[Page 2]




Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1873 by




In the office of Liberation of Congress, Washington, D. C.






[Page 3]





























                                                                                                 THE AUTHOR.


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Introduction.  The Desire to know the Conditions of the Middle Life, Universal, Reasonable and Commendable.  They can only be learned from the Bible.  All that in Necessary for us to Know can be Learned in it.  [Page 9]






Do Disembodied Spirits become Angels?  [Page 13]





Do Saints go to Heaven when they Die?  Do Sinners go to Hell when they Die?  [Page 19]


[Page 6]



Is there to be a Resurrection of the Dead?  The meaning of the term anastasis.  What the Greeks understood by it,

Teachings of the Druidic Rites, and Eleuslan Mysteries, etc.  [Page 31]






Is there to be a Resurrection of the Dead?  The Teachings of the Old Testament, The Covenant of Circumcision.

The Covenant with David.  Daniel’s Predictions.  [Page 38]






The Teachings of the New Testament.  [Page 44]






The Middle Life; Sheol, Hades refer only to the Unseen or Intermediate State.  [Page 53]






Paradise - a Persian-described, not Heaven.  Dr. Geo. Campbell, Dr. Adam. Clark, Doddridge, etc.,  [Page 61]


[Page 7]



Can the Spirits of Good Men return and commune with the living?  [Page 79]






Can the Spirits of Wicked Men return from Hades to Communicate with, or Molest the Living?  Dives, etc. Objections considered.  Samuel appeared to and warned Saul.  Moses and Elijah appeared to the Three Apostles.  The Saints equal to the Angels. Their Angels i.e., Believers, do always behold the Father

in Heaven.  Stephen’s Dying Prayer.  Paul’s Declaration: Absent from the Body; Present

with the Lord.  The Declaration of the Angel to John: “I am thy Fellow-Servant

and of the Prophets,” etc.,  [Page 89]






Conclusion.  The Argument Applied to Spiritism, etc., [Page 102]


[Page 8]



[*NOTE.  Of the five appendices in the author’s book, only one is given: all others have to do with spiritism. 


No. 4 is shown below and is edited because the author seeks to prove, contrary to Scripture in No 5 that the incident, because it was an exception to the general rule and because the battle took place on the following day “at Gilboa, nearly two day’s march, or twenty miles distant from each other,” that “the prophecy was, therefore, without the shadow of doubt in this respect, false, and, therefore, the apparition was not Samuel, but a lying spirit”!!


The editor knows a man, now in his 75th year, who regularly walks marathons (26 miles): and he has the medals as proof of his physical achievements.


This prophetic account of what Saul heard from the risen Samuel, has been scripturally proven to be what actually happened on the following day: and, because it may have happened “twenty miles distant,” is no excuse for believing Saul’s death did not take place on the following day!


“Moreover the Lord will deliver Israel also with thee into the hand of the Philistines; and to-morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me: and the Lord shall deliver Israel also into the hand of the Philistines,” (1 Sam. 28: 19, R.V.). 


Furthermore, contrary to the prophecy being “false,” “it was Samuel” and not “a lying spirit,” as stated by our learned brother!  In the Revised Version translation of 1 Sam. 28: 14, 15 we read: “… And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground, and did obeisance.  15 And Samuel” – (not ‘a lying spirit’) - “said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up


If “the apparition was not Samuel, but a lying spirit” as the author has written, then the accurate account of events which happened between Samuel and Saul during Samuel’s lifetime, could not have be given in verses 16-18: “And Samuel said, Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the Lord is departed from thee - [See the actual account of the incident as it is recorded in the LXX (Septuagint) translation of 1 Sam. 16: 13, 14: “And Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him (i.e., DAVID) in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward: and Samuel arose, and departed to Armathaim. 14 And the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him.”] - “and is become thine adversary? 17 And the Lord hath wrought for himself, as he spake by me: and the Lord hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand, and given it to thy neighbour, even to David. 18 Because thou obeyest not the voice of the Lord, and didst not execute his fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore hath the Lord done this thing unto thee this day.”


For an accurate exposition of this incident see Robert Govett’s book: “Hades”.]



No. 4 - An Exegesis of 1 Peter 3: 19 - Spirits in Prison.   [Page155]



*       *       *

[Page 9]













[* NOTE. Words inside blue square brackets are not part of the Author’s writing. – Ed.]












No better introduction to the discussion of these interesting and important questions can be prepared than the remarks of Dr. Hovey when introducing a series of articles upon “The State of Men after Death  He says: “The best minds are sure to feel an interest in the future, and to ask such questions as these: Is there a period and state between the death of the body and its resurrection?  Are the souls of men conscious in that state?  Have they bodies in it?  Or will they rather receive bodies at some future time when the dead are raised?  If there is to be a resurrection, will it be of all the dead?  When will it take place? And will the righteous and wicked be raised at the same time?  Are the spirits [disembodied souls] of [Page 10] good men happy and the spirits [disembodied souls] of bad men miserable in the middle state?  Have those of either class any sort of intercourse with their friends here on earth?  It is easy to say that men need not concern themselves about such matters, about “the undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveller returns,” but a serious mind will not be satisfied with such an answer to its questionings.  It cannot live in the present forgetful of the past and heedless of the future.  Ever moving out of the past into the future, its life lays hold at every moment of both.  And this is the glory of man.  His conservative and prophetic powers are alike wonderful, and his presentiment of what is to be has quite as much to do with his character as his sense of what has been.  A different answer to these questions is therefore needed.



But if the questions given above are to be answered in this life, the answer must come from the word of God.  A close and reverent study of the Scriptures affords the only prospect of light.  If they speak, the wise will hear; if they are dumb, the wise will hearken to none.  Conjecture is vain; the veil which hides the unseen world from the seen can be pierced by no mortal sight.  The answers which philosophy has given to questions about personal life beyond the grave, are faint, ambiguous and unsatisfactory. [Page 11] The speculations of genius and the voices of affection, whether showing us “the gates ajar” or “the gates wide open,” are utterly futile, except so far as they rest upon a sober interpretation of the Bible.



Is it not because the evangelical pulpit and the religious press have been so generally silent upon these questions, or when they have, at long intervals, spoken, done so with an air mysterious, in vague and unsatisfactory generalities, instead of developing with clearness what God’s word teaches respecting them, that Spiritualism has so generally and favourably gained the ear of the [Lord’s redeemed] people?  It comes in to gratify the natural and reasonable cravings of the race by professing to answer these and all other questions respecting the future, attesting the correctness of its teachings “by many infallible signs and wonders



While the word of God reveals much to the diligent student, sufficient to ground an intelligent and consistent faith upon, yet nothing to gratify our curiosity, it is accounted one of its mysteries that, while it reveals with such clearness the fact of a future life - inconceivably blissful to the righteous and inexpressibly miserable to the wicked - it reveals so little respecting the particulars of the soul’s existence.  To many thoughtful and even devout minds this has been [Page 12] a sore trial.  It has required all their grace off submission to acquiesce in this characteristic of revelation.  They have carried a hundred questions to the Bible, and sought in vain for an answer to one of them.  How did John Foster chafe, agonize, almost rebel under this limitation of our knowledge on a subject in which our interest is so intense and personal!  That “dark frontier,” how did he walk out to its very verge and stand there gazing in the darkness in which nothing could be seen, and uttering questions to which there was no response, till, wearied with the fruitless effort, he turned away troubled and disappointed!  Few could record their mental processes as John Foster did his, but many thousands have gone through the same.



In discussing the questions before us, my answers will be drawn solely from a fair interpretation of the Bible, for it is our only “sure word of prophecy” and light in all dark places.  Possibly the many superficial readers of the Scriptures will be astonished to see how clearly, and, to the devout mind how satisfactorily these questions are answered in the word of God; not in any one chapter, but, like all of its great doctrinal truths, “here a little and there a little scattered like the precious flakes of pure gold in the mine, with an occasional “pocket” to stimulate and reward the explorer.



*       *       *

[Page 13]








There does not exist, in the universal heaven, a single angel who was created such from the first, nor any devil in hell who was created an angel of light and afterwards cast down thither; but all the inhabitants, both of heaven and hell are derived from the human race. (Swedenborg. Heaven and Hell, London ed., p. 136.)



So far as my information extends, Swedenborg correctly represents the faith of all advanced Spiritists.  Robert Dale Owen quotes him with the greatest satisfaction.  Dr. S. Watson, in his recent work, “The Christian Spiritualist,” teaches that all saints at death become angels.  They do not attempt to prove their position by either reason or revelation, but they assume it, contrary to both.  They are guilty of a fallacy termed by logicians the irrelevant conclusion (ignoratio elenchi) - their conclusion has no reference to their premises!



Their argument, reduced to a syllogism amounts to this:



1. Angels have communicated and do minister unto the living.


2. All angels are the spirits of departed persons.

[Page 14]

3. Therefore, the spirits of departed persons do minister unto and communicate with the living.



There are two formidable objections to be urged against this reasoning.  While the first premise is admitted, the second is denied, and is the very one which they are required to prove; but instead of doing so, they assume it as true.  But even if the second premise were granted, the conclusion would not follow, for although angels have, in other ages, communicated with the living, it does not follow that they still do so.  The first ministers of the Christian religion performed miracles - healed the sick and raised the dead - but it does not follow that they can do such things now.  They do not - they cannot perform them.  So, while it is true that in former ages God made revelations of his will and of the future by the ministry of angels, it does not follow that he still is doing so, for the Bible teaches us that all such revelations closed with the last inspired apostle.  As this assumption is alike the foundation of both Spiritism and Swedenborgianism, I examine it in the out-start.  I affirm that the Scriptures clearly teach THAT DISEMBODIED SOULS DO NOT BECOME ANGELS.  My proofs are.



1. All angels, good and bad, that have ever been created, so far as the Bible intimates, were created before man, and even before the creation of our planetary system.


[Page 15]

God declares to Job that, upon the upon the creation of our earth “the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy* These “morning stars” and “sons of God” were the angels, and, therefore, all the angels of God existed before man was created, and could not have been the spirits of dead men, as Swedenborg and Spiritists affirm.  To deny that angels existed before man was created, is to deny the teachings of the Bible; but according to Spiritists there could not have been an angel until a mortal had died, if, indeed, all angels are derived from the human race!  The spirit of Abel must have been the first angel that ever existed.  Then these questions arise: Whence came and where lived and died as human beings, those angels called morning stars and “sons of God who rejoiced with God over a virgin world?


* Job 38: 7.



And where lived and died as a man, that malignant devil who seduced our first parents?  And where lived and died the uncounted host of his “angels  Does the word of God intimate that he and they as human beings ever lived on this or any other world in God’s universe?  Nowhere; but it does inform us that they were once “angels who kept not their first estateand are now reserved for punishment.  Angels originally, not men, now fallen angels, not fallen men. [Page 16] And these bright holy beings, called Cherubim, who were sent to guard the way of the tree of life, when our first parents sinned, were an order of angels.  Where did they as human beings live and sin and die, for the Bible tells us that no mortal ever did or ever can reach heaven, except through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus?  I think these facts are of themselves quite sufficient to disprove the unfounded assumption that all angels, good and bad, are derived from the human race.



2. Angels are a superior order of intelligences,

and not subject to the same laws or conditions with mortals.



David, by inspiration, says: “What is man that thou art mindful of him, or the son of man that thou visitest him, for thou hast made him a little lower than the angels etc.* The angels are, then, distinct from and superior to man.  They are vastly superior to man in strength, for they “excel in strength** and equally superior to the disembodied spirits [and souls] of men.


* Psa. 8: 4, 5.   ** Psa. 103: 20.



They are pure spirits, existing in their normal condition, dependent upon no future change of bodily organism to increase their efficacy or happiness.  Man, on the contrary, is in an abnormal condition and his perfection and [Page 17] complete happiness depend upon the resurrection and glorification of his present body [and soul].  No resurrection awaits, or is possible, to an angel.  If all saints are transformed into holy angels at death, then no resurrection awaits a saint; and this position, therefore, denies the fundamental doctrine of a resurrection.



3. Angels are a distinct order from men.



The distinction between angels and the souls of departed saints is clearly recognized throughout the entire Scriptures.  But if all saints become angels at their death, then in the future world there is, and ever will be, but one order - i.e., that of angels only - and no saints would be known or mentioned.  But when Christ comes to earth again, the sacred Scriptures declare two orders of beings will attend him; all his [raptured]* saints will come with him, and, besides these, “ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands” of his angels, also, to grace his advent.  Angels, then, are distinct from saints.


[* NOTE.  This rapture only embraces watchful saints, “regarded worthy to escape” before the Great Tribulation begins, (Lk. 21: 34-35; Rev. 3: 10, R.V.)  See G. H. Lang’s exposition of ‘the pre-tribulation rapture’ in his ‘Firstfruits And Harvest’. - Ed.]



4. Finally and conclusively, if we credit the Bible, no mortal will ever reach heaven

except redeemed by the precious blood of Christ.



But no angel in heaven ever was, and no angel in heaven ever will be, the subject of redemption by Christ; and, therefore, it is impossible for any one to believe that angels are the spirits [or disembodied souls] of dead saints.  Any one of these demonstrable [Page 18] facts, which no believer in the Bible can deny and rightly claim to be a believer, is sufficient to disprove the position of Swedenborg, Owen, Watson, and all Spiritists, that all angels, good and bad, are but the spirits of dead men.  To teach that they are, is to deny two of the fundamental doctrines of Christianity, which no one can deny and not be an infidel - i.e., the Atonement of Christ, and the Resurrection of the dead.*   Therefore, while all intelligent Christians do believe that all angels are “ministering spirits sent forth to minister unto those who are to be heirs of salvation, they do not believe that angels, good or bad, are the spirits of dead men.


[* NOTE.  It is the animating “spirit” of man which returns to God at the time of Death (Luke 23: 46); and, at the same time, the disembodied “soul” descends into “Sheol” = Gk. “Hades,” - “in the heart of the earth” (Matt. 12: 40).  The soul is the person, not the body: and the soul cannot ascend into the presence of God in heaven before the time of Resurrection.  Only then will it be reunited to an immortal, glorified, resurrected body from the grave.  Any other method or route into Heaven, before the time of RESURRECTION, is contrary to the teachings of Christ and His Apostles, (Lk. 24: 39; 2 Tim. 2: 18; 1 Thess. 4: 14, 16, R.V.)! - Ed.]



The only passage known to me in the Bible that seems to imply that saints become angels after death, is to be found in Matt. 22: 24, where Christ declares that those who will have part in the first resurrection, and with Christ inherit and rule the earth are in one respect like unto the angels of God, i.e., “they neither marry nor are given in marriage*  The marriage relation is unknown to them, for the command is no longer to them to “multiply and replenish the earth.”


[* Luke 20: 36.]


But in no other respect are they like unto the angels of God.  They have not the same natures: they have not the same bodies, nor yet the same relation to Christ, nor the same employments, nor can they, or will they ever sing the same song.



*       *       *

[Page 19]





The next question which naturally follows the one just considered, is: Do “SAINTS GO TO HEAVEN WHEN THEY DIE?”



That all saints do go to heaven immediately after death is a sentiment almost universally preached from our pulpits in this age, and especially upon all funeral occasions.  It is sung in the songs of all our worshipping assemblies, and in our Sunday-schools.  It is deeply bedded in our religious thoughts, and has become an unquestioned article of our faith, and the sentiment with which our prayers are closed.  The one who will presume to question it, arrays against him the prejudices of the entire community.  The fathers have preached it for generations, and it will be taken unkindly for their soundness to be suspected.  Children have received it from their fathers, and their prejudices are all arrayed in its favour.  But it is intimately connected with this discussion, and I hazard a candid, scriptural investigation of it, - severely as I must suffer for it from the hands of my friends who have accepted [Page 20] the faith of others without, I believe, a careful personal examination.



Let us look unto it.



1. Heaven is, unquestionably, a place, not a mere state.



The Scriptures recognize three heavens.



First, the region of the air through which the birds fly; hence we read of “the fowls of heaven,” “the dew of heaven,” “the clouds of heaven etc.



Second, the firmament above the clouds, in which the sun, moon and stars seem to be fixed; hence “the sun in the midst of the heavens,” “the stars shall fall from heavenetc.



Third, the third heaven, the high and holy place, of which the Jewish holy of holies was a type, the place of God’s special abode, “the centre and metropolis of the universe, in which the Omnipresent Deity affords a nearer and more immediate view of his perfections and more sensible manifestations of his glory than in the other parts of the divine kingdom  It is from this place that God’s messengers come to earth on their missions of love, and to which they return.  “The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens etc.; “the Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven  Thus saith the Lord: “The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool  That place called heaven may [Page 21] be the grand central orb around which all the countless suns, with their systems, in the whole universe, revolve as our planetary system revolves around its sun.  This orb might justly be called “the heaven of heavens  There is no fancy in this position.



2. We are taught, that nothing incomplete, imperfect or un-glorified can enter or dwell in heaven in the presence of the Holy One.  All its inhabitants must be perfect - glorified in these respects like him, that they may see him as he is.



3. The Scriptures also teach us that the dwellers in the presence of God are the recipients of the fulness of joy, and of pleasures forevermore, of uninterrupted and inexpressible bliss - hope lost in a boundless fruition.



All such must be fully redeemed - perfected, glorified and satisfied.  They can certainly look forward to no future change, as respects their bodies, which will add to their perfection or happiness.



