Questions of such absorbing interest to the human race as "The State of the Dead," and "The Destiny of the Wicked," should command the candid attention of all serious and thoughtful men. The Bible alone can answer the inquiries of the human mind on these important subjects; and if the Bible is the full and complete revelation which it claims to be, we must believe that it has answered them. What that answer is, the following pages undertake to show.
On the questions here discussed there is at the present time a daily-increasing agitation in the theological world. The frequency with which these topics come to the surface in the religious papers of the land, is evidence of this. Not only in this country, but in England and Germany, the views of Bible students on these points are in a state of transition. The doctrine that there is no eternal life out of Christ, and that consequently the punishment of the wicked is not to be eternal misery, is now able to present an array of adherents so strong in numbers, so cultivated in intellect, and so correct at heart, that many of its opponents are changing their base of operations toward it, and taking steps looking not only to a toleration of its existence, but to a compromise with its claims.
In adding another book to the many which have been written on this subject, the object has been to give in a ivconcise manner a more general view of the teaching of the word of God, the ultimate source of authority, on this question, than has heretofore been presented. A chapter on the Claims of Philosophy is appended to the Biblical argument, more to answer the queries of those who attach importance to such considerations, than because they are entitled to any real weight in the determination of this controversy.
The interest that has of late years arisen on the subject of the state of the dead, is timely.