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SPECULATIVE AND CERTAIN TRUTHS. 71

Before entering directly on the treatment of our theme, we are tempted to linger a moment longer on the threshold, to consider what subjects are likely to yield np their ultimate facts to us when we pass within. Many matters, easy of comprehension to the readers of this Magazine, are still considered by thousands in Christendom as uncertain and mysterious speculations. Yet this fact enables us all the more readily and perfectly to show our position in relation to certain doctrines, by us considered plain, which in common acceptation are "hard to be understood."

If certain and ultimate truth is on any subject desirable and possible of attainment, one would think it specially desirable in the speculation concerning the soul, which is our true self, the adored Ego. In things without and around us our shallowness and ignorance need not be grave matters for wonder, since we cannot search the deep things of God in. nature, nor observe their causes and motions. We rest contented with phenomena and hypotheses, and await for certainty as the result of their repeated examination and trial; but if that by which we know other things know not itself,—if our souls are strangers to themselves, which they have more leisure and advantage to study and understand,—we think this is a considerable plea why we should insist upon definite, certain, and ultimate truth in relation to our souls.

The learned and pious have busied themselves with and have been at great pains to understand the nature, composition, and origin of the soul. Every philosopher has propounded a separate and distinctly antagonistic opinion of it. The Chaldeans held it to be "a virtue without form;" Zenocrates and the Egyptians considored it " a moving number;" Parmenides affirmed it to be "a compound of light and darkness;" Hesiod and Anaximander concurred in calling it "a consistence of earth and water;" Thales styled it "a nature without rest;"* Heraclides supposed it to be "light;" Empedocles to be "blood;" Zena imagined it the quintessence of the elements;" Galen would have it that it was a "hot complexion;" Hippocrates named it "a spirit diffused throughout the body;" Plato, a "self -moving substance;" Aristotle, an "entelechy," or nobody knows what; Anaximenes called it "air;"j Socrates believed that it "was allied by its nature to the divine mind, not by essence, but by virtue of its nature;"{ Epicurus believed it to be " refined corporeal matter;" and Varro defined it as a

* Arist. De Animi. 1. Pint. De PI. Ph. 4, 2.
+ Simplicius ad Phy., lib. 1. Lactantius, lib. 1.
J Zenoph. Memor», 1, 1.

72 RELATIVE AND ULTIMATE,

"heated and dispersed air." Modern philosophers, metaphysicians, and theologians have not offered to the world any more definite or more rational theories of the nature of the soul than those enumerated; but in point of fact, with one or two exceptions, the definitions which the theological masters of the age have urged upon our acceptance, have exceeded in ignorance and absurdity those transmitted from tho ancients.

That the aneient philosophers and moder n metaphysicians have contributed something towards a solution of this interesting psychological problem is what we most cheerfully and readily acknowledge. Still, we cannot help thinking that they have signally failed to throw any certain or permanent light upon the "inner man." Contrasted with the definite and easily comprehended ideas of the soul which the New Church possesses, the theories and hypotheses bequeathed to us by antiquity and orthodoxy, appear monstrously incoherent and lamentably unintelligible. The exact knowledge of the scuT which Pagan history acquaints us with is far less confused, and certainly more acceptable, than that which the sects in Christendom inherit. It would be difficult to fix upon a certain, precise, or rationally expressed opinion of the nature and form of the soul to be found in any of the accredited expositions of the immortality of man. The substance of orthodox belief on this score is a combination of hasty assertions and enthusiastic platitudes about the indestructible nature, immortal powers, glorious faculties, and inexhaustible capacities of the soul. These few swollen figures of speech compass and express all the knowledge which the general theological world entertains with regard to our better nature. The assertions to which we have referred are as hasty as they are irrational. With slight variation, all orthodox writers on metaphysics contend that the soul is formless, without substance: an existence without an organisation—a life without a vehicle of expression. They regard the soul as mere operation—abstraction, capacity freed from substance — essence without form, activity without an instrument of acting.* They deny to the soul any length, breadth, and spacial conditions, and yet they speak of it exerting powers—of acting, thinking, willing, &c.—as if the soul could do all this independently of a spiritual function of organisation.

It is impossible to think of sense without senses, and of senses without organs, and of organs without a body or organisation. If the soul have senses, as the metaphysicians admit, and as Scripture teaches, it * See Clissold's " Connexion between Theology, Psychology, and Physiology."

SPECULATIVE AND CERTAIN TRUTHS. 78

must have organs, and therefore an organisation. It surely requires few words to show the absurdity of the notion that the soul is a mere "breath," a "vapour," a "heated air." Who ever thoughtfully and earnestly assured himself that a heated air, or a breath, had intelligence and affection? To conceive properly and intelligently of the soul's nature, we must confess that it has an organised structure, whose functional and structural architecture is analogous to our external fleshly organism. Otherwise to think of the soul, is to negative all future existence.