If these positions be correct, It is evident that Christians “do not go to heaven when they die,” for SAINTS, AT THEIR DEATH, ARE NOT FULLY REDEEMED.  Their bodies, as well as their souls are embraced in the covenant of redemption.  They must be redeemed from the effects of sin, from the power of death and the dominion of the grave, purified and glorified, made like unto [Page 22] Christ’s glorious body, that they may be fitted for the presence of the great King.



This change in the body of a saint does not take place at his death, and therefore, no saint at his death is prepared to dwell in the presence of God [in Heaven].  Not until the second coming of Christ [with the exception of those who will be changed and rapt alive into heaven at the pre-tribulation rapture (Lk. 21: 34-36; Rev. 3: 10, R.V.)] will the body of any [dead] saint be redeemed from corruption of the grave and glorified: and even at that time not all will be so redeemed, but only those who sleep in Jesus with those who are living upon the earth when he comes [to resurrect the holy dead at the end of the Great Tribulation].  But the whole number of the saved will not be redeemed or perfected until the close of the millennial age, during which time millions will be converted and saved through the ministry of the sainted priests of Christ.  The saints of all the ages past died in the firm faith that at some future period, not revealed to them, their bodies would be ransomed [Page 23] from the power of death, vindicated from the disgrace of the grave, and made like unto Christ’s glorious body, when, and not until then, they would be fully redeemed, made complete and glorified.  They are represented as resting in this hope.  David says: “Therefore my heart is glad and my flesh shall also shall rest in hope.  For thou wilt not leave my soul in hades [the unseen world of the dead]; neither wilt thou suffer thy Holy One to see corruption* He believed that he would be ransomed from the grave to an immortal and glorious life, of which the resurrection of Christ - of whom he himself was a type - was a pledge.  He further expresses his faith: “As for me, I shall behold thy face in righteousness; I will be satisfied when I awake with thy likeness** This certainly implies that David did not expect to be perfected or satisfied, until he did awake in the likeness of his Redeemer - until his resurrection from the grave [and of his soul from Sheol / Hades].  If David is not perfected or satisfied he certainly cannot be in heaven.  But heaven was not promised to David in the covenant God made to him, nor a perfected salvation, or fulness of joy in heaven at his death; but God did promise him a resurrection from the grave [and Hades] to an immortal life in the presence of his Son and Lord, whom God promised to raise up to sit upon his throne.  David declared that in this promise was “all his salvation and all his desire  He has not yet entered upon the enjoyment of a promised blessing, but, like the saints who lived before him, his flesh rests in hope.


* Psalm 16: 9, 10. cf. Acts 2: 27-34, R.V.  ** Psa. 17: 15



Peter, in his memorable sermon on the day of Pentecost,* found it necessary to explain the two remarkable prophecies of David concerning Christ to his Jewish hearers.  The first - i.e., “thou wilt not leave my soul in hell [sheol]; neither wilt thou suffer thy Holy One to see corruption** Peter taught them.  David spoke [Page 24] concerning Christ, and not concerning himself, only as a type of Christ.  It certainly was not true of David’s body, for he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre containing his corrupted body is with us unto this day.


* Acts 2: 34.  ** Psa. 16: 10.



And touching his second prophecy:* “The Lord said unto my Lord, sit thou at my right hand until I make thy foes thy footstool was also spoken of Christ, whom God raised up and exalted at his right hand.  This could not have been spoken of David’s soul, for “David hath not yet ascended unto heaven  If David’s soul had been exalted at the right hand of God in heaven, though his fleshy garment was left behind, Peter could not have said in this connection “David is not ascended unto the heavens


* Psalm 110: 1.



If David is not in heaven, we must conclude no other saint is there.  It would not be meet for some to be there and not all.



In Hebrews 11 we find this position clearly substantiated.  Paul, in referring to the illustrious company of martyrs witnesses of the faith from Abel down to the last one slain under the old dispensation, says: “And these all … received not the promise; God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect



If they went to heaven when they died, as it is so generally preached now that all saints do, [Page 25] then they must have been perfected without us, and they must have obtained the Promise, and have for thousands of years been enjoying the fulness of joy in the presence of God without us.  But this is not the teachings of God’s word.  They, having fulfilled their mission - witnessed the faith, have entered a state of rest, where they wait a little while for their perfect conditions, which will be consummated when the last saint has testified and suffered as they had; and then all will be perfected, glorified, and receive the promise together.  The marginal reference directs us to Rev. 6: 9, in corroboration of this: “And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw, under the altar, the souls of them that were slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held; and they cried with a loud voice [indicative of great anxiety and impatience], How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?  And white robes were given unto every one of them, and it was said unto them that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also, and their brethren that should he killed as they had been, should be fulfilled



These martyrs included all whom Paul mentioned in Hebrews 11, as well as all who had been slain when the fifth seal was opened, which was but a short time before Christ’s second coming, [Page 26] for the advent is introduced at the breaking of the next seal, and it was said unto these anxious, impatient waiters that they were to rest for only a little season longer.  All these - the most illustrious saints that ever lived on this earth - had not ascended into heaven, but had for ages been impatiently waiting in a comparatively depressed state, indicated by their being seen, not at the right hand of God, in the most holy place, but under the altar of sacrifice, which was placed in the court, but never in the holy of holies - the type of “heaven itself  They were in an imperfect, un-glorified, and consequently, in an unsatisfied condition.  This state could not have been heaven.



Now, if not one of the most illustrious saints who ever lived on earth - who laid down his life for Jesus - is permitted to be perfected and glorified, or to enter heaven itself at death, can we believe, unless the Scriptures expressly declare it, that those who have never suffered and who deserve so much less, are there, and go directly there now, from earth daily?



There is, also, an oft used figure of speech of great significancy, found throughout the Bible, and especially in the New Testament, which, if I understand it, is conclusive in the settlement of this question.  The church of Christ, which, in this sense, embraces the whole number of the saved, is spoken of as the (betrothed) bride of [Page 27] Christ, and which he will one day bring into his Father’s house and present her before the King complete, perfected and glorified, and after this the marriage will be celebrated and she will become his wife.  To make clear this beautiful figure, it may be well to refer the reader to the marriage customs of the ancient Jews.  “The first act was the betrothal, which was celebrated by a feast.  Between the betrothal and the marriage an interval elapsed, varying from a few days to a full year.*  During this period the bride elect lived with her friends, and all communication between herself and her future husband was carried on through the medium of a friend deputed for the purpose, termed the friend the bridegroom.** She was now virtually regarded as the wife of her future husband. Hence, unfaithfulness on her part was punishable with death,*** the husband having the option of putting her away.**** The essence of the marriage ceremony consisted in the removal of the bride from her father’s house to that of the bridegroom or his father’s.  The bride makes herself ready.  The bath, with perfumes, precedes her attiring in robes of purest white linen, sometimes embroidered with gold thread and jewels.  When the fixed hour arrives, the bridegroom sets forth [Page 28] from his or his father’s house, attended by his companions, the children of the bride-chamber, preceded by a band of musicians and singers, and a procession suitable to his rank.  Having reached the house of the bride, who is anxiously expecting his arrival, he conducts the whole party back to his father’s house, with every demonstration of joy, when the presentation, and then the marriage is celebrated with protracted festivities.”+


* Gen. 24: 53.  ** John 3: 29.  *** Deut. 22: 23, 24.  **** Matt. 1: 19; Deut. 24: 1.  + See Smith’s Bible Dictionary, art. Marriage.



The bride of Christ is aptly termed the King’s daughter.  The following are some of the allusions to Christ’s bride: “The King’s daughter is all glorious within!  Her clothing is of wrought gold.  She shall be brought unto the King in raiment of needlework.  The virgins - her companions - that follow her, shall be brought unto thee.  With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought; they shall enter into the King’s palace* “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him; for the marriage supper of the lamb is come and the bride hath made herself ready, and to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright; for the linen is the righteousness of the saints.  And he saith unto me, write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the [Page 29] Lamb** “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish” [defect of any description].*** “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory,” etc.+ But this presentation of the church-bride unto Christ by his friend, and of his bride unto his father, when he shall have brought her, in her perfected and all glorious condition into the King’s palace, manifestly cannot take place until she is complete in all the members of her body - until the last sinner is saved and glorified.  If a portion of the saved were presented before the Father - brought into the King’s palace, the bride could not be said to be prepared - all glorious, without blemish, spot or winkle, or any such thing.  She would be incomplete, a deformed and disgusting personage.  Therefore I feel warranted in the conclusion that no saint has gone, or will “go to heaven;” but, as a component member of the body of that bride, will, with all the members, be presented together with that body, which will be at the close of the millennial age.


* Psa. 45: 13-15.  ** Rev. 19: 7-10.  *** Eph. 5: 25.   + Jude 24.


[Page 30]

These, with many other passages of similar import, are conclusive to my mind that no saint as yet ascended to heaven, and it is evident that no sinner has descended into the lake of fire; the Devil himself is not yet consigned to the final prison-house of woe; and a very good reason why they have not - neither sinners nor Satan have had their trial; the final judgment awaits them, and then penal fires.  The reader that the demons were alarmed upon a time, fearing that Jesus had come to torment them before the time and they besought him not to command them to go away into the abyss, but to permit them to remain in the country.



I conclude the evidence upon this question with the express declaration of Christ to Nicodemus.*


*John 3.






This alone will sufficient to every devout mind.  If no mortal had then entered heaven, I am satisfied that no one has since.  Enoch and Elijah were translated, but not necessarily to the third heaven - the presence of the Most Holy, else what shall we do with the declaration of Paul, and with the unmistakable one of Jesus - referred to - “NO MAN HATH ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN



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[Page 31]


Chapter IV







The settlement of this question here, before we consider the condition of men after death, is of the first importance, because it is a question fundamental both to Christianity and to Spiritism.  If there is to be no resurrection of the dead, then I renounce my belief in Christianity and the Bible, and stand prepared to embrace any system of religion or philosophy that is calculated to promote the highest welfare of society and the race here, leaving the Future to the Fates.



Paul, the inspired apostle, presented this selfsame alternative to the Greek Christians when the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead was denied by the philosophers, scientists and infidels of that age, as it is by these self-same classes now.  He states it in the form of a





1. If the dead rise not,



2. Then is Christ not risen,


[Page 32]

3. If Christ be not risen,



4. Then is our preaching in vain.



5. (If so) Your faith is also vain.



6. (If so) We are found false witnesses before God (because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ, whom he raised not up if the dead rise not).


7. (If so) All that have died in this hope have perished.


8. And ye are yet in your sins.



But by this form of argument, any one who can affirm that he is not in his sins, unforgiven and unjustified, can affirm each preceding proposition.



The reader can see that according to the Bible itself, if we deny the one doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, we deny Christ and the entire system of Christianity and the Bible as the word of God.



With the fall of this doctrine falls the entire system of Christianity.  No man living can hold the Bible as God’s word, or Christ as God’s Son, and deny the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead.  The truth of the Bible and of the divinity of Christ hinge upon the fact of a resurrection.  A man may be a professed friend of Christ, a preacher of Christianity, still, if Paul is to be credited he is an infidel, “to all intents and purposes,” and should be so recognized, if he denies [Page 33] the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead - all the dead.



But if there is, indeed, to be a resurrection of the dead, then modern Spiritism is false, for the system is based upon the assumption, “that there is no resurrection of the dead the very assertion of the infidel Greeks.* I say assumption, because it is assumed without even an attempt at proof.  Swedenborg mocks at the idea of a resurrection.  Robert Dale Owen denies the doctrine.  Dr. Samuel Watson can find no place for it in his system of “Christian Spiritualism.”(?)  All Spiritists agree in rejecting it.  They are compelled to give up their faith or deny it.


* 1 Cor. 15: 12.



Will not the reader patiently and without prejudice, if possible, examine with me this important question: IS THERE A RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD? 



Some, who profess to believe in a future resurrection so interpret the term itself as to make it mean something quite different from the raising up of the bodies of the dead.  The passage have quoted from Paul fortunately explains what the Holy Spirit meant by the act indicated to the Greek by the term, exanastasis, for he uses the same term to express the fact of Christ’s resurrection, and the fact of the resurrection [of those ‘deemed worthy’]* from the dead.  According to the testimony of the [Page 34] evangelists, the body which was laid in Joseph’s tomb was the self-same body that was reanimated and raised up and reunited with his divinity, making Him identical with the Christ who was put to death three days before.  He identified himself to the senses of His disciples during the period of forty days by infallible proofs.  The Holy Spirit teaches us, by this term and the illustration of it in the case of the raising up of Christ, that the bodies stricken down by the sword of death will be, at the time appointed, reanimated and raised up and reunited to the selfsame souls that once animated them.  The Greek could not interpret the term of any other action.  In the whole range of Greek literature it means nothing but to make, to stand or rise up, an awaking or restoration to a former condition, the reanimation of a dead body.  Their poets and orators invariably used it when speaking of raising the dead to life.  It is a well established fact, that the anastasis of the dead was the central and grandest truth taught and illustrated in the ancient Eleusinian mysteries as well as in the Druidic rites.  Says Algar:



“All the mysteries were funereal.  This is the most striking single phenomenon connected with them.  They invariably began in darkness with groans and tears, but as invariably ended in festive triumph with shouts and smiles.  In them all were a symbolic death, a mournful entombment, and a glad resurrection.  We know this from the abundant direct testimony of unimpeachable ancient writers, and also from their indirect descriptions of the ceremonies and allusions to them.  For example, Apuleius says: “The delivery of the mysteries is celebrated as a thing resembling a voluntary death; the initiate, being, after a manner, born again, is restored to a new life.  Indeed, all who describe the course of initiation agree in declaring that the aspirant was juried for a time within some narrow space, a typical coffin or grave.  This testimony is confirmed by the evidence of the ruins of the chief temples and sacred places of the Pagan world.  These abound with spacious caverns, labyrinthine passages and curious recesses; and in connection them is always found some excavation evidently fitted to enclose a human form.  Such hollow beds, covered with flat stones easily removed, are still to be seen amid the Druidic remains of Britain and Gaul, as well as in nearly every spot where tradition has located the celebration of the Mysteries - in Greece, India, Persia, Egypt.”*


[* Compare Luke 20: 35 with Phil. 3: 11, where the preposition ex is attached to anastasis.]


* Copious instances are given in Oliver’s History of Initiation, in Faber’s Origin of Pagan Idolatry, and in Maurice’s Indians Antiquities.



“The ancient Mysteries but copied in their [Page 36] principal ceremony the mysterious ordination and followed the overawing spirit of Nature herself.  The religious reserve and awe about the entrance into the adytum of their traditions, were like those about the entrance into the invisible scenes beyond the veils of time and mortality.  Their initiation was but a miniature and feeble symbol of the great initiation through which, and that upon impartial terms, every mortal, from King Solomon to the idiot pauper, must sooner or later pass to immortality.  When a fit applicant, after the preliminary probation, kneels with fainting sense and pallid brow before the veil of the unutterable Unknown, and the last pulsations of his heart tap at the door of eternity, and he reverentially asks admission to partake in the secrets and benefits forever shrouded from the profane vision of sinful flesh, the infinite Hierophant directs the call to be answered by Death, the speechless and solemn steward of the celestial Mysteries.  He comes, pushes the curtain aside, leads the awe-struck initiate in, takes the blinding bandage of the body from his soul; and straightway the trembling neophyte receives light in the midst of this innumerable Fraternity of Immortals over whom the Supreme Author of the Universe presides



The most striking representations of the ancient mysteries symbolized the doctrine of the anastasis.  When Zagreus is torn in pieces, [Page 37] his heart is preserved alive by Zerus and born again into the world within a human form.  After the body of Osiris had been strewn piece-meal throughout the whole earth, the fragments were fondly gathered by Isis, and he was restored to life.  These, and others, were undoubtedly intended to symbolize the thought that however the body of man crumbles to pieces and its elements diffused throughout the entire earth, yet by a divine power regathered, reorganized and reanimated, it will enter upon unending life.  Such were the impressions conveyed to a Greek mind by the term anastasis - resurrection of the dead.



Nor can we understand anything else from the Scriptures but that the matter which composed our bodies, however disorganized and scattered, though diffused over all the earth, will be preserved by the omniscient and almighty God, and by that power regathered, reorganized, reanimated and spiritualized, and so made a glorious body, suited in all respects to the conditions of our future existence.



As I have before remarked, I am discussing this subject with those who believe the Bible to be God’s infallible revelation to the race.



I claim that the existence of God himself is not more clearly taught in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, than the doctrine of the resurrection of our bodies from the grave, not the creation of new bodies for our souls.



