1. Edward White: "Life in Christ"

Edward White's "Life in Christ" has been here and there referred to in the body of the present book. But a volume of five hundred and thirty-eight well-filled pages, by one who is considered the father of "Conditional Immortality" in England, may well demand a more extensive notice. It can be, after all, but brief, and the main points have been already dealt with; so that in much, a mere reference to this will be sufficient. Our review will be strictly supplementary.

His "first book" treats of "the nature of man, as considered under the light of science only;" so that we shall not have much to consider here.

He summarizes the evidence as to the reality of "mind" in animals, and its mortality in them; as to evolution, and man's derivation from the beasts, along with the proof from geology of his antiquity; and he concludes, —

"The sum of this argument is, that by the unassisted light of science and history we are able to reach no coherent or satisfactory conclusion as to the origin of mankind, its relation to the animal races, or its future destiny." "The phenomena are such as will consist with the hypothesis of a nature whose destiny depends on its moral qualities, and, above all, a nature which has suffered some deflection, which science may dimly divine without being able to elucidate or to remedy."

He next passes before us "the numbers and intellectual conditions of mankind," and then reviews the orthodox doctrine on" its "nature and destiny;" following with a chapter "on the possibility that Christians have erred on the doctrine of human destiny."

Into all this I do not propose to enter. Scripture, and Scripture alone, is what here concerns us. The only possible use of it all is to make us more closely and earnestly scrutinize what is there declared; and as Mr. White, with the full weight of all this pressing upon him, has made known to us the opposite conclusions to which he has come from what he allows is "supported by the general authority of nearly all Christians for at least fourteen (!) centuries," we had better reserve our space for their examination.

His last chapter, "On the immortality of the soul," we cannot, however, pass over quite in this way, for it is the foundation of all that follows, and here, spite of the caption of this "first book," he appeals to Scripture.

Here too we pass over the metaphysical arguments. A more promising one, he rightly says, —

"has, in all ages, been derived from the moral instincts of mankind." "No stress of physiological evidence on the structure and development of the brain, on the relation of the human brain to that of animals, on the dependence of thought on cerebral machinery, avails completely to silence the 'oracle of God' within the heart, which tells us that 'it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment.'"

He urges that while this is moral evidence of survival or revival, it does not carry with it an equal probability of eternal survival. But he seems to forget that the fact of the survival of death removes the only objection of which we are aware to eternal survival. Death it is which raises the question, and that question is really answered.

We shall not dispute, however, that for absolute certainty we must have the voice of revelation. He is surely, however, entirely astray when he asserts, as usual with those of his school, but more boldly, "that the doctrine of the immortality of the soul is never once explicitly delivered throughout the whole range of Jewish and Christian Scriptures"! That "they who kill the body cannot kill the soul" is an explicit statement. But, as we have seen, Christians, by so generally ignoring the true constitution of man, and overlooking the spirit as that which is his characteristic and essential attribute, have allowed the question to be wrongly put. Survival after death is every-where recognized in the Old Testament; and the spirit departs to God that gave it. The spirit, as spirit, is immortal: there may be a question of the soul, for the beast has soul. But God is spirit, and the God and Father of spirits. The angels too are spirits, and therefore "sons of God." And man is thus also the "offspring of God," and it is just after death that he is called a "spirit."

It is too bold, then, to affirm that "no single expression of Scripture can be pointed out in which man's natural immortality is affirmed directly or indirectly"! Boldness may in in many cases carry the day, but not in Scripture and Scripture has in this case, as I have said elsewhere (chap. 7 'Soul and Self'), moulded the very language of men. And so has it governed their thoughts, more truly than Mr. White will admit. So that there is no need of pleading divine government as working through error, or by the truth in error, in the way he pleads — truly, no doubt, but not to the purpose here.

So ends Mr. White's first book. The second will detain us longer: its subject is, "The Old Testament Doctrine on Life and Death."

To begin with, he tells us, strangely, that, "partly" because of the hardness (blindness) of their hearts, Moses was permitted to write many things imperfectly beside the old law of divorce. … To ask for science at his hands, or even for strict conformity to all the facts, is to forget that darkness is necessarily the swaddling-band of mind awakening from nothingness."

The account of creation he calls, thus, a "noble poem," though happily "there is no valid reason known to the writer why we should not accept the history of Adam, and Eve as a true narrative." Yet he would not "deny that there may have been previous human races upon the earth, as there had been previous animal races."

Coming to the creation of man, his first observation is, —

"that, according to Moses, man was not formed within the precincts of paradise, where grew the tree of life, but was created from the dust of the ground in the territory outside it, where animal life abounded, and where, as we now learn from fossil geology, death had reigned over all organized existence from the beginning of the creation. … This circumstance seems to point to the conclusion that if the creature so made enjoyed loftier prospects than those of the animals, to whose organization his own bore so strong a resemblance, this was not from the original constitution of his nature as eternal, but from super-additions of grace bestowed on a perishable being."

But it is hard to see what the geological argument adds to the physiological. Had not the dust of the garden itself, for aught we know, as many fossils in proportion to its extent as that outside of it? Had the tree of life any effect upon the garden, or upon the animal life within it? Was it not for man alone that it existed? Clearly it proclaimed that man had not immortality in himself, but in dependence, and conditionally. And whoever, with any glimmer of intelligence in Scripture, could claim any thing else? But man may be "mortal," and die, and yet not all die, as even Mr. White believes. His affinity to the beasts by one side of his nature is fully and freely acknowledged. The question is only, Is there another side?

Next, we have the objection that —

"the animation of man by the breath of God proves the immortality of his 'soul' no more than a similar asserted animation of brutes proves the immortality of their 'soul.' 'Thou sendest forth Thy Spirit, they are created; and Thou renewest the face of the earth. Thou takest away Thy Spirit, they die and return to their dust.' (Ps. 104.)

It is evident that Mr. White has quoted from memory here, and that his memory has deceived him. The passage reads thus: "Thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust. Thou sendest forth Thy Spirit, they are created," etc. (Ps. 104:29-30.) The difference is plain. As our author has quoted it, it might look as if God's Spirit was in the beast while living, and taking it away was their death, a doctrine worthy of Christadelphianism itself, however. Does Mr. White believe that the Spirit of God is in the beast? Scripture denies that He is even in merely natural men, and never teaches that He is their life. How could He be, then, the life of the brute?

The real quotation transposes the two sentences, affirms the sending of the Spirit as necessary indeed for creation, but only the taking away of their breath for dying. Was it the identity of these two words in the Hebrew ruach that caused the illusion in the mind of Mr. White? But he will own, surely, that "their ruach" could not be the Spirit of God. In Gen. 2, the word used, as we have seen elsewhere, is not ruach, but nishmath, the constructive form of n'shamah, of which I have elsewhere spoken. (Note at end of chapter 4 'The Spirit of Man'.)

That the phrase "living soul" does not convey the notion of an "ever-living spirit" — as Mr. White goes on to say — I fully agree; and that it is applied to the beasts, we have already seen (p. 56). I object entirely, however, to its being (as in his note, p. 90) translated "living animal," and the justification of it there by a reference to the common translation of Gen. 1:20, is carelessness itself. "Creature that hath life" is not the translation there of "living soul." "Life," in that passage, represents "soul," and there is nothing at all answering to "living." Thus, if you interpret "living soul" by this, you would have to say, not "living creature," but "living life," which even a materialist would a little hesitate at. I by no means charge Mr. White with materialism; but his blundering on such a point is inexcusable.

His comment upon the apostle's reference to Gen. 2:7 (in 1 Cor. 15:44-47) is nearly that of Dr. Thomas. (p. 55.) He says, —

"Here, then, we have the authority of St. Paul for deciding that when Moses described the result of the animation of Adam by the Divine Breath, so far from designing to teach that thereby an immortal spirit was communicated to him, the object was to teach exactly the contrary, that he became a 'living creature, or animal,' neither possessed of eternal life in himself, nor capable of transmitting it. And the phrase 'living soul' is chosen, not to distinguish him from the rest of the creation, but to mark his place as a member of the animal world whose intellectual powers partake of the perishableness of their material organizations."

Here, all that favors Mr. White's view is introduced by him into the apostle's argument. It is indeed true that he does not and could not bring forward man's being a living soul to distinguish him from the rest of the creation, and it is a mistake entirely for any one to use it for this. On the other hand, it is evident that he has not before him the question of immortality at all. Contrasting, as he is, the first and the last Adams, he does quote the phrase "living soul" to put it in opposition to "a life-giving Spirit." And of course the first Adam was "neither possessed of eternal life in himself, nor capable of transmitting it." Who ever thought he was? No, he was a living soul with a soulic body. Paul does not speak of the divine inbreathing. He needed not to consider it. Man's class (though having a spirit) was not with those called spirits, as the angels are, but on a lower plane — that of a "living soul" (comp. p. 74). But it does not in the least follow that the apostle meant to class man with the beasts, or ignore what was higher in him. Rather, is it not among beings having spirit that he is affirming his place as a living soul? Scripture never levels man with the beast. "Without understanding," he is "like the beasts that perish." (Ps. 49:20.) But he never is a beast.

Just as much — and as little — truth is there in Mr. White's statement "that God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life,' so far from being intended to indicate the immortal perpetuity of his nature, is specially chosen to mark his dependence on the atmosphere for his continued life." He does not realize the perfection and comprehensiveness of God's blessed Word. It is quite true that man's breath being in his nostrils marks his "present evanescence," and that in this way Isaiah appeals to it (Isa. 2:22); but that touches not the significance that "God breathed," — that, as Elihu says, the "inspiration of the Almighty gave him life." (Job 33:4.) Figurative as the language may be, and full of a mystery which does not yet discover itself, it should be plain that God thus communicates to man something by which he is in kinship with God as the beast never is. He "created him in His image," — possessing spirit from the "Father Of spirits." This simply and naturally interprets the expression, more concisely and fully than Mr. White's effort just afterward.

But it is striking enough that of the spirit of man, which alone "knoweth the things of a man," he knows, apparently, really nothing. A shallow sentence or two, abundantly refuted already (pp. 44-53), are all that he has to say with regard to what is the characteristic feature of man, — the very thing which constitutes him that. It is no wonder, then that he should find in him nothing but a "superior order" of, beast, and it is natural that with him, therefore, death should end all for such a being. He does not see, moreover, that the statements in the early chapters of Genesis need and find supplement and elucidation in the after-statements of Scripture, which here, as in other matters, is a progressive revelation. In this, its foundation, the book before us is essentially defective and poor, — poverty itself.

With this imperfect induction, Mr. White proceeds to consider the death threatened to Adam, in which I can find nothing but what has been already carefully considered. (chap. 18, pp. 180-186.) The "method of redemption," with which he follows it, we must reserve our examination of until it is presented in detail, and with its arguments, for the rest of his book is but the development of it. Nor need we review his chapter on the serpent, and demonology in general, in which he is, moreover, for the most part orthodox. It is singular, however, that he is not content to deal with the story of the serpent as he has done with the creation of man. Rightly enough, he connects it with the general doctrine of Scripture, and has no difficulty in going beyond the statements of Moses, whose "pen" — in this case, he can allow, — "was perhaps stayed by a superior will." But why not, then, in what lies in such near connection with it?

