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    December 3, 1885

    “The First Migrations of the Goths” The Signs of the Times 11, 46, p. 724.

    THE night of January 1, A.D. 193, the Emperor Commodus, after having reached “the summit of vice and infamy,” was poisoned by Marcia, his favorite concubine, and, at the instance of her accomplices, who were impatient of the poison, was strangled by a wrestler. From that night till the reign of Constantine as sole emperor, A.D. 323, of more than sixty who assume the “bloody purple” none lived in peace; only four—Severus, Claudius, Constantine, and Galerius—died in quietness, and only one—Decius—fell in battle with the barbarians; and one—Valerian—died in captivity in Persia. All the others were either assassinated, or else took their own lives to prevent being massacred, or else fell in battle with their successful rivals. De Quincey, however, lengthens the period and lessens the number. Of the office of emperor he says, it was “always a post of danger, and so regularly closed by assassination, that in the course of two centuries there are hardly to be found three or four cases of exception.”—Essay, Ancient History, the Cesars, chap. 6, par. 6.SITI December 3, 1885, page 724.1

    A few strokes of Gibbon’s vigorous pen will illustrate for us the terrible history of this dreary period of the empire. He says:—SITI December 3, 1885, page 724.2

    “From the great secular games celebrated by Philip, to the death of the Emperor Gallienus, there elapsed [A.D. 248-268] twenty years of shame and misfortune. During that calamitous period, every instant of time was marked, every province of the Roman world was afflicted, by barbarous invaders and military tyrants, and the ruined empire seemed to approach the last and fatal moment of its dissolution.”—Chap. 10, par. 1.SITI December 3, 1885, page 724.3

    In this twenty years there were seven emperors,—Philip, Decius, Hostilianus, Gallus, Emilianus, Valerian, and Gallienus. Of the reigns of the last two—father and son—Gibbon says:—SITI December 3, 1885, page 724.4

    “The joint government of the father and the son subsisted about seven, and the sole administration of Gallienus continued about eight years [A.D. 253-268]. But the whole period was one uninterrupted series of confusion and calamity. The Roman Empire was at the same time, and on every side, attacked by the blind fury of foreign invaders, and the wild ambition of domestic usurpers.”—Id., par. 21.SITI December 3, 1885, page 724.5

    Of Gallienus and his reign we are told that,—SITI December 3, 1885, page 724.6

    “In every art that he attempted, his lively genius enabled him to succeed; and as his genius was destitute of judgment, he attempted every art, except the important ones of war and government. He was a master of several curious but useless sciences, a ready orator, an elegant poet, a skillful gardener, an excellent cook, and most contemptible prince. When the great emergencies of the State engaged his presence and attention, he was engaged in conversation with the philosopher Plotinus, wasting his time in trifling or licentious pleasures, preparing his initiation to the Grecian mysteries, or soliciting a place in the Areopagus of Athens.... At a time when the reins of government were held with so loose a band, it is not surprising that a crowd of usurpers should start up in every province of the empire against the son of Valerian.... To illustrate the obscure monuments of the life and death of each individual, would prove a laborious task, alike barren of instruction and amusement.... Of the nineteen tyrants who started up under the reign of Gallienus there was not one who enjoyed a life of peace or a natural death.”—Id., par. 46, 47, 50.SITI December 3, 1885, page 724.7

    Except in the number of the usurpers, the reign of Gallienus may be taken as a fair picture of the whole period from Commodus to Constantine. In concluding his observations upon these “rapid and perpetual transitions from the cottage to the throne, and from the throne to the grave,” the historian adds:—SITI December 3, 1885, page 724.8

    “Such were the barbarians [which we shall introduce presently], and such the tyrants, who, under the reigns of Valerian and Gallienus, the dismembered the provinces, and reduced the empire to the lowest pitch of disgrace and ruin, from whence it seemed impossible that it should ever emerge.”—Id., par. 52.SITI December 3, 1885, page 724.9

    We have now reached the time when we can enter intelligently upon the study of the course of the flood of barbarians which comes pouring down from the North upon the already torn and distracted empire. And we now propose to trace the ten kingdoms from their origin among the savage tribes of ancient Germany to their establishment within the Western Empire, and to the present condition of such of them as remain, among the civilized nations of modern Europe. Of all these, to the GOTHS belongs the first place. Although the GOTHS were not absolutely the first to invade the empire, nor yet actually the first to fix their final settlement within its limits; yet as they did more than any other nation to break the power of Rome, and so to prepare the way for the other nations to enter, to them rightly belongs the foremost place among all the nations that had any share in the breaking up of the once so mighty empire of Rome.SITI December 3, 1885, page 724.10

