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dust, and is insensible to either pain or pleasurevisible positive facts daily demonstrate. The only question which remains for our investigation, then, is-has man an immortal soul, or spirit which survives death, and does it enjoy happiness or suffer misery in a disembodied state, between death and the resurrection? That it does, is very generally believed by Christians of all sects, and whether this is a Scripture doctrine or not we wish to ascertain.
How, then, does the Bible answer Job's question, "Man giveth up the ghost and where is he?" When Abraham gave up the ghost where was he? It is answered, Gen. 15: 15, "thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace, thou shalt be buried in a good old age." Again, when Moses gave up the ghost where was he? It is answered, Deut. 31: 16, "behold thou shalt sleep with thy fathers." The reader, by consulting the following texts, will see the same thing said of David, 1 Kings 1: 21, and 2: 10, comp. Acts 13:36. Of Solomon, 1 Kings 11: 43. 2 Chron. 9:31. Of Asa, 1 Kings 15: 24. 2 Chron. 16: 13. Of Jehosaphat, 1 Kings 22: 50. 2 Chron. 21: 1. Of Azariah, 2 Kings 15:17. Of Jotham, 2 Kings 15: 38. 2 Chron. 27: 9. Of Abijah, 2 Chron. 14: 1. Of Uzziah, 2 Chron. 26: 23. Of Hezekiah, 2 Chron. 32: 33. Of Rehoboam, 1 Kings 14: 31. 2 Chron. 12: 16. and of Josiah, 2 Kings 22: 20. If it is objected-all these were good men, let the reader then consult the following texts, where the same thing is said of the very worst characters. Thus it is said of Jeroboam, "that he slept with his fathers," 1 Kings 14: 20. 2 Kings 14: 29. Of Abijam, 1 Kings 15: 8. Of Baasha, 1 Kings 16: 6. Of Omri, 1 Kings 16: 28. Of Ahab, 1 Kings 22: 40. Of Joram, 2 Kings 8: 24. Of Jehu, 2 Kings 10:35. Of Jehoahaz, 2 Kings 13:9. Of Joash, 2 Kings 13: 13. Of Jehoash,
2 Kings 14: 16. Of Menahem, 2 Kings 15: 22. Of Ahaz, 2 Kings 16: 20. Of Manasseh, 2 Kings 21:18. 2 Chron. 33: 20. Of Jehoiakim, 2 Kings 24: 6. It is very obvious from all these texts, that persons, whether pious or profane, are said "to sleep with their fathers." In the margin of some of them, it is, "to lie down with their fathers." Jacob, Gen. 47: 30, desired to lie with his fathers. In chap. 49: 29, 33, his death is called, being "gathered unto his people." And, speaking of the wicked, Ps. 49: 19, it is said, "he shall go to the generation of his fathers." When persons are said to go to their fathers, Gen. 15: 15, and to go down to their children who were dead, Gen. 37: 35, nothing more seems to be meant than that they had gone to Sheol or Hades, where all the dead are represented as in one vast congregation. This is said of whole generations, as well as of individuals, Judg. 2: 10, which confirms the views advanced.
That dying, in Scripture, is called falling asleep, and being dead, asleep, is beyond all controversy. See Ps. 76: 5. Job 3: 13, and 7: 21. Ps. 13:3. Matt. 27: 52. John 11: 11, 13. Acts 7: 6, and 13: 36. 1 Cor. 15: 6, 18, 20, 51. 1 Thess. 4: 13— 15, and 5: 10. 2 Peter 3: 4. Jer. 51: 39. 1 Cor. 11:30. This sleep is said to be "in the dust," Job 7:21. It is represented as a place of quietness and rest to all, poor or rich, the oppressor and the oppressed. See Job 3: 13-20. and 17: 16. Isai. 57: 2. Rev. 14: 13. Job calls this resting-place in the dust "the land of darkness and the shadow of death: a land of darkness as darkness itself; and of the shadow of death, without any order; and where the light is as darkness." Chap. 10: 20-22. See also Ps. 88: 12. Job 3: 16. 17: 13. 1 Sam. 2: 9. Job 3: 5, 12:21, 22. 33: 28. Ps. 44: 19. 107: 10, 14.
where similar statements are made. It is the same to all, whatever character they sustained while in this world. It is also represented as a place of silence, Ps. 3: 17. 94: 17. and 115: 17. It is called "the land of forgetfulness," Ps. 88: 12. where the persons are in a state of forgetfulness, as well as forgotten by the living, Ps. 31: 12. Moreover it is often described as a state of corruption and destruction. See Job 26: 6. 28: 22, Ps. 88: 11. 16: 10. Job 4: 18-20. Ps. 49: 9-20. Prov. 15:11. 27: 20. Acts 13: 26.
