« PreviousContinue »
All," and yet " no one element of nature resembles another.” If so, how then are things constituted as they are? At first, "all things existed in a chaos; afterwards, Intelligence came, and reduced them to harmonious order.” Here is much matter for thought in a few words. Of what did this orderless compound—this chaos—consist? Of united and identical indecomposable elements—for at that time “all things were together infinite in number and smallness; for the small was infinitely small, and by reason of its smallness nothing was distinguishable.” “Before they were arranged, while they were all together, none of their qualities were perceptible; this was hindered by the commingling of all things, moist and dry, warm and cold, light and darkness, and the great quantity of earth which existed, and the multitude of the infinite, yet unresembling, elements.” And what was that Intelligence to which they owed their arrangement? It is “the purest and most subtle of all things, and possesses the greatest knowledge and the greatest power of all.” “ It is infinite and autocratic, and mixed up with nothing else; it exists alone, in and for itself; were it otherwise—were it mixed up with aught else-it would partake of the nature of all with which it was mised. For, as I previously said, in all there is a part of all, and in such a case, that which was mixed with Intelligence would hinder it from exerting power over all, as it would, when absolute, in its own existence.” And what are we to understand by being “ reduced to harmonious order"? From the non-existent the existent cannot spring, therefore it is that “the Greeks do wrongly suppose that aught begins or ceases to be; nothing comes into being or is annihilated, but all is an aggregation or segregation of preexistent elements; so that all initiated order might more correctly be called a conjunction, and all corruption or destruction a dissolution or disjunction." Chance is but the name given to a cause which human thought has not perceived or cannot discover; Fate is but an empty juggle, a false creation; Intelligence is the disposer and cause of all the phenomenal arrangments of the different sorts of specific yet homogenal elements of matter, and it gives motion, and order, and beauty to all. The arrangement and disposition of the material elements of nature, therefore, constitute the only true and valid idea of creation. These material elements (“Ouolouépalai; from ő uolos, similar, and uspos, part) must be many, for there is an infinite variety of different existences in nature, and this could only result from differences in the primordial elements of things. The facts of sensation will not suffer us to believe that out of one element all the varied products and constituents of nature could be developed, or else we must say everything is everything, and everything is alike. Must we then posit the validity of sense-representation? Yes; but not as absolutely true. “Phenomena are the criteria of our knowledge of things beyond sense.” The invisible is evidenced in phenomena. The reflective reason, in things as they are sensuously presented, cognizes the unapparent; and thus, though “ things are to each according as they seem to him,” they are only subjectively so, and reason, by pursuing certain processes, discovers the objective realities of which they are the signs. In each animate being a portion of mind is found, and hence the adaptive and selective capabilities of living creatures. Intelligence is a duplex power—a thinking and an active agency, and hence “everything which has a soul, whether great or small, is governed by the Intelligence. It knows all things, those which are mixed and those which are disjunct, those which ought to be and those which were, as well as those which now are and those which will be: all are arranged by Intelligence.” Thus there emerges from the study of the universe a pure autocratic Intelligence, and an infinite variety of similar, yet contrary, elements constituting the whole of matter, arranged, and moved, and regulated by that Intelligence.
Intelligence, then, is not only the ordainer, but the interpreter of the universe; and when we know that which accords with Intelligence, we know the laws of that nature which Intelligence regulates. The true philosophy of nature, therefore, depends upon the philosophy of thought. Although Anaxagoras lived to a good old age, he had not attained a satisfactory and self-conclusive philosophy,-a system rounded, and settled, and clear,--and at the close of a life spent in speculation, he exclaimed in sadness, “ Nothing can be known. Nothing can be learned. Nothing can be certain. Sense is limited. Reason is weak. Life is short."
REMARKS.—These are the thoughts of a great mind, whose unresting energy is marvellous. The system exhibits great dialectic skill, profundity of thought, and readiness of invention. Here in Ionic philosophy the clear demarcation of thought from matter is first made, and the doctrine of a regulative Reason in creation becomes extant. Nature is now no longer a spontaneous, self-moved activity; Creation is no longer an incomprehensible energy; they are both governed and regulated by Reason, and Chance and Fate are dethroned. The subjective and the objective are somewhat differentiated; Noumena and Phenomena are both possible and both valid; Sense and Reason are at one; the Many are governed by the One, and the One manifests its existence in the Many. The theory is dual: Mind—the architectonic power-operates upon Matter—the mass of infinitely varied elemental atoms—and builds up phenomenal Nature out of them.