*       *       *

[Page 38]









Old Testament Proof



There is a tradition that when Gamaliel, a learned doctor of the law, was appealed to for the clear and unmistakable passage in all Jewish Scriptures to prove the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, he said: “The covenant of circumcision which God made with our Father Abraham



Many of my readers have given little or no attention to the provisions of that covenant, and the proof referred to would not appear to them.  Let us examine it briefly: Prominent among the promises made to Abraham, was that of the land of Canaan for an everlasting* possession - “And I will give unto thee, and thy seed after thee, the land of Canaan, wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession** “I am the Lord that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.  And he [Abram] said unto him, [Page 39] whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it*** The answer must seem most singular and senseless to the carnal reader.  God informs him that he, Abram, would die in a good old age and go to his fathers in peace, and that his natural descendants should become the servants of a foreign nation and be oppressed for four hundred years, and in the fourth generation be brought into this land again.  Now the promise to Abram rests upon the veracity of God.  If we attempt to interpret it by a history of the past, we are brought to the conclusion that the promise to Abram has failed.  Stephen alludes to this apparent failure of the promise to Abram in his speech before the Sanhedrim in these words: “God said to him, Come into this land in which I shall shew thee.  Then came he into this land in which ye dwell.  And he gave him none inheritance in it; no, not so much as to set his foot on.  Yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession and to his seed (too spermati, in the singular, to one person, called the seed), after him when as yet he had no child+ What shall we say then?  Shall we dare say that God hath lied to Abram, or that he meant something else than what he promised?  Far be it from the writer or the reader to insult God by any such insinuation; but rather let us say with the apostle in reference to this particular [Page 40] incident, “God cannot lie that in promising to Abram an everlasting possession of the land of Canaan, and nevertheless afterward declaring that he should die and be buried, and his posterity be oppressed for four hundred years, he promised to him a resurrection to eternal life.  If Abram were sentenced to die, how could the promise of God concerning the law be fulfilled unless he were raised from the dead?  And as he is to possess it forever, when he is raised he must be brought up incorruptible and immortal to enable him to possess it everlastingly.  The promise of a resurrection from the dead and an eternal life then consists in promising a mortal man and his son a terrestrial country forever.  Abram unquestionably understood this promise as guaranteeing to him a resurrection, [an earthly inheritance] and eternal life, as did all the patriarchs and saints of the ages past.  The apostle says he saw the promises, in their fulfilment, afar off, but was persuaded of them and embraced them, and confessed that he was a stranger and pilgrim in the land; and in saying such things he plainly declared that he was seeking a country.  And truly if he had been mindful of Chaldea, whence he emigrated, he might have returned if he had pleased.  But no; he desired a better country than that beyond the Euphrates; that is, the land of Canaan, under a heavenly constitution:# wherefore, God is not ashamed to be [Page 41] called the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the God of all whose faith is like theirs in word and spirit.  This covenant, with its promises, was confirmed unto Isaac and also unto Jacob, and given unto Israel as a law, and it was to each of them, and to all who had Abraham’s faith, a promise of a resurrection [out] from the dead to an immortal life.


[* That is, for as long as this earth will last. ]    ** Gen. 15: 7, 8.   [*** The only scriptural answer to this question is found by comparing Peter’s words in Acts 10: 34, 35: “Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is acceptable to him,” - with Matt. 5: 20: “For I say unto youdisciples” vv. 1, 2) that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no wise enter the kingdom of the heavens Here is an undisclosed standard of the disciples’ righteousness required for an entrance into Christ’s/Messiah’s coming millennial kingdom: Psalms 2: 8; 45: 6; 72. & 110: 1-3, 6, etc..]   + Acts 7: 5.   [# NOTE. “… It is not said, that Abraham should inherit the land in his seed; but that he AND his seed should possess it.  ‘All the land which thou seest, to THEE will I give it, and to thy seed for everGen. 13: 15.  Besides, if so, the Scriptures could not assert, that Abraham had never received the land.  On that supposition, he has received it in the persons of his representatives; which was all that was promised.  The covenant of Gen 15, moreover, confirms the land to CHRIST as Abraham’s individual Heir; and no subsequent engagement of God can make void: Gal. 3: 17.  But Christ has never possessed the land.” (R. Govett.)  Here is what Peter means by the words, “to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never stumble: for thus shall be richly supplied unto you an entrance into the eternal (Gk. ‘aionian’) kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ:” (2 Pet. 1: 10, 11, R.V.).] 



Christ declares that Moses understood this, and taught it in his writings, and it was by this interpretation of the covenant of circumcision that Christ confounded the Sadducees who denied the doctrine of the resurrection, but professed to believe in the covenant of circumcision.  Said Christ to them: “Now that the dead are raised, even Moses showed at the bush when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.  For he is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live unto him* He was the covenant God of these patriarchs, and that covenant promised and secured to them a resurrection [out] from the dead,** [into an inheritance in the land], and eternal life; for unless they were raised from the dead, the provisions of that covenant could never be fulfilled to them.  I have dwelt at some length upon this, as it seems to throw light upon THE COVENANT WITH DAVID.


* See Luke 20: 37.   [* Compare Luke 20: 35 with Phil. 3: 11, Heb. 11: 35b, and Rev. 20: 4-6.]



This I bring forward as another proof of the [Page 42] doctrine of the resurrection.  The explanation of the covenant made with Abraham will answer for this.*  The clause to which I call attention is this: “And thy house [family] and thy kingdom shall be established forever before thee; thy throne shall be established forever  This was likewise a promise to David of a resurrection from sheol’ / Gk. ‘hades’ and] the grave to an immortal, glorious and blissful life, when his Son, Christ, should sit upon David’s throne in Jerusalem, to reign as the Second Solomon, in glory forever BEFORE DAVID.  David was to witness it and enjoy it FOREVER; but to do so he must be raised [out] ** from the dead to an immortal life.  So David understood it.  He did not interpret it as referring to anything he was to see or enjoy in heaven.  David knew he had no “house” - family - in heaven; he knew he had no throne in Heaven - his house was an earthly one, his throne a temporal one in Jerusalem below.  Here, in the fulness of times, the tabernacle - “house” - of David, which had fallen down,***is to be raised up, and a royal Heir, out of his loins to sit upon it and reign before David forever – (while time endured.)  This promise David declared was all his salvation and all his desire,+ and in a psalm of praise, in view of the power and blessedness that awaited him, [Page 43] sitting as the honoured father, at the right hand of his reigning son, who is also God’s own Son, he says: “In thy presence is fulness of joy, and at thy right hand pleasures forever more++


* Read 2 Samuel 7: 11-16.  [** Phil. 3: 11.]   ***Acts 15: 16.  + 2 Sam. 23: 3-5.   ++ Psa. 16: 11.



We find the fact of a resurrection - an awakening of the dead - clearly announced to Daniel: “And many that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt* There is no mistaking this language.  All the pious Jews believed that a future resurrection was a clearly revealed fact in their Scriptures.  Martha, the sister of Lazarus, in reply to the declaration of Jesus, “Thy brother shall rise again,” answered, “I know that he shall rise again on the resurrection of the last day  The hope of Israel was grounded upon the doctrine of a future resurrection of the just [i.e., the righteous*], when the covenants and promises, which were made with their fathers would be fulfilled to them and to their children who walked in the steps of their faith.


* Dan. 12: 2.  [* The word ‘righteous’ is better, for many understand by ‘the just’ as referring to all who are ‘justified by faith’ alone!  Not all regenerate believers will rise “out from the dead” (Phil. 3: 11), at the time of the “First Resurrection” (Rev. 20: 4-6).]



*       *       *

[Page 44]









New Testament Proofs.



When we turn to the New Testament we find the fact clearly and unmistakably announced by Christ himself.  He declared his power to raise the soul of man from a state of death to a new and higher life - “As the Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.  … Verily, verily, I say unto you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead [in trespasses and in sins] shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live  This, undoubtedly, alludes to the quickening and regeneration of the soul - dead in trespasses and in sins; which process Christ calls a resurrection.  But he alludes to the resurrection of the body [as well as the soul] as something different, and to them, perhaps, more marvellous.  “Marvel not at this; for the hour is coming [he omits the clause “and now is which places the transaction at some future time] in which all that are in their graves [Page 45] shall hear his voice and shall come forth; they that have done good, to the resurrection of Life [referred to in Daniel], and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation Critical translators render it, “to the resurrection of judgment which agrees with Rev. 20: 5, 15.  There is no judgment awaiting, [after]* the resurrection of the righteous dead; their sins have gone before them to judgment - been blotted out, and so their judgment is past.  Here the fact of a general [select] resurrection** is clearly taught, and that it will be of two classes of persons, differing in character, at different times, as we shall see.


[* Heb. 9: 27: “… it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this cometh judgment, R.V,.”  Therefore, the judgment, which will take place after the time of death, will determine what “souls” from amongst the dead in Hades, will rise at the “First Resurrection” to reign “with Christ a thousand years.” (Rev. 20:  4, R.V.).  ** It is a resurrection of reward.  See Luke 14: 14. cf. Luke 20: 35; Phil. 3: 11; Heb. 11: 35b, R.V,.]



Paul, more circumstantially than any other apostle, explains the resurrection of the sainted dead, and the rapture and change of the living saints at or near the coming of Christ, to the brethren at Thessalonica, who were sorrowing for their departed friends: “But I would not have you to he ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not even as others which have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent [precede] them which are asleep.  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice [Page 46] of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first**; then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”*


* 1 Thess. 4: 13, 17.  [** NOTE.  The apostle does not say: “ALL the dead in Christ shall rise first”!  Multitudes of regenerate Christians, by reading into the Apostle’s statement here, have misinterpreted other passages of Holy Scripture which speak of a select resurrection of reward, which the Apostle Paul hoped to “attain,” (Phil. 3: 11).  That is ‘to gain by effort’ (a dictionary definition.), - “out from the dead”!  “… “Brethren, I am a Pharisee,” he said, “a son of Pharisees: concerning the HOPE and a resurrection of dead ones I am being judged:” (Acts 23: 6, lit Greek.)  Since all the dead will be resurrected, sooner or later (Rev. 20: 13), Paul’s “HOPE” was that he might be “accounted worthy” to rise at the “First Resurrection” – “a thousand years” before the general resurrection and the Great White Throne Judgment, (Rev. 20: 11, 12, R.V.,).  How often we hear of the Christians’ “HOPE” being a certainty!]



I cannot better develop the teachings of this and a cognate passage in Corinthians than Dr. Hovey has done.  He says.  “Here, it will he observed by the student, first, that Paul uses just the same word to express the fact of Christ’s resurrection and the fact of the resurrection of the dead in Christ; second, that, according to the apostle’s teachings elsewhere, the resurrection of Christ was the reanimation of his body and its re-union with his soul; for he appeals, in proof of his resurrection, to men who had identified him by their senses during the forty days before he was taken up; third, that the ‘resurrection of the dead in Christ’ had not taken place when Paul wrote this letter.  They were then ‘asleep,’ and both the descent of Christ from heaven and their resurrection to meet him in the air were future events; fourth, that the resurrection of the dead in Christ would take place before the living would be caught up in clouds;* and fifth, that the apostle professes to speak ‘in the word of the Lord;’ in other words, he claims to have [Page 47] received the revelation which he was making from the Lord himself.  Now it must be conceded that these particulars show that believers in Christ did not, in the first age of the church, receive their glorified bodies immediately after death, but were to receive them at the second appearing of Christ.


[* 1 Thess. 4: 15.]


“But it will be noticed that this passage says nothing plainly in respect to a change in the bodies of saints who may be yet alive at the coming of the Lord.  Possibly a change of some sort may be implied in their being caught up in clouds to meet the Lord in the air and remain forever with him; but no change is distinctly foretold.  Yet this omission is supplied by the apostle’s words in 1 Cor. 15: 22, 23, 25, words which are very clear and emphatic: ‘For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ [i.e., those who are found in Christ] shall all be made alive; but every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruit; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming’ [no resurrection of the wicked - those out of Christ {i.e., those not ‘accounted worthy,’ (Lk. 20: 35)}* - here].  ‘Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed


[* See on the website: “An Important Text” (2) by G. H. Lang. – Ed.]



“These words either confirm or complement [Page 48] those given above from his first Epistle to the Thessalonians: First, they confirm the doctrine of a resurrection of the pious dead; a resurrection by which the spirits [i.e., the disembodied souls] of the departed will be clothed with bodies, in some sense identical with those laid in the grave, yet so changed as to be incorruptible and immortal; second, they also confirm the statement that the resurrection of the pious dead will take place ‘at the last trumpet,’ an event certainly future, in the judgment of Paul; third, they add to this teaching the important truth that all believers in Christ will be changed, whether they die or not.  And, as the whole chapter proves, that change will be made in the body, that the same may be a fit and perfect organ of the spirit [and soul] forever



There are many who absolutely deny the resurrection of the dead while they profess to hold and teach it, as Unitarians claim to believe in Jesus as the Messiah, while they deny his divinity!  These hold that a literal resurrection and there can be no other than a literal resurrection of these bodies - is a physical impossibility; that we must understand the term as used phenomenally, as we do the phrase “the sun rises” and “the sun sets,” &c.; it does in appearance, but not in fact.  If this is so, then instead of a resurrection it is a new creation, and the Holy Spirit, who verbally inspired the word, is justly [Page 49] chargeable with deception, and in knowingly selecting a word to convey a false impression, when another was at hand that would have conveyed a correct one.  Paul’s language everywhere employed to teach the Greek reading world, could have conveyed no other meaning than a quickening of our mortal bodies laid in the grave, and not the creation of new and entirely different bodies.  He used the term anastasis, which can be construed to mean nothing else.  But he did more, he explained it in language that cannot be misunderstood, by using this language: “But if the spirit of him who raised up Christ from the dead, dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead SHALL ALSO QUICKEN YOUR MORTAL BODIES by his spirit that dwelleth In you i.e., these mortal bodies are to be quickened - not others created for us out of like elements which they were created by the power of the Holy Spirit.  This should settle the question forever.



Paul elsewhere explains it: “It [the body at death] is sown in corruption, it [that body which was sown] is raised in incorruption; it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body* The process of changing the elements of the [Page 50] former body, when raised up from earthly to a spiritual body, may take place in the act of reorganization; but this does not militate against the fact of a raising up of the matter of the body that was sown.  The new, glorious, spiritual, powerful body, will differ from the old one as one star differeth from another star in glory.


*1 Cor. 15: 44.



But there is another fact that weighs with a determining force in settling this question.  When Paul preached the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead to the learned Grecians, they mocked.  I ask why did he not explain it to them as our modern would-be-thought-scholars do to those who advocate a resurrection instead of a New Creation?  “Gentlemen, you misunderstand me, I do not mean a resurrection really, but only phenomenally - in appearance  Would they then have mocked any more than Scientists do now, when an appearance is only claimed?  But Paul did not so explain his meaning, which he should have done if he did not mean a resurrection, but simply referred it to God’s Omnipotence and left it there.  “Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you that God should raise the dead?”  God can do it? and if he has promised he will do it.



By reference to the last revelation made by Jesus Christ to his churches, through an angel to John, on the Isle of Patmos, we learn that the [Page 51] resurrection of the righteous [i.e., not meaning those who were justified by grace, by means of the imputed righteous of Christ, but by “the righteous acts of the saints” (Rev. 19: 8, R.V.,)] will precede that of the wicked* by ONE THOUSAND YEARS.  “And I saw thrones, and they [saints - Daniel 7: 27] sat upon them and judgment was given unto them; and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which [i.e., Toitines - whosoever] had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ one thousand years.  But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.  This is the first resurrection.  Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection; on such the second death hath no power, but they [i.e., such] shall be priests of God and Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years*


[* NOTE. Those who are self-deceived, who would prefer to believe the word ‘wicked’ cannot describe disobedient and apostate believers, close their eyes to what the word of God plainly teaches us!  Num. 16: 26, 32. cf. 1 Cor. 5: 13; 10: 1-11, R.V.,!]


* Rev. 20: 4. For a description of the resurrection of all the “dead” - those who have never been quickened, have never been the subjects of the soul-resurrection from its death in sin, alluded to by Christ in John - read the concluding verses of this chapter, from the eleventh to the close.



Finally, upon this point, Christian baptism, as is admitted by all standard commentators, is alluded to repeatedly by the apostles as a striking symbol of our burial and the resurrection of our bodies from the grave at Christ’s second coming [Page 52] and entrance upon a new and glorious life, in bodies raised and changed into immortal and glorified ones, like unto his own.  The baptism of the apostolic Christians was, we say, referred to by the apostles as teaching the fact of the literal resurrection from the dead.  Paul so uses it in his letter to the churches at Rome and at Corinth: “For if we have been planted in the likeness of his death, we shall be in the likeness of his resurrection  “Else what shall they do who are baptized for the dead?  If the dead rise not, why were ye baptized for the dead* They were baptized to represent and declare their faith in the resurrection of the dead, and if there is no resurrection of dead persons, why did they profess a falsehood?  Hence, there is to be a literal resurrection, or Christianity is a fable and a cheat.


* 1 Cor. 15: 29.



Thus, “by the only suitable evidence” - evidence so plain, direct and complete as to render serious doubt impossible to one who accepts the Bible as an inspired record, have we established the doctrine of a future resurrection of the dead.  In establishing this doctrine, the foundation of Spiritism has been destroyed, and the whole system, and all the teachings depending upon it, fall with it.



*       *       *

[Page 53]








If we have seen, the righteous do not enter heaven - the state of perfection and supreme felicity - at death, because imperfect, and because it is not possible for a part of the saved to be perfected, and so enter the presence of God without the whole number; and if the wicked do not enter hell [i.e., ‘the lake of fire’] - the place of [eternal] punishment - at death, nor will until after their resurrection and judgment, these questions naturally arise.  “Where do they go  “If they exist, under what conditions?” and, “Can they return to earth to communicate with or minister well or evil to the living



Any appeal to philosophy, science, reason or creedal traditions will be in vain, and how much more than vain to the contradicting revelations gained from ultramontane intelligences!  We have but one sure light, and that is the word of God.  If we cast that from us, we plunge into the gloom of a rayless midnight.  If its light is not like the sun in its brightness, yet, like that changeless star that guides the mariner over the trackless ocean, it will direct us to the proper solution of all these questions.


