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motives, evil as far as it is known is rejected, the work of justification proceeds not in the understanding only, but in the will also. Here the second great principle operates-the second in appearance, but the first in power. The understanding was justified by divine Truth; the will is justified by divine Love. Justification then proceeds to the outward conduct. The affections of the soul being fixed on God, and the thoughts of the mind being enlightened by Truth, the outward actions of the man are, in agreement with his will and understanding, pure, holy, and upright.
Yet justification is a gradual work. So far as evil is destroyed, and good received, so far the man is justified, and no further. But evil can only be destroyed so far as it is seen, and the discovery of evil is a work which is not effected in a moment. At first the greater and more open corruptions are seen, and being seen, are put away. As light increases, evil of a more concealed nature is discovered, and at once rejected. Still as the brightness of truth flows in, other evils, the deep and inward corruptions of the heart, are brought to light, and their power in the will destroyed ; and as evil will still remain concealed in every human bosom-as there will always be something found to deplore and reject-so will justification, the discovery and rejection of evil, proceed, until we quit time for eternity, and earth for heayen. There is most assuredly a moment when justification commences, but the work itself is gradual; every true Christian becoming more and more holy by the destruction of sin, and the reception of holiness, till he “enters into the joy of his Lord.”
Attendant upon this justifying state is Joy, as a necessary and unavoidable effect. Millions of spiritual creatures surround us, and according to the state of our affection, we are either in communion with hell, or in conjunction with heaven; for similarity of affection joins spirit with spirit. An unregenerate man, from the opposition of his will to heaven, is in union with those in the other life, who are separated from God and from happiness; and as their feel. ings flow into his mind, he is necessarily unhappy. But when he turns to his Maker, he at once enters into conjunction with God and heaven; and the happiness of heaven, and the peace
of God, flow into and fill his soul. As no one therefore can be removed from hell to heaven without knowing and feel
ing the change, so no one can turn from evil to good; from sin to his Maker; without knowing and feeling that there is in religion a peace which passeth all understanding, and that this peace he himself enjoys.
The path which leads to heaven, therefore, is neither love alone, nor faith alone; but faith and love conjoined, and operating in the conduct; and he who would effectually secure his salvation, must have his understanding renewed by faith ; his heart filled with love; and on all occasions must let this inward light «shine before men, that they may see his good works, and glorify his Father who is in heaven.”
THE NATURE OF HEAVEN. In our note upon the resurrection of man, we adduced a few plain and scriptural arguments, to prove that the body of flesh and blood, when cast off, is never resumed : and that the resurrection of the spiritual form takes place immediately after death, and is not a distant event. In speaking therefore, of that state of existence on which the righteous man enters, when he quits this life; we must premise one thing which seems to spring naturally from the arguments formerly adduced ; that is that man after death, appears in a real and substantial form: that he is not a mere shadow, a thought without a subject, but is in every sense of the word a man; possessing all those faculties and powers both of mind and body which raise him above the brute creation, and constitute him an "image of God.” We
e are too apt to attribute to the body of matter, faculties and feelings which in truth do not belong to it. If we examine the very
lowest sensations—the mere bodily senses (as they are called) of feeling, hearing and sight, we shall at once be convinced, that the seat of those sensations is not to be sought in the body, but in the spirit. Examine a dead corpse: look at the members and organs: the eye, the ear, the hands; every bodily instrument is in its proper place; every limb is perfect : why then does it not move ? Why” you exclaim,
because it no longer lives; because the spirit is fled” And if so, then it was the spirit that felt, and not the body; it was the spirit and not the body, that saw, and perceived, and acted by it. The body in itself, however perfect in its form, is lifeless and inert :
a mass of inanimate matter, as void of sensation and feeling as the dust fr which it was taken. It does indeed serve the spirit as a medium of communication with this lower world; but of itself it feels nothing, it hears nothing, it perceives nothing: the smallest sensation—the slightest feeling exists not in the body, but in the spirit within it; take this away and the body is destroyed.
And if it is the spirit to which all our sensations are to be referred, then this spirit must be an organized substance, possessing, with these powers of sensation, various organs, by and through which these feelings are received: for to speak of a spirit acting and feeling, without the means of feeling and action-seeing and hearing, without organs of hearing and sight, is manifestly absurd. The real and spiritual man therefore, as he alone sees, and hears, and feels, so he must possess every organ necessary for the reception and communication both of pain and pleasure.