    “The Emperor Decius had employed a few months in the works of peace and administration of justice, when [A.D. 250] he was summoned to the banks of the Danube by the invasion of the Goths. This is the first considerable occasion in which history mentions that great people, who afterwards broke the Roman power, sacked the capital, and reigned in Gaul, Spain, and Italy. So memorable was the part which they acted in the subversion of the Western Empire, that the name of Goths is frequently, but improperly, used as a general appellation of rude and warlike barbarism.”SITI December 3, 1885, page 724.11

    “Many vestiges, which cannot be ascribed to the arts of the Goths in the countries beyond the Baltic. From the time of the geographer Ptolemy, the southern part of Sweden seems to have continued in the possession of the less enterprising remnant of the nation, and a large territory is even at present divided into East and West Gothland. During the Middle Ages (from the ninth to the twelfth century), whilst Christianity was advancing with a slow progress into the North, the Goths and the Swedes composed two distinct, and sometimes hostile, members of the same monarchy. The latter of these two names has prevailed without extinguishing the former. The Swedes, who mighty well be satisfied with their own fame in arms, have in every age claimed the kindred glory of the Goths.”SITI December 3, 1885, page 724.12

    “If so many successive generations of Goths were capable of preserving a faint tradition of their Scandinavian origin, we must not expect from such unlettered barbarians any distinct account of the time and circumstances of their emigration. To cross the Baltic was an easy and natural attempt. The inhabitants of Sweden were masters of a prominent number of large vessels with oars, and the distance is little more than one hundred miles from Carlscrona to the nearest ports of Pomerania and Prussia. Here, at length, we land on firm and historic ground. At least as early as the Christian era, and as late as the age of the Antonines [A.D. 138-180], the Goths were established towards the mouth of the Vistula, and in that fertile province where the commercial cities of Thorn, Elbing, Konigsberg, and Dantzic were long afterwards founded.”SITI December 3, 1885, page 724.13

    “In the age of the Antonines the Goths were still seated in Prussia. About the reign of Alexander Severus [A.D. 222-235], the Roman province of Davis had already experienced their proximity by frequent and destructive inroads. In this interval, therefore, of about seventy years, we must place the second migration of the Goths from the Baltic to the Euxine; but the cause that produced it lies concealed among the various motives which actuate the conduct of unsettled barbarians. Either a pestilence or a famine, a victory or a defeat, an oracle of the gods or the eloquence of a daring leader, was sufficient to impel the Gothic arms on the milder climate of the south. Besides the influence of a martial religion, the numbers and spirit of the Goths were equal to the most dangerous adventures. The use of round bucklers and short swords rendered them formidable in a close engagement; the manly obedience which they yielded to hereditary kings gave uncommon union and stability to their councils; and the renowned Amala, the hero of that age and the tenth ancestor of Theodoric, king of Italy, enforced, by the ascendant of personal merit, the prerogative of his birth, which he derived from the Anses, or demigods of the Gothic nation.SITI December 3, 1885, page 724.14

    “The fame of a great enterprise excited the bravest warriors from all the Vandalic States of Germany, many of whom are seen a few years afterwards combating under the common standard of the Goths. The first motions of the emigrants carried them to the banks of the Prypec, a river universally conceived by the ancients to be the southern branch of the Borysthenes [Duieper]. The windings of that great stream through the plains of Poland and Russia, gave a direction to their line of march, and a constant supply of fresh water and pasturage to their numerous herds of cattle. They followed the unknown course of the river, confident in their valor, and careless of whatever power might oppose their progress. The Bastarne dwelt on the northern side of the Carpathian Mountains; the immense tract of land that separated the Bastarne from the savages of Finland was possessed, or rather wasted, by the Venedi....SITI December 3, 1885, page 724.15

