« הקודםהמשך »
Q. 5. Who is the author of death?
A. He does it to display his justice, and because death, or some similar change, is necessary to an introduction into the future world.
Q.7. What are the effects of death upon the human race?
A. It puts a period to all their earthly connections, possessions, honors, joys, and sorrows, and to their probationary state; levels all distinctions between the rich and the poor, high and low, bond and free; and introduces its subjects into the eternal world ? (dj
Q. 8. Does death affect all men alike?
A. It does not in all respects. It is in some degree terrific to all—to the righteous as well as to the wicked. To the latter it is a justly terrible evil, for it terminates all their carnal enjoyments and hopes, and fixes them in a state of complete and endless wretchedness. To the former it is a great blessing, for it closes their state of suffering, removes all moral and natural evil, and admits them to heaven and to a participation of all its joys. (e)
(c) Dent. xxxii. 39. See now that I, even I am he, and there is no God with me. I kill, and I make alive ; I wound, and I heal; neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.- Job'xiv. 5. Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds, that he cannot pass.Job xxx. 23. For I know that thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living.
(d) Eccles. ix. 10. 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.-Rev. xxii. 11. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
(e) Ps. lv. 4. My heart is sore pained within me, and the terrors of death are fallen upon me.--Is. lvii. 1. The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart; and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.-Rev. iv. 13. And I heard a voice from heaven saying onto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth; yea, saith the Spirit, that Q.9. Is it important to be constantly prepared for death?
A. It is all important; for we are liable to the arrest of death every moment; and our enjoying the happiness of heaven, or suffering the misery of hell
, depends upon our being prepared or not prepared for this event. (f)
Q.10. What constitutes preparation for death?
A. That which prepares for judgment and eternity—which fits for heaven, and entitles to the everlasting rewards of the righteous; and this is repentance and faith—a new heart and an obedient life. (g)
Q. 11. How should the subject of death be treated at all times ?
A. With solemnity. All levity in respect to it is highly improper, and is characteristic of a vain, inconsiderate, and sinful mind.
Future State. Q. 1. What is the evidence that man will exist in a future world?
1. The soul is immaterial, and, therefore, capable of surviving its clayey tenement. It is not always, and by absolute necessity, impaired by disthey may rest from their labors and their works do follow them.-Prov. xi. 7. When a wicked man dieth, bis expectation shall perish; and the hope of unjust men perisheth.--Matt. xxv. 46. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal.
(f) Matt. xxiv. 44. Therefore, be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh.—Eccles. ix. 10. 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.—1 Tim. vi. 19. Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
(g) Luke xii. 3. I tell you, Nay; but except ye repent, ye shall'all likewise perish.—Mark xvi. 16. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be eases or decays of the body. This consideration is an evidence in favor of the existence of the soul hereafter. 2. The fact, that some animated creatures pass through several changes before they arrive at their most perfect condition, renders it probable that man may exist in another and higher state. Death may prove but another birth. 3. The soul's capability of eternal progress in knowledge, holiness, and happiness, is another argument in favor of its immortality. Would God make such a glorious being to be consigned to oblivion almost in the very commencement of its existence? 4. The ardent desires and hopes for immortality, which prevail among all people, are a strong presumption of its reality. The idea of annihilation is repugnant to all the natural feelings of man. 5. Conscience, accusing when we do wrong, and excusing when we do right, indicates that there is a future state, where retribution will be awarded. 6. The unequal distribution of justice among mankind in the present state of existence is an argument for the immortality of the soul. If justice in all cases does not take place in this life, we may infer, from the character of God, that it will in a life hereafter. 7. The general belief of a future state in all ages, nations, and tribes of mankind, is a strong indication of its reality. This is the case, whether this belief arose, at first, from immediate revelation, which has been transmitted from generation to generation by tradition, or from reason, analogy, or any other source.-Such are the arguments in favor of the soul's immortality, aside from the Bible. But, 8. The Scriptures give absolute assurance of a future state. (a)
damned. John iii. 3. Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.-James ii. 17. Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Prov. xiv. 32. The wicked is driven away in his wickedness; but the righteous hath hope in his death.
(a) 2 Tim. i. 10. But is now made manifest by the appear. ing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and haih brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. Eccles. xii. 7. Then shall the dust return to the earth" as it Q. 2. In what condition will mankind exist in the life to come ?
A. They will exist in an active, conscious, and happy or unhappy state, as they shail be holy or unholy, when they depart this life. (6)
Q. 3. Do mankind immediately pass into this condition of existence upon death?
A. The soul will immediately pass into a state of happiness or misery, and the body will dissolve to dust, whence it was taken. The soul does not become lifeless with the body, nor does it sleep or lie dormant after the death of the body, till the general resurrection; but it is sensible and active. (c) was; and the spirit shall return unto God, who gave it.—Matt. x. 28. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 2 Cor. v. 1. For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.-Matt. xxii. 32. I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. God is not the God of the dead, but of the living:--Matt. xvii. 3. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.
(1) Mait. xxv. 46. And these shall go away into everlasting punislıment; hut the righteous into life eternal.—Luke xvi. 22, 23. 25. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by angels into Abraham's bosom; the rich man also died, and was buried; and in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and 'Lazarus in his bosom. But Abraham said, Son, remember, that thou in thy life time receivedst thy good things, and Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
(c) Luke xvi. 22, 23. 25. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by angels into Abraham's bosom; the rich man also died, and was buried; and in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth' Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy life time receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.-Luke xxiii. 43. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise.--2 Cor. v. 6. 8, 9. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord. We are confident I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labor that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of liim.
Q. 4. What is meant by the separate or intermediate state?
A. That state in which the soul exists between the death and resurrection of the body.
Q. 5. Will mankind in a future state perceive, act, and have intercourse one with another?
A. No doubt they will; but in our present state of existence we cannot determine in what manner spirits perceive, act, and have intercourse one with another. This, however, is no evidence against the fact. The illiterate savage has not the least idea of the mode in which we exchange thoughts by letters, words and language, in writing.
Q. 6. Are the faculties of the soul enlarged, and susceptible of greater happiness or misery, in the future state ?
A. They are vastly enlarged and strengthened ; and hereby the soul will be prepared for greater joys or sorrows.
Q. 7. What is the condition and prospect of those who are in a separate state ?
A. They are in a state of enjoyment or suffering, according to their character, and they look forward to the general resurrection, the general judgment, and the eternal state of retribution.
Resurrection. Q.1. What is meant by the resurrection of man?
Å. The raising to life, from the dead, of the bodies of mankind, incorruptible, and the re-uniting of them to their souls.
Q. 2. How does it appear that there will be such a resurrection ?
A. In answer to this question, let it be observed, 1. This doctrine, though above reason, is not contrary to it, and therefore not incredible: 2. There are examples of resurrection in insects, vegetables, and trees, from year to year. These teach the possibility, and more than the possibility, of man's resurrection: