Alexander Campbell Life and Death (1861)


L I F E   A N D   D E A T H .




B Y   A.   C A M P B E L L .








C I N C I N N A T I:





CINCINNATI, April 30, 1860.      


      DEAR SIR:--I am pleased to hear that you are about to republish Bro. A. Campbell's Extra on Life and Death. The work was thought to be an admirable one at the time of its appearance; but there is a reason for its broad-cast distribution now, which did not then exist. There were few Sadducees in our country at that time. The adventists, sore from their recent discomfiture, had not given birth to that protean materialism which has since taken the place of the varied denominational dogmas, which they had renounced. For several years past they have been intense propagandists; their anxiety to save souls does not equal their zeal in persuading men that they have none to be lost. The reproduction of this Essay, and other publications which you propose, may do good service in dyking out the last aggressive wave of soul-sleeping and destructionism.
  Yours, Truly,
D. S. BURNET. [2]      




      ANY theory of a future state founded upon human wisdom and science, however elevated the rank and standing of its author and its adherents, wanting the sanction of Divine authority and scriptural demonstration, can afford neither confidence nor comfort to any reflecting mind. If, indeed, it be a truth worthy the assertion of an Apostle, that "the world by wisdom knew not God," equally true and worthy of the same authority is the declaration;--that Jesus Christ "hath abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light by the Gospel." Philosophy, in her wisdom and modesty, has at length confessed that the soul of man, as to its origin, nature, and destiny, is wholly beyond the precincts of her jurisdiction; and, therefore, she utterly refuses to dogmatize or reason on the subject. We are, therefore, thrown upon the Bible and faith for all that we can know or learn of this most mysterious and absorbing subject. Till we have "shuffled off this mortal coil," and have learned the first lessons of that "great teacher, DEATH," we must be content with [3] what the Bible teaches on the spiritual nature of man, and on the future destiny of the righteous and the wicked.

      But that volume must be subjected to the equal laws of interpretation by which we ascertain the meaning of the words of other authors addressing us from ancient times, and in languages long since dead. Regardless of that tribunal, we are, to all intents and purposes, without a revelation in human language; and, still worse, we never can have one. It is absolutely essential to the very idea of a Divine communication in the form of a revelation, that its words and sentences be understood according to their usual sense at the time in which that communication was made, and amongst the people to whom it was addressed, and to whose care it was committed. Since the apparel of thought changes as the apparel of our persons; and words, in the lapse of time vary from their original and primitive meaning, a very strict regard must always be had to their received acceptation and sense in the age and country in which they were employed as the vehicle of a Divine revelation.

      Through an ignorance of these facts, or through a disregard of them, it has come to pass that we now have very dissimilar and contradictory theories of the future state amongst those who profess to believe and teach the Bible. Take, for [4] example, the future state of the disobedient and unjust, and how dissimilar the representations of it given by the Universalist, the Restorationist, the Destructionist, the Romanist, and the Christian,1 yet all professing to hold the same book as a Divine revelation!

      The Universalist proper teaches that a full retribution of sin takes place in this life; and hence, after death, the wicked are as holy and as happy as the righteous. With him, the scriptures that speak of future punishment are mere metaphors, inasmuch as there can be no future punishment neither according to their theory of the Divine attribute, nor according to the gospel. Hence the words of Jesus: "He that shall have believed, and shall have been baptized shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be condemned," mean "he that believeth, etc., and he that believeth not shall be saved."

      The Universal Restorationist teaches that there will be punishment of a disciplinary character after death, which shall, in all cases, issue in perfect reformation, holiness, and happiness. Hence, there will be, hereafter, a continual egress from hell to heaven until the latter shall have received the entire population of the former.

      The Destructionist teaches that, ultimately, the [5] souls and the bodies of all the wicked shall be destroyed: that is, reduced to perfect nonentity. Some of them, (for there is less unanimity among them than among the theorists above mentioned,) teach that the soul and body die together and are never again conscious, any more than a vulture, or a dove; a horse, or a lamb. Others teach that the souls of the wicked sleep from death to the final resurrection, and then with their bodies, shall revive and undergo a second death, proportioned to their former sins. Some will suffer more, others less, both in duration and intensity, but finally they shall all be annihilated. This, with them, is "the second death."

      These three theories agree in one great point, viz:--that the wicked shall all be destroyed out of the universe; not one left. The Universalist and Restorationist destroy their character and make them saints; while the Destructionist reduces them to nothing; giving them neither sense nor reason, neither person nor name, neither habitation nor existence; thus making them absolute nonentities.

      The Romanist has, for some of the dead, an intermediate state of purgatorial purification. All men die under certain liabilities to punishment because of venal offenses, which disqualify them for heaven. They must, therefore, pass through purgatory, an imaginary place, concerning which, an infant knows just as much as Gregory the XVI [6] with all his ecclesiastic conclaves. Their residence and sufferings in purgatory are to be commensurate with the number and character of their various offenses; for which, indeed, they must make expiation. Still, their passage through that imaginary region will be much shortened and alleviated by reason of the masses said for the dead, which are always repeated in number and efficiency according to the contributions given to the priests. Hence, the rich pass through on steam cars, while the poor trudge along on crutches. Ultimately, indeed, all its inmates get through; the irremediably wicked passing directly into punishment.

      The Christian believes that the wicked suffer an "everlasting punishment," and that, therefore, they never cease to exist. He believes that the wicked are cast into hell and there suffer "an everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power," that in that state "the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched."

      Now, as the Universalist, the Restorationist, the Destructionist, the Romanist, and the Christian equally profess to believe the Bible, and, therefore, equally profess to build their respective theories on divine revelation, follows it not that they have adopted different methods of interpreting and applying the words of that sacred record? The difference is not in the standard to which they all appeal, (for they all have the same Bible,) but in [7] the mode of interpreting it. Can any fact more convincingly demonstrate the necessity and importance of having some fixed canons or rules of interpretation.

      Now, as it frequently happens, that words have different significations; as literal and as figurative, and are consequently used in diverse acceptations, sometimes meaning this and sometimes that, the first and most necessary inquiry must always be, how shall we, in any particular case, ascertain whether the literal or the figurative use of any given term shall be regarded as its proper signification? To which important inquiry we give this answer:--The particular writer or speaker, or the particular subject on which he writes or speaks, or the particular context, or the particular adjuncts or words in construction with it, will generally, if not universally, ascertain and limit the meaning beyond any reasonable doubt.

      There are four words in this controversy, of cardinal importance. These are, destruction, life, death, and punishment. To ascertain their grammatical or historical, and their tropical or figurative meaning is, indeed, indispensable to any correct knowledge of those passages in which they occur. The most palpable error, of those whose views of the future state of wicked and impenitent men we are now about to review and examine, is, that they generally commence the proof by [8] assuming or taking for granted the very question in debate. For example, the Destructionists in arguing for the entire and eternal extinction of the unconverted, assume, that the term destruction means the absolute extinction of personal being and existence. Now if the term destruction always means in the sacred usage, the absolute extinction of personal existence, or in other words, personal annihilation; then, indeed, there might be some excuse for such a palpable and daring assumption. But if such be not the fact, or if the word destruction has other meanings than absolute extinction of personal existence, then we need scarcely show that their foundation is a mere assumption, or a mere begging of the question.

      We shall then institute a scriptural induction and examination of the words destruction and destroy, as found in the New Testament; and first, of the noun, destruction. It occurs only in the English Concordance twelve times. These are: Matth. vii, 13; Rom. iii, 16-ix, 22; 1 Cor. v, 5; 2 Cor. x, 8-xiii, 10; Phil. iii, 19; 1 Thess. v, 3; 2 Thess. i, 9; 1 Tim. vi, 9; 2 Peter, ii, 1-iii, 16. Of these twelve times in which we have destruction in the common version, we have in the original Greek four terms, viz: apooleia, olethros, kathairesis, and suntrimma. The first is found in Matth. vii, 13; Rom. ix, 22; Phil. iii, 19; 2 Peter, ii, 1-iii, 16; in all, five times. Olethros is found, [9] 1 Cor. v, 5; 1 Thess. v, 3; 2 Thess. i, 9; 1 Tim. vi, 9; in all, four times. Kathairesis is found, 2 Cor. x, 8-xiii, 10. Suntrimma, Rom. iii, 16. There are, then, four varieties of destruction in the Greek original, all represented by one and the same word in the common version. This is one startling fact to those who assume that the term destruction uniformly represents the same thing.

      How dangerous those guides who assume, as the basis of their theory, that destruction only means absolute extinction of personal existence, or personal annihilation! and yet such men have we amongst us, pretending to be learned men. Even Dr. Watts and Dr. Priestley were both among the number;--but neither poets nor philosophers are safe guides in theology.

      Now, our method is, in the second place, to examine each of these four terms, translated destruction, by considering them in every passage in which they occur, and by observing how they are translated in the common version. To begin with the first and chief of these, viz: apooleia, we discover that this word is found in the New Testament in this form as a noun substantive only, twenty times. Of these it is translated eight times perdition, five times destruction, twice waste, once by each of the following words, die, perish, damnation, damnable, pernicious ways. Here are, then, in our common version, eight versions of the noun substantive [10] apooleia, in only twenty occurrences of the word, of these the most common are perdition and destruction.

      But we have the verb apollumi, to destroy, from which the noun is derived, occurring in the New Testament no less than ninety-two times. From these ninety-two cases we can not fail to arrive at a radical conception of the meaning of this word. We shall, then, classify and enumerate its various significations. Of these the most common, is perish, and sometimes perished. In this sense it is found no less than thirty-two times. It is also found thirty-one times translated lose and lost, and twenty-seven times destroy and destroyed; it is only once translated marred, and once die.

      Now as this is the term most frequently used indicative of the destiny of wicked men, it is all-important that its various acceptations be very strictly observed and considered. Its derivative aioonios olethros, is found, 2 Thess. i, 9, translated "everlasting destruction." We have, also, 1 Thess. v, 3, 'then sudden destruction, (olethros) cometh,' 1 Cor. v, 5, "for the destruction of the flesh," and 1 Tim. vi, 9, "drown men in destruction."2

      Kathairesis is found only three times, [11] 2 Cor. x, 4, translated, "pulling down of strongholds;" 2 Cor. x, 8, "not for your destruction," and 2 Cor. xiii, 10, "edification and not destruction." This word etymologically indicates "pulling down;" and, figuratively, "destruction." In the latter sense it is found but twice in the New Testament.

      Suntrimma is found but once, and literally indicates destruction by attrition or breaking down.

      We have now exhibited every passage in the Christian Scriptures in which the English words destroy and destruction are found, and also all the words in the Greek New Testament which are supposed either grammatically or rhetorically to authorize such a translation. It will next be important to notice some other versions of the same words found in the common version.

      First, then, apooleia is applied to a waste of ointment, Matth. xxvi. 8; Mark, xiv. 4, "to what purpose is this waste (or destruction) of the ointment." It is also translated perdition in immediate contrast with (olethros) destruction, showing that olethros denotes a still higher sentence than apooleia. It is, also applied to "pernicious ways," and to "damnable sects," 2 Peter ii, 2; also, to destruction (Phil. iii, 19,) in the abstract.

      The verb, apollumi, in the original, whose New Testament history we have given, is applied both to persons and things as well as its derivatives, olethros and apooleia. It is applied to persons, [12] members of the body, bottles, sheep, soul and body, life, reward, those who take the sword, money, nation, and even to JESUS the Messiah, himself.

      Bottles, by one evangelist, are in the common version, said "to be destroyed," and "to perish," and by another evangelist the same bottles are said to "be marred." In these cases apollumi, is found in the original: A sheep that was destroyed or lost is said to live and to be brought back to the fold;--a man is said to destroy his life, and again to find it;--I am sent, says the Messiah, to the destroyed sheep of the house of Israel. This resembles a passage in the Old Testament, viz: "O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself, but in me is thy help found!" I have come to seek and to save, says Jesus, that which was destroyed;--"Ask Barrabas and destroy Jesus;"--"This my son was destroyed but is now found,--our gospel is hid to them that are destroyed."

      Such are a few, and but a few, of the cases in which this word is so used as to demonstrate to the most indiscriminating that it can not mean either primarily or generally the absolute extinction or annihilation of persons and animals at one time said to be destroyed, and afterwards, represented as living and happy. "This my son was dead and is now alive, was lost and is found." Such applications of the words dead, lost, destroyed, [13] etc., are of frequent occurrence in the judgment of those acquainted with the usus loquendi of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures.

      Should any one demur at an appeal to the original text in explanation of the force of words in the Christian records, we will refer him to Cruden's Concordance, in which he may examine from three to four hundred passages of Scripture in which some branch of this numerous family of words will be found. In these he will find abundant proof of the facts already offered; or, in other words, he will discover how exceedingly hazardous and reckless those innovators, who, from the mere force of the phrase, destruction of ungodly men, confidently affirm their absolute and utter personal extinction or annihilation.

