But man dies, and wastes away: yes, man gives up the ghost, and where is he?
The people of France once wrote over the gates of their burial places, "Death is an eternal sleep," but this was only when the nation had run mad. The ordinary mode of proving the immortality of the soul is simple enough.
1. It is argued from the nature of the soul itself — especially from its immateriality. The nature of God seems also to favour the idea that He who made the soul capable of such vast improvement, and such constant advances towards perfection, would never suffer it to perish.
2. Belief in man's immortality is universal. No race of savages can be found, so debased and blind, as not to have some glimmerings of this truth.
3. We claim immortality as the heritage of man, because, on any other supposition, all the analogies of nature would be violated.
4. Man must be immortal, because this is indispensable to explain certain inequalities of happiness and misery on earth — inequalities which a just God would never allow, unless it was His good pleasure to make them right. Man is generally called a rational being; but he hardly deserves the name, while attempting to undermine our faith in that consoling which alone renders life worth having, and robs death of its terrors.
(John N. Norton.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But man dieth, and wasteth away: yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he?