WHAT IS THE SOUL?

“He spared not their souls from death”-Psa.78:50.

Everybody knows that the body dies, that it needs resupply continually and that hence it cannot be immortal. But the Scrip­tures speak of souls. May it be that the soul is indestructible?­ --that God having made a soul cannot destroy it? 

Reason tells us that, unless there is absolute proof to the contrary, the life of every creature is subject to the will of the Creator. Now notice that the Scriptures nowhere speak of the immortality of the soul, as some people seem to suppose--neither in the translations nor in the original text. Take a Concordance and try to find the expression “immortal souland thus you can quickly convince your­self that no such expression is found in the Scriptures. On the contrary, the Scriptures declare that "God is able to destroy both soul and body" and again, “the soul that sinneth, it shall die.”

That which can die, which can be destroyed, is not immortal, is not proof against death, destruction. Hence the Scriptures cited prove that neither souls nor bodies are immortal.

What, then, is the soul?

The general idea of the soul is that it is an indefinable something in us, but what it is or where it is located few attempt to explain. This unknown something is claimed to be the real, intelligent being, while the body is merely its house or tool. A Methodist bishop once defined a soul, thus: ''It is without interior or exterior, without body, shape, or parts, and you could put a million of them into a nut shell” a very good definition of nothing, we should say!

 The body is not the soul, as some affirm; this is proved by our Lord's statement that "God is able to destroy both soul and body." And now, in view of the foregoing, if our minds be freed from prejudice, we ought to be able to learn something further on this subject by examining the inspired record of man's creation. Turn­ing to Gen. 2:7, we read: ­

"And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed (Heb. blew) into his nostrils the breath (Heb. wind) of life (Heb. lives plural-i.e., such as was common to all living ani­mals); and man became a living soul" (i.e., a sentient being).

From this account it appears that the body was formed first, but it was not a man, soul or being until animated. It had eyes, but saw nothing; ears, but heard nothing; a mouth but spoke nothing; a tongue, but no taste; nostrils, but no sense of smell; a heart, but it pulsated not; blood, but it was cold and lifeless; lungs, but they moved not. It was not a man, but a corpse, an inanimate body.

 The second step in the process of man's creation was to give vitality to the properly "formed" and in every way prepared body; and this is described by the words ·'blew into his nostrils the breath of life." When a healthy person has been drowned, and animation is wholly suspended, resuscitation has, it is said, been effected by working the arms and thus the lungs as a bellows, and so gradually establishing the breath in the nostrils. In Adam's case it of course required no labored effort on the part of the Creator to cause the perfect organism which He had made to breathe the life-giving oxygen of the atmosphere.

In the case of a well person, who has been drowned, more than an hour sometimes elapses between cessation of breathing and resuscitation, during which time a person is fully dead (inanimate) ­as completely dead as ever he would be if he is beyond resuscitation. But, in the case of one resuscitated, where has been the soul-if the soul and physical organism be separate and distinct? Those who claim man is part earth and part spirit should have an answer for such a reasonable question. Or, in the case of Lazarus, who was dead and in the tomb for four days, his body already in a state of decomposition (John 11:39); Where was his soul for those four days if his soul and physical organism were two separate parts? Here again, we ask for a reasonable answer from those who con­tend man's soul and man's physique are separate and distinct.

As the vitalizing breath entered, the lungs expanded, the blood corpuscles were oxygenized and passed to the heart which organ in turn propelled them to every part of the body, awakening all the prepared, but hitherto dormant, nerves to sensation and energy. In an instant, the energy reached the brain, and thought, perception, reasoning, looking, touching, smelling, feeling and tasting commenced. That which was a lifeless human organism had become a man, a sentient being; the "living soul" condition mentioned in the text had been reached. In other words, the term "living soul" means neither more nor less than the term "sentient being"; i.e., a being capable of sensation and perception.

Moreover, even though Adam was perfect in his organism, it was necessary for him to sustain life, soul or sentient being, by partaking of the fruits of the trees of life. And when he sinned, God drove him forth from the garden, “lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree (plural trees or grove) of life, and eat, and live forever (i.e., by eating repeatedly).” (Gen. 3:22.) How the fogs and mysteries scatter before the light of truth which shines from God's Word!

