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that the learning of the Egyptians was famous in the days of Moses, Acts 7: 22. If the Egyptians taught the doctrine of the immortality of the soul, one thing is certain, that they could not learn it from Moses, for it is not taught in his writings : and if the doctrine had been true, it would not have been entirely overlooked by him. Mr. Stanley says the Chaldaic philosophers taught the immortality of the soul long before the days of Moses; and it seems universally allowed that the Chaldean, Egyptian, and heathen philosophers in some shape or other held it. It is said, Thales was the first of the heathen philosophers who taught it, having brought it from Egypt, and that Pythagorus, Socrates, and Plato only cultivated and perfected the doctrine after him. Socrates flourished four hundred and thirty years before Christ, and the philosophical doctrines came then universally to prevail. He taught the immortality of the soul and its pre-existence to the body. Some say Socrates only hoped, but was not positive that the soul existed after death.
Tertullian believed that the soul of Jesus at his death descended to those of the patriarchs. That the soul of Adam came from God, and that the breath of God was a vapor.
The church in the days of Origen had not determined, whether the soul was eternal, or created for a certain time; whether it was the cause of life, or was merely confined in the body as a punishment for previous transgressions. Origen himself taught, that all souls had existed from all eternity, and were imprisoned in the body as a punishment for their sins. On the immortality of the soul, Dr. Good says, p. 372–“ But there is a question of far more consequence to us than the nature of the soul's essence, and that is, the nature of its duration. Is the soul immortal? Is it capable of a separate existence? Does it perish with the body as a part of it? Or if a distinct principle, does it vanish into nothingness as soon as the separation takes place?
What does philosophy offer upon this subject? This too has been studied from age to age; the wisest of mankind have tried it in every possible direction: new opinions have been started, and old opinions revived ; and what, after all, is the upshot ? The reply is as humiliating as in the former case; vanity of vanities, and nothing more; utter doubt and indecision,--hope perpetually neutralized by fear."
4th. Let us now pay attention to the opinions which have been held, respecting the condition of souls after death. Concerning the doctrine of transmigration :
Some say it was invented, and others only established by Pythagorus. It was thought to solve the difficulty, how good and bad were to be rewarded and punished after death. Lucian condemns the souls of the rich who oppressed their neighbors, into asses, to bear all burdens, and become the most contemptible beasts, for their pride and oppression here. As they did well or ill in the body, they were to be rewarded or punished in the next body or transmigration. The Mahometans believe in transmigration. And the Moors and Negroes believed, that their bodies should return home again under ground to their former habitation ; and hence had pipes, rum, and tobacco buried with them. Some of the Jews it is said believed, that if buried any where else than in Judea, that their bodies would be conveyed under ground or otherwise to rise there in the resurrection. Some of the heathens taught, that the body was the prison of the soul, and while shut up in it, was surrounded with darkness as in a dungeon. But some believed that souls were very anxious to occupy an earthly tenement. According to Virgil
and others, but few souls retained possession of elysium; the rest returning into mortal bodies after a thousand years; but before they revisited the upper region, they were compelled to drink of the waters of Lethe; an oblivion of former impressions being deemed necessary to prevent them repining in their new habitation. Sallust observes, that were it not for these transmigrations, the deity would be under the necessity of creating a soul for every new body; and that as in time this number would be infinite, they could not be contained within a finile world. The rational souls, he observes, never migrate into the bodies of irrational animals, but follow those irrational bodies without, as demons who possess or attend men. Some imagined indeed that the soul at last, after wearing out a number of bodies, would, in time wear out itself, and perish for ever. Others gave it a body, and sent it to the clouds, to the stars, to some happier region, and some to the regions in the bowels of the earth. Some also said that the soul after its separation remained without a body. It appears from Matt. 16: 14, and 14: 2. John 9: 1-3, with other texts that the doctrine of transmigration was held by some among the Jews. It need not surprise us if they also held many other of the heathen opinions, respecting souls and their state after death.
Adam, in his Roman Antiquities says, “ The Romans paid the greatest attention to funeral rites, because they believed that the souls of the unburied were not admitted into the abodes of the dead; or at least wandered an hundred years along the river Styx, before they were allowed to cross it; for which reason, if the bodies of their friends could not be found, they erected to them an empty tomb." As to the corpse sa small coin was put in his mouth, which he might give to Charon, the ferryman of hell,
for his freight. Hence a person who wanted this and the other funeral oblations it was thought could not purchase a lodging; or place of rest.” It is said, those killed by accident, and whose bodies were not buried in the usual way, their souls wandered about the universe for an hundred years before they were admitted to a passage. They wanted their passage money, which those who were regularly buried brought with them. It is also said, a person killed in the streets of Rome, was so bruised that no part of him was whole, his soul was obliged to wander about the banks of the river Styx, and wait Charon's leisure to ferry him over, because he had not his money in his mouth to pay his fare. The Catholics put a piece of money in the mouths of their dead to pay St. Peter, the porter of heaven, to admit their souls. But it seems all of it did not come into his hands, for it is said, many of those pieces were found in the graves of the Saxon kings and prelates when their coffins were rifled in the cathedral church of Winchester. Virgil speaks of men's souls undergoing a purgation or lustration by fire.
The heathen poured out round the graves of the dead, a certain liquor made of honey, milk and wine; and used certain speeches, and prayed to the gods and to the ghosts of the dead to be propitious. The ancient Romans entreated the infernal gods on behalf of the dead, and at the burning of the dead, allowed sencers to fight at the funeral pile called Bustum and Bustuarii tili one of them was killed, whose blood served as a sacrifice of atonement to the infernal gods, to mitigate their anger against the soul of the deceased. The ancients are said to have buri. ed their dead at their own houses; whence, according to some, the origin of idolatry, and the worship of household gods, the fear of hobgoblins or spectres in the dark. The Egyptians embalmed their
dead bodies, to establish an opinion of their immortality.
Socrates taught that God would reward his creatures who please him, and that "the bad, in convenient places, suffer condign punishment." Plato and Socrates both taught-"there is a tartarum, or bara. ibrum, a deep pit or hell, and an acheron, or acherusia, a great river in hell, whither some of the souls of the dead are brought, and there remain for some space of time; some a longer, others a shorter duration, and then return into generated animals again. But the murderer in Cocytus, and the disobedient to parents in Pyriphlegethon receive the end of their wickedness." Notwithstanding these statements, it is said Pythagoras held that the souls of the unhappy after death are sometimes near beatitude, are not oppressed with extreme misery, being hereafter to be delivered from punishment. Socrates said that he never was in the future state, nor ever spoke with any soul that came from it, but on the contrary, owned death to resemble an absolute annihilation of soul and body.” And one said, "a man thou art, and hast a soul, but this uncertain Plato doth but only guess.” Mr. Robert Mayo, in his Epitome of Ancient Geography, gives us the following account of the origin of Tartarus: “As Tar. tessus was celebrated among the ancients for the multitude of its riches, abounding in mines of silver, tin, lead, &c. with which the inhabitants traded in the fairs of Tyre, according to the prophet Ezekiel, the Greek poets derived from it the celebrated fable of the pits of Tartarus, where the wicked were condemned to labor, and to various modes of torture." p. 381. Concerning the origin of the elysian fields, the same author says, p. 379, 380, "some authors even think that the campi elizii, or elysian fields so celebrated among the Greek fables, derived their names from