes asked, When Adams spirit died to God, was this annihilation?
Mr. Constable replies, His physical existence continued; his spiritual life ceased to be. Very true: if there be spiritual death, there must be the absence of spiritual life. But what was, Adams spiritual condition before God after the fall? Had he no spiritual existence at all? Yes, he had an evil heart, prone to unbelief. What was, what is the state spiritually of his posterity since that day? Have they no spiritual existence who have no spiritual life? Can there be no such thing as spiritual wickedness? Eph. 6: 12. The Greek distinguishes between the act of death, and the state of death; for the first it uses one word, ([See Greek word ]); for the second, another ([Greek word ].)* Then it applies the latter word to the spiritual state of Adams descendants. It is not enough to look at Adams act of transition from innocence to sin. We must look at the evil condition of spirit on which he entered in consequence; and which he transmitted to his posterity. Here then again, death as the state does not mean non-existence. Death in sins means the abiding condition of a soul alienated from God. And this is the constant state of Satan and his angels.
* The carrying out of this would rectify many mistranslations.
What is the Christians death to sin? Mr. Constable replies, It is the cessation of an evil life. True; but does the man cease spiritually to exist? The death to sins is not the end of mans spiritual existence. He lives to righteousness. Here again the opponents eye is directed only to death as the act, to the exclusion of death as the state of the man. Death as the act is the transition from one state to another. It is not, here, any more than in the other case, non-existence. The man was living in sin; that life has ceased. But he has passed on to holiness: that is his new, his abiding state, as the result of the transit. The two are beautifully presented in the following passage of John. We know that we have passed from death to life; because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death: John 3: 14. Here is death as the spiritual abiding state of men physically alive. Death spiritual is not, any more than death physical, non-existence. The spiritually dead are not non-existent in spirit. They exist in death spiritual; they are full of enmity against God.
And again, The minding of the flesh is death: (marg.)
Mr. Constable says:-
Death means absence of life: the presence of life implies the absence of death. This common view Mr. Jukes and others labour to show is not the view of Scripture. In Scripture they insist, that death is a condition of existence, or in plain words, that death is life in one shape or other: 513.
Yes: and their opponents are obliged to admit, that death as the state, is a condition of existence. All must, who confess, that soul and spirit exist after death. If they exist, they exist in some state or other. Well; that is a condition of existence. How can he deny it, who speaks of the Hadees state? The apparent force of a passage like that quoted arises from confounding death as the act, with death as the state. There is a state which is even called a life of the dead, as well as of the living. For all, says Jesus, are living unto God: Luke 20: 38; 1 Pet. 4: 6.
The end of the ungodly is their destruction or death. But destruction means only their being deprived of well-being, not of being. And death never signifies non-existence, as has been shown.
DEATH - THE PLACE
DEATH, as well as DESTRUCTION, is the name of the prison in which the souls of sinners are preserved till the judgment of the dead [before the time of their resurrection]. It is a place fenced in by gates; of which Jesus bears the keys. Thou that liftest me up from the gates of death: Psa. 9: 13. Hast thou, says the Lord to Job, entered into the springs of the sea? Or hast thou walked in search of the depths? Have the gates of Death been opened to thee? Or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death? Job 38: 16, 17; Psa. 107: 18; Isa. 38: 10; Rev. 20: 13. I am he that liveth and was dead, and behold I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of Hadees and of Death: Rev. 1: 18. It is the lowest pit, where sorrows are meted out to the wicked: Psa. 88: 6, 7, 10, 11; Job 33: 22-30; Psa. 55: 23-30. The dead exist there concealed from mortal eye; open to Gods: Job. 26: 6; 28: 22; Prov. 15: 11. Though thousands daily enter there, it is never full: Prov. 27: 20; Hab. 2: 5. Tis a place of fire and torment: Luke 16: 23, 28; Jude 7; 2 Pet. 2: 9; Psa. 6: 5; 116: 3.
But it may be said Even if we allow this, our cause is safe; for, as the first death is the extinction of animal life; in the second death there is the extinction of all life and existence.
All, sooner or later, sink into that state where wonder and remorse, pain and shame, are lulled in the unconscious sleep of the second death: Restitution, p. 48.
They, (the damned) live, after their departure from this life, until that event emphatically called the second death: Burgh, p. 15.
Here one of our opponents speaks of the state of death as a kind of life!
Both destruction and perish signify a
loss of existence in the second death:
But this is a refuge as little secure as the others.
