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does not import that of the Man: and if not, the Soul exists in a State of Separation from the Body after Death. We may refer the Reader indeed to what we have advanced in another f Place relative to this Subject, which will likewise fall under Notice hereafter s, when we come to consider the Opinion of the ancient Jews in regard to a future State.—But it seems, the Notion of the separate Existence of the Soul is no more a Doctrine of the New Testament, than it is of the Old. I shall not inquire how far the Fcrce of the Texts (fee Phil. i. 23. 2 Cor. v. 8.) produced by Mr. Steffe in behalf of this Doctrine, is eluded by the Interpretation of the Remarker, as we are, I presume, by no means in want of Evidence upon this Occasion; though I can't help observing, by the way, that the first Text from the Epistle to the Philippians has not it's full Weight allowed it even by Mr. Steffe himself. For though the Word oivoChVGCLi (to the Import of which our Translation, to depart, is utterly inadequate) be a Term " too general "to determine the Matter," yet the Apostle in this Place not only expresses a Desire to depart, to be unloosed, or disjoined from the Body, as our Author renders it, but likewise to be with Christ: Now if the former Expression " is an improper "Way of speaking, upon the Supposition that the ** Soul jleeps with the Body in the Grave," much
s SeeCh. i. Sect. i. * See next Treatise.
K 2 more, more so, I apprehend, is the latter.—But to proceed. That Man is a Being compounded of
two diJlinB Principles, Body, and Soul, or Spirit, innumerable Passages in the New Testament ascertain. We will just point to a few select ones. Who knoweth the Things of a Man save the Spirit of a Man which is in him? (1 Cor. ii. 11.) Glorify God in your Body, and in your Spirit; (i Cor. vi. 20.) The Grace of our Lord Jesus Chrijl be with your Spirit; (Gal. vi. 18.) I pray God your whole Spirit, and Soul, and Body, be preserved blameless, &c. (1 Thess. v. 23.) For as the Body without the Spirit is dead, &c. (Jam. ii. 26.) From which Places it is demonstrable, that although the Word Spirit, as well as it's Original, Ilvsofta, sometimes denotes no more than simply, Breath, (as it is indeed translated in the Margin of the last quoted Text) yet it is equivalent to the Term Soul, Yvx/iy and implies a Principle of Intelligence, Operation, and Existence: And if so, the Cessation of Breath does not import the Extinction of Spirit. But if it does not import the Extinction of Spirit, Co neither does it it's Insensibility; for sure a jleeping Soul, or an inactive Intelligence, if it is not contradictory, is at least unintelligible Language.—When our Saviour cried with a loud Voice upon the Cross, Father, into thy Hands I commend my Spirit, we perfectly know in what Sense to understand him. And when St. Stephen called
upon upon God, and said, Lord Jesus, receive my Spirit; (where, by the way, we may note that the God he called upon was the Lord Jesus) he must undoubtedly mean more by so parallel an Expression than barely to resign his Breath into his Hands who
gave it. Lastly, to urge only one Argument
more, if we consider the Doctrine of the Author of the Epistle to the Hebrews in respect of the Communion of Saints, we cannot but conclude, that whatever Limitations certain Expressions must be supposed to admit, the Spirits of good Men not only exist, but are in actual Bliss, in the intermediate State between Death and the Resurrection. r or thus fays the sacred Writer, Te are come unto Mount Sion, and unto the City of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable Company of Angels, to the general Assembly and Church of the Firs-born, which are written in Heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the Spirits of just Men made perfect, &c. (Heb. xii. 22. &c.)
What may be the real Designs of such Notions as have been here briefly considered, I pretend not to fay; but cannot help taking Notice of one Observation made in Favour of this last, viz. that it effectually demolishes the Romijh Doctrine of a Purgatory, which the Supposition of an active intermediate State acknowledges to be pojjible. Upon which Remark I will venture
to ask, whether this is not confuting one Error by another? a smaller by a greater? Or again, whether, when a true Believer utterly decries and explodes the Use of Reason in Matters of Religion, these Writers will justify him in so doing, because he thereby wrenches the Weapon out of the Hand of Infidelity?
We are farther told, that the common Doctrine serves likewise the Purpose " ofh the self-sufficient *( Deist, whose high Claim to an inherent Principle "of Immortality, set up for him by some misjudge *c ing Christians to their own Loss, is shewn" by the contrary Hypothesis to be " as vain and groundless as that of the self-interested Papist"—To what Purposes will not Perverseness, Malice, and Pride, prostitute the Judgment and the Understanding r The Doctrine of the Christian Church is the Doctrine of some misjudging Christians I Does this deserve an Answer? Let it take one however in the few following Questions.—Does the received Doctrine, by supposing an inherent Principle of Immortality in the human Soul, suppose a natural or original Claim to Immortality? Does it hold, that we have so '• jlriSlly and truly Life in ourselves' that it is absolutely inseparable from us? Does it not teach that c< we owe it whollv to the
. h See Monthly Review for June, 1757.
the the free Gift of God by Jesus Christ," and that the spiritual as well as the animal Life is resumable by him that gave it? Nay, even supposing- a natural, inherent, constitutional Claim to Immortality, does such a Claim convey a 'Title to Salvation, or everlasting Happiness? And if not, is any Consolation derivable to the Deijl, or any one else, from this Claim to Immortality? Have the Angels which kept not their first Estate, but left their own Habitation, and are reserved in everlasting Chains under Darkness, unto the Judgment of the great Day, (Jude v. 6.) have these, I say, any Cause to boast, or rejoice in the Perpetuity of their Existence? In a Word, are not the Properties of Nature one Thing, and the Benefits of the Gospel another? And if so, how are Christians injuredt or Deists relieved, by the Doctrine of the Soul's Immortality?
But again, other Difficulties have been started in relation to the separate Allotments assigned by the Scriptures to the Righteous, and to the Wicked, in a future State; and though none object to the System as far as it promises eternal Happiness to the one, yet they are apt to look upon the manifold Denunciations of eternal Punishment to the other as hard Sayings.