The mechanicism of Anaximander and the dynamicism of Thales and Anaximenes are now one, and out of their union a new philosophy issues. The Ionic school began with physical speculations, but now they have reached the portals of Metaphysic, and even entered within the sanctuary. They sought to comprehend Nature; in studying Nature, they learned to know themselves; and now they have attained the new concept-Mindone uncompounded, active, thinking, spiritual energy, working in, upon, and through all things, yet clearly and decidedly distinct from the material elements to which it imparts form, activity, and comeliness. Intelligence is the bighest existence; to know that thoroughly is to know all else. By what logic are such results obtained? Sense perceives phenomena; Reason cognizes noumena: the one is the cypher in which the other is written. To translate the one into the other is the duty of philosophy. Philosophy discovers everywhere the performance of functions; it traces also the adaptation of these functions to the accomplishment of peculiar purposes, and thus observes the signature of Intelligence in each phenomena. The perception of the activities of Nature enables man to posit the notion of power; but when he recognizes the fitness of these activities to achieve important purposes, it adds to power the idea of intelligence, and this compound concept-intelligent power-unifies the mechanic and dynamic philosophies, and introduces a new era in thought. Let the great spirit, who has thus far adventured on the unsunned waste of Speculation, pass in peace to the realm of shades. Let us not narrowly
Got at a life's cost, but rather let us honestly recognize the merits of this great mind, whom Athens spurned, and the world reveres—this great thoughtsman of an earlier day.
DO THE SCRIPTURES TEACH THAT THE PUNISHMENT OF THE WICKED
WILL BE ETERNAL ?
“ Just, and strong, and opportune is the moral sin conducts its victims;" and we now call
rule of God; Ripe in its times, firm in its judgments, equal
attention to the fact that throughout this in the measure of its gifts :
debate not a single argument has been pro
duced at all invalidating the positions we Nevertheless, wretched man, if thy bad heart
a heart have maintained. It is true many special be hardened in the flame, Being earth-born, as of clay, and not of moulded pleas have been urged, and many specious wax,
collocations of high sounding words emJudge not the band that smiteth, as if thou
ployed, but no close, hand-to-hand encounter wert visited in wrath ; Reproach thyself, FOR HE IS JUSTICE ; repent has been risked,
has been risked,—no measuring of the chi
110 measuring or the cu thee, For He is MERCY.
valric lance in the open field. Some docCease, fond caviller at wisdom, to be satisfied
trines of holy writ are so unpleasant to that everything is wrong; Be sure there is good necessity, even for the
certain minds,--so exceedingly annoying to flourisbing of evil."
worldly ease,-so destructive of the placidity
M. F. Tupper. l of those who occupy their own theoretic CHRISTIANITY, by which we imply the dreamlands, that the bare mention of such gospel of God's grace to a perishing world, doctrines causes them to fly off at a tangent is perfect and unique. Being a perfect into the mystic vagaries of their own erratic revelation from God, objectively considered, imaginations, where, for all practical purit is incapable of progressive development. poses, they are lost to themselves and manOn its first announcement by Christ and kind at large. The true dignity of man his apostles, it attained its culminating point consists in not being wise above that which of perfection. It was, and is, and ever will is written. To this test it is his true glory be, like all God's works, “good.” It is to bring all his works, his words, and his mere sophistry and idle periphrastic egotism thoughts; here is truth and safety; beyond to affirm that the gospel, objectively con- this is error and uncertainty. In exposing sidered, is in a state of progressive develop the fallacy of our opponents' reasoning, we ment as a “system of love," as “tending to hope to exhibit christian love and candour; expansive and humane views.” It is the wbile fearlessly unmasking their errors, we objective law by which infinite grace is dis- hope to manifest entire respect for their pensed to a perishing world; it impugns persons. not, nor invalidates in the least degree the “Sigma" affirms that this doctrine “is inflexible justice and perfect holiness of the inconsistent with the revealed character of Moral Governor of the universe, while it God," because “God continually speaks of enunciates the conditions on which alone himself as Love;" because “God's holiness the penitent sinner may be justified, and the and justice alike forbid” it; because God impenitent sinner may be condemned to “is uninfluenced by those lower motives endless woe. We have shown (p. 11) that which actuate us;” and “it is inconsistent the doctrine of this debate is affirmed “upon with God's moral government.” The questhe same evidence as the eternity of the tion, upon the valid solution of which the Godhead, and the eternal felicity of the whole of this train of argument is founded, saints; that the doctrine of the immortality requires a moment's consideration ;-What of the soul must be overthrown if this is is the revealed character of God? He is not admitted; and that the nature of the revealed as a Loving Father, and a Just case forces this doctrine upon us, from the Judge; for, “ Like as a father pitieth his impossibility of any means of rescue reaching children, so the Lord pitieth all them that the condemned in that pit of horror to which fear him;" and he is a “ Jealous God, visit