    “As the Goths advanced near the Euxine [Black] Sea, they encountered a purer race of Sarmatians, the Jazyges, the Alani, and the Roxolani; and they were probably the first Germans who saw the mouths of the Borysthenes and of the Tanais [Don]. If we inquire into the characteristic marks of the people of Germany and of Sarmatia, we shall discover that those two great portions of human kind were principally distinguished by fixed huts or movable tents; by a close dress or flowing garments; by the marriage of one or of several wives; by a military force, consisting, for the most part, either of infantry or cavalry; and, above all, by the use of the Teutonic or of the Slavonian language—the last of which has been diffused by conquest [of Russia] from the confines of Italy to the neighborhood of Japan.SITI December 3, 1885, page 724.16

    “The Goths were now in possession of the Ukraine, a country of considerable extent and uncommon fertility, intersected with navigable rivers which from either side discharge themselves into the Borysthenes, and interspersed with large and lofty forests of oak. The plenty of game and fish, the innumerable bee-hives, deposited in the hollows of old trees and in the cavities of rocks, and forming, even in that rude age, a valuable branch of commerce, the size of the cattle, the temperature of the air, the aptness of the soil for every species of grain, and the luxuriancy of the vegetation, all displayed the liberality of nature, and tempted the industry of man. But the Goths withstood all these temptations, and still adhered to a life of idleness, of poverty, and of rapine.”—Id., chap. 10, par. 3, 4, 8-11.SITI December 3, 1885, page 724.17

    A. T. J.

    (To be continued.)

    “Notes on the International Lesson. Isaiah 53:1-12. The Suffering Saviour” The Signs of the Times 11, 46, pp. 726, 727.
    DECEMBER 13. Isaiah 53:1-12

    THIS prophecy really begins with verse 13 of the preceding chapter. Altogether, it is a most vivid description of the life, sufferings, and death of Christ the Saviour. The Lord showed by his prophets, not only that the Saviour should come, but the time when he should come, the place where he should be born, and here, by Isaiah, the leading particulars and characteristics of his career while in this world. In verse 14 of the preceding chapter we read of the effects upon him of his fast in the wilderness: “His visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men.” Men may talk of men’s fasting forty days, and count it as detracting from the merit of that fast of our Saviour; but the fact still remains that the condition to which our Saviour was reduced by his forty days’ fast was lower than that which was ever reached by any man that was ever in this world, who lived after it. “His visage was so marred more than any man, and is form more than the sons of men.”SITI December 3, 1885, page 726.1

    “WHO hath believed our report?” Although the Lord had by his prophets foreshown the coming, and the manner of the coming, of the Saviour, yet there were few, very few, to receive him at his coming. “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.”SITI December 3, 1885, page 726.2

    “With what profound and reverent interest should the elders of Israel have been studying the place, the time, the circumstances, of the greatest event in the world’s history,—the coming of the Son of God to accomplish the redemption of man! Oh, why were not the people watching and waiting that they might be among the first to welcome the world’s Redeemer! But lo, at Bethlehem two weary travelers from the hills of Nazareth traverse the whole length of the narrow street to the eastern extremity of the town, vainly seeking a place of rest and shelter for the night. No doors open to receive them. In a wretched hovel prepared for cattle, they at last find refuge, and there the Saviour of the world is born....SITI December 3, 1885, page 726.3

    “An angel visits the earth to see who are prepared to welcome Jesus. But he can discern no tokens of expectancy. He hears no voice of praise and triumph that the period of Messiah’s coming is at hand. The angel hovers for a time over the chosen city and the temple where the divine presence was manifested for ages; but even here is the same indifference. The priests, in their pomp and pride, are offering polluted sacrifices in the temple. The Pharisees are with loud voices addressing the people, or making boastful prayers at the corners of the streets. There is no evidence that Christ is expected, and no preparation for the Prince of life.SITI December 3, 1885, page 727.1

    “In amazement the celestial messenger is about to return to Heaven with the shameful tidings, when he discovers a group of shepherds who are watching their flocks by night, and, as they gaze into the starry heavens, are contemplating the prophecy of a Messiah to come to earth, and longing for the advent of the world’s Redeemer. Here is a company that are prepared to receive the heavenly message. And suddenly the angel of the Lord appeared, declaring the good tidings of great joy. Celestial glory flooded all the plain, an innumerable company of angels was revealed, and as if the joy were too great for one messenger to bring from Heaven, a multitude of voices broke forth in the anthem which all the nations of the saved shall one day sing, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good-will toward men.’”—Great Controversy, by Mrs. E. G. White, pp. 197, 198.SITI December 3, 1885, page 727.2