      To conclude our dissertation on this family of words, we must remark, that the words destroy and destruction have, like many other words, beside a grammatical or literal definition, a figurative one; and are sometimes used in a relative and subordinate, as well as in an absolute and unqualified sense. For example, Jesus is said to have assumed our nature, "that he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;--and to have been "manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil." Has he yet accomplished either?--Does not Satan yet live, and his works still exist? His power has truly been crippled but not [14] annihilated. But it may be asked: will he not finally annihilate Satan and destroy his works? If so, we will respond by asking;--Would it not have been better to have absolutely and forever destroyed the arch apostate at the moment of his rebellion, than after he had done all the evil that he could; after he had, at least, relatively destroyed millions of millions of our tempted and beguiled race? Into what singular predicaments will some persons precipitate themselves by the infatuation of some new theory, under the captivating spell of some brilliant novelty!

      To assume that when this word is applied to the future state of the wicked, it then always means absolute destruction, or the entire and eternal extinction of the subject, will be reprobated by every well educated man; nay, by every sane, uncommitted man in the world. If such had been the current and common use of the term, then, we might, indeed, listen with approbation to the disquisitions of the critic who, from its current signification, would seek to show that when it applies to the future state of the wicked it must be taken in its common meaning: and must then, also, denote the absolute cessation of their being. But a position directly contrary to this is selected by those now called destructionists. They do not pretend to argue that such is the common meaning of the word, but that such must be its [15] meaning in this particular case, for no other reason than that it comports more agreeably with their notions of expediency and consistency. They are so clearly and profoundly penetrated with the singularity of their position, that few of them will allow themselves to be designated annihilationists, because, say they, nothing can be said to be annihilated; every thing continues to exist in some mode or form of being. But when pressed with argument, they do admit that the wicked man ceases forever--that he is no more a man. Of course, then, he is a nonentity. The wicked are to all eternity what Adam was before God made him. The elements of his being were in the earth and in the universe, but he was not. So these destroyed wicked men exist not in any sense, only in the elements of their constitution as those are dispersed throughout the universe. They exist no more; and this is all that we mean by annihilation.

      Our first objection, therefore, to the destructionism now being taught, is, that its teachers take for granted what they neither have proved nor can prove, viz:--That the phrase "everlasting destruction" necessarily means the everlasting extinction of the person of an ungodly man.

      Our second objection to this, in our day, new-vamped old theory, is, that it assumes that eternal life and eternal death, mean eternal being, and eternal [16] not being. Or, in other words, that simple existence is life, and simple non-existence, death.

      We shall, then, bestow some attention to the biblical use of these all-important words, life and death.

      But who can define life! It is neither a person nor a thing, yet it may be affirmed of both. We have a living man and a living tree. Logicians, however, say we can not have a dead man nor yet a dead tree; because when life is extinct, of the man we have but a corpse, and of the tree but wood. This is just as good sense as good logic; for in a corpse there is not a man, nor in wood a tree; they are but remainders of both; the tree nor the man is not where life is not. Life, then, we may venture to say, is a connection with God through the system called nature, and death is a disseverance from that system. Union with nature, or union with God is life, separation from nature or from God is death. If this be not a definition of life, it will be, at least, an essential element of a true definition, whenever that definition shall have been completed.

      A man lives while he inhales the atmosphere, or while the air is in his lungs. This is the connecting link between him and external nature. He dies when that connection is broken up; this is, however, but animal life. A tree lives while its leaves or bark absorbs from the atmosphere so [17] many of its elements as are in harmony with its nature. This is vegetable life. A spirit lives while in connection with the spirit of God; its death consists in the withdrawal of that spirit. But as the spirit of God produces all sorts of life;--animal, vegetable, and spiritual, it must communicate of itself various gifts and powers, adapted to any one of these living organizations. So that connection with the spirit of God is essential to all sorts of life, animal, vegetable, or spiritual. There is no life but in God. He alone "hath life in himself." Now, the withdrawal of any specific influence eventuates in a death analogous to the influence withheld. Hence, we have three sorts of life, and of course, as many sorts of death. We have vegetable, animal and spiritual life and death. But a spirit may live in one sense and be dead in another; or, in other words, a spirit may have connection or communion with God in one sense, and not in another. Thus a tree has connection with God, but not as an animal has; and an animal has connection with God, but not as a spirit has; and a spirit has connection with God, but not as an animal has; and spirits have connection with God in a two-fold sense; merely as beings, and then as holy or moral beings. Hence, the connection of a spirit with the natural perfections of God gives men intellectual life, such as that possessed by Satan and evil spirits; and [18] connection with the moral attributes of God gives moral or spiritual life, such as that which good angels and good men possess. Wherever, then, there is organization and union with God there is life--according to the nature of that organization and union--and where there is neither organization nor union of any kind, there is no sort of life whatever.

      In Scripture style, a man is living in one sense and dead in another, or dead in one sense and living in another, at the same time. Of men in the flesh, yet living, John said, "he that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son hath not life." Here, then, is the case fairly made out, viz. a dead living man, and a living dead man; alive in one sense and dead in another, at one and the same moment.

      "He that hath the Son," not only retains the life which he had before he had the Son, but, superadded, he has the life spiritual and divine; and what is this but the incipiency of eternal life or immortality! There is a life more than human, possessed by every Christian, so that the Christian man has, at the same time, the human and the divine life.--A few specimens of the proof of this fundamental view, fundamental, indeed, as respects the entire superstructure of the arguments between us and all annihilationists or destructionists, shall now be given. We shall begin with the words of the great teacher: [19]

      First. Verily, verily, I say unto you, he who heareth my word, and believeth on him who sent me, hath everlasting life, and cometh not into condemnation, but hath passed from death to life, John v, 24. Such a one was dead and is now alive; and yet he possessed human life while dead in that sense in which he is now made alive. He has now a new and divine life superadded to his former merely human life. There is, then, a merely human life, and there is a spiritual and divine life resident in the same person at the same time. But there must, also, be two sorts of death as well as two sorts of life: the one unavoidably implies the other. Hence, we have, according to the Messiah, a living man passing from death to life. So that he who possesses human life, may at the same time be dead in some sense. Such is the antithesis which he places before us. He exhibits a man both alive and dead, passing from death into life. The transition is effected by obeying his word and confiding in him that sent him; or, to quote his own words, "He that heareth my word and believeth on him that sent me. . . . hath passed from death to life."

      Our second proof is from the same source. Jesus said to one who sought leave of absence from his work for the purpose of interring his father--"Let the dead bury their own dead, and follow me," Matth. viii, 22; Luke ix, 60. How could a dead [20] man bury a dead man, unless he can be alive in one sense while dead in another? Is it not as clear as demonstration that one may possess human life, and at the same time be as dead to God as a man void of human life is dead to the world.

      The words of Jesus to a rich young man in the prime and vigor of life--"This do and thou shalt live," together with many other sayings of his confirm this important view of the subject. But we must hear his apostles, also, in proof that this is no peculiar nor idiomatic expression of his.

      The apostle John says--"We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother, abideth in death." Here, certainly, is indisputable evidence that John understood this matter as we are now contemplating it. Here is a person living who has passed from death spiritual to life spiritual, while possessing, before and since, human life.

      To these we may add a definition of spiritual life and spiritual death, drawn from the writings of Paul, Rom. viii, 6. This great apostle says, "The minding of the flesh is death, the minding of the spirit is life;" or, according to the common version, "For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded, is life and peace." This is a definition in fact, and not a merely verbal definition. Again, Rom. vi, 21, "The end of those things is death," and "the end or fruit of [21] holiness is everlasting life." Still more strongly affirms this same apostle, that one may be dead and alive at the same time, though not in the same sense, in the following words, 1 Tim. v, 6: "She that lives in pleasure is dead while she lives." It is unnecessary to array the whole host of evidence which the Bible furnishes in proof of these facts. Much more evidence of the same kind may be found by consulting parallel passages. We shall, then, regard it as established by the highest authority, that life and existence are not the same thing--that a man may have human life or existence without spiritual life--that he may be alive and dead at the same time, in different, but proper meanings of the words death and life--and that intellectual life and spiritual life are as much realities as animal life or animal death.

      In this sense only, could Adam die the day he violated the divine precept, "in the day on which thou eatest of it, thou shalt surely die." That day he did die, though afterwards he may have lived nine hundred years. The "angels that kept nor their first estate," have all died in the sense that Adam died when he departed from his first estate; though they still live in another sense. Death, indeed, as the original word intimates, signifies separation from God; this is its true and divinely authenticated meaning. A tree, a man, an angel can, therefore, die in just as many senses [22] as they can be separated from God, or from any system of communication with him. A tree has but a physical connection with God, through the system of material nature, consequently, it is susceptible of but one death; a man has connection with God through physical and spiritual nature, and therefore, he may die physically or spiritually.

      We, therefore, legitimately come to the conclusion, that, as life and death are necessarily contrasted with each other, as indicative of contrary states, we can have just as many varieties of death as there are varieties of life. Have we physical, intellectual, and spiritual or moral life; then have we physical, intellectual, and spiritual or moral death. Have we temporal and eternal life; then have we temporal and eternal death.

      But some of these terms indicate the essential and some the accidental attributes of life and death. Thus physical, intellectual, and spiritual denote the nature or essential characteristics of life and death; while temporal and eternal denote, not the nature, but the accidental attributes of life and death. The former denotes the kind of life, while the latter denotes merely the continuance of it. Whether a person have a landed estate for a term of years, or "forever," as our deeds run, affects not the character or nature of the estate, but the mere continuance of the possession. Hence, "eternal," prefixed to life or death intimates not [23] the nature of either, but their mere continuance.

      It is, however, with some, a question of uncertain decision, whether eternal life be not a different sort of life from spiritual life, or from any life enjoyed on earth, or by man as he now exists. With some, mere existence is life; and such persons are wont to speak, not of eternal existence, but of eternal life in misery!!

      But while mere animal existence or vegetable existence is life animal or vegetable, such is not spiritual life. It is not mere existence, but spiritual existence enjoyed; it is a perennial intercommunication between an angelic or a human spirit, and the eternal spirit of God, in whose presence there is fullness of joy, and "at whose right hand are pleasures for evermore." Hence, in New Testament language, we have the phrase "eternal life," forty-four times, and forty-four times only, never used to indicate mere eternal existence, but the eternal enjoyment of life and of the God of life.

      An analysis of these several passages in their proper contextual circumstances, certainly indicates that eternal life is only another name for eternal happiness. When the Messiah says to his faithful disciples, that in this world they shall receive a hundred fold more than they lose, and in the world to come, eternal life; can any one be so simple as to imagine that he means simple eternal existence? [24] What an anticlimax put they into the mouth of the Messiah on such a view of Mark x, 29, 30, "There is no one who hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake and the gospel's, but shall receive an hundred fold more in this world; houses, brethren, and sisters, and children, and lands, with persecutions, and in the world to come something greatly less--eternal life--mere eternal existence."!! Can any one think the Messiah was ever guilty of such a deception under pretence of holding out something greater in the world to come; truly, and in fact, holding out something greatly less. He does not promise his followers mere existence in this world, but a hundred fold more enjoyments than they have lost for his sake. But there are some amongst us, in this age, who, in their self-esteem, imagine that they have discovered that eternal life is mere eternal existence; and who present the great teacher in the singular attitude of saying to his followers, "My friends, in this world you shall have a hundred fold more than mere existence, and in the world to come, eternal existence only.

      Having shown that eternal life is not eternal existence, (and if that be not shown, then nothing can be ascertained from the lips of the Messiah,) follows it not that the second death, in contrast with eternal life, can not possibly intimate second [25] non-existence. Indeed, is not the very definition absurd? The first death, first non-existence; the second death, second non-existence! Did any human writer ever speak greater nonsense! And yet we have amongst us men so full of the conceit of superior wisdom as to make the inspired writers utter such nonsense.

      Is not eternal life and eternal punishment placed in contrast by our Saviour? "These," says he, "shall go away into eternal punishment, and the righteous into eternal life." That is, according to the new school of destructionism, the wicked shall go away into eternal non-existence, and the righteous shalt enter into eternal existence. And yet they had entered into eternal existence when they were first born! From such doctors, may the Lord preserve his church! But hearken to Paul: "To them," says he, "who seek for glory, honor, and immortality, he will bestow eternal life." Simple existence! mere being!--Nay, verily, eternal life is here made the sum of glory, honor, and immortality. These are the three grand items that make up the aggregate called eternal life. God, says Paul, will grant them then what they now seek. They, by a "patient continuance in doing well, are seeking for glory, honor, and immortality;" therefore, God will bestow upon them ETERNAL LIFE.

      We shall henceforth regard it as an established [26] fact, that eternal life is not existence, but eternal happiness; and that consequently the second death or everlasting punishment is not merely second non-existence. Meantime, we shall only add a fact in confirmation of our definitions, viz:--there are two classes of angels as well as two classes of men. There are the holy and happy angels, and there are the unholy and unhappy angels. There are Michael and his angels, and Satan and his angels. There are angels that kept their first estate, and "angels who have sinned." Now seeing both classes yet exist, do they exist in one state? Does not one class exist in happiness, while the other exists in misery? Satan and his angels have lived six thousand years in rebellion, and consequently in comparative misery, waiting condemnation at the judgment of the great day. How instructive the language of the demons, those wicked spirits of fallen men, when beseeching the Lord not to torment them before the time! They are said to be reserved in chains of darkness until the judgment of the great day. We have, then, angels existing and suffering misery; and angels existing and enjoying eternal life. Simple existence and non-existence are, therefore, not the ultimate conditions of human nature. The possibility of existence in misery we have in fallen angels, and the possibility of existence in happiness we have in the angels that sinned not. There is a [27] fire prepared for the devil and his angels, as well as a heaven for the Messiah and his angels. The former constitutes "everlasting punishment;" and is, therefore, called "the eternal fire:" while the other is called "eternal life" and "the salvation to be revealed when the Lord comes."

