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esting subject, we must find out what death it was that was intended in the original threatning, In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Did the soul of Adam cease to live, on that day? It is evident that neither soul nor body ceased to exist on that day. But one thing is evident; Adam lost his spiritual union and communion with God.
Man as a spirit did not lose those natural attributes of which he had been made partaker, as a part of that image in which he had been created; he only lost the moral qualities of his soul. This moral nature, of which Adam had been made partaker, constituted the spiritual life of his soul, and is in scripture called everlasting life. This is the life Christ speaks of, in his discourse with Martha the sister of Lazarus, John, xi 25, 26. "He that believeth in me though he were dead yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth on me shall never die.” Now, this being derived from God, as a portion of the divine nature, is immortal in itself. Hence in the scripture it is sometimes called eternal life and sometimes everlasting life. Adam lost this on the day he eat the forbidden fruit, and thus became spiritually dead. This life is renewed through faith in Jesus Christ, as we learn from John iii, 36, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life, and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him." Thus we see a life that the soul can lose, without losing its existence, but continues to be as well known, by its qualities and properties, to exist in wicked men, who have no claim to the life spoken of by the apostle, as it does in the best man on earth. Thus we see the soul has two lives: the one without the other is a life of conscious misery; the one with the other a life of conscious happiness. Universalians will not deny the distinction we have made. They are obliged to admit that the souls of wicked men are subjected to conscious misery in this life: well we wish them to know, that what we mean by the never dying soul is, that man's soul will never cease to exist, either in a state of conscious bappiness or misery. Here, then, Mr. Balfour and we are fairly at issue. It remains now for us to test the arguments by which he attempts to support the opposite doctrine.
His views, in thus endeavoring to disprove this doctrine is, to remove an insurmountable difficulty out of the way. Universalians are well aware, that if those who die impenitent are subjected to endless punishment, there is an end to their scheme at once. They are also aware that unless some plausible pretext could be assigned for the necessity of Christ's coming to save the world other than to save them from endless ruin, their whole system must go to wreck.
A universalian preacher, who had just delivered a sermon, in the author's place of residence, and who seemed anxious to have a debate, was asked by a person present if he believed, that mankind subjected themselves to endless punishment by sinning. He said that they had not. He was then asked if he believed that the death of Christ was essential to salvation. He said it was. The difficulty involved in this case was then pointed out to him; namely, that if man was not subjected to endless misery, time would restore him to happiness without a saviour. He was then asked what Christ came to save man from, if he did not come to save him from endless misery. He replied that man at death ceased to exist as a conscious being, or, as Mr. Balfour has it, that man has no immortal part that exists separate from the body, after death: hence he averred, that it was necessary that Christ should come, to save man from this unconscious state of being. Thus you see the anxiety to fix upon something, to account for the necessity of Christ's coming. But, it may be asked, is not the necessity of Christ's mission sufficiently accounted for by his coming to save man's body from the grave? Answer, this would not serve the universalians purpose; for if men's souls were disposed of before the resurrection, either in a state of happiness or misery, the act of raising the body simply, would have no effect in changing man's condition as a moral being.
But it may be objected again, that Christ came to save man from sin; and is not that sufficient to account for the coming
of Christ? Not sufficient to answer the purpose of the universalians; for they say; first, that the salvation promised to believers in the Old and New Testament is not salvation from sin in its relation to future misery; that would be giving up their scheme; for if sin subjected to future misery, future misery would be right; but that the promises and threatenings in the bible have an entire reference to the national calamities and individual miseries of this life; hence, that the salvation by Jesus Christ may extend its beneficial influence to a future state it is necessary that the soul of man should be found in some predicament from which he would need to be saved: that predicament must be some other than a miserable one, else universalism goes to the bottom.