Thus, also, we see why it is that the Scriptures speak of "souls" In connection with the lower animals. They, as well as man, are sentient beings or creatures, only of lower orders. They, as well as man can see, hear, feel, taste and smell; and each can reason up to the standard of his own organism, though none can reason as ab­strusely nor on as high a plane as man. This difference is not because man has a different kind of life from that possessed by the lower animals; for all have similar vital forces, from the same fountain or source of life, the same Creator; all sustain life in the same manner, by the digestion of similar foods, producing blood, and muscles and bones, etc., each according to his kind or nature; and each propagates his species similarly, bestowing the life, origi­nally from God, upon his posterity. They differ in shape and in mental capacity.

Nor can it be said that while man is a soul (or intelligent being) beasts are without this soul-quality or intelligence, thought, feel­ing. On the contrary, both man and beast have soul-quality or intelligent conscious being. Not only is this the statement of Scripture but it is readily discernible as a fact, as soon as the real meaning of the word soul is comprehended, as shown foregoing. To illustrate: Suppose the creation of a perfect dog; and suppose that creation had been particularly described, as was Adam's, what difference of detail could be imagined? The body of a dog would not be a dog until the breath of life would be caused to energize that body ­then it would be a living creature with sensibilities and powers all its own-a living soul of the lower order, called dog, as Adam, when he received life, became a living creature with sensibilities and powers all his own, a living soul of the highest order of flesh beings, called man.

If the great difference between man and beast is not in the life which animates both, and not from lack of soul-power, which both possess, can it be that the difference is in their bodies? Yes; as­suredly, the natural difference is physical, in addition to which is the fact that God has made provision for man's future, as expressed in His promises, while no such provision for a future life is made for beasts-nor are they organically capable of appreciating meta­physics. Other things being equal, the size and weight of the brain indicates capacity and intelligence. In this respect man has been more highly endowed than the brute, by the Creator.  The brute has less brains than man, and what it has belongs almost exclusively to the selfish propensities. Its highest conception of right and wrong is the will of its master, man; it cannot: appre­ciate the sublime in morals or in nature; the Creator did not give it such brain capacity.                     

It should he noted that man has four appetites, the first and most compelling being the Alimentive-the desire for food and drink; second, the Procreative-the affinity for the opposite sex; third, the Acquisitive-the urge to buy, sell and get gain, to lay house to house and field to field; fourth, the Religious-the desire to worship a higher being. All lower animals have the first two of these appetites; some of them have the third; but none of them have the fourth-­none of them have any urge to worship a Divine Being. And, while it is readily admitted that man's physical and mental qualities, and his inclination to worship a Superior Being, make him much superior to any of the brute creation, these things in themselves do not endow him with a soul separate from his physical organism; he is motivated by the same "breath of lives" that animates the entire "soul" creation that inhabits this earth.

But although, because of his fall into sin and death, man's condi­tion is far from what it was in its original perfection when pro­nounced “very good” by the highest Judge--so that some, by the cultivation of the lower organs of thought and a failure to use the higher, intellectual faculties, have dwarfed the organs of the brain representing these higher faculties, yet the organs are still there, and are capable of development, which is not the case with the most nearly perfect specimens of the brute creation. So then it is that the Creator has endowed man with a higher and finer organism, that He has made him to differ from the brute. They have similar flesh and bones, breathe the same air, drink the same water, and eat similar food, and all are souls or creatures possessing in­telligence; but man, in his better body and larger and more sensitive brain possesses capacity for higher intelligence and is treated by the Creator as on an entirely different plane. It is in proportion as sin degrades man from his original likeness of his Creator that he is said to be "brutish"-more nearly resembling the brutes, destitute of the higher and finer sensibilities.

To this the Scripture testimony agrees. We read (Gen. 1:30), "To you it shall be for meat, and to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life (Heb. 'nephesh chaiyaha living soul).” --Again (Gen. 1:20), "Let the waters bring forth the moving crea­ture, that hath life (Heb.-a living soul).”--see marginal readings.

The same lesson, that the life principle is no different in man­kind from what it is in all other creatures whose breath is taken through the nostrils, as distinguishing them from fish, is taught in the account of the destruction wrought by the Deluge. (Gen 6:17; 7:15, 22.) This is in full accord with King Solomon's state­ment that man and beast have all "one breath”  (Heb. ruarch, spirit of life)-one kind of life; and that "as the one dieth, so dieth the other." (Eccl. 3:9.) When he asks (Eccl. 3:21), "Who knoweth the spirit of man that (it) goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that (it) goeth downward to the earth?" he is controverting the heathen theory, which even at that time had begun to speculate that man had some inherent quality which would prevent his death, even when he seemed to die. The wise man challenges any proof, any knowledge, to such effect. This challenge to others to produce proofs, or admit that they have no such knowledge, follows his statement of the truth on the subject in verses 19 and 20.

The distinction between man and beast is not in the kind of breath or life, but in that man has a higher' organism than other animals; possessing moral and intellectual powers and qualities in the image or likeness of those possessed by the Creator, who has a still higher organism, of spirit, not of flesh. And, as already shown, man's hope for a future life lies not in his inherent powers, but in his Creator's gracious provision which centered in the re­demption of every soul or man from death, by the great Redeemer, and the consequent provision that whosoever will may have ever­lasting life by resurrection, subject to the terms of the New Cove­nant.

Our Redeemer "poured out his soul (being) unto death'" "He made His soul (being) an offering for sin" (lsa. 53:10, 12); and it was the soul of Adam (and his posterity) that He thus bought with His precious blood-by making His soul (being) an offering for sin. Consequently souls were redeemed, and souls are to be awakened, resurrected.-Psa. 49:15.

Many suppose that the bodies burled are to be restored atom for atom, but, to the contrary, the Apostle declares, "'thou sowest (in death) not that body which shall be." In the resurrection God will give to each person (to each soul or sentient being) such a body as His infinite Wisdom has been pleased to provide; to the Church, the "Bride" selected in this Age, spirit bodies; to the restitution class human bodies, but not the same ones lost in death.-1 Cor. 15:37,38.  

As in Adam's creation the bringing together of an organism and the breath of life produced a sentient being or soul, so the dissolution of these, from any cause, puts an end to sentient being ----stopping thoughts and feelings of every kind. The soul (i. e., sentient being) ceases; the body returns to dust as it was; while the spirit or breath of life returns to God, who imparted it to Adam, and to his race through him. (Eccl. 12:7.) It returns to God in the sense that it is no longer amenable to human control, as in pro­creation, and can never be recovered except by Divine power. Rec­ognizing this fact, the Lord's instructed ones commit their hope of future life by resurrection to God and to Christ, His now exalted Representative. (Luke 23:46; Acts 7:59.) So, then, had God made no provision for man's future life by a Ransom and a promised resurrection, death would have been the end of all hope for hu­manity.-- 1 Cor. 15:14-18.

MAN WILL LIVE AGAIN

But God has thus made provision for our living again; and ever since He made known His gracious Plan, those who speak and write intelligently upon the subject (for instance, the inspired Scripture writers), as if by common consent, speak of the un­conscious interim between death and the resurrection morning, in which sentient being is suspended, as a sleep." Indeed, the illus­tration is an excellent one; for the dead will be totally unconscious of the lapse of time, and the moment of awakening will seem to them like the next moment after the moment of their dissolution. For instance, we read that speaking of Lazarus' death our Lord said, "Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; I go that I may awake him out of sleep." Afterward, because the disciples were slow to com­prehend, He said, "Lazarus is dead." (John 11:11.) Were the theory of consciousness in death correct, is it not remarkable that Lazarus gave no account of his experience during those four days?  None will claim that he was in a ('hell" of torment, for our Lord calls him His "friend"; and if he had been in Heavenly bliss our Lord would not have called him from it, for that would have been an unfriendly act. But as our Lord expressed it, Lazarus slept, and He awakened him to life, to consciousness, to his sentient be­ing or soul returned or revived; and all this was evidently a favor greatly appreciated by Lazarus and his friends.

The thought pervades the Scriptures that we are now in the night of dying and sleeping as compared with the morning of awakening and resurrection. "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning,''-Psa. 30:5.

The Apostles also frequently used this appropriate, hopeful and peaceful figure of speech. For instance, Luke says of Stephen, the first martyr, “He fell asleep"; and in recording St. Paul's speech at Antioch he used the same expression) "David fell on sleep!' (Acts 7:60, 13:36) St. Peter uses the same expression saying, "The fathers fell asleep.” (2 Pet. 3:4.) And St. Paul used it many times, as the following quotations show: -­

 “The greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep."-1 Cor. 15:6.

