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It will be easy for one of the old school students to cry, Speculation, on reading what is now written. If he be a Grecian, we beg to ask him where he finds, if not in this old record in Genesis, that germ of fact on which have been built so many old stories of heroes born of gods and women, or of goddesses and men, which are found in the writings of the Greeks and Latins, and before them, among all the leading nations of the old world ? Did nothing ever happen, in the early history of man, which can be called the foundation of fact, on which those fictions are built ? Let the man who would affirm that these myths rose so long since, and lasted and spread so far without any source in reality, go again to school. But if there was a germ from which the tree grew, it is in the sixth of Genesis, taken in the literal sense of the narrative. Then again if our critic reverence the word and give the writers of the Bible credit for using their pens according to the canons of good writing, we have more to ask at his hands.
Every writer, inspired or not, who quotes cases to support his teaching, should confine himself to such as his readers can verify. Do the writers in the Bible keep this rule ?
Peter selects, in his second epistle, three cases to show that men who work evil to God's cause, must be punished.
1. Angels who sinned.
These cases are adduced as well known, and argued from with the logical, “ For if God spared not,” to enforce them.
Now the last is easily verified in Gen. xix., and the second in Gen. vii. ; but where are we to verify the first one if we accept the notion that the sons of God are men of the line of Seth, and the daughters of men the children of Cain ? Take the natural sense of Ben-Aleim as the Lord himself gives it in Job xxxviii. 6, 7, and Peter writes according to canon.
Jude is in the same position.
We can verify his reference to those who were saved from Egypt, but destroyed in the wilderness; and his third case is Peter's third one ; but his second case is that of angels, which needs this sixth of Genesis, literally read, to warrant his appeal to it.
The study of 2 Peter iii. 2, and iii. 16, will show that he knew that his readers could turn to the Scriptures of the prophets, and to the letters of Paul, and thence find confirmation of what he himself had written.
Now even the references of Paul to Satan and his angels in Eph. ii. and vi., imply that further knowledge could be had from some earlier writing as to the existence of evil agents whose place was in the air, and so his words are intelligible if we combine Gen. vi. with Isa. xxiv. 21. “And in that day Jehovah shall visit upoi the army of the high ones in the high regions, and upon the king of the earth (or ground, adama) who are upon the ground, and
they shall be gathered together into a pit, and they shall be securely confined, and after many days they shall be visited.” Is pot this seen in part in Rev. xx. 1 to 3? Then Isaiah is bound by the same canon as Peter and Paul and Jude; for the prophet assumes that his reader would understand his reference to an army of high ones on high who were hostile to God.
Now whence could they verify his brief reference if not in the sixth of Genesis ? There the Nephalim or fallen ones are so introduced as to imply that they are not now on the earth ; and when they were here the narrative shows that evil attended their meddling with men (verse 4). And then in Numbers we have seen that, in the time of Moses, they were called Anakim and BenAnak, dwellers in that which surrounds as the chain does the neck. This is but verified by the apostle Paul calling them the power of the air, or again, spiritual wickedness in high places, and by Isaiah calling them the army of the high ones on high.
on high. Even those wondrous words of Job's friend, He charged his angels with folly,” need some earlier story to make them intelligible. Here then in chronological order are so many writers of portions of the Bible or men speaking in it, who need the narrative of Gen. vi. literally taken to clear them of the charge of making brief allusions intended to be authoritative which cannot be verified.
1st, Job iv. 13 to end. 2nd, Numbers xiii., where the speakers are ten rulers of the tribes, verse 2, and so their best informed men. And besides, the people at large know what they mean by the terrible Nephalim, the mighty fallen ones. 3rd. Isa. xxiv, 21, requires this early story to make it intelligible to the reader. 4th, Paul needs it repeatedly. 5th, Peter. 6th, Jude verse 6 compared with the exhortation of verse 3 to agonise for the faith or body of truth once delivered to the saints. Now comparing, as Mr. Constable has noticed, the erratic passions of the men of Sodom with the manner of these roving angels, Jude most urgently needs the story in Genesis, to sustain his teaching. And again, 7th, John needs it too in effect, Rev. xii. 7 to 13, especially to account for some earlier achievement of Satan set forth as a drawing the third part of the stars and casting them to the earth, and his engaging in conflict with Michael.
We have no space in this article to notice as it deserves our Lord's argument with the Pharisee about Satan's kingdom, and his statement to the seventy about all the power of the enemy; these must be left over for the present. Ashton-under-Lyne.
soul-sleeper” is used to-day only as a term of reproach; and those who are so-called would do well to carefully examine the Scriptures and see if they teach the doctrine.
1st. We believe there are few thinķing people who are not soulsleepers.
Answer candidly and thoughtfully the following questions : What part of a man sleeps when he retires at night, and sleeps an unconscious, unbroken sleep ?
" The mind,” says one.
True, it cannot be the body; for every member of the body is at work at its proper functions. The heart is forcing the blood to the extremities; the veins carry the blood in the proper amount; the pulse pulsates; the arteries beat ; the lungs inhale and exhale the air; the stomach digests its food ; and all members of the body are busily engaged. But when man at night sleeps and dreams, what part sleeps? We say the soul. Are we wrong? If not, then soul-sleepers have reason and common sense on their side.
But give a
thus saith the Lord” for your doctrine. To the law and the testimony. Let us " search the Scriptures," only for the purpose of learning the truth ; and may the Spirit guide us in our investigation.
