By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: An Essay on the Scriptural Doctrine of Immortality
Author: Challis, James, 1803-1882
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "An Essay on the Scriptural Doctrine of Immortality" ***









  _Anagke gar moi epikeitai ouai gar moi estin, ean me euaggelzûmai
      --1 Cor. ix. 16


London, Oxford, and Cambridge



London . . . . . . _Waterloo Place_

Oxford . . . . . . _Magdalen Street_

Cambridge  . . . . _Trinity Street_

[_All rights reserved_]





Considering that under the existing conditions of humanity, disease,
and decay, and death abound on every side, it is surprising that the
word "immortality" obtained a place in systems of philosophy, the
authors of which must be supposed to have been unacquainted with divine
revelation.  It is not surprising that in the absence of such aid the
belief of immortality should not have been firmly held, or that by some
philosophers it should have been expressly disavowed.  Even in the
Canonical Scriptures, the words "immortal" and "immortality" occur only
in the Epistles of the Apostle Paul, and consequently not till "life
and immortality had been brought to light through the Gospel."  It is a
remarkable circumstance that these words are met with more frequently
in the Apocryphal Books, 2 Esdras, Wisdom of Solomon, and
Ecclesiasticus, than in the Canonical Scriptures.  The {2} explanation
of the apparent silence of the Scriptures, especially those of the Old
Testament, on so essential a doctrine, will, I think, be found to be
given by the course of argument adopted in this essay.

It may, further, be noticed that, according to philosophical dogma not
derived from the teaching of Scripture, immortality is regarded as a
principle, or innate quality, in virtue of which the human soul is
exempt from the experience of death or annihilation.  On this account
Greek and Roman philosophers speak of "the immortality of _the soul_,"
and even in the present day the same terms are used, the soul being
regarded as _per se_ immortal.  But neither in the Scriptures, nor in
the Apocrypha, is "immortality" qualified by the adjunct "of the soul;"
the reason for which may be that since death, as far as our senses
inform us, is an _objective_ reality, the writers judged that mortality
and freedom from mortality could only be predicated of _body_.  It
must, however, be taken into account that according to the doctrine of
Scripture there is "a spiritual body" as well as "a natural body," so
that while the natural body is, as we know, subject to the law of
death, it may be true that the spiritual body is capable of
immortality.  This point will be farther discussed in the course of the

To account for the absence of any direct announcement of man's
immortality in the Old Testament, and for its being sparingly mentioned
in the New {3} Testament, the following argument seems legitimate and
sufficient.  These Scriptures, as already intimated, give no
countenance to the idea that the soul of man possesses any innate
principle of immortality; on the contrary, they reveal immortality by
revealing _the means_ by which the spirit of man is _made_ immortal.
As, according to natural science, the external world, both the animate
part and the inanimate, has become such as we now perceive it to be by
processes of generation and development, so there is reason from
Scripture to say that a spiritual world is being created in an
analogous manner, and that to this creation all other creations are
subordinate and contributory.  Moreover, we, the subjects of this
creation, are so constituted that we are conscious of, and can
ourselves take cognizance of, the means by which it is effected.  These
considerations may be applied to account for the mode in which
immortality is treated of in the Bible.  It concerns us, above all
things, to discern and feel the operations whereby our spirits are
formed both intellectually and morally for an immortal existence; and,
accordingly, Scripture is full of instruction, addressed both to the
understanding and the heart, concerning those means.  Thus, although
the final effect is not directly named till the scheme of the spiritual
creation is completely unfolded, it is yet true that the whole of the
Scriptures from beginning to end has relation to man's immortality.


Not only did the philosophy of Greece and Rome fail to substantiate the
reality of an immortal existence; other philosophical systems, as well
the mystical conceptions of Eastern nations, as the metaphysical
speculations of modern Europe, have equally failed to arrive at
certainty respecting this verity.  Now, it will be found, I think, to
be established by the argument of this essay, that in all these
instances the cause of failure is the same.  The doctrine cannot, in
fact, be understood and believed without an understanding of the means
by which the immortal spirit is _formed_, and the ascertainment of
those means is beyond the power of unaided human intelligence.
Although the evidences of an immortal destiny may be in us and around
us, they cannot be discerned apart from enlightenment by a divine
revelation as to the purpose and end of the whole creation.

The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments profess to be a revelation
of the mind and will of the Creator of all things.  If they are really
such, they must be capable of giving the information which, as said
above, is necessary for certifying the doctrine of man's immortality.
I shall, therefore, with express reference to the title of the essay,
first make the _hypothesis_ that the Scriptures are indeed a revelation
from God, written to reveal His will and His acts, and on this ground I
shall proceed to inquire what information can be derived from them
respecting the {5} _creation_ of the spirit of man for an immortal
destiny.  The character of the information obtained may possibly
suffice to establish both the truth of the hypothesis and the certainty
of the doctrine of immortality.

Before commencing the argument, it will be well to state on what
principles, and according to what rules, Scripture will be cited for
conducting it.  It will be supposed that the Holy Scriptures, as a
whole, consist of words of God written for our sakes; and although they
were written by human authors, under diverse circumstances, and in
various ages, the several parts are still to be regarded as having
virtually but _one author_, the Holy Spirit, and as constituting on
that account a consistent whole.  This view is almost necessitated by
the noticeable circumstance that very little information is given in
the Scriptures themselves respecting the authors of the writings, or
the time and place of their composition.  This is true, for instance,
of such cardinal books as the four Gospels.  Respecting these matters
enough is said to show that human hands have been employed to write the
books of Scripture, while so much has been left unsaid that we must
infer that this kind of information is of little moment by reason of
the _internal_ evidence the Scriptures contain of their divine
authorship.  Such evidence, it seems to me, is especially given by the
fact that the Scriptures present a faithful _transcript_ of {6} the
world as it has been and is, in respect to the calamities, wars, and
revolutions that have befallen nations, and those weaknesses and
wickednesses of individuals and peoples, the accounts of which are so
great a stumbling-block to the "unstable and the unlearned."  These
very accounts, it is possible, may be intended to tell us, if rightly
inquired into, why these things are so, why there is evil in the world,
and what shall be the end of it.  The world has existed, it is
believed, nearly six thousand years, and at this day we see that many
suffer from sorrow and pain, labour and poverty are the lot of a very
large proportion of the populations, calamities by fire and water are
frequent, plague and pestilence still visit the earth, cruelty and
murders are rife, and so far from there being an end of wars, never
before have men fabricated such potent implements for killing each
other.  Such facts as these constitute, after all, the difficulties
which beset humanity, and it may be presumed that, with the intent of
accounting for their existence, they are put on record in the word of
God.  On the broad principle that the Author of a world like this will
have vouchsafed reasons for its being such as it is, I accept the
Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the word of God written for
this very purpose, and instead of cavilling, as some do, at
difficulties which probably have no other foundation than their own
ignorance, it will be my {7} endeavour to make use of Scripture for
explaining the perplexities and difficulties which actually surround
the facts of human experience.  The discussion of the particular
question I have taken in hand will give occasion for employing the
Scriptures in this manner, and in doing so I shall quote from all parts
indiscriminately, regarding the whole as sufficiently authoritative and
trustworthy for the purposes of the argument.

The above-mentioned general purpose the Scriptures may be supposed to
be adequate to fulfil, whether as expressed in the Hebrew tongue, or in
that of the Septuagint, or as translated in the English version,
notwithstanding that, as must be admitted, faults of transcription, or
translation, or interpretation have given rise to many verbal errors.
But the difficulties produced by these imperfections are of slight
importance in comparison with the great difficulty of discovering how
and on what principles to interpret the Scriptures so as to derive from
them the particular doctrines they are designed to teach.  Amid the
great diversity of views that exists relative to modes of
interpretation, it may safely be maintained that the foremost and chief
requisite for making true deductions from the Scriptures is to have
_confidence_ in them as being depositions of Divine wisdom.  Men of
science, in their endeavours to discover the secrets of Nature, are
baffled again and again, and yet by little and {8} little they obtain
accessions to knowledge just because they never doubt but that Nature,
if rightly interrogated, will give them true answers.  It seems,
therefore, reasonable to expect that the words of God, handled on
principles analogous to those which have been successfully applied in
acquiring knowledge of His works, might be found capable of answering
the hard questions which are now, more, perhaps, than in past times,
agitating men's minds.  This philosophy, having a surer basis than that
of any mere human intellectual system, might be expected to succeed
where these have failed.  The bearing of these remarks on the main
subject of the essay will be seen as we go on.

Commencing now, after the foregoing preliminaries, the general
argument, I remark, in the first place, that since, as matter of fact,
all men die, they cannot partake of immortality unless they are
restored to life after death.  We have, therefore, to inquire both as
to what the Scriptures say concerning _death_, and what they reveal
concerning _resurrection_.  Again, it may be taken for granted that as
in the natural world, so in the spiritual world, the Creator of all
things effects His purposes by operating according to _laws_.  On this
principle St. Paul in Rom. viii. 2 speaks of "the law of sin and
death," meaning that sin and death are invariably related to each other
as antecedent and consequent.  By an irrevocable law {9} death is
ordained to be "the wages of sin" (Rom. vi. 23).  Of ourselves we can
judge that it does not consist with the power and wisdom of an
omnipotent and omniscient Creator that the sinful should live for ever.
But if this be so, it must evidently be true also that immortality,
being exemption from death, is the _consequence_ of freedom from sin,
that is, of perfect righteousness.  This is as necessary a law as the

Hence the inquiry respecting the means by which man is made immortal
resolves itself into inquiring by what means he is made righteous; and,
as the first step in this inquiry, we have to consider what Scripture
says concerning the entrance of sin and death into the world.  If sin
be defined to be doing what is contrary to the will of God, as
expressed by a command, righteousness, being its opposite, will consist
in acting according to His will.  Hence sin and righteousness both
imply that a revelation of the will of God has been antecedently made,
either directly by a command or law, or by the voice of conscience.  It
is on this principle that St. Paul says, "apart from law sin is dead"
(Rom. vii. 8), and in another place speaks of "the righteousness _of
the law_" being fulfilled (Rom. viii. 4).  Accordingly, when Adam was
placed in the garden of Eden, a _command_ was expressly given him for
trial of his obedience.


The narrative in Scripture of the circumstances under which sin was
first committed is deserving of special consideration on account of the
instruction it conveys.  It states that Eve, knowing that God had
commanded Adam not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and
evil, yet, being deceived by the serpent and enticed by her own
desires, "took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also to her
husband with her, and he did eat" (Gen. iii. 6).  Thus, as St. Paul
writes, "Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the
transgression" (1 Tim. ii. 14).  But both partook of the forbidden
fruit, and by so doing both sinned alike against their Maker, the deed
being sinful, not as considered by itself, but by reason of the
antecedent command, which made it an act of _disobedience_.

If we assume that the account of Eve's temptation is to be taken as
literally true, so that the tempter had actually the form of a serpent
and addressed to her _spoken_ words, these facts will have to be
regarded as altogether _miraculous_.  There are good reasons for
admitting this view, when it is considered, first, that the information
which this portion of Scripture gives equally concerns all of every
age, and in order that it might be intelligible to all, it was
necessary that in the infancy of the world it should be conveyed by
_objective_ representation; and, again, that various instances are met
with in the Bible of analogous {11} teaching of essential doctrine by
means of miracles.  The translation of Enoch, the Deluge, the
destruction of Sodom, the plagues of Egypt and deliverance of Israel,
the giving of the law from Sinai, the passage of Jordan, the ascension
of Elijah, and the resurrection of Christ, are all symbolic miracles,
the interpretations of which have intimate relation to the doctrine of
man's immortality.  This being understood, I shall proceed to discuss
particularly the meaning of the Scriptural account of the beginning of
sin through temptation by the serpent, and on the supposition that the
facts as recorded are real but symbolic, I shall endeavour to deduce
from them their doctrinal signification.

The first question to consider is, Why is the tempting spirit called a
_serpent_?  The Scripture affirms that "the serpent was more subtil
(_phronimôatos_) than any beast of the field" (Gen. iii. 1); and our
Lord, addressing his apostles, said, "Lo, I send you as sheep in the
midst of wolves; be ye, therefore, wise (_phronimoi_) as serpents, and
harmless as doves."  Yet, as we know, the serpent is not endowed in any
special manner with sagacity or reason.  The fact is, the epithet
"subtil" is applied to the serpent with reference to its form and
movements, which convey the abstract idea of subtlety on the same
principle that the words "tortuous" and "twisting" have an abstract
meaning when we speak of "tortuous policy," {12} or "twisting the
meaning of a sentence."  Now this subtle entity--this serpent--although
presented to Eve in bodily form, was not the less that spirit of evil,
the personal existence of which, on the hypothesis that the Scriptures
are true, as well as its influence on human minds, must be admitted.
Accordingly our first parents were tempted by what St. Paul calls "the
wiles (_tas methodeias_) of the devil" (Eph. vi. 11).

Again, the statement in Gen. iii. 6, that "when the woman saw that the
tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a
tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and
did eat," is in accordance with what St. John teaches as to "the lust
of the flesh," "the lust of the eyes," and "the pride of life," being
opposed to "doing the will of God" (1 John ii. 16, 17).  Also, as we
have seen, Adam was associated with a partner, who, having been
overcome, in consequence of such desires, by the wiles of Satan,
committed sin, and then induced her husband to do the same.  Thus,
since the world at that time consisted of these two individuals, it is
an obvious inference, as well as one of great significance, that Adam
was tempted just as all his offspring are--that is, by the world, the
flesh, and the devil--and, as all his offspring do, yielded to the

Although Adam was created in the image of his Maker in respect to being
endowed with powers of {13} understanding and reasoning, and although
he was made capable of learning and doing righteousness, he was not
originally _made righteous_, forasmuch as he sinned: but those whom God
makes righteous sin no more, because all the works of God are perfect.
"The first man Adam was made a living soul," the breath of life being
breathed into his nostrils (Gen. ii. 7).  He thus partook of natural
life, but not of spiritual life.  He was, as St. Paul says, "of the
earth, earthy," and all we who are descended from him "bear the image
of the earthy" (1 Cor. xv. 47, 49).  The mind (_to phronêma_) of this
natural man is at "enmity with God," and "neither is, nor can be,
subject to the law of God" (Rom. viii. 7).  This accounts for our
perceiving in children from their very infancy a spirit of
disobedience, this spirit being derived through natural descent from
that which our first parents exhibited in the infancy of the world.
The author of the Apocryphal Book, 2 Esdras, writes: "The first man
Adam, bearing a wicked heart, transgressed, and was overcome; and so be
all they that are born of him" (iii. 21).  In the Wisdom of Solomon
this passage occurs: "Wisdom preserved the first formed father of the
world, that was created alone, and brought him out of his fall" (x. 1).
But it is to be remarked that the word here translated "fall" is
_paraptôma_, the same word that St. Paul uses in Rom. iv. 25 and v. 16,
to designate "_our_ transgressions." {14} Cruden in his Concordance
gives under the word "fall" an elaborate statement of received views
respecting "the fall of man," although that word, as the Concordance
shows, does not once occur in the Canonical Scriptures in any relation
to the sin of Adam.

It is very noteworthy that after the account of Adam's sin in Genesis,
no express mention is made of it in subsequent Canonical Books, till we
come to the fifth chapter of St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans, where
the introduction of sin into the world by _one man_ is prominently
adduced in an argumentative passage which appears to me to have been
much misunderstood.[1]  The reason that a fact which is so essential an
element in theological systems is so little adverted to in the
Scriptures, I consider to be, that these systems have hitherto not
recognized an analogy which may be presumed to exist between God's
natural creation and His spiritual creation.  From what is stated in
Genesis i. and ii. there is reason to say that the natural creation was
at its beginning without form, and dark, and unfurnished, and that by
the power of the Creator, operating, we may presume, according to laws,
it was brought into the state of order, light, and adornment (_kosmos_)
which we now behold.  Hence, arguing from analogy, we {15} might infer
that the spiritual creation has its beginning in the reign of sin and
death, and that by the power of the Spirit of God, operating according
to law on our spirits, it has its consummation in the establishment of
righteousness and life.

This analogical inference suffices, I think, to explain why, after the
brief initial account of the entrance of sin and death into the world,
the purport of the whole of Scripture is to record the subsequent
prevalence of sin, and to reveal by what means grace abounded in the
gift of righteousness, and how it abounded all the more because the law
of sin and death "passed" from one man "upon all men" (Rom. v. 12).
The apostle Paul argues that whereas "_death_ reigned through one,
_much rather_ shall they who receive the abundance of grace and of the
gift of righteousness reign in _life_ through one Jesus Christ" (Rom.
v. 17); and in accordance with this doctrine he adds (v. 20), "The law
entered by the way (_pareisêlen_) _in order that_ the offence might
abound, but where sin abounded grace did much more abound."  It seems
impossible to draw from such sentences as these any other inference
than that, according to the scheme of the spiritual creation, the reign
of sin and death is the necessary antecedent of the evolution of life
from righteousness.

The apostle sums up his argument by saying (v. 19), "For as by the
disobedience of one man the many were made sinners, so also by the
obedience {16} of one shall the many be made righteous" (_dikaioi
katastatêsontai oi polloi_).  It is evident that "the many" here
includes all that are born in the world, in contradistinction to "the
one," Adam, who was created, and from whom all have descended by
natural generation.  Now, considering that righteousness and life, as
necessarily as their opposites sin and death, are related to each other
by law as antecedent and consequent, the above revelation that "all
will be made righteous" is as direct an assertion of the immortality of
all men as could possibly be made.  It is, therefore, of the greatest
moment, as regards our argument, to ascertain on what grounds we are
told that all will eventually be "made righteous" through the obedience
of Jesus Christ, and what is the exact meaning of this doctrine.  The
purpose of this essay will be completely fulfilled if it should be
shown that these questions admit of being satisfactorily answered.  But
before attempting to do this, it is necessary to have a precise
understanding of the previous assertion that through Adam's
disobedience "the many were made sinners."  This preliminary inquiry I
now proceed to enter upon.

If we adopt the view expressed in a passage already quoted (2 Esdras
iii. 21), we shall, in effect, admit that the transgression of Adam was
_the consequence_ of his "bearing a wicked heart," and that all who are
born of him sin because by _natural generation_ they {17} have received
from him the same wicked heart.  According to this view it must be
supposed that "the wicked heart" is in respect to goodness a _tabula
rasa_, and that till goodness be formed in it, it is led by natural
desires to do evil.  Certainly the moral phenomena exhibited by very
young children accord with this supposition; and it may reasonably be
presumed that St. Paul, in giving to the Romans, to whom he had not
personally preached, a synoptical statement of the doctrines he was
accustomed to teach, did not set before them the Scriptural account of
the introduction and prevalence of sin in any manner not intelligible
to ordinary minds from common experience.

What then are we to understand by the assertion that "through the
disobedience of one man the many were made sinners"?  In answer to this
question it is to be said that the word _parakoê_ may be taken in this
passage to signify "disobedience" abstractedly, and not a special act
of disobedience, because _upakoê_ in the next clause does not require
to be taken in a specific sense, but rather as referring to that holy
spirit which was in Jesus Christ, in virtue of which his will was
always in subjection to the will of his heavenly Father, and he became
"obedient unto death."  According to this interpretation,
"disobedience" is here put for that wickedness of heart the antecedent
existence of which the sin of Adam gave {18} evidence of, and which, by
being transmitted from father to son through natural generation, has
made all men sinners, to the end that all may be eventually made
righteous by spiritual generation.