      We presume it to be unnecessary to multiply evidences in this portion of our essay on the mere meaning of the phrases eternal life or eternal punishment, designing at this time only to demonstrate that in sacred style simple existence is not life, nor continued existence eternal life.

      But we have said that eternal life is only the consummation of spiritual life: that it is only the full development of the life we now have, in having union and communion with the Lord Jesus. The life of an adult man is not different from the life of the embryo, or the infant man. So eternal life is but the full development and perfect enjoyment of that new life which we have begun in us by the Spirit of God when united to Christ. For "we are dead, and our life is hid in Christ, by God." And, therefore, when Christ our life shall appear we also shall "appear with him in glory."

      We are not, however, in speaking of spiritual or eternal life, to imagine that either of these is any distinct substantive life, superadded to human life, like the addition of one substance or principle to another; for life is not any substance, but merely [28] a sensitive intellectual or moral enjoyment of ourselves and of God. It is a state or condition of existence, and not existence itself. It is the state of the soul or of mind as capable of receiving and using divine communications. Hence the same mind may at one time be in one state, and at another time in another state, as respects any person or thing. The same body is susceptible of various conditions or states of existence; and why should not the same mind be susceptible of similar changes and modes of existence? How often are we disposed and indisposed to one and the same thing? We hate and love, and love and hate the same person under different views of his character, or of his actions towards us. The mind loving is not really one life, nor the mind hating another life. It is the same mind in different states.

      Very analogous are the various lives of which we have been speaking. It is one and the same living spirit that is the subject of them all. The same angelic spirit may be at one time a seraph, and at another a devil. Paul was at one time the enemy, at another the friend of the Lord. The same mind in one state constitutes a friend, and in another state, an enemy. In these states he may be said to be alive or dead to the same person, as he feels towards him.

      But it must be emphatically stated that this is not the whole mystery, but only a part of the [29] mystery of the new life. The sun-flower turns its face to the sun; while the sun in return pours his genial rays of light and life into its bosom. In this case, then, there is more than a single change of position. The sun-flower opens its bosom as well as turns its face to the sun; and the sun not only lifts its full-orbed face and looks upon it, but it also sheds abroad within its bosom its vital power. Thus when a sinner turns to the Lord, attracted to him as the sun-flower is to the sun, by an emanation from him; then the Sun of Righteousness and of Mercy, by his good spirit, pours out into his soul the love of God; and then, indeed, he begins to live to God and to enjoy him, not only through nature and providence, but through his spiritual favor and love. This is my conception of spiritual life, and this is the embryo blossom of an eternal life in the immediate presence of God for ever and ever.

      This spiritual connection is very appositely and beautifully set forth by the Saviour himself under the similitude of a vine and its branches. Addressing his disciples, he said, "I am the vine, you are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing." The vital fluid that is in the root, and in the stem, circulates through all the branches. To this they owe their verdure, their odor, and their fruitfulness. The [30] life that is in the root is in the branches. Dissevered from that, they wither and perish. Connection with the vine is life, if life be in the vine; separation from it is death. Thus reasoned the Great Teacher.

      On another occasion, he said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give him is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." Of this bread he said, "Except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. Once on another occasion he said, "I pray--for them who shall believe on me, that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me and I in thee; that they also may be one in us." This is that union and communion with the Divine Father and his beloved Son, which constitutes spiritual and eternal life. And to him that is alive to God there is no eternal life, no eternal glory, no immortality greater, more desirable, more blissful than this. How truly, then, may it be said that "Christ is our life"--that he is the way, the truth, and THE LIFE--that we are dead, and that our life is laid up in him by God.

      Still the new constitution, in all its sublime developments, exhibits the Holy Spirit of God as [31] the immediate source and fountain of all spiritual life in us. God alone "has life in himself," underived, unoriginated, uncreated. He is life's fountain, its eternal spring, its unwasting fullness. He imparted it to the Messiah. He was the earthen vessel in which this treasure was deposited. Without measure or limit THE SPIRIT was communicated to him; and ultimately, on his ascension, he received the HOLY SPIRIT as its administrator to and for the human race. He is now sole "LORD OF THE SPIRIT."

      As the life that is in all mankind was once in Adam; and is derived from him; and as the life that is in the human body is in its head, as its primitive source; so is our spiritual life in the second Adam, the living head of the mystic body, animated by the Holy Spirit with impartations of a divine and eternal life. By faith, then, we are united to him, and instantly that life divine is imparted to us, by which we are prepared for the enjoyments of heaven and immortality. With the greatest propriety, then, he said, "I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE." He quickens the dead, reanimates their bodies, and is to them the fountain of eternal blessedness. Such is the life we have in him. With Paul, we may individually say, "I am, crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me."

      Now, as before shown death is just the contrary [32] of life; hence there is a species of death for every species of life. The Gentile, dead in trespasses and sins, is merely a son of Adam; while he that is in Christ is a new creature and a son of God through Adam the second. Connection with Adam the first is but human life and spiritual death; while connection with Adam the second is Divine life and eternal blessedness.

      But in this age and country, and especially amongst those whose minds have been carried away with the new theories of the world's age and end, and with new schemes of apocalyptic interpretation, a new theory of divine judgment has become very rife, and has found favor amongst some excellent persons who have been much enamored with the splendors of a celestial paradise during a terrestrial millennium: not, indeed, well defined by its most learned and eloquent advocates; for it seems no one can tell much about it, save that the living wicked shall be destroyed at its commencement; and in the second resurrection, all that shall be accounted worthy of it, shall be punished with a very painful and extended dissolution, or with a mysterious and ignominious transition into nothing.--These are, now-a-days, generally called destructionists. A more special and methodical examination and exposition of this common speculation is imperiously called for and shall now be attempted with all possible brevity and perspicuity. [33]

      In the first place, then, the extinction of the unjust is alleged to be a Bible doctrine, because in the New Testament the term destruction is applied in direct reference to the ultimate destiny of the wicked. But we have already shown, that the Christian Scriptures authorize various acceptations of this word; and that, indeed, no case can be adduced in which it must signify an absolute extinction, or annihilation of a human person.

      There is, moreover, in fact, both a relative and an absolute destruction. A leather bottle, for example, is said to be destroyed when only rent by new wine; a thoughtless prodigal is said to have been destroyed when he had squandered his fortune in riotous living; and a box of precious ointment is said to be destroyed, when wasted, etc., etc. Now, in none of these examples can it be said, that the subject is absolutely destroyed; but only wasted, lost, or abused; and this is but relative destruction, and, by no means, the utter and eternal extinction of the person or thing so destroyed.

      In the second place, the foundation of the theory of destructionism, when closely analyzed, is found to consist in an imaginative expediency. Some very benevolent and humane persons think that it would be much more expedient that the universe were rid of all sin and misery; and that eternal existence in misery would be, to all the friends of the unfortunate sufferers, an eternal annoyance. [34] Who, says the pious destructionist, could feel happy in heaven, if he only knew that the once beloved wife of his bosom, and the dear objects of his paternal love and tenderness, were suffering the vengeance of an eternal fire? To get rid of this apprehension, the universalist annihilates hell, and the destructionist, the wicked. These benevolent enthusiasts, in their respective notions of expediency, remove both eternal misery and the irreclaimably wicked from the creation of God. They imagine there is no necessity whatever for eternal punishment; but, on the contrary, that a universe wholly occupied and enjoyed by pure and righteous persons would be just such a universe as would be both expedient and suitable to the character of an all-wise, all-powerful, and all-merciful Creator. The only difficulties they have to encounter, are those scriptures that speak of the future destinies of the wicked, and these can, by a new code of laws of interpretation recently enacted by themselves, very satisfactorily, (at least to themselves,) be disposed of.

      It is hard to reason with those who feel themselves competent to build a new universe, or at least, to arrange and improve one already in being. Some of our modern world-makers amuse us with very splendid imaginations of what ought to be; and then gravely proceed to teach us what will and must hereafter be. Even in the incipiency of [35] their endeavors, they object to our own terraqueous habitation as encumbered with so much sea, so many large deserts, so many bleak mountains, and subjected to the dread extremes of frigid and torrid zones. They would have made an earth whose surface should have been, at worst, but a series of inclined planes, widely extended and gently sloping in all directions. These would have been interspersed with a few small lakes and rivers, occasionally variegated with a pyramidal peak or a beautifully grotesque little mountain, forming Elysian landscapes. No rocky deserts, no Lybian sands, no dismal swamps would have disfigured their rich and beautiful earth, fanned with balmy breezes, mild as Eden; and refreshed with delicious odors emanating from the garden of God.

      No burning mountains, no volcanic fires, no desolating earthquakes would have frightened any inhabitant of their blest earth. No mighty cataracts, no fierce tempests, no appalling thunders would have terrified the most flagrant transgressor. Nay, they would have prevented transgression by absolute fate, and enacted virtue by an invincible necessity. Their heavens would have been studded with alternating suns of magnificent dimensions; while planets of every variety, and comets, of orbits the most eccentric, would have perpetually sported in fields of ether for the [36] amusement of its laughing inhabitants. And as for hell--the dread "Elsewhere," no such ungracious lake of boiling sulphur--no such fathomless gulf of pitchy darkness would have disturbed the imagination of the sons of pleasure. And should sin or folly, by any unforeseen casualty, have appeared in their system of nature, it would have been instantly annihilated, and thus prevented from spreading its dire contagion through the unaffected regions of rational intelligence.

      Amongst the stricter sort of religionists, such speculators are not, indeed, of much reputation. But instead of this bold and presumptuous class of real sceptics, we have, under the banner of the Christian Bible, a few rare philosophers of much intellectual pride, who can so manage both prophets and apostles, as to oblige them to depose in favor of any assumption they may choose to commend to public patronage. These subject the testimonies of saints and martyrs to the torture of an illogical and ungrammatical criticism, much to the annoyance of less pretending and more modest professors. But before we examine any of their learned labors, we must hastily glance at the philosophic scheme which has given rise to all these efforts. It is assumed that in a future life men will have their present animal affection and feelings, at least the same personal attachments to relatives and friends they now have; and, also, [37] the same reluctance to acquiesce in the will of God and in the results of the final judgment. The Sadducean puzzle, that in the resurrection we shall have the old relations of husbands and wives, parents and children, and attachments corresponding with them, is at the bottom of all these speculations. Our Saviour, to such persons, in vain, teaches that then we shall be like the angels, without sex, without animal attachments, as without mortality. But to those who think with him, there can be no difficulty on this view of the subject. The fact that God himself is infinitely more merciful than man, and that the whole human race is nearer and dearer to him than ever were to each other husband and wife, parent or child, is now, and ever will be, to every intelligent being, an omnipotent argument to reconcile all God's children, most acquiescingly to his judgment in every particular case. No human being ever loved another as much as God once loved the devil and his angels; and yet he has not only expelled them from heaven, but bound them fast in chains of darkness, to the judgment of the great day; and has prepared for them an unquenchable fire, a punishment everlasting. So the Messiah himself unequivocally declares.

      The relation of Creator and creature is a relation we cannot comprehend. It is incomparably nearer than parent and child. And as affection and love [38] are measured by the nearness of relation, we have reason to presume that for all those creatures to whom our Father Creator has imparted so much of himself, as intelligence and moral susceptibility, he has a love inconceivable and ineffable. From all such premises, as well as from express scriptural declarations, we have reason to infer that there will be such a perfect acquiescence in his final adjudication of the whole intellectual and moral universe, as to fill every pure heart with joy unspeakable and full of glory; even when that judgment may condemn to eternal anguish a relation now dear to us as that seraph was once to God, whose name and character have been changed to Satan. And yet this view of the subject is by no means irreconcilable with the persuasion that, as Paul anticipated an eternal joy and an unfading crown from the relation subsisting between him and those by him converted to God; so we shall have a peculiar pleasure and felicity in those of our kindred who have been, by our instrumentality, or by that of others, redeemed to God. From which considerations and reflections, we may readily perceive how little philosophy or reason there is in the assumption of those who plead for absolute destruction on the ground that it will contribute more to the eternal happiness of the saved, than a belief of the eternal existence of sinners in torment! [39]

      In the third place:--is assumed by some of the advocates of destructionism that an annihilation of personal existence is a greater punishment than eternal existence in misery. This is an assumption so ultra as to require but little reflection. To me it has always appeared that were immediate annihilation or eternal fire presented to any human being as objects of choice, no one, compos mentis, could for a moment hesitate which to prefer. Nay, indeed, an escape from a lake of fire, or from any punishment set forth under that imagery, into a gulf of personal extinction, would appear rather as happiness than as torment.