Our first position is, the soul is in the grave. In Psalm xlix. 15, we read :
“ God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave.” I ask, Will God redeem anything else from the power of the grave except the soul? A queer place this for "an immaterial, thinking substance"
(Dwight's Theology), an immortal soul. When will God redeem“ my soul” from the power of the grave ? Read the whole verse: “ for He shall receive me.”
Now if we can find when we are to be received we can decide this point. “I will come again, and receive you unto myself” (John xiv. 3). Then we see the soul lies in the grave until the coming of Christ the second time. Again in Psalm lxxxix. 48, we find this question : “What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death ? There have been only two exceptions in the history of the race, from the time of Adam to the present. “Death is passed upon all men” (Rom. .
” v. 12). “In Adam all die ” (1 Cor. xv. 22). Then we can all agree in our answer to the question asked by the Psalmist, and say, without a dissenting voice, “ There is no man that liveth and shall not see death." But how about the next question, Psalm lxxxix. 48, “ Shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave ? ” Would the Psalmist speak correctly if death (spoken of in the preceding question) did not deliver the soul to the grave ? Strange doctrine, this, for theology of modern times says the soul is before the throne or wailing in torment. Again, in Psalm xxx. 3, we have this declaration in prayer : “O Lord, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave; thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go
down to the pit.” This can only refer to the resurrection, for then the righteous shall be kept alive, “ live for ever," and not
down to the pit and die the second death. What a consolation !
Again, in Isaiah xxxviii. 17, we read : “ Thou hast in love to my
Our second position is, the soul is said to die. They Israel] smote all the souls that were therein with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them” (Josh. xi. 11). This does not look as though “ death is the kindly frost that cracks the shell, and leaves the kernel room to germinate." These souls were utterly destroyed. Was the body only destroyed, and the immortal soul released from its prison-house?“ Utterly destroyed.” No room for mistake here. God declares the souls were smitten by the edge of the sword, and utterly destroyed. The people in those days surely bad no idea of " a never-dying soul to save," for they utterly destroyed them all. “My soul chooseth strangling and death rather than life” (Job vii. 15). How would you go to work to kill an immaterial soul? How could an immortal soul choose death when that which is immortal cannot alter, since it has not the principle of alteration ? “As I live,” (here is an oath,)" saith the Lord God... the soul that sinneth IT SHALL DIE (Ezek. xviii. 4). Will it ? “None can keep alive his own soul ” (Psa. xxii. 29). Then it surely will die. How strangely the Bible talks! But, thank God, Christ has once for all conquered death, and against the church "the gates of hell (the grave) shall not prevail.”
Thirdly: That which goes to the grave is said to be asleep. " And the Lord said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers” (Deut. xxxi. 16). This is a good witness, for it is He of whom it is written “it is impossible for God to lie.” We have seen the soul goes to the grave, and now death is referred to as a sleep. This begins to look like soul-sleeping in the Bible. The prophet Nathan, speaking " the word of the Lord " to David, says: " And when thy days be fulfilled and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers," etc. Are David's fathers in heaven ? If so, they are asleep, and David is sleeping with them. Let us see. In Acts ii.
29, Peter says David “is both dead and buried," and in verse 34, “he is not ascended into the heavens.” Where is David then ? Dead and buried. And in xiii. 36, “David fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers and saw corruption.” Then sleeping with his fathers means death and corruption, THE SLEEP OF DEATI ” (Psa. xiii. 3). No mistake here. “Some are fallen asleep” (1 Cor. xv. 6). And we learn that they also " which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished," “if Christ be not raised.” If they were in heaven or paradise, they would not have perished in any sense ; but all depends on the resurrection of Christ, and so the apostle shouts the victor's song: “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept." Mark the language, the first fruits. Christ's soul was not left in the grave, and the harvest will follow in due time. But “we shall not all sleep,” or die. There will be some alive at the coming of Christ and these “shall be changed.” There will then be no more sleeping, for “death is swallowed up in victory."
How long must men sleep in the grave?“ As for me ...I shall be satisfied when I awake (in) with thy likeness” (Psa. xvii. 15). The awakening time is Dan. xii. 2—the resurrection at the advent of Christ.
And now we have seen from our investigation that the Bible teaches SOUL-SLEEPING. “Our friend Lazarus sleepeth, but I go that I may awake him out of his sleep. Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead” (John xi. 11, 14). Let us rejoice when we are counted worthy to bear a name given in reproach because we believe a Bible doctrine.
D. G. M.
THE PUNISHMENT OF ADAM. YLOSELY related to such subjects as The Nature of Jan, Life and
and Eve in the Garden of Eden; and it is important that we should clearly understand the Divine command which they were prevailed upon to break, and the nature of the sentence passed upon them after their fall. While there is not much difficulty experienced in understanding the nature and effect of the sentence pronounced on the sin of our first parents, many have failed to satisfy themselves that the sentence was an exact carrying out of the threatening words addressed to Adam and Eve in the days of their innocence. The difficulty is briefly stated thus : “ Adam died, as a result of his sin, at the age of 930—929 years after his transgression. God, however, had said to him, 'Of every treo of the garden thou mayest freely eat; but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.'”. To strictly carry out this charge, therefore, it must be shown that Adam died directly after eating of the fruit of the forbidden tree; he should have died " in the day of his eating.” This, then, is the