It is true that the sin of Adam, being the first violation of a command
received from God, first made disobedience an objective reality, and
that thus sin entered into the world.  But although _actual_
transgression had this beginning, it does not follow that the
_proneness_ of the heart of man to transgress was contingent on Adam's
sin, or thereby came into existence.  On the other hand, it will
probably be urged that to ascribe its existence to any other cause is
"to make God the author of sin."  In answer to this objection it may be
said that if it were valid as regards God's moral essence, one might
with as good reason urge that it was inconsistent with His power and
intelligence that the natural creation should have its beginning in
darkness and chaos.  However, whether or not this view be accepted, I
shall assume that the reality of the natural wickedness of the human
heart is admitted, and consequently the remainder of the argument,
inasmuch as it has reference to the means by which the wicked heart is
subdued and made righteous, will in either case be the same.

The relation of "one" to "many," considered only as a natural fact, is
so peculiar and essential an {19} element in the past history and
progressive development of the human race, that it might well be
supposed to be specially significant with respect to their future
destiny; and, in fact, St. Paul has taught us to draw the reasonable
inference that whereas through the first Adam the many, by a law from
which they cannot rid themselves, have been made sinners, _à fortiori_
through a "second Adam" the many will be made righteous.  The course of
our argument, consequently, now demands an inquiry as to the means by
which the many will be made (_katastathêsontai_) righteous through the
obedience of Jesus Christ.  The future tense is particularly to be

As soon as it was shown by the sin of Adam that the natural man is
incapable of obedience to the will of God, a preordained dispensation
was begun, whereby the natural man is converted into the spiritual man
and made fit for immortality.  This dispensation was introduced by a
_promise_, the terms of which could be understood by Adam and Eve after
they had learned that the spirit of evil (in whom is "the power of
death") through their disobedience brought death into the world.  The
promise was given in the words "he (_autos_, _Sept._) shall bruise thy
head, and thou shalt bruise his heel" (Gen. iii. 15).  Hebrew
commentators have, I think, rightly taken this passage in the sense--he
("the seed of the woman") shall bruise thee at thy _ending_, and thou
shalt bruise him at his {20} _beginning_.  The promise, accordingly,
signifies that the power of Satan would prevail _at first_, and for a
time, even to putting to death the Son of God (Luke xxii. 53), but that
_in the end_ that power would by the Son of God be overcome (Luke x.
18).  And since with the victory over the spirit of evil an end is put
to evil itself, the promise is, in effect, that Adam and his race shall
eventually be exempt from death and evil, and partake of a happy

But in the very next sentence _conditions_ are annexed (Gen. iii.
16-19).  Because of the imperfection of the natural man, and his
opposition, through the subtlety of Satan and the desires of the flesh,
to the will of his Maker, labour and sorrow, pain and _death_, were
ordained to be his lot, in order that he may _thereby_ be made meet to
partake of the promise.  It is by reason of these conditions that the
promise becomes, in effect, a _covenant_, in which of necessity two
parties are concerned: God on His part promises happiness and
immortality, but to be received only on the above-stated conditions;
and man's part is to submit to the conditions, as being ordered by a
"faithful Creator," and to look in faith for the fulfilment of the
promise.  Here, then, are all the essentials of a covenant, excepting
_surety_ for its fulfilment, which on acknowledged principles of
justice might be asked for by man, seeing that he has to satisfy the
conditions before he enjoys the benefit.  Such security is amply {21}
given by God, as will be shown in the sequel of the argument.  In
short, this covenant admits of being described in terms exactly suited
to human covenants, because the providence of God has so ordered these,
that, together with other purposes, they answer this, the principal
one, of making intelligible the divine covenant.  This same covenant
might with more exactness be called a _will_, or _testament_, because
from its very conditions the benefit it confers cannot be received till
after _death_ (see Heb. ix. 16, 17).  Also, because this covenanted
promise runs through the whole of the Scriptures, they have been
appropriately named the Scriptures of the Old Testament and of the New
Testament, not, however, as signifying that the Old Testament is
superseded by the New, but that it reveals an earlier stage of
development of the same covenant.

The character and purpose of this covenant began to be unfolded at the
threshold of the world's history, on the occasion of offerings being
brought to God by Cain and Abel.  Abel's offering consisted of "the
firstlings of his flock and the fat thereof," and was, therefore,
proper for expressing, by visible tokens, the character of the covenant
in three essential particulars: first, that it is a covenant of _life_,
the animals chosen affording _food_, and that of the choicest kind, for
supporting life; secondly, that the covenanted life is entered upon
after death, the animals being _slain_ {22} for food; thirdly, that
pain and death, although, according to law, consequent upon sin, were
ordained, not alone for the judicial punishment of sin, the animals
that were slain being "_harmless_," but for rendering the spirit of man
meet to partake of the future life.  Abel was himself in his death the
first witness (_martus_) to this truth, and by the same means many
chosen servants of God have been "purified and made white" (Dan. xii.
10).  The offering of Cain was also proper for food, but as consisting
of "fruits of the ground," it was not, like Abel's, susceptible of any
meaning relative to the covenant.  Grace was given to Abel to select an
offering which, as being significant of the covenant, was accepted by
God; but the same grace was not given to Cain.  "The Lord had respect
to Abel and to his offering: but to Cain and to his offering He had not

The narrative goes on to say that because the Lord had not the same
respect to Cain's offering as to Abel's, Cain was "very wroth, and his
countenance fell," and that on this account he was rebuked.  It should
be noticed that the terms of the rebuke have no reference to the choice
of offering, but to "doing well," implying that Cain's conduct was not
"righteous" like that of Abel.  To quiet his troubled spirit, he is
told that it is God's pleasure that he should stand towards his brother
in the relation of protector and ruler.  Cain repudiated this relation
{23} and slew his brother, acting thus as the unrighteous world, of
whom he may be regarded as the representative, have always acted
towards God's elect, whom Abel typified.  These remarks will afterwards
be seen to bear on the general argument.

The distinction which God made between the offerings of Cain and Abel,
and His express approval of Abel's offering, might serve to make known,
at the time and in succeeding generations, the purport of the promise
made originally to Adam, and the ordained conditions of its fulfilment.
In fact, the special acceptance by God of Abel's offering may be looked
upon as the primary institution of _sacrifice_.  The researches of men
of learning have abundantly shown that the sacrificing of animals was a
very ancient and wide-spread religious practice, but have left
altogether unexplained how it _originated_, and whence arose the custom
of ratifying a covenant between man and man by _killing_ animals; for
what reason also the slaying of _innocuous_ and _helpless_ victims came
to be the principal act of religious worship among the Jews, and why it
was thought among the Gentiles that such sacrifices _pleased_ the gods.
These questions do not appear to admit of answers apart from
information derived from Scripture.  The answers will, I think, be
found to be given by what, in reliance on such aid, has been already
said, and by what remains to be said, {24} respecting the covenant of
immortality.  It is quite possible that, as has happened with respect
to other practices, that of sacrificing animals was continued long
after its original signification ceased to be understood.  This may be
affirmed of the ratifying of covenants by killing victims (which no
sane person nowadays would think of doing), and generally of the
sacrifices offered by Gentile nations in honour of their gods, which
eventually became mere matters of _custom_, without any distinct
appreciation of their intrinsic meaning.  In such cases all clue from
tradition or history fails, and the explanation of the sources of the
practices can be looked for only in the records of Scripture.

It might, however, be questioned whether Abel himself, in making his
offering, understood that it had the symbolic meanings ascribed to it
above.  The answer to this inquiry, given on the authority of what is
said in Heb. xi. 4, would seem to be that he did so understand it,
inasmuch as it is stated that he brought an acceptable offering _by
faith_, and, according to Heb. xi. 1, faith may be defined to be an
intelligent belief and hopeful expectation of the covenanted life.
Also, as bearing on this question, it may be mentioned that in passages
of Scripture where Abel is subsequently spoken of (as Matt. xxiii. 85,
Heb. xi. 4, 1 John iii. 12), his _righteousness_ is specially referred
to.  Now, since to do righteousness {25} is to do what is pleasing to
God, and, as we are told in Heb. xi. 6, "without faith it is impossible
to please God," it follows that Abel's righteousness was the
consequence of his faith.  In fact, according to St. Paul's teaching,
faith and righteousness are by law related to each other as antecedent
and consequent (Rom. iii. 27, 28).  Consequently we may here draw an
inference which forms an essential part of the general argument for
immortality.  For since we have admitted, as a necessary and
self-evident principle, that righteousness is the foundation of
immortality, and Scripture presents to us in Abel an instance of the
attainment of righteousness by faith, it follows that _faith is a means
of partaking of immortality_.  This doctrine will be farther treated of
in the sequel; but in the mean time it will be well to explain that I
consider "righteousness" to consist in obedience by word and deed to
the "royal law" according to which, in a perfect social state, every
one would do to others as he would that they should do to him.  This
relation between man and man should, I think, rather be called
_righteousness_ than _morality_, because the latter word is derived
from _mores_ (manners), and does not etymologically denote "rectitude,"
whereas the Greek word for righteousness (_dikaiosunê_) refers to the
deciding of what is morally right by a judge, and the office of a
judge, as respects social relations, is the {26} highest that men are
appointed to discharge towards their fellow men.  It should also be
noticed that the "faith" I am speaking of does not consist in believing
what is not understood, which seems to be a psychological
contradiction, but in believing _in consequence of_ understanding.  "By
faith we _understand_ that the worlds [or ages (_tous aiônas_)] were
framed by the word of God" (Heb. xi. 3).  In short, the faith spoken of
in Scripture is the basis of all intellectual, as well as of all moral
excellence, and is inclusive of what is usually called "talents," or

The same covenant, under different typical circumstances, was renewed,
first with Noah (Gen. ix. 8-17), and afterwards with Abraham (Gen.
xvii. 1-8).  The faith of Noah was exhibited not only in building an
ark in obedience to God's command, but also in sacrificing clean
animals on coming out of the ark.  These sacrifices, being offered
immediately after the world had been destroyed by the baptism of the
Flood, were peculiarly significant of an understanding and acceptance
of the covenant of a life to come.  After the mention made in the
Epistle to the Hebrews of the faith and obedience of which Noah gave
evidence by building the ark, it is said of him that "he thereby became
heir [inheritor] of the _righteousness_ which is according to faith"
(Heb. xi. 7).  Such righteousness, we have already argued, entitles the
possessor of it to immortality.


So also Abraham, when God promised that the land of Canaan should be
given to his seed, "builded an altar to the Lord" (Gen. xii. 7, 8), for
the purpose, it may be presumed, of sacrificial worship, testifying
thus not only belief of the fulfilment of the particular promise, but
faith also in the covenanted future life.  That Abraham's faith, while
he sojourned in Canaan, was directed towards the experience of the
world to come, is plainly declared in Heb. xi. 10, where it is asserted
that "he looked for a city having foundations, whose builder and maker
is God."  It was in consequence of such faith that the gift of
righteousness was reckoned to him as a _favour_, and "he was called the
friend of God" (James ii. 28).  Now, the above-mentioned renewal of the
covenant was made with Abraham, not solely in respect to his being
father of the Hebrew nation, but in respect also to his being typically
father of all that believe of all times and nations (compare Gen. xvii.
1-8, with Rom. iv. 11, 16, 17).  And all this elect seed receive, in
common with their spiritual father, the gift of righteousness through
faith--are saved by faith; so that the doctrine that faith is the means
whereby the elect are made meet for immortality, which was inferred
from the history of Abel, is exemplified in a more comprehensive manner
by what is recorded of Abraham.

We have argued above that the patriarchs Noah {28} and Abraham
testified their belief and acceptance of the covenant of life by
sacrifice.  But in the patriarchal times the only surety for the
fulfilment of the promise was the direct word of God.  With the
exception of what is said of Melchisedek, who typified a High Priest to
come, no mention is made of the mediation of priests till the
priesthood of Aaron was regularly constituted.  From that time the
priest was mediator between God and the people, and in virtue of his
office gave assurance of the fulfilment of the covenant to those who,
by offering clean animals for sacrifice, signified their acceptance of
its conditions.  The priest gave such assurance by mediatorially
receiving the offerings, and representing, by sprinkling the blood of
the slain animals, _the purifying effect of the suffering of death_.
After the ordinances of the law had been instituted, Moses said to the
people, "I have set before you life and death: choose life" (Deut. xxx.
19).  Seeing that no one can escape the death which is the termination
of the present life, this choice between life and death necessarily
refers to the covenanted life, the fulfilment of the conditions of
which secures from death in the world to come.  The author of the
Apocryphal Book 2 Esdras, who was wiser, I think, than the author of
"The Divine Legation of Moses," has shown that he so understood the
passage; for after saying (vii. 48, 44), "The day of doom shall be the
end of this time, and the {29} beginning of the immortality for to
come, wherein corruption is past, intemperance is at an end, infidelity
is cut off, righteousness is grown, and truth is sprung up," he adds
(in _v._ 59) with reference to this description of the life to come,
"This is the life whereof Moses spake unto the people while he lived,
saying, Choose thee life, that thou mayest live."

Sacrifice remained the chief symbol of religious faith up to the time
of that great sacrifice of the Son of God, the acceptance of which by
the Father sealed the covenant of everlasting life, and made all other
sureties sure.  The ground of assurance lies in the fact that Jesus
Christ in his life and death went through all the experience whereby
_our_ spirits are formed for immortality.  "He learned obedience by the
things that he suffered" (Heb. v. 8).  He was made perfect "through
sufferings" (Heb. ii. 10).  "He made him to be sin (_hamartian_;
compare Gal. iii. 13) for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made
the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Cor. v. 21).  Joining with these
passages that remarkable one in which Christ is spoken of as "a priest
who is made according to the power of an indissoluble (_akatalytou_)
life" (Heb. vii. 16), it is evident that our community with him in
suffering, in death, and, as we have reason to hope, in resurrection,
is ample surety to us for the fulfilment of the covenant of
immortality.  For as death is the dissolution of life, indissoluble
{30} life means exemption from death, and is, therefore, identical with

That suffering in the flesh is efficacious, as is argued in the
foregoing doctrine, towards doing away with sin, may be maintained on
the authority both of St. Paul and St. Peter, the former apostle having
said, "He that is dead has been justified from sin" (Rom. vi. 7), and
the other, "He that has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin" (1
Peter iv. 1).  But here it is particularly to be noted that this effect
is not produced upon _all_ who suffer in the flesh.  These apostles are
speaking of such as have faith; and it is only when suffering is
accompanied by a faith which apprehends the covenant of life, and
especially lays hold of the surety for its fulfilment given by the
suffering and death of the Son of God, that it avails to free from sin.
The elect, who through the grace of God have such faith, are drawn by
the perfect love, and the _sympathy_ in its strictest sense, which were
manifested by the obedience unto death of Jesus Christ, to follow the
example of his obedience, and thereby to attain to righteousness.  By
this reasoning it is shown, _but only so far as regards the elect_,
that "the many are made righteous by the obedience of Christ."  It will
in the sequel be argued that the death of Christ has another aspect and
a wider effect.

As there was no more occasion for signifying acceptance of the covenant
by sacrifice after the sacrifice {31} of Jesus Christ, that form of
religious worship came to an end.  Thenceforth faith in the covenant
was to be expressed by means of symbols which pointed to the sacrifice
made once and for all time on the cross.  The ordained symbols are
_bread_ and _wine_, taken in the Lord's Supper.  The minister of the
Gospel has succeeded to the Jewish priest in respect to giving _surety_
officially for the fulfilment of the covenant, and on that account may
with propriety be called a _priest_.  There is no longer an altar,
because the acceptance of the covenant is not, as in the Jewish
worship, indicated by sacrifice, but by partaking of _food_ in the
forms of bread and wine at "the _table_ of the Lord."  The Christian
minister, in delivering these symbols to the worshippers, gives, in
virtue of his mediating office, sureties for the fulfilment of the
covenant of eternal life; the worshipper who partakes of them in faith
receives them as such sureties, and looks for the fulfilment of the
covenant.  No doubt this office should be discharged by a good and wise
minister, who has been regularly appointed thereto; but for the
efficacy of the ordinance the chief requisite is _faith_ on the part of
the recipient--an intelligent faith such as that which has just been

The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper is justly regarded as the central
ordinance of the Christian religion, and, therefore, of necessity has
relation to the means whereby immortality is secured.  In fact, {32} in
each of the four records of its institution given in Scripture, the
word "testament" (_diathêkê_) occurs: in St. Matthew and St. Mark we
have, "This is my blood of the New Testament," and in St. Luke and 1
Cor. xi., "This cup is the New Testament in my blood."  What is the
meaning of "testament" in these passages, and how is the testament
related to the "blood" of Jesus Christ?  It is worthy of notice that
these questions have received no special consideration in the recent
controversies respecting the Lord's Supper, although in order to arrive
at the full signification of that ordinance it is clearly necessary to
be able to give answers to them.  As far as regards the general meaning
of the testament, or covenant, its relation to our immortality, and the
surety for its fulfilment given by the blood (i.e. the death) of Jesus
Christ, enough, I think, has been said in the foregoing arguments; it
remains to inquire, for more complete understanding of the doctrine of
the Sacrament, what relations the symbols _bread_ and _wine_ have to
the _Body_ and _Blood_ of Christ.

"Bread strengthens man's heart," and "wine makes it glad" (Ps. civ.
15).  To strengthen the _heart_ is to produce confidence.  Now, it may
be asserted that confidence and joy, being incorporeal entities, are
the same in essence under whatever external conditions they are
generated.  They are the same whether experienced in consequence of
taking {33} bread and wine, or in consequence of understanding and
accepting the covenant of life made sure by the body and blood of
Christ.  Although physical science is wholly incapable of informing us
_how_ the _corporeal_ elements bread and wine produce in those who
partake of them _feelings_ of strength and gladness (the antecedents
and consequents not being in the same category), we can yet understand
that the Creator of all things might by His immediate will attach to
those substances such effects, not alone for the sake of man's body,
but for the higher purpose of thereby informing his spirit that there
is cause for confidence and joy in the broken body of the Lord, and his
poured-out blood.  This view is justified by the language of St. Paul,
where he says, speaking of the Son of God, that "all things were
created through him and _unto_ him" (_eis auton_, Col. i. 16); from
which doctrine it may be inferred that our Lord, having regard to the
cognizable effects of bread and wine spoken of by the Psalmist, said of
bread, "This is my body," and of wine, "This is my blood," because his
body and blood, when "spiritually discerned," have _the very same

But why did Christ say, "This _is_ my body," "This _is_ my blood"?  The
answer to this question may be given at once by pointing to a rule in
Scriptural teaching, according to which the symbol and the thing
symbolized are expressed in _identical_ terms.  {34} The Bible must
have been read to little purpose by those who have not discovered that
this characteristic pervades all parts both of the Old and the New
Testament.  On this principle, when speaking to the Jews, our Lord made
no distinction between his own body and the visible temple at
Jerusalem, just because his body was the proper habitation of the Holy
Spirit antecedently to, and comprehensively of, the dwelling of the
Spirit in any temple made with hands.  St. Paul also employs like
teaching where he says, "They are not all Israel that are of Israel"
(Rom. ix. 6), the first "Israel" meaning God's elect of all nations and
times, and the other the Jewish people, by whom the elect are typified.
The rationale of this mode of teaching appears to be, that we could not
speak, or even think, of abstract verities, such as that Jesus Christ
is to us the author of life, and strength, and joy, without perceptions
and feelings antecedently derived from external realities; and the more
closely abstractions are viewed by the intervention of their necessary
objective antecedents, the more exact and effective will be our
knowledge.  I venture here to express the opinion that all the
contention and diversity of views that have arisen about
Transubstantiation and the Real Presence are referable to the
non-recognition of the above-mentioned principle of Scriptural teaching
by symbols, and generally to an inability to understand and rightly
interpret the {35} concrete and symbolic language of Scripture.  Defect
of knowledge in this respect has given occasion to many errors.  With
regard to the doctrine of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, I am of
opinion that the above-mentioned dogmas, and the forms of worship
connected with them, which appear to be rightly designated as
_superstitious_, have had the effect of very much keeping out of view
the relation of that ordinance to the _covenant_ which, through the
death of Jesus Christ, makes immortality sure.  Perhaps it should
rather be said that the superstitious practices give evidence that "the
blood of the new covenant" is not understood.

