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declared not to die, and the fire to be un the righteousness and truth and love of God, quenchable in the Valley of Hinnom, while the which are manifested in Christ Jesus; manicontrary was the literal fact, therefore the fested to men, that they may be partakers allusion, when made to apply to future pun- of them, that they may have fellowship with ishment, signifies“ eternal.” Other passages the Father and with the Son. This is held clearly show that the expression “unquench- out as the eternal blessedness of those who able fire” does not mean eternal duration, Isa. seek God and love him. This it is of which xxxiv. 9, 11; Ezek. XX. 45–48. The meta- our Lord must have spoken in his last phor "fire" is used in two general senses prayer, if he who reports that prayer did to denote refinement or purification by suffer- not misinterpret bis meaning."* Eternity, ing, and also a high degree of pain or dis- then, derives in the scriptures, from its relatress, arising from incurring the divine dis- tion to God, a new signification; and the pleasure; and according to either of these expression “eternal punishment” must, in senses, it does not countenance the doctrine harmony with the context, simply mean that of eternal torment. Fire is itself a perish- alienation from God, which is our greatest able thing, and is properly applied to that unhappiness. After all, however, there is a divine anger or corrective punishment of the divine love tending ever to root out sin, a sinner's offences, which endureth but for a love which can never fail. There is much moment amidst the endless being of God, force in Mr. Maurice's examination of the passing away when its design is accom- opinions held by the early Christians on the plished. There are a few other scriptural subject of future punishment. He shows allusions adduced in favour of the dogma that the notion of a material hell and of a We condemn, such as the case of Judas, and purgatory arose from the desire to give a the gulf between the rich man and Lazarus, definite form to the remedial discipline of but we cannot enter upon an examination of the Deity, although those ideas have been them. They afford, we think, no counte- perverted in the hands of the Calvinist and nance whatever to the doctrine, and are but the Romanist. Whatever weight is fairly rarely advanced in support of it.
attributable, in many respects, to the views As already observed, we consider the de- of Mr. Maurice on the subject before us, we duction of the doctrine of eternal punish- cannot share his difficulty in the application ment from the words con and ceonios alto- of the word rendered "eternal” in two senses. gether strained and unnatural. We may Our opinions are confirmed by the reasoning add, that, in repelling that doctrine as founded of a very able article by M. de Quincey, in on the use of those words, it is not necessary “Hogg's Instructor," vol. 10. He rejects at to fix their precise import, and we think any once the idea that the word in question must interpretation must be preferable, according be held to express the eternity of punishto the rules of fair criticism, to one which ment, because otherwise it might not indicontradicts the spirit and design of the cate the immortality of the righteous. He gospel, as well as its express declarations. defines an æon, in the use and acceptation of Mr. Maurice maintains that the word "eternal" the Apocalypse, to be “the duration or cycle acquires its proper meaning only when ap- of existence which belongs to any object, not plied to God of whom the New Testament individually for itself, but universally in is the highest revelation. He manifests right of its genus.” “The world has an himself, pot negatively, but positively, as wonian life or period-so has the race of the righteous, loving, and truthful Deity. different animals and that of man. The He promised a clearer revelation of his per grandeur of the terms, as used in the scripfections than Judaism afforded, and hence tures, in relation to great events, consists the Jew came to regard the divine attributes partly in the difficulty of setting the limit as external and substantial things, not to be to thein, and the inadequateness of human found in ancient idolatry. The apostle John, chronology. The wons in this vast sense are therefore, speaks in this intelligible strain- terminable by laws of their own, unknown to “ The life was manifested, and we have seen it, and we declare unto you that eternal life which was with the Father, and which has been | Maurice, M.A., Chaplain of Lincoln's Inn. Second
* “ Theological Essays," by Frederick Denison manifested unto us." “ The eternal life is Edition. P. 449.
