Chapter 3 - The Dead Unconscious
FROM the fact now established that the soul is not immortal, it would follow as an inevitable conclusion, that the dead are not conscious in the intermediate state, and consequently cannot act the part attributed to them in modern Spiritualism. But there are some positive statements to which the reader''s attention should be called, and some instances supposed to prove the conscious state which should be noticed.
1. The Dead Know not Anything.-- As a sample of the way the Bible speaks upon this question, let the reader turn to the words of Solomon, in Eccl. 9: 5, 6, 10: "For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not anything, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in anything that is done under the sun. . . . Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest."
This language is addressed to the real, living, intelligent, responsible man; and how could it be plainer? On the hypothesis of the commonly believed distinction between the soul and the body, this must be addressed to the soul; for the body considered as the mere material instrument through which the soul acts, is not supposed of itself to know anything. The body, as a body, independent of the soul, does not know that it shall die; but it is that which knows, while one is alive, that it shall die -- it is that same intelligent being that, when dead, knows not anything. But the spirits in Spiritualism do know many things in their condition; therefore they are not those who have once lived on this earth, and passed off through death; for such, once dead, this scripture affirms, know not anything -- they are in a condition in which there is "no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom." This is a plain, straightforward, literal statement; there is no mistaking its meaning; and if it is true, then it is not true that the unseen agents working through Spiritualism, are the spirits of the dead.
2. The Spirit Returns to God.-- Another passage from the same writer and the same book, may recur to the mind of the reader, as expressing a different and contradictory thought. Eccl. 12: 7. "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it." A careful analysis of this passage reveals no support for Spiritualism; for it does not say that the spirit, on returning to God, is conscious, or is capable of coming back and communicating with mortals. It is not denied that different component parts enter into the constitution of man; and that these parts may be separated. Solomon himself may therefore tell us what he means by the term "spirit" which he here uses. He employs the same word in chapter 3: 21 of this same book, but says that beasts have it as well as men. And then in verse 19, he explains what he means, by saying that they (man and the lower animals) all have one breath. The record of man''s creation in Gen. 2: 7, shows that a vitalizing principle, called the "breath of life," was necessary to be imparted to the organized body, before man became a living being; and this breath of life, as common to man and to all breathing animals, is described in Gen. 7: 21, 22, by the term [HEBREW CHARACTERS IN PRINTED TEXT] (ruahh), the same word that is used for "breath," in Eccl. 3:19, "spirit," in verse 21, and "the spirit," which God gave to man, and which returns to God, in chapter 12: 7. Thus it is clear that reference is here made simply to the "breath of life" which God at first imparted to man, to make him a living being, and which he withdraws to himself, in the hour of man''s death. Job states the same fact, and describes the process, in chapter 34: 14, 15:
"If he [God] set his heart upon man, if he gather unto himself his [man''s] spirit [same word] and his breath; . . . man shall turn again unto dust." No one can fail to see here that Job refers to the same event of which Solomon speaks.
And at this point the question may as well be raised, and answered, "Whence comes this spirit which is claimed to be the real man, capable of an independent and superior existence without the body? Bodies come into existence by natural generation; but whence comes the spirit? Is it a part of the body? If so, it cannot be immortal; for "that which is born of the flesh is flesh." John 3: 6. Is it supplied to human beings at birth? If so, is there a great storehouse, somewhere, of souls and spirits, ready-made, from which the supply is drawn as fast as wanted in this world? And if so, further, is it to be concluded that all spirits have had a pre-existence? and then what was their condition in that state? And again, how does it happen, on this supposition, that this spirit in each individual exhibits so largely the mental and moral traits of the earthly parents? These hypotheses not being very satisfactory, will it be claimed that God creates these spirits as fast as children are born to need them? and if so, who brings them down just in the nick of time? and by what process are they incarnated? But if God has, by special act, created a soul or spirit for every member of the human family since Adam, is it not a contradiction of Gen. 2: 2, which declares that all God''s work of creation, so far as it pertains to this world, was completed by the close of the first week of time? Again, how many of the inhabitants of this earth are the offspring of abandoned criminality; and can it be supposed that God holds himself in readiness to create souls which must come from his hands pure as the dew of heaven, to be thrust into such vile tenements, and doomed to a life of wretchedness and woe at the bidding of defiant lust? The irreverence of the question will be pardoned as an exposure of the absurdity of that theory which necessitates it.