The Second Death is neither a state, nor an event, but a place! The First Death, as has been shown, is a place; the present prison of the lost - in which the souls of the guilty begin to suffer. The Second Death is also a place - it is that destined for the lost after their resurrection; the place of the eternal torment of Satan, the False Christ and the False Prophet, with all who have served the Enemy of God.*
[* NOTE. That is, for all eternity in the lake of fire; not in Hades the place of the dead: for all now in Hades will be resurrected - but not all at the same time. Rev. 20: 4-6, 11-15. cf. Rev. 6: 9-11; Heb. 11: 35; Luke 20: 35; Phil. 3: 11; Luke 14: 14.]
This is proved by all the passages which speak of it. It is a place of torment. He that overcometh shall not be hurt by the Second Death:* Rev. 2: 11. It is a place of inflicting pain then; not of reducing to non-existence. The devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the Beast and the False Prophet (are,) and (they) shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Death and Hadees delivered up the dead which were in them. Death and Hadees were cast into the lake of fire. This is the Second Death. The old prisons, no longer needed, are swallowed up in the new one - [after all are resurrected, into the lake of fire.] Whoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire: Rev. 20: 10, 13-15. Of the [eternally] lost it is added They shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the Second Death; 21: 8. The Second Death, then, is not reduction to non-existence; but the everlasting prison and place of torment of the lost after [the millennium and] the [Great White Throne (20: 11)] judgment of the [remnant of the] dead.
THE DEATH OF CHRIST
He who moves out of Gods machine but a single wheel never knows when his work of alteration is ended. One part of truth is so linked on to another in Gods great system, that he who displaces one, must thrust out more. This doctrine of the non-eternity of punishment touches closely the character of God, and, (as will now be apparent) the nature of the Lord Jesus. Let me state the case, as required by these new views.
If Jesus, as our Saviour and Substitute, died the death threatened to Adam, he ceased to exist. Death was, as threatened to Adam, the extinction of his creaturely existence. He was to find therein the absolute termination of his being as a creature: (Rainbow, 1869, p. 262) But this death Jesus as our substitute did die. He ceased therefore absolutely to exist as the creature. How then could He rise again?
Here is the new difficulty entailed by the new views. It is met by Mr. Burgh and Mr. Maude. I will give first Mr. Bs reply.
The answer to this, however, is obvious, viz., that Christ was raised from the dead (m.i.) not in the power of natural life, but of His divine life, that life which was not forfeited, because not originally possessed by man, but with which human nature was endowed in the person of Christ, when He was conceived by the Holy Ghost. Accordingly, His resurrection is proof that He is Son of God, and not the consequence, much less the proof, of his humanity. (m.i.) He was says the apostle, made of the seed of David according to the flesh, but declared to be the SON OF GOD with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead, (Rom. 1: 3. 4,) where His resurrection is referable to the Spirit, which dwelt in Christ without measure - is the re-asserting of the divine life (m.i.) in Him, not of that which is natural, or merely human. (m.i.) To have done this last, to have lived in the power of natural or merely human life, would have been an evasion of the sentence of death, (m.i.) which, as it respects man without divine life, without any other resource, is final and irrevocable, (m.i.) But this did not Jesus; as (blessed be God!) He is one who has life in Himself, and Who therefore having died, now lives again: Christ our Life, p. 14. See also 23, 24, 27.
The meaning of this obscure passage seems to be -
That Jesus ceased to exist as a man: His soul and spirit were blotted out of existence. Or else He would have evaded Gods sentence of death against Adam. The Spirit of God, however, new created Him after His reduction to nothing! But this is not resurrection from among the dead, which is the testimony of God. He is not the same person before death and after it.
(The Lord make us humbly to tread on this awful subject!) But he seems to say further, that Jesus ceased to be a man at death, and is now the Son of God alone. If so, He ought to lose the human name of Jesus.
I pass on to Mr. Maudes answer to the difficulty.
Further on, Mr. Strong writes, Our Lord, when He died under judgment and wrath for our sins, was verily dead, but never out of existence, (of course I mean as man.) I am not prepared to grant this in the sense intended. We stand here on the brink of a great and divine mystery. If the punishment threatened to, and incurred by, Adam, was, as I have shown, the termination of His existence as a human being, and if that punishment was realty borne by Christ, then I see not how we are to escape the conclusion, that the death of Christ involved nothing less than the separation (for how long or how short a time I venture not to enquire) of His human soul from His human spirit, as well as of both these from His human body!