[Page 54]

SHEOL - In the Old Testament Scriptures, wherever reference is made to the world of departed spirits* [and disembodied souls], sheol is used, signifying the unknown; hence, the WORLD UNKNOWN - the spirit-land; sometimes [wrongly] translated “grave”.  “I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning is the language of Jacob, in the common version.  But Jacob did not believe that Joseph was in the grave - torn in pieces by “wild beastsand he could not expect to join him there, but he did believe that he would join him in the spirit-land [of ‘sheol’], and, of course, to recognize him as his son.


[* NOTE: “The spirits in prison” (1 Pet. 3: 19, R.V.), “in which also he [Christ] went and preached” in the Underworld of the dead, may have reference to the “Nephilim” (Gen. 6: 4, R.V.)!  See Govett’s commentary: ‘The Spirits In Prison’. – Ed.]



HADES, derived from adein - not to see; meaning simply the unseen; hence the unseen state - unseen world.  This, in the common version, is improperly translated in every instance “hell the ultimate [and believed to be the eternal] abode of the wicked - penal fires - which it never signifies.  (The Bible Union, New York, has translated it “under-world*) in every instance but one, in the New Testament; there, “death** Let us notice a few instances referring to the final judgment, which is of the ‘wicked’ [regenerate and unregenerate] only. *** We read, “And death and hades delivered up the dead that were in them”+ to be judged.  That is, the grave surrendered the bodies and the spirit-world the souls.  “And death and hell [hades] were cast into the lake of fire.  This [Page 55] is the second death  Not that the literal place called hell - the lake of fire - was cast into hell; hell into itself!  But all those found in the spirit-land at this time, were called forth, judged and cast into “gehenna,” the term always used to denote penal fires - the second death.


* This term is a very unfortunate one.    ** 1 Cor. 15: 55.    [*** See Num. 14: 20-23; 16: 26-30. cf. 1 Cor. 5: 12, 13; 10: 1- 11, R.V.]    + Rev. 20: 18.



The plain teaching of the passage is, that not all those found in the spirit-land at this* time were called forth, judged and cast into the lake of fire - the second death.


[* See Rev. 20: 15, R.V.]



In Rev. 1: 18, Christ declares that he holds the keys of death and of hades - hell.  By this declaration he teaches that none can be subject to either; none can enter through the gate of death into the spirit-world without his permission, nor any one return from the unseen world without his permission.*  In this passage hades means only the spirit-world.


[* See 1 Sam. 28: 8-21. cf. Matt. 27: 52, 53.]



In 1 Cor. 15: 55, we find this expression, “O grave, where is thy victory?  While the ‘souls’ of the righteous are retained in the custody of ‘hades they are subject to its laws and conditions, as their ‘bodies’ are to the ‘grave’ that retains them [up to the time of Resurrection]; they are, in a sense, captives, though “prisoners of hope  When Christ delivers them at his coming from [Page 56] the depressed, captivated condition, into the glorious liberty of the sons of God, then, says Paul, shall be brought about that saying, “O Hades, where is thy victory  I cannot mean the eternal penal abode - “the lake of fire” for that will maintain an everlasting victory over all those cast into it; they are never to come out.



Dr. Geo. Campbell, a profound scholar and commentator, refers to this passage as a “clear proof” that hades denotes the intermediate state of souls between death and the resurrection.  He says: “We learn that death and hades, by our translators rendered hell, as usual, shall immediately, after the general judgment, be cast into the lake of fire.  This is the second death  In other words, the death which consists in the separation of the soul from the body, and the state of souls intervening, between death and the judgment, shall be no more.  To the wicked these shall be succeeded by a more terrible death - the damnation of hell, properly so-called.  Indeed, in this sacred book, the commencement as well as the destruction, of this immediate state are so clearly marked as to render it almost impossible to mistake them.  In a preceding chapter we learn that hades follows close at the heels of death; and from the other passage quoted, that both are involved in one common ruin at the universal judgment.  Whereas, it we interpret [Page 57] hades hell, in the Christian sense of the word the whole passage is rendered nonsense.  Hell is represented as cast into hell!



In Acts 2: 27, 31, the term hades occurs twice in the explanation which Peter makes to the Jews, touching David’s prophecy of Christ: “Thou wilt not leave my soul in [Heb., sheol; Gr., hades, translated in our version in both places] hell; neither wilt thou suffer thy Holy One to see corruption  Peter declares that, by this, David meant that the soul of Christ would not be left in the abode - the prison-house-of departed spirits [and souls], nor would his body be allowed to see corruption in the grave.  This, he says, was fulfilled concerning Christ; his soul was not left in hades.  It entered there as truly as his body entered the grave [i.e., Joseph’s tomb].  He went with the converted thief there.  As Peter, in one of his epistles, declares that, being put to death as to the flesh, but preserved alive as to the spirit - that did not die - in which he went, while that body was in the grave, and visited ‘the spirits in prison even those that were once disobedient in the days of Noah; implying that they were not impenitent at the time Christ visited them; but did obey the voice of Noah, and were saved before the flood destroyed the wicked.  Christ, Peter says, did visit and proclaim good [Page 58] news to these waiting spirits.* He did not descend into hell; “the lake of fire” - the penal [and eternal] abode of the wicked [after their resurrection].


* 1 Pet. 3: 19.



In Matt. 16: 18, Christ declares that the gates of hell - hades - should not prevail against his church - an organized body of professed Christians [which the Holy Spirit has ‘called out’ of the ‘body’ of the redeemed].  The gate “of hades” is but a figurative expression for death; for, by death do we - can any one - enter hades - the world of disembodied spirits.  By death alone can the human spirit [and soul] become disembodied (Luke 23: 46).  That process we call dying; its completion - death.  “To say, then, that the gates of hades shall not prevail against      the church, is, in other words, to say, it shall never die; it shall never be extinct*  Hades here cannot mean the penal fires that are to destroy the finally impenitent.  Both Matthew and Luke use it when foretelling the doom of Capernaum: “And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven [i.e., remarkably prosperous], shalt be brought down to hades;” the very opposite of prosperity - very low; as hades, by the ancients, was, supposed to be under the earth as far as the sky is above it.  The term does not refer to “the lake of fire” in these passages.


* Dr. Geo. Campbell’s Dissertation, vi, p. 194.



Utter ruin and desolation did overtake that [Page 59] wicked city, and in its ruins this prophecy is fulfilled.



The only passage which I have not noticed is the parable of the rich man and Lazarus,* which demands a more extended notice.  It reads, “And in hell [hades], he [the wicked rich man] lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom  “This,” says Dr. Campbell, “is the only passage in holy writ which seems to give countenance to the opinion that hades sometimes means the same as gehenna.  Here it is represented as a place of punishment.  The rich man is said to be tormented there in a flame


* Luke 16: 23.



At the advent of Christ, there was a striking coincidence between the views of a future state, as held by the Jews, and those held by the Greeks and Romans, as the parable of the rich man and Lazarus clearly shows.  They equally believed that the souls of the departed were susceptible both of suffering and enjoyment, and they believed that they did suffer or enjoy in hades, according to their demerit or merit.  They believed that hades comprehended two separate abodes, the one appointed and prepared for the good - which the Greeks called the “Elysian-fields and the Jews “Paradise and the abode of the wicked was called by the Greeks “Tartarus” - the prison of hades; where, under [Page 60] chains of condemnation, tormented by the bitter recollections of just mercies abused by the society of all the vile and wicked - the Devil and his angels included - and the knowledge of the coming judgment,* and the more fearful punishment in gehenna forever, the impenitent dead await as did the rich man, and as do the Devil and his angels, their final doom.  Peter says of the evil angels that God delivered them over to tartarus in chains of darkness, reserved unto judgment.  Here the term employed is not “gehenna,” which always refers to the place of final punishment and comes after the judgment, but a tartarus, a division or place in hades - the spirit world; “which is,” says Campbell, “* as it were the prison of hades, wherein criminals are kept till the judgment.** There is, then, no inconsistency in maintaining that the rich man, though in torments, was not in gehenna, but in that part of hades called tartarus; where, we have seen already, spirits [and disembodied, wicked souls are], reserved for judgment, are detained in darkness. That there is, in a lower degree, a reward of the righteous and a punishment of the wicked, in the state intervening between death and the resurrection, is no more repugnant to the divine perfections than that there should be (as in the course of providence, there often are) manifest recompenses of eminent virtues and of enormous crimes in the present world.”***


* 2 Pet. 2: 4.   [** Heb. 9: 27, 28, R.V.]  *** Campbell’s Dis. vi. 196.



*       *       *

[Page 61]








The abode prepared for the righteous dead, between death and the resurrection, which period I call “The Middle Life,” is called by Christ ‘paradise and by Peter a custody; a place of safe keeping - phulake (Gr.).  Though not heaven itself, it is still a heavenly place, in all respects adapted to the condition of bodiless souls, and prepared, in all respects, for the highest enjoyment possible for its unperfected and un-glorified inhabitants, as will be seen as we discuss its conditions.  All who are accounted worthy to attain to this abode, will inherit, * with Christ, the [millennial] kingdom given unto him by the Father.


[* Psa. 2: 8. cf. Psa. 37: 9, 11, 22, 29, 34; Matt. 5: 5; 1 Thess. 1: 4, 5, R.V.]



All Christians, at their death, enter paradise.  The dying thief prayed, “Lord, remember me when thou comest in thy kingdom  The answer of the Saviour, “To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise” was equivalent to, I say unto thee, when I come into my kingdom [I shall remember you and, contrary to the disbelief and behaviour of others,] thou shalt [Page 62] inherit it with me.  It was to paradise that the divine part of Christ - [His disembodied soul] - went with the forgiven spirits [and disembodied soul] of the thief, - and it is in paradise that the souls of all the saints, in ages past, repose; and it is to paradise that the souls of all the saved go now at death, where they will await the consummation of their complete salvation.



I am aware that it is held by many that paradise is but another name for heaven, and these believe that there is no middle life.  The term paradise is used but three times in the sacred Scriptures, and two of the passages which contain it are relied on to prove that “heaven” and “paradise” are synonymous terms - refer to one and the same place - and, therefore, that Jesus promised the thief that he should that day go to heaven with himself; and, therefore, that heaven is Christ’s peculiar kingdom. The first passage quoted is 2 Cor. 12: 1, 4: “It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory.  I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.  I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, whether in the body, I cannot tell, or whether out of the body, I cannot tell; God knoweth; such a one caught up to the third heaven.  And I knew such a man, whether in the body or out of the body, I cannot tell; God knoweth; how that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words which it is not lawful for a man to utter


[Page 63]

The misapprehension of the class referred to, arises from supposing that Paul, in these four verses, refers to the self-same event, and that he had but one vision, and but one revelation; but he expressly declares, in the first verse, that he had “visions” (plural) and “revelations which he would proceed to relate to them.  If, after his relation, he only described one vision, could they not have said, “You have related to us one vision, now what was the other or others  That Paul did have a plurality, at least, he also declares, in the seventh verse, where he again alluded to these events as “revelations and not as one vision only.



In his Dissertation VI., on hades and gehenna, Dr. Geo. Campbell, whose critical scholarship is recognized on both continents, gives us the following exposition of this narrative: “The Jews make mention of three heavens.  The first is properly the atmosphere where the birds fly, and the clouds are suspended; the second is above the first, and is what we call the visible firmament, wherein the sun and moon and stars appear; the third, to us invisible, is conceived to be above the second, and, therefore, sometimes styled the heaven of heavens.  This, they considered as the place of the throne of God and the habitation of the holy angels.  Now, it is evident that, if in the second or fourth verses he speaks of one vision [Page 64] or revelation only, paradise and heaven are the same; not so if in these he speaks of two different revelations.  My opinion is, that there are two, and I shall assign my reasons: First, he speaks of them as more than one, and that not only in introducing them - ‘I will come to visions and revelations’ - for sometimes it must be owned the plural is used in expressing a subject indefinitely; but afterwards, in referring to what he had related, he says, ‘Lest I should be exalted above measure’ through the abundance of the revelations; secondly, they are related precisely as two distinct events and coupled together by the connective particle; thirdly, there is a repetition of his doubts (verses 2 and 3) in regard to the reality of this transaction, which, if the whole relates to a single event, was not only superfluous, but improper.  This repetition, however, was necessary, if what is related in the third and fourth verses to be a different fact from what is told in the second, and if he was equally uncertain whether it passed in vision or in reality; fourthly, if all the three verses regard only one revelation, there is, in the manner of relating it, a tautology, unexampled in the apostle’s writings.  I might urge, as a fifth reason, the opinion of all Christian antiquity, Origen alone excepted, and this, in a question of philosophy, is not without its weight.”


[Page 65]

Dr. Campbell’s reasoning must, we think, convince every impartial inquirer, while the concurrent opinion of all Christian antiquity is certainly sufficient to outweigh the opinions of a few modern commentators, who, fearing they might possibly give countenance to the purgatory of the Papists, have denied the doctrine of the orthodox church.



The paraphrase of Dr. Dodderidge is so natural and so clear, though lengthy, I cannot forbear to give it here:



“… I will now come to say something of those visions and revelations of the Lord with which his unworthy servant has, by his astonishing grace and condescension, been favoured.  I hardly, indeed, know now to mention a name so undeserving as my own in this connection; but I will venture in the general to say that I well knew a certain man in Christ, one who esteems it his highest honour to belong to such a Master; who, though he hath hitherto thought proper to conceal it, was remarkably indulged in this respect above fourteen years ago.  Whether he was then in the body during that extraordinary ecstasy, I know not; or for a time, taken out of the body, so that the principle of animal life remained in it, I know not; God only knows how that was; nor is it of any importance to curiously search into such a circumstance.  He had [Page 66] at least no consciousness of anything that passed about him at that time, etc.* Such a one, I say, I did most intimately know, who was snatched up, even into the third heaven, the seat of the divine glory and the place where Christ dwelleth at the Father’s right hand, having all the celestial principalities and powers in humble subjection to him.  Yea, I say I even knew such a man, whether in the body or out of the body, I now say not, because I know not; God knoweth. … And I know that, having been thus entertained with these visions of the third heavens, on which good men are to enter after the resurrection, lest he should be impatient under the delay of his part of the glory there, was also caught up into paradise, that garden of God, which is the seat of happy spirits in the intermediate state, and during their separation from the body, where he had the pleasure of an interview with many of the pious dead, and heard among them unutterable words, expressive of their sublime ideas, which he was taught to understand, but the language was such as it is not lawful or possible for man to utter. … And lest I should be too much elevated with the abundance of those extraordinary revelations, of which I have been speaking, there was given me,” etc.*


* Dodderidge’s Family Expositor.



While Adam Clark does not express his own [Page 67] views strongly, yet he admits that Christian writers, generally, hold that paradise is the abode of the saints in the intermediate state.  “Among Christian writers, it generally means, the place of the blessed, or the state of separate spirits.  Whether the third heaven and paradise be the same place, we cannot absolutely say; they probably are not; and it is likely St. Paul, at the time referred to, had at least two of these raptures*  But enough of authorities, if authorities have any weight.**


* Vide Commentary on this passage.


** The other passage, claimed by those who dissent from the opinion held by the “Ancient Church” and “Christian writers generally,” is found in Rev. 2: 27: “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the Tree of Life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God  This is a highly figurative passage, and its figures are founded upon man’s condition in the first age.  He was placed in an earthly paradise, specially prepared for him, in which was a tree of life, of which he was permitted to eat and live.  But all this he forfeited and lost, and from this earthly paradise he was driven forth and forbidden to eat of the tree of life, and left to die.  Now this promise of Christ’s looks forward to the time when this entire earth, defaced and wicked by sin, shall be restored and made one glorious paradise - indeed, the paradise of God, for he will dwell in it with his people, and it will be the true Tree of Life - Christ, the Redeemer, of which its glorious and glorified inhabitants may eat - by being made [Page 68] partakers of his life - and live forever.  See Revelation, chapters 20 and 21, where the promise is to be literally fulfilled upon this earth after it shall have been renewed, and become the beautiful abode of Christ and his bride - his redeemed people.  This passage, therefore, sustains, instead of militates, my position.



I present here another argument, though I have never seen it used before, still, to my mind, it is conclusive, and of itself alone sufficient to settle the meaning of the term paradise in this passage.  This letter was addressed to the Greeks.  Corinth was a Grecian city.  The church at Corinth was composed of converted Greeks.  In addressing them, the apostle, doubtless, used terms that they well understood, in order to make the proper impressions on their minds - give them just conceptions of the place or places he had, in vision, visited.  He told them that, in a state of undoubted consciousness - but whether his body accompanied his soul he could not say - he had been caught away - not up, for there is nothing in the original to justify the use of this or any other adverb, signifying a vertical direction - into a paradise.  The term paradise is a purely Greek word, borrowed from the Persian language, and could convey to the Greek mind but one definite conception: not the city and home of a king, not the metropolis of a kingdom, in which the king had his palace, and [Page 69] his throne, and held his court, but a mere pleasure garden, a beautiful park in some part of his kingdom, to which he and his family and his friends resorted occasionally and remained but temporarily.  The Greeks, I say, first became acquainted with this word by the description of Persian scenery, manners and customs given by Zenophon in his “Anabasis.” There he first saw a paradise, and graphically describes it “a large plot of ground, selected where it would embrace the largest number of natural attractions, diversified by hill and dale, and river and forest shades, often remote from the imperial city



This park was surrounded by a high wall, securely enclosed against all possible injury or danger from without, with strong gates and locks, so that no one could enter or depart without the king’s permission.*  The natural beauties of the place were made still more attractive by the assistance of art.  The king was lavish of his treasures in beautifying and adorning his paradise with everything calculated to ravish the senses.  Here was his summer-house, for his own family, and suitable ones for his friends and [Page 70] invited guests.  To this garden of pleasure the king would resort at particular seasons of the year with his family and especially invited guests, whose company he would most enjoy, and give himself up to perfect relaxation from all the cares of state, in the midst of these beauties of nature and the multiplied attractions of art, and the companionship of friends and every pleasant association.