From the preceding discussion I draw the conclusion that our Lord, in
saying of the wine, "This is my blood of the New Testament," expressed
the doctrine that his blood (signifying his death) is both the _pledge_
and the means, through faith, of partaking of the joy (signified by the
wine) of a new and ever-lasting life.  The Testament is new because it
contains the promise of a future inheritance under better sureties than
those of the old covenant of the Law.

After having thus considered what the Scriptures say concerning
_death_, we have next to inquire what they reveal concerning
_resurrection_.  As preliminary to this inquiry, it may be remarked
that the foregoing arguments relative to Christ's partaking with us in
death, are such as point directly to the conclusion that {36} we shall
participate with him in resurrection.  In St. Paul's teaching (1 Cor.
xv. 12-19) Christ's resurrection and the resurrection of the dead are
events so necessarily related that, "if the dead rise not, Christ was
not raised up."  But the fact of Christ's resurrection was
substantiated by so many witnesses, who saw him alive after his death,
that we may with certainty infer, according to this doctrine, that the
dead will rise.  It is, however, to be observed that the argument of
the apostle in the passage just quoted is expressly addressed to those
who have faith and knowledge, and cannot be adduced in proof of the
doctrine of the resurrection of all men.  For evidence as to the truth
of this doctrine recourse must be had to other parts of Scripture.

For the present purpose it will suffice to cite two remarkable sayings
of our Lord, recorded in St. John's Gospel.  He first says, "The hour
is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of
God: and they that hear shall live" (John v. 25); and then (in _vv._ 28
and 29 of the same chapter) he says, "The hour is coming in which all
that are in their 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 judgment" (_kriseôs_).  The
first passage refers to a _partial_ resurrection, inasmuch as it makes
mention of those only who shall hear the voice of the Son of {37} God,
and hearing shall live; whereas the other passage asserts that _all_
who are in sepulchres (_mnêmeiois_) shall hear his voice, and divides
these into two classes--those that have done good, who rise to _live_
(the class just before mentioned), and those that have done evil, who
rise to be _judged_.  The assertion in _vv._ 28 and 29 is, accordingly,
a revelation respecting the resurrection of all the dead, and is to be
taken as comprehensive of the other; so that the class that will
partake of "the resurrection of life" are the same as those of whom it
is said in the first passage that they will hear the voice of the Son
of God and will _live_.  As far as regards the distinction into two
classes, this doctrine agrees with that preached by St. Paul, where he
affirms that his unbelieving countrymen "themselves allowed that there
would be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust"
(Acts xxiv. 15).  It may here be remarked that it is not necessary to
infer from its being said in John v. 28, 29, that "all that are in
their graves shall hear his voice and come forth," that all will rise
_simultaneously_.  Rather the separate mention in _v._ 25 of those that
hear and live, and especially the assertion that the hour in which
_these_ hear is not only coming, but "_now is_," would seem to apply
exclusively to the resurrection of "the just," and to indicate that
this resurrection is antecedent to that of "the unjust."  However, to
settle this question, {38} which is a very important one, recourse will
now be had to other passages of Scripture.

On the principle of regarding, for application in this argument, the
_whole_ of the Canonical Scriptures as authoritative, it is legitimate
to refer to the Book of Revelation for information respecting the
resurrection of the dead.  Now, in Rev. xx. 5 we have in express terms,
"This is the first resurrection."  And again, in the next verse,
"Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on
such the second death hath no power."  It is evident, therefore, that
this is the resurrection of the just, and that those who are thus
"blessed and holy" are thenceforth exempt from mortality.  This
conclusion has a very important bearing on our argument; for, on
turning to _v._ 4 of the same chapter, we find that the partakers of
this resurrection are described as martyrs "who were beheaded for the
witness of Jesus, and for the word of God," and generally as those who
"received not the mark of the beast on their forehead and on their
hand," which may be interpreted as meaning that by intelligent faith
and righteous deeds they overcame their spiritual adversaries.  It
seems, therefore, allowable to infer that this is the company of those
who in Scripture are so often called "the elect," who by suffering,
experience, and hope, are in this life "sealed" unto the day of
redemption (Rev. vii. 2-8, and Eph. iv. 80).


It is, besides, said of these chosen ones that they "lived and reigned
with Christ a thousand years," but that "the rest of the dead lived not
till the thousand years were finished."  It would thus appear that a
definite interval of long duration is interposed between the
resurrection of the just and the unjust.  It is also to be particularly
noticed that the seer, speaking of what pertains to that interval of a
thousand years during which the spirit of evil is "bound," says that he
"saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them"
(Rev. xx. 4).  This must refer to the judgment undergone by those who
have part in the _first_ resurrection, because the rest of the dead do
not rise to be judged till the thousand years are ended.  As to the
elect being judged, the teaching of St. Paul is very explicit, where he
says, identifying himself with the general company of the faithful, "We
must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ; that every one may
receive the things done through the body, according to what he hath
done, whether good or bad" (2 Cor. v. 10.  So also Rom. xiv. 10).  It
is not expressly said in the passage above quoted who they are who sat
on thrones and had judgment given to them; but the information is
supplied in Matt. xix. 28, where we read, "Jesus said to them [that is,
as the context shows, to Peter and the other apostles], Verily I say to
you, that ye who have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of
man shall sit on the {40} throne of his glory, ye also shall sit on
twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel."  A like
revelation, addressed exclusively to the apostles, is given in Luke
xxii. 28-80.  "The twelve tribes of Israel" is the symbolic designation
of the elect--those that are sealed (see Rev. vii. 3-8).

It must now be taken into account that the experience and the deeds of
_the present life_ alone determine whether any individual is or is not
of the number of the elect.  Those only who by the favour of God are
justified in this life by works done through faith are reckoned among
"the just" who partake of the first resurrection.  But Scripture
nowhere asserts that their spiritual state differs at their
resurrection from what it was at the time of their death; rather, it
negatives this assumption by describing their state in the interval as
that of "_sleep_."  Consequently, not being yet "made perfect," they
have need to pass through the judgment just spoken of (compare 1 Cor.
iii. 11-15), in order that by the completion of their _spiritual
creation_ they might be made meet for immortality.  To them, although
there is judgment, there is no "_condemnation_," and, therefore, no
"second death."  Such, it seems to me, is the Scriptural doctrine of
immortality, as far as regards _the elect_.

Before proceeding to speak of the judgment of the whole world, it will
be appropriate to consider here what judgment is abstractedly, and what
are its {41} purpose and effect.  These questions can only be answered
by means of what is matter of human experience, and in terms derived
therefrom.  Now we all know that kings, judges, and magistrates
administer justice and judgment for the purpose of making righteousness
and truth prevail, and that for the same end they inflict punishment on
the guilty.  Whatever is this is judgment, and what is not this is not
judgment.  The portion of the Scriptures which speaks in plainest terms
of the object and effect of judgment is, perhaps, that contained in
Psalms xcvi., xcvii., xcviii., and xcix.  If the words of these Psalms
do not refer to the judgment that is to come upon the earth and the
whole world in the future age, they will require to be taken in a
non-natural sense.  But such a sense is here inadmissible, because
consistently with what may be inferred, as said above, from _human
experience_ respecting judgment, namely, that its purpose is to cause
righteousness and truth to prevail, this Scripture declares in terms
expressive of the highest joy and exultation that for this end the
world is judged.

Let us, therefore, now inquire what Scripture reveals respecting the
judgment and immortality of the rest of mankind--those who are not
numbered among the elect.  First, it is clearly implied in Rev. xx. 5,
that they live again at the end of the thousand years.  Next, as we
have already inferred from the words of {42} Christ recorded in John v.
29, they rise to be _judged_.  If, as we have argued, it is needful
that even the elect should be judged, much rather must judgment
overtake the unbelieving and the unrighteous?  We are, moreover,
expressly told who is to be the righteous Judge: "The Father hath
committed all judgment to the Son" (John v. 22).  The sinners who,
acting "through ignorance" as agents of Satan, arraigned, condemned,
and put to death the blameless Son of God, were not alone guilty,
inasmuch as it was appointed that they should make manifest and
consummate the wickedness that reigns in the heart of the collective
world.  For this reason Jesus Christ, in fulfilment of a just
retribution, is ordained to be Judge of all the world, and of Satan

Respecting the _outward means_ by which judgment is executed on the
ungodly, many things seem to be said in the Book of Revelation; but
from being expressed in symbolic language, they are generally "hard to
be understood."  I shall make no attempt to give explanations of the
details of this symbolism, such an inquiry not being necessary for my
present purpose; but a few remarks on the contents of the Apocalypse
which have a general relation to the purpose and effect of judgment may
here be appropriately introduced as bearing on the question of
immortality.  In the first place, it may be stated that its prophetic
language and symbols resemble in so many {43} particulars what we meet
with in various parts of the prophecies of the Old Testament, that it
might almost be regarded as an epitome of these prophecies.  This view
is supported by the announcement made in Rev. x. 7, which affirms that,
"in the days of the voice of the seventh trumpet, when he shall begin
to sound, the mystery of God shall be finished, according to the gospel
He declared (_os euêggelise_) unto His servants the prophets" (see also
Rev. xxii. 6).  It is here to be particularly remarked that after the
sounding of six trumpets severally significant of judgment, it is
proclaimed that the mystery of God would be finished at the sounding of
the seventh and last, this consummation having been antecedently made
known as a _gospel_ to the Old Testament prophets.  This text
accordingly agrees with the tenor of the argument previously adduced
respecting the final effect of judgment in establishing the reign, so
much to be desired, of truth and righteousness.  At the end of the
judgment "the temple of God is opened in heaven, and there is seen in
His temple the ark of His covenant" (Rev. xi. 19).  This is the
covenant of immortality, which, having been originally made (as has
already been indicated) with Adam after his transgression, was
afterwards renewed with Noah and with Abraham, was represented by
symbols and proclaimed orally by Moses in the wilderness, and, finally,
was confirmed by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.


Equally remarkable is another revelation, which tells us that the
elect, the one hundred and forty-four thousand who have been made
perfect by the experience they have gone through in the thousand years
of the first resurrection, are joined with the Son of God in the
execution of the general judgment.  In Rev. xix. 14, it is said that
"the armies in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine
linen, white and clean."  This clothing proves that the attendant army
consisted of the saints made perfect in righteousness, as will be
evident by comparing _vv._ 7 and 8 of the same chapter.  In _v._ 15 it
is asserted respecting "The Word of God," that "he shall rule the
nations with a rod of iron;" and he says himself, speaking of his
faithful followers, "To him that overcometh and keepeth my works unto
the end will I give power over the nations; and he shall rule them with
a rod of iron" (Rev. ii. 26, 27).  Also we have in Psalm cxlix. 6-9,
"Let a two-edged sword be in their hand, to execute vengeance upon the
nations, punishments upon the peoples; to bind their kings with chains,
and their rulers with fetters of iron; to execute upon them the
judgment written: this honour have all His saints."  Moreover, St. Paul
writes to the Corinthians: "Do ye not know that the saints shall judge
the world?"  "Know ye not that we shall judge angels?"  In short, the
doctrine of Scripture on this prerogative of the saints is very


Again, it is uniformly affirmed in Scripture that every one will be
judged "according to his works."  Of course, "words" are included in
"works;" for our Lord said expressly, "Every idle word that men shall
speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment; for by
thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be
condemned" (Matt. xii. 86, 87).  It would seem that the judgment, as
being conducted by _external_ means, takes account of human _thoughts_
only so far as their consequences are manifested by overt deeds and
spoken words.  It is not the less true, according to the doctrine of
the Lord himself (in Mark iv. 22, and Luke viii. 17), that in the day
of judgment all secret and hidden things will be revealed.  The words
in St. Mark, "neither was anything kept secret but in order that
(_hina_) it should come abroad," seem expressly to indicate the
relation in which things hidden in the present age stand to the
revelations of that day.  St. Paul also writes to the Romans, speaking
of them who have not received the law by direct communication: "They
show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience
bearing them witness, and their thoughts, one with another, accusing,
or also excusing, in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men,
according to my gospel, through Jesus Christ" (Rom. ii. 15, 16).
(This, I think, should be the translation of the passage.)  It may be
noticed that {46} here again "gospel" is mentioned in connection with

Now, the very terms, "judgment according to works," imply that the
works brought into judgment are not all equally bad, and that there may
be both "good and bad;" which also may be inferred from the passage
just quoted from the Epistle to the Romans.  In fact, it is not too
much to assume that all the deeds and experience of the present life
are contributory in different ways to the final purpose of the
judgment.  We have already argued, in accordance with what is said in 2
Cor. v. 10, that the saints will be judged according to their works,
and from 1 Cor. iii. 11-15, we learn that their works will be tried by
fire, but they themselves will be saved, "yet so as by fire."  We have
now to enter upon the important inquiry as to whether Scripture reveals
an analogous dispensation with respect to the rest of mankind.

Hard as it may be for us to conceive by what means the deeds and
experience of all men, the living and the dead, will be brought under
review in the day of judgment, that so it will be is undoubtedly the
teaching of Scripture.  Our understanding of this wonderful event may
perhaps be assisted by taking into account what St. Paul said to the
Athenians: "In Him we live, and move, and have our being;" whence it
may be inferred that all our works and {47} words, and even feelings
and thoughts, are known to God.  With reference to this question, it
would, I think, be legitimate to call to our aid the knowledge of the
external creation, which has been so largely extended in the present
day.  After long attention given to the acquisition of such knowledge,
I seem to see that it points to the conclusion that all the forces of
nature are resident in a universal aetherial medium, extending through
all space, and pervading all visible and tangible substances, by the
intervention of which all power is exerted, whether it be by the
immediate will of God, or mediately, by that of angels or of men.  (I
assume that there can be no exertion of power apart from the will and
consciousness of an agent.)  Consequently the Spirit of the Universe
must be cognizant of every exertion of power and of its effects.  To
this consideration another of peculiar significance is to be added.
The faculty which we possess to a limited extent, depending on bodily
conditions and organization, of _remembering_ the consequences of
exerted power, whether as operating ourselves, or being operated upon,
must be conceived of as pertaining, without any limitation, to the
Creator of the aetherial substance and the Source of all power.  In
this manner it seems possible to understand how all actions and all
events may be written down (speaking metaphorically) in the Book of
God's _remembrance_, and so be brought into judgment.


The universality and the character of the future judgment are declared
in Rev. xx. 11-13, with particular reference to the presence and
majesty of "One who sat on a great white throne," who, doubtless, is
God the Father, the Creator of heaven and earth.  The seer says in this
passage, "I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the
books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of
life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written
in the books, according to their works."  The mention made of "the
books" indicates that what is here said of the general judgment
pertains exclusively to God the Father, by whose almighty power and
omniscience, as I have endeavoured to show in the preceding paragraph,
all the deeds and experience of the present life are held in
remembrance to be brought under judgment.  But it would be an error to
suppose that this general judgment is different from that the process
and results of which, as effected through the Son of man and his
attendant armies, are symbolically described in previous parts of the
Apocalypse.  The judgment was ordained by decree of the Father, and
prearranged by His wisdom, and in accordance therewith it is executed
by the Son, who, apparently on this account, speaks thus of himself:
"To him that overcometh will I give to sit with me in my throne, as I
also overcame and sat with my Father in His throne" (Rev. iii. 21).
This throne {49} which the Son shares with the Father may be presumed
to be the seat of power exercised in judgment (compare Rev. ii. 26,
27).  Why "the book of life" is mentioned in connection with the books
from the contents of which the dead are judged, will be shown in the
sequel of the argument.

There are other considerations relating to the future judgment which it
is necessary to enter into in order to complete the argument for the
immortality of all men.  We live in a world in which sorrow and pain
and death abound everywhere and at all times, and although these are
actual consequences of sin, inasmuch as they would be non-existent if
sin did not antecedently exist, it is not the less true that the _law_
which in the present time of imperfection connects suffering with sin,
tends in its operation towards bringing on eventually a state of
perfection.  Thus there is a final cause for that law.  I have already
(page 14) illustrated this doctrine by reference to the process whereby
the actual condition and adornment of this earth were elaborated by the
operation of physical laws out of a state of darkness and chaos.  This
view is corroborated by the noticeable fact that suffering in this
life, whether caused by the three scourges, war, pestilence, and
famine, or what we call accident, or by the injustice and cruelty of
men, by no means in proportion to guilt, since even the innocent
thereby sometimes suffer.  Now, as all {50} human deeds and experience
are taken cognizance of in the great day of judgment, it must be
admitted that sufferings of the kind just mentioned will be included in
the account.  In what way, and with what effect, will, I think, be to
some extent indicated by the following considerations.

Besides the principle of animal life (_psyche_) which man partakes of
in common with the creatures of a lower order, there is within him a
spirit (_pneuma_) which is being formed, educated, and built up, all
the time that it is the tenant of a corporeal "vessel."  On account of
this law of progressiveness, the spirit of a child, as we can all see,
differs in its feelings and its understanding from that of a man.  In
short, spirit perfected is the principle of immortal life.  Now, during
our waking hours our spirits are replete with consciousness and
thought, which, however, at the moment of falling asleep depart from
us.  The spirit is then taken into the keeping of the angels of God, to
be by them restored into its place in the body at the moment of waking
up and of return to consciousness.  In like manner at death the spirits
of all men, good and wicked, pass into the custody of the Creator of
spirits, to wait for the return to consciousness by being on the
morning of their resurrection again united with body,--not, however,
with the same natural body, but with a spiritual body (1 Cor. xv. 44).
The union of spirit with bodily essence appears to be a {51} necessary
condition of human consciousness, and to have been ordained for the
special reasons that we are destined to live hereafter not only
individually, but in _social_ relations also, and that only through the
medium of body is there communion between one man's spirit and that of

This being understood, it is next to be observed that in the forming
and building up ("edification") of spirit, the human _will_ is
concerned, and that, according to a man's choice of action, his spirit
may be educated for being good or for being wicked, may be sanctified
or defiled.  There is, in short, no act or experience in human life
which in this respect is indifferent.  But what the spirit is thus made
during its passage through this life, such it is when it is taken into
the hands of its Creator, and such, as we may conclude from the
teaching of Scripture and from its having in the mean time existed
apart from body, it will be, with all its imperfections, on the day of
its resurrection.  It has already been maintained that, because of
imperfection, it is necessary that even the elect should be judged, to
the end that by this means their spirits may be made perfect.  But our
concern now is with the effect of judgment on those who are not of the
number of the elect.  For the purpose of illustrating what I am about
to say on this head, I shall begin with making an application of the
argument in a particular instance.


I have recently seen it stated, among the news of the day, that it is
the practice of a barbarous African king to cut off the heads of twelve
or more of his subjects, merely to pay a compliment to a distinguished
visitor.  Are we to think that this transaction both begins and ends
here?  Although we have no ground for asserting that the victims in
this case are to be counted among God's elect, inasmuch as they must be
supposed to be devoid of the faith and righteousness which are
necessary to constitute a title to that high privilege, we may yet
believe that the bodily suffering they endured was contributory to the
formation of their spirits for their future destiny.  If even those who
have "understanding"--elect saints--have undergone sufferings and been
"beheaded" in order that thus they might be "purified and made white,"
(compare Dan. xi. 33-35, and xii. 10, with Rev. xx. 4), why should we
not believe that the sufferings of those poor Africans, who are equally
children of God, had like effect?  That suffering is in this manner
efficacious is proved by the sacrifice of the Son of God on the cross,
who, after having proved by his miracles that he had all human ills
under control, _voluntarily_ submitted to be made perfect by enduring
shame and pain, that thus he might both exemplify and justify the ways
of God in the creation of immortal spirits.  This sacrifice is a full
and sufficient explanation of all the evil in the world.  When,
therefore, in the time of the {53} resurrection of the unjust the
slayer and the slain, in this instance, appear before the judgment-seat
of God, and are condemned, as not being among those who are saved in
the first resurrection, to undergo the second death, is it not
reasonable to conclude that the tribulation and pain of that event will
fall much more heavily on the murderer than on those he slew, and that
the punishment and sufferings that have still to be endured in order
that the final purpose of the judgment may be accomplished, will be
inflicted with far greater severity on him than on them?  (See on this
point what is said concerning the future judgment in the Wisdom of
Solomon vi. 3-6.)