Mr. M. then quotes Ps. 88: 47; 69: 12, 14, 15; Matt. 26: 37-39; Luke 22: 44; and Rev. 5: 7. He supposes these texts to prove, that Jesus feared death as applying to, Him in a peculiar sense. He continues thus -
But it may be said, If this be indeed the sense in which we are to understand the nature of Christs atoning death; if His humanity was thus - even for a moment - utterly dissolved and broken up, (m.i.) then (awful thought!) Christ has perished; His personal identity has come to an end, and the dark waters of death have indeed gone over His soul! No: for here the grand fundamental doctrine of the Incarnation comes in. That this must indeed have been the case, had Christ been a mere man, is perfectly true; but be it ever remembered. He was God as well as man; the personality appertained to the Divine nature, not to the human, (m.i.) and therefore, though the union between the elements - body, soul, and spirit - of His most true humanity was suspended, the union between each one of those elements and His Divine nature never was; the Divine nature constituting a still abiding, all-comprehending element, in which they were held together, and in which they were united for ever. And thus, in a far deeper and truer sense than Mr. Strong contemplates, was the soul-man brought to nought in the death of Christ, (m.i.) and we are new-created, begotten again unto a new life by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead; Rainbow, 1869, pp. 263, 264.
In these passages we have two accounts of the matter, the one of which is inconsistent with the other. Let us take first the one which falls below the new theory of death.
1. In this first view Jesus death was the separation of the parts of His being; the union between His body, soul, and human spirit, was suspended, while the Divine nature still held them together.
But this is mainly our view of the act and of the State of death, which they have repudiated. The separation of the body from the soul and spirit while all three exist, is our view of death. Then death is a condition of existence, not of non-entity. The man Jesus soul and spirit - was not brought to nought, not put out of existence, if both soul and spirit were maintained in being. Existence [of the soul] in Hadees, (specially such as is described in Psalm 88,) is not non-existence. Jesus soul - as there described, suffered; and was moving among the dead (verses 4 and 6.) This, then, is only a relative cessation of existence; only a ceasing to live on earth; while Mr. Maude says, that death was to be to Adam the ceasing of his existence as a creature ABSOLUTELY. This, then, cannot stand. If he adopt this view, he must give up all such assertion about death. Death is in that case the end of animal life on earth, but not the end of existence in every form, and under every condition.
2. We take up, then, the other view, which is the only one really allowable on this new theory. And then, - Whenever Scripture speaks of death it affirms the non-existence of that which is said to be dead. Now Scripture says, that the Gospel is Christ died for our sins: 1 Cor. 15: 3; Gal. 2: 21. The Christ, then, in death ceased to exist! But again, God testifies that Jesus died, and rose again: 1 Thess. 4: 14. Nay, that our Lord Jesus Christ died for us: 5: 10. From this it is certain, that in death Jesus, the man, ceased to exist; the Christ came to nought; our Lord Jesus Christ ceased to be! Now, God and man is one Christ. Then God and man, in the person of Christ, ceased to be! And Mr. Maude owns it in part. He says, The soul-man was brought to nought in the death of Christ. That is, soul and body, which together constituted the man as at first created - came to nought when Jesus died. How, then, we ask, could Christ be raised up from among the dead in Hadees? He ceased to be, as soon as he died. He could not, therefore, go down into the place of the dead, or come up thence. He might be new-created by Divine power; but even by divine power he could not be raised out of the place and company of departed souls.
3. But there is still a further question of the utmost moment concerning the Saviours PERSON; (1) before death, (2) in death, and (3) after death.
(1) Mr. Maude says:-
These passages taken together, and considered in connection with the Divine personality of the Lord Jesus, convey the idea of an anguish such as no mere man ever yet endured. (m.i.)
The personality appertained to the divine nature, not to the human: p. 204.
This is to affirm, then, that Jesus as the person was God, and not man! My personality is human; that is, I am a man. If Jesus personality was not human, he was not a man. The breaking up of his manhood, (as our opponents suppose,) since it did not touch his Godhead, did not change his person! That is, he never was really a man! The Godhead wore the manhood as a garment; which might be rent off, while the person abode the same. This cannot, then, be made to square with Mr. M.s other statements He was God as well as man; or with his speaking of his most true humanity: Manhood without personality is not a man. This, then, seems a variety of the old Apollinarian heresy. Theodoret, v, 3, p. 200; Evagrius, vi, 27, p. 286.
(2) We have spoken something concerning Jesus state in death.
(3) But what shall we say - on this theory - of his person after death?
Two views are suggested by the words of Messrs. Burgh and Maude; though neither is distinctly stated. We ask, then,
1. When Jesus Christ was new-created, appearing on earth in resurrection, had he left any part of his former personality behind?
