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distinct laws of matter and spirit were explained; here they may be seen in their operation. The vital force within a tree, for instance, raises, in despite of the all-pervading influence of gravitation, immense masses of matter, and holds them suspended above the earth. incident illustrative of this power is recorded of a nut, which, having by accident fallen into the eye of a worn-out mill-stone used as a pavement in the miller's yard, germinated. The tree that sprung from it grew, till it filled the aperture, when in its further progress it lifted up the stone itself, notwithstanding its weight. Hence then it follows not only that spirit is distinct from matter, having its own laws, but is superior. The superiority of its laws is also evident, in their overriding the most potent of those of matter. Adequately to understand the activity of spiritual substances we must turn to Revelation, where illustrations abound. Take the following instance. John beheld a book sealed with seven seals, successively opened seal by seal. On the opening of the first [seal, a white horse came forth with one seated on him wearing a crown, and having a bow in his hand. Coincidently with the opening of the second, a red horse was seen, whose rider wielded a great sword. Attendant on the opening of the third there was a black horse, whose rider carried a pair of balances; whilst there followed the opening of the fourth seal a pale horse, on which death was seated, and hell formed his retinue. Equally remarkable changes followed the opening of the remaining seals. These, and other phenomena described by John, show a plasticity in spiritual substances responding to the activities brought to bear on them, inconceivable in connection with inert matter.
Some persons, it is true, regard this book as the record of a series of visions or waking dreams witnessed by John. In one edition of the Testament the phrase "I thought" is introduced before John's declaration "I saw." There are however several considerations which are opposed to this hypothesis. First, John declares it to have been not a vision or dream but a "revelation." His statement is still stronger; -"The Revelation of Jesus Christ." Secondly, he declares that he was "in the spirit," an expression employed in contradistinction to the phrase," in the body," to intimate a state in which the senses of the spirit are called into exercise, and the plane of consciousness raised into the spiritual world, as the other phrase intimates the normal condition, when the consciousness rests on the plane of the bodily senses. Thirdly, John not only saw and heard, but touched, and ate, tasted and smelt; in fact employed all the senses of the spirit, together with
the enjoyment of locomotion. Should it be objected that John on one occasion speaks of the scene witnessed by him as a vision, I reply, that our Lord called His transfiguration a vision-"Tell the vision to no man ;" but no sincere believer in Christianity will hold that the Lord intended to intimate that His transfiguration was a species of visual illusion witnessed by His apostles, and not an actual fact. I can well understand materialistic scepticism arguing that John merely imagined what he declares he saw, that at the most it was subjective; but for Christians to concede the point, and thus place much of the authority of Scripture on the "baseless fabric of a vision," is unintelligible. Nor can I suppose but that careful reflection will enable them to recognize both the fallacy and danger of such concessions. When John declares that he "saw" what he describes, to say nothing of his other sensible experiences thus to qualify his statement, is to throw doubt on his veracity. Ordinary dreams, unreliable as they usually are, nevertheless offer an evidence of the existence of a spiritual world. They do not come to us through the senses, these being steeped in forgetfulness, consequently they do not invade us from the outer world, since the senses are the only inlets of impressions from that world; doubtless they are shadows of the other world projected into the spirit during the suspension of the active exercise of the bodily sensations, and the thoughts in connexion with them, in sleep. Hence they follow no known laws of matter; and yet so natural do they appear, that no change or transformation, however sudden or extraordinary, occasions surprise.
Not only, however, are the sudden and instantaneous changes of which we read evidences of the activity and plasticity of the substances of the world where they were seen to occur; there are other intimations in the readiness with which they take the form of the essence embodied in them. Hence the resplendent beauty of the angelic forms, the perfect exponents of the goodness and intelligence that reign within. Hence too John beheld a mighty angel whose head was encircled by a rainbow, the wisdom within reflecting itself in a radiant halo of light without. This law, too, obtains with their surroundings, the stupendous scenery described by John--the river of water of life, and the magnificent trees which flourished on its banks and in its current, were not only in harmony with, but projections from their states, as grounded in the living stream of Divine Wisdom, and towering upwards in heavenly contemplation. Infernal natures on the contrary shape themselves into the likeness of their own hideous monstrosity. Thus
we read of three unclean spirits, like frogs, seen to proceed out of the mouth of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. The recognition of these analogies imparts a new force and significance to the scriptural record of these and similar phenomena. On this principle the remarkable description of the locusts which ascended with the smoke, on the opening of the bottomless pit, is suggestive of the innate deformity of wickedness and sin, when admitted within the spirit, notwithstanding that its hideousness may, whilst here, be veiled over by the garment of flesh with which it is invested. The general law which regulates these transformations is, doubtless, that whereby every spirit is shaped by his inner self, and this extends to the objects around him.