But secondly, as to those unbelievers who are the objects of the bible threatenings and who die impenitent, universalians do not pretend that they are saved from either sin or misery by Jesus Christ; for they deny that man subjected himself to sin beyond the grave; for if he did, he, upon the universalian scheme, subjected himself to misery also, as universalism leaves no way for the sinner to escape. If then, man only subjected himself to the commission of sin, in this life, and serves out the entire term in sinning, and then suffers the full penalty, he is not saved from either sin or misery by Jesus Christ; not from sin, for he is supposed to have sinned out his specified time of sinning; not from misery, for he has suffered all he deserved to suffer.
Thus, we see, universalism denies that salvation by Jesus Christ has
relation to the soul of man in futurity, unless it be to save him from the unconscious state of non-existence, to which Mr. Balfour says he is consigned on the dissolution of the body.
If we shall succeed in knocking this prop from under their theological edifice it must inevitably tumble into ruins-nothing can save it.
We come now to notice his first position--that man's soul is Bot immortal,
First position, that man has no other soul than his animal life or breath.
Mr. Balfour labours through thirty-six pages of his book, to prove that the original words, rendered soul, and spirit, in our version of the bible, mean nothing but the breath or animal life; and so concludes that when man loses his breath, or animal life, he loses his soul; or, in other words, that his soul, or animal life, or breath, ceases to exist when the body dies: if this is not his conclusion, what is this argument brought forward for? If Mr. Balfour, or any other person, will only make it appear, either from scripture testimony, or any other source of evidence that will bear the light, that man has no other soul than his animal life, or breath, we will yield the palm of victory to them at once, and give up the immortality of the soul without further struggle; for we think that no man in his senses would conceive that the mere animal life, or breath, that is enjoyed by us in common with cows and horses is that living, free, and powerful spirit, that was made in the image of the wise and immortal Jehovah; viz. a spirit, possessed of a mind capable, even in this mode of existence, of travelling up the grand ascent of heaven, of grasping the throne of the great Eternal, and there developing the regulations of the Almighty's government. If we have been mistaken (for really the latter is something near the view we have taken of man's soul) we must yield the palm to universalians, for having enlightened us on the subject.
I shall not undertake to dispute, either with my learned friend or the learned authors he has quoted, as to the meaning of any word in the original, relating to the subject under consideration; and that for the best reason in the world—I do not understand the original: but I mean to meet him on the plain common sense construction, where learned ignorance and acquired blindness are both so frequently put to their trumps.
I will now quote a paragraph from Mr. Balfour, page 25, to show, by his own words, that his labour, through twenty
eight pages and upwards, has been to prove that the original word, rendered soul, in our version of the bible, means animal life, or breath, only. Look at his comment on Genesis, xxxv, 18, on the above page. And it came to pass, as her soul (meaning Rachael's) was in departing ( for she died) that she called his name Bcnoni; but his father called him Benjamin.” “Religious prejudice aside," says Mr. Balfour, “no man would understand any thing more but this her breath or life departed."
It is not the meaning of this text that I would stop a moment to dispute about. It is the doctrine it is brought to support; namely, that all the soul man has is his natural life. If this be correct, the gentleman is quite consistent in denying the existence of disembodied human souls, after death; for, I know of no person that holds, that after animal life is extinct it has any existence.
But I repeat the question; for what purpose is this argument used by Mr. Balfour?- Why, plainly this; to disprove the soul's immortality, by proving that man has no soul.
We will now examine the plain common sense construction of the words soul, and spirit, as they stand in our version.
Mr. Balfour ought to be aware, that such has been, and still is, the poverty of language, that the same word is made use of, in many instances, to convey very different ideas. Hence the word (whatever it may mean in the original) when rendered spirit, in our language, means any thing possessing life, or a living power, and is used to express the essences of plants as well as animals, because these essences contain a vitalising and invigorating life-giving energy. Why, then, should it be thought improper to extend the term, when used in reference to man, beyond his mere animal life and breath, to that more noble part that so conspicuously bears the impress of the Almighty ?
And is not the same word which is rendered spirit in our bibles, applied to God himself? Jesus, the Son of God, says, · God is a Spirit; and Moses says, God is the God of the spirits