The human soul is a body of spiritual composition, and human in form. It has its own substance, and is subject to spiritual length, height, and extension. This startling proposition is undoubtedly the ultimate, certain truth concerning the soul. Nothing less or else can satisfy the intrinsic merits of the question. The speculative truth regarding this matter is, that man after death needs, in order to complete his happiness and personality, his old human carcase; and men have remained in this speculative phase of truth because they have had no knowledge of spiritual substances and spiritual forms. Hence have arisen those carnal anticipations of a last day, when the soul—the breath—the vapour—which on the death of its corporeal companion "slumbers" unconsciously till the "resurrection morn," will enter into the old debris of flesh and boras, and be incarnated again. It is a beautiful providence of the Lord that men should for a time be permitted to remain in relative or apparent truths, so that they may be kept in a state favourable for the entertainment of ultimate or genuine truths. A belief in the resurrection of the natural body at some future day, breaks a man's fall into atheism, and furnishes a plane of mind upon which the Divine Being ean work and change the mind thus disposed from glory to glory in the perception of truth.

The intelligent reader will be far from underrating the light which modern science, and certain remarkable phenomena, entitled spiritualism, have shed upon this majestic and profound theme. These phenomena cannot expound the depths, but they have illumined the surface of tho subject. To the members of the New Church, the only satisfactory elucidations of the nature of the soul, in its present and hereafter state, are found in the astonishingly misunderstood works of Swedenborg. The moral value and decisive authority, as well as reliable character of these works, are, that they are elaborated expositions of Scripture declarations and doctrines. They solve all the mysteries and answer all the doubts and awful questions concerning our spiritual being, and pour 74 RELATIVE AND ULTIMATE TRUTHS.

the plainest and sublimest glow of profuse and glorious illustration upon the metaphysics of our spiritual being. His theology possesses the widest and truest data. In the wide expanse of the soul's history and processes, his inductions and research find ample rest for the soles of their feet. From the shoreless waste of the spiritual world he brings another leaf of certainty and hope. What he has done to illustrate theology we acknowledge, not only thankfully, but devoutly. He has illustrated truths which he could never have revealed; and amongst the number is that relating to our spiritual body and form. His clear, convincing theory of the spiritual body, is by no means the only instance in which his views affect to describe and illustrate the ultimate and certain fact of truth; there are others equally significant, and carrying with them immense force. To the certain and ultimate doctrine of God—of His Existence and Humanity, we hope in another article to refer.

THE ILLUMINATED SCRIBE.

Seer of wonders! to dim sense unseen,
To whom alone the mystic key was given,

To ope the pearly gates that stand between
The realms of space and the empyreal heaven,

I thank the Eternal Wisdom that designed

This chosen instrument to bless mankind!

What though to scoffing fools and minds insane

With selfish lore, are unrevealed'
Eternal truths, which in their inmost plane,

With binding signet, royal Love hath sealed;
And erring men, whom prideful thoughts uplift,
Cast to the driving winds Heaven's last best gift;—

Men, strong in innocence and pure intent,
Child-like and simple, hear the winning voice,

And prize the Messenger, in mercy sent
To bid the lost, benighted soul rejoice.

Oh, happy they who learn the heavenly way!

Thrice blessed they who fearlessly obey! Derby. M. A. C.

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ELIJAH THE TISHBITE.

A NARRATIVE, AND ITS SPIRITUAL EXPOSITION.

Pabt IV.

"And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him. And she said unto Elijah, What have I to do with thee, 0 thou man of God? Art thou come to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son? And he said unto her, Give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed. And he cried unto the Lord, and said, O Lord my God, hast Thou also brought evil npon the widow with whom I sojourn by slaying her son? And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the Lord and said, 0 Lord my God, I pray Thee, let this child's soul come into him again. And the Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived. And Elijah took the child and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother, and said, See, thy son liveth. And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth."—1 Kings xvii. 17—24.

It seems, at first sight, singular, that the eoming of the prophet into the house of the widow should result in the death of the widow's only son; as also it may appear remarkable that after the resuscitation of the child, both he and his mother sink out of sight, there being no farther reference to either of them in the Word. In these respects they stand not alone among the persons named in the inspired record. It appears equally remarkable that the Lord Jesus Christ purposely tarried at Bethabara, beyond Jordan, while He knew that His friend Lazarus was dying at Bethany, although it was both naturally and spiritually true that, as Martha said, "if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died:" and it may seem equally singular that we hear so little of Lazarus after his resuscitation, or of the son of the widow of Nain, or of the daughter of Jairus. Indeed, the latter peculiarity is noticeable in all the cases of resuscitation which are described in the Word—this child of the widow of Zarephath, the son of the Shunammite woman, the corpse which touched the bones of Elisha, Jairus's daughter, the son of the widow of Nam, Lazarus, Tabitha, or Dorcas, at Joppa: (Acts ix. 40.) Eutychus at Troas. (Acts xx. 10.) The reason is,, that with the resuscitation of the persons named, the series of spiritual significations contained in their history closes, as being complete. As to describe and depict the regeneration of the soul from all states of wickedness, or of darkness, or of reformation, or of pre

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