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III. In stating the point of difference between us, Mr. Warleigh does not state it accurately, and from the mode of stating misrepresents, most unintentionally but still most seriously, my actual view. He says that I maintain that the spirit even of the holy believer loses all consciousness and individuality from the time of death to the resurrection ; while he maintains that this spirit does not between these periods lose its consciousness, its identity, or its individuality (493). In another place he says that I “ often speak of the spirit of man as having no existence, after death, till the resurrection " (495). This statement of my view of the spirit is wholly incorrect. I do not think that in death the spirit of man loses anything whatsoever. Holding it to be in truth the divine spirit, I could not possibly suppose it capable of any loss. Whatever it was before it was breathed into any creature, it continued to be while it remained in that creature, and continues to be after God has taken it in death from that creature to himself.
IV. If our readers will carefully look at the passage which Mr. Warleigh quotes from my book on Hades, in proof that I hold that the spirit of man has no existence after death till the resurrection, they will see that I say there nothing of the kind. I am speaking of what becomes of the body after the spirit is separated from it. I am not speaking of what becomes of the spirit after it has left the body. I fully believe that it does not die; that it loses nothing whatsoever that it had before. Indeed, I rather think that Mr. Warleigh elsewhere allows that such is my opinion, for in stating our points of agreement he mentions one of them to lie in this; that the spirit of man “can never die” (492). This inconsistency of statement, unintentional no doubt, is but one of many instances, some of which I will hereafter point out.
V. What then is the exact difference between Mr. Warleigh's view and mine? We both fully hold that the spirit of man, as the spirit of every living creature whatsoever, is the Divine Spirit communicated to that creature during the period of its life. But Mr. Warleigh goes a great deal farther than this. What his idea of the Spirit of God as existing in the fish, the bird, and the beast is, I shall not attempt to describe, as he has not himself, that I know of, attempted the descrip. tion. He allows that the very same Divine Spirit exists in them as in man. Holding this most important scriptural truth, I would ask him to consider it in all its bearings, as I think it ought to guide him to a juster view of what the Divine Spirit in man is. Truly, it is in both the same.
VI. But whatever may be the opinion of Mr. Warleigh as to what the Spirit of God in the lower creatures is, we are fully capable from his oft-repeated expressions to form an adequate and clear view of that he considers the Divine Spirit in man to be. While it is not “ the whole man" " in the completion of his tripartite nature" (505), it is yet before death as much as after death a man, an individual, a person, and a por. tion of God himself, which cannot possibly die (496, 497, 499, 500, 492, 493). Thus speaking of the scene of the Transfiguration, where he supposes that the spirit of Moses, apart altogether from his body and soul, was alone present, he says that “the man called Moses," " was as truly on the holy Mount as he was on Mount Sinai” (466). He here
tells us that the spirit separated from soul and body is yet as truly the man as when body, soul, and spirit were united in the earthly life. And he elsewhere tells us that what this spirit is after death that it was during the earthly life ; it has neither gained nor lost anything of its own nature by what is called death (493).
This is a very grave position to take up. The spirit of man, accord ing to it, is not only a portion of God himself, but has also become, by reason of its being breathed into a human body, the very man into whom it has been breathed! Man is now identical with God! Man is now God! It seems to us almost profane to write these words, but we must write these words if we are to give our readers an accurate idea of that which Mr. Warleigh puts forward as his view, and asks us to adopt. Probably, he would not express it in these words. Possibly he may be displeased with us for putting his view into these words. But if he holds that the spirit of man is identical with the Divine Spirit, and that this spirit is also identical with the man himself, he cannot avoid the conclusion that, according to his theory, man is God, or, at least, a portion of God, and therefore possessed of the attributes of God. Mr. Warleigh identifies his views exactly with those put forward by John Wesley, when he gave his famous definition of human nature in the words—“ I am an immortal spirit.”
VII. Now here is precisely where we differ from Mr. Warleigh, and we would ask our readers to bear it well in mind. We hold that every living creature, man included, has, during life, the Divine Spirit in him, while he is not himself that Divine Spirit, but is separable from it. We will here confine our view to man. Man has during life the Divine Spirit, but he is not that Divine Spirit. Man is not God, though the breath of the Divine nature is within him. Consequently in death when the spirit has gone back to God, it is not man that has gone back to God, as Mr. Warleigh would have us to suppose, but it is the Divine Spirit which has left man and gone back to its Source. The difference between our view and Mr. Warleigh's is indeed a tremendous one. With him, man is identical with God; with us, man is not identical with God; he is united to God in life ; he is separated from him in death, a separation which may be only for a time, as with the believer, or for ever, as is the case with the unbeliever in the second death.
