The Lost Soul

"For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"—Matt. 16:26.

The word soul here should be life. It is psuche, which never denotes soul, and is the word rendered life twice in the preceding verses. Dr. Clarke says: "'Lose his own soul, or lose his life.' On what authority many have translated the word psuche, in the twenty-fifth verse, life, and in theis verse, soul, I know not; but am certain it means life in both places. If a man should gain the whole world, its riches, honors and pleasures, and lose his life, what would all these profit him, seeing they can only be enjoyed during life?"

But it is not the mere animal life that is referred to; it is the faculty of enjoying life. The selfish man, who chiefly seeks to save his life, loses it, and he who unselfishly is willing to sacrifice it, gains thereby. It profits one not at all to gain even the world, if he lose his life, or degrade the quality of his life bythe process.

It is true, also, that one may lose his soul in the process of seeking gain, but the text does not refer to the soul, true though it is that the soul is often lost—not beyond recovery, but still lost, like the silver, the sheep, and the prodigal, to be at length found by the great Seeker, who will not cease from his divine labors "until he finds" all the lost.

The other terms referring to Judas, are susceptible of a meaning in harmony with the foregoing.

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