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REV MR BROWN'S LECTURE, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2215, 2 September 1889
REV MR BROWN'S LECTURE
"A LIVING MAN,"
The Rev O. O Brown, of Timaru, delivered his second lecture on Friday evening at the Orange Hall, the subjeot being "A living mm has a tripartite nature, that is, is composed of spirit, sou', and body ; what then is the distinction between spirit and soul ?'' A lar.c audlenoe had assembled comfortably fri ng the hell, and the leoture, which lasted for an hour and a quarter was listened to wit. evident interest and unwavering attention.
The lecturer commenced with the statement that every intelligent person ehouM be able to give au answer to the question •* What am I?" The underetanding of human nature (next to Ihe fear of tbe Lord) should be the beginning of our wisdom. Tbe answer of tbe old heathen world to this question was, "Man is an immortal spirit who resides for a short time m a mort.l body" Consequently these ancients scouted tho idea :of any future resurrection as being Impossible and absurd— -for wby reimprison the escaped immortal soul In its cage (the body) again to all eternity ? Hence tbe contemptuous way m whioh the Athenians dismissed Paul when he preached on Mars Bill concerning the < resurrection of the dead. Their friends were not dead . They were all alive m ghost land, m the laud of shades ; It was only tbe worthless body that was dead— an encumbrance the immortal spirit waß only too glad to get rid of. So there could not be a resurrection of the dead, because none of their loved ones had died— -they bad only been set free from their body and transferred to another state. Socrates gave expression to the world's belief when he said to his disciples just before drinking the fatal cup, " I depart hence to-day. I depart to the gods." The philosopher Plato, whose teaching is incorporated wit. and saturates - our Christian theology to the very oore, maintained tbat man was not formed out of the dust of the ground. Man is truly snd properly an immortal sonl whioh for some reason or other Is united to a body This unhn Plato considered a great evil, and so regarded death as a blessing, , seeing it dissolves an undesirable union •nd frees the soul — the man — from the body, which is a burden and clog to the man; John Wesley and other popular preacheia have been disciples of Plato and aocepted his teaching. Wesley said (and ,he expresses the general belief of to-day) *' lam now an immortal spirit strangely commingled with a little portion of earth. In a short time I am to quit this house of cay and remove to another state. " Now how different Is all this to the Bible tesohlng. The Bible persists In Calling the body when dead tbe man. Peter said "David Is dead, his ■eputahre Is with ns to this day. David is not yet ascended into the heavens." And Jesus deolared ".So man bath ascended Into the heavens." The Lord also •mphatloally deolared that " Lszarus was desd," and proceeding to the tomb he oalled to the decomposing corpse Inside and bade v Lezirus oome forth. And he that was dead oame forth." (If Lsz.rus had been very happy lo heaven for four days was it a kindly thing to bring him baok to the aorrow and pain of earth attain 1) What Js man 1 Who csn tell ut 1 Only man's Creator oan give us the Information. Aden, could not possibly know how he was made, and of what composed, nnless Ills Maker vouchsafed to enlighten blm. Moses eonld not have recorded the fact except it was revealed. But our origin ia distinctly made known. The words are grsnd In their simplicity, "The Lord Ood formed man of the dust of 'hs (ground." And even sf.tr the Inanimate man had breathed and l'*-ed and sinned — after he bad becefmO _fft living soul " — the Almighty Guv .aid co that living man, "dust tiaOU art, unto dust ehalt thou return." Tra.j Ood " breathed ioto his (via-— the -already exlsticg maa'e) nostrils the breat . of life," and oiused him to beoome " a living soul "—-but man as man is simply •Dd only dust, the entry of God's eplrlt or breath of life converts hlra from being • dead man into a living men. As long •s God continues that breath or spirit the mm lives, but when God takes A "ay the breath the man dies, or as Solomon says i " The duet returns to the earth as It wjb, j;ud the spirit returns to the God who gave It f (goes back to the plaoe from wbenoe It originally oame.) ,"So If I am an immortal b'plrlt I was In state of existence before I was enolosed In this mortal body—and I simply rel urn— that Is go back to he.yen — wbere I was living before I entered a body of fl_sh." The leoturer dwelt upon this fundamental point for same while, quoting numerous passages of Sorlptnre to prove and support bis contention that man — as man — lscom-
posed of duat only (not dust and spirit, or dust and soul), bnt as Moses declares : "God formed man of ihe dost of the gronnd.'
Mr Brown then prooeeded to show how the dust — formed man became alive. Into the lifeless body God breathed the breath of life — In other words— a portion of God's spirit. Numerous passages were quoted to show that *' breath" and "spirit" are one and tbe »me thing; for Instance, m the book of Job we read, "The spirit of God hath made me, aod the breath of the Almighty glveth me life. If He gather to Himself His spirit and His breath, all flash shall perish together." The spirit inside a men is not the man himself, It Is God's spirit, lent to the man for a short while, to quicken him and when God withdraws It the man dies. -3«m.s the Apostle says " The body without the spirit ls dead. ' When a believer dies he commits this spirit Into God's bands with ssiorance (he may even oall ft hla iplrlt— though really God's spirit•l did Stephen, "Into Tby hands I commend my spirit") for God has promised to restore it to him at the resurrection morning, In the day when " those who are lv tbe graves shall hear Hla voioe and oome forth." Tbe Ohr's.len Is entitled to oall this spirit bis. beeanee God has promised film life eternal, viz., that he shall again possess this spirit and be qulokened by it to all eternity. What then la the soul . It Is tbe Mfc eaoh m»n, animal, bird and fish poßte.scs. Genesis I, 30, (R.V. margin) .ssorts this ; " God gave greeu herb for meat to every beast of the earth. . . wherein there Is a living soul." Then If the soul or life is an Immortal something, cats, dogs and hones are Immortal for all have c. "living soul." Tbe soul or lifo does not survive the body — they die together. The soul or life tbe Bible declares is In the bicod. Hence the .Tows were forbidden ti partake of blood. Hence tbe blood (or life) waa sprinkled on the altar to make atonement, and Jesus poured ont bis soul or life (In his blood) on the cross. Tbe blood, or life, or soul of Jesus Christ Is that whloh was forfeited for oor sakes. Hla death— loss of sonl or life—brings •boot our redemption. Now we oan see the importance of the question "What is a man profited if be shall gain the whole world and lose his life (soul) or what shall a man give In exohange for his Jife V
The lecturer oonoluded with these words "*• Tbe spirit is a.** invisible something — no -one knows wbat (tu_* Bible calls it "the (breath of life") which ernes from God who Is a spirit, and la for a ITIUe lent ns by Him. This spirit Is not my «?ul or life, but In some mysterious way it causes .Ife to spring up within me. This spirit 1s an immortal spirit. It does not belong to me (though I, If a Christian, sm permitted to call it mine, as it li promised to <ne baok again at the re.urreotlon never •gain to be taken from me) and when I die this spirit " returns to God who cave it." B
"Th*fon.4»*be mortal Ufa of man, jrblob Ji oioied by the tntrtnof of Gptl'i
spirit. The soul or life belongs to me, Is part of myself. When God takes away His spirit, my soul, or life and body die tcg>ther, both cease to exist. Hence when a man bheds to death we cay hla life or soul ls ebbing from him.
" The body Is the man himself, made out of dust and became of sin, Is doomed by God to return to tho cunt again. But God has promised that those (His people) who Bleop In tbo dust of the earth shall presently awako to die uo more. A living man is tripartita as a moving railway engine may so be considered. The fire csn es l c.m In the boiler, nnd the iti.tn glV'B motion. The entrance of the spirt of Gjd oauses life (or sou') ln tbo blood and so the man beoomoo a living boing. Take away the fire from the engine, the steam sonn Is exhausted and though the framework of the engine with all Its maohlnery Is . there, It moves not. So when God withdraws His spirit— the life or soul In man soon ls exhausted, and naught but the ooipse — the dead man remains."
The above is a bare outline of an address thoroughly worked out ln all its detail, eaob point advanced being oarefully proved and supported by ample Borlptural quotations. Whether we agree or disagree with the leoturer at any rate we must admit that he appears able to draw materia 1 , from every book ln the Bible wherewith to maintain and uphold the views he advocates.
REV MR BROWN'S LECTURE, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2215, 2 September 1889
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