      It may, indeed, with much propriety, be inquired whether annihilation, or a literal destruction of consciousness and of personal existence could be called punishment for sin, or whether sin could be punished by annihilation? If so, the reptiles and beasts of every class that were burnt in Sodom and Gomorrah, or that were drowned in the deluge, were as much punished as the wicked men and women who perished in the flood or in the fire. In the universal conflagration will not the pigeon and the dove, the calf and the lamb, suffer as much as the wicked--if, indeed, both are then finally and forever deprived of consciousness and personality? If, then, the threatenings of the Bible addressed to wicked men involving their eternal destiny, amount [40] to no more than the fate of the most innocent and harmless animals, what shall we think of the sincerity of the author of Christianity, who, in holding up "the terrors of the Lord" as a caveat against sin, as an inducement to "flee from the wrath to come," representing them as proportioned to the number, magnitude, and malignity of transgressions, only in unexaggerated fact, meant that they should have the same fate as the most innocent birds, beasts, and fishes--suffer an hour or a minute, and then pass into eternal unconsciousness!! I have certainly misconceived the whole Bible and the character of its author, if, like a weak nurse, he has been terrifying us by ghosts and spectres of horrible stature; himself well knowing that they are but mere phantoms, innocent frauds, practiced for our good! In this attitude do they place the great Messiah, who, with all the awful judgments denounced against the wicked by himself and his Apostles, before their minds, represent these judgments and denunciations terminating in, and amounting to, no more than the annihilation of a kid or a lamb--a moment's pain and eternal unconsciousness.

      But in the fourth place, I argue against this assumption from the fact that it amounts to an annihilation of the sanctions of the gospel, and directly contradicts the positive declarations of the [41] Saviour concerning eternal punishment. With destructionists there can be no eternal punishment; for with them there is no eternal fire.

      This is truly a very grave charge against any system of doctrine, and requires to be well sustained. What, then, let me inquire, is indicated by the term punishment? It is not mere animal suffering; for then the lamb would be punished for its innocence, and the dove for its meekness. Both these frequently endure great animal sufferings. There must, then, be some other pain than animal suffering to constitute punishment. There is mental pain as well as physical pain. But mental pain presupposes guilt or crime; for in the absence of crime there can be no mental pain. The martyr at the stake, though enduring much animal pain, suffers no mental agony. There must always be consciousness of guilt or a sense of crime committed, in order to punishment.

      Punishment, it appears, begins and ends with the feeling of pain inflicted for the commission of crime. If, then, at any time consciousness of guilt, or the feeling of pain, mental or physical, because of sin, should cease, that moment punishment ceases. Punishment begins and ends with the consciousness of pain inflicted because of guilt contracted through the violation of law or the neglect of duty. Now as the destructionists assign an end to the endurance of pain because of sin, they of course [42] incontrovertibly deny "everlasting punishment." But Jesus Christ says, "The wicked," at the final judgment, "shall go away into everlasting punishment," and the righteous "into life eternal." The same word, aioonios, everlasting, ascertains the continuance of the punishment and of the life. Can any thing, then, be more evident than that the destructionists have formed a direct issue with Jesus Christ on the subject of eternal punishment? The Messiah says it is everlasting; the destructionist says it will come to an end, at the second death.

      For the sake of a few mere pretenders to sound argumentative discrimination and great logical acumen, I shall give this argument the regular form, that any one disposed to attack it may immediately perceive what he has to encounter. Logically expressed, it stands thus: No one dispossessed of conscious guilt can be punished. But persons annihilated are dispossessed of conscious guilt: therefore, no one annihilated can he punished. Annihilation or personal extinction may, indeed, be an end of punishment, but never the beginning of it. This single argument, unless fairly met and refuted, annihilates the whole theory of destructionism. We build this argument upon no ambiguous premises. We have the word of the Saviour and judge of the world for it. In giving an account of the final judgment, he says all on his left hand shall depart "into everlasting punishment." He [43] uses the word kolasis to indicate what sort of punishment he means. The word occurs but twice in the New Testament. In a passage found 1st John iv, 18, it is translated "torment." They shall go into everlasting torment. How weak or how vicious the head that thence infers that torments are to end in a second death!!

      It is worthy of remark that eternal life, as the reward of the righteous, is the contrast with eternal punishment, the reward of the wicked: and that this is infinitely greater than death, we learn from another passage, which we ought to regard as a distinct argument or evidence of the doctrine of everlasting punishment.

      Argument 5.--Paul says to the Hebrews, "He that despised Moses' law died without mercy at the mouth of two or three witnesses: of how much sorer punishment [than death without mercy] shall he be thought worthy who has trodden under foot the Son of God," etc. The doctrine of the New Testament is, that men shall be rewarded according to their works. Hence there are diverse honors and diverse punishment awaiting both the righteous and the wicked. Now death is but a separation from life, or from God; and whatever may precede it or succeed it, death is neither more nor less than such a separation. But Paul intimates a vengeance greatly surpassing a death without mercy--a "sorer punishment" by far than [44] mere separation from life. Hence the sentence inflicted upon sinners at the ultimate judgment is not a mere extinction of life, or of physical identity; but an everlasting punishment set forth under the imagery of "eternal fire."

      This also suggests a sixth argument furnished by our Lord himself in evidence that something much worse than death awaits the finally impenitent: "Fear not them that kill the body, and after that can do no more; but fear Him who, when he hath killed the body, has power to destroy both soul and body in hell. Yea, I say unto you, fear Him." The destruction of the soul is not annihilation, as before shown; for simple annihilation could be effected as easily without hell as with it. An eternal destruction calls for an everlasting fire. Hence our Lord, more than any other speaker in the Bible, dwells upon the "fire unquenchable," the undying worm, and the destruction of the whole person by being cast into hell.

      This view of hell, as the ultimate prison of wicked men, in which they are to be "tormented day and night forever," is corroborated by another saying of our Lord, which we must place as a seventh argument in confirmation of everlasting punishment. He says to them on his left hand, "Depart, ye cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels." The eternal vengeance into which wicked men are driven from the [45] presence of the Lord, was originally, it seems, a place prepared for fallen angels. Now as angels "can not die," according to the words of the Messiah; and as wicked men are doomed to the same punishment with them, follows it not that the continuance of their torment is the same? The punishment of those who reject the gospel is set down as tantamount to the punishment of apostate angels who would not have God to reign over them. Will any materialist, destructionist, or soul-sleeper affirm that angels will die--will cease to live? If he presume so to affirm, we then ask, in what portion of revelation does he read of the death of angels!! And if he can find no such passage, we ask, how then can he affirm that evil spirits die, while their punishment is commensurate with that of immortal angels? This is, I presume, an insuperable difficulty lying in the way of the whole scheme of substituting a temporal for an everlasting punishment; at least I must regard it as unanswerable till some one furnish something in the form of a reply.

      But here is a pamphlet of no less than four small pages, purporting to prove that man is all soul!! The first sentence of which is, "What, in the language of the Bible, constitutes the living soul?" Answer: "The man." The next, "Is not the soul distinct from the man as the jewel from the casket? And does it not reside in the body as a [46] bird in a cage?" No: for 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. ii, 7; 1 Cor. xv, 44, 45. "This," he adds, "is God's definition." So publishes to the world a very sincere Adventist of the Miller school, baptized into Elder Storrs' newly improved system of spiritual mortality, enlarged and improved by one of our most gifted "investigators" of the school of Dr. Priestley. It is, then, the quintessence of what was formerly called "materialism," refined and condensed into a single tract of four small pages, from the pen of Elder J. B. Cook, a good and excellent man, for whom I entertain a very high regard.

      But our friend Cook, in the warmth of his feelings, assures us that he gives us "God's definition of the soul. It is neither Storrs', nor Priestley's, nor the more profound Thomas', but "God's own definition." Of course, in that view of it, it is scarcely a proper subject of examination. I must then, powerful though it be, respectfully say, that God has never given us a definition of the human soul, much less such a one as defines man to be the soul, and then the soul to be the man. I am obliged to take this ground before I dare object to a definition purporting to be of such awful authority. It is, then, but Elder Cook's definition, unless we may suppose that every definition is God's own [47] definition to which any one may please to append a passage of Scripture.

      We shall, therefore, presume to show that it is Elder Cook's, or Elder Storrs', or Dr. Priestley's definition. God has not said that the living soul is man; but he has said that "man became a living soul." Now, when any one says--"Mary became his wife," does it not mean that Mary existed before she became a wife. Now, as this expression intimates, that Mary and wife are not convertible terms--or that the one is the meaning of the other,--why should we conclude that man and living soul are convertible terms, or that the one is the meaning of the other. Such, however, is the license which this school of biblical expositors assume to themselves: a license which no literary tribunal can possibly concede to them. If, therefore, the constitution of man is to be inferred from the words cited, we must, according to every law of interpretation, consider, that man existed before he was possessed of a living soul, or before God breathed into his nostrils the breath of lives. These words, then, are to be qualified by some other explanations. And as much capital has been sought to be manufactured out of these, I may, perhaps, be indulged in a rather extended examination of their current acceptation.

      The phrase breath of life, occurs but four times in the Bible. These are-- [48] Gen. ii, 7; vi, 17, and vii, 15, 22. In the Hebrew Bible, we find uniformly, the same phrase, Ruach Chaiyim, in the plural form, viz:--"breath of lives."

      Dr. Adam Clarke, Bishop Patrick, Matthew Henry, and numerous commentators infer, from Gen. ii, 7, that God did inspire Adam with vegetative, animal, and spiritual life at one and the same moment, because, we are told that "God formed man out of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of lives," (as the Hebrew word Chaiyim, in the plural number, might import,) and he became a living soul. This very superficial view of Ruach Chaiyim has arrested the critical attention of those mathematical Christians who suppose that words on moral subjects must have the same fixedness and precision of signification as the technical terms of necessary or mathematical truth. Hence, with them, the words soul, life, death, like triangle, square, and circle, are exactly and immutably the representatives of one and the same idea.

      This new class of destructionists are very adroit in this mode of assault upon the citadel of truth, but their logic is as frail as their tenets are discreditable to human nature. They presume that the human constitution is wholly revealed and developed in these words:--"The Lord God formed man out of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of lives, and man [49] became a living soul." This "living soul" is immediately placed before their inquisition, and tried by scourging. It is clearly proved that this living soul is a mortal soul, and a mortal body. That the whole man is but one living soul, is again reiterated, and a text summoned that convicts it of a sin worthy of death. Then cometh the words: "The soul that sinneth IT shall die." Thus the human soul is easily decomposed, dissipated, and annihilated by the sheer force of one or two philological criticisms.

      A little Hebrew would have much facilitated the operation. The gloss put upon Ruach Chaiyim, by the aforesaid commentators, could be shown off to great advantage by citing three passages; indeed, the only three other passages found in the Bible in which this word Chaiyim, in construction with Ruach, is found. And in these three--Gen. vi, 17; Gen. vii, 15 and 22, it is applied to the animals destroyed by the flood. "I will," says God, "destroy all flesh wherein is the breath of life, (Ruach Chaiyim, breath of lives) from under heaven." Again, chap. vii--"And they went into the ark, two and two, of all flesh wherein was the breath of life," (Ruach Chaiyim, breath of lives.) One more, chap. vii, 22--"All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, (Ruach Chaiyim,) of all that was on the dry land died." Might not a shrewd destructionist here say with [50] an air of triumph;--"Now if breath of LIVES indicate intellectual and immortal spirits, then were they imparted to dumb brutes, then did they perish in the flood!!"

      But we must help them a little further on the words, "man became a living soul." Here, the word nepesh, is found generally and correctly translated soul. But, unfortunately, it is found for the first time in the world, in the 20th verse of the 1st chapter of Genesis; and, again, in the 30th verse of the same chapter, descriptive of the souls of fish, birds, and reptiles. "God said," (Gen. i, 20,) "let the waters bring forth abundantly, the moving creatures that have life--(a soul, nepesh.) Again, verse 30th;--"I have given every green herb for food to every beast of the earth, to every bird, and to every reptile that hath a soul;" (nepesh here rendered life.) We could give many instances in which nepesh, so often translated soul, denotes the blood,3 the animal body--alive or dead. In these respects it exactly resembles its Greek representative, psuchee, and its Latin converse anima.

      It often denotes any creature that lives by breathing. Parkhurst judiciously observes, that this word does not "certainly, in any other passage, (than Gen. 2 and 7, if there!) signify the [51] spiritual part of man, usually called his soul." From all which, and much more to the same effect, we may logically conclude, that so soon as God breathed into the nostrils of Adam the breath of lives, he became a living creature. But yet, in fact, all this makes nothing for those who will have Adam a mere biped animal with a superior organization; but as susceptible of death, in his entire constitution, as any other creature. For this reason;--It is not a definition of body, soul, or spirit, in their technical meaning. It presumes not to define man either as respects body or soul; but simply states the singular manner of his creation as different from all God's other works. God speaks on this occasion in a language wholly different from that employed in any other creation.

      When all this, and much to the same effect is stated and conceded, nothing is gained by the whole class of destructionists; by all that plead for the soul's materiality and mortality. Man has a spirit. And Moses gives no direct account how he obtained it. He tells of the formation of his body, and of the impartation of animal life; but says not one word upon the subject of his spirit. True, the word soul is, by many, supposed to be synonymous with the word spirit. This is, indeed, assumed by all the materialists and destructionists, ancient and modern. They build upon a false [52] assumption. They are not synonymous. Sometimes, indeed, the word soul is substituted for the words spirit, and mind. Hence, the soul is immortal in one sense, and mortal in another. The word nepesh in Hebrew, psuchee in Greek, and soul in English, as often signify life, mere animal life, as any thing else.

