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9 Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of Yahweh hath wrought this?
10 In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.
THE PROPRIETORSHIP OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT
The spirit of a man is truly his own spirit while he exists; but there is a higher sense in which it is not his, but the Almighty's.
"In whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways."-(Dan. v, 23.)
"In Him we live and move, and have our being."-(Acts xvii, 28.)
It is in opposition to immortal-soulism that we quote these passages, and have alleged the human spirit to be God's property, and not man's.
This theory [which is of pagan origin,] represents the spirit as the entity, the person, the man, and the body as something possessed. The scriptures on the other hand speak of the spirit as a thing possessed by the body, which is the man.
"The spirit of God is in my nostrils."-(Job xxvii, 3.)
"He formeth the spirit of man within him."-(Zec. xii, 1.)
"Receive my spirit."
All of which phraseology, be it observed, is scripturally applicable to the brute creation. This is the strong point of the argument. Orthodoxy claims the statements quoted as proofs of immortal-soulism; but if the claim is good, it proves that animals have immortal souls; for of them we read "they (men and beasts) have one breath." (spirit; the same word)-(Eccl. iii, 19).
"In all their nostrils (fowl, cattle, beast, creeping thing, and every man) is the breath of life."-(Gen. vii, 22). "Thou takest away their (the beasts') breath (spirit: the same word): they die."-(Psalm civ, 29.)
Neither men nor beasts have, nor are, immortal souls. They are ephemeral forms of life, organised from the dust, and sustained in being by the great spirit which proceeds from the Father of all creation, and fills the universe. There will, in due time, be imperishable forms of life on the earth. Immortality has been brought to light by Jesus Christ through the gospel, (2 Tim. i, 10.) and all who believe, and to the very end obey in all things the gospel, will be raised from the dust, and receive the glorious gift by spirit effused upon them.
The Ambassador of the Coming Age, Dec 1867. p317