Many of the scenes witnessed by the Apostle were doubtless typical; nevertheless they were real: and they all followed the universal law just noticed. When, for example, the angel conducted John to see the scarlet whore, she was seated in a wilderness, the true picture of the desolation produced by the profane principles thus typified; whilst to behold the "holy city New Jerusalem," he ascended a "great and high mountain," the correspondent of the elevated condition of thought and contemplation from which alone so transcendent a vision could be seen. The description of the city itself further illustrates the principle. It is remarkable that it presented a threefold idea. First, there was the object itself; secondly, there was embodied in it the idea of the Bride, the Lamb's Wife; and, thirdly, that of true regenerated or angelic humanity, for it was the measure of (the words, "according to," being an interpolation) a man, that is of the angel—the equality of its dimensions typifying the state in which the true human or angelic nature is realized, when the three essentials of which it is constituted, Love, Wisdom and Life, are equally combined. It is true, the genuine Church was represented by the woman in the wilderness; but this was obviously a figure of the Church under persecution. Nevertheless her own immediate surroundings were in strict keeping with her nature. Resplendent with love, she was clothed with the sun, whilst her feet rested on the moon, the type of faith, and her head was encircled with a crown of twelve stars, the symbols of the lights of her spiritual intelligence. This subject might be extended into numerous other details the description of the dragon as the representative of evil in the concrete, etc. etc.; but sufficient has been said to illustrate the spontaneity with which the substances of that world respond to the influences brought to bear on them; and how the good and the true
which form the essence of the angelic state mould both their subjects with their surroundings into forms answering to their own intrinsic order and beauty; whilst the evil passions of the infernal life transform those in whom they dwell into the similitude of their own ugliness, and people their world with shapes hideous with their monstrosities.
In turning from spirit to the consideration of matter, we pass from the active to the inert,-from the living to the dead. Instead of spontaneity we meet the gradual and successive. The substances of this world, when allied to life, can only be embodied in organic forms, through a gradual structural process: "First the blade, then the ear, afterwards the full corn in the ear."
The subject will receive further illustration from the action of mind on matter. The human spirit having its origin in, and being constituted of substances from that world, its operations follow similar laws to those of the world to which it belongs. The conception of an idea, as of an edifice, for instance, may be, and often is, instantaneous. Its general form and characteristics may flash on the imagination in their entirety. No sooner, however, does the mind strive to realize its idea and embody it in the material, then the laws peculiar to nature come into exercise. Plans have to be wrought out, materials to be collected and prepared, and the conception realized brick by brick, or stone by stone, ere it is completed. If it be objected, that the elaboration of the details in thought demands time, this is only strictly true in its bearing on their external realization. Mental conception, contrary to mechanical action, is regulated by state rather than time; and, in favourable conditions of the mind, the whole together with its parts may be presented at once in their entirety. From these considerations, and others might be added, the conclusion inevitably follows, that the vital essences of animal and vegetable existence are supplied from, and belong to one world, as the material clothings are by the other. Moreover the living selects and arranges its materials supplied from the inert, which it renders submissive by reason of its passivity.
There are two channels through which life operates into Nature, the one direct and the other indirect. Its primary action is by an immediate influx into the organism it animates; but in addition to this there is a mediate influx, of which the solar orb is the universal agent. Both are essential; the one as principal, the other as instrumental. The source of both is, nevertheless, identical; although its action is modified by the medium through which it respectively acts. The substances of the sun, which modern science has demonstrated to
be metallic, are as inert in themselves as in the planets which revolve around it; and yet they are the subjects of an activity no calculation can compute. The sum total of Nature will not supply a force adequate to account for the phenomenon. Besides, the universe is actuated by the sun, and not the sun by the universe. The same thing cannot be both cause and effect: in other words an effect cannot be the cause of its own cause, and the effect of its own effect. A popular writer on infidelity tells us that it required millions of years to cool the earth; but he does not inform his readers how the earth came to cool at all, or what it was which first caused its incandescence. Why, again, should the earth cool, and the sun retain its ardency? If it be true that no material substance can change itself, neither effect could have supervened except from causes exterior to itself; whence we are logically forced to the admission of a sphere distinct from Nature, where all causes originate, and whence all the effects observable in it result. All changes, therefore, whether organic or meteorologic, are from one source, and are the outflow of life.
The action of the effluence of life through the sun is to dispose the atmospheres and substances of the world, and adapt them to the uses of organic life, which otherwise would be altogether unsuitable. This is evident from the circumstance that when his influence is partially withdrawn in the season of winter, the organic life in plants retires to their inner recesses, and shields itself by thick coverings, to protect itself from the invasion of inactivity which would extinguish the vitality. Animal life likewise becomes torpid, and in some instances dormant. The sun therefore stands to outward nature in a relation somewhat analogous to the brain in the human body,-the centre whence the outward life of the universe is diffused.
Some contend that the sun is the one source of life, and that all the vital operations are attributable to its action. The fallacy of this hypothesis is however evident, not only from the arguments already adduced, but are confirmed also by facts familiar to the observation of all. In addition to the fact exhibited by plants concentrating their vital powers in winter, and internal vegetation progressing in early spring, ready to break forth so soon as the seasons favour its development, which would not be the case were the sun the sole cause; for then the effects would appear on the surface first, this being first reached by the solar rays; the phenomena of vital animal heat, which in warm-blooded animals stands at the same degree in the frigid or the torrid zone,—whether the temperature in the sun be at 120° above