us, but in strict harmony with the great sub- | the scriptures, which imply or express the jects to which they refer. Hence every object, final restoration of the wicked-vide Ephes. as punishment and happiness, has its separate i. 9, 10; Col. i. 19, 20; 1 Tim. ii. 3, 4; von, or period. The cons are in each case iv. 10; Phil. ii. 9-11; Heb. ii. 8, &c., &c. determined by God upon principles consistent In drawing this article to a close, we with his perfections, and we know that evil would notice the prevalent idea that, if future tends to dissolution. True cons are exactly punishment were not eternal, wickedness the same, as a tenth or twelfth is always the would receive encouragement. We believe same, but they differ in duration, according this is a great mistake. In the vast majority to laws of their own, or, in other words, of cases it is not the idea of the eternity of the divine appointment.” “ That man who punishment, but the unquestionable fact of its allows himself to infer the eternity of evil awful character, as threatened byOne whom we from the counter eternity of good, builds have offended, and who is just, which makes upon the mistake of assigning a stationary the idea potential. Anything, however, and mechanic value to the idea of an æon, which makes the sinner think that God is whereas the very purpose of scripture in vindictive and unjust, hardens his heart, and using this word was to evade such a value. he ends by disbelieving the doctrine, and The word is always varying, for the very acting in opposition to God's will. Men purpose of keeping it faithful to a spiritual inclined to do well often fail, in consequence identity. The period or duration of every of this doctrine, to find hope and consolation object would be an essentially variable in Christianity; and even if they love it in quantity, were it not mysteriously commen ordinary circumstances, in the more painful surate to the inner nature of that object as exigencies of life there is a struggle between laid open to the eyes of God. And thus it despair and hope. What we require—what happens, that everything in this world, all men need, is the conviction that God is possibly without a solitary exception, has good—is the bringing again from the venerits own separate con :-how many entities, able scriptures the truth which they contain, so many cons. If it can be an excess of but which has been obscured—the revelation blindness which can overlook the conian of a Father. We would conclude in the differences amongst even neutral entities, words of Mr. Maurice: “If you take from how much deeper is that blindness which me the belief that God is always righteous, overlooks the separate tendencies of things always maintaining a fight with evil, always eril and things good. Naturally, all evil is seeking to bring his creatures out of it, you fugitive and allied to death.” “Having an take everything from me, all hope now, all chorage in God, innumerable entities may hope in the world to come. Atonement, possibly be admitted to a participation in the redemption, satisfaction, regeneration, become divine æon. But what interest in the favour mere words, to which there is no counterof God can belong to falsehood, to malignity, part in reality.” “But I know that there is to impunity? To invest them with conian something which must be infinite. I am privileges is, in effect, and by its results, to obliged to believe in an abyss of love which distrust and insult the Deity. Evil would is deeper than the abyss of death. I dare not be evil if it had that power of self-sub- not lose faith in that love. I sink into etersistence which is imputed to it in supposing nal death if I do. I must feel that this love its conian life to be co-eternal with that is encompassing the universe. More about which crowns and glorifies the good.” it I cannot know. But God knows. I leave If anything were required in addition to myself and all to him."
T. U. what has been already stated to show that NOTE.— The author of the foregoing article the doctrine of eternal punishment is con- is indebted for a part of its reasoning to trary to Christianity, reference might be Dr. Southwood Smith's work on the “ Divine inade at length to the numerous passages of Government."
DEPENDENCE ON OTHERS.—Among the many who have enforced the duty of giving, I am surprised there are none to inculcate the ignominy of receiving; to show that by every favour we accept, we, in some measure, forfeit our native freedom, and that a state of continual dependence on the generosity of others is a life of gradual debasement.
IS THE NOTION OF A PLURALITY OF INHABITED WORLDS CONSONANT
WITH SCIENCE AND REVELATION ?
“It is fine
consists in such a conjunction of a number To stand upon some lofty mountain thought, of facts. that there remains only one way in And feel the spirit stretch into a view."-Bailey.
*] which they can all be consistently exAFTER reading the negative article com- plained.” mencing this debate, we were led intuitively We know that this universe is subjected to the inquiry, What is the question at to certain influences, which have been obissue? With careful examination we ascer served to act so uniformly for a long series tained the terms of the question submitted of years, as to be generally recognized by to our consideration to require arguments man as general laws of the universe. We for or against the reasonableness of assign- recognize the fact that this earth forms a ing to other spheres animated existence, and part only, a mere speck, in the immensity not the comparative truthfulness of argu- of the material universe; we can demonments contained in two books, respectively strate, with mathematical certainty, that entitled, “More Worlds than One,” and “ An this earth has similar motions, effected by Essay." Had we been reading a critical the same power, and controlled by the same review of the contents of these two books, agencies, as some other portions of the uniwe should have felt grateful to H. D. L. for verse. Moreover, we cannot deny that the the pleasure he had afforded us; but the centre of the universe sustains a common circumstances are slightly different, and we relation, and exercises similar influences are inclined to imagine that his whole article upon these different portions of the universe. is completely hors de combat, so far as the Philosophy has not only taught us the high readers of the Controversialist are concerned probability of these things, but it assures us on this occasion. The propriety of these of their absolute certainty. The progressive remarks will become more apparent as we attainments of science show us still farther proceed, and we have no doubt that H. D. L. the high probability that those portions of will appreciate fully the hint we now give, the universe which are most definitely and kindly bear in mind what the question observable, possess land to walk on, air is which we are required to discuss, so that to breathe, water to drink, and fire for we may have the benefit of his thoughts warmth. Then why is it not equally upon the real question, and not on a fic- probable that there is some concrescence of titious one, when he favours us with his con- animated existence to enjoy the provision cluding remarks.