      Of one hundred and five times in which the word psuchee is found in the New Testament, it is forty-one times translated life, and might have been much oftener. It is twice translated mind, and once heart, while at other times it is distinguished from them, thus:--"With all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." Matth. xxii, 37; Mark xii, 30. Again, "To love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul," etc. Mark xii, 33. In these instances, and such like, there is, virtually, a contrasted difference between the mind, the understanding, and the soul.

      Soul, and souls, frequently stand for persons. For example: "Fear fell upon every soul."--"There were added three thousand souls."--"Every soul that shall not hear, will be destroyed."--"Three score and fifteen souls," etc. Substituting such instances as these, we have a majority of cases in which it does not mean the spirit, or understanding, or mind of man. True, it is sometimes used as equivalent to the word spirit; though [53] never translated spirit in the New Testament. When the Saviour spake in the Jewish idiom, he said:--"Fear not them that can kill the body, but who can not kill the soul." Here, some immortal part of man is called soul; which, upon the whole, is a Jewish idiom. It is evident that, in this case, it can not mean the animal soul or life; for man can kill that. A few such instances, however, in which it clearly indicates the spirit of a man;--Such as "I saw under the altar, the souls of them that were slain for the word of God," Rev. vi, 9. Again, Rev. xx, 4--"I saw the souls of them that were beheaded." These are disembodied souls--or spirits. These, of course, are immortal souls. Still, in the same book we have this word used in the same sense as in the 1st chapter of Genesis.--When speaking of the fish of the sea, John said--"Every living soul that was in the sea died."

      But, to have all the premises before us, we must have a short dissertation upon the word spirit; for, as before observed, certainly man has a spirit as well as a soul--using the word soul in its primary and unfigurative sense. Of the creation of this spirit Moses gives no account further than God made man in his own image and likeness. Now as God is spirit, and as man was made in his image, he, too, must have a spirit. But that he has a spirit, is distinctly and frequently averred by the Holy Spirit speaking to us in the living oracles. [54] The spirit of a man is wholly intellectual. "Who knoweth the things of a man, but the spirit of man that is him?" And who knoweth the things of God, but the spirit of God? Here the spirit of man and the spirit of God are introduced as intelligent spirits, each knowing, and alone knowing, the things of the person to whom he belongs. This is the reason why mortality, or death, or destruction, is never once alleged of a spirit--any spirit, good or bad. Spirits belong not to the precincts of mortality. No expression could be more incongruous or revolting than that "a spirit died, or can die." Indeed, it is said, "they can not die," when it is said that angels can not die. For the reasons that angels can not die, is not because they are angels, or messengers, (for this is an official name;) but because they are spirits. Perhaps this is the reason why these two words, soul and spirit, are never interchanged or substituted the one for the other in any version of their originals.

      In the sacred Scriptures of the New Testament we find PNEUMA, spirit, almost four hundred times. We have before said that we find PSUCHEE one hundred and five times. Now PNEUMA is never translated soul nor PSUCHEE spirit, in any version of the New Testament that I have seen--certainly not once in our common version. Does not this fact speak a volume to those who confound the animal soul with the human spirit, in their speculations [55] upon the mortality of the soul, and who thence infer the mortality of the whole man?

      Of the whole number of three hundred and ninety-three occurrences of pneuma, in the apostolic writings, it is applied to the spirit of God some two hundred and eighty-eight times; to evil spirits some thirty times; to the human spirit forty times; and figuratively, to indicate temper or disposition, some seventeen times. From an analysis of the numerous occurrences of the word spirit, and its different acceptations, we have ascertained one very important fact, of much significance in this controversy with modern destructionists. It is this:--When any one in dying gives up, or commends himself to the Lord, or to the Father, in such words as "He gave up the ghost," or "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit," or "Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit," PSUCHEE or soul is never used, but always PNEUMA. This, more than any other fact, shows the marked difference, the essential difference, between soul and spirit. The soul literal dies, the literal spirit lives at the dissolution of man. The body returns to the dust with its animal life, or soul; "the spirit returns to God who gave it." Ought we not, then, as Paul says the word of God does, "divide asunder," or separate between the soul and spirit, as well as "between the joints and marrows of the spine? The word of God is, truly, "sharper than any two-edged sword," when thus [56] separating matters so much alike, in so many particulars. The same discriminating word of the Lord taught Paul to pray for the Thessalonians that God would preserve their "whole spirit, soul, and body, blameless, to the coming of the Lord." What God thus hath separated, let not man confound.

      There is a clear and well defined difference between these three, in the strict interpretation of them, indicated in this summary of our persons by this great Apostle. With him it is spirit, and soul, and body, and not spirit, or soul, and body. True, indeed, inasmuch as soul and body are equally expressive of one idea, so far as mere life is contemplated, it has come to pass that soul is sometimes used to comprehend all that is set forth under the term spirit; though, as before declared, they are never used in the original as convertible terms. When any one of sense and reflection speaks of the immortality of the soul, he employs the word as equivalent to spirit, and not as it is employed in Genesis, first and second chapters, to indicate animal life or a living creature.

      The sophistry of the materialists and the destructionists of every school, acknowledging the Bible, so far as they seek to prove their doctrine from Gen. ii, 7; and Gen. i, 20, 30; vi, 17; vii, 15, 22; 1 Cor. xv, 44, 45, consists in this:--They select one meaning of the word SOUL as its universal and immutable meaning; and, because in certain [57] passages it denotes animal life, which is essentially mortal, they infer that all souls are mortal. And because the words soul and spirit are sometimes used as, in their opinion, synonymous, spirits also die.--Hence wicked men will be wholly and for ever annihilated in body, soul, and spirit; so far, at least, as is essential to their personal extinction and perpetual unconsciousness. All of which they confirm by the same illegal process of reasoning on the terms destroy and destruction--assuming that these words must be taken in a special sense in this case, though by no means in accordance with their current and popular acceptation.

      The passage in 1 Cor. xv, 44, 45, deserves a special remark. It thus reads--(the human body being the subject of development)--"It is sown an animal body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is an animal body and there is a spiritual body; and so it is written, the first man Adam was made a living (animal) soul; the last Adam, a quickening spirit."

      The position of PSUCHIKOS, natural, in contrast with PNEUMATIKOS, spiritual, justifies Macknight and others in rendering it animal. There is no contrast between natural and spiritual, inasmuch as, in the proper sense of the word natural, the spirit is just as natural as either body or soul. It must, therefore, in this place mean animal as the proper contrast with spiritual. This common meaning [58] of the word being preferred, there is no further mystery or difficulty in the passage. It means that man in two conditions may have one of two bodies--an animal or a spiritual. The one he has now in possession; the other, in hope. It is also indicated that the difference in these two bodies is analogous to the difference between the two Adams in their origin; the one was of the earth, earthy; the other is of the heaven, and heavenly. The animal body of the first Adam was animated by an animal soul; the spiritual body of the saints, after the resurrection, will be animated by a rational spirit. So far only are we authorized to extend the contrast, inasmuch as BODIES, and neither souls nor spirits, are the subject of comparison.

      There is, then, no more foundation in 1 Cor. xv, 44, 45, than in Gen. ii, 7, or in chap. i, 20 and 30, for the destruction or for the mortality of the spirit of man. Paul nowhere teaches that a spirit dies; or that a soul, as a name for the rational spirit or mind of man, will ever be destroyed or annihilated. These are but the figments of ill-balanced and erratic minds, or overheated imaginations. Nothing dies that is not wholly of the earth. Angels, human spirits, Satan, and demons can not die.

      From this brief dissertation on soul and spirit, we may draw at least one or two arguments against destructionists, or in proof of the eternal [59] punishment of the wicked. The first of these constitutes our eighth argument against destructionism. It is founded on the fact that there is a radical and essential difference between the words soul and spirit in the original tongue--so great as to preclude the employment of the word soul in any case, as a fair representation of the word PNEUMA, spirit; or the employment of the word spirit as a correct version of the word PSUCHEE, soul. The radical difference seems to consist in this:--that "soul" is a more general, and "spirit" a more specific term. Nepesh in the Hebrew, and psuchee in the Greek, anima in Latin, and soul in English, represent animal life, a person, blood, and sometimes the human spirit; while ruach in Hebrew, and pneuma in Greek, spiritus and animus in Latin, and spirit in English, represent only the rational and moral nature of man. Hence, the Holy Spirit, the spirits of the just, angelic spirits, are never represented by PSUCHEE, soul; WHILE THE TERM "SPIRIT," IN NOT ONE CASE, IS EVER SAID TO BE DESTROYED, TO DIE, OR TO CEASE TO EXIST. In one word, death is no where in the inspired volume predicated of a spirit. Mortality, therefore, is no predicate of spirit.

      A ninth argument is also deducible from another prominent fact developed in the history of dying saints. Not one of them ever commended his psuchee, or soul, into the hand of the Lord. But many a dying saint has committed his spirit, or [60] pneuma, to the care of his Redeemer. There is nothing, then, in psuchee, soul, necessarily intimating a separate and future existence; while there is nothing in pneuma indicating mortality.

      It is assumed by those who plead for a final extinction of all evil spirits and wicked men, that there is nothing in spiritual nature necessarily implying eternal continuance. Hence the effort to demonstrate that man is not necessarily immortal. A very unnecessary undertaking, truly! We concede, without argument, that God has never created any thing which he cannot destroy. "He can create and he can destroy." But the question is not one of omnipotent or of limited power. It is rather, What doth God will? or, What has he said? The whole argument upon the immortality of the soul, as a necessary immortality, because an emanation from the divinity, is more Platonic, speculative, and curious, than learned or important. It is, indeed, wholly foreign to this subject; inasmuch as the inquiry is not, What saith philosophy? but, What saith the Scriptures? And where have they said that a spirit or that a ghost dies or is extinguished? Such an idea is never expressed in the books of Apostles or Prophets. That animals die, whether human or brutal, is as certain as that they live. And that animal souls, with all their passions, appetites, and desires, die, is, just so far as I know, admitted by all well informed persons. [61] There are some persons peculiarly fond of assailing the weaker points in an argument without noticing the strong; and where there are no weak points, their ingenuity must manifest itself in assuming for those whom they assail certain weak points, merely for the sake of displaying their controversial tact and logical acumen in refuting them.

      Of the same character is the special logic of that class of reasoners who assail the doctrine of a separate state of existence, as indicated by the word Hades. What, and where is hades! Is it heaven, or hell, or the grave?--Dives and Lazarus was, according to the parallel, both in Hades; and yet, the one was comforted and the other tormented. Hence, they perplex the subject by inquiring:--Are these two places the same, or so proximate that the inhabitants of both can hold conversations similar to Lazarus and Abraham! Some intelligent persons are no little embarrassed when attempting to comprehend all that is said of Sheol in the Old Testament, and of Hades in the New; and no less embarrassed when told that Hades means both the grave and the separate state of the dead. In the New Testament, Hades occurs but eleven times, and is ten times translated hell, but once grave. Yet we have the term hell in the English Testament twenty-two times. Of these, however, twelve are the English representatives of the word Gehenna, found just twelve times in [62] the Greek Testament. Our Lord is the only person who uses this word with a reference to future punishment. James uses it metaphorically, of the tongue, but once. Of that member, he says it is sometimes "set on fire of hell." Gehenna and Hades do not represent the same idea. The former is the receptacle of the wicked only, the latter is the receptacle of the spirits or bodies (as the case may be,) of all mankind, good or bad. Certain it is, then, that two words so dissimilar ought not to be represented by one and the same English word. It would have greatly startled an English Christian to have read the words of Jacob to his sons, thus:--"You shall bring down my grey hairs with sorrow to hell." And yet the word Sheol, the Hebrew representative of hades, is there found. They have, judiciously enough, in this case, translated it grave, as they have 1 Cor. xv, 55--"O grave, (not O hell,) where now thy victory!" Doubtless, they ought, in other cases, to have so translated it. The spirit or soul of Jesus did not descend into hell, as the Church of Rome and our English Testaments read it: "Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, nor wilt thou suffer thy holy one to see corruption."

      Again, it would seem no less confounding to say of the rich man, that in hell he lifted up his eyes in torment; if it meant no more than the grave, or that in the grave he saw Lazarus in [63] Abraham's bosom. To say, also, that Capernaum or its inhabitants, and other wicked places should be brought down to the grave, if it means only the receptacle of human bodies, would be equally inapposite and confounding to our reason. We are, therefore, obliged to contemplate the word as it was used by the Jews in the times of the Messiah, as indicative of the state of departed spirits, whether they were good or bad. Thus representing the state of the dead rather than the place of spirits.

      For example, should we represent the matrimonial state by the word Hymenia, and say of all persons, when married, they entered into Hymenia, and that in Hymenia some enjoyed happiness and others misery, might not many persons, ignorant of the meaning of Hymenia, be no little confounded to comprehend what sort of a place Hymenia was, in which some persons might be happy and others miserable. Place, and state, in things terrestrial, are more easily distinguishable than in things not terrestrial. In the same terrestrial place, persons in different states may meet, without any confusion of ideas. Still, in such cases, there is no resemblance between the state and the place. Where there is, however, a very striking resemblance between the state and the place, as between a jail or a palace, and their respective inmates, we are more apt to associate the one with the other, and are more perplexed in reconciling to the same place, [64] persons in states essentially diverse from each other.