On this principle many apparent anomalies in the present age of the
world admit of explanation.  Why, for instance, is so large a
proportion of mankind condemned, irrespective of their deserts, to be
poor, and to labour with their hands in anxiety for the maintenance of
themselves and their families?  We have reason from Scripture to say
that such conditions of life, if united with the _faith_ that looks for
better things to come, may be counted among means ordained by God for
preparing the spirits of His elect for their destined inheritance
("Hate not laborious work, neither husbandry, which the Most High hath
ordained" [Ecclesiasticus vii. 15]).  And where such faith is absent,
may we not still say that conditions of the present life to which the
great mass of mankind are {54} subject must be contributory to forming
their spirits for their future existence?  Leaving out of consideration
who are the elect, and who not, which God only knows, can we think that
the patience of the labourer and artisan, the endurance of the
seafaring man, and the devotedness of the soldier, who at the call of
duty, and in spite of the promptings of self-preservation, exposes
himself to almost certain death on the field of battle, have no
relation to their future destiny?  As regards, especially, the spirit
of self-sacrifice of the soldier, so opposed to all the calculations of
personal interest, it seems to me that the desire of glory, or the
expectation of reward, will not wholly account for it, but rather that
it is indicative of there being in the warrior's breast an undefined
conviction that he better fulfils the purpose of life by braving a
painful death than by living at home in ease.  It is worthy of remark
that although in Scripture war is spoken of as a calamity, the
occupation of a soldier is nowhere condemned, but is rather commended
on account of its disciplinary effect and abstractedness from the
affairs of life (see 2 Tim. ii. 3, 4).  It should be observed that the
different kinds of human experience adverted to above are all supposed
to stand apart from personal acts done in violation of the dictates of
_conscience_.  Such acts will doubtless be tried by the course of the
general judgment, and will have effect in the condemnation of the
offenders, and {55} in punishment awarded according to the guiltiness
of their deeds.

The calamities of human life may be put generally under the two heads
of "tribulation" and "slaughter"--different kinds of sorrow and
trouble, and different kinds of death.  These constitute the groaning
and travailing of the whole creation unto the time being (_a chri tou
nun_), spoken of by St. Paul in Rom. viii. 22 and called in St. Mark
xiii. 8, the beginnings of sorrows (_ôdinôn_).  But in the time of the
world to come, the same forms of suffering have their consummation and
ending.  In Rev. vii. 14, mention is made of "_the_ great tribulation,"
and at the same time of "a countless multitude who come out of it."
This can be no other than that "great tribulation" respecting which our
Lord said, according to St. Matt. xxiv. 21, that it will be "such as
was not since the beginning of the world to this time, _nor ever shall
be_," and according to St. Mark xiii. 19, that "those days shall be
affliction such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God
created unto this time, _neither shall be_."  The identity of the
events spoken of in the Gospels and in the Apocalypse may also be
inferred from the words _cheimônos_ (tempest-time) and _sabbatô_ (on
the sabbath) contained in Matt. xxiv. 20, the former referring to the
storm of indignation and wrath which proceeds from "the Lamb" when he
comes to execute Judgment, and the latter to the time in which the {56}
judgment takes place, which is designated the sabbath, or seventh day,
as following upon the termination of the present age of the world, and
also as being that sabbath of which, as said in Luke vi. 5, "the Son of
man is Lord."

Again, in proof of the doctrine that the process, or effect, of the
general judgment is characterized in Scripture as "slaughter," Isa.
xxxiv. 1-6 may be cited, it being said in that passage that "the
indignation of the Lord is upon all nations," that "he hath delivered
them to the slaughter," and in connection therewith that "all the host
of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heaven shall be rolled together
as a scroll" (compare Rev. vi. 18-14).  Of the same import is the
prophecy in Rev. xiv. 14-20, at the end of which the treading of "the
great winepress of the wrath of God" is described in terms closely
agreeing with those in Isa. lxiii. 1-4.  We have, besides, the
remarkable passage, Rev. xix. 17-21, which represents the fowls of
heaven as being called together to feast on the flesh of the slain,
after great slaughter had been wrought by "the sharp sword" which
proceeds out of the mouth of him who is called "The Word of God."  This
sword represents the cutting and destructive effect of the words of
judgment and condemnation which the Son of God will pronounce on
sinners when he comes to judge the whole world.  It is not necessary
for my purpose to interpret particularly the symbolism {57} contained
in the passages just quoted; it suffices to draw from them the general
inference that, as regards _all_ men, trouble and pain and death in the
present age of the world are the beginnings of an [oe]conomy for
forming spirits for immortality, which is destined to be consummated in
the age to come.

To complete the argument from Scripture it only remains now to take
into consideration those passages which expressly reveal the effect of
the general judgment, and to ascertain what relation the revelations
have to the question of immortality.  These passages are of two kinds,
some being composed entirely of symbolic language requiring
interpretation, while others are expressed in terms that may be readily
understood.  The former must be supposed to admit of being interpreted
consistently with the plain meaning of the other kind.  Accordingly,
for the purpose above mentioned, I proceed now to offer an
interpretation of Rev. xx. 11-15, this passage evidently giving a
synoptical account, in symbolic terms, of the process and the effect of
the general judgment.

I have already adverted (p. 48) to the contents of _vv._ 11 and 12, so
far as they refer to the Person of the Judge, and to His judging the
dead, according to their works, "out of the things written in the
_books_."  "The great _white_ throne" (_v._ 11) is evidently the seat
of righteous judgment.  The inspired writer, in order {58} to account
for his seeing in vision the dead, "small and great, standing before
the throne," reveals, besides, that "the sea gave up the dead that were
in it, and Death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them" (_v._
13).  Now, the context hardly allows of taking "the sea" here in its
literal objective sense, requiring rather the interpretation that the
natural sea symbolizes by its invisible depths the incognizable state
of the dead before resurrection.  In the "new heaven and earth," which
is the end of all creation, "sea exists no longer" (Rev. xxi. 1).
Hades, as apparently might be inferred from the proper sense of the
word, signifies that invisible state of departed spirits which, as just
said, is symbolized as being concealed in the depths of "the sea," and
also, as I have already pointed out, has to death a necessary relation
of sequence ("Hades followed with him" [Rev. vi. 8]).  This explains
why Death and Hades are represented as a conjoint power having
possession of the dead.  In Rev. i. 18, as well as in Rev. vi. 8, they
are mentioned in close connection, and in the latter passage power is
said to be given to them in common.

I take occasion to make some remarks here on 1 Peter iii. 19, as the
sense of this passage might be thought to be contradictory to the
meaning assigned above to Hades.  It affirms that "in spirit Christ
went and preached to the spirits in custody {59} (_en phylakê_)."  Now,
the literal meaning of the concrete terms, "went and preached"
(_poreutheis ekêruxen_), is _excluded_ by "in spirit" going before, and
they consequently require an abstract interpretation.  It has already
been argued (p. 50) that the word "custody" applies to departed spirits
in the sense of their being in the _keeping_ of the Creator of spirits;
whence it follows that "spirits in custody" and "spirits in Hades" have
the same meaning.  But neither of these expressions signifies anything
as to _locality_, for the simple reason that locality cannot be
predicated of spirit apart from body.  The abstract interpretation of
the passage of St. Peter may, I think, be reached by the following
argument.  The word _ekêruxen_ above cited is not that ordinarily used
with respect to preaching the Gospel, and therefore it is the more to
be noticed that where Noah is called "a preacher of righteousness" (2
Peter ii. 5), the Greek word is _kêruka_.  May we not hence infer that
Noah, by "the spirit of Christ" which was in him (compare 1 Peter i.
11), preached to the unbelieving and "disobedient" of his day, and that
their spirits, although the world in which they lived was so long since
destroyed by the Flood, are, together with all other departed spirits,
still in God's custody, to be hereafter raised up and judged?  We are
farther informed respecting Noah's preaching, which consisted
apparently of deeds rather than of words, that "by preparing an ark for
the {60} saving of his house, he condemned the world, and became heir
of the righteousness which is according to faith" (Heb. xi. 7).

We have now to inquire what interpretation may be given to the symbolic
language (in Rev. xx. 14) which affirms that "Death and Hades were cast
into the lake of fire," and that "this is the second death, the lake of
fire."  The first mention of the lake of fire occurs in Rev. xix. 20,
where it is described as "burning with brimstone," and both "the
beast," and "the false prophet" associated with him (_ho met autou_),
are said to be "cast alive" into this lake.  But the rest (_oi
loipoi_), namely, "the kings of the earth and their armies, gathered
together to make war against him who sat on the horse and against his
army," were slain by the sword that proceeds out of his mouth, that is,
by the sharp and searching words of righteousness and truth, whereby
he, "The Word of God," judges and pronounces condemnation in the last
day (compare John xii. 48).  In Rev. xx. 7-10, we are farther told that
Satan, after being let loose from prison at the end of the thousand
years when "the rest of the dead" live again (v. 5), and after
collecting together all the _risen_ nations of the earth, "the number
of whom is as the sand of the sea" (v. 8), leads them to their
destruction in battle against the God of heaven, and is himself "cast
into the lake of fire and brimstone, where are the beast {61} and the
false prophet" (v. 10).  Consequently, "Satan," who is opposed to God
the Father, the God of heaven, "the beast," which, as signifying the
spirit of the world, is opposed to the Holy Spirit, and "the false
prophet," who is the symbolic representative of all _anti-Christian_
power objectively opposed to the Son of God, are all three cast into a
lake of fire "_burning with brimstone_."  But of Death and Hades it is
only said that they were cast into a lake of fire.  Their being cast
into the depths of "a lake" signifies that they become incognizable
entities, and "lake of fire" indicates that they remain such by an
irreversible law, fire being the symbol of force of law (see Deut.
xxxiii. 2).  For this reason "the lake of fire" is put in apposition
(in _v._ 14) with "the second death," which is the extinction of death.
Now, Satan, the beast, and the false prophet, being regarded as
_personal_ existences motived by _will_, and in that respect unlike
Death and Hades, are cast not simply into a lake of fire, but into a
lake burning with brimstone, which apparently signifies that from the
time these "adversaries" cease to have cognizable existence, their
antecedent power and influence will be regarded by those who were once
subject to them with antipathy and abhorrence, so that any return to
the same subjection will (as we say) be morally impossible.  When in
the end God has become "all in all," no antagonism remains; all {62}
enemies have been subdued.  Any one who is unwilling to accept the
foregoing interpretation might reasonably be asked in what other way he
can explain why, of all created things, _brimstone_ is specially
mentioned with reference to this "mystery" (see Rev. xvii. 5, 16).

In the last verse of the passage under consideration we have, "And if
any one (_ei tis_) was not found written in the book of life, he was
cast into the lake of fire" (v. 15).  It is to be observed that the
lake of fire is not here said to be burning with brimstone.  This
sentence must accordingly receive an interpretation analogous to that
given above with respect to Death and Hades.  When the final judgment
has had complete effect, there will no longer be objective existence of
any whose names are not in the book of life, because all will have been
made meet for the inheritance of life.  For this reason "the book of
life" is mentioned (in _v._ 12) in immediate connection with the books
containing the records according to which the judgment is transacted.
I am well aware that the preceding interpretations do not accord with
views entertained by many in the present day.  I remember to have heard
a sermon on the text, "This is the second death," in the course of
which the preacher did not once advert to the word "This," but gave a
description, the most terrible his imagination could supply, of what he
judged to be the second {63} death.  We find revealed in Scripture
respecting "the terrors of the Lord"--the anguish and tribulation, the
slaughter and destruction, proceeding from His wrath in the day of
judgment--quite enough to deter sinners from going on in sin, without
gratuitously adding the doctrine of the perpetuity of evil, the
preaching of which seems to have the effect of hindering the belief and
expectation of the impending realities of that great day.  Besides, it
may well be asked how such preaching can be reconciled with the Gospel
revelations, stated in language devoid of symbol, which are contained
in Rev. xxi.; to which I shall afterwards have occasion to call
attention.  But, first, it will be necessary to inquire what is the
doctrine of Scripture respecting future "punishment" and "torment."

On proceeding to this part of the argument it will be proper to revert
to a principle which has already been admitted as self-evident (p. 9),
namely, that a state of perfect righteousness and a happy immortality
are so essentially and necessarily related that one cannot subsist
without the other.  It is, however, to be said that this doctrine is
nowhere expressed in such words in Scripture.  In fact, the abstract
terms, "essentially and necessarily related," are altogether unlike any
Scriptural mode of expression.  Yet it may be that the truth which we
think we understand when we express it in such terms may admit of being
{64} _extracted_ in a more definite form from the concrete language of
Scripture; and, in order that our argument for immortality may be shown
to rest entirely on a Scriptural foundation, I shall now endeavour to
show that this is the case with respect to the above-stated doctrine,
by citing and discussing various passages of the Old and New Testament.

In the first place, I remark that righteousness and salvation,
righteousness and peace, are so often and in such manner mentioned
together in the word of God, that we may thence infer that, according
to a law of the Divine (Economy, personal righteousness is a condition
necessarily antecedent to salvation (safety) and peace (see Ps. xxiv.
5, and lxxxv. 7-18; Isa. xlv. 7, 8, xlvi. 18, li. 5, lxii. 1, and many
like passages).  For, on the other hand, it is twice expressly declared
that God has said, "There is no peace to the wicked" (Isa. xlviii. 22,
and lvii. 21).  So in Rev. xiv. it is affirmed respecting sinners (who
are comprehensively described as those who worship the beast and his
image, and receive the mark of his name on the forehead or the hand--in
their beliefs or their deeds) that "they have no rest day nor night"
(_vv._ 9 and 11).  Of the same sinners it is also declared that "they
shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out
without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and shall be tormented
with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in {65}
the presence of the Lamb" (v. 10).  The fire of the torment is the
operation of the holy law of righteousness which they have broken, and
the brimstone by the offensiveness of its smoke represents the
self-condemnation and reproach of conscience with which they are
tormented when their sins are laid bare in the presence of the holy
angels and of the _Lamb_, who by reason of their sins was slain.
Lastly, we are told that "the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for
ever and ever."  The general signification of "smoke," regarded as a
symbol, appears to be, effect or consequence.  Thus, in the remarkable
symbol of "a smoking furnace" seen in vision by Abraham (Gen. xv. 17),
the fire of the furnace may represent the operation of the law, and the
smoke may symbolize "the abounding" of the sins of mankind consequent
upon that operation (see Rom. v. 20; also compare 2 Esdras iv. 48).
But in the passage before us we have "smoke of torment," of which smoke
it is said that it "ascends up for ever and ever," signifying, it would
seem, the perpetuity of the _effect_ of the torment.  This
interpretation accordingly agrees with that previously given (p. 61)
relative to "the lake of fire burning with brimstone."  There is,
however, this difference to be noted, that whereas the present passage
relates especially to the effect of the _pain and torment_ attendant
upon the _process_ of being judged, the other speaks of the effect of
the second _death_ to {66} which the wicked, after being tried by the
judgment, are condemned.

The portion of Scripture contained in Matt. xxv. 31-46, gives,
concerning the awards to be respectively adjudged to the righteous and
unrighteous, and the final consequences of the judgment, certain
revelations, symbolically expressed, which are made by the Lord
himself, the future Judge.  In order to complete the argument from
Scripture respecting the effect of judgment, we must endeavour to
interpret these revelations.  "When the Son of man shall come in his
glory, and all the holy angels with him, he will sit on the throne of
his glory: and all nations will be gathered before him: and he will
separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from
the goats; and he will place the sheep on his right hand, and the goats
on his left" (_vv._ 31-33).  We are thus told that all of all nations
will come into the presence of the Judge, and that he will separate
them into two portions, as distinct the one from the other as sheep are
from goats.  From what is said farther on we gather that one portion
are "the just" (_oi dikaioi_, _v._ 37), and the other the unjust; but
no mention is made of a particular process of separation.  Consequently
there is nothing here which contradicts the conclusion before arrived
at (p. 38), that the just are separated from the unjust by partaking of
the first resurrection; rather, that conclusion is in {67} accordance
with this revelation respecting the place of honour "on the right hand"
being assigned to the just, and their being prepared to receive it when
the whole assembly, just and unjust, are gathered together before the
Judge.  In _v._ 34, as also in _v._ 40, the Judge is called "the King"
(_ho Basileus_), forasmuch as he is "the faithful and true" One, who
"in righteousness judges and makes war," and to whom belongs in a
special manner the title of "King of kings and Lord of lords" (see Rev.
xix. 11, 16).

We have next to consider the statements of the grounds on which the
awards are made, which are very remarkable.  "Then shall the King say
to them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the
kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.  For I was
hungry, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was
a stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and ye clothed me; I was sick,
and ye visited me; I was in prison, and ye came to me.  Then shall the
righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungry, and fed
thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?  When saw we thee a stranger,
and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?  Or when saw we thee
sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?  And the King shall answer and
say to them, Verily I say to you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one
of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me" {68} (_vv._
84-40).  What is chiefly noteworthy in these words is, that the Judge
identifies himself with suffering humanity, and accounts as "brethren"
even "the least" of those that suffer, having, when he "dwelt among
us," participated in the toils and afflictions to which sinful man is
subject (although "in him was no sin)," and submitted in the end to the
shame and pain of dying on the cross, although he had shown by his
miracles that he had power over death and all the ills of humanity.  As
is written in Isaiah liii. 4, "He hath borne _our_ griefs and carried
_our_ sorrows."  This the Son of God voluntarily took upon himself out
of love and compassion towards us, knowing that, by ordinance of his
Father, the Creator of spirits, "we must through many tribulations
enter into the kingdom of God" (Acts xiv. 22), and be made heirs of
immortality, and that consequently we had need of such assurance of
obtaining the appointed inheritance as that which is given by his
partaking with us of life, death, and resurrection (see what is said on
this part of the subject in p. 29).  Besides this, the sympathy of
Jesus Christ with human suffering, which was also shown by his miracles
of healing, is specially a reason for giving _practical_ proof, by acts
of benevolence and mercy towards our fellow men, that we partake of the
same spirit.  It is with reference to such _outward_ evidence of faith
and righteousness, that the decision of the Judge, given {69} in the
passage above quoted, is pronounced.  It seems, too, from the questions
put to the Judge by the company of the righteous, and the answer they
received, that their acts of kindness and mercy, done in humility and
faith, were accepted by the Judge, out of his sympathy and community
with the sufferers, as done to himself, although the doers had not had
previous knowledge or expectation that their good deeds would be so

The sentence pronounced on the unrighteous, and the reasons for it, are
thus stated in _vv._ 41-45: "Then shall he say also to them on the left
hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into the [oe]onian fire (_to pur to
aiônion_, i.e. the fire of judgment in the future _aiôn_) prepared for
the devil and his angels: for I was hungry, and ye gave me no meat; I
was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me
not in; naked, and ye clothed me not; sick, and in prison, and ye
visited me not.  Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when
saw we thee hungry, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in
prison, and did not minister unto thee?  Then shall he answer them,
saying, Verily, I say to you, inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the
least of these, ye did it not to me."  It should be noticed that the
terms of this award are the exact contraries of those of the award to
the righteous.  On the one hand, the King says, "Come, ye blessed of my
Father, inherit {70} the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation
of the world;" on the other, he says, "Depart from me, ye cursed, into
the [oe]onian fire prepared for the devil and his angels;" and the
account of what the Judge further says to the unrighteous, and of what
they say to him, although somewhat briefer than that relating to the
righteous, is made up of exactly opposite particulars.  On this
principle, since the decision respecting the righteous is pronounced on
the grounds of positive works of righteousness done in humility and
faith, that respecting the unrighteous has regard only to the
_omission_ to do such works through presumption and unbelief.  The same
exhibition of opposite circumstances and qualities, and the same
principle of condemnation for sins of omission exclusively of those of
commission, are observable in the two other symbolic representations
contained in the same chapter--the parable of the ten virgins, and the
parable of the talents.  In short, the general purport of the chapter
is to indicate, that in the sight of the righteous Judge sins of
omission, not less than sins of commission, demand condemnation and
punishment; the reasons for which appear to be that both kinds are
equally violations of the royal law, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as
thyself" (James ii. 8), and perfect obedience to this law is the
necessary foundation of a _common_ immortality.