VIII. For our view we consider that we have the express declarations of Scripture repeated over and over. Man is told that he is made of dust, and shall become dust, while he is never once told, that we know of, that he is a spirit, far less that he is the Divine Spirit itself. We have not been able to see that Mr. Warleigh has advanced any text to this effect.
IX. Before we proceed to consider those passages of Scripture on which he relies for the point chiefly insisted upon by him in his article in the RAINBOW for November, we would endeavour to point out to our readers the very serious consequences that would inevitably follow from the adoption of Mr. Warleigh's view. We apprehend that the mere statement of these consequences will prevent most of the readers of the RAINBOW from viewing it with approval.
X. In the first place, the adoption of Mr. Warleigh's view of human nature implies very plainly a denial of the great truth of immortality in
and through Christ alone. We know indeed that, Mr. Warleigh strongly advocates this great truth in many of his valuable writings, but we are just as satisfied that his view of human nature, carried to its legitimate consequences, is subversive of it. According to Mr. Warleigh, man, by reason of the manner of his creation, not only has the imperishable Spirit of God within him, but he is truly and really that imperishable Spirit himself. His immortality then is not dependent upon his redemption by Christ, but is his by reason of his natural constitution. He may, consistently with this theory, hold that the immortality of man in his tripartite nature is dependent upon redemption, but he cannot consistently with it hold that the immortality of man as a spirit is dependent on it. And the spirit-man, he tells us, is as truly man as he is when he has body, soul, and spirit (496). A higher degree of glory, or a higher degree of happiness, Mr. Warleigh may suppose to be brought to man by redemption ; but he cannot justly suppose the life and immortality of man to be its fruit.
XI. Again, Mr. Warleigh's view of human nature involves him in very serious consequences in regard of the wicked, both during the intermediate state and after the judgment. He has indeed carefully avoided this feature of the subject in his paper (506). But it is one which cannot be avoided by any one who pretends to discuss this great question in any satisfactory manner.
XII. We presume that the natural constitution of all men is one and the same. There is in this respect no difference between the believer and the unbeliever. Both alike have body, soul, and spirit. It is thus that we have read our Bible. All Adam's descendants, irrespective of personal character, irrespective of their relation to Christ, and to his Gospel, inherit a common nature. If Mr. Warleigh does not hold this, he must show us grounds for his opinion from the Bible. The gift of eternal-life which Christ bestows upon his people makes no difference in that original constitution of nature which existed before.
XIII. Not only the believer, then, but the unbeliever also is a spirit, and that an undying one. He too, according to Mr. Warleigh's theory of creation, is an imperishable spirit. How does this affect his position in the intermediate state? Mr. Warleigh very justly holds that the spirit in death does not go to Hades, but returns to God, i.e., goes to heaven. He must therefore hold that the unbelieving man goes to God in heaven in the interval between death and resurrection. In what condition does he suppose him to be there ? Does he suppose him to be happy? That we can scarcely conceive. Does he suppose him to be miserable? It is almost as impossible to suppose misery in heaven as to suppose the wicked happy there. We do not wonder that Mr. Warleigh avoids this aspect of the question. It is one, however, which he must face.
XIV. Another very serious consequence of Mr. Warleigh's view of human nature is that it leads inevitably to one or other of two false views, either to the eternal agonies of the wicked or to their universal restoration. Mr. Warleigh has written against both of these views, but his theory of our nature leads beyond question to one or other of them. John Wesley said—“I am an immortal spirit," and hence he argued for the everlasting misery of the wicked. Origen said," I am an im. mortal spirit,” and hence he argued for universal restoration. To one or
other of these fearful errors this theory of human nature must lead. If man be indeed an undying spirit, then he must exist for ever either in misery or in happiness. The old falsehoods which Mr. Warleigh labours with one hand to abolish he labours with the other to build up. If he would be consistent with his better and truer teaching, he must give up his theory that the Divine Spirit within man is identical with the man in whom it is. It is a doctrine in no essential respect one whit different from what is usually called the Platonic theory of the immortality of the soul, and its identity with the man. We say with much respect, but we say with the utmost distinctness, that Mr. Warleigh is still encompassed with that web of false philosophy from which he imagines himself free.