As to sacrifice, he sees nothing more in it than the taking away of life, — "death like that of the beasts which perish." The burning of the sin-offering outside the camp, and without an altar, has for him no significance. He levels the antitype with the type, and from the darkness of the "shadow" infers a doctrine of darkness by which to interpret the New Testament light. Here too we must reserve our judgment.

Concerning the death threatened under the law, and the Old Testament doctrine of judgment and of the life to come, I need add nothing really to what is already said. Mr. White's examination cannot be considered careful, and all his main points have been fully answered. There is much in the usual style of writers of his school, as where he takes pains to enlighten us as to the meaning of "carcasses" (p. 170), and that the death of a worm is extinction! so that (a triumph indeed of criticism,) "their worm shall not die" actually proves the non-eternity of torment!

One would think it proved only the will of the writer, and the feebleness of argument that can find comfort in help so feeble.

A chapter on the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees closes the second book. There is little to say about it, as our author adds nothing to the preceding argument. (Chaps. 11, 12.) Paul's "I am a Pharisee" he does not notice, and the Lord's "Ye have no life in yourselves" he does not understand. The doctrine of "eternal life" there is no need to dwell on here.

His third book brings us to the New Testament doctrine; and his first chapter treats of the "Incarnation of the Life; or, the Logos made flesh that man may live eternally." As to the incarnation itself, there is, of course, no dispute. As to the rest of the chapter, the only question is as to Mr. White's identification, as is inevitable by one of his school, of immortality and eternal life.

His arguments are the ordinary ones, and in the ordinary style also. He catches at the phrase "immortal soul" even to show that by the confession of those who use it, the "natural and proper sense of dying" is ceasing to exist. "An immortal soul is a soul that will not die; and to die there is taken for ceasing to exist, not for being miserable." That is true, and cheerfully admitted. It is a protest against Sadduceanism, wherever found, and therefore is expressed in corresponding language. What difficulty here? The argument is merely ad captandum, as so many from the same quarter are. The "death" of the body, — the death of the beast, — the death of the materialist, — the soul does not die; and it is no wonder if faith should affirm against sense in this respect, using the term as sense would use it. Language is not the hard mathematical unit that Mr. White would make it. There is a certain flexibility in it, without which it would scarcely meet the requirements of daily life. It strikes one that our author must have rather frequent troubles with his dictionary, if he applies at least the same keen-edged criticism to other subjects than the present.

So as to the words "destroy," "perish," and similar terms. Our author takes such words as applying to material things, and naively asks, Why not take them in the same sense when they are applied to immaterial? "A figurative sense of words," he quotes from Dean Alford, "is never admissible except when required by the context." Well, when destruction is applied to a wall and to a man, is there no difference of context? All this is a mere attempt to take the fort by coup de main, instead of honest demolition of its walls and bulwarks. It has been tried too often to succeed now, except by the grossest carelessness of its defenders.

Life is not mere existence in any language; still less is eternal life merely eternal existence. All that need be said on that point has been already said, and whether Scripture be applied to it or not, this is still the one great point in dispute. Even where the Lord says of the believer, "I will raise him up at the last day," Mr, White sees but the fact of eternal existence, as if the wicked would not be also raised. The real meaning is a very different one. It is to assure them that the full blessing was not to come, as they imagined, in the immediate future, or to men dwelling upon the earth, to which the hopes of Israel were so completely attached, but in resurrection and a life beyond.

The eating of Christ's flesh too, with him, speaks of life, and "the blood" too "is the life." Immortality is the one grand point throughout. He does not see that the flesh and blood apart speak of atonement accomplished, and its fruit to be enjoyed by faith.

We may pass over the following chapter which takes up the question of "justification of life." There is nothing in it which really affects the present argument. We are neither Pharisees, Galatians, nor Antinomians, and can meet perfectly, as it seems to us, all such errors without the help of "Conditional Immortality." We shall have to dwell, however, at some length upon the next chapter, in which the central doctrine of atonement is discussed.

"Many questions" says Mr. White, "have been discussed in relation to our Lord's death. … Did Christ die only in the sense in which other men die? Was His death the curse of the law? or was it some modification of that curse? Did Christ suffer a pain and misery of the same sort and of equal weight with that threatened to Adam in the day of his creation? or did He bear some commuted penalty, which, in consideration of His divine nature, was accounted a sufficient expiation?"

We shall answer these questions first, before we review the answer which Mr. White gives. The Lord was truly the substitute of His people, bore their sins, endured their penalty; not, as many say now, a "substitute for penalty," nor yet a "commuted," nor even an "equivalent" penalty, but the very penalty itself. Nothing else, if we have read the Scripture right, could have been true atonement — could have satisfied and proclaimed divine righteousness, or put away, therefore, our guilt. And why? Because atonement does not lie in so much suffering endured, a measurement of compensation, a commercial calculation. This is too often what is considered to be its essence by those who have rightly insisted upon real wrath-bearing on the cross; and this is what has been striven against by those who have denied it. The truth is far otherwise; and the statement of it at once removes a load of difficulty, and reconciles many things that seem opposed.

The penalty upon man as a sinner was not arbitrary, but necessary, the requirement of the divine nature itself. What was governmentally imposed indeed, was, and could be, nothing else than what the holiness of God required otherwise it would have been a false representation of Him who governs.

To abate this demand was impossible, then, even though a surety had to answer it. An arbitrary penalty could be, of course, as arbitrarily modified or set aside. The demand of holiness could not be, without a stain upon the holiness itself.

But it is a great mistake, and one which many beside Mr. White are committing, to look at the doom denounced on Adam as if it were in itself the whole thing. The judgment, as we see it in fact and in the doctrine of the apostle (Rom. 5:12-21), was the judgment of a race, in the head of it. It was preliminary, not final; nor therefore the full individual judgment when it comes. And this last is, because individual, different in character according to the individual, although necessarily wrath upon all unsaved.

The eternity of the doom at last has been wrongly based by many. Judgment is eternal, not necessarily because sin as an infinite wrong must have an infinite punishment; that at least might be debated, and from Scripture could scarcely be established; but because the sinner remains a sinner, and the wrath upon him necessarily remains. There is not, and cannot be, any more open rebellion; all bow necessarily under the hand of God, and there are no more sins to suffer for; mercy has limited punishment to the reward of what was "done in the body" strictly, and punishment is in this way truly corrective — a restraint.

Thus "it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment," and these are the two things needed to be borne for men. Of these, death, though necessary, is the far smaller part. Judgment, the bearing of wrath, is seen in the "outer darkness," away from the presence of God who is "Light," and in the fire of the sin-offering or of the lake of fire. On the one hand, He who is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity, turns away His face; on the other, He who is Light, and to whom nothing is hid, manifests Himself in wrath against the unrepentant. Yet there may be "many stripes" or "few," as the Lord has expressly said.

Death and wrath — the curse — were the two elements of the vicarious suffering of the cross, borne in reverse order: death the smaller, not the greater, — yet implying, if weighed, the other. If God sets aside thus His creatures from the place which at first He gave them, it is in judgment He has done this. "For all our days are passed away in Thy wrath; we spend our years as a tale that is told." (Ps. 90:9.) Thus it is that death is the divine stamp upon sin, and as such the law presses it; as such the Lord bears it. To suppose it all would be to miss the meaning of death itself.

Thus we shall easily, I trust, see now the defect and the excess of Mr. White's statements: —

"St. Paul says, 'Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us, as it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.' (Gal. 3:13.) The construction of this sentence, and the quotation of one of the curses of that law (the law of Moses viewed as a repetition of God's eternal law), render it indubitable, that Christ bore the curse of the law in the sense of dissolution. For if the curse of the law, in which we are by nature 'children of wrath,' were everlasting misery, there would be an incongruity between the two parts of the apostle's statement. 'Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law (everlasting misery), being made a curse for us;' — not, however, that distinctive curse of the law, but a different one, — that of death by hanging on a tree.' Thus it would seem that there are two distinct curses of the law, — everlasting suffering due to the immortal soul, and death by hanging on a tree or otherwise and that, although the curse under which we lay was, according to this theory, the former, the curse which Christ bore was the latter, which notwithstanding availed to delivered us from the former."

No doubt there has been some ground given for this reproach. There has been confusion in many minds between the penalty incurred by the race now and the final individual one; and between that which Christ had to bear for our salvation and that of those finally unsaved. But we can have little difficulty in discerning between things so radically different, and thus the failure of Mr. White's argument to touch the true orthodox position. The curse of the law was not "eternal misery," and it was not, moreover, as he defines it, in this case "death by hanging on a tree or otherwise." There is no "otherwise." Could you read into the old law which the apostle quotes: "Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree, or dies otherwise? Clearly not. It is of the very essence of his statement that the form of the death the Lord died marked it out as a death of curse. And who that considers the strangeness of that special denunciation of one so dying, but must see that it was essentially prophetic, contemplating from the time of its utterance just that one death which has now given it significance and glorified it forever?

Not death alone, but death enshrouded with all that could make death terrible, — death in its true character for the sinner: not death as the doom of the race merely; not death as a babe or a saint might endure it, but such a death as the awful midday darkness symbolized, such as the anguished cry of agony declared it, — "My God! my God! why hast Thou forsaken Me?"

Wrath, but not eternal wrath: who could think of that? Yet for another it would have been eternal. He with whom the fire of God could bring out nothing but sweet savor, — He who was (not disobedient, but) "obedient unto death, even the death of the cross," — He who in the days of His flesh "offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save Him out of death," "was heard for His piety" (Heb. 5:7, marg.), and "raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father" (Rom. 6:4). The glory of God not only permitted this, but required it: as the sixteenth psalm expresses the faith of the blessed Offerer, "Thou wilt not abandon my soul to sheol; neither Thou wilt suffer Thine holy One to see corruption."

Not eternal wrath could there be upon a "holy one;" nor was it necessary for atonement that there should be an exact calculation of what suffering the sins of men would involve for them! Its value was otherwise; it was in the vindication of eternal righteousness in the very penalty necessitated by sin, — not arbitrarily inflicted, but necessitated. "Thou art holy" (Ps. 22:3), proclaimed by the perfect Substitute in the very place of penalty, is satisfaction — the infinite satisfaction — for human sin.

I agree, then, with Mr. White that "it is not necessary to suppose that the Saviour endured an amount of suffering equal to that collectively deserved by the elect, or by the whole race of mankind." Scripture has no such thought. I do not, on the other hand, accept his own curious reason, that "He was a propitiation for the race, regarded as one individual — the first Adam, whose sin comprised the germ of all subsequent transgressions." Assuredly this is reasoning without the Word.

"Literal death" was not either the whole curse of the law or all that the Lord suffered — very far from it. The thought leaves out the burning of the sin-offering without the camp, which the apostle dwells upon in Heb. 13, as absolutely necessary that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, and which the place of the cross, outside the city of God, bore testimony to, externally. True, that "without shedding of blood is no remission," but only the blood of a victim so offered could be brought by the high-priest into the sanctuary for sin. This teaching leaves out, therefore, what is essential for atonement. Could it be thought that it was merely "literal death" which weighed the Lord down in agony in the garden, or made the cross the abyss of suffering that it was? It would be lowering the blessed One below the level of the thousands of His own people who have sung His praise out of the flame itself!