ing the iniquity of those who hate him, and tive covenant of grace. God's infinite love showing mercy to those who love him and is most endearingly exhibited in the gift of keep his commandments.” He is the God of the Son of his love as a ransom to all willlove, for “ God is love;" yet “just and right ing recipients of the overtures of his mercy, is he;" and he says, “ Vengeance is mine, Ifor he “willeth not the death of a sinner, will repay." The scriptures abundantly but rather that he should turn and live;" show God to be unique in his justice, holi- “ He gave his only begotten Son, that whoness, and love, and that the whole of these soever believeth in him should not perish, moral attributes may co-exist in infinite but have everlasting life.” Thus redemption perfection, and exhibit the most harmonious is applicable to man in time, is a preparative grace and beauty. The scriptures teach us to the final adjudication upon the moral that God is a Moral Governor,—that he has character of man, and can by no means created man a moral agent, the subject of affect the moral delinquent who complies his government, -that, as Moral Governor, not with the conditions of its grace. His he has imposed moral conditions, to which criminality is only heightened by the rejeche has assigned rewards and punishments, tion of its overtures of mercy; his condemconsequent on obedience or disobedience. nation is suicidal, while his conduct vindicates The man, as the creature of God, was fully the love of God from aspersion, and his capable of appreciating the conditions of his justice from the charge of vindictiveness, existence;-that God possessed the right, cruelty, and blind vengeance. For these as Creator, to impose these conditions, and reasons, we submit it must be evident to the that they were conformed to abstract justice. unprejudiced mind, that any punishment From the nature of God and man we con- which might be inflicted upon the finally clude that, antecedent to all ritualism, cere- | impenitent, the duration of which is less monial enactments, or redemptive acts, God than eternal, would be inconsistent with the was eligible to punish as Creator and Moral revealed character of God-the God of love, Governor, and man was capable of, and ex- holiness, and justice; that, according to the posed to, punishment as a consequence of revealed constitution of the moral world, moral delinquency; and, from the nature of such limitation of punishment is an imposthe case, such punishment must be accord- sibility, and utterly destructive of God's ant with the nature of the delinquent, the moral government, since it would make him extent of the crime, and the character of the a lawgiver without a law, a judge without government to which the criminal was sub- justice, and without power to condemn. ject. Moral delinquency is not extinguish- “ Sigma's" argument, " that it is not in able by any ordinary means at the disposal accordance with the genius and spirit of of a moral governor. The stain once received Christianity,” having been replied to in our is indelible, ineffaceable the pollution is preceding remarks, we may observe that perpetuative, infective-it is non-corrective the nature of the punishment is no part of by disciplinary process, since discipline is the present question, it is not for us now to objective. Moral pollution is attained by show that the punishment of the future subjective volition; it is not a thing added world is material or spiritual, or a compound to the moral agent; it is suffused throughout of both; we therefore pass by this topic, and the subjective identity; hence the purifying simply ask what reference to the duration process operates only by the same medium. of future punishment can the number (see Discipline is objective application, from with also N.'s remarks, p. 89) of persons exposed out; sanctification is subjective-the genera to that punishment by any possibility have, tion of holiness within; hence, by the ordi- so as in the least degree to invalidate the nary course of God's moral government, justice and rectitude of the punishment? man's delinquency necessitates, in exact "Could we admit such a plea as potential in accordance and harmonious unison with civil jurisprudence? Does the number or infinite justice and love, the infliction of the criminality of the prisoners tend to punishment co-ordinal with the duration of weaken or intensify the administration of man's immortality. Nor is this position at the law and the punishment? We presume all affected by the probationary condition in it would tend to intensify the administration which man is now placed under the redemp-l of the law, and the infliction of punishme:
