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The Nature and Tendency of Modern Spiritualism

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    THEY DENY THE RESURRECTION

    On this point there is no need to give a word of testimony, as they so completely ignore the doctrine that they seldom speak of it except with the most contemptuous expressions. We have often been led to wonder at Spiritualists, who will quote the Bible to sustain themselves on other points, affirming that a denial of the immortality of the soul is a denial of future life beyond the grave, with as much apparent confidence as though the Bible never mentioned the resurrection.NTMS 55.4

    “Rev. A. D. Mayo,” in the Division-st. church, Albany, in a sermon on Spiritualism, said it shows “how the soul of man needs the assurance of an Endless existence.” But no man ever received assurance by Spiritualism of an endless existence through “Jesus and the resurrection;” on the contrary, its teachings are uniform that all have eternal life independent of Christ; that all are progressing to the same state of eternal bliss; that this is the unavoidable destiny of all. Woodman says:—NTMS 55.5

    “At death, the external body of man again mingles with the common mass of the earth, never more to be reclaimed or needed by the man who gives it up.”—Reply to Dwight, page 82.NTMS 56.1

    To show that Dr. Hare and others are wrong in the statement that the Old Testament does not teach immortality, we shall examine the Scriptures themselves on the subject. The Old Testament, it is true, does not teach immortality as Dr. Hare understands it, that is, the natural or inherent immortality of an intangible soul; neither does the New Testament. But they both teach immortality in a sense that Spiritualists do not believe, that is, through a resurrection. Why intelligent, learned, Bible-read Spiritualists overlook this fact we shall not attempt to explain. We will give the proofs, and leave it between them and our readers.NTMS 56.2

    1. The Resurrection of the Body taught in the Old Testament.-We shall omit the consideration of many texts which speak of a hope of future life, without directly defining the means of its fruition, and notice such as speak explicitly on this point.NTMS 56.3

    Paul says that Abraham looked for the fulfillment of God’s promise to him through Isaac, even though he was slain, “accounting that God was able to raise him even from the dead.” Hebrews 11:17-19. This, of course, must refer to the resurrection of the body, the whole man, as the multiplication of his seed through Isaac was a prominent part of the promises.NTMS 56.4

    Isaiah 26:19: “Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust; for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.”NTMS 57.1

    This is to us an assurance of future life that no spiritualistic phenomena can strengthen; but we doubt whether there is a Spiritualist in the land who would deny Dr. Hare’s statement on this plain testimony of the Old Testament.NTMS 57.2

    Proverbs 14:32: “The righteous hath hope in his death.” Inherent or natural immortality cannot be a subject of hope; nor does the text say that by reason of this he hopes to escape death, as Spiritualism teaches. The reasonable conclusion is in harmony with the other texts we quote.NTMS 57.3

    Isaiah 25:8: “He will swallow up death in victory.” Here is a promise, plain and explicit; Paul refers to it in his argument on the resurrection of the body. He says: “So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.” Every expression here must be inverted to make this accord with the views of Spiritualists.NTMS 57.4

    Jeremiah 31:15, 16: “Rachel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not. Thus saith the Lord: Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears; for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the Lord; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy.”NTMS 57.5

    By Matthew 2:17, 18, we learn that this was prophetic of the lamentation for the children slain by Herod. According to this, the action of Herod placed them under the dominion of an enemy; the Scriptures call death an enemy; from the dominion of the enemy they shall “come again” or ‘return to their own border.” Directly opposed to this, Spiritualism teaches that death is not an enemy, and that the infants slain passed immediately to the seventh sphere, the highest state of happiness. See Dr. Hare’s book, page 110, and Allen Putman’s work entitled, “Natty, a Spirit.”NTMS 57.6

    Ezekiel 37:12, 13: “Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves.”NTMS 58.1

    Daniel 12:2: “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”NTMS 58.2

    Hosea 13:14: “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death; O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction.”NTMS 58.3

    What language could prove a future life beyond the grave, if this does not? By this we see what reliance is to be placed on the assertions of Spiritualists respecting the Bible.NTMS 58.4