It only remains now to speak of the final issue of {71} the judgment
stated thus in _v._ 46: "And these shall go away into eternal
punishment, but the righteous into external life."  It must be admitted
that the first clause of this sentence, taken as it is usually taken,
expresses the perpetuity of evil, inasmuch as "punishment" is an evil.
But after this has been conceded, there is still something more to be
said on this doctrine.  It is evident from the context that by "these"
is meant the ungodly just before spoken of, who, having shown, by their
neglecting to give proof of love towards their neighbours, that the
love of God is not in them (see 1 John iv. 20), are counted as enemies,
and as such must be punished.  For there is no neutral position: all
who do not obey the commands of Christ are opposed to him, and all that
is opposed to him is destined to be brought under subjection.  Further,
it is to be noticed that although the final decision is expressed
generally in accordance with the before-mentioned principle of
employing exactly opposite terms relatively to the righteous and the
wicked, here the opposite of "eternal life" is "eternal punishment,"
and not "eternal death," the latter expression being nowhere found in
Scripture.  May it not hence be argued that, as among men the
punishment of the guilty has not for its purpose the infliction of pain
and penalty, but rather is the means employed to the end that laws may
be obeyed, so the end of divine punishment is for correction, and for
{72} giving effect to and establishing the law of universal
righteousness.  If it should hence be inferred that the word "eternal"
is applied to future punishment with reference to that permanence of
_effect_ which, as has already been indicated (p. 65), is symbolically
represented by the perpetual ascent of "the smoke of torment," against
this inference it might reasonably be urged that "eternal" ought to be
taken in the same sense relatively to the "punishment" of the wicked,
as relatively to the "life" of the righteous, and eternity is here
predicated of the one just as of the other.  Now, although this
reasoning appears to be irrefragable, the additional arguments from
Scripture which I am about to adduce will, I think, show that there
must be some other way of regarding the doctrine of future punishment,
which, although not inconsistent with that to which the foregoing
interpretation of Matt. xxv. 46 has conducted, differs from it either
as to point of view or comprehensiveness.

In the first place, it is to be observed that in our Lord's discourses
doctrine was very generally taught by parables and symbolic language,
which required to be interpreted in order that the abstract and
spiritual truths thereby conveyed might be understood.  (This remark
applies to the whole of the passage, Matt. xxv. 31-46, brought under
review in the foregoing discussion.)  In Mark iv. 34, it is said that
"without a parable he spake not to them," that is, {73} to the
multitude, and that "in private he explained all things to his
disciples."  Being asked by the disciples, when he was preaching to a
great multitude assembled together on the sea-shore to hear him, why he
spake to them in parables, he answered, "Because it is given to you to
know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not
given.  For whosoever hath, to him it shall be given, and he shall have
more abundance; but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away
even that he hath.  Therefore speak I to them in parables, because
seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not, neither do they
understand" (Matt. xiii. 10-13).  It is here affirmed that although
parables from their very character are expressed in terms which the use
of the senses renders intelligible, there are those who do not or will
not understand them, who for this reason, on the principle of not
giving to those who have not, are spoken to only in parables, so that
they continue in ignorance.  As every effect or consequence implies the
antecedence of the _purpose_ of an agent, with respect to this
consequence we find it stated in Luke viii. 10, that our Lord expressly
addressed the disciples in these words: "Unto you it is given to know
the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest in parables, _that
seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand_."  To a
selected few is granted the favour of being able to discern, _through
the objective sense_ of {74} parables, the interior signification
whereby mysteries of the kingdom of God are revealed, whilst from the
rest--the multitude--although the objective sense is the same to them
as to the others, the knowledge of the mysteries is withheld.  This is
evidently a dispensation analogous to that according to which, as
Christ declared, "Many are called, but few are chosen" (Matt. xxii.
14).  It is also in accordance with views expressed in a previous part
of this Essay respecting the distinction between "the elect" and the
rest of mankind.

It is further to be considered that the Lord promised the apostles that
after his departure from them, "the Holy Spirit would teach them all
things, and bring all things to their remembrance which he had said to
them" (John xiv. 26), and it may be assumed that after the Day of
Pentecost this promise was fulfilled, and that they were then
enlightened to discern the spiritual meaning of his doctrine.  In this
way it may be accounted for that while Christian doctrine rests
fundamentally on the words and deeds of Christ as recorded in the
Gospels, it is taught in the Acts of the Apostles and the apostolical
Epistles in terms of a more abstract character, which, in fact, may be
regarded as unfolding the spiritual import of the teaching, the life,
and the death of Jesus Christ.  The apostle Paul, although he was not
one of the originally selected apostles, had special grace and {75}
power given him for understanding fully and teaching the doctrine of
Christ.  Now, this apostle, so gifted with understanding and knowledge,
writes in his Epistle to the Romans: "By the obedience of one shall the
many be made righteous" (v. 19); the context evidently showing that the
"one" is Jesus Christ, and that "the many" are _all_ the sinful sons of
Adam.  I have already adverted to this text (p. 19), and called
attention to the significance of the future tense, "shall be made
righteous."  According to our argument, when they have been made
righteous, they are _saved_.  Hence, quite consistently with this
passage in the Epistle to the Romans, St. Paul has said in his first
Epistle to Timothy (iv. 10), "We trust in the living God, who is the
Saviour of all men, especially of those that believe."  If this
sentence had not contained the last clause, there might have been some
excuse for questioning whether St. Paul preached the doctrine of the
eventual salvation of all men; but inasmuch as he adds, "especially of
those that believe," it is as clear as words can make anything clear,
that he taught that all are saved in the sense in which he taught that
those who believe are saved.  The reason for making the distinction
expressed by the word "especially" is, I think, sufficiently apparent
from the doctrine, previously maintained in this Essay (pp. 88-40),
that the elect righteous are raised up first, and partake already of
salvation, honour, {76} and glory, during a certain interval preceding
the resurrection of the rest of mankind.

Now, since all that are saved, as being at rest and in felicity, are
free from sin and evil, this teaching of St. Paul is directly opposed
to the doctrine of the perpetuity of evil which is usually inferred
(see p. 71) from the saying of our Lord in Matt. xxv. 46.  Thus
apparently there is irreconcilable contradiction between the teaching
of Christ and the teaching of St. Paul on a most momentous subject.
Since, however, the same spirit of wisdom was in the apostle as in his
Lord, it is not possible that there can really be such contradiction;
and because, consequently, the seeming contradiction must be
attributable to our defect of knowledge, or inability, to interpret
rightly the allegorical teaching of Christ, we might do well, although
no solution of the difficulty should be at hand, to accept this gospel
of salvation, in the confidence that, as being declared by St. Paul in
plain terms, it must be true Christian doctrine.

I am not, however, prepared to grant that the solution of the
above-mentioned difficulty is not discoverable; and accordingly I make
bold to indicate a line of argument by which, as it seems to me, a
solution is attainable.  The first step in this argument is to admit
the reality of that analogy between God's natural creation and His
spiritual creation which has already been taken into consideration (see
p. 14), {77} and to infer therefrom that the spiritual creation is
actually in progress towards a foreordained perfect consummation.  For
the purpose of illustrating this view by way of contrast, I may mention
that I once heard a sermon in which the preacher, who was regarded in
his day as a leader of religious thought, advanced the theory that the
word "remedy" expressed the central idea of the divine scheme of
salvation.  According to this theology, which looks backwards rather
than forwards, the prevalence of sin and mortality, and the need of a
remedy for the many ills and errors that beset humanity, were
contingent on Adam's transgression.  It may be granted that this is so
far true, that sin and death entered into the world because Adam was
not made incapable of sinning.  But this theory overlooks the
possibility of there being a _final_ cause for the actual facts of
humanity, and seems to be a substitution of _propter hoc_ for _post
hoc_.  The analogy of the natural creation points to a different, and
apparently a juster, view of the divine [oe]conomy, according to which
the reign of sin and death in Adam and all his posterity is a necessary
part of a prearranged scheme, now actually in progress, which is
destined, by its completion hereafter, to make, not one man only, but a
countless multitude, incapable of sinning and meet for immortality.  On
this point, however, after what has been already said (see p. 57),
there is no occasion to say {78} more here.  I proceed, therefore, to
the next step, which is to indicate certain inferences that may be
drawn from the character of progressiveness which pertains at present
to the spiritual creation.

It may, in the first place, be asserted that "the law of opposites,"
referred to in pp. 69 and 70, is a necessary accompaniment of that
general law of progression.  The author of the Book of Ecclesiasticus,
who certainly put on record many wise sayings, has thus stated the law
of opposites: "Good is set against evil, and life against death: so is
the sinner against the godly.  So look upon all the works of the Most
High, and there are two and two, one against another" (xxxiii. 14, 15).
Now, evidently this duality will cease, and unity be universally
established, when, as argued in the preceding paragraph, the
predestined consummation is reached, and the purpose of the whole
creation, external and spiritual, is fulfilled.  This doctrine of the
termination of evil appears to have been understood and proclaimed by
the writer of the fourth Book of Esdras, in which we meet with the
following emphatic declaration: "Take heaven and earth to witness; for
I have broken the evil in pieces, and created the good: for I live,
saith the Lord" (ii. 14).  In the mean while, as being subject to
conditions of earth, and time, and space, we are also subject to this
law of duality and antagonism, so that we have no knowledge or
perception of anything of {79} which we do not also know the
_opposite_.  For this reason it is not possible to make known the
conditions under which men are saved without at the same time stating
the conditions under which they are _not_ saved.  This will account for
the _oppositeness_ and _parallelism_ of the statements in Matt. xxv.
46, concerning the consequences to the wicked and the righteous of
their respective deeds, as well as for many statements of like
character in other parts of Scripture.  But this does not explain why
the punishment of the wicked is said to be "eternal."  Relatively to
this question I submit the following considerations.

Recurring once more to the position, that the existing order of things
is part of a progressive scheme, the purpose of which is to create
immortal souls, it may, I think, be reasonably assumed that there is
nothing in human cognizance or experience, whether it be thought or
feeling, word or deed, which is not contributory in some manner to this
end.  If a mechanist, after planning a machine for a certain purpose,
introduced in the execution of it parts which contributed nothing
towards effecting that purpose, would not this be considered to be an
imperfection?  Such imperfection is wholly inadmissible in the
workmanship of an omniscient and omnipotent Creator.  Accordingly,
since, as being conditioned by _time_, we are capable of entertaining
the thought that the punishment of the wicked in the world to come may
{80} be eternal, many, in fact, having professed their belief that so
it will be, we must conclude, on the above principle, that even this
thought is contributory towards the eventual bringing in of
immortality.  But it will be asked, in what way?  To this question we
may give the general answer, that as such thought is operative on human
action, and implies the existence of _time_, it must be reckoned as
part of the total of human thought and experience conditioned by time,
which was ordained from the beginning to be the means, whether in this
age or in the age to come (_aiôn ho mellôn_), of forming spirits for
immortality.  Then, again, we have reason from Scripture to infer that
the immortal spirit is in effect "spiritual _body_" (1 Cor. xv. 44),
composed of functional parts or qualities constituting it such a whole
that it is adapted for communion with other spirit; in which case the
_temporal_ processes of creation above mentioned might be supposed to
be designed to give to immortal spirit a character appropriate to its
destiny.  And we may, at least, be certain that Jesus Christ knew what
was required for accomplishing his Father's purpose of creating spirits
which, while retaining _individuality_ and _will_, would be incapable
of sinning, and that in his wisdom he employed such manner of teaching
as would either now or hereafter conduct to that end.

I take occasion to observe here, parenthetically, that whereas,
according to the above argument, the {81} word "eternal" (from
_[oe]etas_) is applicable to punishment because we can think of eternal
punishment by thinking of time, the word "endless" is not in the same
manner applicable, simply because it does not explicitly indicate
relation to _time_.  The Greek equivalent of the English word
"everlasting," and of the Latin word "_sempiternus_," namely _aidios_
from _aei_, is used in Rom. i. 20, and in Jude 6, in the sense of
_aiônios_, and, as involving like the latter the conception of time, is
similarly applicable to future punishment.  But besides "_eternal_
life," we have in Scripture "_indissoluble_ life" (_xôn akatalytos_,
Heb. vii. 16), the remarkable epithet _akatalytos_ not being
etymologically expressive of time, and therefore not wrongly, although
not strictly, translated by "endless" in the Authorized Version.  No
such epithet is applied in Scripture to "punishment" or "torment."
(See more on this question in an Appendix to the Essay.)

Reasoning analogous to that employed above relative to the assertion in
Matt. xxv. 46, that the wicked "go away into eternal punishment," is
applicable to other declarations of like tenor in various portions of
Scripture.  One of these, recorded in Matt. xxvi. 24 as having been
spoken by the Lord to the "_twelve_," demands special notice.
Translated literally according to the tenses of the Greek, this passage
is, "Woe to that man through whom the Son of man has been betrayed!
good was it for him, if that man was not {82} born."  The translation
in the Authorized Version, "it had been good for that man if he had not
been born," may be taken to convey, regard being had to difference of
idiom, the true sense of the original.  Exactly the same passage occurs
in Mark xiv. 21, where our translators have given, "good were it for
that man if he had never been born."  Although this translation, as
containing the word "never," deviates still more than the other from
the literal rendering, it may be justified on the principle that the
declaration, in whatever form it be made, is one in which _time_ enters
as a necessary element, whereby alone it is within the reach of
thought.  Accordingly, this saying of our Lord, regarded as having
relation to experience in the world to come, is in the same category as
his assertion of the eternity of future punishment, and would appear,
by applying the argument already expounded (p. 80) with respect to that
doctrine, to be in like manner contributory towards generating in the
spirit of man an incapability of sinning.  It is farther to be taken
into account that these words were addressed by the Lord to his
_apostles_--to the elect of the elect--with particular reference to the
sin of _betraying_ the Son of man, which was exemplified by the outward
act of Judas, who also by his self-destruction exhibited the damnatory
power of the inward consciousness of such guilt.  The exceeding
sinfulness of such apostasy as that which Judas, chosen to be {83} an
apostle, was guilty of, may be assigned as the reason that it was
denounced by our Lord in terms which do not appear to have been applied
to any other kind of "transgression" (compare Acts i. 17, 25).

In Heb. x. 26, 27, we are taught that "if we sin wilfully after that we
have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more
sacrifice for sins, but a certain looking for of judgment and fiery
indignation, which shall devour the adversaries."  This is apostasy not
of the same degree and character as that of a chosen apostle, but still
is such that "the called" are not exempt from falling into it, as is
clearly implied by the tenor of this passage.  To those who thus fall
and do not repent, is reserved "the fiery indignation" (_pyros zylos_),
which is destined hereafter to devour the adversaries.  It may be
presumed that the adversaries thus specially referred to are those of
whom it is said in Rev. xx. 9, that having been deceived by Satan,
after their resurrection at the end of the thousand years, and gathered
together in warfare against the beloved city, they were _devoured by
fire_ from God out of heaven.  Accordingly their destruction is
identical with the second death.

2 Peter ii. 20, 21, is a passage of like import to that just
considered.  It is therein asserted of those who are overcome by the
pollutions of the world after having escaped them through the knowledge
of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, that "it had been {84} better for
them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have
known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them."  This
may be taken to signify that the punishment in the day of judgment
consequent upon sin and error arising out of ignorance, will be "more
tolerable" than that which will be inflicted on those who have
knowingly apostatized from the way of truth.

What is said in Matt. xviii. 6, "Whoso shall offend one of these little
ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were
hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the
sea," may be accounted for on the principle that any form of death of
which the body is susceptible in this world is rather to be endured,
and less to be feared, than the punishment which, through the judgment
in the world to come, awaits the enemies of Christ who put a
stumbling-block in the way of them that humble themselves as little
children and believe on him.

Analogous principles may be applied to account for the declarations
made in Scripture respecting blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.  In St.
Matt. xii. 31, 82, it is recorded that our Lord said, "All sin and
blasphemy shall be forgiven to men, but the blasphemy of the Spirit
shall not be forgiven to men.  And whoever speaketh a word against the
Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaketh against the
Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, {85} neither in this world,
nor in the world to come."  The same doctrine is thus expressed in St.
Mark iii. 28, 29: "Verily I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven to
the sons of men, and all blasphemies whatever wherewith they may
blaspheme.  But whoever shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath
never forgiveness," but is subject to the judgment in the future _aiôn_
(_enochos estin aiôniou kriseôs_).  From the latter evangelist we also
learn that our Lord spoke these words because the scribes from
Jerusalem had said, "He hath an unclean spirit."  It is particularly to
be noticed that both passages declare in the fullest manner that all
manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven to men, at the same time
that they pronounce that blasphemy (not sin, _amartia_) against the
Holy Ghost is not forgiven.  To account for this apparent
contradiction, it must be remembered that the forgiveness, or
_remission_ (_aphesis_) of sin, necessarily implies antecedence of law
and transgression of the law; and whereas St. Paul teaches that "the
law entered that transgression might abound" (Rom. v. 20), it is quite
consistent with this doctrine to find that in the gospel of Christ
provision is made for the remission of all sin and blasphemy.  Now,
such remission consists in "repentance towards God and faith towards
our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts xx. 21); and therefore, when the gift of
righteousness (i.e. the grace of Christ) is received, the believer
begins to partake {86} of a spirit such as that which was "without
measure" in Christ.  This is essentially a _holy_ spirit, the
antecedent of which in Jesus Christ was perfect righteousness.
Therefore the scribes blasphemed when they said of Christ, "He hath an
unclean spirit," it not being possible that a perfectly righteous body
can be the vessel of an unclean spirit.

But it is possible that the faithful, after receiving the grace of
Christ and fellowship of the Spirit, may by unrighteous conduct "grieve
the Holy Spirit" (Eph. iv. 80), and even by persistence in sin defile
the gift of the Spirit which had been imparted to them.  In the
foregoing passage from St. Matthew xii., it is said that there is
forgiveness for one who "speaketh against the Son of man," which
expression may signify, generally, wilful and overt opposition to "the
law of Christ" (Gal. vi. 2); but that there is no forgiveness for one
who _speaks_ against the Holy Spirit, i.e. one who by wilful and
_overt_ conduct does violence to the sanctifying influence of the Holy
Spirit which he has already partaken of.  Of such an one it is written
in Heb. x. 29, "he hath trodden underfoot the Son of God, and hath
counted the blood of the covenant wherewith he was sanctified an unholy
thing, and hath done despite to the Spirit of grace."  But not every
sin committed after faith and the baptism of repentance has this
effect.  The apostle John tells us that although all unrighteousness
{87} (_adikia_, transgression of the strict law of Christ) is sin,
there is sin of a believing brother which is not unto death, and may be
repented of in this world; and there is sin unto death, respecting
which prayer for repentance would be unavailing (1 Epist. v. 16, 17).
This is "the blasphemy of the Spirit," which is not forgiven in this
world, because forgiveness implies repentance; neither is it forgiven
in the world to come, because beyond the grave there is no repentance.
What remains for such sinners is the "[oe]onian judgment" (see p. 69)
mentioned in St. Mark iii. 29, and "the sorer punishment" spoken of in
Heb. x. 29, which is the same as the condemnation to the second death
consequent upon that judgment.  (I take occasion to remark that in Mark
iii. 29, instead of _kriseôs_, some early manuscripts have
_amaritêmatos_, which, as far as I can see, does not admit of being
interpreted consistently with the context and the usage of _enochos_.)

