But man dies, and wastes away: yes, man gives up the ghost, and where is he?
I. THE BELIEF INDICATED THAT MAN'S NATURE IS TWO FOLD. There are two distinct processes ever going on within our frame. We may lose our physical organs, but the soul may think, wish, or purpose, as energetically as ever. The brain is the organ of the mind; but this does not warrant our saying that the brain and the mind are of the same material, or that they are only different sides of that material thing. If there are manifestations in our constitution which matter cannot give account of, it would be absurd to follow that up by saying that man goes out of life altogether when he dies and wastes away. We should rather believe that as our nature is two fold, that part which is spiritual may survive that which is material.
II. A DOUBT EXPRESSED AS TO WHAT BECOMES OF THE MAN WHEN HE DIES. Death tells us nothing. There is no evidence in it of what becomes of the man. Death fails to prove anything as to the survival of the soul. Yet the belief has been general, that those who have passed away are still somewhere. Why should men have believed that the soul still had a place? Every sense was against it.
III. THE GROUNDS ON WHICH THE CONVICTION IS BUILT THAT MAN LIVES AFTER DEATH. I go behind the Bible, and look at the action of our own nature.
1. The indestructibility of force or energy. When once a force has begun to be in operation that force continues. It is never blotted out.
2. The incompleteness of man's life here. God is a teacher who sets us a task which we cannot prepare in school.
3. The best affections which distinguish this life speak of continuance beyond this present state.
4. When man dieth, we forecast a judgment for the deeds done in the body. It may be, indeed, it will be, that the judgment shall not be such as we pass upon one another. We look upon the outward appearance, God looks on the heart. We are to be judged. What are we to be judged for?
(D. G. Watt, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But man dieth, and wasteth away: yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he?