XV. Another consequence of Mr. Warleigh's theory of nature is that it leads him into direct and plain contradiction to Scripture in regard to the position of man generally in the intermediate state. According to him, the spirit is the man and goes on death to God in heaven. Speaking of the appearance of Moses, supposed by him a spirit, on the Mount of Transfiguration, he says, “ Moses was as truly on the holy Mount as he was on Mount Sinai" (496). In the same way he must say of all believers located by him in the spirit state in heaven, that “they are as truly in heaven as they were on earth.” But what does Scripture say ? Speaking of one of the most eminent believers in the intermediate state, Peter says, " David is not ascended into the heavens." (Acts ii. 34.) David, Mr. Warleigh would tell us, is in heaven : but Peter, speaking by inspiration, tells us that he is not.
XVI. We will not dwell long upon another consequence which, we have no doubt, follows from Mr. Warleigh's theory of spirit. He allows the scriptural truth that the very same Divine Spirit which is in man is also in every lower animal (492). If in man it becomes and is in fact the man, it seems impossible to avoid the inference that in the beast it becomes and is the beast. This sounds profane. To our mind it is profane. But it is not one iota more profane, or more unreasonable, than Mr. Warleigh's view that the Divine Spirit is man. If then we allow the above inference, and we cannot see how Mr. Warleigh can deny it, we must hold the theory of essential immortality for every creature that has ever had life. It would be a mistake to suppose with Scripture that the beasts perish!
XVII. These are very serious consequences. Whence do they arise ? Simply from this : that Mr. Warleigh identifies the Divine Spirit in a man with the man in whom it is. His mistake arises from his not accepting the Scriptural view that man has the Divine Spirit, though he is not himself that Spirit. Let Mr. Warleigh but make this change in his theory and he will fully agree with us, and his views will be freed from consequences such as must ever hinder their general acceptance. But if he makes this change, he will also see that he must abandon his view of the believer's survival in the intermediate state. As he is not the Divine Spirit, but is then separated from that Spirit, he must needs lose all the life of which that Spirit was the source, and must wait for the return of that Spirit before he can have any life at all. The condition of that Spirit during the intermediate state is nothing whatsoever to the man who sleeps in the dust of the earth.
XVIII. An erroneous view can scarcely be consistent with itself, and leads almost of necessity to contradiction. Mr. Warleigh's view is not exempt from those charges, as we will now proceed briefly to point out before we turn to his scriptural references in support of his theory that the dead are truly alive.
XIX. At page 492, Mr. Warleigh very truly tells us that the spirit in every living creature is a portion of the Spirit of God, and as such, cannot die. This he affirms of the spirit in whatever kind of creature it is breathed by God, whether “ vegetable, or mental, or animal, or spiritual.” The spirit, he says, " can never die." But in the course of his article, he speaks of what we have adverted to in our work on Hades, viz., the re-absorption of the spirit by God. We taught in our work that this is a process which is continually going on in nature, and that takes place in all death, and is in fact the cause of all death. We are much pleased to find that Mr. Warleigh here agrees with us very much. He says that “the clearest evidence exists that this is perpetually done" (496). But farther on he tells us that when the spirit is wholly “absorbed in Deity,” it “has no existence !" (504). Thus after telling us in one place that it can never die, he tells us in another that it is perpetually losing its existence !
XX. Mr. Warleigh's theory while leading him to inconsistencies, also leads him to the assertion of impossibilities. At p. 493 he accepts the scriptural teaching, and tells us that "the believer is really dead till the resurrection morn.” Here he tells us that a person who was once alive, is now really and truly dead. But instead of stopping here, he, after the admission of this, labours to prove that the believer in his personality and individuality and identity is alive! There was but one person during life. Death, according to Mr. Warleigh, produces two persons! Such are the impossibilities which this theory gives rise to, and must continue to give rise to while it is maintained. In deference to the teaching of Scripture, it is conceded that believers are really and truly dead, and not in mere make-believe ; while in deference to a false philosophy, it is maintained that these same believers are truly and really alive! Death has produced two persons out of one !
XXI. But Mr. Warleigh tells us that he finds in Scripture cases of men who died, and who appear alive in the spirit state. It would indeed be serious if he could establish this. We should in that case have Scripture contradicting itself. In one place it would tell us that in death “ All man's thoughts perish," and elsewhere it would tell us that their thoughts have not perished at all, that their memory goes back to the past, and their mind goes forward to the future just as when they were alive! Rude would be the shock given to our faith in Scripture if such contradictory statements could be proved to exist in it. We thank God that they cannot.
XXII. In order that Mr. Warleigh should establish his position with respect to man's survival after his death, as drawn from alleged appearances related in Scripture, he must establish two points; the first is that the appearances mentioned are the appearances of men ; the second is that they must be the appearances of men as spirits apart from both soul and body. It is quite plain that the appearances of living beings who were not men is no proof that dead men are alive. And it is equally plain, we