There is still another passage--Mark ix. 42-50--which, on account of
its peculiar significance, it is necessary to discuss with reference to
the Scriptural argument for immortality.  It will suffice for
conducting the discussion to cite _vv._ 43 and 44, the literal
translation of which is as follows:--"If thy hand cause thee to offend,
cut it off: it is well for thee to enter into life maimed, rather than
having two hands to go into geenna, into the unquenchable fire, where
their worm dieth not, and the fire is not {88} quenched."  The
concluding part of this text is evidently derived from Isaiah lxvi. 24,
where the prophet reveals that the Lord has said respecting the
worshippers, consisting of "all flesh," that shall come before him when
"the new heavens and the new earth" are established, that "they shall
go forth and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed
against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be
quenched: and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh."  This passage
has so important a bearing on the sense of that quoted above from St.
Mark, that we must by all means endeavour to find out its
interpretation.  Respecting Biblical Interpretation, Burnet in one of
his treatises has enunciated two principles, which cannot but be
assented to: first, that besides the portions of Scripture which have a
literal or historical meaning, there are others which must be taken
allegorically; and, secondly, that an allegorical meaning, is to be
admitted when the literal sense involves an absurdity, or contradiction
to the nature of things.[2]  The right application of these principles
may be said to constitute a large portion of the science of Scripture.
But in applying them it is often difficult to decide, respecting a
particular passage, whether it is to be {89} taken literally or
allegorically; and again, after deciding that the passage must be
allegorical, there is generally the still greater difficulty of
discovering what the true sense is.  In illustration of the second of
the above principles Burnet cites, apart from the context, _vermem
nunquam moriturum_, and admits that these words have an allegorical
signification.  This plainly follows from the single consideration that
the worm (_skôlêx_) here spoken of is literally that which is seen to
feed on dead bodies, and to say of it that it does not die is
contradictory to experience.  When, however, the same author goes on to
give as the allegorical sense nothing more definite than "_extremam
miseriam_," it may well be asked, By what kind of induction has this
conclusion been reached?  The feeble worm which feeds on mortal remains
presents to our sight nothing capable of causing pain or misery.
Rather it may, I think, be asserted that Scripture here adverts to this
natural fact for the purpose of indicating by a distinct and visible
emblem that there is a living principle which destroys mortality, and
which for that reason alone is not itself subject to death.  If we be
guided solely by what _we see with our eyes_, this appears to be the
only allegorical sense that can be attributed to the first clause of
Mark ix. 44.[3]  We have next to inquire as to the {90} interpretation
of the other clause, and what is the mutual relation between the two

Although the worm which devours dead bodies is not emblematic of
anything that causes pain, the case is quite otherwise with respect to
the emblematic meaning of _fire_.  It is evident that fire which is
"unquenchable" is not natural fire, and consequently may be taken to
be, as has already been assumed, the devouring fire of judgment and of
condemnation consequent upon violation of the law of righteousness (see
p. 88).  The destruction of the impenitent unrighteous by the operation
of this law (which is their second death), is attended with pain and
woe such as will not have been before, nor will be after.  It was
inferred (p. 84) from our Lord's teaching in Matt. xviii. 6, that any
form of _death_ of which the body is susceptible in this world is
rather to be endured than falling under condemnation in the world to
come.  In Mark ix. 42-48, we are taught that any form of bodily _pain_,
as that of losing a hand, a foot, or an eye, is to be preferred to
entering with the body whole into the "_geenna_ of fire."  This is, in
fact, at once the greatest and the _last_ of human suffering and
tribulation.  For it should be noticed that at the end of this very
passage (v. 49) it is said that "every one shall be salted [made
'good,' _v._ 50] with fire," signifying the effect finally produced by
the unquenchable fire.  And with this agrees the emblem {91} of the
worm that "dieth not," taken as indicating that the final effect of the
torment of the judgment is to swallow up death, and to bring in, by
establishing the reign of righteousness, life and immortality.  The
signification of one emblem must be taken in conjunction with that of
the other.

Moreover, by giving particular attention to the context of Isa. lxvi.
24, it will be seen that what is there revealed is quite in accordance
with the above interpretation.  For, first, in _v._ 16 we have, "By
fire and by his sword [the sword of the Word of God spoken of in Rev.
xix. 15] will the Lord plead with all flesh," that is, in the judgment
which has been appointed for the trial and tribulation of all men.
Then, by taking into account what is said in _vv._ 22 and 23, we may
gather that "all flesh," having become denizens of "the new heavens and
the new earth" in which, as St. Peter declares (2 Epist. iii. 13),
righteousness dwells, "come to worship the Lord."  Of _these
worshippers_, consisting of "all flesh," it is affirmed that "they
shall go forth and look upon the carcases of the transgressors," which,
on account of the ill savour coming up from them, will be "an abhorring
to all flesh" (compare Isa. xxxiv. 3).  Thus there is here represented,
but by a different figure, the same truth as that which has already
been deduced from the ascending up for ever and ever of the brimstone
smoke of torment (see pp. 61 and 65); namely, {92} that the subjecting
of all the deeds and secrets of the present life to the scrutiny of
judgment, and the consequent condemnation of all the unredeemed to the
pains of a second death, will have the effect of making sin against a
"faithful Creator" to be seen and felt to be so hateful and abominable
a thing, that such sin will cease to be possible, notwithstanding that
all men will retain individuality and volition.  For all will thus at
length be made new creatures incapable of sinning.  This remark may
serve to introduce the final stage of the general argument, which I now
proceed to enter upon.

I have been endeavouring to show that the symbolic assertions in Rev.
xx. respecting "the lake of fire" and its "burning with brimstone," the
casting therein of the devil, the beast, and the false prophet, and
their being tormented "day and night for ever and ever," the judgment
of all the dead, small and great, according to their recorded deeds,
"the second death," and the casting into the lake of fire of "any one
not found written in the book of life," do not necessitate, as is
commonly thought, the conclusion that evil, which had a beginning,
fulfils no purpose and has no ending.  As to this question the seer
gives, in Rev. xxi. 1-4, the following explicit revelation: "And I saw
a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth
passed away; and there is no more sea.  And I saw the holy city, new
Jerusalem, {93} coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride
adorned for her husband.  And I heard a great voice from the throne,
saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell
with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be with
them, their God.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes;
and death shall be no more, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall
there be any more pain: for the first things passed away."  Now, it
seems hardly possible that the announcement of the termination of evil
could be made in terms more direct and more intelligible than these.
Hence, according to acknowledged principles of Biblical interpretation,
we must not attribute to the above-mentioned symbolic and less
intelligible passages any meaning inconsistent with that announcement.
The arguments I have adduced respecting the interpretation of the
figurative statements contained in the latter half of chap. xx. are
directed to showing that these figures do, in fact, admit of meanings
consistent with the gospel revelations given in chap. xxi. 1-4.  It is
of so much importance, as regards the Scriptural doctrine of
immortality, to establish this point, that I propose now to supplement
the former arguments by additional considerations.

In the Book of Daniel (xii. 6, 7) we read of "a man clothed in linen,
who was upon the water of a river, and held up his right hand and his
left hand unto {94} heaven, and sware by Him that liveth for ever,"
that at the end of an appointed time a certain purpose would be
accomplished, and "all these things be finished."  This refers, as the
context shows, to "the time of the end" of the present age (_aiôn_).
The announcement made in this manner by the man clothed in linen
indicates that he is the precursor of the angel of whom, in _vv._ 1, 2,
5, 6, 7 of Rev. x., the apostle John relates as follows: "I saw a
mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud, and a rainbow
upon his head, and his face as the sun, and his feet as pillars of
fire; and, having in his hand a little book open, he set his right foot
upon the sea, and his left foot upon the earth.... and lifted up his
hand to heaven, and sware by Him that liveth for ever and ever, who
created heaven and the things therein, and the earth and the things
therein, and the sea and the things therein, that time shall be no
more; but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, in the time
when he is about to sound his trumpet, also [_kai_, merely indicating
the apodosis] the mystery of God is finished (_etelesthê_, aor. ind.),
according to the gospel He made known to His servants the prophets."
The soundings of the seven trumpets are significant of progressive
steps in the general judgment; the days pertaining to the voice of the
seventh angel are those immediately preceding the actual sounding of
his trumpet, which announces the {95} completion (as indicated by the
number seven) of the mystery of God's creation in time, and marks the
end of the age (_ho aiôn ho mellôn_) following upon the conclusion of
the present age.  When all that pertains to this final interval "is
finished," there is no more succession of events whereby time is
cognizable, and therefore time is no more.  The might, and glorious
investiture, and majestic attitude of the angel who proclaims this
truth, conspire to point out its great significance.  The little book
in his hand is the word of prophecy by which we learn these mysteries.

It is, no doubt, beyond the limit of our thoughts, conditioned as we
are by time, to conceive of a state of things in which time is no more.
Apparently for this reason commentators have proposed to translate,
_chronos ouk estai eti_, "the time shall not be yet," or "time shall no
more intervene."  The former of these translations is excluded by the
usage of _ouk eti_ in the analogous affirmations in Rev. xxi. 1, 4, and
the other, which is an arbitrary comment rather than a translation, is
for the same reason excluded.  (I have preferred _ouk estai eti_ to
_ouketi estai_, because the words occur in the former order in each of
the three instances in Rev. xxi.)  There can be no question as to the
philological correctness of the translation, "time shall be no more."
The unwillingness to admit it appears to have arisen solely from a
fixed persuasion, gratuitously and very generally entertained, that
time {96} has a _necessary_ existence, and therefore cannot come to an
end.  Some have affirmed that when time ends, eternity begins; which is
a self-contradictory dogma, because eternity (from _[oe]tas_) is
essentially time.  The teaching of Scripture on this point is directly
opposed to these views; for the apostle Peter tells those for whose
sake he wrote his second Epistle, to bear in mind "this one thing, that
one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as
one day" (2 Epist. iii. 8).  This is equivalent to saying that time is
not an independent entity, but that both its existence and its quality
are determined by the _will_ of the Creator of all things.  It is in
virtue of our being made in His image, and partaking intellectually of
the divine nature, that we are capable _in thought_ of giving
indefinite and arbitrary extension to time, whether it be past time or
time to come.  This faculty, as I have already argued in p. 80, is to
be placed in the category of the different conditions, whether
depending on experience of the course of time, or on affections of our
bodily and mental constitutions, under which the spirit of man is
formed for immortality.  All such conditions are determined by the
purpose for which they are imposed, and when that purpose is fulfilled
in the perfection of humanity the conditions come to an end.  It is
thus that the being conditioned by time eventually ceases.

It will be proper here to meet an objection to the {97} doctrine that
time will have an end which might be drawn from the expression, _eis
tous aiônas tôn aiônôn_, which frequently occurs in Scripture, and
seems to be indicative of an unlimited succession of ages.  So far as
time is under human cognizance, and has relation to human experience,
Scripture speaks in express terms of only _two_ ages--the present one,
which lasts to the end of the _generations_ of men in the existing
order of things; and the age to come, which embraces the course of the
judgment of all who lived in the first age, and terminates with the
second death of those who had no part in the first resurrection.  When
it is said of the Creator of heaven and earth, that He is "from
everlasting to everlasting" (_apo tou aiônos meôs tou aiônos su ei_,
Ps. xc. 2), and that "He liveth for ever and ever" (_ho zôn eis tous
aiônas tôn aiônôn_, Rev. x. 6), the word _aiôn_ is not used to signify,
as in the instances of the two "ages" just mentioned, an interval
having beginning and ending, but is to be taken in an abstract sense,
derived from our ordinary perception of the existence and quality of
time, and from the faculty which, as said before, we possess of
thinking of time as indefinitely extended.  The first of the cited
passages affirms what in these days we should express by saying that
God is necessarily and essentially self-existent, and the other, what
we mean by saying that He is necessarily and essentially a _living_
God.  But {98} Scripture uses no such terms as these, because it is
written on the principle of employing in an abstract sense only such
terms as are rendered intelligible by personal sensation and
observation, and by experience drawn under actual conditions from the
outer world.  It is thus that the word "age" acquired its primary
meaning, before it was susceptible of the abstract application just

There is also to be said, as a reason for accepting this doctrine
respecting our relation to time, that Scripture teaches analogous
doctrine respecting our relation to _space_.  When our Lord astonished
his disciples by saying that the passage of a camel through the eye of
a needle is not an impossibility, he explained that "this is impossible
with men, but not with God; for with God all things are possible" (Mark
x. 25-27).  By this saying he asserted that space, and the mutual
relations of body and space, are such as they are by the will and power
of God, and by the same power might be changed.  Considering,
therefore, that "the new heavens and the new earth" constitute a "new
creation," it is quite in accordance with the above inference from our
Lord's words to find it said of "the new Jerusalem, the holy city,"
that "the length, and the breadth, and the height of it are equal"
(Rev. xxi. 16).  For a city to be such as to conform to this
description, it is plain that material substance and space must {99} be
related to each other in an entirely new manner, unrecognizable by
present experience.  The apostle Paul adverts to the eventual status of
the spirit of man with respect to time and space where he says, "I am
persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities,
nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor
depth, nor any other creation, will be able to separate us from the
love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. viii. 38, 39).
(In this sentence the recognized passage of time, the powers
[_dynameis_] of nature, and the measurable qualities of space, seem all
to be regarded as things _created_.)  Also corresponding to the change
in the external creation it is revealed that there will be a change of
the outward man, the natural body giving place to the "spiritual body."
It would appear, therefore, from the whole of the foregoing argument
that our spirits, after being bound by earthly and temporal conditions,
undergo complete transformation, being conjoined with bodily essence
related in a new manner to _space_, and being also released from the
condition of _time_.  But although this mode of existence may be a
necessary condition of the immortal state, especially as such state
embraces associated members, it is not the sole, nor the principal,
condition of immortality, as the remainder of the argument will show.

It has already been noticed that St. Peter {100} characterizes "the new
heavens and the new earth" by saying that "righteousness dwells
therein."  This is as much as to say that it is a perfect _social_
state, whose end is at once the glory of God and the happiness of man.
The words of the apostle (2 Epist. iii. 13) signify that the new
creation, by satisfying this condition, is the fulfilment of an
antecedent promise.  Now, the argument of this Essay is in entire
agreement with this doctrine, inasmuch as it was from the first assumed
(p. 9) that immortality cannot consist with any other than a state of
righteousness, and then (pp. 19 and 20) it was argued that after Adam's
transgression a _promise_ was made that himself and his race would
eventually be exempt from the power of Satan and attain to immortality.
The passage Rev. xxi. 1-4, quoted in p. 92, seems to certify the
complete fulfilment of this promise and to indicate the manner of its
fulfilment.  But there are other passages in this concluding portion of
the Apocalypse, which might be thought to bear a contrary
signification, to which, therefore, our attention must now be directed.

In xxi. 8 we have, "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the
abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and
idolaters, and all lies, shall have their part in the lake which
burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."  If we
give to this symbolism, as consistency requires, {101} an
interpretation analogous to that applied to Rev. xx. 10, we shall
conclude that sinners of all classes will eventually have no cognizable
existence, transgression being brought to an end by the effect of the
general judgment and the pains of the second death.  This may explain
why it is added, "which is the second death."  It is worthy of remark
that "all lies" are said to have their part in "the lake" although the
casting of lies into a lake is objectively an impossibility.  But this
variation of the designation ("lies" being put for "liars") may be
intended to signify generally that all transgression disappears,
because transgressors cease to be cognizable _as transgressors_.

There is another thing to be noticed respecting the same passage: it
contains no such clause as, "They shall be tormented day and night to
the ages of ages," which occurs at the end of Rev. xx. 10.  This
omission may be accounted for on the principle stated in p. 96,
according to which expressions involving time are not applicable to the
condition of things in the new creation, in which time exists no more.

I take the occasion to remark here that the above-cited clause appears
to be the only passage in the Apocalypse which asserts the perpetuity
of _personal_ experience of torment, as distinct from the perpetuity of
its effect; also that the personal subject of the verb
_basanisthêsontia_, according to grammatical rules, would be the devil,
the beast, and the {102} false prophet, each of which is represented as
personal, and endowed with volition and power.  But these, as I have
maintained in p. 61, are the powers which, according to the law of
opposites, are antagonist to God the Father, the Holy Ghost, and the
Son of God; and the assertion that they are tormented for ever and ever
may be taken to mean, according to the principle of interpretation
explained in p. 97, that they exist _necessarily_, but only as they
exist, when subdued, in the contempt and hatred in which they are held
by those who have felt their power and have overcome it, this spiritual
effect being a condition of immortality.  (See end of p. 61.)

It remains to speak of one other subject connected with the revelations
made in the Apocalypse, which, understood as it respects our argument,
is of very great moment, inasmuch as it has relation to the means by
which the spirit of man is endowed with immortality.  The Son of God is
named in the Apocalypse "The Word of God" (xix. 18), "King of kings and
Lord of lords" (xvii. 14, and xix. 16), "the root and the offspring of
David, the bright and morning star" (xxii. 16), and by other titles
expressive of honour and dignity; but no name occurs so frequently, and
in such various applications, as "the Lamb."  What, it may be asked, is
the reason for this?  In order to answer this question let us take into
consideration some instances, specially {103} significant, in which
this name occurs.  From what is recorded in chap. v. 6-13 as having
been seen in vision by the apostle, we are instructed as follows
respecting the character and office of the Lamb: "In the midst of the
throne [the seat of the Lord God Almighty] and of the four living
beings, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been
slain, having seven horns [emblematic of perfect power] and seven eyes
[perfection of wisdom], which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth
into all the earth."  And he came and took out of the right hand of Him
who sat upon the throne a book "sealed with seven seals."  "And when he
had taken the book, the four living beings and four and twenty elders
fell down before the Lamb....  And they sung a new song, saying, Thou
art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; for thou
wast slain."  Then "an innumerable company of angels" (Heb. xii. 22)
was heard to say with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain
to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and
glory, and blessing.  And every created thing which is in heaven, and
on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all
things in them, were heard to say, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and
power be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for
ever and ever."

Then follows in chap. vi. the opening of the seven {104} seals, which,
from the descriptions given at the successive openings, appear to
symbolize the various kinds of human experience, both good and evil,
which mark the course of events in the present world, all centering in
the work of redemption by the sacrifice of the Son of God; on which
account the Lamb _slain_ can alone open the seven seals and disclose
their meaning.  At the end of what is said relative to the sixth seal
mention is made of "the great day of the wrath of the Lamb," which,
because by reason of the sins of men he was so unjustly slain, is
ordained to be seen and felt by the whole world after the termination
of the present age (see Rev. i. 7).  The expectation of that wrath,
although none can escape it, all but very few in the present day are
unwilling, through terror or unbelief, to entertain.  The state of
terror of all classes at the signs of the approach of that day appears
to be described at the end of the chapter.  (See vi. _vv._ 15-17.)