    WE shall not attempt any annotation on any of that part of the lesson from verse 2 to verse 10. In these verses Inspiration Himself, out of the depths of divine, pitying love, has described the sufferings, the afflictions, and the sorrows of the Holy One, who died for the children of men, and to attempt an “exposition” would be but to mar the beauty and the blessed symmetry of the description. We will, however, transcribe these verses, and whoever reads them, we ask him to read them over slowly, thoughtfully, three times.SITI December 3, 1885, page 727.3

    “FOR he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground; he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment; and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.”SITI December 3, 1885, page 727.4

    “HE shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied.” That is, he shall see the fruits of his suffering, and shall be satisfied. Satisfied? Could he not be satisfied with the glory which he had with the Father before the world was? Could he not be satisfied with his place upon that throne “high and lifted up,” where Isaiah saw him? Could he not be satisfied with the worshipful song of the seraphim crying, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory”? Was not all this enough to satisfy him? No, not while man was lost in this world of sin. “For the joy that was set before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame.” And when he shall have gathered to himself all of the fruits of his sufferings, from “sacrificing Abel” to the last one, then he “shall be satisfied;” then his joy will be full; then will be fulfilled his saying, “I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.” Hebrews 2:12. And again: “The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.” Do you want to share that joy, as well as add to it? Gather souls to Christ. increase the fruits of his suffering by bringing souls to his salvation, and you will increase his joy; then it will be said to you, “Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” Oh, thou suffering, afflicted, sorrowing Saviour! If I can add one ray of gladness to that fair brow that was pierced with the cruel thorns, I shall be satisfied. If I can add one beam of satisfaction to that visage that was so married more than any man, I shall be delighted. If I can add one thrill of joy to that great heart of love that was broken with the ingratitude of men, my joy shall be full.SITI December 3, 1885, page 727.5

    “THEREFORE will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong.” Satan is the strong one who has spoiled the human race. He brought sin into the world, and death by sin, and has shut up man in his prison-house—the grave. And Jesus, in talking of Satan and his house and his power, said: “How can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.” Matthew 12:29. Satan had the power of death (Hebrews 2:14). Christ died and went into the grave, and came forth exclaiming: “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen; and have the keys [the power] of hell [the grave] and of death.” Revelation 1:18. Now he will bring forth all who have gone down to the grave trusting in him. And when he went into the land of the enemy, and returned a conqueror, he brought forth some spoils to grace his triumph, and soon will bring all.SITI December 3, 1885, page 727.6

    “AND many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection.” Matthew 27:52, 53. “And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” Colossians 2:15. And, “When he ascended up on high, he led a multitude of captives.” Ephesians 4:8, margin. In this text, Colossians 2:15, Paul uses the figure of a Roman triumph. When a Roman commander had gone into an enemy’s country, and had seized the power, when he returned he brought captives and spoils to immense value to his capital city; and then he was awarded a triumph, wherein he should be exalted on high, and following in his train were all the captives and spoils which he had taken. So when Christ went into Satan’s country, and, as we have seen, seized the power, when he returned he brought a multitude of captives, who graced his triumph as he returned to his glorious city. But that was only the beginning, that was but a foretaste; soon he comes to gather all his saints together unto him; then when the righteous dead arise, and the righteous living are changed, and caught up to meet him in the air; then when he returns with all his ransomed throng there will be a triumph indeed. And he deserves it. “Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death; and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”SITI December 3, 1885, page 727.7

    A. T. J.

    “The Doctrine of the Immortality of the Soul Subversive of the Truth” The Signs of the Times 11, 46, pp. 730, 731.

    THE doctrine of the natural immortality of the soul is one of the oldest, one of the most widespread, and one of the most destructive doctrines that has ever been in this world. It was preached in the world before ever faith in Christ the Saviour was preached. In fact, if the doctrine had never been preached to man, there would never have been any need of a Saviour, and it was the belief of the doctrine of the immortality of the soul that first brought sin into the world “and all our woe.” “The serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die;” and from that day to this that doctrine has been believed more, by the children of men, than has the truth of God. Indeed, in our day this doctrine of the immortality of the soul has gained such favor among even those who profess the word of God as their standard of belief, that to deny it is considered by the majority of them as tantamount to a denial of the word itself. Whereas, instead of such denial being in any way a denial of the truth of revelation, the fact of the matter is that the truth of revelation can be logically and consistently held only by the total and unequivocal denial of the doctrine of the immortality of the soul. This we now propose to show.SITI December 3, 1885, page 730.1