of other spheres? We know that approAll the knowledge man receives from priate inhabitants live here to enjoy and observation and experience is clouded with use them, and is it not a well-recognized some degree of uncertainty, and his judg- rule of reason to judge of things beyond obserment is constantly wavering between the vation by things known and admitted within more and less certain; hence there arises the limits of observation? We are therein the human mind the idea of probability, fore pledged to believe that reason requires and of its opposite, improbability-states of the same to be affirmed of more spheres than the mind in which the measure of certainty one; but we proceed. preponderates or not in a given direction, However learned or acute may have been according to the amount and value of evi- the various writers on this subject and its dence upon it. Evidence is a fact, or series correlates which have recently occupied the of facts, showing more clearly the truth of public attention, their works must be valued some other facts with which they are asso- merely as conjectural. We therefore attach ciated, and “the conclusiveness of evidence but little importance to the detached por
tions culled from them, because, disjointed may possess animated existences, seeing they from their connection, they are more liable possess like requisites for living subjects to misappropriation, being parts of inductive with our mother earth? Is not the negareasoning, than quotations from deductive tive of this repuguant to reason? Granted, arguments could possibly be.
that in sphere A the air is more highly Our subject for the most part will only rarified, the heat more intense, the light exadmit of inductive argument; it is therefore ceedingly bright, and the water and the of particular moment we should have dis- land equally modified, still our position is tinct knowledge of the facts which serve as unassailed; animated existence is found in the basis of induction, that we should clearly our own sphere, with physiological constiapprehend the appropriateness of the con- tution modified to suit the circumstances necting idea by which these particular facts under wbich these facts exert their influence. superinduce the general principle, giving the Similar variations in the mode of animated truth sought. It will be merely necessary existence immediately adapts the physiofor our present purpose to show a degree of logical constitution to the degree of intensity probability preponderating in favour of the with which these facts exert their influence point at issue—to show the probability of in those spheres also. Granting, also, that even the lowest extreme of animated exist-sphere B may, by its locality with reference ence in the spheres associated with our earth to these extraneous forces, only possess these in this mighty universe; for it is a perfectly facts in an extended, diluted, or attenuated correct construction of the terms of the form, still here the facts exist, and animated debate, to define “inhabited worlds” as organisms are possible under the modified dwellings appropriate for any form, condition, circumstances in which the facts present or degree of animated existence; the terms themselves. So we may proceed with all being general, no limit can be assigned, and spheres within appreciable limits, and still therefore the negative is against all forms, the same possibility of animal life is preconditions, and degrees of animated exist- sented. Space, however, suggests we should ence. Here again it is evident that H. D. L. pass to a more particular notice of H. D. L.'s is hors de combat, for he has limited" the negative remarks, so far as they have inquestion to man ” (p. 20).