    2. The New Testament teaches the Resurrection of the Body.-Prominent on this subject we find the resurrection of Christ, and as it is both the surety and the example of the resurrection of his followers, we will examine it with care. Woodman, who professes to be a Bible-believing Spiritualist, accounts for his appearance after his death by saying he couldNTMS 58.5

    “Extemporize for them from surrounding matter, a thin, temporary, material form.”NTMS 59.1

    And to dispose of the resurrection, he says:—NTMS 59.2

    “At death, the real man, that is to say, his soul and spirit, rise from or out of his dead body; that in the New Testament this is denominated A or the resurrection.”—Reply to Dwight, page 82.NTMS 59.3

    Such a perversion of Scripture as this is altogether without excuse. The language of the New Testament is plain and decisive, not only in regard to the resurrection of the body of Christ, but also of the bodies of all.NTMS 59.4

    1. The resurrection of Christ was not the rising of his spirit out of his body when he died, for he did not rise till the third day after his death; will they thence contend that his spirit did not leave his body till the third day after his death?NTMS 59.5

    2. That which arose was placed under the guardianship of Roman soldiers; but no one can believe that after Jesus had been some hours dead, the soldiers were put on guard to prevent the escape of his spirit!NTMS 59.6

    3. His enemies denied his resurrection and reported that his disciples had stolen him. But we cannot even suppose that they reported, or that anybody believed, that his disciples stole his spirit out of his body the third day after he died!NTMS 59.7

    4. When his followers went to the sepulcher, after his resurrection, they “found not the body of the Lord Jesus.” Luke 24:3.NTMS 59.8

    5. Peter, in his sermon on the day of Pentecost, proves the resurrection of Christ by the promise of God to David, that “of the fruit of his loins according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;” Acts 2:30, 31; which is direct and positive proof of a bodily resurrection.NTMS 59.9

    This is sufficient to show what the resurrection of Christ was, according to the Scriptures; and we may safely affirm that, 1. The idea of the resurrection as taught by Spiritualism is not advanced in the Bible, either directly or indirectly; and, 2. Those who heard the apostles preach did not get such an idea from their teachings, notwithstanding their prepossessions would incline them to it. We will take the case of Paul at Athens, which as clearly shows this fact as could be desired. Nearly five hundred years before the time referred to, Socrates taught the present spiritualistic view, and told his friends before his death they would not bury Socrates; they would bury the body, but Socrates would go to dwell with the gods. Less than four hundred years before the time of Paul, and soon after the death of Socrates, Plato advanced his subtle sophistries on the same subject. It is generally claimed that Plato’s reasonings were received by the philosophers of those days. These philosophers Paul met at Athens, the seat of this style of philosophy, and they heard him until he preached the resurrection of the dead, when they mocked, and would hear him no further. Had he taught the rising of an immortal soul out of the dying body, as Woodman says the resurrection means in the New Testament, instead of mocking, they might have placed Jesus whom Paul preached, in the temple of their gods!NTMS 60.1

    This view is confirmed by the resurrection of those saints whose bodies came out of their graves, and who went into the holy city and appeared to many, after the resurrection of Christ; and also by Christ’s declaring that he was the resurrection, and immediately demonstrating it by calling Lazarus from the grave.NTMS 60.2

    In Romans 8:23, Paul says that we who have the first-fruits of the Spirit are waiting and groaning for the redemption of the body.NTMS 61.1

    In Philippians 3:21, he says Christ “shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body.”NTMS 61.2

    In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, the apostle says he does not wish them to be ignorant concerning them which are asleep, nor to sorrow as those that have no hope; he then instructs them on the hope of the Christian, showing that, 1. The Lord himself shall descend. 2. The dead in Christ shall arise. 3. The living shall be caught up with them to meet the Lord. The result: So shall we ever be with the Lord. Then follows the application: Comfort one another with these words.NTMS 61.3

    We might give much more proof, but the above is more than sufficient to expose the false statements of Spiritualists. And if any apology seems necessary for offering so much proof on so plain a point, we present it in the following words of Dr. Clarke:—NTMS 61.4

    “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! So the apostles preached, and so primitive Christians believed; so we preach, and so our hearers believe. 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.”—On 1 Corinthians 15.NTMS 61.5

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