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still in the sepulchre; he therefore could not say this of himself; but being a prophet, and so foreseeing that God would raise up Jesus from the dead, he said this of the resurrection of Christ, thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, or my life in the grave."
What we have made the above quotation chiefly for, is to show that the word psuhe, or soul, goes to Hades, or the grave, as well as the body. The Saviour's soul was not left there. Or rather, is not the word soul used here for the person of our Lord, and the meaning simply is, that he was not left in the state of the dead? At any rate, it had no reference to his spirit, which he commended into the hands of his Father. Does not this confirm what has been stated already, that the phrase soul and body spoken of in this passage, is a mere Hebrew idiom? Or that soul is used as an expletive? If it is not, let it be shown that the soul is the same as spirit, or the immortal part of man, and that body and spirit both go to Hades. If the psuhe, soul, is said to go to the grave, and to be left there, if the person is not raised again from the dead, why may it not with as much propriety be said, that it is cast into or destroyed in Gehenna? It has no reference to the spirit, or immortal part, unless we believe that the spirit goes to the grave at death, and is left there until, with the body, it is again raised from the dead. That a distinction is made between the psuhe, soul or life, and the pneuma, spirit, we shall now proceed to show.
Paul, in his epistle to the Hebrews, chap. iv. 12. makes a distinction between psuhe and pneuma, or soul and spirit, "dividing asunder of soul and spirit.” And in 1 Thess. v. 23. says," And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly and I pray God your whole spirit (pneuma) and soul, (psuhe) and body, (so
See Whitby's note on Acts ii. 26, 27.
ma) be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." Here is a distinction not only between the body and soul, or natural life, but between both these, and the spirit, or immortal part. When Stephen prayed,-"Lord Jesus receive my spirit," he did not pray,-"Lord Jesus receive my (psuhe) soul," but "Lord Jesus receive my (pneuma) spirit." When Jesus said, "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit," it was not his psuhe, (soul) but his pneuma, (spirit) which he commended into the hands of his Father. See Luke xxiii. 46. And when he bowed his head and gave up the ghost, it was not his (psuhe) soul, but his (pneuma) spirit, he yielded up. John xix. 30. Matth. xxvii. 50. Besides, be-lievers are not said to be come to the (pshuhai) soulsof just men made perfect, but are said to be come to the (pneumasi) spirits of just men made perfect. Heb. xii. 23. For more examples, see 1 Peter iii. 19. Luke viii. 55. and xxiv. 37, 39. and 1 Cor. v. 5.That a distinction between soul, body and spirit is made in Scripture, is too obvious from these passages to be denied. Concerning this distinction, see Whitby on 1 Thess. v. 23.
But that (psuhe) soul, in the passage before us, means the natural life, I shall illustrate by an instance or two in point, from the very context of the passages before us. Thus in Matth. x. 39. it is said, "he that findeth his life, shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake, shall find it." Here the word for life is psuhe, as in the passages we are considering. See also Luke xii. 19, 20. Had this word been translated soul instead of life in the last quoted text, it would have read thus:-"He that findeth his soul shall lose it: and he that loseth his soul for my sake, shall find it." Could this be said of the immortal spirit? This no one will assert. This text, then, not only shows what psuhe, life, or soul, means, but it ex
plains the texts on which we are remarking. They then read thus:"Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the life: but rather fear him who is able to destroy both life and body in hell." But it may be said, is not killing the body killing the life? To this I answer, in one sense it is, and in another it is not. It is killing or destroying the life from this present world. This men may and can do. But their power reaches no further than this. Men may kill the body, but they cannot kill the life, so as to prevent its reanimating the body; but God can not only kill the body, but prevent its ever again living. God's power reaches to this; for he is able to destroy the life, or in other words, prevent the person from living again.
But to illustrate this still further, it ought to be duly considered, if in Scripture the psuhe or life, is ever spoken about as existing separate from the body. That pneuma, spirit, is thus spoken of we think is obvious from the above texts. But we do not find psuhe so mentioned, but the contrary. This we have seen from the quotation from Whitby on Acts ii. 27. "Thou wilt not leave my soul (psuhe) in hell." Here his life or soul is considered as along with his body in Hades or the grave. But observe, that his pneuma, spirit, which he commended into the hands of his father, is never said to be in Hades or in the grave. This is not said of him, nor of any other person. It is easily seen, then, that there is nothing more strange in speaking of both life and body being destroyed in hell or Gehenna, than there is in saying that our Lord's life or soul was not left in Hades or the state of the dead. By his soul not being left there is evidently meant that he did not continue dead, but on the third day lived again. So in the passage under consideration, God is said to be able to destroy both body and soul in Gehenna or hell, or to prevent the persons from
ever living again. This men could not do; they could only kill the body. The Jews killed the body of our Lord by crucifying him. Had God not raised him from the dead, his soul or life would have been killed. But God raised him from the dead, and consequently his soul was not killed or left in Hades. Now, in the passages before us, where God is said to be able to destroy or kill the soul, after he hath destroyed the body, its continuance in this state is all that seems to be meant: for the persons are not spoken of as existing or suffering after this in soul or body in any place. On the contrary, soul and body are not said to be destroyed in Gehenna. But God is only said to be able or to have power to do this. It is evident then, that by soul and body, nothing more is meant than what is expressed in some of the other passages, by the phrase "whole body." Besides, we think it will be admitted that the punishment herc mentioned is nothing more than what we-have seen mentioned in the other passages already considered.
We have now one remark to make, and we deem it conclusive on this subject. Supposing then that Gehenna, in the passages under consideration, does mean the place of endless misery. Let this be considered, for argument's sake, a truth: yea, let it also be granted that the punishment of this place is of endless duration, I ask what follows from these passages? It only follows that the body, or if you please, body and soul, or the life, are destroyed there. It does not follow that the pneuma, spirit, or immortal part, has any concern in this punishment. No; for we have seen them expressly distinguished; and in these passages not a word is said about its being in Gehenna, or punished there. No: nothing like this is to be found in the Bible. We read there of nephish, psuhe, soul, or life, going to Sheol or Hades, and hear of its being destroyed in Gehenna; but do we ever
read of the pneuma, spirit being in any of those places? No; at death, it returns to God, who gave it. So far from the pneuma, spirit, being tormented, killed, or destroyed in Gehenna, or any of those places, it is never represented as being in them at all. We call on any man to produce an instance from Scripture where it is ever said the pneuma, spirit, is in Gehenna, or killed or destroyed in Gehenna. Though nothing like this is to be found in the sacred writings, yet people, from the passage we are considering, conclude that the immortal spirit of man is to be killed or destroyed in Gehenna. Even in the parable of the rich man, it is not said his pneuma, spirit, was there, or tormented in Hades. No such representations are given in the Bible, either about Hades or Gehenna. But ought not such representations to be found there, if the common belief be the doctrine of Scripture? It certainly is the common opinion that the spirits of the wicked go to hell, at death. But from what part of the Scriptures do we learn this? If evidence of such a doctrine is to be found there, let it be produced.
In confirmation of all the above remarks, it may be noticed, that the more those texts and their contexts are considered, Gehenna in them will appear to have the same sense which it has in other places. Indeed, it would be surprising if in this solitary instance it should mean a place of eternal misery, and in all the others only temporal punishment; that it should be used in this sense when addressing the disciples, and that our Lord should never have used it so when he addressed the unbelieving Jews. If it means this in these two passages, it would be in the face of facts, and other texts, altogether irreconcilable with it. The language, we see, agrees with other passages already considered, where it is said, "and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell." See Matth. v. 29, 30.