It would seem that he must have abandoned something, else how was the soul-man [which Adam was] brought to nought? Mr. Strong had asserted, that Jesus never ceased to exist as man. Mr. Maude denies it. Jesus, then, gave up the manhood. It would seem therefore natural to suppose, that he means - that the Saviour is now Son of God alone. Of course, I do not pretend to show how this is to be reconciled with his other statements.
This, it seems to me, is probably Burghs meaning also. But suppose this is not their view. Will any say, -
2. That Jesus, new-created, was, - as regards the elements of his person, - the same person as before?
new-created person cannot be the one who was born of Mary. He is not Son of
The Word of Gods testimony must now overthrow these errors.
1. Jesus Christ before His death was a man, the Son of Man. The Son of Man hath power on earth to forgive sins: Mark 2: 10. After me cometh a man, which is preferred before me; for he was before me, says John Baptist: John 1: 30. Now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth: 8: 40. For since by (a) man came death, by (a) man came also the resurrection of the dead: 1 Cor. 15: 21. Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: Luke 22: 46. My soul is exceeding sorrowful, oven unto death: Matt. 26: 38.
2. Jesus Christ, in soul and spirit ceased not to exist the moment after death. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whales belly, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth: Matt. 12: 40. His soul was not left in Hadees, nor did Gods Holy One see corruption. David, seeing this before, spake of the resurrection of the Christ, that his soul* was not left in Hadees, neither did his flesh see corruption: Acts 2: 31. We are taught, that Christ also once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, to bring us to God; being put to death in the flesh, but quickened in spirit, (Greek:) In which also he went and preached to the spirits in prison: 1 Pet. 3: 18, 19. That is, He was existing as truly as the dead to whom he preached, 1 Pet. 4: 6.
* The true reading, as given by Tregelles, Alford, and others, That He was not left in Hadees.
Christ in death went down into the bottomless pit. Who shall descend
into the bottomless pit? (Greek.) That is, to
bring up Christ again from the dead: Rom. 10: 7. He went, says the Spirit, into the lower parts of the earth: Eph. 4: 9.
He went down into Death - as the place.
But at his petition made unto Him that was able
to save him out of Death - he
was heard and raised up. Heb. 5: 7. He did not, then, cease
to exist in death. He entered into
After the Jews had destroyed the temple of His body, Jesus raised it again: John 2: 19-21. He was not then new created by another out of nonentity. Jesus in death laid down his human soul, as a ransom; only to take IT UP again. I am the good shepherd; (says Jesus) the Good Shepherd giveth His soul ([See Greek word ]) for the sheep. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father; and I lay down my soul [see Greek ] for the sheep. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my soul, that I may take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power (the right) to lay it down, and I have power (the right) to take it again. This commandment I received of my Father: John 10: 11-18; 1 Tim. 2: 5. Jesus laid down His soul for His disciples just in the same sense (of course not with the same object,) as His disciples are called at times to do in His service: John 12: 25; 13: 37, 38; 15: 13.
From this mass of evidence it is certain, that no part of Jesus person absolutely ceased to exist in death. Jesus was a man before death, in death, and beyond death. Jesus was the Christ before, in, and beyond death. Jesus was the Son of Man all through His course. We are dealing with the same person throughout this crisis of His history. The Descender to earth and its lowest parts is the same that has ascended through all heavens: Eph. 4: 7-10. Jonah, before and after his imprisonment in the whales belly, was the same person. In the same way as Jonah is Jesus the sign to the faithless generation. Remember that Jesus Christ hath been raised from the dead, of the seed of David according to my Gospel: 2 Tim. 2: 8. This is the order of the Greek, and it seems designed to testify, that the risen Saviour has not ceased to be, even after the resurrection, still the Son of David: in virtue of which he is to reign, as Paul goes on to observe: 12. See also John 11: 25, 26; Acts 2: 36; 1 John 5: 6; Phil. 2: 5-11; Heb. 2: 5-10; Matt. 17: 9; Rev. 1: 18; 2: 8; Acts 7: 56; 1 Tim. 2: 5; Heb. 9: 11; Col. 1: 18; 2: 12, 20; 3: 1, 3; 1 Cor. 15: 20-22; 2 Cor. 5: 21; Gal. 2: 20, 21; Acts 17: 31.
But if Jesus in death ceased not to exist but retained every part of His person, the theory about death being the reduction of man to non-existence, is false. Jesus suffered the penalty of death as threatened to Adam; but in no part of His person as the man Jesus the Christ, did He cease to exist.