* The king might well be said to have the keys of his own paradise, and a place so securely guarded, might well be called a prison - a custodia; but it is to preserve its occupants from the intrusion or disturbance of those without.



Throughout all parts of this paradise, through every winding walk, amid bewildering beauties and constantly opening scenes of enchanting loveliness, could the happy occupants stray, without one fear of harm from beasts of prey, or noxious serpent, or the intrusion of unwelcome visitants, or the alarm of enemies.  They were safely enclosed against all possible harm or disturbance from without, for in addition to the walls, there were the king’s powerful and watchful guards.


The term paradise, then, conveyed to the minds of the Greeks two distinct ideas:



1. A place of rest, from labours, cares and solicitudes, and the positive enjoyment arising from physical and mental relaxation, and from pleasant personal associations and the beauties of the place.



2. That it was only a place of a temporary, not a permanent abode.  It was a place of rest and [Page 71] pleasure, and not the palace and court of the king.



I claim that all the term, as used by Paul, conveyed to the Greek Christians at Corinth, was, that paradise was a blissful place of temporary rest, appointed to the friends of Christ to enjoy between death and the resurrection; and the impression made upon their minds by this statement of Paul was that he had not only been honoured by a visit to the king’s court and palace, but to his pleasure grounds - his paradise - also, and thus had made to him abundant revelations of the things to come; though it was not lawful or meet for him to explain them to the living, who are to walk by faith.*


* If it is still claimed that the term paradise, in Rev. 6., means heaven itself, these Greeks could not have known it, for the Revelation was not made until forty years after this epistle was written.



Another, and to my mind, a conclusive argument, is this:



Paradise, according to the teachings of Scripture, is in hades, and not in heaven.



When Christ died, and while his body was in the grave, his soul went into sheol - hades - the abode of disembodied spirits,* and did not ascend to heaven, to fulfil what was written by the prophets concerning Peter, in his first sermon declared that His [i.e., Christ’s] soul was not left in hades which [Page 72] clearly implies that He did enter that abode [as a disembodied soul].  In his first general letter, he mentions the circumstance especially: “ … being put to death as to the flesh, but being made quick or alive, with respect to the spirit, in which he went and preached to the spirits” in phulake, under safe keeping, under guard, in custody; unfortunately here translated, by the odious signification of custody, prison; as though guarded from doing others an injury, or, as condemned felons for punishment.  One thing is certain from this language, i.e., that Christ, and not some one else, did this preaching, and that He did it while He, as respects His body, was dead, and that He went, in His spirit, and preached to the spirits who were in custody.  They were in this state of being, guarded when he preached to them.  He preached to spirits who were once disobedient, while the long suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was preparing.  This implies that they were not impenitent when Christ visited them in connection with all the spirits of the just then in paradise, which we have seen is a place of custody - safe-keeping, and at the same time, of delight, happiness and rest - freedom from all annoyances, which it would not be unless guarded against intrusion from without.  Had they been disobedient at this time, Christ would not have preached unto them, for we have no account [Page 73] of his ever preaching to any one in tartarus or gehenna, unless this is indeed one of those places.  He “announced the good news for this is the meaning of the Greek term translated to preach; that he had died and made a full and complete satisfaction for all their sins, and it only now re-remained for him to arise from the dead for their justification, and ascend to the right hand of the Father as their High Priest and Intercessor, which he would do.  This would have been good news - the very gospel - to them, and would greatly have tended to encourage and reward their long and patient waiting for the fulfilment of the promises which they had believed unto the saving of their souls.**  Christ, then, did not preach repentance and faith to impenitent sinners in hell [i.e., in ‘the lake of fire,’ the eternal place of the unregenerate after their resurrection], but announced good news to the resting waiting saints in paradise, and the spirits of those once disobedient in the days of Noah, are specifically mentioned to teach us that Noah’s preaching and God’s long suffering and expectant waiting were not altogether in vain.  Some did hear and believe, and were taken away before the flood overwhelmed the ungodly.


[* Presumably, the disembodied “spirits” are angelic creatures; or, possibly those mentioned in Gen. 6: 1-4 - the “Nephilim,” - a name given in the R.V. to those born “when the sons of God (fallen angels) came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them,” R.V.  Compare this unnatural behaviour with the account of what happened in Sodom, as recorded for us in Gen. 19: 1-15.]


** For the future ‘salvation of souls,’ see Peter 1: 9 and context, R.V.]



I have commented at some length to rescue the true meaning of this passage from the double perversion under which it has so long rested, a perverted translation and a perverted interpretation.  But to return to the argument.


[Page 74]

The divine part or soul of Christ was with his brethren in hades during the three days his body lay in the grave, and there is a fitness in this - if it became him to be, in all things, like unto his brethren while in the flesh, why should he not have been with them during the period that lapsed between his death and resurrection?  Christ himself declared to the penitent thief that he should be with him - not in heaven, but in paradise, that day.  Three days [and nights] after this declaration and when he had just risen from the dead, when Mary would have embraced him, he said, “Touch me not, for I have not yet ascended to my Father etc.  Christ, therefore, was three days [and three nights] in paradise with the spirits of his brethren, and paradise is a blissful, yet guarded, abode of the righteous in hades - the middle life, or spirit-land, as tartarus is the miserable, yet equally guarded, abode of the wicked in the middle life.*


[* Always keep in mind the truth the word “wicked” does not always refer to unregenerate people.  “I wrote unto you in my epistle to have no company with fornicators; not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous and extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world: but now I write unto you not to keep company, with any man that is named a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such a one no, not to eat.  For what have I to do with judging them that are without?  Do not ye judge them that are within, whereas them that are without God judgeth?  Put away the wicked man from among yourselves:” (1 Cor. 5: 9-13, R.V.). cf. Num. 16: 25, 26 with 1 Cor. 10: 5 -11, R.V.]



We can learn from a comparison of the various passages, in which this state is referred to, the general conditions that govern it:



1. Let it be granted that it is all, and even more, to the spirits of the blest, than a royal paradise was, to a Persian, a place of indescribable bliss and beauty; a place of perfect rest from all labours, care and anxiety.  “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they rest from their labours, and their works [Page 75] do follow them* With death the very prayers of the saints cease.  David, as he closed his life, could say, “The prayers of thy servant David are ended  How false the creed of those who teach that the prayers of dead saints should be implored by the living.


* Rev. 14: 13.



Paradise, we learn, is a place of undisturbed repose, which no one from without can disquiet.  There the wicked cease from troubling and the weary are at rest.  It is for this very purpose that paradise is a guarded place - a place of custody - safe keeping - else the spirits of the righteous would be no more at rest and peace there than they are here in the body.  Satan and his angels would enter there, to tempt and torment just as they do here.  As the royal guards defended and safely kept the favourites of the king from all disturbing causes from without, so the angels of the Lord encamp around his saints and guard paradise from the intrusion of Satan and all satanic influences.  We see from this that neither the Witch of Endor, nor the wicked and God-forsaken king of Israel, could have - [without divine permission, and to predict a future and extraordinary event to happen at Messiah’s time of death, (Matt. 27: 52, 53)] - disquieted the soul of righteous Samuel, and commanded it back to earth and the wretched hovel of that vile sorceress, and compel it to disclose the secret which God had refused to impart to Saul, by priest or dream.


[Page 76]

We learn that the souls of the righteous are gathered together in holy companionship, and separated far from the wicked, and that both the good and the bad have not only a conscious existence, but that they recognize each other whom they have known here, and even others they have never before seen in the flesh.



It is said of Abraham, when he died, that he was gathered to his people.* He died far from the land of his birth, and was buried far from the graves of his people, and if the soul perishes with the body, or loses all consciousness until the resurrection, in no sense whatever could Abraham, or Isaac, or Jacob, who died in Egypt, or Aaron, whose solitary grave was upon Mount Hor, and Moses, the place of whose burial never was known to mortal man; I say, in no sense could these have been said, at death, to have been gathered to their own people, or fathers, except in conscious recognition in paradise.


* Gen. 25: 8.



King David, strong in this faith, could console himself at the loss of his child: “I shall one day go to it  He did not mean to the grave, in unconscious oblivion of children and friends alike, but I shall one day meet it, see it, know it, love it, be comforted by its presence, and associate with it.  It means this, or nothing.



It is worthy of notice, that once in the Old [Page 77] Testament, and once in the New Testament, the vail that shuts out the spirit-world is sufficiently drawn to reveal to us the fact, that disembodied spirits [and souls] in that world are classified together, according to the character they developed here in the flesh; the righteous into an abode or world by themselves, and the wicked into an abode or world by themselves, and that they do recognize and converse with each other there.



The following is the instance in the Old Testament - is found in the triumphant song which the Lord puts into the mouth of Israel at the death of the king of Babylon, their conqueror and cruel oppressor:



“Sheol - hades the spirit-world - from beneath, is moved for thee, to meet thee at thy coming; it stirreth up the dead for thee; even all the chief ones of the earth [i.e., those who had been earth’s chief and mighty men - fitting associates in that world of the fallen king]; it hath raised up from their thrones all the [disembodied spirits of the] kings of the nations.  All they shall speak and say unto thee, ‘Art thou, also, become as weak’ - powerless - as we?  Art thou become like unto us?  How art thou fallen from heaven, O! day-star, son of the morning!  Art thou cut down to the ground, who didst weaken the nations?  For thou hast said in thy heart, ‘I will ascend into heaven.  I will exalt my throne [Page 78] above the stars of God.  I will sit, also, upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north.  I will ascend above the heights of the clouds.  I will be like the Most Highyet thou hast been brought down to sheol - to the sides of the pit!  They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider [scrutinize] thee, saying, ‘Is this the man that made the earth to tremble - that did shake kingdoms?  That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof?  That opened not the house of his prisoners?’”



From this we learn that the intermediate state is one of consciousness.  The spirits of the mighty dead recognized the spirit of the king of Babylon, and rose up to meet him as he came among them.  They acknowledged their condition as one of weakness - powerless to influence or affect the living.



They reproached him for his wickedness in oppressing and destroying the nations, and cruelty to his prisoners, and taunt him with his proud vauntings when in the flesh.  We may safely conclude, then, that spirits, in the bodiless state, can converse together.



*       *       *




[Page 79]


Can the spirits of good men return to instruct or minister to the living? Do they recognize each other? Can the living send messages to their departed friends in Paradise? What may we learn from the history of Dives and Lazarus?



“There was a certain rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day; and there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, who was laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.  And it came [did come] to pass that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom; the rich man also died, and was buried; and in hades [not Gehenna-hell] he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.  And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am tormented in this flame. [Page 80] But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.  And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us that would come from thence.  Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldst send him to my father’s house, for I have five brethren, that he may testify unto them, lest they come to this place of torment.  Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets, let them hear them.  And he said, Nay, Father Abraham; but if one went to them from the dead, they will repent.  And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead*


* Luke 16: 19-31.



I accept this as a plain statement of facts, which had transpired before this was spoken.  It will not change the force of it in the least, to say that it was only a parable, for it would then teach what might be.  The Saviour never built a parable upon a falsehood.



What, then, are the principal facts we learn touching the Middle Life from the vision Christ gives us here of Hades?



1. The souls of saints, in their dying hour, are [Page 81] attended by angels,

and borne by them to the rest and bliss of paradise.



And it would not be unreasonable to conclude that the dying hours of wicked men are made dreadful by the presence of wicked spirits, and their spirits dragged by them into the darkness and torments of the lost in hades - the spirit world.



If it is true, and we do not doubt it, that dying saints enjoy the ministry of bright angels, who strengthen them to endure, without pain, the separation of the soul from the body, then the death hour is, in fact, delightful - even heavenly - rather than painful, dark and fearful.  Death is to them stingless; where, then, the pain or fear?  And if bright angels are around them, and seen by them - they are not left “comfortless” - the dying must be the happiest hour of life.  And are there not thousands of instances recorded where dying Christians have testified that all this was realized by them? and, just before the [animating] spirit left the body, when the eye was blind to earthly objects, have they not declared that they had visions of angels, and that their souls were ravished by sweetest music; and have we not seen the light unearthly glow in their faces?  Can we doubt the testimony of such “a cloud of witnesses



No sinner ever testified to such sights and sounds cheering his dying hour; but how many [Page 82] have testified to horrors of darkness and sights of malignant devils, affrighting their souls, and impatient to drag them away with them to torment!



Lazarus’ [disembodied soul] was carried by holy angels to hades, and to paradise in hades.  God’s angels were his servants, as they are of all God’s saints.



2. Lazarus became acquainted with the angels, and, without doubt, communicated with them.



So will all saints in the Middle Life, as Adam did, before he fell, with the angels in primeval paradise.  What delightful association and intercourse will this be!



3. Christ was with the thief in paradise, and we must believe that he still often visits his waiting saints there;

so that we may say, with Paul, if absent from the body we shall be present with the Lord.



4. Lazarus was assigned to a place of honour,

of highest honour among the inhabitants of paradise.



It was esteemed a mark of chiefest honour to recline on the bosom of a most distinguished personage.  Among the Jews, no person was so distinguished as Abraham.  The rich man, who in life, had accounted Lazarus as too mean to be allowed to cross his threshold, or to eat the crumbs with the dogs under his table, when in hades he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, to his surprise, he saw the beggar reclining [Page 84] upon his bosom, honoured with the nearest place to his person, as John, the beloved disciple, at the Passover, leaned upon the bosom of his Saviour.



5. Here we have the doctrine of the recognition

of spirits in the Middle Life.



Abraham knew Lazarus, and Lazarus certainly knew that it was Abraham’s bosom he reclined upon.  Dives recognized Abraham, though he saw him afar off - not afar up - and Abraham knew Dives.  Nothing is more clearly revealed in the sacred Scriptures than the recognition of earth-friends in the Middle Life.  Moses taught it when he, in so many places, speaks of the patriarchs being gathered to their fathers when their bodies were buried in far distant lands.  David taught it when he comforted his soul with the reflection that he should one day go to his child, though it could never return to him.  In what sense could a reunion be regarded as consolatory unless he should know his child when with it?  If David knew his child, shall I not know, will not all Christian parents know their lost children in the future state, and not their children only, but those loved ones who have gone before him?  There is no doubt of it.  Isaiah teaches the same when he informs us that the kings of the earth and the great ones rose up to meet the King of Babylon when he entered the spirit land (hades); knew him and accosted him, and even taunted him with his former haughtiness, cruelties and present weakness.  But if there was not another passage in the Bible, this narration is sufficient to establish the delightful fact of the recognition of not only friends, but of all the saved in the spirit state.  If Dives recognised Abraham, whom he had never seen, as well as Lazarus, whom he had, who will say that I may not know Paul, or Paul not recognize the patriarchs?  On the Mount of Transfiguration, Peter, James and John recognized Moses and Elijah, and how unreasonable for any one to deny the recognition of friends in the Middle Life!



6. They not only know, but communicate with each other,

as with the angels in the spirit state.



Dives and Abraham held this conversation, though not in the same divisions of hades, but far separated, as the wicked are from the just.  How much more the happy spirits in blessed companionship with each other!



7. We learn that Abraham had learned, and doubtless from Lazarus, how the rich man had lived,

and how he himself had been treated by Dives in the earth life.



Abraham, knew all, and if he did not learn it from Lazarus, he had from some other good spirit who had come from earth cognizant of the fact, and so far as concerns our argument, it makes no difference.  Abraham knew all - how Dives had received his good things and Lazarus his evil [Page 85] things; and he could not have learned them by his own observation, for the dead know not any thing of their own observation.



Then we are authorized to conclude that spirits going from earth can communicate to spirits in paradise all they know of earth? and of persons living on the earth.  Let this be borne in mind, for



8. Spirits going from earth carry with them not only their personal consciousness,

but their memories and earthly affinities.



The rich man was not only conscious of his own existence, but he remembered his five brethren, living on in sin as he himself had lived, and following his example; and he loved his own brethren, and felt a deeper interest in and concern for them than for any other sinners living on the earth.  For these alone he most earnestly prayed and supplicated, if, perchance, some note of warning from the dead might be sent to them; and Abraham bid him remember, too, how that in this life he had had his good things, and to remember, also, how Lazarus had suffered.  Here we have conscience, and memories, and affinities - the noblest attributes of our being - carried with us into the spirit life, and the fact clearly established that we shall love best in that world those we loved best in this; that the death change - the mere dropping off our bodies - will no more affect our spirits [Page 86] than the putting off our garments when we retire to bed affects our bodies - i.e., changes their natures or impulses.  Our consciousness and our memories, our affections and aversions go with us to paradise; and all we have known of persons or things on earth we can communicate to the residents of that blest land of rest.



