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    TESTIMONY OF MEN

    The following extracts are made from what are supposed to be the only genuine writings of those termed “Apostolic Fathers.”FT 98.4

    Clement, A. D. 96. “But what can mortal man do? Or what strength is there in him that is made out of dust?” Ep. chap. 17.FT 98.5

    Ignatius, A. D. 107. “Breaking one and the same bread, which is the medicine of immortality; our antidote that we should not die, but live forever in Christ Jesus.” Ep. to Ephesias, chap. 4.FT 98.6

    Polycarp, A. D. 108. “I bless thee that thou hast thought me worthy of the present day and hour, to have a share in the number of the martyrs, and in the cup of Christ, unto the resurrection of eternal life, both of SOUL and BODY,” etc. See Eusebius’ History.FT 98.7

    IRENIEUS. “Life is not from ourselves, nor from our nature, but it is given or bestowed according to the grace of God; and therefore he who preserves this gift of life, and returns thanks to him who bestows it, he shall receive length of days forever and ever. But he who rejects it, and proves unthankful to his Maker for creating him, and will not know him who bestows it, he deprives himself of the gift of duration to all eternity.”FT 99.1

    JUSTIN MARTYR, who was born A. D. 89, and suffered death for Christ A. D., 163, says:FT 99.2

    “Should you happen upon some who are called Christians indeed, and yet are far from holding these sentiments, but even dare to assail the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob with blasphemy, and say, there is no resurrection of the dead; but instantly when they die, are received up into heaven; do not count these among christians.FT 99.3

    EUSEBIUS, in his Ecclesiastical History, speaks of a class of people existing in the third century, in Arabia, that denied the natural immortality of the soul.”FT 99.4

    “These, writes Eusebius, ‘asserted that the human soul as long as the present state of the world existed, perished at death, and died with the body, but that it would be raised again with the body at the time of the resurrection.”FT 99.5

    WILLIAM TYNDALE, the translator, writing to More says:FT 99.6

    “In putting departed souls in heaven, hell and purgatory, you destroy the arguments wherewithFT 99.7

    Christ and Paul prove the resurrection. What God doth with them, that shall we know when we come to them. The true faith putteth the resurrection, which we be warned to look for every hour. The heathen philosophers denying that, did put that the souls did ever live. And the Pope joineth the spiritual doctrine of Christ, and the fleshly doctrine of philosophers, together—things so contrary that they cannot agree.... And because the fleshly-minded Pope consenteth unto heathen doctrine, therefore he corrupteth the scriptures to establish it.... If the souls be in heaven, tell me why they be not in as good case as the angels be? And then what cause is there of the resurrection?”FT 100.1

    Sir THOMAS MORE asked:FT 100.2

    “What shall he care, how long he live in sin that believeth Luther, that he shall after this life feel neither good nor evil in body nor soul, until the day of doom?”FT 100.3

    To which TYNDALE replied:FT 100.4

    “Christ and his apostle taught no other, but warned to look for Christ’s coming again every hour, which coming again, because ye believe will never be, therefore have ye feigned that other merchandize.”FT 100.5

    PRIDEAUX states that Pythagoras went from Egypt to Babylon, where he remained twelve years, and learned many important things. Of his return Prideaux says:FT 100.6

    “But the most important doctrine which he brought home from thence, was that of the immortality of the soul; for it is generally agreed among the ancients, that he was the first of all the Greeks that taught it. And this, I take it for certain, he had from Zoroastres; for, as I have before shown, it was his doctrine, and he is the ancientest of any whom we have upon record of all the heathen nations that taught it.” Prideaux’s Connection, Vol. i, p. 205.FT 100.7

    DR. CAMPBELL says:FT 101.1

    “Before the Captivity, and the Macedonian and Roman conquests, the Jews observed the most profound silence upon the state of the dead, as to their happiness or misery. They spoke of it simply as a state of silence, darkness and inactivity. But after the Hebrews mingled with the Greeks and Romans, they insensibly slided into their use of terms, and adopted some of their ideas on such subjects as those on which their oracles were silent.”FT 101.2

    MILMAN says:FT 101.3

    “Even the religious Pausanias speaks of the immortality of the soul as a foreign doctrine, introduce by the Chaldeans and the Magi, and embraced by some of the Greeks, particularly by Plato,” and adds that Pliny in his Natural History “devotes a separate chapter to a contemptuous exposure of the idle notion of the immortality of the soul, as a vision of human pride, etc.” History of Christianity, p. 34.FT 101.4

    NEANDER says:FT 101.5

    “We must however, still mention that among Christians in Arabia at that time, a party had caused a controversy, by maintaining that the souls died with the body, and that they would be raised again only at the general resurrection, at the same time with the bodies. It was an old Jewish notion that immortality was not founded upon the nature of the soul, but a peculiar gift of Divine grace: a representation which had been transferred from Judaism to Christianity, traces of which we find in the theory of the Gnostics about the nature of the Psychichi, in the doctrine of the Clementine, and in the opinions of Justin and Tatian. Perhaps also in this district the position of which placed it in close connection with Jews, it was no new doctrine, but the predominant one from ancient times and perhaps the influence of Origen (in whose system the doctrine of the immortality of the soul necessarily obtained a place) first effected the change, that this latter should obtain universal acceptance among the church teachers of that district; and that the small party, which still maintained the old opinion, should appear heretical, although the predominant opinion had previously really pronounced itself against it, [the new opinion.] Hence we may understand how the convocation of a Great Synod was considered necessary in order to allay these controversies. When they were unable to agree, Origen was invited by the Synod, and his influence prevailed upon the opposers of the doctrine of the natural immortality of the soul, to acknowledge their error, and renounce it.” Neander’s Hist. p. 444.FT 101.6

    Bishop LAW, speaking of Cicero, says:FT 102.1

    “Notwithstanding all the fine things which he had said about the immortality of the soul, or, which to him amounted to the same thing, a future state, in which point he seemed the most sanguine and positive, yet in his epistles, where he speaks his real thoughts, we find Him giving it all up,” etc.FT 102.2

    DR. GOOD says:FT 102.3

    “If we turn from Persia, Egypt and Hindoostan to Arabia, to the fragrant groves and learned shades of Dedan and Teman, from which it is certain that Persia, and highly probable that Hindoostan, derived its first polite literature, we shall find the entire subject” (of the immortality of the soul,) “left in as blank and barren a silence, as the deserts by which they are surrounded; or if touched upon, only touched upon, to betray doubt, and sometimes disbelief.FT 102.4

    “The tradition, indeed, of a future state of retributive justice seems to have reached the schools of this part of the world, and to have been generally, though perhaps not universally, accredited; but the future existence it alludes to, is that of a resurrection of the body, and not of a survival of the soul after the body’s dissolution!”FT 103.1

    LELAND says:FT 103.2

    “What that great man Cicero says of the philosophers of his time is remarkable. In that celebrated treatise where he sets himself to prove the immortality of the soul, he represents the contrary as the prevailing opinion; that there were crowds of opponents not the Epicureans only, but, which he could not account for, those that were the most learned persons had that doctrine in contempt.”FT 103.3

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