by Uriah Smith
Originally published by:
Review and Herald Publishing Association, Washington, D.C., 1897.
This particularly brilliant book was written a little over one hundred years ago by Uriah Smith (1832-1903), who was for decades (with a few brief interruptions) the editor of The Review and Herald, the official house organ for the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Although perhaps best known today for writing Daniel and the Revelation, a detailed analysis of two of the most important books of prophecy in the Bible, Smith wrote other books as well. Using the Bible as its foundation and lodestar, Here and Hereafter deals with whether or not the dead are conscious, the soul is immortal, and the wicked will be eternally tortured. This book provides comprehensive coverage of the disputes over these teachings; almost every relevant text, pro or con, is brought to bear on the controversies at issue. The passage of over a century has hardly made this book obsolete, since it deals with fundamental issues of Biblical interpretation on the doctrines concerning the state of the dead. What makes this book truly remarkable is the authors skill in writing, including his sense of humor and use of metaphor. Using Scripture alone, Smith decisively destroys the doctrines of the immortality of the soul and eternal torment. Although he discusses some philosophical arguments favoring unconditional immortality, these are a mere epilogue to the vast bulk of his case. All people on either side of the dispute, whether they affirm or deny that men and women have souls that go to heaven, hell, or purgatory upon death, will find Smiths book spiritually profitable to read.
For this Internet edition, some editing has been done to the original text. Most importantly, the Greek and Hebrew characters originally used in the 1897 edition for many of the words from the original languages have been struck out and transliterated into English. A leading reason for this change is that many readers find looking at Greek and Hebrew words in their original characters an automatic and immediate turn-off. Since I wish to encourage the circulation of this book, this is a good enough reason alone to eliminate them in favor of English transliterations. Also, by eliminating them, they wont come up as gibberish in many word processing programs that either lack Greek and/or Hebrew fonts or dont have them activated when file format conversions occur. In addition, in many cases Smiths punctuation, and in some cases, his capitalization of words, and that of sources he cites, have also been changed to bring them up to contemporary standards. Therefore, no scholar or other person who needs exact precision for quoting material from Here and Hereafter in a book, essay, or article they are writing should consult this edition of Smiths work. In order to retain the value of the original indexes and table of contents for Here and Hereafter, the original page numbers using double brackets (e.g., []) have been systematically inserted into the text. They are placed at the bottom of the material of the page they originally appeared on. In some cases, to avoid splitting words or a Scripture citation, they have been put after the full word in question in cases in which in the original edition the word (or citation) was started on one page and continued on the next. The general index, obviously done by Smith partially tongue in cheek, has been more systematically alphabetized than it was by his own hand, thanks to the marvels of modern word processing technology. In this section, the double-bracketed page numbers here have been moved to the end of the alphabetized section (by letter) they originally would have appeared in the cases when a page ended and began while still having the same letter at the beginning. In a small number of cases, original errors that appeared in the original edition, such as transposed digits in a Scripture citation, have been corrected. . . . Therefore, whether you never have heard about the Biblical teaching about conditional immortality or you have known it your whole life, you should find Uriah Smiths Here and Hereafter spiritually insightful and mentally uplifting. One of the greatest weights seriously committed Christians can bear is their belief in eternal torment; read this book, and youll be amazed how much anxiety can be lifted off your mind by embracing the belief that immortality can only be found by embracing Christ as Savior.
Eric V. Snow