 "If there be no resurrection, ... then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.” 1 Cor. 15:13-18.

“Christ is risen from the dead and become the first-fruits of them that slept."- 1 Cor. 15:20.

 "Behold, I show you a mystery, we shall not all sleep." 1 Cor. 15:51.

 "I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them that are asleep.” - 1 Thess. 4:13.

“Them that sleep in Jesus, will God bring (from the dead) with (by) Him.” - 1 Thess. 4:14.

“When the Kingdom, the resurrection time, comes, "we who-are alive and remain unto the presence of the Lord shall not precede them that are asleep.”-1 Thess.4:15.

“They "fell asleep" in peace to await the Lords Day-the Day of Christ, the Millennial Day-fully persuaded that He (Christ) is able to keep that which they committed unto Him against that Day. (2 Tim. 1:12.) This same thought runs through the Old Testament, as well-from the time that God first preached to Abra­ham the Gospel of a resurrection; the expression, "He slept with his fathers," is very common in the Old Testament, But .Job puts the matter In very forceful language, saying, "Oh that Thou wouldst hide me in the grave, that Thou wouldst keep me secret until Thy wrath be (over) past In The present dying time is the time of God's wrath-the curse of death being upon all, because of the original transgression. However, we are promised that in due time the curse will be lifted and a blessing will come through the Redeemer to all the families of the earth; and so Job continues, "All the days of my appointed time will I wait, until my change come; (then) Thou shalt call (John 5:25) and I will answer Thee; Thou shalt have a desire unto the work of Thine hands." (Job 14:14,15.) And we of the New testament times read our Lord's re­sponse, "All that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God" (calling them to awake and come to a full knowledge of God and to a full opportunity of everlasting life), -John 5:25, 29.

Let us illustrate the human and animal body, soul and spirit by something less complex and better understood generally; for in­stance, an unlighted candle would correspond to an inanimate human body or corpse, the lighting of the candle would correspond to the spark of life originally imparted by the Creator; the flame or light corresponds to sentient being or intelligence or soul quality; the oxygenized atmosphere which unites with the carbon of the' candle in supporting the flame corresponds to the breath of life" or spirit of life which unites with the physical organism in pro­ducing soul or intelligent existence. If an accident should occur which would destroy the candle, the flame of course, would cease; so if a human or animal body be destroyed, as by consumption or accident, the soul, the life, the intelligence, ceases.

Or if the supply of air were cut off from the candle-flame, as by an extinguisher or snuffer, or by submerging the candle in water, the light would be extinguished even though the candle remained unimpaired. So the soul, life, existence, of man or animal would cease if the breath of life were cut off by drowning or asphyxiation, while the body might be comparatively sound. (Scripture Studies.) As the lighted candle might be used under favorable conditions to light other candles, but the flame once extinguished the candle could neither relight itself nor other candles, so the human or animal body while alive, as a living soul or being, can under Divine arrangement start or propagate other souls or beings--offspring; but so soon as the spark of life is gone, soul or being has ceased, and all power to think, feel or propagate has ceased. In harmony with this we read in the Scriptures of Jacob's children: "All the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls (Exod. 1:5·.) Jacob received his spark of life as well as his physical organism, and hence the united product of these, his soul or intelligent being, from Isaac and thence from Adam to whom alone God ever directly imparted life. And Jacob passed on the life and organism and soul to his posterity; and so it is with all humanity.

 A candle might be relighted by any one having the ability but by Divine arrangement the human body, bereft of the spark of life, "wasteth away,” "returneth to the dust from which it was taken," and the spark of life cannot be re-enkindled except by Divine power, a miracle. The promise of resurrection is therefore a prom­ise of a relighting, a re-enlkindling of animal existence or soul; and since there can be no being or soul without a body and restored life-power or spirit, it follows that a promised resurrection or res­toration of soul or being implies new bodies, new organisms.  Thus the Scriptures assure us that human bodies which return to dust will not be restored, but that in the resurrection God will give such new bodies as it may please Him to give.-1 Cor. 15:37-40.

The Apostle here declares that in the resurrection there will be a special class accounted worthy of a new nature, spiritual instead of human or fleshly; and, as we should expect, he shows that this great change of nature will be effected by giving these a different kind of body. The candle may here again serve to illustrate: Sup­pose the fleshly or human nature to be illustrated by a tallow can­dle, the new body might be illustrated by a wax candle of a brighter flame or an electric arc-light apparatus.

With any power and wisdom less than that of our Creator guar­anteeing the resurrection, we might justly fear some break or slip by which the identity would be lost, especially with those granted the great change of nature by a share in the first (chief) resurrection to spirit being. But we can securely trust this and all things to Him with whom we have to do in this matter. He who knows our very thoughts can reproduce them in the new brains so that not one valuable lesson or precious experience shall be lost. He is too wise to err and too good to be unkind; and all that He has promised He will fulfill in a manner exceedingly abundantly better than we can ask or think.

The terms body, soul and spirit may be used of the Church col­lectively. For instance, the Apostle says: "I pray God (that) your whole spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless, unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Thess. 5:23.) This prayer must be understood to apply to the Church as a whole--the elect Church, whose names are written in Heaven. The true spirit has been pre­served in the little flock. Its body is discernible today, also, not­withstanding the multitudes of tares that would hide as well as choke it. And its soul, its activity, its intelligence, its sentient be­ing, is in evidence everywhere, lifting up the standard of the peo­ple--the Cross, the Ransom.

 In no other way could we apply the Apostle's words; for, how­ever much people may differ respecting the preservation of the individual spirits and souls of the people addressed, all will agree that their bodies have not been preserved, but have returned to dust, like those of others. Besides, the words body, soul and spirit are in the singular, not in the plural.

SOME QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Some questions with inspired answers will further elucidate mat­ters; hence we submit them,

Question.-Are the promises to the saints of the Gospel Age Heavenly or earthly promises?

Answer.-"As we have borne the image of the earthly, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." 'We are "'partakers of the heavenly calling.”--1 Cor. 15:49; 2 Tim. 4:18; Heb. 3:1; 6:4; Phil, 3:14; Eph. 2:6, 7; 2 Thess. 1:11, 12; 2 Tim, 1:9, 10.

Question.-Will the elect Church, the "overcomers'" the “saints." continue to be human beings, "of the earth earthy"?

Answer.-"God hath given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these we might become partakers of the divine nature-"new creatures."-2 Pet. 1:4; 2 Cor. 5:17; Rom. 8:17,18.

Question.-When will the full change (begun in us by a change of heart, called the begetting of the Spirit) be completed?-When shall we be made like Christ our Lord?

Answer.-"We (saints) shall all be changed." ••• "The dead (saints) shall be raised incorruptible and we shall be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of any eye … this mortal shall put on immortality.”  "Sown a natural (animal) body, it is raised a spirit­ual body!' ‘Thus is the (special) resurrection of the (special, elect) dead."-1 Cor. 15:50-53, 42:44; Phil. 3:11.

Question.-Are full recompenses, either rewards or punishments, to be expected before the resurrection?

Answer.-"'Thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the Just."-Luke 14:14; Rev. 11:18; Matt. 16:27.

Question.-·What is the hope held out for all except the elect Church of the Gospel Age?

Answer. -"The whole (human) creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now, waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God (the saints)." Then shall follow "times of restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began,"· in which "all the families of the earth shall be blessed" through the elect "Seed" of Abraham.-Rom. 8:22, 19; Acts 3:19-21; Gal. 3:16, 29.

Question.-Are the dead conscious or unconscious?

Answer – “The dead know not anything."-Eccl. 9:5; Psa. 146:4; lsa. 38:18, 19.

Question.-Have the departed saints been praising the Lord all along during the past ages?

Answer.-“The dead praise not the Lord."-Psa. 115:17; 6:5; Eccl. 9:6.

Question.--Did the prophets receive their reward at death? or was it reserved in God's plan to he given them at the beginning of the Millennium, the Age of Judgment?

 Answer.-"The time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldst give reward unto thy servants, the prophets," is at the beginning of the sounding of' the last trumpet, the sev­enth trumpet, at the end of the Gospel Age.-Rev. 11:15, 18; Psa. 17:15.

Question.--Were the Apostles promised translation to Heaven at death?--or must they wait for the Lord's Second Coming?

Answer.-"As I said to the Jews, Whither I go ye cannot come; so now I say to you  (Apostles)." "I will come again and receive you unto Myself."--John 13:33; 14:3.

Question.-Was it proper for the saints of the Gospel Age, except such as would be living at the time of the Lord's return, to expect to be crowned at death?

