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Here and Hereafter

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    PREFACE

    DOES the reader ask for what object this book is written?HHMLD 3.1

    The inquiry shall be candidly and courteously considered. There are certain serious questions which, in a world like this, force themselves upon all thoughtful minds. It should be a matter of absorbing interest to all to learn with what nature man is constituted; what his condition in death may be; what future awaits him, if any, beyond the grave; and how that future is affected by his course of conduct here.HHMLD 3.2

    These are inquiries of most weighty moment; but all experience proves that man of himself is not able to answer them. Only a revelation from God can throw light on these questions. Happily we have such a revelation which purports to have answered them; for it claims to be able to make men “wise unto salvation.” What that answer is, the following pages undertake to show. That is the object of this book.HHMLD 3.3

    On the subjects here discussed there is a wide-spread and daily increasing agitation throughout the theological world at the present time. Breaking away from long-established traditions, men are turning their attention more particularly to what the Bible says upon these points; and in all the leading nations of Christendom the views of Bible students are in a state of transition. The old theology is being brought to the bar of the Bible, and judged accordingly. The doctrine that there is no eternal life out of Christ, and that, consequently the punishment of the wicked is not to be eternal misery, is now able to present any array of adherents so strong in numbers, so cultivated in intellect, and so correct at heart, that many of its opponents are changing their base of operations toward it, and taking steps looking not only to a toleration of its existence, but to a compromise with its claims.HHMLD 3.4

    In adding another book to the many which have been written on this subject, the object has been to give in a concise manner a more general view of the teaching of the word of God, the ultimate source of authority, on this topic, than has heretofore been presented. A chapter on the Claims of Philosophy is appended to the Biblical argument, more to answer the queries of those who attach importance to such considerations, than because they are entitled to any real weight in the determination of this question.HHMLD 4.1

    The interest that has of late years arisen on the subject of the state of the dead, is most timely. Spiritualism has arisen and is seeking to spread its doctrines and baneful influence over all the land. This great delusion appeals to the popular views of the condition of man in death as a foundation for its claims. The teaching of the Bible on this point is the most effectual antidote to its seductive poison. Before the true light on the intermediate state, and the destiny of the wicked, not only Spiritualism, with its hosts of darkness flees away, but purgatory, saint-worship, universalism, and a host of other errors all go down.HHMLD 4.2

    In this period of agitation and transition, let no man blindly commit himself to predetermined views, but hold himself ready to follow truth always and everywhere. Let him hold his sympathies entirely at its disposal. This is the course of safety; for truth has angels, Christ, and God, upon its side; and though it had but one adherent on the earth, it would triumph all the same. Truth can receive no lasting detriment from the opposition of the world, and the powers of darkness, all combined. Its triumph is assured by the pledge of Omnipotence; and all who follow it, few in number though they be, at last will triumph with it too.HHMLD 4.3

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