Why, then, should it be deemed a thing impossible or improbable for departing saints to bear messages from us to our loved ones, who still love us and await our coming?  Not that they can communicate with us, but can they not receive information from saints coming from earth of their friends here, as Abraham learned the character and acts of Dives from Lazarus?  There can be no reasonable doubt of it; the contrary would be both improbable and unreasonable.



Said a dying wife - even after the sad farewell had been spoken, and the last kiss impressed, and the eye seemed closed in death, and the last breath exhaled - turning her face to ours, and her face glowing as with the light flashing from an angel’s wing, “I shall see our dear mother in a few moments; what message shall I bear her from you?* We gave the message.  “I will certainly tell her; all is bright; angels wait for me” - and she was gone.



The Bible unmistakably teaches us, that the [Page 87] spirits of good persons cannot return to earth to minister in any way to the living.



David specifically declared concerning his departed child, “can I bring him back again? - he shall not return to me*


* 2 Sam. 1: 12, 23.



This declaration is left upon record for the instruction of every bereaved parent who should ever live.  If David could not bring his child back; if it could never return to him, then it is certain that the child, relation, or friend of no living being will ever or can ever return.  … The holy dead are where “the wicked cease from troubling



Paul knew that he could not return to teach, or in any way minister to or benefit his living brethren and for this reason only, was loth to depart this life, and so cease to be useful to them.  When contemplating his departure as a gain to himself, yet he said, “to abide in the flesh is more needful to you  Could he have returned in spirit and communicated as it is claimed that the spirits of good men can and do, he would have been a thousand times more useful to them than when living.  He could have visited daily every church he ever planted, and addressed epistles to them from the [Page 88] heavenly world [of Sheol/Hades], and have saved them the expense of a living fallible ministry!  But if Paul could not return to “sιance” with surviving friends, then the spirit of no other good man ever yet returned to minister to, or converse with and instruct the living, and to believe that they have returned or do return, is to believe what is false and delusive.




To my mind, the plain construction of Abraham’s final answer to Dives, teaches us that no one from the spirit world can communicate with the living, unless he rose from the dead.  Now we know that Modern Spiritists do not claim or believe that the spirits that communicate with them rise from the dead, and therefore, they certainly are not the spirits of those who once lived in the flesh.



*       *       *

[Page 89]





Can the spirits of the wicked men return from Hades,

to communicate with or molest the living?



Now the question, so important to this discussion, comes up naturally here, Can the spirits of wicked men leave their abode and return to influence, instruct or torment the living?  Are they permitted to mingle with the living - learn, from their own observation, what is taking place here, and the situation of their families and friends, and so warn and minister to them; or, molest and disturb those obnoxious to them?



The position I feel justified, by reason and revelation in laying down, is this:



That when men, good or bad, are removed from this to the Middle Life, all their works, all their labours, and all their ministry, for good or evil, cease from the earth; only the influence of their works, performed, “follow them” and influence the living.  And further, when we leave this world, all our knowledge of its affairs, even of our own [Page 90] families and friends, derived from personal observation, ceases.*


* The possible knowledge of what transpires on earth, attainable, in the spirit life, will be elsewhere considered.



That this was the faith of the saints of all ages, is evidenced from the sacred Scriptures.  Job who lived contemporaneous with the sons of Jacob, says of the man who passed into sheol - the spirit land.  “His sons come to honour, and he knoweth it not; they are brought low and he perceiveth it not*


* Job 14: 21.



He is not present with them in spirit form to perceive it of them - to have a personal conscious knowledge of it, as he would have if he were a ministering spirit, ever present with then.  Solomon, by inspiration, declared this fact: “The dead knew not anything*


* Eccl. 9: 5.



He evidently does not mean that the dead have no consciousness in the Middle Life; that they do not know what is lawful and proper, and necessary to be known in that state, for this would be in palpable contradiction of other Scriptures, but that their personal knowledge and observation of mundane affairs ceased at their death.  His subsequent exhortation, based upon this fact, amply sustains this interpretation: “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do with thy might; for there [Page 91] is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave [Heb. ‘sheol’], whither thou goest*


* Eccl. 9: 10.



This teaches us that if we have a desire to do good on earth, to work, or devise for or minister unto the living, to do it with our might while here in the flesh with them, for we can do nothing for them when we have passed into sheol - the unknown.  If this is equally true of all, it is certainly true of the spirits of wicked men.  But Christ leaves us in no doubt touching the ability of the spirits of wicked men to return and warn the living.  In teaching his disciples with respect to the conditions of the good and bad in the future life, he gave a relation of facts in the case of the rich man and Lazarus.  Suffice it to say again here, that so far as its bearing upon the state of the departed is concerned, it matters not whether it be interpreted as a narrative or a parable, for in either case its picture of their condition must be regarded as one which accords with substantial truth.



In this Scripture we have clearly stated the doctrine that a conscious misery after death awaits all who die impenitent; that the wicked carry into the Middle Life all the memories of their past life, with their affection for family and kindred.  We learn that, only second to the relief from personal sufferings, was the desire of Dives [Page 92] to warn his five brethren, still in the flesh of the danger to which they were exposed.  It is evident that had it been possible for him to have communicated with them in any way - by raps, sounds or sights - he would have done so, and he would have told them the fearful truth that if they died as he died, they would, in the spirit state, as he was then doing, lift up their eyes in torments.  But it was denied the rich man to leave his wretched abode and revisit his palatial mansion, and cool his tongue with the water he might find there.*


* It is reported that spirits call for water and drink copiously; the water, at least, disappears mysteriously, and the spirits say they drink it!


He could not communicate in any way with his brethren, either to them directly or through a living medium, by raps or writing, and, therefore, his touching supplication to Abraham to permit Lazarus to go and communicate with his brethren, and warn them not to follow his example and come to that place of torment.  The rich man was in hades, subject to the conditions and laws that govern the spirit life, and he could no more pass out and return to earth and warn the living, than the living can, at will, pass into the spirit-world and converse with them and return.  Christ himself has the keys of hades,* and this implies that it [Page 93] is a place enclosed and barred against all egress or ingress, except by His own permission.**


[* Rev. 1: 18, R.V.  ** Compare 1 Sam. 28: 11-21 with Matthew 27: 52, 53, R.V.: and note that the scripture is silent as to the place where these risen saints went afterwards!  If Samuel went into the presence of God in heaven, after being raised from the dead to speak to Saul; then why not David, whom Peter, hundreds of years later states: “For David ascended not into the heavens” (Acts 2: 34, R.V.)!]



If such a clear enunciation of such a terrible fact needs corroboration, the declaration of Peter is sufficient: “The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation, and to reserve the unjust under punishment to the day of judgment.*


*2 Pet. 2 - Bible Union translation.



This teaches us that the spirits of wicked men are not only reserved - kept under guard, under “lock and key” - but in this guarded state are suffering punishment.  They may not leave the place at their will and pleasure, even though they carried their punishment in their own bosoms with them.



From this parable we also learn the conditions that govern the spirits of wicked men in the middle life.



1. That they are far separated from the righteous

 in the middle life.



Not only are the saints guarded from intrusion on the part of evil spirits (the devil and his angels) from without - so that they cannot enter to tempt and trouble, as they do the righteous here - but the spirits of bad men are not allowed to enter the peaceful rest of paradise, or to come near.  Were they permitted to do so, the wicked there could disturb the repose and enjoyment of [Page 94] the friends of Jesus, as they do here.  Blessed rest, indeed, where emphatically “the wicked cease from troubling and the weary are at rest  We learn also,



2. That good spirits are neither required nor permitted to minister to the spirits of the wicked, to ameliorate, in

any respect, their condition in the middle life.



The Scriptures teach that at death the blessed dead cease from their labours, both in respect to those living on this earth and the spirits of the lost in hades; and not only is their work, their labours, cares and anxieties, but even their prayers are ended.  David could exclaim, with the last prayer he offered on earth, “The prayers of thy servant David are ended and the prayers of all Christians for others with their earth life cease.  How vain to hold the faith of the Catholics and Spiritists, that our sainted dead can pray for us, or that we should pray to them to intercede, or in any way assist us!  It is setting aside the sole advocacy and intercession of Jesus Christ to practice it; it is to reject him altogether, for unless he is the only mediator between God and men, he is not a mediator at all.  How the thought drew tears from my eyes, as I closed the lips of my sainted mother, that they had breathed the last prayer her spirit ever could breathe for me.  Her service [Page 95] of prayer, as well as of labour, for me was ended!* Nor would the prayers or ministry of saints or angels benefit those who died in impenitency, for the word of God distinctly teaches us, that “as the tree falleth, so it will lie that no change can be wrought in the moral nature of the lost in the spirit life.  The dread fiat of a just God is: “LET HIM THAT IS FILTHY BE FILTHY STILL  Forever filthy, polluted and vile, and, consequently, miserable!  We learn, also, -


* Sinner, if you would have a prayer breathed for you by parent or Christian friends, seek them while they and you both are here, and not after they have passed from earth.



3. That Dives could not, in any form, return to earth to communicate with his five brethren,

for whom he felt a concern only second to his own wretched condition.

If he could have returned, would he not have done so?



Who can doubt it for one moment?  This is the question for the reader to decide, and I entreat the reader to decide it right here.  If Dives could have returned to earth, and, through any conceivable medium, person or thing, or in spirit form and with spirit voice, or by the voice or pen of earthly medium, have communicated with his brethren, would he not have done so?  You are bound to answer this in the affirmative.  But he had not returned, [Page 96] he did not, and, therefore, it is conclusive that he could not do so.  We learn -



4. If Dives could not return to earth to communicate with the living,

no other disembodied spirit [or soul] could do so.



They are in prison, under guard.  The gates of hades are locked upon them, as well as upon the righteous; neither can depart thence until He, who has the keys of hades opens and brings them forth to glory or to shame.  But then there is this difference between the righteous and the wicked: the former desire not to go forth to be again troubled and worn, tempted or distressed by the wicked without; and, though the wicked would escape out, they cannot.  While the Custody of paradise is grateful to the righteous, since it guards and protects them from the evils and perils from without, its guarded walls and bolted doors reserve the wicked, in its far-separated abode, in the torments of bitter recollections and hopeless despair unto the day of judgment to be punished.  Though impossible for Dives, and if possible for any or all other impenitent spirits, why could he not induce some one of their uncounted number to return to earth and bear a message to his living friends - some one from the wicked dead?  There is but one answer: no one of them could return to earth, and no one on earth had power to bring them back from the [Page 97] spirit land and force from them a revelation - no one in the universe but He who bears the keys of hades.  We learn from this, -



5. That if Dives could have returned and communicated with his [unsaved] brethren, he would have

told them that there was an endless hell [in the ‘lake of fire’]; a state of indescribable misery

and anguish, like being tormented in flames; and have warned them if

they lived on as he had lived, they would come

to the same awful punishment.



And we are justifiable in concluding, that if Dives would have delivered such a message to the living impenitent, every other lost soul, that had lived in the flesh and left wicked relatives or friends, would deliver the same warning, if permitted to return to earth and communicate with them, by mediums.  Why was this narration given to us, unless to teach us that lost souls of men are unwilling for those they love on earth to be associated with them in the world of woe; and, perhaps, the thought that they have encouraged them in a course of sin, if they did not lead them into it, intensifies the flames that consumes them by adding stings to memory that has been transformed into a fiery scorpion to torment them?  We learn from Abraham’s reply, -



6. That the teachings of Moses and the prophets, under the old Dispensation, were sufficient to lead all sinners to Christ, without additional [Page 98] revelations from other sources, and who will deny that these,

with the teachings of Christ and his apostles under the present dispensation, are sufficient,

and that the revelations “from the dead” are needless?



We learn also, from Abraham’s reply, -



7. That revelations from the dead would be useless and unavailing and therefore,

are not, and have never been, granted to the living.



All communications that have been claimed as coming from the dead -

the spirits of dead men are spurious.



Finally, we learn from Abraham’s reply, -



8. That the only way the dead could communicate with the living,

would be to rise from the dead.



The body of that dead person would have to be raised up and reanimated by the spirit, before it could hold converse or have communication with the living.  Who will claim that this can be done, by the will of living man or spirit?  It is worthy of special consideration in this connection, that in no instance [except the one before mentioned, at the time of Christ’s / Messiah’s death, (1 Sam. 28: 8-19)] - where, by the special power of God, the dead have been raised up, whether by prophets or by Christ and his apostles - was the raised person permitted to reveal anything he or she may have learned, saw or heard, in the spirit land; nor was Paul permitted to speak of the things he saw and heard in paradise.  Now, if the [Page 99] raised dead, nor the inspired apostle, who we know were for a season in the spirit land, were not permitted to give the least information to the living, are we at liberty to conclude that the spirits of good or bad, dwelling there, are permitted to do so in any conceivable, way?



I feel justified in concluding from these Scriptures -



1. That “death puts an end to all our relations with the present world



2. That the spirits of wicked men are forbidden any communication with the living, even though they may desire to impart to them the most important information, even that which would save their souls.*


[* 1 Pet. 1: 5, 9; Jas. 1: 21, R.V.]



3.  That if the spirit of a wicked man could return to earth, above all things, it would warn its living kindred of the torments of [Sheol/Hades and] hell, and exhort them to turn from sin and seek salvation.



And with respect to the manifestations of Modern Spiritism:






1. They are not permitted to return and communicate with, or minister to the living; of our affairs in this world, they know - are unable, personally, to perceive - nothing, and, therefore, are nor ministering spirits to the living.

[Page 100]


2. They are not the spirits of wicked men that are allowed to leave their abode of torments, or they would incessantly plead with the living to forsake sin, and not live wickedly and die impenitent, and sink to endless unhappiness.  But the spirits of Modern Spiritism use the opportunities they have of communicating with the living in the most useless manner conceivable, imparting no really valuable instruction - never warning their living ungodly friends, children, brethren, of the torments of [Hades and] hell, but, contrariwise, teach them that hell is a fable, and that the ultimate state of all who die will be one of bliss; and that all, after death, enter upon a state of progression upward.  The messages of these modern spirits, then, are not such as the messages of the spirits of the wicked dead would be, it allowed to return and communicate with the living.



3. The souls of men do not receive increased power or strength to move ponderable bodies by the death-change; and, therefore, the spirits of neither good nor bad men are able to perform the feats of power performed by modern spirits (I refer to the raising of a heavy extension table with one or more men upon it.)



I believe that the soul of man, in its bodiless form, is utterly powerless to act upon a ponderable body.  The spirits of kings, priests and mighty men in hades are represented by Isaiah as weak.  In their address to the king of Babylon, [Page 101] upon his spirit [i.e., his disembodied soul] entering their abode, they ask: “Art thou also become weak as we  Power and strength may be one of the elements of the raised and redeemed spiritual body, for that which was sown in weakness is to be raised in power; not powerfully raised, but raised a powerful spiritual body, in this respect as in others like unto the body of Christ.



I think we are bound to conclude from the above considerations, that the spirit of no wicked man ever yet did, or will ever be permitted to return to earth - [before the time of Resurrection at Christ’s return, (1 Thess. 4: 16)] - to instruct or molest the living.



Christ reserves, keeps in close confinement, the spirits of the wicked, under punishment unto the day of judgment, and certain it is that Satan has no power to release them from this condition, though it was to send them back to deceive the living.



Grant that there are communications from the spirits of another world; they are not the spirits of departed men.



We have reached at least three conclusions by admitting the testimony of God’s word.  1. That the spirits of wicked men cannot return in any form to communicate with or disturb the living; and 2. That it is impossible for the spirits of saints to do so; and 3. IF EITHER WERE PERMITTED TO RETURN, THEY WOULD NEITHER DO NOR TEACH WHAT IS DONE AND TAUGHT BY MODERN SPIRITISM.


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[Page 102]





Conclusion - Brief summary of views and application to Swedenborgianism and Spiritism



A chain of ten thousand links, however massive and strong apparently, possesses only the strength of its weakest link.  To render the chain useless, it is not necessary to crush each link in detail, but simply to break one, though that one may be its weakest.  So a religious system, like a chain, is no stronger than any one of its fundamental facts or doctrines, and to disprove and overthrow the system, we need only to disprove any one of these.



Let the Infidel disprove the divinity of Christ, and the whole system of Christianity would inevitably fall.  Let any one fact revealed by the Holy Spirit, found within the lids of the Bible, be disproved, and every intelligent man and woman would at once surrender the entire book as unauthentic and unreliable.



If it can be proved that Mahomet uttered one untruth, that he was an impostor, is as completely established as though every utterance of his was shown to be a falsehood.  So in disproving Swedenborgianism or Spiritism, I do not deem it necessary to assail every claim put forth, every position upon which they are based in detail, but only to show my readers that some of the doctrines fundamental to them are false.



Now Emanuel Swedenborg, the author of Swedenborgianism, as Mahomet was of Mahometanism, or Christ of Christianity, lays it down as a fundamental doctrine, that all angels, good or bad, were once mortals, and dwelt in the flesh as we now do.*  He teaches this doctrine as the prophet of the New Jerusalem Church; and if it is false, then his system, built upon this cardinal doctrine, is false, and an imposture upon the ignorance and credulity of the people.  But I have proved by the word of God, that this doctrine is false. (See chapterII.)  No angel, good or bad, was ever a mortal man or woman, and, therefore, that no mortal man, woman or child will ever or can ever become an angel, good or bad; that we ought not to wish or pray to be angels, or teach our children to sing,


“I want to be an angel,

And with the angels stand;

A crown (?) upon my forehead,” &c.