3. The Spirits of Just Men Made Perfect.-- This expression is found in Heb. 12: 23, and seems, by some, to recognize the idea that spirits can exist without the body, and are to be treated as separate entities. Thus interpreted it might appear to give some support to Spiritualism. But it will by no means bear such an interpretation. The apostle is contrasting the privileges of Christians in the present dispensation, with the situation of believers before the coming of Christ. What he sets forth are blessings to be enjoyed in the present tense. Yes, says one, that is just what I believe: We are come to spirits; they are all about us, and tip and talk and write for us at our pleasure. But hold! nothing is affirmed of spirits separately. The whole idea must be taken in. It is the "spirits of just men made perfect; " and the participle "made perfect" agrees with "just men," or literally "the just made perfect" [GREEK CHARACTERS IN PRINTED TEXT], not with "spirits." It is the men who are made perfect to whom we are said to have come. But there are only two localities and two periods, in which men are anywhere in the Scriptures said to be made perfect. One is in this life and on this earth, and refers to religious experience ("Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect"); the other is not relative, but actual and absolute, and refers to the future immortal state when all the people of God will enter upon eternal life together ("God having provided some better thing for us, that they [the ancient worthies] without us should not be made perfect." Heb. 11: 40). Thus, taken in either of the only two ways possible, the text furnishes no proof of Spiritualism. It doubtless refers to the present state, the expression, "spirits of just men," being simply a periphrasis for "just men, "the same as the expression, "the God of the spirits of all flesh "Num. 16: 22), means simply "the God of all flesh," and the Words "your whole spirit, and soul, and body" (1 Thess. 5: 23), means simply the whole person.
4. Spirits in Prison.-- The apostle Peter uses an expression, which, though perhaps not often quoted in direct defense of Spiritualism, is relied upon extensively in behalf of the doctrine of the conscious state of the dead, which, as already shown, is the essential basis of Spiritualism. And such texts as these are here noticed to show to the general reader, that the Bible contains no testimony in behalf of that doctrine, but positively forbids it, as further quotations will soon be introduced to show. The passage now in question is 1 Peter 3:19, where, speaking of Christ, it says: "By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison." By the use of strong assumption, and some lofty flights of the imagination, and keeping in the background the real intent of the passage, a picture of rather a lively time in the spirit world, can be constructed out of this testimony. Thus the spirits are said to be the disembodied spirits of those who were destroyed by the flood. See context. They were in "prison," that is, in hell. When Christ was put to death upon the cross, he immediately went by his disembodied spirit, down into hell and preached to those conscious intelligent spirits who were there, and continued that work till the third day when he was himself raised from the dead. A thought will show that this picture is wrong, (1) in the time, (2) in the condition of the people, (3) in the acting agent, and (4) in the end to be attained. Thus, when Christ had been put to death, he was "quickened" (or made alive), says the record, "by the Spirit." This was certainly not a personal disembodied Spirit, but that divine agency so often referred to in the Scriptures. "By which," that is, this Spirit of God, he went and preached. Then he did not go personally on this work The "spirits " were the antediluvians for they were those who were disobedient in the days of Noah. Now when were they preached to Verse 20 plainly tells us it was "when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah." In accordance with these statements now let another picture he presented: Christ, by his Spirit which was in Noah (1 Peter 1: 11), and thus through Noah, preached to the spirits, or persons, in Noah''s time, who were disobedient, in order to save all from the coming flood who would believe. They were said to be "in prison," though still living, because they were shut up under condemnation, and had only one hundred and twenty years granted them in which to repent or perish. Thus Christ was commissioned to preach to men said to be in prison, because in darkness, error, and condemnation, though they were still living in the flesh. Isa. 61: 1. Dr. Adam Clarke, the eminent Methodist commentator (in loco), places the going and preaching of Christ in the days of Noah, and by the ministry of Noah for one hundred and twenty years, and not during the time while he lay in the grave. Then he says
"The word [GREEK CHARACTERS IN PRINTED TEXT] (spirits) is supposed to render this view of the subject improbable, because this must mean disembodied spirits; but this certainly does not follow; for the spirits of just men made perfect (Heb. 12: 23), certainly means righteous men, and men still in the church militant: and the Father of spirits (Heb. 12 9) means men still in the body: and the God of the spirits of all flesh (Num. 16: 22 and 27: 16), means men, not in a disembodied state."