fluence upon this debate. Eschewing, with We recognize certain things as facts, learned indifference, the “respectable authoamong which may be enumerated the exist- rity” of the astronomer, our friend seizes ence of light, heat, air, water, and dry land. upon geology, as with a death grasp, deterThese are produced, or materially influenced, mined to ride through the storm under the by extraneous forces or causes commou to shelter of so powerful a friend. We are, other spheres. We have by the aid of however, inclined to believe that geology science abundant reason to believe that these will prove rather an uncertain friend;-at extraneous forces produce or influence the least, we shall make some trifling test of it. mass of other spheres, so as to cause the like Granting that “the earth was brute and facts to be in existence there-facts like as inert compared with its present condition to their essential properties, but varying, it * * * for countless centuries before man may be, as to one or more of their accidental was created,"--and geology tells us it was qualities. For instance, air may be lighter so, we have no intention to deny its reveor heavier, heat may be greater or less as lation of this, but we would rather pair with to its intensity, light may be more or less it another fact, also communicated by geology. bright, water and land way be more or less It is generally received among geologists dense; but every fact essentially exists, that the coal formation dates back countless modified according to the value of those ages previous to the present period in this extraneous forces, in the spheres indicated. earth's history. “Geologists," says Dr. In our own sphere these facts are considered Jenkyn, “ had examined the different beds at least absolute requisites to animated exist- of the coal system for about half a century, ence; but wherever most or all of these facts without discovering any animal higher than do exist, there animated existence is possible, a fish, or any creature that could live in the or may be found. Is it not, then, consonant air, had existed at the coal epoch. In all with reason to suppose that other spheres that time no animal with a back.bone, ex
cept a fish, no creature bringing forth its | temperature by increasing or decreasing the young alive, no frogs, no tortoises, no snakes, sun's influence upon them. It is an estabno lizards, nothing that could breathe air, lished fact here, that the greater the velocity except a few insects, and two species of with which the wind travels, the less is the beetles, had been discovered in rocks so heat, the more intense the cold; or rather, ancient as those of the coal. The first clue the absence of heat is more sensible. Is not to the probable existence of air-breathing the velocity of the wind, in a great measure, animals was furnished by a singular tooth, controlled by the rotatory and orbicular found in the cannel coal of the Fifeshire motion of the earth? Farther, we would coal-fields. The animal to whom this tooth urge that facts are opposed to such an belonged seemed to have been a true fish, assumption, for we find that the sources of but its tooth indicated that some parts of its heat are numerous; we particularize three organization were higher than a mere fish.” only as equal to our exigencies in the present Herein geology furnishes us with a condition case-the sun, the stellar orbs, and the of this earth, much less fitted for habitation planet itself. Start not, reader, at the allethan that presented by many of the spheres gation, for it is not our intention to take you immediately contiguous to our own, furnish- on the wings of excited fancy, through the aery ing a probability for the affirmative of our labyrinth of imagination; we set you down bedebate. H. D. L., we presume, will be fore a fact on our own mother earth. We like somewhat inclined to relinquish the friend - facts, there is something so tangible, so real, ship of geology, as he finds it untrue to the and life-like about them; they shrink not colours to which he has summoned it. on your approaching to examine them, but “ If the earth was for ages a turbid mass of court investigation with a free open-handedlava and of mud, why may not Mars and ness, altogether unlike the thin transSaturn be so still?” (p. 21.) We repeat parencies of hypothesis and fiction. Experithe query, Why not? While the earth was inents made by that learned philosopher, in this state, certain conditions of animated | M. Pauillet, have shown that, if a given existence were in being. Why, then, may effect, produced on this earth at a certain not Mars and Saturn also be possessed of time and place by solar influence, be reprethese conditions of animated existence, if, as sented by 100, the influence of celestial or alleged, they are now turbid masses of “lava stellar heat under the same circuinstances and of mud”? Is it more unreasonable for will be correctly indicated by 85: thus, as them to have shiny fishes, frogs as large as solar heat is to 100, so is stellar heat to 85; elephants (the labyrinthidon), carnivorous to which, if we add the amount of heat marine reptiles, thirty feet long, with the strictly emanating from the earth as terresspout of a porpoise, the teeth of a crocodile, trial heat, we shall find that the heat felt the head of a lizard, the vertebræ of a fish, at the surface of the earth is derived chiefly the sternum of an ornithorhynchus, and the from other sources than the sun, or in other paddles of a whale (the ichthyosaurus), when words, that the sun supplies somewhat less these monsters inhabited our earth, when than one-half of the heat sensible to inhabit" the earth was brute, * * * countless ants of the earth. Applying these remarks centuries before man was created"?
to other orbs, we find the relative position It is argued that animal existence is im- of those most open to our observation to be possible in the planets from their relation to such as to manifest but little variation in the sun as the source of heart, as it is said temperature from the thermal condition of that planets nearer than our earth must be our earth: thus at Mercury heat would be subjected to a greater heat, in proportion as 25 per cent. greater than here; at Venus, a the distance between them and the sun is little less; at Mars, about 25 per cent. less lessened, and that planets farther removed than at the earth; and at Jupiter, about 40 from the sun than our earth must suffer per cent, less than at the earth ;-variations from a proportionate diminution of heat. much less in every case than the extremes With respect to this, we reply by urging of temperature experienced at various seathe well-known fact, that the velocity with sons on the earth. Again: these thermal which the planets move in their orbits and conditions we find are modified by a variety upon their axes, necessarily modifies their of causes on the earth, producing the pleasing