* See extract at the head of chapter II


[Page 103]

No angel ever did or ever will wear a “crown  It is not promised to them to be kings or priest unto God; but it is to the redeemed by the blood of Christ, and to redeemed sinners only, and such will be exalted far above the angels, who are only God’s servants and our servants, when we become the [regenerate] children of God.  No intelligent Christian would exchange his titles, to-day, for that of any angel, or the archangel himself, sooner than the Prince of Wales would exchange his title for the position of the highest servant of his mother’s household, or court, or cabinet - the Premier himself.



There were angels before man was created.  It was an apostate angel that tempted our first parents to sin, and, therefore, there were angels, good and bad, before a man or woman ever died.  Swedenborg was a false teacher, and an impostor, and his system is false.



And so is Spiritism, also, since this identical doctrine is fundamental to it.  Its most authoritative mediums declare that its most reliable “Spirits” so teach, and, therefore, we know that the whole system built up upon false premises, is false.  Thus is the staple drawn, to which the whole chain is attached, and staple and chain alike fall together.



2. But Swedenborgianism, equally teaches, that at death the spirits [Page 105] of the just go at once to heaven, and that there is no resurrection of the dead.



I have demonstrated by the word of God that both these positions are false, and subversive of the whole system of Christianity.  Therefore, no one, however pious he or she may profess to be, can hold to both systems - Christianity and Spiritism.  He must either love the one and hate the other, or hold to the one and despise the other; they are contradictory and antagonistic.  A Christian cannot be a Spiritist or Swedenborgian, any more than he can be a Mahometan; he cannot be a disciple of Christ and deny the Bible.



3. It is claimed by both Swedenborgianism and Spiritism, that the spirits of departed mortals do return to minister to the living, as “ministering angels,” and that they can and do communicate in various ways to us, by raps, by writing personally, by proxy, and, indeed, of late audibly, and even appearing in visible form in the dimly lighted and properly prepared rooms.




I have shown conclusively that this contradicts the plain and simple teachings of the Bible, and must be regarded as false by all who receive the Bible, and for such alone, I write these chapters.  If the reader still doubts, I urge him to re-read [Page 106] chapters viii., ix. and x. carefully and without prejudice.



“The rap may be ultra mundane, and yet that single fact is insufficient to prove that the deceased friends can communicate with us.” - Robert Dale Owen, Spirualist.



This is the frank admission of the most intelligent, advanced and popular advocate of Spiritisin of the age.



It is a fact, that raps are produced by a table, when in contact with one or more persons, and that furniture is moved under similar circumstances; but it has been demonstrated, and is daily demonstrated, that these raps, and, indeed, every physical manifestation performed by Spiritists, and claimed to be effected through the agency of disembodied Spirits, CAN BE PERFORMED WITUOUT THE ASSISTANCE OF SPIRITS OF ANY KIND.  No Spiritist has yet proved that the raps are produced by spirits, much less disembodied spirits.  It is in proof, that in every instance where the test has been made, that the number of raps, and the movements of furniture, &c., are controlled by the strongest mind or minds of the circle or parties in rapport.  It is in proof, that the same “Spirit” speaking through the same medium, teaches the leading sentiments of the different circles communicating with it.  And furthermore, in [Page 107] proof that if the leading mind or minds of any given circle, determine for a living person to answer as though a spirit, or even an insect under the name of a person, it is readily accomplished, which is proof demonstrative that spirits do not produce the raps or communications.



But granting that Mr. Owen can prove that raps or physical manifestations have been produced by ultra-mundane causes, spirits of some sort, it has not yet been proved, nor do I believe it can be, that the spirits of our departed friends have any agency in causing them.  I am not prepared to deny what evil spirits now do, and may yet do to deceive the living, but I am prepared to deny that disembodied souls, good or bad, have or can ever produce a rap or physical manifestation, or reveal themselves to the eyes of mortals.



I have shown that good angels are the servants of God, and never communicated with mortals, unless commanded by God to do so, and then their communications were always instructive, important and reliable, and never contradictory, which is not the case with the communications received in the sιances of Spiritists.



The Book of Revelation of Jesus Christ, is the last revelation of God by angel or man to the race, and no good angel or spirit would presume to add to that, or teach anything contradictory to what is in that revealed, or what God, through [Page 108] angels and prophets and his Son, has elsewhere revealed to us.  Only things revealed belong to us, and it is sinful to pry into those unrevealed, and neither good angels nor good spirits would wish or dare to communicate them if they could.



I have shown in these pages that the spirits of “just men” cannot minister to or communicate with the living, and if they could, they would not follow the living for years to disturb, annoy and distress them by rappings and poundings in our chambers, nor would they teach such doctrines or make such foolish and useless communications as these spirits generally do, and then they would certainly know quite as much as they did in the flesh, which is not the case with these spirits who profess to be our deceased friends.*


* See Spiritism Explained and Exposed, by the author.



I have shown from the history of the rich man and Lazarus, that if the wicked dead could return, instead of teaching those they loved in life, that there is no future endless punishment, as these modern spirits do, they would invariably (?) as the rich man desired to do, and warn and intreat them not to live in the flesh as they had done, so that they might escape the endless torments that await all those who die impenitent.  Therefore, I am forced to conclude that neither good angels, nor yet the disembodied spirits [or souls] of good or bad men, rap or write, or mutter, or whisper in the sιances of Spiritists, but if they are, indeed, produced by spirits at all, they are the “spirits of demonsdoing “wonders to deceive, if it were possible, the very “elect” - the last attempt of Satan, the father of lies, and of all hypocrisies, to destroy the faith of the race in God’s revealed word.*


* See Rev. 16: 13, 14.



The [well informed] Christian, will not he caught in this snare; the language of his heart will ever be:-



“Should all the forms that men devise,

Assault my faith with treacherous art,

I’d call them vanity and lies,

And bind Thy Gospel to my heart



*       *       *

[Pages 109- 155 contain Appendix No. 1, No. 2 and No 3: all have to do with spiritism and are not included.]

[Page 155]




No. 4.






1 PETER 3: 18-20.



I know of no worse translated or interpreted passage in the New Testament.  It has suffered in both these respects, in order to take it out of the hands of the Papists, who press it into the service of purgatory.  We present the following as the literal translation:


[Page 156]

“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but alive in the Spirit; in which he went and preached to the souls of men in safe keeping [or Paradise], who sometime were disobedient, when once the long suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was building etc.



Touching the translation, we quote, with approbation, the remarks of Bishop Horsely:-



“The Spirit, in these English words, seems to be put, not for the soul of Christ, but for the Divine Spirit; and the sense seems to be that Christ, after he was put to death, was raised to life again by the Holy Spirit.  But this, though it be the sense of the English translation, and a true proposition, is certainly not in the sense of the Apostle’s words.  It is of great importance to remark, though it may seem a grammatical nicety, that the prepositions, in either branch of this clause, have been supplied by the translators, and are not in the original.  The words ‘flesh’ and ‘spirit’ in the original, stand without any preposition, in that case which, in the Greek language, without any preposition, is the case either of the cause or instrument by which, of the time when, of the place where, of the part in which, of the manner how, or of the respect in which, according to the exigence of the context; and, to any one who will consider the original with critical accuracy, it will be obvious, from the perfect antithesis of these two clauses concerning flesh and spirit, that if the word ‘spirit’ denote the active cause by which Christ was restored to life, which must be supposed by them who understand the word of the Holy Ghost, the word ‘flesh’ must equally denote the active cause by which he was put to death, which therefore must have been the flesh of his own body - an interpretation too manifestly absurd to be admitted.  But if the word ‘flesh’ denote, as it most evidently does, the part in which death took effect upon him, ‘spirit’ must denote the part in which life was preserved in him - that is, his own soul; and the word ‘quickened’ is often applied to signify, not the resuscitation of life extinguished, but the preservation and continuance of life subsisting.  The exact rendering, therefore, of the Apostle’s words would be, ‘being put to death in the flesh, but quick in the spirit’ - that is, surviving in his soul the stroke of death which his body had sustained - ‘by which,’ or rather ‘in which’ - that is, in which surviving soul - ‘he went and preached to the souls of men in prison, or in safe keeping.’”



“The spirits preached to” are expressly affirmed to be those “which sometime were disobedient” in the days of Noah, when “the long suffering of God waited” for them.


[Page 158]

This word, “sometime is the same word that Paul uses when he said to the Ephesians (2: 13), “ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ and again to Titus (3: 3): “We ourselves were sometime foolish, disobedient,” etc., but now are “made heirs according to the hope* of eternal [aionian ‘age-lasting’] life.” [verse 7]


[* NOTE.  Regenerate believers don’t ‘hope’ for something they presently have!   “Eternal life” is “the free gift of God” (Rom. 6: 23, R.V.), and is a present possession to all who have been justified by faith alone: “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance Rom. 11: 29.  That is, God will never change His mind after giving His redeemed people ‘aionian life,’ which has been purchased in full by our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. 


But this same Greek adjective ‘aionian’ can be interpreted  to mean age lasting, if the context so indicates!  Therefore, in Titus 3: 3 above, we have aionian life described as a hope: and therefore something which is not certain!  Regenerate Christians cannot lose “eternal life,” but through their disobedience and foolishness, they can lose age-lasting life by not being judged “worthy to attain (i.e., ‘gain by effort’) to that age (the millennium), and the resurrection out from dead ones” (Luke 20: 35, Greek).]


It being thus declared that they were sometime disobedient, would imply, then, that they were disobedient only for a time - that being during the period “when once the long suffering of God waited in the days of Noah



The “long suffering” which then waited, is the same Greek word that Peter uses when he accounts* “that the long suffering of our Lord is salvation and which Paul used when he wrote** “Despisest thou the riches of his goodness, and forbearance, and long suffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth them to repentance Peter also says*** that “the Lord is long suffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance  The long suffering of God, therefore, in the days of Noah, was to give opportunity for repentance to the disobedient.


* 2 Eph. 3: 15.  ** Rom. 2: 4.   *** 2 Pet. 3: 9.



The word rendered “waited occurs in the New Testament only in seven other places, as follows:


[Page 159]

John 5: 2: “Waiting for the moving of the waters  Acts 17: 16: “While Paul waited for them  1 Cor. 11: 33: “Tarry one for another16: 11: “I look for him  Heb. 10: 18: “Expecting till his enemies11: 10: “He looked for a cityJames 5: 7: “The husbandmen waiteth etc.



The Greek word is defined by Robinson as meaning “to receive from any quarter;” or, in the New Testament, inchoatively, to be about to receive from any quarter - i.e., to wait for, to look for, to expect.



The import of the passage, then, would be that those in prison that Christ preached to were those for whom the long suffering of God, in the time of Noah, waited in expectation that they would become heirs of salvation, which God would not have done unless they were to become such; and that they did so become is intimated by the remark that they were “sometime disobedient” - i.e., that they did not thus continue, but were recovered from their disobedient condition.



Is there not reason then, to hope that a portion of those who sat under Noah’s preaching, repented and became subjects of grace?  For one hundred and twenty years did the long suffering of God thus wait; and would it have thus expected, if there were to be no results conformable to the [Page 160] expectation?  It is not necessary to suppose that all who heard Noah died in hardened impenitence.



What, then, became of those subjects of God’s waiting salvation?  God’s purpose to remove the race and to re-people the earth, did not demand that more than Noah and his family should survive the flood, any more than it did that more than a pair of each kind of bird and animal should survive.  The one hundred and twenty years, then? gave time for the removal of all who believed before the waters came upon them.  Even Methuselah died only a year before the flood; and so many have died, all who were only “disobedient” during that “waiting of God’s long suffering Thus, merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.  He shall enter into peace; they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.*


* Isa. 57: 1, 2.



As the Ark was designed to save only the family of Noah, with animals of each kind, God would remove those who did not continue disobedient, before the evil of the coming flood should come on them.



The word rendered “prison” in the text, is the same that is rendered “watch” in Matt. 24: 43: “in what watch the thief would come and it is defined by Robertson as a “watch on guard[Page 161] A person thus under watch or guard may be said to be guarded, or in prison.  The word is also used to denote a watch-post, station; and is thus used by the Seventy in Hab. 2: 1: “I will stand upon my watch etc.  By the spirits being in prison, therefore, it is not necessary to understand that they were culprits, but that they were in safe keeping [Paradise], until the day of their final resurrection.*


* The English word “prison,” as Lord Coke observes, “was only a place of safe custody; but now, by a change of use, we use it only in its bad sense – as a place of degrading confinement - which has obscured the sense of the passage.”



The term “Paradise implies the idea of being guarded - safely kept - as well as that of a high degree of enjoyment arising from the associations and beauties of the place.  It was introduced into the Greek by Xenophon, who derived it from the Persians.  The Persian Paradise was a large plot of ground (park), surrounded by a high wall, to protect its occupants from molestation from enemies, or wild beasts from without.  This park was adorned with everything to contribute to delight the senses, and used as a place of rest and relaxation from anxiety, and toll, and of positive enjoyment.



Here the king, with his family and invited friends would resort at stated times, throwing off [Page 162] all cares of state, and give themselves up to rest and pleasure.  The Paradise was so securely guarded that they had no fears from the assaults of enemies or attacks of wild beasts.  The intermediate state is beautifully represented as a Paradise, where the saints rest, safely guarded from the assaults of Satan and his angels who infest this world, and tempted and annoyed them here.  There, “where the wicked cease from troubling and the weary are at rest,” they enjoy the frequent visitation of the Saviour, and the association of all the holy and the good - patriarchs, prophets, apostles and martyrs - who, with them, wait for the redemption of their bodies at the second coming of Christ.*


[* See Rom. 8: 23, R.V.]



While the spirits to which Christ preached are thus designated as those who were sometime disobedient, when God’s long suffering waited for their conversion during the building of the Ark, and which, because they did not continue disobedient, are now in safe keeping, as they were at the time when Peter wrote, it remains to be considered: when did Christ in spirit go and preach to them? and what was the purpose of his preaching?



In answer to this, it will be noticed that Peter does not say that Christ preached to them when, but that he preached to those who were thus sometime disobedient; but when he went and preached to them they were “spirits in prison[Page 163] The place of the departed is sometimes referred to as a prison, from which the righteous are to be delivered.  While it is gain for them to die - far better than to continue here - yet their condition in hades (Paradise) must be one of unfinished happiness, and consisting principally in rest, security and hope, and not in any participation of the portion which is to be given only at the resurrection.  Had not sin entered the world, their full fruition of hope would have been participated in, without the entrance into and rest in hades (Paradise).  And the death and resurrection of Christ will result in the removal from thence of those who are in safe keeping, and their resurrection to that exalted condition which would have been attained without death had there been no sin.  Thus we read in Hos. 13: 14: “I will ransom them from the power of sheol, I will redeem them from death.  O death, I will be thy plagues!  O sheol, I will be thy destruction  And Paul quoting this (1 Cor. 15: 55), exclaims, “O death, where is thy sting? O hades, where is thy victory  In Rev. 20: 14, “death the last enemy of the redeemed, with “hades their intermediate abode, is to be cast into the lake of fire.  Job speaks of “the bars of sheol” (17: 16); and Hezekiah said: “I shall go to the gates of sheol”* but God “hath broken [Page 164] the gates of brass and cut the bands of iron in sunder”** He will say “to the prisoners, go forth; and to them that are in darkness” - [in the invisible or unseen -] “show yourselves,” and then “they shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.  They shall not hunger nor thirst, neither shall the heat nor sun smite them; for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them***


* Isa. 38: 10.  ** Psalms 8: 16.   *** Isa. 49: 9, 10.



The only “prison” in which those sometime disobedient but repentant spirits are, must be sheol or hades, which Christ will destroy, and from which he will ransom them; and to have gone and preached to the spirits in prison, he must have entered the place of the departed, and preached to them there - when he went with the thief to Paradise on the day of their crucifixion.  And this is not only in harmony with Peter’s words, but is the precise sense expressed by them; for he makes the preaching to have been while he was in the condition resulting from his “being put to death in the flesh, but quickened in the spirit, by which or rather as Bishop Horsely remarks, in which “he went and preached unto the spirits in prison who were formerly circumstanced as is afterward described - that is while dead in the flesh, but alive in spirit, he went [Page 165] in spirit and preached to the spirits, who were “prisoners of hope,” and were looking for a future enlargement and deliverance.



By a perversion of this passage the Papists make this text subserve their views of purgatory; and hence others, to avoid that error, have gone to the opposite extreme and denied that the departed were thus favoured, as Peter affirms.  This involves a consideration of the kind of preaching appropriate to those to whom the Saviour preached.