5. Cannot Kill the Soul.-- "Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul:
but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." Matt. 10: 28. We know what it is to kill the body; and by association of ideas, it seems quite natural to form a like conception of the soul as something that can be treated in the same way. Then if the soul cannot be killed like the body, the conclusion seems easy of adoption that it lives right on, with all sensations preserved, as it was with the body before its death. If it were not for the pagan definition of "soul," which here comes in to change the current of thought, such conclusions drawn from this text would not be so prevalent; and a little attention to the scope of Christ''s teaching here will readily correct the misapprehension. This is brought out clearly in verse 39: "He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it." This is easily understood. No one will question what it is to lose his life; and Christ says that he who will do this for his sake, shall find it. Any one who has been put to death for his faith in the gospel has "lost his life" (had the body killed) for Christ''s sake. But Christ says, Do not fear them, even if they do this. Why? -- Because ye shall find it -- the life you lost. When shall we find it? -- In the resurrection. John 6: 40; Rev. 20: 4-6. The expression, "shall find it," thus becomes the exact equivalent of the words, "are not able to kill the soul;" that is, are not able to destroy, or prevent us from gaining that life he has promised, if we suffer men, for his sake, to "kill the body," or deprive us of our present life. The correctness of this view is demonstrated by the word employed in these instances. That word is [GREEK CHARACTERS IN PRINTED TEXT] (psuche). It is properly rendered "life" in verse 39, and improperly rendered "soul" in verse 28. This lesson, that men should be willing to lose their life for Christ''s sake, was considered so important that it is again mentioned in Matthew, and reiterated with emphasis by Mark, Luke, and John; and they all use this same word [GREEK CHARACTERS IN PRINTED TEXT] which is rendered "life." In one instance only in all these parallel passages have the translators rendered it "soul;" and that is Matt. 10: 28, where it is the source of all the misunderstanding on that text.
6. Souls Under the Altar.-- As a part of the events of the fifth seal as described in Rev. 6: 9-11, John says he saw the souls of the martyrs under the altar, and heard them crying for vengeance. If they could do that, it is asked, cannot disembodied souls now communicate with the living? Not to enter into a full exposition of this scripture, and the inconsistencies such a view would involve, it is sufficient to ask if these were like the communicating spirits of the present day. How many communications have ever been received by modern Spiritualists from souls confined under an altar In glowing symbolism, John saw the dead martyrs, as if slain at the foot of the altar; and by the figure of personification a voice was given to them just as Abel''s blood cried to God for vengeance upon his guilty brother (Gen. 4: 10), and just as the stone is said to cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber to answer it. Hab. 2: 11.
7. The Medium of Endor.-- Aside from the direct teaching of the Scriptures, it is still held by some that there are scenes narrated in the Bible which show that the dead must be conscious. The first of these is the case of Saul and the woman of Endor, whom he consulted in order to communicate with the prophet Samuel, as narrated in 1 Samuel 28. Here, it must be confessed, is brought to view an actual case of spirit manifestation, a specimen of ancient necromancy; for the conditions, method of procedure, and results, were just such as pertain to the same work in our own day. But then, as now, there was no truth nor good in it, as a brief review of the narrative will show. (1) Samuel was dead. (2) Saul was sore pressed by the Philistines. Verse 5. (3) God had departed from him. Verse 4. (4) He had cut off those who bad familiar spirits and wizards, out of the land, because God had forbidden their presence in the Jewish theocracy, as an abomination. Verse 3; Lev. 19: 31. (5) Yet in his extremity he had recourse to a woman with a familiar spirit, found at Endor. Verse 7. (6) She asked whom she should bring up, and Saul answered, Samuel. Verse 11. (7) Saul was disguised, but the familiar spirit told the woman it was Saul, and she cried out in alarm. Verse 12. (8) Saul reassured her, and the woman went on with the séance. Verse 10. (9) She announced a presence coming (not from heaven, nor the spheres, but) up out of the earth, and at Saul''s request gave a description of him, showing that Saul did not himself see the form. Verse 13. (10) Saul "perceived" that it was Samuel (not by actual sight, but from the woman''s description; for the Hebrew [HEBREW CHARACTERS IN PRINTED TEXT] and the Septuagint, [GREEK CHARACTERS IN PRINTED TEXT] signify to know, or perceive, by an operation of the mind.) Verse 14. (11) The woman supposed it was Samuel; Saul supposed it was Samuel; and that personation is, then, by the law of appearance, spoken of, in whatever it said or did, as Samuel; as, "Samuel said to Saul," etc. Verse 15. (12) Was Samuel really there as an immortal soul, a disembodied spirit, or as one raised from the dead -- No because (a) immortal souls do not come up out of the ground, wrapped in mantles, and complain of being disquieted and brought up; (b) Samuel was a holy prophet, and if he was conscious in the spirit world, he would not present himself at the summons of a woman who was practicing arts which God had forbidden; (c) God having departed from Saul and having refused to communicate with him on account of his sins, would not now suffer his servant Samuel to grant him the desired communication through a channel which he had pronounced an abomination; (d) Samuel was not present by a resurrection, for the Devil could not raise him, and God certainly would not, for such a purpose; besides Samuel was buried at Ramah, and could not be raised at Endor; (e) It was only the woman''s familiar spirit, personating Samuel as he used to appear when alive -- an aged man clothed with a mantle. His object was to make both the woman and Saul believe it was Samuel, when it was not, just as communicating spirits to-day try to palm themselves off for what they are not. As a specimen of ancient Spiritualism, this case is no particular honor to their cause and as a proof of the immortality of the soul, and the conscious state of the dead, it is a minus quantity.
