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By REV E. L. Powell

"Let not your hearts be troubled, ye believe in God, believe
also in me." John 14:1.
By REV E. L. Powell

"Let not your hearts be troubled, ye believe in God, believe
also in me." John 14:1.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Nov 11, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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ARE THOSE WE CALL DEAD ALIVE? By REV E. L. Powell"Let not your hearts be troubled, ye believe in God, believe also in me." John 14:1. I do not think I can select a better text than that recorded in the first verse of the fourteenth chapter of John's Gospel: *'Iyet not your hearts be troubled, ye believe in God, believe also in me." As we utter the words, *'He whom thou lovest is dead," the deepest note of sadness in human speech has been sounded. It falls on the ear as the dirge of the night wind or as the moan of the^ weary sea. If we shall view death as an isolated fact apart from the setting of eternity, it means failure, defeat, despair. It is night without a star; it is desolation without even a gleam of comfort and cheer. When we look for the last time upon the dead face of our beloved, questions of the heart no less than of the intellect crowd upon us. They become clamorous and insistent for an answer under the pressure of grief; they concentrate themselves into a mighty cry. 233 Are Those We Call Dead Alive? Here are some of them. Are those we call the dead living? Does the soul preserve its indi- vidual and personal life? Is immortality con- ditioned upon character, or is it an inherent attribute of the soul? Is there a physical
resurrection, a resurrection of the body? Is this resurrection immediate upon death, or post- poned? What is the character of the spiritual body? What is the order of events described as resurrection, the second advent, the judg- ment? Is there an intermediate state? Is there a period after the resurrection and prior to the  judgment known as the millennium? Shall we know each other there? It w^ould be manifestly impossible to consider at length all of these questions in a single discourse. The prominent question, that which involves all others, concerns the reality and certainty of a future life. If a man die, shall he live again? This is the question of the ages and the centuries. Sometimes it is a moan of despair, sometimes it is a clear, ringing soprano tone of confidence and delight. Let it be affirmed in the very outset of these remarks that w^e cannot demonstrate immor- tality. It does not belong to the scientific realm. As well ask us to give the linear meas- urement of a principle or the troy weight of an emotion, or the color of an affection. As well require that we discover the soul with a 234 Are Those We Call Dead Alive? scalpel or a microscope. In this discourse and in our attempt to answer this inquiry, we are thrown upon the nature of the soul, the pri- meval instincts of the soul, the conclusions of human reason -and the Christian revelation. The argument is cumulative. One line of evi-
dence may not be wholly satisfactory, but all the lines of evidence converge into a radiant and splendid conviction. For instance, the nature of the soul as inde- structible is a commonplace of thought. Even Hindoo philosophy declares that the soul is indivisible, inconsumable, indestructible. Sci- ence has not overthrown the affirmation. As far as we can go into this invisible realm of spiritual life we are assured of the indestruc- tibility of the soul of man. Fire cannot con- sume it, floods cannot overwhelm it. It is distinct from the body as the swimmer is dis- tinct from the flood. The body perishes because it is made of perishable stuff. The soul is immortal because it is immaterial. It follows, therefore, that the doctrine of a conditional immortality is impossible. Immortality is a fact apart altogether from whether a man be good or bad. It is true that character deter- mines whether or not our immortality shall be happy or miserable. The life that we have lived determines destiny. It does not in any wise have to do with the fact of immortality. 235 Are Those We Call Dead Alive? That is integral, constitutional, inherent, an attribute of the soul. Or, again, it is a most significant fact, not to be explained apart from the admission of immortality, that the faith in a future life is universal. That is to say, all nations and kin- dreds and tribes and peoples have entertained

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