Answer.-"When the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away."-1 Pet. 5:4; 2 Tim. 4:8.; 1 Pet. 1:4,  5.

Question -Did the Apostles expect glory at death or at the Second Coming of Christ?

Answer. -"When Christ who is our life shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory."-Col. 3:4; 1 John 3:2.

Questlon.-Were the saints to “shine" in death?

Answer.-"Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, . . . and they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament (as the sun)."-Dan. 12:2, 3; Matt. 13:40-43.

Question. -Were the Ancient Worthies rewarded at death?

Answer·. --"These all died in faith, not having received the prom­ises; ... that they without us should not be made perfect."-Heb. 11:13, 39, 40.

Question. -David was one of the holy prophets: Was he re­warded by being taken to Heaven?

Answer. -"David is not ascended into the Heavens."-Acts 2:34.

Question. --How many had gone to Heaven up to the time of our Lord's ascension?

Answer. -"No man hath ascended up to Heaven but He that came down from Heaven, even the son of Man."-John 3:13.

Question. -Can He who created man destroy him? Can the soul be destroyed by its Creator?

Answer. -"Fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in Gehenna (the 'Second Death')." "He spared not their souls from death." "The soul that sinneth, it shall die."-Matt. 10:28; Psa. 78:50; Ezek. 18:4, 20; Psa. 22:29; Joshua 10:35; Isa. 37:17; Psa. 56:13; 30:3; 119:175; Matt. 26:38; Isa. 53:10, 12.

Question. -How great importance did the Apostle Paul attach to the doctrine of  the resurrection?

Answer. -"If there be no resurrection of the dead, then is not Christ risen. . . . Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished--1 Cor. 15:13-18.

Question.-Are the unjust now being tormented in some unknown hell? or do they always meet the full penalty of their unrighteous­ness in the present life?

Answer. –“The Lord knoweth how to ... reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment (the Millennial Day) to be punished."-2 Pet. 2:9; Job 21:30.

Question.-What will be the end of those who when tried are found incorrigible--willfully wicked?

Answer. -They shall "go away into a cutting off from life," "be punished with everlasting destruction (a destruction which will never be terminated by a resurrection) for still "The wages of sin is death," "the Second Death,” and still the gift of God, eter­nal life, is to be had only in Christ. "He that hath the son hath life"; he that hath not the son shall not receive that gift.-Rom. 6:23; Rev. 20:14, 15; Matt. 25:46; 1 John 5:12; 2 Thess. 1:9.

Question. -If hell (sheol)  is a place of living torture, lighted with flames and hideous with the curses of its occupants suffering tor­ture, either mental or physical, why do the Scriptures declare it to be a place or state of silence, darkness, forgetfulness and absolute unconsciousness?-Psa.  88:3-12; 6:5; Job 10:21, 22; Eccl. 9:10; Psa. 146:4; Isa. 38:18.

Question. -If God is able to destroy both soul and body in the Second Death~ and if He declares that He will destroy the willfully and intelligently wicked, will not this prove that there will be no such thing as everlasting sin and everlasting agony? And does not this clear God's character from charges of injustice?

Question. -Are not these propositions intimately associated with all the doubts which have troubled you since you became a Christian, and perhaps before? And would not their Scriptural solution greatly assist in rooting, grounding and establishing your faith in the Bible as the inspired Word of God? This has been the blessed re­sult with many who in their confusion were doubtful, skeptical and unsettled Christians, as well as with many open and even blasphemous infidels. It is the key which opens to the honest seeker the treasures of Divine wisdom and grace. "Wisdom is the principal thing, therefore, get wisdom: and with all thy getting get under­standing.”

DIVINE WISDOM

                                                                Happy the man who learns to trace

                                                               The leadings of Jehovah's grace;

                                                                By learning wisdom from above,

                                                                He reads and learns that God is love.

                                                                Wisdom divine! who tells the price

                                                                Of wisdom's costly merchandise?

                                                                Wisdom to silver we prefer,

                                                               And gold is dross compared to her.

                                                               Her hands are filled with length of days,

                                                               True riches and immortal praise;

                                                               Her ways are ways of pleasantness,

                                                               And all her paths lead unto peace.

                                                               Happy the man who wisdom gains;

                                                               Thrice happy who his guest retains:

                                                                He owns, and shall forever own,

                                                                Wisdom and Christ are truly one.