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1 ATTEND, ye sons of men, give ear;
2 But fear the Sovereign in whose hands
3 Slight not the threat'nings of his word,
4 Fear God with reverential awe,
And well regard his righteous law;
3 Fear God, ye rash, ye fools be wise; Let not offences justly rise;
Restrain your tongues, and guard your hands,
Lest when before his judgment seat,
Lo! see the light of heav'n extend ;
8 Tremble, ye sons of vengeance, now;
Delivered June 26.
ON THE IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL, AND CHRIST'S PREACHING TO THE SPIRITS IN PRISON.
GENESIS i. 27.
So God created man in his own image: in the image of God created he him.
MATT. V. 45.
That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.
MALACHI ii. 10.
Have we not all one Father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?
ACTS xvii. 29 30.
Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device: And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent.
HEBREWS xii. 9.
Furthermore, we have had fathers of our flesh, which corrected us, and we gave them reverence; shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
1 PETER iii. 18, 19, 20.
For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God; being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; which sometime were disobedient, when once the suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls, were saved by water.
1 PETER iv. 5, 6.
Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. For, for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
WE find no passage of scripture that expressly states, man possesses an immortal soul. The idea is not then to be expected from express testimony, but to be gathered by inference or deduction from scriptures that seem to embrace cr allude to this sentiment. Although this idea is commonly held in the christian church; yet we find, it is not universally allowed. Its disallowance is necessary to the future annihilation or non-existence of the wicked; and consequently must be embraced by all who hold that doctrine. Man therefore, in his sinful state, according to that sentiment, possesses nothing to be saved, but looks for something given in regene ration, that is fit for salvation in life and immortality. When Christ came to save mankind, what, according to that doctrine, was there for him to save but mortality and dust?
things which cannot inherit the kingdom of God? Surely nothing of a durable nature; nothing that can inherit the kingdom of God; and consequently he saves nothing, for he found nothing to save. If he give the creature a new immortal soul, it could not properly be said to be "born again." Its condition would appear more like generation than regeneration; an original birth than a second one.
Man, according to the scriptures selected, stands in a certain relation to his Maker; and from this relation, we may infer some things concerning the nature of his existence. Let the inquiry now he made, what we may understand by man's being created in the image of God? The idea of an image is that of likeness and resemblance. But God is not like corruptible things. Man, we read, was formed of the dust of the ground, with an assurance that he should return to the source from which he was taken. Can this formation be in the image of God? If so, why would not silver or gold graven by art or man's de vice, represent a just figure of this image? It is evident, it can of man in his earthy formation.
God is invisible, yet it is seen he exists, by visible created objects. So man meditates, reasons, approves, disapproves, plans, and designs; but the immediate origin or source of these is as invisible as our Creator. That which is the source of our thoughts, reasonings, &c is what is usually termed the soul;