Next, in chap. vii., comes the sealing of all the elect, represented
symbolically by the sealing of twelve thousand of each of the twelve
tribes of Israel, the number twelve specially signifying election.
Then in _vv._ 9-17 is recorded a most wonderful vision.  The seer says,
"After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, whom no man could
number, of all nations, and tribes, and peoples, and tongues, standing
before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white {105} robes,
and palms in their hands: and they cry with a loud voice, saying,
Salvation to our God who sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb."
This multitude whom no man can number, the number of whom is elsewhere
said to be as "the sand of the sea," must embrace all that are not of
the number of the elected and sealed one hundred and forty-four
thousand, and their ascription here of praise to God for salvation
accords with the teaching of St. Paul, that "God is the Saviour of all
men, especially of those that believe."  This is made still plainer by
what is said respecting this multitude clothed in white robes in _vv._
14-17.  The seer is told by one of the elders that "These are they who
come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes, and made
them white in the blood of the Lamb.  Therefore are they before the
throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple; and He that
sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.  And they shall hunger no
more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor
any heat.  For the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will feed
them, and will lead them to fountains of waters of life; and God will
wipe away all tears from their eyes."  It is evident that the
revelation here made is _proleptical_, describing a state of things
identical with that which in Rev. xxi. 3, 4 (before quoted in p. 93),
is said to pertain to the new heavens and the {106} new earth.  The
explanation that may be given of this anticipation of the subsequent
revelation is referable to a principle which governs much that is
contained in Scripture, although it has been generally overlooked--the
principle, namely, of following sometimes an order determined by
_relativity_, although it sets aside order as to time.  This, however,
is not done except for some purpose.  In the present instance, the
effect of declaring the salvation of all men in immediate sequence to
the sealing of the elect for salvation, is to indicate that the general
scheme whereby all eventually partake of salvation consists of related
and progressive parts to be unfolded by course of time.

The name of "the Lamb" is also given to our Lord in various other
passages, which, with the view of contributing to the general argument,
I proceed now to cite and make some remarks upon.  The accuser of the
brethren (Satan) is overcome by those who loved not their lives unto
death, "on account of the _blood_ of the Lamb" (xii. 10, 11).  The
beast will be worshipped by all dwellers upon earth "whose names are
not written in the book of life of the Lamb _slain_ from the foundation
of the world" (xiii. 8).  "A Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him
an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written on
their foreheads....  These are they who follow the Lamb wheresoever he
goeth.  {107} These were purchased from among men, the firstfruits to
God and to the Lamb" (xiv. 1, 4).  The worshippers of the beast "shall
be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels
and in the presence of the Lamb" (xiv. 10).  Those who have gotten the
victory over the beast "sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and
the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord
God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of the nations.
Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only
art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee, because
thy judgments are made manifest" (xv. 2-4).  The law given by Moses,
and the gospel of Jesus Christ, constitute together a great and
wonderful [oe]conomy, redounding to the praise and glory of God, and to
the salvation of man.  Kings of the earth "shall make war with the
Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them, because he is Lord of lords and
King of kings, and they that are with him are called, and elect, and
faithful" (xvii. 14).

The marriage of the Lamb and his bride--that is, the union of Christ
with the whole assembly of the redeemed--does not take place till "the
wife has made herself ready," till she has arrayed herself in the fine
linen, clean and white, which it was given her to put on, the fine
linen being "the righteousness of saints" (xix. 7, 8).  This doctrine
accords well {108} with the view taken throughout this Essay, namely,
that righteousness (the "unspeakable gift," 2 Cor. ix. 15) is necessary
as an antecedent condition of salvation, and therefore of immortality.
It is further to be noticed that this union between the Lamb and the
bride is not perfected while time lasts, requiring the condition of a
new creation.  For it was not till the first heaven and the first earth
passed away that John "saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down
from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband"
(xxi. 2), and that "the Lamb's wife" was shown to him by "one of the
seven angels that had the seven vials full of the last seven plagues"
(xxi. 9).  The performance of this office by an angel who in the
antecedent judgment had been a minister of wrath and punishment, may be
taken to be significant of the _means_ by which the glorious
consummation is brought about.

Finally, we have in the following concluding portions of apocalyptic
prophecy a description of what may be said to constitute the joy of the
marriage supper, namely, the perfection through righteousness, not only
of the union between Christ and the elect Church, but also of that
between God and all peoples.  Speaking of "the holy city Jerusalem,"
John says, "I saw no temple therein; for the Lord God Almighty and the
Lamb are the temple of it.  And the city hath no need of the sun,
neither of the {109} moon, to shine on it; for the glory of God gave
light to it, and the Lamb is the lamp thereof.  And the nations shall
walk by the light of it, and the kings of the earth bring their glory
into it.  And the gates of it shall not be shut by day, for there will
not be night there.  And they shall bring the glory and honour of the
nations into it.  And there shall not enter into it anything unclean,
and that worketh abomination and lying, but only they that are written
in the Lamb's book of life" (xxi. 22-27).  The seer goes on to say,
"And he showed me a river of water of life, bright as crystal, coming
forth from the throne of God and of the Lamb.  In the midst of the
street of it and of the river, on the one side and the other [the river
being in the middle of the street, and the tree spreading from one side
to the other], was the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, and
yielding its fruit according to each month; and the leaves of the tree
are for the healing of the nations.  And there shall be no more curse;
and the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants
shall serve Him: and they shall see His face, and His name shall be on
their foreheads.  And night shall be no more: and they shall have no
need of light of a lamp, and light of the sun; because the Lord God
will give them light, and they shall reign to the ages of ages" (xxii.

The foregoing citations, and indeed the whole tenor of the contents of
the Apocalypse, clearly point to the {110} conclusion that what is
symbolized by "the Lamb" and "the Lamb slain" runs through all it
teaches respecting the course of experience and future destination of
the race of man--is "the lamp" that enlightens the whole.  Now, I think
I may assert that the reason this is so is given by the arguments
adduced in this Essay.  It has been maintained that on the day that
Adam fell into disobedience by the wiles of Satan, his Creator made a
promise by covenant that he and his offspring should in the end be
freed from the power of Satan and evil, and partake of immortality.
The terms of the covenant were that man must pass through toil, and
pain, and death, that thereby his spirit might be formed for receiving
the gift of an immortal life.  Evidence of an intelligent belief of the
efficacy of these conditions was given by the faithful of old by their
sacrificing clean animals, and surety for the fulfilment of the
covenant was given on God's part by a favourable acceptance, either
directly or mediately, of this expression of their faith.  In process
of time the only begotten Son of God, out of sympathy with suffering
humanity, and from knowledge of his Father's purpose towards us,
satisfied in his own person the very same conditions, and thus at once
exemplified and justified the means by which that purpose is
accomplished.  At the same time he made sure the grounds for belief of
the fulfilment of the covenanted promise, first by marvellous {111}
works before he suffered, which showed that he had command over all the
ills of humanity, and after his death, by resurrection from the grave
the third day, which gave proof of the reality of a power that could
overcome death.  The miracles of Christ are an essential part of the
work of his ministry, inasmuch as they were needed to prove that he
possessed power greater than that of his adversaries, and consequently
that he submitted _voluntarily_ to be "led as a _lamb_ to the
slaughter," and to endure all the pain and indignities of the cross.
Out of love towards those whom he vouchsafes to call his brethren, he
showed how they must undergo physical suffering and the pains of death
in order that their spirits might be formed for an endless life.  It
was with understanding and belief that the way to life was made sure by
fellowship with Christ in suffering, that some of the most favoured of
his faithful followers, apostles and apostolic men, willingly suffered
after his example.

But pain and death are not in this way efficacious for salvation,
unless they be accompanied by a faith which lays hold of the covenant
and promise of life made and ratified from the beginning by God, and
which looks for the fulfilment in the world to come.  Those who, having
this faith, do good works are God's elect, who live again at the first
resurrection, to die no more.  The rest of mankind, although they go
through suffering and death, and although their {112} sufferings are
not without effect in forming their spirits for immortality (such is
the virtue of the sacrifice of the Son of God "for the sins of the
whole world"), rise to be judged for their unbelief and
unrighteousness, and to be condemned to undergo a second death.  The
Lamb slain is appointed to execute the judgment and take vengeance on
the unrighteous.  What better title could there be for his undertaking
this "strange work" (Isa. xxviii. 21), than his having so cruelly and
unjustly suffered at the hands of sinful men?  Yet the portions of
Scripture we have had under consideration necessitate the conclusion
that the consecration of the way to life through death by the death of
the Son of God, which applies to the death of believers, applies also
to the second death of unbelievers; so that this death also is followed
by life.  But here a difficulty presents itself which needs
explanation.  Although Scripture speaks of a first resurrection and a
second death, it makes no mention of a _second resurrection_.  This, I
think, may be accounted for as follows.

By considering the context, both preceding and following, of the
clause, "This is the first resurrection," in Rev. xx. 5, it will be
apparent that "resurrection" does not here mean simply returning to
life after death, but may be taken to embrace the whole period of the
thousand years, together with all that concerns "the happy and the
holy" who {113} have part therein.  This interpretation is in
accordance with the sense in which our Lord speaks of resurrection
where he says, "In the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in
marriage, but are as the angels, of God in heaven" (Matt. xxii. 30).
That "the resurrection" (_hê anastasis_) designates a state or
condition of life into which the elect of God are _introduced_ by
returning to life after death, is still more explicitly signified by
the following corresponding passage of St. Luke (xx. 34-36): "The
children of this world marry, and are given in marriage; but they who
are 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 to the angels, and are children of God,
being children of the resurrection."  Now, it may certainly be inferred
from what is said in Rev. xx. 5, that the rest of the dead, who have no
part in this first resurrection, return to life at the end of the
thousand years.  But they return to life to be judged, condemned, and
suffer death again.  This, therefore, is in no sense a resurrection
answering to the description above given of the first resurrection, and
accordingly is not called in Scripture the second resurrection.  What
really corresponds to the holiness and happiness of the first
resurrection state is the finally perfected and all-comprehending state
called "the new heaven and the new earth," life in which, according to
our {114} argument, comes out of the second and last death, and is
unconditioned by time.  This is the heavenly state which is described
in Rev. vii. 11-17, xxi. 2-4, and 10-27.  Thus, although this may be
regarded as that subsequent resurrection to which "the first
resurrection" by its very designation points, it is not called "the
second resurrection," because it is not, like the first, limited or
conditioned by _time_.

The portion of the Apocalypse which is strictly symbolical and
prophetical begins at _v._ 1 of chap. iv. and ends with _v._ 5 of chap.
xxii.  The first three chapters, including the epistles to the seven
Churches, and the verses from chap. xxii. 5 to the end of the book, may
be taken to be respectively introduction and conclusion, the contents
of which, although strictly related to those of the intermediate
symbolical part, are not of a character so exclusively figurative.
This circumstance has to be taken into account in proposing
interpretations of passages contained in them.  Now, there are certain
passages in the concluding part which appear to be contradictory to the
doctrine of salvation maintained in this Essay, and accordingly, before
bringing the argument to a close, I shall endeavour to ascertain the
true interpretations of these passages.

The angel who showed John "these things" (xxii. 8) says of himself, "I
am the fellow-servant of thee, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of
those who {115} keep the words of this book;" and yet this speaker is
not distinguished from him who afterwards says (_vv._ 12, 13), "Lo, I
come quickly, and my reward is with me, to render to each according as
his work is.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the
beginning and the end," who, without doubt, is the Lord himself.  This
may be accounted for by the following considerations.  This angel, of
whom it is twice asserted that he refused to receive worship proffered
to him by the seer (xix. 10, and xxii. 9), is the same that is spoken
of in Rev. i. 1, with reference to "the revelation of Jesus Christ,
which God gave to him, to shew to his servants things which must
shortly come to pass," in these terms: "He [Jesus Christ] by sending
signified it [the revelation] through his angel to his servant John."
In certain passages in the introductory part of the Apocalypse, as Rev.
i. 8, 17-20, and throughout the epistles to the seven Churches, the
Lord speaks in his own person; and this again he does expressly in some
passages in the concluding part, as xxii. 7, 12, 13, 16, 20; and
although the speaker in _vv._ 10 and 11 appears to be the same as the
speaker in _v._ 9, who certainly is the angel, such words as those two
verses contain could hardly have been uttered by any one but the Lord,
and, at least, they may be attributed to him on the principle that what
the Lord does through his ministering angel may be said to be done by
himself.  It is as {116} ministering to Jesus Christ that the angel
calls himself a "fellow-servant" of prophets and apostles, and,
generally, of those who keep the words of this revelation.  For these
reasons in the following remarks I take _vv._ 10 and 11 as spoken by
Jesus Christ.

The words addressed by the speaker to John are (_vv._ 10, 11): "Seal
not the sayings of the prophecy of this book; for the time is at hand.
He who is unrighteous, let him commit injustice still; and he who is
filthy, let him be filthy still; and he who is righteous, let him do
righteousness still; and he who is holy, let him be holy still.  Lo, I
come quickly; and my reward is with me, to render to each as his work
is."  This passage has been interpreted as meaning that in the world to
come the conditions of the righteous and the wicked are irrevocably

I would rather say, having regard to the precise opposition of the
clauses of which it is composed, that the passage declares that in the
end unrighteousness and filthiness are irrevocably separate from their
opposites righteousness and holiness; and to account for the terms in
which this statement is made, it may suffice to refer to the principle
that according to the concrete, or objective, teaching of the
Apocalypse, holiness and filthiness would not be spoken of
abstractedly, that is, apart from holy and _filthy_ persons, and in
like manner righteousness and unrighteousness would not be mentioned
apart from their necessary {117} antecedents, _personal_ righteous and
unrighteous _deeds_.  The expressions "commit injustice" and "do
righteousness," which do not occur in the English version, are exact
renderings of the Greek.

Another passage which, as bearing on our argument, requires to be taken
into account, is _v._ 15 of the same chapter, which asserts that
"without are dogs, and sorcerers, and fornicators, and murderers, and
idolaters, and every one that loveth and maketh a lie."  This is
expressing in concrete language, such as is constantly employed in
Scripture, that there is no unrighteousness in the city of God.  Such
language, being concerned only with _objective_ realities, cannot
express a _negation_, and, consequently, cannot assert that
unrighteousness is _not_ within the city.  Hence it is not possible,
except by means of such terms as those actually employed, to express
concretely that the city of God is free from all unrighteousness.  By
comparing Rev. xxi. 8 with the interpretation here given of Rev. xxii.
15, it will be seen that the exclusion from the city of God of all
things sinful and abominable is declared to be effected by "the second

I have now completed the argument respecting man's immortality which I
proposed to found upon the words of Scripture.  I have argued on the
hypothesis that for this purpose the Scriptures are trustworthy and
sufficient, and I have admitted that we {118} can know nothing for
certain concerning our immortality apart from the declared will of "Him
who alone hath immortality" (1 Tim. vi. 16).  Accordingly, Scripture
must be consulted in order to learn what God has willed respecting the
destiny of man.  The principal result of this inquiry is, that by the
will of God righteousness and salvation are so inseparably connected
that only as being personally righteous can man be saved and partake of
immortality.  The question, therefore, as to the immortality of all men
resolves itself into inquiring whether, and by what means, all men are
made righteous.  Arguments relating to this inquiry may be said to
constitute the whole of this Essay.  I am prepared to expect that it
will be objected to these arguments that they are _new_, and on this
account that the conclusions drawn from them are not _true_.  I admit
the validity of this inference if the arguments and conclusions are
really new, but I maintain that in so far as they are founded upon, and
correctly supported by, Scripture, they cannot be new, because we must
not suppose that the Scriptural doctrine of man's salvation was not
fully understood before these days--for instance, in the days of
primitive Christianity.  As the objection on the ground of newness
cannot be sustained, the only course left to the objector is to examine
the arguments, for the purpose of ascertaining whether they are sound
and strictly Scriptural.


I think, however, it is possible that Scriptural doctrine, as taught
originally by prophets, apostles, and apostolic men, may have become so
obscured and mixed up with human traditions and accretions, that
bringing it again to light would appear like promulgating new doctrine.
This remark leads me to state on what authorities I have chiefly relied
in the composition of this Essay.  I may say at once that my views have
been determined for the most part by long study of St. Paul's Epistle
to the Romans, and the Apocalypse of the Apostle John.  I was not,
however, able to accept St. Paul's Epistle as it is translated in the
Authorized Version, nor could I agree with any commentary upon it that
had come before me.  For these reasons I published a revised
Translation, with Introduction and Notes (Deighton, Bell, & Co., 1871),
which may, perhaps, claim consideration, if on no other ground, because
it is the production of a mind not unacquainted with classical studies,
but trained especially by mathematics and the pursuit of physical
science for inquiring respecting the method and laws of divine
operation.  I have stated in the preface to that work (p. x.) the
particular bearing which, as it seemed to me, such studies have on the
interpretation of St. Paul's Epistle.  Under the influence of the same
mental training, I was induced long since to direct my attention
towards the interpretation of the Apocalypse, and I purpose {120}
shortly, if God be willing, to publish the fruits of my researches.
Any reader of this Essay will perceive that it contains much which
depends on views which I entertain respecting the general scheme and
the symbolism of the Apocalypse.

With respect to the interpretation of symbolical Scripture, I have not
abstained from having recourse to books which, although they are not
included in the Canon of Scripture, are specially adapted to reveal
principles on which the prophetical and symbolical parts of Canonical
Scripture may be interpreted.  I refer to three books in particular,
the fourth Book of Esdras, the Epistle of Barnabas, and the Shepherd of
Hermas.  There is historic evidence that these books were largely made
use of in the days of primitive Christianity.  The first has obtained
an honourable place in the Articles of the Church of England, owing, no
doubt, to the traditional influence which the Church of Rome still had
at the time of the Reformation.  In the midst of much error and
superstition pervading that Church, she faithfully performed the part
of keeper of the ancient sacred writings, and to her we are indebted
for the preservation for ecclesiastical use of that most instructive
book, although at the Council of Trent it was not admitted into the
Romish Canon.  The other two books above mentioned were long regarded
by the Primitive Church as being useful for instruction in doctrine,
and of {121} authority little less than that of Scripture; in
attestation of which assertion it may be stated that the Codex
Sinaiticus contains the whole of the Epistle of Barnabas, and a portion
of the Shepherd of Hermas, although no other early Christian writings
are in the same manner associated with the Canonical Books.

In drawing inferences from the above sources of information, I have
endeavoured to keep closely to the rules of induction which have
conducted to such signal discoveries in Natural Philosophy, and to
refrain from accepting any inference which the Scriptural data did not
justify.  The modern advances in physical science, which have shown in
what path we must proceed in order to reach a knowledge of God's works,
indicate, it may be presumed, that an analogous method is to be pursued
in order to gain a knowledge of His word.  But it will, perhaps, be
said, that if the knowledge of what is revealed in Scripture be
obtainable only by means such as those which have been exemplified in
this Essay, the considerations that must be entered into are so remote
from common apprehension, that but very few can be supposed to be
endowed with capacity for understanding them.  This, it must be
admitted, is actually the case, and, besides, is in conformity with the
arbitrament according to which God grants to an elected few gifts and
graces which He withholds from the many.

Yet it seems to be the will of God to vouchsafe at {122} certain times
and places, and among certain peoples, a more than ordinary measure of
knowledge; and perhaps we shall not err in believing that the prophecy
in the Book of Daniel, "Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall
be increased" (xii. 4), is being fulfilled in our time and nation.
There is also a remarkable passage in the Apocalypse, which seems to
reveal that before "the time of the end" (Dan. xii. 4), the gospel in
its most comprehensive sense will be preached among all nations: "And I
saw another angel flying in mid-heaven, having the [oe]onian gospel
[i.e. the gospel pertaining to the future age] to preach to those that
dwell upon the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and
people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give Him glory because
the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him who made the heaven,
and the earth, and the sea, and fountains of waters" (Rev. xiv. 6, 7).
I cannot forbear noticing the coincidence of the plain meaning of the
words of this prophecy with the views advocated in this Essay: first,
in respect to calling the gospel "[oe]onian" and thus asserting its
applicability to the future age; next, in its announcement of the
gospel in connection with the advent of "the hour of judgment;" and,
lastly, in the loud call the angel makes to the dwellers on earth to
give glory and worship to the Creator of heaven, earth, sea, and the
fountains of waters.