    There is no truth more plainly taught, nor more diligently insisted upon in the Bible, than this: That the future existence of men depends absolutely upon either a resurrection of the dead or a translation without seeing death at all. Paul’s hope for future existence was in the resurrection of the dead. In speaking of his efforts to “win Christ,” he says: “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” Philippians 3:10, 11. It “was of the hope and resurrection of the dead” that he was called in question by the council (Acts 23:6); and when he had afterward to make his defense before Felix, he declared that the resurrection of the dead was the sum of his hope, saying: “And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.” Acts 24:15. Time and again Paul so expresses his hope of future life; in short, he expresses it in no other way.SITI December 3, 1885, page 730.2

    Nor is Paul the only one of the writers of the Bible who teaches the same thing. The resurrection of the dead is that to which Job looked for the consummation of his hope (Job 14:14, 15; 17:13-15; 19:23-27). David says: “Thou which hast showed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken [give life to] me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth.” Psalm 71:20. And, “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake with thy likeness.” Psalm 17:15. And what shall we more say. For the time would fail us to tell if Isaiah, and Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, and Daniel, and Hosea, and Micah, and all the prophets and apostles, and of our fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; for Jesus himself declared that it was the resurrection of the dead of which God spake when he said, “I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” More than this, Jesus pointed his disciples always to the resurrection of the dead, through which alone they could obtain the reward which he promised. In reading John 6:29-54 we find that no less than four times, the Saviour, in giving promise to those who believe in him, sets it forth as the consummation of that belief that, “I will raise him up at the last day.” And in Luke 14:13, 14 we read: “When thou makest a feast, and the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind; and thou ... shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.”SITI December 3, 1885, page 730.3

    Paul, however, gives us, upon this subject, a straightforward, logical argument, which leaves the doctrine of the immortality of the soul not a particle of ground to rest upon. The 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians is devoted entirely to an argument in proof of the resurrection of the dead. The apostle first proves, by hundreds of living witnesses who had seen him after he was risen, that Christ arose from the dead. Still there were some who said: “There is no resurrection of the dead;” and in refutation of that idea, he introduces three points of argument, any one of which utterly excludes the doctrine of the immortality of the soul from any place whatever in Christian doctrine.SITI December 3, 1885, page 730.4

    1. In verse 16, his promise is, “If the dead rise not.” The first conclusion from that is, “Then is not Christ raise;” then upon this conclusion follows the logical sequence, “Your faith is vain,” and upon that another, “Ye are yet in your sins.” From his premise—“If the dead rise not”—the second conclusion is, verse 18, “Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.” Nothing can be plainer than that this statement and the doctrine of the immortality of the soul, as is held, it cannot perish, and therefore, so far as its existence is concerned, it is utterly independent of the dead. Is it not supposed by all those who believe the soul to be immortal, that all who have passed from this world in the faith of Christ, have gone to Heaven, and are now enjoying its bliss? It is assuredly. Then, if that be the truth, upon what imaginable principle can it be conceived that they “are perished,” if there be no resurrection? What need have they of a resurrection? Have they not, without a resurrection, all that Heaven can afford? Upon that theory certainly so. Then it just as certainly appears that not one of them has perished, even though there never be a resurrection.SITI December 3, 1885, page 730.5

    Over against this theory stands the word of God, that “If the dead rise not, then they which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.” That word is the truth. Therefore it follows that if there be no resurrection of the dead, there is no hereafter for any who have ever died, or who shall ever die. But God has given assurance to all men that there shall be a hereafter, and that assurance lies in the fact “that he hath raised him [Christ] from the dead” (Hebrews 9:27; Acts 17:31). The resurrection of Christ is the God-given pledge that there shall be a resurrection of all the dead: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” And, “There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.” Therefore it is by virtue of the resurrection of the dead, and not by the immortality of the soul, that there will be any hereafter for the dead, whether just or unjust.SITI December 3, 1885, page 730.6

    2. The second point that the apostle makes in this connection is in verse 32: “If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to-morrow we die.” On this nothing can be better than to present Dr. Adam Clarke’s comment upon this same passage. He says, and the italics are his:—SITI December 3, 1885, page 730.7