      But soon as we leave terrestrial objects and the abodes of sense, our reasonings from place and state rather perplex than aid us in any effort to understand Heaven, Hell, and Hades. These are sometimes considered as places--distinct from each other, as sun, moon, and earth. At other times they are considered as mere states. Place and state, beyond the confines of earth, may, therefore, in some sense, be regarded as one and the same. But that hades, always improperly translated hell, and sometimes improperly translated grave, the common representative of the Hebrew sheol, sometimes indicated both place and state, may be inferred with certainty, as I conceive, from several occurrences in both Testaments.

      The Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans, located the souls of all the dead, under the ground. Among the Romans, Infernus contained both Elysium and Tartarus, repositories for all souls--good and bad. Inferi, in the Latin tongue, comprehends all the dead.4

      Among the Jews it sometimes indicates the [65] grave, and is, therefore, equivalent to Keber, in their tongue, sepulchre. Still, it more frequently means something deeper than the grave, the profound abyss, where souls abide. Numerous examples may be found in Jewish writings. From the Jewish prophets we can find ample proof:--God, according to Moses, said--"A fire is kindled in mine anger, which shall burn to the lowest hell." Grave! That were an anticlimax, indeed! Here it is sheol. In the Septuagint, hades. Job, too, or one of his contemporaries older than Moses, said--"The knowledge of God is higher than heaven, deeper than hell." Sheol, Hades. The grave!! No.--The mansion of departed spirits. David, also--"If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there; if I make my bed in hell, behold thou art there." Septuagint, eis ton haden. Amos represents God as saying--"Though they dig (eis haden) into hell, thence shall my hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down; and though they hide themselves on the top of Carmel, I will search and take them out thence; and though they be hid from my sight in the bottom of the sea, thence will I command a serpent and he shall bite them." The contrasts here are most sublimely beautiful. In this place, certainly, hades descends below the grave.

      In the same style the Messiah said:--Thou, Capernaum, that art exalted to heaven, shalt be [66] brought down to hell;" hades--certainly lower than the grave. This Hebrew and Greek view of the mansions of the dead, seems, also, to have been in the mind of our Apostle, when he said, "At the name of Jesus every knee in heaven, in earth, and under the earth shall bow; and in the mind of John, when he said, "No man in heaven, nor in the earth, nor under the earth, was able to open the book; neither to look into it."

      That souls separated from the bodies, (not merely animal souls--and dead bodies--sometimes in Hebrew called nepesh,) are the proper inhabitants of hades, may be learned from other passages. Such as: "Thou wilt not leave my soul in hades; nor wilt thou suffer thy holy one to see corruption." Here, in all propriety of contrast, the body is not to be doomed to corruption, nor the soul to hades. The same usage obtains under the word abussos, Rom. x.--"Say not in thy heart who shall ascend into heaven to bring Christ down from above; nor who shall descend into the deep, (a grave six feet deep!) to bring him up from the dead." The dead are then in the deep; the abussos, the hades, the sheol. No one ever called the grave the abyss, or the unfathomable gulf.

      Were it either desirable or necessary to demonstrate that the receptacle of human spirits was understood by the ancient nations, Egyptians, Jews, and Pagans, of all superstitions, to be deeper than [67] the ground, a very long induction of authorities could be here introduced. Beginning with the necromancy of the Seven Nations; the provisions of the Mosaic law; consulting the spirits of the dead; the case of the witch of Endor, etc. etc., we might fill a volume with documentary evidence, incontrovertibly clear and definite. But the occasion demands no such offering at our hand.

      I will only add, that this word, hades, like all other words of much importance, has a figurative meaning as well as a grammatical or historical meaning. In contrast with heaven, it indicates something very low;--Exalted to heaven thou shalt be brought down to hades. Here, heaven indicates great hight, and hades great depression. I shall go, said Hezekiah, to the pulas hadou, "the gates of hell," the gates of death. Thus, the Messiah concerning his church, says: "The pulai hadou, the gates of hades or death shall not prevail against it." My church, said he, shall be immortal.

      But one passage in the Book of God would seem to favor the assumption that it sometimes signifies hell, properly so called, or the place of future punishment. In HELL, hades, the rich man "lifted up his eyes being in torment." In this single passage it would seem to be equivalent to gehenna. But the fact before stated, that it merely represents the state of the dead--or the place of [68] departed spirits--comprehending as separated from their bodies, all spirits, good and bad; those in Abraham's bosom, or those in paradise; and those in Tartarus, or in prison, forbids the idea that even in this place it is used as synonymous with Gehenna, or the state of ultimate punishment. The four questions propounded and before noted, and all similar questions, may, I think, be most satisfactorily answered by observing that state, mode, or condition of existence is the radical and important idea in hades. And, as in the illustration from Hymenia, persons entering it may be contemplated as happy or miserable, in Paradise or Tartarus, in Abraham's bosom or in torment, with out any regard to local position, but as respects their capacity, individual character, and associations. Thus, the rich man and Lazarus were both in hades, as Queen Victoria and the slave Matilda are both in matrimony; but the former lives in a palace and enjoys the smiles of a prince, while the latter endures the peltings of the storm and the squalid poverty of a cheerless hut. In this view of the matter, Jesus could say to the dying penitent--"To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise," and the risen Samuel could say to the distracted Saul, "To-morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me."5 [69]

      While, then, location belongs to heaven and hell, in their proper import and current signification, it enters not into the idea of Hades, as now contemplated by intelligent Christians. That there was such a state currently believed by all the world down to the Christian age, we can have no rational doubt. The ancients, we have shown, located it in the earth: they added the idea of place [70] to it. This only goes to show how firmly, as well as universally, they believed it. We may dissent from their notion of place and other circumstances without at all impairing the weight of the evidence in favor of such a state as was indicated by the word hades.

      The term is strikingly descriptive of the condition. It is drawn from the darkness and ignorance of its inmates as respects what is transpiring in this world. "The dead," said Solomon, "know not any thing." They see not, they know not aught of the affairs of earth. The etymology of the word fully indicates this. It is compounded of a, negative, and eidoo, I see. I see not. The state is mysterious, obscure, invisible; and those in it are void of the light and the knowledge of this life. The grave itself is called "the house of darkness," and the environs of it, "the region and shadow of death."

      We have amongst us those who argue that the spirits of the dead are wholly unconscious from such sayings as, "Their thoughts perish, "The dead know not any thing," "Abraham is ignorant of us," etc., etc., and hence "the soul sleepeth," or is dead with the body. Admirable critics! Sage interpreters! Sublime philosophers! Truly, they prove how 'dangerous a little learning is!' The first phrase indicates that when a man dies his purposes die with him. His schemes fall to [71] the ground. He can no further accomplish his designs. The second phrase intimates their ignorance of what transpires amongst the living. "Their sons come to honor" or dishonor, "and they know it not." The affairs of earth are to them as though they were not. But does this prove that they are ignorant or unconscious of every thing else! When a person migrates from England to America, he personally knows nothing that transpires there from the moment he quits its coasts. Are we thence to infer that he never after knows any thing of America, or any other place, because he knows nothing of England! Just such philosophers have we amongst us--preaching soul-sleeping and eternal unconsciousness from their profound knowledge of language.

      That there is some analogy between a dead man and one asleep, is very obvious to the least attentive observer. But that analogy is only in that which is outward and visible. For even when men are literally asleep in body, the mind is oft employed in the most active enterprises, pains and pleasures; so much, indeed, as to arouse the body from the lethargy of repose. The sophism on the part of such reasoners consists in their assuming that a resemblance in one or more respects is always proof of universal resemblance. If it be not always proof of universal resemblance, why infer it is so in this case? Do not those who deny [72] that souls can sleep, themselves say of the dead that "they have fallen asleep," merely because of the resemblance between the body of a living man in sleep and that of a man dead. Strange logic, indeed, it would be, should every figure we use be taken as proof that we are always to be understood according to the letter. Then any one may prove from all the philosophers in Christendom, that not one of them believes the Copernican or Newtonian system of astronomy, or even the sphericity or diurnal rotation of the earth, because they all say, in common with the most ignorant child, "The sun rises and the sun sets;" while yet they teach that the sun is the immutable centre of the solar system, and that all the planets move round it. As learned and as discriminating they who infer from Paul's words, "Them that sleep in Jesus God will bring with him," that Paul believed and taught that all the saints slept from death to the resurrection.

      The ashes of the dead sleep no more than do the ashes of a tree. If the dead sleep, it is, therefore, not their ashes, but their spirits that sleep. Why, then, should the dying saints so often commend their spirits, and never their bodies, to the Lord! Why should the dying Stephen say, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit," if his spirit slept in the grave in the midst of his body till the resurrection!

      But we do not remonstrate against the delusion [73] of this system only from such passages as the Lord's address to the penitent thief--"To-day shalt thou be with me in Paradise; or from the parabolic representation of Lazarus borne by angels to Abraham's bosom, while yet the rich man's brothers lived on earth and his soul "in torment;" all solicitous about their condition; or from the words of the dying Stephen, or those of the dying Messiah, commending their spirits to God when their animal life was expiring; but also from the clear, definite, and positive declaration of the Apostles, that the saints immediately after death are present with the Lord, not in their bodies, but in their spirits.

      Immediate, though not complete blessedness, and immediate, though not complete torment after death, is the doctrine of the Messiah and his Apostles. Lazarus died and was instantly carried to Abraham's bosom. Dives died and immediately lifted up his eyes in torment! So taught the Messiah, and certainly he would not introduce a false and deceptious imagery to bewilder and perplex the world. Paul also affirms that soon as "absent from the body we are present with the Lord;" and "while in the body we are absent from the Lord." May I not ask, What language could more clearly and certainly indicate a continued and uninterrupted consciousness than this, or the fact of a separate state--a state in which the soul lives [74] out of the body? What language could any one choose more definitely expressive of such a state than that above quoted, if he desired to inform us of the fact?

      Again, Paul contrasts the pleasures which, as a Christian man, he could enjoy while in the body, with those he could enjoy out of the body; and from his inspired knowledge of the whole premises concludes it would be better for him immediately to die than to live, so far as his own happiness is concerned. "To me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." What could he gain by death but sleep, according to the theory of destructionism? Can any of the soul-sleeping or soul-dying school state what Paul would have gained by death on their philosophy of man? We should like to have a clear estimate of the gain from immediate death to those who sleep, or are unconscious from death to the resurrection. Can any one, or will any one, enlighten us on the items of gain?

      Paul further declares that to depart from earth, or from the tabernacle of flesh, is far better than to continue in the flesh. Strange language to the ears of those who can not distinguish between the flesh and the spirit--between continuing in the flesh and departing from it. To interpret the words "continuing" and "departing," without some place to continue in, and some place to depart from,--as well as something to depart, and something to [75] continue, distinct from that in which it abides and from which it departs,--will require some person of more discrimination and learning than I possess. May I ask some one skilled in this new philosophy of language to favor us with an explanation of the mode of continuing in and departing from the flesh, when the whole man is all flesh or all soul, according to the theory which we oppugn!

      We shall also solicit another favor from some of the adepts in this new theory. Paul affirms that it is FAR BETTER for him to leave the flesh than to continue in it. If, then, Paul's spirit slept in his body for eighteen centuries,--that is, down to the present time,--in what number and variety of items of gain does this far better consist? To make death far better than life, demands certain specifications. Can any one denying an immediate return of his spirit to the Lord, make such an exhibit as will sustain his declaration? We wait for a response.

      The only attempt to reconcile Paul's language to the facts of the case supposed by all who advocate soul-sleeping, is a metaphysical speculation upon the difference between real and apparent, or absolute and relative time. They are aware that if Paul meant real time, their position is wholly untenable. But they assume that Paul meant apparent time, and, therefore, sleeping so soundly as do the saints, to them there is no time between death and the [76] resurrection. According to them, the interval between death and the resurrection is, to the dead, annihilated. Paul, knowing this, spoke of departing from the flesh and being immediately present with the Lord, giving no intimation of any reserved or private sense; and, therefore, has virtually passed upon the Philippians, and all other readers, a cheat--substituting apparent for real time? A meritorious solution truly, and highly creditable to the moral honesty of the Apostle!

      But this policy wholly fails in disposing of the phraseology of being at home in the body--and absent from the body. For, according to common sense, no man could speak of being absent from the body, if he can live only in the body. It would require a greater genius than any of our new theorists, to convince us that a man of sound sense and common honesty, an Apostle too, could speak of being from the body and present with the Lord, at any time, soon or late, if, indeed, he were all body, or all soul, or if the soul can not live without the body.

      May we not, then, conclude that we have irrefragable evidence of a separate state of existence, a hades; or that human spirits can exist either within or without bodies, and that when the spirits of the just are absent from the bodies, they are not asleep, but positively happy in the presence of the Lord. [77]

      This argument in proof of HADES as distinct from heaven and hell--as the condition of all human spirits from death to the final resurrection--is itself our tenth argument against the doctrine of destructionism. For if spirits live in a state separate from their bodies for thousands of years after their bodies are destroyed, so far, at least, as to be converted into dust; and if their bodies be considered merely--as Peter represents his--a tabernacle to be put off at death, there is no instance of the extinction of a soul;--there is, moreover, no axiomatic evidence of such an event, and no one has ever presumed to demonstrate the extinction or destruction of a soul, from any data, human or divine;--nor has any one been able to find a single text of Scripture that intimates the extinction, annihilation, or absolute destruction of a human spirit.

