Immortality and the future : the Christian doctrine of by H. R. Mackintosh

By H. R. Mackintosh

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Amos and Hosea addressed the northern king dom of Israel, but Isaiah speaks to Judah also. ) re lating his call to prophetic work does contemplate a dark future. At a later date, too, even after the withdrawal from Jerusalem of Sennacherib s army, he will not join in the people s exultation. None the less, the strain of hope never dies out. Jahweh has a plan, which His absolute and universal sovereignty will bring to being. " Judah s enemies are but instru ments in the hand of God. There are wonderful promises yet to be fulfilled: Zion shall be estab lished in the top of the mountains, and the nations shall resort thither for light and guidance (ii.

The present is only intelligible in view of the end, and this an end for the universe equally with the soul; nor would the end stand in any intelligible relation to life unless even in its transcendence it were continuous by spiritual quality with actual experience. *If this faith. is The ETERNAL LIFE 48 importance Him which is the group of sayings attributed to His resurrection. Taking the foretell three prophecies of His passion (Mark viii. 31; ix. 31; x. ), we find that each contains the assurance that He will rise after death.

That, however, was the final stage of a chequered development. Originally, we must note, Sheol was not con ceived as lying within the jurisdiction of Jahweh. He ruled in Palestine, therefore over men only as It . long as they lived there. He is nowhere said in the earliest literature to visit Sheol or control its affairs, and those who descend to the grave pass out of His authority. Now while Jahwism re mained simply monolatrous, and still fell short of monotheism proper, the old heathen eschatology persisted alongside of it, without much friction or collision; but with the advent of true mono theism, for which Jahweh was the one God ruling over all things whatsoever, in life or death, a sharp antagonism became inevitable.

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