As they were only “sometime” disobedient, they must have been brought to repentance and faith in a coming deliverer before they died.  Therefore the Saviour could not, when he went into hades, have preached faith and repentance to them - the preaching of which, also, would have been of no avail to the impenitent, the eternal condition of all being determined by the present life.  And this overturns the Papal dogma of purgatory.  These spirits had repented during life, or they would not have been in that part of the unseen where the Saviour was; and the end of his preaching could not have been to any immediate deliverance from hades; for “they without us will not be made perfect* The preaching of Christ to them, then, was the proclamation, announcement or publication to them (for such is the meaning of the word “preach”) of the great fact that he had died for their sins, and [Page 166] should rise again for their justification.  As the souls of the martyrs are represented, under the fifth seal,** as anxiously inquiring, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth so may we know that the pious departed are not uninterested expectants of future deliverance [or ‘salvation of souls’ (1 Pet. 1: 9, R.V.]; and nothing could have given greater joy to the spirits in Paradise than the entrance of Christ, when his flesh was consigned to the tomb, and the announcement to them of the “glad tidings” that he had actually offered the sacrifice of their redemption, and was about to appear in the Father’s presence for repentant disobedients.  This was an announcement fit to be made to the spirits of the just; and it could not fail to give new joy and animation to them to learn that what, not improbably, Moses and Elias [Elijah] had already proclaimed to them as about to be done, was already accomplished, and the consummation of their future happiness fully provided for.


[* Heb. 11: 40, R.V.]   ** Rev. 6: 10.


There is a single difficulty which should be noticed in this connection, viz.: why are the souls, of the repentant antediluvians singled out as the subjects of the Saviour’s preaching?  Were not those of later ages equally interested in the message?  These considerations are pertinent, and yet by no means do they affect the time or [Page 167] subjects of Christ’s preaching.  That he preached to them is affirmed, but that he thus preached to all the departed just is also probable.  Peter intimates as much in verse six of the next chapter, when he says: “For this cause was the gospel [i.e., presumably, the good news ‘of the kingdom’ (Matt. 13: 19)] preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit  The same is thus rendered in Dr. Murdock’s version of the Syriac: “For on this account the announcement is made also to the dead, that they may be judged as persons in the flesh, and may live according to God in the spirit And when was this announcement made to them, except as the Syriac has it, when “he died in body, but lived in spirit; and he preached to those souls, which were guarded in Paradise, which were formerly disobedient in the days of Noah etc.  Those who are especially named, then, do not constitute all to whom the announcement was made; but they seem to be named as those who were the most unlikely to receive such announcement - it being generally supposed that none were saved under Noah’s preaching - and if it was made to them, it was also made to others who were to be equally the subjects of the future resurrection of the [souls and bodies of the] just.



That this is no new interpretation, may be seen by the following. Thus Dr. Horsely says:


[Page 168]

“The expression ‘sometime were’ or ‘one while, had been disobedient,’ implies that they were recovered from that disobedience, and, before their death, had been brought to repentance and faith in the Redeemer to come, to such souls he went and preached.  But what did he preach to departed souls, and what could be the end of his preaching?  Certainly he preached neither repentance nor faith; for the preaching of either comes too late to the departed soul.  These souls had believed and repented, or they had not been in that part of the nether regions which the soul of the Redeemer visited.  But if he went to proclaim to them (and to proclaim or publish is the true sense of the words ‘to preach’) the glad tidings that he had actually offered the sacrifice of redemption, and was about to appear before the Father as an intercessor in the merit of his own blood, this was a preaching fit to be addressed to departed souls.” (Sermons, page 262.)



And Bishop Hobart adds:



“‘Christ went,’ says the apostle, ‘and preached to the spirits in prison,’ to spirits in safe-keeping, to the sometime ‘disobedient,’ but finally penitent antediluvians, ‘in the days of Noah,’ who, though they were swept off in the deluge of waters, found through the merits of the Lamb slain from the beginning of the world, a refuge.  While his body was reposing in the grave, he [Page 169] went in his spirit and ‘preached’ - or, as the word signifies, proclaimed - the glad tidings to the souls of the departed saints of that victory over death which the Messiah, in whom they trusted, was to achieve; and of that final redemption of the body and resurrection to glory, the hope of which constituted their enjoyment in the place of the departed.” (State of the Dead, pages 7, 8)



If we would successfully meet the Papists, we must take this position; to deny the plain teaching of the original is to play into their hands.



No 5


WAS IT SAMUEL? … [Yes: so says the Holy Scriptures!]

















[* Edited from writings by D. M. Panton.]


It is one thing to ponder the horrors of the coming Great Tribulation, which may yet be decades distant, or the judgment of the Great White Throne, occurring at least ten centuries from now: it is altogether another to contemplate what may be the fate of any or all of us in a few minutes from the moment that this is read.   The boundary between this world and the next in the underworld of ‘Sheol’ / ‘Hades,’ (Luke 16: 23, 30, 31. cf. 1 Sam. 28: 11-20.) is so slight, and the arrival of disembodied souls in the beyond can be so sudden, that it may actually be experienced by any one of us in a moment.  It is among the amazing things of revelation, which we so little realise, that, reported by the Lips in which dwelt all wisdom and knowledge, a man is overheard speaking for the only time in the history of the world.  Two men suddenly arrive in ‘Hades’ - that waiting-room of the souls whose tickets have already been taken for eternity; each is shifted, with hardly a perceptible break by death, into the Underworld of the dead; and our Lord reports an actual conversation - the only authentic report of a conversation of the dead ever recorded - not to satisfy curiosity, or to reveal secrets, but to show us, who at any moment may be there, that the decision of eternity is now.



The first awful fact that bursts upon us is that punishment is already an actual experience, and is deliberately so stated by the tenderest Lips in all history.  “In Hades” - [not in heaven] - “he lifted up his eyes” - up, for the inner circle of earth’s centre is the lower circle - “being in torments” (Luke 16: 23).  The “Lake of fire” is not “Hades,” but punishment begins there: Sodom and Gomorrah, says the Apostle Jude (verse 7) “ARE SUFFERING the vengeance of aionian fire** ‘Condemned already’ (John 3: 1: 8) in this life, the unbeliever’s condemnation is made irrevocable at death.  If anyone imagines that a spirit cannot suffer pain, and that therefore there is no flame that can reach the Devil and his angels - who never have been, and never will be, anything but spirits - let him listen to the only man in that fire who has ever yet been allowed to speak to the living, in words reported and endorsed by the Son of God.  It is an awful cry:- “Cool my tongue, for I am tormented in this flame Four times (verses 23, 24, 25, 28) the torment is asserted.  When the unclean spirits cowered before  our Lord in Gadara, “they entreated him that he would not command them to depart into the Abyss” (Luke 8: 31), saying, “Art thou come to torment us before the time  “The demons also believe and shudder” (Jas. 2: 19).  The word of a man who has felt the flame outweighs the word of two thousand millions who have never even seen it.  Unbelief in a coming Hell, sedulously cultivated by ‘liberal’ theologians, is a snare leading straight to the lower Hades according to one who is there.


* It would appear from this that the fire of the Lake is lit from the flame of the Abyss.  We know (from Rev. 20: 14) that the Abyss itself is ultimately put into the Lake.


[** ‘Aionion fire’ should be translated ‘age-lasting fire’ in this context.]



The whole emphasis throughout Christ lays on a physical contrast, - here, upon this restored world, and hereafter the “First Resurrection” (Rev. 20: 4-6), beneath which lies a far profounder spiritual contrast, in two men who exchange positions in the “age” to come, (Luke 20: 35. cf. Phil. 3: 11 & Heb. 11: 35b).  Abraham’s answer sums it up:- “Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things” - reached your own ideal of wealth, prosperity, power - “and Lazarus” - a name which, pathetically, means ‘God is my help’ - “likewise evil things; but now here” - in the Underworld of reversal - “he is comforted, and thou art in anguish  If the world could, by economics, make everybody a Dives, it would feel that it had reached an ideal higher than its highest dreams.  The extraordinary thing is that not a single sin is laid to the charge of the Rich Man by Abraham: nowhere does Christ Himself say that he was a vicious man, or a criminal, or irreligious, or possessed of ill-gotten wealth:* he perished merely of worldliness.  ‘Thy good things’ ease, comfort, pleasure, with sin: ‘Lazarus evil things’ - scorn, poverty, disease, with God: therefore Dives has pall-bearers, Lazarus has angels.  The reversal is appalling.  Here, Lazarus is the beggar, and Dives the refuser - there, Dives is the beggar, and Lazarus the refuser: here, Dives refuses a crumb on the tongue - there, Lazarus refuses a drop of water on the tongue: Dives saw the suffering beggar, and did not relieve him; Lazarus sees the tormented Dives, and cannot relieve him.  And the moral gulf, in the “age” to come, becomes as impassable a physical gulf - “a gulf fixed that” (see Gk.) for the very purpose that none may pass**  God’s myriad warnings crystallize at last into an impassable gulf.  Lazarus lost everything in the world, but he lost worldliness with it: Dives dies in worldliness, and wakes up in fire.


* That wealth does not necessarily ruin is proved by the fact that of the two men, Dives and Abraham, it is almost certain that Abraham was by far the richer man.


[** NOTE. The Judgment of a Christian’s works, which will take place after the time of Death (Heb. 9: 27, R.V.), will determine who, from amongst the dead in Hades, will be resurrected and “accounted worthy to attain to that age, and the resurrection from the dead:” (Luke 20: 35, R.V.).]



Now what does a man, who finds himself there, say in Hades, from the time of his Death to that of his Resurrection?*  What he does not say is overwhelming: unutterable volumes lie in the sudden silence of the soul who, on the other side, knows. (1) It never crosses the rich man’s lips, for apparently it never crosses his mind, to cry - “Let me out  The clanging of the ‘Gates’ behind him, the awful locking of the ‘Keys of Death and of Hades require no further argument and admit of no further doubt.  Dives has to be told that no disembodied soul can cross the Gulf that divides the good from the evil and ‘wicked’* unrepentant dead; and he has to be told that a good soul sent out on to the earth would not convince; but he needs no one to tell him that there is no escape out of the place of the lost for one who has died unrepentant. (2) There is one word which we can hardly imagine a soul, thus plunged into catastrophe, and involved in fearful ruin, not uttering; one word that embraces and controls the universe; one word in which hope alone can survive: yet in all the dialogue in those fateful shades the word God never escapes his lips.  The man who lives without God, dies without God; and lips that never pray on earth are mute in the lower Hades  (3) His only other cry, beside that of pain, is a cry that involves complete self-despair:- “Send to my father’s house  The dead say that there is hope for the living, but none for the dead.  Dives knows, without question put or complaint made or appeal lodged, that he is either eternally or millennially doomed.


[*For e.g., see Rev. 6: 9-11.]


** It may well be the case that ‘the rich man’ (Dives), before the time of his death was a regenerate soul and therefore not ‘eternally doomed’: but presumably he is prejudged by Christ as being not “accounted worthy” to rise out from amongst the dead at the time of the “First Resurrection” (Rev. 20: 5): which is a resurrection of REWARD.  See also Luke 14: 14; 20: 35; Phil 3: 11; Heb. 11: 35b, etc.  If this was the case - and it probably was - he has lost the “crown” and forfeited the millennial inheritance belonging to God’s “first-born” sons and overcomers, (Rev. 3: 11; Heb. 12: 14-17. cf. Gal. 5: 19-21; Eph. 5: 3-6.)]



Now the sermon of a lost soul issues from the Rich Man’s lips.  “Send Lazarus” - how remarkably he does not say, Send me: he knows the Gates are locked - “to my father’s house, lest they also come into this place of torment: if one go to them from the dead, they will repent  Dives is anxious his brothers should repent; not once does he speak of his own repentance: he is keenly aware that repentance will keep his brothers from going to where he is, but he never dreams that repentance will pluck a man out from where he is.  It is impossible, to carry our sins into Heaven, and the moment we are in the Underworld of the dead we shall know it.  Dives suffers from remorse, not from repentance.  Not one word of admission of sin; not one word of regret for sin; not one thought for the cleansing from sin; not one cry for the pardon of sin:  The lower Hades holds no sense of sin, and therefore no absolution from sin.  Dives manifestly had himself never believed that there is a punishment there: he infers that all who conceal or deny the fact are doing men a fearful wrong; and his one appeal for his brothers is that they should be told that it is a fact.  And that they may escape it he concentrates all on one word - REPENT!  That is what the disembodied soul of a dead man thinks every living man ought to do.  It is wilful sin and disobedience that fills his place in Hades, and it is only repentance now that can escape it.  Dives was sure that if only his brothers knew the facts of the Underworld of the dead, they would move heaven and earth to avoid the torment.  O what weird hands, which lay in the same cradle with ours, are waving us off from the very same fire at this moment, crying with parched throats - Repent!  The Saviour Himself has warned us in words that could not be more clear or sure, and no lost soul who ever entered the gloomy portals but knows that they are true.  Jesus said: “Except ye repent, YE SHALL ALL LIKEWISE PERISH” (Luke 13: 5).



Now the startling fact in Abraham’s answer is that the five brothers had in their hands something more convincing, more saving, than would be an evangelist walking straight into their house from out of a ruptured tomb.  “If they hear not Moses and the prophets he says, “neither will they be persuaded, if one rise from the dead Abraham’s reply reveals what alone save any man, in any epoch of the world, anywhere.  God Himself can give no more than He has given.  Christ Himself never once appeared to an unbeliever after His resurrection.  I do not want news from Hades, but pardon from Heaven: could a messenger from Hades cleanse my foul soul?  But obeying God’s Word in the Scriptures can.  No messenger from the Underworld of the souls of the dead could make goodness more lovable, or one’s experience in the lower Hades more terrible, or Calvary more cleansing, or Christ more Divine, or duty more clear, or decision more urgent, or eternity more solemn, than the Scriptures do which we hold in our hands.  The dead might lie: the Book cannot.  We have all the proof that Almighty Wisdom sees to be the right proof, and we have enough proof: more would only deepen condemnation; and no more will ever be given.  All the Bible that we have is all the Bible that we need.



The disclosure of our Lord - perfectly unique in the history of the world - focuses everything on immediate decision.* How few words our Lord devotes to these two men’s lives: how He concentrates all on their hereafter! Two men, travelling the same earthly way, pass at once into opposite abodes, as surely as vapour rises and water falls; between them is fixed a gulf which no reasoning can hide, no time can heal, no angel can bridge, no eternity can destroy; traffic across is impossible, for the good will not cross when the day of mercy is closed, and the bad may not, when the day of opportunity is gone; and all around are walls unscalable, unpierceable, immovable.  “Now is the accepted time, NOW is the day of salvation  At any moment we may be there.  “I knew a man,” says John Wesley, “who had greatly signalled himself as an enemy to all serious inward religion.  He was going on pleasure as usual.  His foot slipped, and as he was falling a thought came, ‘What if instead of falling to the earth thou hadst now died, and fallen into hell?’  That thought brought him to a sense of sin, to repentance and to God


* Bishop Samuel Wilberforce says:- “The experience of many death-beds has convinced me that, so far from the death-bed being the place where you will see the greatest sincerity, there are few places where you will oftener see men hypocrites, very few times and very few places where men are more desperately striving to deceive themselves, because they feel that now it is almost hopeless to turn.”








“This remarkable poem, the authorship of which is unknown, and which we take from the Jewish Missionary Magazine is taken in its true intent if we read it of resurrection rather than of death.” - D. M.  PANTON.



 [Not Death but Resurrection] is to rise in power from the husk of the earth-sown wheat;


Resurrection [not Death] is to rise in glory from the dust of the incomplete;


Resurrection fills the hand with fresh cunning and fits it with perfect tool,


And grants to the mind full power for the tasks of its greatest school;


Resurrection gives new birth to the runner and wings to the imprisoned soul,*


To mount with a song of the morning toward the limitless reach of its goal;


Resurrection is to throb with its urges of life that eternal abides,


And to flow with the inflowing currents of infinite love’s great tides;


Resurrection is to see with clear vision all mysteries revealed,


Resurrection is the end of all sorrow and crying and anxious care;


Resurrection gives fulness for longing, and the answer to every prayer;


Resurrection is to greet all the martyrs and prophets and sages of old,


And to walk again by still waters with the flock of our own little fold;


Resurrection is to join in hosannas to a risen and reigning Lord,**


And to feast with Him at His table on the bread and wine of His board;***


Resurrection is to enter a city and be hailed as a child of the King,-


O grave, where soundeth thy triumph?  O death, where hideth thy sting?






[* Psa. 16: 10. cf. Acts 2: 34; 2 Tim. 2: 17, 18; waiting still! Rev. 6: 9-11.


** Col. 3: 4; Rev. 3: 21: only for those, from amongst the Church, deemed to be “overcoming” Gk.


*** Lk. 22: 28-30: only for those who have continued with Christ in His “trials” Gk.]






“If we renounce our own thoughts and imaginations, we shall have no difficulty in finding the meaning of God.  The way of simplicity is the way of Truth.  And if we do not forget that Jesus Christ is not only the confession of our faith and love, but also of our hope, so shall He be to us the Key of all prophecy.  The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy - LUTHARDT.



Keep in mind: when our Lord’s “BODY,” remained motionlwss (and without corruption) in Joseph’s tomb for no longer than the time He prophesied (Matt. 12: 40); His disembodied “SOUL” remained in “SHEOL” / “HADES” - the Underworld of the dead.



All who continue to be obstinate and dogmatic in teaching Christians that they can ascend into “HEAVEN” without having a glorified and immortal body, - (for the body is unredeemed; and “We ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for our adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body” Rom. 8: 23b, R.V.) - are teaching contrary to the Word of God: and, whether this is being done intentionally or unintentionally, these teachings are identical to what all Spiritists’ believe!



Our Lord Jesus Christ said: “Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give an account thereof in the day of judgment.  For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned:” (Matt. 12: 36, 37, R.V.)!



“I come quickly: hold fast that which thou hast, that no one take thy crown.  He that overcometh, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God…” (Rev. 3: 11, 12a, R.V.).