8. The Transfiguration.-- Jesus took three of his disciples, Peter, James, and John, apart into a high mountain, and was transfigured before them; his face became as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light, just as it will be in the future kingdom of glory, which this scene was designed to represent. And there then appeared Moses and Elias talking with Christ. But Moses had died in the land of Moab nearly fifteen hundred years before, and it is at once concluded that the only way to account for his appearance on this occasion, is to suppose that he was still alive in the spirit world, and could appear in a disembodied state, and talk with Jesus as here represented. But such a conclusion is by no means necessary. Jesus was there in person, Elias was there in person; for he had not died, but had been translated bodily from this earth. Now it would be altogether incongruous to suppose that the third member of this glorious trio, apparently just as real as the others, was only a disembodied spirit; an immaterial phantom. Unless the whole scene was merely a vision brought before the minds of the disciples, Moses was as really there, in his own proper person, as Jesus and Elias. But there is no way in which he could thus be present, except by means of a resurrection from the dead; and that he had been raised, and was there as a representative of the resurrection, is proved, first by his actual presence on this occasion, and secondly, by the fact that Michael (Christ, who is "the resurrection and the life," John 11: 25) disputed with the Devil (who has the power of death, Heb. 2: 14) about the body of Moses. Jude 9. There could be no other possible ground of controversy about the body of Moses except whether or not Christ should give it life before the general resurrection. But Christ rebuked the Devil. Christ was not thwarted in this contest, but gave his servant life; and thus Moses could appear personally upon the mount. This makes the scene complete as a representation of the kingdom of God, as Peter says it was (2 Peter 1: 16-18); namely, Christ the glorified King, Elias representing those who will be translated without seeing death, and Moses representing those who will be raised from the dead. These two classes embrace all the happy subjects of that kingdom. This view of the matter is not peculiar to this book. Dr. Adam Clarke, on Matt. 17: 3, says: "The body of Moses was probably raised again, as a pledge of the resurrection.'' And Olshausen says: "For if we assume the reality of the resurrection of the body, and its glorification,-- truths which assuredly belong to the system of Christian doctrine,-- the whole occurrence presents no essential difficulties. The appearance of Moses and Elias, which is usually held to be the most unintelligible point in it, is as easily conceived of as possible, if we admit their bodily glorification."
Those passages which speak of Christ as the "first-fruits," the "first-born front the dead," the "first-born among many brethren," "of every creature," etc., refer only to the chief and pivotal importance of his own resurrection, as related to all others; and Acts 26: 23 does not declare that Christ should be the first one to be raised from the dead, but that he first, by a resurrection from the dead, should show light to the Gentiles. (See the Greek of this passage.) These scriptures therefore prove no objection to the idea that Moses had been raised from the dead, and as a victor over the grave, appeared with Christ upon the mount. Thus another supposed stronghold affords no refuge for the conscious-state theory, or for Spiritualism.