It cannot be doubted that Job's question-" Man giveth up the ghost and where is he?" is spoken of all men without exception, and in our day is answered thus-" All men when they give up the ghost, go immediately to heaven or hell, to be happy or miserable forever." The Catholics have purgatory as a third place, to which they send some at death. But do the Scriptures speak of three places, or even of two, to which men go at death? Solomon says, Eccles. 12: 5. "Man goeth to his long home." And Job calls it," the house appointed for all the living," chap. 30: 23. Solomon expressly declares, Eccles. 3: 20—“ All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all return to dust again."
We are aware, that it may be objected-" These texts only describe the state of men's bodies after death, but have no relation to their "immortal souls." Be it so; I have then a right to demand, that texts be produced, showing, that men have immortal souls, and that at death they go to heaven or hell. All know how confidently our orthodox brethren speak of "poor immortal souls; of precious immortal souls; and of people's never dying souls, being every moment exposed to endless misery; and how anxious. they are to save them from such a punishment,” If
but the one half of what they say about this be true, we may expect the Bible to be full and explicit on this subject. At any rate, the objection has no force until it is proved, that men have immortal souls exposed to such misery. But, it may be noticed, that if the above texts only describe the state of men's bodies after death, the sacred writers were at great pains to inform us about that, which was obvious from every day's observation. Is it rational to think that they would have used such language, yet believed men had immortal souls in a state of happiness or misery in a disembodied state? What orthodox man speaks so in the present day? If he ever quotes such texts, he generally does it with some explanation, guarding us against supposing that they refer to the whole man. A distinction is made in Scripture between soul and body, but it is never intimated that the former must go to heaven or hell after death. Admit it true, and how could Job say, that had he died at his birth, he would have been as an untimely birth? ch. 3: 16. And "should have been as though he had not been," 10:19. Would he not have been, if he had an immortal soul? Indeed, how could he cease to be if this was true? But at death persons are said to be no more, Gen. 42:36. Ps. 39: 13. Matt. 2: 18. And of man it is said "shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave." Ps. 89: 48.
But if any part of man existed in a state of happiness or misery after death, how could the sacred writers speak as in the following passages? In Ps. 115 17. it is said, "the dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down into silence." Again: "for in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks ?" Ps. 6: 5. And it is asked, Ps. 30: 9, "shall the dust praise.
thee? Shall it declare thy truth?" And Ps. 88: 10, 11, "Wilt thou show wonders to the dead? Shall the dead arise and praise thee? Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave? Or thy faithfulness in destruction?" comp. verse 12, and Ps. 118: 17, and Isai. 38: 18, 19, where similar things are stated. But again, it is said, Ps. 146: 3, 4, "put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth, in that very day his thoughts perish." And in Eccles. 9: 5, 6, it is expressly declared, "the dead know not any thing," and that "their love and their hatred and their envy is now perished." At verse 10, it is added, "there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave whither thou goest." How these statements could be made by persons who believed that they had immortal souls, which at death went to heaven or hell, I must leave for others to explain.
But Job answers his own question. After saying, chap. 14: 10, "man giveth up the ghost and where is he?" he adds, verses 11, 12, "as the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and dryeth up: so man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not wake nor be raised out of their sleep." Here, he intimates his hope of a resurrection from the dead; but that he had no knowledge of the soul's existence in a disembodied state, isapparent from verse 13, "O that thou wouldst hide me in the grave, that thou wouldst keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldst appoint me a set time and remember me," see also verses 14, 15. Job's answer is in unison with all the above texts, nor is any thing said in any other part of the book, which would lead us to believe that he had an immortal soul which would exist in a disembodied