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ART. II.-IMMORTALITY IN THE OLD TESTAMENT.

Tae doctrine of immortality as now accepted by the large majority of Christians is the belief in the conscious existence of the spirit of man after death, or in its essential indestructibility as an individual being after death has brought about the dissolution of the body. It must be recognized as true, however, that there is no word in the Old Testament Scriptures answering to our word “immortality,” and also that the words used in the New Testament are not, strictly speaking, its equivalent. Immortality in the New Testament is never attributed to the wicked. It is a holy estate. “The king eternal, immortal, invisible,” would be tautological if “immortal” means only “continuity of existence,” for this is the meaning of “eternal.” Whatever the word “immortality" may mean, in the declaration “who only hath inmortality,” it does not refer to a future eternal existence, for without question angels and redeemed men have such existence. The two Greek terms, αθανασία and αφθαρσία, when analyzed do not yield our ordinary use of the term.* In 1 Cor. xv the apostle uses the first of these words in opposition to “mortal” when he writes, “ This mortal must put on đðavaoiav.” This is spoken of the body. There are two ušes of the second term to be found in the New Testament, first in Rom. ii, 7, “Who ... seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life;" and second in 2 Tim. i, 10, “Hath brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel.” In the first instance, immortality is something to be sought after; in the second, it is revealed alone in Christ. It is, therefore, a holy estate, attained through Christ. So in our use of the word“ immortality,” we employ it in the ordinary sense—the sense of common parlance—“Exemption from death and annihilation; unending existence; as, the immortality of the soul.” +

The task to which the present writer has addressed himself is to find, if possible, this doctrine of the essential immateriality and indestructibility of what we call the soul in the Old Testa

** Abavasia, å privative and Bávaroç, “death." deathless," "without death." Aphapola, a privative and pápois, “corruption," " without corruption." + Webster's International Dictionary, etc., in loco. O 50

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ment Scriptures. Is it taught there, directly or by implication, and did God's ancient people believe in it? We are well aware that Bishop Warburton in his Divine Legation based an argument for the divine origin of the Levitical system upon the supposed fact that it contained no revelation of a future world.” And this view has been concurred in by other eminent scholars, such as Bishop Whately; and Lecky in his History of Rationalism partially indorses it. This ultra position no doubt was suggested by the skeptical contention of the last century that the Judaic system was derived from Egypt, and was but a modification of the Egyptian religion. The fact that the doctrine of a future existence beyond death was a very prominent doctrine of the Egyptian religion is to be seen on every hand; it is delineated on their tombs and temples and in the papyrus scrolls buried with their dead; and it is exemplified in their care for the bodies of the dead, which they believed would be inhabited again by the spirits of the departed. But, on the other hand, the fact that Moses in his civil and religious legislation makes no reference to the doctrine may serve to show that he did not in any sense copy the Egyptian hieratic system. Yet we deny that Moses was absolutely silent on this subject. His doctrine of immortality was not the doctrine of the ancient Egyptians, any more than his cosmogony was that of Egypt or of any oriental people.

Is it not expecting something not required by the purposes for which Moses legislated to expect a reference to a future state? We would not expect it in his civil enactments, for they pertain to duties entirely of an earthly and temporal character. Should we expect it in his Levitical institutes ? Were not these entirely of a ritual character, and temporal ? To what particular portions of these would a reference to the future beyond death be attached? But it may be contended that such reference to the future belonged as a sanction to the moral legislation. Yet the moral legislation of Moses was simply a part of the civil legislation, and a reference to a future beyond this life was not to be expected. Let it not be forgotten by those who deny the immortality of the soul and still believe in the resurrection of the dead that, if the Levitical system had no place for the first, it most certainly had no place for the second. It was quite late in Israel's history before any intimation of the doctrine of the resurrection made its appearance. But this argument e silentio, though much used, is a very deceptive argument. To illustrate, it is well known that the Methodist Episcopal Church believes most explicitly in the doctrine of the immortality of the soul; yet not one word is said about it in our twenty-five Articles of Religion, and only by implication can it be found in our General Rules, in the phrase "to flee from the wrath to come.” Further, our Discipline contains quite extensive legislation in the way of Church polity, yet in all of it one will find no hint of immortality. So we think Moses had no reason to enunciate the doctrine in legislation that was for temporal purposes.