in civil life; why, then, should we, the im- | wherein he charges upon the ever blessed perfect and the finite, arrogate to ourselves God the needless aggravation of the first a wisdom we will not accord to the Perfect great and solemn curse on sin? Can the and the Infinite? Does the heathenism of sin of the unreclaimable sinner be needlessly the heathen' become chargeable upon God, aggravated? Does the nature of the case because of its wide-spread prevalence and admit of the thought? Is not sin the greatits palpable darkness? (see Rom. i. 18, et est evil in God's universe? Is not the seq.) We believe with “Sigma," that it is magnitude of this evil beyond the conception “God's desire for all men to be saved,' but of man? Do not the scriptures everywhere they must come to the knowledge of the exhibit this view of the heinousness of sin ? truth,'” before they can be saved; if they Who, then, shall dare to question the right come not to the knowledge of the truth, they of God to execute his sentence of condemnadie finally impenitent, and therefore “they tion on the impenitent sinner, or charge him shall go away into everlasting punishment.” with folly in the exercise of this prerogative We believe the Saviour is "mighty to save,” of his moral government? The place where but he can save only those who come unto and the character of the punishment we beg God by him.” “He who believeth . . shall to inform N., are no part of the present debe saved; but he who believeth not shall be bate, neither can arguments drawn from such condemned.” The scriptures emphatically de- topics affect the point at issue. clare that the unbeliever shall be condemned, What doctrine of scripture has not "bathat he shall go away into everlasting pun- man kindness, human sympathy, and human ishment, and, as if to cut off all hope from reason" attempted " to limit in its applicathe mistaken notion advanced by N. (p. 89), tion,” friend Ñ.? And has this attempt been of the correctional power of punishment, the considered a valid objection to the truth of scriptures also affirm that there is no such doctrine? We opine not, and feel means of salvation or amelioration of the assured our sentiment will be endorsed by condition of the unbeliever, separate and the readers of the British Controversialist. apart from the vicarious sacrifice of Jesus, The peculiar characteristic of the virulence and the vicarious efficacy of this sacrifice is of sin in the present world is its propagative solely dependent upon the possession of a power; but in the future world, sin exists reasonable intelligent faith. "Nor is there only in its primitive potency, it cannot there salvation in any other; for there is none be propagative, it is there a consuming, corother name under heaven, given among men, roding, self-cognizant evil; hence sin is not whereby we must be saved,” but Christ Jesus, maintained in perpetuity, according as N. Acts iv. 12. “By grace are ye saved through would have us to understand it. faith,” Eph. ii. 8. The texts referred to byl “ Christ died for all.” Yes, this is true; " Sigma," on pp. 48, 49, as favourable to the but it is applicable to all under certain limited duration of future punishment, appear conditions: if all fulfil those conditions none to us altogether irrelevant to the present will be brought before the judicial seat of question. As a portion of God's word we Christ—" the great white throne" will not believe them of full power in all subjects to be set, none will be condemned, none will be which they are applicable; but we demur to subjected to punishment, because none will their use on the present occasion. His remain in their sins. But will all fulfil remarks respecting the influence of this the conditions? If N. will kindly satisfy scripture doctrine upon social affections, re- our misgivings on this point, we will not lations, and duties, evidence, we fear, the only affirm with him that future punishment possession of but little practical knowledge is limited, but will affirm that punishment of the doctrine of atonement and its adapta- will have no existence in the future world. tion to the exigencies of the human soul, or The triumph of Christ will consist in the of the simple conditions on which that atone living trophy of a countless “multitude ment is efficacious in communicating peace which no man can number," singing the to the soul. Their inappropriateness to this | praises of his redemptive love, through an debate is self-evident, because of their con- | ever-cycling eternity. We would refer N. to trariety to the facts of daily experience. Who Eccles. ix. 10, where he will find it clearly will join “Sigma” in his unparalleled temerity stated, “ there is no work, nor device, nor