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immortality, which have ever prevailed among all people, are a strong presumption in its favor. The idea of annihilation is repugnant to all the natural feelings of man. 5. Conscience, accusing when we do wrong, and excusing when we do right, indicates that there will be a future state of retribution. 6. The unequal distribution of justice among mankind in the present state of existence is an argument for the immortality of the soul. If justice in all cases does not take place in this life, we may infer, from the character of God, that it will in a life hereafter. 7. The general belief of a future state in all ages, nations, and tribes of mankind, is a strong indication of its reality. This is the case, whether the belief arose, at first, from immediate revelation, which has been transmitted from generation to generation by tradition, or from reason, analogy, or any other source.-Such are the arguments in favor of the soul's immortality, aside from the Bible. But, 8. The Scriptures give absolute assurance of a future state.(a)
Q. 2. In what condition will mankind exist in the life to come?
A. They will exist in a conscious, active and happy or unhappy state, as they shall be holy or unholy, when they depart this life.(6)
(a) 2 Tim. i. 10. But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.--Eccl. xii. 7. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return unto God, who gave it.—Matt. x. 28. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.--2 Cor. v. 1. For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a build. ing of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.-Matt. xxii. 32. I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. God is not the God of the dead, but of the living:-Matt. xvii. 3. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.
(6) Matt. xxv. 46. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal.—Luke xvi. 22, 23. 25. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by angels into Abraham's bosom; the rich may also died, and was buried; and in hell he lified up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. But Abraham said, Son, remember, that thou in thy life time receivedst thy good things, and Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
Do mankind immediately pass into this condition of existence upon death?
A. The soul will immediately pass into a state of happiness or misery, and the body will dissolve to dust, whence it was taken. The soul does not become lifeless with the body, nor does it sleep or lie dormant after the death of the body, till the general resurrection; but it is sensible and active.(c) Q. 4.
What is meant by the separate or intermediate state?
A. The state in which the soul exists between the death and resurrection of the body. Q. 5.
Will mankind in a future state perceive, act, and have intercourse one with another?
A. No doubt they will; but in our present state of existence we cannot determine in what manner spirits perceive, act, and have intercourse one with another. This, however, is no evidence against the fact. The illiterate savage has not the least idea of the mode in which we exchange thoughts by letters, words and language, in writing.
Q. 6. Are the faculties of the soul enlarged, so that it is susceptible of greater happiness or misery, in the future state?
A. They are vastly enlarged and strengthened; and hereby the soul will be prepared for greater joys or sorrows.(d)
(c) Luke xvi. 22, 23. 25. And it came 10 pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by angels into Abraham's bosom; the rich man also died and was buried; and in hell he listed up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.--Luke xxii. 43. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise.--2 Cor. v. 6. 8, 9. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord. We are confident I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labor that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.-Philp. i. 23. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better.
(d) 1 Cor. xiii. 9—12. For we know in part, and we prophecy in part; but when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man I put
R. 7. What are the condition and prospects of those who are in a separate state?
A. They are in a state of enjoyment or suffering, according to their characters; and they look forward with anxious expectation, to the general resurrection, the general judgment, and the eternal state of retribution.
Q. 1. What is meant by the resurrection of man?
A. The raising of the bodies of mankind, incorruptible, to life from the dead and the re-uniting of them to their souls.
Q. 2. How does it appear that there will be such a resurrection?
A. In answer to this question, let it be observed, 1. This doctrine, though above reason, is not contrary to it, and therefore not incredible: 2. There are examples of resurrection in insects, vegetables, and trees, from year
These teach the possibility, and more than the possibility, of man's resurrection: 3. The Bible most explicitly declares the doctrine of the general resurrection. This doctrine is corroborated by the fact, that Enoch and Elijah were, both soul and body, translated to heaven; that Jairus' daughter, the widow's son at Nain, and Lazarus, were raised; that many dead bodies were literally raised at Christ's crucifixion; and that Christ himself has arisen from the dead: 5. It should be added and remembered, that Christ arose as a public Person, the representative and forerunner of all saints. His resurrection was a pledge and assurance of theirs.(a)
away childish things. For now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known.
(a) Job xix. 26, 27. And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God; whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.--John v. 28, 29. Marvel not at this; for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the 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 damnation.--Acts xxiv,
Q. 3. Will the same body be raised that is deposited in the earth?
A. We have reason to believe that all which is essential to constitute the identity of the body will be raised.(6)
Q. 4. Is it possible that the dead should be raised?
A.. Certainly it is. Infinite power can do it. There is nothing in a dead body which renders it impossible, that it should be raised. Death does not annihilate, but only reduces the body to its first principles or elements. It cannot be more difficult to raise the dead, than to create at first.(c)
15. And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. -1 Cor. xv. 21, 22. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.--Heb. xi. 5. By faith Enoch was translated, that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him; for before his translation, he had this testimony, that he pleased God.--2 Kings ii. 11. And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.--Luke viii. 54, 55. And he put them all out, and took her by the band, and called, saying, Maid, arise. And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway; and he commanded to give her meat.--Luke vii. 14, 15. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak.-John xi. 43, 44. And when he had thus spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth bound band and foot with grave clothes; and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.—Matt. xxvii. 52. And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose.--Matt. xxviii. 6. He is not here; for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
(b) 1 Cor. xv. 35_-44. But some man will say, How are the dead raised up; and with what body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou sowest, is not quickened, except it die. And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain. But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. All flesh is not the same flesh; but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
(c) Acts xxvi. 8. Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?
Q. 5. When will the dead be raised?
At the end of the world—the time of general judgment. Then the bodies of all those who shall have deceased will be raised, and the bodies of all those who shall be alive will be changed, (which will be equivalent to a resurrection,) as were the bodies of Enoch and Elijah at their translation. And the raised bodies of both the righteous and the wicked will be united to the souls with which they were connected in this life.(d)
Q. 6. Why will the body be raised or changed, and united to the soul in the life hereafter?
A. 1. It will be changed because the present body is unsuited to the future state. The body of every creature is fitted by God to the state in which it exists. This is a constituted law of the whole creation. 2. The body will be raised, that it may be united to the soul, so that, as it was a partaker of the deeds on earth, it may be a partaker of the awards that shall be adjudged for eternity. 3. By the re-union of body and soul, the person will be prepared to enjoy or suffer more than he otherwise would. The righteous hereby will be completely redeemed from the evil effects of sin, and the wicked will be brought entirely under its dominion, and be compelled to endure its evils. In consequence of the connection of soul and body, a person is capable of virtues and vices of which the soul alone cannot be, as the denial and gratification of certain bodily appetites or animal desires. And for these the soul and body connected will be awarded in a future state; and in this way the happiness or misery of the soul will be augmented. Were it not for this consideration, it would be difficult to point out the design of the resur
(d) 1 Thess. iv. 15—17. For this we say unto you, by the word of the Lord; that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord.--1 Cor. xv. 51, 52, 53, 23. Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; (for the trumpet shall sound;) and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. But every man in his own order; Cbrist the first fruits, afterwards they that are Christ's at his coming.