But may we look for the doctrine of immortality in the writings of Moses, and where ? Evidently we should look for it but incidentally, for, aside from the legislative portions, the rest is historical, and as such not at all likely to contain explicit teachings on doctrines pertaining to the future state. This may be equally said with reference to a large portion of the Old Testament. We can in the very nature of the case only look for this doctrine to be incidentally taught. An appeal, therefore, to inference is entirely legitimate, and, more than that, is the kind of teaching we must expect. Its very incidental character gives it peculiar weight. But it may be said the Old Testament has for its purpose the setting forth of our relation to the true God and our duties to him and, under him, to our fellow-man, and we therefore should expect an appeal to considerations that reach out beyond this life. In other words, we should look for the enforcement of duty by proin. ise of future rewards and threat of future punishment. There is an apparent force in this argument. And it is true that the Old Testament ordinarily enforces the claims of the moral law by considerations of good and evil that belong to this life alone. But the same reason assigned above for the merely temporal character of the Mosaic legislation holds good here. The nation to which these laws were given were peculiarly a theocracy, or under immediate divine government, for the purpose of preparing the way for the coming of the Messiah. They were being held in obedience to just and righteous laws by temporal punishinents and rewards. It is doubtful if these laws would have had any more authority with them if they had been sustained by considerations of reward and punishment beyond this present life. Egypt, with its belief in rewards and punishments in the future, emphasized on every hand, ultiinately became utterly corrupt and perished as a nation through its debauchery.

Having, we think, given full weight to the adverse views, we will now show what we believe is an abundance of the most legitimate inferential teaching of this doctrine in the Old Testament. In fact, there are many portions of it that cannot be fairly understood except in the light of the doctrine. Take, for example, the account of the creation of man. told that when the Creator came to this crowning work of creation there was a council in the Godhead. God said, “Let us make man in our image.” Now man, so far as his physical nature is concerned, is like the rest of animated nature, of which he forms a part. The word "image” marks a distinction that exists outside of the physical. It expresses an affinity with God, a partaking of his nature, and this implies spirituality and indestructibility—therefore, immortality. There is no force whatever in the assertion that we have no evidence that the average Israelite so understood it. The only question is, Is the interpretation we have given legitimately and necessarily in the language? We need not spend one moment of time on the idea that the image consists in the upright form. The image is purely intellectual. It gave man “dominion the earth, and power to "subdue” it and make it what nature and her laws could never make it. In other words, it is the godlike attribute of dominion and creation that is here referred to. The creations of the human intellect are creations out of matter and force, making what these would not produce without such creative power. And in the second chapter, seventh verse of Genesis, we are told that “the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground.” Here we have the creation of the physical nature of man ; this is in common with animal creation. But we are further told that God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (Hebrew, 'breath of lives '], and man became a living soul.” The only question that can be considered is that of rational interpretation. What did God intend to teach in this account? For it is outside of legitimate history in the fact that it pertains to things with which history cannot deal. If inspired, as we believe, it is peculiarly from God. It is a revelation of that which no science could discover. The divine procedure here is, in addition to a creation, an impartation. Using the Bible trichotomy, the soma and psyche are direct creations, the pneuma was a gift of God and made man "in the image of God.” In other words, the psyche and pneuma, or nephesh and ruach, made man “a living soul.” These together made man to differ from the beasts, and allied him with his Creator. I think that it is assuming entirely more than any facts warrant when we assume that the intelligent Israelite did not put this very apparent interpretation on this language, which he as emphatically believed as we do came from God.

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But in the light of this account of man's creation we are compelled to interpret his pristine estate in Eden. He was endowed with power to live continuously, if he remained obedient to the divine command. Death, whatever that may have meant to him, was the penalty of disobedience. If he did not eat of the forbidden fruit he should not die. He therefore possessed immortality, through the fruit of the tree of life, whatever that was. We have the statement, Gen. iii, 22, that man might “ take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever.” Now this account obviously teaches that in some sense the transgression deprived man of immortality in his present state of existence. It teaches that he is mortal because lie sinned, not because of his physical nature or its inherent necessary tendencies to dissolution. But in this account of man's sin and present punishment there is the promise of a Redeemer who should restore man again to his lost estate. The penalty of sin is death, the restoration must be the destruction of death. And in the light of this promise we must read all that we subsequently find in the Old Testament Scriptures. We must, for example, read the account of Enoch's translation found in Gen. v, 24, “Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” The plain interpretation of this is the one that has always been given to it by common-sense inter

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