      But so much depending upon a clear scriptural indication of the existence of hades--as distinct from heaven and hell--or the fact of the separate existence of human spirits without their bodies, we shall sum up the arguments on which we principally rely for its development and confirmation:

      1. The promise made to the penitent thief by the dying Saviour:--"To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise." Both of them that same day expiring together.

      2. The dying words of the Messiah:--"Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit." [78]

      3. These are the last words of Stephen:--"Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."

      4. "I knew a man in Christ, some fourteen years ago, caught away to Paradise; whether in the body or out of the body, I can not tell, God knoweth." Had it been impossible for a man to live out of the body, or for a spirit to exist in a separate state, I presume all, but those intoxicated with a new theory of man, will agree with me, that Paul could not, as a man of truth, much less an Apostle of Christ, say, that he could not tell whether he "was in the body or out of the body."

      5. There is no intimation that human spirits dwell in human bodies after death, or that they are interred with them in their graves. To this agree the words of Matthew, chapter xxvii, 51-53;--After our Lord's resurrection, when the graves were opened, "many bodies of the saints arose, went into Jerusalem and appeared unto many." Now, had the spirits of these saints been sleeping in their bodies, would it not have been said, many of the "saints arose, went into Jerusalem and appeared unto many?" The fact that bodies only, came out of these graves, will be regarded as proof that bodies only were deposited in them.

      6. An argument may be deduced from the restoration of life to the son of the widow of Sarepta, by Elisha the Tishbite. The story is told, 1 Kings, 17th chapter. The prophet prayed for its [79] restoration in the following words:--"O Lord my God, let the child's soul come into him again." The Lord heard the voice of Elisha, and the soul of the child came into him again and he revived.

      7. From the names given to the body by the Apostles Peter and Paul. They both call the body a tabernacle; they both regard the soul as dwelling in a house, a temple, or a tabernacle. Hence the soul is a guest or a ghost. Thus said Peter:--"I must soon lay aside or put off this tabernacle." There was some person that put off this tabernacle. This is corroborated by Solomon, who said, "The body returns to the dust, and the spirit to God who gave it."

      8. From demons, evil spirits, and the whole doctrine of familiar spirits, and necromancy--their possession and dispossession--it is shown at great length that the spirits of wicked men perish not in their bodies; and that spirits are so diverse from bodies as to go into them, and come out from them, etc., etc. No materialist or destructionist can in any plausible way whatever, dispose of this argument. They can only say that demons and familiar spirits, and all spirits are phantoms. They are phantoms, however, the belief of which has always been as universal as any sentiment, or view, or tradition ever expressed in language.

      9. From the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. This comparison, founded upon facts, as all [80] the Lord's parables are, clearly indicates that while the body is in the grave the spirit is in conscious existence, susceptible of pleasure or pain. It was before the resurrection, and while the rich man's brothers were still living, that Abraham told the rich man that while Lazarus was comforted he was tormented.

      10. From the developments on opening the fifth apocalyptic seal. John "saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain on account of the word of God and the testimony which they held;" and they cried with great earnestness, soliciting information on the subject of the continuance of God's forbearance to punish them who had shed the blood of saints and martyrs. Now had there been no separate state, no souls distinct and separate from their bodies, how could such a case have been introduced as representing God's schemes of providence towards the living and the dead.

      11. Our next argument is deduced from a passage in John, 11th chap.--"Whosoever liveth and believeth on me shall never die." Martha's faith only went so far as to repudiate a pre-millennial resurrection of the saints. She, simple woman, only believed that her good brother Lazarus should "at the resurrection rise on the LAST DAY," not a thousand years before the last day; for she was technically a post-millennial adventist; but this point [81] of never dying had not yet become familiar. Still she believed it when the Lord said it.

      My eleventh argument then, is, that if he that believes in Christ shall never die, and as Christians actually die so far as their bodies are contemplated, their souls must certainly survive their bodies, else the Lord has deceived us.

      I hold this to be as evident as any proposition can be--an argument, I humbly think, irrefragable. It bears equally against soul-sleeping as against soul-dying. For if death is compared to a sleep, as some contend, in all respects, then the sleep of death, or unconscious existence after death, is wholly repudiated in the words, "he shall never die;" that is, he shall never pass into a state of unconscious existence.

      12. My twelfth argument shall be deduced from an argument offered to the Sadducees by the Messiah in person, as reported by Luke, in the words following, to wit;--"Then came to him certain of the Sadducees, which deny that there is any resurrection; and they asked him, saying, Master, Moses wrote unto us, If any man's brother die, having a wife, and he die without children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. There were, therefore, seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and died without children. And the second took her to wife, and he died childless. And the third took her; and in like manner the seven also; and they left no children, and died. Last of all the woman died also. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife of them is she? for seven had her to wife. And Jesus answering said unto them: The children in this world marry, and are given in marriage; but they which shall be [82] accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. Now that the dead are raised, even Moses showed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him." Luke xx. To understand this most important passage, we must quote another from Luke's Acts of the Apostles, chap. xxiii, 6, 8. "But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other part Pharisees, he cried out in the council: Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee; of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question. And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees; and the multitude was divided. For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel nor spirit; but the Pharisees confess both." "The Pharisees acknowledge BOTH"--two tenets, not one. Angels and spirits are the one tenet--the resurrection of the body, the other. The Sadducees deny spirits and a future state; consequently, the resurrection of the body. The non-resurrection of the body was, therefore, a mere consequence of their doctrine. Now the Messiah always aims a blow at the root, the tap-root of the system of error. He proves that spirits are; that the spirits of the dead ARE. The Sadducees say they are NOT. Jesus affirms not that they were, but that they ARE. Abraham is dead, and Isaac is dead, and Jacob is dead, said the Sadducees, [83] wholly dead; "spirits are not, bodies only are; and as their bodies once were, but are not, the resurrection is absurd." But Jesus affirmed that spirits are; and his proof is, that God is the God of Abraham--of some existing person--not the God of what was, but the God of what is. Therefore, as he is not the God of the dead, but of the living, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob now live--always live. For, adds he, "All live to God"--"If dead to us, they are alive to him." "But their bodies are yet in Palestine; their sepulchres are yet with us. For David nor Abraham is not yet ascended to heaven; their sepulchres and their ashes are still with us; but their spirits live with God."

      13. Paul said he was a Pharisee, in the midst of an assembly of Pharisees and Sadducees. He intended to save his life by it. Did he lie? He was, in the sectarian sense, a Pharisee, and not a Sadducee. This was solemnly affirming for them in all the points designating their peculiarity on the Sadducean hypothesis. I offer it now in confidence as a conclusive argument against destructionism, against Sadduceeism, against materialism in every form of it. The resurrection of the dead, the existence of angels and spirits, and the everlasting existence of man, either in happiness or misery, were the whole constituents of a Pharisee. Paul affirmed these to be true when he solemnly declared that he was, in opposition to the scepticism of the Sadducees, a Pharisee in faith, and by descent not merely the son of a Pharisee, but a Pharisee himself.6 [84]

      14. A fourteenth argument may very naturally be deduced from our Lord's words to Thomas when he convinced him that he was not a spirit. He defines a spirit in comparison with a body, as essentially unlike it, in its materiality. "A spirit," says he, "has not flesh and bones as you see me have." This can not be plausibly denied to be a clear proof of the existence of spirits without bodies. When, indeed, the Sadducees say that there is neither angel nor spirit, do they not mean human spirit? For of what other spirit than angelic, save the human spirit, do the Scriptures speak? And did the Sadducees ever deny that there was a spirit in man while he lived? Never: they only denied departed spirits, or human spirits existing after or without their bodies. Now as the Pharisees confessed both angelic and human disembodied spirits, and the Sadducees neither; and as our Lord and his Apostles agreed with the Pharisees, and not with the Sadducees in their peculiarity, follows it not, then, that we have in this argument a clear and irrefragable evidence of the existence of human spirits without bodies; and, consequently of hades, as before propounded?--May we not now regard these fourteen arguments in proof of the existence of human spirits in a state called hades, separate and distinct from their bodies, as amply sufficient to confirm its certainty, and to explode a theory which reduces man to a simple animal possessed of a vital principle called soul, but whose existence is not only identical with the body but inseparably co-existent with it.

      The last evidence we shall here offer of an intermediate or separate state of existence, is the fact that Moses appeared on earth about fourteen [85] hundred and eighty years after his death. That great lawgiver died on Mount Pisgah, in the land of Moab, in the 120th year of his age, in the year of the world 2553. The Lord buried him in a sepulchre in the valley opposite Bethpeor, where his ashes repose unto this day. We are, however, distinctly informed that shortly before the crucifixion, in the 33d year of Christ, he appeared on Mount Tabor, in company with Elijah, whose body had been translated into heaven 550 years after Moses died, and 896 before the birth of the Messiah.

      This is a fact so incontrovertible, that the most reckless and presumptuous of the opponents of a separate and intermediate conscious existence of human spirits presume not to deny it. The only disposition of it which they can make, is to assume that the Lord raised him from the dead for this purpose. But against this assumption there is one fact which they seem not to have noticed, viz.--that Jesus Christ, and not Moses, was "the first born from the dead," "the first fruits of them that slept," that in all things he might have the pre-eminence and be regarded as the RESURRECTION and the LIFE. And might we not with great propriety object to this assumption that no hint of this sort, by way of explanation of the marvellous fact, is given by any inspired writer? And to have remanded Moses to the vale of Pisgah, and Elijah to heaven, would seem so arbitrary a disposition of them as to have called for some explanation from some one of three Evangelists that record the transfiguration? They do, indeed, inform us that their destiny was the same. One and the same bright cloud overshadowed them both, in which the Father Almighty was present, and from [86] which for the last time he spoke aloud, commending his Son, then on the mount, as his ORACLE to the human race.

      I should not have dwelt so long on this memorable incident, but for the sake of developing the presumption of those daring innovators, who for some reason are seeking to overthrow the glorious sanctions of our religion, expressed in the words "eternal punishment" and "everlasting life," delivered by the Lord himself. A modern philosopher has recently enlightened the world by two treatises,--one on "the Philosophy of Man"--another, on "the Philosophy of the Intermediate State." He yet proposes a third treatise, to be denominated "the Philosophy of a Future Life." In his generosity he his only taxed us with a single sheet of developments on the whole philosophy of man; and with equal kindness he has contracted his Philosophy of the Intermediate State within equally restricted dimensions. I have but two faults to find with his treatise on the Intermediate State. The first of these might, by some utilitarians, be regarded as its greatest perfection. It is a valuable exemplification of the fallacy called petitio principii; or, vulgarly, "the begging of the question." Any one who desires to see how far a man may wander from reason and common sense without seeming to notice it, will be edified by reading this extended assumption. He disposes of the strongest passages in proof of Hades, or the separate state, by this admirable argument:--

      "A state of conscious existence between death and the resurrection is no where taught in the Scriptures: therefore, it is not taught in this passage nor in that: therefore, it is not taught in this [87] parable nor in that: therefore, it is not taught by Jesus nor by any of the Apostles."

      Another exception which I record against it, is its striking irreverence for the authority of the Bible. I do not recollect to have read any treatise less respectful of the authority of Apostles and Prophets, from any one pretending to believe the Bible to have come from God. It is only a reiteration of obsolete glosses in a more daring and presumptuous style. For example, "To-day shalt thou be with me in Paradise," means "This day or that day when I come to the possession of my kingdom, some two or three thousand years hence, then shalt thou be with me in Paradise!" As for Moses in the mount of transfiguration, that is all explained according to philosopher Welsh, by a single assumption, viz.--God raised Moses from the dead, and after he had shown him on the mount caused him to die a second time; after which the Lord himself buried him in some unknown sepulchre? And, not to weary my readers with such displays of the waywardness of self-opinionated theorists, when Paul tells us of his not knowing "whether he was in or out of the body," it only meant that he was in a dream somewhat confounded at the time, and had no distinct apprehensions of himself! Seriously to respond to such irreverence is, I presume as unnecessary as it would be irksome to any one who trembles at the word of the Lord.

      On the arguments and facts already offered we rest our cause, so far as the ascertainment of the proper import of the terms life, death, destruction, punishment, hades, and gehenna are concerned.

      Of the term gehenna, translated hell, we have [88] said but little. It is defined by our Lord to be a place of "eternal punishment"--a place of "eternal fire," where soul and body, or the whole wicked man is to be tormented for ever and ever. Against this view destructionists and Universalisits argue from the fact that 'the vale of Hinnom,' whence the word hell, in the environs of Jerusalem, was the place of consuming the carcasses of dead animals; and, therefore, wholly earthly, temporal, inapposite to represent any thing that did not come to an end.--How short-sighted, or how diseased the vision, of such doctors! Were not Jerusalem, Mount Zion, and the City of David, places as earthly and temporal as the vale of Hinnom in their environs? And in reason's ear is it not as good an argument against the perpetuity, spirituality, and felicity of heaven, that it is so often represented under the imagery of earth--of that same Jerusalem, Mount Zion, and City of the Great King? When Paul says, "You Christians are the children of the Jerusalem which is above, the mother of us all;" or when he says, "You are not come to the tangible mountain, but to Mount Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem; and does he not use imagery of earth as inapposite to set forth the eternal state of the righteous, as Gehenna is to set forth the eternal destiny of the wicked? As learnedly and as rationally, therefore, might the new theorists object to the heaven as to the hell of the New Testament; inasmuch as the imagery of both comes from the same vicinity--from Judea, Jerusalem, and the environs thereof. And, indeed, the same mad philosophy and philology might, and sometimes [89] does object, with as much reason, to the existence of angels or spirits and their correlates; for they, too, are terms of earth, as is every other term appreciable by mortal man. I once knew a crazy literalist who affirmed that wind and spirit were the same; that a man's breath was his soul, because both were represented by the same word. Nor did he stop at these absurdities, but persisted in the maintenance of a literal river of life, jasper walls, pearly gates, and golden streets in the heavenly Jerusalem.