As an organized substance too, the spirit must have form, før that which has no form is incapable of being seen. Now it is the general belief of all nations, and more especially of the Christian world, that after death they shall see and converse with their former friends: but how (let me ask) are they, or in fact how can they see them if they have neither shape nor figure? When we say we see an object, we mean that we discern its shape; and every object which is capable of being seen, must have some shape in order to be perceived. An object without form (if we can think of such) can never be an object of sight; and if the spirit has no form, it can never be seen. How then are we to see our friends hereafter? How are we to discern the shape of that which has no shape, and to see the figure of that which is without figure? If we say this is possible, we run into absurdity; and to avoid it we must admit, either that our hopes of again seeing our departed friends are vain and fallacious; or that those happy spirits which we hope to see, have a desinite form and figure, which when released from the material body, we shall discern and recognize.
And this figure is the human form. No other is so dignified, or so correspondent to the powers of a rational being. To assert that the spirits of the departed possess some other form or appearance ; is as much at variance with general reason, as it is with the true philosophy of Scripture and the dictates of common sense. In expecting to meet again their deceased friends, the world in general, whether consisting of the savage or the man of refinement, universally expect to see them in the form they bore on earth. At least such is the idea of the mind when unwarped by superstition and prejudice: and indeed, how can we expect to know the friends, whom here we loved, unless their form resembles that with which we were once acquainted? There must be some outward mark of resemblance to admit of instant recognition; and hence throughout the scriptures we find, that whenever departed spirits became visible, they were seen as men with every part of the human
its perfect state. Thus Moses and Elias appeared to the Apostles,—thus the Lord himself appeared after his resurrection; and thus too when John in vision beheld the assembly of the saints, he beheld them as men,-glorious indeed and dignified, yet still as men, possessing the perfect human form, and surrounding the throne of their Master.
We conclude therefore that the spirit of man, is an organized substance, possessing every faculty in the highest state of perfection; that as a substance has a real and definite form; and that this form which it possesses is the likeness of man.
Once more we may observe; that as matter is tangible by matter; or as the material body of man can touch the material body, so spirit is tangible by spirit, and the spiritual body though invisible to the material eye, and intangible to the material organs, can be both seen and felt by the spirtual body. This proposition is founded on the axiom, that matter can act upon matter and spirit upon spirit, and hence it follows: that the form which the spirit possesses is not a mere assumed appearance,-a form which
subsists without the body's aid Aerial substance, and an empty shade,
but a real and spiritual substance, and the more so because it is spiritual ; for while that which is material has a constant tendency to dissolution, that which is spiritual is fixed and eternal.
And if this be correct,--if it be true that man after death is as truly a man as he was before ;—if every power and faculty which seemed to lodge in his material frame, is found in far higher perfection in that spiritual body which he then inhabits; if in fact he is a spiritual man, visible and tangible to his fellow spirits; then, the region where those spiritual men reside must be filled with visible objects. Heaven cannot be a mere empty void—a desart where except themselves, the inhabitants perceive nothing beautiful, perfect and glorious. Such an idea is neither consistent with reason nor scripture. It is not consistent with reason; for it is impossible to conceive of visible and real men, and men too in a state of glory, standing upon nothing—surrounded by nothing_and (except themselves) perceiving nothing. If there are visible human beings in heaven, there must be other visible objects there. Why has God implanted the senses of sight of hearing and of touch, in the spirit of man, if in the world of spirits there are no objects to be seen;
-no sounds to be heard--and no substances to be felt,—if all is darkness and vacuity, without visible beauty, or surrounding glory ? If the spirit sees, there are in heaven things to be seen. If it hears, there are sounds to be heard : if it can feel, there are objects of feeling.
In exact agreement with this last sentiment are the words of St. Paul, who describes himself as being “caught up to the third heaven, where he heard unspeakable things which it was not lawful for man to utter :" and every description of the eternal state of blessedness, either by our Lord himself or by his disciples, most clearly shows that as the righteous have peace within, so have they objects of glory without. That these objects should resemble things on earth, though more beautiful because spiritual is by no means the dream of a fanatic. The very descriptions to which we have referred, state such resem. blance, and it is consonant to reason, that if earth “is but the shadow of heaven” the substance must bear some likeness to the shadow proceeding from it. The best and noblest of our poets (and poets sometimes speak truth) have not scrupled to give to heaven all the beauty of the earth, without its frailty and
Thus one, speaking of the habitation of the blessed spirits, tells us of
“ Hill and valley clothed with verdure green,
Pollok's COURSE or TINE.