Mr. White, alas! knows not the cross in what it really was. He knows not either what "imparted its sacrificial efficacy to the blood of the Lamb." This he makes out to be His deity, — an error in which he is following others, no doubt, though pressing to an extreme their doctrine. But in its every form it is unscriptural. That the glorious fact of Christ's deity gives even His manhood a significance is of course true, and is brought before us even in relation to sacrifice in those offerings of birds in which the heavenly character of Him who makes atonement is set before us. Yet while this is true, and must not be overlooked or slighted, there is not the slightest reason to show from Scripture that "His deity gave a purging efficacy to the endurance of the curse of the law '" (p. 242). On the contrary, what gave effect was that endurance itself on the part of One in whom the fiery trial brought out nothing but sweet savor to God — the fragrance of perfect obedience even to such a death.

Thus "it became Him of whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings." (Heb. 2:10.) Thus indeed "it is the blood that maketh atonement for the soul." Every passage which speaks of atonement and its efficacy insists upon the work as in itself efficacious, and upon the humanity, not the deity, of the Offerer. And the passage which Mr. White quotes is no exception to this: "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who, through the [an] Eternal Spirit, offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works." (Heb. 9:13.) This does not at all say that "it was the union of an Eternal Spirit' with the humanity which imparted its sacrificial efficacy to the blood of the Lamb" (p. 241). It is not of incarnation that the passage speaks, or could speak, but of the Spirit of God which rested on the Man Christ Jesus. How incongruous would be the thought of Christ's manhood offering itself to God through the Godhead! How simple that of "the Man, Christ Jesus," offering Himself through the Holy Ghost to God! And what Mr. White contends for can as little be found elsewhere as in his one proof-text.

"A difficulty" now "suggests itself" for our author, "in bar of the conclusion that Jesus Christ bore the curse of the law. It is objected that the curse denounced to our first parents was, according to us, death forever, — dissolution without hope of a resurrection; and that therefore the threatening did not take effect upon the Redeemer." He owns that this would be valid "if the Saviour had been simply human. … But the Saviour was divine. As man, identified with human nature, He died; and His death became a sin-offering; as God, He could not die. As man, He was 'made under the law;' as God, He was above the law laid on creatures. And therefore when the curse had taken effect upon the manhood, it was still open to the divine Inhabitant absorbing the Spirit into His own essence to restore the 'destroyed temple' from its ruins; and taking possession of it in virtue of His divinity (not legally, as a man,) to raise it up on the third day. He arose, therefore, as the divine Conqueror of death, 'God over all, blessed for evermore,' and was thus 'declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by His resurrection from the dead' (Rom. 1:4)."

The last quotation is an incorrect one. Mr. White has — unwittingly, of course, but it shows great want of care in quoting Scripture — inserted "His" where it is not found. Another mistake would have been evident if he had consulted the Greek: it is literally "by resurrection of dead persons," and can scarcely apply as he has made it. I believe that the resurrection of Lazarus and others is what is spoken of; for resurrection is divine work, and the Lord speaks of this as what was to glorify the Son of God ( John 11:4). At any rate, it is not "His resurrection," and another of these solitary proof-texts has failed Mr. White.

And what does he mean by the "divine Inhabitant absorbing the Spirit into His own essence"? That the Lord's human spirit was absorbed into Deity? I do not wish to make him responsible for so strange a doctrine, and yet I do not know what else the word can mean. I will pass it, therefore, now. That the Lord rose in another condition of life than that out of which He had passed in death is of course true; and that His death was the end judicially of the old creation, I do not doubt. That His spirit did not die, that His soul was in hades, but not left there, show clearly that, even to His manhood, death was not extinction. The "curse of the law" was not that, — did not involve it.

We may pass over the rest of Mr. White's third book. Much of it scarcely touches our present subject. Some things that do, as the Lord's preaching to the spirits in prison, have been already sufficiently examined. In much too we are glad to be able to express agreement with him. He does not, by any means, represent the wide divergence from orthodoxy found in many of the writers of the school to which he belongs. But we shall find nearer agreement with them in the fourth book, in which we come directly to the consideration of the "doctrine of future punishment." On this account, also, there will be the less to take up here.

In fact, in the whole discussion of Scripture-terms which fills the next chapter, I can find nothing that has not already been examined. They are presented after the usual manner, — what is temporal confounded with what is eternal, what is material with what is spiritual. In such massing of texts an effect is produced wholly disproportionate to their real value. The mind is dazzled and thrown off its guard; and when with this a strong appeal is made to the sensibilities at the same time, it is no wonder if many are insnared.

But how is it, it may be asked, that Scripture seems to lend itself in this way to these doctrines? Or why is it, to put the question more correctly, that these terms," death" and" destruction," are used in so many forms with reference to the future of the wicked? I answer, the object is surely to put an end to that false hope, which, even in the face of all this testimony, is so ready to assert itself, that eternity has yet a gospel for those unsaved here. No words are so effectual to dispel so dangerous an illusion as these and similar ones. True, that when applied to the present time, they are not completely so, for God can say as to Israel He says," O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself, but in Me is thy help" (Hosea 13:9). But "eternal destruction" forbids hope altogether. Again, "to him that is joined to all the living there is hope" (Ecc. 9:4), but the dead are beyond recall. When, then, in eternity also, after the full review of the "things done in the body," the judgment of God confirms in a "second death" the sentence of the first, what hope is left? None — none whatever! Yet the second death is not extinction: it is the "lake of fire" (Rev. 20:14, and see p. 193).

When Mr. White comes at last to examine the "principal texts supposed to teach the everlasting duration of sin and misery" it is evident that he is himself uneasy. Yet he says plainly, —

"The question is, whether these few passages, taken in the popular sense, are to give the law to the interpretation of the general current of Scripture language on future punishment or whether the plain and natural sense of this general language is to determine the force of the few disputed quotations" (p. 391).

Surely this is not the issue. The "natural sense" in Scripture is to rule every where, and, so read, the Word of God will never be found in contradiction to itself. It is already an argument that the case is gone against one when he proposes to take the testimony of the witnesses in a non-natural sense.

But the Word of God is not in the full sense that for Mr. White. It may contain it; but the Copernican astronomy has upset the Ptolemaic and the Bible one already. Modern geology has had a similar triumph in its own sphere. And when we come even to what might be considered its own peculiar field, we are told that, —

"The indefensible method of citing the books of the Bible as if some one had beheld an angel inditing them in succession; without consideration of their individual history, of the degree of confidence due to the fullness of each writer's information, of the POSITIVE MARKS OF DEFECTIVE KNOWLEDGE, OR MISCONCEPTION in some, will serve the cause of truth no longer" (p. 393).

What hope, then, of certainty at all? For how many are able critically to weigh such evidence as this? And who that has discovered the blunders of the inspired writers in things accessible to us will confide in them for revelations of things wholly beyond us? It is the Lord who asks, "If I have told you of earthly things and ye believe not, how shall ye believe if I tell you of heavenly things?"

But Mr. White has evidence: —

"We may read, for example, with general confidence the gospel of Matthew. … notwithstanding the omission of one sentence in the middle of Christ's last discourse on Olivet (the same discussion in which later occurs the kolasin aionion [everlasting punishment] of 25:46) — an omission supplied by St. Luke (21:24), 'And Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.' And in consequence of that fault of St. Matthew, or his Greek translator, we shall not unduly [!] question the accuracy of the other reports of Christ's teaching in this gospel. Nevertheless, it is certain that that omission, leaving the discourse to end with the unqualified words, 'Verily, I say unto you, This generation shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled' (24:34), has thereby created one of the chief stumbling-blocks to faith in the New Testament, — it being clear that Christ's second advent did not occur in 'that generation,' but will take place at the end of those 'times of the Gentiles' our Lord's reference to which St. Matthew unwittingly omitted, and St. Luke has happily supplied."

Yet it cannot be supposed that Mr. White is ignorant that the passage in question has been otherwise explained, and he vouchsafes no reason for rejecting the explanation. He is doubtless aware that genea is given in the lexicons as "a race," as well as "a generation," and that in Phil. 2:15 it is translated "nation," that the English word even is used in another sense than the ordinary one, as where it is said, "This is the generation of them that seek Him" (Ps. 24:6), or, "Thou wilt preserve them from this generation forever" (Ps. 12:7), or, "I should offend against the generation of Thy children" (Ps. 73:15). I see no reason to doubt that the Lord spoke of the unbelievers among the Jews, who will not, in fact, pass away until the Lord appears, — "blindness in part" having happened unto Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles is come in" — that is, for this whole dispensation. In this case, there is really no difficulty whatever, the use of the term being precisely the same as in Ps. 12:7 already quoted, and elsewhere; and there is no need for any supplementing of the text at all.

Yet upon such a slender basis as this Mr. White can say, —

"I cannot conceal my conviction that the path of duty and of wisdom in dealing with such documents as the gospels, demands this practical conclusion: — If they offer to us any statements of Christ's doctrine, by excess or defect conspicuously disagreeing with the facts, or with the plain sense of His teaching as recorded by the same or other historians, resolutely to refuse to allow such exceptional misreports or omissions to interfere with the truth which has been learned by a wider survey of the evidence."

And he goes on to announce his belief in the various degrees of inspiration of the writers of the Bible: —

"It forms no part of the present writer's belief that each contribution to the collection which we combine in one volume, and call the Bible, has been preserved from every tinge of educational thought, from every defect in statement, from every reflection of surrounding opinion or faith. The receiving mind somewhat colors perhaps every communication.

"And for our own part, we are well resolved that no isolated 'text' of any synoptic gospel shall overthrow our faith in the lessons learned from the massive records of a revelation extending from one end of man's history to the other," etc., etc.

These views are general enough, as we have already seen, among those who hold with the doctrines of our author. It is, of course, an indirect confession that if we are to hold the absolute inspiration, of Scripture, we cannot hold the views he advocates. And this we may well accept as truth. It prepares us also for the treatment which the texts to which he refers will receive at his hands.

The first of these is Matt. 25:46; and he allows that there is in the Greek text "absolutely no various reading of any account in the most ancient manuscripts;" but, he adds, it must always be remembered that the nearly uniform testimony of antiquity is that the original of Matthew's gospel was in Hebrew, and that it is uncertain how much authority attaches to any particular expression in the Greek translation"!

This is to set aside the unanimous testimony of the ancients to the book we possess, of which Olshausen says, —

"While all the fathers of the Church relate that Matthew had written in Hebrew, yet they universally make use of the Greek text as a genuine apostolic composition, without remarking what relation the Hebrew Matthew bears to our Greek gospel. For that the earlier ecclesiastical teachers did not possess the gospel of St. Matthew in any other form than we now have it, is established."

I quote from Dr. Thomson's article in Smith's Dictionary, who adds, "The original Hebrew of which so many speak, no one of the witnesses ever saw. And so little store has the Church set upon it, that it has utterly perished." That Mr. White should set more store by it for his purpose is not hard to understand. A doubt is one of the easiest things to insinuate, one of the hardest to refute. By entertaining a doubt, man fell; and it is Satan's favorite weapon still.

In a note is suggested another doubt, "not as a basis of argument, but as a matter of interest" (!) "and those who know the weight assigned by Von Tischendorf to similar examples will be ready to allow it a certain degree of importance" — as what? as a matter of interest, or as argument? Who does not see that the argumentative force is what gives it "interest," and nothing else? — "that the two most ancient, and several more modern manuscripts of the Italic version … here have distinctly, in ver. 46, These shall go away, ad ignem aeternum, into the eternal fire,' not ad supplicium aeternum, into eternal punishment."

Unfortunately, those who value Tischendorf's judgment in the matter are well aware that he did not sanction, and that no editor of the Greek Testament has sanctioned, any doubt as to the reading here. And many know also that by the end of the fourth century the Latin version was in such a confused and chaotic state as to necessitate Jerome's revision (the Vulgate). It is to the fourth century that the two manuscripts in question are referred.

After all this, Mr. White consents to the "supposition that the Greek was the original, and that Matthew wrote what we find in these expressions."

He then attempts (for the most part after the usual manner) to overthrow the natural force of the passage, in which to follow him would necessitate a recapitulation of a large proportion of the arguments already given in this book. I can find nothing that has not been fully met. Nor need I take up his comment upon Mark 3:29, which he reads, with Tischendorf, "guilty of an eternal sin." The thought is strange to me, but I have no other objection, and found nothing upon the disputed reading.

The next passage which he considers is Mark 9:44-50. "The original state of the text here," he says, "seems hopelessly doubtful." But on the contrary, the omission of the repetitions in vers. 44-46 leaves its teaching absolutely untouched. The forty-ninth verse is by some editors deprived of its latter clause, although the context speaks strongly for its retention. Here also the omission does not touch the doctrine. Mr. White speaks of a "mass of contradictory evidence" as to both clauses; but he does not seek to justify this, says, "it matters not, for no valid argument for immortality in sin and suffering can be drawn hence under any reading."

He relies upon two main arguments: —

"(1) The argument for endless sin and sorrow hence derived is cased upon that very understanding of the verb to die against which the argument itself is directed. The eternal suffering is supposed to be proved by the words, 'their worm dieth not.' But "dieth" here is taken in the sense of 'ceaseth to be,' — not in the sense of being miserable or being unholy."

Certainly an "unholy" worm would be a somewhat incongruous idea, and we freely concede also to Mr. White that "to die" never means "to be miserable." We concede that the death of a worm is its ceasing to be, and on this account, no doubt, teleuta is used (and not apothneskai,) as Mr. White himself observes: for this word has this as its primary sense. He seeks to rob it of its force indeed by a reference to the Hebrew of Isa. 66:24, where "the worm's death is represented by tamuth, the same verb which describes the death of the sinner elsewhere." This, however, concludes nothing, for the Lord's words in Mark are not a mere citation of Isaiah, as he supposes. But we also allow that if he can prove that a man is no more than a worm, his death can only be what a worm's death is.

Mr. White's second argument is again from the supposed citation of Isaiah. In the Old Testament prophet, the language has reference to "carcasses," and literal worms and fire: he therefore argues that the words in Mark speak of a like physical extinction.

I have elsewhere (chap. 32: Gehenna, p. 310-314, and comp. chap. 25: pp. 250, 251,) sufficiently examined this. The truth is, that the earthly scene is typical of one beyond the earth, just as was the valley of Hinnom of the New Testament gehenna.

And now we come finally to the passages in the Apocalypse, which Mr. White is anxious to interpret by something else. He first of all adduces its "less obscure portions," chaps. 2 and 3; and in Rev. 2:23 finds in the threatening "I will kill her children with death," "the strongest expression to denote absolute extinction." If he had compared Rev. 6:8, he would perhaps be more doubtful. The sword and hunger and death and beasts of the earth answer, without question, to God's "four sore plagues" in Ezek. 14:21: "the sword and the famine and the noisome beast and the pestilence," where the Septuagint as in many other places translates "pestilence" — death, thanaton. If this is the strongest expression to be found for "absolute extinction," then the cause of Conditional Immortality has assuredly no cause for triumph. Perhaps Mr. White may find more reason than he has done why "this is one of the many phrases used in Scripture … which modern preachers never dream of employing in warning the wicked man."'

He then passes to the end of the book, brings in anticipatively the argument as to the lake of fire, the casting in of Death and Hades (to be "put an end to"), and the "generic likeness" between the first and second death. All this has been fully looked at (pp. 193, 322.) He next asks, "Shall the gospel [St. John] be interpreted by the key of the mystical Apocalypse? or shall the sense of the Apocalypse be fixed by the gospel?" Then a few lines dismiss Rev. 14:10-11, as "allowed by nearly all commentators to predict earthly and terminable judgments on the supporters of the apostasy," and he finds the fulfillment in the judgment of Babylon in the eighteenth chapter. Which (until some proof is attempted) it is sufficient to deny.

Rev. 20:10 detains him a little longer. He says, as to the expression "forever and ever" ("to the ages of ages"), —

"There can be no doubt that the terms of duration here employed are sometimes used to denote an absolute eternity, as in relation to the nature of Deity. There is as little doubt that they are as frequently used to denote a very limited duration. The alternative meaning must be decided by the nature of the subject, or by other declarations"!!

So that "who liveth forever and ever" might mean, "who liveth for a very limited duration," only being spoken of the Lord God Almighty, we know it must here mean just what it says! "Forever and ever" is thus like an algebraical x, the symbol of an unknown quantity, which must be gathered from the company it keeps. Still, it seems strange that "who liveth forever and ever," — which must be, interpreted by the "nature of the subject," "liveth as long as He liveth" should be given as descriptive of God! Does not the feeblest mortal live as long?

No, we cannot accept this, Mr. White; and having gone carefully and conscientiously through all the passages, we feel abundantly able to deny that "for the ages of ages" means any thing less than strict eternity. Mr. White undertakes no proper examination, furnishes nothing in proof but what has been answered again and again, and, as usual, carries us lightly over a number of Scriptures in the two pages following. I can only refer my readers to the previous chapters of this book for what I have not space to review again.

2. J. H. Pettingell: The Theological Trilemma

Mr. Pettingell's book appeared about the time my own was published. It professes to be largely independent of kindred influences, "written under such circumstances of isolation as prevented all access to the volumes of his own or of any other library." "He has attempted simply to express his own sentiments, not those of other men." Yet both methods and results differ little from other writers of his school. We have but space for the review of the Scripture-arguments, and indeed of those only that are in some measure fresh, at least in the way of putting them.

A false psychology, here as elsewhere, profoundly influences his conclusions: —

"Soul denotes the mind as connected with the vital principle of Adam. It is what man has in common with other animals. It is cosmical in its relations. It looks downward to the earth. It is natural and transitory, like all earthly things. But Spirit denotes the mind or superior and supernatural vital principle of Jesus Christ. It is from above. It tends heavenward, and is indestructible. It is the spirit (Neshamah) of life, the breath of God Himself, so to speak, which He only can communicate to man. The soul he receives by ordinary generation, but the Spirit only by a new birth (John 3:3). The possession of body and soul constitutes the natural man, but it needs the spirit to constitute him a spiritual man, and an heir of eternal life" (pp. 26, 27).

This is not new essentially, but the statement of it has some originality. "We shall scarcely understand it aright without connecting it with the after-statements of chaps. 7 and 8.

Here he tells us, looking at creation in its gradation from the lowest to the highest, we have, first, chaotic matter; next, "aggregated into masses, having the property of cohesion, which, for the want of a more general and comprehensive term, we call its life, or, the life-power in its lowest manifestation"! Then, possessing chemical properties. Then crystallizing, by "a certain formative life-force within." Then organic life, as in the plant, with "a certain blind instinct."

"(6) After this, comes matter possessing all the foregoing properties or various degrees of the life-power, with a sensitive nature super-added, which is yet a higher kind of life, with the power of thought, volition, and action. This kind of life is called in Hebrew Nephesh, which means, living soul, or creature that lives by breathing" "Last of all comes man, carrying with him all the properties, functions, and faculties of the orders beneath him, and yet endowed with something more which links him with the invisible world above. This peculiar property in man is called in the Hebrew Neshamah, a word never applied to the brutes: the Greek equivalent is Pneuma; in Latin it is Spiritus, hence our word Spirit; and the world above is called the spiritual world and this higher kind of life in man is called his spiritual life (pneumatikos life), to distinguish it from his animal (or psuchikos) life."

In the fall, Mr. Pettingell's doctrine is that the spiritual part was lost, —

"The soul of man, when it becomes entirely an animal soul by the loss of its spiritual nature, becomes perishable like the soul of all other animals. But when it is, or becomes, a spiritual soul, which can only be by union with God, it may live forever. It is here that we see the real difference between the real children of Adam by a natural birth and the children of God by a spiritual birth, and why it is that while the former most perish, the latter are immortal."

Let us examine this, then, with Scripture, so far as we can take Scripture, for our author goes far beyond. Scripture says nothing of the life-power manifested in cohesion, or in chemical combination, or even in the crystal. Nor does it speak of the instinct of the plant. This we may well pass over. We must, however, deny that nephesh (or even nephesh chayah) means "a creature that lives by breathing." We must also deny that neshamah represents the spirit of man proper, or that it is represented by the Greek pneuma. Ruach is the true word for spirit in the Hebrew, as pneuma is in the Greek, and that whether it be the Spirit or God, the angel-spirits, or the spirit of man; and this without any possibility of question. Both of these words have the lower sense of breath, and neshamah is the ruach in action, most commonly signifies "breathing" (in Greek not pneuma, but pnoe although applied in the higher sense in Prov. 20:27.

Neshamah, moreover (necessarily in the lower sense), is applied to the beast in Gen. 7:22, while ruach in the sense of spirit is not, save vaguely in Ecc. 3:21, — a passage elsewhere fully examined.

Neither ruach nor pneuma speak necessarily of any product of new birth. That is indeed "spirit" in nature, as in the Lord's words to Nicodemus, but not the spirit of man, which is in every man still, and the means of all human intelligence: "What man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him?" (1 Cor. 2:11.) Hence, if deprived of this by the fall, every unrenewed man would be an idiot. If he had lost it, the moral faculty also would be lost, and man could no more be a sinner than a beast could be one; the gospel and the day of judgment would alike have no possible significance for him.

But there are other incongruities. "The word Neshamah, translated the 'breath of life,'" says Mr. Pettingell, "means the Spirit of God, and does not belong to man even, except as it is breathed into him by God Himself." But when so breathed, as into Adam, it becomes "the true normal life of the soul of man" (p. 112) and "the spirit is the breath of God; it is an immortal principle, it cannot die."

It is the Spirit of God, then, that becomes the life of man; yet, as it would appear, it never belongs really to him. Indeed, if it did, the doctrine would be dangerously near to incarnation. Nevertheless, the whole spiritual faculty inheres in what does not properly belong to him: that is, if I understand it aright, is no real constituent part of the man himself.

Whether I am interpreting Mr. Pettingell rightly here, I can hardly say. The absurdity every way is so great that it is only a question of choosing the least. For one cannot suppose him to mean the Spirit of God became or becomes an integral part of man — that he means this. Yet it is clear all the spiritual faculties reside for him in this spirit of man which is the spirit or breath of God within him. And then the necessary consequence follows as I have put it: either there is no responsibility (for you cannot attribute it to the Spirit of God) or it is the animal soul — which the beast has just as much as man — that is responsible. Whichever horn of the dilemma our author please to choose, it is but a choice of what is evidently and equally inconceivable on every side.

His language seems to show a sense of perplexity, which he may not indeed have faced so as to realize it. For with him both soul and spirit seem to attenuate often into life of a higher or lower kind. The soul indeed he allows to be more than life — an entity that lives; but of spirit, he says that "it denotes the divine principle of life, dwelling primarily in God, and by Him communicated to the soul of man as its peculiar divine life." Now, if we take his whole doctrine, it would certainly seem as if this life were but an effect of the Spirit of God inbreathed. It is a life communicated to the soul. The soul is after all the real man: yet the soul is bestial, or (if you will), "animal." How a spiritual life can be communicated to an animal soul is a question difficult enough. But we are not called to answer it. Scripture is plain, and contradicts the whole system which is here presented to us.

When we come to consider the penalty, the same confusion follows us: —

"Against whom or what is this threatening [of death] denounced? … We reply, to the sinning man himself most surely. Not to his hand, nor to his feet, nor to his body, but to the whole man. 'What man holds of matter does not make up his personality. They are his, not he.' The words of threatening are, 'Thou shalt surely die.' It is not the body alone, nor the soul alone, nor any two of them together, — much less the body on the one hand and the spirit on the other, while the soul, in which the personality of man especially resides, is to live on forever. But the whole man, in the totality of his being, is to die."

Then there seems to be a spirit to die. But if it were merely a life communicated, the man would die, being dispossessed of it, but not the life. You can no more truly speak of a life dying than of a life living. The life does not possess life, but the man, or the soul, does. Dying is losing life. If the spirit lose life, it must have had it. It must be a distinct living entity.

But no, says Mr. Pettingell, the spirit is the Spirit of God, "it is the breath of God; it is an immortal principle: it cannot die" (p. 112). Certainly, if it be the Spirit of God, it cannot. But how are we to reconcile these flat contradictories? We must once more leave this to the author.

Really, there is no difficulty as to the threatening, if we will only learn from Scripture what death is. It is the quiet assumption of foundations which allows so many arguments to be built up apparently so impregnably. "Dust thou art, and unto dust shall thou return" is the divine judgment as announced to man when fallen, the divine interpretation of the doom threatened before. But the soul is not dust; nor the spirit. These, then, are not to return to dust. And when, at the end of ages of mortal existence, the dead — the wicked dead — are called up before the "great white throne," "death and hell" (or "hades") deliver up the dead which are "in them." Why "in them," if death in the same way applies to all? No; though the man dies, yet the blow falls directly upon the body only. Death gives up the body; hades, the soul.

We have long since discussed this first sentence, which is not the final one at all. The common mistake of reading into it the final one has favored the cause our author advocates. He goes on to insist, as all his party do, upon life and death being used in application to soul or spirit in the same material sense as when they apply to the body. "The words 'life' and 'death' are as applicable to them, not as figures of speech in some shadowy, tropical, unmeaning sense, but as actual verities, as to things altogether material and sensible." Here the basis of the whole doctrine and its materialism become apparent.

New birth, according to this teaching, is the reconstitution of the man by the restoration to him of the spirit which he has lost. Thus we are told clearly that the spirit in man is "the spirit of life (Neshamah), the breath of God Himself, so to speak," which "he receives only by new birth" (p. 27). And this is "indestructible and eternal."

But this is just what Adam is said to have had at the beginning: "The word Neshamah, translated the breath of life,' means the Spirit of God." "The spirit is the breath of God; it is an immortal principle; it cannot die."

According to this, it would certainly seem that, as born again, we are brought back again simply to the condition of Adam while yet unfallen, — guarded and guaranteed to us, no doubt, through the work of Him in whom we receive it. Still, in this case it seems strange to ask "by what means were they" — our first parents, if unfallen, — "to rise to the higher celestial life — that 'life and immortality' that are brought to light in the gospel?" (p. 122.)

I can find nothing more in Mr. Pettingell's book that needs examination. His discussion of the special texts for eternal punishment is especially weak and inadequate.

3. W. R. Hart: "Eternal Purpose."

Mr. Hart's book need not detain us long. He is a disciple of Mr. Morris, whose errors he reproduces, even to the rendering of "living soul" as "vigorous breather," and of basanismos (torment) as "putting to the proof." For him, also, "man, as descended from Adam, consists of a soul and body; the new man in Christ Jesus is body, soul, and spirit" (p. 108). Adam himself had "a 'pneumatic capacity,' — that is, he was so constituted as to be capable of receiving a spiritual life in addition to that psychical one with which he was created" (p. 218). He was "created in the 'lower parts of the earth.' (Ps. 139.) There his soul formed for itself a body according to the laws of gestation, and when God brought him forth out of his mother earth, He breathed into his nostrils the breath of lives,' the breath common to all animals." According to the penalty, "he himself, his soul and body, were to return unto the earth from whence he was taken. The personal pronoun is not used of the body alone in Scripture, though it is of the soul. The sin of Adam was willful, intelligent lawlessness, and his doom was utter death. … He was a type of Antichrist, according to Rom. 5:14." (!) In the creation of Eve, "God 'took one ('rib' is a fancy of the translators) out of his side, and built it up into a woman; — that is, he took a vital germ — a soul — out of the body of Adam, and built up a material body." (pp. 221, 224.)

Of course all this is to make the soul mortal. The rendering of "living soul" by "vigorous breather" — puerile as it is — is quite needful to this hypothesis. For living, the soul must, of course, have been when it was clothing itself with a body before the breath of life was given. Nay, the body itself must have been also alive, and merely started on a new course of existence when it began to breathe, as a child does when it is born. The new idea, also, as to the creation of the woman is equally necessary. These are the two crutches of a very lame hypothesis.

But first as to the woman: "one out of his side," Mr. Hart would have it, — a singular phrase, it must be owned, and which still requires something very like "fancy" to read "soul" into it. But this is not all by any means; for I suppose that — although he is pleased to translate it as a singular "side" is really a plural, "sides." Nor can he deny either that, inasmuch as there is in Hebrew a dual number expressly to give the idea of a pair, as of arms, feet, etc., the plural here would indicate that Adam had more than two "sides"!

Besides the construction naturally means "one of" rather than "out of," the preposition being undoubtedly so used, and the want of a noun after "one" being supplied by that which follows. It would therefore read "one of his sides," if we are not to prefer what the lexicons give, and all translators probably prefer as an alternative, "one of his ribs."

Moreover, it is a new and rather startling doctrine, (which Mr. Hart seems to derive from Heb. 7:10, but which would seem rather akin to the Darwinian theory of Pangenesis,) that men carry about in their bodies a supply of human souls as he suggests. And to "close up flesh instead of it" would seem to indicate that such souls must be sufficiently material. While that the Lord "builded" this soul into a woman does not seem to agree with any formative power of the soul to build the body, but would rather emphasize still more inert materiality.

On the whole, we prefer the "fancy" of lexicographers and translators in this case, founded as it is upon the requirements of sense and language, to the "fancy" of Mr. Hart founded upon grammatical misconstruction, a questionable doctrine, and the necessities of the cause he advocates.

Nor is the account of the creation of man more favorable to his purpose. For the "living soul" is undoubtedly that which indwells the body even of the beast. And in Gen. 1:30 it would not do at all to translate "every thing in which there was a vigorous breather." But then, if the living soul be this indwelling principle, it is certain that man got it by the inbreathing of God, and that what was made of the dust of the ground is, in opposition to this, simply the human body.

Consequently the soul does not return to the dust, any more than it was taken out of it; and therefore when God says to man, "Dust thou art," Mr. Hart has before his eyes the very thing which he says cannot be found in Scripture. The identification of man with his body is in fact very common in Scripture, as we have long ago seen.

Every way the argument breaks down, and that most undeniably. But there is another result of such views as he enunciates. If man is but soul and body, as the beast is, and has lost even that "pneumatic capacity" which he asserts for Adam, then responsibility is lost also with this. Men are not immoral, but unmoral, just as the beast is. And this suits well with the thought of punishment which he advocates, which will leave still a balance of happiness on the side even of the lost. This he says of the angels that fell (p. 213), apparently forgetting that of one man, at any rate, the lips of truth have said, "Good were it for that man if he had not been born!" (Matt. 26:24.)

When we come to the question of judgment, Mr. Hart boldly teaches that there will be no resurrection of the wicked. "The teaching of Holy Scripture concerning the resurrection of the body applies only to Christians," he says: "there is not a word any where which intimates that the souls of the wicked shall ever again be embodied after death" (p. 313). He could not of course say with the apostle, "I have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust" (Acts 24:15). Nor does he believe that "the hour is coming in which all that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of Man, and shall come forth, … they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment" (John 5:29). "The dead who are cast into the lake of fire," he says, "are disembodied souls. … Their souls, revived to consciousness, shall stand naked in the presence of the throne of God, and before the frown of infinite holiness shall shrink back into their original nothingness … while at the same time the material universe — the garment stained by sin — shall be destroyed by actual flame, to make place for the new heavens and new earth, in which dwelleth righteousness" (p. 314).

"This grand conflagration we believe to be the lake of fire, into which all evil persons and things are to be cast. Material fire cannot destroy immaterial life, but the frown of God and the material fire will act simultaneously" (p. 274). But how then can these evil spirits and lost souls be cast into this material fire? Tormented he denies it should be, as Mr. Morris does but what can the fire do with those whom it can neither torment nor destroy? He forgets also that the lake of fire receives the beast and false prophet a thousand years before, according to him, it exists.

We need not go further, however, with Mr. Hart. The rest is ground which we have trodden sufficiently already.

4. Seventh-day Adventism

The Seventh-Day Adventists are an off-shoot of the old Millerites, the followers of William Miller of Low Hampton, N. Y., well known as predicting the end of the world in 1844. They reasoned especially from Dan. 8:13-14 — the prophecy of two thousand three hundred days to the cleansing of the sanctuary, that, taking these days for years, they began in the seventh year of Artaxerxes, king of Persia, B. C. 457, and would therefore end in the year named. The sanctuary to be cleansed was the earth, and the cleansing to be by fire.

This very palpable mistake led, of course, to bitter disappointment, which resulted in the scattering of many of their adherents, and the division of the rest ultimately into three bodies, — the more orthodox body, or Messiah's church, who deny, nevertheless, the heavenly portion of Christians; another body, which engrafted annihilationism and still more fatal errors upon their adventist views; and the Seventh-Day Adventists.

These last have far outgrown the others in numbers, and claimed in the United States at the end of 1887, nearly twenty-six thousand members, with adherents in most European countries, as well as Australia, South Africa, British Honduras, and Guiana. With a tithing system, which in 1887 produced nearly $200,000, vigorous publishing houses, and an itinerant ministry, they are increasing rapidly at the present time.

Unhappily, they are annihilationists and materialists of the most pronounced kind. Mind is but the product of organization: spirit is only a form of matter, and the inevitable conclusion they do not seem to shrink from — that God is matter also. Indeed, the image of God in man is for them a bodily one. They are not Trinitarians, though holding that Christ is "the Son of the Eternal Father, the One by whom He created all things, and by whom they consist;" while the Spirit is the "representative" of God, by which His omnipresence is made good. Atonement was not upon the cross, although Christ bore there "the sins of all the world;" but He makes it in the heavenly sanctuary above; and when it is completed, He will come again. It is the last stage of this work — the cleansing of the sanctuary — which they believed began in 1844, and the time that will elapse before its completion is uncertain, so that they are now left to expect the Lord at any time.

Although the annihilation views are those with which we have especially to do here, I shall allow myself to speak briefly of their other peculiarities, which are often used as the thin end of the wedge to make way for the rest to follow.

And perhaps the first by which they claim attention is the doctrine which is connected with the name they have assumed — not peculiar, indeed, to them even among professing Christians, although strongly emphasized in their teachings — the obligation of the Jewish Sabbath.

Unhappily, they find every where the ground prepared for them. For the obligation of the seventh day is but the natural outcome of a larger doctrine, almost universally received, that the ten commandments given to Israel, the words, as distinctly declared (Ex. 34:27-28), of God's covenant with that people, are the rule of life for the Christian no less than for the Jew. Grant them but this, and it is the most direct and simplest argument that can be, to appeal to the law itself — that of which the Lord said, "I came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill," and that "one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law until all be fulfilled," — and ask, Of what day does the fourth commandment speak? of the first, or of the seventh?

Is not the change of the day the causing even a "jot or tittle" of the law to pass away? Who can say it is not? And where in your Bibles will you find the history of the change? Who changed it? and where was their authority for doing so? You can find no answer to these questions if you search your New Testament from end to end.

Where will you find your Christian Sabbath? where is the first day of the week declared to be that? where is it even commanded to be observed? And yet, is it not Scripture only by which the man of God is to be "thoroughly furnished unto all good works"?

Thus it is as easy as possible to convict the mass of the Christian profession of plain breach of their acknowledged rule. And though you may plead universal custom, the testimony of Church history, and whatever else, it will not save you from a manifest contradiction between your practice and your principles. While the Romanist says, with a smile, as he looks on, "Both you and we do, in fact, follow tradition in this matter; but we follow it, believing it to be a part of God's Word, and the church to be its divinely appointed guardian and interpreter; you follow it, denouncing it all the time as a fallible and treacherous guide, which often makes the commandments of God of none effect.'" (Quoted from "Who changed the Sabbath?")

What, then, shall we do? Must we accept these principles, or change the practice? Scripture is clear enough: the truth is, we have not gone far enough with Scripture. If the law of the ten commandments be our rule of life indeed, there is no more to be said about it: we must not tamper with our statute-book; we must keep the seventh day.

There is, however, a text which seems suggestive; but it goes so far, that in general, Christians are afraid to entertain its suggestions — have, indeed, pretty much abandoned it as impracticable to be used in this connection. It is bold enough, no doubt, and a bold man wrote it: it is here: —

"Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross; … .

"Let no man, therefore, judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath; which are a shadow of things to come, but the body is of Christ" (Col. 2:14-17).

If your obligation to keep the Sabbath has been indeed struck through, — canceled with the nails of the cross, then, Christian reader, you are no longer bound to the observance of the seventh day. Nay, if Christ has canceled the bond, you dare not surely go back to put yourself under it. You would be denying in measure the value of the cross of Christ.

But here, alas! if you take your stand here, voices on all sides will clamor against you. Let us not fear, but abide the encounter. 1 have before me now a good-sized volume upon this Sabbath-question by a prominent man in the body of which we are speaking. And this is his demurrer to such a use of the passage: —

"The object of this action is declared to be the handwriting of ordinances. The manner of its abrogation is thus stated: 1. Blotted out. 2. Nailed to the cross. 3. Taken out of the way. Its nature is shown in these words: 'Against us' and 'contrary to us.' The things contained in it were meats, drinks, holydays [Gr., "a feast-day" ], new moons, and Sabbaths. The whole is declared a shadow of good things to come; and the body which casts this shadow is of Christ. That law which was proclaimed by the voice of God, and written by His own finger upon the tables of stone, and deposited beneath the mercy-seat, was altogether unlike that system of carnal ordinances that was written by Moses in a book, and placed in the side of the ark. It would be absurd to speak of the tables of STONE as NAILED to the cross; or to speak of BLOTTING 011t what was ENGRAVED in STONE. It would be blasphemous to represent the Son of God as pouring out His blood to blot out what the finger of His Father had written. It would be to confound all the principles of morality to represent the ten commandments as contrary to man's moral nature. It would be making Christ a minister of sin to represent Him as dying to utterly destroy the moral law. Nor does that man keep truth on his side who represents the ten commandments as among the thing contained in Paul's enumeration of what was abolished. Nor a' there any excuse for those who would destroy the ten commandments with this statement of Paul; for he shows, last of all, that what was thus abrogated was a shadow of good things to come — an absurdity if applied to the moral law."*

{*"History of the Sabbath and First Day of the Week," by. J. N. Andrews; second edition, pp. 138, 139."}

We will pause here for the present, though there is more; but it will be wise, perhaps, to inquire what damage this storm has done to our defenses. Sooth to say, by all we can perceive, it has but hurtled over our heads and done no harm. What a safe shelter is the Word of God to all that will but fearlessly commit themselves to it! Mr. Andrews has done all he could: he must be acquitted, if after all the fortress was too strong for such an assault.

Let us notice first his mistake as to the "handwriting of ordinances." He imagines we must refer it to God's handwriting upon the tables of stone, and would refer it himself to the book which Moses wrote and placed in the side of the ark. But this is a double error. The word "handwriting" (cheirographon) denotes a "bond," an obligation to which one has signed one's name; and it is this bond which has been stricken through and blotted out, — effectively canceled by the Lord's death. It is this of which the apostle, speaking as a Jewish believer, says, "was against us," and "contrary to us," as an obligation is which we cannot meet. There is thus no disparagement done to the law itself, which is "holy, just, and good," and certainly no such thought intended as that it is contrary to man's moral nature! This is but a fancy, and a very strange one, of Mr. Andrews himself. Does he not remember the words of this same apostle — "As many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, 'Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things written in the book of the law to do them '" (Gal. 3:10)? Is not this a sufficient reason why the law should be, just because of its holiness, "against" sinful men?

A second mistake, in which Mr. Andrews has indeed abundant support among those who dissent very widely from his final conclusions, is in the division between a supposed "moral" and a "ceremonial law." Not a text of Scripture can be cited for such a division, and the very ten commandments to which he would appeal, as distinguished from the rest by their place upon the tables of stone, are really proof on the other side. For, the Sabbath itself, is it a moral or a positive precept? Surely, whatever moral effect may be pleaded for it — and every divine command must have been intended to have a moral effect — yet it is plain that it is the latter and not the former.

Moreover, it was to the law of the two tables that Israel set their hand. It was this that contained the terms, the words of that covenant which they had subscribed (Ex. 19:8), and to which their obligation was. No similar obligation did they take to the rest of the law, and none such could certainly be so "against" them, so "contrary to" them, as that by which the very heart was searched out, and every lust of it forbidden (Rom. 7:7). Thus it was this obligation of the covenant of works which confronted those who were convicted of the breach of it, and that needed to be blotted out and taken out of the way.

But with this went the whole ritual service which was founded upon it, and which in fact, if it were in one way burdensome, alone made the law tolerable by the mercy with which its rigor was abated. Thus only could there be the remission (or passing over) of the sins done aforetime (R.V.), through the forbearance of God (Rom. 3:25). To have canceled this merciful addition, and left in force the other, could have been only to lay the basis for a gospel of despair.

The law as a whole being thus connected, it is manifest how the apostle could draw from the doctrine of the fourteenth verse the conclusion of the sixteenth. It does not follow that meat and drink, and holydays, and new moons, and Sabbaths, were all the things, or the whole class of things, to which the "ordinances" before mentioned extended; nor does he speak of all, but only of these specified things, as being "shadows of things to come."

On the other hand, when the apostle says, "Let no man judge you in respect of … Sabbaths," he could not have meant to except just that from which all other Sabbaths derived their name and significance. Think of such an exhortation from a Jew not being meant to convey the very thing which would have been first in every Jew's mind on hearing it! What! a Jew not guard the Sabbath from profanation! and an inspired apostle not hint even so important a restriction of his meaning! And not only so, but in all his writings, not a word — not even one — about Sabbath-observances? No, nor in any other epistle of the New Testament beside!

The Christian doctrine is thus perfectly plain and consistent. Negatively and positively taken, its consistency is apparent and conclusive. The more we are reminded of the contrary position of the Old Testament prophets from first to last, — the more we listen to their denunciation of transgressors of the law of the Sabbath, the richer the promises to those who "keep My Sabbaths from polluting them," — only the more marked becomes the difference, — only the more fundamental. It is not, it cannot be, accidental. Some radical change must have taken place with the change of dispensation — that is evident.

Nor are we left to surmise as we may. What the change is is carefully explained to us. It is not that the law is changed or destroyed or weakened. It is that "we are DEAD TO the law by the body of Christ;" and that "that we should be married to another, even to Him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit to God" (Rom. 7:4). And the law itself forbids, and the figure is used to enforce the prohibition, that there should be two husbands at the same time (vv. 2, 3).

Will any say it is the ceremonial law only from which we are divorced? Nay, it is the law by which we know sin; the law which is holy, just, and good; the law which says, "Thou shall not covet" (vv. 7, 12). There is no doubt permitted here at all as to whether what Mr. Andrews styles the moral law is included. It most certainly is. Yet it is to this law that we are "dead" and that not with regard to justification by it merely, but "that we should bring forth fruit to God." This to many more than the writer I am meeting may be a matter of profound astonishment. There are many, thank God, who realize the deep necessity of it, and give God continual thanks for the deliverance.*

{*Those who desire to pursue this subject may find help in a tract, "Deliverance, what is it?" issued by the publishers.}

We have had two witnesses from the Word of God; let us add yet another. In the third chapter of the second of Corinthians it will not be doubtful what is meant by "the ministration of death, written and engraved in stones." Even Mr. Andrews here can have no doubt. But it is the "ministration of death;" and notice what follows (vv. 9-13) "For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. … For if that which was done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious. Seeing, then, that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech; and not as Moses, who put a vail over his face, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of that which is abolished" ("was passing away" — R.V.).

With these unhappy Jews we must number, therefore, the seventh-day advocates. Scripture is clear enough, and the absence of one exhortation in the writings of the apostles as to Sabbath-observance agrees with the injunction to let no man judge you in respect of Sabbaths, and with the doctrine from which this springs.

But let it not be imagined that this is any conflict with the design of the Sabbath, as made for man, as undoubtedly it was — a most merciful institution. Put upon this ground, we readily accept all that can be said for it. Not only is the rest for man and beast an immense benefit physically, but spiritually the break with ordinary care and worldly business is beyond all price. No one with the least concern for his own soul, or the souls of others, would think of lightly esteeming the sanctification of the day of rest. But then this is not, it is plain, a reason for the observance of the seventh day rather than the first. It suits well with those intimations in the New Testament which invite us, by way of privilege, to the observance of this first day, to which, as recognized by Christians, the title of the Lord's day is, I doubt not, rightly given (Rev. 1:10).

We fully concede to the Sabbatarians that there is no ground for calling it the Sabbath, and that they can find no command for its observance such as the law contains for its day. For this there is the best of reasons. When God took up Israel as His people, He separated them from the rest of the nations to Himself. The whole land, and all in it, were subject to Moses' law. Thus an ordinance of the kind controlled the whole fabric of society from the highest to the lowest: and this was necessary for its due observance. As a law, such a command could be issued only by recognized authority, and that the authority of the state. We may be thankful that we have laws to this end, but it would be an entire mistake to look for them in the New Testament.

That the Sabbath commemorates the creation of the world, and is a rest at the end of six days' labor, only makes the reason for the observance of the first day more evident. The law took men in nature, a nation, and tested them as to their ability to "do and live." But the first creation is lapsed into ruin, and Christians are a people by grace separated from the world, a "new creation," "created in Christ Jesus unto good works" (Eph. 2:10). The principle of grace is not "do and live," but "live and do." Life begins for us out of death. "God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, and hath raised us up together" (vv. 4-6). Thus it was suited that a Jew under law should observe the day of creation and legal rest; but how suited that a Christian should observe the day of his Lord's resurrection, with whom he is raised, — the new beginning for him, an which he rightly calls "the Lord's day"! How suited that his keeping it should be enforced, not by legal commandments, but by the joy and privilege of it!

More might be said — much more, but we have not space for it, nor is there really need, for those who will examine what has been already stated, prayerfully and before God. My reason for saying so much is not only the importance of the subject in itself, but also because their Sabbath-doctrine and their adventism are undoubtedly the two chief elements of their successful proselytism. We must now take up briefly the latter, more connected as it is also, with the subject of our book.

They hold rightly that the personal coming of the Lord will be before the millennium. At His coming, —

"the righteous dead will be raised, the living righteous will be changed, and thus the subjects of the eternal kingdom will be made immortal." These "will ascend with their Lord to the eternal city, and reign with Him in the judgment of the wicked a thousand years, during which time the earth will be desolate." "All wicked men will be destroyed at the second advent." "At the close of the millennium, the wicked will be raised up from the dead. 'But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished' (Rev. 20:5). They will then be destroyed. 'And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them' (20:9). Satan and all the fallen angels and all wicked men will then be consumed by the fire of Jehovah's wrath. (Rev. 20:10 Matt. 25:41; 2 Peter 2:4 Jude 6). In the general conflagration of that time, the old earth and atmospheric heaven will pass away from the face of Him that sitteth on the great white throne." "From the old earth, melted and cleansed from sin and sinners, will come forth, moulded by the hand of the great Restorer, the new earth, free from all the marks of the curse.'" It is at the close of the thousand years of Rev. 20, after the final destruction of all God's enemies, that the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever."*

{*"Bible Adventism," by Elder James White, pp. 82-86.}

A thousand years' reign for the saints over a desolate earth is certainly a view as to the prophetic future somewhat startling, as it is undoubtedly new. Of course, to make room for the promises to Israel, must be "spiritualized" and applied to the eternal state; while the lake of fire lasts at most through the millennium (?), and the "little season" at its close. The "forever and ever" does not trouble these powerful reasoners: it can be compressed into as short a time as may be necessary, according to the simple rule which another writer* explains thus: —

{* Uriah Smith, in "Man's Nature and Destiny," p. 273.}

[These words] "denote duration or continuation of time, the length of that duration being determined by the nature of the objects to which they are applied. When applied to things, which we know from other declarations of the Scriptures are to have no end, they signify an eternity of being; but when applied to things which are to end, they are correspondingly limited in their meaning."

That is, they tell us God lives eternally, when we know from other sources that He does. And on the other hand, by the same rule you may say, without deception, that a match will burn for ages of ages, if you know quite well that it is in its nature to be consumed in a minute! Admirable perspicuity of language which will thus positively assure you of what you know already, and pledges itself to nothing about any thing you don't know! The gnat's life and the angel's measured by the same "forever"!

But we are familiar with views like these already, and gladly refer our readers to the past discussion of them (chap. 27, pp. 265-267; chap. 34, pp. 343, 344) for details. But the lake of fire is not on earth at all, and the judgment to it does not take place till the earth and the heavens flee away; only just before this is Satan cast in, and then, with his two associates, adjudged to torment for the ages of ages.

To confound the multitudes who go up (deceived by Satan) against the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and who are destroyed by fire, with the whole company of the wicked dead raised up for judgment afterward, is an egregious blunder, springing from the notion of a desolate millennial earth. Scripture carefully distinguishes them. The millennial earth is not desolate, any more than its inhabitants are all converted. (Ps. 18:43-45; Isa. 66:15-21; Zech. 14.) Think of the dead raised for judgment attacking the city of God!

The truth is, that until the harvest is ripe, the sickle is not put in. During the millennial reign of righteousness, those still in heart unchanged are yet not manifested by external act. For this purpose Satan is loosed, that they may be. They break out in open rebellion, and judgment falls on them. This is not the violent effort of escaped convicts; nor is the judgment the careful discriminative one of the great white throne. We have only to read the Scripture without theories to uphold, and all is simple.

We must spend more time upon what is (along with that of a desolate millennium) thelr real peculiarity in doctrine the cleansing of the sanctuary.

Their doctrine as to this is professedly based upon the eighth chapter of Daniel, and it will be well, therefore, first of all, ourselves to look at this, and see what Daniel really says. We have not as yet to apply or interpret, however, but to lay the ground-work only for true interpretation.

The points which concern us can be briefly stated. The vision has to do with the Grecian power in one of the kingdoms into which it was subdivided, in its relation to Israel in the latter times. So it is expressly declared.

1. The history of the Grecian power under Alexander is given, the overthrow of the Persians, the division of the kingdom into four; out of one of which finally a king arises, fierce, crafty, and mighty, but not by his own power, and he destroys wonderfully, even the mighty and the holy people. Finally he stands up against the Prince of princes, and then is broken without hand.

In the vision itself, of which this is the inspired interpretation, it is said, "And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. And it waxed great even to the host of heaven, and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped on them. Yea, he magnified himself even to the Prince of the host; and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away; and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. And a host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground, and it practiced and prospered."

2. As to the time, it is asked, "How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and host to be trodden underfoot?" And it is answered, "Unto two thousand three hundred days," literally, "evening-mornings;" "then shall the sanctuary be cleansed."

Does this time measure the whole time of the kingdoms spoken of? Of course, two thousand three hundred days, if it be literally this, could not; and "evening-mornings" — taken from the Jewish reckoning of days — seems literal enough.

Is, then, the treading down of the sanctuary looked at as lasting throughout the time of these kingdoms? or only during the prevalence of the last "little horn"? Surely the answer must be the latter; and known history confirms it. Neither the Persian empire nor Alexander trod down the sanctuary, nor even oppressed the Jews.

Moreover, it is distinctly stated, "the vision belongeth to the time of the end" (v. 17, R.V.); and "I will make thee know what shall be in the latter time of the indignation; for it belongeth unto the appointed time of the end." (v. 19, R.V.) Plainly, not the whole vision does, but the special part about which inquiry is made, and for the elucidation of which the vision is given.

3. "What is the sanctuary here spoken of? It is Israel's. The "indignation" is God's anger against them, which closes with their restoration and blessing, as seen here. And so it is prophesied of Israel, in the day when her scattered tribes shall be reunited — the stick of Ephraim with the stick of Judah, — "Moreover, I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And the nations shall know that I am the Lord that sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore" (Ezek. 37:26-28). The only sanctuary of God that could be trodden underfoot was that in Israel, and thus shall the sanctuary be cleansed.

But this destroys the Adventist doctrine, root and branch. For them, the two thousand three hundred days are years; they last from the days of the Persian empire till 1844; they end with the cleansing of a heavenly sanctuary, not an earthly: which cleansing is supposed, therefore, now to be going on, and to end with the appearing of the Lord at a time uncertain. I shall briefly follow Mr. White's argument.

1. The little horn is the Roman power: it "had made Macedon, one of the four horns of the Grecian goat, a part of itself, B.C. 168, about seven years before its first connection with the people of God. So that Rome could as truly be said to be 'out of one of them' as the ten horns of the fourth beast of the seventh chapter could be said to come out of that beast, when they were ten kingdoms set up by the conquerors of Rome."

That is, the mistakes of commentators are to justify more mistakes. The ten horns of the Roman empire are not ten kingdoms born of her destruction; and the Roman empire could not ever be a horn of the Grecian power which she overthrew. How differently is the contest between Persia and Greece presented in this very prophecy! What could be the object supposed for making one empire grow thus out of another?

Moreover, "a little horn" among the other horns would imply one smaller than the rest; but Rome, when it conquered Macedon, was already mistress of Italy and of the Mediterranean Sea; Carthage had been conquered, though not yet destroyed; and the power of Antiochus broken on the field of Magnesia. There was no power in the world so strong as that of Rome at the very time when Mr. White speaks of it as a "little horn."

But he says, "It was to cast down some of the host and of the stars. This is predicted respecting the dragon (Rev. 12:3-4). All admit that the dragon is Rome." Not quite. Scripture does not: the dragon it interprets as the old serpent, which is the devil, and Satan;" and it tells us that twice over, that there may be no mistake (Rev. 12:9; Rev. 20:2). The resemblance fails to prove the point.

But the strangest mistake is where it is contended that "the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation represent Rome in its pagan and papal forms"!! "Sacrifice" is not in the original, and Mr. White reads "the daily desolation." "The agents by which the sanctuary and host are trodden underfoot are the daily, or continual, desolation, and the transgression, or the abomination of desolation (Dan. 8:13; Dan. 11:31; Dan. 12:11). These two desolations, as we have already seen, are paganism and papacy."

For "seen" we should read "said," I suppose, for Mr. White has given no proof, and gives none. Keil says, "Hattamid" — "the daily," or rather "continual," — "is every thing in the worship of God which is not used merely temporarily, but is permanent, as the daily sacrifice, the setting forth of the show-bread, and the like. The limitation of it to the daily morning and evening sacrifice in the writings of the Rabbis is unknown in the Old Testament. The word much rather comprehends all that is of permanent use in the holy services of divine worship" (Comm. on Daniel, p. 298).

Look at the passages: —

"By him the daily was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down." This is a marginal reading of the Hebrew. That of the text is preferred generally, as now in the R.V," From Him" (the Prince of the host) "it" (the little horn) "took away the daily."

Did Rome take away paganism from the Prince of the host?

Again, —

"And a host was given [him] against the daily by reason of transgression." Or take it, if you will, as the R.V. — "And the host was given over to it, together with the continual [burnt-offering], through transgression." Was the host given over to Rome, along with paganism, through transgression?

It seems quite needless to pursue this further, or I should have equally to question the application of "the transgression of desolation" to papal Rome.

On the other hand, it should be quite plain that the removal of the daily sacrifice implies this transgression of desolation in which both sanctuary and host are trodden underfoot.

Now, as to the time. Mr. White argues that two thousand three hundred literal days could not cover the duration of one of these kingdoms, much less of the three; therefore they must be years. But we have seen they do not profess to give the duration of even one of the kingdoms, but of the treading down of the sanctuary, as is plainly said. Then the argument is all the other way: days seem more suited than years.