      That a lake of fire and brimstone, the flames of Tophet, and the perpetual burnings of the vale of Hinnom, should become emblems and representations of the fearful doom of wicked and ungodly men, is certainly as rational and consistent as that a garden of delights, a golden city, spacious and splendid mansions, crowns of glory, and kingly thrones, should constitute the imagery of the eternal honors and blessedness of the children of God. No man of good sense and scriptural information understands these representations to be exact literal delineations of the future condition of saints and sinners.--Pleasure or pain corresponding with these figurative representations, is all that persons of sound sense and accurate discrimination understand by them.

      In conclusion of this already too prolix dissertation on terms and definitions, we must say, in regard to destruction as involving the sanctions of the Christian religion, that salvation and damnation are its sublime, awful, and tremendous sanctions. He that diminishes either of these in its character, extent, or duration, detracts just so much from the [90] claims of the whole institution upon the attention and acceptance of every man. If the life to be enjoyed is not to be everlasting, or if the condemnation to hell, (for so our Lord denominates it,) is to terminate in a year, a century, or a millennium, then neither the salvation is of infinite importance, nor the condemnation of infinite dread.--A pain, however intense, which continues but a day, a year, or an age, is nothing compared to a pain that is everlasting. Whatever reasons, then, justified our Saviour in holding forth a "fire unquenchable," a "worm undying," a "punishment everlasting," will justify every other preacher in arraying the same awful issue of gospel despising before the mind of every impenitent sinner.

      Again, the motives that induce some persons to broach the doctrine of soul-sleeping, and to impose it upon others, have neither reason nor philosophy to commend them to any man's acceptance, nor to justify any conflicts concerning them in the Christian community. For suppose a human spirit sleeps for a thousand years and awakes in felicity, unconscious of a moment's interval; or in one moment departs, and is with the Lord, there is nothing fatal to either party's comfort in whatever theory he may adopt. Consequently, to introduce such a question, and to seek partisans to it, is voluntary schism for its own sake, without the slightest hope of advantage or interest to any.

      It is only in its bearings upon other parts of the Christian system and in the tendencies of such idle speculation to minister strife rather than godly edifying, that we deem them worthy of Christian reprobation. Neither soul-sleeping, then any more [91] than destructionism, has one argument in its favor; while the latter is in direct opposition to the sanctions of the gospel and the definite and clear signification of a hundred scriptures.

      The authors of all false theories of religion and morality are persons who assume to be philosophers, so far at least, as to be able to construct a universe and a Divinity, in their judgment, more rational and worthy of all acceptation than those which they oppose. Such, most certainly, are the universalist, the restorationist, the destructionist, and the drowsy, dreaming inventors of spirit-sleeping--with the microscopic doctors of infant and pagan annihilation. To one, universal salvation--to another, the partial annihilation of mankind--is the beau ideal of a wise, and just, and benevolent system. To all such spirits the Bible is but an encyclopedia of proof texts to confirm their theory. The rational, healthy, and practical Christian forms no theory of things incomprehensible. He only seeks to know and understand what the Bible teaches. He feels himself inadequate to comprehend the history of sin and of punishment in the amplitude of their bearings upon a universe, upon the character of its author, and the destinies of his liege and loyal subjects. He wisely concludes that whatever reasons may justify God in inflicting temporal and partial evil upon any human or angelic being, may justify the infliction of eternal punishment upon such portions of intelligent creatures as have been placed under special dispensations of divine mercy and love. With all such the true philosophy is, What say the oracles of God. [92]

      God is said to be THE FATHER OF THE SPIRITS--not of the bodies, nor of the dispositions, nor of the breath--but of THE SPIRITS of all flesh. And as such he will judge and retribute all. He has solemnly said that all that are in their graves shall hear his voice and come forth--they that have done good and they that have done evil--the one shall rise to salvation, the other to condemnation. He does not say in any passage of Scripture, that there is only a portion of mankind that will come out of their graves. Nay, he has said that "the sea gave up the dead that were in it, and that death and hades gave up the dead that were in them, and that they were all rewarded according to their works."

      The Christian believes that a future state is neither clearly nor fully set forth in the law of Moses, nor in the Jewish prophets. His faith is, that "Life and immortality have been brought to light in the gospel," and that all questions concerning the state of the dead, a future judgment, and the world to come, must be learned from Jesus and his Apostles. He is THE RESURRECTION and THE LIFE. And to his chosen witnesses he committed the secrets of the future state, to be divulged just so far as the true interests of mankind should require. He and they have taught us that he will raise all the dead, judge all mankind, separate the righteous from the wicked--and consign the latter to such an everlasting punishment as he has prepared for the devil and his angels; while the righteous only, shall inherit an everlasting life--an eternal blessedness; that salvation is being forever with the Lord, and condemnation, "an [93] everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and the glory of his power."

      Aware that beyond the Bible there are no data, no facts, from which to reason, a prudent man--one that fears God and loves mankind--will not presume to affirm any thing concerning man, adult or infant, not clearly indicated in that book; he will introduce no idle speculation; he will affirm nothing for which he can not produce a "thus saith the Lord." His wisdom and honor alike consist in preaching Christ, as the wisdom of God and the power of God to salvation. He will make known nothing--introduce nothing but Christ, and him crucified, under the title of Christian doctrine and Christian preaching.

      Does the Bible indicate that a man has a body, a soul, and a spirit, as clearly as that he has a head, a heart, and a hand, he presumes not to deny it. Does it teach that the intellectual and moral something called "spirit," is not that animal something called "soul" or "animal life," he will not affirm that the soul is the spirit, or that the spirit is the soul, and that both are breath. Does the Messiah say that a spirit, a human spirit, has neither flesh nor bones, he will not deny that there is any such thing as spirit. He will not make his own dullness, indocility, or incapacity an argument against the facts and dictations of the holy oracles. Nay, he will, in all matters, bow to the authority of the Bible. He will not proceed to annihilate infants, pagans, and wicked men, because he can not comprehend the principles of the divine administration. He will not assign to Pontius Pilate, Judas Iscariot, Annas [94] and Caiaphas, Nero, Domitian and Mohamet, the eternal punishment of a humming bird, a turtle dove, or a pigeon, because of his want of intellectual and moral discrimination. He will not fraternize with the Sadducee in denying angels or human spirits, because he never saw either himself; or because he doubts whether he himself has any thing in him but stomach and breath. He will not make the sterility of his own soul an infallible criterion of all souls in the universe. He will not first teach that the human spirit is mortal, and then set about to refute the Messiah's affirmation that spirits can not die, or that man can not kill the soul. Because of his defects in the science of interpretation, he will not assume that the word destroy, when applied to man, always means absolute annihilation or complete extinction; well knowing that such a one would be essentially wanting in conscientiousness, and most unfit to be a leader or a guide to the ignorant and unlearned inquirers after the will and ways of the Lord.

      I have by no means exhausted this subject. A mere miniature view of its prominent points and aspects is all that we had either room or leisure for. I suggest these views and considerations to those whose minds have been unsettled by presumptuous and wayward dogmatists; rather as a help to their own investigations, than as a full and perfect treatise on the subject. Believing as I do, that there is but a very narrow isthmus between absolute scepticism and the affirmations of those views of the new philosophy of man, and of the intermediate state--the denial of a universal [95] resurrection, and the eternal punishment of unbelieving and ungodly men--I can not but observe with great solicitude every attempt made to weaken the sanctions of the gospel and to reduce man to a mere two legged animal, whose soul is blood, whose spirit is breath, and whose destiny in sin is but the punishment of an insect--the decomposition of an organized atom. From such philosophists and prosing dreamers--such conceited dogmatists and reckless schismatics, may the Lord save his cause and people!






      1 I use the word Christian in its sectarian sense, and not in its general complimentary sense. [5]
      2 To those who can appreciate it, we would state, that from ollumi, or anciently, olluoo, (whereof oleso) come also, apollumi, apooleia, and olethros. The radical meaning of them all is, to lose, in Latin, perdo. Hence, perdition is the first meaning of olethros--four times found in the New Testament, and in classic use it denotes death, or any thing pernicious or damnable. [11]
      3 Virgil, Æneid 9. L. 349. Purpuream vomit ille aniram: His purple soul he vomits forth. [51]
      4 A passage in the 8th Æneid of Virgil intimates this:--
Non secus, ac si qua penitus vi terra dehiscens
Infernas reseret sedes, et regna recludat
Pallida, diis invisa, superque immane barathrum
Cernatur, trepidentque immisso lumine manes. [65]
      5 It is an old adage, that "a child may ask questions which a wise man cannot answer;" and so it has happened in the case of Virtuoso [69] and Biblicus at the last church meeting for discussion, held in the Harbinger. Virtuoso asks the following questions in substance:--
      1. Do the souls of the righteous go into hades at death; and if so, are they present with the Lord?
      2. Does the word hades signify a place or a state? If a state, why translate it hell, grave, or unseen world?
      3. From what part of the Bible do we learn that Abraham's bosom is a part or parcel of hades?
      4. Will any that are Christ's be found in hades; and if so, will they not be subject to the second death?
      In neither of these queries is there a word said about the separate existence of soul and body, and why did Biblicus contend for such separation in his answer?
      Biblicus goes on to say that "hades means whatever it meant among the Jews of that age." Very well, and what did the Jews of that age mean by the word?
      Josephus speaks of hades as a place located somewhere in or under the earth; and Paul says, "Now this--having ascended, what is it, unless indeed he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth?"
      Both Paul and Josephus were Jews of that age, and they locate hades in the lower parts of the earth, and not in the atmosphere, nor in ether beyond the atmosphere.
      Now if David meant by hades what Paul and Josephus meant, then it is evident that Jesus is not there, but has ascended from thence; consequently the souls of the righteous when separated from their bodies, do not go into hades, else they are not present with the Lord.
      Present and absent always have reference to locality or place. So I think, and so I reason.
VIRTUOSO. [70]      
      6 These arguments have been stated in my essays on the Tyranny of Opinionism, but are here presented in connection. [84]

[LAD 1-96.]


Alexander Campbell in 1857

      Alexander Campbell's Life and Death was first published in The Millennial Harbinger, Extra, Vol. 15, December 1844, pp. 529-574, and issued as a separate publication (with a Preface by D. S. Burnet) by H. S. Bosworth, in Cincinnati, 1861.

      Pagination in the electronic version has been represented by placing the page number in brackets following the last complete word on the printed page. In the printed text, footnotes are indicated by asterisks; in the electronic text, they are treated as sequentially numbered endnotes. Inconsistencies in spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and typography have been retained; however, corrections have been offered for misspellings and other accidental corruptions. Emendations are as follows:

            Printed Text [ Electronic Text
 p. 11:     twenty occurences [ twenty occurrences
 p. 22:     1 Tim. vi, 6: [ 1 Tim. v, 6:
 p. 33:     terrestrial millenium: [ terrestrial millennium:
 p. 45:     "fire unquenchable, [ "fire unquenchable,"
 p. 49:     fixednes [ fixedness
 p. 50:     Again, chap. ix-- [ Again, chap. vii.--
            chap. vi, 22-- [ chap. vii, 22--
 p. 59:     chap. ii, 22 and 30, [ chap. i, 20 and 30,
 p. 62:     Dives and Lazaras [ Dives and Lazarus
 p. 63:     1 Cor. xv, 58-- [ 1 Cor. xv, 55--
 p. 70:     with the Lord. [ with the Lord?
 p. 71:     thoughts perish, [ thoughts perish,"
 p. 72:     their igno- norance [ their ignorance
 p. 74:     Lazaras died [ Lazarus died
            with the Lord; [ with the Lord;"
 p. 78:     final reserrection-- [ final resurrection
 p. 79:     Matthew, chapter xxvi, 51, 53; Matthew, chapter xxvii, 51-53;
 p. 81:     post-millenial adventist; [ post-millennial adventist;
 p. 83:     Men and brethen, [ Men  and brethren,
            Issac is dead, [ Isaac is dead,
 p. 84:     their pecularity [ their peculiarity
            Sadduceean hypothesis. [ Sadducean hypothesis.
 p. 87:     modern philospher [ modern philosopher
            devolpments [ developments
 p. 90:     heavenly Jerasalem. [ heavenly Jerusalem.
            spendid mansions, [ splendid mansions,
 p. 92:     ampitude [ amplitude

      Addenda and corrigenda are earnestly solicited.

Ernie Stefanik
Derry, PA

Created 10 April 2003.
Updated 7 July 2003.

Alexander Campbell Life and Death (1861)

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