9. The Rich Man and Lazarus.-- With the features of this parable, as found in Luke 16, which is supposed to prove the dead conscious, and Spiritualism possible, the reader is doubtless familiar. It should ever be borne in mind that this is a parable; and in a parable, neither the parties nor the scenes are to be taken literally, and hence no doctrines can be built upon such symbolic representations. But not only is it a parable, but it is a parable Based upon traditions largely entertained by the Jews themselves in the time of Christ. Thus T. J. Hudson ("Law of Psychic Phenomena," p. 385) says:--
"It is a historical fact, nevertheless, that before the advent of Jesus, the Jews had become imbued with the Greek doctrine of Hades, which was an intermediate waiting station between this life and the judgment. In this were situated both Paradise and Gehenna, the one on the right, and the other on the left, and into these two compartments the spirits of the dead were separated, according to their deserts. Jesus found this doctrine already in existence, and in enforcing his moral precepts in his parables, he employed the symbols which the people understood, neither denying nor affirming their literal verity."
Thus Christ appealed to the people on their own ground. He took the views and traditions which he found already among them, and arranged them into a parable in such a way as to rebuke their covetousness, correct their notions that prosperity and riches in this life are tokens of the favor and approbation of God, and condemn their departure from the teachings of Moses and the prophets. As a parable, it is not designed to show the state of the dead, and the conditions that prevail in the spirit world, But if any persist that it is not a parable, but a presentation of actual fact, then the scene is laid, not in the intermediate state, but beyond the resurrection; for it is after the angels had carried Lazarus into Abraham''s bosom. But the angels do not bear any one anywhere away from this earth, till the second coming of Christ and the resurrection of the dead. Matt. 24: 30, 31; 1 Thess. 4: 15-17. Finding no support .in this portion of scripture for the conscious-state theory, with its spiritualistic possibilities, appeal is next made by the friends of that theory to the case of --
10. The Thief on the Cross.-- Luke 23: 39-43. When one of the malefactors who were crucified with Jesus, requested to be remembered when he should come into his kingdom, according to the record in the common version, the Lord replied, "To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise." To go from death into paradise the same day, means to go into the spirit world without a body, or discarnated, as Spiritualists claim. And so it would be if such was Christ''s promise to the thief; but it was not.
The little adverb "to-day" holds the balance of power as to the meaning of this text. If it qualifies Christ''s words, "Verily I say unto thee," it gives one idea; if it qualifies the words, "Thou shalt be with me in paradise," we have another and very different idea. And how shall the question of its relationship be decided? -- It can be done only by the punctuation.
Here another difficulty confronts us; for the Greek was originally written in a solid line of letters, without any punctuation, or even division into words. Such being the case, the punctuation, and the relation of the qualifying word "to-day," must be determined by the context. Now it is a fact that Christ did not go to paradise that day. He died, and was placed in the tomb, and the third day rose from the dead. Mary was the first to meet him, and sought to worship him.. But he said, "Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father." John 20: 17. Paradise is where the Father is (see 2 Cor. 12: 2-4; Rev. 2:7; 22: 1, 2), and if Christ had not been to his Father when Mary met him the third day after his crucifixion, he had not then been to paradise; therefore it is not possible that he made a promise to the thief on the day of his crucifixion, that he should be with him that day in paradise.
But further, the day of the crucifixion was the day before the Sabbath; and it was not lawful to heave criminals on the cross during that day. John 19: 31. If they were still living when the time came to take them from the cross, they were taken down, and their legs were broken to prevent their escape. The soldiers on this occasion broke the legs of the two thieves because they were still alive; "but when they came to Jesus and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs." Verses 32, 33. The thief therefore lived over into the next day.
Thus there are two absolutely insuperable objections against allowing the adverb "to-day," to qualify Christ''s promise, "Thou shalt be with me in Paradise:" (1) Christ did not go to paradise that day; and (2) The thief did not die that day. Before these facts the conscious-state argument built upon this incident, vanishes into thin air. Just place the comma (a punctuation mark not invented till 1490) after "to-day" instead of before it, and let that word qualify the verb "say" and emphasize the time when it was spoken, and all is harmonious. The thief''s request did not pertain to that day, but looked forward to the time when Christ should come into his kingdom; and Christ''s promise did not pertain to that day, but to the time in the thief''s request; so he did not falsify it by not going to his Father for three days afterward The thief is quietly slumbering in the tomb; but Christ is soon coming into his kingdom. Then the thief will be remembered, be raised from the dead, and be with Christ in that paradise into which he will then introduce all his people. Thus all is as clear as a sunbeam, when the text is freed from the bungling tinkering of men.
