« AnteriorContinuar »
eases or decays of the body. This consideration is an evidence in favor of the existence of the soul hereafter. 2. The fact, that some animated creatures pass through several changes before they arrive at their most perfect condition, renders it probable that man may exist in another and higher state. Death may prove but another birth. 3. The soul's capability of eternal progress in knowledge, holiness, and happiness, is another argument in favor of its immortality. Would God make such a glorious being to be consigned to oblivion almost in the very commencement of its existence? 4. The ardent desires and hopes for immortality, which prevail among all people, are a strong presumption of its reality. The idea of annihilation is repugnant to all the natural feelings of man. 5. Conscience, accusing when we do wrong, and excusing when we do right, indicates that there is a future state, where retribution will be awarded. 6. The unequal distribution of justice among mankind in the present state of existence is an argument for the immortality of the soul. If justice in all cases does not take place in this life, we may infer, from the character of God, that it will in a life hereafter. 7. The general belief of a future state in all ages, nations, and tribes of mankind, is a strong indication of its reality. This is the case, whether this belief arose, at first, from immediate revelation, which has been transmitted from generation to generation by tradition, or from reason, analogy, or any other source.-Such are the arguments in favor of the soul's immortality, aside from the Bible. But, 8. The Scriptures give absolute assurance of a fut ire state. (a)
damned.John iii. 3. Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.-James ii. 17. Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.-Prov. xiv. 32. The wicked is driven away in his wickedness; but the righteous hath hope in his death.
(a) 2 Tim. i. 10. But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.Eccles. xii. 7. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it
Q. 2. In what condition will mankind exist in the life to come ?
A. They will exist in an active, conscious, and happy or unhappy state, as they shall be holy or unholy, when they depart this life. (6)
Q. 3. Do mankind immediately pass into this condition of existence upon death?
A. The soul will immediately pass into a state of happiness or misery, and the body will dissolve to dust, whence it was taken. The soul does not become lifeless with the body, nor does it sleep or lie dormant after the death of the body, till the general resurrection; but it is sensible and active. (c) was; and the spirit shall return unto God, who gave it.—Matt. -X. 28. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.—2 Cor. v. 1. For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.--Matt. xxii. 32. I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.Matt. xvii. 3. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.
(b) Matt. xxv. 46. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal.—Luke xvi. 22, 23. 25. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by angels into Abraham's bosom ; the rich man also died, and was buried; and in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. But Abraham said, Son, remember, that thou in thy life time receivedst thy good things, and Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
(c) Luke xvi. 22, 23. 25. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by angels into Abraham's bosom ; the rich man also died, and was buried; and in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. But Abraham said, Sou, remember that thou in thy life time receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.-Luke xxiii. 43. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise.--2 Cor. v. 6. 8,9. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord. We are confident I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labor that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
Q. 4. What is meant by the separate or intermediate state?
A. That state in which the soul exists between the death and resurrection of the body.
Q. 5. Will mankind in a future state perceive, act, and have intercourse one with another?
A. No doubt they will; but in our present state of existence we cannot determine in what manner spirits perceive, act, and have intercourse one with another. This, however, is no evidence against the fact. The illiterate savage has not the least idea of the mode in which we exchange thoughts by letters, words and language, in writing.
Q. 6. Are the faculties of the soul enlarged, and susceptible of greater happiness or misery, in the future state?
A. They are vastly enlarged and strengthened; and hereby the soul will be prepared for greater joys
Q. 7. What is the condition and prospect of those who are in a separate state?
A. They are in a state of enjoyment or suffering, according to their character, and they look forward to the general resurrection, the general judgment, and the eternal state of retribution.
Resurrection. Q. 1. What is meant by the resurrection of man?
À. The raising to life, from the dead, of the bodies of mankind, incorruptible, and the re-uniting of them to their souls.
Q. 2. How does it appear that there will be such a resurrection ?
A. In answer to this question, let it be observed, 1. This doctrine, though above reason, is not contrary to it, and therefore not incredible: 2. There are examples of resurrection in insects, vegetables, and trees, from year to year. These teach the possibility, and more than the possibility, of man's resurrection: 3. The Bible most explicitly declares the doctrine of the general resurrection: this doctrine is corroborated by the fact, that Enoch and Elijah were, both soul and body, translated to heaven; that Jairus' daughter, the widow's son at Nain, and Lazarus, were raised; that many dead bodies were literally raised at Christ's crucifixion; and that Christ himself has arisen from the dead: 5. It should be added and remembered, that Christ arose as a public Pers the Representative and Forerunner of all saints. His resurrection was a pledge and assurance of theirs. (a)
Q. 3. Will the same body be raised that is deposited in the earth?
(a) Job xix. 26, 27. And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God; whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.- John v. 28, 29. Marvel not at this; for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth, they that have done good unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation.--Acts xxiv. 15. And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the ust and unjust. -1 Cor. xv. 21, 22. For since by inan came death, by'man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. Heb. xi. 5. By faith Enoch was translated, that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him; for before his translation, he had this testimony, that he pleased God.--2 Kings ii. 11. And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind'into heaven - Luke viii. 54, 55. And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise. And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway; and he commanded to give her meat.--Luke vii. 14, 15. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And be that was dead sat up, and began to speak.- John xi. 43, 44. And when he had thus spoken,
he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth bound hand and foot with grave clothes; and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.—Matt. xxvii. 52. And the graves were opened ; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose.—Mait. xxviii. 6. He is not here; for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
A. We have reason to believe that all which is essential to constitute the same body will be raised. (6)
Q. 4. Is it possible that the dead should be raised ?
A. Certainly it is. Infinite power can do There is no incapacity in a dead body to be raised. Death does not annihilate, but only reduces the body to its first principles or elements. It cannot be more difficult to raise the dead, than to create at first. (c)
2.5. When will the dead be raised ?
A. At the end of the world—the time of general judgment. Then the bodies of all those who have deceased will be raised, and the bodies of all those who are alive will be changed, (which will be equivalent to a resurrection,) as were the bodies of Enoch and Elijah at their translation. And the raised bodies of both the righteous and the wicked will be united to the souls with which they were connected in this
(b) 1 Cor. xv. 35–44. But some man will say, How are the dead raised up; and with what body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou sowest, is not quickened, except it die. And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain. But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. All flesh is not the same flesh; but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and anoiner glory of the stars; for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
(c) Acts xxvi. 8. Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead ?
(d) 1 Ï'hess. iv. 15–17. For this we say unto you, by the word of the Lord; that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds