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Thus, the North American Indians and other
uncivilized tribes speak of 'the souls' of warlike and
culinary implements accompanying their owners to
their traditional land of spirits. Here 'the soul' is
the ideal 'self' They talk and think as if the
hatchet or canoe itself Avill re-appear Avith the hero ;
yet they think not that the material thing will
re-appear (any more than the Hebrews thought that
the nevailah or dead body would), but that, its
nephesh or ideal will.

By an anthropopeia with reference to the divine

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The biblical soul and sody. 31

personality, it is also applied to God, " Him that
loveth violence ^ his soul' (or 'he') hateth" (Ps. xi,,
6), "Jehovah hath sworn by himself" (Amos vi., 8).

Whilst the word nephesh is applied to the con-
crete personal self or its ideal, the term nevailah is
used solely to express the mere carciiss; nephesh
maith (dead soul) implies a dead person ; nevailah is
the dead body.

Jehoiakim's dead body (nwlatho) was to be cast
out without burial (Jer. xxxvi., 30); the carcass
of the man of God slain by the lion was cast in the

The word nevailah itself implies that which is
deciduous and falls to decay, and, therefore, has
reference to Hhe body' in contradistinction to 'the

The distinction, then, between nephesh and
nevailah is that which is to be observed between
personal identity and the fleeting atomic body.
The former is permanent, although also atomic ; the
latter is momentary and passing to decay. Yet
both terms are alike applied to men and brutes.

Personal identity is maintained by atomic replace-
ment, independently of atomic identity.

Thus the atomic soul representing personal iden-
tity is ever renewed, whilst the deciduous body is
ever passing away. The octogenarian remains the
same person as the child was.

The nearest analogy in our language to the Hebrew
nephesh is when we use the word 'soul' in the sense

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of * a person;' as "a good soul," "my soul" (or self),
"every soul perished in the wreck," and in the
various pronominal constructions of the word "self"

In the Greek classics, j/z^xq is commonly used in
the same literal personal sense as nepheshy as before
exemplified; but it also bears a corresponding meto-
nymical sense. The phraseology is Hebraistic ; and
the Lexicon of the learned Parkhm'st furnishes the
following illustrations, — ^fi-om Zenophon's Cyropaed.,
lib. iv., TOLQ ^v^cLQ TrepiTroifiadiTOsj "Ye have saved
your lives'' (the metonymical soul or sdf); fi:om
Aristophanes, Nub. line 711, rrjv ^vxn^ eKmpdvtn,
"They drink my souV (or the typical blood);
Virgil applies atiima in the same metonjnnical sense,
purpuream vomit ille animam (^M\i. lib. ix., 349).
The principle or agency of life was supposed to
be in some sense specially dependent upon or iden-
tified with the blood.

The senses in which the word ^ soul ' is employed by
the philosophers are dogmatic exceptions.

In the New Testament the word 'soul' is always
used in the Hebraistic personal sense. Our Saviour
says, " What is a man profited if he shall gain the
whole world and lose his own soul ? or what shall a
man give in exchange for his soul .^" (Matt, xvi., 26) ;
but in a parallel passage in Luke ix., 25, it is written,
" What is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole
world and lose himself? '' which in the Syriac version
is rendered, " lose his soul," the exact Hebraism for
himself y with regard to his future destiny.

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The passage in Psalm xvi., 10, " Thou wilt not
leave my soul in hell" (JSadeSy or the sepulchral
state), is expressly applied to a personal resurrection
in Acts ii., 27, 31.

Thus, also, we understand in a concrete personal
sense such expressions as the following, " Let every
soul (person) be subject unto the higher powers "
(Rom. xiii., 1) ; " Three thousand souls " were
added to the chm'ch, " And fear came upon every
souV (Acts ii.) ; " Eight souls were saved by water"
(1 Peter iii., 20) ; " My soul is (or, ^I am') exceeding
sorrowful, even unto death" (Matt, xxvi., 38).

" I will say to my soul. Soul, thou hast much goods
laid up for many years ; take thine ease, eat, drink,
and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool,
this night shall thy soul be required of thee " (Luke
xii., 19, 20) . Now the soul in the abstract spiritual sense
does not eat and drink ; it is the concrete self which
eats, drinks, and dies.

The salvation of the soul is always spoken of as
a personal condition in relation to the future destiny
of the individual. Thus the * health of the souV is a
phrase emphatically employed in apposition to that
of the corruptible hody (3 John, 2).

To "save a soul from death" (James v., 20) is to
save a person^ and is parallel to the expression,
^* Thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear
thee" (1 Tim. iv., 16).

In all such instances, with which the Scriptures
abound, the Hebraistic phraseology is pronominally


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significant of personal identity in the concrete
(either natural or spiritual) body.

It may be mentioned, so as to avoid circumlocu-
tion, that the foregoing form of expression has become
vernacular. We speak of being stirred to the 'very
depths of our souls,' thereby meaning that we are
moved in 'all our thoughts and feelings.' When
the early Christians are said to have been as " one
soul," we conceive a unison of sentiment and interest
as if they had been ' one person.'

In chapter xviii., 12, 13, of the Apocalypse there
occurs the expression — "the merchandise of bodies,
even the persons of men" (jov yo/xop (rco/taro)!/, icai
tpvxag avQpwTTiav) ; this is parallel to the expression
nephesh adam (" persons of men ") in Ezek. xxvii.,

In a metonymical sense the terms 'soul' and
' spirit ' have sometimes a distinctive doctrinal im-
port, as respectively typical of the natm^al and
spiritual states of the human conscience, into which
the Word of God penetrates as a discemer of the
thoughts and intents of the heart, " piercing even
to the dividing asunder of 'soul' and 'spirit,' and
of the joints and marrow" (Heb. iv., 12).

The personal body in the present state is the
natm*al body, and is in general so translated ; hence
the natural man does not receive the things of the
Spirit of God, because they are foolishness to it and are
only spiritually discerned by the spiritual teaching
of the Word of God (1 Cor. ii., 14) ; the wisdom

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of the natural person is "sensual" (James iii., 15) ;
on the contrary, whatsoever ye do ye should do it as,
from a personally regenerated nature, to the Lord
(Col. iii., 23) ; for the natural soul or person is
without divine instruction and without the Spirit of

Whilst the soul, with respect to a living person,
implies corporeal personality, it is also used in
reference to personal identity in a fiitm'e state. But,
although the same expression of Hhe soul' is applied
to brutes as is applied to man, the limitation of the
resurrection doctrine to the latter intimates the dis-
tinction existing between the idiosyncrasies and
fiiture destinies of the man and those of the brute.

The expression <r5/ta r\^vxiicov (personal body) is
distinctively used to denote that body of personal
identity which shall be raised a spiritual body
(<ra>/ta Trvevfiariicov), in contradistinction to the cor-
ruptible body (nevailah) which shall not be raised
at all. Yet it is with entire propriety said of the
awfia xf^vx^icdv or personal body, " It is sown in cor-
ruption, it is raised in incorruption ; " because the
corruptible or natural body, when sown, possesses
a personal identity the same and as complete as
the spiritual body shall. Isaiah (xxvi., 19) intimates
his hope of a resurrection under the very term
nwlathiy which refers to the corruptible body, parallel
to St. Paul's language, "this corruptible must put
on incorruption ;" some expositors, however, apply
this portion of Isaiah's book prophetically to Christ.

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The patriarch Job also intimates his belief in a
personal resurrection, when he says, " In (from) my
flesh (mihsari) shall I see God" — ^from his resur-
rection body ; " It is sown in corruption, it is raised
in incorruption."

The body was in the Hebrew denominated ^'gaw'
with respect to its substance, and in this sense
(which is applicable to the spiritual as well as to the
natural body) the apostle Paul speaks of waiting
"for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our
body" (Rom. viii., 23) — the <r5/ta r\^vxiKov (1 Cor.
XV., 44) or personal body, the gaiv and not nevailah.
Thus the translators of the Hebrew New Testament
have appropriately adopted the former term, gaiv^
for ^body' in this passage. Gaiv is synonymous with
<raJ/ta, generally used in speaking of the substantial
body (vide 1 Cor. xv).

The natural body shall be exchanged for a spiritual
body, and the corruptible for an incorruptible.

These conditions literally and fully satisfy the
ancient and common arguments as to the immortal
destiny of man.

The common arguments as to the immortality of
the soul do not, in fact, establish its immortality,
but its fitness for immortality, and its intuitive con-
sciousness of such fitness.

Professor McCosh, in his work on the Intuitions of
the Mind, remarks, " But as to whether the dissolution
of the bodily frame is a sufficient cause of the decease
of the soul, as to whether it may abide when the bodily

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frame is disorganised, this is a question to be settled
not altogether by intuition, but by a number of other
considerations, and more particularly by the convic-
tion that God will call us into judgment at last, and
is most definitely settled after all by the inspired
declarations of the Word of God. But it is pleasant
to observe that there is an original conviction
altogether in unison with this derivative belief, a
conviction leading us to look on self as permanent
imless there be a cause adequate to its dissolution "
(page 151).

As om* intellectual intuitions point to a fitness for
an immortal career, so do our moral intuitions of
right and wrong lead us from the inadequacy of
human retributions to anticipate, in accordance as
well with mythology and reason as with Scripture
itself, a day when the ways of the Just One
shall be justified in the presence of all mankind.

Kant and Chalmers are both mentioned by McCosh
as concurring in the force of the moral argument in
favom* of the immortality of the soul. The present
enquiry would rather incline us to substitute the
words ^immortal destiny' for Hhe immortality' of
the soul.

The ordinary aim of philosophers has been to
establish the doctrine of personal immortality by a
development of our nature from the mortal to the
immortal, as if our immortal destiny were to be
attained by a process of natm'al development ; as if
the decay and removal of the mortal body were the

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process by which the immortal should be set at
liberty from a state of imprisonment to emerge, like
the butterfly from the chrysalis, into a spiritual and
angelic transformation.

Whatever might have been the metempsychal
conditions of the paradisiacal state, we have now
to deal with a condition of our natm'e altogether
changed; om* hopes of a ftiture life and altered
natm'e are based upon Biblical promises, which have
been ftilfiUed in one man (an assm'ance of their
fidelity to all humanity), seeing that Jesus Christ
brought Ufe and immortality to Ught by his personal
resurrection from man's existing natural state.

A nice and consistent distinction is thus preserved
throughout the whole of the Sacred Writings between
the terms used to designate the mere body or carcass,
the spirit, and the living or dead soul or self — the
individual concrete personality.

In accordance with this, St. Paul, in concluding
his first epistle to the Thessalonian Church, ad-
dressing them corporately, prays, according to the
accurate translation of an excellent divine and sound
philosopher referred to by Blackwall, " The very God
of peace sanctify you entirely in every part; and
may the whole of you, the spirit, the soul, and the
body, be preserved blameless to the coming of our
Lord Jesus Christ."

He applies to the Church in a corporate sense the
constituents of individual personality (yet in a man-
ner only applicable to a continuous body), as an

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aggregate body whose individual members by their
mianimity appeared to think and act as one soul,
and of which the Holy Ghost was the animating
spirit. It was only in this sense that the apostle's
prayer was pertinent.

Another text, which is often misinterpreted, is
ftui;her illustrative of this appropriate verbal dis-
tinction. Our Saviour said, " Fear not them which
kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul ; but
rather fear Him which is able to destroy both, soul
and body in hell" Gehenna (Matt, x., 28^.

The two sentences are antithetical, and cannot
be better explained than by a parallel passage in
Luke (xii., 4, 5), "Be not afraid of them that kill
the body, and after that have no more that they can
do ; but fear Him, which after he hath killed hath
power to cast into hell" Gehenna.

Men may kill the body, but cannot cast into hell.
God can do both. Therefore, rather fear Him who,
after the extinction of the mortal body, has power
over the ftiture destiny of the individual.

By not adverting to the Biblical distinction be-
tween body, soul, and spirit, a popular confusion has
arisen, which has practically fused soul and spirit
into one idea, analogous to the Platonic demon.

The distinctive meaning of spirit remains to be

The Greek philosophers preserved in their lan-
guage the original terms; but, ignorant of the
Scriptural doctrines of the Fall and Resurrection,

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they lost the distinctive meanings of the terms

Tradition had preserved the doctrine of a future
state in the popular superstitions ; but philosophy,
rejecting the absurdities of poetic fiction, either
ignored a futm*e state altogether, or sought to
account for a perpetuation of personal existence
after death upon what appeared to be more rational
principles. Reasoning well upon the powers of the
human intellect, philosophers inferred its fitness for
immortality; and, ignorant of a promised resur-
rection, they speculated upon a personal existence,
after the decease of the body, in another per-
sonality independent of the body. They thus clothed
the departing spirit with the name and attributes
of the Hebraistic soul.

It is ciuious to observe how consistently the
Greeks, both in their philosophy and mythology,
have attributed personality to the soul and not to
the spirit, even whilst they treat of the soul under
spiritual terms; however, in this spiritual treatment
of the soul they were really right according to our
own Scriptures, inasmuch as it is the soul (the Self
or individual) that shall be raised a spiritual body.
It is to ^the soul' the personal identity attaches,
a^d not to 'the spirit.'

In the Bible the word " soul," we have seen, is in-
variably and physiologically significant of corporeal
personal identity, either in the natural body or the
spiritual body. It is never used in the Platonic

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sense, personifying the subjective ideas in contra-
distinction to the objective. The doctrine of its
immortal destiny necessarily involves that of a per-
sonal resurrection, which circumstance is more or
less clearly intimated throughout our Hagiographa,
and, in connection with the doctrine of the future
destiny of the soul, fiilfils all the conditions of philo-
sophic argument.

The philosophic soul is a mere ideal abstraction.
The mythologic soul is the shadow of the reality
faintly recognised in the dim twilight of tradition.
The soul of Scriptm'e is the concrete personal iden-
tity itself. It is the personal body {tyZfia i/zv^t/coi/).
It eats, drinks, thinks, and acts ; it has its joys and
its sorrows, health and sickness ; and finally it dies,
and all its thoughts perish.

The * soul' is this substantial ' Self,' which through-
out life is ever coming, never gone ; whilst the cor-
ruptible is ever passing away. It is this corporeal
personal identity which is apostrophised in the
Hebraistic phraseology and in our own vernacular.
It is this ^Self which, raised a spiritual body
(<r5,ta TcvBviiariKSv), shall emerge fi-om the gloom of
the sepulchral Hades and stand before the Throne
of Eternal Justice ; which shall wear the Crown and
bear the Palm ; and which realises even now by an
act of faith — ^more than poetic fancy or philosophic
theory — the sublime foreshadowings of Revelation.

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As the previous chapter was passing throup:h the press, the Editor
noticed in the Contemporary Keviero for December, 1871, a most ex-
cellent article by the learned Max Miiller, " On the Philosophy of
My tholog}','* out of which the following is an extract : —

" I shall try by at least one example to show how mythology pervades,
not only the sphere of religion or religious tradition, but infects more
or less the whole realm of thought.

" When man wished for the first time to grasp and express a distinction
between the body, and something else within him distinct from the body,
an easy name that suggestd itself was breath. The breath seemed
something immaterial and almost invisible, and it was clearly connected
with the Ufa that pervaded the body, for as soon as the breath ceased,
the life of the body became extinct. Hence the Greek name yf^xv*
which originally meant breath, was chosen to express at first the
principle of life, as distinguished from the decaying body, afterwards tlie

* "The word *^x'7 is clearly connected in Greek with ^vx^, which
meant originally blowing, and was used either in the sense of cooling
by blowing, or breathing by blowing. In the former acceptation it
produced "^x***? coldness ; y[fvxpo^, cold ; ylrvxaw, 1 cool ; in the latter
yfrvx^y breath, then life, then soul. So far the purely Greek growth of
words derived from yjrvxu) is clear. But V^vx"* itself is difiicult. It
seems to point to a root sptiy meaning to blow out, to spit ; Lat., ^uo ;
Goth., ^eivan; Greek, tttvw, supposed to stand for ottivw, Hesychius
mentions ylrtmci ^ irrvei^ ylnmov ^ tttvcKov (Pott, Etym. Forsch.,
No. J355.) Curtius connects this root with Greek 0i;, in 0i)<ra, blowing,
bellows, and with Latin Kpirare (i.e., spoisare). Stahl, who rejected
the division of life and mind adopted by Bacon, and returned to the
Aristotelian doctrine, falls back on to Plato's etymology of V^^xv ^s
(f>v<rex^, from (fnKFiv ix^iv or ox^<j/, Crat. 400 B. In a passage of his
* Theoria Medica Vera* (Halae, 1708), pointed out to me by Dr. Rolleston,
Stahl says : — * Invenio in lexico gryeco antiquiore post alios, et Budaeum
imprimis, iterum iterumque reviso, nomenclaturam nimis quam fugitive
allegatam : (fwaexvi poetice, pro Y^j/. Incidit animo suspicari, an non
verum primum nomen animae antiquissimis Graecis fuerit hoc (pvaex^^
quasi ext^^v to (t>v£ivy e cuius vocis pronunciatione deflectente, uti vere
familiariter solet vocalium, imprimis sub accentibus, fugitiva enunciatione,
sensim natum sit (f>v(r'XV 0*^7» denique ad faciliorem pronunciationem
in locum (fxrvx^ii V^XV- Quam suspicionem fovere mihi videtur illud,
quod vocabuli '^xv* P^® anima, nulla idonea analogia in lingua erajca
occurrat; nam quae a Y^vx^ ducitur, cum verus huiuset directussignificatus
notorie sit refrijrero, indirectus autem magis, spiro, nihil certe haec ad
animam puto " (p. 44).

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incorporeal, the immaterial, the undecaying, the immortal part of man —
his soul, his mind, his Self. All this was very natural. When a person
dies, we too say that he has given up the ghost, and ghost, too, meant
originally spirit, and spirit meant breath.

" The Greeks expressed the same idea by saying that the V^tocv tad
left the body,* had fled through the mouth, or even through a bleeding
wound,t and had gone into Hades, which meant literally no more than
the place of the Invisible (*Ai6rist). That the breath had become invisible,
was matter of fact; that it had gone to the house of Hades, was
mythology springing spontaneously from the fertile soil of language.

" The primitive mythology was by no means necessarily religious.
In the very case which we have chosen, philosophical mythology sprang
up by the side of religious mythology. The religious mythology con-
sisted in speaking of the spirits of the departed as ghosts, as mere
breath and air, as fluttering about the gates of Hades, or ferried across
the Styx in the boat of Charon J

*' The philosophical mythology, however, that sprang from this name
was much more important. We saw that Psyche^ meaning originally
the breathing of the body, was gradually used in the sense of vital
breath, and as something independent of the body ; and that at last,
when it had assumed tlie meaning of the immortal part of man, it
retained that character of something independent of the body, thus
giving rise to the conception of a soul, not only as a being without a
body, but in its very nature opposed to body. As soon as that proposi-
tion had been established in language and thought, philosophy began
its work in order to explain how two such heterogeneous powers could
act on each other — how the soul could influence the body, and how the
body could determine the soul. Spiritualistic and materialistic sjrstems
of philosophy arose, and all this in order to remove a self-created
difficulty, in order to join together again what language had severed, the

* *AvSpo9 ie "^/vxH TToKiv eKjOeiv ovre Xcitrr^
Ot>6^ eXcTB, iirei tip xev auuelylrerrai epKo^ oBotnwv.

II. ix. 408.

f Bta S* emepa p^aXicov ikfjvffffcv

^jjwffa^ • yl/vxV ^^ '^^'^* ovrufidyrjv wreiKijv
"l^jffirvT iireif^ofievrj.

II. xiv. 517.

J * Ter frustra compressa manu eflugit imago,
Piir levibus ventis volucriquc siniillima somno.'

A'irg. Acn. ii. 702.

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living body and the living soul. The question whether there is a soul
or spirit, whether there is in man something different from the mere
body, is not at all affected by this mjrthological phraseology. We
fjertainly can distinguish between body and soul, but as long as we
keep within the limits of human knowledge, we have no right to speak
of the living spul as of a breath, or to speak of spirits and ghosts as
fluttering about like birds or fairies. The poet of the nineteenth
century says : —

< The spirit does but mean the breath,
I know no more.*

And the same thought was expressed by Cicero two thousand years
ago : * Whether the soul is air or fire, I do not know.' As men, we
only know of embodied spirits, however ethereal their bodies may be
conceived to be, but of spirits, separate from body, without form or
frame, we know as little as we know of thought without language, or
of the Dawn as a goddess, or of the Night as the mother of the Day.

'^ Though breath, or spirit, or ghost are the most common names
that were assigned through the metaphorical nature of language to
the vital, and afterwards to the intellectual, principle in man, they
were by no means the only possible names. We speak, for instance,
of the shades of the departed, which meant originally their shadows.
Those who first introduced this expression — and we find it in the
most distant parts of the world— evidently took the shadow as the
nearest approach to what they wished to express; something that
should be incorporeal, yet closely connected with the body. The
Greek eihwKov, too, is not much more than the shadow, while the
Latin manes meant probably in the beginning no more than the
Little Ones, the Small Folk.* But the curious part, as showing
again the influence of language on thought, an influence more poweriul
even than the evidence of the senses, is this, that people who speak
of the life or soul as the shadow of the body, have brought themselves

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