    “I believe the common method of pointing this verse is erroneous; I propose to read it thus; ‘If, after the manner of men, I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what doth it advantage me? If the dead rise not, let us eat and drink; for to-morrow we die.’ What the apostle says here is a regular and legitimate conclusion from the doctrine that there is no resurrection; for if there be no resurrection, then there can be no judgment—no future state of rewards and punishments; why, therefore, should we bear crosses, and keep ourselves under continual discipline? Let us eat and drink, take all the pleasure we can; for to-morrow we die, and there is an end of us forever.”SITI December 3, 1885, page 730.8

    That is sound exegesis, and a just comment upon the words of the apostle. As we have shown, that is the point of Paul’s argument throughout, and it is the thought of the whole Bible upon this subject. But if the soul be immortal, neither Dr. Clarke’s comment nor Paul’s argument is sound. For if the soul be immortal, whensoever it may be that we die that is not the “end of us forever,” resurrection or no resurrection. By this it is plain that the doctrine of the immortality of the soul nullifies the plainest propositions of Scripture, and is therefore false.SITI December 3, 1885, page 731.1

    This view fully explains the query which Dr. Clarke propounds in his remarks at the close of his comments on 1 Corinthians 15. He says:—SITI December 3, 1885, page 731.2

    “One remark I cannot help making; the doctrine of the resurrection appears to have been thought of much more consequence among the primitive Christians than it is now! How is this? The apostles were continually insisting on it, and exciting the followers of God to diligence, obedience, and cheerfulness through it. And their successors in the present day seldom mention it! ... There is not a doctrine in the gospel on which more stress is laid; and there is not a doctrine in the present system of preaching which is treated with more neglect!”SITI December 3, 1885, page 731.3

    From the Doctor’s insertion of exclamation points and his query, “How is this?” It would appear that he was surprised that it should be so. It is indeed surprising that it should be so. But it is easily enough explained. The fact is that the doctrine of the immortality of the soul has become so all-pervading “in the present system of preaching,” that there is no room for the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead. If the doctrine of the immortality of the soul be true, then the doctrine of the resurrection is indeed of no consequence. If that doctrine be true, then there is destroyed all need of laying stress upon the gospel doctrine of the resurrection of the dead. And although “the apostles were continually insisting on” the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, and although there is indeed “not a doctrine of the gospel upon which more stress is laid,” yet through the insidious, deceptive influence of the doctrine of the immortality of the soul it is that the preachers of the present day “seldom mention it,” and that in the present system of preaching there is indeed “not a doctrine that is treated with more neglect.” And nothing is needed to show more plainly than does this, the irreconcilable antagonism between the truth of God and the mischievous doctrine of the immortality of the soul.SITI December 3, 1885, page 731.4

    .3. The third point is in verse 36: “That which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die.” To quicken is “to make alive.” What Paul says therefore is, “That which thou sowest is not made alive, except it die.” That this is spoken directly of man and his resurrection, is plain by verses 42-44. “It is sown a natural body,” etc. Now the doctrine of the immortality of the soul is, that the body properly has no life, living, sentient man; that it is that about man which alone possesses real life. In other words, the body is only the house in which the real man lives; i.e., the real “I” dwells within the “me;” and death is simply the separation of the soul from the body. Death breaks down the house, and lets the real occupant free. According to this doctrine, there is no such thing as real death; because the body properly has no life, consequently it does not die; and the soul—the real man—is immortal, and it cannot die; therefore there is in reality no such thing as death. If this be true, there is not only no such thing as death, but there is, likewise, no such thing as a resurrection of the dead. For, upon the apostle’s premise that “That which thou sowest is not quickened [made alive] except it die,” it follows that, as the body, having no life, does not die, it cannot be quickened (raised from the dead); and as the soul does not die, it cannot be raised from the dead; consequently there is no such thing as a resurrection of the dead.SITI December 3, 1885, page 731.5

    Therefore it stands proved to a demonstration that the doctrine of the immortality of the soul is utterly subversive of the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead. But the resurrection of the dead is a Bible doctrine; it is the very truth of God. So then it is plain that the doctrine of the immortality of the soul is subversive of the truth of God; and is therefore false, deceptive, and destructive.SITI December 3, 1885, page 731.6

    A. T. J.

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