Nor is it true that the time alone is what the prophet did not understand. He says it was the vision (v. 27). Nor is the vision which he says he understood in Dan. 10:1 this vision, plainly, but the one that follows in Dan. 11. Nor again, if Daniel understood all the vision of the eighth chapter except the time, could he possibly have supposed, as Mr. White says he did, that now the two thousand three hundred days were just accomplished? How had all that was predicted come to pass in the meantime?

That the prophecies of the two chapters are connected is surely true; for all these prophecies are so; but it is certainly not as to the time that Dan. 9 throws light on Dan. 8, — for this plain reason, that the times do not coincide in the way claimed at all. The seventy weeks are not "cut off" from the two thousand three hundred days, as they are evidently weeks of years, and therefore a much longer period. They begin with the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem, and therefore do not define the time of treading down.

"Cut off" may be right enough as the meaning of the word translated "determined," although the latter meaning is preferred by the mass, and allowed by every one: so that to build so large an inference on a doubt cannot be to build solidly. Yet "cut off" can have the very simple meaning of "cut off from ordinary time" — as set apart for a divine purpose. The application is therefore doubly insecure. But when, in addition to this, the seventy weeks are clearly not the time appointed "to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden underfoot," plainly the whole scheme of prophetic interpretation we are considering collapses utterly.

We might refuse, then, to go further, but the view as to the sanctuary and its cleansing is one so affecting their position, and in itself so important, that it will be well to devote a brief space to it.

The sanctuary with them is the heavenly one, typified by Israel's earthly one; its cleansing answers to the work done in the holiest on the day of atonement once a year.

"In the first apartment stood the priests in a continual course of ministration for the people. He that had sinned … laid his hand upon the head of the victim, to denote that his sin was transferred to it. Then the victim was slain on account of that transgression, and his blood, bearing that sin and guilt, was carried into the sanctuary. … Thus through the year this ministration went forward, the sins of the people being transferred from themselves to the victims offered in sacrifice, and through the blood of the sacrifices TRANSFERRED TO THE SANCTUARY ITSELF.

"On the tenth day of the seventh month, the ministration was changed from the holy … to the most holy place. … In the most holy place, blood was offered for the sins of the people, to make an atonement for them. The two holy places of the sanctuary, and also the altar of incense, were on this day cleansed from the sins of the people, which had been borne into the sanctuary by means of the blood of the sin-offering.

"The high-priest having by blood removed the sins of the people from the sanctuary, bears them to the door of the tabernacle where the scape-goat stands … and puts them upon the head of the goat and sends them away."

Such is the type. Now the antitype: —

"The sins of the world were laid upon the Lord Jesus, and He died for our sins according to the Scriptures. The blood of the Lamb of God, which was shed for our transgressions of God's law, is that by which our High-Priest enters the heavenly sanctuary, and which, as our Advocate, He offers for us in the sanctuary. His great work … He here carries forward by pleading the cause of penitent sinners, and presenting for them His blood. … As the sin of him who came to God through the offering of blood by the high- priest was, through the blood, transferred to the sanctuary itself, so it is in the substance.

"The ministration in the holiest of all in the heavenly sanctuary begins with the termination of the two thousand three hundred days. Then our High-Priest enters the holiest, to cleanse the sanctuary. This work, as presented in the type, was for the twofold purpose of the forgiveness of iniquity and the cleansing of the sanctuary. And this great work our Lord accomplishes with His own blood; whether by the actual presentation of it, or by virtue of its merits."

This accomplished, the Lord comes out of heaven. Atonement is now completed, and the work of the Priest finished. At His appearing, the sins of the pardoned "are borne away from the sanctuary and host forever, and rest upon the head of their author, the devil. The azazel, or antitypical scape-goat, will then have received the sins of those who have been pardoned in the sanctuary, and in the lake of fire he will suffer for the sins which he has instigated. … The cases of all men will then be forever fixed."

This, then, is the cleansing of the sanctuary. It is certain, however, that the sanctuary in Dan. 8 is the Jewish one, which is not wholly set aside, as they imagine, but is to be, as we have seen, and the sure word of God teaches, in the midst of Israel yet. And the apostle assures us (Rom. 9:3-4) that to these, his "kindred according to the flesh" — no spiritual Israel, therefore — the [Old Testament] "promises" belong. This, then, is as sure as can be. No heavenly sanctuary, spite of all assertions, could be "trodden underfoot," and the prophecy shows us the one who is to do this as to the earthly one. When the Son of God is spoken of in this way (Heb. 10:29), He is looked at as in His humiliation upon earth.

But now, as to the types of atonement. It is not the fact that atonement was only made in the holiest of all. The blood was given them upon the altar to make atonement for their souls (Lev. 17:11). The burnt-offering, the blood of which never went into the sanctuary at all, atoned (Lev. 1:4). So did the ordinary sin-offerings, which did not go in. (Lev. 4, 5.) Only when there was the sin of the high-priest, or of the whole congregation, did it go in (Lev. 4:7, 18); cases which were not ordinary, but special and exceptional. Atonement ordinarily involved, then, no entrance of the blood into what the apostle calls (Heb. 9:2 ) "the first tabernacle" at all. The basis of the whole theory is therefore wanting.

How strange, too, to be told that this atoning blood in the first tabernacle could only defile it! The sins, uncanceled, were carried in with it there. They were but transferred for adjudication, as it seems, to another court! Not so speak the types. "The priest shall make atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them" (Lev. 4:20); "and the priest shall make an atonement for him as concerning his sin, and it shall be forgiven him (Lev. 4:26). So constantly: the sins were forgiven and gone; the blood shed did its work; and that where there was no carrying it into the holy place at all. Hence the bottom of these assertions has dropped out.

Where in Scripture is there the least word about the blood carrying in the sins for which it was shed? There is none. On the day of atonement it is said to be "for the tabernacle of the congregation that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness" (Lev. 16:16). It is not that the uncleanness is in the midst of the tabernacle, but the tabernacle in the midst of it — quite a different thought.

The blood cleanses, — atones, — not defiles; and that where-ever it was applied, and not in the sanctuary alone. If it brought sin into the holy place, how could it remove it? Can that which defiles cleanse? Surely not. But then there is no atonement for the blood at all.

Now in the antitype, will they dare to say that the precious blood of Christ has defiled the heavenly places? That is the question which they will not plainly put. Will they face it? And then, if it be so (though it were blasphemy to say so), how could the same blood cleanse?

Again, the veil is rent, and the holy and the holiest are now one. There is no "first tabernacle" now, as it is a great point of the apostle in the Hebrews to prove (Heb. 9:8; Heb. 10:19-20), and has been none all through the dispensation. On the day of atonement the high-priest did not perform a first service in the outer sanctuary and then go in to the inner. His work was in the inner, and the service in the outer was that of the ordinary priests, and not specifically that of the high-priest at all. Thus the whole ground for these evil doctrines breaks down once more.

As to the scape-goat, the foolish dream about Satan being the scape-goat has been adopted from others, but foolish enough it is, The two goats are but one sin-offering (Lev. 16:5), and of the scape-goat it is said expressly, "to make an atonement with him." (v. 10.) The principle in it is what is quoted by the apostle and applied to us already (Heb. 10:17), "Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more." What is alleged in this matter is as wrong as all the rest.

In a word, every peculiar feature of their system is false, — Sabbath-keeping, prophetic system, dates, sanctuary-cleansing, atonement, desolate millennium, annihilation doctrines — all. It is a thoroughly evil system, with neither a true God nor a true sacrifice, nor therefore a true salvation for its adherents. Christians may no doubt be entangled with it, but the system is unchristian and antichristian.

I know of nothing in their annihilation views that requires fresh comment, except, perhaps, one point, which in the former part of this book I had left unnoticed. I take it up now for its own sake, not because there is any thing of importance as to it in the book before me already cited, in which one chapter is devoted to it.*

{*"Man's Nature and Destiny," chap. 3.}

What is the "image of God" in which man was created? That it was immortality, I leave to Mr. Smith to deal with as he lists. As it has never been my contention, I am not concerned with it, and as no error helps the truth, if it be a popular argument, let it be demolished, and the truth will gain.

But Mr. Smith's own view is worse. If the other is false, this is dishonoring to God: it is that it consists in bodily likeness. "An image must be something that is visible to the eye," he says. "Even an image formed in the mind must be conceived of as having some sort of outward shape or form. In this sense, of having outward form, the word is used in each of the thirty-one times of its occurrence in the Old Testament."

Now, if an "image" must be something that is visible to the eye, then we need not go to the Hebrew or Greek at all. But what, then, about "Renewed in knowledge, after the image of Him that created him"? There is no need to speak of eikon, as Mr. Smith does. Is "knowledge" something that is visible to the eye? He will hardly say so. And there is another thing. The apostle is, without doubt, thinking here of the original "image of God" in which man had been created. Was he thinking of — do his words suggest — a material image? There can be but one answer.

But Adam begat a son in his own likeness — "after his image;" and "no one would think of referring this to any thing but a physical resemblance"! I suppose none but materialists count for any body with Mr. Smith; so that it is useless to protest; nevertheless, I am not convinced, and should deny it. The fact of the reference to the "image of God," in which man was created, is enough to make it more than questionable that it is merely physical.

"A spirit, or spiritual being, as God is in the highest sense," says Mr. Smith further, "so far from not having a bodily form, MUST possess it, as the instrumentality for the manifestation of his powers." Again it is hard to answer one who speaks evidently from some superior knowledge.

Merely common sense would imagine that it would be as easy for a spiritual being to act upon (or produce) the matter of the world without hands, as to make the hands first by which to act. He refers us to 1 Cor. 15:44, — "There is a spiritual body." Truly. What then?

Again, we are told of Moses and the elders having seen God. In some true sense, no doubt they did; but Mr. Smith is again unfortunate in forgetting what the former says with reference to this: "Take ye, therefore, good heed unto yourselves, for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the Lord spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire; lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female," etc. Had they only known that man was the bodily image of God! But did not Moses know it? What becomes, then, of Mr. Smith's argument, whether he did or whether he did not?

So collapses the bodily image. But in what, then, did the image of God consist? Notice that man was created in it. It must be something, then, in man himself, from which his dominion over the other creatures resulted indeed, but his lordship over these was not the image.

Notice, again, that it is only the third time that the word "created" appears in the narrative. At first God "created" the heavens and the earth. Then you have it no more till, on the fourth day, "God 'created' every living soul that moveth." (Gen. 1:21, Heb.) And then again, "God 'created' man in His own image."

Now, if creation speak of a production out of nothing, or even if it speak of the production of quite a new thing merely, — here are three steps, plainly: 1. The creation of material things; then of a creature with soul; and then, finally, of one not only with soul but also SPIRIT. And here the image of God is that in which he is created: the new element of being characterizes him as that; he is spirit, the image of Him who is spirit!

And mark, that the dominion over nature is found thus in man's own constitution. In him, the spirit governs soul and matter. He is, as he has been often styled, a microcosm — a little world; but he is more: he is to this world the free and moral governor, representative of God Himself in the sphere of the universe. This, I believe, is what is implied in his being created in the image of God.