The strongest texts and incidents which are appealed to in defense of the conscious-state theory, have now been examined. If these do not sustain it, nothing can be found in the Bible which will sustain it. All are easily harmonized with these. Thus in Paul''s desire to "depart and be with Christ" (Phil. 1: 23, he does not there tell us when he will be with Christ; but he does tell us in many other places; and it is at the resurrection and the coming of Christ. Phil. 3: 11; 1 Thess. 4: 17. When he speaks of our being clothed upon with our house from heaven (2 Cor. 5: 2), he tells us that it is when "immortality" is "swallowed up of life." But that is only at the last trump. 1 Cor. 15: 51-54. If we are told about the woman who had had seven husbands (Matt. 22: 23-28), no hint us given of any reunion till after the resurrection. If God calls himself not the God of the dead, but of the living" (Matt. 22: 32), it is because he speaks of "those things that be not as though they were" (Rom. 4: 17), and the worthies of whom this is spoken, are sure to live again (Heb. 11: 15, 16), and hence are now spoken of as alive in his sight, because they are so in his purpose. Texts which speak of the departure and return of the soul (Gen. 35: 18; 1 Kings 17: 21, 22, are referable to the "breath of life," which is the meaning of the word in these instances rendered "soul."
Three passages only have been referred to, which declare positively that the dead know not anything. It was thought preferable to answer certain objections, before introducing further direct testimony. But there are many such passages, a few more of which will now be presented, as a fitting conclusion to this branch of the subject. The reader''s careful attention is invited to a few of the various texts, and the conclusions that follow therefrom.
1. Death and Sleep.-- Death, in numerous passages is compared to sleep, in contrast with the wakeful condition. See Ps. 13: 3; Job 7: 21; John 11:11; Acts 7:60; l Cor. 11:30; 15:51; 1 Thess. 4:14; etc. But there is only one feature in sleep by virtue of which it can be taken as a figure of death; and that is, the condition of unconsciousness which shuts up the avenues of one''s senses to all one''s environment. If one is not thus unconscious in death, the figure is false, and the comparison illogical and misleading.
2. Thoughts Perish.-- So David testifies: "Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish." Ps. 146: 3, 4. The word "thoughts" does not here mean simply the projects and purposes one has in view, which do often fail, when the author of them dies, but it is from a root which means the act of thinking, the operation of the mind; and in death, that entirely ceases. It cannot therefore be the dead who come out of the unseen with such intelligence as is shown in Spiritualism.
3. Job''s Statement.-- Speaking of a dead man, Job (14: 21) says: "His sons come to honor, and he knoweth it not; and they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them." If the dead cannot take cognizance of matters of so much interest as these, how can they communicate with the living as the spirits do?
4. No Remembrance of God.-- David, in Ps. 6: 5 and 115: 17, again testifies: "For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?" "The dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down into silence" Is it possible that any righteous man, if he is living and conscious after going into the grave, would not praise and give thanks to the Lord?
5. Hezekiah''s Testimony.-- Hezekiah was sick unto death. Isa. 38: 1. But he prayed, and the Lord added to his days fifteen years. Verse 5. For this he praised the Lord, and gave his reasons for so doing in the following words (verses 18, 19): "For the grave cannot praise thee, death cannot celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth. The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day." This is a clear affirmation that in death he would not be able to do what he was able to do while living.
6. New Testament Evidence.-- The New Testament bears a corresponding testimony on this subject. None will be saved except such as Christ raises up at the last day. John 6: 39, 40. No one is to receive any reward before the resurrection. Luke 14: 14; 2 Tim. 4: 8. No one can enter God''s kingdom before being judged; but there is no execution of judgment before the coming of Christ. 2 Tim. 4:1; Acts 17:31; Luke 19:35; etc. If there is no avenue to a future life by a resurrection, then all who have gone down in death are perished. 1 Cor. 15: 18. Such texts utterly forbid the idea of consciousness and activity, on the part of any of the human family, in death.
This part of the subject need not be carried further. It has been dwelt upon so fully simply because of its determinate bearing on the question under discussion. Spiritualism rests its whole title to credence on the claim that the intelligences which manifest themselves are the spirits of the dead. The Bible says that they are not the spirits of the dead. Then if the Bible is true, the whole system rests upon deception and falsehood. No one who believes this will tamper with Spiritualism. One cannot have Spiritualism and the Bible, too. One or the other must be given up. But he who still holds on to the theory that the dead are conscious, contrary to the testimony of the Scriptures has no shield against the Spiritualistic delusion, and the danger is that he will sooner or later throw the Bible away.
 Original edition.
 Original edition. Not found in the mutilated edition, revised by Dr. Curry.