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voice was stifled in the cold stream, some of them held up their hands in token of their yet conscious being. If the soul of man were only a breath, if life were only a spark which expires when the heart ceases to beat, would there not have been an experience of the waning flame? would there not have been at least one testimony, in six thousand years, among the thousands of millions of dying men, going to show a conscious nearness to oblivion? But there is not one such, not one. On the contrary, millions have in their last breath testified to future conscious existence, while absent from the body.
If the soul-sleeping doctrine be true, then the Creator put it in the hearts of his creatures, in the most solemn hour of their existence, to testify to a falsehood. Men who would disdain a lie, are made to speak an unconscions one in the hour of deathmen filled with the Holy Ghost. Can this be so? Is it possible that the good men of all ages--men whom God has used to effect mighty reformations in the earth, testified to a le in the hour of death ? Was Stephen mistaken when he “looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God”; and a little later addressed his Savior thus: "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit''? Was the apostle Paul mistaken when he said, “We know” that when this earthly house, this mortal body, dissolves in death we shall “depart and be with Christ” — be “absent from the body, and present with the Lord'! If all these
witnesses were mistaken, and man does not have any existence after death, then we have a shadow more enduring than the substance, for Stephen, Paul, Luther, Wesley, and other great moral natures, have, in their names and histories, an earthly immortality, while they themselves, going into eternity, conscious to the last, and expecting to live forever, have ceased to be. In a universe of harmony there can not be such discord; in a world of truth there can not be such contradiction. Enoch was translated; "for God took him.” Moses lies down upon the mountainside, and dies. God himself buried the dust. Elijah steps into a chariot of fire, and by a whirlwind is carried to the skies. Almost a thousand years after, Jesus with three of his disciples goes to a mountaintop, where he is transfigured before them. Instantly there appear Moses and Elias talking with him. These men were still living. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had long since died, and their bodies were mouldering in the dust; but Got said, “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, not the God of the dead, but of the living." Amen, and amen. DEPARTED SPIRITS.*
The preceding chapters of this book present clear and unmistakable evidence of the position that nian does not at death pass into unconscious slumber and remain so until the resurrection; and the Scriptures uniformly point to Christ's second coming, the day of resurrection and general judgment, as the time when final rewards and punishments will be meted out. It is then that the wicked will be cast into the lake of fire, be sentenced to that everlasting punishment which was prepared for the devil and his angels. It is then that the righteous will hear the joyful words of welcome, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world,” and enter their place and state of final reward.
No fact of Holy Scripture stands out with greater clearness than this. Over and over again it is stated in the most positive terms. “The Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels : and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” Mat. 16:27. “Christ shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing.” 2 Tim. 4:1. And the Revelator informs us that “the time of the dead, that they should be judged,” is the time when God will “give reward unto his servants the prophets, and to the saints, and to them that fear his name, small and great." Rev. 11:18. Again, the Lord himself announces: “Behold, I come quickly: and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Rev. 22:12. 2 Thess. 1: 7-10 shows most positively that both the reward of the righteous and the punishment of the wicked will be “when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels." Peter declares that God has reserved the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.” 2 Pet. 2:9. Christ affirms that “when the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations : and he shall separate them one from another." To one class he will say, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels’’; to the other class he will say, "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Mat. 25.
* This chapter was written by F. G. Smith.
What, then, is the state of man between death and the resurrection? This is an important subject and one upon which we naturally desire information. I might refer to the various ideas held by the Greeks and the Romans concerning the state and condition of the dead, but these conceptions are unauthoritative, hence may be dismissed from our consideration. Since this subject relates to things which lie beyond the realm of our present surroundings, it is evident that satisfactory light can be given by divine revelation alone.
In the Bible the abode of man between death and the resurrection is expressed by the Hebrew word Sheol or by its equivalent, the Greek word Hades. The literal meaning of Hades is the unseen world, or that which is in darkness. According to the doctrine held by the Jews, Sheol, or Hades, is a vast place in which the souls of the dead exist in a separate state until the resurrection of their bodies. This region, the Jews supposed, is divided into two parts, the upper division-Paradise-being the abode of the righteous, and the lower division-Tartarus—the place where the souls of the wicked are detained. This is also the view held almost uniformly by the early church fathers.
Since Hades literally signifies the unseen world, the word is sometimes used in a broad sense, embracing everything that lies immediately beyond death itself; hence is applied both to the grave, the receptacle of the body, and to the abode of the soul beyond the grave. Sheol is thus applied to the grave in Gen. 42:38; 1 Sam. 2:6; 1 Kings 2:6; Job 17: 13,
But the regular Hebrew word for grave is geber, while the regular Greek word is mneemion.
In the strict sense Sheol, or Hades, applies to the abode of the soul after death, rather than to the place of the body, and in the following texts Sheol is thus applied : Gen. 37:35; Deut. 32:22; Psa. 16: 10; 49: 15; 86:13; Prov. 7:27; 9:18; 23: 14; Isa. 5:14; 14:9, 15; 28: 15, 18; Ezek. 31:16, 17; 32: 21.
In the following New Testament texts Hades can