But the dulness of hearers and incapacity to understand the doctrine of
Scripture are not the only obstacles those will have to contend against
who undertake to preach "the [oe]onian gospel."  There are the
interests and attractions of the present world, which, since the love
of them is necessarily disturbed by the announcement that the world to
come offers what is much more to be desired, operate, sometimes it may
be in a manner which is not suspected, in hardening the heart against
listening to and receiving that gospel.  I think that in this way only
can it be accounted for that the passages of Scripture which
unequivocally declare the salvation of all men are comparatively
unattended to, whilst belief is generally expressed in those supposed
to be of opposite import.  I am apprehensive that on the same accounts
the arguments by which I have endeavoured to show that the latter
passages admit of being interpreted consistently with the others, will
receive little attention.

There exists, moreover, in the present day so long-standing and so
general an inability to discern the inner and true sense of Scripture,
"the letter which killeth" having been preferred to "the spirit which
maketh alive," that it has become a matter of much difficulty to
comprehend and explain the terms in which the gospel in its entirety is
therein proclaimed, and either to give, or to receive, instruction
which may conduce to an intelligent acceptance of it.  {124} In
addition to which there prevails a tendency to rely on traditional and
formal doctrine, and to assign to it an authority co-ordinate with that
of Scripture, although as having had its origin at times when primitive
faith and knowledge had in great measure declined, and "the mystery of
iniquity" was already working, it cannot but be mixed with a human
element of untruth.  This tendency, which appears to be attributable to
a consciousness of inability to form an independent judgment of the
truths of Scripture, operates at present in creating a prejudice
against all attempts to go beyond the boundaries by which Scriptural
knowledge is assumed to be circumscribed.  Nevertheless, regarding it
as a duty to employ the opportunities and the ability which God has
given me in making such an attempt, I have endeavoured to place the
doctrine of the salvation and immortality of all men on a Scriptural
basis, and I have now only to ask for an unprejudiced consideration of
the arguments I have adduced for that purpose.

[1] See the notes to Rom. v. 12-20, given in pp. 36-38 of my
"Translation of St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans" (Cambridge: Deighton
and Co, 1871).

[2] The treatise referred to is entitled "De Faturâ, Bestauratione,"
and the passage cited is very near the end of it.  This treatise is an
appendix to another, the title of which is "De Statu Mortuorum et

[3] So far this explanation of Mark ix. 44 is the same as that which I
have given in a letter to the editor of the _Clerical Journal_, which
is inserted in the number for June 5, 1862 (p. 526).



I have allowed to stand in the Essay (pp. 76-81) the views I held at
the time it was composed respecting the interpretation of Matt. xxv.
46, because I considered that these views, although in certain respects
they are inconsistent with those I maintain in this Appendix, might
contribute, by comparison with the latter, towards an understanding of
the passage.  The interpretation which, after long consideration, I
have finally adopted, was first published in two letters, contained
under the head of "Correspondence," in the numbers of the _Guardian_
for December 27, 1877, and January 16, 1878.  With the view of offering
some additional arguments in support of that interpretation, and making
it more generally intelligible, I propose to begin with producing _in
extenso_ the two letters referred to.



"After reading attentively the letters of your correspondents to which
the sermon of Dr. Farrar has given occasion, it appeared to me that
some views in addition to those which have hitherto been proposed, and
in certain respects controverting them, may be worthy of consideration.
I beg, {126} therefore, to be allowed space for making the following

"We are taught in the Scriptures that hereafter there will be a new
constitution of the universe, 'new heavens and a new earth wherein
dwelleth righteousness' (2 Peter iii. 13), and that in this perfect
social state 'there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying,
neither shall there be any more pain' (Rev. xxi. 4).  To reconcile this
revelation, so intelligible and so comprehensive, with the meaning of
passages which seem to say that the punishment of the wicked will be
'endless,' presents a very great difficulty.  We are not at liberty in
such cases to accept some parts of Scripture and reject others in order
to get rid of the difficulty, but must believe that the truth, if it
should be reached, will establish the consistency of all, and that
seeming contradictions are only due to our ignorance.  I propose for
consideration the following solution of the above-stated difficulty:--

"Jesus Christ in his ministration on earth said, in the course of
giving instruction to his _disciples_ (Matt. xxiv. 3), 'These [on the
left hand] shall go into eternal punishment, and the righteous into
eternal life' (Matt. xxv. 46).  Considering that in all he said and did
he had in view his Father's purpose of making the spirits of men meet
for immortality, it may be asked, In what way was such teaching
contributory to this end?  May we not conclude from our Lord's words,
apart from all other inferences, that eternal life is necessarily
preceded by righteousness, and eternal punishment is as necessarily
consequent upon sin, and that the knowledge of these divine decrees
contributes to the formation of spirits for the life to come?  This
inference might be accepted as abstractedly true; but then the question
arises, What is meant by _duration_ as signified by the word 'eternal'?
It should be remarked that in the statement of the doctrine I have
employed the word 'necessarily' in a sense that is not unusual, and is
generally thought to be intelligible.  But it is to be taken into
account that no such use of the term occurs in Scripture, where, in
fact, it would be wholly {127} incongruous.  The reason of this is that
the Scriptures contain no abstract truths which are not expressed, or
expressible, in terms understood from the facts and conditions of human
experience.  This may especially be said of the discourses of our Lord,
in consequence of which they are much misunderstood by the many who are
incapable of discerning the spiritual through the literal, who, as he
said, 'have eyes and see not, and ears and hear not.'  Assuming,
therefore, that there is truth in speaking of righteousness and life as
being _necessarily_ connected, as also of sin and punishment as being
in like manner connected, we have to inquire in what way these abstract
truths are expressed in the language of Scripture.  I venture to make
answer that this is done by its recognition of a special faculty we are
all conscious of possessing, that of thinking and speaking of time (and
space also) as indefinitely extended.  (The mathematician knows that
without the supposition, whether as to greatness or smallness, of _ad
libitum_ extent of space and time, he is unable to conduct his
reasoning.)  On this principle Scripture speaks of duration through
'ages, and ages,' because by such emphatic reference to our capacity
for thinking of unlimited duration, the anterior necessity of certain
abstract truths, as especially the being and attributes of Deity, and
the characters of divine judgment, is expressed in terms drawn from
common thought and experience.

"But the omnipotent Creator, who, for purposes towards us, made time
and space to be what we perceive them to be, has also the power to
change or _unmake_ them.  If it were not so, there would be a power
above that of the Creator, which is impossible.  The difficulty
concerning the duration of future punishment appears to be attributable
to a preconception tacitly, perhaps unconsciously, entertained by most
persons that time and space have an independent existence, although the
teaching of Scripture is directly opposed to this view.  St. Paul
speaks of 'height' and 'depth' as of things _created_ (Rom. viii. 39);
St. Peter has, 'One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a
thousand years as one day' (2 Epist. iii. 8); and in {128} Rev. x. 6 it
is expressly said that when the scheme of redemption is finished 'time
shall be no more.'  The foregoing argument suffices, I think, to show
that 'endless' and eternal are not convertible terms, for the special
reason that the latter is significant of time as being derived from
_[oe]tas_, whereas the other has _per se_ no necessary relation to
time.  (For the same etymological reason I consider 'eternal' to be
preferable to 'ever-lasting.')  I cannot forbear adverting here to a
serious misstatement, as it seems to me, in Mr. Churton's letter in the
Guardian of December 12 (p. 1714).  He says that the teaching of Holy
Scripture as to the matter of _duration_, is precisely the same with
respect to eternal life and eternal death, having apparently overlooked
the remarkable expression in Heb. vii. 16, 'indissoluble life' (_zôês
akatalytou_), in which endlessness is signified by an epithet not
explicitly indicative of time.  No such epithet is applied in Scripture
to future punishment.  This difference is of great importance when
taken with reference to the declaration in Scripture that time itself
has an end.

"It would certainly appear that the apostle Paul did not teach that the
future punishment of the wicked will be endless; otherwise, how could
he have written, 'God is the Saviour of all men, specially of those
that believe' (1 Tim. iv. 10)?  Is not this to assert that all are
saved in the same sense that some who believe are saved, although there
may be difference as to the order or mode of the salvation?  We know
that in the present age faith avails to save if it rests on the
assurance given by the suffering and death of Jesus Christ that by
passing through the same gate of suffering we are prepared to enter
into life; for such faith yields the fruit of patience and
righteousness.  But _in the age to come_ there is neither faith, nor
repentance, nor _probation_, but 'a certain fearful looking for of
judgment and fiery indignation' (Heb. x. 27).  The appointed Judge is
the Son of man, who, having suffered an unjust and painful death at the
hands of sinful men, is entitled to execute the vengeance on sinners.
All men are judged; but the elect, {129} who have been sealed by faith
and good works, escape condemnation, and are those that are 'specially'
saved.  The rest are condemned to undergo _the second death_.  This is
that 'threefold woe' and 'great tribulation' so plainly foretold in
Scripture.  It was by these 'terrors of the Lord' that St. Paul sought
to 'persuade' men, and not, as it would seem, by saying that the misery
will be without end.  As matter of experience, the preaching of this
hopeless destiny does not deter from sin, but only makes sad tender
spirits whom God has not made sad.  Why should we not rather believe
that the purpose of avenging justice is fulfilled when that great and
final tribulation (Mark xiii. 19) has availed, in virtue of the
suffering whereby the Son of God 'consecrated' the way to life, for the
_purification_ and salvation of the condemned, seeing that even saints
and martyrs have need to be purified by suffering (see Dan. xii. 10)?
This view reconciles all apparent contradictions, and accords with the
gospel declared in Rev. xxi.  In making the foregoing statements I have
necessarily tried to be brief; but I hope, ere long, to be able to
publish a justification of them by arguments drawn at greater length
from Scripture.

"Cambridge, December 21, 1877."


"After the publication of my letter in the _Guardian_ of December 27
(p. 1786), I received from various quarters interrogations and
arguments, which led me to see that there was an omission in one part
of my reasoning, by supplying which the whole of the argument might be
made much more complete.  In particular, it was maintained by my
correspondents, I admit quite logically, that if eternal punishment in
Matt. xxv. 4:6 could be taken to mean punishment which has an end, by
parity of reasoning 'eternal life' must there mean life which has an
end.  As I find that the same argument has been adduced in the
correspondence of the _Guardian_, I hope I may {130} be allowed,
notwithstanding the length to which the discussion of the subject has
gone, the opportunity of a supplementary letter for showing how, by
rectifying the above-mentioned defect, the views I have proposed meet
this difficulty.

"In the Scriptures definite mention is made of only two ages, the
present age and the future age, or, in other words, 'this world and the
world to come' (Matt. xii. 32).  The plural ages (_aiônes_) and 'ages
of ages' are expressions to which we can by no mental effort attach a
definite signification, and consequently, as I endeavoured to show in
my former letter, they admit of various abstract applications.  As in
the present age, so in the age to come, there is a _succession_ of
events which take place under conditions of time.  These events have
received comparatively but small attention in the theology of the
present day, apparently because it is not generally seen that they are
spoken of much more largely by the prophets of the Old Testament than
in the New Testament, in which it is assumed that the old prophets are
understood; and again, because the epitome given in the Book of
Revelation (see Rev. x. 7) of the communications vouchsafed to the
prophets is expressed in symbols which we find it hard to interpret.
There are, however, passages in the New Testament which expressly make
known the relation of deeds and events of the present age to those of
the age to come; as especially our Lord's discourse 'as he sat on the
Mount of Olives,' and the apostles 'Peter and James and John and
Andrew' asked Him privately to tell them what would be the sign of his
coming, and of _the end of the world_ (_tês synteleias tou aiônos_).
There is also that remarkable passage in which St. Matthew records that
Jesus said to Peter, 'Ye who have followed me, in the regeneration when
the Son of man shall sit on the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit
on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.'  The number
'twelve' in Scripture symbolism always signifies 'election;' the judges
may be presumed to be of the order of prophets and apostles--the elect
of the elect--and the twelve tribes of Israel the whole number of the
elect (see Rev. vii. 4-8).  Now, these {131} twelve times twelve
thousand, symbolizing the complete number of the redeemed of every age
and nation, are 'the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb,' and being
made perfect by suffering and judgment, farther on in the events of
that age 'follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth,' and together with
him execute the final judgment on the whole world (Rev. xix. 14),
inclusive even of the judgment on Satan and his angels.  This doctrine
seems to have been generally taught in the days of the apostles,
inasmuch as St. Paul writes to the Corinthians (1 Epist. vi. 2, 3),
'Know ye not that the saints shall judge the world?'  'Know ye not that
we shall judge angels?'  Even in the Psalms we read, 'This honour have
all His saints' (see Psalm cxlix. 6-9).

"On these premises, it seems to me, the following argument may be
founded relative to the interpretation of Matt. xxv. 46.  In that
chapter the _separation_ between the sheep and the goats is spoken of
as initiatory to the general judgment, and the chapter closes with an
exposition of the principles on which the judgment is conducted as
regards both the one class and the other.  The details and the
processes of the judgment, together with its _results_, are to be
sought for in the writings of the prophets and in the Book of
Revelation.  Now, when account is taken of all events of that future
life, it may be said, I think, with truth, that the righteous who live
and act in it throughout, when that life begins enter into 'eternal
life,' the word 'eternal' being applicable because that age has a
time-limit.  _This_ eternal life, the mention of which was omitted in
the former letter, merges into endless, or indissoluble, life, when
time is no more, and words expressive of time cease to have
application.  In an analogous manner the unrighteous may be said to go
into 'eternal punishment' when they enter upon the experience of the
future age, the limit of the effects of the judgment and punishment
which they are doomed to undergo being a 'second death.'  However great
and terrible may be the woe and tribulation attendant on that event, we
know as matter of experience of life at present, that death, of itself,
is but a passage into another state of existence.  We have, {132}
therefore, no right to affirm that after the effects of judgment and
punishment are accomplished, the second death is not a transition into
that state of things in the new heavens and new earth which is
described in Rev. xxi.  Rather, may we not conclude that eternal life
and eternal punishment terminate alike with the end of time, and that
in the consummation of all things both are merged in indissoluble life,
that God may be all in all?  This conclusion appears to meet the
difficulty stated at the beginning of this letter.

"I take this opportunity for expressing my approval of the arrangement
of the New Lectionary, by which chapters of the Book of Revelation are
now read more frequently than formerly before the people, this portion
of Scripture being indispensable for communicating to them the doctrine
of Jesus Christ in all its integrity.

"Cambridge, January 12,1878."

The difficulty experienced in the present day of rightly apprehending
the doctrine taught by our Lord in Matt. xxv. 46, and in like passages,
arises, according to the arguments contained in the Essay and in the
foregoing letters, from the little attention that is paid in the
Christian doctrine now generally accepted to what the Scriptures reveal
respecting "the age to come" (_aiôn ho mellôn_) as distinguished from
"the present age" (_aiôn outos, aiôn ho parôn_).  The designation "age"
applied in common to both, indicates that each has a beginning and an
ending.  The future age begins at the termination of the present age,
the separation between them being the epoch of a resurrection of the
dead--not, however, of all the dead, but "a resurrection of the just,"
that is, of those who have been prepared and sealed by faith, and
suffering, and good works, in the present life, for immediate entrance
into a new state of life.  It is said of these that "they cannot {133}
die any more, and are the children of God, being the children of the
resurrection" (Luke xx. 36).  These are they who "have part in the
first resurrection," of whom it is further said that "they _lived_ and
reigned with Christ a thousand years," whereas of "the rest of the
dead" it is said that "they _lived_ not till the thousand years were
finished" (see Rev. xx. 4, 6).  It is plain, therefore, that there will
be a time of _separation_ of the one class from the other--the time of
_threshing_, when the tares are separated from the wheat; and that
whilst the elect at that time enter into the _[oe]onian_ life (that is,
the life of the age to come), the rest of the dead when they live again
enter into a state in which they undergo "[oe]onian punishment" (that
is, punishment that pertains to the age to come), ending eventually in
the second death, which, however, in common with all divine punishment,
is inflicted for producing a certain effect foreordained in the
counsels of the Almighty.  (Respecting this effect, see what I have
said in the Essay and at the end of the first of the foregoing letters.)

That the words of the passage in St. Matthew might be understood, at
least by the disciples to whom they were addressed, in the sense above
indicated, may be inferred from the knowledge of the religious Jews of
that time respecting the events of the future age, as conveyed to them
by the writings of the prophets of the Old Testament, with which they
were familiar.  In proof of the general diffusion of such knowledge we
may cite the response of Martha to the Lord respecting the resurrection
of Lazarus, "I know that he shall rise again at the resurrection in the
last day" (John xi. 24), and the common belief of a resurrection of the
dead entertained by the numerous sect of the Pharisees, as well as the
particular character of the unbelief of the smaller body of Sadducees
(see Acts {134} xxiii. 8, where it is stated that "the Sadducees say
that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the
Pharisees confess both").  It is hard to perceive etymologically how
the word _aiôuios_ could have received the meaning "ever-_lasting_."
There is, in fact, a very remarkable passage of the Apocalypse in which
that meaning is quite excluded: "And I saw another angel fly in the
midst of heaven, having the gospel of the age to come to preach
(_euaggelion aiônion euaggelisai_) unto them that dwell on the earth,
and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a
loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His
judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the
sea, and the fountains of waters" (Rev. xiv. 6, 7).  It is evident that
if _aiônion euaggelion_ here meant an everlasting gospel, the event
which the good news is intended to announce would never come.  It may,
perhaps, be asserted that this passage of the Apocalypse refers to a
gospel announcement taking place at the present time, considering that
a distinctive feature of this age is a large increase of the knowledge
of the facts and laws of nature, and that possibly, contemporaneously
with such knowledge, God may vouchsafe a fuller understanding of the
Book of Revelation, and a discernment of the [oe]onian gospel it
proclaims (compare Dan. xii. 3, 4).  That the true interpretation of
the Apocalypse will eventually be reached is implied by the words,
"Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book" (Rev. xxii. 10).

On reconsidering the arguments of the Essay it occurred to me that it
would be proper to take notice in the Appendix of one other subject.
In pages 9, 15, and 63 the doctrine that immortality is dependent on a
state of perfected righteousness is regarded as "self-evident."  I
{135} now think that the use of that term is objectionable, inasmuch
as, according to the title of the Essay, every such statement ought to
rest wholly on Scriptural ground.  I propose, therefore, to adduce here
passages of Scripture which indicate an intimate relation between
righteousness and life.  Out of many texts which might be cited for
this purpose, I have selected two, as follows.  First, when under the
law, Moses said to the Israelites, "I have set before you life and
death: choose life," they must have understood his words as signifying
that on condition of submission to the will of God and obedience to His
righteous laws, they might look forward in faith to the enjoyment of
the future covenanted life.  (See what is said on this text in p. 28.)
Again, the same dependence of life on righteousness forms an essential
part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, although taught in a different
manner.  St. Paul, for instance, has given in Rom. v. 18, the following
summary of Christian doctrine.  Therefore as through one transgression
(__di henos paraptômatos_), unto all men, unto condemnation (_eis
katakrima_), so through one righteousness (_di henos dikaiômatos_, i.e.
the obedience unto death of Jesus Christ), unto all men, unto
life-justification (_eis dikaiôsin zôês_), where, it should be noticed,
_zôês_ is not a dependent genitive, but, as in many instances in New
Testament Greek, a genitive of quality.  Thus this text declares that
the justification of all men, which is their being eventually made
righteous through the operation of the Son of God, has the quality of
conferring _life_.

Transcriber's notes:

This book contains many fragments of Greek, so many that the convention
of using "[Greek:...] to indicate transliterated Greek passages was
abandoned in favor of using underscores to indicate Greek material.
Transliteration was done according to the LibraryBlog Greek
How-To guidelines.

Underscores are also used to indicate italicized words, but in all
cases such words are English words.

The sequence "[oe]" is used to indicate the Unicode oe-ligature

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "An Essay on the Scriptural Doctrine of Immortality" ***

Copyright 2023 LibraryBlog. All rights reserved.